Posts Tagged ‘Society’

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The Everyone Test

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

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

However, this does appear to conflict with the above observed principle, which then, gives rise to a couple of questions worthy of consideration:

How can we determine (or know) if a way of thinking, and the behavior which arises from that thinking, is right and proper to do (or righteous), and another way of thinking and behavior is wrong and destructive in its end (hence, wicked and evil)?

And:

Can we prove, by proving out and weighing the ends of actions, whether or not the system we live in, is a system borne out of random chance, or was indeed created by a righteous God?

A corollary to that is the proof that righteousness either exists, or it doesn’t. If we truly live in a designed system in which certain thoughts and actions are classed as righteous, and others not, then we should see a pattern in the system and be able to determine the laws for that system.

If, on the other hand, the entirety of this creation came about by chance, then the very nature of chance dictates that there can be no set laws to govern the outcomes of thoughts and behaviors. This is due to the very nature of chance – that it is random in both cause and effect. Hence, an action which yields a certain outcome one time, may not yield that same outcome another time. The reason for this is chance or randomness in application of existent conditions.

Since it is obvious that proving something which occurred by chance, cannot be done with any degree of certainty, we must test that which claims to be reliable: The system described in Scripture.

The question also arises:

Can we actually determine a test wherein the existence, or lack thereof, of the system described in Scripture, which is a system originally formed in righteousness, is proved or disproved? And, proving or disproving whether the governing laws of that system are also righteous?

Since we cannot prove or disprove – or even design a test for the evolutionary/atheistic model, as it is based upon a world formed by chance, we now turn to the Scriptural model:

The supposition is:

If the LORD God did not design the system we live in, and there is no such thing as righteousness, this test will fail. If he does exist, and righteousness is indeed operative, then the test will succeed. Success and failure of the test are defined by the standards the LORD set in the Scripture, and can be seen in the commandments.

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.(Matthew 22:34-40)

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)

According to the statement of the Lord Jesus Christ, there are two preeminent commandments, which everything else in the system is dependent upon. They are:

  • Love the LORD God with all your being.
  • Love your neighbor as yourself

In the passage from Romans, the apostle Paul explains that “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:” Thence defining “love” as a characteristic which is beneficial to everyone. Which, in turn, fulfills the law. Since it is clear and plain that Scripture declares that the LORD God created man, it consequently declares that man should love his Creator. Since one cannot “harm” the LORD God, it is clear that “love” expressed toward the LORD, will be seen in obedience.

In further explaining what behaviors are, and are not acceptable, the apostle Paul set forth a list in his epistle to the church in Galatia, in which he states “against such there is no law.” concerning one set of behaviors, but the other set he declares “shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:19-23)

Hence, there are two things which are apparent here:

  1. The “love” defined by the apsotle Paul in Romans 13, is expressed in those actions set forth in the epistle to the Galatians, of which it is stated “against such there is no law.”
  2. The system set up in the Scripture is such that when we engage in the right behaviors it is beneficial to everyone, and when we engage in the wrong behaviors it is a detriment to everyone.

Given the consistency of the assertions concerning our behavior, we are confident that if the system we exist in was indeed set up by the LORD God, that for everyone to engage in a certain behavior will yield a predicable result, and is hence testable.

Plainly, since the Scripture makes such declaration, we set the test parameter thus:

If an action or behavior is proper and right to do, and everyone does it, then it will have a positive effect upon everyone and benefit mankind as a whole.

Conversely:

If the action or behavior is evil and wicked, then when everyone does it, it will have a destructive effect.

Thus, all we have to do is think:

“What would happen if everyone on the earth did “xyz?” What would be the result, or outcome of that?

Additionally, we could apply it to our own thinking and behavior:

“If everyone on the earth thought like I think, what would the outcome of that be?”

Or:

“If everyone had the thoughts I am having right now, what would the outcome be?”

And:

If everyone on the earth did what I am going to do, or are doing right now, what would the outcome of that be?”

