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I had 35 years in a partnership with a non believer and 5 alone. My comment "AMEN"
Ralph Tacker , 06/16/08 06:56 PM
Roger,

Thank you for your comments on Genesis and creation. One of the first times Mary and I attended Casas, you spoke on this topic. It was refreshing to hear a Baptist Pastor teach that way. Coming from a strong background in the sciences, especially the earth sciences, I had seen too many friends told they could not be Christians or church members unless they embraced the “creation science” dogma, and it made me angry. They were being kept from saving faith because no one was willing to do the hard work of reconciling science and Scripture. Hearing you teach as you did, made me comfortable settling into Casas without reservation. It was a place I could invite my scientist friends to “come and see”.

I traveled much the same path as yours. In my junior and senior years of college, I realized that I needed to reconcile what I knew from science and the Bible. A compromise between the two would not do, it had to be a full reconciliation. They either had to agree, or I would have to reject one or both of them as untruth. I spent several years researching it, as I continued my walk as a new Christian and my studies and career as a geologist. I eventually came to the conclusion that the scientific evidence and the Word of God were both truth, though not everyone’s interpretation of either was reliable.

I came to realize that many who insist upon conflict between science and scripture (from one camp or the other), often ignore or oversimplify important facts from both fields. I also realized that many of these folk have less than Godly agendas and exhibit prideful arrogance. In the “scientific” camp, such arguments are well outside the realm of science, and are actually deeply philosophical or even fervently religious (e.g. “There is no room for God in my beliefs. Therefore, He cannot exist! I say so!”). On the other hand, some in the “Bible” camp exhibit a complete lack of love and compassion for unbelievers and those earnestly searching for the truth. They appeal to the same anti-intellectual undercurrents in our culture that contribute to the sales of tabloid newspapers. They are willing to throw up a roadblock on the road to Christ, to keep out those who do not agree with their under-educated opinions. There is only one stumbling block God ever set up, and that is sufficient.

Even though I do not claim to have all of the answers (or to even know all of the questions), I have come to a place of peace - that God created a marvelous universe, and it is understandable through diligent study, observation, and application of scientific principles. My study of the sciences only leaves me with a greater sense of awe at the Creator, and my study of His Scriptures makes me more fervent to understand His handiwork. My science has made me a stronger believer, and my faith has increased my love for the physical sciences. I do not need to waste my time trying to explain away “inconsistencies” between the two; those no longer exist in my mind.

In addition to your teachings, I am fortunate to have been exposed to materials from authors like J. Edwin Orr (Faith That Makes Sense), Bernard Ramm (The Christian View of Science and Scripture), Hugh Ross (The Creator and the Cosmos), Howard Van Till and Davis Young (Science Held Hostage), and Gerald Schroeder (The Science of God), to mention a few. The quote that follows, did much to shape my current view on the whole “debate”.

“It often happens that a non-Christian derives from the clearest arguments, or from the evidence of his senses, certain scientific knowledge about the heavens and earth – about the size or distance or movements or revolutions of the stars, about certain eclipses of the sun and moon, about the course of the seasons and years, about the nature of animals and plants and minerals, and other such things.

It is both improper and mischievous for any Christian man to speak on such matters as if so authorized by Scripture and yet talk so foolishly that the unbeliever, observing the extravagance of his mistakes, is scarcely able to keep from laughing. And the real trouble is not so much that the man is laughed at for his blunders, but that the writers of Scripture are believed to have taught such things, and are thus condemned and rejected as ignorant people by people outside the Church, to the great loss of those whose salvation we so much desire.

They find one belonging to the Christian body so far wrong on a subject they themselves know so well; and on top of this, find him enforcing his groundless opinions by the authority of our Holy Bible. So they come to regard Scriptures as unsound on subjects they have learned by observation or by unquestioned evidence. Are they likely therefore to put their trust in these Scriptures about the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven?

What trouble and sorrow some presumptuous men bring on their more careful brethren. When charged with wrong notions by non-Christians, they try to bolster their wrong assertions by the Bible, even quoting inaccurately what they think will suit their purpose and putting forth a lot of talk without understanding what they are saying.”

When I first read this (quoted in Orr, Faith That Makes Sense, pp38-39), I was surprised by its original source. It was not from the 20th century, or even the 19th century, but from the 4th century. It was translated from the Latin, written by Augustine (De Genesi ad Litteram, Book I, Chapter xix, 39). Obviously, this is not a new issue, but I believe Augustine gives us pause, as Christians, to exercise a bit more humility in this debate, especially when “witnessing” to those more educated.

Thanks again for your comments, and for all of the great teaching you provide.
Mark Marikos , 06/27/08 07:57 PM
What a clear and compassionate answer to a difficult issue. Donna
Donna Wigginton , 06/27/08 10:53 PM
This is why we love you. You are candid about your struggles, you are tenacious in finding answers and you bring it home to your peeps. I have a simple faith. I intuitively know there's more but I don't need details to believe. What I know the Lord came to me in my darkest hour, lifted me out of the pit, set my feet on a rock and put a new song in my mouth. (I think the difference lies at being saved at 8 or like me at 28.) Having said that, nobody gets more excited than me when you flesh out these ideas. It moves me at my core and gives me a deeper faith. Like learning something new about your best friend or spouse after 20 years. All you can say is wow!,I thought I knew everything about you but there's so much more! Thanks Roger for your great mind, your great faith and this awesome website!!
Kathy McMillin , 06/28/08 09:14 AM
Thank you so much for your comments. It is always great to hear from you. Roger
Roger Barrier , 06/28/08 02:52 PM
I really appreciate how you took the time to answer this difficult question. It's simple enough to understand but I'm going to re-read it a couple of times to let it soak in!
Kathy Calhoun , 06/28/08 11:18 PM
The Universe declares His majesty!

The more one studies the sciences, the more spectacular is the evidence of His creation!

Thank you for your thorough explanation, and your dedication to deeper understanding of scripture.
Ben Briggs , 06/29/08 05:58 PM
Thank you for your insightful coverage of this question on seven-days. I too struggled with this issue when in high school and college. While I could not give all of the substantive facts you share, I rested my faith (as you did) on the fact that however the universe was created, it was God who did it and that it did not need to be seven days.
June Gibble , 06/30/08 01:31 PM
Dear Roger,
I am a fairly new Christian, about a year and a half now, and am really new to Casas, just since this past Christmas. I have just read your piece on Genesis 1 and Creation. I am so thankful for it. I have been struggling every single day for the past year and a half, it's been awful for me. I have been trying to actually believe what the Bible says, and I . If I cannot understand what Genesis actually says, in it's literal form, then I don't know how to interpret the passages on the Resurrection. How can someone to come back to life? I've been trying to convince myself about Christianity, My family and I are at odds about this.
marilyn berwick , 07/01/08 02:14 PM
Dear Marilyn Berwick,
Perhaps you might consider not sleeping in on Sunday morning just yet.
My heart ached as I read your comments. Since I have added to your struggles with the veracity of the Bible and I grieve for that.
Perhaps you might allow me to respond in an enlightened way.
Like many books, the Bible contains all sorts of literary devices--like prose and poetry and metaphors and similies and onomatopoeia. There are narrative sections and allegorical sections and "wisdom" sections and narrative sections.
Think about it, when Jesus says, "I am a door," we don't take that literally and say He is made out of wood.
When Jesus taught about the ends and said, "as it was in the days of Noah, so shall the end times be" He used a simile.
When the psalmist talked about God having wings and feathers and gathering his children under his wings, he is using poetical language to describe God's care and protection. God is a spirit. This is poetic language Poetry often paints truth in word pictures.
One of the basic principles of Biblical hermaneutics (interpretation)is to interpret prose as prose and metaphors as metaphors and poetry as poetry.
As I look at the literary structure of Genesis and the ceration truths I personally that this passage is written in a Hebrew poetical style. This in no way says that the Bible is not true or trustworthy. I am trying to figure out what Moses meant when he wrote what he wrote.
Understanding literary devices helps me get to the real truths of the Bible.
As to the resurrection I believe frimly that the passages describing this truth are clearly written in narrative prose. We can stake our lives on the truths of the resurrection. I can see no poetry or allegory or metaphors or whatever else in the resurrection passages.
I hope this is helpful. If you live in Tucson, I would be glad to talk to you personally, email me personally at rogerb@casaschurch.org and we will get together.
Again,thanks for sharing your thoughts--and I am sorry to have added hurt to your life.
Love, Roger
Roger Barrier , 07/01/08 02:20 PM
Roger, I am so glad to learn that Casas will have a columbarium! I've wondered why we didn't. I can't think of a better place for my daughter to place my ashes when the time comes. Will we be able to purchase the space before need? I praying God gives me a few more years. M.
Margaret McClure , 07/11/08 04:56 PM
Roger, did you know you can also turn 1 lb of your ashes into a diamond? Yep, for a handsome amount of money you can become either a yellow or blue diamond. (I think it's a great idea but it could be a problem if you have several kids...) The website is called life gems. :>)
Kathy McMillin , 07/11/08 08:33 PM
Roger,

You haven't done your Daniel series since we moved from the old sight, do you plan to do it again any time soon?

Pat
Pat Montcastle , 07/11/08 11:38 PM
This is great information. I was once asked what the fish meant and all I could figure was we were called to be fishers of men.
Sherrie Barfield , 07/13/08 06:21 PM
Not to throw a wrench into the explanations given but I approach the creation timing from a different angle. I believe that the creation story could be taken as a literal 7 days. You see, when Adam was created, he was created with certain abilities already in place. Adam did not have to learn to walk, eat, or talk. It is almost as if he was created with "experiences" built in; as if he was created with a certain skills that we would equate with someone at a certain age. I would think we'd all consider Adam an adult. I know this sounds a little crazy but to me it makes some sense.

Look at light for example. Light travels at 386,000 per second. When you consider the distance stars are form the earth, if they were created say 6,000 ago, that would not allow enough time for the light to reach the earth. But God mentions the stars in the creation story. Adam did not have to wait to see them, What if God not only created the stars but also places the light beaming off of them in place.

What if the universe was created with age? God is outside of time. I do not believe he is limited in his creation. I believe he can create both new and old things at the same moment. Perhaps our universe that is dated billions of years old by our standard was created 6,000 years ago. Impossible? Not with God.

I hope I am not out of place with my comments and I welcome any correction.
In Christ,
Bill
Bill Brecht , 07/13/08 10:14 PM
To everyone who is still struggling with this issue: You are not alone. And it's okay to struggle with theological questions. Abraham did. Moses did. Jacob did. Paul did. Peter did. Again, you are not alone.

At one time, I was convinced that the seven-day creation account was literal. After all, if every word in the Bible is true, then how could I handle it any other way? But later, as I attended college and graduate school, my faith was shaken to the core. Everything I learned about the universe seemed to contradict the Bible.

I was fortunate enough to study under some wonderful Christian professors. But when I asked them how they were able to reconcile faith and science, the great majority of them gave me the same answer. They separated them completely. I didn't (and still don't) understand. I can't separate my rational mind and my spiritual heart like that. So then what?

I dropped out of graduate school and entered seminary for one reason: I wanted to reconcile my faith with the world around me. And after six years (yes, I squeezed a two-year program into six), I realized that I had been pursuing the wrong issue all along. I can't reconcile fath and science. My belief in the infinite God cannot rest on my finite understanding.

So I would never presume to judge another Christ-follower's view on any subject except one. Faith has to come down to ten words: Jesus died for my sins and rose from the dead. Period. And all of our theological questions and anwers must be rooted in this truth.

You know the phrase "on a need to know basis"? I truly believe that God has shared with us everything that we need to know to come to faith in Him. But by definition, faith will always involve an element of mystery, a sense that we have to choose whether or not we will believe because we don't have all the answers.

Earthly risk . . . heavelny reward. Are you willing to jump?



Brie Engeler , 07/14/08 12:48 PM
I am learning so much from these "Ask Roger" questions and answers. It also gives me something to research myself. Thanks, Roger.
Kathy Calhoun , 07/15/08 01:23 AM
The question of time is one that can be difficult to deal with. I have some pet theories, but I am looking forward to the instant replays when we get to heaven. Then we can see how far off we all were.

My personal favorite right now is one proposed by Gerald Schroeder in "The Science of God", where he invokes relativity theory to explain how it could be 15 billion years from our reference frame, and only seven days from a "universal" reference frame. Pretty heady stuff - it can cause brain hernias if not properly equipped!

But ultimately, as Brie points out, these issues are not that important. They are fun to play with and hypothesize about, but they should never be used to trip someone up and keep them from the central truths of scripture.
Mark Marikos , 07/15/08 08:39 PM
I am really enjoying this "Ask Roger" questions! With summer being here we are traveling a lot and I feel I am not missing my weekly sermon! Thanks Roger! Martha
Martha Jackson , 07/17/08 09:29 AM
"Concerned Christians of Mesa" is another wonderful source for learning about Mormonism and how to lovingly witness to Mormons about Jesus Christ/Christianity. Their website is www.concernedchristians.org
Julie Harrod , 07/17/08 11:08 AM
I keep coming back to this page and re-reading what you and others have written. If you look at the time I'm writing this, it's very early in the morning. I'm taking care of my new baby and looking at his face and smiling and thinking...God is good. He knows we have all these questions and he has all the answers.

I know I was barren for ten years and struggled to conceive. The best doctors with all their degrees had no hope for me. Their answer was for me to adopt because I only had 1% to ever be able to conceive and 99% of never having a baby. Now I have two beautiful baby boys. God loves to create something from nothing.

Roger, you have said before that the bible is ultimately not a science book but God's plan in restoring our relationship with him. Jesus is the main character and we are his love. I think about how I'm going to teach my baby boys the story of creation in Genesis. I once thought I knew but now I'm thinking I need to keep it simple.

