JREnsey April 2020 blog

Thanks for taking a few minutes to visit about some important matters pertaining to both our secular society and God’s kingdom.

The Word for today:

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6,7 NLT).

Timely alternate word: “Cleanse your hands, ye sinners” (James 4:8 KJV).

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Oddities

We preachers always wanted a great library. Czech out the gorgeous Klementium Library in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Be still my heart.

Below is the library inside the Waldsassen Abbey in Bavaria, which holds thousands of volumes bound in white pigskin. These settings and their contents might be expensive to reproduce today. Isn’t it amazing that in this technological age we could carry all or most of these libraries in our briefcase?

If you think your 1987 Mercury Marquis is ancient, or that you yourself are getting old, remember that age is relative. The “Methuselah” bristlecone pine tree in California is said to be over 4,850 years old.

17-year old Juliane Koepcke was sucked out of an airplane in 1971 after it broke up over the Amazon rain forest, having been struck by a bolt of lightning. She fell two miles to the ground, strapped to her seat and survived, then endured more than 10 days in the Amazon jungle before being found. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juliane_Koepcke

Carbonized bread from Pompeii, baked in AD 79, still bearing the baker’s stamp.

Pentecostals and covid-19

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Di•vers•ity

Definition:  An increasingly popular term representing differences within any entity. Differences can be good or bad, positive or negative, progressive or regressive, helpful or hindering. It all depends on the definition we have in mind when we employ the term.

The church should be diverse. The church should not be diverse. Both of those statements are correct. To use the term in such a general way can evoke confusion and misunderstanding. It all depends on one’s definition of diversity and the context in which it is used. Some use the term to undergird their particular vision of what the church should be.

If we are discussing race and ethnicity, or color of skin or national origin, then, ideally, the church will probably reflect the community it serves. If we are talking about pluralistic cultural diversity, that is another matter. Different elements of society, outside of those mentioned, have varying values, ethics, morals and divergent agendas that may run counter to the purposes of the church. In that case, the church should not reflect the community it is reaching out to influence. At some point the church has to identify and live out what “be ye separate” (II Corinthians 6:17) means.

The church is not designed to be a melting pot of values, ethics, morals, and beliefs. Some Christian denominations have decided that they must reflect their culture in every way in order to be effective in it. How is that working out for them? “A little leaven….”

Blandness has left the European Christian community as a tasteless concoction, impotent and fading. America may be following only a short distance behind. The suggestion of Jesus was that His people should affect the world in which it exists, make a difference, be a light, add a spice (Mark 16:15,16; Matthew 5:13,17).

The church has to be different in order to make a difference.

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O, the scourge of global warming!

Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTyoT0agyg4&feature=youtu.be

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“The Squad” strikes again

Led by the socialist squad of four women, 174 House of Representatives Democrats recently voted against an anti-terrorist and sexual predator amendment regarding employment by the TSA, the folks that screen air travelers. They mustn’t be unfair to the Harvey Weinsteins or the Muslim terrorists of the world when it comes to doling out taxpayer’s money. Right? This Marxist-leaning coalition is in the news daily leading the charge to turn America into a socialist state.

Where, oh where, have women like Phyllis Schlafly gone? If we must elect women to Congress, then elect some who love this country, who want to preserve personal and religious freedom, who want the Constitution upheld, and the rule of law to be honored.

We get what we elect, folks.

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Book review:

Seven things wimps won’t say

Hell? Yes!

By Robert Jeffress

Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1995; 23.95 (available at Amazon)

The author of this book is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, one of the largest in the nation, whose facilities cover several city blocks of downtown Dallas. Pastor Jeffress is an outspoken advocate of conservative political values as well as a proponent of biblical veracity. You have likely seen his face and heard his voice on social media. He is unapologetic about his traditionalist views on the Scriptures.

This book has seven chapters, the titles being seven things spiritual wimps likely won’t ever say. The chapters are:

  • Every Other Religion Is Wrong
  • God Is Ultimately Responsible for Suffering
  • God Sends Good People to Hell
  • Homosexuality Is a Perversion
  • Husbands Are to Be the Leaders of Their Families
  • Evolution Is a Myth
  • America Is a Christian Nation

How is that for a list that will wring cries of dismay from liberal preachers and left-wing media talking heads? Jeffress, however, is fearless. I recently attended a meeting where he was the speaker. He leaves no question in your mind as to where he stands. He quotes Scripture like barristers quote Blackstone. He is as pro-life as one can be. He has more to lose by standing strong on social isses than most pastors but is unfazed by media moguls or liberal professors. He appears to be a selfless individual. That is not judging the author’s standing with God, or judging him at all. The salvation gospel is what it is and always has been. This is just saying that the book is worth reading. It won’t waste your time.

A cautionary note: It is not a book for spiritual wimps.

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Important articles worth your time to read:

Why we are a Republic, not a Democracy

By Walter Williams

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/why-we-are-republic-not-democracy

Our culture degrades women by trying to make them men

By Annie Holmquist

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/our-culture-degrades-women-trying-make-them-men

Other interesting articles by Annie Holmquist:

Camille Paglia: Neo feminism teaching women to live in ‘a permanently juvenile condition’

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/camille-paglia-neo-feminism-teaching-women-live-permanently-juvenile-condition

Boys are Growing Frustrated by Living in a Feminized Society… and That’s Showing Up in Their Friendships

https://www.intellectualtakeout.org/article/boys-are-growing-frustrated-living-feminized-society-and-thats-showing-their-friendship

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A story of selfless heroism

“I spit in the doctor’s face!”

Would it ever be right to spit in a doctor’s face? It happened…and it saved a man’s life! Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.

One of our Texas heroes who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor was a man of physical and moral strength. His courage and selflessness deserved the honor bestowed upon him by the US President Ronald Reagan.

In the steamy jungles of South Vietnam was where it all happened. The inspiring story of Staff Sergeant Roy Benavidez is worth you time!

You can read the incredible story HERE, or watch a brief video HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B2w0abQazg  His heroic actions save the lives of at least eight men. His heroism saved others, but his spit saved his own life!

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Why?

If unvaccinated American kids aren’t allowed in public schools, why would we import millions of unvaccinated migrants?

Representative Maxine Waters wants open borders and the privilege to vote in U.S. elections for anyone who can get across the border. Yet she requires those attending her town hall meetings to show photo ID. How hypocritical is that? When she and Nancy Pelosi remove the locks from their gates and doors, then we should consider open borders.

A transgender activist who still has male genitalia is reportedly ‘shocked,’ ‘confused,’ and ‘hurt’ after being turned away by a gynecologist who told him, “You’re playing make believe. Real doctors don’t have time for that foolishness.” He had been to a salon seeking a bikini wax and they also turned him down.  Blaze, 12/3  Is there no end to this nonsense? (No pun intended.)

Leftists think injecting hormones into cattle is evil, but injecting kids with hormones to change their gender is just fine. Patriot Post

Why is it that the only two genders that have reportedly had covid-19 are male and female? Does that mean that the other 57 genders are immune?

Fact: 66.6% of presidents who have been impeached by the House were guilty of humiliating Hillary Clinton. – Mark Alexander

Eight sex offenders—three of which were convicted of raping children—have been released from a jail in New York as a part of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s statewide initiative to decrease prison populations over fear of spreading the coronavirus. Were these prisoners the safest ones he could have turned loose on the public? Where has common sense gone?

Barack Obama has reportedly announced that he is no longer taking credit for the economy.

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It Happened In A House

A young African-American minister, William Seymour was attending a Christian training mission in Houston in 1905. In those meetings, he met Neely Terry, a young woman who was part of a group that founded a black church in Los Angeles affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. The group had been expelled from the Baptist church when they began teaching holiness and sanctification. She was impressed with Seymour’s sincerity and convinced her church leaders to invite him come to LA and minister in their church. He considered the invitation to be a call from God and arrived in California in February of 1906.

He was subsequently asked to preach in the church, which was led by Julia Hutchins. As yet he had not personally received the Holy Spirit and spoken with tongues, but was convinced that it was scriptural. When Seymour took the pulpit, he chose Acts 2:4 for his text. In the message he conveyed his conviction that “anyone who has not spoken in tongues does not have the Holy Spirit.” This did not set well with the more starchy Nazarene types, so they gave him the boot and actually padlocked the door of the church against his return. The more open-minded individuals in the congregation offered their homes to him for house meetings. One of these was the Asberry (or Asbury) family, living at 214 Bonnie Brae Street. That little house became the focal point of the Pentecostal outpouring, tagged by many as the initial thunderstorm of the biblical “latter rain.” Since the church was on “lockdown,” God moved the revival to a house!

It was in the house on Bonnie Brae St. that Seymour and others received the Holy Spirit. The prayer meetings held there were powerful. Soon hundreds were attracted to the meetings, filling the home and overflowing onto the porch and the yard. The porch actually collapsed under the weight of the crowd trying to participate in the prayer services. Police had to actually cordon off the street where the house was because of the crowds on foot, horseback and in carriages (traffic, if you will) trying to get to the house where God was moving. Even Julia Hutchins, the Nazarene leader who locked Seymour out of her church, received the Holy Spirit and ultimately became a missionary to Liberia.

The original Pentecostal outpouring occurred in an upper room in a house in Jerusalem: “It filled all the house were they sitting.” In America it also began in a humble house, not a church! When the house could no longer hold the crowds, another meeting place was sought. In April of 1906, they found an old warehouse at 312 Azusa Street in LA that had once been used as a stable and for a while as an AME church. There the Spirit fell in torrents during the next few years. People from many denominations came to the Azusa St. location and received the Holy Spirit and took the message of Acts 2 back to their communities. Missionaries from foreign lands came to see what was happening there, received their Pentecostal experience and returned to their fields with the power of the Spirit. Doubters and unbelievers said Pentecostal revival “will soon blow over.” It did…all over the world!

What can God do in our houses during the current quarantine? The Bible tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10:25), but while our churches are on temporary lockdown, God may have in mind another mighty Pentecostal revival in somebody’s house. Let it happen!

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As they say… 

So we should let the millennials install that system here?

A pox on the virus!

Common sense has a terminal virus:

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The last word

…and sane!

Published in: on April 1, 2020 at 2:10 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey March Blog

Welcome to the JREnsey March 2020 blog with a focus on Galatians 3:28—What does this verse mean?

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The Word for Today

“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”

Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them” (Hebrews 13:4-8 NLT).

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Galatians 3:28—Does It Erase All Gender Distinctions?

J. R. Ensey

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (KJV).

Let’s go right to the heart of the matter: Does this verse establish an extreme theological view of individual equality that erases all gender distinctions and functions for Christian males and females? Egalitarians generally say yes[1]; complementarians say no.[2] Who is right?

Until a few decades ago, this verse did not seem to evoke such widespread ideological division. Commentators and Greek grammarians over the years broke it down for readers and pointed out its harmony with other scriptural passages.

Enter the women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. A rebellion—actually a revolution—occurred that turned Western culture on its ear. Women began to insist on full access to the workplaces traditionally staffed by men. Headscarves were traded for hard hats. Lesbian-led marches filled the streets while feminist articles filled the magazines. Their demands were soon heard in Congress and affirmed in the courts. Emboldened by the full support of the media and academia, they saw the opportunity to emasculate males and overturn what they viewed as a patriarchal society. The process would divide and re-shape much of American Christianity into a radical egalitarian movement. A minority of men got on the bandwagon with them right away. Others drew back when they saw the insurmountable problems that would ensue. The majority seemed to opt for silence and took a wait-and-see attitude. They got trampled in the melee.

Homelife deteriorated as women assumed masculine roles and attire while Hollywood and the media promoted the epicene Mr. Mom caricature. He was depicted in the kitchen wearing an apron, holding a vacuum cleaner in one hand and a diaper-clad baby in the other. In that scenario, the wife is seen walking out the door in a suit and tie carrying a briefcase.[3] One was made to wonder if the goal was equality or a total reversal of roles. The divorce rate rose exponentially. Households with single moms multiplied.

Confusion resulted. We sowed the wind and today we are reaping the whirlwind. Some teens now do not know whether they are male or female, perhaps even multi-gendered. They are presented with many choices by the change agents serving as editors in social media contexts. Homosexuality is rampant. Transgenderism is promoted in our schools with special protections from the courts. Ads across virtually all social media platforms feature feminine attire for men and masculine duds for women. The Bible is cast as an outdated patriarchal document written by and for an ancient generation, badly in need of reinterpretation. Magazine and news editors, as well as school teachers, are warned to use the proper personal pronouns for individuals they reference.[4] Patronization has reached the level of pure nonsense. Churches are urged to “catch up” with the culture and one denomination after the other has fallen in line with the terms of the feminist manifesto. To raise one’s voice today against this social and spiritual corruption earns a hate label. All of this has occurred in less than my own lifetime.

In the face of these facts, do we remain silent and retreat into a shell of self-preservation or stand up and be counted as Christians who will resist the imposition of anti-God and anti-Bible values on our children and grandchildren? Hard choices seem to be the only choices.

The purpose of this analysis

The primary focus of this article is to question the use of Galatians 3:28 to promote the current egalitarian agenda. It will not be an angst-free endeavor for I have deeply committed, knowledgeable friends who prefer to take another approach. This will be an honest “as I see it”[5] understanding of Paul’s statement.

“Progressive” Christian feminists who seem to be offended by Paul’s compelling and clear references supporting a complementarian view of the family and church expand the parameters of this verse to comply with their predilections. Some appear to be annoyed with God Himself for including verses in the Bible that do not affirm their chosen perspective. Others argue that this verse should be a “‘window’ text through which to adjudicate other Pauline texts.”[6] In other words, all other biblical texts of Paul should bow to the egalitarian interpretation of this one, basically encouraging us to ignore those texts. Is that reasonable? Is it theologically sound?

To support the increasingly popular views mentioned above, some overlay the Bible with a feminist hermeneutic, using Galatians 3:28 as a linchpin. There is a tendency to strip away the context, allowing the verse to become a stand alone theology, totally separate and apart from the remainder of Scripture. Comprehension and clarity are clouded when it is removed from its context (chapters 3 and 4), inviting misunderstanding.[7]

What is the apostle really saying in this verse? Isn’t he urging the Galatians to ignore the Judaizers who want them to continue certain practices of the law in order to be saved (Galatians 2:4,5)? Isn’t the apostle making it clear to the new Christians in Galatia, particularly targeting the Jewish converts, that in Christ there are no value distinctions between believers, that no one is either superior or inferior because of his or her station in life, that when determining whether one is a child of Abraham by faith, neither gender, race nor social class are relevant? The ground is level at the foot of the cross. Positionally in Christ we are all equals having identical worth, dignity and value, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, skin color, whether free or in bondage. This view of the body of Christ is made clear in the preceding verses (26,27). This statement attacked any effort by the Judaizers’ to marginalize women or any other social group.[8] Functionally, however, we are still obligated to the guidelines that Scripture provides for us as individuals and families (Ephesians 5:22-30; I Peter 3:1-8; Titus 2:1-9; I Timothy 2:1-15; 3:1-13; et al).[9]

In Romans 4:25-5:2, Paul again describes the Christian’s position in Christ: “[Jesus] was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” The universality of this position for all Christians is also laid out in the verses preceding and following Galatians 3:28. Many other passages describe our position is Christ, yet not overlooking the varying functions with qualifications in the practice of both home and church life (Ephesians 5:22-25; I Timothy 2:9-15; I Corinthians 11:2-16;14:34,35; I Peter 3:1-7; et al).

