The Lord's Prayer: "And Lead Us Not Into Temptation"

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 10, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

We are into the last verse of the Lord’s Prayer today: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13). Today, we’ll look at the first phrase of that verse - “and lead us not into temptation.”

This phrase is a tricky one for us to understand theologically. Remember that this whole prayer is addressed to God (“Our Father in heaven”). Do we believe that God would actually lead us into temptation, that we need to ask Him not to do so? What is Jesus telling us by giving us this phrase in this model prayer?

First, let’s look at the verb - lead. In the original Greek, this verb has a wide range of meanings and is used in a variety of contexts. It can mean to lead into, bring into, etc. It’s a compound verb, meaning that it’s a root verb plus a preposition that makes a new verb. The preposition part of this verb is commonly translated as “in” or “into,” and the rest of it commonly means to bring, lead, bear, or carry. This compound verb can also have a causative idea to it, like to cause someone to lead into or bring into. In some contexts, it could even mean to announce or to drag into. So, it’s not necessarily an easy verb to translate.

The potential translations of this verb cause a theological dilemma for us. Does God actually cause us to be tempted and put us to the test to see if we’ll obey Him? We do see God testing Abraham when He commanded him to sacrifice Isaac, his only son (Genesis 22:1-18). We also see in Exodus 16:4 that God tested the people of Israel by giving them manna each day, to see if they would obey His very specific instructions to trust in Him for provision. In the New Testament, we read 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God won’t let us be too tempted, and He will give us a way out.

Some Biblical scholars have suggested that these words of Jesus had a different meaning when He originally spoke them. It is likely Jesus would have spoken this in Aramaic, which was the commonly spoken language of the day, whereas the gospel accounts were written in Koine Greek; the two are very different languages, both in alphabet and in structure. There is speculation that the Aramaic would have been causative or permissive - “and cause us not to enter…” or “allow us not to enter…” But since we only have the Greek text, we cannot know if that was the intention.

The next main concept in this phrase is the word “temptation.” This is another word that can have a variety of meanings in different contexts. It can also mean a trial, persecution, a test, enticement, etc. A test or a trial has the idea of attempting to learn someone’s character by seeing how they react to a particular situation, whereas temptation or enticement is the idea of luring something into doing something they should not do. Which one of these meanings is correct here?

We do not have a solid answer on that from the text of this passage. This phrase could indicate that we’re asking God to not cause us to be tested to check our character, or it could indicate that we’re asking God to not allow us to be led into doing something that would be disobedient to Him.

Since we know that all of Scripture agrees with itself, let’s look at James 1:13-14 to help us with this. That passage tells us, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” Based on that, we see that God does not tempt anyone, so the translation of our phrase in the Lord’s Prayer cannot indicate that God causes temptation to happen in our lives. It’s our own evil desires, the sin that lives inside each of us, that causes temptation in our lives, not God. So praying that God would not cause us to be tempted is like praying that God would not sin, which we know is true. So perhaps this word should be translated in the Lord’s Prayer with the idea of testing rather than temptation.

But this translation also causes difficulty for us. We know that we will face testing or trials of many kinds, and that we should face them with joy. James 1:2-4 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” The word translated here as “trials” is the same Greek word as the one we’re looking at in the Lord’s prayer.

Jesus Himself, earlier in the sermon where we find the Lord’s Prayer, told us, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). We will be blessed when we experience persecution, which is definitely a type of trial.

So if we need to experience trials in order to produce perseverance and maturity as James says, and Jesus Himself tells us we will be blessed for being persecuted, why would Jesus tell us a few verses later to pray that we don’t experience trials? As humans, our innate desire is to live an easy life, free of difficulties. Jesus knows that; He lived a human life as well. But, we also know that in this sin-filled world, we will not live a life free of difficulties, especially when we commit our lives to following Jesus.

Our prayer to “lead us not into temptation” is a prayer asking God to spare us from the trials of life, whatever they may be; but when they do come into our lives, those trials should be faced with joy and the realization that they are helping us mature in our walk with God. Whether God causes temptation or testing in our lives or not, we know that He is sovereign and will be there to guide us through whatever He has in store for us.

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The Historicity of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, May 7, 2021 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

The Bible is unique, more than any other “religious” book. The Bible is rooted in history. The Bible is the only book whose claims about the core worldview questions are rooted in history. It’s the only holy book that is actually rooted in reality. The Bible doesn’t merely record history with perfect accuracy; it showcases God’s direct involvement with history.

Archaeology is a study of the past through physical artifacts. So far, we have found a minimum of 25,000 archaeological finds in the Middle East, and not one of them disagrees with any statement made by Scripture. We’ve found countless things that perfectly match the Biblical account. We have a tomb that matches Joseph in Egypt. We have Jericho in the exact condition Joshua describes. We have found historical records of the people and places Luke describes including the officers as they climbed their ranks. Now we haven’t found absolutely every little thing, obviously, but there is not one thing we have found that contradicts the Bible. Any claims of contradictions nearly always deal with the dating, which is actually the least reliable aspect of archaeology. Everything about that find matches the Bible perfectly, except the date. Well, perhaps the date should be re-evaluated.

The skeptic often will then pull the “Spiderman Fallacy.” The Spiderman Fallacy is this: Spiderman takes place in New York City; we have a real New York City, therefore, Spiderman was a real person. So, the argument thus says: “So what that we found Jerusalem, or a coin with David’s sign on it? That doesn’t mean it actually happened.” The Bible has a history that could be compared with Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It’s got the full genealogies, the royal lineages, prophecies, a “Christ-figure” (Gandalf), a Satan-figure (Sauron or Morgoth if you go further), an origins myth, an ending, just about everything. So skeptics try to compare the Bible to these fictional narratives in order to discredit it and dismiss it. But there is a major problem with this thinking. None of these fantasy stories ever reference real people or real events. On occasion a fiction story may describe pop-culture such as a movie or a book, but it will not cite a real person or a real historical event. Any that do are called “non-fiction” books. The Bible records the history of His dealings with man. God is the main character of this grand story called history.

When I deal with origins, this is one of the key issues I face with atheists and old earthers. There is an adamant stance against treating Genesis 1-11 as history. And the few old earthers who do treat parts of it as history diminish the claims it makes about history. Where do they get these ideas from? The answer is simple: false scholars who try to use the Ancient Near East mythologies to say the Bible’s origins story is also a mythology, not history. Then, they try to play educated with us and try to tell us we need to look at the culture back then and try to understand how the Ancient Near East would have understand the passage, not in our modern 21st century scientific mindsets. Let me say this straight up: these people are liars and they are doing the exact opposite of what they claim. THEY are the ones looking at Genesis from a 21st century mindset (thinking our modern science should make us re-think what the Bible actually says). What is more is that by these arguments, they show they have NEVER studied the Hebrew culture, the primary audience who heard and read Scripture. They studied the Babylonians, the Persians, the Hittites, the Egyptians, but not the Hebrews.

If you want to know what the Hebrews thought, try reading their Holy Books. Read the Bible. It tells you how they thought. And a key to their thinking is everything about their faith is rooted in history. Their image of God being a Savior, a saving God, is rooted in the REAL Exodus from REAL slavery from a REAL Egyptian power. They considered themselves as God’s people because of a real, physical father of their faith, Abraham. They believed in a real Creator with a real Creation, and to this day they run their calendar as though Genesis 1-11 is actual, literal history.

The Hebrews then took it further. All the spiritual truths they believed and taught flowed out of the literal, historical events. This is what the skeptics and OEC teachers don’t see. Their arguments say that we need to look at the spiritual side of things and ignore the history. All that matters is the spiritual lessons. Really? This is actually a variation of Gnostic teachings that the physical reality is bad, and the spiritual reality is good. It puts everything in the ethereal and “out there,” but nothing concrete, tangible, and something we can grip. Now, we are to live by faith and not by sight, but faith is something concrete. It comes with evidence and it’s something firm we hold onto.

