Meanwhile, during the Olympics

randal-pimentas-evangelistas

Yours Truly with three new evangelists in Pimentas church, Guarulhos, Brazil

Even though we still feel sluggish getting back into our Brazil routine, after our US trip, the month of August filled up with events, every weekend. Three of the four are teaching opportunities outside of our region: the ordination of three evangelists (last Sunday), a marriage seminar, and a day-long seminar on order in worship and discipline in the church. Continue reading

#corollaries, #generalizations, #rio2016, #teaching

Teach it at home

Ron T. has a good thought today on his blog, as usual, about teaching children, the next generation. I commented over there and said that parents are mostly derelict in their duty. Ron started a short list of what children ought to be taught:

Some of the things that need to be taught young people (and older folk also) would be the historicity of Jesus, salvation from sin, the nature and importance of the Lord’s church, the day of judgment that is before us all. these are but a few very important points of teaching.

What would you add to this list?

Friends, we must teach at home. Fathers, that responsibility falls especially upon you, as the spiritual guides of the home. Plan what, how, when you’re going to do this. Give it much, much thought. It is the greatest and highest responsibility we have.

Anyone familiar with a home curriculum for teaching one’s children the story of the Bible? Not homeschool material, necessarily, but something for an organized approach for parents?

Most parents do more planning for their vacation than they do for their children’s instruction in the Lord. There’s more movie watching and internet surfing than Bible reading. To the great shame of parents and to the children’s eternal danger.

#home #parenting #teaching

Sometimes you have to explain it a little better

The other night I told my 4-year-old to pick up the tablet that was on the floor.

She looked at me and said, “That’s not a tablet.”

Was I wrong? Was she right? Not a chance! We just had a little misunderstanding.

You see, when I told her to pick up the tablet I was talking about that thing that consisted of a stack of papers bound together with a spine. You old people know what I’m talking about right? When my daughter heard tablet, well, because of her age and life experience, all she thinks of is an electronic piece of equipment.

The point that I want to make is that many times in life (spiritually speaking), we may take our knowledge and understanding for granted when we mention things like church, baptism, sin, being saved, and what righteousness is all about.

Remember, there are a lot of people out there who think Christ is Jesus’ last name!

This is why I had a teacher tell me one time that, while teaching and preaching, I should never underestimate the ignorance of the listening audience. It’s a lesson worth remembering for all of us.

So the next time you mention a biblical principle to someone and they make a weird look with their face – they may not disagree with you; they just may not understand what you’re talking about.

So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” (Acts 8:30-31)

#bible-ignorance, #bible-knowledge, #spiritual-illustrations, #teaching, #understanding

What an atheist did answer, then me (9)

QUESTION: How did you become an Atheist?

ATHEIST: By being born. I was taught about God later.

CHRISTIAN: One becomes an atheist because he (she) is taught to be one. There is no natural reason for so becoming.

#atheist, #god, #teaching

WOMEN IN FIRST CORINTHIANS

The first article on women in Corinthians is here.

Later in this epistle, Paul plainly state that in the assembly the women are not to speak, but they are to keep silent (14:34-35). This has caused no small controversy in today’s environment. In fact, there are many men and women who reject outright what the Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul.

What are we to understand in the context?

First, starting in v. 26, Paul speaks with regard to them “coming together.” This is an occasion for the church in Corinth to assemble. Second, there is something relative to this assembly that allows the exercise of the supernatural gifts of God to be utilized (14:26-31). Third, the gifts of God can be controlled by the one (or the ones) who have them (14:32). Fourth, that which is done is to be done decently and in order (14:32-33). Fifth, in this context, the women are to keep silent, that is, they are not authorized by the Holy Spirit to teach. The next verse (14:35) is difficult, but I think the idea is along this line: since the assembly is gathered together, and there is teaching done, it might be that the wife/woman does not understand what is being said/taught. In this context, rather than disrupting the assembly (how this would be done is unstated), she is to speak with her husband about it at home.

#assembly, #silence, #spiritual-gifts, #teaching, #women

HOW HE SPOKE

                No man ever spoke like Jesus, it was declared. His word penetrated to the very essence of a person. Those who lived during the time He lived had come to recognize this (John 7:46), and those who take time to understand what the New Testament says about Him will quickly come to the same conclusion.

