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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Only the Words in Red?

As this is my last post, and I am moving on to other Internet projects, I think it’s best to move on with some thoughts on recent false teachings that I have encountered.  That’s fitting because the goal of these pages has not been of a devotional nature,  but to keep people alert  regarding religious trends in America.

I was reading in Romans 3 this morning and was struck by the apologist tones of Paul.  He was ever a defender of the faith and often answered slanders and misconceptions in his writings.  In this chapter he answers a slander that some were saying and affirming that he said “the more we sin” the better we will show the righteousness of God (verse 8).  Apparently there was a thought going around that it was better to be sinful because it showed more clearly the righteousness of God.  Although this is clearly false, to a fledgling church in the midst of Roman philosophies,  it might have had some weight.

Currently we are finding people saying things just as false that could not possibly be promoted by a godly influence. However, it is apparently having weight with some immature Christians. 
One particular thing is this:

"The words in Red are the only ones we need to care about." The idea being the only words that are important are the words that Christ said himself. 

The scripture states in I Timothy  3:16-17 that All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

 In explaining any doctrine, no one relies only on the words in red.  Many parts of the Gospels are not in red or directly spoken by Jesus but we accept it as the Word of God. The motivations behind such wresting of the Word of God are usually to cover another false teaching.  You are thereby instructed to ignore other parts of the bible or give them less weight.  This leads to an unbalanced gospel.   The sad result, if you swallow this, is that you will inevitably reach false conclusions in your life about the requirements of God. When Jesus stated something, there was witness to that truth elsewhere in scripture.  Why, because Jesus was not his own witness. There are numerous times, Jesus could have bore witness because he is truth, but he would not. St. John 5: 31“If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true."(NASB).  And that my friends, is in RED.

For example, if want to see an explanation sin and its working in our lives, we find no better explanation than in the Pauline Epistles.  But this word “sin” is only mentioned in totality 15 times in the Gospels.  However, Romans 6-7 describes the sinfulness of man and how that sinfulness effects our everyday lives.  This is not explained as fully in the gospels.  Jesus tells us that If we have sin, we cannot be with him, and tells us that he who commits sin is the servant of sin.  However, in the Epistles alone, General and Pauline, sin is mentioned and taught about total of 74 times.  Should we then throw that witness away because Jesus did not speak these words?

We find very little explanation about the relationship between husbands and wives in the Gospel, but receive light through Ephesians, I Peter and Genesis. There is no better understanding about the working of the Spirit to create the structure of the church that in I Corinthians 12.

Many false teachers have used this tactic before to cover up other false teachings and induce people to de-value certain portions of the bible--portions which condemn their errors.  The Seventh Day Adventists for example in their writings hold to this same type of mentality that the certain words in the bible are to be given more credence than others.  Once again, as I’ve said on this blog, no one scripture should be used to enforce anything like it’s a doctrine, since God never leaves himself without a witness to the truth. Scripture must be studied and prayed over before it is enforced in any form. 

In the Book of Numbers15:32, the God gave Israel the Law about the Sabbath. Anyone who broke the Sabbath was to be stoned.  But notice even with the law being clear, they prayed and sought God about what to do.  They respected the voice of God as well as the law.  I believe this should always be done when in comes to doctrines, because, as in this case some doctrines effect people's lives more than others.

What is deeply tragic about anyone pushing these thoughts is that, no man speaking by the Spirit of God can misrepresent the gospel in such a dangerous way. (I Cor 12:13).  Whoever has started this dangerous trend is in danger themselves and certainly not in good fellowship with Christ.  Such teaching is biblical interpretation without the touch of God’s Holy Spirit.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Qualifications of a Bishop (Continued)

   Hello all, this and the next post will probably be my last under "what is the old path" for several reasons.  One,  I've been wanting to change the name for while, and its clear from emails and questions I've received that the general public is not very clear on what religion this page promotes.  Two, I want to change the format to more of a bible discussion page.   It's just been difficult with the type of job I have and three children, two of whom are teenagers to be faithful to the level of dedication and research it takes for an article blog.  So my extra time, (if you can all it that) has been taken up with more important issues.  Several good Christian friends have given me new names and once I've set that up, these pages will be shut down.  It's served its purpose for the last two years as a way for me to write about issues in American christianity that I enjoy discussing.  Thanks to all my readers.
1.   The children:    Various translations are extremely tight and I don’t know too many that hold this as its often translated—“men whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  The children should be “believers not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly.  Several translations put the requirement out that the children are believers; something no one seems to require today, and I've known many to have children that have had wild periods in their life like any non-christian, raised child.  I don't know what to say about this one.  Generally, the idea seems to be that children should be under control.  Paul's general idea here is that the children should not be the most problematic children in their local congregation.   Ones everyone can point to as a problem.  Unfortunately, I've know many a minister to make their children's lives miserable trying to promote their own skills as a parent instead to parenting or connecting with their child.  It never seems to turn out right.  I say this from observation only in terms of the children's adult problems.  I've also noticed that it can be a tool used often against the parent.  "If you don't like a minister, just find fault with their children.  Now, you don't have to listen to anything they say." 
    Many ministers have children who almost seem robotic in their obedience and put on a good presentation, who in fact have had difficult relationships with their parents.  Some children are just quiet and compliant by nature and the parent can get a lot of mileage out of that.  Other children are born more vocal and stubborn--which one takes more skill to control and parent?  I have many funny stories of raising my children while a minister that I will probably tell in my new pages on the web at a later time.


Not self willed, arrogant or presumptuous. ( my stubbornness will cause divisions; this term self willed is usually translated “arrogant”--
Some definitions are below:
---exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities; presumptuous. Going beyond what is right or proper; failing to observe the limits of what is permitted or appropriate. extremely bold and forward in doing something, even though you do not have permission to do it)

Not quick tempered (I might get angry and misuse my authority)-I’m sitting you down ‘cause you made me mad; 

Not given to drink (this was a common area of failing back then; since most drank wines of some sort and there was no array of beverages at your local store and barely drinkable water.)

Not brawling or violent; contentious, a person ready to fight (no striker)- Oh yeah?

Not greedy or grasping for financial gain (Lord help us! Save us again!)
Must be hospitable (every good/effective Pastor I've known has an open door policy)

Must love goodness, and righteousness

Must be sensible (not childish, but level-headed in his decision and actions, practicing discretion careful and circumspect in one's speech or actions, esp. to avoid causing offense; shall we say judicious;)

A devout man and religiously correct

Upright and fair-minded

Temperate and keeping control of yourself.
Let's ponder these qualifications.  They are tight requirements for a reason.  A minister is a leader in the church and under stricter standards that the lay person.  That's a no-brainer.
They are in the public eye and open to more criticism and scrutiny as public representatives of the faith, and while we are all ambassadors for Christ, the minister is more so because the teacher has to be above the student.  We are certainly called to "perfect the saints".  While this doesn't require perfection in every area, Paul is saying in these passages that it does require certain standards to be held.