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One in Every Crowd March 10, 2014

Posted by regan222 in General Ranting, Religion.
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sheepMatthew 18:12 – How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

How great the Father’s love for us that He would send His only son to die.  This verse gives us a hint, or as much of one as our limited minds can conceive, of how much God loves each of us individually.  Had there been only one sheep gone astray, still the Shepherd would still have come to Earth seeking to save it.  A wise man wrote, “If I had been the only reason…he still would have died for only me.”  No Christian should ever become discouraged or think that God does not care.  God is actively interested in each of His servants, individually as well as collectively.  Do not become jealous of someone who seems to be constantly involved in serving God and winning battle after battle while you feel like you are sitting on the sidelines doing nothing of value.  This is far from the truth.  Each of God’s servants, if they are doing God’s will, is exactly where the Father expects them to be and each has the Father’s complete attention.  Anytime we feel separated from God or beneath His notice, it is only a short coming on our part.  Pray without ceasing.  Stay in the Word and seek the Will of God.  Separation from God is all one-sided.  He does not withdraw from us, we withdraw from Him.  If you cry out to Him he will find you, as a shepherd seeking a single sheep.  The wise Christian, however, will stay close to the shepherd and not be the one in every crowd that wanders astray.

NOW I remember what it was…. September 19, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Books, Religion, Science and Technology.
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I began a missive the other day concerning relativity and time dilation. I lost the thread about half way through and could NOT pull it together. While talking to our preacher earlier this week it dawned on me what exactly I was trying to say. I would like to first caveat my comments by saying that if you are of the Calvinist persuasion you will not like or agree with what I am about to say but I believe I can support my position with scripture.
There is a debate in Christian circles (hah! yeah like there is only ONE) concerning the doctrine of predestination versus the idea that all men are called to salvation. I can see both sides of the issue but I believe there is more scriptural basis for the idea that God calls all men and each has a right to choose, free of any destiny.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might
be the firstborn among many brethren.

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom
he justified, them he also glorified.

Ephesians 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good
pleasure of his will,
Most followers of the Hyper-Calvinist doctrine use at least one of the preceding verses as their justification for over applying the idea of predestination. The doctrine of predestination is generally accepted to mean ” the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, esp. with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.” (Merriam-Webster).

The trouble with that doctrine is that its purveyors mistake intention with foreknowledge. Once again, to define terms, foreknowledge is considered to mean “awareness of something before it happens or exists.” (Merriam-Webster). God is aware of the choices we will make but that does not mean He orchestrates them. The Bible is VERY clear about God’s intentions toward men concerning salvation.
1 Tim. 2:3-4 “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”
 
  2 Pet. 3:9  “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance”

Salvation is open to “whosoever will”. We are instructed to believe and be saved. God would that all people should abide with him.

Does God have foreknowledge? Is He aware that some will not accept His gift? Yes but does that mean He ordered things to be that way in infinity past? NO. To say that would imply that all things are destined to be and that God’s will can never be thwarted. This is not the case. Our actions can hinder God’s will. It happens every Sunday in churches across America. Someone in the grip of making a decision looks down the aisle as they are preparing to step out during an invitation only to see some jaded, bored Christian texting or tweeting or playing Angry Birds during the invitation. Immediately the devil begins to whisper into the potential convert’s ear about how all these people are hypocrites and he or she should wait until they find a REAL church to be saved. The will of God is thwarted by simple human indifference. The mighty arm of God stopped dead still by some thoughtless child misbehaving.

Psalm 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

1.Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

It is not only possible but fairly easy to balk God’s will. It is, however, a very dangerous and foolish thing to do, and the consequences are nearly always disastrous.

Finally, We return to the very verse most often used as justification for absolute election to, in fact, justify the more Arminian view (even though we are NOT Arminian and categorically renounce the idea of falling from grace).

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might
be the firstborn among many brethren.

