From the liberal Huffington Post, of all places.
First, here’s the list of skills for women to develop to avoid divorce:
- Skill #1: Do at Least Three Things a Day for Your Own Pleasure
- Skill #2: Relinquish Control of People You Can’t Control
- Skill #3: Receive Gifts, Compliments and Help Graciously
- Skill #4: Respect The Man You Chose
- Skill #5: Express Gratitude Three Times Daily
- Skill #6: Strive to be Vulnerable
And here’s the detail on one that I think is the most important:
Skill #4: Respect The Man You Chose
Being respectful will resurrect the man you fell in love with. You’re too smart to have married a dumb guy, so if he seems dumb now, it’s because you’re focused on his shortcomings. It’s not that you made a mistake in marrying him, it’s that you’ve been focused on his mistakes since you married him. A man who…
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to which one can only respond
I suppose that in the world of the ‘celebrity’ pastor, if one isn’t a member of the circle of unjustifiably infamous one is easily demarcated a ‘plebian’. And the sorriest aspect of all this is that Piper thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to use such language AND his many tragically ignorant followers think likewise.
Oh and by the way, if he didn’t mean to denigrate the ‘plebes’ and is instead simply deriding Driscoll’s arrogance, then he easily could have placed ‘plebes’ in scare quotes and his meaning wouldn’t have been at all ambiguous.
I am constantly amazed that people like Warren and Beth Moore and Piper and Driscoll and Hinn and the rest of them have so many adherents- until I remember:
Ἔσται γὰρ καιρὸς ὅτε τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας οὐκ ἀνέξονται ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας ἐπιθυμίας ἑαυτοῖς ἐπισωρεύσουσιν διδασκάλους κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοὴν. καὶ ἀπὸ μὲν…
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Controversy is stirring over recent comments made by Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life and megachurch leader of Saddleback Church in California, who stated that homosexual behavior “might be” sinful, and that he believes homosexuals go to Heaven.
Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power.
I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness. Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my…
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If a pastor ever tells you that asking questions about an elder leaving is a sin, well, you might want to think about looking for another church. This is how cult leaders talk. Cult leaders demand blind obedience and will try to tell you that asking questions about leadership matters is sinful. Sometimes they do this harshly, but sometimes they do this with a very winsome, humble appearance.
The sort of dating relationships that are seen today aren’t mentioned in the Bible. Marriage and betrothal are the only types of romantic relationships seen in Scripture. What this means is that a Christian girlfriend should be, first and foremost, a potential marriage partner. A Christian man should be seeking a woman to spend his life with, not just someone to have fun with. If a man is not ready to get married, he should not be pursuing a Christian girlfriend.
As a man looks for a girlfriend, the most important quality she must possess (as his potential future wife and a person who will have a great deal of influence in his life) is salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, and a life lived in obedience to Him. In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul tells us not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. If a woman does not have faith in Jesus Christ, a Christian man would be foolish to consider her as a girlfriend and/or as a wife.
That said, just because a woman is a Christian, she is not necessarily a perfect match for any Christian man. It is important to factor in other aspects of being “equally yoked.” For example, similar spiritual goals, doctrinal beliefs and outlook on life are all extremely important considerations. In addition, it is wise to think through more practical things like energy level, common interests, and expectations about family and lifestyle. Many men marry women based on emotional or physical attraction alone, and that can lead to disaster.
The Bible provides some guidelines about the kind of character a man should look for in a Christian girlfriend. A Christian woman will exhibit a spirit of submission to the Lord. The Apostle Paul tells wives they are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:22–24). If she is not able to submit to the Lord, she will likely not see the value of submitting to her husband when that time comes. It is important to remember that the character of submission is a spiritual quality, not a personality trait. A sweet personality does not necessarily correspond to a submissive spirit, and neither does an energetic or strong-willed personality necessarily correspond to a willful spirit. A woman will be submissive to the degree she is influenced by God’s Spirit, and she will be influenced by His Spirit to the degree that she loves Him and spends time in His Word.
A Christian woman should benefit and bless her husband. She is to be his helper, according to the earliest biblical precedent set for Adam and Eve. She should be a fit helper for his mission and call. If he is called to be a pastor or a missionary, for example, he should look for a Christian girlfriend who feels the same call. If he feels a strong desire for a large family, he should find a woman who feels the same way. But most of all, according to the call put on all of us to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), a man should choose a woman who will help, and not hinder him in this regard. She should exhibit a commitment to prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16), encouragement (1 Thessalonians 5:11), serving others (Hebrews 6:10) and the wisdom that comes from knowing God’s Word (Colossians 3:16). This is the kind of woman that will be truly helpful to a Christian man.
