In respect to The Episcopalian Church

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2015 by juliemillerfan

Someone I know on Facebook posted a marginally tongue in cheek blog that said “24 reasons why Christians are Abandoning Evangelical Christianity in favor of the Episcopal church.”

My original comment to that was I would never abandon orthodoxy in favor of heresy.   The original poster asked me specifically who and what I was making my comment to and called me to task about calling Episcopalian theolgoy heresy…. and asked me to be more direct in my statements in the future.

I replied back thus:   I would never abandon EVANGELICAL Christianity in favor of EPISCOPALIAN heresy.  AND…. IT…. IS.

Another of my old and long time friends spoke up in defense of Episcopalian theology…. and suggested several Anglican authors…. to which this was my reply.  I repost it here because I’m pretty sure my comment won’t last all that long where it was originally stated.

 When a “church” rejects the scriptures as the rule and governance of faith — when the church sits in judgement over what is or isn’t relevant from scripture — that “church” has abdicated it’s place within the body and separated itself from Christ’s lead.
 
When the EPISCOPALIAN Church started down the path of accepting homosexuality as a norm and then, beyond even that, ordaining gay Priests…. they stopped being the Church of Christ and became merely yet another idolatrous bastardization of what the true Church is and stands for. Truth is not subject to cultural whims… and the scriptures do not bend to the fickleness of humanity.
 
I’ll stand with John MacArthur on this one:
 
“This is not the true Church. Their theology is aberrant, their conduct is aberrant, and they engage themselves in things that are utterly ungodly and unbiblical,” MacArthur says. “I think you have to see it as the church of Anti-Christ — and why would a believer want to be a part of the church of Anti-Christ?”
 
Taken from this interview / article: http://www.crosswalk.com/1229890/

Is God unjust in condemning men to Hell?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2014 by juliemillerfan

What follows is a forum debate from Facebook… all PERTINENT comments (meaning, not all comments are reprinted, because not all of them are relevant) and my personal responses. This will be a lengthy blog post… but well worth investing in if this question has ever confronted you. Atheists love to throw this one out — making God the “bad guy” because he doesn’t “LOVE” the world enough to save EVERYONE…. here’s the initial question that started things off.

May I ask how Calvinists who believe that God has determined in advance who will be saved reconcile that with the issues with which it inevitably comes into consideration – the omnipotence and omnibenevolence of God, and the perception (encouraged by the preaching activities and exhortations in the Bible) that by preaching and persuading it is possible for someone who was not saved to become saved? For anyone less familiar with the territory (and it is territory upon which many have made the decision for agnosticism or outright disbelief) the essentials are: 1-if God is omnipotent, he could save every body. So why would he not do that? 2-If God was not able to prevent people from being lost, and needed us to preach and witness as much as possible and even then most humans would miss it, then he would not be omnipotent. 3- If God chose to not save some people, and instead by implication condemn them to hell, he cannot be all loving. 4-If it is all decided in advance by God, there is obviously no point in trying to influence matters here. We would do better to concentrate on living happy, healthy, loving, creative lives here in the creation where God put us. 5- if we can influence outcomes here, then there is obviously not total predestination. But then we should be manic about it – what else can possibly matter than eternal salvation? Behind all this is the core question – does/did/could God decide in advance that some would be saved and some not? The answer is either that he is omnibenevolent but not omnipotent, or the other way around. What position do strict election only Calvinists take?

Ok…. here’s the responses. I will label the Original Poster as PP: myself as ME: and give a first name for anyone else. (for the record — Omnibenevolent = the idea that God Kindness extends to one and all. It is NOT found in scripture and is NOT used by most theologians when referring to God.)

Darrell: Here we go, Arguments from human reasoning rather then scriptures. What you do not understand is that God has a plan that he worked out before creation and everything happens to bring that plan about. Here is some logic to ponder. Why would God go to the trouble of creating man if He knew man would fall? Gods plan was to save the Elect. To do that, man had to fall and Christ had to redeem. God is benevolent towards the Elect. You cannot limit God by your ideas of what God must be or must do to be righteous. You judge God to be evil if He does not fit your measure for Him.

PP: Darrell, you ask the right question. Why indeed would God go to the trouble of creating sentient creatures with the intention of damning some of them? From the perspective of those creatures that is not good.

ME: PP — Consider the words of Romans 9 — let’s break it down verse by verse for a moment. What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? God has already prepared them for destruction… they are the objects of his wrath. This is put in a present tense, even though this wrath has not yet occurred. (Romans 9:22) Why has he done so? Because of their sin. God did not MAKE them sin… God has not made ANYONE sin… ever… And God has told one and all that there will be Judgement over sin. But men REFUSE to listen. Jesus said it best on this front: This is the verdict, light has come into the world, but men PREFERRED darkness because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19) Now… From this point we come to the next verse — What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— (Romans 9:23) The whole matter for which God has displayed His wrath is that we might know and understand more fully the depths of his Glory. Let me assist you by summing all your 5 questions into one simple one — Why did God allow evil? That one question really kind summarizes most of what you’re asking — but once you understand the “WHY”…. everything else sort of falls into place. WHY did God allow evil? Because if we had not known Evil (in our selves) God’s mercy would NEVER have had a chance to have been displayed, God’s grace would have NEVER been known. When I see my own evil…. when I view my sinfulness for what it is… forgiveness, mercy and grace become all the more precious and dear. And that would have never been so, had evil never existed. God often does WHAT He does so that HIS power, (or mercy, or Justice, or grace, or compassion, or whatever) might become known. Go back to Romans 9 for a second… back up about 5 verses and you find this little gem of a verse —- For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:17) GOD — put evil Pharaoh into position so that HIS OWN POWER might be displayed throughout the whole Earth… THROUGH Pharaoh’s sinful choices. The same could easily be said of Herod and Pontius Pilate if one merely reads Acts 4:27-28 — They were placed into power BY GOD’S DECREE…. so that the death of Christ would in fact occur…. AND YET….. They are still judged for their sinful actions, BECAUSE… it was precisely that… THEIR sinful actions… not God’s. I hope this helps to make sense of things for you… I’m more than willing to carry this conversation forward if you feel it necessary.

PP: Wayne, You said it all came down to God permitting or lining up certain people or groups up for destruction in order to show his glory. The core dilemma is that if God could not prevent them from being evil, this affects the idea of him as all powerful. And if he did but chose not to, or indeed if he was causal in them doing the evil (‘hardened their hearts’ etc)then how is that compatible with God as good? That is the big general question, since you wanted to open it out to the question of Evil in general. I find it perplexing, so do many. I am interested to know how others here have come to terms with this, other than by ignoring it. However my question was originally about specifically Calvinist approaches, and how you decide what to do if you believe in strict election.

