The Ancient Muse 17 y
A Biblical, non-kneejerk look at Music
(most material originally at http://www.theology.fether.net/dochandler.php?id=49 )
I’ve been ranting about how most of church history has borne little resemblance to the NT model, but I’d like to take a closer look at the issue of music as it relates to the church. Many otherwise level-headed Christian authors go ballistic when you say ”Christian Rock”, thinking anything but old hymns in 4/4 time is from the devil. The truth is, the Bible never specifies musical styles or even worship instructions for the NT church, beyond what we’ve already covered. But it does have a few things to ... read more
Purpose-Driven to Distraction 17 y
I told you so!
From http://studylight.org/col/pr/index.cgi :
A Christless Church?
The Associated Press reports out of Grapevine, Texas that The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a liberal alliance of 1,800 congregations that oppose the conservative leadership of The Southern Baptist Convention, removed mention of Jesus from its constitution at its just concluded annual meeting. Prior to this, the fellowship’s stated purpose had been to bring Baptists together ”in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be spread throughout the world in glad obedience to th ... read more
Today's Sermon 17 y
What I "learned" today in church
You’ll never guess what this morning’s sermon was about.
Aw, come on, try.
Very Good! Yes, it was all about TITHING! Malachi’s words were dutifully wrenched out of context and paraded around to remind the people how stingy they are. How 10% is ”only the beginning”. How God will not bless you till you fork over at least that much.
Then on to Sunday School, where we learned more about the apostles Phillip and Andrew than they even knew. John MacArthur, while undeniably an excellent Bible teacher, nonetheless has his blind spots as we all do. He had a book to write, and it needed lot ... read more
What's In YOUR Wallet? 17 y
Giving, tithing, and guilt-trip sermons
If a preacher asks you that question, tell them ”It’s none of your business”. Seriously.
The Tithe (10%) was for Israel and no one else. That Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils of war to a mysterious OT priest named Melchizadek does not ”prove” that it is a command for Gentiles. Abraham was, after all, the father of the Jewish nation, not just anyone. God told this same Abraham to begin the practice of circumcision, which was long before Moses and the Law. If we must tithe based on the fact that Abraham did, then we are also bound by circumcision and everything else.
Likewise ... read more
More on the NT Church 17 y
Fine-tuning some gray areas
On the ”offices” of overseer and deacon:
What offices? Although many English translations use the phrase ”office of an elder” in 1 Timothy 3:1, the Greek literally says ”... if anyone aspires to exercise oversight, he desires a good work”, and in verse 8, ”Likewise, deacons must...”. If we want to know the full NT teaching on these servants of the church (deacon is from the Greek word for ”bond servant”), we must consult many references, beginning with the Gospels. Jesus made it clear to his disciples that to lead is to serve, not dominate (Matthew 20:25-28, John 13:13-17).
In passag ... read more
Did Jesus claim to be God? 17 y
Here's what the Bible says.
Frequently we hear the mantra that Jesus never claimed to be God, but what are the facts? Here are some quotes from the Bible, by the prophets, by Jesus and by those who were personally instructed by Him.
9:6 For a child has been born to us, a son has been given to us. He shoulders responsibility and is called: Extraordinary Strategist, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
2:5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had,
2:6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with ... read more
Can "salt and light" blend in with "bland and dark"?
A.W. Tozer stated:
”Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degr ... read more
The Real Thing 17 y
Does the end justify the means?
If it works, it must be a good thing, right?
The Bible says, ” There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25), and, ”For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23).
We live in a world filled with offers of advice on how to cure or fix just about anything, including spiritual problems. Many of these methods work for multitudes of people. But should we just blindly swallow all that glitters, just because it works, or is there a danger in success?
Obviously, w ... read more
Called to the Ministry 17 y
The Bible versus church tradition
You may recall from the post on Churchianity that what we have come to believe as being the Biblical model for the church is not really very accurate. No issue more clearly illustrates this than in the area of church leadership.
Church tradition has always held that pastors or ministers become such as the result of a subjective ”call”, where God allegedly picks someone for the position of elder/pastor by giving them a feeling or hunch of some kind. This individual is then sent to a seminary to acquire a degree, which then qualifies him to lead a church, perform public duties such as wed ... read more
Revelation chapters 16-22 (end) 17 y
The Bowl Judgments, Babylon, woman on beast, millenium, The End
Chapters 16—18: Bowls and Babylon
Bowl #1: sores
Bowl #2: the sea dies
Bowl #3: the rivers die
Bowl #4: the sun gets hotter— and the people still don’t repent!
