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U. S. SUPREME COURT NOT SUPREME


U. S. SUPREME COURT NOT SUPREME
There are many levels of authority which, at some point in life, come to bear directly or indirectly on everyone. Authority is a good thing. Organized authority is an even better thing. Consider that there is parental authority (at least what is left of it). Also, there is the authority of school teachers and administrators. There is law enforcement authority. There is an ever encroaching bureaucratic authority. Then there is the authority of the courts of the land. These range from municipal courts to district, state, state supreme, federal district courts and finally the Supreme Court of the United States of America.By the time a case reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, it has been heard and appealed, perhaps several times by lower courts. Dissatisfaction with lower court rulings has allowed appeals all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. When that court renders a ruling, it is said to be final. There is no higher court of appeal to which the case may be sent for examination and decision.However that is not always the case! As one surveys the preserved records of Holy Writ, he will be impressed that the courts of men have been wrong much of the time on truly important matters. Consider that folks in the antediluvian world ruled that they could live as they pleased, and since practically the entire world agreed with them, their ruling had to be right. However the Creator God over ruled their decision to the destruction of the entire earth, except the extreme minority who trusted in Him.Moreover, one need only look to the Tower of Babel to see a similar Divine overruling of the decision of men. Then what of the three Hebrew children and of Daniel all of whom defied the supreme ruler of the land, but God overruled him! The list could go on and on. But certainly there was a time when men ruled that Jesus the express image of the invisible God should be put to death on a Roman cross. But God overruled their decision in His resurrection and uses His sacrifice to be the source of eternal life to all who trust in Him.The U. S. Supreme Court has handed down what is thought to be a final decision regarding same sex marriage, but it is wrong, very wrong in ruling against nature and nature’s God. But one may rest assured that the decision of that court is not final. The courts of heaven are sovereign, and in the end will rule supremely to the hurt of all who defy heaven’s King and His eternal Word. It is to that court God’s people should be appealing, especially that its physical, inaugural rule on earth might begin soon by the certain coming of the Supreme Sovereign. (The idea for this article is taken from a message by my late, great friend and brother in Christ, Dr. R. T. Perritt)

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Fundamental Baptists and Big Daddy Weave


Fundamental Baptists and Big Daddy Weave

May 28, 2015 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

fundamental_baptists_and_big_daddy

On the last night of the Friends Conference at Crown Baptist College in April 2014, Kenny Baldwin sang Big Daddy Weave’s “Redeemed.” He introduced the song by saying that in a service at his church he had asked his song leader to sing the song repeatedly because it “touched so many people.”

Regardless of whether or not the song “touched” people,” it is a dangerous error for a fundamental Baptist preacher to promote Big Daddy Weave or any of the other CCM groups that have the same ecumenical, non-judgmental, one-world church philosophy.

One brother who listened to the sermons from the 2014 Friends Conference observed, “I was saddened to see how Christian ‘liberty’ is held in such high regard and ‘biblical separation’ is seldom if ever mentioned.”

Big Daddy Weave is a successful contemporary band composed of Mike Weaver, Jay Weaver, Jod Shirk, and Brian Beihl. Their hits include “Redeemed,” “Fields of Grace,” “Audience of One,” and “Every Time I Breathe.” The band was formed in 2002.

They are Christian rockers who hold the ecumenical, “non-judgmental” philosophy that permeates CCM.

In an interview for their 2008 album What Life Would Be Like, Mike Weaver said:

“We all grew up in church. That is awesome, and I’m thankful for it, but there is also some baggage that comes with that. We grew up hearing people talk about grace, but there seemed to be an unspoken law that said, ‘but you also have to do this, this, this, this, and this.’ Nobody ever said it out loud, but I saw how people who didn’t do ‘this, this, this, this, and this’ were treated. Now truly, you will know a tree by its fruit, but that’s not grace. With What Life Would Be Like we are ripping up our old expectations to get to a place where we can receive the heart of God” (“Big Daddy Weave Bio,” 94fmthefish.com, n.d.).

The “grace” that Big Daddy Weave and their friends in the contemporary Christian music scene preach is not the grace of Scripture.

They would have us believe that trying to live by a careful standard of holy living and preaching against worldliness is legalism, but that is heresy.

The “grace” preached by the vast percentage of CCM musicians is not true Christian liberty; it is antinomian license. It says, “Don’t tell me how to live, where I can go, how I can dress, how long my hair can be, what music I can listen to, what kind of church I can attend, how often I must attend, whether or not I can drink or smoke or dance.”

No wonder Contemporary Christian musicians love rock & roll. They have the same rock & roll attitude I had before I was saved when I was hitchhiking across America!

In contrast, consider the following definition of Christian grace by the apostle Paul:

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, DENYING UNGODLINESS AND WORLDLY LUSTS, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:11-13).

Bible grace for Christian living is a grace that denies all ungodliness and worldly lusts. That is a far-reaching requirement. It means that the grace-saved, grace-living believer is extremely careful about how he lives. He knows that He is saved by the free grace of Christ that was purchased on Calvary, but he also knows that he is saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). In order to please the Lord who saved him and now owns him, he continually analyzes his lifestyle to reject anything tainted with ungodliness and worldly lusts. He seeks to avoid even “the appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

Paul ended the previously-cited passage in Titus with the following exhortation to the preacher:

“These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee” (Titus 2:15).

