Twisted Tuesday – Understanding Slander

Beloved brethren today I have yet another very serious topic to discuss with you. I wanted to write about this some time ago and was prevented, it’s a shame it falls so close to celebrating, here in America, Independence Day. Before you light your grills, pop your pyrotechnics, and sing your Greenwood, let me make a solemn plea. Recently I’ve been very grieved by the open letter of Beth Moore, and the overarching criticism of the social gospel proponents. Both of these groups are openly accusing brothers in Christ of sinful behavior without providing evidence or proper church discipline. I’m not sure if this is a twisted verse, or if it’s just being ignored, either way today’s twisted Scripture is 1 Peter 2:1.

Honestly, slander is mentioned multiple times in Gods Word. Specifically in the New Testament, as you’ll see in my pictures, it’s listed with some truly heinous sins, things every born again believer would rightly recoil at. Repeatedly throughout Scripture God is showing how very seriously He takes this sin, yet Christians today are flippantly throwing slanderous accusations around as if Gods Word has nothing to say about it. Any sin should grieve the born again believer, why would we so enjoy the very sin that slashed the cattail into our Saviors back? The very sin that drove the nails into His precious hands and feet? Gods wrath was poured out on Christ, and make no mistake His was the victory that day, not defeat. This is a victory we can all rejoice in! Yet do we sin so that grace can abound? Let it never be!

I chose 1 Peter 2:1 as the verse for today because of the therefore. This is one of those times when the chapter breaks can cause confusion, just remember dear ones that chapter and verses are not inspired but we’re added much later as an aid for study. Therefore we always need to check what the therefore is there for. In the previous chapter Peter details that as born again believers we ought to sincerely love one another. How could malice, envy, and slander show love? It can’t, friends. In fact, in Thomas Watson The Ten Commandments he details all the pagan civilizations who had made slander illegal. Even the pagan knows how serious this sin is, and do those who claim Christ’s name blaspheme it by slandering His body?

This is why church discipline is so well detailed in the Bible. We have the perfect plan of God for how to handle sin within the body of Christ. Ignoring that perfect plan, Beth Moore decided to release an open letter accusing Christian men of sexism. Social gospel advocates have done the same, smearing believers all over social media. Sexism and racism are sinful, and need to be addressed, with names and evidence not broad sweeping claims that we all just need to be ‘woke’. Slander is sinful and needs to be addressed. Those who use social media as a way to mask this sin are going to be held accountable to God for every idle word spoken, and I pray they repent. Beloved, let us not fall into the pattern of slandering one another. If we see sinful behavior in a brother or sister, call them out specifically, rather than accusing whole groups of men. Let us do so in love, praying they repent, rather then with malice, envy, or strife.

Brothers and sisters, the great evidence to the world that Christ has truly saved us is that we love one another. Beth Moore, in an open letter essentially accusing all SBC men as sexist by listing anecdotes rather than names, is not loving. Not to mention the idea that she had to wear flats because she didn’t want to be taller than anyone has absolutely nothing to do with sexism, and wasn’t even something she was asked to do. That aside, accusing mass groups of believers of anything without evidence, whether it be sexism, racism, or any other type is ‘ism, is slander. I’ve gone all over this country from church to church, each corner of America, and have never heard a single brother in Christ make a racist or sexist comment. That’s not to say it isn’t happening, but where it is happening that particular person needs to be addressed. I know this was a lot longer than my usual posts, but I felt this subject was heavy enough to deserve more care. Please pray for those who are slandering the body of Christ that they would repent. Pray also for our brothers in Christ who have been hurt by these false accusations. As always, beloved friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

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Twisted Tuesday – Cosmic Child Abuse

This is one of those Twisted Tuesdays that turns my stomach. When the topic of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross comes up it brings joy to our hearts and tears to our eyes. Unfortunately there are some who say this never happened, because if it had it would have been cosmic child abuse. Have you heard this, dear ones? I have certainly, though phrased slightly differently, however I heard it from an agnostic. I was shocked to learn it was first suggested by those who claim to be Christians themselves.

This twist in Scripture revolves around the doctrine of penal substitution. Rather than twisting one verse in the Bible, liberal theologians challenge the very veracity of it. Some have suggested that it would be too harsh for God to punish Jesus Christ for sins someone else committed. They say, instead, that God forgives us simply because He is loving. Some even go so far as to say that Christ never existed, that the Bible can’t be trusted, yet they still call themselves Christians. Their heresy has become an argument used against Christians by the lost to this very day.

