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Sunday, April 30, 2017

What Calvinism Really Is!

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How To Identify False Prophets

  • Introduction:
          -Differentiating between the true prophet and the false teacher can be a task that involves plenty of effort and continued devotion. In other words, this task requires diligent work because of the constant possibility of ongoing deception in the church. Learning how distinguish the ways of truth from the ways of error is of utmost importance for the health of the entire church, for the salvation of many precious souls is at stake. It is therefore vital to educate our children in the ways of the Lord so that they possess the ability to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). But how can we identify the characteristics of false teachers? Weeding out false teachers is easier said than done because determining whether a professing Christian is a wolf in sheep's clothing requires personal examination of conscience to reveal current faithfulness to God's will and thorough investigation for possible doctrinal or moral errors of the person in question. In fact, such a process may need historical documentation, scientific analysis, and always a comparison to the teachings found within the written Word of God. In short, the purpose of this article is to identify the most prominent traits of false teachers. Different abhorrent sects maintain different aberrant teachings, which means that the application of the principles found within this article will differ from cult to cult.
  • Examining Ourselves To See Whether We Are In The Realm Of Faith (2 Corinthians 13:5):
          -It is important to reflect on our past experiences to see whether we stand in agreement to God's will. We need to examine our consciences through personal reflection because devotion to His will pin points the direction of our eternal destinies, which can either be heaven or hell. Those who function in perfect harmony with God's divine precepts are the ones who display their true desire to serve Him, whereas people who stand contrary to His will are the ones who are in danger of eternal hell fire. If we who desire to defend the essential articles of Christianity somehow stand in the wrong on any issues pertinent to eternal salvation, then we are really in no place to speak because we are only deceiving ourselves. We must have knowledge of who we are. In order to be deeply rooted in the mysteries of the Christian religion, we must know what we believe in. The repercussions of blind preaching can only be negative. Our preaching will only drag those who listen in the same spiritual direction that we are going. The conversion of souls is indeed serious matter. Hence, there is a dire need to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the correct realm of faith. A right standing with God will lead to correct spiritual insight, which also forms the basis of correct spiritual discernment.
  • A Different Source Of Revelation/Appeal:
          -False teachers will always rely on a different source of revelation than what is found in the Bible. They base their doctrines off their own puffed up fleshy minds. In other words, they get all of their unique ideas from their own vain imaginations. Deceivers formulate their own inspired revelation and act as if it originated from God. Do professing Christian preachers appeal to passages of Scripture, or to a different source of revelation to spread their message of what they call "the gospel" (Galatians 1:8-9)? 
          -Why should we bother to listen to any random message regarding religion or spirituality? What is the emphasis of or the reason behind any preached message? False teachers are focused on what people want to hear, rather than teach what God wants us to know. The message of a false teacher is entirely carnal. They are all focused on popularity, rather than pure gospel holiness.
  • The Substance Of The Message:
          -Practically every professing Christian claims that the central message of his or her teaching is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is rare to find groups who openly deny that Christ is the Savior of mankind from the ways of sin. Hence, this is the reason that the Scriptures tell us that apostates will introduce their heretical ideas in a "secret" or deceptive manner (2 Peter 2:1). We must listen carefully to how each preacher phrases and articulates his or her teachings. For example, people could preach for the sake of earning money. They could only be concentrated on exalting themselves. False teachers usually do occupy Christian theological terminology to describe completely different concepts that blaspheme God. We must examine the central message of each professing Christian teacher. If Jesus Christ is not quint-essential to the message of a preacher, then he or she is to automatically be deemed false and untrustworthy.
  • The Influence That The Message Has:
          -While false teachers promise true spiritual freedom, they are in reality slaves to sin (2 Peter 2:19). They have been enslaved to any form of sin that they have chosen to continually partake of. A true Christian is able to escape the selfish lusts of this world because he or she stands in the truth, which sets them free from spiritual bondage (2 Peter 1:3-4).
  • The Message's Impact On People's Lives:
          -Another way to evaluate the truthfulness of spiritual preaching is to see how it alters people's lives. The true, biblical gospel, which consists of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-8), will always influence people to strive for goodness. In other words, people who hear and choose to act in accordance to the principles of the gospel will also seek the characteristics of holiness. They will pursue knowledge, wisdom, kindness, love, hope, meekness, obedience (to legitimate, rightful authorities), patience, perseverance, self-control, and many other aspects of godliness. On the contrary, any false message will lead people in the opposite direction of goodness. Those who are influenced by a false gospel will also be inclined to participate in sin. They will become grandiloquent, disrespectful toward other people, greedy, lustful, and rebellious in  nature (2 Peter 2:10-20). These are the general characteristics of counterfeit Christians, who experienced a false conversion to a false version of Christianity through the preaching of a false gospel by a false teacher. Does anybody not see the importance of personal examination of our consciences through personal reflection on past experiences in our lives? 
  • Judging People By Their "Fruits" (Matthew 7:15-21):
          -While genuine Christians experience a drastic life transformation which enables them to continually strive to learn about and seek out God's will for them, false Christians will never have any internal desire to do what is right. They are too focused on worldly matters. They therefore bear no fruits. How easily one can contrast the two different lifestyles described previously! Let us not be naive about anything pertaining to spiritual holiness, but rather educated in the Word of God so that we can truly be fools of His sake.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Brief Study On Homosexuality

