Daily Archives: September 20, 2013

Music Video: Revelation Song – Philips, Craig & Dean

Worthy is the,
Lamb who was slain
Holy, Holy, is He
Sing a new song, to Him who sits on
Heaven’s Mercy Seat
[Repeat 2x]

(Chorus)
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I will adore You!
Yeah!

Clothed in rainbows, of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and
Glory and power be
To You the Only Wise King,
Yeah

(Chorus)
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I – will – adore You!
Yeah!

Filled with wonder,
Awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your Name

Jesus, Your Name is Power
Breath, and Living Water
Such a marvelous mystery
Yeah…

(Chorus)
Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come, yeah
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I – will – adore You!

Holy, Holy, Holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Who was, and is, and is to come,
With all creation I sing:
Praise to the King of Kings!
You are my everything,
And I – will – adore YOU

(Chorus) (Repeat at a cappella)

Come up lift up His Name
To the King of Kings
We will adore YOU Lord
King of heaven and earth
King Jesus, King Jesus
Aleluya, aleluya, aleluya!
Majesty, awestruck Honor
And Power and Strength and Dominion
To You Lord,
To the King, to King
To the King of Glory

Putin positioning himself as new power player in the Mideast, but to what end? Will this ally of Iran & Syria become hostile to Israel?

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(Washington, D.C.) — The Russian Bear is back.

A growing number of journalists, political leaders, and foreign policy analysts are noting that Vladimir Putin is aggressively positioning himself as a new and increasingly influential force on the global stage generally, and in the Middle East, in particular.

Consider recent headlines:

Are such headlines warranted? I believe they are. The Russian leader had actually been fairly quiet over the last several years. But he is suddenly re-asserting himself in international affairs with a boldness and…

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Barna Study: 5 Reasons Millennials Stay Connected to Church

September 17, 2013 – Everyone has an opinion about why Millennials are leaving the church. It’s a controversial topic, one that Barna Group’s researchers have been examining for a decade.

The topic was reignited this summer when blogger and author Rachel Held Evans wrote a piece about why Millennials leave church. Her editorial struck a nerve, sparking response pieces all across the web and generating more than 100,000 social media reactions in the first week alone.

Yet whatever one’s personal view of the reasons behind Millennials staying or going, one thing is clear: the relationship between Millennials and the Church is shifting. Barna Group’s researchers have been examining Millennials’ faith development since the generation was in its teen years—that is, for about a decade. During that time, the firm has conducted 27,140 interviews with members of the Millennial generation in more than 200 studies.

And while Barna Group’s research has previously highlighted what’s not working to keep Millennials at church, the research also illuminates what is working—and what churches can do to engage these young adults.

The Harsh Realities of Millennial Faith

But first, the concerns of Millennials leaving the Church must be understood.

Parents and leaders have long been concerned about the faith development of the generation born between 1984 and 2002—and for good reason. First, Barna research shows nearly six in ten (59%) of these young people who grow up in Christian churches end up walking away from either their faith or from the institutional church at some point in their first decade of adult life. Second, the unchurched segment among Millennials has increased in the last decade, from 44% to 52%, mirroring a larger cultural trend away from churchgoing among the nation’s population.

Third, when asked what has helped their faith grow, “church” does not make even the top 10 factors. Instead, the most common drivers of spiritual growth, as identified by Millennials themselves, are prayer, family and friends, the Bible, having children, and their relationship with Jesus.

Culture: Acceleration and Complexity

Still, not all is doom and gloom when it comes to faith among Millennials. In contrast to the widespread religious disillusionment marked among so many of their peers, millions of Christian Millennials remain deeply committed and active in their faith.

About one-quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds are practicing Christians, meaning they attend church at least once a month and strongly affirm that their religious faith is very important in their life. A majority of Millennials claim to pray each week, one-quarter say they’ve read the Bible or attended a religious small group this week, and one in seven have volunteered at a church in the past seven days.

These spiritual practices are notable, says David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, because the broader cultural trends have not been particularly friendly to faith.

“Millennials are rethinking most of the institutions that arbitrate life, from marriage and media, to government and church,” says Kinnaman, the author of You Lost Me and unChristian who has spent the last 20 months speaking nationally about the challenges facing today’s Millennials. “They have grown up in a culture and among peers who are often neutral or resistant to the gospel. And life feels accelerated compared with 15 years ago—the ubiquity of information makes it harder for many to find meaning in institutions that feel out of step with the times. Millennials often describe church, for instance, as ‘not relevant’ or say that attending worship services ‘feels like a boring duty.’

