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    Arnold's Blog
          "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)

    Thu, Dec 30th - 2:14AM

    Something For Christian Singles To Consider

    Christian singles normally are, and should be, concerned about being attractive to the opposite sex. It is certainly normal, natural, and expected for a Christian single to want love and companionship of the opposite sex, but it is important to consider what kind of person you are hoping to attract and what kind of relationship you hope to find or initiate; for obvious reasons I have never tried to catch a fish by putting Deer Lure on a hook.


    For example, immodest appearance and unseemly behavior will certainly help a woman to get fornication or get herself matched with a "man void of understanding," but this could also make Christian gentlemen decide that she is an unsuitable prospect for potential marriage. (Proverbs 7:6-14,25; 9:13; 11:22; 12:4; 14:1; 19:14; 25:24; 27:15; 31:10-12,30)


    Many Christian singles will say they want a Christian spouse while demonstrating that they want someone who is irreligious, materialistic, or sexually immoral. How? Through immodest appearance and unseemly behavior or by being indifferent or unfriendly toward dedicated Christians while gravitating to unbelievers and professed believers of bad character. (Psalm 119:63; Proverbs 19:1; Amos 3:3; Romans 13:14)


    Try looking at yourself objectively: What does your appearance and behavior say about you?

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    Wed, Dec 29th - 8:41PM

    Lessons From Bible Stories

    The Bible teaches truths and principles that provide guidance in every area of human existence. While specific rules of necessity require periodic alterations and additional rules because of differing cultures and changing technology, the Bible provides principles that apply to every generation and culture. (Psalm 33:4,10,11; 119:89,152; Ecclesiastes 1:9,10) The Bible is often dismissed as containing many stories having no relevance to us today, but, while we can make allowances for differences in customs between Bible times and modern times, Bible stories teach us valuable lessons and truths. (Psalm 33:11; I Corinthians 10:6; II Timothy 3:16)

    As you read each chapter try asking questions, such as:
    -What did this account convey to the first readers?
    -What does this tell us about God's Providence, and His truths and standards?
    -What lessons can we learn from this that apply to us today?
    -How does this account (and each passage) relate to context and the whole Bible?

    You won't always be able to answer each question, but you will find that each chapter becomes more interesting when you look at it in this way. As you continue to read and study the Bible the chapters will become even more interesting as you relate them to the whole Bible. Consider a few examples:


    Abram (Abraham) was told to separate himself from his kindred, but he brought Lot with him. (Genesis 12:1,5) This eventually resulted in strife and it became necessary for Abraham and Lot to separate. (Genesis 13:5-9) This is typical of a Christian life. The name Lot means "concealed” or “hidden," and when we are born again we still have concealed or hidden things that are not in the will of God and from which we must be willing to separate, and in an assembly of believers (church) we can also expect to find hidden things that must be dealt with. (Proverbs 4:18; II Corinthians 12:20,21; II Timothy 2:21; James 1:21; I Peter 2:1) We must be on guard against replacing Bible truth with worldliness (such as worldly trends, culture, or human theories). (Romans 12:2; Colossians 1:8) Also, we all have weaknesses or lusts that can lead us into sin. (James 1:14)


    Abraham put his wife in an Egyptian harem in order to save himself, and Isaac denied his wife and claimed that she was his sister in order to save himself. Each of them thus missed an opportunity to convert a pagan king who was seeking God, and obedience to the principle in Genesis 2:24 could have meant a different history of the relationships between the children of Israel and the Egyptians and Philistines.  (Genesis 12:11-19; 26:1,6-10)

    Read chapter 34 of Genesis and consider a few questions: What made Shechem assume that Dinah was available to him for sexual immorality (verse 31)? Why did Shechem assume that Dinah would yield to his advances? Why wasn't Dinah offended or resistant to Shechem's advances ("Took" in verse 2 means that he petted or fondled her)? What made Shechem assume that Dinah's family would not be offended by his actions? Why did Hamor assume that Dinah's family would not be offended by Shechem's actions? What made Shechem assume that Dinah's family would willingly consent to let her marry an idolater? Why would Hamor assume that Dinah's family would consent to intermarriage with idolaters? The answer to these questions is in Genesis 34:1. (Consider Psalm 119:63,115; Proverbs 13:20; Amos 3:3)

    Why did Abraham stop pleading with God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah after God agreed to spare them if there be ten righteous found there? (Genesis 18:32,33) Lot lived in Sodom, and his wife and his unmarried daughters lived with him in his house. Lot also had at least two sons, at least two married daughters, and at least two sons in law living in Sodom; this amounted to at least ten people. (Genesis 19:12,14,15) If Lot had followed Abraham's example there could have been ten at least ten righteous people in Sodom who possibly could have influenced and transformed their community and persuaded unbelievers to become believers. (Genesis 18:19) But Lot was worldly and materialistic and kept close company (or fellowship) with wicked and ungodly associations. (Genesis 13:10-13; II Peter 2:7,8) What effect did this have? In a crisis Lot offered to let a mob sexually abuse his daughters, thus demonstrating a heathen attitude toward daughters. (Genesis 19:8) Lot apparently never expressed any disapproval of moral abominations until a mob wanted to abuse his angelic visitors. (Genesis 19:9) He did not witness to his sons in law until the day before the destruction. (Genesis 19:14) His younger daughters were aware and convinced of his moral weaknesses, and apparently assumed from his example that fornication is acceptable if it is heterosexual.(Genesis 19:31,32; compare Genesis 19:5-8; also note that Genesis 2:24 made it clear that sexual relations were to be restricted to wedlock.)
     What about us? Are we separated or conformed? (Romans 12:2; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1)   

    Was Lot really the last man alive on earth after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? (Genesis 19:31,32) This excuse sounds like the excuses often used by many modern Christians to justify unequal yoking and fornication, excuses that, like the excuse of Lot's daughter, run counter to facts as well as Scripture. (Proverbs 13:13. For example, I Corinthians 7:16 and similar passages are addressed to Christians who were already married when they converted and give no assurance that God will bless willful disobedience.)


