Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Is Sin the Cause of Disabilities?

 The question of retribution for past or ancestral sin is one which people have pondered for millennia. In superstitious cultures, people assumed that disabled folks were cursed for some misdeed done in this or a previous life. Even I was the victim of such heartless speculation.

When I joined a charismatic house church, the minister and the woman in whose house services were held assumed I could be healed by them. After every attempt of the congregation as they spoke in tongues and placed hands on my head, my vision never improved. Instead of consoling me, the elders accused me of lacking faith to be healed

Instead of asking themselves if their faith was strong enough, they blamed me for hidden sin, lacking faith, ancestral sin, and lusting for sight. No matter how hard I squelched all doubts, my vision remained poor.

A minister in Zambia named Chipita Sibale preached a pertinent sermon recently on people to avoid and why they should be shunned. His comment on John 9:1-3 was especially relevant to me.

The passage in the Bible in Basic English reads, "And when he went on his way, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples put a question to him, saying, 'Master, was it because of this man's sin, or the sin of his father and mother, that he has been blind from birth?' Jesus said in answer, 'It was not because of his sin, or because of his father's or mother's; it was so that the works of God might be seen openly in him.'"

One fact that Chipita noted was that this uncaring attitude breeds indifference in people. They soon lack compassion for sufferers and blame them or their families for the disability.

This certainly was true of the cultic church which I stupidly attended for more than fifteen years. In retrospect, I can see plainly how heartless such judge mental people were.

In my book called How I Was Razed, I detailed the cult's ridiculous doctrines and how the heavenly father rescued me. Read about this wonderful testimony of his loving grace at Amazon.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Who Are Those "Little Ones" of Whom Christ Spoke?

Our Lord certainly loved children. The gospels contain many references to him touching, blessing, and even using a child as an example of trust in him.

Unfortunately for trusting souls, unscrupulous ministers misread certain passages of Scripture and come up with bizarre doctrines. For instance, the cultic teacher I once knew believed that children had angels assigned to them but once they turned twenty, they no longer needed their supervision  since they were full grown. He got this notion from Matthew 18:10 (KJV) which reads, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

It's clear from what Jesus said earlier in the passage that he meant all believers, not physical children. Matthew 18:6 (KJV) says, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

Scripture is clear that Jesus meant leading trusting believers astray was a serious offense. Even James recognized this when he wrote in the third chapter of his epistle,  (Bible in Basic English) "Do not all be teachers, my brothers, because we teachers will be judged more hardly than others."

The heavenly Father also takes a strong stance against lying teachers. Look at what 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV) boldly states. "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

One of those teachers of lies misled me for fifteen years and caused me to hate God for another nine. I wrote about how the Lord freed me from his wicked lies in a book called How I Was Razed. Visit Amazon to find out more about this wondrous testimony of providential leading.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Why is Discipleship so Important?

This sounds like such a silly and unnecessary question for any believer to ask. We know that Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV), "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."

But for some newborn Christians, they were never mentored. Like motherless lambs, they search for sustenance wherever they can find it. Cults seek after such easy prey. These naive followers of Christ are told that they can find deeper knowledge, secrets, power, and other enticing things at their particular gathering place. Little do they know that they're in a cult and getting out of it will take courage and determination.

I was one such stray lamb. When I gave my life to Christ in 1969, the vacation Bible School teacher dismissed us without giving each of us a Bible. Neither did she personally encourage us to go to church but just assumed we'd know where to go. Consequently, I turned to radio preachers for spiritual sustenance.

One of those men was Garner Ted Armstrong. His World Tomorrow program sounded so much more advanced than what I heard from the other preachers. I knew about salvation but only he gave me what I thought was discipleship.

While boarding with a family, I was introduced to a cultic house church. The doctrines taught by their charismatic leader were the same sort which I had heard from Mr. Armstrong. Additionally, he taught heretical lies such as God not being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He even claimed that we were once space aliens and that we were born here so we could get uncontaminated bodies to live in. Revelation 12:7, according to him, was an ancient nuclear war.

I wrote about how the Lord eventually rescued me from their baleful influence in a book called How I Was Razed. Read more about this awesome testimony at Amazon.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

What Does it Mean to be Born again?

My Christian siblings often forget that our lingo isn't always understood by non Christians. We casually fill our conversations with terms like "redemption," "predestination," and "sanctification" as if everybody knows what we're saying.

Like many North American children, I grew up going to a mainline church. Nobody spoke to me about being born again, though they did recite the story of Nicodemus visiting Christ alone at night. All Jesus' talk of being "born again" meant nothing to me.

At a vacation Bible School in the basement of a friend's house, I finally learned what it meant. John 3:3 (Bible in Basic English) provides the answer. "Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, Without a new birth no man is able to see the kingdom of God." This means that along with our physical birth, we need a spiritual one.

