Are you a friend of God or an enemy of God?

It is one or the other.

 James 4: 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.

If your church teaches otherwise, it isn’t a church.  Jesus is the only way to salvation.

1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

Does the complexity of the Bible mean it can’t be true?

A criticism of the Bible is that it is complex and many haven’t read it all, so how can it be true?  A commenter at another blog wrote:

If even theologians can not agree what is in the bible and what is the will of the god of christians, how could the general christian population, let alone us who are not christians be expected to?

If a god expects humans to make critical decisions on their lives based on some old religious tome (and not on pop lyrics), it is an exercice bound to fail.

But consider the criminal on the cross (Luke 23), the woman at the well (John 4) or the Philippian jailer (Acts 16 — “What must I do to be saved?”) as just a few examples.  They were saved with the most basic knowledge and approach: Trusting in Jesus.  I doubt would they have won any Bible trivia contests.  They hadn’t been to seminary, taught Sunday School, etc.  But they were saved for eternity.

The key themes of the Bible are plain, but as you might expect with the most serious and important topic in the universe, there are complex matters as well.  That does not diminish the truth of the Bible at all.  I tend to agree with the saying that the plain matters of the Bible are the most important and the most important matters are plain.

And the Bible is much more clear than it is made out to be by skeptics.  For example, there are over 100 direct and indirect claims that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are verses like this not clear? 1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Roundup

Ben Witherington III on the virgin birth / conception – it has huge theological implications

The reason Jesus’ death was sufficient to atone for the sins of the world, is because his was a perfect self-sacrifice, an unblemished sacrifice. And in the Jewish schema of things, in the Biblical scheme of things, this was exactly what was necessary, and all that was necessary to atone for sins. So way back at the beginning, the Son of God came into the world by means of virginal conception, by passing our fallen human nature passed from one generation to the next by normal human intercourse.

Also see The Virgin Birth – it still matters, a piece I did a couple of years back.

Interestingly, theologically liberal Christians typically deny the virgin birth and even seem embarrassed by it (as if the creator of the universe couldn’t do such a thing!), yet cults like Mormonism and false religions like Islam do believe it is true.

Do unemployment benefits encourage people to avoid working? – of course they discourage some people from seeking jobs.  I’m very sympathetic to people being unemployed, but unlimited unemployment benefits will send the wrong message and harm the economy further.

Fred Phelps, Democrat – yep.  The Westboro “Baptist” pastor ran as a Democrat several times, among other things.  Be sure to note that when you refer to him.  As one commenter noted:

. . . if this Phelps [“character”] had even voted republican ONCE for local dog catcher it would be the lead story for NYT, WP, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, et al. The headline would read: REPUBLICANS SPREAD HATEFILLED MESSAGE WHILE PICKETING ELIZABETH EDWARDS FUNERAL.

Ethanol Subsidies Show Why Washington Is Broken – even Al Gore knows these are not only ineffective but counterproductive, yet we keep wasting billions of dollars on them.  Billions!

Coming soon to a country near you: Belgian archbishop targeted by gay activists over AIDS remarks – Even though the CDC reports that the risk is nearly 50 times higher for gays, the archbishop is accused of being a “homophobe” for stating the obvious.

Edgar’s book review on “Why Evolution is True” – good stuff (the review, not the book).

Evolutionary Theory is Lacking
Having read Coyne’s Evolution, I’m still not persuaded naturalism (i.e. Darwinism) is true. If anything, Darwinism as defined by Coyne might be a way of trying to explain how diversity (common ancestry) evolved on planet earth. That is, how we went from a single living cell to a full grown man.

We’re still missing lots of details. Consider these four points:

  • Origin: How did we get to the 1st living cell? From inOrganic to Organic?)
  • Morality On page 230 – Coyne, speaking of humanity says, “The world still teems with selfishness, immorality, and injustice), but in a Darwinian world absolute moral values do not exist. If what he says is true, there most be an absolute moral code giver.
  • Meaning Why me? Why now? Think: How do we counsel a young victim of rape? should we lie to the child? or should we tell the truth? Well that’s how nature works. Sorry. NEXT.
  • Destiny Where did we get this idea that we’re going to die (self-awareness)? And why do we care that we die anyway? why is life preferred over non-existence?

Ten Things You Need To Know About ‘DREAM Act’ S.3827

Kinda convicting – Why are Christians so reluctant to share the life saving and life changing truth of the Gospel?

 

Promises!

From The Simpsons
Lisa: You promised to take us to the lake.
Homer: I promise you kids lots of things, and that’s what makes me such a good father.
Lisa: Actually, keeping promises would make you a good father.
Homer: No, that would make me a great father.

God is a great Father. God makes lots of promises, and He keeps them all – 100.00% of the time. Try flipping open your Bible and seeing how many you find.

I did a test once to show how this and other Bible study techniques work. I had someone pick numbers at random without telling them the purpose. I used the first number to pick a book of the Bible and the second to pick the chapter. The first choice was 1 John 5. I had people search for what stood out to them, what commands they saw, and if there were any promises to claim. And there just happened to be some big time promises. Check these out:

  • 1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • 1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • 1 John 5:14-15 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Try looking for promises when you study your Bible — but be sure to read them in context.  For example, the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 is not for any reader or even for Christians today.  It was part of a very particular promise made to the exiled Jews.  God kept that promise, of course, but it wasn’t aimed at us.

God is the most trustworthy being in the universe. He always keeps his promises. No one has ever regretted putting their trust in Jesus.