Fri, Nov 25th - 5:30PM
Beware Of Amendments
The purpose of the US Constitution is or should be to limit and restrain the federal government. But for over a century various amendments have been added which sound noble or even practical but in their application actually increase the powers of the federal government and infringe upon the liberties of the people and the States.
Before the Reconstruction Amendments the form of government outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America was a confederacy, a voluntary union. (See Article IV and Section 4 in particular) The Reconstruction Amendments, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the US Constitution, have become sacred cows that all too many are reluctant to criticize because these amendments are believed to protect civil rights. What the Reconstruction Amendments actually do is centralize the power of the federal government, and in particular the last sentence of each amendment increases the police power of the federal government. The wording of the Reconstruction Amendments makes them appear to merely protect civil rights until one reads between the lines. Since the Reconstruction Amendments were not lawfully ratified they are not legally part of the US Constitution, but it is unlikely that any federal court or any branch of the federal government would ever acknowledge this and thus limit federal government power.
The Thirteenth Amendment does not abolish slavery or involuntary servitude; it merely limits slavery or involuntary servitude to a punishment for a crime and leaves the identification and definition of what crimes merit involuntary servitude or being categorized as a slave to the discretion of the federal government and provides justification for unlawful imprisonment and concentration camps.
What is wrong with the Fourteenth Amendment? In order to prevent the federal government from becoming a centralized despotism the Founders established a limited constitutional government in which the States retain sovereignty while the powers of the federal government are clearly defined and limited to those powers necessary for its function. History provides numerous examples demonstrating that respecting local self-government increases the importance of the individual and keeps a union secure while denying local self-government necessitates the sacrifice of liberties to secure the union and guard against insurrections from within and attacks from without. (e.g., the Roman Empire) Is history repeating itself? The federal government steadily absorbs all of the political life, routinely exercises powers that are not constitutionally mandated and therefore violate the Tenth Amendment, usurps States’ rights and defrauds their sources of revenue, and liberties are often sacrificed for the sake of unity and to protect the federal government against the possibility of insurrection. Keep in mind that the meaning and application of the Fourteenth Amendment is left to the discretion of the federal government. For example, the Fourteenth Amendment is currently interpreted to protect the “right” of a mother to kill her unborn child even though federal law defined an unborn child as a person and the words “nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (Section 1) were included in the Fourteenth Amendment to keep abortion from being legalized. Consider just a few examples of the negative repercussions of the Fourteenth Amendment:
- The Fourteenth Amendment makes a US citizen a citizen of the State wherein he resides by virtue of his US citizenship instead of the citizen of a State being a US citizen by virtue of his being a citizen of a State that is part of the Union, and leaves the qualifications and requirements of citizenship to the discretion of the federal government, thus changing the United States of America into the United State of America and further enabling the federal government to manipulate the masses. (Consider Article IV and Section 2 in particular)
-In the Founder's discussions of the First Amendment the word "religion" was often used to mean a single denomination. The Founder's prohibited the federal Congress from establishing a single national denomination or ruling in religious matters through a state church ("establishment of religion"). The Founder's also opposed governmental separating of Bible principles and values from the public sphere, and they expected basic Bible principles and values to be present throughout society ("... nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof."). For over a century-and-a-half this was the only way in which the religion clause of the First Amendment was interpreted because that is what it says. Modern Federal restrictions against Christians and religious groups influencing government and government decisions, and Federal requirements that God, religion, and Scripture must be kept out of government are based on interpretations of the First Amendment in relation to the Fourteenth Amendment.
-What is meant by “militia” in the Second Amendment? "I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” (George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788) The purpose of the Second Amendment was to prevent governmental oppression. "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." (George Washington) "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves from tyranny in government." (Thomas Jefferson) Today the second amendment is often interpreted to mean either the right of the State to a National Guard (organized militia), even though the US Constitution already provided for that, or the right of people to hunt animals for food, which makes even less sense, as a result of interpreting the Second Amendment in relation to the Fourteenth Amendment.
