Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Social Justice & the Gospel Statement, Podcast, & Messages + Hymn in Español

It's finally out!  The Statement on Social Justice & The Gospel.
I had been waiting what seemed like a long time for this to be released.
I had heard early information about this, and so I was eagerly checking the link.
You can hear the podcast that gives more information as to its background with Andrew Rappaport and Josh Buice HERE.
I found out today from someone else that it was published.
https://statementonsocialjustice.com/

John MacArthur has been preaching on Ezekiel 18 recently which addresses this topic.

Social Justice & The Gospel - Part 1

Social Justice & The Gospel - Part 2

---------------------------------------------------------
Music for Your Day
We sang a hymn at a local church this past Sunday, and I thought the lyrics were very good.
I came across a singing group called "Esclavos de Cristo" which in English is "Slaves of Christ" that sang & played a Spanish version of it beautifully.

 

 Two lyric choices in English for the song are HERE and HERE.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Nation Going To Pot by Guest Writer TJ • Part 2

The United States continues down the Romans 1 path as the nation is going to pot.

Here are some evidences of some of the dire consequences to the course we're on:

A) Fatal crashes - a major increase:

https://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/05/fatal-road-crashes-involving-marijuana-double-state-legalizes-drug/

B) Children adversely affected:

     1. Daughter and son die in hot car while Mom does dope:

https://www.newsweek.com/mother-who-smoked-marijuana-watched-kuwtk-while-kids-died-hot-car-sentenced-20-907823

     2. Child nearly dies from marijuana in candy:

https://www.wisn.com/article/child-almost-dies-from-marijuana-laced-candy/6249011

     3. It started with weed and wound up with child abandonment:

https://www.wjhl.com/local/grandparents-raising-grandchildren-caregivers-behind-the-opioid-crisis/1306482973

     4. Four-year-old boy found wandering alone while elementary school teacher had gone out to get dope:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-teacher-arrested-marijuana-child-neglect-20180319-story.html

     5. "Until recently, it was rare for children to have major symptoms from swallowing marijuana.
It might be that they didn't swallow much and so didn't get very sick.  This has changed with medical marijuana." *
"Young children have been poisoned by swallowing medical marijuana.  Some have needed treatment in an intensive care unit."
https://www.poison.org/articles/2013-dec/medical-marijuana

     6. "The 2017 report said marijuana was the most-used substance connected to child abuse and neglect deaths, followed by alcohol, cocaine and methamphetamine — and sometimes a combination of substances." *

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/03/20/texas-drugs-alcohol-child-abuse-deaths/

C) Study has demonstrated a link between ongoing use of cannabis and violence.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-new-brain/201603/marijuana-use-increases-violent-behavior

A Reagan era study examined multiple convicts in the state of New York. "..one-third of respondents who had ever used marijuana used the drug in the 24-hour period before the homicide; and that almost three-quarters of those respondents were experiencing some type of effect from the drug when the homicide occurred."  Some of them claimed the homicide was related to their cannabis use.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8144275

D) Dogs getting stoned accidentally, including an example of one who licked up "medical" marijuana: 


E) Often, cannabis is a gateway entry to other harmful drugs:

  1.  "As more U.S. states legalize the use of marijuana, Mexico's violent drug cartels are turning to the basic law of supply and demand."
"Laws allowing marijuana in states like Colorado, Washington and California are causing shifts in the Mexican underworld that have also led to increased violence as the cartels move away from its cash cow of marijuana to traffic more heroin and methamphetamines."

"..the cartels 'saw a lot more demand for heroin (in the United States) and responded.'"

See source of quotes in the following link:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/02/20/mexican-cartels-switch-gears-after-u-s-states-relax-u-s-states-legalize-marijuana-mexicos-cartels-sw/343389002/

For more on the subject:
https://www.businessinsider.com/sinaloa-cartel-sending-mexican-herion-to-the-us-2017-11

     2. Gateway Drug studies:

          a)  Based on a National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2011-2013, those using cannabis were three times more likely to be addicted to heroin:
https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heroin/infographic.html

More: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.pdf#page=45

          b)  "The CASA study also links the use of gateway drugs by children with subsequent regular use of illicit substances as adults:

Adults who used marijuana as children are 17 times more likely to be regular cocaine users. (Ninety-one percent of adults who used marijuana as children smoked or drank first.)"

Source:
http://www.columbia.edu/cu/record/archives/vol20/vol20_iss10/record2010.24.html

     3. Examples of multiple types of drugs display that things don't always stop with marijuana:

          a)  A man who used both pot & heroin hit six other vehicles with his truck:

https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/tractor-trailer-driver-admits-to-using-heroin-marijuana-before-crash/646672076

          b)  Parents arrested, toddler hospitalized with cannabis & cocaine in his system:

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2018-06-01/toddler-hospitalized-with-marijuana-cocaine-in-system

          c) Mother abandons her son, leaves grandma to raise him.

