Presbyterians line up against Israel

Wall Street Journal Article

I do not wish to be associated with this brand of Christianity. I wonder how it is possible that anyone who reads and believes the Bible could come out in opposition to the return and presence of Israel in their promised homeland as richly prophesied throughout the Scriptures. Maybe that’s the problem — I wonder how many Presbyterians today actually read and believe the Bible…

Crossroads of suffering

Pastor Matt Eachus started this week in 1 Peter 4, Bible study last night was Romans 8, and my reading this morning covered Acts 4. Why do believers suffer? As a privilege to share in both worldly suffering and then in proportion, in His glory in eternity. What should be our response? Pray for strength, then walk in the Spirit, and be filled with joy about the eventual outcome. I think I finally understand James 1:9-11, and our positions as wealthy Americans.

Surprise – you are the terrorist the DHS is arming itself against

Following Hitler’s Playbook

After 9/11 there were just a few faint voices of complaint regarding the establishment of the “Department of Homeland Security”. Now a dozen short years later, they are militarizing to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars against anyone who — GASP — doesn’t trust the federal government.

Our entire country was founded upon an inherent distrust in the federal government. Now we’re deemed “domestic terrorists” for being on the same page as the founding fathers.

Don’t Cross the Climate Nazis

See this article about a Democrat scientist who dared question the establishment

Al Gore famously stated, before the debate had even begun, that “the debate was over”. Now we see what he meant by this. If you as a credentialed scientist don’t toe the party line regarding man-made global warming, you will be dealt with!

Pray that this man turns to the Lord and becomes a powerful spokesman for truth against the lies of Satan’s slaves.

Romans 7 – Are We Reading it Correctly?

Most Christians teach that Paul in Romans 7:14-25 is referring to his seemingly hopeless struggles against sin as a Christian believer.

Personally, I have found this interpretation to be discouraging to the Christian who is desirous to walk worthy of his calling. It also seems to completely contradict the surrounding passages in chapters 6 and 8 of the same letter, and to be completely out of character with the rest of the writings of Paul in the New Testament.

Instead, it would appear to me that Paul is continuing his explanation from the first thirteen verses of the chapter which describes the relationship between indwelling Sin, the Law of God and the Carnal (unregenerate) man. When he uses the personal pronoun “I”, he is posing in the first person as a representative of unregenerate humanity. Verse 14 says “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold into bondage to sin”. The notion that a Christian believer who has DIED to sin, been FREED from sin and has been REDEEMED from sin, as we read everywhere else in the New Testament would be described as being “sold into bondage to sin”, is to me an irreconcilable contradiction.

Then in verse 23, after 8 eight verses of excruciatingly describing his complete inability to do what is right and powerlessness to refrain from evil (which again, if applied to a believer, totally contradicts EVERYTHING Paul has written in all of his epistles), Paul says “but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and MAKING ME A PRISONER OF THE LAW OF SIN which is in my members”. Somebody please explain to me how it is possible for Paul to be describing himself as a Christian as being a “prisoner of the law of sin”, and then, exactly four verses later, in Romans 8:2, he says (to his Christian audience), “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has SET YOU FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN and death”. So for crying out loud, which is it??? It can’t be both — sorry — not according to the laws of logic. The Christian is either FREE from the law of sin or he is a PRISONER to the law of sin. Which is it? Romans 6:14 says “For sin shall not be master over you…” then Romans 7:19 says “For the good that I want I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want”, in essence, saying “sin IS master over me”. Paul is either describing the plight of the unregenerate man in Romans 7, or he is suffering from the worst kind of bipolar disorder known to man.

I understand the principle of sanctification, wherein a Christian believer is purified and made mature in this life through suffering and trials and learning by faith to please the Lord. I understand that no Christian believer in this life can make the claim that he has already been perfected. I understand that we are awaiting the redemption and transformation of our bodies that will happen after Christ’s return. However, I don’t think that there is evidence that Paul is referring to any of these things in this particular passage.

People claim to find “hope” in this passage, even with the classic interpretation. They say things like “well if Paul himself had these struggles with sin, then I should be encouraged! It’s OK that I too am living a defeated life. In fact, that is what is expected…” WHAT??? I’ll be the first to admit that Christians can and do sin, and that there is plenteous grace under the blood of the glorious New Covenant to cover all of our sins, past, present and future. But living a life of defeat to sin is NOT God’s plan A for any believer. And our failures do NOT constitute a deficiency in the resurrection power of Christ that allows us as believers to overcome sin. If we’re being continually defeated by the same sin, it’s on us. The answer is not to go to Romans 7 and wallow in it thinking that Paul shared our plight as a believer and that some day in the sweet by and by we’ll be taken out of this body and then we’ll be free from this sin. That is the worst kind of defeatism and it says, essentially, that the gospel is too weak to have any positive effect in this life. My copy of Romans says that the gospel is THE POWER OF GOD. And God is not weak. And if His power lives in us, then we absolutely have the power, by faith, to do good things and say no to evil.

I’ve searched the New Testament high and low. While there are (thankfully) plenty of passages that proclaim the forgiveness, mercy and grace that are available to Christian believers IF they sin, there are ZERO statements that offer an EXCUSE for a Christian to sin. I fear that believers mistakenly turn to Romans 7 as an excuse for continuing a life of defeatedness. We should be looking for victory, not for excuses.

Here’s the 1990 Master’s Thesis of a theological student who seems to agree with me on this topic…