“The Lord says . . .”

bible3.jpgIs the Bible the Word of God?

The Bible directly quotes God roughly 3,000 times and the New Testament writers quote the Old Testament as the word of God 320 times.  Keep in mind that some of those references covered passages of scripture and not just one verse.

Also, Jesus claimed to be God, so all the “red letters” would be Biblical claims to be the Word of God.  And roughly 10% of the red letters quote the black letters.  As noted in “What did Jesus think of the Old Testament,” the references Jesus made to the Old Testament were varied and often cited the most controversial parts – Satan, Noah, Jonah, Sodom, etc.  Jesus made zero corrections to the Old Testament, and He quoted from the Pentateuch (the first five books), Psalms, Jonah and others.  He even said:

Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

I did some searches in my Bible software on a few phrases to see how many times they occurred.  There were so many that I got tired after a while.  Watch for them when you read the Bible.  It is really quite amazing.

  • The Lord says 198
  • The Lord said 301
  • The word of the Lord 239
  •  . . . declares the Lord 266
  •  . . . oracle 47
  • I am the Lord 158
  • Lord instructed 3
  • Lord commanded 117
  • Lord had commanded 24
  • the Lord gave this command 1
  • Lord gave 42
  • Lord told 10
  • Lord has told 4
  • Says the Lord 103
  • The Lord almighty says 47
  • Says the Lord almighty 31
  • The Lord almighty, the God of Israel says 1
  • Lord spoke 25
  • Lord revealed 1
  • Lord then said 1
  • Lord answered 23
  • God said 54
  • Lord had said 31
  • Lord replied 11
  • Holy one of Israel says 2
  • Lord called 14

Then, of course, there is 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (Yes, I know some people think that doesn’t apply to the New Testament.  I’ll address that in another post.)  And Peter referred to Paul’s writings as scripture.

So the Bible makes an extraordinary amount of claims to be the Word of God and that it was transmitted to us accurately.

What’s the point?

Now before any skeptics or Liberal Theologians choke on their own rage yelling, “circular reference!,” let me point out that I’m not referring to these as my only proof that the Bible is God’s Word.  I understand that claiming that the Bible is God’s Word because it says it is God’s Word wouldn’t be an adequate argument.  We have other evidence for it being God’s Word.

Still, there are a couple important points one can draw from this huge amount of references.

If the Bible is God’s Word then wouldn’t you expect it to make that claim?  In fact, if it didn’t make that claim wouldn’t you view that as a reason for it not being God’s word?  And if it said it wasn’t God’s word then it obviously wouldn’t be God’s word.  So the claims to be God’s word are a sort of necessary occurrence.

The second and main point of this post is only for Christians who claim the Bible isn’t all inspired by God, or that it was just what the Jews and Christians thought God was saying, or that it is somehow incomplete.

If you really think the Bible has upwards of 3,000 errors / lies in it, why pick it up?

How do you discern which parts belong there and which do not?  You appear to believe in Leopard Theology, where the Bible is only inspired in spots and that you are inspired to spot the spots, or Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding/removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological liberals and progressives.

Why should I trust your “inspiration” more than I trust the writings of the Apostles or their close companions, especially considering that every word they wrote has been scrutinized by believers and non-believers for 2,000 years?  Why should I trust your views when you deny many of the essentials of the faith and often claim that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection aren’t necessary for people to be reconciled to God or to go to Heaven?

The Gospels and the rest of the New Testament make multiple warnings about sound doctrine and Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their false doctrines.  And sound doctrine is found in the Word of God.  Otherwise, what doctrines were the writers referring to?

From beginning to end, the Bible claims to be the Word of God.  Is believing that a requirement for salvation?  No.  The criminal on the cross wasn’t a Bible scholar but he went to Heaven because he put his faith in Jesus.

But how even marginally educated Christians can hold a view other than the Bible being the Word of God is beyond me.  The educated theological liberals who deny God’s word tip their hands that their beliefs are really just politics disguised as religion.  I love Charles Spurgeon’s comment about these types and how he has “no more faith in their mercy than in their accuracy.”

