Apologetics 13: The Servant of the Lord

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 29, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

I have spent the last seven weeks primarily on the last half of this passage, and now we will come back to the first half. Those who are in opposition to the truth do not know the truth (or are in active rebellion against it), they are not thinking straight or clearly, they are trapped by the devil, and they are made to be his puppets. So, with this next set of posts, we will examine how the apologist should respond to this situation (something I have to do a LOT of practicing on) and how we should handle such people. Paul gives us several descriptions: 1) he is a servant of the Lord, 2), he must not quarrel, and 3) he is to be gentle, 4) able to teach, 5) patient, and 6). humble. Today, I will focus on the servant of the Lord. Who is such a person? What is the job description?

The Christian, specifically in the practice/office of proclaiming and defending the faith, is a servant of the Lord. He is not promoting his own agenda, and he is not building his own platform; he is doing the business of God. One of the things that really hit me as I have studied this passage is what it means to “bear the name of the Lord.” When you are in Christian circles, having grown up in them and always been around them, that is something you hear but often take for granted. I can testify to this.

We are ambassadors. We are people who legally represent God. This is what it means to pray “in the name of Jesus Christ.” We are to pray as though we have the authority Jesus has. Many people have certainly taken that to heart and then started proclaiming anything and everything they wanted. But there is a caveat to that authority that the Centurion understood. In order to have authority, the Centurion had to be under authority. He could see that in Jesus, which is why he had so much faith in Him. If we are to represent Jesus, speak in His name, and proclaim His message, we have to be under His rule. Jesus is the Sovereign King. He is the ruler of all rulers, King of all kings, and Lord of all lords already. But if we want His authority, we have to be under His authority.

We need to truly grasp what it means to represent God. The third commandment is to “not take the Lord’s name in vain.” I did a study on this earlier this year, along with the rest of the 10 Commandments, but this is a violation we commit far more frequently than we realize. This commandment is most known for addressing using God’s name as a curse word, but it also includes claiming His name and misusing it. Anytime we claim that we speak for God or represent God, and we do so in a way that does not give Him glory, is taking His name in vain. When someone takes a man-made idea in which God was never consulted, let alone build upon the foundation of Scripture, and then attributes it to God, that is taking the Lord’s name in vain.

This is what Ezekiel warned about with those who say “Thus says the Lord” when the Lord had not spoken. When someone invokes God’s name to say, “Don’t dare question me!” (such as, “Don’t touch the Lord’s anointed”) that is taking God’s name in vain. When we proclaim that we are defending God’s truth but showcase a spirit other than what Christ showed (i.e. doing as the “Sons of Thunder” did), it very well could be taking God’s name in vain. Any time we invoke God’s name and do not treat it or handle it with the honor and respect it deserves, we take it in vain. The servant of the Lord is to honor and treat the name of God with upmost dignity.

Eric Ludy preached a sermon that caught my attention about Abraham’s servant. He was sent to get a bride for Isaac. The big point he made was that the servant was to bring all the attention to be about Isaac and not himself. As servants of the Lord, we are not to proclaim ourselves. It’s not about us. Ludy has taught me this key point: When we are sharing our faith, by the time we walk away the person should be thinking about “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” If they are thinking about us, we didn’t do our job right. Think about sharing your testimony. Nearly every testimony I hear is about “us.” It’s about “me.” It’s MY story. As servants of the Lord, while we certainly are able to and should share about what God has done in our lives, our testimony should be about Christ. In the story, we are not the protagonist, the hero of the story, getting help from the wise mentor. In the story, we are the damsel in distress, needing rescue. The person we are sharing our faith with should be thinking about the Savior. The servant of the Lord represents Jesus and proclaims Jesus. We are mere messengers.

To be such a servant, we must give a message that is what God gives. This is one of my pet peeves in “modern Christianity” today. So many people in churches have no real concept of the weight of their duty in evangelism. I have Old Earth Creationists tell me, “You won’t convince many geologists or scientists with those arguments.” My response to that is, “If you are concerned about their opinions, you are NOT concerned about Christ. It’s HIS opinion that matters, not the ‘experts’ of this world.” The whole Progressive Christian movement has taken what Old Earth started with (changing Genesis to accommodate “modern science”) and swung that door wide open. While OEC models purpose to change what “day” and “whole earth” mean to deny the clear 6-day creation and global flood descriptions, Progressive Christianity does the same thing with “virgin birth,” “holiness,” “salvation,” “sin,” etc., BOTH with the full intention of making the message “acceptable” to the target audience. While you may not always find Progressive Christianity in OEC circles, you can all but guarantee you will find OEC in Progressive Christian circles.

We have to completely ditch the idea of giving a message that appeals to the audience. The Gospel has NEVER been acceptable to the sinful world. No generation has ever been able to handle the sting of the Gospel. When we are proclaiming our message correctly, there can be only three responses and we see them in Acts 17 at Mars Hill: 1) they will mock and ridicule you (the majority response), 2) some are undecided and want to hear more, or 3) they will be converted. Response #2 always leads to #1 or #3. There is no neutral territory.

The servant of the Lord proclaims God’s message as God gave it. Never adds to it. Never takes away from it. Never sugar coats it. Never roughs it up either. He simply proclaims the message as God gave it. So, the duty of the servant of the Lord is to make sure he is listening and receiving God’s message clearly and correctly. That requires not reading your own ideas into the text but submitting to the text. It means that what God said goes, and no one is to tell you otherwise, Christian or not. Don’t mess around with God’s name or His message. Eve fell to the lie when she added to the Word of God. King Saul sealed his doom when he did not completely obey the Word of God. Ananias and Sapphira died for only telling a half-truth to God. You don’t mess around with these things. So, with this in mind, knowing what our job is and knowing what the lost are like, Paul tells us how the servant of the Lord should deliver the message of salvation to the lost.

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The Crazy Things Theistic Evolutionists Say, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 28, 2021 2 comments


by Steve Risner

A member of a group I visit from time to time on Facebook, a theistic evolutionist who quite literally says some of the craziest things I’ve read on the topic, had some interesting things to say. (Remember, a theistic evolutionist is someone who wants to be a Christian but rejects the creation account in the Bible, adhering to a view similar to that of an atheist on the matter of origins.) To be fair, I believe he vocalizes what most theistic evolutionists actually think but won’t say. He saw a meme in the group that troubled him. It was, as he calls it, an “anti-evolutionary meme.” It’s uncanny how bizarre people like this are. But in case you come across similar backwards thinking, you might be able to at least identify the wolf in sheep’s clothing and credit his arguments as such and also respond so as to shine light on the darkness he or she is spewing as truth. It truly is a masquerade.

I wasn’t privy to the meme, but I believe it was something like this:

Now, it’s true that universal common descent violates most if not all of these ideas and more. But this theistic evolutionist wanted to educate us on how creationists, especially “young-earthers,” are twits and have no idea what science actually has evidenced. What’s funny is that “young-earthers” developed modern science, and he is standing on the shoulders of these, some of the greatest minds of science, in order to discredit what they did for us. Let’s take a look at his introductory statements before he gets into the nuts and bolts of the meme.

He prefaces his response to these points with this amazing statement: “While everything I said is valid and well supported, it also must surely read like an angry fist-waving, wild-eyed John the Baptist assault to a young-earthist.”

