Thursday, August 16, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
1) The Bible defines marriage as 1 man + 1 woman, for life.
2) Jesus uttered many words relevant to same-sex relationships.
3) There is clear guidance in the New Testament (especially from Jesus) on how to apply the OT views of homosexuality to our lives today.
4) Its fairly obvious what Paul’s view of homosexuality was.
5) There is, in fact, an undeniable natural order of things.
The fact that some animals commit homosexuality does not make it any more natural. They are usually showing signs of mental disturbance, and are obviously aberrant. There is also a clear natural selection disadvantage. Nothing natural about it. Besides, even truly 'natural' behaviors (such as many male animals eating their young) are grotesque when applied to humans. When you consider humans without a clear gender (e.g. with chromosomal abnormalities or ambiguous genitalia), applying the term 'homosexual' to them is nonsensical anyway. I'm only discussing committed homosexual relationships, as opposed to traditional/natural marriage.
6) God is the most tolerant and loving being in the universe.
7) The Bible does not deny homosexuals the ability to choose.
Finally, some notes about the emotion behind the poster.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
- 37% said Emotional instability.
- 37% said Spiritual weakness
- 25% said Bad decisions.
- 0% said Physical illness, a disease.
- 0% said Genetics
- 0% said Bad childhood.
- 0% said Other.
Those who have emotion instability are usually ones that have had some sort of relational problem in their life. They have been hurt by someone in their life. Betrayal, abuse, and neglect (traumas) are usually not absent in cases like these. This one could be added to the choice of bad childhood and perhaps that is why no one chose the answer. They move on from relation to relation. They can't seem to find that someone who will take them away from all of the pain they have suffered in their own mind. When that person can't take the pain away they move to another person. This relation does not necessarily mean one that involves sexual action. This could be friends. They can't seem to keep the same friends over time. It could be parents. Children start to look for other father or mother figures to have someone in their life. If they can not find the "perfect" relationship they look for a way to cope with that relationship by finding an outlet. That outlet becomes the addiction.
Oddly enough, no one said that genetics are a leading cause of addiction. But as stated in the article posted here 60% of alcoholics have had alcoholism in their family history. But maybe we recognize that even though our family has had problems it doesn't mean that we will. And it definitely doesn't mean that we have to follow those footsteps. But you can see this as being true. If babies can be born addicted to crack they can be born addicted to other things as well, or at least predisposed.
The article has another page that talks about myths of addictions. Two of the myths are myths, in a way, that is. Science treats addiction as a disease. It's not a disease, but a sickness. But a sickness of what? The mind. The substance or action plays on the mind of the individual and the individual can not break free from this thought and thereby causing the person to make irrational decisions, changing the individual into someone they are not. The doctors try and treat the disease by using other forms of medicine. This is the myth that is a myth. The article said that many (when appropriate) are given medicine to curb their instincts, their brain functions back to normality. But then that means they will have to rely on the new medicine to stay functioning. That is better than the alternative but it doesn't cure the problem. The other myth-myth is that addicts are not addicted to all drugs. That is true for the most but there is an underlying factor here that is not mentioned. During an AA meeting at a rehabilitation center, after the prayer of serenity was said and all formalities out of the way, one patient said that he was glad he didn't escalate into other drugs and that he didn't start to substitute one drug for another. Meanwhile the room was getting foggier and foggier because everyone in the room had an average of about nine cigarettes in the hour meeting that was observed. Nicotine is a drug too. The man was substituting one for another but didn't realize it. That could be an example of how addictions are treated with other "medicines". The other myths seem highly accurate.
People turn to physical solutions when the real solution lies in the spiritual world. Places like AA, thank God for AA, even acknowledge that people have to recognize there is a higher power. But even as great as AA and other rehab centers are, there still needs that openness to not just accepting a higher power but embracing a higher power. Accepting a higher power is fine, but what is needed is a full surrendering to the higher power, because if you don't then you are still fighting the sickness. And yes, the higher power is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
This is a hard topic to cover and I think he does superb.