According to Romans 8:29 God predestined those whom He foreknew or had foreknowledge of that they might be brothers of His son Jesus Christ.  Who, if anyone, did God NOT foreknow.  He was aware of all of us from the beginning of time and so all of us are intended to be among the brethren of Christ.  He also knew that some would not accept that offer.  He still reaches out to those with all the power and sincerity that the conviction of the Holy Spirit can muster if for no other reason than to hope that they will change their minds.  Free will is a powerful force in the universe.  We may have no other power to call our own but we always have the power to choose.  God’s view is not limited to one destiny path for all humanity.  There are hundreds of millions of individual threads of possibility each leading inexorably to the same place but each taking a different route through the lives of believers and unbelievers alike.  All of these threads are possible.  All you have to do is choose.  Choose Jesus.

He is the Light; In Him is No Darkness June 2, 2013

Posted by regan222 in Religion, Science and Technology.
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1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

One of the vital and enduring images of God in the Bible is as the ultimate source of light in the universe.  Why does this image appeal to us?  What is the nature of light and why do we find it such a positive and powerful vision?

Science tells us that light is commonly held to be that portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye.  The portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum that we can perceive is the gradient of electro-magnetic radiation types that extends from extremely low frequency radio waves to the ultra high frequency gamma radiation or cosmic rays at the other.  In other words, light is a form of energy.  It is not matter (although it may act like it on occasion as we will see.)  I qualify my definition with “that we can perceive” because, as the  only difference between the low end and high end is the number of pulses or waves in a given time unit, the spectrum is for all intents and purposes, infinite.  We can, however, only perceive a fraction of it, and without the aid of special instruments or detectors, only a tiny portion of that fraction.

We have established that light is energy.  Energy is then defined as the ability to do work.  Can light do work?  Any type of energy can be transformed into any other type.  Chemical energy (think gasoline) can be transformed into kinetic energy (think, car driving down the road.)  Light from the sun may be captured by a photovoltaic cell and transformed into electricity, or it may be captured by the chlorophyll in a plant and used to create chemical energy (sugar) for the plant to use or store.  Yes, light is very capable of doing work, almost ANY kind of work you can think of.  In much the same way, the Hand of God is at work in every aspect or our world and our lives.  He is not limited to one avenue or effect.  The power of God is adaptable to any and all situations.  He can be as big or small as He needs to be to accomplish His Will.

While God’s power is adaptable and has infinite application, it can never be defeated.

Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee

The Law of Conservation of Energy tells us that energy can neither be destroyed nor created for that matter.  Energy is without origin or ending.  Like energy, God has no beginning and no end.  He is from everlasting to everlasting.

Psalms 103:17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

This psalm tells us what to expect when dealing with God.  He is the alpha and omega.  He is without rival.  There is not struggle for position when we flip on a light switch.  The darkness is immediately banished and light shines forth.  Those who propose a duality or balance in the cosmos between God and the devil would do well to remember this.  There is no contest.  The devil acts because God allows him to.  In God’s presence, Lucifer immediately shrinks and retreats.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

God is compared to the light and is said to be the light of the world.  Light is the portion of energy that we can perceive without aid.  We can see the light using only our own eyes, unless we are handicapped in some way.  God’s entire purpose throughout the history of the world has been to make himself known to mankind, to establish a relationship that is unique and personal to each individual.  We do not need priests or shaman or anyone else to grant us access to God.  He is approachable to anyone and everyone.  We merely have to approach on His terms.

Hebrews 10:18 – 21 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

Any believer may approach the throne of God because, when God observes the believer, He sees the image of Christ in us and upon us.  We are justified in His perception by the sacrifice He paid for us.

Light is a comfort.  Our first steps into civilization involved banishing the darkness with light.  It has been our continual question.  Every child knows the peace and security that a tiny night light brings to a dark and shadow-filled room.  This is not learned behavior, it is wired into the very nature of us.  No matter that we often deny it, we fear and curse the dark and we long for the light.  Even so, the carnal man may curse and deny the existence of God.  Often he scoffs or mocks but in truth, the very vociferousness of the attack indicates the depth of the need in the heart.  The world is vehement in its denial of God because they know, down deep, that they are mislead by the darkness and will soon by spurned by the light.  To admit this would be to admit their lost condition.

