What is The Underlying Struggle Skeptics Have With God?

   Everyone has questions about God. Some are curious and want to know more, but some are accusative and want to put God on trial. Others are troubled by things they don’t understand, and may not know how to articulate the questions they want to ask. 

   Skeptics seem to bring up the same accusations no matter what forum I am in. When it boils down to the issues they have, it appears that they don’t believe that God is good. They basically believe that God is a tyrant who enjoys torturing people. You might wonder how they come to these conclusions.

  Let’s go back to the beginning of time, not too long after Adam and Eve were created. Adam had such a personal relationship with God and you would think he would have learned to trust God. But one day, while Eve was in the Garden, and Adam was somewhere else, the devil came up to Eve in the form of a serpent, and asked Eve some questions. He was trying to entice her into disobeying God. His tactics basically were leading her to believe that God was not to be trusted. He led Eve to believe that God was not good. Adam came along and Eve convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and he joined her in disobedience. Adam and Eve fell for his trick and plunged the whole human race into darkness. 

  Not too long after this, the first murder took place. People began to worship idols. This led to parents offering their children as human sacrifices to be burned up in torture. By the time we get to Genesis 6, man was inventing ways of evil. God was grieved that He created man on earth. God sent a global flood which destroyed everyone alive, except Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. All this happened because one person doubted the goodness of God, and was led to believe that she could be like God.

  Today, the devil gives this same lie to people. He tells them that God is not good, and that God is not to be trusted. So, there are groups of people who say, “How can a good God let children in Africa starve to death?’ or ‘If God is good, then why is there so much suffering?’. Of course, these statements are made as if the speaker were a judge. Sometimes, people have these questions, but they really do want a logical answer. Many times though, they don’t. They don’t take the time to look at the whole picture. They pick and choose what they want to believe about God, then make a case against Him, with their unfounded information.

   “Man is the measure of all things’ is one of the basic beliefs of the Skeptic. It makes sense. If there is no God, then man must be the highest being. Let’s take that belief for a moment. Let’s say there isn’t any God. Let’s say that man is the measure of all things. Take one of the highest ranking human beings that ever existed. Who was the most powerful? Alexander the Great? Hitler? Obama? Nero? Ronald Reagan? Take one of them, for example. Would it be better for one of them to be the top standard of what man should be? Would you like to model your life after them? 

   God wants us to trust in Him, and Him alone. He is the standard and the only standard. But, you might ask, how do we know He is trustworthy? We can take a look at His track record, so to speak. 

   God never breaks a promise. If He says He will do something, then He will do it. God never lies. The Bible says that God never changes. The Bible also says that ‘God is love’. If you look through the Old Testament (which Skeptics will tell you that God in the Old Testament is harsh and cruel), you will find a God who put up with people who kept turning away from Him. God could have said, ‘ To hell with all of you’ and sent a meteor to hit the earth and destroy every living being, but He didn’t. In fact, before He sent the Flood, He made sure there were going to be people on the Ark so that the whole human race wouldn’t be wiped out. So really, if you can look at the bigger picture of the Old Testament, you can see a God who pursues people in order to save them from His wrath. You can also see that in human beings, there is a resistance toward God. Notice that in the Ark, only 8 were saved. But the opportunity for others to come in was there. No one responded. 

   If the Skeptics don’t believe in God, then why are they accusing Him of being a tyrant? If man is the measure of all things, then you can blame mankind on all the woes going on in the world today. But why does God allow suffering anyway? Why do ‘innocent’ people suffer? Be careful when you ponder these questions because if you are not grounded in the word of God, Satan will tempt you also to believe that God is not good and that He is not trustworthy.

   Since the time of the fall of mankind, man has groped in spiritual darkness. Now, because he followed the lie of the Enemy of our souls, he is enslaved in sin. You might not think of yourself as being enslaved in sin, but we all are. We are born in a fallen world, with sinful natures that can’t do anything but sin. On the other hand, because we have been created in the image of God, we have certain characteristics that are common to man, and reflect the image of God. We can be compassionate. We can be creative. We can have relationships. We can hate injustice. Those are some of the traits we have because we were created in God’s image. But that image has been marred by sin. Now we are complex. We are sinful people who were created in God’s image. And, that is why the world is in such a mess today.