    After the children of Israel escaped Egypt, many complainers insisted on romanticizing the past even though they had freedom and free food and a better situation than what they left behind; even the mixed multitude, Egyptians, had it better. (Numbers 11:5,6) There is a good lesson there about the folly of romanticizing the past too much; the so-called "Good Ole Days" were not always good. When we talk about the modern decline of Western civilization many insist on romanticizing the past as though there was ever a time when everything and everybody was always good and could never be as good again. While many traditional values were good and should be preserved, not everything in our past was good. America started as the best country in the world and the best republic and has stayed that way, but America was never perfect and there have always been things wrong in America.


    The book of Ruth does not imply that Ruth and Boaz were immoral as some contend. At the height of the harvest it would have been normal and expected for Boaz and his employees to work far into the night and then sleep in the field, and Ruth's actions were in line with customary procedure for claiming the right of levirate marriage. (Ruth 3:1-9) Note also that Boaz was sleeping "at the end of the heap of corn" and not in his house behind closed doors. (Ruth 3:7) However, the Book of Ruth does indicate that it was not unknown at that time for Jewish men to harass or molest women. (Ruth 2:9,15,22) Consider also that as a new convert to Yahwism and coming from a background of pagan idolatry Ruth stood out as virtuous. Consider also that Boaz, an older man, was still unmarried even though he was very prosperous and there were unmarried Jewish women available, and Boaz was anxious to marry Ruth when he became aware of her feelings because he knew she was virtuous. (Ruth 3:11) All of this indicates that many who were in a covenant relationship with God and knew the truth were not always living up to righteous standards. Yet the account refers to the Jews as God's people and says they were collectively being blessed by God. (Ruth 1:6) While this does not mean we should condone or ignore sin, it does illustrate the point that we should not expect a church to be composed of perfect people who don't have faults or weaknesses and never sin. (II Corinthians 12:20,21; Galations 6:1; James 1:14; I Peter 2:1; I John 1:8-2:1)


    Samson allowed his lust for women to prevent him from being more effective in his service to God. Samson preferred wicked and ungodly women even though there were dedicated believers available: Of the three women Samson was romantically involved with, two were prostitutes and the other behaved like a prostitute. (Consider Judges 14:3) This was apparently a result of the influence of the company he kept, as Samson preferred the company of wicked and ungodly associations: Back then it was customary for a groom to make a feast ("throw a party") and invite his closest friends to celebrate his wedding with him, and it is noteworthy that Samson's closest friends were pagan idolaters. (Judges 14:10,11) Samson's words in Judges 14:3 sound like some of the excuses or reasons often used by many Christians to justify unequal yoking and fornication, reasons that, like the reason given by Samson, run counter to Scripture and actually have little or no meaning. For example, merely saying that you love someone or are in love with someone says something about you but says nothing about the object of that emotion. Saying that the women pleased Samson said something about Samson but didn't actually say anything about the objects of his affection, nor did this change God's standards.


    Samuel was commanded to protest a wrong (trying to replace God's sovereignty with a human king) while knowing that his protests would be unheeded. (I Samuel 8:9) We must always remember that we are not called to be successful; we are called to be faithful. Too many assume that the merit of a goal or endeavor is determined by the chance of success instead of whether the goal or endeavor is right.

    The account about David and Goliath presents an interesting contrast between Saul and David, and teaches lessons that we would do well to apply today. While our situation is different, the truths and principles involved remain the same. Saul was already rejected by God because of disobedience and indifference toward God's Word. (I Samuel 10:8; 13:4-14; 15:1-11,22,23,28; consider Deuteronomy 25:17-19; Proverbs 12:15; 13:13) David's walk with God made him courageous. David knew from experience that God would give him victory, especially since killing a bear or a lion is more difficult than killing a man. (I Samuel 17:33-37) David even used a superstition of the Philistines against them. Why would an entire army flee because one man was killed, especially since their religion promised heaven if they died in battle? (I Samuel 17:51-53) The Philistines saw the Israelites send an unarmored shepherd to successfully defeat their champion and then quickly decapitate him.(I Samuel 17:42,49-51) Philistines and other heathens in the Middle East believed that if someone was decapitated his spirit was doomed to forever wander the earth aimlessly, drinking urine and eating feces and garbage. Saul and his men saw a heavily armored giant. What did David see? David saw an uncircumcised Philistine. (I Samuel 17:26,33-36; Deuteronomy 31:6) In the Old Testament, circumcision represented a covenant relationship with God and was illustrative of purity and obedience to God. (Genesis 17:10-14; Exodus 6:12; Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Jeremiah 6:10) The word Philistines means immigrants. Even though they spoke a Semitic language or dialect very similar to Hebrew, their conduct, appearance, speech, and hostility toward Israel demonstrated that they were not God's people. The Philistines and other heathens were familiar with the theology of the Israelites, which is why they were hostile toward the Israelites. The Gentiles were not without choice or recourse in this matter. A Gentile could repent and convert to Yahwism and submit to the Law Covenant (and be circumcised if a male) and thus become a Jew, and likewise today an unbeliever can repent and convert and become a Christian. (Exodus 12:48-49; Leviticus 19:33-34; 24:22; Joshua 6:25; Ruth 1:16; I Samuel 21:7; II Samuel 11:3,11; I Kings 8:41-43; Esther 8:17; John 1:12; I Timothy 2:3-6; II Peter 3:9) There are important principles here that apply to conduct, appearance, choice of amusements and companionship, and willingness or unwillingness to stand for righteousness and the Biblical worldview. We should not assume that everything secular is evil, and you should avoid being against so much that you aren't for anything, but it is essential to choose and distinguish which side you are on.

