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Culture

 “We must look at the culture of that time.”  Or so the many professors say as they look at interpreting scriptures in the modern age.  This practice has gone on for decades as people try to find some correlation between God’s Word and society in general.

For whatever reason, many church leaders have allowed themselves to be led astray by this way of thinking; that culture has the right or authority to be the final word on what Scripture has to say.

Granted there are times when culture must clarify what is being written, for example, the book of Revelation or even for some of the practices of the patriarchs of Israel’s past.  But there is a limit upon which culture can be used as an interpretative tool.  For culture is not the last word nor is it the final authority upon which the message of the Bible rests.

This is so for the simple reason that if culture were such an authority, then God would not be God and His word would not be authoritative, they would be replaced by whatever culture was dominant at the time.  With God’s word changing meaning and ultimately changing hope as it is dissected by the various scholars of each time period.

Who would be right, if this was the case?  Which culture would be closest to the truth?  What would we be left to believe as the many voices of reason would champion their favorite cultural interpretation?

This is the main weakness of this type of philosophy.  One cannot be sure if they have found the truth as they look at the myriads of options before them.  Would the Roman cultural interpretation be the one; or the Greek?  What about the Arab, as they controlled much of the Holy land for centuries?

Which do we believe and how do we apply it today?  Without some guidance as to which is true, God’s word is left without a voice because it has been subjected to terrestrial thinking which changes as the government’s change.

With no voice then the people are left with no firm direction as to what one man thinks is different from another’s and soon instead of clarity there is confusion and anarchy as leaders vie to be the one who declares which path the populace should follow.

Another weakness is that it puts man in charge over Jesus and His teachings.  Instead of following passages like the Beatitudes people are left to follow the musings of those who may not like the bluntness of Jesus’ words and feel they must soften the message to what is ‘politically correct’. Or to change the words so people would not be scared.

There are many reasons why man would change the meanings, all of which lead people away from the message of Jesus and weaken their faith, their Christian life and so on.

Another problem is that culture is not exempt from the sins of the world and those that participate in society are prone to fall when assailed with the right temptation.  To have a sinful, finite nature trying to over-rule an infinite and sinless book spells disaster for the people as a whole.

To lean towards such problematic tools opens the door for false teaching to enter.  Something that we see happening not only today but throughout history.  Even from the first century we have had the roots of cults planted and though the names have changed, they are still in existence today wielding their ‘power’ to deceive.  Thus it is not wise to turn to culture as the definitive tool for it allows for all manner of thinking to manifest itself and cause destructive forces to have a free hand in destroying the faithful.

We need to determine what is the meaning of the word ‘truth’.  Is it the words that come closest to what the majority feel is correct?  Is it time honored legends or sayings, which have been adhered to by the general population?  Or is it as scripture says that which sets men free?

To be truth, it must be definitive and not subject to the interpretations of other factors of life.  It needs to lead people away from that which is wrong and cannot change when the times change, no matter what.  It also must define what is ‘wrong’ as compared to what is ‘right’ to be truth. The opposite must be explained and demonstrated or we would not know what we are being freed from or which direction we should take.

One thing it cannot be is over-ruled because one society has determined it does not like what it is hearing.  Truth is truth and it cannot be changed.  That is why Jesus said, “He is the way the Truth…” because He does not change nor do His instructions to His followers.

Thus to allow for culture to alter the behavior of His followers is not right but wrong.  It leads away from the truth and brings believers closer to following the secular world and its thinking instead of being a light for the non-believer to follow to salvation.

This is vital as to stray from God’s words only shows that His followers do not believe what they say they believe and have relegated their Holy book to non-authoritative status, which can be ignored without consequence.

It is a dangerous game that is played when a teacher, professor or pastor subjects the Bible to human desires and undermines what it is saying.  All of a sudden the un-churched gets the idea that since the believer doesn’t believe what scriptures says, why should he.

This is not to say that one takes a narrow approach to the message of the Bible.  Not at all, as proverbs tells us that we need to get ‘wisdom, knowledge and understanding…’ so that we can know for sure what is the true message of scriptures and what we must do in implementing its words into our lives.

One cannot be totally literal nor can they be closed-minded, as they need to listen to the Holy Spirit as it unfolds what we need to know. 

 
 
POLITICS

 Ever since Nixon made his ‘silent majority’ speech decades ago, the drive to find those eligible voters has been intense.  Regardless of the latest book that has been published on the present administration’s perspective of the religious, many will not leave a party for it is close to what they believe.

Yet this is not a new attitude nor is the viewpoint news.  The cultivating of the religious has its roots all the way back to Constantine’s day because it is a good strategy and makes one’s goal easier to obtain.

How does this relate to the believer and the men who are called to lead them?  There really is nothing wrong with politics or an involvement in such in its basic form.  The act of governing needs men who are of solid character, wise, hold to truth and have the ability to shed light on the issues and not be afraid to actually solve the problems governments face.

But once you get beyond that basic involvement then the problems arise that can threaten any politician’s beliefs and life, along with damaging the cause of Christ.  This is an important consideration that must be taken into account for the believer does not represent just the people who elected him but he also represents the one they believe in.  Thus what they do and how they respond to issues reflect on Christ’s goals and objectives causing many people to be turned off to His message.

A politician who is also a believer cannot afford to make statements and promises he cannot or has no intention of keeping.  There is more at stake than a career in office. There are souls at risk.  So the politician must be careful how he proceeds for he has many constituents who do not accept his ways and they are watching closely to see what the politician will do.

But this is not an article solely about being a religious politician, for there are other involvements in politics that affect the Christian life and testimony.  It is summed up in the question, ‘Can a believer be a part of the kingdom of God and an earthly political party at the same time?’  Even though scriptures do not talk directly about political participation, there are enough indirect references which provide direction and help answer that question.

First there is what scripture says:  13Now for a recompense in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

 14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

 This does not apply solely to marriage but to all aspects of life and politics is no exception.  The believer must realize that the agenda of the political parties is not the same as the agenda for the kingdom of God.  One is striving for power and control over a city, state or country while the other is seeking to save men and women for eternity.  The two just aren’t compatible.

Secondly, this type of union opens the door for confusion to enter.  If a believer says they believe in God but acts in the interest of the party then those observing will receive a mixed message and wonder how a person could do what they did in the name of the party while saying they believe something else.

Thirdly, there is the issue of compromise. While trying to do the right thing a person in politics must make deals with those who do not believe the same as they do and must grant concessions which go against one’s own beliefs if they expect to receive support for their own projects.  Thus they are back at doing what the verse above says not to do.

Things are not as cut and dried in politics as one would like and God does not compromise.  It is either His way or the wrong way.  Now this may sound simplistic and idealistic but throughout scripture there is not one instance where God compromised with evil.  He made concessions with those who followed Him, {i.e. Abraham and his prayers for Sodom and Gomorrah}. But at no time did He compromise with those who did not follow His commands.

Some time ago the following statement was made when a person was questioned about his political membership in a certain political party;

“I belong to this party because it is close to what I believe.” 

This statement has many problems contained in its simple form and they need to be examined even though there really is nothing wrong with being involved in politics in its basic form.  What are those problems:

First, such a statement indicates that the person is looking to be involved in secular activities in a secular manner. They think that to achieve anything for the cause of Christ, it must come through secular channels and not God’s.  A good example of this is the issue of ‘family values’.  That concept really has no roots in any particular scripture verse, it just sounds nice and is used as a rallying cry to gather people, who like the idea. To vote for the politician who makes it an issue of their campaign. 

Secondly, such a statement implies that to be accepted as a good Christian, one must belong to the right political party even though its practices are not rooted in scripture but in its own desires for power and control over others.  It opens the door to dismissing those who do not belong to that particular party as liberal, backsliders or not even Christian at all.  Such thinking leads only to contention in the family of God and that is not the purpose of God or His kingdom.

Thirdly, it indicates that the person is unwilling or unable to take a stand in Christ alone and diminishes the position of whom the believer is supposed to be.  Jesus said that His followers are called to be the light of the world, yet that cannot be done when a believer’s actions are compromised by the beliefs of the political party.

Is it okay for people to be involved in politics?  The answer is yes but with qualifications.  It is important that the believer remember that they cannot serve two masters and being a member of a political party and the kingdom of God tries to do just that.  Either the believer is for the objective of the cause of Christ or they are for the agenda of the political party.

The two are not the same nor are they compatible. Beliefs cannot be sacrificed for the common good, for the common good has very little to do with the kingdom of God and to sacrifice ones beliefs means they have turned God’s will aside for little gain in a temporary world.

Once a believer has compromised what they have believed in, they have lost.  They have taken all that they have previously stated and thrown it out and have undermined any good they have done or will attempt to do.

In looking at the example of Christ you will notice He never once compromised His message and the believer can do no less no matter how attractive the offer sounds or how much the believer will obtain for his constituents.

The kingdom of God is not about temporal gains but eternal ones and once that compromise has been struck then those eternal goals are moot as people can dismiss him without impunity.  What you believe can no longer be respected nor listened to as they have been sold out for a bowl of porridge.

That person who does that has become useless in the ways of eternal matters and has stated that what they believe is not important at all and it means very little.

Another detracting factor about belonging to a political party and the proclaiming the message of the kingdom of God is --confusion.  One cannot proclaim that Jesus is the answer then turn around and use the law to implement the solution.  The observer only wonders what that politician really believes.

Again, to look at the example of Christ, not once did He say to use the law as the means to promote the kingdom of God or put in place His principles.  If He had then His sacrifice on the cross would not have been needed and His 3 years of instructions to His disciples could have been avoided, only to be replaced by the instruction on how to use the political system.

