Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
The KJV Is The Better Translation.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
I stand by that...
I mentioned a few days ago that the main reason I changed the title of the blog was the King James Version and my support of it. I also mentioned that I wasn't a KJV-only type like Jack Hyles and Peter Ruckman. This post will clarify why I support the KJV, and why I don't think much of other English translations of the Bible.The KJV is the better English translation because:-It is the only literal translation based totally on the Majority Texts.
The Majority Texts, or Received Texts, are just that, the largest collection of biblical manuscripts. Most other translations base themselves on the Alexandrian Texts which are few in number, and are filled with deletions, additions and amendments when compared to the Majority Texts, and even, when compared with each other. So why do some regard these Minority Texts favorably? Because they are older. The rationale is this: if it is older, then it is closer to the writing of the original manuscript, therefore, it is most likely more accurate.
I say: nonsense!
The Bible tells us:"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the WORD OF GOD, WHICH LIVETH AND ABIDETH FOR EVER. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOR EVER. And this is the WORD which by the GOSPEL is preached unto you." (1 Peter 1:23-25)
God did NOT preserve His Word by keeping it in one location for hundreds of years while the church carried on with a sub-par Scripture. God preserved His Word by keeping the majority of the copies of the original manuscripts, held by various churches, free from error. And where an error did occur, the comparison between the individual manuscripts which composed the Majority Texts would easily correct the error.-the KJV is far more translation, and far less interpretation when compared to other translations.
Concepts like "dynamic equivalency" makes me squirm when applied to Bible translation. You see, I believe that the "words" of the Bible are just as important as the concepts/ideas they form. Whenever possible, Greek and Hebrew words in the biblical manuscripts should be translated word for word. When this isn't done, the INTERPRETER (no longer translator) is taking liberty. A clear example of INTERPRETATION versus TRANSLATION:
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." (Galatians 2:16, KJV translation)
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." (Galatians 2:16, NKJV interpretation)
Did you find it? "Faith of Jesus Christ" and "faith in Jesus Christ". The literal translation is "of", not "in". Galatians 2:16 isn't only saying that we are justified by faith IN Christ, but that the faith is OF Christ. Now the NKJV is supposed to use the Majority Texts only, just like the KJV, but you see, the men who "translated" the NKJV slipped in some "interpretation" as well. And to be quite frank my friends, when you look at some of the characters that were involved in putting Bibles like the NKJV, the NIV and the RSV together, I'm not too inclined to take their INTERPRETATIONS of Bible passages too seriously. Which leads me to my next point...-the translation wasn't based on the "logic" or "system" of man (or modern textual criticism):
The KJV bible translators weren't all Christians, but when considering the method by which they translated, it really didn't matter. Men like Erasmus didn't set up their own set of criteria to judge which parts of Scripture were inspired and which part wasn't. They just went along with the rule of "majority wins" (or preservation wins!).
The modern versions, on the other hand, are usually translated by a group of unbelievers, who place themselves in the position of determining which parts of Scripture is inspired, maybe-inspired, or not inspired. For those of you who use the NIV or RSV (or worst yet, the NRSV), this is where you see italics or parenthesis in some portions of your Bibles, followed by words like: "not found in 'best' manuscripts". This is an attack on the Preservation of Scripture and I want no part of it.-the slope is SERIOUSLY slippery:
We have evangelical churches today with "The Message" in their pew racks. "The Message", for those of you who are not aware of this version, is one little step higher in credibility than "the Bible: Comic book style"; this "Bible" is a complete interpretation into contemporary English. An extremely poor one at that.
So how did it get into the pews of an evangelical church?
Easy. You see Joe Bob had a son, Billy Bob, who is just starting to read. Joe Bob decides to make life easier on Billy Bob and gets him a New King James version of the Bible for church. Joe Bob figures when Billy Bob gets the hang of reading, he'll switch to the good, dependable King James version.
But, you see, Billy Bob never leaves the NKJV. And when Billy Bob has children of his own, he figures he'll make life easier on his daughter Dixie by getting her an NIV to bring to church. He, like his father Joe Bob, figures that with time, Dixie will come to use her father's version, the NKJV.
But again, you see, Dixie never leaves the NIV. And when Dixie has children of her own, she figures she'll make life easier on her children by getting them "The Message" to bring to church. And before you know it my friends, churches have "The Message" in their church pews. The part that creeps me out: what will come after "The Message"? (Rand shudders here).-the most godly and faithful men I know use the KJV.
I can hear some of you through cyberspace right now. "Fallacy!" is what you are yelling. Well tough! I have trouble believing that the fact Romanists hate the KJV and the solid Bible fundamentalists love it is all purely coincidental. My parents taught me at a young age that:
"Ce qui se ressemble, s'assemble."
That's French for those who are alike, stick with each other. I have found that statement to be quite factual in my experience. And what I have observed is the more fundamental the Christian, the closer to the KJV he/she usually is.-if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
I work in the field of science. We use alot of sophisticated, yet temperamental, lab instrumentation, and if there is anything I learned, it's "if it works, don't touch!" The reason? Simple. When you touch, you can brake. So don't bother.
We have a good, faithfully translated English Bible version, the King James version. Why go down the path of splitting the church with NIV-users, RSV-users, NKJV-users...etc...etc? The KJV with it's "Thees" and "Thous" may be a mouth full sometimes, but it is not difficult to get passed the language. I should know, I'm a francophone. French is my first language, English my second. I had never seen old English until I was saved at the age of 12. One year in the church and I had the KJV language down pat.
On this point, let me add this: if they actually translated a Bible that was totally based on the Majority Texts, translated literally, minus the "Thees" and "Thous", I would have no problem switching. That being said, in these dark, wicked times, I just can't see such a faithful work being done.
This post is long enough, and I think there is enough here to get an honest soul thinking. If you want more information on all this, check out this short article
on the Baptist Bible Translators
website. It isn't a thorough work, but it will give you a bit more than what I posted here.