The Hebrews didn’t just tie their spiritual understandings to history, they also used their history as images and as pictures of their future. That’s why they looked to a military commander to rescue them from Rome – because all their saviors in the past saved them from physical enemies. They thought Rome was the next one to be taken out. They failed to see the spiritual images involved with their history. Todd Friel has a spectacular book called Jesus Unmasked, and in it he goes through the Old Testament – the history, the Tabernacle, the miracles, the Exodus, the manna, the Temple, everything – and shows how all of it is pictures and images of Jesus. God used the Hebrew understanding of how their history played a big role in how they thought to present Jesus Christ and the Gospel.

Now let me make this clear. The spiritual meanings in Scripture DO NOT work unless you understand the physical meaning first. Jesus told that to Nicodemus. If I speak to you of earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I speak about heavenly things? A number of the Young Earth Creation organizations use this verse to point out that if we don’t understand Genesis, how can we understand the cross? There is validity to this. The physical images are what makes the spiritual images concrete, and they also keep the spiritual lessons from getting off base.

I will also ask this to those who only want the “spiritual lessons” out of Genesis: “Is your salvation just spiritual? Or is it real?” It is a real Creator, with a real historical creation, who dealt with a real Adam and Eve who committed a real original sin, who issued a real divine judgment and curse upon creation and man, and who then set out the chain of events to establish His plan for a real salvation, by sending Jesus as a literal man, to die on an actual cross, to pay for the actual sin debt, taking on the real wrath of God, and making a real salvation available to all man. He is also going to bring all real things to a close, make every person face real judgment, and then set our fate to a real Heaven or a real Hell. Everything about the Bible is real because its Author is real. The Author of Scripture, God, is not a distant idea out there. He is a real, actively and intimately involved, sovereign God, who loves us and holds us responsible for our choices and actions.

We are called to a real faith. To be actually saved. To be a literal new creation. To be reconciled to the real God. We live in a real world, under the authority and sovereignty of a real God, who recorded actual history through actual authors of Scripture. Is your faith real? Or is it some distant quasi-religious feeling? I preach a message on reality and I proclaim a real, historical Jesus who is still real today. And I proclaim a real salvation from a real Hell, because that is what the Bible teaches. Is your faith real? Is it rooted in history? Or is it just a “spiritual experience”?

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.

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The Lord's Prayer: "As We Also Have Forgiven Our Debtors"

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, May 3, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

With this phrase of the Lord’s Prayer, we’re jumping into the middle of a sentence. The whole sentence is, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12). To get the context of the first phrase, check out last week’s post.

Asking God to forgive our debts (our sins, our disobedience, our wrongdoing) is only half of the whole concept of forgiveness. We sin, make mistakes, and disobey God, but others also sin and make mistakes against us. How do we handle those who have sinned against us?

The key is in the conjunction. Asking God for forgiveness when we sin against Him is great, because we know that He is faithful and will forgive us when we are truly repentant of those sins. But the important conjunction here is the word “as.” It also means like, according to, in the same way, or just as. Notice how emphasizing the conjunction highlights the meaning: “Forgive us our debts, in the same way as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Well, that just got more difficult!

How are you doing at forgiving others? Perhaps you need to forgive someone for a direct sin against you. Perhaps you need to forgive someone for a way they sinned against God, where you also felt the negative consequence of that sin. Perhaps you need to forgive yourself for wrongdoing that you know you committed or negative feelings you’re harboring against someone else. Any of those situations require us to be the one doing the forgiving of the wrongdoing.

When we put this whole verse together, we see that we cannot separate God forgiving us of our sins from us forgiving those who have wronged us. We would all love to always be on the receiving end of God’s forgiveness, but it’s much more difficult to be on the giving end of forgiveness to others.

Notice the timeline of verbs in this verse. The first half is us commanding God to forgive us (an action in the future), while the second second half says that we “have forgiven” our debtors (an action in the past). That appears to indicate that we must forgive others in order to earn God’s forgiveness, but I do not believe that’s how our loving God works. We know that being forgiven is not based on our work, but on the work of Jesus Christ in the cross. Ephesians 1:7 tells us plainly, “In [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

While this was originally written in Greek, it is believed that Matthew (who wrote this gospel) was Jewish, so he would have spoken Aramaic in daily life. Early Christian scholars believe that Matthew actually was thinking of an Aramaic verb tense here in this second half of the verse that would be more accurately translated like a present perfect - as we should forgive our debtors in the way that God forgives us. The verb tense used in Greek often indicates past action, but it can also mean habitual action in the present. This means that it could be translated “as we habitually forgive,” which lines up with the Aramaic thought that Matthew may have had.

Another school of thought is that it’s all about our attitude. We do not need to earn God’s forgiveness by forgiving others, but we need to demonstrate an attitude that would make forgiving others possible. If we are truly repentant of our sin and we see how badly we have been disobedient to God, then the sins of others to us are really quite small in comparison. When we realize that we are asking God to forgive an enormous sin - what we have done that’s disobedient to the God of the universe - anything that any human can do against us is miniscule in importance.

Sure, it hurts me that someone told a lie to me. But it hurt Jesus even more that all of humankind sinned against God, and all of that punishment was heaped on Jesus on the cross. While all sin is sin, the magnitude of sinning against God is so much greater than offenses between humans. Surely we can forgive what that person has done to us if Almighty God can die for the forgiveness of all of humanity’s sins against Him!

God’s Word has much to say about forgiveness that helps us interpret this section of the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gives additional teaching on forgiveness in Matthew 18:15-22. This phrasing of the Lord’s prayer is echoed by Jesus in Mark 11:24-25, where Jesus is teaching after HIs triumphal entry into Jerusalem: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

The Apostle Paul also teaches us about forgiveness. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” John echoes these thoughts in his first letter. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Does being forgiven by God depend on us forgiving others? No, it depends on the work of Jesus on the cross that has already been accomplished. But, we do need to be truly repentant of our sin in order to receive that forgiveness, and if we truly have a repentant heart, then we should not be harboring grudges or ill will against others who have sinned against us.

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The Perspicuity of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 30, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

What is “perspicuity”? That’s a good $200 theological term that essentially means “clarity.” This is perhaps one of the most important doctrines in our post-modern world that denies absolute truth and the clarity of anything. One of the goals of post-modernism is to deny absolute truths so no one can tell someone else what they can or cannot do. Post-modernism hates the Bible because it has perspicuity. It has clarity. It says everything in black and white and with far more specificity and clarity than we’d like it to be.

I write about false teachings often, and one thing all false teachings have in common is denial of the clarity of Scripture. The first thing Satan said is: “Has God indeed said?” The first thing Satan did on earth was to raise question on the clarity of what God said. God has spoken. Let me say that again: God has spoken. He said it. He means it. And He holds us accountable for believing it or not. It does not matter what we think about it. It does not matter how we “interpret” it. It’s black and white: we believe God or not. When people like Rob Bell question the clarity of “love thy neighbor as yourself” by declaring that it raises more questions than answers, I’m like “oh really?” What does it mean to “love”? Who is my neighbor? Bell thinks these are unanswered. Every author of Scripture would say otherwise. There are multiple areas where the clarity of Scripture is being attacked, and I’ll address a few of them here.

Origins: It simply amazing me how few people know what the word “day” means. They read in any other context and there is no question, but put it into Genesis 1 and suddenly everyone loses their minds. How is that possible? “Day” means “day” in nearly every single context EXCEPT when it obviously is referencing a period of time surrounding a significant event or person. How many Bible studies and discussions have had to take place over the word “day” on Joshua or with Christ or with Jonah? Yet in Genesis, there appears to be some fog that just kills basic reading comprehension skills. Genesis is CLEAR. Do you really think that God would go through so much detail about the Tabernacle, the Temple, and the Crucifixion but leave the origins of it all so unclear? That doesn’t make sense. But people want to MAKE it unclear, so they can insert their opinions into the text. Trace every “old earth” model and argument you hear, and at the root you will find some unbeliever seeking to undermine the authority of Scripture. There are believers who do believe in an Old Earth, but they did not get that idea from Scripture. They got it from reading someone, who read someone, who read someone, who was an unbeliever and didn’t check it out or test it.

