Tuesday, 6 December 2016

What is the Word of Faith?

In my previous post, I wrote about members of charismatic churches and the way they misread scriptures. I didn't have time then to delve into the meaning of the word of faith, mentioned by James in his epistle. Today, I'll examine what it really means.

There's a movement in Christindom called the Word of Faith. Its adhearants take their title from James 5:15 (BBE) which reads, "And by the prayer of faith the man who is ill will be made well, and he will be lifted up by the Lord, and for any sin which he has done he will have forgiveness." The Word of Faith, also called Word Faith, movement folks assume this verse means that the words spoken by spirit-filled Christians contain some sort of magical healing power.

Reading in chapter five, from verse thirteen to the end of the chapter, we see that James was writing about faith in God, the provider of healing and forgiveness. It isn't our words which cause those things to be granted to us.

James mentioned Elijah and how he prayed for rain to stop for three and a half years in Israel and it did so. Then he prayed for rain and it came pouring down. It was God, and God alone, who withheld and gave the rain. Elija was merely allowed to command the rain to stop and start again to demonstrate to the people that God is God and Baal wasn't.

Word Faith people also wrench Romans 10:8 (KJV) far out of its context. "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;" The Apostle Paul is refering to salvation and having faith in Christ, not possessing the correct level of faith energy to heal or be healed.

This is precisely why I want to write my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People hear preachers on the TV, radio, or at a local church, spouting off selectedverses, and assume they're telling the full truth. Phoney teachers use the skin of the truth to contain deadly lies. This is why biblical discernment skills are vital to every believer.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Do Our Words Contain Power?

In spite of the Christmas season being well under way, I feel the need to correct a persistent mistake among evangelical Christians. The followers of charismatic preachers insist that our words contain the power to cause events to happen, in effect bringing things into being. They'll often misread James chapter three by assuming that our tongues have God's creative power.

So what power do our words really have? Read James chapter three carefully and you'll see that the tongue doesn't create reality. What it does do is cause a firestorm of evil when its allowed to go unbridled.

James begins by pointing out that teachers have the greater penalty when they lie than ordinary folks who spread wrong doctrines about God's Word. The Bible in Basic English renders verse one this way. "Do not all be teachers, my brothers, because we teachers will be judged more hardly than others." This is because those who teach do so as Christ's ambassadors. While describing the Kingdom of Heaven, Christ said in Matthew 18:6 (BBE), "But whoever is a cause of trouble to one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have a great stone fixed to his neck, and to come to his end in the deep sea." As you can read in the following verses, Jesus refers to church discipline against those who cause naive believers to stumble and abandon their faith in the Lord.

And after James points out how ships and horses are guided by such small implements as rudders and bridles, he likens the damage that the tongue can do as a tiny spark setting alight a whole forest. As the BBE renders verses five and six, "Even so the tongue is a small part of the body, but it takes credit for great things. How much wood may be lighted by a very little fire! And the tongue is a fire; it is the power of evil placed in our bodies, making all the body unclean, putting the wheel of life on fire, and getting its fire from hell." This isn't literal fire but the destructive power of lies and hate-filled words to destroy others.

Nowhere in this epistle does James claim that we can create health and wealth for ourselves merely by speaking positive affirmations and faith-filled words. Neither can our curses against those we hate act like a spell to do them harm. As I've pointed out many times before, it's the meaning people place on words that can be the source of great trouble or tremendous encouragement.

I'll be writing more about this superstitious nonsense and how wrong it is in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Having faith in Jesus Christ means we have trust in his saving work on the cross and that he continues to care for us. If it meant speaking into existence whatever we wanted, the world would be filled with millionaires who have perfect health. As we know, that isn't so.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Are You Ready to Change?

Now that I've laid out the facts of how our moral views are formed and that they aren't our own invention, what will you who don't believe in Christ do? Will you change your minds about the gospel or will you hypocritically continue to attack it?

Do you understand why Christians pick and choose verses? It isn't that we want to ignore other verses which condemn our actions. We believe the entire Bible, not just the passages which we use to make ourselves feel better.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16 (BBE), "Every holy Writing which comes from God is of profit for teaching, for training, for guiding, for education in righteousness." These reasons are what guide our concern to warn people against going to hell and to help them be more like Jesus Christ.

You might not know why you pick and choose verses to defend your actions but we Christians do. And unlike religions such as Islam, we don't hate and kill those who blaspheme our Lord. As Jesus said while being crucified, (Luke 23:34 KJV) "Then said Jesus, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." Even when he was being unjustly executed, he still felt pity for his murderers.

Furthermore, we Christians use hermeneutics to interpret the Bible. That means we use the clear statements to interpret the vague-sounding ones. We also understand the history and culture of the times when the scriptures were written. This is why we eat shell fish and pork while wearing clothes made from mixed fibers. All of the ceremonial laws pointed to Christ's first coming and therefore are abrogated.

The moral laws remain the  same but Christ formed them into positive commands to love God and our neighbours.

I'll be explaining more about this in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? I don't want anybody to be mistaken about such an important decision. Salvation is a limited time offer and we don't know when death will claim us.

Thanks to Voddie Baucham for his indirect assistance with this post.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Can You Have Your Own World View?

I wrote earlier about people bashing Christians for being hypocrites as well as picking and choosing which verses of the Bible they believe. These people who claim such things assume that they have an entirely different world view than evangelicals.

Is this really so? Ask any of these people if lying, stealing, and dealing falsely is wrong and they'll most likely agree. Homosexuals object to what God spoke in Leviticus chapter eighteen but they ignore the next chapter. Leviticus 19:11 (KJV) states, "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." If these folks think we pick and choose, they are actually the ones doing so.

