Friday, December 19, 2014

BORN TO DIE



by John MacArthur
That first Christmas, earth was oblivious to the significance of a simple birth in a quiet town. But heaven wasn’t. The holy angels waited in anticipation to break forth in praise and worship and adoration at the birth of the newborn Christ. This Child’s birth meant deliverance for mankind. The angel told Joseph: “He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Unlike Isaac, who ascended the mountain unaware he was to be the sacrifice, Jesus descended from heaven in full awareness of what the Father had in store for Him. Scripture records for us what may have been a farewell message Jesus gave just prior to His incarnation.
When He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You have not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no pleasure.” Then I said, “Behold, I have come . . . to do Your will, O God.” (Hebrews 10:5-7)
That passage of Scripture gives us a remarkable look at the heart of the Savior before His birth. He knew He was entering the world to be the final and ultimate sacrifice for sin. His body had been divinely prepared by God specifically for that purpose. Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world, and He knew it. Moreover, He was doing it willingly. That was the whole point of the incarnation.
The important issue of Christmas is not so much that Jesus came, but why He came. There was no salvation in His birth. Nor did the sinless way He lived His life have any redemptive force of its own. His example, as flawless as it was, could not rescue men from their sins. Even His teaching, the greatest truth ever revealed to man, could not save us from our sins. There was a price to be paid for our sins. Someone had to die. Only Jesus could do it.
Jesus came to earth, of course, to reveal God to mankind. He came to teach truth. He came to fulfill the Law. He came to offer His kingdom. He came to show us how to live. He came to reveal God’s love. He came to bring peace. He came to heal the sick. He came to minister to the needy.
But all those reasons are incidental to His ultimate purpose. He could have done them all without being born as a human. He could have simply appeared—like the angel of the Lord often did in the Old Testament—and accomplished everything in the list above, without actually becoming a man. But He had one more reason for coming: He came to die.
Here’s a side to the Christmas story that isn’t often told: Those soft little hands, fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, were made so that nails might be driven through them. Those baby feet, pink and unable to walk, would one day stagger up a dusty hill to be nailed to a cross. That sweet infant’s head with sparkling eyes and eager mouth was formed so that someday men might force a crown of thorns onto it. That tender body, warm and soft, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would one day be ripped open by a spear.
Jesus was born to die.
Don’t think I’m trying to put a damper on your Christmas spirit. Far from it—for Jesus’ death, though devised and carried out by men with evil intentions, was in no sense a tragedy. In fact, it represents the greatest victory over evil anyone has ever accomplished.
The author of Hebrews illustrates how the full story of His birth includes His sacrificial death:
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. . . . Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. (Hebrews 2:9-10, 14-15)
It’s appropriate to commemorate the birth of Christ. But don’t make the mistake of leaving Him as a baby in a manger. Keep in mind that His birth was just the first step in God’s glorious plan of redemption. Remember that it’s the triumph of Christ’s sacrificial death that gives meaning to His humble birth. You can’t truly celebrate one without the other.

(Adapted from The Miracle of Christmas.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

CHRISTMAS: THE WORD TABERNACLES

by Mike Riccardi
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us…
John 1:14 -
If we’re reading through this verse in our daily Bible reading, we’re likely to zip right by it with little fanfare. We read, simply, that Jesus “dwelt” among us. And when we think of the idea of “dwelling” we just think of “hanging out.” But there’s much more going on in what John is saying than it sounds to us English-speakers. He uses a peculiar word here. There are more common Greek words for “to dwell,” but he chooses skēnoō. Now, the word skēnē in Greek means “tent,” and skēnoō is the verb form. So we could render it, “to pitch a tent.” John tells us that this Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us.

That’s a weird way to talk, isn’t it? Especially since we don’t have any Scripture that tells us that Jesus actually pitched any literal tent during his time on Earth. Why say it this way? He’s got at least two other words that he could use here. But John uses this particular word because he wants his readers—who would be familiar with the history of Israel—to recall the tabernacle, the tent of meeting (Ex 27:21), where God met with the Israelites in the Old Testament.
The Tabernacle
From the ESV Study Bible
The tabernacle itself was covered over by a tent, which is why the early form of it is called the “tent of meeting.” It was 15 feet wide, 15 feet high, and 45 feet long. The entrance was covered by a curtain or a veil made with fine linen and costly dyes. When a priest entered the tabernacle they were first in the holy place. This was a 30 x 15 x 15 foot room that contained the table that held the Bread of the Presence (Ex 25:23-30), the lampstand (Ex 25:31-40), and the altar of incense (Ex 30:1-5; 37:25-29), all covered in pure gold. Beyond that room was the holy of holies—a 15-foot cube containing nothing but the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 25:10-25; 37:1-9).

