SBTS rejects calls for reparations

Today I read an article in the news that said a predominantly black college had asked Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for reparations in the amount of fifty thousand dollars. I’m very glad that the president of SBTS, Albert Mohler, rejected their call for reparations.

What I can’t understand is how anyone from this school had the nerve to ask the SBT Seminary for fifty grand in the name of reparations. And what Biblical justification did this school present to SBTS? The story of Jesus telling Zaccheus to repay the taxes he had stolen, claiming this was a story about making reparations. First of all, this is a story about repaying something that was stolen by someone specific to someone specific. Not his great great grandchildren repaying someone else’s great great grandchildren. Second, this story has nothing to do with reparations, it’s about restitution. Big difference between the two that some people apparently need to learn.

To me what this boils down to is a school that could stand to do better financially is looking for free, easy money. But how people think one some people owe other people money based on something some other people did over 100 years ago before any of us were in existence will always be beyond me.

https://www.christianpost.com/news/sbts-refuses-request-to-pay-reparations-to-black-college-over-ties-to-slavery.html?uid=58eaf7b1b8

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A God of love and judgment.

I often hear people say we shouldn’t judge because God is a God of love so we should just love and accept everyone. These same people will quote John 3:16 as proof that God loves us all, and will even go on to quote verse 17 as proof that even Jesus didn’t come to condemn us. But any basic Bible student knows that’s not how we read the Scripture. We must know the entire context because that’s not the entire message.

John 3:13-21 NKJV
No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. [14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [15] that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. [16] For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. [17] For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. [18] “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [19] And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. [20] For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. [21] But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

Jesus didn’t come to condemn us because we are already condemned. And how are we condemned? By God’s righteous judgment. By judgment! So someone might respond by saying we should only proclaim good news, not bad news. But look what it says in Proverbs:

Proverbs 13:24 NKJV
He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

It’s not love at all if we don’t try to help people recognize and repent of their sins. If we are to proclaim the GOOD news of the gospel, we have to understand why it is good by recognizing that there is bad news. The bad news is that we are condemned and hell bound. The good news is that there is a Savior in Jesus.

We’re not doing anyone any favors by keeping them from the truth. We must repent of all our sins. And society does not dictate what is and is not a sin. God’s entire word does. If we love Jesus, we are to strive to keep His commandments. All of them.

Signing Bibles in #Alabama

Today the left is outraged about the President signing Bibles in Alabama. I would think their outrage is genuine, if I knew most of them don’t care for Christians anyway and if they just automatically hated everything the president does, even if it were curing cancer. I’m not a Trump supporter, but I can recognize if he does something I agree with. I was the same with Obama.

So yes, the left is upset that Trump was signing Bibles. Is it right for people to sign Bibles? That’s actually been a debate I’ve heard for as long as I’ve been alive. I’ve seen pastors and speakers sign Bibles all the time. My dad has written inscriptions and signed Bibles he has given to me. But I’ve personally never asked anyone to sign my Bible. I’ve only even put my own name in a select few of them. Just always seemed weird to me to have someone sign a book God wrote. I’ve asked authors to sign their books, but never someone else’s. I knew of one speaker/author who thought it was strange to sign Bibles, but generally obliged someone if he was asked to do so.

The main thing that was super odd to me about the Trumps signing of Bibles today is that they were signing the outside cover of the Bible, which I had never seen before. Typically someone who signs a Bible would sign on the inside of the cover or on the first page, but never on the outside. But I know most celebrities sign the outside of things so if the president and first lady had never been asked to sign a Bible before or had never seen it done, they probably did what came natural and just signed the outside. For the Bibles I saw they had signed, they were not expensive Bibles so it was not a big deal to sign the outside. But some Bibles are bound in genuine leather and can cost well over $100 and to sign the outside of one of those Bibles would not be practical. Hopefully someone informs the first family before someone hands them an expensive family Bible.

