Daily Archives: May 17, 2014

Questions about Apologetics and Worldview: How Should a Christian View the Civil Rights Movement?

 

In summary, what the Bible teaches about the civil rights movement is this: it should never have been necessary. Beginning with the kidnapping and chattel slavery of millions, on through the hateful attitudes that prevented neighbors from using the same drinking fountain, the attitudes and actions that led to a culture where the civil rights movement became necessary were all categorically unbiblical. Christianity and civil rights should go hand in hand. Discrimination based on race or skin color has no place in the Christian worldview.

To begin with, the practice of slavery that introduced millions of Africans to the American South was completely unscriptural and un-Christian. Exodus 21:16 says, “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” Several thousand years later, Paul equated kidnapping with lawlessness and rebellion against God’s order (1 Timothy 1:8–10). The New Testament admonitions for slaves to be submissive to their masters does not justify the actions of traders, slave owners, or the government and society that procured and treated slaves in ways directly contrary to Scripture.

After the slaves in America were emancipated, ungodly attitudes and actions toward them continued. There is nothing scriptural about racial prejudice (Galatians 3:28), unfair business practices (Proverbs 20:10), forced segregation within the Christian body (Galatians 3:29), or murder (Exodus 20:13). But human sin continued to shape an abusive society for a hundred years after the slaves were freed.

The goal of the civil rights movement was good and biblical—ensure fair rights and equal treatment for all. Any action that worked against this goal, therefore, has to be considered unbiblical. The Bible not only forbids favor for specific people groups, it forbids unfair treatment of anyone (James 2:1–7).

Thanks to the non-violent policies of many of the civil rights leaders, much of the work toward civil rights was biblical. Free speech is granted to all Americans, and reminding a government and a culture of their constitutional and spiritual responsibilities is good and right. The tremendous effort and patience of civil rights activists to work within local and national legal systems is a great example of positively changing a God-given authority from within. The Freedom Riders, activists who rode buses to challenge states’ segregation laws, were also lawful because the previous year the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in Boynton v. Virginia that racial segregation on public transportation violated the Interstate Commerce Act. Their endurance through physical attacks and prison is a classic example of 1 Peter 2:20 in action.

At the core of “civil rights” is the God-ordained value of each individual. Every person is made in the image of God. When nations recognize civil rights, they recognize the equality of all mankind. The civil rights movement in twentieth-century America can, for the most part, be considered a good example of encouraging a nation to embody more biblical standards.[1]

 

 

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

Questions about Eternity: Who Will Go to Heaven?

 

People have different ideas about heaven. Many have no understanding of God at all, but still like to think of heaven as the “better place” where we all go when we die. Ideas about heaven are often no more than vague hopes, on par with “maybe I’ll win the lottery some day.” Most people don’t give heaven much thought until they attend a funeral or a loved one dies. It is popular to refer to heaven as the place where “the good people go.” And of course, everyone they know and love is included in the category of “good people.”

But the Bible has a lot to say about life after death, and it contradicts popular opinion. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Then in verse 36, Jesus goes on to say, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment.” According to these verses, everyone dies, but not everyone goes to heaven (Matthew 25:46; Romans 6:23; Luke 12:5; Mark 9:43).

God is holy and perfect. Heaven, His dwelling place, is holy and perfect, too (Psalm 68:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Revelation 11:19). According to Romans 3:10, “there is none righteous, no not one.” No human being is holy and perfect enough for heaven. The people we call “good” are not good at all compared to the sinless perfection of God. If God allowed sinful humans to enter the perfection of heaven, it would no longer be perfect. What standard should be used to determine who is “good enough?” God’s standard is the only one that counts, and He has already ruled. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” And the payment for that sin is eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23).

Sin has to be punished, or God is not just (2 Thessalonians 1:6). The judgment we face at death is simply God bringing our accounts up to date and passing sentence on our crimes against Him. We have no way to make our wrongs right. Our good does not outweigh our bad. One sin ruins perfection, just as one drop of arsenic in a glass of water poisons the whole glass.