What was it about that which Jesus said that was so significant and challenging to the people of His day? First, He was one who spoke with authority (Matthew 8:27). When the Lord spoke it was not only those who had ears that were hearing, but the elements of this world were also hearing Him. The wind, the rain, the snow, and the heat play such an important role in the life of man, but they were controlled by Him who spoke with authority. Second, He spoke with conviction. By this I mean that He spoke with knowledge concerning His mission and message. Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). This pertains only to people; those who have the ability to hear and understand, but make choices that are contrary to the Lord’s way—these are the ones Jesus came to seek and save (Romans 3:23; 6:23). His conviction was not only with regard to His knowledge concerning His own mission, but that message He spoke convicted the many who heard Him. The responses were varied, but there was a response (Matthew 9:22; John 7:45-52). Third, He spoke with compassion (Matthew 9:36-38). Compassion is related to understanding unfortunate circumstances another might be experiencing and then trying to assist in offering some sort of reprieve from it. In the passage referenced Jesus took notice that those who were in unfortunate circumstances were in actual need of a shepherd. As they were in need, we are also in need—and our shepherd is the “chief shepherd” (1 Peter 5:4).

A thoughtful person can’t help but to take notice that there was (and is) no man who ever spoke like Jesus. His words were not just words of wisdom, but the message He spoke was a message that took one from this worldly realm and transported him into a heavenly realm (John 8:31-32). I think I will listen to Jesus. RT

#christmas, #jesus, #speaking, #teaching

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Was Jesus Christ Beheaded?

If the Roman Catholic Church is right, Jesus Christ was decapitated on September 17, 2013 in Malaga, New Jersey. Among nine statues damaged were 3 five-feet-tall statues of Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was beheaded, Virgin Mary, and Our Lady of Fatima. These were located outside of St. Mary’s Malaga Catholic church. Spokeperson for the Camden Diocese Peter Feuerherd said, “These are important symbols of the Catholic faith and in that way when you attack the symbols of faith you attack the faith.” —CBS Philly, September 19, 2013

The fact that there is no physical description, drawing, image, or icon of Jesus Christ in Scripture or out of the Scriptures in the 1st Century doesn’t seem to influence anybody. Jesus was “the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9), and God always condemned every attempt to recreate His image. To the Israelites under Moses’ Law, God said: “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 5:6-9). In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul preached to idolaters: “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising” (Acts 17:29). There is no physical description of God, whether in the flesh or not, although “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Every statue, icon, painting, or other representation of Jesus Christ comes only as “shaped by art and man’s devising,” not God’s revelation! To call a church building or statue “sacred” is purely by the authority of men, and is totally contrary to the Will of God, for Jesus said, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father’” (John 4:21). It is the church of Christ, not a building, but the people, who form the “building” that is “a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-22).

That physical buildings and statues are “important symbols of the Catholic faith” is yet another proof that the “Catholic faith” and the faith in the Word of God are completely separate and contrary to each other! The Roman Catholic Church is not the church of Christ in the New Testament, and never has been true to the Word of God. The practices of the Roman Catholic Church are based upon idolatry, not the faith of Scripture, for “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), and the Word of God condemns idolatry (1 John 5:21)! An idol means nothing to a Christian’s faith, for there is only “one God, the Father,” and “one Lord Jesus Christ,” so food sacrificed to an idol is not “sacred.” However, Paul asked: “if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?” Though such idols mean nothing to a Christian as a matter of faith, Christians are to show respect for the consciences of idol worshippers who are converted to Christ, but still haven’t elevated God to His supreme place in their hearts. This should be done without compromising their own Christian faith (1 Corinthians 8:4-13). A Christian would never offend another Christian’s conscience who has not developed to his own level of understanding, and wouldn’t think of intentionally desecrating those things that are considered religious “symbols” of others. Christians would, however, strive to teach the emptiness of such practices, as Paul did (Acts 14:8-18).

Instead of considering a statue of Jesus “holy,” why not let Jesus, Himself, be “that Holy One” (Luke 1:35), who died for you and God raised up (Acts 3:12-16), for whom you “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), so that you may be “holy” (Colossians 1:21-23)?  —–John T. Polk II, Dover, TN

#bible-study, #church-of-christ, #faith, #god, #idolatry, #jesus-christ, #obedience, #religion, #roman-catholic-church, #statues, #teaching, #truth, #worship