Friday, April 25, 2008

False Knowledge

"O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called 'knowledge' (science, KJV) -- which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith" (1 Timothy. 6:20-21).

Tonight I was able to watch Ben Stein's movie, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. It is a documentary about the efforts to silence and discredit those who offer an alternative to the theory of evolution -- namely, Intelligent Design. It was very well done and I highly recommend you see it.

During the movie, one scientist described how adopting the theory of evolution led him to give up his belief in God. How sad that one would stop believing in God due to pressure to believe an improbable, unproven, and unprovable theory. Yet this is what Paul warned Timothy about -- some straying from the faith by following after bogus knowledge.

We must have faith in God and His word, realizing that all of the Bible is true (Psalm 119:160). Many scientists mock the Genesis account of God creating the universe from nothing. Some of our own brethren have questioned the days of Genesis 1 being literal, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and the universal flood. But what does the word of God say? And will we believe it, or try to explain it away?

If one can justify in his mind the belief that the days of Genesis 1 are figurative, there was no real serpent in the garden, or that the Genesis flood was only regional, what part of the Bible is safe from reinterpretation? Where would one draw the line? Or how could one draw a line?

If we want to be saved, we must love and believe the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10,12). This means we must simply accept what the Bible teaches, even if others disagree. So when we read in the Bible about Creation, the flood, the virgin birth of Jesus, His resurrection from the dead, or any other topic, let's just believe what the word of God says. It is the simplest course. And it is the only safe course.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

In Spirit and Truth

"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24).

This passage is often cited to show how we are to worship. We must worship God in spirit and truth. In spirit -- with the proper attitude, recognizing the greatness of God and the inferiority of man, humbly offering our praise to Him. In truth -- according to the pattern He has revealed, worshipping God as He would desire.

As we worship God in spirit and truth, it is only natural for us to feel various emotions. Emotions are certainly not wrong. After all, possessing emotions is one of the ways in which we have been made in the image of God. We do get into a problem, though, when we begin to focus on inciting emotions within ourselves rather than simply worshipping in spirit and truth. We might well call this emotionalism.

The goal of emotionalism is to create some emotion or some feeling in someone (joy, sadness, etc.). Instead of being a natural byproduct of worship that is done in spirit and truth, these feelings are pursued. The focus is not simply on what pleases the Creator (proper worship done with the proper attitude), but what pleases the creation (what evokes the emotion we seek).

Those who follow the path of emotionalism may argue that they just want to focus on the spirit part of worship since so many in the church have neglected that for the truth part. But to worship in spirit means to worship with the proper attitude. To be a true worshiper of God, we must focus on our attitudes and actions, not emotions! As I said, certain emotions will be a natural byproduct of worshipping in spirit and truth. But they are just that -- a byproduct. They are not to be our focus.

We may hear of some Christians who change what is done in their assemblies or rearrange the furniture in order to make their worship better. But better to whom? To God or to us? God is pleased when we worship Him with the proper attitudes and actions. Moving chairs in a circle does not affect this. The only thing affected is our emotions.

Those who are following after emotionalism need to learn (or be reminded of) why it is that we worship. It is not to make ourselves feel a certain way. It is to praise, honor, and glorify Almighty God.

Monday, April 7, 2008

BOTC - April 2008

The new issue of Banner of the Cross is now online and contains the following article:

A Model for Personal Evangelism by Andy Sochor

Banner of the Cross

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

PBT - April 2008

The April issue of Plain Bible Teaching is now online with the following articles:

The Restoration Plea by Andy Sochor
Do Miracles Happen Today? by Tim Haile
The Sabbath Day by Larry R. DeVore
Some Thoughts on Persecution by Andy Sochor

You can read the new articles by clicking on the link below. I hope you may find the new material helpful to you.

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