Sexual morality: Yes, there are teachers who say that God’s commands on proper and improper sexual relations don’t actually mean what they say. They didn’t have our “modern understanding” in mind, therefore it wasn’t talking about those issues. Check out the series of posts I wrote on Matthew Vines and his “Reformation Project” which is just a means of attempting to justify sexual sin and getting the church’s approval for it.

Christ: Did you know there are arguments that “Christ” isn’t Jesus’ last name? Yep. That is an actual argument being made. It comes from the notion that Jesus actually isn’t the Messiah. But rather, the “Christ” is a “universal” Christ, the savior for all religions. To the Christian he appears as Jesus. To the Muslim, he is Allah or Muhammad. He is Krishna, Confucius, or Buddha. But not the only begotten Son of God, the only means of salvation, under which no other name can mankind be saved. But here, the argument is to make God, namely Jesus unclear. One of the men behind this is Richard Rohr who has a LARGE influence of many modern “preachers.”

There are many other areas where this happens. But I again, want to emphasize that behind every false teaching is an intentional muddying of the waters. There is always a question of the clarity of Scripture. Look at how most people talk about God today – very vaguely and generically. He’s a “higher being,” a “sky daddy,” a “higher power,” but not the God of the universe. This is a god you can you talk to, get comfort from, and get you want you want, but he has no actual control over things. He is distant and unknowable. And because he’s unknowable, because “his thoughts are higher than our thoughts,” we can’t understand God, therefore, God can’t hold us accountable for sin. Notice how I used Scripture to showcase the argument. EVERY choice we make has a moral basis, and an unknowable god is very convenient because he gets us what we want but doesn’t have say over what we do. That’s idolatry.

Now there are passages that are unclear. We do see things through a lens darkly. Think about what I wrote last week: sin corrupts our view of reality. And likewise, sin is what makes Scripture “unclear” to us. I’ve even had someone try to cite 2 Peter 3:16 to argue that Genesis isn’t as clear as it is. That’s total hogwash. 2 Peter 3:16 is Peter talking about how some of Paul’s writings are unclear, but not because they aren’t actually clear; rather, it’s because sinful people seek to distort them as they do other Scriptures. I told this person that in using that verse, he put himself in the category of unbelievers seeking to twist and distort Scripture. He didn’t reply to that. In reality, there are something we don’t quite get yet. Some of it is due to us being removed from the Hebrew culture and knowing the ins and outs of their system. Some of it is due to speaking about prophetic events that no one has ever figured out how they would be fulfilled prior to their fulfillment. But most of it is due to our sin. Most of the “lack of clarity” in Scripture is due to our unbelief. It’s “unclear” because we don’t like what it says. Yet, also in sinful man’s rebellion, we tend to think it’s alright and can get along with God. Because when God is unclear, we can make standards that God would approve of based on how we think He should operate. Said people are going to be very disappointed when Jesus tells them, “I never knew you.

While there are some details that are not absolutely clear, the Bible is clear enough to give us a concrete framework to define reality. The Bible does not say “the earth was created in 4004 BC on October 23” for example. But it does say “6-day creation” and it does tell us that approximately 6000 years have passed between creation and now. Whatever we want to try to address must fit within that framework. Any scientific model must fit within these guidelines to be even remotely accurate. Likewise, every worldview is wrong is except that which God has offered. Every means of salvation except by grace alone, through faith alone, via Christ alone, according to Scripture alone, and for the glory of God alone doesn’t work, and that is crystal clear. There is no other way. It is so clear that these are the very points where Satan has attacked to create confusion. If the length of a “day” didn’t impact your worldview on who God is, what He does, and how He operations, Satan would leave that point alone. If there were any other means of salvation, then Christianity would not be singled out as a point of ridicule by the world. It is clear, so clear a child understands it and so clear the unbelieving community knows when the Christian actually believes it or not. If you don’t believe any part of Scripture, the first honest thing you can do is just say, “I don’t believe it.” But if you claim to love Scripture, uphold Scripture, and then promote the muddying of the waters and inserting opinions into the text, I have little choice but question your integrity on the matter.

If we are going to call ourselves Christians, our duty is to believe the Bible. That means we submit to it, we heed its word, and we align ourselves to what it says. And if we, in our sinful state, do not understand what it is saying or why, the Christian response is: “Lord, I believe Your word. Help my unbelief. I don’t get this, but I trust you anyway.” Those who seek to justify their unbelief by changing definitions and re-interpreting it to make it fit their sensibilities had better examine themselves because they may find themselves in a very uncomfortable place in the near future. God is clear, and He will hold us accountable to every word He gave. He expects us to read it, understand it, believe it, and obey it. Don’t play games. Your soul is at stake 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.

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The Lord's Prayer: "And Forgive Us Our Debts"

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 26, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

In last week’s post, we looked at the phrase before this one in the Lord’s Prayer - give us today our daily bread. You may notice that this week’s phrase, “And forgive us our debts,” begins with the word “and,” linking it to the previous phrase. But what does forgiveness have to do with God’s daily provision of our physical needs?

Perhaps, God’s provision for our physical needs is not enough. Yes, we need food to sustain our bodies and maintain physical health; but our overall health is so much more than physical. Our health also contains aspects of emotional and spiritual health. We all commit sins against God and against one another, so forgiveness is a key part of being spiritually healthy.

When I learned the Lord’s Prayer growing up in the church, the word “trespasses” was used instead of “debts.” The word in Greek is opheilema, which can mean a debt, an obligation, something that is owed, a wrong, a sin, delinquency, an offense, a fault, etc. As you can see, there is a wide range of meanings for this one word. Today, the word “trespass” is most often used in the context of trespassing on someone else’s property - being in a place where you should not be. Instead, the word debt has the idea of something being owed, though this often has a financial connotation to it.

My fellow writer Charlie Wolcott wrote about the idea of debts being forgiven a few weeks ago. Being forgiven of a financial debt means we no longer need to pay that debt. The debt still exists; someone needs to pay for it. But if I have a financial debt that is forgiven, I am not the person responsible for paying it any longer. From a spiritual sense, we owed God a debt because of our sins, and Jesus took on that debt through His death on the cross. The debt was still owed, but we’re “off the hook” for paying that debt because Jesus paid it for us. It still had to be paid.

The idea of forgiveness is spoken of in many places in the Bible since it’s something that we all need! Psalm 32:1-2 says, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 130:3-4 says, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.” Ephesians 1:7-8a says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” Jesus Himself forgave sins in Mark 2:1-5. He also shared how His blood would be poured out for the forgiveness of our sins during the Lord’s Supper (Matthew 26:26-29).

This phrase of the Lord’s prayer calls out our sins for us and reminds us that we need to confess those sins. As 1 John 1:8-10 tells us, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” Anyone who says they have not disobeyed God is not being truthful. Saying we have not sinned makes God out to be a liar, and we know that God does not lie. Instead, we need to confess the times that we have sinned against God, and then we can receive His forgiveness for those sins.

Confession of our sins is important to recognize the ways we have done wrong against God; if we don’t recognize and acknowledge our sin, then we are much more likely to repeat that same sin. If we think we’re perfect (or even “good enough” to meet God’s standards, which we aren’t), then we’d have no need for God’s forgiveness. Confessing our sins keeps us humble.

This phrase of the Lord’s Prayer also reminds us that forgiveness of our sins is not something we can accomplish on our own. We need to ask God to accomplish this for us. The verb here used in Greek for “forgive” is an imperative, which means it’s a command. We’re strongly asking God to forgive our sins; we know we can’t do this on our own, we need God to do it for us. We know that He is fully capable of this because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection. Jesus paid that debt that we all have. We have all been disobedient to God and require His forgiveness for the sin that exists in our lives.

