Social Justice and Reparations

I don’t think that religion and politics should mix; however, our religion can and should guide us as to how we make decisions as to what is going on in politics. This seems to be especially true when it comes to the subject of giving financial reparations to the relatives of slaves in the United States. This is a serious and touchy subject in many ways but the conversation is growing as the 2020 election date draws nearer.

Some people say “it will never happen” so don’t worry about it. I am sure some people said the same thing about the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle, transgender, and gay pastors. Now, those ways of life are accepted as normal by many and there are laws protecting them.

Another reason I think this subject should be discussed by Christians is that some people, politicians, and pastors are saying the Bible tells us that reparations are a Christian’s duty. As a taxpayer and a Christian, I think we need to take this discussion seriously before we wake up one day and find out that it is happening because we did not believe it would or get involved in the discussion.

With that said, I am giving my two cents worth in this article.

To start off with I will list some of the people/organizations endorsing reparations: Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), The Association of Black Seminarians, Marianne Williamson, a self-help guru and spiritual adviser, National African American Reparations Commission and the NAACP. And this is just a short list of some of the major players in this movement; however, there is many more both prominent and everyday type of people that are on the bandwagon for reparations. A most outspoken proponent of reparation is Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). On 4/8/19 he stated “”Do I support legislation that is race-conscious about balancing the economic scales? Not only do I support it, but I have legislation that actually does it,” Booker said.”

For more information check out these sites; https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/reparations-bill-wins-new-momentum-in-house/ar-BBVBMTm

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/431520-embrace-of-reparations-highlights-pivotal-dem-contest-for-black-voters

https://www.foxcarolina.com/o-rourke-says-he-would-support-commission-on-reparations/article_6d964066-adad-5762-9940-6476c478f3e4.html

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/us/2019/03/18/warren-backs-congressional-plan-for-reparations-study.html

https://www.forreparations.org/category/for-truth-reparations/ .

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/11/18246741/reparations-democrats-2020-inequality-warren-harris-castro.

What about our religious leaders? One of the most outspoken proponents of reparations is a council member for The Gospel Coalition, Thabiti Anyabwile. Thabiti is now calling not just for monetary reparations, but reparations as atonement for generational sins. Anyabwile is a regular speaker at The Gospel Coalition conferences, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and various other Evangelical and Southern Baptist events. Conservative churches promote his books and he is a former associate of Mark Dever. (https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/03/16/thabiti-anyabwile-says-opposing-reparations-for-blacks-comes-from-the-devil/)

He also states scripture approves of financial reparations and the notion that we are guilty of the sins of our fathers.

Other leading voices in the reparations camp include Jemar Tisby, a Christian, historian, writer, and speaker, who also teaches the efficacy of reparations as self-atonement. The United Methodists Church made an apology and supports the giving of reparations. (http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/support-reparations-for-african-americans). And Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary who has taken up the cause of social justice and advocates for redistribution of wealth.

As a citizen, taxpayer, and Christian I condemn all types of slavery and I am extremely saddened by what people under those circumstances suffered. There is nothing that can be said that justifies the existence of slavery.

With that said I will state that I am against reparations both as a taxpayer and as a Christian (my comments about what scripture tells us will be added later in the article). As a citizen and taxpayer, I think it is wrong for a variety of reasons. Some of my reasons include; If relatives of one group of people are singled out to pay for reparations then all involved should also pay, such as relatives of; the owners and captains of the ships that brought the slaves to America, the companies that purchased the slaves before they were put on the ships, the black African Kings (leaders) that captured their own race and sold them into slavery. The governments of the Caribbean Islands where the slave trading ships docked for food, supplies and to sell slaves to work on the plantations.  The British Government and all the governments in Africa that allowed slavery to be transacted in their country. And the list could go on and on.

I am listing an excerpt from a great article that describes why reparations should not be paid for you to read and consider;

Editorial; “Why the Descendants of Slaves Should not Receive Reparations” https://ashbrook.org/publications/oped-tucker-00-slaves/.