The problem with using a political system to further the kingdom of God is that the government is different in each country and what is in place now is far different than what was in place 2000 years ago.  Such instruction would have been useless once the Roman Empire collapsed

Thus, God and Jesus instituted a timeless method, which avoids many pitfalls that using the law provokes.  Being the light of the world does not mean that one has the authority to invoke his chosen morality upon another person.  It means that those who have chosen Christ’s ways must respect the God given ability granted to all men whether saved or unsaved—which is ‘freedom of choice’.

If one wants to be in politics then they must remember that their options are limited to what the Bible says on how to conduct themselves.  They must adhere to the principle of right and wrong in the eyes of God and not man. 

 
 
Forgiveness

It has been said in scriptures we are to ‘forgive 7 times 70’, or in spiritual language, no matter what happens to us, we are to always forgive the perpetrator. It is not an easy thing to let the desire to hate or for retribution go. Such feelings are natural and have had much access to one’s life.

Though these characteristics are only natural to the un-regenerated man. The believer has a new way of doing things, a new way of thinking which must fall in line with what God and Jesus teach through the Bible. Even though not all believers have been able to overcome their sinful nature and resort to the old ways, they must be cautious for the unbeliever is not using sophistication when they witness what a believer does. They do not allow believers to make many mistakes (unless they know the person) and they do not think about how a believer is under spiritual attack from the evil one nor do they care.

What they care about is the response that the believer made and that is what makes the initial impression. Even after the believer has corrected themselves and apologized for their reaction, it is not always enough to overcome what took place. But that is a word of caution and not the thrust of this article. Forgiveness does need to be done no matter what was done to the believer. God has said if we ‘do not forgive then neither will He’. Believers do not have much room to play with on this matter, it is a vital aspect of the Christian life for we are to freely give what we have freely received. God has freely forgiven and He expects, no commands , that we do the same for those who have done wrong to us.

 If one notices how the scripture is written, you will notice that this is not a graduated scale. Complete forgiveness must be given no matter how large, how gross, how severe the act was done to the injured party. For those caught in the web of the holocaust the requirement to forgive is still there and it must be complete. Whether the offending person is alive or not, forgiveness must be granted. Or how will one receive forgiveness for their own sins?

If one looks at the passages of scripture they will also note that no violation was left out. If one wants to lead a productive life for Christ then they must realize and practice that the command to forgive all sins committed against them. Which means to women that wife or girlfriend beaters /abusers must forgive those men or fathers who violated their personal safety, both physically and psychologically if they want to have a life that is healed and fulfilling.

There is no room to over-rule God on this matter. People must come to grips with the fact that God is the one in charge of the Christian life and what He says He wants done must be done. Though the believer has time to make adjustments in their lives to come to grips with the emotional and psychological changes that come from obedience to God, they still need to make such changes if they want to receive from God that which they desire. The believer is the follower of God and though the proves or method is not that desirable in human terms, we do not think like God nor do we know the whole picture and are limited to obeying by faith trusting that God knows what He is doing as we implement His commands.

In life there is a bigger picture than what we can see with our human eyes and understanding. Paul mentions this when he wrote about not see clearly. God sees it all and He knows what he wants to accomplish through certain acts, since He does not need our permission to do such things we must then look to his words to give us the strength to follow until we get the results He desires. Then, and only then, will we understand clearly why we had to do such actions but until that time we must be obedient to the instructions God has given so that he may work in the hearts of those who do not believe.

Since the believer belongs to the kingdom of God, they must realize that the rules they are under are not the same ones as the secular person. Changes must be made in the thinking, human understanding must be replaced by the spiritual and so on. The world understands differently than the believer and since the believer is the only experience with God that they may have, then the believer must let the changing work of Christ be complete so that the un-saved may be able to see the difference between their standards and practices and God’s.

The believer does not represent themselves, they represent God and His ways and if the follower of Christ does not practice what God has said, then why should the unbeliever change? Doing the same thing as the world does not motivate the non-believer to seek Christ, but showing the world the difference Christ makes does. Thus practicing forgiveness the way God says makes more of an impact on the un-churched than does maintaining a human understanding of the word. God’s ways are not the world’s nor are the ours, we must remember that as we live in this world.

The world is watching and when we fail to follow God’s teachings then the world takes note. O.J. Simpson may be guilty but we weren’t there thus we cannot accuse or ostracize him like the world does but extend the love and forgiveness of Christ to him as Jesus did to the thief on the cross and to Zaccheus.

 
 
Christmas

For a few years now the president of a newly established bible college and seminary has waged a written campaign about the changes unbelievers want to make at Christmas time. Such efforts are a waste of time as it is a pointless debate and battle.

The Christian must remember that there were no festivals and holy days established by Christ or His disciples when they were alive on this planet. That is not the focus of Christianity nor should it be the focus of Christians today. The only reason modern believers celebrate such festivities is because the Roman Catholic Church ‘Christianized’ many of the pagan celebrations in the hopes of attracting unbelievers to the fold.

Christmas was no exception as many civilizations had their versions for basically celebrating the winter season. These celebrations varied in content and length but at no time did they ever hint at celebrating anything spiritual or related to God. It was another attempt to circumvent what God had said to do and resort to man’s thinking as to how to win people to Jesus. For the Christian it should not matter that the unsaved want their holidays back sans reference to anything spiritual.

The Christian faith does not require festivals to exist nor does it need such celebrations to draw people’s attention to their faith. They have Christ and all they have to do is live the life they say they believe and they will reap far more converts than any special day of the year. Yet this man’s action is typical of belief that is not grounded in the teachings of the Bible but in the practice of the culture.

At no time was permission given to create such holy days for God. God has set aside the Sabbath but Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection was not added to the list of days to be observed in a fashion that reflects heathen mentality. It does not really matter if the un-churched want their holidays back, for the original ownership belongs to them and not the church. Why would God want His ways celebrated in a fashion that has its roots in evil? That is not the way God works but it is the way man works as they seek to hold on to those things of the world that brought pleasure to their lives, even if for a short time.

In terms of Christianity there is no damage to the faith if someone says happy holidays instead of merry Christmas. Since no special day was set aside to celebrate Christ’s birth Christianity is not threatened by such endeavors. Believers look to Christ and not the day and their hope is in the person of the son of God and not in the hope of a few words that are or are not spoken at a given time of the year. It is not the duty of the Christmas to bring peoples attention to Christ.

Rather it is the responsibility of the believer and such responsibility is not limited to one month of the year but must be lived all the time, 12 months, 7days a week 24 hours a day. The Christian is expected to live the life they exhibit at the holiday season all the time. Their thoughts and actions are to be on their fellow man and not what they can gain for themselves no matter the time of the year.

It is a sad thing to witness when Christians get all upset over the loss of practices that have no origin in the Bible and then fail to root themselves in the direction of the author of scriptures. Christmas is not a Christian festival but it has been usurped by those who look to gain souls through means not of God. So what does it matter if the unsaved wish to change some of the words at one time of the year? Does Christianity suffer?

Not at all, as those who say they believe have a higher purpose than fighting for a few words to be spoken. Christians have the will of God to obey which is to live a life that is reflecting of God Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. One of the saddest statistics of this time of year is the rise in suicides. The Christmas season may be a time of joy for many but for others it is a time of sadness, depression and the ultimate decision of ending their life. Yet where are the Christians?

They are distracted by a silly notion that certain words need to be included in everyone’s speech whether they believe in Christ or not. It is utterly absurd to allow oneself to be drawn into a useless battle that deflects the attention of the believer away from the real work that needs to be done, towards a fight that has little or no impact on the unbeliever except to raise more stumbling blocks. While people are suffering at this time of year, the Christian is nowhere to be found. Does the world need the believer to be celebrating festivals? No, it doesn’t.

It does need them to be doing the will of God and seeking out those who are alone, desperate, in pain and so on and providing for their needs. Even if the believer does not evangelize at that moment, their work will go a long ways in reaching others for Christ, because they took the time to show the love of God and did not allow themselves to be caught up in trivial matters.

There are reasons why Christianity does not need festivals or to celebrate special days and one such is that they need to be doing what Christ did when He was here on earth, the will of God. In the hustle and bustle of the secular holidays, people are forgotten and it is up to the believer to follow God’s direction and to find those who are ignored and minister to them. No amount of celebrating can match the euphoria one receives when they have successfully followed God’s leading.

The Christmas season is not about words, it is about people and that is a duty that extends far beyond the 25th of December or the ‘Christmas season’. It is a heart attitude that comes from having the love of Christ for His creation. People will always be forgotten by the secular world or they will be ignored because they are not rich enough, not good enough or do not have the right skin color. This error needs to be corrected by the believer for they need to show that what they believe is different than what the world has to offer. Such an example cannot be done if the Christian is focused on trivial matters such as which words need to be spoken on which occasion.

The Christian faith is not about observing holy days, celebrating festivals or even marking special events in Christian history. It is about living the life as God directs and filling the cracks so none are lost. This Christmas look for that someone who needs the personal involvement and not just in words.

 
 
Law & Order

 

Yes this is the same title as the popular television franchise yet this article has nothing to do with it or television.  Recent events, though minor, have sparked an overhaul of my professional field and its regulations.

Gone are the simple ways which are replaced by more expensive and time consuming oversight that do little to solve the problems that triggered this overhaul.  Now we have to present criminal record checks to be allowed to have employment.  To say the least for many of us this is an insult as we do not break the law nor have we done anything that would be considered criminal or a danger to society.