    God went through great lengths to make it so we can be delivered. We can be delivered from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Skeptics think that God is a tyrant, or a cosmic bully, but they have no idea of what God has done so that we can be delivered from our sins. Think about it. 2,000 years or so, God intervened for the sake of mankind. He came to earth and ‘took on flesh’. We call this the ‘incarnation’. When Jesus came, He put aside His rights and power as God, so that He could live a life that we couldn’t live, and take the punishment we deserved upon Himself. God could have not done that for us, and we would have no way to ever escape this kingdom of darkness and enslavement of sin. But God did not want His precious human beings to stay captive to sin. He provided a way for them to be delivered. Not only that, but human beings can now be forgiven of their sins. They can live eternally with God. If Jesus had not come to earth, this never would be able to happen. 

   Of course, the choice is ours. The ball is in our courts, so to speak. God will not just come into every person’s life that He has created. God deals with our hearts and we respond in either one of two ways. Either we repent of our sins and turn to God in faith, or we stay in our sins and live in darkness and deception for eternity. 

  If we choose to believe that God is not good and not trustworthy, then we remain in darkness. Skeptics do this because they pick out passages from the Bible and construe them to make a theory that they want to believe is true. But if you look at the whole Bible, in its context, you will get a different picture. I have heard it said that the Bible is God’s love letter to human beings and I can see why. God creates. Man rebels. God pursues. Man becomes independent of God. God continues to pursue man. Man continues to grow in love of self. God sends His Son to redeem mankind. Man kills God’s Son. God uses the death of His Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Man accuses God of being a tyrant or cosmic bully. God sends His Holy Spirit to deal with man’s heart and bring him to repentance. Man tries to be ‘good enough’ to go to heaven. God continues to be patient with us, because His desire is for all men to repent and to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The ball is in our courts. What will you do with Jesus Christ? Your answer will determine your eternal destination.

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People in History Who Knew Jesus or The Apostles

  I always find it fascinating when people want more ‘proof’ of Jesus’ existence or that the Bible is really God’s word. There are some Skeptics who would tell us that Jesus never existed, or that He did exist, but they have a different account of what happened than the Bible describes.

   One person who did know Jesus personally, while He was on earth was a man named Ignatius. You can find letters that Ignatius wrote which talks about his interaction with Jesus’ family at http://www.ccel.org   He seems to know Mary well and has a high respect for her. Although this is just speculation, Ignatius may have been one of the little children who sat on Jesus lap  as recorded in Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. NIV

  One other person who knew the Apostle John was a man named ‘Polycarp’. Polycarp was a disciple of John and St. Jerome wrote that John had ordained him as bishop of Smyrna. You can find some of his letters at the above url.

   So, we have these two men who were acquainted with Jesus and the Apostle John. Polycarp and Ignatius were genuine historical figures who have been written about by others (or who have written their own letters which are preserved). What was written about them is enough proof to help us know that Jesus really did exist on earth 2,000 years ago.

Pelagius Pops Up Again

I have been intrigued by different ways of thinking from those in some of my Christian circles of friends. Some of the statements may be just random statements, but when you keep hearing a theme, you know something is up.

You might not have ever heard the term ‘Pelagian’ unless you are familiar with St. Augustine of Hippo. Throughout church History, there have been a number of apologists appearing, who are fighting to protect a particular doctrine of theology that is important to the Gospel message. St. Augustine was such an apologist. His cause was to defend the doctrine of inherent sin (people are born with sinful natures due to the fall of Adam). His opponent was Pelagius, a man who did not believe that the fall of mankind resulted in sinful hearts of all people.

Pelagius believed that human beings are responsible for their own sin, and have a choice of doing right or wrong. He believed that people could obey God if they chose to do so. He also does not believe that we are born in sin.

I’ve listened to a few Open Air preachers (and I don’t want to lump all open air preachers like this!) and have seen hatred pour out of their mouths. One of them did a critique on a song by Casting Crowns called, ‘Jesus Friend of Sinners’. I have actually recently written blogs on this topic, because I am now seeing God’s love for the outcast, in action.

One sharp contrast I have seen between Calvinists and Pelagians is the one concerning God’s love. Those who hold on to Pelagian teachings never teach about God’s love. I’m sure they think it will lead to lawlessness if they do. The problem is, that God is love, and if you never teach about a God who is love, you aren’t correctly teaching about God and your hearers will miss out on an important aspect of God.