“Something to think about: Remember that there are many Americans who have thought of themselves as “White” for generations, who have African slaves among their ancestors (they would also be due reparations). And there are a good number of “Black” Americans who have no ancestors who were slaves within the territory of the United States

(They would not qualify). Let’s not forget that, if we go back far enough, almost everyone has at least one enslaved ancestor somewhere. Slavery was a worldwide institution and not usually race-based.”  End of article

I would like to add the most important one, who is going to pay for reparations. First they would have to have a committee or some type of department to handle the situation. That would mean hiring who knows how many workers. Then there is the building/office to meet in, and who knows how much the overhead cost would be (salaries, utilities, insurance and on and on). Also, how can you figure out what families participated and benefitted from slavery? The only fair way would be to give every person in the US a DNA test (can you imagine the cost) then separate the people that were not here during the slavery times so they would not have to pay the taxes that would go to reparations. Or I guess you could just make everyone pay regardless if they had anything to do with slaver or not. Oh, I forgot about the people from the north, do they have to pay reparations even though they fought to stop it?

The questions concerning reparations are endless and, in no way, can be financially and morally capable of being answered. All that will happen is that the questions of reparations will be argued about and not answered to anyone’s satisfaction, it will continue to grow the rift between whites and blacks, and it will create animosity between blacks and immigrants that were not involved or here during slavery and other races that were here but had no part in slavery. The questions and comments could go on and on.

Now I will turn to the Biblical side of the question. What does scripture say about reparations and sins of our fathers?

WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY ABOUT REPARATION AND THE SINS OF OUR FATHERS?

When we look at scripture it seems to give a clear picture of how we are to handle this situation (unless we add our own personal feelings and thoughts into scripture to prove our point).

Scripture provides these comments;

(Excerpts are taken from; https://pulpitandpen.org/2019/01/06/evangelicalisms-ungodly-pursuit-of-slave-reparations/)

Read Exodus 21:33-22:15 it goes into great detail regarding property rights and restitution. In scripture, reparation commands involve individuals directly involved in the transaction in the context of an ancient theocracy around 3500 years ago.

 In Numbers 5:5-10 we clearly see that restitution shall be paid to the offended or to that party’s relative if he has any. If he does not have a relative to which restitution can be made, it will go to the Lord by way of the priest. End of article.

In ancient Israel, the only person who is due reparations is the one who was actually defrauded or that person’s living relative at the time. The only person who is obligated to pay reparations or restore is the person guilty of the transgression. There seems to be no precedent in Scripture for that person’s heirs to repair unless they were a participant in the fraud.

The Bible does teach that we should make restitution to people that we have wronged in some way. But the Bible does not teach that generational descendants are responsible for making restitution to other generational descendants of the person wronged.

Consider the following scriptures;

Exodus tells us; Exodus 20:5 “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me.”

 Exodus 34:6-7The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God

merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

When I read on in scripture I found that Exodus 20:5 and 34:6-7 means is that the sins the fathers commit will affect their children to three and four generations. The children will not be punished for the sins of their fathers but may suffer the consequences for their father’s sins either directly or indirectly. If the children follow the sins of the fathers they will suffer directly. But even if they don’t they can still suffer because of the effects it has on others that in turn affect them (negatively).
Example; Jeremiah 16:10-13 states; “Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’  Then you shall say to them: ‘Because your fathers have forsaken Me, declares the Lord, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and have not kept My law, and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.  Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’” They will be punished because they did worse than their fathers.

But as I study on I learned that God puts to rest the notion that the father’s sins are passed on when He (strongly) states;  (Ezekiel 18 makes it clear that God holds each individual responsible for his or her own sin) Ezekiel 18, 1 through 4 say, “The word of the Lord came to me: ‘What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: “The parents eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For everyone belongs to me, the parent, as well as the child—both alike, belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.”  Others are not responsible for the sins of others!

 Also; Deuteronomy 24:16 says “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin” and that “The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself”


And; Ezekiel 18:20;  “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.” Others are not responsible!

 We have enough sins of our own; God does not expect us to carry the sins of our fathers also.

We can not and should not try to fix the past, it is the past. However, we can, and must, change and not repeat our failures (sins) in the future.

Matthew 6:34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  As scripture tells us we would be better off if not worry about the past and work toward doing better in the future….

