Daily Archives: February 26, 2014

Counseling Related Questions: What Does the Bible Say about Conflict Resolution?

 

Conflict resolution in the body of Christ is crucial for several reasons. Avoidance of conflict, with no effort to resolve it, postpones a proper response and exacerbates the problem because conflicts that are allowed to fester unaddressed will always increase and have negative effects on relationships within the body. The goal of conflict resolution is unity, and unity in the church poses a threat to the devil who will use every opportunity to take advantage of unresolved issues, especially those involving anger, bitterness, self-pity and envy. These emotions are the basis for most church conflicts. Scripture tells us that we’re to “let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from [us], along with all malice” (Ephesians 4:31). Failure to do this results in division in the body of Christ and grief to the Holy Spirit. We’re also told that we’re not to allow a “root of bitterness” to spring up among us, leading to trouble and defilement (Hebrews 12:15). Clearly, a biblical method of conflict resolution is needed.

Although the verses cited in the first paragraph are the two places that expressly deal with conflict resolution, every letter in the New Testament contains at least one command to believers to live at peace with one another. We are repeatedly instructed to love one another (John 13:34; Romans 12:10), to live in peace and harmony with one another (Romans 15:5; Hebrews 12:14), to settle our differences among ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:11), to be patient, kind and tenderhearted toward one another (1 Corinthians 13:4), to consider others before ourselves (Philippians 2:3), to bear one another’s burdens (Ephesians 4:2), and to rejoice in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6). Conflict is the antithesis of Christian behavior as outlined in Scripture.

There are times when, despite all efforts to reconcile, sin issues prevent us from resolving conflict in the church. There are two places in the New Testament that clearly and unambiguously address conflict resolution where sin is involved. In Matthew 18:15–17, Jesus gives the steps for dealing with a sinning brother. According to this passage, in the event of conflict involving overt sin, we are to address it one-on-one first, then if still unresolved it should be taken to a small group, and finally before the whole church if the problem still remains.

The other passage where this is addressed explicitly is Luke 17. In verses 3–4, Jesus says, “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” An essential part of conflict resolution, according to this passage, is forgiveness. Any kind of disciplinary procedure should always have restoration of the sinning person as the ultimate goal.

The reason conflict resolution is so difficult is that we’re hesitant to place ourselves in uncomfortable situations. We’re also frequently unwilling to humble ourselves enough to admit that we might be wrong or to do what it might take to make amends if we are wrong. Those who do this best are often those who would prefer not to talk to others about their sin, but will do so out of obedience to God. If the matter is relatively minor, it may be that the best thing to do is to overlook the offense (Proverbs 19:11). If it cannot be overlooked, one must pursue reconciliation. This is such an important issue to God that peace with Him and peace with others are inextricably entwined. We cannot know peace with God unless we are at peace with one another, and we cannot truly know peace with others unless we are at peace with God.[1]

 


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

Bible Commentary: What Should We Learn from Psalm 119?

 

Containing 176 verses, Psalm 119 is the longest single chapter in the Bible. The author of Psalm 119 is unknown, but most scholars agree that it was written either by David, Ezra or Daniel. Each of these proposed authors suffered serious difficulties in their lives, and the author of Psalm 119 reflects that in descriptions of plots, slanders and taunts against him (v. 23, 42, 51, 150), persecutions (v. 61, 86, 95, 110, 121, 134, 157, 161), and afflictions (v. 67, 71, 143, 153). The persecution and affliction of the man (and woman) of God is a major theme of Psalm 119.

Another prominent theme in Psalm 119 is the profound truth that the Word of God is all-sufficient. Psalm 119 is an expansion of Psalm 19:7–9: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.” There are eight different terms referring to the Word of God throughout the psalm: law, testimonies, precepts, statues, commandments, judgments, word, and ordinances. Psalm 119 affirms not only the character of the Scriptures, but it affirms that God’s Word reflects the very character of God Himself. Notice these attributes of God ascribed to Scripture in Psalm 119:

1. Righteousness (vv. 7, 62, 75, 106, 123, 138, 144, 160, 164, 172)
2. Trustworthy (v. 42)
3. True (vv. 43, 142, 151, 160)
4. Faithful (v. 86)
5. Unchangeable (v. 89)
6. Eternal (vv. 90, 152)
7. Light (v. 105)
8. Pure (v. 140)

The format of Psalm 119 is an acrostic, meaning that the first letters of each line in Hebrew follow through the alphabet, 8 lines per letter, thus 8 lines x 22 letters = 176 lines. One message of this psalm is that we are to live a lifestyle that demonstrates obedience to Jehovah, who is a God of order (hence the acrostic structure), not of chaos.

The psalm opens with two beatitudes. “Blessed” are those whose ways are blameless, who live according to God’s law, who keep His statutes and seek Him with all their heart. The author of the psalm is a man who has known great trouble in his life, but also a man who has come through it with a deep and passionate understanding of God’s unfailing love and compassion (Psalm 119:75–77). Throughout his affliction, the author clings to the truths he learns from the Scriptures which are eternal and “stand firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89–91). His love for the Word of God and his dedication to remember it and live by it is a theme that is repeated over and over (vv. 11, 15–16, 24, 34, 44, 47, 55, 60, etc.)

These are the lessons for us in this great psalm. The Word of God is sufficient to make us wise, train us in righteousness, and equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15–17). The Scriptures are a reflection of God’s nature and from them we learn that we can trust His character and His plan and purposes for mankind, even when those plans include affliction and persecution. Blessed indeed are we if our delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law we meditate day and night (Psalm 1:2).[1]

 


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

Bible Translations: What is the Amplified Bible (AMP)?

 

Amplified Bible—History
The Amplified Bible was the first Bible project of The Lockman Foundation, in conjunction with Zondervan. The first full edition of the Amplified Bible was published in 1965. It is largely a revision of the American Standard Version of 1901, with reference made to various texts in the original languages. The Amplified Bible was published in six stages: Gospel of John (1954); New Testament (1958); Old Testament Volume Two (Job-Malachi) (1962); Old Testament Volume One (Genesis-Esther) (1964); Complete Bible (1965); Updated Edition (1987).

Amplified Bible—Translation method
The Amplified Bible attempts to take both word meaning and context into account in order to accurately translate the original text from one language into another. The Amplified Bible does this through the use of explanatory alternate readings and amplifications to assist the reader in understanding what Scripture really says. Multiple English word equivalents to each key Hebrew and Greek word clarify and amplify meanings that may otherwise have been concealed by the traditional translation method.

Amplified Bible—Pro’s and Con’s
The Amplified Bible can be a valuable study tool, as the different “alternate” renderings can give additional insight into the meaning of a text. The problem is the words the AMP gives alternate renderings for CAN mean those things, but do not mean ALL of those things. The fact that a word can have different meanings does not mean that every possible meaning is a valid rendering each time the word occurs. Also, it being based on the American Standard Version results in some of its wordings sounding archaic.

Amplified Bible—Sample Verses John 1:1, 14—“In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth.”

John 3:16—“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”

John 8:58—“Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I AM.”

Ephesians 2:8–9—“For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]”

Titus 2:13—“Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”[1]

 


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

Coalition of African American Pastors: impeach Attorney General Holder

WINTERY KNIGHT

First, let’s see what Eric Holder is doing with respect to gay marriage.

CNS News explains.

Excerpt:

State attorneys-general who refuse to defend state laws banning same-sex marriage won’t face any objection from the nation’s top law enforcement official. In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder will applaud them.

According to Holder, “decisions at any level not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare. They must be reserved only for exceptional – truly exceptional – circumstances.’

He said that state laws banning same-sex marriage rise to that “truly exceptional” standard — because they do not “advance the values that once led our forebears to declare unequivocally that all are created equal and entitled to equal opportunity.”

Holder told a gathering of state attorneys-general at the Justice Department that they are sworn, not just to win cases, “but to see that justice is done” and to “seize the opportunities that are…

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On Faith, Belief and Salvation

Close-up picture of mustard seeds

This is a picture – a very closeup image – of mustard seeds. They are in reality so tiny that they look like a grain of sand.  Jesus said that this is the size of faith – all you need in Him – to have in order to be His. He also said that even the demons believe that Jesus is Lord.  Today we discussed our faith vs our belief. What’s the difference you may ask? Does one lead to salvation?

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3 questions about this weeks’ gay marriage controversy

Plodding through the news this week has been an attempt in both Arizona and Kansas to pass laws that specifically protect business owners from being forced to sell their services to celebrate gay “marriage” ceremonies.

Some Christians have quickly distanced themselves from these laws (Andy Stanley, Jonathan Merritt, Kristin Powers), while the media has shown that, as a general rule, it lacks even a rudimentary understanding of what is at stake here. The net result is that anyone who doesn’t have a firm grasp on the Bible’s teaching about this issue is being swept up in the tide of public opinion. So swift is the tide that even the senators who voted for the law in Arizona a few weeks ago are now publically renouncing their “yes” vote and asking the governor to veto it.

There are really three practical questions for Christians to wrestle through here:

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Authentic Fire – Chapter 6 Review

hipandthigh

afSola Scriptura and Therefore Charismatic

Dr. Brown opens Chapter 6 by recounting his testimony as to why he believes healings and tongues are for today. He begins by telling about his coming to faith in Christ when he was 16 at a Pentecostal church. However, expectations of healing and supernatural happenings that never really materialized in his immediate circles caused him disillusionment.

He left the Pentecostal church in 1977 and began pursuing Reformed, cessationist theology, [AF, 164]. Becoming influenced by the publications of Banner of Truth and such books as B.B. Warfield’s Counterfeit Miracles, he swiftly separated himself from his early experience as a Pentecostal.

When his sister-in-law was miraculously healed of an elbow injury, however, even having her injury called out from an audience of thousands by the speaker, Brown began to reevaluate the hard-heartedness toward miracles he had developed from his cessationist leaning ways. He then experienced his…

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What is the Arizona religious liberty law really about?

WINTERY KNIGHT

National Review  explains what the proposed law is designed to do.

Excerpt:

In response to a number of lawsuits in which such providers of wedding-related services as bakers and photographers have been threatened with conscription into participating in same-sex ceremonies to which they object on religious grounds, Arizona’s state legislature has adopted a law under which businesses that decline to provide such services will enjoy protection.

It is perhaps unfortunate that it has come to this, but organized homosexuality, a phenomenon that is more about progressive pieties than gay rights per se, remains on the permanent offensive in the culture wars. Live-and-let-live is a creed that the gay lobby specifically rejects: The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was threatened with a year in jail for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin was similarly threatened for declining to photograph a same-sex…

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Biblical Christianity vs. Roman Catholicism – PDF

There will always be, until the Lord returns with a triumphant shout and the sound of trumpets (1 Thess 4:16), people who confuse one false religion or another for the biblical faith Creator God revealed to us in His Scriptures and His Son. To help us keep in focus some of the essential differences between biblical Christianity and one of the largest, widely accepted false religions in the world, here is a handy chart comparing 9 facts of the faith as taught by the Bible and the Roman Catholic Church.

https://app.box.com/s/5qo12ndnxzbugr4emgrr

The Financial Times Gold Price Manipulation Article That Was Removed, The Truth About Russia, Ukraine & The IMF Deal, And The Collapse of Bitcoin (VIDEOS).

These Christian Times

When you turn the TV on and watch any regular news channel abput the Econom here in America, you see nothing, but positive news. The Dow is at an all-time high and stocks are going through the roof. You would think that America is going through some great movement of prosperity.  What they don’t tell you are the things behind the scene that will truly have an impact on your life. The world is being rushed to an engineered crisis each day and the house of cards is about to fall. I put these article up for you to be aware of the coming collapse. I want you to arm yourselves with Truth so that you can hear the sirens before the coming great storm.   

