Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Yom Bomb

I have been reading the case for a young earth at Answers in Genesis1 and have a few things I would like to say.

Firstly the context of the word day. It's amazing how people will assert that the word day does not have to mean a literal 24 hour period2, yet not willing to accept the fact that it can mean a literal 24 hour period. With this, I would like to see one instance of YOM used in the OT where it does not mean a literal day, when it is accompanied by a number and the words 'morning', 'evening' or 'morning' and 'evening'. Some people say yom should be translated as time3 (i.e. this was the second time God did creative work). What about when it is accompanied by the words Morning and / or Evening? God was being explicit.

Another point I would like to make, is people tend to use the 'stupid man' argument. "How was Moses supposed to understand billions of years?" some will ask. The argument is that men back then would not be able to grasp really large numbers and so God spoke allegorically. Firstly, there are better Hebrew words for long periods of time4. God did not have to give the exact age of the earth, but the question remains as to why did He use the word 'yom' in the context of numbers and morning / evening.

On a second note, is God is incapable of explaining large numbers to people? How small is God? Liberals try to use this verse to prove 'stupid man:'

"I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,"
-Genesis 22:17 [Emphasis Added]

Now consider what God is telling Abram here. He is saying there is no point in trying to count the amount of offspring he will receive. If God had meant many years (in Genesis) he could simply have said "as many days as in a pinch of sand" or something like that.

A 'stupid man' argument would follow the lines of "God did not say billions or zillions because Abram could not understand those terms." If this were the case, consider if I said to you, "I will bless you in the hundreds". This limits my blessing to you to a maximum of 999, any further blessing is not part of the deal. Now consider the amount of people in the world today, over 8 billion. The amount of people to have existed in the last 4000 years (we all agree the earth is at least 4000 years old) must be far over billions and even zillions. God not only said what he said beautifully, he said exactly what he meant to say: "Do not bother trying to count." God was showing that when it comes to blessing, there is none like Him.

____________________________

1Terry Mortenson, Answers in Genesis, Why Shouldn’t Christians Accept Millions of Years?, Accessed 29 August 2007

2 Accuracy in Genesis, The Days of Genesis, Accessed 29 August 2007

3 [DIRECT PDF LINK] Rodney Whitefield, Ph.D., The Hebrew Word “Yom” Used with a Number in Genesis 1: What does “yom” mean in Genesis 1?, Accessed 29 August 2007

4 Russell Grigg, Answers in Genesis, How long were the days of Genesis 1?, Accessed 29 August 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Disciple means discipline

I have been thinking about the ever-controversial issue of church discipline. In fact, many Christians have never even heard of this practice. People refuse to believe that Jesus taught it and few would find the stones1 to carry it out. But what does the bible say?

Well, before I start this study in the word, I would like to point out that this whole discussion refers to people who claim that they are saved. So we are not looking at the world here, we are looking at the people we call 'brother.' This is not for people who do not claim salvation. This applies to Church members and servants in the church, not to the sinner who just comes in and listens to sermons.

So let us begin with our Saviour, what is his take on discipline. Well, the model is given in Matthew:

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."
- Matthew 18:15 - 17

Things I notice from the text
  • The sin is against you. This means it is personal
  • We must not allow the brother to remain in 'fault' we tell him about it
  • It must be brought to the church, if he refuses to listen
  • If he does not listen, we treat him as a gentile or a tax collector
This all goes after forgiveness. The brother must be forgiven before the approach is made. We are to forgive, so that we no longer approach out of anger, but rather out of love. If he repents (not just by his mouth) we have gained our brother. If he does not repent we are to treat him as a gentile or tax collector, like someone who is a sinner. We do not cut him out or anything like that, but treat them with all the care and love as we do with any other sinner.

Paul tells us that it is those inside the church we are to judge, not the world:

"I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. 'Purge the evil person from among you.'"
-1 Corinthians 5:9 - 13 [Emphasis added]

What do we do with this? We are all guilty of this, right? We are all sinners and all have broken the law. So now we should be put out? No, you see, the Christian is the person whose sin is sickening to them. This passage is talking about people who boast that they are sinners but claim to be Christian. They were proud of their sin to the point they boasted about it. Paul is saying that people who boast in their sin and claim to be Christians we should not eat with. They must be put out.

Put out? Really? Yes. Lets look at the word purge. 'Ex-ah'ee-ro' is the Greek word used there. It literally means to remove. Ans it is a pastoral epistle, so that means they are no longer a part of the church. This does not mean they cannot repent. People will argue with me on this, but I did not write the bible. If someone wants to explain this verse, please tell me. I trust God and His word, but if I am wrong, please tell me. You cannot simply say that "God is love," because you would have to admit that "God is also wrath." But why purge them? Why so harsh? Well, Paul does not leave us in the dark:

"Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame."
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 - 34

You see, the Christian is the person who does not grow indifferent to sin. Every sin is another nail in the cross. Every time you sin you should be reminded of God's grace to you, but also be repentant. Paul is also saying that some people have no knowledge of God, so who are you to judge? You cannot look at them and say "I am better than them" - the only reason we are 'better' has nothing to do with you, but the grace of God! You have more light, and therefore your sin is done in direct defiance, not blindness. If a seeing man walks into a wall, he is a fool, but how dare you call a blind man a fool for his blindness. I can understand why Paul said that 'to their shame.'

I must mention that it is not Paul who teaches that Christians are not apathetic to sin. John teaches that you are not a Christian if you claim you have no sin, but the Christian is someone who is afflicted by their sinful nature:

"Whoever says 'I know him' but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, ... 6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked...9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness... 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes... 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world... 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also."
- 1 John 2:4, 6, 9 , 11, 15 -16, 19, 23 [Emphasis added]

To be specific, Christians try to keep the commandments. We may sin, but we repent, as we are commanded to. But here we have criteria that identify true Christians. We must not be afraid to use these on ourselves and on others, so we all may see.

