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  • John T. Polk II 2:29 pm on 2015-07-01 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , drunkards, , idolaters, repented, , thieves,   

    7-1-2015 Homosexuals in Church? 

    Are there homosexuals in the church of Christ? Absolutely! The church of Christ in Corinth had members who once were : fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners. The church of Christ began with murderers of Jesus Christ who were told to: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV). When they obeyed, “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47 NKJV). The church of Christ is made up of all kinds of sinners – who have repented. Paul reminded the Corinthians: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • John T. Polk II 10:33 pm on 2014-04-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , idolaters, , pagans,   

    Calendar Apostasy 

    God sent His people, Israel, into the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, but with these “statutes and judgments” in Moses’ final declaration to them:

    “These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. There you shall take your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, your vowed offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks” (Deuteronomy 12:1-6). The people in that land were pagans and idolaters who worshiped the Creation rather than the Creator. They worshiped the various “gods” which supposedly represented the powers involved in life on Earth. God did not allow His people to simply adopt, nor adapt, the Canaanites’ religious practices as worship to Him. All of: “the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods,” “their altars,” “their sacred pillars,” “their wooden images,” “the carved images,” were to be “utterly” destroyed so they would have no influence among the Israelites, whatsoever. Only the specified worship in the manner God described would be acceptable to God. The Israelites were not to be allied to the worship proscribed by the seasons, but that which was determined by God.

    After the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the kingdom of Christ was established on earth, the Gospel of Christ was to be preached to every creature (Mark 16:15-16). While in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man (Acts 14:8-10), but then the idolaters sought to worship both Paul and Barnabas:

    “Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!’ And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.’ And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them” (Acts 14:11-18). God’s inspired Apostle Paul stopped any idolatrous practice from being used as an explanation for, or an application to, Christianity. There is nothing in idolatrous teachings or practices which should be admitted or accepted by Christians.

    Catholicism, whether Roman or Greek, has incorporated idolatrous practices and seasonal calendars into what they call “Christian,” when all they have done is find some Scripture or event in Christ’s life with which to “tag” what would otherwise be a rejected practice. The disciples were called “Christians” by God first in Antioch (Acts 11:26), but Catholicism has spread the term, like an umbrella, over practices of paganism and idolatry. No Christian in the New Testament ever celebrated an “Easter,” “Christmas,” “Lent,” “Seder,” or any of the 40 days of mishmash found on today’s religious calendars, which are mistakenly termed a “Christian Calendar.”

    No denomination is “Protestant” that follows Catholicism’s religious calendar. “Seder” is simply a re-creation of the Jewish Passover, which Jesus died to remove (Colossians 2:14-16); “Yule” is from witches, “Eoster/Ishtar” is from idolaters, and “Fertility rites” demonstrated by rabbits and eggs, are the very things forbidden by Paul (Galatians 4:8-11); and “Lent” is hypocritical display of a misunderstanding of “fasting” condemned by Jesus (Matthew 6:16-18). The Lord’s death, represented in the Lord’s Supper, must be kept free from the impurities of falsehood (1 Corinthians 10:15-22). Everyone who keeps special days on a religious calendar did “not so learn Christ” (Ephesians 4:20).

    To be a disciple of Christ, one must believe the historical and factual evidence of His life found in the New Testament (John 20:30-31; 21:25) and obey His command to be baptized  “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). The only events in Christ’s life to be memorialized are: (1) His death, burial, and resurrection first, when a sinner repents and is baptized into death, Romans 6:1-6, then raised “in newness of life”; and secondly, when Christians observe the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-26); and (2) the day of His resurrection remembered each week when Christians assemble (“the first day of the week,” Luke 24:1-9; Acts 20:7). There are no other special or seasonal days for Christians, according to the New Testament. “The churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) never observed a religious calendar that would lead them into apostasy (1 Timothy 4:1-3), because those who follow such stand contrary to inspired truth (2 Timothy 4:1-5). “The churches of Christ salute you” but we salute Jesus Christ above all.

    —–John T. Polk II

     
    • Joseph Richardson 12:08 am on 2014-04-18 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, whoa, slow down, man. Let’s think this through.

      The first Christians, I’m sure you realize, were Jews. They continued to celebrate the Passover (Pascha) and the Sabbath for at least the first century after Christ. Christ didn’t die to “remove” these things: He came to fulfill them (cf. Matthew 5:17). Paul says in Colossians 2:16 “let no one pass judgment on you” with regard to practices of Jewish festivals or traditions. This is essentially his message in Romans and Galatians — in which he does not condemn circumcision per se, or condemn any Jewish Christian who had received circumcision (for he himself had, as did Timothy, Acts 16:3), or declare that Jewish believers should no longer practice the traditions of their heritage. What he taught (in opposition to the Judaizers) was that no Christian was justified by the works of the law (cf. Romans 3:20), but rather by faith (Romans 3:20-26). Did God no longer justify believers who had been circumcised? Did Jesus “remove” the covenant of Abraham or of Moses? Can God go back on His promises, or nullify the covenants He has made? No, of course not. He justifies the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised by faith (Romans 3:30); and by faith in Christ, even the Gentiles become children of Abraham and heirs to God’s promises through him (Galatians 3:29).

