Hebrews 9:16-22

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 29, 2021 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” -Hebrews 9:16-22

Even though I wrote about it last week, it is important to recall the verse before this passage before diving into this one: “And for this reason [Jesus] is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15). Jesus is the one who is in charge of the new covenant that we have because of His death and resurrection, and He is the reason that we have the promise of eternal life.

When looking into this passage, I consulted a commentary (side note: commentaries are a great tool to help with studying the Bible!), and the commentary said that the argument made in this passage is not easy to follow in English because of the Greek words used. We don’t always have great English words to convey the meaning of Greek words, and this is one of those times. The Greek word diatheke used in verse 16 (translated as “the one who made it in the NIV”) means a person related to making a last will and testament, but it also works to describe God being in charge of the covenant with His people. God is the one who sets the terms of this covenant, and we cannot argue with Him, even more so than how a person cannot argue with the law of the land.

The author transitioned from using the word “covenant” previously to using the word “will” in this passage. They are similar, but there are slight differences. God’s covenant was both established and fulfilled by Him; the first covenant was made with Abraham, and then it was fulfilled through Jesus’ death and resurrection so that now we are under the new covenant. A will, however, has the idea of a person’s last will and testament; verse 17 tells us that it only applies after a person dies, and it has no power while the person is alive.

Because of that, we see why Jesus had to die in verse 18. Even the very first covenant that God made with Abraham required blood to be spilled; you can read about it in Genesis 15. In that covenant, God told Abraham that if God broke the promise made, God would pay for it with His death. But if Abraham broke the promise made in it, God would still pay for it with His death. Of course, Abraham (and every human who has ever lived) did break that promise by sinning against God and being disobedient to Him. Therefore, Jesus’ blood needed to be shed in death to fulfill the old covenant. Using the language of a will instead of a covenant, the will would not go into effect until Jesus died. Either way, Jesus had to die in order for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

While God originally made the covenant with Abraham, Moses was the one who received God’s law for the people. As related in verse 19, first Moses proclaimed the law to the people, so they would know what God expected of them and what His rules were for them. Next, Moses performed ritual sacrifices. He used the blood of calves along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop to perform ritual cleansing both of the people and the scroll of the law. Water, scarlet wool, and hyssop were commonly used in cleansing acts, so this would have made perfect sense to the people of that day.

Then Moses proclaimed to the people that God has commanded them to keep this covenant (verse 20). This is not merely a suggestion, but it is a command from God! The people were commanded to keep this law that God had given them through Moses. If they broke this law (which, of course, would happen frequently) then blood would be required to be shed; something or someone would have to die as punishment. Those were the terms of God’s covenant.

Years later after the tabernacle and then the temple was built, they, too, needed to be sprinkled with blood and cleansed (verse 21). Everything that was to be used by God and for His worship under the old covenant must be cleansed, as God cannot tolerate sin in His presence. Verse 22 takes this even further, stating that “nearly everything” must be cleansed with blood. The whole system of worshiping God in the Old Testament was based on the shedding of blood in order to for cleansing and forgiveness to happen.

Aren’t you glad that you don’t need to be sprinkled with blood when you worship God at a church building each week? Jesus has come so that no more blood is required to be spilled in the worship of God – not animal blood or human blood. Jesus’ blood was and still is sufficient to cleanse the entire world and to provide for forgiveness of the sins of all people for all time! This is why Jesus needed to come and die – so that the covenant would be fulfilled.

Because Jesus is the great high priest, we are now under the new covenant that does not need recurring bloodshed as the old covenant did. Jesus’ sacrifice was, is, and always will be sufficient for all people. Put your faith and trust in Him today for your salvation!

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.


Apologetics 17: Patient and Humble

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 26, 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

A servant of the Lord must be patient and humble. If I had a struggle in my debates and my stance for truth, it would be patience with those who believe and teach error. My patience in “tolerating” error is very short, and as a result, my tendency is to get into quarrels and to struggle with being gentle. I frequently have to remind myself of these four traps: they don’t know the truth (or don’t recognize it), they are not thinking straight, they are ensnared by the devil, or they are being puppeteered into doing his bidding. Jesus said of his executioners, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Jesus was the perfect model of patience.

Eric Ludy gave me a very unique approach to looking at patience. It’s not “sit and wait.” It’s actually more “tensile strength combined with resilience.” It’s the ability to be stretched out and revert back to “normal” without getting bent out of shape. In engineering, an object has a limit to how far it can be stretched or compressed before that stress becomes permanent. Press it further and it can shatter. A resilient material is able to revert back to its original shape after a stress load. If there is one thing that “bends me out of shape,” it’s hearing false teachings. I have always been a rule follower, and the breaking of rules offends me. God has taken that gifting and directed it towards His teachings, so I do not tolerate error. I often get accused of being unkind towards those who disagree with me, however it actually has nothing to do with me. I don’t hold a lot of weight on my own opinions. I do have them, but I don’t give them a lot of weight. I give the Word of God the weight. And many times, it tells me I am wrong. Patience is the ability to hear error and revert back to your normal position without losing your cool.

The key to such resilience is humility. A lot of people don’t fully understand humility, and I can’t say I have it mastered. As of writing this, I had recently had my “church membership interview” with one of our elders (I think this is a good idea as we want to make sure those who are officially part of the church congregation be vetted), and he made a comment that when he first met me, he saw a spirit of humility in me. Now some of those who have engaged with me on-line would beg to differ. As I have reflected over my conversations, I can definitely see times where I have been proud and arrogant. I also see times where the accusations of pride and arrogance are ultimately nothing more than, “I know what I am talking about, how dare you question me?”

My pastor is preaching through the book of Exodus, and he’s made a big issue of the need for humble church leaders. Humility is not a lowly “woe is me.” It is most certainly not, “I really don’t know, so I won’t make a formal stand.” Those people are always questioning the clarity and integrity of Scripture, often boasting that no one in 2000+ years has figured out what God actually meant until they did. That is as much arrogance and pride as those who arrogantly boast about their position. My pastor’s description of humility is being beaten, crushed, and broken. It is having YOU driven out of you. It is God grinding you to powder. It is thinking nothing of yourself and relying wholly upon Christ.

Moses could say he was the humblest man, because he was the man most broken and most dependent upon God to get him through. He had no delusions of grandeur from the moment he fled Egypt after killing an Egyptian. He resisted God’s calling, knowing he could not do it in his own strength. As he grew and began leading Israel, the more and more he depended upon God for his strength. As a servant of the Lord, Moses needed to be humbled before he could be used. James warns us that pride goes before a fall, but God lifts up the humble.

Paris Reidhead counseled a pastor who had a good-sized church and a radio/TV program, but he lacked the Holy Spirit’s power. He told the pastor that all he wanted was power for the program he had already established in his own flesh. Reidhead described it as driving up with a new Cadillac and telling the station clerk to fill her up with the highest octane you got. Reidhead told him before God would do anything for him, he would not have to sit in the back seat, letting Jesus drive, but rather he would have to give the keys to Jesus, let him fill up the car with whatever gas he wanted to, climb into the trunk, and slam the lid, telling Jesus to drive. True Christianity is not us doing things for God; it is God working in and through us. We are just in for the ride.

A servant of the Lord must be patient and humble. If we are not patient and if we are not humble, then God will work around us and may pass us by. He won’t let us share His glory. I have four books published now, and I have already had reports that several of them are already changing lives. I now have on record that one of them has even saved a marriage, and I didn’t even write about marriage in it. I am going to say plainly that this was not me. I can take no credit for any of that. Yes, I wrote them; but it was God who directed that, and it was God who spoke to the reader and changed their lives. I was merely a tool in God’s hands. For the longest time, I have never wanted to be broken by the Lord. I have prayed I would rather be moldable for God to form me than for Him to have to break me. I am no longer convinced by the validity of such a prayer. This series by my pastor is teaching me what humble leadership should look like, and it’s having a very good effect on me. God has me at this church for more than this and I’m glad to be here where God has me.

This concludes my study on this passage directly. However, as I studied this passage, the context surrounding it must also be examined. Stay tuned.

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Hebrews 9:11-15

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 22, 2021 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance —now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” -Hebrews 9:11-15

For the last few chapters of this letter, the author had discussed Jesus as the great high priest, and then in chapter 8, he discussed how because of that role, we now have a new covenant from God. In the first part of chapter 9, he connected those concepts and began discussing the place of worship. The next step in his discussion is looking at specifically what Jesus Christ has done for us and why that’s important.

In verse 11, we again see mention of Christ as the high priest, but it says that He came as “the high priest of the good things that are now already here.” That phrase is difficult to interpret, as the manuscripts are divided as to whether it should read as we see in this NIV translation or if it should say “the good things that are to come.” We do not get an explanation of what these good things are, but the context indicates that they are the work that Christ has accomplished and all of the blessings that act brings to us - whether they are already here or yet to come.

Next, we see that Jesus did not come to the earthly tabernacle or temple; rather he went through the “greater and more perfect tabernacle.” The author tells us that this one is not made with human hands and is not part of this creation. But what does that phrase represent? Some believe it refers to heaven, though others believe it refers to Christ’s body. While Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens and the earth, that word for heavens also refers to the skies. Heaven, as in the actual dwelling place of God, would have already existed before the creation because God Himself existed then. Jesus also existed before creation. Neither Jesus nor heaven was man-made, so both are possible interpretations.

Verse 12 begins a discussion on blood for a few verses. Under the Old Testament law and covenant, animals were sacrificed to pay the penalty for human sins. The penalty for sin was death, so something had to die and blood needed to be shed to pay for those sins. Goats and calves were the animals used in the rituals of the annual Day of Atonement, hence why they are mentioned here. But Jesus’ sacrifice completed atonement for all of humanity once and for all! It does not need to be repeated. Through that one sacrifice, we all may obtain eternal redemption from our sins.

The author references specific sacrificial procedures from the Old Testament law in verse 13. These offered external purification – making a person ceremonially and outwardly clean. This was required based on Numbers 19. The original readers of this letter would have been familiar with those ceremonial cleansing laws, so the author does not need to elaborate on them here.

But the author does use those ceremonial laws to show in verse 14 how much more important Jesus Christ is than those laws! The language here is very emphatic, showing that Christ’s once and for all sacrifice was so much greater than anything that the priests could do. Jesus Christ, eternally God, was the completely pure sacrifice that was offered on our behalf. He never sinned; we (all of humanity) are the ones who sin. Though He did not at all deserve the punishment, Jesus offered Himself in our place before God. Because of this, we are forgiven of our sins!

It is important to note that the work of Jesus Christ is on a whole different level than the work of the sacrifices that were performed according to the Old Testament law. Those were external and material, whereas the work of Jesus is internal and cleanses the person’s conscience. The Old Testament sacrifices could never accomplish that.

Verse 15 gives a summary of this section: “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance —now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

Because of all that Jesus Christ has done and how it dwarfs the previous covenant and the sacrifices that it required, He is the mediator of the new covenant. This new covenant brings us the promised eternal inheritance – this is not something temporary, but it will last forever! We know that God’s promises always come true, and this is no exception. Jesus died once and for all, so that all people who believe in Him may be set free from all the sins they have committed.

This is the whole of the gospel message all in one verse. The author has been setting this up for a couple of chapters now, and this is the ultimate point: Jesus Christ has died as payment for all of our sins, so that we may have eternal life.

Many people today do not follow the same rituals that the Jews did back in Biblical times, so to us it may seem like a lot of buildup to get to this point. But for those who had been brought up in the Jewish sacrificial and worship system, they would have needed this detailed background setup to fully understand the significance of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Their system of sacrifices and ritual cleansings was no longer necessary; Jesus had fulfilled it! We are now under a new covenant, where all that is needed is faith in Jesus Christ.

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.


Apologetics 16: Able to Teach

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 19, 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

A servant of the Lord must be able to teach. Voddie Baucham addresses an absurdity in the church today. According to Baucham, in the average American church, any form of teaching or instructing or guiding is relegated to the preacher, not the layman. His examples: when the next generation asks to be discipled and asks those who have been Christians for 20, 30, 40 years, the response tends to be “I’m no preacher.” Then when a young man gets that fire and studies church history, reads his Bible, prays, that church will say “You must be called to preach,” rather than use that as the model for what ANY Christian should be doing. He then compares Christianity to any field or career to showcase how anyone who does a job for 20, 30, 40 years should be able to teach a newbie how to do the job, and yet in Christianity this idea is rejected. It’s ludicrous to allow such mediocrity in the church.

There is too high view of credentials in society today (see this article by Biblical Creationist “Piltdown Superman” about this issue) and not enough training of the congregant on how to train and disciple just their own family. Show me the church that actually teaches their fathers how to train their children in spiritual things. Where is it? The church I attend did it this spring, and it’s the only one I can think of. Most churches instead tell parents, even the staff, that their kids need to be in youth group. I’m not against having ministries towards youth, but I am against having a church “ministry” usurp and steal the duties of parents.

