A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Defending the Faith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Defending the Faith. Show all posts

December 20, 2022

Do Not Become Entangled In The Defilement Of The World

As I sit here, less than a week before the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, I am honestly astounded at what I see happening in the realm of faith and religion. Has the world just decided to dismiss what God has to say in the Bible? And what's even more alarming, has the Church?

It's been hard to ignore the headlines this week. Mind you, I try not to pay attention nor obsess over the news of the world and how its controversies conflict with my faith. I am acutely aware that I am in this world, but not of it, so I expect to be at odds with mainstream and secular opinions. But that doesn't mean I am not saddened when I see another precept of God's Word abandoned or mocked. Kirk Cameron, former child TV actor and current Evangelist is having trouble booking speaking engagements at public libraries to read his faith-based children's books during Story Hour. Yet, these same libraries have had no problem hosting drag queen story hours, claiming they are open to celebrating the diversity of opinions ... as long as it's not Christian apologetics. What happened to following Psalm 78:2-4 ... I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Then there is the shocking news that the Catholic Church has defrocked a priest for his pro-life beliefs. Father Frank Pavone, is the National Director of Priests for Life, a pro-life organization not run by the Catholic church. His "defrocking" means he will no longer be able to wear the clerical collar, he can no longer conduct Mass, hear confessions or administer sacraments such as the Eucharist. Additionally, he is no longer required to recite the Liturgy of the Hours (a set of prayers marking each hour) nor obey his bishop. Although, he is still a priest, it is more in terms of being a layman, and he will not be able to teach in a Catholic school. As astounding as this pronouncement is, there was the statement issued that said "there was no possibility of appeal", which seems to indicate the action came at the behest of the Pope, himself. When the leader of the Catholic Church defies the Word of God, I fear the Restrainer's hand will soon be removed! Does the Holy Father of the Catholic Church not recall the righteous Commandment, Thou shalt not murder? Does he not remember Matthew 5:29 ... whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven...

And it was reported on one of the social media news sites that there has been an error in the Bible's translation. The claim is that the word "homosexual" is not correct in the Biblical translation of 1 Timothy 1:9-10, which says, the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) doctrine. PLEASE DON'T MISUNDERSTAND the point I am trying to make -- I believe that all sin is denounced by God, and the purpose of bringing this verse to your attention is the attempt to change the truth of God's Word and misdirect its meaning.

In fact, the researchers say, the word "homosexual" is an incorrect translation. They claim that the word homosexual has only come into vogue in 1946 in the Revised Standard Revision. They assert that in Martin Luther's original German translation from 1534, the word was translated as "boy molester". Therefore, they claim, this mistranslation has led to the denigration of homosexuality as a sin. I totally agree that it is wrong to assume that every homosexual is a molester of boys. But I also find it interesting that the 1599 Geneva Bible translation of this verse says, the Law is not given unto a righteous man, but unto the lawless and disobedient, to the ungodly, and to sinners, to the unholy, and to the profane, to murderers of fathers and mothers, to manslayers, to whoremongers, to buggerers, to menstealers, to liars, to the perjured, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to wholesome doctrine. So what does buggerer mean? According to the references in the Oxford English Dictionary, Webster's Dictionary, and the Cambridge Dictionary, the word "buggerer" usually refers to anal intercourse. So, while I can understand the desire of homosexuals to not be categorized as "boy molesters", it does not change the intention of Scripture, nor can we deny the Word when it says, You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you (Deuteronomy 4:2). 

The same attempt to soften the commandments and statutes of the Bible is apparent when contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant rationalizes hosting a same-sex marriage at her home. She justifies her decision by saying, "Jesus, you just narrowed it down to two things: love God and love each other." But isn't that an over-simplification of the Majesty and Sovereignty of God? I agree with the Reverend Franklin Graham who says yes, God calls Christians to love one another but John 14:15 says, If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. And what is His commandment regarding marriage? Let's look at Mark 10:6-9 ... But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother [to establish a home with his wife], and the two shall become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but [are united as] one flesh. Therefore, what God has united and joined together, man must not separate.”

All these instances I have cited just touch the surface of our preoccupation, distraction, and entanglement with a world that is slipping further away from the Truths of God. Sadly, much of the Church has not protected those truths, and in some cases, have compromised with them. I am so thankful for the Remnant who is conversely growing closer and stronger in their relationship with the One who will soon appear to judge all mankind on earth. Let us not veer from the path we have been set upon. The world needs us to stay the course! Please take the closing Scripture to heart!

#defilement #biblicalmisinterpretation #thewordofgod

2 Timothy 4:1-2     I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity],

September 13, 2022

Being a Disciple of Christ In Difficult Times


I am attempting to write this post in transparency and humility, in the hopes that some of you can identify with my struggles. I truly want to be an honest follower of Christ, and for me that means no deceit or deception -- with Jesus; my fellow Christians; or with myself. This is about trying to be genuinely righteous and humble. So, let me get right to the point...

I know that being a true Christian in these times is difficult. The culture and the world are not on our side, and the Enemy appears to be winning on so many fronts. Having lived in relative comfort and ease for so long, we have taken the blessings of our faith for granted. We have been able to declare ourselves Christians without any real challenge to live the Christian life. We have been able to wear the title of Christian, and it has cost us nothing in this land of freedom and prosperity, and [in Church terms} "easy, cheap grace". But, as times are getting harder, and the future isn't as guaranteed as we've become accustomed to, we find our "faith muscles" weak and we react in ways and words that don't support what we tell the world and each other -- that we are obedient followers of Christ.

Believe me, I am not excluding myself from this scrutiny because I believe it is so important that we all take a good hard look in the spiritual mirror. Am I genuine in my faith? Or am I a hypocrite, or a "poser"? Do I wear a "Christian mask" when in the company of my fellow Church members, and then would be unrecognizable as such in my own home or at work? Of late, I have been humbling myself before the Lord because I am saddened at the number of Christians whom I see [and truly love] who are so desperate to appear dedicated to God, yet behind the scenes of their everyday lives, there is bitterness, loneliness, self-criticism and secrets that hinder their identity in Christ. And I come before the Lord in humbleness because I do not want to hold myself above any other. Repentance is a constant in my life as I battle against my sinful nature like any other Christian. I want to walk in this world as a genuine disciple of my Lord. The time is coming when true disciples will be needed to show the way to unbelievers and believers, alike.

It is obvious to me that there is a tension building in the nation and among the faithful. For those who cling to the world and not to Christ [and sadly, that includes some self-professed Christians], a spirit of fear is beginning to take hold. All the foundations of the world [which we have come to rely on] are unsteady and no one knows whether they will withstand the pressure. But when we call ourselves Christians, do we not rely on our faith in Jesus and His promises to be the foundation of our lives? Is He not to be our strength and our deliverance when the world turns upside down? That is when we will know if we have what it takes to be called a disciple of Christ. 

Jesus and the Bible make it clear that there is a cost to becoming a disciple. He clearly tells us that we must be willing to take up our cross and give up everything to follow Him. It isn't an option. It's a requirement. We must be willing to give up all our worldly goods, our homes, our families and relationships, and even our lives. "Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life". Those are the wise words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor of the Confessing Church during Hitler's demonic reign in Germany, and he should know. He was hung for daring to come in opposition to the diabolical Third Reich. He also said, "Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ." This backs up Jesus's statement to a large crowd who had come to hear Him teach, "So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple".

As the world hurtles toward the return of our Righteous King, I pray that I will have the strength and heart to bear my cross, whatever it may look like. I pray that I can be a source of encouragement for my fellow Christians as we stand together as true disciples of Christ -- not to appear more holy than others, but in pure motivation to glorify the Name of Jesus. I understand that I can do nothing to accomplish this on my own, but I put my trust in the Holy Spirit to guide me and counsel me in all my ways and for all my days. Lord, whether you come back tomorrow, next year, or a thousand years from now, I need your help to walk in righteousness and humility. Help all of us to turn away from the world and follow the examples of the 12 disciples who willingly left their lives behind and simply obeyed when you said, "Follow Me". Help us all to drop our masks, and live authentic lives as Your true disciples --- repenting when we sin, picking up our cross each day, pursuing God's righteous character, and pointing the way to eternal life and the Kingdom through our words and deeds, boasting only of the Glory of God in our lives.

#Discipleship #Costofdiscipleship #DiscipleofChrist

Philippians 3:12   Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. 

February 8, 2022

Christians: Why It's Important To Have An Answer!

I'm sure you've all had this experience .... a skeptic of our faith asks a question about the Bible or Christianity and you don't have an answer for them. For my husband, it was a non-believing friend asking him where the dinosaurs fit in the Bible narrative. That's not an unreasonable question. And I would surmise that the number one question asked is, "How can you believe in a God who tells his followers to kill every man, woman, child, and animal in a different tribe"? Could you answer that question? Because if you are trying to share your faith with the lost world, I can guarantee you will get those kinds of questions from all kinds of people -- atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and people genuinely searching for something to believe in. But if we can't defend what we believe, and why we believe it, then we are going to miss opportunities to bring the lost into the Kingdom of God.