Also, most of us have worked in our field for many years without any law violation.  What these new regulations are to do is screen out those undesirables who many feel are unqualified to work because they have a criminal record.  Yet, this does nothing to solve the problems, as a criminal record does not guarantee the person is going to break the law again nor does it guarantee that those who haven’t broken the law won’t do so in the future.

What it does do is cause a lot of headache and expense for those who truly want to do their job and keep their lives on track.  It also doesn’t stop those offenders who have committed crimes but have not been caught yet.

Yet throughout all of the subsequent discussions that have arisen over this change, there has been very little Christian input or ‘sermons’ on how a Christian should respond to this situation.  Should Christians jump on the bandwagon of secular society, who seeks to use the law to contain sinful behavior?

Should Christians look upon convicts with the same attitude of the secular world, who view them as less than human and feel these people have no rights at all?  Denying them any hope of a second chance and the opportunity to make things right in their lives?

I for one feel that Christians need to remove themselves from the secular attitudes that are attached to the law and order mentality as we do not look to the law to solve our problems but to God. 

Do we continually hold the convicts past over their heads, as the world does, reminding them of their failure and making them pay for their crimes more than once? I think not as we have the examples of Christ and God on how to deal with such situations.  God said in Micah 6:8—“He has showed you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

For the Christian the path is very clear and different from the world’s.  We do not jump on the law and order fad but we seek to do what is right and just for all people not an elite few. 

Do we need criminal record checks? Not really as there are better alternatives which screen prospective candidates, which do not require them to continually pay for their past indiscretions.

Does this mean we give a blank check to all people applying for work?  No, Jesus didn’t as He commanded the woman caught in adultery to sin no more.  By showing mercy and being just does not mean we let the fox in the hen house as we will be able to tell, with God’s help, what to do with each applicant.

We do not go it alone like the world does nor do we install a system which provides a false sense of security but we look to God to show us how to deal with those who have a criminal past, giving them the chance to make good on what is left of their lives.

Christians are to be different from the world, not the same, thus they must follow a different set of rules and understanding from the world showing the world the better way to do things.  By doing exactly as the unbelievers do, all we have shown them is that Christ and His ways are not different from theirs, which then provides no motivation for the unbeliever to change from death unto life.

We do not follow the world but He who came to save it from destruction.

 
 
EVOLUTION:  Is It a Threat

Each day we hear more and more about the theory of evolution and scientists would have us believe that it is a fact and not a theory.  Is this theory a threat to Christianity?  In some ways, yes, and in others, no.

The only way it is a real threat to believers and the Christian faith is if people are convinced of the idea that science is the final authority over life and they replace God and His word as their guide to life.

Science is a wonderful tool, if kept within its scope, and has informed us of many details concerning this world which the Bible could not do for if it did, its pages would be so numerous no one would want to pick it up and read it.  Not even the most fanatical of believers.

God, in His wisdom, knew this and provided enough detail to show His creation what He did in the beginning of human existence and time.  At no time was He going to bore or over-whelm the reader of His words with facts that are redundant to His purpose.  His purpose in writing Genesis 1 was to inform mankind of what HE DID not how He did it.

How He did it is not pertinent to our lives and has no effect on how we live except to give believers confidence that God is so powerful our enemies do not stand a chance. 

The main problem with evolution is that its origin is in secular man who have rejected genesis one and have sought to find alternatives to that reality and those Christians who advocate marrying the theory of evolution with God  ignore the fact that they are denying what God has said in the Bible.

That is a dangerous position to take.  The other problem is why would God wait 1900+ years to reveal the details of His creative work through a self-confessed unbeliever?  Why would He let billions of people die without knowing the truth?  Such an idea flies in the face of whom God is and undermines and denies His self-confessed characteristics.  Who can have a faith in such a God?

Scientists also make the mistake of thinking that the field of science can do no wrong and that all science is good.  How far from the truth as the Bible says otherwise.  1 Timothy 4:1 tells us: ‘The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come from hypocritical liars…”then in verse 4 it says: “…For everything God created is good…”

The in 2 Timothy 3:13 we read: “…while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse deceiving and being deceived…”  Science is subject to the fall of man and is corruptible, fallible and prone to deception and this includes the theory of evolution.  All the fields of science have limitations and we believers must keep this in mind as it is not the final authority concerning life, it is not God but it has been made a god as sinful men seek alternatives to the Bible.

 
 
Theistic Evolution

Can one marry creationism and evolution and still consider themselves Christian?  In one aspect the answer is no, as this is a ‘have my cake and eat it too’ attitude.  Unwilling to let go of secular science and unwilling or unable to totally accept the creation account as written in Genesis 1, these people combine both in hopes of obtaining a ‘best of both worlds’ conclusion.

This is untenable as God has stated clearly in the Bible that ‘friendship with the world is enmity’ with Him. And this ‘friendship’ is walking on dangerous ground.  We know that the theory of evolution was originated by unbelieving minds (and not to split hairs we know that Darwin was not the original promoter of this theory) and its sole purpose is to provide an alternative to the Biblical account.

This idea that God started it all and then let the process of evolution take over and finish the job creates more problems than it solves.  One such problem is that it diminishes the work and purpose of God in creating the world and the universe. Another problem is that it makes God a liar and undermines all the Biblical references throughout the Bible and cast doubts upon its message and hope.

The main thing that undermines this position of duality is what it is saying to the un-churched world.  It becomes apparent that those who hold to this philosophy do not believe what they say they believe.  One cannot say they believe the Bible then turn around and accept a secular line of thought because ‘science’ says it happened another way.

One cannot walk the middle ground with God, as the New Testament says:  ‘You are either for me or against me’.  With God you can not marry the falsehood with the truth and expect God to be happy about it or accept it as a plausible alternative.  That is not what God is all about.  He is very clear about who created the heavens and the earth and He is very clear that He does not share the glory thus to add a secular theory to the mix is not a wise move to make.

Theistic evolutions make many excuses and one such is, ‘why did God give us this ability to think and reason if He didn’t want us to use it?’  He does want us to use it but He doesn’t want His followers accepting and following those ideas which are not true nor of Him.  Plus He wants people to learn to use faith and trust His words. 

We can still use our abilities and we can still do science but we cannot accept that which is not of God and promote it as such, no matter how attractive or how much science one gets to use.  Yes, as believers, we can investigate what God has created, we can research DNA and photosynthesis and many other wonderful accomplishments of God but at no time can we give credit to that which does not exist nor is of God.

There is no permission granted by God to change His words, which is something that many theistic evolutionists seem to be unaware of as they seek to use secular science to rewrite Genesis 1 and other works of God.

Are theistic evolutionists Christian and will they get to heaven?  I do not know as that decision is up to God but it seems if one compares what theistic evolutionists are doing with what the Bible says about God and entrance into heaven, one would be highly doubtful.

The damage done to the cause of Christ is almost unfixable as these people look to participate in both worlds forgetting to give thought to the working of the devil and his minions.  The mixing of both worlds usually ends up with the believer on the wrong side of the fence as the lure of the world is strong.

 
 
The Doctrine of 'Zero Tolerance’ policy

 

This policy has gain popularity and support over the past two decades, approx., and one needs to ask if it is something a Christian can support and if it is Christian. We have all heard and read the news stories where athletes or normal working people committed some error and they were immediately dismissed from their job or team.

The Duke lacrosse team situation comes to mind here as players, coaches and families were punished long before a guilty verdict was read (it never was read as all charges were dropped and a team was penalized for nothing).

This desire to please supporters, other business and to appear like one does not tolerate wrongful acts has made those in charge lose sight of their perspective their judgment and many other characteristics that help leaders to be full of character and integrity.

It is sad to see as coaches, college presidents and other people of influence refuse to stand up for what is right and make sure the process is handled fairly, wisely and with justice.  I remember when the a couple basketball players on the Arizona State basketball team were simply accused of a crime and were immediately dismissed by the coach.

Such acts do not teach our youth, immigrants or even parents the right ways to do things nor does it teach them to adhere to the constitution where it declares ‘ all are innocent until proven guilty’.  The people on the suffering end of this type of thinking, and observers, learn that it doesn’t matter what one does and it doesn’t matter what the  governing document says, what takes place in reality is something opposite and justice is thrown out the window for the approval of a vocal few.

When one says they abide by a particular rule of law or even the Bible, then they need to stand with those documents and act in accordance to what they say or all you do is undermine yours and their message to the world.

For Christians this is extremely important as souls are on the line and people are watching very closely to see if you follow what you say you believe.  We believers cannot afford to side with the world in any given  policies like the ‘zero tolerance’ idea because it goes against what God said in Micah 6:8:

“He has showed you , O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

We also see Jesus demonstrating this for us when he encounters the woman caught in adultery, healed on the Sabbath and on the cross when the thief repents and is granted forgiveness.

Christians forget that they belong to God and that their mission is not to preach and follow the same ideas as the world but to proclaim and enact God’s ways which are not the same as the world.

So when the world invokes a ‘zero tolerance’ idea or a ‘3 strikes your out’ policy the Christian needs to stand up and say ‘that is wrong, this is what we should do’.  If the world doesn’t listen then the Christian needs to defend the victim of injustice and fight for the proper judgment.

Christians are new people and they are different from the world because God and Jesus are different and they need to act differently, implementing justice as God sees it, mercy as He sees it and above all forgiveness as Jesus commanded.

There is no room in the Christian life for worldly ideas and strategies, they do not solve the problems of life, only God’s way will make the impact against sin that is required to solve these problems we encounter in society.