    The Bible account of David and Bathsheba illustrates the importance of abstaining from the appearance of evil and not making provision for the flesh, and also demonstrates that nobody is immune to sin. (I Thessalonians 5:22; Romans 13:14; I John 1:8-10) Would merely knowing what is right and deciding not to fornicate have prevented sexual immorality? No. King David already knew God's law. (Deuteronomy 17:18; Matthew 15:19; Galations 5:19) David had already allowed his lust to lead him into compromising standards and becoming a polygamist contrary to God's command for kings. (Deuteronomy 17:17) Compromising in ways that seem insignificant often leads to greater compromises. (Luke 16:10) The problem started with David staying home in bed instead of leading his troops in battle. (II Samuel 11:1,2) If the problem was merely a desire for sex David already had several wives, but David was in bed alone and got out of bed in the evening after being in bed all day. (II Samuel 11:2; 12:1-9) Having several wives may have contributed to the problem. While David's physical needs would have been met, emotional needs would have remained unsatisfied: How can a man have an intimate bond with a woman if he has more than one lover? (Consider Ecclesiastes 7:26-28) In the Bible domestic happiness is always associated with monogamy. (Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 5:18-19; Ecclesiastes 9:9; etc.) While polygamy was tolerated in the Old Testament, monogamy was the normal standard. The Law discouraged polygamy and made it impractical by requiring standards and restrictions that led to the eventual abolition of polygamy when applied; for example, a husband was obliged to provide each wife with sufficient food, proper clothing, and regular sexual relations. (Exodus 21:10; compare Leviticus 15:16,18) Violating the tenth commandment naturally led to violating the seventh commandment. (II Samuel 11:2-4) Why would King David be concerned about hiding his adultery in a world and a time when this was considered a royal privilege? While this may have been acceptable among the heathen nations, adultery was not among the privileges granted the king of Israel. If David's officers learned how David behaved while they were fighting on his behalf there could easily have been a mutiny or an assassination. When Bathsheba gave birth to a child that was obviously illegitimate she would surely tell Uriah and everyone else who the father was in her defense. These and many other likely scenarios made David determined to keep his adultery hidden. The account indicates that Uriah knew what happened, but devotion to duty and a rare nobility of character kept him from acting irrationally or being quick to make accusations. David and Bathsheba were not entirely discreet. David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him, and after his enquiries the purpose of this visit was obvious. (II Samuel 11:3,4) Bathsheba did not personally tell David that she was pregnant, she used a messenger. (II Samuel 11:5) Obviously the people at the palace knew what happened, and Uriah had friends in the palace who would have informed him. (II Samuel 11:9) Uriah was not a new recruit. Uriah was an experienced soldier who would know that king David was already receiving the answers to his questions in regular reports from his officers. (II Samuel 11:7) His devotion to duty as a soldier in the army of Israel during a military campaign would explain why Uriah did not sleep with his wife, but this does not explain why he would not eat a meal with her or even greet her. (II Samuel 11:8-13) Could David have avoided adultery with Bathsheba? If David had been leading his troops in battle he would not have given himself opportunity to fulfill this temptation. If David had concerned himself with loving his wives he would not have been giving himself opportunity to be romantically involved with another man's wife. The prophet Nathan was in Jerusalem while this was going on, and David could have called for Nathan before calling for Bathsheba and received wise counsel. But after arranging a romantic interlude with immorality as the goal and then becoming intimate it was too late. (Romans 13:14; I Thessalonians 5:22) Could David have avoided murdering Uriah? Yes, but it is doubtful that he would have avoided this after he committed adultery and felt compelled to do whatever was necessary to hide this. Was it possible to avoid killing other innocent soldiers in the process? Not after it was decided to make Uriah's death look like a natural consequence of war. (II Samuel 11:15-17) The account also demonstrates the mercy of God. In spite of David's wicked behavior, God forgave him when he repented. (II Samuel 12:13) No matter what you have done, God wants to forgive you more than you want to be forgiven. (Psalm 103:8-14) The account also demonstrates that sin always has a negative effect and plants a seed that keep growing. (Galations 6:7)

    What led to Absalom's rebellion against King David his father? Absalom had a little sister, Tamar, who was raped by their older brother Amnon. As the heir apparent, Amnon apparently assumed from his father's example that using women is a royal privilege. Apparently Amnon's lust for Tamar was obvious to others. (II Samuel 13:1,2) When Absalom saw that Tamar had been violated he automatically assumed that Amnon was responsible. (II Samuel 13:19,20) It would be natural for an older brother to seek or desire to avenge a younger sister. When David heard what happened he was angry, but he did nothing. What Absalom did to Amnon is what David was expected to do. (Consider Deuteronomy 22:26) While David could not bring himself to do anything against Amnon, Absalom had to flee the country to escape his father's wrath. David mourned over Amnon a long time but apparently did not mourn over Tamar, and David could never bring himself to fully forgive Absalom. If David had punished Amnon, or at least declared that a rapist could not inherit the throne, then perhaps Absalom would not have turned against David. While it was wrong to try to usurp the throne and lead others in rebellion against his father, Absalom apparently assumed that these things gave him a right to take the throne.

    Ahithophel was David's counselor and close friend, and David was astonished by Ahithophel's treachery. Why was Absalom confident that Ahithophel would switch loyalty and take his side against David? (II Samuel 15:12; Psalm 41:9; 55:12-14) The names of Eliam the son of Ahithophel and Uriah the Hittite occur in the list of the officers of David's guard, so we know that Uriah and Ahithophel's son were colleagues. (II Samuel 23:34,39) Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam. (II Samuel 11:3) The woman David seduced was Ahithophel's granddaughter, and the man David murdered was Ahithophel's grandson by marriage and a family friend before that. David's passions blinded him to the effect his actions would have on his friend.


