Thursday, December 17, 2009
I want to point out several things. First is the biblical emphasis that the post has, the repeated statement of being grieved at the sub-biblical nature of Middle Knowledge (Molinism). I think that this speaks to not only how but why we critique someone else who claims to be within the Christian faith. First, is the relation of their teaching to biblical revelation, in other words, how does what this person says relate to Scripture (our guide). Second, the critique focus upon the effect of the theology on those who embrace it. In this case, Dr. White is saying the theology in question points people away from scripture. Finally, he responds with his desire for repentance toward God for this sub-biblical theology/philosophy.
The Gospel centered focus of this gives all of us something to look toward as an example of how we should critique those whom we disagree. In a someone practical way I believe that we can rightly apply Philippians 4:9 to Dr. James White.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
(J. R. Miller, "The Beauty of Quietness" 1903)
"They will be like dew sent by the Lord." Micah 5:7
The lives of godly people are sometimes compared to the dew. One point of likeness, is the quiet way in which the dew performs its ministry. It falls silently and imperceptibly. It makes no noise. No one hears it dropping. It chooses its time in the night when men are sleeping, when none can see its beautiful work. It covers the leaves with clusters of pearls. It steals into the bosoms of the flowers, and leaves new cupfuls of sweetness there. It pours itself down among the roots of the grasses and tender herbs and plants. It loses itself altogether, and yet it is not lost. For in the morning there is fresh life everywhere, and new beauty. The fields are greener, the gardens are more fragrant, and all nature is clothed in fresh luxuriance!
Is there not in this simile, a suggestion as to the way we should seek to do good in this world? Should we not wish to have our influence felt--while no one thinks of us; rather than that we should be seen and heard and praised? Should we not be willing to lose ourselves in the service of self-forgetful love, as the dew loses itself in the bosom of the rose--caring only that other lives shall be sweeter, happier, and holier--and not that honor shall come to us? We are too anxious, some of us, that our names shall be written in large letters on the things we do, even on what we do for our Master; and are not willing to sink ourselves out of sight--and let Him alone have the praise.
Our Lord's teaching on the subject is very plain. He says: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." That is, they have that which they seek--the applause of men.
"But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." The meaning would seem to be, that we are not to wish people to know of our good deeds, our charities, our self-denials; that we should not seek publicity, when we give money or do good works; indeed, that we are not even to tell ourselves what we have done; that we are not to think about our own good deeds so as to become conscious of them; not to put them down in our diaries and go about complimenting ourselves, throwing bouquets at ourselves, and whispering: "How good I am! What fine things I have done!"
This is an insightful test of our lives. Are we willing to be as the dew--to steal abroad in the darkness, carrying blessings to men's doors, blessings that shall enrich the lives of others and do them good--and then steal away again before those we have helped or blessed awaken, to know what hand it was that brought the gift? Are we willing to work for others . . .
without human praise,
Are we content to have our lives poured out like the dew--to bless the world and make it more fruitful--and yet remain hidden away ourselves? Is it enough for us to see the fruits of our toil and sacrifice--in others' spiritual growth, and deeper happiness; yet never hear our names spoken in praise or honor--perhaps even hearing others praised for things we have done?
If you go about doing good in simple ways, in gentle kindnesses, not thinking of reward, not dreaming of praise, not hoping for any return--you are enshrining your name where it will have immortal honor! Our lesson teaches us that this is the way we are to live--if we are followers of Christ!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In Ephesians 5, Paul likens the Husband and Wife to Christ and the church, and says that wives are to submit to their husband's as they submit to The Lord. Now in general if Jesus were to ask you to do something, and you were to fail to do it (ie, the 3 and prayer on the Mt. of Olives) it would be sin. My thought was, does this follow with the husband wife relationship or is Paul simply saying that this is the seriousness with with you are submit to your husband.
So ladies, If you husband asks you to clean the house, make dinner, have sex, whatever, is it in your mind that you are to submit to him as to Jesus. Do you think you are to submit to the request as if Jesus was asking?
As a note, I have no conclusion, or statement either way, I am not looking for my wife to do something, but I am posing a serious theological question.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
"I believe the Scriptures say that in these last days he has spoken to us in/thru his Son.... If the Head of the Body cannot directly communicate with the Body we have a weak, sick, handicapped Body."
Now he is referencing as you can tell, Hebrews 1:1-2.
Here is what that text says, (ESV) Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Simple questions here:
What is then tense of Spoken, I would say past.
Did God speak to your fathers by the prophets? Unless you are Jewish, No.
Did the author of this text mean for it to imply that Christ is actively speaking to the people via special revelation? I Would say no, and here is why --
According to Vincent's Word Studies, the literal greek rendering of the phrase 'in these last days' is "at the last of these days." Notable Commentator John Gill says about this -
[...] the Alexandrian copy, the Complutensian edition, and several other copies, read, "in the last of these days": perfectly agreeable to the phrase באחרית הימים, used in Gen_49:1 to which the apostle refers, and in which places the days of the Messiah are intended; and it is a rule with the Jews, that wherever the phrase, "the last days", is mentioned, the days of the Messiah are designed: and they are to be understood not of the last days of the natural world, but of, the Jewish world and state;[...]
Clearly the time period of Christ was the 'last days' for the Jewish nation and for temple based Judaism with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.
The question that should follow in our minds then is, Does this passage speak of direct personal special revelation from Christ to all individual Christians, or is it speaking about God's revelation of the Gospel through his son? Given the direct context I would submit that the later interpretation is more accurate to what the author had in mind when writing this text.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I think that the topic of biblical modesty for women is one that is both of prime importance and practical significance. To that end, I would like to submit a view to be considered, namely that a legalistic dress code is equally sinful when compared to immodest dress.
