Jesus Christ Is Lord

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Archive for January, 2010

Evangelical Creation Care Environmentalism And Evolution

Posted by Job on January 29, 2010

Against Creation Care: Environmentalism And Evolution One And The Same

This post by brother Laz got me thinking about the common thread of thought which unites evolution and environmentalism. As far as global warming and pretty much all environmentalism goes (including “creation care” evangelicalism), it is just another way to reject the fact that God owns and controls the earth. God will determine the fate of mankind, when this cosmos comes to an end and is replaced with a heaven and a new earth. This global warming zealotry, with is religious intensity, is simply another way to reject God, and to replace the Christian belief system with another.

This is the same that motivates evolution. Evolution advocates are motivated by their determination to reject the idea that God owns creation and controls it. Now some, including a number of professed Christians, are willing to acknowledge that God accomplished creation. However, they are unwilling to acknowledge that God wholly owns it, sustains it, holds it in His hands, and is the sole determiner of its ultimate destiny. Acknowledging this fact makes man accountable to God, and requires that man live his life in service to Him. Environmentalism – the idea that man can destroy the earth either against God’s will or with God doing nothing to stop it – and evolution are merely attempts to deny that man’s purpose is nothing other than to serve, worship and glorify God. That is the sum total of the purpose and reason for man’s existence, it is the reason why God created man. Denying our imperative to serve God is the motivating factor for denying or minimizing God’s role in our creation through evolution, and the same is the goal of denying that God will determine the destiny of the earth and humankind through environmentalism.

And it explains the religious fervor attached to both, and the vehement Inquisition-like tactics that those who reject environmentalism and evolution are subjected to. Indeed, global warming dissenters are actually now
being accused of killing people (i.e. inaction on climate change because of skeptics is alleged to have caused natural disasters, diseases, famines etc.) and there are even claims that opposition to evolution is hindering medical breakthroughs that would save many lives. Such people are advancing the case that opposition to environmentalism and evolution can no longer be matters of private conscience, opinions that must be abided in a free society, but dangerous deadly notions that must be stamped out in order to save lives, or even humanity.

Of course, as evolution and environmentalism constitutes a different and competing belief system – a religion if you will – to Christianity, this should be no surprise. Why should the global warming/evolution crowd be any more accommodating to Christianity than Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, or the mythology of the ancient Roman Empire? The issue, then is why so many professed evangelicals are choosing the path of syncretism by becoming anti-global warming “creation care” Christians, thereby mixing a belief system based on and motivated by denying God’s sovereignty, providence, omnipotence, ownership rights over creation, and prerogative to exercise those rights with a Christian belief system that affirms all of those as core doctrines.

It is even more curious that many of these people fully embrace the “creation care” part while rejecting the evolution part, blissfully blinded to the fact that they are one and the same. Evidence of this is the common justification for the “creation care” idea: God gave (ceded!) dominion of the earth to man (Adam) so we must use it wisely. That is merely quasi-deism which ignores a great deal of Biblical content, including but not limited to the effects of the fall of Adam (i.e. the curse on Adam and rule of the earth transferring from Adam to Satan) and of course Jesus Christ being the second Adam and creation’s current, forever and rightful ruler. But then again, when your goal is to be relevant and influential within the cultural and political mainstream, why let a little theology or syncretism get in the way? And amazing that the dispensationalists among the creation care movement seem oblivious to the fact that the global warming ideology is ultimately motivated by a desire to reject the book of Revelation and the judgment of God upon the earth that it describes!

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God Is Not A Man So Stop Judging Him!

Posted by Job on January 29, 2010

As I was driving around listening to the prominent evangelical Christian talk station in my market, a question was posed in a commercial advertising a ministry program on the radio: “Does Israel being God’s chosen people make God a racist?” The TRAINED PASTOR replied something to the effect of “If God was ONLY concerned with Israel then the answer would be yes, but since God is concerned with everyone, not just Israel, then the answer is no.” Three major problems with that statement. First, racism isn’t only defined as hating a race. It is also preferring one race over another. For instance, in times past the vast majority of segregationists, slave owners and what have you did not hate black people or Native Americans or wish ill upon those groups of people. Instead, many of them simply loved their own race more and wanted the other races to know their place. Second, Israel was God’s chosen people, true, but for a purpose: to serve God and to be used by Him in His plans for revelation and redemption (see Genesis 3:15 and John 4:22 to see why a Jewish woman was the chosen vessel for the incarnation of Jesus Christ). Misunderstanding this key point by viewing Israel’s chosen status apart from that context creates all sorts of problems, and if you read the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament narrative, this misunderstanding created a problematic mindset among many Jews that persists to this day.

But the main reason why the answer to this question was disturbing is given to us by what Numbers 23:19 makes it clear: God is not a man! God is holy and righteous. Hence God cannot sin. God is perfect in all His ways. And God is sovereign. One of the best sections of scripture that deals with this is the chapters which begin with Job 38. In those chapters, God chastises Job and punishes Job’s false accusers. Now what was the main problem with Job’s false accusers, who claimed that Job’s misfortune had to have been due to a sin on Job’s part? It was not that they were falsely judging Job in this matter. No, it was that they were falsely judging God! By claiming that Job’s misfortunes had to have been the result of sin, they were directly implying that God had no right to allow Job’s misfortunes otherwise! They were implying that for God to allow a righteous man to suffer such misfortune would be unjust, and that would make God unjust! Ultimately, Job’s friends had the same false position that Job did: that God’s treatment of Job was unjust. The only difference between them and Job was their lack of knowledge that Job was – inasmuch as it is in the capacity of man to be – blameless.

When view God in the manner that Job and his friends did, or for that matter the way that the commercial on the Christian radio station did, we are guilty of viewing God from a grotesquely false perspective. We are shrinking God to our level, as if to make Him a man like us. We view God as if He were a man so that we can judge Him, evaluate Him, figure Him out. That way, we can relate to God, serve God and understand Him according to our own knowledge, beliefs, values and experiences. A result of this is the rejection of the true God that we can only know through His self-disclosure to us in special and general revelation, and the creation of a God that pretty much thinks and acts like we do; a God fashioned after our own hearts and imaginations. And whenever we come to the limits of our own hearts and imaginations, well that is when the mystical mysteries become so appealing to us.

The problem is that we start with ourselves and then try to move to God, and we interpret everything from our own senses of truth, reality and ethics. That makes us the judge and lawgiver and puts God on trial. And whenever we convict God of being guilty, then we have to alter our image of God in order to preserve and justify our belief in God. The solution is not to start with ourselves and try to move to God, but to start with God and try to respond to Him. We are to try to respond to what we know of God and His truth that is revealed to us in scripture and by God’s Holy Spirit.

Realize that God is sovereign. Therefore, God is not subject to judgment. No one can truly pass sentence on God, and of course no one can enforce any sentence that is passed. Further, God is righteous. Because of this, there is no crime or sin committed by God to pass sentence on Him for in the first place. The challenge is to move from simply voicing this in our doctrinal statements without truly having it in our belief systems to actually believing it. Instead of putting God on trial when we read the Bible, we should use the Bible to put ourselves on trial to see if we measure up to God’s standards. And when we come to the obvious inevitable answer – we do not and we cannot – then we are to see ever more why we need God’s saving grace that is made available to us by Jesus Christ’s work on the cross.

