Welcome to the September 2015 JREnsey blog!
The Word for today
book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12-15).
From John Wesley’s Journal
“My horse [affectionally named Timothy] was very lame, and my head did ache exceedingly. Now what occurred I here avow is truth—let each man account for it as he will. Suddenly I thought, ‘Can not God heal man or beast as He will?’ Immediately my weariness and headache ceased, and my horse was no longer lame.”
It’s about time
Southern Baptists finally drop ban of speaking in tongues
For more than a decade, the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) disqualified candidates who spoke in tongues or who had been baptized in churches that disagreed with the convention’s view of baptism. Similar rules barred divorced people or those with teenagers from being missionaries.
That changed Wednesday, when the IMB’s trustees, at the prompting of their new president David Platt, approved a new, simplified set of rules for the agency’s more than 4,800 missionaries.
Missionary candidates must affirm the doctrines found in the Baptist Faith and Message statement of beliefs, be baptized by immersion, be a member of a SBC church, and demonstrate an “intimate, growing relationship with Christ.”
Previous rules required would-be missionaries to have been baptized in an SBC church, or in a church that held SBC-like beliefs about baptism. Candidates baptized in a church that did not believe in eternal security—the idea that true Christians can’t lose their salvation even if they sin—or a church that views baptism is a sacrament were rejected. The new rules allows those who were baptized by immersion and who are members of an SBC church to be candidates.
The changes also address the question of charismatic worship and prayer practices, which have been controversial for Southern Baptists. Under the previous rules, candidates who spoke in tongues or had a “private prayer language” were barred. Under the new rules, speaking in tongues does not disqualify missionary candidates. Too much emphasis on charismatic gifts, like speaking in tongues, could still lead to discipline.
“IMB may still end employment for any missionary who places ‘persistent emphasis’ on any specific gift of the Spirit as normative for all or to the extent such emphasis becomes disruptive to Southern Baptist missions work,” according to a FAQ about the new rules posted by IMB.
Source: Bob Smietana, Christianity Today; May 14, 2015
Saul Alinsky is president
Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) authored the books Rules For Radicals and Reveille For Radicals. It caught the eye of one Wellesley radical named Hillary Clinton who did her college thesis on his theories of developing a socialistic government. Another Harvard student named Barack Hussein Obama also attached himself to Alinsky’s agenda on how to create a socialist state via community organizing. “Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.” —Letter from L. David Alinsky, son of Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky.
If the dozen or so “rules” Alinsky propagated were distilled, updated and applied to the current American scene, they would probably look something like this:
1) Healthcare – Control this and you basically control the people.
2) Poverty – Increase the poverty level as high as possible; poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the national debt to an unsustainable level where taxes must be increased, thereby creating more poverty.
4) Gun control – Remove the ability of citizens to defend themselves against terrorists or the government, creating a police state.
5) Welfare – Assume control of food production and distribution, housing, and income levels.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in God from the government and schools.
8) Class Warfare – Weaken and erode the middle class. Divide the people into wealthy and the poor. This will make it simpler to tax the wealthy for the support of the poor.
9) The Family – Redefine the family so that children are screened from traditional values. Diminish parental control.
10) Control the Media – The masses will believe what they are told if it is repeated often enough. Promote political correctness through television, the Internet, and the newspapers.
Are we being governed now and potentially in the future by Saul Alinsky? It seems so. Silence gives consent.
What are churches and pastors allowed to do politically?
Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, a conservative legal firm connected with Liberty University, recently told an audience of pastors that he wants to “dispel the myths” about what churches can and can’t do when it comes to politics.
“If we look at churches, churches are unique entities — churches are different than any other non-profit organization,” he said. “You don’t have anything to fear about speaking out.”
Staver’s comments on politics and the pulpit come a year after the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist activist group, waged a battle against the IRS, claiming that the tax authority has not been holding churches accountable to rules restricting politics from the pulpit.
When it comes to lobbying, Staver told the pastors that churches are not precluded from commenting for or against specific legislation. “No church in the history of America has ever lost its tax exempt status for lobbying,” he said.
That said, Staver noted that churches are limited under IRS rules when it comes to political endorsements.
“You can’t say, ‘This particular church by name supports or endorses this particular candidate,’” he said, noting again, though, that “no church in history” has lost its tax-exempt status.
