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A Big Announcement – New Podcast

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I am thrilled to announce that I have launched a new podcast to go alongside the blog! In an effort to make better use of my time, to edify and encourage the body of Christ through stories, interviews, and discussions on pressing topics, and to cover issues that are too expansive to detail in short blog posts, the podcast AfterThought will be posted twice a week. It will, Lord willing, be available on iTunes and Google play, but the first episode is available here. As I continue in this work I ask that you would please pray for me. You’re encouragement and prayers have been a daily blessing to me. I look forward to hearing your opinions, or corrections if needed, on this new adventure.

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Twisted Tuesday – Does the Bible Approve of Rape?

Obviously, dear ones, you already know where I’m going to come down on this question. A resounding, NO. I hate this topic, in all honesty, I can’t even stand writing the word. Hollywood has taken to portraying this heinous act in the filth they release on a daily basis. Without the previous standards, steaming companies can create movies and shows that are far more graphic than anything our culture has ever excepted before. The type of scenes shown, even in particular shows addressed towards teens, contain the graphic nature of what was once unspeakable. Only the most vile of lust filled sinners would secretly watch this type of pornography. Now, you can see it on highly rated television series in crystal clear, high definition. What does the world say when Christians find this behavior disgusting? God approved of rape in the Bible.

The verse being twisted today is Deuteronomy 22:23-29, although they will only quote verses 28 and 29. The reason for that? Well, if you read it in context the actual accusation falls apart. What is said is that here, in Deuteronomy, God forces the raped woman to marry her assaulter. This, rewarding the rapist and punishing the victim. What does this passage actually say? If a man finds a woman and rapes her, he is to die. Rape, in Gods Word, is a crime worthy of capital punishment. Can a dead man marry someone? No, of course not, the verse where a man must marry the woman is referring to a consensual act. In other words, if it’s found out that a woman is not engaged or married, yet willingly sleeps with a man, when it’s found out the man must marry her and can not divorce her. This is to protect the woman, to ensure that any man who would sleep with a woman knew he would be responsible for marrying her.

What about crying out? At this point in history, and for most of the past, the Jewish and Christian culture sought to protect the purity of women. Recognizing that a man could easily over power a woman, it was not common for them to be in town without family members. Someone would hear a woman cry out, showing it was not consensual, and the man would be put to death. Again, this does not approve of rape, or reward the rapist, it soundly shows Gods hatred for this sin. Why? Because women are made in the image of God, and to desecrate a woman in this way is a direct assault against an image barer. Regardless of how obvious this is, you will still come across this argument fairly often.

The reason we see this argument, albeit as weak as it can get, is due to the wicked desire of a lost heart to make God sinful. To feel confident in their own sin, the world seeks to suppress the truth of God’s righteousness by cherry picking verses, ripping them out of their context, and using them to accuse God. The world wants to sit on the judgement seat, they want to put God in trial, they want to be gods themselves. This idolatry should not surprise us, however I hope that this post will help you to better answer when you have this thrown your way. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved!

AfterThought Podcast – Episode 2: Feminism in the Church

Today I posted the second episode of AfterThought, my new podcast. While I wait for Apple iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify to approved the podcast, I greatly appreciate all your support and listening at the host site. Lord willing, soon the podcast will be available in easily accessible and convenient sites. Today’s episode is a lot more punchy then the last, however, the topic of feminism is not one I address for the sake of controversy. This is something that is deeply concerning to me, as I’ve seen professing Christians espouse this unbiblical worldview. If you recall, I did a series on Feminism which you can see here. At the bottom of that post, there are links to the rest of the series.

If you have time and would like to listen to my podcast, you can hear it here. If you missed my previous episode you can listen here. If you feel so inclined, please like and share the podcast so that we can get the word out. Again, all you’re support in this podcast has been such a blessing to me. I do ask for your prayer, as I attempt to use my time more wisely, for the glory of God. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

We’re Only Channels, Not the Flow of Water Itself – By The Outspoken Tulip

Below is a post from The Outspoken Tulip, Debbie has blessed me yet again with her humble honesty!

