Dr. Brown Answers Your Questions

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Is it ever right for Christians to take one another to court? What is the meaning of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” in the New Testament? Is the church using modern explanations for homosexuality rather than biblical ones? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: There is turmoil around us. There is moral insanity around us, which means be sober, be vigilant, and keep your eyes fixed on the Lord.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Righteousness shines! Righteousness cannot be defeated, and truth will never be overcome!

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This week, we’re offering two important resources from Dr. Brown, his brand new book, Can You Be Gay and Christian?, and his DVD debate with gay activist (and professing born-again Christian) Harry Knox. You can get both of these key resources for the super low price of just $25! Postage Paid! That’s a $15 savings!
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Other Resources:

How to Test the Spirits

Cessationist Call-In Day

Dr. Brown Debates Homosexuality with Prof. John Corvino and Then Discusses Mean-Spirited Communication in the Body (and More)

572 Comments
  1. Greg, Are there any scriptures that come to mind when you think about the situation in post 45, about the building contractor going over budget because of some fault of a sub contractor, about who’s responsible, about taking a brother to court to sue, about forgiveness, about finding peace, about restoring, or about not enforcing anything, but simply making a plea for mercy whenever one witnesses something done wrong that is the cause of any present distress?

    What about covetousness? How about whether or not one is made a ruler and a judge over another? Is that the same or different than ministry of reconciliation?

    And how should church matters be handled in a different manner than worldly courts?

  2. DB—“If a person wants to be “in the land of the living” on earth in the future, that person will HAVE to be a citizen of Israel–the state which has absorbed “as many as would”.”

    You mean a literal citizen? What Scriptures verses are you taking that from?

    Nicholas,

    I’m going to re-read your post again tomorrow. Let’s see, that would be about 4 minutes away! 🙂

  3. Hi Nicholas,

    I’ve wrestled with the idea of a third temple for years now. It seems that the description as given to us in the book of Ezekiel is quite literal. The fact that the description is highly specific and detailed and that the dimensions differ from the preceeding temples makes it all the more believable to me. As Scripture is interpreted on various levels, I think we’re dealing with the perfect instance of the melding of the spiritual application together with a literal temple which Christ will occupy during the millennium. By the way, you do consider the millennial reign of Messiah to be a real event don’t you? I imagine so.

    The reason I can accept a literal temple in the millennium is because Messiah is King of all the Earth, headquartered in Jerusalem and we have an altar with sacrifices because people still have to eat. I’m not being facetious either. Bear with me while I give voice to what I’m thinking because I’ve never actually worked it out to my own satisfaction yet. I may not work it out this time either… It’s one of those great questions that not many scholars have specifically delved into that I can see. It will probably remain a mystery until our Lord’s return but seeing how humans love being challenged with a mystery, we’ll continue to try and unravel it, no doubt.

    Looking at the spiritual application we can readily see the verses that support that interpretation. I’m not quite following you when you state: “Therefore, the altar of God’s people, the Church, is the altar of the Third Temple, the Eucharistic Oblations are the sacrifices, and the fruits of Christ’s singular work of atonement are being applied to the faithful.” I don’t understand the Scriptures that combine the altar, the sacrifices and the atoning work of Messiah, Jesus, as being applicable in the example of the Eucharist. But then I’m not seeing them through the lens of the Catholic tradition and that’s the roadblock in my understanding of your view. I admit I’m ignorant of your tradition for the most part. Well, pret’ near all of it! 🙂

    I’ll continue to parse the verses and work on my reply for tomorrow some time. It will probably be after dinner though. It’s late now.

    Talk to you then.

  4. Nicholas and Greg and Sheila and whoever is reading,

    The new covenant is about YHWH restoring the original offer to Israel to be a nation of kings and priests. The new covenant is to the houses of Judah and Israel. (Jer. 31) According to Paul, for a stranger to partake of this covenant or the others (See Eph. 2:12-13 and Rom. 9:4-5) they must be grafted into Israel. The inauguration of this new covenant was proclaimed on the night that we call the “last supper.” It was paid for on Passover via Messiah’s death and was poured out to us on Pentecost.