    Like many modern believers, King Solomon was deceived by modernism. (Ecclesiastes 1:9,10,13; 7:23-25) It is sad that today so many professed Bible-believers put trends, culture, and so-called science above the Word of God and so readily accept an unscriptural (or even antibiblical) teaching, concept, or practice as right or true if it is new or modern (or appears to be scientific), and tend to readily dismiss a teaching, concept, or practice as wrong or irrelevant if it is old or old fashioned. (Psalm 33:4,10,11; 119:89,160; Proverbs 3:5-7; 19:21; Romans 12:2; Colossians 2:8) 


    Before Solomon intermarried with idolaters, Providence had already provided Solomon with a good woman (who he did not marry): When David died, Abishag (who was a believer and still a virgin) was automatically betrothed to the heir apparent, Solomon. But his affinity with worldly and ungodly associations led him a different way. (I Kings 3:1) Solomon married unbelievers and they turned his heart away from the Lord. (I Kings 11:1-4) The Bible warns believers not to intermarry with unbelievers because this leads people (the believer, the resulting children, society, etc.) away from God. (Genesis 6:2-5;Deuteronomy 7:3-4; Joshua 23:11-13; Ezra 9:2,12-14; Nehemiah 13:23-27; Psalm 144:7,8,11,12; Hosea 5:7,10; I Corinthians 7:39; II Corinthians 6:14-18)


    Three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, maintained their integrity in spite of enormous peer pressure, religious intolerance, and threat of death. (Daniel 3:1-18) Note that Nebuchadnezzar’s words indicate some knowledge of Bible teachings that he obviously did not learn from his pagan advisers. (Daniel 3:25) As a result of keeping their integrity a pagan empire was reformed, religious freedom was established for God’s people, and many unbelievers became believers. (Daniel 3:28-29) Nothing in Scripture says or implies that the same thing cannot happen today.  


    The prophet Daniel was the governor over a province of a pagan empire. (Daniel 2:48) Many insist that the Bible doctrine of separation means that Christians must be neutral concerning everything outside of church activities. But the separation taught in the Bible is separation unto God and from the sins of society (godly distinctions, conduct, and relationships within society), not isolation from society or neutrality concerning politics and community affairs. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:3-11; I Timothy 3:7; I Peter 2:11,12)


    Daniel prayed openly in defiance of religious intolerance and threat of death, and as a result of his unswerving devotion a pagan empire was reformed and many unbelievers became believers. (Daniel 6:4-26) A “little lamb” mentality is not always spiritual. 


    One lone man, Jonah, preached repentance in the capital city of a pagan empire famous for extreme cruelty and persecution of God’s people, and as a result an entire city converted and an empire was reformed. (Jonah 3:1-10) Nothing in Scripture says or implies that the same thing cannot happen today.     


    For several years after the resurrection of Christ the preaching of the Gospel was limited to Jews, Jewish proselytes, and Samaritans who obeyed the Law. Before the conversion of Cornelius it had not yet been revealed that Gentiles can be converted and are to be received into the church as Gentiles without having to first become Jews. The Lord illustrated the point by telling Peter to eat animals that were forbidden under the Old Covenant. Peter should have recognized from the Old Testament teachings and the teachings of Christ that the dietary restrictions against certain animals would no longer apply under the New Covenant, but instead he clung to tradition and preconceived ideas. Note that Peter knew full well who was speaking to him, and it is the Lord that he is trying to teach what is right or wrong or proper or improper. (Acts 10:13-15) Sound familiar? Are you ever guilty of relying on assumptions, pet theories, or tradition as authority instead of prayerfully studying to make sure your viewpoint is governed by the Word of God?


    These are just a few examples.

    Many disregard the Old Testament as irrelevant to Christians, which is a mistake: While the New Testament teaches a different application of grace, the New Testament echoes the truths taught in the Old Testament, reaffirms the moral principles or standards of the Old Testament, and you cannot understand the New Testament without the Old Testament. (Consider Acts 24:14; Romans 3:31; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16) For example, salvation has always been through blood, starting with the blood that was shed for Adam and Eve: Making a coat of skin required the slaughter of an animal. (Genesis 3:21) Abel sacrificed animals while Cain offered the product or fruit of his labors, and Abel's offering was respected. (Genesis 4:3-5; incidentally, the issue was salvation by blood or works, and Genesis 4 gives the first account of a liberal attacking a conservative.) The blood of animals prefigured the blood of Christ. Old Testament saints looked forward to the Cross and New Testament saints look back to the Cross. (Hebrews 10:1-12)




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    Tue, Dec 28th - 12:21PM

    Myths About Sex & Marriage

    This is not being written to condemn anyone or provide pat answers for all situations. The purpose of this writing is to hopefully help someone avoid a lot of grief. (Proverbs 13:15) Even in religious circles, numerous myths about sex & marriage which are destructive to lives and relationships and encourage immorality circulate among both young and old. Let’s look at a few:

    Myth: Dating and marrying unbelievers and professed believers of bad or questionable character is a good ministry.
    Reality: This leads to compromising principles and values, which is especially dangerous since the purpose of dating is to seek romance and a relationship. (Proverbs 13:20; I Corinthians 15:33; consider Psalm 119:63) If this is an effective ministry or evangelism why does the Bible warn against being unequally yoked? (II Corinthians 6:14-17) There is apparently no limit to the theories and man-made traditions regarding the choice of a date or a mate, so it may surprise many to learn that many of the factors often considered important or essential receive no mention in Scripture. The Biblical priority in the choice of a mate is religious compatibility. The Bible warns believers against intermarrying with unbelievers because this tends to lead people (the believer, the resulting children, society, etc.) away from God. (Genesis 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 7:3-4; Joshua 23:11-13; Ezra 9:2,12-14; Nehemiah 13:23-27; Psalm 144:7,8,11,12; Hosea 5:7,10; II Corinthians 6:14-17)

    Myth: Fornication is harmless.
    Reality: Sex is always significant and there is no such thing as casual sex. (I Corinthians 6:15-20)

    Myth: The Bible condemns adultery but condones premarital sex. (It wasn't too long ago that premarital sex was universally understood to be a sin according to the Bible, and now many who understand that adultery is a sin question if the Bible actually prohibits sexual relations between unmarried people.)
    Reality: As a result of modern social and cultural trends many today fail to realize that most Bible prohibitions against sexual immorality refer to adultery because in Bible times sexual immorality was usually sexual relations with, and unfaithfulness of, a woman who was married (or betrothed) to another. Throughout history most women married in their teens and most mothers had their first child while in their teens, and then in the twentieth century it became increasingly common for women to delay marriage for far longer than what was normal and acceptable in Bible times. Genesis 2:24 establishes the principle that marriage is sacred and sexual relations are to be restricted to marriage, and this principle is also restated in the New Testament. (Ephesians 5:31; etc.)