This is hilarious to me. He’s claiming to feel like an Old Testament prophet because he’s telling people not to believe what the Bible clearly teaches us. And I have no reference in the Bible that I can find of John the Baptist “assaulting” or responding “wild-eyed” or with “angry fist-waving” to anyone. This opening statement from this theistic evolutionist is just odd. What’s even more odd is the irony. After saying, “Everything I said is valid and well supported,” he makes a statement that is invalid and not supported. Such are the arguments from those who are humanist fundamentalists who proselytize for the humanist origins myth (that of the Big Bang leading up to abiogenesis and universal common descent). They generally talk in circles or don’t know that they’re committing numerous fallacies in their arguments.

He goes on to say: “How do we approach the apostasy of anti-evolutionary folks with love?”

This is quite possibly the most peculiar thing I’ve seen stated by a person in the creation/evolution debate. This person frequently says things similar to this in nature—just weird and nonsensical in my opinion—but this one, for me at the moment, takes the cake.

Words have meanings. Apostasy in this sentence is completely out of place if his claim to Christianity is to be taken seriously. However, if he’s admitting his real faith is in the secular humanist worldview and all its trappings, then fine. But apostasy in the sense of being out of sync with normal, traditional, long-held Christian beliefs is, of course, preposterous. Apostasy means the abandonment or renunciation of a religious or political belief. This man wants us to think he’s a Bible-believing follower of Christ. Where is evolution (more specifically universal common descent—that we all share a common ancestor after life spontaneously erupted from non-living matter) found in the core doctrines of the Church? Where does the Bible reveal these truths?

I know for a fact that creation and God’s immeasurable power over all of creation is written throughout Scripture. Nowhere do we find even a vague eluding to universal common descent or the deep time required for it. He has shown us all of his cards here and likely the cards of many who believe as he does—that God (he wants this to be the God of the Bible but many others just assign the term ‘god’ or the supernatural to it) used natural processes and evolution to create the universe (which means He really didn’t create it at all) and the various life forms on earth over eons of time rather than the clear teaching of the Bible especially in Genesis but throughout the Word of God that says otherwise. But we, those who believe God’s Word and believe it means what it says, are apostate?

He’s right, obviously, that approaching in love is the better way to go. However, keep in mind that Jesus, while I believe He loved the Pharisees and was saddened by their rejection of Himself, vehemently opposed the religious leaders of His time on earth, pronouncing the 7 woes (Matthew 23 specifically verses 13-33) on them before all the people. In the Word, it is said that God is love, so treating others in this regard is not only good but it’s the best way to approach an unbeliever. We must also keep in mind, as I’ve said, that when Jesus spoke to those who thought they were superior in their faith and were prideful in that belief, He was not kind to them. Sometimes showing a person how wrong they are can be abrasive to them, and that’s okay. So at least this theistic evolutionist and I agree on this point: we should treat each other with love as we discuss topics such as this.

I had no idea before starting this writing that I would not even get to the end of this evolutionist’s preface before he gets to ridiculing the above meme (I try to stick to the policy of never arguing with a meme). I suppose that means we have the birth of a series here.

We will spend a little time discussing 2 Corinthians 6 in this series. In verses 14-15 Paul writes, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”

Paul is emphasizing that joining with anti-Biblical teachers to preach what is quite obviously contrary to the Word of God is a very bad idea. Theistic evolutionists and, unfortunately quite often, old earth creationists will frequently join hands with atheists and other non-Christian people of faith to speak out against the Biblical worldview and the Biblical teachings on origins. It’s such a disheartening thing to witness. In this passage, Paul begins to call the Corinthians out for not being separate from these unbelievers. He is warning against idolatry, telling the Corinthian believers to come out from these unbelievers and don’t act like them or believe as they do. Those who have determined they will try to walk both sides of the creation/evolution debate and incorporate the false teachings of the humanist origins myth (that of deep time, the Big Bang, and the evolution of the universe all the way up to the formation of earth and life starting on earth from non-living matter and changing over time from very simple to more complex and specified organisms) with the true teachings of Scripture are very close to if not already lost.

I realize that’s a big statement and please hear me: I am not saying you cannot be saved if you believe these things. However, I have found many who are clearly not and many others I’ve watched walk down that slippery slope of distorting the Word to fit a preconceived idea. Eventually, it can easily lead to a loss of faith, though not always, of course. When you mix the purest water with water that has a little salt in it, what do you get? You get salt water, right? Mixing the truth with a little false teaching means you have a false teaching. That’s a fact. No matter how little salt you started with, you still have salt water in the end; it’s no longer pure. Please keep this in mind as we press forward. Trust God and allow every man to be a liar. He is Truth and has clearly shown us what He wants us to know in His Word and in the world around us.

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Hebrews 7:20-28

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 25, 2021 2 comments


by Katie Erickson

“And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever.’’
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.
Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”
-Hebrews 7:20-28

If you’re thinking this passage seems to start in the middle of a thought, that’s because you’re right – it does! It’s always helpful to remember that the Bible was not written with chapter and verse designations like we have today. Sometimes Biblical authors get pretty wordy so there’s just not a good place to break up a thought to write about in a blog post like this. So, check out my post from last week for the context of the beginning of this thought.

The author of Hebrews has been talking about the difference between priests in the order of Melchizedek versus priests in the order of Aaron. His point is to make it clear that Jesus Christ is a superior high priest to all other high priests because He is part of the order of Melchizedek. In the previous section, we saw evidence of this because of the life that He lived. Here, the author continues with three more ways that Jesus is superior: His divine oath (verses 20-22), its permanence (verses 23-25), and His better sacrifice (verses 26-28).

When priests were established in the order of Aaron and from the tribe of Levi, there was no oath to establish them as priests. Jesus, however, “became a priest with an oath” (verse 21). The verse goes on to quote Psalm 110:4, indicating that God has appointed Jesus as a priest forever and will not change His mind about that. This priesthood of Jesus is sealed by a divine oath from God Himself! That means that nothing can break this priesthood, unlike human priests in the order of Aaron.

The old covenant had been given through Abraham, but no person could guarantee that either party would fulfill their part of it. Now, we see that the covenant is better and Jesus has become the guarantor of it (verse 22). Jesus is the guarantor of both sides of the covenant. He guarantees that God will fulfill His covenant to mankind of forgiveness of our sins and eternal life, and He also guarantees that those who have faith in Him are to be considered acceptable in God’s sight.

The next way that Jesus is superior is that His priesthood is permanent. Human priests would stop being priests when they died (verse 23), and all priests in the order of Aaron would die. Successors were needed to keep the office of the high priest going throughout the generations. According to early church historian Josephus, there were 83 high priests from the time of Aaron until the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. All of them died and needed someone to replace them.

Jesus, however, never dies, so there is never any need for someone to replace Him; in fact, no one could replace Him (verse 24). His high priesthood is permanent. Interestingly, the Greek word for “permanent” is only found here in the New Testament (that phenomenon of a word only being found once is called a hapax legomenon if you want to amaze and amuse your friends with that). Some scholars believe it means “without a successor” more specifically than simply “permanent,” but others believe it also means “unchangeable.” Regardless, Jesus has lived and will live forever, so unlike the Levitical priests in the order of Aaron, His priesthood will never end.

Because of this permanence, Jesus is completely able to save those who have faith in Him (verse 25). He always lives to intercede for us, and He will always be there to guarantee that we fulfill our part of the covenant through His work. The phrase “save completely” indicates the idea that any sinner can be redeemed and saved no matter what sins they have committed. The idea of Jesus always interceding for us is an interesting one. We often think of intercession in terms of praying for someone else, but the act of Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection is the ultimate intercession for us.