ME: Why should he “PREVENT” them from being evil if that is not their desire? God will give you the desires of your heart…. If your desire is to have NOTHING to do with God whatsoever… doesn’t it follow that he will give you just that? C S Lewis aptly stated — the doors of Hell are locked… from the inside.

PP: Wayne I agree with everything you say in your last post. But somewhere down the line strict electionism , unless I am mistaken, says that God selected some people to be saved and others not. If you do not believe that to be the case, that’s great. But I thought Calvinists did, I’ve come here to find out, and if they do i think there is a problem, just as I described in the OP.

ME: Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated….. said before either of them were born. (Romans 9, If memory serves me correctly….)

Anita: I think we need to be more charitable when people come with questions and not go on the attack, assuming they are out to argue or persuade us away from our positions. Phil’s questions were reasonable and deserved to be answered without hostility and accusations, which most of you did. I’ve struggled with the same questions. Why not save all? I finally realized that if God had only saved one person in all of history, that would be an incredible act of mercy. Instead He has saved millions. And He chose to save me, which boggles my mind! Most of us who were not saved as Calvinists have had to struggle with these questions at some point. Gracious explanations from Scripture will do more to win people over than insults and accusations.

PP: Wayne, you are telling me that the first answer as to why God is prepared to not just allow but preordain that certain people will be lost is because he can do so if he wishes. This means he is not the God of Love, God is Love etc. Or you say he does not love everyone equally, which is also not the God of love of JOhn 3 16, or you say as Brian did that God is Good but in a completely different sense of the word that is beyond our understanding and not to be compared with what we mean by ‘Good’, and that amounts to the same thing again

ME: Phil, here’s your catch-up, the point at which you are stuck. You feel that God should be OBLIGATED to save all men. That would be “Love” in your view. But let me ask you a simple question. Would it be “Love” to violate someone’s desires and twist them in a direction that they don’t want to go? In the real world we would call that manipulation, and we would frown upon it … and in more extreme cases (Jeffrey Dahlmer, John Wayne Gacy…) we would look upon such a one as a monster. But this is what you would have God do…. to turn you in a direction that you DON’T care to go. One of my previous comments to you pointed this out — God gives you the desires of your heart. The scripture is quite clear — No man DESIRES God naturally. (Romans 3:10-18) At the end of the day (or, rather, at the end of time) God gives you what you want…. and you wanted NOTHING to do with him, his ways or his definition of “Sin” and “Salvation” Is this wrong? No, because God has set the parameters — God is the standard by which all things are judged. It is within His RIGHT to do as He wills…. it is HIS creation after all. you’re merely a bit player on a grander scale than you can conceive. You keep asking about “Love”…. The very verse you keep pointing to us…. well…. it has a tragic ending…. John 3:16 does indeed say “For God so loved the World…..” But what does the following verses say which were just as much a part of that given conversation? John 3:19 says this — This is the verdict (RE: a legal judgement) Light has come into the world (Jesus, referring to himself) but men PREFERRED darkness because their deeds are evil. Men don’t want to change — they don’t want to agree with God that what they do, what they think, what they fell, how they act — all of this — is Evil in his sight. Paul, in Ephesians, painted the NON-Christian mind this way: (A) they are futile in their thinking (B.) they are darkened in their understanding (C) they are separated from the life of God (D) they are ignorant (E) they have hardened their hearts against God (F) they have lost all (moral) sensitivity (G) they have abandoned themselves over to sensuality so as (H) to be guided only by their lusts. All that is in 2 simple verses (Ephesians 4:18-19) and explains why men don’t care about God or his ways — they prefer their sinning. They have hardened their hearts — And you would have God violate that???? as an act of “Love”??? OK…. let’s suppose for a moment that he does…. in the real world if someone has been manipulated… and knows it…. do they “LOVE” the manipulator back? No…. they will despise such a one who forced them to do what they did not want to do. They will not “love” them. John 3:16 — For God so loved the world… John 3:18 — ….whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. God set up the parameters for salvation — Believe on his Son and you will be saved. But people spit on that and say — F**k that, I am going to believe what I want to believe. That is the essence of what sin is — rebellion AGAINST God…. against all that He has said. This doesn’t make that man God’s child, his friend — that makes men — ALL MEN —- His enemies…. which is likewise clearly portrayed in scripture….. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —- For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:8,10 God’s Enemies!!! That is where you are right now… His ENEMY…. and you would demand of him to “Save you” despite this fact…. Well… He has …. He offers you life eternal, if you will but believe…. but your stubborn refusal to do so is your own doing, your own choice. Which brings us back to your question — Why did God ordain some to be saved and some to be destined for eternal flames? Where’s the justice? I would turn it back upon you and state: Where’s the justice if God were to FORCE you to be something you’re not? When does that become “LOVE”? You demand of God to accept you as you are… But the one thing you fail to see in all of this (well, two things actually) is (A) that God is HOLY. Nowhere in Scripture does it state that God is “Love, love, love” — but SEVERAL places in Scripture state that God is “Holy, Holy, Holy” stressing the fact that He is pure beyond measure. And God’s Holiness is what you despise — because that holiness demands that you pay for your sins. (B.) You fail to see that God has shown love to you… and to all… you fail to see it because you reject it as an answer. Jesus, hanging on the cross, was God’s superlative act of love. God came to earth in human form. God walked among men. God understood what temptations and trials we face. God even cried at the death of a friend. And then God took upon himself the loathing and scorn that the world holds for him. God took upon himself a beating so brutal that he probably should have died from it. God took upon himself mocking and shame. God took it to the cross…. and nailed it there with his own hands and his own feet. And he did all that…. to show you the lengths to which love will go…. TO LOVE AN ENEMY. The responsibility is yours — but when you understand that you are DEAD in your sins and BLIND in your understanding… and only God can raise the dead back to life, and give sight to the blind… then you have the missing pieces to the puzzle that right now escapes you. The NON-Christian mind will NEVER…. and I repeat…. —->>>> NEVER <<<<—- understand the actual love that God holds for them… because they reject his answer as “Love”. Simple as that.

Andre: The first thing that comes to mind when I see these type of arguments is the perception of God’s obligation. He created all things for His own glory. How is this missed by so many? Our very salvation is not chiefly for our benefit but chiefly for His glory. If we don’t start there we’re going to come up with all kinds of (even subtle) humanistic objections to His sovereignty as expounded upon by Calvinistic doctrine.

ME: Andre — They miss it precisely because they don’t WANT it to be about GOD’S Glory… they WANT it to be about themselves. Remember in C S Lewis amazing work, The Great Divorce, where folks were taking a trip from Hell to Heaven…. and why… because they wanted to preach to those in Heaven about how they felt slighted because it wasn’t all about them. The objected to giving Glory to God even when in Hell precisely because they refused to give glory to God while living on Earth. without Christ showing us how self-centered we really are… all of us would assume the role of “little gods” demanding glory for ourselves.