My conclusion is this: church discipline must be practiced. At the worst extreme it does involve someone being removed from the Church. This does not mean they cannot repent and return, we are to implore them to. But while they are apathetic to their sin, we cannot even eat with them. Just a reminder, these are people who claim to be saved that refuse to repent, are proud or apathetic towards the sin in them and have been publicly exposed. People may call me unloving, but to correct my brother according to the word of God is loving. It would be my sin to stand back and let him continue building wrath for himself.

1 "find the stones" is a poor turn of phrase in a biblical context. You are not to stone them, what I mean is that find the confidence.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Suffer the little children

I think Jesus is coming soon. If South Africa continues down this current trend, I really do not see much hope for us. [HERE] is an article describing the new children's acts. I really want to have kids one day, if I have them in this country, my wife will be teaching them home school. They will never leave my sight.

If you can make any sense of this article please let me know. Allow me to join some key phrases here.
"The act is not about encouraging sex among teenagers. The legal age of consent remains 16.""THE Children's Act, ... [has] provisions that allow children as young as 12 access to contraceptives and the right to have pregnancies terminated without parental consent."

From reading the article, it seems like 'pedo-promiscuity' is both condemned and permitted. Just look here:

"The Children's Act was enacted to address inequalities of the past.""Van Niekerk says that given the fact that HIV/AIDS is rife, it would be unwise to deny children contraceptives such as condoms. SA is unique in that many children are victims of social ills such as poverty, orphanhood, HIV/AIDS, sexual and physical abuse, and crime, she says"

Please read those carefully, we have poverty etc., so to fix it we give children contraceptives and abortions. Not only that, we see to it that parents no longer have any guidance over the child, as it is now up to the child to inform the parents. I simply do not see how this makes up for "inequalities of the past." But a wonderfully South African excuse at best.

These are all symptoms, not the cause. The cause is that morally we are corrupt. As a group of Christians we have become slack in standing up for the truth. As Christians we have all failed our nation. We do not stand firm on truth. We allow these things to go on and now we have to lay in the bed that is made for us.

"..adults need to understand the predicament in which many children find themselves -- poverty, orphan-hood and little or no financial support."

So contraceptives are going to help? You see, there is something going on in South Africa. No one is to blame. Everyone is a 'victim.' Parents are no longer responsible for themselves, let alone their children. When grading tests, teachers can not mark an 'x' or place anything 'negative' on the paper of the child. If the child cannot cope with mathematics, psychologists will seek out some vague syndrome and apply it to the child, so that the child is not accountable. I understand that some children have real problems, but if little Johnny does not do his homework and listen in class, little Johnny will not be able to cope. The fault lies with the parents and Johnny.

"The act includes the controversial contraceptive clause on the grounds that it will help to protect children from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent teenage pregnancies"

This makes me sick. One thing I will ask, children do not naturally have sex by themselves, who is teaching them to do so? Where do they get all this sex stuff from? Do you want to know how to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS? and STDs? Somebody ask me, please. My answer is FOOL-PROOF and absolutely free of charge.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lord give me a wife

This writing is more about me, and may hopefully pointed to someone who has not yet travelled along my path. In writing this, do not feel that I seek your pity, I seek only to discuss an issue on my heart. My goal is to write this down that I might understand my own mind by reflecting with the bible.

Many times I have been up and down the road of wanting and then not wanting a wife. I pace reluctantly forward and back, looking at examples here and there, focusing on the ones that suit my current state of mind. Recently I have been back to the good old "I do not deserve a wife." While this is true, it is not complete. No one deserves anything good from God; yet He blesses so many today

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD." - Proverbs 18:22

Strong words coming from a man with over one thousand wives. But my most recent argument went like this: If I have sinned, in the manner that I have sinned, knowing and being taught the things that I have been studied in and taught, then surely it is just punishment for God to remove the gift of a wife from me.

It was last Friday, when the Lord started answering my prayer. He did not answer it with a woman, nor a man (in case you were wondering), he simply allowed me to hesitate. We were asked "who does not want to get married sometime in the future?" I waited, and thought rightly of the manner that I wanted to answer, but as I rose my hand and said, in the voice of a mouse, "me," the room erupted and no-one else but my close friend, heard and saw what I had done. I am so joyful over this, because it became a topic of my thought, the marriage institution. I imagined the manner in which people would try to council me out of this 'sorry' state, only I fear that God put the very things on my mind that brought me out of such an exodus.

My friend, who was with me, as another close friend, who I spoke to later, did not have much to say. They know that I can be extremely stern-minded and unwavering when it comes to council, something I trust God will deal with, or perhaps, as most people reading this article may think, that I seek some pat on the back or attention to need. These things, while good for some, are not the things I need in this case.

I have been, in my studies, listening to sermons that were given at shepherds conferences in South Africa in 2005 to 2007. They aided me when I had no pastor and strengthen me further now that I do. I usually only handle one a night, and this night was, I thought, no exception. I am tired, I have other things to do, many books to read and much to do tomorrow. But something made me want to listen to one more talk tonight. Although the sermon was on the subject of gay marriages, Mark Christopher started out talking about the purposes of marriage, as found in Genesis 1 and 2.

The first thing we find is that God created the genders. He created both of them in His own image (Genesis 1:26 - 27). This would mean that both genders reflect God, albeit in different ways. So the first element of the purpose of marriage is that it is reflective of God. When a man marries a woman they share in being a reflection of God. This is part of the purpose of man's journey; consider the words of Zechariah:

"And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" - Zechariah 13:9

Any good exegesis of the text will tell you that in order to purify silver, one cannot leave it out of the fire, for then it is not pure. If one holds it over the fire to long, the silver is burnt and is useless. The only manner in which to know that the silver is pure, and right, is when the silver has been in the fire long enough that the purifier can see His reflection perfectly within the silver. If marriage is reflective of God, then it is my desire to be married in a Godly manner.