Finally, Jesus is shown to be superior because of His better sacrifice. Verse 26 starts out by sharing the character of Jesus – “holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” No earthly priest can even begin to compare to that! Verse 27 explains the contrast again of Jesus sacrificing Himself once and for all, whereas the earthly priests would have to regularly offer more sacrifices because they were not final as Jesus’ was. Then, verse 28 shows one more contrast between Jesus and human priests: human priests have weaknesses, while Jesus forever lives in perfection.

Why does all this matter for us non-Jews today who don’t have a high priest in our lives? It means that we can be shown as blameless before God and worthy to have eternal life in Him because of what Jesus did for us. Jesus is the great and perfect high priest that no person could ever compare to. He is the only sacrifice that we ever need, and when we have faith in Him, He guarantees for us that God will see us as righteous as Jesus is, no matter what evils we have committed in this life. Jesus is the only high priest and the only sacrifice that we’ll ever need, and we do need Him to become right with God.

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Apologetics 12: Puppets of the Devil

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 22, 2021 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

You are a slave to someone. You are a slave to sin and the devil, or you are a slave to Christ. Not many people like to hear this; there is a lot of kick-back to the notion that we are just pawns in a cosmic game of Chess between God and the devil. No matter what culture or religion you are, this is a fundamental question all mankind wrestles with. Look at many role-playing video games. A number of them depict the heroes defying their “fate,” and the “gods” that seek to control them so that they can live independently, ruling their own lives. But it sure is interesting how in many of these stories, even the heroes turn to someone to guide them. Even when you are making your own choices, you are serving someone. Those who are born-again are servants, or more accurately slaves, to Christ. Those who are in opposition to Christ are slaves to the devil and they do his will. See Romans 6 for more on this.

But this is not just a statement by Paul. Jesus drilled this point home hard in John 8. He told the Jews, who had proclaimed to believe in Him, that they were of their father, the devil, because they were doing his will. We only have two options: serving God or serving someone else. We are obedient to one of two masters: God or the devil. We will choose one or the other.

God makes His case crystal clear. Life or death. Hope or doom. Success or failure. Obey and you get the goodies, disobey and you don’t. It’s not hard, yet so many just refuse to listen. Go through Deuteronomy 28 and look at the promises for obedience and the curses for disobedience that Israel shouted to each other. It was an easy choice, and God’s laws are not burdensome. They were all about separation from the rest of the world and faith in the Savior that would come. It wasn’t that hard. Yet time and time again, Israel kept disobeying and breaking God’s laws. We can look at them and think: “Are you guys insane?” Actually, yes they were insane. Again, look at the passage at the top of this post. God would have to grant them repentance so they could come to their senses. But how are we different? How many times do we do something utterly stupid that looked good at the moment? We call it “foolishness.” We were not thinking clearly when we made that decision. And it is when we lose sight of the standard of truth, when we lose our ability to think rationally, that we fall for the traps of the Devil and then become his puppets, his slaves to do his bidding.

Brainwashing is part of this process, but the term “mind-control” is not out of the picture. Few Biblical accounts showcase the power of the control of the enemy over a person than Ahab and Jezebel. Ahab’s sins were bad enough, but the sin of marrying Jezebel topped them all. In fact, every time Ahab moved towards repentance, Jezebel was there to reel him in, and she controlled him. There is a saying that the man is the head of the family, but the woman is the neck that turns the head wherever she wants. This certainly was true of Ahab and Jezebel. I often wonder if Ahab would have repented and turned to God on Elijah’s call had he not married Jezebel. It was Jezebel who brought in Baal worship. It was she who went after the prophets of God. It was she who carried out Ahab’s wish and got Naboth murdered. Ahab was totally powerless against that woman. The same is true about any person dealing with a false teaching. In fact, Jezebel’s name became synonymous with “false teachings” come the fierce rebuke to Thyatira.

Whenever we face a false ideology, we have to remember that most of these people are not in it to be intentionally deceptive and wicked. They are in it because they were deceived and are enslaved to it. Eric Ludy “lent the pulpit” to Richard Wurmbrand in one sermon (that is, Ludy preached what Wurmbrand would have said through Wurmbrand’s writings). In that sermon, he discussed Wurmbrand’s dealings with Communism. Wurmbrand loved the Communist and hated Communism. That is NOT an easy thing to do. He longed for the people to be freed of the hatred that Communism brings upon people. But he described an account where a Communist was thrown into prison (for an unknown reason) and tortured like the other prisoners. The Communist began to think about what was happening to him. For Communism to torture Christians was good because Communism was good and Christians were hinderances to Communism. Yet for a Communist to torture a Communist is for no other reason that pleasure and that is unmitigated evil. And if this is unmitigated evil, there must be unmitigated good. The Communist became a Christian. God used the torture of Communism’s own system to break this man free from the control of the devil and set his mind free.

John Ramirez was a head honcho in the occult. He would describe how he was so close to Satan that they’d talk as though they were father and son. He knew everything about what was going on behind the scenes and could control people or kill people from a distance, yet the whole time he was being played. The first bit of light was a Christian concert in New York City, and I keep picturing David Wilkerson being that guy. It was something he couldn’t touch. Soon God gave John a vision of Hell, and John realized he had been betrayed by Satan and became a Christian. The powers involved in these deceptions are supernatural and they are POWERFUL.

It doesn’t matter what the false teaching is. The more I deal with Evolution and Deep Time, the more I see it’s a spiritual issue. No amount of reasoning, logic, and proper science is getting through. So I need to stop arguing those points because they cannot think. This is not an insult; they are enslaved by the devil. Whether they realize it or not, they are doing the devil’s work, not only by believing lies themselves, but by spreading them around. They are deceived people, but they are deceiving others in that deception. It could be argued that no one is greater deceived than Satan himself who still somehow thinks he is going to win in all this. I see this in Prosperity Gospel, Mormonism, New Age, Islam, Communism/Socialism, the LGBT movements, money, a position/title, a sport/hobby, and so on. It’s truly insanity. God has given them over to a depraved and reprobate mind. They have rejected the truth, they have lost their sanity, they are entrapped by the devil, and now they are doing his bidding, which is ultimately “Do whatever you want as long as it’s not God’s will.” This is why the LGBT can get along with Muslims, despite Islam teaching such actions deserves of beheading. They are all on the same side: the devil’s. Satan doesn’t care what false teaching you believe. He only cares that it’s not God. And he’ll take as many as he can to Hell with him in the process.

So that is the status of the unbeliever according to 2 Timothy 2:24-26. They are in opposition against God. They do not have the truth in them (though they know it intuitively, which is why they fight it). They do not think straight or clearly. They have been ensnared by the devil. They are being controlled and manipulated by him to do his will as mere puppets. So, what do we do about it? How do we engage them? Now that we know their plight, what should be our plan of action? Paul gives us that answer as well. As I continue this series, we’ll look at Paul’s answer in this passage and then look at the surrounding context to see what else we can pick up.

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Teach in Liberty, Not in Slavery

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 20, 2021 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”
-John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787

Training up children in God’s way is very important; set them free! But teaching someone how to live in liberty while living out Godly ways can be very difficult.

I have been married for over 24 years now, and we have been blessed to have 6 wonderful children. I have also been coaching sports for over 15 years at various levels. Little did I realize how much coaching is really like parenting. For as many different styles of parenting there are out there, there are just as many styles of coaching.