    Some attempt to use the Song Of Solomon to justify premarital sex, ignoring the very text to which they refer. Note that in the midst of poetic language about a relationship that leads to a honeymoon the author charges us three times (to paraphrase) not to excite love and passions until the time is ripe. (Song Of Solomon 2:7; 3:5; 8:4) The whole relationship takes place within the context of community approval and rejoicing, that is, marriage. Think about it: Is the community, in particular your friends, family, and church, likely to celebrate your secret illicit sexual liaisons and the possibility of unwed pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, destroyed trusts, ruined relationships, etc.? On the other hand, a married couple's sex life is ultimately a social benefit (commitment, responsibility, children, etc.). The Song Of Solomon is a portrayal of sex within the proper context.

    Hebrews 13:4 clarifies this even further by using two terms for immorality, one for sexual relations with someone other than one's spouse (moichos, adultery) and a term (porneia, fornication) that refers to any sexual union outside of marriage, to make it clear that all of this is condemned. Also consider Ephesians 5:1-3. Do you think premarital sex could at least be a hint of sexual immorality? Think about it.

    Myth: Cohabitation without marriage is not immoral.
    Reality: The Bible does not say or imply that a mere sexual relationship constitutes a marriage, and it does not justify cohabitation without marriage. I Corinthians 6:16 is merely pointing out that sexual intercourse is always significant and there is no such thing as casual sex. While the Bible does not give an explicit description of a marriage ceremony, marriages (and divorce) have always required a formal and legal commitment. In Bible times marriages, divorces, and births were publicly made known and recorded in the official records of the community, which is why we have an accurate genealogy of Jesus Christ. (Consider Romans 13:1) Both Testaments teach that a couple is to already be married before cohabitation. (Genesis 2:24; Deuteronomy 22:13; Ephesians 5:31) http://www.bbc.edu/seminary/resparaksummer05living.asp http://www.brfwitness.org/?p=652

    Myth: All sex is sin or a necessary evil. (This teaching indirectly nullifies standards of sexual morality.)
    Reality: The Bible does not treat sex as sinful or a necessary evil. Sex is created by God and is both sacred and beautiful, which is the reason for moral standards. (Genesis 2:24; Ruth 4:13; Proverbs 5:18-21; Song Of Solomon 1:13; 5:4; 7:6-8; I Corinthians 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4; etc.)

    Myth: Sex is the most important part of marriage. (This of course leads to other wrong assumptions.)
    Reality: It is the everyday getting along with each other that ultimately makes or breaks a marriage. (Consider Amos 3:3)

    Myth: Male and female think and feel the same about sex.
    Reality: While each gender has as strong a libido as the other, and both genders need sex and affection, they respond differently. As a general rule women trade sex for affection and men trade affection for sex, and men tend to be more physically-oriented while women tend to be more relationship-oriented.

    Myth: An unmarried couple should fornicate in preparation for marriage.
    Reality: A couple can (and should) be intimate with each other and keep practicing after the wedding, but premarital sexual intimacy normally leads to selfishness, disrespect, and distrust after a couple marry.

    Myth: It is important or necessary for a woman to fornicate in order to keep her boyfriend or persuade a man to marry.
    Reality: It is often more difficult to persuade men to marry because they do not have to stop at the altar on the way to the bedroom. (Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?) If it is necessary for a woman to fornicate in order to keep her boyfriend or persuade him to marry, how does she plan to keep him during times of sickness or separation (business trips, military duty, etc.)? If a woman must fornicate in order to keep her boyfriend or persuade him to marry, she is better off without him. (Proverbs 14:9; 28:6)

    Myth: It is important or necessary for a man to fornicate with a woman before deciding whether to marry in order to see if there is sexual compatibility and if the woman is frigid.
    Reality: Modesty and chastity normally indicate good character and a restrained libido in a woman. Using sex to exploit or as a means to an end (getting her way, keeping her boyfriend, persuading a man to marry, etc.) easily leads to using sex as a means to exploit or torment her husband when she is married, and toying with other men. (Proverbs 11:22; 14:1; 31:10-12; I Corinthians 7:3-5)

    Myth: Sex is safe as long as you use a condom.
    Reality: Condoms have a high failure rate and the only safe sex is abstinence or a monogamous relationship.

    Myth: Dedicated Christians are immune to sexual immorality.
    Reality: The Bible warns Christians about sexual immorality and other sins because Christians are not immune to sexual immorality or incapable of sin. (I Corinthians 6:18; II Corinthians 12:21; I John 1:8-2:2)This does not mean we must adopt an anti-everything mindset or condemn all secular amusements, as some insist. But there is need for caution and discernment. For example, some unmarried couples use the need to "talk" as an excuse to spend time alone together in a bedroom with the door closed, or to spend time alone in a car parked in a secluded area in the middle of the night, even though a private conversation is possible in a restaurant and other places that are not quite as conducive to immorality. (The irony is that if they really can spend a lot of time alone in these situations without doing anything wrong this would tend to imply that they don't have a mutual attraction.) It is self-delusional and morally dangerous to assume that morally compromising situations are harmless. (Isaiah 42:19; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 13:14; I Thessalonians 5:22)

    Perhaps you are reading this and struggling with guilt because you have been sexually immoral. You cannot change the past, but no matter where you have been or what you have done, Jesus wants to forgive you and He always wants to forgive more than we want to be forgiven. (Psalm 103:10-17)



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    Sun, Dec 26th - 3:43PM

    Giants & Sons of God in Genesis 6

    Does Genesis 6 refer to angels interbreeding with humans?