Dennis,  04/12/19

 

 

 

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Addition to New Testament Church article

One of my readers brought up a great question concerning new believers being brought into the church gatherings during the birth and infancy of the church after Pentecost. The question brings up serious points of the early church organization that affected the people at that time. If we compare modern times to first century gatherings, it shows how far removed we have become from taking seriously and practicing our method of worshipping.

I am glad she brought up that point and I would like to address it because it may help us understand better the responsibilities we have in living out our faith.

The reader remembered reading a book that stated that at the beginning of the foundation of the “church” before people could become members of the church they had to go through (up to two years) a study process before they could take communion and be a member of the church. She was correct and her point is valid. With this information being of interest to one of my readers, I decided to follow up on it and post what I discovered.

Early Jewish/Gentile thoughts on the church:

1) The first Christians were converted Jews so they considered themselves members of the faith.

2) Many thought all they had to do was believe Jesus was the Messiah and be baptized and they were in.

3) The membership they joined was more like a small group meeting in someone’s home.

4) Everything went well till they discovered that Jesus was including the Gentile converts as believers and children of God.

5) Problem with the Gentiles was that they believed in many gods and did not mind adding one more. They were easily converted but not inclined to drop the beliefs in the other gods.

6) Disciples (missionaries) to the Gentiles like Paul, Barnabas, Silas and others faced a whole new set of problems. They found they could easily convert and baptize the Gentiles but the Gentiles still did not believe in the one true God.

6) The convincing of the Jew and Gentile converts that they had to change their ways would be a difficult task for the disciples to undertake. The Jews had to abandon their traditional beliefs and the Law while the Gentiles had to give up worshipping their multitude of gods (for instance: stop visiting the shrine prostitutes).

7) Multitudes of people were being converted, baptized and brought into the church assemblies that were not true believers. The Apostles and missionaries soon realized this and decided they had to slow down the process and weed out the easy believism and law-abiding converts. But How?

8) For the Jews, they followed a Jewish pattern of evangelism that preached Christ, invited people to believe in Him as the Messiah, baptized them that afternoon, and then took them into the fellowship of the Christians that evening for the common meal. An orderly and spiritual growth method.

9) But for the Gentiles, the apostles and missionaries to the Gentiles had to slow the process down by structuring a procedure that would ensure the convert had a true understanding of the Word, be committed to following the one true God and continue in their spiritual growth. And how did they do that?

10) The church did not request or encourage baptism right away after conversion. The thought was to introduce membership training to new converts prior to being baptized. (It seemed that baptism was the introduction to being a member of the church). It gave them time to adjust to their new belief system and straighten out some of their behavior.

A general procedure was written and followed around the end of the first century by church leaders. It was called the Didache*. Basically, it was a handbook of instructions for the new converts that contained the direct teachings of Jesus. It was also called “The teaching of the Twelve Apostles.” This document was never rejected by the church but was not included in the cannon.

As church members gathered to worship the Lord they had a two-part service: the “service of the Word” where singing/chanting, preaching, and prayer occurred and a second “service of the table” where the Lord’s Supper was celebrated.  Nobody was allowed to stay for the Lord’s Supper except baptized Christians—thus the members in training attended only half the worship services until their baptism.

Highlights were;

1) A new believer that wanted membership in the church and was willing to study was called a “catechumen.” They could attend the first part of the service (involved singing, chanting, teaching and praying) but they were excluded from the second part (when communion was served – this was only for baptized Christians).

2) In the early time of the church, the seasoned believer trained the catechumen (in right beliefs and right behavior) in a one-on-one system. As members increased the system had to change to a mentor and a group of catechumens.

3) Training could take up to two years before the person could be baptized and become a member of the church. When the catechumen was deemed ready they went through a specific procedure of inclusion. This included prayer, fasting, an exorcism, anointing with oil, and drinking a mixture of milk and honey. Then, they were baptized and took their first communion and were full members of the church.

Does this system sound familiar as a current procedure a denomination requires of its members today?

And note that this system was in place during the first century while some of the New Testament was still being written.