Pawson must be pushing 82 years now and yet he continues to preach lively. He takes a hard line on this topic but preaches it with love as he is all so good at. I mean how do you get cheers and applause after a sermon like this one and while preaching a message that isn't exactly ear tickling for many of us? Or I suppose it depends on what you see as ear tickling.
May our desires become His desires :)
Divorce and remarriage
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Hi guys. Dan asked me a while ago to post up some verses which support the notion that God works CONTINUOUSLY on human wills. I've been busy and forgot, and then remembered but was still busy so forgot again. Finally its here - a rough copy for discussion ;) Let me know your thoughts, or if you have any more verses (I know there are others, just haven't remembered them for this list). Or if you have questions, etc...
This passage shows that David is relying on the Holy Spirit to create cleanness and rightness in his heart following sin. The whole tone of the Psalm is about experience - i.e. its not just a 'spiritual' cleansing, but a real experiential cleansing of the heart to desire and will the way it should. God makes it, and it is a continual process even in Saints (as we know).
This is fairly blatant. The wording describes a continuous state of heart and a continuous action on God's part. I don't think this is an exception just because a king is someone significant. Some of the dearest passages of Scripture were written by King David - I cherish being able to relate to them. If his will and desires were unusually manipulated by God, how can I read his psalms with any connection?
These verses set up a clear dichotomy - in every moment, every person either walks and sets their mind in one way or the other. There is no in-between. Of course, this referring to deep, roubust, genuine, enduring states of being, not some temporary (or even prolonged, and henious) fall which runs against our fundamental desires. Most people think that 'being in the Spirit' is a result of faith, but these verses teach that we need to 'be in the Spirit' in order to please God (which means, in order to have faith). Being in the Spirit is a continual thing, not an instantaneous thing - and it is needed to create and sustain the ability to please God (i.e. faith). Any faith I have is thanks to the continuous activity of the Holy Spirit on my will and desires.
God gives more faith and more transformation to some than to others - and this passage was directed present tense to existing Christians, and so applies to faith and transformation throughout a Christian's walk. We ought to be sober because GOD is the author of our faith, not us. And we ought to judge ourselves, because this is one of God's ways of actively spurring those to whom He has given great faith toward the faith-filled activity He has planned for them, and of spurring those to whom He has given small faith toward the faith-filled activity He has planned for them. He will not let either sit still in self-confidence or introspective faith, or anxiety and apathy. The day-to-day faith I have is a direct gift from God - he works day-to-day on my heart and mind.
1 Corinthians 15:10
Paul's working (this Greek word means some kind of fatiguing activity, not necessarily active or effectual, but certainly requiring a lot of willpower) was actually GOD'S working within Him by grace. In other words, God worked for a significant period of time with such force on Paul's will, that Paul described it as fatiguing labour, but did not think he could even describe it as his own!
The word for 'works' here is 'observable, effectual activity', i.e. direct active work of God Himself. Every beat of every butterfly's wing, every human thought, every electron's orbit is actively 'worked' by God. This point is emphasized specifically for three things: our hope in Christ, our obtaining an inheritance, and God getting praise. None of these are not one time events - they are states of being, which God continually works.
The wording in Greek here denotes a definite plan of Gods, not some vague desire. He designed specific 'works' for us, and created us anew so that we should walk in them. The word for 'works' actually means a continuous occupation and effort, rather than any specific act. And the word for 'created' is also continuous. So God is continually 'creating' us SO THAT (i.e. without the first part, the second part wouldn't happen) we continuously apply effort in the specific occupation He designed for us. There is a huge emphasis here in the whole chapter about how everything is God's doing by grace, and not even the slightest bit is our own.