I'm so thankful for all the knowledgeable people in our church who continue to seek God and his truth. We may all struggle with some truths in the bible but God delights in revealing himself to us as we grow and mature in our faith. Faith, hope and love but the greatest of these is love.
Kathy Calhoun , 07/25/08 05:46 AM
This is very helpful. It is good to know what to pray for specifically. Thank you!
Kelly , 07/25/08 07:29 PM
I am 15 years old and have read all three of these books. At first I wasn't sure if they were something I should read either. I personally did not find anything offensive in them. There are two grops of vampires in these books. The vampire that Bella falls for and his family believe that it is wrong to eat humans and therefore only feed on wild animals. The "bad" vampires do eat humans, however. In these books the author makes it clear who is "right" and who is "wrong" and the good guys always win. The second or third book (I can't remeber which) is a tad more graphic than the others but is no worse than Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. There is are no spells cast, the story isn't very dark or creepy and does not folow the traditional portrayal of vampires, such as Dracula. I actually found this book much less dark and frightening than some of the books I have had to read for school. The werewolves (introduced in the second book) are native americans and do have legends about how they became that way.

As for the romance of the book the characters do no more than kiss and hold hands until the second book (I think its the second one) and even then they do not have sex.
Over all this book was very clean, much cleaner then most television shows. I think there was one swear word used only two or three times total in all three books. I hope this has helped you! I totally agree with Pastor Barrier in that you should read the books yourself, you might actually enjoy them!
Kelly Carswell , 07/27/08 03:48 PM
Kelly, I am so glad that you responded to my blog so thoughtfully. I know that you can feel free to dialogue with me concerning any question you have. Thanks for your comments. I am always willing to listen, and pray for God to grow you and bless your life!
Your Friend, Roger Barrier
Roger Barrier , 07/27/08 10:25 PM
I have been helping my 10 year old daughter, Amanda with this same question. She has friends and relatives who do not know or trust Jesus. Particularly troubling for her is her cousin's complete rejection of Jesus. I remind Amanda to mirror Jesus' loving, compassionate and truthful nature. Her cousin seems to blame Jesus for all the deaths of her pets. Amanda has tried to convey that all of God's creatures and precious people eventually die and that she is very sorry that her cousin misses her pets. Amanda recently lost her beloved grandad (my father) on June 11. By God's grace and love she is able to look forward to the day when she will be with him again in eternal life. To a Christian parent, this is a gift I thank my Savior for giving my children. The hearts and minds and spirits to accept God's love and lean on Him through all of life's ups and downs. I do not know how to explain this to Amanda any differently except to reach for the Lord and she will be amazed at what is to follow. I know I am. Blessings, DeDe Betten
DeDe Betten , 08/03/08 04:30 PM
Dear Pastor Barrier,
I am the person who posted some time back re: Gen.1, and I said that if Gen.1 is not to be taken literally because it makes no scientific sense, then perhaps the Ressurrection should be reconsidered also since it too does not make scientific sense. In regard to eyewitnesses to the Ressurrection, logically that's simple to answer...they simply lied. Now where am I going with this? I'm going to the Ten Commandments in Ex.20:8-11. First let me say that I do completely believe in the literal version of the Creation, and that I will only quote two verses from scripture because for me, they are the only ones needed here.
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the SEVENTH DAY. Therefor the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy". Now, I truly know that this seventh day is a 24 hour day, otherwise if this too shouldn't be taken literally, then church on Sunday wouldn't exist, and also, He just said again that it is a 24 hour day. Now, I don't really know all of the science and how they have come to the conclusions about the Creation that they profess. But, I do know that God is His Word, that God is never wrong, and that we should "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding", Proverbs 3:5. Also, I've seen a lot of great breakthroughs from science in my 60 odd years on this planet (remember the polio vaccine on the sugar cubes?). But, I wish I had a penny for the number of times they have had to admit their errors...far too many times for me to keep count. I don't believe that the Lord's Word has ever been proven to be in error, and trying redefine what he gave Moses about His Creation by calling it a form of poetry is, in my opinion, simply wrong. I will also say this. I am convinced that the United States has come to it's end, that this Nation's time is up, and I don't mean years, but months. We have let our country go to Hell in a handbasket, we are hanging on by a thread, the signs are everywhere and multiplying every day. I really don't hear Christians talking about this, much less preparing for it. It's as if we're living in a parallel universe the way this subject is being ignored by the Church. My point is this. I am not brave enough, or smart enough, to mess around with anything in God's Word at any time, but especially now. The only way that I would be willing to concede a different meaning behind any of His Words is if He told me Himself, and that He has not done. I attended Casas for a short time, just since this past December, but I won't be returning. I do wish you, and all members God's favor, but I will go where I know that God's Word is being taught without compromise, although that's becoming pretty hard to find these days.
Sincerely,
Marilyn Berwick
Marilyn Berwick , 08/03/08 05:47 PM
As a Master's level therapist I have encountered the real side of Vampirism first hand, through my counseling work with a cult member right here in Tucson. I would like to inform you about the dark side of this.

Several years ago I had a client who was involved in the vampire cult. When I asked him to explain to me what he meant he replied that he belonged to a cult here in Tucson who met at a local cemetery once a week to engage in a variety of rituals including drinking one another's blood. I asked him what it was that he got out of his participation in this act. He replied that the night would start out with certain rituals of chanting and dancing around headstones then everyone would run around the cemetery to get their endorphins "revved up". At that point they would get out their blood-letting kits that included a needle, a tube, and a tourniquet, which was used to get the blood vein ready for piercing. They would each take turns drinking each other's blood through the hollow tube.

He was told that since their endorphins were so high, he too would received a high from the blood they drank. He admitted to never feeling an actual "high" from the drinking of the blood but did it anyway to feel accepted as a cult member. I asked him if he was aware of blood born pathogens. He believed because they did a "certain ritual" prior to drinking the blood that this would prevent any negative illnesses from being passed between the cult members.

At first I found it difficult to believe this was real. However after he showed me his arms and the totally collapsed blood veins in each, I was then convinced he was engaging in something unusual. He even showed me his blood letting kit.

The reason he came to me for counseling was not because of the vampirism, but because he was suffering from heavy depression. He was unclear why he was so depressed all the time. I asked him if he felt depressed during his time at the cemetery. He stated he felt good after spending time with his cult once a week and doing the rituals but that high led to a greater feeling of depression later on. He not only felt empty, he also felt a sense of numbness. His life had no meaning and he often stated he was suicidal. He was promised by the cult that he would be a part of a family that loved and adored him. He soon realized that all they wanted was to simply use him and the love they described was a deception.

Roger, the cult he belonged to was located here on the northwest side of Tucson, however he stated there were similar cults all over town. Both men and women including teenagers are involved in these cults.

I do not know a lot about the Twilight series. But any book about vampires should be carefully screened by parents. Vampires are real, maybe not the hollow-fanged Draculas that we see in Hollywood, but they do exist.

Parents might want to explore this with their daughters more, and help them understand that vampires or vampirism is not a way to obtain love and acceptance in life. There is a chance an impressionable girl could be drawn into the vampire cult if they become interested though literature. This may sound extreme but there is a real vampire cult at work right here in our own town.

Because of sensitivity to who might be reading this I am leaving several things out. However, I would like to say this cult attracts teenaged girls much to their detriment.
Matt Hitchcock , 08/04/08 09:58 PM
Matt, this information is invaluable. Thank you so much for sharing it. I hope we will read more of your insightful comments in the future.
Roger Barrier , 08/04/08 10:08 PM
I would just like to take a couple of minutes to add some insight that I have learned the hard way. I have been a Christian all of my life and met my wife while she was still involved in Mormonism. There were as you can imagine many, many issues that arose from our religious differences. Although I truly believe that God was with me all they way and has ultimately blessed our lives I would not recommend the same path for others. My wife did accept Christ six years into our marriage and we have grown spiritually together. We have now been married for almost 20 years and both have a deep love for Christ (and are still maturing together).
Anyway all of that was to add some of my experiences. I learned that Mormonism is a culture that truly does indoctrinate its children. My wife had already questioned the Mormon Church when we met and was truly seeking other answers. She still had a very hard time getting past the “works” issue. Grace was a very foreign concept and it took several years for her to fully grasp God’s love there and accept his free gift of salvation.
Religious discussion does not work well with Mormons if the subject is not already seeking other answers. The Mormons actually have classes or the equivalent of Sunday school training on how to respond to people trying to convert them to other religions. They teach their children standardized answers to all of the arguments or religious statements you might possibly think of.
I have come to realize the best way to reach a Mormon for Christ is to pray and exhibit God's love to them in your life. Then answer the questions as they arise. My wife has said many times that she knew she was missing something and saw that something in my life but could not figure out what it was. It took both of us a while to realize that what she saw was God’s peace in my life. The peace that only God’s grace can give. As you can imagine this approach may take some time and may never come to fruition. My wife has several siblings and in the 20 years we have been married we have only been able to reach two so far.
Roger is very wise in telling you to learn more about the Mormon Church. Many of the main stream Mormons do not even realize what their theology teaches. Most will tell you that they too are Christians but have a very hard time explaining why they believe in Christ. At a very core level the Mormon Church teaches that you can become a god if you do the right things. It is a very interesting theology and I hold a lot of respect for many of the things they do (like their family values, missions program and social services for their members to name a few). But do not let that deceive you, it truly is a cult in every sense of the word and a hard thing to break out of.
This is a huge topic and of course very near and dear to us. If you have an interest my wife and I would gladly meet with you to discuss this further.
John Dorer , 08/08/08 06:56 PM
What a great topic. Everyone thinks about it and wrestles with it, but few are brave enough to tackle it. So I will go out on that limb and put my two cents in. My journey was similar to others that have posted. I grew up in the church, though not Baptist, and was always taught the literal interpretation. But being an engineer and scientifically minded individual, the literal interpretation was a problem for me. My experiences and studies did not jive with the literal. But because my faith, I knew that God’s word was truth. So was I wrong in what I was seeing or was the interpretation wrong. I have to say though that this inconsistency never shook my faith. I just assumed that it was just my understanding of either the scriptures or “the science”.

My approach was to have several principles to follow that were non-negotiable. They are, in order of importance from highest to lowest. 1) God is Supreme; 2) God was, and is, and will be; 3) God is the creator of all things good; 4) God can not be constrained to our limited understanding; 5) The Bible is God’s Holy Word perfect without error; and 6) God is not trying to hide from or deceive us. All other things I was taught about the creation were “under the microscope” so to speak as was those things “scientific”.

Since God is not trying to hide from us and scripture says that He is evident in all of His creation, investigating creation is not unchristian. Rather, I would argue that it is highest form of honor to examine what He has made. He made the universe for a reason just as He made us with the ability to reason. Though science is often wrong (I seem to remember that the Titanic was unsinkable), it constantly questions itself. On a side note, it was the religious people that declared that the earth was the center of the universe. Obviously we don’t understand scripture as well as we would like to believe.

Without all of the boring scientific baggage and to make a long story short, I am convinced that the earth is older than 6000 years. I know that science will never uncover all of God’s “secrets”. Every answer they find will have dozens more to uncover. All is does is remind us of how much He is God and we aren’t. But for those that believe in the literal interpretation, you are still family. After all, in the beginning, only God was there and only He knows what happened for sure. We just stumbled upon the scene later afterward.

One more note, as far as scientific examination goes my wife and I agree to disagree. I see God under ever rock that science “discovers”. He was already there; He didn’t have to discover it. As we examine the universe I am awestruck how it all works together. That which I don’t know just prods me on more to look under more rocks. My wife sees things differently. “Looking under the rocks” are a distraction. She is awed by the majesty of it all. Not knowing is just more evidence of God’ supremacy. Who is right and who is wrong? I have my opinion of course, but because I have learned to be sensitive to her views, I will say, God knits us uniquely in our mother’s womb in His image with different gifts, different strengths, and different weaknesses. Maybe God is bigger than one simple approach of viewing His creation. I can live with the uncertainty of not knowing for sure. He is big enough to handle the universe without my supervision.
Jim Selvy , 08/18/08 02:34 AM
some proof that cats go to heaven
Isaiah 11:6
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
I have 5 Kitties and they too are aware when they see me with a squrit bottle ready to get them with a strem of water for being or doing something wrong they stop or get away...I also do the sinners prayer with them...as well as give them to God I tell him that they are his...so yes they will be there when I get there....BTW Kitties are Cute
Lis Thompson , 08/18/08 07:07 PM
Also, regarding Jesus's last name. Jesus, being a jew, would have been called Y'shua Bar Yosef (or Jesus, son of Joseph) which was their tradition in His time on earth.

This from the web site for a wonderful evangelical-missionary group called Jews for Jesus: http://www.jews-for-jesus.org/
Annie , 08/22/08 05:58 PM
There is a Christian organization right here in Tucson that hosts FREE monthly presentations by scientists who are Christians, dealing with all aspects of Creation Science.

You can find out more on their website: http://south.azosa.org

or call 663-5626

or e-mail them at 7Gen11@earthlink.net
Annie , 08/22/08 06:13 PM
There are many excellent teachers and resources available to help discerning Christians interpret our contemporary headlines in light of Biblical prophecy.

One really interesting website is: http://raptureready.com/

The Christian brothers who maintain this website include on it daily news headlines, reviews of books, and even an "index" as a sort of "barometer to test the air" so to speak.

Just another useful tool as you examine the scriptures for yourselves.
Annie , 08/22/08 06:20 PM
Thanks! What a tremendous wealth of information.
Joyce Price , 08/22/08 06:31 PM
Wow! That was wonderful. I too am moved when I know people are suffering and there seems to be no end in sight. That would be an awesome sermon because if it's not migrains it's back trouble, or if it's not physical pain it could be an unhappy marriage,rebellious children, you can fill in the blank. Suffering knows no boundries. I bet alot of folks would come forward after a sermon like that. Thanks!
kathy McMillin , 08/23/08 08:54 AM
Thank you, Roger, for such a thorough and heartfelt response. I've printed this to return to at any time that I may have questions or doubts during the valleys in my or my family's life. I love all of the Bible references that were used as well. This is a perfect reminder of how we must, at all times, work to remain humble, to let go, and to let God. Sarah, you are in my prayers. Thank you for having the strength and courage to share your question with Roger and your story with us -- your step will help many.
Nancy DeMille , 08/24/08 12:23 AM
I remember the one line sermon. We were in the
first service, I remember you leaving the pulpit and Miller Cunningham grabbing a hymnal,
thumbing thru the hymnal. I remember the complete quietness in the whole building. God
was alive and THERE, I truly felt his presence.
We sat there motionless at least 15 minutes.