For instance:

If everyone lied (and did nothing but lie) to everyone else, what would the outcome of that be?
Consider this:

  • You take your car in to have the brakes repaired – and you don’t tell the truth about the brakes and what you have experienced with the car. Will that help or hinder the repair of your vehicle?
  • The shop quotes you a price for the repair, but they lie and deliberately do not give you an accurate quote. Will it help or hinder you and your finances?
  • When you get the vehicle back, the shop lies about an unsafe problem, declaring they “fixed it” when in actuality they did nothing. Would that help you or be detrimental to you?

Again, if we take another behavior for an example, such as homosexuality, and apply the test to it:

If everyone engaged in homosexual behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual behavior, what would be the result?

Now, the point was raised in a discussion of this and a claim was made concerning artificial insemination. However, artificial insemination cannot be used as it is not available naturally and does not naturally occur. No other behavior would have this advantage. This would be like everyone killing everyone else, yet no one dying. A bit impossible. Rather, for the test to be valid, we must let the naturally occurring outcome take place.

In the case of homosexual behavior, it should take about 100 years and the human race will be extinct.

  • What if every woman aborted her child? What would the outcome of that be?
  • What if everyone stole to get what they wanted or needed: No one labored to produce anything, they simply stole it from someone else? How well would that work out?
  • What if everyone exercised wrath and stayed angry all the time?

Conversely, ask the “What if everyone…” question about the following behaviors:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering
  • Gentleness
  • Goodness
  • Faith
  • Meekness
  • Temperance

Additionally:

  • What if every child honored their father and mother?
  • What if everyone told the truth all the time?
  • What if everyone honored their commitments all the time?

Interesting how it works out, isn’t it? All the behaviors the LORD states are good for us, benefit everyone – even when everyone engages in them. Conversely, when the LORD states a behavior is bad, we can see that it would be very detrimental to everyone if everyone engaged in it.

What does this prove?

That we live in a system that is designed to work a certain way – and no other. The system we live in does indeed work the way the Scripture states it works. And will not work any other way.

In sum:

We are created beings, not evolved through time and chance. The system we live in was created to function a certain specific way – it did not come about as a result of chance. If it did, then you would not be able to reason out the outcomes of the behaviors listed above – which we all can certainly do.

Further, this also proves that all behaviors are not equal, and there are behaviors that no one should ever engage in as they are demonstrably destructive to the entire human race. This speaks volumes about the short-sightedness and selfishness of certain individuals in this world. After all, why would you engage in a behavior that we all can easily reason out and determine to be ultimately destructive to mankind?

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The Unbelievable Ignorance of Dan Savage

Monday, April 30th, 2012

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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Leaving the Amish

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

If you at all viewed the BBC documentary “Trouble in Amish Paradise” then you know that the “simple, pastoral lifestyle” of the Amish masks an egregious doctrine and the active suppression of the truth of the Scripture to maintain the doctrine the Amish hold. The BBC also produced a follow-up documentary that traces the journey of the families who were cast out of the Amish community and church for daring to read the Bible in English and witness to those around them of the grace that is in Christ.

The follow-up documentary also highlights the dangers of learning that you are involved in a system that teaches and promotes a lie, and upon leaving that system, having no one to actually teach you the whole counsel of God and explain the Scripture to you. It is frequently the case that individuals who leave such systems, end up being snared by other belief systems that are also wrong, just in a different way. Though there is a church in that community which ministers to those leaving the Amish doctrine, it also has errors which lead astray those involved in it.

If the Devil can’t get you one way, he will surely have another way to prevent you from having the truth.


There is something of note here: Believing in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior is not, as the commentator states that born-again Christian’s teach, a way to avoid going to Hell nor should any true child of God teach that.1 Rather, if that is the reason why you have believed in Christ for your “salvation,” then I will submit to you that you have believed out of an improper motivation. Salvation IS NOT “fire insurance.” Neither should it be viewed as such.