“Furthermore, many young Americans say life seems complicated—that it’s hard to know how to live with the onslaught of information, worldviews and options they are faced with every day. One of the specific criticisms young adults frequently make about Christianity is that it does not offer deep, thoughtful or challenging answers to life in a complex culture.”

But this criticism is also a sign of hope, Kinnaman suggests, since it means Millennials are craving depth—a need the Church is uniquely poised to meet. In this respect, the research points to five ways faith communities can build deeper, more lasting connections with Millennials.

Read More Here: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/millennials/635-5-reasons-millennials-stay-connected-to-church.html

Searching for God

WhyJesus

[This article is part of a larger series on “Evidence for God.” Read here for more details.]

The search for God is a quest as old as human thought but the question remains; have we found him? Her? It? What would it look like to find God? How would we go about searching? What might get in our way? These are some of the questions I want to ponder in this article, and I will do so by way of a philosophical parable.

Two scientists, Dr. Alpha and Dr. Zulu, boarded a spacecraft and flew to another planet in search of life. This is what unfolded…

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What the Bible Says About Government

What the Bible Says About GovernmentThe United States of America was born out of a debate about the size and scope of government.

The American colonies separated from England over the issue. They then ratified the United States Constitution only after lengthy deliberation about the role and scope of their new federal government. The first political parties built their platforms around the size and role of government.

This debate continues to define American politics and impacts the lives of individuals in many other countries as well. Clearly, it’s a controversial, multi-faceted issue.

Our perspective on government has massive implications. Laws, regulations, and taxes can impact the way we work, our freedom to trade, our ability to become entrepreneurs, and our ownership of private property. They impact our ability to build a flourishing society. It’s not an easy issue, but it’s certainly important.

What does the Bible say? Some argue that the Bible teaches limited government. Others maintain that the Bible teaches Marxism or socialism, or at least is consistent with big government of some sort. The Bible doesn’t give us an easy, one-verse answer, but it does provide us with some guidelines.

What are some considerations that can help us frame this debate and work towards a conclusion? In this series, we will look at four principles that give us context for this discussion…

Read More Here: http://blog.tifwe.org/bible-says-about-government/

Nail Mark Ministries: What Apologetics Must Never Become

What Apologetics Must Never BecomeI firmly hold that apologetics has a threefold purpose, namely, to defend, affirm and proclaim the gospel message and Christian worldview. As apologists we are about the ministry of shielding the faith from those who attack and attempt to destroy it and we do this by taking arguments against God, the Bible, Jesus, etc., and dismantling them and showing them to pose no credible threat to the truth of the Christian worldview (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). A byproduct of that defense is that it comforts and affirms the faith of believers who see that there are no sustainable objections against their faith which, in turn, bolsters their confidence.

Furthermore in equipping believers with apologetics, even prior to the need to defend their faith, we encourage Christians because they can see that they have really good reasons to believe that Christianity is true. Finally, apologetics actually is not all defensive but also has an offensive side as well. Apologetics is a powerful tool in thehands of an evangelist who presents the gospel and effectively answers questions and objections to the credibility of the Christian faith which leaves the person alone with Jesus, the gospel, and no more smoke screens (1 Peter 3:15).

Yes, I believe apologetics is powerful and vital to a healthy Christianity in this present day. But there is a form of pseudo-apologetics out there today which, I believe, is far more dangerous than any objection from a skeptic I’ve ever heard. This pseudo-apologetic methodology is that of making Christianity more palatable to the secular mind. Rather than defending the faith, defending the truth of the word of God, it instead twists and shapes Christianity into something that is more acceptable to the culture. It is the kind of approach that takes away the stumbling block and inserts a comfy pillow…

Read More Here: http://nailmark.net/1/post/2013/09/what-apologetics-must-never-become.html

Old Enough to Defend

Old Enough to DefendYou’ve probably heard that a majority of kids leave the church when they graduate from high school. Some say that the number is as high as 80%.

