Saturday, January 30, 2016

***Stupid Analogies Lead To Heretical Beliefs.

Years ago, a woman I knew thought she could successfully convince me regarding her perverted brand of  Christianity; specifically, her belief that ALL true, born again Christians must speak in tongues.  

One day during our debate on the subject of spiritual gifts, I stated that it is the Holy Spirit who gifts each believer individually, severally, and uniquely, for service, to which she responded with this inane analogy:  “Well, I believe the Holy Spirit is like a chocolate chip cookie.  When you bake cookies, you mix the flour, sugar, chocolate chips, eggs, salt, and et al. all together.  So when you eat your fill of the cookies, you have all the ingredients.  And when a believer is filled with the spirit, he has all of the ingredients (meaning spiritual gifts).”

Well, guess what? I have been filled many times, with chocolate chip cookies and I have never spoken in tongues.  Why? Because, (pay close attention now) The Holy Spirit IS NOT A CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. 

The use of stupid analogies often results in heretical doctrines.

I don’t understand the doctrine of the Trinity,  I cannot comprehend a triune God nor can I explain Him.  But I do know that stupid analogies always fail and are heretical.  God is NOT like an egg, water, a man, pie, a triangle, a three-leafed clover, or Pla-doh.  Furthermore, there are lots of nominal Christians who reject the doctrine of the Trinity simply because they think these analogies don't make sense.  And they are right.  There are no analogies that can explain the Trinity and we have no right to try to invent such nonsense.  

Nor do we have the right to disbelieve the doctrine of a triune God; JUST BECAUSE WE DON'T UNDERSTAND THE TRINITY IS NO REASON TO DISBELIEVE IT.  

Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever.” 

And this is one of those secret things.  The tri-unity of God is a doctrine of special (biblical) revelation but He has NOT revealed how that can be or how we can understand it.  Ours is just to take Him at His Word and believe it.  No analogy can explain the Trinity because there is nothing in all of God's creation like Him.  He is holy; there is none like Him. 

“God Said It, I Believe It and That Settles It For Me,” was a song that was popularized in the 1970s.  At first glance, it sounds good but the obvious error in the song is the phrase, “I believe it.”  That seems to imply that the veracity of the declared Word of God is dependent on my belief.  The better lyric would be, “God Said It and That Settles It Whether I Believe It Or Not.”   

So, regarding the doctrine of the Trinity (and all other doctrines of God as He has revealed Himself in scripture), our belief (or even our understanding) is irrelevant. There are a lot of things about Him that I don't understand;  I can't comprehend eternity apart from and unaffected by time.  Nor can I understand how God can exist apart from His created universe and yet inhabit His creation. Nevertheless, God’s Word is true even if no one understands it or believes it.  We are not privileged to a complete understanding.  All we can know about Him is what He has revealed to us in His Word.  That’s it!  That settles it! That’s all!  End of discussion! 

I do find it interesting and ironic, that so many people believe so much about God that is not true (or not revealed in scripture) and yet stumble over things (like the triunity of God) that are clearly revealed.

I believe in the doctrine of the Trinity because the plain sense of Scripture, clearly and undeniably, reveals that He is One God eternally coexistent in three distinct persons.  “He Is that He Is” regardless of our beliefs or finite comprehension.  When our analogies are heretical, our beliefs are heretical.

Monday, January 25, 2016

***Job Description For The Music Minister

I am a simple man.  I am not trained or experienced in leading my congregation in singing.  It is not my gift.  But I serve in the position of song leader because there is no one else to do it.

The position of song leader is mine, not to grasp firmly but to hold carefully in trust with open hands; any man whom God sends our way and is qualified, willing, and available, may assume this responsibility from me without objection.  In the meantime, I take this ministry seriously. 

I have assembled this job description to remind me of my ministry responsibilities according to my understanding of scripture.


• Sing songs people know.   The important thing is that people sing songs of praises and thanksgiving to God; that is a scriptural commandment.  It is hard to do when they don’t know the songs.  If you introduce new songs, do it sparingly and then repeat them several times over a few weeks until they become familiar.

• Sing them in comfortable keys.  Your job is not to show off your vocal range (or vocal gymnastics).  If it is too high, too low, or in challenging intervals, your congregation will not sing.

• Sing to celebrate the power, glory, and salvation of God.  There are good personal and relational songs of testimony or sentiments that may be appropriate in certain situations but, for the most part, worship is NOT about how warm and fuzzy you feel; it is about bowing down in humble awe of the power and glory of God.  Sing His praises, sing about His attributes and sing about His mercy and grace.

• Serve your people.  This might seem like a no-brainer but a legitimate worship service provides people with what they need; not what they want. 

• Saturate them with the Word of God.   Support your song choices with biblical references to God’s Word.   He has assembled your congregation in your presence for only a few minutes each week and they don’t need junk food.  They need spiritual meat and music can be a useful vehicle to deliver it to them.  Make sure that your song choices are substantive and rich in scripture.

• Don’t sing songs with humanistic philosophies or heretical theology.  I once read a comment that asked, “If your music doesn’t preach, why sing it?”  The fact of the matter is that ALL music preaches.  The problem is that so many Christians learn so much false doctrine from spiritually anemic, or downright stupid, popular contemporary music in church and on Christian radio.  It takes wisdom and discernment to examine all the lyrics in light of Scripture.  If necessary, you may have to make some corrective changes to the lyrics or throw them out entirely.  Just do it because you are no less accountable than is your pastor when it comes to preaching or teaching false doctrine.

