Will You Believe God Almighty or Not?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 1 comments

by Jason DeZurik

Recently, I watched a video from a well-known person who debates theological positions versus Christians and non-Christians alike. He was making the claim that the days of Genesis couldn’t be trusted to be 6 literal 24-hour days and that the age of the earth had to be very, very old. I have also had a good amount of friends and Christians asking me or telling me that it isn’t a big deal how old the earth is or how long it took God to create the creation in the Genesis account. And to that I would say, great, so God created in 6-literal 24 hour days and rested on the 7th day (Genesis 1:1-2:3). Many people then say something like, “What I mean is, why couldn’t the ‘days’ in Genesis be long ages or periods of time longer than a day?” To that I ask, “Do you believe God Almighty or not?”

Most people at this time say something like, “Well, God didn’t write Genesis.” To which I say, “If God did tell us how many days it took Him, while our time was moving and we know God was inside of time when He told us would you believe Him then?” Most revert back to saying the creation account in Genesis could have been long periods of time.

So, I will reiterate again, if Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, did tell us, while our time was moving so human kind knew what a day was, and He told us while inside of our time, would you believe Almighty God then? If God is a holy and just God, who cannot lie like the Bible claims (Numbers 23:19), would you believe Him? Most people who claim to follow Jesus at this point say, “Yes.” Then they follow it up with, “but Genesis doesn’t count,” or something like that.

My reply is then that I’m not going to bring you to Genesis. I am going to bring you to the book of Exodus, the Ten Commandments as a matter of fact. Before we go to the book of Exodus, though, let’s make certain of who wrote the Ten Commandments. The answer to our question is found in Deuteronomy 9:10. As you can see, God Himself wrote these Commandments with His very own finger. Moses did not chisel them out, as some believe. God wrote them down and then gave them to Moses while he was on the mountain. This is very important to see. Not only is Moses on the mountain, but God Almighty is there as well. They are both on the earth at the same time and in virtually the same place, both Moses and God. Why is this important? Because God cannot lie. Human beings, by this time, know what a day is. The earth has been rotating on its axis for quite some time and has been making trips around the sun. Humans know what a day, a week, and a year are. They have been living it out for a long time.

I would guess most of us can agree that this is true, unless you’re just wanting to be disagreeable. Again, if this is true, in Exodus 20:11, why wouldn’t God write down how long it really took Him to create the Creation? This would be the perfect time for God Himself to correct the misunderstanding about the time it took to create during the creation week, wouldn’t it?

Instead He wrote, with His very own finger, “For in six days God created the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them...” Pretty straight forward, don’t you think? Unless you just don’t want to believe the One that was there since before time even began.

You see, you have a choice. You can believe fallible humans and their ways or you can believe an infallible Almighty God who does not lie. The choice is yours.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


What Does the Bible Say About Authority?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 18, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Authority is one of those things that we all appreciate when it keeps things under control, but we also don’t appreciate when we feel as though it’s oppressing us or keeping us from doing what we want to do. Authority comes in lots of forms, such as teachers at school, your boss at work, those to protect us in law enforcement, and those who rule over us in local and national governments. But what does the Bible say about authority?

First and foremost, we know that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus. Because of that, He gives us the authority and power (and the command) to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

As for human authorities who govern over us, we see in Romans 13:1-7 that Paul urges believers to obey the governing authorities. For more on that, check out this post and this post.

It’s easier to submit to the authorities who govern over us when their rule lines up with God’s Word. But what about when it doesn’t? 1 Peter 2:13-18 says, “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”

Ephesians 6:5-9 says, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”

While I would guess that most of the readers of this post are not in slavery, that was a common situation in Biblical times so the Bible speaks on it a fair amount. But slavery back then was not the same as we think of slavery today; then, it was generally only for a short time to pay off a debt, and then the slave was freed. Even though we’re not technically enslaved, we can use the principles given in these passages when we are dealing with authorities such as bosses or teachers. Serve them as if we’re serving God; do God’s will by obeying them.