According to author S. Lewis Johnson, “There is no reason to claim that Galatians 3:28 supports an egalitarianism of function in the church. [although] It does plainly teach an egalitarianism of privilege in the covenantal union of believers in Christ.”[10] (Italics mine) James B. Hurley agrees: “Our study of the context of Galatians 3:28 has shown that Paul was not reflecting upon relations within the body of Christ when he had the text penned. He was thinking about the basis of membership in the body of Christ. This means that it is an error to say that ‘all one’ in Christ means that there are no distinctions within the body.”[11]

Believers are not neutered by conversion or the facts stated in Galatians 3:28. Although one is “in Christ” after conversion, the apostle states that wives still have to submit to their husbands and husbands have to love their wives as Christ loved the church. Men are still men and women are still women. Christianity has not created a gender-free, androgynous society, changing all patterns of home and public life in place since the reckoning of time. Also, if believers were slaves when they were converted, Paul wasn’t saying they are now free to walk away but are still bound to their owners/masters. In fact, slaves were given instructions elsewhere for their appropriate behavior (Ephesians 6:5-9; I Peter 2:18-25). Children were still to obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1-3). Neither Christ nor Paul expressed a purpose to overturn all universal laws and practices arising out of biblical principles.

In other words, Galatians 3:28 was not a release from all obligations having to do with gender distinctions or stations in life. Paul did not negate the creation model to which he repeatedly appealed to establish practices and behaviors. Again, former positions and dissimilarities were still in place after commitment to Christ—slaves were still slaves, children didn’t become self-disciplining adults via conversion, and wives still have to yield ultimate authority to their husbands who are mandated to love them as Christ loves the church. There is no place in Scripture that cancels those conditions.

The context of Galatians 3:28 makes abundantly clear the sense in which men and women are equal in Christ: they are “equally justified by faith (v. 24), equally free from the bondage of legalism (v. 25), equally children of God (v. 26), equally clothed with Christ (v. 27), equally possessed by Christ (v. 29), and equally heirs of the promises to Abraham (v. 29).  …Galatians 3:28 does not abolish gender-based roles established by God.”[12] Paul affirms the oneness of males and females in Christ, but he does not claim that maleness and femaleness are irrelevant in every respect (Romans 1:21-32; I Corinthians 7; 11:1-15; 14:34,35; I Timothy 2:8-16; Titus 1:5-7; 2:1-10; I Peter 3:1-7).

By expanding a text to conform to current political correctness, we could end up in the same quagmire as our Christless culture. Nuancing and dissecting this verse to support an agenda generated extra-biblically could lead to divisions and misunderstandings in virtually every human relationship.

One in Christ

The “oneness” of which Paul speaks in this verse is the foundation of his position. The whole is highlighted in contrast to its several parts. He made similar observations in his letters to the churches at Corinth (I Corinthians 12:13) and Colosse (Colossians 3:11). He identifies six different groups he says are “one in Christ”: Jews, Greeks, slaves, free, males, and females. How can all of this diversity—slaves and masters, males and females, parents and children, circumcised and uncircumcised, Sythian and barbarian, bond or free—achieve a oneness? It occurs when they come “into Christ” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3) and are joined together with those of “like precious faith” (II Peter 1:1). All are “one in Christ” and have taken His name, but that does not change a Jew into a Greek, a circumcised male into one uncircumcised, or a slave into a freedman, or a female into a male, automatically altering human associations and particular responsibilities. Former relationships, as Paul points out in many places, are still in order. All Christian converts are placed into “one body” (I Corinthians 12:12) but the body has members with different functions. God and Christ are “one” (John 10:30), yet the Father (the “one Spirit” of Deity; Ephesians 4:4) and the Son (read “flesh”; Hebrews 5:7) perform different functions and roles.

Being one in Christ does not mean that everyone has the same authority, exercises the same responsibilities, performs the same functions, or possesses the same giftings for service. There is no suggestion of interchangeability of roles and responsibilities in v. 28. Paul’s affirmation of oneness in Christ is not a call for total irrelevance of gender in every sense of the word.[13] It does not follow that equality in some respects entails equality in all respects. The topic is less broad than many egalitarians are willing to concede.

The apostle adds this in Romans 12:5: “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us….” All Christian converts are placed into “one body” having different members (I Corinthians 12:12) that are assigned varying responsibilities and functions—that seems to be the background and application of the Galatians 3:28 principle.

The source of Paul’s writings

Egalitarians appeal to the concept that Paul was stuck in a patriarchal Jewish mindset that was in vogue then, creating an attitude that resulted in his complementarian statements elsewhere in the New Testament, which have no relevance to today’s Christians. That was then; this is now, and his way is not applicable today. Such an approach suggests that we toss the Bible—or at least reinterpret it—giving ear to the culture for guidance in matters pertaining to home and church.

Paul’s writings, however, transcended cultural or legal mandates. He clearly stated where he got his material: “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (I Corinthians 14:37).[14] Committed Christians are guided by God’s decrees and not by cultural philosophies and edicts.

The other apostles did not correct Paul or add a new dimension to his teaching to accommodate present or future emerging social philosophies. Agreement among NT writers on this issue is evident. Also, early Protestant leaders did not attempt to reform every aspect of civil governments, including slavery, children’s rights, or the function of women in the church and the home. The KJV translators obviously saw it Paul’s way. The vast majority of the well-known ministers, Bible commentators, authors and Christian leaders of the last 300 years subscribed to these apostolic tenets. While that in itself doesn’t authenticate a particular view, it does suggest that the egalitarian cloak thrown over this verse is relatively new and is not generally considered to be in line with the thrust of this or other passages dealing with the topic. Although some Bible translators have surrendered to feminist pressure, many of the major contemporary translations give little ground beyond turning “brethren” into “brothers and sisters” in places. Scriptural interpretation should be based on that old golden rule of hermeneutics: “When the sense of the Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense, lest it result in nonsense.”

We see an abundance of nonsense in the current political scene. Some radical feminists (both male and female) are suing public servants for using traditional pronouns when referring to others. The “he” one is addressing might prefer the pronoun “she” or one of fifty other designations. The leading female candidate for president of the USA has gone to great lengths to court LGBTQ support. She has, for example, emphasized the need to allow inmates to be held in prison based on their chosen gender identity rather than their biological sex. She promises to name women and non-binary individuals to at least half of her cabinet positions. Also, she has found a transgender child, Jacob Lemay, age 9, whom she says must personally approve of her choice as Secretary of Education.[15] There seems to be no stopping place when one pitches his or her tent toward Sodom.

Conclusion

Having some truth does not necessarily mean that one has all truth. There may be some mutual ground for complementarians and egalitarians. For example, both believe in equality, but the scriptural dimensions of that equality need discussion and agreement. Pressure from the current culture seems to have expanded those dimensions until agreement may be difficult but not unachievable. We must always go back to the Bible with a goal of objectivity to find a position closest to the truth. Conformity to apostolic doctrines and less diversity in practice will generate more conversions to absolute truth. Accommodation to political correctness is not the path to real and lasting revival—it is the road to compromise and spiritual declension.

 

Endnotes

[1] Douglas J. Moo states, “It is easy to quote the saying in this verse as a slogan that proclaims the erasure of any distinctions within the Christian community” in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament: Galatians (Grand Rapids: Baker Publishing Group, 2013), p. 254. This statement is based on the written record, including the following references: Paul King Jewett, known as a “biblical” feminist, calls Galatians 3:28 the “Magna Carta of Humanity” in Man As Male and Female: A Study in Sexual Relationships from a Theological Point of View (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1975), p. 142; Klyne Snodgrass calls it “the most socially explosive statement in the New Testament” in “Galatians 3:28: Conundrum or Solution?” in Men, Women, Authority and the Bible, ed. Alvera Mickelsen (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986), p. 161. Ronald and Beverly Allen call it “the feminist credo of equality” in Liberated Traditionalism: Men and Women in Balance (Portland, OR: Multnomah Press, 1985), p. 134; Mary Hayter refers to it as “a crux” and ‘the locus classicus’ for biblical feminists” in The New Eve in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), p. 134.
[2] Complementarianism is a theological view that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, and religious leadership. (Wikipedia) Complementarians would include authors like Wayne House, Wayne Grudem, Abigail Dodds, Denny Burk, John Piper, to name a few, some of whom will be referenced in this paper.
[3] Some questioned the wisdom of the UPCI for taking a stand against movies and television (recommendations to avoid them are still in the Manual), but it was easy to see the negative influence they were having on family life. They recognized that these media outlets promoted, and still do, everything the Bible opposes as sin and ungodliness, including biblical family life. Nations, as well as individuals and families, reap what they sow.
[4] Apparently God is undergoing a sex change, according to some women’s groups, or is at least taking hormone treatments. Some feminists have begun using “her” as an acceptable pronoun for God as part of the process being called “the feminization of God.” Taking God’s “feminine side,” as extremists call it, as an example, men are encouraged to “get in touch with their feminine side.” Where will this lead?
[5] In addition to many other authors and commentators, some of whom are quoted herein.
[6] David M. Scholer, “Galatians 3:28 and the Ministry of Women in the Church,” in Theology, News and Notes (Pasadena, Calif.: Fuller Theological Seminary, June 1998), 20.
[7] As is often said, “A text without a context is a pretext for a prooftext.”
[8] Ancient Jewish morning prayers for men included thanks to God for not being “a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.”
[9] Someone put it this way: “It’s important to note that this teaching is not based on the current climate of the culture. It is not liberal, conservative, or political. It is the direct result of the gospel. It is not a statement about the various roles any Christian may be called to fill in this life or the honor we may or may not be given on this side of eternity. It is a statement about our equal value in the eyes of God, and how we should learn to view each other. Since all Christians are in Christ, all of us are one.” http://www.bibleref.com/Galatians/3/Galatians-3-28.html#verse.
[10] S. Lewis Johnson, “Role Distinctions in the Church,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, eds. John Piper and Wayne Grudem (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1991), 164. James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1981), 127, italics his.
[11] James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1981), 127.
[12] John Piper and Wayne Grudem, “An Overview of Central Concerns: Questions and Answers,” in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, 71-72.
[13] “If one were to draw such a conclusion, then Paul would not object to homosexuality, but it is clear that he thinks homosexuality is sinful (Rom 1:26 – 27; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10).  In the same way, the equality of men and women in Christ does not cancel out, in Paul’s mind, the distinct roles of men and women in marriage (Eph 5:22–33; Col 3:18–19; Titus 2:4–5) or in ministry contexts (1 Cor. 11:2–16; 14:33–36; 1 Tim 2:9–15).” (Thomas Schreiner, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary; Galatians)
[14] Once, when he digressed from that source regarding some interpersonal relationships and slavery, he acknowledged that it was his personal judgment and not the Lord’s commandment (I Corinthians 7:6, 25). Otherwise his writings were God’s requirements.
[15] https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/30/elizabeth-warren-vows-transgender-child-must-appro/. Is this the vision some have of our country—a nation led by women and children?

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Pete Buttigieg: “I’m Not Going To Take Lectures On Family Values From The Likes Of Rush Limbaugh”

Former South Bend Mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg responded recently to comments from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh about him kissing his “husband” in public, saying he won’t take advice from Mr. Limbaugh on family values. “I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband,” Mr. Buttigieg said. “I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”

One wonders just who has been giving him lessons on family values. Since [he] is a wife, and has a husband, would he really be the first female U.S. President? More confusion on the horizon.

He also expressed that “so much depends on how we make ourselves useful to those who are marginalized and oppressed.” That would be his guiding philosophy and primary objective if he is elected. If his type or a woman is elected to the presidency, we will hear “poor babies” for every far out liberal idee fixe in the book, both in America and around the world.

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No place to stop

Elizabeth Warren promises that one half her cabinet will be women, including non-binary individuals (transgenders, multi-gendered, asexuals, whatever), and now she says a transgender boy age 9 will have to give his approval for whoever she selects as Secretary of Education. Going even farther to court LGBTQ support in the Democratic primary, she has, for example, emphasized the need to allow inmates to be held in prison based on their chosen gender identity, rather than their biological sex. Now how do you think such a law might be interpreted by liberal judges in the future? Don’t even think about it.

Angel Alicea, a Democrat field organizer for Elizabeth Warren, is referencing a relatively recent emphasis on the use of people’s chosen pronouns, rather than assuming the pronoun of their biological gender. “Where I come from, no one cares about a pronoun. They want to know how you’re gonna create a job” (expletives deleted). I think he agrees with James Carville and me that there seems to be no rest stops or exits on the roads to anarchy, socialism or Sodom.

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Samson: “Which way went [common sense] from me?”

Bleeding hearts in New York recently enacted the “Green Light Law,” which gives illegal aliens access to drivers’ licenses—but also blocks federal agencies like ICE and CPB from accessing the state’s DMV records without a court order—was the tipping point. In a letter provided to state officials, Wolf noted the law “compromises CPB’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying to TTP membership meets the program’s eligibility requirement.”

Why is that important? “In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids,” Wolf added. “In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission.”

And that was before the law took effect in December, precipitating a surge of illegals rushing to New York DMVs to obtain their new identification, using foreign documents such as passports or a driver’s license to get it.

What is going on in our east and west coast states?

Even the blind Samson knew when it was time to drain the swamp and topple the temples of the idolaters!

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Memes I couldn’t pass up

If Joe Biden knows how to fix America, why didn’t he tell Obama?

Elizabeth Warren credits “her people” (the Chiefs) with winning the Super Bowl.

Abortion is “health care,” cry the feminists! But wait, true health care doesn’t kill people!

If you were to kill kids and keep them in the fridge, you’d be Jeffrey Dahmer. When Planned Parenthood does it, its “health care” and “empowers women.”

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The last word:

Apostolics have a voice. It is time to let the world hear it!

Hurry, November!

JREnsey

PS – Share this blog with someone you care about. Encourage them to subscribe to the notification list.

Published in: on March 1, 2020 at 2:22 AM  Comments (3)  

JREnsey February Blog

Welcome to the February 2020 blog. Reminder: Please note the change of email address for JREnsey. Please change my email address in your lists to  jrensey1@gmail.com for all personal communication. Thanks!

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The Word for Today

“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives. Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” (I Peter 3:1-7 NLT).

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Judge tosses 5 charges against pro-life activists for undercover videos

A California judge dismissed five felony charges against two activists who secretly recorded Planned Parenthood executives talking about the practice of providing the body parts of aborted babies for research.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra charged the activists in 2017 with 14 criminal counts of filming people without permission and one count of conspiracy to do so.

One of the charges was previously thrown out, and Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite dismissed five more, leaving nine charges remaining, according to a release posted on Twitter by David Daleiden, one of the activists.

“Their case is falling apart as the facts about Planned Parenthood’s criminal organ tracking are revealed in the courtroom,” the release said. – Epoch Times

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Alexis De Tocqueville on American women

After visiting and touring America, De Tocqueville (1806-1859), a French diplomat and historian, describes the biblical American scene regarding equality between men and women versus the European socialistic approach.

“There are people in Europe who, confounding the various attributes of the sexes, claim to make man and woman into creatures not only equal but alike. They ascribe the same functions to both, assign them the same duties, and grant them the same rights. They mix them in all things: work, pleasure, affairs. It is easy to see how trying in this way to make one sex equal to the other degrades them both and how the only thing that can ever come of such a crude mixture of nature’s works is weak men and disreputable women.

“This was not how Americans understood the kind of democratic equality that can be established between woman and man. They believed that because nature had made man and woman so different in physical and moral constitution, its clear purpose was to assign different uses to the diverse faculties of each. They judged, moreover, that progress lay not in making dissimilar beings do virtually identical things but in seeing to it that each acquitted itself of its task in the best possible way. Americans…carefully divided the functions of man and woman in order to carry out the great work of society more effectively.

“No country in the world has been more persistent than America in tracing clearly separated lines of action for the two sexes or in wanting both to proceed at an equal pace, but along two permanently different paths. You do not see in American women managing the family’s outside affairs, conducting a business, or entering the sphere of politics, but neither do you find American women forced to do hard labor or engage in any of the arduous activities that require the development of physical strength. There are no families so poor as to constitute exceptions to this rule.

“Americans, moreover, never assumed that the consequence of democratic principles would be to topple the husband from power and confuse lines of authority within the family. They believed that every association needs a leader in order to be effective and that the natural leader of the conjugal association was the man. Hence they did not deny him the right to direct his helpmate, and they believed that in the small society consisting of husband and wife, as in the larger political society, the purpose of democracy is to regulate and legitimate necessary powers and not to destroy all power.

“This is not an opinion held by one sex and contested by the other. American women did not, in my view, appear to regard conjugal authority as a felicitous usurpation of their rights, nor did they believe that it was degrading to submit to it. On the contrary, it seemed to me that in a way they prided themselves on the voluntary sacrifice of their will and demonstrated their greatness by freely accepting the yoke rather than seeking to avoid it. That, at any rate, was the sentiment expressed by the most virtuous among them.”

– Alexis de Toqueville, Democracy in America, Arthur Goldhammer, translator (New York, NY: Literary Classics of the United States, 2004); pp. 705, 706. (Italics mine)

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The communist view

In his book, Women and the Family, Leon Trotsky (1879-1940) writes with contempt towards what De Tocqueville admired in American women, which is essentially the Proverbs 31 wife and the biblical homelife.

Trotsky, a leader of the Bolshevik communist revolution in Russia, sought to liberate women from “obsolete household work by replacing it with communal houses, public eating places, central laundries, nurseries, etc.” (p. 10)

Trotsky followed the thinking of Frederick Engels in the book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.  (p. 8)

“The Bolshevik program of Lenin and Trotsky’s time was correct: to liberate women from their role as domestic slaves by replacing the private family household with communal forms of living.” (p. 17)

“As long as woman is chained to her housework, the care of the family, the cooking and sewing, all her chances of participation in social and political life are cut down in the extreme.”

– Leon Trotsky, Women and the Family (New York, NY: Pathfinder Press, 1970) (p. 24)

Think about it: Christian America was the home of the Proverbs 31 woman.  – JRE

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A step backward forward

The nation of Hungary has eliminated “gender studies” in their colleges. President Orban said they aren’t important like math. He also defies the EU on migrants and encourages people to have babies to preserve “Hungarian culture.” Evidently he has observed what is coming down in the U.S.A. You go, Viktor!

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/hungary-bans-gender-studies-programmes-viktor-orban-central-european-university-budapest-a8599796.html

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Trump promotes religious freedom

President Trump acted in the best interests of the American people recently when he signed an executive order to bolster and protect the rights of students to pray and discuss God in their schools. The order champions and reinforces the freedom of religion guaranteed to us in the Constitution as one of our most important rights.

The president appropriately took the action on National Religious Freedom Day. His executive order also ensures that religious entities are not excluded from participating in government-funded programs.

– https://video.foxnews.com/v/6123376262001#sp=show-clips

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Who split the United Methodist Church?

The denomination has struggled for years with the issue that has been pushed hard by new female clergy and LGBTQ adherents. The impasse was recognized and the church decided to split over the pressure to ordain gay clergy and perform same-sex marriages.

“I’m actually really sad that we couldn’t build a bridge that could have provided a witness to the world of what unity amid diversity and disagreement could look like,” Methodist Bishop Karen Oliveto, the denomination’s first openly gay bishop, said.

There you have it. The gays will blame the “traditionalists” even though they are standing where the founders of Methodism stood. When change is being forced on a movement to make room for the acceptance of sin and/or unbiblical practice, who should be tagged with the blame for a split?

Perhaps one should take note of who is leading the charge to ordain homosexuals and perform gay marriages.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/united-methodist-church-split-lgbtq-rights

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Worth repeating

Ed Stetzer, the president of LifeWay Research, recently published a compelling article regarding the shifts within Christianity and churches in America. He states, “The lasting effects of these shifts will force churches to make a critical decision. They will either become a cultural church that allows the societal trends to dictate their ever-changing beliefs. Or they will become a counter-cultural church that faithfully adheres to Scripture and proclaims the gospel in a carefully considered way. The latter church will offer real hope in the midst of an adversarial culture and is the only real future for the American church.”

Selah!

For the original article, visit edstetzer.com.

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Whispers and shouts

Everyone knows that some members of the House of Representatives are unethical, corrupt, lying hypocrites; the problems is—their constituents don’t seem to care.

Seems like Democrats are afraid that Americans are going to interfere with the 2020 election.

When you see the word “social” before a word, it usually makes that word mean the exact opposite of what it was originally intended to mean.

If Donald Trump did all the things he is accused of, he could run as a Democrat.

This just in: Ukraine has launched an investigation to see if Democrats have any ties to the United States.

“Conservatives’ biggest mistake was handing over the school system to the Left. College campuses today are literally Leftist indoctrination camps.” – Candace Owens, black female conservative activist

After Rutgers University professor of Education Catherine Lugg took to social media and accused the GOP and Fox News of being “existential threats” to the United States, she tweeted that gun rights advocates are “gun/Moloch worshippers” belonging to a “death cult.” Her brazen condemnation of anyone with a conservative or biblical worldview on social issues are not only reflected in her teachings, but in her Twitter posts. Typical of college professors these days.

“When people like [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [Democratic presidential candidate] Pete Buttigieg say it’s un-Christian not to have open borders or socialism, I think they’re perverting the Gospel.” – Jerry Falwell, Jr., Epoch Times

A light at the end of the tunnel: Only 5 more years of impeachment hearings left.

Donald Trump to Americans: “They’re not after me. They’re after you. I’m just in their way.”

If Democrats knew the illegal immigrants were voting Republican, you could see the border wall from space! – PP

“Politics and morality are inseparable. And as morality’s foundation is religion, religion and politics are necessarily related. We need religion as a guide. We need it because we are imperfect, and our government needs the church, because only those humble enough to admit they’re sinners can bring to democracy the tolerance it requires in order to survive.” – Ronald Reagan

Theological confusion has permitted us first to decide what we want and then build a theology that justifies it.

Why Leftists hate the Constitution: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”  – John Adams

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Men, Women and Equality in the Creation Marriage Model

EVANGELICAL FEMINISTS (E/Fs herein) OFTEN ASSERT THAT IN CREATION God made man and woman co-equal partners in every way, without distinction in either role or authority. The only differences were the obvious physical dissimilarities. They were mutually submissive and shared total equality. They insist that Adam did not possess authority in that relationship before the Fall. Only after they sinned was Adam given ruling status. They then suggest that in the current Christian conversion experience the judgment granting Adam’s authority is reversed and the husband/wife relationship is returned to the former pre-Fall conditions, featuring mutual submission and full co-equal status and authority.

Does that scenario fit with the Genesis creation narrative? Do the New Testament authors confirm this arrangement? What does the creation model in Genesis teach us about those first two humans and their relationship? Was it truly co-equal in authority? Did the Fall of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden result in male authority to later be erased by Christian conversion?

The reshaping of the American mind

The cultural revolution that exploded in the 1960s was the product of a century of seething change in the Western nations. In retrospect, major societal modifications were inevitable, spurred by the economies of several nations, two world wars, and growing religious movements. Inherent were the crucial changes that would come in the home and workplaces of those nations, America in particular.

Liberation movements flourished during the last half of the 20th century, none growing faster or becoming more impacting than the……

… [to continue reading this article, click the link below.]

Men, Women, Equality in Creation

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The Last Words

As the radical leftist Saul Alinsky [a hero of Obama and Hillary Clinton] stated, “It is necessary to hide the true purposes of a movement and mobilize people on a large scale to act in support of local, temporary, plausible, or benign goals.”

Please change my email address to  jrensey1@gmail.com. Thanks! Have a great month!

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2020 at 2:25 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey blog for January, 2020

Happy New Year! Welcome to the January 2020 blog. Please note the change of email address for JREnsey. Please use jrensey1@gmail.com for all personal communication. Thanks!

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The Word for Today

“For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything. 25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[a] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault” (Ephesians 5:22-27 NLT).

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The doctor “made a mistake”

Terry Beatley, founder and president of Hosea Initiative, a pro-life organization, recently gave President Trump the “Courageous Witness for Life Award.” She said the organization selected Trump for his “courage to be able to stand up for the right thing.”

Beatley was inspired by her 2009 interview with Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson (left), an American medical doctor who was once known as “The Abortion King.” Nathanson later said he “made a mistake” in leading the pro-abortion cause and became a prominent opponent of the procedure. Two years before his death in 2011, the doctor told Beatley that he misled American public opinion in the 1970s about abortion, promoting it as “women’s health care.” [Let that sink in.]

According to Beatley’s book, Nathanson claimed responsibility for the death of more than 75,000 pre-born babies, including two of his own unborn children. A few months after the Roe v. Wade decision, a new technology, ultrasound, transformed his views on abortion.

“The bombshell was real-time ultrasound. It made everything come alive,” he told Beatley. “I finally came to the conviction that this was my patient. This was a person. I was a physician, pledged to save my patients’ lives, not destroy them. So, I changed my mind on the subject of abortion.”

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, accepted the award for the President. Speaking at the event, Carson praised pro-life advocates for their courage. He said as a former neurosurgeon, he spent a lot of time working on babies, even premature babies born between 25 and 27 weeks, and “operating all night trying to save their lives. That’s why no one will ever convince me that what’s in a mother’s womb is a meaningless bunch of cells,” he said.  – Report by Emel Akan, The Epoch Times

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Was the Codex Sinaiticus, dated to the early fourth century, actually a forgery?

Some claim that this important early manuscript containing almost all of both biblical testaments, was a 19th century forgery accomplished by a man called Simonides. He claimed he wrote the manuscript when he was 19 years old while residing at Mt. Athos in northern Greece. Although he was discredited as either a liar or delusional at the time, some have recently revived his claim because, if true, it would potentially negate the position that the manuscript, which has earlier readings than the Textus Receptus/KJV, is older and likely to read more like the autographs.

I researched this claim a few years ago and dismissed it out of hand as entirely ludicrous. Since others have already published rebuttals of the claim, let me lean on another well known researcher of biblical texts, James Snapp, Jr. He provides twenty facts that prove Sinaiticus was not a forgery and certainly not the work of Simonides. To see his work, click on the links below (each site has 10 reasons):

http://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2017/03/ten-reasons-why-sinaiticus-was-not-made.html

http://www.thetextofthegospels.com/2017/03/ten-more-reasons-sinaiticus-was-not.html

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The search for perfection

Mark Galli, the editor of Christianity Today has railed against the President’s morality, suggesting that he should be put out of office. Evidently, he sided with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in the House of Representatives during the impeachment process. Perhaps he will come out for Pelosi for President, or perhaps Adam Schiff who led the impeachment effort. Or he may opt for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or even Pete Buttigieg, the current gay mayor of South Bend, IN. Will he support one of them for president? Surely one of them has a spotless past.

If he had been living in 1790, would he have condemned President George Washington for owning slaves? He surely would have castigated later presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower for their extra-marital dalliances. Would he have called for the resignation of John F. Kennedy who was known for the stream of young women brought to the White House for his “comfort”? Galli was editor during the Obama administration. We can only assume that he overlooked the many “inaccuracies” Obama told publicly and his background connections with communism. Did Galli ever write an editorial condemning Obama or Clinton for their stand on abortion and homosexuality? The numerous ethical violations and governmental corruption of Obama and Biden must have been considered mere “oversights” by Mr. Galli. If he is into condemning office holders for their peccadillos and moral failures, we should look for a long editorial in the next issue. We can only assume that he has not excoriated Mayor Pete is because he is plugged into political correctness. The mayor’s type of immoral conduct is apparently off limits, even by some Christian editors.

No one is justifying Trump for anything he has done in his past. Everyone winced when some of his actions were disclosed. He will go to judgment for any unforgiven sins he may have committed. However, if we are looking for someone with experience and a spotless moral or ethical record to serve in a non-religious political position, we may be looking for a long time.

The Innocents?

We’ve all known for a long time that Mark Galli, CT’s editor was liberal to the core. He evidently supposes he represents Evangelicalism in America. For a glimpse of what he really believes and what he thinks of the God of the Bible, visit the website below and read his article where he casts God as a Divine Drama Queen.

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/christianity-today-editor-chief-called-god-divine-drama-queen-worried-about-president

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What else do these candidates have up their sleeves?

Openly gay mayor Pete Buttigieg (center top above), Democrat running for the presidency, has promised to legalize drug possession across the board. Wow, what a blessing that would be! Reckon whose votes he is fishing for? According to Fox News, the sheriff of Polk County, FL comments, “He is guaranteeing more drug addicts, he’s guaranteeing more crime, and he’s guaranteeing less help because we don’t have enough services for those who are addicted to crimes now and he’s going to create more addiction.” He also promises to reduce deportations. His policies will spur economic growth, he says. Increasing the number of drug dealers, thieves, and illegals will definitely spur the economy—in a number of Latin American countries whose economies depend in part on drug production and sales.

We didn’t know that until he said it publicly. What else do we not know that they are secretly planning to foist onto the American people? We know what the man who is in the office now will likely do. He keeps his promises. He is not perfect, but is probably as transparent as a president can be.

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Is “mutual submission” in marriage conveyed in Ephesians 5:21-25?

These verses are a focus of egalitarian writers today who have embraced the concept of gender equality at all levels of Christian life. Do they really teach mutual submission of husband and wife or are they misinterpreted by a flawed hermeneutic?

If the mutual submission of husband and wife is truly a biblical principle being expressed in v. 21, how did it escape most of the textual exegetes who have closely examined the Scriptures for the last two millennia? After checking with many of the often quoted Protestant commentators[1] of the last two hundred years, none appear cognizant of this principle. In other words, it is a recent concept.

In Christian circles, contemporary egalitarian authors like Letha Scanzoni, Paul Jewett and Craig Keener are often quoted by those leading the charge for cultural change. Keener focuses on Ephesians 5:21 to insist that it includes the relationship of husbands and wives in the mutual submission principle. Is that what the apostle Paul is teaching in this verse or is it merely being used as a prop for a larger agenda?

Different types or levels of submission

The target of Paul’s words in verses 19-21 is the body of Christ as a whole. All Christians, male and female, defer to one another in ways that maintain unity and harmony in that setting. More specific types of submission are the focus of vv. 22-25. As Wiersbe points out, the submission Paul speaks of in v. 21 “has nothing to do with the order of authority, but rather governs the operation of authority. …Often Jesus tried to teach His disciples not to throw their weight around, or seek to become great at someone else’s expense. Unfortunately, they failed to learn the lesson, and even at the Last Supper they were arguing over who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-26). When Jesus washed their feet, He taught them that the greatest is the person who uses his authority to build up people, and not, like the Pharisees, to build up his own authority and make himself important. We are to esteem others more important than ourselves (Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:1-4).”[2]

Verse 21 addresses a general submission by all members of the body of Christ to each other to ensure unity and harmony. It acts as an introductory sentence to the more specific areas mentioned in the next verse, where submission is a factor in the relationships of husband and wife, children and parents, and slaves and masters. In those relationships, a submission is called for that emulates that of the church to its Head (authority), which is Christ: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” [sic – KJV] (vv. 22-24; Titus 2:5). There is no mutual submission suggested in these three areas or of Christ and the church. The order and line of authority descends from God through Christ to man to woman: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (I Corinthians 11:3).[3]

There is submission both in v. 21 and in v. 22, but of different types. One is reciprocated and the other is unrequited in kind. That in v. 21 is marked by reciprocity which does not appear in v. 22. Both husband and wife submit, but the wife’s submission is to her husband, and the husband’s is to the principle of selfless love of v. 25. The wife is to submit to her husband, but the husband is not told to submit to his wife.[4] Again, there is no correlative mutual submission in Paul’s four illustrations: husbands/wives, parents/children, slaves/masters, Christ/the church. Otherwise, total confusion would ensue.

How can a husband and wife live in harmony with both having equal authority? It would be a standoff and both would be in their right. Confusion would result. Someone has to be in charge. That which is two-headed is usually considered an anomaly or unnatural. There is no clear analogy in either Testament of mutual submission that can be applied to husbands and wives.

Some attempt to tie v. 22 to the submission command of v. 21 because the verb “submit” does not appear in the Greek in v. 22 but is “borrowed” by the presumption of Greek grammar from v. 21. This grammatical insertion changes nothing.

Misquoting the Scriptures

According to Keener, “Sometimes Paul gets a bad rap. The slave narratives are replete with sentiments from former slaves who loved Jesus but hated Paul, because slaveholders regularly quoted Ephesians 6:5, “Slaves, obey your masters.” What the slaveholders didn’t bother to quote was the rest of the passage, which goes on to say, “masters, do the same things to them” (6:9). That is, if slaves have to obey their masters, masters must also obey their slaves.”[5] Virtually anyone can see that the passage does not say that masters are to obey their slaves. That would be quite problematic. Masters were to treat their servants according to the principles laid down in vv. 20-21. The thrust of the passage is that masters manifest the same spirit of heartfelt sincerity and humility, treating their slaves/servants with respect and dignity as a brother in Christ, but it does not say that masters must obey their slaves. This amounts to a manipulation of the language, subjecting it to his own assumptions and presuppositions.

Keener doesn’t give up: “Moreover, he never instructs the male householder to rule; instead, he is to love his wife, serving her by offering his life for her (5:25), to avoid provoking his children (6:4), and to treat slaves as fellow servants of God (6:9).” Has he never read I Timothy 3:12: “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well”? (Italics mine) It seems best to follow Paul’s advice and ignore the secular humanists and radical egalitarians, else we could find ourselves slouching toward serious theological error.

The idea of the mutual submission of husband and wife can be made to sound so kind, so relevant, so thoughtful and reasonable as to make one think if it is not actually expressed in Scripture it should have been. Are some Apostolics picking up this concept from the secular sociologists, the media, and the feminist authors who are trying to coerce us to bow to the god of political correctness? Paul’s admonitions may not find acceptance with the social philosophers of the 21st century, but popular human reason cannot be placed above the authority of the Word of God. Perhaps we have sat at their feet so long and been indoctrinated with how pagans and Christian liberals conceive of Christianity that we are beginning to think like them. Have we become so enamored with letters behind our names that we now believe that all who have many of them are smarter in all ways than any who have fewer or none?

(For those who need more supporting references, I suggest they turn to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones who published Life In the Spirit In Marriage, Home and Work: An exposition of Ephesians 5:18-6:9, pages 85-86.)

The source of this concept

Where did this concept of “mutual submission” of husband and wife originate? In the ever-darkening minds of modern secular humanists and sociologists? In the bowels of Berkeley, Columbia, and Harvard? In the glass-enclosed, downtown highrises where the media monsters lurk? In the hot-button books of the pop psychologists so faddish in the last half of the 20th century? In the 1960s cultural revolution that brought the Women’s Liberation Movement to the forefront in England and America? All may have had a part in the meteoric rise of this idee fixe among current sociologists and liberal Christian authors.

Early secular feminists were inclined to dismiss the Bible entirely and take their cues from contemporary sociologists. “Progressive” Christians, however, were hesitant to go that far. Too many American women were still conservative church goers. So they began to cast their lot with new Bible interpreters like R. T. France, David Thompson, and I. Howard Marshall who promote the idea that the Gospels gave Christianity a good start, but the faith has been sort of “unfolding” since then. Therefore, we know more today, we are more educated, and our understanding of ethics and morality are set in a more equitable light than that of the apostles. They suggest that a “fuller outworking of God’s purpose” is being captured today by modern thinkers. They propose fundamentally equalizing the roles of men and women, husbands and wives. They posit that Pauline admonitions were good for that time period, but new perspectives update Christianity and make it relevant to our time. These “progressive” new perspectives include the dismissal of the traditional complementarian view of women’s roles in favor of a more radical egalitarianism.[6]

These “progressive” ideas are espoused by Christian feminist authors Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty who are emboldened to say Paul was wrong. His admonitions about female subordination in marriage were simply unresolved holdovers from his former rabbinic training. His references to passages in Genesis reflected contemporary understanding and the way they were interpreted “in his day.” Therefore, since Paul’s statements were based on misguided Jewish concepts current at that time, and were inconsistent with other NT passages, we are not obligated to obey the apostle’s commands regarding husbands and wives.[7]

A new hermeneutic?

A word about hermeneutics. Should we employ “Pentecostal” hermeneutics or Baptist hermeneutics or some other religious tradition’s hermeneutics to interpret Scripture instead of standard “biblical” hermeneutics? To do so could bring pressure on leaders to accept theological error merely to accommodate whatever is already is being done by prominent pastors. In throwing a grid of Penteccostal hermeneutics over the Bible, we could possibly find ourselves in doctrinal error along the way, depending on what stripe of “Pentecostal” created the grid.

The modernists’ “trajectory hermeneutic” suggests that the commands Paul gave in the first century need not be followed today. Gender equality advocate R. T. France proposes this approach: “The gospels do not, perhaps, record a total reversal of Jewish prejudice against women and of their total exclusion from roles of leadership. But they do contain the seeds from which such a reversal was bound to grow. Effective revolutions are seldom completed in a year or two. In this, as in other matters, the disciples were slow learners. But the fuse, long as it might prove to be, has been ignited.”[8] Fellow egalitarian, I. Howard Marshall adds, “Paul wrote as he did about marriage because in his world he did not know any other form than the patriarchal. As he did with other relationships, he worked within the structures of his time and gave directions for Christian behavior within them. The danger is to think that this validates the setup for all time.”[9] Ah, now we see the plan—today other moral standards (read: ours) apply. Paul’s statements applied to his time, but our more erudite, educated and more ethical understanding is the way for today. I trow not.

Do Paul’s statements give husbands the right to mistreat or abuse their wives as some may have assumed? Absolutely not. Tyrants are not countenanced in the Scriptures. There are other verses which make that abundantly clear (I Peter 3:7; Colossians 3:19; et al). Deferment is included in love. A husband must recognize that there are times he should defer to his wife’s needs, wishes, abilities and ideas. This does not usurp his ultimate leadership. In the case of slaves, the same is true. Masters were enjoined to treat them as Christian brothers (see the Book of Philemon). Nor does it allow for child abuse, although there is no mutual submission directive for parent/child relationships. Additionally, there is no hint in these or other verses of a husband’s superiority or a wife’s inferiority. All persons are of equal value and worth in the sight of God. That being said, there is no justification for expanding the scope of the Scriptures merely to condemn selfish or violent acts.

Conclusion

The happiest couples are those who follow scriptural directives. Aside from the fact that such admonitions are “commandments of the Lord” (I Corinthians 14:37), they are actually stress relievers. Much of the pressure and stress on contemporary marriages has evolved from the departure from biblical principles. God’s way is always the better way, the happiest way, and the less stressful way.

Let me conclude with a thoughtful observation lifted from Barnes Notes on the Bible: “Submitting yourselves one to another – Maintaining due subordination in the various relations of life. This general principle of religion, the apostle proceeds now to illustrate in reference to wives Ephesians 5:22-24; to children Ephesians 6:1-3; and to servants, Ephesians 6:5-8. At the same time that he enforces this duty of submission, however, he enjoins on others to use their authority in a proper manner, and gives solemn injunctions that there should be no abuse of power. Particularly he enjoins on husbands the duty of loving their wives with all tenderness Ephesians 5:25-33; on fathers, the duty of treating their children so that they might easily obey them Ephesians 6:4; and on masters, the duly of treating their servants with kindness, remembering that they have a Master also in heaven; Ephesians 6:9. The general meaning here is, that Christianity does not break up the relations of life, and produce disorder, lawlessness, and insubordination; but that it will confirm every proper authority, and make every just yoke lighter. Infidelity is always disorganizing; Christianity, never.”[10]

Endnotes

[1] In the commentaries listed at Biblos.com, including Clarke, Poole, Pulpit, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, Ellicott, Barnes, Expositors, etc., etc., I found no principle of mutual submission of husband and wife extracted from these verses in Ephesians 5. One would assume if the concept mutual submission of husband and wife was apparent in Paul’s admonitions, some of them would have caught it. Obviously, it is a recent idea, concocted to support the new perspectives regarding male and female relationships.
[2] Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Colorado Springs: Cook Comm. Ministries, 1989), p. 50.
[3] One should not assume from this that every woman is to submit to every man, even strangers, “in everything.” The principle is being applied here only to the marriage relationship.
[4] There is deferment and agreement along the way in any relationship. No one is absolutely right all the time, in every case. However, this does not alter the basic principle, oft repeated in the Epistles, of wives’ submission to their husbands.
[5] Craig Keener quotes in this article are found in https://www.cbeinternational.org/blogs/case-mutual-submission-ephesians-5. Keener lamely concedes that “there is much less mutual submission in the instruction to fathers: children do need guidance.”
[6] Galatians 3:28 has been called upon by gender equality advocates to prove that gender is no longer a factor in the kingdom of God. We shall deal with that topic in another setting. I Corinthians 7:3-5 has also been used in the discussion, but one can see that the passage there is dealing with the matter of deprivation of sexual fulfillment in marriage, not authority.
[7] These ideas were set forth by Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty in All We Were Meant To Be: A Biblical Approach to Women’s Liberation (Waco, TX: Word Publishers, 1974), pp. 28,212,213, et al. In What God Hath Joined Together: A Christian Case for Gay Marriage (San Francisco: Harper 2005), Scanzoni would reveal her direction and ultimate goal: God sanctions gay marriage and so should we. One must be careful which path he chooses—where will it lead? She was following the concepts of Fuller Seminary professor Paul Jewett who wrote Man as Male and Female (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975).
[8] Quoted by Wayne Grudem, Evangelical Feminism (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2006), p. 54. Apparently a total reversal of roles, not merely an equalization, is the goal of the more progressive feminists. This is apparent in Barack Obama’s recent statement suggesting that it would be better if females ruled every nation in the world.
[9] Ibid., p. 58.
[10] Barnes Notes on the Bible at the Biblos.com website.

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Actual gun used by Democrats in attempted assassination of President Trump via impeachment

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Worth repeating

“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.” – Rick Warren

“God simplified NT church structure by giving only ONE job opening to every member: SLAVE.” – Raymond Woodward

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The Last Words

Breaking news (tic): President Trump to begin deporting Democrats; Mexico announces building of border wall.

I hate spelling errors. You mix up two letters and your whole post is urined. – Patriot Post

Please remember to change my personal email address in your lists to jrensey1@gmail.com.

Enjoy January. Endure February. Spring is not far behind.

JREnsey

Published in: on January 1, 2020 at 1:14 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog December 2019

Welcome to the December 2019 blog. Enjoy some “feel good” words and scenes.

 

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The Word for Today

This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement[h] quietly.

20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,[i] for he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

23 “Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,[j]
    which means ‘God is with us’” (Matthew 1:18-23 NLT)

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I acquiesce to others

Most of this blog will not be written by me. I have called on others to say what was once on their minds as they contemplated the season we still celebrate as Christmas—Christ’s birthday. Oh, we know it might not be the very month and day on which He was born, but somehow it feels right to acknowledge in this way that a Savior came from Heaven to earth to save us sinners. So cut me some slack and bear with an old Christmas lover while enjoying the thoughts of others during this special time of year.

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Home For Christmas

Christmas is the time to go home again
Seeking holidays of the past
And all we hold dear.
The lights bring warmth
As we drive into the yard.

We remember deeply
All that was good,

The hustle and bustle,
Helping Dad chop wood.

The fireplace glow was brighter

When we were small.
Mom’s kitchen aroma
Could be smelled by all.

And with all these memories
Celebrating the day (the birth of our King),
We sing as the angels did;
More so now than when a kid.
We celebrate the birth of our King!

                          -Carol Dee Meeks

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War hero comes home

Speaking of home, family and familiar surroundings…it is a comforting feeling to return to the environs where you spent your youth, the familiar places and faces remind you of that simpler time—a kinder, gentler time.

It must have felt that way to war hero Audie Murphy when he returned home from the battlefields of Europe with more medals on his chest than any American soldier in history. Here were his thoughts at that time included in an article written by correspondent William Barmard:

THIRTEEN U.S. generals flew in from Europe that summer day of 1945, landing at San Antonio, Texas. The whole line of them descended from the C-54 transport into the warm ranks of a reception committee. Then, right behind the generals came this freckle-faced kid, fresh from European battlefields, limping down the ramp because of wounds in both legs and his hip. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 134 pounds. He was twenty but he looked seventeen or less. He was so shy he didn’t give his name to a single member of the welcoming committee.

Won every medal

But reporters recognized him and promptly forgot the thirteen generals they had come to interview. For this was Audie L. Murphy, the most decorated soldier in United States history. He had won every combat decoration the United States offers, including the Silver Star twice. This was Murphy who won the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, with a lone, victorious stand on a blazing tank destroyer against 250 German infantrymen and six German tanks.

Here was Murphy and he didn’t smoke, drink or cuss. He looked like an Eagle Scout. San Antonio went wild when it found Murphy was back in Texas. So did Dallas. Officials chartered a plane to fly him to Dallas the next morning and parade him to his Farmersville home where fire trucks would be waiting to lead the welcome. It was a royal homecoming for a green-eyed kid who had to start earning his living at twelve.

He gets a lift

I had been to Farmersville and had met his older sister and his two younger sisters and his little brother, so I got him aside and told him news of his family. He was hungry for this news. “I’ll see you at Farmersville tomorrow,” I told Audie.

“How are you travelin’?”

“I have a car and plan to leave at 6 A.M.”

“Pick me up at 6:05,” said Murphy. “I’ll be on the corner across the street from the hotel.”

“You can’t do that,” I said. “All sorts of plans are in the works for you.”

The missing hero

“I’ll tell ’em I have changed the plans,” Murphy said firmly.

“See you at 6:05.”

He was there, all right, and we started out for the northern Texas agricultural community of Farmersville, three hundred miles away. Two hours later Murphy humorously confessed he hadn’t called anyone to report his change in plans. When I finally got to a phone, I found there was considerable concern about the disappearance of the war hero.

But Murphy was thoroughly relaxed. As we drove along, his vision followed the passing scene, green rows of corn, gentle hills, fat cattle in the soft tree shade of a meadow.

“This is what I came home to see,” Murphy said. “You can’t realize how swell this is. Over there it was a helluva thing. There were times our outfit was in battle seventy to eighty days without relief. You got mad and disgusted and you didn’t care what happened to you. This was the way I felt on that tank destroyer.”

He stopped talking, to watch a tractor running down the rows of a cotton field.

Bravery defined

“They talk about bravery,” he resumed. “Well, I’ll tell you what bravery really is. Bravery is just determination to do a job that you know has to be done. If you throw in discomforts and lack of sleep and anger, it is easier to be brave. Just wanting to be back in a country like this can make a man brave. I have seen many a doughfoot do many a brave thing because he wanted to get the war over with in a hurry and go home. Many a guy who wanted to come home worse than anything else in the world will stay over there forever. They are the fellows I want the honors to go to, not to me.”

Murphy pointed across a sunny field. “This is enough for me,” he said. [end]

[I have visited the site where Murphy made his stand atop a burning tank destroyer. He saw several German tanks and hundreds of enemy soldiers approaching the position of his battered and exhausted company. They had no hope of turning them back with no available armor or heavy weapons. The Germans had knocked out their only tank destroyer and it was on fire. Murphy climbed upon the flaming vehicle and turned the .50 calibre machine gun toward the Germans and opened fire. He was wounded but still manned the gun. The intense and accurate firing by Murphy made the Germans believe there were more GIs and guns than they could see. They retreated and Murphy’s company was spared.)

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Your best gift this Christmas

Life’s Mirror

There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure and true;
Then give to the world the best that you have,
And the best will come back to you.

Give love, and love to your life will flow,
A strength in your utmost need;
Have faith, and a score of hearts will show
Their faith in your work and deed.

Give truth, and your gift will be paid in kind,
And honor will honor meet;
And the smile which is sweet will surely find
A smile that is just as sweet.

Give sorrow and pity to those who mourn;
You will gather in flowers again
The scattered seeds from your thought outborne
Though the sowing seemed but vain.

For life is the mirror of king and slave,
‘Tis just what we are and do;
Then give to the world the best that you have
And the best will come back to you.

– Madeline Bridges

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JEST ’FORE CHRISTMAS

By Eugene Field

Father calls me William, sister calls me Will,

Mother calls me Willie, but the fellers call me Bill!

Mighty glad I ain’t a girl—ruther be a boy

Without them sashes, curls and things that’s worn by Fauntleroy!

Love to chunk green applies and go swimmin’ in the lake,

Hate to take the castor oil they give for belly-ache!

Most all the time the whole year roun’,  there ain’t no flies on me,

But jest ’fore Christmas I’m as good as good can be.

Got a yeller dog named Sport, sick him on the cat,

First thing she knows, she don’t know where she’s at!

Got a clipper sled, and when us kids go out to slide,

’Long comes the grocery cart and we all hook a ride!

But sometimes when the grocery man is worried an’ cross,

He rushes at us with his whip and larrups up his hoss.

An’ then I laff and’ holler, “Oh, ye never teched me! ”

Grandma says she hopes that, when I git to be a man,

I’ll be a missionary like her oldest brother Dan

As wuz et up by the cannibuls that lives in Clyton’s Isle,

Where every prospect pleases and only man is vile.

But Grandma she has never been to see a Wild West show

Or read the life of Daniel Boone or else I guess she’d know

That Buff’lo Bill and cowboys is good enough for me.

‘Cept jest ‘fore Christmas when I’m as good as good kin be.

And then old Sport he hangs around, so solemn like an’ still,

His eyes they seem a-sayin’, “What’s the matter, little Bill?”

The old cat sneaks down off her perch an’ wonders what’s become

Of them two enemies of hern that used to make things burn!

But I am so polite an’ tend so earnestly to biz,

That Mother says to Father: “How improved our Willie is!”

But Father, havin’ been a boy hisself, suspicions me

When, jest ’fore Christmas, I’m as good as I kin be!

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The Little Things

It’s the little things we do and say

That mean so much as we go our way;

A kindly deed can lift a load

From weary shoulders on the road,

Or a gentle word, like summer rain,

May soothe some heart and banish pain,

What joy and sadness often springs

From just the simple little things.

–    Willa Hoey

Man

At ten, a child, at twenty wild,

At thirty tame, if ever;

At forty, wise, at fifty rich,

At sixty, good or never.

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May the blessings of peace, the beauty of hope, the spirit of love, and the comfort of faith be yours this Christmas.

I am glad Christmas is not in July—sweating in the sun rather than warming by a fire! We need it to be when it is too cold to be doing unnecessary things, enjoying a good hot meal with friends rather than pouring another ice cold tea under a fan. December is made for Christmas, regardless of whether we know the exact date. Who cares? Just so we know He came, was one of us, and loved us.

I couldn’t give you a list of things I got as gifts when I was a child, but certain memories do stand out. Most often, they are togetherness moments, memories of fun shared and things done together.

Merry Christmas to teachers!

Read and touch one, write and touch many. But teach and you touch the world. You don’t just teach, you inspire. You lift the spirit in man year ‘round. You generate desire, not only to gain knowledge, but to keep wanting to learn. God bless all our teachers—those in public and private schools, in colleges, in churches and in the home. You are making a difference. Merry Christmas to you all!

Christmas is a time for fun, for anticipation, for good food, family and friends. Celebrate it with those you love.

There may be many gifts under the Christmas tree, but the best one is the gift of your friendship. We thank all of our friends who send good tidings our way. Our friends and family are our most cherished gifts. Thank each of you for being there for us. May this be your very best Christmas ever!

Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus. – Neal Maxwell

Better celebrate Christmas now, while you can. Unless America changes course, in ten years we might be celebrating Lenin’s birthday. Let’s appeal to all businesses, including Chick-Fil-A (it may be too late for them), not to cave in to the demands of the left as they did to those agenda-driven liberals who want to force you to stop giving to anyone with whom they disagree. 

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Couldn’t pass these up

Uncle Joe makes me feel young!

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The Last Words

We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. – Ronald Reagan

Words are little things, and a small drop of ink,

Falling like dew upon a thought, produces

That which makes thousands, perhaps millions,

Think.

Let’s make 2020 the year of recovery and renewal of our family focus, our faithfulness to church, and our personal faith in God.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Published in: on December 1, 2019 at 1:39 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog November 2019

Welcome! Thanks for visiting.

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The Word for Today

“For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults…But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ…Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it” (II Corinthians 12: 20; 11:3; Hebrews 4:1 KJV).

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“Praying always”

Scottish minister Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) died at age 29 from complications of typhus, a problem most likely aided by sheer exhaustion. His personal disciplines were commendable but they ultimately contributed to the destruction of his health. He is known for his intense prayer life as much as his preaching. He is said to have spent hours a day in personal prayer and study.


McCheyne is often quoted regarding his view of piety: “If you lack holiness, you will never see the Lord. A real desire after complete holiness is the truest mark of being born again. Jesus is a holy Saviour. He first covers the soul with His white raiment, then makes the soul glorious within—restores the lost image of God, and fills the soul with pure, heavenly holiness. Unregenerate men among you cannot bear this.”

On Sundays, he spent six hours in prayer and devotional reading! On Mondays he met the ministers of the presbytery for a 90-minute prayer meeting. One day a month he reserved for a full day of prayer and fasting. McCheyne’s prayer life was, to put it mildly, intense.

McCheyne was incredibly disciplined also in his Bible reading. He was constantly rethinking and sharpening his mind. He rigorously followed a pattern of specific confession of sin, thanksgiving, adoration, and specific intercessory prayer. He prayed daily for missions with a map on his lap. Below is an excerpt from his intercessory prayer diary:

  1. People
  • Relatives
  • Friends
  • Elders
  • Church Members
  • The sick and dying
  • For God to raise up Elders, SS teachers and prayer meeting leaders
  • For the power of the preached Word on the Sabbath
  • For fellow ministers
  • Against Popery
  • The persecuted Church
  1. Subjects
  • For the power of the Holy Spirit
  • For the unity and purity of the Church of Jesus
  • For the Queen and all civil rulers
  • For the Lord to raise up—in great numbers—ministers to serve the church
  • For the Word of God to be more reverenced in our land
  • For the success of missionary efforts in heathen lands
  • For the Jews to come to Christ
  • For a blessing upon the General Assembly

It was McCheyne’s aim to avoid any hurry which prevents “the calm working of the Spirit on the heart. The dew comes down when all nature is at rest—when every leaf is still. A calm hour with God is worth a whole lifetime with man….”

During his last illness he wrote: “To me that grace is not now given to preach to you…still the Lord allows me to give myself unto prayer…my soul does not rest in silence. I am permitted to go in secret to God and I can make mention of you all in my prayers and give thanks for the little flock.”

The cook in the manse said of McCheyne’s prayer life, “Oh, to hear Mr McCheyne at prayers in the morning! It was as if he would never stop, he had so much to ask.”

Even on his deathbed, McCheyne continued to intercede for His people. His last words were spoken while under a raging fever as he lifted his hands and cried out, “Lord, save this church and these people!

McCheyne died at the age of 29 in an epidemic of Typhus, almost certainly complicated by a worn out body and sheer exhaustion. But we are still talking about him 176 years later.  –  Adapted from Wikipedia

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Churches may lose tax exemption

One of the presidential candidates has promised to not only take your guns but your church tax exemption if he is elected—unless you and your church bow before the throne of political correctness and agree to embrace the sinful practices of this present culture (my words—his meaning). He says that people will surely volunteer to follow the law when it is passed. He further stated that it is time for Americans to submit to the laws of the land. It would be nice if he did the same. The law, yea, the Constitution, says we can “keep and bear arms.” It states that the practice of one’s religious faith is not to be “abridged.” Has he read the Constitution? He doesn’t want to abide by present laws he doesn’t like, but wants to change them and force everyone else to abide by laws he plans to pass.

Source: https://www.theblaze.com/news/beto-strikes-at-religion-over-gay-marriage?utm_source=theblaze-dailyAM

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Modern proverbs regarding our tongue

• The teeth may be false but let the words be true.

• When you feel dog-tired at night, it may be because you growled all day.

• Prayer: “Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and nudge me when I’ve said enough.”

Here is how to freshen your breath:

• “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (25:11).

• “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones” (16:24).

• “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life” (15:4).

• “A soft answer turneth away wrath” (15:1).

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Common sense isn’t common any more

“Americans deserve elected officials who focus on key issues to improve the lives of families, strengthen our communities, grow our communities, grow our economy, and keep our country safe.” – Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham

“The whole history of modern times is for human ingenuity, innovation and technological know-how to combat the challenges that mankind confronts. If you think global warming is a challenge, thank God you don’t have to deal with smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, polio or the plague. The black death in Europe killed about 1 of every 4 residents [actually, more]. Now, that is an apocalypse. What the young lack today is perspective. AOC thinks she has problems? It wasn’t so long ago that as many as 1 in 10 women died while giving birth. I always marvel that the ‘woe is me’ refrain from the young today is often recited as they tap on their $600 iPhones (charged with the electric power they want to do away with) and they carry around their caramel lattes from Starbucks. I tell my kids that without fossil fuels, they may not have power for their computer games. That gives them pause. …Our responsibility as parents, teachers, clergy and lawmakers is to teach the children how to solve problems effectively, not to preach the end of the world [via climate change].” – Stephen Moore; Patriot Post

“I trust a billionaire who became president more than politicians who become millionaires. After two years of intense investigations, not one of his accusers have committed suicide. We are witnessing a group of people so twisted by hate that they are angry their own president was investigated and found innocent.” Anonymous; Patriot Post

Common sense is like deodorant—those who need it most never use it.

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How weddings differ

In Egypt the women pinch the bride on her wedding day for good luck.

Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony.

Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.

American brides carry or wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past and good fortune in the future. The “something blue” in a bridal ensemble is said to symbolize purity, fidelity, and love.

The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers back then broke a loaf of bread over a bride’s head for fertility’s sake. Queen Victoria’s wedding cake weighed 300 pounds.

In many cultures around the world—including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings—the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple’s commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase “tying the knot”). Hmmm…not a bad thing if it isn’t a “slip knot.”

Don’t forget this: It is said that men who kiss their wives in the morning are said to live five years longer than those who don’t. [Who tested and proved that wonderful theory?]

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Now we know

Abraham Lincoln is best known as the 16th president of the United States. But before that he had a reputation as an accomplished wrestler. There is only one recorded instance of him losing a match in 12 years. In fact, he was honored with an award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. He was better at wrestling than running for office—he lost many more elections than he won. But he did win the one that really counted!

The act of crossing the street without first checking for oncoming vehicles, or not crossing at an intersection, is called jaywalking. Not surprisingly, “jay” was once a slang term that meant stupid or simpleton.

We already knew this:

When church attendance is optional, you set up your kids to fail.

• Too many politicians have a glib tongue attached to a shallow mind. (Reckon that ailment could also afflict some preachers?)

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Books

People in Proverbs

J. R. Ensey

Solomon and others share their wisdom about nineteen different people in the Book of Proverbs. From the Man of Understanding to the Stupid Man, from the Busy Woman to the Contentious Woman, from the Generous Man to the Offended Man and thirteen others, we deal with their traits, both good and bad. These lessons serve as sermons, Bible lessons or just personal devotional reading.

AM Price $12.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

Life Is Too Short To Spend It With A Kicking Cow (eBook)

Kicking cows deserve to be taken to the slaughterhouse! Life is too short even when we are not being kicked, but when our time here is being spent with anger, drugs, unwarranted guilt, apathy, doubt, and other hangers-on, we need to get rid of them quickly. Our spiritual life suffers when the sins of the spirit are not dealt with properly. Here are a dozen chapters that deal with some of life’s “kicking cows.” Is there one in your life?

AM price $9.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

 

WHY…Do Apostolics believe…?

Some younger men have called for reasons that specific doctrine and  holiness standards appear in the UPCI Manual. They were not around when the issues were debated and passed in conferences. It is easier in today’s cultural climate to give up the fight than to take the time to find out why Pentecostals believe what we do. Here are 224 pages of some common sense, Word-based answers for our apostolic positions.
Chapters:

• Why do Apostolics embrace the Bible as the Word of God?
• Why do Apostolics teach monotheism?
• Why do Apostolics receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues?
• Why do Apostolics disengage from a worldly lifestyle?
• Why do Apostolics abandon or avoid harmful personal practices?
• Why do Apostolics choose modest apparel and shun ornamental
jewelry?
• Why do Apostolic ladies refrain from cutting their hair and wearing cosmetics?
• Why do Apostolics live with a blessed hope?

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (I Peter 3:15,16).

AM price $12.95     To order click here or call 936-537-0250.

Don’t forget to order a supply of Into His Marvelous Light Bible studies for the coming evangelism thrust by your church! This is the study that is easy to use, gets right to the point, makes the salvation message clear, and invites an immediate response. It has guided many souls into the kingdom.

To Order click here or call 936-537-0250.

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In case you haven’t noticed these

The media finally got it right, sort of:

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The Last Words

Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth. – Anonymous

Better to get hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.  – Anonymous

Truth may hurt a little while, but a lie hurts forever. – Anonymous

The more a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. – George Orwell

Recommended reading (worth your time):

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu.//clarence-thomas-lost-constitution

Have a great Thanksgiving!

JREnsey

Published in: on November 1, 2019 at 12:12 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey Blog October 2019

Welcome to the October 2019 blog. Is America doomed? Goodbye, Miami. Read The Word for Today first. This world is not our home!

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The Word for Today

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:1-3 NLT).

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DOOMED!

Here is another “disease” designed in part to enrich the nation’s psychologists: Doomophobia! New psych therapies are being developed to help people cope with the fear of climate change being foisted upon the American public by the media and Al Gore types. Wild-eyed and wide-mouthed politicians are scaring our school kids and even collegians that the planet is doomed unless we adopt measures to shut down our industries and energy sector corporations. One of them screamed recently that Miami will soon be gone—underwater—if we don’t move quickly. Those not old enough to remember that this is the same kind of rhetoric that was dished out in the early 70s. Then they were warning about a new ice age, which soon morphed into global warming. Then overpopulation was going to doom the planet to starvation in ten years unless we did something to curb population growth. All, of course, to scare people into accepting abortion as a means of population control. After abortion was approved, the chatter subsided for decades. Now they are back at it with a vengeance. The world is doomed without the Green New Deal. OAC and Bernie are so 1970s.

Get a grip, folks. We just experienced a gully-washing, house-flooding rain in S.E. Texas after a lengthy dry spell. It happens occasionally. It is called Weather. Storms. Seasons. It has been happening since a guy named Noah experienced it over 4,000 years ago.

Relax. Turn the TV to the wall. Unplug it…or better, just toss it in the dumpster. And don’t call the psychologist.

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Sanders has the answer: population control will save us!

During the presidential candidate’s marathon town hall on climate change recently, an audience member asked Bernie Sanders if he was “courageous enough” to address the issue of curbing global population and if he would make it a “feature” of his plan for addressing the “climate catastrophe.” This question comes straight out of Paul Ehrlich’s book, The Population Bomb, the 1968 junk-science screed that peddled the global overpopulation myth. Yet this debunked ideology still captivates the minds of many ecofascists.

Sanders responded with an answer that would make Planned Parenthood founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger proud. “The answer is yes,” he stated. “And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very, very strongly support.”

Beyond Sanders affirming the myth of global overpopulation, he plays that old political game of mischaracterization. When Sanders talks of the Mexico City agreement, the 1984 rule that forbids U.S. funding of foreign nongovernmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning,” he expands this ban against abortion to include all forms birth control, something the agreement does not do. Evidently for Sanders, abortion is the only form of birth control worth advocating.

Secondly, Sanders exposed himself as a population-control extremist who is literally calling for the killing of preborn babies, especially in poorer countries, because he thinks this will help the climate. This kind of extremist talk coming from one of the leading presidential candidates should be unnerving to every American.

As The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh notes, “[Sanders] sees a world populated by normal people, on one hand, and surplus people on the other hand. His simple, if genocidal, solution is to throw away the surplus. This raises an obvious question: Why doesn’t Sanders include himself in the surplus? As G.K. Chesterton once observed: ‘The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him whether he is the surplus population, or if he is not, how he knows he is not.'” Walsh also observes, “The funny thing about people who advocate reducing the population to save the planet is that they always want to start by killing babies.” The defenseless make easy targets.- Blaze

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You knew

A coroner dealing with the Dayton, Ohio shooting has now confirmed that the anti-anxiety (benzodiazepine) drug, and Xanax (alprazolam), were in the shooter’s blood stream. Since 2008 at least nine similar acts of  violence were committed by someone taking this same class of drugs (benzodiazepines). Of these, six had taken Xanax, including the Las Vegas shooter. Drugs pull the trigger!

One study shows these types of drugs can cause behavior leading to “serious crimes and sometimes homicides.” Another found they increase the risk of someone committing a homicide by 45%.

When are we going to wise up and admit that it is not guns that are killing Americans, but drugs, alcohol, and tobacco (nearly one-half million per year), plus a severe lack of common sense.

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Tongue of the learned

Some quotes from Carl F. H. Henry’s book Twilight of a Great Civilization

“We sit glued to television sets, unmindful that ancient pagan rulers staged Colosseum circuses to switch the minds of the restless ones from the realities of a spiritually-vagrant empire to the illusion that all is basically well.”

“The late twentieth century is bone-weary of the indefinite and inconclusive and indecisive; what it needs is a sure Word of God.”

“The fountains of the great deep seem to be broken up in our times.  Institutions that have endured for a millennium are awash, and the surly question before us, is whether the whole fabric of civilization can survive the present rate of economic and social alteration.”  Quoting Russell Kirk, p. 16

Then I saw this somewhere:

“Truth is violated by falsehood, but it is outraged by silence.” – Henri-Frederic Amiel

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A salute to our veterans

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Book review

Roads We’ve Traveled

Autobiography of Walter Griffin Morgan

404 pages; 15.00

We have too few biographies of Pentecostals who left a mark on their generation. Here is one with details that will keep your interest. If you like to look deep inside a person’s life and feel like you are a companion on the roads he’s traveled, you will enjoy the story of Brother Walter Morgan.

Born into a struggling Southern family locked in the jaws of the Great Depression, Walter rose above the constraints of poverty and constant family changes that put him on the roads at a young age. Moving from pillar to post as a child wasn’t too unusual for the times, but readers who were never scarred by those rough edges of life will be captivated by his experiences of hitchhiking while just a young boy. You will smile at his teenage crushes as girls were attracted to his good looks and modest, self-effacing personality.

After a tour of duty in the Navy, he returned home to Southwest Louisiana to marry Lou Wilda VanWinkle of DeQuincy. Although he had a Baptist background of sorts, he had fallen in love with a Pentecostal girl whose life and testimony led him to a deep commitment to the Lord and conversion to the Apostolic faith. He was baptized in the name of Jesus and received the Holy Ghost in Singer, LA by pastor H. H. Phillips. When the call came to preach, he was ready. More lean times would follow but Walter and Lou Wilda were overcomers who seemed to win every major battle with life as they moved from one place of ministry to another in Kansas, Washington, and ultimately back to their beloved Louisiana where he assumed a pastorate in Lunita. His association with leaders and pastors whose names most Pentecostal readers will recognize, served to prove his mettle as a man of God.

He and Lou Wilda raised their four children, Trina, Denise, Nathan and Harlan during these ministerial and job stints. It seems they were never far from the highways. As you read, you may find yourself singing “On the road again….” You will laugh with them as they travel through life together, serving God and others and enjoying every minute of it. Funny experiences seem to pop up at every mile marker.

His final years were spent working with his son, Harlan, who pastors a thriving church in Sulphur (Lake Charles), LA. A fulfilled ministry behind him at age 84, he passed this life with a smile on his face, kept there through the years by his love for God and his passion for the roads of life traveled with Lou Wilda.

Read and enjoy the ride with them.

Order via email at oldmorgans@aol.com or by phone: 337-515-3440

The Commission in Matthew 28:19

Last month I mentioned an article titled An Analysis of Matthew 28:19. The many requests for copies made me know that publishing it was the right thing to do. For almost two millennia the verse has befuddled casual Bible readers and theologians alike. As Oneness believers we can handle it with learned explanations. But how many honest-hearted folks have decided against single-name, apostolic baptism because of this verse? The chances are more than good that the trinitarian baptismal formula was not an original part of Matthew’s Gospel. That is not just my opinion but that of many textual scholars who have looked closely at the issue.

Since the show of interest in the article last month, I have expanded it considerably, adding more witnesses who doubt the originality of the triadic formula in Matthew’s Gospel. If you would like a copy of the updated version of An Analysis of Matthew 28:19, here is a link:  Go Here. You can copy and print it. Your critique of the article is invited.

The generally respected conservative scholars at Dallas Theological Seminary, where Dr. Daniel Wallace (mentioned in last month’s blog) holds forth, had a major role in developing the New English Translation (NET). In the Bible’s textual apparatus at Matthew 28:19, they supported the inclusion of the triadic phrase by referencing two dissertations by authors Benjamin J. Hubbard (1974) and Jane Schaberg (1982). However, as it turns out, neither of these authors seem to believe the triune formula came from the mouth of Jesus. Hubbard states in his Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning[1] that he believes the “proto-commission” (original or primitive spoken version) may not have even contained “an express mention of baptism. Thus, this part of the reconstruction reads: ‘preach (the gospel) to all nations, (baptize) in my name for the forgiveness of sins. (And behold,) I will send the Holy Spirit upon you. We then examined the Matthean redaction of the proto-commission and concluded that Matthew did not himself compose the triadic formula but drew it from the usage of his church. The shorter reading (‘make disciples of all nations in my name’) corresponds better in some respects to the proto-commission. One might even argue that it was not Matthew who inserted the triadic baptismal formula but a later scribe.” (pp.165,166) Hubbard generally agreed with Strecker who holds that “the passage is a combination of a pre-Matthean ‘word of revelation’ with a Matthean expansion bringing the passage into harmony with his theological position. …It is not Matthean in language and the redactor would hardly have introduced the practice into his community.”[2] Hubbard says the strength of this position “lies in [Strecker’s] contention that traditional and redactional elements have gone into the makeup of Matthew 28:16-20, and that Matthew himself did not compose the triadic baptismal command.” (p. 6). In other words, he has serious doubts that the formula was in Matthew’s original gospel or that he was the author of it! And the DTS scholars are quoting him as a source for the longer triadic phrase? Incredible. Hubbard even adds that the “all nations” portion of the verse may have originated with information from a “Gentile missionary who had come in contact with the narrative of one of the eleven disciples and added the stress on the Gentile mission.” This might be the source of Daniel Wallace’s suggestion (published in this blog last month) that the triadic formula may have been added to the Gospel as an expansion “by Matthew or a later scribe.”

And what of Schaberg’s book The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?[3] Wading through her theological conjurations about the “mystical regeneration” of baptism, “the distinction of the Son from Spirit as a separate person,” and the counting of biblical triads, particularly in Hebrew apocalyptic literature, defines tedium. She gives a half-hearted nod to the concepts introduced by Hubbard as she adds that for her the idea of the Trinity is “a personal fascination,” although to some scholars it has become “a museum piece with little or no relevance to the crucial problems of contemporary life and thought, an example of the absurd lengths to which theology has been carried.” To other scholars, she claims it is little more than “a bizarre formula of sacred arithmetic…relegated to the realm of inaccessible mystery…of blind and ‘loyal’ faith…the rubbish the churches have added to the NT.” (Preface)

Schaberg refers to Coneybeare’s view that the triadic phrase was a later insertion “has won fairly wide acceptance,” naming a number of other scholars who hold that view. The primary problem, she intimates, is that there is no Matthean manuscript without it. (p. 27) True, but neither is there a Matthean manuscript with the phrase dated before institutional Christianity embraced the doctrine of the Trinity at Nicea and began making copies of the Bible to reflect Nicean theology. Without actually counting, it seems that most of the scholars she references believe the phrase was an interpolation, a later expansion, or an expression of a gradual liturgical development rather than an actual Matthean quote from the mouth of Jesus. Her emphasis in the book, however, was to seek for a parallel of the Matthean pericope in the prophetic visions of Daniel 7. It appears she concludes that “the original apocalyptic theology has been transformed by the Christian historical experience”—whatever that might mean to the casual reader.

She draws the sum line of her research: “[I conclude that] the triadic phrase in Matthew 28:19b, naming the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is a development of the triad found in Daniel 7: the Ancient of Days, one like a son of man and angels. …I conclude also that behind Matthew 28:16-20 a traditional midrash [Jewish commentary], containing the triadic phrase, can be isolated. This midrash may have functioned as a liturgical tradition associated with the rite of baptism. …I conclude further that there is not sufficient evidence to indicate that the triadic phrase, either at the midrashic or at the Matthean redactional stage, is trinitarian.” (pp. 335-336). It is surprising that her book was recommended as support for the authenticity of the baptism formula in Matthew 28:19.

Hang on to your Bibles, folks. We haven’t heard or read the last of this issue. The final word may be that we will all accept the phrase without question as authentic when pre-Nicene Matthean MSS start showing up. No problem. As stated above, we can handle it just as it is. On the flip side, I think the next few years could be very interesting regarding the doctrine of the Trinity.

[1] Benjamin J. Hubbard, Matthean Redaction of a Primitive Apostolic Commissioning (Missoula, MT: University of Montana, 1974.
[2] Georg Strecker, Der Weg der Gerechtigheit [The Way of Justice] (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1961), p. 210.
[3] Jane Schaberg, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1982). On the last page of her book, she left us with this: “Finally, has this probe of an aspect of the  background of the Trinitarian dogma offered material to support the suggestion of some scholars that rethinking of this dogma is of value today as an alternative to or correction of static concepts of God?”

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Books

Evidential Tongues

J. R. Ensey

This book was the outgrowth of a presentation at the 2008 Apostolic Theological Forum. The fact that many in the classical Pentecostal movement have ceased to stress this aspect of the new birth experience has disturbed us. It behooves us to occasionally take a harder look at our fundamental doctrines—not to try to disprove them but to make sure that the girders of truth are still bearing the load of centuries of attacks. To shore up our principle doctrines for each new generation seems to be imperative.

