The importance of sound doctrine

One of the ways the “Christian” Left tips you off to their false nature is how they dismiss the importance of sound doctrine.

First, for clarity:

A man is not to be judged a heretic for speaking or writing an error – we all fall into this group.  A heretic is one who continues in teaching falsehoods that strike at the basics of Christian beliefs.  Stuart Brogden

But many people downplay the importance of doctrine, saying such things as, “All the theology I need is that God is love” or “I just want to follow Jesus.”  They have a false idea of what doctrine is.  It isn’t boring (at least it isn’t supposed to be).  How do you know how to follow Jesus, or why you should follow Jesus, if you don’t have doctrine?  Why on earth would you commit your life to someone without understanding Him or what He taught?

And yes, God is love, but that is just one of his attributes and not his complete definition.  And what kind of love does this mean – a sentimental, pampering love or the agape kind of love where you have the long term best interests of the other person at heart and would willingly sacrifice for them?

There are countless false teachers in our churches today, and they do great damage to individuals and the church.  We must know the truth well so we can spot them.  Here is a great article by Charles Spurgeon about false teachers.  Please read it.

Listed at the bottom of this post are just some of the verses pointing us to the importance of sound doctrine.  Jesus expected the Disciples to understand his teachings. Also, keep in mind that Jesus spent much of his time rebuking the Pharisees for their false teachings, and a major part of the New Testament letters was devoted to corrections of errors in the church.  If Jesus warned against false prophets doesn’t that imply that there are true prophets?

If anyone thinks these verses are taken out of context, please let me know.  Some of my theologically liberal blogging buddies implied as such, saying I had selected them in a “willy nilly” fashion.  However, they provided zero (0) examples.  Perhaps they could start with the first passage, which actually contains the phrase “sound doctrine.”  If I took something out of context it wouldn’t be the first or last time, but I am quite correctable and rarely make the same mistake twice.

One person mocked me for “actually believing that God cares for something called sound doctrine.”  His position is self-refuting and un-Biblical.  Sound doctrine is merely accurate theological teaching.  Given two choices of God either caring about sound doctrine or not caring, he chose the latter while I chose the former.  If God agrees with him, then he has properly taught God’s view.  But that would mean that God cares about the proper teaching of not caring about proper teaching, and that he seems to think it is important to convey sound doctrine on the point of sound doctrine not being important.  Indeed.  It would also mean that God had to communicate his lack of caring about sound doctrine.  Did He do that in the Bible (where?) or outside it?

Read a “few” verses – or the whole Bible, for that matter – and decide for yourself if God cares about sound doctrine.

Matthew 16:6 (ESV) — 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Matthew 16:11–12 (ESV) — 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV) — 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (ESV) — 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV) — 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

Acts 17:11 (ESV) — 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

2 John 9 (ESV) — 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:1 (ESV) — 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Revelation 2:1–3 (ESV) — 1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

Jude 3–4 (ESV) — 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Titus 1:9 (ESV) — 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

Romans 16:17–19 (ESV) — 17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.

Acts 20:28–31 (ESV) — 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.

2 Corinthians 11:2–4 (ESV) — 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

2 Corinthians 11:12–15 (ESV) — 12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Titus 2:1 (ESV) — 1 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 (ESV) — 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Matthew 7:15 (ESV) — 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Acts 13:6–11 (ESV) — 6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7 He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? 11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.” Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand.

Jude (ESV) — 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: 2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. 14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage. 17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh. 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Also see Jesus’ messages to the churches in Revelation 2-3 and all the passages where Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their false teachings.

The “Christian” Left will be defending pedophilia in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

See Pedophilia Is Not a Crime, Says Rutgers Prof Margo Kaplan for a taste of what is to come.

The pedophiles are following the LGBTQX game plan.  The “Christian” Left will be supporting them soon — if they aren’t already! — with the same terrible arguments (Jesus never said anything about pedophilia, they were born that way, it is all about love, etc.).  They will shift right along with the world, because they worship and follow the god of this world.

Remember that churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” have nearly identical views to the world. It shows who their real father is. The “Christian” Left will always mirror the world.  It is one of the ways you can know how fraudulent they are.  And it won’t be any different when the pressure to affirm how “normal and biblical” pedophilia is.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

Jude 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Lots of children are murdered after “unsuccessful” abortions

Yes, this happens all the time.  Kermit Gosnell was not an exception, he just got caught.  And even most pro-lifers I know haven’t heard of him because of the successful media blackout on the trial of the most prolific mass murderer in American history.

In theory, the ghouls on the “Christian” Left would protest these murders because they insist that life “really” begins at the child’s first breath*.  You know, because they are such biblical literalists when it comes to Adam and Eve /sarcasm.

But their silence about this shows who their real father is and how they don’t care about infanticide, either.

Evidence: babies born alive after abortion are murdered | Pro Life.

Sometimes babies survive late-term abortion. International treaties and some domestic laws protect the lives of those children in word, but they are ignored in practice. Consequently, many of those children who survive are left alone to suffer and die, while some are even killed outright.

infanticide

Congress passed the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act in 2002. That law is meant to legally protect children born during botched abortions. Yet, according to the Center for Disease Control at least 362 babies between 2001 and 2010 were born alive after botched late-term abortion attempts and died afterwards. All this despite the many medical advancements that continually increase viability for premature babies.

When Florida introduced a similar bill two years ago Planned Parenthood explicitly defended “post-birth abortion” (otherwise known as infanticide) insisting that a doctor’s obligation to help a struggling baby lying on the table is a decision that “should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician.” The baby gasping for air has no say though, because she can’t speak.

