June 09 Blog

Thanks for visiting the blog today! I trust you find a morsel that will benefit you and your ministry in some way.

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When (Un)Common Sense Prevails

The inspirational poem by Rudyard Kipling, which he titled “If,” began with this line:
“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you….”

Then the master wordsmith ended his poem with this verse:

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Immortal words. A down-to-earth appeal to common sense, a commodity that is increasingly uncommon today. To do what the father was asking required training, but also demanded observation and planning on the part of the son. He was to learn to think first, then do. Common sense, which my dad dubbed “horse sense,” will save one a thousand heartaches in life. Partly learned from parents and tutors, and partly vacuumed from the experiences of early life, common sense is something one either has or doesn’t have. Adults rarely develop this quality.

Those who have it are thinkers. They reason. They consider. They observe. George Bernard Shaw said, “I have made an international reputation for myself because I think once or twice a week. Most people don’t think once or twice a year.” A man in our church has named his consulting business “Go Think!”

To deal with the spiritual crises that we are facing today demands that we be thinkers, employers of common sense. Thinking men pray, but they don’t stop thinking. God gives us a transformed mind, so we can think like Him, from His perspective (I Corinthians 2:16). Through the gifts of the Spirit we can see some things that ordinarily only God can see; we can act from supernatural knowledge and understanding (I Corinthians 14:20). That is not sensationalism. There is a difference in the sensational and the supernatural—the supernatural comes down from above; the sensational is conjured up down here. Hype, an appeal to the latter, is an attempt to make someone believe something whether it is true or not.

Thinkers are usually able to discern the spirit of surrender to the culture when they hear, “I am tired of fighting…It’s time to change the way we do church, to cast off the shackles of the past…Let people follow their own conscience in Christian liberty.” Non-thinkers, those more accustomed to amusing themselves with some form of entertainment (TV, movies, video games, etc.), are likely to quickly agree. In fact, the word amuse means “without thinking”—letting someone else do their thinking for them.

Some areas where we need to do our own thinking right now include the nature of the twenty-first century church. Have we removed our heads from the sand and really thought through the causes of the divisions that are fragmenting some elements of the Apostolic movement? Are we walking in spiritual wisdom, or merely caught up in political dynamics?

Regarding Christian community, can we grasp the fact that the earth has shrunk? Where once we considered that a car trip of two or three hours outside our fellowship circle of a handful of churches was really getting out there, we think nothing today of flying across the country for a weekend, or even overseas to preach a couple of nights and encourage the missionaries and national leaders. Organizational boundaries have blurred. Fellowship with another church or a group of churches in another state is almost as easy as it once was to attend a rally in the next town. One church can do as much financially for missions or other projects as an entire district once did. The felt need for close, tight fellowship has dwindled. How are these dynamics affecting the movement now and how will they impact us in the future?

Additionally, our emphasis on doctrine and how we can maintain our biblical positions in an age of skepticism deserves the consideration of keen minds and committed hearts. The temptation to allow cultural consensus to temper our beliefs is ever present, and pastors are pressured by societal demands to displace them with shallow, humanistic “feel good” rhetoric. A grasp of history, combined with a sense of destiny and a high view of Scripture, should guide us in any deliberations on fundamental issues. When worldly philosophy flows, the clear Word of God is shrouded. When right thinking— common sense—prevails, truth is enthroned.

Clear minds must ponder other pressing questions, such as whether the authority and authenticity of the Bible is being eroded, even among Apostolics. Have the media moguls and professorial types ripped the heart of faith in the Word out of us? Have the Darwinian evolutionists and pseudo scientists convinced us that the Bible is no longer relevant, that it is full of myths, lies and hyperbole? Is holiness—separation from the world in our lifestyle—still relevant or is it outdated and in need of extensive modification? Those who let others do their thinking for them can be easily moved from their steadfastness by a few prominent individuals who cast disdain on our traditional lifestyle agreements. The lack of clear, objective thinking that incorporates spiritual wisdom could leave a generation adrift on a sea of uncertainty. “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law” (Proverbs 29:18 NIV).

Common sense has become uncommon, but it alone will keep us together in “the common faith” (Titus 1:4). Let’s bring it back into vogue.