If you have not come to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally to the point that you have learned of Him enough to TOTALLY trust Him with your life, then you have not reached salvation. Contrary to popular belief, salvation is not “letting Christ into your heart.” Rather, it is placing your life, your destiny into Christ’s hands without reservation. One does not do this out of a base desire to avoid suffering in Hell, but does so because they have come to know the LORD and have found that He is “altogether lovely” as the Scripture states. Hence, belief and trust in Christ for salvation comes from a overwhelming desire to spend the rest of your existence with Him. To reach this point, repentance (and it must be the repentance the LORD God grants) is utterly necessary.


There is simply no way to address every error presented here. However, things like tearing a house down because the Old Testament law states that is what must be done for a “fretting leprosy” indicates a lack of understanding about the reason for the Old Testament law given to ancient Israel. This problem is not limited to Charity Church or any particular denomination, but is found throughout every group that claims to be “Bible-believing.” I have had Independent Baptist brethren try to tell me the Ten Commandments are still in effect as commandments we, as Christians, must abide by today, when the reality is that the Ten Commandments were the covenant the LORD God made with ancient Israel.2

 

  1. It is unfortunate that most all “evangelical” Christians believe and teach this as it is egregious error.
  2. The following are the passages from the Old Testament that state plainly that the Ten Commandments are the Covenant the Lord had with Israel. This does not change the fact that the Ten Commandments are a reflection of the nature and character of God, and thus are always in effect. Nonetheless, they are not part of anyone’s covenant today, but are fully encompassed by the first two commandments of the law.

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink
    water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:27-28)

    And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten  commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (Deuteronomy 4:13)

    Also in Horeb ye provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry with you to have destroyed you. When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant. And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image. Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they. So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands. (Deuteronomy 9:8-15)

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I Send the Joys of Earth Away

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Citation, lyrics and music are copied from The Cyber Hymnal and are public domain. Midi file is generated with Music Publisher 8, and is modified using Anvil Studio 2013, and is piano only. Lyrics may be modified for doctrinal accuracy. This version is not copyrighted. If you find it a blessing, please feel free to use it. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26)

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (I John 2:15-17)

Words: Isaac Watts, Hymns and Sacred Songs, 1707-9.
Music:Berlin,” from Harmonia Sacra, by Joseph Funk (1778-1862).
(midi) (mp3) I Send the Joys of Earth AwayPDF Icon
I send the joys of earth away;
Away, ye tempters of the mind,
False as the smooth, deceitful sea,
And empty as the whistling wind. 

Your streams were floating me along
Down the gulf of dark despair;
And while I listened to your song,
Your streams had e’en conveyed me there.

Lord, I adore Thy matchless grace,
That warned me of that dark abyss,
That drew me from those treacherous seas,
And bade me seek superior bliss.

Now to the shining realms above
I stretch my hands and glance my eyes;
O for the pinions of a dove,
To bear me to the upper skies.

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An Infantile President

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

If there is any doubt about where America stands — and that America is at the place that ancient Israel found itself before it was severely judged by the LORD God, events of recent ought to put those doubts to rest:

Obama Disappointed With Lack of ‘Cool’ Phone in Oval Office WASHINGTON — Turns out President Obama would like a phone upgrade. The president, in an unscripted moment with donors in Chicago, was talking about the need to innovate in technology. “The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff,” he said during a small fundraising event at a Chicago restaurant. “I’m like, c’mon guys, I’m the president of the United States. Where’s the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t happen.”

If anything ever sounded like a child complaining, the above does. But this is not the first time that Obama has acted like a petulant child when he doesn’t get his way. Rather, this seems to come up every single time that Obama’s handlers and ever-present teleprompter are absent. Instead of speaking to the issue of communications technology improvements in some sort of mature, professional way, Obama takes on the language of a pre-teen and speaks as if he is talking to his friends in the schoolyard.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck — it must be a duck.

