Mindless Drivel

September 11th, 2013; By: Paul Tags: ,
Posted in Advocacy, Religious Nonsense | Comments Off on Mindless Drivel
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So the new Pope wrote a letter. And what did he write? Well, it sounds sort of nice. Indeed, it probably will play well in some progressive circles, but for the hardened atheist, the following by Pope Francis is, well… drivel:

In comments likely to enhance his progressive reputation, Pope Francis has written a long, open letter to the founder of La Repubblica newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, stating that non-believers would be forgiven by God if they followed their consciences.

Responding to a list of questions published in the paper by Mr Scalfari, who is not a Roman Catholic, Francis wrote: “You ask me if the God of the Christians forgives those who don’t believe and who don’t seek the faith. I start by saying – and this is the fundamental thing – that God’s mercy has no limits if you go to him with a sincere and contrite heart. The issue for those who do not believe in God is to obey their conscience.

“Sin, even for those who have no faith, exists when people disobey their conscience.”1

Uh-huh. However, last time I checked, the Catechism said no such thing, and, as far as I can tell, the Pope is NOT greater than the Catechism. In fact, the Pope can be fired, but if you did away with the Catechism there would be NO Catholic Church.

It seems to me, that the Catechism trumps the Pope whenever there is any conflict — and there certainly is conflict here.

II. HANDING ON THE FAITH: CATECHESIS
4 Quite early on, the name catechesis was given to the totality of the Church’s efforts to make disciples, to help men believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life, thus building up the body of Christ.2

PART TWO — THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY
SECTION TWO — THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER ONE — THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION
ARTICLE 1 — THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”5

I. WHAT IS THIS SACRAMENT CALLED?
1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature.”6

1215 This sacrament is also called “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God.3

Perhaps if the “vicar of Christ” had bothered to read his own church’s documentation, he might not have engaged in mindless drivel…

  1. Pope Francis assures sceptics: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven, The Independent, 9/11/2013
  2. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
  3. CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
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When We Reference Verses. . .

September 8th, 2013; By: Paul Tags: , ,
Posted in Doctrinal | Comments Off on When We Reference Verses. . .
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One of the problems I see among those who decide to adopt Statements of Faith, or write articles in which Scripture is referenced and quoted, is a decided lack of care about who said what in Scripture. What I mean by this, is when a verse is needed to support a point, frequently little care is taken about which verse is used, so long as it supports the point the author or church wants supported.

For instance, my personal Statement of Faith, and consequently Ebenezer Baptist’s Statement of Faith were adopted, corrected (duplicate and obviously incorrect verse references) and then modified to accurately reflect what is believed. However, at the time this was done, there was not extensive study done about what certain books of the Bible were about (specifically Job and Ecclesiastics) other than what was immediately obvious.

Hence, verse references were retained from those two books in the Statements of Faith, and not properly vetted as to applicability. The verses seemed to make the point that was desired to make, and that was the “end” of it, so to speak.

But, it is not the end of it. Rather, it is entirely unsuitable to reference someone in Scripture who said something that was correct, but nonetheless had wrong doctrine, to support a point of right doctrine. You are, or will be, shooting yourself in the proverbial foot.

For instance, in making the point about Justification in Christ, the very first passage referenced came from the book of Job and stated this:

Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places. Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise? How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm? (Job 25:1-6)

Because the passage speaks of man’s justification (or lack thereof) before the LORD God, it was used in the original Statement of Faith to support the point that man cannot justify himself before the LORD by his own power. Seems fair enough, and was retained as scriptural support. However, as we read further on in Job, perhaps that is not the wisest position to take:

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. (Job 42:7)

As the LORD God makes clear here, Bildad the Shuhite did not speak the things that were proper doctrine concerning the LORD, as Job had. Specifically, the LORD is here referring to the salvation that is in Christ. Job argued for justification by faith in the Redeemer to come — which is Jesus Christ. Eliphaz and his friends, one of which is Bildad the Shuhite, did not. Rather, they argued for quid pro quo with the LORD, or what is better known as the “Prosperity Gospel.”

