The State of Christianity


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Photo by Jay Ruzesky on Unsplash

One key element of my blog has been to examine the state of Christianity.

Whenever I do this, I go into rants.

Today, it’s time to explode a little.

Dealing with Faithlife, the parent company for Logos has shown me that what I dislike about Faithlife is pretty much the tip of the iceberg of Christianity.

What do I mean?

The prevailing attitudes I see evidenced in Faithlife are pretty much representative in modern Christianity.

Roman Catholicism is not Christianity.
Roman Catholicism (by the time you’re really done analyzing it) is anti-Christianity! Christianity is salvation by faith through grace. Roman Catholicism is salvation by works.

Christianity is praying to God through Jesus Christ. Roman catholicism is about praying to saints, who will intercede on your behalf to Mary, who takes the prayers to God.

Christianity has the Bible for sole authority of faith and practice. Roman Catholicism has Church tradition and the magisterium.

By the time you really analyze it, Roman Catholicism is not Christianity, but rather a modified form of Hinduism!

Yet most Christians today consider Roman Catholics to be Christians! This is so great an error among Evangelical Christians today, that it really deserves its own rant!

Seventh Day Adventism is not Christianity
Just as you can buy the Verbum software for Roman Catholics, you can buy the Logos package for the SDA, with such great SDA teachers as…

Wait. Anyone see a problem with this? They believe Jesus Christ is the Archangel Michael. We rightly reject the Jehovah’s Witnesses as a cult for believing this, but we turn a blind eye to the SDA. We call the Jehovah’s witnesses a cult for believing in soul sleep, but we turn a blind eye to the SDA. We call the Jehovah’s witnesses a cult for rejecting a literal hell, but then we turn a blind eye to the SDA.

By the time we’re done with it, the only real difference between the JW’s and the SDA really is vegetarianism (SDA) and blood transfusions (JW’s).

But one is a cult, and the other a denomination. Listen, if the one is a cult then so is the other.

Church of Christ (Campbellite) is salvation by works
If we reject other cults for salvation by works, then we should reject all groups that preach salvation by works as well. It violates the Bible, and the Bible calls it a damnable heresy to teach you must work your way into heaven.

The only real issue with Campbellites is that they claim baptism saves us. Baptism is a work. It’s the first essential sign, the first essential work you perform to PROVE you’re saved.

They’re absolutely right when you say that if you refuse to be baptized you’re not saved. But it’s not the BAPTISM that saves – it’s faith in Jesus Christ as the atoning sacrifice!

By transferring the faith from Jesus Christ to a work you yourself perform… you have gone from faith to works.

Famous People
There’s a lot of famous people who claim to be Christians. One thing that astounds me is when Christians tell me Jane Fonda is a Christian. Her own remark after supposedly getting saved was, “I’m not one of those born again Christian types.” Then… you’re not a Christian!

There’s a football player who made millions selling his autobiography about how Christian he is. Technically, if he mentioned his conviction for animal cruelty in his book for dog fighting, he’s in violation of the law – you cannot legally make a profit writing about your crime. I’m not going to mention any names, but there’s ample evidence he’s an active gang member. I’m sorry, that’s not really evidence of a changed life.

Are you Christian?
The numbers I’m seeing in polls are shocking. Most Christians today evidence beliefs that 30 years ago mainstream Christianity would have decried as not being Christian!

Have you read your Bible all the way through, at least once?

If I were to drag you into court to prove you were a Christian, would the evidence of your life show you were a Christian? There has to be some kind of evidence!

Do you believe that there is only one way to heaven? Hint – John 14:4…
Do you believe the righteous of every faith will wake up in heaven, surprised and a little embarrassed about how wrong they were? Or do you believe that if you are not born again, there remains no other fate for you than eternal hellfire? (hint – the answer to this is far more revealing than you believe!)

Do you believe your Bible is inerrant, inspired, the preserved word of God? Or do you assume your Bible has errors, and only the Scholars can really decipher what the Bible really says? (this answer reveals a lot)

Most people who think they’re Christians are in for a horrible surprise. Guess what? Eternity is not going to be good.

Let’s see how you do…

  • Do you believe in salvation by grace through faith alone?
  • Do you believe in Jesus Christ as God in human flesh, eternally the Son of God, died on the Cross and rose again, one third of the trinity?
  • Do you believe Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven?
  • Do you believe the only propitiation for sin is the atoning blood of Jesus Christ?
  • Do you believe Jesus Christ is not just a man, and never was just a manDo you believe in a literal six day creation?
  • Do you believe in a literal flood that covered the entire earth?
  • Do you believe that no matter what, you cannot earn your salvation?
  • Do you believe your Bible is the preserved word of God without error?
  • Do you have one moment in your life you can point to where you came to Jesus for salvation, and that there was a change in your life after that?