Authentic believers are expected to trust that it is the word of God:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

Read it and enjoy it, knowing that the original writings turned out just as God and the human writers desired and that they have been accurately transmitted to us.  It will accomplish all that God promised it would.

Isaiah 55:10-11 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Ahab repented. Jezebel didn’t.

If you’ve read the Old Testament — and all of you should have! — you’ll recall the pattern of the seemingly countless evil kings, especially in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.  King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel*, were over-the-top evil.  Here’s a sample:

1 Kings 16:30–33 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. 31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 

Then consider this message from Elijah:

1 Kings 21:20–29 (ESV) 20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” He answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of the Lord. 21 Behold, I will bring disaster upon you. I will utterly burn you up, and will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 22 And I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the anger to which you have provoked me, and because you have made Israel to sin. 23 And of Jezebel the Lord also said, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel within the walls of Jezreel.’ 24 Anyone belonging to Ahab who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone of his who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat.”

That sound severe, but fair (especially if you read the rest of the passages about this fun couple).  So Ahab is really going to get it, right?  Not exactly.

Ahab’s Repentance

25 (There was none who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab, whom Jezebel his wife incited. 26 He acted very abominably in going after idols, as the Amorites had done, whom the Lord cast out before the people of Israel.)

27 And when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh and fasted and lay in sackcloth and went about dejectedly. 28 And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.”

Wait a minute — this guy is the most evil king ever, and by repenting for 15 minutes God lets him off the hook?  Where is the “mean and vengeful” Old Testament God I’ve been hearing so much about?  Note that I’m not necessarily saying that Ahab is in Heaven.  The text isn’t completely clear on that.  But God did withhold that judgment when Ahab repented.

But did Jezebel repent?  No.  She was eaten by dogs, just as predicted.

God’s grace is huge and wonderful, but you must repent.  If you haven’t done so already, I recommend doing it now.  And read all of God’s word.  You never know what you’ve been missing.

* As my youngest daughter likes to note, it is too bad that Jezebel was so spectacularly evil.  It would have made a really pretty name for a girl.

How many translations did your Bible go through?

bible5.gifOne (1). 

Really. Just one time from the original language to the language and version of your Bible.  The original writings were copied many times, but the Bible you hold was only translated once.   This is one of my favorite lessons in apologetics (defending the Christian faith) because it is such a simple and accurate explanation to a common and important objection.

Many people – including some Christians – are quick to say that the Bible has been translated and changed so many times over the centuries that we don’t know what the original writings said.  For example, I saw a video clip where Deepak Chopra (alleged religious expert) claims that the King James was the 13th iteration of the Bible.

But contrary to that myth, the books of the Bible have only been translated once and the copying process was very robust, dependable and verifiable.  This is an easy way to politely correct people on one of the most common errors they make, so please commit this response to memory.  I’ve used this to persuade agnostics and Mormons, among others, in literally a minute or so.  They didn’t concede that the writings were divinely inspired, but it was easy to correct them about the translation myth.

For example, Paul wrote in Greek, and we have Greek manuscripts to make translations from.  That is one translation.

Conventional wisdom: Tranlations from one language to another to another . . .

Greek original ==> Latin translation ==> other translations ==> King James version ==> English Standard Version, etc.

What actually happened

Greek original ==> copies of Greek original ==> Latin version

Greek original ==> copies of Greek original ==> King James version

Greek original ==> copies of Greek original ==> English Standard Version

Etc.

So the real issue is how accurate and reliable the copying process was.  The science of textual criticism shows that the copies of the New Testament are 99.5% accurate and that the differences are minor and have no impact on Christian theology.  Even atheist textual critics like Bart Ehrman, an “ex-Christian” who makes a living attacking Christianity, will concede that.

Regarding the Old Testament, here are some notes from the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry.  The existence of the Dead Sea Scrolls provided spectacular evidence to refute the myth that the Old Testament had been changed significantly.

The OT does not have as many supporting manuscripts as the NT but it is, nevertheless, remarkably reliable.