The servant of the Lord has to be able to teach. He has to be able to show others what he believes and why he believes it. This is not a command to pastors and apologists and scientists. This is a command to ALL believers. We must be ready to give an answer for the hope we have. We must also make disciples of all nations. How can we make disciples if we don’t even know our own doctrine? I’m not attacking those with that simple child-like faith but never had the academic drive to study all the theories and such. Some of those are more genuine believers the highly educated ones. There are some laymen in the church who couldn’t spell “aseity” (God’s self-existence) or “omnipotence” (all-powerfulness), let alone teach it, but they have a far more genuine faith in Christ than even I do. But those with that genuine faith believe nothing contradictory to what the proper systematic theologies teach. My dad is an example of that. He is one of the least academically inclined people I know. He is a hands-on guy, but he has a simple trust in God. He knows enough to smell heresy though not enough to refute it, but sometimes that’s all you need. My dad is not an academic, and he has a low view of himself being able to teach, but those around him have all said he is a great teacher.

If we are to be able to correct those in error, we have to know the truth to correct them to that. I tend to point toward a perfect standard. I know far and well that I don’t meet it. But how could I know that I don’t meet it? The answer is simple: I know what perfect is supposed to be like. I am a teacher. How do my students know if they got an exam correct? They compare it to the rubric. I know what the rubric is for life. How? I’ve read the Bible and believe the record. And by believing it, I know I fall short of that standard.

So who am I to teach someone else that which I can’t follow? That’s the joy of Christianity. God chooses the foolish things to shame the wise, the poor to shame the rich. Despite my academic nature, what I believe is outright foolish to the “educated” world. Many of my hecklers can tell very quickly that I am an educated and intelligent man, yet they are baffled that I can believe what I believe. Yet, according to this passage, my job as a servant of the Lord, as an ambassador who represents God, is that I am to correct them, teaching them with gentleness, patience, and humility so that God may grant them repentance. I know I fall short of this all the time, yet God still uses me.

Now a word of warning. There are many who are very gifted teachers but are not submitted to Christ. There is a steep warning for those who seek to be teachers and leaders in the church. Not many should seek that position because they are held to a higher standard. There are many who are charismatic and have an agenda to not only pervert the Gospel but corrupt the church. Second John warns us of these folks because one elect lady seems to have welcomed a false teacher into her home under the expectation of hospitality. We are NOT to welcome false teachers. The only reason I have a collection of bad books around is so I have first hand knowledge on how to refute them. I don’t get those books to “expand my horizons.” I get them to test them to see if the reports about them are valid or not. I’ve had some I thought were good that turned out to be not so good, often because they proclaim Christianity but have no Christ in them. We have to be able to teach Christ and point to the true Christ. There are many false Christs in this world, and we have to know who the true one is. Only the true Christ saves, not any Jesus we make up that suits our preferences.

The servant of the Lord needs to be able to teach. He must know the truth, speak only the truth, never adding nor taking anything away, giving the message as it was given. He must never waiver from the truth, and that frequently requires drawing a hard line. Truth doesn’t give you options for any other interpretation; you take it or leave it. If you take it, your life will be blessed (though not necessarily in terms of physical/temporal things). If you leave it, you will be under a curse. We must know the truth so that we can point people to the truth. I despise the notion of compromises where you temporarily embrace a false worldview, saying you agree with them, all so you can point them to the truth; how is that even sane? The Gospel requires man to completely abandon his previous way of thinking and lifestyle which is rooted in sin and take on the new life which is submission to Christ. We must be able to teach that change, and while we will never be perfect at this, we must be in practice of this in word and in deed. Next week we will look at patience.

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.


ADHD Christianity, Part 1: What Are the Struggles?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, November 16, 2021 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

Some of the hardest things we can write about are criticisms about us. This is no different, especially since I’m just starting to broach this topic on a personal level. But first I think some clarification on ADHD is necessary. The “H” in it stands for hyperactivity, but that doesn’t mean one has to be constantly moving physically. There are actually 3 types of this: inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive, and combined. The hyperactive-impulsive is what we normally call ADHD, but the combined version is most common. While I don’t agree with some of the wording of symptoms (i.e., “careless mistakes”), if you feel you fall into any of these 3 camps, please see your doctor about it. This post or series isn’t meant to give you a diagnosis; only a proper medical professional can do that.

When we start going to church and exploring our faith, we often hear things such as “have quiet time” or “just read the Bible.” For some this may be super easy to do or build a routine for, but for others like myself, this has been extremely daunting to the point of questioning if I’m saved. Even if I remind myself that as long as I believe Christ is my Lord and Savior and died on the cross for my sins, I can still doubt because I can’t just do it. This is made even worse for me because I am an introvert and I internalize all these emotions.

The fact of it all, though, is that we just need to better understand how we function. It’s very probable you cannot sit in quiet space for more than a minute before your brain vrooms right off the Prayer Interstate. ADHD people are better with stimulation, and intrinsic (or internal) motivation often isn’t enough to make us stick to any sort of prayer routine, let alone exercise. That dopamine hit we get when we start doing it can quickly fade away even as soon as the next day, and we’re left wondering why we don’t feel joy anymore from doing it. This can lead to burnout, depression, or a multitude of other emotions. So what can we do about this? It mostly depends on what problem you’re trying to solve, but let's look at a couple.

Prayer Time

It’s no secret we need quiet prayer time with God if we want to build a real relationship with Him. This doesn’t mean do it at night while going to bed (a bad habit of mine), since our minds can quickly start wandering and we need rest.

If you are someone who loves reading, explore the psalms during your free time (first waking up, lunch, etc.). They are God-fearing and God-honoring prayers on different topics. A good concordance in your Bible can help you with a theme as well. I don’t suggest a digital Bible if you can help it, because the more senses you can utilize the less distracted you will likely become. If you use a phone or tablet, you’ll get notifications, texts, etc. that can deter you. Instead, go somewhere with a physical Bible so your hands and eyes are doing something.

Overdoing Bible Time

While there’s no doubt that reading the Bible as much as we can is a good thing for our soul, God also has given us various responsibilities and commitments that we need to honor. If you are a hyper-focused ADHD who can’t get away from something once they start, set a timer. If you have a smart watch or a health tracker like a Fitbit, set a timer to go off. I’ve started doing this even for non-Christian tasks like lunch because I can often get caught up revisiting my work while waiting and forget all about my food.

Just Doing It

While sometimes it’s good to just make yourself do something, it can also hurt your spiritual growth as well. If you struggle with just sitting down and doing something, consider making it something you do earlier in the day. For lack of a better thought, getting the “worst of it out of the way” so, worst case, your hyperactive mind can reflect on it longer throughout the day.

Committing To It

An extremely common trait of one with ADHD is starting but not finishing something. There are about 10 scripts and 5 outlines of content for my ministry and Worldview Warriors sitting in my “inbox” still.

Being a Christian is a 24x7x365 commitment, and one not even the greatest can achieve. This is where having something like a todo list or journal of some sort (I’ve started going back to bullet journaling) can be great for you. Planning is a great thing for us to do, so we know what we’re committing to and what it will take to accomplish that goal. While this topic as a whole can take an article in itself, I’ll provide a good bullet journaling starter guide at the end of this article.