Now please, I know this is a divisive subject, so before commenting, take time to think. And after pondering on the matter, please be gracious and kind in your comments. Remember the TOU
Take care, and God bless,
I would like to point out numerous fallacies and double standards in your King James Only position.
1. The KJV is not based only on the majority texts. It is based on a Greek Text, the Textus Receptus, which is a unique text. The TR is not the Majority text. Sometimes it reads like the Roman Catholic Vulgate in Latin.
2. You basically assume that God has preserved his Word in only one English translation based on one unique text. And that a 17th century Anglican work. WHERE was this text in 1610? If God inspired each translation leading up to the AV1611, then why do youhave no evidence of that text prior to 1611? Where was his word then? Why allow variants in the mansucript tradition?
3. You use a double standard when you say that the AV was done by some unbelievers but "it didn't really matter". then you criticise modern versions which you claim does matter if they are not Christians. That's totally arbitrary. Actually, Erasmus and the KJV translators DID use methods that are similar to modern methods. They had to make textual choices. It was not only a question of "majority wins".
4. You ignore the fact that the KJV originally had the Apocrypha and many side notes with alternate readings. If you reject that in modern bibles, why not the KJV???
5. You ignore instances of less than literal translation in the KJV, or inferior translation and errors.
6. Basically, while you claim not to be like Ruckman, KJOism is a fundamentlaist man-made tradition, and as such it is only a matter of degrees between you and someone like ruckman. KJonlyism is not historical or scholaraly, nor is it biblically sound, it is conspiracy thinking, and a denial of reality, which is DECEPTION, not FAITH.
I can give examples of these things later if you wish. But I simply say that if one brother in Christ is going to attack otherwise good versions, and put my conscience under the use of an Anglican bible, then I think your claims need to be addressed because Scripture tells me to "test all things, hold to that which is good".
Answer to (1): Double-talk. While I admit the wording in my post could have been a lot better, the KJV is based on the Majority Texts because the Textus Receptus is based of the Majority Texts. Saying “it reads like the R.C. vulgate” is a serious exaggeration.
Answer to (2): No, that’s what Peter Ruckman believes, not what Rand believes. Read the post and comment on what’s there, not what you think should be there. The Majority Texts were the preserved Word of God. So, no big historical dilemma here.
Answer to (3): Can you give me a clear example as to how, exactly the “textual criticism” of the KJV translators were like modern textual criticism. While I agree, choices were made, I sincerely doubt the choices were made the same way.
Answer to (4): What a strange comment. I don’t care whether the Apocrypha was there or not. Really, I don’t. The only thing I care about is this: was it translated accurately, and was it translated from the correct texts.
Answer to (5): Perhaps in this post, no such mention is made (it really wasn’t the goal of this post), but anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I do acknowledge “the less than literal translations of the KJV”.
Answer to (6): And I really don’t understand why in the world you would spend so much time writing to someone you basically think is either stupid or a liar. I wrote that I was nothing like Ruckman, and I stand by it. The KJV isn’t the infallible, inerrant, pristine perfect version of the Word of God. Dear me! It doesn’t even translate Hades/Sheol and Hell properly!
My own parting shot: this post was left here as “Anonymous”, but I have a couple of guesses as to who it may be. In both cases, the souls in question are unstable as water; definitely not souls who are well equipped to be playing “preacher” on the internet. I will also point out that the above comment is like an echo from Alpha & Omega ministries. Like an echo, it lacks the strength of the original voice. One can parrot anti-KJO to Ruckman-wanna-bes all he/she wants, but to do it here is foolish. There are no Ruckmanites here.
Ps: the whole "Anglican Bible" thing was cute... though a bit juvenile.
The KJV is an Anglican based bible translation, mainly involving the Puritans of England, so if you think I'm being juvenile, well, I'm just staing facts.
Ok, let's bring it down to this...Can I still get all the essential Christian truth from the NKJV, NIV, NASB and ESV as I can from the KJV?
In other words, Does reading/exegeting a good, literal modern version of the Bible in English actually result in a Christian faith that is substantively different than if you got it from the KJV? Do we lose the Deity of Christ or the literal bodily resurrection or such a thing if we read a modern bible?
Let me know if that happens.
Finally, whoever you think I am, I'm assuredly solid in what I believe, and seek to live consistenly with the Faith. That's all you need to know for this purpose.
God bless, and hope to read your reply.
Time to put this nonsense to rest...
To quote my pastor:
"I don't think we'd have to go too far to find an NIV reader that is more holy than us."
Now there's a Ruckman quote for ya!
Ps: this ends our e-correspondance. You want to know what we're really about (instead of what others tell you we're about), well, you know where to find us.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, February 26, 2005
I'm afraid the boat is empty...
Just got back from 3 hours of street preaching. Now...I'm tired. It's been a very busy work week, so a few hours of evangelism really sapped the remaining energy I had.
Before going to bed though, I wanted to relay something my pastor mentioned in his prayer tonight just prior to us going out for evangelism. He prayed that the Lord would fill our boats as He filled Peter's boat. He was of course referring to Luke 5:1-7:"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink."
You know, Peter probably dropped his nets in the water the exact same way he had the night before. He probably fished the exact area all night and caught NOTHING! But when the Lord got involved, Simon's nets couldn't contain all the fish he had caught.
Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9b). When we go preaching, we are out fishing for men (Luke 5:10). If we catch much, little, or whether we toil all night only to catch NOTHING, it is the Lord's will. It is a comforting thought to know that our God is Sovereign, and that he does all his pleasure (Isaiah 46:10).
Oh yeah, I did have a little fun tonight on our street corner. The other side of the street from where we preach is a "no stop" zone. People often park there anyway to go to bars and pubs, some thinking they'll get away with it, others just don't notice the sign. Well, the by-law officer came by tonight, and gave out tickets to 4 cars. One by one, the owners returned and when they picked up their tickets I shouted:
"You got a ticket my friend because you parked in a "no stop" zone. You see the sign over there? You either didn't pay attention or you saw it and disregarded it. Now you'll have to pay a penalty for your transgression."
