Did the Reformers…


On my Logos splash page or whatever you call that, they usually have a link in the Faithlife category guaranteed to drive me nuts. If they ask a question, the answer (I guarantee it) is always yes.

This time, they’re asking the same question they asked last time – “Did the reformers misinterpret Paul?”

Last time they asked something along the lines of, “Are we saved only by grace or works?” The answer, as you can imagine, was “Grace plus works.”

Here’s a newsflash – all of these theologians that the people at Faithlife keep interviewing need the Gospel. Seriously, and quickly. Because to date, from what I’ve heard of them, none of them are saved. I haven’t heard Darrell Bock speak on anything concerning salvation or whether the Bible is inerrant, but the others… they’re destined for the “Smoking” section of eternity, if things don’t change drastically and radically.

The concept behind the “Reformers” article reveals everything… Many of the people at Faithlife, just like at SermonAudio, are New Calvinist/Neo-Barthians who declare the inerrancy of the Bible – until you start pinning them down on what they mean by “Inerrancy” and “Bible”. Then you find out they’re just as theologically liberal as the people who state emphatically that Isaiah was written by as many as seven people, that the Penteteuch was written by four persons – none of them Moses, that Christ was a good man who died and somehow his resurrection was actually the vivid memory of him coming to life…

They’re all going to be standing on the Goat side, not the sheep side. You can’t believe these things and be saved.

So… let me translate the article to you. Paul wrote words, which on their face mean one thing. But (like a bully in third grade who says self righteously that he had his fingers crossed when he promised), the theologians tell us seriously, “We need to interpret these words in the framework of what it meant to a first century Jew.”

Okay. I’m a 21’st century Jew. Are YOU a first century Jew? Then… how can you state emphatically that the words I just read – which make a lot of sense to me – don’t mean what I think they say?

Here’s the issue. Test me if I’m wrong on this… but if Paul wanted to say something other than, “We have died to the Law”, he’d have said it. If Paul wanted to say something other than “The law with its ordinances has passed away…” he’d have said just that. Paul was extraordinarily blunt. He just said what he meant. Yet, now, unbelieving Gentile men who want to justify their unbelief and their sins are trying to tell me I misunderstand because I’m not a FIRST century Jew. Well, neither are you.

If you’re resorting to the “first century” argument, you’re calling God a liar, because your implication is that the words of God can no longer be understood by anyone with less than a doctorate.

I’ve got a degree in the Bible. And I tell you, that every person reading this blog can understand God’s word simply by opening the Bible… and reading it.

Thankfulness


Thankfulness is something that’s enjoined upon believers.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15, KJV)

Do you ever look around you, and feel thankful for what you’ve had? I routinely do. I’m sitting here with a laptop computer on my lap – something I wanted very much back in the 1990’s – and two cats with me, one on my lap, the other next to me.

I’m sitting on furniture I own, that I bought from a store, and not a thrift store or that someone gave me. That’s a big thing for me to say that.

I have a house I’m living in. It’s rented, but hey… I never thought I’d ever be able to move out of an apartment!

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17–18, KJV)

I own a used car. It’s pretty nice. I’m very thankful for that. I’ve never owned a new car, but I’m very thankful for the car I have!

I was able to be a temporary pastor for several months, and for that I’m thankful. I’m thankful that so many people make it a part of their lives to check into my blog and read my rantings!

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV)

And that’s the biggest one. I try to thank God for every wonderful thing He’s done for me. There are things God has done for me I don’t even know about!

And most certainly, God has seen to forgive my sins, and to redeem me by the death of Jesus Christ.

We should all be thankful. The Bible requires it. But even if it didn’t… we still should.

What do you need for Bible Study?


Logos Basic.

King James Bible. (you have to buy it separate – $9.99)

A commentary – Bible knowledge Commentary is one of the best. ($49.95)

time.

You used to need Strong’s also. Believe it or not, Strong’s is not part of Logos… and it is, The workflow in Logos is MUCH faster than in other programs. LIterally, I have tripled my Bible knowledge since I got Logos.

I’ve written several articles on how to study the Bible. And the more tools you have, the better it works.

Yes, you can do it with three simple things – concordance (built into Logos), commentary, Bible. It helps to have as many cross references as possible, so the next tool is the TSK.

Now, if you want a completely left brain experience (!), try alternating between Logos, and Bible Analyzer. Whoah! Believe it or not, the shifting back and forth on how you study the Bible forces you to study the text, and not the habitual alt+T tools we reach for with Bible programs. I know for instance that shift+CTRL+key gives me X command in Logos. That’s the former tech head in me. But when you’re flipping back and forth between the programs, and trying to remember how you do it in Accordance or Bible Analyzer, you’re staring at the screen for a few minutes while poking at things.

That’s good. Keep staring at the Bible. Good!

things start popping out at you. “Huh! Never noticed that before!”

The other day, a verse I’ve read 50 times in the past suddenly struck me. The meaning of it was alive. I’d always known what it meant, yet the awareness of it hit me. That’s not me, that’s the Holy Spirit.

Check under the category heading of “bible Software” for in depth how to Bible study articles.

Starting a Christian Blog


A few years ago, I urged my readers to start blogs. Do something for God. Some of you did it, and found that it’s like diving into a battlefield. most of you closed up shop in those blogs shortly afterwards.

I’m going to urge it again. Try this… don’t allow comments. Write what you write, don’t allow comments, and keep on keeping on!

The comment thing was good for the first few years. But people are killing one another over things on social media. How much more for when you have a Fundamentalist blog?

Several of you go by your first name ONLY on your blog, with no reference to where you live. Smart! Or some of you used pseudonyms to publish your blog under. Again, smart.

An additional point is… your job reads your blog. If you are Jim Kelly, and work for Dundercraft International as a used tractor salesman, and you’re writing against whatever, someone from your corporation sooner or later will find your blog.

You’re fired.

Don’t believe me? how many news stories have you seen on SermonAudio about a Christian being fired for (blank)? It’s an epidemic today! you should use names like “Yet Another King James Bible Believer” or “Fightin’ Fundamentalist” or “Righteous Ralph” (well, maybe not that one).

As the time gets closer to the Tribulation, the need for public witness grows and grows. The Falling Away is happening at break neck speed. I’m dumbfounded how quickly it goes!

Do something for God now, whiel you can.

Anger


A cursory reading of the Bible tells the Christian, you know.. anger is not good. You’re going to ruin your life if you keep getting angry.

Some people suffer from extreme anger. When I’m in a bad mood, and I’m not talking, it’s for a reason. You can see it a mile away from the dark trailing clouds that I’m angry.

But reading the word of God convinces me that you can make stupid decisions from Anger that will destroy your life.

If there’s anger in your heart, there’s no room for love at that moment.

If there’s no room for love, there’s no room for the holy Spirit.

“He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: And a man of wicked devices is hated.” (Proverbs 14:17, KJV)

Learn to count to ten. Learn to not take things seriously. Learn to… something! I don’t care if you have to dwell on mental images of fuzzy bunnies with twitching noses and whiskers!

But let the anger pass.

“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; And it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:11, KJV)

As you gain strength over the anger, and begin to calm… you’ll find you enjoy life more. Gardening, which seemed the STUPIDEST pastime when I was young, actually helps turn away anger and wrath.

Sit outside. Drink some tea. Enjoy the sound of birds singing. Get outside and sit with your Bible, and read some Psalms. Let God cool the anger.

But sometimes when you hear things that are sinful, anti-God, anti-Christian, and evil, you’ll feel wrath boil up in you with no source at all.

That’s not your wrath. That’s God’s. You can feel it if you’re staying in God’s word. That wrath is okay, but don’t adopt it as your own. Righteous anger over the things of God is permissible. SELF RIGHTEOUS wrath will destroy your life.

Marginal Notes


One of the biggest problems in Bibles is marginal notes. I can completely derail anyone’s faith by writing a study Bible, and just fill it with notes denying things, utter the worst heresies and blasphemies, and I can get away with it by uttering the High Places statement of 20th and 21st Century Christianity – “But today Scholars believe…”

No.

No they don’t. Most theologians occupy jobs they should not have. If you do not believe Jesus Christ is virgin born, you should resign. To not believe a cardinal doctrine like that, to question even a SINGLE MIRACLE of our Lord… means you are STEALING a job you are not entitled to. And yes, I’m thinking about a man who works for Logos, and writes a lot of books (mostly debunking UFO’s). Logos constantly is pushing his teaching courses and little interviews with him.

There’s nothing he can teach me. He claims orthodox belief in the Bible, but clearly he does not. What derailed his faith? He pursued a degree, and started examining Cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia.

And they mentioned that those people were the chosen of God.

His faith was derailed. Listen, if that’s all it took, your belief was marginal. Japan claims to be founded by the son of a Goddess, and that the Emperor was divine up until World War II ended. I’m really enthralled with Japanese history, but I take the claims as… claims. So someone hands me an Akkadian tablet, and it says that the Akkadians were the chosen people of God…

And I dismiss it. My belief is not marginal. The Bible is true, the Akkadian legends are (take a deep breath, shocking revelation coming…)

…legends.

Marginal notes are often written by marginal men. And worse, the rest are written by unsaved heretics who deny the Lord that bought them.

One of the biggest tools you can use is liquid paper. Use the tape if you like, although those always gum up and you have to throw them away partway through. Whenever you read a marginal note you’re unsure of… get rid of it. Especially if anywhere in it you read.. “But today, scholars believe…”

No, they don’t believe.

Confessing Faults


Admissions. Before I became King James Only, I really didn’t like the NIV. I had three of them, because everyone was CONSTANTLY talking about the NIV. So I had a Schofield, a Large Print, and one other one… I can’t remember what it was.

But the translation I really liked best was… don’t laugh…

The RSV.

AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGHHHHHH!

Thank God I’m KJV only.

My wife bought me a KIng James study bible after we became KJV only, and it still is one of the best out there, I’ve recommended it a number of times. I now understand why there’s Bible binding services, to re-bind a Bible. I do wish I’d not marked in it as much. I used to try to write down the points in my pastor’s sermons, but he’d digress, and either run out of time, or not develop the third point enough, and I’d sit there waiting to write down the third point in the margins of my bible, and suddenly everyone’s standing…

So I have lots of two point outlines written in the margin of my Bible. I think the best thing there is to just liquid paper those.

I’ve got a lot of John MacArthur stuff, too, from the days when I first got born again, and thought that Evangelical and Fundamentalist were the same thing. And I thought that Calvinism must be right doctrine, because MacArthur sooner or later always talked about it.

Really, I should clear my bookshelves of a lot of that stuff. I’ve got some books given to me by a retired Methodist pastor which are so theologically liberal that just starting to read them makes me irritated.

Sometimes I miss the simplicity of the old days, when you just listened to Christian music, and read Christian books, and wore Christian t-shirts, and…

but Christianity is not a brand, like Levi. Christianity is the TRUTH. And I long ago grew up and understood that not everything we label as Christian is Christian.

There’s a lesson in there, for everyone.