Daily Archives: May 18, 2013

Questions about False Doctrine: Deconstructionism—is it a valid way to interpret the Bible?

Deconstructionism is a basically a theory of textual criticism or interpretation that denies there is any single correct meaning or interpretation of a passage or text. At the heart of the deconstructionist theory of interpretation are two primary ideas. First is the idea that no passage or text can possibly convey a single reliable, consistent, and coherent message to everyone who reads or hears it. The second is that the author who wrote the text is less responsible for the piece’s content than are the impersonal forces of culture such as language and their unconscious ideology. Therefore the very basic tenets of deconstructionism are contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible that absolute truth does exist and we can indeed know it (Deuteronomy 32:4; Isaiah 65:16; John 1:17–18; John 14:6; John 15:26–27; Galatians 2:5).

The deconstruction approach to interpreting the Bible comes out of postmodernism and as such it is simply another denial of the existence of absolute truth which is one of the most serious logical fallacies anyone can commit. The reason the denial of absolute truth is a logical fallacy of the greatest magnitude is because it is a self-contradictory statement. The deconstructionist or postmodern thinker who denies absolute truth cannot rationally make such a statement because to do so would be stating an absolute which is what they are saying does not exist. When someone claims that there is no such thing as absolute truth, I always want to ask them; “Are you absolutely sure of that?” If they say yes, then they have made a statement that is contradictory to their very premise.

Like other philosophies that come out of the postmodern movement, deconstructionism celebrates human autonomy and places the autonomy of man at both the beginning and the end of determining what can be deemed to be truth. Therefore according to the postmodern thinker all truth is relative and there is no such thing as absolute truth. At the heart of this type of postmodernism and the deconstructionist thought process is pride and arrogance. The deconstructionist thinks that they can discover a personal or social motivation that lies behind what is said and therefore can determine what is “really being said.” The end result is a very subjective interpretation of the passage or text in question. Instead of accepting what it actually says the deconstructionist is arrogant enough to think they can determine the motive behind what was written and come up with the real or hidden meaning of the text. However if one were to take deconstructionism to its logical conclusion then the results of the deconstructionist’s efforts would have to be deconstructed themselves to determine what the deconstructionist really said and the endless line of circular reasoning is therefore self defeating. When one thinks about how fundamentally flawed this type of postmodern thinking is, one cannot help but bring to mind 1 Corinthians 3:19, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness.”

The deconstructionist does not study the Bible or a text in order to find out the meaning intended by the writer, but instead tries to “read between the lines,” so to speak, in order to discern the cultural and social reasons and motives behind what was written. The deconstructionist is really only limited in his interpretation of the passage by his own imagination. To the deconstructionist there is no right or wrong interpretation and the meaning of the passage or text becomes very subjective and one that can only determined by the reader.

The proper way to approach the Bible is to first recognize that each passage has only one correct interpretation (that which the Holy Spirit intended to communicate to the original recipients), even though it might have many applications. The deconstructionist on the other hand would attribute the primary meaning of the text to the reader, not the author. Therefore there is no one right way of interpretation and the reader’s cultural and social background will influence the meaning of the passage. One might imagine what would happen if legal documents such as wills and deeds were read this way. This approach to the Scriptures fails to recognize the fundamental truth that the Bible is God’s objective communication to mankind and that the meaning of the passages being studied comes from God and is not subject to man’s interpretation as to the truthfulness of the message.

Instead of spending time debating deconstructionism or other postmodern theories, we should try to concentrate on exalting Christ and emphasizing the sufficiency and authority of the Scriptures. Romans 1:21–22 sums up most postmodern thinkers who come up with and hold to such theories as deconstructionism. “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Family / Parenting: Dealing with a mother-in-law … how do I respond to the problem of a mother-in-law who is overbearing, controlling, and meddling?

A meddling mother-in-law who is demanding, controlling, and intrudes into the lives of her son/daughter and son/daughter-in-law is what the Bible calls a “busybody” (1 Timothy 5:13). The meaning of the Greek word that is translated “busybody” in the 1 Peter passage means, “a self appointed overseer in other men’s matters.” That describes what some mothers-in-law are engaged in, or at least accused of. This kind of behavior is annoying, very frustrating, and contrary to God’s plan for the family.