Confess the sins you have committed against God. Ask God for His forgiveness. Know that you will be forgiven, out of God’s great love and mercy for us. Next week, we’ll look at forgiveness between people.

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.

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Sin Distorts Your Worldview

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 23, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

I have written about worldviews quite a bit through my time with Worldview Warriors. I teach five key questions: Origins, Purpose, Identity, Destination, and Authority. How we answer these questions determines how we view and see things. The big push I make is that we need to align our worldview with God’s worldview because unless we do that, we do not see reality as it is. Answers in Genesis uses “eyeglasses” or a “magnifying glass” to showcase the difference between how we see the same evidence but come to different interpretations. It’s accurate, but there’s more to it. Ken Ham often compares man’s opinions to God’s Word, and he’s correct in saying that. But I think we’ve come short of saying what it really is.

I am proud to announce that I will have a new book coming out with Worldview Warriors, slated for an August release date. It’s currently titled The God of the Psalms, and it’s a study on the attributes and character of God I’ve found in the book of Psalms. In one of the chapters I was reviewing the beauty of God, and I emphasized on how beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what we view as beautiful is determined by how we see things. Then I discovered this statement that I wrote at least 3 years ago: “Sin changes the appearance of everything and masks it in a false image.” Reading that today, several years later, it took a whole new meaning and sparked this blog post.

Why can we all look at the same thing and all come to different conclusions? It’s not really because we are merely coming from different perspectives. It’s because of SIN. Why does the universe look old? It’s because of sin. Why does it seem like God isn’t doing anything about wicked people? Sin. Why does God seem so harsh when He does? Sin. Sin corrupts everything. I mean everything. Paul said we all look through a glass darkly. It’s not merely because we are finite people trying to see the eternal perspective, but because we still have sin in our lives.

Sin is an intentional defiance and rebellion against God. God said, “I created everything in six days.” Man in his sin says, “No, it happened over billions of years.” God said, “Repent and believe the Gospel.” Man in his sin says, “No, I’ll do things my way.” God said, “There is no other name by which man might be saved.” Man in his sin says, “Surely, there must be another option.” It does not matter the topic. Salvation related or not. God says one thing; man intentionally goes the other direction. There is NOT ONE who is without sin. There is not one who seeks after God.

Man, apart from Christ, does not think after God. A group of men is called a society. All societies together are called the world. The world’s system, the way the world thinks, is run by the prince of the power of the air. That’s Satan, the great deceiver. Because sinful man is in total rebellion against God, Satan seeks any lie he can produce to get sinful man to believe him. And where he is most clever is when the lie gives the appearance of sounding Biblical and religious. There are many models that give an appearance of truth but are flat out lies. I’ve addressed many of them before. Old Earth Creation, Prosperity Gospel, and Progressive Christianity are three of the main false teachings we deal with. Each much be addressed. But what do they all have in common? A false worldview. A false view of God. A false view of Scripture. It’s been corrupted by sin. It’s not how God sees things. It’s not how God defines things.

Another book I’m working on is on Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” I can’t emphasize enough how much we lean on our own understanding. Again, we are SINFUL people. Even those of us who have been redeemed and regenerated, born-again, still have sin in our lives that corrupts our vision. How did we get saved to begin with? It wasn’t because we saw something we needed; it was because God showed us that we were in need. And part of the process is a continual dying to self daily and being cleansed of sin. What comes with that? A purifying of our vision.

I know all kinds of things. Some good, some not good. Some valuable, some not. But I’ve learned this: the only things of any real value that I’ve learned have come from either my own studies of Scripture or from others who are studying Scripture. Everything else can be nice but is ultimately of no value. I have much to learn about Proverbs 3:5 and putting it into practice. But I have mastered one thing: “If God says it, He means it.” I have NOT mastered, “If God said it, believe it then obey it.” I never will master that one on this side of the veil. But how I can obey what I don’t believe? Scripture says we are to live by faith, not by sight. Do we trust God? Do we actually believe His word? Not our interpretations of His word. Not our understanding of how things should be. Do we believe HIM? God is the only one who has a 100% correct worldview. Frankly, that’s the one I go with. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely. But when do I get them wrong? When I lean on me and when I rely on my own understanding. When I rely on what God says, I cannot be wrong because God cannot be wrong.

We must ditch our sinful worldview that refuses to see as God sees and embrace His worldview to see reality as it is. We won’t see the whole thing, but we will see what God shows us, and He won’t lie. We need to stop being “theologians” and “educated people” thinking we can figure it out. We need to be Christians who are continually yielding ourselves to Christ Jesus in full faith in Him. Paul longed to be freed from the body of death. What a wretch! So am I. I long to be free from this body of sin myself. Thanks be to God that He has saved me, is continually saving me, and will one day separate me from the very presence of sin and completely clear my vision so I can see God as He truly is. As I await that day, I will continue to trust and place my hope in Christ and see what He says about my situation so I can respond correctly to it.

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.

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The Old Ad Hominem

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 22, 2021 0 comments


by Steve Risner

We’re 3 posts into a series discussing the kindly given advice of an evolutionist to creationists on how they should conduct themselves in the creation/evolution debate. The backstory is that I discovered a post in a group on Facebook from a person who wanted to help us creationists out by telling us what we should avoid when debating. We discussed preaching in the first post, and last time we looked at circular reasoning. This week is a fun one: ad hominems.

The Facebook post said, “AD HOMINEM ARGUMENT. A disparaging statement about a person’s character is not an effective argument, and it alienates instead of convinces. Better to stick to the elements of your argument and the reasons for them.”

This, of course, is absolutely true. Getting into a discussion where insults fly, characters are assaulted, or you vilify a person or simply appeal to emotions is never a good way to go. I couldn’t even guess on how many times and how many ways I’ve witnessed someone being called a liar or having their integrity questioned simply because they believe something that is at odds with someone else’s beliefs. It’s tragic because the person who says such things has walled themselves off so securely that they will just call someone a liar so they can relieve themselves of the opportunity to either learn or educate.

I wanted to present an example of this. I went to the group I mentioned in my previous post to see if I could find an example. It took only a few minutes to find this quote: “Why is every creationist post just another empty lie?” I have a difficult time dealing with people like this. They won’t discuss much, but they are happy to say you’re lying because you see it differently.

Lying has a very specific definition. Lying means that you are purposefully presenting false information or presenting true information in such a way as to deceive others. This could be leaving out key details or spinning something to be false even though much of the information might be true. So in fact, you can present completely wrong information and not be lying. To be honest, I believe we see this every time an evolutionist posts on the topic. Universal common descent is completely bogus in my opinion, so if you’re giving me facts about how it happened, while I think you’re totally wrong, I don’t necessarily believe you’re being dishonest.

Calling someone a liar because you don’t like what they’re saying means you believe you actually know someone’s intentions and what is in their heart. Of course, only God knows these things about the person in question. It also likely means you’re not mature enough to handle adult conversation. It’s important to realize that two different people can see the same information and draw two completely different conclusions. It happens all the time. The truth here is that one of you may be correct, both of you may be correct, or neither one of you may be correct. That’s just how it works. But attacking someone’s character because they think differently is a real problem.

This is just one of the many forms in which the ad hominem attack can manifest. A common reason for ad hominem attacks is to appeal to emotions. When we appeal to emotions, we’ve left the world of logic and reason. Irrationality is the way of emotions quite often. A great example can be found on the Worldview Warriors Facebook page as a comment on one of my recent blog posts. You can find this gem: “I told you to come back when you repent, hypocrite.” This is such a terrible statement for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the derogatory term at the end. But this is an attempt, I guess, to have a conversation or debate about something in this person’s mind.

There are several types of ad hominem arguments: abusive which is a direct attack on the person (as I mentioned above), circumstantial which means the person’s motives or circumstances have rendered their argument void, guilt by association which means because of some negative association an argument is rendered void, and tu quoque which essentially means a person’s argument is discredited because their actions are not consistent with their argument (example: you must not believe smoking is bad for you since you smoke). These are all quite common, and all of them are logical fallacies.