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My, how they struggle

darwinius-masillaeA German citizen recently claimed to have found a 47 million year-old fossil in a volcano in Germany. The evolutionists jumped on the story and touted the fossil as “the missing link” between monkeys and men. How many other “missing links” have been reported only to be proven to be false. Google up “Piltdown Man.”

They named the little critter Ida. It is the size of a small cat with the appearance of a lemur. Ida is nothing more than an extinct primate. Formally identified as Darwinius masillae (in honor of Charles Darwin), Ida had a bone in her foot that was similar to a human bone. Wow! So this must be the missing link. How the scientists struggle to disprove the Bible and find support for evolution! It takes far more faith to believe evolution than it does to believe the Genesis record. Speaking of the Genesis record, go to this web site for more information on Ida and how to refute this silly claim:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/05/19/ida-missing-link

PS: It is amazing that we can find a 47 million year-old fossil buried in a volcano, and find THE cow among millions somewhere in the Western states that was the single source of “mad cow disease,” tracing it through Canada and wherever…but we can’t find Osama bin Laden who is still freely walking the mountain trails of Afghanistan.

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There’s more problems here than the sugar contentGirl Scout cookie1

If you have church girls “exploring” life through the Girl Scouts, you need to read up on the New Age and lesbian direction of the scouts.

A well documented article for every church leader, and for everyone who buys cookies, appears below. Please take time to read it, and have your girls avoid the Girl Scouts. Go to

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=97977

This is serious, folks. The GS are not what they used to be.

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Your tax dollars at work

Chinese manWhy is this man smiling?

The Obama administration has agreed to pay $2.6 million to train China’s prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job. What a wonderful way to spend your tax dollars! And he is the man who says, “No more pork!” Oink! Oink!

The researcher conducting the program told CNSNews.com (source) that the purpose of the project is to develop an intervention program targeting HIV risk and alcohol use “female sex workers” (prostitutes). Does anyone understand this madness? Does anyone wonder why China, who virtually owns America, has to get American taxpayers to finance this study? And why would the Obama administration invest those millions at such a time as this unless the president is sold out to everyone in America and around the world who want to bankrupt this nation and put it on an economic par with Outer Mongolia?

Why is he smiling? He is amused at what dummies we Americans are.

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Salivating for Size

In a letter written by a minister who was leaving his fellowship and explaining why, he referred to “a big church” repeatedly. My, how he wanted a big church! What dreams he was chasing! He felt to achieve those dreams he had drop all reference to holiness and quit harping on the issues that separated Pentecostals from the rest of the world. Of course, it resonated with a few emerging liberals, but time has revealed that there were other “issues” at work in the situation and in his own life. His church fragmented as many left to join other assemblies or simply dropped out. What a high price he was willing to pay for an attempt at exponential growth among the new doubters in our society!

He was salivating for size.

A few other young pastors have decided on similar paths. They are trying to pattern their churches after the Emergent pastors who are the trendy ones at the moment. They copy their programs, their services, and even rename their churches to reflect their alignment with the “purpose driven,” “journey,” and “missional” movement.

Adopting the Emergent movement’s vocabulary was among the first steps they took in that direction. When you see the terms “follower…journey… authentic…missional…cultural hermeneutic…transitioning…reinventing Christianity…community” and others in the descriptions of their church programs, there is a good possibility they are taking their cues from Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Doug Pagitt, Rick Warren or one of a host of other popular leaders who have set themselves up as “change agents” in American Christianity. The Emergent church is the popular name for this movement and it has already taken down a number of young pastors, moving them away from their spiritual moorings toward a merging with the current culture.

We all understand that methodologies change, ways of doing evangelism change, even the way we clap our hands has changed. Change that takes us in the right direction is not negative. It is not change that is feared—it is change that leads one into the embrace of the popular culture and strips him of his doctrinal convictions and commitments to separation and holiness. It is futile to claim that these men are on the road that leads to genuine Apostolic revival. One would be hard pressed to name a single example. Rather, change for the sake of change is divisive and usually leads to compromise. Nearly anyone can give you a number of examples. Size became the primary target, not the developing of true apostolic disciples. Some tend to forget that all roads lead somewhere. Should we not ask ourselves: “When I get to where I’m going, where will I be”?

Will a brief article turn anyone around? Probably not. I am a realist. But hopefully it will encourage someone who is being influenced by these change agents to think twice before following in their steps.

