It’s God’s Judgment, Not His Absence.

godshirt

Okay, so where do I start with this thinking?  First…..do you seriously think that WE can prevent God from being anywhere???  REALLY??  The last time I checked God is OMNIPRESENT.  If you don’t know what that big word means, it means that God is EVERYWHERE.

Second…..do you seriously think that WE can boss God around and tell Him He’s not allowed anywhere???  REALLY??  Because the last time I checked, God is OMNIPOTENT.  That big word means that He’s all powerful and us puny humans don’t control God, HE controls US!!

I know I harp about God’s sovereignty a lot and apparently NO ONE IS LISTENING!!  To say that God is SOVEREIGN means that He is SUPREME RULER and that He possesses “ultimate power”.  We say that God is ALMIGHTY.  To be “almighty” means that He possesses ALL the might.  We say that God is all powerful which means He possesses ALL the power.  Which means there is nothing left for us……zero, zilch, NADA!!

So, let’s set the record straight here.  At no point in time has God not been ALLOWED in schools.  WE don’t have that kind of power to keep Him out.  He’s there.  But, God has been pulling back his Hand of protection over our country over many years because we’ve turned our backs on Him and because of the sins we’ve allowed to become prevalent in our country.  All this that we see happening in our country and in our schools is NOT because we have kicked Him out of our schools.  All this is happening because we are under HIS JUDGMENT!

If YOU believe that you serve a God who can be prevented from being anywhere, you serve a PUNY god….and a false one at that.  I feel sorry for you that you serve a god who can be controlled by man’s will.  That is a weak god.  No wonder you live life in fear.  The God of the Bible cannot be controlled by man’s will but He does as HE PLEASES.  The God of the Bible has everything under HIS control and none of this stuff that is happening is taking Him by surprise.  He is allowing it to happen as a means of judgment.  Just as He judged Israel for their sins, He is judging our nation for ours.

 

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John 3:16

“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”  John 3:16 (King James Version)

“For God loved the world in this way:  He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 (Christian Standard Bible)

Okay, let’s do a word study on John 3:16.  If you read the two versions up above, you’ll see there’s a bit of a difference in the wording.  The three words we want to focus on are “so”, “world” and “whosoever” in the KJV.

The first word is “so”.  In the original Greek, the word used was “houto”, which means “in this manner”.  So, the original translation is more like what the Christian Standard Bible has for that verse.  Most folks read the verse as “For God SOOOOOOO loved the world”.  The word “so” is not used to describe to what degree God loved the world (He loved the world sooooooo much), but it explains “HOW” he loved the world.  Imagine showing someone how to do something like icing flowers a cake.  You may say:  “You put the icing in the bag, twist it closed, and then you squeeze it like so” (in this manner).  So, in this verse we’re being told HOW God loved the world (by giving his one and only Son).

The second word is “world”.  When people see the word “world”, they’re assuming this means that EVERY single person will be saved, but that is not the case.  John’s epistle was written to the Jewish believers.  This verse was controversial to the Jewish people because THEY were God’s chosen people and all others were dirty, filthy Gentile heathen and were not qualified to receive God’s promise of salvation.  So, for them to hear that God extended His love to those outside the Jewish faith was a bit of a shock to them.  But this use of the word “world” demonstrated that God intended for His free gift of salvation to be offered to every tribe, nation, and tongue, not just the Jews.

The third word is “whosoever”.  In the original Greek, the word used is “pas”, which means “any, all, each, everyone”.  When you read the verse as a whole in the Greek language is goes like this:  “God loved the world in this manner: that he gave his one and only Son in order that all those who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.”  “All those who believe” are referring to God’s Elect.

The word “whosoever” gives people the impression that just anyone can believe, but that goes against Scripture when it says that only those who are chosen are those who will believe.  Romans 9 talks about “vessels of wrath” and “vessels of mercy”.  Vessels of wrath are those who are “prepared for destruction” (Romans 9:22) so we know that these are people who will never believe.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t given an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.  But it means they will reject the gospel despite hearing it preached to them.  Matthew 22:14 says, “Many are called, but few are chosen.”  This statement comes after the Parable of The Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14) where the King sends out his servants to gather the wedding guests, but they all refuse to come, using different excuses as to why they can’t/won’t come.  Then he sends his servants to those out in city to bring them in.  When the king came in to inspect the guests, he found one not wearing wedding garments and he told his servants to throw him into the outer darkness.  The “wedding garment” spoken of in this verse is referring to Christ’s blood that covers our sins.  You could also say it is Christ’s Cloak of Righteousness that he imputed to us when he took our sins upon himself.  Revelation 19:7-9 speaks about The Marriage Supper of the Lamb in which the Bride of Christ (the church) will gather and she will be arrayed in “fine linen, clean and white” and the fine linen is the “righteousness of saints”.  So, you can see a parallel between the parable of the Wedding Feast and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