Andre: My question was more rhetorical (directed at professing Christians who bring up these types of objections) but very well put Wayne Shuman! I guess eventually the question could be come (if you continue to miss this as a professing Christian) what do you really understand about salvation and God? I’m not even saying a person has to or doesn’t have to be a five point Calvinist, but at least understand that God is not obligated to save us, or understand the reason He made us and saves some.

PP: I get all you say about God not forcing salvation on those who reject it. No issue. My concern was about God choosing some for destruction and giving them no opportunity for salvation at all. Atheists challenge Christians on this, saying it proves God is not the God of Love. Many evangelicals try to argue against it, but it is a hard argue (I know because I have tried!) and can get very convoluted. So I wondered what Calvinists think, and it turns out you agree with the atheists – God does not love all, loves some more than others, and chooses to send some to destruction. I was surprised by your answers, but I accept it as evidenced in many places in scripture and history. I need to think now about what I make of it personally.

Charlie: How do you get around: “chosen before the foundation of the world”?

ME: Charlie — His problem isn’t so much with the “Chosen before the foundation of the world” regarding those who are saved…. but rather those who are NOT…. He’s trying hard to understand WHY God would (seemingly unjustly) condemn some men to Hell….. without ever giving them a chance to be saved. What he’s not seeing (PP that is) is that God does offer opportunities to them… and they reject them one and all. It all turns on Romans 3:10-18, 23…. and then Romans 6:23… the basic Romans road passages. God extends the invitation to ALL men… but yet MOST men will not listen… preferring instead to live in their sin. It also hinges upon what Paul writes / God says about Pharaoh & Esau in Romans 9…. God DID (in point of fact) condemn both these men… and one of them before he was born. Phil would think that this condemnation is not in line with what he understands of God’s Love…. how could God love someone … and never give them a chance. YET — God did. On both points. He both condemned Esau before he was born…. AND…. mark this ….. He likewise gave him every chance to repent of his sins THROUGHOUT HIS WHOLE LIFE. Esau was raised in a Godly family. Had Godly witness. Was told the truth his entire life —- and chose to go his own way. Does that make God the bad guy? Is God unjust because he didn’t do more to convince Esau (& Pharaoh & the rest of the world) that they needed to repent? God gives us life. sometimes 20, sometimes 30, sometimes 40, sometimes 50, sometimes 60, sometimes 70, sometimes 80, sometimes 90 YEARS of it…. 90 x 365 x 24 x 60 = 47,304,000(+++… I didn’t include leap years) minutes…. whereby any given person on this planet (who lives to be 90) is given opportunities to repent of their sins. God GIVES us life…. and we squander it on the most banal of things. Does God CHOOSE some to be condemned. Scripturally — Yes. But —->>>> MARK THIS <<<<—- He DOES NOT LEAVE THEM WITHOUT A WITNESS TO HIS WAYS…. he does not leave them without opportunity. He does not condemn them unjustly. They will be condemned…. and at that time they will be shown all that they have squandered in the way of missed opportunities of Grace and Mercy. Is it really any wonder that Revelation 2,9 & 16 all carry this similar thought — They were given time BUT THEY REFUSED TO REPENT. (Revelation 2:21; 9:21; 16:11)

Ok, there you have it as it stands for the moment…. the questions and answers regarding “Is God unjust in sending men to hell”, “Why is there Evil” “Why does God ordain some to damnation?” and “Why doesn’t God ‘LOVE’ everyone enough to save them all?” And I am sure this is only scratching the surface of this issue. For the record, this conversation has been ongoing for the last week or so. It’s been an interesting adventure, as most people simply wanted to attack PP for even asking the question and daring to call into question God’s reasons for doing things the way He has chosen to. (All of that was edited out… and there was a lot of it…) Thankfully, some people took the question seriously enough to respond and give it careful thought.

Where your thinking follows, so does your heart.

Posted in Christianity, Sin, Theology on July 2, 2014 by juliemillerfan

My status update at Facebook just now.  This is a thought I had this morning while reflecting on scripture and my own sinfulness.  I share it in the hopes that it will help others.  (BTW: the color coding is intentional. In my bible I have used colored pencils for over 30 years to highlight specific themes.  Thus red = sin, green = grace, forgiveness or salvation. Purple = a commandment to follow, blue = judgement upon sin or sinful men, Orange = the Character or Nature of God.  There are other colors, but these are the basics to help reflect the sense and meaning of what you’re reading here. )

What we feed into our thoughts produces actions which in the long run produces consequences and in the end, judgment.

James 1:14-15  But your own evil desires tempt you (what we feed into our thoughts). They lead you on and drag you awayWhen they are allowed to grow, they give birth to sin (producing sinful actions). When sin has grown up, it gives birth to death. (the consequence before final judgment)

Is it any wonder then that Paul counseled us:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  (Philippians 4:8)

The Gospel in under 5 minutes

Posted in Christianity, Evangelizing, Gospel, Jesus, The Bible, Theology, Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 19, 2014 by juliemillerfan

So I was questioned on Facebook as to whether I could present the gospel in under 5-10 minutes.   This was my reply.

Our sin is a great offense to the Holiness of God (Habakkuk 1:13), to the degree that we are all not Children of God but rather Enemies of God because of it. (Ephesians 4:18-19; Colossians 1:21) Nothing we could do on our own could ever pay for our sins because our very actions to attempt to do so are sinful in themselves. (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10-18, 7:21; Ephesians 2:9) In this, we are hopelessly lost and face the wrath of God because of the stubbornness and hardness of our hearts. (Romans 2:5; Ephesians 4:18-19)

Yet through the blood of Christ, God has provided the very atonement necessary to bring about our redemption, salvation and through the indwelling Holy Spirit, our sanctification and adoption into the Family of God. (Colossians 1:13; Romans 8:14-17)

Atone-what? Sanctifi-who? In short what this means is this: When you trust in Christ, when you submit to the fact that He is the Lord and you are but His creation, God takes all your sins, past, present and future, and buries them in the same grave that Christ was buried in — this is known as Grace (Ephesians 2:8-10).   After this follows baptism (BELIEVER’S BAPTISM following after Salvation, not as a means of obtaining one’s salvation) as a symbolic unionizing of you with Christ that gives you the promise of a resurrection just as Jesus came out of the grave unto new life.

