Apr 272015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. When Phil told me we were going to discuss the Bruce Jenner program on the podcast this morning, my first thought was that I really didn’t have much to say about the matter.

 

 

However, when watching a local LBGQ organizer say that her organization had children as young as four and five “transitioning”, I knew I was listening to the voice of Satan.

That may sound a bit hyperbolic, but when we start imposing such confusion upon malleable, innocent, children, then the evil one is reaping another generation.

Children don’t have enough information (or the capacity yet to process the information they have) to even begin to comprehend what these people are doing to them.

Children should be allowed to grow through their childhoods with both the assumption and the modeling before them of normal gender identities.

Anything less is abuse of the sickest and and most vile nature.

2. “Normal” isn’t a dirty word.

3. I have plenty of compassion for adults who are dealing with messed up gender identities and sexual preference issues. The Fall messed us all up badly. However, I don’t have any compassion for that tiny percentage of the population deciding that the entire society now must share in their afflictions and think it right to inflict their problems on children.

4. In other news, hundreds of millions of people aren’t confused in the least about their gender and tens of thousands of them married each other last week in gleeful anticipation of heterosexual marital relations.

5. Whoever picks Todd Gurley on Thursday, wins the draft.

6. Quit expecting unbelievers to accept a truth “because the Bible says so”. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)

7. What this culture, (including the church in large part) utterly rejects is the idea of the power of God working in us to allow us to deny ourselves and pick up our own crosses. Self denial and sacrificial love are sins in their eyes…

8. Maybe it’s just me, but if all of your female children can be found posing naked on the internet, I question both your moral fiber and parenting skills…

9. I taught a transformative message on prayer from the Psalms last night…and still haven’t prayed this morning. It was a great message though…

10. Jesus is Lord. Period.

phoenixpreacher@gmail.com

  87 Responses to “Things I Think”

  1. to your 6 – I always love it when I hear the evangelical preacher pleading to the unbelievers – “don’t you want to be a Christian?” The answer 100% of the time (by definition) is NO!

    That is what an unbeliever is – an unbeliever … only a believer can believe.

  2. “. Quit expecting unbelievers to accept a truth “because the Bible says so”. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 ESV)”

    I realized that taking “the Bible says so” position did nothing but bring the conversation to a sudden stop. I can write the person off as firewood or I can attempt through reasoning and the understanding of ancient secular writers to demonstrate that the focus of their longing is ultimately God…….. ‘cuz the Bible says so..

  3. “Children should be allowed to grow through their childhoods with both the assumption and the modeling before them of normal gender identities.

    Anything less is abuse of the sickest and and most vile nature.”

    what frightens me most is that this is the direction that the future is taking – it is demented and they don’t know it … it makes the thought processing of the Alzheimer victim superior …….. IMV

  4. I take great exception to you #8. Not that it cannot be true, I am sure that many of us lack in parenting skills and at times let our lack of moral fiber show – but to say that is the reason young people get in trouble is pathetic and shows a lack of understanding of the power our culture holds over kids.

    Keeping the kids out of trouble was never a goal of mine, and keeping them “good” even less. – keeping them alive and out of prison was very high on my agenda.When my kids were young, no matter what they were told by me, their pastor or the people at their Christian schools, I still had calls from the town constable on all of them. Now that they are adults, I hear at the Thanksgiving table even more of the times they did not get caught.

    What is important is that you have given them a solid base to land on when they are coming out of such situations. In this case how you insure that your daughter will come out of this “phase” (nude internet) without becoming bitter, rebellious or a prostitute – and instead as one who can look back like all my kids did and say “boy, was I an idiot.”

  5. #8 -i have to agree with MLD that society invades our parenting… mostly due to a permeating media and, of course, public school environment which are, to our young ones, reality

    that said, it isn’t pranks or moments of wildness that endanger the kids now

    i seem to remember a day when all the parents had to do was monitor comic books and live in a neighborhood of responsible folk, who’d warn your child, “if you do that again, i’m going to tell your parents.” – the threat of a good spanking was getting to the seat of their understanding, not child abuse

  6. I am thinking anyone who wants to help the relief efforts in Nepal who donates money to CCCM are fools! There are plenty of relief organizations with transparent finances and verifible track records who can use the funds more efficiently – Christian and secular alike. Receiving the CCCM link in my newsfeed this morning asking for funds re: Nepal was not a good start to my day. http://calvarychapelcostamesa.com/give/

    I think that preachers who describe the Nepal earthquake as punishment for pagans are ignorant that the area is home to 400,000 + christians as well. They have also forgotten anything they may have learned in Sunday school about people will know Christians by their love.

