The Dark Side of Theology – by C Michael Patton

I want to share an insightful article with you by C. Michael Patton.


I have come to have a love-hate relationship with theology. I love it because it can deepen one’s faith, helping people to rejoice more because they understand and know God better (Jer. 9:24). There is nothing more exciting than the look on peoples’ faces when they are being theologically transformed. It is the “wow, this is really true” look. I live for that both in myself and in others.

However, there is a dark side to theology. I see it everyday. I pray that this does not infect my students, but inevitably, there are always one or two who take their theological knowledge and create a recipe of sin and shame. These are people I call “theologically dangerous.”

The theologically dangerous have no grace. They get some right answers and then become the judge, jury and executioner of people. What should have been the path toward humility turns into the path of arrogance. Their self-justification for their graceless belligerence is this: “I am not arrogant, I am discerning.” Correct theology becomes a virtue that swallows up virtues of tenderness, grace, respect, and kindness, offering only a black hole of hopelessness unless people conform. Those who come in contact with them are judged only by their statement of faith. Their fellowship circle is small and friends few. The distinction between essentials and non-essentials does not find a place in their diary. They hunt and hunt for bad theology until they find it. They correct others with pride. When they are not invited to the parties, they interpret this as a mark of persecution for a theology well-played.

These are the type of people who are on the dark side of theology. Unfortunately, those who are theologically dangerous are the most vocal (and possibly, the most numerous). Since they have yet to be theologically humiliated, they can’t stop talking. The fear of God, they have yet to learn. They set themselves up as the watchdogs of Christian orthodoxy. They are the first to comment and correct on the blogs. They are the first to raise their hand in Sunday School when you say, “Does anyone have any questions?” Yet after ten minutes of talking, you ask yourself ”what part of the word ‘question’ do they not understand?” They question people’s salvation based on minor theological points of disagreement.

Fortunately, many eventually increase in their theological knowledge to a point where they become theologically transformed. This happens when one becomes theologically humiliated. It is like the transition from uninformed adolescence, to a know-it-all teenager, to a mature adult. The mature adult has wisdom and grace due to their coming of age theologically. All the things they thought they knew as a teenager goes through the trials of life. Doctrinal battle scars evidence a ripening of the fruit of belief. Their categories become more diverse. They realize that while there are some black and whites to our faith, there is also a lot of grey. In other words, they recognize that there is a lot we don’t know. They tighten their grip on the main things and losen it on others. They choose their battles very carefully. It is a transition from ignorance to arrogance back to some degree of informed ignorance.

At this point, fellowship can resume. The lynch mob is sent home. The invitations to parties trickle in. The lantern of the hope of the gospel is shinning bright. At this point, the dark side of theology is over.

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Dear, Brother & Sisters in Jesus Christ,

Let us remember,

1Peter 5

5    Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ” God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
6    Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time

1Corinthians 13

1    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2    And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3    And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5    does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
6    does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
7    bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8    Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9    For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10    But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11    When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12    For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13    And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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“A Better America” & “Our Role in bringing it about”

What does our hope for a better America look like? And how do we work together to bring it about?

These are the questions that we’re faced with as a nation. And there have been plenty of answers given on the subject. But it is an extremely complex undertaking. For example, “How do we increase the size and functionality of our government, while at the same time, avoiding the trap of tyranny”, “How do we bring down the level of violent crime without taking away the civil liberties of everyone”, “How do we provide for our poor without becoming communists”…etc.

Many have their views on what a better America is, as well as what is required to improve the state of our country. But what is the true solution. Who can speak as an authority on this issue? That would be, none other than, God; “The Sovereign Lord” & “Creator of Heaven & Earth”.

So lets find out what he has to say in the Bible about making a great country.

Deuteronomy 28

1    “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth.
2    And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
3    “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
4    “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
5    “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6    “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7    “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
8    “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
9    “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.
10    Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you.
11    And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
12    The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
13    And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.
14    So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Scripture tells us that our national survival, wellbeing,  and prosperity is directly dependent upon our obedience to God’s law. But we obviously are not obedient to God’s law. For example, we, like the Jews, could not even keep the first commandment;  ” You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3). Our country is filled with false religions.