Obviously, the dynamics in such a situation are frustrating. Some mothers-in-law do these things because no one else in the family has given them boundaries. Therefore, she becomes an overbearing “bully.” Perhaps she does not even realize how intrusive and controlling she is. To her it may just be “loving.” If that is the case, perhaps a heart-to-heart talk will clear the air. If she does understand what she is doing and does it on purpose even after she has been asked to stop, then there is nothing that you are going to be able to do to alter that.

Regardless of which side of the family the interference comes from, it is an assault upon the sanctity of the marriage and violates the “leave and cleave” of God’s order for marriage (Genesis 2:23–24). A man and woman leave their birth families and begin a new family, and they are to love and protect each other. A husband who allows his mother or his mother-in-law to interfere with his marriage is not living up to the commandment given to husbands in Ephesians 5:25–33. Boundaries need to be set and then held regardless of the resistance encountered. The reality is that people treat us the way we allow them to treat us. If we permit them to trample the sanctity of our family, then that is what they will do. No one, not even our extended family, has the right to invade the privacy of our home and it is the responsibility of the husband to guard that privacy. He should take the lead in gently—but firmly—explaining to his mother-in-law what she is doing that is over the line and assuring her that such behavior cannot be tolerated. He should remind her that God has given him the responsibility for his family and to relinquish any of that responsibility to her is to disobey God. He should also assure her that he and his wife still love her, but that the relationship has changed and he is in charge now. That is God’s design for the family and that is the way it will be. Then the couple must stand firm in their resolve.

What can we do about reacting to a woman who acts in the way a meddling mother-in-law does? We can make a choice not to allow her to take away our peace of mind. We may not be able to change the way others behave, but how we respond to their behavior is our choice. We can allow the actions of other people to get to us, or we can choose to give it over to God and allow Him to use this to strengthen us spiritually. It our own response to this type of situation that fuels our frustration. Only we can stop wearing ourselves out emotionally by allowing a interfering mother-in-law’s actions to be the arbiter of our own peace. Her behavior is not our responsibility, our response is.

Parents and in-laws should be treated with respect and love, but we must not allow our emotions to entangle us. The best way to disengage an enemy is to make them an ally. This is done through God’s grace. Christians can always give the grace of forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32). It may not stop a mother-in-law from interfering, but it will be a source of strength and peace to stand in (Ephesians 6:11–17). The only place to find true peace of heart is in a personal relationship with God through Christ. Only then can we respond by resting in His peace.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Theology: Are Israel and the church the same thing? Does God still have a plan for Israel?

This topic is one of the more controversial in the Church today, and it has significant implications regarding the way we interpret Scripture, especially in regard to the end times. More importantly, it has great significance in that it affects the way we understand the very nature and character of God Himself.

Romans 11:16–36 records the illustration of the olive tree. This passage speaks of Israel the (“natural” branches) being broken off from the olive tree, and the Church (“wild” branches or shoots) being grafted into the olive tree. Since Israel is referred to as branches, as well as the Church, it stands to reason that neither group is the “whole tree,” so to speak; rather, the whole tree represents God’s workings with mankind as a whole. Therefore, God’s program with Israel and God’s program with the Church are part of the outworking of His purpose among men in general. Of course, this is not intended to mean that either program is of little significance, because as most commentators have noted, more revelation is given in the Bible regarding God’s programs with Israel and with the Church than any of God’s other dealings!

The best way to interpret Scripture is with the Scripture itself, so with that in mind, recall that in Genesis 12, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation (the Jews), that that the Jews would possess a land, and that nation would be blessed above all other nations, and that all nations would be blessed out of Israel. So, from the beginning God reveals that Israel would be His chosen people on the earth, but that His blessing and working would not be limited to them exclusively. Galatians 3:14 identifies the nature of the blessing that would come to all the other nations in addition to Israel. It says, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” All the nations of the world, then, would be blessed by Israel, through whom would come the Savior of the world.

God’s plan of redemption is built upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, who came from the line of David, who is himself a physical descendant of Abraham. Of course, Christ’s death on the cross is sufficient for the sins of the entire world, not just the Jews! Galatians 3:6–8 states, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Finally, Galatians 3:29 says, “And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” When you put all of this together, what it is saying is not that believers become Jews (the physical descendants of Abraham), but that in Christ, they are counted righteous by faith in the same way that Abraham was (Galatians 3:6–8). Verse 29 tells us that if people are in Christ, (believers, members of the Church), then they are partakers of the blessing of Israel and all nations in the redemptive work of Christ. In this sense, believers become the spiritual descendants of Abraham. In summary, believers do not become Jews, but may enjoy the same type of blessings and privileges as the Jews.