If a preacher takes this biblical exhortation seriously today and speaks with authority and rebukes worldly lusts, he is slanderously labeled a Pharisee by the CCM crowd.

In fact, Big Daddy Weave have a song that does just that. Here are some of the lyrics:

Hear no evil, see no evil
Speak no evil
On the outside
Full of pride, full of lies
So well they hide
On the inside

They’ll never be
All that they seem
They live the life of a Pharisee (“Pharisee,” Big Daddy Weave, from Fields of Gracealbum).

It is true that hypocrisy is a sin, and it is an easy sin to commit, but Big Daddy Weave and the CCM crowd go far beyond a warning about hypocrisy. By their philosophy, the Bible believer that wants to “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil,” and the preacher who preaches such a standard, is a proud Pharisee. This is a slander.

The Pharisee’s error was not that he was too zealous for the truth of God’s Word. His error was that he was more zealous for his tradition than for God’s Word. Jesus NEVER reproved the Pharisees for being zealous for God’s Word.

It is true that truth must be delivered with godly grace and love, but it is scriptural and right to reprove sin and worldliness. Consider the following Bible commandment:

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

Thus, it is not enough that the believer not fellowship with evil; he must also reprove evil.

The preaching of God’s Word is to be done with rebuke and reproof (2 Timothy 4:2).

And when sinners are reproved and they do not repent, they become offended at the reprover. When Demas heard that Paul had warned Timothy about Demas’ worldliness (2 Tim. 4:10), don’t you think that Demas was offended at Paul and his “legalistic” preaching?

Big Daddy Weave also preaches the heresies of “unconditional love” and self-esteem. Of the song “Redeemed,” he says:

“Redeemed” came out of a place of brokenness for me. For as long as I can remember I have always never felt like I was enough. And no matter what God has done through my life and around my life, I never really let that affect the way that I felt about myself. We kind of resolved to do this Biggest Loser-esque kind of idea in 2009. The goal was for me to lose 90 pounds in ’09. In November I was down 70 pounds, all the way down 80 pounds in December, with only had 10 pounds to go, at that point. Honestly, it had become less about my health and more about reaching this number on the scale. And so on the last day of 2009 I got on the scale and I had lost 84 pounds. I realize that is nothing to sneeze at. But when I realized that I had missed the goal by 6 pounds, I was destroyed. I couldn’t see any of the good in it. All I could see was the failure and it resonated in that place in me that had always said that about me. It just sent me into a really, a really dark place in my life.

“I remember there was a day when it was at about it’s worst and I was down in our garage pouring these feelings of self-hatred out to Jesus. And just saying God if you can love me unconditionally and you are perfect and you are holy and you are the king of the universe, you can love me, why can’t I love and except myself, God.

“And it was like the King of the Universe said to me, ‘Mike why don’t you let me tell you what I think about you for once. I like the way you smile man,’ and he said, ‘I love your heart for people, and I even like your silly sense of humor, because I put all that stuff in you. And you’re mine, not because of your track record, not because of your ability or inability to do anything, it’s based solely on what I have already done for you, the blood of Jesus Christ shed for your life. You’re mine because of my track record’” (“Big Daddy Weave’s Mike Weaver Talks about ‘Redeemed,’ Lifeway.com, n.d.).

This testimony is that of an individual who is focused on himself. It is all about self-esteem, which is not a biblical principle. While God’s love for His people is unconditional and unchanging, His fellowship is not. The true believer’s position in Christ is sure and eternal, but daily fellowship is a different thing.

To be in fellowship with the Lord who saved me, I must walk in the light and confess my sins (1 John 1). I must obey God’s Word to die to self, to put off the old man and put on the new man, to put away lying, pride, fornication, covetousness, worldliness, incontinency, etc. This is a major theme of the New Testament epistles. If I do not put off the old man and put on the new, and I walk in carnality and unrepentance, God chastens (Heb. 12:4-13). The chastening is not pleasant but grievous. If I refuse the chastening, there are many serious consequences. There is even a sin unto death (1 John 5:16-17). When some of the believers in Corinth abused the Lord’s Supper, God did not encourage them about their cheerful smiles; He smote some of them with sickness and some with death (1 Cor. 11:29-30).

If a believer is doing wrong, he should not “feel good” about himself.

Hughie Seaborn, a former Pentecostal, made the following observation about Mike Weaver’s testimony in regard to the song “Redeemed.”

“If we read in context what he said in the interview, Big Daddy was actually plagued with low self-esteem because of an image problem. The way he looked didn’t fit the image of how he wanted to look in front of all those he wanted to impress with his God anointed gifts. So in his anguish, he cried out to God, ‘If you can love me unconditionally and you are perfect and you are holy and you are the king of the universe, you can love me, why can’t I love and except myself, God.’ God is supposed to have brought ‘real humility’ to Big Daddy by His response about loving his smile, etc. …  There’s some very deep and significant ‘theology’ in there, and sadly, it’s the type of ‘theology’ that is being promoted and accepted in churches everywhere today. Instead of telling Big Daddy that if he wanted to be a true disciple of Christ, he would need to stop trying to impress everyone, deny himself on a daily basis, take up his cross and follow Jesus; instead of telling him further that if he wanted to be Christ’s disciple, then he would need to get to know what the Bible says and continue in it; instead of telling him that we live in perilous times when self-love would be confused for godliness, God is supposed to have told Big Daddy some sentimental lies about himself, like he’s been gifted from God with an irresistible smile.”

