Tag Archives: Evangelism

Scriptures and Thoughts about: Proclaim

Mankato Church of Christ

Old Testament concepts:
To cry out (as the prophets)
To call upon one (often God) for help
To read aloud, or to appoint, or to be summoned

New Testament:
Kerusso – “to be a herald, to officiate as a herald; to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity, and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed; to publish, proclaim openly something which has been done; used of the public proclamation of the Gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles, and other Christian teachers.”
Does everyone have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel?

(Matthew 5:16) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

(Matthew 28:16-20) “But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs

Christians remaining hidden not sharing the gospel

Witness well Net knows that we are not human beings who like to come in the open easily. It says

we have a tendency to remain hidden and not share the gospel. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Some of us want to be so much like God and cast judgement on a person’s receptivity toward the message of salvation that they forget the love message.

Placing a gag over our mouth that keeps us from proclaiming His name rather than allow His Words to overflow from our hearts can be a result of pre-judging the condition of a person’s soil. {How pre-judging others has a serious effect on evangelism}

Talking about a saving relationship with ChristDave Malnes from the website Witness well tells us that we should trust his promises that our righteousness is secure because of his faithfulness – not our own; his obedience and not our own; his trustworthiness and not our own. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

He writes that

Evangelism

Evangelism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

World religions attempt to search within to find true meaning and purpose. The object of their faith is themselves. Biblical Christians trust squarely on Jesus promises as the object of their faith. Peace and joy is not something that is self-generated, but Spirit-filled. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

Jesus-army-bus

Jesus-army-bus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though we do find still  too many Christians counting too much on worldly arrangements and governments. Also a lot of Christians do not know their Bible. Some of them know perhaps several phrases from the New Testament, but do not see the whole picture.

The same about one of the tasks Jesus has given and as such has to be one of the many works of faith we do have to do. We do have to become one in Christ, like Christ is one with his heavenly Father. In case we would think like trinitarians, that would mean they have to become like God and some of them consider themselves to be like Christ, to be God.

The Elohim, who has sent His only begotten son to this world, commissions believers in Christ to sow the seeds of the gospel and to become humble like Jesus humbled himself. By embracing this role, Christians find joy and peace in encouraging and equipping others with the faith in Christ and in Only One true God (the heavenly Father of Jesus).

When we call ourselves Christian we should show others that we are willing to become like Christ and like him have faithfully responded God’s call to sow the seeds of the gospel and trusting God His promise that the harvest may be plentiful.

English: 4 days of Evangelism Training in Sout...

4 days of Evangelism Training in Southern California provided by LivingWaters Ministry. Obeying the great commission of Jesus Christ. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone” Mark 16:15 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Full enjoyment and trust we should bear the Good News in our mind and be of full courage to share the message of encouragement and uplifted spirit of rejoicing being presented to us by the acts of the apostles. Their work must have been an amazing experience, but is not finished yet. We do have to continue the work of the apostles and those first Christians.

Followers of Christ should be giving themselves totally to Jesus, willing to become in Christ Jesus, a part of a bigger picture as partakers of the Body of Christ, being those who have been set apart as God’s children through God’s grace.

It is by grace, God’s undeserved love that makes us Christians. No wonder we can rejoice through any circumstance that comes our way when we can be assured of our status before God, not by what we have done or what we are doing, but what God has already done for us. {An appropriate benediction}

We should be so tankful for Jesus proving to us that man is able to put his own will aside for doing God’s Will, and giving himself for atonement, paying the ransom prize for the sins we did.

For this liberation we can have joy which comes from trusting God’s promises that we will receive liberation from the curse of the Fall and that Jesus restored the relationship between God and man and has received authority to be the mediator between God and man and the judge at the end times, where it is him who shall decide who shall be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

An evangelist fully trusts God’s promises associated with being His messenger. Sharing the message of the gospel is not about us, but proclaiming the power of the message. In Christ, we conquer fear, worry, and guilt. By remaining in Christ, we bear fruits of the Spirit that reflects the light of Christ and introduces His presence to the world. {How evangelism rests on trust and what you possess}

The Bible teaches that God “gave” to certain people the gift of evangelism to build up the church (Eph. 4:11). We marvel and rejoice at these gifts as one who has the gift of music. Most believers like myself do not have the gift of evangelism, but we are not excused from the work of evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5). God commissions all believers to go, teach, and baptize (Matthew 28:19-20). {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

Dave Malnes believes these are twelve things that successful evangelists do:

Love Successful evangelists speak the truth that is prompted by love and concern for the soul.

Joy Evangelists reflect the gospel light in their own lives that attracts unbelievers.

Peace   Evangelists find their identity in Christ that washes away guilt.

Patience Evangelists understands the fruit of patience ripens into persistence by keeping God’s timetable and not our own.

Kindness Evangelists sacrifice acts of kindness and generosity with no strings attached.

Self-control Evangelists resist the need to win the argument and focus on winning the soul.

Goodness Evangelists consistently extend grace to those who are least deserving.

Gentleness Evangelists express humility and give all credit and glory to God.

Pray continually Evangelists give thanks in all circumstances and reflects this pattern in an ongoing prayer life.

Perseverance Evangelists never, never, never give up.

