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Recently there was a small dust-up between John MacArthur, California pastor and Beth Moore, a famous Bible teacher. It revived an age old complaint about women in authority in the church based on a passage which has been for centuries completely misinterpreted.
Thirty years ago there was an awful fuss about women serving in the Church in some official capacity as though they should be limited to the Cs – cooking, choir and children.
The advantage of having years of looking back is that one can see patterns and I see no difference between then and now. Many men do little to move the Kingdom forward and the presence of some women ministers is of meager value as well. Then there are women doing mighty works for God and some men too. In other words, the leadership of the church of God wherever it exists takes on the coloring of its membership. If the congregation is OK with theological basics, fine. If they want something more, they will get that.
The chief argument against women is Paul’s famous requirement that women not speak.
1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.
But he adds something that makes this statement sheer sarcasm. He says, “as says the law.”
There is no mention in the Law of God forbidding women in ministry
Check it out folks; the law of God says nothing of the kind. The command comes from Jewish legal writings known as Mishnah and Gemara which have no bearing on Christian belief or practice, any more than their food laws do. The Law Of God is simply the 1st five books of Moses – Period. The rest is prophets, history, Psalms and worship material and common sense writings. All are God’s word; none is to be thrown out. But neither is anything to be thrown in.
Lesbian women are not to preach and teach, but neither are gay men! The Bible is clear on that. Sin must be dealt with before anyone takes leadership over God’s people.
Paul more than any other writer says nothing under the Jewish legal system has any effect on people under grace – that is we, Christians. He is throwing old Jewish law back at the readers to tell them what path they are on. Paul wrote an entire book, Galatians, scolding them for living under Jewish rules.
So here is what we find. There are many believers who are very comfortable living under the old law. Whole denominations live under the law, as Christians, with little freedom to move forward for the Kingdom. Please remember. That is their choice and Free Will is always the program of God. He will not countermand your desire to live wherever you faith system is comfortable.
My friend Wanda, a missionary to Belize, did all the preaching, teaching and counseling and her husband did all the cooking, an arrangement which brought hundreds into the Kingdom and the natives were happy. You know that kind of arrangement would not fly in many parts of the USA.
There are penalties for living in less than God wants but that is between you and Him. God is used to this law-business.
Numbers 14:4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”
When the going gets tough trying to obey God, there is always a group headed back into trouble, sin and death. When we stay fixed in our theology or position, how can we move on? And many individuals, denominations and congregations do not.
Denominational life has its focus on buildings, money, jockeying for position, and satisfaction in what they have. Opening up the ministry to women forces them to change, to widen their tents, and look at the world the way God does. God still speaks to His people within the confines they have set up for Him. He uses everyone and everything if He can. And if He can’t, then He finds other people to do the work.
The decision is not what others want, but what God wants for you. Choosing God’s will for your life leads to an overwhelming confidence. Confidence comes from two root words – con meaning with and fideo, a Latin word meaning faith. If you are with God in His will your confidence will empower you and frighten others. But not to worry, let God handle that.
Beth is right about one thing in particular. God calls individuals to the work He has for them as individuals. It is not the job of human beings to decide or control that. All of us answer to God for the level and sincerity of our obedience. And that includes me as well.
#BethMoore #JohnMacArthur #womenteach
We have evangelists 6′ deep on TV getting people saved and revved up. We have music ministries, choirs, and concerts coast to coast. We have pastors working with wounded people and guiding the flock. We have teachers at every level. So how come the church is standing still – noisy, active but not moving forward? I see people focused on the 2nd Coming of Christ which could be 50 years in the future. Today is the day of the Lord.
On these posts I often speak of what is wrong with the church. So far I don’t think I am in the least bit wrong. There is too much attention to the anti-Christ, the rapture, the foibles and flaws of the ministers, complaints about how much money men make (but if nothing is coming in you’ll notice the church folds); there is competition for office, power, place, position and ministry, none of that being appropriate or Biblical I might add. 20 years ago a church in England each week was sold for an Islamic Mosque!