Some questions concerning this practice are (but not limited to): Were the church leaders that instituted this procedure correct in putting these requirements in place? Were these requirements Biblical and approved by Jesus and His teachings? And how do the requirements stack up to what Jesus states about inclusion to His church and what He requires of us?

My thoughts are that the Jews, by adding all these other requirements and as a one size fits all program, we’re just trying to keep control of who and how people came into the church. Many of these additions of requirements to belong to the church were just more legalization and man-centered ideas, even though some were helpful.

The real truth to these questions is in the Scripture.

*For more information on the Didache read The Didache full version article attachment.

Peace and blessings,

Dennis

4/23/18

 

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What happened to His truth

What is happening to His truth?

Part 1

The more I read and study our enemy the more all this mess that is going on in the world makes sense to me. That is, scripture explains and gives in detail the when, why and how come of all the dysfunction and sin that is permeating our world. Scripture is where I found the answers and also the peace to be able to survive.

With this introduction out of the way I will go on to the question I posted at the beginning of this article “what is happening to His truth” and maybe I should add “why are some of us believing it, and why aren’t we verifying what we are being taught against scripture like we are told to do?” (Be like the Bereans Acts 17:11, Romans 12:2) Evidentially many of us are not following what we signed up for. We believe blindly, allow our emotions and feelings to get in the way of His truth, we desire comfort and don’t want to hear the scriptures that challenge our pride, personal convictions and need to conform to today’s cultural norms (these comments can all be backed up by scripture).

As I am in the world (not of the world) every day I come across people, the way they live and their comments that I feel called to share with others. Prayerfully this information will bring awareness of the reality of what is going on within our secular and religious culture, the depths in which man is falling, and the need to stand firm in our faith and resist (1 Cor. 16:13, 1 Peter 5:8-9).  

Deception, false beliefs, and just plain laziness are some of the many reasons that keep many from knowing the truth and believe lies.  You can call them reasons or excuses, no matter, those that are in that category will be held accountable for their actions.

You have already seen my articles in the past concerning false teachers and their drifting away from scripture that is leading many people astray from God’s truth. In this article I will bring you up to date on some of the things that are happening in the Christian community that shows how far many are falling away from His truth.

*   “GAY CHRISTIANS’ SEEKING TO HOOK UP? – THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT.”  It is described as “An LGBTQ+ Christian dating community” where you can “find connections, dates, and a life partner where your faith and sexuality meet in a space of inclusion and diversity. Gay Christianity” is being made increasingly popular by the acceptance and promotion of openly gay church leaders such as Sam Allberry of Living Out, who is currently being promoted by the popular Gospel Coalition and the ERLC of the Southern Baptist Convention. http://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/01/13/gay-christians-seeking-to-hook-up-theres-an-app-for-that/?fbclid=IwAR0Zal_jM5Ic4iKR34SWE59SFmHv3MrYF7ZE67UCHXDi7uDyQLd1NOcpLP0

The racist speech a Christian college doesn’t want you to hear.  By Ryan Bomberger

This is the tale of two lectures at Wheaton College, a Christian evangelical college in the suburbs of Chicago. The first speech was sponsored by Wheaton’s Philosophy department and held in the esteemed Billy Graham Center on campus. It was entitled: “A Post-Racial America? White Gazes and Black Bodies.” It can only be described as an expletive-laced, pornographic, racist, anti-biblical screed. His theme? “To be white is to be racist.” There was no backlash from Wheaton’s leadership. There were no letters sent out by any staff or student government leaders denouncing him or raising concerns about the hostile, f-bomb-laden speech. There was only internal praise by the school’s own Wheaton Record. 

Then there’s that second speech. Wheaton College Republicans courageously invited me to speak about abortion and race. My multimedia talk was entitled “Black Lives Matter In and Out of the Womb.” it was an expletive-free, fact-based, statistics-driven, Biblically-rooted, deeply personal and grace-filled discussion on the systemic racism of the abortion industry and the hypocrisy of the pro-abortion #BlackLivesMatter movement. As an adoptee and adoptive father who was conceived in rape, I challenged students to see the most vulnerable, the most marginalized, and the most powerless among us as having equal intrinsic worth and God-given Purpose.