The United States is not the only place where this happens. Cases have been reported in all countries that allow abortion on demand for health reasons. Here are just a few examples:

In January 2014, Norway passed a law banning all abortions after 22 weeks. This happened only after there were several reports of babies’ hearts continuing to beat for 45-90 minutes after the abortion.

In France, children born before 22 weeks or during a botched abortion are not even given a birth certificate. They are recorded as a lifeless child. They keep no record of which children are born alive and which are stillborn.  Sometimes doctors don’t even tell parents that their child is alive.

The Netherlands, in cases of serious malformation, legally allows abortion after 24 weeks, and sometimes even infanticide.

These phenomena are so common that the World Health Organization has made it an official cause of death (termed, “Termination of a pregnancy, newborn”)

*From the “Christian” Left: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”

What can man do to me? Uh, all sorts of nasty things. But . . .

The closing chapter of Hebrews starts with this passage:

Hebrews 13:1–6 Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

But people do all sorts of terrible things to believers.  Was the author naive or mistaken?  Of course not.  He had just finished describing a few of the things that had been done to faithful believers.

Hebrews 11:32–39 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,

So his point is that despite the things that may be done to us as believers, these pale in comparison to what Jesus has done and will do.

2 Corinthians 4:17–18 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Side note: Notice how the first passage tells us to be content with what we have, because Jesus won’t leave us or forsake us.  That’s the contentment Paul spoke of in Philippians 4:13, an oft-misquoted verse that teaches how to be content in any situation (do everything through Jesus!).

A commonly misinterpreted verse: Philippians 4:13

Hello visitors!  I hope you enjoy this post and come back regularly.  If you go to the main page you can subscribe via email in the upper right hand corner.  Also see another commonly misinterpreted verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

phil413

Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things through him who strengthens me”) is one of the most misinterpreted verses in the Bible. I used to misuse it. I can’t remember the last time I heard it used correctly. It is one of the top 10 searched verses on biblestudytools.com, along with another frequently misused verse, Jeremiah 29:11.

We can’t ignore 2 Timothy 2:15 (Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.).  Getting Bible verses wrong isn’t a felony, but if we love God and our neighbors we’ll want to be careful with his word and humbly change our views once we realize we’ve been mistaken.

I enjoy the Pyromaniacs blog and agreed with the basic premise of Self-esteem, Possibility Thinking, and Philippians 4:13 .

That verse is not a manifesto for self-esteem and possibility thinking —although it is often used that way. People quote the verse as if it meant “With Jesus’ help you can achieve whatever dream you have for yourself.” That’s not the idea at all. Paul is speaking as a man who wants to do the will of God and knows he is too weak and sinful to do it, but he is laying hold of Christ’s power to do in him what he knows he cannot do on his own.

I agreed with the first part but not as much with the last part. Yes, people misuse the verse to mean that they can accomplish all sorts of things through Jesus. It is technically true that we could accomplish great things with Jesus, of course, but that isn’t what Philippians 4:13 means. The verse refers to Christ’s power doing something very specific in the believer, not some sort of general power.

I love using Phil 4:13 as an example of how to read in context. You don’t need to be a Greek scholar.  You don’t need to read the entire Bible, or all of Philippians, or chapter 4 or even a paragraph to get the real meaning. Just go back one verse!

Philippians 4:12-13 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Verse 13 is Paul’s secret for being content in all situations. That’s it. Do every thing through Jesus and you can be content in everything. It isn’t about what you accomplish, it is about how you do whatever you do.

For starters, remember that Paul wrote this letter from prison.  Having done prison ministry for years I assure you that if the believers there could do “all things” in the context most people us it, they would start by getting out of prison immediately.

I would never actually say this to someone because it would come across too snarky, but when people quote Philippians 4:13 I’m tempted to ask, “Really? You can do all things through Christ? Does that include reading scripture in context?”

Instead, I say something like, “Oh, yes, Paul’s secret for being content in all situations. I love that verse.” I usually get a slightly puzzled look in return, but I hope they re-read it themselves and see what I meant.

Some people may think they’ve lost something special when they realize they’ve misinterpreted the verse. But did they really think that Jesus was going to help them win every race, get every job, get A’s on every test, leap tall buildings, etc.?

This theme of contentment and being strengthened by Christ is found in other passages as well.

Being content sounds bland compared to our worldly desires, but what a phenomenal blessing the real interpretation of Philippians 4:13 is! How wonderful would it be to have contentment in every situation in life? That’s the true promise of scripture that we seek and rejoice in.

As often happens, the real meaning of the verse is better than what we wanted it to mean.

Also see Reading the Bible in Context for a very important lesson and other examples.

The Tiny Bible of the “Christian” Left: Read it all in 5 minutes!

This started off as a tongue-in-cheek exercise, but I just kept thinking of more and more examples until my fingers cramped from typing so much.  Seriously, the more you think carefully about what the “Christian” Leftists teach and claim to believe about the Bible the more obvious it is that they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.  

—–

There used to be a video store near us that rented movies with objectionable parts removed so the whole family could watch them.  I remember thinking, “What a time saver — you can watch Pulp Fiction in 5 minutes!”

In the same way, you can read the Theological Liberal Bible in about that time, and that is barely an exaggeration (although in this case there are no objectionable parts — at least to believers!).  Thomas Jefferson famously made his own religion with his “Jefferson Bible.” The “Christian” Left just goes many steps further.  I’m pretty sure this post is longer than their Bible.  Just think about all the things they have to leave out:

First, they must delete the many warnings against false teachers.  There are loads of those, even in the Sermon on the Mount that they think they like but don’t really understand.

Matthew 5:17–18 has to go from the Sermon on the Mount because it shows how Jesus fully supported all the Old Testament.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Then they need to delete various passages that warn not to add or remove anything from the word of God.