  • Introduction:
          -It is an undeniable fact that sexual promiscuity has become a major issue in today's society. In fact, one could liken the content from the released videos in theaters to pornography. All that one has to do is browse the internet, turn on the television set, or pick up any random magazine to see this example of declining moral values. Today, we are focusing on one aspect of this sinful delusion which has been polluting the eyes of mankind for centuries: homosexuality. Unfortunately, the minds of many professing Christians have been manipulated to view homosexual behaviors as morally acceptable, and even normal. This is happening because liberal simpletons have taken drastic measures to pervert already established moral perspectives in our society through the use of their own completely biased and hollow propaganda. One must wonder when others will choose to obey the voice of reason, rather than blind emotionalism? 
  • There Is No Such Thing As "Gay Christianity":
        -The Levitical Law, which functioned as the governing law code for the Jewish nation, in the Old Testament expressly forbade homosexual acts, and prescribed the sentence of death to those who dared to indulge themselves in same-sex actions (Leviticus 18:22-25; 20:13). In fact, God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of sexual immorality, which included homosexuality as a component of the evil corruption (Genesis 19:20; 20:4-11; 13; 24-25). Interestingly, the New Testament writer Jude describes this destructive situation happening as a result of being rebellious against God's divine authority through the partaking of "strange flesh" (Jude 5-8)! The New Testament warns that any person who engages in sexual sin immediately places his or her soul in the danger of eternal hell fire (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-11). God allows the hearts of those who exchange natural relations for unnatural to become darkened against the truth of the gospel (Romans 1:25-27). The pattern of marriage found in Scripture is always described as a permanent physical union between man and woman (i.e. Genesis 1:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). Never do we even see God permitting homosexual marriages in the Bible. If the Holy Bible is indeed inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), and is therefore infallible, then homosexuality should be rejected by all members of Christianity. Any detailed presentation on the biblical teachings regarding homosexuality such as this one should make any liberal attempt to defend homosexuality from the Bible seem as if it is nothing more than what it really is: a pile unscholary rubbish. As the saying goes, "God created Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve!"
  • Our Bodily Design Refutes Homosexuality:
          -Homosexuality is contrary to human nature. In other words, all people are born heterosexual by design. Our genitals exist for the purpose of procreation. Furthermore, the anus is supposed to function as a bodily exit, not an entrance! Homosexuality is contrary to human nature, let alone able to function like regular married couples. Contrary to what many believe, this life style is not even good for our physiological health. This structure of marriage is like mismatched pieces in the puzzle of life.
  • What About Equal Rights?:
      -If the legalization of same-sex marriage means equal rights for members of the LGBT community, then why can't there be equal rights for the people who want more than one partner in marriage? If we have to redefine the concept of marriage to include two homosexual people, then why would it be wrong for our government to also redefine marriage to include more than one person, or even children? How does this decline in morality stop?
         -Historically, the definition of "marriage" NEVER meant anything other than the union of a male and female for romantic companionship, up UNTIL recently. Is there really any valid justification for this change in definitions?
  • "Love is love?":
         -The above quotation is one of the common slogans that liberals occupy to spread their message of embracing homosexuality as morally acceptable and normal. It is based entirely on the logical fallacy of equivocation, which occurs when two different ideas are equated to have the same meaning. An abnormal psychological obsessive compulsive disorder is completely different than a normal, romantic commitment that is developed through communication and courtship. Homosexuality is not a natural sexual orientation. Slogans generated by liberals such as "love as love" are completely pseudo-scientific in nature. They are only based on emotional comfort, rather than reason.
  • Refuting The "Born Gay" Argument:
         -The testimonials presented by the increasing number of former homosexuals, who now happily have female wives and children, are solid evidence that homosexuality is a choice. In fact, a small, but recognizable, percentage of homosexuals openly admit that they chose to adopt the homosexual lifestyle. 
         -Homosexuality is a behavior, or an action, in the same sense that heterosexual intercourse is. Actions are things that we choose to do. Homosexuality is not in any way analogous to our skin color, height, or gender, which are genetic conditions. Science has confirmed that the primary causes of homosexuality are environment, culture, and freewill (i.e. genetic identity disorder, women getting abused by men, children getting abused by homosexuals, etc.).    
         -Twins are proof against the "born gay" argument because they always have identical genes or DNA. If genetics can cause homosexuality, then both babies must have the same condition. But this is hardly ever the case with twins. Only one in the pair of children tends to have a same-sex attraction. There is no such thing as a "gay gene". "Gay babies" are simply a preposterous and fictitious idea.
        -The gene that can influence alcoholism is known as CREB. Genes can also influence a bad temper, theft, and murder. The point is that being born with the potential to act in a certain manner in no way provides justification for an intrinsically evil behavioral pattern. There is no genetic excuse for homosexuality, any more than there is a genetic excuse for theft or lying. These tendencies, whether they are genetic or not, cannot be justified on the grounds of "being born that way". We can overcome all of these moral difficulties by the use of our reason through the power of our freewill.
  • Addressing The Claim That Homosexuality Occurs In Nature:
          -Just because animals do irrational things to each other does not mean that humans should be engaging in the same activities. The following behaviors are also common among animal species:
                +Raping other animals
                +Eating their young when threatened
                +Eat their sex partner
                +Injure sexual partners
                +Have intercourse with their own children 
              ^The type of argument is simply a form of the fallacy called hasty generalization. If the fact that animals may appear to participate in acts that are similar to those of homosexuals means anything at all, then this statement would also lead to the conclusion that we can justly accept the above described actions of animals occurring in the human race, as well. If this is not true, then on what grounds can this counter-argument be refuted?
          -Human beings know better to not act in the same manner as animals, for they have a much higher intellectual capacity, the ability to reason, and freewill. We should therefore have much higher moral standards. If this pro-homosexual argument proves anything at all, then it only demonstrates that homosexuality itself is completely unnatural for us. This would only reveal the animalistic nature of homosexuals. 
  • Addressing Claims Of "Hate Speech":
          -Merely disagreeing with differing points of view does not simply translate into evidence of "hate speech". Neither is it morally impermissible to tell somebody that he or she is wrong. Is telling children 2+2=4 "HATE"? No, it is telling them the truth. The same is the case when dealing with homosexuality. There are many rational arguments against the incorporation of the homosexual lifestyle into our daily lives, as provided in the article above. We need not set aside our differences for the sake of mere emotional comfort, but rather listen to our reason, as guided by scriptural revelation. The one who tells you the truth is the one who cares. So advocates of these abhorrent customs and practices need to terminate their loud and illogical rampages.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Enriching His Love For Us

Christ died on the cross because of His love,
He ascended into heaven above.
We spread His love by the words we teach,
So others know it is not out of reach.
We demonstrate God’s love through our good action,
So more join Love’s magnetic attraction.
We show love though generous deed,
So that putrid sin will therefore impede.    

Is Faith Irrational?

  • Introduction:
          -Well-known atheistic individuals such as Richard Dawkins lay the charge that Christians establish all of their beliefs on an empty shell of faith. In other words, many opponents of Christianity argue that the entire religion is based on belief without any substantiated evidence. It is claimed that Christians uphold their beliefs on completely biased and irrational grounds, which are allegedly unproven claims of ministers and personal feelings or revelations. Atheists maintain that we must possess "factual evidence" in order to believe in something with any degree of certainty. In summary, what they are saying is that anything that cannot be proven or tested in a laboratory has to automatically be deemed false. Atheists and naturalists are quick to rule out the possibility of truth in anything that does not appeal to their five worldly senses. But how is it not irrational to dismiss any given idea (i.e. religion) as being false when there is no rational or scientific basis for establishing a denial? Is there not a need for certitude in order to accept the validity of any given concept in life, as atheist professors such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens profess to believe?  If we do not have evidence for a specific claim, then would it not be more reasonable to embrace the possibility of it being true until evidence is provided suggesting otherwise? Obviously, atheists are being inconsistent with themselves. They have ulterior motives for rejecting the belief in a supreme deity. They reject such because they want to be in a constant state of rebellion, that is, not in want of being governed by a supreme entity.
  • The Distinction Between Rational And Irrational Faith:
            -Faith in itself is not merely a mental conviction that is founded without evidence. It is not equivalent to blind submission. It is not simply an irrational whim or a form of wishful thinking. There is a relationship between the notions of faith and certainty. We must have certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt in order to truly believe in anything. Our faith must be tested or proven. It must be based on reason, which operates on the basis of our free will. Our faith is based on reason. It is based on what we know to be true. This is what constitutes true, biblical faith in the fundamental tenants of the Christian religion. 

  • Undeniable Limitations:
               -On the contrary, it is impossible to examine the truth of everything that we have seen or heard each day. Our lives are simply too short to test the validity of everything that we may have learned in school. Neither are we able to possess infallible certainty because our minds are limited by design. We are simply finite beings who are liable to error. If a person decided to doubt the truth behind everything, then he or she would never have any certainty behind the truth of anything because such a mindset would lead to a never ending quest to possess complete certainty. In this scenario, the entire concept of certainty would be destroyed. Trust in itself would also be highly illogical. Without certainty, nobody would be able to make judgments or commit any time to internalizing foreign concepts in college for the sake of a desired job career. Court systems could not function to judge the guilt of criminals. The idea of faith is inevitable, and is even necessary for the continuation of human life. The best kind of certainty that the human mind can hold in any given circumstance is "beyond a shadow of a doubt". Hence, this is the reason that the atheistic charge that "any degree of faith is completely irrational" does not hold water.     