Paul gives us words of encouragement on dealing with authority in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15: “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”

The writer of Hebrews echoes this thought in Hebrews 13:17: “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Titus 3:1-2 also encourages us this way: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.”

In the book of Acts, Peter and the other apostles were often persecuted and thrown in jail for the sake of the Gospel. In one such instance, they are being questioned before the high priest and the Sanhedrin (some of their governing authorities), and they said, “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (Acts 5:29).

We see from Scripture that it’s important to obey the human authorities that are over us, but when we have to choose between obeying God or mankind, we know that receiving God’s reward in eternity is better than the temporary reward we’d receive for obeying humans and going against God. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Faith of Ahimelek

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, June 17, 2018 0 comments

by Logan Ames

There is an old legal saying with an unknown original source that goes like this: “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table." Clearly, this would lead to a lot of anger and pounding regardless of the actual truth. I remember my first day in class when I started college in the criminal justice program and one of the professors said, “The criminal justice system is a game, and the goal of the game is to win." In other words, he and many other professors wanted us to know up front that it’s not really about the truth, but how you can best navigate the system to achieve your desired result.

Despite this way of the world, the Christian faith tells us no pounding is needed. Jesus himself said, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). If you are on the side of the truth and have been set free by the Lord, then literally nothing else can take you captive. There is a little-known man in the Bible who showed his faith by doing what he knew the Lord would want him to do, and when it was clear that it would ultimately cost him his life, he simply stood by the truth. In Hebrews 11:37, we see that some of the faithful heroes of the past “were killed by the sword." God’s people went through several dark periods in their history when his servants were intensely persecuted. One of those periods was when King Ahab and his wife Jezebel were slaughtering the Lord’s prophets and Elijah spent much of his time on the run but still boldly spoke God’s word. Another time was when eighty-five priests, along with their families and livestock, were killed with the sword by Doeg the Edomite at the command of King Saul in the town of Nob (1 Samuel 22). One of those priests was Ahimelek and he is our hero of the faith for this week.

Ahimelek became part of God’s story when David, who had been anointed as the next king of Israel, had to flee because the reigning king, Saul, had become hellbent on killing him. Since the Bible is in part a history book, it helps to know the context of what happened to Ahimelek and the other priests. Saul was the first king of Israel when the people demanded a king to lead them so that they could be like the other nations (1 Samuel 8). Initially, Saul had the Spirit of the Lord on his side and gave credit to the Lord when a battle was won. As time went on, however, he walked away from the Lord and became obsessed with self-preservation. He was afraid to take on Goliath in 1 Samuel 17 despite the fact that he was bigger and badder than anyone else in all of Israel. God anointed David as Saul’s eventual successor and David proved himself to the people by killing Goliath.

After David’s victory and sudden rise to fame, Saul became increasingly jealous of him and tried to protect his throne at all costs, even if it meant killing David who he knew was innocent. He tried to kill him several times, but the Lord kept David safe and he was able to escape. David then had to flee for his life and ended up going several different places, one of which was Nob (1 Samuel 21). There, David went to the right place when he sensed that he was in trouble - the house of the Lord. That’s when he met Ahimelek, the priest at Nob. The story can be found in 1 Samuel 21:2-9. David lied to Ahimelek, pretending that Saul had sent he and other men on a secret mission when in reality he was completely alone and running from the king himself. David desperately needed food so he asked Ahimelek to give him whatever he has to eat.

This is our first look at the heart of Ahimelek. As a priest, he had certain customs to follow regarding the “consecrated bread” that was kept at the house of the Lord for the priests. But here, there was a human need right in front of him. In giving David the bread, Ahimelek went against the priestly customs but did not go against God’s word. God never said that ONLY priests should eat the consecrated bread; that part, while logical, was an addition to God’s word. We must never put our interpretations or applications of what he said on par with what he ACTUALLY said. Jesus spoke of Ahimelek’s example as the Pharisees questioned his disciples for picking heads of grain on the Sabbath when they were hungry in Matthew 12:1-8. He used it to make the point that human need is more important than religious tradition. Jesus’ words show us that Ahimelek was to be commended for putting his faith in the Lord over traditions and customs.

