All posts tagged GRACE
‘It is a harsh but undeniable truth that the majority of what calls itself the Church in the modern world is nothing more than a shallow facade, a shell of its former self. Charles Spurgeon, one of the greatest theologians and preachers of the past, had the foresight to recognize this disturbing trend even in his own lifetime. He famously declared, “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats!”
Tragically, Spurgeon’s prediction has become a reality. As one looks out at the landscape of the contemporary Church, it is nearly impossible to find any semblance of genuine faith or spiritual depth. Instead, one is confronted with an endless parade of superficial and shallow antics, designed to titillate the senses and distract from the emptiness within.
A recent spectacle at the Center for Hope, a United Methodist church in Wintersville, Ohio, where a couple sang a trite and manipulative cover of “Eye of the Tiger,” is just one example of the degradation and degeneration that plagues the modern Church. It is a damning indictment of our spiritual state that we have become so enamored with cheap thrills and vacuous entertainment rather than seeking the nourishment of the soul and the timeless wisdom of the divine through His word.
Below are some of the altered lyrics the couple sang that were overly cheesy and focused on charismatic self-help themes:
Before I was a Christian, Something was missin,
felt a little distant, dark resistant,
made a decision, got a new vision,
wrote my goals yeah wrote my mission,
BC I was aimlessly walkin
then one day I heard the voice of God talkin,
rise up child to the enemy mockin’,
prayer is your weapon pray without stoppin’‘https://disntr.com/2023/01/05/church-performs-cringworthy-rap-edition-of-eye-of-the-tiger/
‘The interaction of the angel with the shepherds was so engrained in the hearts and minds of the early church that Luke wrote that his record was “most surely believed,” that he had “perfect understanding,” from which Theophilus and subsequent readers might know “the certainty of those things.” If it was not God Himself who preserved the infallible, inspired word, how could the Church ever know with certainty that the events of Acts 2 ever historically transpired, and if the events did not transpire, then the written record of these non-events are spurious. So, let’s say for the moment, we discount the historic orthodox manner these verses have been rendered and consider what might be an empirical defeater to this paradigm for manuscript transmission?
There is no empirical evidence of this event except for the witness of the shepherds. Manuscripts at this point are meaningless. Luke, or someone calling herself “Luke” may have just recorded a happy story that became a wide-spread myth. This event cannot be supported scientifically. Indeed, this announcement can be easily erased simply by arguing that the author’s fabricated account was a local fable that found its way into the real Luke’s gospel. The whole Gospel is not spurious only the conflation that includes Luke 2:1-20. After all, what makes these verses any different that John 7:53-8:11? It’s all just words on parchment. Luke was not in the field with the shepherds, nor was anyone else to corroborate the event. Even if it did happen, how reliable are shepherds to accurately report something of this magnitude. The story sounds like something out of a bottle not of divine significance, kind of like “snake handling” in Mark 16, or maybe like an Aesop fable of wonder and amazement but not an actual inbreaking of heaven to earth.
Before you can argue transmission, you must agree or believe the event being recorded happened. Luke recorded an event of the angel’s announcement to the shepherds. Was there a moment in time when the Apostle John wrote 1 John 5:7? Was there a historic event when Christ interacted with the woman caught in adultery? Did Mark write the long ending? How many times did Mark’s heart beat before he completed the Gospel? Because special revelation is grammatical/historical, word and event, if there is no written record, there is no way of knowing whether the historic event happened; if the event is in the text, because it is God’s word, it did happen. The present critical reconstruction of the text reconstructs the past when the unchanging past has already limited the veracity of the record. The past did not manifest itself in two simultaneous, contradictory events. Text critics are not so much students of ancient literature as they are manipulators of time. Call the manipulation what you want, just not truth or the New Testament. Did redemptive history unfold in the Biblical record or did it not? Orwell was correct, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” By critically reshaping the past, the future has been the splintering of the Church with multiple modern bible versions, and it is the present information dominance of the evangelical text critic that continues to reshape the past.
The witness of the shepherds is confirmed by Anna and Simeon, and then by the Wise Men, and then by the Father, Holy Spirit, and John the Baptist at Christ’s baptism, then the ministry of Christ, his death, resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, the Apostolic message, and the founding of the Church based upon inspired writings. All of this either confirms the witness of the shepherds or we are witnessing a complete 1st century ruse. Indeed, much of the Church is about to reinforce this transgenerational ruse on Christmas Sunday if it is not believed that all the past events of Holy Scripture are forever, unchangeably settled. And the only means of exercising that kind of faith this Christmas is to believe that the Gospel record has been providentially preserved by God and based on the introduction to Luke’s Gospel to have “certainty” of those things through the Word and Spirit.