-Fifth Amendment rights and other constitutional protections are based on the Christian worldview. The Biblical worldview sees God as the present ruler of the earth and human government as ordained of God to protect the rights of the people and punish criminals; in His special grace God saves sinners and in His common grace God uses human government to protect the good against evil. The pagan concept of man and government, of which socialism is a modern version, sees man (corporate man, the state) as sovereign and sees the individual as a mere servant of the state whose value is determined by his usefulness to the state. The view of property and liberty held by a nation or an individual is determined by who is recognized as the ruler of the earth by that nation or individual. The Humanist worldview, which now dominates most public school curriculums, most modern scholarship, and Federal and State governments, deifies man, does not recognize absolute principles or truths, sees Christian culture and Bible truths as old-fashioned, restrictive, and irrelevant, and means that the strongest men (or the government) dominate home, school, culture, and church. The view that Satan rules the earth, a view held by many modern Christians, sees Christians as isolated and Christian culture as a counter-culture, makes Christian culture and Christian influence irrelevant and insists that everything must go from bad to worse, limits Christian influence and responsibility to soul winning and church activities, and supports and adopts the Humanist worldview. The Christian worldview sees God as the present ruler of the earth and the Holy Bible as the final authority in all areas of human existence, sees Satan as a defeated foe, sees Christian culture as leavening all areas of life and blessing mankind, sees self-governing Christians as influencing and dominating home, school, culture, and church, sees Christians as commissioned to subdue the earth and build godly nations through evangelizing and discipleship, and expects reformation and blessings for a nation that is obedient to the Word of God. The Fourteenth Amendment leaves the protection and interpretation of liberty and property to the discretion of a central government which must sacrifice liberty for the sake of unity and to protect itself from insurrection in a coerced union.
-The Fourteenth Amendment necessitates the increase of federal power with the additions of federal programs that are not constitutionally mandated. In the story "Gulliver's Travels," by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver was a giant compared to the people of Lilliput who were about 6 inches tall, but many tiny threads made it impossible for Gulliver to move. Excessive legislation and excessive taxation tyrannize in the same way, which is an important reason that limited constitutional government is essential and big government is dangerous.
-Consider that the Fourteenth Amendment is often used to correct wrongs and injustices, whether genuine or perceived, that were actually the direct or indirect result of federal intrusion or responses to federal intrusion, thus influencing the masses to depend on the federal government to solve problems by expanding federal power and increasing federal intrusion in order to correct problems that could have been prevented or overcome through limited constitutional government.
The Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments leave the validity or propriety of electoral qualifications to the discretion of the federal government, changed voting from a civic responsibility into a civil right, and the last sentence of each amendment increases the police power of the federal government.
The Sixteenth Amendment was a socialist dream come true, and enables the federal government to further control and manipulate the individual and the masses.
The Biblical view of man as a natural born sinner led the Founders to set up a system of government that does not depend upon the wisdom of mobs or give absolute power to one person, sets limits on the power of the federal government and requires accountability of public officials, and respects the sovereignty of each State. The republican form of government (not a reference to a political party), representative government rooted in moral law, is based on Bible precedent. (Exodus 18: 21; Deuteronomy 1:13; 16:18) Pure democracy is dangerous and the US Constitution only supports democracy in the sense of rule through elected representatives and makes pure democracy unconstitutional. (Constitution of the United States of America, Article IV, Section 4) One safeguard to protect the people from mob rule and prevent the federal government from becoming a centralized despotism was to grant legislative power to a Congress composed of a House of Representatives to protect the people and a Senate to protect the States. (Article I) The Seventeenth Amendment removed an important safeguard and we now have a majoritarian democracy (mob rule) representing the will of the majority that disregards the rights of the individual, trusts the wisdom of mobs, and entrusts charismatic personalities with unchequed power.
The Eighteenth Amendment did not keep anyone from drinking. The Eighteenth Amendment further centralized federal power and increased the police powers of the federal government.
We need to be more critical of proposals to amend the US Constitution.
Sat, Nov 19th - 1:36PM
Writing To Public Officials
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
We should be praying for, influencing, and witnessing to public officials in all levels and branches of government (Local, State, Federal, Executive, Legislative, and Judicial). One believer cannot reach everyone, but together we can influence all men for good. (I Timothy 2:1-4; Matthew 5:13-16; Mark 16:15; Psalm 119:53, 136, 158; etc...) Here are a few guidelines to remember when writing to public officials: A personally written (or typed) letter sent through the mail is more effective than an email, a petition, or a form letter. Limiting each letter to one subject gives each subject a better chance of getting attention. Be courteous, make complimentary remarks or express appreciation, do not use sarcasm and avoid saying anything that may sound threatening. When writing to a State Governor, State Legislator, US Congressman, or a Judge you should address the envelope to “The Honourable (full name).” It is a good idea to include a Gospel Tract with a letter; this serves as a reminder that they have Christians in their constituency, and also those who are unsaved need the Gospel. (Visit www.tractministry.com/free_tracts.html ) Including Gospel Tracts with Greeting Cards (Birthdays, Christmas, etc.) and giving Christian books & gift subscriptions to Christian magazines to public officials are also good ways to share the Gospel and the Christian perspective.