The gospel message is to be preached to everyone.  But, not every person is going to answer the call of the gospel just like those in the parable of the wedding feast in Matthew 22.  Then there are those who, just like the guest not wearing a wedding garment, will THINK they are saved and try to get into heaven by his own works or by some other way apart from Christ, but will find that he was not “chosen” of God and will be cast into outer darkness.

We don’t know who the Elect are.  Our duty is to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”, but it is the Holy Spirit who gives the lost sheep the ability to hear and respond to the call of Christ, and all those who believe will have eternal life.

 

 

THE REED & THE WICK

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.”  Isaiah 42:3

How many of us, as Christians, have been living life on the “mountaintop”, only to have situations and circumstances in life to knock us off into the valley?  At one time we were standing tall and straight and then something comes along and now we’re bent over and can’t seem to find the strength to stand anymore.

How many of us remember a time when it seemed like our faith was like a huge bonfire?  Or maybe we could have likened it to a raging forest fire.  How many of us can look at ourselves now and our faith can only be compared to the tiniest flicker of light on the end of a candle wick, while those around us seems to still be a roaring fire?

Why does this happen?  Maybe trials and adversities come and throws a little water on that fire.  Maybe we look at ourselves and see the sin still prevalent in our lives and we become discouraged and that discouragement will diminish the fire that once burned brightly in our soul.  Or maybe our discouragement comes from comparing ourselves to someone else and we think because we’re not as “strong” in faith as they are, our “weak” faith might as well be no faith at all.  Or our discouragement may come from the disappointment of not being able to stay in God’s Word and in prayer like we should and that puts a damper on the flames of our faith.

While our faith may be like the bruised reed or the faintly smoldering wick, it’s comforting to know that the LORD will not “finish” us off.  We may be bruised, but instead of completely breaking us, He wants to heal us.  We may be a faintly smoldering wick, but instead of throwing water on us to completely snuff out the fire, He wants to fan the flame so that we can burn brighter than before.

There is a quote by Thomas Brooks that says:  “The weakest Christian is as much justified, as much pardoned, as much adopted, and as much united to Christ as the strongest, and hath as much interest and propriety in Christ as the highest and noblest Christian that breathes.”

The weakest Christian is STILL a Christian.  It’s easy to think that because we’re not like we used to be when we first came to salvation that maybe our salvation was not genuine.  Our faith is a gift given to us by God and it is a gift that He will never take back

We must remember that it is by God’s grace that we are saved, not by any works we do, and it’s God’s grace, not our works, that KEEPS us saved.  So, even though we may find ourselves not living up to our expectations of what we should be as Christians; even though we don’t see as much spiritual growth as we think we should; even though we still struggle daily with sin and our faith doesn’t measure up to those around us, our faintly smoldering (weak) faith is still faith and is still just as secure in Christ as those who have a raging flaming (strong) faith.

Thank you, Jesus, for keeping us secure even when we don’t feel like we are.

God Knows

How many times have we found ourselves looking back and realizing, “It’s been 3 months since I’ve picked up my Bible and read it”?

How many times have we also realized, “Wow, I don’t remember the last time I prayed”?

How many times have we come to a point and thought, “I just don’t feel saved”?

How many times have we gotten to that point and thought, “Surely God doesn’t want anything to do with me now.  I haven’t read my Bible in weeks.  I haven’t prayed in a long time.  There’s no sense in doing it.  I don’t understand a lot of the Bible.  I don’t think God hears me when I pray anyway, so it’s pointless!”

Guess what?  God knows our short-comings.  God knows our imperfections.  God knows we aren’t going to get it right ALL THE TIME!  God knows we’re going to fail.  God knew all our failures, our short-comings, and our sins even before He spoke the universe into existence and yet He STILL chose to save us and call us His children.

God’s love for us never diminishes even when our love for Him seems to have grown cold.  He isn’t like an immature child who gets upset when we don’t give Him the same level of love back that He’s given to us.  He is patient.  Granted, there will come a point where He will say, “It’s time you put your focus back on Me” and He will allow circumstances to happen that will get our attention off worldly pursuits and back onto Him.