My wife and I have taught our children not only the ways of God and how to live them out in the real world. We have lived out a permission giving household that allowed our children the most liberty possible when making decisions about things. Years ago, when we started our family, after some training and many conversations together with both of us listening to the other and sharing our thoughts, we decided to only have two rules in our home. We would expect first time obedience from our children, and if they did not comply, we would administer discipline lovingly but swiftly. In doing this, we allowed (and still to this day allow) our children the freedom to do what they want to do as long as they do not break the two rules we have in our family.

Rule #1: Do not lie; always tell the truth, even when it’s difficult.

Rule #2: Obey God and your mother and father. This also includes other people that your mother and father have put in authority over you.

In administering these rules, my wife and I have taken the responsibility of parenting on ourselves. We have taken our God-given responsibility seriously. We were and are now accepting of our responsibility for teaching our children the difference between right and wrong. We have taken that burden upon ourselves and no longer would blame our children for not “turning out right.” That burden is now squarely on us to teach, disciple, and love our children so they do not need to carry that responsibility of growing up as a burden; that is now our burden as their parents.

Our children can live in complete liberty and freedom and be children without worrying. We were able to make God the standard bearer and not us. In doing so, this helps our children look to God and not us as the one they answer to. Ultimately, God is the one who has set the standard; it is up to the parents to raise the bar to God’s standard and teach it. We strive for perfection, knowing it will not be achieved, but in doing so we expect an excellent Godly result.

If our children chose, within their own free will, to break the rules set before them, my wife and I already had decided long before the offense occurred what the consequence was going to be. My wife and I together came to an agreement, after much discussion and prayer, of what we both believed a proper consequence would be for our children choosing to break the rules of our home. We did that together; I did not lord over her, and she did not lord over me. We did this together and came to an agreement together. Time, patience, and self-control are so needed for a successful marriage, and I encourage all marriages to be founded upon Christ if you truly desire success.

We let our children know what was expected in our home and what the consequence of not following these two simple rules would be. In doing so, we trained and continue to train our children in God’s ways, allowing our children the freedom to do right or wrong, tell the truth or lie, obey or disobey. They get to choose, and when an offense occurs, it is up to my wife and me to follow through with the appointed consequence as soon as possible. If we didn’t do this, we would be sending our children a mixed message about what was right and wrong. Swift discipline is by far the best thing to administer. It helps a child learn what the offense truly was and helps them to learn not to do that again. So, fathers, get out of that easy chair and take your God-given responsibility seriously.

Coaching a team very similar to this. When a coach sends a mixed message to their team about what needs to be done on the field or court and someone chooses to go against what the coach wants (knowingly or unknowingly), if the coach does not discipline as soon as possible, not only is the player who committed the offense confused but also the rest of the team. Before you know it, chaos ensues. Generally, coaches like to blame their players for this chaos (or parents blame their children). This chaos exists because the person in charge (often the coach but parents are responsible for their own children) is not following through in swift discipline in order to teach what is expected. Pure selfishness and constraint are being taught instead of liberty and freedom.

I encourage us all to teach our children how to live a full and joy-filled life in all that they do. Live your own life by teaching real liberty in love.

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
- Colossians 3:17-21

Fathers, make certain to teach your children the importance of living in liberty. Do not exasperate your children, and let’s start taking our God given responsibility seriously. Mothers, love, love, love your children and love, support, and respect your husband. Fathers, do not exasperate your children, and when you mess up, be a man! Confess your sin, ask for forgiveness, and lead in love, grace, and peace. Teach your children to mature in the Lord.

If you're interested in learning more about what Jason is suggesting here, check out his book How Being Consistent Changed Everything!

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Hebrews 7:11-19

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 18, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared:
‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.’
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”
-Hebrews 7:11-19

Last week, I wrote about who Melchizedek was and why he was so important as a great high priest, check out that post for some context to this. We also need to understand some historical context in order to understand the true significance of what this passage is saying.

First, the Jews considered God’s law to be the final authority on everything. It was God definitively speaking to mankind, and the buck stops there so to speak. Everyone must strive to do everything in accordance with God’s law. Second, the Jews considered the Aaronic priesthood (priests from the line of Levi) to be superior to the priesthood of Melchizedek. God’s law came after Melchizedek’s lifetime, so the Jews believed that the Aaronic priesthood superseded that of Melchizedek. They believed that the priesthood and the law were intimately connected.

The author’s point is summarized in verse 11: “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?” Jesus was not of the lineage of Levi, so He could not be a priest in the order of Aaron. But Jesus was considered to be in the order of Melchizedek – He was both a king and a priest. The author is emphasizing that all of the human priests were imperfect and could not keep the law perfectly. If they were perfect, then why would another priest of a different order need to come to save them? So clearly, even those priests in the order of Aaron needed someone to come to redeem them since they could not perfectly keep the law.

Verse 12 points out the intimate connection between the law and the priesthood. If a person is to change the law, they must also change the law. This is not just changing who the person is who fills the office of the priest, but a change in the whole type of priest that is required. Jesus did not come to replace Aaron; He was a totally different and better kind of priest. Jesus came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). He changed everything!

Jesus clearly came from a “different” tribe than typical priests, as we see in verse 13. Jesus was a descendent from the tribe of Judah, not of Levi where all the priests were from. Even though David and Solomon (among others) had offered sacrifices, only priests from the tribe of Levi had ever done the true work of sacrificing for the people’s sins at the altar in the Holy of Holies. The author is talking about those regular priestly duties, that no one outside of the tribe of Levi had ever performed. The author further confirms this point in verse 14 by stating that Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah, not from the priestly tribe of Levi.

Starting with verse 15, the author begins by explaining 4 reasons why Christ’s priesthood is superior: His life (verses 15-19), the divine oath (verses 20-22), its permanence (verses 23-25), and His better sacrifice (verses 26-28). We’ll look at the first reason this week and the other three next week.

The author’s first point is that Jesus is not limited by death as the Levitical or Aaronic priests were. Verse 15 explains again that Jesus is a priest more like Melchizedek, outside of the order of Aaron. Verse 16 explains this further, that Jesus did not become a priest because of His ancestry but “on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.” “Indestructible” is not a word that is typically used in reference to Jesus, but it does fit well! His life was indestructible in that even death could not keep Him down. Nothing can destroy the life of Jesus!

Verse 17 is a direct quote both from Psalm 110:4 and also Hebrews 5:6. This establishes the special character of Jesus’ priesthood. No other priest was indestructible like Jesus was; He is a priest forever. The concept of the priesthood through Aaron did continue for generations (Exodus 40:15), but each individual priest died.

In verse 18, we see that the “former regulation,” meaning the priesthood of Aaron and through the tribe of Levi, was no longer needed. The coming of Jesus made the whole Levitical system worthless. The people no longer needed a person to offer sacrifices each year for their sins; Jesus accomplished that once and for all. That is why He is the great high priest, as the author of Hebrews discussed previously.

Verse 19 identifies where the law fell short. Nothing was made perfect by the law, and the law did not give people hope. The gospel message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is significantly better than the law, and it both gives people hope and draws them near to God.

No one is made perfect through the law, and no one can be saved through obeying the law alone because no one can obey it perfectly except Jesus. Jesus’ perfect and indestructible life is the only thing that can save us. He is not a typical priest like the Jews were used to, but one who is of a completely different order.

