Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’

Question: Why did Gandhi say, “Your Christians are so unlike your Christ?”

March 13, 2017

I have thought about answers to that question for quite some time.  Many Bible quotes come to mind which could agree with that statement or disagree with it.  Trouble is, no matter what I might say about it, “the world” would most likely still agree with Gandhi!

This is what got me thinking about that Gandhi quote.  While driving in my car I often listen to an a.m. talk radio station.  One advertiser on that station (“The Foundation for a Better Life”) often quotes the Hindu leader Gandhi.  They end their segment by saying, “pass it on.”)  However, I have noticed that one quote made by Gandhi doesn’t seem to ever be included in the commercial segment.  It is this one:

“I like your Christ but do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” – Gandhi

I wonder…why don’t they play that one?

It’s quite cringe worthy…to say the least!  Perhaps Gandhi did have a point when he made that statement.  However, is it fair to lump all Christians into such a category?

Such a disparaging statement caused me to wonder…in what ways did Gandhi think that Christians are so unlike our Christ?

Was he expecting us to be perfect?  Only Jesus is perfect!

Was he expecting us to be totally sanctified (which will only happen when resurrected to eternal life either at death or when the Rapture occurs) and never say the wrong thing or ever sin again?

It is difficult to counter what Gandhi said.  So many people admire him for that particular quote as well as many others that he made in his lifetime!

Perhaps I could share the following graphic to start the conversation:

That graphic holds a verse from 2 Corinthians 4.  I suggest reading the entire chapter.*

There is also the fact that many who claim to be Christians haven’t repented of their sins, become born again in Christ, invited the Holy Spirit into their lives and therefore, have rejected the mercy and grace afforded to those in Christ.  These days, biblical Christian faith is often frowned upon and hated by those who reject the Bible as truth.

Jesus warned us that there would be false prophets who are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Mat 7:15

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

These are the pretend “Christians.” Jesus told us in Matthew 7 that we would “know them by their fruits,” and that “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

Further down in the same parable, Jesus describes who “will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” What’s worse is this part: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Back to Gandhi.

So, maybe he encountered “foolish men who built their houses on the sand.” Or, maybe he encountered false prophets? Or, maybe he encountered “wolves in sheep’s clothing?” Or, maybe he encountered “the bad trees?”

Mat 7:17

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

Mat 7:18

“A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Mat 7:19

“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Gandhi claimed to “like Christ,” but he obviously didn’t actually believe in Him, love Him, nor worship Him.

How ironic it would be to think that Gandhi didn’t like “your Christians” because of the world’s so-called perceived “judgmental character” of Christians?  In that particular quote, wasn’t Gandhi being judgmental against all of us?

Let’s begin the comparison of Gandhi’s religion vs. Christianity.  The following is not a comprehensive comparison of Hinduism versus Jesus Christ, but it is a good summary.

Along with their rejection of God as sovereign creator of the world, Hindus also part company with Christianity on the critical issue of Jesus Christ as god’s incarnate Son.  Hindu worshipers of Vishnu, for example, believe that God has become incarnate many times in the past.16  The Bible teaches that God became incarnate only once in human history (see John 1:14).  Jesus came not to teach humanity various “ways” to salvation, but to be “the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) and “to take away the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28).

The resurrection of Christ demonstrates His absolute uniqueness as God the Son, His victory over death and His divine approval from God the Father.  It also refutes the Hindu teaching of continuous reincarnation and their belief that Christ is just another teacher-avatar (super-savior).

OK…so now we know why Gandhi, as a practicing Hindu leader, would say that he “likes (your) Christ.”  He sees Christ as just one of the great teachers, but that is as far as he will go.

The next quoted section will reveal why the Hindu’s god is too small.

Actually, Hinduism is more a philosophy than a theology (a study of God).  The Hindus try to make a tremendous case for the bigness of their impersonal god–Brahma–the “that” behind and beyond reality.  But where does the Hindu seek Brahma?  Within himself.  For the Hindu, each person is “god” (or at least part of “god”).

Ah ha!  That partially explains why Gandhi would make the claim that “I (he) do (does) not like your Christians!”  He expects each Christian to be their own god, or at least part of “god.”  Therefore, he most likely saw each Christian who had not become totally sanctified in this regard as a failure.

Continuing:

The Hindu’s god is too small.  The biblical record (see 1 John 5:11,12) states that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  If we have the Son, we have eternal life (not a series of mythological, absolutely unproven reincarnations).  As an Indian folksong put it:  “How many births are passed, I can not tell.  How many yet to come, no man can say; But this alone I know, and know full well, that pain and grief embitter all the way.”17

Christians, however, can rest in “the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

In conclusion, I will be summing up major differences between Hindus and Christians.  But first, I wanted to mention in the more detailed text of the book that I am quoting from, we find out that “Hindus call sin “utter illusion” because they believe all material reality is illusory.”

The term “illusory” is often confused with elusive, so here is the dictionary definition of illusory from Dictionary.com as well as the word origin and details:

adjective

1.

causing illusion; deceptive; misleading.

2.

of the nature of an illusion; unreal.

1590-1600; < Late Latin ill ū s ō rius, equivalent to ill ū d (ere) to mock, ridicule (see illusion ) + – t ō rius -tory1

Synonyms

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com

1. fallacious, specious, false. 2. imaginary; visionary, fancied.

Word Origin and History for il-lu-so-ry Expand

adj.

1590s, from French illusorie, from Late Latin illusorius “ironical, of a mocking character,” from illus-, past participle stem of Latin illudere “mock at,” literally “to play with,” from assimilated form of in- “at, upon” (see in- (2)) + ludere “to play” (see ludicrous ).

So, is it a stretch of the mind to conclude that Gandhi (and all Hindus) might regard Christ’s sacrificial death to atone for the sins of the world as something to mock, deceptive, imaginary, false, and ludicrous?

But Gandhi still claimed to like Christ!

Continuing:

Regarding God and Jesus Christ:  Hindus do not believe in a personal, loving God, but in Brahma, a formless, abstract, eternal being without attributes, who was the beginning of all things.18  They believe that Jesus is not God but just one of many incarnations, or avatars, of Vishnu.19  Christians believe that God is an eternal, personal, spiritual Being in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (see Matthew 3:13-17; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14).  Jesus Christ is God as well as sinless man and He died for our redemption (see John 1:13,14; 1 Peter 2:24).

Regarding sin and salvation:  Hindus call sin “utter illusion” because they believe all material reality is illusory.  They seek deliverance from samsara, the endless cycle of death and rebirth, through union with Brahma, which is achieved through devotion, meditation, good works and self-control. 20  Christians believe that sin is prideful rebellion that leads to eternal separation from God after living only one life, not many (see Romans 3:23; Hebrews 9:27) and that salvation is gained only through believing in the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3).