We should never use our emotions as a gauge for our salvation.  And just because He hasn’t given us understanding about something in His Word doesn’t mean He won’t ever give it to us.  As someone at my church said a couple weeks back, we are an eternal people.  We have from our first breath until forever to learn all we need to know.  If we don’t get it on this earth, we’ll get it in eternity, IF God so chooses to reveal it to us.

God KNEW we weren’t going to be perfect but He still loves us anyway.  And to think otherwise is to believe a lie.  So, why do we want to live believing the lie instead of running back to Him and live in the truth?

 

John 6:65

And He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”  John 6:65.

Imagine going to the White House, or maybe Buckingham Palace, and you want to go inside to see what it looks like and to meet the President or The Queen of England.  Imagine taking it upon yourself to TRY walking through the front gate.  How far do you think you’ll get?  Not very far!  If you’re at the White House, you’d have armed police/security on top of you in no time.  If you’re at Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s Royal Guard stands in front of the entrance to the Royal Palace grounds and would prevent you from going any further.  No matter how much you plead or beg, you’re not getting in to either of those places without the proper permission to do so.  Now, imagine you do have permission.  The White House security nor the Palace Guard will just take your word for it.  I imagine that a representative of the President or Queen would have your name written down on a special form letting security know that you have been granted permission to come inside (with proper ID, of course).

Both Revelation 13:8 and Revelation 17:8 talk about the Lamb’s Book of Life and those whose names were NOT written in it BEFORE the foundation of the world.  Those whose names WERE in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world are those who were chosen to be saved.  Ephesians 1:4 says that we (Christians) were chosen “in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him…”.  I believe the Lamb’s Book of Life is like that special form with our names on it granting us access into the Kingdom.  But how do we get that access?

I believe it is through the work of the Holy Spirit.  God sent His Holy Spirit to draw us to Himself.  The Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes and illuminates our minds giving us comprehension to understand the gospel so that when the gospel is preached, we respond to it.

Many people claim to be Christians.  Many think just because their names are on a church membership roll, that makes them a Christian.  Some think that showing up to church on Christmas and Resurrection Sunday every year is all that’s required.  Others think that just mere intellectual assent to God’s existence is all they need.  That’s like saying we know WHO the President is, but the President has no clue who we are.  We may see him on the TV on a daily basis and someone will mention his name and we say, “Oh yeah, I know who he is.”  But, mention to the President who I am and he’ll say, “Sorry, I don’t know who that is.”  There will be many people who will come before God thinking they’ll be able to waltz right in and have a seat at the table.  But, their names were not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world.  They’ll say, “But I know who you are because I heard about you in church when I was a child,” or “I know who you are because I heard a preacher on TV talk about you.”  But they will only hear, “Depart from me for I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23).  Why?  Because their name was not in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Just as no one can take it upon themselves to walk into the White House or Buckingham Palace unannounced and without the President and Queen granting them entry, no one will be able to come to Jesus and enter into Heaven unless God has granted them the ability to do so.

God Commands Us To Forgive

When King David took Bathsheba into his palace and slept with her, he knew that he had to do something to cover up his sin.  She had become pregnant and he brought her husband, Uriah, home from battle so that he could have time with her, that way people would think the child would be Uriah’s, not David’s.  But, Uriah, being the good soldier that he was, could not think about being with his wife while his fellow soldiers were still out in the battlefield fighting.  This upset David, so he came up with another plan.  He sent Uriah back to the battle and told the commanding officer to put Uriah on the frontline so that he would be killed.  Once the prophet Nathan confronted David about his sin, David prayed to God saying, “Against You, and only You, have I sinned.”  That is the way it is with all of us.  When we sin, our sin is ultimately against God alone.

In Matthew 6:15 Jesus specifically says, “If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  I’m reminded of the parable where the debtor who owed much money to his master begged him to forgive him of his debt.  The master showed compassion and forgave the man’s debt.  But, then this man turns around and goes to another man who owed him money (which wasn’t as much as what the first man owed his master), and demands to be paid back.  The man who owed the money begs to have more time but is refused and he is thrown into debtor’s prison.  Word gets back to the master of what had transpired and he immediately has the first debtor thrown into prison also.  He reminded him of how he was forgiven because he had owed so much money, but since he was unwilling to forgive the other man what was owed to him, then his debt would not be revoked and he would go to prison.