Faithfulness Evangelists rely on God’s faithfulness to renew their own faithfulness by regularly reading, studying, and praying over God’s Word. {Twelve Things Successful Evangelists Do}

We have to set our mind on Christ Jesus and nurture our and others their need for a goal, a focus, instructions, and a hero. When we are afraid to tell others about our faith we do need to conquer our fear with our faith. We also should remember that “Everything God has made is an assignment”. In the knowledge that our future is the seed for the one we chose to honour we should be pleased, showing our joy in the Messiah. Our gratitude should be a seed for more. and we should not be afraid to sow seed wrapped with expectation and faith in the harvest.

When having become a Christian we have come into a covenant with Jesus that gives purpose and then we should follow his rules and given tasks, sowing our seed for a desired harvest.

Oxbow sunset #2

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Preceding

Witnessing because we love

Is being a humanitarian enough to convey the full love of Christ?

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

A Christian has to have eyes and ears and a tongue to use in good ways

Beautiful feet of those who announce the good news

An uncovering book to explore

Preaching by example

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Additional reading

  1. A question to be posed
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  4. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  5. The Right One to follow and to worship
  6. The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods
  7. Glory of only One God Who gives His Word
  8. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  9. Appointed to be read
  10. Focussing on oneness with Jesus like Jesus is one with God
  11. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  12. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  13. Atonement and the race been bought
  14. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  15. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  16. Atonement And Fellowship 3/8
  17. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  18. Atonement And Fellowship 5/8
  19. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  20. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  21. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  22. The manager and Word of God
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  25. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  26. Be an Encourager
  27. Foundation for a good relationship with God
  28. Apple of Gods eye
  29. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham
  30. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  31. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  32. Bearing fruit
  33. Rejoicing in the day
  34. She who sows thistles will reap prickles
  35. You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone
  36. Picking Stones
  37. The Big Conversation
  38. John 4 according to the Scriptures

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Further reading

  1. Simple John
  2. Seeds that you plant
  3. With the Patience of a Saint
  4. 7 Laws to Create Uncommon Success
  5. The Good Gardener
  6. Others before myself
  7. Leviticus 2:8-16: The First-Fruits Offering
  8. A Spiritual Harvest
  9. Sharpen Your Blade!
  10. The Secret to Successful Gardening
  11. Your Mind is the Garden
  12. No Soup For You!
  13. Who is Going to Tell Them?
  14. Dying Field
  15. IF: I listen, can I hear You?

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To find ways of Godly understanding

Chad Graham of Onetheology.com is not affiliated with any religious organization, denomination, or church. He thinks

pastors have a responsibility, just as doctors and mechanics do, to become experts in their field for the benefit of society and the expansion of the kingdom of God. {Pulpit Authority}

In his article Pulpit Authority he looks at our world where people try to find specialists in different fields. For him it seems theology, doctrine, or philosophy are essential parts of a church community. It looks like a church cannot exist for him without such leaders who have gone to colleges where they were trained to become specialists in theology, doctrine, and/or philosophy.

He also gives the impression that people are not able to get authority without such an education. Though he forgets for the Word of God, they should not so much receive their education from man but more from God Himself. It seems that a lot of religious leaders, pastors and priests exclude God Himself from the educational field. Too many forget that it is the Word of God as given to mankind in the Holy Scriptures which can educate and edify man. Real knowledge about the True God can come straight ahead from the Bible itself. We do not need lots of theological works to give us an idea about Whom God is and what He has done. All is written down in the Bible. That Book of books is sufficient enough. though we do agree other books may help further to give more insight or to make the way of understanding shorter.

Also when we have several believers it is best that they do come together at regular times. We may not forget one of the tasks Jesus had given his followers was to come together, to  assemble or to gather with like minded, at regular intervals. The followers of Christ had to become part of the Body of Christ and should find unity in that body (the Church). Organising such a system or community demands work and organisation itself. Wherefore certain people can take charge to organise those meetings and to make the arrangements to keep that community of believers alive. Pastors or elders may well be the persons to do such a thing.

Pastors

Pastors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Church needs pastors and leaders who wield their pulpit with authority. {Pulpit Authority}

writes Chad Graham, who also finds that

We need pastors who see their lack of knowledge and work hard to remedy it. {Pulpit Authority}

For him it looks like everything in the church-community turns around a or the Sunday service.

Next Sunday is right around the corner and congregations will show up to hear their beloved pastor deliver his sermon—with authority. {Pulpit Authority}

He does know that reason is not necessary for, or is even opposed to, faith.

However, this position will be showed to be false and the enterprise of apologetics shown to be biblical and worthwhile through the survey of the theological justification for it. {Is Apologetics Biblical?}

It is not because the Elohim frequently throughout the Old Testament got His prophets use rational arguments and verifiable evidence to justify their beliefs in God, that today we do need people to show up arguments ,by having full proof of they being educated by a college enabling them to reason about those matters.  Those prophets in the past, not all, went to a high school (universities did not exist yet). God also used non-educated people to go out and to throw out the fishnet for man. Jesus his disciples were not all doctors in medicine like Luke, or doctors in philosophy, nor where the apostles or preachers learned scholars like Paul, but were also ordinary labourers, men and women who used their hands to earn their living.