Exodus 29
So that’s the physical tabernacle. But in Exodus 29 we learn something of its significance. There, God is speaking about what the tabernacle will be to the sons of Israel:
  • Exodus 29:42 – A place of meeting
  • Exodus 29:42 – A place of revelation
  • Exodus 29:43 – A place of consecration and sanctification
  • Exodus 29:44 – A place of propitiation
  • And Exodus 29:45-46 gives the significance of God dwelling among His people. He says that the very reason He brought them out of Egypt was so that He would dwell with them. This tabernacle is a big deal.
Exodus 33
In chapter 33, we learn a bit more. Verse 7 says that everyone who sought Yahweh came here. This was the place where Israel could have fellowship and communion with their God. And verse 8 says that when Moses would go into the tent, everyone would gaze after him. They would just drop everything. “Hey! Moses is going into the tent of meeting!” They were in awe.
And rightfully so! Verse 9 says that whenever he went in, a pillar of cloud would descend. (What a sight this had to be!) So again we see that this was a place of condescension. Further, the text tells us Yahweh would speak with Moses. That’s revelation again, God speaking to His people. Verse 10 tells us that all the people would worship when they saw the glory of Yahweh revealed in the cloud. So again we see that this was a place of worship. And finally, we’re told that Yahweh would speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. And so this is a place of intimate fellowship.
Exodus 40
Finally, in Exodus 40, we have the climax of this story. Everything that Israel has heard up until now has been what the tabernacle would be when it was completed. In chapter 40, construction is finished, and with all Israel watching, God’s glory fills the tabernacle:
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of Yahweh filled the tabernacle” (Ex 40:34-35).

Now Yahweh descends upon His dwelling place, upon His tabernacle. The glory descends in such a way that not even Moses—who had gone into the cloud before, who had seen Yahweh’s glory—could enter into the tent! What an amazing scene! This is God declaring: “I am with My people! I now dwell among them!”
And “throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of Yahweh was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel” (Ex 40:36-38).
Christmas: The Word Pitches His Tent Among Us
And so when the Apostle John uses that peculiar word, when he tells his readers the incarnate Word dwelt among them, he is calling our attention here. John is telling us that the way Yahweh descended and dwelt among His people in the Tabernacle,—and spoke with them in communion and revealed Himself for worship—that very same thing is happening in Jesus Christ. In Jesus, the glory of Yahweh is descending and is pitching His tent to dwell among His people!
As we approach the Christmas season, and as you prepare your hearts to praise God for the gift of the incarnation, let this cause you to worship. Be moved to awe and adoration by the fact that the Word—the Eternal God Himself, the agent of the creation of all things, the life and the Light of the world—this Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.

IS THE EVANGELICAL CHURCH IN AFRICA REALLY GLORIFYING GOD?

By Conrad Mbewe, original post here



As 2014 draws to an end, my heart aches. I am deeply burdened about what has become the dominant characteristic of evangelical Christianity in Africa. I have tried to wrap my mind around this by simply asking an honest question “Is this Christianity that has become pervasive across the African continent really glorifying God?”

1. Are we glorifying God when we claim that we are experiencing miracles that are actually not happening? When miracles were happening in the Bible, the blind were receiving their sight, the lame were walking, those with leprosy were being cured, the deaf were beginning to hear, and the dead were being raised to life (see Luke 7:22). Today, the land is littered with posters of miracle crusades but we all know that none of this is happening. Are we glorifying God by cheating people this way?

2. Are we glorifying God when we speak in “tongues” that cannot be interpreted? In the Bible, tongues were unknown languages that could be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:27). Today it is nothing more than a few syllables that are repeated at machinegun speed: “Kakaka filolololo wandarakawandara, etc.” It is not surprising that whereas churches are full of tongue speakers, there is not a single interpreter. Can anyone interpret this? Yet, I am asking a more fundamental question: Are we glorifying God by behaving so senselessly?