    I appreciate the heart of compassion behind pstrmike’s comment in #2. The exact opposite of preachers I mentioned above, who almost seem gleeful at the thought of those pesky pagans getting to burn in hell forever, sooner than later.

  7. Good parents protect their children while preparing them for adulthood. One of the primary things we protect them from is the culture. One doesn’t have to become Amish, but given the stakes, it’s an option.

  8. This current cultural craziness cannot last very long. It’s a culture of death and does not produce anything but death. Either it will collapse under its own foolishness or a more vibrant group of people (Muslims) will take over. Either way, this current state of affairs has no future.

  9. Or the Lord will return.

  10. What is the purpose of marriage, anyway? Why does every single culture, no matter how “primitive,” have rules about who can sleep with who? The reason for these rules (no matter how different they may be from western rules) is to provide a safety net to produce and raise children. Raising children was always primary in every culture across the globe until recently. Now, western countries like Denmark don’t even have enough children to keep up with the death rate. Since having a large number (or any) children is no longer a western cultural priority, the rules that provided the safety net is no longer needed and anything goes. You can have sex with whoever you want. Homosexual (and other perverted) forms of “marriage”) are based on nothing more than romantic feelings and lust. A culture cannot be sustained on romance and lust. A republic/ democracy where over half the voting population cares more about romance and lust than they do about the good of society will elect a-moral people like Obama. There is no good outcome if this continues. Teenage girls will be sent off to school by their mothers dressed like prostitutes and young men will devour p0rn on the computers their parents bought for them.

    The 1960’s was a terrible turning point in the history of the west.

  11. 1. I feel for Bruce Jenner. Unfortunately, pretending to be a lady isn’t going to bring him any peace.

    2. “Normal” is also painfully obvious to children. We have to really train them to not call out everything they see that is slightly different.

    3. Yep.

    5. HOPE ITS THE PANTHERS!!!!!

    6. This is completely accurate, but sometimes “The Bible” is my only answer. The un-believer is free to reject it, but I don’t always have scientific data to back up each jot and tittle from the word of God.

    10. God is in control of the LGBT movement.

  12. “Quit expecting unbelievers to accept a truth “because the Bible says so”.”

    Also, quit expecting unbelievers to live as though they were believers.

    What that means though, is that my kids still have to go to church, even though they have never made a profession of faith….

  13. MLD,

    I don’t necessarily disagree with you…but this family has made a lot of money showcasing dysfunction and immorality for the entertainment of the masses.

  14. Your point #7 is perhaps the best point I’ve ever read on your blog. Thanks for saying (writing) it.

  15. alan,

    Thank you for reading!
    Welcome to the commenting side of the blog.

  16. journalism has dipped to junk bond status.

    normal is equated with average which isn’t good enough for a generation raised on how “special” and “amazing” they are.

    I only expect unbelievers to ‘sin.’ Imposing biblical moral expectations on them is to attempt to clean the fish before its caught. This isn’t the same as legislating morality because humans do have the capacity to determine that many behaviors are harmful and destructive.

  17. Michael,
    @13 – I didn’t know you were talking about a particular person who had a daughter uploading nudies – I thought you were making a general statement across parenthood land.

  18. “This current cultural craziness cannot last very long. It’s a culture of death and does not produce anything but death. Either it will collapse under its own foolishness or a more vibrant group of people (Muslims) will take over. Either way, this current state of affairs has no future.”

    worth repeating – as i completely agree 🙂 … doesn’t history back this up?

    or the Lord **will** return and sooner rather than later, eh?

  19. This connects to #7 and the Jenner story. I don’t doubt the confusion and struggle he has experienced through his life. However, some key details that hit me when he said them in the interview.

    1) His admission that he kept this to himself for years for the sake of his children. I commend that and recognize many, many people avoid actions for the sake of their children. Back in the 70s and 80s when I was a kid a lot of my friends’ parents got divorces but only after all the kids made it past high school. They stayed together for the kids. (Sadly, many don’t even do that today). Why not do so for the sake of God?

