• BE SURE TO VISIT MY BLOG AND LEAVE A COMMENT, QUESTION, OR SUGGESTION. THANKS!
  • IF PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD GOD AS HE REALLY IS THEY'D FLOCK TO HIM IN DROVES...
  • JESUS CAME SO WE COULD KNOW WHAT GOD IS LIKE. IF YOU LIKE JESUS YOU'D LIKE GOD
  • THE COMMON DENOMINATOR OF ALL FALSE RELIGION IS THAT MAN CAN SAVE HIMSELF BY HIS OWN WORKS
  • AND GOD WILL WIPE AWAY EVERY TEAR FROM THEIR EYES ... THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEATH, NOR SORROW, NOR CRYING ...
  • NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN,
  • FOR THE FORMER THINGS HAVE PASSED. REV 21:4
  • GOD SEES WHO AND WHAT YOU CAN BECOME IN 10,000 YEARS!
  • YOU ONLY LOVE GOD AS MUCH AS THE PERSON YOU LIKE THE LEAST
Browsing Category:

Christian Living

Jesus told us to be a light to the world – which means we are to reveal His character to this world which is in darkness. Christian Living encompasses that and more, as we consider issues for our day, and decide how we wish to respond. Come join the conversation!

Dr Ben Carson

A Video of Faith, Hope, Belief and Courage

The Ben Carson story is an incredible story – because it’s TRUE! As of this writing he has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for over a quarter of a century. You’ll be inspired as you watch the amazing story of how Carson’s mother, against overwhelming odds, dreamed of a better life for her sons – and made it happen.

I love this story for everything it represents. The world is a better place because of men like Ben Carson, and mothers of faith and courage.
 


 
 

NewsMax Video – Ben Carson Speaks About America

Common sense ideas from Dr. Ben Carson. Here is a man who would make a great President.


 
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rsz_beatles_drum

What Did Lennon Really Believe?

 



Where Do We Place Our Trust?

I grew up as a non-Christian, and music was a major part of my life. As were The Beatles. To say I was a Beatles fanatic is to put it lightly.

But, is music just innocent entertainment, like I believed it was growing up? Or did it influence the way I thought? These are important questions – because as it was shown on the video, whatever our standards of right and wrong are, if they’re not God’s standards, they’re irrelevant. And if they’re irrelevant that means we’ve got a problem.

Why? Because according to God’s standards -

“… all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. Rom 3:23

We’ve all lied, cheated, stolen, and done worse. We’ve let our minds go places when thinking about sex. We’ve put ourselves first ahead of others. And we’ve knowingly disobeyed God.

And when music, the internet, tv, etc., encourage us to “do our own thing” it’s telling us to live to please ourselves only, as if there is no God.

Is Everyone Going To Heaven?

If we’ve sinned against God, we’ve shown we couldn’t be trusted if allowed into heaven … so where does that leave us instead? The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” Rom 6:23 What that means is if our lives are out of harmony with God’s will (which He expressed in the form of the 10 Commandments) – God will leave us to our own desires, He’ll depart. He’ll honor our will and leave us alone. (see Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?”)

Which creates a dilemma. Because when God departs … we die. Why? Because the Scriptures also tell us that God ALONE has immortality … 1 Tim 6:15,16  says God is ” … the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see”.

Bible Study Thoughts - At the CrossAccording to the Bible we don’t go to heaven because we think we’re good, or because we tried to be good … we go to heaven if we believe Jesus is good, and that as a good man He lived a perfect life – which Adam didn’t, in order to save all of humanity who would become repentant for their sins, and trust in what He did in their place. Jesus lived in perfect obedience to God’s laws as a man. This is what makes Him the “second Adam”.  1 Cor 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” That is, all who choose Jesus. We can remain in Adam, or be born again in Christ.

NOTE: So was John Lennon a Christian? Watch the video to discover the answer!

Comments or Questions? Leave your input below, or ask any question you’d like using the feedback form in the right sidebar.facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

rsz_evolution(1)

I Was A Pseudo-Atheist

For most of my first 24 years of life I considered myself to be an atheist (which also turned out to be quite convenient considering the lifestyle I was living). I was 24 years old when I surrendered my heart to Christ, and asked Him to be my Savior.