Grandma says:

"It was marijuana but that lead to opiate abuse, my daughter was actually shooting up Opana," a tearful Martin recently told WJHL.  "She took off up north to avoid child support...she's abandoned her child, just like his biological father abandoned him at the age of two...I'm angry at her for what she and his father have put him through.” *
See full article the above quote came from linked below.
https://www.wjhl.com/local/grandparents-raising-grandchildren-caregivers-behind-the-opioid-crisis/1306482973

          d) Babysitter warned by mother not to let five-year-old girl go near pool because she couldn't swim.  The babysitter does marijuana and meth. & allows child to drown.

https://www.clickorlando.com/news/palm-bay-babysitter-arrested-in-5-year-olds-drowning-police-say

*Emphasis Added (italics &/or bold).

Duped by Dope by Guest Writer TJ • Part 1

I was a kid during the Reagan era, when the Just Say No to drugs was in full swing.
I don't remember the campaign continuing under the 1st Bush presidency. By the time Clinton, "I did not inhale," was in office I noticed a shift about drugs.
While Joe Camel was attacked and alcohol ads were banned in certain instances, illegal drugs seemed to gain some ascendancy, prompting me in part of a poem I wrote to say:

Strained out is the Camel; let in is drugs, the charging bull,

While the matador is smiling since Joe's no longer cool.

The 2nd Bush did not make the war on drugs an issue and when Obama got in, he didn't want the government to bother enforcing federal laws on marijuana as states began to legalize the drug.

Meanwhile, Libertarians are libertines when it comes to the federal government's right to restrain people from certain immoral behaviors which are detrimental to society.
They think it is the states' rights to forbid or allow murder by abortion or to outlaw or permit harmful drugs (if people so desire).  I wonder if they ever asked themselves - should I not take this same states' rights position on theft, other murders, fraud, etc.?

Homosexual activists took incremental immoral steps regarding benefits.
Some opposed homosexuals' radical demands to receive special rights not afforded to other singles. Some people fought against demands to accept deviant sexual behavior as normal by acknowledging in state constitutions the definition of marriage - that being as the Author of marriage defined it.
Judges over-ruled the will of these people in various states.

But later, Christians overall seemed to have given up when the Supreme Court made the outrageous immoral ruling that sexual immorality should be permitted to be called marriage, which in truth is an institution God invented and defined as only being between a man and a woman.

And now, on another immoral front, while the goal of many people in this country is to legalize recreational marijuana, using the incrementalism of "medical" marijuana as a springboard, some Christians are actually being sucked into accepting marijuana (now said to be even stronger than the detrimental dope of old) legalization.

Is marijuana a sin?  Here is where some Theologians answered:

From The Shepherds' Conference Q & A On Marijuana

Christians need to be sharing the Gospel with people who are thinking about/are turning to dope a road which can have dire consequences.

Part 2 will deal with specific consequences of marijuana.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

8 Reasons We Click The Bait

Do you ever wonder why we click on the blog articles, videos, and news stories that we do?

Here is a list of some tricks for clicks.

1.  Numbers.  
Giving a number of points for an article makes us think that it will be short or that it will have numbered points we can quickly glance at that will have important, useful, or interesting information.
This is not always wrong (and I've used it for this blog post to make the point), although it might play on anxiety which wouldn't be a good thing.

2.  Craziness.  
The story seems outrageous, crazy, or hard to believe.  Yes, we are fascinated by the unusual.

3.  Fear.  
A lot of times headlines play on our fears.  Something bad happens to one or a few people, and the media wants us to be terrified that it's going to happen to us.  There are some reasonable things to be concerned about, but often they play on our sinful fears.

4.  Feel Good Stories.  
Many of us like stories that play on our happy feel good emotions.  
We like to read about heroes and see cute kids and animals and reunions and other pleasant stories.  This isn't always a bad thing, but often people exaggerate or are downright dishonest.  Have you ever seen a video that promises to be the cutest?

5.  Problem Solving.  
Sometimes articles and videos offer promises to help us solve problems.  
The frustration is that often they do not live up to what they seem to offer.  
The best ones are those that teach us us Scriptural principles (when it is done properly). 

6.  Action.  
We like to help people out.
We sign petitions, send e-mails or tweets, share fundraisers for those in need, look at stories about missing people, etc.  
We can also rightly be concerned for people who are wrongfully persecuted.
We should show some caution.
There are those who play on our desires to help people and deceive us, and many times people share old or phony stories.
Some wrongfully make demands of other Christians that are not called for in Scripture (and may actually be the opposite of what the Bible teaches).

7.  Agreement.  
We all like to see articles that Amen our strongly held beliefs.  
This isn't always bad, but it can be a bad thing if people are agreeing with things that are against what Scripture teaches.