    2) His admission that he was broke for a lot of years and thus the need to keep this to himself. Again, if we can deny ourselves for money, why not God?

    3) His admission that (now that the children are adults, and he is wealthy) that he was growing older, could possibly die any day even, and thus did not want to die without first having “experienced” this side of life and thus why he was going public now.

    4) His admission that he felt the most alive in the past when he was dressing and acting like a woman.

    Many people “feel alive” doing different things. Some may think they are missing out if they don’t commit to “enjoying” that side of life to pursue some dream or desire.

    Talk to a gambler, an addict, someone who visits prostitutes, a kleptomaniac, a workaholic closing another big deal, and on and on examples could be given. This is where the Lord’s words to deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily come to mind. (Point #7 in Michael’s post)

    I’m sure there are many men who know the Lord and fight this battle. They may wear the clothes in the privacy of their homes on occasion, may be tempted to imagine going public with it etc. They may be tempted to take estrogen, have hair removal surgeries and other choices (like Jenner made) to get a little closer to the change, to play with the fire even while trying to keep the secret…but like with every temptation the power of God can bring victory, and in times of failure the grace of God will forgive for the blood of the Lord washes away ALL sin.

    Michael has pointed out well that the real story here is the countless number of children to be effected by the choices of this one man who has chosen to embrace self, rather than deny self. Our world and its prince will see to that.

  20. ““The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

    Spiritually discerned in about 9,000 to 30,000 different ways 🙂

  21. “Spiritually discerned in about 9,000 to 30,000 different ways”

    That’s idiocy – everyone concerned agrees the exact same thing — Jesus is Lord. And that is all that counts – we are one.

    Alex, put that one to bed.

  22. “everyone concerned agrees the exact same thing — Jesus is Lord”

    Not really. You have a “different Jesus” than X and G and and Dread and Brian and even Michael to a large degree.

  23. I, too, agree that Jesus is Lord.

    But, my Jesus didn’t command the execution of women, children, infants and animals…my Jesus “loves” his enemies.

    My Jesus also doesn’t get rich from selling the Gospel…and my Jesus didn’t tell the Apostles that they were eating him like they were cannibals.

  24. Alex

    I agree with your Jesus and add my Jesus was killed stone dead and became alive on the third day. He was raised from the dead by the Spirit of God and is now fully bodily alive. He is not a concept, an idea, representing story of how things should, and not just in people’s minds; He is alive right now!

  25. Bob said, ” agree with your Jesus and add my Jesus was killed stone dead and became alive on the third day. ”

    Mine too, I think. At least I don’t deny it…I am open it happened as you said.

  26. Now, if he’d appear to me and show me his hands and his side like Thomas…I’d go from “I think” to “I know for sure”…but I haven’t been afforded that, yet.

  27. Alex and Bob, Jesus the mortal was as Alex described him and this model is as the Church is to live on the earth as redeemed mortals… but, as Bob noted Jesus the mortal was killed – “stone dead” – the glorified and resurrected Jesus isn’t the benign pacifist of Alex’s description … our Priest is waiting now at the right hand of His father (& ours) – a very different being and waiting for the Father’s command to come finish the job – kneel before the God of love and grace – praise Him – even tho, for now, it’s optional

    just sittin here in my old rocking chair… just sayin

  28. Alex – well you don’t know the Jesus of the NT – the one who promised to throw everyone who does not believe .. at the very least tall those who reject him as Lord – men, women AND children, to throw them into hell and if hell were not bad enough, to take hell itself and toss it into the Lake of Fire.

    So, if you don’t get your Jesus from the OT and you don’t get Jesus from the NT – where? a cereal box?

    Now I do understand that the Muslims think Jesus was a pretty cool dude and call him a prophet. Alex, are you a Muslim? 😉

  29. Alex,
    “Not really. You have a “different Jesus” than X and G and and Dread and Brian and even Michael to a large degree.”

    You must not read what we all post.

    I will venture that each and everyone of us you mentioned agree that Jesus is the one described in all 3 ecumenical creeds.

  30. I have the same Jesus that everyone has. There is only one Jesus and we all (I think all of us) are calling upon His Name.