  1. The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew OT done around 250 B.C., attests to the reliability and consistency of the OT when it is compared to existing Hebrew manuscripts.
  2. The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 also verify the reliability of the OT manuscripts.
  3. The Dead Sea Scrolls were ancient documents that were hidden in a cave in Israel about 2000 years ago. The scrolls contained many OT books, one of them being Isaiah.
    1. Before the Dead Sea scrolls, the earliest existing manuscript of the OT was dated around 900 A.D. called the Masoretic Text. The Scrolls contained OT documents 1000 years earlier. A comparison between the manuscripts revealed an incredible accuracy of transmission through copying, so much so that critics were silenced.

In summary, the Bible you hold has only been translated once, and the copying process was very robust, dependable and verifiable. 

Also see Is the New Testament Text Reliable? and Hasn’t the Bible been rewritten so many times that we can’t trust it anymore?

This was a favorite updated for your reading pleasure.

 

Well, that didn’t last long.

I’m referring to the Isralites’ celebration and obedience after they returned from their 70 year exile and re-built the wall of Jerusalem.  In Nehemiah chapter 12 they have a major celebration:

Nehemiah 12 (ESV)  38 The other choir of those who gave thanks went to the north, and I followed them with half of the people, on the wall, above the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall, 39 and above the Gate of Ephraim, and by the Gate of Yeshanah, and by the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate; and they came to a halt at the Gate of the Guard. 40 So both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God, and I and half of the officials with me; 41 and the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 43 And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.

The context here is vital, and it really sticks out when you have gone through the Old Testament chronologically, as I just finished doing.  If you read the OT straight through then Nehemiah comes before the halfway point.  But if you read it chronologically then there are only 5 chapters after it (a Psalm plus the book of Micah).  So it is basically at the end.

To reach this point you had to have read about dozens and dozens of judges and kings, most of whom were bad, the cycles of rebellion by the people (Baal worship, child sacrifice, and so much more), all the prophets warning them of doom, the Northern Kingdom taken away, then 200 years later the fall of Judah and the destruction of the temple.  The people are taken away to Babylon.  The books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and more describe in detail the grisly famine, pestilence, plague and sword that killed countless Israelites along with the humiliation of being carried away to other lands.  Pretty bleak stuff.

But after 70 years in exile they get to come back, and in miraculous fashion — just like God promised.  As Ezra and Nehemiah recount, there was great drama in King Cyrus letting the people return and in helping re-build the wall.

So in Nehemiah 12 the people celebrate.  So what happens in Nehemiah 13, roughly 15 minutes later?  Rampant disobedience: Foreigners in the temple, not paying the priests, violating the Sabbath.

Nehemiah 13 (ESV)   13 On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.

Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.

10 I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. 11 So I confronted the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service.

15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. 16 Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! 17 Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.”

19 As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love.

As I read about their disobedience throughout the OT my first reaction is, “Why did you do that when you knew better?  You were God’s chosen people!  You knew him like no one else.  You had direct access to his word, and you ignored it.”  Then I’m convicted that I’m the same way.  Think of how much we know about God and how easy it is to slip into sin.  It is almost as if on our own we will continue to sin no matter how hard we try, and that we need someone with the power to save us and change us . . .

P.S. People who hold to the “mean OT God / nice NT God” need to read more of both.  God’s grace towards the Israelites — and us — is profound.

Roundup

As if there weren’t enough reasons to dislike Michigan: University of Michigan Kicks Christian Club off Campus. So . . . I’m sure the Muslim groups will let a bunch of Jewish people join, elect themselves to leadership and then adopt all sorts of pro-Israel messaging. And the gay groups will let Christians come in, take over and issue proclamations noting their opposition to “same-sex marriage” and their support for God’s view of sexuality.

One of the nice things about the near-exclusive targeting of Christians by the PC-police and others is their tacit admission that we have the one true faith. They don’t get offended by false religions, because deep down they know they aren’t the enemy. But they oppose Jesus all day, every day.

Some good news: Planned Parenthood Closes Tulsa, Oklahoma Clinic After De-Funding

ABC Ignores Tim Scott’s [Republican] Senate Appointment in Dec., By Jan. Hails Mo Cowan’s [Democrat] as ‘History’ — a reminder that media bias and the racism industry work in many ways.

To recap, the first African American wasn’t news worthy enough to mention, but the second African American is history making.