'IT' is the one the only sermon I can quote word for word. Have used it effectively several times. Also when I hear, feel, the little nudge inside me. I don't question 'it' I
do the 'nudge' immediately.

Thanks, Roger, for being you, we at Casas have
been truly blessed with your spiritual training. On the job training? YES!!

I have to add also that Julie playing the piano
so masterfully, every hair on her head was keeping time. I thanked God for her back there
in '83, when we first started coming to Casas, what a stimulating time being in the presence
of the Lord thru 'the' music and the music deliverer !!!!!!! Thanks Julie.

Naomi Allyn

Naomi Allyn , 08/28/08 10:40 PM
I think it is also important to remember that we are all responsible for our own happiness. We should not expect our friends or spouses to make us happy, nor should we wear ourselves down trying to make others happy. That is not our responsibility. Find happiness by looking from within and connecting with God. Smiles ;-)
Aaron Alvarez , 08/30/08 12:00 AM
I would to make a comment to assist those people that are in unequally yoked situations and not feeling too good about it. These situation can turn out for the good.

When I met my now ex-wife (stay with me), she was Catholic, and not saved. After we were married, we attended a Baptist church, because of my Christian back ground. Our unequally yoked situation, brought an unsaved person to be saved. I do not feel that earlier unequal yoking had anything to do with the divorce, since we were equally yoked at the time of the divorce. Even though the pain of divorce hurt very bad, if the purpose of that marriage was to have another soul accept Christ, it was worth it. I did not agree to go along with the divorce, but had no choice due to the law.

I think it is important for Christians to befriend non-Christians; to associate with unequally yoked people. If we are truly living our best godly life, and the Holy Spirit can work through us, these unequally yoked associates may come to know Christ. Remember: Take what you want and leave the rest. You control you. ;-)
Aaron Alvarez , 08/30/08 12:46 AM
How strange I always thought that message was for me. God was giving me a serious message through you. He does work in many different dimensions.

Thank you for always leading by example.
Carlene Hoffman , 08/30/08 08:32 PM
Thank you for the Biblical references used in answering this question. As the father of a preschooler, I will no doubt have some interesting questions to answer in the coming years.
And yes, "Everyone Poops" is a great book for little ones, as well as "The Gas We Pass" (same publisher). My wife and I have read both books with our daughter to explain some of life's "mysteries."
Eric Krell , 09/06/08 09:19 AM
Roger. you talk so requently about Goody and Surely, I would like to meet them.Would youever consider bringing them to services one day so dog lovers like myself could shake hands and tell them it is nice to finally meet you?
BrianC
brian carswell , 09/08/08 02:53 PM
Only God knows how he created the heavens and the earth, which is the way it should be...However as Rob Bell described in his book "Velvet Elvis" it is interesting how we describe a literal 7 day creation and we judge a "Day" as a 24-hour period during which the earth completes one rotation on its axis. In other words we would need the sun and moon to judge a day...and the sun and moon, of course weren't created untill the 4th day of creation.
Dustin Rogers , 09/09/08 10:38 PM
My experience as a mother of two was that while breastfeeding my children, their poop did not smell. Once they started on processed food...bring out the nose plugs. I am not a vegan, but if I had the willpower I would be. From what I have read over the past 4-5 years, our bodies were not designed to thrive on dead, processed food. Adam and Eve ate from the garden - raw fruits, veggies, grains, and nuts. It was not until after the flood that God told Noah, "...kill and eat..." (meat). Many believe that this is also the time that man started cooking his food, thereby killing all the live nutrients they contain. Interestingly, this is also about the time that lifespans (as recorded in Genesis) began rapidly decreasing (by hundreds of years!). Live bodies need live food - the kind God put in the garden for the first human beings, not dead, processed "food". So...my opinion is that poop probably did not smell bad until after the flood.
H.C. , 09/09/08 11:50 PM
This was extremely cool and edifying and enjoyable to read!
Amy Paegel , 09/16/08 03:00 PM
Great insights, H.C. Fascinating. Makes me want to go eat a salad.
Roger Barrier , 09/16/08 08:10 PM
Roger

Please check out my web site. I wrote my PHD thesis opposing tithing and my book is the most complete book on the subject. My site has over 150 articles, an essay and a 2 hour DVD presentation. May God bless you.

In Christ's love
Russell Earl Kelly, PHD
www.tithiing-russkelly.com
Russell Kelly , 09/26/08 08:09 AM
Roger,
I had this conversation with an elder of a church recently. He was, out of love, giving me a hard time as I don't have a job at the moment so 10% of nothing is well, nothing. But his argument was that I still have money in the bank, enough to get by for a while until I'm able to find work.
My question is this: is tithing simply a money issue? If I am to give God the top of what I have; the cream of the crop so to speak, how can that simply be something I use to make ends meet? Can't it be using what talents and abilties I've been given to serve? Money has never been a huge issue to me, and I'll glady give what I have...as you said, God asks us to test Him in money. I take that to heart and God's always provided. But I can't get past the thought that it's just money.
Dustin Scott , 09/26/08 02:39 PM
Roger,

My husband and I have tithed for a long time and at first it was out of obediance. After we took the Crown ministry course we realized that it is more about trusting God and puting our heart in the right place with God (God owns it all and we are his managers). Our flesh still struggles from time to time when we have to write a big tithe check (now that we live on one income and two new babies); however, God never fails to meet all our needs. As a matter of fact, we feel that God has given us an extra surplus so we can bless others who are struggling financially. I don't want others to think we are without any problems but we do have tremendous peace over our finances...even in these difficult times.
Kathy Calhoun , 09/28/08 12:50 AM
WAYNE & I STARTED TIETHING OUT OF OBEDIENCE ALSO. GOD SOON SHOWED US THAT HIS PROMISE WAS TRUE IN ALL AREAS OF OUR LIFE: FINANCES,CARS NOT BREAKING DOWN, HEALTH, EMOTIONS & EVEN PROVIDING CONVENIENT PARKING PLACES & ARRIVING AT A RESTARANT 5 MIN. BEFORE THE CROWD.HE DOES CARE ABOUT THE SMALL THINGS & WE ACKNOWLEDGE THAT.
THE FEW TIMES WE DECIDED NOT TO GIVE OUR TIETH, IT WAS SOON TAKEN AWAY BY REPAIRS OR OTHER MEANS & WE DIDN'T GET TO ENJOY THE EXTRA $'S FOR OURSELVES.
HE HAS PROVED FAITHFULL!
BETTY HARRIS , 09/29/08 05:59 PM
Is there an old testament prophecy that fortells that Israel will "be at peace" with her neighbors. Is there a phophcey that might be a triger in the "end times" events? ie Will this "soon to be" peace treaty with the PLO (and others) be the fulfillment of any specific prophecy??
John Towell , 10/06/08 07:39 PM
Fantastic, Roger -- thank you so much!
Thomas Wheeler , 10/08/08 05:16 PM
I have been under the impression that Satan cannot read our minds so your thoughts are intriguing. But, what if Satan can't read our minds but is able to interject thoughts based on what he observes in our actions or reactions. He is very crafty and I believe he studies us well knowing what may make us stumble. What if your rebuking him in your mind worked not because Satan could read your mind but because God could and honored that by battling and overcoming Satan. Just a thought. We'll probably never know until heaven so I guess we really should work on "taking our thoughts captive" at all times.
Teresa Varney , 10/16/08 11:50 PM
Dear Roger,
You can make time fly faster than any speaker I have listened to. I was spell bound in your teachings this morning.
My question is where did Jesus go for the 3 days and 3 nights? Did He in fact go to hell and take my sins. I shudder to think that would have happened as being without His Father on the cross with my sins laid on Him is so painful, I just can't comprehend He had to spend that time in hell to save me as well. On the other hand did He spend this time in Heaven with God to get Him ready for the 40 days on earth? I have heard it explained both ways.
I thank God for the abilities He has given you. Your intellect, your warm personable being and your humanness. I know God works through you and all you do is of Him.--Well, not ALL you do.
God Bless you and Julie,
Vanna
anna Randall , 10/25/08 04:24 PM
I would like to comment on the portion about "Wives respecting their husbands" The bible does not request that we do this only if our husbands are deserving of it. We are to respect the position that God has given them and the rest is up to God to transform our husbands to the man described in this passage. We are to do our part and pray for our husbands to be the man they should. I believe this is a huge part of the reason that divorce is the same in church as the world. The bible teaches alot about what is expected of wives and we would all be wise to ask the holy spirit to begin creating us into those wives. If your marriage or spouse isn't what you want it to be, begin by asking God to show YOU how to be the spouse God has called you to be and leave the other person in the hands of our Almighty God.
Anonymous , 10/27/08 03:44 PM
Dear Anonymous,
I completely agree with you that a husband is to be respected. My intent was to explain that a marriage is a reciprocal relationship where both partners submit to Christ as the Head of their home. In the case of a marriage where there is a non-believing husband, other issues come into play. It is certainly important that the wife not try to change her husband, but to leave that work to the Holy Spirit.

I have written a very thorough discussion of this issue in a blog entitled "Unequally Yoked." Please take a look...
Roger Barrier , 10/28/08 12:18 PM
WOW! I am amazed that not one pastor has responded to this comment. To say that God would allow an unequally yoked marriage for the purpose of salvation is about the largest misconception of God I have heard in a long time. First, God does say not be unequally yoked and He does not change His mind for certain situations. Second, He HATES divorce, read Malachi. God does not condone divorce between two christians(as you said your wife became a christian). This is heartbreaking to think that God's only way of bringing someone to salvation is to Go against His own standards. As far as "you control you" Not if you are being guided by the Holy Spirit. We are no longer in control. That is the whole point of Surrending to Jesus Christ.
Teresa Varney , 10/30/08 12:39 PM
Roger,

a couple of comments. First, regarding the question about which of the Old Testament Mosaic Laws apply to us today, I believe that this is the wrong question to ask. I think a Jewish perspective may be of some help in answering this question.

First, a disclaimer. I am not Jewish. I have never been Jewish. None of my family is, or ever have been, Jewish. What I am about to write comes from my own personal reading. If someone who does have a Jewish background (or some keener, better-informed insight) would like to comment on this I would welcome their input.

Instead of asking which of the laws in the old testament apply to us, the right question to ask, in my view, is which covenant applies to us gentiles today. From my reading, I gather that a Jewish rabbi would say that the covenant that Moses and the children of Israel made with Yahweh is not binding on gentiles. It just does not, nor will it ever, apply to us. On the other hand, Jews would say that there is a covenant made between Noah and his children and Yahweh that does still apply to us as gentiles. It is recorded in Genesis 9:1-17. (Wikipedia has a nice summary of the seven laws of Noah.) In fact, there is an echo of this covenant in the New Testament when the church decided the question of whether gentiles had to first become Jews before they could become Christians. The answer was, of course, that gentiles do not need to convert to Judaism before they could become Christians. The letter that this council sent out to the gentile believers informing them of their decision has an echo of the Noachic covenant laws (Acts 15:28, 29).

This does not mean that the rest of the Torah is irrelevant to us as gentiles. In fact, Jews would say that it is good for all of us, both Jew and gentile, to study Torah. The Talmud describes an encounter between Hillel, someone the Jews consider a great rabbinic sage, and a gentile. This gentile insisted that Hillel summarize the entire Torah while standing on one leg before he would begin studying Torah. Hillel responded, while standing on one foot, "That which you dislike don't do to your fellow: That’s the basis of Torah. The rest is commentary; go learn Torah!" Clearly, Jews consider Torah study to be appropriate for everyone, whether Jew or gentile.

My second point is about the status of women in the Christian church. I gather that S.'s friends are concerned that involvement in the church would be a step down in status for her. It might be instructive to see how Jesus interacted with women in his ministry.

The one instance that stands out in my mind is the story of Mary and Martha. Most people seem to concentrate on the altercation between Martha and Jesus and all but forget what precipitated the exchange. Note that this was not merely a tiff over who was going to do the chores that day. The argument was over the fact that Mary was "sitting at the feet" of Jesus. Without some historical context we could easily miss what is being said here. My reading has suggested to me that this turn of phrase, "sitting at the feet", is the same one Paul uses when he describes his rabbinical studies under Gamaliel. In other words, Mary was not a passive listener, while Jesus told a few parables to his disciples. She was very much an active learner. Essentially, she had enrolled in Jesus' rabbinical school! This is even more remarkable when we consider that Jewish women at that time did not study Torah; there was a proverb from around that time that said something to the effect that "It is better to throw the Torah scroll into the fire than to place it into the hands of a woman." Jesus clearly had different ideas about the place of women in his ministry. In this light it would appear that Jesus may have actually been--*gulp* dare I even think it?--a progressive-thinking, feminist sympathizer! Just to put some icing on this proverbial cake, I will also note that Paul frequently mentions various women church leaders by name in his letters. It might be good for us to keep these points in mind when we try to interpret what Paul is actually trying to say in those seemingly "anti-women" passages in his letters.
P. G. , 11/01/08 07:36 AM
I have often wondered about those days between Christ's death and resurrection also...what about what he told the thief on the cross, that he would be in "paradise" with him that very day? Also, if Christ paid the penalty for our sins in full on the cross, and right before he gave up his spirit he declared, "It is finished", why would he then have to to hell? That never made sense to me.
Sherrill Weaver , 11/06/08 01:44 PM
Thanks, Roger, for answering my question to the best of your knowledge. If you are not sure then I don't feel dumb about asking.
God Bless,
Vanna Randall , 11/06/08 05:43 PM
Pastor Barier...I subscribe to a current events website, one of the topics discussed was having to do with Pope Benedict calling for mutual respect between christians and muslims. A 'Common Word', cited passages from the Koran showed that Christianity and Islam worship the same God, and require their respective followers to show each other particular friendship. Can you give me your take on this topic, thanks ...Ken
Kenneth Snodgrass , 11/10/08 02:16 PM
Ken,

well, I'm not Roger, but I'll give my $0.02 worth. I have been volunteering with a group this past year ministering to refugees resettled to our community. Many of these refugees are Muslim. It has truly been a delight to help them get resettled here and I hope that everyone in our community would give these people--many of them fleeing from war and persecution back home--a warm welcome. Not only is it the christian thing to do, but you will certainly meet some delightful, warm-hearted people in the process.