I used to think it was simply because many evangelists don’t want their converts to be false converts. The world has taken the concept of God’s love and has made God into an all-loving, all-forgiving God, but that’s not true either.

All of us need to know, and the key word is ‘know’ a loving God. All of us need a Savior from sin, and the power to say ‘no’ to sin. Pelagians do not believe they need God’s power to keep them and to help them as they fight against sin. Yes, we need to be forgiven of our sins, but once we come to Christ, the process of sanctification comes in, and the power to change comes from God. As we get to know God better, and we respond to Him in obedience and love, He changes us. This is opposite of the doctrine that Pelagians hold. They believe you have to live a holy life by your own choosing to do so, and by your own strength.

Pelagians believe that people are basically good, and that outside forces pull people into sin. Remember that they don’t believe in original sin, so they believe that the condition of man is the same as Adam’s was, when God first created him.

Also, Pelagians have a different understanding of sin than Calvinists do. They believe that sin is something we do, verses something we are. Sin is in the fabric of our being. We can do nothing to get out of it either. But when God sent Jesus to die for our sins, that provided the power for sin to be broken in our lives. Because of the Cross, the rulers of darkness have been dismantled, and those enslaved by sin can now be set free.

Because Pelagians believe that sin is what we do, rather than sin being what comes from our hearts, they believe they are free from sin. They believe they are keeping the Commandments of God. They look down upon others who aren’t keeping the Commandments. At least, this is the impression I am getting as I listen to these people talk. This whole episode sounds very familiar. It sounds just like some of the things I have read about in the Bible, Luke 18 being one of them in particular.

So, Pelagians believe people can stop sinning. This is one of the things that seriously concerns me. I see signs held by street evangelists that read ‘Stop sinning’ ‘Repent’. Does God hate sin? Of course He does. Sin can never be in His presence. It is like oil and vinegar that don’t mix, but even more. God will judge sin. One day, sin will be eradicated. We can’t stop sinning because we are sinners. We need a new heart. If we try to ‘stop sinning’ it would be like turning over a new leaf. We could try all we want, but it will never happen on our own. We come to God with our sin. We bring it to the Cross. He cleanses us and gives us a new heart. When the Holy Spirit came, He gave power to fight against sin. With the new heart God gives us, we have new desires. Now we have desires to not sin. But we will still struggle against sin until the day we die. But God gives us the power to overcome.

I have seen some of my friends act like Pelagians at times and that concerns me. Pelagian beliefs differ from what the Scriptures say in a couple of different areas:

1. The nature of sin      (overtly breaking the commandments vs. heart issues)                                                                                                                                                                        2. The sinful nature of man (original sin vs. sinning by choice)                                                                                                                                                       3. Salvation by keeping the Commandments and obeying God (vs salvation by grace alone through faith alone).

I never realized that some people are actually overt Pelagians. It would seem like it would be something to be kept quiet. But there are forums that they create to support their belief system. There is no grace in Pelagianism. I would imagine that their beliefs about salvation by faith alone would be much like what the Mormons believe in. Mormons believe that they are sinful people, and they believe that Jesus died for their sins, but that is the door one gets into in order to be saved. The person must do the rest. Then they use verses like ‘Faith without works is dead’ meaning that works are part of our salvation rather than the evidence that we are saved.

Here is a photo I found in a Pelagian forum. I don’t know who to credit for this, but this picture is very revealing. This is at the heart of Pelagianism. Take a look at it and see what you think.

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This is what Pelagians think of Jesus’ death.

Always keep in mind that we line up everything with Scriptures. If it’s not found in Scriptures, throw it out.

For a clear, concise article on what Pelgianism is and why it is not based upon Scriptures, check this web page out: http://carm.org/pelagianism

The Bible And Homosexuality – Part 2

  I would like to continue this discussion, but will make any additions concise and zeroing in on one particular aspect of this religion that homosexuals embrace.

  As I look through Mel White’s article, I see many flaws and a lot of wishful thinking. The one I want to talk about today is the one about homosexuality as being an ‘orientation’ that was discovered in the 19th Century. Here is a quote by Mr. White on his thoughts on the validity of homosexuality:

The Bible is completely silent on the issue of homosexual orientation. And no wonder. Homosexual orientation wasn’t even known until the 19th century.

“The discovery that some of us are created and/or shaped in our earliest infancy toward same-gender attraction was made in the last 150 years. Biblical authors knew nothing about sexual orientation. Old Testament authors and Paul assumed all people were created heterosexual, just as they believed the earth was flat,
that there were heavens above and hell below, and that the sun moved up and down.”