ZERO HEDGE: Two days ago the FT released a clear, informative and fact-based article, titled simply enough “Gold price rigging fears put investors on…

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Putin puts 150,000 Russian troops on alert as Georgia moves to join NATO.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

putin-yanukovych ( Washington, D.C.) — With tensions high in Eastern Europe amidst the crisis in Ukraine, the government of Georgia is urgently seeking membership into the European Union and NATO, in part to defend itself against Russian imperialism.

Now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has put 150,000 Russian troops on alert, conducting snap exercises and causing tensions in the region to spike even further.

As you will recall, Russia invaded Georgiaand occupied parts of it in August of 2008.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is currently in Washington. In a meeting with Vice President Biden yesterday, he received the White House blessingfor Georgia to become part of the European economic and security alliance.

“The United States is urging the former Soviet republic of Georgia to further integrate with Europe and NATO and renewing demands that Russia withdraw troops from disputed enclaves it occupies there,” reports the Associated Press

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Challies: The Dawn of the Designer Babies

The headline says it all: “The Dawn of the Designer Babies.” Scientists have developed a new technology meant to eliminate genetic abnormalities in newborns. They do this by combining the DNA of three people instead of only two. The procedure has been successfully tested in monkeys and now the FDA is considering whether the trial should expand to humans. At first the procedure would be available only to women who are likely to pass on debilitating genetic diseases to their children. After that? Well, we can only imagine.

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Have Commodities Entered a New Bull Market Phase?

As you might know already, the majority of the Dogs of the past 3-years have been commodities, with many doing well this year. Most would agree that commodities in general have been in a bear market over the past few years. Does the rally mean the bear market is over?

If you believe in the old idea of buying low and selling higher (as I do), the commodity sector was a good place to go hunting at the start of this year. The chart below is a 10-year snap shot of the CRB index, which reflect a large rising channel with a few key high and lows along this channel.

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Russian Troops Take Up Positions In Sevastopol As Ukraine Teeters On The Brink Of Civil War

Russian military vehicles have been photographed in the main square of Sevastopol, and there are fears that Ukraine is about to plunge into a very bloody civil war. The pro-Russian eastern half of Ukraine is in a state of shock, and many living there are openly calling on Russia to militarily intervene to protect them against the protest groups that have seized power in Kiev. Down in the Crimea, where approximately 60 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, militia groups have formed to protect their region from the “fascist scum running around in Kiev with swastikas“. That quote is from a recent Time Magazine article, and it demonstrates the extreme level of tension that exists between the two halves of Ukraine right now. Perhaps a peaceful resolution can still be achieved, but at the moment a civil war seems quite likely. And if war (Read More...)

Rick Santelli Summarizes The Problem: “It’s The Government”

While the guests on Friday’s CNBC closing bell were giddy with excitement about earnings, US stocks, and ‘the recovery’ being “a lot stronger than people give it credit for”, Rick Santelli asked a simple question, if it’s all so great why is the Fed still printing billions of dollars each month? A disquieted crowd of asset-gatherers attempted a response but made the mistake of uttering the most inflammable 7 words Santelli could hear… “Where would we be without the government?” What ensued is worth the price of admission…

The guests exchange pleasantries as the “asset managers” explain how ‘anecdotally’ it’s so awesome out there..and Rick explains his perspective on the Fed…

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Dad May Join Two Moms for Disease-Free Designer Babies

A new technology aimed at eliminating genetic disease in newborns would combine the DNA of three people, instead of just two, to create a child, potentially redrawing ethical lines for designer babies. The process works by replacing potentially variant DNA in the unfertilized eggs of a hopeful mother with disease-free genes from a donor.

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Founder of Liberation Theology hailed at Vatican

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spent much of his tenure at Mueller’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith battling liberation theology and disciplining some of its most famous defenders, arguing that they had misinterpreted Jesus’ preference for the poor into a Marxist call for armed rebellion. Gutierrez and his backers insist true liberation theology was always perfectly in line with the church’s social teaching about the poor, which Francis embraces.

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