Monday, March 31, 2014

Are we cursed by God with racism and slavery?

Genesis 9:20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: 21 and he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. 24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
  Many have argued in the past that the curse of Ham was a prophetic curse upon the african/negro peoples of the world.  They have gone so far to say that Black people are incapable of true success as a race and are mentally inferior.  It is blaringly obvious that these doctrines are racist.  So this begs the question are these racist religionist correct  implying that the God of scripture is racist against black people?
  Before we move any forward in our thoughts, is there any notion in this text which describes skin color of any party? Skin color can even change in families.  My brother has the same parents as me and has paler skin than I.  His wife is african american and so his Son has darker skin than both of us.  This illustrates that skin color changes over generations.  So we don't know who was what color at this period of time.

Was ham's descendents renedered incapable of leadership?
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. 7 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtecha: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. 8 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9 He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, 12 and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city. 13 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 14 and Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (out of whom came Philistim,) and Caphtorim.

15 And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16 and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17 and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18 and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. 19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations.

One thing to pay attention to was Cush.  Cush is seen as the father of the Ethiopians people.  Being that Ethiopians are black and the most ancient of African kingdoms alongside the Egyptians, it is safe to say that what many anthropologist would define as negro.    Cush's line has Nimrod as a descendent.  Nimrod was the first World emperor.  This debunks the idea of negro inferiority.
Speaking of egyptians, another hametic descendent was mizraim who would be the forefather of the egyptian people.  Their success dominated the ancient days and their technology is still eluding archaeologists.

It should also be noticed the description of skin color is nowhere mentioned in this text.  This helps us understand ethnic differences, not racial(skin color)

The Bible points us to a unity in mankind.
luke 3: 38 which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
 John 1:In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
genesis 5 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
psalm 8: what is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels,
and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet:
 james 3:Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 
acts 17: 26 and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
 Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

"We also need to be aware that one is not born with a genetically fixed amount of melanin, but rather with a genetically fixed potential to produce a certain amount, increasing in response to sunlight. For example, if you are in a Caucasian community, you may have noticed that when your friends headed for the beach at the very beginning of summer, they may, if they spent their time indoors during winter, have all been more or less the same pale white. As the summer went on, however, some became much darker than others."
"Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences, has analyzed DNA from global human populations that reveal the patterns of human evolution over the past one million years. He shows that while there is plenty of genetic variation in humans, most of the variation is individual variation. While between-population variation exists, it is either too small, which is a quantitative variation, or it is not the right type of qualitative variation -- it does not mark historical sublineages of humanity.
Using the latest molecular biology techniques, Templeton has analyzed millions of genetic sequences found in three distinct types of human DNA and concludes that, in the scientific sense, there is no such thing as race.
"Race is a real cultural, political and economic concept in society, but it is not a biological concept, and that unfortunately is what many people wrongfully consider to be the essence of race in humans -- genetic differences," Templeton said."
  Yet it was the modernistic evolution which spread racist views around the world.
"Books such as The History of Creation by Ernst Haeckel were studied in the universities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Students read such things as:

Nothing, however, is perhaps more remarkable in this respect, than that some of the wildest tribes in southern Asia and eastern Africa have no trace whatever of the first foundations of all human civilization, of family life, and marriage. They live together in herds, like apes, generally climbing on trees and eating fruits; they do not know of fire, and use stones and clubs as weapons, just like the higher apes … . At the lowest stage of human mental development are the Australians, some tribes of the Polynesians, and the Bushmen, Hottentots, and some of the Negro tribes."
  1. Ernst Haeckel, The History of Creation: Or the Development of the Earth and its Inhabitants by the Action of Natural Causes, translated by Prof. E. Ray Lankester, Henry S. King & Co., London, 1876, Vol. II, pp. 362–363.

What was the curse about then?
  Ham had dishonored his father Noah.  Because Ham had dishonored His Father He would fail as a Father himself.   So Canaan was cursed by the sinfulness of his father Ham. The curse leading to the  people of Canaan was a natural progression as Sin would carry over each generation.

