Thursday, August 28, 2008

Modern Pharisees - Part 1

I want to take some time, as I said in an earlier post, to write about Pharisees. I think it is an important topic, and I will explain why.

I got saved earlier this year, and the first thing God lead me to study in the Bible was the subject of Pharisees. Seems like rather an odd subject to the the first study for a new Christian, but believe me, it made sense. It made sense because I had spent many years before I was saved being a Pharisee. When we get saved, God wants us to give up the sins we committed before salvation. God wanted me to leave my filthy rags at the cross, pick up some new, clean garments, and walk forward. But we are all as an unclean thing, and 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.

There are two brands of Pharisee that I see today. There are the Pharisees that think they are saved when they really are not. They have learned all the “rules” and follow them rigidly, and try to sway others to follow them also. They subconsciously or consciously think that doing these things can earn them salvation and favour with God. Then there is the Pharisee that is saved but still wants to bind people that are free in Christ to a works-based system based on the traditions of men.

The main sin of the Pharisees in Christ’s days on earth is the same as the modern day variety. The Pharisees main sin, no matter when they live, is hypocrisy. (Luke 12:1). Outwardly they pretended to be righteous and to have it all together. But all they had was self-righteousness which meant nothing. What they needed was to be saved and to have God’s righteousness. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Romans 10:3. The Pharisees appeared to be living right, but Jesus saw what was on the inside and what was on the inside was wicked.

The Bible shows us that the heart of a Pharisee is far from God. He answered and said unto them, well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Mark 7:6. They elevate their own commands and preferences and standards over the commands of God, and teach their own ideas as the commands of God when in reality they are not. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. Mark 7:7-9. They exalt their own commandments above God’s commandments because they are obeying what is right in their OWN eyes and not in the eyes of God. It is Pharisaical people that make the word of God of NO effect, as Mark 7:13 tells us. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

This is a very basic introduction to what a Pharisee is. In some later posts I will take Scripture verses to show what the characteristics of these people are. It is important that we know how to spot a Pharisee so that we are not deceived by them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eternal Security: what's not to get??

Again and again, doctrine troubles always come back to Rightly Dividing troubles. When a Campbellite, JW, Mormon or Pentecostal starts spouting their false doctrine, either they don't believe the Bible (true 90% of the time), or they don't know how to Rightly Divide the Book. Such is true when it comes to the subject of Eternal Security: there are dozens of verses in the Bible that directly "contradict" Eternal Security, but when taken in context and divided correctly, we find that they're not applicable to our Age.

How about verses like:

Matt. 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Water Dogs and the like have an absolute heyday with that! Well, when dealing with someone who doesn't know how to Rightly Divide, that is. Me, I just tell him that Jesus was talking to a different group of people in a different age under different rules, and tell the guy to get lost (or saved, rather!). Others would just stammer and stutter and turn to a bunch of different verses to try to explain that away, when the fact is that they can't! If you believe that the entire Bible applies to you, right now, then you're going to have a real hard time explaining things like this.

Ok, I have to go to a meeting at church, so I can't continue. I'll work on this subject a little more after church. God bless.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Basic Grammar...continued

Ok, so let's see how far I can get with this.

Samer is a guy I've known for quite a while. I don't mean to smear him, though I probably could rather easily, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to be a little blunt about him. He doesn't like me. He finds every possible excuse that he can to disagree with me. And now he's deleted a thread with my previous article on it. AFTER he found out that the owner of the site had ok'd the post. If that's not abusing one's power, then I don't know what is!!

So every time I bring up Biblical Dispensationalism, he immediately quotes the whole of Romans 4 and expects all the Dispensationalists to drop dead on the spot. Strangely enough they don't, which I'm sure is a bit of a quandary to him. I'm going to try to clear up any questions that he may have about the issue here and now.

"is" denotes being, in the present. "The pizza IS cold" meaning the pizza currently is cold.

"was" denotes past tense, as in a past point in time. "The pizza was hot" meaning the pizza at one point was hot, and by implication is no longer hot.

Rom. 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Ok, good verse. Now let's see what it says. " the reward not reckoned of grace...." Notice the tense? That's an important word: "Tense."

tense 2 |tɛns| |tɛns|
noun Grammar
a set of forms taken by a verb to indicate the time (and sometimes also the continuance or completeness) of the action in relation to the time of the utterance : the past tense
Ok, so a tense denotes in which time or times a certain occurrence...occurs. Simple enough, right? Ok so I'm going to throw a few things out here and see what happens.

