Welcome to the AUGUST 2014 blog!
The Word for today
“My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble” (Proverbs 3:21-23).
Let him run
Now, there must be a dozen scenarios in life where that principle could and should be applied. Here is what Leroy Brownlow in Thoughts of Gold had to say:
“In other words, use a little judgment. The reason some people get trampled and dragged through life is they don’t know when to turn loose. And the reason some others never get anywhere is they don’t know when to take hold.
“Judgment, call it what you will, is but common sense. And how frightening for one to be learned without it. With more education and less judgment, he is prepared to excel in only plain, undraped madness.
“Use judgment. Take a feather and throw it in the air and see which way the wind is blowing.
“Think. Pray. Sleep on a matter and then make the decision.”
George Washington and David’s Palace
Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review, recently commented on the origins of the United States and the United Monarchy of Israel under David:
Archaeologists reported a few years ago that they had discovered the location of Washington’s boyhood home in Virginia. For Shanks, the contrast between the media’s reception of this discovery and the search for King David’s palace is stark
Several years ago, Eilat Mazar excavated a monumental building in the City of David. While the date of the building is not completely secure, she contends that she has found the remains of King David’s palace. Though Mazar is a prominent and well-regarded archaeologist, her critics have “treated her in the same breath as I-found-Noah’s-Ark crazies, as if she were making some off-the-wall argument,” Shanks wrote.
Why the difference in reaction between the search for Washington’s boyhood home and the search for King David’s palace? According to Shanks, critics of the field of biblical archaeology believe “there is something apparently ‘unscientific,’ not sophisticated, about an interest in the Bible.”
Mr. Shanks, you should know by now that the American media has adopted an approach of discounting anything and anyone who would give credibility to the Bible. Christians today have to sit by and watch as the Bible is mythologized and interest in spiritual things erode. But Apostolics still believe this old black-backed Book—and that Mazar has indeed stumbled upon David’s palace. The evidence is convincing.
To read the full article referenced here, click here.
The Great Commission in Luke
The Gospel of Luke was written by someone who was not in the group to whom Jesus spoke when giving the Great Commission—the last instructions of Jesus before His ascension—but he heard it from those who were, and who had been “eyewitnesses” of Jesus’ ministry (Luke 1:2). Writing what he was told by these credible (inspired, in this case) sources, “And [Jesus] said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (24:46,47; italics mine).
Luke reiterated the essence of it as he began the Book of Acts (1:4-8). If he had been told that Jesus had clearly said to use the titles rather than the name in baptism he could not have recorded Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, or Acts 19:5. Neither Luke nor any of the Gospel writers had ever heard the phrase “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost” spoken in reference to God. It did not come from the lips of any disciple of which there is record. The Matthean phrase stands alone in the Scriptures. It is found nowhere else. (Scholarship, based on its absence in Greek manuscripts before the sixteenth century, is virtually unanimous that I John 5:7, which is closest to Matthew 28:19, is an interpolation.) Each of those titles used independently elsewhere referred to an operation which God Himself would fulfill.
Like Luke, Mark has “in my name” involved in the work the Apostles were to perform (Mark 16:14-18). But Matthew has these words added: (to continue reading click here)
More respect for minorities
They risk their lives crossing the border.
They do jobs that others won’t do or are afraid to do.
They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day—every day.
I’m not talking about illegal Mexicans. I am talking about our troops, a vital minority.
Doesn’t it seem strange that so many are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegals, but don’t support our troops? Wouldn’t it be great if we took the $3.6 billion we spend on illegals every year and spent it on our troops?
(Was Maxine a WAC once?)
PS: Maxine figured out where those lost emails of Lois Lerner’s were stored. On 8-track tapes.
Ten pastors I am concerned about
Scott Postma recently posted an article titled 10 Pastors I’m Concerned About” on his website. It was easy to agree with him on most of them, and I will share those with you without either his or my personal reasons for our choices.
- I’m concerned about the pastor who is better at managing church programs than he is at making disciples of Jesus.
- I’m concerned about the pastor who attracts people with fancy self-help sermons instead of teaching people to be students of the Bible and theology.
- I’m concerned about the pastor who makes growing the church the goal instead of glorifying God the goal.
- I’m concerned about the pastor who builds his ministry with people instead of building people by his ministry.