It is time to stand up and make a difference, teaching what God wants and not compromising to appease or please the secular world.

 
 
The Futility of Evolution

 

One of the biggest points many evolutionists trot out to prove their belief in that theory is, ‘the theory keeps on changing.’   To some I guess change is always a good thing but it is not when you are dealing with the truth and eternity.

One of the biggest complaints against the Bible is, that ‘it never changes’.  Of course not, as if the Bible changed at all then God would not be a just or fair God.  He would have destroyed all the work of His Son and all those who preached in His name.

The Bible can’t change nor should it be expected to as the ramifications are immense.  But let’s take a look at the opening paragraph for a moment and see what benefits are available with these changes.

30+ years ago, the theory taught that man evolved directly from apes, there was a nice little diagram of the changing form as time progressed, now it teaches that man did not evolve directly from the ape but both came from a common ancestor.

Okay but with a little investigation we can find out that evolutionists still have no idea what was the common ancestor nor how it started the process to initiate the future species.  Nor do they have any idea how one ancestor could spawn such variety of animals and human life forms.

They also do not have any idea where this original life form originated or how it developed but low and behold, they hang to that idea like someone afraid of falling from a balcony and are holding on to the rails as tightly as they can.

There are many changes in the theory as time has progressed and there are more ‘details’ as more ‘evidence’ is ‘discovered’.  Yet one thing has not changed in this theory throughout its whole existence and throughout this expansion of knowledge of this theory.

Every explanation of this theory has all species just dying when there time is up and nothing is contained in the theory to provide a person with any sort of hope or goal to obtain.  The theory 30+ years ago, 50+ years ago, and now all say the same thing:  there is nothing for when you die.

So the question is raised, if there is nothing at the end of it all, why does evolution need to change?  All these ‘advances’ in the theory are basically worthless and a waste of time, because they cannot provide any kind of benefit or reward for those who rejected Christ and followed the empty words of evolutionists.

All that money, time and energy spent on trying to prove, construct a theory which in the end  gives nothing back.  What a waste.  People have spent their lives studying this theory, defending it and proclaiming its truthfulness yet in the end they lose it all and end up with—nothing.

AT least with Islam, you get promised a heaven of sorts, with the Mormons you are promised that you will become gods of your own planets and with Jesus, you get to live with Him and God forever. Yet with evolution your reward is zilch no matter what changes are discovered or what evidence is declared proof, you still end up with less than you started.

This little discussed fact is further proof that evolution can’t be true or valid as shows the lack of reason and purpose for such a theory and again provides nothing substantial for which to believe in it as even a slight possibility and it can never replace Jesus and the Gospel as the truth.

 
 
‘I am not dead…’

I have heard this statement used by married Christian men as the ogle a woman’s body who is not their wife.  It is used to justify their gawking and demonstrates a weakness that they have not conquered.

This kind of behavior is known to be part of the Christian life and I have been aware that some Christian men are worse in their attitude and treatment of women than their non-religious counterparts.  This is not good as men have a responsibility given to them by Christ.  To love their wives as Christ loves the church and we do not see Christ ogling alternative faiths while fulfilling some duty to His followers.

That is just one directive given by God to men, and another in Hebrews 13:5 tells us ‘to be content with what we have’.  That verse does not exclude wives and men need to realize that they need to be content with the body and personality of the woman they married and are not free to scope out other women.

Such thinking is of the world and Christians are taught to not follow after the world’s ways for it leads to destruction and men’s wandering eye can and will lead to the destruction of their marriage and family.  The wife may not leave but the love, the testimony and reputation will disintegrate, leaving that family useless for God’s work, creating a stumbling block & making it difficult to win others for Christ.

If the believer cannot live by the word of God how can they expect to win souls for God?  Family life is governed by God and we have clear teachings on how to conduct ourselves with our families and those not our spouses.  If we fail to follow God’s word on the subject then we are opening the door for sin to enter and work its evil ways in the lives of all involved.

Men are given a big responsibility by God and their actions influence more than they realize and they must, as leaders of the family, get their desires under control and in line with God’s word.  One cannot use the idea of ‘interpretation’ as an excuse nor justification to continue to practice that which is damaging to their wives and family.

Even flirting can open the door for the devil to get in and corrupt what God has created to be beautiful and use that act to persuade the non-believer that Christ and His ways are not worth following.

There is a bigger picture here than just some good clean fun.  We believers are part of a new kingdom and all of our actions are observed and when they are not in line with what the observer perceives God word to be, then we have lost a soul for eternity.  One may not think so but take a look at the situation from Christ’s perspective and see how ‘innocent’ acts can bring ruin and devastation.

Husbands need to be strong against sin and worldly ways, their wives and children are counting on it and if the man strays how can they expect their families to stay true to God and His words? 

 
 
Peace On Earth

This peace is totally for food for thought and needs far more research before becoming a stated position.  I do this because the words spoken by the angels to the shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth seem to have been mis-appropriated and mis-applied to the wrong idea.

I started thinking about this during the recent Christmas season as many people, both believer and non-believer, Christmas cards, politicians, television shows take the opportunity to express these words as a message of hope to the rest of the world and their viewers.

From what I can gather the majority of these heralds seem to refer to a physical peace on earth, one where all men get along despite their theological, ideological and personal differences.  Also, it seems to refer to hope that all wars will be stopped ad en can live life in a manner they think God intended when He created the Garden of Eden.

But if we take a closer look at the facts, Jesus’ purpose, His words and at the other meaning of the word peace, this may not be and probably is not the meaning of the angel’s proclamation.  We read in the New Testament, where Jesus said, ‘I came not to bring peace but a sword’ and we can wonder what He means by that when we are clearly told that peace has come.

We need to look at other scriptures to get the other meaning of the word ‘peace’ that I believe this declaration really means.  We read about ‘my peace I leave with you’ or ‘the peace that passes all understanding’ and many, many others which do not mean nor indicate  physical peace among mankind.

These scriptures refer to the peace that God gives all men which frees them from worry, fears and other stressful characteristics which cause people to fret over their lives.  These verse speak of a confidence that we can have that no matter what God is looking after our children, spouses, personal possessions and so on.

This is the peace I think the angels are referring to when they announce the birth of Christ.  This announcement is not one of hope where the Romans will be vanquished and the Israelites obtain independence rather it is one which says, ‘do not worry, someone has come who brings relief, hope and salvation.  ‘  along with, ‘you know have someone to turn to when times get rough, who understands what you are facing and can do something about it.’

It is a peace that God grants to our spirits so that we can look to Him in all things, though the world remains the same and troubles happen everyday.  It is a peace that contains a solution to our lives and we do not have to ‘go it alone’, we can look for and receive a traveling companion.

So the next time someone says, ‘peace on earth’ we know those words do not mean the elusive world peace everyone is searching for, instead we can take hope, for God sent His Son not only to be our Savior but much , much more and we do not have to worry anymore.

 
 
The Bible, Business & the Government

I just want to say a few words about this topic as a few years ago I was involved in a conversation where  one person stated that business and governments were not under the guidelines of the Bible.

Such a comment shows that the person did not understand what the Bible is and who God is as he/she thought that these two entities were immune to the principles and commands of God.  They are not.

Why?  Simply because  (1) the person is saying that God’s word is not authoritative over all areas of life thus it cannot be God’s words then and (2) God does not rule over governments or businesses meaning God is not God but these two entities trump Him.

Such ideas are false and all Christians need to be aware that both governments and businesses are subject to the words of God and that when God says not to go the way of the world then the people running the businesses must seek out what God wants them to do as a business.

Government leaders need to be made aware that they two have a choice, follow the secular ways or follow God’s ways.  Neither are immune to God’s commands and both will be called into account for their actions and words.

Now it is argued that either are not human beings with a soul thus they cannot decide to follow God’s words yet one has to look beyond the surface coating and look at what lies beneath the veneer exterior.  When one does that they will see that people are behind all actions of both entities and that it is the people who make the decisions and carry out the orders of the bosses.

Thus the people can decide to follow God’s ways and the business or government will reflect such decisions, just as they reflect the secular decisions made.  No one can excuse either of these two facets of life from God’s domain, they are not God and do not have authority to make such declarations.

Since God is God of all, not a part, then it stands to reason that both businesses and governments fall under the jurisdiction of God, who has not excused them from obeying His commands and principles. They are given a choice, either follow God and His ways or not but did not be mislead, God’s word applies to all areas of life and not one is given a free pass.

That would not be fair, just, moral and would remove God from the sinless category and demoting Him from being judge and God to just another sinless human being.  Once that happens then all hope is gone.  The ramifications of limiting God go deep and affect more than just employment and governing.

Businesses, governments, hospitals etc., are all under what God has said in the Bible and they need keep that in mind as they do their day to day activities as  it is better to side with Him than ignore His words.

 
 
Helping the Enemy

The secular world has laws about giving aid and comfort to the enemy and anyone who does do that faces imprisonment, fines or both along with being branded a traitor to one's country.  These laws are contradictory to what Jesus says we should do and we find His instruction in Mat. 5:43-48, and a blurb will be quoted here: "...if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you only greet your brothers, what are ye doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

The instruction is quite clear that we must do more than what the secular world is doing and that means we help those who hates us or want to do harm to our families, which means applying all of God's teaching and letting the secular world experience God through you.

Recently, North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb and they have been labeled as the enemy of many nations yet are all the people of North Korea the enemy of the rest of the world? No. In following Christ's teaching in the above passage, a believer would start to pray for them and God would show the believer who in North Korea is the true enemy and provide the correct feelings towards those who are innocent of the rhetoric and actions of those who do hate the rest of the world.