Rom. 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Rom. 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
Always watch those slippery tenses. Is, are, etc. are rather complicated unless you pay close attention. Notice that Paul in Romans 4 is making a comparison, using Old Testament occurrences and making them fit the doctrine that he is teaching right now. Let's see something else that gets changed to fit what the author needs it to say!

Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Gal. 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Heb. 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Good verses! These verses, or at least the first two, show that we are to live by the faith of Christ, which faith is really the gift of Ephesians 2:8-9, if you pay attention. The third verse is applicable to the HEBREWS in the Tribulation (does His soul really have no pleasure in you if you draw back??) and therefore is not DOCTRINALLY applicable to us.

The funny thing about these passages is that they're quoting an Old Testament verse. Wanna' see what it is?

Hab. 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.
Cool! See what a little Bible, wait a second...reread that verse. Another time. Once more for good measure. Look at the word ALL THREE of the NT verses leave out!! The OT passage that's being quoted says that a just man lives by HIS faith, speaking of his own, while the NT verses say that a just man shall live by CHRIST'S faith!! Rather interesting predicament, eh? PAUL JUST MISQUOTED THE BIBLE!!!

So? Ok, so Paul misquoted the Bible to make a point. Your problem? See, the Bible doesn't have to make sense to you. The authors, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, didn't have to wait for your opinion to write what they did. They just did it and God blessed it. No, that missing word isn't a scribal error. It's missing on purpose.

So, what have we learned from this? That God, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on men, can write what He wants to, to make what points He wants to, and it doesn't matter a bit what you or anyone else thinks about it. Ok, hopefully that's clear enough.

Next point: debunking the myth that Romans 4 proves that everyone got saved by repenting of their sins and trusting Christ. Sorry, but that in and of itself is laughable! If the DISCIPLES didn't know that Jesus was going to rise again, then how on God's green earth could DAVID have known? Or anyone before the actual resurrection?? Come on now, use that brain God benevolently placed within your skull!

Rom. 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Rom. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Quick question: does this passage say that Abraham was not justified by works? Yes or no answer; it's really quite simple. In fact, if you pay attention, Paul's making a rather misleading question here. He asks if Abraham was justified by his works, and then instead of answering the question, he turns it around and talks about glorifying before God, when that wasn't even part of the original question! In fact, Paul just avoided answering his own question, because it would have totally messed up his point! Don't believe me? Well read the next verse.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Everyone likes to try to do away with this little problem to their theology by making this "justification before man," but they don't realize that it's their theology at fault. Abraham WAS justified by his works. He was NOT sanctified by his works, but he WAS justified. That verse says so. So basically, Paul's premise in Romans 4:1 is correct, just misleading. He WAS justified by his works, but he does NOT have whereof to glory before God. See? Again, simple English grammar. An understanding of the difference between Sanctification and Justification helps too.

See, the simple explanation is that Paul is writing to one group of people, namely the Church, of which you and I are a part, and James is writing to someone else, or a group of someone elses. Which theory makes sense, since Paul addresses all of the letters with "To the church which is at (insert city here)" and James starts his epistle with "To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad." See, when viewed from a literal, grammatical, logical perspective, the Bible makes complete and perfect sense.

It just doesn't agree with you.

Basic Grammar

I'll get into this more later, but some of the biggest problems that people have with understanding the Bible is not Spiritual understanding, or lack thereof, but a simply inability to comprehend simple English grammar. For instance, if I say "is no more work," that does NOT mean "never was work." See that? People get so screwed up because they don't take time to READ the Book.

Ok, I'll try to disambiguate myself later. Chau.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Repent and be baptized

The Bible is incredible; a cursory look through its pages reveals thousands of years of history, from the creation of the universe to the very end of the world. A more in-depth look reveals even more, a Righteous God who for some reason gives men a chance every time he disobeys His creator. However, it's when a person gets down and studies, as per the instructions of 2 Timothy 2:15, that we find how incredible the Bible truly is.

When we study the Bible, we see that God has always made a way for man to come to Him, but that way changes through Scripture. Before you write me off as a heretic, which most people will at just that, bear with me a bit and let's see what the Bible says.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
God provided a covering for their sins, because that sin damned their souls to Hell. God is the only one that can cover or forgive the sins of human-kind. However, let's look at the next important person in the Bible: Noah.

