Sunday, April 20

Is Jesus God?

If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One

For the author states, "During his lifetime, Jesus himself didn't call himself God and didn't consider himself God, and ... none of his disciples had any inkling at all that he was God."

The author has to first discredit the Book of John for the above statement to be true, or so he thinks, with clever phrases such as, "This is not an unusual view amongst scholars; it's simply the view that the Gospel of John is providing a theological understanding of Jesus that is not what was historically accurate."

I'm curious how many scholars does it take to define "not unusual". It is word play like this that indicates the author does not have a genuine interest in honest dialogue (along with the dismissal of the Book of John).   

According to the author, the following scriptures should be ignored...

  • The woman said, “I know that Messiah, which is called Christ, is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4:25-26
  • "Very truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" John 8:58.
  • 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" 34 "Is that your own idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?" 35 "Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied. "Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?" 36 Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place." 37 "You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." John 18:33-37

The author goes on to attack the Holy Trinity, Jesus' burial, and supports this thesis "Jesus never called himself God" with opinion and assumptions. He fails to highlight the following scriptures... and thinks they should also be ignored...


  • Mark 15:2, "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "You have said so," Jesus replied.
  • Luke 23:3, So Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" "You have said so," Jesus replied.
  • Matthew 27:11, ... meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" "You have said so," Jesus replied.

I could continue to show that, although Jesus never directly said "He is God", He didn't need to identify Himself as such, because to those Jews who knew the OT, understood who He was, including His disciples. There are many examples where others called Him Lord, The Messiah, The King of the Jews and He did not correct them. If someone calls me the wrong name, I either 1. do not know they are speaking to me or 2. I correct them by stating my name to them.

I'll end with the following:
  • [Jesus] said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:16 

Monday, December 23

Duck Dynasty, GLAAD, WestBoro Baptist Church

GLAAD Releases “Most Unwanted” List Of Homophobic Talking Heads

GLAAD: Time to scrutinize anti-gay pundits' media appearances

GLAAD Launches Project to Warn TV Producers About Extremist Guests

Homophobic, Anti-Gay, Extremist...  are GLAAD labels for those organizations and people who oppose gay marriage and/or quote God's Word on homosexuality.

The irony in all of this... it seems GLAAD, A&E, Cracker Barrel, MSM, and the Westboro Baptist folks all agree that "GOD hates fags".

God does not hate homosexuals... He hates SIN and homosexuality, per God's Word, is SIN. God has clearly stated that He doesn't hate the sinner.

Sunday, August 4

Idols

Idols make us feel important [and thus] can consume us. Idols make us feel, as long as we worship them, that we stand above the crowd. Idols promise us the ability to rise above ourselves. [They] give us a larger identity, allowing us to define ourselves through the group. Idols tell us nothing else matters except ourselves and the idol. 

Sacrifice gives us life. Sacrifice for others gives life and makes community possible; it frees us from idols. We must accept such sacrifice is hard and lonely. Only the small mundane acts of kindness for neighbors and friends and family [have the power] to save us. Mothers and fathers, who have put their careers on hold, know this power, however hard it is to lose the identity and status that come with work. Those who stop to care for the sick or disabled know this.

There is no shortage of lives ruined by idols. Sacrifice for idols leaves us hollow and empty. And if we do not let go, idols lead to a life so devoid of meaning that only slavish devotion to the idol keeps us from facing the emptiness. Those who spend their final years waiting forlornly for a call from children they never bothered to know because they were busy building careers, must peer into the empty face of the idol they worshiped. Idols, when they finish with us, discard us.

from Losing Moses on The Freeway

Thursday, July 11

Same Sex Marriage

The question was asked if the Christian community quietly accepts homosexual behavior in our culture.

Christians do not oppose premarital sex or adultery as vehemently as they oppose homosexuality. How do I know? Christians love to use the word "abomination" to describe what God thinks of homosexuality. And yet, Christians do not describe fornication or adultery as an abomination. The two verses that are the most quoted to prove homosexuality is an abomination are: 
You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13
I have even been told that "abomination" is not used anywhere else in the Bible. That is simply not true. "Abomination" occurs in the KJV Bible 76 times in 69 verses, 5 times in the NIV Bible, and zero times in the NLT.

