Tag Archives: Theology

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

In our world, there are lots of people who consider themselves the only appropriate people to talk about the Bible, because they have studied at the university of theology and/or philosophy. The clergy with their priests and pastors in a variety of denominations all try to convince those coming into their church, that their church is the only true one.

Though we can find lots of denominations in Christendom, of which there are many where the clergy are not exactly behaving like Christ Jesus instructed. In Why there are so many denominations in Christendom we tried to give a short answer to a question many times posed. What is striking about many denominations in Christianity (or better: in Christendom) is that often not much attention is paid to the biblical texts. It is as if the Bible is only a small faits divers within religion.

The absence or minimisation of biblical content means that by paying more attention to human doctrines, more conflicts have also arisen, leading to splits in groups and thus to the emergence of multiple denominations.

So the question may be asked, why is it that the clergy of these denominations do not resort to the Book of Books, which can indeed give them the best information and teachings?

At the question:

If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?

We think that is the whole problem in Christendom, people leaning upon their own understanding, following more the philosophical and theoretical theologian writings of human beings instead of going by what is written black on white in the Holy Scriptures.

Profile photo for D. Paul Walker D. Paul Walker, An Elder with many years in the faith, writes

Many reject the teaching of the Bible based on their own faulty belief such as that something is impossible when the Bible says there is nothing impossible for God.

According to Theodore Tsistinas

the understanding of the bible is plain to those who read it with the purpose of not challenging it. That’s why the language has been changed from time to time because people wanted their own opinion to be expressed. The entire bible is the history of the people of God from the Jews to the Christians. There is one god spoken of in the bible. Its people and their personal interpretation that has challenge the understanding spoken very clearly in scripture. But then stupid is what stupid does and the mass of humanity would rather listen to the opinions of men rather that the wisdom of God.

Michael Ballai writes

There’s a certain amount of, hopefully, Biblical understanding that a student of the Bible can readily bring to a given text of scripture or how the Bible explains an appropriate worldview. I know stuff after more than three decades that are bedrock to the Bible and I have no intention of putting my personal two cents in on what God says.I revisit passages regularly and seek to consider them afresh each time because I know there is more in there than I have seen previously. People who are lazy simply deprive themselves of the depth of treasure.God is perfectly ok with how an individual preacher chooses to explain something in their own style as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the message.A preacher is called to cut it straight. It lines up with God’s understanding. The reason we do it is to tell it according to the way God sees it. And that is how God wants to sanctify us in getting us to line up our understanding with Him.

Scott Bissell sees one of the difficulties in what we think is a major issue in many churches, namely when they quote half a verse, or as we would add, take just part of a verse and use it out of context. In case people would check more what is taught at their church with was is written in the Bible, more people would grow closer to a unity of Bible-reading people.We may not forget that the attitude to the Bible is of paramount importance.Robert Hoge reacts to this by writing

Scripture is subject to endless interpretation, some of which is purely tendentious. I recently got a comment from someone who was gushing over the Bible as the greatest collection of symbolism in the world, or something to that effect. My own principle when reading and teaching the Bible comes out of a book I read long ago but no longer own:“When the literal meaning makes sense, seek no other meaning.”Not only does this save a lot of effort, it also ensures that we don’t add or take away anything. Rev. 22:18–19 says,“18 I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”For all I’m concerned, these last words of the Bible apply to the whole of the Bible, not just to its last book, Revelation.

That warning may make it very difficult to teachers of the Word of God, preachers and/or pastors, having them to be very careful what they say and how they say it. They always should control if their teaching is in accordance with the teaching of the Bible.For those who read the Scriptures, there is the danger that they got into the trap of their church to which they belong and that they cannot do away of their own indoctrinations or doctrines of their own church. They are so used to think in the same way as their church teaches that it has become very difficult to read the words like they are written in the Bible. For example when there is written in the bible about Jesus “the son of God“, many read “god the son“, which is something totally different from what there is written and from what God said on several occasions when He declared Jesus to be His only begotten beloved son.According Michael Abernathy

most people approach the Scripture with a certain bias. Before they even open their Bible, they have creeds and denominational positions that they force upon a text. On the other hand, most of the preachers I know spend a great deal of time searching the Scripture and praying for God’s enlightenment. Yes, they use their minds to help them understand what God has written. But anyone who says they don’t do that is either lying or deluded.

Profile photo for Matthew HeadyMatthew Heady likes to extend the above question and asks

Does not everyone, including the questioner “lean” on others? Why restrict the question to just preachers and professors?What the biblical teaching refers to is not facts and conclusions which are known to or drawn from the minds of humans. The biblical teaching refers to how a person is actually informed about the Triune God of the Bible.

Here in his answer already gives a big sign of how he himself fell for the human doctrinal teaching, because in the Bible there is no such information on a Trinity, though there is a clear teaching we may have no other gods than the Divine Creator God, Who is a Singular eternal (= having no birth + no death) all-knowing Spirit Being Who is the Almighty God above all gods.Heady continues

There is nothing a sinful human being with a corrupt (and limited) understanding and reason of all things may do. There is not any thought, word, or action, that will allow a person to recognize the Triune God, they may only realize that a god is, but not the Triune God.