  • Science Is Not The Answer To Everything:
             -Let us consider for a moment some of the essential features of our daily lives. Humans have an internal sense of right and wrong, which is called conscience. Ethical truths exist. For example, we know that human life in itself has intrinsic value. It has sacrosanct. There are inalienable rights. We have incredibly high intellectual and reasoning capacities that no animal on this planet can compete with. Mathematics consists of several infallible formulas, proofs, and theorems. There are principles of beauty and artistic innovation, which are known to us as aesthetics. The universe came into being for a reason. Physical constants have a fine-tuning. Science premises themselves are based on major assumptions, for the subject cannot offer a rational explanation for the principles that it operates on. If, as atheistic scientists claim, that all truths must originate from a science laboratory, then life would cease to make any sense. Everything would be meaningless. All of the previously described concepts would be absolutely inapplicable to our lives, since science can offer no explanation for the existence or validity of them. According to the reasoning of these atheists, none of these abstract ideas previously mentioned can be true.
  • Everybody Has Faith:
              -The truth of this matter is that everybody has an innate sense of trust in a set of values. All people subscribe to different belief systems. In other words, faith is inescapable for all people. Everybody has to believe in something. Otherwise, atheism must be rejected as irrational because people who uphold such a position believe that their views are totally correct. Since atheists cannot refute the existence of God, they do indeed base their belief on faith. We also cannot prove the truthfulness of scientific laws, though we still accept them as true. In reality, atheists are the ones who embrace many unproven ideas. In the end, all that we can really do is use our fallible minds to the best of our abilities to differentiate truth from error. Since a distinction exists between truth and what we perceive as truth, we must share our views with other people who uphold differing perspectives in an impartial manner.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Wisdom of The Words of God

     The Word of God is the key and foundation for all wisdom in life. Without it, we would not have any structure of organization to our daily lifestyles. The Bible is the infallible compass to all divine truths pertaining to salvation. It feeds the minds of those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. The words of the Creator impart wisdom to the simple. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" [Psalm 19:7-8]. If the precepts of the Lord are perfect, then continually studying His words will enrich the mind with valuable lessons about life and morality. Why would any reasonable person refuse an opportunity to gain an understanding of what life is truly about? Life is like a book; for God is the author and we are all the main characters. The Scriptures cover several vital aspects of life such as gratitude, fear of the Lord, honesty, self-control, generosity, and how to speak wisely. 

     People learn many great lessons about wisdom when the Scriptures are closely examined. One of the most important teachings of the Bible is to have gratitude for everything we receive on a daily basis. People should be grateful and remember the magnificent works of the Lord such as the creation of life, the atoning sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, and the materials that we occupy each day. "Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His loving kindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever" [Psalm 136:26]. We should reveal much gratitude because of what He has done for us. "You are the God who does wonders; among the peoples you have revealed your might" [Psalm 77:15]. We have emphatically been taught to view the glass of life as being at least half full, rather than as being half empty. Otherwise, human life will become unable to function properly because of a lack of compromise and the world would become an absolutely joyless place. We must give the Lord praise for everything that He has provided us.  

     The Lord has instructed us to always be cautious of what we say to others. We must always remain truthful. We must always choose to act respectfully. In other words, we must choose to watch our tongues because our words may be false, disrespectful, or irrelevant to a given situation. “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” [Proverbs 16:28]. How would a person feel if his or her reputation was ruined simply because of another individual's gossip or misinformation? Can this standard not be applied to everybody? Those who never think before they speak are the ones who lack understanding. Conversely, a person who has genuine wisdom has control over their words. Unwise speech is like a virus, pass it around and the minds of other people will be infected with the stain of meaningless thoughts. Those who wish to be wise with their mouths will also heed to the words of the Lord.

     Another moral lesson that we can learn by studying the inspired words of God is the necessity of remaining honest. We could never trust a person who constantly spreads falsehood. Furthermore, lying can severely damage a person's reputation for a very lengthy period of time, if not permanently. "An honest witness does not deceive; but a false witness pours out lies" [Proverbs 14:5]. The only reason that a person spreads lies about others is for selfish motives. People talk behind other's backs because they want to inflict physical or mental harm. They want to harm an individual's sense of dignity. Gossip is like a double-edge sword; when it cuts, it harms the confidence of others and slashes the armor of the perpetrator's conscience. A lie leaves an everlasting slash on the person who tells it. Dishonesty is only the springboard for more dishonesty, whether it is about oneself or other people. Hence, we see the dire need for honesty in the lives of everybody. 

     The Scriptures teach the necessity for the spiritual virtue known as fear of the Lord. A wise person would have fear of the Lord our God because He is infinitely smarter and stronger than we are. We are all His creations. Having fear of the Lord keeps our hearts humble. It keeps our moral thinking on the right track, for it helps us recognize the limits of our abilities. God will cast all of the unfaithful and unbelieving into the everlasting fires of hell. He is the One who set all forms of life and non-life into motion. "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth" [Genesis 1:1]. "God created mankind in His image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them"[Genesis 1:27]. If we fear the Lord, then we will also learn to obey His commandments. This is the perfect message for us blind sinners to heed to.

      The Holy Bible repeatedly reinforces our obligation to love and respect others. "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one above yourselves" [Romans 12:10]. Care is what keeps the world turning. It is the underlying basis for all relationships. It is necessary for human communication. It is the foundational virtue for the development of all other virtues. We must choose to help those who are less fortunate than we are. We must feed the homeless. We must care for the sick. We must offer education to the illiterate. We must shelter the homeless. We absolutely need to be holy. "Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor" [1 Peter 2:17]. "Love your neighbor as yourself..." [Leviticus 9:18]. We have been called by God to love our neighbors as ourselves [Matthew 5:43-48]. This is true wisdom. The Bible instructs us to be gentle to everybody else, regardless of how they treat us. Hatred is like a raging fire; let it burn and the house of companionship will collapse entirely.

      People can learn the virtue of self-control by observing the words of God. We need an infallible guide in our lives because our minds are finite and are thus liable to error. Our conscience alone is not an infallible guide, which means that we need to appeal to an infinite, outside entity who can give us the necessary knowledge pertaining to life and godliness. All learning must originate from an outside source, which eventually points to an ultimate standard that governs every aspect of our lives. That final court of authority is God. We must learn how to resist the evil temptations of this world. The wise person would do well to follow the teachings of God. The path of destruction exists for those who do not obey His words of heavenly wisdom. We must place our trust in God, rather than the vain desires of the mind. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" [Jeremiah 17:9]. Only through Him can we find complete satisfaction in life. The way of sin is finite and will thus never satisfy the longing human heart. We must reject our foolish lusts. We learn self-control by learning the ways of God.
       