I always sought a woman who was like myself, proving how much an idolater I truly am. The second element of marriage, according to Mark Christopher, is that it is completive. It completes, in the sense that different things are brought together. What is a man with two brains and no heart? The argument belongs to God:

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." - Genesis 2:18

Note that up to this point everything is good. This does not mean that everything was sufficient. Man, without woman is incomplete. The God who speaks matter into creation decrees that man should not be alone. There is something that creation could not do for man that only a woman can do. The scales of humanity do prove this: men are aggressive, analytical, reflective while woman more sensitive (understanding), intuitive, communicative. Men are guided more by sight, woman more by emotion. Men require justice, woman require compassion. As I struggle with the will of man, I realise that Godly living is life lived in perfect harmony. So often I tend to get so caught up in election that I forget my accountability. I find that in myself I am a perpetual pendulum, blindly swinging from one extreme of the spectrum to the next. I have come to conclude that God knows infinitely more than I do, whether or not I understand His ways. All I can do is ask Him to grant me understanding, the way Daniel did.

The third element is the unitive element. It is this reason alone that gives me hope in my reconciliation with Christ. That, although I am a sinner by nature, I am saved by His grace and may even share in the state that He has for Himself. In Genesis 2:24 God says they will become "one flesh" (Hebrew: ekh-awd'). This very special word for 'one' is used by God to describe himself as one in many parts:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one."
- Deuteronomy 6:4

Pointing to the unity of God Himself when he ordains marriage. It is here I find myself most undeserving in the gift of marriage, but hoping that I would receive it to glorify Him in it rather than to seek my own glorification. Instead of focusing on my undeserving nature and situation, I choose to focus on God's mercy, God's love and His ability to provide the help that every man needs.

A pro-creative marriage is the kind of marriage I seek. The fourth element of a marriage is that children are another gift that flow from God. God gave the ability to woman to bear children, but to the man he gave to ability to determine the gender of the child, not of man's will, of course, but the sovereign will of God. I used to find that children were no more burden to me than blessing. But after teaching them the word of God almighty, I find myself referring to them as "my children" to people who do not know me (I usually explain myself) and grow in concern as the day draws near that I will no longer be their teacher. God, in His sovereignty, has taught me to love children.

The final point of the elements of marriage, as I just heard tonight, is that of exhilaration. The marriage promises to make one weak at the knees. It is a gift from God that is so wonderful that it saddens me to think of those who do not seek first His kingdom, for they focus on the blessing not on the one from whom we receive blessing, But God has promised to add all these things unto us. He knows the manner in which His children need. He will not allow us to receive scorpions. I realize that God does take away, but as Mark Christopher said, "there is more grace in God than there is sin in you". I found such hope in God

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11



This is the source of my joy. That God does bless. I do not wish to begin dating, I do not think that dating is the manner in which I should meet, maintain and marry a woman. There are some who advocate dating, saying that if they wanted to be biblical about finding a wife they would ask their father to find them one. While my fleshly father fails me spiritually, I dare not trust him, especially in such matters as these. But I have a heavenly father, who created the world. I will pray without wavering, not to be tossed like an ocean tide, or that I would receive for myself, but that I would receive that which may bring Him glory and honour. I also pray that I would be patient in my prayer, yet another gift that only God Himself can give.

While I know that it is not guaranteed that I would get a wife, I will not stop in the faith that it is God alone who blesses. It is not up to me to determine whether I have forfeited this gift. Like David, who prayed and fasted and hoped while his child was still living that God would show mercy, so will I hope that the Lord would shine His grace upon me.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The freedom of the will

"If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other. " - C. H. Spurgeon

In all the doctrines of grace, the one most people find offensive is that which is called unconditional election. The assumption that God has chosen some over others is unthinkable to them, it offends their sense of justice. This is rightly so. How can a just God be capable saving all men, yet only choose to save some? Even worse so, if God is then responsible for calling man to himself, why has he not done so? In all of this, one is forced to ask, why cannot a man choose for himself salvation? The truth of the matter of the will must always rely on God. In all our existence God must be first, otherwise we have nothing in our faith. If God is not first in the lives of someone, that person is not a believer. The very thing a believer does is pray "Your will be done" (Matthew 6:10). From the very beginning of Genesis 1:1 God has not afforded us answers to 'why' and 'how' the things that be are in the state they they exist. God reveals His truth according to the good pleasure of His will. There are people who take it for what it says and there are those who refuse to accept it.

"How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must
one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take
till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend,
is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind." - Bob Dylan "Blowin' in the Wind"

So when we find taught that it is God who calls, we cannot claim that we know who he calls and how he calls. We are told by God:

"And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." - Exodus 3:19

This clearly indicates that we cannot know, nor it is the intention of the Father that we do know, who is going to be called to salvation and who is not. The discples had the same problem as we do with such doctrine (who can be saved) and in His graciousness Jesus gave them an answer:

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:25

Also Jesus asserts:

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day." - John 6:44

This seems to dishearten Christians, although I cannot understand how this is so. If you are a Christian, you have learned from God. This makes you a part of His kingdom.