People when willing to give their full attention to the Words of the Bible, shall come to see clear and understand that there is no such thing to worship as a three-headed god. There may be many gods in the world but people should only keep to that Only One True God God of gods of the Bible, Jehovah, Who is the God of Israel.

It is this knowledge of God, revealed in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, that is what a person must “lean” on. Not the thought and practices of humans. They will get us nowhere. Our minds come into play after we are gifted by faith in Christ and are then able to properly understand and explain to others Biblical teaching and practices.

writes Matthew Heady.

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Continues with: Should church members question preachers about the doctrine that is not in the Holy Bible?

Preceding

Confrontation by people telling lies to force others to avoid the targetted groups

Daring to speak in multicultural environment

Many opportunities given by God

Christian denominations as pots in the desert

Having to learn and benefit from other Christian denominations

Preaching as Public Speaking

Maybe it is About Me

Hitler and Christianity: Some Trends in Interpretation

++MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS

Additional reading

  1. A world with or without religion
  2. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  5. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  6. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  7. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  8. Protestant denominations of the Low Countries and Abraham Kuyper
  9. Counterfeit Gospels
  10. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
  11. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  12. Denominationalism exists because?
  13. Why the church keeps losing it’s grounds.
  14. Why there are so many denominations in Christendom
  15. Tri-union gods and Pagan, Christian, Muslim and Jewish views on the Creator God
  16. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  17. Literalist and non-literalist views
  18. From Bibles and other religious writings and those who witness for Jehovah
  19. Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws
  20. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  21. Pastoral discipline and dissent from papal teaching
  22. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  23. Good or bad preacher
  24. Many churches
  25. Religion and believers #7 Independent and organised form of existence of a religion
  26. Looking for a biblically sound church
  27. In all circumstances preaching Christ
  28. You Are The Truth
  29. The Most Appropriate teacher and Scoffers in our contemporary age
  30. From those preaching the Gospel and Baptism in Jesus name
  31. A Book to trust #1 Background book for debate
  32. Challenging claim 1 Whose word
  33. Divine revelation mediated by Moshe and other selected people
  34. Vital importance of reading and following the Kitvei Hakodesh
  35. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  36. One of the most important Truths
  37. Bible Inspired Word of God
  38. Everything from the Bible is useful for humans
  39. Importance to read the Bible regularly and gain understanding
  40. Bible exceptional Book of books where nothing can be taken away or added
  41. Bible in the first place #1/3
  42. Where to learn the truth
  43. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  44. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  45. By the closing down of the Association for Biblestudy
  46. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  47. Different wineskins
  48. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  49. The Bible: is it contradictory?
  50. Those willing to tarnish
  51. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  52. Those who call the Christadelphians a cult
  53. Christadelphians or Messianic Christians or Messianic Jews
  54. Jeshuaists, Carrying the name of Christ
  55. About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated
  56. When there is secrecy involved

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WILL RESEARCH SHIPWRECK YOUR FAITH

Related

  1. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  2. What Do We Mean by the Word Christian?
  3. Variations of Christianity
  4. Religious Population Is Growing
  5. The Problem with Christianity
  6. One Body
  7. TRUTH – I believe that God’s greatest disappointment in the Christian Church is our lack of solid unity
  8. Catechesis 101 | Church: Did Jesus intend one Church or many denominations?
  9. Which Church Would Jesus Choose?
  10. A Call for Unity
  11. Unity
  12. This is Church Unity?
  13. Simple Difference
  14. About the different denominations
  15. Division Among Christians
  16. From One Religion To Another
  17. Christian denominations (sects)
  18. Denominations 2 We are divided on the question of authority
  19. Denominations 3 It seems there are some Catholics who feel free to discard the teachings of their Church when they conflict with their lifestyle.
  20. Denominations Part 3.
  21. Denominations part 4
  22. Denomination’s 5..Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  23. The Difference in Denominations
  24. Are Different Denominations Okay?
  25. Do Denominations Divide Us?
  26. Are denominational differences a blot on the church?
  27. Does Denominationalism Blind You to the Truth?
  28. Denominational ABC’s: Advantages, Burdens and Controls (Part One)
  29. Putting Denominational Disagreements in Perspective for the World and the Church
  30. Denominational Dialogue
  31. Denominations Losing Internal Influence
  32. Bethel, the BGC, and the Decline of Denominational Financial Support for Christian Higher Education
  33. We’re All Heretics Now
  34. Roger Olson on Denominations and Christian Unity
  35. Faith/Belief
  36. Is religious faith madness?
  37. Declining Denominational Support for Evangelical Colleges?
  38. Charlottesville and storms
  39. thoughts on the death of the Church
  40. By What Authority? – A Non-Denominational Response
  41. Rethinking Scripture
  42. Please don’t call me a Christian
  43. Why My Family Is Changing Churches (and Denominations)
  44. Are Pastors Lying to You?
  45. There are many Trinities!
  46. Christianity vs. Catholicism
  47. Baptists, Catholics, and the Protestants
  48. Are you a “hypenated-Christian”?
  49. Embrace diversity by embracing tribalism. It’s okay to be different
  50. Being Religious Is Not The Way
  51. Deceived
  52. Can Christians now remain in the Methodist Church?
  53. Why are there so many splits in the Presbyterian Church? Here’s an Explanation
  54. Self Deception Part III – Wolves Among Us
  55. On the Intersection of Differences and Unity in the Body of Christ
  56. Throwing Away The Wrong Thing
  57. Christianize Christianity (6)
  58. Isolation of the Church
  59. My church History (Part 2)
  60. Is There Life After Leaving Church?
  61. If I Were Starting A Denomination From Scratch
  62. Nuanced beliefs
  63. Many Christians Are Known for What They Are Against…Unfortunately
  64. The Holy Struggle
  65. Brand Ambassador or Christ’s Ambassador?
  66. Can I attend an InterVarsity Christian Fellowship instead of a church while at college?
  67. What Does It Mean To Be Non-Denominational?
  68. Am I angry at Christianity?
  69. Letter to a Friend (2o3)
  70. How to Avoid Being a Lazy, Arrogant Christian
  71. After I was lost in sin, I was lost in church…
  72. Experiencing More of the Church
  73. I Am Not A Denomination – Episode #101
  74. Can you find your religious practices in the Bible?
  75. How Many Gods?
  76. Swiss Cheese Theology
  77. Unity (Ephesians 4:1-10)
  78. On belongingSo whose right?
  79. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  80. The American Gospel