Another common use of the personal attack would be to criticize a person’s argument because of the person’s education level. This is also a very common tactic used by atheists and skeptics who do not believe the Biblical account. Akin to this is also attacking someone’s intelligence, making the claim that they’re too stupid to be taught anything or to see it the “right way.” Again, to reference a real example you can find on our Worldview Warriors Facebook page, when I asked someone to explain what they meant or what they thought I didn’t understand, the reply was, “To you? What a waste.” This was an insinuation that I was either too stupid or not good enough for this person to explain something to. I don’t believe anyone who actually wants to present a good argument for a position or who wishes to persuade someone or influence another’s position would speak like this. It makes no sense at all.

This tactic (questioning someone’s education) is very common. Scientists who are creationists get this a lot. Finding examples online would only take you a few minutes. They’re either not published in credible journals so they’re stupid, or they didn’t get their degree from Oxford so they’re stupid, or they work for a creationist organization so they’re too stupid to be taken seriously.

There are so many examples of this. Most of us have experienced this, I’m sure. And I’m not saying that creationists don’t do this. I’ve done this, unfortunately. It’s certainly not my first line of defense but I’ve been pushed long enough and hard enough that I have waded into these waters with people. On occasion, pointing out a personal flaw may actually have relevance, but it’s not common and, in general, it should be avoided.

If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of an ad hominem attack, the first thing to do is stay calm and not respond in kind. You don’t want to tarnish your argument or reputation by stooping to that level. Once a person decides to mock or ridicule you rather than discuss with you, there’s generally no turning them back. It’s like a dam that’s been breached. Once it ruptures, it’s very difficult to stop it. I would suggest gently encouraging the person to refrain from such attacks and if they receive that (which is not likely but possible), continue in your discussion. But if they refuse and continue to berate you, wish them well and call it a day.

God’s Word has a great deal to say about this topic. Proverbs 26:4-5 says, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.” This might seem to be a contradictory statement, but it needs to be pulled apart to make sense of it. The first part, “Don’t answer…” means we are not to accept the fool’s (unbeliever’s) premise as our own but we argue from the Truth of Scripture. The second part, “Answer…” means for the sake of argument that we can accept the premise to expose its absurdity. It’s the “Don’t answer… answer” technique. This link explains a great deal about this so you can read it there and I won’t repeat it here. This link also may prove useful.

You can also usually rest assured that if someone you’re debating with starts to attack you personally or appeals to emotional arguments, you’ve likely made some headway in the discussion and they’re uncomfortable with it. Keep up the good work!

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.

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Spiritual Enmity, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 0 comments


by Eric Hansen

As we get to the end of the references to armor and how we can utilize that to further our spiritual walk with God in Ephesians 6:10-20, we also see a reduced focus on us and more on others. I’ll also explain a little bit as to why I’m considering the rest of the passage as the metaphorical back armor for each item individually. Refer to my previous post for the first items of armor in this passage.

Shield of Faith
Each piece of armor Paul mentions protects at least one particular part of the body. Faith, being represented as a shield, can in fact cover the entire body. The shield Paul mentions isn’t one that you would strap to your arm but instead is something you would often carry on your back. However, it was just as effective if you brought it to your front, and if you lined up with fellow soldiers, you could create a barrier of sorts (Luke 10:1-3).

Our faith is just as powerful, but it also takes the most damage and needs the most repair after the battle is over. It is important to note that the shield often acts as an umbrella for the helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, etc. to the point you often lose your faith before anything else goes.

We see this a lot in people who leave Christianity. It is very common to have the conversation of “why” to start with “I started struggling with believing” (or having faith). It then escalates from there, where we lose our footing and our belt of knowing what is objective truth.

Interestingly enough, the curve that these shields typically took on was formed by bonding three layers of thin wood strips (see Ecclesiastes 4:12) then covered in leather or linen. This meant that the shield was held with such importance that it was designed to take all the damage before breaking. The materials used, including the bronze to strengthen the bond of wood strips, were made with precision to be of optimal efficiency.

Helmet of Salvation
Now when we think of helmets, it can be tough to associate them with “back armor.” Even the shield can be a stretch until you better visualize just how it was used effectively. The helmet covered virtually every part of a soldier’s head, leaving only the eyes, nose and mouth exposed for vision and breathing. It often even went as far as covering the shoulders and neck, leaving little area for exposure. It is also one of the first things you would see of a soldier, as they wore it proudly and without fear, relying on it for its utmost protection.

Salvation should be held to such high regard as well from each and every Christian. We should sport it like we do our materialistic purchases. In the world today, we see pictures of Roman guards with weird feather-y material on the top of their helmets and we think it’s nothing, but in reality it was a soldier’s crown. The more visual it was the higher their rank, which did nothing but increase their ego. This is why I say we should sport our salvation as such; this is not to boost our ego, but to glorify God with such magnificence that people will stop in wonder. We need to be proud of who we are (a Christian, a child of God) and who we know (God).

The helmet is the last article of armor Paul listed that was strictly known for defense. That doesn’t diminish its importance to the overall picture, though.

Sword of the Spirit
When we think of a sword, we often think of attacking, letting it all out in a slash to push back the enemy. But what if I told you Roman soldiers would not just attack but also use a sword as a means of defense as well? A soldier would waive their sword to also warn their enemy to retreat or else an attack will be coming.

Along with additional support of deflecting attacks, this is how Paul instructs us to use our sword. We have to remember that the Holy Spirit is part of the triune God, meaning the Spirit is one of the three elements of the God-head and can help us withstand the attacks that evil throws at us. But we have to use the sword of the Spirit wisely. If we start lashing out wildly and without care, we can easily hurt those around us or even ourselves.

Prayer
This isn’t armor or a weapon, at least not in a physical sense. It isn’t something we can manifest into some tangible means. Even better, though, it is something we can utilize every moment we are in and out of enmity.

God is the one who tells us what to do, guiding and directing us. We are not the chief in command but soldiers helping win the war with every step we take. The only way we know what our next order is, however, is by communicating with our commander and asking, “What is next?” This isn’t a question of doubt or exhaustion, but of reverence and understanding that even if we may grow weary, our commander is right there ahead of us with the answer already. What better war can we ever hope to be in than one where we already know who the victor is?

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.

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The Lord's Prayer: "Give Us Today Our Daily Bread"

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 19, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

I enjoy food - lots of different kinds of food in fact, like Mexican food, Italian, pizza, cheeseburgers, and of course, chocolate! For me, food is much more about enjoyment than simply getting the nourishment that my body needs; and too often, I eat based on what I want rather than what’s healthy.

This next phrase of the Lord’s Prayer is “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). When I was a small child learning this prayer, I wondered why we would just want bread every day; why couldn’t I pray for God to give me today my daily chocolate? This phrase is about God’s provision for our physical needs, which are not necessarily the same as our physical wants.

The Greek of this phrase is not much different from our common English translations. Literally, it says, “The bread of us the daily give to us today,” but a smoother translation would be, “Give to us today our daily bread.”

But does that just mean “bread”? The word for bread in Greek (“artos”) can literally mean bread or a loaf of bread, but it also means food in a more generic sense. It can also refer to food as specifically what we need to survive. I do enjoy bread and feel like I could just live on bread sometimes; my dad’s nickname in our family is The Breadfather because of his love for bread, so I do get it honestly! But we know that our bodies need many more nutrients than just those that are found in bread products.

Some early Church teachers equated this mention of bread in the Lord’s Prayer to be a reference to Communion or the Lord’s Supper. However, there’s no evidence in the text that this does not refer to simply physical nourishment, so the bread here does refer to real food.