Six days later, I was severely denounced by a campus-wide email sent out by two Wheaton staff members and signed by three student government leaders. My entire message was branded as “offensive rhetoric” that made “many students, staff, and faculty of color” feel “unsafe” on their campus. And now, the school has canceled the College Republicans’ next event, because leadership claims their speaker approval process needs to change so Wheaton students aren’t exposed to such factivism (aka truth) again. https://townhall.com/columnists/ryanbomberger/2019/01/11/racist-speech-christian-college-doesnt-want-public-to-hear-n2538881

* Hillsong church in Phoenix to hold Catholic mass. – https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/02/01/hillsong-church-phoenix-conducting-a-catholic mass-and-hosting-Catholic-priest-at-alpha-conference-2019/

* “Catholic University defends drag show, transgender policies in defiance of Archbishop.”  http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2018/11/30/catholic-university-defends-drag-show-transgender-policies-in-defiance-of-archbishop/

* “11-Year-old Trailblazing Child Drag Queen Promoted on Good Morning America.” http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2018/11/20/11-year-old-trailblazing-child-drag-queen-promoted-on-good-morning-america/

*[Washington, DC] The Center for Security Policy, a Washington think tank comprised of former national security experts, has put out a dire warning about Christians engaging in Interfaith Dialogue. The report highlights the intentional use of Interfaith Dialogue by both Marxists and Islamic Extremists to weaken American resolve to protect its national sovereignty, culture and Judeo-Christian values. …

http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2018/11/24/national-security-group-puts-out-dire-warning-about-interfaith-dialogue/#more-83267

 ‘Pope Francis,’ Islamic Imam Sign Declaration Calling for World Peace, ‘Dialogue Among Believers’  http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2019/02/09/pope-francis-islamic-imam-sign-declaration-calling-for-world-peace-dialogue-among-believers/

*”Drag Queen Story Time for Kid at Philadelphia- Area Library Sparks Protest.”http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2019/02/06/drag-queen-story-time-for-kids-at-philadelphia-area-library-sparks-protest/

From these articles you can see that Christians are being attacked from all sides. Starting with changing the truths of the Gospel to trying to influence our children and even promoting small steps that will lead to a one world church. To fight this trend we must be educated as to what is going on and to know our enemy. We must also remember what Timothy tells us in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 and not fall into that trap; 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

 

 

 

 

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What Happened to His truth

What is happening to His truth?

Part 2

In Tucson, we have churches that seem to be more interested in social justice, inclusiveness and diversity than equipping the saints and sending out disciples. They promote (in their own words);

* The acceptance of equal rights for LGBTQ with membership and ordination as pastors and to authorize same-sex marriages.

*Unity, Unity honors the universal truths in all religions and respects each individual’s right to choose a spiritual path.”

* “A faith community that is willing to take risks for progress on social justice. We have embraced advocacy on behalf of the Sanctuary Movement, justice and safety for immigrants, and the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church and society. Our commitment to justice is in our DNA.”

* Progressive Christianity churches “practicing a radical inclusivity that includes all, regardless of belief or disbelief, age, race, gender, class, or sexual orientation; working for justice and peace among all people, honoring other faith traditions as a viable path to God, and a commitment to practice the teachings of Jesus as the greatest witness of our faith and affiliate of The Center for Progressive Christianity.”

*And we also have the Unitarian Universalist churches. “The Unitarian Universalist Church has been a beacon of liberal religion and a place to pursue a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. Our community is bound together by our Seven Principles which include: the dignity and worthiness of all people, equity and compassion in human relations, and respect for the interdependent web of life. We take inspiration from multiple religions as well as humanist, secular, and scientific thought. Come join us to learn more!”

And in our Christian faith we have people abandoning His truth;

*  Lauren Daigle, a widely popular Christian singer, states she is no longer a Christian artist she is an artist that is a Christian. She recently stated while on the Ellen Degeneres program that she didn’t know enough about the Bible to say whether or not homosexuality was a sin (Andy Stanley is her pastor).

