Sunday, March 30, 2008
And thus they Should Reject the Worship of Christ.
They Question is do they worship him??
The JW's that I meet up with claim that they don't... However, let me submit a hymn from the JW hymnal - Sing Praise to Jehovah - Copyright 1984.
#53 - Theocracy's Increase
1. Hail the Theocracy ever increasing! Wondrous expansion is now taking place. Praise to Jehovah is sung without ceasing By those who walk in the light of his face. Long years ago saw the humble beginning As our Redeemer a lowly way trod. Now a great crowd join the remnant in bringing Praises to him at the right hand of God.
Now Let me juxtapose this with the 10 commandments and some other bible verses.
"You shall have no other gods before me. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:3-6)
6 “This is what Jehovah has said, the King of Israel and the Repurchaser of him, Jehovah of armies, ‘I am the first and I am the last, and besides me there is no God. 7 And who is there like me? Let him call out, that he may tell it and present it to me. From when I appointed the people of long ago, both the things coming and the things that will enter in let them tell on their part. 8 Do not be in dread, YOU people, and do not become stupefied. Have I not from that time on caused you individually to hear and told [it] out? And YOU are my witnesses. Does there exist a God besides me? No, there is no Rock. I have recognized none.’” (Isa 44:6-8 NWT)
Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" (Matthew 4:10)
Isn't This Hymn seeming to Worship Jesus?
Sunday, March 23, 2008
What I observed today was the following, People who have never worn a tie before were wearing ties. People who had never worn a suit before were wearing suits. I have to, ask myself why? Now, there is no doubt in my mind that the Choir director asked people to dress nicely, which is fine, it was a bit of a performance. That said, it does give an impression that there is something that happens on a regular basis, that just isn't the case. Why do we dress up on Easter, knowing that a bunch of people who don't normally come to church, will be there? Are we trying to make ourselves look better? Are we dressing up so that we will fit the expectations of people? What is the Deal here? Why not just look like you normally do, and give a gospel message, and talk about how Jesus IS alive? I mean what is the deal with the change? What effect do people think it will have? Is this something that is just a throw-back to when the older generation went to church on easter and put on there 'Sunday Best?'
Honestly, why the pretension? Why not be who we are every Sunday, even on Easter Sunday, even on Christmas Eve? God looks at the Heart, not the clothes, doesn't He? I mean do we honestly think that God will somehow be more present if we dress up? Let's focus on the Heart, the Cross, the Blood, the Christ, and not on what people will think about the clothes we wear. Don't we go to church for Christ, and to come close to him, to be encouraged by His Word, and not to show people how good we can look, how nice of a suit we have, ect..?
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. (Matthew 23:25-28).
We don't want to give people the appearance that we are Good on the outside when we are rotten on the inside, do we? Do we honestly think the wearing a suit to church, verses jeans and a t-shirt makes a difference to anyone but men who will judge you on the way that you appear?
Friday, March 21, 2008
Mainstream Evangelical Christians believe that no man, including Joseph Smith of course, can view the face of God and live. This belief is based mainly off of one verse in the OT, and a few choice proof-texts in the NT. Rather than engage those specific verses at this time, I wish to point out another facet of the discussion.
LDS often quote OT passages which unambiguously say that certain OT prophets viewed the face of God and survive. To reconcile these seemingly contradictory passages, Evangelicals such as Mr. Slick of CARM have devised a way interpret these OT passages through the lens of the NT.
Mr. Slick of CARM tries to explain the discrepancy this way:QUOTESecond, though they are most definitely are occurrences of God being seen in the Old Testament, these are not manifestations of the Father. They are the appearances of the pre-incarnate Christ.
Mr. Slick then continues to list a few places in the OT where God is said to have been seen. However, Mr. Slick offers no further explanation for why his view is justified, other than mentioning that the NT text prohibits God the Father from ever being seen by man. What I wish to point out is an obvious double standard being used by critics of the LDS church.
Mr. Slick, and others, contend that the apparent contradictions in the OT involving theophanies can be properly understood if we use chronologically later revelation and scripture to interpret it. A short afternoon spent in the CARM chat-room with a poster named Neolights reveals that it is an acceptable and common practice used by Evangelical Christians. Mr. Neo assured me that it was perfectly permissible to interpret the OT texts through the lens of the NT. It was also candidly admitted that the OT writers did not have that advantage.
I of course have no qualms with that methodology, in fact I believe it! What irks me however is the double standard. While Evangelical Christians can use later revelation, the NT, to interpret older revelation, the OT, Mormons apparently are not given that privilege. Mr. Slick from CARM and his associates use NT scriptures which they believe teach the Trinity, and interpret the theophany passages in the OT with them. They interpret the passages by suggesting that it is Jesus, not the Father, who is seen in these passages. The immediate context of these passage gives absolutely no hints of this perspective, and the OT authors certainly had no such idea in mind.
