What I Read Today:

Hebrews 5; Acts 3; Amos 1; Psalm 31; 1 Chronicles 12; Genesis 34

I’ve spoken before on my concern over biblical illiteracy.  Hebrews 5:1-14 and 6:1-12 layout the problems that are associated with biblical illiteracy.

There’s an old saying that goes like this, “If you don’t believe in something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Over the years, I’ve heard things like the following:

  • The Senior Pastor of A large congregation near Kansas City, KS said that in his opinion in spite of what Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13,  Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6:9  and 1 Timothy 1:10 he now believes homosexuality is no longer a sin.  It’s 2020 after all.
  • I’ve had a senior official in a large church body tell me that the idea that God will send people to hell who don’t believe Jesus is the only way to heaven just can’t be true.  I guess Jesus was kidding in John 14:6.
  • We’ve seen several Pastors from large churches ignore God’s exhortation to work with civil government during a pandemic and on several occasions witnessed outbreaks within their own church. I guess Romans 13 was a suggestion.
  • On both sides of the political aisle our church leaders ignore admonitions from Psalm 94:20, Proverbs 28:15 and 29:12 when they follow leaders like these:
    • In 2016 I  watched several conservative church leaders endorse a man for President who has had multiple wives, bragged about his philandering, and had questionable business deals.  The only conservative I heard question them was Max Lucado.  What happened to the rest?
    • On the other side of the aisle, liberal church leaders are rushing to endorse candidates who oppose passing a law that says, if a child is born alive during an abortion you can’t kill it. 
    • Pardon my french but, what the hell?  

These are folks who should know the Bible better.  Yet somehow they seem to have lost the message or compromised the message to fit an agenda.  Now if the ministers of large groups of people don’t know the scripture well enough to understand, how in the world will the people who attend their church understand it?

Folks we have to work to get people back into God’s word.  We have to drop to our knees and ask God to lift the veil that covers the scriptures to people in our society.  We need to pray for pastors who will preach the word and not just follow the society on a social agenda.

Will you join me in this fight?

4 thoughts on “July 31, 2020

  1. Amen! Although in the political realm we are also called to forgive people of their past sins. I mean if we judge people based on their past martial status or whether or not they had been lacking in moral character related to business in the past there might not be too many people left in our churches. On the opposite side we should not be endorsing people who are in this current place and time not only supporting but promoting abortion and homosexuality — and encouraging Christians to join them. But our large denominations are now saying all that is acceptable while they divest from Israel. The current president to my knowledge has never told Christians we should have multiple spouses and questionable business dealings (I’m not even sure that part about him is true anyways 🙂 )

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  2. While I fully agree with most of what you have written, I respectfully disagree with your 3rd point in which you reference Romans 13, and I suspect more specifically Romans 13: 1-7.

    When civil authority steps on the providence of God, as in the mandating of same sex marriages, late term (or any) abortion, and the banning of Christians meeting to worship, should we still follow the civil authorities? I believe not. And you make the point that God’s authority comes first in you first point about homosexuality.

    I believe Pastor John MacArthur’s defiance of the Governor’s mandate is right and proper, just as defying governments recognition of same sex marriage. Civil authorities have
    not been given authority by God to defy what has been commanded in His Word.

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    1. Thank You, Rocky, I appreciate your comment very much.

      I agree with you that if the government were to mandate teachings that were not biblical, then they should be resisted. If a minister is required to perform same-sex marriages or preach that abortion is an accepted biblical practice that should be opposed. If the government demanded, as the Chinese government does, that churches adhere to government-approved teaching, then I would agree that the government should be resisted.

      In my opinion, I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.

      Pastor John Macarthur and his leadership team have two obligations here. They have a responsibility to provide worship for their community, and they must provide for the safety and welfare of their membership. An example of this is the armed guards that are visible at the worship services at Grace community church. They do that to prevent an active shooter event in their church.

      Jesus was very clear in John 4:20-26, that worship was not about a building. For the first two centuries after Jesus’ death, most Christians gathered in homes or met in synagogues in small groups. Paul would go to synagogues first, then to public squares, then finally to homes. The first church building wasn’t built until around 235 AD in Syria. There was no set date and time for worship. Often worship was conducted in the evenings after people came home from work. Many times smaller groups met more frequently than once per week.

      My point is that The New Testament does not prescribe a method of worship, location of worship, or the idea of Sunday worship. The only mandate was found in Hebrews 10:24-25, “24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

      Mankind attached the church building and Sunday worship, to the definition of worship without a biblical requirement or mandate.

      While much has been said about the Governor of California’s overreach in this matter, there has been minimal discussion to what responsibility the leadership of Grace Community Church has to its members during a time of a public health crisis.

      Grace Community Church has an average attendance of over 8000 people weekly. Where I live, there have been several churches that disobeyed the order to initially close and now to have limits on worship size.

      There have been at least two circumstances where outbreaks in those churches have led to hospitalizations of church members and deaths due to Coronavirus. These were churches that didn’t have an attendance of more than 150 people weekly. This is also an area where the numbers of infected were far less than what Southern California is currently experiencing.

      Southern California is currently seeing a significant rise in numbers. I understand that the protests and rioting, along with people engaging in other activities, may have led to the increase.

      However, what is the church’s role in helping to contain the virus? During E-Bola in Africa, the church’s took many steps to help prevent the spread of the virus, and they worked with public health officials to assist in educating members on how to avoid the infection.

      While I understand that E-Bola is a deadlier disease, those same churches in Africa are doing the same thing today to help prevent COVID from spreading in Africa.

      To me, the question is not what right does the government have to order smaller worship sizes.

      The question is, what should the church do in light of an epidemic that has potentially deadly consequences.

      In other words, do we follow the examples of Rick Warren and Andy Stanley, who have decided to wait to re-open to keep their members safe? Do we figure out other ways to worship via Facebook, Youtube, Radio, e-mail, or small groups? I know of one Pastor who has done over 300 driveway worship services for individual families in his congregation. The family sits in the garage or patio while the Pastor sits 10 ft away and conducts a personal service for that family.

      My point is this, is the decision to re-open an 8000 member church the wisest decision right now? Is the decision to do things “the way we’ve done it before,” show concern for our neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ? Or is it about demanding that we get our way?

      I have held Pastor MacArthur in high esteem for many years. I love his teaching style and his biblical teaching.

      Unfortunately, on this topic, I believe he’s wrong. He is a leader who is listened to by many around the nation. His actions will influence others.

      I hope and pray that he won’t later regret those decisions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough reply. You brought up many good and pertinent points, the main being the coming together of believers, even in small groups. I now better understand what you were saying in your post.

        Our church, though relatively small, has been, and continues to use social media to broadcast the pastor’s messages and actively encourages small groups for worship.

        I agree, we, as Christians, are commissioned to lead by example, even when we don’t agree with the authorities. When they do not violate God’s Word, we should and must, follow the recommendations.

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