“Yes” answers are good. There should have been no “No” answers in that list.

If you have one or more “No” answers… can you tell me why you think you’re a Christian? Because your definition of what a Christian is and what the Bible teaches one is apparently are two different things!

I’d keep going with this one, but I’m worn out after the work week I had!

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Why No Mention of the Reformation?


October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Thesis to the door of Wittenberg Chapel.

A great many blogs and websites have all decided to teach on Romans for the month of October. I don’t know if they went through with it or not.

But this is the only mention I have of it.

Why?

I’m not a Protestant. I’m a Jewish believer in Christ. My theological heritage as a believer is as a Baptist, which never was part of Rome.
As a matter of fact, it’s been pointed out many times that those “heretics” that the Roman Catholic Church was persecuting was Baptists!

While a great deal is made of the fact that the word Baptist was not used until the 1700’s, Baptists were known as Anabaptists prior. Once you know that, it’s easy to trace it back to the Waldenses and Albigeneses. Then you can trace it back to Donatists, Catharists… Once you’ve gone that far, it’s actually easy to trace it back to…

Jerusalem, and eleven men staring up at the sky as Jesus Christ ascended physically to heaven.

So, the Protestant Reformation is interesting.

But it’s got very little to do with me.

Christian Survivalism 4


Tools. Here’s where everyone gets big eyed. There’s a lot of survival tools. I’m going to go out on a limb and say… learn to use them.

SURVIVALISM credo – “Two is one. One is none.” Technically, if I only have one folding shovel, I have to consider myself as not owning one!
Paracord. Lots of uses. You need three times more than what you think.
Multitool. Gerber or Leatherman. I got one from walmart last year, and it was a cheap one. Not bad, but the knife blade turned out to not be that good. So you do get what you pay for to a certain extent.

Folding Shovel. Heavy. And the waterproof container it comes in makes things stink. DON’T keep this in your survival tub. It will make everything smell like… fish. Keep this in your backpacks.
Folding saw. A must have.
Survival knife. This is not a pocket knife. This is something with a longer blade, several inches long. You’ll need it for many things.
Pocket knife. I just got one, a Tac Force 764 assist open knife. It seemed to me like whenever I needed a knife, I always have one hand pulling something tight, or one hand full. Click the button, knife opens. These are illegal in some states. You can use a Balisong (”butterfly knife”) in those states where the assist open knife is illegal. Use the survival knife for big jobs, the pocket knife for the little ones.

Whetstone. You need this to sharpen your knives and hatchet.
Signal Mirror and whistle. For communication and rescue. Three of anything is an emergency sign. Three whistle calls of equal length is a distress call.
Compass. You need one, and need to learn to use. Trust me, these things are important.
Flint striker. I just buy Coughlans stuff. It’s inexpensive and good quality. I use a magnesium stick and a flint striker. Both work.
Waterproof ponchos. Again, when disaster strikes, it’s rarely a warm sunny day.
Survival blankets. A million uses. You can use them to insulate as well as keep warm.
Tent. I can make a survival shelter out of branches, and also out of tarps. But nothing beats a good waterproof tent. Coleman’s sells large capacity camping tents. Get the waterproofing kits. You can use tarps to help insulate for winter survival. Buy them when they’re onsale. Like…Christmas.
Tarps. You need more than you think.
Sleeping bags or cots. Or both.
Trash bags.
Camp Axe. Really, these are hatchets. I have a Coleman’s, and I’m going to get a Coughlan’s as well.
Candles, lanterns, flashlights.
Empty soup cans and spoons. Do you live in a state with bears? The United States had a bear shortage years ago. Suddenly they’re everywhere! If you make a German Noisemaker (no kidding, they did this in WWII), the sound often scares the bears off when they blunder into them, If not… now you’re awake. I’ll just mention Timothy Treadwell’s name about why you don’t want to be asleep when a bear finds you. Before you make jokes, Treadwell lived among Alaskan brown bears for years without incident until that last night. Truly horrendous.

Do you really need all this? I have most of this, and will be getting the rest soon. If you’re caught in a survival situation where you have to GO and Go NOW… you’ll wish you had all this.

Christian Survivalism 3


Okay, now that the mindset is explained, what do you buy?