One of the biggest areas where this is an issue: soteriology, especially as it relates to God’s love. We should simply accept God’s love as it is defined by the Bible and move on. (I admit, I am from the Cornelius Van Til presuppositionalist line of thought.) If we start with ourselves and try to get to God, then the obvious question is this: if God loves everybody and if God is all powerful, then why doesn’t God save everybody? Of course, a human-centered and modern view of love as a starting point ultimately leads to universalism. (At the very least, it precludes predestination.) It requires a view that starts with God as He is revealed in the Bible and then goes to man (primarily, of course, as God sees man and the purpose for which God created man) to realize that God’s capacity to love all is not in conflict with or in any way rendered moot by God’s exercise of His sovereign prerogative to save some.

Another issue: repentance. Going from man to God and judging God makes repentance not only unnecessary, but evil. This is the core assumption of liberal theologies, including but not limited to homosexual theology. If God is loving, righteous and FAIR according to our own eyes, shouldn’t He allow us to do as we please, so long as we are being good people who aren’t hurting anybody else? Now the person who tries to reach God from a human starting point truthfully cannot refute this logic, if for no other reason than constitutes “good person” and “not hurting anyone” completely in the eye of the God-judging beholder. It is so easy to use logic, philosophy, theology, (pseudo)science, whatever is at your disposal to create a false god – an idol – that will stand in the day of your own judgment because your idol thinks and acts just like you and is nothing more than a representation of yourself, your own personal deity created from your own thoughts and desires. It is no less than man worshiping his own image.

In fairness to the liberals, it must be acknowledged that this is not a new problem. One of the reasons why the allegorical interpretation of scripture was so prominent in some of the earlier times of Christianity was the constant negative judgments against God and the Bible. Or there were those who went the route of Marcion, who decided that the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament were different deities, and thus created a cult around the rejection of the “lesser god” of the Old Testament! Thus, a great many modern Christians are Marcionites of a smaller scale, with a conviction that God is “nicer” in the New Testament and in these times than the Old, which incidentally requires a real disconnect from the fact that the sternest eschatological and apocalyptic content is in the New Testament, which Jesus Christ Himself being the most prominent hell fire and brimstone preacher!

And surely the common trend of pushing aside the Jesus Christ who preached hard sayings, issued scathing rebukes and warnings of judgment (including to the church in Revelation 2 and 3), suffered and died for our sins and was resurrected, and is returning again as ruler and judge in favor of the nonthreatening baby in the manger, or as a “lover and friend” (listen to certain modern Christian songs) is a product of creating a god that we want to have – a god whose purpose is to cater to our whims and desires – instead of the God of the Bible who actually lives and rules forevermore.

So, it is incumbent upon us to stop putting God on trial, to stop reducing the perfect, holy, sovereign and all powerful God into the image of a fallible and sinful man that is merely God’s property and subject. We must cease trying to shape and conform God into one that suits our passing fancies. Instead, we must simply accept that God is who He says He is opposed to what we imagine or wish Him to be. (After all, God’s true nature will always exceed our capacity to wish or imagine. Because we are fallible and corrupt, our desires and imaginations will similarly be fallible and corrupt, and we will wind up wanting a fallible and corrupt God.) And if we have difficulty accepting God for who the Bible reveals Him to be, then we must come to grips with the truth that the problem is ours, not God’s or the Bible’s. And we must pray that God forgives us for our rebellious attempts to push the truth – His truth and indeed God Himself – away and that He changes our hearts and minds so that we will end our sinful rebellion. We must pray that God continues to conform us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ so that the picture that the Bible paints about God is not offensive to us, and that we will not indulge in the sin of creating another God to go after because of this offense. The more carnal we are, the more offensive spiritual truths will be to us. However, the more spiritual we are, the more receptive we will be to spiritual truth. God and His nature is spiritual truth, and it is only through God’s power that we can grasp and accept it. So let us pray that we will exchange our judging God into our thanking and worshiping God for His Mercy and Grace.

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When You Put God To The Test You Get More Than You Bargained For!

Posted by Job on January 27, 2010

Sometimes, we try to put conditions on God. Or sometimes, we try to get God to prove Himself to us. We try to establish parameters or ground rules concerning our relationship with God. Or, we simply try to bargain with Him. We say to ourselves (or others) things like “God, give me a sign.” “God, if this happens then I know that it means that you want me to do that.” “God, if you do this for me, I will follow you.” Attempts to bribe God, manipulate God, make God our debtor or servant, even attempts to figure God out are common for many Christians. This behavior is very understandable. Often it is the result of confusion, frustration, fear or uncertainty, for instance. But in many cases, it is simply an attempt to deal with God in the same less than ideal way – i.e. manipulative, controlling, fearful – way that we deal with people, including ourselves. We are accustomed to using people. We are accustomed to being used by people. We do things this way to get what we want and to protect ourselves, and we may even tell ourselves that having interactions of this sort is a check on our own behavior, a way to keep US from exploiting others! Conducting relationships as business transactions is common to human behavior, and it is to the detriment of many husband-wife, child-parent, employer-employee, friendship and even church relationships.

Now not only are we generally not supposed to treat people that way, but we absolutely should not attempt this behavior with God. God is not human like us. Instead, God is sovereign. Attempting to either lower God or elevate ourselves to the point where we can deal with Him as if we and He are equals is sin. It ignores the fact that God is all-powerful, unique and Creator. It denies the fact that, as the Psalms say, we are the mere sheep of His pasture. It rejects the truth that God owns us, has complete and unchallenged control over our destinies, and pretends as if we are God’s business partners.

By treating God as a business partner, we give ourselves the delusion that we have a fallback option, or a safe way out. This way, we do not have to come to complete trusting faith and total reliance on God to meet our every need, or for God to be the One to determine what our needs are, the One who defines the difference between a need and a want for instance. We think that so long as we can ask for signs or set conditions, that if the sign does not come or the condition is not met, then we have the ability to walk away from the whole deal. In this way, instead of completely surrendering to God through faith and submission, we retain some control. We retain some influence. We retain some PRIDE. Or at least wo we think.

This is not to say that if we don’t like the conditions or if we think that the conditions change, we turn aside from Christianity. Oh no! Instead, if we don’t receive the sign or if the condition is not met, then we tell ourselves “it wasn’t God’s will.” If God does not respond in the way that we want Him to, we then take it upon ourselves to decide for ourselves what God’s will is. By this, we stop practicing Christianity, which is a faith of revelation  (God’s gracious self disclosure of His existence, will and nature to us) and start practicing divination. Now with revelation, we get a picture of God that is accurate, the one that He wants us to have. But with divination, a false religious practice, we get a picture that is false, the picture that WE want to have or see, and not surrisingly it looks a lot like us! By setting a bunch of conditions and believing in and serving God, the result is serving ourselves.

