Monday, April 30, 2007

Do YOU know your Bible?

I was reading an article about religion and the author of that article stated some disturbing facts. You can read the article here. "Only one-half of us" it is stated, "can name one of the four gospels of the New Testament." And if that is not bad enough, "[o]nly a third can identify who delivered the Sermon on the Mount." I do not have any statistics but I think it would be fair to say that the numbers for Southern Baptists and other denominations in particular would be higher than that of the general population. I hope that is not just wishful thinking.

Consider this. I was afforded the opportunity a short time ago to witness to two Jehovah's Witnesses that came to "witness to me". She proceeded to show me something from her Bible and I was going to use hers to refute her statement but I could not find it in her Bible. I told her to please wait, I was going to get my own Bible. I returned and our informal debate began. Mind you now, I had not told them I was a preacher. For thirty minutes, point by point, I refuted their witness with Scripture. They would try to make a point and I would show them other Scriptures that they could not twist. Finally, one of the ladies looked at me and said, "are you a preacher?" I responded that I was. She told me that I really knew my Bible well. But it was her next statement that bothered me. She went on to say that most of the other pastors they had spoken with must focus more on the social aspect of ministry because they did not know the Scriptures very well.

Now, I'll grant you that the typical person on the street would not know the Scriptures like a pastor ought to know them. The "typical person" is without excuse though because the Bible is so readily available. Multiple copies can be found in many homes but the problem is that they are so seldom read. It is another thing for a pastor to not be able to defend his faith from the Scriptures. Are we spending so much time reading anything and everything else that have no time to read the Bible? Should we not be spending so much time reading the Bible that we have little time to read other works instead? And no, I do not consider reading Gill, Spurgeon, Calvin, Stanley and others on the same level as reading the Scriptures for one's self. How often I have seen on blogs someone asked what they believe and they respond with, go read this person. What? Can you not give an answer? Do you not know what YOU believe?

My conclusion is that the general population spends either all of its time reading ABOUT the Bible or it spends its time reading something OTHER than the Bible. My brothers and sisters, this certainly ought not be true of us!

II Timothy 2:15-16 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


That question has been asked of men since the advent of Gilligan's Island. I was watching that show the other evening and to my amazement, I did not remember that they actually had an episode that dealt with just that question. However, Mrs. Howell was also in that line-up. I think it is rather obvious why she did not make it to the "around the cooler" talk, but the original Mary Ann or Ginger question has been laughed at, joked about and seriously contemplated by most males since. And to put your mind at ease, this is not the first blog to ponder this age old question but perhaps it might be from my perspective.

Men can be shallow and God knows this, however, in I Peter 3:1-6, God placed the responsibility on the woman to handle this situation and to answer that age old question of Mary Ann or Ginger. It all depends upon whom the woman is trying to impress. You can impress a man but it will only last temporarily. Darn that aging process, you just cannot stop it. You can impress God and that can last eternity. Impress God? Absolutely. Verse 4 "But
let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."(emphasis mine) Do you seek to impress God or men?

The antithesis of the I Peter 3 woman is the Proverbs 7:6-23 woman. She is painted, loud, stubborn, obnoxious, and unfaithful. Men, why is this woman so appealing? The "joys" of this woman are but a trap. Verses 22-23 describe, in not-so-flattering terms, such men who pursue and are taken in by this woman. As an ox to the slaughter, as a fool to the stocks, as a bird rushes to the snare are the terms used to describe a man who is impressed by such a woman.
YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE! A dart for you heart she is wielding.

Our society, in both public and private life, is littered with attempts to delude both men and women on this subject. Both men and women share responsibility in this matter. Why would a woman want a man who is so "void of understanding"? Why would a man want a woman who is only "adorned" on the outside? As far as true
Christianity is concerned, to quote James 3:10b, "[m]y brethren, these things ought not so to be".

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Have a grace filled day...