And then I put forward my John 3:36 gospel sign and said:
"Here is another sign you didn't pay attention to, or disregarded. What will it cost you?"Prayer
: Lord God, be glorified by our efforts to fulfill Your Great Commission. Save whom You will, harden whom You will. Sanctify us and help us to wait and hope for Your favour on our city, and indeed, on our country. I praise you, O God, for Your power, majesty, wisdom and for your abundance in grace and mercy. In Christ Jesus' name, my Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
new and improved...I hope...
Well, here it is, Rand's new home in cyberspace.
And yes, I've gone King James Version with the title of my blog. That was actually my primary reason for the whole blog upheaval. You see, I'm one of those "holier than thou" (Rand rolls his eyes here)
KJV readers who really believes that the KJV is the better translation of the Bible, and that the modern versions are, for the most part poor translation. Some I would even qualify as perVERSIONS (hee hee...I love that one!).
My convictions towards Bible versions isn't anything new. I've been a KJV guy for years now. So why did I call my first blog "A Pattern of Sound Words"? It was a mistake...LOL. When came the time to pick a title for my blog, without looking up the verse in 2 Timothy, I chose "A Pattern of Sound Words" thinking that it was the KJV. A few months later, my pastor asked me why I used the New King James Version for my blog's title. My answer: Doh!!! You see, I used to use the NKJV (still do occasionally during my studies), so I guess "pattern" got stuck in my head and "form" did not.
I know what some of you are thinking: "pattern", "form", what's the difference in the end? There is no difference. Both translations are accurate and good. So why the big switch over something that is of no consequence? Because I want to make my support of the KJV absolutely clear, and I thought that a guy who loves the KJV shouldn't have a website that has a title that is from the NKJV.
Why I prefer the KJV is an important topic that I hope to address in the next few days so stay tuned...(Now just to be clear: I am not a Ruckmanite. That is, I am not a KJV-only as in: "if you're not saved KJV, you're not saved at all!" I am KJV-only as in: "I only use the KJV for my devotions and for church services/Sunday school." So don't throw me in with people like Ruckman, Hyles, and Riplinger.)
A Heart for the Lost - Part IV
Thursday, February 17, 2005
the conclusion of the matter...
The parting shot for this series on having "a heart for the lost" is this: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Now I don't know most of the Christians who come to my blog, but I'll bet most of you do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when it comes to mass evangelism. If you feel bad right now, that's a good thing. It's a good thing because that at least means that the Holy Ghost is convicting you of something you should be doing. If you have read these 4 last posts and don't feel at all bad about not taking part in mass evangelism, well, what can I say other than: that's pretty pathetic.
Let me echo the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:9-13, and allow me to edit the verses to my particular situation:"For I think that God hath set forth us the evangelists last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."
Now I praise God that, unlike Paul, I have never gone without food, clothes or shelter, but there is no question we've been buffeted, reviled and persecuted. And what have you gone through for the sake of the Gospel?
You know, there are thousands of born-again believers in my city. THOUSANDS! There are 3-7 men who do open-air evangelism. By my estimation, that's about 0.1-0.3%.
Consider the Philadelphia 11
. Now I have been told that there was actually 20 of them out there with Gospel signs at the homosexual parade. So let's go with 20. How many born-again believers are in Philadelphia? WHERE ARE THEY ALL??? Their Christian brothers are standing for the Truth against the vilest of sexual sins, and are being taken to the courts for it, and Christian Joe Average goes home from work at night, gets word of what is going on, shakes his head in disappointment, and then sits in front of a re-run of Seinfeld.
Christian brothers and sisters, I don't want to guilt trip you into action. I'm appealing to your sense of compassion, solidarity and duty. We need you with us. WE REALLY DO! Every Friday night, it's me and two other men on one side, and the WORLD on the other. Now don't get me wrong, my faith is strong, I know that with God, one man can do incredible things (just look at Jonah's preaching to the Ninevites), but friends, why not comfort your brothers and sisters who evangelize in spiritual dry times.
In closing, I beg you, don't hide behind passages like 1 Corinthians 12. Don't say you don't have the gift for evangelism. The Great Commission is an unqualified statement. Christ did not say: those of you who have the gift, preach the Gospel. We are ALL to take part in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Do I believe some have a spiritual gift from God that makes them especially proficient in evangelism? You bet I do! I go preaching with such a man every Friday. Does that mean that he should be the only one street preaching. NO WAY! I assure you, I have no "natural" talent for street preaching, but after 5 years, I've become better and better at it, and the Lord has blessed me.
So what will it be my friends? Will you continue neglecting your responsibilities to the lost? Or will you develop a heart for the lost?
Labels: Evangelism, Heart for the Lost
A Heart for the Lost - Part III
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
time to get to work on one...
I became a street preacher out of a sense of duty, that's the plain truth. I didn't care about the people I preached to, I just cared about supporting my pastor in a difficult ministry. It took two years for me to learn a series of biblical doctrines/concepts that cause me to not only realize the importance of mass evangelism in all people who call themselves Christians, but to do it with compassion and zeal.
Here are some of the Bible doctrines/concepts in question:1- God COMMANDS us to evangelize:
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20)
Preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to family and friends only? Uh...no. We are to preach to "every creature"!
