How do we know God means for his inspired word to carry authority today?

There are many in today’s religious world (including not a few in the Lord’s church) who claim the letters of the New Testament fail to carry the weight of spiritual authority previously thought.

Such teaching leads to dangerously (if not blasphemously) supposed conclusions: Regulations pertaining to worship don’t apply because they were only cultural. Commands concerning one’s lifestyle is relegated to a position of mere historical opinion. Interpreting “Paul through Jesus, not Jesus through Paul” apparently due to a “greater level” of inspiration in the gospel letters in comparison to the remaining epistles.

So how do we know God means for his inspired word (particularly the New Testament) to carry the same authority it was meant to have the day it was recorded? It’s as easy as listening to what Jesus says when … Continue reading

#authority-in-religion, #biblical-authority

Faulty reasoning about worship

Faulty reasoning abounds about worship. This devotional thought centered on Psalm 149.2-3 from a denominational pastor is a prime example of it. This is the entire piece:

This is fascinating because the tambourine and harp were created by other cultures. From the beginning of worship music, the people of God took the instruments that were available in their day and used them for the glory of God. This means that the Biblical picture of praise is one that can incorporate the contributions of any culture, any style. Since that is the case, what do you have today in your culture that you could use to praise His name?

Men choose elements and features of worship thinking that God will like it. They justify it by twisted logic. Gone is any idea of God authorizing what can be done or under what covenant. Culture trumps covenant. Personal preference wins over worship given to God by faith—that faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Rom 10.17.

Man has often sought “an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion” Col 2.23 ESV. And he even uses the Bible to do it. Continue reading

#biblical-authority, #new-covenant, #new-testament, #worship

Why extra-biblical resources for spiritual authority are so frustrating

Last week I posted an article called “Jesus is THE prophet of God” on Keltonburg Preacher and I received a comment that questioned the reliability of such a statement and belief. By doing so the comment revealed why extra-biblical resources for spiritual authority are so frustrating. How’s that? Let me show you how by dropping you in midstream of the conversation.

The reply to my article:

“Well, i’m a Christian and I believe Jesus to be the Son of God, not a prophet”

My reply:

“…Now as to whether or not Jesus was a (and more importantly “the”) prophet of God consider a few things: Continue reading

#bible-discussions, #biblical-authority, #errors-of-denominationalism, #jesus, #jesus-christ, #mormonism, #prophet-of-god, #religion, #sola-scriptura

Why Can’t People Talk Bible When They Say They Want To Talk Bible?

This question is one that boggles my mind. People want to talk about biblical topics but they do so without wanting to talk about what the scriptures say.

The conversation/debate/discussion (whichever may be case) about the scriptures begins but soon reverts into and ends with “I think” or “I feel” or “I believe” or “The catechism says” or “The creed book says” or “The “father” in Rome says” and on and on it goes.

Why can’t we do what Peter simply said to do when he wrote, “If anyone has anything to say, let it be as the words of God….” (1 Peter 4:11 – BBE) Why do we read that the church is built upon the prophets, the apostles and upon the cornerstone of Christ (Ephesians 2:20), but then try to defend the church we belong to with the words of people other than the prophets, the apostles and Jesus?

The scriptures aren’t open to personal interpretations that cause people to contradict one another. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) and the scriptures come from God (2 Timothy 2:16-17), so the obvious conclusion is that the scriptures can’t contradict. If our “personal interpretation” causes the scriptures to contradict then it’s not the scriptures that have the problem – it’s the interpreter!

Feelings alone do not interpret the scriptures. The Jews who failed to heed Paul’s preaching about Jesus from the Old Testament scriptures did so because they relied upon personal feelings and human traditions without God’s word. The Jews who believed and accepted Paul’s preaching about Jesus from the Old Testament did so because they relied upon feelings directed by the scriptures of God (Acts 17:11). Human emotions can be turned in the wrong direction, but God’s word reveals the true path of righteousness to stay on (Jeremiah 7:24, 13:10, 17:9; Psalm 119:105, 172; Romans 1:16-17).

Talking Bible isn’t always easy because talking Bible isn’t what everyone wants to do. But regardless of how we feel about the Bible, we will get much further with the Bible when we talk with it instead of talking about it.

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)

#bible, #bible-discussions, #bible-study, #biblical-authority, #religious-authority

A Great Question

A man I am studying with asked a profound question: Why can’t people just open the Bible and do what it says?

I wonder the same thing (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 4:6).

#bible, #biblical-authority

Robbing the Bible Again

Peter once said to Jewish leaders about preaching the Gospel, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). God told Jeremiah, when he called him to be a prophet, “Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you” (Jeremiah 1:8).

We trust God and fear Him above anything man has to say or offer to the discussion. Culture must never be allowed to override what God says. Yet, that never stops the vanity of humanity when it comes to the Word of God.

Once again, mankind is more frightened of being criticized by humans than they are of the Divine God and His wrath to come. Dictionary.com is discussing how translations of God’s Word are changed and whether that will have an impact on the meaning of Scripture. Of course, many publishers don’t care as long as money rolls in.

What are your thoughts about the article entitled, What Words Will be Changed in Two New Editions to the Bible?

#bible, #biblical-authority, #translations

Lessons From the Garden of Eden

My Forthright article today uses the story of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1-3) as a backdrop to teach some valuable lessons about  Biblical authority. The failures of Adam and Eve are cautionary tales for us as we move through our own lives.  I hope you will read, Biblical Authority and the Garden of Eden and gain a deeper appreciation for God’s will and our relationship to His divine utterances.

#bible, #biblical-authority, #forthright, #obedience

The Price of No Authority

Once we loose ourselves from the confines of Biblical authority, all the doors of hell swing open.

#biblical-authority, #hell

Regulating Our Worship

“I believe there is such a thing as pure worship that is a according to the will of God and it should be our goal to have such worship in the church. Our worship should be governed, not by our own personal desires or preferences, nor by the culture and society in which we live, but by the Word of God alone”

[Written by John Price, a Baptist preacher, who makes his argument for why mechanical instruments in worship are a violation of God’s Word in “Old Light on New Worship,” page 12].

#biblical-authority, #instrumental-music, #worship

Ordination Service?

I saw where a Church of Christ had an ordination service for their preacher. Where is the authority for that? (Colossians 3:17). When we start inventing things to boost the egos of men, we are opening the door to dangerous things.

#biblical-authority, #church-of-christ, #ordination, #preacher

Questions that Make You Sad

Someone just asked me the following question:  “Richard, where is the Scripture that says we need ‘authority’ for what we do in corporate worship?”

What a heartbreaking question. When we loose all authority, and do whatever we want, God is marginalized. The God of heaven is ostensibly left to follow us along. Authority is there for a reason to maintain the humility of man and the superiority of God. Is grace really a code word for, “we can do anything we want?” I think not!

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up” (James 4:10).

#biblical-authority, #god, #humility, #worship

Poll Question on Clapping

I will try to have a Poll question on my blog on Fridays. This week’s question is: Does the congregation where you attend, clap during worship?

I hope you will go and answer the poll.

#biblical-authority, #clapping, #moving-word, #poll-question, #worship

Instruments of Music in Worship

I have added two items to my blog that explain why we do not use mechanical instruments of music in worship.

A lengthy article.

A lengthy outline, filled with quotes from secular and denominational scholars explaining that the early church did not use instruments in worship.

I hope you will be edified by them and share these links with others who are searching for truth.

#biblical-authority, #instrumental-music, #music, #worship

Worship and What We Like

Fleshly people in and out of the church use the wrong criterion for what we will do in worship. If they like it, that ought to be good enough. It occurred to me, that we have an interesting example to consider in light of this dilemma. When Moses went to Mount Sinai to receive the Law from God, the people of Israel grew restless and asked Aaron to make them a golden calf, so they could worship it (Exodus 32:1-6).

Let me ask you a question: Which do you think was “most fun” to the people? Praying/waiting on Moses or eating, getting drunk and lustily worshiping the golden calf? That is an easy answer. Yet, God soundly condemned them for their behavior and said, “They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them” (Exodus 32:8).

Clearly, what is most fun is not the criterion God uses. We must abide by what God commands in all things  (John 14:15, Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:6, et al).

#biblical-authority, #golden-calf, #moses, #scripture, #worship

I Don’t Care About the Constitution…

This video deals with the health care bill. However,  it makes a great point  illustrating what we are dealing with in the Church.  Democrat Phil Hare of Illinois admits that he doesn’t know or care what the Constitution says about the health care bill.

In the church today, we have a lot of  brethren who feel the same way about many spiritual issues and doctrines. They know what they want to do and don’t really care whether the Bible authorizes it or not.  Wayne Jackson calls this, “results oriented dogma.”  If it works, we will find a way to rationalize it. As a result, God is completely forgotten in the process.

The Emerging Church, which completely disregards Biblical authority, is the logical extension of this  mindset. And their heresies are spreading like wildfire.

We must all be diligent to adhere to Biblical authority in everything (Colossians 3:17;  2 Timothy 3:16-17; Galatians 1:9).

Listen carefully to his story about the child whose parents don’t have insurance. That is a tragedy but notice something important. Because the kids need help, that, in itself,  authorizes overriding the Constitution. Does that not sound like those in the church who have developed the idea that we can do anything we want in the church as long as it maintains the interests of the children?  Regardless of what the Scriptures say about it?

#biblical-authority, #health-care, #obama, #phil-hare