It is this worldly, heretical CCM philosophy, this antinomian “grace,” this unscriptural emphasis on self-esteem, that brings so many changes to every Bible-believing church that is careless enough and foolish enough to mess around with it.

When young people in a church listen to Big Daddy Weave or the other CCM musicians who hold the same principles, they can easily fall in love with their heretical principles.

Fundamental Baptist preachers who promote these groups have a lot to answer for.

__

David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org

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Pastors Refuse to Sign State-Issued Marriage Certificates!


Who will join and stand in defiance of government intrusion?

Pastors Refuse to Sign State-Issued Marriage Certificates!

Posted: 25 Jun 2015 10:45 PM PDT

Don Boys, Ph.D.
The Bible teaches that “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” Heb. 13:4. That verse is true whether it is believed or not. Marriage is God’s business, but was taken over by the state with the consent of pastors; however, the state should have nothing to do with marriage. Nothing. Hundreds of pastors are refusing to sign state-issued marriage certificates!
In the Garden of Eden, God set the pattern for all future marriages with one man and one woman constituting a family. A God-approved marriage is publicly declared, heterosexual, monogamous, physical, and permanent. After God established marriage, man’s wicked heart soon twisted God’s plan when Lamech (who became a murderer) took two wives, and marriage has been going downhill ever since.
I thought only a few of my fellow preachers believed that marriage was a family affair without any involvement of the government but I was wrong. According to Life Way Research, one in four U.S. pastors think it is wrong for them to sign a state marriage certificate! Moreover, a prominent conservative but unofficial Catholic magazine, First Things, takes that position and more than 400 pastors and laypersons have signed a pledge to “no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage.”  Ministers who have taken the pledge are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Church of God, Episcopal, Church of Christ, Universal Life, Bible Churches, Nazarene, Methodist, and others.
They will no longer sign state marriage certificates but will recommend that couples have a civil ceremony as well as religious ceremony. Conversely, I think preachers need to tell the state that a church wedding is sufficient with no state permission required and no civil ceremony is required.
Most pastors end a wedding ceremony saying, “By the power vested in me by the state, I now pronounce you man and wife.” Wait a minute, how can that be justified from Scripture? Does a preacher teach a class, preach a sermon, or counsel a family or anything else by powers vested by the state?  According to the American Jurisprudence Encyclopedia, a pastor performing a wedding “is a public civil officer, …not at all to be distinguished from a judge of the superior court….” That makes such pastors tools of the state.
What if a state decided that there were too many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals running around and wanted to “thin them out” by forbidding them marriage licenses, would any preacher in America be willing to obey that law? Only the weakest preachers would comply. Real men of God would tell state authorities to go back to the statehouse and continue to do their thing but leave the church house alone. Such preachers would continue to marry their young couples in defiance of such oppressive laws.
Even influential laymen have declared that the state should get out of the marriage business. David Boaz, Vice President of the libertarian Cato Institute, asked, “Why should the government be in the business of decreeing who can and cannot be married?”
Conservative talk show host Larry Elder  declared the state should “leave marriage to non-governmental institutions like churches, synagogues, mosques and other houses of worship or private institutions.” He said that marriage licenses made as much sense as licensing barbers or taxi-cab drivers.
Former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, radio talker Glenn Beck, and law professor Doug Kmiec (a Roman Catholic layman) have joined the chorus, advocating no state marriages. Kmiec said, “If the state got out of the marriage business. . . . then the question of who can and cannot be married would be entirely determined in your voluntarily chosen faith community.”
The state of marriage in the U.S. is a mess and I never thought I would ever support the atheists except in their repenting and trusting Christ, but here I am supporting their position on marriage!  Atheists sued Indiana because atheists were forbidden to perform marriages. Of course, they have the right to perform their own marriages. The fact is, all governments should get out of all marriage entanglement totally and leave all marriages to the churches, sects, etc. I suppose if the state wanted to marry hedonists, humanists, and heretics they could do as they are doing now.
No government has constitutional authority to approve or disapprove religion, but government at all levels always seeks more power and screams like a banshee when power slips (or is jerked) from their hands. States continue to reach for or hold onto power for the sake of power. They often look silly in their grab for control as in California.
In September of 2008, California prohibited the use of bride and groom in any state wedding ceremony! Moreover, their schoolbooks may no longer use the terms husband and wife. Of course, you know why. Such terms might offend those who practice perversion. My, my, aren’t public officials super-sensitive to their citizens? Well, they are not sensitive to normal, decent, citizens. If you are a white, heterosexual, creationist, Bible-believing Christian, (you know, the kind of people that founded and grounded this great nation), you must change what you have always been taught or move out of the state! And people are doing that by the thousands!
The California high court declared that the legal definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman was unconstitutional so the marriage license was changed to Party A and Party B as in Alfred and Bill or Alice and Betty. Yes, I know it was nutty and a little slutty, but after all, California is the land of fruits and nuts with an abundance of nuts. Bride and Groom were no longer legal until sane people threw a fit and reversed it. No court or authority can change the meaning of words.
Marriage is what it is as defined by God in the Garden so when a court seeks to nullify God’s definition, they are seeking to do something that cannot be done. It can be debated, decided, and declared but not done. The facts don’t change: marriage is between a man and woman who choose to commit to a lifetime together. No court or legislature can change that.
The above silliness is one of many reasons why the state should have nothing to do with marriage. But many are concerned about a non-state marriage being acceptable and legal. Acceptable and legal to whom? The union of man and woman is a law of nature. Such laws are unchangeable while human laws always change or pass away.  Natural marriages in England, Iraq, Brazil, or any state are considered marriages in any U.S. state, so why should marriages in any U.S. church not be considered acceptable and legal?
You don’t have to have a state-issued marriage certificate; and no preacher should use one thereby denying power to the state that God never intended it to have. As long as your family and your church are satisfied with your public commitment to each other, that should be sufficient.
Get the government totally out of marriages.
(First of nine columns dealing with no state involvement in marriage. Next column: “Marriages From Ancient Times Were Family, Not State Approved!”)
http://bit.ly/1iMLVfY  Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”
(Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, author of 15 books, frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, and wrote columns for USA Todayfor 8 years. His shocking books, ISLAM: America’s Trojan Horse!; Christian Resistance: An Idea Whose Time Has Come–Again!; and The God Haters are all available at Amazon.com. These columns go to newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations and may be used without change from title through the end tag. His web sites are www.cstnews.com andwww.Muslimfact.com and www.thegodhaters.com. Contact Don for an interview or talk show.)