The Parable of the Sower (also known as the Parable of the Four Soils) is found in Matthew 13:3–9; Mark 4:2–9; and Luke 8:4–8. After presenting this parable to the multitude, Jesus interprets it for His disciples in Matthew 13:18–23; Mark 4:13–20; and Luke 8:11–15.
The Parable of the Sower concerns a sower who scatters seed, which falls on four different types of ground. The hard ground “by the way side” prevents the seed from sprouting at all, and the seed becomes nothing more than bird food. The stony ground provides enough soil for the seeds to germinate and begin to grow, but because there is “no deepness of earth,” the plants do not take root and are soon withered in the sun. The thorny ground allows the seed to grow, but the competing thorns choke the life out of the beneficial plants. The good ground receives the seed and produces much fruit.
Jesus’ explanation of the Parable of the Sower highlights four different responses to the gospel. The seed is “the word of the kingdom.” The hard ground represents someone who is hardened by sin; he hears but does not understand the Word, and Satan plucks the message away, keeping the heart dull and preventing the Word from making an impression. The stony ground pictures a man who professes delight with the Word; however, his heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, his so-called faith quickly disappears. The thorny ground depicts one who seems to receive the Word, but whose heart is full of riches, pleasures, and lusts; the things of this world take his time and attention away from the Word, and he ends up having no time for it. The good ground portrays the one who hears, understands, and receives the Word—and then allows the Word to accomplish its result in his life. The man represented by the “good ground” is the only one of the four who is truly saved, because salvation’s proof is fruit (Matthew 3:7–8; 7:15–20).
To summarize the point of the Parable of the Sower: “A man’s reception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of his heart.” A secondary lesson would be “Salvation is more than a superficial, albeit joyful, hearing of the gospel. Someone who is truly saved will go on to prove it.” May our faith and our lives exemplify the “good soil” in the Parable of the Sower.
Our knowledge of the original text of the Bible comes from ancient hand-written manuscripts. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in Greek. No one has the original articles, but thousands of ancient copies have been discovered. Since these copies are hand-written, there are variations in spelling, word order, and sentence structure between them. Even though those variations do cause some confusion about the biblical text, most of the manuscript readings are in agreement. Out of about 500 pages in the Greek New Testament, the manuscript variations represent only about half of a page.
The majority of ancient manuscripts contain only small portions of the biblical text, like a book or a portion of a book. Among these manuscripts there are papyrus fragments, which are the remains of the most ancient scrolls, and typically represent only a few pages of text. These papyrus fragments have all been discovered during modern archeological digs. Another group of manuscripts is the Uncials, which use all capital letters, and are written on parchment or vellum, which is a smoother writing surface than papyrus, and allows for curved letters. The Uncial manuscripts were written between the 3rd and 8th centuries, and were often bound as pages in a book, or Codex, rather than a scroll. A few of these ancient Codices have survived intact, giving us a solid view of the Bible used by the ancient church.
Two of the oldest complete (or nearly complete) manuscripts are the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. They are both written on parchment, and have a large number of corrections written over the original text.
Codex Sinaiticus, also known as “Aleph,” (the Hebrew letter א) was found by Count Tischendorf in 1859 at the Monastery of St Catherine on Mount Sinai. Portions of the manuscript were found in the monastery dump, and a larger portion was presented to Tischendorf by one of the monks. It is a large codex, with 400 pages (or leaves) comprising about half of the Old Testament in the Septuagint version and the full New Testament. It has been dated to the second half of the 4th century, and has been highly valued by Bible scholars in their efforts to reconstruct the original biblical text. Sinaiticus has heavily influenced the translation work of modern Bible versions. Though it is considered by some scholars to represent an original form of the text, it is also recognized as the most heavily corrected early New Testament manuscript.
Codex Vaticanus, also known as “B,” was found in the Vatican library. It is comprised of 759 leaves, and has almost all of the Old and New Testaments. It is not known when it arrived at the Vatican, but it was included in a catalog listing in 1475, and it is dated to the middle of the 4th century. Vaticanus was first used as a source document by Erasmus in his work on the “Textus Receptus.” Because he viewed the text of Vaticanus to be erratic, he seldom followed it when it differed from other Greek texts.