The writer seems to overlook what he himself quotes:

God, speaking through His prophet Isaiah, said,

“’Come now, and let us reason together’” (Isaiah 1:18). {Is Apologetics Biblical?}

Clearly it was the Most High who invited man to reason with Him. Together they had to plan things. Today it is not different. We too, ourselves have to reason with God. We ourselves have to go into conversation with God. We do not need priests any more, other than the high priest Jeshua (Jesus Christ).

The Supreme Being was,

and is, not opposed to reason when it comes to God, the truth, and the Bible. It is even possible that the account in Genesis 1 of creation was written as an apologetic against the mythical creation stories of other cultures in the Near East. {Is Apologetics Biblical?}

As written already in earlier writings, each individual is created in the image of God and has some inner feeling to look for his own being and for that Divine Creator Who made it possible to be, without Him “The I am Who Is the Being” there is no life possible. Chad Graham knows what we all should come to know, that

The stars, oceans, mountains, and planets were not gods nor were they controlled by gods. Rather, the one true God, Yahweh, brought those things, and everything, into existence and continues to sustain them in their existence. This latter element is a testament to the fact that God exists and has a plan and purpose for creation. {Is Apologetics Biblical?}

“The Old Testament does not often dwell on why we need to do apologetics, but rather it simply sets out its apologias for those with eyes to see. {Philip Johnson, Apologetics, Mission, and New Religious Movements: A Holistic Approach. electronic edition (Salt Lake City, UT: Sacred Tribes Academic Press, 2010), 125-26.}

It is handy and best to have some one to encourage people in the community of faith to engage in spiritual warfare and intellectually struggle for religious truth. But it surely do not all have to be people who had a university degree in theology. It is not to have much knowledge about the different gods and about different human theories about those gods and forms of worshipping. We do need people leading a congregation who have sufficient knowledge and belief in and about the Only One True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. Other gods are not really of any importance. Scriptural knowledge must lead in the forefront and not a knowledge about all sorts of human fantasies and human writings around godheads.

From the evidence in the Old and New Testaments, the examples of Jesus and His apostles, and God’s character in wanting Himself to be made known, there is much theological justification for Christian apologetics. Thus, fideism and any other argument against apologetics fall flat. Rather, it is shown to be a duty of the Christian to “contend for the faith” and “give a defense.” And it is also shown to be useful in evangelism since many biblical accounts record people being saved after hearing a reasoned account of the gospel. {Is Apologetics Biblical?}

That reasonable account of the gospel is best given by some one who truly believes and lives according to that faith in the gospel, being the Word of God. We can find many priests and pastors who earn their living by ‘holding church’, but do not really belief in God and some even not in Jesus (the son of God). Also we may find lots of priests and pastors who are as weak as any other man, also elders, who are not able to live up to the faith, Christ and God requires from godly man. The last few years lots of scandals came in the news and many priests, pastors and so called educated theologians became defiled by atrocious things they had done. Church can do without them. Church can better use people who really belief in what they preach and do what they demand from others to do.

In the world of theology we can find lots of different writings bringing words against each other, words for sure which could potentially spark a lot of controversy, but worse, also lots of words which could bring people further away from Biblical truth.

Some theologians do know and

oftentimes think what seminary enrollment would look like if they pose a picture of Dr. King dead on a balcony on their fliers. What if they made a banner of Bonhoeffer hanging from the gallows? What if they Really showed what happened to Paul, Peter, James, and our Lord? What would enrollment look like if they showed us what would happen if we truly allowed our academics to be the impetus for our actions?

They know exactly what would happen.

That’s why our brochures are filled kids playing ping-pong. {The Subversive Scholar: The Danger of Being a Theologian in the 21st Century}

Theology without spirituality is a sterile academic exercise. Lots of countries do have universities offering courses in theology, where more time is spend on human writings about philosophy and theology than on the study of the Holy Scriptures themselves. The spiritual factor is often missed out and mostly the courses are given from the only point of view to be taken, that of the own denomination. As such in Belgium most Christian universities are Roman Catholic and offer theology to form people thinking the Roman Catholic way. In Leuven there is also an opening for protestant thinking, but also there only one way or protestantism is allowed to be the backbone to succeed end of year tests.

Street pastors

Street pastors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is not so much the words of human beings we do have to study, but we should make sure that we come to know what is written in the Bible, God’s infallible Word and take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Elohim commanded to God’s people. If we want to belong to God’s people we should live up to it and love the Adonai, Almighty God and worship Him as our only One God, walking in all His ways, keeping His commandments. It is not required from any person to be a follower of any other man than Christ Jesus. He is the cornerstone of the church and not a theologian or some one who can proof that he has received a degree in theological studies. We have to follow Christ Jesus and to hold fast to his heavenly Father, Jehovah God. We do not have to serve churches of man, but be part of the Body of Christ serving the only One Eternal God with all our heart and with all our soul.

We should remember Joshua who gave the departing ones from Egypt a word of exhortation,

Jos 22:5 RNKJV  But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of YHWH charged you, to love YHWH your Elohim, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

The writer of etsop95.wordpress.com remarks

You will note in this word from Joshua two important ideas. First, the Israelites were to pay attention to the Lord and do exactly what He said. Second, they were to have their motivation (love) properly in place. This is the idea behind what some people disparagingly call “pattern theology.” Those who do so speak about that which the Lord set in place! {The Pattern}

When people do find God and decide to become baptised, receiving a “new birth”, we and theologians may not forget that it is the work of God and not of us, elder or theologians

since one can’t “join” the family of God (a work of man, presumably), it is a work of God when one is “born” into the family of God. {The New Birth (2)}

Portrait of a pastor at the age of 35.