In today’s culture in the United States, many of us are not used to living focused just one day at a time. In Biblical times, many workers were paid every day for the work they did that day. Being sick or injured for even a few days could be disastrous, as they would not have income for those days. Without food preservation methods like we have today, they couldn’t just go grocery shopping once and be set for a few weeks; they’d need to harvest or purchase the food they would need for that day or maybe a couple of days. The culture was very much a “daily” one.

Today, however, we can buy groceries every week or less often and have plenty to eat; many of us would have enough food to last a month or more, though our selection might become less than we’re accustomed to after a while. Many people get paid for their work every week or twice a month, rather than on a daily basis. Some people still do live day-to-day, but it’s different than Biblical times with modern things like refrigerators and freezers to preserve our food for longer.

I appreciate the phrase from one Biblical commentator who says, “The prayer is for our needs, not our greeds.” When we pray for our daily bread, we’re not praying for the extravagancies of life that we may want, but for necessities that may be much simpler. We pray for God to take care of what we need for that day; it’s a very present-tense prayer rather than a future-oriented one. We’re not praying for God to take care of our needs for the next few months or years, but just for this one day. God, give me what I need for today, then tomorrow I’ll ask you to take care of me for tomorrow.

The daily-ness of this prayer also reminds us that our days are never guaranteed. We pray for today because we do not know if we will live to see tomorrow. We only need to worry about each day that God gives us, whatever number that ends up being.

This part of the Lord’s Prayer would have reminded Israelites of their ancestors wandering in the wilderness when God provided manna (a form of bread) for them each day - see Exodus 16 for more on that. God’s instructions for the people were: “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days” (Exodus 16:4-5). They were not to gather extra, and if they did, it became rotten before they could eat it. The people of Israel needed to trust that God would provide exactly what they needed each day, rather than trying to store it up for themselves. The only time they were to gather extra was before the Sabbath, so they could spend that day focusing on God and not gathering food.

Are you trusting God daily for His provision in your life? Do you ask God for your “greeds” more than your “needs”? Let this phrase of the Lord’s Prayer remind you that anything God gives you beyond basic necessities is an extra blessing; He will provide what you need according to His good purposes and if He gives you extra, perhaps that’s an opportunity to bless someone else with it - thus God providing for them through your obedience to Him.

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.

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Following God’s Call

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 16, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

We take this break from your regularly scheduled program to bring you the following…

For those you who follow me, especially on Facebook, you may have noticed that that I have been hinting at some changes going on in my life. Until this week, I’ve only shared what I am going to share here with a few individuals, but on Sunday, I officially made it public. The timing is very interesting too, because on Tuesday last week, Chad Koons wrote a post about the problems people have with a church worship service and have used that as an excuse to leave that church. I had shared with the Worldview Warriors blog writers that I had been seriously contemplating leaving my church that I had called home for 18 years. That time has now officially come.

What I want to share here is part my journey, but also part instructions on when or how you should leave your church. When you’ve been at the same church for 18 years, leaving is not an easy decision. I am a man that appeals to loyalty; I don’t like being fickle. I have been part of three churches total in my life, and I know nothing of church hunting and despise the idea of church hopping. But leading back to last year, I had been chewing on the idea of, “If I were to go to a different church, where would I go?” There were several other churches I had visited and knew people at. I believed they would be good places to go, but I had no reason to go there other than to go there. That would be pointless. But then a window opened.

One of my co-workers at my school and I have grown pretty close. We are two doors apart from each other and we are pretty well on the same page as believers and seekers of truth. We help with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter on campus, and we have hit it off. He knew I went to a church but wasn’t sure where, and he invited me to a church he had recently discovered. Again, having been an active member of the same church for 18 years, regularly involved in different ministries, running the computer every week, etc., this initially blew past me. I had a church. But for some reason, I sensed I needed to take him up on his offer. Again, I was not thinking of changing churches. I was just thinking of visiting. But when I got there and after the service, I knew I had to return. Suddenly my desire to return to the church I had been at for 18 years began to diminish. I returned to my home church for two weeks, and in the middle of that, I had a two-hour talk with my pastor about what I was doing and where I believed I was being led. My pastor has a Kingdom perspective. He knows to let people go when God is moving them, and he gave no indication that I should stay nor questioned why I was looking at moving on.

So, I began going to the new church for three weeks, and I have really been enjoying it. But I needed to properly close the door to my old church of 18 years. This past Sunday, I got to share about my moving on and was “sent off” to where God is leading me. As of this post, I will be attending this new church and taking the members’ class when the next round starts up. By that time, I will know if this church is to be my new “home” or is just a steppingstone to someplace else.

A legitimate question that has to be asked: what does this new church have that the old church doesn’t have? Why would I jump to a new church while living in the same city? As mentioned in Chad’s post last week, there are two legitimate reasons a person should leave a church. 1) The church is heretical, via the worship, the sermons, or the body, and being in that church will only bring death. These are the churches where the Gospel is not preached, and people aren’t being converted nor growing in their faith. 2) God is moving you. I have had some disagreements with my pastor over some doctrines. Sometimes he was wrong. Sometimes I was wrong. But if I really thought that my home church was heretical, a place I needed to run from, I would have simply told my pastor that I couldn’t be there any longer and I most certainly would not have asked if I could share about leaving. As a teacher by spiritual gifting, I’m always going to find error and even at this new church, it won’t take me long to find something I don’t agree with. While I understand the risk of getting critical, I find that my home church is not a danger.

At my home church, I was able to develop my spiritual skills. I had seen church discipline in action. I had heard truth be preached. I had seen people’s faith restored. And we also were known as a place where you wanted to be if you needed physical healing. There were flaws at this church too, and I won’t air the dirty laundry here. It is a good church, but it is not longer “home” for me. Even before my “send off,” I really had no desire to return there. This was the same feeling I had when I moved from Lafayette, Colorado to El Paso, Texas, despite extremely deep family roots (5 generations in Boulder County, Colorado). When we crossed the state line, we weren’t leaving home, we were going home. That’s what I feel now.

It is interesting. When I talked to one of the elders at the new church about the members’ class, he gave me the packet of information about the church and included was an article about how to leave a church. When I read it, I had pretty much done most of the list. I’ll quickly list them without going into detail:

  1. Study the marks of a healthy church
  2. Were you committed before?
  3. Are you submitted to the church leadership?
  4. Have you sought to keep the unity of the faith (that is, not causing division)?
  5. Do you need to stay to be a voice of change?
  6. Have you sought out forgiveness and reconciliation where necessary?
  7. Have you spoken to the church leadership?
  8. Have you sought the church’s blessing in leaving?
  9. Have you considered the grass may not be greener on the other side?
  10. Have you prayed?

    I may take some time to break these down later on, but these are good questions to ask yourself if you are looking at leaving a church. I didn’t know about this article, but I mostly did what it asks (a couple really didn’t apply to my situation). A key thing in this article is to promote loyalty and commitment and only make changes when they are necessary.

    God is preparing me for something; I don’t know what it is. I know of four options for me at this new church: 1) I am there to get fed with meat that I need in my walk, that I wasn’t going to get at my old place (that is a personal thing with where I am, not a judgment on their teachings), 2) I need to feed someone there, 3) both of those, or 4) it’s a steppingstone to get me out of the old church for something else. I do not know where this will take me, but I do believe this is a start to God taking the ministry He has given me to do to another level. I do not recommend that anyone just get up and leave their church unless there is a need to. I would not do this unless I knew I needed to. It will be a fun journey to see where God takes me.

    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.

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The Lord’s Prayer: “On Earth As It Is in Heaven”

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 12, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Today’s phrase of the Lord’s Prayer finally ends the first sentence: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). The whole prayer so far has been one sentence: addressing our Father in heaven, calling Him holy as He is, desiring that His kingdom come, and that His will be done. Today, we’re looking at how and where those things should happen - on earth as it is in heaven.

Interestingly, the Greek for this phrase appears backward from what we read in our English translations. It literally translates to “as in heaven also upon earth.” But even though the wording is in a different order, the English meaning remains true.