The bigger question then becomes: Who then is called? If it is God who calls these people to Himself, why are we commanded to go out and teach the nations? Why should we evangelize or talk about God? To such people I generally hold my tounge, but the question that iches under my throat begs to be let out, to ask: How often do you speak about God to others? What evangelism do you do? What evangelism do you support? This goes beyong the mere handing out of tracts. This must be infused in your very life. Who can truly say "God did not make me an evangelist." God commands your evangelism:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" - Matthew 28:19

In this the father has revealed the means of his election. He calls through the work of those who go out in his name and preach. If we look at some of the verses that teach us this manner of winning souls

"Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me" - John 6:45
"I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?" - John 9:27
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. " - John 10:27
"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?" - Romans 10:14

The faster men learn that it by hearing God's word that others will call on Him will be saved the better. We know that it is by no other than Christ's works that can save us. There are those that are not of God. They will not hear the word of God:

"Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God." - John 8:47

But that does not mean we remove from their ears the opportunity of hearing the word, for God may one day use the words that they heard as seeds that are slow in blossoming:

The sower sows the word.
15 And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.
17 And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
18 And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word,
19 but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
20 But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." - Mark 4:14 - 20

But first the seed must be thrown out. God has graciously given us seed to bear, we throw it out in faith, knowing that God is in control of the flight of the seed, the landing site of the seed, the manner in which the ground is tilled and the watering and nourishment of such seedlings. Sometimes He may use us, other times the seed may be dormant for a while, ready for harvest when it is His will.

Does this remove from man's free will? No, this doctrine does not encumber the freedom of man. Man may do whatever he pleases. Man is simply not in control of his salvation from evil. Being conceived in sin and brought fourth in iniquity it is the nature of man to sin.

"Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.
35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you." - John 8:34 - 37

We know that it is not up to man to save himself, otherwise Christ would have died in vain. We know that Christ came for those who would believe. This does not excuse us from doing His work that he called us to.

In evangelism, this proves a great relief. No matter what we do, we are saved, and God will save those who he wills. It does not count how badly we witness or how terrible an example we are to men, as sinners. We can count that the glory of God will always win out:

"If anyone's work[referring to work done in the name of the kingdom, being tested by fire on the last day] is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." - 1 Corinthians 3:15

If it were not so, if all men could come of their own will, they dare not rest a single minute of their lives. I urge men to continue being Arminian, for their evangelism must be far more educated, far more intense and greater in grief than any others. The Arminian evangelist believes that man can chose God, regardless of the timing, on his own accord. Men who do not believe on Jesus Christ will be burned in eternity and the burden that befalls an Arminian who does not convince a man to truly believe must carry the weight greater than I could bear. I am not joyful over people who do not believe or do not repent, but I can rejoice that it is God who changes the mind and replaces the heart.

"And I will give them[you] one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them[you]. I will remove the heart of stone from their[your] flesh and give them[you] a heart of flesh" - Ezekiel 11:19 [36:26]

The Arminian theology does not let a man sleep at night for there are those who go unsaved. There are those who are not convinced. If God is not sovreign in salvation, then those men all have missed their opportunity of salvation. This is then the Arminians fault. If it is God who calls, the people of God may take some rest, to go to Church and keep a family, because they know that it is God who calls, and not one of His chosen will perish.

To any Arminian, I would ask you to consider these words:

"... Do you consider yourself to be compassionate of other humans? If you're right, as you say you are, and that you believe that, then how can you sleep at night? When you are speaking with me, you are speaking with someone who you believe is walking directly into eternal damnation, into an endless onslaught of horrendous pain which your 'loving' god created, yet you stand by and do nothing. If you believed one bit that thousands every day were falling into an eternal and unchangeable fate, you should be running the streets mad with rage at their blindness. That's equivalent to standing on a street corner and watching every person that passes you walk blindly directly into the path of a bus and die, yet you stand idly by and do nothing. You're just twiddling your thumbs, happy in the knowledge that one day that 'walk' signal will shine your way across the road... If you're right, then you're an uncaring, unemotional and purely selfish [explative] that has no right to talk about sbjects such as love and caring..." - J. D. Franz, Atheist1

This man knows what love is. He knows what caring is. I do not accuse all Arminians of not evangelising, I do not know all Arminians. These words plague my heart as I hope they do yours. I pray that they never leave you and that they affect your heart each and every time you hold back on what you believe. The Calvinist feels this pain as well, but does find some joy that at least if his efforts are not validated, that God will win those who are meant to be won.

I am not against Arminians, I think that there are those that are very doctrinely execellent. John Wesley was one such man. With insight and vigour his ministry flourished, although I am saddened to think of what he would say if he were around today. I think he would have more in common with Calvinists rather than those who call themselves Methodists:

Charles Simeon(CS) [to John Wesley(JW)]:"Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions... Pray, sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put it into your heart?"
JW: "Yes, I do indeed"
CS: "And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything that you do; and look to salvation soley through the blood and righteousness of Christ?"
JW: "Yes, soley through Christ."
CS: "But sir, supposing you were ar first saved by Christ, are you not somehow or other to save yourself afterwards by your own works?"
JW: "No, I must be saved by Christ from first to last."
CS: "Allowing then, that you were first turned by grace of God, are you not in some way or other to keep yourself by your own power?"
JW: "No."
CS: "What, then, are you to be upheld every hour and every moment by God, as much as an infant in it's mother's arms?"
JW: "Yes, altogether."
CS: "And is all your hope in the grace and mercy of God to preserve you unto His heavenly kingdom?"
JW: "Yes, I have no hope but in Him."
CS: "Then Sir, with your leave I will put up my daggers again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by faith, my final perseverance: it is in substance all that I hold, and as I hold it; and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially, unite in those things wherein we agree." 2

The choice put forth to man is who he shall serve, but man has chosen the world. Man is slaved to sin, only God can bring him out. One may ask if perhaps all men are elect and the act of acceptance is all that is required. Then I ask you what separates our God from the other gods in the world today. Why christianity for your salvation? There are many other religions that promise more earthly blessings for simple works. Ryken and Boice address such an issue:

[A person might say:] "The gift[salvation] has been selected and paid for, but no one can be forced to take a gift. In the same way, the world has been saved, but many will not be saved because they do not believe on Jesus"... Is unbeleif a morally neutral choice, merely deciding to accept or not to accept salvation? Or is it a sin? It is a sin, of course. In fact, it is the most damning of all sins, for it is the equivalent of trampling the very blood of the Son of God underfoot... If Jesus died for all sins, including the sin of unbelief...we are back once again to universalism.2

When man fights for his own will, he removes the possibility of God being sovreign over all things, for we can actively pursue that which actively offends God and renounces His will. To do so is to put ourselves on the same level of God, since we are equally opposed forces pulling and pushing in equal force to one another.
________________________

1 Ray Comfort "Intelligent design vs. Evolution: Letters to an Atheist", Bridge-Logos, ISBN 0-88270-166-5

2 James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken "The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel", Crossway Books, ISBN-10: 1-58134-299-3

Friday, August 17, 2007

Origin of Genesis

There is a theory, known as the document hypothesis, claiming that the book of Genesis (and the rest of the Pentateuch) was put together from various sources. While my heresy detector is in the shop, my internal senses are not really going off in any huge way.

The concern is, does it matter if Moses himself wrote Genesis? We know from Jesus that Moses did write the law:

"For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. - John 1:17"


But there is no 'law' that was given explicitly in Genesis, other than "you shall not eat of the tree in the midst of the Garden". The law existed back then, but it was never explicit. We know the law existed because people knew to give sacrifices (Cain and Abel). Other examples of law in Genesis include the murder of Abel results in the punishment of Cain (why punish if there is no law?) and God punishing people for adultery, even if it is unwitting (Genesis 12:17).

My concern is with Moses himself. No matter how you think the bible got to us, we were not there when it was written. We cannot go and see it. Now apparently the document hypothesis is trying to claim that it was stupid people who wrote the bible. AiG claim that it is because of the evolutionary background. I beg to differ, albeit slightly 1.

Evolutionists hate us anyway. They have no respect for scripture, regardless of the author. I suppose that Theistic evolutionists might want to say that evolution fits into scripture, but they do not refute it's divinity2. So we need to know why the document hypothesis was brought about. Evolutionists would be silly, theistic evolutionists would not want to destroy the book and the conservatives say Moses.

You see, evolutionists would say that Moses is stupid either way, he existed thousands(possibly millions) of years ago. According to them we are getting smarter and stronger. I do not see how going to the book to prove anything from their perspective is going to help. If they look in to the book, they are admitting a certain amount of authority. Then just because they use the bible, does not mean they are right:

"...There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. " - 2 Peter 3:16(b)


This seems like one of those "side-winder" attacks. You attack something that has little to no weight anyway but get people to question it all the same. So you say "Did Moses really write that book." And just because you ask that question you throw people into this doubting pit. Just remember that Satan did it to Eve and he will do it to you too. I am not saying Moses wrote Genesis, but consider this: we do not know who wrote Hebrews, yet it is still scripture. The fact is it is here and it is scripture. Will you remove from scripture just because you do not know the earthly vessel God used to bring it to us? Then you may as well throw away all of scripture, because we do not have a single original text of the bible. Nothing in the OT and nothing in the NT. That means the only one we can give glory to for the book is God!

I believe Moses is the author, not that this is essential to salvation. AiG provides good evidence that Genesis had one author:

"‘After feeding the 20,000 Hebrew words of Genesis into a computer at Technion University in Israel, researchers found many sentences that ended in verbs and numerous words of six characters or more. Because these idiosyncratic patterns appear again and again, says project director Yehuda Radday, it seems likely that a sole author was responsible. Their exhaustive computer analysis conducted in Israel suggested an 82 percent probability that the book has just one author.’"


Those odds for single authorship are better than if life evolved from a rock!

I would really like to see the same analysis done on the whole Pentateuch. The main element I have noticed is people say: "Moses wasn't there." This is rather foolish. My God is so big he creates universes by speaking but He cannot tell a human what He did and get them to write it down? Moses was not there at creation, nor was he able to record the details of his birth. Why would Moses write in the third person? Sure, all of these are valid questions, but what does it have to do with the divine nature of scripture? The bible is infallible and inerrant, unlike the document hypothesis. There is a nice review identifying some of the problems [HERE]

[HERE] Is a nice summary of the two views, probably slightly more well put than me. I fall into the conservative category and would happily go through each of the

"clues that Moses didn't write the Pentateuch, according to liberal theologians"


and show that they do not affect inerrancy or single-authorship. I love the whole "two creation stories" argument. Even when I was liberal I could prove it was one story. One thing I will maintain: My argument is as good as the next person, but we have to use scripture to interpret scripture. I breezed over the other 'clues' as well and some I have not really thought of, but I think it would be an interesting topic. If anyone is interested, let me know.

In summary I would say that I will not die on the hill that says Moses wrote Genesis. It is one of my pre-understandings but I do not even know when in his life he wrote Genesis, if he did. The fact is we have to trust that God has preserved his word for us, and that he will correct mistakes and errors in the text. I would say that it is more than likely that Moses did write it.

1 Answers in Genesis, Russell Grigg Did Moses really write Genesis?, accessed 17 August 2007

2 Answers in Creation, Greg Neyman, Old Earth Creation Science, Word Study: Yom accessed 17 August 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Familiarity breeds contempt"

I was listening on the radio last night, on the drive home from Bible study (a friend's car - I do not listen to radio) and I heard something along the lines of:

CALLER: "I was sitting in a restaurant yesterday and the Matre’D did not even come up to me and ask me how the meal was... It was not like it was busy, it was three o'clock in the afternoon... Familiarity breeds contempt."



This got me slightly livid. However this is the world and must thus be treated as such. But think about it. Think hard about what they are really saying. I think what they are trying to say is that business' get used to you and therefore forget to treat you as a new possibly regular customer. But as soon as you are a regular customer their treatment of you becomes apathetic.