#Preterism – Study the prophets in context

I’ve recently decided to reread the old testament prophets. But I really wanted to do it in context. I feel many people (including myself) read the Scriptures but don’t fully understand the context of what’s being written, and therefore can’t fully embrace and understand the message. After studying preterism and how prophecy points to Christ and the end of the Jewish age in 70 AD, I decided to reread the prophets with that understanding instead of the usual “it’s talking about our near future” kind of mentality in America. So I decided to read the prophets in chronological order with the understanding it was written to a specific people for a specific purpose regarding their future, not mine.

So I’m excited about this venture, and I hope others will so the same. On a side note, Kenneth Gentry on his site has a new book for sale about the book of Daniel from a preterist viewpoint. I of course ordered it right away and can’t wait for it to come in.

A Christian walking alone among Christians

If you know me, you know I was no fan of the president during the campaign. I saw empty promises, vulgar language, immaturity and bullying and knew this country could do better with literally anyone else. I would never vote for a man who acts like that. Not who acted like that in his past, but acts like that currently with no remorse. So I didn’t vote for him. I voted third party. If you want to say I wasted my vote or technically gave it to the other candidate, first of all your ignorant, second that’s another conversation.

But my reason for not voting for Trump and still not liking his attitude isn’t one that comes from thinking I’m better than him or anyone else. I was raised by Christians, around Christians. I was raised with Christian values. And while I certainly haven’t always been the shining example of a Christian, I’ve always repented and tried to improve where I have sinned. I was taught to love and respect others. And that included calling out sin that was sin, not approving of it or tolerating it, because that’s not true love. I saw how Christians reacted to the issues surrounding Bill Clinton in the 90s, and how the honor and character of a president mattered.

But with Trump, that all seemed to go out the window. And throughout 2016, I talked to many Christians, including the people I grew up with. They all had their reasons for supporting Trump, but they all had to ignore everything I had been told by these same people growing up. No one could tell me why it was ok to make fun of people, call them names, make fun of their family, blatantly lie, use vulgar language, talk very crudely about people, women in particular, and all the while state that they don’t need or ask for forgiveness from God because they do nothing wrong. It all seemed to be in the hopes of having protection, power and a voice. Getting favorable supreme court justice picks and a seat at the table with the president’s ear at hand. But it didn’t seem like enough to be willing to sacrifice my values for, because nothing could make me sacrifice my values because they came from the word of God. And my vote was an approval of this man, and I could not give it.

Since 2016, I have not changed my mind or beliefs about anything concerning the president. Neither have other Christians who voted for him. I’ve seen Christians support him 100% on everything, rushing to his defense, even when he was wrong. Seeing so many Christians that are close friends and family continue to support Trump has often (almost daily) made me question my stance. But each day I remember the lessons I was taught, what I’ve read and learned from God’s word, and I just can’t in good conscience compromise my personal beliefs to support this president. I try to block out all of the media influences, both con and pro, and look at it from a purely Biblical perspective, and I see supporting some of Trump’s policies as ok, but overall how he treats other people overrides all of that. He is a world leader, and he has set a terrible example for future presidents. As always, I will continue to evaluate my beliefs based on the Scripture, I just hope my friends and family will do the same.

Associating with #Q #QAnon hurts the Christian witness

It is my personal opinion that Christians associating with this Q conspiracy does great harm to their witness to the world.

If you’re easily offended and outraged by opposing views, stop reading here for your own good.

Christians worry about the government or the left taking away our freedom and religious liberty. But frankly, they don’t have to do any of that. Since 2016, Christians have done the job themselves by taking away our own credibility.

It started in 2016 with Christians overwhelmingly helping to nominate Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for president. Of all the candidates available for the nomination, Trump was the last that should have been chosen by any Christian. But to me it was a testament to where the heart of many so called Christians in America really were. They didn’t want someone who accurately reflected Christian leadership and values, they wanted a bully who would work for them to name call, cuss out, demean and push around the opposition. Christianity was too soft for that job.