Now a lot of us may use some Bible examples to justify the practices of setting conditions or asking for signs, such as Gideon and the fleece, Jepthath’s vow to make a sacrifice if he received victory in battle, or Jacob’s promise to serve God after he had his “Jacob’s ladder” dream. Well, just because a Bible character, even a Godly one, does something doesn’t make it OK. Witness Peter denying Jesus Christ or David’s incident with Uriah and Bathsheba. First, note that Gideon, Jacob and Jepthath acted before the giving of the law of Moses. More on that later. Next, note that all three had a tenuous, uncertain knowledge of or relationship with God at that  point in their lives. Gideon and Jepthath were acting in the dark period of Israel during the time of the Judges, and Jacob was still a wheeling dealing conniver who was out only for himself. So, their actions reflected a lack of a knowledge of God’s requirements and character on their part, not the appropriate way for dealing with God, and God in His mercy and grace forgave them. However, the negative consequences of this type of behavior and of not knowing God’s nature or having a relationship with Him were still in view in the lives of these men, with the primary example being Jepthath’s offering his daughter as a human sacrifice.

The thing to remember is that when we try to set our own little rules or conditions for how we deal with God, we violate a direct commandment of scripture, which is Deuteronomy 6:16’s “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.” Massah was a reference to how the children of Israel made continual demands of God in the wilderness to prove His power, faithfulness and goodness to them. By continually demanding through Moses that God provide them with food, meat, water and other things when they wanted them, it was not so much that they were challenging God’s power, God’s ability to lead and deliver them, even though they certainly were doing so. Instead, they were challenging God’s sovereignty. They were putting their own collective self-will up against the will of God, and insisting that God had no right to behave towards them as they pleased. Instead of submitting to the reality that they were God’s people and that they were to serve Him, Israel insisted that God serve them instead. This is a classic mindset of the false pagan and animistic religions of the time and place that Israel was living in. God was calling Israel out of that false religious mindset, out of the world (the term “ekklesia” which implies a group that is called out or set apart from the rest and was in the New Testament translated to be “church” was also applied to Israel), and commanding them to respond to the true and living God, but Israel’s uncircumcised, unredeemed and faithless hearts refused to do so. It got to the point where the Israelites actually complained about the lack of variety in their diet, as if the wilderness was some all you can eat buffet and God was their busboy and short order cook! As a result of their refusal to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and their status before God, that entire generation save Joshua and Caleb perished, sometimes in the most horrible of manners, without ever setting foot in the Promised Land.

We probably know Deuteronomy 6:16 better from the lips of Jesus Christ, as He quoted it to rebuke Satan in response to Satan’s temptations of Christ in the wilderness. Another way of rendering this passage can be (and I am borrowing this from the movie “The Miracle Maker”) is “you shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Yet that is precisely what was done to Jesus Christ over and over again by the Pharisees, Saduccees, scribes, those who saw Jesus Christ, saw or heard of His mighty deeds but refused to acknowledge who He was. They kept trying to trick Him with questions, such as when the Sadducees’ questions about the resurrection. They tried to entrap Him with devices, such as the woman caught in adultery and whether to pay taxes to Caesar (attempts to place Him in no-win situations). And they asked Him to perform signs and miracles. It was not because they doubted His righteousness, because no one had observed or heard of His sinning. It was not because they doubted His wisdom and knowledge, for they had heard His teachings. And it was not because they doubted His ability to perform signs and miracles, because they had seen Him do so.

But the issue was that Jesus Christ did all those things on his own volition. He did it in His own Name for the Will of God the Father. In doing so, Jesus Christ was giving a revelation of Himself and of God the Father. However, these people were not interested in a revelation of Jesus Christ. They were not interested in a revelation of Jesus Christ. Instead, they wanted Jesus Christ to do THEIR bidding, NOT God’s Will. They wanted Jesus Christ to perform FOR THEM, and if He met THEIR CONDITIONS, then they would believe. If Jesus Christ met THEIR expectations, satisfied THEIR demands, fulfilled THEIR curiosities, catered to THEIR PRIDE AND EGO, THEN they would believe. Why? Because they were interested in serving themselves and their own ideas and lusts and not God. They did not want a revelation of God. They wanted Jesus Christ to reveal THEMSELVES, or a false god that believed like themselves and had their same desires, aspirations, prides, unclean thoughts and sins. In other words, they wanted an idol, an image of themselves to worship in the place of God. Why? Because the true God gives you want God wants you to have according to His sovereign will. A false god, an idol, gives you what you want.

So the people tempting Jesus Christ in this fashion were literally an example of Paul was describing in Romans 1:21-25. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

These people literally knew God. They saw Jesus Christ, the Word of God in the Trinity, face to face. Further, to see Jesus Christ was to see God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus Christ (and of the Father)! So those who heard, saw and touched Jesus Christ KNEW GOD! But they did not believe. They did not trust. They did not obey. They KNEW GOD but like the children of Israel in the desert, they did not have saving faith in Him. So they rejected Him because He would not bow to them, worship them, and give them the desires of their idolatrous hearts. Please recall that Satan asked Jesus Christ to bow and worship Him in the wilderness. Realize that the tempters of Jesus Christ were asking the very same thing. Give US a sign. Show US a miracle. Get down off the cross. Do what WE want you to do, THEN we will believe you and follow you. In doing so, they reject the truth, which is that we are but the sheep of God’s pasture (Psalm 100:3), and concoct this insane delusion that to serve God is to do God a FAVOR! These people felt that they would be doing Jesus Christ A FAVOR by believing in Him and following them! The One holy sovereign God, creator, ruler, master and sustainer of the universe! They believed that it would have been a privilege FOR JESUS CHRIST for them to believe and follow HIM!

Why? Well, because they were so special. They were the sons of Abraham, the people of the kings and prophets to whom the oracles of God were given. Well, when we act the same way as they did by believing that merely because we are Christians, God is obligated to lead us, guide us, or treat us in a certain way and if He doesn’t, well then we will just take our toys and go home, or go wherever we think that some “sign” is telling us to go! But do not be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever we sow, we will reap (Galatians 6:7). If we keep playing with God as if He is a toy or some other thing of amusement to be trifled with, we will get more than what we bargained for.

Consider Matthew 22:41-45. “While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, [The Son] of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” They were asking Jesus Christ to tell them, to prove to them who He was. Well Jesus Christ did it. “If David called the Christ Lord, then how is Christ David’s son!” That was all the information that they needed to be saved right there. But because they received this information by way of mocking, tempting and testing Jesus Christ, they weren’t ready for it! Instead of falling down and worshiping Jesus Christ and becoming His disciples, what was their response? “And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any [man] from that day forth ask him any more [questions].” Silence. God is not mocked. By provoking Jesus Christ, they received more than what they bargained for, and because they were faithless and not ready to receive the response, they only wound up reaping still more condemnation on their heads.

So please, do not build your Christian life on tests, conditions, vows, oaths, pledges, “earning points”, works or signs with God. That is treating God as if He is a merchant, a business partner that you can conduct mutually beneficial transactions with. If the transaction is mutually beneficial, then what is the role of unearned loving grace? More to the point, when Jesus Christ went to the cross to pay the debt for sins that He never committed, was that a transaction that conferrred mutual benefits on Jesus Christ and the sinner? God forbid! Instead the cross was entirely of grace done entirely and only for the sinner’s benefit. If the relationship with Jesus Christ began with grace on the cross, it cannot go to being a religious or business transaction, whether of works or of conditions. Instead, it begins with grace and remains of grace forevermore!

