Monday, March 31, 2014

Trust Me, I'm a Doctor

"Trust Me, I'm a Doctor." I have seen that quip on a T-shirt once in the attempt to be amusing. But what if one claims to be a physician, but has no medical knowledge and no credentials? This person would be a fake! This person, if trying to practice medicine, would be rightfully punished.

However, I think of this when I see some who profess Christ but do those things which Christ and the apostles commanded against. When one supports and endorses things like drunkenness, partying, abortion, sexual immorality and homosexuality, this person is a nominal Christian. He or she does not know Christ because he or she has rejected his commands. These types of people will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If one would receive punishment for lying about being a physician, what greater punishment will one receive when one fakes Christianity?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Biblical Riddle

The Riddle

In front of me now lies an old piece of paper with a biblical riddle. It was copied from some unknown source. Think about it before you google the answer!

But before the riddle, please remember to sign up for the RSS feed or enter your email (on the right side of this page) for updates and posts!


Adam, God made out of dust,
But thought it best to make me first.
So I was made sometime before man,
To answer God’s most holy plan.

A living being I became,
And Adam gave to me my name.
I, from his presence, then withdrew,
And more of Adam I never knew.

I did my Maker’s Law obey,
Nor never went from it astray.
Thousands of miles I go in fear,
But seldom on earth do I appear.

For purpose wise which God did see,
He put a living soul in me.
The soul in me, God had fed,
Until, finally, the soul had fled.

I am the same
As when first made.
Without hands, feet, or face,
I travel on from place to place.

I labor hard by day and night,
To fallen man I give great light.
Thousands of people, young and old,
Will, by my death, great light behold.

No right or wrong can I conceive,
The Scriptures I cannot believe.
Although my name therein is found,
They are, to me, an empty sound.

No fear of death doth trouble me,
Real happiness I’ll never see.
To heaven I shall never go,
Nor to hell far below.

Now when, these lines, you slowly read,
Go search your Bible with all speed.
For that my name is written there,
I do, honestly, to you, declare…

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thou Shalt Be Strange

Are Christians supposed to be “peculiar people?” At first blush this might seem true, and it is in some ways (1). However, it is false if one means that we have to be "strange",  “weird”, or “peculiar.” Biblical exegesis seems to be the issue here, the Bible passages are being confused on who is doing the "peculiaring".

One usually hears it expressed in such terms as we need to dress different, act different or have something on our person that is a different from non-believers. Usually this is not referencing to just dressing modestly, but rather "different", or maybe how I perceive it, "queer" (in the traditional sense of the word).

Proper exegesis

The Bible presents a much more robust and full understanding of peculiarity. One of the first steps in exegesis of any writing or conversation is to read or listen to the context. In other words, when reading the Bible, understand the concept within its context to find the full meaning. Second, it is to have correct definitions.

Peculiar in the Old Testament

The authorized translators used the word “peculiar” five times in the Old Testament (OT). Each time it is referring to a treasure. Four of those times, it was God who was the one who made his people peculiar (or treasured in our modern-day language) unto himself. Only once in the OT do we see a person using this word, it is a king gathering kingly treasure unto himself.

Set aside

In the New Testament, which is where most pull this phrase from, we see the word appear twice Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9.
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).
“Peculiar,” in the book of Titus, means to set aside or make a special people. Take a look at the verse again, this is God's doing, not ours. He has made us special, we are now his. However, this verse does have a job for us. It is not saying we should try to look different, strange, or weird, but rather be “zealous of good works.” That's is our job. In other words, God made us special, we are his, our job is to serve him by doing good works.


As stated, the second time "peculiar" shows up is 1 Peter 2:9.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9)
The time the word shows up in 1 Peter, it is talking about a purchased or acquired people (2). Again God is doing the “peculiar,” not us. He bought us, we are now his. However, again like the other verse, the writer gives us a responsibility, we are to show praise to God since he called us out from sin. We know of a number of ways we can praise God. This includes by loving him and keeping his commands, by song, faithfulness, and verbally expressing our praise to him. It is done by pointing the lost to the Kingdom of God and helping others.

Looking different 

We do not need to try to be peculiar nor look, act, or be different or strange. As Christians, our nature will be intrinsically different than the parts of society that are sinful. Differences will come quite fast if we are a Christian. We are given commands for actions that set us apart. Following Jesus puts us on a different path from the rest of society. That path includes praising God and having good works.

Take for example Esther, she did not reveal she was Hebrew. One can only assume she dressed, acted and spoke as others in her day and time. It was her words, life, heart, modesty, and her willingness to risk her life that made her such use for God's glory.

If we are living the Christian life, we will be different. Trying to be different is not the issue, rather God sets us apart if we chose to follow him, in doing that we will be different. The difference is is this, are we to look strange or are we be followers of Christ and be godly? This is the great distinction!