The real source of this curse comes from our lack of love. And this is the source of racism as well.  People hating others out of jealousy and pride.  Because they feel inadequate in their own hearts. But if we give love and recieve love especially from God we will not have time to focus on such petty things.

Why are the african americans pinpointed as the inheritors of the curse?
This goes back to a theology popular in the past called "replacement theology" The view that christians have replace Israel as the chosen people of God.  In America the Christians saw themselves as Israel getting ready to enter the promised land.
It is very easy to see your spiritual identity as your racial identity when the church is confused with Israel. So the white protestants viewed the Indians as canaanites.  The slaves were viewed as foreigners and as such buying and owning them as slaves was acceptable.(leviticus 25)  [a good example of a Calvinist who supported the slave trade would be theologian Robert L. Dabney]
  But even if we were to assume that the allowance of slavery was allowable and the OT applies.  The blacks slaves which converted to Christianity(which is the majority) would have become adopted in the christian family. lev. 25:39 And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant:
Galatians 3: 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
   So there was a biblical obligation to emancipate the slaves.

So why was a christian America a racist nation that enslaved African Americans?
We can only judge the past if we know the past.  Just like the issue of abortion today is clear in a moral argument but extremely complicated to undo.  So it was with slavery. Here are some points to remember.
A. Around 96% of the slave trade was going on outside of the US.
 "Well over 90 percent of African slaves were imported into the
Caribbean and South America. Only about 6 percent of imports went directly to British North America."
B. Slavery was imposed on Virginia by an edict of the King of England prior to the revolution.  It wasn't the first instincts of Americans to have slavery.  It was imposed upon them. The seduction of slavery once imposed gained a foothold.

"Slavery may have not grown to the magnitude it reached in the late 1700s had English rule not made it impossible to prohibit it. In 1761, the Virginia colony attempted to reduce slave traffic with laws including tariffs. The King replied with an order that no colony could impose laws outlawing or taxing the trading of slaves. This was one of the very first thoughts of revolution from England. The original Declaration of Independence addressed the issue of slave trade and its negativity on the colonies in the opening paragraph.
Slavery slipped into the lives of those who opposed it by coy religious intentions. The Georgia settlement had been struggling to remain slave free. However, they saw the growth of their Carolina neighbors, and attributed their success with their slave holdings. One of the ways slavery was introduced was through missionary work with "heathen Africans." Christian leaders of Georgia, Carolina and Virginia proclaimed that slave owners who introduced and encourage the Christian faith to their slaves would be blessed.
More laws from parliament in 1750 imposed slavery on the colonies. The ships were coming whether they wanted them to or not. This was a tactic employed by England to subdue the colonist from revolt or revolution from the crown.
When it came time to formally design a new government, leaders were torn on the topic of slavery and the trade. Even though settlers were predominantly against slavery, those who owned slaves became dependent on them. What's more is that many of those who owned slaves, and those who had made a business out of slave trade, were the wealthiest in the new nation. They held the power. So, when the Constitution was being drafted, provisions were made to allow slavery to continue in states that already allowed it, but no regulations on other states were made. Some states outright illegalized the trading and commerce of slavery. Only slaves born within the state, or held at that time, were permitted to be kept as slaves."

C. Accounts the abuse of africans slaves are often overemphaisized.  In others words while there were incidents of abuse that took place.  This was not the majority experience.  Whites and blacks often had very affectionate relationships and referred to each other as family.  Though africans were severely disadvantaged in their rights.  Though there were examples of kidnapping, though not legal.  But not well legislated. Many abusers of the african slaves were prosecuted in courts. One can go to the court records of the southern states and find that the judicial system did prosecute people when these crimes were committed.   However, most of the accounts of racist attacks came later on after the 2nd revival of the Klu Klux Klan  where the blacks had to face the wrath of southern whites who had lost all of their previous prosperity and used black people as a scapegoat.