Interestingly, though most of the time I considered myself an atheist, I now realize it wasn’t as much that I didn’t believe in God as it was that I was mad at Him. Like I said, I was an atheist for most of 24 years, but not all of them.

Bible Study Thoughts.com - ChurchI have memories of being a very young child and going to church with a family who were friends of my mother. I also remember we moved a lot. Often when we’d move my mother would form friendships with our new neighbors and she’d attend whatever church they did. That meant us kids did too.

I remember as a young child having a heart that was wide open for God. When we’d go to our neighbors churches I’d pay attention to the Sunday School teacher and the pastor, and react favorably. Probably the biggest influence of all came in the form of a set of Bible Story books my parents got. I would read them for hours and stare at the pictures on the pages which depicted the story in visual form and imagine myself right in the story.

And then something happened

A Rough Beginning

I’ll be disclosing some personal information here, but I need to so you’ll understand the depth of feeling I had when I kicked God out of my life, and went on to believe I was an atheist.

I grew up in a very abusive situation. I had a step-father who was introduced to me as my real father when I was 5 or 6 years old. He and my mother had split up and when he left her they had 2 kids, my older brother and sister. When he came back he had 2 more – me and a younger brother.  As I said, I was introduced to my step-father when I was around 5, so during my first 5 years I grew up without a father in the home.

At about age 3 or 4 I started realizing all my friends had fathers – but I didn’t. So I started bugging my mom trying to find out where my father was (I didn’t know I was the product of an affair, and at that age wouldn’t have known what an affair was anyway).

That motivated her to track down her first husband. When she found him he was in the Air Force. The Air Force threatened him with a dishonorable discharge for deserting his family if he didn’t go back to my mother immediately.Apparently he and my mother had gotten married, had my older brother and sister, and then separated. But they never went through the legal proceedings of getting a divorce.

Of course I knew none of this.

So imagine my surprise when he showed up. I finally met my “daddy” – and he wanted nothing to do with me. Neither one of my parents told me I wasn’t his. He was introduced to me as my father, so I thought he was. His first day home he kept ignoring me, and giving me angry looks when I tried to get his attention. Finally I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm any longer and I excitedly ran to him and hugged him around the legs crying out “daddy, daddy”.

He promptly got a vise like grip on my head, put it between his legs, and started spanking me. I remember panicking, and being confused. I was terrified because I was being beat and didn’t know what I had done. When he finally released me I went running to my mother and buried my head in her skirt and kept crying, “What did I do?” “What did I do?”

My mother angrily confronted him asking what I’d done wrong and he came close to me, pointed his finger in my face and said with venom, “boy don’t you ever call me “daddy” again – you call me dad“. Trust me, I never again called him “daddy”.

From Bad to Worse

BibleStudyThoughts.comI won’t go into all the gory details (the real bad stuff), but things didn’t get any better after that first day. There were almost continual spankings for imaginary crimes I’d committed, accompanied by angry looks. I was constantly being accused of doing things I hadn’t done and getting whippings, etc. One example  is my step-father would accuse me of stealing cigarettes out of his carton and I’d be in trouble. When I was around 9 years old I figured if I was going to get in trouble for stealing them I might as well do it, so I started stealing his cigarettes and smoking when I was 9 or 10.

As I said, we moved a lot, which led to me getting real a shock when we moved to New Britain, CT, and I needed a birth certificate to attend school. I was about 9 or 10 years old at the time. Well the birth certificate came and it had a different last name. That’s when I was told the name I’d been using all my life wasn’t mine, and who I thought I was wasn’t true – because the name on my birth certificate was the last name of my real father. I was in a daze and nothing seemed real. I cried and cried because I felt like I was no longer a part of the family. It felt like being ‘kicked out’.

I think the worse thing about growing up in an abusive home was the unpredictability. There was no way to prevent the abuse, because it wasn’t based on what you did. In fact, there weren’t really any right choices because you were going to “get it” no matter what.