(1) Example, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, 7:1. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." 

This passage says we are to be separate by being clean of sin and being holy.

(2) The 1611 King James Bible translators took two different Greek words and used one English word “peculiar” for the translation. Newer versions may not use this word peculiar.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What do you mean by that?

In a previous post, I talked about fifteen things that I am trying to focus on more. The last five were under the title of "culture of inquiry". I am trying to ask more questions for a number of reasons. Also, I talked about questions in my post on how to talk to those who are unbelievers or nominal Christians. One of the most important questions you can ask is "What do you mean by that?"


Just because I ask a question does not mean I don't know the answer, nor does it mean that I am unsure on my reasoning. Asking questions have other ramifications besides just pure learning, it may be that I just want to hear other peoples views on the topic. Many times I use them in controversial settings, or maybe to get the other person thinking about something. Once an evolutionary materialist said that observable evidences is all it takes for science. So I asked him "are you saying that observable evidences is all you need?" He said yes. I then asked him some other questions to help guide him that this was not true.


Questions also helps prevent equivocation. Examples could be like one saying "this is doctrinal", "evolution is true", "that is heresy" or "that is sin", I do't quite know how to take those comments. I would want to know what they mean by "doctrinal", "evolution", "heresy" or "sin" before stating my opinion. Each of these words can mean different things to different people.


We need to get in the habit to ask clarification questions before giving a comment, agreeing, or making a rebuttal to another's views.

The first question that should come to mind is:

"What do you mean by that?"

Or any variation of that question will work.


You should try to help the other person define his or her terms by a question like this. This question alone may clear up an issue and help you understand the other better and prevent disagreement. In other words, if you and the other person have different meanings for a word, your conversation will consist of the same word being used but in very different meanings.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"Superbugs" In Sewage

Image source: Iqbal Osman/Flickr.
"Superbugs" have been found breeding well in Chinese sewage plants.

Tests at two wastewater treatment plants in northern China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo.
Joint research by scientists from Rice, Nankai and Tianjin universities found "superbugs" carrying New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1), a multidrug-resistant gene first identified in India in 2010, in wastewater disinfected by chlorination. They found significant levels of NDM-1 in the effluent released to the environment and even higher levels in dewatered sludge applied to soils (1).

How do they become resistant?

Antibiotic resistant bacteria become resistant when there's a mutation or they acquire an antibiotic resistant gene from another bacteria. Even though we think that this is bad, from the bacteria's perspective it gives them greater flexibility in different environments.

Does this prove evolution?

Some have advocated that superbugs are evidence for macro-evolution. However, this is not so. These resistant bacteria are still bacteria before and after they have the gene. They have never changed to a different type of creature. In fact, some bacteria have had the capability to be resistant to our antibacterials even before those antibacterials were marketed. These means that these capabilities were already built in to the bacterial population for greater survival potential.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Confidence In Conversation

Should I talk to Non Believers?

Are you afraid to talk to atheists, agnostics, people from other religions and nominal Christians? If there is a God and the Bible is true, then its message compels us to talk to others while living a godly life. We can avoid pitfalls in interaction through learning. This is one aspect of being a disciple of Christ's, learning how to interact. One bad experience can cause some to give up. This is wrong, we can and should be talking and living as Christ commanded. With proper knowledge and wisdom, we can overcome four types of pitfalls.

Losing focus.

Stay focused. 1) Some focus on wining the discussion. Maybe because of pride, lack of understanding or lack of training. Rather, present the truth for the other's benefit, giving them something to think about with love and gentleness. 2) Getting side tracked on "rabbit trails" should be avoided. Keep returning to the central simple issue at hand. 3) Some seem to focus on peripheral Christian topics. Rather, build the foundation first and keep the "in house" topics of Christianity "in house". Focus on the foundation such as the fundamentals of biblical teaching and core world view issues.

Not knowing what you believe and why.

Know what you believe and why. Being well read gives you the knowledge and helps you learn from other's mistakes and knowledge. When one has the truth, one need not be ashamed. This knowledge gives you confidence and it helps you spot error. Knowing what you believe and why may take some work. This may be necessary before getting to the central issues. Having a grasp of what "non-believers" believe helps you with confidence as well.

Not knowing how to interact.

Baseless ascertains, wrong tactics and catch phrases are all dangerous. Sarcastic and antagonistic attitudes  aimed to those on the other side never helps, respect does wonders. Shun Christian lingo, people need clarity, not "foreign language." Never get angry, you are not here to win, you are here to help show the way - eventually to Christ and his kingdom. Follow the example of Christ, Paul and Apollos. Your character and behavior matters from both God's and other's perspective!