Certainly we should all strive to grow and progress in our evangelistic and discipling efforts, but perhaps it would help if we looked back at periods of growth in our movement and see how it was done then. That does not suggest copying every facet of their methodology, but be assured that growth didn’t happen by “engaging and integrating” with the culture; it was by passionate proclamation of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ through personal witnessing and plain preaching.

Young men, we know that Rick Warren advocates ignoring the elders and marginalizing them so you can have free rein to do as they have done. But that is the worst advice you could get. Let history and the Word of God light your path. If God had intended for our peers to guide us, He would have had Titus write to Timothy rather than the apostle Paul. If He had wanted the church to be influenced by heretics or characters outside of the faith, He would have inspired Alexander the coppersmith to write an epistle on ethics and Hymenaeus to compose a New Testament treatise on eschatology.

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Why bother with the gospel?

Recently, Charles Colson, a leading evangelical writer, pointed out that a survey by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found rampant doctrinal ignorance among American Christians. Fifty-seven percent of evangelicals believed people who follow religions other than their own can enjoy eternal life. The results were so unexpected that Pew repeated the survey, asking more specific questions. The answers were virtually unchanged.

Astonishingly, about half believed that everyone, atheists included, was going to end up in heaven. Heaven for the godless? That’s the old heresy of universalism. Then why bother with the gospel? Someone is going to be greatly disappointed at the judgment.

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Who are the “founders”?

A friend shared with me that some he had heard or read after were troubled by the article on the “light doctrine” we published in last month’s blog. In his words, their attitude was, “It is the elephant in the room. We have a nice room. Why do you have to point out the elephant?” They wrote their opinions on forums, I gather, but since I don’t frequent forums, I didn’t see them. All the responses I received were positive. He suggested that a few felt the article seemed to be at variance with the attitude of some of the Pentecostal movement’s “founders,” that some of them would have been uncomfortable with “formulaic salvation.”

Here was the essence of  my response to him:

It is an elephant, for sure…a white one! As far as the “founders” issue is concerned, I don’t look at Seymour, Parham, Goss or any others of that era as founders, but as “finders.” They were in the process of “finding” the doctrinal path the true founders laid out for us 2000 years ago. None of them claimed to be the founder of the modern Oneness movement and we don’t enshrine anyone on that pedestal. The real founders of the movement we are in were Christ and John and Paul and Peter and the other apostles. We all, regardless of the era of time in which we may find ourselves, are obligated to walk in the “light” they shined, not the way early 20th century ministers might have viewed it from their perspective.

I honor those we count as “pioneers” of Pentecostalism in America as courageous “finders” who honestly searched the Scriptures and began to make commitments to what they were finding. It took grit and grace and commitment for them to break away from tradition, friends, and quite often, family. Some made a quick, clean break. Others took a while. Some couldn’t bring themselves to break at all. Postmodern apologists like to especially point to the latter groups because there was some wavering back there as the movement tried to get its balance. Do they feel that fact justifies them in their current wavering stance on the message?

Detractors like to refer to “the spirit of the Word.” That’s because they think it gives them some interpretive wiggle room. That subjective approach allows anyone to justify his presuppositions and doctrinal preferences by his own perceived “spirit of the word” interpretation. Jesus was either right or wrong in John 3:5…which? Paul was either right wrong in II Thessalonians 1:7,8 and Galatians 1:8 and I Corinthians 6:9-11…which? Peter was right or wrong in Acts 2:38…which? John was either right or wrong in I John 2:3-6 and II John 9-11…which? Those men were among the “founders.” They are the ones in whom I prefer to trust. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what those founders were saying or what they meant. No wavering there.

That takes nothing away from the early 20th century Oneness ministers. I recognize that some of them had a difficult time breaking free from the traditional movements of that era, especially to the point of saying that their friends were not saved except they were born again according to Acts 2:38. They were hugely outnumbered and many were made to pay dearly for their stand. But at each juncture of church history, especially during the Reformation and thereafter, that same pain was experienced by “dissenters.” In time it abated as the initial reformers gradually passed from the scene. While I deeply respect all those who took a stand for Oneness in the early 1900s, I do not look to them to fully define our fundamental truth. That is the primary error of traditional Protestantism.