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 ¶These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

It should be obvious that Noah found grace in God's eyes because of how he lived: just and perfect in his generations. All that means is that he lived in that manner to please God, and God gave him grace as a result of him trying to please the Lord. So, that's the reason that God chose Noah, a righteous man as the Bible calls him, to escape the judgment that God was going to bring on the earth. So what did Noah do to escape that judgment?

Genesis 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
He obeyed God and built the boat. He could have had all the faith in the world that God was going to save him and his family, but if he hadn't built the boat, then he would have died like everyone else. Yes he built the ark by faith, but without those works, he would have been deader 'n a bag of hammers. It was his obedience that saved him, simply his obedience to do what God had commanded him.

This can be followed all through the Bible: God dealing with people differently, but always providing Grace, because we humans are frail and imperfect, and without God's Grace we'd be hopeless. Whether it was the Law that the Israelites were required to keep, or Abraham's work of offering Isaac, God always provided a way through His Grace for man to be saved from his sin.

Now let's check out the New Testament. Jesus shows up, the promised Messiah, and starts preaching. But what does He preach? Let's see!

Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

When you compare what John the Baptist and Jesus preached with what Paul and the Apostles preached consistently after Acts 15, you'll see a big difference. Jesus is preaching humility, piety and good works in the Sermon on the Mount, and John the Baptist is preaching repentance and baptism! Again, we see that God is dealing with someone, the Jews in this case, differently than He has dealt with other people before. Jesus said that He was sent not but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and went so far as to call a gentile woman a DOG! That doesn't sound much like Romans 5:8 to me. Jesus went so far as to tell them not to enter into the way of the Gentiles! So obviously something is different right now from Acts 10:10-16 and the following chapter.

The next part gets tricky; not because the Bible is hard to understand, but because people like to twist It out of context to prove their own doctrines. "Acts" is simply a history book, recording the time after Christ's resurrection and subsequent ascension. At the beginning of the book of Acts, Jesus sends the disciples out to spread the Gospel. What Gospel had they been given? The Gospel of the Kingdom! Up until that point, Jesus had been preaching what has been corrupted into a social Gospel: "Do good" and "the meek shall inherit the earth," which while it isn't wrong, it's simply not what we find later on in Scripture. Let's look then at what Peter preached, under the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:14 ¶But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judæa, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:
19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The funny thing here is that Peter is preaching a passage from the book of Joel about the Tribulation! Peter, speaking under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit, is preaching about the last days! Don't believe me? Read Joel chapter 2.

Ok, so we have a quandary here. We know that the Tribulation hasn't started yet, and won't for a while yet, but here's Peter preaching about the Tribulation in Acts chapter 2! So, is someone wrong here, or did something change? We'll skip a little bit; you can read it if you want to, but to save space I'm going to skip past it a little.

Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 ¶Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
So the Jews to whom Peter was preaching got convicted! He just got finished talking about the crucifixion of their Messiah-remember they were sent to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom and preform miracles!-and now they're sorrowful for their actions as a nation! Now what does Peter say in response?

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Now we seem to have a problem. Ephesians 2:8-9 says that salvation is a gift from God, and says nothing of being baptized. Titus 2:5 says that salvation isn't by works: it's by grace alone. All through Paul's epistles we see salvation taught as being by faith alone outside of any work, which would include baptism. So why is Peter preaching baptism with repentance??

First, find Salvation in that chapter. Hint: you won't. Second, to whom is Peter talking? He's talking to Jews, who just recently crucified their Messiah. What time frame does Peter think he's in? The Tribulation.

Basically, Peter is preaching something that you will NEVER see preached again in that sense, as baptism being included with salvation doesn't show up after Acts 15. As far as they're aware of, they're about to head into the Tribulation after the imminent return of Jesus Christ. And there is NO MENTION of salvation in that chapter at all. Peter is preaching a national repentance because of the rejection of Christ. That's why he says to be baptized in the name of Jesus: it was a sign that they were following Jesus Christ, whom their nation had just rejected. These people were getting ready for the Antichrist, not Salvation!

There's always more issues that Campbellites bring up in response, but this covers the main one. Enjoy; I'll prepare for a second installment after I receive all the feedback from this.