In praying for the enemy, the believer will see how they are to act towards these people and see that their good works will go a long ways in changing the lives and hopefully leading many to salvation through Christ.  But such opportunities are lost if the believer follows the laws and instructions of the secular governments for then those who are innocent of hate and lethal acts are deprived of experiencing the love of Jesus and have no alternative in which to choose to escape their sinful chains.

There is a long article in the Korea Herald (a Korean English Newspaper) depicting the trials and struggles of those North Koreans who are fortunate enough to escape the clutches of the communistic country.  This story (The Unfinished Journey of N.K. Refugees) provides direction for believers in knowing what they must do to obey Jesus' teaching quoted above.  These people need prayers but they also need believers to get involved, using compassion, caring, love to help them adjust from the communistic lifestyle to the democratic.  They also need help in learning how to make the proper decisions for themselves as they have never been taught or allowed to use that ability.

Here are the titles of two good books to give one interested in the plight of the North Koreans and what is taking place in that closed country: 1. Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader by Bradley K. Martin;  2.The Aquariums of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-hwan & Pierre Rigoulot. Both are informative and allows the reader glimpses into the Marxist society known as North Korea.

Remember, believers in Christ are to obey God rather than man and n helping the enemy, doing good to them is helping your country.  making a friend, removes one more enemy they have to face.

 
 
What Good is Science?

In recent years, science has leapt to the top of the heap as the secular authority on basically all topics known to man.  We hear many appeals to this field of study as if science is the final authority on all matters. We believers know that is not true but the secular world is looking for alternatives to the Bible and science has become the popular choice.

Science can be good.  In reality, it is not an enemy of Christianity for it can and does prove the Bible to be correct and provides physical evidence to strengthen faith. Christians should not be afraid of the sciences because there is so much to learn about the world and God through its investigative efforts BUT at no time should it be elevated to the position of authority or even the final authority on all matters.  That is not its created purpose nor function. All of its fields are very limited and for the most part deal with partial evidence which opens the door to the wrong conclusions.

Nor should Christians be deceived into thinking that 'all science is good science' for that is not the case either.  This field of study is a CREATED field and is subject to the corruption and sin that contaminated all of God's creation with Adam's sin at the fall of man. We see this true through the many horrific 'scientific' endeavors of those who have thrown God's morality out the window in search for their own greatness or answers.

Not all science is good science and not all theories are true, correct or even factual and the believer cannot turn a blind eye to these facts.  Just because a scientist says it is so, does it mean it is so.  There are so many other factors in play that one cannot just 'take their word for it' and leave it at that. There are too many dangers that arise when one does just that and scientists are subject to the many temptations, threats, desires and so on that come across their paths which place people in harm's way.

It must be remembered that science is a tool and like every tool it can be manipulated to achieve the desired results, whether for good or for evil. Plus one must take into account the structure of the field of science and that its main purpose NOW is to find natural answers too many questions.  The problem with that focus is that secular scientists are looking in the wrong direction and have excluded all evidence that points to a supernatural answer.

This is so because so many non-believers have taken over the controls of the field and have dismissed God from the equation and in their sinful arrogance have decided that that isn't a possibility thus they waste years and years of their lives looking for an alternative to what is written in 1 book. This is an example of the devil at work as he deceives the unwary and leads them down the garden path to destruction.

As was stated earlier, science can be good.  it can tell us how things work, how plants grow, how moisture works and is needed  in our lives, how to put different natural resources together to make better products and so on.  It also can tell us much about God, His creativity, His intelligence, His wisdom and His power but science would rather have you believe something else.

What science cannot do is 1. tell us the origin of all things, because it is looking in the wrong direction, and at the wrong evidence; 2. stop people from growing older; 3. stop people from dying. as hard as they try, death is part of life and no matter what science does, people still grow old, get sick, have accidents and die. Science cannot change what God has mandated, it may help our present lives while we are here on earth BUT it cannot change anything.

Death and other events are far beyond the scope of science which disqualifies that field of study from being a final authority if an authority at all. No matter how many cures, drugs, alternatives it comes up with to fight diseases, illnesses, and other ailments, they cannot stop people from becoming sick, from having heart attacks and dying.  All it can do is provide false hope to those who do not believe and that is it.

Science is too limited and it must be put back into its proper place and kept there with the proper perspective and is not an alternative to God, Jesus and the Bible.  Belief in science does not change reality nor does it provide any real hope for the human being.  It can do nothing for those who have died or will die after death has occurred, it offers nothing for its adherents. Only Jesus and God can offer real hope, and can do something to the already dead or soon to be dead people. Science is not a person's protector, it is an illusion at best when used wrongly and ventures outside of its scope and purpose.

Science can be good for the here and now but beyond that it is useless.  It can't change the past, can't change the reality and it can't change the future but the choice is yours--what science offers or what God offers. It is up to you and only you can make that decision

 
 
Great Cons:

time travel, cryogenics & transporters

The world has heard of all three ideas.  For the first, it was H.G. Wells. novel and subsequent movies, for the second it has been made more famous by the Ted Williams debacle and the last was very prominent in the Star Trek series and movies.

These are called great cons because they suck vulnerable people into believing they actually can work or they are viable options for human life. The main premise of each are as follows:  1. Time Travel-- has as its main idea that life is ongoing in the past and that the future is happening even as we speak.

2. Cryogenics-- believes that people can be frozen and brought back to life in later years when science and technology has advanced enough to cure what various ailments people suffered from in the late 20th and early 21st century.

3. Transporters-- Has as its main idea that the human body can be broken down into individual molecules and transporter to another physical place then be reconstructed at that point without harm to the person being transported.

All three basically say the same thing, people are afraid to die and want to live no matter what, though the 3rd option is less so than the other two. Yet all three ideas ignore what scripture says:

"it is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgment"

It seems to be the endeavor of the secular world to prolong life as long as possible even though there is a restriction or two placed upon longevity.  Secular man does not want to die because they have no hope and the above ideas reflect that fear.  They forget, for the first two options, that people have died and no longer exist.  If they were successful in traveling back into time, all they would find would be an empty earth.  Time travel does not change the rules of God, the people of the past are dead.

The same for cryogenics.  Their customers have all died and no matter how quick they get to the body to apply their technological processes, the person is gone.  They will not be able to bring a person back from the dead and even if they did, what did they bring them back to--a few more years of life only to face death again.  Not very appealing as the person would face the same diseases, the same problems, the same rules as before.

Then the transporting of people ignores the facts of life- take a body apart and the person dies.  The secular world do not hold the keys of life and death, that is something beyond their control and authority and try as they might, they cannot change the simple rules of life--people will die in spite of all their efforts.

All three ideas are great cons because the supporters of each can make large amounts of money by providing false hopes in the effort to dupe unsuspecting people. There is no realistic chance that the advocates of each can produce any realistic results and fulfill what they promise.

It is unrealistic to go against God's rules and these efforts above just show the waste of time and resources that are a result of the secular world's efforts to find alternatives to God's word.  They won't succeed and people need to stop being paranoid about death for their is one option that does provide what it says and that is found in John 3:16, God's plan of salvation.

If one wants to live forever, this is their only hope.  Don't be fooled by imposters for you are being conned by the devil with such fairy tales.

 
 
Parachurch Organizations

In the religious and christian world, these organizations abound and for those who are truly of Christ, they do a lot of good work but they are not all that way and they add to the confusion in the minds of the unsaved as those who read the Bible do no see any command for such organizations to exist and they wonder what is the difference.

First off, let me say that many of the men who have founded such organizations, have been given a ministry and burden by God. We do not doubt that and we agree that these men are seeking methods and ways to meet their 'calling'. There are times that the organized church cannot see the same divine guidance and hesitate to endorse their activities.  So these men are forced to separate from the direct authority of the organized church to be in obedience to God.

Second, this situation presents several problems and creates burdens that should not be there, which is the focus of this article, not the men and their calling. We do not presume to think we know better than God and that we must apply the scriptural guidelines given to us to help us confirm such men are indeed of God and not false teachers. These problems many be miniscule to some but in reality they cane have spiritual and scriptural impact for the negative and opens the door for evil to work its deceptive magic on the unsuspecting.

Here is one definition of a parachurch organization: "

The defining characteristic of a parachurch is that it stands outside of the organizational structure of well-established religious bodies. The autonomy of the parachurch from established religious bodies allows a much greater degree of flexibility for innovation than is possible within an established organizational hierarchyy. Parachurches are often the creation of an entrepreneur or a small cadre of people who seek to achieve specific goals. (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/relbroad/parachurch.html)

As you can see, there is nothing about God in that definition and makes the parachurch organization sound like a secular endeavor with earthly goals and agendas. Notice the words 'a much greater degree of flexibility of innovation' yet nothing is mentioned that guides the organization to discern between good and bad innovation or following God's direction.  It is as if people want to do things their own way because they like it and ignore the ways God wants them to use.

This is one of the dangers of going outside of church authority as doors are opened to methods that God may not want used or are strictly secular and should not be associated with God's ministry. Servants of God do not get to pick their own methods unless so instructed by their Master. To do so would be sin and detrimental to the work of God and compromises one's beliefs.

Another danger is the issue of money.  Already, the non-believer makes the complaint about the church and its continued need for money. The late George Carlin used to make fun of the church because of this continued demand and that is NOT good.  Parachurch organizations are usually started without any scriptural or sound financial base, which is not a smart move business wise nor spiritual wise.  This new drain upon the existing spiritual resource (people who tithe) creates a drain upon the local church, hindering it from doing what God commands.

