Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I really want to interpret this for you

But I am not going to.






But at least we aren't moving backwards (this one is just for a hoot):

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On healing, tongues and special knowledge

It has been a while since I have done a post on theology. But there have been cases now where I have to take a stand on the 'charismatic' gifts. This is a contentious issue, so I want to start off with my presuppositions:
  1. Let me list what I am NOT talking about:
    • "Holy" laughter
    • Falling on the floor (being 'slain' in the 'spirit')
    • Speaking in 'angelic' tongues
    All of these are never mentioned in the bible as occuring, are used by it's proponents to create classes of Christians and are just plain illogical. If the fruit of the Spirit is self control, none of these fall into a category that is consistent with God.
  2. I have ALWAYS been a cessationist (believing that the charismatic gifts have ceased). Before I was a Christian (but wanted to be one), I did not follow this. I have to admit even as a small child I strongly rejected the idea of these gifts working today.
  3. As a cessationist, I do not limit the power of God. God can and does heal every day. When you break a leg, He knits it back together. What I object to is the concept of 'healers' and 'miracle workers' - not healing and miracles


With that out the way, let us look at the bible:
1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.


If we look at the text, we have to see that Paul is saying that prophecy, tongues and special knowledge will cease. The obvious question becomes: When?
James 5:14-15
14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;
15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.


Why does James just say call for Pastor Chris or Benny Hinn? Why call the elders? Why is James laying this down if he did not believe that healing had already began to cease?
Revelation 22:18 - 19
18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and [i]from the holy city, which are written in this book.


The bible says that prophecy is closed. Anyone claiming to know anything about the future other than what is revealed in scripture is a false prophet.

But besides this, look at 1 Corinthians 13:11. Why is that there? This is something that was brought to my attention yesterday. It is saying that the "childish" things of the church will fade: prophecy, tongues, special knowledge. So someone who practices these are still stuck in childish ways. The mature Christian practices faith, hope and love.

But then what about God? Have I put Him in a box? Of course not. God is free to do what He wills when He wills. But He gave us His word so that we might know and love Him properly. God tells us how He works in the bible. He has told us these things will cease, and so let it be. Does this mean God does not do these things HIMSELF? No - God does these things all the time (He IS the future, He can speak all languages, and He knows all there is to know.)

What this all means is that God can still communicate through time, language, dreams etc, but that if He does it will be PERSONAL. Just for you. There are cases of people being told by God in dreams to do this. God used John Bunyan's dreams VERY mightily. But they are not evidences or for mass edification. The BIBLE is for that.

There is a final point I must make regarding healing. If we are sick, we have to remember that God is sovereign. We may not be ill because of sin, but we are definitely where we are in life so that He may be most glorified. Do not rush to be healed before asking God why He permitted you to be sick. Take some serious stock. These are words coming from a man regarding his sickness, but whom also suffered mightily for the name of Christ:
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Open Letter to Redbull

This letter was made in reference to Youtube: Redbull Jesus

Good day,

I am a devout Christian, and I want to applaude (even PRAISE) you for the advert that you put up. There is NO REASON why you should have to remove it.

I am not a Redbull drinker, but I want to commend you for what you did and the way you did it. I cannot say I LIKE what you did - I believe that taking my Lord and Saviour's name in vain is a sin punishable by eternal hell. HOWEVER - why should you be forced to take down the advert when there are television shows and movies that do it all the time?

The public has spoken - they do not mind Jesus being ridiculed in their entertainment. I can fully understand your confusion as a non-christian company. We are sending the wrong signals. I think what you did was great, not because I agree, and not because 'it made the Christians wake up,' (because it didn't - 'Christians' reacted very childishly) but because it is consistent with our culture and our entertainment industry.

Regards,
Quintin Balsdon

UPDATE

I got this response:

------------------------------------------------
Dear Quintin

Thank you for contacting us regarding the Red Bull advertisement broadcast on South African television. Given the time and effort it has taken for you to contact us directly, we appreciate how strongly you feel about this.

For over twenty years, Red Bull cartoons have looked at well known themes with a twinkle in the eye. It is never our intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. We regret that you have been offended by this particular cartoon.
This advertisement was part of our regular Red Bull series, it is now off air and has now been followed by another.

Regards,
Red Bull


______________________________________________________________________
This email has been scanned by the Symantec Email Security.cloud service.
For more information please visit http://www.symanteccloud.com
______________________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------

To which I responded:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Redbull,

No thanks to you for contacting me with your generic response regarding the Red Bull advertisement broadcast on South African television. Given the time and effort you have put into actually reading my e-mail, which was thought out and NOT A COMPLAINT, I appreciate how badly you must really feel (which, of course, is nothing). What I was trying to offer you was a reasonable reaction with which you could have gotten the Christians' backs against a wall - one where your advert could have stayed on air.

But now, since you do not read your e-mails anyway, I will complain.

"For over twenty years, Red Bull cartoons have looked at well known themes with a twinkle in the eye. It is never our intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. We regret that you have been offended by this particular cartoon."

Making an advert with Christ blaspheming in it could only have been intended to offend. You got your reaction, but my God is bigger than you. I am not the one offended, not am I the one who will be held accountable for your godless trash.

"This advertisement was part of our regular Red Bull series, it is now off air and has now been followed by another."

I am very sure it will. You must have known what kind of reaction you would get, and therefore had time to get everything ready, including another advert.

Should you actually want to read my e-mail, here is a link: http://gthruf.blogspot.com/2012/03/open-letter-to-redbull.html

Regards,
Quintin
-----------------------

I feel like I am crying in the wilderness. Why will Christians not listen? We invite this trash into our homes every night - we pay to watch movies with it in, and you sit back and drink it up.

And then when we see something like this, then we COMPLAIN? Wow - we are really no better than the Exodus. You resort to your RIGHTS? Paul could not do that! Peter could not do that! If we are going to complain we must take it to ALL aspects of the media.

Until I see Christians doing this (and maybe we are getting better), I will support any company who gets a bad reaction from the half-hearted lukewarm 'Christian' demographic.