One of my pet peeves is how few people refer to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. as a Reverend. Yes, I know that Doctor is a great title to have, but Reverend is a title that he choose for himself when he became a preacher. I may just be too cynical, but I think that many people call him Doctor in hopes of making us forget what he really stood for. He stood for Christ.
When Martin Luther King, Jr., confronted racism in the white church in the South, he did not call on Southern churches to become more secular. Read his sermons and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and see how he argued. He invoked God’s moral law and the Scripture. He called white Christians to be more true to their own beliefs and to realize what the Bible really teaches. He did not say, “Truth is relative and everyone is free to determine what is right or wrong for them.” If everything is relative, there would have been no incentive for white people in the South to give up their power. Rather, Dr. King invoked the prophet Amos, who said, “Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream” (Amos 5:24). The greatest champion of justice in our era knew the antidote to racism was not less Christianity, but a deeper and truer Christianity. (Keller, RG, 64–65)
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Can Science Explain Everything? By John Lennox
2 Peter 1:20-21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Bible was a gift given to all people at all times. Some of the scriptures were meant for a particular person of a group of people, but as a matter of history, everyone needs to know about them. After the context is considered (Is it historical, future prophecy, or for all people at all times) It means the same thing as it has always meant.
If you are interpreting it in a way that is just for you, and the meaning changes when someone else reads it, you are going against this passage.
I once heard of a man that was lusting over a woman named Grace. He was already married, and so was she. One day he was praying about it and he read in the Bible something about grace, that led him to believe that he had permission from God to break up two families and marry Grace. Unless God wanted every person who has ever lived to marry a person named Grace, the Bible did not mean that. A careful study of the Bible would have told him that divorce may have been permitted at times, that wasn’t what God wanted for anyone. It can, however, tell a single man that if someone named Grace is a single Christian who isn’t related to him, she might be the one, but the meaning of the passages in question would be the same if the woman in question was named Gina, Cindy, or Sarah.
The Holy Spirit can make different passages stand out to different people at different times. I personally have read passages that I know I have read before, but I suddenly had to stop and re-read the passage several times then realize that there is something that the Lord wants me to pay particular attention too. But if the passage is about feeding the hungry, it has always been about feeding the hungry…while the application of the verse may vary from person to person, it means the same thing that it meant thousands of years ago.
One of the most common objections to Christianity is that Christians are evil hypocrites, and I have to admit that especially if you include all people who say that they are Christians (even if they are not) that even by human standards they are right. One only has to look at the news and see what has been happening to some little boys in some churches that this objection does have some merit. The Bible itself says that ALL PEOPLE fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 when they say that Christians are, or at least can be evil they are doing nothing more than confessing that at least part of Christianity is true.
It breaks my heart whenever I hear of Christians that have done things that are evil even by human standards, but no belief system should be judged by the random people who say that they follow it, there are atheist like Joseph Stalin who was responsible for the deaths of a seemingly countless number of people and atheist who are basically good. Buddhist that literally would not kill a fly, and Buddist who have committed murder. Pagans that are passivist, and Pagans who have committed human sacrifice. All belief systems have one thing in common; they all are followed by fallible humans. We should not judge those belief systems by random followers of the belief system, we should judge them by the foundational beliefs of that system, and the people who follow that belief system the best. In the case of Christianity, that person is Jesus Christ. Who is so good, that many belief systems have tried to turn him into a follower of their belief system. He encouraged people to be kind even to their enemies. Don’t judge Christianity by the so-called Christians who have committed beastly behavior, judge it by the behavior of Christ.
42 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. 44 This is why you also must be ready because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Every so often someone declares that they KNOW when Christ is coming back, they get a lot of people especially Christians who haven’t carefully studied the Bible, worked up then the day comes, and all their hopes are dashed. It’s even worse than that, some of the people who believed the preacher with the date have sold off all of their stuff, and recklessly spent the money they had to have a few laughs before leaving Earth. Imagine their shock when they woke up the day after they thought Jesus would come back, now penniless! I imagine that many of these people left the faith when they really should have studied their Bible, and left their false teacher. When we come up with false dates for the second coming or even pass them on via Facebook or Twitter, we are committing a crime against the Body of Christ! We run the risk of chasing people who were close to coming to Christ away as well. Don’t do it!
In this crazy world, we live in, it is easy to fall prey to the idea that Christ will come back any minute now, and it is possible, but it is also possible that he won’t come back in our lifetime. People have made false predictions about the end of the world almost since these words were written two-thousand years ago. I believe that we were not told the date so we could avoid having the temptation to put our work off till tomorrow because when tomorrow comes, it will be today so waiting until tomorrow may end up waiting till it is too late. Instead of trying to guess something that Christ purposely avoided telling us, we should instead keep our opinion about the exact day to ourselves, work for him as if he is coming back before bedtime, and plan as if your grandchildren will live to a ripe old age. That way all your bases are covered and you will live the life that Christ intended.