Wednesday, November 19, 2014

TAKING THE BLAME; NOT PASSING THE BLAME, Psalm 51

David said, "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me." Ps 51:5.

Now the Calvinists turn to this passage as proof text that man is born sinful. But is that what David is saying? In the middle of a Psalm of repentance and seeking God's forgiveness, does it make sense that David says, "I was born this way."  Wouldn't that be a justification of the sin? Such an interpretation sounds like justification to me. And so I can't imagine that David would turn to blaming his parents, or Adam, or even God for his coming into the world sinful.  Wouldn't that be like saying, "God, this is how I was born and so I couldn't help it."?

In a Psalm where David is laying his heart out to God and speaking true words of repentance, this verse must mean something different.

Ezekiel says a son does not bear his father's iniquity, Ezekiel 18:20. Only my sins are relevant. What I was born with or who what my parents did have not relevance to the words of repentance in the 51st Psalm.

Hyperbole is "obvious and intentional exaggeration". A similar statement is used by David in Psalm 58 which says, "The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth." Ps 58:3.  This verse says something similar about wicked people.  They are liars from the womb.  Obviously this is exaggerated speech. It's like saying, "that boy has been rotten from the day he was born."  It's exaggeration.  So why would David be exaggerating. Well, David feels utterly sinful. David feels like the worst human being on earth.  And in such a low condition, it's not self-pity, but more like utter grief that leads a man to confess there's nothing and never has been anything good about me.

We can recount the history of David and see that he was special to God. God said to Samuel in the selection of David, "for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7.  God saw a good heart in David.  But we know that the best of men have their weaknesses.  It's not that men are perfect and sinless that makes them so pleasing to the LORD, but it is the love and faith that does.  David could surely look back into his own life and feel utterly sinful.  Perhaps he saw the seeds of his grievous sins all the way back to his youth. In David's broken estate, confronted by his sin, doesn't feel pride for how good and righteous he's been all of his life. It would be out of place at this time for David to say, "I've always been righteous up to this sin."  Men can fool men and try that, but God knows everything. So the repentant man might as well humble himself utterly, even with exaggerated words.

Psalm 22:9-10 says "9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother’s breasts. 10 Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother’s womb." If taken literally, this passage is a direct contradiction to the literal interpretation of Psalm 51.

In such a Psalm where we are presented with David opening up to God about adultery and murder, blaming his mother and ancestors would be wrong theology and a distraction and departure from the tone. Humbly I offer this. Dan

ETERNAL SECURITY? A CHRISTIAN CAN'T LOSE HIS SALVATION?

"4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame." Hebrews 6
Can a  person be saved by God's grace in Christ and then lose that salvation so that the person is lost once again?  That's the question that men have.  Some say, no, absolutely not and they offer a few passages of text to prove their position.  Others say, yes, most definitely and they offer many passages of Scripture which prove it.

Let's note some things from the text above...

1. This is speaking of people who have been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, been a partaker of the Holy Spirit, have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come. Would you say these people, 1] Never became Christian; 2] Almost became Christian; 3] Became Christian?
2. This says these people who enjoyed all of these wonderful things of God have "fallen away". If they have fallen away from these things, then doesn't that exclude the possibility that these were never saved? How can you fall away from something you never were part of? You can't.
3. This says these people can't be "renewed AGAIN" to repentance. The use of the word "again" implies that they repented in the past, but not again. Thus they are now UNrepentant since they fell away back into the world. Can the unrepentant be saved? When he says, 'impossible to renew them again", does it imply they were repentant some time in the past?
3. This says, "They again crucify to themselves the Son of God". The use of "again" implies there were a time in the past that they crucified the Son of God. Now, since they have "fallen away" and are unrepentant, their life is a life that recrucifies Jesus. They crucify AGAIN the Son of God because they have gone back to the sinful life they lived prior to their conversion.
Here are some other passages that show a Christian can fall away:  Hebrews 2:1-3; Hebrews 10:26-29; 2 Pt 2:22 (compare "last state worse than first" with Luke 11:24-26); Romans 11:20-24; Gal. 5:4.
So yes, It's true that a Christian can turn away from God's grace and be lost again. The last state of that person's soul is worse than the first, (2 Pt 2:22; Lk 11:24-26).

The "eternal security" folks like to reference John 10:27-29 and Romans 8:38-39 that shows there is great security for the redeemed, but these passages do not show God's people cannot remove themselves from His grace. In fact, the Bible teaches that salvation is on the condition of remaining faithful to death.


Some people will wonder if this means that the Christian who wandered away from the faith can be restored once again. That's a good question. The Hebrews 6 passage carries the idea "while they crucify again" and so if they come to repentance, say because the church disciplined them (Mt 18:15ff; 1 Cor 5), then they are restored and the church, like God does, renews its love toward the brother who strayed.

I offer this humbly, Dan

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WHY ARE YOU IN DESPAIR?

If anyone knew despair, it was David of Israel. His own sin was a cause of his grief. He said, "For I confess my iniquity; I am full of anxiety because of my sin." Ps 38:18. He knew the despair of his own sin when the hand of God was upon him. "Because of the opposition of your hand I am perishing." Ps 39:10. David found relief and was glad and singing when he turned back to God.
David also despaired for his life because of the enemy which surrounded him. But even then he hoped and was not broken. It is like the sons of Korah who said, "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence." Ps. 42:5; cf 42:11; 43:5.
Circumstances in our lives may not always be favorable and may cause us to despair. But there is no excuse, none whatsoever, for allowing ourselves to be defeated and lost because we trust God. In the despair there is hope. In the suffering there is rejoicing. Paul and Silas took an awful beating, yet they were not beaten into silence because the same night they were singing and praying to God.
I want to say something and make it perfectly clear. If you are not functioning as a faithful servant of God because you think you have an excuse, because of the bad hand dealt to you, you do not have faith.
A Christian may endure persecutions and encounter various enemies, but the feet can't stop walking with God and the mouth can't stop praising God. A Christian who despairs to the point of not serving and worshiping the LORD, is a Christian who has lost his or her faith.
I say this in love. Dan

Monday, November 03, 2014

GOD MAKES YOUR DESIRES COME TRUE

"Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Ps 37:5  
This is a  passage the children in church have memorized. What does it mean?  It means "your way", your plan, hope, dream, desire, your life work, and such things if given over to the LORD, and if done with complete faith and not doubting, He will accomplish it for you.

Sometimes "my way" isn't God's way. Sometimes man desires a "way" that is contrary to the will of God and God is not going to give that man what he wishes. God is not going to do for us what is immoral and contrary to His revealed will in Scripture.  So let's make sure we don't ask amiss from the LORD. Don't seek from the LORD what is carnal or of impure motives.

God loves those who seek Him and trust in Him with all of their hearts.  Faith is believing that God IS and that God is a rewarder of those that seek Him, Heb 11:6.  Trust and delight yourself in the LORD and he promises to give to you "the desires of your heart", Ps 37:4.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

DID YOU CLEAN TOILETS IN A PAST LIFE?

The story is that the little boy died and went to heaven. The parents helped him write a book about what he saw when he was like 4 years old. Now everyone believes the book is awesome and talks about how much it will build your faith.

Really? Will it build my faith more than the Word of God? I don't think so. So the way I look at it is that those whose faith is built up by a bizarre and fanciful story by a little boy don't come to the book already having the faith they ought to have if they are claiming to be Christian. I feel kind of bad for people who have their faith built up by a book that isn't inspired by God. I suppose the Bible isn't enough for them.
People will believe what they want. I always hear these stories that people tell of being an important person in a previous life. That's not Christian, of course. But these aren't Christian who are making such claims. "I was Abraham Lincoln's chief of staff in a past life." "Oh yeh, I was Marie Antoinette in a previous life." "Oh yeh, well in a past life I was the Duke of Marlboro but I died of cancer." I don't believe any of this. You never hear someone say, "In a previous life I was peasant who was so poor that I didn't even have a name." Or, "In a past life, I was a toilet bowl cleaner." You never hear about that. It's always something glamorous and important.

This brings me back to the book by the little boy. These stories are always about a person who saw a bright light and then they saw Jesus. Why do they always go to see Jesus? Why was it warm and comforting? Why is there always the suggestion that they went to heaven and then got sent back to finish some mission? What I read in the Bible tells me that the majority of these death experiences ought to be terror, the terror of judgment and hell before getting brought back. But nope, that's not the case. I know people will say that there are some who say they went to hell. But not the majority.
I have heard surveys that show the majority of people believe they are good people and they are going to heaven. The Bible says the minority, the few are going to heaven. So maybe the reason the majority of the death experiences are glorious and heavenly experiences is because it's their own mind at work during the dying.

People will say, "I was in heaven for 40 minutes." First off, you may have been pronounced dead for forty minutes, but that doesn't mean you were in heaven for forty minutes. And second, have you ever had a dream that seemed like forty minutes? Sometimes you will have a dream that seems incredibly long but you know because of certain facts that the entire sequence couldn't have lasted for more than minutes. I have had a dream where I was hearing a noise and my dream was centered around the noise. Then after a period of dream time, I began to understand that the alarm clock was ringing. I knew the dream seemed like a long period of time but it was the power of the mind to create a story in a short period of time.

I believe the Apostle John saw a glimpse into heaven. I believe Daniel and Ezekiel and the Apostle Paul saw unspeakable things. But I do not believe this little 4 yr old boy saw anything but what was in his imagination. Would God be part of something that is clearly teaching denominational error? Would God give such a visitation to a person and then have them turn around to make millions of dollars from a book and movie? I might would believe their sincerely, at the least, if they were giving away ALL of the money to foreign missions. This smacks of materialism in my estimation. It cost 12 million to make and so far has make 91 million dollars. T.D. Jakes was one of the Producers. He's denominational and teaches error on salvation. I am not against entertainment, but I have a fairly strong will against going to see movies that seem to directly contradict the Scriptures. I haven't gone to see Noah because the story makes Noah a nutcase. The upcoming movie about Moses I won't go see because the actor publicly said Moses was schizophrenic and mentally ill. And I can't believe that a book that teaches denominational error can have anything to do with God.
I believe the boy is a boy given to high imagination which has been encouraged by his denominational preacher father. I don't believe you were Eleanor Roosevelt in a past life and I don't believe people are going to heaven and coming back. And my faith is rooted in the Gospel of Christ. If anyone needs a man's book of fiction to strengthen his faith then something is wrong.
Just telling the truth. Respectfully, Dan

GOD WILL BLESS YOUR PLANS

"Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it." Ps 37:5

This is a passage the children in church have memorized. What does it mean? It means "you way", your plans, hopes, dreams, desires, your life work, entrust it to the LORD, and then trust and believe, without doubting, and God will accomplish it for you.

Sometimes "my way" isn't God's way. Sometimes man desires a "way" that is contrary to the will of God and God is not going to give that man what he wishes. Let's make sure we don't ask amiss from the LORD. Don't seek from the LORD what is carnal or of impure motives.
God loves those who seek Him and trust in Him with all of their hearts. Faith is believing that God IS and that God is a rewarder of those that seek Him, Heb 11:6. Do we trust God will do it and make our hopes and dreams to come true?

FLIRTING WITH DISASTER

I like the words of Job who said, "I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?" Job 31:1. That was an admirable quality of Job.

I was talking to a man in the local jail last week who is highly religious, of the Catholic persuasion, is in prison for possession of child porn, who fairly boldly said that though he is married, does flirt with women. He assured me that the flirting was not going further than that. But I wanted to remind him of righteous Job who made a covenant with his eyes. This man couldn't claim to be Job. Coincidentally, he said he was spending a lot of time studying Job!

An old Top Gun quote was, "You are writing a check your body can't cash." I think it meant you are promising what you can't back up. Different topic from the movie, but here it might mean it's foolish to be flirting with a woman knowing full well that you are a step closer to doing what you know you shouldn't do. Flirting with a woman is saying, "Hey baby, how about some of this?" Or something like that.

When Jesus said not to look upon a woman to lust after her, isn't that what flirting is? Seriously, what is flirting? I think of it as dangerous teasing with someone else to carry the relationship to a point of intimacy. And maybe you would if the circumstances suddenly offered the opportunity. Isn't that what David was doing when he looked down to Bathsheba who was bathing? If he hadn't been looking, the adultery wouldn't have happened.

What business do Christian men have in watching Miss America? It's not because they are so talented or witty. That's why the hope for "world peace" is quickly followed up with the bathing suit competition. I remember years ago teaching a Bible class and the subject came up. This one man with great boldness said he watches the women in bathing suits and that it's perfectly normal because God made them beautiful to be looked at. I wanted to call him a "carnal heathen" and move on from the discussion but I was too nice.

A look leads to a thought, and a thought leads to a flirt, and a flirt leads to words, and words lead to a wink, and a wink leads to a plan, and the plan leads to disaster. I know God does not want us flirting with someone but our wives and husbands. And justifying it just makes you are carnal heathen. There, I said it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

If you saw Jesus walking down the street today, what is the first thing you would ask Him?
I know a man who is religious and God fearing, but he isn't a Christian. He refuses to be baptized according to the scriptures. I understand this is a biggy, and in the final analysis he's lost, but in every visible way this man has more faith than I've seen in many baptized believers.
I'll ask this man, "how are you?" And he'll answer each time, "I'm always good because of Jesus." And this isn't selective words he offers to me knowing I'm a preacher, because I've known him for 24 years and everyone that's knows him says the same about him. The man's words reveal what's always on his mind.
If we saw Jesus today, what would we say to Him? Would it be a complaint? Would it be a request for money? Would it be thanks? Would it be words expressing the desire to be always in His presence? Our words tell where we are in our spiritual walk.
God is ultimately going to judge each one of us on what was most important in our lives. If making money was most important, then worshiping God was less important. If serving Jesus was most important, then giving our time and money was done to visit the sick and spiritually lost.
What's most important to you? Jesus wants to know. Humbly yours, Dan

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

VOTING AND CHRISTIANS VOTING WHAT'S IMPORTANT

People like to suggest that the difference between voting Republican vs Democrat is merely a matter of opinion. In some ways this is true. There are godless people who vote Republican and there are Godless people who vote Democrat. One side votes for lower tax policy and the other side votes for the right for women to choose. But that's too simplistic. It goes to deeper levels. One side believes in the power of the individual and one sides believes in the power of the state. One side is pro-business and one side is pro-organized labor. These all center on issues. Many of those on the Republican side are of the opinion that government shouldn't rob people through excessive taxation and the other side is of the opinion that the rich should be heavily taxed and that the money from the top be redistributed to the people at the bottom of the rungs of society. Many on one side of the political spectrum vehemently believe that abortion is among the greatest of crimes ever committed by society and many on the other side see the aborting of babies as no more significant than the morning trip to the bathroom.

In both parties there are godless. But why do the devout and god-fearing flock mostly to the Republican Party? I'll tell you exactly why. God-fearing answer to God first and any encroachment of man into the liberties which are given to each man by God are to be opposed. This opposition is expressed at the voting booth. In the world, there isn't just Republican and Democrat. In the world there is Communist, Socialist, Democratic Socialist, and others forms of government which allow or acknowledge man's freedoms to varying degrees. In America, the Democratic Party has turned and is more properly called the Progressive Movement/Party. It is Socialism and seeks to empower the state. With the state "empowered", the individual must be allowed less power. And the less power of the individual affects speech, property, and religious liberty. The godless in our society that are pushing Transgenderism and Gay Rights and Social Engineering in all government organizations including the Public School System and the Military are populating the Democratic or Progressive Party. These agendas are pushing against Christians and the Church. Why else is the Lesbian Mayor of Houston subpoenaing preachers' sermons? (Yes, after the firestorm of criticism, her lawyers amended the subpoena, but that misses the point) Why are children being taught there is no God but that Evolution theory is fact and that we came from animals through purely naturalistic mechanisms of "selection" and "genetic mutation"? Why is because there is a godless, even an anti-God, element in one party in particular. For fun, just watch the difficulty the Democrats have at their Presidential Convention when deciding if there should be any mention of God. We are still "One Nation Under God", aren't we? Not for most Democrat Progressives, and it's apparent.
Why the encroachment from one side on the religious liberty is because it's spiritual warfare in the making. And when you vote, you are voting for one side or the other. I'm not trying to say that politician on the right of the political spectrum is god-fearing, but that we god-fearing on the political right ARE able to shape their policies if we remain a voice of righteousness.

What's the one issue that is more important than the rest? I'll let you decide but it's not taxation. Jesus said we are going to be taxed and we ought to pay our taxes. The Bible doesn't say, "Thou shalt not tax or thou shalt not fund public schools", but the Bible does say, "Thou shalt not murder". And IF that's a human being in the womb that's being dismembered as it's sucked from the womb, then only one party is guilty of sanctioning millions of murders. Humbly yours, Dan

Saturday, October 25, 2014

PARENTING: KEEPING CHILDREN INNOCENT UNTIL THEY CAN HANDLE MATURE RELATIONSHIPS

THE FOLLOWING IS WRITTEN IN RESPONSE TO THE YOUNG MAN IN WASHINGTON STATE WHO KILLED OTHERS AND HIMSELF AFTER GOING THROUGH A BREAK UP WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND.

We are trying to keep our children innocent; we aren't trying to encourage them get involved in heavy boy/girl relationships before they are of age.

If you have a little boy or girl, do this (and make it age appropriate). Sit down tonight and talk about their future. Tell them about marriage, about college, about the high school years, getting a job, saving money, and buying a first car for getting around. Talk to them about the difficult teen years when in their time of puberty and real physical, emotional, and spiritual development, the world will tug at them. Say to them it will be the world tugging them away from their family and away from God. Remind them it will happen and to not let it happen. Also let them know that you won't let it happen.

At this point, there are wise parents who understand very well the wisdom I am speaking of that makes the parents and the home a fortress and rock against the world forces that would steal the very soul of a child. But less than serious parents, or parents who just don't have the gift or talent to train children, will only see my preceding words as "controlling" and unrealistic because, "Don't we want our children to grow up and don't they have to experience these things on their own?" Yes, we want them to grow, but our job is to help them grow in the right direction and no we must be there to make sure our children don't "experience" some things. It's much better than they made it to adulthood and in a faithful walk with God, saying, "I am fortunate, my parents were there and made sure I didn't fall into the worldly things the way my peers did."

So talk your kids about how most kids today get off track and try to play house, sometimes doctor, when they are way to young for making a commitment. Say it's WRONG what they do because God wants us to do things in order.

Do parents of teens want to see their son find a girlfriend at age 12? Do they want their daughters having a "steady" boyfriend, spending more time with someone who doesn't share your family values, knowing in this day and age they are going to be having sexual relations long before they can commit to marriage? All the other kids at school may be passing notes, staying on the phone, texting, sexting!, and so many people think it's healthy and natural for their teen children to get involved in a heavy relationship, but is that God's will?

Let me tell you something: it's stupid and playing with fire.

Too much drama is being allowed into these children's lives. Parents who allow their children to get involved with a boyfriend or girlfriend, when they are years away from being able to handle a mature relationship, are going to have great sorrow.

I remember years ago watching 12 yr old kids getting very intimate. The two were inseparable. The parents encouraged it. It became sexual and they had a child. Then the relationship broke up. When the two were very young and when it was all beginning, it was clearly going to be a train wreck with a lot of casualties. But the parents acted like it was normal and facilitated the children being together.

When my kids were teens, I said, where do you think a relationship at this age is going to go? You have years to go before you can marry. You have high school You have college. A sixteen year old boy came to the house one time so he could ask us parents if he could see our daughter. We interviewed him for an hour and a half. We told him he could come to church and he could come to the house and get to know the family. Our daughter sat on the couch next to him through the interview and wasn't bothered at all. It was just the way it had to be. The boy made a big mistake. It turned out he didn't like our rules. He didn't have anything to do with my daughter the next day. And it was just the message my daughter needed to see that the boy was just the typical worldly boy. She wasn't broken up. She was better than that. And it all worked out just fine. She's happily married now and has four children. Her husband is a preacher.

Parents, be the thing your teen children are involved with. Get them into their school. Take control. If they try to make the rules, don't bend. They will thank you later. Let them make friends, healthy friendships that aren't so serious. There will be time later for the serious stuff when they are looking for a godly man or woman.

WHY DO YOU FEEL BAD?

We live in a day when being down means being depressed and being depressed means seeing a doctor which means medication. Hold on.
I remember one time when I was a young man of being shaky and nervous so I just needed to set down or I might faint. I told a man I knew how I was feeling and he said I needed to eat something. I did and I felt better. I have had times when I felt similarly, not good at all, and a candy bar gave my body what it needed. Sometimes the feeling bad can be a nutritional need. And during this time I had a larger issue: I didn't know where I was going and I didn't know the LORD.  I was very sad and pretty hopeless about the future. Thankfully I sought the LORD and found Him. 
"Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be foundSurely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him." Psalm 32:6

And sometimes there is a different explanation where we should feel bad. David said, 
"For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. Selah." Ps 32:4.
David didn't feel bad because of chemical, hormonal, or some kind of nutritional imbalances. David felt bad because he was guilty and God's hand was upon him. Feeling bad because we are making a shambles of our life is not something that can or should be medicated.
Before you accept that your being "down" and depressed is due to chemical and/or hormone imbalances, investigate if what you are feeling isn't normal.
David said, 
"For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away." Ps 31:10.
David didn't need a doctor. He needed to address his sin. With that addressed, God would forgive him, and David would rejoice and be glad.
But maybe you aren't living in sin and the problem is something else.
Life is full of ups and downs. Maybe the enemy is against you and you feel like you are going through the "valley of the shadow of death". The Psalmist said he wouldn't be afraid or broken nor would he look to be sedated because it's too tough. The enemy can be scary, but stay in the game. Pray more in these times.
I could go on but I'll stop here. Life isn't always perfect. Deal with it. And before looking for something to blame, make changes in your own life. Smile more. Be positive. Put your foot forward and shake someone's hand. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Love, not just the lovable, but love the unlovable. And when things are looking pretty bad today, hold on. Get a good night's rest and I can promise you it will get better.

And remember that sometimes we feel bad because we know we need the LORD.

God bless you. Dan

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CAN THE LORD'S MONEY BE USED TO BUILD A FELLOWSHIP HALL?

If a case can be made that fellowship is unscriptural in a "church building", i.e., the same place where Christians assemble to worship, then a case should be made against all "church buildings".

Christians in the first century most certainly worshiped and fellowshipped in the same locations. Those who make the argument against kitchens and fellowship halls seem to think their presence necessitates that 1 Cor. 11 "eat at home" and "partaking of the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner" would be violated. Did Paul mean that worship and fellowship meal couldn't be done in the same hour or did he mean they couldn't be done in the same location? He meant they aren't mingled in the same hour. Paul wanted Christians to worship first, remembering the Lord's death through the emblems, and once the period of worship is completed, eat your meals. To fellowship and eat meals together most certainly was part of the early christian life.

"But that's the Lord's money and instead of wasting it on a fellowship hall or basketball court or kitchen, it could be used for world missions." That's how it's been put to me. Well, some could make the case that the worship auditorium is a waste of money too. Why not meet in homes and send that mortgage money to missions? Oh wait, that would mean worshiping and eating going on in the same location. I have seen church buildings that utilize the auditorium space much better than the nailed down pews on slanted floors because they use stackable chairs that can all be moved for other activities in the same room.

Fellowship is a very very important part of the church. Christians in the first century were devoted to it, Acts 2:42. How is the church to fellowship if there is not place to meet. I love to assemble with Christ to worship and praise God, but as important as that is, it doesn't have the same function as fellowship does where Christians sit down and share their lives.

The money thing. All of our money is God's money. And we must be good stewards of it. But a person would be hard pressed to prove that a fellowship hall isn't good stewardship. Much Christian work can and should be done there. Let me give an scenario that should serve to illustrate that no harm is done by the church erecting a place to fellowship together. A prominent and wealthy Christian, always a big giver to the church, donates additional money to pay for a fellowship hall. The Leaders can choose to take the money and build the hall or they can determine that it wouldn't be a good move at the time. And they may go either way depending on many things they are privy to in the church. For example, the Leaders may say that it's not a good thing to do right now because we just this last year had to cut our missions budget and it would give the impression of misplaced priorities. But the same congregation could be active in many ways, very benevolent, involved in local and foreign missions, and by all measures truly doing the Lord's work, and the Elders could say, "Thank you, what a great plan. We see the congregation doing even more, growing even closer, with this larger space. With God's blessing, let's do this." It's a judgment call. "But Dan, that was money not coming out of the church "coffers". Really? What's the difference between money the church has with the first day of the week contribution and the contribution to the church by individuals? Nothing. The generous Christian places his fellowship hall donation in the collection plate as well. It is all the Lord's money. Once the building is done, do we allay all fears people have of misspent funds by always telling that the church didn't build this, but an individual member of the church did build this? No, the church built it. Just like the church built a beautiful worship auditorium that's used 3 hours a week. The contribution for a worship hall or a fellowship hall is all God's and it's from Christians who have a right to do with their money what they wish.

Learn from Ananias and Sapphira.

Humbly I offer this. Dan Mayfield

WHAT IS WICKED?

Merriam Webster's say "wicked" is "morally bad, evil".  This is true, but what Merriam Webster and few dictionaries would be willing to offer is examples.  But God says what is wicked. 

"4 Requite them according to their work and according to the evil of their practices; Requite them according to the deeds of their hands; Repay them their recompense. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD Nor the deeds of His hands, He will tear them down and not build them up." Ps 28:5

What is "wicked" is also called "evil" and it manifest itself in two ways. First, the wickedness of thoughts and deeds. Men think and do evil which is anything that's contrary to God's morals.  And second, It is wicked to ignore God and to dismiss His works. When men turn from God, they turn to wickedness. 

"1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good." Ps 14:1.

Do we need to update our definition of evil? Is it God who defines our terms for what is good and evil, or are we following the world's yearly updated definitions? It's evil to pervert or suppress the truth. It's evil to pervert the family. It's evil to murder a living child. The only path out of this wickedness is to follow Jesus Christ, Jn 8:24. But I doubt that Merriam Webster would agree.  

"...they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness." 2 Thess 2:12

People are going to spend eternity in hell because they said there is no God. God says they are fools, Ps. 14:1.  These people loved the lie more than Truth, 2 Thess 2:10-12. It is a sin of the flesh to believe we are apes and not souls made in God's image. It is out of man's lust that men redefine good and evil.  God says, "Woe to them" for doing so, Isa. 5:20. 

The wicked are going to be judged because they do not believe in Jesus Christ and the resurrection. Jesus Christ is risen by the power of the Holy Spirit and to deny that reality is a sin that won't be forgiven. This is true. Do not lose your sense of right and wrong by allowing the world to define what is wicked and what is not. 


Said in love, Dan

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BOYS AND GIRLS ARE ON THE FRONTLINE OF THE GENDER WAR

I'm writing this as a friend and as a Minister of the Gospel.  The devil will destroy everything that's good. That means the most basic things must be defiled. Our children are innocent and God says we are not to be a stumbling block to them. That means we must teach them truth and protect them from the world. 
"...but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their consciences are defiled." Tit.1:15
Let me state the obvious: our precious children are boys and girls, male and female, just as God made them to be. We know this by biology and we know God's design is true. But it's not so obvious to a godless culture. This Biblical and Biological reality is being perverted. 

Now the Public Schools are being forced to not show discrimination and are being encouraged to use terms for boys and girls that are "gender inclusive" (Google it). "Male and Female" are terms that are too restrictive for our enlightened day and age. Schools are under pressure to establish policies that will be "gender neutral" so that the "transgender gender" students can participate in the male or female sport they chose. No kidding, your daughters may be playing against a male who is dressing like a girl. And the boy will be admitted into the girls locker room.


From the Christian Science Monitor, " Also, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) is currently considering policies that would allow transgender students to participate in sports based on their gender identity, not their birth sex. According to a report from local NBC affiliate KARE-TV, the draft of the policy, which will be discussed in the MSHSL December meeting, does not specifically address locker room and restroom requirements, and private schools are not excluded from the policy."1


No longer are there two "genders", which is properly called sexes (Gender originally only applied to grammar, masculine gender, feminine gender, neuter gender, but now the term is misused), because our society has decided to accept the "gay gender" and the "Lesbian gender". Yes, "Gay" is now a third gender. "Lesbian" is a fourth. I'm not making this up. Read for yourselves. And it gets worse. The Australian Human Rights Commission has identified at least 23 genders. It's complete nonsense, but now they want us to accept that there is bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersexed, transsexual, androgynous, agender, cross dresser, genderfluid, genderqueer, intergender, neutrois, pansexual, pan-gendered, sistergirl, and there's more.

The Bible says, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil." Isaiah said those words concerning those who make normal into abnormal and make the abnormal, normal. "Genderfluid" is not normal. But such nonsense is being mainstreamed.

What is more natural than "boy" and "girl"? These designations must be destroyed for evil to advance. Why are schools toying with the idea of removing "boys" and "girls" signs from the bathroom doors? Because the terms aren't gender inclusive. Why are teachers in Nebraska encouraged to refer to little children as "purple penguins" or some such designation? Because lining the children up according to male and female is discriminatory against the little gays, lesbians, and the transgenders.

I have researched and written before about the National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES) that's part of the Federal Government Standardization of Education on the Federal level. Just as Common Core (Math and English) and Next Generation (Science) is the standardization of education on the Federal level, so the NSES is the standardizing of sex ed to Public School children. And I have the evidence from their documents that masturbation and teaching the normalcy of homosexuality is part of K-grade 2 goals.

We live in evil times. Protect your children from the indoctrination of a godless society. I am not saying for you to take your kids out of the public schools. But I'm saying it is your God-given responsibility to protect your children against this indoctrination. We all have to know what it coming and that our children or grandchildren's good sense is going to be attacked. Teach your children what is normal "family", what is God-designed sexuality, and that God made them male and female.

I say all of this in truth and in love.

Sincerely,
Dan Mayfield

1. http://m.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/2014/1009/Gender-neutrality-Why-teachers-won-t-ask-boys-and-girls-to-line-up-in-Lincoln-Neb

Saturday, October 11, 2014

THE LOVE OF MONEY

David the Psalmist said, "May He remember all your meal offerings; And find your burnt offering acceptable!" Psalm 20:3.  This is a prayer Psalm about seeking and finding help from the LORD in times of trouble.  I gather that God is especially mindful, attentive, or amenable to the prayers of those who have lived a life of sacrificial service to Him. They didn't live this way to "earn" anything except for a great reward in heaven, which showed in they way they lived in faith. 

I have known Christians who give more than they get. They do not love their money. It's just a tool which they put to work for God's purposes of advancing righteousness in the world.  And for their faith, their reward in heaven is what far surpasses all they could ever give. Theirs was a sacrificial life where money, time, and talents were given to the LORD without any expectation of being repaid.
Give more than you expect to receive. I have also known Christians, and it pains me to say this, but who expect more than they would ever give. The hand is always out and they know they will receive help from the church. But when the contribution plate goes by, they put in a pittance. When times are good they have money for buying new electronics, for vacations, for cigarettes and expensive eating out. But they gave little during these times. Perhaps they misapplied the story by Jesus of the widow's mite and thought that's all they had to give.  But the widow didn't have a big double car garage with costly toys and vacations and the niceties of life. The widow gave sacrificially, giving all she had. But there are many Christians, and I know this is true, whose sacrifice is the bare minimum they can muster up the nerve to take from their wallet and put in the plate. It's sad because it's a materialism thing.
I have seen a problem and it's probably one that's as old as man where people spend their resources on their wants and then they must beg for their needs. We should not be the kind of Christians who pay for our wants (God sees the flat screen TV and the new cars in the driveway) and then beg for the things we need. Pay for your food first and clothe your children first because those are needs, and then if there is money left after you have give to God, then purchase your wants. But to do it the other way is unspiritual.
I don't see evidence in Scripture that those who love their money can expect to find God's help in the day of trouble. Isaiah 55:6 says to "seek the Lord while He may be found."  I suppose it all boils down to what or Who we really trust. I offer this out of love with humility, looking unto myself first. God bless. Dan

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