I don’t know how accurate that stat is, but it sounds about right. Whether it’s 80% or 8%, we should be alarmed that any kids leave the church after being nurtured by it for so long. Are the parents responsible? Is it the church’s job to ensure that the love for the church is so deep that they are compelled to continue the journey even after they are free to choose not to? Do we need to raise expectations for Bible knowledge? While I think the answer to these questions might be yes, I feel that there is one key ingredient that the church and parents often fail to add to a kid’s life.

It’s apologetics.

I’ve spoken to dozens of college students and singles over the years who have left the church. These are adults who truly knew what they believed. They could even quote scripture better than most pastors I know. What you believe is very important. However, what’s also important is being able to defend what you believe…

Read More Here: http://blog.lifeway.com/kidsministry101/2013/09/06/old-enough-to-defend/

A Charismatic Primer Part 7 – The Outreach Top 50 (#26-30)

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

Time for the seventh installment in this series (and my largest post, ever).  So far, we’ve looked at the New Apostolic Reformation, the Outreach Top 50 #1-5, the Outreach Top 50 #6-10, the Outreach Top 50 #11-15, the Outreach Top 50 #16-20, and the Outreach Top 50 #21-25.  We’ll now look at the Outreach Top 50 #26-30, which includes one church of interest, but it’s a whopper (and one I’ve put off looking at, in depth, for quite some time):

26.  First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indianna- Pastored by John Wilkerson.  Considering that these guys are a fundamental baptist church, I’d say that it’s a pretty safe bet that they’re cessationists.

27.  Potential Church of Cooper City, Florida – Pastored by Troy Gramling.  This church is a Southern Baptist church and their doctrinal statement is the Baptist Faith and Message…

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Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That (20 September 2013)

  • Ladies, here’s a little something you can buy for the man in your life. That is, if you want him to smell like Pope Francis.
  • Why men (and I daresay women too) have stopped singing in church.
  • You should subscribe to the No Compromise Radio mailing list. No, they didn’t pay me to say that.
  • See, this is why it’s not a good thing to be hearing voices in your head.
  • I’m linking to this because no one can pull off the phrase, “In spineless Giglio style. . .” quite like Carl Trueman.
  • Cindy Jacobs claims. . .well, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • “Immodesty is not limited to the exploitation of one’s visual qualities; it really encompasses in its scope every inordinate exploitation of self designed to accelerate personal celebrity. And it is a virus that infects us more deeply than any of us imagine.”
  • The Obama administration just needs to leave Hobby Lobby alone. Haven’t they seen some of the gaudy merchandise in that store? I think the employees have suffered enough. (For the record, I love Hobby Lobby.)
  • Now here’s a crazy corn maze for Packers fans.
  • Here’s a convicting sermon for the ladies (there’s principles in there for you too, men!).
  • Hunh. Now that’s not right. . .
  • Bill Maher and Bill Nye were criticizing creationism and creationists. I’m shocked. You know, in a ‘why would anyone be shocked about this?’ kind of way.
  • Pope Francis: ‘I am a sinner. Except for that whole ex cathedra thing. That’s when I flick on my infallible switch.’ Okay, I added those last two sentences. Does anyone else miss having a pope who just keeps quiet?
  • I love when Tom Chantry blogs. Here he offers one of the most complete treatments of ‘Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed’ that I’ve seen.
  • How should we interpret the Bible?

 

Source: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/09/this-n-that_3470.html

The Tithing Myth

I recall once visiting a church, and on that morning the pastor said, “If you  don’t tithe before you pay your electric bill, then you are sinning against  God.” As I eagerly awaited the Biblical evidence, not surprisingly he produced  none. On the contrary, a simple survey of Biblical passages on tithing shows  another conclusion entirely.

Read more: http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2013/09/the-tithing-myth.html

Wouldn’t a Loving God Make Sure Everyone Gets to Heaven? – J. Warner Wallace

The concept of Hell is daunting for many Christians. It’s not pleasant to think our unbelieving loved ones might spend eternity separated from God, regretting their decision forever. Several religious traditions seek to avoid the problem by offering a second chance to those who reject God’s gift of forgiveness. They envision a place where rebellious souls can, in the next life, reconsider their choice or earn their way toward heaven; the Catholic tradition offers “Purgatory” and Mormonism describes a “Spirit Prison”. Both seek to offer solutions to commonly asked questions: Wouldn’t a Loving God love all of His creation? Wouldn’t He make sure everyone goes to Heaven (regardless of what they might believe in this life)? A loving God would never limit Heaven to a select few and allow billions of people to suffer in Hell, would He?