Not understanding

You will never know everything so ask questions to learn. Ask clarification questions so you don't misrepresent another. When another makes a claim, allow the other to provide evidence for that claim by asking for it. Only after that should you give your commentary. A Knowledgeable person can many times spot weakness in reasoning when one holds to a world view other then biblical. Allow questions to point out these weakness if possible. Jesus did this. Questions are powerful.

I have noticed that some are used to making unsubstantiated assertions. When asked clarification questions or for evidence, these people may not like it because they are taken off guard. This makes them think, which is good. Also, it means that questions are a powerful tools, so be careful, they can be dangerous if not done with grace, mercy and love.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The North Korean Christian

Photo used under Creative Commons (stephan).
As we you are reading this, are you afraid for you life? Are you about to be killed?

33 Christians in North Korea have been sentenced to death for starting churches.

"...33 North Koreans will be put to death in a cell at the State Security Department" (1).

To be martyred....

What about this.

Muslims in Somalia seized two Christians, a mother of two daughters and her cousin, and after calling the entire village to gather together, they beheaded them in cold blood (2).
The two daughters, ages 8 and 15, were forced to watch their mother and their mother's cousin beheaded.


OK, so what persecution did you go through today? Would you be persecuted for planting churches? Would you me martyred for following Christ's commands? Do we pray for these people and those like them who are in persecution right now?

Many do not have physical freedom, that is a given. However, many are still in spiritual bondage. Live as Jesus commanded, help the poor and tell others the way so all can give praise to God!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Molecular Robots

Molecular robots. What are they? How do they work? Are they ethical? A piece written by Heather Zeiger, a bioethicists, gives all the lowdown on how they work and the ethics behind them.

While she goes into detail on how they work (read her article for more in depth explanation), I just want to give the big picture. Overall, these that she talks about, are not these little machines that run about the body on wheels or legs or any thing like that. They are little tags that cause a chain reaction of events that tell the body to do something, such as destroy a diseased cell. In other words, they are molecules, designed by scientists, that are to be injected into someone. They are able to tag diseased cells, such as cancer cells, and these cells are then destroyed.

However, she does have a couple of concerns. Like anything in science we have to think through the implications. We have to weight the pros and the cons.

Here are her ethical concerns.
Always with new technologies, there is a question of safety. If this concept works in vivo, and researchers are able to identify tagged cells, the next step will be to see if the automata produce any adverse side-effects.

Additionally, as is the case with things like contrast agents and biological markers, getting the tags into the body is one thing, but getting them out is another. The first question is “Will these automata need to be removed?” The second question is “If so, then how?”(1)
Again, science is not a free-for-all game, we do have issues that we have to think about before we jump into the process. However, not everything "man-made" is wrong. We just have to consider the consequences and ethics. Is it moral, will it destroy life, what are the reasons we are doing it for? All these and more have to be considered as we do science.

(1) Zeiger, Heather.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Reading Someone Else's Mail

We already talked about description vs. prescription. I want to give you a good example of this thinking in process. It is the story, "description", in Jeremiah 35 about the Rechabites.


This group of people obeyed their "father" by living in tents, not drinking wine and not planting crops. God blesses them because of this obedience. God, through Jeremiah, uses this group's example to criticize the rest of the Jews. This group will obey an earthly patriarch but the Hebrews will not obey God. Because of this and their example, Jeremiah tells therm that god will bless the Rechabites and they will not lack one to stand before God forever.

What about us?

One may try to say that to be blessed by God, we need to do all that our patriarchs did. This may be true, but one can't glean this from this passage.

As already said, this is a descriptive event, it was never a biblical command. The commands and promises that were involved were for another people, not us nor our time. In other words this promise was given to the Rechabites, not us. In fact it was not even given to the rest of Israel, they were only commanded to follow and obey God. This is the same command that Christ and the apostles have given us, we are to follow and obey God.

A promise for another.

Think of it this way, what if you promised one of your neighbors that you would help her mow her yard. Another neighbor hears this and says, "you promised to mow her yard, that promise applies to me as well." I think you see the issue here? The other neighbor can't claim that promise! It's not his.

If we take the thought that the story applies to us, then we should do as commanded as well, live in tents, never drink wine, and never grow crops. No, we have a greater command, we are to obey, love and follow the laws of God and Jesus. For doing this, we also have a greater reward then they received. We are the sons and daughters of God!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Big Thoughts on Christianity

These "big thoughts on Christianity" have been rattling around in my head. These are areas in my life that I have been trying to work on. Hope you can also put these principles to use!

Focus on Scriptural Integrity.

1) Reading passages/verses in context reduces error and poor exegesis.
2) Coming to the Scriptures to understand a concept, not to prove a preconceived concept/practice.
3) Understand the difference between biblical descriptions and prescriptions, where it describes versus commands.
4) Proper definitions of 400 year words (if the KJV is used).
5) Use and understand the Bible in the way that it was intended.

