Authenticity of Bible teaching in the church

It has and is becoming progressively more clear to me that there is a real need in the church for sound solid Biblical teaching. 

“Is this not already the case? ” you may ask.   Sadly it is not the case. 

In the recent past I have taken the plunge to write my book Throne Room Etiquette.  The process of writing and subsequent discoveries that I had made in christian circles was nothing short of astonishing.  It was becoming abundantly clear to me that there was a dire need for solid bible based teaching to be made available to the general population of believers. 

I had met with a local pastor and man that I respect significantly and was encouraged that he and some fellow workers were doing amazing work in a suburb not to far from my home.   I felt inspired and my spirit was lifted to see such commitment and dedication maintained in a community that had very little to offer a minister and family in the way of financial support. 

The idea that we have teachers out there that are promoting and pushing a doctrine of prosperity for the sake of drawing in the masses only to deceive them into surrendering cash they kan ill afford to lose, is disturbing and I would be as bold as to say that it displeasing to the King of kings.    It’s nothing new after all.  These kinds of deceiving self righteous mindsets have been around for centuries. 

It does bother me though that not more is being done to expose these prosperity teachers and bring the bride of Christ back to the basics of simple sound teaching.   I really to understand and promote the idea of people maturing spiritually.   In fact it is some thing I endorse and work toward promoting in the lives of fellow believers on a daily basis.

To the end of exposing false teachers and their vain doctrines that expose the people who really do not know I will continue to write and produce, in my opinion, solid content that inspire people to get back to the basics of being in a relationship with Jesus. 

We Must grow and mature.  Jesus expects it.  it is my prayer that Jesus will enable the development and rising up of workers that are able to bring about maturity in the bride of our King.  looking at the world in a global perspective and comparing it to Hosea 4 allows us to see how far our family of believes have ventured off the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation.

Using a journal to keep track of tings.

Using a journal to keep track of things.

 

About a year ago I decided that I needed to re-visit the use of a spiritual diary.  It took me back to some memories from the mid nineties when I had just moved to Durban.  Back then I was using my journal to keep track of my conversations with God and to aid, if you will, my commitment to memorizing scripture by applying myself to reading, writing and speaking scripture.

At the time it made so much sense to me because it made my conversation with God some thing that became tangible and it also helped me refer back to it in the future when I felt my faith was weighing.  Right up to today I can remember a conversation that I had had with God during my first week in a strange city.  I was experiencing massive amounts of new things in a new city.   Keeping a journal came naturally and just made sense at the time.

Getting back to my journal for 2015, I am reminded of the time on February when I stated it up again.  I was getting closer to completing Throne Room Etiquette and felt that I was growing into new areas of my understanding of Kingdom things.  I do feel that my journal in some way encourages me to keep coming back to it in order to add to it.  In some way it keeps me on my toes and helps me to remain current in the things I learn from Scripture and strangely does have a massive impact on my relationship with God.

Some of the rudimentary things I had used to help me keep track of my entries were page numbers.   Not all note books come with page numbers so adding numbers to your pages as  you write may serve to encourage you to come to make more entries.  As a rule I like to separate every day’s entries into its own little space.  I also like to write down the date and time that I am entering my quite space.  Not every one will like this level of structure in an informal activity but I had found that it just works for me.

Lastly I do some thing that challenges me in my journal entries.  I would follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and after selecting a portion of scripture I make a note of the book and chapter before I even start to read the chapter.  This compels me to see my efforts through when it comes to working through that particular Bible chapter.

Looking through the selected or appointed Bible chapter I strive to look for things in ways I have not before, and more often than not, I end up asking questions that brings new answers and understanding about the way things are and work in the Kingdom of Heaven.   In short the keeping of a journal has and keeps to improve my walk with God and is only one of the tools that I use to help keep me under His guiding hand.

 


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Pride vs Humility

Pride vs Humilitytrefb

I had post this image on the Facebook profile of Throne Room Etiquette.  I was pleasantly surprised when it started a healthy debate.

Frank da Hortra made a statement “ We need to humble ourselves to God. However the pursuit to humble ourselves to other people is the one fraught with danger, in the act of doing this, pride develops leading us into sin. To humble ourselves to God and his word should be our goal. I should have put it clearer. I am reminded of a story of a student that got a badge for humility. When he put the badge on the next day it was taken away from him because he was proud of his humility. (Quote from John Mcarthur)”

One of the characteristics that we always hear about in Christian circles is humility.  Nicolas, a good mate of mine threw the question out there on my Face book page one day asking: “What is humility?