Comparing Yourself

Comparing ourselves to others is another common trait an ADHD person can have. This correlates more to perfectionism, but there’s a strong bisection between the two.

We can look at our pastor, elders, or others in the congregation and see how they may have the “perfect” Christian life. Even if we get to know them and realize they’re far from perfect and still going through sanctification like us, we can get caught in that comparison loop.

This is a very tough element to resolve. It took me a good few years of just asking myself why when I realized I was comparing myself to my best friend. It got even worse when my salvation started coming into the picture.

What has helped me is reflecting back on Jesus’s words, mostly the Sermon on the Mount (starting in Matthew 5). Jesus outlined there perfectly that sinners have a place in Heaven if they surrender to God, and while we will remain sinners on this planet, it’s by our faith that we will be justified. This made me realize that I didn’t need a fancy house or car, and my health may be bad, but God loves me regardless.

I’m doing this as a series since there’s so much to unload about this. There are some resources about ADHD and Christianity, but nothing (or at least fewer) about being an ADHD Christian. There’s scripture to help us remind our overactive minds to stay focused on God, but I want to explore not just what they are but how it can be practical and applied.

How to Create a Bullet Journal Plus My Top 10 Tips
A Bible Study on Staying Focused

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.


Hebrews 9:1-10

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 15, 2021 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.
When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings —external regulations applying until the time of the new order.”
-Hebrews 9:1-10

In the previous passage, the author of Hebrews explained the differences between the old covenant and the new covenant. Before that, he had spent quite a while talking about the office of the high priest and how Jesus is our great high priest – better than any regular human priest. Here, he ties these concepts together into the place of worship.

The first interesting thing to note is that when the nation of Israel was first becoming a nation and wandering in the wilderness, they had a tabernacle where they would worship and where God’s presence would dwell. This was a more temporary, portable place of worship until they were settled and the first permanent temple was built in Jerusalem. Here, the author of Hebrews refers to the tabernacle rather than the temple. This may seem odd considering the temple was much more recent for the nation of Israel. But, only the people who lived in Jerusalem and the immediate area had experienced the temple. Just as we have local congregations, the Jews had synagogues where they would have priests and hear the reading of the Scriptures. The entire nation would have knowledge of the tabernacle through the Scriptures and the stories of their ancestors.

In addition, the original covenant was established with the people in Exodus 24. In the next few chapters, we read about the details of the tabernacle, its fixtures, the priests, their garments, etc. So the author of Hebrews discussing the covenant followed by the tabernacle would have been a logical flow of thought for the Israelites, as they would have been familiar with this flow in Exodus.

But, in case his readers were not familiar with all of those details of the tabernacle, the author gives the highlights in Hebrews 9:1-5. The layout of the tabernacle and the items in it were clearly significant to the author, as they would have been to all devout Jews. It appears that he would have been able to write on them at length, but that’s not the point of this passage. He gives enough information to set up the tabernacle and show its importance to his readers, then he must move on from describing the physical space to the rituals performed in it.

In verses 6-7, the author explains the tradition of the Day of Atonement. This had already been referred to previously when explaining the role of the high priest, but because it involves the worship space, it’s appropriate for the author to include it again here. This description specifically points to how this was observed in the tabernacle rather than the temple. The high priest was the only person to enter the inner room (the Most Holy Place), and that only happened once a year because of its level of danger. Any earthly high priest was also a sinner, so to come into the presence of God, who is completely holy, was dangerous as God cannot tolerate sin in His presence. The high priest first had to atone for his own sins before he could atone for the sins of others.

In verse 8, the author gives us the connection between the old way of the tabernacle and the way of the new covenant: the Holy Spirit. In the old method, ordinary people had no direct access to God, but now, all people have access to God because of the completed work of Jesus Christ – His sacrificial death and resurrection that completed atonement for all sins for all time.

Verses 9-10 show us another key difference between the old and new ways. The sacrificial offerings and adornments of the tabernacle and temple were all external. Everything to do with the old covenant was about external actions. The new covenant brought about through Jesus, however, is primarily internal. Today, the external actions are less significant; the emphasis is placed on our faith in Jesus and our relationship with Him. The new covenant of Jesus Christ has replaced all of those old rituals; they’re no longer necessary.

Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying here; the things we do are still significant, but they are not what saves us from our sins. Jesus accomplished that on the cross once and for all. But because of what Jesus did for us and how He took on the penalty of our sins, we should desire to give Him all honor and glory! We don’t need to do certain actions or perform certain rituals in certain places to be saved, but we do still gather together in various ways to join together to give God glory and praise His name.

Our worship celebrations often look very different, and that’s ok! We no longer have a prescribed way to worship God as the Israelites of old did. We have the freedom to worship God in different styles of buildings, with different styles of music, with different aspects in our worship times, etc. All of those are preferences, not mandates from God. The most important thing is the attitude of our hearts in worshipping God! We are there to give Him all glory and honor, not to take any of that glory for ourselves or to glorify another person.

No matter what your worship looks like, make sure you are keeping the main thing the main thing – Jesus and the work He has completed so that we are saved from our sins and that we may have the freedom to worship Him in a way we prefer.

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Apologetics 15: Be Gentle

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 12, 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

A servant of the Lord must be gentle. This does not mean be a push-over. We must be strong in our position, unwavering, and unyielding, but at the same time, we need to direct that strength to be used properly. Eric Ludy in his sermon “Shepherding 101” addresses that we must have great strength for bashing wolves, but we must also be gentle when handling sheep. He also describes when he wrestles with his kids, he could very easily crush them, but he restrains himself.

The same concept is true when dealing with apologetics. Jesus is a perfect example of when to show your strength and also when to restrain it. How he handled the Pharisees is a prime example. When it was clear the Pharisees had no interest in hearing what Jesus had to say because they were so disturbed that Jesus would upset their status quo, Jesus was harsh on them. He put them back in their place immediately. However, when they came with questions or when they were simply shocked at how Jesus would handle a situation, He was still firm, but he was gentle with them. He still wanted them to repent and trust Him.

If it’s not obvious enough, this is a HARD thing to balance. One reason why Jesus was such a master at this was that He knew their hearts. He knew and understood their motives. We often don’t. It’s not easy to discern when to use the rod to bash wolves and when to guide and correct sheep. It doesn’t help when we have to face our flesh. “So why don’t we be gentle all the time so we don’t inadvertently bash a sheep?” The counterargument would be: “Why don’t we inspect everyone first, so we don’t let a wolf into the sheep pen?” Again, let me make clear: we are to be harsh to wolves, and gentle to sheep.