The 'good work' which God is doing (continuous sense) and will complete, is described by Paul a few verses later - that their love might abound more and more, with knowledge and discernment, that they might approve what is excellent, and be pure and blameless, and be filled with the fruit of righteousness, etc. God is continously working right at the core of human wills - creating love, knowledge, discernment, purity, blamelessness, etc. We are talking about strong motivational stuff as well as detailed head knowledge.
This is quite clear - God is the one who works in us, in our wills, so powerfully that it alters our behavior in a consistent and enduring way (i.e. we 'work' for his good pleasure - we 'always obey'). Thus our 'work', indeed our very desire and will to 'work', is actually a result of His 'work' within us (again meaning active involvement). We fear and tremble, the verse says, because it is GOD HIMSELF who works within us, nothing to do with having to strive in your own strength. Read the preceding parts of the chapter and see if you are not inspired to awe and humility and fear and trembling before God. Clearly this is what Paul intended - since our God is like this, THEREFORE work our your salvation in fear and trembling, FOR it is GOD who works in you.
This verse is blatant in describing that it is NOT the fruit of his labour, nor his ability to go on without feeling fatigue (the words describe fatiguing labour), that He is attributing to God. Rather it must be his WILL that he is attributing to God.
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13
The growth in love and holiness in Christians and in the Church are straightforward gifts from God. He causes it. These are continuous processes that stretch right to the core of our mind, will, and emotions.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
'Keeping' here means to guard carefully over a long period of time. God is doing something to prevent your spirit, should, and body from losing its blamelessness (i.e. rejecting Christ's covering blood). Apart from God's continuous faithful activity of guarding, you might lose your blamelessness. But we have confidence because He continuously acts on our spirit, soul, and body to guard their blamelessness in Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:3
Paul gives thanks to GOD for THEIR faith and love, and that it is GROWING. Paul acknowledges that God is ultimately the worker behind their constant development in faith and love. Both faith and love are intimately linked to the will (and even deeper than the will), so this is an obvious but indirect way of saying that God is responsible for their wills, and for their gradual change in their will (for the better).
This passage shows that we were only ever truly shared in Christ (perfect tense) IF we persevere to the end (continuous tense). These tenses only make sense if the persevering happens as a result of sharing in Christ. Our perseverance is not based upon our moment-by-moment decisions, but on the presence (or absence) or a past fact - whether we have shared in Christ (perfect tense). If God uses foresight to prevent some people from sharing in Christ (despite having everything required i.e. true saving faith), it violates Scripture. If He PREVENTS them from having saving faith because he foresees they will not persevere, it is still a continuous act on their will (preventing faith). Or God could act continously not to prevent faith, but to sustain with certainty.
This passage is very similar to the last one. They balance out the other 'warning passages' in Hebrews by showing that those for whom the warning takes effect, were never truly saved - they merely 'tasted' heavenly things (much like the seed that falls on rocky ground in Jesus' parable).
There is a link between God 'working in us' and his 'equipping us' with what we need to 'do his will'. Part of God equipping us to do his will, is a work He does within us - in our souls - which precedes the 'doing'. In other words, it must ultimately affect our will (if it is to cause our doing). Paul believed this was something good which God did and was happy to ask for it rather than avoid it. Our ability to control our own wills was something he wanted over-ridden, not protected.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I used to be really worried if should I find a difference of accounts in the Bible, even the tiniest. Yet the more I consider it, the more it doesn't bother me, regarding it's truth. In fact it strengthens me.
I remember hearing a situation where one guy lost his faith in the God because of a "contradiction" (there had to be more to the story, no doubt). The difference was here:
Mark 10 says:
And they came to Jericho. And (B)as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus, (C)a blind beggar, the son of Timaeus, was sitting by the roadside. 47 And when he heard that it was (D)Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And many (E)rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 And Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, (F)“Take heart. Get up; he is calling you.” 50 And throwing off his (G)cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51And Jesus said to him, (H)“What do you want me to do for you?”And the blind man said to him, (I)“Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; (J)your faith has(K)made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.