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LOWING CATTLE AND BLEATING SHEEP



William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
LOWING CATTLE AND BLEATING SHEEP

How blessed and marvelous is a dedicated church whose members are on fire for God! Their motive and purpose is to please God, and to influence others toward Him. They understand that Christ is the head of the church, the Savior of the body, and that His Word is sweet, even so highly desired as the very bread of life. In my mind, this was the status of the early churches of Paul’s ministry. I think of Ephesus in particular having had the privilege of visiting that ancient city. Ephesus fell into decay and is no more. The zealous church that the apostle planted there is also gone, having suffered marginalization, persecution, and pressures from a godless, but religious society. It is interesting to note that only a few decades after its birth, the church received stern warning from Jesus in the words, “I have somewhat against thee…” Though commended for some spiritual assets, the charge must have been stinging to their hearts. They had busied themselves with religious activity instead of the necessary, personal, one-on-one relationship with Christ Jesus; hence, they were told “. . . thou hast left thy first love.” Rev. 2:4. Simply put, they were engaged in religion, but their motives were misdirected. Could they turn a deaf ear to the Lord? Could they continue as a church that way? The answer is “yes” but they would not be a church belonging to the Lord Jesus. They must remember from where they had fallen, repent or else they would lose their candlestick (be severed from Christ as His body). This problem did not end with the Ephesians. It goes on in wholesale manner today. All of God’s people need to re-think Samuel’s confrontation with Saul when the king declared he had done the will of God. Samuel asked, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” I Sam. 15:14. The prophet then replied: “. . . Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” I Sam. 15:22 Church activities may involve a lot of misdirected motives! But, God is pleased when His people return to their first love: a personal relationship with God and His Holy Word. Forget the fat cattle and sheep, and the “sacrifices” to the Lord that cost you nothing! Let the Creator’s Word reign supreme in practical obedience to its meaning!

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Unity or Purity?


June 6, 2015    Dose of Reality    by Joseph Harris       Number 318       

                                                            

Comments on Current Events in Government, Religion, Culture, and the Family, from a Conservative Biblical Perspective


  


Unity or Purity?

The leavening of America, God’s churches, the family and society has been underway for decades. In a sense, the leavening process has always been around as Satan has constantly tried to dilute and weaken the people of God and their influence in the world. Paul said in I Corinthians “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” The nature of leaven (yeast) is to permeate and spread throughout the entire lump of dough, causing it to rise. It only takes a small amount to change the entire lump.

What disturbs me does not always disturb others. In this fast paced age of change, I am disturbed by the shift in attitude and philosophy of the average person. I am increasingly finding myself in the minority on issues of Bible doctrine, politics, and ethics. Yet, I haven’t changed. I stand today where I stood 33 years ago when surrendering to God’s call to preach and teach his Word. I see the danger in a little leaven. The depraved nature of humanity leans toward sin and the path of least resistance and will exploit every inch given, hence the saying, “Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile” is an absolute. Maintaining purity requires effort.

In the religious, political and cultural battles of today, purity has taken a beating. However, purity is essential. Consider the following: when given a choice, would you rather drink pure water or filthy water? Would you prefer a virgin for a spouse or a promiscuous person? Would you choose dirty clothes over clean clothes for your body? Would you rather have a clean politician (an oxymoron, but bear with me) or a person of character as your representative? Any sane person would choose purity in these situations. But when the choice of purity may result in conflict, stress, and division, people will choose unity over purity 95% of the time.