In sum, America elected a child (and a little one at that), to be its President. It reminds me of the Scripture in Isaiah:

As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. (Isaiah 3:12)

The only thing needed now is for Sarah Palin to be elected President next and the above Scripture will be fulfilled in full. After all, Rob Bell’s heresy “Love Wins” is certainly no worse than Joel Osteen’s pop Christianity (which is not Christianity at all), and the people of this nation eat it up. The only thing left wanting is the coming oppression:

For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable. (Isaiah 3:1-5)

It is not a good thing when a child rules…

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What’s Wrong With the Amish

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The following story illustrates plainly what is wrong with the Amish religion. Please, watch it all.

You will find that they will persecute their own for STUDYING THE BIBLE IN ENGLISH AND PREACHING THE GOSPEL.

 

 

 

 

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Rebellion and Authority

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

A Wednesday night lesson on what constitutes rebellion and what is authority and what is the extent of it. This is the first lesson in a series on the Christian’s relationship to government.

This lesson is now located on Ebenezer Baptist Church’s Messages and Lessons page. It can also be reached at the direct link: Rebellion and Authority.

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis

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The Enemies of America

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Fundamental Christians, especially Baptists, would never admit to it, and would never want to believe it to be true — that they have become the enemies of America. However, that is not the most serious part of what has happened to Christianity in America. Rather, it is that Christians in America have become the enemies of the LORD God, and through that, the enemies of America.

How?

Because the behavior of Christians, including fundamental, Bible-believing Christians, more closely resembles the behavior of pagans and atheists, than that of a child of the LORD God. Hence, Christians are bringing the judgment of God upon America just like the pagans and atheists.

By the way, just in case you wonder, I stopped watching television sometime in 1999 or thereabouts.

I pray the message is profitable for you.

For those who cannot use the embedded player, wish to use a different player, or want to save the file, the following link is provided:

The Enemies of America

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis

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The Effects of Television

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Copyright 2002. All scripture is Authorized King James Version, 1769 edition. This article may be copied and used without permission of the author, provided it is copied and used in its entirety.

Of all the things that can be said about television, one of the most outstanding things that is apparent is that television is really not necessary. Nice to have, but not necessary. For the child of God this is a very important distinction that needs to be always kept in mind.

Television is much like a drug that one might take for “recreation,” except that it is a mental and spiritual drug that gives no external evidence of its usage. Nevertheless, there are certain cases where the person is easily swayed to “act out” the things seen and heard. Television affects every person’s heart and mind regardless of the outward show. How can I say this? Consider the following evidence from a study on the effects of denying a family television, even for a limited time. The subjects of the study were asked to do without the television for a time. They had not, of their own volition decided to put away the television, rather they were asked to do without for a time.

Nearly 40 years ago Gary A. Steiner of the University of Chicago collected fascinating individual accounts of families whose set had broken–this back in the days when households generally had only one set: “The family walked around like a chicken without a head.” “It was terrible. We did nothing–my husband and I talked.” “Screamed constantly. Children bothered me, and my nerves were on edge. Tried to interest them in games, but impossible. TV is part of them.”

In experiments, families have volunteered or been paid to stop viewing, typically for a week or a month. Many could not complete the period of abstinence. Some fought, verbally and physically. Anecdotal reports from some families that have tried the annual “TV turn-off” week in the U.S. tell a similar story.1

Now, for the born-again believer this ought to be a red flag concerning the potential for destruction of one’s witness, especially if we remember what happened to Lot and his family when they heard and saw the wickedness that was continually around them.2 This is not to say that all television is like Sodom and Gomorrah, but even a swift glance at it today reveals much ungodliness and a vast amount of “information” that is direct opposition to what the word of God states is true. Thus we are given a choice to make: Are we, if we continue watching, going to continually say “no” to the ideas and concepts that come from the television, or, are we at some point going to quietly concede that particular battleground and not even protest, just so we can keep watching?

Again, I do know this is a bold thing to state. However, it is not said out of ignorance of the power of television. Researchers do know that every one responds to stimuli in a certain way. It is our automatic response to stimuli that causes many to concede this particular battleground.

