Follow by Email

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DO WE HAVE AN EVERY WORD BIBLE IN 2014?

The Words of God



Mark 13:31- “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

False bibles come from false premises.  We have found ourselves downplaying verbal inspiration at the expense of so-called higher education and Christian publications.  The attempt by Bob Jones University and other Bible colleges to establish the premise of thought inspiration is, and should be, astounding to fundamentalists everywhere.  


There is a difference between verbal inspiration, plenary inspiration, thought inspiration, and truth inspiration.  Thought inspiration is ludicrous.  Truth inspiration is just as ridiculous. Plenary inspiration demands a canon of Scriptures while verbal inspiration demands a word for word Scripture.  Accordingly, somebody somewhere ought to stand up for the Words of God  via verbal and plenary inspiration.  God Himself has promised to deliver preserved inspiration of Holy Scriptures to every nation.

America is in a precarious position.  On one hand, we find the Charismatics pushing substitutes for the words of God.  On the other hand, we find the neo-fundamentalists, like Bob Jones University, pushing thought inspiration and truth inspiration.  Both positions are dangerous, and the squeeze is on!  Those caught in the middle are the ones attempting to win souls, baptize converts, and send off their young people to be trained to do the same, only in a greater way.  

Yet, our young people are pressured by so-called Christian television personalities and so-called fundamentalist personalities to be conformed to their beliefs about the Words of God.  Consequently, they find themselves questioning the very Words of God.  As a result, their faithful man of God back home, who gave them the Gospel, is suddenly ignorant and unlearned when it comes to the Words of God.  How tragic it is and how dangerous it is to fool with the lives of these young people that desire to serve God.  Satan has always tried to put a question mark on the Words of God, and now Christians are helping him to do so.

Please note Deuteronomy 17:19, “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.”  God’s people were not sent into captivity because they were not religious.  They were sent into captivity because they were atheists in their relationship to the words of God.  A substitution for the words of God began to occur among God’s people.

Jeremiah 23:1 says, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.” Notice that the “woe” was upon these pastors.  Jeremiah 23:13-14 says; “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.  I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.”  God said some terrible things about the people in these verses.  

According to verse fifteen, they are “profane” people.  In verses twenty-one through forty, God lists many things about these prophets and the people who followed them. Note verses twenty-one and twenty-two, “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.  But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” Because the people had a bad relationship with the Words of God, and then that bad relationship resulted in a life of wickedness, God had to send the people into seventy years of captivity. 

The nominal Bible student might think that God’s people were sent into captivity because they were whoremongers, liars, thieves, and wicked people.  No!  This was a nation at its religious zenith.  The truth is they were sent into captivity because of the preachers mentioned in Jeremiah chapter twenty-three. 

Let’s look at and list what God said about the results of these preachers ignoring the words of God and failing to preach the words of God to God’s people, which ultimately caused the captivity of Israel.  These preachers caused the temple to be destroyed.  They caused the walls around the city to be leveled.  They caused famine to come.  Mothers ended up killing and eating their own children.   It caused seventy years, or two generations of Israelites, to grow up five hundred miles from home under Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and the kings and kingdom that followed him. 

Hold it, this captivity was not because God’s people were not religious. They were at a religious peak at this time.  God describes these pastors as having a woe upon them, as having folly in them, as having a horrible thing in them, as walking in lies, being like Sodom and Gomorrah. He describes them as being profane, as not being sent by God, as having deceit in their hearts, as having God against them, as causing the people to err by their lies, as being light or shallow, as promised to be punished by God, as wholly forgotten, as forsaken, and as bringing shame and reproach upon God’s people.  What a bunch of rascals these men must have been.

What did they do that was so horrible? They substituted visions for the Words of God.  Jeremiah 23:16 says, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. The Bible says in such cases to “hearken not.” Do not listen to them.  Why? Because the words they speak are bad seed.  The words God speaks are good seed.  Such is the case with the Charismatic movement of today.  The biggest enemy to the cause of Christ in the world is the modern Charismatic movement. 

God says to “hearken not.” They caused God’s people to walk in lies.  There is deceit in their hearts if they speak visions. They cause the people of God to sin.  God says, “I have not sent them.” God says, “I have not spoken unto them.” Thus, God says to His people, “do not follow them.” Men like T.D. Jakes, Rod Parsley, Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Richard Roberts, Jack Taylor, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, James Robinson, and TV networks like TBN, and PTL ought to be shunned by God’s people.  Why? Because they speak “visions” in place of the words of God.

They substituted prophecy for the words of God. Jeremiah 23:21 says, “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesy.” The minute any one of them opens his mouth and says, “I have a word of knowledge from God,” run away from him as fast as you can.  By the way, you have no business reading their books.  You should get the Bible down and read those words that came from God Himself? 

Run when you hear them say, “Thus saith the Lord….” The Bible is the only word of prophecy any child of God needs. Jeremiah 23:22 continues, “But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.”  

God is saying that He wants His people to hear His words, not T.D. Jakes’ words.  The size of a crowd does not excite me nearly as much as the size of the truth excites me.  God does not want a vision, a word of knowledge, or prophecy, to be given to His people.  He wants His words to be given to His people.  What America needs is some faithful Men of God who will mount the pulpit and preach the old King James Bible without reservation.