Staver said that, despite not being able to endorse specific candidates, pastors can preach from the pulpit on any topic that is found in the Bible—and that’s not all; houses of worship can also offer valuable voter information about candidates and incumbents, including inviting those individuals to speak to congregations about their personal faith and experiences.
“You can explain their positions,” he said. “You can [hold] a candidate forum. It doesn’t matter whether they all come, you just invite them all.”
Staver said that churches can even “register people to vote,” as it is not considered a “political act.”
“Dispel the myth that you’re going to lose your tax exempt status,” he said.
Erasmus on “Preaching”
“We see not a few mortals who, striving to emulate this divine virtue with more zeal than success, fall into a feeble and disjointed loquacity, obscuring the subject and burdening the wretched ears of their hearers with a vacant mass of words and sentences crowded together beyond all possibility of enjoyment. And writers who have tried to lay down the principles of this art have gained no other result than to display their own poverty while expounding abundance.” – Quoted by Elbert Hubbard in Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great.
No flags at school
A Dickson County, Tennessee school district has banned students from bringing American flags to campus because they could be seen as offensive by some.
The American flag just outside the entrance to the district’s schools will stay [I wonder how long?], but students who wish to express themselves more personally won’t be able to. How long before patriotism gets a student expelled? How long before the teachers and professors have our own kids stomping on Old Glory right on the steps of the schoolhouse?
Islamic studies are in; American history is out. American flags are out; immigrant students’ flags are in. Patriotism is out; multiculturalism is in.
We sign a deal with Iran, give them billions of dollars to build their nuclear arsenal, allow them to inspect and monitor themselves—all the while as they chant “Death to America.”
What a great country we had. We spill the blood of our sons and daughters on foreign soil to save a dozen nations. Then we pour billions into rebuilding those nations and their economies. What do we get in return? Too often it is a kick in the head. Haters of the American way of life, our faith, and our historical heritage should not come here with intent to reduce it to a third world nation, but to strive with us to make it stronger and better.
Islamic Immigration in Europe
The number of Islamic immigrants in Europe is mushrooming. With their birth rate much higher than Europeans, they will soon be the majority in many countries. Awash in “progressive” multiculturalism experiments, European nations have opened themselves up to pressures they never dreamed of 25 years ago.
Some are belatedly trying to stem the tide. With all votes counted, a block of center-right parties led by former Prime Minister Lokke Rasmussen ousted Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s center-left coalition. The anti-immigration Danish People’s Party became the second-largest party in parliament. The election results reflect voters’ growing frustration with multiculturalism, Danish asylum and refugee policies and runaway immigration from Muslim countries. New statistics released by the Danish Immigration Service showed that 90% of all asylum applications have been approved so far in 2015. This is in stark contrast to 2004, when only 10% of such applications were approved.
In Copenhagen, the Islamic Society in Denmark began accepting donations for the construction of a third megamosque in the capital. The project is expected to cost 80 million kroner ($11.7 million) and construction could begin in 2017.
In France, former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s opposition party—recently rebranded as “The Republicans”—held a meeting on the question of “Islam in France or Islam of France” as part of a roundtable discussion on the “crisis of values” in France. Sarkozy said: “The question is not to know what the Republic can do for Islam, but what Islam can do to become the Islam of France.”
(Source: Soeren Kern at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org)
Should American Christians be concerned about immigration?
“If you talk about immigration, you are a xenophobe. If you talk about security, you are a fascist. If you talk about Islam, you are an Islamophobe.” – French MP Henri Guaino. [Such a concept should be roundly rejected. Only by free speech in a free society can truth find a niche in contemporary culture.]
“If European countries accept a wave of migrants, there will be terrorists among them. …By accepting the migrants, we strongly facilitate the Islamic State’s expansion to Europe.” – Czech President Miloš Zeman.
“We cannot lose this war because it is fundamentally a war of civilization. It is our society, our civilization that we are defending.” – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
It was recently stated on Fox radio news that the U.S. would be accepting 32,000 new immigrants from Syria and other Islamic states where ISIS fighting is displacing many citizens. It was acknowledged that there will be no way to screen them as to their loyalties or backgrounds.
The number of mosques in the US since 9/11 has doubled to accommodate the influx of Muslims.