The painting could be today
Vincent Van Gogh, a very serious Christian, painted this picture of a rather unappealing church, dark and obscure. Two paths walk around the church; the paths are clear and well worn. But there is no entry way into the church! That was the 18th century.
Today it is exactly the opposite. The church doors are wide open, people enter in great numbers and often have no idea why they are there. Doctrine is not taught, or if taught, not followed. Consequently the internet can tell many thousands of lies about God, faith, life and death and hardly a murmur is heard because no one is following up on the “converts.” Churches are social places and ministers have secure pensions. This means half of the gospel is missing.
A perishing church
I see the church is perishing despite all this busyness. The scriptures say flatly, we perish for two reasons (1) lack of knowledge and (2) No Vision.
Where there is no vision, the people perish:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
In Handel’s Messiah we sing this or hear it sung every Christmas;
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
One shoulder. Why? A pair of oxen carry the load on the shoulders of a team. To rule you need two shoulders.
The reason it is only one shoulder in the Old Testament is that the people of God is not complete. God wants the Gentiles in place as well. Then the New Testament Church will carry the government with Lord Yeshua (Jesus) when we all “rule and reign with Christ.” Oxen are the sacrificial beasts and therefore a symbol of leadership.
The Church is not complete until all are in
The church is called “the church in the wilderness” (Acts 7:38) in the Old Testament. God’s rulers in the Old Testament are Jews, a special chosen people. Christians are not in a wilderness; they are in the wider world from every nation, tribe, clan, and language. They have earned the right to rule by their faith in Yeshua and their obedience to Him when they lived on earth. “Ruling and reigning” is not afforded to the disobedient.
This “church” will include Jews now called Messianic Jews and Muslims who are joining their belief in the Lordship of Jesus (Yeshua) in large numbers in the 21st century. These three sons of Abraham by either genetics and/or faith constitute the church. (See Asher Intrater’s book Alignment.)
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
This is not about heaven, but a restored earth
We reign with Him 1,000 years, not in heaven which has nothing to rule over, but here on a restored earth. Consequently we can now speak of two shoulders at that future time.
Why is this an important point? It seems to be too small to notice… because, the Bible is specific, detailed and without error when properly understood.
Some words are misunderstood; others are not in use any more. But when we did deep into God’s word He becomes interested in us and reaches us with greater understanding from His word. That includes you. God is in the details.
#MessianicJews #MuslimChristians #RestoredEarth
Many of these posts are responses to questions, so I invite them here. Immaculateassumptions@gmail.com.
We have translation services here #Chinese #French #Spanish #German #Mandarin #Vietnamese
What about the People who never hear the Gospel? That is a common question religious teachers hear. Most of the time I believe we hear the wrong answer.
Different Levels of Faith
God’s playing field is made level by Him asking us to live at the level of faith given to us. And it is different for everyone.
Romans 12:3 CEV I realize how kind God has been to me, and so I tell each of you not to think you are better than you really are. Use good sense and measure yourself by the amount of faith that God has given you.
Yes, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That is a given for the sweep of humanity. But we are not judged on every point – only on those we learn about. It means that the woman living in a harem somewhere in Egypt, protected and kept from the world and information is a person judged by an entirely different standard than the college student in New York City, or the farm worker in Yemen.
Not everything God ever said applies to you and your life. He made new eyeballs for the blind man, but not for the rich man. He required a statement of faith from the Syrophoenician woman but not from the centurion. Lazarus he raised from the dead, but not the rest of the dead at that time. Jesus has different strokes for different folks.
Obedience is the Standard
Obedience to the revealed will of God is the standard by which each of us is ultimately judged. How can He do this? God is not unfair. If you have little information and little faith that is what you are expected to utilize in your search for God. To whom more is given, more is expected.
Luke 12:48 TLB “But anyone who is not aware that he is doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater.
Some guy on radio said that God does not put people in categories, so I, being challenged, went to the Bible.