3. Are we glorifying God when we reduce the benefits of salvation to more wealth and better health? In the Bible, the main message of salvation was the forgiveness of sins and moral transformation (Luke 24:47). Today, the main message coming from Africa’s “evangelical” church is the ending of personal poverty and the healing of all kinds of bodily ailments (as can be seen from the above banner). Salvation is under “any other business”. Again, I am asking, are we truly glorifying God by this deathly substitute?

4. Are we glorifying God when we abandon the preaching of repentance for motivational speaking? John the Baptist and Jesus and his apostles preached repentance (see Matt. 3:2, 4:7 and Acts 2:38, 26:20). The growing view today is not that men and women are fallen and responsible for their sin and thus must repent of it. Rather, it is that they are victims of wrong thinking and evil powers, and so they need deliverance. Hence, the sermons are nothing more than motivational talks followed by hours of deliverance sessions. I am asking: Are these messages and methods producing God-glorifying lives?

5. Are we glorifying God when we hide the rot of spiritual wolves preying on vulnerable souls? In the Bible, Jesus warned about wolves in sheepskins (Matt. 7:15). I recently received a text message from a lady in Lusaka who was taken into the bush and asked to take off her clothes by a pastor/prophet claiming he would cure her of the “disease” that was causing her husband to be unfaithful to her. Only witchdoctors did this once upon a time but it has now become common fare among “evangelical” pastors/prophets. The tragedy is our grave-like silence about this rot. Is this silence the way to glorify God?

6. Are we glorifying God when we reduce truth to a minimum for the sake of Christian unity? When I read my Bible it is adamant on the necessity of teaching and knowing the truths of the gospel if men and women are to be saved. From there, the gospel rays shine throughout the Scriptures, demanding holy living from God’s people. Today, we want to hold hands in the dark. We want fellowship with anyone claiming to be a Christian without asking questions about what they believe. Holy water and oil, Jewish prayer cloths, etc., are being sold and bought among evangelicals. And anyone who raises questions about this is shouted down. Is this new stance really glorifying to God?

7. Are we glorifying God when we reduce worship to senseless dancing to sensual music? Look at the psalms of the Bible and the worship songs that we have inherited from a previous generation and see how rich they are in expressing the faith of God’s people. Each sentence is pregnant with Scriptural truths. Today in Africa, intelligent professionals leave their brains outside the church door as they gyrate to songs that repeat one sentence over and over again. What matters is the music, the sensual music, as the worship leader shouts, “Glory to God!” Are we sure this is glorifying to God?

8. Are we glorifying God when commanding, declaring and decreeing replace humble petitions in prayer? I read the prayers of godly people in the Bible and they are full of humble pleas to the sovereign God of the universe. I then listen to the prayers of today’s men and women of God and they are full of declarations, decrees and commands “in Jesus’ name!” Is it not the height of arrogance that a person should command God to do his bidding? Can these prayers be glorifying to God by any stretch of our imagination?

9. Are we glorifying God when we fill our church membership rolls with goats and kick out church discipline? My Bible teaches that church leaders must be careful about who they allow to enter and stay in the church’s membership. It must only be those who have repented of their sin and trusted in Christ, and who show this by the way they live. If they don’t, they must be excommunicated (1 Cor. 5:9-13). Sadly, our churches today are full of members and leaders who are drunkards, fighting, living sexually immoral lives, stealing money, etc., and no one is dealing with this. Is this glorifying to God?

10. Are we glorifying God when we have women preachers while men sit in pews and listen to them? The Bible teaches male headship in both the home and the church…all the way from Eden. The Bible teaches that the work of preaching must be carried out by mature and tested males (1 Tim. 2:11-14). Sadly, the number of women going around as pastors in Africa (while their husbands call themselves bishops or prophets or apostles) has reached epidemic levels. Are we sure God is being glorified by this kick in the face?

I doubt it. Yet, these ten traits have become very dominant characteristics of African Christianity. I honestly wish this was a description of some extreme cult that can easily be separated from evangelicals, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but sadly this has become the most common “evangelical” Christianity in Africa. It is the one representing us on television and radio. It is the one on the billboards and posters in the streets. It is the one that fills up the rolls in our evangelical associations and pastors’ fraternals.

I wish that all the noise I am hearing and the dust being raised across Africa were God-glorifying. But it is not. It is man-centred and not God-centred. We want the numbers at any cost and we are getting them. Hardly anyone is asking the question, “Is not this thing in my hand a lie?” (Isaiah 44:20). It seems to me we are glorifying a false God—and not the God of the Bible. We have set up our own twenty-first century idol and are bowing down to it. This is not Christianity. This is not the way to heaven. No, it is not!