For we are not God’s equals. God is not lucky or fortunate to have our belief and service. Further, basing things on conditions is not faith. Instead of following God by faith, it is taking one step, testing it out AND IF YOU FIND IT AGREEABLE TO YOU taking another. That is like Peter when he attempted to walk on water. He took a few steps, got a little scared, got a little wet, and began to sink. Peter’s ability to walk on water was not based on his total belief, trust and obedience to Jesus Christ, but instead based on doing so under conditions where he felt safe and secure, that he wouldn’t be hurt. Jesus Christ said walk to me, and were Peter walking by actual faith, which is belief and trust that leads to obedience, he would have just kept walking no matter what happened. But since he was only willing to walk so long as he felt good about it, what happened? Simple: HE SANK. He was in the presence of God Himself and still sank!

Our relationship with God is to be one of trust, submission and obedience. Anything less is not truly a relationship with God, but rather an idolatrous affair with our own wicked hearts.

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Who Is The Real Jesus Christ?

Posted by Job on January 26, 2010

The thesis: Jesus Christ did not come to change the world, but to save those who were lost from it.

If Jesus Christ came to save the world by addressing political, cultural, social, economic or military ills, then He was an utter failure, a misguided political and social leader who was betrayed by His own friends, rejected by His own people, and given an humiliating death on the cross by His political and social enemies, even to the point of dying faster than the two thieves that He was crucified with while a mocking “The King of the Jews” sign above His head and a “crown” of thorns on it. Honestly, who in their right minds would follow such a person, a complete and total abject failure in every way, who was betrayed by His own followers and killed before He changed a single thing about either His own Jewish society or the larger Roman Empire? So clearly, such a Jesus Christ is a false one, the invention of human imagination.
 
Evidence of this: the false messiah of liberation theology. Why follow him, be inspired by him, practice what he lived and preached, or pay attention to anything that all that he said, did or even existed when this liberation theology messiah did not liberate anyone? Again, in a political or economic context, Jesus Christ did not liberate a single person. For that matter, nor did He even try. Jesus Christ told His followers to generally submit to and respect the Roman rulers, to pay taxes into an unjust economic and political system that left so many poor and deprived the vast majority of Roman subjects so much as the benefits of citizenship. Jesus Christ denounced and criticized the Jewish rebels and subversives against Rome, calling them robbers and murderers, and instead socialized with tax collectors, who were Roman collaborators. Jesus Christ even worked miracles at the request of Roman officials, including at least one Roman centurion.
But those were the Romans. What about among his own Jewish people? Jesus Christ never challenged the authority of the priests, He only exposed their lack of righteousness. Jesus Christ instructed the people to generally obey the rulings of the Pharisees because of their position of authority “in the seat of Moses”, only warned them not to follow their hypocritical ways. Jesus Christ never led a rebellion or even told people to defy or resist King Herod. He did not try get his own cousin, John the Baptist, out of jail to save him from getting executed by that same King Herod. Jesus Christ did not attempt to do away with the temple tax, only drove the moneychangers from the temple to fulfill the prophecy (and also because they weren’t supposed to be there in the first place). And when Jesus Christ was arrested by the Jewish leaders to be delivered to the Romans to be crucified, He made no defense. He did not defend Himself or even allow others to fight on His behalf in the Garden of Gethsemane, instead telling Peter to put away his sword and healing one of those who came to arrest Him. He did not say a word to defend Himself during His trial, completely respecting the authority of the Sanhedrin and the high priest, not even mentioning that the trial was  a sham and that Caiaphas was corrupt. And when Jesus Christ was given to Pontius Pilate to be crucified, He never denied, opposed or resisted Pilate’s power over Him (after an earthly, civil fashion) but rather affirmed its legitimacy! And while Jesus Christ was dying on the cross an innocent victim of a corrupt, repressive religious and political regime, rather than curse His enemies and yell out some exhortation for His followers to continue the revolution, He prayed for the forgiveness of the Romans and Jews! So tell me, what manner of liberation theology or any other liberal, radical or “fight the power, fight the system” can be given from Jesus Christ? At every turn, Jesus Christ submitted to the proper human authorities, religious and civil, Roman and Jewish, even though those authorities generally gave Him and His followers nothing but cruel oppressive unfair treatment. So rather than being the creator of some liberationist movement, Jesus Christ Himself modeled Paul’s controversial Romans 13:1-7, the main passage that the political (false) messiah followers claim was the prime example of Paul’s abandoning the “true message of the true Jesus” in order to gain favor with the power elite.
The problem is that there is nothing in Romans 13:1-7 that contradicts a thing that the actual Jesus Christ ever said or did. That’s why people who insist that Jesus Christ was a radical executed by Rome (or even the Jews) for His political beliefs ignore the fact that both the Roman AND the Jewish leaders declared Jesus Christ to be innocent. Caiaphas the high priest did so by stating that Jesus Christ should die in order to appease the anger of the Roman empire against the FALSE MESSIAHS that were leading insurrections, and sought false witnesses against Him. Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him, proclaimed Jesus Christ innocent when he tried to return the blood money to the priests, and the priests by their words and behavior (“what is that to us, that is your problem!”) confirmed that they knew that Judas Iscariot was correct rather than objecting to any untruth in his statement. And the Roman official in charge, Pontius Pilate, declared Jesus Christ to be innocent. What was Jesus Christ innocent of according to Pilate? Quite simply, being a radical, subversive or any sort of the political leader that worldly “Christianity”, whether of the liberal or conservative sort, wanted to make Him out to be. After all, what did Pilate care if Jesus Christ called Himself equal to God and would be seated on the right hand of God in heaven? What concern was that to the Roman Empire, which did not even respect, let alone practice, the Jewish religion? That was why Pilate attempted to get the Jews to deal with Jesus Christ according to Jewish law … whatever Jesus Christ was accused of was of no interest to Rome because Jesus Christ WAS NOT a rebel, either in the violent armed revolutionary or nonviolent subversive resistance sense. Had the Jews any evidence that Jesus Christ was either, they would have given it to Pilate, who would have declared Jesus Christ guilty and deserving of death on the spot. That Pilate declared Christ’s innocence is proof that all ideas of a political messiah are false, flying in the face of both the Biblical evidence and the common sense logic that a worldwide religious movement would never have been started by someone who was so utterly and spectacularly a failure.
 
The real Jesus Christ, meanwhile, is the one that the Bible speaks of, the one who was already Lord and came as Servant and Savior, and who actually SUCCEEDED in His mission. It is THIS Jesus Christ who rose from the dead. After all, had Jesus Christ come as a social reformer or political leader, to what effect was the resurrection? What did it mean? What did it change? And do not be deceived. When the apostles, still misunderstanding because the Holy Spirit had not yet come, asked Jesus Christ when He was to take the physical throne of David over the human political entity of Israel, defeat the Romans in a battle for Israel’s sovereignty, and then subdue the entire world to bring about the Messianic age, thereby bringing the political and social reforms that the apostles wanted, how did Jesus Christ reply?

With the classic “now and not yet” futurist and realized eschatology. The spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ is now in our hearts. The church, which is present on earth, is Jesus Christ’s body. Jesus Christ Himself as the Head of the church. Jesus Christ indwells the church through the Holy Spirit, and every member of the church is “in Christ”, not only merely through identification with Him via baptism, but as a part of His Body. Thus, as Jesus Christ is seated on His throne on the right hand of God the Father, we are seated with Him. So, we are with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of heaven, not in His place, not right beside Him as the mother of James and John asked, but as a part of Him.