As for the question of whether we actually worship the same God. First, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all trace their spiritual descent from Abraham so, in that sense we do worship the same God. On the other hand, I think a cautionary warning is in order. I have found, from my personal experience, that while we use very similar religious vocabulary we often have very different meanings for the words we use. As an example, what you and I, as Christians, mean by the word "prophet" will likely be very different from what a Muslim means when using that same word. It can easily lead to confusion and hurt feelings when discussing religious issues, if you are not careful. Because of this and other instances, I can't help but feel from my initial impression that the similarities that the Pope sees may be more superficial than real. In other words, peel back the layers and we may find that there is a bit less in common there than might first appear.

All of the above might be interesting for spirited discussion but, personally, I am much more concerned about how Islam is lived out in Muslim countries around the world today. In many Muslim lands living as a Christian can be difficult, to say the least. It is particularly difficult for converts out of Islam and into Christianity. Abandoning the faith of Islam for another religion, apostasy, is a very serious issue in the Land of Islam. In many instances it leads to death, imprisonment, and other forms of persecution.

I don't know if it was the same conference as "Common Word" but, recently petitioners, Catholic, Orthodox and Protestants from North Africa and the Middle Eat, wanted a meeting in the Vatican to agree to the following points:

1. that Islamic law does not apply to non-Muslims;

2. that dhimmi (or second class) status be abolished;

3. that the right to change religion be recognized as a fundamental right.

While Muslims and Christians may never agree on what it means to be a prophet of God, I would hope that at the very least we could all agree on the points of this petition.

I hope this helps.
P. G. , 11/10/08 07:01 PM
I have found in my own life that I was looking down on others that did not hold the same convictions as me, which in a sense is the sin of pride. I thought I was being such a "good" Christian and even doubted the salvation of some, which of course was wrong.
, 11/11/08 11:04 PM
Teresa: "you control you" is the same as free will.
Aaron Alvarez , 11/21/08 02:38 AM
Please read Prov. 21:30, 21:1, 16:9, 20:24, Lk 1:37, Prov 16:1. God is Soveriegn even over our will and HIS plan will prevail. We do not choose God in our own will, we cannot. We are not disposed to choose anyone over ourselves. God does not go against His own word to bring about someone's salvation.
Teresa Varney , 11/26/08 09:09 PM
All of this reminds me of a cute story, hopefully not irreverent, of when my two girls were young. I happened to have a car at the time that had electric controls. They were on the door, very close to where my elbow would rest. It took only a minor movement of my elbow to operate the button that would lock or unlock to door, or raise or lower the window, with my elbow. For almost a year my adorable girls believed that I was "magical", and it constantly amazed and enthralled them. It also helped me control them while I was driving! They even bragged about me to their friends! Oh, the laughter when they finally caught me and figured out "how I did it". I often feel like those girls did, when I consider how God made our world and all that's in it. He's wonderfully creative and "magical". I have no idea how he did it. Someday in heaven, maybe he'll reveal it all to us, and we'll all have a good laugh. Praise be to God, and may he bless all who love him!
Lynda Middleton , 12/03/08 10:58 AM
Hello Ask Roger,
Your comments and explanation of belief's were VERY helpful to me. In fact, Neil Anderson's book bondage breaker hurt me. One way was that he said Satan or his minions couldn't read our thoughts.

Every thing you said helped me. I have had OCD all my life. It now takes the form of harm thought. You may never have had many people with OCD, but the devil reads all my thoughts and torments and tortures me accordingly. He doesn't need to read my thoughts to torment my mind, he already knows my frame. The only trouble I have with your post is that you said the devil could only have access to us in area's that weren't submitted to the Holy Spirit. That renders the rest of the help sort of inoperable as it puts the blame squarely on the victim.

If what you say in prior sentence is true. How come the golfer stopped swearing when you prayed. Obviously, he didn't submit what ever area in his life to the Holy Spirit at that time that you prayed? I wish you didn't add that one sentence. It makes me feel like a bad person, so the devil has access to me.

What about the scripture in Galations AND Romans and Psalms and Isaiah. If God would mark iniquity who would stand? He laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. All have sinned. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we could be made the righteousness of God in Christ. He made Jesus a curse for us, because cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. He took away the curse for not obeying the law.

NOT THAT I AM ADVOCATING SIN, as the RANTERS etc. in the 1600's. as Paul said their condemnation is deserved. What do you think? I thank you so much for your post. I believe everything you said is true and great except that one sentence. Lucy
lucy mott , 12/12/08 09:59 AM
In response to Jim Selvey's comments on the pursuit of science (looking under the rocks); I don't recall who exactly coined the expression, but early scientists referred to the discipline as "thinking God's thoughts after Him."

This is obviously a topic of keen interest to still be generating responses over 6 months after the original post!
Mark Marikos , 01/02/09 03:13 PM
Every since I was a little girl, I felt it was something big I was destined for. I feel like God has call me to preach or something of that nature. I had visions I really cant explain it. I know I love talking about God.
Tonya Aoms , 01/04/09 09:07 PM
Every since I was a little girl, I felt it was something big I was destined for. I feel like God has call me to preach or something of that nature. I had visions I really cant explain it. I know I love talking about God.
Tonya Aoms , 01/04/09 09:08 PM
Dear Roger,

I am wanting to read the bible and get to know god more on a person level. I am 16 years old and i have alot of emotional things going on in my life right now, and i need something to go to. I have been a christian my whole life but im not sure how to apply the bible to my life. I try to talk to god but sometimes he just isn't there, but i know he is listening.
Do you have any suggestions?

Sincerely,
Brettany
Brettany S. , 01/11/09 01:04 PM
The other day, I saw a bumper sticker that I really liked. It read: "God is not a Republican . . . or a Democrat." I don't align myself with either party. I look at what I consider to be the most important issues, then I look each candidates stances on those issues, and finally, I pray for God's wisdom to help me decide.
Eric Krell , 01/20/09 07:48 PM
As I watched TV this past weekend and up through the inauguration, I was taken by a few things. One...if by electing Obama we have torn down part of the wall of racism and are on our way to a united nation, then Prasie God for that. If by Obama being President we are able to get a huge part of our nation to care for one another then Praise God for that. He appeals to the younger generation, the generation that will reap what they sow in the years to come. God is in control and no matter who is President, God will reign.
Christine Rogers , 01/21/09 10:03 AM
A similar sort of political “God-question” that I have contemplated is the conjecture that God does not favor capital punishment. This view is suggested in both secular (ethics agenda) and religious (moral agenda) arguments. However, it would seem clear for Christians that the choice by God would be to favor capital punishment, for what if Pontius Pilate had granted Jesus a life-term without parole sentence instead of crucifixion?
Mike Prout , 01/22/09 02:24 PM
Capitol punishment? How does one repent after they are executed? Where is the chance to witness to one strapped in the electric chair? Should we follow Pilate's example and crucify instead of using injection or garrotte?
L McKnight , 01/28/09 12:56 PM
I see it as a interesting forum. Good to know that some brothern obey what God asks them to do (some even out of desire to be blessed). However in the Matthew 23:23 Jesus spoke with pharesies who were bound to obey Moses'law not to the church of the new covenent. Secondly, non of the apostles mentioned in their epistels about tiething. Thirdly, when a young, rich jew came to Christ to ask Him how to be part taker of heavenly kingdom. Jesus asked him to sell all what he had and distribute to poor and follow Him. He didn't say pay your tieth and see How good I will be to you. Fourthly, if I am stilling God by not paying tieth, I am also stilling Him his time by not observing sabbath. The epistel to Hebrews was also intended for the jews to understand fullfillment of Gods promises in Jesus which doesn't have `to do`list in it like other espistels have for the church.
I have been blessed, because He became curse on the cross and I would give out of gratitude and thanks giving not as a low.
Thank you for reading.
Matthew Uzagare , 01/30/09 10:09 AM
I am currently speaking on Joshua: Walking in the Power of God's Promises. I find your analysis insightful and inspiring. I hope to use portions of it in my message this week. Is that OK?
Robert Setzer , 02/09/09 12:45 PM
I truley believe in God and all of his powers. And what brought me to your website was that I typed in "God will give me the desires of my heart". Here is my story (short and sweet): I tried for 3.5 years with my ex husband (whom I am so GRATEFULLY not with now) to have a baby and I didn't and I blamed God. After I divorced, I was excstatic that I did now bear his child. Now, I am with a WONDERFUL man (one just like my father...) and after six months of trying to concieve...we are redirected to a Fertility Clinic. Ok...I accept that but why can so many people have children addicted to drugs, alcohol, any other addiction or give them up for adoption when my husband and I SO LONG for a child of our own and cannot have one. I decided a LONG time ago that I believe that I will have a child and if it is a girl then her middle name will be Faith. God will give me the desires of my heart. So, my question is...why do I have to spend thousands of dollars to get my child when others are throwing theirs way!
Deidre Larey , 02/09/09 10:24 PM
Wow, what an encouragement for all those who are faced with the loss of a loved one who knows Jesus. I'm sorry for your loss but I know you'll take solace in knowing where your mom is. God bless you.
Ray Edwards , 02/19/09 02:48 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss Roger. Even though your mom is with Jesus it still must sting that she is no longer here on earth with you. You sure had her around for a good long time. That must have been a blessing and you must have so many wonderful memories. I'm praying for you and your family.
Annie , 02/19/09 04:25 PM
Sorry for your loss - heavens gain. Your Mom must have been a wonderful person - just look at the son she raised!!!!

Hugs and Blessings,
Mary , 02/19/09 05:11 PM
You have suffered a lot in your life and many of you loved ones have passed on and you still shine with the glory of God - what a wonderful example you are for everyone. May the wonderful memories of your loved ones bring you joy and peace.
Cheryl Mangum , 02/19/09 05:49 PM
I am 40 yrs old and i've been involved in church for awhile,I am now delivered from drugs that i've been fighting for 20 yrs.I am trying to have personal bible study for myself but i find myself getting confused or distracted,please help me find a way to apply the bible to my daily life
Michael Middleton , 02/25/09 12:43 PM
its all rather confusing
kenneth priest , 03/12/09 03:02 AM
been reading different views,someone said,i cant believe jesus also went to hell for my salvation,that is correct because we had already been saved.what i understood was he went to preach to the spirits in prison from the old testament.
kenneth priest , 03/12/09 03:11 AM
So what about people who trust Jesus on their deathbeds? They don't have a chance to show any spiritual fruit.
B. E. , 03/25/09 11:55 AM
Your answer really challenges what I've always been taught about the assurance of salvation. Am I not a Christian anymore if I don't act like one all of the time? Or just if I never act like one again?
F. M. , 03/25/09 12:00 PM
Dear Roger,
Don’t you think parables can be enigmatic as well as explanatory? Probably none is more so than this one. The Parable of the Four Soils is especially perplexing in the context in which Jesus explained it to his disciples. When this parable is discussed today, Jesus’ first sentence (Matthew 13:11) about informing the disciples “of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven” is usually omitted. Even with this knowledge this parable caused them to ask Him why He used such a parable. His answer re-iterates and expands the prophesy of Isaiah. But if the disciples missed this greater meaning of what seems to be a core tenet of Christianity and felt compelled to ask Him what He really meant by the parable, even though they had “knowledge of the secrets”, there should be little wonder that we today are perplexed by any detailed analysis of the parable.
I recall your sermon of maybe a year ago wherein you presented much of what you say here. After your sermon I read Matthew 13:10-23 repeatedly, as I have again since this blog entry. While Jesus gives the overarching message from Isaiah 6:9 an analogy in a relevant technology of the day (agriculture), I think Isaiah’s message is the central point He is making – that many may hear His message but only a quarter (by the Four Soils implication) will accept Him. To me, Jesus is describing a menu of failure modes for missing salvation when it is offered, even where some almost succeed. However, this parable adds a burden of expected productivity that is contradictory to the simple message of His crucifiction. Perhaps without this apparent contradiction we might not worry as much for others. After all , by His own implied estimation we can expect a 75% failure rate of those who actually hear because they never perceive, never understand.
Mike Prout , 03/27/09 04:36 PM
My first wife, before she died, had a serious bout with depression, ending with 5 ECT treatments. During her darkest hours she prayed almost all the time for relief, to no avail. She felt God had forsook her. She was a good Christian woman. People who feel that you can't be depressed and still be a Christian are full of Beans!
John Kraft , 04/02/09 09:13 AM
A pastor from a church I went to years ago said that if you're worried about this question, it's a good sign. If you're not worried at all, that's a bad sign. I think Name Withheld might just be pursuing God, in a way. I know God will never give up on you. NW might just find God one day soon... forever!
Amy Paegel , 04/02/09 02:41 PM
Roger, Great answer to the question. I believe that if we take it one (1) step furthur, we could say that after a person accepts Jesus as his/her saviour, they are soon baptized. This is a public demonstration to others of their love and obedience to the Lord.
Ron Roderick , 04/08/09 10:29 PM
Roger,

I was wondering why your anonymous friend is asking whether they can keep their conversion to Christianity private. What are they afraid might happen? Are they worried that friends and family might not approve, publicly mock and scorn them? Or do they have much more serious concerns about making a public profession of faith?

