Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

A few years ago, I posted an article called The Sad State of Gospel Music today. Well I saw an article by H B Charles Jr which also talks about this and also touches on the current trend of Christian reality shows.  I have posted the article below and added some of the videos that he is talking about as well

I love Gospel Music. Traditional. Contemporary. Praise & worship. Choirs. Groups. Solo artists. Old and new. From Rev. So-and-So Presents… albums of the 80s to today’s Bishop So-and-So Presents… albums. I have even started to listen to some quartet and Christian hip-hop.

I love music. And I especially love music that exalts the Lord Jesus Christ. But my true love for Gospel Music has broken my heart.

In two ways…

First, I am grieved by the excessive commercialism of contemporary Gospel Music. I can cite various examples of this illicit love affair with the world. But there is an explicit seduction of the world on Gospel artists that burdens me: reality TV. What is this about? Why are Gospel artists joining the ranks of these mind-numbing reality TV shows? Don’t you now know that “reality TV” is an oxymoron?

Mary Mary

The Sheards

Of course, Gospel artists are not the only ones joining this parade of worldly foolishness. It’s also preachers, preacher’s wives, and preacher’s daughters. More and more religious personalities are nakedly pursuing fleeting celebrity. We want to be famous, rather than promoting the name, message, kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Sisterhood

Preachers of LA

Please to tell us you are doing this to expand the influence of Christ in culture. If that’s what you think, you are extremely confused. Deceived. Out of touch with “reality” (pun intended!). It is easier for the world to pull you down than for you to pull the world up. And in leaning over to reach the world, the church often falls in. And we are dragging the precious name of Jesus down with us.

Where did we get the idea that Christ wants us to help him be relevant in this God-ignoring society? The Lord commands us to be holy, faithful, obedient, wise, and loving. The Lord does not want us to show the world that we are regular people just like everyone else. The world already knows that! That’s why they don’t respect the church. We need to be different. Light. Salt. Our influence in the world happens by the difference Christ makes in our lives, not by blending in. The world cannot see our good works and glorify the Father in heaven by watching so-called Christian leaders divas argue, boast, shop, covet, date, lust, and complain on TV. Get real!

My heart is broken for another reason.

Not only are Gospel artists fallen in love with the world; even worse, they have fallen in love with Word of Faith theology. Prosperity Theology used to be on the fringes of the Christian landscape. Now these faith teachers are the mainstream. And many prominent Gospel artists have digested their unbiblical teachings and regurgitate them in their music.

As I listen to the new Gospel Music released, I am blown away by how talented Gospel artists are. The music, singing, and production can rival anything “secular” project. Unfortunately, I am hearing more thoughtful reflection in some Pop and R&B music than among those who claim to sing for the glory of God.

I buy a lot of Gospel Music. But I can commend very little of it for worship, private or corporate. Too much Gospel Music has too little gospel in it. It is not God exalting, Christ focused, or biblically saturated. It is fixated with self.

“It’s my season…”

“My harvest is coming…”

“What’s to come is greater than what’s been…”

“I don’t look like what I’ve been through…”

“Praise him till you get your breakthrough…”

“Speak those things that are not as though they were…”

“I’m taking back everything the devil stole from me…”

“Speak it into the atmosphere…” “

“I’m claiming my destiny…”

On and on it goes.

Just because you use biblical phrases does not mean you are communicating biblical truth. Cults play that game. Christian musicians and singers should not.

We need music that teaches truth (Col. 3:16), not just cherry-picks phrases that sound good. We need Gospel Music that proclaims the gospel! We need reverent, bible-rooted music that will lead worshipers to think deeply about Christ. We need musicians to record music that will lead us to sing to the glory of God, not just cheer-lead to get an emotional response.

Don’t look now, Gospel Artists, but the upstart Christian hop-hop artists are lapping you. Now, I am not a big hip-hop fan. And I don’t know any of these artists personally. But I am encouraged by their willingness to rap about God and Jesus and the gospel and holiness and doctrine. They are daring to compose and perform truth-driven messages, not mere foot-tapping music.

Gospel artists, please wake up! We are in a storm. And you are playing the Jonah, sleeping your way to Tarshish when you should be headed to Nineveh. The church – and the world – needs you to wake up and give up music about the true and living God!

It is for this reason that I hardly listen to the new gospel music today. I would rather listen to some old Commissioned songs than listen to the unbiblical Christian lyrics that I hear today. I also listen to Christian hip hop which to me are like the hymns for this generation as a lot of it is saturated with sound theology and doctrine.