The real “founders” of Christianity were Christ and the apostles (Ephesians 2:20). The fundamental truths they taught are far more trustworthy than the initial reformers of the last century. The ministers of a hundred years ago gradually accepted what had been in the Bible all along. There was no “revelation” in 1901 or 1913 or 1916, just discovery and acceptance. John 3:3-5 and Acts 2:38 had been there all the time. That is why we don’t enshrine anyone or any particular group as our modern “founders.”

Perhaps a few felt we should not go beyond the stand of those “finders” of the last century. To do so “is clearly wrong,” someone is supposed to have said. Oh? Should we have stayed where Parham was? Seymour? Flower? E. N. Bell? Opperman? Who? Where do they propose we stop before we fully arrive back at the original apostolic message? The “founders” they refer to came around quite slowly, feeling their way out of centuries of tradition.

The Acts 2:38 message is sometimes referred to as “formulaic salvation” by detractors. They love to use that term because its use makes one sound intelligent and his opponent appear creed-bound. It is just an excuse for circumventing the full message and making room for one’s friends in other faiths and movements.  Call it what you will, the new birth is nothing short of repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. To me, formulaic salvation sounds too much like “a string of magic words,” a cold incantation. Salvation is more than “1,2,3 and you’re saved…believe these verses and do this and you are saved.” That was the Fundamentalists’ error of the late 19th century. The new birth focuses on a relationship with Christ, becoming a new creature in Christ.

Light doctrine adherents might qualify for appointment to the Supreme Court by the Obama administration. Rather than being a “strict constructionist,” their “feelings” and “empathy” and  “background of experience” would come into play. I worked very closely for several years with one of the old “pioneers.” He himself was a Christian man if there ever were any, but it was painful for him to draw hard lines. He had been associated with some really good men by his estimation who never were baptized in the name, etc. He was very empathetic. But that is subjective. Our personal feelings must be left out of this, else everyone becomes a law unto himself.

To imitate the “values” of the finders is fine as far as grit and grace and toughness are concerned, but we have to look to the Book for basic doctrine (II Timothy 3:16), not to great men of history or organizational Manuals. The Word is immutable, infallible, and unfailing; certain spiritual heroes often were not. And which modern founder/finder would we look to? Probably no two of them saw everything alike, but the Book is unerring and plain.

We do owe our “pioneers” of the last century a sincere debt of gratitude, and I have been lavish with praise over the years for their willingness to take a courageous stand, sometimes on a single issue. They were willing to suffer persecution and ostracism for any morsel of truth. But doctrinally, they were in the process of cutting themselves out of their old traditional cocoons. As time went on and the movement matured, doctrinal issues were clarified and firmed up. Today the butterfly sips the sweet nectar of the whole gospel flower. Enjoy, and be thankful.

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The Ten Commandmentsimages

What is the real reason that we can’t post the Ten Commandments—“Thou shalt not steal…Thou shalt not bear false witness…thou shalt not commit adultery, etc.”—in a courthouse or public building where lawyers ply their trade? It creates a hostile work environment.

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Street cred

Goth coatLast month was the 10th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre. Isn’t it significant that during the months preceding the shootings, the perpetrators began wearing black? Now there is nothing wrong or sinful about wearing black clothing. We’ve probably all got a black suit or two. Even good ol’ boy Johnny Cash wore black before there was such a style as “Goth.” About the same time the Columbine killers started wearing black clothing in the Goth style, they started making bombs in their basements. It was evident that their apparel spoke of something going on in their minds that made death sound attractive to them. The black frocks, chains and studs shouted, “We are rebels. We are developing an agenda. We could become notorious killers.” Some may have recognized a dangerous trend in those boys but no one said anything, not even their parents. Then one day…Bang! Bang! You’re dead.

This is not to condemn anyone solely for wearing a particular garment, as long as it is appropriate to his/her gender and in the realm of decency and modesty. Yet we all know that what a person wears when he represents his business or his church usually speaks volumes about what type of person he is—caring and conscientious or rebellious and self-centered. When the social and religious rebels began to promote the postmodern movement, they tossed the pulpit out, replaced it with a bar stool and dispensed with preaching in favor of “conversation.” For church they donned blue jeans with holes in the legs and left their shirttail out. Cool. Relevant. No one can say that anything is wrong or sinful about wearing holey blue jeans, per se, but they likely do say something about what is going on in someone’s life. Worn in that context, they probably scream: “I want to appear cool, with it, and relevant to my hearers. If I identify with them in their grunge apparel, they will listen to what I have to say. But mainly I just want to be like these non-religious doubters. Maybe if I look like I just rolled out from under the bridge, or walked away from the street corner after stowing my cardboard sign, I will have some street cred.”

