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Hands On

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  1. Although difficult for our finite minds to fully comprehend generally,that is how it is.
  2. Thank-you for the response regarding other topics addressed at the Council ,but Scriptures were also dealt with as I understand the following" Canon 1 We have judged it right that the canons of the Holy Fathers made in every synod even until now, should remain in force. Before the holding of the Council of Chalcedon, in the Greek Church, the canons of several synods, which were held previously, were gathered into one collection and provided with continuous numbers, and such a collection of canons, as we have seen, lay before the Synod of Chalcedon. As, however, most of the synods whose canons were received into the collection, e.g. those of Neocæsarea, Ancyra, Gangra, Antioch, were certainly not Ecumenical Councils, and were even to some extent of doubtful authority, such as the Antiochene Synod of 341, the confirmation of the Ecumenical Synod was now given to them, in order to raise them to the position of universally and unconditionally valid ecclesiastical rules. It is admirably remarked by the Emperor Justinian, in his 131st Novel, cap. j.; We honour the doctrinal decrees of the first four Councils as we do Holy Scripture, but the canons given or approved by them as we do the laws. It seems quite impossible to determine just what councils are included in this list, the Council in Trullo has entirely removed this ambiguity in its second canon"
  3. I thought I would share this pertaining to just how far can one bend God's word to accommodate current ubiquitous trends for example homosexuality into the Christian muile .It seems to me that this is nothing "new" .The folks way back also dealt with these same issues.Allen Verhhey in his book "The Great Reversal,Ethics and The New Testament p 170" tells us how they dealt with these issues back then already. "The conjunction of the divine and human has always been difficult to be precise about-whether the conjunction is relevant to the church's confession about Jesus of Nazareth or the sacraments or the Bible.In the case of Jesus of Nazareth,for example,the church finally contented itself at the Council of Chalcedon (A.D.451) by constructing four dikes against heresy. Chalcedon did not make a positive statement but a series of limiting ones about this conjunction of the devine and human.The conjunction is made asynchytos atreptos.adiaretos,and achoristos :that is,the conjunction that the Bible is both the Word of God and human words must not confuse the two natures,transmute the one into the other,divide them into separate categories.or contrast them according to area or function. Chalcedon's dikes may be erected today against the floodwaters of both liberalism and fundamentalism.The error of fundamentalism has typically been to identify and confuse the human words with the Word of God;the error of liberalism has typically been to divide the two and to contrast the human words with the divine Word.A Chalcedonian perspective will appreciate fundamentalism's concern for faithfulness to Scripture and liberalism's concern for creative attention to contemporary issues,but it will disown both fundamentalism's identification of the human words of Scripture with the Word of God and liberalism's contrast of the human words of Scripture to the Word of God... The authorization,candidly stated,would be this:if a rule or command or any moral teaching is found in Scripture,then an identical rule or command or a moral teaching is normative for the church today.(There is usually some condition or rebuttal-such as,unless the rule or command or teaching is intended to be only a temporary obligation rather than a perpetual obligation.)In this view,the tasks for Christian ethics are to harmonize and systematize the biblical rules commands and moral teachings and to apply them to cases as a contemporary code. Liberalism's contrast of the human words of Scripture with the divine Word has sometimes backed the 'liberation' of Christian ethics from the human words of Scripture.Where there remains a concern for biblical authority,the authorization ,candidly stated,is this:if a rule or command or moral teaching found in Scripture is the Word of God rather than merely human words,then it is normative for the church (or for everyone)."
  4. I would go along with that for instance.Hypothetically , imagine if the question pertaining to marriage (Mt 22:23-33), was presented today on a TV presentation with Christ being tested by the Sadducees, in front of a live audience the way we do things these days.I am sure Christ's answer to their" clever" little loaded question, would have brought the house down with claps and laughs from the audience.I suppose there are many more instances one could think of.
  5. I would go along with that.Especially if the Church is "selling itself down the river" in order to accommodate "Church Growth" and distorting God's will as revealed in the Bible.I believe that Christ's warning through John to the Church in Laodicea Rev 3:14-22 is most applicable when so-called "Christian Churches" are not obedient to the discipline and will of God and that the member who decides rather to stay home rather than go falsely "Huge" are comforted by "19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.So be earnest,and repent.20Here I am!I stand at the door and knock.If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,I will come in and eat with him,and he with me.21 To him who overcomes.I will give the right to sit with me on my throne.22He who has an ear,let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."(N.I.V. Rev3:19-22)
  6. I did a sermon the other day and in my preparations Ps 84 cropped up.Here is King David who has all the comforts of his day eg. A Priest or a Prophet at his bidding to come and preach in the palace in the King's sitting room or lounge "live"(if he wanted it), better than a church on a big screen as we have it nowadays. Of course there are those who have obvious legitimate reasons for not being able to physically attend. What blows me away here is that David does not even mention any particular "Priest" or other Hi-Tech attraction, but simply "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."(N.I.V. Ps 84:10) the Good News Bible reads "live in the homes of the wicked".One must consider this in the context of the whole chapter of course,but I am pretty sure most folks (including myself) know exactly what David means when it boils down to thinking up a good few reasons for not going to Church on a particular Sunday,when there is no real good reason for not going, besides good old fashioned "laziness"!