  31. The Bahai have a really cool Jesus – however not the Jeuss of the Bible
    The Hindus really respect their god Jesus – one of 300 million gods
    Marianne Williamson in her Course on Miracles has great things to say about Jesus

    But just like the jesus of Alex – none of these are the Jesus of the Bible.

  32. I hope everything went well this weekend. I found the Bruce Jenner interview I found it rather insightful on his part to some degree, no offense to her as I am sure she is a very nice person but I cant listen to Diane Sawyer very long. Its just a me thing I guess. He espoused some of the same feelings / thoughts other transgendered people I have personally known when you get a chance to really sit down and talk with them. I have had far more contact with gay and lesbian individuals given the fields I work in. I always found it really strange to be honest. I live the quintessential celibate life since I was a Christian, yet when I was in fellowship with other singles I always felt dirty or in sin. Most of them were messing around and hopped in and out of the sack. Its not like I dont want to be married etc, but I just could not do that and take care of the folks I was involved in like I did. I have gotten the lecture from a few of the driscoll types who think if you are past thirty and not married your a pervert or twisted and dont love God and in total rebellion. Thats what I mean by the carrot and the stick. I dont take any grief from the Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican EO side of the family to be honest. The LDS I have gone to church with many times think I am a UFO loon but we get along real well. LOL.

    I had a long talk at a board meeting the other day with someone who thought they were Jesus Christ, He was really convincing with the numbers birthday 9/11 rant. He is actually one of the more intelligent people but he really does suffer from some very deep seated mental health issues. I did this with another man a while back really deeply deluded and spent several hours in his disillusion with him talking about MK ultra, 9-11 ufo the bildibergers the full court press. Eventually I was able to steer him around to getting some treatment, I hope he stayed on it. I use to really enjoy helping these folks so much when I had the time to just spend hours talking with them to win their trust. Please pray for this man that he gets healed, I feel deeply for people who struggle with mental health issues it is such a misunderstood illness.

  33. brian, you have some really good insights… praying – but even in some of our prayers “talk is cheap” … Lord, You know

  34. Hello all.

    10: Jesus is Lord. Love it, Michael! True dat.

  35. MLD, do you believe in the devil?

  36. If I may try to answer, yes I do believe in a personal evil in the sense that there is a figure, entity that is in rebellion to peace, grace, love and is so angry and enraged that this evil just hates. I do believe it manifests itself in many ways, in large financial institutions, war profiteers, political / dictatorial leaders etc. I also believe this personal evil tempted Christ in the desert I think that is an historic event in time and place, This evil has the ability to look good, righteous and light, it deceives people into thinking they can get what they want over the rights of others, at the expense of others. This evil especially hates, children, babies, innocents, mothers and fathers raising their families, it hates growth and hope. just some thoughts.

  37. I am now re-reading those three creeds MLK I will get back to you. Very interesting and powerful words I might add.

  38. Alex,
    I do believe there is a devil, However, I believe IN Jesus Christ – I do no believe IN the devil,

    Perhaps this is our difference. Tell me Alex, Do you believe IN the devil? 😉

  39. I would affirm the first two creeds The Apostles and Nicene Creed in their Trinitarian distinctives and Christology along with their general focus on the relations between the Godhead and relations between God and man. As for the Athanasian Creed I struggle with this one phrase the most

    “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.” the most. One other issue, it is not what the creeds define as much as it is the application of what they define that I also struggle with.

  40. #10

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    This we can and do understand with our minds. In loving response we invite Christ the Son of God into our lives and enter into this fantastic love relationship that has always existed and will always exist.

    This is a foundational fact of why we exist.

    It is to have fellowship and relationship with God the Master Creator. And the only way to do that is through the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.

    He loves us desperately. He went through great agony to make the way for us to enter onto a loving relationship with Him. Jesus Christ died for you. He suffered all things He did for the joy that was set before Him.

    What was that joy? The joy was that He knew one day we would be able to come to God through Him, and come in the righteousness of Jesus Christ – not the righteousness of man, not the righteousness of the law, but righteousness of the Son of the living God risen from the dead.

