Saturday, December 10, 2022

Doctrinal Triage or Prioritizing Does Two Things

Doctrinal prioritizing does two things: it dulls the double-edged sword down to a butter knife and it fires blanks at the enemies of Christ Jesus and His Word. In other words, it can't save or protect the true Christian, can't fight against the arguments set up against Christ , nor can it cause spiritual growth.

Heb 4:12  For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

2Co 10:2  I ask that when I am present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh.  2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,  2Co 10:4  for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.  2Co 10:5  We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,  2Co 10:6  and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.  2Co 10:7  You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ's, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ's, so also are we. 

Doctrinal Triage Is Practicing Doubting

 Doctrinal triaging or prioritizing, is man sitting in judgment over the very Word of God, judging certain doctrines in Scripture to be “essential” or “non-essential”. It is actually practicing doubting (at best) and therefore not practicing its commands (Gen. 3:1-4; James 1:4-8; 3:13-18; 4:8-12).

Ignoring or downplaying sound doctrine is ignoring and downplaying the Shepherd’s voice and listening to a stranger's instead (John 10:4-5, 14). It leads one into every wind of doctrine by the trickery of deceitful and unprincipled men (starting with triaging doctrines) (John 10:10-13; Eph. 4). Sound doctrine is knowable.
All biblical doctrines are never a matter of opinion (2 Peter 1:20-21; Rom. 14), but are a matter of absolute Truth and must be believed, even if not totally understood (we grow in our understanding and therefore grow in our obedience through His power).
Ignorance of Truth is never a virtue and is always a vice, since His Word sanctifies us (John 17:17; Heb. 5:11-6:1).
All Scripture includes all its doctrines, from the Trinity, a literal seven day Creation Week, the Flood, soteriology, ecclesiology (leadership, content, practice), holy living, the covenants and Israel, the rapture, the return of Christ, His millennial kingdom reign, the destruction of all unbelievers along with Satan, the Lawless One and his minions, all the way to the destruction of this world and the heavens and the creation of a new heavens and new earth. These are not up for an "in house" debate or "agree to disagree".
1Th 2:13 And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
2Pe 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Joh 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth.

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

The Silver Lining In A Blue State

The silver lining in the take over of Marxists here in CA, is that it's a tool of sanctification. Life of ease, freedom, and safety has the tendency to become arrogant and rely on man. When these things (ease, freedom, and safety) are at risk but you stay where the Lord has placed you, it causes the true Christian to seek the Lord daily and to see His sovereign hand in everything. When anxiety rears it's ugly head, go back to the living and active Word to renew one's mind over and over, trusting in it, and looking forward to the millennial visible and perfect reign of the risen King, the Lord Jesus Christ.

To live a life in obedience to the Lord in mind and heart, to not fear nor compromise, is a training that is happening now to those of us in Blue states and cities. It's the opportunity for spiritual growth. As things get worse and your states become Blue, you too, will have to face these things. Be assured: your escape is merely temporary since man is fickle and politics is fluid. Your hope may be in that which is very temporal and fleshly.

Jas 1:2  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 
Jas 1:3  knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 
Jas 1:4  And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 
Jas 1:5  But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 

Pro 29:25  The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.’” 

Isa 31:1  Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD!

Isa 31:2  And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.

Isa 31:3  The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. 

Monday, November 07, 2022

Kanye West: a tragedy of a false conversion


I said it before, and I'll say it again. Kanye West is not a Christian.

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of the Lord abstain from wickedness."

What West is involved with is not biblical Christianity. This is a fraud. This is blasphemy. Being enslaved to sin necessarily means that you can't stop sinning and there's no way to break free except by the Person and work of the biblical Lord Jesus Christ and submitting to Him alone. In fact no one DESIRES to break free unless he is first regenerated by God. Adding "Jesus" to your self idolatry is condemned by God and is not true salvation--it's a mockery. It's also sad. Clearly West feels the guilt of his sin. I don't know what he thinks a "cleanse" is or what it will do, but anything outside of biblical Christianity is all entirely vain and hopeless. This is why treating him as if he was saved was so wrong and cruel. He can't get victory over his sin because he's not in Christ. False conversions are a travesty and cause many to redefine biblical Christianity to one of justifiable sin ("we're all human", "who's perfect?" "we're under grace, not the law"). But the standard still remains: God is holy and His children are to be holy. This is no suggestion. This is a command. And this only can happen if one is truly saved by the biblical Christ Jesus and is therefore indwelled by the Holy Spirit, and as he abides in the Word, God causes him to grow into a mature man in Christ.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Rom 6:16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
Rom 6:18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Modern Evangelical is a failure.

