As a bible-believing Christian, I knew that my brother John would die someday but I never imagined that he would die so young and abruptly (at the age of 40). Many worldviews are content with rationalizing death as a natural part of life. They tell us that death is necessary and even warn us of the dire consequences of a world without death. Death is supposed to be the solution for overpopulation. Death is alleged to be the driving force behind human evolution. Death, we are told, is something that we must get used too since we will all face it someday. Continue reading
One of the most startling things that sets the Bible apart from any other book which has ever been written is the Bible’s ability to accurately predict history ahead of time. No other book—including the Muslim Qur’an, the Hindu Vedas, Ramanyana, Bhagavad Gita, Upanishads, the sayings of Buddha, the sayings of Confucius, the Book of Mormon, etc.—can boast of foretelling future events with unmistakable accuracy except the Bible . In fact, most of these texts contain no prophecies whatsoever. This is why apart from biblical Christianity, no other worldview including: Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Bahá’í, Jainism, Shintoism, Zoroastrianism, etc. can account for what has happened in the past, what is currently going on in the world, nor what will unfold in the future. Fulfilled prophecy is therefore one formidable verification that the biblical worldview is the only one which can make sense of the world that we live in. Accordingly, the God of the Bible challenges the gods of all other worldviews to issue a prediction about the future so that the world may see who is really God (Isaiah 41:22-24, Isaiah 44:7-8). So far, all other worldviews have utterly failed. Continue reading
Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.
Unlike any other book ever written, the Bible (i.e. the Word of God) is actually alive—in fact, according to 1 Peter 1:23-25, it is said that He “lives and abides for ever.” By He, of course, I am referring to Jesus the Messiah Who is also known as the “Word [of God]” in John 1:1 and the “Word [of God Who] was made flesh” in John 1:14. By the way, did you notice how I started out by talking about God’s Word but then transitioned into talking about a Person? From where did I get the idea that it is proper to refer to God’s written or spoken Word as a He? Actually, I got this idea from the Scriptures. The Scriptures, of Continue reading
My responses to your request for context are below. Let me know if it helps or not. Continue reading
2. Speaking with tongues (i.e. miraculously speaking in a foreign language) was not meant to benefit believers, but to serve as a sign to persuade unbelievers.
6. Paul criticizes, ridicules and discourages the practice of praying in tongues (without the gift of interpretation).
9. God issues the command to be quiet in the church unless it is possible for the tongues to be understood (interpreted).
10. Since God is not the Author of confusion, speaking with tongues in church without providing a valid interpretation is not from God.
11. If tongues are spoken in the church, it should only be done by one person at a time, and then by no more than three persons in total. Therefore, a church collectively speaking in tongues is madness.
1. Tongues are (or were) real languages not gibberish. See Acts 2:4-11 & 1 Corinthians 14:21-22
The words lâshôn [H3956] in the Hebrew and glōssa [G1100] in the Greek, literally refer to the tongue; a member of the body and the organ of speech located in the mouth. However, to lexicons of both the Old and New Testaments of the bible, this word tongue is figuratively used to refer to any “language or dialect used by a particular people distinct from that of other nations.”¹ In fact, the English words gloss and glossary are both derived from their cognate glōssa. Therefore, when the bible employs the word tongue to refer to the spiritual gift granted by the Holy Spirit to believers, it is the gift of speaking a foreign language that is in scope.
The Conventional View of Sin
I would venture to say that most bible-believing Christians know how to define sin. In fact, when asked, I suspect that most of them would rightly tell you that sin is the breaking of God’s commandments, or as 1 John 3:4 says, the transgression of God’s law. Sometimes the bible uses other words when referring to sin. These words include: trespass [ma‛al H4604], iniquity [‛âvôn H5771] and transgression [pesha‛ H6588]. Though some theologians have argued that there are significant differences between these words 1 , it is absolutely clear that they all refer to the same idea and are thus effectively synonymous. Accordingly, we see the truth of this claim demonstrated in the Scriptures. One example that comes to mind is Psalm 32:1-2 where we read:
…Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity…
[UPDATE 12/27/2016 – This article was recently modified to reflect a more accurate and thorough exposition of Colossians 2:16-17]
A friend of mine forwarded me a daily devotional email from Compass International called “Good Morning Lord” (or GML). In the past, I was actually subscribed to the same GML devotional based upon a recommendation from the same friend, but after receiving a couple of questionable emails from them, I decided that I had read enough. It’s not that I simply unsubscribed; I actually sent an inquiry email trying to engage GML in what I thought would be a fruitful dialogue but alas I received no response. Anyway, my friend thought this email would peak my interest since he knows that in our circle, I am a Sabbath-keeping oddity. Boy was he right! My response (in red) to the GML for October 28th 2015 follows:
Good Morning Lord email for October 28, 2015
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Rest from your work one day a week, any day you choose.
The folks at Good Morning Lord (GML hereafter) have in the past had one or two heretical ideas about the bible and this GML “Bible study” on Colossians 2:16 is no exception. Not only is the idea that we can keep the Sabbath any day we choose a heresy, virtually everything that GML has mentioned in this “Bible study” about the Sabbath is in error. Where shall we begin? First of all, persons who wish to teach others about the Bible should strongly consider taking a course in logic before proceeding. The logical blunders in this “Bible study” are many. For instance, the GML Thought For The Day contains an unsustainable hermeneutic which falls under the logical fallacy known as Reductio ad Absurdum. Such an approach to understanding Scripture is irrational because it employs a form of reasoning which fails when applied to similar scenarios within the Bible. For example, if Christians can rest (i.e. observe the Sabbath) “any day [we] choose” despite Scripture clearly and repeatedly telling us that the Sabbath is the 7th day (Genesis 2:2-3, Exodus 16:22-23, Exodus 20:11, Exodus 31:15, Exodus 35:3, Leviticus 23:3), then it follows necessarily that we can also claim Jesus rose from the dead on “any day [we] choose” despite the biblical assertion that Christ actually rose on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). In other words, the rationale behind GML’s Thought For The Day also allows us to redefine a core tenet of the Gospel. How many Christians are willing to live with the consequences of this rationale? Continue reading