‘If one was to go by the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, they would be under the impression that they believed the Bible. This might lead one to ask why do Mormons use the KJV? After all, when the LDS Missionaries stop by your home in their attempts to convert you to the “church,” they always carry a King James Bible. They will gladly open it and go to a few select verses that seem to indicate that the books promoted as the “standard works” of the church, especially the Book of Mormon, are prophesied by the Bible. In fact, when you ask a Mormon if they believe the Bible, they will wholeheartedly confirm that they do, but sadly they only believe it, “…as far as it is translated correctly” as is stated in the eighth article of faith.
There are two main reasons that the Mormon church utilizes and endorses only the King James Version. The first is that at the time of the organization of the church in 1830, the King James or Authorized Version was accepted as the authoritative Bible among English speaking people. The Mormon use of the King James Version would certainly work towards credibility as they were trying to gain converts, whereas if they had utilized a less common and less available version, the opposite would no doubt had occurred. Franklin Gonzales, Institute Teacher at the University of Utah states, “Early church leaders were partial to the KJV not only because they have grown up with it, but also because the KJV was couched in language unparalleled for its literary beauty.”1 For the Mormons to use the King James all the way from the beginning was necessary, as they quickly gained a reputation for being “cult-like” in the surrounding areas of church influence.
The Mormon (LDS) movement started at Palmyra, New York, then moved to Kirtland, Ohio, Independence, Missouri, and lastly to Nauvoo, Illinois. If the Mormons had begun their proselytizing efforts with any version of the Bible than the King James, it would have been another warning flag to those they were seeking to convert. It is interesting to note is that Smith was supposedly divinely commissioned to make a new translation of the Bible called the Joseph Smith Translation, yet the church has never employed the Smith translation in their “evangelistic” work, as he died having only translated the Gospel of Matthew.
The second reason for why Mormons use the King James Version, even in these “latter days” (pun intended) with all the many modern versions available such as the NIV, NAS, ESV, etc. is that the King James Version was respected and chosen by Joseph Smith. The (false) prophet used an 1828 King James Bible to prepare the above-mentioned translation of Matthew. Gonzales states that Smith learned early on that “original Bible texts” had been corrupted.2 Of course the “originals” no longer exist, and though Smith and the leadership in the Mormon church held the King James Bible as being more accurate and reliable, Smith still fell into the same trap that modern revisionists have done since 1881, correcting the King James Bible using their wisdom, relying on that they think a specific word, phrase or verse should read. In fact, on March 7th, 1881, The “Prophet,” as he is known by church members, received a revelation that is an alternate revelation of the olivet discourse of Matt 24, this time God supposedly speaking directly to Smith. This adding to the word of God is found in another LDS standard work called Doctrine and Covenants 45:60-61.
While there is much more that can be added concerning the Joseph Smith Translation, in a desire to stay with the content of the article here about “Why do Mormons Use the KJV” it is very strange indeed that the KJV was not replaced by this translation, especially when BYU publications state that it provides clarity and understanding. Regarding the church’s continued use of the KJV, the Statement of the First Presidency states, “While other Bible versions may be easier to read than the KJV, in doctrinal matters latter-day revelation supports the KJV in preference to other translations. All of the Presidents of the Church, beginning with the Prophet Joseph Smith, have supported the KJV by encouraging its continued use in the Church. In light of all the above, it is the English language Bible used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
In Summary, the Mormons use the KJV because it was the most accepted version during the time of its origins and because the founder, Joseph Smith, endorsed it. It is interesting that a cult leader and his religion recognize the errors of modern versions, yet equally disheartening is that they add and take away from the KJV, just as the scholars of the past have done. So, in essence, it is the same double-speak that we get from those that have produced the NIV, NASB, ESV, Living Bible, etc. Thankfully we can trust that what we have in the KJV is God’s preserved word! As a side note I will also state as one that was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for about 3 years, that while they use and carry a KJV, it is hardly opened during their church meetings. Rather, it is primarily utilized when proselytizing, twisting scriptures to make it seem that those verses point to the Book Mormon.
By James Lyman
1. Why does the Church still use the King James Version?
2. Ibid.’ https://www.kjvchurches.com/why-do-mormons-use-the-kjv/
Now, what in the world does being a queer have to do with your groceries? Well, here in Australia the grocery chain ‘Coles sacked the last of its unvaccinated staff at the beginning of this year, long after state mandates fell and other industries began allowing the so-called mavericks of the workforce back into the office. The move, along with other supermarket giants, saw thousands of Australians unceremoniously dumped, many of them single mothers or from struggling households.
‘Shop safe at Coles’ is something that looks good printed in big letters across double-page ads to those still suffering from anxiety hangovers. Just don’t ask too many questions about the health logic, given unvaccinated people can shop in the store, but not stand behind the counter.
Speaking of corporate virtue signalling.