* Prominent Pastor Sam Allberry (also has a large following in the US) who is a pastor in Maidenhead UK and identifies himself as a gay Christian. He is an apologist and writer for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and a consulting editor for The Gospel Coalition. He is also the founder of an organization that is fully devoted to the false teaching of so-called, “Gay Christianity.” Unfortunately, many evangelicals support Allberry and his ministry, including The Gospel Coalition and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). The most prominent supporter of Allberry’s gay ministry is Dr. Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, is a leading voice in American Christianity).

http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2018/09/28/gay-christian-event-planned-with-mark-devers-capitol-hill-baptist-church/#more-82270

* Christian” singer and megastar Carrie Underwood’s proclamation that she attends a gay-affirming church and supports gay marriage https://beginningandend.com/christian-star-carrie-underwood-supports-gay-marriage/).

* Contemporary Christian singer Jennifer Knapp, Who was once called “the next Amy Grant” took a more aggressive stance debating a pastor on Larry King Live to support her position that the Bible, in fact, does not call homosexuality a sin. May 12, 2011 By Beginning and End  https://beginningandend.com/christian-singer-jennifer-knapp-comes-out-is-it-ok-to-be-christian-and-gay/)

And as time goes by the teachings from the pulpit become more extreme as some of our so-called mainline conservative pastors succumb to worldly and culturally sensitive topics that may encourage non-believers to come to church and keep so-called believers there. Topics such as Hell is not permanent (Pastor Rob Bell), gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender is not a sin (Pastor John Pavlovitz), Jesus had no ability to heal the sick. He couldn’t cast out devils, and He had no ability to raise the dead (Pastor Bill Johnson), Church is more important than being theologically correct and “It is next to impossible to defend the entire Bible.” (Andy Stanley), and several years ago a pastor said his fourth conversion was moving from “evangelism” as the primary focus of his ministry to that of Social Justice, world hunger, et cetera (Billy Graham); https://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/because-of-your-stubbornness-and-unrepentant-heart-you-are-storing-up-wrath-for-yourself-in-the-day-of-wrath-and-revelation-of-the-righteous-judgment-of-god/).

And we can’t forget about all the mega-church pastors and the like being involved in varieties of sexual scandals; Bill Hybels (his elders even ran interference to protect him for a while – then resigned in disgrace), Andy Savage having sex with a high school student while a youth pastor and Pope Francis knew his protege, took nude selfies, abused seminarians; and still promoted him to a top Vatican post.

This is just a sample of what is being taught, displayed as role models, and the falling away from the truth that is going on in our spiritual/religious community. These actions will greatly affect many of us now and in the future as the church and it’s pastors succumb to Satan and his strategies.

From scripture, we are told that we are in a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-12, 2 Cor. 10:3-4) and as Christians, we need to act like it.  Some of the things I have posted may offend some people but that is not my intention. I am just trying to share information with you that will help people to see what is going on and how serious these issues are that affect our faith, the salvation of many, and our DNA as Christ followers.

The sad but easy part of this article was gathering the information presented. Now comes the difficult part. Getting people to read the information, get fired up, make a recommitment to stand firm in the faith and speak up for what we believe and challenge (in a loving manner) those who are drifting away.

To answer those questions we only have to refer to scripture as Jesus has laid it all out for us and explain how to handle the situations if only we would have faith in Him.

To start off I will state a serious notice that the Apostle John gives us: 1  John 2:4 4Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. We need to take this scripture seriously

 

 

 

 

 

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What happened to His truth?

What is happening to His truth?

PART 3

Now comes the difficult part, are we willing to walk the walk? The answer, the way, the reasons, and the why and how are spelled out in scripture. They are as plain as the nose on our faces. Like our nose, the answers are right in front of us but for some reason, many of us can’t see them.

To fight the untruths we are being taught we must follow God’s guidelines. First and foremost we must love the Lord (Matthew 22:37) because without true love for Him we will fall short. We must believe in His word (2 Timothy 3:16), be alert and stand firm in the faith (1 Cor. 3:16).

