Another Jesus, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 22, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As I go through this series (part 1 is here and part 2 is here), my desire in exposing all these false images of Jesus is not to condemn anyone who believes in these figments of imagination, but to help you see if you recognize yourself falling into one of these categories and if so, to get out before it’s too late. There are few churches left promoting the real Jesus and few pastors willing to preach who He really is. I have six more “other Jesus” models to address. Next week we’ll study the real one.

A very popular model of Jesus among scientists and politicians is the Unknowable Jesus. This Jesus is one you can praise and acknowledge, but you really can’t know who he is or what he is like. His standards, if any, are unclear, and he often allows us to do whatever we desire. He is acknowledged as being out there and as existing, but he is treated like many of the ancient near east cultures treated their gods: treating religious rituals as nice rituals, but having no real bearing on their everyday lives outside of that. The “Emergent Church/Progressive Christianity” movement presses this Jesus a lot. They say both God and the Bible cannot really be known so they must be “interpreted” in according to the culture. The Greeks knew there was a True God out there but did not know who he was or what he was like so they set up an altar to the “Unknown God” and worshiped Him as they did all their other gods. When Paul came to address the Greek experts at Mars Hill, he revealed who the True God was and most laughed him out, though some believed.

Closely related is the Distant Jesus. The Distant Jesus is the one who created everything and set things in motion but left us to do our own thing. This is the Jesus that Theistic Evolutionists and most other Old Earth believers follow, whether they recognize it or not. They may claim fealty to Christ, but when they describe him, how he acts, and how he does what he sets out to do, it looks nothing like what the Bible describes of him. This same Jesus is available for saving us from hell but does not rule over every area of our lives. He is only concerned that we get to heaven with him, but not with purity, holiness, or even an intimate relationship with us. This Jesus is correctly identified as distant from those who believe in this type of Jesus, because they are so far from the real one because of their sin that they have become blind to the issue. Beware of judging others for believing in this type of Jesus, because many Christians think they can do whatever they want without regard to input from Jesus. And this one hits closer to home than many of us would like to admit if we were truly honest with ourselves.

Many Old Earthers act like cult leaders in one primary aspect: they believe in an Enlightened Jesus. This Jesus is the one who gives special revelation to certain people and secret knowledge. This usually can only be acquired through either ‘proper education,’ or personal study. It is knowledge of God and what he did that was not accessible before as the Bible was being written, but revealed to us later now that we have enough science and technology to step away from the old accounts. The Enlightened Jesus tells each generation what they are capable of understanding and as a newer, more educated generation comes around, he explains a totally new idea that fits the better education. This Jesus is never above the knowledge base of the generation and culture and constantly changes according to what the leadership decides is the best way for him to operate. Peter warned us against such notions and told us that none of the prophecies of Scripture were of private interpretation. Paul also tells us that the wisdom of this world is foolishness and contrary to what God actually teaches. So, if anyone tells you they have special knowledge of God, beware because it’s likely not true. I do believe God will speak to us in regard to our personalities and perspective, but anything He says to one person will never contradict what He says to another nor with Scripture. If it does, someone got it wrong and we should always look at self first as the one being in error. That is one thing you will never see the Old Earth crowd do.

The Worldly Jesus is similar to the Enlightened Jesus. He is the one who works and operates in and through the world’s system, as they are the solution. Many American Christians have fallen for this, especially with Trump’s presidential administration, because they have turned towards politics or using politics as the solution to solving the problems instead of the Gospel. I want to say this clearly: Trump is not the savior for the U.S. from an ever-present anti-Christian agenda. The best he can do is delay it. So while as Americans, it is good to defend our rights and our freedoms, we MUST remember that that is Americanism, not Christianity. The True Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world.” While God most certainly uses political entities and rulers for his purposes, and while we are to honor and respect our authorities, never are we to turn to them for our answers. God always got on the case of the kings who turned to other nations for their salvation rather than to God to deliver them. And we as Christians in America need to be preparing to suffer for our faith as has been the norm for the bulk of Christianity across the world and history.

The Social Jesus is related to the Worldly Jesus. This Jesus’s primary goal is to fix the problems in society, to save the turtles or save the planet, but doesn’t worry about things like sexual purity or any moral issues. If you have listened to any of the Emergent Church/Progressive Christian teachers, you have heard about this ‘other Jesus.’ This is the Jesus of the “Social Justice Warriors.” This is the Jesus who would side with Judas that the most precious possessions should be sold and given to the poor rather than given to the real Jesus. Now I am not saying don’t do any of these things. We should care for the poor. We should be good stewards of our planet. But why? The poor will always be with us and this planet is eventually going to burn with fire. The reason to care for the poor is because we care about their souls, and we show that by meeting their physical needs. The reason we take care of our planet is so those living on it can live properly on it. But that is not the end goal. The end goal is the glory of God. Social Jesus wants to save this planet for this world’s sake, not God’s sake, and when people address morality, that is a problem for that agenda. The True Jesus never called for social reform, nor did He fix any societal problems by any political means. Any changes He made was through the preaching of the Gospel and changing people’s hearts.

The last one I will address in this mini-series is the Pantheistic Jesus. There are two flavors of this one. A number of the Prosperity Gospel preachers declare a Pantheistic Jesus. They love to talk about God and his provision, but if you listen closely, when they talk about God, he is not the Lord and Sovereign King over the universe, but a New-Age mystical energy that comes to you to give you what you want. The Divine Butler and Genie Jesus line up with this one quite well. But what makes Pantheistic Jesus separate from those two is that many Old Earthers describe him as such too. I recently finished a book titled “The Physics of Christianity” and the author, Frank Tipler, ‘defines’ God as a “Cosmological Singularity” from which all the “multiverses” come out from and return to. While he tries to claim that this Cosmological Singularity is transcendent from the rest of the universes (yes, plural), everything he describes is “God is in nature and part of it.” Many Theistic Evolutionists ultimately describe God as little more than the laws of nature, which replace the ancient gods of Greece and Rome. That is not the God the Bible describes. He is not of this world nor is He comprised of anything in this universe. He is completely separate from it, yet interacts with it.

Do you recognize any of these “other Jesus” models in your circles, in your church, or more importantly in your own life? I’d hate to admit it, but as I wrote this series, I can still see hints of some of these lingering in my own life. There are other “other Jesus” models out there, but there is only one true Jesus Christ. Next week, we’ll take a look at who He really is and we’ll start by looking at some of the names He wears.

Like Charlie’s writings? You can purchase his book Biblical Foundations here!

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.


Rock of Ages or Ages of Rocks

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 21, 2019 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week, I began a series in response to a set of 10 questions an old earth creationist (possibly a theistic evolutionist) named Michael Roberts wanted to ask young earth creationists (what is appropriately referred to as a Biblical creationist). I was happy to find this set of 10 questions to help him on his path to understanding the Word of God and the Truth found in it. You can find that writing here, but I will be directly quoting his questions in these writings if you don't want to read ahead.