Food. 3 days minimum. 7 days better. Canned goods are heavy. Just a warning. MRE’s and survival type foods such as Mountain House and Wise foods are lighter, but they seem to not really count 3+ meals as being a “Day’s rations”. Rather, they intend for you to eat twice a day. That’s not going to work in a survival situation. I recommend peanut butter, and survival bars. By the way, those “one day” survival bars really have two days’ calories in them. Learn to ration. If you’re going on foot (how do you carry the stuff? I’ll explain soon…) break off some of the survival bar, stick it in the peanut butter, and eat. Remember to close the bar wrapper and the peanut butter, and put it back between mini-meals! (ONE SURVIVAL BAR PER PERSON PER DAY = 6 bars in my house). Remember, they’re sugary. You can’t eat just these indefinitely!

Canned foods are good – in moderation. Get cans from the scratch and dent aisle. Be prepared to constantly review. I’d make a list and keep it in Evernote. Everything must be in backpacks and waterproof tubs. Sodas for travel energy, and that’s it.

Water. As I explain in the Surviving the Tribulation website, water is INCREDIBLY HEAVY. 2 water bottles equals 21/2 pounds of weight added to whatever you’re carrying!1 pint of water per person per day is MINIMUM survival rations. Better instead to LEARN some water purification techniques and carry emergency water bags. They come deflated, and as you purify water, you can add it to the bags. It’s as simple as taking a t-shirt, sand and charcoal. Where do you get charcoal from? Make it! Start a fire, burn wood, don’t let it burn all the way. Crumble it into a t-shirt. Add sand. Add more charcoal. Add sand. Add charcoal. Add sand. Scoop water, and pour it through that. Socks work really good for this. By the way, scooping damp sand into a sock turns the sock into a sipping device. Just… carry clean, dry socks in your back pack. You don’t want to take the sock on your smelly foot, and…

Boiling Water is the primary method of purifying the water. What do you boil it in? Swiss Army Mess Kit is the coolest invention ever. I bought one years ago, and we’ve used it when we’ve been without power to boil water and make coffee. You can also use a Coughlans or Coleman’s Camp Coffee pot, or even a Coughlans or Coleman’s Enamel Coffee cup (You want one anyway, to replace your knife sharpening stone if you lose it!). Boil the water, pour it into the bags at your camp site.

Backpacks we covered yesterday.

Waterproof plastic tubs we covered yesterday.

Transportation. Car, Boat, cart or travois. No kidding, I can build a simple device in ten minutes using tree branches and 500 pound Paracord that I can load my stuff on if my car got knocked out, and drag it. I have a swiss army knife with a corkscrew that can make life really liveable, if you find flat wood, perhaps broken off of something from a storm. Use the corckscrew to make screw holes, open up the flat blade and screw the pieces of wood together (assuming you have drywall screws! And I have some in my survival kit!). If not… take two long branches and lash them together (use a slip knot… make a loop, wind the paracord around something, slip it through the loop, pull tight, now begin tying it off – use twice as much cord as you think you need) at the TOP. Now, add ladder rungs from other tree branches, so that it;’s shaped like a capital A. This is called a travois. Now tie EVERYTHING onto the travois, Start walking.
My wife and I began to think about inflatable rafts this year. These are not cheap. Not at all.. Expect to pay about $125-150. But floods are happening where they’ve never happened before. You retreat to the second floor of your house as flood waters begin to rise. Now you have a choice as the water begins to reach the second floor… get into the attic (better have a tire iron or crowbar, or you can drown!), or open a window, tie the raft in place, push the raft out the window, inflate, get in it, cut the line, go!
Get into the habit of never letting your cars get below half a tank. I write this, and I’m under that right now. Get determined, get ready, and make it a habit.

Clothing. Keep extra clothing in your backpack or tub. Learn to ROLL tightly the clothing. Clothes, underwear, socks. You’ve already seen that socks have extra uses besides clothing, as does t-shirts. Put pants, shirt socks and underwear (in that order), and ROLL tightly into a roll. Stuff in the tub, and pack things around it.

Tools… we’ll discuss tomorrow!

 

 

More Hurricane Readiness tips


Okay, let’s look at it in a logical, calm way.

If you live where a category 5 hurricane is headed directly at… you need to leave yesterday. If not, be sure to take a black permanent marker and write your social security number on your forearm. That way the police can identify you, and notify next of kin.

Category 5 hurricanes are total devastation. Yeah, we’ve seen buildings survive, but… what if the one you’re in starts coming apart? Debris being flung at 185 miles an hour is like running across the field during an archery match.