That, and the insults and name calling. I was told constantly, “I hate the day you were born – boy” (he always said the word “boy” with venom). “I wish you’d never been born”. “I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you”. “You’re not worth a pot to piss in”. “You’ll never amount to anything”. “You don’t have what it takes to be a ____ “(whatever I was excited about). “I can’t wait for the day you leave, here’s $20 – don’t let the door hit you on the _ _ _ on the way out” (of course he wasn’t really going to give me $20 – but he would’ve been fine with me leaving)

So at about age 10 I started running away from home. I ran away several times and it was always ‘reckoning day’ for me when I’d get caught. I’d be taken down to the police station and have to be picked up by my step- father. Needless to say I was terrified when he’d get me.

And then there was church – and God – which I’ll share in my next post, “How I Found God” – Part 2 …

 

 

 

 

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Apple Books

And Then There Was Church

Bible Study Thoughts - Part 2As I said in Part 1, there was a church influence in my early years, but it was sporadic since we moved so much. My heart was really open to God (as I think most children’s are), and I absorbed the lessons I was being taught, the sermons I heard, and the Bible Story books my parents had bought.

More than anything I liked church because I was treated so nice by my Sunday School teachers and pastors, which was such a break from my experience at home.

I believed everything I was being taught and developed what I believed was total faith in the promises of God. I believed God loved me and it was truly a relief from the abuse I got at home. My step-father hated me (he liked to remind me of that every chance he got), but at least I knew that God loved me.

But then something happened.

Rusty

rsz_irish_setterI somehow talked my mother into letting me keep a stray dog that wandered into our yard one day. He was probably a mix of ‘something’ and Irish Setter because he had long red hair. I named him Rusty. It didn’t take long for Rusty and I to become best friends.

Then one day he disappeared.

I was probably still around 10 years old or so and I had an innocent, childlike faith in God. Because I knew God loved me I knew He would bring Rusty back. I’d been told in Sunday School that if I had enough faith – God would do anything for me. I even got that confirmed a couple times from my Sunday School teacher to be sure.

Well, I was so happy because I had faith that God would bring Rusty back. I was 100% convinced Rusty was coming home and would even stare out the window day after day looking for him. Finally, after weeks of waiting it sunk in that Rusty wasn’t coming back.

Betrayal

I can’t even begin to describe how betrayed I felt by God. My step-father hated me but at least he never acted like he’d love me and always be there for me (God had) – he let me know from day 1 he didn’t want me. But even the pain of my stepfathers rejection was endurable – because I had a God who loved me and even wanted me to call Him Father. I had someone I could trust. Someone who would never let me down.

And that’s why my belief that Rusty was coming back was so strong. Because I really trusted God. Which I why I felt so betrayed by Him, because I believed He said if I trusted Him completely that what I asked for would come to pass. I’d been taught that and even reassured that it was true.

Which could only mean one thing. I’d been deceived. God lied to me.

So I got angry with God. Actually it was more like rage. Rage at God, and, rage at myself for letting my guard down and being duped.

Unpardonable Anger?

I went outside and started screaming at God (through my tears) to get out of my life. I yelled at Him that I never wanted to have anything to do with Him again. In fact, I was so mad at Him I tried to commit the unpardonable sin. I wasn’t sure what that sin was, but I couldn’t think of anything worse than using swear words at God – so I cussed Him out and made a certain gesture.

That, I believed, would be the last of it. I didn’t see how God could ever forgive me for screaming and cussing at Him like I did, so I felt it was forever over between me and God, that He would never want me again after that – so we were through. At the ripe age of 10.

School Influence

Bible Study Thoughts.comNot too long afterwards I remember being in an elementary school music class and having a teacher we all thought was ‘cool’. Looking back I know we thought that because that’s what he wanted us to think. As an adult he was much more sophisticated than we were, so it wasn’t too hard to be impressed by an adult “acting cool”.

One day in class the discussion somehow turned to whether or not there was a God.

Our teacher, while projecting an air of refinement and finesse, confidently assured us there was no God. Believe it or not that sparked a pretty intense debate with some of the kids peppering him with questions.

He just patiently smiled, let the ‘hubbub’ die down, and then used the following reasoning …

I explain his reasoning in - “Why There Is No God” – coming up in How I Found God – Part III.