They must cut the 100+ passages passages explicitly or implicitly teaching that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  You can’t have that while you’re busy teaching that all religions lead to the one true God.

They must delete the ~3,000 verses and surrounding texts that claim to directly speak for God.  In their hypocrisy many will claim that God is still speaking to them – such as with the UCC slogan “God is still speaking;” – but they don’t believe the original claims made in the Bible.  They treat it as a purely man-made book.  Why should we believe He is speaking to them in a reliable way?  Are we to believe that God has always been a 21st century far Left politician and was just waiting until the culture drifted his way before He was brave enough to speak?

All the claims that the Bible is the word of God have to be cut.  Psalm 119?  Gone.  2 Peter 3:16?  Gone.  And so on.

The beginning of Genesis must go, because they worship Darwin more than God and they “know” how we really came into being.

The countless passages in the Old Testament commanding us not to worship other gods.  For those of you who have actually read the Bible, you know how hard it is to go more than a couple pages without that warning or without reading about the horrible consequences of disobeying it.

The whole book of Joshua, because they think it would have been genocidal for God to clear out the promised land — even if the Canaanites had sacrificed babies and committed other atrocities for 400 years.

The messages about Adam & Eve, Sodom & Gomorrah, Noah and Jonah have to go, of course — as well as Jesus’ unapologetic commentary on them and his treatment of them as real events.

The whole Exodus passage, because they can’t believe that those miracles happened or that God would judge Pharaoh and the Egyptians.  And most of the wilderness experience and the Tabernacle creation must be removed, because they don’t think God really did miracles like providing manna or gave guidance to the Israelites.

The whole book of Judges, because they think God wouldn’t really punish Israel for cycle after cycle of turning from him and worshiping false gods.

Psalm 139 is out, because it teaches how we were knit together in our mother’s wombs by God.  And the same goes for all the other passages acknowledging the humanity of the unborn, such as when John the Baptist kicks in the womb of Elizabeth when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, comes to visit.

All the do not murder / do not shed innocent blood passages have to be cut to support unrestricted abortion rights.

The book of Daniel, plus all other prophetic works, because their stunning accuracy leads theological Liberals to say they must have been written after the fact.  They seem to think that the proper Christian worldview is that Bible writers were big liars, so how could you possibly include those books?  After all, their god could never know the future like the God of the Bible.

Most or all of Paul’s letters, because they think he was a homophobic misogynist who could not have spoken for God.  There goes nearly half the books of the New Testament plus a big chunk of Acts.

The story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac, because they think God wouldn’t do that.

All the animal sacrifices, because PETA opposes those and God wouldn’t really command blood to be shed as payment for sins.

All the passages about God having the Northern Kingdom and then the Southern Kingdom taken into captivity for disobeying him and worshiping other gods, because the god of liberal theologians would never do that!

The beginning of the book of Acts, because it has Jesus there after a physical resurrection.

All the passages about judgment and Hell (that’s a whole bunch of the red letters, btw).

All the Gospel presentations in Acts, because they never mention how much God loves us unconditionally but they continually mention that Jesus died and rose again for our sins and that we are commanded to repent and believe.

1 Corinthians 15, because it claims that Jesus was physically resurrected.

Most of the passages about the crucifixion being God’s idea, because that would be divine child abuse.

All the claims for Jesus’ divinity.

All the claims for the virgin birth.

All Jesus’ miracles, because they “know” those couldn’t have really happened.

All the Gospel accounts of Jesus rising from the dead.

All the passages saying Jesus died for our sins.

All the passages about sinners and how humans can’t be good on their own.

All the passages about Satan and demons (there are more than you might think).

Most of the passages about human sexuality, marriage and parenting, because they view that version of God as homophobic, misogynistic and hopelessly politically incorrect.

All passages about God’s wrath.

They even have to take out Leviticus 19:18 (” . . . love your neighbor as yourself”) because they dismiss the rest of Leviticus with their flawed “God hates shrimp”argument.

Pretty much all of Revelation, and especially chapters 2-3 where Jesus addresses the faults of many churches.

And so many more!  Truly, they are the original Leopard Theologians, claiming that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Dalmatian Theologians, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

Leave a comment with others I missed and I’ll update the post.

So what’s left? Roughly a dozen verses, which they take out of context or just plain misinterpret.  Examples:

  1. Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that you be not judged. They don’t have time to read the next 4 verses that explain how He meant not to judge hypocritically – which, ironically, is exactly what they do when they use that verse in isolation to judge you.
  2. Matthew 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. They use that to oppose capital punishment, among other things, even though it is hard to turn the other cheek if you are the victim of murder and to apply it would mean you’d oppose not only capital punishment for murderers but any punishment at all.
  3. Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ They love mentioning the least of these to justify asking Caesar to take from neighbor A to give to neighbor B, but of course that isn’t what Jesus meant.  And they ignore the other language of eternal judgment in the passage.  Oh, and they are pro-legalized abortion and pro-taxpayer-funded abortion, which means they are pro-abortion.  I can’t reconcile that with helping the “least of these” or with loving your neighbor.

Seriously, we have a precise, highly technical theological term for people who hold those views about the Bible: Non-Christians.  Run, don’t walk, from their “churches.”  Highlight their errors until your throats are raw and your fingertips are calloused.  It is the loving thing to do for scores of their church members headed towards Hell.  Jesus didn’t die on the cross for us to ignore those who claim his name then lie about him.  He didn’t call us to be politically correct.

If you love him you should agree with him about the Bible.

There is another way: The Christian way.