  Let’s start with the part of the quote that says that they believed the earth was flat. Really? How do you know that, Mr. White? But, yes, Paul does assume that people were created heterosexual, because, God created them that way! There is no scientific fact that proves that people were created with a particular sexual orientation. Like I said earlier, God is a Designer, and a God of order. A sexual orientation of a man being sexually attracted to men is not an example of God’s design and order. It violates the character of God, and it is not proven scientifically. In fact, research has been done that proves the opposite. If science accurately explains sexual orientation defending homosexuality, then something is wrong with the results of the research that was done on monozygotic twins. Twins that are identical come from the same egg, and have the same exact genetic make-up. If homosexuality is truly caused by genetics (which science would have to say is true) then every case of a set of identical twins would have both of the twins being gay, vs. one being gay and the other straight. That isn’t the case though, and homosexuality, much like the theory of evolution, is not proven to be true scientifically, no matter how much they would like to believe it is.

http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality/

The Bible And Homosexuality

    What does the Bible say about homosexuality, or does it say anything directly or indirectly? This post is geared toward helping Christians to understand the religion of homosexuality, and what the Scriptures say about this subject.

   I just finished reading a book by Mel White called, ‘Stranger at the Gate’ which is his story of his struggle with having strong sexual desires for a man, instead of a woman, and how he ended up resolving these issues by listening to a ‘Christian’ counselor who worked at Fuller Theological Seminary, and by his own study of the Scriptures concerning this subject.

   First of all, you have to understand that Mr. White has theological degrees and has worked with seminaries and also was a ghost writer for Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and James Dobson, and has worked behind the scenes in many other Christian organizations. Although he never describes anywhere in his book about his relationship with God, through the Cross of Jesus Christ, he has otherwise lived in a ‘Christian’ environment all his life. 

   His story goes like this; he had strong desires for relationships with men instead of women. He felt guilty and prayed many years for God to take the desire away. He felt like God was punishing him for his gay desires because the desire never went away. He expressed much guilt and shame over his dilemma. He even married and had a family, hoping things would change, but the desire for another man was always there.

   He was irritated at the ‘Religious Right’ for taking a stand against homosexuality. According to White, some of the ‘Religious Right’ would like to have exterminated all Gay people. At some point later on in his life, Mel White went to another counselor, and she advised him to live out his life as a Gay man. She told him that he had a sexual ‘orientation’ and that it was decided before he was born. He would never be able to change it. That’s when this man set out to live as a ‘free’ Gay man. The steps that led to his being Gay were never properly dealt with in the church when he was young, and what happened since that time has had some bad ramifications for the cause of Christ and God’s glory.

    Homosexuals have a religious belief system now. It is in place. In a sense, Mel White is the leader of this movement. It was his courage to branch out and establish principals for other Gay/lesbian people to be ‘free’ especially from what he would say, the Christians teaching from the Bible about homosexuality. Homosexuals use Mel White as their mentor. He was the pioneer that took the first steps by taking Scriptures that concern homosexuality, and redefining them, and now encouraging other Gay people to use them the same way. That is why I am writing this blog.

    What are some things Gay people now believe, thanks to Mr. White? Genesis 19 has been redone. Mel White did research and says that this passage has very little to do with homosexuality. He uses other verses from Isaiah and Jeremiah and from Peter and Jude, who make references to Sodom. He claims that Sodom’s sins were selfishness and greed, and that is why God was punishing them, not because they were homosexuals. 

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=genesis%2019&version=ESV

   The next verse he talks about comes from Leviticus 18 where God says that a man shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Well, Mr. White says if this is true, then going to Red Lobster would bring God’s wrath on us as well. These verses don’t apply to us today as they did to the Israelites during that time. They were civil laws. But concerning the one on food; notice that God let a sheet down with some unclean animals that Peter would not eat, but God called them ‘clean’. Now we can eat meats that were once considered unclean because God has made them clean. I don’t see any passages indicating that a relationship between two men has now been made ‘clean’ by God. 

   One of the characteristics of God is that He is a designer. He is also a God of ‘order’. He created man and woman (male and female) to compliment one another. That is a great example of design. A man in a relationship with another man is not an example of design. It is an example of disorder. 