Gandhi, like other Hindus, could not accept the Christian answer to the problem of sin, het he felt a deep hunger for real salvation from sin.  He wrote:

“For it is an unbroken torture to me that I am still so far from Him, who, as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am.” 15

Reference:  So What’s the Difference by Fritz Ridenour, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2001 pp. 95-97.

Footnotes:

15.  Mahatma Gandhi Autobiography (Washington, DC:  Public Affairs Press, 1948). p. 170.

16.  These incarnations (avatars) included a fish, a tortoise, a boar and a manlion, as well as different human forms, including Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism Kalki; the tenth avatar is yet to come.  See Myrtle Langley, World Religions:  A Guide to Faiths That Shaped the World (West Oxford:  Lyon Publishing plc, 1993), p. 22.

17.  Cited by S. H. Kellogg, A Handbook of Comparative Religions (Philadelphia, PA:  Westminster, 1899), p. 30.

18.  Yamamoto, Hinduism, TM and Hare Krishna, pp. 55, 85.

19.  Yogananda, Paramahansa, Autobiography of a Yogi (Los Angeles, CA:  Self-Realization Fellowship, 1972), pp. 195, 196.

20.  Ibid.

*******
* 2 Corinthians 4:1-18

2Co 4:1

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.

2Co 4:2

But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

2Co 4:3

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

2Co 4:4

whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

2Co 4:5

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

2Co 4:6

For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2Co 4:7

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

2Co 4:8

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

2Co 4:9

persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—

2Co 4:10

always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

2Co 4:11

For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

2Co 4:12

So then death is working in us, but life in you.

2Co 4:13

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,”[fn] we also believe and therefore speak,

2Co 4:14

knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.

2Co 4:15

For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

2Co 4:16

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.

2Co 4:17

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

2Co 4:18

while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Hat tips to all links and graphics.

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

December 30, 2016

Just read a great post over at Wintery Knight’s blog.  Hat tip to Truth 2 Freedom blog for linking to it in my reader feed.

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

Excerpt:

So, everyone knows that there a huge number of different religions in the world. This is called religious pluralism. Some people infer from the large number of different religions that there must be no religion that is correct. After all, they say, there are people in many different religions who are sincere, so that must mean that they are not wrong. (Sincerity = not mistaken) Or, some say that because different religions disagree, then that must mean that no religion is correct. (Disagreement = no right answer) Or, some say that because different religions make different groups of people feel happy, then no religion is wrong. (Makes you happy = not mistaken) Or, one I see among Hindus a lot: “my family and my nation are Hindu, so it cannot be wrong or else my family and nation would be wrong”. (family pride and national pride = can’t be mistaken). There are probably other variants, but the common factor is this – religion is not like math or science or engineering or technology, where we do have right answers and wrong answers. Religion is something else – it’s more like clothing conventions, or culinary preferences, or taste in art or music. It’s more about a person’s likes and dislikes, not about claims being made about reality.

How should truth-seekers respond to religious pluralism?

The law of non-contradiction

Readers, you must read it all HERE!!!

 

Within the post, Wintery Knight asks:

How do postmodernists reinterpret religious claims as non-propositional?

There are three answers, but the “syncretism” answer applies to my recent discussions with someone who likes Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” teachings.

syncretism: you re-interpret truth claims of the different religions so that claims that are absolutely central, such as “was Jesus God?” are reinterpreted as being peripheral issues, and then the religions can all agree on the core of religious belief, such as advocacy of socialism, global warming and abortion.

 

I have dealt with the idea of syncretism in a previous post entitled, Syncretism Stew.

Non-believers often see the differences between the various denominations and offshoots of Christianity. The fact is, that those who have drifted away from the absolute truth of the Bible and use syncretism excuses for rejecting the Cross of Christ being needed for redemption; are no better off than non-believers! It isn’t “politically correct” to write, but it’s the truth.

My comment there (may still be in moderation):

This is a great post!  Besides the fact that “all religions cannot possibly be true,” it is also a fact that branches of Christianity can (and have) fallen by the wayside when it comes to the truth contained in God’s Word.  I am in the process of “politely debating” an individual on his agreement with Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” book vs. my born again beliefs regarding biblical Christianity.

I already know the errors of Tolle’s beliefs (when it comes to comparing what he has espoused vs. what the Bible reveals), but I have (thus far) been cautious not to “turn off” this young man by stating outright that Tolle (and by extension, the young man) is wrong in several areas of his religious beliefs.  He has already gained an increased respect for Jesus Christ, but Tolle’s teachings combine pantheism, Buddhism, and Gnosticism.  I suspect that the Buddhism aspects of Tolle’s beliefs appeal to this young man.  It has been an interesting discussion…to say the least!

In a recent discussion, I noticed that when I shared Bible verses and quotes by Jesus, the young man had not heard of them before.  He said he has read the Bible, but just reading it once and not studying it can lead a person to take another person’s “word for it” (e.g. Tolle) when it comes to truth and doctrine.  Many Christian denominations have “fallen off the rails” too; as they dismiss the truth of the Bible for man’s errors and imaginations.  I call this “syncretism stew” and the book of Jude warns us that the closer we get to the end times, the greater chance there is for anyone, (including some who call themselves Christians!) to fall for non-biblical beliefs within Christianity. End Times prophecy reveals that there will be a great falling away; while at the same time  the absolute truth of the Bible will reach others and will build Christ’s church!

Anyone interesting in reading about Eckhardt Tolle (so that you will know how he skews away from biblical Christianity), here is a post over at my blog Talk Wisdom:  What do you think about Eckhart Tolle?

Hat tip:

Wintery Knight: Are All Religions Basically the Same?

 

Should Compromising Religious Beliefs Be the Price of Citizenship?

December 1, 2016

Yesterday, I posted the content of an email entitled  “Conscience Rights for All” that I had received from Alliance Defending Freedom. Today, I was not able to find a link to the article. However, there is a link at the ADF site which shares an excellent essay on this topic from The Public Discourse website. The post goes into more detail regarding this very important issue and the current battle going on within the courts of our nation.

The Public Discourse: SOGI Laws: A Subversive Response to a Nonexistent Problem.

Excerpt:

The “price of citizenship” in a free society can never include our freedom of conscience. If we surrender that, then we have surrendered free society itself.

Throughout history, every person under every regime has had—in the most elemental sense—the freedom to form a unique set of beliefs and values. But, uniquely, citizens of the United States have long been guaranteed the fulfillment of that freedom. That is, we possess the freedom to live peacefully according to our beliefs and to follow the dictates of our conscience.

This freedom—codified by the First Amendment—is a pre-political right that rests in our dignity as human beings. But the cultural movement for “tolerance” and “inclusion” has reduced freedom of conscience to a lesser-than right, a token that exists subject to the decisions of judges and lawmakers.

In recent years, laws that provide special privileges to individuals based on their self-proclaimed gender identity or sexual preferences have emerged across the country. Commonly known as SOGI (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) laws, these legislative undertakings are typically fueled by activist groups and represent a subversive response to a nonexistent problem. Available data confirm there exists no significant social pattern or practice of unjust discrimination against these groups. This is not only because the vast majority of Americans already respect each other and are fair-minded, but also because anyone engaged in baseless discrimination faces the prospect of social and financial consequences brought on by public pressure and boycotts.