Recall, Roger, that a few weeks back I talked to you after church about an anonymous friend of my own, someone I had gotten to know through a discussion website. She would love to make a public profession of faith in Christ, but right now she just can't. She comes from another religious background, one that people aren't ordinarily allowed to leave. To do so means risking shunning by friends, being disowned by family. And that is if she is lucky. If she is not so lucky, she could face physical violence, even death!

I confess that under these circumstances I have been struggling with what advice to give her. Being real honest, I am not sure that I can counsel her according to Matthew 10:32,33, partly because I am not sure I could live up to that advice myself. I just don't know what I would do in her situation! The best I can offer her right now is that I am praying for her that this would turn out alright for her, that someday she can make her own public profession of faith in Christ. My sense is that in her case though, making that public profession is going to entail a very real cost for her. My prayers are with everyone who has to make that difficult choice. As far as I'm concerned, they really are worthy to be acknowledged by Jesus.

Thanks for sharing Roger.
P. G. , 04/09/09 07:53 PM
As a recently new Christian, I have found that it is very hard to stay tuned in with God. The harder that I try to believe in God, the harder it seems he makes it for me. The more things go wrong in my life. Everyone tells me that it is the devil working overtime to try and keep me away from God, but I think that if God wants me with him so bad he would fight to keep me?? I am feeling completely lost and confused?? What am I supposed to do and think?
Becki Lynne Corinthos , 04/12/09 12:45 PM
Becki,

I'm sorry that you feel lost and confused at this point. One suggestion that I would make is to seek out other Christians that you can walk with on your spiritual journey. The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone, but rather in community with other Christians. I know that the fine folks at Casas would be thrilled to help you find a group of people to get yourself plugged in to. I sincerely invite you to come to Casas next week and find something like an adult Bible fellowship (ABF) to join. I think you will be glad you did.

All the best to you, Becki!
P. G. , 04/12/09 04:52 PM
Roger,

actually, I would love to read your thoughts on why Matthew includes five women in his genealogy. That is, if you are up for telling us now.

By the way, love reading these Q&A pieces! Thanks!
P. G. , 04/20/09 06:21 PM
where is it in the Bible that God wwill send the collector and add more to what we all ready owe Him.
Lynda Duncan , 04/26/09 08:45 AM
Roger, I sincerely appreciate your words on this matter, but I do with that you had extrapolated a bit more on "Protect the Children" among your "Take-Aways". In many, dare I say a majority, of public schools, starting as early as kindergarted if not sooner, children are taught that homosexuality is perfectly normal. Books written for children casually show "families" consisting of two gay "fathers" or two lesbian "mothers". The gay activist organizations know that if they can reach the minds and hearts of our nation's children at an early age, then they will be far more accepting of homosexuality, not to mention far more open to experimenting with it during adolescence. Parents whose children are in public schools need to be fully aware of what sort of lessons their children are exposed to, and to oppose it vigorously.
Steven Kirk , 05/01/09 01:26 PM
Steven, I believe your comment is timely and significant. The best way to show children what God had in mind when He created the family is to model and teach godly relationships at home-to impart biblical values so that our children will develop discernment concerning morality and compassion toward those who don't know Jesus. I will amend my comments accordingly. Again, thank you for your observations.
Roger Barrier , 05/01/09 04:11 PM
WOW! shows how much I know about the present Heaven. It's scary to think that Satan has access there. And it answers one of my questions about how Satan was able to rebell in the first place. Esp. when I thought there was no place for sin in the present Heaven at all. So I'm guessing that because this Heaven is stained with sin. That people who are there can be easily thrown out just like Satan was, if they sin ? Aren't Believers in Christ who are saved,always saved? Esp. from sin in this Heaven ? And can't be thrown out either,or even touched by Satan, while in the present Heaven? He doesn't have access to them anymore while up there,does he? I wouldn't think that God would allow Satan to mess with his (God's)kids.
marta burgess , 05/03/09 05:03 AM
Roger,
The second theory sounds good, but still boils down to theory #1. In order for Cain to have a cousin, one of his brothers had to have kids, and where did that brother get his wife? In order to have a third generation, someone from the second generation had to have a wife.
, 05/07/09 04:30 PM
By my understanding of the scriptures, the devil CANNOT read your mind. You stated that the devil is neither omnipresent or omniscient, neither is he omnipotent. If he does not have these abilities then he cannot read your mind. If he could, then he would not need his demons to do his dirty work for him. He would be able to do it himself.
He can put thoughts in our mind (temptation) which is all I can see in the scriptures you quoted. He is not "controlling" your mind. You are given free will and it is up to you to rebuke these temptations.
Chris Boyer , 05/26/09 10:47 AM
Hmmm, you write "Many mental disorders are incompatible with successful marriages." Which ones?
Amy P , 06/25/09 12:13 PM
How can someone say the devil can not read mind if the scriptures (Bible) doesn't say that?

To have an opinion is one thing, but say it for sure is adding to the scriptures.

Let's stay with the Bible.

If the Bible doesn't say something, don't affirm.

*Evil spirits can even interact (through mind) with people who are captive by the devil. That's a fact.

Ricardo Nogueira , 07/06/09 01:04 AM
So while the devil might be able to read our minds to a certain degree.

I believe that only God can have the discernment (judge) of our thoughts.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a DISCERNER of the thoughts and intents of the heart. KJV

Hebrews 4:12 For the Word of God is living, and powerfully working, and sharper than every two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of both soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to JUDGE of the thoughts and intentions of the heart; KJV

Hope it helps.

God Bless!


Ricardo Nogueira , 07/06/09 01:32 AM
yeah, I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean exactly, when your talking about many mental disorders are incompatible with successful marriages, which ones?
K , 07/09/09 10:30 PM
thank you! thank you! thank you!
this is a great simple answer to an age old misconception. for me, as well as many others, you have put a clarity on it that will carry us through the rest of life.
May God continue to bless you and those who work so dilligently with you.
janita
janita taylor , 07/11/09 10:46 PM
Response from roger barrier re people who should not be married

People struggling with personality disorders are often incapable of participating in a successful marriage.

I believe that your question is so important that I will answer it fully next week on my Ask Roger column. If you can't wait for an answer, listen to the podcast "4 Types of People you can't help". roger
Roger Barrier , 07/17/09 09:29 AM
I'm still confused by Acts 8:15-19. Can you explain that distiction?
mike dubs , 07/22/09 04:55 PM
just wondering - when you do marriage counseling can you usually identify these "problems" and how are they relayed to the participants? Are people pretty much adept at hiding these mental health issues, especially since they may likely have seen a counselor in the past and are aware of the issues?
Rita Reynolds , 07/24/09 02:38 PM
Roger and I started our married life with 6 children. 2 were 16, 1 was 14, 2 were 12, and 1 was 8. So much of what you said would have helped us a lot if we had heard and implemented it. I would add a couple of lessons we learned the hard way. (1) Provide for each child some quality time alone with their birth parent. (2) Make peice with both ex spouses and try to minimize conflict and interference.
Paula Wakefield , 07/29/09 08:31 PM
This was an interesting overview on baptism. The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), to avoid conflict, teaches immersion, but tells its pastors that if parents object to "dedication" then go ahead and "baptize" their baby/child, after first informing the parents of the lost symbolism.
chris graul , 07/30/09 03:22 PM
I struggle with a mental illness and have a wonderful marriage. I have schizoaffective disorder, some doctors believe that I have bipolar with psychotic features, and my husband is there for me through it all. Without Jesus in my life though, I do not think the marriage would work.
, 08/01/09 02:11 PM
Schizophrenia can be treated with anti-psychotics. Many individuals with the illness can lead successful lives. It is also a chemical imbalance much like bipolar, you can look up brain scans of individuals with schizophrenia and compare them to normal individuals and see the difference in the regions of the brain. Whether or not they can lead a sucessful life is determined by the severity of the illness for the individual. I, personally, know individuals that have very good marriages where one spouse has schizophrenia. There is a stigma still on this population just like there used to be with epilepsy in Biblical times.
Stigma Buster , 08/01/09 06:22 PM
Very well written. The only thing I would add to the indisputables (dogma) is that The Bible is the "inerrant" word of God in the original translations.
David , 08/05/09 11:58 PM
Dear Roger,
Do you know of any post-Biblical documented occurrence of Tongues in the "hard-way", in the manner of Pentecost (Acts 2); or are all post-Biblical documented occurrences of Tongues in the "easy-way", in the manner of Corinth (1 Cor. 12-14)?
Thanks, Mike
Mike Prout , 08/07/09 01:28 PM
Dear Pastor -
Thanks for your helpful comments. I am quite familiar with early historical writings of the church, but have been unsuccessful locating the reference to the instruction to pouring sand in a shortage of water, which you mention in your answer. I know that The Didache refers to pouring water if enough is not available for immersion. Where is this instruction for using sand? Thanks for you help.
Mike Fleischmann , 08/08/09 02:42 PM
If you suspect that your spouse suffers from one of these disorders, and you do not want to seek a divorce, as we have been married in the church and under the eyes of the Lord, how do we (as a loved one) cope? It is very difficult to deal with a spouse with a societal personality disorder as they do not feel there is anything wrong with them, it is the world around them and God's will that their life is in chaos. They do not hold themselves accountable for their situations.
How do we help them and love them?
Anonymous , 08/09/09 01:26 AM


Hi,
I found your Web Site by Google
And I wish you the best you can get,
the peace of God through Jesus Christ.

The New Birth

The Father draws people to Jesus. Jesus baptizes them by the
Holy Spirit, and the Spirit gives them the new life in Christ so
that they become born again. We become new creations in
Christ. When God created the first man, Adam, he breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man becomes a living
soul. Genesis 2:7. When Jesus baptizes us by the Holy Spirit
it is a new creating act. The Spirit gives us the new life in
Christ and makes us to new creations. "So then if anyone is
in Christ, that one is a new creation; the old things have
passed away; behold, all things have come to be new!"
2 Cor. 5:17.

Earlier we have been only created beings, now
we are relatives to the Creator. Jesus' Father becomes our
Father, and we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
The new birth is no adoption as it says in the English Bible.
In that case we would not be God's children, only God's
adoptive children. And God would be only our adoptive father.
Who is then our real Father? In Swedish we have also the
word 'adoption' with the same spelling, but it occurs nowhere
in the Bible.

Through the new birth we enter the Assembly of God, God's family.
This has nothing to do with churches and denominations. The
Bible describes the Assembly of God as the Body of Christ.
Accordingly, a living Body. Rom. 12:4-5. 1 Cor. 10:17. 12:27.
"But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body,
as it hath pleased him." 1 Cor. 12:18. We cannot by men be selected
to members of the Assembly of God.

The Pentecostal preachers use to speak so proudly about the
baptism by the Holy Spirit, and they mean that the "Pentecostal
Revival" has conveyed this truth. However, what did the
"Pentecostal Revival" do? The "Pentecostal Revival" censored
away a big part of the truth of the baptism by the Holy Spirit,
so that this truth has been preached and understood only partly.
As a result of this, the truth of the baptism by the Holy Spirit
has never been preached within the Pentecostal movement.
They have learnt only a little part of this truth, and this they
have turned back to front.

In the Assembly of God (the Body of Christ) we are all
baptized by the Holy Spirit, but not all are speaking with
tongues. 1 Kor. 12:12-31. The Pentecostal preachers have
turned this back to front. They say that only those who can
speak with tongues are baptized by the Holy Spirit, and the
speaking with tongues is the only certain sign of that someone
is baptized by the Holy Spirit. This is a dangerous denying
of a work that Jesus and the Holy Spirit have done, and
legalization of false speaking with tongues.

Because of this false doctrine about the baptism by the Holy
Spirit, people have not understood the connection between the
baptism by the Holy Spirit and the new birth. They do not
understand that it is when Jesus baptizes us by the Holy Spirit
we get the new life in Christ and we become born again. The
Holy Spirit gives us the new life in Christ and make the new
birth. We are born of the Spirit. John 3:3-8.

They have preached that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is
only for those who are born again. Yet, on the day of Pentecost
the apostle Peter promised people, which were not born again,
that they would get the Holy Spirit as a gift when they did
repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Consider,
that Peter promised the Holy Spirit to people who had not been
born again! And when they received the Holy Spirit, what
happened then? Well, then they got the new life in Christ and
became born again!

Jesus is born again

Jesus was the first one who was born again. He is the
Firstbegotten among many brothers. Rom. 8:29. Hebr. 2:11-18.
Before Jesus was born again, nobody could be born again.
When was Jesus born again? When he rose from the death.
His resurrection was also his new birth.

"He is the Head of the body, the Assembly, who is the
Beginning, the Firstborn out of the dead ones that He having
first place in all things." Col. 1:18. "... the First-begotten
out of the dead ones." Rev.1:5. "... the One designated the
Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness,
by the resurrection of dead ones, Jesus Christ our Lord;"
Rom. 1:4. And again, when He brought the Firstbegotten
into the world, He said, "And let all the angels of God
worship Him." Hebr. 1:6.

Jesus is the firstborn in double meaning. He is the
Firstbegotten of all creation. For all things were created in
Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth,
the visible and the invisible; whether thrones, or lordships,
or rulers, or authorities, all things have been created through
Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and all things
have subsisted in Him. Col. 1:15-17. In the verse 18 we see
that he is also the Firstborn out of the dead ones.