  7. So true!Nothing really changes when it boils down to the Nature of Man.
  8. Of course it would be a very fine line which would distinguish the difference between the two institutions.One would have to be cautious in simply branding a main stream church as a cult. Personal issues such as jealousy may be involved, as it usually is with politics. Each trying to be first,as John puts it.
  9. Thanks for that valuable advice.
  10. I went for a test the other day here in South Africa which offers free medical for those who qualify, and also qualified for a free hearing aid for my left ear.There is obviously a long waiting list,but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel praise the Lord.But I tell you what I will do though, (this is need to know just between us folks here very hush hush), I plan to take it out at home when it suits me, for obvious reasons.
  11. I wonder if John also does not some up a "cult" leader for us when he describes Diotrephes' church managerial style, stating " 9.I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes,who loves to be first,will have nothing to do with us.10.So if I come ,I will call attention to what he is doing,gossiping maliciously about us.Not satisfied with that,he refuses to welcome the brothers.He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church."(N.I.V. 3 Jn 9-10).Bob Utley calls Diotrephes the "first Church Boss" in his commentary on this matter "This man is the first recorded "power-broker" or "church boss." We do not know if he was the pastor or simply a significant layman. However, this does show his motives. This kind of egotistical individual has been present in the church in every age! Whether he was also a Gnostic is uncertain and unstated, but possible."(Utley.You Can Understand The Bible.ibiblio.org) So it follows that many mainstream Christian Institutions which do not follow Christ's instructions pertaining to leadership where "25...rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them26. Not so with you..."(Mt.20:25-26) would possibly also place themselves within the definition of a "Cult".I say this if one considers the characteristics of a cult leader as explained in the above discussion according to my understanding ,which no doubt stands to be corrected. Thank you for sharing these truths with us as a true shepherd would?
  12. I was wondering what you folks think regarding this natural trait mentioned so often throughout the Bible.
  13. Not that creatures"mocking" God is going to effect Him in anyway,as much as the creature doing the "mocking",as I see it.The issue is that He is "holy" and expects us to also be "holy".But the crucial thing is He will not allow His Holy Name to be defiled according to " Ezekiel 36:22-32 NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Eze_36:22-32 22”Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. 24For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not bring a famine on you. 30I will multiply the fruit of the tree and the produce of the field, so that you will not receive again the disgrace of famine among the nations. 31Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and your abominations. 32I am not doing this for your sake,” declares the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel!” (Utley,Bob. You can understand the Bible.ibiblio.ca...Web
  14. Praise the Lord!We who do not suffer now might well suffer on the morrow if it is God's will.May your experience teach us all never to take God's gifts for granted all is given by His grace ,even good health. "For what makes you different from anyone else?What do you have that you did not receive?And if you did receive it,why do you boast as though you did not."(N.I.V. 1 Cor 4:7).I know its easy just to quote verses out of the Bible, if one is not in the same position,but I pray that God will bless you with pain relief as He deems fit.He is our loving caring Father.
