Archive | August, 2017

God Offers To Pardon Our Sins

27 Aug

The other day President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of contempt charges in Arizona, although the veracity of those charges is questioned by many.

Regardless of the validity of Arpaio’s trial, we can learn a lesson about God from all this.

All of us stand guilty before God due to our sin. We’ve all done things, said things, and thought things that aren’t right. Many things. And we know it. We’re all up to our eyeballs in sin.

Our guilt is obvious. But nevertheless, God offers to pardon us of all our sin so we can avoid the penalty due us – spending eternity in hell – and instead be with Him forever in heaven.

That pardon is only available through Jesus. God came to earth as Jesus and took on the penalty of our sin because we could not pay that penalty ourselves.

This is somewhat equivalent to a judge deciding on his own to pay the life sentence of a convicted criminal by going to jail for him.

And because God did this, we can now be pardoned. All we have to do is accept God’s offer.

Just like the convicted criminal could decline the judge’s offer to go to jail in his place, we can reject God’s offer. Even though it would be crazy to do so, billions of people have done, and are doing, just that.

Accept God’s pardon. He loves you so much he’s willing to pay your penalty for you and erase all your sins – each and every one – from the record books as if they never existed.

It would be foolish to turn down that offer.

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Anti-Religion Group’s Misguided Conclusion About The Bible

26 Aug

Last week the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote an extremely unprofessional and strongly worded letter to Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky in response to his recent call for raising kids with the teachings of the Bible as a way to improve society.

This was not the first letter FFRF has written to the governor. I don’t know what was in the previous ones, but this one is filled with mistakes.

FFRF calls the Bible violent, hate-filled, and racist and claims that it has spawned hate-filled, racist-inspired violence.

To support these conclusions, FFRF offers up two “proofs”. One is that the Klu Klux Klan calls itself a Christian group. The other is that Hilter was a Catholic whose soldiers had a religious slogan on their uniforms: “God With Us” (“Gott mit uns”, in German).

As a former rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth atheist myself, who would likely have joined FFRF had they been around when I was younger, I used to think the same of the Bible. But I realized I was wrong. And the FFRF is wrong too.

While the facts about the KKK and Hilter are true, the FFRF makes a very obvious error in the process of drawing their conclusion. They allow man to define God instead of the other way around.

People aren’t “Christians” because they say they are. They’re Christians because of what God says. And God tells us in the Bible exactly how to identify people who belong to Him.

Here are just a few verses (there are many more):

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:35

“If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar.” – 1 John 4:20

“And now I urge you, dear lady–not as a new commandment to you, but one we have had from the beginning–that we love one another.” – 2 John 1:5

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” – Galatians 5:22-23

FFRF has conveniently ignored these passages for the very obvious reason that they undermine and refute the very point FFRF is trying to make.

Was Hitler loving? Or patient? Or kind? Or gentle? Did he exhibit self-control? No on all counts. Hence, he was not a Christian.

For the same reason, neither are the members of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church or anyone else who claims to be but does not back it up by living the way God commands His children to live.

And while no one, other than Jesus Himself (who was God in a human body) can be perfect 100% of the time, those who are truly adopted children of God as a result of repentance of their sins, will more often than not exhibit the characteristics mentioned by God and will do so more and more over time because they are filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

The FFRF has read the Bible. That’s good. But they haven’t studied it. That is where they go wrong.

They pick out certain phrases and passages without understanding their meaning which can only be arrived at through study – including cultural and contextual understanding. And, as proven, they ignore passages that contradict their conclusions.

Instead, they simply gloss over the text looking for reasons to be against it. Of course, they find such reasons.

It’s easy to make a text, especially a religious one, say what you want it to say when you start with a conclusion already cemented in your mind.

I know. I used to be as misguided as the FFRF.

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