"Being more conservative than scripture is no more praiseworthy than being more liberal than scripture." - Doug Eaton
The problem of the legalistic dress code is that it does not allow two important things. First, it denies woman's ability to live the gospel out in their dress, and instead it forces women back under the law. Second, it defines what is 'modest' generally in terms of Historical American dress, and thus, defines the bible's concept by our culture. Let me give an example. The blog Modesty tells us that " Modest dress is dressing in dresses or skirts [...]" it continues to say that if a women isn't covered from neck to ankle, with full sleeves that "she is dressing like a harlot." I would love to hear this women try to give a biblical guideline, for someone of a non-american culture. I also loved the womans statement after showing some photo's that when asked about these womens dress she states, "If he is a real godly man he will tell you that these women look like harlots." The arrogance that is present is staggering.
Looking at the Bible:
The bible speaks of modesty at several points, most clearly, 1 Tim 2:8-10. It is also noteworthy, that women in Proverbs 31 is never said or give a specific mode of dress other then she is clothed with fine linen and purple (ESV).
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works. (1 Timothy 2:8-10 ESV).
The questions to be answered are, what is respectable apparel, and what is costly attire? I don't think that these questions have a specific answer, and by that I mean that the answer is different for different cultures. In some cultures, that may mean neck to ankle, in others it may mean something less. I can only imagine that standard being applied to places where weather would make that impossible, or where it is still only hide that is used for coverings. My point is this, we must allow the gospel to define modesty for us, not a set of rules. We need to function from grace and in a manner that is set at glorifying God, not obeying the law.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
For a long time, I have been convinced that I could take a person with a high school education, give him or her a six-month trade school training, and provide a pastor who would be satisfactory to any discriminating American congregation. The curriculum would consist of four courses.
Course I: Creative Plagiarism. I would put you in touch with a wide range of excellent and inspirational talks, show you how to alter them just enough to obscure their origins, and get you a reputation for wit and wisdom.
Course II: Voice Control for Prayer and Counseling. We would develop your own distinct style of Holy Joe intonation, acquiring the skill in resonance and modulation that conveys and unmistakable aura of sanctity.
Course III: Efficient Office Management. There is nothing that parishioners admire more in their pastors than the capacity to run a tight ship administratively. If we return all phone calls within twenty-four hours, answer all the letters within a week, distributing enough carbons to key people so that they know we are on top of things, and have just the right amount of clutter on our desk—not too much, or we appear inefficient, not too little or we appear underemployed—we quickly get the reputation for efficiency that is far more important than anything that we actually do.
Course IV: Image Projection. Here we would master the half-dozen well-known and easily implemented devices that that create the impression that we are terrifically busy and widely sought after for counsel by influential people in the community. A one-week refresher course each year would introduce new phrases that would convince our parishioners that we are bold innovators on the cutting edge of the megatrends and at the same time solidly rooted in all the traditional values of our sainted ancestors.
(I have been laughing for several years over this trade school training with which I plan to make my fortune. Recently, though, the joke has backfired on me. I keep seeing advertisements for institutes and workshops all over the country that invite pastors to sign up for this exact curriculum. The advertised course offerings are not quite as honestly labeled as mine, but the content appears to be identical—a curriculum that trains pastors to satisfy the current consumer tastes in religion. I’m not laughing anymore.)
from Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity (pp. 7-8), As quoted by Matt Chandler.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Backstory: The Church, Andy specifically, received an invite from a semi-local church who for Halloween was putting on a 'hellhouse.' When I first heard about the event, and saw the postcard/flier I was less the enthusiastic to be sure. I find no pleasure in putting ones self into frighting situations for entertainment. However, when I read the accompanying letter with tickets, I was attracted.
The Letter boasted that 1 in 4 people going through this pray a prayer of salvation, and 25% of those are for the first time! (notice that out of 16 people, 4 "make a decision" and 3 of those have done it before...). It seemed that I would be going to the Hellhouse after all, to see if it was indeed an effective evangelistic tool, what the Gospel presentation was, ect... (all those minor theological issues) I felt it to be wise to take along someone, and go figure there were two tickets.
Into The Hellhouse: I will note that I was a bit distracted, it was a cold (mid 40's) evening and we arrived at the hellhouse at about midnight Halloween night (so technically this morning). As a personal note, an event center is not a strictly understood indoor venue per se, and a jacket would have been a wise addition to the lone t-shirt I was wearing. There was a line when we arrived, which is to be expected, however, it wasn't a long one. We waited just about 30 minutes to enter. Walking through the double doors covered with what seemed to be black plastic sheets of some sort, it was difficult to see, and we were guided as a small herd to the center of the room, it was then that I first noticed our tour guides, they were 'demons' In the center of the room was a young lady (teen) in a casket. The main tour guide (again, demon) began telling us how we would all end up like this some day, and that it was his goal to make it sooner rather then later.