Hence, I end the year 2014 with a very burdened heart because of all this.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Five Most Disturbing Things About a Benny Hinn Miracle Service

  Corrie Mitchell Written by l

There are a lot of things you should try at least once in your life — skydiving, eating some exotic delicacy, traveling alone. Let me give you one thing not to add to that list: attending a Benny Hinn Holy Spirit Miracle Service.
I recently went to one in New York. Before going, I knew little about Hinn — a man who’s worth some $42 million — other than that he’s a big-deal televangelist among countless charismatic Christians. As someone who’s fairly unfamiliar with that sphere of Christianity, I was mostly just wary of being in a crowd of people speaking in tongues and being slain in the Spirit.
But that turned out to be the least uncomfortable thing about the service. What did happen was so much more upsetting, difficult, and unnerving. If you ever go, here are five unsettling things you’ll experience:

1. You’ll second-guess your Bible knowledge.

When you hear Benny Hinn make statements like, “The prophets all prospered. They had no debt . . . ” it stops you in your tracks. Wait — what? No they weren’t. Were they? You might grab your Bible to check, or you might just realize, Of course that’s not right. What about Elijah, who lived in a cave and had ravens bring him bread to eat? Or John the Baptist, who wore clothing made of camel’s hair and ate locusts and honey?
Or, what about Jesus, who was born in a stable, buried in a borrowed tomb, and had no place to lay his head? When the earthly life of Jesus is a counter-argument to your “Christian” theology, there’s something wrong.
(Another related, absurd Hinn statement: “Where did Noah get the money to build that ark? Think about where he got that moolah.” I’m pretty sure he didn’t need to hit up the local Home Depot.)

2. You’ll realize he’s in control of everything in his world.

From the musician to his audience to the very God he claims to represent, Hinn exerts control over it all. He orders his pianist to play a certain way, and tells him to stop and switch it up when he wants a different mood. He tells his audience how to worship and how much money to give him. And he knows his audience so well — he mentions their material needs, then says things like, “I want you to sow $1,200, because I believe 120 is the number of liberty in the Bible.” Then he confidently promises they’ll be debt free in one year, as if he’s in control of that, too.
Question for Mr. Hinn: If 120 is the biblical number of liberty — which…what? – then why not just have people give $120? (He did also tell them $120 would be okay, but the added zero is a big deal.)
All in all, Hinn tries to take control of God and suggests you can do the same. He tells people to “claim reality with your mouth” and “declare it in writing” — as if you have the power of God to speak things into existence. As if you have the ability to make God do things for you. As if saying or doing something requires God to oblige you.

3. You’ll wrestle with your negative thoughts.

My first instinct was to write off everything that happened under the leadership of Benny Hinn as blasphemous — an offense to the very gospel he claims to preach. But, as you look around the room and see men and women worshipping God with abandon, you realize something. Maybe these people, who trust and believe Hinn, are actually having authentic experiences with Jesus, despite the man guiding them. Maybe these people are actually finding genuine faith in a place that is otherwise tinged by deceit.
And then, for a Christian like me, the thought creeps in: Could it be that God is using Benny Hinn for the salvation of souls? In a small, but significant and confusing and flustering way, this question complicates the otherwise strong desire in me for Hinn’s ministry to be shut down for good.

4. You’ll discover that he owns up to the prosperity gospel.

Unlike the Joel Osteens of the world, Hinn embraces the prosperity gospel by name. He even calls out “anti-prosperity pastors” and says they just don’t get it. At a Holy Spirit Miracle Sevice, Hinn will say “sow your seed” and “prosperity is for real” more times than you can count. And more:
You can’t expect millions from the Lord if you give him some small amount.
In Jesus’ name, we’ll have surplus. Financial surplus is mine . . . is ours.
You’re coming out of debt in the next 12 months if you really believe this.
Hinn even sends you mail a week later, complete with return envelope and offering card, reminding you to sow your “seed-gift” in order to change your circumstances.
Benny Hinn’s ministry can be summed up in his own words: “God’s goal for your life is prosperity.” By that, he doesn’t mean spiritual prosperity, life everlasting in the presence of God. No, he means material wealth, physical health, and general prosperity — which looks quite unlike Jesus’ call to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily.