God has a large group of categories.
|little children||virgins with oil|
|fathers||virgins without oil|
|willfully ignorant||royal priesthood|
|beloved||crucified with Christ|
|mother in Israel||reconcilers|
Why do we need to know this?
God has called us to grow. Paul said we are to move from glory to glory. (2 Corinthians 3:18) There is no static position for the Christian, or for that matter the non-Christian as well. Life is a test, and where we go after we die, and how we exist now depends entirely on the progress we make in this life towards understanding ourselves and our relationship to God.
For example, the book of 1st John speaks of little children, young men and fathers. These are three groups of warriors … those who have been called to fight the good fight against their own sinful nature and then as missionaries of the Kingdom taking on the devil and ever present evil in the world. It does not necessarily apply to you right now – although that may be your later call.
Christianity is not passive.
Christianity is proactive and risk-taking. There is no prolonged languishing in church to sit, soak and sour while the preacher does all your spiritual work for you. No wonder ministers break down. 1,500 leave the ministry every week. http://www.pastoralcareinc.com/statistics
Good mental health requires you to change as time and circumstance change. The rigid and stubborn die first.
#Christianpsychology #Christiangrowth #Godsays #Life is a test
Read more essays at https://www.WouldYouConsider.net
God never wants us to take sides when personalities are involved. Our decisions, personal and corporate, should reflect either respect for the law or His grace, never defiance of either. His will, not the will of people or their politicians is the basis for good decisions, and when followed results in good laws and societies. From God’s view, the problem of immigrants has been mishandled not just for 2 weeks, but decades.
How did we mess up so badly? First, we’ve been lazy and disinterested. God expects a free people to vote for leaders who will represent the best management practices that please God whether they are Christians or not.
God expects us also to be watchful over our leaders and pray for them. That means we should pray for them, not curse or pray they get some courage and do the right thing – nor leave office! Or curse them and their families in restaurants or on twitter, which applies to both sides of the aisle.
Second, God does not honor lawlessness, and neither should the government or any political group. The word illegal means just that. There are only 2 valid reasons for anyone to enter the USA – legal entry or political asylum. The former is hard and takes time. The latter is easy to establish; my friend Karen and her mother and brother worked in the underground in their Latin American nation and all three have a contract on their lives for 20 years – yes even today. They had a provable case and entered quickly. Every one else without a provable case is a lawbreaker.
The Old Testament urges us to accept refugees, but they must, must obey the law of the land. They do not need to be Jewish. Even today in Israel Christians are treated well and live happily but they are not allowed to proselytize, just honor the laws of the land.
3rd, to encourage lawbreaking makes you a lawbreaker too. In the last verse of Romans 1, the person who encourages another to sin is considered the bottom of God’s barrel. You are free to pray for them and help them with legal entry, or with asylum if they qualify. But any encouragement of lawlessness falls on you too. Politicians who encourage illegals for personal profit have a double burden of guilt and shame.
4th, any toleration of lawlessness degrades America. Why should newcomers be led to believe that they can disobey the law with impunity? How can your own American children take us seriously if we allow, encourage, even finance illegal behavior? We can’t expect them to be honest when we have demonstrated that we are dishonest.
5th, no one is ever helped in life by believing that if they cry hard enough they will get their own way. Cursing people who disagree with you and slandering them is not American, and the constant barrage of evil speaking needs to get to the Supreme Court. I am personally sick of news media lying to me and then changing the subject when they are caught. The nation needs to turn the channel on them from sea to shining sea. And when a Grade B actor slams the president no one should repeat it – it’s only free publicity for a coming movie. Then he gets a separate headline for an “apology.”
Finally, foreign governments learned that there are plenty of greedy politicians who will accept all manner of expensive criminals and disease carrying people if it can line their pockets. Legal immigration monitors such problems. I am happy to have people come here, but not felons foreign nations dump on us. DACA dreamers account for 59,000 separate crimes in the USA..
When Nehemiah received permission from King Cyrus to rebuild broken down Jerusalem the first thing he did was build a wall. The walls are salvation; the gates are praise. The church can raise them both.