Proverbs 6:16-19 states the seven things God hates (KJV uses abomination).
  1. Haughty eyes
  2. A lying tongue
  3. Hands that shed innocent blood
  4. A heart that devises wicked plans
  5. Feet that make haste to do evil
  6. A false witness who breathes lies
  7. One who sows discord among brethern
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says...
Homosexuality, like every other sinful tendency [greed, lust, hatred...], is part of our polluted and sinful nature. Homosexual acts are the manifestation of a sinful heart.
If the reality is Christians quietly accept adultery and fornication... possibly ignore scriptural teaching on such sin... is there any integrity, honor, or truth when they oppose homosexual activity?

What is the difference between heterosexual premarital sex and homosexual premarital sex? Does a line of demarcation exist? Sex outside of marriage is sin. Sin is sin and God hates all sin. The Christian community behave as if there is a difference or that homosexuality is a worse sin than adultery.

Studies show that up to 75% single Christians 18-29 admit to having premarital sex. Christians cannot consistently sleep with their girlfriends or boyfriends, or wink at friends who do engage in such sinful behavior, but draw the line at homosexual behavior. Can they? Is it appropriate to invoke the log vs speck tenet right now? 

So the basic logic seems simple: it’s okay to accept premarital sex and adultery but it's not okay to accept homosexual behavior. I wonder if the next step for Christianity is to explicitly defend premarital sex as the logic of such behavior becomes accepted.

If fornication and divorce are no big deal, then does it not ring hollow to oppose homosexual behavior?

Do Christians have the authority to challenge homosexual behavior unless they start correcting the sexual sins of heterosexuals?

I don't know. I do know adultery, fornication, lust, and homosexuality are all listed as sins by God. Why Christians choose to take an unyielding stand against one sexual sin (which is a minor segment of the population) and yet ignore other sexual sins which are at least as harmful to society (divorce, single parent households, teenage moms) is perplexing?

What say you?

Wednesday, July 10

John the Baptist in Today's Church

I was asked how the church would view John the Baptist today. Here is what I wrote:

John would probably have been be a youth pastor with an 'unsuccessful' ministry. Unsuccessful despite his knowledge of scripture, his love for God's Word and Jesus Christ. Unsuccessful despite the great volunteers he has recruited and surrounded himself with.

He would have a ministry based on personal interaction. He would take an interest in his students. He would not have been swayed to name his weekly Bible lesson something like "Explosion" or "Passion". I am not sure John would promote a skiing trip or the annual excursion to the beach as a spiritual retreat. He probably wouldn't adhere to the format of live bands, 60 inch LED screens displaying videos and images, fun games, karaoke, and whatnot and so-forth as the weekly youth Bible study.

John would preach the true Gospel of humility, sacrifice, devotion, hope, love, etc. He would base his ministry on studying and meditating on God's Word, prayer, fasting, being servants of Christ, and the like. He would tell his students they need to confess their sins and repent.

Girls would be accountable for their clicks and passive aggressive behavior. Guys would be accountable for the time spent with a game controller in their hand. He would tell both to shut off the porn, and yes, sex outside of marriage, including premarital sex, is a sin. I suspect he would tell them that homosexuality is a sin and abortion is murder.

He would explain being a Christian isn't easy and Jesus did not promise His followers a life filled with fun and games and pleasure. He might say things like... 
"If you love the things in this world, then the love of the Father is not in you."
"Pick up your cross and follow Jesus. And this specific cross does not promise the good and easy life filled with fun and pleasure."
"It's not what Jesus can do for you, but what you can do for Jesus."
"Remember when you are hated and persecuted and attacked, it was Jesus they hated and persecuted first. They killed Jesus for the words you will speak."
"Why do you call Jesus Lord and not obey Him?" 
I suspect John would be told, "Leadership wants to talk." At that meeting he would be informed, "John, we say this in love, but we are going in a different direction."

I'm sure his exit from the church would be filled with tears from students. He would receive plenty of "atta-boys" and pats-on-the-back from the congregation. He would be comforted with tales of how he will be missed. As he is ushered out the door, the new guy enters who, most importantly, buys into the theory that God's Word is no longer enough to reach the younger generation.