The next room was a bathroom, with a teen boy sitting on the toilet. The tour guide began to explain how much he enjoyed suicide. A drama was played out where a demon lead the young man essentially from life problems ( girlfriend issues, Sports teams, absent father) to the point of suicide. The end was predictable, with the young man shooting himself, and the demon rejoicing. (no blood/guts). The before entering the next room the demons (about 4 or 5 that traveled with the group, began telling us about their next scheme, Sex. As we entered the next room, I was shocked; the setup was that we would be seeing a boyfriend and girlfriend after prom, with her parents away, and they were in love (dating all of three weeks). In a bed, was a shirtless young man, and a clothed young lady (presumably of High School age) making out, hardcore. The tour guide calls for the execution of the pearl of her virginity. This is followed by her hearing the tour guide and the boy getting down to business so to speak. She under the blanket she removes her shirt, and the couple have simulated sex. The demons dance in pleasure sing, "that's the way I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh." The boy leaves, and the girl is left alone, weeping.
The next room was an accident scene, where 3 had died, and one young man, had lived. He falls out of his car, with a beer bottle, weeping. Paramedics arrive, and explain that the other people are dead. The scene ends with the demons rejoicing. We are then ushered it to a party scene. A girl was encouraged to remove some clothing, and drink. She passed out, and some boys said they would have their way with her. However, the demons spoke not of the rape, but of the drinking.
The next room, from my understanding is a staple at all hellhouses and that is the abortion room. I have to say that it was not overly realistic, but there was gore. Mostly a screaming girl and an uncaring doctor... The demons rejoiced at the death of infants. The room that followed, was perhaps the most striking of the entire experience, and it was the newly emptied womb, the mother, and four manifestations of the dead child, as a young child, a teen, a bride and as an old women. This was combine with a weeping mother and the "angel of the future."
The next room was, hell. It was stereotypical, demons torturing people for pleasure, Satan as the king, he even had a throne. The general message was that it was Satan's goal to get you there. We were then ushered into a room that had 5 floor to ceiling coffins. We were put into them and the were locked on both sides. After a short time the opposite door opened to a bright, all white heaven, complete with Jesus and Angels. Jesus had no throne but stood and addressed us. The final place we were taken into was the 'decision' room. One of the youth pastors addressed as and basically made an alter call.
The Christian Perspective I think that there are several things that were extremely problematic about this Hellhouse. First, It presented an essentially dualistic view of God and Satan. Demons seemingly had the power to kill man, and God was absent. Second, The Gospel was absent. At no point was there a clear presentation of the forgiveness of sin. We were told that if your name is found in the book of life you will not parish, however, this is far from a clear gospel presentation. Moreover, the concept of repentance was also absent. There was plenty of law preaching, what sin was, was clear, but the concept of repentance was just not spoken about. However, it was only briefly mentioned of such sins as lying, cheating, stealing, and in some respects i don't think that this brief mentioning of the law really hit people. That said, it seems that if you haven't have premarital sex, or killed someone with a car, raped someone, gotten hammered, had an abortion, the law missed you. These are problems, but the width of condemnation wasn't wide enough.
The next issue is the couple in bed. Now, I am not sure if they were a married couple, which is my hope. If not, the problem is huge, and clear. Also, The Gospel in the decision room was so weak and anemic that it hardly recognizable. The message of do you know where you are going when you die, is not the Gospel. I wonder what the 1/16 first time responders really responded to. Was it the Fear of God's Wrath? I don't think so. Was it brokenness over their sin? I don't think the presentation definitionally warranted the belief that we have sinned against a holy and righteous God. I struggle with the presentation of the powerful Satan, and the yearning God.
Concluding Thoughts: The Hellhouse was an interesting experience. Would I say it is an effective evangelism tool? Maybe. There were significant issues with this one, that made it problematic, however, I think that it could be done in such a way as to present truly biblical views. That said, I don't think that it takes the place of preaching the forgiveness of Sin in Jesus' name. I struggle with the tactic in general. I don't think it is by definition sinful. I would be interested to see the results v/ cost, as well as a defense of charging people to enter. Overally, I rate the event a 2 out of 10 for evangelistic value, Gospel Centered, and Biblical Accuracy.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Why The Bible Is Necessary For Apologetics: A Brief Reflection On 1 Peter 3.15
The study of defending the Christian faith has recently become extremely popular. Bookstores are filled with manuals on how Christians can defend their faith. Usually the books present “facts” from secular writings. The Big Bang Theory, Ancient Greek philosophy, Near Death Experiences, selections from secular Roman historians and even liberal theology are used to try and show unbelievers that Christianity is reasonable. Christians are encouraged to look at these “facts” with unbelievers in a “neutral” way as though God does not exist or the Bible is not His Word. I find this odd.
When we are looking for help in our marriages, or need to tell someone how to be saved, or we are trying to find a word of comfort to share with a hurting friend we typically go to the Bible. If we do not go to the Bible for these things, we at least should do so! I find it odd, then, that we should go anywhere other than the Bible when we are called upon to defend our faith.
God knows everything. Thankfully, God has revealed some of His knowledge to us. We have a basis for our knowledge because of revelation. It is for this reason we should turn to the treasures of wisdom (the wisdom of God) we have in the Bible when we need help with…well…anything! Defending the faith is not an exception.
The Bible is needed for motivation to defend the faith. If someone asks, “Why should we even defend the Christian faith?” the only way we are able to answer at all is if we turn to the Bible. “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3.15 (ESV) This verse of the Bible commands Christians to always be ready to make a defense. This is one verse that gives us our motivation for defending the faith. There are many others. If we approach an unbeliever from a point of view where God does not exist or the Bible is not His Word then there is no need to defend our faith. There is no honest way to get on “common ground” with an unbeliever and still have a reason or motivation to defend our faith. We not only have to be committed to the Bible, we should be committed to it! The Bible tells us that we must defend our faith.