How I Found God – Part IV - “Hook, Line, and Sinker”

How I Found God – Part V - “The Ouija Board”

How I Found God – Part VI

 

NOTE: Please feel free to comment or share in the space below.

If you have a personal question intended just for me simply use the feedback form in the right sidebar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bible magnified

# 1)  Get the Big Picture First

Bible Study by Reading the Bible Through Before considering different ways of studying the Bible it’s a good idea to get the big picture first. How do we do that? By reading it all the way through while asking ourselves, “What does this tell me about God?”

One of the biggest benefits you’ll get by reading the Bible completely through is you’ll see how God relates to people over an extended period of time. I always tell people to reserve judgement about what they read, and not to be impatient when they come across parts that are hard to understand. Things become a lot clearer when the Bible is taken as a whole.

This is the exact way Jesus did it when He appeared to the men on the road to Emmaus after He’d been crucified, and had risen from the dead. The Scriptures say, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:27

This means that Jesus, rather than turning to a couple of “proof texts” to explain the events which had occurred in Jerusalem to Cleopas and his friend – took them on a broad tour through the entire Bible.

It says, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets” He expounded to them …”

Let’s see – Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and possibly Job. Add in “all the prophets” and you’ve got most of the Old Testament (the NT hadn’t been written yet). This is saying Jesus gave a Bible study on a certain topic (His birth, life, death and resurrection) which took Him through most of the Bible which was in existence at that time.

rsz_1_year_chronological_bible

Click Here

TAKEAWAY TIP # 1: A great way to go through the Bible – whether you’ve read it before or not – is to get a chronological, one-year Bible. This type of Bible makes it much easier to read through because it’s broken down into daily readings. That’s the 1-year part.

Also, by getting one which is chronological it takes the events from start to finish in the order in which they occurred. Many people aren’t aware that the Bible isn’t compiled in the exact order in which the events occurred. The chronological comes as close as possible to exact order, with some speculation about the exact time of certain books, e.g., Job.

The second thing that makes it easier is the translations.  There are 2 versions of a Chronological, 1 Year Bible. They are the New Living Translation (NLT) and the New International Version (NIV). I much prefer the New Living Translation because it reads like a story and makes it really easy to stick with it. I’ve gone through the NLT twice this way and thoroughly enjoyed it each time.

# 2) Get the Right Mindset

Bible Study Thoughts - ThinkerAnother aspect of  “Getting the Big Picture” is having the right mindset before you begin your study.  Doing this takes an understanding of what makes the Bible different from any other book … so let’s look at that.

Here are a few interesting facts about the Bible that make it unlike any other book in human history:

First, the Bible claims to have been inspired by our Creator – think about that!!! (more on this below)

  • It was written over a period of 1500 years
  • It had 40 different authors
  • The authors were from 19 different occupations
  • It contains history, poetry, drama, & prophecy – all telling the same story from start to finish
  • The Bible tells us who we are, i.e., where we came from; why we’re here; and where we’re going
  • Unlike other books of antiquity the Bible records the true record of it’s heroes and it’s nation. It’s honest about their defeats when they happen and it openly discloses the faults of it’s heroes.  Again, this is different from other books of antiquity, which “doctored” their stories, covered up their defeats, and ‘deified’ their heroes

INSPIRED BY YOUR CREATOR

Before going on I’d like to elaborate on the first point I made above – the claim of inspiration.

The Bible claims it was inspired by God, i.e., the One who made us. Rather than take it for granted wrap your mind around that for a second then ask yourself -

Q. What if that’s true? What if the Bible really is a communication to us from our Creator? Wouldn’t that have profound implications?