Look first at purity in the local church. Concerning immorality in a church, it will usually be tolerated, especially when the other option is conflict through confrontation. It is not easy to confront sin and require purity from ungodly church members who may also be family members, or influential in the community or big givers in the offering plate. Yet, the small amount of leaven will spread throughout the lump, affecting the whole. When we are more concerned with the smile of man, then we will have the frown of God, and when purity goes out the window for the sake of unity, then God’s churches lose the power and blessing of God.

Consider purity in church doctrine. Baptism and the Lord’s table have taken a beating with pastors and churches caving in to the plea for unity rather than purity in the practicing of these ordinances. Only a scriptural New Testament church of the Lord Jesus has the authority to baptize new believers and administer the Lord’s Table to those who have prepared themselves through scriptural baptism and church membership. Paul said to refrain from eating with those who had not examined themselves, especially concerning immorality, I Cor. 5:11. These ordinances belong to the Lord, not the church, but He has given their care and stewardship to each local church for proper administration for His glorification. Rather than stand for purity and cause contention, many are satisfied to sacrifice purity for unity, forgetting that unity with God through purity is primary. When a church adopts a human driven philosophy, their main priority will be to please men and not God. Here is a novel idea: How about a God driven, Spirit sensitive church. It just might work.

Look also at purity in ecclesiastical associations. Ecumenism has taken hold and many are willing to turn loose of Bible doctrines that “divide” in order to fellowship with those who disagree in doctrine. After all, we are all children of God, and why can’t we just get along and love one another? True love often requires hard choices. Amos the prophet asked “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” They can walk, just not together, because those not of like faith will have different beliefs, different standards, different philosophies of ministry, different goals and different ways to achieve those goals. When pastors and churches refuse to cooperate with others who are not of like faith, they are accused of being hateful and having no love for the brethren. Loving the brethren is not the issue; purity is the issue. Besides, we are commanded to love God before we are commanded to love others and maintaining purity is loving God. We are never commanded to fellowship with those who show a contempt for God by disobeying his Word. As Dr. Curtis Hutson used to say, “There are some things that cannot be sacrificed on the altar of love.”

Purity of the Word of God is important. Concerning the Word of God, I believe in the purity of His Word. I believe the scriptures were divinely inspired and providentially preserved. God divinely inspired the writers in the original manuscripts and then over time, providentially preserved these writings in the original language texts of the Hebrew Masoretic text and the Greek Textus Receptus. I use the 1769 edition of the 1611 King James version, not because of “Thee’s” and “Thou’s”, but because I believe it to be a faithful translation from these texts. The issue is about using the right the right English translation based upon the right original language texts. The purity of His Word is essential since doctrine and practice are based upon the authority of scripture. “The words of the Lord are pure words”. Psalm 12:6

Purity in the home. Purity must first be established in the heart, otherwise, the outward appearance is a sham. However, after inward purity is a reality, further instruction is still needed concerning outward conduct and appearance. Concerning standards of dress, entertainment choices and others issues in contemporary culture, most churches and parents opt for unity and peace in the congregation and the home rather than the unsettling, stressful conflict which comes from requiring standards of purity. Modern apparel is more important than modest apparel. A sloppy, unkempt appearance has replaced a dignified, neat and tidy appearance, yet what is on the outside, usually reflects the attitude of the inside. Degrading movies and videos de-sensitize values concerning right and wrong over issues of sexuality, ethics and the role of men and women in the home. Ultimately, standards or lack of standards, go back to the home and the example set by the parents. Godly parents face intense pressure in the world and often from their church, over disagreement of standards, and parents too often give in to the pressure of their children, their church and other family members, who accuse them of being too hard.

Consider purity in society. Homosexuality and immorality have become more and more accepted through gradual exposure. To address someone’s immoral sexual lifestyle is considered an attack on the individual. Homosexuality and immorality are both destructive to all who participate, ruining self esteem and respect, destroying families, and can end in death from disease. To warn of self destruction and promote sexual purity honors God and helps people experience full and more satisfying lives. Sexual immorality affects everyone in society as a whole through broken homes, wounded children and adults and increased financial costs, resulting from choices that damage health.

May God give us the resolve to stand and be more concerned about maintaining unity with God, as we preach and practice purity in a culture that has an ever growing contempt for truth.


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HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE


HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE NOT SANCTIONED BY THE BIBLE

Brother Dillard, This was posted by Religious News Service. Your Comments please: (Bro. C. M.)
Hi, Brother C.M.! Well, well, what a subtle twisting of truth! Lucifer is up to his old tricks. It is reminiscent of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. There is considerable truth in it, but twisted to make a horrible lie. That is what the serpent did in Eden, and what he continues to do today. I shall comment in paragraphs of rebuttal so labeled. I assume the entire article is an exact copy of what appeared in media. The article and my rebuttal appear next.