Matt Chandler is set to resume the pulpit at his church soon, after stepping down in August for "inappropriate" texting with a woman who works at the church.
"“The volume of exchanges and the familiarity, which played itself out in kind of coarse and foolish joking, is just not okay for someone who has been put in the position that God has placed me in,” Chandler said." - Roys Report quoting Chandler's statement.
According to Matt Chandler's own church website:
"The elders commissioned an independent law firm to conduct a review of Matt’s messaging history across social media platforms, cell phone, and email. The investigators’ report led the elders to conclude that Matt violated our internal social media use policies, and more importantly that, while the overarching pattern of his life has been “above reproach,” he failed to meet the 1 Timothy standard for elders of being “above reproach” in this instance."
1) Chandler is disqualified from being an elder:
1Ti 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
1Ti 3:7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Titus 1:6  if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7  For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, of sordid gain, 

2) Lawyers have nothing to do with a biblical church. It is the elders, deacons and the people who are to judge all things going on inside the church. If they cannot evaluate reality and test it against Scripture, they should examine themselves to see if they are in the faith and those leaders are also disqualified.
3) Man's policies are never the standard by which to apprise a ministry. It is Scripture ALONE that is the SOLE standard to judge elders, deacons, and the people in a local church, not a law firm.
If Chandler violated the church's policies but not Scripture, then it's a false standard.
If Chandler violated Scripture but not the church's policies, it's a false standard. Source: Julie Roys, TVC (proceed with caution--I do not endorse her website or TVC's).

Allowing For Choosing A Gender At Any Age Is Irrational and Immoral

 Allowing for adults to "chose" their gender, while against allowing children to do it, shows the actual problem now in our society even among the "conservatives".

Choosing a gender is delusional and should not be accepted at any time for anyone. It's a disconnect with reality on all levels. To be ok with adults doing this means you're ok with living in their twisted delusions, which I have to say, makes YOU delusional too. It's entirely irrational and unreasonable to give any credibility to such abject insanity. You're foundation has therefore started to crumble and you're the reason why we're on this insanity downgrade. In other words, you yourself, even *if* you claim to be "conservative", means you have no moral authority to speak out on this issue, since your argument actually begins with the presumption that choosing a gender is rational.
This is also the same group who thinks "pro-life" includes abortion in certain circumstances.

Gen 1:26  Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 
Gen 1:27  And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 
Gen 1:28  And God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 

Jenna Ellis, a lawyer, a conservative, and an Evangelical (she posts versus and "Christian" things on Instagram) who worked for Trump and was John MacArthur's lawyer in defense of his church opening back up several weeks into the Covid lockdown, had on a Roman Catholic priest who is also an exorcist, to explain about the occult. WHY?

Roman Catholics are lost and earning Hell, dead toward God and dead in their false gospel of works and Mariolatry. That an Evangelical goes to someone who is a blasphemer himself (the RCC teaches the same things about Mary as it does about Jesus according to their own Catechism (#487) and it's foundation is works-righteousness), shows just how blind she is.
This is why it is very important to judge everything by Scripture and without favoritism or partiality, and to abstain from every form of evil and reject those who claim to be Christians, but go to one of the worst religions in the world for spiritual insight.
The biblical Christian is not desperate, therefore he or she does not go to the children of darkness who are under the rule and reign of Satan (Eph. 2), for any kind of spiritual insight or morality, as well as political "victory". WE ARE NOT DESPERATE. WE DO NOT FEAR.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Anti-depressants Only 15% Effective

Another report yet again shows the inefficacy of psychotropic drugs like Zoloft, Lexapro, and Prozac . From the Post Millennial:

Evidence is increasing that doctors are overprescribing SSRIs, according to the outlet. One recent study cited by Newsweek revealed that only 15 percent of patients derive any more benefit from the drugs than they would a sugar pill. Additionally, withdrawal symptoms for long-term users may be more severe than previously believed and sometimes be worse for the patient than the original disorder....

