Over 4 in 10 American Christians say Bible is ‘ambiguous’ on abortion

Many “Christians” claim there is little need for seminaries and proper studying of the Word of God. This is the result of such foolishness; a generation that has no clue what that Word really says.  – Mike

A pro-abortion activist yells at pro-life supporters (not pictured) in front of the Supreme Court during the National March for Life rally in Washington January 22, 2016. The rally marks the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion ruling in Roe v. Wade. | Reuters/Gary Cameron

Over four in 10 American Christians believe the Bible is “ambiguous” on abortion, according to the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University.

The findings, released Tuesday, are part of the CRC’s American Worldview Inventory 2020 survey.

Conducted by CRC Director of Research George Barna, a noted evangelical pollster, the report found that 44% of respondents said they believe the Bible “is ambiguous in its teaching about abortion,” while 34% said “abortion is morally acceptable if it spares the mother from financial or emotional discomfort or hardship.”

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The Babblings and Contradictions of False Knowledge

The Babblings and Contradictions of False Knowledge

BY HENRY M. MORRIS III, D.MIN. *  | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2019

O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge—by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

There are many warnings in Scripture of the power that deception can have. The manipulation and misrepresentation of factual truth and biblical insight can undermine our faith and confidence in God’s Word. The apostle Paul cautioned the church at Colossae: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

Paul challenged young Timothy to avoid the “falsely called knowledge” since it would cause some Christians to stray from their faith. We live in an age that could well be a candidate for the most deceptive age since the one before the great Flood of Noah’s day. The twisting and distortion of facts by evolutionary naturalism are brazen in their falsehood but extremely shrewd in their presentation.

Recently, Dr. Neal Frey carefully analyzed a potential series of biology textbooks that are recommended for acquisition by Texas schools.1 Because those recommendations affect the purchase of tens of thousands of textbooks, many other state schools across the nation are likely to acquire the same books. These textbooks will be required reading and the source for mandated instruction throughout public schools.

Christian parents must be prepared to cope with the sophisticated shaping of this “falsely called knowledge” foisted on their children and taught by gifted instructors and “expert” proponents of the open onslaught against the Bible’s message. The following insights, drawn from Dr. Frey’s analysis, will help you teach your children to become critical thinkers, enabling them to tell truth from error…

Continued at Source: The Babblings and Contradictions of False Knowledge

‘another gospel’

We live in a world that only seems to care about a loving almost wimpy Jesus. But that is not the Lord and Savior who was obedient, to the father or cleansed the temple. Paul says in Ephesians 2:13-17 that Jesus did in fact come to preach peace how is this reconciled? 

There are two factors to consider first, we are not in our text below Luke 12:51, Jesus is referring to a physical peace, an end to war and conflict the Roman rule of the Jews. In Ephesians 2:13-17 the reference is to eternal peace for all those blessed to be chosen children of the King.  

So Jesus was no soft peddling wimp, only about love. One just has to read (and fully comprehend His hardliner stand on Salvation to understand this. As always we need preach, teach and share the Whole Counsel of God without exception. 

Logos.com

“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible.”

We are, in effect bearing false witness and preaching a false Christ. Our message is ‘another gospel, which is not another.’ Such preaching may soothe some, but it will help nobody; for a Christ who is not seen and sought as a Saviour from sin will not be found to save from self or from anything else.

An imaginary Christ will not bring a real salvation; and a half-truth presented as the whole truth is a complete untruth.” 

–J.I. Packer, “The Puritan View of Preaching the Gospel,” in Puritan Papers, Vol 1

The Power and Presence of Christ?

Can Believers Manipulate the Power and Presence of Christ?

by Cameron Buettel / Monday, July 15, 2019

In the lead-up to the Truth Matters conference in October, we will be focusing our attention on the sufficiency, authority, and clarity of Scripture. Of our previous blog series, none better embodies that emphasis than Frequently Abused Verses. The following entry from that series originally appeared on September 30, 2015. -ed. (For other articles in this series just type Frequently Abused Verses into the search bar on the right). 

Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. (Matthew 18:18–20)

How often have you heard that passage (or at least part of it) quoted in a church setting?

During my time in the charismatic church, Matthew 18:18–20 was quoted in every prayer meeting and regularly from the pulpit. In fact, I cannot think of any other Scripture passage I heard quoted so frequently without ever hearing a sermon on the passage itself. And yet we would regularly bind demonic forces on earth and loose angelic armies from heaven. And we always reminded ourselves that Jesus was there because at least two or three of us were present.

Our church was far from alone in its dependence on Matthew 18:18–20. In fact, the passage is a favorite of self-appointed experts in spiritual warfare and those who put special emphasis on Christ’s presence. The passage has been chopped up and subdivided all sorts of ways in service to a number of doctrinal positions and practical applications.

For example, notorious faith healer and prosperity preacher Benny Hinn emphasizes Matthew 18:18 as a promise of supernatural power and heavenly authority:

Do you realize that movements on earth govern movements in heaven? Do you realize that a child of God in prayer affects decisions in heaven? The Lord declared: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 18:18). So awesome is this power that it releases angels to do God’s bidding on the earth and binds demons as it destroys the purpose of the enemy! [1]

Contrast that with the conclusions of Rick Warren, who offers a far less spectacular interpretation and application of the passage, while employing similar hermeneutical technique in his assessment of verses 19–20:

Many people miss out on so much because they only pray by themselves. Yet, when Jesus gave us an outline for prayer, he spoke about praying together. There is power in group prayer. If you’re not praying with other believers, then you’re not getting the support you need. You’re missing out on one of the major benefits of being a Christian. Jesus says “whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them” (Matthew 18:19-20 TEV). That’s the power of praying with other people. [2]

Joyce Meyer comes out of the same Word Faith stream as Benny Hinn and also enjoys a huge television following. But her ministry prefers to traffic in practical advice for day-to-day life. She actually deploys Matthew 18:20 in the realm of marriage counsel:

The Bible says that there is power in agreement. . . .

If you want to have power in your marriage and in your prayer life, then you have to get along. The big question is: How can a disagreeing couple learn to agree? Agreement comes when the people involved stop being selfish. Selfishness is an immature inward focus. The key is to care about what the other person needs, be willing to humble yourself, and do what you can to meet those needs.

When this happens, you can live together in agreement before the Lord, and “wherever two or three are gathered” in His name, God is there with them. So make a choice with your spouse today to pursue agreement and unity before the Lord. [3]

How can one passage support such disparate meanings? Are any of those interpretations the true meaning of Matthew 18:18–20? Do they skirt around the edges of the author’s original intent, or are they missing the point of the passage altogether? Bottom line: Does this passage have anything to do with spiritual warfare, group prayer, or marital unity?

As with previous posts in this series, the first thing we should (always) check is the context of our passageª. What do the surrounding verses tell us about the meaning of our text? In this case, the preceding verses are likely just as familiar as the passage in question:

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15–17)

Just a simple reading of the text makes it clear that the focus is not spiritual warfare, unity in marriage, or empowering your prayer meetings. Instead, verses 15–17 speak exclusively about church discipline.ª

Therefore, all of Christ’s instructions about binding and loosing, unity, and the promise of His presence come in the context of church discipline.ª In other words, Matthew 18:18–20 means that when church leaders gather together to deal with unrepentant sinners, they have heavenly backing.

In his commentary on this passage, John MacArthur explains how many of the popular interpretations go wrong when they divorce the verses from their context:

Jesus’ promises in verses 18 and 19 have suffered serious misinterpretation throughout the history of the church. . . . Many charismatics use these promises—along with others, such as those of Matthew 7:7 and 21:22—to claim from God every imaginable blessing and privilege just for the asking.