    The word rendered “giants” in Genesis 6:4 (nephel or nephilim) is an old way of describing large people, who could be big in stature, position, fame, or notoriety. The word nephilim means “violent” or “causing to fall;” they were ancient bullies or violent tyrants. Giants have existed throughout recorded history, even in modern times, and the Bible does not say the giants or nephilim were the result only of the marriages mentioned in Genesis 6. The only other explicit reference to the nephilim is Numbers 13:32-33, in which the spies were clearly exaggerating: if “all the people” were “of a great stature,” what accounts for the normal size of Rahab and her family, the Gibeonites, and others that were encountered when the Israelites entered the land later? (Joshua 6:25; 9:3-15) Being as grasshoppers in their own sight did not mean the Israelites were literally the size of insects. (Numbers 13:33)


    The term “sons of God” always refers to human believers and not angels in Scripture. Job 1:6 & 2:1, passages often used to “prove” otherwise, are obvious references to human believers (sons of God) and days of worship. (Consider Deuteronomy 31:14-15; I Samuel 10:19) Job 38:7, another passage often used to “prove” the sons of God in Genesis 6 were angels, also refers to human believers in a context in which figurative language or symbolic terms are used throughout the chapter. (Also compare Ezra 3:10-12) While angels can take on the appearance of men (Hebrews 13:2), angels and humans are different kinds of being and angels do not marry. (Consider Matthew 22:30; Mark 12:25; Luke 24:37-39; Hebrew 1:13-14) Note that Genesis 6:3 refers to fleshly mankind and not fallen angels or mixed offspring of angels. According to Genesis 6:2 & 4, the children of believers (sons of God) who married unbelievers (daughters of men) became mighty men (Hebrew: gibbor), a term also applied to Nimrod, the Gibeonites, Boaz, David, Saul, Jonathan, and others. (Genesis 10:9; Joshua 10:2; Ruth 2:1; I Samuel 16:18; II Samuel 1:19,25,27; II Kings 5:1; I Chronicles 4:24; etc.)  





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    Mon, Dec 20th - 12:35PM

    The Abuse Of Women

    While making allowances for differences in customs between then and now, the Bible teaches principles and lessons that, if applied, would prevent a lot of sexual abuse. The Bible taught respect for women and severely discouraged sexual abuse of women by applying principles that we would do well to apply today. (II Timothy 3:16)

    Consider a few examples:

    Applying principles of modesty could prevent a lot of incest and adultery. (Leviticus 18:6-20)

    Some claim that the Mosaic Law condoned sexual abuse by not including a severe penalty for raping an unmarried and unengaged woman, and that the penalty for raping an unmarried and unengaged woman was marriage to the victim, according to their interpretation of Deuteronomy 22:28-29. Is this correct? No, the purpose of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 was to protect unmarried women and discourage sexual abuse. The wording of Deuteronomy 22:28 makes it clear that the crime referred to is seduction, not rape. (compare Exodus 22:16-17)  Take another look at Deuteronomy 22:23-27, the verses preceding Deuteronomy 22:28, and note the wording of Deuteronomy 22:23, that there is no mention or implication of force or unwillingness which would indicate to witnesses that the woman needed protection. Deuteronomy 22:23 describes a meeting or encounter in a populated area  for consensual sex. (compare Deuteronomy 22:25) The law required a trial for crimes (the local court was situated at the city gate), and a woman guilty of adultery might try to protect herself by claiming it was rape. (Deuteronomy 22:24; 16:18-20) It was not necessary to give an explicit penalty for rape because it was clear that the crime of rape carried the same penalty as premeditated murder. (Deuteronomy 22:26)

    Does the society in which we live recognize rape to be as severe as premeditated murder and punish it accordingly? It should.

    Note also that the Bible does not pretend or imply that a young woman can be kept from attracting men or being attracted to men through legislation or tradition, but established safeguards and moral guidelines. (Song Of Solomon 8:8; etc.) Contrast this with modern laws, intended to stop sexual abuse, that often discourage gentlemen with honorable motives and intentions from romantic interest in an unmarried young woman while giving her opportunity to be sexually immoral with extremely reduced risk of disclosure or reprisal. (consider
    http://www.collegiatetimes.com/stories/5534/statutory-rape-laws-need-revision http://www.cyc-net.org/features/ft-rapelaws.html http://www.truth1.org/s1-marryearly.htm )

    Why did the Bible attach so much importance to feminine virtue? Feminine virtue discourages the abuse of women. In the ancient world women were often used, abused, discarded, and replaced at will, and often regarded as mere chattels, and the low morals of heathen women was a huge factor in this. Promiscuity and unseemly behavior make women cheap and disposable and encourage abuse, while raising women to the status of moral superiority over men this naturally compels men to respect women. (Proverbs 11:16,22; 12:4; 14:1; 31:10,11,28-30)

    The Bible discouraged romantic relationships without the approval of a young woman's parents. Parental involvement in the lives of youths and the choice of a companion could prevent a lot of heartaches, abuse, and abusive relationships.



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    Sat, Dec 18th - 11:58AM

    The Destiny Of The Earth

    Jehovah's Witnesses deny that God will one day destroy the earth by fire. (II Peter 3:7)  "If these texts (2 Peter 3:7,10 and Revelation 21:1) mean that the literal planet Earth is to be consumed by fire, then the literal heavens (the stars and other heavenly bodies) are also to be destroyed by fire. Such a literal view, however, conflicts with the assurance contained in such texts as Matthew 6:10, Psalm 37:29 and 104:5, also Proverbs 2:21,22. Furthermore, what effect would fire have on the already intensely hot sun and stars? So the term "earth" in the above-quoted texts must be understood in a different sense." (Reasoning From The Scriptures, p.114) This Watchtower publication goes on to say that the terms "heaven" and "earth" are figurative and the "fire" is also symbolic.

    You should note that the cited proof texts do not conflict with the view that the earth will be destroyed by fire. Also, the same argument they employ could be used to say that their cited proof texts refer to a figurative "earth." If "earth" represents wicked human society, "heaven" represents the ruling powers or earthly governments, and "fire" represents annihilation in these texts, as Watchtower publications claim, then how is it possible to renew something which no longer exists? (Revelation 21:5)

    Watchtower publications say that if II Peter 3:7,10 means that the literal earth will be destroyed by fire, then this means that the sun and stars (which are already intensely hot) will be destroyed by fire. But is this what the passage says? The word "heaven" is used in the Bible in several senses, and the setting and context must be considered to determine the meaning. "Heaven" does refer to the region in which the stars revolve in the New Testament. (Acts 7:42; Hebrews 11:12) Heaven also refers to the abode of God and Christ. (II Corinthians 12:2; Hebrews 9:24; I Peter 3:22) Heaven can also mean the sky or atmosphere, and in these prophecies about a new heaven and a new earth heaven obviously refers to the atmosphere surrounding the earth. (Matthew 6:26; 8:20; 16:1-3; 24:30; Luke 21:27; Acts 1:9-11; 14:17) It is noteworthy that Watchtower publications say that in the Bible the word "heaven" also refers to the sky or atmosphere surrounding the earth. (Make Sure Of All Things, p.228; Reasoning From The Scriptures, p.161; Aid To Bible Understanding, p.731)

    Will a remnant of believers be living on earth to survive the destruction predicted in II Peter 3:10-12, as Watchtower publications insist? Instead of interpreting a Bible passage in relation to Watchtower publications and Watchtower teachings, we should study passages in relation to context and the whole Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture. (I Corinthians 2:13; II Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16-17) For example, if God meant for  Zephaniah 1:2-3,18 to mean that the destruction will not leave any survivors how would He have changed the wording of these passages?




