Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. - Irenaeus

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Those darn Ten Commandments

The Devil was a rebel from the beginning
 and his followers inherit his nature.
"The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to
keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of  judgment,
and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires
and despise authority." (2 Peter 2:9-10)
"These men revile the things which they do not understand;
 like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed."
 (Jude 10)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

But It's Like We're Married!

The institution of marriage is under attack like never before.  What was once commonly referred to as sin has put on a new face.  After living together for a few years and having a number of children out of wedlock a couple might remark, "Well, it's like we are married".  If things go sour however and the relationship flies apart they can easily walk away from any responsibility because "we were never officially married" on paper.  A one night stand might be considered a sin making the woman a whore, the man a whoremonger, but if they live together for a time then it becomes socially acceptable.  Its a bit like considering a thief who robs a bank once a criminal, but if he continues the practice every week then it becomes a normal tradition and the alarms quit sounding.  It's just the cost of doing business.  Besides everyone is doing it so why not, eh?  As the farmer would say, "If you can get the milk for free, why buy the cow?"

The traditional Jewish contract of marriage, or Ketuba, had been officially codified as civil law by Simeon ben Shetach about 80 B.C.  It spelled out legal obligations in case of death or divorce.  A divorce was called a "Get" from an Akkadian word meaning a "court writ".  Both the Ketuba and Get were hand written contracts based on centuries of Jewish Scripture, history and tradition (Deu 24:1).

Lack of trust or fear of commitment is often the root of why people are not willing to enter into a legal contract of marriage.  "Once burned, twice shy" they say.  People who have watched the marriage of parents or friends fail, or have had a relationship crash and burn themselves, are less likely to commit to traditional marriage.  They can dream up all kinds of excuses to get around it.  In some cases a woman will shun marriage because she likes the thrill of dating and the leverage of being able to walk out at any time as a means to blackmail the partner.  He will treat me better if he thinks I might leave, the woman might think.  So the man therefore finds himself a slave to a whore. Sooner or later the package will lose its shine however and the true inner person will be revealed.  "Or do you know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her?  For He says, 'The two shall will become one flesh'" (1 Cor. 6:16).

Based on Jewish tradition Apostle Paul dedicated a whole chapter in his first epistle to the Corinthians (chapter seven) on the marriage relationship and obligation.  The basic guidelines were because of immoralities he says.

At one time we could point to the Scripture where we are instructed to obey the laws of the land (Rom. 13,  Titus 3:1) but now that same sex marriage has become part of the norm in our society we have to re-examine the foundation of our principles.  Typical of the cults who redefine words and religious terms the LGBTQ movement has attacked our cultural standards to fit their lifestyle, therefore we must hold our ground against the tide of deception.  See 1 Peter 3:1-7 for more reference to the biblical model.

With pressure from fundamentalist Mormons and Muslims we are being challenged with the idea of polygamy.  They will quickly point to many biblical characters that had more than one wife.  However, the Old Testament or TENACH should always be interpreted in the light of the New Testament.  Based on the failure of those in the past such as Solomon who took many wives Paul gave some basic guidelines for the pillars of Christian society, they must be "above reproach ..the husband of wife..." (1 Tim. 3:2, Titus1:7)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

You Hater!

Have you ever been called a hater for simply quoting or referring to biblical truths?

Consider the following references from the Bible:

The words of Jesus:
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Woe to you, blind guides... Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of deadmen’s bones and all uncleanness.

Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision.  Apostle Paul

Elymas the false prophet was struck blind by the words of Apostle Paul and another man was turned over to the devil for the destruction of the flesh.

Then, for lying Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, by the words of Apostle Peter.

Others were referred to as fornicators, adulterers, thieves and sons of the Devil. 

And they call you a "hater"?  Don't worry be happy, we have not been called to negotiate with false prophets or the Devil.  Jesus said the slave is not greater than the master.  If they hated him...well, you're in good company. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Jonah and Sailing

Jonah said, "I'd rather be sailing."
And God said, "Good luck with that."

