Out Of The Abundance Of The Heart

Out Of The Abundance Of The Heart

This past week, the Protestant world was rocked when “The Message Bible” author, Eugene Peterson, revealed in an interview with Religion News Service, his support for same-sex marriage, and stated that he does not see it as a “good or bad thing.”  What ensued naturally were many leaders in the evangelical community point out that Peterson’s views were anti-biblical, and that The Message Bible consistently leaves out or changes words on homosexuality, so as to not directly address the topic the way the original scriptures address the sin of homosexuality.

Then just a day or so later, he recanted everything he said, and stated that he supports only marriage between one man and one woman, and that he would not officiate a same-sex marriage ceremony.  Of course, this all took place after LifeWay Christian Stores, made numerous inquiries, most that went unanswered for more than a day according to them, to see if this was indeed his feeling, and if so, they would pull every single thing of his that was for sale out of their stores.  As of this article, based on Eugene Peterson’s recanting, they are continuing to stock items of his that he has authored.

Now, before we get too far along, we need to understand that the Religion News Service, is not a conservative Christian news outlet.  They have a clear agenda, from everything to helping to squash creationism that the Bible teaches, all the way up to affirming homosexual members in congregations.  Having said that, in the wake of the backtracking by Peterson, they do make a good case that Peterson’s view on homosexuals, and it not being a sin, go back several years.  They posted video evidence of the fact, of him speaking at a conference, where he expounded on how he counseled people in his own church to accept gay family members, and that it is a good thing.

So what does this all mean?  We need to go back to the scriptures to really gain an understanding of what is going on.

Luke 6:45 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

45 The good person produces good things from the store of good in his heart, while the evil person produces evil things from the store of evil in his heart. For his mouth speaks what overflows from his heart.

Peterson claims in his recanting that he was, “put on the spot”, and that is why his answers came out the way they did.  I am sorry, but that argument does not hold water, when you look at what he said through scripture as the focal lens of discernment.  I am a believer in Yeshua, and I believe everything the Bible says, to include that it repeatedly states that homosexuality is a sin that will, like any other sin, send a person to hell.  If someone came up to me suddenly and asked if I thought that homosexuals were going to hell, I would not hesitate to state that yes, according to scripture, which I believe, they will go to hell if they die in their sin.

Peterson was not suddenly approached, nor put on the spot.  This was a thirty minute long interview with a religious news outlet.  What came out of his mouth is what was in his heart.  Now there will be those reading this saying, “What about the Bible saying ‘judge not lest you be judged?'”  Simply put, that scripture addresses the practice of judging on what we think is right and wrong, versus using scripture to judge what is right and wrong.  Clearly the scriptures state the following:

2 Timothy 3:16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living;

There are many Christians over the years that have read the Message Bible, because it was billed as being written in contemporary language, that is easier to study.  However, this particular version of the Bible has many areas where the so called “easier translation” does in fact, change the entire meaning of the scriptural passages.  There are many areas where this occurs, and for sure when the subject of homosexuality comes up in the Bible, words are changed in the Message Bible.  When G-d’s own words are changed to the point of taking away the original meaning, that means it is at odds with G-d.

The spirit behind the Message Bible is rebellion.  All of this controversy that came up in the wake of this interview, and then the retraction, was to cause strife.  That is what the devil does, which is to stir up strife.  G-d and Yeshua do not cause strife.  It is man that chooses to not follow G-d’s Word, the rebellion, that causes strife, fighting, and what have you.  I personally do not for one minute believe that Eugene Peterson’s retraction was sincere, and I base that on the Word of G-d alone, because “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  If he truly subscribed to the biblical view on homosexuality and marriage, there is no way that the words of agreement with gay marriage and homosexuality would have ever left his lips.

What we as believers need to be aware of is that, not everything that is branded as “Jesus” or “Christian” is in fact holy and right.  Only through exhaustive study of the Word, prayer, and supplication are we able to rightly discern what we hear, read, and hear others say.  Simply put, if it does not line up with the Word of G-d, then it is rebellion against G-d.  That is a black and white statement to make in a world that loves to promote “gray areas”.  However, Yeshua did not compromise when He died for our sins, and thus, we are not to compromise the gospel in any way, shape. or form.

Shalom

 

Want To Work In Government? Religious Tests Are Here.

Want To Work In Government?  Religious Tests Are Here.