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Filed under Questions asked, Religious affairs, Vragen van lezers

5 ways America changed God

In the period of our present time system (Gregorian Calendar), the world has done everything to change God.

The majority of America’s churches teach that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. though when they would look at the person many take as their god and the God of the Bible, you would expect them to see that they are totally different entities. One is an Eternal Allknowing Spirit God, not having birth nor death, and having no flesh, bones or blood, and Who can not be seen by man. The other person they take for god, is called the son of God in the Bible, and was born and seen by many people. That man of flesh, bones and blood also had to learn everything and at the end of his life still did not know a lot of things; He even did not know when he would be coming back or when the Last Days would take place, which would be very important and not to be missed moments for all people.

Lots of Christians and certainly lots of Americans do not seem to see those differences between those two Biblical characters. Considering their country’s near-400-year history, can we honestly say that their concepts and perceptions about God haven’t evolved?

In a column for CNN, Matthew Paul Turner wonders if the contemporary American God is the same as in 1629, when the Puritans began organizing a mass exodus toward their “Promised Land”?

He writes:

Is our modern God the same as in 1801, when Christians at a revival in Kentucky became so filled up with God’s spirit that they got down on all-fours and barked and howled like wild dogs?

More recently, is our God the same as in 2000, when born again Republican George W. Bush won (sort of) the presidential election by rallying America’s then thriving evangelical electorate with a Jesus-tinged GOP rhetoric he called “compassionate conservatism.”

The truth is, no. God is likely not exactly the same as God was yesterday, not here in the United States, not among America’s faithful. Here, God changes.

According Matthew Paul Turner  the American’s making God into their own image isn’t a new trend. He recognises that they’ve been changing God since Anglo Saxons first stepped foot onto these shores of the New World. He gives five examples.

1. The Puritans’delusions, who had the idea that God had chosen them and ordained their prosperity before the foundations of the Earth.
2. God creates evangelicals.
One of the biggest influences of the Great Awakening was how God altered the way he interacted with America’s people.
3. America falls in love with Jesus.
Looking at Baptist and Methodist, congregations which boasted a more laid-back approach to worship and faith as opposed to the stuffy religiosity of Congregational and Anglican gatherings. – The simpler approach to Christianity that Methodists and Baptists offered would eventually be tested by the nation’s debate over slavery, a conflict that divided America’s churches long before it divided a nation.
4. America’s apocalyptic obsession
In the decades after the Civil War, America’s Jesus-focused Christianity led to John Nelson Darby’s apocalyptic-heavy theology, dispensationalism. Among evangelicals, dispensationalism also cultivated a culture of fear, defensiveness and carelessness about helping a “doomed world.”
5. The Billy Graham effect
As the country sought healing after World War II, Americans began searching for hope in the God-smorgasbord that Christianity had laid out, from Bible-believing fundamentalism to Holy Ghost-inspired Pentecostalism, from education-minded Roman Catholicism to progressive-leaning high church spiritualism.

He remarks

Today, most Christians can’t distinguish between God and GOD®, which has made America’s deity into a superpower, an almighty deity that can be mixed with just about anything, from enterprise to politics, from hate campaigns to promises of prosperity.

Here in America, God is constantly changing. It’s a divine story that we edit and manipulate—sometimes innocently and sometimes intentionally—into our own narratives.

Read more of this post

Matthew Paul Turner is the author of “Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity.” The views expressed in this column belong to Turner. 

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Filed under History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

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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