So God became man and took our punishment upon Himself. Jesus was God in the flesh. He lived a sinless life of obedience to His Father (Hebrews 4:15). He had no sin, yet at the cross He took our sin and made it His own. Once He paid the price for our sin, we could be declared holy and perfect (2 Corinthians 5:21). When we confess our sin to Him and ask His forgiveness, He stamps “Paid in Full” over our life of selfishness, lust, and greed (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 1 Peter 3:18).

When we stand before God one day, we cannot beg entrance to heaven based on our own merit. We have none to offer. Compared to God’s standard of holiness, not one of us is good enough. But Jesus is, and it is by His merit we can enter heaven. First Corinthians 6:9–11 says, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” The sacrifice of Jesus covers it all.

The people who go to heaven are all alike in one way: they are sinners who have placed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). They have recognized their need for a Savior and humbly accepted God’s offer of forgiveness. They have repented of their old ways of living and set their course to follow Christ (Mark 8:34; John 15:14). They have not attempted to earn God’s forgiveness but have served him gladly from grateful hearts (Psalm 100:2). The kind of faith that saves a soul is one that transforms a life (James 2:26; 1 John 3:9–10) and rests fully on the grace of God.[1]

 

 

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

Questions about Christianity: What Is the World Council of Churches (WCC)?

 

The World Council of Churches is an international, interdenominational fellowship of Christian churches. Denominations within the WCC include mainline Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. The WCC is intentionally ecumenical and inclusive.

The World Council of Churches was founded in Amsterdam in 1948; its current headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Council of Churches has member churches in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 560 million individuals.

The stated aim of the World Council of Churches is “to pursue the goal of the visible unity of the Church. This involves a process of renewal and change in which member churches pray, worship, discuss and work together” (from the official WCC website). There is, in fact, much written about unity in Christ and the Holy Spirit in the council’s publications. However, it is a unity maintained at the expense of the absolute truth of the Word of God.

For example, the World Council of churches accepts the ordination of women, approves the ordination of practicing homosexuals, and tolerates an amazing variety of heretical beliefs. At a “Re-Imagining” Conference in Minneapolis in 1993, the deputy general secretary of the WCC, Mercy Oduyoye, taught that we all have “spirit mothers” who avenge us and that the spirits of the dead surround us “in the rustling of trees, in the groaning woods, in the crying grass, in the moaning rocks.” The same conference also featured Kwok Pui-Lan, a WCC member who defined salvation as “bringing out what is within you” and quoted the Gnostic gospels. Pui-Lan justified her use of Gnostic texts by stating that, since it was men who decided the canon of the Bible, she was not obliged to accept it.

Historically, the World Council of Churches has been led by those who hold to liberal theology and who promote “progressive” social policies (such as abortion) and leftist political agendas.

Of course, not every member church of the WCC approves of the council’s stance on every issue. And no doubt there are many genuine believers within the WCC. However, the WCC’s willingness to tolerate departures from foundational doctrine is troubling. Yes, the Lord wants His church to be unified (John 17:22), but not at the expense of foundational doctrine. Truth wields the sword of division (Matthew 10:34).

Revelation 17 symbolically describes an end-times apostate religious system. The apostate members of the World Council of Churches will have no problem joining the false church of the end times, in the spirit of ecumenicalism and inclusion.[1]

 

 

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

End Times Prophecy Headlines: May 17-18, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
May 17-18, 2014
WEEKEND EDITION

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

BRAZIL: Troops called in to quell riots at World Cup city

BRAZIL:FIFA World Cup Protests Spread Throughout Brazil

SWITZERLAND: Swiss to vote on $25 an hour minimum wage

IRAN: Iran vows to destroy US Navy – Huffing and puffing–but events will likely prove bad for the USA due to not only Iran, but those who will do Iran’s bidding in the employ of Uncle Sam’s military.

INDIA:An ex-teaboy with blood on his hands: The truth about India’s new PM as thousands of Hindu nationalists take to the streets to celebrate toppling of Gandhi dynasty – Is chaos coming to India?<

RUSSIA: Obama’s Strategy Of Letting Putin Hang Himself Is Working  – Nice narrative.

TURKMENISTAN: Turkmenistan’s Astonishing attempt to build a city of the future – Nice pix.  The former Soviet…

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