Thursday, January 24, 2008

Unpopular? I Can Deal With That... A discussion of women in the Church.

Women in the Church has been a highly, shall I say, flammable that can drive a wedge between families and can tear a church apart. It separates denominations, and can be the cause for tossing insult and innuendo. That being said, I want to place what I believe is the biblical view out there. I have no doubt that names will be called and that accusations will be made based off of this, but that is fine with me, as such tactics are reserved for those who have no intelligible argument to rebut with. This stems for a resent post that I read on another blog that will not be named, but I will say that I have not received a response.

Where do you believe women can serve in the Church?

“... A quick response would be to say anywhere except for men’s ministries.”

- I was somewhat assuming that this would be your stance. I do have one question for you. Do you believe that Women can be Husbands? I know it sounds funny but I think it is a very important issue. Here is why:

Tit 1:5 shows that Elders are to be appointed to there office. And 1 Tim 5:17 defines at least part of there job as preaching and teaching, that is not the totality, but anyone who does such things should be considered an Elder.

Tit 1:6 says that an Elder must be the Husband of one Wife. This is echoed in 1 Tim 3:2. 1 Tim 3:5 asks the Question - if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? Again, the idea being that the elder must be male.

In fact, when looking at what is said about elders, there is no feminine or neutered gender involved, it is all male. ( This is of course in the Greek).

I would love someone to supply an argument detailing why women can be pastors, in response to this. Also, I would like to make a few things clear. This is not a statement on the worth of women, or even on the ability of women, but simply of the office that is to be held and the
qualifications and requirements of being an Elder. Not making the cut is not a bad thing, many men, many elders today in American churches don't make the cut, this does not demean there worth in any sense.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Funny Joke

Ok so I read this and laughed really hard. I hope you get it.

A pastor went out one Saturday to visit his church members. As he walked to the door of one house, he passed a beautifully kept flower bed. He knocked at the door. It was obvious that someone was home, but nobody came to the door, even though he knocked several times. Finally, the pastor took out his business card, wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it, and stuck it in the door.

The next day, the card turned up in the collection plate. Below the pastor's message was the notation "Genesis 3:10."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Mediator - An LDS Parable Examined

The Mediator

There once was a man who wanted something very much. It seemed more important than anything else in his life. In order for him to have his desire, he incurred a great debt. He had been warned about going into that much debt, and particularly about his creditor. But it seemed so important for him to do what he wanted to and to have what he wanted right now. He was sure he could pay for it later. So he signed a contract. He would pay it off some time along the way. He didn’t worry too much about it, for the due date seemed such a long time away. He had what he wanted now, and that was what seemed important. The creditor was always somewhere in the back of his mind, and he made token payments now and again, thinking somehow that the day of reckoning really would never come. But as it always does, the day came, and the contract fell due. The debt had not been fully paid. His creditor appeared and demanded payment in full. Only then did he realize that his creditor not only had the power to repossess all that he owned, but the power to cast him into prison as well.

“I cannot pay you, for I have not the power to do so,” he confessed.

“Then,” said the creditor, “we will exercise the contract, take your possessions and you shall go to prison. You agreed to that. It was your choice. You signed the contract, and now it must be enforced.”

“Can you not extend the time or forgive the debt?” the debtor begged. “Arrange some way for me to keep what I have and not go to prison. Surely you believe in mercy? Will you not show mercy?”

The creditor replied, “Mercy is always so one-sided. It would serve only you. If I show mercy to you, it will leave me unpaid. It is justice I demand. Do you believe in justice?”

“I believed in justice when I signed the contract,” the debtor said. “It was on my side then, for I thought it would protect me. I did not need mercy then, nor think I should need it ever. Justice, I thought, would serve both of us equally as well.”

“It is justice that demands that you pay the contract or suffer the penalty,” the creditor replied. “That is the law. You have agreed to it and that is the way it must be. Mercy cannot rob justice.”

There they were: One meting out justice, the other pleading for mercy. Neither could prevail except at the expense of the other.

“If you do not forgive the debt there will be no mercy,” the debtor pleaded.

“If I do, there will be no justice,” was the reply.

Both laws, it seemed, could not be served. They are two eternal ideals that appear to contradict one another. Is there no way for justice to be fully served, and mercy also? There is a way! The law of justice can be fully satisfied and mercy can be fully extended—but it takes someone else. And so it happened this time. The debtor had a friend. He came to help. He knew the debtor well. He knew him to be shortsighted. He thought him foolish to have gotten himself into such a predicament. Nevertheless, he wanted to help because he loved him. He stepped between them, faced the creditor, and made this offer.

“I will pay the debt if you will free the debtor from his contract so that he may keep his possessions and not go to prison.”

As the creditor was pondering the offer, the mediator added, “You demanded justice. Though he cannot pay you, I will do so. You will have been justly dealt with and can ask no more. It would not be just.”

And so the creditor agreed. The mediator turned then to the debtor. “If I pay your debt, will you accept me as your creditor?”

“Oh yes, yes,” cried the debtor. “You saved me from prison and show mercy to me.”

“Then,” said the benefactor, “you will pay the debt to me and I will set the terms. It will not be easy, but it will be possible. I will provide a way. You need not go to prison.”

And so it was that the creditor was paid in full. He had been justly dealt with. No contract had been broken. The debtor, in turn, had been extended mercy. Both laws stood fulfilled. Because there was a mediator, justice had claimed its full share, and mercy was satisfied.
- Elder Boyde Packer, Gospel Principals pg. 75.