The reason the Holy Bible has over 32,000 verses is that God has a lot to say to seven billion humans about individuals, nations, animals, angels, Himself and the future.
Why doesn’t god stop all the evil
First, He has one rule for the human race – free will. If we don’t get that, we won’t get the rest. The most common question people ask is, why did God let this horrible thing happen? God does not have His thumb on the scale involving events or the actions of individuals or nations. You do what you do because He has allowed you to do it. If you perpetrate evil against someone or something He is not involved. That is your choice. He does interfere in response to prayer however.
If you generate good you are also rewarded. This applies to the very smallest of tasks. The diligent student in the projects will succeed; sociologists know this and they look for these students. Dr. Ben Carson, the world’s expert on pediatric brain surgery, was raised by a single mother who could not read. But she checked his homework every day to see it was done. Pretty good actress too I gather.
Life’s goal is you and God on the same page
However, God does seek for you a new relationship to Him. Out of new, obedient relationships come national change, personal success, stronger laws, better armies, and creative new inventions and art. While God does not pass laws against child abuse or create agencies to supervise, you can. While he cannot stop the drunk driver from getting behind the wheel, a person who is tuned into God can seek His will about whether to get into the car.
Nations also need God
This same rule applies to nations. The world system is based on improvement, in spite of appearances, which brings about a superior life for nations and individuals. The quality of life in the past 50 years has improved across the planet. So even ethnic groups who were desperately poor many years ago are merely poor now. We tend to see a small piece of the reality pie. It is also true that there are more men than women worldwide. Another fact few people realize.
We marvel that Jews are far and away the largest group of Nobel Prize winners, but why not? These are His people selected 3,000 years ago. Where there is active disobedience to God and His will you have poverty, war, chaos and abuse of women and children. Think Islam.
Sow-Reap applies to men and nations
The 2nd law of the universe is the law of sowing and reaping. Nations sow, nations reap. Individuals sow, individuals reap. And if your parent sows bad seed, you reap part of that crop too. But you have no requirement to follow the patterns of bad families; you can always follow good. A bad Congress sows bad laws; the people reap problems. This rule applies to all men at all times.
Change is the Universal Rule
Finally is the Law of Change; change is not an option; it is a given. God said, “I am the Lord I change not.” If you as a person want to come into God’s presence, you do the changing.
First you must charge your mind. The Biblical word is repentance, metanoia meaning change your mind. Young people today say they want to change the world. But first you must change yourself or be willing to let God change you.
Don’t bother trying to change other people. It is a waste of time. Much foolish politics is the demand that someone else change. You can march. you can protest but change is not what others are doing to do. If you want to change the world, change yourself first.
Those who cannot change turn into stone.
If you can’t change you can’t adapt or grow. You become hard and unusable. To be usable you must also be teachable. Make a decision to learn and grow every day so when your face the end of your life, you have learned to live profitably and happy. Then you will also live longer.
Unhappy, rigid people can only die. It is all they have left.
#mandarin #chinese #allemand #espagnol #cantonese #francais
Modern translations offer many better explanations over the King James. For example, this little known Proverb: 19:2
For forty years now TV evangelists remind us how much God loves us, so much that millions of listeners have come to believe in universal salvation – that God loves everyone so much no one goes to hell. Some even believe there is no hell.
First, God loves what He created – individuals. Like the potter who uses the medium of dirt (think of Adam here) to make a vessel. Some vessels hold water, some oil and others are simply for decoration. The use of the pot does not give it any status.
Vessels don’t compete with each other for rank. At the same time, the Potter can throw the clay back into the mix if there is a problem. He has to remove as much air as possible or the vessel will be flawed. I know a lot of vessels with too much air in them.
Because we are His workmanship God loves us even when we choose to ruin our lives. His role as creator is not changed by your role as a vessel. Human beings are given the opportunity, called grace, to live forever in His presence. We can reject that gift. And if we do, God’s love continues, because it is Holy.
God loves us even when we choose hell. Perhaps it is hard to believe that; how can God still love us when we are there? Because love is not dependent on what you do or what you choose.