This phrase, “on earth as it is in heaven,” links the previous two phrases of “your kingdom come” and “your will be done.” Where or how will God’s kingdom come? It will be on earth as it is in heaven. Where or how will God’s will be done? It will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

God is currently reigning over His kingdom in heaven. His kingdom is present here on this earth, but not in the same way. Only perfection exists in heaven, while the earth is still full of sinfulness and brokenness. When we pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven, we are praying for that holy and perfect reign to be over all the earth as well. One day at the end of this world, we will get to experience the new heaven and earth. We are currently separated from that perfection by our sin, but we look forward to the day that it will come, and this earth will be like heaven.

I encourage you to read all of Revelation 21 for more about what this will look like. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’ And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” (Revelation 21:1-5a).

The kingdom of God is already present on this earth, but we want to see it come in its perfect form as well - we want it to be on earth as it currently is in heaven.

Next, we want God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We can discern God’s will for our lives on this earth, but it’s not the same as God’s will in heaven. Again, the separation and difference are due to the sinfulness of this world in comparison to the perfection of heaven. God’s will is perfect, but we aren’t able to fully perceive His perfection through our sinful minds.

It’s important to note the context of this passage of the Lord’s Prayer when we look at this topic. As I wrote about in the introduction, the instance of this prayer that we’re focusing on happens during Jesus teaching what’s known as the Sermon on the Mount. This teaching includes topics such as murder, adultery, divorce, loving our enemies, giving to the needy, fasting, not worrying, judging others, etc. When we are living in the perfection of heaven and God’s perfect will is all we know, none of these topics will be relevant! God’s desires will always be accomplished; we won’t need to be instructed on how to do so. There will be no evil to compare it to; everything will be perfect, including how we’ll know what God’s will is for us.

This phrase of the Lord’s Prayer also confirms for us that heaven is real. While it may not be a physical place as we understand space in this world, but heaven is a place where we will be able to live one day, as long as we have faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. If heaven were not real, Jesus would not reference it in this prayer. We may not know all the details about heaven or be able to understand it with our limited intellect, but it’s sufficient to know that it will be far better than this earth - it will be perfect. For more on heaven, check out this post.

We desire that this earth would look more like heaven. As we pray this model prayer that Jesus has given us, we desire for God’s kingdom to come to this earth as it is currently in heaven, and we desire for God’s will to be done in a most perfect way.

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Don’t Hit Snooze

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 9, 2021 5 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

For many people, the most difficult part of the day is actually waking up. Countless people have to set alarm clocks because if turned loose, they will sleep in till the PM hours. And they have to set up strategies to force themselves to get out of bed, because of that faithful and dreaded “snooze” button. They set up multiple alarms. They set the alarm to be out of reach from bed, or in some people’s cases, they turn the dog loose.

Perhaps the most annoying thing to a sleeping person is an alarm. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend over Facebook, and we were talking about being ready for the coming of Christ and this statement just came out: “Sleeping people don’t like alarms.” It was not planned. I had not pulled that from a sermon or video or book. That statement just came out and my friend and I both went: “That’s worth quoting,” hence this blog post.

The church is sleeping. Jesus warned of such falling asleep. The parable of the ten virgins involves the church waiting for the coming of the bridegroom and He delays. They fall asleep. The wise ones were prepared for a delayed coming. The foolish ones were not ready. They were woken suddenly and weren’t ready when the Bridegroom came. Jesus also warned of a “great falling away.” Jesus didn’t mince words when He bemoaned that if when He returned would anyone be found believing Him. There are a lot of talk from the “Word of Faith” people that there’s going to be a “third Great Awakening.” These same people spent all of 2020 full of confidence and all of them proven fraud. They all claimed to “speak with God on a daily basis” and none of them had a clue about COVID and then they butchered the election badly (if you want to know specifics listen to this 4 ½ hour video by Justin Peters exposing it all). But there are others who actually are in tune to what God is saying because they aren’t “having dreams” but are in Scripture. I’ve been warning for 2-3 years about persecution coming. From November last year into mid-February, I did an in-depth study of Jeremiah, posting devotionals daily to my Facebook wall and every place I read. I didn’t just see ancient Judah in serious trouble, but I saw the U.S. in the same trouble. The difference is that the U.S. has no promise of restoration.

It does not take a “special revelation” to know that the U.S. is in serious trouble. It only takes knowing history and knowing God. I recently finished a series of posts about idolatry and how the Ten Commandments are broken via the practices of idolatry. I also went through how the U.S. is complicit in violating each Commandment nationally. And to be frank, I’m late to the party. People have been saying this for years. Christians have been saying, “Hey, this is NOT where we want to be going.” I remember 6-7 years ago when homosexual marriage was being formally approved that pedophilia would be right on its heels. I had quite a few people jump on my case and say that would never happen. Look at today; I wasn’t wrong. Again, I’m not boasting about myself; I’m only saying what everyone else has access to. I’m just connecting the dots, but numerous people are saying the same thing and I can tell which ones are in the Word and which ones aren’t.

Every society has watchmen. They are the ones who are supposed to be guarding society. For 2000 years that job has fallen to the church, but in this one generation (mine), the church has abdicated its roll, with only a few voices remaining doing the job. I don’t believe we at Worldview Warriors set out to carry out this calling intentionally, but we’ve certainly been put in position to carry out that roll along with training and equipping believers. When I completed the Cadre course through the Creation Truth Foundation, I was commissioned to go defend the faith, and I have done that. But with that means I have to guard the sheep pen and warn those who will listen of the dangers out there of the pitfalls of the false teachings and to prepare people for the judgment coming. I have been sounding an alarm. I know Jason DeZurik has been sounding an alarm. Chad Koons is sounding an alarm. The danger is no longer coming. It’s already here and it’s already inside the walls.

I started out with alarm clocks. The “visible church” is still sleeping. Most don’t want to hear messages of judgment and danger. They are comfortable as they are, and they actually think they are safe. The last thing they want to hear is some “preacher” saying “Awake! Awake! Put on strength!” Isaiah said that. We need to WAKE UP! If you have children, WAKE UP! If you aren’t actively training them and equipping them to face very dark times, you are doing them a great disservice. But instead of listening to the alarm that the enemy is in the gates, most are trying to hit snooze and go back to sleep. And while they do this, the enemy is ransacking their homes. What’s worse is these people are blaming the watchmen for sounding the alarm, not the enemy for attacking them? They want us to be “more loving” and “more gentle.” Let me say this: the method no longer matters. The enemy is within the walls, and it’s only a matter of time now before the war directly hits your home. If you aren’t already in battle attire and fighting when that happens, you’re dead. You will be passed over. WAKE UP!

Now because some have found out that the Trojan Horse has been in the gates and it’s nighttime, they are sounding the alarm. And when people like me and those of us at Worldview Warriors and others who are speaking out, saying “Hey, watch out!” they are going to come after us first. The sleeping ones aren’t the threat. They are easy prey, easy to control. The end result is still the same: death. Jeremiah repeatedly sounded the alarm. The people refused to hear it. Jehoiakim burned Jeremiah’s scroll warning about what would happen. He died only a few years later. His brother Zedekiah knew Jeremiah had the truth, but he was so afraid of his own people that he couldn’t follow through and obey the Word. As a result, he watched his children get slaughtered before him just before his own eyes were gouged out and he was carried off to Babylon in chains. If you think you can sleep through this and the enemy will leave you alone, you are sadly mistaken.

God has been sounding the alarm. Those who refuse to heed God’s watchmen will suffer the consequences for not heeding them. God’s hand is back upon this nation and it’s not for blessing. It’s for judgment. It is going to get VERY rough around here. But I’m looking forward to it. Why? Because God is finally going to get rid of false teachings and sins that have so hindered us and will prepare us for His return. We had best wake up so we can be ready for that day. Don’t hit snooze. I’ll say it again, don’t hit snooze!