But what about the lost? Don’t forget what this passage says about the lost. They have four key characteristics: 1) they don’t know the truth, 2) they aren’t thinking straight, 3) they are trapped in the lies of the devil, and 4) they have been recruited to do the devil’s bidding. Why should we be gentle with these folks? They are lost; they don’t know any better. Few of them really want to be antagonistic against Christians and Christianity. It’s Satan and sin dominating them and controlling them like puppets. Sin is much more than going against God’s commands. It’s a brutal slave master and it controls you. They can’t help but be a slave to sin, and that sin defies God and anything that represents God with everything it has. And yes, that means they willingly choose insanity over admitting that God rules over them. They are willing participants in the sin, but they are not thinking straight or clearly. They think they know what they are doing, and they have concocted all sorts of reasons and explanations for why they are right, but man has a tendency to think logically to the wrong conclusion.

I don’t remember which sermon it came from, but David Wilkerson made this convicting statement: “You should never dare rebuke a brother or sister in Christ unless you have first spent time weeping in prayer over their wayward condition.” Don’t get me (or Wilkerson wrong). He does NOT say, “Don’t confront them.” He says you need to be praying for them.

Todd White is not someone I would ever recommend anyone listen to. He says a lot of false things and he is a genuine fraud (specifically his “leg lengthening” “ministry” that is nothing but an illusion). Last year, he “discovered” Charles Spurgeon and Ray Comfort and publicly “repented” of 16 years of never sharing the actual Gospel (law first, then grace). That received a lot of responses. One week later, he doubled up on everything he had been doing in the past (showing the idea of repentance meant nothing to him) in a very self-centered “how dare anyone question me?” message. Yet in that very narcissistic message, he said this (and I paraphrase): “If you truly think I am in error and going to Hell, why aren’t you praying for me?” He said that statement to those who WERE praying for him.

Being gentle does not mean you are a softie. It means you control your strength with purpose and intention so that God may grant them repentance. One thing I don’t like seeing in apologists (and I am no exception) is the tendency of merely trying to prove one’s point as being correct. While it is completely vital to have truth (without truth you have NOTHING else), there is much more to truth than “I’m right, you’re wrong.” The other problem I see with apologists is the fallacy on the other ditch. Those are the ones who are very charismatic and just likely playing nice, but they want to appease the believer and non-believer and teach something other than historical, Biblical Christianity (which includes the WHOLE council of Scripture, not merely the key passages). The latter are actually even deadlier than the former because the deadliest thing any person could believe is not “non-Christianity” but “almost Christianity.”

Proverbs 15:1 tells us a harsh word stirs up anger, but a gentle word will turn away wrath. Our goal is not to prove ourselves to be right, but to win souls. We are to be ambassadors, representing the Kingdom of God, calling for people to make peace with God. How can they make peace with God when those who represent God just show to be enemies of them? We aren’t to appease the lost and surrender any ground to them, however we must be gentle so they may see that God wants them to be at peace with Him. If they don’t make terms of peace, then they will experience the wrath of God. We want them to see that peace with God is the best position to have. Being gentle, even when they are not, will show character they can’t have otherwise. We must be brutally honest with the terms of peace, but we must also be gentle so that the lost may see their sin and their need for a Savior. But to be able to show them our message and the hope that comes with it, we need to be able to teach and to teach gently. That’s for next week.

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The Crazy Things Theistic Evolutionists Say, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 11, 2021 7 comments

by Steve Risner

For the last two weeks, I’ve been talking about a meme a theistic evolutionist I’ve interacted with online was trying to speak out against. He initially claimed that being “anti-evolutionary” was akin to apostasy. This, of course, after my initial reaction of hilarity, is a sad to me and dull statement that has no connection to reality if we are supposed to think this person is a Christian. Apostasy means someone has abandoned a well-accepted and traditionally held religious belief. Perhaps this person thinks the Apostles and early Church Fathers were evolutionists and believed in the Big Bang, but I’m pretty sure that’s not true. The overwhelmingly held and traditional view on creation and the book of Genesis was that of its historical accuracy as a narrative on what actually took place. There is literally no room at all in the Bible for deep time or the Big Bang or abiogenesis and universal common descent. None. In my last post, I considered that this believer may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing like Christ talked about in Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount. I believe he should reject the humanism he seems so strongly to want to push on us and come out from among the unbelievers he so desperately wants to hold hands with while he bashes well-established Christian doctrine and those who adhere to it.

This all started with a meme. I’m not sure if the meme pictured here is the correct meme, but I suspect it was very close to this. He broke one of my personal rules: never argue with a meme. But that’s okay; it makes for good content when someone does.

What’s equally tragic here is he falls prey to the old canard that if you say something he disagrees with, you’re a liar and you’re sinning. This, of course, makes no sense even to a child. He tries to suggest that someone saying what this meme says is lying and bearing false witness in the name of Christ. What an absurdity. If I say Tom Brady is the GOAT (greatest of all time) quarterback and he disagrees, he would necessarily have to call me a liar rather than just accept my take on the information as different from his own but equal in standing. Of course, no evolutionist (theistic or otherwise) would ever even consider saying that creation and the Bible have any standing on the matter of origins, or that either could have anything about origins correct from a scientific standpoint. But it’s not because of merit. It’s because that would topple universal common descent because it’s such a naïve and impossible origins tale. Giving anything equal footing would undermine it very quickly. In fact, it stands contrary to so much we know scientifically it’s amazing it’s held up so long.

I believe the reason for that is a simple one, however: they cannot allow a divine foot in the door, according to Dr. Richard Lewontin (not a creationist by any means). In fact, Dr. Lewontin said this: “It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

In other words, even if it’s crazy and makes no sense, even if it’s naïve and only something children would accept, even if it defies all logic and reason and literally stands opposed to what we know with near certainty in science, we must stick with materialism and naturalism because the only other alternative is God and the supernatural. Don’t tell me there’s no bias in science. Some, like Dr. Lewontin, are honest enough to admit it.

As I stated 2 weeks ago in the first part of this series, 2 Corinthians 6 starting with verse 14 tells us that mixing with the world does not produce righteousness or truth. It is a bad idea every time. Theistic evolutionists and most old earth creationists want to take bits and pieces of the Bible but hold their so-called “science” at a much higher level of authority. They will stand on the humanist fundamentalist interpretation of nature and smother the Truth found in Scripture with it, choking it until the story they tell about origins has no resemblance at all to that found in the Bible. They try (very unsuccessfully) to incorporate Genesis (for TE’s it’s very little and for OEC’s a little more) into their science fiction. They believe this makes them some sort of intellectually superior Christian when, in reality, it frequently makes them wishy-washy Christians who stand opposed to the very clearly stated narrative found in the Bible.

