Author Archives: The New Self
There was a time in our country when everyone accepted the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Doctrinal disagreements could be settled by simply supplying passages that supported or contradicted a particular teaching. Nearly all people (whether their lives reflected it or not) refused to question the simple teachings found without Scripture.
That much has changed drastically in America. I’m not simply referring to the increasing number of Atheists/Agnostics, I’m talking about within organized “Christianity.” Prominent Methodist scholar, Dr. Gregory Neal once said:
“While Methodists certainly affirm that God had an essential role in the writing of the Bible, we do the Scriptures an injustice when we fail to recognize that they are a collection of Divinely inspired, and yet still utterly human, reflections upon the human encounter with god, as well as human reflections and opinions upon what we, as a people of faith, should be doing in response to God’s offer of a relationship of grace and peace in Jesus Christ.”
Sadly Dr. Neal’s view of inspiration is actually the predominant view of most “pastors” today in every denomination today. Even within the Lord’s church, people are starting to view the Bible more along the lines of “wise sayings” or “divine suggestions.” This humanistic, subjective view of the Bible is not a new problem at all. In fact, the first century Christians dealt with a very similar attitude. It’s this false view of Scripture that prompts the prophet Jude to write his stern warning to the early church:
“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3)
“The Faith” here refers not to our personal faith in God, but the entire body of doctrine that makes up the Christian religion. The Christian faith was “once for all” handed down to us, and so there’s never going to be a “new” teaching that people need to know about in order to grow closer to God. Our job as Christians is not to sit idly by as people try to categorize clear Bible teachings as “Paul’s opinion” or “culturally out-dated.” If we want to remain true to the grace of God, it’s every Christian’s responsibility to “contend” (literally “fight hard”) to maintain the purity of Christian doctrine. Our only guide in this life is what we read in the Bible, we must be diligent to protect and preserve it’s holy, God-given nature. The alternative is bleak indeed. If we allow people in/outside the church to ignore or twist God’s original teachings we too will find ourselves “denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).
Learn more at Alive with Christ
Why are YOU living in where you are in 2012? Consider this:
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ” (Acts 17:24–26)
According to God, the reason you and I live where we do is because that’s the perfect time for us to seek (and help others seek) and find God. For those living in America, we are so blessed that the persecution Christians face is extremely light compared to our brethren in first century. How can we best use our situation for God’s glory? Here are some excellent thoughts on the matter at: http://alivewithchrist.com/christianitywithoutfear/
How do we know anything in this world? How do we know whether a defendant in court is guilty or innocent if we didn’t see the crime with our own eyes? Well we simply compile the evidence, analyze it and make the proper judgment based on the evidence. We use reason, logic and scientific evidence to determine how we know anything in this life. The same is true with God. Many atheists mock the existence of God saying that since we can’t “test” Him with the scientific method, there’s no evidence of His existence. Are they right? The problem with their line of reasoning is that they never reason that way in other matters of life (e.g. court cases). We can, through logic, reason and the available scientific evidence know for certain that God exists. Here’s a very concise, simple explanation of this issue at http://alivewithchrist.com/proofgodexists/ we can also learn the answer to how can I get saved there as well.
A very popular doctrine taught by religious leaders today is that when you become a Christian your physical life will immediately improve. Typically, these teachers will also tell that you’ll be even more blessed if you send them a hefty check! Is this what the Bible teaches?
We know that the apostles were beaten and persecuted around every corner (cf. 2 Cor. 11:23-33)
We know that Jesus Himself was hated by the religious leaders, His physical relatives, and was even rejected by His closest disciples in His hours of physical agony.
The Bible certainly DOES NOT teach that Christianity eases all of our physical burdens. A relationship with God is meant for one thing; eternal, spiritual healing.
So why does God allow His Christians to suffer? Find out at http://alivewithchrist.com/whydochristianssuffer/
What’s our purpose in life? Can we ever be sure of any real meaning? Philosophers, scientists, and theologians have bounced this question back and forth for thousands of years. However, did you know that every single person’s purpose in this life can be summed up in a single sentence? Find out just what that this at http://alivewithchrist.com/meaningoflife/
We live in a Baskin Robbins society. It seems like you can find of 30 flavors of Christianity no matter where you live. They all teach something different from the Bible, so they can’t all be true. The apostle Paul warned us this would happen when he wrote:
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron…” (1 Timothy 4:1–2)
So how do we know whether or not our church is teaching God’s pure, untainted will? Here are some thoughts that will help us answer that question at http://alivewithchrist.com/isyourchurchpoisnous/. Keep studying it out for yourself!
Have you ever wondered if life were like a basketball game? What if you knew exactly when your life would end, how would that impact that last few seconds, hours, days of your life? Unfortunately life is not like a basketball game and there is no visual time-clock that we can see. So why do we sometimes act like there is?
Check out this excellent, thought-provoking article about what happens when we act as though we can see the game clock in our lives at http://alivewithchrist.com/buzzerbeaters/
Consider some of the words of wisdom we hear often today whenever we’re at a major crossroads in life. What advice are we told every day? When we were children and watched The Land Before Time we might remember Little-Foot’s mother telling him how to find the “Great Valley” by saying, “Let your heart guide you.” If we watched Star Wars we can remember Yoda telling Obi-Wan “Use your feelings.” Or we might even remember Roxette’s 1989 # 1 hit “Listen to your Heart.” Clearly we are a society that values following the emotions of our heart in making major life decisions. What are God’s two cents on this matter? He says:
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Have you ever made a decision because it felt right in your heart, but it turned out to be a horrible mistake? I have! According to God, our heart is about the worst thing we could listen to in making a decision. Do you think that God would know whether or not we should listen to our hearts? Well…He is the one you designed it, so that kind of makes Him the authority on the matter.
If we can’t trust our hearts, then what can we trust to govern our decisions? Jesus said:
“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:17)
We don’t want to trust our hearts to be our sole guide in any matter of life because they can/will lie to us. When it comes to matters of our our soul will spend an eternity we DEFINITELY don’t want to “let our heart be our guide.” Only God’s word can guide us into real truth.
If you want to know more about this, come visit us at http://www.alivewithchrist.com to find out how God can guide you into truth.
It can be very frustrating when people you care about are not living according to the Lord’s guidance in all areas of life. Sometimes, our first temptation is to grab them by the collar and try to knock some sense into them. It can be easy to really ride someone hard about their wrong doings, but is that always the best way to motivate people to do what’s right? The Corinthians were not fully devoting themselves to God’s rule and here’s how Paul motivated them:
“I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.” (2 Corinthians 7:3–4)
While Paul could have severely rebuked them for allowing false teachers to influence them, he didn’t do it. He was more interested in encouraging them to do what’s right. Paul was so confident that he told them He knew they’d do the right thing. That’s often how God wants us to go about correcting a sinful person; by expressing our full faith that they will do the right thing. This is what http://www.alivewithchrist.com is all about