Question,

Can any nation prosper in its rebellion against God? Lets learn from God’s discipline of the Jewish nation; Judah.

Jeremiah 30

11  For I am with you,’ says the LORD, ‘to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.’

But this is because of God’s unique covenant with the Jews, not us Gentiles. God hasn’t made a covenant with America or any of the other Gentiles for that matter. So how can God hold Gentiles, like America, accountable to a covenant that he has not made with them???

This is how.

John 1

29 “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Isaiah 42

1    “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
6     ” I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the Gentiles,

Luke 22

19    And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
20    Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.

John 6

35    And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
50    This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.
51    I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
53    Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54    Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

Isaiah 49

1    “Listen, O coastlands, to Me, And take heed, you peoples from afar! The LORD has called Me from the womb; From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.
6     Indeed He says, ‘ It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ “
7     Thus says the LORD, The Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, To Him whom man despises, To Him whom the nation abhors, To the Servant of rulers: ” Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the LORD who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; And He has chosen You.”

John 8

12    Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
23    And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.
24    Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Acts 17

30    Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
31    because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Revelation 1

7    Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.

The Scriptural evidence of the covenant that Jesus Christ has made with the world is overwhelming and without dispute. Therefore, it is true, that God is holding the Gentiles, including America, to his Law. Not the Old Covenant Law for the Jews, but the New Covenant which Jesus Christ has made with the world. That is the law we must all obey. The first commandment of this law is, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15). But this we refuse to do as a nation. And how could we? After all, the Scriptures says, “…whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34).

Our country, as well as the rest of the world, is enslaved to sin. Therefore, we are under God’s curse, and not his blessing. Deuteronomy chapter 28 describes God’s blessing upon a nation that obeys him. And the chapter also describes the many curses that comes upon a nation that disobeys him. “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation” (Hebrews 2:1-3). We shall not.

The curse of the law is described in this way, “…visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me” (Exodus 20:5 & Romans 1:18-32), as well as, “tyranny, war, famine and mass deaths of all kinds” (Revelation 6:1-8 & Deuteronomy 28:15-68). These curses are upon the whole world because the whole world rejects Jesus Christ, persists in false religions and even persecutes Christ’ church. And America is not exempt. As long as we continue in these sins, there is no hope for a better America. And there is no role for anyone to play in removing God’s curses. “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”” (Revelation 3:7). Our vote cannot stay the hand of God, who is neither democrat or republican.

Ezekiel 14

12    The word of the LORD came again to me, saying:
13    “Son of man, when a land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it.
14    Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord GOD.

So what do we do???

There is only one course of action to take. And it starts in one’s own life and in one’s own home. It is this, “”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). It is not a national plan of action, but a person to person plan of action. There is no hope for our country and world. There is only hope for those who follow Jesus Christ.

And this is the way,

Luke 9

23    Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24    For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
25    For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
26    For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Romans 10

9    that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Our present life of sinful living most die, and a new life of righteousness must arise. That is the significance of our baptism.

Romans 6

3    Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4    Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
10    For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11    Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1John 2

2    And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
3    Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

1John 1

7    But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

As for our country and world,

1John 2

15    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16    For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.
17    And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Our allegiance is not to America or any political party. Instead, we merely obey it laws. But we who are in Christ are not its citizens. Our citizenship is in Heaven.

Philippians 3

17    Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern.
18    For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19    whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame — who set their mind on earthly things.
20    For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21    who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

That is our hope. It is not the hope of a better country, but Christ’ return. And he will provide us with a better world. A world ruled by the Son of God in righteousness, instead of this present world, ruled by Satan in unrighteousness. And understand that a world ruled by the god of this world (Satan) has no hope, “…because the god of this world is judged” (John 16:11). Therefore, America’s future is cannot be better than it’s present, but worse.