Feminist politicians and media go nuts over Sen. Bob Menendez’ use of underage prostitutes. Oh, wait, they are doing nothing. He’s a Democrat.

Mother’s world falls apart after Planned Parenthood hides humanity of her child – These cases are so sad, and they happen constantly at the nation’s largest abortion provider – and with your tax dollars! Oddly, it turns out that people who kill babies for a living aren’t bothered by telling lies.

“I never saw my ultrasound,” she says. “I was told nothing was visible, and I was told that it wouldn’t matter—you couldn’t see a heartbeat, you couldn’t see anything. . . . I wouldn’t know what I was looking at.”

Armed guard stops school shooting in Atlanta – This was posted on February 1. Did the MSM ever cover it in depth? Did they talk about it for weeks and rejoice over the many saved lives? Of course not, because it doesn’t fit in with their gun-grabbing agenda. The pro-abortion Left does not care about kids.

Why GOP Doesn’t Contest Massive Democrat Voter Fraud – this is sad. Some poor-thinking Republicans set us up for this 30 years ago. This needs to change, because the Democrats are getting more and more bold with their voter fraud.

Sandy Hook Not The Worst School Massacre – and there is no reason to think the killer wouldn’t have murdered people even if he couldn’t access guns.

William Lane Craig debates James Crossley on the resurrection of JesusThe resurrection is central to the Christian faith. Without it, we admit we’re wrong (1 Cor. 15). With it, Jesus is the only way to salvation and forgiveness of your countless sins against God. Everyone should be familiar with the arguments for the resurrection.

Baker Investigated For Refusing To Make Cake For Same Sex Couple – There have been many cases like this. They don’t happen accidentally. The baker wasn’t refusing to service lesbians, he was refused to make a cake celebrating a lesbian “wedding.” Why are we letting 2% of the people run our country?

Should Christians seek to share the Gospel with Jewish people?

Of course they should, right?  What could be more obvious to believers?

Apparently it isn’t obvious to false teachers who write things like Can We Stop Trying To Evangelize Jews Now? (And make no mistake, most theological Liberals rationalize that we shouldn’t share the Good News with Jews.)

“I would argue that it inappropriate and deeply offensive for Christians to attempt to convert Jews or to misuse the Hebrew Scriptures and claim them as Christian writings.

- Rev. Chuck Currie

That’s odd, because Jesus tried to convert Jews, as did all the early Christians, including Paul. Should we listen to Chuck or to the early church and the Bible?

Does the apostate UCC and UMC, both served by Chuck, not include the Old Testament in their Bible? That’s what Chuck appears to be saying, but it is news to me. And I’ve seen Chuck (mis)quote the OT many times. I’m not sure why he is abandoning it now.

Paul was even willing to sacrifice his own salvation if it would save all the Jews:

Romans 9:1 I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit– 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

Romans 10: 1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Chuck and other false teachers go wrong when they let fallacious illustrations like this trump the Bible:

Could you honestly tell a Jewish child being forced into the fires of a concentration camp that they are doomed to the fires of hell because they don’t accept Jesus as their savior?

They stack the deck by using the vague term child.  If we take that out so that we don’t muddy the waters with age-of-accountability questions, the answer is simple: Yes, I could honestly tell a Jew that they are doomed to Hell if they don’t repent and believe.  What was so hard about that? That is what the Bible teaches over and over, such as John 8:24 (“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”).  I realize that Chuck and the other false teachers sit in judgment of God and don’t like that truth, but it is still the truth.  Just because you die a tragic and unjust death doesn’t mean you weren’t a sinner in need of a Savior.  Only a non-believer could think that (allegedly) sparing someone a little angst about Hell right before they go there for eternity is some kind of good deed.

It is only in the perverse, God-hating world of theological Liberals that it is unkind to tell people how to avoid an eternity in Hell.

It is only the truly hateful, self-loving false teachers who would consciously deny the truth to people who desperately need it — Jews included.

Should we be more like Ezekiel?

God gave an interesting command to Ezekiel, telling him to preach the truth and noting that if he didn’t, then he would be accountable for the people, but if he did, then the people would be accountable.