As a young Christian, I’d daily arm myself with Christian tracts and charge out to evangelize the toughest kids on the high school campus.You know, the kids that scared my Christian friends half to death. Looking back, I realize how vulnerable I was in my little wheelchair, but at the time I knew no fear!

One day my less courageous (read: more sensible) friend asked me why I went out to those particular kids. Borrowing a popular motto from that era, I self-righteously replied, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done!”

The salvation of Terra Linda High students depended on me.

Since then, I’ve repented of my pride. Yes, the Lord calls me to declare His Gospel as faithfully as I can. Just as surely as He ordains the elect to be saved, He ordains evangelism as the means of saving the elect. We are the channels through which the living waters of the Holy Spirit flow.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we are channels only. We want to do great things for the Lord and to enjoy recognition for our fearless ministry. But the Lord wants us to serve Him in humility, praising Him for the privilege of having His Holy Spirit work through empty channels like us!

https://youtu.be/o1y0A8ffP40

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Historical Church Series – Early Church Heretics: Pelagius

Today is the day that I have been looking forward to, in regard to the heretics of the early church. We are now at the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century with the one heresy which still remains largely unchecked in churches today. Pelagianism. Most of the previous heretics were struggling with understanding the nature of God, Christ, or the Gospel. Pelagius takes the cake for being the greatest man centered threat to the church. He was born in Britain, which was conquered by Rome in the 1st century, in 360 AD and died in 418 AD. Here’s a little fun trivia for you, dear ones, the roads Rome built in Britain are still the roads used today and arches from the time period can still be seen standing the test of time.

Newport-Arch-Roman-Arch-In-Britain-Photo-by-Peter-Broster

Pelagius taught in Rome, where his heretical views were first considered orthodox at the council of Lod, then condemned by the councils of Carthage and Ephesus. These heretical views start with the denial of original sin. He suggested that all of mankind was not affected by Adams fall, only Adam himself was hurt by that. Thus, each individual is born good, and can choose to stay that way, through free will. To Pelagius Gods grace was just a helpful mechanism to aid pure and moral people to come to Him. This is a rejection of several key texts in Scripture, in particular Romans 5:12 where Paul specifically explains that we all fell through Adam. This heresy also makes the news for Christ crucified a moot point. If we can make it by our own free will, which contrary to Scripture, Pelagius taught was not in bondage to sin, then we do not need a Savior or forgiveness of sins.

The individual who stands out historically for opposing Pelagius is Augustine of Hippo. Augustine was born an African Roman in 354 AD. Largely credited for influencing the Reformers, Augustine opposed Pelagius and taught that man was fallen in Adam and needed Gods grace for salvation and for any good works. Augustine participated in the council of Carthage that declared Pelagius a heretic, alongside over 200 bishops. A lot could be said about Augustine, and his contributions to the church. I’d love to do an entire blog just about him, and perhaps will tell the story of his conversion in the podcast. However, for the purpose of today’s post, this is as far as I’ll take it.

Pelagius taught that man was born good, and as I mentioned before, that’s a belief strongly held today. Many, professing believers or lost, proclaim their own goodness. Few today believe that God is sovereign, and that it is only by His grace that we are able to come to Him. Many are teaching the heretical view of Pelagianism without even having heard of Pelagius. There is nothing new under the sun, for the love of self we hide the truth of Scripture, desiring the approval of man rather than the salvation of the lost. It is as popular today as it was in 4th and 5th century Rome to teach the wickedness of the heart of man. We don’t need to point to cults for today’s heresy, it’s found in the churches throughout the West. Many claim to love Gods Word, and obey it, yet likewise stand with Andy Stanley in bald faced defiance of Scripture. The truth is that the heart is deceitful above all other members, who can know it? None are righteous, no not one. No one seeks after God. And yes, even our righteousness is as filthy rags.