   One of Mr. White’s biggest flaws is much like the flaw of those holding to the theory of evolution. White believes that the Bible ‘predates’ science, and, with all the modern scientific ‘discoveries’ in his mind, science trumps. So, it stands to reason, that with modern psychology/psychiatry, which is based upon human secularism, with man being the foundation and source of all the exists, Mr. White has bought into the modern belief that homosexuality is an orientation that is permanent. This is what he is teaching to those in the Gay community. This is lie that we are going to confront when we try to communicate with Gay people.

   Let’s look at one more thing in the Bible, that Mel White doesn’t seem to address. In the Bible, God created man and woman in the beginning. He commanded them to procreate. There was never a provision for homosexual relationships in the Bible. If you look throughout the Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament, the marriage relationship is always made up of a man and woman. In fact, the relationship of a man and a woman in marriage is a type of the relationship between Christ and the church. In the New Testament, much writing is addressed to husbands and wives. It is never addressed to wives and wives, or husbands to husbands. I know Mr. White would say that this is an argument from silence, but I think there is much value in that fact. 

   Do you see this argument of irrationality? I am not proposing that we attack the Gay community or send hate messages to Gay people. God created Gay people, although He didn’t create them to be homosexuals. Mr. White is encouraging the Gay community to take political action, especially against the work of Christians who are trying to teach that marriage consists of one man and one woman. 

   The main flaw I am beginning to see that homosexuals believe in is the belief that the Bible is outdated. Science surpasses the Scriptures. We know better. We know the devil has tricked these people into believing his lies, and to keep them in bondage, away from the truth. We need to pray for these people. They need God’s help and deliverance.

    Also, people in America today tend to believe that if we have desires, and if we pray for them to go away, and they don’t, then it must be God’s will for them to be there. Every Gay person will go this direction unless he or she has faithful Christian friends who will help the person when he struggles. This condition is just as strong as being in  Mormon church or a JW family. It’s not as easy as telling the Gay person to repent. Most of them have tried to repent and change, but it didn’t work. They need the Gospel. They need a Christian friend who will be patient with them through their struggles. They have deep embedded lies that need to come out. It’s not enough for them to know that these beliefs are lies. They feel guilt because they can’t change. They need to know that they need Someone to rescue them from their sins. Only one person can do that, and we need to introduce them to Him.

   We need to learn how to defend the Gospel and also what the Bible says about homosexuality. Go to Mel White’s page and see how he is thinking. Research God’s word even further after reading what homosexuals believe about God and sin. Realize that today, homosexuality is more than a same-sex attraction. It has become a religion as well, with a different God and a different Gospel. Here is the url for Mel White’s page:

http://www.soulforce.org/resources/what-the-bible-says-and-doesnt-say-about-homosexuality/

Can They All Be Right At The Same Time?

Think about it. A Muslim goes to be with Allah after he dies. A Christian goes to heaven where Jesus lives. An Atheist doesn’t go anywhere. A Hindu goes into another form of life through reincarnation. The list goes on. Are there different heavens and hells in eternity? If a Christian dies and goes to heaven, in Islam the Christian would go to hell. Can the Christian be in 2 places in eternity? 

  I actually thought I heard one of my school teachers say something like this; ‘Christians go to their heaven, Jewish people go to their heaven, Muslims go to their heaven after they die. Does this make sense? Are there different heavens for people of different religions?

   All the major religions in the world have the same understanding of the sin problem, but they have their own version of how to solve it. Religion is man’s way of trying to reach God. Mormons have their rules for whatever they believe it takes to get into heaven. Catholics have their teachings on what it takes to get to heaven. Basically, in religion, you have to ‘do’ certain things in order to get into heaven. You have to try to be good enough. But what does the Bible say?

    The Bible says that all people have sinned and that they are in serious trouble with God because God is holy and must punish sin. It is impossible for man to become good enough for God to accept. Even if the person only sinned one time in his or her lifetime, that sin would be serious enough for God to have to punish for all eternity. 

   Instead of having people try to be good enough for heaven, God had a better plan. Every person needs to have an atonement for their sins. God provided that atonement when He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth, 2,000 years ago. Jesus came to take our punishment for sins, even though He never had any sin of His own. After He died and was buried, three days later He arose from the grave and is alive today in heaven.

