Archive for June, 2018

The “Handle A Rattlesnake” Debate Challenge

June 28, 2018

I’ve attended a lot of religious debates and I am persuaded that some arguments used for the side of truth are not sound. For example when debating the miraculous gifts subject, some gospel preachers challenge their opponent to “take up serpents” or “drink … deadly” poison (Mark 16:18). But this text is not talking about Christians doing those things on purpose. You can tell that from passages like Matt 4:7 where Jesus said “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” in response to a similar challenge by the devil. What Mark 16:18 is talking about is what we see in Acts 28:3-6 where a snake just happened to bite Paul but he was protected by God miraculously.

Now the “handle a rattlesnake” challenge is usually very effective with the brethren (they eat it up), but that doesn’t make the argument sound. When discussing the scriptures with our friends and neighbors, we should be proving the truth (John 8:32, Acts 9:22, 18:28), but we should only do it with arguments that are true to God’s word.

Personal Indwelling Of Holy Spirit Is Given “Because Ye Are Sons” – So Not Miraculous

June 21, 2018

Acts 2:38 and 5:32 are sentinel verses teaching one receives the Holy Ghost when becoming a Christian. But many say Acts 2:38 and 5:32 are referring to the miraculous measure of the Spirit and therefore do not apply today.

This won’t work, as the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is given “because ye are sons”:

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts …

Acts 2:38 … repent and be baptized … for the remission of sins … and ye shall receive the gift of … Holy Ghost

Acts 5:32 … the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him

But the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit is not conditioned upon being a son, being baptized for salvation, being obedient. Notice:

• Cornelius received the miraculous gift of the Holy Ghost before he was a son, before he was baptized (Acts 10:47), before he completed his obedience.

• I Samuel 19:15,20,21,23,24 King Saul and his messengers had a miraculous measure of the Spirit and prophesied, even though they were plotting to slay David (God’s chosen), and even though Saul lay down naked all day and night.

• Consider Caiaphas (John 11:49-52) and Balaam’s donkey (Num 22:28-30) in the same regard.

Conclusion: Acts 2:38, 5:32, and Gal 4:6 cannot refer to the miraculous, therefore are referring to the non-miraculous measure of the Holy Spirit. People still receive that today!

Submitting To God’s Word Only, Makes One A Christian Only

June 13, 2018

God does not approve of all the divisions (different teachings) represented by the different denominations (and so neither should we):

· I Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

· Eph 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Obviously submitting to Baptist doctrine makes one a Baptist. Submitting to Methodist doctrine makes one a Methodist. Submitting to John Calvin’s doctrine makes one a Calvinist. And so on. But submitting to Bible doctrine (alone) makes one a Christian (only).

Illustration: Many years ago someone set up a joint revival meeting with preaching by different types of preachers (Baptist, Methodist, Calvinist, Christian, etc.) alternating every night for a month. Audience members who obeyed the gospel (Rom 10:16) throughout the month met as a congregation until the revival was over. At that time the Baptist, Methodist, and Calvinist preachers asked the congregation which denomination they would like to be a part of. The congregation replied – “none, we will just stay like we are and not join any denomination.” Was there anything wrong with their decision? Didn’t they make the right decision?  Shouldn’t we make the same decision?

When Crispus and the Corinthians did what Jesus said to do to be saved (Mark 16:16) and believed and were baptized to become Christians in Acts 18:8, were they Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Episcopal?  Those churches didn’t even exist back then, did they?  What church was Crispus a member of?  Shouldn’t we be just like Crispus?

That is exactly what true churches of Christ are; congregations full of converts to Christ (Acts 2:38) who haven’t joined any denomination. Striving to be Christians, and Christians only, following the Bible only. It is never too late for you to be one of the them also. All it takes is obeying the gospel (II Thess 1:8) and being part of a congregation like the ones we read about in the Bible before any denominations ever existed.

Presbyterian Changes On Homosexuality

June 6, 2018

All born before about 1985 or so have seen the rapid change in U.S. society toward accepting homosexuality and gay marriage. But recently I heard a sermon by my friend Frank Richey which included the below quotes showing how the Presbyterian church has changed dramatically on homosexuality over the last few decades …

1978 – …Homosexuality is not God’s wish for humanity…On the basis of our understanding that the practice of homosexuality is sin, we are concerned that homosexual believers and the observing world should not be left in doubt about the church’s mind on this issue during any further period of study. (Minutes of the 190th General Assembly [1978], United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., pp.261-62)

1980 – Homosexuality presents a particular problem for the church. It seems to be contrary to the teaching of scripture. (Minutes of the 192th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in the United States, p.213)

1991 – The church should “re-evaluate its definition of sin to reflect the changing mores of society.” … the church should sound “a call for widening the circle of the faithful—not with children, but with non-reproductive gays, lesbians, and heterosexual singles who practice ‘safe sex.’ We feel that marriage is not what legitimates sexual gratification. (Roll Over John Calvin, Time Magazine, 5-6-91, p.59)

2010 – Presbyterian leaders voted Thursday to allow non-celibate gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy, approving the first of two policy changes that could make their church one of the most gay-friendly major Christian denominations in the U.S. … “What this is about is making sure we uphold what Christ taught us, to not judge one another,” said Dan Roth, a church elder from Sacramento. … Several major Christian denominations have voted in recent years to allow non-celibate gays to serve as clergy if they are in committed relationships. Among them are the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the U.S. Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ. … Benjamin Wind, a nonvoting young adult delegate to the assembly from Syracuse, N.Y., said Presbyterians of his generation greatly favor the change. (, 08 Jul 2010)

2015 – The Presbyterian Church made a historic decision … to formally recognize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to marry in its congregations. … The …denomination voted to redefine the church constitution on marriage to include ‘a commitment between two people …’ (Time Magazine, 3-18-2015)

What does the Bible actually say about homosexuality? Here are just a few of the passages that clearly condemn it …

Romans 1:24,26-27 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves … For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

Leviticus 20:13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death …

I Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers. Neither homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, will inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

Does the Presbyterian church have a right to change in such way?

Did you know that many other churches have made the same change?

If a church changes from one position to another, can they be right both times?

And did you know that most churches have made similar deviations from the Bible on other issues? Here are some examples:

· Matt 19:9 acceptance of adulterous marriages led to this new acceptance of gay marriages – see

· Acts 8:37 addition of infant baptism

· Gal 5:4 teaching Once Saved Always Saved

· Acts 20:7 denominations changed the frequency of the Lord’s Supper from once a week to less often

· I Corinthians 14:34-35 almost all churches used to forbid “women preachers” – now almost all allow it

Read II John 9 to see if churches/people who change away from what the Bible teaches are going to be saved anyway.

to hear my recent Bible Crossfire SiriusXM radio program on this topic, go to: