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  • Richard Mansel 9:09 pm on 2013-05-02 Permalink | Reply
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    Dear Government… 

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    What if you spent as much time working on the economy as you did promoting homosexuality….

     
  • Richard Mansel 1:12 pm on 2013-04-03 Permalink | Reply  

    Is Adultery Covenant Breaking? 

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    by Richard Mansel

    A growing belief is that the traditional definition of “adultery” is erroneous. Instead of being sexual sin, it refers to the breaking of the marriage covenant. Truman Scott admits that the heart of our differences lies in the definition of “adultery.”

    He admits,

    “Up front let me tell you that every publication, I mean Bible dictionary, commentary, Greek Lexicon, Greek word study, specific treatises on divorce and remarriage, I mean everything that has been written or translated within the last 350 to 400 years, define adultery as follows: ‘Sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse.’ That settles it. With such an array of scholarship, who would dare to think anything otherwise?’” [i]

    He goes on to justify challenging the traditional definition of adultery. [ii] First, the restoration movement only succeeded because we questioned denominational beliefs on such things as baptism, music in worship and church organization. Second, the traditional definition leaves too much ambiguity. Third, these sources have failed to give the root meaning of the Greek word for adultery. Fourth, the fallacies of Bible translations. Fifth, the study of the Hebrew and the Septuagint point to  the legitimacy of the concept of covenant breaking. Sixth, a proper reading of the Old Testament will prove undeniable proof.

    (More …)

     
  • Richard Mansel 1:01 pm on 2013-04-03 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , natural   

    Is Homosexuality Natural? 

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    by Richard Mansel

    The homosexual influence in America has spread to theological circles and gay ministers and scholars have begun to re-evaluate Scripture in the light of a “homosexual hermeneutic.” Chief among these is John Boswell’s work, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality (1980).

    In his exegesis of Romans 1:26-27 Boswell uses three arguments to trivialize the sexual aspect of these verses. (1) One, that idolatry (which he associates with temple prostitution) is not the point of this passage. Secondly, that Paul simply rebukes Gentile behavior. They could have seen evidences of God in the powers of nature, yet, they turned to idols (1:19-23). Therefore, Boswell posits, “the reference to homosexuality is simply a mundane analogy to this theological sin.” (2) Thirdly, Boswell argues that Paul is condemning “homosexual acts by apparently heterosexual persons.” (3)

    (More …)

     
    • Morris 1:13 pm on 2013-04-03 Permalink | Reply

      They can try to change the word of God, but it will be to their own destruction – The word of God is forever settled in Heaven.

    • preachercarter 1:14 pm on 2013-04-03 Permalink | Reply

      This is a well written essay and lends some credibility to the academic world. At the same time, while I certainly enjoy academics, it is evident that some seek to dig too deeply into areas that simple hermeneutics present as truths. You have done well to point out such discrepancies. In that I dare not trespass on an excellent article accept to say thank you for pointing out and standing on the truths as presented in God’s Word.

  • Richard Mansel 9:55 am on 2013-02-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: basil overton, , , foy wallace, , jane mocwhorter, wilson wallace   

    So Much Tragedy 

    The Lord’s Church has been ravaged by death this week.  Basil Overton, Perry Cotham, Jane McWhorter and Wilson Wallace, son of Foy Wallace have all passed away this week.

    However, great warriors of the faith never truly leave us. They live and inspire those of us who are left behind to keep the faith.

    “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

    Amen.

     
  • Richard Mansel 12:13 pm on 2013-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Research on Paul’s Voyage to Rome 

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    I wanted to share with you some online books that are valuable in the study of Acts 27 and Paul’s voyage to Rome.

    The first carries the unwieldy title, “The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul with Dissertations on the Life and Writings of St. Luke and the ships and navigation of the Antients” by James Smith, published in London in 1856.

    Since it was written so long ago, he cites works that you may not find elsewhere. This is the second edition because he talked to some sea captains and decided to update his book based on their experiences in sailing the same route. You have to respect that attention to detail.

    You can find it here for free and I hope you gain as much value from his work as I am.

    Update: Here is another lengthy study on the voyage from William Falconer.

     
  • Richard Mansel 8:06 pm on 2012-12-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: banning religion, , , , ,   

    The Root of Far Left Beliefs 

    peace_and_love88

    People believe that man can be perfect if only the cultural climate can be made perfect. If we remove religion, opinions, rigid standards, war and guns, all of which divide people, then mankind can finally be perfect.

    It is the utopia of the godless intellectual. They believe that if they can enact the right social legislation, then all crime and hate will disappear and all will be love and joy. John Lennon’s “Imagine” is the pantheon of this delusional dream.

    However, we know that Satan will do everything he can to destroy what man builds (Romans 1:18-32; 3:10-18, 23). Therefore, we know how naive these Utopian beliefs are.

    We wish everyone would do right all the time but we know it will never happen. Humanity will always make bad decisions and act with greed, malice, anger and hate.

    All we can do is to live transformed lives (Romans 12:1-2) and keep teaching Biblical truth and pray it spreads (Matthew 28:18-20).

    We must pray for our society that truth and godliness can become the hallmarks of American society and God’s truth can be our guiding light.

     

     
  • Richard Mansel 3:18 pm on 2012-12-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , prolife   

    Guess it Depends on Who is Killing Kids 

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  • Richard Mansel 3:27 pm on 2012-12-12 Permalink | Reply
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    Archaeological Evidence for the Flood? 

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    Fox News is reporting that some archaeologists think they have found proof that the Biblical flood did exist.

    Through carbon dating of shells found on an ancient shoreline 400 feet beneath the surface of the Black Sea, they have established a timeline for that catastrophic event that happened around 5,000 B.C., he estimated. Some experts believe this was around the time when Noah’s flood could have occurred, ABC said.

    Some archaeologists have supported the story of Noah, citing similar details passed along in narratives from Mesopotamian times, notably “the Epic of Gilgamesh.”

    “The earlier Mesopotamian stories are very similar where the gods are sending a flood to wipe out humans,” said biblical archaeologist Eric Cline. “There’s one man they choose to survive. He builds a boat and brings on animals and lands on a mountain and lives happily ever after? I would argue that it’s the same story.”

    Of course, we know the flood did exist by faith and because we know the Bible is inspired of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We read of the flood in Genesis 6-9.

    It would be nice, however, for archaeologists to find something that would prove the veracity of God’s Word.

    Are you doubtful or hopeful about the prospects of archaeology proving the truth of the Biblical flood?

     

     

     
  • Richard Mansel 1:54 pm on 2012-12-11 Permalink | Reply
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    A Conflict in Compassion 

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    God tells us to take care of the poor. Meanwhile, most Christians equate poverty with welfare and think that they deserve what they get. We stereotype the poor and therefore we don’t help anyone.

    Somehow, we have to get past these stereotypes and realize that some people are legitimately in need and we are commanded to do what we can to help them.

    “The generous soul will be made rich” (Proverbs 11:25).

    They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do” (Galatians 2:10).

     

     

     
    • EWELL 6:41 pm on 2012-12-11 Permalink | Reply

      “WE” is a word to use cautiously. “WE” apply it to people we do not even know, and seem to assume NO ONE ever does any benevolent work.

      • Richard Mansel 6:45 pm on 2012-12-11 Permalink | Reply

        I know. “We” when used in a collective sense doesn’t mean everyone. Thanks for the comment!

  • Richard Mansel 12:31 pm on 2012-12-11 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: britain, , england, , uk   

    Pray for the UK 

    The Christian Post reports:

    There has been a huge 13 percent drop in the number of people in Britain identifying themselves as Christian, according to new data released from the 2011 Census.

    The shocking statistics reveal that the number of Christians has fallen from 37 million to 33 million since 2001. Christians now make up only 59 percent of the population, as opposed to 72 percent in 2001.

    Meanwhile, the number of Muslims has risen from 1.5 million to 2.7 million – or 5 percent of the population – while the number of people describing themselves as having no religion rose by 10 percent to 25 percent of the population.

    Britain and Europe needs our prayers  that they will have a spiritual revival!

     

     
    • Jon Galloway 3:55 am on 2012-12-12 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for pointing this out Richard. As someone who lives in the UK, this is accurate. Up here in Scotland it is even worse – something like 33% (or higher) claim no religion.

  • Richard Mansel 6:11 pm on 2012-12-03 Permalink | Reply
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    What is Prayer? 

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    In 2013, my preaching emphasis will be on helping the congregation grow in prayer. My prayer is that this will promote spiritual and numerical growth. I plan to preach two sermons a month and try to keep the necessity of prayer before the congregation by emphasizing it in the bulletin.

    I will be deciding over the next few weeks which sermons to preach but I wanted to get your feedback.

    • How do you define prayer?
    • What does prayer mean to you in a personal way?
    • How would a greater emphasis on prayer change you spiritually?

    I look forward to your answers!

     

     
    • preachercarter 2:04 pm on 2012-12-04 Permalink | Reply

      Prayer is nothing more than communication with God. it is often intimate yet always requires utmost respect of His Majesty. With this we learn more of Him and grow all the more.

      http://thechristianperspective.intuitwebsites.com/

    • Eugene Adkins 5:43 pm on 2012-12-04 Permalink | Reply

      Definition: A plea/request spoken with words of hope (and desire) of being heard and answered. Also an expression from the heart based upon gratitude, honor, sadness, joy etc. that seeks to be closer to God.

      Personal meaning: A measure of awareness of God working in and with my life, and an expressed measure of dependance upon God’s will for my life.

      Change: More self-awareness (forgiving others when asking for forgiveness, how my life aligns with God’s will – 1 John 5:13-15) and and awareness of the needs of others, etc.. A better acknowledgment of blessings both “great” and “small.”

  • Richard Mansel 1:47 pm on 2012-11-15 Permalink | Reply
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    Which Country Produces the Most Bibles? 

    Sometimes you come across an article that truly shocks you. This one certainly gave me pause.

    When one thinks of China, Christianity and the Bible are likely two of the furthest things that come to mind. “Communism,” “forced abortions,” one-child policy” and other terms are, more generally, what’s the nation is known for. But now, a shocking new development has come to the forefront: China, a country that makes many products consumed in the U.S. and abroad, is now also the world’s largest Bible producer.

    I hope the Bible actually impacts the lives of Chinese citizens and truth is obeyed. The world would be a much safer place if it did.

    Then again, Christianity is supposedly pervasive in the United States and we are on the verge of complete moral collapse. The presence of a Bible is immaterial if it is not read and lived (Romans 12:1-2).

    We all have Bibles. But are we being changed daily by its message?

    Do we love the Bible, God’s Word?

     
    • sacredstruggler 2:16 pm on 2012-11-15 Permalink | Reply

      Shocking and new? Really. When did that article come out? Hehe.

      • J. Randal Matheny 9:06 am on 2012-11-17 Permalink | Reply

        Just recently, I believe, as they hit the 100 million mark on number of Bibles printed. You think this is old news?

        • sacredstruggler 9:08 am on 2012-11-17 Permalink | Reply

          Quite. I think pretty much everything we buy has a Made in China stamp on it, has for at least this century, I love that I can say that right now!

    • Eugene Adkins 6:15 pm on 2012-11-15 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder how many of the Bibles are printed in English, and how many of the workers can read English?

      • J. Randal Matheny 2:31 pm on 2012-11-17 Permalink | Reply

        Printers these days are provided with a PDF or PS file, so they don’t set type or concern themselves with the content, just with running the press.

        • Eugene Adkins 2:42 pm on 2012-11-17 Permalink | Reply

          So the answer would be a “blue-million” Bibles are printed but none of the eyes are able to understand them?

          • J. Randal Matheny 3:15 pm on 2012-11-17 Permalink | Reply

            They print Bibles in many languages, including English and Chinese, and ship them around the world. In China, as I understand it, the Bible are sold only through government-approved outlets.

  • Richard Mansel 8:55 pm on 2012-11-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Sermon Starter from Ecclesiastes 

    “Truly the light is sweet, And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun; But if a man lives many years And rejoices in them all, Yet let him remember the days of darkness, For they will be many. All that is coming is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 11:7-8). 

    Introduction:

    A. Lay out the purpose of Ecclesiastes.

    B. Trace the role of the sun in Ecclesiastes.

    Three Points:

    1. Christians should value the blessings of walking in the light (John 8:12; 1 John 1:7; Ephesians 1:3).

    2. Christians should remember the lessons of the darkness [when we have sinned & come through challenges by God’s grace and mercy] (Romans 12:1-2).

    3. Christians should be preparing for the future and be ready for judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).

    I will leave the rest to you.

     
    • J. Randal Matheny 4:12 am on 2012-11-15 Permalink | Reply

      Our brother Jorge has been preaching at SJCampos on Ecclesiastes recently, and he’s done a fine job. It’s a book that deserves more attention. Thanks for this starter.

    • Richard Mansel 10:53 am on 2012-11-15 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Randal. It’s just something that came to me right before I had to do the invitation last night. Glad you found it helpful.

  • Richard Mansel 8:09 pm on 2012-10-14 Permalink | Reply
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    Faith Must be in the Right Things 

    Sometimes things happen that are perfect illustrations of what you have just preached. Tonight was one of those times.

    Today, I preached twice on faith and how we must trust God in prayer and walk in faith like Abraham. As we were leaving the parking lot, we were startled by a sudden appearance.

    Our Church building is on a highway, which is lined on both sides by sidewalks. The road is straight for many miles and people walk and ride bicycles down the sidewalks.

    However,  when we were leaving, it was dark. As we were almost at the entrance and about to pull out into the highway, we saw a blur and a man zipped by on a bicycle. It scared all of us in the car!

    Be clear on the situation here: We have a black man wearing dark gray clothes on a black bicycle riding fast down a sidewalk at night. He saw my white car and didn’t slow down because he had faith that I would see him. Instead, he should have asked HOW I was supposed to see him!

    We must have faith in God (Hebrews 11:6) because God is all-powerful (Jeremiah 32:17) and all-knowing (1 John 3:20). He is loving, gentle and compassionate and has created heaven for us to stay for all eternity (John 14:1-6), if we are His children (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4).

    Faith in fallible human beings is nothing like God. We can love and trust certain people in our lives, knowing they can let us down despite their best intentions (Romans 3:23). We must give them the latitude to be human without allowing their inherent weaknesses to destroy our faith in them.

    Faith in people who don’t know or care anything about us is foolish.

    The man on the bicycle had a misguided faith that could have ended his life. Accordingly, it was a faith that was in vain. As he zoomed past driveways and businesses, was his faith such that he refused to stop, no matter what? That would be absurdly reckless!

    Be aware that God is always worthy of our faith. However, faith in man is often a dangerous proposition. This is why we do not allow children to make these kinds of decisions because they do not understand the evils and dangers that exist in the world. When we are adults and we still don’t understand, we are a danger to ourselves and others.

     

     
  • Richard Mansel 3:34 pm on 2012-10-10 Permalink | Reply
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    Different Way of Looking at Job 

    In the future, I plan on teaching Job in a different way. I’ve taught the book twice using a verse-by-verse study and enjoyed it both times. The book is a towering masterpiece full of deep thoughts to meditate upon. However, I just wonder if you can lose sight of some of the over-arching themes in the book with such a study.

    I have thought that another way to examine the book would be to look at the introductory passages and then look at each speech as a whole to extract the main points and lessons from each of them. Finally, we would look at the conclusion to tie it all up.

    I hope to embark on this study some day. I think it would be an edifying and fulfilling time

    Have you ever studied the book this way?

     

     

     
    • Jon Galloway 5:35 pm on 2012-10-10 Permalink | Reply

      Hello Richard

      Greetings from Scotland! I’ve taught Job twice and both times approached it by speeches. The over-arching themes come out well and at the end the class seemed to be able to relate well to what the book was about.

      Jon Galloway
      East Kilbride, Scotland

    • Ron Thomas 5:42 am on 2012-10-11 Permalink | Reply

      Yes I have and I think that is the best way to approach it. If there are particulars within the chapter that needs to be addressed or that another wants to talk about, then we take time to look at it.

    • J. Randal Matheny 2:23 pm on 2012-10-11 Permalink | Reply

      Richard, Mike Brooks does something similar to this, treating the book thematically in his tome. http://forthrightpress.com/store/products/studies-from-job/

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