The public library has the names and addresses you need, or visit:
Wed, Nov 16th - 11:54AM
Concerns About Spiritual Gifts
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” I Corinthians 12:1-2)
Giving scriptural warnings about the dangers of abuses, misuses, excesses, and spiritual dangers concerning the gift of tongues and other spiritual gifts sometimes gets me accused of being anti-Pentecostal or anti-charismatic, which I am not. This is comparable to saying that a warning against improper diet is a condemnation of food. The apostle Paul gave warnings against the improper uses and abuses of tongues and counterfeit tongues, and he was a tongues-talker. (II Corinthians 14:18)
Satan imitates the truth and the works of the truth to make his servants appear to be the spiritual equals or equivalents of God's people. (Exodus 7:10-12,20-22; 8:6,7; Matthew 7:15-23; II Corinthians 11:3-4,13-15; II Timothy 3:5,8) The believers at Corinth, to whom I Corinthians was initially addressed, were converted from a background of pagan mystery religions in which ecstatic utterances, emotional frenzies, and trance-like states were a part of worship, and many were bringing false concepts, practices, and patterns into the church. Satan uses misconceptions, misunderstandings, and false doctrines to cause confusion and chaos and hinder the works of God. This is not meant to incite a witch-hunt or claim that every false exercise of a spiritual gift is demonic, but simply a warning to keep a balanced perspective and make sure your viewpoint is governed by the Word of God.
Consider a few problems in particular: Many have an exaggerated concept of the place of supernatural spiritual gifts in the lives and experiences of the early Christians; for example, there was a definite connection between miracles and the preaching of the Gospel, to either attract or authenticate. Putting the gifts before the giver and making spiritual gifts the central message or the priority can result in unregenerate professors of faith being convinced that they are saved merely because they have an emotional experience or are able to make a noise. Assuming that fullness of the Spirit always means tongues-talking (or that absence of tongues always means a lack of the Spirit) and that a Christian is to be filled with the Spirit in the sense that a bottle may be filled with liquid leads many to think they have reached a spiritual plateau from which they do not need to grow spiritually or seek God further. Falsely assuming that those who exercised spiritual gifts were always models of spiritual maturity and perfect holiness or sinless perfection or that these characteristics were prerequisites to the exercise of spiritual gifts leads many to neglect personal Bible study, discernment, and growth for the pursuit or exercise of spiritual gifts. Overemphasizing spiritual gifts often encourages Us-Only pride or a We-Versus-They attitude toward Bible-believing, Gospel-proclaiming Christians who hold to a different opinion in this matter. (Consider Mark 9:38-42; Philippians 1:18; Psalm 119:63) Many claim a special enlightenment or illumination, a special key to understanding, a special access to truth, or a special gift or calling that puts them and their assertions above scrutiny or nullifies the need for personal study and discernment. The theory that a belief or teaching is proven to be a divine truth by a special revelation or emotional experience without scriptural support is a modern form of Gnosticism and opens the door to gross misconceptions and damnable heresies; Scripture itself, comparing Scripture with Scripture, is the key to the interpretation of Scripture and learning the truth. (I Corinthians 2:13; II Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16)
Mon, Nov 14th - 12:44PM
Fellowship & Cooperation Between Oneness Pentecostals & Evangelical Trinitarians
Consider a few of the problems with the John 3:5=Acts 2:38 theory:
While Matthew 28:19 is addressed to baptizers, where is there a baptismal command in the Book of Acts that is addressed to baptizers and not baptismal candidates? In Acts 2:38, why is the command to repent given in the second person plural while the command to be baptized is given in the third person singular? If God had wanted the baptismal command to be directed to people who have already repented and been forgiven how would He have changed the wording of Acts 2:38 and Acts 3:19? “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) If God had wanted Peter to convey that converts are to be baptized as a submission to the authority of Jesus Christ (“In the name of Jesus Christ”) without specifying the words to be spoken by the baptizer how would He have changed the wording of Acts 2:38? If Mark 16:16 were changed to read “He that believeth and pays tithes (or other Christian activity) shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned,” would you assume that tithing (or whatever Christian activity is inserted) is a prerequisite for salvation?
