Archive for July, 2016

Debate On Women Preachers

July 27, 2016

How can so many churches allow women to preach from the pulpit when every verse used to justify such either doesn’t mention a women speaking, or it doesn’t mention the New Testament church assembly, or it mentions neither?

Oops!, there is one passage that mentions a women teaching/speaking and also mentions the church’s assembly → I Cor 14:34-35:Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

One would have to work pretty hard to get around the plain meaning of that text, wouldn’t they?

If you would like to hear both sides of this vital Bible topic, perhaps you live close enough to attend a public debate on whether allowing Women Preachers is scriptural this Saturday (July 30) at 6:00 p.m. at Touching Hands Ministries Church, 5882 Hwy 11 South, Enterprise, MS.

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Excuses For Not Supporting Religious Debates

July 22, 2016

It is a shame that many preachers are not willing to defend publicly what they teach publicly. In this regard, they are nothing like the first century disciples (Acts 19:8-10, 15:2,7, 17:17, etc.). And because they don’t have the courage themselves, they have taken the route of criticizing debates to save face. And what’s even more sad is that most “lay” Christians have swallowed such slanders against Jesus (Matt 22:15ff) hook, line, and sinker. Just what are some of the excuses made for not supporting religious debates? …

“They don’t do any good.” Some say the same thing about the Lord’s Supper, but I would be afraid to say such about anything God reveals approval for. Either we believe Isaiah 55:8-9 or we don’t.

“I don’t like conflict.” Well, some people are scared of water, but that doesn’t excuse them from getting baptized, does it? Whenever we try to persuade someone of the truth (II Cor 5:11), regardless of what the format is (public or private), unless they already agree with everything we say, there is going to be conflict. That is the nature of contending for the faith (Jude 3) – public or private.

“Some debaters act up in debates.” The same is true about some preachers when doing sermons, but we don’t throw out the baby (all sermons) with the bath water, do we? Both debaters and preachers need to learn to be kind in their presentations (Eph 4:32). Let’s encourage that instead of discouraging debating or preaching.

We can’t let God decide what is best in some things and not in other things (Prov 14:12). I am convinced that most who don’t like public religious debating are that way because they know their position can’t be defended. Isn’t that what John 3:19-21 is saying?

The Scriptures Are Our Guide by Bill Hall

July 15, 2016

Two different views exist as to how one comes to a knowledge of God’s will. The first view is that one comes to this knowledge by carefully reading and understanding the scriptures; that Jesus promised His apos­tles that they would be led into all truth by the Spirit (John 14:26; 16: 13); that they, along with other inspired men, wrote that truth in the scriptures; that when we read what they wrote, we may “understand (their) knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:3,4); that the scriptures, consequently, are an all-sufficient guide from earth to heaven.

The second view is that each child of God is led in some direct way by the Spirit in understanding God’s will. People are often heard to say, “God is leading me into this under­standing,” or “in this way,” and in saying this they mean that He is leading them through some direct guidance. While they do not disre­gard the scriptures altogether, they feel that they are led in some additional way into an understanding of God’s will, applying John 14:26 and John 16:13 to every “believer.”

This writer confesses to holding the first view and would ask those who hold to the second view the following questions:

(1) If, indeed, all believers are led directly into an understanding of God’s will, why was it necessary for the first converts to continue “steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42)? Would they not have had the same understanding of God’s will as the apostles had?

How do we explain the differ­ences in doctrine and practice that exist among those who claim to be led into their understanding directly by the Lord? Differences abound among those who claim direct guidance, while the scriptures teach only “one faith” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Is the Lord really leading all these people into conflicting ideas? Is He the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33)?

If you could accurately com­municate to me — either orally or in writing — this understanding into which you have been led, could I place as much confidence in it as I do in the writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, etc? Could I continue steadfastly in your teaching as the early Christians did in the apos­tles’ teaching? If so, how would I know to continue steadfastly in your teaching rather than in the teaching of some person whose understanding conflicts with yours? With all these conflicts, would we not have to go back to the Bible to know what was right? And wouldn’t that, in reali­ty, take us to the first view stated in this article, which I already accept?

The truth is—the scriptures are God’s divine truth (John 17:17). One can read and understand them (Eph. 3: 3, 4). They are all-sufficient as a guide from earth to heaven(2 Tim. 3:16,17). They will provide the basis for our judgment in the last day (John 12:48). Read them carefully and obey them in love.

He That Does Wrong Shall Receive For The Wrong

July 8, 2016

Colossians 3:24-25 says Christians will “receive the reward of the inheritance” if we “serve the Lord,” but “he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done. That is a very simple fact – not easily misunderstood by the honest truth seeker.

We certainly need to teach and emphasize the grace of God (Tit 2:11), but any view of grace that says we won’t “receive for the wrong” we have done is a false grace. The only way we can avoid being punished by God for our wrongs is if we repent and receive forgiveness for such (Luke 13:3, Acts 2:238, Acts 8:22, I John 1:9). The “wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23) for anybody and everybody, Christian or non-Christian – with God “there is no respect of persons” (Col 3:25b).

Calvinism Plays The Blame Game

July 1, 2016

It is scripturally correct to blame Adam for introducing sin into the world, meaning he was the first man to sin (Rom 5:12a), but Calvinism goes way too far and uses the term “Original Sin” to blame Adam for the sin and spiritual death of all mankind. Contrary to that, Rom 5:12b says “death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” And Ezek 18:20 confirms that – “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

And instead of manning up and taking personal responsibility for their own sins, Calvinists use the term “Total Depravity” to also blame Adam for their “propensity” to sin. Of course the Bible teaches the contrary in verses like Eccl 7:29 – “God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes” (ESV). And so Calvinism says man does not have free will and thereby blames God for creating us in such a way that we can’t help but sin. But the book of God teaches in many places that we do not have to sin (Heb 12:1), we shouldn’t sin (I John 2:1), and whenever we do sin it is our choice/fault (Matt 23:37).