He gave you the chance to choose right and you choose something else,. He is not changed by your decision – saddened yes, changed no. In much the same way a woman who is cast off by her husband still loves him even though he goes after another woman. Her love has not changed. His, most likely, never was love for her at all.
But that is because Human Love does not have its root in holiness, at least not until we have a infusion of God’s Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 “because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
God’s love in us allows us to love others in a new way. Without this there is no explanation for missionaries who endure all kinds if deprivation in order to leave the comforts of home for often dangerous, hostile areas of the world. This love is sacrificial, so God is willing to allow you to reject Him. Either He sacrifices himself on a cross to bring you into His kingdom, or he allows you to leave His kingdom for your own devices. It is a sacrifice either way.
And because humans do not know how to do this, they also cannot imagine God would allow anyone to stay in Hell. Right now some reader is thinking, but doesn’t God send some to heaven and others to hell? Some people teach that?
No, God sent us to earth to live our lives in decision – we decide whether God is central to our lives or Self. I love the early scene in Ghost, the movie. A street gang member kills a man and several black robed demons take the killer off to Hell. It could not be more plain. I bet some Hollywood type out there saw that in a dream. All life is eternal, only where you spend it is your choice.
Human love is bound up in time; God’s love is eternal. We are here for the long haul, not just a few short 75 years, or 80 or more. We have a time-date stamp.
Too many in every generation are satisfied with feeling saved, but inadequate to explain why they are believing in God and his word or able to mature because their faith in not grounded. See this guest post.
It’s true. We do live forever, and that is why what we choose to believe
“Did you know that nearly 9,000 people fell to the ground together in 2007 to make snow angels in North Dakota? Did you know that I’ve started a collection of door knockers to hang by our staircase? Did you know that some tarantulas are cobalt blue? WE ALL HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN.”
This month I am post
This month I am posting guest blogs. There is nothing spiritual in this post. She has 25 million followers but this is all about the natural man. If we live in the emotions or the natural mind, we cannot make the cross over to reality. The message is not wrong – it just does not meet a minimum standard for anything beyond the natural. God is not there, nor will He be found there.
This article condemns the possible election of a woman to head the large Southern Baptist Convention. We know that when sex is what motivates decisions we are on carnal grounds. According to the Bible, when natural man forms the basis for God’s people it is not God’s will. Here is the passage:
PHILLIPS For now that you have faith in Christ you are all sons of God. All of you who were baptised “into” Christ have put on the family likeness of Christ. Gone is the distinction between Jew and Greek, slave and free man, male and female—you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, you are true descendants of Abraham, you are true heirs of his promise. (Gal 3:28)
Being IN Christ means that He alone makes decisions about who is leading and what his people are doing. It is not based on gender differences in education, race or language. This is how the New Testament Church was run and where we need to return.
According to our Declaration of Independence, our rights are not from the government but from God. This is a reminder that Civics is no longer taught in American schools. But the man’s other conclusions are correct, that God gives blessings, not privilege.
There is also another factor – many white people live from paycheck to paycheck just like many minorities. So white privilege is a political position, not theological.
Pew and Barna Research groups keep up a continuous study of religious actions and beliefs in the USA. Their data show that 40% of those under 30 identify as having no religious affiliation; Roman Catholic attendance is down to 21% and Protestant to 15%. This puts church attending believers as a minority in America.
There are two main groups now, “nones” and “somes.” The Nones do not affiliate with any religious tradition, simply calling themselves Christian or atheist etc. “Somes” on the other hand will take part in an occasional religious service or event. Both of these groups do subscribe to a moral tradition.
Who are the “nones”
But so does most everyone else. The Buddhist Chinese mother teaches her tots the same things as an American Christian mother; share your toys, don’t beat up your playmates, be on time, say please and thank you, learn to respect authority, be honest with yourself and others, hard work pays off, etc. These are behavior-based ethical principles. That’s not all that hard! And because they aren’t hard they are easily ignored. It might be called Christian socialism.