Am I saying that all gospel music today is bad? No. But it needs a discerning ear. If you cannot discern the false doctrine coming from the pulpit. You will not discern it in the ‘gospel’ music lyrics.

I have heard this so many times but have never really seen it as something that new testamant believers have been instructed to do. Even though this is used for a variety of decisions, it seems to be predominantly when it comes to relationships and choosing a life partner. The person then waits to ‘get a confirmation from God’ so that they know if their partner is ‘the one’.

Now let me make this clear. I am NOT saying that God cannot give a confirmation, but what I AM saying is that we are not obliged, required or instructed to wait for one. It is this REQUIREMENT that has become a tradition of man. Some people refuse to make a decision until they get a confirmation or a sign from God.

I have tried to find the scriptural basis for this for myself and cannot find any so did a bit of research to see where other people are finding it from.

One came from 2 Corinthians 13:1 - “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established”

Here Paul quotes Deuteronomy 19:15 which was to be used in the case of a crime where a single witness was not sufficient. If we look at the context of 2 Corinthians 13, we have to go back to chapter 12:20-21 and see that he was talking about how he would deal with sin in the Corinthian church. Compare this with Matthew 18:15-21. It is not saying that we must ask God for a confirmation before we do anything as some teach.

Further examples where God gave a confirmation was when Samuel anoints David to be King (1 Samuel 16: 1-13), when Jeremiah is instructed to buy a field (Jeremiah 32: 6-9), and with Gideon asking about saving Israel. (Judges 6:36-40) but we must remember that Samuel, Jeremiah and David did not have what we have today and that is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit residing in us so we cannot compare our situation directly with theirs. Nor can we take those narratives to say because they got one, that we must do it as well.

The problem with seeking confirmation or sign from God is that both Matthew 12:39 and Matthew 16:4 tell us that “an evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign“.

So if we shouldn’t wait for a confirmation or sign from God, what should be done instead? This is one of the main questions that many Christians ask when it comes to knowing God’s will in a situation and it seems as if it is a minefield. First of all, please read the answer given below from Got Questions

Question: “How can I know God’s will for my life? What does the Bible say about knowing God’s will?”

There are two keys to knowing God’s will for a given situation: 1) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing is not something the Bible forbids. 2) Make sure what you are asking for or considering doing will glorify God and help you grow spiritually. If these two things are true and God still is not giving you what you are asking, then it is likely not God’s will for you to have what you are asking for. Or, perhaps you just need to wait a while longer for it. Knowing God’s will is sometimes difficult. People want God to tell them specifically what to do—where to work, where to live, whom to marry, etc. God rarely gives people information that direct and specific. God allows us to make choices regarding those things.

To hopefully answer this question practically, I will give some scenarios and examples (including the relationship question), which I know are not exhaustive, but I do believe that sometimes we can complicate things. I think the principles can be used in almost every area.

Scenario 1 : “I have been praying about dating this person who is not a Christian and want to know what God’s will is”

My Answer: No need to pray. God has explicitly told us in scripture that we should not be yoked with unbelievers so dont try to get God to come down yo your standard. Go up to his. Oil and water will not mix. No matter how much you shake it.

Lesson learnt: There are some things where God’s will are explicitly explained in the bible

Scenario 2 I am looking for a spouse. How do I know if they are “the one”?

My Answer: ‘The ‘one’ is normally a myth. But God have given us some guidelines. Questions to ask yourself would be things like, are they a Christian? Do they love God and is this shown by their fruits? Do they encourage you to get closer to God or further away from him? Are they interested in prayer and the bible? And last but not least, are you attracted to them? If so, make yourself available and go for it!! Now as you can see, there will probably be more than one person in the world who might fit that description, so I believe that God says, be prayerful and YOU make a choice and YOU pick. Difficulties down the line is not necessarily proof that it wasnt Gods will but can be just God shaping our character and conforming us to Jesus’ image. All relationships will have their ups and downs.

Lesson learnt: There are some things where God has not given us specific instructions, but has given us enough guidelines and principles to work with

Scenario 3: How do I know which school to send my child to?

My Answer: As there is no scripture verse which tells you the exact school, get all the relevant information taking into account distance, reputation, league tables and then again, be prayerful and based on that information, choose a school

Lesson learnt: Again, there are some things which are not explained in scripture at all and are not within themselves sinful and God has allowed us to make our own wise decisions based on the information that you have at your disposal. I’m sure many of you do not pray everytime you go shopping asking God which products to choose.

We must remember that as Christians, the Holy Spirit is constantly guiding us, and the fact that we may go through some ‘stuff’ is no indication that it was not God’s will or that it happened because we didnt seek God for a confirmation first of all. It was God’s will that Jesus should be tempted of the devil, it was God’s will that Jesus suffered and died on the cross, it is God’s will that those who live godly will suffer persecution.

