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16  Theology / Debate / Freemasonry on: February 11, 2005, 11:31:42 AM
I have read many essay`s on this subject, the following (ref:link) being the most indepth. If anyone has factual information or studies I`d appreciate your sharing them here.

Many people do not even know that Freemasonry exists, and yet its members run a significant part of the western world's business, politics, government, armies, police forces, publishing and media, and even churches and religion.

A note: One cannot become a Freemason, without acknowledging a "faith" of some kind. But, as former Freemasons have witnessed, even a Satanist can become a Freemason (at least in the USA). And then, one must understand that most of this world's religions and churches, in reality do not worship the true God who is in Heaven but someone else instead.

Diabolic, Orwellian double-speak.

When a "Christian" preacher who secretly is a Freemason (there are thousands of such preachers in "Christian" churches) says "Amen", he may actually be referring to the Egyptian sun-god Amen (also called Amun, Amon and Ammon). And, when he says "Lord" or "Adonai" or "God", he may actually refer to the Freemasons' "lord" and "god" (the sun-god; ultimately Satan).

When a preacher of that kind says "Christ", he probably refers to the Freemasons' "anointed one" (the Greek word christos meant "anointed"). Also, when a preacher of that kind talks about "the paraclete" or about "the holy ghost", he may be referring to another spirit, to the spirit whom the Freemasons hold to be "holy", that is, Satan's spirit. (And yes, some "lower" Freemasons may be at least partially unaware of these things, but that does not make things any better.)

And, when a Freemason preacher speaks about "the Eternal", most probably even that is a part of such "double-speak". That is, he probably referring to the Eterna-snake, a symbol of the Freemasons' sun-god (ultimately, Satan). Consequently, when he speaks about "Eternal life", that may mean "life in Eterna". And, his "Eternal gospel" may be that of their Eterna (Satan). There are many other things of the same kind but, may the above-mentioned things be enough for now.

That some Freemason lodges have a KJ version bible on their altars, may in part be something that is meant to deceive naive people into becoming Freemasons, by causing them to think that Freemasonry supposedly is "Christian" or "bible-based". It is not. (A note: There are Freemason lodges also for Moslems, Jews, and for people of other religions as well. Even Satanists can become Freemasons, at least in some countries. And then, most of "Christianity" is of course nothing but a modified version of Constantine's worship of the sun-god Mithra.)
 But, there are preachers who through their writings try to make people think that the idol worshipped by the Freemasons supposedly is the "true God". Freemasonry and Freemason ideas are found in a lot of "Christian" churches to one degree or another; in the western, non-Catholic world perhaps in most of them. More: A lot of churches, small and great, have been founded by Freemasons.

edited to add: I`m not sure if this subject has already been discussed here, or if it`s allowable topic of discussion, i`m simply interested in learning more.  Undecided

Entire article - http://www.biblepages.web.surftown.se/ew04b.htm
17  Theology / Debate / Re:Unforgivable sin on: February 10, 2005, 12:50:35 PM
Get real.  amen.
18  Welcome / Questions, help, suggestions, and bug reports / Re:Who`s Doing This???? on: February 09, 2005, 05:50:36 PM
Tom, I think most everyone is aware anything they post is subject to copy, but I  for one dont think it excusable that any website, Christian or otherwise, would do so in a manner that would make it appear as tho the author(s) of the material copied were a part of the forum.
Actually I find it rather disturbing that it was a Christian Webmaster that did this. There are non-professing people here who could read any approval of doing that (on the basis of "it was for a good cause") as a total double standard our our part.
I`m sorry this comes across as saying:
When you are bad you are just bad,
When we Christians are bad, God uses it for good.   Embarrassed
Anyways, thank you for checking it out, and I did`nt really expect anything could be done about it,  but good to be aware of how far some people will go to draw readers to their forums.  Roll Eyes