So it happened. Trump won the nomination and we move on. Except for some reason, every major evangelical leader wanted to attach themselves to Trump. This began to alienate people from Christianity in general. Outsiders and nonbelievers saw that Trump was a perfect reflection of the values and teachings of Christianity. If so many leaders supported him and stood up for him, how could he not be? Why else would they do it?

Then came post election time. Ok, now that he’s elected, we can move on, right? No. Christians insisted on giving Trump full vocal support. And no matter what things he said or did, Christians were unmovable in their support. But this has only stood to alienate nonbelievers in Christianity even more. They want nothing to do with Trump, but the Christian support is so strong for him (I dare say even stronger than their support for Jesus) many do not distinguish Christians from Trump. And then Christians didn’t like the opposition to Trump, so someone invited a fictitious character named Q as an insider informant, and now that nonsense has most Christians looking like a bunch of lunatics. When people here someone is a Christian in this country, they automatically associate them with supporting a terrible man and believes crazy crackpot conspiracy theories that have no basis in reality.

So now what has all this done? Well, whether you support the president or not, or even believe in Q or not, continued vocal support for Trump and Q have completely alienated Christians from anyone who isn’t a Christian Trump supporter and Q believer. This would all be perfectly fine with most Christian Trump Q supporters I suspect, except that our calling from Jesus was to go and preach the gospel and make disciples of all the nations. And now we can’t even do that with our own neighbors because we have cut ourselves off from them all in the name of supporting a man who won’t be in office after 2024 at the latest.

But thanks to the fact Christians insisted on making support for the president their top, public priority, Christianity and Trump can’t be separated. Then add on this Q conspiracy nonsense, it validates to the world that we’re just plain nuts. And is standing firm on the belief in Q and vocal support for the president through the bad to worse he says and does worth ruining our Christian testimony? No, not at all. Whether you like it or not, that’s the reality of what happened. And we need these people to hear the gospel. Trump and Q are not a part of the gospel. They can and should be pushed to the shadows, so the gospel can once again stand alone in the light to the world, as it always should have been.

No matter your beliefs, no political stance or political conspiracy theory is worth losing our Christian credibility to the world. If you disagree with that statement, you’re wrong. You’re just wrong, and it would be wrong to try and justify it. First, let this Q insanity go. It’s silly. Or at least make it a private thing. Second, Trump has and will make mistakes. Stop defending everything about him. It’s ok to say someone’s wrong and still want to vote for them. But maybe keep that support in the shadows and instead talk about the gospel, talk about the love and grace of Jesus.

If Christians can’t let Trump and Q take a backseat to the gospel, then I pray Trump will not be reelected. Maybe we will finally look to the Lord once the leader we look to is no longer in power. But it shouldn’t come to that. Stop keeping God private, and make Him first and only in our public outcries.

Christians, we should be informed on what’s going on and pray for all of our leaders in office. But we need to stop aligning to controversial issues and figures. We need to stop wasting precious time on distractions. It is the only way the gospel can be effectively preached again in America, and we desperately need it. The lost desperately need it. You might say God can make a way for it to be effective, and He can. But who wants their parents to show up and have to clean up their mess? Let’s get things in order now before it’s too late!

Don’t believe the rumors of the #Q #QAnon conspiracies.

Back in the 1st century, the Jewish people were getting ready to face the most horrific wars they had ever seen. But much like now, their world was filled with many who would claim to be a savior, and spread rumors of wars. They were not to believe these false saviors, and they were not to be troubles by rumors of wars.

Matthew 24:5-6 NKJV
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. [6] And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

No matter your eschatological view, this message can still be very applicable for today. We don’t need a president, or some retired self-proclaimed “prophet”, or even some internet nerd calling himself Q to save this nation. All we need is Christ, and His mission to us was to preach the gospel and make disciples. And rumors of wars? Jesus said they need not trouble us. For He is king, and He is in control over all things.

These self-proclaimed messengers that call themselves prophets or Q, they’re power mad and hungry for attention. But they distract from our calling as Christians, and from growing in God’s word.