This evaluation of America is not based upon the latest news report by our media, but the word of God. It alone is the authority on sin righteousness and judgment because it is “truth”. And it is not mere text, but a person. Therefore this report on the future of our nation, and world, has been brought to you by Jesus Christ; The Word of God.

John 1

  1    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2    He was in the beginning with God.
3    All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

Revelation 19

11    Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
12    His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
13    He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

1John 1

1    That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life —
2    the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us —
3    that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Can Astrology be Trusted?

Can Astrology be trusted? To find the answer to this question, lets first understand both its definition and origins.

  Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs and other “earthly” matters.

Astrology originated in ancient Mesopotamia after the biblical flood account described in Genesis. Civilization had its second beginning in this region. That includes the religious beliefs, practices and mythology. One of which is astrology. Astrology can be found all over the world because these same people took their religion with them as they spread throughout the world. 

But how was the craft invented? Or more specifically, “Who invented it”?

When God created the Heavens, he had a purpose for the various planets and stars.

Genesis 1

14    Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
15    and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.

But this isn’t the same as astrology. Also, God specifically speaks against astrology and other forms of religious practices by calling it divination and prohibits his people from practicing it.

Deuteronomy 18

9    “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.
10    There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
11    or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
12    For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
13    You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.
14    For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.

Deuteronomy 4

19    And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.

Jeremiah 10

2    Thus says the LORD: ” Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.

So far we see that God is not the one who invented or handed astrology down to mankind. But we do see, from these passages, that God is actually against it. Therefore, whoever invented or handed astrology down to mankind is not a friend of God, nor a servant of God. On the contrary, such a one must be God’s enemy.

Question;

Who in the Bible, does God acknowledge as his enemy?

Genesis 3

1    Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2    And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3    but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ “
4    Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
5    For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
14    So the LORD God said to the serpent: ” Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.
15    And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”

Revelation 12

7    And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
8    but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
9    So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

From these passages we can clearly see that the enemy of God is Satan.

Now that God’s enemy is identified, lets see if we can also learn…

Who exactly is Satan?

And why did he invent astrology for mankind to live by?

Ezekiel 28

12 You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13     You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
14     ” You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15     You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
16     ” By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
17     ” Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor

Isaiah 14

12     ” How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13     For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14     I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
15     Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Isaiah 42

8     I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.

John 10

10    The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

John 8

44    You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Based upon these passage, Satan is…

  • A fallen angel
  • Wise
  • Majestic to look upon
  • A thief; He tries to steal worship from the true God by deceiving angels and mankind to worship him instead.
  • A liar
  • A murderer
  • One who desires to be like God
  • One who desires to be worshiped
  • The one who exalted himself above the stars of Heaven.

So where is the connection between what we know of Satan and astrology?

Remember that Satan said this in is heart…

I will ascend into heaven,

I will exalt my throne above the stars of God

I will also sit on the mount of the congregation

On the farthest sides of the north

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds

I will be like the Most High.’

Therefore, Astrology was invented by a lying, murdering, thief. His goal is to deceive the nations and lead them to destruction.That is why Satan invented astrology as well as the other occult religions of the world. In astrology, the stars and planets are gods. This is one of the major ways in which Satan receives worship, because he, as leader of the fallen angels, is honored as the most high god among all of the gods of the cosmos. 

But is astrology even needed???

Remember,

Jeremiah 10

2    Thus says the LORD: ” Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3     For the customs of the peoples are futile

Matthew 4
4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ “

Therefore, astrology is futile. But the word of God abides forever.

And what word/teaching does God want us to know and live by.