But in light of the context of what Jesus had just said, in the light of common rabbinical expressions of that day, and in light of the grammatical construction of the text, it is clear that He was not teaching that God’s power can be bent to men’s will. He was not saying that men can force heaven to do things. Quite to the contrary, His promise was that when His people bend their wills to His, He will endorse and empower their act of obedience.

Jesus was here continuing His instruction about church discipline. He was not speaking about petitioning God for special blessings or privileges, and even less was He teaching that the church or any of its leaders has power to absolve the sins of its members. He was declaring that the church has a divine mandate to discipline its members when they refuse to repent. [4]

And what about the power to bind and loose in the spiritual realm? John also carefully debunks that misinterpretation:

The rabbis sometimes spoke of a principle or action as being bound in heaven or loosed in heaven to indicate, respectively, that it was forbidden or permitted in light of God’s revealed Word. . . . Believers have authority to declare that sins are either forgiven or not forgiven when that declaration is based on the teaching of God’s Word. If a person has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, the church can tell him with perfect confidence that his sins are loosed, that is, forgiven, because he has met God’s condition for forgiveness, namely, trust in His Son. If, on the other hand, a person refuses to receive Christ as Savior and acknowledge Him as Lord, the church can tell him with equal confidence that his sins are bound, that is, not forgiven, because he has not met God’s condition for forgiveness. [5]

Matthew 18:15–17 is Christ’s explanation of how church discipline is to be practiced. Verses 18–20 expand on His instructions by informing us of the immense heavenly support provided to leaders who maintain the discipline of the church. Here’s how John MacArthur describes it:

Jesus also assures His people that He Himself acts with them when they work to purify the church: “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” Not only does the Father confirm discipline when it is administered according to His Word, but the Son adds His own divine confirmation. . . . To use this statement to claim the Lord’s presence at a small worship service or prayer meeting does not fit the context of church discipline and is superfluous. Christ is always present with His people, even with a lone believer totally separated from fellow Christians by prison walls or by hundreds of miles.

The context demands that the two or three are witnesses in the process of discipline. To ask or to do anything in God’s name is not to utter His name but to ask and to work according to His divine will and character. For the witnesses to have gathered in His name is therefore for them to have faithfully performed their work of verifying the repentance or impenitence of a sinning brother or sister on the Lord’s behalf. When the church gathers in the Lord’s name and for His cause and glory, it must be engaged in self-purifying ministry under His power and authority, and with His heavenly confirmation and partnership. [6]

One could make a case that the church’s silence on the issue of biblical discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) has allowed for a cacophony of misinterpretations and misapplications of Matthew 18:18-20. Ripped from their original setting and intent, those verses have been made to serve a variety of false positions and pretexts.

Our interpretation of Scripture has serious practical repercussions.ª We would all do well to receive Paul’s counsel to Timothy:  “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

ª = emphasis added 

Christian and Jewish Clergy Bless Abortion Clinic, Claim “God is Present in This Space”

Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 (AMP) 

MICAIAH BILGER   JUL 11, 2019   |   4:56PM    AUSTIN, TX

Calling killing unborn babies “sacred work,” a group of clergy gathered Tuesday to bless an Austin, Texas abortion facility. The Huffington Post reports…

Continued at Source: Christian and Jewish Clergy Bless Abortion Clinic, Claim “God is Present in This Space”

Every Man’s Work

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It is good to remember the context of where this verse fits into the writing of Paul, in his Epistle to the Corinthians. Chapters one and two have been a reminder of the plain Gospel message, how brotherly love is important, their divisions, their boastfulness and the need for spiritual wisdom 

Then we get to Chapter 3 and Paul declares in verse 1 starts (CSB) For my part, brothers and sisters, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. Because of all that I have pointed out in the previous chapters I can not in good conscience addressees you as spiritual people, those whom I can have complete FELLOWSHIP in CHRIST with, OUCH!!