The Bible is needed to tell us what we are defending. The answer to the question, “What is Christianity?” can only be found in the Bible. The verse referenced above mentions that Christ is Lord and speaks of the hope that is within us. This is one verse which presents at least two components of Christianity. There are many others. If we understand that we must defend our faith but do not know what our faith is in then we are unable to defend our faith. We must know what it is we are defending before we are able to defend it. We not only have to know the Bible, we should know it! The Bible tells us about the faith we defend.
The Bible is necessary to tell us how to defend our faith.
If we believe the Bible then we have a motive for defending our faith and we know what we have faith in, but how should we defend our faith? The verse we have been considering tells us to provide a defense and tells us what we are defending. It also tells us how to defend our faith. We start by regarding Christ the Lord as holy, and we present our arguments with gentleness and respect. This verse contains instruction on how we are to defend our faith. There are many others. There is no reason to regard Christ the Lord as holy or to be gentle and respectful toward those who oppose the faith if we do not recognize that the Bible is morally binding. We cannot even know who Christ is apart from the Bible, much less call Him Lord or regard Him in our hearts as holy. We not only have to submit to the Bible, we should submit to it. The Bible tells us the way in which we are to defend our faith.
The Bible is necessary to tell us the method by which we are to defend our faith.
The Bible is necessary for the motive, material, and manner of the defense of the faith. There is another sense to the question, “How should we defend the faith?” This question is not asking for just the manner in which we defend our faith, but the method by which we defend it. Of course motive, material and manner are all parts of method and we have seen that all three come from the Bible. The method by which we defend our faith likewise comes from…you guessed it…the Bible! Remember that 1 Peter 3.15 commands that we are to honor Christ the Lord as holy. There is no realm in which Christ is not Lord; Christ is Lord of all. Those who do not submit to the Lordship of Christ Jesus are rebelling against God. They disagree with God in thought, word, deed, or some mixture of all of the above. However, no one can disagree with God on a point and still have the truth about it. Disagreeing with God is, to put it plainly, stupid. For example, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ Psalms 14:1a (ESV)”; “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)”; and “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools Romans 1:21-22 (ESV)”.
Believing The Bible
When someone contradicts the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Truth (John 14.6), on a fundamental point (e.g. the universe is created by God, the Bible is the Word of God) that person is attempting to start off in the wrong direction when it comes to understanding anything correctly. Our method of defending the faith should be the same as what the Bible presents. The Bible makes the claim that it is the Word of God. It is self-attesting. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17 (ESV)” If God is the final authority on all matters of truth, then what He says goes. Hence the Bible as the Word of God is also self-authenticating. There is no higher standard than the Word of God by which we may judge the Word of God. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself Hebrews 6:13 (ESV)” If someone does not agree with the Word of God, you can be pretty sure that he or she will not agree with your words concerning the Word of God. The Bible is the Word of God, the Word of God is true, and to reject this results in futile thought.
Foolishness Of Unbelief
Many think it is foolish to have such faith in the Bible, including Christians. It angers many that someone should take the Bible to be the final authority, as we do, on faith. What alternative do those raising this supposed objection have to offer? They say that they object based upon what their senses and their reason tells them. Perhaps they claim to take “science” as their authority in matters of truth, even when it comes to judging whether or not the Bible is the Word of God. There is a serious problem with this view. How do we know that science is a reliable guide to truth? We cannot test “science” using science. Even if we could test science in this way, we would just be using science to test science, and the question is whether or not science is reliable in the first place! Those wanting to defend the view in question could say that they have faith in science, but this means that their final authority fails at the most basic level. Having “faith in science” is not scientific at all, and so the position falls under its own weight. The foundation is cracked, and even if it were not, it would not be wide enough. There are many things which cannot be touched by science. Logic is not scientifically testable, nor are moral laws, yet the reality of both of these press upon us every day! Furthermore, how do we know that the universe will continue to work in predictable ways? Should we remain open to new possibilities in scientific discovery, even unpredictable ones? If so, why should we continue in science upon the assumption that things will remain the same?
Christians believe the Bible. God has given us our senses and reason to use in coming to truth. Science is something we are able to do because God made and controls the world. Furthermore God has made us in such a way that we are able to come to know the world. While there is much to learn, we will never learn anything that overturns a fact which is known and revealed by our all-knowing and loving God. God has revealed Himself to us through His creation and given us reliable tools to know Him more. This we know because the Bible tells us so. We make observations and think about them and come to conclusions. However, in using our faculties we do not take them to be the final authority.
God has given us the Bible. May we reflect on this and allow it to shape our understanding of all we think, say, and do, even when it comes to defending the Bible itself.
About the Author
C.L. Bolt holds a B.A. Philosophy (High Honors) and B.A. Religion from Lynchburg College (Magna Cum Laude) where he was awarded with the 2007 Raymond Morgan Award in Philosophy, 2008 Virgil Hinds Award in Religion, 2008 Access Achievement Award, was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and was a member of the 2008 VFIC Ethics Bowl Team. He is pursuing his M.Div. with a concentration in Biblical and Theological Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He contributes to Choosing Hats apologetics blog at www.choosinghats.com and wrote a chapter for The Portable Presuppositionalist by Jamin Hubner available at www.amazon.com. He lives in Indiana with his wife Kerri and dog Flash.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Ken: I was wondering if you could explain something to me about Forgiveness
Dustin:great what would you like to know about it?