Read More Here: http://www.christianity.com/blogs/j-warner-wallace/wouldnt-a-loving-god-make-sure-everyone-gets-to-heaven.html

Ligonier Ministries Blog: Jesus Christ: Our Prophet, Priest, and King

As powerful as sin is, the blood of Christ is more powerful still. In Christ, the chains of our captivity have been broken, and the light of His grace has shone the way of freedom. But how has He freed us? Christ has secured our freedom because, in the shedding of His blood, He operated in the divinely ordained munus triplex, the threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King. This is why He is called “the faithful witness” (as Prophet); “the firstborn of the dead” (as Priest); and “the ruler of kings on earth” (as King) in Revelation 1:5. In the threefold office of Christ, we are granted our freedom from sin.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/jesus-christ-our-prophet-priest-and-king/

Characters in the Bible: What Should We Learn from the Life of Peter?

Simon Peter was one of the first followers of Jesus Christ. He was an outspoken and ardent disciple, one of Jesus’ closest friends, an apostle, and a “pillar” of the church (Galatians 2:9). Peter was enthusiastic, strong-willed, impulsive, and, at times, brash. But for all his strengths, Peter had several failings in his life. Still, the Lord who chose him continued to mold him into exactly who He intended Peter to be.

Simon was originally from Bethsaida (John 1:44) and lived in Capernaum (Mark 1:29), both cities on the coast of the Sea of Galilee. He was married (1 Corinthians 9:5), and he and James and John were partners in a profitable fishing business (Luke 5:10). Simon met Jesus through his brother Andrew, who had followed Jesus after hearing John the Baptist proclaim that Jesus was the Lamb of God (John 1:35–36). Andrew immediately went to find his brother to bring him to Jesus. Upon meeting Simon, Jesus gave him a new name: Cephas (Aramaic) or Peter (Greek), which means “rock” (John 1:40–42). Later, Jesus officially called Peter to follow Him, producing a miraculous catch of fish (Luke 5:1–7). Immediately, Peter left everything behind to follow the Lord (verse 11).

For the next three years, Peter lived as a disciple of the Lord Jesus. Being a natural-born leader, Peter became the de facto spokesman for the Twelve (Matthew 15:15, 18:21, 19:27; Mark 11:21; Luke 8:45, 12:41; John 6:68, 13:6–9, 36). More significantly, it was Peter who first confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” a truth which Jesus said was divinely revealed to Peter (Matthew 16:16–17).

Peter was part of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples, along with James and John. Only those three were present when Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:37) and when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain (Matthew 17:1). Peter and John were given the special task of preparing the final Passover meal (Luke 22:8).

In several instances, Peter showed himself to be impetuous to the point of rashness. For example, it was Peter who left the boat to walk on the water to Jesus (Matthew 14:28–29)—and promptly took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink (verse 30). It was Peter who took Jesus aside to rebuke Him for speaking of His death (Matthew 16:22)—and was swiftly corrected by the Lord (verse 23). It was Peter who suggested erecting three tabernacles to honor Moses, Elijah, and Jesus (Matthew 17:4)—and fell to the ground in fearful silence at God’s glory (verses 5–6). It was Peter who drew his sword and attacked the servant of the high priest (John 18:10)—and was immediately told to sheath his weapon (verse 11). It was Peter who boasted that he would never forsake the Lord, even if everyone else did (Matthew 26:33)—and later denied three times that he even knew the Lord (verses 70–74).

Through all of Peter’s ups and downs, the Lord Jesus remained his loving Lord and faithful Guide. Jesus reaffirmed Simon as Peter, the “Rock,” in Matthew 16:18–19, promising that he would be instrumental in establishing Jesus’ Church. After His resurrection, Jesus specifically named Peter as one who needed to hear the good news (Mark 16:7). And, repeating the miracle of the large catch of fish, Jesus made a special point of forgiving and restoring Peter and re-commissioning him as an apostle (John 21:6, 15–17).

On the day of Pentecost, Peter was the main speaker to the crowd in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14ff), and the Church began with an influx of about 3,000 new believers (verse 41). Later, Peter healed a lame beggar (Acts 3) and preached boldly before the Sanhedrin (Acts 4). Even arrest, beatings, and threats could not dampen Peter’s resolve to preach the risen Christ (Acts 5).