The consensus is that SSRIs help some people with severe depression, but those patients are the minority of people who take the drugs....

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, professor of Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London, the lead author of the serotonin paper told the outlet, "We have a mistaken view of what psychiatric drugs are doing. This idea that they work by targeting the underlying biological mechanisms that produce the symptoms of mental disorders is actually not supported by evidence for any type of mental disorder, whether that's depression or schizophrenia or whatever..."

After the paper was released, the US Food and Drug Administration published an analysis of all the antidepressant clinical trial data in its files. The study concluded that the active ingredients in 10 of the most popularly prescribed antidepressant medications made a meaningful difference in only 15 percent of the patients who took them, usually in those patients suffering from the most severe depression.

According to Newsweek, One reason may be that SSRIs are effective for many people not because of the drug but rather the placebo effect, that the patient creates an expectation of healing that results in improvement. The outlet cited research that the placebo effect is successful in 30 to 40 percent of cases of depression.

End quote.

~The Post Millennial

The Newsweek article cited is here and here are the key quotes:

One of the authors of the new study is Horowitz, now a research scientist at University College London. His July paper, "The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence," is aimed squarely at debunking the basis upon which pharmaceutical companies marketed drugs like Prozac, Lexapro and Zoloft to consumers for decades: namely, the idea that depression is associated with deficits in the concentrations or activity of the brain chemical serotonin.

The pharmaceutical industry used that idea to market the drugs to consumers for many years, and it remains a kind of shorthand some doctors use to explain to their patients how the drugs work. As a result, according to the study's authors, between 85 and 90 percent of the public believe that low serotonin levels cause depression. After reviewing data from previous studies involving hundreds of thousands of individuals, Horowitz and his colleagues concluded that there is little to no evidence that this is true....

Horowitz and the paper's other co-authors have been using the attention to call for a fundamental reassessment of how mental illness is treated. "We have a mistaken view of what psychiatric drugs are doing," says Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, professor of Critical and Social Psychiatry at University College London. She is also Horowitz's boss and the lead author of the serotonin paper. "This idea that they work by targeting the underlying biological mechanisms that produce the symptoms of mental disorders is actually not supported by evidence for any type of mental disorder, whether that's depression or schizophrenia or whatever," she told Newsweek....

The crippling sadness that sometimes follows a reduction in SSRI medication is caused by the chemical dependence the drugs can cause in the brain and withdrawal effects.

"It's not helpful to think of depression as a brain disease," she says. "I think that we should be thinking of it as an emotional reaction to life circumstances and life events. And indeed, there is very strong evidence that people who suffer from adverse life events are much more likely to get depressed."

End quote.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Friendships and Being Wronged

 “Let not a single action alienate a friend: bear in mind the general tenor of his conduct towards you. Be as ready to forgive as you desire to be forgiven. Remember there is still much in you which grates upon others. When wronged pray over it before you pass a verdict. Many a person has afterwards bitterly regretted a hasty decision. Take all the circumstances into account and “judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”

~ Arthur Pink, “The Life of David, Volume 2”

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Mystical Experiences vs the Written Word and the Holy Spirit

 “There is real need to labour this point, for not a few highly strung people and those with vivid imaginations have been deceived thereon, supposing that strange dreams, extraordinary visions, abnormal sights and sounds, are the means or manner in which the Holy Spirit is made manifest to the soul. Those who look for any such experience are far more liable to be deluded by Satan than enlightened by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit supplies no new and different revelation today from that which He has already made in the written Word.”

~ Arthur Pink, “The Doctrine of Revelation”

Monday, August 15, 2022

"God vs Government": the pretend heroics of Grace Community Church.




"“Welcome to our peaceful protest.”