With this point alone, Christians who don't evangelize are without excuse. God could not have put it any clearer. If you are born-again, you should be bringing the Gospel to the lost; it's called obedience to the Word of God my friends.2- Obedience to the Great Commission is an act of love/affection to Christ.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
The Great Commission is a commandment. Do you love God enough to present the Gospel to "all creatures"?3- For the most part, the Gospel of Christ is NOT popular (get used to it!):"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to DESTRUCTION, and MANY there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto LIFE, and FEW there be that find it." (Matthew 7:13-14)
If you, through evangelism, expect to save the world, YOU ARE HEADED FOR ONE HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. The Lord hasn't willed to save "the world", He has made clear that "few" will have eternal life. The Lord could bless you by bringing a revival in your part of the world, and you may indeed bring many to a saving knowledge of Christ, but even in the greatest revivals of the past, the number of unbelievers usually remained higher than the number of saints.4- Preaching the Gospel brings persecution (I can personally guarantee this one):
I often have believers, who know I'm a street evangelist, relay to me stories of how they brought the "gospel" to their community and how wonderfully it was received. Following such a testimony, the question I immediately ask is: "so, the people repented?" If the answer is "yes", then praise God! If the answer is "no", then they weren't bringing the Gospel.
There are all sorts of gimmicks out there used by "Christians" that attempt to make the Gospel of Christ more palatable to the ungodly. You know what I mean: gimmicks like giving gifts/services to unbelievers as an "in" to bring the Gospel (isn't that deception? And yes, I was guilty of this with my "coffee ministry"); gimmicks like only using "sweetheart" bible verses when preaching to the lost; gimmicks like using wordliness
to make the Gospel cool. These gimmicks are heresies, and these "Christians" are fools. The Bible says:"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. " (John 15:18-21)"For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: to the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?" (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
The Bible makes it clear, if they persecuted the Lord Jesus because of His preaching, persecution will come to us who follow and preach His teachings. If the world approves your preaching, then you are not preaching the Truth.5- God will save:
"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Corinthians 1:21)"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:13-15)"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
What a blessing! You see it doesn't matter if you devote your whole life to evangelism without seeing one soul repent. Why? Because it is God who saves. How does He save? Through the preaching of His Word. Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9b), not of you, and not of "you + the Lord". Let me be clear here: If you preached the Gospel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you wouldn't win over the soul of one single sinner that the Lord had not predestined to salvation."And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he SHALL save HIS PEOPLE from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)
So if the amount of evangelism, or devotion to evangelism, doesn't influence who goes to Heaven or not, why do it? Go back to point (1) and (2). Do you love God? Well, if you love Him, you'll obey Him; and through obedience to evangelism, the Lord may bless you in using you to bring other souls into the kingdom.6- Remember how you came to know Christ:
If you are still wondering how to have a "heart for the lost", consider these verses:"And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?" (Zechariah 3:1-2)"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1)
You see, you were lost once too. And the Lord surely used someone, or a group of people, to bring you the Truth of the Gospel. I'm sure you are thankful to these souls, and thankful that the Lord used this person (or group) to bring you into the Kingdom of His Dear Son.
Don't you think it would be good for you, now saved, to be a blessing to someone who doesn't know Christ?(to be continued...)
Labels: Evangelism, Heart for the Lost
A Heart for the Lost - Part II
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
you really need one...
It was three years later. A lot had happened. I had gotten married. My wife and I had moved to another city only to return a short time later. Spiritually, I had become convinced of the Doctrines of Grace and Ecclesiastical Separation, but my problem with evangelism remained.
Then, one night, the Spirit got involved. My wife and I were walking towards our car after having a good dinner at a Thai restaurant. We walked past the home of a pastor I knew who just happened to be a street evangelist. As we were walking by, I saw the pastor coming out of his house with a couple of gospel signs in one hand, and a small amplifier in the other. He looked quite uncomfortable.
"Hello Pastor", I called.
"Hello Rand, nice to see you again", he replied.
"Going out preaching tonight?" I, stupidly, enquired.
"Yep, going fishing for men!", he answered with a smile.
I smiled back, wished him well, and my wife and I started for the car again. And that's exactly when the Spirit got to work. You see, I would have been fine if I had just kept my eyes on my parked car, but you see, I turned around and looked at the pastor walking away.
There is NO WAY I can accurately described what I saw and the feeling that entered my heart as I watched my pastor-friend walking, with both hands full, towards the most wicked part of town on a Friday night. He was alone, he was going to bring the Gospel to a group of people who hated God, and me? I was going to my warm home, to have a relaxing night in with my wife. I couldn't stand it.
I stopped, looked at my wife and said:
"I can't do this, baby. I got to give him a hand."
"You really want to do this?", my wife enquired excitedly.
"No...but I still have to do it," I muttered uncomfortably.
I then yelled out to the pastor and offered to help him carry his signs. He gladly accepted my offer, and we all walked to the marketplace together.
THE NERVES!!! OH! THE NERVES!!! Everyone was looking at me. Some mocked and some cursed, but I wasn't looking to the right, or to the left, I was going to help my friend IF IT KILLED ME! Once we arrived at a street corner of the market, my pastor set his amplifier down, gave me some gospel literature to pass around while he preached the Gospel. I was sweating like Niagara Falls, and my trembling scored a 7.0 on the Richter scale, but I toughed it out.
Now you may think: "oh! that's how he developed a heart for the lost!" Let me assure you, you are WAY OFF! You see, on that particular night, I wasn't in the marketplace out of compassion for the unbelievers that were around me (to be totally honest...I pretty much loathed 99% of them), I was there to support and stand with my friend.
So how DID I come to be a street preacher? How DID I come to have compassion of the lost? Stay tuned...part III is coming up...
Labels: Evangelism, Heart for the Lost
A Heart for the Lost
Monday, February 14, 2005
do you have one???
Compassion for those who are without Christ didn't come easy to me. My attitude, like way too many Christians today, was to be a witness to the people in my immediate surroundings, as in family, friends and neighbours, and that's it! I would wait for opportune times to mention something about the Faith, knowing that, at worst they would respectfully reject what I proposed, at best they would receive my testimony. Then I joined a church that had a MAJOR emphasis on missionary work."And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19)
These verses, known as the "Great Commision", were posted everywhere in the church, and they had an impact on me. I realized that the Great Commission was an unqualified statement directed at all believers...and that included me. I also realized that just bringing the Gospel to the people around me was not the Great Commission; it was more like the "little endeavour".