5. You may end up walking out.

For two reasons. One, these things last upwards of five hours. But the main reason you won’t last the five hours is that you’ll get to a point of such total outrage at what he’s saying that you won’t be able to stomach hearing it any longer. I was (barely) able to endure two and a half hours of “God is about to place a ton of seed in your hands” and “I sense an anointing for this. It’s going to last four-and-a-half minutes” before I had to get out.
(Disclosure: apparently, by leaving halfway through, I missed the faith healings, the slaying in the Spirit, and his message. Lucky me, I was there for the over two-hour warm-up of “give me your money and you’ll be debt free.”)
When the service first started, I found Hinn somewhat humorous. Then I realized the thousand-plus people there were taking every word he said as truth, and I felt really sad for those people.
But it didn’t take long for that feeling to be replaced by anger. Hinn is taking advantage of hurting people — and using Jesus to do so, no less. That’s why you walk out.
Image courtesy of House of Praise.
T

Monday, December 1, 2014

SEVEN REVELATIONS OF FERGUSON

by Dan Phillips

I was just as happy to have my plans to write on this yesterday curtailed by Frank's post, as I usually am. It gave me a day more to ponder. That done — the ponderation having been ponderously pondered — I'll offer some thoughts, which in intent will be very like those I offered about "the Florida revival." That is, they will be Biblical principles whose application is I think fairly obvious.

Frank's focus was on the undeniable human tragedy. I won't reinvent that wheel, but will focus on other aspects. I hope the posts will be complementary. Don't blame his post for not being mine, nor mine for not being his. Fair enough?

To the seven revelations of Ferguson:

First: men outside of Christ are still hateful and still hate each other (Titus 3:3). Anger simmers not far below the surface. Evolution, real or imagined, biological or social, has changed none of that. No Federal program will fix it, no state or local legislation will fix it. It is a problem of the human heart, which lurks beneath every epidermal hue. Someone needs to propose a solution that transforms hearts. Anyone know of one?

Second: it still is better to gather the facts and hear an array of perspectives before coming to a conclusion (Proverbs 18:17). Some spoke awfully quickly when this situation first made the news. There seemed to be some feeling that immediate conclusions and statements should be made and issued.

One of the problems with this is that, once a public statement has been made, one is reluctant to walk it back publicly. Human nature and human pride make it very hard to retract a dogmatic stance, once publicly adopted. Better to wait longer and say less, than to jump the gun (pun unintended) and say too much.

Third: people ought to stick to what they know (cf. Proverbs 25:14). Being an expert in one area has nothing to do with expertise in others. For instance, one Christian brother who is a bookish conference speaker/author offered this:

To that, an equally-Christian brother with twenty years of actual experience in law enforcement responded:
Neither brother, probably, could do what the other does. It might have been well for the former to punt on this question, and stick with Scripture. "A man's got to know his limitations" may not be in Scripture verbatim, but it's sage advice.

As I'm trying to do. I'm a Christian, and I'm a minister of the word of God. If I have expertise, it's there. So I'll endeavor to speak as such.