SOGI laws, however, use the full force of the law to punish individuals who seek to live peacefully and to work in a way that is consistent with their consciences. Elaine Huguenin, Barronelle Stutzman, Jack Phillips, and Blaine Adamson are just a few of the small business owners who gladly serve all people without exception, but who also face legal punishment because they declined to participate in certain events or to create custom art that would have violated their consciences. In Elaine’s case, she politely declined a request to use her expressive photography skills to tell the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony. Her attempt to remain peacefully true to her faith’s teachings about marriage led to a seven-year court battle that culminated in a ruling by the New Mexico Supreme Court against her and her husband, Jon. One justice stated that the Huguenins “now are compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives,” and added that this compulsion “is the price of citizenship.”

Barronelle Stutzman is a 72-year-old grandmother who faces the loss of her business, savings, and home for referring elsewhere a request by a long-time friend and customer that she participate in the celebration of his same-sex wedding by designing custom floral arrangements for it.

In Iowa and Massachusetts, not only religious citizens but even houses of worship are under attack. Churches currently face government-imposed mandates requiring them to open their restrooms to individuals based on their subjectively determined sex rather than biological reality.

Conditional Surrender Fails to Advance Religious Liberty.

[In] the current cultural standoff, proponents of religious freedom and freedom of conscience simultaneously confront opportunities for victory and defeat. We can either choose to enter the arena and strive valiantly for victory, or we can join “those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat,” choosing to negotiate the terms of our own surrender. Now is not the time to partner with proponents of SOGIs in hopes of catching a few crumbs of liberty that fall from the table. Freedom of conscience is not a token to be surrendered as the price of citizenship in a free society; it is the mark of citizenship and the fruit of a free society.

James Gottry is a lawyer and writer with Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal group founded to preserve and defend religious liberty.

Read it all at:

The Public Discourse: SOGI Laws: A Subversive Response to a Nonexistent Problem.

Related article:

The Federalist: BuzzFeed Wants To Destroy Chip And Joanna Gaines For Being Christian And Wildly Popular.

Hat tips to all links.

Theory: Why Hillary Can’t Think – What If It’s Medical?

November 1, 2016

That is a question that I think every voter needs to ask, research, understand,  and determine for themselves before voting on November 8, 2016.

When I find something that I want to report via another blog’s comment section, I need to learn to get on it right away;  especially when the comment section balloons to over 1,100 comments!  Makes it time consuming to locate it later.

Even though part of my purpose here is to discuss something that I originally found very disturbing and serious regarding Hillary Clinton, I ran across this humorous political cartoon.

It was too funny to pass up!

Sometimes we all need a break from the seriousness surrounding this election!  We still need to be able to laugh!

Now on to my original intention with this post.

Oh wait…then there was this, too:

But really, I DO want to get serious here.

Ah!  Finally found it!  It was in a comment thread over at The Last Refuge blog.  Over 1,145 comments so far!

Before I share the information, I want to tell readers about a phone conversation that I had yesterday with my 92-years-young mother.  She is, and has been, a lifelong Democrat.   (She has her health problems, but I’m so grateful to God that He has given her this long life.)

As a child I was happy attending the Democratic picnics in the N.J. town where I grew up.  I remember the joy and elation my parents felt when John F. Kennedy, being the Democratic nominee in the 1960 Election, won the election. I was in first grade and only six years old at the time.  Granted, we all know that JFK wasn’t a perfect man (none of us are!).  However, his ideology and what he stood for in life was more conducive to what most Conservative Christians still believe today…56 years later.

My dad died in 1994 at age 71. I know he would never agree with the current progressive, far-out-leftist politics of the current Democratic party.

My mom, on the other hand, takes almost everything that she watches on TV as truth. All the spin that was presented by the Hillary-backing media was enough to convince her that she should vote for Clinton to be the first woman president.

That was her attitude months and even just weeks ago.

Yesterday, she shared remorse about mailing in her ballot for Hillary. She said that what is being reported about Clinton now makes it difficult for her to know what to believe about the woman.

Months ago, I told her that I’d rather not discuss this upcoming election because I instinctively knew that we would disagree and even way back then I was a Never Hillary voter.  She droned on about how “wonderful” she thought Hillary was and I just said to her that I have seen Clinton lie constantly and could not vote for her.  At the time, I was also  a skeptic regarding Trump.  I didn’t want to argue with my elderly mom, so we stayed clear of that subject until yesterday’s discussion.

With that being said, here is a link to several videos over at YouTube where a doctor shares his expertise on why he thinks that Hillary Clinton has Parkinson’s Disease.

The final video that has been posted by a commenter over at The Last Refuge reveals much about Hillary’s bizarre behavior.

 

wolfmoon1776 says:

This woman is one bad judgment after another. At first we want to believe that she’s just saying all this crazy stuff – that she just lies pathologically to skate out of trouble or attack Trump.

But what if she – or even just some part of her – really believes it? What if it’s actually medical?

VidZette.com video:  Hillary Clinton – Why She Can’t Think.

In my mind, this is the worst of the numerous cover-ups going on concerning Hillary Clinton. How so many people can think it’s OK to attempt to conceal her ailment from the public and allow her to run for president, become the nominee, and then to arrange for her to cheat at the debates, is not only desperately mean…it’s beyond comprehension!

That video above helps to explain why she looked down at her podium so often during the debates.   It is suspected that she had the answers in front of her on a small lite screen.  My husband noticed that, particularly at the third debate. It is also suspected that she had answers being fed to her via an earpiece.

What is the end game in all of this?

I think it was to have her be the next puppet “president” (like 0bama has been)  under “Dr. Evil” billionaire George Soros.  We have suffered through 8 years of nation-wide calamity and damage!  We don’t need or want such deception and evil to continue to destroy our beloved nation!

I continue to pray that God sees us through this terrible time of deceit being perpetrated against Americans and that no matter what happens on Election Day 2016, we can come through either the devastation or the joy that will ultimately result from the choice that is ultimately made on this upcoming fateful day.

Dear Christian readers,

You might find any or all of the articles in this month’s Decision Magazine helpful.

Every article is very informative and I encourage everyone to read them.

I’d like to end with this quote from Franklin Graham in the “Message for a Troubled Nation” article:

Our job as Christians is to make the impact of Christ felt in every phase of life–religious, social, economic and political. But we cannot do it in our own strength or wisdom. We can only do it if we surrender ourselves completely to God. Be an advocate for God’s truth, for His righteousness. And let’s elect men and women to office who will lead this nation back to really being on nation under God–one that can truthfully say once again, “In Almighty God we trust.”