Not exactly a sterling reference. Also, not someone I would want to lean on to prove my point about a doctrine that he, Bildad, obviously rejected.

Suffice to say, when the article on Justification was updated, that verse reference was removed.

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Stupidity – Writ Large

September 1st, 2013; By: Paul Tags: , ,
Posted in Advocacy, Religious Nonsense | Comments Off on Stupidity – Writ Large
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Of late, my time is consumed by many things which have prevented me from posting and writing the way I would like. However, the time is spent preparing lessons, conducting those lessons, and preaching. Between those things and working full-time, and trying to fix my house, my time to write is non-existent. Nonetheless, in researching and attempting to write, one of the subjects I am studying is the issue of righteousness: what constitutes it, what destroys it, et cetera, et cetera. In my apologetics research on righteousness I came across the following:

Fundamentally, there are two opposite errors regarding original sin. One is an error of deficiency, in which original sin is treated as less damaging to human nature than it actually is. That is the error of Pelagius. The other is the error of exaggeration, in which original sin is treated as more damaging to human nature than it actually is.1

So the Catholics mean to say that the effect of Adam’s fall was/is a nuanced thing in which we have to understand precisely the effect it had, else we will either:

A.) Not go far enough in assigning the effects of the fall.
or
B.) Go too far in assigning the effects of the fall.

I am sorry, but this sounds like something I would shovel out of my neighbor’s barn.

Why?

Because the Scripture could not be more plain:

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Romans 5:12-14)

And again:

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Corinthians 15:21-22)

And yet again:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)

I really do not know how you can “go too far in assigning the effects of the fall” as it were. After all, this death includes the following:

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:12-15)

I suppose there is something out there worse than eternity in the Lake of Fire, but nothing ever describes it or even alludes to it.

So then, how is it that one can “go too far” in holding that the effect of the fall upon man was utterly devastating, warping man’s perception and distorting man’s ability to understand?

I suppose it could be that most Baptists and Protestants hold that man is utterly depraved and incapable of righteousness at all.

Well, not quite:

Here we find the opposite error with respect to original sin, namely, an exaggeration of original sin.

Martin Luther
Luther’s two principal errors with respect to original sin are as follows:

(1) Treating original sin as the complete corruption of human nature, rather than as the loss of the preternatural and supernatural gifts.

(2) Treating concupiscence (i.e. the involuntary disorder in the lower appetites) as original sin. 2

Without going into all the convoluted arguments, let us examine what the Scripture declares about man’s fallen state:

And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psalm 51:5)

Well now, if we are all the children of wrath by nature, dead in trespasses and sins, and exist in iniquity prior to coming to Christ, and there in nothing we can do about it outside of coming to Christ for salvation… How do you exaggerate that?

I find it hard to believe that anyone could think, especially after the evidence of Scripture, that the depravity of man could be worse.

No, if you are borne with a nature to do wickedness, and the LORD God accounts you as dead in trespasses and sins, bound to do every evil work, it is kind of hard to top that. No, there is no exaggeration when it is stated that man is utterly depraved and incapable of any righteousness. That is, if you evaluate what the LORD God evaluates — the soul.

If, on the other hand, you ignore the soul and concentrate on the flesh, and concentrate on sin, rather than iniquity, then you could claim that declaring the soul utterly corrupt is in error and excessive. However, since it is the LORD God who is the sole determiner of who righteous and who is not, it really matters little what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.

The sad part is, the Catholic Church has had over 1500 years to get this teaching right — and they have not. Instead, they cling to a doctrine that is provably wrong.

That is the very definition of Stupidity — writ large.