Fourth: the very best thing parents of all ethnicities can do for their children is (1) repent and believe savingly in Christ (1 John 3:16), (2) advance in His Word as genuine disciples (John 8:31-32), (3) involve themselves in a faithful Gospel-proclaiming, Bible-teaching church (Hebrews 10:24-25), (4) marry before having children and honor the marital bond (Matthew 19:3-9) — and, in that overall context, (5) raise children in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4, among many others). In that context, they will teach their children many indispensable life-lessons. For instance, they will teach their children that
  • The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10)
  • Therefore they should seek and cultivate and embrace the fear of God from their earliest days (Proverbs 2:1ff.)
  • Gangs will appeal to their most vulnerable points, but they must consider their violent end and heed the inscripturated voice of God's wisdom instead (Proverbs 1:10-32)
  • Immoral people will sweet-talk them, but by Dad's instruction and God's word they should see right through it (Proverbs 2:16ff; 7:1ff.)
  • They should pick godly friends who walk in the fear of God, or else they will come to harm (Proverbs 13:20; 22:24-25)
  • They should avoid drunkards (and, therefore, druggiesProverbs 23:20-21)
  • They should study hard in school and learn a profitable skill while children (Proverbs 22:29)
  • They should know that what will matter and will reveal their character is not how they see or feel about themselves, but what they actually produce (Proverbs 20:11)
  • They should take full responsibility for their own choices and actions, and never blame others for what they choose and do (Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 14:10, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:5, 7-8, etc.).
  • They should never steal, but instead should be productive and generous (cf. Ephesians 4:28)
  • They should respect officers of the law as God's servants, knowing that disrespect for the office is disrespect for God which invites His judgment (Romans 13, especially vv. 1-5)
  • If they defy the lawful authority, they should expect God's judgment to fall on them (Romans 13:4-5a).
  • If in any of these things they choose to defy God and rebel against Him and His word, they must expect both of their parents to stand with God, and not to make excuses for, coddle, enable, or otherwise try to deodorize their sin (cf. Deuteronomy 21:18ff.)
Fifth: faithful pastors must prescribe and teach these things without prejudice (2 Timothy 2:14; Titus 3:1-2).  What I'm saying won't make the beautiful people love you. They won't. They won't praise you (as a Tweep did John Piper) for being "nuanced." You'll be told you're insensitive, you're ignoring the real problems, you're impractical. But as a minister of the Gospel, you know better. Sin is the problem. Sin is always the problem at some level; and there's only one solution for sin. The Son's blood buys your freedom (Ephesians 1:7), and the Son's word shows you how to live in it (John 8:31-32). 
That's what you have to give. You're not a social engineering genius. You're a servant of God who has His word. Don't set it aside. It applies here.
Sixth: if the issue of racism is ever to be resolved, people will have to stop thinking of bitterness and suspicion and resentment and prejudice as ills that other people really have to get over (cf. Romans 2:21-23; 1 Corinthians 10:12). Now, hear me: If you can read that sentence and think, "Well, he mainly means whites" or "blacks," you know something I don't. I mean people. I mean you, I mean me. I mean every color on the palette.

I've seen this in marriage. Every pastor has. The sure prescription for deadlock, for stalemate, is two people who are willing to change just as soon as the other person changes. You think that doesn't apply here? Mercy.
Seventh: the only real solution for racism is the one God instituted: the cross of Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:28-29; Ephesians 2:14-22; Colossians 3:11). Astute readers will say, "Some of those verses are about Jews and Gentiles, so they don't apply." To that, first: maybe some of those verses are, but not all; and second, they don't? You think the Cross addresses Jew-Gentile hatred and suspicion and contempt, but not black-white hatred and suspicion and contempt?

There isn't a Federal program that will fix this, or a local one. If one person says, "Let's make it harder for cops to kill people," another will say "Let's make it harder for people to menace cops." And each person will sound like he's enabling some form of sin — either a hypothetical thug's sin against a decent cop, or a hypothetical trigger-happy cop's sin against an innocent teen. You see where this goes? It's all beside the point.

The point is that only God has the answer, and it's the one we find only in His word.
Dan Phillips's signature

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The God of Weights and Measures

Originally posted on hipandthigh:

Being the geek that I am, I followed with much enthusiasm the European Space Agency’s successful attempt landing the Philae probe on a comet. [Remember when the USA and NASA used to do that kind of cool stuff? Good times]. The entire process took nearly a decade when the Rosetta orbiter…

Monday, November 10, 2014

MEDITATION THAT HONORS GOD

by John MacArthur The period of European history known as the Dark Ages were just that—dark. Mortality rates were exceptionally high. Medical advances could not keep up with the spread of disease. Poverty and illiteracy were pervasive. And on top of all that, the light of God’s Word was monopolized and distorted by the Roman […]

SHOULD I INTERPRET THE BIBLE LITERALLY?

by John MacArthur Cynics love to mock Christians who believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible. They note supposed absurdities like, the Bible is a sword (Hebrews 4:12); Jesus is a door (John 10:7); and God is a bird (Psalm 61:4). Of course, such caricatures of the process are obvious misrepresentations of proper biblical […]

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

BRIDGING THE GAPS BETWEEN BIBLE AND BRAIN

by John MacArthur The Bible has been around for thousands of years. That is a huge gulf of history for the modern reader to cross. How are we to understand what the Bible writers were saying, as well as the various circumstances in which they lived? One popular answer from modern pulpits to those questions […]

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

THE ELEPHANT IN THE STRANGE FIRE

by Cameron Buettel It’s been just over a year since the highly publicized and controversial Strange Fire conference. As a Grace to You employee with a charismatic background, I watched the buildup to the conference with a considerable amount of interest. I am certainly no stranger to the grievous damage caused by reckless false prophecies […]

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