    If Jesus really came to take the punishment for our sins, how does that affect the teachings of Islam? If Islam teaches that you have to do certain things and be good in order to get into heaven, then that means that Jesus died for no reason. Which makes more sense; Having Jesus as your Savior and atonement for your sins, or, trying to be a good Muslim and following the 5 Pillars of Faith with the hopes that Allah will let you into heaven? If Jesus really came and died, then Islam is null and void. 

   Does this make sense? I hope it does. Something to think about.

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Is Being Gay Caused By DNA?

One of the more common beliefs that we hear today concerning homosexuality is that if a person is Gay, that he or she was predisposed to that condition. It is caused by the person’s DNA. There have been tests done to determine if this is so. There were eight major studies done in Australia, the U.S., and Scandinavia in the past two decades. The tests were done on identical twins. Identical twins happen to have the same exact DNA of each other. The tests concluded that homosexuality is not DNA determined. (For more info, go to: http://americanvision.org/8136/new-twin-study-people-not-born-gay/ ).
On another note, I was listening to a message by a woman counselor who was teaching how to help women who have been raped. It was very interesting to listen to, and one of the things she taught was that (and this was her opinion and observation) when men are Gay, almost always, without exception, they were sexually abused or molested as a child. I am sure that there is truth to this, and it is quite possible for a man to be Gay who has never had such an encounter as a child. But I would imagine that this is generally true.
I know a man who was Gay, and months after he came to know the Lord, God delivered him mightily. He was telling us of his stories when he was a child. He had sexual experiences with boys on camping trips. He had people, when he was at a young age, tell him that he was Gay. He actually believed he was Gay, and lived out his life as if he really was Gay! With God’s help, he didn’t stay Gay, but now is married and has children and grandchildren.
In the article on the Identical Twins Study, a person made a comment that made sense. If being a homosexual is in the genes, then how are the genes passed on, since being Gay results in no offspring?
I’m not saying that being Gay is an easy choice. I just find it interesting that there doesn’t appear to be evidence that people are born Gay. Or at least that it is in the DNA.
Right now, I think the Gay community is countering the Christian culture because of the many attacks from Christians that have taken place. It is similar to the feud between the black people and the white (although people aren’t literally black or white) which started out as black people being treated like animals, then when they were free, they were disadvantaged because they had no education. Then they retaliated and hated the white people, and visa-versa. . It starts off like this; Someone comes out of the closet and announces they are Gay. The Christian freaks out and basically says ‘Don’t get near me’ ‘God will judge you for being Gay’. Or, the Christian might just be distant, not really knowing how to respond to the Gay person. Then there are people like those of Westboro who hold up their signs saying ‘God Hates Fags’. Do we really expect the Gay person to listen to us when we want to share what the Bible says? I don’t know why we would. Now the tables are turned. Instead of defending themselves from what they perceive as our attacks against them, they become the Offense. They are aggressively seeking ways to take over the community and obtain rights for carrying out their acts of immorality. They have the same basic rights as everyone else. They are not a race of people who are being discriminated against. Being Gay is not in the genes! So, how do we work with this situation at the stage it is at now?
The church needs to love the individual Gay person. That doesn’t mean that the church should try to seek membership from that person. I believe that most Gay people are that way because of two things; 1. Things happened in childhood (probably early childhood years) that led them to turn this way. 2. They have believed the lies of Satan who wants to keep them trapped in being Gay. I personally applaud the ministries that are designed to work with the Gay person for him or her to be set free.
We all have been lied to by Satan. This is why we need to know what the Bible really says. For example, one person who commented on the article at the web site above, says that ‘homosexuality is an illness. Jesus even says so’. I can’t think of anywhere in the Bible where it says that, so I asked. I am sure that some attempt at an answer will be there. It is amazing how we think we know the Bible, but what we really know is what we want the Bible to say to us. The Bible tells us to be like the Bereans and study (search out) the Scriptures to see what they tell us. We might end up with an entirely different picture than what we started with.

Was Hitler A Christian?

    There are quite a few varied thoughts concerning Hitler, which I find interesting. Some people don’t believe the Holocaust happened. Many college age students assume he was some kind of leader or seem unfamiliar with who he was. Yet there are some who say that he was a Christian. These people are the ones who use this as an excuse for not becoming a Christian. And there are some who absolutely hate Hitler and what he did in the Holocaust.