Ultimately, we know this eternal truth:

Rom 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[fn]

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christians Must Pray and Act

October 15, 2016

I’m reminded of that old metaphorical statement “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” We have to do both—pray and act. We have to pray like crazy for God to intervene in this country and break us. Incidentally, I also think if we’re going to see a spiritual change in this country, I believe it will happen through our young people.

I was with a bunch of young people yesterday and I was reminding them that all of the Great Awakenings, including the beginning of the modern mission movement, started among young people. One girl said, “I told God the answer is ‘yes.’ I don’t even know what the questions are, but whatever You want me to do, the answer is ‘yes.’” So I believe we need to pray with all of our hearts that God will do a work in our churches and especially in our youth. And while we’re all doing that, we don’t want to sit on our hands and not do the other things that we can do, such as vote, and try to have an informed vote based upon the issues that we know will really matter. So we have to praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

– Dr. David Jeremiah in BGEA Decision Magazine’s 2016 Electoral Guide

Readers may recall that in my former post entitled, Stuck In The Middle With You I had encouraged voters to order the free Decision magazine issue that presents 2016 Election information when considering our choice this November regarding, “Two Visions, Two Americas.”

If you didn’t order the magazine yet, the good news is that the Electoral guide with complete articles are now online!

This morning, I finally finished reading all of the articles. They are very informative and I think they will help readers make the best decisions regarding this upcoming election.

I suggest reading all of the articles at Billy Graham’s website. Each reader can decide which article to read first. I chose to read The Party Platforms and then the Where The Candidates Stand report. As I saw the striking differences between the Democratic vs. Republican platforms, I thought to myself that as a Christian first, wife, mother and grandmother second, Conservative third, and registered Republican last, that if I were in a swing state I would vote for Donald Trump for President.   Why?  Because it would be a vote against crooked HiLIARy!

The stark differences between these two candidates (especially the egregious corruption in the Democrat party that has been revealed by Wikileaks each day)  makes me a Never Hillary voter. The criminal activity that she has been involved in (especially Benghazi), the mountain of lies she has piled up over the years, the legitimate concern about her obviously failing health (and the huge cover-up about this), and the media- of-mass-deception that is doing all that they can to avoid reporting her crimes (while so obviously backing her campaign), places an absolute conclusion in my mind that she should NEVER become president!

Being in the state of California in which the electoral college hasn’t given a victory to a Republican since Ronald Reagan in the ’80s tells me that even if I were to vote for Trump here, technically it wouldn’t really count anyway.  However, would I be neglecting my Christian duty to leave my ballot choice for president blank?

Dr. David Jeremiah’s question and answer portion in the magazine  was very informative; as were so many of the other articles so please take the time to read it all.  I especially took to heart these portions:

Q: How should a Christian voter prioritize the issues?

A: One of the most important questions going forward is, will our people be able to live their lives and worship God in freedom, or will the Supreme Court and its decisions continue to squeeze evangelicals, so that we are forced to violate the law or violate our conscience toward God? I think that’s the biggest issue—whether we can live and worship the Lord and live according to the dictates of our conscience, or get forced into a corner of political correctness and have to make a decision of whether to go to jail or follow our faith.

Q: Living in California as you do, you’ve seen firsthand a lot of the social progressivism before the rest of the country has experienced it. What do you foresee for Gospel-minded Christians in the next four to eight years?

A: There’s both good and bad. The church has always flourished when it was under pressure. Prosperity has never been good for the church. Adversity has consistently been good for the church. The New Testament was written in a time when Rome was running rampant over Christianity and you knew who the real Christians were. They stood up and were counted. I think one of two things is going to happen: Either we’re going to see a revival of some sort, and with that a renewal of the principles upon which this country was built, or we’re going to fall into a time of great pressure on Christians.

I think this current election may have a great deal to do with which direction that goes. And I believe that apart from a spiritual renewal, a Great Awakening like the ones we’ve had in the past—during which we would return to our roots spiritually—what we’re going to face is more and more the church under the pressure of the government, more and more being pressured to conduct weddings that we will never conduct, more and more being told to say things that we can’t say.

I don’t think that means we should be discouraged as believers. The Gospel has never been more necessary than it is now. All of these things that we talk about don’t in any way impact the fact that Jesus Christ is still the answer and that salvation is still the main business of the church.

Hat tip:

Billy Graham.org: Decision Magazine 2016 Electoral Guide

People Are Asking…

September 3, 2016

Is This The End? 

Never have the headlines been this jarring, the cultural changes this rapid, the moral decay this pronounced.  What on earth is happening?  After each new occurrence the most oft-heard questions are , “Will the world ever be the same again?” and “Where is God in all of this?”

People Are Asking...Is This the End?, by Dr. David Jeremiah

Many Christian believers ask that first question.  In fact, I often think about that very question every day!  With over 25 years of Bible study, I instinctively know the answer to that question.  But what about that second question?  I used to ask that question 25 years ago.  However, believers who are diligently reading, studying, and applying the Word of God in our lives,  can understand the more difficult second question. “Where is God in all of this?”  As believers, we have the answer:

Mar 16:15

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Studying prophecy helps tremendously in recognizing that the closer we get to the end times, the more likely it will be that the world will not ever be the same again…until Christ returns.

Then, the world at the time of the Millennium will be MUCH BETTER!  [Note:  A broader discussion of this will be forthcoming as in the coming weeks and months, I share the content of the book at this blog.]

Those who have not studied the Bible are very likely to ask, “Where is God in all of this?” 

This new book could be a great resource to help people understand what is coming and what is absolutely needed for eternal salvation.

Those of us who are Christians are to help people understand.  It is extremely important to know God’s Word in order to be able to “rightly divide the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Yesterday, I pre-ordered the new book written by Dr. David Jeremiah entitled:  “People Are Asking…Is This The End?  Sign’s of God’s Providence in a Disturbing New World.”

The book is set for release on October 4, 2016.  I’m looking forward to reading it and using it as a resource when sharing the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

There are previews of each chapter at DavidJeremiah.org.  Here is the title of the first chapter and a copy of the preview provided there:

Overview of Chapter 1
The Age of Anything Goes

Ours is an age of decadence, self-delusion, and depravity of every variety—and each time we think things can’t possibly get worse, they do. The shameful acts of yesterday are the celebrated triumphs of today. Perversions are normalized, purity is labeled puritanical, and the only act that cannot be tolerated is dissent from this brave new world where pleasure is king.

Scripture tells us that the road that leads to life is narrow, while the path that leads to destruction is wide. A glance around our culture today and one would be forgiven for thinking that the words found in Matthew’s Gospel are an understatement.

Scripture tells us that the road that leads to life is narrow, while the path that leads to destruction is wide. A glance around our culture today and one would be forgiven for thinking that the words found in Matthew’s Gospel are an understatement. Not only are many people walking down that wide path, they are holding a parade for themselves as they do, celebrating their sins as they march blissfully toward a judgment they don’t believe is coming. In the other direction, the narrow way seems overgrown with weeds from disuse.