B-o-r-n does not spell baptized. John 3:5 was a response to the supposition that the new birth could be wrought through physical means, such as childbirth. (John 3:4) There are always cases of people assuming that they are saved because they were born and raised in a certain religion or denomination, or saved through rituals and ceremonies, and this was true of many when Christ walked the earth. (John 1:12-13; 3:1-6) The new birth is a personal experience with Jesus Christ. (John 3:5-16; Titus 3:5-7)
Water baptism identifies us with Christ in a symbolic sense. If God had wanted Romans 6:3-5, I Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, & Colossians 2:12 to refer to baptism into the body of Christ, which can only be done by the Holy Ghost, how would He have changed the wording of these passages? “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (Romans 6:3-5; Note the word "likeness" in Romans 6:5.) “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (I Corinthians 12:13) “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27) “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12)
I Peter 3:21 says that water baptism satisfies the demands of a good conscience and is figurative (symbolic/declarative) of salvation. How can a figure be that of which it is a figure? If God had wanted to convey that Noah’s safety during the deluge was the outward confirmation of the grace he had already received years earlier (Genesis 6:8) and that, in the same way, Christian baptism is the outward confirmation of the grace a Christian had already received when he trusted Jesus Christ as Savior how would God have changed the wording of I Peter 2:20-21? “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 3:20-21)
Faith and repentance are inseparable; saving faith is the turning to Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) for salvation, and repentance is the turning from sin to God. (Acts 20:21) The Greek words rendered "and" (Kai) and "for" (Eis) in Acts 2:38 have many possible meanings, so whether Acts 2:38 means that repentance or water baptism is the effective agent for the remission of sins depends on the immediate context and the context of New Testament teachings, which indicate that repentance is the effective agent for the remission of sins. (Consider Luke 24:47; Acts 2:21; 3:19; 17:30-31; 11:18; 26:20; I Corinthians 1:17)
Wrong conclusions are inevitable when it is assumed that every spiritual experience mentioned in the New Testament, or that every blessing of the atonement, is a prerequisite for salvation. It should be noted that the Bible teaches a distinction between various works and ministries of the Holy Ghost, and not all blessings of the blood atonement are prerequisites for salvation. Are all of the signs mentioned in Mark 16:17-18 expected to accompany the conversion of every Christian? Is there any solid teaching in the Book of Acts that “tongues” must accompany the conversion of every Christian? Is there any solid teaching in I Corinthians that “tongues” must accompany the conversion of every Christian? Is there any solid teaching in the whole Bible that “tongues” must accompany the conversion of every Christian?
Ananias addressed Paul (then Saul) as brother before Paul was baptized in water. (Acts 9:17-18; 22:12-16.) Note that Acts 22:16 does not say that spiritual cleansing is a result of water baptism or of the baptizer calling on the name of the Lord. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16) If God had wanted to convey that the washing away of sins is the result of calling on the name of the Lord how would He have changed the wording of Acts 22:16?