    In remembrance of Messiah’s death, we are to partake of the unleavened bread and wine at Passover. Messiah did not start a thing called the Eucharist or even Communion that was to be done on any old day in any old way or every day or even on Sunday. He explained the meaning of the unleavened bread that we are to eat at Passover and the cup of wine after dinner that has been called the cup of redemption for Millennia by Israel. The day that memorializes Messiah’s death till he returns is Passover.

    Catholic and protestant priests and most pastors are really just the perpetuation of nicholaitanism, which YHWH hates. The Levitical preisthood is a temporary mediator between YHWH and man that was necessitated by Israel asking not to hear from YHWH directly. Israel was supposed to be a kingdom of preists. (Ex. 19:5-6) They ended up needing someone to be their priests. The Catholic church is a man made priesthood that comes between YHWH and man. The protestant churches have emulated this to greater or lesser degrees. The new covenant states equivocally that in it no one will be need this intermediary. Messiah alone is the mediator between YHWH and man. All true new covenant believers are YHWH’s representatives, to the world. The believers have no need for priests.

    It is quite instructive that James does not say to confess to the priests but to one another. Peter reiterates the sentiment of Ex. 19 in regards to new covenant believers being a royal priesthood and a holy nation. (1 Pet. 2:7-`10) Nothing at all is said of there being a priesthood to the royal priesthood. There is a high priest and it is not the pope…it is Messiah.

    The new covenant is not a new idea. It is the restoration of the original idea. The feasts of YHWH (They are not Jewish feasts.) are not changed or done away with, but restored to their original intent. There is precedent for Paul’s idea that people get sick from partaking of Passover unworthily. (It is not some new communion thing.) Again, it is not a new idea, but a restored thing.

    2Ch 30:1 And Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the passover unto the LORD God of Israel…
    17 For there were many in the congregation that were not sanctified: therefore the Levites had the charge of the killing of the passovers for every one that was not clean, to sanctify them unto the LORD.
    18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim, and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than it was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good LORD pardon every one
    19 That prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
    20 And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
    21 And the children of Israel that were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness: and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments unto the LORD.

    Isn’t it instructive that 1 Corinthians starts off with calling them to purge out the leaven to keep the feast of unleavened bread? Then for Paul to give instructions later about what is and is not keeping the Passover/Master’s supper and to relate the problem at the Passover of Hezekiah’s time to it?

    This brings up the point that the “Lord’s supper” is not for those that are in sin. It is for those that have been cleansed and that are walking devoutly. It does damage to frivolous believers. It is not for the unrepentant. Paul instructs the Corinthians to judge themselves and their members. Those unwilling to repent of things like adultery, fornication, homosexuality, covetousness, drunkenness, and idolatry are to be removed from the assembly. They are not allowed to be fellowshipped with or to partake and we are not to eat, at least the Passover, with them.

    In the third temple and the millennium, Passover and Tabernacles and new moons and Sabbaths will be kept…at least according to the prophets. The real body of Messiah should keep those things according to the scripture…not according to the inventions of men. The Catholic church has replaced Passover and Unleavened bread with good Friday and Easter. The protestants follow along, give or take. They celebrate Pentecost, but not the way that the scripture states. The protestants usually do not know much about it. The fall feasts are pretty much ignored by both, the best that I can tell.

    So is the Catholic version of the “third temple”, or the protestant version for that matter, really right? Does it really square with scripture? If we are it because we are the body of Messiah, we ought to be doing all the things that the prophets declare. Upon reading the book of Romans, not to mention Colossians and Hebrews and the rest, I am convinced that the Paul through the Holy Spirit rejects Roman Catholicism as the true church or correct method. I am convinced from Revelation and John’s other writings that protestantism is simply following a few steps behind most of the time.

    The new covenant has been misrepresented to us via another gospel. It is time to come out of Churchianity and rediscover, or actually let YHWH’s Spirit re-reveal the truth of living by every word of YHWH. The letters to the seven churches are so obviously against what most people call true religion. How can anyone read 1st John and James honestly and come to the conclusion that what is called the church, whether Roman or protestant, is on track?