There are varying theories on how these ancient texts should be viewed by modern scholars. On one hand, some believe that the most ancient reading should be followed, as it is closest in time to the original. On the other hand, some believe that the majority should rule. Since there are thousands of ancient manuscripts, they believe we should give precedence to the reading that is represented by the most documents. One issue that is sometimes raised against the majority viewpoint is that many of those documents were written very late (9th-15th century). The answer to this is that many of the early papyrus fragments support the majority reading. Additionally, the question has been raised, “If Vaticanus and Sinaiticus represent the original reading of the text, why are there so few manuscripts that follow their lead?” If they were valued by the early church, you would expect to find many copies made from them, covering a wide period of history. What we actually find is a few early manuscripts which agree with them, but then a disappearance of that text type as we progress through history.
There is much to be learned from examining these and other ancient texts, and they should continue to be highly valued by scholars. While there may be differences in opinion as to how they are to be used, one thing is certain—even with their textual variations, they show us that God has preserved His Word through the ages. We may debate the particular wording in a few passages, but the fact remains that over 90 percent of the New Testament text is unanimously supported by all the ancient manuscripts. In those passages where the proper reading is disputed, there is no major doctrinal change, and we can rest assured that we have the accurate revealed will of God passed down to us.
When QE1 ended there was a substantial stock market correction, and when QE2 ended there was a substantial stock market correction. And if you will remember, the financial markets threw a massive hissy fit a few months ago when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed may soon start tapering QE3. Clearly Wall Street does not like it when their supply of monetary heroin is interrupted. The Federal Reserve has tricked the American people into supporting quantitative easing by insisting that it is about “stimulating the economy”, but that has turned out to be a massive hoax. In fact, I just wrote an article that contained 37 statistics that prove that things just keep getting even worse for ordinary Americans. But quantitative easing has been exceptionally good for Wall Street. During QE1, the S&P 500 rose by about 300 points. During QE2, the S&P 500 rose by about 200 points. And during QE3, the S&P 500 has risen by about 400 points. The S&P 500 is now in unprecedented territory, and stock prices have become completely and totally divorced from reality. In essence, we are in the midst of the largest financial bubble this nation has ever seen. So what is going to happen when the Fed starts pulling back the monetary crack and the bubble bursts? (Read More….)
In his latest Blog Essay, “A Moral Revolution at Warp Speed—Now, It’s Wedding Cakes,” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses the recent ruling in Denver ordering a Christian baker to make cakes for same-sex weddings.
Does the request to make a cake for a same-sex wedding legally obligate a Christian baker to encourage what he believes to be sin? Administrative Law Judge Robert N. Spence has said yes, ordering Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop to, “Cease and desist from discriminating against . . . same-sex couples by refusing to sell them wedding cakes . . .”
Go to Dr. Mohler’s post for his commentary on this latest example—that will not be the last—of religious liberty being pushed aside by the “massive momentum of the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.”
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1).
Today’s Wednesday’s Word is taken from my Christmas sermon on Isaiah 59. To listen to the full message or to download the free Advent devotional, visit http://www.paultripp.com/advent.
At the time this prophecy was written, Israel was suffering big time. You could argue that it was one of the darkest moments in the history of their nation. The children of God were in captivity in Babylon, and they came back to a decimated Jerusalem. It was a huge mess.
We don’t read this directly, but we know that Israel accused God of being absent during this period of trouble. We can infer that they accused God of two things: 1) being powerless to help them in their time of need and 2) being ignorant to their cries for help. Isaiah 59:1 documents the Lord responding to these charges through his prophet.
by Mike Ratliff
12 ζων γαρ ο λογος του θεου και ενεργης και τομωτερος υπερ πασαν μαχαιραν διστομον και διικνουμενος αχρι μερισμου ψυχης τε και πνευματος αρμων τε και μυελων και κριτικος ενθυμησεων και εννοιων καρδιας 13 και ουκ εστιν κτισις αφανης ενωπιον αυτου παντα δε γυμνα και τετραχηλισμενα τοις οφθαλμοις αυτου προς ον ημιν ο λογος. (Hebrews 4:12-13 Textus Receptus)
12 Ζῶν γὰρ ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐνεργὴς καὶ τομώτερος ὑπὲρ πᾶσαν μάχαιραν δίστομον καὶ διϊκνούμενος ἄχρι μερισμοῦ ψυχῆς καὶ πνεύματος, ἁρμῶν τε καὶ μυελῶν, καὶ κριτικὸς ἐνθυμήσεων καὶ ἐννοιῶν καρδίας· 13 καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν κτίσις ἀφανὴς ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, πάντα δὲ γυμνὰ καὶ τετραχηλισμένα τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτοῦ, πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος. (Hebrews 4:12-13 NA28)
12 For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than every doubled-edged sword and penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, both of joints and marrow, and…
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