In verse twenty-two, God uses the word “then” after speaking of the words of God in reference to revival.  We will not have real revival until we start speaking the words of God instead of visions, prophecies, or words of knowledge. Just look at the charismatic movement with its Hollywood influence and worldliness in its dress and its music.  Whatever happened to the old holiness crowd with their modesty and old-fashioned preaching against sin? What a shame! These preachers substituted visions, and prophecies.

They substituted dreams for the words of God. Who are the people that are guilty of destroying a nation? Who are the people that caused a nation to err and to sin? Who are these who are called “liars” by God Himself? Who caused a nation to go into captivity? Who are the people that caused the temple to be destroyed and the walls to be leveled? 

Who caused a famine to come to God’s people? Who caused the judgment of God to come like a prairie fire across the land of God in the form of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, bringing famine, disease, and pestilence? Who are these people? They are a bunch of preachers, a bunch of pastors who substituted visions, prophecies, and then dreams, for the Words of God. They preached visions, prophecies, and dreams.

Jeremiah 23:28 lets us know that we cannot stop the preachers from preaching dreams, but we can still raise up many preachers who will preach the words of God instead.  God says His words will be wheat and their words will be chaff. “Chaff” does not nourish people. The wheat nourishes the people. Wheat is real, while the chaff is counterfeit. Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

The average charismatic TV program is filled with ninety-nine percent feelings and one percent Scripture, with ninety percent of those Scriptures coming from something other than the King James Bible.  Visions, prophecies, and dreams are being substituted on the airwaves in America for the very words of God. God is saying ‘My words are better than your dreams’. 

The problem is that a whole nation has heeded these visions, prophecies, and dreams. Do not be surprised if our whole nation has just about accepted the Charismatics’ visions, prophecies, and dreams. Jeremiah 23:30 says, “Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.” God says, “I am against these preachers.”

These pastors have substituted “tongues” for the very words of God. Jeremiah 23:31 says, “Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.” A whole nation bought it and a nation was destroyed because of it.  A temple was destroyed because of it, and homes were destroyed because of it. If America does not wake up, her tombstone will read, “She died because her pastors substituted visions, prophecies, dreams, man’s words, and tongues for the Words of God.” 

Visions, prophecies, dreams, man’s words, and tongues are all false Bibles, and pastors caused all of this misery. Visions are bad seed. Prophecies are bad seed. Dreams are bad seed, Man’s words and tongues are bad seed. All these have become substitutes for the very words of God. These are just as bad as the NIV, ASV, RSV, New King James Version, Good Speed Translation, and all other perversions of the Bible.  



If there is an "every word" Bible (Matthew 4:4) out there that God's people are to live by, it cannot be ALL of them.  It must be one of them for the English speaking peoples.  God promised to preserve those Scriptures forever Himself.  Psalm 12:6-7  How can God's people live by and "every word" Bible if all of us have to go to the Middle East to find a few scrapes of the so-called originals.  I think for some "much learning hath made thee mad!"



The dope crowd will not destroy America. The homosexual crowd will not destroy America. The baby killers will not destroy America. The communists will not destroy America. The Hollywood crowd will not destroy America. If America is destroyed, it will be destroyed because of the pastors who substituted visions, prophecies, dreams, man’s words, and tongues for the very words of God.  Our God is not a God of "confusion." Yet, Satan is accomplishing "confusion" through 1,000 perversions of the Scriptures on the market.

God leads me by controlling my mind. In order to control my mind, my mind must be controlled by the Words of God. Thought inspiration or truth inspiration will lead God’s people down an ecumenical path that no one will want at the end. The thoughts of God are put into words called Scriptures. Thus, anyone who teaches thought inspiration or truth inspiration essentially is teaching man’s thoughts above the very Words of God. Let God tell us in His own words His own thoughts, not your thoughts about His words. The Holy Spirit of God is well able to teach God’s people the Words of God.

These pastors have substituted burdens for the words of God. A nation destroyed, a temple destroyed, walls destroyed, and homes destroyed; this all happened because pastors substituted things for the very words of God. Good seed is the preserved Words of God, and bad seed is the perverted words of God. The seed is the Word of God, and the new birth comes because of the seed of the words of God planted in the soul by faith.

Someone says, “God has laid a burden on my heart.” No, He did not! Jeremiah 23:35 says, “Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? And, What hath the Lord spoken?” Burdens are fed and led by emotions, and emotions are the great betrayer of man. That is where the “I feel led” comes from among God’s people.

Jeremiah 23:36-39 says, And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? And, What hath the Lord spoken? But since ye, the burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, the burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord; Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence….”

Oh my, it sure seems that the burdens we are so overcome with that lead us sometimes are nothing more than substitutes for the very Words of God. A preacher who unwittingly says, “God has laid the burden of this message on my heart” is making a false statement, according to the Bible.  God may lead His mind to choose the message, but it is a dangerous thing to live in a world of burdens as the factor and reason for doing things.  God does not tell the pastor what to say. He gives him some people with needs, a Bible filled with answers, and an opportunity to preach those answers. Burdens come and go, but the words of God never change.

Let’s avoid thought inspiration and truth inspiration, and stick with verbal inspiration found in plenary inspiration.  Let’s quit substituting visions, prophecies, dreams, man’s words, tongues, and burdens for the Words of God. Maybe America can be spared if God’s people will quit buying the counterfeit words of God.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

THE DOCTRINE OF BALAAM

MODERN DAY BALAAMS



II Peter 2:1, 14, 15 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”

“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;”

Jude 10-11, “But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”


Cain was the one who killed Abel and the one who offered the bloodless sacrifice. Korah was the one who rebelled against Moses and the earth in judgment swallowed up Korah and thousands of others. Now in between Cain, who was a murderer, and Korah, who was a rebel, is the man named Balaam.

The verse mentions the error of Balaam. Revelation 2:14, “I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” 

He is speaking to the church at Pergamos in this verse.

·      The way of Balaam (II Peter 2:15)
·      The error of Balaam (Jude 11)
·      The Doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14)

It is very obvious here that Balaam did something real bad. God said so and that must take precedence over any view we might have of Balaam.

The truth about Balaam is strange in that it is very hard to find something wrong with Balaam. He was a good man in the Bible. Balaam was actually a courageous preacher. He never trimmed his message even though he was in a foreign country and even though a king had attempted to persuade him to trim his message. Here is a man who never left the words of God. He delivered the message he was supposed to deliver. He made this statement, “If the king himself could give me his own house full of gold and silver I still will not trim my message. I will preach the truth.”

The truth is I would rather spend time in this article exposing the sins of Korah, Judas Iscariot, Demas, or Pharaoh. You cannot help but admire Balaam. He was a decent man. He was a good man. Yet, he committed a sin that was so awful that Peter wrote of it, Jude wrote of it, and John wrote of it.

For the sake of the future of fundamental Baptists everywhere I do not mind exposing someone who does not preach the truth. Men like John McArthur and R. B. Theme who were proponents of the blood of Christ dissipating at the foot of Calvary must be exposed. These and others teach that the death of Christ and not the shedding of the blood of Christ save souls from going to Hell. I remind all of us that when the death angel passed over the Jews that it was not the ones who killed the lambs but those who applied the blood to the door posts whose first born were spared from death.

Dr. Steward Custer of Bob Jones University and Professor Phil Pin of Hyles-Anderson College have pointed us back to the originals for inspiration and mocked II Timothy 3:16 by literally changing the word “is” for the word “was” and placing an emphasis on the originals and not the preserved inspiration of the Holy Scriptures for all tongues and nations.

It is tough to say something about those who give a clear presentation of salvation, who believe they have the words of God and preach those words of God. I do not want fundamental Baptists to waver even a little bit. My desire for independent Baptists is for them to be grounded in the Scriptures.

With that in mind please pay careful attention. There is nothing found in the Scriptures that Balaam did that we would call real wicked. There is no record of Balaam ever selling Jesus out or a brother for thirty pieces of silver. There is no record of the sin of David in the life of Balaam. There is no record in the life of Balaam of false doctrine.

Here is the kind of a man Balaam was. The truth is he is the kind you might vote in as pastor of a great church. May I tell you about him? His ministry was largely in a foreign land. He was hosted in that country by the king himself. The king attempted to cause Balaam to trim his message. However, listen to this statement by Balaam when King Balak said I want you to trim your message. Balaam said, “The word that God putteth in my mouth that shall I speak.” WOW! That is a great statement by Balaam.

Yet, the truth is when God spoke of the sins of the people in II Peter 2:14-15, Jude 11, and in Revelation 2:14 He mentions the error of Balaam. The king said, “Balaam I want you to trim your message.” Balaam answered, “Whatever He (God) sheweth me that will I tell thee.”

See the picture? There was not a Christian in the land. He was in a land without any Christians, which would be like being in Russia and the Czar saying you preach what I tell you and you answer, “I’ll preach only what God tells me to preach!”  Balaam responds, “How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed and how shall I defy whom God hath not defied.”

May I tell you what else Balaam said? “Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth.”? Wow, he would pass the test of a pulpit committee. He sounds very fundamental to me and Balaam did preach exactly what God told him to preach.

·      Balaam believed in the words of God
·      Balaam preached the words of God
·      Balaam did not trim the words of God

Balaam said, “I have received a commandment to bless and I cannot reverse it.” He said, “I will not reverse my decision to obey the commandment of God.” What else did he say, “All that the Lord speaketh that must I do.”?

Before you set in judgment too much on Balaam I want to remind you he is in a foreign country and is being entertained in the palace of the king and the king attempting to get him to trim his message. Balaam answered, “All that the Lord speaketh that must I do.”

Twice Balaam says, “If King Balak would give me his house (palace) full of silver and gold I cannot go beyond the commandment of the Lord. But what the Lord sayeth that will I speak.” By the way Balaam never relented. To the very end he refused to trim his message. He spoke what God told him to speak. He refused to let the king tell him what to say.


WHAT WENT WRONG WITH BALAAM

Obviously the question must be asked concerning Balaam what in the world went wrong with him. God never said that Balaam was a false prophet. The truth is Balaam was not a false prophet. He was a true prophet. God never said Balaam preached error for he did not preach error.

So, what was the problem with Balaam? Please pay attention! The Israelites were on a journey toward the Land of Canaan. On that journey they came to the land of the Amorites. A man named Sihon was the king of the Amorites. The Israelites sent word ahead as they had done before and they said, “We want to pass through the land and can we pass through your land on your highway? We’ll drink our own water. We’ll not cause you any trouble. We’ll not go off of the highway. All we desire is to do is to pass through your land.”

Sihon the king sent back word that he would not allow them to pass through the land. Sihon went to war against Israel. The Bible says Israel defeated him in war and actually slew the Amorites.

Here is the picture! The nation Israel comes to the land of the Amorites and they want to pass through. God’s people have no desire to cause any trouble. The same is true about God’s people today. It is our job to be honest, pay our debts, be congenial, and be nice, and courteous as we pass through this world. However, it is not our job to mix and mingle with the Amorites or the world or in fact the religious world. We are travelers just passing through!

God’s people had won the battle with the Amorites. The next place to pass through was the Moabites. The king of the Moabites was the man named Balak. The truth is Balak was scared. Imagine how he must have felt with his neighbors the Amorites are all dead and it was the same Israelites who are approaching his country. Balak was worried that he and his people would be killed too.

The truth is God’s people did not want to hurt any one. They just wanted permission to pass through the land. Every once in a while some idiot will say, “Well how in the world are we going to change the world if we don’t mix and mingle with the world?” Wait a minute! Our job is not to change the world. Our job is reach every one we can with the Gospel and take as many of them out of the world that we can! The world is going to Hell! We want to take as many as possible out of the world and into Heaven!

That is one reason the Moral Majority movement by Jerry Falwell failed and eventually was shut down. Be leery of those who broadened the tents of fundamentalism to include every stripe of the so-called religious world.

Balak the king of Moab said they are going to destroy us. Balak had heard of this man of God named Balaam. He was known as a great evangelist, great preacher, and a great man of God. So he sends messengers to Balaam and these messengers bring with them rewards of divination or an honorary Doctor’s Degree from Balak’s leading University. These messengers tell Balaam that the king wants him to come and place a curse on the Israelites that are passing through. They said to Balaam we have noticed that whosoever you curse is cursed and whosoever you bless is blessed.

Balaam made a mistake and let them into his house and they spent the night. Balaam goes to God to ask God what he should do. God tells him, “No! Don’t go!” Balaam’s response was, “If the king offered me his palace full of gold and silver I will not go.”

The messengers go back to King Balak without Balaam. The Bible says that Balak sent more honorable messengers the second time. In fact he told them to tell Balaam if he would come and curse the Israelites on top of his degree we will give him anything he desires.

Here come the new messengers. God has already told Balaam not to go. Again, he has them spend the night and he goes to God again! Balaam decided to go. God did not want Balaam to go but God in essence threw up His hands and said, “Ok, ok, go!” So, Balaam goes to Moab.

King Balak takes Balaam to a certain place and tells him to curse the Israelites. Balaam replies, “I have to speak what God tells me to speak.” He is stubbornly staunch in his stand!

·   The word that God putteth in my mouth that shall I speak
·    Whatsoever he sheweth me that will I tell them
·    How shall I curse him whom God hath not cursed and defy him whom God hath not   defied
·    Must I not take heed to speak that which the Lord hath put in my mouth
·    I have received a commandment to bless and I cannot reverse it
·    If Balak would give me his house full of gold and silver I cannot go beyond the      commandment of the Lord.
·    But when the Lord sayeth that will I speak

King Balak says ok let us go over here to another place and look at it from a different view. Now will you curse them? Balaam said no I must preach the word of God. King Balak comes a third time and takes Balaam to another vantage point and demands Balaam curse the people of Israel and Balaam says, “God told me to bless the people of Israel and I am going to obey God.”

Please forgive me but I must wonder why in the world did Peter say Balaam was a bad man? Why did Jude speak of the error of Balaam? Why did John the Apostle say in the Revelation to the church of Pergamos, “I have some what against you because you have gone after the doctrine of Balaam.”

Balaam believed the word of God, preached the word of God, and never trimmed the word of God. So, what then did Balaam do that was wrong?


SEVEN SINS OF BALAAM

·     He asked the messengers to spend the night (II John 11)
·      He asked God what to do when he knew already what to do
·      He talked to new messengers from the same place a second time
·      He asked the second messengers from the same place to spend the night
·      He went to God a second time to receive a second “No!” answer
·      Running with the kings (Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell  were ruined by spending too much time with  Presidents and the elite)
·     Sponsorship of a bad crowd to preach the truth


GOSPEL PREACHERS HAVE FIVE RESPONSIBILITIES

·     To preach the truth
·      To identify with those who preach the truth
·      To bear fruit personally
·      To organize the local church to bear fruit
·     To take care of the orchard for the future of fruit bearing


Dr. Bob Jones Sr. responded to those who were critical of his criticism of Evangelist Billy Graham. Someone said Bill has a lot of fruit and Dr. Jones Sr. retorted, "Yes but he is destroying the orchard."

It is a shame as to what happened as a result of Balaam’s actions. Go to Numbers 24:25 and 25:1-3 you will find they intermarried because Evangelist Balaam mingled with the wrong crowd. In our day it would be the independent fundamental Baptists watering down their associations while claiming they are true to the word of God.


A modern day Balaam hollers he believes the King James Bible is the word of God, but leaves the door open to be able to run with the wrong crowd. It is not enough for a person just to preach the truth. Balaam preached the truth, but without separating from the wrong crowd he destroyed God’s people by breaking down the barriers of association while preaching the truth.

Friday, May 23, 2014

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT TO BE LIKED AND LOVED?

WHY TRIMMEST THOU THY WAY TO SEEK LOVE?




Jeremiah 2:33, "Why trimmest thou thy way to see love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways.”?


It is an easy thing for a child of God to desire to be liked and loved. No child of God desires conflict. Yet the truth is there is a built in conflict between the flesh of man and the Spirit of God. When you trusted Christ as your personal Saviour the Holy Spirit of God came in to dwell in your body. He is your constant companion. He not only regenerates you but he teaches, guides, comforts, and even convicts. Why, because of the battle from the flesh to quench the Holy Spirit!

Here is a pastor who feels alienated from his people. He has been faithful in the preaching and teaching of God’s word. He personally loves to be loved. He personally desires to be accepted by his members. He finds himself at odds with those he has given his life to serve. He has won them to Christ. He has nurtured them in the Lord and yet he finds himself under pressure to conform to their ways. "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a lonely college student who has surrendered to full time service and left home to attend Bible College. He finds peer pressure did not stay at home, but followed him to college. He stands for and does right. Yet, he finds those around him for various reasons are playing college and playing church. He wants to be loved. He wants to be accepted. He wants to be liked. Thus the pressure to conform exists almost daily. "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a struggling parent with a rebellious child. The child threatens to leave home if the rules of the house are not changed. It is very easy for the parent to trim their way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a little gal in high school and she is not in the "in" crowd, but she is a godly young lady. The pressure begins to heighten on her. It would be very easy for her to trim her ways to seek love and acceptance.   "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?" 

Here is a lonely teenage boy. He does right because he wants to do right, but the pressure begins to mount. The peer pressure is almost too much to bear. It would be very easy to trim his way in order to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a college young lady who wants to date, but she is too straight laced they say. It is tough and a very easy thing for her to trim her way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a young widow. She is lonely and she faces it day in and day out. The emotional pressure is almost too much to bear with the empty spot at the dinner table, the bed, and the sofa. It would be very easy for her to trim her way in order to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a young man in college. A young lady has shown him some attention, but she is always critical and self-centered as well as selfish. It is very easy for him to trim his way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a businessman who’s an honest man and a shady deal is offered to him. It is very easy for him to trim his way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Whether it is the love of money, a girl, a boy, a church member, an employee, a son, a daughter, or a boss if you trim your way to seek love you will regret it one day.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

By the way you are in some good company! Paul did take a Jewish vow looking for confirmation and love.  Peter went fishing naked looking for acceptance. Peter cursed and denied his Lord, his faith, and his church looking for love. Barnabas fussed with Paul and chose his nephew over God’s will for he was looking for love. Solomon did the same thing in taking many wives when God said one wife for one lifetime in Deuteronomy 17:17, for he was seeking love. Demas did the same thing by trimming his way in order to seek the love of the world. John Mark did the same thing by turning back trimming his way in order to seek love. King David trimmed his way when he stayed home from leading his army into battle in search of love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a struggling youth pastor taking a stand for right. A child complains to his parent. The parent becomes upset with the youth pastor. Pressure is put on the youth pastor and it would be an easy thing for the youth pastor to trim his way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is a choir director giving his all to proper music and the pressure to liberalize his music standard comes against him. It would be very easy for him to trim his way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

A local church takes a strong fundamental stand for soul winning, standards, bus ministry, being independent, pastoral leadership, and a preserved inspired King James Bible. The pressure comes from family members and other churches. It would be very easy for them to trim their way to seek love. "Why trimmest thou thy way to see love?"

God asks the question, “Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?” It is possible this chapter was Jeremiah’s first sermon after his ordination. The scope of his sermon was to show God’s people their errors. God’s people were charged with the sin of idolatry. God’s people had broken their covenants and had degenerated from their good beginnings. 

Jeremiah let them know that they were without precedent in changing loves. He let God’s people know they had willfully and obstinately changed their lifestyle, which in the end their idols would be unable to help them.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

The same is true today for whomever or whatever you have traded for your God, for this will not help you in the end. "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

Here is an allusion to someone who becomes a lewd woman: a painted up face, a fancy hairdo, a mini skirt, and an attire of a harlot. Here is sinful courting and God asks "Why?" God pleads with them and asks in verse 31, “Have I been a wilderness unto Israel?” and “Have I given you a land of darkness” and “Why do you reject me” and say, “We are lords we will come no more unto thee?”

Jeremiah 2:32, “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.”

In verse 33 God said you have encouraged the wicked by trimming your way to seek love. God says to them the blood of the innocent will be on your hands for trimming your way to seek love. God says in verse 35 to them just because you think it is ok does not make it ok! In verse 36 God tells them they will become gadabouts. Why, because they trimmed their way to seek love. In verse 37 God continues by saying to His people you will not prosper and all because you trimmed your way to seek love.  "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?"

For some strange reason we think that if we trim our way that the world will love us! Not true! They will use us and despise us in order to get out of us what they want! “Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love?”


Monday, May 19, 2014

THE TRUTH CONCERNING CULTURAL RELEVANCE

CULTURAL RELEVANCE





Once upon a time a preacher son decided he would take all he had gained from the preaching and teaching of his father and leave his father's ministry and move to the far country and compromise what he had been taught from his dad's life and ministry. Sometimes we think a prodigal is one who goes out into the far reaches of sin but that isn't necessarily true. Sometimes a prodigal can be a one who merely drifts away from the faith of their fathers. Rather than leaving the faith they leave the beliefs that they have been taught by their father and choose to follow another direction. Many preachers who have sons who have done this fight a battle within of following their son to that far country.

Recently I've heard much said by some of these prodigals concerning cultural relevance. It is as if they are suggesting that we older men are irrelevant and that they must change Christianity in order to succeed. The danger is for older men to follow their sons and preacher boys into the far country and change. The mistake is thinking that relevance is changing. Actually nothing could be further from the truth.

The most relevant man I ever knew was the late Dr. Jack Hyles. I watched him relate to people from every walk of life and even from every Christian background. He did not relate to sailors by putting on a uniform and acting like a sailor. He did not relate to truck drivers by driving a truck or buying a ham radio. He did not relate to teenagers by dressing like a teenager and using their jargon. In fact he amazed me how he could relate to just about any kind of person by merely being who he was.  How could he do it all the way into his seventies?

1. What makes someone relevant? Understanding people! When we understand others we stay relevant. You do not have to be an unwed mother in order to relate with unwed mothers. You just have to mentally put yourself in their position and understand what they must be going through. The most different man that ever walked on the face of the earth was our Lord. He was also the most relevant. He was eternally relevant because he dealt in the eternal truth. He came to this earth and became flesh but he did not become sinful flesh. He took upon him the form that he himself is created in the garden of Eden. He did not take on our habits, our attitudes or our sins, yet he could relate to everyone with whom he met. He related to a tax collector who climbed a tree to see him. He related to a woman with an issue of blood. He related to a woman getting water at a well. He related to a group of fishermen having a bad day fishing. The relevance of Jesus was not that he became more like us in the wrong ways but that he chose to understood us in every way. That's what relevance really is.

Society would tell you that cultural relevance is changing with the culture. My problem is I don't think the culture is changing in the right way so if I change with the culture I am deteriorating. Relevance becomes a never ending shift towards worldliness. I must first ask myself what do I believe and I must build my ministry in my life around my beliefs not around cultural changes.

The shifting sands of culture must not change the eternal foundation of my faith and of truth. We mistake relevance by thinking it means change. We begin to adapt ourselves to the world around us rather than seeking the Lord to transform the world to us.

2. Relevance is learning to relate to people not becoming like them. That's how an older man can relate to youth. It is not conforming to the culture or behavior of youth, but rather understanding why they act the way they do. The world does not want us to be like them. In fact I think the world often subconsciously says, “Don't be like me because I don't like me.” The world knows what's wrong with itself and when we attempt to be like them they know we were becoming like something they know is wrong and without foundation. You relate to people by understanding people, not becoming like them.

3. Relating to people is learning to make people feel comfortable with their differences without embracing their differences. It is interesting how sometimes we distance ourselves from sinners to the point of not being able to reach them. Jesus was relevant, not because he compromised to sinners, but because he was the friend of sinners. Friends do not change in order to pacify another. Friends treat friends with kindness even when they disagree with what they do. 

I believe many of these young men are attempting to deal with the so-called problems between the love of the sinner and the hatred of the sin. To many of the young men the older men do not act like they actually like the people in the world. So, the young men are attempting to pacify the world, by being more like the world. No one wins the unsaved of the world by using the world, but we win them to Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our behavior often distances the world from us. This then necessitates the work of the Holy Spirit. If we reach the unsaved in the world, then the work of transformation by the Holy Spirit from within will make them more like us rather than us more like them. HOWEVER, we must be friends of sinners without being friends with the world by providing spiritual stability so the Holy Spirit an flow through us.

4. Relevance is growth not digression. You do not become relevant by getting weaker, but by staying strong. You do not become relevant by compromise, but by remaining in your convictions. Relevance is not in inflicting what we believe on others, but it is also not changing what we believe for the sake of appeasing others. The temptation to change in order to be relevant leads to compromise. And we begin to digress whenever we decide that change for conformity to the world will make us relate better to them.

5. Relevance is accepting changes in our culture without conformity to them. I am not suggesting that we should approve of the changes, but that we should understand them. Please understand there is a difference between culture and progress. Progress is a cell phone rather than a wall phone. Progress is email rather than U.S. mail. Progress is computers versus Selectric Typewriters. We must not confuse relevance with progress. 

Progress is something that happens in every generation in history. Progress is not the same thing as cultural changes. Cultural changes are changes in lifestyles. Cultural changes say that we must accept same-sex marriage. Cultural changes say that we must except the loosening of morals. Cultural changes says Hollywood is not that bad. There is a huge difference between progression and cultural change. We must not be affected by the cultural changes, but we must understand this is a wicked world that is constantly going further and further away from the truth of God's word.

6. Relevance is gently allowing the Holy Spirit to woo back this generation rather than being wooed by them. The older my sons are the more they will understand the positions I took. In fact they already are there. I believe that the young man moving towards this new modern, more worldly way of ministry, will eventually face a time when they realize they need to come back. The prodigal son came back because the father did not change and not because he did change. The prodigal came back because he realized the father could be trusted and that the father stayed exactly as he had always been. Men who change because their sons changed do so often for fear of losing their sons, but in the long run their sons lose the security of their father being consistent in his positions and beliefs. We should lovingly stay the same while wooing them in hopes that one day they return to the old fashioned truths.