As I have stated above, there is no biblical basis that believers MUST get a confirmation before making any decision. Jesus never instructed us to do so, the disciples were not instructed to do and Paul was never instructed to do so.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 5) : Armor Bearers

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, ‘How shall we return?’ Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. 11 I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 3:6-12)

The Old Testament

The scripture above is the favorite text given by most Christians to ‘prove’ that we should tithe. Now when interpreting scripture, we should always look things such as the context. Who was it written to? What was the culture? Because even though all scripture is FOR us, not all scripture is TO us. So if we look at the scripture above, who was Malachi writing to? Was it to everyone? Well we only have to go to verse 6 to see the it was the children of Jacob. In other words, Jews. It was not a blanket command to everyone.

The first mention of tithing was in Genesis 14:20 where Abraham ‘gave tithes of all’ to Melchizedek. but notice how Abraham did this freely and it was not a commandment from God. Then in Genesis 28:22, Jacob decided to give a tenth, again not a commandment from God. Then the next mention of tithing is in the mosaic law in Leviticus 27.

Now exactly what was the tithe? Well according to the Levitical law, the children of Israel (apart from the tribe of Levi) had to give 10% of the increase of their land and livestock, to the Levite priests and this would also go to help the poor. As a matter of fact, they would have actually tithed around 23.3% annually because they were required to present two tithes yearly of 10% each of agricultural produce and livestock (Numbers 18:21-32 and Deuteronomy 14:23-27) , and a third of 10% every three years of agricultural produce only (Deuteronomy 14:28-29) ….but I don’t see many churches or Christians rushing to tithe 23.3%!!!

All the scriptures about tithing are either in the old testament or refer to the old testament laws and was mainly about agriculture. Hence why it talks about the storehouse (NOT your church) which was simply a room in the temple. (See 2 Chron 31:11, Neh 10:38-39; 12:44; 13:12). And the opening of ‘the windows heaven’ simply meant that God would let it rain abundantly on the crops and he would not allow the devourer (i.e locusts) to destroy those crops. That is it. Nothing super spiritual about it. All you have to do is look at the context and read it for yourself.

So what happens when you take Malachi 3 out of context? You get video ‘challenges’ such as the one below

Malachi 3 DOES NOT mean that if we give a tenth of our income, God is guaranteed to rain down monetary or any other blessings on us as some teach. Some even teach that nothing will ‘devour’ your finances as if tithing was some sort of insurance policy.

I did a previous post called ‘What do we do with those old testament laws today which you can view here where I broke down the various laws in the old testament. Tithing would come under civil law and is not binding on us today.

The New Testamant

So what about the new testament? Is tithing mentioned? Well we can see Jesus apparently endorsing tithes in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42……or did he?

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. (Matthew 23:23)

These scriptures are the ones that people use as proof text that Jesus commanded that we tithe today, but while Jesus was alive he was still operating under the old testament laws and the new testament had not fully been ratified. How do we know this? I would say for two reasons.

Firstly, when Jesus healed people, one of the first things he told them was to show themselves to the priests (Matthew 8:4, Mark 1:44, Luke 5:14, Luke 17:14). This was part of the levitical law (Leviticus 14:2) and we do not have to do this today.

Secondly, Hebrews 9:15-17 makes it clear that a new testament can only come in place after the death of the testator.

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

The other references to tithing are in Hebrews 7 which just reference the old testament stating historical fact so again, they are not a commandment to us.

So what is the new testament pattern for giving?

2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 give us the principles for giving today.

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity (which tithers do); for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Cor 9:7)

In a sense, it is harder to give from the heart as God sees the motives for why you are giving.

Many people are living in bondage to tithing, giving out of what they don’t have and as a result, get into real debt.

Here is an example of the type of advice that you should NOT listen to

So basically Pat Robinson has told this writer to keep tithing at the risk of losing their home and being unable to pay their bills. This is very bad advice and if your church or Pastor gives you the same advice, do not adhere to it.

I think the bible says something different.

11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality , that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. (2 Cor 8:11-14)

If you are in serious debt e.g. arrears in loans, then you should be doing what you can to pay back that money to the loan company and then when you can, then give . This is called good stewardship and should not be seen as ‘not putting God first”. If you don’t have, you can’t give and should not be made to feel guilty for ‘not paying your tithes’. As the scripture above says, there should be equality, but that it not what we see these days. A lot of churches are getting fatter financially and their members are suffering as a result.