If you came into church shaking your metaphorical fist at God and insisting that we teach that homosexual behavior isn’t a sin, that Jesus is OK with killing unwanted children up their first breath*, that Jesus doesn’t have a divine nature, that the Bible is full of mistakes and was written by blasphemous liars**, etc., then I’d say, “Sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong place. The United Church of Christ building is up the street.”  The “Christian” Left is all about rebellion against God and that won’t turn out well for you now or for eternity.

But if you came in and said that you are tempted by same-sex attraction, or had an abortion, or pressured someone to have an abortion, or spent time in prison, etc., but were a Bible-believer or wanted to know how to get right with God on his terms, then I’d have lots of time for you, and lots of Good News.

I repeat: Lots of time, and lots of Good News.

Most people can see the distinction between the two scenarios. The “Christian” Left can’t — or, more accurately, won’t. They pretend that you are either pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQX extremism like they are or you are like Democrat Fred Phelps. But there is another way. The Christian way.

I’ve seen it work spectacularly well in pregnancy center ministry and prison ministry.  You can reach the “least of these” — the ones rejected by society and even their family and friends — with the love and truth of Christ and see remarkable transformations.  It works with regular people, too.

All grace and no truth makes no sense, because you don’t need grace if you aren’t a guilty rebel against your creator.  And all truth and no grace will just leave you crushed under the weight of a hopeless works-based righteousness system (i.e., every system besides Christianity, which has a monopoly on grace).

Jesus had the perfect balance of grace and truth.  Strive for that every day.  I absolutely love this verse:

John 1:14 (ESV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

—–

*The “Christian” Left is far more extreme in their pro-abortion agenda than the average pro-choice person. They insist that life begins at the first breath and insist that Jesus is fine with killing unwanted children until that point.  I realize how ridiculous their views sound and how many people must think I’m making a straw-man argument. But that is just because their own words are so clear and extreme: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”  More here about how to respond, with full, in-context quotes from them.

**Rachel Held Evans: “God never told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. The Israelites believed that God told them to kill the Canaanites.”  Sure, Rachel.  Should I believe the authors of the Bible or the ones who call them blasphemous liars and just happen to agree with the world on all major issues?

Judging God’s word is judging God.

And I’ve noticed that those who get the Bible wrong and say to never judge are the first to judge God’s word, and judge God in the process.  Just listen to the “Christian” Left.  They’ll prove my point in about three sentences.

An exchange with a faux-lifer

Just thought I’d share this exchange with a faux-lifer on the Following Jesus Means Being Political and Advocating for “The Least of These” post by pro-abortion extremist and false teacher Mark Sandlin.  (Faux-lifers pretend to be pro-life but just repeat pro-abortion sound bites and do nothing to reduce abortions.  And by supporting the Democrats, they seek to increase abortions via taxpayer-funding and elimination of restrictions.)

I started with this:

It is fascinating to see Sandlin take passage after passage at face value when he agrees with with he thinks they say (even if he misunderstands them so). There wasn’t a hint of doubt about whether the texts were accurate in what they said. But he turns hyper-skeptic when he can’t rationalize away the clear meaning of the passages about the resurrection. Are we to believe that the writers were supremely accurate on the parts Mark thinks he likes and blasphemous liars on the rest?

If you want to follow Jesus, it decidedly means advocating for the “least of these.”

Ah, the least of these passage. The “Christian” Left loves that one, yet they are ghoulish pro-abortion extremists, advocating for things that most pro-choicers disagree with. They are loud and proud in saying, “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath” so they can justify abortions at any time for any reason, including the infanticidal procedure called “partial-birth abortion.”(https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/the-christian-left-is-far-more-extreme-than-the-average-pro-choice-person-2/ )

Yeah, tell me more about how you care for the “least of these” while advocating for this — http://tinyurl.com/yzjq4lv http://www.advocatesoflife.com/graphicabortionimages.htm

And do they ever read the rest of Matthew 25? Doubtful. And they rely on the biblical ignorance of their followers. Reading Sandlin’s take you’d think that the Romans chased Jesus around. Scan the Gospel accounts yourself and see how far off base Sandlin is.

They don’t read to the end of the chapter, because they typically deny this part:

41 “Then he will say to those on his left,‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . .45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Do all those quoting Matthew 25 to justify forced wealth redistribution as a Christian act also affirm the truth of eternal punishment?

Do they think He will really return and glory and make a final judgment of people?

Then “RustbeltRick” left this comment:

If I respond to your post, will it actually lead to a dialogue, or have you already written off everyone from the Left as “ghoulish pro-abortion extremists”? There are those of us on the Left who see the tragedy of abortion but you don’t seem to think we exist, so I’m not sure how much you really want to talk; you seem to want to opine, instead.

Hi RustbeltRick,

I suppose it depends what you respond with ;-).

I choose my words carefully. If you look at statistics, even those who favor legal first trimester abortions (which are just as wrong as late term abortions, but that’s another topic) switch sides when it comes to issues like later term abortions, parental notification, etc. So if 79% of even pro-choice people think 3rd trimester abortions should be illegal and 94% of pro-life people agree, that places the “Christian” Left at the extreme — hence the highly accurate term, pro-abortion extremists.

Pro-choice views (Gallup, 2011) — http://media.hotair.com/greenroom/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/abortion-consensus-gallup.gif

–Make abortion illegal in the 3rd trimester – 79%

–Make abortion illegal in the 2nd trimester – 52%

–Ban “partial-birth abortion” – 63%

–Require parental consent for minors – 60%

–Require 24 waiting period – 60%

The “Christian” Left is officially loud and proud about insisting — direct quote — that “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.” Their words, not mine, repeated many times without hesitation. I find that ghoulish. And I find it curious that you seem to take more exception to me calling it that than you do to the procedure itself, and you are more concerned about whether I want to “talk” than anything else. Yes, I’m here to offer my opinion. You seem to be doing the same. Nothing wrong with that.