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    Thu, Dec 16th - 12:15AM

    Problems With Premillennialism

    Why do so many premillennialists automatically label any who disagree as modernists, liberals, or heretics, and make premillennialism a criterion for Christian fellowship or a measurement of spirituality, or assume that their pet theory is above scrutiny? The alleged signs of the second coming or signs of the end times have no Scriptural basis. Many Bible prophecies that are being applied to the second coming are fulfilled prophecies (e.g., Return from Babylonian captivity, destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, etc.). Many insist on interpreting every passage of Bible prophecy to be a literal narration of end time events regardless of context and setting. Many twist and distort facts and Scriptures to make every current event fit the mold of pet theories about the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Many theories and predictions are the result of cross referencing unrelated passages of Bible prophecy. When someone makes a ministry of making predictions and one or some of his predictions prove to be correct it is often assumed that this puts him and his teachings above scrutiny. This certainly is not rightly dividing God's Word. (II Timothy 2:15)

    For example, where does the Bible say that the establishment of the modern nation of Israel relates to the second coming? How is this the end or fulfillment of "the times of the Gentiles?" Yet this is one of the strongest arguments. Also, where does the Bible say that world conditions will or must progressively go from bad to worse before the rapture? This is also one of the strongest arguments.

    What about Matthew 24? This is a prophecy about the end of the Jewish world which centered on Jerusalem and the temple (Destruction of Jerusalem 70 AD); consider the context and setting. (Matthew 24:1-3) Matthew 24:14 was fulfilled before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. (Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:6,23) Matthew 24:29 uses an Old Testament figure of speech for national disaster. (Consider Isaiah 13:10; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 2:10; 3:15) There were survivors of the destruction of 70 AD; over 97,000 were taken captive, many of whom were sold into slavery. (Matthew 24:22,40,41) Jerusalem was destroyed within the lifetime of those then living. (Matthew 24:34) Matthew 24:15,16 refers to the prophecy of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-27. Calculating a day for a year (Ezekiel 4:6) means that 69 weeks (62 + 7) is 483 years, which would bring us to the year Christ was baptized and began His public ministry. (Daniel 9:25) Christ was crucified about 3 1/2 years later; in other words, "in the midst of the week" He was "cut off." (Daniel 9:26,27) "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression...." (Daniel 9:24) Note that Stephen emphasized how Israel's response to God revealed character, and his death led to a persecution and a dispersal of Christians from Jerusalem. (Acts 7:51-53; 8:1-4) "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week...." (Daniel 9:27) Cornelius was converted about four years after the crucifixion of Christ, and until his conversion the preaching of the Gospel was limited to Jews, Jewish proselytes, and Samaritans who kept the Mosaic Law. Before Cornelius became a Christian it had not been revealed that Gentiles were to be received into the church as Gentiles and did not have to first become Jews in order to become Christians. (Acts 10:1-48; 11:18) In 66 A.D., Roman forces surrounded Jerusalem and made a thrust up to the temple walls, and then withdrew for no apparent reason. Then the Christians fled to the mountains as instructed. (Matthew 24:16)

    What about II Timothy 3? II Timothy 3:1-13 is often considered a description of world conditions during the end times, but how could this be a description of future world conditions, since the world (the wicked world system) has always manifested such bad characteristics? Note the words "For men shall be...;" while Satan instigates this, the efforts of men to hinder the influence of the Bible and Christianity through persecution and church corruption (from within and without) throughout Christian history have been motivated by the carnal adamic nature of men. Note that the latter part of II Timothy 3 begins giving the antidote to the defection from the faith, and consider Christian history: Heresies became established doctrines throughout Christendom due to widespread neglect and rejection of Scripture, and truths began to be restored as a result of believers rediscovering the Bible and putting the Word of God above the words of men. (II Timothy 3:14-4:4) The term "last days" in II Timothy 3:1 refers to the whole Christian era. (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21; Hebrews 1:1,2; II Peter 3:2,3) II Timothy 3:6 and similar passages refer to churches, as the early Christians usually met for public worship in private homes. (Romans 16:5; I Corinthians 6:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 2; II John 10)

    What about the book of Revelation? Consider: How can we put the second coming of Christ before the Millennium without doing violence to the connection between the nineteenth and twentieth chapters of Revelation? If Revelation 20:4 speaks of a literal bodily resurrection, then why did John specify that he "saw the souls?" What is the basis for insistence that the Millennium has to be a literal one thousand year period? (Consider II Peter 3:8) Also note that, ironically, those who argue for a literal interpretation of every detail of Revelation do not themselves interpret everything in Revelation literally.

    What about Matthew 7:13-14? This passage is descriptive, not prescriptive. In the context of the time few Jews would recognize Jesus and many would be destroyed in the destruction of Jerusalem. (Luke 19:44)

    When a minister points out that the Bible does not give signs to indicate that Christ will return at a predictable time or within a particular generation, many inevitably refer to II Peter 3:3-4 and imply that such denials are signs of the times. But note that II Peter 3:4 does not mention a denial of "signs," it mentions the denial of the "promise," and a denial that it is possible for man to know the time of the second coming acknowledges that our Lord will return. Note also that II Peter 3:4 refers to people who are looking for signs. On the other hand, how many who have claimed to know when Christ will return have ever been right?