For those who look to the Bible to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, the primordial source is Genesis 2, the second account of the creation of humanity, in which God forms a man out of the dust and a woman out of the man’s rib. The chapter seems to set up what they now call “biblical marriage,” declaring (in the King James Version), “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

[Rebuttal] The author is knowingly wrong here. The primordial source is Genesis 1. Genesis 2 is indeed an expanded account but one that reveals God (Elohim) in the creation of a different office work (Jehovah-elohim) to deal with fallen mankind. It does indeed set up biblical marriage as it was then and has continued to be for the past 6,000 years or more. Note the affirmation of Jesus about this in Matthew 19:4-6

So how can this account be considered supportive of same-sex marriage?”

[Rebuttal] The answer to this question is simple. It cannot!

For starters, the Hebrew word “adam” that is translated as “man” means “humanity” or “human being” — in the genderless sense that was once common English usage (as in, “man is the measure of all things”). Thus, in Genesis I.26, God says, “Let us make adam (humanity) in our image.” Unlike English, Hebrew differentiates adam from the gendered word for man, ish.”

[Rebuttal] As far as I can presently determine, this paragraph is true, except the author intentionally omits that in Genesis One that it goes on to say that the “adam” (mankind) under consideration is specifically named: “Male and female created He them.” Eve is as much “adam” (Mankind) as Adam was. There was no cause to refer to Adam as “ish” because there was no other male human on earth.

“In Genesis 2, the person we know as Adam is repeatedly identified simply as ha-adam – the human. Thus, Genesis 2.18 has God saying, “It is not good for the human to be alone. I will make a fitting helper for him.” (“Him” because adam is a masculine noun in Hebrew in the same way that nauta — sailor — is a feminine noun in Latin.) Note that God does not say anything about procreation as the reason for instituting this human relationship. Procreation is the order of the day in Genesis 1 (“be fruitful and multiply”), but that injunction has nothing to do with marriage.”

[Rebuttal] The author’s comparison of “adam” and “nauta” is contradictory. The gender of words in ancient languages does not necessarily denote sex. But, “Him” is gender specific. “Sailor” is not. Again, the Genesis Two account is an expanded, more detailed account of Genesis One. It is not contradictory to Genesis One. The “Ish” (Adam) is called “Adam” (mankind) because there was no other human form in existence. Ish (a man) comes into play much later, when there were humans (plural) on the earth. The helper which God would make for Adam is indeed fitting inasmuch as the Hebrew word literally carries the idea of “according to his front.” The purpose is aptly illustrated in electrical connections. It takes a male plug and a female receptacle to transmit electricity. Similarly, in procreation that type of connection is necessary to transmit the species. This terminology can portray nothing less than conjugal relationships of procreation. It is an expanded presentation of what is meant in Genesis One “Be fruitful and multiply.” To say that this has nothing to do with marriage is outright silly. God consistently in every age condemns fornication and adultery.

But what about Genesis 2.24: “Therefore a man shall leave…”? Isn’t that a mandate for “biblical marriage”?

[Rebuttal] Yes it is! A marriage as a civil contract is of recent origin. Biblical marriage consists of mutual agreements and pledges plus a consummation. Such union of a couple is not consummated as a marriage except in the act of sexual intercourse. So it has always been, and so it is presently.

No. Although traditional English translations employ the prescriptive future tense, the Hebrew is simply the descriptive present, now using the gendered ish: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother, and cleaves to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” Genesis 2 is a just-so story, explaining why, at the time it was written, a guy would leave his parents and establish a new marital relationship.

[Rebuttal] The author is wrong again about biblical Hebrew. Yes, English uses tense of verb, but Hebrew does not use tense at all. All action is presented as complete or incomplete. The incomplete verb, as here, is understood as a continuing process. “Therefore shall a man (any man in any age) proceed to leave his father and his mother and (continue) to cleave to his wife.” It is a never-ending process as long as humans remain on the earth in the flesh.

In a word, Genesis 2 is all about the human need for permanent companionship — companionship of an intimate fleshly kind. Whoever wrote it would, I believe, understand exactly what the desire for same-sex marriage is all about — and why it is good.

[Rebuttal] Agreed to the last five words. Moses wrote it under inspiration of God. I am certain he understood quite well the horrendous sin of homosexual co-habitation – but why it is evil. After all, sin is the misuse of anything from its intended purpose.

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Why The Right Is Morally Superior to The Left


Dennis Prager Dennis Prager

Why The Right Is Morally Superior to The Left

May 26, 2015

Most Americans hold either liberal or conservative positions on most matters. In many instances, however, they would be hard pressed to explain their position or the position they oppose.

But if you can’t explain both sides, how do you know you’re right?

At the very least, you need to understand both the liberal and conservative positions in order to effectively understand your own.

I grew up in a liberal world — New York, Jewish and Ivy League graduate school. I was an 8-year-old when President Dwight Eisenhower ran for re-election against the Democratic nominee, Adlai Stevenson. I knew nothing about politics and had little interest in the subject. But I well recall knowing — knowing, not merely believing — that Democrats were “for the little guy” and Republicans were “for the rich guys.”

I voted Democrat through Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976. He was the last Democrat for which I voted.

Obviously, I underwent an intellectual change. And it wasn’t easy. Becoming a Republican was emotionally and psychologically like converting to another religion.