  1. Protestant Objections to the Catholic Doctrines of Original Justice and Original Sin, Bryan Cross, Oct. 16, 2011; NOTE: It is unclear here whether Mr. Cross is quoting Professor Lawrence Feingold or simply building off his material.
  2. Protestant Objections to the Catholic Doctrines of Original Justice and Original Sin, Bryan Cross, Oct. 16, 2011
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The Hour is Late

February 2nd, 2013; By: Paul Tags: , , ,
Posted in Christian Conduct, Thought of the Day | Comments Off on The Hour is Late
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In case you haven’t noticed, the hour grows very late. Whatever ministry things the LORD God has laid on your heart to accomplish, get them done.

Even if the hour weren’t late, consider your age and how much time you have left to fulfill your ministry. For me, I have many things to write and document before that time is shut off. I would like to be able to stand before my Lord and know that they were accomplished.

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Science Finally Catches Up to the Scripture

December 3rd, 2012; By: Paul Tags: , ,
Posted in Advocacy | Comments Off on Science Finally Catches Up to the Scripture
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In the area of life in the womb…anyway.

And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac: And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. (Genesis 25:19-23)

SIBLING RIVALRY: Video shows twins fighting in the womb




Of course, when the LORD revealed to Moses about Rebekah’s quandary concerning what was happening inside her, everyone would have said it was impossible to know. In fact, until recently everyone would have said it was impossible to know — and Rebekah’s situation took place about 3500 years ago.

It just makes me smile.

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Not Too Bright

November 27th, 2012; By: Paul Tags: , ,
Posted in Society | Comments Off on Not Too Bright
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One of the problems with being busy is that posting on the website suffers. After all, it takes time to write and then edit articles – particularly articles concerning doctrine. And, it takes time to keep up with the garbage that goes on in this world. There simply are not enough hours in the day to do everything that must be done.

However, the event that prompts this post is impossible to pass up as it highlights exactly what is wrong with this country. It seems that during the Black Entertainment Television “Soul Train” awards, that one Jamie Foxx declared:

“First of all, give an honor to God and our lord and savior Barack Obama. Barack Obama.”

Which is utter wickedness and evinces a corruption in the black community as the comments were not immediately condemned as being blasphemy and in very poor taste. Instead, there is silence from the black churches and overall black community.

There was a day in this country in which this would have been roundly condemned. However, that day is not today. Rather, today in the United States, man is worshipped and God is forgotten. Because of this, we can rest assured — the utter destruction of America is not that far away.

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The Everyone Test

May 19th, 2012; By: Paul Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Advocacy, Society | Comments Off on The Everyone Test
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NOTE: This article stems from the Wednesday night lesson on 2 May, 2012. The audio of that lesson can be found here, on Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Audio: Messages and Lessons; The Everyone Test page.

When it comes to the issue of behavior, there seems to be an unwillingness to confront certain behaviors as inherently destructive. Rather than call those behaviors out, and ensure that everyone knows those particular behaviors are wrong, many leaders opt out of responding, leaving such behaviors unchallenged. In fact, there is a general attitude in this generation that all behaviors, unless they are immediately dangerous to life and health, are essentially equal and there is no real consequence for engaging in one particular behavior over another.

This thinking comes about because the moral absolutes have been generally discarded in favor of a subjective approach that inherently denies that there are behaviors which are always evil in their consequence. Behaviors which could not come about except the persons which engage in them, abandon reason and consideration for others, in favor of self and the immediate gratification of self. They do so because it appears to them that such actions are without consequence.

Naturally, this would seem to violate a principle which everyone observes from their earliest age:

That every action, no matter how minor and insignificant it may appear, has at least one consequence.

However, because the consequences of some actions take much longer to be realized than others, it appears (especially to those who deliberately blind themselves) that certain actions have no real consequence. Hence, they can be engaged in with impunity.

Continue reading . . .