John 3

14    And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15    that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17    For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18    “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 3

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 5

12    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

18    Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
19    For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Romans 5

6    For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7    For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
8    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 14

6    Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Mark 1

14 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

1John 2

2    And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

1John 1

8    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10    If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

John 8

12 “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

31    Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32    And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
34    Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
35    And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
36    Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

1John 5

18    We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19    We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
20    And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21    Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

 

The Homosexual Gene

If scientists can identify a homosexual gene, what would this mean in regards to morality and sin? Would it mean that homosexuality is a natural part of the, God given, human design, and that it should no longer be considered abnormal or sinful? And should Christians then be obligated to rethink their moral convictions on this matter? Should they begin to wonder if the Bible was wrong on this issue since modern day scientists have been able to show that God, himself, made people this way?

To understand all of this better, lets start with our idea of what is “natural”. We think of it as being in accordance with or determined by nature. But that definition then leads to another, more important, question, which is, “who determined nature?” We can be sure that mankind did not create himself, nor the cosmos. Therefore, mankind has absolutely no say in validating his scientific discoveries of the natural world as either moral or immoral. That judgment goes to the one who determined how the natural should be. That would be the creator. He, alone, has the right to take the role of judge over this matter. That is because he is the judge, and all natural and supernatural law proceeds from him. That is why he is God.

So what does God have to say about the matter of morality and sin in the Bible?

Mark 12

29 “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
30    And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
31    And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

What does God have to say about the morality of mankind?

Romans 5

12    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

So mankind does not keep the law of God, but, instead, have sinned . But does this mean that we do not try to love God?

Romans 3

10    As it is written: ” There is none righteous, no, not one;
11    There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.
12    They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

But how can it be said that we reject God when the world is full of religions, and the people worship God in those religions??? These claims from the Bible are simply outrageous and do not have the ring of truth to it!  What does the Bible have to say about these various religions? Does it even acknowledge them?

Romans 1

18    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19    because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21    because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22    Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23    and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
25    who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Therefore, the various religions of the world are not mankind searching after God but their attempt to replace him with what they know are lies. These religions are not validated in anyway by God, because they were not formed to worship God, but to further reject him.

God’s original creation of man was without sin. Through Adam, mankind rebelled against God and has been enslaved to sin to this day. And we did not relent and turn back to God. Instead, we persisted in rejecting the true God and worshiping idols. And what was the result of rejecting God and worshiping idols?

Romans 1

24    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25    who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27    Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29    being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30    backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31    undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32    who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Therefore, the moral decline of man is due to the sin of rejecting God and worshiping anything else. As it is written,

Exodus 20

3    ” You shall have no other gods before Me.
4    ” You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5    you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
6    but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Many Christians have made the mistake of telling homosexuals and other people who are  entrapped by extremely shameful sins, that if they practice these sins, God will punish them. This is true. But we fail to understand that these sins are practiced because mankind has already been punished for rejecting God and worshiping false gods. Homosexuality doesn’t just lead to punishment, but it, in itself, is punishment from God, passed down to the third and fourth generations of those who hate the true God. 

The conclusion to the matter is this; Homosexuality is not to be isolated from other acts of depravity, but it is to be understood as God’s judgment upon mankind for persisting in its rejection and idolatry, which goes directly against the most important of God’s commandments; “You shall have no other gods before Me“. When we do this, we do not have the privilege of being respectable sinners. On th contrary, it has cursed our genes down to the third and fourth generations of those who hate God. That’s why we are enslaved to the absolute worst of sins, and therefore cannot turn away from it. The best we have been able to do is find a way to legitimize our sins, thus eliminating the shame. But there is a more effective way to eliminate the shame.

John 8

  31    Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32    And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
34    Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.
35    And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.
36    Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Luke 19
10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

2Corinthians 5

17    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
18    Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
19    that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20    Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
21    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 10

9 if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
13    For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

1John 2

2    And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
3    Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.
4    He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1John 1

7    But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus Christ and his good news of salvation is the only hope for being free from our shame since he provides forgiveness, right standing before God and eternal life. But if we harden our hearts and continue to refuse to believe in the Son of God for forgiveness and cleansing from sin, then we’re left with our feeble attempts of self-righteousness, such as claiming to have a homosexual gene. We must not be lovers of sin, but lovers of God and his Son, Jesus Christ, who says,

John 14

15    “If you love Me, keep My commandments.

