I want to start this article by saying that I am publishing it to set the record straight about my dealings with Dr. George Ella and his dealings with me. To do this, I am fully disclosing our correspondence. The reason I am doing this is because Dr. Ella has made untrue accusations about me and what I believe. I want to be clear, however, that I am not publishing this article out of personal vendetta or hurt feelings. Dr. Ella’s remarks are not only defamatory to me personally but are potentially damaging to this ministry. They are thus divisive and stumbling blocks or snares (what the King James Version means by “offences”) to those who are seeking the truth. I have nothing against theological discourse where someone accurately represents what I believe and then gives a reasoned response as to why he disagrees. He may even be passionate as long as he sticks to the facts. A reader can then weigh the facts and make his or her own decision. But Dr. Ella has not taken such an approach.
To Old Covenant Israel, God wrote, “Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land…. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children” (Hosea 4:1, 6). A lack of knowledge was destroying the people of God’s physical nation, Israel; and because they neglected to teach the people, God rejected Israel’s leaders. Could something similar be happening among God’s spiritual people today?
A. The answer has two aspects which I’ll address separately. I want to begin, however, by briefly stating my agreement with the basic premise of the question. There can be no doubt that some people use a different measuring stick determining their toleration of Christianity than they use for other religions. If you criticize Christianity for its defense of traditional marriage, they will cheer you. But if you criticize Islam for its demeaning treatment of women or for whipping homosexuals, they will accuse you of Islamophobia. Why?
The shocking events of September 11, 2001, have stamped horrific images indelibly into our minds. But those airliners turned fireballs and towers atomizing their way to earth may also have altered the very course of human events in such a way as to plunge civilization instantly into an age of uncertainty or even chaos.
A. Jennifer Knapp is a Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) singer who has disclosed that she is living in a lesbian relationship (see Christianity Today, “Jennifer Knapp Comes Out“). The bottom line of Knapp’s announcement seems to contain the triple ideas that the only Scriptures against homosexuality are in the Old Testament, that there is a spirit that “overrides” the question of whether homosexuals should be allowed in the church, and that living a gay lifestyle and being a Christian are not at odds.
This article is far-sweeping, and I hope it will be helpful to readers with children and without. It discusses whether fiction is truer than facts, whether knowing someone is different than knowing about someone (such as whether knowing Jesus is different from knowing about Him), why we should monitor our children's reading, and why we should all be more careful when reading fiction than nonfiction. Along the way, we'll grind the truth out of Thomas Gradgrind, meet poisonous snake dealer Bill Jones, get thrown into a dungeon, learn some facts about the Wotton Electric Picture House, and gyre and gimble in the wabe—so hang on!
Catchy slogans, colorful posters, and summer reading programs at public libraries all try to get kids to read. So do school teachers and homeschooling moms and dads. But while we are encouraging our children to read, how much thought are we giving to what they read? And, as odd as it may seem to those parents who can hardly convince their child to pick up a book, some parents might also consider whether their children are reading too much, or at least too much of certain kinds of books.
It is not often questioned now whether a Christian should be a magistrate, hold a political office, or work for the government in some capacity. In fact, in recent years, the question in the United States has rather been whether it is right to vote for someone who is not a Christian. But this was not always the case. In past centuries, the question of whether Christians should be magistrates was one that many took seriously. In this article, I want to show how I came to this question, give a little historical background to the question, and point out some Scriptures that I believe answer it very clearly.
A. Halloween is celebrated on October 31, typically by children dressing in costumes and going house-to-house trick-or-treating (also called guising) and having parties. There is no “Thus saith
the Lord” in the Bible concerning Halloween. But I do believe that it is possible to come to a conclusion about it that is in harmony with Scripture. When considering whether we should participate, we should ask ourselves some questions. 1. What are the origins of the day? 2. What do people think of the day today? 3. What Scriptures apply to the situation? Let’s try to answer these questions.
December 2016: One Scripture we’re likely to hear at this time of year is Luke 2:13-14: “Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men.'” The angels were announcing the birth of Jesus Christ to the shepherds, and what they said about peace on earth is true. Yet, what, exactly did they say? Years later, Jesus Himself said, “Don’t think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn’t come to send peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). This would certainly seem to be the opposite of the angels’ good news. Is what Jesus said a contradiction of the angels’ message? If not, how can both of these things be true?