 I.  the most abuse was outside of Americas
" American plantations were dwarfed by those in the West Indies. About a quarter of U.S. slaves lived on farms with 15 or fewer slaves. In 1850, just 125 plantations had over 250 slaves.  
  In the Caribbean, Dutch Guiana and Brazil, the slave death rate was so high and the birth rate so low that they could not sustain their population without importations from Africa.
Rates of natural decrease ran as high as 5 percent a year. While the death rate of U.S. slaves was about the same as that of Jamaican slaves, the fertility rate was more than 80 percent higher.  U.S. slaves were further removed from Africa than those in the Caribbean. In the 19th century, the majority of slaves in the British Caribbean and Brazil were born in Africa. In contrast, by 1850, most U.S. slaves were third-, fourth-, or fifth generation Americans.""
 II. the North mistreated the Irish in much the same fashion.

" African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1845 wrote "‘of all places to witness human misery, ignorance, degradation, filth and wretchedness, an Irish hut is preeminent … the people [of Ireland] are in the same degradation as the American slaves.’"1 Indeed, as a class of people, the Irish immigrants who came to America were as destitute, wretched, and ridiculed as slaves. However, most of the Irish were not slaves. When comparing the two groups, the greatest difference is that the Irish immigrant had liberty and the African slave did not."

" The standard image of Southern slavery is that of a large plantation with hundreds of slaves. In fact, such situations were rare. Fully 3/4 of Southern whites did not even own slaves; of those who did, 88% owned twenty or fewer. Whites who did not own slaves were primarily yeoman farmers. Practically speaking, the institution of slavery did not help these people."

" Because they lived and worked in such close proximity, house servants and their owners tended to form more complex relationships. Black and white children were especially in a position to form bonds with each other. In most situations, young children of both races played together on farms and plantations. Black children might also become attached to white caretakers, such as the mistress, and white children to their black nannies. Because they were so young, they would have no understanding of the system they were born into. But as they grew older they would learn to adjust to it in whatever ways they could."
  The North was not innocent in this period. Although it is admirable that many northern Christians opposed slavery; this society had sold the slaves to the plantations before judging them for it.

D.  We have to account for the dysfunctional relationship between the North and the South.  The North was the entity that purchased the slaves and sold them to the South.  The North had then used slavery as justification to wage a bitter war against the confederacy.  Which the southerners acknowledged as hypocrisy. (over 600,000 dead. the largest death toll in the history of US war)

"President Ulysses S. Grant supported Radical Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Force Acts passed by Congress. Grant suppressed the Ku Klux Klan, but was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican party between the Carpetbaggers and the Scalawags (native whites in the South). Meanwhile Southern Democrats (calling themselves "Conservatives") strongly opposed African-American political power. They alleged widespread corruption by the Carpetbaggers, excessive state spending and ruinous taxes. The opposition violently counterattacked and regained power in each "redeemed" Southern state by 1877. Meanwhile public support for Reconstruction policies faded in the North, as voters decided the Civil War was over and slavery was dead. The Democrats, who strongly opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874; the presidential electoral vote in 1876 was very close and confused, forcing Congress to make the final decision. The deployment of the U.S. Army was central to the survival of Republican state governments; they collapsed when the Army was removed in 1877 as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president.
Reconstruction was a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States, but most historians consider it a failure because the South became a poverty-stricken backwater, white supremacy was reestablished, and the freedmen became second class citizens with limited rights. Historian Eric Foner argues, "What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, and that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure."[3]"

E. The Anabaptists opposed slavery

"The Anabaptists, both Mennonite and Brethren had experienced forms of slavery in Europe.  They were considered an outlaw and heretical faith by the three accepted faiths of Europe – Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed – as agreed to in the Peace of Augsburg (1555) and the later Peace of Westphalia (1648).  Political and religious leaders adopted a formula which said “eius regio, cuius religio,” translated as “whoever rules, his/her religion.”  All other faith traditions were neither recognized or to be tolerated.  So, the Anabaptist tradition was persecuted for most of its history in Europe.     We know certainly of Anabaptist martyrs, for The Martyr’s Mirror, first published in 1660 in the Netherlands,[i] contains some stories and a list of Anabaptists who were martyrs for their faith.