What does that mean for our lives today? Most Christians today are not familiar with the Jewish system of sacrifices in order for people to find forgiveness for their sins, so the distinction between the order of Aaron and the order of Melchizedek isn’t as meaningful to us. But what is meaningful is knowing that Jesus’ sacrificial death is the only sacrifice we’ll ever need!

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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Apologetics 11: The Snares of the Devil

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 15, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

For the last few weeks, I have been addressing what repentance looks like from a worldview perspective, what believing lies does, and how a wrong worldview is actually a form of insanity. This is important to understand as we deal with people who are caught up in false teachings. We have a few more thing to dig out of this passage. We need to examine the snares of the devil and how he puppeteers them as his slaves. Those who believe in a false teaching have been ensnared by the devil. They have fallen for his traps and seductions. What I want to do with this post is look at the tactics used to draw people into these false teachings. Most don’t enter them intentionally.

1) Personal Fear. This tactic is most easily seen in cults. One of the main reasons people stay in a cult is because of fear of what will happen to them or their children if they leave. The fear of apostasy and going to Hell is always present in a cult. There should be a genuine fear for this issue because the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Himself warned against it.

This very point is why many people argue that Christianity is a cult. This accusation is also often aimed at Young Earth Creation; sadly, people like Ken Ham have not done a great job at fighting against that notion. A Facebook friend of mine pointed it out clearly. Many Creationists correctly warn against the tactics of the enemy to come after our children (they are) but it tends to have a “oh, no, we are in trouble” tone to it like this picture. What Creationists need to do instead is to boldly confront them like Errol Flynn.

However, in a cult, there are two main marks: a) teaching an immoral (often sexually based) thing as being good, and b) denying the Lord Jesus Christ (His deity, His manhood, His work on the cross, etc.). Fear is a very effective tool of the enemy, but there is a key difference between the enemy’s fear and God’s fear. The enemy’s fear is about self and what happens to self. God’s fear is a reverence for Him that makes you not want to displease Him. Truth is exclusive. You cannot depart from the truth and be safe. But legitimate fear against violating truth always has a legitimate reason behind it. The false teachings won’t give you one.

2) Fear of the “expert.” This applies in the world and in the church. It’s an appeal to authority and a fear that you don’t want to cross them because they are the expert and you aren’t. This is why students don’t question teachers, because they are expected to respect teachers. But not all teachers are good people. This applies to scientists and politicians as well. Having letters after your name does not make you an “expert.” Even having years of experience alone does not necessarily mean you learned the job correctly to begin with.

But this is worse in the church. One pastor told me he was scared to death about calling out a false teacher because a guy named T.D Jakes said, “Do not touch the Lord’s anointed” because you might get “spiritual leprosy.” Jakes was referencing how David refused to strike Saul and then used Miriam and Aaron speaking against Moses because of his wife as the reason. However, he was applying that to himself and ultimately saying, “Don’t ever question me. I am a man of God. Anything you say against me will come back on you.” David Wilkerson identifies that as a “smiting spirit.” It’s not of God, but people use this to drive people into fear to never question them on their teachings, even when it’s direct heresy and they are trapped by them. People KNOW they are wrong but can’t speak against it because of this issue. We must be gentle with such people because they live in a religious setting that is like a wife with an abusive husband. They need love and gentleness to escape such settings.

3) Fear of man. This is fear of peers and fear of how you look before others. This is the desire to fit in with the crowd and to not be the one who stands out. There are certain things you “don’t talk about” in certain circles because it will disrupt the waters. This is a primary reason why there is 97% “consensus” about Evolution among scientists. It’s not because the evidence is so strong; it’s because the peer pressure is sufficient to stifle out dissent, not to mention the intentional removal of those who pose the biggest threats to Evolution. Evolution is one of the snares and it’s driven primarily on “fear of the expert” coupled with “fear of man.” This trap is driven by appeals to appearances and approval by others. Anytime someone changes the Gospel because of concern of how it will be received (this is prime motivation for Old Earth Creation beliefs), they’re held captive by this trap.

4) I want to believe it. This is a strange trap, because there are many people who believe false teachings because they will not tolerate sound doctrine. Instead of listening to the truth, they heap for themselves teachers who will say what they want heard. Hugh Ross and Joel Osteen are two teachers who come to mind on this issue. Both are charismatic, and both are very courteous and friendly. Both are also very sincere in what they believe. But I do not believe they are intentionally deceiving people. Instead, they are God’s judgment upon those who want to be deceived. This is the category of being BOTH deceiving and being deceived. Why do they want to be deceived? In part because they have fallen for the other traps. They want to sound religious and godly, but they want it on their terms, not God’s. They want to look good in front of their unbelieving friends, but they want to “get in” with God while at it. Newsflash: God will have nothing to do with such arrangements.

There are other traps and snares, too, but I am out of space for them. There is something we should see in common here. All of these traps can be summarized by an appeal to one of three things: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These are the same three categories that Eve saw in the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and these are the same three categories that Satan tempted Jesus with in the wilderness. They came in different packages and forms, but they’re the same categories. It’s all about SELF. False teachings are always about self. What can I get out of it? How can I benefit from it? The more I confront false teachings, the more I am seeing how powerful this deception is. And to be honest, it is only by the grace of God that I haven’t succumbed to it, because I should have long ago. We must also keep in mind that these people do not have or know the truth, and they do not think clearly. Next week, we’ll look at how Satan uses these people as his puppets. Once we understand all this, then it makes our cues for evangelism much clearer.

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United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 13, 2021 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

We all need to ask ourselves: who do we trust? We need to seek and search, asking questions and genuinely looking for the truth. Absolute Truth will set you free – real truth, not your truth or my truth but Almighty God truth. Do you really want to be free though?

Do you really desire for the tough questions to be answered with the truth in love? Love is the one word that can unite us. Love is the word that describes the God of the Bible.

Read 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind, Love does not envy nor boast. It is not proud, and love is not rude. Did you catch that, my friend? Love is not rude nor self-seeking. Love thinks of others. Love is not easily angered. How are you doing with that, my friend? Love keeps no records of wrongs, but it's not stupid either. It is shrewd as a serpent yet gentle as a dove. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Ah, there's that word again: truth!

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and the One who loves us never fails.

United we stand; divided we fall. You can agree or disagree with my assessment and that is just fine.

What can we agree on though? Can we agree that it's time to get to know our neighbor and even some of our friends on social media better?

Instead of demonizing each other, let We the People start really having productive conversations because it's difficult to make someone a monster when you know them and they know you.

Listen and hear what someone else is truly saying. Don't worry about defending your position or a person, because we the people need to be on a mission for truth! We need to be willing and able to be wrong about what we think we know or have figured out if it is not truth.

TRUTH: it will set you free! It can set all of us free!

What is just one way you can be a part of the solution in this journey for truth? How can you grow up and mature to truly be a part of moving forward – moving things in God's direction? It’s all about truth and love.

Seek out truth, friends, and you will find the answer. This must first be done individually; take a really good look in the mirror. Evaluate and assess what is really going on, not only in the world but more importantly, what is going on inside of you? The only way to overcome is to be totally honest with yourself as you move into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

What is just one way you can be a part of the solution? United we stand; divided we fall.

Instead of speaking venom and death today, why not attempt to speak out encouragement and life into someone else?

Check out 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and 1 John 5:1-5 for more.