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Legislating Morality

If you have been around Christendom any length of time, I am sure that you have heard the phrase, "You can't legislate morality!". I will even admit that I have made the remark a time or two or three. I will toss it up to either zeal or youthful exuberance because even though I know what we mean, we really do not mean what we said. Morality is legislated ALL of the time. Laws too numerous to mention fill the pages of our law books which do indeed intend to legislate morality. What we really mean to say is this, "Even though we can legislate moral law, it does not mean we can change peoples hearts towards the morality we have sought to legislate".

But the flaw in our logic of the first statement, "you can't legislate morality", has led some to totally remove themselves from our voting system. Why pass laws that uphold morality if you cannot change the heart? The simple answer is this. Laws are passed to uphold morality for order in society. No laws or order in society or enforcement of laws and order in society leads to anarchy or the proverbial statement from the book of Judges, "each man did that which was right in his own eyes". I will be completely honest. I really do not want to be a part of ANY society where any person can do anything that he wants to do.

Our system of government, at least at present, allows for the input and voice of its constituents. As Christians, we should not refrain from governmental or legal interaction because laws do not change hearts. We should, as Christians, be involved in all forums of government precisely so that peace and order can be upheld in our society. We should try to have laws passed that not only protect others from physical harm, but those that would protect others from spiritual harm as well. God has granted us a country in which we have been able and still are able to have our voices heard. In fact, I will go so far as to say that we have a God-given responsibility to let our voices be heard simply because He has given us that freedom. Rather than patsy other people and just try and get along, our first duty is to serve God through Jesus Christ. Our second duty, to love our neighbor as ourselves does include at times, protecting our neighbor from that which will harm him, even though he does not see the harm.

Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

Have a grace filled day...

Friday, April 20, 2007

One Having Authority

Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Luther said, Calvin said, Piper said, Spurgeon said, Stanley said, Rogers said, Wiersbe said, Pink said etc... Why is it that so few writers/speakers/bloggers say, "Jesus said..."? Reminds me of I Corinthians 3:4, "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?" Let me ask you, who is your authority? From the very beginning, isn't that what was unspoken in Satan's address to Eve in the garden..."hath God said?", in other words, who is the real authority? By convincing Eve to rebel against God, she indeed yielded herself to Satan's authority. She believed what Satan said rather than what God had said. By no stretch of the imagination am I comparing to the aforementioned preacher/theologians to Satan. What I am appealing to you about though is the incessant appeals that are made to them and what they taught, rather than to the source itself, the Word of God, Jesus. I am not suggesting that reading and studying these men's works is unfruitful rather, I am suggesting that when we read these men's works, should we not come away with rather, "the Scriptures say", or "God says" or "Jesus says"? I believe that I would be safe in speaking for the aforementioned preacher/theologians that they would all proclaim "follow me as I follow Christ" and yet somehow in the mix, I think that we tend to follow the men rather than the one they sought to follow and wish for us to follow as well. We appeal to these men as "those having authority" and yet if they have authority, is it not but for the single reason that they received authority from God.(Romans 13:1) In submitting to authority is it not really God we are submitting to and not particularly to the men? And why would we submit to these men, is it not because God is our authority?

I think one of the reasons we appeal to these men is because it is easier than wrestling with the text ourselves. A recent blogger was asked what he believed about a passage and instead of answering what he believed, he told the asker to go read someone that he(the blooger) agreed with. That was a whole lot easier than appealing to the text for himself. It is easier to digest what they have already chewed.(you know, in the real world, that is what animals do but for humans, that just seems nasty to me) It is in the wrestling with the texts ourselves that we come face to face with God. And just as Moses face shined reflecting the glory of God, perhaps that is why these respected men shine so? They have been face to face with God. And they in turn say, "The Lord says..." etc., because they have been to the Authority. Quoting respectable men is not what garners authority, or at least in God's economy, it doesn't. Rather, being able to quote the Authority is what gives our words authority.

May it truly be our endeavor, not to get to know these men, but rather to get to know the One they so passionately spoke of.

Have a grace filled weekend...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Limited Atonement: Thoughts to Contemplate

From the outset, let me say, I do not have an ax to grind with anyone. I do believe like others that iron sharpens iron and so I trust that you will consider what I write though it may be contrary to what you think. I myself am not an espousing five point Calvinist. That being said, I have a lot of respect for D. James Kennedy, John MacArthur, A.W. Pink and my uncle(five pointer). I also understand that there are many different ideas about who or what is really a Calvinist. My admonition is to adhere to I Corinthians 3:3-9.

I do believe in Limited Atonement but not as defined by Calvinists. I do not believe that all men will be saved. I'm NOT a Universalist. So I believe that the number of people that will be saved is limited and to that respect, I believe the Atonement is limited. I believe that the Atonement is Universal in its provision but is limited in its application. However, the limit is due to man's stubbornness and rebellion, not due to election or non-election(reprobation).

The passage to ponder is John 3:14-15. Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus about being born again. Jesus in his instruction to Nicodemus refers to Numbers 21 where God had sent fiery serpents upon a rebellious people and for healing, Moses was to raise a brass serpent upon a pole and all who were bit could look at God's provision and be healed. Here's my point. Jesus used this illustration to refer to His own crucifixion. The healing was to be for "whosoever" in verse 15 and 16 of John 3. Who is the "whosoever"? The "whosoever" is whosoever has been "bitten" and is dying, without which looking to the cross, men will die. Christ's death was for anyone and everyone who has been bitten(sin nature). That is what qualifies someone to look. They must be bitten. And what say the Scriptures, ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. To whom was the Atonement provided for, ALL who have sinned and come short of the glory of God. While one may be spiritually dead, if he is physically alive, he is not entirely dead. The Numbers 21 illustration shows that while man is going to die without looking, he is not so dead that he(of his own choice), can't look. Indeed, I would say it is of necessity that he look or he shall die. No, I do not believe the Bible teaches "Limited Atonement" from the provisional perspective. I also understand that if one point of the five fails, the others become weak as well. For that reason, I understand the urgency some feel to defend "Limited Atonement". To me, the concept of Limited Atonement cannot stand up under the weight of John 3:14.

Have a grace filled day...

Monday, April 16, 2007


Over the past months, the controversy surrounding the Duke lacrosse team, and particularly three of its players, has dominated the press. How well it would have been for the many vocally outspoken to have reserved judgement until they truly knew both sides of the version of events from that scandalous night. But all too often like the critics of the Duke players, we are quick to jump on the bandwagon of instant judgement without searching out the facts. We let our biases become the foundation for the truth rather than the facts. In an effort to hear our own voices in the fracas, we cast aside biblical admonitions and teachings. In an effort to have others hear our voices, we cast aside that which we would desire for our own selves should such a situation ever arise, the willingness of others to withhold judgement until the facts are known.

Our second struggle is just as difficult to circumvent. We become participants in the "Jerry Springer" type show, as voyeurs in the crowds waiting insatiably to catch the next "juicy" tidbit of information. Our goal becomes not to get the facts and know the truth, but to hear the details at which we may laugh,
ahhhh, ewwwwww or act shocked at what is revealed. In other words, we are simply involved for the entertainment value. Entertained by the mistreatment of others and the reactions to such mistreatment, we revel in the mud slinging. Should we find ourselves in the spot light though, we would desire not that people find entertainment from our demise, but that the truth would be known and we would be vindicated.

What saith the Scriptures?

Proverbs 18:17
He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him. Resist the temptation to watch just for the entertainment. Resist the temptation to let biases ignore or skew the facts. Do for others that which you would desire for yourself. Resist the urge to jump to conclusions. Instead, search for the truth. The first voice may be the loudest but it may not necessarily be the truth.

Have a grace filled day...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


1.) No Profanity

2.) No Personal Attacks

3.) Although I will try as I can to be completely fair, "any" comment that I should deem
inappropriate will be deleted at my discretion.

4.) No Advertisements

5.) Do try to be edifying.

6.) Do remember that we are all capable of mistakes.

7.) Jesus is the Only Way of Salvation.