Friday, March 21, 2008

My Leave of Absence...

I suppose I should probably explain to everyone why I took a break from blogging. A few of my posts ended up with a pretty nasty comment section following them. It got to the point that I felt like this website was acting more as a wedge in the church than a tool for helping each other grow. I wasn't very comfortable with that and it really turned me off from the whole blogging experience. I decided to take some time away from blogging.

This week, I got the itch again.

Blogged Down World

I have been asked by J Razz to contribute to his blog while he is away for a few months. I graciously accepted.
Please take a moment to check out Blogged Down World.

I will still be posting here during this time as well.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hijacking Craig's Blog

The following questions were asked of me by a fellow blogger after I commented on one of Craig's blog entries. I will attempt to answer them here.

What does that actually mean? Can one teach the whole Bible and be consistent? Where Old and New Testaments are in conflict which part do we go with?

If you are referring to Old Covenant and New Covenant, we go with new. I would of course pay a great deal of attention to someone who has studied the topic more in depth than I have, but I think a lot of that is a matter of your own conscience. If you want to practice some of the ceremonial laws of the old covenant, I believe you can. But I also believe that I don't have to.

Do we teach the Bible as literal truth? Assuming a yes answer, always? In every

Yes, Yes and Yes.

Do we teach Jesus' Christianity or Paul's Christianity?

They are the same.

What exactly does it mean to be a Bible based Christian in practice.

It means you base your theology and your beliefs on what strictly on what the bible says.

I'm not trying to be funny here, but surely its a matter of interpretation: one person's whole Bible is another's Iran. I've met those Christians.

But some interpretations make absolutely no sense. When someone brings an interpretation to me that makes sense, but I don't agree with, I leave them be.

How about the Phelps clan from Topeka? Are they, as they claim, living by the Bible? If so, how? If not, how?

In some ways they are. I don't know that their claims or their theology are that far off. (I know, I know...) But I also don't believe the Bible promotes evangelizing through insults and condemnation. That type of behavior only turns people away from God.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Other Unforgivable Sin?

Craig tells me I should have just made a new post about Suicide. Well, ask and ye shall recieve.

This question was posed to me on the most recent comment section:

"I have seen several instances where people accept Christ and are saved and then later in life, whether due to complacency or an event in their lives, turn away from God and essentially say "God, I don't need you." Isn't that one reason Satan continually tempts us and attacks us with trials and such? In order to get us to turn away from God. I will agree that once we have been saved and indwelt with the Holy Spirit, it is more difficult to ignore God. But it is still possible, IMO.

And not to start discussion on another hot button issue, but what about someone who commits suicide? Aren't they basically saying "God, you can't help me here. You've made life too hard. This is my only way out."?

Here is John MacArthurs Take on the question:
Suicide is a grave sin equivalent to murder (Exodus 20:13; 21:23), but it can be forgiven like any other sin. And Scripture says clearly that those redeemed by God have been forgiven for all their sins--past, present, and future (Colossians 2:13-14). Paul says in Romans 8:38-39 that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So if a true Christian would commit suicide in a time of extreme weakness, he or she would be received into heaven (Jude 24). But we question the faith of those who take their lives or even consider it seriously--it may well be that they have never been truly saved.

I say that because God's children are defined repeatedly in Scripture as those who have hope (Acts 24:15; Romans 5:2-5, 8:24; 2 Corinthians 1:10, etc.) and purpose in life (Luke 9:23-25; Romans 8:28; Colossians 1:29). And those who think of committing suicide do so because they have neither hope nor purpose in their lives. Furthermore, one who repeatedly considers suicide is practicing sin in his heart (Proverbs 23:7), and 1 John 3:9 says that "no one who is born of God practices sin." And finally, suicide is often the ultimate evidence of a heart that rejects the lordship of Jesus Christ, because it is an act where the sinner is taking his life into his own hands completely rather than submitting to God's will for it. Surely many of those who have taken their lives will hear those horrifying words from the Lord Jesus at the judgment--"I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness" (Matthew 7:23).

So though it may be possible for a true believer to commit suicide, we believe that is an unusual occurrence. Someone considering suicide should be challenged above all to examine himself to see whether he is in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).