But do not ignore the “not yet” part. That refers to the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ’s reign, the evidence of Jesus Christ’s Lordship being realized on the natural plane. It was the expectation of the apostles for this to happen in the form of a Messianic age that Jesus Christ was going to physically bring to pass in the form of a worldwide earthly kingdom that He would rule from Jerusalem. That expecation, in the immediate sense, was dashed when Jesus Christ ascended into heaven. Jesus Christ told the disciples to wait on the Holy Spirit’s coming to reveal more truths to them, and they did.

And when the Holy Spirit came, more truths about Jesus Christ and His kingdom were in fact revealed to them. And what did the apostles do based on this truth? Well, it is more interesting what they DID NOT do. What the apostles and the early church DID NOT do, did not even TRY to do, was embark on a mission of social, economic, military, cultural or political reform. To do so would have been to carry on the mission of some false failed messiah defeated just as many other pretenders who led doomed Jewish uprisings against Rome were. It would have been to carry on the mission of those who came in their own names, who were not God in the flesh, and who did not rise again from the dead.

Instead, the Holy Spirit pressed the early church onward to perform the work of the true Jesus Christ. The One who actually was born of a virgin, who did reveal Himself to the world through His works and teachings, and by this revelation of Himself who also revealed the God the Father, whose will alone He did. The One who died on the cross in our place for our sins, and the One who conquered death and the grave and rose again on the third day. The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost bearing witness of the true Jesus Christ who succeeded, not of some false messiah who failed. And the message of those who received that witness in that time was to repent of their sins, believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and be baptized, to live lives of faith and obedience, to pass from death to life, to leave the kingdom of Satan – which is death and destruction – for the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which is life everlasting. After the person has joined the spiritual kingdom of heaven NOW by believing the gospel, they were to await the coming of the physical kingdom that is NOT YET here with the return of the King, Jesus Christ.

And we are not to spend the time waiting for the return of the actual, living true King by pursuing the work of the many dead imposters and pretenders, which is pursuing social and political reform, trying to make society better, trying to redeem a fallen and soon to be judged earth with our good works. Be not mistaken, we are to perform good works, for the Bible does tell us that faith without works is dead. But the point of our works is the gospel which leads people to the spiritual kingdom of heaven of the true Messiah, not the earthly aims of the dead frauds. Whether the reform agenda is a liberal one (ending poverty, improving the environment) or a conservative one (opposing abortion and gay marriage) it is the earthly agenda of the false messiahs who died and are still cold and dead in their graves. It is not the agenda of the true Messiah who was raised from the dead and is alive forevermore.

So, which Messiah are you following? Whose agenda are you seeking? If you are following a dead, false messiah, why? What profit is there in this world? Riches of wealth and of good feeling? Those are things that the moths and rust corrupt and thieves can steal. Those things are going to come to an end when time is no more and will not be carried over into eternity. They are corruptible, and therefore there is no profit in them. It is only if you are following a living true Messiah, doing the things that this Messiah and His apostles told you to do as is recorded in the Bible, His New Testament, that you are reaping the true riches.

They may leave you indigent, marginalized and despised in this life, even among a great many of those who are after a fashion pious and religious. After all, the pious and religious people rejected Jesus Christ, so why shouldn’t they reject you, who serve Jesus Christ also? Is the servant better than His master? But you will have riches in eternity, New Jerusalem, and they will endure forever.

What should be remembered is that those who are trading the true living Jesus Christ for a false messiah are as Esau, trading something truly valuable, their birthright, for something of no value, a bowl of soup. Had Esau simply waited, he would have gotten something to eat. If nothing else, his mother would have fed him! And the same is true with Christians. Read the book of Revelation and the other eschatological passages, and also what Jesus Christ said to His apostles in the prologue of Acts. In the prologue of Acts, Jesus Christ didn’t say that their Messianic age expectations were wrong. He did not say “Never.” He simply said “Not yet.”

Because let it be known: if your desire is reform, if it is defeat of the wicked worldly systems that cause poverty, oppression, bigotry and whatever other ill that you imagine, that is most certainly going to happen. Jesus Christ has promised to return, defeat all evil, and rule the nations with the rod of iron. Satan, death, the grave … all will be defeated. It is there in the Bible, particularly Revelation, so please read it! We just have to be patient enough to wait until it happens!

The true Jesus Christ, the one actually spoken of in the Bible, holds promises of both a spiritual kingdom and a physical one, the former now and the latter at the time of the new heaven and the new earth after the resurrection. By contrast, the false messiahs, the liberation theology, liberal theology, black theology, feminist theology, antiwar theology, social justice theology, religious right theology models, can’t deliver salvation, real hope and change, in this world OR the next. Why? BECAUSE HE IS A FAKE! HE IS A FRAUD! AN IMPOSTER! Only the real Jesus Christ of the Bible can do these things, and it is this Jesus Christ that we should serve.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Matthew 3:13-15 And The Importance Of Righteous Living Through Jesus Christ

Posted by Job on January 26, 2010

The issue of Jesus Christ’s baptism at times provokes some debate. For example, why was Jesus Christ, God in the flesh with all that entails, baptized in the first place? Many good theories are proposed, among them the idea that Jesus Christ was announcing to the world His identity and the beginning of His earthly ministry. However, the simple explanation given in Matthew 3:15 by Jesus Christ Himself: “And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.” This means that Jesus Christ regarded participating in John’s baptism to be a good act, and it was His duty to do everything that is good. And please note that Jesus Christ did not only put this requirement upon Himself. This is not something to be performed by Jesus Christ on our behalf as our substitute, as was Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Instead, when Jesus Christ stated “it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness”, He was including John the Baptist and every other believer. Therefore, there is no such thing as a partial Christian or a mostly Christian. Instead, to be a Christian, one must do all that God instructs and requires us, what is called “the whole counsel of God” (see Acts 20).

But what is particularly interesting about the baptism of Jesus Christ as it is recorded by Matthew is that John the Baptist initially refused to baptize Jesus Christ! It was not because John the Baptist regarded Jesus Christ as some grotesque, unworthy sinner, or that He was coming insincerely out of curiosity or as some show of false piety. Quite the contrary, the grotesque unworthy sinners were precisely whom John the Baptist (and Jesus Christ after Him) were calling to repentance, and John the Baptist did not address Jesus Christ after the manner of the Pharisees and Sadducees who came (o generation of vipers, and demanding that their repentance be sincere). Instead, John the Baptist objected to baptizing Jesus Christ because he saw himself as unworthy to baptize Jesus Christ! Instead, John the Baptist stated that Jesus Christ should be baptizing HIM!

Of course, looking back on this incident, we see this as a logical conclusion of John the Baptist, with Jesus Christ being God in the flesh. However, John the Baptist did not have the benefit of our hindsight! For the gospel of John, verses 1:29-34, states that John did not know that Jesus Christ was the Messiah until AFTER he baptized Him, for it was at that point that John saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus Christ. We also surmise from Matthew 11:1-6 that John, upon his being cast into prison, seemed to doubt Jesus Christ’s identity as the Messiah and challenged Jesus Christ to prove Himself. So it is safe to propose that John the Baptist’s reasons for not wanting to baptize Jesus Christ had nothing to do with his having any idea that his younger cousin Jesus was in fact the Christ, and with that John the Baptist’s statement that he himself needed to be baptized by his cousin!