Portrait of a pastor at the age of 35. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Too many people stay in the tradition of their family and keep to the faith-group they were born into, though they may not believe or not practice their views. Real faith should come from own choices being made by adult thinking and wise decision.

It is not the result of parental descent, of one’s own willpower, or by “any of man’s religious creeds, systems, or ceremonies.” The new birth is of God; it is a miracle and only God can perform it. {The New Birth (2)}

It is by allowing the Power of God come into our body that our soul (our being) can be transformed. It is the individual who has to make the right decision and allowing God to work in him or her. Only then a spiritual birth, not a miraculous one, can take place.

Nothing in nature has been suspended for one to be “born again.” {The New Birth (2)}

It is when one hears God, and is prepared to do what He wants form His creation that one can become whitewashed and be baptised by the Spirit. Those receiving the Spirit of God than can take up the tasks Jesus has given his disciples and go out to the world, to others, so that they too may find God and convert to the true faith.

Without the foundation in place the strength of a local congregation is only perceived (imagined), not real. {Strength in the Local Church}

It is not necessary by an education institute that we shall come to the God of gods. All Christians should recognise that it is Jesus is who is the way. The Bible tells us even more, that he is the truth, and he is the life. Not the theologians are going to be able to give us life.

Thus, if anyone would know of truth, if anyone would know the way, if anyone would enjoy life, then one must go through Jesus.{Strength in the Local Church}

Furthermore, Jesus said,

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

We should believe what Jesus says and not so much what theologians say, certainly not when in contradict with what Jesus says. so, when we go to a church where things are preached which contradict Bible sayings we should sincerely reconsider what we want to do and where we want to stay. Do we want to follow human doctrines or Biblical doctrines?

We should look at those theologians and question their thoughts and remember what some students could say about their college

With so many of our finest finishing up at denominational institutions, however, breathing the air of seminaries and schools of theology and salivating at the feet of theologians, we’ve lost our mettle against the idea of theology. {Harding University, twice}

As members of the Body of Christ we never may forget that in the church “educated” men also make mistakes.

There are numerous instances when you have two highly degreed men on the opposite sides of an issue. Some do not have an understanding of the implications of certain “facts” that they read. For example, if someone says

“Scholars believe that Mark was written before the other gospels.”

Would we question that? Is it even important? Some may teach that Mark was written first and have no other implication in mind; however, there is a large group of religious scholars that do not respect the inspiration of the Bible and the dates of the completion of the gospel is one of their places of attack.{Systematic Theology, Rex A. Turner, Sr.}

Too often in theology the focus is not on the subject we as members of the Body of Christ should worry about. It does not matter when and by whom a certain book is written. We do need to know the content and where to look for. The order in which the gospels were written is not the issue per se. What matters most is what is written between the lines and not a Pharisaical theological explanation and historical facts. Historical facts may help to place everything and to see the truth of it, but are not the main issue.

G.C. Berkouwer said:

“We live in a time when even theology is exploding with new and revolutionary problems. There is a danger that the serious student will be so impressed by all the problems in theology that he will circle all certainties by a ring of questions. When this happens, an inverse Pharisaism sets in. The doubting student says:

I thank thee, Lord, that I am not as certain as those naïve people. Let Luther say it again: Spiritus Sactus non est scepticus. Indeed, the Spirit is not a skeptic.” {Bales: certainty is not Pharisaism}

English: Example of appendix from New World Tr...

Example of appendix from New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures, study edition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the ecclesia, our Christian community, house church or church-hall or other church-building, we can come together, meeting with brothers and sisters in Christ, having elders, pastors or priest, non-educated and educated people, all together in humbleness wanting to share the same gospel. In that gathered community, the parish, it is not so much the teaching of a theologian, but the teaching of the Spirit which will unsettle false positions and false attitudes,

but it unsettles them by means of truth and not by means of relativism.  {Bales: certainty is not Pharisaism}

It are all members of the ecclesia who have to work together and to share ideas together, not one thinking the other better or worse to give gospel messages. All should follow the task given by Jesus to explain to the lost who the people of God are and why we have to make the right choice to be distinct from the false religions that exist, including those that call themselves Christians but are not, fail to do their duty of proclaiming the gospel of Christ or the gospel of salvation and of the Kingdom of God.

We do not have to have a special platform or pulpit and especially trained people as the only speakers in our community. All people do have to have their ‘input.’ all have to make an effort to help each other to grow in the faith. All have to help the ecclesia to grow and have to make sure that the Body of Christ can continue to grow.

Lets make work of it!

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Preceding articles:

Living in the Wilderness

Getting out of the dark corners of this world

An uncovering book to explore

May we have doubts

Passover and Liberation Theology

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

In Defense of the truth

Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats

When believing in God’s existence and His son, possessing a divine legislation

Not making yourselves abominable

Where are the female writers

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

What Should I Preach ?