In the spring of 2020, government mandates forced churches across North America to close their doors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As societal fear and unrest increased, Christians were forced to grapple with how God wanted them to respond to these state-imposed restrictions. After all, didn’t the closure of churches pose a serious threat in a time when people needed spiritual direction more than ever?" - Amazon blurb (preface)

The reality is that GCC  shut down for 4 months in obedience to the government. Now they're profiting off of their reversal as if they were always courageous. Actually, it was biblical churches that obeyed God rather than man and therefore never did shut down their churches and didn't feel the need to thumb their noses at the government by making videos and announcing it. They quietly, like Daniel, continued on with how they'd been practicing sound doctrine.  They treated and continue to treat Scripture and it's doctrine as it is: God's very word,  knowable and essential, and not given to situational obedience. The government has zero jurisdiction over the local church. In any way. It neither defines it nor regulates it. That is solely the jurisdiction of Christ Jesus.  Rather, James tells the elders to go to the sick. Quarantines in the OT was for the lepers and all the regulations of how, when, and for how long is given in detail in Leviticus to the Jews for a specific reason, mainly to show the insidiousness of sin and it's widespread growth in man. Never were the healthy quarantined or isolated. Johnson neglected these important distinctions.

Phil Johnson in May 2020 posted:

This guy, angry that Grace Community Church yielded to the 9th Circuit Court's ruling banning church meetings in California this weekend, Tweets at me: "An unjust law need not be followed."

I'm appalled at how many people who profess to believe Scripture echo that sentiment. Nero was emperor when Paul wrote Romans 13:1-7: "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. . . ." First Peter 2:13 was written to people suffering unjustly. ("Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him...")

Peter goes on to say: "Be subject . . . also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly" (vv. 18-19). Indeed, "to this [unjust suffering] you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." (v. 21). When someone in authority over us treats us unjustly, the example we are to follow was set for us by Christ, who simply "continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly" (v. 23).

The only exception to this principle is when the one in authority instructs us to sin. Then "we must obey God rather than men" (
Acts 5:29).

The answer to that question may vary according to where we live. Quarantining people in the midst of a pandemic is a legitimate prerogative of government. How long the quarantine should last and who should be exempted are questions that don't have clear, fixed answers. The severity and duration of the pandemic determines what's reasonable or not. We may or may not agree with how the quarantine is being implemented (I certainly do not), but we have a clear duty to submit unless we are being asked to sin. 

How long until the government-ordered quarantine is undeniably excessive, or we conclude that it's targeted persecution against our worship and therefore an illegal attempt to make us disobey Hebrews 10:25? That time may come, and when it does, we may have to implement the principle of Acts 5:29. The question of whether we have already passed that point is another subjective issue, but it's clear that among believers—in the church itself—there is not yet consensus on whether the quarantine has gone too far.

Nevertheless, if you hang out on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed that there are countless people in the evangelical community who refuse to regard any of the above questions as matters of conscience. They believe the answers are perfectly obvious. They are eager to tell you what you and your church ought to be doing. They are locked and loaded with vituperation for anyone who sees matters differently. Two camps of them have squared off against each other—hordes of angry Karens at opposite extremes, all of whom disagree with the position I've outlined above. Some of them are scolding us for thinking Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 actually apply in today's circumstances. The others are berating us for wanting to resume public worship ASAP.

Sorry, but in the words of Martin Luther, here I stand. I can do no other. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help us.

~Phil  Johnson May 25, 2020 [bold, original; underline, mine]

But a little over two months later, he and his church became JUST AS DOGMATIC:

Churches are shutting down. Large churches are shutting down until (they say) January. I don't have any way to understand that—other than they don't know what a church is and they don't shepherd their people. But that's sad. And you have a lot of people in Christianity who seem to be significant leaders who aren't giving any strength and courage to the church. They're not standing up and rising up and calling on Christians to be the church in the world.

John MacArthur (2 August 2020) (italics, mine)

GCC's stance changed 4 months later, going from "we need to submit to the government--Romans 13!!, to stating what biblical churches and Christians had held to and practiced from the moment of the shut down—that the government has no jurisdiction over the Lord's church ever---the very stand Johnson ridiculed as “angry Karens”.

Johnson partially quoted Romans 13, but forgot to include the JURISDICTION of the government God gave (aka, context). It was not over health, family, marriage, working (work is mandated by God); who to isolate and not isolate for health risks, how to run a church. Rather, the government’s jurisdiction given by God is VERY NARROW:

Rom 13:3  For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4  for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. 