When we examine this reasonably we see that any judge who does not pass a sentence for a crime is not loving, but criminal himself. If someone were to brutally kill someone you loved, then stood before a judge and said ‘I’m really sorry judge, I won’t do it again’ should the judge let him go? Would it be loving for that judge to set this murderer free? Of course not! God has set Laws for mankind, we have broken those Laws, so to forgive us our trespasses without payment for said crimes would be unjust. God is just, He is a good judge, He is not slack nor is He criminal. Whether by Christ on that Roman cross, or in hell, sin must be paid for. God is not harsh, cruel, or unjust to have poured out the wrath due us on Christ. It’s the most merciful thing that has ever been done.

Men who suggest that God would never punish Christ for our sins have made the same mistake we see so often. They’ve lowered God to our level, and raised mankind to His. Sin, in their eyes, is really no worse than white lies. God, in their theology, is not the Righteous, Holy, Sovereign King of Kings, He’s just like you and me, a pal, a buddy that’s far too busy to notice all our secret sins of thought and deed. The idol they’ve created doesn’t match the God of the Bible, but they found a solution for that, they simply threw out the Bible. God is good, He is Just, one day He will sit in judgement over the world. How will you answer Him on that day? Do you foolishly imagine that you will shake your fist at Him? My dear friend, when your sins are laid bare before Him you will search out hell just to hide yourself from His holiness.

Penal substitution is a doctrine we can not afford to let slip, not even in the slightest. God is good, you and I are not. We have sinned against a Holy God, we are without hope in this world, depraved wretch’s unable to save ourselves or stop the very sin that condemns us. Christ as our substitutionary sacrifice, dying in our place, paying our debt, is the only hope we have. It’s a grand hope! Faith in Christ Jesus alone saves the wicked sinner! Any who preach a Gospel other then that are heretics, preaching a Christless, crossless, Gospel that can not save. Beloved brethren, this is why we must pray and study Gods Word, so that we will know how to give an answer for this hope within us. So, as always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – The Abundant Life

Beloved, todays twisted Tuesday is one that I’ve been considering for weeks. There’s sadly more Scriptures being taken out of context today than I can keep up with. This one is actually connected with something I’ve been wanting to address, this man-centered focus that has invaded every part of life. Whether it’s the Me Too movement, or the prosperity Gospel, from secular to religious, we’ve made man the idol we worship in the West. So the verse we’re going to untwist today is John 10:10.

The dismal part of these verses being misused is that their true meaning is missed. In chapter 10 of Johns Gospel Jesus tells us one of the most unbelievable truths in Scripture, that He is our Shepard and will lay down His life for us. He says that we’ll hear His voice and know Him. What happens when you just snatch those two words out of this verse? You get a man-centered gospel that’s all about having an abundant life, healthy and wealthy, here and now.

It goes far deeper, and is much more sinful, than most realize. We expect the world to worship idols, and to hold all the glory for itself. However, when those professing to be followers of Christ make man the center they steal the glory due God. Christ did not die so you and I could have an abundant life, He died in our place to pay the penalty of our sin. He died to save us from the wrath that is to come. Suggesting otherwise is preaching a completely different gospel. Recall, dear friends, that wealth and power were the very things Satan tempted Christ with in the desert. Is it any surprise we see the same tactic being used today by false teachers?

Friends, the fuel behind the man-centered focus in our world today is emotionalism. We no longer ask what the Bible says, rather what does it say to you? Not what was done at the cross, but how does it make you feel? We’ve received this amazing gift by the grace of God, let us spend our time here on Earth glorifying God because of it. As always, brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Dreams

Awhile back I had a certain fellow follow me on Twitter who advertised “Christian Dream Interpretations” as one of his ‘giftings’. I don’t know about you, brothers and sisters, but I’m always curious as to why anyone like that would ‘follow’ me. I get a lot of follows that make me cock my head in curiosity. I’m not sure what I have to offer them. In particular, at least, with this follow I was able to read and research something I’d like to warn you all about. Dream Interpretation goes right along with my post about Grave Soaking. Both of these unbiblical practices find their bases in a belief that Scripture is not sufficient.

This practice, encouraged by the Sis Roth’s of the world, is the idea that God is speaking to you in your dreams every night. God is big enough to speak to you in your dreams, but not big enough to explain Himself, so you need to seek out these Dream Interpreters to help with that. If you dig into these types of practices deep enough you’ll come to the place where NAR leaders have defiantly, boldly, proclaimed that New Age stole all its ‘stuff’ from Christianity, and they want it back. This is why you see Dream Interpretation, Spirit Walking, and Grave Soaking encouraged. There’s not only zero historical facts to back up this claim, but nearly two thousand years of historical documentation to refute it.

