Should you believe the authors of the Bible or the “Christians” who claim the writers were blasphemous pathological liars?

The way the “evangelical Left” talks, you’d think that the authors of the Bible were just like Tommy Flanagan, John Lovitz’ Pathological Liar character from Saturday Night Live.

The title may seem bold, because the Leftist Christians making those claims don’t use that specific wording.  But their comments on the Bible — whether cursory or in-depth — reveal that is their view of scripture.  They routinely dismiss what the authors wrote as being different than what God really wanted there.

For the writers didn’t just claim once or twice that God spoke to them, but in literally thousands of verses — not to mention passages claiming that the entirety of scripture is from God.  So if it wasn’t truly from God then they weren’t just stretching the truth or telling a few white lies, they were committing non-stop blasphemy throughout the entire Bible.

This raises two questions:

1. Why would the theological Left claim the name of Christ if they think the Bible has literally thousands of blasphemous lies in it?

2. Why would anyone consider people holding those views to be authentic Christians and go to their churches, buy their books, etc.?

The answer to question 1 is that being a Leftist Christian can be highly profitable.  You get to have the approval of the world and sell lots of books without the cost of real discipleship.  Also, 2 Corinthians 11:13–15 explains them:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

The answer to question 2 is similar: People get to feel “spiritual” yet completely conform to the world when they follow Leftist false teachers. That’s demonstrated in studies showing that churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” have nearly identical views as non-churchgoing people.

Here’s an example from false teacher Mark Sandlin, where he desperately tries to rationalize away the clear commands of Leviticus 18:

Whatever the reason, the perspective in these clobber verses were based on an understanding of sex and sexuality that was just as misinformed as their understanding of the earth in relationship to the sun, of fish, of pork and of reasons for stoning children. In our scientific age . . .

But that would mean that Leviticus 1:1 and the rest of the book were pure lies from Moses, or whomever Sandlin claims wrote the book: The Lord called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them . . . More specifically, see the beginning and end of chapter 18: And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, I am the Lord your God. You shall not . . . I am the Lord your God.”

If you claim a direct quote from God, you are either right or you are wrong.  There is no middle ground.  So who is lying, the original author of Leviticus or Mark Sandlin, who claims to be a pastor while explicitly denying Jesus’ divinity, mocking the Bible, and more?

Here’s another example from false teacher Rachel Held Evans, who supports Peter Enns version of God’s command to take over the Holy Land:

“God never told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. The Israelites believed that God told them to kill the Canaanites.”

So they think that the writer of Joshua and other books were completely mistaken or liars when claiming to speak for God, but that we should totally trust Evans, Enns et al.  (Evans, notably, tries to rationalize away the child sacrifice element of the story of Abraham and Isaac, even though she is pro-legalized abortion.)

Remember what the Bible says about those who falsely claim to speak for God: Deuteronomy 18:19-20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. So the Israelites obviously didn’t think it was no big deal to be mistaken about what God really said.

How can these people claim that the human authors were complete idiots and/or liars and then pick and choose the few verses they think they agree with and build “ministries” on those?* I call this Leopard Theology (aka Dalmatian Theology), where people claim that the Bible is only inspired in spots and that they are inspired to spot the spots. Then there is Advanced Leopard Theology, where God is also changing spots and adding and removing spots, and, oddly enough, He is only telling theological Leftists and “Progressives.”  There are no good reasons to trust them.

Oh, and don’t forget to point out how the theological Left has a wildly different view of the Old Testament than Jesus does.  You know, the Jesus they claim to follow.  Even after they’ve rationalized away all the verses about him that they don’t like, they usually claim to like the Sermon on the Mount.  And does Jesus flinch about the OT?  Not at all. In addition to quoting the most controversial parts without apology in the rest of the Gospels (Adam and Eve, Noah, Sodom, Jonah and more), He says this:

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. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Run, don’t walk from churches and “Christian” false teachers who mock the Bible.  Trust the human authors and, more importantly, the divine author.  The original writings of the Bible turned out exactly as the Holy Spirit and the human writers wanted them to, and they have been faithfully transmitted to us.