[sermon]
This is so typical of Christians. We all become apathetic to our salvation. Instead of every day being amazed at God's glory and mercy by His sacrifice to us, we no longer treat God as the one who saved us forever but as that 'regular customer' who we do not need to attend to.
[/sermon]

Why the sermon, you ask. A valid question. Not all of us are in public service. The very reason we are not in public service is we do not delight in the service of others. As anti-Christian as this is, let us consider it from the worldly perspective.

If you give your [valuable] business to one company every day, that company should treat you the way you want to be treated. Please do not confuse this with the way you say you want to be treated. They will treat you the way you act. Therefore, if you go into a restaurant every day and you keep on grunting at the service, there are two things that are going to flow from that:
  • They are not going to want to serve you
  • They will learn you want to be left alone

My conclusion is simple: Treat others as you would be treated. If your familiarity breeds contempt, then I propose it is you that is contentious. If you go in every day with a warm smile and a loving attitude, who in the world is not going to want to be around you?

God's rules are so perfect. They are so just. I am amazed every day how if the world was just consistent in the laws Jesus gave, what a wonderful world it would be. I praise God that He is consistent and I pray that I may follow in His perfection.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reincarnation

A very interesting topic. Does the Bible support reincarnation? The thing is, it's one of those things a Christian will say "NO" to and then chew on it for a while. After that while the Christian may begin to think of doctrines that may support it.

There are many tasty aspects to reincarnation from a doctrinal point of view (regardless of theological standpoint):

  1. Jesus rose from the dead

  2. In the new heaven and new earth, we will have new bodies

  3. If babies die, where do they go? Surely they get a second chance?


This is the kind of thinking I was once involved in. You kind of resist, but you don't really have a solid answer. Here it is: READ YOUR BIBLE. Stop leaning toward your own understanding!

Well, lets look at the argument first. The main thing to do is define the problem: Reincarnation. What is it?

literally "to be made flesh again", is a doctrine or mystical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body.1



A new body. Well, Jesus did not have a new body when he rose, that would not prove he rose from the dead. To claim Jesus is an example of reincarnation denies the gospel itself. Thomas put his fingers on Jesus' wounds.

When we come to the new heaven and new earth, no one will be "born" again. The only new birth Christians speak about is the spiritual birth brought on by the Holy spirit. We will be raised from the dead, but no one will ever be born again.

Where do babies go where they die? Heaven. Do they get a second chance? No, they go to Heaven. Plain and simple, see the blog I did on this [here]. Revelation tells us that a group people from every tribe and every tongue will be saved. I believe it is the deaths of infants that are the representatives of those tribes.

Now we have looked at it from a theological viewpoint, but still no scripture references. Well, I challenge you to go and counter me with scripture references. The sad truth is, I would have nothing to blog about if I gave the scripture first:

"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment" - Hebrews 9:27



What I am saying is be careful with pre-understandings. We must look to the bible for answers, so that we may "give a reason for the hope that is in us." But never forsake the word of God.

1 Wikipedia.com Reincarnation, Accessed 15 August 2007

Lie down and die

I want to be more 'Christian' in what I do. This means never lying. Now here is a kicker: are Christians allowed to click the "I have read and agree to the (fascinating) terms of service." check box without reading the document? I say no.

But it is interesting: I wanted a wordpress account, so that when I comment on TR's blog I can show my pretty face. I was reading the terms and conditions and I noticed under point 11:

"If you’re actually reading this, here’s a treat. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, the Website at your own discretion and risk."



From this it would seem that they honestly do not expect you to read it. By the way I am allowed to reproduce this stuff because:

"(Note, we’ve decided to make the below Terms of Service available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means you’re more than welcome to steal it and repurpose it for your own use, just make sure to replace references to us with ones to you, and if you want we’d appreciate a link to WordPress.com somewhere on your site. We spent a lot of money and time on the below, and other people shouldn’t need to do the same.)"



[WordPress.com]

After all of that I did not get a WordPress account.

But I do think that God's law shows his love for us. He gave us these commandments for our own good. Just think about it: in the digital age check boxes and e-mail addresses are starting to become digital signatures. Would sign a paper document that you have not read? Then why a digital one?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Where do infants go when they die?

UPDATE April 2012: Non-believers: You should be able to read this post and ignore the terms you may not understand. I will write a post explaining the debate of Arminianism and Calvinism, but it is too large to put here. Wikipedia should be able to answer most questions. 

This question [where do infants go when they die] is so huge. I did not realize how big it is until now. I have made doctrinal mistakes. I have recanted.

People may think that because I believe in God's sovereign choice that I would think at least some babies go to hell. Only if you are elect you can get to heaven, right? Calvinists, like me, are seen as cold hearted doctrine beating cowboys.

The fact is, Calvinism is the call to utter humility. Think about it: I am so depraved that I could not even find God by reading a Bible 30cm away from my nose. How pitiful must I be? What, in myself, do I have to boast about? And what has my theology to do with dead infants?

EVERYTHING! Can you imagine a baby waking up into eternal damnation? "That's what Calvinists preach!" someone may cry. Nope, that is what Arminians preach! John MacArthur did a series on this, so I do not want to go into the whole sermon, but I want to give the theological crux:

Babies are born sinners. There is nothing you can say to defeat that. People are not born innocent, that is Pelagianism and even the Roman Catholics do not agree with that (They are semi-Pelagians). We are conceived in sin and born in iniquity. So the only just place to send a child is, as with every other human being, hell.