I’m not saying that command applies to present day Christians, but it is worth thinking about.  Do we warn others of the truth?  If we thought we’d be accountable for withholding the truth would that change things?

Ezekiel 3:16-21  And at the end of seven days, the word of the LORD came to me:”Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.  If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul. Again, if a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits injustice, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die. Because you have not warned him, he shall die for his sin, and his righteous deeds that he has done shall not be remembered, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the righteous person not to sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning, and you will have delivered your soul.”

Jesus: Still the only way to salvation for everyone, including Jewish people

In Mohler to Weiner: Atone Through Jesus, false teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie is too ashamed of the Gospel to acknowledge that Jewish people need to hear it.  He loves himself and the world more than Jewish people, so he instinctively slams Al Mohler simply for claiming what is taught in the Bible over and over: Jesus is the only way to salvation.  If you can’t get that simple fact right, Christianity may not be your forte’.

Here’s the comment I left at the Huffington Post (which, of course, they didn’t post).

If Jewish people can be saved without trusting in Jesus, why did Paul say he wished he could give up his salvation on their behalf?

This isn’t about people being arrogant because they think they are right (that is, unless Chuck and all who agree with him are conceding to being arrogant just because they think they are right).

This is about what the Bible teaches.  And it couldn’t be more clear: There are over 100 passages in the New Testament saying that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  That isn’t what makes it true (Jesus’ rising from the dead does that), but it means that anyone claiming the name of Christ should hold that view.  Any other view is the opposite of what the Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches.

If you want to see the kind of people who find Chuck to be religiously enlightening, read the comments that they did post (Logic: They’re doin’ it wrong).  You could do a blog post on almost every comment pointing out their multiple logical fallacies and plain old ignorance.

Here are parts of Chuck’s post:

Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a regular on cable television, had a message this weekend for scandal-plagued U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, which he sent, quite naturally, via Twitter, according to USA Today:

“Dear Congressman Weiner: There is no effective “treatment” for sin. Only atonement, found only in Jesus Christ.”

Weiner is Jewish.

Eek!  How dare Mohler share the Gospel with someone who is Jewish.  Oh, wait, isn’t that what Paul and all the early Apostles did?  (“first for the Jew, then for the Gentile . . .”)  Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, still always started off in the synagogues.

This isn’t the first time that Mohler has spoken strongly of his belief that Jews need Christ to be saved. He once compared Judaism to a tumor that needed to be removed. EthicsDaily.com reported in 2003:

While Jewish evangelism is controversial today, Mohler said Christians do Jewish people a disservice by failing to confront them with the gospel. He compared it to a person with a potentially deadly tumor, who would rather have a doctor give a truthful diagnosis than say all is well to avoid offending him.In the same way, telling a Jewish person she is in danger of hell “is the ultimate act of Christian love,” Mohler said. …

Notice how false teacher Chuck tries to make it look like Mohler said Judaism was a tumor, when he was merely pointing out that a doctor that won’t tell you what is really killing you isn’t much of a doctor at all — just like people like Chuck are lousy “reverends” and “Christians.”

In addition to his comments about the Jewish religion, Mohler has also described Catholicism as “a false church” teaching “a false gospel.” He says liberal Protestants have abandoned the Christian faith. …

Note to Chuck: The Reformation happened for a reason.  Actually, 95 of them.  If you don’t think the Catholic church is false you should join it.

And liberal Protestants like you have abandoned the faith!  You proudly deny that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

. . .

Mohler’s views are not shared by all Christians.

Correction: His views on the exclusivity of Christ are shared with all real Christians.

In 1987, The United Church of Christ adopted a resolution that stated in part:

We in the United Church of Christ acknowledge that the Christian Church has, throughout most of its history, denied God’s continuing covenantal relationship with the Jewish people expressed in the faith of Judaism. This denial has often led to outright rejection of the Jewish people and to theologically and humanly intolerable violence. The Church’s frequent portrayal of the Jews as blind, recalcitrant, evil, and rejected by God has found expression in much Christian theology, liturgy, and education. Such a negative portrayal of the Jewish people and of Judaism has been a factor in the shaping of anti Jewish attitudes of societies and the policies of governments. The most devastating lethal metastasis of this process occurred in our own country during the Holocaust.Faced with this history from which we as Christians cannot, and must not, disassociate ourselves, we ask for God’s forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for divine grace that will enable us, more firmly than ever before, to turn from this path of rejection and persecution to affirm that Judaism has not been superseded by Christianity; that Christianity is not to be understood as the successor religion to Judaism; God’s covenant with the Jewish people has never been abrogated. God has not rejected the Jewish people; God is faithful in keeping covenant.

