Welcome to the FEBRUARY 2016 blog!
The Word for today
“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you” (II Peter 1:22-25 NKJV).
Quotes worth re-quoting
From Warren Wiersbe in Be Myself : “We rejoice that some of the stalwart publishers are still bringing out books with solid Christian theological content, but the proliferation of superficial ‘me-centered’ books is very disturbing. If anybody’s a friend to Christian publishing and to the Christian bookseller, I am; and I’ve proved it many times. But I become grieved when I see all the ‘Jesus junk’ that’s being peddled, the ‘Christian celebrities’ that are being endorsed, and the books without theological substance that are being advertised. . . . The real problem is that too many Christians have an appetite for this kind of rubbish and don’t realize that they’re living on substitutes. As long as the church provides a market for that kind of product, somebody will make them available.” (p. 302).
Quoting British Baptist pastor F. B. Meyer: “I do hope my Father will let the river of my life go flowing fully till the finish. I don’t want it to end in a swamp.” (p. 323). Amen!
Quoting Thomas a Kempis: “Of a surety, at the Day of Judgment, it will be demanded of us, not what we have read, but what we have done; not how well we have spoken, but how holily we have lived.” (p. 324).
Quoting Benjamin Franklin in The Printer and the Preacher: “From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.” (p. 27).
Source: Doug Kutilek in As I See It Newsletter. Volume 18, Number 8, October-December 2015
Should the word “baptized” be in Acts 2:38?
“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ…” (Acts 2:38 KJV).
When the Bibles of Wycliffe, Tyndale and subsequent English Bibles of the late Middle Ages transliterated the Greek and Latin terms of baptizein/bapto/baptizo and baptizare as “baptize” (or tense thereof) rather than “immerse,” they did so to keep from undermining the practice of christening babies by sprinkling or pouring water on their heads. Had they translated it rather than merely changing the Greek letters into English ones, they would have rendered the Greek term as “immersion.” The Anabaptists and other Dissenters during the Reformation recognized this, but the state churches (Roman Catholic, Church of England, etc.) would have none of it. They wanted parents to believe that in christening their babies, the infant belonged to that religious entity and would be obligated to it forever.
The word itself meant to immerse, dip, sink, completely place under water. This was the common method used by the church in the Book of Acts and the Apostolic Age. In time, under the influence of Catholicism and because of the lack of available water, particularly in colder climates, the practice was reduced to partial baptism where the candidate stood in ankle deep water as the priest poured water on his head. In fact, most reference books seem to hold that immersion, or at least partial immersion, prevailed until the twelfth century. They built large baptisteries in cities like Pisa, Florence, Milan, Nice and Poitiers. However, baptisteries gradually grew smaller until the water was held in a font or a pitcher and simply poured or sprinkled on the candidate. Most stand-alone baptistery buildings are now museums.
The Greek word translated “baptize” in our Bibles is the word “baptizo.” “Baptizo” is defined in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon as, “1) to dip, to immerse, submerge (of vessels sunk); 2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water; 3) to overwhelm.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words defines “baptisma” (translated “baptism”) as “consisting of the process of immersion, submersion, and emergence.”
Sadly, the words “baptize/baptism” have been in our English Bibles so long that most consider them to be English words. There have only been a few Bible versions that have employed “immerse” when baptize was translated. Among them: The Analytical-Literal Translation (early edition), Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, 1842 Bernard’s Bible, the 1850 American Bible Union Version (in various editions), and 1961 Wuest’s Expanded Translation. Missionaries Adoniram Judson’s Burmese Translation and William Carey’s Bengali Translation used “immerse” in their Bibles.
I have baptized people in lakes, ponds, rivers, concrete tanks, metal tanks, swimming pools, bathtubs, and in warm water heated in luxurious baptisteries. The Ethiopian eunuch said, “Here is water, what doth hinder?” Wherever the gospel is preached and received in faith, may there be water available in which to immerse the believing candidate in the name of Jesus.
On a dentist’s monument: “Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity; John Brown is filling his last cavity.”
“Here lies John Yeast; Pardon me for not rising.”
“Here lies the body of Jane Smith, wife of Thomas Smith, a marble cutter. This monument, erected as a tribute to her memory, may be duplicated for $250.”
From a gravestone in Ft. Wallace, KS: “He tried to make two jacks beat a pair of aces.”