Just as God declares in Romans 1:20  that all mankind is without excuse, Paul lays out a convincing case against the Corinthians in verses 2-4 that he had provided all the needed spiritual food for the Corinthians to grow. Yet their worldliness keeps them as little babies.

The Corinthians even decided to play Apollos, who came after Paul to build upon his teachings (the foundation laid) and help strengthen the Corinthians faith, against Paul and factions soon broke out. Paul addresses this in verses 5-16. He basically is saying, to us today, watch out how you build upon your faith (doctrinal beliefs). Upon what foundation (who are you listening to? what are you reading? where are you attending church? are you attending church? does everything align fully with the inerrant Word of God?)

It is in the middle of this discourse that Paul declares his warning to us all in verse 13, our works, our faith, will be judged by fire and only the strongest shall remain. While I agree with the majority of commentators that Paul is directing this towards those who are preaching and teaching things that do not align with the inerrant Word of God. I also cannot dismiss (after reading the Greek text) that it is applicable to those who accept and promote these false prophets.

Dr. John Gill’s Commentary    1 Corinthians 3:13

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Every man’s work shall be made manifest,…. The doctrine he preaches shall be sooner or later made manifest to himself, and to his hearers; who shall see the inconsistency, irregularity, and deformity of such a building; at first so well laid, then piled up with such excellent materials, and at last covered in with such trifling or incoherent stuff:

for the day shall declare it; meaning not the day of judgment, though that is often called the day, or that day, and will be attended with fire, and in it all secrets shall be made manifest; but the apostle intends a discovery that will be made of doctrines in this world, before that time comes: wherefore this day rather designs a day of tribulation; as of persecution, which tries men’s principles, whether they are solid or not; and of error and heresy, when men are put upon a re-examination of their doctrines, whereby persons and truths that are approved are made manifest; or of some great calamity, such as the destruction of Jerusalem, whereby many wrong notions the Jews yet retained were discovered: but it is best of all to understand this day of the Gospel day, and of the progress of Gospel light, especially in some particular periods of it; as in the primitive times, at the reformation from popery, and the more remarkable Gospel daylight, which will be in the latter times, when the impertinence and inconsistency of many things which now obtain in the ministry will be seen; see Ephesians 5:13.

Because it shall be revealed by fire: not that day, but the man’s work, or doctrine:

and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is; by the fire is meant, not the general conflagration of the world, when that, and all that is therein, will be burnt up; much less the fire of purgatory, the “papists” dream of, for the punishment of evil actions; for the apostle is not speaking of the actions of men, good or bad, but of the doctrines of ministers; rather the fire of tribulation and affliction, which, as it is for the trial of the grace of faith, so of the doctrine of faith, whereby it becomes much more precious than of gold that perisheth; or of some fiery dispensation of God’s vengeance, as on Jerusalem: though the word of God, which is as fire, seems to be intended; which in some certain times so blazes forth, and will more especially in the latter day, that by the light of it, both ministers and churches will be able to see clearly the bright shining lustre of the gold, silver, and precious stones; and with so much heat, as to burn up the wood, hay, and stubble; when the difference between these things will be most easily discerned.

 

 

 

Keep Watch

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Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. – Matt 25:13 (KJV) 

Do you remember playing Hide and Go Seek as a kid? If you were the seeker at the end of counting to 100 you’d yell out “ready or not here I come.” If I had to pick an analogy for this verse (and the preceding parable (vs. 1-12) that easily comes to mind. 

Let’s look at the parable briefly; we have ten marriages happening all at night. Of the ten, half are smart prepared in advance for the nights activities the other half get so caught up in the hoopla of the event that they are ill prepared for the actual event itself when it comes (pretty hard to have a wedding in the dark). 