       The Holy Scriptures are the cornerstone to all wisdom because they record the direct words of God. In fact, they themselves are the inspired words of God which were recorded on to scrolls by the faithful prophets and apostles. Those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness will immediately find satisfaction when they place themselves into His presence. They gain wisdom when they meditate on His statutes. Without an ultimate standard of wisdom, human life would be in a constant state of anarchy. The words of the Lord are pure. They are flawless. They impart understanding to the simple. There is therefore no valid reason to object to imitating His ways. The Word of God leads the faithful on the path to all righteousness. God is the rock of our salvation. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Refutation Of Moral Relativism

  • Introduction:
          -Moral Relativism is the philosophical stance that no existing moral standard or belief system is better than ones found in different societies. In other words, relativism is the belief that all points of view are equally correct or valid. According to this philosophical perspective, the acceptance of all aspects pertinent to knowledge, truth, and morality are governed by individual, separate societies, civilizations, and different periods of time. Moral relativism teaches that truth is changeable and is determined by each person. This viewpoint denies the existence of a universal standard of morality that dictates all of our moral thoughts and behaviors. It teaches that truth is relative to the individual.
  • Moral Relativism Is Self-Refuting:
          -If all moral perspectives are of equal validity, then that means that the rejection of moral relativism is also valid. Moral relativists must accept the belief that moral relativism is false.
          -To say that all truths are relative is to either make a relative or absolute proposition. If relative, then one cannot simply deny the existence of absolutes. If the statement is meant to be an absolute, then absolute statements must exist. This would testify to the existence of objective truths! In this case, not all truths would be relative to the individual.
          -Those who claim that no absolute truths exist have subscribed to a completely untenable position, for it is self-contradictory. While denying the existence of absolute truths, moral relativists make an absolute statement: "There are no absolute truths." Can moral relativists be absolutely sure that no absolute standards exist? How do they know that they are not simply deceiving themselves?
          -If two (or more) perceptions of truth contradict each other, then how can we know which view is correct? Which perception of truth is more trustworthy? Can truth be self-contradictory? No, such a proposition would be self-refuting. This would mean that either one or both perceptions of reality are in error.
          -If moral relativists want to claim that moral relativism cannot be critiqued by any form of logic to search for fallacies within the boundaries of such a mindset, then by what standard or final court of authority can they exclude moral relativism from being critiqued by logic? What criteria was used to exclude moral relativism from being evaluated by logic?  
          -If moral relativism is true, then how can we judge the actions of people living in different societies? How could we condemn murder, theft, or rape? Is there anything that is morally wrong? If so, then why? How do you know?

The Law Of Freedom

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Major Impact Of The Bible In Society

          There has always been a general consensus among scholars that the Holy Bible is the most influential book in the history of mankind. The study of the sacred texts has lead up to the positive life transformation of several million people throughout the centuries. In other words, people have given up their selfish lifestyles by serving the Lord Jesus Christ, which required them to do good for other people. Sinners have become saints because of hearing and embracing the inspired message of the gospel. Their lives were turned upside up by the power of God's sufficient grace. Just consider the example of the twelve apostles. Barbaric civilizations have had the gospel message delivered to them by Christian missionaries, who were more than willing to give up their lives for the cause of Christ.

          The Scriptures have been the basis of civil law for nations throughout history, ranging from ancient Israel, to Europe during the middle ages, to the establishment of America. The educational system, government, and the Constitution of the United States was originally constructed on the principles of the Bible, which are liberty, justice for all, and the intrinsic value of human life. The Christian religion has been responsible for the founding of several schools, hospitals, non-profit charitable organizations, and orphanages worldwide. In light of the aforementioned facts, nobody can deny the positive influence of the written Word of God.

           The Bible is the most widely bought and read book in the United States. Throughout history, the beauty of biblical literature has been praised by billions of people such as Christians, Jews, and the Muslims. Biblical references can not only be discovered within religious contexts, but can also be found in art, poetry, film, music, philosophy, government, and in many different aspects of life.  

          The New Testament by itself has withstood many ruthless attempts to destroy, pervert, or conceal its message of salvation to mankind for over two-thousand years. In fact, it has more manuscript evidence than any writings from ancient philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Homer. This factor alone is great proof of the reliability of manuscripts. This is a brief investigation on how the Bible has shaped cultures throughout history.   

"Have Tolerance!"

  • Defining The Issues:
        -When people are confronted about their erroneous ways, their usual stock rejoinder against Christians is to lay the charge of being "intolerant". These groups of people include, but are not limited to, liberals, atheists, feminists, and the LGBT community. In short, critics of Christianity constantly accuse us of being "bigots". They falsely claim that Christians are insensitive to different points of view. Our opponents have even gone as far as to depict us as being "judgmental" or "hateful" homophobes or Islamophobes. These responses have been generated to shut down opponents. In truth, these empty responses are simply a psychological barrier that has caused the uninformed to stumble into grievous error by the blind relinquishment of morally correct views, in exchange for views that are politically correct. In our modern-day society, people are too afraid to speak out against immoral customs because they are too afraid of "getting singled out". In other words, many Christians are copping out when they attempt to correct the perverted norms of society because they are in reality focused on "fitting in". Generally speaking, people are only focused on emotional comfort, rather than being intellectually grounded by the use of our reason.  
  • Not Only Are We All Intolerant To Different Perspectives Of Life, But Intolerance In Some Cases Is Absolutely Necessary:
          -First of all, the definition of a bigot is a person who forms an opinion that is utterly biased, irrational, unjust, and hypocritical. This sort of mentality has no moral or logical grounds for substantiation. Therefore, it is incorrect to characterize Christians in such a manner because they have been commanded by their Lord to pragmatically present their views in love and kindness (Matthew 5:43-48; 22:39). Furthermore, the burden of proof lies on the person who makes an accusation. Those who affiliate themselves with anti-Christian movements must demonstrate how we are being intolerant bigots. Simply disagreeing with other people is not tantamount to bigotry. It is not morally impermissible to tell somebody that his or her views are wrong.
          -Christians do have rational grounds to reject the claims of their critics. which directly refutes the charges of various pseudo-scientific "phobias" (irrational fears). While it is definitely true that some professing Christians are guilty of bigotry, it is fallacious to dismiss every claim of the entire group as being cruel or hateful.  
        -We must all be intolerant to something. For instance, secular governments agree with Christians that murder is wrong. They would agree that theft is morally wrong, as well. Notice that in both examples, there is intolerance to certain actions. Hence, not only is intolerance to something morally acceptable (depending on the situation), but it is sometimes even necessary for the survival of mankind.
  • A Hypocritical Double Standard:
          -Why is it that we are forbidden from expressing our views, while critics such as liberals and leftists get to express their views? Why are we forbidden from defending ourselves from attacks on our own religion, when they get to attack us AND defend their views, which stand in direct opposition to ours? Why do opponents of Christianity get to shove their disguising beliefs down our throats? Why do we Christians have to be tolerant of opposing views, while everybody else gets to be intolerant? How is such a standard just?
  • The Truth Of The Matter:
          -Of course, the source of contention among Christians and differing groups in this world is not really a matter of permanently settling issues of hatred, prejudice, or insensitivity, as critics may very well claim to be the problem. Inquisitive folks can only develop this conclusion, if they only decide to examine the surface of the debate. The real problem that the world has with the Christian Church is the usage of the Bible. Most people have a problem with this sacred religious text because it outwardly condemns their views. It flatly contradicts the beliefs of the world. It provides absolutely no room for worldviews such as liberalism or the LGBT community. People immediately claim that the Bible is nothing more than an antique, outdated, musty book. Consequently, they automatically mock and ridicule those who turn to it as the ultimate spiritual standard to determine truth or reprove error. Christian claims are usually dismissed without any form of consideration. 
  • Why Do We Turn To The Pages Of The Bible?:
             -Everybody has an internal sense of right and wrong. In other words, everybody appeals to an ultimate moral standard that governs all moral codes of each different civilization. Good morals do not randomly appear out of thin air or fall from the sky. Societies, which are comprised of human individuals, cannot be the source of good moral values, for they are fallible and are thus liable to contradict each other. Any given proposition cannot be spontaneously true and false. This must mean that our sense of good and evil must be derived from an infallible, transcendent source. They originated from God. We therefore use the Bible as our ultimate spiritual standard because the contents therein are the very words of God, which were carefully inscribed with ink on to scrolls for the sake of posterity. For additional evidence of the reliability of the biblical manuscripts available to us today, just look at the positive impact that the Bible has had on the world. The Bible has provided mankind with a sound life pattern for centuries. Justice, equality, and human rights are indeed fundamental biblical principles. The Bible is supernatural revelation from a loving God who has redeemed mankind from the snares of sin. What will we as do in response to what God has done for us? 