“He did not reach seventy going like 60.”
From the tombstone of a hypochondriac: “I told you I was sick.”
“Once I wasn’t, then I was, Now I ain’t again, again.”
A teacher’s tombstone: “School is out. Teacher has gone home.”
“Romance novels are the most popular literary genre in America, capturing 55% of book sales, and they appear in 90 languages other than English. These novels were written to be titillating, and I really don’t think there’s a huge difference between this and porn. It’s “soft porn,” and many women ﬁnd themselves far more aroused by reading something like this than they would be watching porn on a computer. So women who devour novel after novel like that aren’t that much different from men who watch porn all night” (“Romance Novels: Dangerous, Harmless, or Just Fun?” Jan. 16, 2012, tolovehonorandvacuum.com).
Dr. Julia Slattery warns that there are similarities between what happens to a man when he views pornography and what happens to a woman when she reads a romance novel. “There is a neurochemical element with men and visual porn, but an emotional element with women and these novels” (‘Romance novels can become addictive,’ May 30, 2011, KSL.com). She is seeing more and more women ‘who are clinically addicted to romantic books.”’
In 2011, the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health in Britain reported that romance novels “are a cause of marital breakdown, adulterous affairs and unwanted pregnancies.” Best-selling author Shaunti Feldhahn notes, “[S]ome marriage therapists caution that women can become as dangerously unbalanced by these books’ entrancing but distorted messages as men can be by the distorted messages of pornography.”
– Excerpted from David Cloud, “Fantasy Dangers,” Way of Life Literature, Inc., 1l/24/15, http://www.wayoflife.org.
Top selling translations
The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association has just published its list of bestselling Bibles for 2015. Here they are:
- New International Version
- King James Version
- English Standard Version
- New Living Translation
- New King James Version
- Holman Christian Standard Bible
- New International Reader’s Version
- Reina Valera
- International Children’s Bible
- The Message
Pope: All religions have same God
Pope Francis very clearly expressed his belief recently that all of the major religions are merely different paths to the same God.
He says that while people from various global faiths may be “seeking God or meeting God in different ways” that it is important to keep in mind that “we are all children of God.” This shows that the Pope has completely abandoned any notion that a relationship with God is available only through Jesus Christ. As he has done throughout his papacy, he continues to lay the groundwork for the coming one world religion, and yet hardly anyone seems upset by this.
The following comes from an article that was published by the Catholic News Agency:
The Pope’s first-ever video message on his monthly prayer intentions was released Tuesday, highlighting the importance of interreligious dialogue and the beliefs that different faith traditions hold in common, such as the figure of God and love.
“Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways. In this crowd, in this range of religions, there is only one certainty that we have for all: we are all children of God,” Pope Francis said in his message, released Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany.
But it isn’t just Pope Francis taking that line. In the meeting, leaders from various global religions expressed faith in their respective deities. Christian News Network reports these comments:
“I have confidence in Buddha,” a female lama announces.
“I believe in God,” a rabbi affirms.
“I believe in Jesus Christ,” a priest states.
“I believe in Allah,” an Islamic leader declares.
The Pope closes the meeting with an appeal for people from every religion to talk with one another and to work with one another. Here is more from Catholic News Agency:
Later on, after the Pope affirms that all, regardless of their religious profession, are children of God, the faith leaders state their common belief in love. [Of course!]
Pope Francis closed the meeting by expressing his hope that viewers “will spread my prayer request this month: that sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce fruits of peace and justice. I have confidence in your prayers.”
The February “I Don’t Get It!” Award
On January 21, Secretary of State, John Kerry commented on the $150 Billion in sanction relief that will be going to Iran. Since that nation is a primary sponsor of international terrorism, he was asked if any of that money might go to terrorist organizations. He acknowledged the likelihood of that and stated there was “nothing we can do about it.” Said one of the highest leaders of the world’s most powerful nation. How about not signing the nuke deal? How about doling it out over time by requisition to see that it does not reach terror groups? How about holding on to all of it until they quit that terror nonsense? Mr. Secretary, ye with the Ivy League sheepskin, everyone in San Augustine, Texas gets it. Why can’t you?
Runners-up: New York City’s city council is set to dilute a host of criminal laws including laws against public urination and excessive noise because council members believe too many members of minorities are getting arrested for those violations. Pure racism showing up in the NYPD, that’s what it is! (Question: just what does a “minority” person in NYC look like?)