That is how Satan works: The mistaken and unfortunate persecution of Jews is compounded by fake Christians like Chuck deliberately withholding the Gospel from them.

Mohler’s advice to Weiner reminds us that there is still a powerful divide between some Christians and Jews. Christians like Mohler see their faith as superior to the Jewish faith and the Hebrew Scriptures of lesser value and importance than the Christian New Testament.

Well, duh.  Chuck obviously knows so little about the New Testament isn’t even funny.  Has he ever studied Romans?  Hebrews?  Anything besides Matthew 7:1 and Matthew 25, which he can’t even get right?

Mohler’s view of Judaism is obscene.

Then so were the Apostle Paul’s and Jesus’ views.  I know Chuck will dismiss all of Paul, saying he was a bigoted homophobe, but Jesus couldn’t have been more clear that He was the only way and that the Jews would die in their sins if they didn’t believe in him.   In short, Chuck disagrees with God, all the while parading as his representative.

And shame on the Huffington Post for giving space to an apostate “reverend” like Chuck who can’t even find a permanent job (his gig as “acting pastor for the interim pastor” just ended, and yes, that sounds a lot like Dwight Schrute’s “Assistant to the Regional Manager” title — only not as permanent).

Run, don’t walk, from false teachers like Chuck Currie and denominations like the UCC which employ him.

Jesus is the only way to salvation.  I don’t care how unpopular that message is, it is the truth and I’ll keep sharing it for those who are authentically seeking the truth and desire to be reconciled with God and to live with him forever.

Passages they probably didn’t teach you in Sunday School: Jeremiah 13

If you haven’t read all the Bible, you are missing out (for a lot of reasons).  One of the lesser reasons is that there are so many interesting things you’ll be surprised to find there.  Today’s example is Jeremiah 13.  Hat tip to my youngest daughter for flagging this to me.  I’ve read this passage a couple of times, but it didn’t stand out to me until she noted that in The Holman Standard translation it uses “underwear” instead of “loincloth.”

Note how God says that the Israelites who refuse to hear his words are like dirty underwear and good for nothing.  If they would have listened to him they would have been a “name, a praise, and a glory.”  They completely missed out and were judged for it.

Jeremiah 13 1:-11 The Ruined Loincloth

1 Thus says the LORD to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water.” 2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist. 3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time, 4 “Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And after many days the LORD said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.

We aren’t the Israelites, but one thing hasn’t changed: There is only one God and He does not like for people to worship false gods.  If you read the Old Testament you’ll find one warning after another about not following other gods — as well as one case after another when the Israelites failed to obey that command.

The New Testament teaches over 100 times directly and indirectly that Jesus is the only way to salvation (it isn’t just John 14:6).  Despite what false teachers will tell you, other religions do not lead to the one true God.

If you are a Christian, you should read the Bible regularly and never teach that other religions are valid paths to God — that is, unless you want to be like good for nothing rotten underwear.

Why don’t they preach about the dangers of over-taxation?

False teachers* like to preach about how often the Bible speaks about money.  That is technically true, but they miss the larger points.

The main thing they get wrong is that the Bible speaks of giving away your money, not asking Caesar to take from neighbor A by force to give to neighbor B.  You could try to argue those transactions based on public policy, but not on the Bible.  They love to quote from Matthew 25 but ignore that Jesus said that whatever you did unto the least of these, you did unto him.  He didn’t say that whatever you asked the government to do, you did unto him.

They also love to say how budgets are moral documents.  Again, this is true in a sense, but they ignore that it is immoral to tax those who can’t vote or haven’t even been born to allegedly help people today.