So then, what was the reason? It is the difference between the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus Christ, which John himself stated was a greater baptism. The baptism of John was a sinner’s baptism. By contrast, the baptism of Jesus Christ is a BELIEVER’S baptism. Thus, the reason why John attempted to restrain Jesus Christ from being baptized was because John was performing a baptism for penitent sinners, a baptism for the righteous, AND HE HAD NEVER OBSERVED OR HEARD OF JESUS CHRIST SINNING AT ANY TIME! So why did John state that Jesus Christ should baptize him? BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT JESUS CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS EXCEEDED HIS OWN!

Of course, Jesus Christ’s submission to the baptism should not be taken as a denial of the doctrine that Jesus Christ was sinless (for Jesus Christ declared Himself to be sinless in a very direct and challenging manner in John 8:46) or that he was lesser than John the Baptist (for Jesus Christ publicly declared Himself to be greater in Matthew 11:11), but again according to His own words, Jesus Christ submitted to John’s baptism because it was His duty to do all that was righteous. Please recall: just as Jesus Christ did not need to be baptized for His own sake because of His sinlessness, He also did not need to go to the cross for His own sake for that same reason. So, just as Jesus Christ went to the cross for our sakes, it can be surmised that He was baptized for that reason also.

But let us not lose sight of the fact that John the Baptist initially attempted to prevent Jesus Christ from partcipating in his baptism – saying that it was a thing not suitable for Him (just as Simon Peter later claimed that Jesus Christ was not meant to be crucified in Matthew 16:21-23!) – because John the Baptist knew that there was something different about Jesus Christ. John knew that Jesus Christ was different, even from himself! And how did John know this? Again, not from revelation, for the revelation of Jesus Christ’s identity to John did not come until the baptism itself. And it wasn’t because of Jesus Christ’s station or position in life. Rather than being born in Herod’s palace as a member of his family (and Herod was the legally recognized king of the Jews by the Roman empire and the Jewish province), Jesus Christ was born in a manger. Rather than being in the religious or political elite, Jesus Christ was a member of the Jewish underclass, a common laborer with no formal religious training or position. Thus, Jesus Christ in terms of his human socioeconomic state was no different from John the Baptist himself, and also lower than some of the people (Pharisees and Saducees) that John stated were most in need of baptizing! Instead, John knew that there was something different, something special about his cousin, this Jesus of Nazareth, that separated Him from everyone else that he had baptized, and indeed from the Baptist himself!

What was it? From the context and evidence given, it had to have been the life that Jesus Christ lived. Before John the Baptist and before the world, Jesus Christ lived a righteous, exemplary life, blameless before God and man. THAT is why John the Baptist initially refused to baptize Jesus Christ. THAT is why John the Baptist stated that Jesus Christ should instead baptize him! And perhaps that is even why John the Baptist abandoned his refusal to baptize Jesus Christ upon Jesus Christ’s request! After all, this man is more righteous than me? What right do I have to deny his request? If I follow this man in his righteousness, I might become more righteous also! And so John the Baptist did what Jesus Christ requested of him, and as a result the identity of Jesus Christ to John and the world was confirmed by a visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit.

And Christian, this is the important of being righteous. This is the importance of being blameless, Christian. This is the importance of being holy, Christian. Of course, we cannot achieve Jesus Christ’s standard of perfection, for we are not God. However, let us not in our desire to avoid what is commonly termed legalism, Phariseeism, self-righteousness, holier than thou, etc. cause us to veer into antinomianism and worldliness. Instead, just as there was a difference in Jesus Christ such that not only John the Baptist but Jesus Christ’s false accusers (note that none of them took him up on His challenge in John 8:46!) and the very people who sent Him to the cross (i.e. Judas Iscariot the betrayer and Pontius Pilate), there needs to be a difference in Christians so that we are easily, readily distinguishable from those who are not Christians.

Now this is where the “legalism” or “Phariseeism” becomes relevant. It is not supposed to be a difference that is outward. It is not supposed to be a superficial difference, a difference “of the flesh.” For the Judaizers, the difference of the flesh was the circumcision and the law of Moses. Perhaps a more contemporary issue is a certain artificial or affected attitude or behavior, maybe of rote adherence to rules, affiliations, religiosities, or standards of men of how Christians ought to conduct themselves. That is legalism. Instead, this difference should be inward, a change of the heart that comes from being born again of water and of Spirit. As those who are born again of water and of Spirit love Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments (John 14:21) as they are contained within scripture and taught to us by those who precede us in the faith (pastors, evangelists, teachers, prophets, deacons, Godly parents etc.) that produces a sincere – not affected or legalistic and self serving – change in behavior.

When this change of heart and behavior that comes by virtue of living faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ comes about, that is how we become living stones, living witnesses, living examples that reveal Jesus Christ and His gospel to others. Of course, such living witnesses must also verbally share the gospel, for how can the lost sheep hear the gospel without a preacher (Romans 10:14)? However, if you are a living witness of Jesus Christ through your sincere and consistent (save the fact that all sin 1 John 1:7-9) then the living witness of Jesus Christ to the lost makes your verbal witness of Jesus Christ all the more effective, all the more powerful.

There is also the effect on the found. We are not to be islands, lone wolves in the faith. Instead, we are to assemble together and strengthen each other with joyful fellowship, praying for one another, provoking one another to good works, and confessing our sins to one another so that the brothers and sisters may pray for us and we be healed. If we Christians give ourselves over to lukewarm worldliness and carnality, how can such a thing happen? And what examples are we setting for those who follow after us in the faith? Shall the old women teach the young women to be silly and vain? Shall the elder men teach the young men to be brutish and greedy? God forbid! Such behavior causes little ones to stumble, and we know from Jesus Christ Himself that whoever does that to one of His little ones (whether children or those new in faith), it would be better for them were a millstone tied around their necks and they be cast into the sea!

So, this day I encourage you. Follow the example of Jesus Christ by seeking to fulfill all righteousness. Some say that the secret of doing this is more about the “do’s” than the “don’ts”. Others say that while the “do’s” are vital, the “don’ts” cannot be neglected. Of such things, I am not qualified to be the arbiter. However, I can say that if you seek the Lord in this matter through prayer, Bible study, and good works of obedience to His Word that the Holy Spirit will take you where He wants you to go! For it is a core principle of Christian living that it is not what you can do, but what God Himself does for and through you. You are not righteous in and of yourself, but instead you are made righteous through your identification with the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, your being part of Jesus Christ’s own Body, your being washed clean with His blood, your being cleansed and healed by and with His stripes, and your being indwelled by Jesus Christ’s Spirit. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and if you sincerely rely and trust completely on God, then God will make sure that the temple of His Spirit is undefiled!

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Tim Tebow: Being Exploited And Misled By Focus On The Family

Posted by Job on January 26, 2010

College football star quarterback Tim Tebow is making a thinly veiled anti-abortion advertisement for the pseudo-Christian group Focus On The Family that is scheduled to run during the Super Bowl. Though they may yet buckle to pressure from wicked people who support the abortion procedure, that CBS has initially agreed to show the advertisement can be construed as evidence that the Tebow advertisement has nothing to do with a legitimate Christian message, and as such is not something that truly offends a world ruled by Satan that hates and has rejected Jesus Christ and will return to this same world to judge it one day.