In addition to the bread, Ahimelek also gave David the very sword that he had previously used to kill Goliath. Unfortunately for Ahimelek, Doeg the Edomite witnessed all of the help that Ahimelek gave to David under the impression that David was on a mission from the king. Later, in 1 Samuel 22:9-10, this eyewitness evidence sealed the fate of Ahimelek. Doeg reported to Saul, who was already off his rocker, that he saw Ahimelek helping David, whom Saul continued to intentionally refer to as “the son of Jesse” just to remind everyone that David was just a little man from a poor family. Saul then asked Ahimelek and many other priests why they would conspire against him. Ahimelek’s response is listed in 1 Samuel 22:14-15, where he simply stood by the truth, which was that he clearly knew nothing of the conspiracy. He praised David to Saul, showing that he truly did not know Saul wanted to kill him, and also admitted to helping and praying for David other times, which revealed that he believed David’s lie that Saul had sent him on a mission.

Ahimelek’s defense was the honest truth. Once he had spoken it, he simply asked the king to not falsely accuse him or his family. We don’t hear of another word from Ahimelek as Saul had already made up his mind to have him killed. Verses 16-19 that follow tell us that he, his family, and most of his town were put to death by Doeg. Ahimelek did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and his death could be blamed on David’s lies as much as Saul’s anger. But in the end, Ahimelek valued love for a human in need over religious tradition and valued standing firm in the truth over his own life. While he is not mentioned by name in Hebrews 11, the faith of he and the other priests at Nob was known to Jesus and the believers that came after him. Ahimelek’s life ended when he was killed by the sword, but even today his example urges us to put the needs of others above our traditions and to let the truth stand on its own when we are falsely accused. If you are facing either of those dilemmas in your life today, learn from this man of faith.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


A Culture of Death

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 15, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This week, one of the topics Worldview Warriors is addressing is suicide. The taking of one’s own life is a great tragedy and happens for a variety of reasons. Some would suggest in certain circumstances, such as being about to be taken as a prisoner of war, that suicide rather than humiliation is a good thing. However, the vast majority of suicides come at a place of hopelessness and a lack of purpose. According to Wikipedia, in 2014 teen suicide was the #2 killer of young adults and #11 of all people age 10 and up. This is not including those who have attempted suicide and survived, let alone those who have thought about it.

There are many offered solutions to help stem the suicide rates. There is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline among other resources. Suicide is absolutely no laughing matter, and to make things worse, most who are struggling with the thoughts of suicide don’t have the courage to cry for help. If you who are reading this are facing thoughts of suicide, GET HELP! Do not face it alone. There is no shame in calling for help when you are in trouble, yet there is a fear of a social stigma for those who cry out for help, and often that stigma is truly there.

While counseling centers and suicide hotlines are good answers to the suicide problem, these are mostly for dealing with the problem after it has rooted. I would like to tackle just one of the reasons that brings up suicidal thoughts before it can take root. There are many others so please do not read what I am not saying, nor consider me the “expert” on all these issues. I am not a trained counselor, nor am I any professional in this field, however, I am not oblivious to the issues either. One of the reasons why suicide is considered is due to a culture of death.

We here in the U.S. live in a culture of death. Death is celebrated and encouraged in many different ways and it forms a cycle which grows more and more until it arrives. “Death is celebrated?” Yes, it is celebrated, either death itself or choices which lead to death. How so? Take a look at what our youth listens to: the rock bands, the rappers, “death metal.” The lyrics are horrific. They have “good beats,” but they lyrics are full of death, sex, murder, rage, and language. Look at the violent video games, where the players shoot and kill anything that moves and then everything “respawns.” Kids are not being taught the value of life nor the severity or permanency of death.