They often use Acts 2:17 as their proof text for this teaching. As is so often the case, this verse is taken out of context, and is usually only quoted in part. What’s actually happening in Acts 2? Peter is claiming that an OT prophesy was being fulfilled that day. There’s no indication that a gifting of the Spirit is interpretation of dreams. So why is Dream Interpretation so dangerous? Seems harmless enough, right? Unfortunately this has the same dangers as Jesus Calling, if I have the authority rather than the Bible then I can tell you anything. You’re Dream Interpretation is that God wants you to sow a seed into my ministry of such and such amount. Your Dream Interpretation is that you need to sell your house and move to India. I can literally make up anything I want, and I have no accountability. Beloved brethren we should never seek words from God anywhere other than His holy, divinely inspired, completely sufficient and inerrant Word.

Here’s where I get more frustrated with these wolves, they love to teach our youth. They don’t go to the parents, like any good predator they find the weakest among the pack and pick them off one by one. It makes me sick! You and I must guard our youth from this, we must educate our children and grand children about what the Bible teaches. It might not be in your church, but it’s on their Facebook page, it’s all over YouTube, it’s easier to find than you could imagine. A lot of these teachings are pushed by the bands our Christian teens love to listen to, like Jesus Culture and Hillsong. We have the sense, as adults, to look at nonsense like ‘Dream Interpretation’ and role our eyes, dismissing it as quickly as we found it. Our youth is a generation filled with Harry Potter, Disney’s Magic Kingdom, palm readers, ghost hunters, and anything mystical you could think up. How will they know that none of this is real, unless we teach them? So, dear friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – First Born

Friends, todays Twisted Tuesday topic is a grievous one as it pertains to our blessed Lord and Savior. How difficult it is for us, as believers, to hear these slanderous words spoken against the one who died in our place! It’s a combination of fear for the one speaking, anger that His name is blasphemed among the nations, and sorrow that He is not being glorified as He ought. All of that is to say, dear ones, that I did not want to write about this today. Every Twisted Tuesday I long more and more for that Celestial City! Can you imagine how beautiful it will be, brethren, when we live together for eternity without sin? I praise God that we are only pilgrims here!

There are teachers and televangelists who suggest that Jesus Christ was not the only begotten son of God. They suggest that He is just the first born, and we are all sons and daughters just like Him. This is another case where God is brought low and man is lifted up in His place. For this they twist the last part of Romans 8:29 which does call Christ the firstborn among many brethren. Why on earth they feel this portion of a verse negates John 3:16 is never explained by them. This is why, dear friends, we must take the full counsel of Gods Word. What does it mean that Christ is firstborn?

Remember, brethren, for good hermeneutics we use exegesis not eisegesis. So, without reading into the Scripture what we want it to say, let’s use context to read what it actually says. This chapter is not, in any way, suggesting that we’re sons and daughters like Christ is. Instead, it explains our adoption! All throughout the Bible Firstborn is used, not to refer to the literal first born son, but as a title of honor and inheritance. We see this with Ephraim and Manasseh, when the title of Firstborn is actually transferred from one to the other in Genesis 48. The Firstborn can be the first male born, but this verse in its proper context is referring to Christ’s inheritance and place of honor.

When we take the other verses of where we stand we actually see more legal language. It’s adoption! We are not like Christ in any way, shape, or form. He is God, He condescended to become man, He did not need to be adopted, grafted in, saved or sanctified, He is the perfect, blameless lamb of God! In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And that Word became flesh! Let’s compare that to what happens to us, beloved.

We are wretched sinners, who daily break Gods Commandments, and are unable to save ourselves from the wrath that is to come. Even the very repentance we have as believers is a gift from God! To become saved we have to humble ourselves, bow our knee to Christ, repent of all our sins, and place our trust completely in His finished work on the cross. At that point we are grafted into the family, allowed into the inheritance of Christ ONLY by His righteousness, His shed blood which covers our sins. See the major difference, brethren, between us and our Lord? He has always been the Son of God, even before time and space were created. You and I, we’re blessed beyond anything we could ever deserve to have even been made in His image, much less to have received forgiveness, salvation, and sanctification because of His sinless life, sacrificial death, and rising from that tomb.

Why is this distinction so important that it not only needed a Twisted Tuesday devoted to it, but the longest one I’ve probably ever written? This teaching is a symptom of a deadly disease. It’s idea that we’re all gods, we’re all on the same level of Christ, we’re sons and daughters just like Him. Friends, if we’re on the same level as Him then we don’t need to be saved by Him. When we see this type of theology the disease itself is unrepentant hearts. No heart that has seen its own wickedness and cried out to God for forgiveness would dare to suggest it’s on the same level with the sinless Lamb of God! These are false converts, they’ve been sold the ‘try Jesus for 60 days’ modern gospel. A false convert is very difficult to win because they believe they’ve already saved themselves. I should know, I spent well over a decade as a false convert. It’s only by the grace of God that I have been saved!