Pew also identified “feral” Christians, those who subscribe to moral Christian values but no doctrines which reflects many other go-along, get-along people who behave without asking too many questions about why they do what they do.
If Facebook is to be believed, many semi-believers look at people and think that is what church is and that their moral strictures are personally directed against individuals. But the Church stands against evil not people. The church has nothing against Islamic people, but those who strap bombs on small children deserve all the condemnation one can heap.
No church should have a problem with black or brown individuals, but when they riot and vandalize stores, they deserve to be called criminals and sinners as well.
Christians have a responsibility to define sins
When groups of people make evil the core of their lives and doctrines, then the church has both the right and the responsibility to call them out. God saves individuals, not groups. No one goes to hell because he was born with any color skin; no one goes to heaven because he is a member of a particular religion.
These are natural and cultural realities. God is spirit and must be worshiped in spirit and in truth. Racism comes from the fallen inner nature of mankind not related to the spirit of either man or God.
Christianity is transformation
But, now here is the rub; true Christianity is not about behavior or externals, but an internal transformation of the person, inside out. And that is hard. To recognize one’s failure to meet one’s own standards, or those of society, much less religion eventually weighs heavily.
According to the Bible no one gets to heaven being good, or “meaning well.” But then again many do not think life after death is a big deal. Indifference is just as big a killer as unbelief.
It is true that if churches taught what the Bible actually says, many people would no longer go. The US Congress has toyed with the idea of making church donations no longer tax deductible which would certainly separate sheep from goats quickly enough. It would cleanse the church of those who think they are getting their ticket punched for the afterlife.
The Bible said that before the second coming of the Lord, the angels would gather the wheat into a storehouse and the tares, intended to be burned, in another barn. Maybe that is what is happening here. We are being separated for the judgment.
Simple answer: Of course. Longer answer. Heaven is a perfect environment for God’s people. It is some kind of treacherous lie that we are stuck playing harps. Even at best, David played a guitar and that might be the instrument of choice. Flying round on clouds makes a good cartoon but it hardly does justice to the nature of human beings. When we are saved, our sin nature is over ridden by the holiness of God which is our life’s goal, but after death, all those conflicts are eliminated and people can flourish as individuals. Do you want to take trumpet lessons? Violin? Maybe you want to walk on the bottom of the sea? Try to think outside the confining box of the earth. Your imagination can run wild.
A woman on the 700 Club “died” and went to heaven; the doctors pulled her back. While there she saw Johnny Cash and June Cash singing away….just as you would expect them to do esp. since this woman lived in Nashville, Tennessee.
In fact, a surprising number of people have been to heaven (and also hell) and back. Their testimonies are very much alike. You can find good (and foolish) testimonies on YouTube and on the internet. But you know how to judge false from true – look at what the Bible says. God’s truth does not conflict with His Word.
One popular book, Heaven is for Real, will be made into a movie. One little 5 year old boy after being pulled back from death was asked what he saw, and he said, “PUPPIES.” If I were God and a little boy suddenly showed up in my heaven, I would provide him with a pile of puppies. Wouldn’t you? A pile of cute puppies would keep a tot laughing and rolling around for hours.
Kat Kerr author of Revealing Heaven is a conference speaker, who has available tapes for sale, and you can find her books on Amazon cheaply priced. Her eye-witness accounts are superior to my suppositions and can quickly be checked. Sid Roth is a Jew with a parade of speakers and videos which often touches on heaven-hell testimony. There are amazing testimonies of Muslims who have had visions of heaven, hell and Jesus. Try a BING search to locate these, or YouTube. (I don’t use Google because they feature their preferences which are non-Christian and pro-left wing at the top of the findings.)
In seminary I told my pastor’s wife, when I get to heaven I want to be in charge of the zoo. She looked at me as though I was crazy. Here is the secret about heaven. God put us on earth to get used to some of the elements of heaven which are so much better, so much nicer, and so much more glorious. We do not give up the great things of this our Father’s World; we simply see them untouched by sin and without limitations for them or for us.