God bless.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Best of Phariseeism

This post might cross some lines with some people, but I don't feel that I can do anything about that. Phariseeism is starting to be a huge cancer that I can see in the church. I think that I notice it more than others because I was a Pharisee myself.

David Cloud (please don't read other things that he wrote, he's an idiot) sent out an email to certain people on his mailing list that reads like this:


August 13, 2008 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service,
P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,; for instructions about subscribing and
unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at
the end of the article) -

I have a problem that you can help me with. All I ask is that you write and let me know what you would say to the following situation. It might even sound humorous to you, but I can assure you that it is a serious matter.

There is a teenage girl in a church. The church teaches that pants are not the most appropriate and modest attire for women. The girl is from a very poor family (six people living in one room), but she was the first member of her family to come to Christ about three years ago.

She has been growing in the Lord and is faithful to church and prayer meetings. Recently she got a scholarship to a school that requires the female students to wear lose pants. Though someone from the church approached the school leaders and asked them to make an exception for her, they refused. Since the girl has decided to attend the school anyway, the church won’t allow her to teach Sunday School anymore because she will no longer meet the standards for workers.

But there is a prominent person in the church who is not content with this. He thinks she should be disciplined after the fashion of 1 Corinthians 5 and she should not be allowed to take the Lord’s Supper.

What do you think?

The more pastors I can hear from on this, the better.

Thank you!

In Christ,
Brother Cloud

This question should never have been considered, or even asked. This is Phariseeism at its best (or should I say worst). This email is a prime example. First of all, Cloud nor anybody else has managed to come up with SCRIPTURE to prove that women wearing pants is wrong, and second of all, it is a PERSONAL PREFERENCE anyway.

I have been considering doing a series of posts here about modern day Pharisees, and I am thinking that this might be the perfect kick-off as it is this type of thing that I will be addressing in my posts.

David Cloud takes his personal preference and tries to force it on all Christian women, and he tries to manipulate women into wearing skirts only through his writings. He often insinuates that women don't have their hearts right with the Lord if they don't go along with his preference.

A good friend who is a great "Titus 2" older woman told my husband and I that this kind of thing is cultish and she told us to consider that a lot of cults have many rules for the's all about the women can't do this, or that, or the other. Cults are concerned with what women can and can't do and focus on it in a big way often times. I believe that our friend has lots of wisdom in her words.

The issue of whether women should wear pants or not is really starting to get on my nerves. The whole thing is ridiculous because this is something that the Holy Spirit works on individuals about, and, last time I checked, NONE of us were the Holy Spirit.

I have heard the argument presented that "women wearing pants is wrong because it is worldly and we are to stay as far away from the world as possible". Well, how do we prove what is worldly in Scripture? It surely isn't determined by whether a woman wears pants or not.

Doing something like wearing skirts instead of pants as a woman does NOT make you any less like the world than the other. It is a problem that Christians tend to think women in pants = wanting to be like the world, women in skirts = women wanting to be as far away from the world as possible. Where do people come up with this stuff? First you would have to prove that the standard in question is "like the world" before people can be accused of "wanting to get as close to the world as possible".

Worldly people go out to eat on Sundays...does that mean that if we want to be "as far away from the world as possible" we ought never to go out as a church group after church and eat? Why do we only apply it to things we want to apply it to instead of applying it to everything?

The thing is that there are several different types of convictions in our Christian lives...

First of all there are doctrinal convictions. These come straight from the Bible, and the issues are black and white. Stuff like the virgin birth, the blood atonement, etc. These are the "non-negotiables" so to speak.

Then there are spiritual convictions, which the Holy Spirit convicts an INDIVIDUAL of. Things like dress, hair length, music, whether to watch TV or movies, etc. The Holy Spirit works in different individuals in different things and it is not up to us to try to be the Holy Spirit to anybody.

The last kind are natural convictions, which means that even if they are in the Bible, even without the Bible they should be obvious because of what is natural. Stuff like women having long hair etc, although nature doesn't determine how long is long.

If religious Pharisees would quit trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit, we would all be much better off.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thy Word Have I Hid in Mine Heart, So That Nobody Will Know I am a Christian...