It also creates a burden upon the parishioner as they have only so much money available to contribute.  After their tithe, the husband must look after his family not the parachurch organization or its workers who constantly appear in church services appealing for support.  Such requests are unfair to families and allows guilt to interfere with their growth in Christ. Too often the workers and leaders of these organizations take advantage of certain scriptures in hopes of pulling some money out of those who do not know any better.

The purpose of God's church and its workers is NOT to hurt the family, financially or otherwise but to protect and help them become strong so they can withstand Satan’s attacks.  The constant demand for their hard earned dollars is just not right.  If the parachurch organization is going to employ people for their work then they need to be prepared to pay the salaries of those employees.  They have no right to expect the congregant to take up their responsibility. 

Another danger that arises with this topic is that there is no scriptural command, direction, reference or inference that such organizations are to exist. Nor is their financial strategies supported by any scriptural references. As John Stott said, 'anything can be supported by Scripture IF one is unscrupulous enough' (lectures on the church). Without scriptural support these groups take a dangerous step into possible disobedience--not in their purpose or work but in their structure. They are creating financial expenses that should not be there and operating outside of the manner that God would like.

This leads us to the field of ethics, and spiritual morality. These organizations are outside the direct authority of the church thus oversight is very limited, they do not need the organized church to survive but their actions, the unethical, the sinful, the immoral etc., reflect on all Christians and the work of Christ. Without the proper authority in place, the temptation to justify and do what is wrong is immense.

We know of well meaning people who have made errors in judgement simply because they placed themselves at the head of the decision making apparatus instead of following God's order of things.  These errors have ramifications and if not corrected properly then the 'ministry' becomes a stumbling block to Christ not a help. This is impotent for in the end it is Christ who suffers and many people turn away from God simply because some of these people let Satan into their operations through various attitudes and implementations of 'innovations'.

The ideal solution for these people is for them to remain under the protection of the church, stay within God's order of things and remove the burdens they place upon the average Christian who is only commanded to bring their tithes and offerings to the God (church) letting Him decide how it should be disbursed.  As it stands, the church appears divided, in competition with itself and creates a muddled picture.

This needs to be cleaned up for the church needs to be seen as organized, wisely lead and seen as following scripture (1 Cor. 12). if they are NOT following scriptures then they cannot expect those outside of the church to do the same. This means that the organized church needs to be more open to God's leading.  They need not be strict nor closed-minded for they do not run Christ's church, He does, and they need to be in tune with Him to make sure they support the right men and block the false teachers.

Most importantly the burden of the ministries should not be transferred to the general average church goer, the church would need to scrutinize their programs, their priorities and make changes to allow these God lead men to minister as God wants them. The church is only entitled to the tithes of the people and what ever offering the average church goer decides to give above his tithe.

At no time is the church allowed to coerce, demand or plead for more money, that is NOT their purpose. If activities look expensive but it is decided that it is of God, then they need to look to God for the funds and not expect nor ask for handouts/freebies.  The people who provide services to the church have responsibilities that they have to meet and the church should be the leader in helping them meet those responsibilities not a hindrance.

Constantly having the church's hand out looking for money is equal to begging and God is not a beggar for then He would not be God.  He leaves no doubt who met the needs so He gets the glory NOT the person who is meeting the demand. 

There is room in God's kingdom for men who respond to God's call to specific ministries but their is not room for the myriads of parachurch organizations who place stress and guilt upon God's people.  It is best to work under the church so that one's reputation is protected and no questions of their activities arise. Allowing disrepute to fall upon Christ's name and work is wrong and since His name is on the church, He deserves to have a clean reputation and honorable activities done in that name.

 
 
Homosexuality & Miss California

Miss Prejean has caused a lot of controversy recently since her beauty pageant answer but her response to the question 'Should homosexuals be allowed to marry?' has exposed the dark side of those who oppose the Bible.  It is NOT uncommon for those who disobey the God's word to cry and whine for tolerance, acceptance, and other benefits, yet when the shoe is on the other foot they act worse than the demands they make of believers.

In this issue it is quite clear that the homosexual community do not want to sacrifice their desires to meet God's requirements.  They start and attend churches that cater to their homosexual beliefs and declare that God is love and that He loves them.  They willingly ignore what God has said about giving up the practice of sin because they refuse to turn from their sexual preference, which is just pure selfishness on their part.  God has made a simple request and these people cannot bring themselves to demonstrate their love for God and give up doing what He has called an 'abomination'.

Yes God is love but it is clear that the homosexual community has no roots in that love because of their refusal to obey and show that they are only looking out for their own interests not God's.  To be accepted by God, one has to humble themselves to His ways, God does not have to humble Himself to human demands.  He is the creator, He owns heaven and earth and He gets to set the rules Not humans.

In this controversy several points have been exposed that shows that the disobedient to God do not have a better way than Christ and cannot act in the manner that they want Christians to act. 

1.  In providing her answer, Miss Prejean told the truth.  She simply stated that she was raised to believe that marriage was between a man and a woman.  She did not dishonor God, she obeyed by speaking honestly, yet she was 'punished' because her answer did not support the current trend.  This shows that the homosexual community wants free choice for their sexual preference but they will not allow the exercise of that same right if it disagrees with their opinions. Miss Prejean has every right to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman and prizes should not be withheld because she disagrees with a judge's personal views.

2. The reaction to Miss Prejean's response proves what proves what Paul wrote Timothy in the Pastoral Epistles, that men will give up sound doctrine and only accept what they want to hear.  The unbelieving world do not care what is right or wrong as long as they get to fulfill their own desires, even at the expense of other people.  There is no excuse for those who have denied Miss Prejean the crown of Miss America and now Miss California because they do not want to hear the truth but want to follow their own ideas no matter how wrong they are.

3. The controversy has also shown that those who do not accept Christian beliefs only believe in freedom of speech when what is spoken is something that they agree with. The opponents of the Bible love to champion their right of free speech, demanding that they be heard even when their words are pure perversion or unjust yet they will deny that right to anyone, protesting loudly, when the words contradict what they want to see take place.  Homosexuals have NO right to marry and if anyone stands up in defense of that rule, then we see a bitter and hate-filled emotional backlash, which only proves that they do not have the love of God in them and that God is NOT supporting their position.  They cannot claim to be Christian and still promote sin via sinful methods.

4. One of the biggest sinful response exposed was mentioned by Miss Prejean in an interview on a national TV. show the other day. She said 'tolerance has to be a two way street'.  She is right.  The homosexual community scream and yell about the 'intolerance' of believers towards them, yet when they et the opportunity to show that they are better than those they complain about;  they fail miserably.  The unchurched world is the most intolerant area of life when it comes to things of God and they have no right to demand tolerance from God or His followers when they refuse to give the same treatment back to those who believe in Him. 

Homosexuals do not have a leg to stand upon anymore as they have undermined any complaint they have made by their actions towards Miss Prejean.  They cannot stand up and make complaints against the Christian world because they have proven that they will NOT do to others what they demand be done to them.  Their intolerance of honest answers shows that they only want things done their way and that they have no concern for anyone else.  Such attitudes disqualify them from having their demands accepted and met sincerely or honestly.

5. What this response also shows, is that the homosexual community want to change what is right and wrong so they can go to bed at night feeling good about their lifestyle and sin.  With the distortion of right and wrong, comes anarchy as others will find ways to justify their bad behavior.  The bigger picture here is not good when one takes the time to extrapolate the demands of the homosexual community to those who also want to practice their preferences. If the homosexual community gets to marry then why not the pedophile or those religious groups who advocate marriage with underage children?  Why should one sinful group be given certain rights but not others?  Where will the line be drawn again, if it is broken for those who prefer same sex unions?

In closing, it is clear that the homosexual world is very selfish, hypocritical, unloving and spoiled.  1 Cor. 13 provides the best definition of what love is and the homosexual community do not meet 1 of the criteria when it comes to God or His followers. They are the ones who are wrong. They are the ones acting like spoiled little children who throw a tantrum when they do not get their way. They are the ones being selfish as they refuse to give up their desires in order to obey and be accepted by God, NOT Miss Prejean or those who oppose gay marriage.

Yes God is Love and the homosexual is loved by Him but that does not change the rules.  God does NOT compromise and the homosexual community needs to realize this--they are the ones who have to give up their sin and come to God on His terms or they are NOT going to heaven for they are not doing what is right or of God.  One cannot support nor legitimize sin and Miss Prejean acted properly and correctly.  She needs to be supported not vilified for by silencing or 'punishing' her means that others will have their rights denied when they have alternative opinions and speak out on them.

Tolerance, free choice, free speech, and so on are for all or no one has them.

 
 
The Dangers of Majority Rule

In a discussion recently, the subject of ‘majority rule’ was brought up to justify people’s perspective on which laws are enacted.  Some claim that there is nothing wrong with voting with the majority yet they forgot to mention that the majority is NOT always right nor is it always implementing the correct laws.

Basically all democracies are based upon a majority rule concept, the party or person with the most popular votes wins.  So one would think, yet in America, who trumpets the ‘one man, one vote’ ideal, it is found that the popular vote is actually voting for the members of the electoral college, who in turn are free to cast their votes for whomever they wish (Simply put, the people of the United States do not vote for the President- http://hubpages.com/hub/Electoral_College)

The obvious danger of a ‘majority rule’ mentality is the ‘mob rule effect’ or action by reaction or emotion, most commonly employed as vigilantism and is used where the rule of law in place is ignored because someone disagrees with it and stirs up a crowd to achieve one’s misguided desires.