19  Theology / Debate / Re:Bible fundamentalism yay or nay? on: February 08, 2005, 09:23:49 AM
Bible fundamentalism and liberalism are not necessarily bad things.

liberalism is always a bad thing

Stand fast therefore in the liberty [to liberate, that is, to exempt (from moral, ceremonial or mortal liability): - deliver, make free.] wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1
20  Welcome / Questions, help, suggestions, and bug reports / Who`s Doing This???? on: February 08, 2005, 08:44:59 AM
Some of us are on a forum i`ve never even seen before!  Huh

21  Theology / Debate / Re:Spiritual Pride on: January 30, 2005, 12:40:00 PM
Dogmatic orthodoxy and heterodoxy, on the other hand, are generally proud of their inflexibility, mistaking it for conviction. Edwards goes on to say of the humble person:

And though he will not be a companion with one that is visibly Christís enemy . . . yet he does not love the appearance of an open separation from visible Christians . . . and will as much as possible shun all appearances of a superiority, or distinguishing himself as better than others.

We may note that theological and social singularity, on the other hand, often function as masks and supports for a weak ego. Edwards further points out that "Spiritual pride takes great notice of opposition and injuries that are received, and is apt to be often speaking of them, and to be much in taking notice of their aggravations, either with an air of bitterness or contempt." The absence of genuine dialog between conservatives and liberals during this century is usually traceable to just such mutual contempt. Pride forces believers to either of two extremes in handling opponents: spiteful polemics or refusal to dialog. Edwards sees the problem and offers a motive for a change in behavior:

As spiritual pride disposes persons to assume much to themselves, so it also disposes them to treat others with neglect . . . Indeed to spend a great deal of time in jangling and warm debates about religion, is not the way to propagate, but to hinder it . . . But yet we ought to be very careful that we do not refuse to discourse with men, with any appearance of a supercilious neglect, as though we counted them not worthy to be regarded; on the contrary, we should condescend to carnal men, as Christ has condescended to us, to bear with our unteachableness and stupidity.

It has been said of some religions leaders that they have the unusual ability to be able to strut sitting down. Against this pattern of behavior Edwards sets out an ideal portrait of Christian humility:

The eminently humble Christian is as it were clothed with lowliness, mildness, meekness, gentleness of spirit and behaviour, and with a soft, sweet, condescending, winning air and deportment; these things are just like garments to him, he is clothed all over with them . . . Pure Christian humility has no such thing as roughness, or contempt, or fierceness, or bitterness in its nature; it makes a person like a little child, harmless and innocent, that none need to be afraid of; or like a lamb, destitute of all bitterness, wrath, anger, and clamour; agreeable to Eph. iv.31. . . . [Ministers] ought indeed . . . not to be gentle and moderate in searching and awakening the conscience, but should be sons of thunder . . . Yet they should do it without judging particular persons, leaving it to conscience and the Spirit of God to make the particular application. But all their conversation should savour of nothing but lowliness and good-will, love and pity to all mankind; so that such a spirit should be like a sweet odour diffused around them wherever they go. They should be like lions to guilty consciences, but like lambs to menís persons.

Unfortunately this description is that of a finished saint with some years of mellowing and maturing, and not a picture of a new convert in a religious awakening. But all too often a pattern of behavior which falls short of this ideal becomes an institutional norm for religious leadership, so that we stop striving to grow in this direction as we govern the church or seek to control and orchestrate a burst of renewal.

Responding to Edwardsís analysis from a twentieth-century perspective, we can see that spiritual pathology and psychopathology are closely intertwined in producing aberrant revival. What we call pride is usually not an expression of serious self-appreciation but a defense mechanism compensating for unconscious feelings of inferiority. A new influx of spiritual life and gifts should ordinarily eliminate the psychological need behind compensatory egoism and thus attenuate the sin of pride in the believer. But where there is any tinge of guilt or insecurity present in the believer (and Evangelical Christianity can create them easily unless the depth of it challenge is held in exquisite balance with the doctrine of atonement), any unhealed traumas stemming from past rejections or any shade of hidden alienation from God, the graces which should become a support for the believerís legitimate self-regard are transformed into a shield for sin or a defense against inferiority feelings. Orthodoxies of one sort of another, Christian experience and spiritual gifts can all be abused in this manner, and much of the pathology of revival springs from this mismanagement of grace.