For those of you in debt and are still tithing. Please watch this video and do not live in bondage to tithing. There is so much freedom in Christ.

So in conclusion, there is no where in scripture that expects or commands New Testament believers to tithe

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

For those of you are not familiar with ‘pleading the blood’, see two example videos below

You will see in both cases, they have used ‘pleading’ in the context of a court case and it sounds palatable but the question is, is pleading the blood biblical? Can we find it ANYWHERE explicitly or even implicitly in the bible.

In the first video, he quotes 1 John 2:1 where it states “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”. He then uses this to equate it with the (western) justice system that we have today where the accused has to normally plead innocent or guilty. So he says, when the question is asked “how do you plead?”, the Christian states ‘ I plead the blood’. Can we use 1 John 2:1 as scriptural authority to plead the blood? A plain reading of the text would suggest not.

Now in the second video, the lady said that ‘pleading the blood’ was one of the best fighting tools that the Christian has but even she admitted that she didnt have her scriptures but she knew what she said was true (See my post Emotionalism and Experience versus Sound doctrine). And with the scriptures that did come up on the screen, ALL do talk about the blood but NONE mention ANYTHING about pleading the blood. Lets take a look at each one

Matthew 26:28 – For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

To try to make it out that this is scriptural proof is eisegesis (making your point to fit the scripture) instead of exegesis (making the scriptue speak for itself). In this series, you will see this happen over and over again. She even said what I stated in my introduction how this tradition came from generations and how it had been ‘forgotten’.

Another context that you will see people ‘pleading the blood’ is in the context of spiritual warfare. An example of this maybe if someone is moving into a new house, they may go into each room and ‘plead the blood of Jesus’ to cleanse the room of any demons. Or if they think that Satan is involved in any part of their life or anyone elses life (e.g demon possession), they will plead the blood or say something like ‘The blood is against you’ as if it is a type of exorcism or some type of spriritual ‘abracadabra’ that will get rid of evil spririts. Some may even use the Exodus 12 where it talks about the passover where the Israelites had to put blood on the door posts but that would REALLY be stretching the scriptures to say that somehow, that means that we as new testament believers should ‘plead the blood’ (even though I’m sure it hasn’t stopped others from doing so).

The bottom line is this and I will quote Got Questions:

Pleading the blood of Jesus” has no basis whatsoever in Scripture. No one in the Bible ever “pleads the blood” of Christ. Those who “plead the blood” do so as if there was something magical in those words or as if by using them their prayer is somehow more powerful.

If anyone can show me ANY scripture that tells believers to ‘plead the blood’, I really would like to know and I’m willing to be corrected

As I wrote on ‘Yo mama’

A text without a context is a pretext. It simply means this: Scripture without context will be used by people to try and get the Bible to say whatever they want it to say, instead of (with context) what it actually says”. When we quote scriptures out of context, we do not only dishonour those very scriptures but more importantly, we dishonour the God of those scriptures.

BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. CHECK OUT THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect - Introduction

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

1Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”.He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” – (Mark 7:1-13)

In the scripture text above, the Pharisees thought that their religious acts was something that pleased God. These traditions were passed down from generation to generation. It had become the norm and nobody questioned it or the motives behind it. I mean, it must have been OK, right? Wrong. Jesus rebuked them for a number of reasons. As well as their hypocrisy, he stressed the fact (many times) that they had held up their traditions above the commandments of God. What they thought was pleasing to God was actually done in vain.

Well things have not changed. In Christianity today, there are many traditions that Christians have accepted as the norm from generation to generation and have not questioned it even though there is no biblical basis for them. It has become so entrenched in Christendom that we accept it on the same level playing field as the scriptures.

Capture

Well I have decided to address some of these traditions in my next series of posts. My goal is to challenge you not to ‘go with the flow’ of what everybody else is doing but to try and find these traditions in the scriptures yourself.  Start questioning what you have been taught and start studying (not just reading) the bible for yourself like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).

Related Posts:

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 1) : Pleading the blood

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 2) : Tithing

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 3) : Getting a confirmation from God

The traditions of men making the Word of God of none effect (Part 4) : Getting slain in the spirit

Shai Linne talks about his song Fal$e Teacher$

Posted: April 8, 2013 in False Doctrine, False Teachers
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On Shai’s most recent album, “Lyrical Theology Part 1: Theology” he has a song devoted to False Teachers. This video gives a little background into why he felt it was important to address such a topic.

