Archive for September, 2016

Divorce And Remarriage Acceptance Led To Gay Marriage Acceptance

September 30, 2016

If you are a believer in Christ, don’t act so surprised by how many churches have changed in the last several years to accept Gay Marriage. This was all brought on in part because almost all churches compromised on divorce and remarriage over the last few decades. After all, if you can accept adulterous marriages into the church (in violation of passages like II John 9-11), why can’t you do the same with gay marriages?

To explain why the Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor has changed to accept gay marriage, Ken Wilson (its founding preacher) said – “Why was I willing to let so many divorced and remarried couples know that they are welcome and wanted while refusing that same welcome to gay and lesbian couples? How could I say to the remarried couples, whose second marriage was clearly condemned by the plain meaning of scripture, ‘You are welcome and wanted,’ while saying to the two mothers raising their adopted child together, ‘I love you, but I hate your sin’?”

What do we learn from Mr. Wilson’s statement? That many churches now accept gay marriage because they saw it was inconsistent to accept adulterous marriages and not accept gay marriages similarly. After all, they’re the same thing in principle.

What do I mean by adulterous marriages? Consider Matthew 19:9: … whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery. (NKJV) Do you see that if you have divorced your spouse for any reason other than fornication, or they have divorced you, then you are living in adultery with a second spouse? Surely you don’t think God approves of you continuing to commit adultery with that person indefinitely?

Should adulterous marriages be terminated? Secular history tells us that Herodias had divorced her husband Philip unscripturally, and then married Herod. Notice in Matt 14:4 what John the Baptist told Herod about his marriage to Herodias – “It is not lawful for thee to have her.” Does that mean John (who was speaking for God of course) expected Herod to stay in the marriage, or terminate it? It’s pretty obvious isn’t it?

As I mentioned, many churches have changed on this issue. As a typical example notice what the Methodist Creed book said in 1896 about divorce – “No divorce, except for adultery, shall be regarded by the Church as lawful; and no Minister shall solemnize marriage in any case where there is a divorced wife or husband living; but this rule shall not be applied to the innocent party to a divorce for the cause of adultery.” Then notice what the same Creed book said about ninety years later in 1984 – “Where marriage partners, even after thoughtful consideration and counsel, are estranged beyond reconciliation, we recognize divorce as regrettable but recognize the right of divorced persons to remarry.” Do you hear the sea change from standing for exactly what Matt 19:9 says, to compromising to something completely different? But it gets worse: In 2015 the “United Methodist Church … leadership voted to submit … a … legislative proposal … that removes “prohibitive” language from The United Methodist Book of Discipline concerning homosexuality. … the proposal would allow United Methodist pastors to perform same-sex marriages in United Methodist churches. … this proposal does not consider homosexuality incompatible with Christian teachings even though Methodists have historically recognized the practice … as sinful.”

Conclusion: If we’re going to stand for God’s truth that gay marriages should be terminated (Rom 1:26-27), to be consistent we’re going to have to oppose adulterous marriages also.

Rom 5:5 The Holy Ghost Is Given Unto Christians

September 23, 2016

Romans 5:5 reads “… the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

Notice in this verse the Holy Ghost himself is what is given; He is the gift. It is not a gift or power from the Holy Ghost. This confirms that in Acts 2:38, the “gift of the Holy Ghost ” is the Holy Ghost himself (in PERSON).

Who is the “us” given the Holy Ghost according to Rom 5:5? Those who:

• are justified by faith, v.1

• have peace with God through Christ, v.1

• have access into grace, v.2

• rejoice in hope, v.2

• have hope that maketh not ashamed, v.5

• have the love of God … in their hearts, v.5

• have been justified by his blood, v.9

• will be saved from wrath through him, v.9

• were reconciled to God, v.10

• will be saved by his life, v.10

That is not just a select few (like who was given the miraculous). That is all Christians receiving the Holy Ghost – then and now. Context confirms it.

Does God Care How We Worship Him?

September 16, 2016

John 4:24 says “… they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  So we must worship God with the right attitude and according to truth (the way God has prescribed).

Leviticus 10:1-2 – Nadab and Abihu worshipped God in the wrong way and God was displeased, so if we worship God the wrong way in New Testament times, God will be displeased.

I Samuel 13:8-14 – Saul worshipped God in an unauthorized manner and God was displeased, so it is possible for us to displease God by worshipping him in an unauthorized manner.

Matthew 15:9 – Our worship can be vain (useless, worthless, accomplish nothing), in this case resulting from teaching the commandments of men.

Romans 10:3 says “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Many people today are establishing their own righteousness practicing religion, but ignoring God’s laws.

True worship is not necessarily supposed to be “fun and exciting” to us, but we should do what the Lord says (John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments).

It all comes down to RESPECT for God.

“Choridzo” Condemns Divorce And Separation

September 9, 2016

The Greek word “choridzo” (translated “depart” in I Cor 7:10 and “put asunder” in Matt 19:6) does not mean “divorce” per se:

· Wigram-Green – to separate, divide, to be separated, depart

· The word … choridzo … occurs 13 times in the Greek New Testament, and neither the King James Version nor the American Standard ever translates this word “divorce” (Roy Deaver, Bales-Deaver Debate, pg.65) or “put away”

· Just like the word “left” in “she left her husband” could be used to refer to divorce (even though “left” does not necessarily mean “divorce”), “choridzo” could be used to refer to divorce. Its use could include divorce, but there can be choridzo (departing, separation, putting asunder) without divorce

· Philemon 15 says Onesimus choridzo’ed from Philemon. Does that mean they were divorced? See also Acts 1:4, 18:1, 2, Rom 8:35, 39, and Heb 7:26 on this point

Conclusions drawn:

· Divorce (except for fornication) and remarriage is adultery Matt 19:9

· Divorce (except for fornication), even with no remarriage is sin (though not adultery) – Matt 5:32

· Separation is also sin – because “choridzo” is forbidden in marriage passages like Matt 19:6, Mark 10:9, and I Cor 7:10 (the only exception being divorce for fornication)

Not Withdrawing From Fallen Christians Because They Don’t Attend Anymore Ignores The First Reason For Withdrawal

September 2, 2016

Every faithful Christian knows there are at least two major reasons Christians are told to withdraw from other Christians who become unfaithful and refuse to repent.

First and foremost, the action is taken that the sinner “may be ashamed” (II Thess 3:14), to “gain thy brother” (Matt 18:15), “for the destruction of the flesh” (his sin) (I Cor 5:5) – in short, to get the erring brother to repent so his soul will be saved from spiritual death (James 5:20).

A second important reason the action of discipline is taken is to protect the church, so that other members of the congregation will “fear” (Acts 5:11) to do the same thing. We say “a rotten apple spoils the whole bunch”; I Cor 5:6 says the same thing this way – “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

When someone says I don’t have to withdraw from a fallen away Christian because they have already left the congregation, or they don’t belong to the same congregation I worship with, that only takes into account the second reason (as listed above) for withdrawal. That excuse completely ignores the first and primary reason for withdrawal – to try to save the erring Christian. Even if we reason that the second purpose is out of play because the one in sin is not part of the congregation anymore, since we still want that person to repent and return to the Lord (Eph 4:15a), we still must practice God’s instructions in this regard.

Do we love the Lord enough to obey His instructions even when it is hard (John 14:15)?