We might be wise to generate some “cred” for the streets of gold up yonder!

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Book review

If you want a down-to-earth, conservative review of the Emergent book Blue Like Jazz go here: http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/nathan/green_like_envy.htm

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All glory is fleeting

chariot-1

Ponder these words of General George C. Patton:

“For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeteers, musicians and strange animals from conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conquerors rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children robed in white stood with him in the chariot or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”

Former Secretary of State James Baker once said, “Someone asked me what was the most important thing I had learned since being in Washington. I replied that it was the fact that temporal power is fleeting.” Baker went on to relate that once when driving through the White House gates he saw a man walking alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and recognized him as having been Secretary of State in a previous administration. “There he was alone—no reporters, no security, no adoring public, no trappings of power. Just one solitary man alone with his thoughts. And that mental picture continually serves to remind me of the impermanence of power and the impermanence of place.”

Can you think of anyone who might benefit from these illustrations—someone you wish would get the stars out of their eyes and understand that all glory is indeed fleeting?

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Consider this description of Obama’s faith in this 2004 interview with Cathleen Falsani

OBAMA: I am a Christian. So, I have a deep faith…. On the other hand, I was born in Hawaii where obviously there are a lot of Eastern influences…. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people….

FALSANI: Have you always been a Christian?

OBAMA: I was raised more by my mother and my mother was Christian.  …a deeply spiritual person, and would spend a lot of time talking about values and give me books about the world’s religions….

FALSANI: So you got yourself born again?

OBAMA: Yeah…. And I’m not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I’ve got a monopoly on the truth…. I’m a big believer in tolerance….

FALSANI: Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?

OBAMA: Well, my pastor [Jeremiah Wright] is certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for…. I am a follower, as well, of our civic religion. I am a big believer in the separation of church and state. I am a great admirer of our founding charter…and its resolve to prevent disruptive strains of fundamentalism from taking root in this country….

FALSANI: Do you believe in heaven?

OBAMA: Do I believe in the harps and clouds and wings?  …If I live my life as well as I can…I will be rewarded….

FALSANI: What is sin?

OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values….

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/009/memory.htm#obama

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Are you ready for a new Dark Age?

Islamic domination

According to Mark Steyn—maybe the wittiest and most widely read conservative columnist in the world today—you’d better be.

In his New York Times bestseller America Alone, Steyn argues that the Western world’s demographic collapse and mass Muslim immigration means that much of the Western world as we know it will not survive the 21st century.

Some European countries, Steyn shows, will actually develop a Muslim majority within our lifetimes. Meanwhile, rising European and Islamic anti-Americanism may soon force America to confront the enemies of civilization without help from anyone else.

Here’s a presentation that reveals how Muslims can take over America without firing a shot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU

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Little mosque on the prairie

Islamic images 2

We have learned that in Canada, a new TV show is called “Little Mosque on the Prairie.” The characters make Muslims look smart, clever, and just normal, down-to-earth good folks. Those who are afraid of what the influx of Muslim families into their area might portend are made to look like right-wing, stupid, bigoted nutcases. Just another way to sell the North Americans on the virtues of Islam…and one more reason it is the smart thing to do to avoid having a TV in the home!

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Thomas Jefferson in rare formthomas-jefferson-big

Thomas Jefferson, in some regards could be called a prophet. It is obvious he foresaw our age. How would the press respond if someone of Jefferson’s stature spoke such words as these today? Please read the last paragraph, from 1802, with deep interest! Suggestion:  Take a minute and pick a couple of these quotes and write a brief response based on what you see is happening in America today today. How will the current crisis in government affect the future of the church and what should we do about it, if anything? I will publish the best response(s). Jefferson said:

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

And finally, a VIQ (Very Interesting Quote). In light of the present financial crisis, it’s interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

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An interesting read:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/mishin1.html

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Polygamy and the BiblePolygamy

I have been asked by more than one person recently about the cases of polygamy in the Bible, even some among the people of God. Did God intend for that to be the standard practice? If not, why did He seem to  allow it among Bible characters?