Also notice how they never preach on topics like Solomon and his son over-taxing the people and the drastic consequences that resulted.

2 Chronicles 10 (ESV) Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king. And as soon as Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), then Jeroboam returned from Egypt. And they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all Israel came and said to Rehoboam, “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” He said to them, “Come to me again in three days.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he was yet alive, saying, “How do you advise me to answer this people?” And they said to him, “If you will be good to this people and please them and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.” But he abandoned the counsel that the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and stood before him. And he said to them, “What do you advise that we answer this people who have said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father put on us’?” And the young men who had grown up with him said to him, “Thus shall you speak to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you lighten it for us’; thus shall you say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s thighs. And now, whereas my father laid on you a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’ ”

So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king said, “Come to me again the third day.” And the king answered them harshly; and forsaking the counsel of the old men, King Rehoboam spoke to them according to the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.” So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by God that the LORD might fulfill his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

And when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, “What portion have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each of you to your tents, O Israel! Look now to your own house, David.” So all Israel went to their tents. But Rehoboam reigned over the people of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah. Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, and the people of Israel stoned him to death with stones. And King Rehoboam quickly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Christians should give generously, in a 2 Corinthians 9 model (Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.).  That is the opposite of what false teachers will tell you.

*False teachers include people like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and race-baiting Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie

Roundup

New study shows that children of divorce twice as likely to have a stroke – excellent commentary on where Christians went wrong in not opposing “no fault” divorce and why we should oppose it now.

Here is the second unpleasant truth: homosexuals did not destroy marriage, heterosexuals did. The demand for same-sex marriage is a symptom, not a cause, of the deterioration of marriage. By far the most direct threat to the family is heterosexual divorce. “Commentators miss the point when they oppose homosexual marriage on the grounds that it would undermine traditional understandings of marriage,” writes family scholar Bryce Christensen. “It is only because traditional understandings of marriage have already been severely undermined that homosexuals are now laying claim to it.”

Planned Parenthood files suit against Alaska parental notification law

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, November 26, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest (PPGW) is filing suit against a law approved by Alaska voters in August that would require parents to be notified of their minor daughter’s abortion.

The abortion giant, along with two pro-abortion medical doctors, is arguing that the law violates abortion-bound girls’ right to equal protection, because girls who choose to keep their babies are not required to tell their parents.

Yeah, it is easy to hide full-term pregnancies and babies from parents.

The plaintiffs also claim the law, set to take effect December 14 of this year, violates abortionists’ due process rights.

The ACLU teamed up with Planned Parenthood for the suit.  Shocking.

It is amazing that we even have this discussion or that the votes are so close.  Once again, folks, you can’t give a teenager an Advil for their orthodontia in school without taking a note and an original bottle, but these moral freaks want your kids to be able to have a very serious medical procedure and have your grandchildren destroyed without your knowledge.

It’s Time: The Tea Party vs. Obama’s Corporate Cronies

Taking on “the man” isn’t just for hippies anymore:

“Starting next year, the huge Tea Party organizer FreedomWorks will urge supporters to punish huge corporations like General Electric and Johnson & Johnson for backing President Obama’s progressive agenda.”

Glasgow Humanists Unable To Mount Successful Argument Against Behe – just more recycled bad arguments.  When will they learn?

Michael Behe is currently on a speaking tour around the UK (tour websitehere), organised by the newly founded Centre for ID UK. Last night, I attended Behe’s Glasgow lecture. The evening was entitled “Darwin or Design – What Does the Science Really Say?” As is to be expected, Behe spoke both articulately and persuasively, developing a powerful cumulative positive case for design based on the nanotechnology which pervades life at the level of the cellular world. Behe is a very gifted speaker, especially when it comes to conveying his scientific ideas and concepts to an audience without a scientific background.

Representatives from the Scottish Humanist Society were also in attendance, and took the liberty to hand out anti-ID literature outside the venue. Nothing wrong with that, of course. ID has nothing to fear from people listening to both sides and critically evaluating the strength of the respective cases. Unfortunately, however, the literature was disappointing – it recycled, in large measure, material from the NCSE and from Wikipedia: hardly your most reliable sources of information when it comes to ID. Many of the objections presented therein were, in fact, addressed during the course of the presentation. Tellingly, when it came to the Q&A, the humanists were seemingly unable to articulate a reason why we ought to reject Behe’s arguments, and it was somewhat of an anticlimax.