Were Tebow’s message one that warned people of that impending judgment and informed them that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the only way to avoid the wrath of the judgment of the Lamb that is certain and soon to come, there is no way that CBS would air it. Thus, Focus On The Family is doing what it always has, which is promote a political and cultural agenda that is entirely comfortable and conformed to this world, which includes not only the mammon of big business like CBS, but the group of adulterers, homosexuals, pagan occultists, greedy corporatists, and bloodthirsty warmongers that rule this nation. Perhaps the greatest evil that groups like Focus On The Family, the Christian Coalition and their correlates on the religious left like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is their deceiving Christians into thinking that we don’t have to separate from the world. Instead, they teach us that it is not only ok to be worldly, but that we HAVE to join forces with the world – so long as we are on the right team with the right values and agenda, the “right side” or “the left side” of the world – in order to promote and defend God’s agenda. The fact that Jesus Christ said that “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH” and that we are to be nothing but Jesus Christ’s humble slaves, His own Body doing nothing but His bidding just as Jesus Christ did nothing but God the Father’s Will during His sojourn as a human on this earth, is cast aside by virtue as the same temptation that Satan used to deceive Eve: the appeal to our human vanity, the pride of life.

So, we have the religious right telling us that if we are conservatives, we are good Christians and we can make this nation righteous and holy. We have the religious left telling us that we are liberals, then we are good Christians and we can make this nation righteous and holy. The truth is that no nation can be righteous and holy – even Israel failed in this mission – and that all will be judged by the one God who is righteous and holy, America included. The big deception is that these political Christian movements deceive you into thinking that you are choosing one side over the other when the truth is that behind the scenes, both dominant political movements are joined together in promoting iniquity. But then again, how much “behind the scenes” is it? After all, George W. Bush declared to the world on many occasions that he supports abortion rights, homosexual rights, religious pluralism, and rejects Biblical inerrancy and infallibility.

On those issues and many others (including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into “bailouts” purporting to save the economy, and the promotion of military, political, economic and cultural globalism as well as New Age philosophical and religious thought) there was no substantial difference between Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, and incidentally for the dispensationalists, Bush had the same policy towards Israel – pushing them towards a “two-state solution” with Palestinian terrorists – also. It is just that these political false Christians have done an excellent job of pulling the wool over the eyes of so many that we THINK that there is a difference.

And now these people have apparently succeeded in getting Tim Tebow, a very young man who has lived a sheltered life, to join them in their wickedness. (This comes after the governor of Florida, a scoundrel on many levels, has been brazenly attempting to exploit Tebow’s fame to aid his re-election attempts.) Similar to the Carrie Prejean outrage, it is becoming a common tactic among the political wolves seeking to devour the Christian sheep to prop up and exploit young Christians into being spokesmen – positions of leadership and influence – despite knowing full well that they lack the wisdom and maturity that the Bible requires for such positions of responsibility (there is a reason why a term for “pastor” in the New Testament is “ELDER”). Where are the adult Christians in Tebow’s life, his parents and pastors, whose job it is to redirect his zeal from the snares and deceptions of the enemy and onto the path that Jesus Christ actually told us to take?

Look, even from a secular standpoint, the Tebow commercial is extremely problematic. Where testimonials, or testimonies of personal experience, are a requirement and blessing in the Christian life, in other contexts they are often abused to the point of being deceiving and manipulative. This appears to be one of these incidents, where Tebow relates how he could have been aborted. And of course, young men and women who love Tebow for his exploits on the football field and his good works off it are supposed to be whipped up into a frenzy of shock, fear, anger and rage and in response run out to elect more (pro-abortion and at times closeted homosexual!) Republicans to office, and of course to send more money to Focus On The Family, who despite being so financially destitute that they were forced to lay off dozens of staffers and pare back their “ministry activities” are somehow able to come up with $2.5 to $3 million for a Super Bowl advertisement.

But here is the problem: Tim Tebow’s mother was advised to abort Tebow because SHE WAS VERY ILL AT THE TIME. What are we supposed to do? Endorse the idea that a mother is supposed to always unconditionally sacrifice her own life to have a child? Where is that in the New Testament? Someone show me! And does this Christian doctrine of being required to unconditionally sacrifice your life ONLY apply to pregnant women? If so, why? Because the baby is innocent? WELL SO IS THE MOTHER! Or truthfully, from an honest theological perspective, the baby is just as guilty of original sin as the mother is! Don’t want to believe it? Well, you need to stop reading your fake political “pro-life literature” from Focus On The Family, National Right To Life, the Christian Coalition or whoever and start reading the TRUE pro-life literature, meaning ETERNAL life, which is THE BIBLE (and regarding this original sin issue specifically the first 12 chapters of the book of Romans is a good place to start). And again, who else has to live under this standard? If there are two people in a burning building and you can only rescue one, would you have to allow them both to burn to death because choosing one over the other is murder? Or what about a sinking ship? There are 100 people on it, but only room on the lifeboat for 99. So do all 100 people have to die because sacrificing that 1 person’s life to save the rest is murder? If not, then what right do we have to say that a woman UNCONDITIONALLY HAS to risk her life to have a baby? Again, pro-life Christians need to make this case USING SCRIPTURE. So not only is deceiving Tebow away from the gospel of Jesus Christ into making political messages that have NOTHING to do with that gospel bad in and of itself, but Tebow is being used to deliver THE WORST ANTI-ABORTION MESSAGE POSSIBLE.

Now do not be deceived. I despise abortion and greatlywish for the procedure to be generally illegal. (And unlike the sham pro-lifer politicians and activists who ALWAYS waffle when confronted with this question, were abortion illegal, yes I would certainly advocate putting any doctor who performs the procedure or any woman who receives it in jail where they would belong.) So in this way, I am like Tebow. The issue is that by relying on Tebow’s personal story to send a message that is manipulative, deceptive, and highly medically, ethically and theologically suspect … look what if some pregnant single mother with 8 kids and no reliable family support who loves college football and is inspired by Tim Tebow has been warned by doctors not to have her ninth child sees this commercial, ignores her doctor and attempts to carry the pregnancy to term as a result, only to have both her and the child die. Who is going to adopt and take care of that woman’s kids in that scenario? Focus On The Family? Don’t hold your breath. Oh yes, and what if this woman, who was never taken to church by her own parents but knows Tebow’s reputation for Christianity, mistakes the pro-life message for the gospel of Jesus Christ, tries to carry the pregnancy to term because she thinks that it is her “Christian duty” only to have that tragedy happen, AND AS A RESULT NEVER HEARS THE REAL GOSPEL, AND DOES NOT LIVE TO SHARE IT WITH HER EIGHT CHILDREN WHO ARE THEN DUMPED ON STATE SOCIAL SERVICES, THE VERY SOCIAL SERVICES THAT FOCUS ON THE FAMILY REGULARLY ELECTS CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES TO SLASH FUNDING AND PROGRAMS FOR. Look, issues like these are extremely serious and must be dealt with prudently. That is why people who lack the ability to navigate such issues prudently – and a 22 year old football player would almost inherently meet that definition – should stick to very gospel of Jesus Christ that Focus On The Family is seducing Tebow away from. That is why we should stick to what the Bible calls the foolishness and simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead.