Who is speaking out on this issue beside Donald Trump? Our government is selling our future to the immigrants, whoever they might be. I am so tired of hearing about Islamophobes, xenophobes, homophobes, ad infinitum. Know what the left-wingers and media elitists are? Truthophobes! Those self-ordained supermen hailing socialism as a worthy goal for America treat truth as though it were kryptonite.
They said it
“The White Man goes into his church and talks about Jesus. The Indian goes into his tipi and talks with Jesus.” – Quanah Parker, the last great Comanche chief
“I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” –Donald Trump [Probably most independent thinkers agree with him. Trump often says things in an abrasive manner, and few of us like the way he says it. At least he’s being boldly honest about the world as it is instead of the world as we would like it to be—and a lot of folks find that attractive. Where did common sense jump off of this American train?]
“The word Jew itself is dirty. If I were in Israel, frankly, I would do to the Jews what they do with the Palestinians —slaughter each and every one of them.” – Muhammad N. (Police officer in Brussels, Belgium)
“A liberal’s paradise would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive healthcare, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities, and only law enforcement has guns. And believe it or not, such a place does indeed already exist: It’s called Prison.” – Sheriff Joe Arpaio [I am not ready for my orange jumpsuit, are you?]
When asked if she wiped her server clean, Hillary Clinton responded: “What? With a cloth or something?” Knock, knock. Hello….hello. Hmmmm…the light is on but nobody’s home.
On Jewish monotheism
Resting on my shelves for years has been the Torah Commentary. For several reasons it has not been the first book I look into for an insight into some Old Testament verse from the Pentateuch. This week I pulled it to check out Deuteronomy 6:4. Here’s a comment from Rabbi L. Jacobs:
“Modern Jewish monotheistic belief has been so thoroughly explored in the previous centuries that a consensus has emerged among believers as to what it implies and what it rejects. Judaism stands or falls on the rejection of polytheism as it is compatible with dualism or trinitarianism. …Moderns will be skeptical, to say the least, regarding the kabbalistic systems and will regard Chasidic pantheism as logically obscure. The believing Jew still recites the Shema as plying the pur monotheistic doctrine on which Judaism as a religion is based.”
Maimonides, the great 12th century Jewish scholar, was also quoted:
“I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed by His name, is One only and that there is no unity in any manner like His, and that He alone is our God, who was, is, and will be.”
We are one with the Jews on the concept of monotheism. Trinitarianism has never been palatable to those who hunger for truth about the one and only God.
Speaking of one and only…
Extremists that claim the KJV is the only translation we should use complain that the rendering of the Greek monogenes as “one and only son” (NIV) rather than “only begotten son” (KJV) in John 3:16 turns the verse into a lie. Translating the word without using “begotten,” they say, reveals a liberal attempt to play down the true nature of the Incarnation and the deity of Christ. Does it really? They say that God has other “sons”—Adam is called “son” in Luke 3:38, and Paul referred to Christians as “sons of God” in Philippians 2:15 (technically “children.” See Strong’s). Therefore Jesus is not God’s “one and only son.” Has anyone heard of Bible readers getting confused by “one and only” rather than “only begotten”? Ever read where liberal scholars or unbelievers were using that phrase in contemporary versions to deny some aspect of the sonship of Christ? Who is confused, other than the extremists insisting on the exclusive use of the “one and only” Bible version?
The truth is that the KJV translators rendered the same word as “only son” in Luke 7:12, as “only daughter” in Luke 8:42, and as “only child” in Luke 9:38. Why not rail at the KJV translators about those verses? The problem so often is that comparisons are made strictly on the basis of how the English is rendered in the KJV vs. contemporary versions, completely disregarding the Greek. Shouldn’t we compare each with the original languages? If it is not said as the 1611 KJV rendered it, extremists declare it must not be the Word of God. That position is indefensible.