We couldn't do a thing about our physical birth and neither can we do anything to be born from above. Like a newborn, we must just let it happen.

But there is something we are asked to do and that's repent and be baptized. Saint Peter explained this in Acts 2:38 (BBE). "And Peter said, 'Let your hearts be changed, every one of you, and have baptism in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will have the Holy Spirit given to you.'"

We must confess that we're helpless to change and ask for God's forgiveness for our wickedness. Then we must follow Christ by learning from mentors about his commandments. Baptism also is important because it is a public demonstration of our surrender to the Lord's reign in our lives.

I wrote about my surrender to Jesus' sovereign will in Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. Contact me directly to find out more about life in Canada's infamous deaf and blind school.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

How many Resurrections Are There?

We who place our faith in Christ know that he was the prototype of resurrection. The problem is that some Christians think there will be two separate resurrections, one for the righteous and one for the wicket. The difference being that these folks think they happen at different times.

From what Jesus himself said, it sounds to me like both happen at once.  In John 5:28 and 29, the Bible in Basic English says, "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."

In this passage, Christ is showing the difference between the fate of the righteous and the wicked. Where people go astray on this matter is when they assume that John Nelson Darby's view of eschatology is the only correct biblical view. For millennia, Christians believed in only one great resurrection at the end of the age.

When Jesus returns, it won't be to snatch people away for seven years as some believe. Instead, he'll come as a conquering king returning to his subjects. In ancient times, the people of a kingdom would come out of the capitol city to greet their victorious sovereign and his army. Then they would proceed into the city to celebrate.

This is what the Apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (KJV), "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

But some will argue that Revelation 20:6 (KJV) says, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

People assume that the thousand years are literal, not figurative of a long time. The "first resurrection" is really us being made spiritually alive in Christ through his death and rising again, thus guaranteeing our resurrection to life eternal. The second resurrection happens at the same time but is different in the fate of those wicked souls. The "second death" is eternal damnation for those who refuse Christ's magnanimous gift of salvation.

There was a time when I didn't know how to read the Bible in context. Thanks to gifted Bible scholars, I do now. My book, How I Was Razed, shows how I was once fooled by a charismatic preacher and liberated by proper exegesis. Read more about my journey to freedom at Amazon.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Can Anything Good Come From the Cross?

Continuing on with the thought that we aren't as modern as we think, the cross still offends people today. Ever since Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, people have scoffed at such a seemingly foolish idea. To those who assume that they're wise, they can't figure out how some carpenter from Nazareth could pay for the sins of his followers.

These so-called intellectuals assume they know so much because of their university degrees. Their problem is that they aren't alive spiritually. In fact, all who aren't regenerated are heading for eternal damnation. Look at what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV). "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

How is this so? Paul answers that in 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV). "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Therefore, these unsaved individuals assume what the Bible teaches is ridiculous.

Since this is so, why bother telling anybody such spiritual facts? Paul answers that in 1 Corinthians 1:21 (KJV) "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." So it is to reach those who will believe that we proclaim Christ crucified.

Paul again tells us why  the cross is absurd to unsaved humanity. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:23 (KJV), "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;" The Jews had their fixed idea of the Messiah coming to boot out the Romans and set up Israel as God's kingdom. The Greeks prided themselves on being intellectuals so a crucified saviour made no logical sense to them.

In my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven?, I'll go into deeper examinations of why many reject Christ and only a few will actually be with God in the end.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Are We Really Modern?

We twenty-first century folks seem to think we're so advanced. Past civilizations never dreamt of phones which could take pictures and videos. They never used the word "friend" as a verb. Neither could they store entire libraries of books or music on media which will only be read by machines for a limited time.

These social revolutions which people are all worked up about aren't modern either. Homosexuality, abortion, incest, rape, and adultery are almost as old as human kind.

Family violence isn't new either. In the very first family, Cain killed Abel in a fit of jealousy because God didn't accept his sacrifice. Read the third chapter of Genesis for the full story.

Neither is the homosexual movement new, Genesis chapter nineteen shows how Sodom was so filled with homosexuals that the entire city wanted to rape the two angels who visited Lot. Even when the angels blinded the men trying to break into the house to get them, the Sodomites still kept groping for the door.

Prostitution has always been around since Adam and Eve got booted out of the garden. You can also read about bigamy, bestiality, incest,  and other sexual sins in the Old Testament.

First-century Corinth was much like our society today with it's immoral attitudes. Worse yet, the church in that city was like many North American churches today. From women's liberation to drunkenness, they had it all. Reading Paul's letter to the Corinthians is like reading a modern indictment of our churches.

Another truth which hasn't changed through the millennia is who will be in heaven. This is why I'm writing a book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? People need to know what God's criteria is for them to be with him forever. Lord willing, I hope to have the book done soon.