When I first really started to engage the issue about abortion, at that time, most people who had abortions have regretted doing so. Many still do. However, many are celebrating abortion, giving clinics awards for “saving women’s lives,” by killing fully functioning, perfectly healthy babies for the sake of convenience. Only 1.5% deal with rape or incest, according to the article linked. The extreme majority are out of pure convenience or deceptive counseling. Young mothers, especially of minority ethnic backgrounds where poverty levels are high, are highly encouraged to get abortions under many circumstances. Look at the abortion rates by ethnic groups here.

Abortion brought forth one major thing: life is determined only by whether it is wanted or not. If your parent decides they don’t want you and you are not yet born, your life is forfeited today. Families today in general do not talk about producing life, nor do they talk about their kids being their precious offspring. Many do, but by and large this culture does not do this. How can I say that? School is getting out and many parents are dreading it. The attitude for many parents, especially come August, is that school is a place to get the kid out of the house to give mom and dad some peace. Parents treat school as glorified day care, and public schools in particular have been happy to oblige. That’s not a compliment. Children are being treated as an inconvenience for our enjoyment and are raised to only be necessary to provide for society for the next generation.

Society as a whole treats each person as only as valuable as they are producing for that society. If society does not see the potential the person can bring to them, he is discarded. Once the person’s use is exhausted, then society would prefer to “euthanize” the elderly because they are consuming so many resources which could be sent elsewhere.

The value of life has been reduced to monetary value and level of pleasure in the immediate here and now. What other ways are there to measure the value? According to this world, they have nothing else. Why does the world have no other answers? Because it rejects the Word of God and how God values life. Evolution has played a very subtle yet major role in this transition from valuing of life to devaluing life. Under Evolution, you have no value, because you are nothing more than just another highly evolved animal where any purpose or reason for your existence is determined by what you make out of it. And many are searching and searching and not finding it. Under Creation, each person is uniquely created in the image of God and each person has value, including the handicapped.

It’s not just abortion or Evolution. Look at the lifestyles being offered and praised. The U.S. is the most drug-crazed nation in the world. Drug cartels are so lucrative because we have the money and we are demanding these drugs, yet it’s killing us. Drunk driving deaths each year are comparable to major wars. Sex choices are being made completely on a pleasure basis, yet what abortion centers, sex ed classes, and “safe sex” tips do not tell people is that sexual immorality is often lethal, via STDS, cancer, or other issues. The world wants to live in paradise without God and all that is going to result in is death.

What is the solution? The only solution that is even remotely capable of working is the Gospel. Surrender yourself and let God be God in our lives. God is able to take this culture of death, kill it without killing us, and bring life in and out of it. When we let God do his job in our lives, he will give us the hope and the purpose to go through our difficult times. He will give us the strength to hold on to the very end and not give up. God never lets a single drop of his saints’ blood go to waste.

God is able to get out of the messes we put ourselves into. He is able to rescue us to the utmost. He can take the mainline drug addict and deliver him from the demand of the drug. He can take murderer and rescue him from the lust for blood. He can take the sex pervert and restore his sex drive to its original function. However, to be freed from sin requires renouncing it. God will not save if we have a continual desire to go back to our sin.

Suicide is a terrible tragedy. Between the social, familiar, political, emotional, let alone spiritual pressures of life, those who do not know Christ can find it easy to give up. Satan goes after the precious life. When David Wilkerson preached this sermon, “The Hunter from Hell,” I got a whole new perspective on how to see the downtrodden. The kid who is the “black sheep” is frequently the one God is able to use the most. He became the “black sheep” because the enemy went after him to keep him from being used. If you are down and weak and feeling suicide may be your only out, God not only can rescue you, but he has something specially planned for how to use you. The enemy has been out to mess you up so that you cannot reach your true potential if God were to use you. There is hope, there is a purpose, even if you cannot see it now. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. There is a way out. Don’t listen to this culture of death. Choose life. Last year, Ray Comfort put out a video called Exit, and it is one of the very few sources I have seen which addresses the issue of suicide, provides more than just coping skills, and actually provides an answer. It is a MUST see if you are contemplating suicide or if you know someone who is.