Preaching Christ Is Not Enough

How To Get Started In Sharing Your Faith As a Christian

Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach

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Further reading

  1. The gods or mighty ones
  2. Jehovah God Almighty – greater than all gods
  3. People Seeking for God 6 Strategy
  4. God giving signs and producing wonders
  5. Elohim, Mar-Yah showing His wonders
  6. Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction
  7. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  8. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  9. Church has to grow through witness, not by proselytism
  10. Which Christian sect is the only true Christian church?
  11. Not everyone in the churches of Christ are “ungodly”
  12. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  13. Why think there is a God (4): And the Rest …
  14. The Presence of God
  15. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  16. Bible God’s Word – to edify
  17. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  18. Bible in the first place #3/3
  19. The holy spirit will bring back to your minds all the things told
  20. True God giving His Word for getting wisdom
  21. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  22. Eternal Word that tells everything
  23. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  24. We should use the Bible every day
  25. Feed Your Faith Daily
  26. God’s wrath and sanctification
  27. Bible containing scientific information
  28. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  31. How Many were Bought
  32. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  33. An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible
  34. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows
  35. Van Til’s An Introduction To Systematic Theology
  36. Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology
  37. Christianity without the Trinity
  38. Position of the Bible researcher
  39. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  40. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  41. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  42. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  43. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  44. Some one or something to fear #3 Cases, folks and outing
  45. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  46. Myth 12: The Hyper-Grace Gospel Makes People Lazy
  47. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  48. May the Lord direct your hearts to …
  49. Victory in rebirth
  50. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  51. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  52. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  53. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  54. Meeting – Vergadering
  55. Contribution – Contributie, bijdrage
  56. Faith is a pipeline
  57. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  58. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #17 Sorts of prayers
  59. Being Missional
  60. Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church
  61. Theologians and a promised Spirit to enlighten us
  62. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  63. Politics and power first priority #2
  64. Belonging to or being judged by
  65. Writers needed to preach to non-believers
  66. Good or bad preacher
  67. What Should I Preach ?
  68. Determined To Stick With Truth
  69. Oratory Style
  70. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy

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Continued reading:

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Filed under Educational affairs, Religious affairs, World affairs

Savouring pictorial entertainement

English: Casual photo of Dr. Ted Baehr

Casual photo of Dr. Ted Baehr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher of Movieguide looks at the tolerating self-destructive or socially destructive behavior in our children. According to him it is not a sign of love, but hate, as well as parental neglect. He warns the public also that our narcissistic society is on the brink of stewing in the vile juice of its own self-destructive behaviour.

Consequently, we seem to have forgotten what love entails.

God calls us all to love our neighbour as ourselves, both Jew and Gentile. That divine call entails helping ourselves and our neighbours get over intolerable destructive behaviour, such as violence against the innocent, alcoholic stupors and perverting our children’s innocent hearts and minds by frankly intervening and correcting such behaviour in a manner that brings about significant change or repentance).

He writes, reminding us of Leviticus:

Levitcus 19:17-18 AESV Torah  (17)  “‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbour, and not bear sin because of him.  (18)  “‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbour as yourself. I am Mar-Yah.

Today we should remind ourselves more of this saying, concerning what we bring our children in contact with. What do we allow to come in front of their eyes?

Nothing should lead a young person into viewing something that would lead them down the road to perdition. Young people tell us all the time they’ve been blessed by the guidance of Movieguide®.

Ted Baehr thinks love marks the freedom of the abundant life (as promised by Jesus Christ) with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, knowledge, discernment, prophecy, tongues, interpretation, apostleship, teaching, evangelism, pastoring, leadership, encouragement, faith, healing, miraculous powers, administration, service, giving, and mercy – built on all the fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. But should parents not wonder more what the freedom may entail? The last twenty years we can see too much unguided freedom is given to children. They were allowed to do what they wanted and see what they wanted, but were left on their own. Television has become the modern babysit. It is so easy to set the (little) children in front of the (big) television screen and have it savouring the full entertainment stuff presented by all sorts of channels and entertainment groups.

Baehr reports that in 1985 only 1 percent of the films made by Hollywood contained “positive, redemptive content,” according to Movieguide’s grading scale. But after more than 20 years of conclusive evidence that audiences back their desire for positive, faith-affirming and family-friendly films with box office bucks, now more than 65 percent of the movies made include “positive, redemptive” content and storylines.

In most of the things shown on television or in the cinema it is not clear any more what is good and what is bad. Regular non commitments sex with several people, of the other but also of the same sex is often promoted and violence looks like a game to enjoy. In Aronofsky’s film Noah, good and evil are two very distinct things at first.  Noah’s family — the descendents of Seth — are “good” and Tubal-Cain and his people are “evil.”  Early in the film Noah’s son Ham sees a flower he believes to be pretty and picks it, after which Noah explains that they should only take what they need from the earth, never more.  In this human beings should recognise the lesson the Bible and the film maker want to get across, how we have to treat creation. Tubal-Cain’s tribe, on the other hand, will kill or destroy all creation without care in order to build industrialized cities.