These promises are given evidence to by the Holy Spirit who now comes to live in you and to empower you to do what you normally could not have done before — please God. (Romans 8:1-11) That is what Atonement and Sanctification are, in part. This doesn’t make you a sinless human, instead it gives you the humility to accept your failures and to repent of them — as often as they happen. (Titus 2:11-13: 1 John 1:9, 2:1-2)

One of the greatest of these promises is this: Never will I leave you, neither will I forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5b; Romans 8:31-39) In becoming a Child of God, through faith (Hebrews 11:1, 6; Acts 16:31), you are vested into God’s family for eternity. There is no power in all the universe that can strip that away from you. This leads to other promises pertaining to protection, provision, comfort, care and life. But they are all predicated upon this: —->>> God is Faithful <<<—- and just, and WILL (This marks any promise of God… this one word: W-I-L-L) forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Answering the Liberal Jesus Pt. 2

Posted in Christianity, Discernment, Gospel, Jesus, Liberalism, The Bible, Theology, Uncategorized on February 22, 2014 by juliemillerfan

This is part 2 of a conversation I was having on Facebook with several liberals about what it means to follow Jesus and who Jesus really is. The last part was my previous post. It actually would be better to start there then come here.

  • Wayne Shuman Brian — let me add in retrospect that I am not trying to be combative, though it might come off that way. I am simply trying to make sure that the terminology we’re using is clearly understood and defined. You say that you admire missionaries…. I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page with that term.
  •  Andrew —->   Judge not, that ye be not judged.
  • Kevin  —–> Wayne, are you paid by the word?
    • Wayne Shuman (A) Kevin, no. I simply like to be thorough when speaking about important issues.

      (B) Andrew, finish that out. Why stop at verse 1. Verse 5 actually states “FIRST… remove… THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE…” which when put in complete context isn’t a condemnation of judging but a guideline for doing it rightly. For the record, that is Matthew 7:1-5. It’s such a grossly misapplied scripture that I labeled it one of the top 5 abused scriptures of all time back when I blogged about what the top 5 were.

      juliemillerfan.xanga.com

      I started this post on Sept 2nd.  I continued working on it on Sept 13th, then again from Sept 29th thru Oct 1st.  Today is Oct 5th and I hope to finish it… if it takes me all day to do so.
  • Brian —–>   Again, I apologize – late to the party. I am still sick, but not seriously so. I had the flu on the 15th through the 18th, and it led to some kind of ‘super-bug’ that I’m still getting over, but being my stubborn self, it only meant I have been miserable at work and tired when I get home, so I haven’t spent much time on Facebook (get home, put the kids to bed, collapse). I appreciate the concern, but I sense that it’s nearing the finale and I’ll be back to 80-90% by the time the work week starts.

    I appreciate the clarity and additional details behind what drives you to your calling, and I do admire anyone who has a true calling, such as missionary work, monastic life, ministerial, etc. However, (I believe) unlike you, I have a great deal of respect for those who have a calling that is not based in Christianity explicitly but has the same calling to save people – be it Paul Farmer, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Martin Luther King, or Gandhi, among many others. I think it is a little unfair to classify non-Christian missionaries as giving people a pat on the back, feeding them a meal and telling them it will be okay eventually; I think that a great majority of people who do non-profit work are looking to fundamentally change the world and give people the tools they need to better their lives permanently. That said, I do appreciate your conviction.

    On to the basis of the conversation, which I didn’t really adequately respond to earlier. It was a relatively light-hearted and clearly snarky poster based on the over-simplification and demonification of a man who is about as much a socialist in point of fact, statements, and policy as Ronald Reagan was. Still, a few points I would like to make:

    1) When I look at the full scope of the Bible, and I admit, I am not a strict interpretationalist and do not subscribe to the idea that the Bible is the direct word of God but has a fair amount of human interpretation and contradiction, especially in the Old Testament – but if I believe that the words Jesus taught in the Bible have a weight of x, then his actions have a weight of 2x, and the actions of his direct apostles have a weight of 1/2 x, their words about 1/4 x, and followers of the followers rapidly become less and less meaningful. So if there are contradictions, I am going to look to the actions of Jesus, then his words, as the arbiter. Your statements about endorsing war generally refer to the old testament, and to Paul, who I personally feel took Christianity a bit off kilter from his own interpretation. Granted my opinion is probably worth less than a thousandth of what he wrote by my own weighting system, but that is how I interpret things. War isn’t really at issue from the original placard anyway so I think I’ll just let it lie but state that I do not see much, if anything, in Jesus teaching or action as a tacit or even interprable endorsment of war. As for health care, I will grant you that Jesus did not go into hospitals and shut them down by providing free health care, but I will also state that ‘health care’ at that time was quite a bit different from now, and note the tone and intent of the sign. Strictly speaking, Jesus did provide ‘free health care’ directly to individuals. Not to all, but to some – probably more than Obama has. And I don’t dispute your point that Jesus did tell those people to reform and change their ways, so it wasn’t free from the standpoint you brought up, but from a strictly captialistic standpoint, it was. Likewise, when you look at how Jesus lived, handled money, and treated people, it is very easy to interpret it from the point of view of ‘socialism’ or ‘social good/social justice’. He routinely discarded and gave away money, insisted on living on the charity/good will of others, and repeatedly admonished his apostles when they worried about money. So, in the loose, snarky style of the poster originally posted, I think it’s not a stretch in any sense, and my interpretation of the New Testament is as valid as yours (and yes, I have studied the Bible and Crhsitianity for over 20 years as well).

    2) I admire the conviction of your faith, and the strength it requires to stand firm. However, I hope that you will at least consider my point of view – understanding that I will not likely change your belief, nor will you change mine – but perhaps my perspective can serve some good in the grand scheme of things. My believe, distilled down to a relatively short statement, is:

    I believe that there is a Creator, that we as humans have souls and that our Creator loves us and wants us to be with It. I also believe that any Creator powerful enough to put this universe into motion who truly cares for us wants to reach us in any way possible and will never turn us away – we will only turn away from that Creator. As such, I believe that salvation is possible at any time, in any way. It is literally never too late to accept that love, but what you do during your life informs your ability to accept that love after death.

  • Andrew ——> Wayne, you don’t think it still applies? I read the whole thing and posted what I felt was the message that applied in it’s simplest form…
    • Wayne Shuman Obama is a muslim who converted to Christianity and was a long standing member of his church in Chicago’s lower south side.

      SEE!!! Obama is a muslim!!!!

      So again, Andrew, tell me how you only pulled out the relevant portion? What follows adds both context and changes the intent. You CAN judge (RE: if you really want an eye opener, review 1 Corinthians 5…. where Paul writes that we ARE to Judge ANYONE who calls themselves a believer, by their lifestyle, and if they prove to be living for their sin rather than Christ — DO NOT EVEN EAT A MEAL WITH THEM….. pretty harsh judgment. Not nearly as harsh as 2 John 10 where John says that upon meeting someone preaching a false Gospel — don’t even say “Hi” to them…. or Paul likewise saying that those who preach a different gospel are condemned to Hell already. Galatians 1:8-10) but the basis for that judgment is the message of Christ regarding sin and righteousness.

      Now… I would hasten to add… that this doesn’t give the Church the right nor the power to extinguish it’s enemies like the Roman Catholics did for nearly 1,000 years, burning supposed heretics at the stake. In many cases, the Catholic church (Note: Small “c”. I do not believe the Catholic system represents Christ. I take my stand with the Reformation and the Puritans.) killed those who preached the true message of Christ and thus why they silenced them. (For the record, even Protestantism had it’s bad moments, RE: Servetus and likewise the German town which turned to mysticism and started preaching foolishness…. for which the Protestant Movement turned against and burned to the ground. But two incidents hardly compare to the hundreds of thousands the Catholic system perpetrated.)

      Now, Brian — what I just said to Andrew has bearing for you. You say you pull more weight from Jesus life and then from his teachings. Well — Jesus pointed directly to his message AS the very reason he was here… and likewise validated the Old Testament time and time again in his message. Point of fact, he quoted from every book of the OT except the book of Esther.

      Jesus said this: I am the way, the truth and the life. NO MAN comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME. (Emphasis added, but it’s hard to miss the exclusionary language… and it is there in the greek, I’ve studied it.) (Yes, I know some Greek, as well as Hebrew & Latin. I have for years Andrew & Kevin. Just never was a topic of conversation for work.)

      Thus you have Jesus, Himself, making a pretty direct exclusionary statement that directly claims SOLE —- SOLITARY — EXCLUSIVE — privy to entrance into God’s presence. This would likewise explain why Jesus could say such things as “Narrow is the way that leads to Heaven and few who find it.” It also explains why Peter could say “There is no other name under all of Heaven whereby a man may be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

      I expect that my next comment, if we go that far, will deal with God’s ability to preserve the Bible against the whims of men and keep it true to his intended purpose throughout the history of man. I’ll state up front that I believe the bible to be divinely inspired and kept true to the intended meaning through all these ages….. which makes every statement of Jesus as equally authoritative as his life and likewise makes Paul’s writings as binding upon the Church as the gospels. But I believe most of you knew that already.

  • Brian —–>  Wayne – I don’t disagree with anything in your post in terms of what you point out in the Bible. I would like to know if you consider, like many protestant and evangelical Christians, that Jesus’ death and resurrection represents a New Covenant that supersedes/replaces the Old Covenant of the Old Testament. If you are truly a student of the Bible, all its books (or at least all those that were put into what has become the modern Bible), then I shouldn’t have to point out the contradictions both in the Old Testament and between the Old and New Testaments. If the Old Testament still applies, do you follow all of the tenets found there? If not, why pick and choose portions? Jesus certainly did say that he did not come to overturn or change his father’s laws, but what he did do is turn the old Jewish model of adherence to ‘mitzvots’ on its head. The philosophy behind Judaism, at least as explained to me by a number of Orthodox Jews and several teachers on the subject, is that you follow the laws, explicitly and without question, and only learn/understand the intent of the laws through adherence. Christianity largely flips the equation around – understand the intent, the soul of the law, and adhere to the underlying principal – at least, that is what I have been taught. Again, I no doubt come from a different educational background and history than you do, and my intent is not to change your mind, just to understand the perspective.

    I am very familiar with John 14:6, but if you think there is only a single way to interpret that verse, or that it is clear, then I have to disagree. Some evangelicals would have you believe that you have to say specific words (not all that dissimilar from the first pillar of Islam) around accepting Jesus as your lord and savior. What I learned in some of my theology classes, and which I still subscribe to, is that Jesus, through his sacrifice, bridges the chasm of original sin, allowing us the opportunity to commune with God. If you truly believe that only by accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, in this life, can you have any chance to be saved, then that certainly informs your lifestyle choice, with at least 4 billion souls currently at risk of eternal damnation, many for merely not having the opportunity to even know about the life of Jesus or what Christianity really is. It also brings up difficult questions about those who never live long enough or lack the mental faculties to understand and accept the choice, or those that lived long before the time of Jesus.

    I’d be interested to hear your opinion on God’s ability to preserve the Bible against the whims of men, especially considering how frequently it has been used in such contradictory ways. Obviously, it is easy to say that the contradictions come from ‘false prophets’ or people attempting to mislead or warp the message, but I’ve seen many cases where both people arguing are doing so out of a genuine (or at least seemingly genuine) belief in their reading of the Bible. The judgement verses that you sent from Paul are a very good demonstration of just how different the teachings are/can be interpreted. Jesus never says anything even resembling encouraging judging others (the only verse even close I have seen is John 7:24) – everything is about not judging others. The context for the Apostle letters is clearly different and is about preserving the purity of the message of the early church.

  • Brian —–> Oh, and Wayne – Obama never was a Muslim, so even that first sentence is factually inaccurate before taking it out of context, although the point is still valid that people love to pull quotes out of context.
  • Andrew —–> If you can’t grasp the idea of me using only the relevant text to our discussion, we have reached an insurmountable impasse.
  • Brian —–>  In part. My main point is that the world is replete with people using the Bible to push personal agendas and generally missing the fundamental points of Jesus’ teaching, which really (in my view) boils down to the so called ‘Golden Rule’ – love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
    • Wayne Shuman I have to admit up front that the first time I saw that clip I laughed quite hard. Not because I found it funny, but because the script writer was an idiot.

      Not only was the script writer an idiot, but so were those who presented it to the general public as if this represented Christianity, and equally as if this argument was so final as to leave Christians speechless. Total idiots.

      (A) regarding the FOOD portion of the original covenant. Acts 10 clearly destroys that argument. I won’t go into details, I’ll keep it brief this time. But suffice it to say that When God spoke to Peter (a Jew) telling him to eat “Whatever you want” and likewise followed it up with “What I have called clean, don’t you dare call unclean.” Well…… yeah, the food laws just got shot down.

      But if you need it from the lips of Jesus — Mark 7:19 will do.

      (B) regarding the PRACTICE of the Old covenant. Jews were set apart BY THE LAW. That law kept them completely separated from every other nation around them. To this day Orthodox Jews are reviled because of their kosher laws which still…. to this day…. keeps them isolated from all other GENTILE people around them. But likewise, Paul shows us in Galatians that KEEPING the law amounts to ZIP, ZILCH, ZERO in the eyes of God. It never was about KEEPING the Law, it was about Faith. Abraham was justified BEFORE the Law was given. (Romans 4-5 spells this out clearly.)

      The Law was supposed to show the Holiness of God to the surrounding nations — it was supposed to be a visible means of displaying God’s character and nature — by the very fact that He is of too pure eyes to look upon sin. (Habakkuk 1:13) But the Jews came to believe that they were saved merely because they HAD the law. They were supposed to be a light to the nations, a witness to God’s character, but instead…. yeah…

      But Jesus came and did away with the Law….. right? Wrong. The law will still judge each and every one of us in the end…. precisely because it does display the purity and holiness of God. Jesus said that He didn’t come to DISPLACE the law, but rather to FULFILL it…. because only GOD could do so. Yes, I do believe that Jesus was God in the flesh and I believe there is ample evidence to that point.