So I started looking for ways to reach my community with the Word of God. I quickly dismissed any kind of direct mass evangelism, because I was WAY TO SCARED! I figured: anyone as petrified of public speaking as I was, just didn't have the "gift" for that kind of thing. I therefore opted to start a "coffee ministry". Two or three times a week, I would prepare a few thermos of coffee, and would bring the hot drink to street people on cold winter nights. I took the opportunity to get to know the poor souls and would attempt to reach them with the Gospel.
It was a good experience, but there was a problem: none of these guys wanted anything to do with the Gospel. So many Christian groups are involved with street people, that I found myself being the 1,003,349 person to try to reach them with the Gospel of Christ. I quickly realized that I most likely wasn't going to see a lot of people come to a saving knowledge of the Truth through my ministry.
That was a big problem for me. All this was going on before I came to an understanding of the Doctrines of Grace
, so I actually believed that if I presented the Gospel right, if I reached out with enough "heart", then I would see many come to salvation. Well, I was going out several times a week, pleading the cause of Christ, and...well...nothing.
After a couple of years, I was really getting depressed over the whole situation, so, I gave up. I went back to my original position on evangelism, and there I stayed for about 3 years.To be continued...
Labels: Evangelism, Heart for the Lost
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Went fishing...for men...
Well, another cold Friday night of street preaching in the bag. We preached for 3 hours, bringing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ through open-air preaching, Gospel literature and Gospel signs. My pastor and I were out tonight, and a pleasant surprise, one of our Lord's Day "regulars" came out with us for the first time tonight. He carried the Romans 6:23 sign around a distributed Gospel tracts. It was nice to have another man with us tonight; there is comfort in numbers.
Nothing really noteworthy took place though. There was plenty of mockers and hearts that were pretty hard against the Gospel, but the Lord kept us safe, and He made sure we spread His Word around downtown. It's a bit depressing seeing all those people reject the Gospel, but all I can do is preach the message, and wait to see what the Lord will do."It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD." (Lamentations 3:26)
Well, it's late, and it's been a busy day. Time for bed.
Good night, dear readers,
Part IV: Are you saved?
Friday, February 11, 2005
Are you one of God's children?
This is by far the most important question you can ask yourself. Did Christ save you from your sin? Or in different terms, are you born-again? You may have heard the term "born again Christian" before, but do you know what it means? Is it a reality in your life?"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." (John 3:7)
You see, from these verses, that if you are planning on Heaven, being "born again" is NOT AN OPTION. Remember, in Part II, when I mentioned that we were sinners by birth, well that is why the Lord requires a Second Birth. You see, when you were born physically (from your mother), you were born under the condemnation of sin, you were therefore "spiritually dead". When a person is "born again", he is born spiritually!"And you hath he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1)"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:13)
So how does a person become "born again"? How does a person get saved?"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)"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19)"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
First thing you have to understand from these verses is that salvation isn't attained by any kind of work. You can't DO anything to save your soul. It is a gracious gift of God. Secondly, a person who truly desires to be saved understands he/she must "repent". Repentance means "changing your mind", more specifically, changing your mind about sin. A person who wants to continue sinning their way through life, doesn't want to be "saved". Thirdly, it is by faith, by believing in Christ that people are saved. Now this faith isn't just believing that there was or is a Jesus out there; even demons believe that there is a Jesus out there. No, no, believing here is more like saying: "I believe in you". Get it? When you tell a friend that you believe in him/her, you are not telling them that you believe that he/she exists, you are saying that you have faith in them, that you trust him/her. That's how you must come to trust Christ, both as Saviour and as Lord. But..."How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?" (Romans 10:14a)
In order to have faith in Christ, you have to know Him. Logical right? And if you want to know him, you'll have to..."Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near" (Isaiah 55:6)"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
That's right, if you want to know the Lord, you'll have to seek Him. Now in this church age, God doesn't physically appear to any person. So where do you seek him? Easy..."How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation" (Isaiah 52:7a)"But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:31)"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17)
The Bible my friends! Reading and hearing the preaching of the Word of God is how a man or a woman, today, can seek God. The Bible is the means by which we can know who God is, and what He requires of His children. The testimony of the Bible is what God uses to save His people from their sin.
So the conclusion of the matter, dear readers: do you know the Lord Jesus Christ (the Christ of the Bible, not some false concept of Jesus you may have learned from a false religion or philosophy)? Are you born again? Are you leading a HOLY, GOD-HONORING LIFE (in this life). Are you sure you are going to God's HOLY Heaven when this life comes to an end, to glorify God forever? Remember, there is NO PURGATORY. It's Heaven or it's the Lake of Fire: either the Son of God has saved you and you are going to Heaven, or the Lord Jesus Christ hasn't saved you, meaning you will suffer for your own sin in Hell forever.
If the answers to the questions above are "no" or "I'm not sure", don't waste your time. Seek God while you can! You don't know how long God will give you life, you don't know when Christ will return to judge the Earth in righteousness. Wipe the dust of your Bibles! Find and go to a Bible believing, Bible preaching church! Whatever you do, SEEK THE LORD!
Don't harden your hearts, friends. Don't put it off for a later time (a later time may never come). Take these posts SERIOUSLY, what you decide to do with all this will determine your spiritual destiny for this life, AND THE ONE TO COME."Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians 6:7)
Part III: The Gospel
Thursday, February 10, 2005
the greatest story ever told...Gospel
: a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, and meaning "God's spell", i.e., word of God, or rather, according to others, "good spell", i.e., good news.
What is this "good news"?"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Timothy 1:15)
How about that for "good news"! The problem I mentioned in my last post...you know...about you being a wicked, vile, wretched, totally depraved sinner...well, problem solved! Jesus came to save sinners.