Several conservative Christians may say not such messages are given in the Bible, but than they should read it better, and also between the lines on many places.  While not mentioned in story of Noah in the Bible, Tubal-Cain can be found in Genesis 4:22, as a son of Lamech (a descendant of Cain) “who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools….[his] sister was Naamah.”  It makes sense for Aronofsky to pull Tubal-Cain into his interpretation of this story because while not mentioned in the Bible, rabbinic literature (The Book of Jasher, chapter 5) suggests that Naamah was the wife of Noah (also the name of Noah’s wife in the movie, played by Jennifer Connelly). {“Book of Jasher, Chapter 5.” Sacred Texts. http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/apo/jasher/5.htm (accessed April 11, 2014).}  Critics should be happy to know that a reference to The Book of Jasher (Sefer ha-Yashar) appears in Scripture in Joshua 10:13.

Parents seem to forget how much such television screening can impact the life of their child. A view of this world is given to the viewer, which is not always realistic nor in accordance to Judeo-Christian values. Often there is not given a reflection of how we behave or how weak we are.

Noah sees how women are being dragged into tents, presumably to be raped. He notices also how man has become full of lust and egoism, not taking any interest any more in the other. The same as we can notice today. He realizes how bad the world has become and find it high time to let them know how the Creator is indignant. Noah knows it is a justifiable anger of the Divine Creator, because man itself should recognise how man do dishonour God His creation. Noah also realizes that his family will have to die in an environment where they will form a solitude of lovers of God. Because of his insight into the depraved world he chooses, out of his love for his children, to save his seed for the poor, and he thinks the commission of an infanticide security will be for the better of the child. He let his happy beloved son Ham be trampled by a crowd. As such he knows his child will not be part of those people fighting over food, slaughtering animals in grotesque fashion (it’s like an undercover animal rights investigation), and not having to face all the killing of one another going on. He can imagine himself partaking in all of this.  And this brings us some heavy pictures to swallow. In such dreams we can take an attitude we would like to make possible. As such we also get a warning how we have to cope with our thoughts. For the conservative evangelicals it could also be a warning that we all have to be careful not to play for God. Evangelicals may consider that they are correctly following God’s Word and are handling in (blind) obedience to their God. By taking certain actions and proclaiming certain things they think they know for sure what their God thinks. But we should know that it is more what “they think their gods want them to do” based on interpolation of the sacred text, the people are known for terrible things.

Over-thinking everything he sees Noah realizes in that moment that he is no different than any of these people.  He too, is subject to the duality of man. are we not all guilty of certain dreams where we picture ourselves in ‘happy circumstances’? How many of us may not enjoy some films or television series, placing ourselves in the role of the character of the play? How much do we let our ghost wander? How many of us do not like to enjoy such adventures we can see on the little screen? Dreaming or thinking of such events or activities which are not in accordance to the Will of God, are as bad as doing it or taking part of it. And Noah knows that. He for a moment seems to be enjoying such things as well, but he is confronted by the badness of such thoughts. He, like we, should know how much such thoughts are also part of something God does not like. He tells us that already looking with desiring eyes is already a sin.

Parents confront their children with many pictures they themselves often would desire and would not mind dreaming of. They give food to their children with lots of things which they should know are not in unison with the Will of God.

We do not know exactly what God is thinking, but from His Word we can have some idea. People have been known to do terrible things. They regularly have to be warned when they go astray or when some things are going to go really wrong.

Several people may be excited God and Jesus are back on the big screen. Many mega churches call their followers to go to fill the theatres. For the cinema owners it would be good business, but we wonder if it will be good business for God. One good thing is that once again people can speak about God, commandments, Jesus, how we have to behave and live, how the world has to continue. This are good things. People should be more aware of such issues.

The backers of Son of God are hoping for its own Passion of the Christ moment. The 2004 Mel Gibson film was a huge commercial success, grossing over $600 million, despite mixed reviews from critics and very understandable concerns over the portrayal of Jewish people in the film. Son of God has even made an attempt to remove its own potential controversy from its big screen version. The producers cut out scenes with the Satan or Devil when re-formatting their miniseries for the big screen. That’s because, in part, the actor who played the devil bore (for some) a striking resemblance to the current president.

All events of the small or bigger screen can always be related to the real life. All fiction can be used to learn lessons for the world of facts. We may use it but we should be careful what we do want to come in front of our kids.

Integrated Behavior Tree

Integrated Behavior Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our worldview (including what values we adopt and live by) determines whether you will forgive or seek revenge, be generous or stingy, be courteous or rude, be independent or dependent. People with worldviews build or destroy, rescue or torture, join churches or join gangs. Finally, a society’s prevailing worldview shapes its culture, and, of course, the mass media has a powerful impact on every worldview.

Distracted by the cruel shibboleth of “tolerance,” even judicial systems built on Christian principles are now confused about some very basic values.

For instance, in Germany, a man put an ad in the paper asking if anyone wanted to be killed and cannibalized. Surprisingly, several people answered his ad. He chose one, slaughtered him, and ate him. The court in Germany was hard-pressed to find a reason to convict this villain since both men were “mutually consenting adults.”

What kind of moral idiots and mental midgets are we breeding here? How do these people even get high school diplomas, much less college degrees? There, but for the Grace of God, go we!

This case and many others show how low a culture can sink when it rejects the love of God and the love of its neighbour.

True love refuses to tolerate such evil. True love affirms life. True love gives. True love shares. True love does not delight in evil or sinful behaviour, including extra-marital lust.

Lust, on the other hand, consumes. It takes without permission. Lust is never satisfied.