In 1986 Byron Reeves of Stanford University, Esther Thorson of the University of Missouri and their colleagues began to study whether the simple formal features of television–cuts, edits, zooms, pans, sudden noises–activate the orienting response, thereby keeping attention on the screen.

The orienting response may partly explain common viewer remarks such as: “If a television is on, I just can’t keep my eyes off it,” “I don’t want to watch as much as I do, but I can’t help it,” and “I feel hypnotized when I watch television.”3

Now the researchers do not understand that God put that response mechanism there. However, just because they misidentify the source of the response does not negate the fact that the response is there. What it does mean is that we must learn to rule over our flesh and its desires and not concede this battleground. If we fail in this area, what will ultimately occur (and sooner than we think) is the insidious slide into worldliness and the forsaking of the witness and testimony that we, as members of the Lord’s church, are in covenant with the Lord about.

There are additional effects of television that are documented. These effects also contribute to difficulty in maintaining our witness and testimony. One of them is significant in its contribution to the ultimate downfall of this society as well.

Jerome L. and Dorothy Singer of Yale University, among others, have suggested that more viewing may contribute to a shorter attention span, diminished self-restraint and less patience with the normal delays of daily life. More than 25 years ago psychologist Tannis M. MacBeth Williams of the University of British Columbia studied a mountain community that had no television until cable finally arrived. Over time, both adults and children in the town became less creative in problem solving, less able to persevere at tasks, and less tolerant of unstructured time.4

Of course, we have seen and heard in the news many times in recent years where people have lost patience with one another over the most trivial of things and the result was either grievous bodily harm, or murder. If we say, ‘So what, big deal. That has always happened,’ we ignore a time in United States history when television was not present, and a national economic crisis occurred. The result was not the kind of lawlessness that we see today. During the Great Depression so many people had little to nothing, including food. Yet, the vast majority of individuals willingly worked for what they could get, and were very patient concerning the conditions that they had to endure. Crime, especially assault and murder was rare at that time. I know, as I have spoken with many older people that lived through that time in America’s history, and none of them experienced what we, as a nation, are going through today.

Now, we know the nature of man has not changed. So what has? How about the stimulus to man’s nature? Is it possible that man can be encouraged to do evil by the things continually placed in front of him; especially if they are shown to be acceptable, even approved actions to take? God has much to say about looking upon evil and the effects of it, even on the believer. Think about it.

Finis

  1. Television Addiction, Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Scientific American, February 2002, http://tv-addiction.blogspot.com/2007/01/television-addiction-is-no-mere.html
  2. The Holy Bible, King James Version, Genesis 19:all, II Peter 2:7-8
  3. Television Addiction, Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Scientific American, February 2002, http://tv-addiction.blogspot.com/2007/01/television-addiction-is-no-mere.html
  4. Ibid
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Josef Tson

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

I first heard about Josef Tson back in the 1990’s. The tape I have from then is a partial recording, but it is very powerful. The video is not quite as powerful, but the message is the same. The message is profitable for all, and fundamental, unaffiliated Baptists would do well to take heed.

There are only three caveats that I make concerning Pastor Tson and the forum in which he presents his messages and testimony:

  • His forum is Southern Baptist. It is not the best and he could do better. However, the Southern Baptists are the largest “Baptist” denomination in America, and they took Pastor Tson in immediately. I am not certain Josef Tson understands who and what the Southern Baptists are. But, I am not certain most Southern Baptists understand who and what they are either.
  • His understanding of the word “servant” as opposed to “slave” is culturally driven. That is not bad, but it does bear some explanation. In the KJV, the word “slave” is only used twice. The word “servant” is used in 887 verses. In short, the word “servant” encompasses everything from a slave to a taxi driver who is hired for a few moments time.
  • I cannot speak as to his Bible, but the wording he uses and the understanding he has of what it teaches is consistent with a Received Text rendering.

With those things in mind, please be blessed.


If you cannot view the video in the post, it can be found here.

In Christ,

Paul W. Davis

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