In America, our Constitution is the law of the land.  It is the overarching document of laws that transcend all 50 states, that provides all Americans with the freedom and certain “unalienable rights”.  However on Capitol Hill this week, Americans were treated to a sitting US Senator testing the waters of a religious test to hold a government office.

If you want to read about the while account, there is a good article at the following link.

Russell Vought was forced to endure what many are considering a religious litmus test, to hold public office appointed by the President.  Former Presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, pressed Mr. Vought about an article he wrote regarding whether Muslims and Christians worship the same god.  Keep in mind, Mr. Vought is being nominated to head up the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Senator Sanders even went so far to bring up the topic, “What about Jews?” in terms of going to hell for those that do not believe that Yeshua is the Son of G-d and the only way to salvation.  This was nothing more than the enemy, Satan, using someone to spread lies and discontent, in an effort to discredit Yeshua and His followers.  It was a classic scenario of trying to make it look like Christians were against Jews, which is to try and promote a narrative of antisemitism.  This in the wake of the last 50 plus years, where divides between Christians and Jews have been removed, and reconciliation has, and is taking place.

The bottom line is, the Bible is clear about who G-d is.  His Word clearly states the following,

Acts 10:  34 Then Kefa (Peter) addressed them: “I now understand that God does not play favorites, 35 but that whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what people he belongs to.

Did you see that?  Whether you are American, British, Libyan, Black, White, Asian, whether you are Jewish, or whether you are not,  it does not matter.  Salvation is not dependent upon nationality or ethnicity, but on whether or not people fear the L-rd and follow His commandments.

What should give all believers in Yeshua pause to notice, is that, for the first time that I can recall in my life, a sitting US Senator in front of the entire nation, said that he will not vote for someone to take office because of their faith in Yeshua.  Thus, Senator Sanders, who campaigned for President under the banner of “tolerance”, clearly has shown that if you are a believer, you need not apply.

What is incredible is that the chair of that committee should have realized that those very questions violate the Constitution, and should have called Senator Sanders out of order.  However, blatant violations of the law seem to be the new norm for our nation’s leaders.  All of this was prophesied in the Bible when those who, “call good evil, and evil good”, would face severe woes.

Senator Bernie Sanders clearly displayed his contempt for the Bible, for believers in Yeshua, and for the rule of law.  In the last days, the Bible says that, “lawlessness will aboud..” and thus we must be vigilant about events like these.  Does that mean we rollover and just take it?  Of course not.  We respectfully, but clearly point out such acts of bigotry against G-d’s people and let others know that this is unacceptable.  As for Senator Sanders, he should step down from office after such a gross violation of the Constitution.  Of course he will not do so, because that is how far gone people like him are.

Shalom

Terrorism Normalized

Terrorism Normalized

In just the last 10 days, the United Kingdom has come under attack twice by ISIS.  First there was the suicide bombing of the Ariana Grande concert, and then this past weekend at London Bridge, terrorists drove a van into a crowd of people and killed 7 people and injuring dozens.  Just three months ago in Westminster, a terrorist mowed pedestrians down with a vehicle, which then ended with him stabbing his victims.  That is a total of 3 attacks inside of a quarter of a year, and all claimed by ISIS.

The writing on the wall is pretty clear.  Terrorism is now normalized in the UK.

How did Britain get to this point?  It’s really quite simple.  It’s called political correctness.  Britain, like other countries in Europe, have the misconception that you can coexist with extremists, and if you talk to them long enough about individual liberty and try to espouse tolerance, then they will come around and stop wanting to blow you and your kids up.  This of course is complete nonsense, and shows a complete lack of understanding of just who exactly they are dealing with.

The members of ISIS have just one thing in mind.  They want to establish a caliphate, and indeed, in many areas of Syria, they already have.  However, they want this caliphate to be worldwide, and if you do not agree with their plans of grandeur, then they will just kill you because you are in the way.  Let me repeat that, ISIS are nothing more than cold blooded killers.  Convert to Islam or die is their motto, and it’s how they live and die.  This is the nature of the enemy of not just the people of Great Britain, but the entire peace loving world.

Yet, in the hours after the attack, American media, British media, and other news sources were very skeptical to call this what it is.  It’s Islamic Terrorism plain and simple.  No, they did not want to offend their muslim viewers, or possibly incite more attacks like these they thought.  However, the eye-witness accounts of hearing and seeing one of the terrorists shout, “This is for Allah!” removed all reasonable doubt.  After this, we saw the hashtags, “United with the UK” banners, and memes popping up all over social media, and of course people expressing their “outrage”.