Much of the contention and lack of charity in the wake of revival is simply the necessary reflex of the soul which secretly doubts itself and seeks relief in casting doubt on others, as Cotton Mather long ago suggested:

The zeal of many is but a mere composition with conscience, for some favour unto some detestable ungodliness . . . A man does not keep his heart with all diligence; does not walk in the fear of God continually . . . does not lead a life of communion with heaven; does not love his neighbour, and seek his wellbeing, and rejoice in it. And now he compounds with his conscience, to make a mighty noise about something or other, that is not essential to Christianity. Oh! The deceits, the deceits, of wretched hypocrisy!

entire article by By Richard Lovelace
22  Theology / Debate / Spiritual Pride on: January 30, 2005, 12:35:42 PM
The Danger of Religious Flesh in the Christian Life

The convert who has turned his back on the patterns of the flesh which are common in the world may develop new and sublimated patterns of sin which are largely unconscious but extremely destructive, ugly forms of spiritual flesh, or fleshly spirituality. As John of the Cross points out, the seven deadly sins of the one-Christian have their spiritual counterparts within the growing Christian, as the gravitational field of self centeredness seizes and bends the elements of the new life into old carnal patterns. New Christians may envy the spiritual gifts of others and covet them. They may become preoccupied with the emotional side effects of Christian experience and lapse into spiritual gluttony, lusting after joy and ignoring its giver and the responsibility of an obedient walk of faith. Wrath may find its counterpart in censorious judgment. But the most dangerous form of religious flesh is spiritual pride.

Edwards takes up the effects of pride on the aftermath of revival in a classic section of Thought on the Revival in New England. He judges it to be the greatest single cause of the miscarriage of revivals because it affects those who are most zealous to promote them:

This is the main door by which the devil comes into the hearts of those who are zealous for the advancement of religion . . . the chief inlet of smoke from the bottomless pit, to darken the mind and mislead the judgment . . . the main handle by which the devil has hold of religious persons, and the chief source of all the mischief that he introduces, to clog and hinder the work of God.

Pride drastically hinders revival because it padlocks the spirit, shutting the soul off in its own darkness and blocking it from dealing not only with pride itself (for "those that are spiritual proud, have a high conceit of these two things, viz. their light, and their humility") but with every other area of the flesh. Because spiritual pride is so secretive, it is hard to detect except through its effects.
Edwards proceeds therefore to analyze these effects, noting that they are generally opposite counterparts to the fruits of the Spirit:

Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others; whereas an humble saint is most jealous of himself, he is so suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart.
The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints, that they are low in grace; and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are; and being quick to discern and take notice of their deficiencies. But the eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home . . . that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts . . . He is apt to esteem others better than himself, and is ready to hope that there is nobody but what has more love and thankfulness to God than he, and cannot bear to think that others should bring forth no more fruit to Godís honour than he.

Pride magnifies the faults of other Christians and diminishes their graces, while it diminishes the faults and magnifies the graces of its subject.
It is apt to treat the needs of others as occasions of contempt and laughter rather than as sources of concern or shock. All of this may seem conventional enough today until we begin to measure it against the history of American revivalism or the current behavior of both liberal and conservative leaders.