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Witches, Christians, Pagans, and Halloween: Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 12, 2021 0 comments


by Chad Koons

In Witches, Christians, and Pagans, and Halloween: Part 1, I went into the Samhain/Halloween connection and the deity behind Halloween, Cerridwen. Now, let’s take a detailed look into the traditions and symbolisms within the holiday, as well as a real-life Elder Witch’s perspective.

Cultural Tradition and Symbolism

“Yeah, but I don’t celebrate Samhain, I celebrate Halloween!” This is commonly the type of comment I’ll receive after someone reads my research on the matter. Let’s do a comparison and see how different (or similar) the two are.

* On Samhain, faces were carved into pumpkins and gourds which were placed around the perimeter of the home or in the openings of the home such as windows or doors. Candles were placed inside of them to act as a guide for the spirits walking past the home.

- On Halloween… we carve faces into pumpkins which are placed around the perimeter of the home or in windows or doorways. We place candles inside of them. This is exactly the Samhain practice. The next time you see a “Jack-O’-Lantern,” remember what it means.

* On Samhain, candles are lit inside of the home as a means of guiding the spirits from outside to inside the house. Once inside the home, dinner parties are then hosted for these spirits (who are believed to be “spirit guides” or dead relatives) for the purpose of appeasing and thanking them. Eating together with the spirits is an invitation for the spirit’s guidance over the next year.

- On Halloween… candles are lit inside the home and in windows. We gather inside of homes for spooky themed Halloween parties where we eat together. Now you know where these traditions come from.

* On Samhain, fires are lit. These are intended to be magical fires used in witchcraft and divination. Spells are performed around these fires, along with stories of spirits, ghosts, gods, and goddesses. The fires are danced around, eaten by, and are the hub of celebration.

- On Halloween… fires are lit, and we have parties around these fires where we celebrate and tell spooky stories. Have you ever had bonfires with ghost stories during a Halloween party? These are not some random practices; the idea was born during Samhain.

* On Samhain, there was (and still is) decoration of the home, a creation of an altar, meditation on what it means to live in spirit, and get this… activities for family and children.

- On Halloween… we decorate our homes, think about ghosts and the supernatural, and we create and hold activities for families and children. Communities, schools, and even our churches are eager to host these Halloween activities! Our families are celebrating Samhain and we don’t even know it.

* On Samhain, spirits were thought to walk the villages and treats were offered on the thresholds of homes. These spirits were called the “Aos si” (pronounced “ees-shee”). They were ancestral spirits (ghosts), spirits of nature, malevolent spirits, or even gods or goddesses. These spirits were sinister at worst and tricksters at best, therefore the occupants of the villages needed to appease them somehow. The villagers offered fruits, sweet baked goods, or nuts upon their doorsteps in attempts to appease the Aos si. It was believed that the spirits would accept the sweets as an offering. If a home did not offer a sweet treat, however, then the Aos si would either harm the house, harm the occupants, curse the home, or play a trick on the people in some way.

Because of this supernatural activity, it was believed unsafe to travel at night during Samhain. Therefore people would dress in disguise (called “guising” or “mumming“) and imitate the Aos si. These disguised people would then go house to house just as the Aos si did. They would stand upon the doorstep of the home and recite a pagan song or phrase. The occupants of the homes were then expected to provide these people with the same food or sweets that were offered to the Aos si. If the house did not hand out a treat, then the people in disguise would imitate the Aos si by playing a trick upon the house.

- On Halloween… we follow this same pattern. We dress in disguise while going door to door, presenting the occupant with a choice: give us a treat or we will play a trick on you. Here it is, folks, the Samhain practice of disguise and collecting treats or threatening a trick has turned into our modern-day Trick or Treat. Now you know what it means.

* On Samhain, death and fear of harm are the driving forces. Spirits of the dead are thought to enter the world of the living during Samhain, since the veil between worlds is believed to be at its thinnest. Ghosts, malevolent spirits, and even other supernatural beings such as gods and goddesses are believed to seep through into our natural world to interact with humans. Motivated by fear, people needed to find ways to welcome, appease, or blend in with these spirits in order to avoid harm or death.

- On Halloween… we are driven by these same forces. The imagery of fear, death, and bodily harm are everywhere. This is why we see haunted houses, ghosts, monsters, witches, and the undead throughout Halloween. Have you ever wondered why Halloween is full of fear and the glorification of death? Halloween is full of fear and death because Samhain is. We even follow the same pagan practice of surrounding ourselves with this imagery. We welcome it and blend in with it the same as the pagans did (and still do). Halloween and Samhain are two different names for the same thing.

The Samhain celebration and practice is exactly what our modern culture continues to express in Halloween. Samhain hasn’t changed, it just wears a Halloween mask.

A Witch’s Perspective

The vast majority of the pagan and witchcraft community equate Samhain with Halloween. But don’t take my word for it, hear it from the source. Here’s what a leading witch has to say on the matter.

The following is an excerpt from a book entitled Sabbats: A Witch’s Approach to Living the Old Ways by Edain McCoy. Edain is an elder in the Wiccan tradition and priestess of Brighid. Edain drops some historical truth on the subject, as well. Some will cry out, “Halloween is not Samhain, Halloween is just a silly holiday!” Sorry to burst your bubble, but this Elder Witch disagrees:

Samhain is popularly known today as “Halloween,” a contraction of the words “Hallowed Evening.” It retains much of the original form and meaning it had long ago in Celtic lands, despite the efforts of the church to turn it into an observance of feasting and prayer for their vast pantheon of saints. The church began by calling it the Feast Day of St. Michael, but the old Samhain holiday proved to be too potent a drawing card for one lone saint to combat. So it was renamed the “eve of all saints”, or “All hallows eve” precedes All saints Day. But even after all this effort, so much Samhain practice and lore remained within the popular culture.

Edain does a good job at explaining a couple of key points.
First, that Samhain is known today as Halloween. Yes, they are the same.
Secondly, that the church tried to redeem this Pagan holiday and subsequently failed.

Leave it to a real-life elder witch to, shall we say, “boil it down” for us (pun intended). Samhain is alive and well today, thinly masquerading as Halloween, and the church cannot redeem it.

Conclusion

At the end of my research, I found myself at a loss for words. I was shocked, perplexed, and quite honestly feeling a like I needed a spiritual shower. Sometimes the truth is much more horrid than fiction.

So what would I do with Halloween? What would I have my children do with Halloween? The evidence was quite compelling, and I could no longer ignore it. Halloween would no longer enchant me, and it most certainly would not be permitted to seduce my children. We cut it off. As a Christian parent, I cannot stand before the Lord knowing that I allowed my children to participate in a pagan holiday. It would seem that witches, Christians, and pagans do not mix.

Now that you know the truth, you have a decision to make – a decision that not only impacts your life, but the lives of your children. What will you do with Halloween?

Finally, I leave you with these words…
“Have nothing to do with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather EXPOSE them.” – Apostle Paul, Ephesians 5:11.

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Hebrews 7:1-10

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 11, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means 'king of righteousness'; then also, 'king of Salem' means 'king of peace.' Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people —that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.”
-Hebrews 7:1-10

Who is Melchizedek? He has been mentioned before in the book of Hebrews – 5:6, 5:10, and 6:20 right before this passage. For more on the Hebrews 5 references, check out this post, and you can read about the context leading up to the chapter 6 reference here. Melchizedek was also mentioned in Psalm 110:4, with the context of a priest “in the order of Melchizedek” just like we see in Hebrews 6:20.