A. I believe it would.

Bible Study Thoughts - galaxyHere are some fascinating quotes I’ve taken from Isaiah chapters 45 & 46. What’s amazing about them is they claim to be God Himself speaking to us in the first person. Did you catch that? God Himself speaking! The Bible, several times in Isaiah chapters 40-46, is filled with incredible claims. It claims our Creator is speaking. I’ve gleaned just a few to give you a sample of what’s said in these chapters:

“Thus says the Lord who made you, And formed you from the womb, who will help you.” Isa 44:2

“I am the Lord, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me.” Isa 45:5

“I have made the earth, And created man on it. I … My hands … stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded.” Isa 45:12

“Look to Me and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of my mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess.” Isa 45:22,23

TAKEAWAY TIP #2: We lead busy lives and it’s so easy to treat the Bible as an ordinary book, or to view its reading or study as a routine task we’ve obligated ourselves to do. So here’s a tip … Before you begin get the right mindset.

Stop and think about the book you’re about to open. Before you open it, say a short prayer to God and ask Him to guide you in your understanding. Use God’s Word as the focal point of your prayer.

For example, in Isaiah 55:11 God’s Word says, “My word shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and prosper in the thing for which it was sent”. Ask Him to accomplish in your life exactly what He wants His word to accomplish, and to prosper His word in your life for the exact purpose for which He sent it. That’s how you make the Word the focal point of your prayers. You’re praying for what He said in the text to happen in your life.

So one way you can  do a topical study through Scripture is to compile a list of texts referring to your topic.

In the above example I used God’s Word as a topic, so, if you wanted to get creative and dig a little deeper you could go through the Bible and compile a list of texts on God’s Word.  There are TONS of them you can use but here’s a few for starters: Mt 4:4; Prov 2:1-6; Ps 119:49-50, 67, 81, & 130.

Besides all the great Scripture you’ll be learning and applying in your life this can help keep you from feeling daily Bible study is too routine.

# 3) Get Objections Out of the Way

rsz_questionsSometimes when I mention studying the Bible people will raise objections. Here’s a few of them, which I’ll follow afterwards with suggestions on to deal with them:

  • The Bible’s too intimidating
  • It doesn’t make sense to me
  • No one knows what’s right, that’s why there’s so many different denominations
  • The Bible isn’t relevant to our culture today
  • and many more …

 

TAKEAWAY TIP #3: Deal with any objections you may have to studying the Bible.

Write down any thoughts you’re having that can affect you in a negative way, then think them through. For example, here’s a few responses to the objections listed above.

“The Bible’s too intimidating”. That’s ok! We feel intimidated about a lot of things we do when we’re first getting started. Did you feel intimidated the first time you drove a car? Had to give a speech in school? Asked a girl out on a date (or agreed to one if you’re a gal)?

“It doesn’t make sense to me”. Hmmm. Did chemistry make sense the first time you attended? Or algebra? Or a foreign language you learned? Of course not! The Bible is like everything else. The more you spend time with it the more sense it’ll start making to you.

No one knows what’s right, that’s why there’s so many different denominations.” You’re right, there are a lot of denominations. But you don’t need to join them all. Nor do you need perfect understanding. What’s more important than that is having a right heart and a right spirit. Just concentrate on what does seem right, and stack the odds in your favor by going on the weight of evidence.

For example. Let’s say I want to know what happens when a person dies. I can take a Bible concordance (basically an index) and trace my topic through all of Scripture. If I find 30 texts on my topic, and 24 of them are saying one thing, but 6 of them seem to be saying something else, I can go by the weight of evidence and feel safe going with the 24, and use them to try to better understand what the other 6 are saying in their context.

One reason for so many denominations is people not using the weight of evidence to formulate a doctrine, but going on maybe 1-6 texts on a topic while either being ignorant of or ignoring everything else.

Bible Study Thoughts - flesh vs spirit

The Church vs The World

The Bible isn’t relevant to our culture today.” Really? When was it ever relevant? Just joking (kind of) but think about it like this … there always has been, and always will be, a tension between the ways of God and the culture around us. The Bible says, “Come out from among them and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing”. 2 Cor. 6:17. It also says, “we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth” 1 Pet. 2:11  And, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Rom 12:2 While cultures are different principles will always remain the same. As will the tension between the church and the world (just as it is for the individual – see Gal 5:17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh“)

 

God bless everyone,

 

 

Virgil

p.s. I hope you feel you got some good tips on how to study the Bible. If so, be sure to comment below and share your input. If you have any personal questions about Bible study or becoming a Christian please contact me using the contact form in the right sidebar.