    First of all, why would someone say that Hitler was a Christian? The reason given is because those in his army wore belt buckles with the words ‘Gott mit uns’ which means ‘God with us’ in German. So, this group of people contend that Hitler was a Christian because of his army men wearing belt buckles indicating a trust in God. This is their excuse for not becoming a Christian.

    But what does the Bible say about that? Jesus says we will know if a person knows God by the fruit that is produced in his or her life. He uses the illustration of a tree. If a tree is bad, it will bear bad fruit. If a tree is good, it will bear good fruit. Jesus also compares hatred with murder. The apostle John contends that if a man hates his brother, he is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

   The Bible has a lot to say about love. It tells us that the love we have for one another in the church is the mark of the disciple. One of the fruit of the Spirit is love. The church will be defined by its love for one another. Love is an action word. It involves sacrificing what we want for what is best for another. The Bible also tells us that ‘God is love’. It is a characteristic of who He is. 

   Does God hate? Yes. He hates sin. He hates rebellion against His truth. He hates those who oppress or take advantage of other people. He hates the wicked. But God is merciful, even to the wicked. The Bible says that ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. He is not willing that anyone should perish, but that everyone would come to repentance. People will perish if they do not turn to God in repentance and faith (trust) in Jesus Christ and what He has done to pay for our sins. God will never force us to believe in Him. We have to choose to respond.

   From observing Hitler’s life and activities, does it look like his life corresponded with God’s definition of love? Does love look like a fruit in his life? Does he bring glory to Jesus and point to Jesus’ death on the Cross for our sins? What kind of fruit do we see in his life?

   What do you think Hitler really believed in? What kind of worldview did he have? For one thing, he didn’t understand that all people are created in God’s image. He believed that some people groups were less than human. This thinking lines up with what Darwin believed in. Darwin believed that human beings came from apes, and that the black people were less developed than the white people, and that women were less developed than men. Of course, his thinking was based upon theory, but it was plausible to many people, and that is how Hitler thought. That kind of thinking is underlying in the minds of those who practice abortion. Abortion is a form of discrimination and it is also murder. Either people were created by God and are made in His image, or they developed over billions of years from some other life form. The latter is based upon speculation and wishful thinking. 

  Now you might be thinking that if human beings were created in God’s image, then they would be perfect. Or, you might possibly be thinking that if people are created in God’s image, and they are as evil as they are, that means God must be a tyrant. But neither of those thoughts are accurate because you have to take into consideration the fall of mankind, as recorded in Genesis chapter 3. We have the incident written down for us of what happened. God created a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve to live in. Not only that, but God would come down and communicate with Adam. There was no sickness, pain, or suffering in the world yet. God gave orders (and He was generous) to Adam and Eve about eating what was in the Garden. They had access to every tree (and there were a lot to choose from) except one tree, which was called, ‘The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil’. 

   Not only did God make people, animals and plant life on planet earth, but He also made an angelic realm of beings. These angels were made to serve God and they are in awe of who He is. They are more powerful than human beings, but interestingly, they were not created in God’s image. At one point, and we don’t when this was, a beautiful angel named ‘Lucifer’ decided he was going to be more powerful and higher than God. At this rebellion, God threw him down to earth. He took a third of the angels with him. These angels are going to be punished by God in the ‘Lake of Fire’ at the Judgment. But in the meantime, Lucifer, or Satan, is here on earth, continually tempting people to sin against a holy God.

   So Adam and Eve are living in this beautiful garden and the devil (which is another term for Satan) went into a snake and asked Eve (notice it wasn’t Adam) about the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve told the snake that they weren’t allowed to eat from it because God told them not to. Satan lied to Eve and told her that she would become like God if she were to eat it. She thought about it, and took the fruit and decided to eat it. Then Adam came along and she gave some to him to eat. He didn’t stop her but enjoined her in eating the fruit. That was the beginning of all the problems we see on earth today. God pronounced a curse on the earth, on the devil, on Adam and Eve. But God also promised that He would send a Redeemer to rescue people from the power of the devil. 

   So, today we see the results of that event. They will continue like this until the end of time. One day, God will make everything new. Those who know Him, and are cleansed from their sins will live in this renewed place. The rest will be punished with the devil and his angels in hell. 

   This is why people act like Hitler did, and carry out monstrous acts such as those committed during the Holocaust. Yes, human beings who were created in God’s image, can be very evil. This is attested throughout History. It will continue until a day when it will be the last day. God sent a flood to destroy the earth and those who rebelled against Him, and next He will destroy the earth by fire. Until then we will see much suffering, hatred, violence, war, sicknesses, and a host of other undesirables.