    I can come and appear before the throne of grace, the throne of unmerited favor, and stand there because Jesus Christ has made me whole.

    http://shekinahfellowship.blogspot.com/2015/04/todays-bible-study-is-from-gospel-as.html

  41. Nothing so dramatically carries the antichrist spirit as this worldwide deception about human sexuality. It is the idolatry of human self worship. It is vile beyond description. It is an assault on the very image of God in man and it is made more deceptive because the power of human compassion fuels it. Thus it looks so close to truth that soon only a few will be able to parse it out from the lie.

    THE LIE in scripture is “you shall be as God knowing good and evil” when God says that we should know only him.

    Self love is the very essence of sexual confusion and deception.

  42. Dread,

    Your #42 is spot on!

  43. Brian, you know that the word “catholic” in the creeds does not mean “Roman Catholic.”

    Since I am sure you know this, what is there about that phrase that bothers you?

  44. The thing is, Satan is Mr. Relevance himself. He keeps up with the times. He is seeker sensitive. He knows what cultural bait to use to lure people into his trap.

    In this age of science, there’s little point in tempting people with the supernatural as he used to do with the occult. Very few buy those old school temptations these days. Now it’s a remnant of Christian culture (“don’t judge”) plus scientific gibberish and he has tricked thousands of people who could not have been fooled, as in olden days, by sceances and tarot cards.

  45. In other words, no one today is tempted to offer a pinch of incense to Zeus because no one believes in Zeus anymore. Offering up a tiny sacrifice to the pagan gods was the big controversy in the early Church, just as giving one’s consent to the homosexual agenda is the big controversy among Christians today.

    Satan knows what bait to use.

  46. love it when i can log on, come to Michael’s blog and read wonderful Christ-insightful comments such as all the above this a.m.
    at the risk of sounding pompous and patronizing, can i say thank you to MLD, brian, Surfer,
    BD(!!), BobS, Xenia…?

  47. Em,

    Yes

  48. BD, yes i DO sound pompous and patronizing? sigh… i was born that way… 🙄

  49. Xenia I was referring mainly to the endure till the end. If one due to illness, accident, brain aneurysm, stroke….. that effects their ability to respond to these creeds in correct fashion and give a full apologetically correct response to all questions etc. If they do no hold to the end in all aspects of the creeds and slip up in just one little word in full belief one is lost and headed for perdition. This was branded into my soul when I first became a Christian, basically God is looking, no, even longing for you to slip up, then He gots you. But all that aside, it is not possible for people with damage to their higher order cognitive processes to actually be able to fully espouse these creeds until the moment they breath their last. When I first became a Christian it was made extremely clear, you better be able to or else. That also included end time dispensationalism and a bunch of other stuff as well.

  50. Thank you Em.

    Pompous and patronizing?

    I don’t get that…

    You are one to speak their mind conversationally with out putting to much introspection into what you are sharing at any given moment I think.

    So “pompous and patronizing” just does not fit your MO.

    Don’t know what “EM” stands for but Michael seems to know and like you and that is good enough for me. ( Was I pompous and patronizing just now?) LOL

  51. the pompous and patronizing danger comes from being at least 12 + years older than anyone else who posts here… and Surfer is correct that i comment off the cuff without much self editing here… just what pops into my head as i scan most of the time

    this is the only blog that i bother spending time to follow, let alone drop comments, because i feel that what folks share here is honest and enriching to our frame of reference as followers of Christ

    “Don’t know what “EM” stands for” … i don’t use my first name anywhere, except legal situations – it begins with ‘M’ – i’ve never met Michael, BTW

  52. Old hippy artist here Em, your in good company. Fully enjoyed the Summer of love.

  53. “at the risk of sounding pompous and patronizing, can i say thank you to MLD, brian, Surfer,”

    YES you can say thank you … at the risk of…

    Yikes Dread

  54. MLD, if I am understanding you correctly…and you caught the nuance…I believe “IN” Jesus Christ…which has meaning….and you may have missed this part of the nuance…

    I believe in the Concept of Jesus…his essence. That is much different than just believing in a religious construct.

    I don’t believe there is a literal devil nor do I believe in the essence of the devil metaphor in terms of it being “good” and something to emulate.

  55. If you really deconstruct what it is to “believe” something….you will find that the vast majority of “Christians” have no real clue what it even means….and have a big misperception about what it is to “believe in Jesus”…

    …but most have neither the ability or the patience to hash that one out so I won’t even try b/c it will lead to a long discussion that most don’t want to hear.