When someone does wrong to us, we tend to forget that our sins are no better than theirs.  We think that just because we haven’t done something “as bad” as what was done to us, that it’s our right to not forgive them.  But the reality is, our sin(s) are just as bad because God doesn’t see any difference.  It really is very prideful to think that our sins aren’t like someone else’s.

What does it mean to forgive?  Well, it doesn’t mean we can forget the wrong done to us.  Sure, over time, we may not think about it as much as we did at first, but there will be times when something will trigger that memory of what that person did.  Second, it doesn’t mean we have to be friends with that person.  Forgiveness doesn’t obligate us to have any kind of relationship with them.  We don’t have to buy them gifts for their birthday or Christmas; we don’t have to invite them over for coffee or dinner.  What it does mean is that we are not going to be a slave to bitterness for what they did to us.  The more we allow that memory of their action(s) to fester and stew in our brains, the more bitter we become and we find that the very thought of that person affects how we live our life.  Ever known of someone who refuses to go to a family reunion/gathering because someone who hurt them in the past was going to be there?  Oh, they were going to go at first but as soon as they got wind of Uncle Jimmy or Cousin Beth being there, they quickly changed their minds.  Why?  Because they are allowing that person and their past sin to control their life.  They keep hanging on to that bitterness and refusing to forgive.

To withhold forgiveness from someone is like us telling God “I expect You to forgive me, but I don’t have to forgive this person for what they did.”  God don’t play that game.  We’re not above God.  We’re on the same level playing field as the one who wronged us and I’m afraid that many will find out that those sins they thought were wiped clean, aren’t.  We can’t expect God to treat us one way while refusing to do the same to others.

Nothing New Under the Sun

I’ve heard people say, “What is wrong with this world?”, or “What is the matter with people these days?”  Well, let me tell ya…..this world is no different than it was centuries ago.  In the book of Ecclesiastes, it says in chapter 1 verse 9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”  In other words, nothing we see going on in this world is anything new.  It has been going to hell in a hand basket since Adam and Eve took that first bite of the forbidden fruit.  It’s just that those of us who are living in this day and age are seeing things happen that we’ve never personally seen before, but that doesn’t mean it’s never happened previously.  There have been cultures and kingdoms that have flourished and fallen because they have allowed all forms of perversion to become the norm whether it’s homosexuality, or pedophilia, or beastiality.

People haven’t changed over the millennia.  People want to do what they want to do with no consequences and no retribution.  I don’t care what it is, they think they can do anything without having to accept responsibility for it and that others should just let them go about their merry way without so much as suffering consequences.  But, it doesn’t work like that.  You steal money, you go to prison.  You rape a child, you go to prison.  You pull a gun on a cop, you get shot.  If you live, you go to prison.  If you die, you get put six feet underground.  People don’t like to live under rules/laws and they believe they should be able to live however they want and everyone else can just get over it.

The world is like it is because people have always been pushing God out of the way.  They don’t like the idea of there being a God because they know that He has a standard and they don’t want to live up to it.  But, none of this is a surprise to Him because He knew it was going to be like this.  He knows that people are full of pride, hatred, malice, and just pure evil.  But, as I said earlier, this is nothing new.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Just as we have read in the Old Testament how the Israelites forgot God and turned to idol worship and all kinds of perverse living, so we’re seeing people in this day and age do the same thing.  The sad thing is, many churches/denominations are ACCEPTING of these perversions.  God cannot and will not bless a nation that has turned its back on Him and allowed all this to become the norm.  I think we, as Christians, have been silent way too long.  And we have shown our hypocrisy.  We can criticize actors/politicians and other well known people for their sexual perversion, yet have no problem tuning in to a TV show that allows it to be shown.  If we’re going to laugh at what’s happening on our favorite TV shows but get condescending towards what people are doing in real life, that is being hypocritical.  Yes, I’m speaking to the choir.  Guilty as charged.

I hate to know how far down the toilet we’re going to have to go before we finally see people turn to Him.  God hasn’t left us.  He’s still here.  It’s just that we’ve turned away from Him.  God hasn’t abandoned us, but there are times when people are so stubborn in their ways that God throws up His hands and says, “You want it your way, you can have it your way, but you have to suffer the consequences of your actions.”  And I truly believe what we’re seeing in our country and world today is the result of God pulling His hands away and saying, “You’re on your own.”  The phrase “you reap what you sow” is true.  We are reaping the effects of abandoning the faith and doing things our way instead of God’s way.  I hear of people getting angry and saying how could God allow bad things to happen, but it’s not God.  It’s us.  God doesn’t just sit back and say, “Oh, that’s okay.  You do what you want.”  Actions have consequences and we are seeing that taking place in our society.

