Thoughts on our Constitution, by President John Adams

United States Bill of Rights Preamble to the Constitution

    We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
President John Adams

Metaxas, Eric. If You Can Keep It: The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty (p. 61). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Houston Pastor Reportedly Refused to Host Funeral for 93-Y-O Member Because She Didn’t Tithe Enough

   I am so angry right now!  A 93-year-old woman attended the same church all her life until she had to go to a nursing home. During part of that time, she was in a coma.  Her preacher was asked to perform her funeral service for her when she died. He said no. His reason was that she wasn’t up to date with her tithing!   I guess he wanted her to wake up from her coma, and walk to church, and pay him with money she probably no longer had because of her nursing home bills.
Houston Pastor Reportedly Refused to Host Funeral for 93-Year old Member Because She Didn’t Tithe Enough

Jude 3-4 King James Version (KJV)
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Everyone who goes to church wants to trust their preacher/teacher, but with all the crazy stuff going on in the Church today, it is clear that we have to be watchful! There was only one perfect preacher that has ever graced this Earth and his essential teachings can be found in his book, The Bible. We must have some grace when judging what our preachers do and say, but we must also be sure that the preacher is preaching about the Christ that is found in the Bible. Those preachers who deny the basic tenets of the Bible, who are teaching for the love of money rather than the love of Christ, or whose moral behavior crosses the line so deeply that they should be in jail, or become proud of their sin, should not be leading Christians.

If you are concerned about your pastor’s ability to lead fellow Christians, nicely and with respect have a talk with him, bringing appropriate Bible verses with you.
If you are still troubled by the pastor when your talk is over, go to a couple of elders in the Church, and talk to them, and if they agree with you set up a meeting with your preacher, and bring along the elders that you talked to.  If the elders are as concerned as you, then it is time to go to the congregation as a group.

If nothing works then pray, and study the Bible until you have decided if the issue is one that can possibly be overlooked with grace, or if it warrants looking for a more Biblical Church to attend.

Acts 17:11  (KJV)
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

If you don’t have enough time to read the Bible, please consider getting an audible one, so you can listen to it in traffic, at lunch, or any other time that you are unable to read, but still able to listen.

Renew your Mind

Some people seem to think that we have to turn our brains off before we do anything religious, but that is not what God wants of us. As John Piper said “the brain God gave you is intended to throw fuel on the fire of your affections for God. It’s really good at it if you let it.” . Exploring the world and theology are related if your mind is open. One is the study of God, the other is the study of what God created. If you can interpret the facts with an open mind, they both blend together quite beautifully.

When I exercise my mind I get excited. The more I know about him, and his creation, the closer, and more in awe of his majesty I am.
It is like exercise of the body at first, and difficult to do at first, if you haven’t done it in awhile, but with prayer God will get you through it.
This also has the benefit of catching those who believe that Christians are unintelligent off guard.  I remember one time that I was talking to a group of people on X-box. Somehow the subject of Christians being stupid came up, and that was my chance to shine. For 45 minutes these teenagers who wanted to play a racing game shut up and listened to me talk about God! They had never heard anything like I was saying. God was certainly with me that day to enable me to draw teenage boys away from a game, to hear about God.
If I had not been a book reader, I don’t think that conversation would have been possible.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
The Apologetics Study Bible

Flies around a Picnic


The lies about the Bible are getting so common nowadays, that they are like flies around a picnic on a hot Southern day. The foods are your favorite, and you are enjoying sharing them with friends. All too soon the flies start coming around, you are enjoying the food and companionship of long lost friends so much, that at first you don’t mind swatting a few flies away, but it seems like every time that you swat a fly, a couple more come to takes it’s place. Pretty soon you are so busy swatting flies, that you don’t have any time to eat for yourself. You may even start to check the food for tell-tale spots. Before long you are tempted to pack up your food, and go home to eat in peace.

Christian case making is a lot like that. The Bread of Life is so fantastic that you want to share it with the world. You know that some of the meal is an acquired taste so you spend a lot of time learning how to make the message as palatable as possible (while remaining within the guidelines of the Bible), but then the lies come. dispelling the lies can be difficult, but you love The Bread of Life so much that you don’t mind. It often seems like every time you dispel one lie, two more take it’s place. Sometimes you are successful in dispelling the lies, other times they appear to spot the food that you have prepared, and you grow tired.
It’s okay to go home and take a nap, but DO NOT STOP making the Christian case.
When you have had a chance to rest a little, it is time for you to do some things, to make your next time witnessing experience more successful .
Write down  the names of the people that you had issues with, and put them on your long term prayer list, and pray for them.
Write down the issues they had with your message, meditate on how it could have gone better.
Spend some time in worship so that you can refuel your spirit.
Find a Christian friend that has been into Christian case making for longer than you, so that you can have a shoulder to cry on, a prayer partner, and an adviser.
Keep reading your Bible.

You may be interested in:  The Lee Strobel 3-Disc Film Collection: The Case for Christ / The Case for Faith / The Case for a Creator  The books were an awesome collection that paved the road for a lot of Christian case makers.

 

 

 

Reprove, Rebuke, and Exhort

Judge with gavel
2 Timothy 4:1-2  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Many people think that Matthew 7:1 forbids judging, and they use it as an excuse to just sit by and endorse sin by keeping our mouths shut, but if you have read the definitions of the highlighted words above you know that the Bible tells us that there are situations that we can correct,  express disapproval, criticize sharply, and warn people away from sin. All of those things are kinds of judging. So Matthew 7:1  can’t mean what people think it means. If you read down to Matthew 7:5 you will discover that it is referring to hypocritical judgment.

This isn’t an excuse to be mean and nasty if you reread 2 Timothy 4:1-2 you will see that it ends with the phrase “encourage with great patience and teaching. “. While there are forms of judging we can and should do, we should not do it with the purpose of making the person feel below you, we are to teach them with patience. Sometimes we may have to speak sharply like when some drunk person wants to drive a car filled with kids, but that kind of judging should be limited to situations that demand action that minute. If you are judging because you care, and not out of hate, it is a legitimate thing to do. Just remember that God is love, and wants you to behave with love too.

A small percentage of your purchase at Audible will go to make Smart Christian a better blog.graphic6_738x90

 

BEHEADING OF THE APOSTLE PAUL | Christian History Institute

BEHEADING OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

29 June 67, a Roman soldier beheaded the apostle Paul in Rome.* Preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus, Paul did as much as any man to found the churches of the western Roman Empire. He was aware of his own influence. Writing to the Corinthian church, he summed up his own contribution to Christianity by saying, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”

via It Happened Today | Christian History Institute.