We have moved from a society of love to a society of lust where we tolerate evil in the name of self-gratification, or in the name of trying not to “offend” another person. This is exactly what’s happening when many of our leaders, including church leaders, are asking us to tolerate rampant gang crime in our inner cities, rampant illegal immigration that flouts the nation’s laws, and rampant prostitution and perverse lust on our public streets.

As a result, our culture faces economic, moral, and spiritual collapse, and God is warning us to turn back from the brink of self-destruction by removing His blessing and allowing the alarms of natural and social disasters to sound to wake us from this nightmare of self-destruction. Sadly, like Pharaoh at the time of Moses, the warning alarms of a series of plagues screaming out “let my people go” may be falling on such hardened hearts and tone deaf ears that our current governing powers will not heed the warnings but will persist in America and Western Civilization’s continued self-destruction.

writes Ted Baehr. {Love vs. Lust: Transforming the Culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ}

“Most people dedicated to a particular faith are likely to find the violence, substance abuse, sexual immorality, and mocking of traditional values in most modern movies offensive,”

said Megan Basham, entertainment editor at Christian news site, World Magazine.

“The rare well-made film that offers the opposite is going to appeal to church-goers of every stripe.”

Christians in the world should know were to go and were to look for. They shall have to make choices and direct their children and their loved ones to get to see the right things and come to understand what is good and what is bad. They have to avoid this descent into the personal hell of an intolerable evil and lustful narcissism that destroys body, mind, soul, and spirit. As Baehr rightly says,

those who still love their neighbour must take a stand.

That stand according to him includes:

  • Praying for an awakening, for the gifts of a fear of judgement and knowledge of the love of God, as manifested in the free gift of new life offered by God Himself, Jesus Christ, the prophesied messiah for both Jews and Gentiles.
  • Reclaiming the role of the church and the family, not the state, in the rule of all matters of faith and values, including godly education and marriage.
  • Exposing the fruitless works of darkness and excommunicating those in the church who pretend to be faithful while espousing a politics of “I don’t care what you do” tolerance instead of love. Because they are leading others astray, these callous pretenders need to be reprimanded by a new 95 theses nailed on their doors declaring them unfit for preaching, teaching, discipling, or fellowship.
  • Excommunicating those in the church and government who tolerate evil. If they persist, legal action must be brought against them in the church and against government leaders in the courts for violating the inalienable rights of people, for distorting God’s Truth, and for violating the Constitution of the United States of America. We need to stand for God’s Law in the face of the abuse of power to inflict harm by those in civil authority, who know no restraints. Doing anything less is a form of secular, if not demonic, tyranny.

The writer of the article believes vast majority of people have faith and values. Now, they need to exercise love by refusing to tolerate the evils destroying our culture and jeopardizing the future of our children and grandchildren.

Model Behavior

Model Behavior (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moviegoings writes in Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?

Our fallen human nature and brokenness as believers isn’t always manifested in ways as dramatic and overtly evil as the Church turning over a group of innocents for murder and enslavement. Sometimes it looks more like the recent imbroglio over World Vision International, for example, or like producing and praising a “Christian” movie that “takes every available chance to unfortunately stereotype, almost to the point of offensiveness, every people group represented.” Whatever the situation, however grave or seemingly trivial, these are failures of Christian community and Christian love. And when it comes to the mainline evangelical approach to movies, there is also a chronic failure of Christian imagination, impoverished by sanctimony without discernment, and atrophied from lack of use.

Fans of God’s Not Dead might regard the negative reviews on the film as further affirmation of secular hostility towards “the truth,” rather than an informed assessment of the movie’s ham-fisted lack of artistry.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, at least to me, is that this film’s audience is so insular and out-of-touch that they regard a product that is avowedly preaching exclusively to the choir as a valid evangelistic tool.

writes Jared in Why Can’t We Have Nice Things?.

At Movieguide® they are convinced that very strong redemptive content in movies does much better than very strong negative content. We also at From Guestwriters are convinced that we do need much more articles in the world showing the good things and the better ways to live. We also do find we do have to concentrate much more on the old commandment – to love one another, and to show our preparedness to do that in honesty.

God wants us to make our culture more free and more civilized. He wants us to be the light of the world. He wants us to teach our children to love Him because He loves them so much.

So, then, how should we live?

Go into all the world with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ and do not be afraid. For, we are heirs to God’s His kingdom, and we come with faith, with freedom, with thanksgiving, and with the power, love, and joy of the Lord, not the lusts of our sinful nature.

What can we possibly give our children and grandchildren that is more valuable than that, than a culture which honours Jesus Christ and His Gospel of True Love? Nothing!