7. Relevance is not judging, but also not joining. We do not become like them, but we do not have to pass judgment upon their motives. If their music becomes a little more worldly that does not mean we have to become more worldly, but it also does not mean that we have to be personally condemning to them. The danger is becoming either too harsh or too change ourselves. You do not have to do either. Lovingly stay your ground. To preach with authority does not mean we have to be that strong in personal interaction. I may stomp my feet, slap the pulpit and raise my voice while preaching to hundreds in order to be effective, but that does not mean I am to do the same thing in a personal dialogue.

When one of Dr. Hyles preacher boys began to change they would often test him by acting the rebel, but they found him to always be gracious and kind to them, even if they were becoming more contemporary. The reason is because he loved them. He wasn't condemning them, but he wasn't going to change merely to gain their acceptance. Loving the person in their change without changing to become like the person is the goal that all of us should have.

8. I know I am relevant because the Bible from which I preach is eternally relevant. What I believe is what I believed for 40 plus years ago. If I allow my foundations to be weakened then the foundations upon which my sons are building their ministry are shaky. Will there be changes they make? Yes and those changes will not always be changes I like. I will not shake their foundation by agreeing with everything they do, but I also will not cast stones at the changes they make. I will show them the respect of their choices as long as they show me the respect of not changing to be like them. 

They are secure when they come home and see that nothing has changed in our household. They are also secure knowing that when they gather around there old dad that he's not changing either. I do not want to be culturally relevant. I want to relate to people in a way that lets me reach them for Christ and allows the Lord to make the changes in their lives. I do not want to take on their music so that I can relate to them. I want to relate to them so that they can find Christ and eventually find the right music. I don't want to become relevant to their styles in order to reach them. I want to relate to them in spite of their styles and then let the Holy Spirit convict them to dress properly.

9. Most of our mistake is the misunderstanding the entire concept of relevance. We are not to attempt to conform to this world. The Bible tells us that we are to be separate from the world. Cultural relevance is not new. It is the same battle that goes on in every generation that tempts God’’s men to change and become more like the world. Look at the world and see where it has gotten us so far. If we do not stay strong in our positions we will not allow our children to have a place to come back to when they recognize that the world has nothing to offer. Our goal is not to make the world think we are like them so they will believe. Our goal is to love them enough to remain the same and hope that we can reach them with the unchanging, but always relevant Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

PANTS ON FEMALES - Is there more to the issue?


THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT
Pants On Women - Is That All There Is To It?



Same-sex marriage, mothers no longer working in the home, families going their separate ways with no time together, the feminization of men, the masculinization of women. These are the things I see as I look out over the landscape of our country. I find myself asking, "Where has manhood gone?" and "Where has femininity gone?" 

As I read the messages preached and the books written by my mentor, Dr. Jack Hyles, I sense in him a concern for the direction in which our country was moving with regards to manhood and womanhood. He even preached a sermon, which later was published in booklet form, on the subject of the unisex movement. 

Today we seldom even think about it yet so many of the things about which he warned us have now come true and for the most part we have accepted them. We have lost the distinction between the sexes. We've lost the pride of masculinity and femininity. In fact, society derides both.

Perhaps nothing has brought more criticism to Dr. Hyles than did his strict position on women wearing pants for those in church leadership. He never wavered on that position, however he never treated women who wore pants with disrespect or unkindness. He NEVER made the issue of a woman wearing pants as proof of whether or not she was a Christian, or whether or not she loved the Lord. The issue really was not as much about the individual as it was with the whole. 

He saw us moving away from the distinctiveness of the sexes towards a homogenous sameness that he felt was wrong. He saw the issue in ways that others did not. It was more of a philosophy that he preached. Deuteronomy 22:5 meant more to him than just a matter of women wearing pants. It stood for something much bigger. It stood for the fact that men should dress like men and women like women. Even in Bible days the distinctions were very clear and he wanted for them to remain clear in our day. 

Did we somehow become lost and confused as to what the issue was really about? Does it really not matter if men dress differently than women and women than men? Is it really important that there be a distinctiveness between masculinity and femininity? The issue wasn't as much about pants as it was principle. He was looking at a much bigger picture than most. Perhaps we saw the issue to vaguely. Perhaps we missed the point entirely. 

Many men who once agreed on the issue of pants have now changed their position. Perhaps the position was too small or too narrow in the first place. Perhaps pants in and of themselves was not the issue. Perhaps the real issue was the matter of the distinctiveness between the attire of men and women. Pants gave us a focal point for the real issue, which was that men ought to dress like men and women like women. 

Has that changed? Does it matter? Should we care if boys dress like girls? Should it matter to us if girls dress like boys? Is it really relevant? There has always been a focal issue that rallied us behind a principle. Long hair on men rallied us against rebellion, which was the bigger issue. Pants was the focal point for the principle of women not dressing like men. Yet when it comes to the issue of women wearing pants we seem to have missed the point. What is the point? The point is the Bible principle. 

What is the Bible principle? The principle is that men should dress like men and women should dress like women. Has that changed or is the Bible still true? Should men wear clothing that pertains to a woman? Should women wear clothing that pertains to a man? 


If you are an honest person you will have to admit that females in public have taken the half off sale seriously. Hip hugging skinny jeans revealing mid riffs. I travel every week of the world around this great nation of ours. It is embarrassing for a man who is doing the best he can to keep his heart right with all of the female flesh on display.  