Unless we repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ Jesus alone for salvation we will die in our sins and receive just punishment. Dear ones, we must stand uncompromisingly on the Word of God, proclaiming the truth that saves souls! No sugar coating, or watering down, will change the opinions of a fallen world. They hated our master, they will hate us as well. Therefor, give no ground to the enemy, and reject pragmatism at all cost! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – Irenaeus Against Heresies

The book review I’d like to do today is going to go along with the Friday series on heresies, in particular, the Gnostics. Irenaeus, who was taught by Polycarp, the disciple of John the Apostle, directly refutes Gnosticism in all its many forms throughout this five-volume set. While Gnosticism isn’t the only heresy he addresses or the only topic he brings up, it’s the main thrust of the book. Most likely written in 180 AD, Irenaeus Against Heresies clearly lays out Biblical theology held by the early church, while answering the heretical views being introduced into the church.

Irenaeus of Lyons quote
Irenaeus-of-Lyons-Quote

There’s a couple of points that I found very interesting. First, Irenaeus was a quick-witted man, willing to be sarcastic when sarcasm was needed to show foolishness. This made the dry reading of the varied sects within Gnosticism more bearable. Second, he names names for the sake of the brothers and sisters in Christ being confronted by the Gnostic leaders. He warns believers about specific people to avoid, just as we need to do today. Lastly, he connects this heresy to Simon Magus from Acts 8:9-24. That was such a fascinating part of the book, to have that man’s story told to a further degree. Obviously, the early church fathers, like Irenaeus, are not inspired writers. We do not, under any circumstances, turn their words into Scripture, or hold them as high as that authority. However, it is a blessing that so much of their writing has remained, and we can and should enjoy their works. Particularly, it was interesting to hear about Simon and where his error led.

Irenaeus Against Heresies is an important book for today’s believers, as we deal with very similar false teaching. Not only in the cults, but also in the minds of the lost who grew up hearing bits and pieces of gnostic nonsense, which can be seen in the way postmodernism has flourished. Also, Gnosticism is still very much a thing, and as believers, you will have the so-called Gnostic Gospels mentioned from time to time. It’s dry in many places, in all honesty, as even admitted by the writer who explains in a few different points why he needed to be so detailed. His sense of humor breaks up the expansive lists of names, and differing views on the eons, held by so many at the time. It’s in the public domain, which means you can download it in pdf free here, or listen to the audio here, and also if you enjoy podcasts there is a podcast version of the audio here. If you want it for yourself, and find the free printing of nearly 400 pages tedious, you can buy the kindle here, and the paperback here. I do recommend this for older brothers and sisters in Christ, as most younger readers and preteens would find this too detailed and dry to follow. As always, beloved brothers, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved!

In case you missed it, I launched a new Podcast! You can listen here, and soon will be able to listen in iTunes and Google play. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram if you’d like to link up in other social media platforms. God bless you!

Wednesday Testimony – American Gospel

I previously reviewed this movie here. A few months ago they released a shorter, free version that includes some encouraging testimonies mixed into the last 15 minutes or so. I think we probably all have lost friends and family that are just not going to sit down and watch a two and a half hour movie about the Gospel. This shorter version is only 40 minutes long, but still as Biblically accurate of a Gospel message as the original. I thought this would be a great Wednesday post with the multitude of testimonies they’ve added at the end. For me, coming out of the Word of Faith movement, I love to see Gospel presentations that specifically call out those teachers that have compromised or watered it down. That way, when the fruit of Gods Word is the salvation of the lost, they know who to avoid.

American-Gospel-MovieImage-from-American-Gospel-Movie

Yesterday I watched a clip of a beautiful young woman professing to be a Christian while bragging about her promiscuity. My heart broke as I listened to her explain how Jesus loves her anyways. Happy and healthy is the gospel of today, even if what makes you happy is sinful. We need hard hitting, Biblically truthful and accurate depictions of the Gospel today. The watered down, easy-believism that is preached in so many places has become spiritual poison, as deadly as anything nature has to offer. I pray that this video will be a blessing to you, and that those you share it with will have their hearts softened. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.