Mark has stayed in touch with our friend with the dinosaur question, and has regained his trust that allows Mark to speak into him, but he's a slow move towards accepting Christ because the world provides all his carnal needs. But because Mark felt he squandered an opportunity to introduce our friend to the complexities and glory of God, this experience was the impetus for both of us to become serious about studying the Bible and being able to explain and provide reasonable proof and answers [according to Scripture] as to why we believe what we believe. As to the question regarding the commandments of God to destroy entire people groups, one aspect of the complex answer is this: When Satan tempted Eve in the Garden, God declared to Satan, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring". The Hebrew word used instead of "offspring" was "seed". In effect, God is saying that there is going to be a genetic component to this war on earth between His Kingdom and the devil's kingdom. We see the first big impact in Genesis 6, when fallen angels impregnated earthly women, who give birth to the Nephilim (half fallen angel/half human) giants. These hybrids were NOT created according to God's will, and are NOT made in His image. But they were part of Satan's plan to see that Jesus had no pure blood line to be born into. If Satan could corrupt the gene pool of humans on earth, then he could stop God's plan to provide us with a perfect and sinless Savior to deliver us from the wages of Adam and Eve's sin, which is Death. 

Throughout the Bible, God is committed to saving His chosen people from their own destructive behavior. He wanted to keep them sanctified and protected from the influence of nations, tribes, and peoples who followed the ways of Satan through their demonic idols, perverse sexual taboos, and the abhorrent sacrifice of their children. That's why He instructed them to not intermarry with these pagan, ungodly foreign peoples. That would only add to polluted bloodlines and lessen the possibility of Jesus's pure birth. Yet, they did anyway, which led to wicked influences and continual rebellion. Scripture tells us that "every intention of the thoughts of man's heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to his heart" -- so much so that He decided to "make an end to all flesh", [both human and animal]. The Flood was designed to do that, leaving only Noah and his sons and their wives to repopulate the earth. Yet we know that wickedness rose again quickly upon the earth, and we find Abraham fighting giant kings, and the rise of Nimrod, who "began to become a mighty one on the earth". Many of the legends of antiquity paint Nimrod, who was likely born just 70 years after the flood, as a giant of a man; rebellious, tyrannical, and a warrior-king who modeled himself after the wickedness of the Nephilim. That spirit of rebellion has permeated the earth ever since.

So, when presented with a monumental question such as "Why would a loving God seek to destroy humans", we must be knowledgeable of not only Scripture and history, but of the character and nature of God, and be able to express how the battle between God and Satan is still waging today. We must be able to demonstrate the truth that God's plan of redemption and reconciliation with mankind was based on sending our Redeemer, Jesus, as the pure sacrificial offering to atone for all of mankind's sins. We must be able to explain that Satan has remained just as committed to maintaining his dominance and rule in the earth. The ungodly bloodline which began in Genesis 6 was the beginning of centuries of Satan's attempts to manipulate and corrupt our godly genetics and human makeup in order to keep mankind from being restored to our relationship with our Creator.

We only have to look some 80 years ago to see the same satanic actions of Dr. Josef Mengele to "conduct genetic research" on the human occupants of Hitler's death camps. He was known as the "Angel of Death" and sought to pervert God's creation with his diabolical experiments. Today, it is important that we understand the implications of what Scripture reveals in this "seed war" between God and Satan. We must be mindful of Satan's agenda as we spiritually discern the objectives of modern science and genetic research. Anything that seeks to change our DNA should be suspect, and we must be willing to look upon everything with a heart to defend God and His divine plan of Creation and Eternity. And our hearts must be rooted in love for our fellow man as we gently, yet persuasively lead them to God's Truth. 

There is so much more I could say about the questions that are intended to diminish our faith and its influence on our modern society and culture. It saddens me to see how lax we've become in truly knowing the Truth of the Bible in order to not only defend our faith, but to exert Godly influence in the lives of people who are growing more cold every day. How did we so easily relinquish the Christian influence in this nation? I pray that the remnant who recognizes where we are on God's timeline will assert their voices and proclaim our firm trust in the knowledge of Him and His ways, so that we might silence all doubt and unbelief when questioned about our faith. 

Those who attack our God and faith are well-versed in how to debate against our belief system by using arguments centered in moral relativism, humanistic doctrine, and the tenets of their false religions. We, as Christians, must be able to represent our beliefs with answers and evidence based not only on the Bible, but through sound logic, and verifiable observations and experiences, as well as intellectual resources. We don't need to be experts, but we should be able to speak from a spiritual confidence as to the what, why, when, where, and how we find our hope in Jesus. Our reasoned response may very well be the inspiration or encouragement for a soul to seek his or her Creator and Savior. Defending our faith with love and boldness should be the high calling of every follower of Christ.

1 Peter 3:15   ... sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect;