Feminism and egalitarianism has done major damage to the American culture. Primarily, it has skewed the image of how men are supposed to behave and their roles within a society. Although not every single tenant of feminism and egalitarianism should be viewed with overt hostility, we should, however, be cautious in allowing ourselves to submit to any system’s premise that is unbiblical. For the most part, almost all proponents of modern feminism and egalitarianism seeks to undermine the authority of men, feminize the male persona, elevate the homosexual agenda, and bring the law in subjection to sexual immorality and unattainable equality for all. Nevertheless, even with all that said (now that I have some head nods from males and perhaps some females), men need to be cautious and just as aware in defaulting to the knee jerk reaction against feministic attitudes – machoism.
Also called machismo, machoism may vary…
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“We are the friendliest church in town.”
I have heard that statement thousands of times. I promise. In over 500 church consultations and thousands of church member interviews, I heard it. Most church members really do think their church is very friendly.
But, more times than not, they are wrong. Guests who visit the churches usually have a much different perspective. Here are six things to consider if you really think your church is friendly.
Later this month, Russell Moore – President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethic and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) – will be attending a conference at the Vatican meant to bolster a defense of “traditional marriage.” As wonderful as it is that most Southern Baptists and the Bishop of Rome (and self-pronounced “Vicar of Christ on Earth”) agree on marriage,there might be another topic where they disagree so strongly they’ve anathematized one another…the Gospel. Russ, at least, might have heard of it. Apparently, it’s an issue of first importance.
If it concerns you that the SBC’s leading ethicist is partnering with a church widely considered the spirit of antichristin order to coalesce around a cup with a clean exterior – who like a dog comes when his master whistles – you’re probably not alone.
Feminists teach young women in the West a lot about all the evils of men and western society. Christianity is evil. Capitalism is evil. Men are all out to get women and take away their salaries and birth control and abortion rights. And Western men are all rapists. Feminists have defined rape so low now that even unwanted kisses are rape. It sure sounds like they are really concerned about women, right? The Western liberal media certainly talks a lot about the “War on Women” when it’s election time.
Well, consider this story from Newsbusters.
Excerpt: (links removed)
This is the real “War on Women.”
Iraqi News reported Nov. 3 on an ISIS document that supposedly listed the prices at which to sell Yazidi and Christian women and children abducted by the terrorist group. Citing economic reasons, ISIS listed the worth of a young woman at $85, of girl at $128, of a…
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by John MacArthur
Cynics love to mock Christians who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. They note supposed absurdities like, the Bible is a sword (Hebrews 4:12); Jesus is a door (John 10:7); and God is a bird (Psalm 61:4). Of course, such caricatures of the process are obvious misrepresentations of proper biblical interpretation.
Serious students of Scripture, committed to its accuracy and authority, follow five basic principles of interpretation in order to understand the Bible how its authors intended.
1. The Literal Principle
When you read the Bible assume God is speaking in normal language, common everyday communication. If it says man, it means man. If it says the man went somewhere, it means he went somewhere. If it says he built a house, it means he built a house. This is understanding Scripture in the literal sense of language.
Scripture employs are similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and figurative language throughout. Even sarcasm is employed as a literary device. Those devices are used alongside normal, literal language to help illustrate or punctuate what Scripture is saying to the reader. There is seldom confusion in what God’s Word says or how it says it.
In everyday conversation, if we hear someone say, “That man is as strong as an ox,” no one is confused. That is simply using a simile to make a literal point or statement. We need to be wary of those who claim to unlock the Bible’s secrets by bending and twisting symbolic language beyond its clear intent. There is no need to extrapolate some mystical interpretation out of the text, nor insert one into it.
2. The Historical Principle
History is not only a gap to be bridged, but a context to be understood. What did the text mean to the people to whom it was spoken or written? What was the situation the author and his audience found themselves in? Historical circumstances not only explain what is written, but often why it is written. Ignoring the historical setting often leads to missing the point of a passage.
3. The Grammatical Principle
Very few people enjoy grammar, let alone remember their grammar lessons. But grammar is the key to meaning. Prepositions, pronouns, verbs, nouns—and the other parts of speech—are the bones that support every sentence. Imagine a medical examiner trying to determine cause of death without knowing basic anatomy. The result would be no less confusing and prone to error than interpreting the Bible without considering its grammar.
For example, consider the great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20). On first reading, “go” sounds like an imperative (verb) as does “make disciples,” “baptizing,” and “teaching.” But as you study the sentence, you will find that there’s only one imperative—mathēteusate, “make disciples.” “Go,” “baptizing,” and “teaching” are actually all participles which means they modify the main verb. The central command of the great commission is to “make disciples.” How does one make disciples? You go, baptize, and teach. Understanding the grammar makes the fullness of that concept come out in the text.
4. The Synthesis Principle
The synthesis principle is what the Reformers called the analogia scriptura—the Scripture all comes together. In other words, one part of the Bible doesn’t teach something that another part contradicts. So as you study the Scripture it must all harmonize. (By the way, this is another reason a comprehensive Bible-reading plan is critical.)
For example, Jesus’ story of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31–46) cannot be about salvation by works (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the prisoner), because Ephesians 2:8–9 tells us that salvation is by grace through faith apart from works. Careful examination reveals that the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 all thought of themselves as believers—they both call Jesus “Lord” (Matthew 25:37,44). Furthermore, this harmonizes with James 2:17 which says that “faith, if it has no works, is dead.” That’s the synthesis principle.
J.I. Packer has wonderfully said, “The Bible appears like a symphony orchestra, with the Holy Ghost as its Toscanini, each instrument has been brought willingly, spontaneously, creatively, to play his notes just as the great conductor desired, though none of them could ever hear the music as a whole….The point of each part only becomes fully clear when seen in relation to all the rest” (from God Has Spoken).
Do you know what that tells me? There are no contradictions in Scripture. What appear as contradictions can be resolved if we have the information, because the Bible comes together as a whole.
5. The Practical Principle
The final question is: So what? As you try to interpret the Bible, how do you find out what it means for your life? Make sure in your Bible study that you find the practical principle. Read the text and find out what spiritual principle is there that applies to you. But remember that you can’t do that until you’ve gone through the other principles first—literal, historical, grammatical, and synthesis. You know what it means by what it says—now you come to how it applies to you.
You must interpret the Bible rightly. Avoid the common errors, bridge the gaps between the biblical text and your modern setting, and apply the proper principles of interpretation. That brings you to the place where you are ready to engrave God’s Word on your heart (Proverbs 3:3) by meditating on the text. We’ll consider that next time.
(Adapted from How to Study the Bible)
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B141107
COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is deadly! Now that the heating season is here, we should be careful with woodstoves, gas stoves, and other heaters that incorrectly set or maintained, can emit this deadly gas. So what is carbon monoxide (CO) and how is it produced?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
- Shortness of breath
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
- Mental confusion
- Loss of muscular coordination
- Loss of consciousness
- Ultimately death
Heresy monoxide poisoning occurs after enough inhalation of heretical monoxide (HO). Heresy monoxide is a toxic gas, but, being colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect. Now that Perilous Times are here, (2 Timothy 3:1) we must carefully shepherd our faith, which incorrectly maintained, can succumb this deadly gas.
What is heresy (HO) and how is it produced?
Heresy (HO) is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various sins, including greed, envy, adultery, gossip, fornication, idolatry, and thievery. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion of false teachers, unsaved pastors, unqualified deacons, vision casters, and power mongers also produce HO. It infiltrates silently on the backs of words containing ideas contrary to what is written in the bible and entertained in the mind for any length of time. What makes it deadly is that it is difficult to detect and initially non-irritating and non-threatening.
What are the symptoms of HO poisoning?