As Christians, we should not be surprised at the depths to which humanity seems content to sink. Scripture speaks clearly of humankind’s propensity to sin and God’s holy intolerance of it.

From the days of Noah to the days of the Roman Empire and beyond, people have been lovers of pleasure, inventors of evil, and happy to believe anything our itching ears want to hear. Beneath the constant barrage of the media telling us that anything goes, even Christians are tempted by the wide path. We’re being worn down and written off, and it seems easier to go along in order to get along.

How did things get so bad? Is there anything we can do to stem the tide? And what is God’s next move?

The Age of Anything Goes explores just how our culture made the leap from one founded on Judeo-Christian principles to one that persecutes those who hold to those values. What you read here may shock you. But without a clear picture of where we’ve been and where we are, we cannot truly grasp God’s marvelous grace, nor His plan for our future.

2 Timothy also informs us that certain individuals will not listen to what we share.  Therefore, stay away from ignorant disputes.  However, we should at least try first to, “be gentle to all, able to teach, patient in humility correcting those who are in opposition.”

2Ti 2:23

But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

2Ti 2:24

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient

2Ti 2:25

in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

2Ti 2:26

and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Revisiting the “God’s Not Dead” Movie

August 17, 2016

Read an interesting review this morning over at James Bishop’s blog about the first movie, “God’s Not Dead – In 13 Quick Points.”

At the end of the post, James writes, “let me know your thoughts.” I decided to share mine over there and here!

Some people may choose to laugh at the title of the movie. They think that “God’s Not Dead” is a belief in fairy tales. They laugh at us because they see Christians as ignorant, unknowledgeable buffoons; unscientific, brain-dead…you get the picture. On the other hand, those who claim (and conclusively believe) that “God is dead” are so arrogant to say such a thing!  They are the ones who deserve to be laughed at for their obvious ignorance of God’s Word, their incessant rebellion against truth, justice, and morality; as well as their mindset that they absolutely and intentionally refuse to see their need for forgiveness for their sins through repentance at the foot of Christ’s cross.

This movie presents examples of what is stated in Psalms:

Psa 37:12
The wicked plots against the just,
And gnashes at him with his teeth.

Psa 37:13
The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees that his day is coming.

I agreed with, and enjoyed reading what you [James] wrote in your “good points.” However, many of the criticisms (which you are certainly entitled to believe and share) were not my feelings about the film. In the case of Raddison being “angry with God” because of the death of his mother at a young age, I can say that I know of people who once claimed that they “used to be Christian…now they are not” because of tragedies they had endured in their lives. Whether or not they were genuinely born again in Christ is between them and God, but typically those who know Christ (or once accepted Him) can, in near death instances, turn to Christ at the last minute and repent of their sins. My own father did just that several months before his death.

You did far more research regarding other reviews and opinions of the movie, but I only looked up two examples to use in my blog post about the film – one was positive and the other negative. Here is a copy of my post after seeing the movie for a second time. If you click on the link to my blog, then you can read the links that I placed within the post.

Talk Wisdom: Remaining Obedient to God

I watched the first movie, “God’s Not Dead” again last evening. I thought it was a good film even though many non-Christian reviews were negative. [See Wikipedia and scroll down to “critical reception” for examples.]

Plugged In had a good review of the film.

It was interesting to me to read Wikipedia’s opinion about the visit and verbal exchange of a son (Mark) in the movie (who previously refused to visit his mom who suffers from dementia) versus what is written over at Plugged In.

Wikipedia:

Mark at last visits his mother, only to taunt her; she responds that all of his financial success was given to him by Satan to keep him from turning to God.

Plugged In:

Mina’s dementia-afflicted mother serves to stimulate thought about how serving God doesn’t always iron out all of life’s wrinkles.

“You prayed and believed your whole life,” Mina’s brother says to their mother, almost as an accusation. “Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!” Then, in a moment of unexpected spiritual clarity, she does. “Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God,” she tells her shocked son.

 

“Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”

Indeed, in the face of difficulty, we hear a lot about God always being good, and having a plan for our lives.

It is interesting to note that after saying such a coherent message, the mom goes back to her dementia-induced state, turns towards her son and asks, “who did you say that you were?”

In contrast to the accusation-filled son Mark, whenever the daughter (a Christian named Mina) visited her mom, she patiently told her (as often as necessary) that she is her daughter.

At the end of the film, Mark (son of the mom with dementia) acts as arrogantly and detached as ever from what his mother warned him about being in the state of “their [his] sin is like a jail cell.”

The man obviously rejected the warning, but the Bible tells each of us that “your sin will find you out.”

Num 32:23

“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.

In Matthew 4 (just after Jesus was tempted by satan for 40 days and nights in the wilderness) we find:

Mat 4:12

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

Mat 4:13

And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

Mat 4:15

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:

Mat 4:16

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”[fn]

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Since satan had the gall to tempt Jesus, the Son of God, he certainly will tempt any and all of us! However, as we see in the case of Mark in the movie, living a life of ease (yet separated from God for all eternity) still fulfills satan’s goal of taking unrepentant souls to hell with him.

Plugged In’s review is more in line with what Jesus tells us in Scripture.

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

[Added here: The examples of the Muslim girl being sent away when her Sharia law father found out she was a secret Christian is an example of tribulation because of her rejection of Islam and sincere belief in Christ. The same could be said of the Chinese student whose father was obviously an atheist who wanted his son to reject God as well. Jesus told us that belief in him would often divide believing vs. unbelieving family members:

Mar 10:29
So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[fn] or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,

Mar 10:30
“who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

*******

Mat 12:48
But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”

Mat 12:49
And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!

Mat 12:50
“For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”]

Speaking of experiencing tribulation in this world, God’s Not Dead 2 came out in April, 2016. I haven’t seen it yet but a blog I ran across describes a real life example of a situation that is depicted in the film.

God’s Not Dead blog: When God’s Not Dead 2 Plays Out As YOUR Story!

What is God’s purpose to allow us to go through tribulation (in whatever form it may arise) in this fallen world?

I think this paragraph explains it:

News of our legal case reached people all over the world, and some of them contacted me to encourage me and show their support. It’s amazing how God took a simple decision to remain obedient in my freshman year and turned it into a tool that reached the ears of thousands with the name of Jesus.

Remaining obedient often pits Christian believers against the secular worldviews that would have us shut up, sit down, and accept the immoral deluge that is afflicting our free speech, freedom of association, freedom of conscience, freedom of outwardly professing our faith, and freedom FROM having immorality forced upon our families.

I applaud individuals like Chase Windebank, who didn’t know what the ultimate outcome would be, yet pressed on about what he knew God would have wanted him to do. Stand up for his faith in Jesus Christ!

Chase concludes his post:

It took nearly eight months for my case to come to a close. The outcome? A victory on the side of free speech! Now, if any other public school student is refused the right to pray during their free time at school, they can use my case as an example to aid in their own victory.