In the beginning God created one man and gave him one woman. If any other arrangement was His plan, He would have shown it in the creation model. God did not create a harem of wives for Adam. This initial arrangement also shows that God’s plan for the marital bond was not partners of the same sex (Genesis 2:21-24). Neither Adam, Noah (and his sons), Job, Isaac, Moses nor Joseph (Jesus’ step-father) had multiple wives. Although God’s ideal was manifestly evident, Lamech, Abraham, Esau, Jacob, David, Solomon and Gideon had more than one wife. While this is true, there is no inference in the Scriptures that God was pleased with the practice of polygamy. The mentioning of a historical fact in the biblical narrative does not constitute endorsement.

As the biblical record reveals, man went far astray from God’s ideal plan, beginning with the first sin in the Garden. Soon it became acceptable in many pagan cultures for men to have multiple wives. This practice spilled over at times into the community of the patriarchs and even into the leadership of Israel itself. God forbade it, however (Deuteronomy 17:16,17). In the cases that were prominent in the Scriptures, we are informed that the practice evoked grievous results. There is no way that bitterness, resentment and jealousy would not be generated among the wives (Genesis 29:30-34; Deuteronomy 21:10-17; II Chronicles 11:21). Actually, the unrest that is in the Middle East today is traceable to Abraham’s taking Hagar to be his second wife (Genesis 16:3). Overall, the negative treatment of polygamy in the Bible should be sufficient to offset anyone’s bent in that direction.

God allowed polygamy among some of Israel’s leaders while they were maturing as a people without tossing them into the abyss. One commentator tackles the problem from a demographic perspective: “Assuming the same percentages [of men/women] in ancient times, and multiplied by millions of people, there would be tens of thousands more women than men. Second, warfare in ancient times was especially brutal, with an incredibly high rate of fatalities. This would have resulted in an even greater percentage of women to men. Third, due to the patriarchal societies, it was nearly impossible for an unmarried woman to provide for herself. Women were often uneducated and untrained. Women relied on their fathers, brothers, and husbands for provision and protection. Unmarried women were often subjected to prostitution and slavery. Fourth, the significant difference between the number of women and men would have left many, many women in an undesirable (to say the least) situation. So, it seems that God allowed polygamy to protect and provide for the women who could not find a husband otherwise.”

Would God allow it among Christians today? I trow not. God gives us His current perspective in I Timothy 3:2,12 and Titus 1:6. A Christian leader is to be a “one-woman man” (the literal translation). Evidently this prohibition extends beyond polygamy, but there is no way a polygamist could be considered “a one-woman man.” Biblical teaching in other Epistles reveal this same theme. A man’s wife is spoken of in the singular (Ephesians 5:22-33; I Corinthians 7:2; Colossians 3:18,19).

Some groups and individuals today are pushing for wider acceptance for the practice of polygamy. Even television shows have brought polygamy out of the closet. How can it be far behind if we as a society approve same sex marriage? “Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle,” says one Evangelical Christian. Newsweek magazine informs us that “polygamist activists are emerging in the wake of the gay-marriage movement.” Where will it all end…in group marriages and pedophilia? Someone said, “When marriage becomes anything, it becomes nothing.” Polygamy is being cast as merely another “alternative lifestyle,” toward which we should all be “tolerant.”

Roffie sez: “Just don’t try it in Willis, Texas.”

Resources:  http://www.gotquestions.org/polygamy.html; http://www.bibletruths.net; http://www.eadshome.com

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The Kiosk

New! New! New! New!

A Hill To Die OnA-Hill-to-die-on-front

by J. R. Ensey

Is truth worth dying for? If so, which truth? Which doctrine? This new book, which will be available this week, suggests that there are some things worth risking our reputations, our resources, and perhaps our lives for. Six months ago we would never have thought we would be where we are today as a nation. The Christian faith is rapidly being dismembered and deconstructed to make way for Islam. The rush of endtime prophecy fulfillment should stiffen the backbone of every Christian and make us realize there will be a price to pay for our faith. The nine chapters of this new book include:

• A Hill To Die On

• Truth in an Age of Deception

• Unity in an Age of Division

• Righteousness in an Age of Hedonism

• The Church in an Age of Spirituality

• Absolutes in an Age of Relativism

• God and Government

• Is American Christianity Returning to the Social Gospel?