1 Peter 2 explains what the "good" and "evil" is--it's according to Scripture, not Caesar. 1Pe 2:14  or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right1 Peter 3:14 says it's in regard to righteousness.  So, tell a church how to function especially when it’s against Scripture IS sin. It’s source of authority is satanic and therefore illegitimate. It goes back to the ancient Serpent in the Garden of Eden, saying “Has God said?”. Yes, He has said. He has spoken.  Any view that is not a biblical view is sin. Doing things from fear rather than faith, is sin (James 4). So, for Johnson to infer that disobedience to the government is allowed only if they command you directly to sin (for example, only IF they say you shall bow to an idol” or “you shall take the mark of the beast”, or "you must have an abortion"), is a very immature view of Scripture. It’s really a low view of God, Scripture, and His church, His people. (I think a better example is Daniel, who obeyed God in food, drink, and worship regardless of what the government said, yet still showed honor to the king. Note that he did nothing different when things got bad—he continued on as he always had done—pray to Yahweh, obey Scripture, trust in God. He continued to LIVE according to biblical doctrine. )

Months later he changed his tune. It was his experience with o
ngoing regulations, not a clear understanding of and trust in Scripture, is what changed his mind.  He wasn't a little off and just needed "fine tuning". He did not start with the presupposition of God's Word trumping government mandates and fear. He didn't start with having a high view of the Lord's children. He mocked them. He got angry and impatient with them. Rather his post comes off as everyone has their own  own interpretation of Scripture---the very thing he slammed the Emergent Church (Post-Modernists) for. He said, 

But GCC ended up saying what we said all along: we won't submit to the government shut down of churches because it was wholly unbiblical. But for a quarter of an entire year they cowered before unholy men who dared to dictate to Christians and how they relate to God. And they didn't admit they were wrong, apologized to all those they rebuked for daring to be dogmatic on sound doctrine and practice. No, they rewrote the narrative, painting themselves as fierce, unmovable heroes of the faith when the fact was, they were cowards for months. That's dishonest and it's fleshly.

The problem is that GCC thinks time is what justifies or does not justify disobedience to the Lord when it comes to closing down a church, having no communion, no fellowship, no church discipline. Their view was purely pragmatic, self-preserving, and out of fear of government and illness. For four long months they kept their flock from obeying the Lord as they continued to not obey the Lord as "leaders". It was over-lording the people with their own fear and rebellion. And now they wrote a book on how bold and courageous they were to stand (even taunt, if you look at MacArthur's video statement), against the shut down AS IF they had always stood open. 

 So that’s the problem with the book. For four months, GCC was doing that very thing they accused others of doing: redefining by action what a church is; shepherds not shepherding their people and not giving strength and courage to the church. I’d add they didn’t deal with sin within the church either. Rather they were cowering and in fear of a less-than-lethal virus and the government. They really want to be heroes and make some money and gain some recognition out of it. It's fleshly.

(Tangentially, it was MacArthur who refused to submit to the human institution of WASC, the accreditation institute, when starting TMS. He said he knew they weren’t supposed to start the seminary because WASC said no, but went ahead, “hoping for forgiveness later” (TMS Chapel 8/21/18 Part 1 time mark 4:25). So the hypocrisy goes back quite a ways with them- obey or disobey at whim.) They are no Daniel. Not even close.



Monday, July 18, 2022

To Mortify Our sins and be Christlike Is Beyond Our Nature

 “O my reader, be not deceived on this vital matter: to mortify the lusts of the flesh, to be crucified unto the world, to overcome the Devil, to die daily unto sin, and live unto righteousness, to be meek and lowly in heart, trustful and obedient, pious and patient, faithful and uncompromising, loving and gentle; in a word, to be a Christian, to be Christlike, is a task far, far beyond the poor resources of fallen human nature.”

~ Arthur Pink, “Studies on Saving Faith”

So very true! It can only be the work of the Triune God working in and through us.

Eph 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. 

Friday, July 08, 2022

You Can't Blame God For His Wrath


                                                                                   Photo source.

Friday, March 11, 2022

When Churches Usurp The Jurisdiction God Gave To The Civil Government

When churches try to usurp God's assigned authority to the civil government (Rom. 13 & 1Peter 2:13-14), always ends badly. 