Although the US government had come into the homes of Christians and confiscated (stolen) all of their Bibles, they still allowed church meetings. They figured that the Christians were unable to do anything worthwhile without their Bibles, and unfortunately they were right. The Christians that still met for church on Sundays looked pretty stupid…after all, they could remember the scores from the latest football game, but they had never spent any time committing God’s word to memory. Having church with no Bibles was pretty boring, because nobody could remember enough Scripture to even come up with a sermon. Children could quote half of the supposedly Christian C.S Lewis movies, because they had watched them over and over, but they were unable to quote a single Bible verse because they had not had the Scripture read to them over and over, and parents had made no effort to teach them to memorize their Bible.

The Christians had lost their effectiveness because they couldn’t for the life of them remember what the Bible said about certain things that threatened society. They had no victory over personal sin because they had not hidden God’s Word in their hearts. They had spent so much time in the world that they had assimilated into the world. The government was well on their way to getting Christianity in America to die, and the only thing they’d done is steal all the Bibles…

How would we as Christians cope in the world without our Bibles? Could we do it, or would we be defeated instead of victorious? Lately God has been bringing to my mind the need to learn Scripture and memorize Scripture. We are better equipped for anything that comes our way if we know our Bibles.

Many of us claim to have no time to learn and memorize Scripture, but we have time to watch the latest sports game and we have all the best parts committed to memory. When we go to church we can have an hour long discussion on who is cheating in the Olympics, but when someone asks “what is the verse that talks about…” we have no clue that there is even a verse in the Bible that talks about that specific topic.

We have no victory over sin because we haven’t hidden God’s Word in our hearts. We aren’t able to share our faith effectively because we just don’t know the verses. We aren’t able to help out another Christian in need because we have no clue what the Bible says about any subject. When we go to church on Sunday we grab the Bible off the back seat of the car, which is where we left it after the Wednesday evening service. Our kids have watched hours of movies in the past week but we haven’t sat and had any Bible time with them.

I believe that the current sad state of Christianity and the plethora of worldly Christians has everything to do with the fact that we don’t know our Bibles like we should. We need to get reading, learning, studying and memorizing.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sissified or Christlike?

There seems to be a trend among Baptists to vilify soft-spoken and quiet men as being effeminate, pansies or sissified. These people will point to certain occurrences in the Bible and decry the wimpiness that they feel has corrupted the Body of Christ.

Now I'll be the first to puke when a truly effeminate "man" shows up, but is all the hullabaloo really valid?

I was recently called "sissified" by a man, because I felt that his methods of approaching someone were too harsh, and I say they were completely unbiblical. In defense of his statement, this man pulled up what Jesus did in the Temple, and Paul's tirade against Elymas. Obviously I can't argue with the stories, but once you look a little closer, it's clear that they were taken out of context to prove his point.

Jesus dealt with sinners in a kind and loving way; the occasion in the Temple was against religious Pharisees taking advantage of the people. When Jesus was getting hot and heavy, it was ALWAYS against the religious crowd, never against sinners. The same with Paul: Elymas was a religious charlatan and trickster. The people that abuse these occurrences forget that in all the other times, these examples of ours, Jesus and Paul, dealt with sinners kindly and gently.

Now I understand that there are occasions where more direct action or a more offensive tack needs to be taken. I have done the same on many occasions: it simply requires some common sense and some wisdom to differentiate when.

It seems like people like these have forgotten the importance of meekness. Or the fact that the Bible says:

Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.
19 He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

So much for Jesus "standing out in the street and yelling at people." Just because someone is soft-spoken, gentle and kind doesn't make them effeminate, it simply means that they are following the Master's example. When following the leading of the Spirit, one might be led to speak out or preach with vehemence, as many times is the case in church or on the street.

I'm afraid that people have become too self-spiritual and self-important that they see others below them and their self-made spirituality.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Those Evil Women in Pants

I was insulted that the people referred to in the last post on this site thought that my friend was a controlling wife and her husband unsaved simply because they saw her wearing pants outside her apartment, hence the reason why I am posting this. I wrote it a while ago but since I wrote it not long after I got saved I decided to wait on posting it for a while, but I believe that now is the time.

I do NOT believe that it can be Biblically proven that it is wrong for a woman to wear pants. Here is why:

I tend to believe that everything in Scripture is a black and white issue, not gray. The question on whether it is right for a woman to wear pants is a black and white issue. It is not Biblically wrong. It is just a case that for some women it may not be expedient to wear them and it does not edify. "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not." 1 Corinthians 10:23.