Part of standing firm is speaking up and doing what is right according to His word. That means not being afraid to say things, in love, that might offend people. Jesus did not worry about offending people, He told them the truth, in love, but it still was sharper than a double edge sword to some (Hebrews 4:12). He spoke up openly and constantly about the coming of the lawless one, the drifting away of believers, the false teachers that would creep into our churches. He named names and told His followers to avoid such people (Romans 16:17). If those truths were to be followed then, then I ask why aren’t we following them now?

My personal opinion is that it is because we are afraid of offending people, strangers and friends alike. We worry about what people will think. We don’t want to get into a serious discussion about what scripture tells us to do because we are not doing it. Jesus tells us repeatedly to confront sin wherever it lies. Or we may think that if we challenge our friends it may ruin our relationship with them. That may be true but what does Jesus say about it? Matthew 10:34-35, Do not assume that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn ‘A man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And some pastors do not teach about sin, repentance, and consequences because they are afraid that non or new believers may be offended and not come back to their church. Taking a stand for Jesus will result in hardships and a true Christ follower will choose Jesus over a relationship no matter how painful.

According to the recent study, “The State of Theology” by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research, 46 percent of self-identified evangelicals in America believe that “God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”

Statistics like these beg the question why does almost half of the Christian population believe that God accepts other religious beliefs as ways to salvation? Why? Could it be because pastors are teaching a false message, people are listening and believing them, people are not reading and studying scripture for themselves, people are scared and do not want to believe His truth because it can cause conviction or we are just plain lazy!

From what I have learned and understand is that we are part of the reason so many people believe false teachings, are blind to the truth, and we watch as people are lead to Hell because we don’t speak up. We keep silent even though Jesus has warned us of this fallen condition and gave us instructions on how to fight it. One way we backslide is our sin of silence. That sin can be corrected if we follow scripture and do what Jesus calls us to do. Such is listed in the following scriptures.

First we must know the seriousness of our commitment to Jesus and then how to break our silence; 1 John 2:4-6 Whoever says I know Him but does not keep His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him, but if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.

We need to make sure the person is a false teacher; do what 1 John 4:1 says: “test him to see if he’s from God.” And 1 Thes. 5:21, “test everything, hold on to what is good and resist evil.:

We can be separate from unbelievers and not let them seduce us into worldly living; 2 Corinthians chapter 6 verse 14. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers, for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness or what fellowship has light with darkness, or what harmony has Christ with Belial – ” or Satan.” Paul in Romans 16:17-18 tells us to “avoid them.”

We are to call out false teachers just as Jesus did in Matthew 7:13-36 and so did the Apostles Paul, 1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 2:16-18, Titus 1:13 and John (3 John 1:9). There is no question that there is “biblical precedence for calling out false teachers.

We need to be committed to our faith and “Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong.” 1Cor. 16:13.

The way to resist evil is to stand firm in the faith, don’t be afraid to speak up in love and call out false teachings, separate ourselves from the world and false teachers and by all means do not make excuses for our friends or favorite pastors if they are false teachers.

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A gift to Jesus

If you want to give Jesus a gift this Christmas, give Him the gift of obedience to His word.

Obedience is what God asks of us. To me, it is the greatest gift we could give Him and one that He requests.

 Exodus 19:5, Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,

 John 15:14, you are my friends if you do what I command.

 John 14:15, If you love Me, you will obey what I command.

 2 John 1:6, and this is love, that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.

 Luke 11:28, He replied, Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

When we are obedient to God we bring glory to Him, how do we do that? When we; do what He requests, walk as mature Christians in our and understanding of Him, delight in His presence, trust God’s will, take up Jesus’ yoke, and when we walk in the Spirit and put our focus on God rather than in our flesh.

God is also glorified in our good works, when we learn His doctrine which will shed light into our darkness, and when we walk in love. We can also glorify God by being undefiled which means that we strive to abstain from sin and do what He commands.

In the book of Romans and Ephesians Paul tells us that we are save by grace thru faith and not by works (he also states we are created in Christ Jesus for good works; Eph. 2:10). And James tells us 2:18, But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. So to be obedient to God is to have faith and do good works (they come in a variety of ways) and this is pleasing to our Lord.

 Lastly, again I will say, God is glorified in us when we obey His commandments. 3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.  If we walk in disobedience we are walking in the flesh. If we walk in the truth, we are walking in obedience by the power of the Holy Spirit by walking in the Spirit, thus we glorify God bringing honor to Him. We also show love for our Lord by obeying Him.