Now, this does not contradict or nullify the revelation given in the Old Testament. What took place in the Old Testament is still valid, in that God’s relationship with Israel as a chosen people points to the work of Christ as a Redeemer of the whole world. The Old Testament contains the Mosaic Law, which is still mandatory for all the Jews (the physical descendants of Abraham) to follow, because they have not yet accepted Christ as their Messiah, who would do what they could not do—fulfill the Law in all its details. As New Testament believers, we are no longer under the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13), because Christ has taken that curse upon Himself on the cross. The Law served two purposes, first to reveal the problem of unrighteousness, and mankind’s inability (on his own merit) to do anything about that problem, and to point us to Christ, who fulfills the Law. His death on the cross completely satisfies God’s righteous requirement of perfection.

It must be remembered that God’s promises are not made invalid by the acts and unfaithfulness of man. Nothing we do is ever a surprise to God, and He does not need to adjust His plans according to the way we behave. No, God is sovereign over all things—past, present and future—and what He has foreordained for both Israel and the Church will come to pass, regardless of circumstances. Romans 3:3–4 explains that the unbelief of the Jews would not nullify His promises concerning them: “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: ‘So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.’ ”

One final thought: promises made to Israel are still going to be kept in the future. The “clock” for that has been temporarily stopped, and only God knows when those things will come to pass. However, we can be sure that all God has said is true and will take place, because of His character and consistency. Earlier, we mentioned that how one views Israel and the Church has implications on the interpretation of Scripture, and here is why: it is not possible for the Church to fulfill or expect to have fulfilled for them the promises made to Israel. So, as one reads Scripture, it is absolutely essential to follow the pattern set by Scripture itself and keep Israel and the Church separate.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: Why is “You shall not covet” in the Ten Commandments?

The key to understanding this commandment is in the definition of the word “covet.” Two different Hebrew words are used in the passages condemning coveting (Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21), and both mean to lust after or to long for with great desire. Since the commandments are given as “you shall not’s,” the desire in this case is for something that is not the property of the desirer and not rightfully his to long after. In this commandment, the Israelites are told not to lust after his neighbor’s possessions—his house, land, ox or donkey, or the people in his life—his wife or servants, both male and female. The Israelites were not to desire, long for, or set their hearts on anything that belonged to anyone else.

Whereas several of the commandments prohibit certain actions, such as murder and theft, this is one of the commandments that addresses the inner person, his heart and mind. As James 1:15 tells us, the inner person is where sin originates and in this case, covetousness is the forerunner of all manner of sin, among them theft, burglary, and embezzlement. At its root, coveting is the result of envy, a sin which, once it takes root in the heart, leads to worse sins. Jesus reiterated this very thought in the Sermon on the Mount when He said that lust in the heart is every bit as sinful as committing adultery (Matthew 5:28). Envy goes beyond casting a longing glance at the neighbor’s new car. Once dwelled upon, envy of the neighbor’s possessions can turn to feelings of resentment and hatred for the neighbor himself. That can turn into resentment against God and questioning Him: “Why can’t I have what he has, Lord? Don’t you love me enough to give me what I want?”

God’s reasons for condemning covetousness are good ones. At its very core, envy is love of self. Envious, selfish citizens are unhappy and discontented citizens. A society built of such people is a weak one because envious malcontents, as stated before, will be more likely to commit crimes against one another, further weakening the societal structure. Furthermore, the New Testament identifies covetousness as a form of idolatry, a sin which God detests (Colossians 3:5). In the end, envy and covetousness are Satan’s tools to distract us from pursuing the only thing that will ever make us happy and content—God Himself. God’s Word tells us that “godliness with contentment is great gain” and that we should be content with the basic necessities of life (1 Timothy 6:6–8), because true happiness is not attained by things, but by a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. By this alone do we gain that which is worthy, true, solid, satisfying, and durable—the unsearchable riches of God’s grace.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Creation: What is Old Earth Creationism?

Old Earth Creationism is an umbrella term used to describe biblical creationists who deny that the universe was created within the last 6,000 to 10,000 years over the course of six consecutive 24-hour days. Rather, Old Earth Creationists believe that God created the universe and its inhabitants (including a literal Adam and Eve) over a much longer period of time than is allowed for by Young Earth Creationists. The list of notable Christian leaders who are at least open to an Old Earth interpretation is a long one and that list continues to grow. The list includes men such as Walter Kaiser, Norman Geisler, William Dembski, J.I. Packer, J.P. Moreland, Philip E. Johnson, and Chuck Colson, as well the late Francis Schaefer and Old Testament scholar Gleason Archer.