Finally, as was pointed out at the beginning, light is energy that can sometimes take on the characteristics of matter.  Energy propagates or moves through any medium in the form of waves.  Waves have the properties of frequency, wavelength, and they may be reflected or refracted as they travel.  Matter, on the other hand, is exactly what we expect.  It is solid (or liquid or gas or plasma) material that obeys all the laws of physics.  Some things or compressible or malleable.  As a gas is compressed or expanded, its temperature changes.  Liquids conform to the shape of their containers.  Matter obeys its nature as does energy and matter, like energy, can never be created or destroyed.  HOWEVER…

Light is unique in that it posses a dual nature.  It behaves as energy as well as having some properties of matter.  Light may be reflected or refracted as it travels from its source.  Setting up a light source behind two narrow slits in a material that will not allow light to penetrate and looking at the resulting shadow and light patterns on a wall will demonstrate that light has the capacity for interference.  Any wave will set up areas of constructive and destructive interference when it encounters other waves along it’s path.  In short, light behaves exactly as we would expect waves to behave.  Light will also, however, demonstrate some very matter-like properties.  According to Einstein, if light were merely a wave then all points along the wave front would be affected equally if they were to pass through, say, a filter that absorbed part of the energy of the light (think sunglasses or tinted windows.)  However, the energy of a beam of white light (a mixture of all the different frequencies or colors of light) is affected differently when traveling through an absorbent medium.  Some frequencies or colors or light have a higher energy than others.  This can be shown using a digital camera and a series of filters.  By using one light source (the sun) to take a picture, and then retaking the same picture through darker and darker filters we would expect the image to gradually darken evenly across the entire spectrum.  This is not the case.  Some colors appear brighter than others in the filtered image because some particles (photons) of light strike the CCD (Charged Couple Device) surface harder than do others.  We can even predict what frequencies will have the most energy (be brighter) by multiplying Planck’s Constant by the frequency of the photon we have singled out.

Why did I just put you through a moderately difficult physics lesson on the dual nature of light?  While energy can not be created or destroyed, it IS possible to change it into other forms of energy and it is even possible to change energy into matter.  Particle accelerators create subatomic particles using the energy of collisions between positrons and electrons.  Eventually it could even be possible to capture those particles and put them together into atoms and molecules (still beyond our technology right now but theoretically very possible).  In that some way, the nature of God was transformed into matter.  He became flesh even as we are.  He became us in the person of Jesus Christ.  While some may deny that Christ is God, the Bible tells us otherwise.

John 1:1In the Beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word WAS God.

The word became flesh and dwelt among us.  This is most important because, as matter may be created from energy (God became flesh) it is also possible for matter to be converted into energy.  If we will allow it, the spirit or nature of Christ can indwell us and transform us into a new aspect of ourselves.

Ephesians 4:22 – 24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

You can be made new by accepting the free gift of transformation that God offers.  Believe the Gospel.  Christ became as we are, he lived as none of us could and then was executed, not for any crime of his own, but for yours and mine.  Acknowledge your inability to satisfy the justice of God and accept instead, His mercy.  Believe.  It is an active choice of the will.  You get to choose.  Choose to depend on him as your advocate and not on your own righteousness.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags

The best we can do on our own is failure but by simply believing that Christ is who he said he was and that he has the power to change us, he makes it so.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

 

Let a Man Examine Himself August 10, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, General Ranting, Religion.
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Watch the video and then watch the sermon

But Let a Man Examine Himself

1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Taken in context, these verses encourage anyone partaking of the Lord’s Supper to examine their own hearts and make sure they are approaching the Lord with the right motives before they sit down at His table.  It may be inferred that self examination is profitable at any time.  I made the majority of that video a reflection in a mirror for a reason.  We need to pause and reflect upon our own reflections for a moment and take stock of our growth and progress.  Hopefully what you have just watched will offer up some things to look at as you examine yourself.

I. Examine your Methods.

Right away we should be aware that God is not so nearly interested in what we do as He is in why we do it.  Each of us has been given talents and gifts to make us uniquely suited for the role God would have us play in the world.