This culture wants you to be independent of authorities and to sever ties with parents, preachers, and anyone who can help steer you on the correct path. They know if you are alone and unprotected, you are easy prey, easy to use and abuse and easy to discard. Just look at how the world treats the broken; it’s never good. Yet, if you turn to God, even if you don’t have parents who protect you and guide you or a church to help you, he is sufficient. You are not meant to be alone. No man is an island. Get with God and if you have a bond with Jesus Christ, you will be hard to take down. Build that relationship with him because he will not let you down as long as you trust him and obey him. He will NEVER let you down and will always be with you. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Choose life.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Epidemic of Suicide

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, June 14, 2018 0 comments

by Steve Risner

This week I was hoping to change gears and, for once, write in tandem with Katie and her blog post concerning what the Bible says about suicide. This topic is near and dear to me and, unfortunately, for many others as well it's hit fairly close to home. Coincidentally and tragically, as of the writing of this blog post, there were two celebrities who took their own lives last week. People who seemingly have it all—fame, power, money—they're living the dream life, right? But they're empty inside. Their hearts were lacking something. However, I feel there are some misconceptions about suicide that I would like to address. Thank you for taking the time to read...

In 2016, there were something like 45,000 suicides! That's nearly twice the number of homicides and has increased around 30% in most places in the U.S. Keep in mind, as well, that successful suicides are dwarfed by the number of attempted suicides by some 25 times. Suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Montana, for some reason, leads the nation at about twice the national average. Among 15-35 year old Americans, it's the second leading cause of death! (Click here for more statistics.) Holy cow! What's going on?! Unfortunately, I believe this is another symptom of the lack of Christ in our culture, but let's move on.

A very dear friend of mine that my wife and I were able to witness to, bring to church, and watch find Jesus Christ back when Michelle and I were newly married took her own life recently. We were shocked and devastated. We couldn't believe it or understand it at all. We had no idea anything was going on and we were just broad sided. But her husband's take on it changed my concept of suicide a little. He believed she took her life not because she was being selfish but selfless. I understand this is not always the case, so please don't misunderstand me. But she didn't want her family to have to deal with her in the condition she was in. In her state of depression, she believed she would not recover and that taking her life would be the easiest thing for her family to deal with. Of course, no one else believed this and it's clear she wasn't thinking correctly, but in her state, this made sense to her.

This beautiful person's mind broke (these are the words of her husband). It was no different than if her heart stopped working or her liver shut down. Now, I realize some people won't accept something like that. They'll feel the need to attack this person or explanation or even declare that she's incapable of dancing before her Savior for all eternity because of this. However, this is not in line with Scripture at all and demonstrates, to me, a shallow understanding of the work of Christ on the cross. This wonderful person was a believer. She loved Jesus Christ intensely. She worked hard to raise her daughter in the ways of the Lord and her witness was instrumental in her entire extended family finding Christ. She was forgiven. It was a done deal when Christ entered her heart.

No one is arguing about the terrible nature of the act of suicide. Taking someone's life is murder, whether it's your life or someone else's. No one is suggesting suicide is not a bad thing—a sin. However, we all sin and no sin carries more weight than another. Someone who lies is forgiven if they find Christ, even if they lie again. Someone who covets his neighbor's property is forgiven if he finds Christ, even if they covet again. A person that takes a life is forgiven if they find Jesus and make Him Lord of their lives... even if they take another life. That may be hard to swallow, but the fact that we all sin before and after we turn our lives over to Christ is indisputable. We all sin. So suggesting, “This person destroyed an image bearer of God” or some other spiritual gobbledygook is meaningless.