 Anabaptist Mennonites and Brethren were aware of the evils of slavery.  They knew the Biblical stories and views of slavery in the Bible.  They focused though on the kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ.  They sought to create that peaceable kingdom on earth.  For them all people, races, and nations were God’s and God’s love and the grace of Jesus Christ was to be shown to all.  They may have had difficulty with passages in the letters of Paul and Peter where slaves were told to obey their masters, even when the masters were cruel and harsh.  They also knew from world events how conquering nations often enslaved those they conquered.  The persecution of Anabaptists in Europe was a form of slavery to them."

"Some early efforts against slavery were made by the Quakers (Society of Friends).  George Fox urged Quakers to oppose slavery and not own slaves.  Since William Penn, a Quaker founded Pennsylvania; many Quakers lived in the Pennsylvania, where the first Mennonites in America settled.  Interaction began between the Quakers and the Mennonites who held the belief that slavery was evil and should be condemned.  Conversations in Germantown led to a petition about slavery addressed to the Germantown Monthly Meeting.  It was “A Minute Against Slavery” dated February 18, 1688.  Since the only house of worship in Germantown was the Quaker meetinghouse in 1688, it is likely that Quakers and Mennonites worshipped together, at least at times. It is agreed today that the document was signed by several Mennonites.  One signer was Francis Daniel Pastorius, a Lutheran Pietist.  Of the other three signers, two – Derick and Abraham upde Graeff – were Quakers who had previously been Mennonites in Europe.  The fourth signer was Garret Hendricks, believed to be of Mennonite heritage.[i]  The Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust says: “While the four signatories identified themselves as Quakers, three were formerly members of the Mennonite gathering in Crefeld [Germany], and one, Abraham up Den Graeff later rejoined the Mennonites.[ii]"

The four men adamantly opposed slavery of Africans, but also of any race.  They wrote as Christians to other Christians in saying:

. . . it is worse for them, which say they are Christians; for we hear that ye most part of such negers are brought hither against their will and consent, and that many of them are stolen.  Now, tho they are black, we can not conceive there is more liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other white ones.  There is a saying that we shall doe to all men like as we will be done ourselves; making no difference of what generation, descent or colour they are.[iii]

Early on African Americans organized in the New Testament Churches and experienced religious liberty.
"One of the First known Black churches in America was created before the American Revolution, around 1758. Called the African Baptist or "Bluestone" Church, this house of worship was founded on the William Byrd plantation near the Bluestone River, in Mecklenburg, Virginia. Africans at the time believed that only adult baptism by total immersion was doctrinally correct. Black people in America also supported the autonomy of their congregation to make decisions independent of larger church body."
I believe that while racism has been a popular excuse. Most African Americans were persecuted for keeping their faith.


What about statistical inferiority of African Americans in terms of education and the economy?
   First of all, we have to understand the nature of generalities. An ethnic group by nature is a group of people with general similarities.  They are not objective realities.   So while there are trends in ethnicity, they are never a rule.  There are many great african american scientists like  George Washington Carver.  One of today's more popular astrophysicists is Neil Degrass Tyson as well as popular economists Thomas Sowell.
  There is a general failure in the african american community on educational and economic levels.  Some of this is due to the fact that until recent years the community has had poor opportunities and been at a competitive disadvantage.  Also the fact that the leadership in the culture was predominated by democratic socialist philosophy; which discourages capitalism.  Lately in America there has been a large movement to get african americans through college.
  However I would argue the key ingredient to success in any community has been lacking in modern times.  That ingredient is the traditional family.  When homes have mothers and fathers at work in the kids lives you see successful generations.the pre-civil rights african americans were more succesful even with government opposition because they had stronger marriages and homes.  Any culture can succeed if we place our lives are in accord with godly principles.
  I think we must also remember that judeo-christian values have served African Americans well.  The Patriarch of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King was an ordained baptist minister.  While the secular lifestyle of the ghetto/projects has done damage to the black community.  The Christian Black middle-class is the most successful of all African peoples on earth.