I find it necessary to get into the discussion here with this non-Biblical creationist because he appears to be not very knowledgeable on the subject of creation—especially from a Biblical stance rather than a stance based on the humanist origins myth. I know this because he's posted things in groups online that are exceptionally weak strawman arguments against Biblical creation, including nonsensical things like this picture of the Ark:

Of course, no creationist that I know thinks this is what happened and if he knew anything at all about what he's rejecting, he'd know how foolish it makes him look to suggest such a thing. My experience with old earth creationists and theistic evolutionists is that most, if not all, are extremely ignorant on what the Bible actually says about creation and, therefore, what Biblical creationists believe. They create numerous strawmen so they can knock them down, appearing to vindicate the erroneous teachings of deep time and/or evolution. Michael Roberts is no different. Some will often claim that they were once “young earthers” and therefore know all the ins and outs, but if that's true, they had no idea what the idea was they have since rejected. I feel many of them do know what the case for Biblical creation is, but they intentionally distort it in their presentations on origins so they can make it look foolish. This is truly the worst type of error—an intentional one. It is deception and is not the way a believer should conduct themselves. I don't know which Mr. Roberts is, or perhaps he's both. However, I've chosen to give him the benefit of the doubt and rather than assume he's lying, I've decided he must just not know what he's talking about. But let's look at his first question. It is, in fact, an area we can agree on and it's a good place to start.

Can we start by agreeing that the Gospel is more about the Rock of Ages than the ages of rocks?

Sure thing! The good news of Jesus Christ is that death has been defeated and sin no longer has us as slaves because of what the Son has done. This is what life in the Garden of Eden was like at the beginning and we're told it will return to this in the future. However, the Gospel message is exclusively the result of the creation, fall, and curse. What are we to be saved from? The sin nature which is part of every human heart as a result of the fall of Adam and Eve. Why? Because they rebelled against God who gave them instructions on how He wanted them to live. They had one rule and they broke it. They passed this on to us. Hence, all of creation is cursed. Work would be harder. Child birth for women would be harder. The ground was cursed. Death would result eventually. And why do we care what God says about all this? Because He's the Creator—He's the one who has a say in it. Who else can demand a standard of living but the one who created us and fashioned each of us? The Gospel hangs on whether or not Genesis is true. If Adam isn't a real man and was not “from the beginning,” then Jesus need not be real either. You see, one is called the first Adam while the other is called the last Adam. In the first, we all die. In the last, we all can live. If Genesis is true, then we have a reason for a Savior, who was actually mentioned in the Genesis account.

In short, the Rock of Ages rests comfortably on a foundation of Genesis from the Biblical perspective. From the old earth and theistic evolution perspective, it's more difficult to make sense of it. This is why it's easier to find old earth creationists and even more so theistic evolutionists who don't believe Christ is the only Way but simply a way to the Father. They join Oprah Winfrey in espousing Christianity as their faith but allow for others to have their own truth as well. I'm not saying Roberts is like this. But to be sure we understand what I'm saying: There are many great theologians and scientists and wonderful Christian people who believe in deep time, whether that means old earth creation in one of its various forms or theistic evolutionism. However, straying from the foundation of the solid and easily understood message of creation, sin, the fall and curse, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel means it's that much easier to deny other major doctrines as well. This is no slippery slope fallacy but simply my observation and that of many others.

There are people who repeatedly say things like this question from Michael Roberts—isn't the important thing Jesus? But these people will also repeatedly attack Biblical creationists and the Bible in general while they hold hands with atheists and other God-hating individuals, using their ideas and beliefs to attack “fellow Christians.” This must stop! My zeal for this topic stems from my desire to show people the Truth of Jesus Christ. I see young people being drawn away from the faith because they accept the unscientific premise that we can date the age of the earth or rocks or the universe, and these dates conflict with what the Bible very clearly teaches. So, my desire is out of love for people that they come to find Jesus Christ and know Him deeply as Creator, Lawgiver, and Savior/Redeemer as well as the soon coming King. They need to know they can trust His Word. But the concern from many (I'm sure not all) old earth creationists and theistic evolutionists appears to be based on arrogance and the desire to win a debate. They don't mock and ridicule Biblical creationists because we don't believe God's Word; they mock us and claim we're ignorant or stupid or gullible because we see past the facade of deep time and all that comes with it. They rail on us because we disagree with them and their “science.” It masquerades as science when it's not. We express concern for the souls of the lost while they express anger for us not agreeing with the humanist origins myth.

Yes, the Gospel Truth is far more important than each of the details of it—but they all must be in place for the Gospel to even make sense. We need a Savior because man fell away 6000 years ago, probably shortly after the creation. God created. Man sinned. There were consequences for this rebellion and we're still dealing with that today. Jesus Christ is the answer in all this! And we're stuck with this very simple question: are we going to believe God Almighty or not? There is literally no indication from Genesis that it should be read as anything but a historical narrative. And if the beginning is something other than actual history, when does that stop? There is no indication in the text that something changes, so really it's either all true or it’s all just some myth that doesn't have any truth to it. Which is it? I prefer to let the context tell me. That context is perfectly in line with reading it as history, and the rest of Scripture confirms this. In short, the old earth creationist and theistic evolutionist have no Biblical basis for their beliefs on origins at all—none. And the Gospel and the Rock of Ages stands firmly on a literal reading of Genesis. Mr. Roberts claims that “The center of the Gospel is the crucified and risen Christ, and everything in the Old Testament leads up to that,” but he doesn't seem to believe that as he's thrown out the core of the Old Testament and its foundations.

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.


Social Osmosis

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, February 20, 2019 0 comments

by David Odegard

In the same way that all of us consume and appropriate nutrients from our food, so we all also consume the cultural and social world around us. We cannot help but hear and see and feel the time and tide of culture. Social or cultural osmosis occurs today at astonishing speed and with hideous power.

The zeitgeist means the spirit of the age; it is the mood of an entire era. Think of the Roaring 20s when the Federal Reserve first discovered it could just print money and artificially raise the stock market. Poverty was supposed to have been eradicated. The cultural mood in America was unlimited prosperity, low moral standards, celebration, and heady optimism. After all, the U.S. had just won the war to end all wars, World War I. Moral codes fell dramatically, and hemlines rose accordingly. Booze flowed like ink from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s pen.

There was much pressure on young Americans to adopt the common outlook. The power of culture, though, took a megawatt boost on November 2, 1920. It was the very first broadcast of a commercial radio station, KDKA out of Pittsburgh, which chose that day because it was election day. For the first time people would hear the election results before reading it in the newspapers. (The winner was Warren G. Harding, by the way.) Never before could one person speak to more people at once than someone could meet in person in a lifetime.

A scramble to control the airwaves ensued. Politicians, corporations, and religious leaders all wanted to gain the upper hand over the airwaves so that they could be the one speaking directly to America. The radio became the undisputed king of culture.

Americans began to assume a system of the world, or a way that the world is, without thinking. The advertisements presented a way of life that was accepted uncritically. Society was changing dramatically and it was fueled by the cultural pressure. Many good things occurred, such as women receiving the vote. Cars were being mass produced and 26 million of them were sold in the 1920s. Passenger aviation began to be a viable enterprise, and there were many more technological advancements that transformed everyday life so that many aspects of life would be unrecognizable to someone born only a hundred years before.

All these technologies made the nation seem smaller, but it also made the human person smaller. No one had a voice if he or she didn’t also have a microphone. Eventually the elite got control of the microphones, the government controlled what could be said over the radio, and the common American voice grew almost inaudible under the din of the ten-thousand-megawatt voice bought and paid for by elites.

Then suddenly the world was turned upside down in the 3rd and 4th quarter of October 1929 during a series of corrections, slides, and then eventually crashes to the stock market. Seemingly overnight the zeitgeist moved from optimism, permissiveness, and celebration to humility, repentance, and despair. Everyone was influenced by this new spirit of the age, but the radio remained king. With the proliferation of technology, cultural experiences became far more standardized with everyone feeling the common cultural mood. People could be molded by influencers like never before, and it all happened so naturally.

Fast-forward this narrative and you will see television, color television, an explosion of programming and commercials, cable television, satellite TV, and finally the internet all adding irresistible power to the standardizing influence of culture upon the average American.