Old Earth Creationists usually agree with the mainstream scientific estimates of the age of the universe, humanity, and Earth itself while at the same time rejecting the claims of modern evolutionary theorists with respect to biological evolution. Old Earth Creationists and their Young Earth Creationist brothers hold several important points in common including:

1) The literal creation of the universe out of nothing a finite time ago (creation ex nihilo).

2) The literal creation of Adam out of the dust of the ground and Eve out of Adam’s side as well as the historicity of the Genesis account.

3) The rejection of the claim of Darwinists that random mutation and natural selection can adequately account for the complexity of life.

4) The rejection of the claim that God used the process of evolution to bring man to today (theistic evolution). Both Old Earth and New Earth Creationism categorically reject the theory of common ancestry.

However, Old Earth Creationists differ with Young Earth Creationists on the following:

1) The age of the universe. Young Earth Creationists believe that God created the universe 6,000–10,000 years ago. Old Earth Creationists place the creation event at approximately 13.7 billion years ago, thus being more in line with “mainstream” science, at least on this point.

2) The time of the creation of Adam and Eve. Young Earth Creationists place the creation of Adam no later than 10,000 years ago. Old Earth Creationists are varied on this point with estimates ranging somewhere between 30,000–70,000 thousand years ago.

The controversy between the two views of creationism hinges on the meaning of the Hebrew word yom, meaning “day.” Young Earth Creationists insist that the meaning of the word yom in the context of Genesis 1–2 is a 24-hour period of time. Old Earth Creationists disagree and believe that the word yom is being used to denote a much longer duration of time. Old Earth Creationists have used numerous biblical arguments to defend their view including the following:

1) Yom is used elsewhere in the Bible where it is referring to a long period of time, particularly Psalm 90:4 which is later cited by the apostle Peter: “A day (yom) is like a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8).

2) The seventh “day” is thousands of years long. Genesis 2:2–3 states that God rested on the seventh “day” (yom). Scripture teaches that we are certainly still in the seventh day; therefore, the word “day” could also be referring to a long period of time with reference to days one through six.

3) The word “day” in Genesis 1–2 is longer than 24 hours. Genesis 2:4 reads: “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven” (NASB). In this verse, “day” is referring to the first six days as a whole and thus has a more flexible meaning than merely a 24-hour period.

4) The sixth “day” is probably longer than 24 hours. Genesis 2:19 tells us that Adam observed and then catalogued every living animal on the earth. At face value, it does not appear that Adam could have completed such a monumental task in a mere 24-hour period.

To be sure, the issues dividing Young and Old Earth Creationists are both complex and significant. However, this issue should not be issued as a test for orthodoxy. There are godly men and women on both sides of this debate. In the final analysis, biblical creationists—both Young and Old Earth varieties—have a great deal in common and should work together to defend the historical reliability of the Genesis account.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

God Behind the Veil – His ways are hidden from ordinary eyes, but not from the eyes of faith.

I was sitting expectantly in the doctor’s office, waiting for the results of some tests. I had convinced myself that there was nothing wrong. At worst, it was a hernia; at best, a pulled muscle. The doctor finally entered, and he gave me the news: “I am sorry to tell you, we have found a large mass by your right kidney, and it looks cancerous.”

My stomach sank, my world spun, and I cried out to Jesus. Some further tests determined that I had a rare and deadly cancer for which there is no known treatment.

As a husband, a father of two young children, and a theologian, the news confronted me with the fact that life would change drastically. What would it be like for my kids to grow up without their dad? How would my wife handle all of this? Why would God allow this to happen to me, and where was God in the midst of this turmoil? As Christians, we all feel the gravity of life bearing down, and we all meet with trying circumstances that force such questions upon us.

Questions about God’s presence—and apparent absence—hearken back to what Christians have traditionally called God’s transcendence and immanence. Or, to use more biblical language, his apparent “veiled-ness” and “unveiled-ness.”