A lesser known danger and one more widely accepted are the rule changes.  Here one can over-ride their governmental constitution to implement new rules which offer a wider latitude of legal and investigative action (http://action.aclu.org/reformthepatriotact/facts.html)  or they can determine where, when and to whom the constitution applies (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/antebellum/landmark_barron.html) .  What good is a rule of law if it does NOT apply to everyone?  That is purely unjust and wrong.

Finally, a grave danger that comes from the majority rule mentality is that certain people can gain power through legitimate and legal means for evil purposes.  We saw it happen in Germany with Hitler, in Italy previously with Mussolini and we continue to see it take place today. These people can and do use intimidation, fear, threats to make sure their party is provided with enough seats to usurp authority and take over the nation (http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/ch12.htm , http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/nsdap.html) .

The ‘majority rule’ system is very vulnerable, easy to manipulate and corrupt and allows for injustice, hatred, intolerance, greed, et al, to raise their ugly heads and thwart any attempt to have a good and decent society for all people.  Lincoln tried to have the right society for America but his rule was short lived and his work uprooted though people love to quote his famous words ‘Government for the people, by the people of the people’ but when push comes to shove, they are rarely followed.

People do not want to have good government, they do not want to have justice (unless it is for themselves) they do not want things to be fair, and so on. If they did, they would look to God to rule their lands, as His ways are just, fair, there is no mob mentality, vigilantism, there are no rule changes, nor exceptions.  His rules apply to all and evil people cannot corrupt nor manipulate His system for their own evil ways.

Under God’s ways right and wrong are not distorted but are clearly defined so everyone knows what is the correct thing to do.  People are also limited in that they cannot apply their own definitions to force others, who exercise their freedom of choice, to do what one wants.

There are far more advantages under God’s ways that cannot be listed. Unfortunately, people want the power, they want their ways implemented, they want the control and say, which is why we get the Hitler’s, the Stalin’s, the Bush’s, and so on.  People desire the wrong things and in time they will discover that majority rule is not the ideal but very destructive, even with the best of intentions.

 
 
A Thief in the Night

Almost 40 years ago a Christian film was released with the same title and it was an instant success among Christians.  The plot was very simple as it followed the trials and woes of one non-christian woman who was left behind at the time of the rapture.

Yet this piece is not about the movie but certain aspects that took place within the story that could not be explained by the technology of the time.  Remember this film was made in the early 70's long before computers and other advances became part of normal everyday life.  So it stands to reason that there would be many unexplained events that appeared hokey at the time.

40 years later, it is easier to explain and understand how this events took place.  This article will only look at a few of the technological changes that help explain what took place in the movie. First, how could the people with the 'mark' communicate so well with each other?

Back in the 70's there were no cell phones, pagers were not the rage, neither were telephone answering machines in every household so how could these people communicate so well.  In those days, you had to track someone down, you called their friends, their favorite hangout spots or physically went looking for them.  It took a lot of time to find someone if they were not at home.

Now-a-days, one can text message, use a cell phone, a lot of people have them, instant message on the computer, leave a message on their machine and so on.  Unless people turn off their phones, their computers and screen their calls it is not difficult to communicate with others anymore.  Communicating with others is far less difficult now than it was in the past. 

But how could they track down those people who didn't want to be found and were in remote areas?  A little invention called GPS.  It is being found everywhere now.  First it was advertised as a great way to find your car when it was stolen, soon it was promoted as a great way to keep track of your children.  Every parent wants to protect their little ones thus it was an easy sell to get them to buy products that contain this tracking device.

Cell phones, shoes, cars, GPS is everywhere and with the help of satellites it is not hard to pinpoint a person's location even when their phones are off and it wasn't hard to convince consumers that this product was a must have.  People are afraid of something bad happening to them. They hate crime and do not want to be a victim thus the simple phrase 'law and order' was used to help change people's minds from rejecting GPS products to accepting them.

What better way to control people than to use fear or play upon people's fears. Because of fear America has 'the patriot act' (and other law and order type bills); a redundant piece of legislature that deprives people of more of their civil rights and freedoms.  All in the name of keeping the general public safe.

Another piece of technology that has advanced greatly over the decades is the computer chip.  Once too large, it is now so small that it can be implanted into a person's body just under their skin.  These microchips work off a number and contain vital personal information which can be expanded to contain all the financial information of a person or family.

Such are being tested right now as we read the odd newspaper article reporting on willing people who want to help advance law and order, safety and protection of one's money. Instead of being a mugging victim and losing one's credit cards or wallet full of cash, one just has a microchip installed in their body and their money is safe from criminals.  (Now, instead of a beating and loss of money in a mugging, people will just escape with a beating.)

With computers as advanced as they are, it is not hard to construct and install readers at checkout counters to help pay for food and other items or store entrance ways to guarantee entrance into the business. Yet how does a government convince people to switch to these microchips?  It isn't hard as they have allowed people to be trained through credit card use, store discount cards, direct deposits, debit cards and other cash free pay by a number method.

Another advance in technology that helps explain a lot of the action in the movie is fiber optics, security cameras, computer cameras and so on.  It has been rumored (and I have not verified this as I was told about this about 15 years ago) that the technology existed that enabled people to see through one's TV. set via fiber optics.  It was supposed to be military technology at the time and I have not kept up on it to see if it was possible or still in use.

Yet, even without that advantage, people are under scrutiny almost all the time now.  Countries and cities use cameras to watch traffic or high crime areas.  There are also a myriad of security systems out there in private business that record ones every move (casinos are famous for their camera security systems).  Others use their computer cameras to transmit to their friends or any other interested party their home activities.

If one wants to be seen, it is not difficult to be monitored.  Now these inventions and advances are not necessarily part of a great conspiracy.  Like all other inventions there is a good and bad use and most of these items mentioned were done so to help society. Unfortunately all inventions can have a bad use and it doesn't take much for a person with evil intent to twist the invention to meet their own perverted ends.

With an unsuspecting society, one trained by TV. and movies to be passive etc., it is not hard to usurp the original purpose of the inventions and allow the wrong people to be in control of everyone's life.  The law and order campaign sounds good to those who are afraid and it does provide a sense of security to those who feel they cannot defend themselves. Yet Hitler and the Nazis used law and order to gain power and we know how that turned out.

For the Christian, they should not have to worry about secular ideas of protection.  Law and order should not convince them to give away their rights or be caught in the trap of buying these products.  We have God who protects us, if we let him. He will also keep our children safe and give people peace of mind.  We do not need technology for it is a very limited field and it cannot stop a crime from being committed.

Instead we should be preaching a warning to the unsaved world, to keep them from being enslaved by nefarious schemes of those who will abuse technology for their own purposes.  The believer needs to turn to God for direction when it comes to security not the secular world, God's ways allow a person to remain free and unafraid.

The Bible does give instructions on what we should do in these matters and one is 'commit thy way unto the Lord and trust also in Him...' We need to trust God and the secular world needs to see that we do, so that they have no excuse for rejecting God's ways and so that they have a real alternative to choose if they want to leave their sinful lives behind.

Where did the movie producers get the title to their film? it is found in 1 Thess. 5: 1-3.  The rapture will happen, the mark will take place, they are real. It is time for the church to turn back to God's ways, leaving the world's ideas and strategies behind and cast their light once again on the path sinners need to take.  Things of this world are not that important to lose one's salvation over, and the believer needs to get their lives in tune with God's word and carefully follow them as the Holy Spirit leads.

 
 
Why Is There Suffering in the World ?

In his book, God’s Problem, Bart Ehrman asks one question:

“If there is an all powerful and loving God in this world, why is there so much excruciating pain and unspeakable suffering?” {Ehrman:2008}

and makes one explanation:

“…I could no longer explain  how there can be a good and powerful God actively involved with this world, given the state of things” {Ehrman:2008}

It is these two things I want to address with this article as it does not matter where you go, the atheist argument is the same. Yet to understand Ehrman we need to turn to one of his other books, Misquoting Jesus, to get his perspective of spiritual matters. He writes
Before this- starting with my born again experience in high school, through my fundamentalist days at Moody, and on through my evangelical days at Wheaton- my faith had been based completely on a certain view of the Bible as the fully inspired, inerrant word of God. Now I no longer saw the Bible that way. The Bible began to appear to me as a very human book…This was a human book from beginning to end.” {Ehrman:2005}

In his writings, Ehrman seems to have forgotten or ignored one of the very pillars of the faith. Everyone has this ability, everyone exercises it in some way, and everyone hates it when others do the same thing. That pillar is the gift or right of free choice that God has endowed upon His creation to ensure that those who choose to follow Him do so because they want to not because they are made to.

How does this relate to the issue of suffering, especially since many people suffer without choosing to do so? They live in earthquake zones, tornado areas and they certainly do not choose to remain but their circumstances seem to hold them to those areas not grating them the right to move away.

But is it their circumstance only or is it their hold on an area, calling it home, that makes them refuse to leave? Many times we here the cry, ‘but this is my home, where would we go?’ Thus it is not always a forced choice that makes people remain in parts of countries that are hazardous to life. There are many reasons why people do not move to safer regions of their country.

Then there is the argument about crime victims. Certainly they did not choose to be a victim. No, they did not but their being prey to criminals doesn’t depend upon their free choice, it depends upon the criminal’s choice and whom he or she wants to target for whatever reason they have. If there were no victims, then there would be no crime and we would live in a perfect world where there would be no suffering.