8.  Controversy.  
Yes, sometimes we go to stories that we know there is going to be disagreement on.  It is easy to get caught up reading the comments or commenting ourselves and getting riled up. 
It is easy to go from righteous indignation to sinful anger on these things, although there are plenty of times when a controversial subject does need to be addressed.


Not all means to get clicks are wrong, but there are many who try to intentionally deceive us and to encourage us to sin.
I'm not a fan of April Fools type articles that have tricked me either.
Not mentioned above are stories, articles, and videos that bring lustful thoughts and pictures to us.  
We do need to be careful what we fill our minds with.  It will affect our closeness to God (as believers) when we entertain sinful thoughts and desires.  It's something we should battle with Scriptural truth rather than taking the bait to sin.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1 John 2:16 NASB

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

God's Punishment of Israel & Its Chosen Remnant

Today I was reading Isaiah 10, and I was beginning to type out thoughts which lengthened into a blog post.
I want to remind people that I'm not a man, and this blog is not authoritative.
It may give insight into what can go through my mind when I read Scripture and notes about it.

Is the axe to boast itself over the one who chops with it?
Is the saw to exalt itself over the one who wields it?
That would be like a club wielding those who lift it,
Or like a rod lifting him who is not wood.
Isaiah 10:15 NASB

The people that God used to punish His people boasted and would also be punished by God.
Although not the point of the passage, and an aside, this verse made me think of those who are against guns...as though guns wield themselves.
In the case of Isaiah 10, God's sovereignty is shown in directing an evil nation to His purposes.
Sometimes God's purposes are punishment for evil as in Isaiah 10, but other times nations were used to bless His people.

The good news is that there is a remnant of believing Israel.
There has been and always will be a remnant it seems, and the grafted in Gentiles in the New Testament don't take away from blessings God gave through Israel or the promises.

Paul sorrowed for those of his people according to the flesh that did not believe (and were not chosen).
who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 9:4-5 NASB



Romans 11 lets me know that God still has a remnant of Israel, and so people should not be prideful toward the root or negative toward the Jews...who may be grafted back in if they do not continue in unbelief.
I believe there will be a future for and blessings for believing Israel, and there are promises to them that are not yet fulfilled and will be in the future.
I know that others have different eschatological views, but this is my view from my reading of and understanding of Scripture.
I remember reading in the Bible some things that I knew were not fulfilled yet in the past.
I don't believe things just because I've been told how to believe, but I believe them because I have read it in Scripture as well as it helps when I hear Scripture exposited.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

For Those With Regrets - Looking Beyond Tattoos

Not long ago I wrote a post about tattoos.
It was more of a warning to those who were considering getting them than for those who already had permanent tattoos and may regret them.

While I feel strongly that choosing tattoos isn't wise for a Christian, what about those who already have them?
Many people chose them before they were believers or they were Christians and thought tattoos were cool at some point in their life.
What about those who regret them and for some reason can't get them cleaned up by laser removal?
Some of those tattoos may be sad reminders of past sins or idolatry or rebellion or just a whim the person was following thinking it was cool at the time.

Well, as Christians we may see the external markings and wonder about people, but then we need to remember that God sees the heart. 
A brother or sister in Christ who has a tattoo still marking them is someone that Christ died for and He loves them. 
I have met people that looked like scary biker dudes, and they talked like caring believers. 
Yeah, that can be confusing.
There are people who are brothers and sisters in Christ who shouldn't be snubbed or treated as inferior for their past choices.

So, while I was strong in warning people about getting tattoos and to think about the consequences, I don't want to have people look at these external things and be unloving or lack compassion to others.
We are no better Christians for not having a tattoo. 
So, while I would warn against intentionally marking oneself up (and yes, it can give impressions about character...right or wrong), I also want to encourage people to not let appearances keep you from getting to know some wonderful Christian brothers and sisters or from giving the Gospel to someone who is an unbeliever.

So, for believers who have tattoos, I want you to know that your tattoos are not the sum total of who you are.  If you can get rid of them, fine.  If you can't, well, I have skin problems that I can't get rid of.  So, we should just treat each other like any other sisters and brothers in Christ. 

Cessation, Banana Man, & Sundays in July

CESSATION & FALSE PROPHECY

The following are 3 articles from the Cripplegate Blog which address what cessationism means and why claiming words are from the Lord is not something to be taken lightly.

What Cessationism Is Not
by Nathan Busenitz

The Cripplegate on Cessation and Continuation
by Mike Riccardi

Five Dangers of Fallible Prophecy
by Nathan Busenitz

BANANA MAN STORY

Ray Comfort has a new film which should be available early for a price on August 24th, 2018. 
A couple of the the people who have recommended it are people I'm familiar with (Andrew Rappaport & Justin Peters).
Learn more HERE.

SUNDAYS IN JULY

Grace Community Church has something like a mini-conference in July with different teachers to choose from for people who go to the church.
You can now listen to the seminars they had which are online.
Sundays in July Audio