This sin, like nearly all others, is not unforgivable. And Christ's forgiveness is not a future event or an event that occurs after we sin. The Savior of mankind died on the cross for my sin and yours 2000 or so years ago. He rose from the dead 3 days later. It's a done deal, folks. When I found Christ, that was not the moment my sins were forgiven; it was the moment I began to walk in that forgiveness. So if I were to sin right now and then die seconds later, I have no fear that my eternity would be spent face to face with the Creator of all and the lover of my soul. Otherwise, we could never be sure of our salvation because we could accidentally sin and die unexpectedly without getting forgiveness. This is in line with Colossians 2:13-14. Paul tells us that when we put our faith in Christ, He forgave us all our sins—ALL of them. Not just the sins we had committed prior to finding Him. His sacrifice was final and complete. So, for me anyway, the idea that suicide means you've committed some sin you couldn't be forgiven of is a catastrophic failure to understand foundational principles of Christianity.

Others will suggest that a person who takes their own life, if they were a believer, has apparently given up on their Lord. They've lost faith in Him so they desired to stop living rather than allow Him to walk with them through whatever they were dealing with. I don't feel this is the case at all, although not every situation is the same. I'm sure this could be the case in some circumstances, but certainly not all and I don't feel comfortable being the judge concerning it. I'll leave that between God and the person in question.

Going back to an earlier point: often times the brain of a person who is in the deepest despair or depression cannot reason properly. This means trying to figure out exactly what happened or what the person was thinking is not possible. Your brain runs on electricity and chemistry. If the chemistry is terribly out of balance, it will literally not be possible to think clearly or control your thoughts. Have you ever heard advertisements on television or radio for a new medication that includes, as a side effect, thoughts of suicide or worsening depression? See the connection? Please don't take this to mean I'm saying someone isn't responsible for their actions. Of course we are held accountable. However, I will leave God alone to judge the person as He stands before them. One thing I am sure of—if the person was a follower of Christ, regardless of what sin they may have committed just before they died, they're praising God in the throne room of the Almighty.

Suicide is a major problem. It's on the rise and it's not looking good. The only real hope to change this is Jesus Christ. Taking a life, whether another person's or your own, is murder and a sin. However, if someone is a follower of Christ, all of their sins have been forgiven if we are to trust God's Word. This includes the sin of murder (as well as any other sin one may commit). Taking a life is not an unpardonable offense. However, there is always a better way. If you have contemplated suicide, please understand there is a better way to handle whatever your situation may be. Jesus loves you and so do a great number of people, and we all want to help. For those of us who may not struggle with these thoughts, be aware that often times a person dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts cannot or will not talk about it. If you see some strange behavior or a red flag, approach the person in love and with grace. We have to try to stop this epidemic.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


What Does the Bible Say About Suicide?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 11, 2018 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Last week, I wrote about what the Bible says about life and death. This week, I want to address a different circumstance of that: suicide. This is a topic that we at Worldview Warriors have been asked about at various times and in various ways, so we want to address it for those of you struggling with this - whether pondering suicide yourself, or struggling with a loved one who committed suicide.

Some people seem to believe that suicide is an unforgivable sin, and because of it that person would definitely not go to heaven. What does the Bible say about that? Nothing that I can find. The determining factor of whether a person goes to heaven or to hell is their faith in Jesus, not the cause of their death. It can be argued that the act of committing suicide is done because one loses faith in Jesus, but again the Bible does not speak specifically to that. We know that God is the ultimate Judge and the one to decide the fate of every human being, and we have to trust that He is loving and just.

There are stories in the Bible of people committing suicide, or making someone kill them (which is basically the same thing). In 1 Samuel 31, Saul fell on his own sword and killed himself, rather than face being captured by the Philistines. At the end of Judges 9, Abimelech makes his armor bearer kill him, rather than be killed due to injuries incurred by a woman. In Judges 16, Samson commits suicide (as well as the murder of thousands of Philistines) by literally bringing down the house. In Matthew 27:1-5, Judas Iscariot killed himself out of the guilt of betraying Jesus.

God isn’t interested in finding technicalities to keep people out of heaven, like the method in which a person dies. He fully desires for everyone to join Him in heaven for all eternity (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). He loves and highly values EVERY person, including you! God desires to have relationship with us and has made each one of us for a good purpose (Romans 8:28).