Mormons also have the privilege of interpreting both the OT and the NT texts through the lens of modern revelation, whether or not Evangelicals like it. We understand the passages a bit differently then our Evangelical brethren, but our methodology is the same. We use scripture to interpret scripture. Evangelicals need not believe that our scripture is inspired and true in order to understand this right that we share.
We reserve the right to interpret Biblical statements about who can or can't see God by the information provided to us in modern revelation and scripture.
The argument made from OT texts by Evangelicals which suggests that God’s face cannot be seen by virtue of NT passages cannot be upheld without employing a hypocritical double standard, one which has been and should continue to be exposed.
Now I for the most part understand where Sargon is Coming From. He says that Mormons have the same right to understand previous revelations with more current revelation. In principle I understand where he is coming from, because he is correct in that we do the same thing as Christians. However, Christians practice a little thing called "hermeneutics." This is the art and science of biblical interpretation. We, as a rule reconcile, all verses so that there is not a contradiction within the revealed Word of God. Mormons, however, do not do this. Mormons look at the most modern revelation, and then use previous texts to support that revelation and discard any text that does not agree with the modern revelation. Mormons Do not use hermeneutics. Remember that Mormons don't even truly believe that the bible is the infallible word of God, they state that they believe the bible so long as it is correctly translated. So I would suggest asking our Mormon Friends what verses in the bible are incorrect?
Let me sight some examples of this -
James 1:5 - If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Now a Mormon would look at this and say that Joseph Smith prayed to God, as one who was seeking for truth and asked which church he should join.
As a Christian, I see several problems with this. 1) The context of the Book of James - v.2 tells us that it is to the believers, Those who are saved. Was Joseph Smith saved when he was asking God for Wisdom? I Would argue that he wasn't. He makes no statement of faith, no confession or statement of regeneration. 2) Rom 3:11 says that no one seeks for God. So how is it that Joseph Smith was seeking for God?
So the idea that God answered Joseph because of his plea for wisdom is out of the picture, because the verse doesn't apply to him.
This is the same thing that Christians do to both orthodox beliefs and to Mormon beliefs, Check the doctrine against the bible, and see if it checks out, does it contradict any bible verses?
The Goal here is to strive for correctness. And to be honest, I don't see Mormons doing this with the bible.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
I am not a fighter for 'civil rights,' I am a fighter for the gospel. However, there comes a time at which we must take a stand for the civil liberties of the people of this (Great?) Nation. To that effect, I am posting this story that I recieved in my e-mail today, and will right a response to it. Please Read on.
ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND NEWS RELEASE
March 14, 2008 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT ADF MEDIA RELATIONS: (480) 444-0020
ADF files appeal after court finds Christians “guilty” of praying
Christians who engaged in free speech in New York public park convicted by judge
ELMIRA, N.Y. — ADF attorneys filed an appeal Friday on behalf of four Christians arrested and convicted on charges of disorderly conduct for praying in a public park. Police arrested the four last year after they silently prayed during an event celebrating homosexual behavior while lying prostrate on the ground.
“Christians shouldn’t be punished for expressing their religious beliefs. They have the same First Amendment rights as anyone else in America,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “Arresting and prosecuting Christians simply because they choose to exercise their First Amendment rights in a public place is unconstitutional.”
On June 23, 2007, four Christians, including Julian and Gloria Raven, entered Wisner Park with their heads bowed to pray for the participants of a “gay pride” event. Materials advertising the event stated that it was open to the public and that all were invited.
The four were told by a police sergeant that they were not allowed to “cross the street, enter the park, or share their religion with anyone in the park.” The entire group was later arrested and charged with disorderly conduct even though the officer herself testified at trial that their actions were peaceful.
The court sentenced the Ravens, along with Maurice Kienenberger and Walter Quick, to a $100 fine at a trial Feb. 29 (www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=4408). Additionally, each member of the group is required to pay court costs.
“At no time did the peaceful actions of this group break the law,” Oster said. “If the sit-ins of the 1960s were not a crime, then certainly this wasn’t either. The law on this is well established.”
A copy of the appeal filed by ADF attorneys in Elmira City Court in People of the State of New York v. Raven is available at www.telladf.org/UserDocs/RavenAppeal.pdf.
How is it that today, in the United States of America, we can have people arrested for public prayer? Is this not a Christian nation? If it is, how is it that Homosexuals have more rights then Christians? How is it that a Christian is not allowed to "cross the street, enter the park, or share their religion with anyone in the park." Are we not free to evangelize anymore? Is this where we are going? I am wondering where the ACLU is, with there love of "free-speech"? Or have they, like most people, including Christians, bought into the idea on one way tolerance, tolerant and even accept anyone, but the Christians?
Friday, March 14, 2008
attract us. When I say that, I refer to something more than its amusements and grosser sins; I
mean also its pretty things.