    Are there problems with the premillennial interpretation of Scriptures? Yes. Consider a few:

    - Premillennialism says that God is working through two distinct bodies of people, natural Israel and the Church, to fulfill His purposes concerning the second coming and the Millennium, and that the goal of the Church is to be raptured in a premillennial second coming, and God's plan for natural Israel is the establishment of an earthly kingdom after the second coming. But Scriptures teach that the Church is a continuing body in the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the New Testament Church is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning Israel. (Acts 15:15-17; Romans 9:6-8; Galations 3:7,16-19,24-29; 4:21-31; Hebrews 12:22-24)

    -The second coming of Christ will bring the sudden destruction of the heavens and the earth, not the establishment of an earthly kingdom. (II Peter 3:10-12)

    There will be a general resurrection of the dead. (Matthew 5:29; I Corinthians 15:26,51-55)

    -Premillennialism promotes a neutrality or isolation that rejects or prevents interaction between Christianity and culture.  It encourages believers to withdraw from society and be neutral as a result of preoccupation with speculations about things which they obviously do not and cannot know. (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 17:6-7; 26:18; note that Christ came to destroy the works of the Devil – I John 3:8)

    - Jesus Christ is the present ruler of the earth and the end will come after He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power (Acts 2:32-35; 1 Corinthians 15:24-26; Hebrews 1:13; 10:13)

    -Premillennialism contradicts Scriptures on the growth of the kingdom. (Psalm 2:8; 22:27; 47:9; 72:11; 86:9-10; Daniel 2:35,44; Isaiah 9:7; 11:9; 66:23; Matthew 13:31-33).

    -Christians are commissioned to convert nations as well as individuals. (Matthew 28:18-20; Revelation 15:4; note that when Christianity has dominance it will be by consent – Luke 17:20-21)

    -Premillennialism limits the scope of the Gospel. (John 3:16-17; 12:32; Romans 5:15-21; I Timothy 2:1-6; I John 2:2; 4:4; Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 14:6)

    -Scriptures present the church as victorious while premillennialism sees a mere remnant of believers remaining when Christ returns. (Matthew 16:17-19; John 12:31; 16:7-11; Luke 10:17-19; Acts 26:16-18; II Corinthians 10:3-5; Colossians 1:13-14; I John 4:4)

    Back in or around 1990 an issue of "Israel My Glory" included an article refuting postmillennialism, and the author used so many logic fallacies, baseless assumptions, and straw man arguments that I began suspecting that there may be some substance to the opposing arguments if he has to rely on emotion and assumption instead of Scripture and logic to prove his point. Besides, Scripture itself, comparing Scripture with Scripture, is the key to understanding Scripture: Bible passages must be understood in relation to context and the whole Bible, and difficult passages must be understood in relation to clear passages. (Psalm 119:104,130; Proverbs 2:6; I Corinthians 2:13; II Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17) I began doing a detailed study of Daniel, Zechariah, and Revelation, using a Reference Bible and Bible Dictionary and frequently visiting the library to research the meaning of words, grammar, historical background, etc., and was thus led to reject dispensationalism. (II Timothy 2:14-15; I encourage the reader to study the matter further.)  When I began using the internet a few years ago I found out that many conservative scholars hold the same viewpoint, based on belief in the Bible and study of God's Word.













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    About Me

    Name: Arnold Saxton
    ChristiansUnite ID: ajsaxton
    Member Since: 2010-03-30
    Location: Fruithurst, Alabama, United States
    Denomination: Baptist
    About Me: It would be difficult to give all details so I will touch on just a few things. I was born in the Midwest, and I have Southern ancestry, so I sometimes get prejudice from both sides. Ex-JW (Grew up in a JW family. Baptized as JW 1979. Disassociat... more

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    Blog Roll
    Arnold Saxton (YouTube)
    A Balanced View Of Separation
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    Alledged Biblical Exceptions To The Biblical Norm Of Intra-Racial Marriage
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    Avoid Witch Hunts
    Can You Trust The Holy Bible?
    Christian Concern?
    Christians & The World
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    David & Bathsheba
    Dealing with Public Schools
    Did The “Last Days” Begin In 1914 AD as Taught in Watchtower Publications?
    Dinah's Mistake
    Does The Bible Promote Sexual Abuse?
    Enemies or Allies?
    Facades & Misconceptions About Socialism
    Feminism Degrades Women
    Francis E. Willard
    God Can Effectively Use A Few Or One
    Gospel Tracts
    Hell - Refuting The Watchtower Teaching Of Annihilationism
    Help For Ex-Jehovah's Witnesses
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    How A Police State Is Created
    It Makes One Wonder
    Judgement Must Begin At The House Of God
    Keep A Balanced View Of Bible Prophecy
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    Key To Revival
    Lessons From Samson's Mistakes
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    My Exodus From The Watchtower Organization
    New Light
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    Remembering Lot
    Romans 10:13 in the New World Translation
    Safe Sex?
    Satan's Ministers
    Seventh Day Sabbath?
    Sex Education
    Sheep & Goats
    Something For Teenagers To Consider
    Spiritual Warfare
    State Secession Is Not Immoral or Unconstitutional
    Term Limits?
    The Accusation Of Racism
    The Bodily Resurrection
    The Christian Worldview
    The Destiny of The Earth
    The Devil’s Devices
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    The Heavenly Hope
    The Holy Bible or Watchtower Publications?
    The Impact of The Entertainment Media on The Family
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    The Last Days
    The Name Jehovah Is Not In The New Testament
    The Natural Use Of Women
    The New Age Movement
    The Only True Christian Religion?
    The Post-Christian Generation
    The Star
    The Two-Witness Rule
    The Watchtower Gospel
    The Watchtower Interpretation of Exodus 3:15
    The Watchtower Prohibition Against Holidays & Birthdays
    They Are Not Above Scrutiny
    Unrealistic Expectations
    Unsaved Church Members
    US Constitution Versus Modern US Government
    US Intrusions Into Race Relations In The South
    Watchtower Neutrality Refuted
    Watchtower Shunning
    Watchtower Teachings About The Second Coming
    What Is Wrong With Federal Courts?
    Why Contend?
    Why I Cannot Become A Mormon
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