I am becoming increasingly convinced that my generation will not live to see freedom for the Christian in America again, and I am expecting to face prison time in the not very distant future for no other reason than being a Christian. Are we ready for that? I was recently reminded of a panel that Paul Washer was part of (Todd Friel posted the audio here). Six years ago, he warned about this too. And he said that in the days of the Apostles, they weren’t persecuted as Christians. They were persecuted as fools, dangers to the state, uneducated, troublemakers, rioters, violent, and disturbers of the peace. Everything that someone else did, the Christian was blamed for it (look at the January 6 riot at Capitol Hill. Bill Maher blamed the Christians for it.) There are no more warnings of coming danger. There is only now the alarm that the danger is here, for as long as that alarm is allowed to sound. WAKE UP!

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What's Wrong with Circular Reasoning?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 8, 2021 0 comments


by Steve Risner

In my last blog post, I introduced a topic I found in a group on Facebook that discusses creation and anything related to it. A person I think is an unbeliever gave some tips to “creationists” on how to discuss these issues in the group. I found it rather interesting for a couple of reasons, not the least of which was the irony involved.

As I said last time, this sort of stuff—everything he points out that creationists should avoid—are things that everyone does and, most times, should avoid. He probably does not believe that’s true or, if pressed, might admit others do these things as well but not nearly as much. My take is very different than his. While I understand we all make errors in our arguments and discussions and even in our reasoning, I believe we should all strive for the highest standards in our debates, including being honest and ethical. Christians have an objective standard by which to conduct themselves while atheists really do not. We have the Word of God and His moral code of conduct, so to speak. For an unbeliever, there really is no base of support for their morality. I’m not saying they cannot be moral, but I’m never sure where that comes from.

This individual stated, for our benefit, I guess, “that if the purpose of your posts is to persuade others of your belief, and you want to start a useful discussion, then it’s worth avoiding the following:” He then went on to list and explain 4 things. They included preaching, circular reasoning, ad hominem arguments, and strawman arguments. So today, we’ll focus in on his second thing “worth avoiding” which is circular reasoning.

He says, “CIRCULAR REASONING. Such as: ‘what the bible says is correct because God’s word is true.’ …. and variants of this.”

Circular reasoning is just that—you reason in a circle. In short, you begin with what you have in mind as the ending. Keep in mind that not all circular reasoning yields a false conclusion. A great example would be something like, “You shouldn’t break the law because it’s illegal to break the law.” You follow?

Creationists can do this. People who do not support the Biblical narrative on origins will do this often as well. But here’s the thing with circular reasoning—everyone does it to a degree. We ALL—every last one of us—have axioms at our foundation of beliefs. These are things we believe are true without being able to prove them. Because of this fact, I would suggest that this person’s claim that “creationists” shouldn’t use circular reasoning is misapplied in his example statement. I believe that the Bible is God’s Word and is true. This is the foundation for all of my beliefs concerning origins. So, to suggest that I cannot make this statement is odd. Of course, I can and will state this. But he has foundational beliefs as well that he cannot prove but his beliefs hang on.

More important to me than avoiding circular reasoning would be making sure my foundational/core beliefs that I cannot prove (the axioms I mentioned above) are consistent with each other. This is true for the Christian who adheres to a natural reading of Scripture by and large. However, for the unbeliever—especially the atheist—inconsistency is the norm, unfortunately.

A Christian who used the Bible to understand the world around him/her has a great deal to appreciate. The Christian worldview and the Bible have provided for the development of modern science. I’ve written about that here. A Biblical worldview held by the Christ follower can also claim a solid system for determining right and wrong. We have a standard for objective morality which is pivotal in sustaining civilization. Atheists will claim they have a standard for morality, but this is false. Sure, they can be moral, but they have no basis for it. According to well-known atheist William Provine, evolution means that “There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”

But our belief in the trustworthiness of Scripture is not circular reasoning. It is not a blind faith in some old book. It’s a faith that is supported by loads of evidence from numerous sources. Our faith in the Word of God is justified by sound reasoning. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati said it very concisely: the biblical framework is the only one that provides the foundation for science, voluntary will, logic, and morality.

Secular science and humanism very often report they’ve confirmed deep time with this sort of test or that line of thought. However, most if not all of these tests that give them the desired results are based on assumptions and circular reasoning. They also frequently fail to mention that all dates not in line with their current line of thinking are tossed out, never to be heard from again. Examples would be ice cores and how they must first believe in deep time—aka millions or billions of years of slow gradual processes in a worldview based on uniformitarianism—before they can deduce any conclusions from the data the ice cores present. There are issues with this. This is begging the question which is very similar to circular reasoning.

Dr. Henry Morris explained how the foundational arguments for universal common descent are circular this way: “Creationists have long insisted that the main evidence for evolution — the fossil record — involves a serious case of circular reasoning. That is, the fossil evidence that life has evolved from simple to complex forms over the geological ages depends on the geological ages of the specific rocks in which these fossils are found. The rocks, however, are assigned geologic ages based on the fossil assemblages which they contain. The fossils, in turn, are arranged on the basis of their assumed evolutionary relationships. Thus the main evidence for evolution is based on the assumption of evolution.”

This line of circular reasoning is mentioned often by creationists and dismissed by evolutionists. But it’s true. Rocks are dated by fossils in them, and fossils are dated by what rock layer they are found in. They then will point to other lines of evidence for the ages of these rocks with radiometric dating, which was likely calibrated by the previously determined ages of the rocks these methods are used on. The RATE project has done a marvelous job of dismantling the efficacy and accuracy of deep time dating methods. This is generally ignored by evolutionists without much to say about it.

I guess one might say circular reasoning is bad because it’s not good. But, as I stated earlier, all faiths (whether the faith of a person who believes science has all the answers, or the faith of a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, or the faith of the materialist, or atheist, or Buddhist, or Jew, or whatever) stand ultimately on axioms. Axioms are core beliefs that we just accept as true and build off of them. These axioms, which every person has at their foundation of their beliefs, are often times circular in their reasoning. But, again as stated earlier, the faith of a Christian in the Bible is a faith bolstered by the evidence and supported by multiple lines of reasoning and facts. Our faith stands firm with the facts (when they are interpreted properly) and not in spite of the facts like the faith of the atheist.

Exodus 23:1 tells us not to give a false report or join the wicked to be malicious. Often times when the Bible speaks of the wicked it simply means those who do not know God. Psalm 17 tells us that those whose portion is in this life rather than in God are the wicked. I do not want to join hands with the denier of Christ to make a theological case about anything. How could I? Too often, Christians are sucked into this trap of aligning with the atheist to somehow make him or her see the light. It just doesn’t work. Let’s just assume that God knows what He is talking about here.

I have recently had Romans 2:24 thrown at me as some sort of insult. Here, Paul is saying that because of the conduct of the believers he was writing to, the Gentiles were able to mock or scorn the Lord. This person was trying to say that because I believe the Bible and what it tells me, I am making unbelievers mock the Lord. But his Scripture reference actually is far more on point for him than me. The backstory here is that Paul was saying the Jews had the Law. They were the chosen people of God Almighty. They had the oracles of God. But they chose to mix with the unbelievers—the pagans, the Gentiles, the idol worshippers—in the areas close by them rather than stay true to the covenant that God had made with them. You can read more about the context here when you look at Isaiah 52:5 and Ezekiel 36:20 and 23 (or the whole book of Judges) to see that rather than stick with Him and His Word, they fell away and went along with their neighbors who believed in things contrary to God’s Word.

This is exactly what this person is doing. He aligns himself with unbelievers and philosophies specifically designed in some cases to undermine the Word of God. He claims to do this to win them over, I guess. But anyone can see how na├»ve and foolish this is. Trust God. Trust His Word. And rather than think some “educated” person who likely doesn’t believe in Jesus anyway has stumbled on the true interpretation of Scripture, let us understand the Word of God as it was intended and as it has been for thousands of years. Let’s not rewrite Genesis to work more nicely with the humanist origins myth of deep time, the big bang and universal common descent.

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.

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