Beloved, I hope you’ll forgive me for this long post. And friends, if you’re reading this and you’ve held the belief that you are just like Christ, repent. Please, fall down on your face and ask God to change your opinion about Him, to correct it, ask forgiveness for daring to assume God is just like us. Brethren, take the full counsel of Gods Word, continue to be good Berean’s studying to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Anointed

Hello, beloved brethren, I hope you are all doing well today! I want to address a verse that has been taken and twisted in a really frustrating way. It’s always upsetting when the inspired, inerrant, and sufficient Word of God is misused whether by being taken out of context or misinterpreted. This time it’s actually worse then that, this verse isn’t misinterpreted or taken out of context. It’s actually ignored completely, while one portion of a phrase is used incorrectly to give unbiblical advice.

The twist in scripture I want to talk about today occurs in three separate places in the Bible, none of which have context or interpretation which match its most common use, ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’. This phrase is taken from 1 Samual 26:9 and Psalms 105:15. That particular Psalm is repeated in 1 Chronicles, however in both cases of the Psalm written by David, Israel and her prophets are the context and the interpretation is clear. For the verse in 1 Samual David is once again speaking, referring this time to King Saul who he had the opportunity to kill but didn’t.

How are these verses twisted? When someone calls out a false teacher the all too often response is ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’. This is not just an unfortunate twisting of scripture, but also unwise advice that does not apply to the situation. First of all, we are called as believers to be good Berean’s, search those scriptures friends and see if the things these televangelists say are so! Secondly, dear ones, the touch not is clearly referring to physical altercations. There is no biblical grounds for suggesting we should not, or can not, hold teachers to the Word. The very opposite is found in scripture, we have a responsibility to do so.

The reason this twist of scripture is so dangerous is that when a mistake in teaching isn’t corrected the issue tends to worsen. If you want a prime example, see how the Charismatic Movement has morphed into the New Apostolic Reformation. One bad theology led to an even worse theology. Iron sharpens iron, we need one another’s corrections. This reaction, however, to open rebuke against unbiblical behavior is its own condemnation. Those who would rather not be corrected for their bad theology show their lack of biblical understanding by misusing these verses. This is why I plead with you daily, beloved brethren, to be those good Berean’s, and study to show yourselves approved.

Twisted Tuesday – Love Covers What?

Beloved, the verse I want to talk about today is an absolute beauty, unfortunately, it’s often taken out of context. I’m referring to 1st Peter 4:8, and like so many other Twisted Tuesdays, the misunderstanding is cleared up when the entirety of the chapter is read. Our brother in faith, Tom, and I were discussing this verse in a previous post a while back, and if he would be so kind as to add any elaborations he has under the comment section I know we would all be blessed by his wisdom. Thank you in advance, brother! Likewise, dear ones, if any of you have thoughts to add or verses to connect with this subject, please join in. The misuse of scripture is something that grieves the entirety of the body of Christ, I know, as this is the Word of God, what a precious gift we have in our ability to hold His Words in our hands!

I’m quite certain many of you have heard this verse used in any number of contexts, usually completely void of the actual meaning. I personally have heard it used in defense of unbelievers choosing to remain in their lives of sexual sin with their partners of choice. It has been suggested to me that their not offending God, because they love one another, and love covers a multitude of sins. What is the passage referring to in its context? Brothers and sisters in Christ forgiving one another in love, because we have been forgiven much when we are offended by another believer we can quickly forgive. What this verse is not referring to is redeemed saints overlooking the lostness of the world around us. In fact, just two verses previous to verse 8 Peter reminds the reader that those in sin will give an account to God for pursuing a life of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. We’re not to run with them in their sin, we should live a life so separated that our former friends are surprised that we no longer join them.

Nowhere in this chapter do we see a hint of this verse meaning somehow a life given over to sin will be overlooked so long as the sinner is in love. It is frustrating, brethren, to see Gods Holy Word twisted to excuse the very sin that hung our Savior on the cross. The Good News of the Gospel is that sin can be forgiven, the great gaping gulf between a sinful mankind and a righteous God has been bridged by the cross. No one will seek the straight and narrow way if Christians continue to give them reasons to stay on the wide path. There’s no way for a lost sinner to understand the Good News before being given the bad news. When believers twist Gods Word to avoid confrontation with the world we show how little we love the lost, and how great our love for ourselves is. The greatest, and deepest, form of love we can show the lost is to point them to the Law, show them how lost they truly are, then point them to Christ crucified, the only way to God.

How have you heard this verse twisted, friends? How did you respond? I pray this Twisted Tuesday is an encouragement to you all not to back down, or to compromise the truth of Gods Word. Love the world more than you love your own comfort, warn of the wrath to come. As always, dear brethren, be good Bearans and study to show yourselves approved.