2 Timothy 3:16–17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Decision, decisions

My favorite apologist linked to this so I thought I’d re-run it.  Still the most practical biblical lesson I know of for daily living.  As Greg Koukl says, we are constantly either making decisions or living with their consequences.  I use this method and share it regularly.  I just used it with the high school kids at church to talk about careers, dating, marriage, college, etc.  

Click here to download a set of PowerPoint slides to read or to teach others.

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Decision Making and the Will of God is one of my all-time favorite lessons to teach.  This is such a crucial topic, because we make big and small decisions all the time and are constantly living with the consequences of past decisions.

Does God speak to you about specific decisions when you are reading the Bible, such as whether you should pay off your mortgage, whom you should marry, what job you should take, etc.?  I think this is about how you apply the Bible to decision making and not about whether God sends individual messages through his word.

For example, if you want to know whether paying off your mortgage is the right thing to do, you have a couple options:

1. Ask God for a supernatural sign for the answer, whether it is a yes or a no (a la Gideon).  My guess is that He won’t decide for you that way, but it is always his option.  One thing we know about God is that if He wants to tell you something directly He isn’t very subtle.  There are zero examples of him trying to tell someone something in the Bible and not getting through.

2. Use the wisdom model of decision making.  You don’t have access to God’s sovereign knowledge (Will I lose my job?  Will interest rates go up or down?  Etc.).  You do have unrestricted access to his moral will via the Bible. Example: Is it immoral to pay off your mortgage early?  No, unless that means you won’t have enough money to feed your kids.  After moral considerations, look to the wisdom angle.  Ask God for wisdom, as He promises to deliver.  But as with Solomon, He doesn’t promise to decide everything for you.  Read Proverbs (and more).  Seek the counsel of others.  Consider the pros and cons.  That’s how to make wise decisions.  Finally, provided the options are moral and wise, consider your personal preferences.  We have tremendous freedom in Christ to do many things with our time and money.  Will paying off your mortgage make you happy?  If so, then do it.

Here’s a picture of what is looks like:

Decision making and the will of God

Really short version: Aside from direct and clear personal revelation from God, you don’t have access to his sovereign will when making decisions.  Therefore you must look at other factors.  If it isn’t moral, don’t do it.  If it is moral but not wise, don’t do it.  If it is moral and wise, then use your personal preferences.

Using this model you can end up with a wise and biblical decision, but you have avoided the traps of the “God told me to ____” routine.  People who run around saying that God told them this and that convey a super-spirituality that can leave less mature believers wondering if they really have a relationship with God (i.e., “God doesn’t tell me every little thing to do, so maybe I don’t really know him.”).

The “God told me ___” routine can also be outright blasphemy, as when “Christians” claim that God is moving in a new direction counter to what He revealed in the Bible.  The United Church of Christ “God is still speaking;” theme is a good example of that.  They didn’t believe what He said the first time around, so why trust them on allegedly new revelations?

Saturating yourself in the word is a key success factor in making good decisions. If we focus on worldly wisdom things go badly:

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

But if we repent and do everything we can to see things from God’s point of view we will make better decisions.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

This model will help you make good decisions in all areas of life — dating, marriage, college, careers, purchases, giving, ministry and more.  You can also use it to help friends, children, etc. make good decisions.  I even use it at work as a “faith flag” at times.  If people ask career advice, for example, I pull out this diagram and share it with them (i.e., “At the risk of getting all religious on you, here’s the method I use to make decisions like that.”)

Click here to download a set of PowerPoint slides to read or to use yourself to teach others.

P.S. A kid came into my wife’s elementary school library yesterday and asked if she had any books on how to make good choices.  She thought of the diagram above and laughed.  Let’s just say I refer to this model now and then.  She thinks I should write a children’s book on decision making.  I think she is kidding.

Hat tip to Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason for much of this, including the diagram.