- I’m concerned about the pastor who sees the church as a stepping stone instead of seeing it as a custodian of Christ’s kingdom.
Let me add some to make ten:
- I’m concerned about the pastor who reads and teaches the Bible literarily instead of literally. (Postma reversed these.)
- I’m concerned about the pastor who wants his church to be “culture-driven” rather than “doctrine-driven.”
- I’m concerned about the pastor who leads from behind and has trouble catching up to where his people already are.
- I’m concerned about the pastor who consistently gets out of balance, not recognizing that his personal life, as well as the church life, must be in kept in balance.
10. I’m concerned about the pastor who knows more about the technology of social media than about the Word of God.
For Postma’s list: Click Here:
To tattoo or not to tattoo?
Recently I read the testimony of someone who tattooed his body in order to “reach those that the world considers unworthy.” He wanted his body to be a canvas proclaiming the gospel. As a result, he felt that some were “judging” his approach. First, no one is “unworthy” of being a candidate for the gospel.
Second, we don’t “judge” anyone, in the strict sense of common usage of the term. Eternal judgment will be in God’s hands alone. But we are told to “beware of false prophets…beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…beware of the scribes…beware of covetousness…beware of dogs, evil workers, of the concision…beware lest any many spoil you…beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked…” (Matthew 7:15; Mark 8:15; Mark 12:38; Luke 12:15; Philippians 3:2; Colossians 2:8; II Peter 3:17). How can we follow those directions without exercising some judgment and discernment? Fruit identifies what kind of tree one is looking at.
As Christian leaders we are instructed to guide our people around problems, helping them to avoid the appearance of evil, and teaching them to be submissive to the principles of godliness expressed in the Word. Sorry, but judgment is involved in those procedures. Prophets and apostles warned believers and preachers on numerous occasions to refrain from idolatrous practices of unbelievers, and tattooing the body has been linked for millennia with idolatry.
A question we might be asked: Would you let someone into your house of worship with tattoos? Absolutely! Furthermore, I know of no pastor who feels differently. Sinners and unbelievers will do what sinners and unbelievers do. Some things cannot be undone, even after one comes to faith and salvation. I have never seen anyone in any of the over one thousand churches that I have ministered in standing at the door telling a visitor, “You can’t come in here because you don’t look like us.” Nor have I ever heard of it being done. How utterly ridiculous. Such a statement is only a straw man to be knocked down by a shrewd individual with an agenda that has to be propped up by misrepresentations and falsehoods. That being said, rebellion against the pastor’s advice is a sin that calls for repentance and possibly discipline.
We simply teach our members and young people that marking our bodies is not something that God is pleased with and an activity to be avoided. God did not want His people imitating the pagan practices of cutting or marking themselves (Leviticus 19:28; “tattoo marks” NIV). No one should be ridiculed for upholding the Lord’s commandments, or drawing a line for believers against such practices.
Obama preparing pardons for terrorists?
Elton John—spokesman for Jesus?
When asked if the church—presumably the Church of England, although not explicitly stated—should allow same-sex clergy to marry, rocker Elton John who recently married his male friend, replied, “Of course.” Then he added, “And I don’t see why Catholic priests have to be celibate. It’s crazy. These are old and stupid things…times have changed.”
“If Jesus Christ were alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen,” John added. “He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.”
Source: The Blaze
Sorry, Elton, that is not “all” Christ was about. Better check out that Bible one more time.
Life is Too Short To Spend With A Kicking Cow
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 harassed by 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 $12.95
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
No other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single teaching tool in the past 20 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in both English, Spanish and Italian. English is available in both KJV and NIV84.
AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each; 50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each
A 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 goes through what their responsibilities as believers are now.
AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each; 50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each
Don’t forget to laugh
Below are two more reasons women live longer than men.
The Parting Shots
The problem isn’t where Obama was born, it’s where he lives now. – Patriot Post
Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving. – Oliver Wendell Holmes
French Algerian author Albert Camus (1913-1960): “The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.”
Be open to change, but don’t let go of your values and convictions. Those who are guided by principle can change—or molt like our fowl friends, shedding that which holds them back from maturity—but we don’t evolve from one “kind” to another. Change doesn’t mean becoming something other than what God made us through conversion. Change should always be evaluated on the basis of will this make me/my church better Christians? Will it eventually take us toward a place where we do not want to go? – JRE