From Sarah Palin’s response to the media’s double standards on whose verbal gaffes they highlight:

My fellow Americans in all 57 states, the time has changed for come. With our country founded more than 20 centuries ago, we have much to celebrate – from the FBI’s 100 days to the reforms that bring greater inefficiencies to our health care system. We know that countries like Europe are willing to stand with us in our fight to halt the rise of privacy, and Israel is a strong friend of Israel’s. And let’s face it, everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma and they end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave them treatment early, and they got some treatment, and ah, a breathalyzer, or an inhalator. I mean, not a breathalyzer, ah, I don’t know what the term is in Austrian for that…

Barack Obama said all those things (click the links for proof).  How many times did you see those highlighted on the news and on Saturday Night Live and such?

More Palin Derangement Syndrome noted at Hot Air, reminiscent of her critics jumping on her for correctly noting the date of the Boston Tea Party:

The Twittersphere lit up after the publication of Ms Palin’s message, with critics jumping on her mention of 57 states – clearly not realising it was her joke aimed at Mr Obama.

Charlotte PD chaplains resign over gay clergy

These men are to be applauded for standing on their convictions. The “silence equals consent” trick is one of the main tactics used by the gcm. As we reported to you, everywhere gcm clerics show up, division is inevitable. Gay christian clerics shouldn’t be accepted as legitimate Christian representatives anywhere, because their fundamental belief system is antithetical –even hostile in some cases— to the Bible. For examples look here,here and here.

I’m not sure what to say about the police chief who’s best excuse for putting these false teachers in positions of influence is “tolerance and gay-versity”.

How many ACORN employees have been convicted of voter fraud this year? – Uh, all of them?  Well, not quite.  Only 15.

From my other blog:  Jim Wallis of Sojourners: Hypocrite. Race Baiter. False teacher – Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistributionWallis is busy telling the world why Tea Partiers are racist and more . . .

This is how we should handle airport security

See The ‘Israelification’ of airports: High security, little bother.  This could save us lots of time and money while increasing security.  Who could claim that our risks are bigger than theirs?  Read it all.

While North America’s airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.  That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel’s, which deal with far greater terror threat with far less inconvenience.

“It is mindboggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago,” said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He’s worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.

“Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don’t take s— from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for — not for hours — but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, ‘We’re not going to do this. You’re going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport.”

. . .

Officers are looking for nervousness or other signs of “distress” — behavioural profiling. Sela rejects the argument that profiling is discriminatory.

“The word ‘profiling’ is a political invention by people who don’t want to do security,” he said. “To us, it doesn’t matter if he’s black, white, young or old. It’s just his behaviour. So what kind of privacy am I really stepping on when I’m doing this?”

. . .

At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil’s advocate — what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?

“I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with play-doh in it and two pens stuck in the play-doh. That is ‘Bombs 101′ to a screener. I asked Ducheneau, ‘What would you do?’ And he said, ‘Evacuate the terminal.’ And I said, ‘Oh. My. God.’

“Take Pearson. Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let’s say I’m (doing an evacuation) without panic — which will never happen. But let’s say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, ‘Two days.’”

A screener at Ben-Gurion has a pair of better options.

First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.

Second, all the screening areas contain ‘bomb boxes’. If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.

“This is a very small simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports,” Sela said.

Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben-Gurion Airport shares with Pearson — the body and hand-luggage check.

“But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America,” Sela said.

“First, it’s fast — there’s almost no line. That’s because they’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you,” said Sela. “Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.”

“There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States,” Sela said. “Absolutely none.”

So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive, so un-Israelified?

Working hard to dampen his outrage, Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.

“We have a saying in Hebrew that it’s much easier to look for a lost key under the light, than to look for the key where you actually lost it, because it’s dark over there. That’s exactly how (North American airport security officials) act,” Sela said. “You can easily do what we do. You don’t have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit — technology, training. But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept.”

Hat tip: Glenn