"If infants were not sinful, if they were morally neutral, there would be then no basis for them to die because it is the wages of sin that is death and it is their inherited sin nature that plants in them the seeds of death." 1

However, due to God's grace, we are saved. There is nothing in us meriting His grace. This is where rubber hits the road. MacArthur says it beautifully:

"But how were you saved? By law? What do you want? Law for babies and grace for you? You had no more to do with your salvation than a helpless infant." 2


So by grace we saved. By works we are damned. But wait: the child has no works to damn it! Furthermore, John states:
"...anybody who has an Arminian system has in that system some contribution to salvation made by the individual, that it's partly God and partly us" 2


This manner of salvation would insist that children who die go to hell, since the child has no chance of taking the 'gift' of salvation. If I have to bring something in order to be saved, people who die without the mental capacity to realize their sin and repent go to hell. All are sinners, not to say that all have sinned. It is our nature to sin, from the womb.

But God by His fantastic grace came and made a way for them to be saved. He even made a way for those who are accountable to be saved. Praise Him forever! Salvation belongs to the Lord our God!

"The salvation of those souls, then, is absolutely consistent with the salvation of adults, which is also based on sovereign grace apart from anything that they can do." 1


The logical conclusion, if you read the sermons, is that all children go to heaven. Part 1 deals with the theological basis, part 2 the scriptural one. This really is good news. I am so glad God is a consistent God that is so amazing. I am at a loss for words beyond: Christ is amazing!

1John MacArthur, THE SALVATION OF BABIES WHO DIE Part 2, accessed 14 August 2007

2 John MacArthur, THE SALVATION OF BABIES WHO DIE Part 1, accessed 14 August 2007

We ARE good people

I wonder what Ray Comfort would have to say about this:

"The Ten Commandments have been a cornerstone of our society for nearly one hundred years," explained "The Ten" director David Wain on the film’s website. "If you've ever taken a Sunday off, or if you've ever stopped yourself from murdering someone, then you yourself have been following the Ten Commandments without even knowing it." 1[Emphasis added] - Original Quote



Talk about liberty in scripture. Just because I obey one law once I am following God's rules. So long and goodnight to

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23)


and

"For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." (James 2:11)



The director, David Wein, had this to say:

"I have no pretensions that this movie will change the world; my only expectation is that it will change the way everyone on this planet thinks and behaves." 2


Basically he saying that he does not claim that the world will be changed by the movie, but he hopes that the people of the world will change. This is most antithetical.

The article I found this in, New Film Spoofs Ten Commandments1, states:

"Some Christian leaders feel that the film is part of a larger trend of increasing antagonism toward Christianity and religion in America."



Praise the Lord, His time is coming.

Another website, at thinkchristian.net had this to say:

"I’m reminded of Dr. Wilbur Williams’ comment in Old Testament class. 'You can’t break the Ten Commandments. They will break you if you disobey them.'" 3



It is such a pity that people are so willing to mock us not realizing that we are told to rejoice in those days. "No servant is greater than his master" comes to mind. They will hate us for our love of Christ. I do not intentionally go and watch movies to see blasphemy, but when it is presented (and I can do nothing about it), I am actually glad. The reason is this: they do not hate us because we are wrong. Satan (the god of the air) has put it in the hearts of man to attack us from every angle. When we are insulted for His name, persecuted for His name and looked down on because of His grace, we can praise God for being faithful in His promises to us.

1 The Christian Post, New Film Spoofs Ten Commandments, accessed 14 August 2007

2 TheTenMovie.com Directors Statement: Welcome To TheTenMovie.Com!, accessed 14 August 2007

3 thinkchristian.net, You can't break 'the ten' commandments, accessed 14 August 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Time to emerge from the dirt

Here are some sites I suggest you look at:


This is all so very disappointing. Everyone is a victim here.

I cannot find a single emergent who agrees on anything, save for the ability to answer a fool in his folly. It is so 'clever' that the emergents made posters in pseudo-response to the pyro posters. Let me tell you, it is vanity and hypocrisy. If you do not want them to do it, why would you do it yourselves? To this day I have not received a clear answer from an emergent!

If emergents want to be taken seriously, then I suggest they start reading the bible and living the life. To what benefit is the whole poster-issue with them? Who is going to care in heaven? If team pyro wants to do this, so what? Shouldn't we be focused on saving the lost? If you want to be different, go ahead, no one is stopping you. I get the feeling that they respond so viciously to the pyro posters because their posters are all the doctrine they have.

As one who looks from the out-side in, the emergents have failed to convince me how they are any better than what they claim team pyro to be.

Harry Potter and the FOOL-osophers stone

Saw on my news reel (below) an article which defends "Harry Potter" as a Christian allegory.

The question we have to ask first is: "Where do I find this/these book(s)?" Well, we find it under fiction, meaning that it is not real in any way. We find it under fantasy, meaning that it distorts reality.

Also to be asked is "Where would I not find this book?" Not at any Christian store I have ever seen. Nor have I seen it under the 'religion' section at secular bookstores.

Here is the website: Harry Potter: The Official Site and here is JK Rowlings Site If anyone sees the words 'Christian' or 'Allegory' let me know.

Now I have a purpose behind this and it may not be what you think. Some may think that I would say "do not read it" or condemn those who enjoy it. Read this article.

My issue is this: Man will defend his own righteousness - no one wants to think that they are sinning. Rather be open to change by God's word.

Whether we watch television, listen to radio or read books we should ask: Does it have the appearance of evil? First Thessalonians 5:22 tells us to abstain from anything that has an evil form. This verse alone should convince us.

It is possible not to fall into sin as a result of reading such books, but why take the risk? Should we be feeding or flesh in any shape or form other than that which is necessary to sustain the life God has given us? The weight of this may seem heavy for a worldly person, but Jesus' yoke is light.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bedtime and the bible

I have been dealing with how to argue that the bible is not just a set of fairy tales or funny stories. The main problem is Sunday school and it mostly comes from the beginning of the bible.

If you walked out of Sunday school not convinced I am not surprised and I am one of you. Here are some really huge problems with the average Sunday school:

  • The pictures, oh the pictures!