  • A Note Of Encouragement To Christian Brethren:
             -We must continue to be the salt of the world (Matthew 5:13-14). If we cease to shine our light of faith before others who are lost in this dark world of perdition, then nobody will be able to discover the truth of the gospel. The propitiatory work of the Lord Jesus Christ would be all forgotten about. If this happens, then how can anybody hear the message of the gospel, believe on it, and thus be saved (Romans 10:17)? Although critics of Christianity will always be working diligently to deride the Bible, there will always be thorough refutations available to their objections. We must continually fight the good fight of faith because there will continually be hope for the salvation of lost souls. Anybody who disagrees with the moral teachings of Scripture is also saying that his or her moral standards are better than God's. We cannot simply put up with such trash talk. First, we must examine our consciences to see whether we are solidly established in the apostolic doctrines of the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5). Then, we must take action by contending for the faith which was once delivers to the saints (Jude 3). We must preserve the rights of humanity. We must never allow our rights to be polluted or substituted by the counterfeit rights that the liberal agenda is continually striving to promote. Liberalism is like a weed that spreads to infringe on human rights, which needs to be exterminated!       

Friday, April 21, 2017

Interesting Roman Catholic Quotes On Purgatory

  • Introduction:
          -The purpose of this article is to quote some official Roman Catholic sources on the issue of whether Purgatory is truly a biblical doctrine or not. While Church authorities such as Catholic Answers and the Catechism affirm that the concept of a sin-purifying fire is taught is both in "Scripture and Tradition", others deny that the concept is biblical. In short, contradictions exist among the professionals on whether a Catholic doctrine is taught within the pages of the Bible! Who's right?
  • A Flat Denial:
          -"In the final analysis, the Catholic doctrine on purgatory is based on tradition, not Sacred Scripture." (Vol. XI, pg. 1034, Copyright 1967, Catholic University of America) 
  • Some Officials Affirm That Purgatory Is NOT Taught In The Text Of 1 Corinthians 3:15:
          -“The text of v. 15 has sometimes been used to support the notion of purgatory, though it does not envisage this.” (New American Standard Bible)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Antinomianism Refuted

  • Defining The Issues:
          -Antinomianism is the belief that Christians are not obligated to obey any moral laws that were established by God. In other words, this theology teaches that God has no moral standards for His followers to heed to. It teaches that our faith "frees" us from the obligation of choosing to act in accordance to the moral principles of God. The word "antinomianism" is derived from two Greek words, which are "anti" (against) and "nomos" (law). Antinomianism argues that since Christians are not saved by the keeping of the Law (which is true), God has no moral laws that He expects us to obey (which is not true). In summary, this doctrine distorts a biblically sound teaching by formulating an unbiblical conclusion.
          -The theological position of antinomianism is usually upheld by advocates of eternal security.
          -Opponents of "antinomianism" hold to the theological position known as "lordship salvation". This view teaches that trusting Jesus Christ as our Savior automatically accompanies submission to Him as Lord of our daily lives. In other words, a genuine saving faith in Christ will always produce good works as a result. A faith that justifies us in the sight of God is a faith that obeys His will.
  • Antinomianism Refuted:
           -We know that God has moral commandments for us to obey because He inspired the Apostle Paul to tell people through the writing of epistles that the willfully unrighteous will not inherit His kingdom which is in heaven (i.e. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:5-7). We must get forgiven for our sins by repenting. We must choose to obey God. True Christians will choose to glorify the Heavenly Father for the free gift of salvation that He has given us through our good works. The New Testament operates on the Law of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2), which is a law of unmerited grace. This Law instructs us to love God above everything else and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40). The Law of Christ is not a comprehensive list of legal codes, as was the case with the Old Testament Levitical Law. The Law of the New Covenant is strictly a law based solely on the concept of love. We are obligated to keep all of our decisions in complete agreement with the principles of morality, integrity, and love (John 14:15-24; Romans 3:31; 1 Corinthians 7:19; 1 John 2:3-4). We do not obey the Law of Christ to earn eternal salvation in heaven. We do so because our God has commanded us to act in such a manner.“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1-2).
           -We shall know people by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-23). We will be judged according to our own works (Romans 2:6-13; 2 Corinthians 5:10). We demonstrate the reality of our faith by our deeds (James 2:14-26). We shall reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7-9). God is the Author of Eternal Salvation to those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9). Every nation needs to obey the Lord Jesus Christ through faith in His work (Romans 1:5). If God did not set forth any moral principles to function as the blueprint for our daily lives, then how could any of the previous scriptural teachings be true? 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Intercession Of The Holy Spirit

  • What The Bible Says About The Intercession Of The Holy Spirit:
           -"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:26-28)
  • The Purpose Of The Holy Spirit:
          -The Lord Jesus Christ told the twelve apostles that He needed to depart from the world so that the Advocate could come, who is the Holy Spirit (John 16:6-8). If Jesus never left physically, then the Spirit could not come to fulfill His designated purposes on earth. What did the Holy Spirit do for the apostles? He guided the twelve disciples to all Truth (John 16:13). Not only did the Spirit of God give the first century Christians all of the necessary revelation for learning about God's divine character, but He also was a source spiritual strength during the vicissitudes of life (John 14:16; 26). Today, He continues to fulfill the same tasks that He was originally appointed for. The Holy Spirit works by helping true members of the church persevere daily through all sorts of sinful temptations. He leads searching people to the Truth. The Spirit combats evil through the spread of the Gospel Message, which is His fighting gear (Ephesians 6:10-18; Hebrews 4:12). The Lord Jesus Christ is eternally present though the power of the Holy Spirit. Both members of the Holy Trinity intercede on our behalf in prayer, for they know what we really need. They are there for us when we are in need. The Godhead is constantly there to assist us in our daily lives. When we humbly submit to the infinite grace of God, our minds can overcome the troubling moments presented to us. Only through God can we learn to obtain a mental state of tranquility that endures through our moments of grief and sorrow. Hence, this is the reason that "all things work together for the good of those who love God" (Romans 8:28). Our purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve God in this world so that we may be eternally present with Him for eternity in heaven. Fulfilling these spiritual stipulations leads our hearts to a peace that is beyond understanding.        