The same company turned around this week and announced it would be offering its trans and gender-diverse employees ten extra days of paid leave for the purpose of ‘gender affirmation’. ‘Affirmation’ is a hazy term that Coles describes as ‘any process’ that relates to the act of gender affirmation including surgical, social, legal, or medical action. Leave could be granted for anything from an appointment with a lawyer through to full surgery.
Gender Affirmation Leave was timed to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia – one of the dozens of days and months dedicated to a sexual preference or pronouns.
Coles Chief Legal and Safety Officer, David Brewster, (who also serves as the Chair of the Pride Steering Committee), released a statement.
‘We know that we have at least 900 team members who identify as transgender or gender diverse. We need to have proper policy and education in this area so there is clear guidance around taking leave for this important transition in their life.’
Coles attached a long and bizarre ‘gender affirming’ statement that seems a little over the top for employment that largely involves stacking shelves and pushing trolleys. Its headings include ‘encouraging you to be your authentic self’ and ‘developing our Pride Team member network’ – which doesn’t sound like something employers should concern themselves with.’https://spectator.com.au/2022/05/coles-sacks-unvaccinated-staff-creates-paid-gender-affirmation-leave/
Romans 1:22,24-27 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was an English Baptist preacher who became known world-wide as the ‘Prince of Preachers’. His whole focus in life after coming to know Christ as his personal Saviour was to preach the Gospel. Along with preaching he wrote many books and the following is WHAT ARE WE AT which is the Second chapter of the book ALL OF GRACE.
‘I HEARD A STORY; I think it came from the North Country: A minister called upon a poor woman, intending to give her help; for he knew that she was very poor. With his money in his hand, he knocked at the door; but she did not answer. He concluded she was not at home, and went his way. A little after he met her at the church, and told her that he had remembered her need: “I called at your house, and knocked several times, and I suppose you were not at home, for I had no answer.” “At what hour did you call, sir?” “It was about noon.” “Oh, dear,” she said, “I heard you, sir, and I am so sorry I did not answer; but I thought it was the man calling for the rent.” Many a poor woman knows what this meant.
Now, it is my desire to be heard, and therefore I want to say that I am not calling for the rent; indeed, it is not the object of this book to ask anything of you, but to tell you that salvation is ALL OF GRACE, which means, free, gratis, for nothing.
Oftentimes, when we are anxious to win attention, our hearer thinks, “Ah! now I am going to be told my duty. It is the man calling for that which is due to God, and I am sure I have nothing wherewith to pay. I will not be at home.” No, this book does not come to make a demand upon you, but to bring you something. We are not going to talk about law, and duty, and punishment, but about love, and goodness, and forgiveness, and mercy, and eternal life. Do not, therefore, act as if you were not at home: do not turn a deaf ear, or a careless heart. I am asking nothing of you in the name of God or man. It is not my intent to make any requirement at your hands; but I come in God’s name, to bring you a free gift, which it shall be to your present and eternal joy to receive. Open the door, and let my pleadings enter. “Come now, and let us reason together.” The Lord himself invites you to a conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your soul. It may be that the hour is come in which you shall enter upon that new life which is the beginning of heaven. Faith cometh by hearing, and reading is a sort of hearing: faith may come to you while you are reading this book. Why not? O blessed Spirit of
all grace, make it so!’
I received the following in an email from a friend. It is worth reading for it is pertinent for most (if not all) of the Western world today.
What really died at Auschwitz? Here’s an interesting viewpoint. The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodriguez and published in a Spanish newspaper. It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe, and possibly to the rest of the world.
I walked down the streets in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth: Europe died in Auschwitz. We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a group of people who represented culture, thought, creativity, talent.
We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who made great contributions to the world, and thus changed the world.
The contribution of today’s Jewish people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. Look at any donors’ board at any symphony, art museum, theatre, art gallery, science center, etc. You will see many, many, Jewish surnames.
These are the people who were burned. Of the 6,000,000 who died, how many would have grown up to be gifted musicians, doctors, artists, philanthropists?
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the diseases of racism and bigotry, Europe opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition. We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs. What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it “offends” the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it.
It is now approximately seventy years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This email is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, twenty million Russians, ten million Christians, and nineteen-hundred Catholic priests who were murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated. Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming The Holocaust to be “a myth,” it is imperative to make sure the world “never forgets.”
This email is intended to reach 400 million people. Be a link in the memorial chain and help distribute this around the world.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center “NEVER HAPPENED” because it offends some Muslim in the United States? If our Judeo-Christian heritage is offensive to Muslims, they should pack up and move to Iran, Iraq or some other Muslim country.
Please do not just delete this message; it will take only a minute to pass this along. We must wake up America, England, Australia and Europe before it’s too late.
“If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.” — Plato