• Our Finest Hour

AM price only 12.95

Guide For Living

IHML_GFL_Revised1New design but the same powerful introduction for new converts to the biblical practices of the Apostolic faith. In the tradition of Into His Marvelous Light. Pointed. Clear. Scriptural. It walks the newcomer through the fundamentals of being a Christian. Can be used as a one time presentation, a series, or as an individual home study.
Order online or call 936-856-3419. As low as $1.00 in quanties.

TOMMY…The saving of a Navy SEALTommy

This is the exciting and true story of Tommy Bracken who served his country as a Navy SEAL. His training, his active duty in Viet Nam and elsewhere, his conversion to the Apostolic faith and service as a missionary to China are covered in dramatic fashion. You won’t be able to put it down! Your faith that God can save anyone, anywhere, anytime will go through the roof. You will want one for all you family members and friends who are serving in the military. AM price only 16.95.

A package deal:

Four commentaries by Apostolic authors!

Pastoral-EpistlesThe Pastoral Epistles – A verse-by-verse rendering of the books with practical living instruction. By J. R. Ensey
Presence-of-His-Glory-copyIn the Presence of His Glory – The inimitable E. L. Holley presents a verse-by-verse commentary on the General Epistles as taught in the classrooms at Texas Bible College.
BetterThanAngelsBetter Than the Angels Again, E. L. Holley puts the pen to the Book of Hebrews and opens up the Scriptures in his own unique way.

Letters-From-A-Roman-JailLetters From A Roman Jail – Themes are drawn from Paul’s books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. By J. R. Ensey

Retail price: 37.85 for all four. June sale…entire package for only 29.95!

How to order: order securely online at advanceministries.org or call 936-856-3419. If you call and we are away from the office, please leave your contact information and we will get back to you. Thanks for making Advance Ministries THE source for your book and Bible needs. More new titles will be forthcoming soon. Watch for them!

Thanks again for letting Advance Ministries be your source for good books and Bibles. It is our way of continuing to serve the Apostolic movement.

Have a great beginning of summer…but avoid the “June swoon.” Get some Into His Marvelous Light Bible studies and challenge your people to make June of ’09 the most productive month of soulwinning ever! They are available in English, Spanish, German, Italian, and perhaps soon in Chinese!

Blessings…

JREnsey

Published in: on June 1, 2009 at 8:25 PM  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great blog you got here! Truly inspiring and informative at the same time. Many will learn from this. Thanks.

  2. It always annoys me when I hear Apostolic Pentecostal people declare that the early 20th century revivals merit the “founders” of the Oneness movement. Do not such proponents realize that this makes us appear as other modern “revelators,” such as Joseph Smith and Charles Russell! Marvin Arnold’s “Pentecost before Azusa” serves us quite well in this regard. In sum, history shows that there has ALWAYS been Acts 2:38/Deut. 6:4 adherents in Christendom. Yes, “Finders,” not “Founders.”

  3. Bro. Ensy, It’s not that short but as short as I could.
    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

    Scripture teaches us this same principle, at least to a degree, with regard to finances. Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. Also, God promised Israel that they would lend and not borrow when they were right with God. Deut. 28:12 The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

    The current state of the church, as I see it, is one which is mostly borrowed to the hilt or somewhere close to it. In our desire for the latest this and that we have left behind God’s plan for financial security namely being debt free. The simple solution to the current banking and financial crisis is no indebtedness.

    Couple this with the fact that Jesus spoke more about money than he did heaven or hell and it gives one the feeling that we have neglected an important part of God’s plan for us as Apostolics. I saw this a few years ago when we started the church where I currently pastor. We worked very hard to pay the building off and remodel it. Since then my goal is to be completely debt free personally (and stay that way) within the next one and a half years. I know everyone is not able to this but are we trying?

    The question I had to ask myself and maybe the ministers reading your blog should do as well is this. When was the last time you taught your people the Bible plan for finances and put a plan in action to see it through? What will be result of the current financial situation of trillion dollar interest payments on trillions of debt? Many churches going under and the saints finding themselves in a bankrupt place with no way to fund the work of God.
    Thanks for your insights.
    Sincerely

    Greg Wirths
    Pastor
    New Life Tabernacle
    Augusta, Kansas


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