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

We have no right to glory or boast in our abilities because God is the source of the talents and abilities we have received.  God, in His wisdom, knew that the church would need many different kinds of workers, just as the body needs many different kinds of organs.  Some He called to preach or to teach or to give, or to encourage, but we all have in common the source of our abilities and what we are to use them for.  Of ourselves, we are nothing.  If you are a great singer, a powerful speaker, a wise businessman, beware of pride.  What exactly did you get outside of God who sovereignly gives and takes away?  Look at the person who has nothing and think for a moment, there but for the grace of God go I.

As this is the case, we are held responsible for very little.  In the work of salvation, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith.  We only accept or decline.  As a witness we are called upon to spread the gospel.  We are not held accountable for its results.  I don’t hold James responsible for carrying out the trash or washing the car yet.  There is very little that we are held responsible for because we are capable of very little.  God does, however, expect at least two things from us.  We must be faithful in our service if we want to serve and we must do our best.  If we have the faith of a mustard seed we can do much, but we must have that faith.

  Numbers 19:2
This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:
  Numbers 28:3
And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.

  Numbers 28:9
And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:
  Numbers 28:11
And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;
  Numbers 29:17
And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
  Numbers 29:26
And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:

When we do give something to God, be it sacrifice or service, He only wants our best efforts.   We need to examine ourselves and see if we are truly giving our best.

II. Examine your motives

To a Christian, motives are the most important factor in their actions.  The unsaved man’s motivation comes from worldly things.  They are focused on self and what pleases self.  Even their good deeds are motivated by selfish motives.  They give to causes and charity because it makes them feel good.  All actions from the lost man are motivated by self and the world.

The early Southern Baptists held that “The scriptural doctrine of depravity is not that every man is a bad as he possibly can be, for there may be indefinite progression in guilt:–nor that one man is necessarily as wicked as another,–for there may be as many shades of depravity as there are sinners in the universe. But it teaches us that man, by nature, is destitute of all holy principles and desires; that there is nothing in his character which is pleasing in the sight of God; that being alienated in his heart from God, corrupt in the very fountain of action, in the temper and spirit of his mind, all the actions that he performs, even those which are in themselves excellent and lovely, are still the service of an alien and a rebel, and consequently an abomination in the sight of heaven.”  The lost man, even in the act of caring for his child or providing for his family, is in the service of “an alien and a rebel” and is “consequently an abomination in the sight of heaven.”

The Christian, on the other hand, is commanded to put self last on the priority list.  We are motivated by God’s will.  He asks and we act in disregard for self or worldly gain or anything else that would motivate a worldly person.  History is filled with examples of Christians who would prefer to live in poverty or die in pain rather than act out of God’s will.

Matthew 6: 1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

The lost soul does good to receive a reward.  They operate under the law.  When the Pharisee prays on the street corner and in the market place he gets his reward from the people who are impressed when they see him.  The Christian is commanded to do alms, or to give, in secret.  No one should know.  We are not motivated by worldly recognition.  We only seek God’s well done.  We need to examine ourselves and see if we are acting out of love for God or for ourselves.

III. Examine your Future

You’d think we should examine the past first rather than the future, but as you will see, the past determines the future.  For the saved church member, we stand at a critical junction.  Like Gideon’s army at the river

Judges 7:4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

Look around for a moment.  There are seats empty that were once filled.  The people who sat there have, for one reason or another, fallen by the way.  We have a place being prepared for us just as the Israelites of the Old Testament but not everyone who set out with us on this journey will arrive.  In order to have a future we must be faithful in the present.  They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years until none of that original generation of adults was left alive because of their lack of faith.  The group future was preserved just as God promised but a lot of individual futures fell by the side of the road getting there.

Isaiah 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

The church has been described as a vine.  I am not so familiar with grapes but I have an acute awareness of blackberry vines.  The best way to get more fruit from the vine is to cut away the dead wood during the winter.  The time for pruning is when the vine is not actively producing fruit.  The wise gardener knows this and when he sees the vine with no fruit he cuts away the dead wood.  In the spring, the remaining wood produces more fruit.  No vine ever died from careful pruning and in fact, they produce more fruit for the gardener.  We need to examine our future.  Don’t be part of the pruned.  Hold fast and remain faithful and receive the reward.