God was faithful to sustain me, and all of those rich memories came flooding back as I watched GOD’S NOT DEAD 2. Even though I am now far removed from it all, it felt so real and present. There were times I literally stood up and jumped in excitement for the case being made on behalf of Ms. Wesley.

The thought and scholarly guidance that this movie undertook in order to depict the truth of what our nation is dealing with was phenomenal. Remember with me, for this is the foundation upon which our nation was built. Remember it well by going to see this film. Be Blessed!

Chase Windebank is a Colorado native who loves hiking through the Rocky Mountains, teaching Taekwondo, and writing. His goal in life is to stir up passion in his generation for the things of God, and to show people the true treasure of the Gospel in his everyday life.

Hat tips to all links.

Answering Folly

August 11, 2016

In a previous post, my friend Joe from Oil For Your Lamp attempted to inform a commenter with the screen name of GMpilot, that what he spews against the evidence for Jesus Christ in the Scriptures (as well as what is shown through historical, extra-biblical sources) is a matter of a person being “irrational, delusional, and insane.”

Sounds harsh…right?  But after reading what the Bible (and Jesus Himself) says about such persons, we prove the points in Jeremiah 17:9-10.

For clarity, here is the comment written by Joe:

Black3Actual Says:

August 6, 2016 at 7:24 pm

CJW: GM’s response to you is why we should hold EVERYTHING he says suspect. He claims Josephus was born some 400 years after Christ Died, HOWEVER, even Wiki knows he lived 37-100 AD (they use CE, but same general thing). This means Josephus was alive and old enough to have had actual discussions with first-hand witnesses.

Furthermore, GM likes to argue that people do not respond to his points, or make spurious replies, yet he has just done the same thing. It does not matter about WHAT Josephus said, it matters that he acknowledged that Christ was a real figure in history, and that his life outside Scripture was generally acknowledged to have been the same as IN the Scriptures. To the intellectually honest, this is called corroborating evidence.

Furthermore, notice how he picks on one narrow aspect of this outside evidence, and only on that evidence which he believes he can ‘interpret’ to his favor. First, he has NO EVIDENCE that anything has been ‘corrupted,’ so — like Franklin — he admits he is only speculating according to his own biases. Second, he ignores the corroborating evidence which is stronger than the one he chose to dissect. ALL of this is fallacious (and if you know that while you are doing it, deceitful) argumentation.

There is MUCH outside evidence to testify that the Scriptures are accurate, and that Christ died and rose again. I bet GM does not even know that the global eclipse and a global earth quake were recorded by at least 3 extra-Biblical sources considered — in their times, anyway — to be “scholars.’ The interesting part of these records is they were recorded in distant geographical regions, and all of them agree — pinning Christ’s death to the year 32-33 AD! This is not only powerful support of the Scriptures but — if it were not connected to the claim that Christ IS God — it would be considered definitive proof. But because people do not want to face the ramifications of acknowledging Christ’s true identity, they deny what would otherwise be counted as FACT!

So, how does one argue with a person who — by their own admission — refuses to acknowledge fact? I mean, by definition, such people are not only irrational, but delusional, which is also defined as insane.

My response:

Joe, you and I both know that no matter what evidence is provided to GM, his purpose here is to ignore it and continue to spew his rhetoric – no matter how irrational, delusional and insane he makes himself appear to be.

I love how God’s Word is filled with answers regarding such people. Proverbs tells us to “answer a fool according to his folly.”

Pro 26:5

Answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Yet, Proverbs also tells us to “not answer a fool according to his folly.”

Pro 26:4

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
Lest you also be like him.

This is godly wisdom that informs us that there will come a time when “answering a fool” becomes too ridiculous to continue to do so. That is where you and I are… regarding GM.

You nailed it when you wrote:

But because people do not want to face the ramifications of acknowledging Christ’s true identity, they deny what would otherwise be counted as FACT!

So, how does one argue with a person who — by their own admission — refuses to acknowledge fact?

Unregenerate man is described in Jeremiah 17:9. Jeremiah 17:10 informs us what happens through the entire lifetime of a man or woman.

1. The LORD searches the heart.
2. He tests the mind.
3. He gives every man according to his ways.
4. According to the fruit of his doings.

If a man or woman’s heart rejects the salvation and regeneration of the heart afforded by Christ, then his/her heart remains deceitful and desperately wicked. Some would object to this because they believe that they are “good.” But the truth about the evil in man is revealed by Christ Himself! That link is only a portion of examples where Christ agrees with the fact that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?!”

Jer 17:9

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Jer 17:10

I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.

The Gospel of Christ solves our most deep and desperate need. Jesus said that we must be “born again” of the spirit. There is no other way! Christ IS THE WAY!

Every person’s heart is searched by the LORD. Every person’s mind is tested. Every man – according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doing – will result in reconciliation with God or separation from Him forever in eternity.

What we discuss here is vital! Though many choose to mock it, there will be some, perhaps a remnant, who will heed what is shared and as Jude informs us:

Jde 1:23

but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[fn] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Jude 1:3-1:16 and 1:17-19 describes those with “deceitful and desperately wicked hearts.” It’s not a pretty picture!

However, the following beautiful verses from Jude instructs us and informs us of what believers in Jesus Christ recognize as being what is in store for us.   Jude’s words teach us what we are to do and  how we can endure what evildoers throw at us in this fallen world:

Jde 1:1

Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James,
To those who are called, sanctified[fn] by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

Jde 1:2

Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Jde 1:3

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jde 1:20

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jde 1:21

keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Jde 1:22

And on some have compassion, making a distinction;[fn]

Jde 1:23

but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[fn] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Jde 1:24

Now to Him who is able to keep you[fn] from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

Jde 1:25

To God our Savior,[fn]
Who alone is wise,[fn]
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,[fn]
Both now and forever.
Amen.

NKJV Footnotes

(1:1)

NU-Text reads beloved.

(1:4)

NU-Text omits God.

(1:12)

NU-Text and M-Text read along.

(1:22)

NU-Text reads who are doubting (or making distinctions).

(1:23)

NU-Text adds and on some have mercy with fear and omits with fear in first clause.

(1:24)

M-Text reads them.

(1:25)

NU-Text reads To the only God our Savior.

(1:25)

NU-Text omits Who . . . is wise and adds Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(1:25)

NU-Text adds Before all time.

What Do You Think About Eckhart Tolle?

July 1, 2016

Recently, the suggestion to read a book entitled, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle was given to me by a young man in whom I love and admire.  He was so enthusiastic about what Tolle had written about Jesus, that he thought that I might be enthusiastic about it as well.  He also asked me, “have you ever heard of him and what do you think about Eckhart Tolle?”

I needed to do some research about Tolle, but when I found out that he was one of the “gurus” whose book was featured and endorsed by Oprah Winfrey,  I immediately knew that Tolle’s writings most likely stray away from biblical truth.

*Sigh…*

This young man had contacted me via email and said he wanted to discuss what Tolle wrote regarding what Jesus said in Matthew 6:28.  He didn’t write out the verse, so I looked it up.