John 15

9    “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
10    If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
13    Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14    You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

So will we humble ourselves before the true God, and cease to reshape him into something false?

Be reconciled to God. And drop this attempt of self-righteousness through pseudo science. It can only disappoint.

Put your trust in Jesus Christ.

Romans 10

11    For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Columbine Child of Darkness

 

Groping in the dark

this child doesn’t know that the lights are out

He’s feeling and touching

Creeping and crawling

He doesn’t know that the viper might strike-out

 *

It’s a lonely dark room

And he has nothing to do

How could he even know

that he needs to be found

*

So he stumbles and play

He’s come a mighty long way

Going nowhere

so no difference does it make

*

His toys are his friends

and some of them are benign and cute

But if it weren’t for the dark

the others would bring terror

Because they’re less toys, than they are spooks

 *

They crawl

They climb

They’re covered in slime

They’re full of venom that can paralyze

And some can kill with one bite

 *

But that won’t be the fate of this little one’s demise

He’s in for a much darker surprise

Because although this child is in the dark

he is anything but alone

Hovering over him is a beast from Sheol

That’s hungry for his soul

 *

He has a devious plan

for this lost son of limbo

That is a spectacular show of terror

To inspire all those like himself

who thrive on darkness’s power

Condemned to rejection’s black isolation

They shall shine in their darkest hour

 *

Chanting the death lullaby

The nursery-rhyme of terror

It’s pain internalized

Turned into evil

Climbing new heights

Knocking down doors

Shooting from the tower

 *

Their persecutors are running for cover

It sounds like murder

It smells like blood

They’re crying out in anger

“Our generation is lost”

 *

Beware of the danger

Take heed to the cross

Christ, the “Risen Savior”

has paid the high cost

For the child who sits in darkness

He is the chief cornerstone

whom the builders cast off

 *

For all of those rejected and isolated

He was stricken and afflicted

Nevertheless he was innocent

Being led like sheep to the slaughter

Even his disciples abandoned him

 *

In isolation he carried our sins

where none would dare to wander

He paid the price for transgressions

He was the “Chief of Martyrs”

*

 Shinning in his darkest hour

Bringing an end to the reign of terror

And redeeming those who thrive on darkness’s power

 *

And the “Gospel of Peace”

 for pain morphed into evil

Secluded to the confines of the lonely dark tower

It sounds like redemption

Is it the end of deprivation

It smells like a new creation

For all those who sit in darkness

The Lord and his Christ

Has become their salvation

Modern Day Idols

It’s easy to mock ancient cultures for their love of carved images and the mythology that surrounded them. But do we understand why the ancient civilizations were so passionate about their false gods? Or are we too quick to pass judgment upon those who we are not able to understand? Do we really know what made these ancient idols so alluring? And are there any objects of love and devotion in our own lives that we may not have compared to the archaic forms of idolatry?

First, “Why the ancient civilizations were so passionate about their false gods?”

The answer is the same for them as it is for us.

Romans 1

18    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
21    because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22    Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23    and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
28 …they did not like to retain God in their knowledge…

So according to Scripture, the reason for the ancient people’s love for their idols, started with their rejection of the true God and everything that they knew about him. They took him for granted by not being thankful for his life sustaining grace.

They also thought they were wise enough to reinvent God. This made them fools since true wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord, and their rebellion was the exact opposite of the fear of the Lord. The result was a love for the work of their own hands, opinions, imaginations, and high-mindedness, which exalted itself about the wisdom and knowledge of the true God.

And what was the result of these sins?

Romans 1

24    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves

28    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29    being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30    backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31    undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32    who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Now that’s was the ancient world. But what about us today?

Understand that the love of false gods is rooted in the rejection of the true God.

Do we reject the knowledge of the true God?

Are we ungrateful and take him for granted?

Are we wise in our own eyes, and even think that we are equal with God?

Do we love the work of our own hands?