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The Unbelievable Ignorance of Dan Savage

April 30th, 2012; By: Paul Tags: , ,
Posted in Society, Thought of the Day | Comments Off on The Unbelievable Ignorance of Dan Savage
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The is a rather large bruhaha over the remarks of one Dan Savage, who, in an incredible moment of rank hypocrisy, attacked the Scripture (and thus the LORD God who is the Author of it) at a journalism conference. Mr. Savage is supposed to be the leader of an anti-bullying organization, but when students walked out on him for his remarks about the Scripture, he rather hypocritically bullied them.

According to the CNN report the following is what Mr. Savage stated:

Columnist and gay-rights advocate Dan Savage is standing by his comment that “we can learn to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible about gay people” at a recent conference for high school students, a line that prompted some to walk out and spurred intense online debate.1

When some of the students walked out, the following is what came next:

Some Christian students walked out of the Seattle speech, prompting another controversial line from Savage: “It’s funny to someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansya**ed people react when you push back.”2

The problem here is that “anti-bullying” as defined by Dan Savage is not about opposing and preventing all forms of bullying. Rather, it is about preventing anti-gay or anti-homosexual bullying. Hence, it is unsurprising that the veneer disappeared for a few moments and the true feelings of Mr. Savage came out. What it also reveals is the incredible ignorance of Dan Savage when it comes to the Scripture. However, we should not be surprised by this ignorance as the vast majority of individuals are ignorant of the Scripture. Sadly, this includes an awful lot of Christians.

Does the Scripture condemn the “gay lifestyle?”

Absolutely. Beyond question, for one to engage in homosexual behavior is to engage in that which is an abomination to the LORD God.

What Mr. Savage and others have failed to do, is ask “Why?”

  1. Why does the LORD God so vehemently condemn homosexual behavior?
  2. Why did the LORD God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for that sin?
  3. As a matter of fact, why has the LORD God destroyed every single society that has turned that way throughout history?

All it takes to understand why, is a little bit of reason. Think about it for just a moment: What is homosexual behavior?

Now, what if every single person on the earth engaged in that behavior. Just where would the next generation come from?

The short answer is: There would be no “next generation.” Within one generation man would be extinct – gone forever.

Do you even want to guess where the encouragement for homosexual behavior comes from?

Try Satan.

Why?

Because he hates man. He hates man because man is made in the image of God, and he is not. He hates man because man will judge the angels — of which he (albeit fallen) is. And, if he can get man to destroy himself, he can thwart the plan and purpose of the LORD God — thus making the LORD “unrighteous” and himself the “victor.” All at the expense of man.

Does this mean that those deceived by Satan are guiltless? Not hardly. Each of us are solely responsible for the choices we make. We are under no compulsion to believe Satan’s lies about who and what we are.

If we forget that we are involved in a spiritual war, we will not understand what is happening and why. Unfortunately for Dan Savage, being raised Catholic did not help him (not that being raised anything else would have particularly helped him – you do have to want to know the truth), as Catholics do not, as a rule, read the Scripture. In fact, the Catholic Church does not encourage any reading of the Scripture. Moreover, like most denominations, Catholics are not taught to reason about what the Scriptures state. Rather, they are taught to just “have faith and believe.”

Hence, in all Mr. Savage’s experience he has never been exposed to any real truth about the Scripture, and never been encouraged and challenged about what the Scripture states and why. In short, he is an excellent tool for the Devil.

However, that is not the end of it: It is also apparent Mr. Savage cannot reason out the end of his behavior and see the destructive nature of it. It is quite apparent that Mr. Savage does not know how to be decent, and pen anything suitable for any mind, let alone young, impressionable minds. The utter vulgarity Dan Savage uses is corrupting of society and debasing of everyone who reads his words or hears his voice. Without having to actually read what he writes, or hear his voice, just a basic search of the internet and you will get a very clear understanding of how vile and vulgar this person is. Moreover, for someone who is supposed to be “anti-bullying,” he does enough of it for two or three individuals in his attacks on Rick Santorum.

In all, it truly is unbelievable how ignorant (and willfully so) Dan Savage is. If he weren’t so bent on remaining ignorant, perhaps he could see how the LORD God desires to save him from himself (just like the LORD has to save each of us from ourselves), and save him from an eternity of suffering in the Lake of Fire.