This is a nice story but there are some serious problems with the theology of the atonement here, that I thought were worth pointing out.

1. You still owe a debt that you do not have the power to pay.
2. There is no Law of Mercy, only justice. The only reason God Gives us mercy is because He is so kind. God is Just and must punish lawbreakers.
3. We never agreed to a contract. * I am assuming that this is the LDS pre-existence idea* for which there is no biblical support.
4. We can not make Token Payments, Our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. Our Hearts are wicked, and we only think to do evil continually.

Most of this can be shown with Isa. 64:6 Jer. 17:9 Gen 6:5, But there is also the lack of biblical support for points 2 and 3. Thus one must assume that they are false until proved to be true.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Joel Olsteen On Larry King Live - Dec 26th

I feel that perhaps my criticism of Joel can be at times a bit harsh, and one sided. I think Joel says some good things; they are just few and far between.

So I will objectively ( as possible) point out the pro's and con's from his interview on Dec. 26th on Larry King Live. This is from

KING: Could an atheist be changed?

J. OSTEEN: I think so. I think...

KING: Without having to believe in God?

J. OSTEEN: Well, I think there's a void in every person that only God can fill -- that only God can fill. I think that's how you can really be fulfilled, truly. So I would think an atheist can be changed and their attitude in certain things. But I think if you come to a belief that there's something bigger than yourself, you're going to be more fulfilled.

My issue here is : that of course a person can be changed by the Word of God. But the Bible was not written to give you a better attitude, it was written so that we might be able to bring Glory to God, understand His character and nature, and so that we might receive Salvation.
KING: How do you react to the critics who call your message theology lite?

J. OSTEEN: Well, I've heard that before. It's interesting, Larry, every week in our services we deal with people that are -- have children that have cancer, people that have a husband or a wife that left them. We deal with the real issues of life. I talk about forgiveness and how to have faith when bad things happen and, you know, how to overcome and, you know, love your enemies and things like that.

So when they say it's gospel lite, I think, you know, we're helping people where the rubber meets the road.

I mean last Sunday, there was a little girl there. She was 2- years-old. She has cancer. She's at our MD Anderson Cancer Hospital.

And you know what?

We give them hope. We pray for them. We say God's going to give you strength. I mean we don't know exactly what the outcome is going to be. We hope they -- we hope she'll live.

But, you know, how can that be gospel lite to me?

That's why I come back to saying I'm helping people.
Where is SALVATION? honestly, this may sound harsh or even mean, but who cares about cancer in light of ETERNAL HELL?

If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
(Mat 5:29-30)

Does this make any sense? It is great to help people on earth, but it they don't have Jesus Christ as an atonement for their SINS it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.
KING: What's your notion of hell?

J. OSTEEN: Well, I believe hell is a real place. I think it's -- you know, the scripture talks about it's separation from God. And I think -- I believe if God as light and love and everything good, then hell's going to be everything bad. I mean we certainly do not want to go there and I don't think hell was designed for people.

KING: You think there's life after death?

J. OSTEEN: I do. I believe we're all going to live on, that we're a spirit. This body -- I like to think of it as just like my coat. There's something on the inside of me that's making this thing move. And I'm -- the real me is on the inside. So I do believe we'll live on.
Good Job Joel! While I don't agree with him on every word here, I love that he said hell is a real place and that people will go there. (that was implied). There is a heaven and a hell. Good Work.
KING: Do you minister to the poor?

J. OSTEEN: Oh, we do. We do.

We have outreaches in our church. We support local outreaches as well. I mean, that's what the gospel is all about, helping others that are less fortunate.
No sir, it's not. The Gospel is about Christ dying for the sin's we have committed so that we might be reconciled to God. Our treatment of the poor is simply a reflection of the gift that Christ has given to us. The Gospel is about Salvation, and bringing Glory to God for being so MERCIFUL.
KING: What's your reaction, though, when God gets a bad name? There has been more people killed by religion than any other thing.

J. OSTEEN: It's been going on for centuries. Well, it's just like you said, God gets a bad name, and there are -- I think there are extremists in any group.

And, you know, we're not for that. We're for loving our enemies and helping people. But, you know, I -- you can fault anything. But a lot of times, it's extremists.
Bad premise's lead to bad conclusions.

Hitler and Stalin combined killed more people then any other group somewhere in the 30 million range, but that seems a little low.

Even so, Christianity has very little as far as deaths are concerned. The inquisition. The Crusades which was more of a Iraq I style war then anything it was about freeing people...

So really the issue here is that this is a fallacious attack that is repeatedly made on Christianity and should be answered once and for all and shown to be false.

Atheism is responsible for more deaths then anything else.

Joel has some good and some bad, but I think we need to pray that God Almighty would teach him the truth of the Gospel.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Word... The New Plan

Happy New Years! It's 2008!

Many people make goals or resolutions because of this
I am not
Therefore in the spirit of Matthew 5:37 I will make the following statement

I will read through my bible cover to cover in order again.

And so I would ask/tell you the following

There was a preacher whom I once heard say the following:
"You can't recall what you haven't called before"

So have you called your ENTIRE bible?

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Can you remember something you haven't see or thought or experienced previously?

In a word: NO!

So Go read your bible!

I will even give some links to bible reading plans.

Bible Plan
The Bible in 90 Days
One Year Breakdown