    Teaching kids that there was only one tree in the center of the garden when there were two. (Genesis 2:9)


    Teaching that the fruit of the tree was an apple


    Not teaching that they got kicked out of Eden because of the second tree in the midst of the garden. (Genesis 3:22)


    Teaching kids that Noah's ark was so full the animals had to hang over the edge.



  • Missing elements of the story

    This is not just with kids, I suffered this at a bible study recently. I read Genesis last night (God is using my singleness) and I learned things I never knew were there. This should come as a surprise in that I have been a 'church-goer' since the age of four.


    Did anyone tell you that Esau made his parents' lives difficult? (Genesis 26:34,35) You can now understand why Jacob was willing to lie to get the blessing over Esau and why his mother loved Jacob more



  • Teaching it like it's a myth

    Surprise, surprise. If you teach it like you don't believe it, no one, not even little kids, is going to listen to you. Be honest: would you believe you?


    I would like one reason why Genesis 1-11 should be taken allegorically, from the basis of the text. You can give me all the evolution you like, but has anyone bothered to read how specific the genealogy from Adam to Abraham is? Creation is as real as Abraham. Show me the transitional form between a metaphor and a real person.



  • Bad song selection

    If you are not singing about how great God is, as described in the bible, or what he has done, stop the music. You cannot tickle your flesh with worship and you should not encourage kids to do it. This is not saying worship should not be enjoyable, but God must be first.



  • Lack of discipline

    Do not hit someone else's kids. However a strong word sets them like glue. I honestly had kids last Sunday who tried to disturb a child who was listening. The principle of election hit them so hard that they shut up like nothing else. I simply said: "I cannot make you believe, but you will not disturb someone who is trying to hear." Ironically the memory verse was all about faith coming from hearing. Simultaneous first and second causes.





There are many other general problems, but they are problems that propagate throughout the church. "Seeker-sensitive" children's church, irresponsible use of scripture and even mysticism runs rampant in both the children's church and adult's church.

But what can be done? First we have to get right. If you think the bible is a set of stories, you are plain dead wrong. It is only one story and it is the truth. The good folks over at the way of the master put it nicely:

"What if someone claims to have read the Bible and says it’s just a book of fairy tales?

Call his bluff. Gently ask, 'What is the thread of continuity that runs through the Bible—the consistent theme from the Old Testament through the New Testament?' More than likely he won’t know. So say, 'The Old Testament was God’s promise that He would destroy death. The New Testament tells how He did it.' Then appeal directly to the conscience by asking if he has kept the Ten Commandments..."



So, now there is no excuse for bad teaching, not that there ever was. You know the truth. What you do with it is not up to me. One thing that must be stated: You cannot blame your teachers. Just because someone tells you something does not mean you have to believe it, regardless of who that person is. If you do not investigate it yourself in scripture - you are the one to blame. The other end of the scale is identifying teachers that you agree with on most cases and doctrine but remaining vigilant.

This is why expository preaching is so important. The preacher must not preach his ideas, but those of the bible. Why should children's church be any different?

Nehemiah 9:18 clearly shows that God is specific about what you believe in Him, so you better make sure that you are right with God.

Monday, August 6, 2007

My eyes are lying

I could hardly believe my eyes. I was looking for a time line of the Book of Genesis when I found this article:

The 'Genesis' Creation Account

This is either a BBC spoof site or BBC is actually agreeing with the Genesis account.

[EDIT (7 August 2007): THIS IS NOT A BBC ARTICLE - IT IS A PERSONAL SPACE WHERE SOMEONE WROTE THEIR OWN OPINION - SEE COMMENTS]


Some great quotes here:

"...Genesis is not anything like hymns, myths or sagas."



"Genesis has many similarities with other creation accounts from the same geological area, such as Sumerian, Egyptian and Babylonian myths. The question is, which one of these is the first? There seems to be a consensus between these stories that the universe was created by God. Then, as it was written down, different accounts emerged. Genesis, though, is unique because it has none of the mythical elements of the other stories, and is therefore more trustworthy."



"Today, many scientists are confirming things said in Genesis."



"Some scientists cite the self-generating universe theory, which is an illogical contradiction."



"The Genesis document, in addition to being the most widely accepted Creationist account, is the most verifiable Creationist account."



It was written in 2002 and is amazing. I suggest reading the whole article.

There is nothing like a level-headed Christian. People notice logic and reasoning, look at how they say because Genesis is "unique because it has none of the mythical elements of the other stories" and is therefore the most reliable.

I hate mysticism, I always have. Mysticism and Charismaticism were the reasons why I never really committed myself to God. When I found people who were Christians and logical, I wanted to be in their camp. Now, praise to God, I am.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Evangelical Theology

Evangelism is so difficult. I have found it better to immerse myself so much with scripture that I honestly have nothing else to talk to people about it. This practice has been such a blessing, because even though I can talk of other things, I have noticed that all conversation does tend towards one direction.

If there is one thing I do not like doing it is handing out tracts. But I do it. I even made a few of my own. But it feels so wrong to try and 'sell' the Gospel to people, especially as a Calvinist. I still do it, but I admit that it is discomforting.

Usually I have been weary when it comes to Chick Tracts, I do not know Jack Chick personally on any level, but every since I saw a tract by Jack Chick that promotes his own tracts, I have been careful before even devoting my reading time to them. There are some good Chick tracts, however, I will not deny that.

I worry about his theology, when he states in his statement of faith

"Union with the triune God provides all blessings in this life and the life hereafter." [Emphasis added]



There are many parodies on these tracts, none of them are very edifying. There are also many people who disagree, Christian and non alike. There is a parody that is a Calvinist promoting tract, the theology is described so well. I do not believe it is by Chick, judging by this one that is.

I would say I whole-heartedly agree with the 'Tulips?' tract and that anyone who wants to know what I believe should read this.