Theology

Through a mind made dim by sin and what is to come.

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Sometimes when I am groggy from sleep, drifting in or out I find myself behaving like an unthinking animal.  I don’t know if this is unique to me or if any of you have experienced this kind of lack of consciousness or not.  I don’t have any forethought in this state.  It is just beyond sleep and just ahead of being awake.  Those moments are fleeting.  They leave me with a sense of being less than a human.  I wonder if this is how some of the higher functioning mammals think and feel?  Like the gorilla that could do sign language.  She communicated from a mind with a different type of thinking, understanding, and desires.  I don’t like being subject to a lesser state. It is disconcerting.

Before we are saved, we think only as a person can under the noetic effects of original sin and bondage to that sinful state.  We operate in a state that is less than.  Our unregenerate minds can only conceive of evil and it continually.  We see our fellow men lost in the dark and shine a light for them to see.  We hope they will orientate themselves to and by that light.

Even those of us who have been saved still perceive and process from a state of being less than what we are to be.  The noetic effects of sin corrupt us as well.  We wait for glorification one day.  We wait for a time when our abilities to perceive and process without the effects of sin will be fulfilled.  How would we look back on our previous mortal existence?  How would we as creatures know and perceive our Creator in truth?  What would it be like?  I know that I can’t know everything even after glorification.  I also know that I won’t know things the same fallen way that I know them now.  To know Jesus now is a miracle wrought by God.  I can’t imagine what it will be like to know Him without this sinful flesh and corruption of mind.

Church · Theology · Uncategorized

Joel Osteen, “WHERE’S THE GOSPEL?”

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Some of us are old enough to remember the funny Wendy’s commercial with the, “where’s the beef?” lady.

 

Just like how most fast food chains can leave you unsatisfied and wondering just, “Where is, the beef?”  The prosperity gospel and life enhancement version of Christianity leaves people unsatisfied and lacking the appropriate knowledge.  They are spiritually malnutritioned and existing as the walking dead.  They drone on through life never getting it.  One can only wonder how long people will continue to pay this man to hear his silky smooth distracting messages delivered through his 10,000 watt smile.

Many folks get angry when you mention any wrong doing of Joel and his ilk.  I have been surprised at how many Christian brothers and sisters have gotten down right perturbed at me for besmirching their golden cow.  Joel is not any better than any of us.  He certainly is not educated and rooted in the word, like many genuine theologians and Pastors.  Joel is firmly in the, “Word of Faith” movement.  He teaches that your words have power and if you have faith when you speak you can declare prosperity for yourself and God will provide it.  How messed up is that?  “Say, I think I’ll twist the arm of the sovereign Creator of everything into giving me a better house and car with my, “less than a mustard seed of faith.”  It is men like him who give good unsung Pastors a bad name.

Think about all of the times you have listened to him on television or the books of his you have read.  Can you recall anything that he has done that looks anything like, “You were once a vile sinner.  You were under the condemnation of sin.  You were going to be cast into Hell for eternity, but you repented of your sins and believed in the atoning work of Christ Jesus on the cross.  He paid the price of your sin debt.  He satisfied the justice of God through His propitiation.  Now go and be holy for God is holy.”

Joel isn’t a Pastor, he is a self-help guru with a Christianesque guile.  He is the burger with fillers and washed in ammonia.  He is not the real deal.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying he is not saved.  I don’t know that.  I am saying he isn’t qualified to be a Preacher of God’s word.  He is not a Preacher of the gospel.  He has this humungous platform to do something really great for the kingdom of God, but instead he backs away from boldly proclaiming the gospel and preaching the word.  Why is that?  What sort of Preacher does that?  I haven’t even really addressed his teachings here.  That wasn’t my goal for today.  I simply wanted to draw attention to the lack of good, God centered, gospel proclaiming, life giving, preaching of God’s word.  Now I declare, go read your Bible Joel and repent.  Use that television platform, and mega-church for the right use.

If you love Joel ask him to preach the gospel every Sunday.  Ask him for clear and correct teaching instead of the prosperity life enhancement fluff.  Who knows, maybe he’ll listen.

 

Apologetics · Church · Theology

God is eternal and unchanging.

Biblical ignorance is one of the biggest obstacles for the evangelist to overcome. There are many false doctrines and misconceptions being propagated in society today. We have to answer so many false claims while practicing apologetics. Hopefully we can fix one of those problems today with this article.