In fact, when I first voted Republican I felt as if I had abandoned the Jewish people. To be a Jew meant being a Democrat. It was that simple. It was — and remains — that fundamental to many American Jews’ identity.

Therefore, it took a lot of thought to undergo this conversion. I had to understand both liberalism and conservatism. Indeed, I have spent a lifetime in a quest to do so.

The fruit of that quest will appear in a series of columns explaining the differences between left and right.

I hope it will benefit conservatives in better understanding why they are conservative, and enable liberals to understand why someone who deeply cares about the “little guy” holds conservative — or what today are labeled as conservative — views.

Difference No. 1: Is Man Basically Good?

Left-of-center doctrines hold that people are basically good. On the other side, conservative doctrines hold that man is born morally flawed — not necessarily born evil, but surely not born good. Yes, we are born innocent — babies don’t commit crimes, after all — but we are not born good. Whether it is the Christian belief in Original Sin or the Jewish belief that we are all born with a yetzer tov (good inclination) and a yetzer ra (bad inclination) that are in constant conflict, the root value systems of the West never held that we are naturally good.

To those who argue that we all have goodness within us, two responses:

First, no religion or ideology denies that we have goodness within us; the problem is with denying that we have badness within us. Second, it is often very challenging to express that goodness. Human goodness is like gold. It needs to be mined — and like gold mining, mining for our goodness can be very difficult.

This so important to understanding the left-right divide because so many fundamental left-right differences emanate from this divide.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that conservatives blame those who engage in violent criminal activity for their behavior more than liberals do. Liberals argue that poverty, despair, and hopelessness cause poor people, especially poor blacks — in which case racism is added to the list — to riot and commit violent crimes.

Here is President Barack Obama on May 18, 2015:

“In some communities, that sense of unfairness and powerlessness has contributed to dysfunction in those communities. … Where people don’t feel a sense of hope and opportunity, then a lot of times that can fuel crime and that can fuel unrest. We’ve seen it in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and New York. And it has many causes — from a basic lack of opportunity to some groups feeling unfairly targeted by their police forces.”

So, poor blacks who riot and commit other acts of violence do so largely because they feel neglected and suffer from deprivations.

Since people are basically good, their acts of evil must be explained by factors beyond their control. Their behavior is not really their fault; and when conservatives blame blacks for rioting and other criminal behavior, liberals accuse them of “blaming the victim.”

In the conservative view, people who do evil are to be blamed because they made bad choices — and they did so because they either have little self-control or a dysfunctional conscience. In either case, they are to blame. That’s why the vast majority of equally poor people — black or white — do not riot or commit violent crimes.

Likewise, many liberals believe that most of the Muslims who engage in terror do so because of the poverty and especially because of the high unemployment rate for young men in the Arab world. Yet, it turns out that most terrorists come from middle class homes. All the 9/11 terrorists came from middle- and upper-class homes. And of course Osama bin Laden was a billionaire.

Material poverty doesn’t cause murder, rape or terror. Moral poverty does. That’s one of the great divides between left and right. And it largely emanates from their differing views about whether human nature is innately good.

========

Dennis Prager’s latest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code,” was published this month by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.

Copyright 2015 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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Teenager in Prison


108 –April 18 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

Posted: 17 Apr 2015 05:23 PM PDT

Yudintsev, Andrei

Teenager in Prison

  “But he’s just a kid!”  Surely those words could have been said of Joseph in Egypt, or of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Babylon. But that might also have been said of Andrei Yudintsev, who was eighteen when he and his friend, Vladimir Timchuk, were arrested during the Thanksgiving service at their Baptist church.  The lads thought they might spend a short time in the local jail or be fined, but soon they discovered they were going to be “tried” and the mandatory “guilty” finding would confine them for years in prison. They were given prison terms of three and a half years.  Following a brief incarceration in the local prison, the two were transported to different prison camps.  On April 18, 1982, Andrei arrived in his camp where he worked as a welder.  For two years, he had no Christian fellowship, but one day he was told that a fellow believer had been brought in.  He rejoiced to meet Pavel Zinchenko and to discover that they had many mutual friends.  The men continually encouraged each other which made the burdens of prison almost tolerable.  In the course of time, a third believer, Vladimir Blasenko from Nikolaev, was also transferred into their camp. Vladimir had suffered severely for his faith, but his captors could not break his spirit. Valdimir was thrilled to discover that Andrei and Pavel had a New Testament, and he read late into the nights.  Andrei reported:  “At first it might seem that this was a waste of my youth, but when it was over, nothing remained except gratitude to the Lord and gladness.  David says in Psalm 33, ‘For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy Name.’”  “He’s just a kid?”  Of Andrei we can say, he became a man, and a special kind of man, a man of God!

Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 225 – 226

The post 108 –April 18 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.

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Freedom of Religion and the Indiana Law


Freedom of Religion and the Indiana Law: On the verge of Government Run Faith

by Bro. Jeff Haney

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”  Acts 5:29

Biblically speaking, there are two times, and only two times when it is necessary for the children of God to disregard, disobey, and defy the laws of the land and simply refuse to obey their government:  1.) When the government by law forbids someone from obeying God – Daniel’s praying against the law that forbade it; 2.) When the government by forces someone to disobey God – Hananiah, Azariah, and Meshael, (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) being forced to bow to a false god.  Only when circumstance fit within the framework of those scriptural principles can a child of God rightly and flatly refuse to obey the laws of the government ruling over them.