In this world, there will be sin. There will be bad stuff that happens. There will be things that may make it difficult to see how you can go on with life. (For more on why, check out this post that I wrote a few years ago on that topic or this post last year by Charlie Wolcott.) But, Jesus has overcome the world! He has promised to always be with us, through whatever struggles we may face. Here are just some of promises God made to us to assure us of His presence with us:

Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

We know that God will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Jesus will be with us always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20).

Even though we walk through dark places, we don’t need to fear because He is with us (Psalm 23:4).

Not even death can separate us from the love of God when we have faith in Him (Romans 8:38-39).

God is greater than anything we face in this world (1 John 4:4).

God will be with us, strengthen us, and help us, because He is our God (Isaiah 41:10).

God is near to us when even we’re suffering, and He will deliver us (Psalm 34:18-19).

The best way to deal with the hopelessness that suicide stems from is to renew your hope in Jesus, the only one who is truly worth hoping in. If you are considering suicide, please get appropriate help such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Also, reach out to fellow believers, to strengthen your relationship with Christ through their encouragement. Find a local Bible-believing church to encourage you and help you grow in your faith. If you don’t have anyone close to you that you can reach out to regarding this, please contact us here at Worldview Warriors! Connect with us on Facebook, leave a comment on this (or any) blog post, or get ahold of us through our website. We will help encourage you with God’s truth, about this or whatever struggle you may be having.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Faith of Isaiah

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, June 10, 2018 0 comments

by Logan Ames

This past week, I got to watch the last hour of a movie that, having grown up in the 1990s, I consider a classic. Braveheart is the story of William Wallace, who led the Scottish revolt against the king of England beginning in the late 13th century. The theme of the movie is Wallace’s quest for independence for his people in the face of the uncertainty of so many of his comrades, who at times boldly followed him and other times questioned his willingness to take on the establishment. During one conversation with his close friend and fellow rebel, Hamish, Wallace is considering taking the Scottish nobles up on their offer to join forces to go after the enemy. Hamish tries to convince Wallace that it’s a trap (he would be proven correct on that), but Wallace is willing to take that chance because he knows it’s the only way they could possibly achieve victory. Hamish, fearing the trap will lead to their gruesome torture and death, declares, “I don’t want to be a martyr." Wallace responds, “Nor I. I want to live. I want a home, and children, and peace. I’ve asked God for these things. It’s all for nothing if you don’t have freedom."

Even after William Wallace was captured, he held true to the cause of freedom, refusing to confess his “crime” and swear allegiance to the king of England, even while being tortured and killed. He demonstrated that it is better to die fighting for what’s right than live having accepted what is wrong. In Hebrews 11:37, we read about the unnamed heroes of the faith who experienced excruciating pain as they were martyred but never abandoned their allegiance to God. One of the descriptors is that “they were sawed in two." This is an interesting category of martyrs because we do not find any specific stories of someone being killed for their faith in this way anywhere in Scripture. As I’ve found in doing some research, a theologian named John Gill explains in his exposition of the Bible that other historical Jewish texts, including the Talmuds and the Midrash, have references to the death of Isaiah the prophet. These texts and Jewish tradition hold that Isaiah feared the evil King Manasseh, who took issue with some of his prophecies. Isaiah then ran away from the king and hid inside a cedar tree, but the outer edges of his clothing were visible and he was found. King Manasseh ordered that the tree be sawed in two while Isaiah was still in it, and this is how he was martyred.

Admittedly, I don’t have copies of any of these historical texts in my posession, so I cannot verify their words. However, I do believe that Hebrews 11 is true because, like the rest of Scripture, it is inspired by the very breath of God (2 Timothy 3:16). As the writer of Hebrews was putting pen to paper, we can be certain that the Holy Spirit was guiding him and that the Jews who would’ve read it would’ve been familiar with the tradition of Isaiah’s martyrdom. But that’s not all.