Welcome to visit my Site.
http://www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/INDEX.HTM
Allan Svensson, Sweden

Why did the Pentecostal Revival take an end?
www.algonet.se/~allan-sv/CRISIS.HTM


Allan Svensson , 08/11/09 12:37 PM
I am amazed and touched with your answer and teaching. I read the posted comment and would like to post your link on my web site with your permission. I am glad you are back and recovering.
Richard Casabona D.C.
Casabona Chiropracic
www.Drcasabona.com
rich casabona , 08/12/09 06:52 PM
I am pleased and honored for you to use these materials in any way. God bless you both for your ministries as well.
Roger Barrier , 08/12/09 11:58 PM
Dear Roger, mothers of teens, and teeen girls,
It was good advice to the mother to read the books along with her daughter. Both my mom and I read all four books (there are four now), and were impressed with the writing ability of the author, for the most part. Thankfully, we have not been swept up by the Twilight fad, and the more I see Twilight bags, folders, pins, shirts, etc., the more I am repulsed the series itself. Vampire books have become quite the rage, and several writer friends of mine are writing their own sagas that have vampire/werewolf conflict.
Girls fantasize about vampires and Edward. When I saw the movie the weekend it came out, Edward got a standing ovation (that’s right, right there in the theatre) when he appeared on screen for the first time. The way he is worshiped by the girls at my high school is sickening.
As far as how clean the books are, it is true that they barely kiss up until the third book. However, as early as the first book, Edward sneaks into Bella’s room without her dad knowing and lies in her bed with her as she sleeps. Since vampires don’t sleep, he just holds her and watches as she peacefully sleeps, and listens to her sleep talk. While the teenage girl may find it sweet how he holds her and protects her all night, parents may find it wrong. I would be surprised if they didn’t. This gives teenage girls the idea that it is ok to lay down on a bed with a boy while unmarried, and think nothing will happen. And although Edward is given many opportunities by Bella to sleep together (she is always trying to seduce Edward, saying it’s ok if they do it), he always sweetly says no and dissuades her. Twilight is giving girls false truth about guys! Here this unlikely girl who thinks she is nothing finds this incredibly handsome boy, he is he one who wants to get married before sex, and he wants kids. True, there are guys like this out there; in fact I know one personally. But most guys aren’t, and if they are as handsome as Edward, they could any girl they want. So if they don’t get far with you, they’ll move one to the next girl in line.
WARNING! PLOT SPOILER, SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU WANT TO READ THE BOOKS! No, seriously, it’s a spoiler. Stop reading if you don’t want to know what happens. In the fourth book Edward and Bella get married (told you it was a plot spoiler) and they have their honeymoon on a small island populated only by them. There is only one house and it’s where they stay. It’s where they consummate their marriage. It’s the most graphic this series has been. No, it doesn’t go into full detail of the sex, but it sets it up, and then takes us to the morning after. This is (hopefully) a girl’s first look at a “morning after”. What does it consist of? Ripped pillows, broken beds, and a bruised wife. No, no, Edward isn’t mean and abusive, he is a vampire, and vampires are strong, so he lost his self-control for a little bit. Ok, this part is a real plot spoiler, so proceed at your own risk. Bella gets pregnant after just a few nights of broken furniture and ripped lingerie. She has the baby (I’m really paraphrasing here, they actually go back to America, but ill skip all the vampire drama), and is turned into a vampire. So she stops aging. However, her daughter is growing fast, but will stop aging around 16. Wait, how old is Bella? Oh that’s right, 18, and Edward is 17. How can Bella and Edward function as parents when their child is only a couple years younger than them? Twilight sets up failure and false hope for girls all over America.
Ok, plot spoiler is over. I know I’ve been rambling forever, and I seem like I hate twilight, but Stephenie Meyer is a ligitimate author, and if you want a cleaner read check out The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I loved it. Also, twilight isnt all bad, it simply has its faults that anyone can find if they look hard enough. Sorry this was such a long entry.
Amanda Gardner , 08/16/09 09:32 PM
I want to thank you for this! I am a survivor of sexual abuse and am currently in therapy after 15years of avoidance. Some times God has you stumble acrosss something becuase its something He wants us to hear. Well Mr. Barrier, I needed to hear this! Thank you
Shannon , 08/17/09 12:37 PM
I believe that the devil has more power than we think. If he using our minds against us to decieve or distract us of course he knows what we are thinking or how else would he know to do so. But of course this is my opinion.

In the Screw Tape Letters by c.s lewis, it explains the methods the devil uses to seperate us from God and one of them is reading our minds as well manipulating them.

I have many weakness that I have not confessed outloud or said to anyone, However those weakness seem to be the ones the devil attacks at full force this alone leads me to believe the devil can read what I am thinking.

However, I believe this can and will be an on going debate for years. But the bigger picture and the the thing we all should worry about the most is that our minds and thoughts should be clean no matter who can read them.
"Than Gods peace will watch over your hearts and your minds because you belong to Christ Jesus"
Phillippians 4:7

Sarah O , 08/17/09 08:08 PM
Deidre Larey,
Only God knows this answer for sure. Here is what I would ask you in hopes you can find the answers for yourself. What is it worth to have this child? If by spending thousands of dollars to have a child concerns you so much would it not also increase the worth of the child? Also God hates divorce and there is only one reason anyone should be divorced, infidelity. Perhaps there is penance for this?
Anyway this is more so you will ask yourself questions moreso than you answering mine as I probably won't see it anyway. I sincerely hope this is helpful to you God bless.
Chris Whitehouse , 08/18/09 02:42 PM
You still have not given me a reason to believe that satan can read my thoughts. Where is the Scripture that says he can?
jean harder , 08/23/09 01:41 AM
He'y guys,I beg to disagree with Roger's answer to the question.The Bible clearly says in Hebrews 9:27 "As it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment."So,a person who dies and goes to hell will never have an opportunity to be saved.Between the cross and resurrection,the Lord went to the heart of the earth as mentioned in Matthew 12:40.His purpose of going there was to take the souls of the old testament saints with Him in heaven.Ephesians 4:8-10.
, 08/24/09 09:30 PM
Roger, thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are brilliant and godly - a wonderful combination.
Don
Don McMinn , 08/26/09 08:19 PM
Wow! I've never heard such a perfect answer. It fits completely with what I've come to believe after years of study.
Bill Mathews , 08/27/09 12:35 PM
What an uplifting exchange of ideas all of you have posted. I am deeply impressed that there appears to be no anger or hostility in your answers or comments. I thank you very much for that caring spirit which you display. I would like to add one small idea to the discussion. I believe Satan cannot read my mind but in my imperfect state he doesn't need to. All he has to do is watch me and see what I do and he then knows instantly what some of my weaknesses are. He is very crafty and has watched man for thousands of years. He knows from past experience that if I commit a certain type of sin, I am more susceptible to commit more sins closely related to that one. I don't pretend to know all of the answers and this scenario doesn't explain all situations. But it might shed some light.
Bruce Jackson , 08/30/09 10:24 PM
I dont know, both my father and my brother married women that werent christians at the time and God certainly used them to open their eyes. They both have wonderful marriages with two amazing christian women. Both my Mother and my Sister in law are the only christians in their families and it really makes me question the idea of rejecting someone just because they are not christians. I always learned from Jesus to seek out the lost the helpess and those who are rejected in this world and to build lasting relationships with them and sometimes God uses those opportunities and relationships to do amazing things.
Tom , 09/01/09 03:55 AM
hello! thanks for the article.
i wanted to be sure abt

Biblical Divorce Always Includes The Right To Remarry (1 Corinthians 7:15 And 7:39).



If your divorce is right, then remarriage is always right. Divorce, God's kind, always dissolves the marriage--and the right of remarriage is in place. The question is, has there been Biblical divorce? That's the whole issue!

God views divorce the same as he views death--a complete cutting off. If you have grounds for divorce, then you always have grounds for remarriage.

so grounds for divorce is only marital unfaithfulness right? there is no other reason to get divorced?
alexandra magdeeva , 09/01/09 05:09 AM
You had me until you posted the Winston Churchill quote. The last part that we must not have 'brains' if we're not a conservative by the time we're older?

God is love. I will continue to love others, even if I disagree with their decisions.
Sarah Robinson , 09/04/09 11:43 AM
Roger,

Thank you for the detail to biblical teachings on tongues. I think it is also interesting to note that in 1 Cor 14 when Paul speaks of "speaking in tongues" he uses the word "spirit" in the lower case while it seems that throughout the new testament the Holy Spirit is referred to in upper case. I agree that God can do anything that He wants but I also feel that praying in tongues many many times today is something someone is doing in their own spirit. Since God perceives the intentions of our hearts, I think that these utterances can be real prayers. Just like when we have no idea how to pray, I believe just saying a praise word or "utterance" can be used by the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf but I do not necessarily think that this is the same as the situation at Pentecost. Those, like you pointed out, were actual languages.

Teresa
Teresa Varney , 09/07/09 11:15 AM
I'm almost certain this woman was talking about herself "post baby not a pretty sight", she would never have put it that way if there was a defect with her child. Ask Julie about this Roger see if I'm in line.
Anyway, it's a blessing to be able to read your advice and information and God's Words here. Keep up the good job I'm certain God is blessing people's lives through your site and Julie's! I have just moved to Hollywood for travel nursing at Cedars Sinai hospital so thought this was an interesting topic. I will miss Casas for awhile but am looking up churches in the area. It's strange to see the sign of Hollywood up in the hills every time I go to and from work which while traveling on sunset blvd everyday to get there. I would ask that the people of casas say some prayers for the people here in LA and Hollywood.
Concerning plastic surgery, a boy that I grew up with (my off and on again boyfriend) became a plastic surgeon. When he was in middle school he was in a bad car accident and broke his jaw and was disfigured for a very short period of time, which seems like forever in middle school. I think it had a big impact on his future career.
God Bless you and I continue to keep you, Julie and Casas in my prayers.

In Christ Love,

Lana Smiley :)
Lana Smiley , 09/07/09 01:11 PM
Arminianism is where I tend to lean and likely for the same reasons you pointed out. I enjoy your teaching and will look forward to more now that I am utilizing preach it teach it finally. Thank you for your wisdom and dedication in your calling.
John Igargola , 09/16/09 09:54 PM
Bruce~(and everyone else too :o)
Your comment(s) was exactly what I needed to hear.I think we forget sometimes in our prattling on to co-workers, friends, families--we DO reveal our weaknesses that are jotted down in spiritual world fashion and cataloged for later uses against us. I am battling with this current situation and I had so many questions that lead me here, but thanks to all of your input I am better able to collect scripture and truth to apply to my situation.
God be with us!!
Amy Naegeli , 09/17/09 11:16 AM
I recently married and my husband and I are struggling because he believes that what the scriptures says is that he is the ultimate ruler in the household and I am just a servant in the household. He is a minister and he studies more in depth than I do, but I know enough about the Bible that God does not mean for the woman to be a footstool to her mate.
Jennifer Brwon , 09/18/09 05:47 AM
Dear Roger: Last november I found out that my husband went to see prostitutes in the summer of 2006 while a war was raging here (LEbanon) and I took the children to a safer place. A year before Sept. 07 I found that he had blown at least $1500 in bars that provides prostitutes. At that time he denied any sex involvement he just went to "look". But last november he confesed to having sex. I have struggled with this for the past 10-11 months. He says he's repented and he won't do it again but I have a hard time believing this cause he repented only when I found out. To me this is a weird kind of repentance. Nothing, but nothing I lived ever prepared me for this blow. I am glad that I found God three years ago and this has keep me sane to a certain extend.
I hesitate a lot. Cause you know, I haven't been able to put this situation behind me. I have prayed, cried, and tried but it is the hardest thing I ever experienced. We have two children. He is a non-believer and a very verbal one. I know that if I divorce I will take the children out of here and go but this breaks my heart. He is not perfect but he is a good father to them and this will break their heart. I think that what I am trying to ask you is: how do I forgive the unforgivable and how to remain in a place where I don't feel like staying? Sometimes I thought life this way is not worthed living. I have confessed this sin and I don't feel like taking my life but I have a hard time as to imagine how such a situation could be fixed. At times I feel this is God's punishment for not taking Him seriously and that I deserve it. My husband is sometimes abusive in his way of speaking and very irresponsable with money matters. He provides OK and organizes finances but if he does not have a job (which was also the case of most of this year) he does not hesitate to just borrow money and continue with a lifestyle that we can't afford and that scares me.
bottom line I feel trapped in my marriage and because of the kids. What would you do in my situation. I hope you are back to health by now. I enjoy your teachings enormously and my dream is to go and live at a place with a family like Casas'
Jimena Campos , 09/23/09 02:40 AM
What about tattoos and all those piercings? Are they biblical?
Thanks
, 09/23/09 02:45 AM
Thank you.....your response has helped me to understand the feelings that I have been holding in. thank you
no name anonymous , 09/24/09 11:44 AM
I attend a weekly prayer / worship time where 5 of us meet. One of the guys speaks in tongues as we worship God with music. I am ok with this but don't understand how this is in accord with scripture given there is no interpretation. I would appreciate your views on this.
Thanks,
Steve
Steve Callaghan , 10/05/09 08:08 AM
I appreciate many of the points you made. I want to highlight that at no point should any survivor be made to "forgive." That is between them and God and whenever (if ever) they wish to do so. I can attest that if one embarks on a healing process, it is a naturally occuring thing that may take many many years. YOu are not on any timetable.

Secondly, perpetrators should be brought to justice through the legal system!!! It is very important since they generally tend to abuse until caught. I young girl committed suicide after being abused, a famous actress had also been a victim some 30 years ago. If she had come forward sooner, this victim would have know she was not alone and she did not "cause" the abuse since it had been going on for upwards of 30 years. The Bible says:Rebuke your neighbor franky less you share in their sin. Leviticus 19:15. It does not say to help them cover up their sin. They are huge ramification of aiding in protecting and abuser, yet this decision is also very personal. My heart goes out to those who have not healed or are still being subjected to abuse.
Any Person USA , 10/10/09 05:57 AM
Thank you for your very insightful response. I kept silent for 32 years. I didn't even tell my husband. When I finally told my therapist three years ago (the whole time denying that it had anything to do with my depression - it was just something that happened when I was little)it was as if the abuse occurred that day. It all came back and my life spiraled out of control immediately. Three years later I'm still healing, but it has been worth it. I'm learning to forgive me mostly, and you're right, forgiving isn't forgetting. It's releasing the grip on someone's lapels. It's not easy, and it's not a one-time thing. Healing in not linear; it loops back upon itself often.

The biggest challenge is trusting others, and letting them help me. When you learn that you can only rely on yourself to survive leaning on someone else - God included - is extremely difficult. I haven't learned to trust Him yet, but I pray that someday I will. I hope that He will wait for me to get there.