Theologian G. R. Lewis writes of God’s transcendence and immanence this way:

As transcendent, God is uniquely other than everything in creation. God’s distinctness from the being of the world has been implied in . . . discussions of God’s attributes metaphysically, intellectually, ethically, emotionally, and existentially. God is “hidden” relationally because [he is] so great in all these other ways. God’s being is eternal, the world’s temporal. God’s knowledge is total, human knowledge incomplete.
Lewis explains God’s “otherness” through a series of comparisons between the finite (human history and humans in general) and the infinite (God’s eternal nature and interior life). In other words, what we humans are not, God is. In his infinite life, God is above and beyond all that we are as finite beings.

Near and Far
But if God is transcendent—if his ways are unknowably above our own—how can we know him? Within the Christian tradition, several voices have spoken to this dilemma. A medieval Roman Catholic theologian, William of Ockham (1285–1349), is known for positing a “dualism” in God. By this, he meant that there are two ways to think of God and his presence among us. Ockham argued that God behaves one way in his “transcendent” life and another way in his “immanent” life (his activity in human history, primarily through the Incarnation). If God seems remote and secretive, that’s because he can act differently “way above yonder” than how he acts in revealing himself in Christ.

The problem with Ockham’s perspective is that it severs God’s transcendent life from his immanent life. As a result, Jesus Christ might not seem like the same God who has always lived in eternity. Dualistic thinking dissolves any necessary relation between the “veiled” God and the “unveiled” God in Christ. This introduces an element of anxiety for those who seek to know God: If God’s revelation in Christ does not truly represent God’s eternal nature, then sending Christ could have been an arbitrary gesture. God might well have reached out to humanity in a very different manner—or not reached out to humanity at all. And at any point in the future, he might act in an infinite number of unpredictable ways. If God’s activity in revealed time doesn’t reflect his eternal nature, we cannot be sure of Jesus’ words to doubting Thomas: “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:7).

About two centuries after Ockham, Martin Luther construed Ockham’s categories quite differently. The result was to bring God’s transcendence, his “hiddenness,” closer to God’s immanence—his revelation in Christ. Luther contended that God’s hiddenness, or transcendence, shapes his activity in his immanent, revealed life.

For Luther, the eyes and ears of faith give us contact to God’s transcendent life, which to ordinary eyes and ears remains hidden. As the prophet Isaiah said, ” ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, /neither are your ways my ways,’ / declares the Lord” (55:8). Because God’s ways are transcendent, his ways in his revealed life, in the life of Christ, remain hidden for those without faith. Only as we walk by faith and not by sight can we discern God’s transcendent ways through looking at the life of Jesus.

Luther writes in his Heidelberg Disputation that the true theologian “comprehends the visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross.” For Luther, the suffering endured at the cross of Christ shows that God, even in his transcendence, meets us where we are, in the midst of our own suffering. He meets us in the lowliness of the manger, in the indignities of earthly existence, and in the agony of the Cross. In all this suffering, we see the character of our transcendent God—driven by love and grace, full of mercy and compassion, and moved by an unfathomable care for humanity.

Thomas Torrance, the 20th-century Scottish theologian, took something implicit in Luther’s theology and made it explicit: There is no distinction between God’s transcendent life and his immanent life. So when we look at Jesus we actually see God on full display. We don’t have to wonder whether there might be a different God hiding up in eternity. Torrance wrote in this vein:

It belongs to the essence of the Gospel that God has come among us and become one with us in such a reconciling and miraculous way as to demolish the barriers of our creaturely distance and estrangement from him, and has spoken to us directly and intimately about himself in Jesus Christ his beloved Son. In him he has made himself known to us as God the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible, the one Lord and Saviour of mankind.
Thus, when we wonder what God is like in his transcendent, faraway life, we ought to realize, according to Torrance, that he is exactly the same God we encounter in the face of Jesus Christ.

We Don’t Have to Go Anywhere
Having looked at the mystery of immanence and transcendence through the eyes of some major theologians, how best to move forward? What can we say about moments in life when suffering and doubt overwhelm us, the moments when God seems absent?

I suggest we constructively combine some of Luther with all of Torrance. Both men understood that because God is love in his transcendent, inner life, he comes down to us in his immanent, revealed life. Therefore, God is the same God in eternity as he is in the realm of human history. And because God is love, he meets us right where we are, in our suffering squalor. He meets us as the suffering servant, obedient to the point of death on the cross. We don’t have to go anywhere to relate to a God like this.

When I found out I had cancer, I didn’t know the answers to my most immediate questions. But God reminded me, as he wants to remind all of us, that he is not a God far away, but a God who has come near to us and dwelt within the very circumstances of our lives. He wants us to trust him with eyes of faith, believing that he reveals himself redemptively in our darkest hours and deepest longings. His ways remain hidden to those without faith, but those with faith see the glory of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. When you see Jesus, you see the invisible God made visible. So look to Jesus.

Bobby Grow is coeditor of Evangelical Calvinism: Essays Resourcing the Continuing Reformation of the Church (Pickwick Publications). He blogs at The Evangelical Calvinist.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/channel/utilities/print.html?type=article&id=103888

Taking ‘Jesus’ for a Test Drive

Though it happened several years ago, it is difficult to forget the moment when Rick Warren, appearing on Hannity & Colmes, told Alan Colmes to just “try Jesus for 60 days.” It is not known if Colmes ever took Warren up on his offer, but here is a thought to ponder: Satan would love it if men would just “try Jesus” for a brief period of time. Why? Because the “Jesus” being taken for a test drive is not the Jesus of the Bible. So even if men grow fond of this “Jesus” and decide they want to keep him, one day they will discover that the true Jesus never knew them (Matt. 7:21–23).

It is a harsh thought, to be sure, but it must necessarily be true. Those who teach such a false Jesus are those who demonstrate that they do not understand the Gospel. And if they do, then they have deliberately chosen to reject and undermine it in favor of a more worldly and lucrative one. These so-called Bible teachers would have one believe that Jesus humbled Himself, became a man, lived a perfect, sinless life, died as the perfect, atoning sacrifice for men’s sins and rose again three days later so that men could then experience a more comfortable life while on this earth. They would have their hearers believe that Jesus has come so that, when they “give Him a try,” He may improve their finances, their sex lives, their friendships, their health. But the men and women who teach these things lie and place themselves in great eternal danger. Jesus never promised men their best life now. In fact, in His Word, those who have been saved are promised exactly the opposite:

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/05/taking-jesus-for-test-drive.html

Congressman: IRS asked pro-life group about ‘the content of their prayers’

During a House Ways and Means Committee hearing today, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., grilled outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the IRS targeting a pro-life group in Iowa.

“Their question, specifically asked from the IRS to the Coalition for Life of Iowa: ‘Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers,’” Schock declared.

“Would that be an inappropriate question to a 501 c3 applicant?” asked Schock. “The content of one’s prayers?”

http://washingtonexaminer.com/congressman-irs-asked-pro-life-group-about-the-content-of-their-prayers/article/2529924

Mary of Rome: Queen of All Nations?

Our Blessed Mother: Honoring the Virgin Mary in May

The Queen of Heaven is so revered for her relationship with Christ and her love and guidance of her earthly children, the Catholic Church has dedicated the month of May in her honor.

http://watcherslamp.blogspot.com/2013/05/mary-of-rome-queen-of-all-nations.html

Praise Radio DJ Blasts Prosperity Preachers in Beyonce ‘Irreplaceable’ Spoof

Following on the heels of Christian rapper Shai Linne taking prosperity preachers to task, Atlanta radio personality Darlene McCoy has released a parody of Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable,” highlighting the questionable behavior of pastors who fleece their flocks.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/praise-radio-dj-blasts-prosperity-preachers-in-beyonce-irreplaceable-spoof-96131/

Is the God of Christianity and Islam the same God?

No, the God of Islam is not the same as the God of Christianity. In Christianity, God is a Trinity but in Islam, God is not a Trinity. It is not possible to have God be a Trinity and also not a Trinity at the same time.  Furthermore, because Islam denies the Trinity (that there is one God who is comprised of three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), it means that Jesus is not the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity. Therefore, in Islam Jesus is not God in flesh  (Surah 4:172; 5:73; 9:30) where in Christianity he is (John 1:1,14; Col. 2:9).  In Christianiity, Jesus was  crucified, but in Islam he was not (Surah 4:158).  This is another irreconciliable difference between Islam and Christianity regarding God  and who Christ is.  In addition, Islam says that the Helper (the paraclete in Greek), is Muhammed, where the Bible says that the Helper is the Holy Spirit  (John 14:26).  So, The God of Islam and the God of Christianity are not the same thing.

However, we also need to point out a gross error on the part of Roman Catholicism regarding this issue.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says  in paragraph 841, “The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”   The Roman Catholic church is wrong.  Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God.

http://carm.org/god-islam-christianity-same