God is eternal and unchanging. God has always been, and He has always been just as He is. He has never not been, or been in any different state.   He does not change. The nature of being uncaused and eternal is what we call, “the aseity of God.” The nature of not changing is what we call, “the immutability of God.” Both of these qualities are important when understanding God’s eternality and many of His other attributes. For today we are going to focus on His eternality, aseity, and immutability.

How do we answer, “If God is unchanging, didn’t He change when He turned into Jesus?” This demonstrates a woeful ignorance of theology. Children in the Puritan era might have asked this, but certainly not adults. It is true that if God’s nature changed during the incarnation we would have a problem. An eternal Creator that was not immutable could not be counted on to always be just, or good. So the fact that God is immutable is a blessing for us. God did not turn into Jesus at the incarnation. God was always as He is, Triune. He is one being in three persons. At the advent of Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the eternal Son, joined Himself to human nature without mixing, or mingling His deity with His humanity. This is what we call the hypostatic union. It means that the incarnate God is 100% God and 100% man, joined together perfectly in accord with the will of God. The incarnation did not change God. This misinformed idea reveals how little we are trained in theology and Biblical truths.

The Mormons say that God was once a man, who was created by a father and mother god through natural means, who themselves were once mere humans, who were created by a father and mother, and on and on perpetually. This is how they understand their god to be eternal. How does our God differ? Our God is explained by His word. We know that He created everything. We know He didn’t just move matter around to form some things on this planet. If He created everything, and is the source of all things, then He would have no pre-existence as a man. He would not have been created by other gods, who were once human. He would be eternal all in and of Himself. I would ask the Mormons, “Who was the first god who made the first man, who later would become a god? Why wouldn’t you worship this first god who supposedly made the first man? Why would you worship a being who is not the creator of everything?” The God of the Bible is truly a transcendent being. He is above, and beyond any imaginings a person would have in conceiving a false god. That is why when you encounter a false religion it is easy to spot problems. Of course this is only true if you are a person who has been saved, and knows the true God. Once you know Him you can spot a fake. How could anyone worship such limited beings as the ones they imagine? It should blow us away when we hear some of these descriptions.

The God of the Bible created everything there is without diminishing Himself. He created it out of nothing. There was nothing there for Him to build things out of versus the god of Mormonism who just reformed matter and was the great great great great great great great great grandson of some other little god.   The winner is, the God of the Bible. This is one of the many reason that Mormons are not Christians. They might claim to be, but if they believe the doctrines of their cult, then they are not Christian. We obviously worship a different God than they do. Their god is a finite creature, created by others.

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Ours is NOT! We need to be happy about this, and correct them when they publicly claim to worship the same God. They cause confusion, and draw support when we don’t explain the differences.   A god who was created is not a god at all. Only a God who is transcends creation, who made everything without diminishing himself, who made everything from nothing makes sense.

What does it mean to be, “eternal?” Have you ever thought about this? Most of us have thought about what it would be like to live forever, but all we can really conceive of is living a very long time. We can’t imagine what it would be like to have no beginning or end. It is something that only God can understand fully.  Another idea about eternality, is that it is unseen.  We are in a temporal creation.  What we can see is limited by our nature.  God is being eternal.  We might ask, “Is it possible for any other being to be eternal outside of God?” The Bible says we will live forever with God if we are saved, but that isn’t being eternal. That is just being resurrected to everlasting life. We had a beginning. God created us, and He keeps us alive.  We were caused to exist, and He is the one who upholds our existence.  Even after we have left our temporal existence behind, and step into eternity, it will be because we have been made to do so by God.

It doesn’t it make sense to have another eternal being outside of God. If there was then God would not be alone and unique in His deity. There would be other Gods with separate wills, and equal power. We know that God says in His word that He is the only one, and that He is not a liar.

What about the gods of other faiths, are they eternal? This is simple, No.  They have never been.  They can’t be. For something to be eternal it would have to have always been, is being, and always will be.

If they are false, because they are not eternal, or actual, then what is going to happen to their worshipers, and why? If they never repent, and put their faith in Christ, then they are under the condemnation of their sin. They will die, and be found guilty of their sins. They will be in Hell suffering the torment of God’s wrath being poured out on them, not because they believed different, or because they didn’t grow up here, but because they are guilty sinners just like us.

How can they be saved? We must preach the gospel of Christ to them. They must repent of their sins, and trust in the work of Christ on the cross solely.  When they find out that they are sinners, their hearts must be convicted of this. They must be humbled, and become penitent. Then they must confess their sinfulness to God, and ask Him to forgive them. They must submit to God as their new master. They need to accept that they cannot earn favor with God. They need to rely, and fully trust in the finished, perfect,  atoning, work of Christ on the cross.