• Don’t draw attention to yourself.  It’s not about you (or your “worship team”).   Someone has suggested that, if worship teams were required to sing from behind a curtain, there would be no more worship teams.    Entertainment is not an element of  worship and the musical portion of your ministry is not your turn to perform.  And no one wants to hear your overly dramatic, rehearsed praises and prayers.  Do not use your music ministry as your outlet for creativity at the expense of the centrality of the Gospel.  I once had a pastor who had a small plaque on his pulpit, engrave with these words, “Sirs, we would see Jesus.”  It was fixed there to remind him (and anyone else he allowed to share his pulpit) that his responsibility was always and only to point men to Jesus.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

****High-Powered Assault Hammer


I bought one of these for myself before Christmas. I haven't done any framing for well over 30 years but I just couldn't pass this up at under 8 bucks. Since the People's Republik of Kalifornia has not yet banned hammers (which are used for more murders than are guns) this hammer provides amazing self-protection. 

It features a dimpled grip so it won't slip out of your hands when you are swinging it at an attacker. Also, the head has a very deep and sharp waffled surface (think about a meat cleaver only much sharper and heavier at 22 oz.) The claws are wickedly sharp. But one of the unique features is a magnetized nail starter. When I was framing, there was no such device built into our hammers. We used to try to wedge a 16d nail in the claws so that we could extend our reach to start a nail up high. This one is equipped with a magnetized slot that fits a 16d nail that projects well beyond the claws. 

Do you know how much damage you could do to an attacker's forehead with a 16d nail delivered by your swing with 22 oz. hammer on an 18 inch handle? Hammer slings with belt loops are also available for quick access and easy draws in emergencies. 

As far as I know, Kalifornia has not yet outlawed the open carrying of hammers. 


Monday, January 4, 2016

Your Wife Is Not Your Meet

"MEET" is NOT a noun.  God did not create a Helpmeet for Adam. He didn't even create a Helpmate for Adam. Your wife is not your meet.  She might be your mate and she might be your helper but that has nothing to do with what the text says. It says, "God made a help meet for him (Adam)."
The word, as used there, is an archaic adjective. That's because it comes from the King James version which is archaic.  If you are a KJV ONLY, Christian, then you don't know what archaic words mean so you have to invent new definitions. That gets confusing. Other newer translations are more helpful.  The word means suitable, fitting, or proper.
If you look at the passage in its context you will note that God, after He created all animal life, brought the animals (both male and female) before Adam to be named.  And, the text notes, there was not a helpmeet (or help suitable, or help appropriate) for him. So, verse 18 in Gen. 2 says (in modern English) that God said, "I will make a helper suitable for Man."
The suitable, or fitting. or proper companion appropriate for a man, as designed by God, was and still is a woman.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

If It Was Good Enough For The Apostle Paul, It's Good Enough For Me.

Most Christians are aware of these verses (Deut. 4:2, Deut. 12:32, Prov. 30:6, Rev. 22:18-19) that pose serious warnings about adding to, changing, or taking away from scripture.  And many of them are vociferously antagonistic toward any denominations or cults that claim new revelation or add their own publications to assist with or enhance the understanding of scripture.  They insist on scriptural accuracy; some even militantly demand only one version of the Bible (the one that was published in 1611 and was used by the Apostle Paul).

???It's Called, THE BODY

If your doctor found that you have a tapeworm living in you, wouldn’t you make arrangements to get it out?  If you just found out that you had a tumor, wouldn’t you rush to have it removed?  If a lab test reveals cancer, would you not demand an immediate attack plan to cut it out or destroy it? 

I don’t know very many people who would tolerate and allow any of those things to thrive in their bodies.  Most people want them gone NOW.  You will change your behavior, change your diet, and you may even relocate in order to get the best help you can afford to rid yourself of the harmful foreign tissues, even at the risk of removing or severely damaging other parts of your own body.  

And what about harmful activities?  Would you tolerate a chain smoker filling your home with second-hand smoke?  Most people wouldn’t.  In fact, you are probably favorable to several laws that prohibit others from exercising their personal freedoms to consume whatever they choose in order to prevent your own indirect exposure.  And some of you are so obsessively mindful of the purity of your own bodies that you won’t even tolerate things like processed foods, chemicals, salt, McDonalds French fries, artificial sweeteners, tap water. or even handshakes. 

So I have to ask you – If you would not introduce harmful substances into or allow them to remain in your own body, would you deliberately pollute or do harm to someone else’s body?

Of course, you wouldn’t; that would be a personal crime tantamount to assault or murder. And, if you wouldn’t do it to someone else's body, then why would you actively and purposefully introduce or tolerate harmful elements in the Body of Christ?

The Church is not a club or an organization of human origin.  It is not our prerogative to feed it spiritual junk food or artificially build it up with steroids. It is a living organism.  It belongs to Jesus and all of its growth is from Him. It is the Body of Christ and He is the Head. (Colossians 2:19) 

The Body of Christ is comprised of its members.  (1 Corinthians 12:27,  Romans 12:4-5,  1 Corinthians 12:12)  Just because something is in the body (like cancer) doesn’t mean it is a part of the body.

The members are placed in the body by the Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:13)

The legitimate parts of the body (its members) are ONLY those who have been redeemed.  (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)  Everything and everyone else is not part of the Body and is potentially harmful or deadly.

The functions or purposes of all body parts are assigned by God.    (Ephesians 4:11-13)

His body is for His pleasure and His glory.  It is not ours to use or abuse for our own pleasure, amusement, or any human purposes in contradiction to His purposes or designs.  Ephesians 1:22,  Colossians 1:18,  Ephesians 5:23)

The Church is the Body of Christ.  He feeds it, cleans it, disciples it, exercises it, and protects it.  Ephesians 5:29-30