And what about giving to the poor? These anti-Christian people fault believers for being unloving but look at what Leviticus 19:9 commands. "And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God." I'm sure many folks, including Christians, don't know that's in the Bible.

Leftists object to workers being mistreated but what does Leviticus 19:13 say? "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning." In those days, people had no bank accounts or received unemployment payments so they needed to be paid daily in order to survive.

Additionally, what about being kind to disabled people? Leviticus 19:14 states, "Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD."

The fact is that everybody is shaped by the society they grew up in. In the west, it's the Christian ethos which has shaped our thinking. This is why we don't have a cast system  as India does. Neither do we have classes of infidels as Islamic societies do. Western women aren't chattel either but are equals with men. Many of the folks who condemn Christianity hold to its morals. Isn't it hypocritical then to condemn the very religion which gives them so many benefits?

I'll be covering this topic in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Millions of people assume that all religions lead to God but they're wrong. I hope my book shows them why and convinces them to change their minds.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Who Has the Moral High Ground?

Now that I've shown that love is a verb, enemies of the gospel might claim that we shouldn't be hypocrites when it comes to which sins we despise. But which world view views hypocrisy as a bad thing? Is it not the Christian world view which holds this to be a terrible sin?

Those who accuse Christians of being hypocrites and, as a result, despise Christianity, are actually using a Christian world view. Is that not itself hypocrisy?

Let's examine what Romans 2:1-4 (BBE) says. "So you have no reason, whoever you are, for judging: for in judging another you are judging yourself, for you do the same things. And we are conscious that God is a true judge against those who do such things. But you who are judging another for doing what you do yourself, are you hoping that God's decision will not take effect against you? Or is it nothing to you that God had pity on you, waiting and putting up with you for so long, not seeing that in his pity God's desire is to give you a change of heart?"

To those folks who say we lie, cheat, and steal, do you not lie, cheat, and steal? If you say we don't practice what we preach, do you practice what you preach? To you who claim we want to foist our morality on every one, isn't it you who wants your views imposed on everybody?

Real Christians, ones who have yielded control of their lives to Christ, occasionally stray and commit sins. But unlike those who feel there's nothing wrong with what they've done, we humble ourselves before our Lord and Master, begging him for forgiveness and help to stay faithful to him.

Therefore, the ones bashing Christians are in fact no better. They're saying, "Do as I say, not as I do." That is just as hypocritical as when a Christian speeds, shares pirated software, and deliberately pockets a few pens from the stock room at work.

I'll be writing much more about people and their moral high horses in a book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Christians need to make absolutely sure that they'll be on Christ's right hand side when Judgement Day comes. Death is truly a deadline which nobody is exempt from.

My thanks go to Voddie Baucham for his indirect help with this post.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

What Will You do With Jesus Christ?

This is a question which Everybody must deal with. I've been blogging about who will be going to heaven for the past year or so and this is the crucial matter. Get it wrong and you're headed for an agonizing eternity. Get it right and you'll be in heaven with all those people through time and space whom God predestinated.

No matter what other religions teach, there is only one way to be with the heavenly Father. Christ explained to Thomas in John 14:6 (KJV) about the only way to God. "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'"

But how can this be so when other religions say they teach the way to paradise in the afterlife? Only Jesus fulfilled all God's requirements in the law which he gave Israel. Hebrews 4:15 (KJV)states, "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."

This is why he could say that he was the only way to the Father. As he told Martha when her brother Lazarus was dead for four days, (John 11:25 KJV) "Jesus said unto her, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:'"
Christ will judge every person who ever lived. Look at what John 5:26-29 (BBE) says. "For even as the Father has life in himself, so he has given to the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to be judge because he is the Son of man. Do not be surprised at this: for the time is coming when his voice will come to all who are in the place of the dead, And they will come out; those who have done good, into the new life; and those who have done evil, to be judged.

Will you be with the ones resurrected unto life eternal or condemned to eternal agony? Matthew 28:18 (KJV) says, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.'" Since Christ told his disciples this, it shows that we all must obey the gospel. That means we must beg him for forgiveness of our sins and yield control of our lives to him.

I'll be writing much more about this in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? This is thee question we all must deal with.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

What's Love Got to do With it?

Continuing on with the theme of love, people like to use excuses to justify their conduct. They claim that if a person feels physical attraction to another, that's love. Some even go as far as claiming that they're fulfilling God's law by calling their lust love.

Jesus summed up all ten commandments in Luke 10:27 (KJV).  "And he answering said, 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.'"

The first part of his statement sums up the first four laws and the second part sums up the remaining six commandments. Since love seeks only the good of others, practicing it fulfills the law.

For example, we love God by having him only as our Lord. We obey him rather than turning to false gods. We even honour our parents which is a form of honouring God because he gave us to them to raise.

We also love others by not lying to them or stealing from them. Even coveting is a form of harm because we want what isn't ours. Depriving neighbours of their reputation, property, family, and lives violates the commandments.

Loving others causes us to want only their benefit. Loving God causes us to obey and honour him because we want to do so.

What the world calls love is actually lust. We humans tend to want what makes our flesh feel good rather than considering the feelings of the ones we claim to love. Even if they consent, it's still a case of people using and abusing one another.

I hope to cover the topic of covetousness in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Because marriage between a man and a woman is thee standard, any other relationship is illegal in God's sight.

Thanks to Voddie Baucham for inspiring these posts.