Your comments will help others, and I appreciate your writing them. God bless.
Colleen , 10/14/09 07:06 AM
Didn't the Beetles sing a song about The Rain Man?

Madonna is not Christian, but she worships something that "Pre Date Religion" Rain Man I think? Most pop stars worship the "Rain Man"

Rain Man is the nick name for Amun-Re, or Re was Horus Re. Or Horus the Egyptian Sun God. Because Sun Evaporates water which causes the Rain.

I saw in Wikipedia that Amun means let it be. And contentment or forgiven sins.

Since Amun will forgive your sins and help the poor. "Just say his name." And "Through his name your sins are forgiven"

.....

So maybe the song "Let it be" from the beetles was a song to worship Rain Man?
Just like their Rain Man song?

The pop song of today is Called "Umbrella". By Rihanna

Where Rain Man Posses Rihanna and then she regrets it in the song Disturbia.


I know, I'm kind of all over the place here... But can you comment on any of this? or research it and then comment?

I know I"m not the only one. And as Christians we need to fight against the constant battle of Satan trying to disprove our Faith...

I will always love and worship Christ. But I bring the path that I went down on attempting discovery because I am not the only one or only Christian that is walking down this path.

I will always be a Christian. But do you have any thoughts and wisdom for the countless loss souls who are being sucked away through this path of Misleading Truths?

Sorry for not giving my real email and name. I'm reaching out here because I'm a bit afraid of what my preacher will say to these questions. I will look back again later though.

Thank you so much.
God Bless you and your Work.
In Jesus name.

Always Christian , 10/25/09 11:33 PM

A “feel good” church can also be a positive thing. According to Jesus, every church should be a “feel good” church. Every person who walks through its doors should feel welcomed, accepted and valued. The presence of the Holy Spirit should warm the heart of the attender, and even in moments of personal conviction and brokenness, he or she should experience sweet release and joy.

Believers who attend church should be “feel good” people. They should live lives of abundance and peace (John 10:10) and their joy should be so infectious that those who do not know Christ are drawn to them. (2 Corinthians 2:15) The seeker does not feel judged by the “feel good” believer, but deeply loved. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict a person who needs Christ, and we who know Jesus should come alongside the seeker in his or her spiritual journey.

And remember, Jesus is a “feel good” Savior. He is winsome and compelling. “If the Son of Man is lifted up, He will draw all men to Himself.” (John 12:32) He laid down His life unselfishly to redeem us and His deepest wish is for us to receive His free gift of salvation.

The church cannot be oblivious to culture, nor can it compromise timeless spiritual imperatives. But let me give you an example of “feel good” church progress in this generation. The younger adults of this era are more relational than any generation in recent history. They hunger for a deep sense of community, of commitment to others in their lives and they long for a genuine intimacy with Christ.

Now that’s something to “feel good” about!
Julie Barrier , 10/28/09 12:56 PM
I am fascinated by your question, but I need to look into it. Give me a little while to do some research. Thanks for asking. Roger
Roger Barrier , 10/28/09 10:24 PM
We don't always say grace BEFORE every meal but have relatives who do. Where does it say in the Bible that "we should" pray before meals? Other than praying to God and His Son at times when we feel we need to, I maintain that the praying over meals started because of crops that came in and people were being thankful for the crops. Your take?
Robert Baker , 10/31/09 12:57 PM
thank you so much for helping me to understand how to take my life and save someone ealses. I am not a victim I am victorious in and thru Jesus Christ. We are made to feel that it is our fault and that we are tainted and poision and no one will believe us. It has take God 53 years to get me here right now to minister to all that will listen. so thank you for giving me insight and I would like to use some of your work to teach with . Thank you so much
kathy harrington , 11/02/09 09:12 PM
Roger,

thanks for sharing your thoughts on "feel good" church. It was very illuminating and much appreciated. I just wanted to pick up on Julie's comments.

I personally think that for too many churches here in North America a first-time visitor could be forgiven for wondering who died as they walk through the door. In too many cases a Sunday morning service feels more like a funeral than a celebration. ("Did you know the deceased? No, I'm just a friend of the family.") If we worship a savior who really did come out of the grave that first resurrection Sunday, it seems to me that we actually do have something to celebrate. If that is counted as "feel good" church then sign me up. After almost twelve years attending Casas, I recently moved away to another state. Consequently, I have been doing some church shopping of late. It has underscored for me just how unique Casas really is. These days before I attend a church I like to check out any websites they may have put up. It gives me a feel for what they are really all about before I see them in person. Such an exercise can be truly revealing. I distinctly recall one website in particular. (I won't tell you which one, to protect the guilty.) One of their webpages had a list of evidences/signs that the church you are attending may have strayed into error. Among other telltale signs was if you felt better about yourself after the service was over. ????? Needless to say, I haven't bothered to go to worship at that particular church. And just for the record, I have left many a Casas service feeling better than when I came! It is one of the things I frequently miss about my time worshipping at Casas.

I gather from their question that "Concerned Child" feels that there isn't enough depth or coverage of "the whole Gospel message" in a "feel good" church on Sunday morning. I would only add to Roger's comments about finding a good small group that "Concerned Child" could also do more in depth study on their own. A half hour sermon on Sunday morning is not always the best place to go into a lot of depth. In addition, the issues that "Concerned Child" is grappling with may not be the same ones that I or others are struggling to find answers to. In such cases it would seem better for the individual to do some in depth study on their own, perhaps with guidance and encouragement from other more mature christians (another good reason to be part of a small group).

I sincerely hope my "perspective from the pew" helps.
P. G. , 11/02/09 11:41 PM
I found this very interesting and helpful.
However when I last served on a jury I noticed that the Bible was not used to swear in witnesses, they were simply asked to raise their right hand and "swear or affirm" to tell the truth, the whole truth... I find this a sad commentary on our time.
Margaret , 11/11/09 04:00 PM
I felt great at church today!! I thank God for the opportunity to attend a feel good church. Thanks Concerned Child and Roger! That was a great question and great response.
Dan , 11/15/09 11:10 PM
Amen is connected with the ram...
In Hebrew Gematria (I will transliterate)...
AMN "Amen/So mote it be" =91
(A=1 + M=40 + N=50 =91)
AYLYM "rams" =91
(A=1 + Y=10 + L=30 + Y=10 + M=40 =91)
Nope, uhhhmmmmm...no connection whatsoever.
, 11/17/09 07:09 PM
Of course, some of the dinosaurs, like the T Rex, where not very friendly looking creatures. So, I am stymied by the words in Genesis, when God said He beheld what He had made and said it was "Very good."
Walt , 11/21/09 09:47 PM
Jesus tells us he wasn't born of a woman. See
rey reyjacobs@yahoo.com , 11/28/09 12:23 AM
Wow, Roger this was a wonderful response. You too have suffered many losses in your life and truly know what you are talking about. I hope and pray B.H. that you will sincerely seek God in your suffering now. I am so sorry that you are dealing with what seems to be impossible situations. Please know that the body of Christ is here for you and will be praying for you. God WILL meet you where you are. Please consider taking this time to really sink your mind into God's word like never before. You WILL be truly amazed at what God will do and you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is God! Please don't give up! Remember what Job said after all of his suffering: He said "Before I knew of You and know I know You!" God bless and comfort you with peace and clarity!
Teresa Varney , 12/02/09 11:12 PM
I know when people are in a mind set of divorce the emotional baggage makes it almost impossible to make a sane decision. If the reason is that the other has found someone else the marriage partner can do nothing right & the new person looks wonderful. Later on(1-2yrs) after the divorce the one that left has come to their senses. Thats good, but one or both has usually remarried,when they could have gotten back together. The loneliness & despair often draws people into another relationship. If you wait things may get better don't rush to get rid of the pain.Get closer to the Lord &" all these things shall be added unto you". I know from personal experience. I also know that even tho nobody,no situation is exactally alike,but the Lord's character is immutable & He holds the answers. If you don't use this time to get closer to Him then maybe you should discover why not. "The same sun that hardens the clay,melts the wax"
John Chaoss , 12/06/09 05:16 PM
Well said, John. One reason we do marriage conferences is to heal the hurts from the past so that people can have a clear mind and heart to hear God and let Him minister to their pain. Thanks for your comment.
Roger Barrier , 12/06/09 05:20 PM
This is for anyone out there under guilt, condemnation or fear of a curse because you are not keeping the tithe and other Old Covenant Jewish laws which were not giving to the Gentiles in the first place. Go to Galatians 3:13 and repeat the verse there 1,000 time
" CHRIST HAS REDEEMED ME FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW BY BECOMING A CURSE FOR ME ON THE TREE (CROSS) BY THE 1,000 time if you don't feel the veil began to drop off your eyes then you have it real bad!
Don Tee , 12/11/09 10:13 PM
Just wondering if you are also keeping the Sabbath which means no reading blogs, activity or work or recreation of any kind from Friday night to Saturday night cause that is the law too. If not you just proved you select the laws you want to keep and not keep. ALL had to be kept by the Jews in under the Old Covenant with God not just the tithe one. See how irrational this is. Give as Paul the founder of the Gentiles Churches said voluntarily meaning without force or pressure but as one decides and he put no required amount on how much which again means VOLUNTARY!! GIVE THE PAYMENT JESUS MADE ALL THE CREDIT NOT YOUR PAYMENTS!
Don T , 12/11/09 10:17 PM
We are not against tithing, just the fear tactics and manipulation of scriptures out of context to enforce it! Whenever anyone points out what Christ paid on the Cross and how we are not under the Old Covenant laws nor were Gentiles every given these Jewish laws as in Malachi in the first place they cloud the issue as if we do not want to financially support our Churches. They twist twist and twist but read your bible verse by verse and the truth will set you free!
Grace Giving in the age o anonymous , 12/11/09 10:24 PM
i love this site because is encourages build me for the ministry of God,please sir i want u to be my mentor
paul omengbeoji , 12/15/09 06:20 AM
Roger,
Thank you for your column here first of all. In Mark 10:11-12 Jesus says "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultry against her.And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultry". I am a Christian who believes in our Lord and Savior but I am divorced from my first wife and have remarried. Can you explain what Jesus meant? Thanks for your help and God Bless
Paul Quist , 12/15/09 10:04 AM
Excellent response and answer Pastor!!!

Being raised in a Penecostal worship enviroment all of my life I've seen many spiritual "fads" over the years and this appears to be another one. If "we" Christians can just focus on being obiedient to God and use the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit for service instead of spiritual self gratification we will have a stronger church body for God's service.

God Bless,

Glenn Harris
Glenn Harris , 12/16/09 02:10 PM
Excellent!
John Patla , 12/30/09 10:40 PM
This sounds very plausible until you ask how to reconcile Biblical teaching that death entered the world through the sin of one man, Adam, cf Genesis 3 and Romans for example, with the view that death was a necessary part of evolution from the start and was natural, not something which the NT describes as an enemy defeated by Christ on the cross.
Mrs Stella Wilson , 01/02/10 11:01 AM
i have gone through sprinkling of water baptism before.

And i have come to a new church that requires me to have immersion baptism in water.I dont know whether i shall be baptized again.I thought i have been baptized once and at that time when i was baptized i was fully convicted,declaring Jesus is Christ.

I dont know what's the truth.Can you all tell me?What is the truth?So that i shall be set free.
amy , 01/03/10 07:24 AM
I am so pleased to find this site as I am a former Casas member. We are in another state now, and attend a PCA Presbyterian church (reformed). My trouble with Presbyterians is they practice what I call a "wet dedication." Baptize infants by sprinkling as a symbol of the parents' promise to raise the child in a Godly home. I never heard of the early reasons for baptizing infants with sprinkling. My kids are dunked, as have been I, I won't budge on this one! Thanks for your insight.
Rachael , 01/05/10 01:48 PM
Thank You Roger for your guidance and explanations. God Bless
Paul , 01/07/10 11:13 AM
I have had people make me feel as if I was 'less' of a Christian because I was not bestowed this gift. Thanks for the enlightenment!
Kelly Henderson , 01/07/10 06:34 PM
Just for the record, The Beatle song is "Rain" and not "Rain Man."
Lynn R. , 01/09/10 12:37 PM
Roger: I have a question about this statement: "A state of adultery need not go on forever. Confess to God your part in the marriage failure and receive His forgiveness. Then, pick up the pieces, go on with your life, and don’t worry about it again." I have been confused about this because it seems that if a christian divorces and remarries w/o biblical grounds for the divorce, the marriage is adulterous according to scripture which seems to indicate that the marriage is not a "marriage" in God's eyes. So, if someone is in this position and then asks forgiveness, how does that stop the marriage from being "adulterous". Repentance is "turning away from" not asking forgiveness and "continuing in". I don't want to be "legalisitic" about this and I realize the ramifications of this would be "huge" as in the christian world divorce and remarriage has been allowed abundantly but I am confused because this would be like saying "if someone is in a homo-sexual lifestyle and they ask forgiveness but continue in the lifestyle, is it now okay?" Jesus told the adulterous women to go and "sin no more" not "your okay now keep living the same life". It's something that has been brought up to me and I am not sure about it. It almost seems like forgiveness is being used as a "loophole" not to offend. I know Jesus's is full of grace for us but we also cannot take advantage of the "grace". As Paul says in Romans "Do we continue in sin so that Grace can abound? Certainly not" So how does and adulterous relationship suddenly become "un-adulterous" because someone asks forgiveness? Thanks, Teresa
Teresa Varney , 01/11/10 10:57 AM
Truer words were never spoken.
Anonymous , 01/13/10 12:37 AM
Teresa said,"The marriage is adulterous according to scripture which seems to indicate that the marriage is not a "marriage" in God's eyes."

50 years ago the majority of Christians would have been livid if someone would have suggested that marriage was not permanent. The world has now fallen for one of Satan’s greatest deceptions. Many people are being deceived--thinking they can just walk away from a marriage and get remarried. They are walking right into an adulterous marriage in the sight of God.