Then I go into some of our churches and find myself wondering who is standing for the Bible principle of distinction in God's house.  The decline of American morality is reflected in our distinction.  The decline of our churches is also reflected in our dress distinction.  50 years ago it was not so in public and for sure it was not so in our churches. 

The Mrs. Cleaver look was in almost every home in 1950's.   Not so in either the home or the house of God, in a lot of cases, in this new Millennium.  If God wanted a distinction in the Old Testament how much more does He desire it in the New Testament.  

Murder was brought to a higher level and was identified in the word "hate."  (Matthew 5:21-22) Adultery was brought to a higher level by Jesus Himself in the New Testament to the word "lust."  (Matthew 5:28) This "second mile" level we find in the New Testament I am afraid is certainly not prevalent in this new Millennium. 

Distinction was brought to a higher level in the New Testament. (I Timothy 2:9) Deuteronomy 22:5 has been elevated to "modest" clothing.  No skinny jeans here! The Bible principle is for today.

So, if the principle is still true why are we criticizing those who took a stand regarding women wearing pants? I for one must allow others to disagree on the issue, but I'm concerned when they ignore the importance of the Bible principle upon which we built that position. If we lose the principle then we lose the purity of the Scripture. 

If we begin to criticize those who took a stand then we should be explaining how we then are carrying out that principle. What should women wear that which a man shouldn't? What should men wear that women shouldn't? Does it matter? It has to because it is covered in his word.

Should we fight over the issue of pants? No, however many of the ones who are fighting the most are the ones who are fighting against those who took or still take that stand. I do not fight the women who wear pants or the preachers who allow it nearly as much as they fight me. 

They don't know my heart because they haven't taken the time to understand why I take my position. My position on this issue is based on principle not preference. I am tolerant of those who disagree with my application but should we be tolerant to those who ignore the principle entirely? 

The principle is not up for debate, so why would you criticize my commitment to a principle even though you may not like my application of that principle? The principle is that men are to dress like men and women like women and there must be some distinction. 

What is the distinction? If you tell me my position is wrong then simply explain to me what the distinction is that you are making between the attire of men and the attire of women. I'll be satisfied with that. 

If you're going to criticize me because I have put some kind of distinction into the principle then tell me what your distinction is based upon that same principle. Whether Deuteronomy 22:5 means pants on women or not it must mean something? What does it mean? Explain it. 

Don't tell me that men wore robes in the Bible as your excuse? Trust me, the attire of men and the attire of women in those days was very distinctive. There was no question as to what was a man's clothing and what was a woman's clothing. My challenge to you is not proof of whether pants on women is right or wrong but whether or not you know what it means to you. 

Let's face it the breaking down between the sexes has taken place. We no longer have the distinctions we once had between men and women including the way they dress. Dr. Hyles and others warned us of this danger more than they warned us of women wearing pants. He warned us of the danger of losing the distinction between the sexes. Pants was a symptom of the issue, but many have turned this against those who warned of the true danger. 

We've been called legalists because of a standard based upon a Scriptural principle found in Deuteronomy 22:5. We were not trying to set the standard for everyone. There was a time when public schools made the same distinction and female students were prohibited from wearing pants. There was a time when only women that society considered loose wore pants. 

I'm not suggesting that's true today, but what I am suggesting there is a Bible principle that we are not discussing honestly. Those who take a position are being ridiculed by those who have no position on a very clear principle.

I remember in 1959 when the PTA of our public school held a meeting discussing whether or not they should promote a "Slack Friday" for the girl students.  I have often wondered why they did not allow "Skirt Friday" for the boy students?  Now in the public work places it is "Slack Week."

Tell me pastor what should women wear, or does it matter? What should men wear? Does it matter? This is not legalism. This is applying principles to our lives. There's a legitimate reason that we took the positions we took. I'm saddened by the condition of our country, but I am not surprised. Same sex marriage is a result of the casual way we have dealt with issues in our country and even in many churches. 

This smacks of a "oneness" move in fundamentalism that wants to absorb all issues into a "distinctness lessoning" position.  I read the BLOGS and it worries me that if you take a contrary stand or an aggressive stand on issues you are causing the cause to not dwell in unity.   We are not Catholics!  We are not a part of a "universal body."  When the cause becomes greater than the truth we are on a downward spiral spiritually.

We are a nation that has completely lost its mind and its morality. Yet we are criticizing men who say women shouldn't wear pants, because women are commanded to dress differently than men? How dare you be so concerned about a man who preaches against women wearing pants that you neglect to acknowledge that the distinction between the sexes has been broken.  Yet, it is a distinction God gave us. 

So, now I put the responsibility back on your shoulders. Tell us what to do? If there's no problem then there's nothing to worry about, but I think we all know there is a problem. Dr. Hyles was right. The unisex movement is a satanic pursuit to blur the lines between the roles and identity of men and women. How do we fix it? What's the standard going to be? Is there going to be no standard? I think it's time to give it a second thought.  

If the pastor's wife has no distinction in her dress, then no wonder the pastor has lock-jaw and is like the Ant-Artica and frozen at the mouth.  This makes it difficult to lead a local church let alone a movement.

Christians who believe in traditional marriage were shocked at the in your face sodomy display at the NFL draft.  The truth is they may have to look in the mirror and figure out what happened to the distinction of the sexes as having laid the foundation for this and other woes.  This is NOT hate speech, this is Scriptural speech.  We are losing ground because we have lost the distinctiveness God gave us!