Leftist “Christian” logic: If people give less, it is OK to take it from them by force

From the “I am not making this up category,” a Leftist false teacher insists that if people give less than before then the Christian thing to do is to take it from them at a point of a gun.  Via The Richest Cut Giving:

During the Great Recession the poorest Americans increased their charitable giving 17%.  Much of that money went to relgious group providing faith based social services.  The wealthiest Americans?  They cut their giving by 4.6%.  Unlike their wealthy fellow citizens, middle income Americans joined those with lower incomes in giving away more.

He forgot to mention that the top 17 states who gave more voted for Romney.

. . . Many wealthy Americans clearly understand that great economic disparity is not good morally or economically.

Keep in mind that the guy preaching about morality is a pro-abortion extremist.

Yet the majority of the wealthiest Americans are forgetting that it is better to give then to receive.

Jesus said it was better to give than receive, and of course He was right.  But did Jesus say it counted as giving your part if you beg Caesar to confiscate the wealth of others?

Billionaires like the Koch brothers give hundreds of millions to candidates who promise to further cut taxes on the rich.

Like other wolves in sheep’s clothing, he has the Democrat talking points down.  That’s a good little tool!  No mention of George Soros et al.

For people of faith, called to create just systems, it is imperative that we continue the work of building up the common good of this nation and the world.

Again, this is a pro-abortion extremist talking about the “just systems” and “the common good.”

That work must include raising taxes on the weathiest 1% so that we can create living wage jobs, improve public education, further improve health care, and do everything possible to make sure that every child born today has opportunities to thrive well into the future.

That is, for those who aren’t crushed and dismembered in the womb with this wolf’s blessing.  Those children would thrive farther into the future if you didn’t do this.

And on what planet does raising taxes create any jobs, let alone “living wage” jobs?  Capitalism would do that if you would reverse 99% of what the Left has done.

And what does “improve public education” mean?  Spending tax dollars on things like this won’t help — Educrats Attempt to Impose Polysexual Androgyny on Innocent Schoolchildren.

As usual, Leftists fail at basic economics. And Leftist false teachers fail the worst of all.

Pro-abortion extremist “Christian” leaders preach about protecting the “most vulnerable”

After noting that I’m all for limiting civilian casualties, please let me translate this monstrous piece of hypocrisy: Nearly 200 Faith Leaders Condemn President’s Lifting of Civilian Protections in Syria Strikes.

“Our faith traditions argue that civilians must be protected in war,”

But not in the womb.  If that is your location, or even if you are 90% out of your mother, you can be killed.

said Rev. Chuck Currie, a United Church of Christ pastor and Director of the Center for Peace and Spirituality and University Chaplain at Pacific University.

That’s radical pro-abortionist and false teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way but He sure is a bigot” Currie of the UCC (Unitarians Counterfeiting Christ) who takes little girls to gay pride parades to you.

“We are at our best as a nation when we live up to our highest ideals. It is our sacred responsibility to protect the most vulnerable. The president must order U.S. forces to resubmit to his original policy regarding the use of drones.”

Uh, yeah, about the most vulnerable . . . you mean like this and this?  Those are the human beings who people like Chuck insist that Jesus was on board with killing in the womb.

Chuck & Co. could not be reached for comment, as they were too busy dancing around their Asherah pole.

Mark Sandlin = false teacher

Mark Sandlin is a wolf in sheep’s clothing who often blogs at Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis’ Sojourners blog.  A friend sent me a link to Jesus Is Not My God, where Sandlin loudly and proudly claims not to believe in the deity of Christ.  He is welcome to his opinions, of course, and I respect his right of religious freedom.  We even have a term for people like him: Non-Christians.

I’ll start with one of his closing comments, because it typifies the approach of these “progressive Christians.”

I’m not trying to say I am right and others are wrong.

I find that kind of statement as revolting as his claims to be a Christian.  It is a completely wimpy, passive-aggressive postmodern lie.  He has a pulpit, blogs and Podcasts in place to teach these things, so he obviously thinks he is right.  Why not grow a pair and own it?