      So to the idea that observing religious festivals is tantamount to idolatry: The first, Jewish Christians did, and their Gentile brethren followed suit; so this is a practice as old as the Christian Church. Jesus is our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) — so should Christians no longer care about the Passover? Are we not heirs to God’s promises then, too? Jesus presented Himself as the fulfillment of that sacrifice, even instructing us to keep a remembrance of it, in the very language of the Passover celebration (Exodus 12:24; 24:8, Luke 22:19). Paul, in reference to this, instructs us to “celebrate the festival” (1 Corinthians 5:8).

      For what it’s worth: The Resurrection of our Lord has only ever been called “Easter” in England and English-speaking countries (in both Greek and Latin, it was called “Pascha,” Passover, since the first century); and the Christmas season has only ever been referred to as “Yule” among Germanic peoples. So you may thank our Anglo-Saxon forebears for that “idolatry,” not the early Christians. The practice of fasting before celebrating our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection is by all appearances apostolic, in emulation of our Lord’s own fasting (Matthew 4:1-11), and He did not at all condemn fasting (in the very verse you cite, Matthew 6:16, he instructs us regarding “when [we] fast”).

      As for all your other charges of “idolatrous practices” and “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1) — you should be prepared to back that up before lobbing such accusations at fellow believers. No one in the early Church read or applied these Scriptures the way you are applying them. There is nothing in Scripture that forbids remembering and celebrating the great events of the history of salvation — in fact, it’s an essential part of the faith and covenant we have inherited from our Jewish Lord. No, these things do not contribute to our salvation in themselves, and no one believes they do; but the calendar is, as it was for the Jews, an ancient model and pattern and custom for worshipping God, for setting our minds and our hearts on Him and on His promises — especially now, in the Christian caledndar, on Christ’s Incarnation, Passion, and Resurrection.

      I respect your position, brother, but I think you’re mistaken. If the Christian calendar so leads a believer away from Christ — why is every bit of it focused on Christ’s work of salvation in our lives? God bless you, and His peace be with you!

  • John T. Polk II 4:51 am on 2013-02-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , idolaters, , , ,   

    Psalm 115 

    Vs. 1-3 indicate the inquiry of Gentiles, and the answer;

    Vs. 4-8 give contrasts between idols and God;

    Vs. 9-15 list God’s interactions with His people;

    Vs. 16-18 remind people why idealize God now.

    This is another “Hallel” Psalm, for it gives reasons to end with “hallelujah” (“praise the LORD”). The date and authorship of this Psalm are indefinite, but the challenge to idolatry in this Psalm certainly would have been an answer to the Rabshakeh. He represented Sennacherib, King of Assyria, whose army surrounded Jerusalem in the days of King Hezekiah, and dared “the LORD” to deliver His people (2 Kings 18:27-36). The LORD prevailed (2 Kings 19:1-37), then, and always.

    Verses 1-3: (verse 1) None of us are worthy of the “glory” belonging to the “LORD,” for only His “name,” “mercy,” and “truth” deserve such praise. (verse 2) “Gentiles” (non-Israelites) question God’s Being with: “Where is He?” When worldly people define every deity in worldly terms, they cannot know “God [who] is in heaven” and “does whatever He pleases” (verse 3). God’s sovereignty is not limited to: “temples made with hands” (Acts 17:24), “neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem” (John 4:21), and remains above Jesus and the kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:25-28).

    Verses 4-8: (verse 4) An “idol” (term meaning thing seen, form, figure) must be made out of physical substance, often precious metal (“silver and gold”). Humanly-devised “gods” represent qualities humans appreciate, but, as “gods,” they have absolutely no power. (verses 5-7) Idols have: wordless mouths; sightless eyes; deaf ears; insensitive noses; unfeeling hands; unmoving feet; soundless throats. (verse 8) People shape their lives to be like their “god:” poor or no communication ability; can’t see opportunity and responsibility; don’t listen to God’s rules of righteousness; disregards the stench of sin and foul living; fumbling away good works; unresponsive action; laryngitis of praise for God.

    Verses 9-15: By contrast, (verse 9) the “LORD” of Israel helps and protects them; (verse 10) Aaron, Moses’ brother (Exodus 4:14), was the first of the Levitical priesthood representing those closer to the LORD in worship; (verse 11) all “who fear the LORD,” also know the living God helps and protects. (verses 12-13) That “the LORD has been mindful of us,” historically is written throughout the past, for God has helped and is helping “both small and great.” (verses 14-15) This why prayerful desires are given to God (1 Peter 5:7; 3 John 2), for all blessing come from the God who created “heaven and earth.”

    Verses 16-18: (verse 16) God has total dominion from “the heavens,” but has endowed mankind with “dominion” over life on earth. (verse 17) Since all must die (Hebrews 9:27) our time is limited, for we cannot convert or worship God like we once could have, beyond the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:1-6), therefore we must give God glory from now on (verse 18). “Praise the LORD!”

    Thought: God-given abilities of hearing, sight, and intelligence are to be used to learn more about God (Psalm 94:8-11). All idols are created by humans to represent some “god” or power greater than the human: sex, fame, fortune, wealth, popularity, friends, drugs, entertainment, covetousness, etc. From the Law of Moses (Exodus 20:4-5) and into the Law of Christ (1 John 5:21), God has condemned idols of every kind. One who obeys Jesus Christ has “turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
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