  15. I was not quite sure whether this following pdf as attached belongs in the apologetics section or here.Nevertheless I believe it to be absolutely positive in light of current trends to bend and downplay Christian beliefs as written in the Bible by some courts of law regarding theological matters.Here is a finding purely on legal grounds by a Supreme Court Judge here in South Africa regarding the "Resurrection of Christ".Those of us who like a bit of legal reasoning might find the Judges thoughts on this matter most interesting.Its about eight pages long but very interesting also as a case study for legal students or members of a jury, understanding "circumstantial evidence" in relation to "actual proof".I assume the Judge was merely writing a hypothetical case not actually case put before him. JESUS RESURRECTION (1).pdf
  16. While churches must "grow" but I believe it better to have members saved by the "truth in Christ"(Jn 14:7) as would interpret as "quality Christians" who both "hears and puts into practice"(N.I.V.Mt 7:24), what Christ commands.Sure its great to preach to an "audience in a packed house" i.e.quantity,but if most of the folks are not really being taught the truth of Christ but merely there for the awesome experience,then they might just as well go and have an awesome experience watching The Rolling Stones for example.(Although I still like The Stones and Beatles and all).We should not be blinded by the modern trend that all teaching must go with entertainment.(see, "What is The Church Growth Movement?gotquestions.org ).Of course there are financial realities that a church must endure,but not at the cost of selling out the truth in Christ and Christianity and how Christians are to conduct themselves as Disciples in all walks of their daily lives. See also Revelation Chapter 3 how Christ sees Churches,which is the most important of all factors,even if these "truth" are bitter pills to swallow at this stage
  17. Our church is in a small town and there is mostly pensioners around and very few young people due to lack of employment opportunities.There is only an average of about 30 folks on Sundays out of say 80 folks on the books.Yet I believe the Lord will bless us and keep us going if we do our best with what we have .I find confidence in small church of "Philadelphia"(Rev 3:8-10).Our Bible Study Group and Adult Teaching Program is also growing and this is keeping the church vibrant regardless of the small congregation.I believe the Lord will provide as He deems fit.
  18. Peter helps out here nicely "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.But do this with gentleness and respect."(N.I.V. 1 Pet.3;15)If it is a truthful answer which "hurts" or "offends" someone then better that they feel "offended" now, while there is still a chance, than before they enter the narrow gate"(Mt 7:13) of final judgement.For sure there will be much time to "feel offended" in hell with its "weeping and gnashing of teeth"(Mt 8:12)
  19. I believe Mt 5:13 might well prove relevant here.It is a parable which no doubt even non-Christians without fear of generalization use almost every day. Christ compares the Christian metaphorically with salt, " You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men"(New International Version)I believe that the reaction of a Christian should remain unbending regarding the will of God as stated in the accepted Canon. The murder remains murder no matter what name we give it, infinite, abortion or whatever excuses we can conjure up . Unless their are reasonable grounds of justification on medical reasons necessitating the saving of the mother's life. Which is a quite logical excuse.The same with homosexuality and other abominations in Deut.18.So Christians who are useful salt should not remain silent on these matters lest we become insipid.As this commentary puts it."God has no alternative plan.He depends entirely on Christians to be instruments of His purpose to Christianize the world."(Zondervan Pastor's Annual 1977 p 73) William Barclay sees it as "But the essential point remains whatever the picture here,and it is a point which the New Testament makes and remakes again and again-uselessness invites disaster.If a Christian is not fulfilling his purpose as a Christian, then he is on the way to disaster.We are meant to be the salt of the earth, and if we do not bring to life the purity, the antiseptic power, the radiance that we ought, then we invite disaster."(Barclay. Gospel of Matthew Volume 1. p 117) Very significant here is the use of the Greek word "moros"or "moraino" for loss of saltiness" .the word "moron" suddenly springs to mind as far as our "uselessness" is concerned in counteracting a world which is morally backsliding in leaps and bounds.We are to remain "salty" no matter what.
  20. I was at a Bible Study session a while back and this term "Arminianism" cropped up. At first what sprang up in my mind was a place somewhere near Russia. So like a good student not to appear too ignorant and open my mouth so that people know, I'm ignorant, I kept my mouth shut and went to look it up,This is what I found which might prove useful when comparing the two concepts.I got this from "What is Arminianism, and is it biblical?gotquestions.org2019Web".Hopefully, this might prove helpful to someone else out there and hear as it does for me.However, some might not agree with this assertion. "What is Arminianism, and is it biblical?" Answer: Arminianism is a system of belief that attempts to explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will, especially in relation to salvation. Arminianism is named after Jacobus Arminius (1560—1609), a Dutch theologian. While Calvinism emphasizes the sovereignty of God, Arminianism emphasizes the responsibility of man. If Arminianism is broken down into five points, similar to the five points of Calvinism, these would be the five points: (1) Partial Depravity – humanity is depraved but still able to seek God. We are fallen and tainted by sin but not to the extent that we cannot choose to come to God and accept salvation, with the help of prevenient grace from God. Given such grace, human will is free and has the power to yield to the influence of the Spirit. Note: many Arminians reject partial depravity and hold a view very close to Calvinistic total depravity. (2) Conditional Election – God only “chooses” those whom He knows will choose to believe. No one is predetermined for either heaven or hell. (3) Unlimited Atonement – Jesus died for everyone, even those who are not chosen and will not believe. Jesus’ death was for all of humanity, and anyone can be saved by belief in Him. (4) Resistible Grace – God’s call to be saved can be resisted and/or rejected. We can resist God’s pull toward salvation if we choose to. (5) Conditional Salvation – Christians can lose their salvation if they actively reject the Holy Spirit’s influence in their lives. The maintenance of salvation is required for a Christian to retain it. Note: many Arminians deny "conditional salvation" and instead hold to "eternal security." The only point of Arminianism that four-point Calvinists believe to be biblical is point #3—Unlimited Atonement. First John 2:2 says, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” Second Peter 2:1 tells us that Jesus even bought the false prophets who are doomed: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” Jesus’ salvation is available to anyone and everyone who will believe in Him. Jesus did not just die for those who will be saved. Four-point Calvinism (the official position of Got Questions Ministries) finds the other four points of Arminianism to be unbiblical, to varying degrees. Romans 3:10–18 strongly argues for total depravity. Conditional election, or election based on God’s foreknowledge of human action, underemphasizes God’s sovereignty (Romans 8:28–30). Resistible grace underestimates the power and determination of God. Conditional salvation makes salvation a reward for work rather than a gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8–10). There are problems with both systems, but we see Calvinism as more biblically based than Arminianism. However, both systems fail to adequately explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will—due to the fact that it is impossible for a finite human mind to discern a concept only God can fully understand."