Matthew 6:28 – And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.

When we finally had the opportunity to see each other, the version of Matthew 6:28 that he quoted was quite different from what the KJV or the NKJV says.  I was expecting him to quote the verse in this familiar fashion:   “And why are you worried about clothing?”  That is what most “modern” versions say.  Perhaps he was attempting to paraphrase?

Well, we didn’t have much time to get into detail.  I did tell him that Tolle’s book was on Oprah Winfrey’s reading list years ago (2008 – I think).  But we didn’t have the chance to get into a discussion.  Thus, I decided to write a blog post about it.

The first thing I did was look at the individual Bible verse, and read the surrounding Bible verses.  Next, I found biblically-based commentary on the individual verse and surrounding verses, and then read and applied the whole message of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6.  The main point of this Sermon is this:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

David Brown’s commentary is a great read. Scroll down to this section and read to the end:

28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider–observe well.
the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not–as men, planting and preparing the flax.
neither do they spin–as women.

      29. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these–What incomparable teaching!–best left in its own transparent clearness and rich simplicity.

David Guzik’s is an easier read. The point of Matthew 6:28, as well as the entire Sermon on the Mount is this:

 

David Guzik wrote:

4. (33) Summary: Put God’s kingdom first – He will take care of these things!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

a. But seek first the kingdom of God: This must be the rule of our life when ordering our priorities. Yet it is wrong to think that this is just another priority to fit onto our list of priorities – and to put at the top. Instead, in everything we do, we seek first the kingdom of God.

Guzik continues:

i. For example, we rarely have to choose between honoring God and loving our wives or being good workers. We honor God and seek first the kingdom of God by being good husbands and good workers.

ii. We should also remember this statement in its immediate context. Jesus reminds us that our physical well-being is not a worthy object to devote our lives unto. If you think it is worthy then your god is mammon, your life is cursed with worry, and you live life too much like an animal, concerned mostly with physical needs.

iii. Jesus didn’t just tell them to stop worrying; He told them to replace worry with a concern for the kingdom of God. A habit or a passion can only be given up for a greater habit or passion.

iv. “What this verse demands is, therefore, a commitment to find and to do the will of God, to ally oneself totally with his purpose. And this commitment must come first.” (France)

b. And all these things shall be added to you: If you put God’s kingdom first, and do not think that your physical-well being is a worthy object to live your life for, you then may enjoy all these things. He promises heavenly treasure, rest in divine provision, and fulfillment of God’s highest purpose for man – fellowship with Him, and being part of His kingdom.

i. This choice – to seek first the kingdom of God – is the fundamental choice everyone makes when they first repent and are converted. Yet every day after that, our Christian life will either reinforce that decision or deny it.

5. (34) A conclusion with common sense.

Next, I did some research online and found a list of anti-Christian beliefs promoted by Eckhart Tolle.

  1. God and man are one (pantheism).  Christianity teaches that God is distinct from man, that He created man.
  2.  That human self is an illusion (Buddhism).  Christianity affirms the existence of the human self, but laments it’s corruption by sin.
  3.  Death and the human body are illusions (Buddhism).  Christianity confirms that both are real.
  4.  Jesus is not uniquely God, since everyone is God.  Christianity claims that Jesus is the unique human manifestation of God.

Elsewhere I found:

Gnosticism is an ancient form of the philosophies aere perennius (Latin for “more lasting than bronze”) which Tolle embraces.

Definition of Gnosticism:  A group of ancient heresies, stressing escape from this world through the acquisition of esoteric knowledge.

Gnosticism: (British dictionary).

A religious movement characterized by a belief in Gnosos through which the spiritual element and man could be released from its bondage and matter:  recorded as a heresy by the Christian church.

It is also known that Gnosticism was a mixture of Hellenic, oriental, and Christian elements.

Hellenic:  of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient Greeks or their language, culture, thought, etc., Especially before the time of Alexander the Great.

Like the Gnostics, Tolle sees Jesus primarily as a teacher and interprets salvation as a transformation of consciousness, kind of waking up to a new awareness.  Christianity certainly affirmed that Jesus is a teacher, but, it emphatically states that he is infinitely more than a spiritual cover.   Jesus is God, and that makes all the difference.  He is not simply one teacher among many who has found a way to God; he, in person, is the way; he is not simply one enlightened figure among many who has come upon the truth; he, in person, is the truth.  What Jesus brings is not only teaching, (however moving Tolle’s opinions may be and how moving and transformative his writings may be) what Jesus brings is the divine life through the salvation offered by the forgiveness of sins at the foot of the cross.  His resurrection to life is proof that the salvation Christians embrace is much more than the clearing up of a false consciousness as Eckhart Tolle professes in his opinions and books.

I do admit that I have not read Eckhart Tolle’s book. However, I don’t have to because I have found Pastor Greg Boyd’s review of  Tolle’s earlier book, “A New Earth” which well describes the author’s spiritual views.

Greg Boyd is a former atheist who surrendered his life to Christ in 1974. graduate of Yale Divinity School and Princeton Theological Seminary. professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University. founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church, an evangelical megachurch in St. Paul, MN.

 

I suggest reading Boyd’s entire essay. Tolle may have had good intentions, but there is no denying that readers will see the deep divide and contrast between what Tolle attempts to teach, compared to what Scripture states as truth.

Excerpt:

This eastern worldview that Tolle espouses fundamentally contradicts the biblical worldview. It’s important we understand why this is so. For Tolle, the world of distinct things and distinct people is only quasi-real. Ultimate reality is one, “formless,” “pure potentiality,” “pure awareness,” etc. This means that relationships are only quasi-real, since relationships must take place between distinct persons. And this means that love is only quasi-real, since love is obviously a relationship.

This is why Tolle says that the biblical teaching that “God is love” is “not absolutely correct.” The truth, according to Tolle, is that…

God is the One Life and beyond the countless forms of life. Love implies duality: lover and beloved, subject and object. So love is the recognition of oneness in the world of duality (106).

In other words, since duality is not an ultimate reality, love is not an ultimate reality – which is why God can’t be said to be love. Love is rather a means to an end –the end being the recognition that you and all other people are not really distinct. Love thus helps us transcend the world of duality and enter “the light of consciousness itself.” “To love,” Tolle says, “is to recognize yourself in another” (105, emphasis added). For, ultimately, there is no “other” to love. There is only the self.

By contrast – sharp contrast – the biblical worldview affirms that the teaching that “God is love” is not only “absolutely correct” but is the most important and correct truth there is (1 Jn 4:8). In the biblical worldview, God is an eternal, perfect, loving relationship. As Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God is eternal, perfect love shared between a plurality of “persons.” Love and plurality are not pen-ultimate realities: they are ultimate reality!