  56. Alex – you sure do presume to speak for a lot of people. How do you know what MOST Christians think “to believe” means?

    Look, I could say the same thing – most people don’t understand what love is – therefore, you Alex cannot possible love your wife.

    But I don’t care about most – I only point at you and your non Christian beliefs. Jesus is a real person and not a “concept” as you and all other non believers think. Jesus spoke of a real devil that he took real action against. So your position is to call Jesus a liar … which all non believers do.

  57. MLD, b/c I interact with “most Christians” including on blogs like this and most folks have a very limited understanding of deeper philosophical realities. It just is what it is. Not knocking folks, just recognizing the differences in how people process concepts and relate to each other and how the “church” develops constructs to sell to the church public…constructs that aren’t really what they appear to be…but it makes it easier for regular folks to sign on to and think they are “believing” and thus earning their Get-Out-Of-Hell Free card.

  58. This is well illustrated whenever I’ve posed the question on here and elsewhere…

    “How do you know you are truly saved? Can you prove it to me?”

  59. If a tornado was known with certainty to be headed in a specific direction and the other pre-signs of such are also being manifested (heavy rains, hail stones, and strong winds, or with certain types of cloud formations) there would be some that would just go about their business and some that would began to take cover. The rest would have also have built or secure long before hand a place that would keep them safe for such a time as this.

    Who are the real believers?

  60. Linda!!!!

    Folks, Linda is a sweetheart of a person. Very unassuming, very nice. I have a new perspective on the church abuse blog dynamic when I meet people in real life.

    I am finding that most are very similar to Linda and it gives me more compassion and also explains why folks don’t stick their heads up like I have. Not a knock on folks at all, just another reality of differences between human beings.

    The church abuse stuff is really hard on folks and their adversaries are often much bigger, much more powerful (metaphorically) and have really run them through the ringer to the point the folks don’t have a lot left to fight with other than comments on a blog (and often anonymously b/c they are legitimately afraid of the abuser and the church).

  61. “deeper philosophical realities”

    Oh boy.

    “How do you know you are truly saved? Can you prove it to me?”

    Does this mean something to anybody here? Really? I mean, what can you really prove? Can you prove we are not acting out the commands of a computer program? Can you prove I even exist? Can you prove you truly exist?

    What a strange question. Is your hope with a line of questioning like that to just get people to dig down and doubt their Salvation? To make them insecure? Is that what you are going for Alex?

    That’s insanity…can you prove it? Geez. Yes, I can prove it. God gave me a little card to keep in my wallet until I die.

    It’s all about FAITH, man! F.A.I.T.H. Confidence in things unseen. NOT ABLE TO BE PROVEN!

    Get off it with that stuff.

  62. Alex,
    Church abuse does not impact or alter Biblical truth at all. Likewise, your “new perspective” and your non belief also does not make any comment on the biblical truth or the reality of Jesus Christ.

    All the things you bring up do nothing to quench the Bible anymore than the Dodgers’ loss to the Giants last night.

  63. Are we believers because we trust in liturgy and traditions.
    Are we believers because we trust in the do’s and do nots.
    Are we believers because in our hearts what we do or do not is simply manifested.
    Are we believers because we say we are believers.
    Are we believers because in our hearts we emulate that which has been changed.
    Are we believers because in our heart, our character, values, beliefs, words, behavior manifest that which we believe.

    What are the outward and inward manifestation of truly being born again?
    How do we know we have been filled with the Holy Spirit?
    And who are we to be obedient to: God or man.
    Exactly who are we to submit unto and how do we know the difference between man and what God has set forth in His word?

    More than sacrifice, more than praise, bring a willing heart ready to obey.
    What does the Lord require of us. How do we know we “believe.”

  64. “How do you know you are truly saved? Can you prove it to me?”

    “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this is life in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:11–13).

    There you go.

    Don’t let your skepticism push you around without becoming skeptical of your skepticism…

  65. or is it simply a matter of saying, “I believe in Jesus.”

  66. I will say that I am sure glad that my salvation is secure in the promises of Jesus and not in my “belief”

  67. Papias,

    Appreciate the scripture, however, it is only saying that those who do or don’t believe, does or does not have eternal life. It does not break down what it means to believe.