There are several commands and principles in the Bible on the area of modesty. I had always had Deuteronomy 22:5 quoted at me as to why it was wrong for a woman to wear pants. Lets look at that verse for a minute. "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." One important thing I have learned in a Bible Believing Baptist Church as opposed to a Fundamental Baptist church is that the whole Bible is profitable for us and was written for our learning, but not all of it was written TO us. Basically, when I'm reading Deuteronomy 22:5, I'm reading something that can be beneficial to me, but it doesn't apply to me because the letter was not written to's not my mail. It's Israel's mail.

By the way, what kind of clothes pertain, or belong to, men? I know in our culture today we have our ideas on what that is, but what about Biblically? Did you know that there are several mentions of the word "skirt" in the Bible, and that ALL of those references refer to a skirt as a man's garment? However, a man wearing that kind of clothing today for the most part grosses us out. Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us that pants are mens clothing. I know it mentions breeches. First off, breeches were for the priests only. Besides that, breeches were underwear.

In the church age, our only command in regards to clothing is that it be modest (1 Timothy 2:9). Some women do not believe that pants are modest. If they believe that, then they themselves ought not to wear them, but they have no right to try to enforce that belief on others. If it goes against their conscience in regards to modesty, it would be wrong for them to do. If a woman truly believes she is modest wearing pants, then she has the freedom to wear them and should not be judged in any way.

It's amazing what we can learn when we rightly divide (2 Timothy 2:15) the Scriptures (which we are commanded to do) and realize that not all things apply directly to us. Women have the liberty to wear only skirts, dresses, and culottes, and other women have the liberty to wear pants as well. It doesn't make any one of us more spiritual than the other. Scripture is not of any private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20), which means that this issue is NOT a matter of Biblical interpretation, it's a matter of Biblical TRUTH. Not one place in the Bible tells us that women cannot and must not wear pants. The only interpretation of Scripture we should be worried about is God's interpretation.

I don't know HOW many times I have heard the old argument (one that ought to be retired) that Christian women shouldn't wear pants because it causes Christian men to lust. There is some kind of lie propagated in Christian circles that men are turned on by sight but women aren't. I know MANY women who are also turned on by sight, but if they tell people that, they are labeled as a pervert. Where in the Bible does it say that a man is turned on by sight and a woman isn't?

Newsflash: Men can choose whether to lust or not. They can choose to keep looking or to avert their gaze. The sight oriented women have to do this when a man is dressed in a way that "turns them on". The men can return the favour. I am not advocating or excusing immodesty. I see many young girls wearing beautiful clothes that they and their authorities believe is modest, just to be told by some perverted guy that her clothing "turns him on" and that therefore she ought not wear it.

I also want to know why it is always the woman that bears the blame..."oh she caused him to lust because of her clothes"...No, he chose to sin. Be a man and take responsibility for your own sin. As women if we are immodest we will answer for it, but don't deem our modest clothing as immodest just because you like what you see...some women really are just beautiful...and God made them that way.

If a woman truly believes that what she is wearing is modest and her authority (father or husband) has allowed it, then she is not sinning in any way unless she is wearing it with wrong motives. Just because a man lusts over a woman doesn't mean that that woman's heart was wrong when she put on that garment.

By the way, you want to know what else I think? I really think that Christian (and particularly Baptist) men would not have so much trouble in the area of lust if they stopped viewing porn... (and it certainly isn't our fault that they are viewing porn...)

The "men’s clothing" issue...

So some people are telling me that pants are men’s clothing and that I ought not be wearing them, and then those same women will tell me they buy their t-shirts and polos etc in the MENS department because they are "more modest". Umm excuse me but with that glaring inconsistency you just lost my respect, especially when you excuse it by saying "well Deuteronomy 22:5 is only talking about pants, not other things". I personally know several lesbian women who buy their shirts in the men’s department...but the Baptists never take any notice of this.

T-shirts were first men’s clothing before they were women’s clothing...same goes for blouses, and tights, and pantyhose...that doesn't make them "men’s clothing" does it? So why do we pick on "pants" exclusively as if they are some kind of evil object that can be used to determine a woman's spirituality?

Men can (and should be able to) wear pink or purple shirts. Women wear them to. That does NOT make them a unisex item. Men’s shirts are cut for men and women’s shirts are cut for women.

I don't believe in "unisex" and I believe that that is the point God was trying to make in Deuteronomy 22:5.