Under the guise of prophetic righteousness, pride can move awakened believers to censorious attacks on other Christians, a lack of meekness in rebuking to separate from those less holy or less orthodox.
It can do things to Christians which make their religion grate painfully on the sensibilities of fellow believers. It can engender an unholy boldness before God which expresses itself in undue familiarity and effusive religious talk.
It can make people proud to be weird for Jesus and grateful for the persecution this provokes. As Edwards says, "Spiritual pride often disposes persons to singularity in external appearance, to affect a singular way of speaking, to use a different sort of dialect from others, or to be singular in voice, countenance, or behaviour." Both the institutionalized strangeness of Fundamentalism and the invented strangeness of the Jesus movement come into view here, along with many things which pass for religious communication on radio. Edwards notes further:

Spiritual pride commonly occasions a certain stiffness and inflexibility in persons, in their own judgment and their own way; whereas the eminently humble person, though he be inflexible in his duty, and in those things wherein Godís honour is concerned . . . yet in other things he is of a pliable disposition . . . ready to pay deference to othersí opinions, loves to comply with their inclinations, and has a heart that is tender and flexible, like a little child

23  Theology / Debate / Re:THE GREATEST QUESTION on: January 30, 2005, 12:29:58 PM

One of the most important distinctions to make in reading the Bible is the distinction between Law and Gospel. It is the most basic division of Scripture. If one confuses Law and Gospel, all other doctrines which one formulates will be corrupted as a result. Nothing has been more misunderstood, and yet nothing is more critical to biblical doctrine than the meaning of Law and Gospel.

The Law was given as the stipulations of the covenant which God made with Israel through Moses. They were given to test Israelís faithfulness to the covenant. As long as Israel obeyed these stipulations or commandments, they would be counted faithful to the covenant and God would do what He had promised. The history of Israel as recorded in Scripture demonstrates that Israel did not keep Godís commandment. They violated the covenant and came under the judgment of God over and over again.

What needs to be understood is why Israel did not keep the Law. IT WAS BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT. God was holy and they were sinful. When Joshua asked the people of Israel if they would serve the Lord in the land of Canaan, they said, "Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!" (Joshua 24:16) Joshua rejoined, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God . . ." (V. 19) The problem was not that they would not, it was because they COULD NOT. GOD WAS TOO HOLY AND THEY WERE TOO SINFUL. The gap was too great to span from the human side.

The fundamental problem humans have with the Law is that they cannot keep it. "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature," (Rom. 8:3) Apostle Paul gave a litany of quotations from the Old Testament in Romans three about the total sinfulness of all people. "No one is righteous," "no one seeks God," "no one does good." He concluded that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." This is why he says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law, rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." (Rom. 3:20). The Law was not able to save us (Heb. 7:19) because our sinful nature prevented it. THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW IS TO SHOW US OUR SIN. Like a spiritual litmus the Law draws out and traces our sinfulness.

If we could keep the Law we would be right with God. At least this is true in theory. The problem is that no one has ever keep the entire Law perfectly. Not until Jesus. It is intriguing to observe that in Jesusí preaching, he gave the Law to those who were self-righteous, but the Gospel or mercy he gave to those who were conscious of their sinfulness. (cp. the Pharisees in Mt. 23 with the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11) He castigated the teachers of the Law with prophetic woes because they trusted in their own righteousness. This self-righteousness was maintained in a false confidence that they could and did indeed keep all of the Law. Jesus gave them Law to drive them to His grace.

Jesus told his disciples that their righteousness had to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees (Mt. 5:20). If they broke one commandment they violated the whole Law (v. 19; James 2:10) He told them His standard for righteousness: "Be ye perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect. (v. 48)" This was staggering to them. It was a standard higher than anyone could keep. Jesus was not telling them they could produce a greater righteousness than the Pharisees. He was telling them that the righteousness of even the Pharisees was not enough. Godís standard for holiness and righteousness is HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS.