There is no doubt the Bible teaches us that God created the heavens and the earth in 6 literal, 24-hour days. There is no question it says this. The first chapter of the Bible goes into detail about it. The second chapter specifically tells about man’s creation. From there we see the corruption of man and all of creation and finally, in Genesis 6-8 we see the judgement of God on man and his sinful state as a whole (you can read about that here, here, here, here, and here as well as here, here, here, and here). After the Flood, the Bible clearly informs us about the Tower of Babel (read more here, here, and in this post series) and the Table of Nations, which explains the origins of all people groups in the world. There is no doubt what the Bible intends to tell us with these passages of Scripture. Theistic evolutionists and many old earth creationists reject all of these things. The entire Bible is built on these opening chapters, and they reject them completely.

There is no question that the Bible is uniform in its teachings on creation. Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 both tell us that God made everything—the sea, the earth, the heavens, and everything that’s in them in 6 days, and He rested on the seventh. If you just use the Bible, there is no way to come up with a different narrative. None at all. We know that the Flood, which could help account for the geography and topography of the earth as well as the many sedimentary layers we find all over the globe, was global because of the reading of Genesis 6-8. The totality and universality of the language in these chapters leaves no doubt the intended message was to convey a complete flooding of the entire world, killing every land animal on earth and all humans except those found on the Ark.

As a Biblical creationist, I hold a Biblical worldview and believe the origins narrative in Scripture is accurate and true. I accept it first and then look at the data. This, in my opinion, is what every believer should do. This is not just applicable to origins but to everything we encounter in the world around us. The Bible should always be our stating point, not something we manipulate and cram into the current trends of society. If we approach the Bible as though it must bow to the currently popular but ever-changing interpretation of fallen man about the corrupted creation he is observing, we will lose every time.

I’ve said enough this week. Next time, we’ll look at this theistic evolutionist’s response to a few points of the meme. It’ll be fun.

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Hebrews 8:8-13

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 8, 2021 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“But God found fault with the people and said: ‘The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.’
By calling this covenant new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.”
-Hebrews 8:8-13

The previous section of Hebrews 8 explained how God has given us a new covenant and made Jesus the high priest over it. Hebrews 8:7, right before today’s passage, says, “For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.” That leads into today’s passage about the covenant that God had made with Israel.

The author explains the need for the new covenant by saying in verse 8 that God found fault with the people. He then provides a long quotation from Jeremiah 31:31-34 that makes up most of today’s passage (verses 8b-12). This section from Jeremiah explains the old covenant that God had made with His people, which is important in order to understand why a new covenant needed to be made.

At the time that Jeremiah wrote this, the once-unified nation of Israel had been divided into two nations for many years. Ten of the original tribes made up the northern kingdom of Israel, and the remaining two southern tribes became known as Judah. Jeremiah is looking for the unification of these two nations back to one nation with whom God will make this new covenant. Jeremiah looked forward to the day when the two nations would become one again and they would receive this new covenant from God.

In verse 9, Jeremiah explains the old covenant. God had made the previous covenant with them when He led them out of Egypt, that He would bring them to the promised land. He told them, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession” (Exodus 19:5). Shortly after that in Exodus 20:1-17, God gave them specific rules to follow for that covenant; we know them today as the Ten Commandments.

So of course, the nation of Israel followed these commandments perfectly, right? Definitely not! Israel did not remain faithful to God’s covenant. While they broke all of His rules, the primary offense was idolatry because all of the commandments can be traced back to idolatry (as Charlie Wolcott explained in depth in this blog post series). Because Israel remained unfaithful, God says that He “turned away from them.” But fortunately, God did not ignore them forever!

Fortunately, things begin to look a little more promising for Jeremiah and the nation of Israel. In verse 10, we see the terms of the new covenant that God will establish with Israel. This covenant is for the united nation, no longer divided. Jeremiah then goes on to explain four major differences between the old and new covenants.

The first difference is that the new covenant will be dynamic rather than written in stone (literally). It will be written in the people’s hearts and minds. The old covenant was external to the people – written on the stone tablets that God gave to Moses. The new covenant would represent people not legalistically following a set of rules but being transformed by God and His presence so that His commands would be written in their innermost being.

The second difference is that the new covenant would be a close relationship between God and His people. It was not new for God to be in relationship with the people; Exodus 6:7 says, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” But after Jesus came to earth, lived His life, died, and was resurrected, God could have a new and closer form of relationship with His people. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, God would be able to be known by His people in ways that they could not know Him before. The relationship between God and His people would grow deeper.

The third difference is that everyone who is a part of this new covenant will know God (verse 11). God will no longer be able to be known only by a few people, such as the priests and the high priest of the old ways of Israel, but all will have the opportunity to know Him. Everyone is able to join in this new covenant and have personal knowledge of God.

The fourth difference is that sins are forgiven through the new covenant (verse 12). Because Jesus came and was the perfect sacrifice for all of humanity’s sins, the new covenant that has now been established truly does forgive sins so that God will remember them no more. Under the old covenant, sacrifices had to be offered routinely for the people’s sins; under the new covenant, all sins are now forgiven for those who are a part of it. Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection took care of all sins forever!

After this long quotation from Jeremiah, the author of Hebrews summarizes it for his readers in verse 13. Because we now have the new covenant, the old covenant is obsolete, outdated, and will soon disappear. The people should no longer look to the old covenant because there is one that is much better! The old covenant is no longer useful or even relevant because of the work that Jesus has now accomplished.

This new covenant is still in effect today. How do you become a part of this new covenant and get its benefits? Simply have faith in Jesus Christ and the saving work that He accomplished for all of humanity! We no longer need a high priest to perform ritual sacrifices for our sins; Jesus already did that. Because of God’s grace, He allows us to be part of this new covenant through faith in Jesus Christ. The new covenant is so much better than the old one, and for that we should all be praising God!

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Apologetics 14: Do Not Quarrel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 5, 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

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel. Quarreling within the church began pretty well as soon as the church began. The office of the deacon had to be established to quell the first church fight (because some believers were not being served compared to others). A council took place in Acts 15 for how to deal with Jewish Law and Gentile believers. In Corinth, sects were uniting based on following Paul, Peter, or Apollos. Church fights have been going on ever since. There are some battles that had to be fought and some that didn’t.

Athanasius was a church leader who stood firm against the false teachings of Arius which nearly overtook the 4th century church. People think the Roman Catholic Church controlled and directed all of it, but apparently Constantine just wanted an answer to all of it and for the most part sided with Arius, not with Athanasius. Each of the church’s creeds were written primarily to clarify and affirm core doctrines which were under attack at the time (primarily around the deity of Christ and the Trinity). Confessions and catechisms were written to help protect the church from false teachings and to continue to codify the teachings that were already present. Whenever false teachings versus the integrity of Scripture are at hand, we MUST rise up and make a stand for what is true. The church has done this for 2000 years, to the point of shedding blood. Yet in the U.S., very few are making that stand (though they are there, and I’ve previously cited those I’ve found who do).