It is unrealistic to think that one will escape suffering given the nature of the world and the sin and corruption that inhabits it along with good and morality. But why blame God for suffering when He was not the one who sinned and brought evil into a perfect world? Why blame God for a person’s inaction?

Let’s look at that a little more closely. Here we have the God of the Bible, stating that He is all powerful, and that there is none like Him in the universe and we have a world full of wars, hatred, crime, suffering and so much more. Why is that?

Well once again God has given His creation the power to freely choose to follow evil or Him and if they choose to follow evil then goodness is not going to be found in large quantities in that person or persons. We can point to many a dictator who chose power and greed over helping his countrymen, we can point to world leaders who sought world domination over feeding and helping the poor of the world.

Yet we need to point to the everyday man who rejects the teachings of the Bible and refuses to follow them because he or she thinks they are outdated, meant to control them, inferior, or written for a religious purpose, etc. and the words just aren’t true. So they strive to find their own way through life, becoming vulnerable to destructive work of the devil.

 People brush off this being simply because they do not want to believe in the supernatural and do not accept the evidence for his existence and evil work. How does this apply to suffering. Let me illustrate:

In an earthquake prone country, the contractor is tempted to save money by using inferior materials, and when a disaster strikes, the innocent get hurt because the buildings were not strong enough to withstand the power of an earthquake or tornado. One might ask, where is God in all of this? Well He wrote the Bible on what to watch out for and how to live, He sent prophets to make His message clearer, He sent His son to teach, who in turn sent out disciples who built a church so that future generations would hear of God’s way of doing things from wise and learned teachers

Even with all of those messengers, and scriptures being in existence for millennia people still have the right to freely choose and if they do not choose to follow God’s commands and teachings then innocent people are going to suffer.

One cannot blame God for man’s choices. One cannot blame God for not saving them when He has tried but people do not listen. For example, a woman who has been battered throughout her married life could have avoided such suffering if she listened to God telling her through various means that she should not marry the man. We often hear of the excuse, ‘But I love him and he will change…’ or something similar.

Same for other situations, a family purchases a house that carries a mortgage that is too high for their income and soon their family falls apart because of financial circumstances. It is not god’s fault that the family chose to buy such an extravagant property, He warned them to be good stewards, He warned them not to pursue the things of the world and so many other warnings. Yet the family goes ahead and makes the purchase, thinking nothing will happen to them.

One of the reasons that there is suffering in the world is that people refuse to listen to God and do things His way. They succumb to the wiles of evil and desire those things that are sinful and God has warned about that as well when He said ‘man loves darkness rather than light.’ This is not restricted to the secular world as we see Christian churches and congregations, one after the other, ignore what God has said in His word and pursued the things of this world; ultimately ruining their chance to make an impact for God in things that really matter.

Suffering happens when people ignore God. Now atheists and agnostic, like Ehrman, will make the demand that if God is so super powerful He should make all suffering go away. But why should God do so when a large amount of the earth’s population reject His word, call it false and a human product, or say that He, His son and other spiritual beings do not exist? Or do not believe the miracles as told in the Bible?

So why should God, be at the sinners beck and call, just because they do not want to pay for their choices and demand a better way of life? Why should the atheist and other unbelievers reap the benefits of God’s power and love, when they reject God’s option and whine and cry that they should be able to live as they please and still have a good life sans suffering and problems. Such attitudes are what are found in spoiled children.

Also, why should God use His miraculous supernatural power because someone who does not believe He exists or possesses such power demands it be done? What good will it do if He did do so? It would only reinforce the atheists’ way of life, making them stronger in their unbelief because they got God to act without their humbling themselves and repenting of their sins. All they would prove is that they do not have to change to be relieved of pain and suffering which is just not true.

God will use His power to end suffering, but that is reserved for those who have endured and kept the faith, not for those who rejected it to live a sinful life. It is also not for this world. Because man has a sin nature, because man rejects God’s solutions suffering will always take place and innocent people will always get hurt.

But He will not do it as a servant to the unbeliever. Of course people like Ehrman ignore all those Christians who sacrifice to bring help to those in need and try to stop their suffering but the biased nature of atheists, will leave that out for it will end their arguments against God. The atheist doesn’t want the truth, they do not want the whole picture, they do not even want to accept the fact that their decisions help bring suffering to the world.

As Paul said in 2 Thess. 2:10c “…they perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” The truth is suffering came into this world through Adam’s sin and it continues because man chooses to follow evil not God. Suffering is here because of man and it is wrong to blame God for the existence of something one refuses to rid from themselves and follow righteousness.

This applies to the Christian world just as it does the secular because many people call themselves Christian yet as God said “why do you call me Lord when you do not do the things I Say.” Suffering happens in the church for many reasons and one reason is because the believer has refused to listen to God and His direction. They are swayed by the sweet words of evil and turn their eyes away from God and focus on what they can gain in this world. We must accept the fact that innocent people are going to suffer, we must accept the fact that suffering is going to be present till the end of time. What can we do about it? We can lessen the suffering by listening to God’s solutions, following them, continue to help those in need and preaching the truth.

It should be mentioned that death will happen regardless, no matter the age of the person as that is the only way for the believer to be with God at this time. God does not promise a long life, a good one nor a life free from suffering, for Jesus said, ‘pick up thy cross and follow me.’ Are we greater than Jesus that we do not suffer for following Him and His words? No, thus even the believer will suffer at some point in their lives. Our hope is, to help us endure, that one day the suffering will end and there will be no more innocent victims.

 
 
Christian Behavior

It has often been said that ‘Christian men are far worse in their behavior towards women than secular men.’ This is not referring to the patriarchal attitude, or the fact that the husband is the head of the home but instead it is referring to the sexual communication and contact Christian men use towards Christian women, (and any other woman for that matter).

It seems that many Christian men cannot control or conquer their sexual desires and place women in very uncomfortable positions, even those who are married to each other. The idea of men thinking about sex all the time should stop with secular men for those who have repented of their sins, have far more to deal with than where their next sexual encounter is going to come from.

Such bad behavior sets a poor example and demonstrates that the person making the suggestive remarks or action has not learned the lessons of the Bible and how one is supposed to conduct themselves towards others, including women. Different books of the Bible have the proper behavior Christ would like to see his followers implement into their lives. Galatians 5:13-15, 22-26 is one such passage; Ephesians 5: 25-33 is another and 1 John 2: 15-17 is yet another good passage for Christian men to apply to their attitudes, their behavior and their emotions.

One of the things that has bothered me over the years, and I do not know if it still continues as much as it did or how widespread it is any more, is the scene where the senior pastor, and/or his associates, hug every female congregant as the leave the church building at the end of the service. Whether it is just an arm aro9und the shoulders or a full hug, this kind of act really should not be practiced.

There are several reasons for this, one, it sets a bad example to the other men in the church. For if the Pastor does not respect another man’s wife but freely touches her, then they think ‘so can they’. There are boundaries and rules that need to be followed in this issue and the pastor should be the one implementing them so that all men learn how to treat the women of other men.

The idea that they are a ‘sister in Christ’ is not an excuse or justification to wrap one’s arms around a woman who is not your own wife or real sister, mother or aunt etc. It is an offense to that woman’s husband and an invasion of his area of life.

Two, it can send the wrong signal or lead to temptation of the part of both parties. This may not happen often but it does happen and it can start sowing seeds of destruction to a happy marriage or open the door wider for the partner of a bad marriage to take further liberties with other men/women and break the commandment, ‘thou shalt not commit adultery’.

Third, it shows a misunderstanding of what being ‘free in Christ’ means. Freedom is NOT doing what one wants to anyone they please. That is anarchy and sin. Freedom is where you respect the other people and their boundaries and freedoms and do not impose your own upon those who have not accept your idea of the word ‘freedom’ means.

Women are not here to be abused by those men who cannot control themselves or act in an adult, respectful manner. Christian men need to be different than secular men for they are not pursuing the same things nor have the same beliefs, or at least they should not. They have far more responsibility than the secular world as they have to be an example not only to their own children but an example to the unbelieving world so that both can see Christ in the Christian man’s lives.

It does not do a Christian man any good if he is seen as worse than the unbelieving world, it does not help the church make an impact for Christ and it creates a stumbling block for others, whether they be young Christians or non-Christian. If the secular world sees carnal behavior in the church then they will see that Christ has nothing to offer them and that Christian men (and women) are no different than themselves thus they will conclude that Christ is not real nor worth converting to.

Christian men have a lot to consider and even though they do not speak, their actions do ‘speak louder than words’ and not just to the unbeliever but to the Christian woman as well.  Women need a good leader to help them stay on the straight and narrow and if they cannot find it in the church or their Christian husbands then the devil gets a foothold in yet another person and can work his destructive ways in their lives and families.

Men need to be strong, they need to learn how Jesus wants them to act and they need to learn to conquer those sins that will bring ruin to their testimony and lives and deal with them. This does not mean that a Christian man cannot talk to, date or romance a Christian woman. It means that they treat her in the right way keeping the intimate aspects of romance in their proper place—the marriage.

In today’s world it is not easy to do this as the secular world bombards everyone with illicit and wrong sexual activity and contact between the two sexes but that is why Jesus wrote in the Bible ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’. We do not have to go it alone and men it is important to grasp this for there is a lot more at stake than a sexual act. The sex act or parts thereof, are only one aspect of a love life and romance, keep it in its proper place and do not sin.

Then conduct your dating, your engagement and your marriage to the Glory of God so that they unchurched world will see a difference and desire a change to God’s way and salvation.