Does the God of the Bible espouse murder and rape?

Friend:
So I got into another debate with a liberal on Facebook—gotta stop that, about abortion and the liberals endorsing it.  So, this woman tells me that God espouses murder and cites the following scripture (i.e. Judges 21:10-24, Numbers 31:7-18, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Deuteronomy 22:23-24, Deuteronomy 21:10-14).  Do you have any context to that?

James:

My responses to your request for context are below. Let me know if it helps or not. Continue reading

Advertisements

13 truths about speaking with tongues

holy_ghost
1. Tongues are (or were) real languages not gibberish.

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.

3.The spiritual gift of tongues does not empower believers to speak an angelic language

4. The spiritual gift of tongues does not empower believers to speak a mysterious language.

5. “Praying in the spirit” or “praying in the Holy Ghost” is not a command to pray with tongues.

6. Paul criticizes, ridicules and discourages the practice of praying in tongues (without the gift of interpretation).

7. Speaking in tongues is useless unless there is an interpretation.

8. Not all believers are granted the gift of speaking with tongues.

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.

12. Women are not permitted to speak tongues in the church.

13. Tongues and other spiritual gifts will eventually cease.


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.

Continue reading

Is Sin Alive In Our Bodies?

sin

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 H5771and transgression [pesha‛ H6588]. Though some theologians have argued that there are significant differences between these words , 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

Continue reading

Does Colossians 2:16 render the Sabbath irrelevant?

no sabbath for you2

[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.

ChristPlusZero.org:
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

Is Phil Vischer’s “What’s In The Bible? Volume 1” actually in the Bible?

51IjPr-5dnL__SX200_QL80_

This is a review of the first installment of the 13-part series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer which sets out to teach kids about the Bible. I purchased many of the “What’s In The Bible” (WITB) DVD’s based upon a recommendation from someone at our church and because someone from a men’s small group that I was involved with allowed me to preview two DVDs from the series. Having watched some of the Veggie Tales video’s and being generally pleased with their content, I decided that I would buy THE WITB series for the spiritual edification of my children. However, before doing so, I quickly found out that there were issues with some of the content that is included in the series’ first video. Although, I did eventually purchase 10 of the 13 videos in the series, I could not in good conscience purchase the first video after what I discovered. This post is only a review of content from the first video in the series: Buck Denver Asks: What’s in the Bible? Volume 1- In the Beginning

Continue reading

“Though he were dead” – A Controversial Understanding of John 11:25-26

john1125

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life:
 a. he that believes in me, though he were dead [i.e. having died the 1st Death], yet shall he live [i.e. the 2nd Life]:
 b. And whosoever liveth [i.e. is still living the 1st Life] and believes in me shall never die [i.e. the 2nd Death].
 Believest thou this?

John 11:25-26 KJV

John 11:25-26 – The Problem of a Superfluous Verse

Like many other verses in the bible, John 11:25-26 uses certain words in multiple senses. This means that the reader needs to be extra careful when trying to understand such verses in order to avoid ending up with the wrong interpretation. What I am about to say will no doubt shock many readers, but after much study, I strongly believe that John 11: 25-26 is referring to the idea that it is possible for (at least some of) the dead to believe the gospel in that state. I hope to demonstrate this discovery by carefully revealing what I believe to be the true meaning of key terms in this passage. Specifically, I believe that the term “dead” (in v.25) does not mean the same as “die” (in v.26) nor does “live” (in v.25) mean the same as “liveth” (in v.26). In other words, the verbs die and live are words to which these two verses have ascribed multiple meanings. Of course, John 11:25-26 does not employ different meanings for the same word in order to engage in equivocation (i.e. the accidental or deliberate use of a key term in an ambiguous way) but for the sake of achieving contrast through the use of an antithetical parallelism. According to Biblical scholar E.W. Bullinger’s Figures Of Speech Used in the Bible, the antithetical parallelism is a literary device used to demonstrate an antithesis, or contrast between certain words in each part of a symmetry. Verses which comprise an antithetical parallelism will therefore join opposing ideas in a noticeable contrast. Instead of repeating the same thing twice (as is done in a synonymous parallelism), an antithetical parallelism will say one thing in the first line and then a contrasting thing in the next. Yet, most explanations of John 11:25-26 which I have encountered completely miss Christ’s glaring attempt at creating a contrast. Instead, these commentaries end up ascribing a meaning to John 11:25 which is effectively the same as that of John 11:26. For instance, respected Bible commentators Albert Barnes and Adam Clarke both suggest that John 11:25 refers to the granting of eternal life to those who happen to die in a state of belief, while John 11:26 refers to the granting of eternal life to believers who are currently alive (but will also eventually die in a state of belief) [3]. But if this is the case, then why would Jesus say what is effectively the same thing, twice? What is the difference? No, there has to be something else going on in this passage. It is for these reasons that I have concluded that John 11:25-26 requires greater scrutiny.

Because the usual meaning of the verbs “die” and “live” seem inadequate to account for the contrast required between verses 25 and 26, we need to consult the Scriptures for more guidance. It’s as if the word “dead” (in verse 25) and “die” (in verse 26) require two different types of death, and the words “live” (in verse 25) and “liveth” (in verse 26) require two different notions of what it means to live.

Interestingly enough, the bible does tell us that there are actually two types of life and death that a person can experience. Let us first examine the two deaths. Continue reading

What does it really mean to be “dead in trespasses and sins”?

eph26

Colossians 2:12-20
(12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
(13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him [Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses
(20) …therefore…ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world…

Ephesians 2:1-6
(1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins
(5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Romans 6:3-4 
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

The goal of this essay is to determine what it means to be “dead in trespasses and sins.” I am concerned that the popular spiritual death explanation ascribed to this phrase by many Christian leaders is misleading. From Romans 6:5 emerges a rule which tethers the words death and resurrection to each other in such a way that both words must be taken in the same sense—they are both either literal or figurative. No mixing of a figurative death (e.g. spiritual death) and a literal resurrection is therefore permitted. This point is important because in the passages of Ephesians 2:1-6 and Colossians 2:13-20, both the Romans 6:5 rule and the force of logic compel us to conclude that the Author is using the terms dead and quickened symmetrically.

Continue reading