 

 

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Wrong Way Thumbnail

Is Ignorance Bliss or Deadly?

 

Many seem content to avoid God at all costs.

They play games, buy things, party, keep finding new partners, chase the almighty dollar … BUT
One day their eyes will close, their hearts will stop, and their life on earth will be over.

 

Sometimes What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You!

Bible Study Thoughts - Jesus is coming!

Not a care in the world.

Decided you don’t need to know what the Bible says?

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You …

“But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.” Zech 7:11

Start Paying Attention!

 

Any Thoughts About This?

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Bible Study Thoughts - Church

Video – Reasons People Don’t Attend Church

While I can’t say I agree with EVERYTHING in this video, I’m on board with probably 90-95% of it. It made some excellent points. The question is – what do YOU think of it?
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Jesus and ChildrenI thought the video had some excellent answers to:

  • I can’t go to church until I get my life together
  • Churches are filled with a bunch of hypocrites
  • All they care about is my money …

The video gives good answers to the above reasons people give for not attending church, plus several more.

 

Your Thoughts?

Please share your thoughts about the video in the comment section below!facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Bible Study Thoughts - Church

Video – Reasons People Don’t Attend Church

While I can’t say I agree with EVERYTHING in this video, I’m on board with probably 90-95% of it. It made some excellent points.

 

as seen on: http://jesus-loves-you.org/reasons-people-dont-go-to-church/

 

Jesus and Children

I thought the video make some excellent points about:

  • I can’t go to church until I get my life together
  • Churches are filled with a bunch of hypocrites
  • All they care about is my money …

They have answers to the above reasons people give for not attending church, plus several more.

 

Your Thoughts?

Tell us your thoughts about the video below!

Bible Study Thoughts - Courthouse

Bible Authority and Moral Relativism

Bible Study Facts - LawDoes the Bible have authority over our lives?  If it does – is it absolute? Why, or why not?

These are  important questions, because people without a Biblical worldview don’t have a reason to subject their values to any higher power than themselves. This is why moral relativism is such a problem, i.e., if there is no higher authority, no absolute truth – who are you to impose your values on me? What gives you the right to tell me your morals are better or more important than mine?

Answer?

If there is no Governing Authority, and no Absolute Power – then I don’t have the right to assert my values are any more legitimate than yours. But if the values aren’t mine, but originate with One who DOES have absolute authority, then that’s a whole different ballgame.

Moral Relativism in History

Moral relativism has been developing for some time now. In fact, it started in the Garden of Eden when the serpent posed the question to our first parents – “Hath God said?” – and then went on to impugn God and His motives for daring to impose His values (His authority) above theirs. Adam and Eve chose their own values (self-exaltation) – when they chose to presume they could “be like God” by eating the forbidden fruit (an attempt to be more exalted than they were), and asserted their wills above God’s. We all know the result.

This spirit continued in Biblical times during the period of the Judges, when, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).  No King = no higher authority = no clear standard for everyone to live by.

It continued with Shakespeare, who was born in what is called the Elizabethan period, or the English Renaissance (1558-1603). One of Shakespeare’s most quoted lines is uttered by the character Polonius in the play Hamlet “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” While on the surface this looks correct, it leads to a problem when what is true to one man (self) finds itself in opposition to what is true to another. Everyone’s “own truth” doesn’t work. Because what happens when they conflict? Whose values matter most then? See what happens(?) – we’re back at square one again.

Bible study thoughts - hippiesThe spirit of “my will as supreme” continued with Aleister Crowley, an early 20th century British writer and ceremonial magician, who developed a religion called Thelema. Crowley’s writings played a major role in what was to transpire in music and culture throughout the rest of the century. His religions main theme was “Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law”. Crowley was revered by popular musical groups such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, et al. “Do what thou wilt soon morphed into the 1960′s saying “Do your own thing“.

This was followed by post-modernism, which is the dominant culture produced by public education in the latter 20th and early 21st century. Post-modernism’s mantra seems to be that there are no moral absolutes and everyone has their own reality. Since everyone has their own reality then it necessarily follows that no one has the right to claim their reality to be more correct or appropriate than anyone else’s.