The only other reference to Melchizedek in the Bible is Genesis 14:18-20. The context of that passage is during Abram’s time, shortly before God made His great covenant with Abram. Melchizedek is referred to as the king of Salem, but he was also a priest of God and he gave a blessing to Abram: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had, and then we don’t hear anything more about him.

While the author of Hebrews previously referred to Jesus as a high priest in the order of Melchizedek, he develops that further in this section. This is significant because priests were generally considered to be in the order of Aaron, so this signifies Jesus as a different type of priest. This shows the uniqueness of Jesus and the great work He accomplished.

The meeting between Melchizedek and Abram is referenced in Hebrews 7:1-2. It’s important to note that the name Melchizedek means king of righteousness; “melek” is the Hebrew word for king, and “tsedek” is the Hebrew word for righteousness. The author of Hebrews points out that “king of Salem” also means “king of peace.” The Hebrew word used for “Salem” in the Genesis passage is not quite the same as “shalom,” which means peace, though they do come from the same root. Many scholars think that Salem may actually be short for Jerusalem. But it’s interesting that the author of Hebrews doesn’t mention that potential connection with Jerusalem, as Jesus had many significant life events there. There are also other places that were sometimes referred to as Salem in the Old Testament.

In verse 3, we see that Melchizedek is referred to as not having a father, mother, genealogy, or any dates that he was born or died. Along with the phrase that he resembled the Son of God, some scholars interpret this to mean that Melchizedek was not human, perhaps an angelic being. The genealogy of a priest was important, as priests needed to be from a certain heritage, so it’s significant that this is not the case for Melchizedek. But, what the author is doing here is applying these truths to Jesus as the Son of God – He has no earthly father, no lineage, and as God, He was never born nor died nor had a mother, though He did experience those things as a human.

The rest of the passage discusses the process of tithing, which brings out the greatness of Melchizedek and therefore Jesus. Abraham’s giving “a tenth of the plunder” (verse 4) to Melchizedek; the word there in Greek indicates that Abraham gave him the very best, “the top of the heap” so to speak. Then, the author begins focusing on the requirements of the law. This is specifically referring to the law of Moses, which did require the people to give a tenth of their income to the priests, so the priests could support themselves and the temple. This did not make the priests superior to their fellow Israelites, but they got their income from others because they were doing the work of God with their lives.

Because of all this, we see how Melchizedek was superior to other priests – he was not a descendant from Levi like all the other priests (Levi would have been one of Abraham’s great-grandsons), Abraham chose to give him a tenth before it was required to do so, and Melchizedek rewarded Abraham with a blessing. The law of Moses (that required people to give ten percent to priests) did not exist for generations after the interaction between Abraham and Melchizedek.

So, the author has established that Melchizedek was a great high priest who lived before the role of priests or a high priest was a formal role. That was established in the law of Moses for the nation of Israel after their exodus from Egypt. But why does all of this about Melchizedek even matter? Stay tuned, as the author Hebrews connects Melchizedek to Jesus in the next passage.

But, we can still learn from this passage and apply it to our lives today. Abraham gave Melchizedek ten percent not out of obligation but out of a desire to honor him. If you give out of your income to God, whether ten percent or some other amount, do you do it because you feel like you are obligated to? Or do you do it out of a desire to honor God? Abraham’s motivation was clear, and because of that Melchizedek blessed him. What is your motivation to give to God? If it is out of a desire to honor God and not because you feel like you have to, I believe God will bless that in your life.

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Apologetics 10: Coming to their Senses

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 8, 2021 3 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
~2 Timothy 2:24-26

Last week, I wrote about truth and how lies will literally make someone insane. I want to emphasize on the “come to their senses” statement, because this is a key feature that I really didn’t see until I started writing this series. A big lightbulb when on when I began to unpack this passage, so I want to really dig into this.

A false teaching is a lie. Let’s call it what it is: it’s a lie. It came from the father of lies. It usually looks like the truth, but it isn’t. It’s a deception, a snare, a trap, and when people believe the lie, they are hooked to it. A fog comes over their heads and they no longer can think straight. When someone joins the Mormon church the elders come and “lay hands” on that person for the “Holy Spirit” to come upon them. But we know that Mormonism is a false religion, a cult. So what “spirit” is coming upon them? I have family members who are Mormon, and we’ve tried to witness to them, and they simply cannot process the truth unless it goes through the filters that the Mormons have instilled into them.

I have had many debates on origins (yes, I keep bringing that up), and the more I engage and the more I discuss it, the clearer it is to me that it’s a spiritual issue. Russ Miller describes how he can go on to college campuses and refute Evolution without too much of a problem. But if he starts to question the age of the earth, then he says he needs bodyguards. And that’s on college campuses, or in many modern churches. Deep Time is a spiritual problem. Little has convinced me of this more than just listening to the testimonies of those who come out of it. Those who are convinced by Deep Time tend to talk in terms of education, enlightenment, and/or “listening to other opinions.” But those who come out of Deep Time tend to describe their conversion in terms of being rescued, being delivered, freedom, or a fog being lifted. Deep Time is part of the “spirit of the age.” If you dare question Deep Time in academia or many churches, there is an instant reaction of “Woah, don’t go there!” Many pastors refuse to discuss it or let it be discussed because of how “controversial” it is. But the more discussions I have with those who believe in any form of Deep Time, the more I feel like we are talking different languages with different dictionaries. We can agree on nearly every core doctrine of Christianity, but there’s that fog that prevents them from using the very same tools they use to make their conclusions about Christ when it comes to Genesis. It makes no logical sense until I realize this is not an intellectual issue, but a spiritual one.

Those under a false teaching cannot think straight, at the very least regarding that teaching. They cannot think clearly, nor can they see the issues. Logic that refutes their position doesn’t compute. They cannot see it, and in some cases they won’t see it intentionally. This is why Paul told the Corinthian church that the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing and that they cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned. I know this theoretically, but I still struggle to put this to practice. I keep trying to argue with them through that fog. It is not working because the fog of false teachings is ultimately a spiritual issue. They are blinded and they cannot see. That’s why Scripture tells us we need to pray away the blinders so that they may see. But take notice that just seeing the light and truth alone may not save someone. Unless God is working on them and preparing them for regeneration, the sinful person will see the light and only hate God even more. But we aren’t responsible for that. I’d rather have someone reject God knowing what he is rejecting than to try to get someone to embrace something that isn’t true. The end result of the latter is the same as the former.

The technique for how this happens is called brainwashing. See this post I wrote last summer to get some details about it. It is psychological warfare, and it is VERY effective. The saying goes, “Teach a lie enough times and it becomes truth.” That’s the one-sentence version of what brainwashing is. You tell a lie early enough and long enough and without a deep-rooted knowledge of truth, you will believe it. No one is immune to this. This is why the government systems of Communism, Nazism, Fascism, the Liberal Left, Evolution, and now the sexual perverts are all going after the children at young ages. A parent lashed out at Hitler saying, “I’ll never submit to you.” Hitler laughed and said, “So what? You’ll be gone. I already have your kids.” I heard a Catholic priest say: “Give us your kids until they are five and they will be Catholic for life.” Evolution is taught at the earliest of ages to get the idea of millions of years rooted before they can begin to process truth. In the last couple years, we are having drag queen library readings, exotic dancers performing before kindergarteners, and child drag queens are being celebrated by the media. If we don’t train our children, the world will teach them THAT, and they will do whatever it takes to get them submitted “to the system.” Now our nation’s children are thoroughly confused about gender, politics, economics, science, and religion, and they can’t process truth. And the church in general with few exceptions is doing nothing about it.