However, there are certain things that are not worth fighting over. We are not to fight every battle or die on every hill. However, many who believe error have used this to keep their pet doctrines from being scrutinized. The reason I make a big issue out of origins is not because of the interpretation of the word “yom” (meaning “day”). It’s over the authority of Scripture. If the “old earth side” could actually present their case as being from the Bible, not something from completely outside Scripture, I would consider origins to be a secondary issue. This is why I don’t make a huge issue out of Calvinism or Arminianism, because both sides showcase their position from Scripture.

Yet, there are speculations and quarrels that take place that never should take place. Did you know that the Pharisees and Sadducees had doctrinal debates about not merely whether the resurrection took place, but whether you wore clothes when you resurrected? We have worse debates today. One of the biggest church fights over meaningless issues is over traditional versus contemporary music styles. Voddie Baucham points out those two styles came about in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. I personally like the music style of the recent stuff, but I really don’t care for the songs themselves. But I’m not going to argue over musical style. That said, the music better actually be worship of God, because sadly, most of it is so doctrinally empty that to call it worship is rather insulting to God.

But why do we fight? In any church fight where the battle is not over the authority or integrity of Scripture and moral issues, the primary reason for such fights is simply pride. In the verse right before the passage quoted above, Paul tells Timothy to avoid foolish and ignorant speculations which lead to quarrels. I’ll look at those speculations later on in this series. Paul told the Roman church that the real source of division in the church is not those who make a stink about false teachings but those who bring in the false teachings. Paul specifically says they do not serve Christ but their own bellies, and with flattery they deceive the hearts of the simple. We must mark those people and avoid them, giving them no platform. We are to refuse false teachings but not use that as a cover for our own pride.

One of the easiest ways to avoid quarreling is to not get offended. Yes, we must stand for truth, but too often we get into fights because we are offended that someone has a different opinion than us. Two books help deal with this issue: John Bevere in The Bait of Satan and John Hyde in Praying Hyde, Apostle of Prayer. In Bevere’s book, he makes the claim that if you are focused on Christ, and not yourself or even others, you won’t get offended. If your goal is Christ, then you will fight for what Christ wants to fight for, but you won’t make an issue of anything He isn’t. John Hyde amazed me, because he never got offended about anything. He always treated every argument as a misunderstanding. As a result of that, he never got offended by what anyone said. He did not say this to blow off any errors he made. He said this as a means to avoid getting into an unnecessary fight. He fought his battles on his knees.

Back on post #5 in this series, I quoted John MacArthur saying we have to be willing to engage in conflict. There is a difference between engaging in conflict and being quarrelsome. It is hard to discern in the moment, but there is a difference. In the war for truth, we must be unwavering and unmovable; but when it comes to personal preferences, sometimes the self needs to be put aside. While some have made secondary issues into primary issues, others have made primary issues into secondary issues. One of the easiest tests we can use to discern which one is being done is to see where Scripture is held in that discussion. If the clarity, intention, and authority of Scripture are being questioned, then it’s a primary issue. If an outside opinion is being presented, does it line up with what is explicitly given in Scripture or at least not contradict it? This test is why I can accept “heliocentrism” but not “deep time” ideas. The former doesn’t force a change in anything Scripture says. The latter not only forces a change in Genesis but when fully carried out, it forces a change on the gospel itself.

Know when to fight, but also know when not to fight. Not every hill is worth dying on, but don’t let false teachers tell you which hills you should die on and which ones you shouldn’t. Let Christ make that call. Next week, we’ll look at being gentle.

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The Crazy Things Theistic Evolutionists Say, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 4, 2021 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week, we began looking at some peculiar things I found written by a theistic evolutionist (a person who believes in some sort of God/god but also believes in the evolution of the universe and life on earth through natural processes) in a group I occasionally visit on Facebook. Initially, I quoted him saying that Christians who are not believers in evolution are participating in “apostasy.” This means to reject a religious teaching or political view. I mentioned how this term is completely inappropriate if we are to believe he’s a Christian since the Big Bang and evolution from a single common ancestor are not long-held, traditional, and overwhelmingly adhered to beliefs in the Christian or Jewish faiths. It wasn’t until recently that deep time, the Big Bang, and universal common descent were injected into the Christian faith initially by a small number of people. These are historical facts. Let’s take a look further.

He follows up questioning how to deal with “anti-evolutionary apostasy” with this question:

“Should we even share science or the Bible with young-earthists or simply say, ‘You are wrong, and your statements do not fit with the Bible. Would you like to know why?’”

My first question is why would you not share what you feel is factual or important information with someone who disagrees with you? In this case, he’s confused, and it’s certainly not just him. So many are so lost when it comes to what science is and can do, what facts are, what data is, and what the interpretation of that data is. People actually think if you collect data and after someone provides their interpretation of that data that all discussion is over and no one else can have a say. They will literally call you a liar if you use the same data and interpret it differently. They don’t realize that a “lie” has a specific definition. It’s unbelievable. How often do we see it happen? There is a finding and then huge headlines are blown up all over the world: “This rewrites human evolutionary history” or “This places this event in Europe rather than Africa” or a hundred variations. Six months later, we find they re-evaluated the data and found it actually had no connection with the claimed headline. Interpretations change, and in some cases no one’s interpretation can be verified. This means there can be multiple takes on the same information. In fact, I think it’s a healthy sign of strength when there is diversity.

Science is about collecting information about the world around us and considering how and why it’s this way. Far too many think it provides information about historical events that we can’t possibly understand or know the conditions of—like the formation of the universe, earth, or life from non-life. We can gather information and make assumptions based on that data concerning these topics, but science cannot tell us what happened eons ago. It simply cannot. It might help us make a guess, but there’s no way to confirm that guess is correct. Confusing the “facts” with the “interpretation” is all too common, and it leads to a great deal of misleading headlines and such. Most people, being unfamiliar with the limitations of science and this obvious misapplication of science, will accept the story told by the person in question, not realizing it’s just a tale they’ve thrown some facts at and nothing more. It’s literally science fiction.

Literaryterms.net defines it this way: “Science fiction, often called ‘sci-fi,’ is a genre of fiction literature whose content is imaginative but based in science. It relies heavily on scientific facts, theories, and principles as support for its settings, characters, themes, and plot-lines, which is what makes it different from fantasy.” This is the Big Bang and all its trappings as well as abiogenesis and universal common descent. Let’s not forget that. Let’s call it what it is and stop disrespecting science by calling the humanist origins myth “science.”

So I say, “Share away” with the science. As a Bible-believing follower of Christ, I have no issues with science. I do take serious issue with false religions like humanism that try to force their origins myth on us all—the Big Bang being the start of it and universal common descent. But that’s not science. That’s a religion—a false religion—masquerading as science so it can gain some credibility. Many have fallen for it including a lot of Christians, but it’s just another religion attempting to hijack the Truth of God’s Word.