The book walks through the Acts of the Apostles to verify the consistency of the doctrine in the early church. But what happened to it after the first century? Research was done to highlight glossolalia (speaking in tongues) throughout the Dark Ages, into the Reformation period, during the development of various Protestant denominations, and on to Topeka and Azusa St. How it became a tenet of faith in the burgeoning Pentecostal movement is covered. Current views climax the study.

Here’s a historical odyssey that will strengthen your faith. AM Price $7.95

Apostolic Ministerial Studies

Years in the making, the two levels, Basic and Advanced, are available in two binders. There are twelve lessons in each level prepared for use by a pastor or other leader to train the ministers in the local assembly. Outlines for the students are also included. Written and compiled by J. R. Ensey, the studies are very practical and easy to teach. The lesson topics:

Level I

The Word Handlers I
Conquering the Enemies of the Ministry
From Moses to King James
Managing Ministerial Finances
Taking the Pressure Off Your Marriage
Life in the Fishbowl
Leadership in the Local Church I
Gods Ministry Gifts
Making Full Proof of Your Ministry
Standards of Christian Conduct
The Ministry and Morality
Social Ethic

Level II

The Word Handlers II
Shutting the Backdoor of the Church
Ministerial Ethics
The Christian Counselor
A Page From Paul’s Ministers Manual
Requirements For the Priesthood
Maturing In the Ministry
Feeding the Flock
Leadership in the Local Church II
Pursuing the Will Of God
Shoulders For A Prophet’s Mantle
The Gifts of the Spirit

Review:

“The 21st century Apostolic preacher faces challenges every day that past generations of preachers could have never imagined. We need all the resources and tools possible to equip us for this time. Ever since Brother Ensey told me he was working on a new study course for preachers a few years ago, I have been anxiously waiting to see the finished product. After having a chance to review the course I have not been disappointed. The experience from decades of hands-on ministry and years of training ministers have been distilled into a very user friendly manual. This is a must for every young minister and for ministers that are involved in training others for service. Thank you, Brother Ensey, for another great resource to strengthen the ministry.” – Pastor Gary Howard

In PDF format AM price $89.99

Printed in binders: AM price $119.99

Order from advanceministries.org/store , email at raensey@gmail.com or phone 936-537-0250.

IHML

IHMLCoverInto His Marvelous Light one-hour Bible study

Only $1.75 each up to 49 copies, 1.50 each from 50-99 copies, and only 1.25 for orders IHML_GFL_Revisedof 100 or more. Follow-up study Guide For Living is same price.

Still the best soulwinning tool you can use!

Order online at www.advanceministries.org/ or phone 936-537-0250.

Don’t forget your Bible studies this month! Be sure you have plenty on hand.

Order from advanceministries.org/store or phone 936-537-0250.

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I couldn’t resist these:

 

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The Last Word

Those who hate are usually the first to accuse others of hate.

JRE

Published in: on October 1, 2019 at 8:44 AM  Comments (2)  

JREnsey blog for September 2019

Welcome to the September 2019 blog. Don’t miss the statement about Matthew 28:19 made by Dr. Daniel Wallace!

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The Word for Today

“O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?” (Psalm 8:1-4 NLT).

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FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT:

A Brief Exposition of Luke 1:15

“For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”

Thesis:  Some confuse this reference of Holy Spirit filling with that which occurred on Pentecost. However, this verse is not to be compared with those scriptural references to the uniquely Christian experience of the “baptism/infilling of the Holy Spirit”—as mentioned in Acts 1:5;2:4: “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost , and began to speak  with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” and Acts 2:38: “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.”

What is the difference in the two “fillings”?

Exposition:  Luke 1:15 is saying that from birth John would be filled with a spiritual stimulus/enduement that would be an antithesis to being drunk with wine. It was an individual and specific anointing and filling (upon and within) for special purposes. It would be manifested even before birth (Luke 1:41), but it would not be…. [To continue reading this article, go HERE…]

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The Pope and Bible Translation

Pope Francis created a small stir recently when he suggested some subtle changes in the way the Lord’s Prayer is expressed in Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4.

In response, Dr. Daniel Wallace, Senior Research Professor of NT Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary and the Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM), has written an excellent article regarding this move and about Bible translation in general. I believe this informative article will benefit our readers immensely. Click on the link below and enjoy a refreshing and enlightening presentation of this vital topic.

https://danielbwallace.com/2017/12/12/pope-francis-the-lords-prayer-and-bible-translation/

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In his heart, he knows the truth about Matthew 28:19

Dr. Daniel Wallace, the same one mentioned in the above article, made a statement that should shake every Trinitarian out there. In a research paper on the Holy Spirit, the professor, whom I highly respect as possibly the foremost biblical Greek manuscript expert on the planet, revealed his take on the long ending of this verse.

Writing on the use of the Trinitarian baptismal formula as given in Matthew 28:19, he said, “Further, when we look at Acts we notice that water baptism is apparently never done in the “name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”;  it is done in Jesus’ name alone (cf. Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16).  What is to account for this?  Either the Trinitarian formula in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19) was a later accretion added either by the evangelist or, possibly, by some ancient scribe; or, more likely, there was a lack of understanding on the part of the apostles when Jesus gave the commission.  That baptism was apparently not done in the Father’s name either suggests that the apostolic band was wholly consumed with Christ or that the Trinitarian formula made little sense to them.  In other words, their initial understanding of the relation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit may well have been rather fuzzy.”

I have spoken personally with Dr. Wallace on several occasions and communicated with him electronically for a number of years, mostly about Bible manuscripts. While I have not spoken with him about this specific verse, I cannot believe he thinks the apostles misunderstood Jesus’ words or that their take on the Godhead was “fuzzy” (Luke 24:45). I imagine he is merely protecting himself with his Trinitarian colleagues and friends. I know that he knows there is no extant Greek manuscript containing Matthew 28:19 dated before the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325. All the Matthean MSS dated before Nicea are defective and do not contain that portion of the Gospel at all. I rather expect he believes that the Trinitarian formula was indeed “a later accretion [addition]” to the commission. He knows it is not the common language of the New Testament. Also, Eusebius, the recording secretary at Nicea, habitually quoted Matthew 28:19 as ending with “in my name” until after Nicea. Trinitarian scribes practiced adding doxologies and endings like this to the Scriptures. They added a similar one to the Lord’s Prayer in later Greek Byz manuscripts that all critics recognize and reject as emendations.

The professor knows all that, but he cannot afford to categorically say it. It would bring him great grief from his colleagues. I pray for his courage.

Someday they might dig up a second century manuscript of Matthew with the Trinitarian formula in it. I will be surprised. If so, we will just have to continue jumping through semantical hoops [“name is singular…Father is not a name…etc., etc.] to make Matthew 28:19 say what harmonizes with the remainder of Scripture and the practice of the apostles.

Whatever, the apostles of Christ did not get it wrong, professor! It is the Trinitarians’ concept of the Godhead that is “fuzzy.”

[Dr. Wallace’s research paper was called to my attention by Brother Roger Perkins. The original paper was titled “Greek Grammar and the Personality of the Holy Spirit”; Bulletin for Biblical Research 13.1 (2003) 97-125 [© 2003 Institute for Biblical Research]

For the record, references to the Holy Spirit in the NT are not presenting a third person in a Trinity, but simply expressing God’s Spirit at work in His people and in the world. There is only one Spirit (Ephesians 4:4).

I have prepared an analysis of the long ending of Matthew 28:19, providing the testimony of many scholars and experts, along with the record of ancient writings, that point to the trinitarian-sounding phrase as a later addition. It is free…just email your request to raensey@gmail.com.

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Say it again, say it again, louder, louder!

Legislators and college professors and mayors around the country are passing laws that prevent Christian counselors from attempting to help homosexuals exit that lifestyle. I am sure the same crowd would favor counselors helping Christians to bail out and become atheists.

I found it interesting that recent marches in Washington D.C.  were conducted by ex-gays who wanted to express their freedom from that practice. The liberal media virtually ignored them. Remember: A man with an argument is no match for a man with a testimony.

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WHY?

With most Americans reeling from the recent spate of mass shootings that tragically took so many lives, many diverse “solutions” are being proposed by legislators, media and the mental health industry [psychologists/psychiatrists/big pharma]. Yet virtually none address causality; namely, what could cause an individual to lose all sense of humanity in order to carry out such unimaginable acts.

While it is true that many factors can contribute to mass murder, violent crime and suicide, one well-documented fact is omitted by the press and, of course, the mental health industry “experts.” The latter is demanding millions more dollars to try to “prevent” mass shootings when it is known their psychiatric drugs they push has been a major cause. A percentage of the population taking these drugs become manic, psychotic, violent and homicidal.

With millions of Americans taking these drugs, clearly not everyone will experience violent reactions to that extent. But what drug regulatory agency warnings confirm is that a percentage of the population definitely will. And no one knows who will be next. This is the game of Russian roulette that is part and parcel of the psychiatric drug industry. – Citizens Commission on Human Rights

PS: Please note that Jim Jones killed over 900 men, women and children with Kool-Aid. Should it be withdrawn from grocery shelves? Another “mass killing” during the last month was done with knives. Should all knives be confiscated? Warped minds are to blame! And what is warping minds? Drugs, alcohol, social media input, fake news spewing hate, violent video games, and leftist college professors—to name the probable leaders on the list.

“Gun deaths” are railed against, but it is really the guns that are in view in the leftists’ minds—not deaths. Smoking killed almost a half million last year. If deaths were the concern of the leftists, they would address that problem more forcefully. Alcohol-related deaths dwarfed those killed by guns—about 88,000 every year. Why not ban alcohol? Everyone knows the answer to that question. Sighhh…where is the end of blatant hypocrisy? [JRE]

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The good, the bad, the ugly

• Uncle Joe Biden, on the stump in Iowa, was asked by a woman in the crowd as he was leaving, “How many genders are there?”

“There are at least three,” Biden, 76, can be heard saying. The woman then asks him to name them.

“Don’t play games with me, kid,” he responded, adding that he was the “first one” in the Obama administration to come out in support of marriage equality.

I checked with God about the three genders. “News to Me,” He said.

• Stop thinking that if you have a college degree it makes you smart. Lots of people have a driver’s license who can’t drive. -Anonymous submission

• Don’t complain about children in cages at the border if you won’t complain about children in garbage cans at Planned Parenthood. – Patriot Post

• “The womb of the mother is a holy of holies where God is at work (Psalm 139:13‚18). How tragic that we turn that womb into a tomb, that holy of holies into a holocaust.” – Warren Wiersbe in Be Obedient

• Definition: racist (n.) – Someone who wins an argument against a liberal. – Patriot Post

• When truth ceases to mean everything, it ceases to mean anything. – M. E. Burr

• “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Josef Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda

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BOOKS are still the major source of knowledge and learning. God thought so. He wrote the all-time number one bestseller!

Faith In The Furnace

by J. R. Ensey

When pain racks the body, and death is staring you in the face, questions crowd the mind. Will God heal me? How should I express my faith? Here are some down-to-earth, no-nonsense approaches to life when you are in the furnace of affliction. No hype, just biblical truth focusing on divine healing. Easy to read, thousands sold.  AM price $9.95

Why….?

by J. R. Ensey

Some younger men have called for reasons that specific doctrinal and holiness standards appear in the UPCI Manual. They were not around when elders debated the issues and passed the positions in conferences. It is easier in today’s cultural climate to ignore issues than to take the time to find out why Pentecostals still believe the Apostles’ doctrine and a holiness lifestyle. Here are 224 pages of some common sense, Word-based reasons for our apostolic positions.
Chapters:

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• Why do Apostolics teach monotheism?

• Why do Apostolics receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues?

• Why do Apostolics disengage from a worldly lifestyle?

• Why do Apostolics abandon or avoid harmful personal practices?

• Why do Apostolics choose modest apparel and shun ornamental
jewelry?

• Why do Apostolic ladies refrain from cutting their hair and wearing
cosmetics?

• Why do Apostolics live with a blessed hope?

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (I Peter 3:15,16 ESV).

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The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary [eBook]

Compiled and written by J. R. Ensey

The reference volume based on the biblical, apostolic viewpoint!
When you want to know the meaning of a theological term, or the description of a religious movement, or the definition of over a thousand words that are found in reference works and the Bible…turn to The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary!

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“This dictionary is far more than a word study; it is replete with the background and history of many doctrinal positions and teachings. It also serves as a standard for testing the validity of different theories—an invaluable tool!” – Dr. Marvin Treece            AM price $12.95

Order above books at advanceministries.org  or call 936-537-0250

FREE book! One copy of the Apostolic Theological Journal included with any order of the above book. Send a note with your order to let us know which journal you prefer.

Go here to choose your book.

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IHML Bible Studies

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Telling it like it is

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The Last Word(s)

Give thanks for the month of September—bearing the hope of cooler weather! Climate change is real. It used to be called seasons.

JRE

Published in: on September 1, 2019 at 3:07 AM  Leave a Comment  

JREnsey blog August 2019

Welcome to our post for August 2019. Cool your heels for 10 minutes and give your soul a break. We appreciate your visit.

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The Word for Today

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4 NLT).

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Can God calculate percentages?

Does God really keep up with how much we give and the amount we should tithe? Is He a nerdy bookkeeper? Such questions seem to be submitted in hopes of a negative answer. Let’s see.

It seems that the Lord is indeed interested in how much of our income we turn back into His work. When He visited the Temple, Mark noted, “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury” (Mark 12:41).

But what about the specific amount, like our tithe of 10%. Does He keep up with actual income percentages? Evidently.

In the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed by Jesus (Luke 17:12-17), one of the ten returned to thank Him for his healing. Jesus pointedly asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?”

He knew exactly how many had been cleansed and that only a tenth of them showed gratitude.

Peter, by the word of knowledge from God, knew that Ananias and Sapphira were lying about their pledge and their giving. Their judgment was swift and sure. How sad.

The truth is: Jesus knows. One may fool the church, or the pastor, and even the IRS—but no one deceives the Lord.

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Hearsay about growing older

Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me; I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.

When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

You don’t know how you got “over the hill” without getting to the top.

One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it’s such a nice change from being young.

Older folks wait, for good reason, until evening before stating how splendid the day has been.

Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable and relaxed.

If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.

-Submitted by some old friends who know about such things

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Closer to home

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I found it interesting…

…that Mexico once banned all immigration from the United States.

…that the citizens of Tennessee still had enough guts to pass a law that mandated each school to prominently display the national motto of “In God We Trust.”

…that we made a national hero out of a woman who kicked a ball into a net the size of a two-car garage, while disregarding her anti-American rants and refusal to honor the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance. (See her picture below in the cartoon section.)

…that Aesop, the old fable writer, observed that the smaller the mind the greater the conceit.