Approximately two thousand years ago, the Son of God was born into this world, he lived 33 years, the last three years being in full time ministry, and at the end of this time, by wicked hands, He was crucified. What does that have to do with Christ saving sinners? Everything!"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)"For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a)
Death, both physical and spiritual, is the chief consequence of sin. Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, so they were put under the curse of sin, which is death. All of us, as their descendants, are in the exact same boat. I know, we've covered this...but ask yourself: why did Christ die? The Bible is clear that the Lord Jesus Christ was without sin:"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." (Hebrews 4:15)
So why did He die?"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many" (Hebrews 9:28a)"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust" (1 Peter 3:18a)
This is Christ's substitutionary sacrifice. The word says it, Christ died as a SUBSTITUTE on the cross of Calvary. Christ took the sins of every one of God's people upon Himself, and suffered the wrath of God in their stead. These "saved" people are therefore clear of all condemnation, the price has been paid."Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:9)"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1a)
So there you have it, some GOOD NEWS! Christ has come to save sinners!
Only one question now...(to be continued)
Part II: You're a wicked, vile, ungodly, totally depraved sinner!
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Yes...yes you are...
And that, in a nutshell, is your problem.
You may think you're a good person. You're friends may think you're a good person. But sadly, God doesn't agree. In His Bible, God tells us the following facts:"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3: 10-18)"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8)
Even when you do things that are good in your eyes, or in other people's eyes, this is how God sees it:"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)
Why does God see you this way? Because He is holy. Not just a little holy, he is completely holy. And our God could not be perfectly holy if he accepted any measure of sin in His presence."Thou God art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity" (Habakuk 1: 13a)
Now this is where things get nasty: YOUR SIN SEPERATES YOU FROM GOD NOW, AND IT WILL SEPERATE YOU FROM GOD FOREVER. No amount of time will get you off the hook. If, at the end of your life, you stand before the Living God guilty of ONE, SOME or MANY sins, God will NOT receive you. Your soul will be cast to the Lake of Fire, and there it will remain forever.
You don't believe it? Check out what the Bible says:"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
Now as far as problems go, you have to admit, this is a somewhat large problem. Before you ever had the chance to consider your spiritual end point, you were toast. You are a sinner by choice, you are a sinner by birth. Yes, by birth. All of us are born into this world spiritually dead sinners. Again, the Bible says:"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psalm 51:5)"Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were BY NATURE the children of wrath, even as others." (Ephesians 2:3)
Why were you born a sinner? Blame your great-great-great-great...grand-parents, Adam and Eve. They took of the forbidden fruit and because of this, became sinners. And sadly, when two sinners come together and have children, they have children who are sinners."Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12)
Not exactly an uplifting post huh? Basically, the summary of it all is we are born bad, we love to be bad, and we're going to spiritual condemnation because we are bad. It would be cause for us to adopt the philosophy of "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die", but God in His infinite love, grace and mercy has given a great gift to the world.
This gift is...(to be continued...)
Part I: Eternity
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
where will you go?
There is life after death. The Bible makes that abundantly clear. Our own conscience makes that abundantly clear. From the most spiritual of souls to the hardest character; all of us know that life does not completely end at the grave.
So what happens?
As most of you know, the Bible speaks of two places where souls spend eternity, Heaven and Hell. Some of you will ask:
-What about Purgatory?
There is no Purgatory. It is, among others, a Roman Catholic means of extortion (pay the romanist priest, and he'll speed up the time your loved one has to spend in Purgatory...quite a lucrative business I tell ya!). The only support you will find for the concept of Purgatory is in pagan literature, or in the apocryphal book called 2 Maccabees, which has been rejected by both Old Testament Jews and New Testament Christians as non-canon for clear theological, geographical and historical errors. We will also see later how the very concept of Purgatory is a contradiction with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So the only two options are Heaven and Hell.
Heaven is the holy kingdom of God. It is where God is manifested 'in particular'. It is where His holy angels worship him night and day. It is where God's people glorify, praise and enjoy their God forever. IT IS NOT A "WALT DISNEY WORLD" IN THE SKIES! Consider the following Bible verses:"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne." (Revelation 4: 1-2)"And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Revelation 4: 8-11)"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." (Revelation 7:9-17)
Hell is a literal Lake of Fire where the Devil, his demonic hosts and those who serve them will suffer God's wrath forever. It is described as a dark terrible place filled with anguish and torment. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE: the Devil does NOT rule or take any kind of pleasure in Hell. He is punished and tormented there. Consider the following Bible verses:"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10)"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:12-15)
Now before considering which of these two eternal places you want to spend your eternity in, you need to realize something. You see, you have a problem. A very serious problem.
The problem is...(to be continued)
Monday, February 07, 2005
for all you who are without it...
The theme of salvation is everywhere in the Bible. One can hardly read any section of Scripture without seeing the word, or at least, having the concept implied. Yet sadly, in these dark spiritual times in Canada, most of my compatriots have no idea what salvation is. The cause? Quite simple. Most Canadians have Bibles in their homes, but sadly, it finds itself being nothing more than a dust collector on a shelf, or a drawer.
It is therefore my intention, this week, to bring the Gospel message to all you unbelievers who log on to "A Pattern of Sound Words
". The Bible is by far the best source of information on salvation:"These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:31)
But if you will not go to the Bible for the Gospel (Good News), my friends, I will be bringing the Gospel to you this week. So stay tuned! I hope to have the first part of my Gospel message ready for tomorrow.
With that, have a good day dear friends,
Angels - part II
Sunday, February 06, 2005
Remember them...they're around...
I agree with both comments made by Joe, and Michael, but probably with Michael in particular. Though I admit that there is a lot on the subject of angels that isn't 100% clear in Scripture, I believe that biblical Christianity, for the most part, ignore the angelic host and their ministries both in Heaven and on Earth. Personally, I believe it is a mistake to ignore these beings, they have much to do in our lives, and I believe we can keep them in mind without turning "new agee" or making idols of them.