A society that turns it back on God will see the adverse affects and its eventual demise, unless it repents and turns back to Him.  At the rate it’s going now, it won’t be too much longer before that happens in our country.

IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE

wavesandlighthouse

“GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

Many people say they don’t like change.  Well, let me tell you, life is all about change.  I’m used to change.  I grew up moving from place to place due to my father being a pastor.  So, every few years, we’d pack up our stuff and move to another town/community where my dad was called to pastor at a particular church.  I learned to adapt to change.  Some change is good and some not good, but one thing is for certain, there will always be change.

Those who don’t like change are comfortable with the familiar.  But, those who don’t mind change, see it as a growing experience.  Some change happens over an extended period of time.  In cases like that, it makes it easier to handle.  In other cases, change comes suddenly; without warning.  It’s those types of changes that bothers people.  They’re hit between the eyes with the unexpected detour.  They were going down the path of life with certain goals in mind and never giving thought to “what if”, and then suddenly, it all changes.  We all do it.  It’s easy to get in a set routine and live our life as if we’re promised our next breath.  But, that is never a promise we’re given.

My family had to deal with the death of two loved ones in the same week last month.  But, there was a difference in the two.  One was my mom.  She spent a little over a month going from hospital, to rehab, back to the hospital, until she was eventually sent home under hospice care.  We knew once she went home that there was going to be a future change.  A change in family gatherings.  A change in how things would be at home when we went to visit after she passed.  We, in our minds, began to prepare for that change.  We were given time to grieve even though she was still with us.

The second was my brother-in-law.  He was killed in a car accident four days before my mom passed.  We had his funeral on a Friday and mom passed the next day.  Life for my sister and their five kids changed in the blink of an eye.  Life for his parents and his sisters changed in the blink of an eye, too.  It’s times like this that remind us that we need to appreciate our family and loved ones.

And change isn’t just about the passing of someone we love.  It could be the sudden loss of a job.  One day you do life as normal and the next day you’re wondering “How am I going to pay the bills?”  Or, it could be the loss of your house due to fire or natural disaster.  One day you have a nice warm bed with a roof over your head.  The next day you’re living in a hotel or with family because you’re house is gone.  Or, it could be the dreaded cancer diagnosis or a sudden heart attack.  You’re going through life as usual, now you’re faced with the reality that you are now fighting for your life and wondering if/how you’re going to make it through.  Or, you come home to have your spouse say, “I don’t love you anymore.  I want a divorce.”  What do you do now?

It’s in these “blink of an eye” moments that we need to have a refuge to run to.  We may think we can handle whatever comes our way, but when the rubber meets the road, when that moment finally hits, we find out that we’re not as strong as we think we are.  Those who have their hope and trust in God and have experienced those “blink of an eye” moments have found unexplained peace and comfort that only He can give.  I’m not saying we don’t express emotions.  I’ve lost jobs before and went home crying wondering how I was going to pay my bills with no income.  And we all have grieved the loss of friends and family because we feel the pain of their absence.  Yes, we still feel and express emotions of pain and loss, that’s just human nature.  But, in the midst of those times of crying and feelings of grief, God, like a mother bird sheltering her babies from the storm with her wings, will cover us with His peace and comfort.  It’s His strength that carried us through those times that our life had changed “in the blink of an eye”.  So, when we find that life has suddenly changed, we mustn’t think “How am I going to fix this?” or “How can I get through this?”, it’s not for us to fix or to handle on our own.  God never intended for us to handle life on our own.  He wants us to depend upon Him to guide us through the storms of life.  And He will.  He won’t abandon His children when we most need Him.  We just have to stop looking inside of ourselves for the strength because we don’t have it.  It is only by His strength we are able to endure the storms of life.