    Please define “believe” in terms of what scripture tells us.

    For even the demons believe (James) and knew scripture.

  68. This will go absolutely nowhere.

    The mystery of faith and the divergence of opinion here is far too broad.

    I know I’m saved.
    I believe a dead man got up and walked and I’m far too smart to believe such without supernatural help.

  69. I “believe” in gravity…therefore I will not jump off a cliff…at least not without a parachute.

  70. Does Don Stewart really “believe” the bible as literal and that being divorced due to his own sexual sin and not reconciling with his first wife is “living in sin” and disqualifying as a pastor and probably as an “official” Christian?

    No, doesn’t seem to be the case.

  71. I have found, verifiably so, that the vast majority of “christians’ do not really “believe” very much about the bible.

  72. Jesus called out the Sadducees and Pharisees (not all) and told them that their father was the devil, yet they knew scripture and practiced a form of liturgy they had created since the time (about 166 BCE) and other teachings that (rabbinical and Sanhedrin) were now filter through a process of becoming Hellenized (using Greek philosophy and manner of worshipping). In other words, they added to the laws. In Jesus words, they placed a heavier burden upon those they were to be shepherding and leading (emulating). thus leading them astray from the intent and the spirit of the laws given to God’s people. In their hearts, they put more emphasis on sacrifice and praise than they did on what was taking place within their own hearts, thus becoming legalistic in adhering to what they established as “church” traditions and hierarchal authority.

  73. …and that’s fine, it’s largely why I’m very liberal theologically. No one really believes most of the stuff and there are some scant universal truths in there but it wasn’t meant to be taken literally and wasn’t meant to be “god” it’s more of a Control and cult-like thing that pastors and Sects develop when teaching their brand of “bible as god”

    …they don’t really believe most of it any more than many liberals or even agnostics.

  74. Alex – he may believe it but deny it at the same time.

    Every sin I commit is a violation of the 1st commandment and I believe the 10 commandments to be the very will of God for my life – but I still break them (deny them).

    But your tactic is to point the finger at others to excuse your own non belief. What does their actions have to do with the reality of Jesus Christ?

    Why haven’t the actions of Don Stewart made you question the truth of gravity? It’s the same silliness.

  75. Linda,

    Don’t over-complicate things. You know what it means to believe in Jesus. John 20:31

  76. Michael, don’t you mean that you believe that a dead concept got up and walked? 😉

  77. “dead concept got up and walked?”

    Like this conversation? 🙂

    Sounds like whoever this Don guy is, he’s a grade A hypocrite.

    Just like me.

    And you.

    And everyone else.

  78. Alex,
    “…and that’s fine, it’s largely why I’m very liberal theologically.”

    You are not a theological liberal at all. you are a fundamentalist denier of the faith and an evangelist for your position. No one can say “you are wrong” better than you.

  79. Papais,

    “Overcomplicating” has nothing to do with what I put forth. Those are legitimate statements that have been asked throughout the ages. To simply “believe” is not as simple as some are being taught. What does it mean to believe in God/Jesus and how do one know they are born again? To believe would indicate that at one time a person did not believe—so what has changed that bears evidence to this belief. Is it just a matter of now saying they believe, or is it much more—for instant repenting of the way one lived, the way one thinks, and the way one behaves towards others. Is it a life and heart changing phenomena that abides deeply and irrevocably within the inner person that cannot but do anything other than to take on the mind and heart and spirit of the living God: that is to die to self and to live solely for Him and in Him.

  80. I’ve always believed. There was never a time when I did not believe. I think this is very common with people who were raised in devout Christian families. Why would you ever *not* believe if prayer, church attendance and Scripture was always a significant part of your family life?

  81. One knows one has been born again if one has been baptized.

    Easy peasy.

  82. I spent 50 years of my life in mental confusion trying to determine if I was truly saved, based on how I was thinking and/ or feeling. Trying to define belief will either drive you crazy or into the bosom of a Church that is not preoccupied with these mind games.

  83. To clarify, I always believed but was I truly saved? That one kept me awake many a night.

  84. “One knows one has been born again if one has been baptized.”

    I can amen that

  85. “Trying to define belief will either drive you crazy or into the bosom of a Church that is not preoccupied with these mind games.”

    Amen. There are days that I consider another church…..

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