Tag Archives: Scripture

Satan takes God's Word...

For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. (Psalm 91:11-13)

and then He uses it...

...and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
"'He will command his angels concerning you,'
"'On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.'"

It is when we hear the words..."Did God REALLY say..." that we need to put our guard up.  Perhaps Satan didn't realize at the time that the passage he was using to tempt our Lord was part of a prophecy about himself.

You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

When Satan was tempting Christ...he was reminding Jesus (not that He didn't already know) that the tempter would be defeated.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel." (Gen 3:15)

And Christ (outside of time and space, knowing what would be written in Scripture)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

Satan is an expert at deception...we need to be sober-minded and watchful.  That doesn't mean "don't have fun"...it means that we should be aware that Satan will use whatever he can to draw us away from the Strong Tower

Quietly contemplate the Lamb as the light of heaven. Light in Scripture is
the emblem of joy. The joy of the saints in heaven is comprised in this:
Jesus chose us, loved us, bought us, cleansed us, robed us, kept us,
glorified us: we are here entirely through the Lord Jesus.

And the quote of the day (Spurgeon)

Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing.  Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labors which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

What comfort it is to dwell in God's promises!

A promise is only as good as the one who makes it...and yet, when we are brought to Christ, when we are called, we are also called to a mission.  To fail to do that mission is to misuse the grace of Christ.

1 Comment

from a reader on another blog:

1. why don't you, with all things, trust in god?
2. not knowing god's mind, how do you know that you are not working against god's will by working against obama's policies?
3. you say, "without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head," so if god is both merciful and just, does that mean michele's disease is deserved?

1- why don't you, with all things, trust in God?

Just as Ruth trusted God, she also acted.  God has ordained the end (His will), He has also ordained the means (human action).

Christians act - to the best of their ability - to abide by God's will.  Do we get it wrong sometimes?  Of course, but God is still in control and God will use our mistakes to teach, chastise or punish.

I knew a woman who sat at home and said, "I just trust God to provide for my needs"...we said, "well, trust God, but get off your butt and get a job."

Trusting God does not mean stay idle and let Him do all the work.

2. not knowing god's mind, how do you know that you are not working against god's will by working against obama's policies?

There are Christians working on both sides of the political fence, so somebody has it wrong.  I believe that (most of the time) if both factions are working against each other they generally meet somewhere in the middle.  If President Bush had ben a conservative (vs. a Republican), we would have had a divided government and things would have ended up a little prettier.

But let's look at some of the policies and what Scripture says.

On taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves:

“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countrymen may continue to live among you…”
Leviticus 25:35-36 (NIV)

What about those who can take care of themselves but still do not work?

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, If any will not work, neither let him eat. (1 Thess 3:10)

What about managing money?  The Bible says a lot about stewardship and investing wisely - with a government of the people, I think this would include the government.

On abortion:  There does seem to be a difference between early and late term "causing of a miscarriage".  The unborn is called "a child" throughout the Bible.   I can understand a mother being driven to feeling the need to have an early term abortion and Roe v. Wade will be with us for a long time.

BUT>>>late term abortions (elective) and partial birth abortions may not be with us.  These are the abortions that I'm vocal about.

And once a child is born, I believe that they are "human" and should be given medical care (even if that care is only paliative.)


  • stewardship and wise investing and spending
  • death of infants
  • care of those unable to take care of themselves
  • the "not care" of those who won't...

The rest is all "opinion" and operating under what we believe is best for our country and the conservative's belief is just as valid as the liberal's (and vice versa - holes can be poked in both sides)

3. you say, "without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head," so if god is both merciful and just, does that mean michele's disease is deserved?

Deserved?  Or useful?

Not the same thing.

Even an evil thing can bring about great good.  Joseph was sold into slavery and God said, "they meant it for evil, but I used it for good".

John Piper wrote a piece, "Don't Waste Your Cancer".

In it he says,

It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design.


Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ. God’s design is to wean you off the breast of the world and feast you on the sufficiency of Christ. It is meant to help you say and feel, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” And to know that therefore, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 3:8; 1:21).

So it is not that Michele deserves cancer...but all of life is of God and even what Satan means for evil, God can either stop it or not...and He will work it for good.

1 Comment

- Why is a critical (as in critical thinking) reading of this book essential?