  21. If I could also put in a little shot?In light of the above regarding non-essentials to our salvation ,I am sure Satan is literally laughing all the way to the "Soul Bank" in spite of Christ's confident assurance to the Father in His last hours on this earth regarding all Christians/believers or Disciples whatever "name" one gives us as children of God. "22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me...26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."(N.I.V.John 17 :22-23;26).I wonder if any particular "denomination" is going to mean anything when it comes to judgment time. Especially where the requirements of agape love are not met, regarding love for each other in the broadest Christian sense?
  22. That The Lord resorts to "The Rod" if need be, is in no doubt! See also how nicely the Lord explains to Habakkuk how people push God's warnings to the limit and do not take Him seriously "Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe even if you were told.6.I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous person. who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling-places not their own.7...a law to themselves and promote their own honour. (sic)"(NIV Hab.1;5-6)The Lord did so in those days, to people He loves. Therefore I see no reason why He should not do the same today, to His children who refuse to listen and obey His commandments regardless of the ultimate sacrifice of His only begotten Son. "(Jn 3:16)
  23. The Bible is the Word and Will of God revealed to us as He deems fit. It's the only way to eternal life, no matter what hardships, temptations the world may throw at us. God expects us to learn and grow in His Word as he expected of the Israelites in Deut 8:3 and repeated by Christ in "It is written,' Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'"(KJV.Mt 4:4). Sure there may be some very useful DIY books and ideas out there on how to come out tops, but they normally prove to be nothing but hot air if one's achievements are not to the glory of God, which is what Christianity is all about. Just like a stray deer or buck are easy pickings for a wolf or lion; so the DIY specialist an easy takeaway meal for Satan, I would imagine. Simply because "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."(NIV 1Pet 5:8)
  24. I believe one of the main problems is that people are under the misconception that there is no "Hell" or "eternal death" when the Bible clearly states that there is (Mk 9:47-48). Of course, it is easy to take an objective armchair approach, and judge from a distance with intellectual calipers and judge objectively, and say that someone should not have done so and stuck it out. What if the person who has terminal cancer and cannot deal with the chemo side effects or maybe some other physical defect, blind, cripple, the list just goes on and on. I would consider these to be bonafide reasons from a human perspective. God will be the judge though if one takes a wide view of Rom 14:10-11. The person who believes that he escapes the realities of a particular sin is clearly barking up the wrong tree is he believes that he or she will sleep forever as if they never existed by committing suicide. Those" wages of sin " (Rom 6:23) still have to be faced pertaining to eternal death as read with Mk 9:47-48.One only has to be reminded of Saul's suicide (I Sam 31:4-5) and Judas (Mt 27:5)But bear in mind that under common law in most countries "committing suicide" is no crime. However, "advising" someone or encouraging them to do so, would be in most cases considered to be complicity or accessory to the unlawful intentional act of killing a human being.In which case it would be talking about "murder" on the part of the "adviser"!
  25. Of course, the goal is to accommodate Science where it is in conflict with Genesis 1 and Creationists. Firstly , wishful thinking on how verses should have been written and how they actually are written are two different aspects. Secondly, there is no shred of evidence of any "war" taking place prior to verse 2 anywhere in the Bible, as far as I know.
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