Let us leap forward and make a practical application to the church today. The oil in the lamps represents the Spiritual food or daily bread we need to sustain us and prepare us for Christ’s second coming. Many, actually far to many, can be likened unto the foolish brides to be. Oh the are pretty (brides) “Christians” they go to church, they tithe, and do the “right” things. What they do not do is what the God commands that is to study scripture, to be prepared. (Joshua 1:8, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.) They were content in whatever their preacher said on Sunday and are convinced that is all they need, they are not Bereans (Acts 17:11). 

Unlike Harold Camping, Jack Van Impe and other false teachers the bible makes it clear no one knows neither are they to guess at the day of Christ’s return. What we are to do, as the Amplified Version puts it is to be on the alert [be prepared and ready]” keeping watch for that glorious day. 

 

 

 

 

Beware of Apostasy

Deuteronomy 13“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams…says, ‘Let us go after other gods’…you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams”(vv. 1–3).

Advanced technology has brought many benefits in the form of easier travel and communications. It is now relatively easy for those of us in the West to go anywhere in the world. Thus we can easily keep ourselves up to date on world events and what is going on in the lives of our friends and family who live far away. Yet there has been a downside to this progress. Television lets us see what is happening in other countries, but it also lets false teaching from Mormons, New Age gurus, and the health-and-wealth gospel into our homes. The Internet allows us to do research with greater ease and speed, but it exposes us to misinformation as well. In our day, aberrant teaching is far too accessible to people across the globe. Erroneous teaching has been a problem for the covenant community from almost the very beginning. We read in today’s passage the warning Moses gave the people of Israel about false prophets just before the nation entered the land of Canaan. Even if the person who claims to speak for God is able to do great signs, Moses says, the people are not to follow the “prophet” if he wants to worship other gods (Deut. 13:1–3). The priority of sound teaching is a principle that we find throughout Scripture. As fallen human beings we are normally inclined to follow the gifted and charismatic teacher. The Lord, however, places a priority on the truth, not the abilities of the instructor. People might do great things, but they are never to be followed into the service of a different god. In fact, even if an angel himself were to preach another gospel, we must never follow it (Gal. 1:8–9). A teacher whose message consistently fails to line up with the essential doctrines of the Word of God must be rejected. False teaching is dangerous to the Lord’s people because it can lead people into apostasy. An apostate is one who has committed the deadly sin of professing faith in the one, true creator God and then later denying His profession. The problem of apostasy was so bad in ancient Israel that the Lord eventually brought the curse of exile upon the nation. Let us beware of error lest we too succumb and suffer the same fate (Rev. 2:12–17).
Coram deo: Living before the face of God
Of course, we realize that anyone who abandons Christ did not ever have saving faith to begin with (1 John 2:19). Nevertheless, this truth should not make us complacent; rather, it should encourage us to demonstrate the reality of our faith and pursue earnestly the truths of God that we may “inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:11–12). Take time today to pray for your soul, asking the Lord to keep you in the truth and preserve your faith until the end. For further study: Jeremiah 2
INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Vlog: The 5 Tests of False Doctrine – Tim Challies

October 19, 2017

It is our sacred responsibility to examine every doctrine to determine if it is true or false. But how can we distinguish sound doctrine from false? How can we distinguish teachers of truth from teachers of error? Today I have a new video blog for you, and one that deals with this pressing topic: I offer five tests that can be applied to any doctrine. I hope you find it helpful! Here it is for both YouTube and Facebook. Transcript

Continued at Source: Vlog: The 5 Tests of False Doctrine – Tim Challies

7 False Teachers in the Church Today

October 16, 2017  @Challies Vlog

Wherever there is truth there will be error. Wherever there are people teaching sound doctrine there will be people teaching false doctrine. Here, in video format, are 7 false teachers in the church today. Here it is for both YouTube and Facebook.

(For those wondering, the nerve syndrome that has kept me from being able to do my usual typing lingers, hence the unusual number of videos. I hope to see improvement in the weeks to come and, as that happens, to return to more writing.)