ends Ted Baehr in his article: Love vs. Lust: Transforming the Culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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  • All Things Truly Wicked Start from Innocence, or “Hey Everyone, I Watched Aronofsky’s NOAH!” (beatlands.com)
    Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite filmmakers, as he is just so excellent at capturing the human condition.  He is a master of creating complex characters whose private demons will elicit all sorts of feels in the audience and probably shatter your soul a little bit.  NOAH, while not Aronofsky’s finest work (I reserve that spot for Requiem For A Dream) and not necessarily soul-shattering, takes the Biblical deluge myth and makes it relevant to a world in which nature is being threatened by industry—our world.
  • Noah: A dissection. (faithandfrustration.wordpress.com)
    How far would you go for God? How sure would you have to be that he was speaking to you? That it wasn’t just some delusion? What is our responsibility as Christians towards the planet? How important are the choices we make?Those are just a few of the questions that Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah asks. And they are all very, very good questions. This review is going to be full of spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, please go see it first. Do be warned, however – it is a dark movie, and quite disturbing at times. You know, kind of like the actual story of Noah.
    +
    I’m a Christian, and I value the story of Noah. I don’t think it’s literal, but it’s probably based on some very important historical facts. However, this movie is NOT a Christian movie. It’s a Jewish movie. It’s heavily inspired by Jewish Midrash – this is a certain style of reading the Hebrew Scriptures. Essentially (and I might be getting this wrong), midrash is reading the scripture and then interpreting it several different ways, and letting the interpretations sit. It’s not about finding the ‘right’ way to interpret a scripture, but about providing possibilities. Noah is definitely in this vein.
  • “Is this the end of everything?” Noah – review. (josaustin91.wordpress.com)
    Being one of many controversial and outrage-inducing elements to irritate church circles and flood the internet (no pun intended) are the film’s supposed biblical inaccuracies and distortions of ‘God’s word’.It seems Hollywood can’t please everyone, as many Christians and others believe that God existed before this beginning, and have also voiced  their unhappiness with the film’s depiction of Noah as a ‘psychopathic killer.’But with atheist director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan) on record as saying that Noah is “the least biblical biblical film ever made” and producers Paramount explaining that the film is “inspired by the story of Noah”, this inevitable religious backlash is something non-believers need not worry about.
  • Noah, the Movie (biblescienceguy.wordpress.com)
    Noah’s Flood is the pivotal geological event of all time because it utterly transformed the globe. Mountains, ravines, ocean basins, and continents probably all date from the time of the Flood—they were either formed by or drastically altered by the Flood. Most fossils were probably deposited by the Flood.The Apostle Peter declared the Flood destroyed the world (2 Peter 3:6). The Flood caused geological damage to the earth that defies imagination. Turbulent Flood waters caused massive erosion worldwide. Churning sediments were hydraulically sorted and settled in layers, solidifying during the following decades. Geological adjustments continued for centuries after the Flood. The oceanic, atmospheric, and geologic upheavals of Noah’s Flood exceed man’s capacity to comprehend.
  • Movie Review: Noah (infobarrel.com)
    The story is not quite true to the Biblical story, as read in one Bible. Even without considering the similarities to a story in the even older Epic of Gilgamesh,[2] there is a tendency for some to take the entire Bible as gospel (sic) truth, rather than as a parable, even when logic shows that the literal meaning does not work – Noah was building an Ark, not a Tardis, and that many animals for that length of time would have built up a lot of waste. The film does come up with a solution for some of these problems, through the knowledge of herbalism of Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), Noah’s wife.
  • ‘Noah’ Movie review: As promised, it’s not a Biblical movie, but worse – it’s not a good movie (theglobaldispatch.com)
    Director Darren Aronofsky promised his film Noah would not be a “very religious story” and he certainly didn’t disappoint in that regards. Later Aronofsky attempted to clarify his statements, attempting not to alienate Evangelical viewers, saying “I think people who are believers will see the ideas and the values that they’re looking for represented in the film…” – more on that Here.
  • Movie Review: Noah (reellifewithjane.com)
    I admit I’m not up on my Bible studies as much as I should be, but despite the contrasts between the story told in the Bible and director Darren Aronofsky’s film, I still really liked this movie. I went into it determined to view the movie on its own merit, and in that way, it delivers as an entertaining, well-cast, well-written movie with great special effects.
  • Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: Noah: A Midrash by Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel (Interview) (huffingtonpost.com)
    When Darren Aronofsky was 13, he wrote a poem inspired by the biblical story of Noah that won an award from the United Nations and was part of a lifelong quest to bring the story to the big screen. After 10 years of trying to develop the project in Hollywood, Darren Aronofsky and co-writer and producer Ari Handel will introduce their interpretation of Noah to the world this Friday when the movie opens across the country.Not surprisingly, there has been controversy around Noah that has featured the Sunday School crowd loudly declaring that they will refuse to see the film because it does not simply tell the story in the Bible. That is, of course, ridiculous. First of all, the Bible is never simple, and any depiction of it that doesn’t acknowledge that complexity is doing the Bible a disservice.I’ve seen Noah, and it is epic, mythic and wrestles with questions of God, creation and the role of humans within it — in other words, it is biblical.That said, the apocalyptic story of Noah that Handel and Aronofsky have rendered will disturb some people — not because it is unbiblical, but because it is a biblical vision to which they object.
  • Dear America: A Response to Our Mass Violence Du Jour (anapperscompanion.com)
    In a month or two, someone will lash out, killing or injuring another dozen or two, and we’ll do what we always do: scratch our heads, look for behaviors foretelling violence, and ask what can be done to prevent such a horror from happening again.
  • Why Are We Spiteful, Even Though It Bites Us Back? (wnyc.org)
    Why do people willingly inconvenience or even harm themselves in order harm others? And why are some of us more spiteful than others? Being aggressive and lacking empathy might have a lot to do with it, researchers say.”Spite can become very destructive,” says David Marcus, a psychologist at Washington State University and the lead author of a study published in the journal Psychological Assessment.
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