Christian, Christianity, Church of Christ, Inspirational, Judaism, Messianic, Religion

Socialism vs. The Church

According to the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, 82 percent of the average church’s budget is spent on personnel, buildings, and administration expense while only 3 percent is used for children and youth programs, 2 percent for adult programs, and 1 percent on benevolence. – quoted from Living Among Lions pg. 229 by the Benham Brothers.

In a previous article I wrote about how Jesus told Peter the children of Kings were free with regard to taxes. Matthew 17:24-26. And thus in my opinion he was saying that as children of God we are free of the tithe. The money we have is ours to give or not give as we see fit.

After reading the quote from Living Among Lions above, I have two thoughts: 

Giving to charities you’ve researched rather than you’re local church might be more beneficial to others. 

Be sure to research the charities before giving. Like the church, there are many charities where a very low percentage of donations actually reaches the cause they purport to help. 

Thought number two, thank God for the United States of America. Thank God for social security and food stamps. Thank God for our government’s socialistic programs which seek to help the poor, the needy, the disabled, and the elderly.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:42 KJV Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

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Sing a Different Tune

I understand comparisons of sex to Heaven. I get it. But two modern secular songs really bother me. These songs are Take me to Church from Hozier and H.O.L.Y. by Florida Georgia Line.

In my opinion the comparison of sex to Heaven is not necessarily a bad thing. It is an artist’s expression in words of what paradise might be like. Even Jesus compared his Kingdom to marriage and consummation of love. Secular artists, however, rarely mention the concept that sex should only be a healthy and enjoyable part of Holy Matrimony.

Take Me to Church makes a woman the object of worship. H.O.L.Y. nearly does the same. The word Holy seems to replace hottie, bombshell, or wonderful. If she’s truly Holy the appropriate lyrics should have included Beyonce’s brilliant statement in Single Ladies, if you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it.

Holy Matrimony sanctifies the love a man and woman share, even the physical expression of that love. These tunes might be catchy, but they seem to diminish the meanings of Church, Heaven, and Holy rather than promote the values they represent.

Matthew 25:1-12 KJV Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. [3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. [5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so ; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. [11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

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Stealing Holy

I asked you in a previous post to be wary when you hear the words, a better translation would be. Also be wary of those that criticize the men and authors of the Holy Bible.

In the past I have heard the following: Moses was a slow learner. Peter often didn’t think before he spoke. Do you really want to trust doubting Thomas?

What are they really saying: I’m quicker than Moses, I’m smarter than Peter, Trust me, not an apostle who walked and talked with Jesus. This is certainly one interpretation of what they are saying. I call it stealing Holy or at least the attempt to do so. Criticism almost always implies I am better. Perhaps it is innocent. Which is why I simply say be wary. Listen to the context and judge for yourself if it is a warranted criticism. This kind of criticism is on occasion accompanied by a knowing giggle or laughter. To me that is a dead giveaway the critic is trying to get away with something. They genuinely think they are better.

9 times out of 10, I will prefer the men and authors of the Holy Bible to the critic. Ask yourself if the criticism is valid and don’t be afraid to ask yourself: When have I spoken rashly, when have I been slow to learn, and when have I doubted? Where do I want to place my trust, in the critic or in known followers of Jesus?

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Sleight of Hand

I’ve been in two discussions with two of my closest friends concerning magic. They would proffer that it is card counting and sleight of hand.

I proffer it is works of the Devil through familiar spirits and his Angels. One magician on America’s Got Talent last year even named his familiar spirit. On Penn & Teller they joked with one magician that he knew Satan. Most magicians won’t willingly admit they have a familiar spirit or obtain power from the Devil because that ruins the mystery. I’m even surprised by the recent openness discussed above. Perhaps it is to gain future followers.

The truth. Stay away from magic, sorcerers, witches, wizards, and those with familiar spirits. The Lord cares for none of it. In the Old Testament it was a death penalty not only to be one of these practicers of the dark arts, but to associate with them. How much more so a serious matter yet today? 

It’s not harmless fun and games. As I told my friend, even Criss Angel has seen the power of God, he’s just seen it through the Devil’s perspective.

The Devils greatest sleight of hand is causing the masses to believe its just harmless entertainment. 

This Halloween and throughout the year stay away from evil and stay safe. What’s good advice for you is good advice for me. I need to stop tuning the television to these shows.

Leviticus 19:31 KJV Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 18:10-11 KJV There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, [11] Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

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The Bible Says

Another dangerous phrase is: the Bible says… .

Let your ears perk up and don’t be afraid to ask for chapter and verse. Many times I’ve heard preachers on television say the Bible says and I’m left thinking no it doesn’t.

Acts 17:10-11 KJV And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. [11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

The Bible says… is a powerful phrase. We are believers and those words carry great weight with us. Be vigilant and like the early church members mentioned above verify to make sure what is said is so.

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A Better Translation Would Be…

Whenever you here a preacher or teacher say “a better translation would be” be very wary and alert for what follows.

At the point they proffer a better translation they are asking you to place your faith in them, their abilities, and what they think as opposed to the Holy Bible.

I have faith in the completed work. I find nothing lacking in the King James Version Holy Bible. Be alert! Be wary! 2 Timothy 4:3-4 KJV tells us For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; [4] And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

This is happening today as Sunday morning translators speak of “agape” love, which has come to mean the unconditional love of God. Don’t be led astray. Even John 3:16 requires that we believe. Salvation is conditioned on following the Word of God including baptism by immersion in water, striving not to sin, confession of our sins and turning from them. It is conditioned on loving our God, loving our neighbor, believing Jesus is the Christ and valuing his sacrifice. Christianity is fraught with conditions and God’s love is not unconditional. Yet many believe God’s love is unconditional and will be led astray to damnation thinking they can commit as many sins as they wish.The adage once saved always saved simply isn’t true. Jesus plainly said, if you love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

There is a hymn which closely mirrors my view of God’s Word. It is entitled Give Me the Bible written by Priscilla J. Owens and Edmund S. Lorenz. The lyrics that moves me the most are …precept and promise, law and love combining… . There are conditions to God’s love, but they are reasonable and with hope and with expectation.

Give me the Bible, holy message shining; Thy light shall guide me in the narrow way; Precept and promise, law and love combining, Till night shall vanish in eternal day.