Category Archives: Sin

Goatheads Near Our Path – Proverbs 22:5

Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them (Proverbs 22:5).

goatheadsOn a recent stroll with my wife and our two youngest children, I was pushing the stroller and at one point moved too close to the edge of the sidewalk. Instantly the stroller tire closest to the edge of the sidewalk was punctured by about 20 goathead thorns from a vine that had grown over onto the sidewalk. If you do not have goatheads in the area you live, consider yourself very lucky. It is no surprise that these evil weeds are also known as devil’s thorn.

Proverbs 22:5 warns us to protect our souls by keeping far away from the thorns of the crooked and perverse. Like those dastardly goatheads, it only takes one small slip to have our souls punctured when we cross the line into the evil of this world. Unfortunately, so many professing Christians want to wander up as close to that line as possible. Whether it is spending too much time with a member of the opposite sex who is not your spouse, becoming too intimate outside of marriage, or spending too much time with people who revel in their sin and lies. If we stay far away from these types of things, our soul is less likely to be harmed by a minor lapse in judgment. If we mingle near these sins, all it takes is a momentary lapse for our souls to be punctured by these spiritual thorns. And, if we are choosing to mingle near the crooked and perverse, perhaps we are already sinning in our desires and actions.

Our path through this world is rife with opportunities to be led astray—by our sinful desires, by our sin-filled world, and by the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. So we must guard our souls by keeping as far from them as possible and by keeping our eyes focused on Jesus Christ. And when we fail, we must again turn to him in repentance and faith for there is salvation in no one else.

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What was right in his own eyes – Judges 21:25

As our world, our nation, and our churches continue to celebrate sin, I am reminded again today of the fateful message that closes the book of Judges:

Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).

A large portion of the blame lies at our liberal churches and their lying prophets with their false message of peace:

 They have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace (Ezekiel 13:10).

They preach peace with God when there is none. Their lying lips are an abomination. Their judgment may be delayed, but it is assured.


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Recognizing our spiritual poverty, beggary, and slavery

A man must feel himself in misery, before he will go about to find a remedy; be sick before he will seek a physician; be in prison before he will seek a pardon. A sinner must be weary of his former wicked ways before he will recourse to Jesus Christ for refreshing. He must be sensible of his spiritual poverty, beggary and slavery under the devil, before he thirst kindly for heavenly righteousness, and willingly take up Christ’s sweet and easy yoke. He must be cast down, confounded, condemned, cast away, and lost in himself before he will look about for a Savior (Robert Bolton, Instructions for a Right Comforting Afflicted Consciences, 1640).

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For the ungodly – Romans 5:6

There are some passages of Scripture that seem to hit me right between the eyes almost every time I read them. One of these passages is Romans 5:6-8:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christianity is the only religion in the world that points to God as the only source of righteousness. Every other religion wants to include man’s righteousness through good works. Roman Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, … All of these other religions are bankrupt because mankind has no righteousness of its own to bring to the table.

That Christ died for sinners like me is the only hope that I have. Or you have. We cannot look at our neighbor to decide if we have even a shred of righteousness. We can only look at God and see that we have none. In the words of Isaiah:

“Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5).

Isaiah saw God and realized he was lost. When we look at God, we too should recognize that we too are lost. Isaiah’s sin was atoned for by God, and God took away his guilt. Likewise, only God can take away ours through the atonement of Jesus’ blood on the cross.

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Out of the heart of man – Mark 7:20-23

In a follow up to yesterday’s post, we have Jesus confirm that it is our hearts that are the problem:

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23).

Sure, we are able to prevent some of that from reaching the outside and being acted upon, but it still lurks inside of us. Jesus words are a reminder that we sin because we are sinners. It is our broken, fallen humanity (including our hearts) that is the problem. We cannot change our nature, but thankfully God can.

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Just a few centimeters

The “monster” Kermit Gosnell was recently convicted of murdering countless newborn babies. We can certainly be relieved by his conviction. Unfortunately, there are many other Kermit Gosnell’s free and working again today. The only difference between Gosnell and every other abortion provider is just a few centimeters. If Gosnell had been able to carry out these murders a few centimeters on the other side of the birth canal, he would never have been tried for murder of these children. If you are still a supporter of murdering unborn children, I would challenge to go read this article. If you can read articles like that and see those pictures and still be pro-death, may God have mercy on your sin-hardened soul and bring you to repentance before it is too late.

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You need Jesus, but I can’t tell you why

I continue to be amazed by Christians who want to share Jesus but not talk about sin. This is ridiculous on so many levels. The obvious one is that if people do not know they are sinners, why would they desire to have Jesus as their Savior. Save them from what? The less obvious one is that simply by telling someone that they need Jesus you are telling them they are currently doing something wrong by not having him. Which, of course is sin. Which they did not want to talk about in the first place. As I said, ridiculous.

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Law not Gospel. Making molehills out of mountains – Part 8

Do you trust the Bible or your heart and mind? Today we finally come to the end of the review of the blog article A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On. If you would like to start back at the beginning of this series, here are the links to parts 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5, 6. and 7. We pick up near the end of the author’s hypothetical letter to her son who has revealed he is a homosexual:

God gave you the Bible, and he also gave you your heart and your mind, and I believe he’d like you to use all three. It’s a good system of checks and balances he designed (Glennon).

In previous installments, we demonstrated through her own words, that Glennon has decided to trust her own heart and mind over the Bible. She gets to decide which parts of the Bible are worth embracing and which parts are to be ignored or mocked. Nowhere does the Bible teach us that our own hearts and minds are on par with Scripture. Rather, God tell us this about our hearts:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9).

Glennon continues:

Prioritizing can still be hard, though. Jesus predicted that. So he gave us this story: A man approached Jesus and said that he was very confused by all of God’s laws and directions and asked Jesus to break it down for him. He asked, “What are the most important laws?” And Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love others as yourself.” He added that every other scripture hangs on this one. So use that ultimate command as a lens to examine all other scripture. And make damn sure that you are offering others the same rights and respect that you expect for yourself. If you do that, you can’t go wrong (Glennon).

Yes, Jesus did say those things. It is recorded in Matthew 22:34-37 and Luke 10:25-28. (As an aside, be wary when people refer to the Bible, but don’t actually reference it; this can be a sign they are misusing it). The Bible teaches us that if we love God, we will obey his commandments:

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments (1 John 5:3).

You know, commandments like do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not lie, do not be drunkard, and, yes, do not commit homosexual acts. But, now we come back to the basic problem of sin that Glennon wants to ignore. Most importantly, do you see that she is giving you the Law, not the Gospel. Glennon has completed missed Jesus’ message—the true Gospel. You cannot love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The Pharisees could not. I cannot. Glennon cannot. It is the Law that shows us we need a Savior:

So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith (Galatians 3:24).

So, we can try to pretend that sin does not exist, but our conscious and our experiences with other humans will remind us this is a lie. We can craft an idol with our minds of a false God who overlooks everyone’s sins (except maybe Hitler and a few people like him perhaps). Or, we can fall on our knees in repentance and beg for God’s mercy for Jesus sake. Because Jesus died that horrible death on the cross to redeem sinners. And then, when we understand God’s forgiveness, we can warn others of the coming judgment and the only way of salvation—repentance and faith in the real Jesus.

Glennon’s view of Christianity is not mine. They are diametrically opposed, so we cannot both be right. I would suggest you really read the Bible and see what it says. Decide for yourself before it is too late because:

It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27).

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What is love? Making molehills out of mountains – Part 5

Today I am continuing to review the numerous assaults on the Christian faith, the Bible, and the Gospel that were contained in the article A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On. If you would like to start back at the beginning of this series, here are the links to parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. We pick up in Glennon’s article with:

Recently there was some talk in my Bible study about homosexuality being sinful. I quoted Mother Teresa and said, “When we judge people we have no time to love them” (Glennon).

But what does it mean to love? And we should look to the Bible for our answers on that question, not Mother Teresa. Was Jesus loving when he told people to repent of their sins and pronounced woes on the unrepentant:

Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you” (Matthew 11:20-24).

Yes, of course Jesus was loving when he told people to repent. Why is that loving? Because if we do not repent of our sins then we will face the judgment and eternal wrath of God that Jesus also describes. I wonder, do Glennon and others like her who hold similar views actually believe in hell and God’s wrath for sin? Jesus believed in them. Do they?

Was the prophet Nathan loving when he went to King David and said:

Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? (2 Samuel 12:9).

That sound’s pretty judgmental! Sure, King David may have committed adultery and had a man killed, but Nathan seems to be too busy judging David to have time to love him. In 1 Corinthians 5, the apostle Paul writes:

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing (1 Cor 5:1-3).

Paul not only judges this immoral man, but even scolds the church at Corinth for not judging sin:

 Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Cor 5:12)

Why was Paul so judgmental and encouraging the church to be judgmental? Does that sound loving? YES! It was the most loving thing that could be done by Paul and this church because this man’s eternal destiny was at stake:

You are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:5).

The good news is that most Bible scholars believe that this individual actually did repent, was  saved from that sin, and was to be welcomed back into the church (2 Corinthians 2:5-8). This is the very reason we are to pronounce God’s judgment of sin and call people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ – so they will actually repent and be saved.

Glennon goes on:

I was immediately reprimanded for my blasphemy by a woman who reminded me of 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. But I was confused because this woman was speaking. In church. And she was also wearing a necklace. And I could see her hair, baby. She had no head covering. All of which are sooooo totally against the New Testament Bible Rules. And so I assumed that she had decided not to follow the parts of the Bible that limited her particular freedoms, but to hold fast to the parts that limit the freedoms of others. I didn’t point this out at the time, because she wasn’t a bad person. People are doing the best they can, mostly. It’s best not to embarrass anyone (Glennon).

What a second! Didn’t Glennon just judge this person’s use of the Bible? Who is she to say that this person has misused the Bible? This is such a common double standard regarding judgment that I do not think most people even recognize it. It is okay for her to judge, but not for others to judge. There is so much more to discuss in this paragraph that we will have to save it until part 6 tomorrow.

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Telephone tag. Making molehills out of mountains – Part 4

Last week I published parts 1, 2, and 3 of my review of the article entitled A Mountain I’m Willing to Die On. We are picking up today in the middle of the author’s hypothetical letter written to her son who has grown up and declared himself to be homosexual. I have backed up one sentence to give a little context to today’s discussion.

Chase, we don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible was inspired by God, but it was written, translated, and interpreted by imperfect people just like us.  (Glennon).

Glennon’s view of the Bible is vastly different from the view of Scripture held by Jesus and the apostles. Jesus affirmed that Scripture is the word of God. For example, Jesus calls Scripture “the word of God” which “cannot be broken”:

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If he called them gods to whom the word of God came–and Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:34-35).

The Scripture that Jesus was referring to was what we today call the Old Testament. It too was written by imperfect men; hundreds and even thousands of years before Jesus. Jesus confirmed not only the overarching message of the Old Testament, but every pen stroke made by these imperfect men.

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Matthew 5:18).

These imperfect men were the instruments used by a perfect God to create our Bible. Just as God uses imperfect men to share the gospel, preach, and teach. God can write a straight line with a crooked stick. The apostles Paul and Peter likewise confirmed that the revelation contained in Scripture was directly from God:

All Scripture is breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16).

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).

The Bible is absolutely clear that the words are God’s words. Yes, humans were employed through the working of the Holy Spirit, but the Bible is God-breathed. All of it. Glennon then repeats a common, but completely erroneous, claim that the Bible has been passed down like a message in the “telephone game” played by children:

This means that the passing of this sacred scripture from generation to generation and from culture to culture has been a bit like the “telephone game” you play at school. After thousands of years, it’s impossible to judge the original spirit of some scripture (Glennon).

This could not be further from the truth. The Bible is the most well-attested and documented book of antiquity. You can purchase a copy of a New Testament written in the original Koine Greek of which less than 1% of the text is even in any doubt. And none of the text in doubt affects any major doctrines of historic Christianity. You can take courses in Koine Greek and learn to read the New Testament just as it was originally written by the apostles. Or, you can simply read any of the many good English translations (English Standard Version, New American Standard, New King James, New International) of the New Testament that were directly translated from the original Greek. No “telephone game.” Directly from Greek to English. Similarly for the Old Testament from the original Hebrew.

After thousands of years we can not only “judge the original spirit of some scripture,” but we can rest assured that the Bible we hold in our hands has not been corrupted or lost over the millennia because it has been faithfully preserved. But, do not just take my word for it. Go do some research on the preservation of the Biblical manuscripts. For example, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F.F. Bruce is a good place to start.

We believe that when in doubt, mercy triumphs judgment. So your parents are Christians who study and pray and then carefully choose what we follow in the Bible, based on whether or not it matches our understanding of Jesus’s overall message (Glennon).

Do you see the broken reasoning here? Glennon claims we cannot be sure that the words of the Bible are accurate because it was “written, translated, and interpreted by imperfect people.” Yet, she has somehow managed to understand Jesus’ overall message. How does she know she has any of Jesus’ actual words? And what about Jesus’ first message: repent? Is that part of the overall message? It would appear not to be since sin has been cast aside. This all sounds suspiciously similar to the serpent’s challenge to Eve in the garden of Eden, “Did God actually say?” (Gen 3:1).

Some folks will tell you that our approach to Christianity is scandalous and blasphemous. But honey, the only thing that’s scandalous about this approach is admitting it out loud. The truth is that every Christian is a Christian who chooses what he follows in the Bible (Glennon).

Well, I guess I am one of those people who say that this approach to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Scripture, the Gospel and Christianity is scandalous and blasphemous. I take no joy in saying that. We as Christians should not pick and choose what we follow in the Bible, but we do have to recognize the differing contexts of various Bible books and passages. For example, we do not live under the Old Testament sacrificial system as the Israelites did in the Old Testament because Jesus was the final sacrifice and now lives as our high priest to make intercession for us. I do not “choose” to not follow this aspect of the Bible, but rather choose to understand the sacrificial system pointed us to something greater, Jesus Christ, who came to fulfill the law and the prophecy. We do not get to pick and choose to create our own personal version of Christianity based upon our own piecemeal version of the Bible like it is some cafeteria plan.

While there is still so much to say regarding the rest of the article, I feel like I need a short interlude to remind everyone (and perhaps even myself) of the real Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner and so are you. I have broken all 10 of the Commandments. You probably have too. God knows every transgression of his law – whether in thought or deed. My sexuality is broken and imperfect. So is the sexuality of homosexuals. We are not broken in the same ways, but our sexualities are both broken. Both of us need to turn from these sins (repent), not embrace them, cherish them, celebrate them and self-identify by them. Jesus died that horrible death on the cross to redeem sinners and saved me from God’s holy, righteous judgment. So, if you have not already, repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus for forgiveness of those sins. Do not embrace, celebrate and cherish those sins. That is not the true, historic Christian faith as revealed in our trustworthy Bible. That is  not the faith that saves.

Link to part 5.

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