IV. Examine Your Past

Contrary to what you might think, the past is more important than the future in this case.  The past writes the future.  If you believe and receive the gospel in the past, then in the future, your reward is assured.  If you have no past relationship with Jesus Christ, you have no future.  You cannot sneak into heaven.  Some people have the mistaken idea that if they hang around the church long enough, attend enough services, give enough, even get baptized or become a member of the church, then they will somehow establish a relationship with Jesus by proxy or by just being around long enough.  You need to examine your past right now and see if there is a moment in time when you definitively responded to the call of the gospel and accepted Jesus Christ as savior.  Somewhere at sometime in your life you said yes to the Lord and your life was changed.  This is the only way in to heaven.

The past is past.  It’s gone.  The wonderful thing about the present is that you have a chance to change the future.  Today is your opportunity.  It’s the only chance you are absolutely guaranteed.  The future is very uncertain.  You might not have one outside of this door.  Don’t take that chance.  Examine your past and write your future here in the present and for all time.  Accept the Lord Jesus in faith.  Choose to believe the gospel that he died for you and rose again and you will rise as well.

Wisdom vs. Knowledge July 16, 2012

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Here is my Sunday School lesson for 7/15.  We were looking at Solomon and the two harlots who each claimed the living baby.  I am just posting the outline this time…

I.  Wisdom Defined:

A.    Wisdom: 1. The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.  2. The soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

Wisdom is an action trait.  It is only valuable if used.  By contrast, knowledge is merely a collection of facts and information.  It does not require action in order to justify its existence.  Wisdom must be put to work.

Solomon knew he needed God’s help in order to be a wise ruler.  Part of wisdom is experience.  Solomon was very young, and, having grown up in the palace, was likely sheltered from much of the experience that many people receive growing up.  Solomon, did, however, have the knowledge of his own limitations.  There is much wisdom in him even before the Lord blesses him.

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

And now, O Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.

And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

Solomon knew what he needed to rule well.  He knew the only source for that kind of wisdom was the source and font of all wisdom.  He understood that discernment was more important to a ruler than military might or riches or any other characteristic.

II. Wisdom Displayed

A. Most believers are familiar with the story of the two harlots.  Solomon knew, from a very brief exposure to these two that the child’s true mother would react as she did.  Solomon also depended on God to make sure everything went according to his plan.

B. Solomon knew that there are some basic human tenets that are constant even among the morally questionable.  Mothers love their children.  It is ingrained.  The child’s mother would much rather see him raised by some other woman than to see him killed.  The other woman really did not care, though no doubt she was heartbroken about the death of her own child.

III. Wisdom Departed

A. Unfortunately Solomon did not maintain the course of wisdom in his later years.  The condition that God placed on Solomon’s life was that if Solomon would follow in the ways of the Lord all his life then God would add days to his life.

B. Solomon allowed unequal yokemates to enter his life.  He married outside of his faith and allowed the immorality of his foreign wives to lead him from the paths of righteousness, and unfortunately, wisdom as well.  Solomon might have ruled years longer if only he had not allowed foolishness and sin to cloud his judgement.

1Kings 11:3  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.

For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.

Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.

And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.

Solomon lost the chance to establish a dynasty and had the kingdom stripped from the royal family because of his wickedness.

Church Media: It’s really not the end September 18, 2011

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Are you one of those Christians who think that the words “Christian” and “media” don’t belong in the same sentence?  Do you feel that a screen with words and pictures hanging in a sanctuary is the end of western civilization as well as organized religion?  Take a deep breath because I am going to challenge that belief. 

For as long as there has been organized religion, there have been attempts by the clergy to illustrate points and proverbs for their congregations.  Believers who oppose any effort by a minister to use methods outside the Bible and the human voice to illustrate or expand upon a point would do well to remember that Jesus himself delivered his most powerful sermons in the form of parables or “along side” stories that illustrated the point he was trying to make.  He was also known to write in the dust to emphasize a meaning.  Through out church history, paintings and sketches have been used with great effect to enable the spirit to see great truths in a message.

The Apostle Paul called for the use of any means to present the gospel so that some, who might not be saved through fear, might be saved by kindness.  We are doing a disservice to anyone who is willing to spread the gospel of Jesus if we try to limit their methods in any way.