A pattern of public manipulation has emerged through the controlling influence of media, and the internet is not immune. As every new technology arrives, everyone scrambles to master it. Eventually a few companies control access, profiting off of the ads and access. Then the government controls appear, controlling content and maintaining monopolistic powers for a chosen few. This has not yet occurred completely in the case of the internet, but it is plainly beginning to occur. Already corporations like Google and Facebook control access, monitor usage, sell the data, and censor content that they do not like. Meanwhile the government has proposed legislation time after time to tax the internet, control speed and bandwidth, stifle competition, regulate content, spy on everyone, etc. If the historical pattern endures, these elite interests will eventually win control. I can only guess that humans will immediately begin working on yet another technology free of these controls, perhaps blockchain?

What does all this have to do with Christianity? Christians, like everyone else, are swimming in the zeitgeist. It influences us whether we realize it or not. Being aware of that fact helps us to take precautions against it and, with hope, avoid some of the worst outcomes.

One of the most important steps in our journey to Christ is to become aware of our own worldview. That is, we actually take off the interpretive lenses through which we view the world and examine them. Are we getting an accurate picture of the world as it really is? Does our worldview transform the blurry, unfocused, and confusing elements of the world into a clear picture? Can it explain both the past and present, and does it provide predictive models with more accuracy than competing worldviews?

Christianity does that for us when it is sufficiently understood. It is the best explanation for the world as it is. It has better answers for the origin of the universe, the existence of life rather than mere matter, the existence of consciousness, the existence of qualia, the fine-tuning of the universe, etc. Science almost always supports a Christian worldview rather than a materialistic one.

Worldview development is vital to passing on genuine Christian values, therefore the Christian has to develop resistance to the zeitgeist in order to be faithful to Christ. I would invite readers to check out the many books written on Christian worldview. An easily accessible online resource is the work of Summit Ministry; there is a fun and free worldview pop quiz here. Feel free to share your results in the comment section of this page. How Christian are you?

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.


Jesus Still Doesn’t Want My Sock Monkey

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8 comments

by Chad Koons

“Bruce… you’re still here?!” I shouted with tears streaming down my face. This was a good day, though terribly traumatic. I lost a bit of childhood wonder that afternoon, but what I gained was far more valuable. Maybe Jesus wanted something that I just couldn’t give Him. Or maybe I was giving Him the wrong thing?

Let me back up. I was 5 years old when this happened, and I’d never be the same.

I was a skinny, bullied, but happy little kid with dimples and a bowl cut. There were only a few things in life that I truly cared about: my mom and dad, God, our black dog named “Brownie” (don’t ask), and Bruce. Not necessarily in that order, as sometimes Bruce would command a pretty strong first place. Who was Bruce? Bruce was my best friend, a homemade sock monkey stuffed with nylon stockings.

Our church had Vacation Bible School (VBS) every summer. My aunt Betty would pick me up for it. She was simply awesome. She had the kindest blue eyes, a loving smile, big blonde hair, and smelled like a million bucks. Like if Dolly Parton was your aunt, only better. I’d stand outside waiting for her, and sometimes Bruce would tag along, too. She’d stop at the end of our driveway and I’d hop in. “Ready to go, Chad?” she would say with a grin. “Weeee!” she would say, mashing the gas pedal and shooting us up the mountain like a 4-door rocket ship. Ah, the 80’s were a great time for me.

That particular year, VBS centered around a most profound theme: giving Jesus your best.

I remember sincerely struggling to understand the meaning of this. Whatever my “best” was, God wasn’t physically “there” to give anything to! And didn’t He already have everything?! I was beyond frustrated. This may have been the first time I’d grappled with making sense of an abstract idea. The Lord was drawing me even then, and if God wanted my best, then He’d get it. I prayed, saying “God, what is my best?” After thinking about it all week, I had come to some conclusions.
1. The best thing I had was my parents.
2. If I “gave” them to God, whatever that meant, then I’d have no one to take care of me!

What a horrible realization! This was a no-win situation. I remember specifically thinking, “Doesn’t He know that we need our parents?” And how would this work, would God show up and swoop them away or something?

God wasn’t explaining Himself. Thanks a lot, Jesus. You want my best, but you won’t talk to me about it. I decided to rethink this whole thing. Some days later, the most horrible revelation dawned upon me.

“Oh no... not this!” fear surging through my body. God didn’t want my parents; He wanted BRUCE!

Now this made me cry. What did Jesus want with a sock monkey?! I looked into Bruce’s button eyes, that tattered monkey who I’d never known life without, hugging him with.all my might while coming to terms with his soon to be departure. Come Saturday, I would do it. Bruce would be given to Jesus.

Saturday afternoon arrived. I trudged down our steps and into the front yard, Bruce in tow. I confessed to Bruce that we couldn’t be together anymore, that God wanted him for some reason and that he’d go live with Jesus now.

Being as strong as a 5-year-old could be, I relinquished Bruce, laying him upon the ground. I turned my back and walked away, closed my eyes and whimpered: “Take him, Jesus.” I broke down, waiting for something, anything to indicate that Jesus had come down to whisk Bruce away. But nothing happened. Unable to wait any longer, I turned my head and peeked… WHAT?! Bruce was still there! I ran to him, snatching him up with glee. Though my smile soon faded, I realized that maybe I hadn’t given Jesus enough time to get him. Maybe it was like Santa Claus, and He wouldn’t come if I was watching?

I offered Bruce for a second time. Much to my confusion, God just left him lay there again. This was becoming too much for me to handle. Was I doing something wrong? One last chance, I thought. There would be a final offering. Once more, Bruce found himself laid upon the ground, silently awaiting the return of Jesus to whisk him away. I turned my back and waited. How heart-broken I was, I remember looking skyward and shouting at the heavens, nothing made sense. Where was Jesus? He wanted my best and I was trying to give it! Come on, Lord, please just finish this already!

After giving the Lord ample of time to collect Bruce, the moment had come to face my fate. If Bruce was gone, then Jesus was happy with me. If Bruce was still there, then I would get to keep him. I slowly turned around. “Bruce?! You’re still here!” I shouted wildly, half blinded from the tears streaming down my face. I ran to him, snatched him up and just about squeezed his nylon stockings out! But something felt very wrong. I couldn’t understand why all of this had happened. I was left wondering, did Jesus want something that I was unable to give Him, or was I simply offering Him the wrong thing?

I must admit, sometimes I look at my life now and wonder if I’m still getting it all wrong.

To be clear, God doesn’t want our stuff. He lacks nothing, He does not have a need that we can fill.

I’m no longer offering sock monkeys, sadly it has gotten much worse than that. Instead, I’m offering Him the grown-up sort of wrong things, like my duty. That’s what He wants most, right? If God were to interrupt my life, if He were to literally appear while I’m simply being a husband, being a daddy, performing my ministry position, in my workday, or anywhere else… would I feel ashamed, knowing that I’m serving my duty over serving Him? I’ve become so good at living my Godly life that I could almost do it without God. This is absolutely bone chilling, nothing could be more terrifying.

Do you know what God wants? Please allow the gravity of this next statement to sink in: He wants “us.” Call it our heart, our life, whatever. You and I are the offering, bare, broken, and breathing. Every single moment is built upon this, dear readers, and it MUST begin there. Remove the sandals from your feet, approach Him as He made you, not upon your own inventions; you are standing upon holy ground. In Christ is our eternal launching point. Our work may be tremendously important, but our work is not the desired offering. You and I are the sacrifice. See Galatians 2:20-21 and Psalm 51:17. Remember how Adam walked with the Lord? I want this so deeply. To keep in step with the Spirit. Letting our work become an overflow of who we are as we daily walk with Him. In this way we give God what He actually wants, not what we think He wants. See Galatians 5:25 and Hebrews 11:26-27.