This is the first post in a series called:“This Collar Is Too Tight: Heresies From a Southern Minister.” Most institutionalized Churches define who is and who isn’t a Christian far too narrowly. There is an increasingly long list of tenets to which a person must dogmatically adhere in order to be in the club. The thing is… I don’t believe a whole lot of them. I even find many of them to be biblically inaccurate.

That’s an odd thing for him to say, because he sits in judgment of the Bible and decides for himself what “really” belongs.

I’ve decided to address them one by one because I’ve discovered that there are a lot of people who feel the same way — even other ministers.

The fact that there are many false teachers — especially within his circles — proves nothing.

I hope that this will give us all a little support and encouragement as we try to cling to our Christian-ness while others try to take it from us.

We aren’t trying to take anything way.  But words mean things, and based on the Bible and thousand of years of history it is incorrect to call people like him Christians.

I am a believer. Mostly.

I believe that there is probably a god — something bigger than us. I have a very hard time believing that there’s not something larger than humanity.

Wow, that’s bold apologetics.  Preach on, “minister.”

 . . . When I worship, I worship that God who is all-at-once bigger than me and might not be at all.

It’s the same god I believe Jesus was trying to teach us about.

In calling God “Father,” Jesus tried to teach us about the nurturing nature of this god. In saying that he and the “Father” were one he was trying to teach us about how we are all one in this god-thing that is larger than us. In telling us that in loving other people (everyone) we were loving God, he was trying to teach us about the connectedness of us all being created in the image of God.

I am a Christian because Jesus, for me, is the teacher who best helps me understand this god-thing.

How can one claim to be a Christ-follower and reject so much of what He taught?

When he worshiped, he worshiped that same god.

He did not worship himself.

Jesus never called himself God.

Here the cheating starts in earnest.  He’ll ignore what he doesn’t like from the synoptic Gospels, then dismiss the Gospel of John and the rest of the biblical claims about his divinity with a wave of his hand.  He starts with the assumption that the Bible isn’t the word of God, and concludes that the Bible isn’t the word of God.  Convenient.

Read through Matthew, Mark and Luke. You won’t find him saying it. Sure, there are a few places where you can interpret what Jesus says to possibly suggest he is God, but it isn’t stated outright.

Maybe if he didn’t go to the text with his preconceptions he’d come to a different conclusion.

You have to ask yourself: Something that important, don’t you think he might have mentioned it? And, if he did mention it, don’t you think somebody would have decided it was important enough to jot it down?

He did.

The Gospel of John does have Jesus mentioning the whole being God thing – a lot. The difference is a bit striking, isn’t it? The first three Gospels, all written before the Gospel of John, without Jesus saying he is God… and then John, after many years have passed, with Jesus saying he is God.

Does anyone else think it sounds like dogma slipped in there during those in-between years?

Thus begins the “progressive Christian” approach which isn’t new at all.  There are countless solid answers to objections like that but Sandlin doesn’t even pretend to have attempted to understand them.

Actually, yes, they do. Most modern scholars agree that John has some new theological perspective into its accounting of the life of Jesus. It may or may not be right, but because of the other three Gospels, I’m going with the idea that it is probably an addition.

Translation: “Most modern scholars” = “people I agreed with when I went opinion shopping.”  So Sandlin knows more than the early church?  Indeed.

For me, Jesus not being God is a good thing – a very good thing.

If what I hope to get from Jesus is an understanding of how to be the people God created us to be and to develop a closer relationship and understanding of God through that, it is much more helpful to see a person who is actually a person and not a god doing it. It’s hopeful even.

This “minister” doesn’t even understand the hypostatic union.

. . . I am saying that if you, too, believe Jesus is not your God, no matter what people tell you, you can still call yourself a Christian.

The Bible, the early church, common sense and 2,000 years of church history say otherwise.

Sandlin does what most pagans do, only they are more honest than he is and don’t make a living off their lies.  He finds a handful of verses he likes and claims to be a Christian.  But he doesn’t even hold to his professed belief of just believing Matthew, Mark and Luke.  Even those have Jesus speaking of Hell extensively, and Sandlin certainly couldn’t support that. And Jesus said that marriage, from the beginning, was just a union of a man and a woman.  Sandlin actively denounces biblical sexuality so once again he disagrees with Jesus.