This theistic evolutionist then moves from what he calls “science” to the Bible. He, a person who does not gather any of his beliefs on origins (creation and the origins of life and man’s fallen state) from the Bible, wants to tell us, those who believe the Bible as the true Word of God, why the Bible supports his views and not ours. It’s like we’re in the Twilight Zone. Granted, this sort of thing is happening all over our culture today—people saying the exact opposite of reality and trying to be serious about it—but that doesn’t make it okay. We are in real trouble because people like this can presume to say whatever false thing they like, and most people just go along with it. I suppose it’s a symptom of postmodernism.

I am anxiously awaiting word on where universal common descent, deep time, abiogenesis, and the Big Bang are found in the Scriptures. I’ve read through the Bible numerous times and have not found anything in all those readings that would even vaguely hint at these things. I’ve been engaged in this debate for over 28 years now and have yet to find an argument, especially one from the Bible, that comes close to being persuasive regarding these heretical teachings. It does not exist.

So I say, “Share away” with the Bible. You can present your humanist origins myth to us as much as you like. Try to use the Bible to support it. I know you cannot do this, but I’m hoping you’ll try.

The second half of his statement is this: “…your statements do not fit with the Bible.” This is terrific. My beliefs on origins either come directly from the Bible or are founded directly in the Bible’s narrative on creation and the Flood. I say this because things like glacier formation or tree rings aren’t mentioned in the Bible. Topics like “How the Grand Canyon Formed After the Flood” or tectonic plate movements are not specifically mentioned. Where the dinosaurs went isn’t mentioned. But what I believe about these things is based on a direct reading of the Scriptures. I will readily admit that what I think about these topics could be grossly in error because there is really no way to know most of these things. We can only speculate. I do try to make sense of what we see in nature and align my beliefs about nature with the Word of God. But I know for a fact that the humanist origins myth is wrong because it disagrees directly with the narrative of creation found throughout the Bible.

My first authority is not fallen man’s skewed interpretation of a corrupted universe. My first authority is the Bible. Theistic evolutionists cannot say this. If they do, they are 100% lying. I don’t say that lightly, but I can’t see another alternative. We can easily see and understand what the Bible says and what thousands of years of Jewish and Christian believers understood it to mean until humanism fundamentalists hijacked Christianity about 200 years ago. It must be true that they’re being deceptive if they say their basis is in the Bible, however, because they know their first authority, especially when it comes to origins, is “science.” I use quotation marks because it’s not really science they love. It’s the humanist fundamentalist interpretation of nature they stick to so strongly.

Creationists use science. We see the same data that everyone else does. We interpret that data differently, and that’s fine in my opinion. That’s how data and science works. But if your worldview has already committed to accepting billions of years of the universe evolving and billions of years of life developing here on earth after it sprang up from non-living material (none of which is remotely demonstrable scientifically), you’ll interpret the data to fit this preconceived idea. It’s the way it works. Creationists view the data in light of Scripture. Others view it with their own bias, but we all have bias, nonetheless.

It's unexplainable that a Christian is looked down upon and even, in this case called apostate, because he or she will view the world around them through the lens of Scripture. Sure, I can see why a secularist or any unbeliever would do this. But for a Christian brother or sister to demean the beliefs of another follower of Christ because they view and interpret the world through the lens of Scripture makes no sense. In fact, perhaps it’s fair to say, at least in a number of cases, that such people are wolves in sheep’s clothing—the very people Jesus warned us about in the Sermon on the Mount. Don’t fear these people and certainly don’t accept their unbiblical worldview. You’ll never be wrong if you stick to God’s Word and base your beliefs on it.

We have lots more to discuss next time. Until then, be blessed.

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.


Live in the Giftings that God Has Given to You

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 3, 2021 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

Admittedly, stuff like the images above drives me nuts. Can we please stop with the labels already and with the victim mentality?

Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

I’m going to be fully transparent here. If ADHD would have been a label when I was a young child, I would have easily been labeled this and probably with at least 2 more H’s. I’m sure the drugs would have been flowing; I’m not even kidding. Years ago, I talked with my Sunday School teacher, and she told me that she would literally pray to God asking that I would not show up to Sunday School because I was such a “handful.” She was my teacher when I was about 4-6 years old. I was the kid that climbed onto the table, stood on it, and then would crawl under the table, just to have something to do. I am so thankful she didn’t give up on me, but that she taught me the ways of Almighty God though words and actions.

As I grew older, I learned how to make the most of my “energetic” personality, and I learned how to do many things at once. By the time I hit high school, I was blessed to not only be in many sports but was blessed to have coaches and teachers that allowed me to be in many things at once, while I was striving to be the best in all of them. Not only was I able to do these things, but I had to do all of my schoolwork as well, and I was the lead singer in quite a successful rock band starting in my sophomore year in high school until right after graduation. That band would practice almost daily, and for the time, we were pretty good, too. I still have a deep love for the guys I played with in that band, as well as all the athletes and wonderful musicians and actors I got to know. But I can guarantee you one thing: all of those things would not have happened without me being so energetic and ready to try anything, learning to not worry about criticism from what many in society would see as shortcomings. One of those things was a messy car. Do I like having a messy car? Heck to the NO! But it’s my car so really why should anyone give two rips? It’s none of their business anyway.

I have been blessed to have some amazing mentors and disciplers in my life to help me overcome the “start something and never finishing it” syndrome that comes with ADHD. I praise God seriously for them. Here are just a few of the people who sunk their lives into mine: Derik Hines, Marc Quinter, Chris Kneen, Renee King, Tom Moriarity, Debbie Hoppe, and June Krogstad. I am so thankful for these people from my past! All those people and so many more helped me to become the man I am today, ADHD and all. For those of you struggling with ADHD, do not let people look down on you because you might struggle with some of these things.

I still struggle every day; ask my wife! She knows and has learned to love me despite some of it driving her crazy. Be who God created you to be! Don’t settle for mediocrity. Find your strengths and live in them! My dear friends that are high in energy, YOU can do so many things that others cannot do.

Stop believing the lies of the world. Find true freedom in Jesus Christ, not in these lies of the enemy you see in the above images. Stop worrying about what others think about you to make you “normal.” Why would you want to be normal anyway? I’m dead serious!

I encourage you to stop making either ADHD or “normalcy” an idol that runs you, or that some of you reading this might use to run your child. Allow your child to find out who they have been made to be in Jesus Christ! True freedom is right there for you, friend. Grab hold of it!

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Friends, allow God to use the gifts and talents He has given to you for Him. When the world sees weakness, God can give you the power you need to overcome. Allow Him to do what He does in the life He has given to you. In surrendering your life in this way, you can be a part of God’s great plan in drawing people to Him. I greatly encourage you to stop being a victim and let God work through you in victory.

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.