Whatever Became of Evangelism?

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves fishermen. And lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish. And the fish were very hungry.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met
in meetings and talked about their call to fish, and abundance of fish and how they might go about fishing. Year after year they carefully defined what fishing means, defended fishing as an occupation and declared that fishing is always to be a primary task of fishermen.

These fishermen built large beautiful buildings for local fishing headquarters. The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish. One thing they did not do, however, they did not fish.

In addition to meeting regularly, they organized a board to send out fishermen to other places where there were many fish. The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived. Also the board hired staffs and appointed committees and held many meetings to define fishing, to defend fishing, to decide what new streams should be thought about. But the staff and committee members did not fish.

Large, elaborate, and expensive training centers were built whose original and primary purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Over the years courses were offered on the needs of the fish, the nature of fish, how to define fish, the psychological reactions of fish, and how to approach and feed fish. Those who taught had doctorates in “fishology”. But the teachers did not fish. They only taught fishing.

Further, the fishermen built large printing houses to publish fishing guides. Presses were kept busy
day and night to produce materials solely devoted to fishing methods, equipment, and programs, to arrange and encourage meetings, to talk about fishing. A speaker's bureau was also provided to schedule special speakers on the subject of fishing.

After one stirring meeting on “The Necessity of Fishing,” one young fellow left the meeting and went fishing. The next day he reported that he had caught two outstanding fish. He was honored for his excellent catch and scheduled to visit all the big meetings possible to tell how he did it. So he quit fishing in order to have time to tell about the experience to the other fishermen. He was also placed on the Fisherman's General Board as a person having considerable experience.

Now it's true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish. They received the ridicule of some who made fun of their fishermen's clubs and the fact that they claimed to be fishermen yet never fished. They wondered about those who felt it was of little use to attend and talk about fishing. After all, were they not following the Master who said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).

Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don't fish were not really fishermen, not matter how much they claimed to be. Yet it did sound correct. Is a person really a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish?

Is one following if he isn't fishing?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Who Hardened Pharaoh's Heart?

One rule in reading the bible is to always interpretation the Old Testament in light of the New Testament.  The Old Testament is written from the perspective that God was behind everything that happened.  Job thought that everything bad that was happening to him was from God.  However we see that Satan was an instigator.  In Exodus we read some verses that claim God hardened Pharoah's heart (Exodus 7:3, 10:1) but we cannot ignore the other verses that clearly show that Pharaoh had a part to play in this because it also says that Pharaoh was stubborn (7:14) and he hardened his own heart (8:15&32).  In the New Testament we see Jesus dealing with the Devil in a whole different light than what we see in the OT.  We see Jesus being tempted by the Devil, as well as Jesus casting some demons out of people.  People who have never been exposed to this part of the gospel sometimes have a fatalistic view of God regarding all the evil in the world.  If they do not understand that the Devil is the destroyer and one to resist they simply throw up their hands and don't know what to do or even how to pray, and simply say "well God's in control", or "its all God".  Apostle Peter wrote that we should resist the adversary who prowls about like a roaring lion (1 Pet.5:8-9).  It is rather difficult to resist him if one thinks God is doing everything.  When Muslim terrorists storm a church and murder children in cold blood we have to recognize that evil exists and must be confronted.

Apostle Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians he writes, "the one whose coming is in accord with the activity Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false." (2 Thess. 2:9-12)

So what happened to Pharaoh was not only God's vindication for the sake of the children of Israel but it was judgment upon the willfully stubborn heart of Pharaoh who followed the deceptive works of the magicians (Exodus 7:22).  Apostle Paul mentions these two characters, Jannes and Jambres, and warns us that we will be faced with similar seducers in the future. (2 Tim. 3:8-13)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sheets to the Wind!

Jesus was a Jew!
"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it,
but do not know where it comes from and where it is going,
so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)
While sailing past the village of Bella Bella, British Columbia
 we heard a man come on the marine radio
 and call to a friend telling him that the message 
on the passing sailboat was for him. 
That made our day!
This message often had a different response.