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Intercession Of Jesus Christ

  • What The Bible Says About The Intercession Of The Lord Jesus Christ:
           -"But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever." (Hebrews 7:24-28)
  • The Overall Perfection of Jesus Christ:
           -Appointed members of the Old Testament Levitical priesthood were finite, fallible creations of God who continually needed to be replaced because of physical death. The High Priests of the Jewish community needed to repeatedly offer the blood from sacrificed animals to temporarily satisfy the wrath of God. However, the customs of the Law were only a shadow of the greater things to come. They prefigured the coming of the newer and better Covenant, which is the fulfillment of the Old Covenant. In other words, the entire Old Testament sacrificial system pointed directly to the perfect, single atonement sacrifice performed by the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. While the Old Testament priests were sinners who were in need of a Savior, Jesus is the pure, unblemished High Priest who has made the once-for-all perfect sacrifice on the cross. He is the Source of everlasting life (Hebrews 5:9). Because of what He has done for us, we are therefore able to approach God with confidence in His promises (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus Christ will always be there for us. We will always have access to Him. He is our direct channel to God.    

Does science make it impossible that Jesus rose from the dead?


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Roman Catholics In The Philippines Re-Enact The Crucifixion Of Jesus Christ Annually!

Refuting Practical Objections To Sola Scriptura

  • Defining The Issues:
           -The purpose of this article is to address the arguments against Sola Scriptura that operate on the basis on inconvenience. In other words, this paper seeks to defend Sola Scriptura against objections that point to earlier periods of Christian history which would have made the application of the biblical principle difficult. These are: 1.) High illiteracy rates and poor quality education, 2.) Most families in early Christianity were impecunious or destitute/severely malnourished, and 3.) The invention of the Gutenberg printing press in 1436. In short, critics try to dismiss the credibility of the Fundamentalist view of biblical authority by trying to prove that such involved in the impossible back in the day. Although the historical scenarios presented above are certainly not positive, they do not in any way refute the doctrine of Sola Scriptura.
  • General Points Of Consideration:
           -The underlying problem behind the "practical" arguments against Sola Scriptura is that they misrepresent what the biblical doctrine means. In other words, these objections totally miss the meaning of Sola Scriptura. All that adherents to the principle are saying about the Bible is that it is the only infallible rule of faith for the church. Illiteracy rates, bodily nutrition, and the distribution of Bibles are completely different issues than the authority of the Bible itself. They have nothing to due with the truthfulness of Sola Scriptura, or any important article of the Christian faith such as the incarnation, virgin birth of Jesus Christ, or the hypostatic union. The practical objections to Sola Scriptura are therefore irrelevant.
            -The authority of Scripture is not determined by the intelligence of the human race, the availability of the Scriptures, or by how healthy people are.

  • Concerning High Illiteracy Rates In The Early Church:
           -Being illiterate does not mean that a person is dumb or has less of an ability to understand things. Sola Scriptura was still possible for the early church:
            *Scripture can be taught orally by those who are literate.
            *Scripture can still be memorize or recited from memory.
            *Scripture can still be studied, though it may take more time to grasp the meaning behind certain passages of Scripture.
            *The Scriptures were read in the Synagogues and churches. In fact, the heretics of the early church would use Scripture to engage orthodox members of Christianity.
           -While it is true that illiteracy rates can pose a problem for the transmission of biblical doctrines, they have nothing to do with the alleged insufficiency of Scripture or the need of an infallible teaching authority. The ruthless persecution of Christians hinders the spread of the gospel, but that does not in any way suggest that hearing and accepting the preached message is somehow unnecessary for salvation or of less importance to mankind.
           -If, as Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox apologists claim, that Jesus Christ passed on infallible, extra-biblical oral traditions that were meant to be heard by the "common Christians", then what about the people who are deaf? If illiteracy rates disqualify Scripture from functioning as the only inspired rule of faith for the church to operate on, then the Catholic/Orthodox "rules of faith" must also be disqualified because deaf people cannot hear oral teaching.        

  • What About The Invention Of The Printing Press In The 1400's?:
           -Christians produced copies of the Scriptures by handwriting them on to scrolls and worked diligently to preserve already existing manuscripts. Because of the painstaking labor of the early Christians to contend for the faith, there are literally thousands of reliable biblical manuscripts which form the basis of the Bibles that we study daily. We even have copies that can be traced back in history as early as 130 AD! Furthermore, there are several extensive quotations directly from Scripture in the volumes of writings produced by the church fathers. To use the later invention of the printing press and illiteracy rates as reasons for rejecting Sola Scriptura is to simply speak hogwash.

  • Concerning Malnutrition In The Early Church:
           -It takes no more nourishment to understand the catechisms or other teachings of church leaders than it does to understand the phrases recorded within the pages of the Bible.
           -It is highly improbable that the leaders of the early church had a "higher ability" to learn than the "common people" because they all ate the same basic diet.    
                 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Refuting Yusef Al Tahir On Sola Scriptura