When asked about the greatest commandment, Christ summarized all 613 ordinances of the Torah, the pronouncements of all the Prophets, the wisdom of the Sages, all of the interpretations of the Targums, all of the oral law (Mishnah) and all Jewish Midrash, into two commandments. "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Mt. 22:37-40)

We should not assume because Jesus simplified the Law that He reduced its force or weight. On the contrary, He merely focuses and intensifies it. Keeping the Law means to love God with every single ounce of your being, every moment, of every day, of every year, from the time you are born, to the last breath you take. We are not just to keep the Law perfectly without violating its commandments. We are to do so with joy and out of love without any trace of hesitancy or reluctance. And add to that, you must love your neighbor with the same passion that you have for your own personal care and survival. Just as we might devote the bulk of our waking moments to our own welfare and betterment, we are to turn that outwardly and give it to all others. NO ONE HAS EVER DONE THIS . . . EXCEPT JESUS CHRIST.

The second significant purpose of the Law was to drive us to Christ. The Law was "our schoolmaster (disciplinarian) to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (Galatians 3:24 KJV) The ultimate purpose of the Law was to lead us to justification by faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot be righteous through keeping Law. We cannot be justified by our own works. That is why we are doomed without the righteousness of another.

Why did Jesus come into this world as a child and live all of thirty three years? One of the main reasons was to live the life of perfect obedience we failed to live. Jesus testified, "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (Jn 8:29) Jesus lived a sinless life (2 Cor 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 9:14; 1 Pet. 1:19). Even more, Jesus lived a life of perfect obedience. He did so for our sakes that He might fulfill the Law: "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." (Rom. 8:3,4) He did it to destroy the power of sin (which acquired its strength through the Law), throw off the tyranny of the Devil (which sin invited), and quench death (which was the punishment for those who broke the Law).

It was this righteousness which Jesus credited (reckoned, imputed, accounted) to us. The Scriptures teach: "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe." (Rom. 3:21,22) The reason that this righteousness can only come by faith is that it is a gift. It comes to us by grace. If we do anything to "get it" then it is not by grace. This simple truth is totally missed or misunderstood by many Christians. Paul made it clear that our salvation comes by faith because it was given by grace: "The promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace . . ." (Rom. 4:16)

One of the traps that many Christians fall into is believing that after they have been made right with God by grace or the work of the Holy Spirit, they then must become righteous by keeping the Law (or other commandments of men). It is stated different ways by different groups. Some will say that now that God had given you grace you have the power to obey and thereby be right with God. The Mormons teach that we do our best and then Godís grace takes care of the rest. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that grace gives you the power to obey and thereby cooperate with God in your salvation. (This is the position of Semi-Pelagianism, which is a heresy). Others speak in terms of the Holy Ghost. They say that since we have the Holy Ghost we have the power to never sin and therefore we can keep the Law. Take warning. This is the error of the Galatians recreated. To make this mistake is to fail to listen to Paulís admonishment in the book of Galatians.

First of all, John told Christians: "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (1 Jn. 1:Cool. Secondly, Paulís statements that none are justified by the works of the Law still apply to all Christians (Rom. 3:20; 8:3; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 7:19). He wrote the book of Romans to Christians. Thirdly, Paul gave an extensive and profound warning to the Galatians about the error of Christians returning to the Law for their righteousness:
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." (Gal. 3:1-11)

- entire article by Bernie L. Gillespie
24  Theology / Debate / Re:THE GREATEST QUESTION on: January 30, 2005, 12:26:38 PM

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (23-27)

Jesus told the disciples twice (for emphasis) that it was impossible for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of heaven. Be careful in how you take this statement of Jesus. It is not merely a question about money. The fact is, we all have riches: Life, Family, Home, Job. Jesus was speaking about more than personal possessions. He was speaking about the false confidence humans have in trusting in what they possess. This is most acutely demonstrated in the confidence we as humans have about our personal righteousness. Jesus said, on the basis of what we possess, it is impossible to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

The disciples were aghast and moaned despairingly, "Who then can be saved?" They were not asking a question, but were speaking rhetorically. They expressed the hopelessness that they felt about the possibility that anyone could measure up to Christís criteria or standard.