Why did the OT allow for slavery?
Earth was already cursed by sin when society started.  Man was cursed by sin and the world did not work for him so easily. Prior to a monetary system slavery was a natural system of employment.  It was not abused in a racist fashion  necessarily all the time. And so as mankind had determined to arrange society this way, God respected their decision but put statutes to limit many of the abuses of that system.  This was the best that could be done for that period of history.

Was the New Testament against slavery?

johm 8: 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
  The theme of the New Testament is liberation.  Although this does not always bring earthly results.  The philosophy of the New Testament brings responsibility and liberation. If the soverweignty of the gospel is respected this will result in ethics and even politics.

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
    Now here we see a contradiction with the current notion of slavery.  "Justice and equality" the traditional notion of slavery is to assume the slave as inferior.  
       With the new testament we see strangers in a foreign land.  People who are not mastering the world but serving the world.

   Because of this, Christian's can tolerate all forms of social evil for the purpose of infiltrating the world system and retrieving those living behind it's walls. So it doesn't initiate War against the gentiles over anything.  Yet when it starts to produce more congregations among  the population we start to see manifestations of the heavenly kingdom take place and for Kingdom ethics.
Matthew 5  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
  If you were Jesus disciple wouldn't this drive you to be fair to your fellow man?

6 :19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
   In laying up our treasures, selfless christian would be tempted to give up ownership of salves not the opposite.

24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
          A christian holding slaves may ask themselves, Am I getting in between God and my slave?  the scriptures would pull us away from all forms of tyranny.

23: 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.   

  If you are a servant will you be taking slaves? Wouldn't Christ want you to be humble? How would a slave owning christian have interpreted this verse?

philemon 1:
16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
We are to be servants of God, not man.  we simply serve man out of Love for God.

   No wonder it took only 200 years for bible believing christians to do away with a multiple millenia tradition.  Though it was brought back in the form of communism.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

John R. Rice Speaks about the church

"But the best evidence that the Roman Catholic Church is not built on Peter is that the Bible never mentions any human organization like the apostate, worldly Roman church, and it is absolutely unlike the simple New testament pattern of local independent churches.
the meaning of the word church is important. it never in the Bible means a denomination. Our use of the term church in the phrase,"The Roman Catholic Church," or the phrase "The Methodist Church," is thoroughly unscriptural. Remember the word "church" never means denomination. Catholics are not the church of Christ. Baptists are not the church of Christ. The sectarian group that calls itself "The church of Christ" is not that. The claims of Episcopalians, Greek Catholics, Seventh-Day Adventists, or any other denominational group, that they are "the true church" are untrue. the word Church as used in the Bible, never one time refers to a denomination. The word means "a called out assembly" thus it is used many many times in the New testament of local congregations,..."
"But the assembly of Christ which will be called out to meet Christ at the rapture and will be gathered in the heavenly Jerusalem is also called a church(heb. 12:22,23)."The King of the Jews:A commentary on the gospel according to Matthew page 243 (meaning of the Word church)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Talking politics in ministry