      I am afraid I have to cut this short as I have Lasagna to make (like… from scratch…) and it’s gonna be several hours before I can finish this.

      Suffice it to say — The Old Covenant is not done away with… it is fulfilled…. in Christ. The New Covenant doesn’t completely do away with the Old — ask yourself two simple questions: Are you Jewish? (I assume that you are not) No, you are Gentile…. and Galatians 3 (as well as James 2 & Romans 3-6) all point to the fact that KEEPING the Law doesn’t save.

      What’s the second question? Why is Israel back as a Nation?

      Because the promises of God (TO ISRAEL) are not fully fulfilled as of yet. I believe it’s Zechariah who points to the fact that Israel would become a nation again… prophecy fulfilled…. all that’s left… is for Israel to receive the kingdom that God promised them UNDER THE OLD COVENANT.

      New Wine, Old wineskins.

      Your answer is actually found in simplicity in Acts 15:19-20 —

      It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

      Of all the law….. the only bits relevant to the Christian today are not the purification points… but the sexual sin issues (which yes, does include Homosexuality) and not eating blood.

      I guess Vampires won’t be in Heaven.

    • Wayne Shuman Andrew — I think the use of the word “Judge” that you’re looking for is actually John 3:18-19…. since we’re on the topic.

      Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands JUDGED already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

      Nevertheless, you call it relevant and I was only trying to show you that the way you intend to use it is not…. because of the context. If Jesus ONLY said Matthew 7:1 and nothing more… then yeah, you’re right. But Matthew 7:5 actually gives the guidelines & standard for right judgment… and thus Jesus isn’t saying NEVER JUDGE, but rather “judge properly”.

      1 Corinthians 2:15 should put this into perspective.

      The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,

      This is so because Christians have the mind of Christ to guide them.

      Those without Christ —-

      Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.

      (Ephesians 4:18-19)

      Andrew —–> Hey Kevin, does Facebook let you unsubscribe from your own timeline? I assume you had to ask yourself this at least once already…
      Andrew —–>  I enjoyed the Corinthians text, thank you. I feel like my initial point was missed, despite you reinforcing it…
      Jeff —-> You nailed my point Wayne by starting off “Paul wrote” Jesus didn’t say it… so by you telling me Paul told us to judge people is as important as saying Edgar Allen Poe wrote it. And IF Obama was Muslim and converted to Christianity that would make him a Christian… not a Muslim. I have worshiped at the same church as him, and belong to the same denomination. But congratulations on being completely without sin so you can judge everyone else.
      At this point I bowed out since it seemed we were only re-treading the same topics and as Andrew said, nothing was being listened to.  Still…. Jeff concluded perfectly:   Don’t tell me what the BIBLE says, I only want to follow what little part I feel is relevant to me.So typical of Liberal Christianity.

Comments on Kevin Max of DC Talk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 20, 2014 by juliemillerfan

This is from my auction of a DC Talk CD on Ebay. I only just found out a few months back that Kevin came out in favor of Rob Bell’s “Love Wins” book which promotes Universalism over Orthodox Christianity. Thus my very pointed commentary which I thought worth sharing here.

They claim that Christianity is one religion that shoots it’s wounded. I would honestly question whether those we “shoot” are honestly Christian to begin with. The world looks upon ANYONE — A-N-Y-O-N-E who claims to be “Christian” and simply doesn’t see any distinction. A Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, A Roman Catholic, A Baptist — they all claim to be Christian, so when we expose heresy and call supposed “christians” to repentance — The World sees us as merely attacking ourselves. The real matter comes down to this: There is only ONE — O-N-E — definition of Christianity and once you’ve changed the definition, you’re not a Christian — you’re really merely a heretic PRETENDING to be a Christian. Point in case — Kevin Max.

Having now shown that he is a universalist in belief, could you honestly state that he was EVER a Christian? The temptation here is to defend him on the basis of our personal exposure to the band, be it their music, their concerts or their “ministry”. Once we’ve done that, though — once we have stepped over the line to RE-DEFINING Christianity on the basis of our personal feelings towards things — we’ve lost the core essence of WHAT Christianity honestly is.

When someone shows that they believe in ANTI-Christian beliefs, they expose — with clarity — what was in their hearts all along. In the words of John, the Apostle — They left us because they NEVER belonged with us. (1 John 2:19) These words echo clearly the parable of the Soils that Jesus gave — Good soil, bad soil. Sheep — goats. Wheat – Tares. The interesting point of this is that all of these start as ONE SINGLE GROUP — but in the end — they are divided into “Those that followed Christ, sincerely…” and…. in the words of Jesus..

Away from me, you EVILDOERS, for though you claim to have worked in my name, and even call me “Lord, Lord”, yet I never knew you.

Kevin Max supports Rob Bell in his assertion that everyone goes to heaven cause God is just too nice to send anyone to Hell. That is the clearest definition of “Universalism”, and it is a heresy. It denies the very reason Jesus came to Die for our sins — to bring unity with God FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE.

Kevin may have talked — even sang — about “Jesus”…. the real question here comes down to — Was this Jesus the real deal? Anyone can create an idol, name it Jesus, and pass it off to people… looks about the same, sounds about the same, comes from Scripture…. kinda…. but once Kevin Max came out in support of heresy — He exposed clearly that the Jesus he “believes” in and preaches — is nothing more than one of the many thousand of idols that will be ultimately crushed when the real Christ returns to take his place as Ruler of Creation and all his ENEMIES are placed under his feet.

That is a fact. It is one that Kevin doesn’t like. That doesn’t make me “un-loving” for pointing it out — that makes me Christian. As part of our duty is to EXPOSE the darkness and preach the Truth.

DC Talk is not a Christian band — simply because — Kevin Max is, and never was, Christian…. as defined not by me, but by Scripture. You might like the music — but bear this in mind — Satan loves — L-O-V-E-S — bringing in counterfeits to confuse what’s real. Think about this as you listen to DC Talk now — Just what “Jesus” are they talking about….. if there is no Hell and everybody gets to Heaven because “God is too loving to deny them a place there.” I would personally love for Kevin Max to repent, openly and publicly, for his stand… and to HONESTLY take a stand for the REAL Jesus. But for now —- He’s rejected truth… and when you do so… God has no place in your life.

John 4:24.

