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

Friday, June 23, 2017

Just Add Water

The 66 books we call the Bible is loaded with rhetorical illustrations and curiosities that are often overlooked.  One such device has to do with water.  In reference to the second coming of Christ the apostle Peter in his second epistle uses the analogy of water in this way.  Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”  For [a]when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,  through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.  But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Let Evolution Evolve

It is educated people who most often endorse the idea of evolution.  We see Darwin fish emblems, complete with feet, stuck to the rear bumpers of expensive vehicles parked at hospitals and dental offices.  Whether the driver is an employee or a patient, the scene is logically ludicrous.  After all isn't the whole idea of the evolutionary theory that of survival of the fittest?  Why hinder the process by trying to save those genetically flawed teeth or seeking cures for disease? Why not let evolution evolve?
Or, how about the millions of dollars that are raised by educated people to protect whales, gorillas, elephants and everything under the sun? Why should we be concerned with the extinction of any species of life when it is only a matter of time that something new will crawl out of the swamp to take it's place? Isn't extinction part of the process of evolution?

It appears that even the evolutionist, upon arriving at a medical facility, subconsciously rejects the theory and gives in under pressure of moral compassion for the weak and helpless, or self preservation.  Do you suppose that the one who created life may have also given us an inner concern to preserve that life?  Maybe there is a God after all.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Is Mary the Queen of Heaven?

About 600 years before Christ Jeremiah the prophet records how the Jewish women were burning sacrifices to other gods including the female cult deities who they called the queen of heaven (Jere. 44:15-27).  They went by different names depending on the linguistic origin.  There was the Babylonian Ishtar, Egyptian Hathor and in the New Testament we see the Apostles having to confront the cult of Diana (also called Artemis by the Romans) in Ephesus (Acts 19;24-29).  To appease the barking dogs the Catholic church elevated Mary to cult status at the Council of Ephesus (AD 431).

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Ad hominem attack is for losers

The Ad hominem attack is a desperate attempt and logical fallacy when a person is losing an argument for lack of facts and thus resorts to attacking the character of his opponent.  This is when people often accuse you of being a racist, an idiot or something of this nature.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Concrete or Abstract Concepts
by Dale Brown

Religious people often approach the Bible from two different perspectives. There are those who see everything as concrete rules or laws, then, there are those who see things in a more broad or abstract way. The Seventh Day Adventist approach is the concrete approach, in which everything must fit into a nice program. They will give you a list of Bible verses having to do with the Sabbath proving that Saturday was the Jewish tradition even until the time of Apostle Paul who met with Jews in the synagogue. (Ex. 31:12-18, Neh. 13:15-21, Isa. 58:14, 66:22, 23, Luke 4:16, Acts 13:14, 42, 43 etc.)
They will conveniently avoid passages such as Acts 20:7 where Paul met with believers on the “first day of the week”. Then they will claim that Saturday Sabbath keeping is necessary for today's Christians.

Apostle Paul addresses this “concrete” problem in his epistle to the “foolish” Galatians who thought they too could receive the spirit simply by faith yet add more rules to further please God (Gal. 3:1-3). He goes to great length to remind the people that a previous covenant given to Abraham some 430 years before the Law of Moses is just as valid, but then goes about to take it apart. The sign of this “everlasting” covenant was circumcision (Gen. 17:11). He points out that his Greek friend and fellow believer Titus was in no way in need of being circumcised (Gal. 2:3) and further claimed over and again that man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus (Gal. 2:16, 3:11). He even says that if one receives circumcism Christ is of no benefit. Then, in another place he mentions that another believer named Timothy, who had a Greek father, he had circumcised in order to reach out to the Jews without causing an offense (Acts 16:3). Outside of God's grace, in the mind of the concrete thinker this sounds contradictory or hypocritical. But he said to the Galatians, “For in Christ neither circumcision or uncircumcision means anything but faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

Paul was an abstract thinker. In his epistle to the Colossians he goes after those who were making concrete rules about the Sabbath and dietary laws. “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Col. 2:16). Over time, in honor of Christ who was discovered resurrected on the first day of the week (Mark 16:2) this new covenant in which the law is written on our hearts by faith is celebrated on Sunday, which would be the eighth day. Strangely enough, Jews to this day circumcize their babies on the eighth day not even recognizing the interesting parallel symbolism.

Concrete thinkers do similar things with baptism. They get hung up on methods and formulas and miss the more important point that has simply to do with ones identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Satire and Hyperbole in the Bible?

Satire is often a comical and sarcastic means to poke fun at the insanity of the human condition.  It can be linked to hyperbole or exaggeration to get the point across.  It is seen in the Bible in various forms.
In the story of Elijah confronting the false prophets of Baal he makes fun of their religious exercise in which they are cutting themselves and crying out to their god.  "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside [on the toilet], or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened." (1 Kgs 18:27)

In 2 Kings chapter one we see one of the first references to Baal-zebub the god of Ekron.  This term came to be used as a derogatory term for the Lord of the demons or even Lord of flies later in history.  In the gospel Jesus was accused of being possessed by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons. (Mark 3:22-30).  He understood directly that they were saying he was empowered by the Devil.

Apostle Paul was quick witted against his accusers in Acts 23:2-3 when he called some religious fellows that struck him a "whitewashed wall".  They would have immediately understood his illustration from the prophet Ezekiel in which the false teachers hundreds of years earlier has tried to cover their wall of deception with whitewash (Eze. 13:10-14) and God had brought a rain of judgment upon them.

Paul at times expressed his frustration used hyperbolic language to describe the general nature of certain groups of people, which in our day would be considered hate speech or racist.  In his letter to Titus he refers to a prophet of the Cretans who says they are "always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."  "This testimony is true.  For this cause reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith" (Titus 12-13).

Biblical writers did not tiptoe around issues.  They got directly to the point.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Mercenary for Jesus?

Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense?
Apostle Paul (1 Cor. 9:7)

Over the years we have often had people come to us wanting us to fight some spiritual battle for them.  At times we have felt it was the right thing to do.  Other times it was clear that they simply did not want to get their hands or reputation tainted, therefore we would simply walk away.  There are times when we need to stand in the gap for those not equipped to do the job but it is quit frustrating when someone wants you to do all the hard lifting at your own expense while everyone else stands on the sidelines or in secret cheering you on.  At times we have received financial support totally without solicitation from those who understand the hardship or stress we have put ourselves in for the common good of man and the gospel.  Those behind the scene are much appreciated.  With or without the support of man or church organizations evangelists often dive into situations simply because they know God is telling them to do it.  They may react simply because they read it in the scripture or they may get some divine direction.  Once they have become used to following God's directing it often becomes part of their nature and a gift that becomes polished, and no person on earth is going to change their mind.  Thank God for all of his power, revelation and giftings that make it possible to do our job.

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life,
so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
Apostle Paul (2 Tim. 2:4)