Consider the Scriptures:"But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:13-14)
Angels serve God's elect! This verse seems to make clear, Christians have guardian angels."For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels." (1 Corinthians 11:10)
Ah yes! the touchy subject of head coverings. The context of 1 Corinthians 11 is the proper conduct of men and women in the church service. The passage makes it clear that a man is not to have his head covered, and the woman is to have her head covered. The main reason for this prescription: "because of the angels". You see, we read in verse 3: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." The angels are there in our church meetings looking into our worship, seeing our faithfulness in biblical principles, or our ignorance in the affairs of faith.
BTW, that's is why my wife wears a head covering a church."Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Peter 1:10-12)
Angels study us. More specifically, God's working in us. Remembering that this is taking place, brothers and sisters, should we not live more holy?"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." (Hebrews 13:2)
Combining this verse to the various portions of Scripture in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation speaking of the manifold work of angels, I believe that there are angels in the world today; yes, in human form. I very much doubt any believer will ever learn of the fact he/she has been in the company of an angel, but I'm sure it happens.
Finally, let me be clear: I DON'T THINK CHRISTIANS OUT TO PUT UNDO EMPHASIS ON ANGELS. But turning a blind eye, in my opinion, is a foolish mistake.
Again, my friends, my 0.02$
Saturday, February 05, 2005
no...I'm not going New Age...
On our Wednesday evening service, we have been working through a theology book which covers all the major doctrines of the Bible. This last couple of weeks, we've been dealing with the doctrine of angels.
Baptists rarely put much thought in angels and how they minister to both God and man. Other religious groups are often guilty of putting too much emphasis on angels (ex.: charismatics), and some go right down into idolatry by worshiping them. To be honest, I think all these groups are in the wrong (the idolaters being the worst off, of course).
Let's make this a quick poll (answer some of these, or all of these...whatever you like!):
-How could the church put a proper emphasis on angels?
-What is a proper emphasis?
-Do we have "guardian angels"?
-Are there angels in the world today (in human form)?
Please give Scripture references to your answers.
Thursday, February 03, 2005
sinking lower and lower as time goes on...
Well, it's been tabled, and it will soon pass. Not much of a surprise, with a low level of biblical Christianity in my country, and with the Canadian church's even lower witness and influence, a believer couldn't honestly think that it wouldn't come to pass.
I'm of course referring to homosexual marriage
This has been a long time coming. Just check this timeline
on the CBC website (the CBC by the way being huge supporters of this abomination).
Homosexuality, in the Word of God, has always been associated to the worst types of sin; it has always been associated with the worst, and most perverse of societies. Why? Because it is a prideful rejection of what God has instituted (the gay parade is very well named: PRIDE parade). Consider the Scriptures:-"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24)
Most people read that verse and just shrug thinking it is no more than a cute phrase. I'm afraid it is a whole lot more than that. That verse is a COMMANDMENT. It is theologically charged! First, we learn that a man will cleave unto his WIFE (not wives). We learn that the man will cleave unto a WIFE (not another man). We learn that the two of them (one man, and one woman) become ONE FLESH. That is how God intended mankind to act in manners of romantic/sexual relationships. When a person disregards this commandment, he/she are sinning (sin is a disobedience to God).-"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them." (Genesis 19:4-5)
All of Genesis 19 gives a clear indication of what kind of society comes about when homosexuality flourishes; you end up with a population of perverts. Note the MEN of Sodom compassed Lot's house to "know" the MEN (who were really angels of the Lord). And when you read the chapter, you notice that the men of Sodom weren't going to take "no" for an answer.-"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)
The first DIRECT commandment condemning homosexuality. It is a favorite pass time of homosexuals and their sympathizers to point out that there are dietary laws and laws on vesture in Leviticus that no Christian today observes; their argument is these laws are obsolete. Well, if the prohibition against homosexuality in Leviticus is of no consequence, then beastiality is okay, incest is fine, and so is adultery; all these are prohibited in the EXACT SAME CHAPTER! The fact of the matter is, as any honest student of the Bible knows, there are sections of Leviticus that were specifically for the Levites (hence, Leviticus, or, To The Levites), other sections were civil laws for the nation of Israel, and other sections, like chapter 18 were moral laws applicable to Israel and TO ALL!-"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:14)
Though the application of this verse is no longer relevant (this was a civil law for the nation of Israel), it clearly demonstrates to what extent God hates homosexuality. The penalty was the death penalty! It doesn't get anymore serious.-"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: ho knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (Romans 1:21-32)
And there it is, my country described! What I find particularly interesting in this passage is where homosexuality is placed. Notice, first comes the refusal to "glorify God and be thankful"; then comes foolish philosophies and idolatry (epicurism, romanism, atheism...etc); the next level down is fornication and adultery followed by the worship of self; AND THEN, we have homosexuality followed by the worst possible individual/social attributes like "having no natural affection", being "malicious" and being filled with murder (from homicide to abortions). Another thing to note, lesbianism is specifically condemned in this passage.-"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.(1 Corinthians 6:9)
The Greek word for "effeminate" can be translated as "a man who acts/pretends to be a woman", and "abusers of themselves with mankind" can be translated as "immoral acts between two men". This passage makes it quite clear that God doesn't punish homosexuality in this life, He punishes homosexuals in the Lake of Fire, forever.
There is no doubt, no question: THE GOD OF THE BIBLE CONDEMNS HOMOSEXUALITY.
And it doesn't end there:-"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." (Proverbs 16:5)-"The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." (Psalm 9:17)
That's where Canada is at today. It joins hand in hand with the ungodly and with the perverts, fills it's heart with pride, and has willfully forgotten the Lord! Our liberal politicians call the gay marriage legislation a landmark in social progress and acceptance. And the best our so-called Christian politicians do is object on the grounds it may open the door to other unrecognized unions (like polygamy). What I would do to hear a Christian in my House of Commons stand up and say: "I oppose this legislation because GOD HIMSELF OPPOSES IT!"