We can certainly look at the Scriptures that do describe this time in history and consider whether it’s possible and even likely that King Manasseh might have killed Isaiah. Isaiah 1:1 tells us that Isaiah was a prophet during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, who were all kings of Judah. 2 Kings 20:21 tells us that Manasseh was the son of Hezekiah and succeeded him as king. So, we already know that Isaiah’s prophecies ended when Manasseh came into power after Hezekiah. Logically, we can ask ourselves whether it is likely that a man who proclaimed the word of the Lord for the reigns of four straight kings would’ve suddenly just decided to stop for any reason other than his own death. Prophets of the Lord didn’t plan for retirement! Plus, Isaiah 6:11-13 tells us that God sent Isaiah to prophesy until Judah is forsaken and ruined and the Lord has sent everyone far away. As we look further into the story, that piece of information becomes important.

The reign of Hezekiah lasts from 2 Kings 18-20, and during this time, Hezekiah seems to accept the prophecies of Isaiah. Hezekiah trusts, follows, and seeks the word of the Lord. In 2 Kings 20, he becomes very ill and Isaiah tells him that God says he is going to die (v. 1). Hezekiah pleads with God to remember his faithfulness and heal him, and God tells Isaiah to go back and tell him that God has heard his prayer and will add fifteen more years to his life (vv. 2-6). Isaiah speaks everything God commands and then even tells Hezekiah how to treat his condition and also reveals the sign that God has given to show him he will be healed (vv. 7-11). After this, Hezekiah accepts envoys sent from the king of Babylon and essentially shows off everything in his kingdom. He doesn’t realize how foolish of a move this is until Isaiah declares that God has spoken and that one day, everything Hezekiah has shown off to the envoys will be carried off to Babylon and some of his own biological descendants will be taken as captives and made eunuchs there (vv. 12-18). Certainly, this is common sense. If you boast about your wealth to a pagan country who has the means and the ruthlessness to attack you and take it for themselves, you can expect that they’ll come for it at some point. Hezekiah doesn’t seem to be too alarmed by this because he figures it will happen after he is long gone.

After Hezekiah died, Manasseh took over and “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (2 Kings 21:2). The rest of 2 Kings 21 goes on to tell us the evils that Manasseh committed, but verse 16 is where we specifically see that he “shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end." It’s not difficult to surmise that Isaiah was likely one of those innocents who was killed, especially since he was so prominent during Hezekiah’s reign and we never hear from him again chronologically after this.

You might be wondering what Isaiah’s faithfulness and willingness to speak the word of the Lord truly accomplished. Well, 2 Chronicles 33:1-20 gives us another view of Manasseh’s reign. Verses 11-13 shows us that what Isaiah had prophesied to Hezekiah in the last known prophecy of his that we have outside of the book that bears his name came true! Manasseh, obviously a biological descendant of Hezekiah, is taken captive to Babylon after his kingdom is attacked. He likely knew of Isaiah’s words about this and may have murdered him over that specific prophecy, yet now he realized that it came true. Manasseh humbled himself before the Lord and the Lord rescued him and brought him back to his home and kingdom. “Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God” (v. 13). This changed everything for Manasseh and he spent the rest of his reign and life worshipping and following God, even while his people continued to sin.

Like William Wallace, Isaiah stayed loyal to his cause even to his death. Neither of them wanted to die and each of them tried to avoid it with all they could. Wallace had a wife who had been murdered and spoke of a desire to have a home and children and peace. Isaiah 8:1-4 tells us that the prophet had a wife and at least one child. I’m sure he dreamed of living happily ever after with them, but God commanded him to speak truth and he never abandoned it, even though he knew it could cost him his life. In the end, his willingness to proclaim God’s word planted a seed in Manasseh that caused him to turn back to the Lord when it came true. Isaiah may have met an awful end to this life, but he is surely counted among the faithful heroes who chose to die being right with God rather than live in opposition to him. May we boldly follow his example if it ever comes to it in our lives.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.