However, none of that is going to matter, unless something is done about it.  Terrorists are not scared by people being in “solidarity” when there is no action to go along with said togetherness.  Britain, is dealing with an enemy that is several thousand years old, and it is one that the country of Israel is very familiar with.  The attack tactics against those on London Bridge, and the other incidents are exactly the same as the stabbing and car ramming attacks that happen against Jews at the hands of the Arabs.  The only difference is, Israel is very careful of who they allow to live in their country, and yes, they profile which I know sends liberals reading this into shock.

But this is also a spiritual warfare.  The Bible says very clearly:

Ephesians 6:12 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

12 For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.

These men and women who live a life of terrorism, they are agents of the enemy.  That is to say, the devil himself.  Therefore, when we see acts of terror against people, be they English, Jewish, American, or whomever, the real operator behind the scenes is Satan.  He is the author of confusion, the father of lies, and he had deceived these people into believing that they will be rewarded in heaven for killing people in the name of Allah.  However, the Bible is also clear on where terrorists(murderers) will wind up.

Revelation 21:8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

But as for the cowardly, the untrustworthy, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those involved with the occult and with drugs, idol-worshippers, and all liars — their destiny is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, the second death.”

The people also who are being lied to are those that try to coexist with people bent on killing them.  Instead of seeking G-d for an answer as to what to do, they turn to analysts, so-called “Middle East Experts”, and the like seeking a secular way of how to deal with terrorism.  It is interesting to note that prior to the D-Day Invasion of Normandy in WW2, allied troops all over the impending invasion force implored G-d to be with them, to give them victory over a murderous regime which were the Nazis.  They were not just victorious, but overwhelmingly so.  Germany is not a threat to any country anymore.

They achieved total victory, but only because G-d was behind it all.  Our G-d is one of justice, and ultimately, these terrorists who are dead now, are facing the judgement of our L-rd Yeshua.  However, just as we have seen many times in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, very often G-d would be with the Israelites who prayed for victory against their enemies, and they would win.  However, this was only when Israel was serving the one true G-d, and not corrupting themselves by worshiping other things, like money, other religions, and the like.

So for Britain, and indeed, the rest of the world, there needs to be a return to G-d first.  Seeking His face and repenting of our sins the way that David did when he said, “Create in me a new heart O G-d.  And renew a right spirit in me.”  Once our spirit has been renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit of Yeshua, then and only then can we hope to defeat Islamic terrorism.  It is time for the world to go back to church, seek G-d, repent of our sins, and then humbly ask Him to help us stop this madness that we are witnessing.

Shalom

Memorial Day – Israel

Memorial Day – Israel

Today was the day of Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day in Israel.  This is a significant holiday, as Israel takes time to remember not only the fallen servicemen and women who have died in the line of duty defending Israel, but also to the victims of terrorism.  Yom Hazikaron literally means, “Memorial Day”, and as such we should take time as believers to remember all of those who died in defense of Israel.

Most people when they thing of Israeli Memorial Day, they think of the soldiers, sailors, victims of terror, who gave up their lives for the nation of Israel.  However, we must also remember those from thousands of years ago who also sacrificed and gave up their lives for Israel.  Remember men like Yochanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) who was killed simply because he refused to bow before the Roman leader, and that he called out his sin.  All but one of the original 12 Apostles, were killed for their faith, and for spreading the Good News of Yeshua’s saving grace.  Yeshua Himself gave up His own life not just for Israel, but for the entire human race, so that we as believers can be grafted into the spiritual nation of Israel and live forever with Him in Heaven.

During this holiday, the air raid sirens play for one minute.  During this time all traffic stops, people get out of their cars and stand in reverence, soldiers salute, and school children in class stand very still to remember the sacrifices made so that they can live in a free land.  Yeshua ensures us all that we have freedom in Him.

John 8:36 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

36 So if the Son frees you, you will really be free!

Please take the time today for a moment of silence for our Jewish brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones in defense of Israel, as well as those affected by terror.  Also, pray that they will receive and accept that the Mashiach (Messiah) that they have prayed for so long to come, has already come and is coming again!  Pray for a mighty harvest of souls to be set free!

 

Shalom