But it isn't happening. Why? the most likely answer is that our politicians, like much of the population, are ignorant of the Gospel, and those who know Him, are ashamed of His Word. Well, no point whining endlessly, we'll just have to keep trucking along, supplicating our God to have mercy, and petitioning him for a revival of Truth and Grace. For save the grace of God, our nation will, one day, just like Sodom and Gomorrah, get a taste of God's fiery wrath.
"And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (2 Peter 2:6)
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
if you hated the "romanist" post...you'll really hate this one...
I want to thank Melly
for picking up my little "Easter egg" in my C.S. Lewis
post. I've been meaning to deal with Billy Graham in a post for some time now, but haven't had the time. So you can thank (or be mad at...) Melly
(LOL) for pushing me to blog on this well-known, much loved "preacher".
Well, as mentioned in the Lewis
post, I'm not a fan of Billy Graham at all. At best, I believe he is a Christian with some real messed up theology, or, at worst, he is a false teacher after the manner of Balaam.Now please, READ THIS POST CAREFULLY AND TAKE YOUR TIME BEFORE COMMENTING. I know many/most Christians LOVE Billy Graham, and I know that the temptation will be there in many to just angrily post a quick comment. Please try to look at the evidence I've presented, and think it through.
Some clear problems with Billy Graham's teachings:
(I truly hope you are able to catch the problems with the following, if not, you need to spend more time in the Word of God)
-Speaking at the Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey College, Noth Carolina, Dr. Graham said:"The gospel that built this school and the gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation"
(Gastonia Gazette, 1967).
-Billy Graham in an interview with McCall's magazine:"I used to believe that pagans in far-off countries were lost, were going to hell, if they did not have the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached to them. I no longer believe that. I believe that there are other ways of recognizing the existence of God through nature, for instance, and plenty of other opportunities, therefore, of saying yes to God."
-In an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Rev. Graham said:"And I think there is that hunger for God and people are living as best they know how according to the light that they have. Well, I think they're in a separate category than people like Hitler and people who have just defied God, and shaken their fists at God. I would say that God, being a God of mercy, we have to rest it right there, and say that God is a God of mercy and love, and how it happens, we don't know.
-On Larry King Live, Billy Graham and Larry King had this exchange (and I'm not making this up) :Larry King: "What do you think of Mormonism, Catholicism, other faiths within the Christian concept?"Billy Graham: "Well I think I am in wonder fellowship with all of them."Larry King: "You're comfortable with Salt Lake City. You're comfortable with the Vatican?"Billy Graham: "I am very comfortable with the Vatican."Larry King: "You were preaching in his church (Pope) the day he was made pope."Billy Graham: "That is correct."
-In an interview with the Lutheran Standard, Billy Graham said:"I have some difficulty in accepting the indiscriminate baptism of infants without a careful regard as to whether the parents have any intention of fulfilling the promise they make. But I do believe that something happens at the baptism of an infant, particularly if the parents are Christians and teach their children Christian Truths from childhood. We cannot fully understand the miracles of God, but I believe that a miracle can happen in these children so that they are regenerated, that is, made Christian, through infant baptism. If you want to call that baptismal regeneration, that's all right with me."
-In Time magazine, Billy Graham said:"The only thing I could say for sure is that hell means separation from God. We are separated from his light, from his fellowship. That is going to be hell. When it comes to a literal fire, I don’t preach it because I’m not sure about it. When the Scripture uses fire concerning hell, that is possibly an illustration of how terrible it’s going to be—not fire but something worse, a thirst for God that cannot be quenched."
-In Newsweek, Billy Graham said (this on really gets me going):"I believe the Bible is the inspired, authoritative word of God, but I don't use the word "inerrant" because it's become a brittle divisive word."
All these are but a few examples of grave errors that Billy Graham espouses, and let's say things as they are: THESE ERRORS ARE SERIOUS ERRORS!!! And it doesn't end there. Much of the problem I have with Billy Graham isn't only in the things he says, but rather, the things he doesn't say.
I have had the opportunity to watch and hear many "Billy Graham crusades", and interestingly enough, they are all remarkably the same. High in entertainment (music, testimonies, humour...etc), extremely high on emotionalism (emotions are fine, but they have to be directed by Truth), and EXTREMELY LOW ON DOCTRINE/THEOLOGY. Graham speaks of the Person of Jesus, he speaks of having a relationship with God, he speaks of our individual imperfections and trials, BUT THERE IS NO DETAIL! And you know how the expression goes: "the devil is in the details."
Here is what I mean by the importance of details. When we go out to street preach, every Friday, in our Gospel presentation, we mention the fact that every person is a sinner. We get absolutely no problems with that statement, everyone agrees, and all is well. That's as far as Graham goes. But you see, we believe the message has to go a little further. For example we'll present what it is that makes us sinners: one lie, one drunkenness, one curse, one immoral act/thought...etc...and then we don't shy away from mentioning that for one of these transgressions, the sinner is under God's wrath, and will remain there forever, unless there is repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. Let me tell you, that riles people up! All of sudden, we don't get the same kind of reception as old Billy does!
Billy Graham would make a fantastic politician (in politics, what you say and what you don't say is the key to success). The way he was and is able to get the approval of such a large section of religious people is quite a feat! But you see, Billy Graham doesn't make himself out to be a politician, he makes himself out to be a preacher; and while I can show some latitude to a politician using a bit of deception to win votes, it is intolerable in the matters of faith. The Bible calls us out to be truthful. Completely truthful (Colossians 3:9; 1 Peter 3:10).
The Bible says:"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
There are a lot of bad fruit in Billy Graham's ministry. Is it bad enough that the tree is corrupt? I think so, but I don't know for sure. One thing is for sure, I don't have time for men who walk a fine line between heresy and truth. I hope you have the same attitude.
N.B.: Please, pretty please, take time to ponder on this post. Don't just go nuts and try to set me straight. Consider the words. Consider the Scripture. Consider your personal bias (we all have one). And remember to be kind. Yes! the Bible requires it, even to those you may not believe deserve it (Psalm 101:5). AND DON'T FORGET THE TOU