If you are on the Left and disagree with people like Sandlin and the other “Christian” Left leaders on abortion, then good for you!

Having said that, I’ve come across countless faux-lifers (not saying you are one) who talk in “tragic” terms about abortion but do absolutely nothing to stop them. I hope you are the exception.

* https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/the-christian-left-is-far-more-extreme-than-the-average-pro-choice-person-2/

 

There are many on the Right who also switch sides: they are passionately committed to the survival of the fetus, even if that survival is enforced by government edict; but then think nothing of making continual cuts to the nation’s food stamp program (because they dislike government edicts, even those edicts which provide modest support for the poor).

Lots of fallacies there.

1. That’s a human fetus, by the way, i.e. a human being. We are quite consistent in protecting the lives of human beings inside and outside the womb. If you want to say we are inconsistent, then show where we sit idly by regarding murders outside the womb. Example: We also oppose infanticide and euthanaisa.

2. I understand the rhetorical value of “government edict” language, but I also know it is fallacious. Laws protecting life outside the womb are also government edicts and we have no issues with those. We consistently point to the Constitutional roles of government.

3. You use a combination straw-man / ad hominem / question-begging attack with your food stamp example. Nice triple play ;-).

First, studies show that by any measure — giving time, money or even blood donations — conservatives are more generous. They just don’t lobby Caesar to “give” your money and count it as a good deed on their part. See http://www.nationalreview.com/content/who-really-cares . So we actually do care. We just want to care in a discerning, effective way.

Unless the IRS gave you access to my tax returns and you hacked into my calendar, you have no idea how generous I am with my time and my money. It is mighty judgmental of you to assume otherwise, and very telling that you can’t stick to the topic of whether people should be able to kill children up to their first breath, as the “Christian” Left clearly advocates.

Second, you beg the question in assuming that those programs are effective and require no refinement.

Third, you claim that we oppose all government edicts, which is just false.

Fourth, you use this entire line of reasoning to dodge any efforts to prevent what you claim is wrong: Killing children before their first breath. Faux-lifers like you act like you’ll get around to opposing abortion once the world is perfect in every other way. I’m not persuaded.

I have a hard time swallowing the “pro-life” label for people who are very selective about which vulnerable humans should be protected and which vulnerable humans should be abandoned.

Logical fallacy: Equivocation. If you want to do this and this to human beings outside the womb, I will oppose you just as consistently as I do to protect human beings inside the womb.

There is no inconsistency.

I know you want to make morality about abortion only, but I refuse to limit the discussion that far.

No, I just used abortion as an example of the “Christian” Left’s lies about truly caring for the least of these (if they unborn don’t qualify, who does?). The”Christian” Left is immoral on other topics as well.

Bonus: Here are some more responses to the fallacious “pro-lifers don’t care about those outside the womb!!” meme. I encourage you to read them carefully. If you are intellectually honest you’ll never use that slanderous and fallacious sound bite again.

1. If people were slaughtering toddlers, the elderly or anyone else the way they do unborn children, I guarantee that we would be protesting that as well. So we are completely consistent in protecting innocent human lives regardless of location and yes, we do care for life post-birth.

2. You can speak against moral evils all day, every day without being obligated to care for all the victims for life. If mothers were killing toddlers for the same reasons they give for abortions (money, career, love live, pressure from boyfriends / parents, etc.) would you stay quiet? Would you lodge the same criticism at those who spoke against toddler-cide without adopting all the children? Hopefully not. The question is whether the unborn are human beings. They are. At least that’s what all the embryology textbooks say. Just because they are smaller, more dependent and in a unique environment (formerly synonymous with a safe place) doesn’t mean their lives aren’t worthy of protection. The right to life is the foundational human right.

3. The premise is false. Countless pro-lifers help women and children before and after birth with their own time and money. Crisis Pregnancy Centers offers an array of free services. Planned Parenthood and the like make millions via abortion.

4. Asking the government to take money by force from others to supposedly help the poor does not qualify as charity on your part.

5. Do you criticize the American Cancer Society for not working on heart disease? If not, why are you being prideful about your preferred ministry over what others feel called to? That is, if you actually do anything for others at all.

6. Unless they want forced abortions, pro-choicers have the same obligations to help that they put on pro-lifers.

7. The claim that we don’t care about the children outside the womb is demonstrably false. But even if their claim was true, it seems like the greater sin would be to approve of a child being literally crushed and dismembered rather than just not personally feeding someone else’s living child.

P.S. I hope that was enough dialog for you :-).  If you read carefully you’ll note that while I disagreed with you, I took your statements at face value, read them carefully, and responded in kind.  If you respond — and I’ll try to answer if I have time —  I encourage you to focus on the facts and logic and not your unsubstantiated personal attacks.  If you really think abortion is wrong, what are you doing about it besides criticizing pro-lifers?

The dialogue went about as I expected. Cheers.

Interestingly, that was the one thing on which we agreed: It also went just as I expected.  I’ll leave it to the readers to determine if he really wanted dialog.

I “up voted” his comment and let him have the last word.

Yawn: False teacher denies the resurrection

What else would Mark “Jesus is not my God” Sandlin say?  Via The Resurrection is Real, But Not How You Think it Is:

“Did the Resurrection really happen? I don’t know.”

That’s why we have a precise theological term for him: Non-Christian.

As usual, Sandlin starts off telling us that things can’t be known then tells us what he knows.  Indeed.

“Which Gospel account do I believe? Because they are different.”