Jesus still doesn’t want my sock monkey, but He’ll always want me.

So, what about my old sock monkey Bruce? He’s still around. Full of holes and patches, but I can count on him to always smell and feel like home. I’m pretty sure he’ll always be around. Unless Jesus changes His mind and takes him after all…

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.


Psalm 18

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 18, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:1-2)

The main reason I chose to write on Psalm 18 is its first couple verses. These two verses are pretty powerful so I want to focus primarily on them.

While much of the Bible is about love, it occurred to me that we don’t often see the words “I love you” in it like this. The word for “love” here in the Hebrew is not the most common verb for love. There are multiple words to express love, but this one is most often used to refer to the mercy and compassion that God has on mankind. It’s often associated with the nurturing love a mother has for her children. Using this particular word here shows that the psalmist (David) is communicating how intimate his relationship is with God and how it contains a love that is compassionate, nurturing, and merciful.

David further clarifies this relationship by calling the Lord his strength. Through God’s love and their relationship, David has seen God working in his life. God chose David even though he was the youngest and smallest of Jesse’s 8 sons (1 Samuel 16). David saw God’s strength firsthand when God worked through David to defeat Goliath (1 Samuel 17). David had plenty of proof in his life of God’s strength, so God being David’s strength is a key component to their relationship.

David goes on to describe the Lord with three more terms: rock, fortress, and deliverer. God is referred to as the rock of Israel multiple times in the book of Deuteronomy, including 32:4: “He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Rocks are generally considered to be unmoving (at least in the days before heavy machinery), so this picture of God shows that He is forever faithful, not changing in His ways or opinions. We can count on God to always be who He is, no matter what.

David was a warrior, so the military term of “fortress” would have been a part of his normal vocabulary. David also refers to God in these terms in Psalm 31:2: “Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.” David would have been very familiar with physical fortresses such as Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5:7) or his stronghold in the wilderness (1 Samuel 24:22).

God had already delivered David from Saul’s murderous rage (1 Samuel 18-19), so “deliverer” was another aspect of God that David had lived out in his life. David had gone through many battles where he knew they won because of the Lord’s hand, not simply because of David’s strength. God truly was his deliverer.

David then uses parallelism and repeats the same idea again with slightly different words. The first address of God uses the divine name of YHWH, while the second is the more generic “God.” This English translation uses the word “rock” twice, but in Hebrew those are two different words for “rock.” His use of “shield” is similar to “fortress,” and “salvation” is similar to “deliverer.” The word for “salvation” is the same root where the name of Jesus comes from. The final attribute of “my stronghold” could also be translated as refuge or fortress.

We see a lot of military sort of language here, because that was David’s world that he was familiar with. We see a richness in David’s language here, and maybe some of these words resonate with you strongly too. If you were writing a psalm of love to God, what words would you choose?

I encourage you to read the rest of this psalm and see what else David has to say about God, but I’ll summarize it a bit for you here. After focusing on praising God for His character, verse 3 explains the purpose of this psalm: to call upon God for salvation. David then goes on to describe the situation that God saved him from (verses 4-6) and how God saved him from that (verses 7-19). David then shares why God desired to save him (verses 20-27), and then about how God was so good to him (verses 28-34). David shares how God provided him victory over his enemies (verses 35-45) then praises Him for it (verses 46-49).

The psalm closes with verse 50: “He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.” This brings it back full circle to where the psalm started - with David professing his love for God. All of the things that God did for David were wrapped up in love; God’s love for us is the reason we can have relationship with Him, and it’s what that relationship is built on.

How is God showing that love in your life? What has God done for you, similar to the victories He gave King David, that have proven His love for you and His strength in your life? Reflect on God’s love in your life this week, and all that ways He is working in your life.

Like Katie’s writings? You can purchase her book What the Bible Says About... here!

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.


Two Ears, One Tongue

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 17, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

When I was a child who didn’t want to pay any attention to my parents or other authority figures in my life, I would occasionally be told the same thing I’m willing to bet many of you were told as well: “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen!” In my sarcastic mind, I wanted to respond, “How come God didn’t make me care?” When someone comes down on you for not listening, the issue isn’t that you can’t physically hear them; it’s that you couldn’t possibly care less about what they are saying. Generally, it’s because you are more focused on yourself and whatever you desire in that moment. The older we get, the more easily we can fake it and at least give the impression that we are listening to someone even when we honestly do not care about what they are saying. But God’s Word tells us that listening more and talking less is not only the mark of a believer but also the easiest path to harmony and peace.

In James 1:19-20, the writer addresses a topic that has plagued humanity from the very beginning of the human race, to the beginning of the Christian church, to the present time. Remember that the Book of James is widely considered to be the first one written, chronologically speaking, in the entire New Testament. It was written to the earliest believers who were all Jews that had been scattered. Anger stemming from the unwillingness to listen was a problem for them, just as it was a problem for the very first family of all mankind. In Genesis 3:12, Adam blames Eve for causing their downfall by eating the forbidden fruit (even though Adam was responsible for telling his wife what God had commanded). I’m generally assuming that there was anger when he blamed her because it typically accompanies blame in our lives, though I do admit Scripture does not say that. However, in the very next chapter and with the very next generation of human beings, we see that the son of Adam and Eve, Cain, “was very angry and his face was downcast” over the fact that God accepted his brother Abel’s offering and not his (Genesis 4:4-5). From those early moments on, anger has been a part of our world and the way we relate to one another.

James considered it enough of a concern in the early church that he decided to specifically address it in his letter and call their attention to it: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20). It’s easy to look at these verses and then try to will ourselves to do better in these areas, but a true change would require us to get to the heart of the matter. The best way we can learn to be slow to become angry is by first listening more and talking less. If you think about it, when we are quick to become angry it is most often because we are focused on ourselves and OUR feelings or expectations. Listening to others and refraining from talking are two ways to practice being focused on others. James understands what our natural sinful inclination is, yet he’s telling them that one mark of a brother or sister in Christ is that they are “slow to become angry."

The old saying is actually TRUE; God does give us two ears that are always open and one mouth that actually hides the tongue which we need in order to speak. I don’t believe this is a coincidence. If we use these gifts accordingly, we’ll be much more likely to be slow to anger. But the next verse is where James tells us WHY we should be slow to become angry. The words “human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” have always jumped off the page at me. I was taught growing up that there is such a thing as “righteous anger." The Bible supports this. Jesus could certainly be described as “angry” when he cleared the temple courts and overturned the tables that people were using to conduct business in the Father’s house in John 2:13-17, and Paul quotes Psalm 4:4 when he says, “In your anger, do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26). I don’t believe the apostle would give this command if it were impossible to keep it.

The question, then, is what constitutes righteous anger? I can assure you that probably 99% of the times that “righteous” anger was pointed out to me growing up, it certainly was not righteous. Many times, we think that because we are Christians and something about sinners angers us, our anger is RIGHTEOUS. We lazily and carelessly pretend that God feels the same way we do about things. This unfortunate attitude is spreading like wildfire right now in our country on BOTH sides of the political divide. Conservatives think their anger toward liberals is justified because they’ve already labeled and condemned them as heathens for the policies to which they adhere that don’t line up with Biblical truth. Liberals think their anger toward conservatives is justified because there is no way in their minds that God would be okay with guns, border security and immigrant deportation, forcing women to birth children that have already been conceived, or people being unable to afford healthcare or education. The reaction of anger from each side to the other, and then considering it “righteous anger," pains me greatly because of Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." When are we going to accept and live knowing that, regardless of how sure of ourselves we are, GOD DOES NOT THINK LIKE WE DO?