One of the marks of a child is to value a thing not according to its worth and usefulness—but
according to its attractiveness to the eye. The more we are really growing in grace—the less shall we be attracted by such baubles, and the more attention shall we give to the adorning of our souls.
One half of practical godliness, is a dying unto the world; the other half is a living unto God: the mortification of self-love; and the strengthening of love to God. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, andI unto the world." (Galations 6:14) That is the language and the experience of a mature saint—dead to the world. It no longer has any attraction for him, nor power over him.
A. W. Pink
What do we truly "Glory" in? Is it The Cross?
Do you realize that saying,"We Glory only in the Cross" is ( to paraphrase John Piper) Like saying:
"I glory in Lynching"
"I glory in the Electric Chair"
"I glory in Lethal Injection"
Think about how offensive that would be to say today, and that is how offensive
the Cross Truly is.
The Perfect Man-God, Jesus Christ, Was nailed to the Cross For OUR sins.
Now that is something to be offended over.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a federal lawsuit on Monday against the Waterford Township supervisor, prosecutor and two high ranking police officials. The lawsuit was prompted by the series of police incursions into the church and threats by the Township prosecutor to raid the church every time music was heard coming from it.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, observed, “Uniformed police officers entering a church during religious services and young church members being threatened with prosecution is something that happens in Communist China – not in America.”
Continued Thompson, “It is clear that Waterford Township authorities targeted Faith Baptist Church because of the type of religious music it uses in its services. Some of the individual police officers involved in the raids – apparently more sensitive to the constitutional protections surrounding religion than were their superiors – personally apologized afterwards.”
Faith Baptist Church, headed by Pastor Jim Combs, has a congregation of 10,000 members and conducts religious services on three different campuses. The police raids targeted the Waterford Township campus with 5,000 members.
Pastor Jim Combs first contacted the Thomas More Law Center in late October 2007, after the first in a series of police raids.
During a Wednesday night youth service, uniformed Township police, led by the Township prosecutor, burst into the Church’s sanctuary where the Church’s “Praise and Worship” band was warming up. The prosecutor ordered the officers to take the names and addresses of all the young people on stage so that they could be charged with “disorderly conduct.”
The very next Sunday, Waterford Township police again raided Faith Baptist, this time during the Pastor Comb’s evening sermon. Officers were about to disrupt the services and remove the “Praise and Worship” band members and order them to surrender their driver’s licenses for personal information. However, an Assistant Pastor volunteered to bring the members to the police so as not to create an uproar among the congregation.
The Township prosecutor was caught conducting personal surveillance on the Church from his parked car just days later.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, alleges that Waterford Township officials violated Faith Baptist Church’s and the band members’ rights to Free Exercise of religion, Free Speech and Freedom of Association under both the Michigan and the United States Constitutions, and that Waterford Township’s actions have chilled Plaintiffs’ ability to worship according to their religious beliefs. Plaintiffs are asking the court to permanently prohibit further police raids and for monetary damages.
Brandon Bolling, the Law Center attorney handling the case, stated, “The Township prosecutor was very explicit: he told the pastors that churches should not play ‘rock music,’ and threatened that each time he heard music coming from the church he would conduct a raid.”
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life through education, litigation, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.
I was very confused... I was not expecting anyone, but was clothed by chance. I looked through the peep hole, and there was a single older gentlemen, who I was sure was a vacuum salesmen. He had on a long black coat and a very nice black hat.
I opened the door.
"Hello," he said. " I am looking for John Conrad."
*Confused* "Well, my wife and I live hear, and I am not John Conrad. Is there something I can help you with?"
"Oh, well, I have here a request from John Conrad, This is 203 correct?"
"This is 203, but I am not John Conrad."
"Well, John was looking to have someone teach him about the bible"
*I perked up from my distress at missing the final fight seen* "Really?!"
"Yes, Are you interested in learnig about the bible?"
*At this point I was fairly confident, that this man was no longer a Vacuum salesmen, but that he was a Jehovah's Witness, I know I let out I big grin* "well sure, Come on in!"
"Well, Thank you"
*A chance meeting. I was looking to call these guys and look who shows up. This is just to convenient.*
The fellow, who would introduce himself as "Dean" came in and proceeded to try to explain what the bible was. He seemed very, shall I say, unrehearsed. He stumbled over his words, he seemed very unsure of himself. I wonder if it was because I was intimidating, or he hadn't done this often. Either way it was a painful ten minutes of "bible-learnin" I couldn't stand to Hear the introduction of what the bible was.
"You know Dean, I think that this is pretty cool, but I am in Bible College"
This launched us into a 5 minute discourse about bible college.
Which culminated in him finally opening the bible, to 2 Peter 1:20-21. (which is surprising that he didn't go to 2 Timothy 3:16).
We had a pleasant conversation, and then he asked if there was a time that he could come back. I said that the next day, Saturday, would work.
He and His wife came back on Saturday at one, it was pretty cool. I have it recorded, in audio form. Which may make its way up here at some point.