And the person who modeled this for us? Why Jesus Christ Himself. Though not a citizen like the apostle Paul, Jesus Christ was born into and in His human condition was a willing subject of the Roman Empire. Now what are the two main items on the agenda of the religious right? Homosexuality and abortion/infanticide. Well, both were widely practiced in the Roman Empire. (As a matter of fact, some researchers have proposed this as a reason for the rapid growth of Christianity within the Empire in terms of its percentage of the population: no homosexuality or infanticide meant higher birthrates.) However, did Jesus Christ at any time organize a pro-life, pro-family political movement? No. And since Jesus Christ did ALL and ONLY that which was the will of God the Father, it is clear that changing the legal and cultural fabric of the Roman Empire was not His mission.

Well, you might say that Jesus Christ’s mission was a limited one, and it was left to the church to pursue the pro-life, pro-family agenda, right? Not according to the Bible. Read the epistles. Despite living and evangelizing in an overwhelmingly pagan and immoral culture, at no point did Paul or any other apostle advocate an agenda of political, legal or social reform that would have wasted the time and effort of imposing God’s righteousness on the unregenerate. Instead, the entire agenda of Jesus Christ and His apostles to save the lost – to turn the unregenerate into the regenerate – and to teach and lead the found into holy and righteous living. What of the abortion, homosexuality and other sins? Well sin is what sinners do. (As a matter of fact, the New Testament clearly states that even Christians are not immune from falling into sin.) That is not going to stop no matter how many laws are passed, and even if you can somehow physically restrain a sinner from doing wickedness with his hands, he is still going to sin in his mind and heart (Matthew 15:1-20). The Great Commission is Jesus Christ’s commandment to the church to save souls and disciple them thereafter. Passing laws to stop people from having abortions does not accomplish this, and therefore is not the duty of the church. It was not the agenda of the apostles, and it was not the agenda of Jesus Christ. Despite what the liberal theologians claim, Jesus Christ DID NOT attempt to lead a political or religious reform agenda within Israel or Rome, and neither did the apostles. Instead, their only agenda was the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of reformed hearts using the transforming love and power of God. Their agenda is our agenda, and if it is not the agenda of Jesus Christ and the apostles (yes, the apostles are the foundation of the church which Jesus Christ is the only Head) then it is not a true, legitimate Christian agenda but instead a diversion, a deception.

And this is the truly regrettable thing regarding Tim Tebow. Because – as far as I know based on what I have read about him – Tebow was heretofore acting as a legitimate Great Commission Christian. Working on the missionary field, sharing the gospel with those in prison, doing good works for the poor … those were all things specifically commanded by Jesus Christ and done by His apostles and followers as recorded in the New Testament. It is this Focus On The Family evil that Jesus Christ never commanded us and the Bible does not teach us to do that is the problem. It is a temptation of Tebow, to lead him astray from the path of legitimate Christian service and ministry because of his fame, and we Christians should pray for Tebow that he not yield to temptation. We should pray that prudent Christians surround him and tell him the truth, and that Tebow heed their Biblical counsel to avoid the world and all its temptations and to adhere closely to what the Bible commands of him. The call, purpose and design that God has on the life of Tebow, of every Christian for that matter, is contained within the Bible, and we are not to deviate from it. The sola scriptura doctrine of Christianity is essential, and we are not to deviate from it to the right or to the left.

Now it is true … many have been seduced into the arena of political Christianity by the historical fact that Christianity socially and legally reformed the Roman Empire. We are often told of how Constantine converted, how Christianity was ultimately made the state religion of the Empire, and how infanticide, the decadent homosexuality culture, and slavery were abolished, how the status of women and children greatly improved etc. These things are true, but like Tebow’s “don’t get an abortion … had my own grievously ill mother had aborted me OKLAHOMA WOULD HAVE WON THE NATIONAL TITLE!” it is a simplistic rendering of history that ignores some key facts. First, Constantine refused to submit himself to a pastor to learn Christian doctrine and living. Second, Constantine rejected Biblical Christianity for Arianism (and was baptized on his deathbed as such) and persecuted actual Christians. Third: Constantine began the vile practice of making Christianity an instrument of state power, including warfare.

The result of Constantine’s melding Christianity with the state and culture was not the rapid evangelization of the pagans within the Roman Empire. Instead, the reverse happened:  the pagans flooded the Roman state church, bringing with them their perverse doctrines and lifestyles. Altering Christianity into a form where it could be embraced by the culture and government made it A.) acceptable for the unsaved and B) unfit for the saved. In short: a worldly false apostate Christianity of the sort warned against by Jesus Christ (especially in Revelation 2 and 3) and His apostles. Of course, a true invisible body of believers of Jesus Christ existed at that time and through all times, but to claim that Roman state-church-culture was a legitimate expression of it and not the abomination that it actually was is historically, theologically, factually false and dishonest. So are the modern successors of Constantine and his “advisor” Eusebius (considered the creator of Constantinian church-state theology) who live on in movements like Focus On The Family, the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, and all of these other organizations, councils, coalitions, groups etc. whose leaders get very rich off contributions that should be going to spread the gospel and help the poor, and whose agenda is not the gospel of Jesus Christ but families, values, culture, morals and other worldly things. How ironic that the actual Jesus Christ warned His legitimate sheep that being a Christian often meant being rejected by your family and culture.

It is because we live in a country that purports to be majority Christian that we can suffer this delusion. But imagine being a Christian in a majority Muslim, Hindu or communist country.  What good would the anti-abortion advertisements of football players do for Christianity in Indonesia? China? India? Egypt? Or even the Hamas-PLO controlled Palestine where Jesus Christ was born? (Or for that matter Israel, where sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ can literally result in a jail sentence? It is a subject that an odd coalition of theological liberals and prominent dispensationalists do their best to tiptoe around, but it is true.) But when Jesus Christ returns, the whole world will see Him, and all delusions will come to an end.

When that day comes, where will you be? What will you be doing? Whose agenda will you be supporting? Will it be the agenda of Jesus Christ as revealed to you by the New Testament? Or will it be some worldly political agenda crafted to gain power, make money and hide the truth from people who so desperately need it? Ultimately, the question is this: who’s side are you on? Where does your heart, the things that you truly love and desire, lie? With Jesus Christ and the world to come? Or this world that God will judge and burn with fire? Are you as Lot, who fled Sodom and Gomorrah and was spared judgment? Or are you as Lot’s wife, who turned and look back because her heart desired Sodom, Gomorrah and the perversions of it and received judgment  – the turning into a pillar of salt, the ending of her life – as a result? (And do not be deceived … the devastation that happened to all that Lot had was the result of Lot’s joining himself to Sodom and Gomorrah in the first place.) Worldliness that is known and regarded to be evil is bad enough, but worldliness that passes itself for Godly virtue – the work of the Pharisees – is particularly insidious. From such things, Christians should turn away. Let us pray that all Christians, Tim Tebow included, are protected by Jesus Christ from falling into this evil and into all others.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Can’t Nobody Tell It – Lamar Campbell

Posted by Job on January 4, 2010

I admit it: I have a weakness for this song.

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