Typical weasel words of a false teacher. Yes, the Gospels tell the same true story in different ways, but they all have Jesus rising physically. Sandlin trusts — probably rightly so — that his audience is biblically ignorant and will not read the texts themselves. Otherwise, they might believe! John 30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Oh, wait, that was the Gospel of John, and Sandlin insists that the author was a blasphmeous liar — https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/should-you-believe-the-authors-of-the-bible-or-the-christians-who-claim-the-writers-were-blasphemous-pathological-liars/

“Amazingly brilliant believers have argued those questions for a very long time and come to no agreement.”

Lie #1: Pretending that the church believed this was some sort of toss-up question. Lie #2: Some people disagree, so we can never know!

“As my theology professor, Dr. Tupper, was given to saying, “If there had been a video camera there that first Easter morning, I don’t think it would have recorded Jesus walking out of the tomb.””

One false teacher quotes the opinion of another false teacher and pretends it is irrefutable evidence. Check.

“Because no one knows – even the biblical reports of what happened are second hand stories. No one saw it. They were told about it.”

Ugh. Such bad logic. Using that reasoning we know nearly nothing about everything. The question is whether you have good reasons to trust those witnesses.

Skeptics often claim that we believe that Jesus really rose from the dead based on blind faith and that you shouldn’t trust anything you can’t prove via scientific experiments. But they haven’t thought carefully about how their own beliefs are formed. You can also ask those raising that objection whether they have created all their own test equipment and replicated every single experiment upon which they rely. Since no one has done this, you can then point out how they rely on the credibility of eye witnesses all day, every day. You can also point out how many frauds we’ve seen even in peer reviewed publications.

More here: http://wp.me/p5O8SK-6L3

“However, what I am most certain of is that there were a group of disciples who came to believe in Jesus’ resurrection – but it was not a fully-flesh-and-blood resurrection. They are careful to share their reports of Jesus “appearing” in ways flesh-and-blood particularly doesn’t “appear” — in the midst of them in locked rooms and vanishingwhen recognized.”

More distortions and more assumptions that you won’t read it for yourself. Note that he didn’t quote about how Jesus ate food with them, walked with the, talked with them, showed them his holes, etc.

“The story of the Resurrection is that endings are not final.”

Not in the way Sandlin says it. He makes up a bunch of false assertions and expects us to believe them.

The physical resurrection is the cornerstone of Christianity. Don’t believe it? Not a Christian.

Romans 10:9–10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

1 Corinthians 15:1–5 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 

Really, folks, take the time to read the Bible yourselves. You’ll find that there is no way to call yourself a Christian if you don’t affirm the resurrection, and that if it wasn’t true then nothing in the New Testament would make sense. 

And go study some apologetics!  https://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/evidence-for-the-resurrection-2/

Summary of the “minimal facts” approach: Nearly 100% of historical scholars from 1975 – present agree with the following statements:

1. Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.

2. Jesus’ disciples believed He appeared to them.

3. Jesus’ brother, James, went from being a pre-crucifixion skeptic to a post-crucifixion church leader.

4. The Apostle Paul believed Jesus appeared to him and he wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, I & II Corinthians, Philemon and others. He converted from persecuting Christians to being the greatest evangelist ever, despite nearly constant challenges, persecution and ultimately dying for his faith.

Also, 75% of the same scholars agree that the tomb was empty.

None of the alternative theories can be true in light of these facts. The physical resurrection of Jesus best accounts for these facts.

Questions for the “Christian” Left and their “Jesus fed all 5,000 – including gays” meme

The wolves of the “Christian” Left are trying to profit off of the Memories Pizza issue, where a mom-and-pop restaurant received death threats and countless hateful and vile messages from the tolerant, loving Left merely for saying they would gladly serve gays but would not participate in a hypothetical “same-sex wedding.”  But is the point of their “When Jesus fed the 5,000 He didn’t ask if there were any guys” meme accurate?  Here are some questions for these false teachers:

1. Will you please show where you have spoken out against the death threats and hate speech directed against these people?  Or are you saying that Jesus would agree with you on those tactics?  Being silent on that would be bad enough, but you actually encourage it.

2. Do you affirm that Jesus really performed the miracle of feeding the 5,000?  (Actually, it was much more than that, as the text notes 5,000 men but there were women and children as well.  But you knew that, right?).  I ask because you “Jesus Seminar” types typically deny and even mock the miracles of the Bible and insist that the authors were blasphemous liars for documenting them.  Is this another case where you pretend to affirm a literal event when it suits you then claim the opposite when it doesn’t?

Example: When you pro-abortion extremists are trying to justify killing children up to their first breath* you affirm a literal Adam.  But you mock that view when pretending Darwinian evolution is real and when denying the doctrine of original sin.  Mark Sandlin denies the resurrection because no one saw the actual event, but his organization uses Adam’s first breath to justify killing 3,500+ human beings each day in this country.

3. If you affirm that Jesus did do this miracle, how do you reconcile that with your heresy that He is not divine?

4. Why do you disagree with Jesus, who clearly defeats Darwinian evolution, oxymoronic “same-sex marriage” and same-sex parenting arguments in one simple passage? No true follower of him should disagree on any of those topics.

Matthew 19:4–5 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?”

Jesus is still asking them that question today, and the answer from the “Christian” Left is, “No, we haven’t read that” — or, rather, “We read that but didn’t like it so we ‘know’ you didn’t really say that.”

5. Do you realize that the 5,000+ were all sinners and that Jesus commanded them to repent and believe?  Or is your claim that because Jesus fed them that they must not need to trust in him for salvation?  Can you see why your meme fails to prove that homosexual behavior isn’t sinful?

6. Do you have any evidence of Jesus participating in or encouraging his followers to participate in pagan ceremonies?  [Crickets chirping]

1 Corinthians 10:18–20 Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.

7. Would you make a t-shirt protesting those who wouldn’t participate in wedding of the man and his father’s wife from 1 Corinthians 5?

—–

*The “Christian” Left is far more extreme in their pro-abortion agenda than the average pro-choice person.  They insist that life begins at the first breath and insist that Jesus is fine with killing unwanted children until that point.  I realize how ridiculous their views sound and how many people must think I’m making a straw-man argument.  But that is just because their own words are so clear and extreme: “According to the bible, a fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.”  More here about how to respond, with full, in-context quotes from them.

False teachers dismiss the Old Testament for a lot of reasons.

Alternate title: Worldly advice to “follow your heart” is a bad idea

“Christian” Leftists like false teacher Rachel Held Evans claim that the authors of the Bible were blasphemous liars, speaking for God when it was “really” what they wanted (“God never told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. The Israelites believed that God told them to kill the Canaanites.”).  Indeed.  That sure makes it easy to dismiss passages like this.

Jeremiah 17:7–9 (ESV)

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

Oh, and they not only disagree with Jesus, whom they claim to follow, but sit in judgment of him and pretend that their standards and discernment are higher than his.   Friendly reminder: Jesus referred to the most controversial parts of the OT without apology: Adam & Eve, real marriage, creation, Noah, Jonah, Sodom, etc.  He quoted from it liberally (heh).

Back to the passage: I was familiar with both verses but either never noticed or forgot how they were connected.

Gee, which should I trust, the Lord or my heart?   The “Christian” Left picks the latter.  I suggest going with the former – especially if you are a Christian who knows that it is the word of God.

Everyone relies on eyewitness testimony for their beliefs, even Darwinists

The question is whether you have good reasons to trust those witnesses.

Skeptics often claim that we believe that Jesus really rose from the dead based on blind faith and that you shouldn’t trust anything you can’t prove via scientific experiments.  But they haven’t thought carefully about how their own beliefs are formed.  You can also ask those raising that objection whether they have created all their own test equipment and replicated every single experiment upon which they rely.  Since no one has done this, you can then point out how they rely on the credibility of eye witnesses all day, every day.  You can also point out how many frauds we’ve seen even in peer reviewed publications.

Here is an excellent example of this reasoning, via Everything You Believe Is Based on Personal Experience and Testimony:

In other threads, certain people have claimed that personal experience and testimony are not as valid as other forms of evidence. In fact, some would dismiss thousands of years and the accumulation of perhaps billions of witness/experiencer testimonies because, in their view, personal experience and testimony is not really even evidence at all.

The problem with this position is that everything one knows and or believes is gained either through  (1) personal experience (and extrapolation thereof), or (2) testimony (and examination thereof), for the simple fact that if you did not experience X, the only information you can possibly have about X is from the testimony of others.

In a courtroom, for example, the entire case depends on testimony, even when there is physical evidence, because the jury relies upon the testimony of those that produce and explain what the physical evidence is, how it is relevant, and explains why it is important to the case. Unless the jurors are swabbing cheeks and conducting DNA tests themselves, the DNA evidence is in principle nothing more than the testimony of an expert witness. The jurors have no means of ascertaining the DNA “facts” for themselves; they entirely rely upon the testimony of what they assume to be a highly credible witness.

. . . Similarly, unless one is a research scientist in fields where one believes certain theories to be valid, he is (and we are as well) entirely dependent upon testimonial evidence – found in the form of research papers, books and articles written by such scientists. “Peer review” is nothing more to the reader than the testimomy of supposedly credible sources that the testimony of the authors is not blatantly false or contain factual errors.

Outside of what we personally experience, virtually all of our knowledge comes from testimony delivered via some form of media or another. We consider the source of the testimony, and the media it is delivered through, credible or non-credible to one degree or another – but that doesn’t change the fact that when we read or hear it, it is nothing more than testimony. If you are a scientist conducting research, you are personally experiencing the process and accumulation of data.  Beyond that, it is only testimony to others unless they perform the same experiments.  Often, the conclusions of scientific research hinge upon the testimony of other researchers, which may turn out to be fraudulent or mistaken.

We have very good reasons to trust the testimony handed down to us through the Bible. For those interested in why we find the Gospels and the rest of the Bible so reliable, here is an interesting book by a former atheist and cold-case homicide detective: Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels.

Dear “Christian” Leftists, please tell me more about how you have higher standards than Jesus

One of the common themes of skeptics and the “Christian” Left is how the “God of the Old Testament” was a bad character and couldn’t be the real God.  There are many things wrong with that argument, but a shortcut I like to use is to ask those claiming to be Christians a simple question: Are you saying you have higher standards than Jesus?  Because He had no issues with anything written in the Old Testament.  He supported it to the last letter, even referring to the most controversial passages without apology (a real Adam and Eve, real marriage, God’s ideal for sex, Noah, Jonah, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.).  He said lust was akin to adultery and unrighteous anger was like murder.  And much more.  And you are more righteous than He is?

If you really follow Jesus you should hold the same views that He does, including his treatment of the Old Testament.  Sure, you can and should research the background of difficult passages.  If you really care about such things, you might want to read Is God a Moral Monster? by Paul Copan.  And read all of Job, especially the ending, and note how there are some questions to which we don’t get answers.  But we’ve been told enough to know to that we need Jesus.

—–

From a previous post

A common misconception about the Bible is that there are two Gods at work, or that somehow God was trying to improve his reputation in the New Testament (NT).  The typical refrain is that the Old Testament (OT) God was vengeful and the New Testament God is loving and kind. A balanced reading of the whole Bible shows what God is really like. To adequately understand God, you can’t reduce your understanding to a bumper-sticker saying such as “God is love.” Yes, love is one of God’s attributes, but He is a whole lot more.

People who make that claim don’t know the Bible well at all.  Jesus talks about Hell much more than the OT does.  And God displays his mercy, forgiveness and patience over and over in the OT.

If one is selective in what Scriptures they use, one could make the opposite case – namely, that the Old Testament God is more forgiving. After all, Jesus talked much more about Hell than the Old Testament does. God gives evil nations hundreds of years to repent, and destroys or drives them out only when they are completely irredeemable. And God is quick to forgive the Israelites over and over. Consider this passage where God is so quick to forgive Ahab, generally considered the most evil of Israel’s kings:

1 Kings 21:25-29 (There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.) When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”

Also consider these passages:

Exodus 22:21-27 “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. “Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless. “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is the only covering he has for his body. What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.

Leviticus 19:18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Then consider a sample of Jesus’ words in Matthew.

Matthew 11:20-24 Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

Jesus also said:
• Matthew 8:12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
• Matthew 13:42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
• Matthew 13:50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
• Matthew 22:13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
• Matthew 24:51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
• Matthew 25:30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
• Luke 13:28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.

Finally, consider the key message of the early church and how the Gospel spread. The Book of Acts, which chronicled the early church, doesn’t mention the word “love” one time. It does have a consistent message of “repent and believe,” and uses reason and signs and wonders to convince people of the truth of the Gospel.  It is all the same God, from beginning to end.  Perfect justice, mercy, wrath and love.

How pro-life apologetics–and a little common sense–could have swayed the elections

I’m re-running this in honor of Rand Paul turning the tables on the Left and asking if they are OK with killing a 7 lb. baby in the womb.  I much prefer Cruz or Walker over Paul, but it was a great answer.  We need more of that!  

Also see Turning rocks into softballs where I offer some other tips on how to respond to the questions about rape, incest or abortions in general.  

We need to be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves!

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A few gaffes – most notably by candidates Akin and Mourdock – cost the Republicans two Senate seats and possibly the White House.  But with just a little common sense and some simple pro-life arguments they could have easily turned this to our advantage.  Romney and others could have done the same thing whether the specific rape/abortion questions came up or not.

The errors resulted when the candidates tried to articulate theological concepts that can’t be distilled into sound bites and that are virtually certain to be misinterpreted by the media and voters.  If you are running for office you should be skilled at knowing what hot topic questions you’ll get and how to steer the answers to your advantage.

So when the topic of abortions in the case of rape and incest came up, they didn’t need to get theological.  They could have noted any or all of the following.  Consider how simple yet accurate these arguments are and how they would resonate with the average voter – even pro-choice voters, the majority of whom side with pro-lifers on topics like parental notification, late-term abortions and taxpayer funding of abortions.

  • Rape is an incredibly serious crime and I support punishing it to the full extent of the law.
  • Incest, in this case, isn’t about 30-something siblings who are attracted to each other, it is about innocent young girls being abused by relatives.  That means it is rape.  Here’s a perfect example.
  • Statutory rape is rape, and the most rampant kind in our society.  Planned Parenthood has been caught countless times on audio and video systematically hiding statutory rape.  If elected, I will not only fight to stop their Federal funding but I would work tirelessly to hold them accountable for their crimes of hiding these rapes. If a 28 yr. old guy is statutorily raping your 13 yr. old daughter or granddaughter then Planned Parenthood will be glad to destroy the evidence and hide the crime – funded by your tax dollars!  They have also been caught hiding sex traffickers, and the opposition to sex trafficking is one of the few issues where Democrats and Republicans have common ground.   Surely we can all agree that we don’t want our tax dollars to fund organizations that hide that crime!
  • If you want to entertain capital punishment for the rapist then we could debate that, but why would the innocent child have to suffer for the father’s crimes?  It is a scientific fact that the unborn are unique human beings from fertilization.  Go check out any embryology textbook.  Let’s put the focus on punishing the guilty rapists and those who hide their crimes.
  • If you want to understand the theology about God’s sovereignty I’d be glad to share it with you, but that is beyond the scope of this debate and would take some time to explain.  But you don’t have to be a theologian to know that rape is evil and hiding the crimes of rapists is evil.
  • Roe v Wade won’t be overturned and even if it was it wouldn’t make abortion illegal — it would just turn it over to the states.
  • Remember that the official platform of the Democrats is now pro-abortion, not pro-choice.  They want abortions without restriction — which would include partial-birth abortions (aka infanticide) — and they want pro-lifers to fund them with their taxes.  That means Democrats want more abortions, not less, and they want others to pay for them.  Obamacare is already forcing people to pay for some abortions, and it is deliberately violating religious freedoms and conscience clauses.

They could also respond by asking some of the questions the media never asks pro-abortion candidates:

1. You say you support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices in regards to abortion and contraception. Are there any restrictions you wouldapprove of?

2. In 2010, The Economist featured a cover storyon “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world – abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?

3. In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notification regarding abortion access for minors?

4. If you do not believe that human life begins at conception, when do you believe it begins? At what stage of development should an unborn child have human rights?

5. Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement a century ago – the slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem “unfit” to live?

6. Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and contraception to employees?

7. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for 59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of minorities?

8. You describe abortion as a “tragic choice.” If abortion is not morally objectionable, then why is it tragic? Does this mean there is something about abortion that is different than other standard surgical procedures?

9. Do you believe abortion should be legal once the unborn fetus is viable – able to survive outside the womb?

10. If a pregnant woman and her unborn child are murdered, do you believe the criminal should face two counts of murder and serve a harsher sentence?

How hard would that be?  Instead, Akin, Mourdock et al answered foolishly and cost us Senate seats and possibly the presidency, and they missed an easy opportunity to educate people on the most important moral issue of our time.

Please equip yourself with basic pro-life reasoning and be prepared to share it.