Jesus did not leave them in their despair. He used this dramatic moment to declare to them the deeper truth, the truth of the Gospel. He said, "With men this is impossible." Why did He say this? Because he was expressing that WE are not the answer. Neither is there anything within us or that we can do that will attain for us eternal life. But he also said, "But with God all things are possible" It was impossible for us to attain to the measure of goodness necessary to obtain eternal life. BUT, IT WAS NOT IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD INCARNATE. Only He could offer His righteousness to us. Only the righteousness of Christ was adequate to bring us faultless before God. Through Jesus, God made a way for us to enter the kingdom. By the blood of Jesus, through His righteousness imputed to us, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. Because all our human means failed and our personal performance was worthless, Christ became our righteousness!!

The view held by the rich, young ruler was common in his day and culture. He thought that his own righteousness would enable him to stand before the judgment of the Holy, Almighty God. But, His view of God was too small. He actually trusted that he could do what God expected of him. He failed to grasp what Isaiah meant when he declared:

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (Isa. 64:6 NIV)

Not only are our evil acts sinful, but OUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS ARE SINFUL AS WELL. The prophet compared the righteous acts of keeping the Law as a filthy rags (Hebrew for a womanís menstrual cloth). How can this be? Because God is so Holy that even our greatest goodness, in our Fallen state, is evil compared with God. On the best and most holy moment, at the most dedicated and spiritual moment of your life, you and I still fall far short of Godís glory. That is the real nature of sin. We fall short of the glory which God intended for us. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)

25  Theology / Debate / Re:THE GREATEST QUESTION on: January 30, 2005, 12:25:03 PM

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good-- except God alone." (18)

Jesus put a question to the rich young man: "Why do you call me good?" No parallels exist in Jewish literature for calling someone a "good teacher." [Morris, Mark, p. 364-5] This means that the rich young ruler was paying Jesus the most unique of honors. Jesus penetrated to the real issue and revealed a corrupted understanding of righteousness. He categorically stated that only God is good. To think of a human in the same terms as God is misguided thinking. The rich ruler wanted to know what he might need to do to be sure that there were no loop holes in his righteousness. Was there something that might prevent him from attaining the pinnacle of faith - everlasting life - life with God? Jesus struck a fatal blow at the whole edifice of his theology and confidence. His definition of righteousness was abysmal. His standard was inadequate. IT WAS BASED ON HUMAN RIGHTEOUSNESS RATHER THAN GODíS.

You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'" "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him.

Notice that Jesus quotes from the second table of the Law first. It is as though He is leading this young man up to something. It appears that Christ was giving him space to reflect on his own misguided understanding of personal righteousness.

A most significant truth is, that, even while the rich man was not good or righteous in himself, Jesus loved him. What does this tells us about the way God values us. Our righteousness is not the basis of Christís love. His love is a grace which transcends a value based on our righteousness or goodness. Ironically, there are many Christians who value others on the basis of their personal righteousness and performance. I believe this is because of three things: 1) They do not understand the holiness of God. If they did, they would realize that no one could ever be loved by God on the basis of their righteousness or personal performance. 2) They do not understand the falleness of the human nature. There is an unbiblical confidence that we can attain to acceptance with God on the basis of what we do. 3) They do not realize that Godís love is a gift. He loves us not because of something within us that merits it, but because there is something good in the character of God.

"One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. (19-22)

To prove his self-righteousness to him, Jesus asked him to give up his false gods for the way of the true God - the God incarnate. When he told him to give what he had to the poor, he turned back because he wanted his power and possession - his self assurance based on performance - more than to trust completely in the living God. Jesus showed him that he had not even kept the first commandment, let alone the whole Law. He had failed to honor the Law at its most critical point. He neither worshiped God nor believed in Godís Word, though he sincerely thought that he had. It is not sincerely believing that one has done the right things that actually makes one right with God. It is righteousness which God accepts that all need.