If we do these things that will be evidence of our becoming Christ-like because we are taking on His character. We are growing, maturing into God’s beloved children. Then we will be in total submission and surrender to Christ as Lord and Savior bringing Him the utmost glory and if it is possible to give a gift to the Creator, an obedient treasured possession! (Exodus 19:5)

December 2018

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Truth does matter

TRUTH DOES MATTER

I am going to vent so if you don’t want to read what I am venting about you may as well delete this article now. I just have a need to vent concerning truth.

Here it goes. I am so tired of hearing and reading about people, both supposedly Christians, and secular, judging, choosing sides, making and stating opinions, stating guilt or innocence, deciding what is right and wrong, and protesting for or against something (and the list could go on) based solely on their feelings, emotions, desires, likes and dislikes. These characteristics have absolutely nothing to do with truth and determining what is truth.

I personally know there is truth, both spiritually and secularly.  During my life, I have promoted it, fought for it, believed in it, ignored it, lied about it, tried to twist it, made it look good when it was not, and refused to believe it. I also know the difference between what I want to be true and what actually is true except in the grey areas and then I call that a matter of opinion.

I hit the tipping point as I watched the circus unfold on national TV concerning the Kavanaugh/Ford debacle. “I believe her, she was so convincing/ what did she have to gain by opening up and coming forward?/ she must be believed because women in the past have not been believed/ you could see her true emotions coming out/ after listening to her I know he is guilty” and on and on. And “he was so convincing/ he showed so much emotion and I could feel his pain/ the cards were stacked against him/ he was believable” and on and on.

To me, as a former police officer, listening to all of this from everyone involved (and many who were not) it was sickening. I just kept talking to the people on the TV (and my poor wife had to sit and listen to me give advice) saying “TRUTH” “why aren’t you asking for and demanding the TRUTH?/ why aren’t you stating that all you want is the TRUTH?/ why aren’t you asking questions that will filter out the TRUTH instead of asking ‘how do you feel’ or ‘was it difficult for you to be here and testify’ and other questions regarding feelings, emotions, and beliefs?

It seemed that the truth did not matter and what was important was playing on the emotions and feelings of the people in the room and around the world as they watched. My truth tells me it was a sad day for our nation, our political system and the people running it. Facts and truth were irrelevant when they should have been the only thing that mattered. I pray I was not the only one who was frustrated in the lack of discovering what the truth was and what the facts were.

It may come as a shock to hear but, some women lie, are deceptive, ruthless, want paybacks, are willing to sacrifice to get even for the greater good JUST LIKE SOME MEN!

As a former police officer, I was taught that truth and facts were all that mattered. I (we)  HAD to put aside emotions, feelings, and personal preferences when doing our job. In court, when you were asked questions and were testifying truth and facts was all that mattered. Sometimes you could give an opinion but that was all it was, an opinion and everyone knew that. Viewing this circus made me wonder (again) if truth and facts had any place in our political system. I am also amazed how far from the truth in scripture some of our pastors and fellow believers have fallen away (as scripture states they will).

I have never been to law school but as a police officer, I did have training in the knowledge of city, state and federal laws and how to ask and answer questions to get at the facts both on the street and in court. With that said I think I could have done a good job (as many other police officers could have done) by asking questions of both parties that would draw out the facts that MATTERED in this situation. That was not done. Instead, the questions asked were of the sensational, emotional, opinionated vein that would obtain the goals of the person asking them.

Christians (true Christians) involved in this mess should have stood out among the crowd and been the light that everyone could see even if they did not want to. Sadly, many times this did not happen. I hope that now this circus is over, we Christians that were vocal and had opinions, can step back and reflect on how we acted, reacted, and voiced our opinions and then learn from the mistakes (sins) we made. And we would go to Jesus, ask for forgiveness for the dim light we showed the world and ask the Holy Spirit to help keep us from repeating those sins that we thought were righteous anger but were not.

And in the future we would follow what James said in James 1:19-20, My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Dennis

10/8/2018

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