Some information about Biblical Manhood
This is new video blog. I hope to start and become good at it. I really hope to share Christ and help others. Also, my son is an aspiring movie industry person. (This is an effort to help him. He is my director, photographer and producer. Too bad his first client is so awful!)
In an age where reinventing the norms of Christianity have become popular, changing some of the words we use is a part of this. I would like to focus on two of those words; community and owner. You may have no idea what I’m talking about. On the other hand, you may be a part of a church that is now using these new terms. Either way, let me share my thoughts.
Changes in Christianity today usually stem from an effort to make either Christianity itself or a particular church more acceptable. Those that use these new terms would most likely say that it is to reach people for Jesus. This reinventing is also known as being seeker sensitive, relevant or meeting felt needs. A part of this, as noted, is changing words or terms.
If you haven’t figured it out, church is now referred to as community and instead of being a member you are now an owner. For the sake of this article, I will save my comments on whether reinvention is good or bad. So what about these two changes? The word church in the Bible is also known as assembly, congregation and is defined as “called out ones.” The word community is simply defined as a group of people who live in close proximity to one another. When we think of what it means to be a member of a church, several things come to mind. As the Bible describes, we are members of one body. Each member has their own function and responsibilities. A member serves and is accountable. On the other hand, an owner signifies authority and being served. An owner is usually one who is accountable to few and holds others who are beneath accountable.
I would like to leave this article open for discussion. Does changing the words also change definitions? Does changing words allow us make religion what we think it ought to be? Is this a seeker sensitive attempt at making the religion of Christianity more appealing to non Christians or formerly inactive church goers? Should we change and reinvent? I would love to hear from you?
If you are like me, there are at least a few things you find weird or strange in this life. One of those things for me, at least at one time, was street preaching. I can only assume it was because I have always lived in a rural area and I rarely saw it. When I did encounter street preaching, it seemed abrasive. So what has changed? I must first give credit to the ministries of Todd Friel (wretchedradio.com) and Ray Comfort (livingwaters.com). I have found, as with anything, there is some good and some bad in street preaching. However, the bigger question is, “is street preaching Biblical?” To answer this question and to learn more about what street preaching is, I would like to direct you to carm.org. Below is an portion of an article by Tony Miano.
“Street preaching” (also known as “open-air preaching” and “open-airing”) is the public proclamation of a religious message. It is often accomplished with a voice louder than that used in conversation. For the purposes of this article/section, “street preaching” refers to the public proclamation of the law of God and/or the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as the public reading of God’s Word.” (http://carm.org/what-is-street-preaching)
After studying the issue and being influenced by the aforementioned ministries, I have a new admiration for street preaching. Although I have not engaged in street preaching myself, I have been involved in one on one street evangelism. These ministries have encouraged and helped me tremendously in those evangelism en devours. I hope you will find these ministries as useful as I have as you seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Please consider CARM as a great resource. (http://carm.org/street-preaching)
Who among us is not guilty, of what? Justifying our own sin. One of the most popular ways is to reassure yourself that all you have to do is ask for forgiveness after you have comment your sin. How often to we minimize our particular sin to justify it? How many times have we searched the concordance to find that one verse to justify our behavior? If we are honest, I’m sure in one way or another we have found ways around our conscience and God’s Word to please our flesh. Maybe it was to get out of doing something we knew we ought.
I make this point as a reminder to us all of our guilt and how much we have been forgiven. I believe God would have us keep this in mind as we approach others with the same struggle. The actual sin may be different in all of us, but the temptation to justify, I believe, is universal.
There are times when our approach, still loving, must be direct and strong. This instance usually comes when the sin is public and damaging to others. We have one of those cases with the QJV. The QJV is the new Queen James Bible. A play on words, mocking the King James Bible. This new bible is also known as the gay bible. It seems that the only changes in translation were edits done to the particular verses related to homosexuality. Matt Slick of carm.org has a new article that tackles this issue. Matt loving shows the errors of the QJV from his in depth study. I urge you to read this article to be obedient to “rightly divide the Word of truth” and being “ready at all times to give a defense of the hope that is within you.” Below is an excerpt from the article and a link to it.
“The Queen James Bible, also known as the Gay Bible, is a new assault on biblical orthodoxy and sexual purity. This is to be expected in a world of moral relativism. In it, the 1769 King James Bible has been reproduced with only a very few select verses altered – the ones that relate to homosexuality. Those verses are listed below and analyzed. I hope you will see that the Queen James Bible is a perversion of the original text and is the result of obvious prejudices against the original Hebrew and Greek texts in order to make homosexual practices appear acceptable…” (http://carm.org/queen-james-bible) by Matt Slick
Where is God and the Connecticut School Shooting
by Matt Slick
On 12/14/2012, in Newtown, CT, Adam Lanza, a crazed killer, took the lives of his mother, five adults, and twenty children at an elementary school. The tragedy is a horrible shock to America.