The Bible Is Absolute

Which brings us to the Bible, or, more specifically – the God of the Bible.

You know, the Bible is a fascinating book. There is nothing else like it in all of human history. In fact, there’s nothing even close!

In my mind the single greatest thing which separates it from all other books is the claims it makes for itself. The Bible unequivocally  claims to be inspired by God – our Creator – the Creator of the entire universe.

Listen to the following verses where, if they are to be believed, God is speaking to us in the first person!!

There are many to choose from but to me there is no better section to gleam texts of God speaking than in Isaiah chapters 40-46. In fact I HIGHLY recommend you read those chapters if you aren’t familiar with them … Here’s a few quotes claiming to be God Himself speaking:

  • “Thus says the Lord who made you, And formed you from the womb …” Isa 44:2
  • “Thus says the Lord , the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts; I am the First and the Last; Besides Me there is no God” Isa 44:6,7
  • “I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another …” Isa 42:8
  • “I have made the earth, and created man on it. I – My hands – stretched out the heavens, and all their host I have commanded.” Isa 45:12
  • “Look to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return (i.e., shall not return “void” – see Isa 55:11), that to Me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess” Isa 45:22,23

Do you see why I enjoy this section of scripture so much? I just pulled out a few. Texts like these go on and on with God claiming exclusivity in the “ultimate authority” department.

QUESTION …

What If It’s True?

What if it’s true? What if the Bible really is a communication to us from our Creator? Wouldn’t that have profound implications?

I believe it would!

For one thing if the Bible really is a book of messages to us from our Creator, that would mean there is an authority greater than my own that I am accountable to. To say otherwise is to say God doesn’t have the right to be God. How absurd is that, if He made us?

Profound Implications

Bible Study Thoughts - Star ClustersIf God is God His rightful place is to be the center of the universe – around Whom everything – animate and inanimate, revolves. This should be obvious because without the Creator nothing even exists.

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.” Rev 4:11

The Bible says that only God has immortality (see 1 Tim 6:16), meaning we were not only created by Him, but we are also dependent upon Him to continue living.

Because we are His creation God gets to decide how the creatures He has created are to live. God’s commandment is that we love each other. And the Bible says we will be judged for what we did with the life we were given, and that one day we’ll stand before God and give an account. And guess what that amounts to?

Moral absolutes!

Jesus said it perfectly when He was tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread to satisfy His hunger after He’d fasted 40 days and nights.

What did Jesus say?

“It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
Mt 4:4

Living by every word that proceeds out of someone’s mouth is a definition of submission to an absolute authority – is it not? So my answer to the original question I posed is “YES!” … the Bible DOES have ABSOLUTE authority!

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THE NEXT QUESTION to ask would be – How does God use authority? Is He fair or abusive? And, can God be trusted with absolute authority?

That, my friends, is the subject for another post!

But meanwhile … tell me your thoughts in the comment section below. Do you agree with what I’ve written here? Disagree? Do you have any questions or anything to add?

 

NOTE:  Have you seen my new book? Check out the introduction here: http://biblestudythoughts.com/romans-7-14-25

 

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Bible Study Thoughts - More Drama

A good question to ask …

Talking about Christianity is one thing. But when it comes to living like a Christian it’s easy to cut ourselves some slack but not be nearly as forgiving of others.

So  here’s a good question to ask if you find yourself getting bugged by people in your church …

 

Bible Study ThoughtsWhat kind of church, would my church be, if everyone in it was JUST LIKE ME?

 

If it was like me would it _____?:

  • Would it be a more kind and loving church?
  • Would there be a lot of volunteers?
  • Would it be warm and friendly to visitors, and make them feel welcome?
  • Would it stand for one thing while at church, but do another thing the rest of the week?
  • Would it attract people who wanted help?
  • Would it be a loyal friend who is safe to confide in?
  • Would it refuse to gossip about others?
  • Would it be on time to meetings and keep commitments?

Hmmm.

Bible Study Thoughts - ChurchWhat kind of church, would my church be, if everyone in it was JUST LIKE ME?

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What are some questions you would add?

Please comment below.

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