Second Runner-up: President Obama, for freeing Tariq Mahmoud Ahmed al-Sawah, an admitted terrorist belonging to the al-Qaida jihadist organization. He was identified by U.S. intelligence as a terrorist known for his development of explosives, according to the Free Beacon. The bombs were created to carry out attacks against the U.S. military and civilians. But hey, he probably voted for the president…early and often.
Sometimes I don’t get it!
A Maryland school tries to indoctrinate students in the Islamic faith, and threatens family of student who refuses. I don’t get it! How can this be the role of our American schools? Check out the story here: http://www.gopusa.com/?p=4841?omhide=true.
As we see our president visiting a mosque, our schools installing the principles of Islam in their curricula, and promotions everywhere of Islam as a “religion of peace,” I wonder if we will survive as a nation made up largely of Christians. We can, but only if we reject this trend and stand up for the future of our children. Speak up about these issues in the schools in your area. If we don’t speak, others will.
Yesterday on the silver screen
My mother worked in the ticket sales booth at several movie theaters in our hometown during my pre-teen years. I remember sitting for many hours a week in those theaters watching movies since I could get in free. Tickets were only a dime. How tame the productions were back then compared to today. Cowboys kissed their horses, not the cowgirls!
I recently ran across a list of voluntary rules of ethics, called the Hays Code, adopted during the heyday of the Hollywood industry that governed what they put on the “silver screen.” It was shocking. Here were some of them:
- “The sanctity of the institution of marriage and the home shall be upheld. Pictures shall not infer that low forms of sex relationship are the accepted or common thing.”
- “Illegal drug traffic must never be presented.”
- “Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. should not be detailed in method; arson must be subject to the same safeguards; the use of ﬁrearms should be restricted to essentials; methods of smuggling should not be presented.”
- “The technique of murder must be presented in a way that will not inspire imitation; brutal killings are not to be presented in detail; revenge in modern times shall not be justiﬁed.”
- “Adultery, sometimes necessary plot material, must not be explicitly treated or justified, or presented attractively.”
- “Scenes of passion should not be introduced when not essential to the plot. In general, passion should be so treated that these scenes do not stimulate the lower and baser element.”
- “Seduction or rape should never be more than suggested, and only when essential for the plot, and even then never shown by explicit method; they are never the proper subject for comedy.”
- “Sex perversion or inference of it is forbidden.”
- “The treatment of low, disgusting, though not necessarily evil subjects, should be subject to the dictates of good taste and regard for the sensibilities of the audience.”
- “Obscenity in words, gesture, reference, song, joke, or by suggestion is forbidden.”
- “Pointed vulgarity or vulgar expressions, however used, are forbidden.”
- “Complete nudity is never permitted. This includes nudity in fact, or in silhouette, or any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture.”
- ”No ﬁlm or episode may throw ridicule on any religious faith.”
- “Ministers of religion, in their character as such, should not be used as comic characters or as villains.”
Source: William Bennett, Index of Leading Cultural Indicators (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994), pp. 142-144.
Who will get to “keep and bear arms”?
If Obama gets his way, who will be able to buy guns?
Not those who criticize the government.
Not those who are on or have taken psychotropic medications for “mental illness.”
Not those who are in the process of adopting children.
Not foster parents.
Not former servicemen diagnosed with PTSD.
Not those who are on the “no fly” list.
Not those who have unpaid parking fines or traffic tickets.
Not those who are failing to pay child support.
Not those who have been tagged with anger problems, had altercations with another person, or accused of abuse of any kind.
Any other excuse they can think of.
Who will get to “keep and bear arms”?
Temporarily, those who have registered them, received training for their use, have them in a gun safe with individual locks on each gun, and those who demonstrate a “genuine need” for a firearm—especially the third stipulation.
Permanently, after confiscation, only government agents and criminals who flaunt the law will have them.
I feel safer already, don’t you?
Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.
Man does not judge the laws of God; rather, the laws of God judge men. – Anthony Mangun
You gotta have heart. The brain cannot function when the heart has stopped.
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Not really funny
Obama decides to take on ISIS!
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The Last Shot
Next time, Cupid, hit both!
Thanks for dropping by. Keep hope alive…spring is on the way!