Listen to the song below

UPDATE: Paula White Ministries responded to this song which you can view by clicking here and see Shai’s response to their letter by clicking here

Part of the ‘Word for Easter’ series, a new resource for you to freely use in church and share with friends this Easter. For more videos go to http://www.premier.tv

This is something that I am beginning to hear more and more. Now before anybody accuses me of being self righteous, I am not perfect and I sin everyday just like everyone else.

Capture

My gripe is not so much with the fact that a christian might cuss, but their attitude towards it. It is as if, some try to justify it, some just let it roll off their tongue with no sense of regret at all. It has so much been engrained into their daily speech that some are probably not even aware that anything is wrong. For the world, cussing and swearing is the norm but for us who call ourselves Christians, we should be different and those around us should notice that difference.

The Bible is very clear as to what our speech should be like:

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (col 4:6)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (eph 4:29)

Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit (1 Peter 3:10)

With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (james 3:9-10)

There is no shortage of scriptures that admonish us not to cuss or swear. So when we do, what does it reveal about us? Let’s see Jesus had to say on the matter

 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)

It reveals something about our heart condition and with that, we should perform some self examination. The first question you should ask yourself is how do you feel about swearing? Do you hate when you do it or do you try to justify it. This is one of the signs of being a christian. Your relationship with sin should not be the same as before. One of the triggers for bad language is because we have a lack of self control (which is one of the fruit of the spirit) , especially when we are angry (one of the works of the flesh) and its so easy to ‘put down one’s Christianity’ and pick it back up when we have simmered down.

If you have a problem with swearing, first of all, see it as God sees it and that is sinful. The next thing you should do is repent of this sin and then take the problem to God in prayer, sincerely asking him to help you to stop. Read James 3 about taming the toungue.

If you are struggling with swearing, that is a good sign. Why? Because it is a struggle. All Christians struggle with sin, whether it be swearing, lying, gossiping, watching porn and the list goes on. The problem starts when there is no struggle. When you are comfortable with your sin. It could indeed be a sign that you may not be a christian at all and could be a sign of a false conversion.

So remember, “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

If you put a human in a cage with a tiger, the chances are that person will get mauled to death. Why? Did the tiger do something wrong? No. It was just being a tiger and doing what it does by nature?

If you have a cat like I do, you know that cats love scratching things, hence why I have a scratching post. Even though it can be annoying sometimes, again, I cannot expect the cat not to scratch because it is only doing what it does by nature.

So what is the nature of the gospel? No matter how we like to dress it up sometimes, the nature of the gospel is offensive. Why is that?  Because it targets the sinful and proud heart of man. It tells them that they are not good and that without repentance from sin and faith towards God, they will remain dead in their sins and end up eventually in a lake of fire. That is not the kind of message that society wants to hear today because we are such a ‘ME’ society and its all about OUR rights and how dare anyone tell US how we should live OUR lives.

So does that mean we go around telling them to ‘turn or burn’. Not in so much words. Ephesians 4:15 instructs us to speak the truth IN LOVE. Our conversation should be seasoned with grace (Colossians 4:6) when we speak to others and even though there is bad news, for that individual, it can end with good news. In the post when it is OK to offend other believers without remorse, I mentioned this quote from Trip Lee

The Bible is clear about the fact that if we stand for truth, we will offend people. The crazy thing is that it doesn’t treat it like a possibility, it speaks of it as if it is a fact. And it goes as far as to say we will be hated!

In Matthew 10 the Lord Jesus says this:
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues… you will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”

It is pretty rare in our country that we are flogged or injured for Jesus, but when we offend, we are indeed hated. Did you see why we he said that they would be hated though? For His name’s sake. We see that Peter refers to Jesus as “a stone of stumbling and a rock of OFFENSE.” The offense is the message of the Gospel, the truth of the Scriptures.

So then, this second category of offense isn’t wrong at all. It’s a result of preaching Jesus. This type of offense has nothing to do with the messenger, but has to do with the message. Some people are too abrasive, or condemning, or self righteous and they add offense to an already offensive message. This is what we must avoid. We are to lovingly present an offensive message to those who need to hear it. This includes Christians and non-Christians.

As a matter of fact, I have talked with some within the body who have been offended by me and my brothers hard stances on biblical truths. For some, we’ve hurt their feelings *[see below]*. And while I strive to speak with them lovingly and graciously, I am not apologetic. That is unless I’m shown that I’ve misunderstood what God said in His Word. I strive to proclaim truth boldly even if it offends man, because to shy back would be to offend God. That’s the other mistake we must avoid- not standing for truth in fear of offending others.

So in conclusion, when we preach the gospel, and even if we speak it in love and with grace, we should never be surprised if people are still offended by our message. That is the nature of the gospel. That is the nature of the cross.