James clearly says that “human” anger does not produce righteousness (James 1:20). Because of this, I’ve struggled with whether it is even possible for us to have righteous anger. James didn’t specify with “unrighteous” human anger. He just refers to anger which is “human” in nature and leaves it at that. I’ve wondered how someone can have righteous anger when they are not righteous. As I go back to the example of Jesus and the words of Paul, I must still conclude that righteous anger is possible for the believer. But we MUST understand that most of the anger we justify as righteous is not so. True righteous anger cannot be “human” and cannot come from within us; it must come from God through the Holy Spirit who guides us. This is why he also said we must be SLOW to become angry combined with being quick to listen and slow to speak. In other words, we cannot have anger that is truly righteous without taking the time to consider its source before opening our mouths.

We should always ask several questions before expressing anger over something that our gut tells us is a righteous cause: 1) Am I sure my view is in agreement with God’s and His Word? 2) Even if God’s Word is clear on this subject, is there anything extra that I’ve chosen to make personal? 3) Does God want me to speak up about it right now? 4) How can I speak the truth in love? That is not an exhaustive list of questions but they are good ones to ask nonetheless. If we do not take the time to reflect and just carelessly assume we are right in God’s eyes, we will almost certainly do more damage and throw gasoline on fires that don’t need any more of it. Human beings must tread carefully when choosing to speak for God.

In the last verse for this section, James tells us to “get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:21). This requires action because evil does not go away on its own. We have to be willing to attack our sin with the same vigor that we attack that which we feel is unrighteous in others. James says the only way we can truly receive God’s Word is to do so “humbly." This means we can’t assume we have cornered the market on what God thinks and what He says. And the more we fill up our lives and minds with other “filth," the less likely we are to be thinking clearly when the anger sharks are swimming. This concept goes back to Cain as well. God told him, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). Cain allowed himself to be filled with evil and his anger ended up destroying him. If we allow ourselves to be filled with God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then anger and any other emotion that flows out of us will not be “human” in nature, but RIGHTEOUS. Be humble today and receive His truth.

Like Logan’s writings? You can purchase his book Heroes of the Faith here!

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.


Another Jesus, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 15, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Exposing false teachings is never really enjoyable. It makes me mad when I see them and I have had to often tell my tongue to stop before I blow up on the person espousing them, though often I fail. But there is one part of exposing a false teaching that is exhilarating: light is being shined and truth is being revealed. While it is more critical to know how to identify fakes by studying the real thing, it is very good to know how the fakes get in, what they look like, and how they act. Satan has a very limited playbook. He’s not very creative. Yet, he knows well how to disguise the same tactics. If we learn the main tactics, regardless of decoration, even if they are wrapped in Christianese and look like Jesus, we will be able to identify them no matter the form. See part 1 in this series on “Another Jesus” here, beginning to identify the false images of our Savior in our “Christian” culture.

The Transmogrifier Jesus has been makings his rounds in major Christian circles lately. This Jesus is the same savior for every religion, not just Christianity. The God of the Bible and Allah of Islam are the same. All religions point to God. They all have the same core truth. He appears to the Christian, to the Muslim, to the Hindu, to the Buddhist, to the African jungle tribes, in different ways but all go to the same God. If this Jesus was real, then what was the purpose of identifying all the false gods throughout the Old Testament, let alone the New Testament? God frequently describes Himself as being unique and separate from all the other gods. All it takes is a cursory study of the character of the gods to know that God is very different from all of them. Jesus cannot be Savior for them all because they all are unique and different in their claims. And He would also be a liar for declaring that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life; that no one could come to the Father except through Him. Jesus is not the god of any other religion than that which has been revealed in Scripture.

Related to this is the Universal Jesus, the Jesus that brings all people to heaven no matter what they believe or what they do. This Jesus emptied hell because he certainly doesn’t want anyone to suffer and instead wants everyone to be in paradise. And since he is so powerful, so good, and so full of love, even if they don’t want to actually follow him, he’ll still let them in and stay out of their way while in heaven. This Jesus is also promoted heavily in the “Emergent Church/Progressive Christianity” movements, though it is not necessarily a teaching particular to them. This Jesus is a liar because the Bible records a True Jesus who warned what hell would be like and even made clear that the majority would end up there. Take notice that in this Universal Jesus’s heaven, there is no God ruling it, nor is there any reference to anything being about him. This too is a figment of the imagination. It is absolutely true that the Universal Jesus would never send anyone to hell; he cannot send anyone anywhere because he doesn’t exist.

One alternative Jesus I have not seen until I began to converse with Old Earth Creationists is the Imperfect Jesus. This Jesus was a nice man and a good teacher, but he was limited in his knowledge and what he spoke about, because he lived in the first century and we are so advanced in our scientific knowledge now that he missed some things. After all, a mustard seed is actually not the smallest seed overall (though context is actually describing garden plants, or plantable seeds) so clearly Jesus really didn’t know everything. So when Jesus spoke about Genesis regarding the nature of marriage, the timing of its history, the nature of the conditions surrounding Noah’s Flood, and identifying Abel as the first prophet, clearly he was just referencing the myths and stories of the people, not actual history, because we know better now. This Jesus appeals to his humanity, denying that the True Jesus was the actual Creator in the Trinity, was God in the flesh, and had such a perfect unity with the Father that He did not speak anything that his Father did not say. So anyone claiming that Jesus might have gotten something wrong is also saying the Father got it wrong too, boasting his own intelligence and education as being higher than God. Said people are in for a rude awakening when they give an account for such claims on Judgment Day.

Related to this one is the Human Jesus. This particular Jesus was not the Son of God but just a man who lived exceptionally above and better than anyone else. He was not God, but just a man. He was a good teacher, a great expositor, and had wonderful thoughts of love and peace, but he wasn’t God, one of the persons of the Trinity. C.S. Lewis easily addressed this one. The True Jesus was no mere man. He was either Lord, Liar, or Lunatic, but He could never be just a man, a good teacher, or the like. He claimed to be God, which often nearly got Him stoned. If He was wrong, He was a liar and a fraud or insane; but if He was right about being God, then He truly is Lord and is God and no mere man.

Also related to this one is the Deified Jesus. Now the True Jesus is indeed God, but this false Jesus started as a man and then became a god. This is what the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses claim, but it’s also in the teachings of numerous TV preachers. What goes along with this Jesus is the claim that because Jesus was once just a human who became a god, we too will become gods as well. Jesus is just the one who showed us how its done. The problem with this one is that Jesus always was God. He never stopped being God. He laid down His power and humbled Himself to become a servant, but He was 100% God the whole time.

Still related is the Created Jesus. Not exclusive to Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, this is the idea that Jesus is just the son of God, not the Son of God. He was born, had an origin, and even had a brother by the name of Lucifer. This idea pulls from the fact that Jesus is the “begotten” Son of God, therefore he did not actually exist until he was born of the virgin Mary. This is easily refuted by examining the descriptions of Jesus. He did not just come into existence 2000 years ago, but as part of the Trinity He is from of old and everlasting. He is the Word of God become flesh. The Father and Jesus are described in a Father-Son relationship so we can see how the authority structure works. That is also why the Father identifies himself with the male gender, despite being neither male nor female but spirit.

