God is a white man?


A researcher with the University of North Carolina has released a study that says many people think of God as a white man, according to http://www.nbcnews.com.

“I think it’s because for millennia Christians have been led to think of God as male and white,” Professor Kurt Gray told NBC. “It’s changing a little now, but the church hierarchies are still mostly male and mostly white. In the Catholic Church, for example, the Pope is male and the priests are still only male.”

This misconception exists because people like to think that God is human. He isn’t. Jesus said, “God is spirit,” (John 4:24a). God is a spiritual being and is not human. He has no eyes, ears, arms, legs, hands, or fingers as humans do. In fact, we do not know what God looks like because no human being alive on the earth has ever seen him (1 John 4:12).

Why do many people believe God has human features? It may be a misunderstanding of a passage in Genesis which says, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,'” (Genesis 1:26a NASB). Since God is speaking of a spiritual likeness, he is not speaking of a physical resemblance, but a spiritual one. Man’s resemblance to God is an immortal soul he received from God.

Of course, there are many false conceptions of God that mankind has (and will continue to have). Why? Because many people base their ideas of God on their own thinking instead of shaping them according to the inspired word of God, the Bible, which they either won’t read or mistakenly apply.

Advertisements

Good Items from Cecil May


Bro. Cecil May publishes “Preacher Talk,” and there is almost always more than one great thing in the little paper. For his Winter 2018 publication, Brother May wrote the following:

Present Situation: “Status Quo” is Latin for “the mess we’re in.”

Ever felt like Moses: A longtime small-town preacher went to the train station every afternoon to watch the daily train pass through. Someone asked, “What is it about the daily train that fascinates you so much that every day you watch it go through??

The preacher responded, “It is the only good thing that ever goes through this town that I don’t have to push.”

Small-town preachers (like me) can commiserate.

No Secrecy


Roman Catholicism developed an interesting practice to produce revenue.

Priests sold “indulgences” which allowed people to commit a sin. The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” described an indulgence as “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saint.”

Understand that? Well, neither do I. Obfuscation seemed to be part and parcel of religion for many, many years. It seemed to me like a way to commit any sin you wish if you just have the paid permission of a priest to do so.

Jesus, in Mark 4:21-22 made a common sense statement. He asked if it was the usual practice to light a lamp and set it under a bed. Of course, it wasn’t! That kind of thing is just stupid. The light needs to be placed on a lampstand so it can provide its light unimpeded. The truth will be seen, but also will the sin. Nothing is done in a vacuum.

In verse 22, he said the human-loved practice of trying to obfuscate the truth will never succeed. Nothing will ever remain a secret, Jesus said. Count on all those so-called hidden things in your life to become known by all.

There is no such thing as a permitted sin. The Bible teaches that sin is a transgression of the law (1 John 3:4) and that sin brings a punishment (Ezekiel 18:4, 20). The only avoidance of the punishment of spiritual death is forgiveness and is predicated on repentance and obedience (Luke 13:3; Matthew 28:18-20).

A simple, valid argument for God’s existence


Young people are being tested in our naturalistic philosophical atmosphere. They are being led away from their belief in the existence of God by a fairy tale called evolution. Is there a sound, valid argument for God’s existence?

Yes. Here it is:

  1. God created all things or evolution is true. (This is called a strong disjunction. Both cannot be true.)
  2. Creation implies there is a God.
  3. Evolution implies only two possibilities: either humans are born from apes, or apes are transforming into humans.
  4. Humans are not born from apes. No example of this has ever been proven.
  5. Humans are not transformed from apes. No example of macro-evolution has ever been documented.
  6. Evolution, therefore, cannot be true.
  7. Creation, therefore, is true.
  8. Therefore, God exists.

The argument is true and the premises are valid, which means the argument stands on its face and must be accepted as logically proven fact.

This argument was published in the 1970s by Thomas B. Warren during a debate with Dr. Antony Flew, the prominent 20th Century philosopher. As a result of this debate, Flew gave up his proposition, “I know there is no God,” and became an agnostic (or one who does not know if there is a God). Later, Flew admitted belief in a Supreme Being.

There is no logical alternative to this argument. In addition, there are other proofs for the existence of God in the argument for design, the Teleological Argument, the Ontological Argument, the Aesthetic Argument, the Moral Argument and the Cosmological argument.

Evolution is false on its face. It cannot be proven, only alleged. I challenge any evolutionist to refute this argument or present a logical argument that PROVES evolution is true. No evolutionist alive can. Period.

 

Thinkers


Choices are important. But choices are a product of what we think. If our thinking is ordered by God and his word, then we will have lives ordered and ruled by God. If our thinking is influenced by the world and by the evil that is in the world, then our lives will be disorderly and finally ruined.

The apostle Paul told his young friend Timothy what God’s word was designed to do. He wrote, “But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith,” (1 Timothy 1:5 NET).

William Barclay, in his commentary of 1 Timothy 1:5 wrote there was “a picture of those who are true Christian thinkers,” in this passage. Christian thinkers, Barclay wrote, base their thinking on faith. Faith comes from hearing God’s word and doing it (Romans 10:17). Faithful Christians understand the value of God’s commandments because that is their primary thought process. King David wrote, “With all my heart I seek you. Do not allow me to stray from your commands! In my heart I store up your words so I might not sin against you,” (Psalm 119:10-11 NET).

Barclay continued by observing the Christian is “motivated by love.” Paul said the goal of the commandment (or instruction) is love from a pure heart. If everything I do is motivated by love, my thinking will be ordered accordingly. My ability to live without resorting to sin is practically assured. Certainly, I’ll never be perfect, but I will have come a long, long way toward becoming more like Jesus!

Let’s not forget the value of a good conscience trained by the word of God. That good conscience is like armor plating in the tempest of a world filled with temptation and sin. Learning God’s word can keep us from falling victim to the tempter’s wiles (Ephesians 6:11).

Last, but certainly not least, is a sincere faith. This is not faked faith. It is not hypocrisy. It is a life lived in sincere devotion to God and his word. Remember, David wrote, “With all my heart I seek you.” This is faith unfeigned. Devotion is not one of the world’s favorite things. In fact, if the current political scenario has shown us anything, it is that devotion to the truth and to right has been discontinued for lies and hypocrisy. The one who orders his thinking in accordance with 1 Timothy 1:5 will find life on earth rewarding and eternal life much more desirable.

Communication


William Starke Rosecrans had little formal education but read every book he could get. He won an appointment to West Point on the strength of his reading and impressed a congressman who had retained an appointment for his own son but gave it to Rosecrans instead. Rosecrans graduated fifth in a class that included the famed James Longstreet and D.H. Hill.

Rosecrans took over the Army of the Cumberland and defeated Confederate General Braxton Bragg at the Battle of Stones River. After the battle, Rosecrans drove the Confederates out of Tullahoma, Tennessee all the way south of Chattanooga to a small creek called Chickamauga.

No one really knows why, but at Chickamauga Rosecrans lost sight of the battlefield and moved a regiment out of position causing a gaping hole in the line. It was at that particular moment that Confederate Gen. Longstreet (who had arrived only hours before from Virginia) ordered Tennesseans to attack the vulnerable Union center which rolled the Union army back on the road to Chattanooga in headlong retreat. Had it not been for a defense mounted by Union Gen. George H. Thomas, the Union army might have been destroyed.

Rosecrans showed marvelously gifted leadership abilities during most of the campaign, but at Chickamauga gave up that position to become a spectator. It seems amazingly unlikely that such a gifted leader would join a host of refugees running for safety to Chattanooga, but that is what happened. It is sad that what is remembered is that when the panic ensued, Rosecrans was in the same group of disorganized men hurrying away from the battlefield.

It is supposed that poor communication was the reason why Rosecrans allowed the movement of those troops out of the line of battle. Without a proper system of communications between commanders, it was difficult to make certain divisions and regiments were moved precisely at the right time.

Poor communication continues to be a reason why problems occur in groups like armies or even churches. When people have difficulty talking to one another important things that should be done remain undone. In the church, our work is more effective when we talk to one another kindly, lovingly and plainly.

Good communication is hard work and it takes concentration and cooperation: those are two things that are not easily done. But, if we continue to try to treat one another with brotherly love and compassion and continue to work together united toward the Lord’s desire for the church to grow we can succeed.

A time warp


It is surprising how pain can cause time to lose meaning. The last thing I remembered was Tuesday. When I woke up Friday feeling somewhat better (though completely disoriented by a toothache), it was three days later and I had to look at my calendar twice to make sure what day it was.

The only thing I remember from Tuesday is the dentist telling me a root canal now costs $2,100. I’m pretty sure that’s what he said because sticker shock (which one can get from a dentist these days) will bring one back to consciousness.

These things come to test all of us. But, it still surprises me how fast a small thing can try to convince us it’s a major problem.

This is why it’s important to keep the main thing the main thing. The writer of Hebrews wrote, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:2a NKJV).

This is the only way to keep ourselves grounded in a world that can easily get turned upside down.