We need to be careful of teachings that are built upon ONE verse of Scripture anyway...they aren't always wrong but we must be watchful that someone isn't just using it to push their own agenda.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Discord among the brethren

Like I do a lot of times, I'm going to start this with a DISCLAIMER: the following events are totally true, unadulterated (besides not including names) and rather shocking to a degree. I don't mean to cause problems, but I do want to bring attention to a trend that is very dangerous and sly.

A street preacher and his family that our church supported stayed at our church for some time. They were in between meetings, and my pastors allowed them to set their travel trailer up in the church parking lot. I helped the brother set up his materials for the service that Wednesday evening (that's when they had arrived) and assisted him however I could in setting up his trailer.

The next day, Thursday, my wife showed me some videos on YouTube that were rather out of line. Two videos can be found here. In one of the videos, the street preacher that was staying at our church was railing on a lost woman because she didn't like the sign that the preacher was holding. The sign read "HILLARY SHOULD BE HOME DOING THE DISHES." Now, while I don't take offense at the message of the sign at all-in fact I heartily agree-what business does a preacher of Jesus Christ have using something like that, which is geared only to cause a reaction and make people mad?

After watching the video, I left a comment on the video in question, stating that I felt the actions displayed were unbiblical, which was quickly responded to with antagonizing statements and self-righteous judgements. Eventually the preacher discovered who I was and called my pastor to set up a meeting. Pastor called me and asked me what had been going on, and I explained to him about the video and the attitude that had been displayed toward me after I had expressed my disagreement with the video. He assured me that they had been having issues with this man over the same kinds of things, and not to worry about it, but that we would be having a meeting with this preacher within the next couple days.

That Saturday, my pastors, the street preacher and myself sat down in my pastor's office to discuss this issue. At that point the street preacher was very calm and cordial to me, which was glaringly different from how he had acted on the YouTube comments. He had called me a sissified Christian, a liberal, a wimp, accused me of letting my wife run the house and he had questioned my salvation. In the meeting, however, he was calm and explained how he had preached on the street for so many years and had all this experience and yada yada. I apologized for a couple things: I had called him a jerk and told him to get his head out of his tail, and I had also not gone to him and addressed the issue to his face. However, he didn't apologize for a single thing, saying later that he hadn't done anything wrong, and continued to attack me and my wife.

What I didn't know at this point, was that a couple of the men in the church were heavily involved with this preacher, and his self-righteous attitude was beginning to infect them as well. Sadly, the next day, these two men accompanied the street preacher to a church in another town where this man was going to preach, but didn't notify my church at all. These men both held positions in the church, and had responsibilities that required their presence at the church. That afternoon, my pastors called these men in and addressed the problem, but they refused to apologize for what they had done. In addition, the street preacher got involved and accused my pastors of lording over the flock because they expected church members to fulful their duties.

Well, to sum it up, the two men left the church, and the street preacher was told to leave the premises. Unfortunately nothing has changed about the attitudes of the individuals involved, though I pray that they get right and come back to the church where they belong.

What has happened since then is more subtle and even more dangerous, I fear; the younger of the two men that left the church has been talking to a young lady on the internet, and the same spirit of self-righteousness and legalism that was his downfall has now threatened to infect others that aren't aware of the situation.

The street preacher and his family are very legalistic, claiming that they're more spiritual than others because of how they dress, what they watch, what they do, and so on. The man tried to guage my spirituality on whether or not my wife wears pants, what music I listen to, and whether I watch Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. Last time I checked, spirituality was guagued by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not because of how you stack up to a self-righteous preacher.

Beware the leaven of the Pharissees.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

King James Bible Only or Textus Receptus Only? There Is a Difference

King James Bible Only or Textus Receptus Only? There Is a Difference

In the Old Testament book of Judges, we have the Ephraimites escaping from the Gileadites in chapter 12. When the Ephraimites passed by the Gileadites, the Gileadites had a password, and that password was the word Shibboleth. They used this word because the Ephraimites could not pronounce it properly, and when asked for the password, they would prounounce it Sibboleth.

And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; Then said they unto him, Say now Shibbolet: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.
Judges 12:5-6.

Under the “King James Only” label, we have the true King James Only people (the Gileadites) and the Textus Receptus fakers (the Ephraimites). Before they are put under close scrutiny, they may appear to believe the same thing. Remember that the Ephraimites appeared to be Gileadites until they could not pronounce the word Shibboleth. We have many claiming to stand on the King James Bible that cannot pronounce Shibboleth, and when asked to, we see their real position.