Answering the Liberal view of Jesus

Posted in Atheism, Christianity, Evangelizing, Gospel, Idolatry, Jesus, Liberalism, Pagan Idolatry, Sin, Social Gospel, The Bible, Theology on January 31, 2014 by juliemillerfan
What follows is a Facebook conversation that I became involved in which I thought worth sharing.  Since those involved have not given me permission to use their thoughts, I edited their names out so as to protect their identity.  Likewise, this is an ongoing conversation, albeit very slowly.  If more turns up, I will probably edit this piece to include those comments in the future.
Kevin shared Daily Kos‘s photo.
Zing!Thanks to Being Liberal for sharing.
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Like · ·
Alan —> Like it Bro!
Wayne Shuman And just where do you find this mysterious anti-war socialist Jesus??? I doubt the sign carrier has ever once looked at scripture or else they wouldn’t be saying such foolishness.
Wayne Shuman Oh and for the record… by the end of the New Testament times the “free health care” had pretty much ended. Thus why Paul would tell Timothy to take some wine for his “often sick stomach.”
Kevin —> did he have to pay for the wine?
Brian —> Wayne – not to stir a complete storm here, but are you saying that the Jesus you read about in your Scripture is pro-war, Capitalist, and did not cure people for free? I’m sorry, but I think the proof falls on your shoulders. I can readily dispense with a number of Scriptural lines showing Jesus supports people paying taxes, abhors free capitalism when it gets to its logical extremes (i.e. merchants in the temple), preaches non-violence, obedience to government (even in the face of execution), freely shares resources and shows compassion for the most poor, talks of worldly riches as an impediment to closeness with God, and heals people without ever charging a penny. Jesus never once that I have seen told people to go out and work to earn money – be like the lilies of the field, if I recall my lessons correctly. So prove me wrong…
Wayne Shuman Sorry for not having a quick response to your reply, Brian. I am a missionary in Southeast Asia and your daytime is my nighttime. I was asleep when you responded. But I have to say that you’ve thrown down the gauntlet and I am more than ready to reply…. having spent 35+ years studying scripture and even having gone to seminary to do so. For the record — any good Bible commentary will give you all of the information I’m expounding here…. Might I recommend finding a copy of Wycliffe’s Bible commentary or John MacArthur’s wonderful Bible commentaries. It would honestly help you to better understand what’s being said.
(A) Scripture does actually say there is a time for war. That would be Ecclesiastes 3:8.
Likewise, Jesus even used war as an example of just how we are to view the Christian life. (Luke 14:31-33) This would likewise explain why Paul tells the believer to put on the armor of God. (Galatians 6:13-17) and as well, why Paul would even use the word “Soldier” as a synonym for believers. (2 Timothy 2:3-10)
God often used war for two reasons (A) to cleanse the land of EVIL men such as the Philistines, Moabites, Edomites, etc. and (B.) to punish Israel themselves for their own sins. (God would call upon other nations to go to war against Israel for just this purpose.) So there is a time and a right cause for war, and scripture constantly affirms this. Whenever evil reigns, good men are not to stand idly by.
So war did / does have purpose in God’s economy — and Jesus did acknowledge that by the use of it in example during his preaching. It may well be said that sinful men are generally the aggressor, primarily because of their sin, be it greed, lust for power, or whatever other selfish reason might drive them…. but God does use these things to His purpose and for His glory when they come about. That is why God is sovereign over His creation. And just as often God did call Israel to war, as stated previously.
(B) Capitalism. My point here was that Jesus did not come to set up ANY political system, be it socialism, capitalism, democracy or communism.

Jesus came to call all men to bow their knees to him — at the cost of their very lives if necessary. (Matthew 10:34-39) As Peter puts it, Believers are “strangers, living in a strange land.” Foreigners to this world. Our allegiance is not to the kingdoms of this Earth, but to the kingdom that is to come where Jesus will rule supreme. That is what makes a man a Christian — and all these other systems will someday bow to that other kingdom and fall away.As a point in fact regarding wealth — Proverbs 22:2 The rich and the poor have this in common, God is the maker of both. If you would say “Yeah, well, he’s their creator, nothing more” — Ecclesiastes 5:19 specifically states that God makes some men wealthy for their toil and efforts. It’s His sovereign right to do so as God. Thus even capitalism plays it’s part in God’s molding of men’s lives…. if you want to press the point. Likewise 1 Samuel 2:7. But the point of wealth is not so that we would worship it, but that we would rather use it for helping others and to bring Glory to God. Thus why Jesus would say “No man can serve two masters.” and be referring specifically to money. I love Proverbs 30:8-9 Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God. — I make that my prayer often.

(C) Free health care. Hmmmm, not that hard to dismiss. Jesus never went into a single hospital and emptied it of it’s patients. Neither did the Apostles that followed after him during the founding of the Church.ALL miracles had specific purpose —- to point back to Christ as the messiah that Israel had been looking for for nearly 2000 years AT THAT POINT.

The messiah had originally been promised as far back as Adam and Eve. Pointed to again under Moses. Pointed to yet again under the judges and then King David. Pointed to yet further under the latter prophets….. and finally the last of those prophets, John the Baptist, pointed yet again and said “Here he is”. Every miracle Jesus performed had SPECIFIC intent. Thus — Jesus did not heal EVERY individual He encountered, and even one town it specifically states this. (Mark 6:5) And neither did the apostles…. and such “free healings” were only limited to the time of both. At the end of that time, when the scriptures had been written — there no longer was a necessity of validating the messenger… the very point the miracles were supposed to have. (For the record, I despise and disclaim all so-called ‘faith-healers’ of our day as fakes and frauds and not working under the power of God.)

Point of fact — Even the healings weren’t “free” … that is to say without command. Jesus often, very often, told the individual that He healed — “Go, and sin no more.” and even told one man that should he continue the way he had WORSE would yet come upon him. (John 5:15) (BTW: in that account there were MANY people sick…. but Jesus only healed ONE of them…. pointing to exactly what I have been saying; the miracles were for specific purpose.)

So point of fact, yes Jesus healed. Yes Jesus accepted no money for those healings. But No, Jesus did NOT heal everyone. Jesus did not set up a “Health-care plan” or a system or even a general hospital in His name. Jesus did NOT even try to on either count. Nor did He command that this should be done for the rest of all time. Every healing he performed had specific intent of pointing him out to be Israel’s messiah. He simply healed, and called men to repentance.