Ken: A friend of mine, who is a Mormon, was explaining a parable an LDS leader told about forgiveness where you owe God, and Jesus takes your fine
Dustin: Well every body sins and there is no way for use to pay heavenly father back of doing this wrong
Dustin: the only way we could pay him back is to sacrifice something that is perfect and without sin
Dustin: and jesus christ is the only one who was perfect besides god.
Dustin: so jesus volunteered to die for our sins
Dustin: so we could return to our father in heaven. but it's not a free ride. we still have to repent.
Ken: ok, so when Jesus Died on the Cross, I don't understand how my debt transfered, so that I owe him and not the Fatherhttp://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=3888890053009864274
Dustin: ok well have you ever had to pay some one so you barrowed money from some one else?
Dustin: its like paying a cell phone bill with a credit card.
Dustin: you have payed it you just barrowed money from some one else.
Dustin: jesus is like the credit card he was the only one who could pay heavenly father back.
Dustin: so our debt goes to jesus. Did that help at all?
Ken: I don't then understand how I am getting out from under my debt
Ken: if forgiveness is defined as "It is to pardon or excuse someone from blame for an offense or misdeed"
Ken: It doesn't seem like that happens, I never get excused
Dustin: well you aren't, how you return the debt to jesus is to repent.
Ken: I just get passed off
Dustin: like paying the credit bill when it comes.
Ken: So it is up to me to pay off Jesus?
Dustin: well it does when you repent you are getting the excuse or pardon from jesus
Ken: If I am doing something, how is it a pardon
Dustin: yes yes it is completely up to you. you have to choose to repent to pay off jesus
Ken: it seems really hard
Dustin: you have to repent. do you know what it means to repent?
Ken: To turn around, seek forgiveness, and then Not do it ever again?
Dustin: yes it is hard. its how we show were are sorry for the things we done. but its not impossible. i have repented for things in my life.
Dustin: yes that is repentence
Ken: how do you know you won't do them in the future?
Ken: I mean, as a dude, can you tell me that you or I go a day without lust?
Dustin: you don't it is completely up to you. if you choose to do them or not. but true repentance you will strive to not do them again
Dustin: i know exactly what your talking about.
Ken: So is Repentance about actually not doing it again, or just meaning to not do it again?
Dustin: the point were you have to repent is if you act on that lust.
Ken: so just lusting is ok, but when I act on it, that is when it becomes sin?
Dustin: Repentance is not doing it again. lust is the temptation.
Dustin: i'm a missionary and i still look at girls and have the same temptation but i do not act on it.
Portions of this chat were changed (spelling corrections and double lines removed), emphasis was added. My Purpose for this is not to trap Mormons, but rather for us to see what they will actually say.
I have to say that is was the most telling and troubling conversation I have ever had on Chat with a Missionary. The amount of redefinition that occurred was unthinkable, and this is most shocking when it comes to Sin.
The other thing that I am a bit confused about, and maybe a Mormon can comment on this, When He (Dustin) said that Jesus is the only person who is perfect besides the Father, he seems to be leaving out the Holy Spirit ( who is described as a personage in LDS theology) and Elhoim's Father (God's Father).
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Christian Pulpit News Today -
In a stunning development President Obama abandoned his planned speech this morning to the nation's school children, and instead preached an evangelical sermon. Many hearing this were shocked and amazed that the President would go against the popular opinion of his political party and speak to the children about Jesus.
The Reverend E.R. Tickler of the Feelings Tabernacle, in West Warwick, RI said this after hearing the President's sermon, "I was shocked and extremely pleased that he could be so relevant to the youth culture today. What was even more amazing is that he seems to use the same depot that I get my sermons from." When asked about where He purchased his sermons, Reverend Tickler had no comment, however, He said that he now supports the President more then ever.
Other Christian leaders have also stepped up to offer their thanks to the President, Donald Miller, who helped Obama in his bid for the presidency was overcome with emotion while watching the sermon. He commented that he knew Obama wanted to reduce the number of abortions in the nation, feed starving people and get healthcare to those who need it and never knew that he planned on using preaching accomplish these goals.
Not everyone is pleased with the presidents sermon. The ACLU has already filed a federal lawsuit to expel the president from schools and any other government run activities. The media contact for the ACLU, Ms. Johnson said this," Today we will begin to wage a war on religion in American Schools. The President has no right to preach a sermon to the American children." When asked if She believed that the ACLU was forwarding the religion of Secular Humanism within the school system, Ms. Johnson has no comment.
The highlight of the sermon is something that echos in Christian churches around the United States every Sunday. No doubt Christians are familiar with the gospel that is preached there and by president Obama. "Every single one of you has something you're good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is... Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who've had the most failures. JK Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career."
As the fall out from the preaching of this evangelical sermon continues we are committed at Christian Pulpit News Today to keep you updated and informed.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Title: The More I Seek You
Artist: Kari Jobe
Written by: Zach Neese
Record Label: Integrity Music
Theological Review Preformed by: N/A
The more i seek you,
the more i find you
The more i find you, the more I love you
Chorus:I wanna sit at your feet
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, here your heart beat
This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming
(Repeat from Beginning)
I think that there are several issues that can be addressed in this short song. When I look at a worship song, I am looking for something that can be both prayed in private and sung in a corporate setting. So when looking at this song my first, and possibly the most troublesome issue with this song, is that this song could be sung to any lover one could choose; man, women, God... really whomever you choose. The Object of this song is completely ambiguous, which has no historically grounds as valid within the Church. Secondly, this song is very very sexual in the nature of the lyrics. Given that the song is indeed about Jesus, I can't honestly say that I have any of these quasi sexual feelings about Jesus. I don't want to sit at his feet, or lay back against him and hear his heart beat. Third, speaking of Jesus in these amorous terms is, I believe, disrespectful to his Divinity. This is God we are talking about (to) here. Fourth, There is zero theological content. Any heretic could sing this without a flinch. It isn't edifying to the body. Finally, The last problem with this song is, in the words of Mark Driscoll, that it turns Jesus into my 'Bearded Girlfriend.'