The King James Bible was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus. There are those that believe the King James Bible is perfect because it came from the Textus Receptus, not because it is the King James Bible, yet they claim to be “King James Only”. What they really mean but won’t tell you is that they are “Textus Receptus Only”. There is a difference, and it’s a big difference. In the time of the Judges, there was a difference between Shibboleth and Sibboleth, and it was an important difference.

When asked what the difference is between a King James Bible only man and a Textus Receptus only man, Dr Samuel C. Gipp answers:
A "TR Man" gets his manuscripts from Antioch and his philosophy from Egypt. (“The Answer’s Book” Samuel C. Gipp, Daystar Publishing).
Dr Gipp continues by explaining the two different origins of the texts, the Alexandrian and the Antiochan texts. Along with those texts come certain philosophies also.

We are going to explore both the Textus Receptus only and the King James only people to see what the difference is.

One of these groups is indeed King James only, and we believe that the King James Bible is the perfect, pure, preserved and inspired Word of God. The true Bible believers have their manuscripts and their ideology right. We believe that the King James Bible is perfect because it is the King James Bible, not just because of the texts it was translated from. We believe there was inspiration in the translation of the KJB. We believe that every word of the KJB is perfect, and that to go back to the Greek or Hebrew to try to get "deeper meaning" is in fact wrong as it is implying that our Bible is not perfect and we must get deeper meaning from somewhere else.

Then the other group are really Textus Receptus only, and are really Bible correctors under a King James only guise. These are the ones that Dr Gipp describes as having their manuscripts from Antioch but their philosophy from Alexandria. They are right about one thing…the right text. They have compromised with the Alexandrian ideology though that teaches that we do not have a perfect Bible. These are the ones that will say “Sibboleth” because they cannot pronounce “Shibboleth”. They believe that the KJB is perfect, or almost perfect, but only because it was translated from the Greek Textus Receptus, which they like to call "the originals" even though they are NOT the originals. They are copies of originals, and furthermore, there are many different varieties of the Textus Receptus, and those copies disagree with each other, so knowing which one is the right one would be difficult. The Textus Receptus-only people believe that we need to go to the underlying Greek and Hebrew texts to get "extra meaning" or "deeper meaning" from "the original text" when the Textus Receptus is NOT the original.

It’s also interesting to note that the version of the Textus Receptus that people use to study now was translated by Scrivener in 1894. If we know anything at all about math, we know that 1894 is well over 200 years after 1611, which is when the King James Bible was translated. That means that the King James Bible was around over 200 years before the Scrivener’s Textus Receptus. Remember, Srivener’s is the copy of the Textus Receptus that is used today for study. It is also interesting to note that the Scrivener’s Textus Receptus was backtranslated from the King James Bible. Yet there are people that think that the King James Bible is preserved because of a manuscript that came out after it. That doesn’t make any sense.

Will Kinney says: They then defend what they call the “traditional text” and what they mean by this is the particular variety of Textus Receptus that CAME FROM the King James Bible. Their 1894 Scrivener edition of the TR was a back-translation from the KJB into a Greek N.T. text. The Greek texts of Erasmus, Stephanus and Beza are about 99.9 % the same, but there definitely are some textual differences. Usually the KJB translators went with Beza, but sometimes with either Erasmus or Stephanus. What Mr. Scrivener did was to find the particular Greek readings from these various Greek texts that the King James Bible followed, and he then made up his copy of what is now the Trinitarian Bible Society Greek Textus Receptus. Their TR did not give rise to the KJB but it was the KJB that gave rise to their printed copies of their Textus Receptus! (Will Kinney “Tyndale, the Textus Receptus or the King James Bible?”).

I hope this has helped define the two main groups that fall under the "King James Only" category, because sometimes a person will tell you that they are King James only, only to find out later that they are really Textus Receptus only. This is a deceptive cloak for a Bible corrector to use so that people don’t know he is a Bible corrector. Most fundamental Baptist churches, Bible colleges and ministries will claim King James only when they are really Textus Receptus only. It’s important to find out before you get involved. Chances are, if they “go back to the original languages” that they are Textus Receptus only. Listen carefully…are they saying Shibboleth or Sibboleth?