26  Theology / Debate / THE GREATEST QUESTION on: January 30, 2005, 12:23:53 PM

As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Mk. 10:17-27)

What was the greatest question ever put to Jesus? We may wish that we could meet face- to-face and ask Him our toughest questions. This young ruler had that opportunity to do just that. It was more than a "White House coffee." The question he asked was a great one, at least on the surface. He asked Jesus: "What must I do to inherit eternal life?"

Before going further, please notice his manner of approach: "He came running," which shows that he was eager, energetic and intense about finding eternal life. He "knelt down," revealing that he was humble and respectful. He gave a reverent greeting by calling Jesus, "Good Teacher." This man had all of that for which modern people work and live. He was very rich. Money was not a problem. He had youth. Which means vitality, energy, and health. His whole life was yet ahead of him. He was a ruler. He had real power. Even more, he was very religious. Yet, all was not well with him.

Notice what he asked. "What must I do to have eternal life?" At first glance, the question is the most noble and poignant of many of those asked of Jesus. However, when examined closely, it is glaring in what it says about the belief system of this rich young man. The phrase "inherit eternal life" was a fixed expression in Judaism, which meant receiving, "the life assigned by God to the righteous."  He was asking a question about saving righteousness. He was asking Jesus to tell him how much righteousness he would need in order for God to assign him life eternal.

The rich, young, ruler asks what must "I" do, as though he were the center or source of the answer for obtaining eternal life. Now look closely at how he phrases the problem. He assumes that it is something that HE must DO. He is trying to find in his own performance the secret for meriting the gift of eternity. It is as though he thinks that within himself there is a basic goodness that only needs the right adjustment or a measure of education or enlightenment to get him over the hump. HE BELIEVES THAT THE ANSWER LIES WITHIN HIMSELF. AND HE TRUSTS THAT IT IS SOMETHING THAT HE CAN DO.

What else does his question reveal about him? He is asking Jesus if there is anything beyond the Law that is necessary to be right with God. But why would He ask this? It would not be necessary if he were truly confident that he had obeyed all of the Law. I believe he asks this because HE UNCONSCIOUSLY LACKS ASSURANCE. Although he has kept the Law (he thinks), he still does not feel right. Ironically, He consciously thinks he is saved - even when he isnít. Godís Spirit leads him Jesus to have his false assurance tested.

27  Fellowship / Just For Women / Re:Modest Clothing on: January 26, 2005, 07:08:42 PM
Funny how the people who use this scripture to tell women they must wear dresses, fail to also teach scripture must be read in context, with understanding of who the author was talking  too?  
If you obey Deut 22:5, why not obey the rest of that passage?
Why not this one:?   Deu 22:12  Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.
or this one:
Deu 22:12  On the four edges of your robe, with which your body is covered, put ornaments of twisted threads.
or why dont we still stone those women who are caught in the act of adultry?  (not wanting to go there because some cultures still do!)  Angry

Why? Because it doesnt apply to us, NONE of it.

Not to mention, when this passage was penned, men and women both wore dresses , so that scripture couldnt possibly be referring to a "dress"
28  Entertainment / Laughter (Good Medicine) / Re:Simply Not Funny! on: January 26, 2005, 06:04:36 PM
Oop! LOL!
Can I blame brain freeze?   Huh
We had 3 blizzards in week hit us here in eastern Canada!   Embarrassed

Daniel Kaffee: Thank you for playing, "Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid."  Grin
29  Entertainment / Laughter (Good Medicine) / Re:Simply Not Funny! on: January 26, 2005, 05:32:07 PM

me: I hear you southerners cant handle the cold either  Tongue
30  Fellowship / Just For Women / Re:Modest Clothing on: January 26, 2005, 10:51:01 AM
I attend an IFB church and they believe all woman should wear skirts all the time. I myself do wear skirts all the time but not because my church says so. It is because it is what God wants us to wear.

God never once said He wants us to wear dresses, so may I ask on what  authority you make this statement?
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