  • Defining The Issues:
         -The designated purpose of this article is to deliver a refutation to an Eastern Orthodox refutation of Sola Scriptura. In the YouTube video shown below, a man named Yusef Al Tahir repeatedly makes terrible accusations against upholders of the biblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura and uses John 5:39-40 as his "proof-text" to support his position of Sola Ecclesia. Do his arguments hold any water against the traditional Protestant position of the Bible, or is Al Tahir simply attacking a straw-man to build his case for accepting the Church of Rome/Eastern Orthodoxy as the final court of authority in all doctrinal matters? My point here is that this man, who has a genuine concern for the salvation of souls, is terribly misguided about what the "Bible-Only Theory" actually means. Alright, shall we begin our apologetical critique?
  • The Video That This Article Intends To Refute:
  • Starting Off With A Faulty Foundation:
         -The fundamental flaw behind Yusef's argument against the principle of Sola Scriptura is that he provides a totally wrong definition of what it means. This is his presentation of the doctrine: "Just read the Bible...and you'll know God...Search the Scriptures for yourself...Don't believe the Catholic Church...Don't believe ANY church..."  So what do we Fundamentalists really mean when we say "Sola Scriptura"? 
  • A More Accurate Presentation Of Sola Scriptura:
         -Quite simply, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura means that the Bible alone is the ultimate standard of authority for the Christian church. It does not mean the "only authority of the church", which is simply a straw man of what the Reformers originally taught. This means that other authorities in the church exist today. A handful of examples would include, but are not limited to, godly leaders of the church, lexicons, Bible commentaries, dictionaries, and Hebrew/Greek concordances. But Scripture is the only infallible rule of faith for the church. Thus, other authorities in the church are permissible, as long as they stand in complete conformity to the written Word of God. We who adhere to Sola Scriptura do not believe that leaders are untrustworthy or that no outside authorities exist in the church, for the Scriptures themselves tell us to heed to authoritative figures who stand in accordance to God's divine will (Hebrews 13:7). We neither teach that every portion of the Bible is completely easy to understand nor do we believe that people can interpret the Bible any way that they desire. There is a correct interpretation of Scripture, but we don't need an infallible interpreter of the Scriptures in order to obtain doctrinal truth. 
  • The Inevitable Burden Of Proof:
         -If Roman Catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy claims to have any sort of revelation that is not found within the pages of the Bible, then, by definition, the onus is on those religions to conclusively identify the specific oral traditions mentioned in scriptural texts such as 2 Thessalonians 2:15. Next, it needs to be demonstrated that those traditions are indeed different in substance from what is taught in Scripture. Then, it needs to be proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that those "Traditions" are indeed inspired and are thus apostolic in origin. On the contrary, the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox churches cannot even produce any inspired teachings set forth by Jesus Christ or the apostles, that are not recorded in Scripture! Neither can they give us an inspired table of contents identifying which oral traditions are inspired. What a nebulous, unreliable "rule of faith" that Roman Catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy operates on.
  • Addressing The Anti-Sola Scriptura "Divisions" Argument:
          -Yusef Al Tahir alludes to the worn out Protestant divisions argument by using the Jehovah's Witnesses as an example of the alleged "dangers of the private interpretation of Scripture". However, this example is faulty because the Jehovah's Witness' authority structure is IDENTICAL to that of the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox hierarchy. In fact, most Pseudo-Christian groups do not even believe in the principle of Sola Scriptura, which means that they developed extremely heretical doctrines independently of interpreting Scripture (apparitions, etc.). Furthermore, a general characteristic of false teachers is that they deny the ultimate authority and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures. Is the Eastern Orthodox church therefore a cult? If not, then why?
          -What is really ironic here is that both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy make identical claims to being the one true church, yet disregard each other's historical origin and uphold contradictory "apostolic" oral traditions.
          -In summary, religious division forms as a result of misapplying the principle of Sola Scriptura (click on this link for a complete refutation of the 33,000 Protestant denominations argument). But if misinterpretations of Scripture automatically prove that Scripture is too difficult for the "common person" to understand, then it must also mean that the Roman Catholic Magisterium/Eastern Orthodox patriarch cannot be considered a reliable rule of faith either because of the good possibility of people misinterpreting official church statements. In both scenarios, our fallibility eventually has to meet the infallibility. Al Tahir needs to understand that ALL CHURCH GROUPS HAVE RELIGIOUS DIVISIONS, REGARDLESS OF WHO THEY ARE. We are all fallible human beings. Period. So those who tout this argument need to stop employing this hypocritical double-standard to Sola Scriptura adherents!
          -If we do not have the right to privately interpret Scripture, then how do we know which oral tradition is correct among the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Watchtower churches, for all three teach that they alone can interpret Scripture, to the exclusion of the individual? How does Yusef Al Tahir know that the Eastern Orthodox church's interpretation of Scripture is inspired, anyway? 
  • The Charge That Sola Scriptura Is "Unbiblical Idolatry":
          -Throughout the You Tube film, Yusef Al Tahir lays that charge that we Fundamentalists worship our Bibles. In other words, he claims that we turn the Bible into an idol by denying the role of the Holy Spirit. Al Tahir further elaborates on his previous thoughts by claiming that we worship the material pages of our Bible translations. 
          -On the contrary, we never see Protestants praying to the Bible or bowing before statues of the Bible, as we see Catholics/Orthodox doing before depictions of saints. Furthermore, submitting to an ultimate source of authority is completely different than worshiping it. Otherwise, the same charge can be laid equally against Roman Catholics/Eastern Orthodox, since they also submit to an ultimate source of authority. We must all submit to something.
          -No genuine Christian denies the absolute importance of the Holy Spirit for the continual survival of the Christian Church. However, we must test the spirits to see whether they are from God (Acts 17:11-12; 1 John 4:1-4). But if the Bible is an insufficient rule of faith, then how can we judge whether a message is inspired by God or whether the Holy Spirit is truly dwelling in our presence? What other authority can we rely on besides Scripture? Why do we even have Bibles? 
          -Scripture contains the direct words of God. It is God-breathed. Of course, the Holy Spirit dwells within the inspired pages of the Bible. In fact, He was the One who moved the inspired prophets and apostles to write. So we have every reason to esteem the Bible very highly! And yes, we have more than sufficient reason to embrace the claims of the Bible. 
          -Roman Catholicism/Eastern Orthodoxy, on the other hand, are not trustworthy sources of authority because they repeatedly contradict the Bible. In fact, these religions give excessive devotion to beings other than God and focus on being attractive to the world. For proof of all this, all that one really has to do is look at the exalted kings, the religious icons/treasures, and the dedication to alleged dead "saints" in these hierarchical congregations. These church governments are all about self-exaltation. They are all about exalting proud and sinful men. Talk about some serious idolatry! The true, biblical gospel and the need of being born again is never even preached in these Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox churches. In reality, the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox position is guilty of holding to a separate body of man-made "oral traditions" up to the authority of the written Word of God. THEY are the ones who refuse to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 15; Mark 7), who exercised freedom of conscience, personal accountability, and strictly taught obedience to God.
  • Did Our Lord Jesus Christ "Shoot Down" Sola Scriptura In John 5:39-40?:
          -Yusef Al Tahir used John 5:39-40 as his proof-text against Sola Scriptura. However, the verse that he cited has nothing to do with the authority of Scripture. It is not telling us that we should not turn to Scripture when confronted with false doctrine. The text of John 5:39-40 is not pointing us away from a written standard of authority, but rather exhorts us to practice what is taught in the book. The Lord Jesus Christ was simply rebuking the unbelieving Jews for rejecting Him as the Messiah, not for reading the Scriptures. Although they diligently studied the Old Testament Scriptures, they did not recognize Jesus as the Savior of mankind from spiritual death because their hearts were turned against Him. In other words, the Jewish people had a hateful bias toward Jesus Christ. They were not being faithful to the voice of Scripture, which proclaims salvation through the risen Christ (Acts 4:10-12). One thing can be said with certainty: the Scriptures do lead the faithful, prayerful people to the Savior (i.e. Luke 1:1-4; Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Timothy 3:15).

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Biblical Basis For The Trinity

