Is there evidence to call Republicans the Christian party? That’s in the Bible - not! Evangelicals point to obvious Democrat sins. Do we ignore our Evangelical and Republican sins? Would Jesus say “Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry, and you legislated not to feed me. I was thirsty, and you legislated against clean drinking water. I was a stranger (or foreigner), and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked, and you legislated against helping. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t provide health care or prison reform.” Have Republicans and Evangelicals failed Jesus? Does the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46) make us ashamed?
Labels: Matthew 25
Should Christians hate the government? That’s in the Bible - not! Government provides roads, schools, satellites, stadiums, defense, retirement, water treatment, sewage, trash disposal, research, ports, communications, mail, energy, disease control, health, consumer protection, clean air and water, work safety, weather service, unemployment, helps the poor, sick, elderly, provides police, scholarships, soil conservation, libraries, building codes, etc. God supports good government (Romans 13:1-7).
Labels: Romans 13
Where is the lion and lamb lying together? That’s in the Bible - not! Eternal peace is pictured by several predators and prey living together. Isaiah 11:6 actually says, "In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all." Isaiah 65:25 says, "The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!" Isn’t what the Bible actually says better?
Is Sunday the Christian Sabbath? That’s in the Bible - NOT! 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 describes a fundraiser for Jerusalem, not necessarily a collection at Sunday services. Acts 20:7 is a special farewell service, not necessarily a regular Sunday service. Romans 14:5-13 gives permission to worship on any day we choose. Hebrews 4:9 says that there remains a Sabbath rest still to come, referring to our eternal rest. Colossians 2:16 suggests that we should not allow others to judge us by mandating certain days. There is always a tendency to criticize people for the days they prefer. Christians are free to keep any rest day they choose, following the spirit of the law: one day in seven.
Is human nature intrinsically evil? That’s in the Bible — not! Didn’t Jesus say that people were evil and didn’t Paul describe the “natural man” as refusing the things of the Spirit of God (Matthew 7:11; 1 Corinthians 2:14). Jesus was not describing human nature and Paul described a sensual, unspiritual person, not the nature with which humanity was created. For that we have to go to Genesis 1:26-31 which describes humanity’s creation in God’s image as “very good.” Adam and Eve were not created flawed, but had the ability to choose between good and evil, and they chose sin. Humans thus became faulty images of God, like an image in a broken mirror.
Does Christian marriage need a formal ceremony and a marriage certificate? That’s in the Bible — not! In Genesis 2:24 Adam and Eve were united as one flesh, but no formal ceremony was recorded. Malachi 2:14 supports a marriage covenant, without specifying what. Romans 13:1-2 encourages obedience to civil authorities, but some modern governments recognize informal marriages. In Bible times, marriage was by private arrangement, not by the church or the state. If modern non-traditional unions are closer to Bible marriages, why judge them by modern rather than Bible standards? On the other hand isn’t legal protection and a good reputation wise? Isn’t a church marriage good and like recapturing God’s blessing in the Garden of Eden?
Have you ever heard people say they prefer Christianity without the religion? That’s in the Bible — not! James 1:26-27 tells us the real story. “If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” So, in the Bible, purity of religion is the goal. And it has nothing to do with the style of liturgy or the ways that we do church, but whether or not we control what we say, care for the needy and avoid corruption.
Have you ever heard someone say that Christmas is pagan? That’s in the Bible — not! Christmas was not generally observed until around the 300’s. Some Christians avoid it because of its pagan roots, but God only forbade evil pagan worship like child sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21) and idolatry (Jeremiah 10:1-5). He did not forbid prayers, music or even using pagan dates for Christian worship (Romans 14:5-6; Colossians 2:16). Pagans used trees, but God did so first (Genesis 2:9; 3:22-24; Proverbs 3:18; 11:30; 13:12; 15:4; Revelation 2:7; 22:14, 19). Christ’s birth is in the Bible (Luke 2). The angels celebrated that wonderful event and so can we.
Have you ever heard people preach about a future world leader called the Antichrist? That’s in the Bible — not! The word Antichrist is only found in the Bible four times (1 John 2:18; 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7). Already many Antichrists have appeared. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Someone claiming to be a prophet and yet not acknowledging the truth about Jesus, has the spirit of the Antichrist. Anyone denying that Jesus Christ came in a real body is a deceiver and an antichrist. Rather than support any theory about a single apocalyptic figure, these verses suggest the idea that there have been many anti- or against Christ.
Have you ever heard that dancing is a sin? That’s in the Bible — not! David danced before the Lord with all his might (2 Samuel 6:13-15). There is a time to mourn and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:3-5). When God promised to bless Israel he said they would again be happy and dance (Jeremiah 31:3-5). God turns our mourning into joyful dancing (Psalm 30:10-12). We are encouraged to praise his name with dancing (Psalm 149:2-4; 150:3-5). Obviously lewd dancing or dancing to worship false gods would inappropriate and sinful, but not all dancing is wrong. God encourages the right kind of dancing, like joyful and worshipful dancing.