Jesus’ promise that Peter would be foundational in building the Church was fulfilled in three stages: Peter preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Then, he was present when the Samaritans received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8). Finally, he was summoned to the home of the Roman centurion Cornelius, who also believed and received the Holy Spirit (Acts 10). In this way, Peter “unlocked” three different worlds and opened the door of the Church to Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles.

Even as an apostle, Peter experienced some growing pains. At first, he had resisted taking the gospel to Cornelius, a Gentile. However, when he saw the Romans receive the Holy Spirit in the same manner he had, Peter concluded that “God does not show favoritism” (Acts 10:34). After that, Peter strongly defended the Gentiles’ position as believers and was adamant that they did not need to conform to Jewish law (Acts 15:7–11).

Another episode of growth in Peter’s life concerns his visit to Antioch, where he enjoyed the fellowship of Gentile believers. However, when some legalistic Jews arrived in Antioch, Peter, to appease them, withdrew from the Gentile Christians. The Apostle Paul saw this as hypocrisy and called it such to Peter’s face (Galatians 2:11–14).

Later in life, Peter spent time with John Mark (1 Peter 5:13), who wrote the gospel of Mark based on Peter’s remembrances of his time with Jesus. Peter wrote two inspired epistles, 1 and 2 Peter, between A.D. 60 and 68. Jesus said that Peter would die a martyr’s death (John 21:18–19)—a prophecy fulfilled, presumably, during Nero’s reign. Tradition has it that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome, and, although such the story may be true, there is no scriptural or historical witness to the particulars of Peter’s death.

What can we learn from Peter’s life? Here are a few lessons:

Jesus overcomes fear. Whether stepping out of a boat onto a tossing sea or stepping across the threshold of a Gentile home for the first time, Peter found courage in following Christ. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).

Jesus forgives unfaithfulness. After he had boasted of his fidelity, Peter fervently denied the Lord three times. It seemed that Peter had burned his bridges, but Jesus lovingly rebuilt them and restored Peter to service. Peter was a former failure, but, with Jesus, failure is not the end. “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).

Jesus patiently teaches. Over and over, Peter needed correction, and the Lord gave it with patience, firmness, and love. The Master Teacher looks for students willing to learn. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go” (Psalm 32:8).

Jesus sees us as He intends us to be. The very first time they met, Jesus called Simon “Peter.” The rough and reckless fisherman was, in Jesus’ eyes, a firm and faithful rock. “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6).

Jesus uses unlikely heroes. Peter was a fisherman from Galilee, but Jesus called him to be a fisher of men (Luke 5:10). Because Peter was willing to leave all he had to follow Jesus, God used him in great ways. As Peter preached, people were amazed at his boldness because he was “unschooled” and “ordinary.” But then they took note that Peter “had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Being with Jesus makes all the difference.[1]

 


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

Questions about the Christian Life: What Does It Mean to Glorify God?

To “glorify” God means to give glory to Him. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated “glory” means “dignity, honor, praise and worship.” Putting the two together, we find that glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honored and worshipped. God’s glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence.

The question that comes to mind is if God has all the glory, which He does, how then do we “give Him” glory? How can we give God something which is His in the first place? The key is found in 1 Chronicles 16:28–29, “Ascribe to the LORD, O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength, ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” In this verse, we see two actions on our part that make up the action of glorifying God. First, we “ascribe” or give glory to Him because it is His due. No one else deserves the praise and worship that we give to glorify Him. Isaiah 42:8 confirms this: “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Second, we are to “bring an offering” to God as part of the worship that glorifies Him. What is the offering we bring to God to glorify Him?

The offering we bring to God as we come before Him in the splendor or beauty of His holiness involves agreement, obedience, submission, and rehearsing His attributes or extolling Him. Glorifying God begins with agreeing with everything He says, especially about Himself. In Isaiah 42:5, God declares, “I am the Lord God. I created the heavens like an open tent above. I made the earth and everything that grows on it. I am the source of life for all who live on this earth, so listen to what I say.” Because of who He is, holy and perfect and true, His proclamations and statutes are holy and perfect and true (Psalm 19:7), and we glorify Him by listening to and agreeing with them. God’s Word, the Bible, is His Word to us, all that we need for life in Him. Listening to and agreeing with Him, though, will not glorify Him unless we also submit to Him and obey the commands contained in His Word. “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts” (Psalm 103:17–18). Jesus reiterated the idea that glorifying and loving God are one and the same in John 14:15: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