Do we exalt our own opinions, imaginations, and high-mindedness above the knowledge of God?

Has God delivered us over to all uncleanness?

And do we delight in, and praise, those who do the same?

And do we idolized them, saying, “He’s my idol” or “She’s my idol”?

All of this is modern day idolatry.

But is idol worship really all that bad? After all, it comes so naturally to us!

How does God feel about idol worship?

Exodus 20

3    ” You shall have no other gods before Me.
4    ” You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
5    you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
6    but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

1Corinthians 10

14    Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
19    What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?
20    Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.
21    You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons.
22    Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

Therefore, behind every idol is a demon.

So when we worship idols we’re actually worshiping demons.

1Corinthians 6

9    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10    nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1John 5

18    We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19    We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
20    And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
21    Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Can Christians Live the “American Dream”?

First, what exactly is the “American Dream”?

The idea of the American Dream is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence which proclaims that “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights” including “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

According to Scripture, life and liberty came from God as a gift to mankind. Man did nothing to earn this “life & liberty”, but it was simply given out of the goodness of God’s heart.

Genesis 2
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Genesis 1
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Therefore, Scripture supports the idea that man was created to have life and liberty.

But what about the fact that Christians are now in Jesus Christ and are no longer living for themselves. Does life & liberty still apply in this case? And what about the “pursuit of happiness”? Did Jesus come down to earth as a man, die, rose from the dead and ascend into Heaven so that we can live the “American Dream”? Is the “American Dream” Christian living???

Lets see what the Bible has to say about all of this.

Concerning the right to “Life”

Genesis 2

15    Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.
16    And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
17    but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Genesis 3

6    So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

17    Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ” Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.
18    Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19    In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”

Romans 5

12    Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

So God gave mankind life. But Adam, our forefather sinned, causing everyone who was born through him to have the sentence of death upon them. Therefore, we all have the right to die. As it is written,

Hebrews 9

27    And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

And this is why Jesus came into the world.

Romans 5

6    For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7    For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
8    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
18    Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

Luke 19

10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

So what must we do to receive this gift of justification and life from Jesus Christ?

Acts 16

31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved

Acts 2

Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins

So every follower of Jesus Christ is given eternal life. But what about “Liberty”. Is a Christian still free to do whatever he or she pleases with there life?

That’s a good question. But lets first address something that was skipped. We’ll let Jesus address it.

John 8

34 Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.

Therefore, sin a the master of every person. And there is another master which the world has to contend with.

Genesis 3

4    Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
5    For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6    So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Romans 6

16    Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

Matthew 4

8    Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.
9    And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

Ephesians 6

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

1John 5

18    We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.
19    We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

<<click on photo for more info>>

Therefore, America and its “dream” belongs to Satan. The “American Dream” is Satan’s temptation.

In others words, no one is free to do whatever they want. Therefore, Jesus Christ came to give us a different type of liberty. The liberty from our slave masters called sin and Satan.

John 8

31 f you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
32    And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

36    Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Everyone in Christ has a new master.

John 13

13    You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

John 14

23 If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
24    He who does not love Me does not keep My words

Since Jesus is our master, what does he have to say about the “Pursuit of Happiness”?

Luke 9

“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24    For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
25    For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Luke 14

33    So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Mark 10

23    Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!”
24    And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!
25    It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

So if we can’t live according to our own desires and pursue the things that make us happy, how in the world, are we supposed to live???

Mark 10

28    Then Peter began to say to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You.”
29    So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
30    who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life.

2Corinthians 5

17    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Philippians 1

21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

‎2 Timothy 3
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

John 15

12    This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13    Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14    You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

1John 3

16    By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17    But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
18    My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
19    And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.

Is this kind of life synonymous with the “American Dream”?

No. Not at all. It is much better!

It is belief in the one true God.

It leads to eternal life.

And it is the pursuit of pleasing the one who freed us from our sins.

As for the “American Dream”…

<<click on photo for more info>>

1John 2

15    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16    For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.
17    And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.