Run, don’t walk, from false teachers like Mark Sandlin.

grumpy cat

If black lives matter to Sojourners, why are they pro-abortion?

Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis‘ Sojourners group is behaving as ghoulishly with the Ferguson case as they did with Trayvon Martin.  They’ll be milking his death for months.  Here’s their latest: #BlackLivesMatter: Gathering for Solidarity in Washington, D.C. – Brandon Hook | God’s Politics Blog | Sojourners.

Last night, Washington, D.C., residents young and old gathered in the Columbia Heights neighborhood to protest the shooting of Michael Brown, stand in solidarity with those on the front lines of continued protests in Ferguson, Mo., and let our governmant and law enforcement officials know that #BlackLivesMatter. The protest was organized by a Howard University student who hails from St. Louis and “needed to do something” given the reports she received from friends and family on the ground in Ferguson.

Yes, black lives matter.  Go ask all the families in Chicago — you know, they place with the extremely restrictive gun laws supported by Wallis et al.

Abortion rates in the black community are 3x that of whites. Taxpayer-funded abortions — which the Democrats want so badly that they almost lost Obamacare over, and that which their official platform calls for — would take that rate even higher.  If you want to save black lives, make abortion illegal.

If the situations were reversed and conservatives supported abortion in the same way and liberals opposed it, we’d be hearing nonstop about how racist and genocidal conservatives are.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers save more black lives in a day than Wallis & Co. will in their lifetimes.  

The UCC and other Leftist “churches” continue to decline. It must be the ejector seats.

“At the time of its formation, the UCC [United Church of Christ] had over 2 million members in nearly 7,000 churches. The denomination has suffered a 44 percent loss in membership since the mid-1960s … As of the 2014 Annual Yearbook of the UCC, membership is listed as 979,239 members in 5154 local churches.”

The UCC (Unitarians Counterfeiting Christ, or something like that) ran an “ejector seat” ad years ago implying that Bible-believing churches eject sinners.  Of course, that is ridiculous.  We welcome sinners who want to know and worship God on his terms.  But the UCC and other Leftist “churches” sit in judgement of God because He has clearly said that homosexual sin and murder — which includes abortion — are sins.  He also says that repenting and trusting in Jesus is the only way to salvation, and they hate that message, too.

Their views are virtually indistinguishable from the world’s.  They define “inclusive” as including those who mock God’s word.  So they are growing like crazy, right?  Not at all. Via The Real Reason Liberal Churches Are Losing Members:

To be sure, some church groups will grow because of an “itching ear” message, as the preachers tell the people what they want to hear. This is one of the reasons that Jesus said that the road to destruction is broad (see Matthew 7:13). But over the long haul, there will not likely be sustainable life and growth on a denominational level where compromise is the hallmark.

And there are, it is true, conservative denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention that have seen a decline in membership in recent years, although the reasons for that appear to be varied.

But it is the liberal churches, those which embrace abortion and homosexual practice and which compromise biblical truth and biblical standards, which have experienced the steepest decline in membership. In all likelihood, they also have far lower commitment levels from their people.

The Episcopal Church had a membership of 3.4 million in the mid-1960s; today, that number is slightly over 2 million.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has dropped from a membership of 4.25 million in the mid-1960s to 1.8 million today, a number that is expected to decline rapidly in the coming years.

Yet these are some of the churches which have led the charge on liberal causes like the redefining of marriage.

I thought young people were leaving our churches because we weren’t liberal enough. I thought young people and old people were flocking to these enlightened, progressive churches. Perhaps the reports about why people are leaving the churches are not as accurate as they seem?

Churches can grow or shrink with good or bad doctrine.  But in the case of Leftist churches led by false teachers such as the UCC’s radical pro-LGBTQX, pro-abortion Chuck “Jesus is not the only way but He sure is a bigot” Currie, they have all tended to shrink.