We also glorify God by rehearsing His attributes and His deeds. Stephen, in his final sermon before he was killed for his faith, retold the story of God’s dealings with Israel from the time Abraham left his country in obedience to God’s command, all the way to the coming of Christ, the “Righteous One,” whom Israel betrayed and murdered. When we tell of God’s work in our lives, how He saved us from sin, and the marvelous works He does in our hearts and minds every day, we glorify Him before others. Even though others don’t always want to hear our glorifying God, He is more than pleased by it. The crowd who heard Stephen hated what he said, covering their ears and rushing at him to stone him. “But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).

To glorify God is to extol His attributes—His holiness, faithfulness, mercy, grace, love, majesty, sovereignty, power, and omniscience, to name a few—rehearsing them over and over in our minds and telling others about the singular nature of the salvation only He offers.[1]

 


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

Questions about Sin: Is Caffeine Addiction a Sin?

1 Corinthians 6:12 declares, “ ‘Everything is permissible for me’ ”—but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” The Bible nowhere mentions caffeine, so the subject of caffeine addiction is not directly addressed in the Bible. All that can be done is take biblical principles that apply to being addicted to anything, and then apply those truths to caffeine addiction. 1 Corinthians 6:12 is likely the most applicable scripture. While the context is dealing with sexual immorality, Paul’s words clearly go beyond sexual immorality when he says, “I will not be mastered by anything.”

Similar to gluttony, caffeine addiction is something that Christians are often hypocritical about. Christians are quick to condemn addiction to alcohol and tobacco, but tend to ignore other more “socially acceptable” addictions such as over-eating and caffeine. Alcohol clearly can have more dangerous effects on behavior and can be harmful to health when abused. Tobacco is harmful to health in even small quantities. In comparison, caffeine might not seem so bad, but “it’s not as bad as …” is not something Christians should live by. Rather, Christians should live by “Is it right? Is it honoring to God?”

Caffeine, in reasonable quantities, is neither overly harmful to health nor addicting. Caffeine, in excessive quantities, is both harmful to heath and addicting. Is it wrong to have a cup of coffee in the morning to help yourself wake up? No, of course not. Is it wrong to be so hopelessly dependent on coffee that you cannot function in the morning until you have had your cup(s) of coffee? According to 1 Corinthians 6:12, the answer has to be yes. We should not be addicted to anything. We should not allow ourselves to become mastered/controlled/enslaved by anything. This surely includes caffeine. When consumed in moderation, caffeine is not a sin. When one is addicted to and dependent on caffeine, that is when it becomes a spiritual issue, and a sin that needs to be overcome.[1]

 


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

Jesus Calling By Sarah Young: W.U.I. (Writing Under the Influence)

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and other similar books by her, have multiplied themselves into a publishing empire with offerings of Jesus Calling books for teens and for children, calendars, special editions, accompanying journals, a Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, and even a Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.

This is not a conventional review of the book or her story, nor is the purpose to analyze the whole content. Although several troubling areas are addressed, this paper is a response primarily to two issues:

1) The claims made by Young regarding what she wrote and the alleged words spoken to her by Jesus; and

2) Young’s admission that a primary influence on her was the book, God Calling, by “Two Listeners.” Due to Young’s admiration for and admitted inspiration from this latter book, it will also be examined.

Read More Here

K. Scott Oliphint message: If God is Good, Why is there Suffering and Evil?

The Domain for Truth

Scott Oliphint apologist

I think 2013 has been a very productive year for Dr. K. Scott Oliphint, Professor of Apologetics and Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary; he has done many interviews, written several articles for a general Christian audience and released a book after publishing another book previously last year.  Dr. Oliphint is definitely on a roll!

Last week Dr. Oliphint ministered at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Tampa, Florida.  He was a speaker for the church’s “Conversations that Matter” Series on the topic “If God is Good, Why is there Suffering and Evil?”

The Hour Long message can be seen here:

Enjoy!

 

 

[HT: Westminster]

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Personal Holiness

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

Beth. How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have told of All the ordinances of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. 16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word.  (Psalms 119:9-16 NASB)

The concept that God would somehow be satisfied with those who call themselves Christians, but who live their lives totally apart from Him, should be very strange to believers. The idea that the Lord is only after converts who say a quick sinner’s prayer, but never…

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