One of the big "hot button" issues that pops up in churches regularly is politics.  Politics can be controversial and yet popular at the same time.  A church can be anti-government politics, or it could be a center for political activism. There is a legitimate need for both.  Some churches have been heroic political activist standing up for there community, values, or a minority.  Some churches have been careful to share the gospel without cultural snares so that even people "on the other side of the tracks" are welcomed and can come to Christ without conditions. In the Bible John the Baptist was fearless in telling society it's need for repentance. (Luke 3:1-14), yet Jesus turned down the offer of being a political king (john 6:15) and confessed his kingdom was not of this world. (john 18:36). Paul teaches us to mind governmental authorities (romans 13), but also Paul was quick to use his rights for protection and spreading the gospel. (acts21:37-23:11)  In America, "we the people" has sovereignty according to our constitution and so we exercise our God given authority to vote.  When dealing with teenagers you should encourage them into a personally responsible lifestyle as they will one day exercise their authority.  We don't need to push issues or ignore them.  We give our opinions(and scripture!) and let them develop theirs. The congregation itself will determine the tone. If they don't want to talk about the subject that is their right, if they like talking about the subject, that's fine as well.  Making sure that a youth who is zealous for righteousness isn't discouraged; and that the kid with a minority opinion is still welcomed as family. If there's a need to get political that's fine, but at some point that will be an activity of a political group instead of the congregation, our job is the gospel. A good line to draw is a biblical opinion at a topic is good, and endorsing a methodology is beyond the church.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A passage supporting the Old Testament Trinity

Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
        Here we see personal distinctions in the Godhead. Why is up to, but only three persons mentioned? Abraham was given a covenant. It was confirm to His son and grandson Isaac and Jacob. It is one covenant with 3 persons, Abraham is the father of many nations a type of the Father. Isaac is a son miraculously born set up to be a sacrifice, Jacob is the Son who grapples and fights for the blessing. All three men are incomplete; yet completed by God. The father is faithful and does not fail his family as abraham did in the case of Ishmael. Christ is miraculously born and goes ahead with being sacrificed as the propitiation for sin. The Holy Spirit obtains the blessings of eternal life, though jacob died in egypt. 3 persons of one godhead.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A few of the scriptures which indicate that God has made promises to ethnic jews...


17 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

   Now many Christians look at the promises to Abraham as spiritual promises. I don't debate those spiritual promises.  But does this text only promise spiritual promises?  Look at verse 2 "multiply thee"; there has to be a connection with abraham. Verse 4 "many nations" Abraham would physically fulfill this with Jews and Arabs. Verse 7 "thy seed after thee in their generations"  The seed is applied to christ and the generations must then be his physical offspring. Verse 8 state "the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession;"   Here all mysticism vanishes with an earthly location.  It was misapplying this doctrine that led to the crusades. vrs. 10-14 drive the point home as the covenant is with physically circumcized ethnic people.



 Exodus 19:And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him.
And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.
And the Lord said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the Lord.
10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

And amendment to the Jewish race is their having been given the mosaic law.  Nottice how they are named "the house of jacob.  Jacob is His fleshly name and therefore the literal family.  In verse 4 they are compared to Egyptians, a different ethnic group.  Then "a peculiar treasure unto me above all people" shows an ethnic comprison.      

deuteronomy 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you.
Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
Your eyes have seen what the Lord did because of Baalpeor: for all the men that followed Baalpeor, the Lord thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day.
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;

Here we see Israel again prior to receiving the Law. Verse 2 shows us a regulative approach to what is being said.  verse 3 gives us a literal understanding of whom is recieveing the law. Israel is identified as those who survived the exodus. (vrs. 4) Here in verse 5 we have a connection to the land of Israel with the statutes and judgements of the Law. (verse 6) "in the sight of the nations" shows the distinction of ethnic Jews with the Gentiles. vrs. 9 the family tradition goes on "teach them to thy sons, and thy sons' sons;"


Psalm 105:8-11

King James Version (KJV)
He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:

 Repeated from genesis 17 and again tying Abraham and the covenant to the land. This is now confirmed as being fulfilled by ethnic Israel and it is confirmed as permanent.

23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not   Even though the pharisees had not been faithful.  They still held office in Israel under the covenant with Moses.  So we see that Israel and the ethnic jews are distinct from the church.

King James Version (KJV)

romans 9: I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
   paul desires the salvation of the ethnic jews who are unfaithful and damned.  He eacknowledges however that these people indeed have covenants and promises from God.

This article is not going to deal with theological implicatons. But to simply deal with the question of whether God has made promises to the ethnic jews.  
In Christ,