I have never seen a time in our nation when either one of those scenarios were the case.  To my limited knowledge there has never been a time, when I, anyone I know, or anyone I have heard of, was forced into disobeying the God of the Bible.  Conversely, to my limited knowledge there has never been a time when I, anyone I know, or anyone I have heard of was forbidden from obeying God.  Within the scope of my vision frontwards, backwards and all around I have never seen either of those cases play out in our society . . . until now.

Though not here yet, we are standing on the cliff of Government Run Faith.  Of course we have seen government run health-care on the front porch of the evening news for a while now.  Government regulations grip every industry from education and finance to bean sprouts, pot holes, and outhouses.  If what is happening over the law being passed in Indiana is any indication of the direction and mood of those wanting the government to regulate body fat, and hairstyles, the next big thing is government approved belief.

The central issue in those shouting the accusations of discrimination is the fact that they cannot and will not stand for someone believing a particular behavior is wrong.  As one commentator said, “No one would dare expect a black baker to prepare cupcakes for a KKK rally.”  Why then on earth would someone expect a Bible believing Christian to endorse a gay marriage?

Regardless of how loud it gets said, how long they say it, or how many people chime in, in agreement, the scenario they present of a Christian florist refusing flowers for a gay couple is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be discrimination.  It is discernment, conviction, and belief based on the Word of God not to aid and abet a sin that has always been, and always will be a sin.  It is not bigotry, it is not hatred, it is not intolerance.  We do not provide alcohol to alcoholics, we do not carry people with gambling problems to casinos, we do not drive get away cars for bank-robbers.

Acting upon homosexual attraction is not acceptable to the God of creation. It is not okay, it is not to be embraced, applauded, aided or abetted.  From what God has said to man, it is morally illegal, it is spiritually illegal, it is eternally illegal, it is outright bona fide, sin.  Period.  That is the end of the subject for Christians, and it will never, ever, ever, change.  As I have said before, if God said something different, then every Bible believing Christian in the world would say something different.  We do not take our cues from “how we are born” we take our cues from “What God has said.”

If those who’s tolerance is a one-way street would speak in plain honest language, what they would says is, “You are not allowed to believe what you believe, and you are not allowed to behave according to that belief.  You cannot believe the Bible, you cannot obey the Bible, and you cannot proclaim what you say the Bible says.”  Of course that’s my words in their mouths, but that is what I’m hearing from those who have more heat than light.

According to the direction of the mood of this country, the heart of their heat, and their hate is aimed at regulating what Americans are allowed to believe. It is not socially acceptable to “believe gay marriage is wrong.”  If that course of thinking continues to be fertilized and fed, it will not be long before it is not legally acceptable to continue to “behave” with the conviction that gay marriage is wrong.  Changes are definitely coming, and they are the kind that are not worth making

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WILL A MAN ROB GOD?


HEBREW HONEYCOMB
WILL A MAN ROB GOD?
I know, I know! Everybody’s mind is made up from the title of this article what it is going to be all about. When pastors choose this title and use Malachi 3:8, it is almost always a message of giving of money to the cause of the church. So how could this be any different. Well, think with me and see!
Certainly, a lot of churchgoers do rob God in the matters of tithes and offerings as the context of this Old Testament passage of scripture indicates, but that is not the primary burden of this article. Robbery of God takes on a much grander scale of which robbery in tithes and offerings is but a symptom. Consider that when one repents from sin and receives Christ Jesus into his heart, he is born from above and his spirit sealed with the Holy Spirit of God. That person has been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus. He is no longer his own, but a subject of Jesus. As such he is to render praise and honor to his Savior (how logical). So what do many do? They find any excuse, and the slightest one at that, to miss church worship services or the giving of themselves in any noticeable way to honor the God of their salvation. Many, yes, many, would be embarrassed beyond words if they were called upon to lead in prayer, because prayer is a stranger to them. Will a man then rob God of the just honor due Him? Will a man rob God of the glory He is to receive from him in His church? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his heart? Will a man rob God of His rightful place in his home? Will a man rob God of the power of personal testimony that he is failing to share with others? How many ways modern Christians do rob God!
The problem is a heart problem! Moreover, that speaks to the attitude toward tithes and offerings. Jesus pungently said it when He taught that where a man’s heart is, there will his treasure also be. So, look around. Where does your money go? Where is your leisure time spent? Where do you find your joy? There is where your treasure is. Certainly, it is a precious few who find their heart and their treasure in the things of God. Among far too many the decision is repeatedly made to rob God! It is robbery, sheer robbery! It is the kind of robbery that a sermon, or brow-beating, or grudging change will NOT fix. It is the kind that underscores heart trouble.
Knowing that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of deeds whether they are good or evil, wisdom cries out for a return of the heart to the God who bought it with His precious blood. When that cry is heeded, all the other things will be fixed.

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