The Ephesian believers were called disciples before they were baptized in water or spake in tongues. Paul implied that if they had a Christian baptism they would have heard of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 19:1-6; consider the wording of Matthew 28:19)
Acts 2:38 is a truth, but Jesus is the truth. (John 14:6) While there is more to life in Christ than the initial experience, salvation is a personal experience with Jesus Christ and is through the finished work of Calvary. (John 3:13-16; Acts 2:21; 10:43; Romans 5:1-2, 8-11; I Corinthians 15:1-4; II Corinthians 5:17-18; Titus 3:5-6; I Peter 1:3; I John 5:20)
Sat, Nov 12th - 1:32PM
Various Bible passages are often used incorrectly as tools to police the brethren and support man-made measurements of spirituality. Consider just a few examples:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2) All too often Romans 12:2 is given a very limited application and is used to support standards which have little or no basis in Scripture but sound spiritual. The separation taught in the Bible is separation unto God and godly distinctions, conduct, and relationships within society, not isolation from society or neutrality concerning community affairs. (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:3-11; I Timothy 3:7; I Peter 2:11-12) Being secular does not necessarily mean that something is evil. (Psalm 24:1; 33:5; Acts 17:24; I Corinthians 7:31; note Paul's use of quotations from Greek plays: I Corinthians 15:33; Titus 1:12) For example, wood is created by God for man's benefit, but it is an abomination when it becomes an idol. (Isaiah 44:13-19) While having a good appearance and following certain rules is commendable it does not necessarily mean that you are spiritual. (Proverbs 20:6; 30:12; Ecclesiastes 7:16; Isaiah 42:19; 65:2, 5; Jeremiah 8:8-9; Romans 10:3) It is also important to make a distinction between purity and maturity. (Ephesians 4:11-15; Colossians 1:9-10; I Peter 2:2; II Peter 3:18) Note the reference in Romans 12:2 to “the renewing of your mind.” It is entirely possible to have a spiritual-looking appearance and adhere to spiritual-sounding (or even Biblical) rules while being pharisaical, worldly-minded, or of modernistic mentality. (Matthew 16:6; Mark 7:9; I Corinthians 1:20; 2:5; Colossians 1:9; 2:8, 20-22)
II Corinthians 7:1
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (II Corinthians 7:1) This passage is used as a catch-all condemnation of everything from drinking coffee to watching any kind of movie or TV show. Consider the context and setting: In the Epistles initially addressed to the Corinthian Church the apostle Paul addressed problems of church factions, immorality, negligence of church discipline, and the growing disaffection against him and his ministry. The heathen atmosphere in which they lived was at least part of the problem, as indicated in the verses preceding II Corinthians 7:1. (II Corinthians 6:14-18)
I Thessalonians 5:22
“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (I Thessalonians 5:22) Is the object of the condemnation evil because of a clear teaching of Scripture or because of what someone thinks the Bible ought to say?
Wed, Nov 9th - 10:38AM
Science Versus Theory Of Evolution
How well does the theory of evolution harmonize with genuine science? Consider: What scientific evidence is there that an uncontrolled explosion can produce something as intricate and ordered as the universe? What scientific evidence is there that a chance combination or mixture of chemicals can produce a living organism? What is the scientific evidence that a series of thousands of extremely fortunate events just happened to occur in the right sequence to change a one-celled organism into modern man and modern animals and plants? How can a mutation result in a change from one species into another, since mutations take away from a genetic code but never add to it? How can the theory of evolution be considered scientific when the DNA Code Barrier, Gene Depletion, & Natural Selection make the theory of evolution scientifically impossible? Why does the theory of evolution lose credibility in the absence of logic fallacies? Basic science relies on observation, fact, hypothesis, theory, and law. Observation means describing or measuring what is observed, a fact is based on repeated observations that can be confirmed, a hypothesis is a statement that can be tested so the conclusions or inferences can be explained, a theory is a general explanation into which facts and experimental conclusions can be incorporated, and a Law is a functional generalization that has stood the test of time and is reliable. The theory of evolution relies on these presuppositions: A gradual change over unimaginable eons (many different and often conflicting explanations are offered to explain how), the organizing force for life is internal and dependent of random chance, and time, chance and natural processes are responsible for material reality without intelligent design. The theory of evolution does not meet the requirements of basic science or withstand application of the scientific method that is accepted by evolutionists and used by evolutionists to denounce opposing views (e.g., creationism) as non-science. Not only is it not a science according to the standards of science accepted by evolutionists, but the DNA Code Barrier, Gene Depletion, & Natural Selection make the theory of evolution scientifically impossible.
Tue, Nov 8th - 8:34AM
The wickedness of the unsaved is not what is hindering Christian dominion and effective soul winning, or keeping the Christian worldview from being predominant in the society in which we live. The genuine repentance of God's people has always been the key to real revival. (II Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51:9-13; Isaiah 55:7; 64:1-9; Hosea 10:12; Habakkuk 3:2; James 4:8-10)
Thu, Nov 3rd - 8:54PM
When Christ walked the Earth the Sadducees were the religious liberals of that day. The Sadducees did not die off in the first century. Throughout Christian history there have been religious leaders who are worldly-minded and guided by secular considerations, and who reject the authority of Scripture in favor of liberal interpretation and worldly human reasoning. Today the leaven of the Sadducees is a serious threat to sound Biblical Christianity. (Matthew 16:6, 12)
Bible-believers who refuse to compromise Bible truths and standards are considered "old-fashioned" and "narrow-minded," and these accusations come from professed Christians. Though the terms are intended to offend they are actually somewhat complimentary. The truth is always narrow and nothing is more narrow or bigoted than the truth, and since the truth does not change it is inevitable that any truth will be considered old-fashioned.