We here at CARM want to extend our profound sympathy to the families who have suffered so greatly in this catastrophe. We ache over their loss. It is horrible. No words are sufficient to express what needs to be said.
With that being said, I want to respond to the question that frequently comes up at times like this, “Where was God during the Connecticut shooting?”… (http://carm.org/god-connecticut-school-shooting)
This article gives a short, simple yet profound answer. During times like these, I believe that is what is needed. The time for a theological treatise on God, evil and foundations should be long before. Then, once healing has taken place, if the pastor did not prepare his flock, it would be time to get going. However, during this time, I appreciate that care taken by Slick to loving give us the truth we need to hear.
Slick brings to light the consequences of the state of our society. I dreadfully reflect on another one of those consequences. We love and celebrate our freedom in this country. So we should. I also give thanks to God for the freedom to worship and the protection we have been afforded in this country. However, I believe this freedom has lead us down a path that I’m sure many never intended. The same freedom that was fought for so that men may freely seek God has also become the freedom that has allowed many to leave God. Our country, it seems, as a whole has exercised this freedom. We have lived by the philosophy that we are the god of our own destinies. This is the consequence of freedom, no accountability. Therefore, as we have freely left God we reap the results such as those Slick clearly defines. So what is the answer? Is it to “win America back?” I don’t think so. This would only be treating a symptom. The answer is what it has always been. Just as God was there in Newtown “watching from the outside where society wants Him to be” and allowing us to deal with the consequences of our decisions. He is also here, waiting on the feet of His children to take flight with the life giving power of the gospel. He is commanding repentance and a turning towards Him through faith in His Son. If we love America and if we want to see a decrease in immorality, we need to get back on the Biblical program. It is not through changing public policy or stronger medications. It has always been the gospel. As I reflect on an answer, I can see a mind set that says, “focus on a free America so that we can have the gospel.” I can’t help but think this should be flipped so that we are saying, “focus on the gospel so that we can have a free America.”
Can the Christian Celebrate Christmas?
Is the Christian free to celebrate a holiday that not only has pagan origins, but also is used by the unbelieving world as a promotion of commercialism? In my opinion, it depends.
The Christian must hold his standard of righteousness and devotion to God above those of the world. The Old Testament says that we are to worship God in truth according to the dictates that He has established (Exodus 20:1-4; 24:12-31:18). Christmas was not established by God. In addition, there are no records at all of the early church celebrating the birth of Christ.
On the other hand, there are those who say we have freedom Christ and can celebrate any day we desire. Paul says, “All things are lawful, though not all are profitable” (1 Cor. 6:12). Should we then participate in the celebration of a festival whose origins are based on exceeding commercialism?
It is my opinion that we are free to celebrate the day. This is why….
(the complete article can be found at http://carm.org/origins-of-christmas)
From my experience there are three extreme sides to this issue. There are those that are vehemently against celebrating Christmas and practicing its traditions. There are those that think that the non celebration of Christmas would be blaspheme. Then you have those that have never given a second thought to whether Christmas trees and lights were good or evil. I believe there is a fourth side to this issue which is more balanced and fair. As with all of life, we must test everything with Scripture and proceed in obedience to what we have found to the glory of God.
Matt Slick, in his article, provides a fair look at the canard, “can Christians celebrate Christmas?” One of the main objections to celebrating Christmas comes from the commonalities the holiday has with ancient pagan religions. Slick briefly points out this history and its possible roots. So, with this information in hand, does it settle the issue? Slick concludes, with evidence, that we can celebrate despite the skeletons in the closet of Christmas. As an addition, I would like to present a different angle of support.
Another objection that has been presented to me comes from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. In Chapter 10, we are told not to cut down trees from the forest and decorate them as the pagans do. This is very interesting. This verse sounds like a description of our modern day tradition of the Christmas tree. How should we deal with this apparent problem? Let me provide a quick answer. I think that those who use the Old Testament to argue against certain activities fail to observe a key element. This hermeneutical element is called crossing over the principle bridge. In other words, “how does it apply to me today?” The first question is, “does it apply directly to me as it did when it was written?” Whether we look at the holiness code or those verses in Jeremiah 10, we must note God was calling Israel to be set apart from their pagan neighbors. In other words, they were not to worship the idols or participate in religious practices that were used to worship idols. Therefore, are we Israel? No. Do we have any of the same neighbors as ancient Israel? No. If these verses do not apply to us directly as it was written to Israel, then what does it mean to us today? Well, the principle is the same. We are not to worship idols or practice any false religious traditions. As I reflect on the modern day Christmas holiday, I am unaware of any traditions that we practice in the month of December that come from or compare to any false religious worship today. My conclusion is this. Be aware of your traditions during the holiday season. Do not foolishly be non reflective of the things you do. Test all things to see if they are Biblical and if they bring glory to God. Then, proceed in obedience in what you have learned. Based on our reflection of the objection found in the Old Testament, the conclusion is that we are free to celebrate Christmas, as is. Therefore, join the angels, the shepherds and the wise men. Celebrate the birth of our king, to the glory of God.