The last one I’ll address in this post is what I would call a Mirror Jesus. This “Jesus” is basically a reflection of the person speaking about him. This is perhaps the most popular and most used false version of him. When someone talks about Jesus, ask them what he is like. In most cases, you will find that he likes what they like, hates what they hate, supports what they support, judges and condemns what they disapprove of, praises those they like, puts down those they don’t, etc. Quite frankly, he looks a lot like them if they were to be God.

You may notice a common trend with all these: they all put self on the throne and at the highest authority. They believe in God because they don’t want to look like idiots and deny the obvious, but they don’t want to submit to the True God and instead they make a god of their own interests and desires. I have six more versions of these “other Jesus” ideas that are quite rampant among our culture today, so look for them next week.

Like Charlie’s writings? You can purchase his book Biblical Foundations here!

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.


Answering 10 Old Earth Questions

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 14, 2019 4 comments

by Steve Risner

Biblical creationists have been the “norm” in the faith for literally thousands of years. In fact, as I've stated in another blog post, I believe Adam was the first “young-earth” creationist, and the Judeo-Christian faith has maintained that position since that time. It's only in recent years (the last couple of centuries or so) that some have tried to insist there is another truth—one that the Bible doesn't so much as hint at. This “truth” is deep time, that of the “old earth” creationist.

I recently was shown a blog post by an old earth creationist (possibly a theistic evolutionist, I can't remember in my interactions with him) that I had encountered years ago in various groups online. This blog post, which you can find here, consists of 10 questions this old earth creationist thinks are actually good questions to ask a person who believes what the Bible actually teaches about creation—that being the Biblical creationist, or what Mr. Roberts (the blog post's author) calls a young earth creationist. They are, I guess, supposed to be “gotcha” questions that should make Biblical creation look incorrect. However, as I hope to express quite clearly over the next few blog posts, they are nothing of the sort. In fact, they're not difficult questions at all.

First, about the author: Michael Roberts is a retired priest of the Anglican church. He also claims to be a geologist, and he’s authored a book or two. That is really the extent of the info I could gather on him. I do know he's acquainted with my biggest fan, Ashley, also from England, I think. I have interacted with Mr. Roberts in the past, as I stated above. He was usually less than cordial. Perhaps that's just the culture clash of the UK and the USA. I don't know, but I've always found him very condescending when talking with people that don't believe as he does, myself included. I'm sure this blog post will be shared in groups he may frequent on Facebook where I will be mocked and ridiculed when, in reality, their beef isn't with me. Their issue is with the plain teaching of Scripture.

The intro to Mr. Roberts' writing says he'd like to ask people who believe what the Bible teaches about creation and when it happened these 10 questions, so I'm glad I can answer them for him. Perhaps he'll come to the light.

He rightly states that “at first sight” one must believe in a “young earth” because Genesis teaches such a thing. That's exactly right. That should be the end of the discussion, but he feels he needs to trump the obvious teaching of the text with man's skewed interpretation of nature. He follows this first statement up with an appeal to the majority and, to be frank, he makes a claim that is wildly erroneous. That claim is that for 2000 years (the time since Christ walked the earth) most believers believed in an older earth. I say “older” because, to me, 6000 years is really old. I'm 41, so 6000 years seems like a long time. But to state that “most Christians have not believed in a young earth” since the time of Christ is an incorrect statement. He also makes the claim that creationism based on the Bible has only recently become a thing.

To me, these statements are absurd to an exceptional degree. “Young earth” creationism, which we appropriately term Biblical creationism, has its foundation taken directly from the text of Scripture. The details, mechanisms, and processes surrounding that which are not found in Scripture have been theorized by scientists and theologians for quite some time. These models are always changing as new information arises. But the text is exactly what our position is based on. Suggesting that Jews and then Christians believed anything except what the Bible clearly teaches makes me suspicious that Mr. Roberts is even concerned with accuracy or truthfulness. Perhaps he's just not well informed on the subject. I'm not sure. The fact is, although he states that Biblical creation is a thing developed only in the last 50 years, Biblical creation has always been the overwhelmingly accepted interpretation of the text primarily because it's exactly what the text says.

Mr. Roberts has written other pieces explaining how Christians never cared about geology or deep time until the Seventh-Day Adventists invented the idea of reading the Bible and accepting its teachings. This, of course, is farcical at best in my opinion. It's no secret that early Church fathers believed in the literal or natural reading of Genesis. Concerning geology and its connection to the Flood of Noah's day I've written on the origins of Flood geology in the past, and I want to include part of that writing for you here:

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus was a very early Christian writer. He wrote on a variety of topics in the very early 3rd century AD after his conversion. It’s true he had issues with some Church teachings, but the point of addressing him is that as early as the 3rd century, less than 200 years after the establishment of the Church, Christians believed that the days of the creation account were literal and that the earth was formed 4000 years before them. Flood geology, the belief in the so-called geologic column, is claimed by some to be a recent development. However, Tertullian said that the global Flood explained why marine conches and tritons’ horns were found high in the mountains. This particular man is regarded as the father of Western theology. A little later we have John Chrysostom, a legendarily eloquent speaker and apologist who wrote in the late 4th century, who was also a literalist when it came to the creation week. At nearly the same time, we have the well-known Christian philosopher Saint Augustine. Some claim Augustine of Hippo believed in an allegorical creation story and, therefore, that he believed the earth to be much older than the Bible tells us through genealogy. This is a mistake. Although Augustine did believe the creation story was symbolic, he actually believed the opposite of the creation week when compared to old earth creationists, gap theorists, or theistic evolutionists. His contention was that the creation of the universe was instantaneous and that the 6 days of creation were allegorical to describe the single instantaneous act of creation for us. These 3 philosophers in Christian thought, which are only a sample of those we can pull from, show us that it was only just over 100 years after the Apostle John’s death that Christian writers were fully convinced of the natural interpretation of Genesis. The Apostle Peter also seemed to believe in a literal Genesis and the global Flood when he wrote of it in 2 Peter 3:3-7. This was likely written prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD, thus placing Christian writings on the literal interpretation of Genesis within 30 or 40 years of the Church’s birth. Couple that with the obvious beliefs of the Old Testament prophets and writers and the case for a natural reading of the creation history is pretty clear.

Attributing most geological formations to the Flood or shortly after the Flood is a major pillar in the Biblical creationist's origins theory. We see that early writers in Christianity and even the Apostles themselves seem to have been sold on the idea of a natural reading of Genesis. So, claiming that this is some sort of new idea is simply nonsense to be frank. It doesn't fit with history, logic, or any of the facts. In the U.S., a nation that claims a large number of Christians (many of which are Christians in name only), only 40% of us believe in human evolution. That number was declining at that time of the poll. Also, 42% of Americans (all Americans, whether Christian or not) believe in a literal interpretation of Genesis. It seems like Mr. Roberts' ideas on the numbers might be a little off.

The problem here is that creation according to the Bible is not just some story that we can gloss over or create cartoons for our children to be entertained. It's not a story we can choose to believe or distort if we like. The book of Genesis (not just the first 11 or 12 chapters, where most old earth creationists start to accept what it says) covers about 1/3 of earth's history! The foundation for our faith is found in Genesis. That foundation is that God created everything—He is all powerful, all knowing, and all present as He is not a physical being. He created man in His image and has given man instructions on right living. Not living according to those standards is called sin. Once man sinned, there were consequences that all of creation suffered as a result. One of those consequences is death and decay. God tells us the payment for sin is death. This is why Jesus Christ died for our sins—He was a perfect sacrifice and paid the price for the sins of mankind, reconciling us to God Almighty. Except for that last statement, every bit of that is found in Genesis and the last statement is alluded to in Genesis. If we read Genesis as anything but a narrative on actual history, it falls apart and Christianity has no foundation whatsoever.