 

 

ELECTION vs. FREE WILL, PT. 3

salvation

In these blogs I have been discussing the Doctrine of Election.  People have many objections to the Doctrine of Election–“man was born with free will and salvation is their choice” or “if God already knows who will be saved, then there’s no reason to evangelize.”  Another question people may ask is, “Well if God has already chosen those who will be saved, then doesn’t that mean that they are saved against their will?”  No!!!  God is not going to drag people into His Kingdom kicking and screaming.  But I do believe that when the Holy Spirit begins to draw and convict people of their sin, I believe that He also conforms their will to God’s.  Their desires change.  Instead of being satisfied with living in the state of their sin, they realize how unsatisfying and empty that life is, and they desire to give their life to Christ because only He can satisfy and give them eternal life.  That’s not to say that life will be problem-free and everything goes their way, but it means that no matter what life throws at them, they have immeasurable peace through Christ and that they can depend on Him in all things.  What about those who reject Christ?  Why do they reject Him?  They reject Christ because their minds have not been opened to the truth of the Gospel.  There has been no drawing or conviction of the Holy Spirit.  It is the work of the Holy Spirit to illuminate their minds and to conform their will to God’s.  Because when you think about it, whose will is stronger, ours or God’s?  God, in His Sovereignty, has chosen whom He will save.  Look back at Acts 13:48 where it says “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed”.  What God has predestined from before the foundation of the world, will come to pass.
There is a term used in the Bible, “born-again”.  This means that a person is re-born spiritually.  When we are born into this world physically, we are spiritually dead.  We come into this world sinners.  But God made a way for us to be “born again” spiritually and that is through the death of Christ on the cross and His gift of salvation.  How many of us were given a choice as to what family we’re born into?  None.  We didn’t pick who our parents would be.  Ephesians 1:5 says, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.”   In cases of adoption, the child isn’t the one who chooses the parents, the parents choose the child, just as in the case of natural birth, we didn’t choose who our parents would be.  This is the same with spiritual birth and adoption.  There are countless people who are walking around  professing to be Christians, but I believe they are not.  They’ve been sold a bill of goods.  They’ve been told “just walk the aisle, say this prayer, sign this card, get baptized and you are saved.”  I don’t think this is done intentionally, but I believe many have bought into the teaching that all it takes is to say a little prayer, get baptized, and they’re safe.  Matthew 7:21 says “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” There will be a lot of sad people who will stand before God and realize that they were never saved.
I guess after reading these three blogs, people would label me a Calvinist.  But my intention isn’t to gain a label.  The only label I want is that of Christian.  My intention is to study and dig and learn what the Scriptures say.  And I believe that it is the duty of every Christian to interpret and understand the Scriptures correctly!!!  I don’t want to be labeled a Calvinist but I guess that will happen whether I want it to or not.  All I want is to know and understand the Scriptures the way they were intended.  People will disagree with what was said here, but they aren’t disagreeing with me, they’re disagreeing with Scripture.  And I hope that this will begin to stir up questions in their minds and cause them to look closer and deeper at what the Bible says.  I heard a saying once, “Question everything”.  In this particular instance, don’t question Scripture, but question what you’ve been taught and see if it lines up with Scripture.

INTELLECT vs. EMOTIONALISM

maryatchristsfeet

As a Christian woman I am offended by the so-called women’s Bible studies and teachers that are available to us.  The landscape is littered with many women’s teachers whose studies and conferences are geared toward our emotions and not our intellect.  I realize that we are the more emotional gender, but to ignore our intellect is just downright offensive.  It’s as if they’re saying we’re not smart enough to understand theology.

In the past I went through a few Beth Moore studies and conferences, and each time, I came away thinking something was wrong with me because I got nothing out of them.  Her worship services were emotionally charged and her studies didn’t explain biblical text at all.  She found a way to make the stories and scriptures about us.  I don’t do emotional fluff.  I’m not saying I’m not an emotional person.  I can get pretty emotional at times.  But when it comes to studying the Bible, I don’t want emotional fluff.  I don’t want someone to tell me what THEY think the scripture means about us.  I want to know what GOD meant when He gave us His Word.  That is why I got nothing out of Beth Moore.  I went in wanting to learn the truth of God’s Word but instead got emotional goo.  Once we know and understand what scripture teaches, once we understand why God did what He did, and why Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins, then we can respond with the proper emotion.

The number of true women’s Bible teachers are very small.  Two that come to mind are Nancy Guthrie (http://www.nancyguthrie.com/) and Susan Heck (http://www.withthemaster.com/).  These two women go through the Bible and explain what the verses mean (God’s interpretation), not what they think they mean.  If you’re interested in their studies, they both have podcasts you can listen to.  Nancy’s is “Help Me Teach The Bible” and Susan’s is “With The Master”.  No emotional goo, just straight up Bible study.

So, I’ll pass on the ladies conferences.  If I want emotional, I’ll find some chick flick to watch.  When it comes to Bible studies, I prefer those that challenge me to increase my knowledge of the Bible.  Give me the Greek and Hebrew words and what they mean so that I can understand it better.  You can keep the Kleenex.