…that Rev. Ruth Meyers, a divinity school professor, is pushing for the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer to be revised to reflect the changing world’s position that God has no gender. Why then do some female theologians insist that Bibles refer to God as “She” or “Mother” in places rather than “He” or “Father”?

…that Rev. Robert Jeffress, a prominent Baptist pastor in Dallas and a Trump supporter, said, “I don’t want some meek and mild leader or somebody who’s going to turn the other cheek. I’ve said I want the meanest, toughest SOB I can find to protect this nation.” (Wash your mouth out with soap, pastor…but keep talking.)

…that NY has banned the declawing of cats, ostensibly because of the pain and discomfort to the feline. When will they wake up to the fact that abortion is not only a painful experience for a baby, but ends in death. When cats become more important to New Yorkers than human babies, no wonder they can elect folks like AOC and Chuck Schumer to Congress.

…that discussions are ongoing at Colorado State University on the question of whether the word America is offensive. Perhaps Christians ought to put together a list of words whose meanings are offensive and prepare to enter the discussion.

…that illegals pushing to get into the U.S. hauled down the Stars and Stripes and ran up the Mexican flag at a border ICE detention center on the U.S. side. They also turned another American flag upside down. (No outrage from the news media.) Isn’t that exactly what the left wants to do—turn America upside down? They have a pretty good start. Our only hope is that the 2020 election will turn the House of Representatives upside down.

…that the Mueller investigation found that President Trump did not actually steal horses, but he is guilty of resisting being hung for the crime. – Patriot Post

…that no one seems to be trying to break into Venezuela. Perhaps if we installed their type of government it would solve our border problem.

…that most students on campus who were questioned about comments by the President they felt were considered “racist,” were astounded to learn that they were not said by Trump but Obama. Another sign the media and professors are aligned for the purpose of destroying the Trump presidency and the American way of life. Pray for your children.

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Can you imagine…?

  • Can you imagine a home invader criticizing the homeowner for not having his preferred brand of snacks in the pantry or his correct size of clothing he is stealing from the closet? Is that what is happening on our border?
  • Can you imagine what would happen if an American sneaked into Mexico City illegally and took down their national flag and hauled up the Stars and Stripes? (They took down our flag at the ICE center in El Paso and ran up the Mexican flag.) This proves there is more going on down there than someone trying to get into a country for a better life.
  • Can you imagine AOC being sworn in as president of the U.S.?
  • Can you imagine voting for someone who does not even believe America is worth standing up for?
  • Can you imagine if it becomes a crime in America to be a practicing Christian who believes the Bible and teaches its commandments? Visit China today and see for yourself what it is like.
  • Can you imagine what would happen if millions of Americans abandoned common sense and patriotism? You don’t have to imagine—just read the news!

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Another smart quote from the left

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC): “[The migrants overwhelming the border are] ‘more American than any person who seeks to keep them out ever will be.’” Is she talking about the poor Mexican and Honduran laborers only, or all the terrorists coming over from Africa and the Middle East?

She also said when trying to push the narrative of climate change doom: “[Civilization] only has 12 years left [if we don’t pass my Green Deal legislation].” Eleven and counting. How else would we have known? She may be the primary reason Donald Trump is re-elected.

Does she not know that glaciers in Glacier National Park are actually expanding rather than receding? (http://lysanderspooneruniversity.com/2018/12/glaciers-continue-to-grow-in-glacier-national-park/). Leftists hate reports like this that hurt their anti-American socialist narrative.

Someone smarter than AOC, Winston Churchill, once said, “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.”

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A Christian Perspective on Secular Psychology

Ken Bow

The contrast between psychology and the Bible is so great that each of us will have to decide which one we will follow. Christianity begins with the assumption that God exists and He is the Creator; psychology, on the secular level, begins with evolutionary theory.

Christianity sees man as a special creation of God; psychology views man as the end result of billions of years of evolution. Christianity believes the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and absolutely true; psychology believes that truth is where you find it and man’s mind is the final judge. Christianity has the leadership of elders and preachers who use the Scriptures; psychology has a priesthood of therapists who quote one another.

Christianity is supported by the tithe and offerings of its disciples; psychology is supported by fee schedules and insurance payments. The Bible claims to have answers for man’s deepest questions—where we came from, why are we here, how can we change, and what is our future; psychology claims to have deeper answers for these questions which can only be revealed by therapists who have had years of formal training. The Bible claims to reveal the motive of the human heart; while psychology claims to know the unconscious drives of the mind. Christianity claims that humans can be transformed by the mysterious, miraculous power of God; psychology claims that it can transform man by helping him to understand, accept, and love himself. The Bible says that man is by nature a sinner, separated from the life of God; psychology says that man is essentially good, and needs to recognize his full potential. The Bible says that without Christ we are hopeless; psychology says that man is limited only by his imagination.

The Bible says that man is lost, and Christ is the only way; psychology says it can help man find his own way. The Bible calls sin by name; psychology says that man suffers from disorders. The Bible says that God’s people must not conform to the world; psychologists say that we must counsel the way the world does. The Bible says that each person is responsible for his choices; psychology says that each person is a victim of their environment. The Bible says that man can be forgiven, cleansed and healed; psychology says that we have to go back to our past, embrace our pain, and explore our inner self. The Bible’s answer for guilt is repentance and forgiveness; psychology’s way is for the conscience to be desensitized. The Bible says we have to crucify ourselves; psychology says that we have to actualize ourselves. The Bible says our battle is spiritual; Freud says the battle is sexual.

Down through the centuries without the aid of psychotherapy or any other kind of technique, Christianity produced millions of permanently transformed lives by the truth found in the Bible. In one century, psychology has captured the minds of millions with a message that has enslaved mankind through vacillating theories that promote sinful behavior. In essence, psychology points man to himself, the Bible points man to God.

Together magazine 8/14

Note: Christian counseling from Scripture is one thing; secular psychology is another. The psycho-babble of our times has by and large proven to be more confusing than helpful to the Bible believing Christian, and in many cases, quite harmful. While all counselors have our understanding of the challenges involved, we encourage a scriptural worldview be utilized when seeking to help those who have been wounded by life in a fallen world.

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BooksBooksBooksBooks

Check out these Apostolic commentaries to assist you in sermon and lesson-building.

Better Than The AngelsBetterThanAngels

by E. L. Holley

Here are the late E. L. Holley’s own teaching notes on the Book of Hebrews. His unique insight will provide a perspective that will shed new light on difficult passages. The material is clear, candid, and convincing. It has been winnowed so that the reader receives only the whole kernel, the heart of the matter and the real meaning that the author wanted to convey. The power of brevity is at work in these lines.
E. L. Holley was respected for his communication skills, his grasp of the Scriptures, and his insight into human nature that few have possessed. You will enjoy sitting at his feet and learning as he walks through the fascinating Book of Hebrews.  AM price $6.95

Presence-of-His-Glory-copyIn The Presence of His Glorydocument

by E. L. Holley

The inimitable E. L. Holley presents a verse-by-verse commentary on the General Epistles (James, I/II Peter, I/II/III John, and Jude) as he taught them in the classrooms at Texas Bible College.  AM Price $9.95

Letters From A Roman Jail eBook

by J. R. EnseyLetters-From-A-Roman-Jail

Some of the most beautiful and truly meaningful words that flowed from the pen of Paul are found in his letters written while incarcerated in Rome. They graphically display the triumph of the pen over the sword. Nero’s sword took Paul’s head, but Paul’s pen took Nero’s empire! The topical format permits not just word study and exposition, but teaching ideas and application. This is also a good book for new converts who are into the study of the Word.                     AM price $6.95

People in Proverbs

by J. R. Ensey
Solomon and others share their wisdom about nineteen different people in the Book of Proverbs. From the Man of Understanding to the Stupid Man, from the Busy Woman to the Contentious Woman, from the Generous Man to the Offended Man and thirteen others, we deal with their traits, both good and bad. These lessons serve as sermons, Bible lessons or just personal devotional reading.

AM price $12.95

 

IHML makes it easy to win souls

Into His Marvelous Light
IHMLCoverAvailable in English, Spanish, German & Italian
No other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never fully duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. Those who are seeking for Availabletruth will see that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. Over 2 million copies in use.

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Guide For Living 
IHML_GFL_RevisedA follow-up Study for the new convert. This little booklet can be given to the new convert to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially—and explains what their responsibilities are now.

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50-99
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Promotional Tracts 
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Hand out these tracts to help you promote the Bible study in your community. Available in English and Spanish. It’s easy to get Bible study opportunities with these tracts.  $9.95 per 100

Order all materials shown above from Advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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Worth a thousand words

Only if their lips are moving…

 

In case you didn’t know…

I guess they finally figured it out…

Some days it pays just to stay in bed…

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A final thought

TV today

Computers and phones have made television virtually obsolete. It has eliminated all the reasons to have one except entertainment, and much of that is of the worthless prurient variety. The news and weather, the main reasons Christians gave for having one 30 years ago, are available instantaneously on every social media device. Yes, putrid stuff can be called up on the Net in places, but you can stay away from it by choice, whereas on the TV even the ever-present ads, which one cannot conveniently avoid, promote every anti-Christian idea possible. And on TV one is limited to what the channels list at a given time. “Aw, let’s just watch Dr. Phil, the psychologist, until the cooking show comes on.” Right.

Comparing TV and the Net as equals is like comparing apples and oranges. There were good reasons our Apostolic brethren took a stand against this medium decades ago, when decency codes were still in place. More good reasons came along later when the codes were dumped. I am not suggesting that God will have two lines in judgment—one for the TV owners and one for the no-TV folks. I am just saying we need to heed the voices of God-fearing pastors who still appeal to us to dispense with Desperate Housewives, the Jerry Springer and Oprah shows, and the disgusting ads that are not just selling soap, but pushing anti-Christian, anti-American propaganda in the process. Even National Geographic and other science programs are laden with anti-biblical evolutionist garbage. Disregarding the admonitions of pastors is probably more spiritually problematic than watching an episode of CSI, whatever that is (Hebrews 13:17).

Think about it.

Have an august August!

JREnsey

Published in: on August 1, 2019 at 6:49 AM  Comments (1)  

JREnsey July mid-month update

Thanks for checking in on our abbreviated mid-month blog update!

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The Word for Today

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (I Timothy 2:1-2 ESV).

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Neglect the news, unless you have a strong stomach

Norm Chomsky once said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

This philosophy falls in line with Sol Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, followed closely by the Clintons and Obama, as well as AOC and the other airheads in the House of Representatives today.

The circus act at the border by AOC was nothing more than leftist propaganda. Take a look at her crying act at a fence facing a parking lot (below). You would think she was standing at the fence surrounding the Auschwitz concentration camp. It was a parking lot. According to authorities on site, her lies about women being made to drink from toilets was a complete fabrication. How smart can New Yorkers be who would vote this bartender into the U.S. House of Representatives? If that is the best candidate they have for someone to help run America, than God help lower Manhatten! Perhaps we should sell it back to the Indians for $30 bucks, take the $6 profit and run.

Earth to AOC: It’s not a concentration camp if you can avoid it by walking in the opposite direction!

Enough, already!

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The primary purpose for this mid-month update is to communicate the following information.

A message regarding the KJV vs. modern translations issue

Because I have occasionally put items in my blog concerning the Bible translation controversy, some people have assumed that I am on a crusade to denigrate the King James Version or convert its users to other Bible versions. Not so. I realize some readers may be seeing only one side of the debate; therefore, an explanation is necessary.

While I personally believe there are other versions more accurate and clearer on doctrine and the holiness lifestyle than the KJV, I know that there are many who love the KJV, have memorized its style and cadence, and have no desire to change. I understand that. No suggestions are made to stop using it. My appeal is to those within our constituency who are continuing to spread misinformation about both the KJV and other versions to cease doing so. Since they have refused, I and others have published rebuttals to their false claims. The misrepresentation of the facts on this issue has evoked confusion among both ministers and laymen and is injurious to needed unity.

I recognize there are a few rogue translations in print, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation, for instance, and others that I have written against. However, the major ones in wide usage that are based on the earliest Greek manuscripts are considered to be truer to the original text than the KJV by competent and dedicated conservative scholars. My personal research over the last 30 years agrees with their position. That being said, the renderings in the new versions do not alter any fundamental doctrine set forth in the KJV. They embrace faith, repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a holy lifestyle, the resurrection of Christ, the deity of Jesus, the absolute oneness of God, heaven, hell, and other major doctrines. Their redeeming value is that they generally state those truths in a clearer and more understandable way than the 418-year old KJV. That version is simply the last in a line of English Bible versions from Europe published in the 16th and 17th centuries. Its translators stated clearly in their Preface that they did not consider it to be the ultimate and final word on Bible versions.

While I am not trying to convince people to discontinue using the KJV, a few very vocal extremists are desperately claiming it is the only translation we should use and all others are “fake Bibles,” published merely to deceive people and make money. They continue to make false assertions in articles, tracts and social media that are deceptive and misleading, amounting to little more than fear-mongering. Some of my readers may not be aware of their efforts. That is the reason for my addressing the Bible translation issue—not to get people to switch versions and use another translation. That decision needs to be based on informed factual research, not unsubstantiated claims.

This position is clearly stated in my book Searching the Scriptures:
Merging Truth, Texts and Translations
. In it I provide what is being published about Greek texts, manuscripts and Bible translations by the KJV extremists. The errors of that movement are clearly delineated and rebutted. Those who are interested in the facts about Bible versions will find this book helpful. I believe it will assist in allaying any concerns associated with this issue. I urge all to take time to do their own objective research on this issue.

The nearly 500-page book Searching the Scriptures: Merging Truth,
Texts and Translations
is available as an eBook for $14.95. Search, cut and paste, read on the screen or print it out. It contains information produced by years of dedicated research. Order HERE: www.advanceministries.org/store

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What…?

Democrats spent two years fighting “foreign involvement in our elections” and then voted 228-197 in favor of allowing illegals to vote. They objected to the cost of an Independence Day parade honoring liberty and those who defend it, but want to use your tax dollars to provide free health care, housing, and other “free stuff” to millions of illegal aliens.

Democrats voted to fine American citizens for not having health insurance, and now they want to give health insurance to illegals for free? One presidential candidate wants to completely eliminate private insurance altogether in favor of a single payer (the government) system. Where will all this insanity stop?

More nonsense: An Arizona Starbucks store asked 6 policemen (customers) to either leave or make themselves invisible to a customer who told the barista that he did not feel “safe” with the policemen around. Corporate management offered a half-hearted apology, but in some ways they have proved themselves to be poor supporters of legal authorities. They are some of the prime movers of the agenda of the LGBTQ community. There is a fairly strong movement that is advocating a boycott of Starbuck’s. Frankly, I much prefer the coffee at McCafé. The $5 cuppa you can keep.

Nike removes American flag from shoes

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The Last Word

All patriots should be motivated by the words of John Adams, our second U.S. president: “You will never know how much it cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”

JREnsey

[Notice: This blog has no connection to any person, organization, corporation, or entity other than the signatory.]

Published in: on July 15, 2019 at 8:52 PM  Leave a Comment