It's also about trusting God and taking Him at His Word. If He tells us He's done something, of course that's what He did. If we find that science disagrees with what is clearly taught in the Bible, then we've misinterpreted the science. In this case, however, the “science” is not science. It's a little bit of science misapplied with a great deal of presuppositions that guide extrapolation that ends up with a conclusion that is unknowable and not scientific.

Mr. Roberts has not started this blog post of his well, in my opinion. He's made wildly inaccurate statements and that doesn't look good for the rest of his statements. We'll see more next week.

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.


Psalm 14

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 11, 2019 1 comments

by Katie Erickson

The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Do all these evildoers know nothing? They devour my people as though eating bread; they never call on the Lord. But there they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but the Lord is their refuge.
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
” (Psalm 14)

I’ve seen Psalm 14:1 quoted many times and in many contexts, so that’s one of the reasons I chose this psalm to cover in a blog post. Often, this verse is quoted referring to atheists or those who don’t believe in God, but is that what it really means?

The word translated as “fool” is nabal in the Hebrew, which according to Mounce’s dictionary means “foolish, lacking understanding, fool; often pertaining to insolence, pride, and disobedience to God.” The Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew lexicon gives the meaning specifically in this verse as “denying God.” This fool is one who does not acknowledge God; this can mean denying God’s entire existence, or just denying God’s importance in his or her life. Atheists would fall into this category, as would anyone who does not acknowledge God working in their lives.

The second half of verse 1 goes on to describe this fool even more: they are corrupt, do vile deeds, and are not good. This “fool” is generally a wicked person who goes against God and His ways, having no regard for the judgment that will be coming. This person is without God in their lives, not caring about God’s standards and laws to treat one another with respect and love. The psalmist is showing us, just in this one verse, the total depravity of mankind and our natural inclination to do evil rather than good.

After that dismal start to the psalm, it can only get better, right? Next, in verses 2-3, we see God’s perspective of this. God is involved in His creation and He sees what His creation is doing. God is looking for anyone who desires to seek Him rather than their own evil ways. God is looking for those who are the opposite of the fool, those who truly want to know Him and follow Him (verse 2).

But, sadly, God sees that all have turned away from Him, and again there are none who do good (verse 3). The repetition of all, no one, and not even one show us the totality of that - there is not one single person who does good and follows God.

If that sounds familiar to you from the New Testament, that’s because the apostle Paul actually quoted Psalm 14:1-3 in Romans 3:10-12 (read this for more on the context of that passage). This idea that all people are sinful is foundational to the need for a savior. If we could save ourselves, we wouldn’t need Jesus, His perfect life, or His sacrificial death on the cross for us. When we realize that every last person, even those who may appear to be “good” to us, is truly sinful and in need of a savior, then we can acknowledge and accept on faith what Jesus did for us. The psalmist would not have known Jesus by name, but he knew that all people are sinful and cannot save ourselves, and he would have had faith in the promised Savior that would come.

We see more about those who do evil in verses 4-6. Because these fools care nothing for God, they also care nothing for God’s people. The fools do not acknowledge God, and they only do evil toward God’s people, the righteous ones. But even in spite of all that evil and disrespect, God is still the refuge of His people.

This psalm concludes in verse 7 with the hope that God’s people have in salvation. Since this psalm was written hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, they had faith in God’s promise of a Savior who would come and rescue them from these evil fools. The psalmist is looking forward to that time when God would restore His people. In a short-term context, this may refer to when the people of Israel got to go back to their land after their exile in Babylon and were able to rebuild it. But looking long-term, this refers to the salvation that everyone will receive through faith in the saving work of Jesus on the cross.

Do you feel like you’re surrounded by fools and those who do evil? While this psalm was written to the people of Israel thousands of years ago, it also rings true for us today. Society seems to keep getting more and more evil, with more and more people disregarding God and His ways and doing evil toward God’s people.

But while the negative part of this psalm still rings true today, so does the hope we have in God’s salvation! Rather than looking forward to a promised Savior, we can know with certainty that Jesus is that Savior. He came, He lived a perfect life, He died on the cross, and He was raised to life again, and when we believe that in our hearts through faith, we have the assurance of our salvation, no matter what is going on in the world around us.

Like Katie’s writings? You can purchase her book What the Bible Says About... here!

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.


More Than the World

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, February 10, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

I’ve been blessed to visit a wonderful place called the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky two different times. Developed and operated by Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum offers patrons an opportunity to see evidence that supports our belief that God created the entire universe out of what was not visible (Hebrews 11:3). It also gives people a chance to pet animals that are hybrids of two species within the same family of animals, such as a “zorse” and a “zonkey," enjoy camel rides, and experience a teaching on snakes and what God’s original design was for them before the fall. Despite all of these experiences at the museum, the one that was by far the most impactful for me was called “Created Cosmos." We went into this room that would remind you of a planetarium and sat in these seats that recline far enough back that you are almost looking straight up at the ceiling dome above.

The presentation begins and they show you a satellite image of the building in which you are physically sitting in Petersburg. They begin to zoom out until you can’t see the building anymore and keep going until your view is outside of the earth, then they keep going until you can’t even see the earth anymore and can only see hundreds of stars. The narrator gives you Scriptures and information all along, like the fact that some of those stars are 600 times the size the earth. Once the picture has taken you as far away from earth as it can go, the narrator says, “And that’s just the Milky Way Galaxy." It is understood that there are many more galaxies out there. I walked out of there after the first time I was there realizing just how out of touch I was with just how big God is. My human mind simply cannot comprehend His greatness, and this world that seems so huge to us is just a tiny speck in His universe that He formed in ONE day!

The realization that we cannot comprehend God’s greatness combined with how small we are in a world that is already minute within the universe ought to impact us beyond mere head knowledge. In James 1:16-18, the writer reminds believers of the clear distinction between the simple and fleeting pleasures of the world that we chase and “good and perfect gifts” that are “from above” (v. 17). James had been talking about temptation and how we are enticed to sin by our own evil desires. He declared that the ultimate conclusion of allowing oneself to be dragged into sin is death (James 1:15). He then tells us in verse 16 that we shouldn’t be deceived in this way. When we pursue that which our corrupt hearts and minds desire, we do so because Satan has convinced us that it will ADD something to the life we already have. James says it will lead to death as he echoes the words of his older half-brother, Jesus, who declared that the thief (Satan) “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” while it is actually Jesus who brings life (John 10:10). Another apostle, Peter, said basically the same thing when he reminded believers: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). It’s absolutely critical for all believers to know that God gives truth and brings life, while Satan deceives and seeks to kill.

There are so many things in this world that we want and that we pursue even though we know they are not what God wants for us. We get trapped by them because they appear to be pleasing and seem attainable. They are all things of this world that will not accompany us into eternity, but most of us can’t get past the overwhelming temptations. This is why James tells us to focus on what we know about God and the good and perfect gifts He provides. Everything that looks good in this world that is against God is a mere smoke screen. That which is TRULY good comes only from God, who is more than the world, above the world, and infinitely greater than the world. James is telling us that our view of what is “good” should include a look at eternity. Things that seem to provide some kind of temporary good right now, like just about any temptation of the flesh, might ultimately lead to our destruction. Things that don’t have much of an appeal in this world, like patience, endurance, and faith, should ultimately reap eternal rewards.