   Yes, Hitler wore a belt buckle that said he trusted in God. People today wear T-shirts that say they love God. We have bumper stickers that indicate our love for God. I am not saying these things are wrong, but what is our motive for having them? Anyone can wear a Christian worded T-shirt. I have seen the bumper sticker that says ‘Honk if you love Jesus’ and someone honks, then the person in the car shoots a bird at the person who honked at him/her. If we wear those kinds of T-shirts and have those kinds of bumper stickers, let’s make sure our lives line up with the word of God. That way, it might provide an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone who might be curious.

The ‘Curse of Ham’?

  As I was listening to the CD by Diana Waring today, as she was dialoging with Ken Ham (not to be confused with Ham, the son of Noah : ), they were discussing ‘the curse of Ham’. I had already learned that this ‘curse’ was what ended up being the black people being designated to slavery. I don’t know where this thought originated, but I would like to find out.

  If we go to the Bible, we find the origin of this ‘curse of Ham’ which really wasn’t a curse of Ham, but a curse of Canaan, one of Ham’s sons, and had nothing to do with black people serving white people. 

  Noah had gotten too much to drink of fermented grape juice or something that ended up with alcohol in it. Perhaps he was unaware of what alcohol does to a person, but whatever the reason, he appeared intoxicated, and was in his room naked. Not having all the details of what was involved, the Bible explains that Shem and Japeth covered Noah, but Ham violated Noah, while Noah was unaware of what was going on. The next morning when Noah was awake and realized what Ham did to him the day before, He pronounced a curse on Canaan. Here is what the Bible says about it:

“Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.  And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, he said,

“Cursed be Canaan;
    a servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.”  Genesis 9:21-25 ESV

  It is important to remember that Canaan was a son of Ham, and he was the ancestor of the Canaanites, the most wicked people who have ever lived on earth. There is nothing said here that even implies that Ham was going to be the ancestor of the black people who would end up being slaves to the white people. This thinking most probably came from Darwinian thinking on evolution. Darwin explains in his book, ‘Origin of Species’ that the black people were less developed as human beings than the white people. It is amazing how many people actually have this as common knowledge and thing that this is true. No wonder there is so much racial tension in America today!

Sodom, Gomorrah, and Other Findings

  I have developed a love for archaeology lately as I have been listening to CDs done by Diana Waring, who developed a History curriculum for children. She has done extensive research and has a lot of resources that she recommends. 

  As I listen to the CDs, one thing that I remember stands out in my mind. In some cultures, people have what is called, ‘oral tradition’. I don’t know that these people don’t write things down, but they have a lot of information passed down to them that they use. For instance, in one culture, in weddings, the person recites his whole ancestry all the way back to Adam! Can you imagine knowing who the line of your ancestors is from Adam? Whoever the people are, they really were there. The furthest back I have gotten would be my fourth or fifth great grandparents!

  There are quite a few people who excel in doing archaeology. One of them is John Morris. He has an article on finding Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom and Gomorrah have been located around the Dead Sea. What was found in that area, according to a video I saw this morning, were salt pillars, lots of salt, brimstone, and sulfur. No wonder the Dead Sea is full of salt! When God punished Sodom and Gomorrah, He rained down fire and brimstone, and as Lot and his family were escaping, Lot’s wife looked back (the family was instructed to flee, not look back) she became a pillar of salt. Lot was a nephew of Abraham, and Abraham was able to see the fire of the city from a distance where he was. Jesus had made reference to Sodom and Gomorrah as well. Here is the article written by John Morris http://www.icr.org/article/7312/  . It is excellent and easy to understand.

  Diana Waring also pointed out that Leonard Wooley, an archeaologist in the early 1900s, searched for the city of Ur. In his research, he found the city and learned much about the life of the people who lived there. Ur is where Abraham came from and God told him to leave this place and go to the place where He would show him. The people there were very brutal. God was going to make Abraham the Father of many nations. Abraham is the father of the Jewish people today. You can read about Leonard Wooley’s adventures in a book called, Treasures under the Sand, written by Alan Honour. 

   Answers in Genesis carries Diana Waring’s History curriculum, and ICR has many resources and articles on apologetics. Check them out. http://www.icr.org/  www.answersingenesis.org 

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