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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Reforming to Scripture

The Reformation was marked by the desire to return to Scripture as the authority for doctrine and practice in the church.
It was a returning to the Biblical Gospel.
The 5 Solas were based on Scripture & its truth.
The Swiss brethren continued to reform to Scripture by practicing believers baptism.
Also, the more people study Scripture, the more they see the doctrines that Calvin is best known for.

Churches have again veered away from Scripture in many ways since the days of the Reformation.
Some of the ways churches have strayed have been:
Calling people prophets and apostles today (they don't meet Scriptural qualifications for those example is Bethel Church in Redding, CA),
Seeking personal revelation,
False signs and wonders,
Prosperity preaching (health and wealth),
Women disobeying Scripture in leading and teaching and having authority over men in regards to the church,
Acceptance of immorality and/or sinful desires,
Social justice advocating ("social justice" is not actually justice) which distracts from the true Gospel,
All kinds of various heresies about the nature of God,
and also
Legalism (E. g. , Hebrew Roots or Hebrew Israelites), etc.

Because heresies and straying from the truth have continued throughout history, reformation back to the truth and the Gospel of the 66 books of the Scriptures needs to continue.
Galatians is one excellent Biblical example of how people were being bewitched even in the early church and how it needed to be confronted.
 I'm thankful to know of pastors and teachers who still love the truth of Scripture.
Christians need to remember to pray for these men, and for more of them!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Defining "Social Justice" for the Confused

When you search the words "social justice" on Google, you will see it defined this way:
"justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society."

I think much of the problem that people have when discussing "social justice" is that people are bringing their own connotation of what that means to the words (rather than realizing the dictionary definition).

The people who have argued against The Statement on Social Justice & The Gospel wrongfully think that it means that people who wrote and signed it don't care about those in need or about loving neighbors or about justice in general.  
It doesn't mean that individuals don't plead for the innocent or ignore real sin.
"Social justice" isn't about justice as seen in Scripture.

God never promised us equal wealth, opportunities, and privileges in the world's idea of what those things are.
A lack of having worldly goods and privileges can be the very things God uses to cause His children to grow spiritually and to keep them humble and dependent on Him.
Are we complaining about the situation that God has for us?

In some cases people even demand equality for sinful behaviors (even in churches) that are in disobedience to God (women disobeying Scripture wanting to be elders/pastors/teaching men in the church or people wanting acceptance for sexually immoral behaviors and/or desires).

In other cases, some people watch/read/listen to news and assume people are guilty instead of innocent based on a video or a report/accusation.
Sometimes people take their victim mentality or their personal background to the news story or even to the evidence.  
That kind of thinking can sometimes lead to a mob mentality of "justice" that could destroy someone wrongfully.
A person isn't more likely to be guilty of a crime or abuse being white or black or male or uniform or out of uniform.
Yet some people demand what they think is justice without its necessarily being justice (since there may be facts and evidence not seen or known).
I believe I've addressed that in the past on other posts.

Some people think that the church needs to mirror the world's "affirmative action" methods which actually aren't about equality anyway.  
"Affirmative action" was about giving people positions or privileges regardless of who was most qualified (as in a job or a school). 
It was based on choosing people based on color as well..not white.
It also was an insult to people who aren't white in my opinion (as though people can't qualify on their own). 
Now, everyone in Christ is one in Christ, and elders should be qualified Biblically as elders and also be those God wants in that position (I remember how the replacement for Judas was decided by God in the end). 
That means someone shouldn't be decided to be an elder in the church due to more or less pigmentation at all. 
We also shouldn't judge a church due to what shade of skin the majority of people in it are unless they are proven to be intentionally excluding people due to ethnicity.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 NASB

All of those who are in Christ have spiritual blessings and privileges that surpass anything this world has to offer.  
We don't have to have equal incomes or opportunities in this world.
That doesn't mean that Christians are not to be generous to those who are in need (because that is what love to brothers and sisters and neighbors does and should do when there is the ability).

There are Christians who are imprisoned wrongfully or even killed for having done nothing wrong, and God doesn't always keep that from happening to them.
What others mean for evil, God uses for His Joseph's brothers meant him evil and God meant it for good.
As Christians, we are to focus on honoring God and our own obedience and relationship to Him first.
The sufferings in this world - no matter what they are  - can cause us to look to God and to look forward more to Heaven which is eternal.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Responding to Reasons Not to Believe in God

I was reading some arguments tonight which gave a list of reasons not to believe in God.
The usual first reason was the supposed "no evidence" nonsense, and the second reason claims that it is illogical (to believe in His existence).

Here is some of my response:
God in His wisdom made the message of the cross appear as foolish to those who are not saved.
His eternal attributes, eternal power, and Divine nature have been clearly seen through what has been made, but people are truth suppressors due to unrighteousness. 
God has also revealed Himself through Scripture. 

Another of their reasons not to believe that was given was about suffering in this world (even for those who worship Him).

Here is my response to that:
Suffering has a purpose in God's world. He uses it for His purposes. 
He is not the chargeable cause of evil, but He does use it for good. 
God sees the long view that finite puny humans cannot in this sinful fallen depraved world. 

In response to the argument that laws in the Bible were wicked:
God is perfectly good (and we are not), and He is fully just. 
Judging God's law by the standard of our human opinion is like a child who wants to stick a fork in the light socket not realizing the wisdom of his parents telling him not to.

Responding to the idea that life is better without God & religion:
A life without God is slavery, and nobody living for themselves (which really isn't without Him since He's still there) will escape sickness and death and the consequences of sinful behavior which includes eternal punishment in Hell.
A religion of depending on works is useless, because the only way to be reconciled to a perfectly good and just God is to be perfectly righteous. 
None of us fill that bill, so we need the righteousness of another. 
God in love sent His Son, fully God & fully man born of a virgin to live a sinless life in our place, and willingly He died on a cross taking the wrath for the sins of everyone who would ever believe. He rose from the dead, so that those who turn from sin and trust in Him will have eternal life and will not come into condemnation.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Chosen by God, Mob Mentality, & Perfect Wisdom

A pastor in CA gave a series "Chosen by God" quite a number of years ago at Foothill Bible Church in Upland, and I remember that it was really good over all.
I am sharing it with any of you who would really like to hear what the Bible teaches on the subject in the book of Romans.

Here is the first message.
Chosen by God Part 1 - taught by David Forsyth
There was only one message I think I remember disagreeing with something of.

You can find the whole series by typing the title in the search box HERE.

An Article Worth Reading
Today I read an article which reflects well what I've been thinking about the mob mentality and guilty until proven innocent thinking that seems to be permeating our society and seems to have infiltrated even into the thinking of believers that you would not have expected it to.
Ghana & Kavanaugh by Samuel Sey

Song of the Day
The following is a cover of a song which is in the Hymns of Grace book.