James also reminds us that the God we serve is the “Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (v. 17). Did you ever think about what happens to the sun at nighttime? The answer is absolutely nothing! God created the sun and stars and they literally NEVER stop shining their light. The only reason we don’t see the sunlight at night is because the earth turns away from the light. That’s when darkness comes. The sun doesn’t change one bit at night. James is telling us that God is like the sun in that regard. He is a great God who generously gives out “every good and perfect gift," but we don’t see His goodness when we turn away from Him. Once we have lost sight of His goodness, anything that masquerades as good has the opportunity to ensnare us. Think about King David and all of God’s goodness that he experienced. Yet, one day he saw Bathsheba and decided he had to have her regardless of the fact that she was married to someone else. Once he committed the sin, was found out, and repented, he asked God, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12). David had lost sight of the joy he had because of God’s goodness, and suddenly Bathsheba seemed like the best possible thing he could have. We can view any false gift as the best if we too lose sight of God’s goodness in our lives.

James wraps this section up by reminding the early Christians that they were given the greatest gift of all - the opportunity at a rebirth “through the word of truth” (v. 18). Like David, James seemed to understand that salvation is the greatest gift and there is nothing else even close. And the really cool thing is that God chose them so that they could “be a kind of firstfruits of all he created." This is another reminder that God gave the gift of salvation generously, but it was not meant to be kept hidden from others. It was given first to the Jews who made up James’ audience, but he seemed to understand that it would eventually spread to Gentiles. For us today, we can trust that God has even more people out there that have not heard about His salvation through Jesus and it’s up to us to share it.

If you look at your life and realize you’ve been chasing after fleeting earthly pleasures and ignoring God’s perfect gift of salvation, today is the day of change for you. Don’t spend another minute looking for gifts that are contained in this world and can only destroy your chance at eternal life with God. Look to the unchanging God who offers you far more than this world ever can and trust in Him!

Like Logan’s writings? You can purchase his book Heroes of the Faith here!

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Another Jesus, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 8, 2019 3 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Poll after poll after poll have been taken and rather consistently about 60% of the population claims to be “Christian” and followers of Christ. Yet, it only takes a superfluous look at society as a whole to see this is clearly not true. I hear people claim to be Christians and that they love and follow Christ all the time, yet when I listen to them speak I have to wonder, “Do you even know who the guy is?” Paul warned repeatedly through his letters against those who preach “another Gospel” and “another Jesus” other than the one he preached. Why is this important? There are many wolves dressing in sheep’s or shepherd’s clothing and they will proclaim things that on the outside look Christian, but when you investigate further, you realize it has nothing to do with the Gospel or any form of truth. Paul’s concern is that those he trained would believe it. Today, we certainly are seeing that concern was spot on.

Our culture here in the US has all but completely lost the identity of Jesus and who He really is. And the more I listen to other “Christians” the more I realize they are no more “Christian” than the militant atheists who hate the one true God. Now, that is not a blanket statement, because just as in Elijah’s day when God preserved 7000 from having bowed their knee to Baal, God has also preserved true followers of the true God in this by and large not Christian but pagan culture, much of which is decorated and disguised cosmetically in Christianese. With this post, I am going to start a series about who the true Jesus is as preached in the Bible, not the ones preached from the bulk of American pulpits and media centers. To start it, I am going to look at the counterfeits being presented to us. I have kept a running list of “false Jesuses” and that count so far is up to 18 false images of who Jesus is. Many of these overlap, but not a single one of what I am about to describe is the real thing. Then when I finish examining these “another Jesus” images, I will explore who He truly is.

One of the most common images of Jesus we are given by American Christianity is what Voddie Baucham calls a “Sissified Jesus.” I’ll use another term he uses for it: the Shampoo Model Jesus. The Shampoo Model Jesus is mostly what we see every time we see Jesus on film or in church pictures. He has lovely, flowing, golden hair. His skin is smooth as though he never worked a day in his life. He usually is the color of the primary audience looking at it (usually white in Europe/America, though I’ve seen/heard of him being black in Africa). Eric Ludy describe this type of “Jesus” as being “metrotheistic” in his book The Bravehearted Gospel. He is culturally relevant and full of acceptance and love, but when it comes to drawing a hard line or making a stand, he’s rather a pansy. You’d never see this Shampoo Model Jesus get into a fight with a false teacher or the Devil. This image of Jesus never would been able to take on the cross, let alone survive the Jewish trials, the Roman beatings, or the journey to the Golgotha.

Another very popular image is the Genie Jesus. This model has been made very popular by the “Prosperity Gospel” and/or “Word of Faith” movements. This model of Jesus is there to grant your dreams and wishes and if you don’t get it… well, you just didn’t have enough faith. If your child dies, you simply didn’t have enough faith that he’d live (my pastor once described how a well-meaning person actually said that to a grieving couple). There’s a major problem with this idea. While God does promise blessings for faithfulness and obedience, he also promised trials and tribulations even in being faithful and obedient. The Genie Jesus never prepares you for hardships or opposition but is there to grant you whatever wish you desire, no matter how selfish it is. Those who promote this Jesus rarely think of God’s purposes when asking for something, but whatever temporal, ‘feed-me-now’ desires the sinful self wishes to have. And it almost always, if not every time, comes in three forms: physical health, physical wealth, and “prosperity” (meaning titles, reputation, and the praise of man). Paul tells Timothy seeking these things is a temptation and to avoid them.

Related to the Genie Jesus is the Divine Butler Jesus. The Divine Butler is the type of Jesus that is always at your side, waiting for you to call on him when you are ready for him to serve you. This abuses the idea that Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and treats Jesus as a slave to your will and desires. If you don’t need Jesus around, you give him no heed, but when you need some comfort or have a desire, he comes running. The Divine Butler Jesus has the power to give you what you want, when you want, in the amount that you want, and you get to blame him when you don’t because, of course, there’s nothing wrong with you. You are his master, after all. God’s commands become advice only in which you have the power to decide what to do about it. This preys on the claim that we are sons and daughters of the King of Kings and are thus royalty, but it twists it by putting us above said King of Kings, not submissive to Him. Jesus did come to serve, but He is also the King and He does not take orders.

There is a Cool Jesus among the ranks too. He is the kind of Jesus who, like the Shampoo Model Jesus, is just cool with everyone, no matter what they believe, no matter what their status is, no matter how much sin they are living in. Those who preach this kind of Jesus are very quick to defend their sin or any false teachings, usually with an “Only God can judge me” line. When you do sin, this Jesus will turn a blind eye, wink at you, and say, “It’s all good.” He’ll let you get away with sin, but if anyone offends you, he’ll come to your rescue and bring judgment. He’s a great dude to hang out with, and if you want to do something according to your own flesh, he’ll tag along, help you out in it, and cover your back when caught. While the actual Jesus did dine and eat with tax collectors and sinners (the primary line of thinking these people use), He NEVER tolerated sin.

And finally for this post, there is the Flexible Jesus. Flexible Jesus is one who holds no absolute moral standards. When a new culture with new standards arises, he adapts to them so the culture will be willing to receive him. The “Emergent Church/Progressive Christianity” along with the “Gay Christian” movements love this Jesus. They teach that truth stretches and adapts to the cultural needs and what was a sin 30 years ago is no longer a sin today, because society now embraces it. The True Jesus does not change nor adapt to any standard. He sets the standard and makes the rules. We obey His commands and His way, or good luck defending yourself when He tells you, “I never knew you. Depart from me, worker of iniquity.”

Over the next two weeks, I’ll address more of these “other Jesus” models. Then I’ll introduce you to the real person.

Like Charlie’s writings? You can purchase his book Biblical Foundations here!

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.