Josh Root at Chandler's Village Church:


Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Waiting For God To Answer

 "And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing" (1 Kings 18:43). Even Elijah was not always answered immediately, and who are we to demand a prompt answer to our first asking?....He was convinced that sooner or later God would grant his request, yet he was persuaded he should "give Him no rest" (Isa. 62:7). Six times the servant returned with his report that there was no portent of rain, yet the prophet relaxed not his supplication. And let us not be faint-hearted when no immediate success attends our praying, but be importunate, exercising faith and patience until the blessing comes..."Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you" (Isa. 30:18). Why? To teach us that we are not heard for our fervour or urgency, or because of the justness of our cause: we can claim nothing from God—all is of grace, and we must wait His time. The Lord waits, not because He is tyrannical, but "that He may be gracious." It is for our good that He waits: that our graces may be developed, that submission to His holy will may be wrought in us; then He lovingly turns to us and says, "Great is thy faith, be it unto thee as thou wilt" (Matthew 15:28). "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (John 5:14, 15). God cannot break His own Word, but we must abide His time and, refusing to be discouraged, continue supplicating Him until He appears on our behalf."

~ Arthur Pink, “The Life of Elijah"

Tuesday, March 01, 2022

The Christian Overwhelmingly Conquers All These Things

The things brought to us by our Sovereign God and Great Shepherd of our souls, not only work for our good, that is, our sanctification, but also we overwhelmingly conquer them because of and through Christ the Lord and His victorious work on the cross (Rom. 8:29-30) and resurrection and return as victorious King of kings:

Rom 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 

2Co 4:8  we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword

Rom 8:37  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 

Php 2:12  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.  

God loves us to the end of our salvation, our glorification that results in His praise (Eph. 2).  This is why the true Christian is never hopeless but instead has living hope in the Living Lord Jesus Christ, who intercedes on our behalf all the time, especially when the Accuser of the Brethren (even through his children) seeks to accuse us. We are now IN Christ with whom the Father is well pleased, and by whom the Father's wrath is appeased.  

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Homelessness: true poverty vs the sluggard

 We've all had to deal with a plethora of homeless people and for those of us in Democrat run states and near Democrat cities, even more so.  It's often caused conflict in me because on the one hand, Scripture says we're to be generous with what the Lord gives, giving to the poor when He leads and not abusing them or devaluing them since He created the poor and rich alike. On the other hand, most of the homeless today is really just another community, constituency, industry, or whatever you want to call it, where the homeless are typically (not always, but typically) drug users, thieves, sexually immoral, and lazy. Some are demon possessed.  They take from the hard working, law abiding citizens. They are typically rebellious people who refuse to live according to our laws and policies, desiring to live on their own by their "own" rules.  

Now things are so bad that they dump their feces and needles on the sidewalks, take over multiple blocks (some up to miles) with their trash and tents. They are often aggressive to the poor soul who has to pass by them, and frequently they attack others, usually again, passers-by. Leftists and liberals have refused to deal with the homeless problem and instead see them as a way to pretend to care, using them as a way to get money, and basically has turned the homeless into a constituency, creating laws they think are compassionate, but aren't--not for the homeless and not for the victims of their crimes--the law abiding citizens. It's big money to say you fight for the homeless.

Where else but in say, CA, Los Angeles, to be exact, will you find tens of thousands of homeless people who get free housing, free houses, free medical care, free food, free lawyers and activists, and never have to go to prison or be fined for violating the law (even keeping prohibited items like illegal drugs and guns in lockers in said homeless villages) while the rest of us face pay them for that AND we are charged or ticked or jailed for violations of the law?

There's something wrong here. And as I study through Proverbs I finally understood what I was trying to deal with in my mind regarding the conflicting issues. 

Scripture makes a difference between the poor and needy (truly poor and truly needy) versus the sluggard. Most of what we see today in these big swaths of homeless are sluggards, refusing to work for their food. There's a huge difference between the man who was laid off of his job of multiple years and wants to find another job, and those who refuse to work (you can even throw in the welfare generations with this). 