On face value it seemed a simple question that could be satisfied with a simple answer.  As is the case with most things one start to realize that its not as straight forward as it may seem.

There are a few references in scripture that discuss concepts that are very close to the idea of humility but the one that stood out to me when I was looking into humility was one that referred back to a portion of scripture found in

Philippians 2

1  Therefore, if there is any encouragement in the Messiah, if there is any comfort of love, if there is any fellowship in the Spirit, if there is any compassion and sympathy,
2  then fill me with joy by having the same attitude, sharing the same love, being united in spirit, and keeping one purpose in mind.
3  Do not act out of selfish ambition or conceit, but with humility think of others as being better than yourselves.
4  Do not be concerned about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.
5  Have the same attitude among yourselves that was also in the Messiah Jesus:
6  In God’s own form existed he, and shared with God equality, deemed nothing needed grasping.
7  Instead, poured out in emptiness, a servant’s form did he possess, a mortal man becoming. In human form he chose to be,
8  and lived in all humility, death on a cross obeying.
9  Now lifted up by God to heaven, a name above all others given, this matchless name possessing.
10  And so, when Jesus’ name is called, the knees of everyone should fall wherever they’re residing.
11  Then every tongue in one accord, will say that Jesus the Messiah is Lord, while God the Father praising.
12  And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.
13  For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.
14  Do everything without complaining or arguing
15  so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world
16  as you hold firmly to the word of life. Then I will be proud when the Messiah returns that I did not run in vain or work hard in vain.
17  Yet even if I am being poured out like an offering as part of the sacrifice and service I offer for your faith, I rejoice, and I share my joy with all of you.
18  In the same way, you also should rejoice and share your joy with me.”

When I read through this passage there is one thing that becomes clear.  This “Humility” is an attitude that comes from a mind set, a way that one looks at your own position relative to another person or purpose.

The Author of Phillipians not only talks about the attitude of humility but in his address he also exemplifies it in the way he talks to the Philipians in v 12.  He also encourages them v3 even though he had the capacity as a teacher to instruct them.  When he discusses Jesus he speaks of the same attitude in the life of Jesus v7+8.  This is not just His life on the earth but the eternal life of Jesus.  Its made clear that Jesus inspired this “attitude” in the passage.

In my mind and heart i believe that that “Putting a face on grace” by Richard Blackaby makes large inroads in helping us grow in our understanding of humility.  Perhaps there is some value in putting a life of grace and humility side by side they are not all that different…….

Pride on the other hand should perhaps get its own blog space but because it stands in relative contrast to humility perhaps we should touch on it also.  I believe that most people will agree that pride is not always a vain behavioral attribute.  One can be proud of ones spouse or child for achieving a particular goal.

When pride creates conceitedness I believe that it has produced fruit that is sin because it detracts from dependence on God that true humility testifies.  Perhaps this is why Phillipians 2:12 says:”continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”


 

Nicholas

Looking at Philipians 2. It’s clear to me that humility is a view of others rather than a view of ones self.  Ie. Your needs come before mine, especially the attitude of ill do whatever it takes to get into relationship with the king.  Also humility is the ability to compare yourself to God rather man.  While pride is about self service and viewing yourself more important than others.  So with that in mind it would not be prideful to hold others to a higher standard, even a higher one than you are keeping.

Just a quick thought.


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Bible versions

VARIOUS BIBLE TRANSLATIONS

FROM THE BOTTOM UP Dykes , Interlinear Greek-English new testament, Thomson topical Bible, life application Bible. the layman’s parallel Bible, The Amplified Bible. Holy Bible, Die Bybel

How DOES the translation of my bible impact the meaning of the original content?

For some time the question has been out there in one way or another.   After a thought provoking discussion I was prompted to revisit this idea and felt that it would make a lot of sense to gain a better understanding of how the translation of the Bible has or changed what it means and for that matter what it means to us.

if one considers it for a while it is possible to highlight some of the positives as well as some of the negative impacts various translations has had on generations of Christians.

on his blog Dr Joel Hoffman he sites five ways in witch translations of the bible had changed its meaning.  Personally I can attest to how some translations of the Bible has significantly enhanced my understanding of scripture without the need to study  other languages.  once we balance the possible good and bad impact these translations have had on the foundations of our faith we will be able to develop a solid opinion about weather we think translating the bible is a good thing or a bad thing.

I would like to hear your point of view and to know how you feel your bible in its current form that you use most often has impacted your life.

BIJBLE VERSION COURTECY OF E SORD

BIJBLE VERSION COURTECY OF E SORD


Nicholas (03-12-2015  12:01)

I’ve reached a place where I find it best grasp the verse that says STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED… It does not tell us to read to show ourself approved. When you really get down and study the bible, no one version is good enough. You end up using all resources available to you in order to fully understand what God is saying.

 

 


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Excommunication

What is the correct way to deal with the issue of excommunication?

excommunication is a concept or term carried over from ancient mosaic teaching witch means to expel some one from a group (usually believers).
I recently spent some time on the phone with a good friend of mine Nicolas, and we ended up discussing the matter of asking believers to leave the church.  There are some guidance for us in scripture and it is found in Matthew 18:15-17: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
Then the funny questions started popping up.

What was the intended focus of Jesus at the time?

When I look at that particular portion of scripture, to me it speaks of inter personal relationships and not an actual ecclesiastic excommunication (expulsion from a church).  I did some digging and found this gem:” It is doubtful whether an express prescription of excommunication is found in our Lord’s words (Mt 18:15-19 ).  The offense and the penalty also seem purely personal: “And if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican,” by Philip Wendell Crannell who sites arts in HDB, DB, Jew Eric, DCG; Martensen, Christian Ethics, III, 330 ff; Nowack, Benzinger, Heb Archaeol.; Commentary in the place cited.
Philip Wendell continues to say, and I agree with his view point that this excommunication is a removal from the general assembly and not necessarily from the care of the church entirely.  One would imagine that even these “tax collectors” would be part of the mission field of the church.
One could then site another scripture from I Corinthians 5:5 :”you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.”
This reference is an important one to consider because it highlights a key point that came up in a discussion with my good friend Nicolas.  The one of love.  When Paul speaks of handing over the body of a particular offender over to Satan for destruction it is with the intention of getting that persons soul to heaven.  I would imagine that Jesus as the core of his intent would be for the interest of the individual that is being expelled as well as the well being of the general assembly.
This now begs for another question to be asked.  What about forgiveness?  Jesus also teaches that we should forgive up to seventy times seven. Does this now mean that the person that is offended is going to be at risk of living with unforgiveness.  Jesus also said if we do not forgive those who offend us our Father will not forgive us Matthew 6:14-15.  Does this mean that the entire church will the disintegrate one person at a time?   because if I can not forgive am I not also worthy of excommunication?
I understand that forgiveness does not remove consequence but when I force accountability on a fellow believer, even if it is in line with scripture, it is starting to feel like one could be doing if from a conceited perspective.  Galatians 6:2-3 teaches that conceitedness is the last attitude we need to have in a correction based setting.  As it turns our Paul was burdened with a “thorn in the flesh” that was placed on him to keep him from this  very aspect of conceitedness’.
In my mind this issue of excommunication is one that could be placed in the gray space between the page and the line in the same way that divorce was when Jesus said that divorce was not in God’s original plan and that Moses allowed people to divorce.  it is possible that expelling some one from fellowship or “membership
I also noticed that Jesus made reference of this expulsion immediately after he discussed the preservation of the little ones in the church.  It makes sense then to consider that this mechanism is to remove a dangers from the assembly of believers and was meant for the protection of the young in Christ.  Romans 14 also deals with a similar issue relating to young believers.
Perhaps this concept of excommunication is one that should be flavored with a lot of love and perhaps a bit of introspection.  I would dare to say that one that considers going down that road should rather take the time and invest it in self evaluation first.
I was once privy to such a process of expulsion and even though the person in question lost their “membership” of that particular church, they were not entirely dis-guarded by that fellowship.
I have a strong belief that the two aspects “pride” and “unforgiveness” is possibly the two greatest architects of denominational-ism witch in my opinion has become one of the great enemies of the church.   To wrap us I think it safe to say that any one that is sin free might have a place to consider throwing away imperfect believers.  For the rest of us we may very well be better served learning an growing in Jesus’ grace.


Nicolas Trytsman commented:(20-11-2105)

” I would add that the purpose of removing one from the assembly is to preserve the integrity of the body-of-believers who have been willing to peacefully give up their lives for their King. If the church took a more clear stand on issues reflecting the portrayal of the King and His bride, the church would not be looked down upon as a judgemental, hypocritical institution.
While we feel it might make us look judgemental, keep in mind it has the purpose of restoring that believer to correct presentation of the King and His bride (repentance) but it is also only for the members of the bride of Christ. Removal from the body then allows the church to continue reaching out to him as if he was any other non-believer (with a desperate call to repentance and obedience to the coming King.) No one calls a business judgemental for firing someone for stealing – ergo when the body of Christ does the same (removes from the assembly) it would not be called judgemental except if the body still acts in hypocrisy.
scripture ref 1Cor 5;1-11

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