Encourage Biblical Focus.

1) Have truth, mercy, forgiveness, justice and mercy, and obey the two greatest commands.
2) Receive other followers of Christ as brothers and sisters.
3) Visit the widows, orphans, and prisoners.
4) Tell others the way of Christ with our words and character.
5) Biblical commands take precedence over culture and opinions, nor should culture and opinions be elevated to the level of scripture in word, thought or action.

Culture of Inquiry.

1) Understand others more and vigilant to ask questions so I don’t misrepresent another.
2) Understand why, if possible, so I can give reasons for the faith of Christ.
3) Understand biblical reasons and commands and encourage others to use them for their arguments.
4) Understand and be confident in truth so I'm not immediately threatened by error and deception.
5) Understand discernment with wise and knowledgeable ethics built upon biblical morality.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Throw Your Genome Away!

In a recent article by Dr. Tomkins, he writes the following:
It was once believed that the regions in between the protein-coding genes of the genome were wastelands of alleged nonfunctional “junk DNA.” However, we now know that these previously misunderstood regions are teeming with functional activity—and a new study shows they are actually required for life (1).
The idea of junk DNA is another area where the evolutionary ideology has failed us. Only about 1-5% of the DNA codes for protein. The rest of the DNA was assumed by many to be leftovers from evolutionary ancestors.  Most who held to this view were biologists with evolutionary presuppositions. Directly steming from this assumption, much of the genome regions went unexplored for years.

Now we know different. In fact most of the DNA has been assigned roles, very important roles within the cell. Interestingly, many of those who held to the view of life originating from a deity, have for years theorized function to most of the "junk DNA". Truly, as the old saying states "ideas have consequences."

(1) Quoted text and image are from the following source: Jeffrey Tomkins, Ph.D., . N.p.. Web. 3 Mar 2014. <>.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Love Not the World

1 John 2:15-17 is a very important passage, it does two things, it prescribes what we should do and not do and second helps define one of the definitions of the word "world". It says the following: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."

I see two overarching concepts here: 1) Do not love the world 2) love not the things that are in the world. Concept two is broken down into three things. The first two seem to be broken down into both physical and nonphysical lust. Jesus makes application of this in Matthew five when he talks about murder and adultery (1). The third one tells us that pride is of the world and is sin.

To have the "love of the Father" in us, we need to flee immorality. If you are not a follower of Christ, repent and turn to him. If you are you are practicing unrighteousness, turn back to Christ. Idolatry, sexual immorality, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, homosexuality, divisions and wild parties are acts of immorality. Those who do these things "will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galations 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:10).

(1) Matthew 5:21-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Vulnerability And The Christian

God's wisdom.

God has greater wisdom than us, when he commands we should follow even if it goes against what we feel would be wise. Being a Christian is a vulnerable position. It is not a "bed of roses." There may be persecution and hardship. Can we expect less if Christ and the Apostles went through trails and death?

Following Christ demands that we all do our part, I have found it strange that some think we should not interact with the "world" (those who do not know Christ) (1). However, this thinking is not at all biblical. Christ, the apostles, the early church and many great Christians throughout the ages all taught and acted in opposition to this thinking.

Our platform.

One area that I powerful is the social networking and blogging world. I see many Christians "advertising" their business on let's say Facebook (which I am not against doing), but what about talking and posting about the most important things in life?

This is a great and powerful avenue for the furtherance of the Kingdom. Christ, the apostle's, the early church, Christians in persecuted countries, and many early starts of solid Christian groups used any and every sources that they could to tell others about Christ.

If your friend was in the path of an impending bullet, would you try to inform him to move? What about eternity? Are we willing to tell others the way to Christ showing freedom from sin, hell and Satan?


In the past there was great persecution, many Christians retracted into the background. While this might have been wise for that time, today there is a good measure of freedom of speech. We should be talking! Yes it is easier to "sit on ones hands", but this goes against scripture teaching (2).


You will be blessed by God if you challenge the nominal Christian. You will be blessed if you if you interact with those who do not know Christ. You will be blessed if you interact with the unbelieving on the street, on social networking sites, in the neighborhood and in the work place.

Be bold, be intentional, be confident, be knowledgeable, be merciful. That's how Christ was.

Yes there will be criticism. There will be persecution. But God will give joy and blessings! That is all that really matters.

(1) 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world."

(2) Matthew 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

I do want to note that this is a perpetual propagating command that Jesus gave. It says "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." If the apostles taught others what they were taught, those others would have to "...teach all nations...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..." It goes on as an unbroken chain. 

This command can be seen lived and obeyed in the early Church as written in Acts:

Acts 8:1-4 "...And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles...Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."

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