If you’ve been around long enough, you know the Boy Scouts are over

Today I read how the Boy Scouts marched for perversity in Salt Lake City against Boy Scout policy. With no censure for their action, what more would it take to demonstrate that the Oath means nothing to them? The end is more than just not far behind. It has already been here.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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Bible Wines reprint

Unbelievably, my posting on The Christian and His Liquor has been my most popular article. The fact that there is so much interest does not let me know whether the posting is helpful or not. It does however suggest to me that this issue is a hot button in Christian culture.

The source I have found most helpful is Bible Wines by William Patton. It was written in the 1870s at a time when the Temperance Movement was growing in strength. Patton did the research and study that is missing in modern “scholarship” that tries to justify the use of alcohol by innuendo, casting doubts, and taking potshots.

I have prepared a copy of Bible Wines for reprint. Because it is in the public domain you can have the copy for free at these links:

Bible Wines (.pdf for Acrobat)
Bible Wines (.mobi for Kindle)
Bible Wines (.epub for Nook)

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Proverbs 29:18 While waiting for God to move

Prov 29:18
18Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

The word vision refers to a prophetic utterance. The fact that people perish without God’s will being given by revelation is reflective of man’s desire to find meaning to this life or see beyond this world. They will presume what God is doing in a worship service. They try to discern God’s will in their lives during times of crisis. They want to know the message that God has for them in their dreams. They will try to find meaning in the mundane. They will stand in awe of the “face of Christ” in a picture of a cloud, the marks on a piece of toast, or in a root dug up out of the ground — all true cases! They will gravitate to fortune tellers, charlatans in church, astrologers, and prognosticators of all kinds to get a glimpse of the future.

In Solomon’s time, they did not have the complete revelation of God through His Word so they were dependent upon the prophets for a fuller understanding of Him. In the times of God’s silence they were more at risk.

Amos 8:10-13
10And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
13In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

1Sam 3:1
1And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

Even though we have the complete revelation of God in His inspired Word, the Bible, today, still we hunger for the illumination of the Holy Spirit. We need it to understand God’s Word and how to apply it to our daily life. Whether the Israelites needed the extra revelation to make up for the rest of the Bible not written yet, or we desire special understanding of God’s will for our particular circumstances, there is still a blessing to be had.

The daily application of the law, a reference to the Word of God in general, will help us carry on when there is no special direction from God. We don’t have to have a special burden from God on every thing we do. Sometimes the moving of God is accomplished by the clear commands and the principles of His Word. If we don’t feel something special from God, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. It might just mean that He has already spoken in His Word and that should be sufficient for us to go on.

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Proverbs 21:4 The fruit of arrogance

Prov 21:4
4An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.

A high look refers to looking down on others. A proud heart refers to looking highly on self. Plowing refers to the work that is produced by the wicked. The word for sin implies the idea of condemnation and destruction. It is used elsewhere to speak of the sin offering, or that which was destined for destruction as a sacrifice. The wicked have a low opinion of others and a high opinion of self. He sows in arrogance and the fruit of his labors is tainted, doomed, and worthy only of destruction.

Rom 12:3-5
3For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Rom 12:9-16
9Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
11Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
13Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

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The Gift of Repentance

2 Tim 2:24-26
24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

The reference to God giving repentance in 2 Timothy 2:24-26 seems to suggest that man does not have the ability to repent by himself. That God gives this ability to unregenerate man so that he can apply it to salvation. This would be analogous to a blind man given the ability to see.

It is not realistic to suggest that man does not have the ability to repent apart from God. The lost demonstrate repentance regularly. Pharaoh repented a number of times during the plagues upon Egypt. This is not to propose that he became saved. Only in a narrow application of the word repent does it refer to salvation. The word itself is merely a reference to a changing of the mind (such as when God repents). Man has the capacity to repent.

It seems that a different kind of repentance is offered by God in 2 Tim 2:25. Refining our understanding of repentance might lead us to say that God gives the ability to repent unto righteousness or salvation. The only way we can do this is to read into the passage something that is not there. This would require finding the principle elsewhere in Scripture.

We don’t have to go very far to discover that giving the ability to repent unto righteousness is not what is intended at all by the phrase give them repentance. There are two other passages where this is used as a figure of speech to indicate that God gives the opportunity, or room for repentance.

Acts 11:17-18
17Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?
18When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

Acts 5:29-31
29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
30The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.
31Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

In Acts 11, granted is translated from the same word as given in 2 Timothy and Acts 5. Repentance was not merely given to some Gentiles. It was given to a whole class. Since not all Gentiles are saved, the only thing one may conclude is that, as the context shows, the opportunity for repentance was available to the Gentiles. Peter and the other Jewish members of the church became apprised of the fact that the Gentiles were able to be saved apart from any legalistic consideration.

In Acts 5, we have the same situation, only here with respect to the Jews. Not all Israel was saved as a result of being given repentance as a class. They, of course, had other times for repentance in their history. They were, as a class, being given another opportunity for repentance.

The phrase to give repentance is to be understood as a figure of speech. It is not that some new ability to repent is given, but that a new opportunity is given.

There is one more consideration to give to this passage. The scope of the intended recipients includes both lost and saved – it is given to all men. If only the saved are meant by all, then God would have to be giving repentance over and over again. If it truly includes all, then the same problem still exists. Man has the ability to repent, God gives room for repentance.

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Christian Hedonism

Excellent analysis at these sites:

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resource 1
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resource 2
The Faithful Word 1 
The Faithful Word 2
The FAQs on John Piper’s Christian Hedonism

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ABC’s 20/20’s Fallacies

Exposé on 2020 exposé
ABC’s 20/20 managed to violate logic at the rate of a fallacy per minute (figuratively speaking) in their “exposé” on Independent Fundamental Baptists. I leave it to a logic professor from Ambassador Baptist College with his excellent analysis to expose their irrationality (click on link above). It is such a shame that 20/20 exploited the girl who had been victimized. It is also a shame that they exploited Elizabeth Vargas as a script reader – for her sake I hope that is all she was.

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