Not only this, but out of perfect love, God created a world filled with ultimately real individuals with the hope that they’d share in and reflect the joy and ecstasy of his eternal, perfect, and ultimately real love. The goal of life, therefore, is not to dissolve all individuality into oneness but to eternally affirm individuality in loving relationship with all other individuals and with God. The goal is not to realize you are God, but to be eternally related to God with a love that participates in the perfect love that God eternally is.

This fundamental difference is clearly manifested in the way Tolle teaches people to “stay awake” and “live in the now,” in contrast to the way Christians such as Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God) and Frank Laubach have helped people “stay awake.” Tolle encourages people to cultivate an on-going awareness of their essential oneness with life. The goal is to transcend the ego and lose any distinct awareness of yourself. By contrast, Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach encourage people to cultivate an on-going awareness of the presence of God and to surrender to this presence on a moment-by-moment basis. Tolle aims at experiencing one’s own divine “I AM” on a moment-by-moment basis. Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach aim at experiencing a loving relationship with the I AM on a moment-by-moment basis.

Clearly, Tolle’s eastern worldview fundamentally contradicts the most important aspect of the biblical worldview.

Scripture informs us that “the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.”

1Co 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

This is one of the main reasons why the Cross of Jesus Christ is often rejected, while the combination of different forms of spirituality (Gnosticism, Buddhism, Eastern religions etc.) can be appealing to those who dislike the need for repentance given by Christ in his earthly ministry.

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

What is more appealing to the self, the ego, the flesh and the mind?

What is more accurate (Tolle’s opinions or the truth of the Bible?) regarding our souls and spirits?

Tolle’s view:

 

If we can remain consciously aware of our essential oneness with all things on a moment-by-moment basis, we will find that the perpetual striving and anxiety that attaches to our individual ego disappears. We will thus be free, fulfilled, peaceful, etc… The three words that are “the secret of all success and happiness” are “One With Life” (115). Instead of living with an ego-centered awareness of how we (as individuals) are distinct from all other things, we must cultivate an ego-free awareness of how we are one with all things on a moment-by-moment basis.

 

Where do we find Christ’s Truth?

 

I am reminded of Paul’s missionary journeys as recorded in Acts 17:16 – 17:34.

Note this portion:

Act 17:21

For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing

 Act 17:22

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;

 Act 17:23

“for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:

 Act 17:24

“God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.

 Act 17:25

“Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

 Act 17:26

“And He has made from one blood[fn] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,

 Act 17:27

“so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

 Act 17:28

“for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

Act 17:29

“Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.

Act 17:30

“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

Act 17:31

“because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

 

Act 17:32

And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.”

Act 17:33

So Paul departed from among them.

Act 17:34

However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

*******

VERY important note:  The same decisions still occur to this day!

 

Some mock.

Some will hear again on this matter.

Some will believe.

 

Dear readers… what is your decision?

 

See:  How To Know God Personally

 

Hat tips to all links, graphics,  and quotes.

Remaining Obedient to God

June 7, 2016

I watched the first movie, “God’s Not Dead” again last evening.  I thought it was a good film even though many non-Christian reviews were negative.  [See Wikipedia and scroll down to “critical reception” for examples.]

Plugged In had a good review of the film.

It was interesting to me to read Wikipedia’s opinion about the visit and verbal exchange of a son (Mark) in the movie (who previously refused to visit his mom who suffers from dementia) versus what is written over at Plugged In.

Wikipedia:

Mark at last visits his mother, only to taunt her; she responds that all of his financial success was given to him by Satan to keep him from turning to God.

Plugged In:

Mina’s dementia-afflicted mother serves to stimulate thought about how serving God doesn’t always iron out all of life’s wrinkles.

“You prayed and believed your whole life,” Mina’s brother says to their mother, almost as an accusation. “Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!” Then, in a moment of unexpected spiritual clarity, she does. “Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God,” she tells her shocked son. “Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”

Indeed, in the face of difficulty, we hear a lot about God always being good, and having a plan for our lives.

It is interesting to note that after saying such a coherent message, the mom goes back to her dementia-induced state, turns towards her son and asks, “who did you say that you were?”

In contrast to the accusation-filled son Mark, whenever the daughter (a Christian named Mina) visited her mom, she patiently told her (as often as necessary) that she is her daughter.

At the end of the film, Mark (of the mom with dementia) acts as arrogantly and detached as ever from what his mother warned him about being in the state of “their [his] sin is like a jail cell.”

The man obviously rejected the warning, but the Bible tells each of us that “your sin will find you out.”

Num 32:23

“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.

In Matthew 4 (just after Jesus was tempted by satan for 40 days and nights in the wilderness) we find:

Mat 4:12

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

Mat 4:13

And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

Mat 4:15

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:

Mat 4:16

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”[fn]

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Since satan had the gall to tempt Jesus, the Son of God, he certainly will tempt any and all of us! However, as we see in the case of Mark in the movie, living a life of ease (yet separated from God for all eternity) still fulfills satan’s goal of taking unrepentant souls to hell with him.

 

Plugged In’s review is more in line with what Jesus tells us in Scripture.

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Speaking of experiencing tribulation in this world, God’s Not Dead 2 came out in April, 2016. I haven’t seen it yet but a blog I ran across describes a real life example of a situation that is depicted in the film.

God’s Not Dead blog: When God’s Not Dead 2 Plays Out As YOUR Story!

What is God’s purpose to allow us to go through tribulation (in whatever form it may arise) in this fallen world?

I think this paragraph explains it:

News of our legal case reached people all over the world, and some of them contacted me to encourage me and show their support. It’s amazing how God took a simple decision to remain obedient in my freshman year and turned it into a tool that reached the ears of thousands with the name of Jesus.

Remaining obedient often pits Christian believers against the secular worldviews that would have us shut up, sit down, and accept the immoral deluge that is afflicting our free speech, freedom of association, freedom of conscience, freedom of outwardly professing our faith, and freedom FROM having immorality forced upon our families.

I applaud individuals like Chase Windebank, who didn’t know what the ultimate outcome would be, yet pressed on about what he knew God would have wanted him to do. Stand up for his faith in Jesus Christ!

Chase concludes his post:

It took nearly eight months for my case to come to a close. The outcome? A victory on the side of free speech! Now, if any other public school student is refused the right to pray during their free time at school, they can use my case as an example to aid in their own victory.

God was faithful to sustain me, and all of those rich memories came flooding back as I watched GOD’S NOT DEAD 2. Even though I am now far removed from it all, it felt so real and present. There were times I literally stood up and jumped in excitement for the case being made on behalf of Ms. Wesley.

The thought and scholarly guidance that this movie undertook in order to depict the truth of what our nation is dealing with was phenomenal. Remember with me, for this is the foundation upon which our nation was built. Remember it well by going to see this film. Be Blessed!

Chase Windebank is a Colorado native who loves hiking through the Rocky Mountains, teaching Taekwondo, and writing. His goal in life is to stir up passion in his generation for the things of God, and to show people the true treasure of the Gospel in his everyday life.

Hat tips to all links.


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It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. 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