I say we go back to quality, none-emotionally based worship music.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
May you so live, that when you stand over your child's dead body, you may never hear a voice coming up from that clay, "Father, your negligence was my destruction! Mother, your prayerlessness was the instrument of my damnation!"
"Impress these words of Mine on your hearts and minds. . . Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:18-19.
I think that this is a fitting 100th blog post, Praise the Lord.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Now Dr. James White, a Critical Consultant, on the NASB has issued a response that is very good.
I would ask that those who are KJVO or are KJV preferred really look into the issues here. There are a lot of complexities that need to be understood.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
"... while I sat still and drank beer with Philip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow."And so keeping that quote in mind, I would ask my Lutheran Brothers, what is the deal with this picture...
( In case you can't tell the little white sign says, " No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed" )
I think that this might baffle Chris Rosebrough over at Fighting for the Faith.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
It seems to me that this guy is guilty of a major logic error. Namely, I don't have to walk in the shoes of a murderer or a homosexual or a pro ball player to understand their struggles/nee ds. I mean this amounts to no one person being able to understand any other person, as we haven't all have the same experiences. I mean come on, lets try to think rationally. To the intersexed individual wanting answers...
Just my opinion: I wouldn't seek them here. It sounds like most of the people here haven't walked in your shoes (or don't know that they have since many parents and doctors choose the gender for intersexed babies at birth)...
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I am going to post the conversation that has being occurring between He (?) and I, the goal of this is to see who the real fundimentalist is within this conversation.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
A Testimony is a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The Foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father live and loves us: that Jesus Christ live, and that He is the Son of God, and that he carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that we are led by a living prophet today; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior's true Church on the earth. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel.
First, it is clear from the statements of both Ms. Kardashian and her boyfriend Scott, that neither is pro-life; clearly they are pro-choice. Yet Ms. Kardashian's comment on her choice is very clear -
For me, all the reasons why I wouldn't keep the baby were so selfish: It wasn't like I was raped, it's not like I'm 16. I'm 30 years old, I make my own money, I support myself, I can afford to have a baby. And I am with someone who I love, and have been with for a long time... My doctor told me there is nothing you will ever regret about having the baby, but he was like, 'You may regret not having the baby.' And I was like: That is so true. And it just hit me. I got so excited"It seems that for Ms. Kardashian that being unwed caused the question, and that the answer was at least partly that she couldn't justify murdering a young human being, which is to be praised in this culture where women are told that they have the right to play God. Let me just say, Congratulations, you have made a wise choice Ms. Kardashian, your child thanks you.
Now there has never been a truer statement then what that doctor said; regret only comes from murdering your child.
I would like to just put forth, an argument from Scott Klusendorf:
Put simply, there is no morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. Differences of size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency are not relevant such that we can say that you had no rights as an embryo but you do have rights today. Think of the acronym SLED as a helpful reminder of these non-essential differences:4
Size: True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more human than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.
Level of development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than you and I. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one human. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Six-week old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-human to human? If the unborn are not already human, merely changing their location can’t make them valuable.
Degree of Dependency: If viability makes us human, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.
In short, it’s far more reasonable to argue that although humans differ immensely with respect to talents, accomplishments, and degrees of development, they are nonetheless equal because they share a common human nature.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Mingled with the devotions you will find twelve stories and pictures from the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Each is a story of a family: of individuals within church families, of couples with and without children, of extended families of kin. Some are clergy, some laypeople. All give witness to the importance for the church to recognize and support the ways their ministries and families are called by God and are poured out in service to the neighbor. In Christ, we are one family, and our families take many shapes.I would like to bring to light one of these stories. The story is of two lesbians ('Rev.' Phyllis Zillhart and 'Rev.' Ruth Frost) who are both Ordained ministers. They have been together for 25 years this fall, and have a fifteen year old daughter who they raise with two gay 'men.' While there is much to be said about this unnatural parenting arrangement, I would like to set that aside and focus instead on something that they say about there daughter. This is their statement:
The “village” that has helped raise our daughter includes LGBT people of faith and our allies. She has marched in Pride parades every year of her life. She is clear about who her parents and her village are to her. She is not clear what the Lutheran Church as a whole is to her. Her generation will decide what place the Church will have in their lives based on the justice and hospitality they see extended to or withheld from LGBT people.Notice what they link the activity in the church body to... It is how the church treats "LGBT people." Now, last I checked, and maybe I have missed some memo - but is it not the Gospel that dictates our Church activity. After all, why would we call a gathering of non-christians, in the name of there invented Christ? It Certainly isn't The Church. Maybe it is a church, like a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall is a church. The Church is those who are regenerated by Christ, who are in relationship with him.
"Reverends" with all due respect, It is not the way we treat GLBT people, but rather it is those who are Christ's Sheep who will come into the Fold. Moreover, If we do not call for both your repentance, and the repentance of all sinners, the church will be of little eternal meaning in the future.