As I am writing this, I am getting a whole new understanding of what Jesus said on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Paul stated that if the enemies of Jesus knew what they were doing, they would not have crucified Christ. The enemies of Jesus fulfilled prophecy, all the while trying to deny Him that title, showcase the sovereignty of God. But here is the thing that we should be wary of: God told Moses He made the tongue for speaking or holding it back. God also made the mind. He can let it operate and He can shut it down. He shut down Nebuchadnezzar’s mind for seven years, turning him into insanity to eat and live like a wild animal. God has allowed all these false teachings to turn so many people insane. He can also free the mind in an instant.

When we truly understand and learn the about the sovereignty of God and apply that to this issue, it is God who determines who is sane or insane. He still holds us responsible for our actions and our choices, however light received yields more light, and light rejected yields darkness. God does not make anyone “insane.” He lets their sin simply run its course because the person chooses insanity over truth. God won’t give us more light unless we obey that which we have. If we regularly and continually reject light, God will hand us over to a depraved mind. But when dealing with someone who has gone insane into error, if we take this passage to heart, through gentle rebuke, seeking that they might repent, God may grant them repentance, letting them receive the truth, and they may return to their senses. But if we just focus on “being right,” we miss the point. While God can still save them in His sovereignty, He may not. We are still responsible for how we witness. We’ll get into that in a couple weeks. But first, we need to look at these snares and how the devil entraps us.

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Witches, Christians, Pagans, and Halloween: Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 5, 2021 2 comments


by Chad Koons

When I was a kid, there was no better feeling than the thrill of Halloween! It was the time of year that I looked forward to the most. While not nearly as profitable as Christmas (random candy vs. cool toys), Halloween was certainly much more alluring. There were ghosts, ghouls, monsters, the supernatural, spooky stories, scary movies, parties, naughtiness, danger, dressing up in costumes, and let’s not forget the candy! Everyone seemed to love it, kids and adults alike. It was a feeling so surreal that it was almost intoxicating. Though it never really made sense to my young mind… why did we celebrate this spooky holiday?!

The other major holidays were quite clear. Christmas centered around the birth of Christ, Easter centered around the resurrection of Christ, Thanksgiving centered around thankfulness to God, you get the idea. But… Halloween? What was the deal with Halloween?! I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought as a kid, but now as a dad of two young children, I needed to know what Halloween was really about. If Halloween was just innocent fun, then I wanted my kids to love it like I did. But if Halloween was not innocent, if it was of evil origin and practice, then I needed for my kids to honor the Lord and have nothing to do with it.

So, I began studying Halloween. Perhaps not surprisingly, I quickly realized that internet articles, Christian magazine write-ups, and Facebook posts failed to agree with one another and seemed to be based upon sketchy, shallow, and/or biased research. If I was going to find the truth, then I needed to begin by digging into history. And so I did.

The Seeds of Halloween

The very first thing I discovered was the Halloween/Samhain connection. Halloween finds its roots in an ancient holiday called “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-win” or “sah-win”). Therefore, to understand Halloween, we need to understand Samhain.

Despite what many well-meaning Christians will tell you, Samhain is not a mythical “God of the Dead” or “Dark lord.” Samhain is actually a very real pagan holiday. It was originally practiced by Celtic peoples perhaps 2,000 years ago. At its heart, the Samhain holiday is a celebration of death (and the life that comes through it) and may have originally marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark half of the year, or marking a new portion of the year. Now all of this may sound innocent enough, so what’s wrong with that? Well, this is where it gets interesting.

Regarding its origin and practice, Samhain is both natural and supernatural. It was believed to be the time when the veil between this world and the next is at its thinnest. Witchcraft and divination are part of its makeup. It is important to note that Samhain is not merely an obscure ancient holiday; it is actively celebrated by the witchcraft and pagan communities today. We don’t often hear of the Samhain celebration nowadays, and there is a reason for this: Samhain is popularly known today under a different name. Any guesses? Correct, Samhain is known today as “Halloween.”

Origin and Meaning of Samhain

Upon learning that Samhain is a pagan holiday, I realized that I needed to refer to pagan sources. As much as I didn’t want to, into the pagan sources I went, and here’s what I found out.

Samhain is celebrated on October 31st. It is the final harvest, a celebration from the light and warmth cycle into the cold and darkness of winter, a celebration of life into death, a celebration of death and spirit, celebrating that all spirits are “as a whole” and eternal. The veil is believed to be at its thinnest at this time, so as to connect the earth with the dead and to honor and commune with the dead and the eternal cycle of “reincarnation.”

Samhain happens to be one of the four greater “Sabbats” of the year (Sabbats are pagan holidays), and it is considered by most Wiccans the most important Sabbat. Interesting… Samhain, which is known today as Halloween, is the most important pagan holiday of the year. If this doesn’t alarm you yet, just keep reading.

Deity of Samhain

Uncovering the holiday of Samhain got me thinking. Many major holidays of the world are centered around a deity of some sort. For example, Christmas revolves around Jesus (His birth), Easter revolves around Jesus (His resurrection), and Thanksgiving revolves around gratitude towards Him. Ramadan revolves around Allah and the prophet Mohammed. So, this made me wonder if there was there a deity, a god or goddess, behind Samhain? It seemed a good question to investigate, so I did. According to the pagan and witch communities, the answer is… yes, Samhain does revolve around a deity, a “dark goddess” by the name of Cerridwen, the Keeper of the Cauldron (pronounced “Kare-ah-dwin”).

Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving = Jesus
Ramadan = Allah and Mohammed
Samhain/Halloween = Cerridwen

Who is Cerridwen? Cerridwen is the Goddess of Samhain. She is a dark goddess of the underworld, associated with witchcraft. She represents the ”crone,” which is the dark aspect of the triple goddess (a trinity within one goddess, or three aspects of the one goddess, of which Cerridwen is the Dark aspect). She is often called “The Cauldron Goddess” or the “Goddess of the Witches.” She is symbolized by the cauldron, which appears in force during Samhain (this is why we see big black cauldrons or kettles during Halloween). She is considered the destroyer and the healer, and she is to be feared. She is of things passing and moving on in the spirit, she has powers of prophecy, and she is the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge and inspiration in the underworld. She has two children, a daughter light and fair and a son dark, ugly, and malevolent. She is believed to have the powers of change, rebirth, and transformation. She is said to be the Mother and the Crone, associated with a white pig and the full moon (this is why a full moon is symbolized in Halloween). Her cauldron is believed to be the well of life; all life comes from her cauldron and returns to it after death, and all new life is born again from her cauldron (this is partially why death is symbolized at Halloween).

Have you ever wondered why we see cauldrons, full moons, and the glorification of fear and death during Halloween? The answer will blow your mind… we see them because these are the symbols of the dark goddess Cerridwen. She is the spiritual force behind Halloween! Does this sound like something you should celebrate and lead your children into?

As believers in Jesus, we are not to interact with witchcraft, sorcery, divination, omens, etc., nor are we to follow after those who do! See Leviticus 20:6. Halloween is a clear source of these detestable works, do not follow after them!

Has any of this helped you see Halloween in a different light? Make sure to look for my next post; I will uncover the cultural tradition and symbolism of Halloween in addition to sharing what a real-life Elder Witch has to say about the Samhain/Halloween connection. Walk as children of the light, and I’ll see you soon!

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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