Okay, here’s what to expect. Wind. Rain. Power will go out. Do you have candles, flashlights? A big box of Shabbes candles will last you a few days. Remember to leave SAFE DISTANCE between the candle and anything around it.  A neighbor of mine learned the hard way that a candle will set a glass windowpane on fire. She lost everything she owned in the fire – after passing through a hurricane unscathed.

you need to have water prepared and ready. Fill every sealable container with water. Keep them in the fridge for now. Hours before the hurricane hits, TURN YOUR FRIDGE UP AS HIGH AS IT WILL GO!

And yes, if you have any frozen unbreaded fish in the freezer, you can cook it with lemon juice. No heat required. Just dump the thawing fish into a sauce pan, pour lemon juice on it, cover, sit. In 6 hours it will be fully cooked.

If the roof comes off the house, do not go into a basement (if you have one) to avoid the storm! Flash floods mean death, long before you can reach safety. Flash floods means that if you see an inch of rainwater in the driveway, the water will be high enough to choke out your car by the time you back out of the driveway.

Imagine being in a basement with GALLONS of water rushing down steps!

Safety, Safety, Safety!!!!

If you have doubt… then there’s no doubt. If you live in Florida, and you’re reading this tonight, turn off the computer, get in the car, and leave right now. Finish this tomorrow night somewhere in Tennessee!

UPDATE 9/8/17 – It seems the storm is making a beeline for Tennessee… run somewhere else!

Florida is in bad shape to evacuate from… there’s only two major highways out of the state. You almost could make better time getting in a boat tonight and motoring it out of the harbor tonight!

I’m working on my surviving the tribulation web site right now… remember to print out pages right now so you know what to stock up on, what to buy. Why are people buying bottled water at vast sums of money, when you can buy soda bottles, wash them, fill them with tap water, and store them?

Don’t forget, if you have a bathtub… fill it with water before the hurricane gets there. That’s going to be flush water.

Update 9/8/17 – fill plastic sandwich bags with ice cubes, and keep doing it. Saves you money on buying bags of ice, and keeps your freezer stuff chilled.

And pray for everyone in the storm’s path.

The Results!


The Results are in!
A couple of you have spoken, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease!

I’m going to go back to my old rambly style of posting, because people said they liked it better.

Plus, it takes FAR less time to write than does the kind that gets blog hits.

So, here’s what I’m going to ask of you… Since I’m going to abandon the style that gets people in and spreads the message, here’s what I’m asking…
…you all invite friends and enemies to join! I really do this out of a desire to serve the Lord and share what I’m learning or driven to write… but it gets heartbreaking to write so many blog articles and get so few likes and so few reads!

If on the other hand, you’re one of the people that joined with the new style and you don’t want it to go away, speak up now!

If nobody speaks up for the new manner, then… it’s the old Philip again!

19 Ways to Learn How to Love One Another


“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9–21, KJV)

  1. “Let love be without dissimulation.” Show the same care for every Christian the same.
  2. “Abhor that which is evil;” That’s not too hard to figure out, you’d think… apparently, it is. So I’m reminding everyone.
  3. “cleave to that which is good.” You should associate with like-minded Christians!
  4. “ Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;” This one I shouldn’t have to explain. Let the other person get the glory, not you. Let someone else go first most of the time. Learn to serve, not to be served.
  5. “Not slothful in business;” Work hard for your employer! Trust me! What you do for your employer is what you do for God!
  6. “fervent in spirit;” How is this loving one another? By being a good role model Christian, you will help boost the spirits and morale of those Christians around you. Be the exception, not the rule!
  7. “serving the Lord;” no kidding, I shouldn’t have to explain this!
  8. “Rejoicing in hope;” Remember to thank God when things go good. They just might start going good for you a lot more often!
  9. “patient in tribulation;” Instead of whining or complaining!
  10. “continuing instant in prayer;” You knew I’d bring prayer into this, right?
  11. “Distributing to the necessity of saints;” The church benevolence fund is a good place to start. Get a pushke for your home, start dropping spare change and bills in there for the less fortunate!
  12. “given to hospitality.” This isn’t an American trait, but it sure is a Jewish one. Learn to accept guests into your home, if your home is big enough.
  13. “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” I didn’t say this would be easy!
  14. “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” This is one of the most single best ways in this list to show brotherly love!
  15. “Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.” I’m tired of seeing the more well-to-do in the church catered to. It’s not Biblical. STOP IT.
  16. “Be not wise in your own conceits.” Oh, wow! A verse for Philip Dean!
  17. “Recompense to no man evil for evil.” That’s tough. But see the last one, and rejoice.
  18. “Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” I never said this list would be easy!
  19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9–21, KJV)

Print this out, put it some place you can see every day. You should be good at items #1-5 by the time the Lord Returns!