Bowl #5: darkness— In spite of the hot sun there is darkness that, for some reason, makes people miserable.
And they still don’t repent!
Bowl #6: ready for war— Probably, China sees an opportunity to start a war, since the dried-up Euphrates is a lot
easier to cross now.
Bowl #7: earthquake— hundred-pound hailstones gotta hurt! (And remember, i ... read more
Revelation chapters 8-15 17 y
Trumpet judgments, 2 witnesses, beast, woman
Chapters 8—11: Trumpets and Witnesses
I believe the seventh seal contains the seven trumpet judgments. The silence in heaven probably symbolizes the more intense nature of the
judgments to come.
Trumpet #1: fire and ice
The earth, trees, and grass are actually worshiped today by many people. God doesn’t destroy all of it, but only a third. Even in judgment,
God still shows mercy.
Trumpet #2: salt water woes
Yet another object of worship is damaged. Many people think we evolved from sea creatures, yet they consider them more worthy of life th ... read more
Revelation chapters 4-7 17 y
John goes to heaven, the Seal Judgments
Chapters 4—5: John Goes to Heaven
In verse one John is told what must happen "after this". He just finished with the letters to the churches, so "after
this" means after the church age. From this point on, the church is never mentioned except in heaven. This is another reason I believe
the rapture happens before the Tribulation. Besides, the Tribulation is the culmination of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel (see Daniel 9:24-26 and 12 ). In Jeremiah 30:7 it is called the time of Jacob’s
trouble (Jacob is Israel).
Now ... read more
Revelation chapters 1-3 17 y
Initial contact, letters to churches
Chapter 1: Prologue
The time is near ( v. 3 ; see also 22:10 )! Even though nearly 2000 years have passed since this prophecy was written, God says it’s going to happen soon. This is known as the principle of imminence, meaning Jesus could have returned at any time after his ascension. Paul calls it "the blessed hope" ( Titus 2:13 ). The fact of imminence motivated first century believers, as it should motivate us, to live their lives in such a way that they would not be embarrassed if Jesus came immediately ( Mark 13:34-37, 2 Peter 3:11-12 ). But why has it been ... read more
Studies in Revelation 17 y
Possibly the most misunderstood book in the Bible.
People don’t always like to go to off-curezone links, so even though this material is available on my web I’ll put it here.
I’ve already touched on the prophecy of Daniel and the teaching of the Rapture in other NT books, but people are always interested in the details. So this is the first of a series I’ll do on the book of Revelation.
2-3 letters to seven churches
4-5 John goes to Heaven
6-11 seals, trumpets, witnesses
12-14 woman and dragon, beast
17-19 woman on beast, Ba ... read more
Religious Intolerance 17 y
A popular term that no one really thinks about.
People like to throw this phrase around, but they don’t stop and think about what it means and what it implies. Lets take a closer look.
A truly tolerant worldview, one that accepts all religions, is literally impossible. Think about it: if you tolerate all religions, you must include those religions that claim exclusive truth. The practice of that exclusive religion will be seen as a violation of the tolerance rule, and thus be banned (i.e., NOT TOLERATED)!
Do you see it now? To tolerate everything is really to tolerate nothing but one view. The ”tolerance” view is self-defeating. I ... read more
Free In Christ
A study of Paul's letter to the Galatians
Well, I think it’s about time to actually study what’s in the Bible and not just study about it.
One of my favorite NT books is Galatians, because it’s all about our freedom in Christ. People have the mistaken idea that Christianity is just another set of rules, but it is the complete opposite, as I’ve tried to show in previous blog entries on faith and works (legalism). And contrary to popular accusations, there is no conflict between Paul and Jesus (or Paul and James). Paul did, as we will see, preach freedom and equality. This particular letter lays to rest any doubt about it.
... read more
The Anvil that Has Worn Out Many Hammers 17 y
Attacks on the Bible text are nothing new.
Previous Page, Page 2
(please note that I do not necessarily agree with other topics at this site)
Nineteenth century writer H.L. Hastings once forcibly illustrated the unique way in which the Bible has withstood the attacks of skepticism:
”Infidels of eighteen hundred years have been refuting and overthrowing this book, and yet it stands today as solid rock. Its circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and read today than ever before. Infidels, with all their assaults, make about as much impression on this book as a man with a ... read more