  • The Trinity:
         1.) God is three persons (The Father, The Son, And the Holy Spirit).
         2.) Each person is divine.
         3.) There is only one God (Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6-8).
  • Further Explanation Of The Trinity:
          -Each of these Persons are completely divine in nature, but one figure does not equal the entire Godhead.
          -Each person is distinct at the same time.
          -The three persons are related to each other but are distinct at the same time.
          -The Doctrine of the Trinity is known as one of the "mysteries" of the Christian religion.
  • Biblical Texts Demonstrate The Unity Among The Three Divine Persons Of The Trinity (1 John 5:7; John 10:30; Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 48:16; Ephesians 4:4-6; Jude 20-21).
  • Jesus Christ Is Eternal; Co-Eternal With The Father (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:15-17; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:6; John 8:56-59; 17:5; Hebrews 1:1-3).
           -The "word" mentioned in John 1:1-3 can only be a reference to Jesus Christ because the pronoun "He" is describing the noun "Word". Another verse in the same context states, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..." (John 1:14).
  • Jesus Is God In The Flesh (Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16).
  • Jesus Is Called Emmanuel, Which Is Translated To Mean "God Is With Us" (Matthew 1:23).
  • Jesus Christ Has Two Wills---Human And Divine; He Is Both Fully God And Fully Human (Philippians 2:5-7).
  • "Let Us Make Man In Our Image, After Our Likeness..." (Genesis 1:26):
            -The plural pronoun "us" can only be a reference to the Trinity because we are made only in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27); not angels or anything else.
  • Jesus Has Deity Because He Is The Son Of God (John 5:18; 19:7).
  • Jesus was Called The Lord Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
  • Only God Can Forgive Sins, But Jesus Christ Also Has The Power To Forgive Our Sins (Mark 2:5-7). So He must also be God. 
  • The Only Way That You Can Honor The Father Is If You Honor The Son, As Well (John 5:23).
  • Thomas Called Jesus Christ "God" (John 20:28):
            -The original Greek translation of John 20:28 literally reads, "The Lord of me and the God of me."
            -If Thomas was speaking blasphemy, then why did Jesus Christ never rebuke him for making such a statement? Instead, Thomas' profession of Jesus' identity as God was accepted (John 20:29). 
  • To God And Jesus Every Knee Shall Bow And Tongue Confess (Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:9-11).
  • The Holy Spirit Is A Person; Is God (John 4:23-24; Acts 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 3:17).
  • Jesus Christ And The Holy Spirit Pray For Us/ Can Answer Our Prayers (Romans 8:26-28; Hebrews 7:25).
  • Titles Shared By The Father And The Son Jesus Christ:
            -King of Kings (Deuteronomy 10:17; Revelation 17:14), Lord of Lords (Deuteronomy 10:17; Revelation 17:14), the Only Savior (Isaiah 43:10-11; Acts 4:12), The First and The Last (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 22:13), I Am (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58), The Alpha and The Omega (Revelation 1:8; 22:13-16), Rock (Isaiah 8:14; 1 Peter 2:7-8), Shepherd (Psalm 23; Hebrews 13:20-21), and Lord (Psalm 110:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 4).
  • Identical Functions Of God And Jesus:
            -Both are worshiped by angels (Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:6); both are unchanging (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8); both created everything (Nehemiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:10); both can answer prayers (Matthew 6:6-14; John 14:13-14; Acts 7:59); both give eternal life (John 10:28; 1 John 5:11); both judge the world (Psalm 96:13; John 5:22).   

What Is The Purpose Of Hope In Our Lives?

The purpose of this reflection paper is to provide a concrete answer to the question of why human beings possess hope. In other words, this article is being written to demonstrate how hope is a quint-essential facet to our daily lives. Without it, human life would completely collapse because we would have no inner source of strength to persevere through every dim corner of our physical or spiritual struggles. We would also have no ultimate sense of fulfillment. So it is vital to raise and ponder the following questions. Why does society need hope in order to continue functioning? What would life be like, if the concept of hope did not exist? Is such an emotion of major significance? What is hope, anyway?  How can we obtain an ultimate sense of fulfillment in our lives?
In short, to hope means to have a strong desire for a specific cause, effect, or condition in life. This emotion is the yearning or aspiration for the best results or an ultimate purpose in life. It is not simply a form of wishful thinking, but rather, a component of our faith. Hope is a part of faith. Both realities are interrelated, which means that hope is faith that looks beyond the view of the present. Hope shoots directly into the future. In Christian theology, to hope means to have trust in God because of His divine promises. For example, we trust in God for salvation because that is what He has promised to give to those who seek Him and serve Him according to His will. But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25).
Without hope, all things, whether they are perceptible or imperceptible, would seem incredibly pointless and dull. In other words, the picture of life would have no color. Everything would appear to be black and white to our minds. If the idea of hope was only a practical illusion created by the mentally deranged, then there would be no sense in accepting cultural diversity or striving to accomplish goals in life because we would have no internal sense of ongoing inspiration. Neither would we be able to describe any degrees of perfection. It would be impossible to formulate distinctions among the categories of worse, better, or best. It would be highly illogical to make comparisons or create analogies to elucidate sophisticated notions because the explicit boundaries of concrete and abstract would be completely blurred. 
If no standard of perfection exists to govern every lifetime aspect, which can range from the recognition of objective truth to the formation of fallible, subjective opinions of the human mind, then how could we possible describe things as being imperfect or incomplete? How would spiritual discernment even be possible? If the concept of hope is not an independent reality of our lives, then life itself would not make any sense. In fact, everything would be self-defeating.  In order for rational creatures to continue thriving in a peaceful order, they need an ultimate source of fulfillment, which can only be found in God.
Our purpose in this life is to know, love, and serve God in this world so that we may be with Him eternally in the afterlife. Because of our longing to be in complete unity with God the Father in the heavenly sanctuary, we are able to strive through every sort of temptation that the world throws at us. By the power of God's sufficient grace, we are able to overthrow the sinful distractions of the devil. We may even defeat the snares of spiritual desolation by learning how to identify the causes of temptation, reflecting on past experiences for the sake of learning, and by steadily acting contrary to sources of temptation. 
But hope is the spiritual soil in which the fruits of Christian self-sacrificing love grow. If we trust in God to care for us daily, then we will not be focused so much on ourselves. Instead of us focusing on our own needs daily, we need to give all of our troubles to God. In that case, we will be able to be selfless because we know that everything is in the hands of God. Only through our hope in God's will can we discover our ultimate purpose in life. Only then can we begin to make any sense out of life.    
 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:1-6)      

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Bronze Serpent And Justification By Faith Alone

  • Introduction:
          -The focus of this study is to examine the bronze serpent, which is found in the Book of Numbers. This article is being written to demonstrate how it relates to the biblical teaching of justification by faith alone (Sola Fide). First, the Old Testament passage describing the creation and purpose of the bronze serpent serpent will be cited. Secondly, the New Testament parallel passage will be cited to construct this argument for salvation apart from all meritorious works. Then, comments on these passages will be provided to formulate the argument based on the creation of the bronze serpent.
  • The Purpose And Creation Of The Bronze Serpent:
          -"And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." (Numbers 21:6-9)
  • New Testament Parallel--The Begotten Son Jesus Christ:
          -"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:14-18)
  • Explanatory Notes: 
         -According to Numbers 21:6-9, the people of the disobedient nation called Israel were dying from getting bitten by poisonous snakes. Hence, the Jewish people needed a remedy to ensure their survival after envenomation from the serpents, which were God's curse to punish His chosen people for sin. In response to their plea of clemency, God instructed the Israelites to simply look at the bronze serpent, which was created by Moses. Those who placed their trust in the Lord by looking at it miraculously got rescued from death. We can certainly infer from this historical event the spiritually bankrupt nature of man. This Old Testament opportunity to get healed from death is a typological example of Jesus Christ's power to save mankind from spiritual death. Those who choose to look at Jesus Christ on the cross by trusting in the absolute sufficiency of His redemptive work are saved from eternal condemnation in the literal flames of hell. Sinners recover from their spiritual illnesses by getting cured by the Doctor of Salvation, Jesus Christ. God's chosen people, the Jews, were not saved by any good deeds, but by simple faith in the salvific declarations of God the Father. Neither are Christians justified by human efforts, but by simple faith in the Lord's salvation plan. In conclusion, the entire theme of salvation throughout the Bible is that we inherit everlasting life, apart from the merit of all works. Salvation has always been on the basis of God's infinite grace through our faith in Him.