Luke 18 says:
As he drew near to Jericho, (B)a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 They told him, (C)“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 And he cried out, “Jesus, (D)Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those who were in front(E)rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, 41 (F)“What do you want me to do for you?”He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; (G)your faith has (H)made you well.” 43And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him,(I)glorifying God. And (J)all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Before I begin what I wanted to write about, I want to share this; when it comes to Bible differences, there is often and if not always an explanation for many of them. Here is a link to an explanation for this one if you are interested.
So what is the potential difference here? Well, Mark says that this story happened as Jesus was leaving Jericho and Luke says that it happened as he was drawing near Jericho. Mark and Luke may not have understood completely what they were talking about.
There would have been a time in the past when this situation could have threatened my faith.
When I consider it now it strengthens my faith - but why? Well, the way I understand it now is...
1. If Mark and Luke had got together and planned how they would write a novel about the Messiah there would be no differences, wouldn't there? It is clear they didn't write this together since the accounts vary slightly. So in theory there would be no conspiracy between them to deceive the world about the Christ.
2. Even though the two passages don't agree on one point, they do agree on pretty much every other detail. If I remember correctly I think Mark got his gospel from Peter, an eye witness of the accounts of Jesus. Both Luke and Mark agree on other details - this shows that truth must have occurred because there are two different accounts from two different people.
If I were a juror hearing testimonies from people I would be more willing to accept the truth about a situation if the witnesses clearly differ on a small/insignificant detail and yet on the whole agreed. It is in the truth's favour to have complete agreement on the main facts, but small discrepancies on some minor details. It means:
a. They didn't conduct a plan
b. They are telling what they saw or remembered.
I grew up thinking that God wrote every word of the Bible. Yet I am not certain that He did, otherwise (in regards to the passages in Mark and Luke) could He be classed as lying? But we know that God cannot lie (Hebrews).
Could have God breathed the Bible in similar ways to this situation where I ask my wife to write a letter for me:
1. Do I look over her shoulder and point all the grammar mistakes? (I am not sure whether God was interested in grammar since Revelation was written quickly and roughly apparently.)
2. Should I tell her to write my exact words? but then the letter would be all in my style wouldn't they? (The different writers of the Bible clearly had their own style)
3. Could I tell her to write key topics in the letter but let her choose the style and make sure she includes certain words?
4. Could I just tell her to write on a topic exactly what I say about the topic, but in her own words?
5. Could God have inspired what He wanted in His Word and yet not have written every detail?
Peter claims that God "breathed" out scripture, does this claim every word? Look at the styles of the writers - clearly they had their own style, their own choice of word phrases and yet God guided them and worked through them. The Bible is God's message to us through people. I am quite confident that the overall message that God has given us in His word is from Him and is not contradictory. One of the reasons why I believe the Bible is the Word of God is simply because it is amazing how it is so coherent with itself in doctrine, prophecy and many historical accounts.
Could it be that when there is a slight difference, it doesn't mean God is lying, it is simply because the writer has made a mistake or remembers a different account? I remember asking my old pastor about a difference between Joshua and Judges I think it was, and he gave me a passage in 1 Chronicles 4:22. Right after listing a genealogy or similar the writer said, "Now the records are ancient."
I thought it was quite funny how the writer "sounded" like he was unsure about the accuracy of the records he had just written lol.
Could God only really be concerned about making sure the doctrine, prophecy and major historical accounts were accurate?
Could He possibly not be really that concerned about the style of writing, or whether He walked into or out of Jericho first, or whether there really were armies of 65,000, 30,000 and not 65,004 or 30,005?
Could God have purposefully allowed differences to occur to show that the accounts of the gospel were not fraud or man inspired?
In summary, I believe that difference of accounts is more evidence to a truth than if it were all totally agreed. Could God possibly have not written every word?
I do thank you Father God for giving us your Word, please help us to not believe pre-conceived ideas about You or Your Word but teach us Your truth!