    So yes symbolic things in scripture are important. They can cause great blessing if obeyed or great distress if ignored or trivialized. Not because there is real blood and flesh in “the elements”…because of what those things reveal to be in our hearts. Not because immersion in water makes us cleaner inside or out, but because our good conscience via regeneration wants to obey YHWH and fulfill all righteousness. Our new hearts want to identify with Messiah in every way possible.

    Shalom

  5. OOps! That was supposed to be: The new covenant states [[unequivocally]] that in it no one will need this intermediary.

    Late night theology has got me using big words and leaving out letters once again 🙂

  6. Sheila,
    “You mean a literal citizen?”
    Not a “citizen” of the current form of government in Israel; a “citizen” of Heaven.
    🙂

    “What Scriptures verses are you taking that from?”
    Every other nation on earth will cease to exist–only Israel (into which all those who believe in Messiah will have been grafted and become partakers in the richness of the root [Ro 11]) will be left [Jr 30:11].

  7. I do not believe the plan of God is to call the entire world, (whosoever will) to become one in Israel, but rather to become one in Christ.

  8. The new covenant isn’t only about Israel becoming kings and priests….unless we are calling the rest of the Church Israel. (see Rev 1:6)

  9. People of the same sects cannot agree on what their magic book says. More proof that there is no God.

  10. Seeing as the scripture is authored in such a way that the spirit of man searches out it’s deep secrets, according to where each man is at the time, providing spiritual nourishment that they may grow thereby, having more than any man can fully receive, is proof that God indeed exists.

  11. Nicholas,

    I like the “may” phrasing of your church’s absolution…I think it does put the emphasis on the write place.

    Are you a priest or ex-priest? I don’t meet many Catholics who are as informed about the church as you are.

    Hypothetical question: how will you react if this new pope decrees that the gays are now OK?

    I can’t imagine you haven’t thought about that.

  12. Ray,

    I used that example because it’s a case that I can’t imagine any church being competent to resolve.

    I suppose all business people are greedy, to some degree, but this is about contract law.

    Aren’t there “worldly courts” established for just these kinds of cases? Lawyers and judges got to years of school to specialize in this subject.

    I’ll guess that not one bible school or seminar in America offers a course in contract law! My seminar did offer conflict resolution classes but I don’t think my bible school did.

  13. Bo said,

    >The new covenant is about YHWH restoring the original offer to Israel to be a nation of kings and priests.

    That is fringe theology, Bo. In all my bible school and Seminary classes not one professor believed that. I’ve never heard it preached in a sermon.

    You can’t possibly expect me to engage with the rest of your post when it is based such an extremely-out-of-the-mainstream presumption.

    But I will respond to this:

    >> The new covenant has been misrepresented to us via another gospel.

    This sentence is very hard to parse!

    To be clear:

    I have been taught, countless times, that there is only one gospel.

    In the old covenant they looked forward to the messiah and in new covenant we look back on Jesus.

    Throughout all of time, there is only one savior. This would be before the covenants as well.

    Where there is lots of debate is around the exact meaning and purpose of the covenants. LOTS of debate.

    But, I never hear anyone argue that the purpose of the New Covenant was to allow Israel to rule and judge the world.

    The two mainstream teachings I think I hear the most is that the New Covenant internalizes Old Covenant Law. (aka writes the law on our hearts) and the New Covenant now includes the Gentiles.

    And, obviously, these are compatible with each other.

  14. I forgot to mention that the places in scripture that some people use to support the relaxed idea of communion, or any idea about communion for that matter except 1 Cor. 11, are all referring to eating of meals together. Note that these places do no mention wine. Here are all of them:

    Joh 21:13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
    Ac 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
    Ac 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
    Ac 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
    Ac 20:11 When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.
    Ac 27:35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.

    There are a couple of passages that mention bread besides these:

    Ac 12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
    Ac 20:6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days.
    1Co 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    So we do not see anyone doing communion, but we see that the disciples were continuing to keep the feast of unleavened bread. Passover is the beginning meal of unleavened bread and is what Paul is referring to in 1 Cor. 11. The “THIS bread” and “THIS cup” are specific to Passover and not some new thing.

    1 Cor. 11
    1Co 11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

    What is the feast that declares Messiah’s death? Passover. What kind of bread was eaten at Passover? Unleavened bread.

  15. Van,

    >>People of the same sects cannot agree on what their magic book says. More proof that there is no God.

    I’m surprised that a scientific guy, like you, would so misuse the word “proof.”

    When atheists argue with each other, is it proof that God exists?

  16. Bo,

    It seems to me, that “communion” evolved during the hundred years of oral tradition and then writing the NT.

    Early on, it was remembering Jesus during a normal meal. Then the meals became more formal. Then it became ritualized.

    (Skip ahead 2000 years — and now it’s a shot glass of Welch’s and a Tic Tac of bread! 😉

    This is more of a general impression — I’d need to research it more. I’m sure I studied this once but I forget details like that. I’m not Dr. Brown!

  17. Bo,

    You have me super curious now — what denomination or church to you attend?

    I’ll be honest, I still getting my mind around how you view the New Covenant.

    Are you in a cult?

    I don’t mean that as an insult. But, I have to wonder.

  18. Van,

    Scripture is perfectly clear on many different levels. Some get the correct message by accepting the work of Messiah and resting in Him while being new to the Word of God. Others have gone way beyond that to delve into the Word on many different levels. My point is that there is something for each depending on where they are in their walk with God.

    Here’s an example. I never got beyond Algebra in College, that doesn’t mean that the world of trying to discern the “First Cause” of the universe is wrong in persuing because scientists/physicists can’t even agree on the specifics. Algebra hasn’t suffered because I’m not at their level of mathematics.

  19. PS to Bo:

    I would like to hear you respond to my question about the gold standard.

    I hear “gold standard” guys call radio shows, pretty often, but the host never asks them this very question.

    Wouldn’t the gold standard lock-in the total value of the economy to the total value of the gold?

    In other words, the gold standard would doom America to being a third world country?

    Or, alternatively, it would inflate the value of gold to the point where one fleck could buy you an Escalade. (this seems like the most likely scenario to me. We simply shift the inflation problem from dollars to gold.)

    (I actually have other questions about the gold standard but the above seems the most glaring since it would occur to anyone who took Macroeconomics 101.)

  20. And how could the little guy ever accumulate true wealth if the Government held the gold? I’m not getting it am I? Is there enough gold out there to underwrite everyone’s wealth?

  21. Van,

    Have you ever heard Dr. John Lennox speak? He holds triple doctorate degrees in Science and Philosophy. He’s also a Christian. Let me recommend that you go on Youtube and listen to the man reason with the atheists. He’s very polite while remaining super intelligent. I think you’re under the false assumption that Christians are stupid. Wake up to the truth.

  22. Greg,

    I was referring to another gospel like Paul did here:

    2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
    Ga 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

    It is not the gospel that the apostles preached that comes up with the idea of communion. They and the early believers kept the feast of Passover and unleavened bread.

    There is only one true gospel for those who lived before and after the time of Messiah. The “another gospel” is a false one.

    You wrote:
    “You can’t possibly expect me to engage with the rest of your post when it is based such an extremely-out-of-the-mainstream presumption.”

    All you have to do is read the scriptures that I quoted and referenced. Then you can respond. Do you not think that it is interesting that the sickness is associated with partaking of Passover unworthily before Paul’s statements? Mainstream is not usually the right stream.

    Mt 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    The new covenant is only offered to Israel:

    Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (Quoting Jer. 31)

    The covenants and adoption and promises belong to Israel:

    Ro 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
    Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

    Gentiles must be grafted/adopted into Israel to be partakers of the covenants and promises that YHWH made with Israel. They are not grafted into us. Those that are gathered together with Israel are regulated by the same laws and rules as Israel:

    Nu 15:16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

    Strangers that have entered covenant with YHWH are not to think of themselves as separate from Israel:

    Isa 56:3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree…
    6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
    7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

    Now we see context of Messiah’s quote about YHWH’s house being a house of prayer for all people. It is about gentiles being grafted/adoptied into Israel and not being a separate entity. Like Paul says:

    Ro 11:24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?

    Israel is the name of YHWH’s people. Some Israelites are not Israel and some gentiles are grafted into Israel:

    Ro 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

    YHWH chose Israel before they were Israel. He will not go back on His gifts and callings.

    Ro 11:28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
    29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
    30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

    In a sense, we can choose to be chosen by accepting YHWH’s name (adoption), covenants (commitment to obedience) and being joined to His people (Israel).

    Isa 56:3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people…
    6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;

    We can do the above or we can continue to think of ourselves as gentiles and a separate entity from Israel and we can continue to reject YHWH’s laws and statutes. If we are still gentiles, are still strangers to the covenants of promise and we are not adopted into the household of faith for we do not have the family name…Israel. When we refuse to keep YHWH’s family feasts and instead invent our own things like Good Friday and Xmas and Easter and Lent, and communion, and, and, and, then we should not be surprised if we find ourselves in a very large crowd (MANY) at the end.

    Mat 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’
    23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

    If we will not do the Father’s will and will continue to reject His law, we just may not like what we hear. We can just continue hear the word and not put it into practice…to build on the sand and reject what YHWH’s word says.

    Mat 7:24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
    25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
    26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
    27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    Are we deceiving ourselves or not?

  23. Sheila,

    >>Scripture is perfectly clear on many different levels. Some get the correct message by accepting the work of Messiah and resting in Him while being new to the Word of God.

    For us Evangelicals, there are two very significant efforts to define what we can all agree on: the creeds and the Fundamentals.

    The creeds were the broader effort of the church to define the core beliefs.

    (Although too long to post here, still pretty basic!)

    The original Fundamentalist movement (in reaction to “higher criticism”) defined an even shorter list although they added a couple of things. (inerrancy and substitutionary atonement)

    These are the “fundamentals”

    * The inerrancy of the Bible
    * The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ’s miracles and the Creation account in Genesis
    * The Virgin Birth of Christ
    * The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ
    * The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross

    But, if you notice this blog — we tend to argue issues way outside the creeds or even the “fundamentals”

    There is no mention of homosexuality or abortion in the creeds or the fundamentals. Yet, even Dr. Brown called me “anti-Jesus” for disagreeing with him about so-called, “reparative therapy”!

    Others have condemned me to hell for disagreeing on issues that are not even remotely connected to the creeds of the fundamentals.

    As for me, I try to not question people’s claims to be Christian because they differ on issues outside the creeds or the fundamentals.

    I consider it a kind of heresy when we elevate modern social issues to a salvific level.

  24. Greg,

    Obviously, during much of history with literacy rates being pretty low and Bibles being scarce, creedal religion was of great import. Better was the Jewish idea of memorization of vast amounts of scripture. We do not get writers like Paul from a creed based religion. Now we have the luxury of concordances and Bible software and creeds and memorization and much spare time to argue every conceivable point of doctrine.

    It doesn’t really matter if we agree mentally with the fundamentals or the creeds or the commentaries. What matters is that our lives evidence proof of complete commitment to doing YHWH’s word…or at least what we know of it. When I was a young child, I knew not much more than to be kind to others. Later I knew that my loyalty was to be absolute toward YHWH even to the point of “hating” other relationships and even my own life. As time continues, more and more of the seed of the word of YHWH has been planted in my mind and heart and I am accountable to let that seed grow and produce fruit.

    So to argue that homosexuality is sin with a person that only knows to be kind is fruitless. But once the loyalty to YHWH stage of development has dawned upon someone, it becomes a big issue. Once one knows the passages that condemn it, it becomes an issue of continuing to grow in applying every word of YHWH to every aspect of life.

    Le 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
    18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

    The aspect of the sufficiency and inerrancy of scripture becomes paramount in these discussions, because we are not supposed to stay in the first stage of just being kind in a temporal sort of way. We should realize that to be kind is to warn and rebuke our brothers for the sake of not allowing sin upon them. The fundamentals of the faith encompass even the aspects of abortion and homosexuality because scripture does deal with these topics and every other area of our lives.

    Those that live as loyal servants and obedient children of YHWH should be very concerned about not committing, sanctioning or allowing such detestable sin in their own lives or of those that call themselves brothers/sisters. It is leaven that needs to be removed from the body of Messiah so that the rest of the bread does not become ruined…if it is not too late already in most churches. I still think that it is time to come out of Babylon.

    Messiah never dealt with cannibalism specifically. Does that mean that we are not allowed to call it a sin and warn and rebuke those that participate in it and sanction it? It is simple minded, immature sentiment to state that, “It is not a fundamental of the faith.” or, “Messiah never preached on it.” It is trying to live in the “be kind” mode and not to grow up…if it is not rejection of truth and having ones heart hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. It is definitely allowing the cares of this live to choke the word.

    Heb 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

    Mr 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
    Lu 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

    There are children and mentally handicapped and older believers that are much like children in their mental capacity. These things are not appropriate to discuss with them. But for those that think that they up to the second and third stages of mental and spiritual development, it is time to grow up or wake up…before “that day come upon you unawares.”

  25. Greg,

    Also things like murder and theft and adultery are not mentioned in the fundamentals or the creeds. Can someone unrepentantly participate in these and really be a true believer? Just because something does not fall into the fundamentals or creeds by your standards does not make it important enough to be evidence of true faith/commitment to YHWH.

    Jas 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

  26. Greg,

    Not only did I give way too short an answer to Van but I’m probably guilty of doing it too often. A more thoughtful answer always covers more ground than I sometimes take the time for. I apologize for spreading myself too thin sometimes. I’m working on two different threads at the same time and am way behind on one which requires so much study and thought, not to mention specific word choices, which I honestly try to use often. Your point deserves consideration. It’s mostly what I had in mind with the basic tenants of Christianity being summed up for new believers. We are admonished to go on further in our studies but “to each of us is given our own measure of faith.” We are not all outfitted the same way and some go on to get a degree in Theology or to become Ministers and teachers while others walk in their faith to the best of their ability considering where they’re at at the present time. If they learn nothing more than the Gospel I can’t believe the Lord would turn them away. However, when they should know better, they will be disciplined is what Scripture says: Luk 12:47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

    The basic creeds, though, are good for starters, such as the Apostles Creed, which states:

    1. I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

    2. And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord:

    3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary:

    4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried: He descended into hell:

    5. The third day he rose again from the dead:

    6. He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty:

    7. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead:

    8. I believe in the Holy Ghost:

    9. I believe in the holy catholic [universal] church: the communion of saints:

    10. The forgiveness of sins:

    11. The resurrection of the body:

    12. And the life everlasting. Amen.

    Is it wrong to not know whether homosexuality is considered a sin or not? Well, is it wrong to not know whether stealing or adultery is a sin or not? They’re not listed in the creed either. I have to believe that if you’ve come to the point of agreeing with and reciting the creed itself that you would know enough to understand what “sins are being forgiven” in the 10th line of the creed. Our conscience tells us when we’re sinning. When we deliberately dull our consciences we’re headed away from communion with God and sin becomes easier and easier to live with until you no longer hear the voice of the Holy Spirit convicting you anymore. To repent and turn back is the only remedy. I’ve had to do it in the short time I’ve been a believer.

    You and I don’t agree on your liberal interpretation of Scripture. And I don’t consider myself an evangelical, seeing I’m not even sure what one is. 🙂 Maybe I am and don’t know it. I know where I stand on end time prophecy, the rapture, the Church, Israel, etc., etc., but so far I’ve escaped being labeled this or that, other than a devout Christian.

    Greg–“As for me, I try to not question people’s claims to be Christian because they differ on issues outside the creeds or the fundamentals.
    “I consider it a kind of heresy when we elevate modern social issues to a salvific level.”

    I believe the time is now to take a stand on the more pressing social issues of our time. That those opposed to our beliefs will eventually marginalize Christians to the point of silence is already in the works, Greg. I’m not sure your liberal stance hasn’t partially blinded you to the truth of that. What do you make of the trajectory we’re on? There’s a big picture unfolding while we’re debating particulars. Perhaps we need to lift our heads up off the page and truly look around us. “It’s coming to a place near you.”

    But, what I think is that it’s also possible to be too cerebral about our theology. Sometimes the simplicity of the Gospel is better. Perhaps that simpleton will stand in the face of persecution better than another with much learning. I read about it happening in other countries all the time. They’re mostly regular people being killed because they won’t deny the Lord and the truth. How would we fair?

  27. Hey, I forgot to mention that I’m typing at lightning speed these days! Well, maybe not lightning but pretty fast considering where I started! Answering others helped tremendously. 🙂

  28. Hi Sheila,

    Ezekiel’s vision does seem to suggest a literal temple, I agree. At least, at first. However, I still think he witnesses a spiritual reality, because, when he really gets into it, his description becomes highly allegorical.

    I was struggling with this myself. I actually called into Catholic Answers back in 2012. That’s the Catholic apologetics radio broadcast. I had a great exchange with the guest, if you want to listen to it. He articulates the Catholic perspective quite well. The episode is called “The Meaning of the Temple,” with Tim Gray. You can look it up and listen to it on the Catholic Answers website.

  29. It’s been said that God helps those who help themselves. It seems to me even more so, that he helps us when we help others.

  30. Nicholas,

    Thanks for the link, I’ll do that in a bit. I’m working on collecting the Scripture verses to make my case; I find one which reminds me of another and then I’m off to that. I know, I’ve been waylaid at every turn… And I’m trying to work in the garden in between raindrops! Right now I’m heading out to try again. Who knows for how long?

    I haven’t forgotten though. I’ll be back with you.

  31. Greg,

    I’m not a priest, but I did think about becoming one. I realized that my calling is to marriage, so I’m currently working on that now.

    If the pope were to come out (excuse the pun) and say that gays are “ok,” well, first of all, I can’t imagine that would ever happen, but, in point of fact, he doesn’t actually have the authority to contradict the Church’s teachings. Yes, even the pope doesn’t have that power. He has tried to be more compassionate towards how the Church deals with gays, and it is a sensitive issue, so I think his strategy is a good one.

  32. Sheila,

    Actually, it wasn’t much of an exchange, but I asked a good question. His answer was very thorough. It’s about a third of the way through the show.

  33. Nicholas,

    >>If the pope were to come out (excuse the pun) and say that gays are “ok,” well, first of all, I can’t imagine that would ever happen, but, in point of fact, he doesn’t actually have the authority to contradict the Church’s teachings.

    Interesting. I have always assumed that the pope represents a collective process, rather than being a dictator. But, I assume he has great influence.

    But, you didn’t answer my question.

    The Vatican has changed it’s teaching before. What would you do if they reverse themselves on the gay issue?

    Surely, you’ve thought about it.

    As for married priests, I suspect you would embrace that change. You seem extremely loyal to the church — IMHO, it’s a shame you can’t be a priest because of some medieval view of marriage.

  34. Bo,

    I’ll concede that you make a good point — murder is not in the creeds or fundamentals.

    But,I would content that one can make a good case that murder hurts innocent people.

    I don’t believe one can make a case that a loving, monogamous gay couple is hurting anyone.

    – – – – – –

    Did you answer my question about what church you belong to? I am very curious, now!

    I PROMISE you that I won’t dump on your group, BTW. No matter how much I might disagree with any group, I respect your right to belong. (as long as nobody is being hurt!)

  35. Sheila,

    Thanks for the long response.

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say that you disagree with my liberal interpretation of scripture.

    As a liberal, I interpret scripture to hold that Jesus is Lord. He is the Son of God. He died on the cross and was raised from the dead. etc. etc.

    Surely, you don’t disagree with that!

    My church confesses the same core set of Christian beliefs that your church does, I’ll guess.

    Where we differ is on the peripheral issue, often driven externally by things like politics.

    I think it the signature heresy of the American church that we have incorporated American politics into bible.

    You wrote:
    >>I believe the time is now to take a stand on the more pressing social issues of our time.

    According to the bible, pressing social issues would be helping the poor and widows, visiting prisoners, welcoming the immigrants, etc.

    According the GOP, it denying gays equal rights.

    It’s your right to “take a stand” against equality for gays but I believe you do so prompted by politics, not the bible.

  36. The pope is an autocrat. That is to say, he has supreme jurisdiction over the Church in matters of governance and regarding faith and morals. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is not simply one of honor but of authority. No one in the world is his equal, because he is the Vicar of Christ on earth.

    Having said that, the papacy exists to confirm the Magisterium of the Church, which comes from God. Our understanding of dogma can develop, and we can expand upon its articulation (as we did in the doctrine of the Trinity), but dogma itself cannot change, and the pope has no power to change it. However, he can define new dogmas, such as Pius XII did in 1950, when he proclaimed that the Virgin was assumed into heaven bodily. Now, because Pius XII solemnly proclaimed the Assumption of Mary, Francis cannot come along and say, “Mary was not assumed into heaven, folks.” The Assumption is now part of the deposit of faith. This belief must be held by every Catholic, including the pope. So, regarding homosexuality, because the Church has already spoken on this issue, Francis cannot wink and give gays the “ok.”

  37. Greg,

    See, that’s where you err concerning me. You said, “It’s your right to “take a stand” against equality for gays but I believe you do so prompted by politics, not the bible.”

    There are absolutely no politics involved in my position. I am all for equality for every man, women and child there is. What I’m not for is changing the definition of a word that has meant ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY since the dawning of civilization! We have turned the dictionary and God’s holy union into a bad joke! What was once sacred is now mundane, what was once a reflection of Christ and His Church is now a vulgar representation of perversion. I believe it’s a perversion of God’s initial design for mankind for two men to marry each other, or two women, or three or four or whatever. What does politics have to do with that? Not a thing.

  38. And I certainly help those less fortunate than me. God is the ultimate champion for the poor, it’s written throughout the pages of the Bible. I have three children in three different countries that I sponsor every month through Compassion International as well as contributing to those ministries and outreaches that I deem worthy of my time and resources.

    Your preaching to the choir.

  39. One more thing since you’ve got my blood pressure up. 🙂 If I was politically driven I certainly wouldn’t state what I just did as that’s more or less akin to tightening the noose I just draped around my own neck. Do you see? The “politically correct” thing to do is shut up about it. If you can’t see in what ways the sacred union of husband and wife is reflected throughout the entirety of the Bible, well perhaps you should think about attending a different seminary school.

  40. Greg,

    1 Cor 6

    13 The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined[d] to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[e] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

  41. Nicholas,

    >>So, regarding homosexuality, because the Church has already spoken on this issue, Francis cannot wink and give gays the “ok.”

    Seriously? No matter what the science says. No matter how much society changes. No matter what the best bible scholars of the day, say… the church can never, ever admit it was wrong?

    This completely defies what I believe about the church — yours or any other church.

    We are people… we get things wrong, as all people do.

    The Crusades and the Inquisition come to mind!

  42. Sheila,

    >>There are absolutely no politics involved in my position.

    I think you honestly believe that. It is very hard for people to step outside their own culture and be clearly self-reflective.

    Can you explain why Christian conservatives hammer the gays but almost never mention greed? Both are clearly listed sins.

    I am absolutely convinced that this has everything do to with America’s “culture wars” and very little to do with the bible.

  43. How often do we hear about greed in the news?

    It always seems to be more about homosexuals wanting to promote their agenda, get marriage licenses and such than anyone promoting a greed agenda.

    Should we have more laws that prohibit greed?

    Greg, what do you suggest, more laws against greed?

    Seems to me the gay agenda is full of greed, wanting everything they are not entitled to by simple fact that they do not fulfill the definition of marriage, yet they want all the benefits of it as if it were marriage by God’s definition.

  44. Ray,

    You hit the nail on the head. Homosexuality is covetousness…greed for personal pleasure in disregard to what YHWH has commanded. And according to scripture covetousness is idolatry. That is how important it is to get this right. It is not a political view, it is YHWH’s veiw.

    Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

    Everything in the above verse describes homosex. Everything! If someone calls themselves a believer in Messiah and lives a life of homosex, which is fornication and uncleanness and inordinate affection and evil concupiscence and covetousness and idolatry, we are to rebuke such a one and not have fellowship with him or her and we are not allowed to eat with them…unless they repent.

    1Co 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
    10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
    11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

    Greg, you and your church are directly disobedient to scripture and are helping others to stumble and maybe stumble right into hell. This is not love and kindness, but insidious evil and hating your so-called brother.

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