There is another part of this One Table Many Blessings, that I would like to address, it is the 95 Persons who signed the document acknowleding their Homosexual, Bi-Sexual or Transgendered status and having been "separated from the ELCA roster in one way or another, through removal, resignation, retirement (sometimes early), postponement, leave, being dropped from candidacy,or are awaiting call." These people have rightly been disciplined, for their lack of repentance, and now, thanks to this choice by the denomination, they will be told that they are no longer in sin by being in a same-sex relationship. It seems to be that the result of liberalism, is the acknowledgment of sin, as non-sin.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV)
Friday, August 21, 2009
There is headline news from Yahoo, put forth today.
The Following is a quote, from that article.
Tim Mumm, a gay man and an assembly delegate from Whitewater, Wis., said the Scripture that guides opponents of the more liberal policy was written by mortals, at a much earlier time, and doesn't reflect what many Christians now believe.
"I believe for me to marry a woman would be wrong — even sinful," Mumm said.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tony Jones is the National Coordinator of Emergent Village (www.emergentvillage.org), a network of innovative, missional Christians. He's also a doctoral fellow and senior research fellow in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. Tony has written several books on philosophy, theology, ministry, and prayer, including Postmodern Youth Ministry and The Sacred Way. He's a sought-after speaker on the topics of theology and the emerging church. Tony lives in Minnesota with his wife, Julie, and their three young children.Now Tony describes his stance on the issue of homosexuality as follows -
I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.So what we have is yet another 'christian leader' who believes that Scripture does not condemn homosexual activity as unnatural, improper or unrighteous. Now I say this with the understanding, that I am assuming that Tony believes and subscribes to Sola Scriptura. However, I do not dismiss the idea that Tony could reject Sola Scriptura, Consider the conclusion of an article from Emergent Village titled So Long Sola?, "We should welcome challenges to the doctrine of Sola scriptura. What was a pillar of truth half a millennium ago, has become an untenable deadweight (one is tempted to say, an idol) in the life of the church." It is possible, given the content given to us from other emergents, that Tony subscribes to an emergent form of finding truth, which would involve Scripture, reason, tradition, experience, creation, intuition, and imagination.
Now that there is a bit of introduction about Tony Jones. I would like to respond to a challenge that Tony Issued on his blog about homosexuality and gay marriage, with the first ever video blog from Thoughts of a Christian.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We Must Act now, Protect Freedom. Prayer is not a Criminal offense. This is not Communist China.
Friday, August 14, 2009
(John 15:18-23 ESV). To Christ be the Glory, our Fellow Brothers have had there blood shed on account of the savior, what a glorious blessing they have received. Weep not, for they are with the Lord, and are blessed richly by him.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
1. The watchtower is the publication of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society... Members of this Society are known as Jehovah's Witness'. These members/society will further be addressed as "JW."
2. The JW's have several specific doctrinal beliefs which include, but are not limited to the following: Christ is God's Son and is inferior to Him; Christ was first of God's creations; Christ died on a stake, not a cross.
3. The cross is something that is heatedly denied, rejected and disdained by every JW i have ever have the pleasure to have conversed.
So all that said - I would like this explained...
Please note the Top Left hand Corner and the Tower itself.
Not a lot of meat here... just an old scan.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
I would say to you in the words of our gracious Savior, "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
(John 15:18-19)" I would ask you to consider it nothing but Joy that you are counted worthy in some what to suffer for the name of Christ. Bartolucci, I think that you are really striking at the heart of the people, and there natural response is Ad Hom. attack on you (in this case), because they have nothing better to go after you with. Somehow, they believe that if they call you a bigot, and say you don't know what you are talking about, they are excused from listening and ligitamantly respond to you.
This is Very similar to the attack of Dr. White, on the issue of there being Lutherans and Catholics in the body of the Nazi concentration camp forces ( if you are unclear about this, I would suggest the July 2nd Dividing Line). He wasn't making even an argument yet, it is for this, not his true arguments he is attacked. Why? I think that the conclusion must be that there is nothing else to go after, as the real arguments can not be addressed.
My Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, let us rejoice when we are slandered, mocked, hated, mistreated, maligned, abused, cursed and disdained for the sake of Christ. Let us Remember the attitude of the Sister described in Tortured for Christ when she was arrested on her wedding day; "She looked toward her beloved, then kissed the chains and said, 'I thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. I thank Him that I am worthy to suffer for Him.'"
It is my prayer that this would be our attitude. That we may look at this evil as a blessing.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Currently I am averaging about 4 a week on a wide varaity of subjects, including, Atheism, Unitartianism (The Trinity), Morality, The Bible, and others... I have to say that there is something amazing about the entire debate process. They contain an opening, which is basically a very specific short (15-30 min) lecture. Continuing to Rebutlal, and Cross-Examination (direct questions) and if you're lucky, these will be repeated, and then there is a closing statement. I have to say that this process allows a person to truly understand ( in a good debate) both sides of an issue, and which is superior. There seems to be no better way to understand any issue then to watch to experts debate it, in a polite, academic manner.
However, it seems to me that many people today dislike debate. Moreover, it seems that they think that debate is nothing more then argument. I think that this is a gross misuderstanding that is perpetuated by CNN style political debate; which is nothing more then logical fallacy after fallacy, meant to discredit an opponient via fallacy, which is why everyone thinks that they learn nothing from these debates, and that they do not truly address the issues in a direct way.
To that end, I would like to challange you to do 2 things - 1) If you have never listened to a debate, find on and listen. 2) List on here you favorite debate and why it is your favorite, so that we can all listen to what are quality debates.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Openly Gay Student Dubbed Prom Queen
Senior high school student met with encouragement and support at LA-area high school
By Ari B. Bloomekatz Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
May 28, 2009
"I will be wearing a suit," Garcia said, "but don't be fooled, deep down inside, I am a queen!"
Garcia, 18, spent most of his years at Fairfax openly gay and wanted to be part of the Los Angeles school's prom court -- but not as prom king. He felt that vying for prom queen would better suit his personality, so he decided to seek that crown, running against a handful of female classmates.
He said it started out as a bit of a stunt and challenge -- he wasn't sure the school would allow it. But his campaign for queen ended up being serious and sparking dialogue about gender roles on campus.
A few days before the dance and election, the contenders gave short speeches on why they deserved the crown.
"At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it's no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes," Garcia told the crowd of seniors. "Sure, I'm not your typical prom queen candidate. There's more to me than meets the eye."
The audience erupted in applause after his speech, and a group of his female friends spent the rest of the week wearing pink crowns and campaigning for him.
On Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, wearing a charcoal-gray tuxedo and a black bow tie, he was named prom queen.
"I felt invincible," Garcia said.
He's among the first male students in Southern California to take the title usually owned by female high school beauties.
"It just shows how open-minded our class is," said Vanessa Lo, 18, the school's senior class president.
Lo said that she, like many students, had initially been against the idea of Garcia running for prom queen. But she said he "spoke with complete confidence" and carried himself in a way that made students believe he was serious, not a class clown or joker just trying to get attention.
"His speech was great," recalled Unique Payne, 17, a senior who said she voted for Garcia. "I did it because I support the gay community," she said.
Although many students were supportive of Garcia's run, others were upset and didn't understand why Garcia chose to run for prom queen.
"I'm not really happy about that. He should've run for prom king," said 17-year-old senior Juan Espinoza.
Espinoza said he has nothing against Garcia but believes many students voted for him as a joke so they could see the prom king dance with another guy on prom night.
One member of the prom court also said she didn't think it was right for a male student to take the crown.
Garcia, who lives in Mid-City and is an aspiring choreographer and hairdresser, said he didn't plan on running for prom queen until notices were posted around school. The qualifications didn't include gender, and he said running for king didn't quite feel right.
"I didn't really know if the school approved. I thought 'Why can't I do it?' " Garcia said. "I see myself as a boy with a different personality. . . . I don't wish to be a girl; I just wish to be myself," he said.
Some teachers and students were encouraging, others told him not to "stir things up," he said. But his close friends continued to support him, and after his speech, the campus community seemed to be coming around to the idea.
Fairfax High, which is near West Hollywood at the intersection of Melrose and Fairfax avenues, has often been at the forefront of the gay rights struggle. It has a Gay-Straight Alliance student group on campus, and Project 10, an on-site support program for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth, was started there in 1984 after a social worker wanted to help a gay student who was being harassed by his peers. The program has since been expanded to encompass the entire Los Angeles Unified School District.
Project 10's founder, Virginia Uribe, said she was encouraged by news of Garcia's crowning. She said that in the last two years, there have been similar elections to prom and homecoming courts in high schools and colleges around the nation.
"I think that indicates where our society is right now. That the young people, they are not involved in this whole argument about gay rights. They think this whole fight is silly. They just accept people for who they are," Uribe said. "Gender-bending is just kind of in," she said.
Ok, so this is really messed up, for clear reasons, but let me make it more clear. 1. If you have a Penis, you can not be a "queen," you may sexually act like a woman, dress like a woman, ect... However, you are not a Woman, you are gay, but you are still a man. Personally, I am troubled that Teachers/School Employees would promote any type of none traditional gender understanding. You are a man, you are not a Queen deep down. You are just gay. I am tired of homosexuals being treated as 'special.' No More Special Rights! Your sexual desires should not somehow change traditional gender identity. Finally, I am frustrated that Homosexuals are doing the same thing they accuse evangelicals of doing; namely using their sexual ethic to define law. Yet, we are condemned as Bigots or anti-gay or hateful.
How do you think that the guy who was dubbed Prom King feels? Does he have to pariade around with this gay guy now? He Certainly wouldn't want to be doing the king/queen dance... How is he going to remember his senior Prom? What are his Children going to see in their dad's yearbook?
SAN DIEGO -- A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold Bible studies in their home, 10News reported.Attorney Dean Broyles of The Western Center For Law & Policy was shocked with what happened to the pastor and his wife. Broyles said, "The county asked, 'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?' She said, 'Yes.' 'Do you say amen?' 'Yes.' 'Do you pray?' 'Yes.' 'Do you say praise the Lord?' 'Yes.'"
The county employee notified the couple that the small Bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of County regulations, according to Broyles. Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars."For churches and religious assemblies there's big parking concerns, there's environmental impact concerns when you have hundreds or thousands of people gathering. But this is a different situation, and we believe that the application of the religious assembly principles to this Bible study is certainly misplaced," said Broyles.
News of the case has rapidly spread across Internet blogs and has spurred various reactions. Broyles said his clients have asked to stay anonymous until they give the county a demand letter that states by enforcing this regulation the county is violating their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religion.Broyles also said this case has broader implications."If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly at home for poker night? What about people who meet for Tupperware parties? What about people who are meeting to watch baseball games on a regular basis and support the Chargers?" Broyles asked. Broyles and his clients plan to give the County their demand letter this week.If the County refuses to release the pastor and his wife from obtaining the permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.
Ok... so think about this, To have a group of friends over for a BBQ, and Prayer, worship, and some theological discussion... guess what... its ILLEGAL. Sense when was San Diego County, the USSR or North Korea or China?? nice work