Jack Lewis, writing in The English Bible: From KJV to NIV, points out: “Monogenes occurs ten times in the NT. In view of its use to describe such figures as Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and the epileptic child (as well as Jesus), the claim that ‘only begotten’ in a unique way expresses Jesus’ sonship better than ‘only’ does is without validity. Monogenes derives from genos (‘sort’ or ‘kind’) rather than from gennao (‘to beget’). While the Old Latin Version used unicus (‘only’) for monogenes, Jerome [in the Latin Vulgate] inconsistently introduced unigenitus (‘only begotten’) as the rendering for some of the occurrences of monogenes. Although Tyndale had used ‘only son,’ the KJV (as well as other English Bibles, beginning with the Great Bible) seems erroneously to have followed Jerome’s lead in rendering ‘only begotten.’ A considerable number of current evangelical scholars believe that [the NIV] is not at fault in its rendering as ‘one and only son,’ with ‘only begotten’ as a footnote.”1
Could Trinitarian extremists tell us just when the Son was “begotten,” and who were His literal parents at that time? Was He a born son, or a created son? Neither the phrase “eternal Son” nor the concept is in the Bible. That term never passed the lips of an apostle. Hierarchical authorities in the Middle Ages murdered those who would not use the term.
For a “Fact Check” concerning English renderings in Bible versions, go to advanceministries.org/articles and click on “Fact Check—Bible Translations.” Please remember, I am not promoting or defending any particular version, merely emphasizing a defensible position for our “The Bible says…” declarations. If truth is not worth standing up for, what is?
1 Jack Lewis, The English Bible: From KJV to NIV [Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991], p. 113.
Grab a quick smile before continuing
The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.
The easiest way to find something around the house is to buy a replacement.
Medical report blunders:
The patient was side-swiped by a car riding a motorcycle.
Three bullets were removed from the patient; one from each leg.
The shoulder dislocation was relocated in the emergency room.
I have authorized two more trips to the chiropractor to help finish him off.
The patient states that diarrhea tends to run in her family.
While in the Emergency Room she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
The patient had no recollection of memory loss.
Source: Seniorific News
Isn’t it comforting to know that preachers are not the only ones who make rhetorical gaffes?
The Unbound Scriptures
by Rick Norris
This 540+ page book is based on over a dozen years of intensive study and research. It provides one of the most complete bibliographies of books relating to the topic of Bible translation. It includes important information about the history of our English Bibles and about the view of Bible translation in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Some of the topics discussed in the book include KJV-only view variations, Bible copyright, archaic words, claim of translators’ superiority, character of King James, rules for the translators, revision, marginal notes, italics, genetic fallacy, ad hominem arguments, post hoc fallacy, argument from experience, results, tradition, or antiquity, doctrines of inerrancy and inspiration, claim of advanced revelation, line of “good Bibles,” claim concerning inspired words, uniformity vs. variety of translation, the name of God & Christ in the Scriptures, and a myriad of other topics. You won’t believe how much helpful information is packed between these covers.
AM Price $ 17.99 To order call 936-537-0250.
How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution
by Maria Kneas
Official government documents say that evangelical Christians are potential terrorists, and some Christian groups are even called hate groups. Christian doctors and nurses are being forced to perform abortions, and a Christian baker has been threatened with prison for not baking a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. Christians in Colorado, New York, and Kentucky are being forced to go through “sensitivity training” in order to “rehabilitate” from their religious beliefs and resulting moral convictions. When Communists did such things to American soldiers, we called it brainwashing.
American Christians are in the early stages of persecution, and it is increasing. Unfortunately, many will be blindsided by it because few pastors and church leaders are warning about it or preparing believers for it.
The first part of How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution is based on years of research into current events looked at from a biblical perspective. It discloses what is happening, how we got there, and where we are heading. The second part gives encouragement from Scripture and biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the perilous times in which we live.
As Christians, we cannot afford to compromise our faith. We need to believe and obey the inspired Word of God. We need to be prepared to respond to persecution biblically instead of reacting to it carnally.
AM Price $ 13.95 To order call 936-537-0250.
For your not-so-funny bone
“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” – Abraham Lincoln
Boston mayor Martin Walsh praised his city’s gun buyback program (bait: $100 – $200 gift cards) that has netted one gun so far this year: “The one gun that we took off the street this year through the gun buyback program—you never know what that gun would have been used for. Getting one gun off the street is effective.” That depends on one’s definition of “effective.” – Source: The Patriot Post [Mr. Mayor, reckon why folks are not turning in their guns? Do you have a clue? And who will still have guns when all the honest, law-abiding citizens have turned their’s in?]
On a personal note:
I recently received a very special gift for my birthday…and here she is!
Emery Elise Ensey
Proud parents: Jonathan and Molly Ensey