What Donald Trump Should Have Said After Charlottesville: In 1977, the ACLU defended the right of the Ku Klux Klan to march through Skokie, Illinois, through a neighborhood where many survivors of the Holocaust lived, and even defended the KKK’s right to wear Swastikas! The motive of the KKK was not love, but hate. Yet the ACLU argued that censoring certain speech or forms of expression gave the government too much power that could be used against any particular group of people at any time, if that group fell out of favor. In other words, if the KKK could be censored and not permitted to march, so too could gay pride marches be banned. The ACLU holds that the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, also protects the rights of those who express things we hate and find repulsive. The Supreme Court of the United States and the Supreme Court of Illinois found that merely expressing reprehensible views is not a legitimate reason to suppress that speech, no matter how offensive it is. The First Amendment is necessary to a democracy and to a free people, lest the government begin to decide who does and who does not have … Read more
“Judge not, lest you be judged” has been misinterpreted to mean that no matter what anyone does, we should not judge the behavior. He pointed out that we are not to condemn someone for their sins, lest we get condemned for ours, but that does NOT mean we are not to discern what is right and wrong, or identify certain behaviors as sin.Grace does not mean there is no law and we are free to behave any way we wish. Grace is to lead us to holiness, which is the walking in the presence of God and reflecting his character.
Fundamentalism has unconsciously imposed an Enlightenment Rationalist Worldview upon the Gospel writers, who never intended the Gospels to be interpreted simply as a strict chronological recounting of historical events. They were writing theological pamphlets intended to prove that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophetic types present in Genesis to Joshua. By arguing as Enlightenment Rationalists, Fundamentalists have undermined their own efforts because they have not understood the original writers’ intent.
It is evident that God, in his Word, wants us to prosper, but what does that mean? The word in Greek for prosperity also means “to be successful.” Does that mean riches? Finances? Fruitfulness in the Spirit? Fame?
God’s definition of prosperity: That you have everything you need to do what God has called you to do.
A lot of preachers talk about prosperity and they imply that it is all about money. They imply that if you give especially to their ministries, that you will receive an hundred fold return. The problem with that mentality is that it is giving to get.
Dante’s Inferno is a picture of hell with 9 levels, each with greater punishments for sins committed on the earth. Dante was not afraid to place in hell Cardinals, Bishops, and Popes. Dante’s point was that corruption in the Roman Catholic Church by its leaders was just as worthy of punishment, if not more so, as sinful deeds done by pagans and government leaders. His political activity was not admired by all, but his writing exposed the abuse of power by Popes and church leaders. We hear today that Pope Francis is engaged in a similar battle, facing much entrenched opposition to his attempts to cleanse the church of its sins. This week I met an artist, Butch Casanova, who invited me to his home. There I saw a work of art that reminded me of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He was disgusted by the corruption exposed in the pedophilia scandals that rocked the Roman Church. And putting brush to canvas, he created a great allegory of the cover up by Bernard Cardinal Law of Boston. He tried to have this work displayed through the Boston media, but at that time, no one would touch it because Bernard Law was feared and so powerful. He has … Read more
What I am about to say will frighten a lot of pastors who teach tithing to their congregations. Tithing is an old word meaning “giving one tenth.” The Law of Moses required that all Covenant people give ten percent of their income (their herds, grain, oil, etc.) to God (Lev. 27:32) in order to feed and house the priests and the Levites (teachers of the Law – Num. 18.21). Jesus spoke about tithing, saying in Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.” Considering that Jesus agreed with the tithe, many interpret the tithe as a Law carried over into the New Covenant, binding on all believers. But after the Gospels, tithing is only mentioned once in the rest of the New Testament in Hebrews (7:4), and that is in regard to the New Covenant in Christ being anticipated in the Law of Moses. In fact, Paul says plainly in Romans 10:4 “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Jesus … Read more
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:38-45 Most of Jesus’ counsel about not resisting evil had to to do with not resisting Roman authority. A Roman solider could legally require you to carry his pack 1 stadia; Jesus said then to … Read more
The latest rulings by the supreme judicial committee of the Presbyterian Church(USA) have made an absolute mockery of their Book of Order and the votes of the General Assembly. The attempt to exert absolute control over the local churches gives lie to the appearance of tolerance that liberals so much advocate. If you disagree, you are still forced to accept the views of the elitist bureaucrats. Lately the GAPJC (General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission) has ruled in 3 cases which void any ruling of the General assembly as a whole, while threatening to take the property of any presbytery or church that wants to leave over matters of conscience. If you want to leave, I have some strategies for you. If your presbytery wants to leave, quickly vote to relinquish all presbytery claims to church property to the respective churches, then vote to leave the denomination as a presbytery. When the synod comes in with an administrative commission to remove the presbytery leaders, it will be too late. For an individual church: give all your endowments away to valid missions and ministries, indebt your buildings, and then see if the presbytery still wants them. Walk away if they do. … Read more
Introduction: The Love of Wisdom In ancient Greece, the first schools of philosophy flourished. They were called academies, or colleges, and their goal was to prepare young people to lead the State by giving them instruction in morals and ethics, mathematics, dialectics [or logical reasoning], and the natural sciences. The crucial aspect of this education was not simply to gain knowledge but to build wisdom and character. A greedy, corrupt, and selfish person could not be a good leader of the State. Citizenship and virtue were requirements for a true education. The schools established by Socrates and Plato were not started simply because they had a desire to know facts. Facts by themselves do not reveal ultimate meaning, nor do they reveal the purpose of life. Socrates, Plato’s teacher, was interested in discovering truth. The very meaning of the word philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” This pursuit of truth is not a dispassionate and disinterested inquiry into the nature of things. Philosophy is a journey of ultimate importance, a journey whose purpose is to discover the meaning of life – the ultimate meaning of all things – the reason “why.” No one can enter such a pursuit dispassionately and … Read more