This isn't meant to be a detailed treatment of the issue, but to list Scriptures that DO deal with this issue. While I have looked up many of these verses, I'm not including the context here, but leave it to you to do a study of it yourself. This is just meant to show that there IS a difference between a truly poor or needy person and the lazy sluggard who refuses to work in order to eat.

I do believe that making welfare limited to two years and have obligations that go with it (work to get the money) would cause many to stop being lazy and take responsibility for their own lives and livelihood. Sometimes it's the action of working to get room and board that brings back "pride" or ownership in working an honest day for an honest wage and restores the "hope" back to the one who was caught in giving up. 

What Scripture says about the poor:

Pro_14:31  He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

Pro_17:5  He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker; He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.

Pro_19:17  One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And He will repay him for his good deed.

Pro_20:13  Do not love sleep, or you will become poor; Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with food.
Pro_21:13  He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered.
Pro_21:17  He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.
Pro_22:2  The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all.

Pro 22:22  Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Or crush the afflicted at the gate; 

Pro 22:23  For the LORD will plead their case And take the life of those who rob them. 

Twelve times Proverbs talks about the sluggard.

Pro_6:6  Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise,
Pro_6:9  How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
Pro_13:4  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat.
Pro_19:24  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish, But will not even bring it back to his mouth.
Pro_20:4  The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, So he begs during the harvest and has nothing.
Pro_21:25  The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work;
Pro_22:13  The sluggard says, "There is a lion outside; I will be killed in the streets!"
Pro_24:30  I passed by the field of the sluggard And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense,
Pro_26:13  The sluggard says, "There is a lion in the road! A lion is in the open square!"
Pro_26:14  As the door turns on its hinges, So does the sluggard on his bed.
Pro_26:15  The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; He is weary of bringing it to his mouth again.
Pro_26:16  The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes Than seven men who can give a discreet answer.

Then there's the verses about the lazy:

Pro_10:26  Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy one to those who send him.

Pro_12:27  A lazy man does not roast his prey, But the precious possession of a man is diligence.
Pro_15:19  The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway.

Pro 28:19  He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. 

And stealing food because of actual hunger is not excused by God: Pro 6:30  Men do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is hungry; 31  But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house. 

In dealing with the poor in Israel, there was still limitations regarding his property: 

Lev 25:24  'Thus for every piece of your property, you are to provide for the redemption of the land.  Lev 25:25  'If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold.  Lev 25:26  'Or in case a man has no kinsman, but so recovers his means as to find sufficient for its redemption,  Lev 25:27  then he shall calculate the years since its sale and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it, and so return to his property.  Lev 25:28  'But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property.  Lev 25:29  'Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year.  Lev 25:30  'But if it is not bought back for him within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city passes permanently to its purchaser throughout his generations; it does not revert in the jubilee.  Lev 25:31  'The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee. 

Deu 15:7  "If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother;  Deu 15:8  but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.  Deu 15:9  "Beware that there is no base thought in your heart, saying, 'The seventh year, the year of remission, is near,' and your eye is hostile toward your poor brother, and you give him nothing; then he may cry to the LORD against you, and it will be a sin in you.  Deu 15:10  "You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.  Deu 15:11  "For the poor will never cease to be in the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.' 

Deu 1:17  'You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God's. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.' 
And lending to the poor and needy: 

Deu 24:10  "When you make your neighbor a loan of any sort, you shall not enter his house to take his pledge.  Deu 24:11  "You shall remain outside, and the man to whom you make the loan shall bring the pledge out to you.  Deu 24:12  "If he is a poor man, you shall not sleep with his pledge.  Deu 24:13  "When the sun goes down you shall surely return the pledge to him, that he may sleep in his cloak and bless you; and it will be righteousness for you before the LORD your God.  Deu 24:14  "You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.  Deu 24:15  "You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the LORD and it become sin in you. 

Scripture teaches the Christians that laziness and being undisciplined is sinful: 2Th 3:7  For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,  2Th 3:8  nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;  2Th 3:9  not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.  2Th 3:10  For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  2Th 3:11  For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. 
2Th 3:12  Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. 

And the family of widows in deed are to care for their own so as not to be an unnecessary burden on the local church:
1Ti 5:3  Honor widows who are widows indeed;  1Ti 5:4  but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God