- Headache from listening to emergent sermons
- Fatigue from battling false doctrines
- Shortness of breath from gasping at the loudness of rock and roll “worship”
- Nausea from platitudes from the pulpit
- Dizziness from being tossed back and forth over the waves (Eph 4:14)
High level HO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
Loss of muscular prayer life
Loss of conscience
To avoid Heresy Poisoning, breathe the pure air of biblical doctrine, congregate with fellow believers, pray constantly, remain vigilant about burning off sins completely, by casting them to the feet of Jesus and repenting of them.
by Marsha West
Amy Spreeman, co-host of Stand Up For The Truth, reports:
Yes, traditional marriage is worth standing up for. But do we blend biblical Christianity with dark and blasphemous religious systems, joining hands for ANY cause? I am saddened to report the latest hand-holding gathering between Rome and evangelical, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh leaders.
What does light have to do with darkness? Does anyone else see a problem with this syncretism? Or with Yin and Yang in biblical Christianity? I will start with the very strange video on the conference website:
Four patterns found in CULTS and CUTLIC movements that can shipwreck your Christian faith and destroy you and your family!
I was recently informed that more people have left a church that we used to attend in California, years ago. Many other families have also left that same church, and for the same reasons that we and did. For years to come the question will resonate in minds of many of these people, “How in the world could a once well respected church get so far off the track, so fast?”
Well, I warned the leaders of that church (and movement) numerous times about the dangers of imbalanced leadership and the corrupting influences of the Emerging Church and Contemplative Spirituality movements, and the so-called leaders of these movements that are full-blown false teachers! Few to none of the leaders listened to me; some just mocked! Now, years later, that church is infected with spiritual gangrene and hordes of people are flocking to it. Through the years, numerous people that challenged the leadership there saw the same results and were confrointed wiht the same “dynamic.” (Google search, “Diaprax”)
What is deeply saddening about church situations like this is that if leaders would simply listen and take note of the consistent problems stemming from the same root source, problems could be effectively dealt with and many churches would be much safer places to be. Unfortunately, if things continue on the way they have been now for years, at this church and others, blatant false teachers will eventually rise up from within the ranks. That’s how it works! Bad seeds can grow…they just need a little more time to grow and bare fruit.
What does the Scripture say? (emphasis added):
• “Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:26-31)
• “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18)
In light of these things, if you or your family members need clarification about what type of dynamics occur in Cults, Cult-like movements, and theologically and sociologically abusive Christian churches, this 2008 discernment seminar audio may be of help to you.
• This audio message is a fast-paced overview of how Cults and Cult-like movements operate. They ADD to the Word of God, SUBTRACT from the Deity of Jesus Christ, MULTIPLY the requirements for salvation, and DIVIDE a followers loyalty to God. Recorded live at a biblical discernment seminar on the Central Coast of California, the quoted material from Chris’s PowerPoint presentation comes from numerous sources, including the book Kingdom of the Cults (Dr. Walter Martin), a profile titled Patterns in the Cults (R. Branch, 1994), and more.
• Podcast: Characteristics of Cults and Cultic Influences.mp3
• Direct Download: Characteristics of Cults and Cultic Influences.mp3
• Archive: Chris Lawson Directory and the New SRN website audio page
You may also be interested in another speaking engagement I did, titled Cultic Patterns and Spiritual Abuse. This message is also fast-paced and it covers much more in terms of sociological dynamics and relationship issues.
LOVE, FORGIVENESS and BEING WISE AS SERPENTS AND INNOCENT AS DOVES
Although spiritual hurts and hurdles come and go in all of our lives, God commands us Christians to “love one another” (Jn 13:34-35; 1 Jn 4:7) and to “forgive one another” (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13). Furthermore, Jesus directly commanded His disciples, “Let no one deceive you by any means” (Mt 24:4 Mk 13:5). He also warned His disciples about spiritual deception, false prophets, and counterfeit (imitation; false) believers (Mt 7:15-29).
May each one of us strike the balance in our Christian lives and lifestyles, not judging others’ hearts and motives (Mt. 7:1-5), yet all the while being “wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Mt 10:16)
May the Lord bless you according to His goodness and grace!
Sincerely in Christ,
Can people who hold different theological views still play an important role in establishing the historicity of Jesus? Yes they can. Read more