But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:3)

Wayne Shuman (D) The merchants at the temple. Easily enough explained — Because Jesus, HIMSELF, explained why.
“Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” (John 2:16)
There were two occasions where this happened, once at the beginning of Jesus ministry (John 2) and once at the end (recorded in all 4 gospels). But there was a common thread — both times were SPECIFICALLY at the Jewish Passover festival. Every other time Jesus went to the temple he didn’t bother the buyers and sellers that were there (and they were there daily!!!). So you have to ask yourself — why only these two times?
Jesus was against two specific things here. 1st the fact that these men had taken a commandment from God (re: Deuteronomy 14:24-26) and used it to become EXTORTIONISTS by robbing the people of their money by selling either inferior animals (the animals to be used were supposed to be “without spot or blemish” Leviticus 1:3; Exodus 12:5 —- because they were supposed to be a picture of Christ, who without sin died as a scapegoat for the believer’s sin. 1 Peter 1:19 & Hebrews 9:13-14) or by charging 3x – 10x’s what they were worth in market value SPECIFICALLY AGAINST other commands of the Jewish law against extortion and usury. (Exodus 22:25, likewise Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Proverbs, Isaiah & Ezekiel)
2ndly specifically where this had happened. The temple was SUPPOSED to represent the holiness of God to the people — but men had turned it into nothing more than a den of thieves. Men had denigrated the God of this Universe down to nothing more than an object for their own carnal pleasures. What was supposed to be a place of prayer and seeking after God had become a place of evil. This was pointed out in Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17 and likewise Luke 19:46 — all of which are the second time he cleared the temple —- which all state: ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’ (<—quoting Isaiah 56:7 and pairing it with Jeremiah 7:11 —>) But you have made it a den of robbers.”
That said we see that Jesus ONLY did so at the temple and ONLY did so at the passover and ONLY did so with specific cause …. not to make a political statement about capitalism, but rather to expel the evil men from their mockery of the place God’s holiness was supposed to be recognized by all of Israel.

Thus Jesus wasn’t against the buying and selling of things at a profit… if he were against that He could have easily reprimanded the fisherman, farmers & shepherds or cattlemen of His day for doing the very same thing … selling things at a profit.

Yes Jesus supported taxation… no question there. I’ll take it a step further — you’re called to obey the government over you in as far as they don’t FORCE you to disobey God’s commands. (Romans 13:1-7; Acts 4:18-20) That means as long as Obama is in office… He’s there because GOD put him there, not because you voted him in. (Romans 13:1; Daniel 4:17, 25, 32 & 5:21 — & Proverbs 21:1) God has a purpose and a plan for Him being there, like it or not…. even if it is to bring or exact punishment for the sins America has committed against God. (which it may well be, I’m just saying.) So whether we like Obama or not… he’s in office for a reason… to God’s purpose and plan which will always be enacted.

Lastly (E) Jesus may have not said much about men working to gain their keep — but scripture does, and Jesus did affirm the trustworthiness of scripture. Before we get to that, though, you MIS-applied the lilies of the field verse. Here’s the context — stop worrying about your next meal and start trusting that God has it already in His control. (Matthew 6:24-35 paraphrased. In specific He states: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” harkening directly to what I said.)If a man does not work, he should not eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:10) It’s an established precedent going all the way back to the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden and the punishment of men for their sin.

Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food (Genesis 3:17-19)

There is plenty that the scriptures say about men working to earn their wages — it’s even used as a parallel for grace being the sole means of man’s salvation — For the WAGES of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus. Wages are something you earn… thus your death comes upon you because you’ve sinned against God, it’s the final payment for all the rebellion you’ve enacted throughout your whole life — unless you turn to Christ and repent.

Proverbs 28:13 — he who denies his sin shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes it shall obtain Mercy.

Jeff —> Wasn’t it Jesus who healed lepers for free… and said love thy neighbor as thyself… I don’t care about what was written before or after he was here, just how he lived… and I feel he would look at the divided church and say that we all are missing the point.
Brian —>  Wayne – thanks for the detailed responses, I greatly appreciate it. I apologize for the delay in my reply; I have been pretty sick for the past two weeks so I’ve been sporadically online.I greatly admire that you are a missionary; I have several friends who have gone down that path and served in a variety of countries, and it is a great calling, and one that has done a lot of good in the world. Not to be too snarky – but it also a rich tradition of Christians providing free healthcare and education.
Wayne Shuman Brian, sad to hear of your illness, what was it that had you down for 2 weeks? I am not being sarcastic here, I’m being genuinely concerned. If it’s still hanging on, I would have no problem praying for that for you.
As to my being a missionary — please do understand… I don’t buy into the whole “Social reforms to change the world” bent of modern liberalism and the social-gospel folks. I personally know that to change a man’s circumstances does NOTHING to change his actual problem(s) — which would generally be his sin and rebellion against God.
When I speak of being a missionary I specifically mean it in the classical sense of “teaching people that Jesus Christ alone will save them, if they renounce their idolatry (be it classical as in the sense of Taiwan’s many Buddhist temples which represent an abomination to the one true God or modern in the sense of men worshiping their cars, their women, their booze or their football team) and turn in repentance for having lived ALL their lives in rebellion to God.” I speak of being a missionary in the sense that I am here to PREACH the gospel, not simply give men a meal, some health care & a nice pat on the back and falsely tell them “it will be OK…. just give it time.”
Romans 3:10-18 (Paraphrased and with 3:23 added) NO MAN seeks after God…. not a single person on the planet… they have all chased after the vanity of idols and become worthless before God. Thus have ALL men sinned and fallen short of God’s standard… a standard that they do all they can to ignore or excuse themselves from.
I am a missionary who believes that ONLY — O-N-L-Y — belief (RE: complete abandonment to, wholehearted trust in God’s way of viewing things — and when the bible speaks to “heart” it doesn’t mean your emotions as the modern understanding lends to, but everything within a man that leads him to make an active decision, that is to say his entire thinking process) in the Gospel of Christ will change a man… everything else fails because it does not address the root problem of man’s condition: Sin.
And ONLY those who believe in that gospel will ultimately be saved from the coming wrath of God…. something else that Jesus pointed to but we like to ignore.  That’s a pointed remark to Jeff’s comment.  Jesus didn’t come to live a perfect life as an EXAMPLE for men to follow — Jesus came to pay the price of men’s sin, if they will admit freely, openly and clearly before God and men that they are in fact gross transgressors of God’s law.  Jesus, himself, said it best:   Think not that I came to call the (self) righteous men to God, but rather I came to call sinners to repentance.  (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:32 as compared with John 9:39-41 & Luke 18:9-14 — all the words of Jesus for you, Jeff.)

Now that all said (which is negative) let me be positive. Salvation is free. Salvation is the free grace of God given to any man who will accept it as the gift it is and stop trying to foolishly earn some sort of respect before God by what they assume is “good deeds” that they’ve done. Salvation comes simply by trust / by faith / by belief in the transforming message of the gospel (Romans 1:15-16) and the only “righteous” men on the whole planet are those people who have surrendered themselves to Christ’s perfection and stopped trying to claim that they themselves are allegedly so. That goes back to the whole “I did not come to call the (self) righteous, but sinners to repentance.” comment of Jesus.For without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)Now, that said, do you really still admire me as a missionary since my aim is so singular as to call every other religion on the planet (including atheism which is literally the worship of self or of mankind in place of God)  ‘idolatry’ and Christianity as the only means of a man’s redemption before God?

Part two of this (the conversation that continued later) follows as my next blog post.
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