  • People are not reading this book as a work of fiction.  As I encounter more people who have read the book, I hear more gushing over how they understand god (lower case on purpose) better than they ever have!
  • Most heresies begin with the nature of who God is.  If "The Shack" teaches a different god than the God of Scripture, and if the god/goddess of the book is the god/goddess that people are believing in and trusting - they are trusting a false god.
  • As humans, we build for ourselves the god that we think we need - which is not necessarily the God that our Holy Father has chosen to reveal Himself as in His Inspired Word.
  • As we build the god that we think we need - the god that we want, we humanize that which cannot be brought down to our human level.

So here are the questions to keep in mind as I read "The Shack":

  • How does the god/goddess of the book differ from the God that reveals Himself in Scripture?
  • What are the positives that can be learned from the book and can they be easily separated from the false teachings?
  • How will I discuss what can be learned with people who are enthusiastic about "The Shack", with grace while teaching what is wrong with the book - how can I help others understand the difference?
  • How will this book enrich my walk with God - whether as a positive teaching of forgiveness, or as a negative awareness of the danger of false teaching?

I'm a little behind...

The Scripture:

  • Psalm 80:3
  • Isa 1:27-28
  • Psa. 80:19
  • Psa 51:15
  • Psa 70:1

Restore us, O God;

let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Zion shall be redeemed by justice,

and those in her who repent, by righteousness.

But rebels and sinners shall be broken together,

and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.

O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

Make haste, O God, to deliver me!

O LORD, make haste to help me!

Restore us, O LORD God of hosts!

Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Once, a long time ago, I sat in the balcony of a church during the Christmas season.  I was volunteering at my church's daycare and took a "timeout" for lunch and the quietest place was that balcony in the sanctuary.

I looked quietly at the giant wreath (horse-shoe) that nearly filled the front platform.  Yet what drew my attention was beyond that seasonal symbol.  It was the other symbol, the reason for His coming in the first place.

The stained glass cross, the sun shining through, was sending a kalidioscope of colors over the white ribbons on the wreath.

That has stayed with me for years...if we forget the "end game" - the cross - then Santa might as well be the reason for the season.

If the birth is not covered with blood, His blood, there is no reason to celebrate.

I am working my way through "Prodigal God" and I am reminded that I am thankful for the "Fathers" and "neighbors" in my life.

I am thankful for those who welcome me back, who rejoice at my homecoming.

I am also increasingly aware of those who resent the grace extended - I am aware of the "older brother".  Those who will not ony "not forgive", but also resent the forgiveness extended by the Father.

There was a time when I was the "older brother" - that was a lead up in my life to a time when I could be either the "older brother" from the parable, or I could choose to be the "right" older brother - the one who welcomed the younger back.

There are many people who are not ready to restore.  Restore!  That is the point of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not a hoop to jump through in order to get God's favor.  Following God's pattern for forgiveness is the way that we show that we are forgiven.  So much so that Scripture tells us that if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us.

Forgiveness is a witness to the world that we are forgiven.  And if there are debts that we are holding, it is those sort of debts that will be held against us.

I've written on this a little bit in other places and it is a volatile topic and one that is difficult to discuss without getting emotional (for anybody).  I am writing from a philosophical point, not an emotional point.

I AM NOT "PRO-SLAVERY"; the post is to encourage the philosophical and Biblical viewpoint of calling sin "sin" and making sure that which we call "sin" is.
1) God does not regulate sin - He prohibits it.

If Scripture never tells us that an activity is sin, the burden of proof is on the one who calls it "sin".

The easiest way to prove slavery "sin" is to stand on the "golden rule".  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  If you would not want to be a slave, don't enslave others.  As a Christian...that makes perfect sense.

The next question would be:  might there be (or ever in history have been) a reason that being a slave might be better than the alternative?  Are there any circumstances that slavery would be beneficial/harmful to either the individual or the society.
2) right off hand, I can think of four different kinds of slavery  mentioned in Scripture:

  • debt slavery
  • kidnapping for the purpose of slavery
  • prisoners of war
  • punitive slavery

---Debt slavery:  If a person finds themselves overloaded with debt, they have the opportunity to work off that debt to the person owed.  They are released at the end of the time, they are free of the debt.  They are able to bail themselves out.  (that's a definition, not a judgement.)

NOTE:  I do not see this as being a good or practical thing in the society that we have today.  Looking at the "debtor's prisons" that we read about, it might have seemed a good option at the time.

SIN or not? (from Scripture only, please)?  (I'd rather have a discussion than put forth my thoughts - but would most likely play devil's advocate either way)

---Chattel slavery:  there is no justification of this act.  Slave trade was on the list of Tyre's condemnation and no matter what I might find about the other sorts of "manditory labor", the kidnapping and enslavement of a group of people - and the further keeping of their descendents in slavery is wrong.  Sin.  Condemned.  There is no justification for this.  (I believe that the preying on impoverished parents of children and purchasing them for the purpose of slavery that we see to day in parts of Africa and Asia are included in this segment.

---Prisoners of war:  three choices - dead.  refugee camp.  slave.  None of them are good choices.  (Again this is for discussion purpose and I'll gladly play devil's advocate for either side - but argue from Scripture)

NOTE:  the Geneva Convention permits the use of prisoners of war for "forced labor".  There are strict guidelines about what sort of work can be done, working and living conditions and prohibits the use of forced labor on actual military jobs.  A prisoner of war can be made to work in an agriculture setting, but cannot be made to manufacture bombs.

Using a prisoner of war for "forced labor" is not the same as conducting a war in order to get prisoners in order to get slaves (see kidnapping)

---Punitive slavery:  Sorry, but I think I could convinced to be at least a little bit in favor of this one.

California:  a "soccer mom" was loading stuff into the back of her car and was rear ended by an "illegal alien" (undocumented immigrant) - who happened to be driving under the influence of alcohol.  This wife and mother lost the use of her legs and looks forward to many months of rehab and the expenses incurred not only as part of treatment, but also with living as a person with impairments.

- instead of being shipped back to Mexico - again - after being caught driving drunk - again - what if this man were put in a place where his labor contributed to the income of the woman that he injured?

Michigan:  A man shoots and kills a cop, depriving the officer's wife and children of his love, support and income.  We now have a single mom with three kids.

- instead of being imprisoned for life, what if this man's labor went into a college fund for the children of the man he killed?

Anywhere:  a young man steals a car and wrecks it.  The insurance company pays, the owner of the car pays, the young man may lose time.

What if a person who steals property and destroys or damages it was made to work for the owner of the property in order to make restitution?

From Scripture, please?

(NOTE:  this post is only philosophical ramblings...mostly due to the continued and wearying and offensive habit of some egalitarians of comparing a Godly marriage where the husband is the leader...to chattel slavery)

What we think of as slavery (in the modern sense) fits into the "kidnapping for slavery" slot.  Race-based slavery fits into that slot.  Kidnapping and breeding of a group of people for the purpose of slavery is sin.  Condemned.  Wrong.

This  "chattel" slavery (and subsequent denial of the slave's humanity) can (in NO WAY) be justified.  The other three (especially in Scripture) have no impact on the way that the humanity of the slave (or bond-servant in some cases) was seen.  In two of the cases the "slavery" was more "manditory labor" which was brought about by the actions of the person in bondage.

Again, I am not in ANY WAY advocating for a return of the chattel slave system, a dehumanization of a race, the manditory

From an emotional standpoint:  I have no desire to be a slave or own a slave.  To my modern mind, the idea is not at all attractive.  As a Christian:  slavery is to be avoided and I think that it is sin for a Christian to seek to be a slave.

Most of us have heard it taught that "Christ and the church" is a metaphor for marriage.  We look at a human marriage and then look to Christ and His bride as an example.

John Piper (although I do not have a direct link) has put it in the opposite:  Marriage was created by God (true) for the benefit of humans (true) in part as a metaphor to illustrate to the world the picture of Christ and His bride (not so clear).

One thing is clear (to me) - the parallel of husband and wife to Christ and the church is written in Scripture often enough for me to believe there is a significant lesson to be learned.

Which way does the metaphor run?  I think perhaps both ways.

I believe that God is eternal and omniscient.  He knew from eternity what man would bring and He knew the metaphor that He would inspire in Scripture.  Do we really think that the "Christ and the church" idea was a sudden revelation to God?  Of course not.  I believe that the parallel between God/Israel and Christ/the church were there from eternity - before creation.

I believe that they are intertwined - a person can learn about marriage by looking at God's relationship with Israel and Christ and the church...and the world should be able to look at a Christian marriage and see it reflect Christ and the church.


No...that's not my question, but rather the question on ""Parchment and Pen."

"Why is it okay to think that men know so much, have so much insight, are so sensitive to all the nuances of a particular Bible passage that they can teach women in a way that women are able to learn and understand week after week but the insights and sensitivities of women are so inferior that men could/should never learn from them? Or how is this not what is being said?"

Since this is not what is being taught by most complementarians, it might be useful to note that complementarians are not monolithic (just as egalitarians are not).

It might also be useful to note that most complementarians do not teach that women are not insightful, that women are not sensitive to Scripture or that women are inferior.
Most complementarians do not teach that "men could/should never learn from them?"

From "The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood:"

"Listen to how John Piper and Wayne Grudem summarized this answer to this question. "When Paul says in I Timothy 2:12, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent,' we do not understand him to mean an absolute prohibition of all teaching by women. Paul instructs the older women to teach what is good, then they can train the younger women. And he commends the teaching that Eunice and Lois gave to her son and grandson. Proverbs praises the ideal wife because she speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction on her tongue. Paul endorses women prophesying in a church and says that men learn by such prophesying. And that members should teach and admonish one another with all wisdom as you sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. And then, of course, there is Priscilla at Aquilla's side correcting Apollos. It is arbitrary to think that Paul has in mind every form of teaching in I Timothy 2:12. Teaching and learning are in such broad terms that it is impossible that women not teach men and men not learn from women in some sense. There is a way that nature teaches and a fig tree teaches and suffering teaches and human behavior teaches. If Paul did not have every conceivable form of teaching and learning in mind, what did he mean? Along with the fact that the setting here is the church assembled for prayer and teaching, the best clue is by coupling teaching with having authority over men. We would say that the teaching inappropriate for a woman is the teaching of men in settings or ways that dishonor the calling of men to bear the primary responsibility for teaching in leadership. This primary responsibility is to be carried by the pastors or elders. Therefore, we think it is God's will that only men bear the responsibility for that office."

Also from CBMW:

Also, I see no need to go be­yond Scripture, which does not prohibit (permits but does not mandate) prayer or testimony by a woman in the con­gregation nor forbid her interaction on biblical truths in a private conversation with a man (as Pricilla and Aquila with Apollos in Acts 18:26).

From another article by Wayne Grudem on CBMW:

Now regarding the question of women in the church, what actions should we put on this scale? On the left side of the scale we can put verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul prohibits a woman from teaching or having authority over men. Since I think it is very evident from the context that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation in this passage (see 1 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:15), and he is giving principles that apply to the entire congregation (see 1 Tim. 3:1-16), I think that the left end of the scale prohibits women from teaching or having governing authority over the whole congregation.

What shall we put on the right end of the scale? Here we would put verses such as Acts 18:26, where, in a less formal setting apart from an assembled congregation, we find that Priscilla and Aquila were talking to Apollos, and "they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately." This situation is similar to a small group Bible study in which both men and women are participating and in that way "teaching" one another. Another verse that we can put on the right end of the scale is Titus 2:4 which tells the older women to "train the younger women to love their husbands and children..."

We see from these writings that an across the board prohibition of women teaching men is not what is being taught. Rather it is the teaching that complementarians believe that Paul is teaching that women should not teach the congregation at large, or have authority in that context.

What I read in Genesis 1 and 2 is that God created male and female differently and He treats them differently and (where instruction is given to specifically men or specifically women) He many times gives them different instruction.

The tree of knowledge of good and evil is not mentioned in Genesis 1. In Genesis 2 we are told that Adam is given instruction independently of Eve - before she is even created. This infers that Eve was dependent on Adam for instruction. This was before the fall. The first recorded instance of a woman learning from her husband is from before the fall.

Also before the fall - God proclaimed: Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Eve was created differently - out of man. Man and woman are created to be two parts of the whole.

In Ephesians, Paul (inspired by the Holy Spirit) writes,

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This reference to before the fall comes at the end of one of the longest passages in Scripture instructing (specifically) husbands and wives.

In that last sentence that I quoted, the word for "respect" is φόβος - phobeō. From which we get the word "phobia" - to fear. Strong's also gives the definition: c) to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience

Does the context of the word indicate that wives are to live in "fear" of their husbands, or that they should treat them with deference?

Especially give that a related word, φόβος - phobos is used in the same chapter of Ephesians.

...submitting to one another out of reverence (φόβος ) for Christ....

The "mutual submission" clause. We need to decide whether this statement rules out what follows, or whether this statement is explained by what follows. I believe that the statement is the instruction, what follows is the application.

We see that a general instruction of "submit to one another" is here, but then there are the specific instructions to husbands and wives that are different. Husbands and wives are instructed differently.


...it refers to Christ and the church ...