  1. Columnist Dan Savage stands by comments on ‘bulls**t in the Bible’
  2. Ibid
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Thank You for Your Service? – An Open Letter to Laurence Vance

July 18th, 2011; By: Paul Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Christian Conduct, Thought of the Day | Comments Off on Thank You for Your Service? – An Open Letter to Laurence Vance
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The following is in response to a column by Laurence Vance, dated 19 July 2011, and titled “Thank You for Your Service?” in which Mr. Vance excoriates the U.S. Military and those who support them and thank them for their service to America. This response is written and published publicly because of one outstanding feature of the column: overt and blatant bitterness.

And four, what is a Vietnamese man – who most certainly has relatives, or friends or neighbors of relatives, that were killed or injured by U.S. bombs and bullets during the Vietnam War – doing joining the U.S. military where he can be sent to shoot and bomb foreigners like the U.S. military did to his people?

And aside from these four things, I’m afraid I must also say: Sorry, soldiers, I don’t thank you for your service.

  • I don’t thank you for your service in fighting foreign wars.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in fighting without a congressional declaration of war.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in bombing and destroying Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in expanding the war on terror to Pakistan and Yemen.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in occupying over 150 countries around the world.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in garrisoning the planet with over 1,000 military bases.
  • I don’t thank you for your service in defending our freedoms when you do nothing of the kind.
  • I don’t thank you for your service as part of the president’s personal attack force to bomb, invade, occupy, and otherwise bring death and destruction to any country he deems necessary.

Thank you for your service? I don’t think so.1

Everyone needs to know: This is not a Christian spirit and attitude. It is not a Scriptural spirit and attitude.


Mr. Vance,

Have we just a bit of bitterness? I see NO justification for your attitude and spirit anywhere in the New Testament.

I don’t find it in John the Baptist:

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (Luke 3:14)

I don’t find it in the Lord Jesus Christ:

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion,2 beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour. (Matthew 8:5-13)

I don’t find it in the apostle Peter:

And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius3 met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (Acts 10:25-48)

I don’t find it in the apostle Paul:

But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast upon a certain island. But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven up and down in Adria, about midnight the shipmen deemed that they drew near to some country; And sounded, and found it twenty fathoms: and when they had gone a little further, they sounded again, and found it fifteen fathoms. Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day. And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Then the soldiers cut off the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat. Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. (Acts 27:21-36)

In fact, I do not find your attitude and spirit among any of the apostles, or in Christ, or in John the Baptist. Your spirit is bitter and hateful and not conducive to ministry or presenting the gospel to anyone, let alone a member of the military. What? Are members of the military not worthy to be presented the gospel? Instead of trying to reach them, you preach hate. Are you kin to Fred Phelps? You must be spiritually, because you share a common spirit.4

Wouldn’t it be so much better to have the spirit and attitude presented in the following passage?

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:1-6)

Next time you see a member of the military, present them with the gospel. I guarantee you — they need it. Unless of course, you hate them so much that you want to keep them on the road to Hell. But what kind of person would that make you?

In Christ,
Paul W. Davis
  1. http://lewrockwell.com/vance/vance250.html
  2. An officer in the Roman military.
  3. Cornelius was a Centurion in the Roman Army.
  4. Note: Phelps use of the passage is out of context. However much he would like it to be so, America is not ancient Babylon.
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Success?

July 1st, 2011; By: Paul Posted in Society, Thought of the Day | 2 Comments »
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Just how do you define “success?”

“The definition of success–To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one’s self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived–this is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

And then they died and went to Hell….

That doesn’t sound like success to me.

For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:25-26)

This sounds much more like “success:”

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11)

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. (Revelation 2:17)

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. (Revelation 2:26-27)

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. (Revelation 3:12)

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21)

This is real, enduring “success:”

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:1-3)

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