Jesus Christ was crucified because of what He said and His refusal to compromise. The early Christians were persecuted for refusing to compromise and for teaching that Jesus Christ is the present ruler of the earth. (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29; 17:6-7) But here in America today many professed Christians eagerly compromise the truth to win the praise of men and avoid the appearance of being intolerant.
We can tolerate men and respect their rights, but we must not compromise with falsehood or agree with error. True love "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth."(I Corinthians 13:6)
Have you been affected by the leaven of the Sadducees? Try applying questions like these to specific beliefs or teachings: What does the Bible say about this? (Psalm 119:130; Proverbs 2:3-6; 3:5-7; II Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16) What is the origin of this belief or teaching? (Romans 12:2; Colossians 2:8) Do you find it necessary to use the arguments of the world to prove or justify this? (I Corinthians 1:20; 2:5; Colossians 1:9; 2:8) Was this true in the distant past and will this be true in the distant future? (Psalm 33:11; 119:89; Proverbs 19:21; Ecclesiastes 1:9,10; James 1:17)
Wed, Nov 2nd - 10:44AM
Countering Legalism & Asceticism
While there is much sound Scriptural counsel available, often what is presented as Scriptural truth or Biblical counsel is unscriptural or counters to Scripture while sounding extremely spiritual. Often the one claiming that something is or is not a sin or truth has little or no knowledge of what Scripture says on the subject, and many allow culture, trends, and society to cloud their judgment on issues. (Colossians 2:8; I Timothy 1:5-7)
This story makes a good point: A man kept noticing that whenever his wife cooked a ham she would cut off a chunk of meat and throw it away before putting the ham in the oven. One day he asked her why she did that and she said her mother always did that and she assumed it was right. Later he asked his mother-in-law about this, and she said that she was simply doing like her mother. When he asked the grandmother the reason behind cutting off a chunk of meat, the grandmother said that when she was younger she used to cut off a chunk of meat before putting a ham in the oven because back then she never had a roasting pan big enough for a whole ham. This sounds like many traditions, theories, and superstitions that are regarded as divine truth and made into criteria for acceptance or criticism without Scriptural basis.
This does not mean that it is wrong or sinful for a Christian to hold to various personal convictions or traditions; personal convictions and standards are needful. Because of background (upbringing, experience, etc.) an individual Christian naturally has various opinions and traditions concerning various areas of life, and this in itself is not wrong. But as a Christian grows in faith and wisdom he should see that, while some or even most of his ideas or theories may be right, at least some of his ideas or theories are unnecessary or even conflict with Scripture.
Try applying questions like these to specific beliefs and issues: What does the Bible say about this, and what Bible truths or principles are involved? (Psalm 119:47; II Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16) What is the origin of this belief or teaching? (Psalm 33:10; Romans 12:2; I Corinthians 1:20; 2:5; Colossians 1:9; 2:8, 20-22) Was this true in the distant past and will this be true in the distant future? (Psalm 33:11; 119:89; Proverbs 19:21; Ecclesiastes 1:9-10; James 1:17) Also look at this from the standpoint of evangelism: If an unbeliever should ask why you believe a certain way or why something is right or wrong or true or false how would you respond? If you cannot offer genuine scriptural support for your assertion then you should consider the possibility that what you have could merely be an opinion.
Christians should be concerned about teaching and clarifying what is right or wrong and true or false according to Scripture. (Psalm 19:8; 119:130; Proverbs 2:6; 3:5-7; Matthew 4:4; II Timothy 2:14-15; 3:16) The church ought to be the conscience of the community and is supposed to impact culture and influence society for righteousness, but pushing extra-biblical taboos and preferences as divine truths makes it easy for people to dismiss a genuine Bible truth or standard as just another case of Christians being silly. (Matthew 5:13-16)
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