"Look at the legalized adultery we call divorce. Men marry one wife after another and are still admitted into good society; and women do likewise. There are thousands of supposedly respectable men in American living with other men's wives, and thousands of supposedly respectable women living with other women's husbands." -- R. A. Torrey

R.A. Torrey (1856-1928)
Pastor and graduate of Yale University
Superintendent of Moody Bible Institute for 19 years

http://www.cadz.net/tony.html
Erin , 01/13/10 04:04 AM
I was baptized by immersion, coming from a baptist background. However, as I understand the sacrament and it's symbolism, neither immersion, submersion nor sprinkling have power to change you. As I've heard it said, "you can go down a dry devil and come up a wet one." Rather, it's the baptism with the Holy Spirit that is most important. Also, how would you respond to baptizing a person who is hospitalized and cannot be immersed? Would that person be denied the sacrament?
Bee Jones , 01/13/10 08:14 AM
I was molested for a lot of years when I was a kid - the first time I think I was about 6 years old and it went on until I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade. The molester is a family member so I see that family member all the time. I remember when Rosanne Barr came out on tv about how she was molested and she was falling apart so I started wondering if something was wrong with me because I wasn't falling apart. I had come to the conclusion that it had happened to me and I cannot change what happened in the past - I can only go forward and go on with my life. I forgive the family member that molested me because it does me no good to dwell on the past. I finally went to see a counselor because I thought I should be falling apart like Roseanne - and I told the counselor what I am saying here - and she told me that I had healed myself - that they try to bring people to the point that I am at - that I was molested and I can't change that fact - I can only go forward and look towards the future and know that I am ok. I hope this is helpful.
Cheryl , 01/13/10 03:37 PM
Roger,

My 16 year old son was told by his youth pastor that he and his unruly friends were predestined to go to hell and there was no further hope for them. Since then they don't want to go to church and haven't without force being applied. There argument is if God has predestined us to go to hell than why go to church or even try to live as Christian's.

Is he(the youth pastor) correct or not? How do I convince my son who now believes he can live his life as he pleases due to God's predestined desire to send him to hell?

I agree with your statements above but he won't.

Concerned christian father.

John Wilson
John Wilson , 01/17/10 05:16 PM
Roger thank you for the words you used in advising young Tim. Just a very few years ago my father committed sucide the same way in his own home and his wife found him the next morning.
Thank you for Preach It Teach It I use it every week to study God's word.
God Bless You, Warren
Warren Rogers , 01/22/10 09:30 AM
Roger, I just found this site, how I miss your teaching and Casas. You may remember that my mom committed suicide. The advice you gave is right on the money. What really helped me a lot at that time was "Arrange for someone to share several good memories about his life. Humor and funny stories are more than appropriate. Humor can dissipate the strained nerves of a tense situation." I needed to remember all of the good things because I was so very angry at her. I praise the Lord that she knew Him but that really didn't help me during the shock of the tragedy, later on it was a big comfort. I was also very blessed by all of the staff. Gary did an out standing service; I wish I ask to have it recorded.
Is it a "God thing" that I found you today and suicide is the topic?
Judy McGee , 01/25/10 04:30 PM
Thank you for this response Erin. I wish our the casas church leaders would respond!
Teresa Varney , 01/30/10 12:03 AM
Please take this comment seriously. I've enjoyed reading you Q & As and sincerely want to understand a few things.

You have describe a natural process and for some reason trying to make it fit in the bible? How do we know anything in the bible is true if you have bend a story to describe what we know from evidence. Not to mention the many other contradictions you introduced.

Where is the line drawn on what is fact and what is fiction? Also who draws the line? God?
thinker questions , 02/03/10 09:04 PM
Roger,
The 7 boxes sounds like it is a progression and a goal to get to the point where there is freedom to do anything (not explicitly denied). Should it be a goal to get to the point of freedom on everything? For example, do you ever see yourself moving out of Box 2 in regards to alcohol?
, 02/10/10 10:38 AM
I wish the church would speak the truth on this issue.

Jesus said:
"Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery and the man who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."

Step 1: Divorce Your Spouse
Step 2: Remarry Another Person
Step 3: Commit Adultery

Notice AFTER the wedding they are committing adultery with each other.
Notice AFTER the wedding the adultery STARTS.

Are they husband and wife?
Answer: God did not join them at the altar if they are committing adultery that night.

Remember--it is impossible for a husband and his wife to commit adultery--WITH EACH OTHER.
If they were really joined as a husband and wife at their remarriage--Jesus would never have called their sexual relationship AFTER this wedding--adultery.

People go to the courthouse to get divorce papers to get them out of their marriage but the papers obviously don’t work because they are still committing adultery AFTER they've done that. Divorce does not make them single if the charge of adultery is still on them AFTER a divorce.

Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery (Not a legal marriage in the sight of God)

Marriage is for Life...
"A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives."
1 Corinthians 7:39

http://www.cadz.net/mdr.html


Erin , 02/16/10 01:54 PM
Have you ever read about God's divorce from Israel? Did you know that God said He was still married AFTER this divorce? God divorced Israel but keep reading about what He said AFTER the divorce...

"I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery." Jeremiah 3:8

Yes, God divorced Israel BUT then He made this statement...

"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I AM MARRIED TO YOU." Jeremiah 3:14

WOW...after a divorce God goes on to say...for I am married to you. Do people know this???

People like to say, "Yes, God hates divorce, but God is divorced."

Most people do not study what comes after the divorce, where God says He is still married AFTER the divorce. The divorce did not dissolve the marriage.

The Lord says, He is still married AFTER He has given her a 'certificate of divorce,' a certificate that many people say DISSOLVES a marriage. Divorce does not dissolve anything. God was still married after a divorce.

The Lord is not confused about what effect a 'certificate of divorce,' has on a marriage, but we are. A civil divorce has no power to dissolve a marriage. The laws of this land and God’s laws are not the same. We are to follow His doctrine on marriage, not the worlds. What this world is doing with marriage, divorce and remarriage is evil in the sight of God, for marriage represents Christ and His Church.

Another verse showing that divorce does not dissolve the marriage is Luke 16:18...

"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."

ONLY divorced people commit adultery on their honeymoon. Why is that?

The divorce did not dissolve their marriage. How can they claim to be a husband and wife if they are committing adultery WITH EACH OTHER on their honeymoon? They are committing adultery against the spouse they thought they got rid of at the courthouse.

People who are truly single do not commit adultery on their honeymoon. God was not kidding, He meant what He said---a woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives and if she leaves and gets a new man she will be committing adultery with this new man. He will not be her husband in the eyes of God.

"For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man." Romans 7:1-3

"A woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes." 1 Corinthians 7:39

Divorced people are still bound in their original marriage, divorce does not free them or the charge of adultery would never be put to them. Adultery is something that can only be committed by a person who still has a spouse.

Real single people are never charged with adultery when they marry because they have no spouse to commit adultery against. Divorced people still have a spouse to commit adultery against.

The definition of adultery is someone having a sexual relationship outside of a marriage. So, according to Luke these remarried people are having a sexual relationship outside of their real marriage. Their divorce did not dissolve their marriage covenant, just like God’s divorce did not dissolve His marriage covenant in Jeremiah 3:14.

Divorce does not free you from a spouse. Yes, the government can say they dissolved the marriage, but shouldn’t we look into what God said? 60 years ago people knew the truth, now Satan has many, many people deceived into believing they are married in the sight of God, when they are actually living with someone God does not recognize as their spouse.

Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery (Not a legal marriage in the sight of God)

This is the first generation that believes God accepts remarriage, if your spouse has not died.

For more information check out these websites:

http://www.cadz.net/mdr.html

http://praisepowerprayertemplect.org/

http://www.marriagedivorce.com/mdreform2.htm
Erin , 02/16/10 02:14 PM
I read your answer with tears, my Mom died years ago, very suddenly. She didn't see me get married or know her Grandson. I noticed a star that appeared much brighter than the rest in the months following her death. I saw it during the times I was traveling from California to Arizona settling her estate(She died suddenly and young). I felt she was watching and that gave me strength. I still miss her, but I know she's with our Father and whole again and that I'll see her again gives me much comfort, and yes, I've asked God to pass along messages from time to time.
Robyn Edwards , 02/17/10 03:39 PM
Your statement, "people with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, are incapable of successful marriages", made my eyes pop out of my head and my mouth drop open. It is hard to believe that someone trying to educate others on the facts of mental illness and how well or not well a mentally ill person can cope with 'life' would be so completely uneducated themselves. It is absolutely possible for a schizophrenic person to have a very loving, fulfilling, happy marriage. I would in fact highly recommend it to all schizophrenic people. Everyone deserves love, and even 'disabled' people have ample amounts of love to give and receive.
Successfully Married to a Schizophrenic , 02/18/10 03:05 AM
Thanks again Erin for the additional websites. I too wish truth would be spoken. Maybe there would not be so much brokeness in the church and we would not be so ineffective in the world. It is becoming clear to me that I am to remain single. I had originally felt that I should stand for the reconciliation of my marriage however, it was not my first and therefore, according to God's word, not a marriage at all. My heart breaks for my children who have to suffer a broken home due to my adulterous marriage to their father, however, God is gracious and will turn all things together for good to those who love Him for my children despite my disobediance and ignorance to God's word upon my second marriage. I was raised in church and divorce and re-marriage was wholly accepted. I wish I had been in a place of truly seeking God's will prior to my first divorce and second marriage. However, I cannot go back so as Paul states I am forgetting what is past and pressing on toward the goal! God Bless you Erin for freely speaking the truth!
Teresa Varney , 02/18/10 11:44 AM
Wow Roger, that was an amazing answer! Brian, keep praying to God and pass along messages to your Mom, I am sure he will pass them on!
, 02/18/10 12:21 PM
Thank you Brian for the touching question. And thank you Roger for your meaningful answer.

It is important for me to reflect on this. As memories linger and pass, I've begun to ask God to let my father know that I'm now beginning to see deep things that I didn't while he was here.

I also find myself talking to Dad in my tears, and if he can't hear me personally, I trust that God is passing it along out of His love and compassion for both of us. "I just didn't know."

My mother is still on earth, but has Alzheimer's. In the same way, while I am alone, I talk to her in my tears. I hope God is passing it along to her now. If not, then when she is in heaven.

No matter the difference in the circumstances, this life is short. When we are together in Heaven, there will be plenty of time to express loving thoughts we haven't even perceived yet.

Great things He has done. Great things He will do.
Jack Victor Muecke , 02/18/10 02:23 PM
i didn't really "hear" an answer to the above question. it must not be addressed in the bible, however i believe God would frown upon altering his/our body he created.
summer aubuchon , 02/20/10 10:05 PM
Thank you Roger and Julie for sharing. I to wonder if Mom can hear me but even more so I wonder can she see me or our family even a glimpse. She has been passed barely over two years now 1/24/08. Yes I will ask God to tell her how much I miss her and love her til we meet again.
Mary Litteral , 02/21/10 08:41 PM
Comment/question
This argument keeps "stumbling" over the Word Jesus said - the exception clause. You can't get past it, because it is there. And ordinary folk who do not have Master's Degrees read it and accept it as Jesus said it. They then "trust in Him" and the same word says "They will never be put to shame."
Response
Rules of interpretation apply here. Never do we take one UNCLEAR passage and allow it to interpret all the other passages which ARE very clear. Never do we take one unclear passage and allow it to clearly contradict the clearer passages in scripture. That is what people are doing with Matthew 19:9. Mark 10:12 is VERY clear that ALL remarriages after a divorce are adultery. Luke is very clear that ALL remarriages after a divorce are adultery. Paul is very clear that adultery does not dissolve a marriage (Romans 7:2-3), but that a marriage is permanent until the death of one of the spouses. Paul also affirms to another body of believers the permanency of marriage (I CorInthians 7:39).

Never in Paul's whole discourse on marriage do we see him indicating that divorce dissolves a lawful marriage, that desertion dissolves a lawful marriage, or that another marriage contracted while one already has a living spouse dissolves a lawful marriage. So now we have multitudes resting in the hopes that they are rightly interpreting Matthew 19:9---the one UNCLEAR passage, otherwise if the clearer passages really DO MEAN what they are saying, there are a whole lot of people living in a state of adultery----most of them completely ignorant to what the Lord has said on the matter. It's a scary thing to rest one's hope on one passage of scripture........
unknown , 02/22/10 01:02 PM
I am divorced and remarried. Are you saying I need to divorce my husband in order to be right with God and remain single for the rest of my life? This is pretty tough.... Help!!
Stacey Wright , 02/22/10 08:52 PM
The Bible does indeed mention dinosaurs,except they referred to them as "dragons" instead of
"dinosaurs"(note that the word "dinosaur" was only coined in 1841,less than 200 years ago). the word dragon is located throughout the Bible and usually refers to a real animal but in some instances it is used metaphorically(especially in Revelations). In Job 40:15-41:26 God describes two dinosaurs(dragons),Behemoth and Leviathan(note that these descriptions do not describe any creature alive today). Leviathan is also located several times in the Old Testament, being described as a real creature. Search for the truth and you will surly find it.
Trust in God , 02/22/10 10:15 PM


I think the idea Roger was communicating across was that since tattoos and implants are not part of the list at the end of the post, it doesn't really matter if Christians do them or not. They, like the meat, are not evil in and of themselves. But each individual's conscience should determine whether or not they should partake in them. Paul tells us how we should treat others in regard to our/their decision to partake or not partake. It's only sin if our conscience says that it is wrong (on disputable matters), and I cannot know someone's conscience. Therefore, I cannot know if it is sin for them to get implants or tattoos.
Ross , 02/24/10 11:06 AM
Stacey:

I am sorry for your confusion. I would recommend reading some the above listed websites. It is sooooo hard but unfortunately, the church today is NOT upholding God's standards, instead selling Cheap Grace. I will probably be turned out for standing up for the truth, however, God's word is always true no matter what. I will pray for God's guidance and peace and clear speaking to your heart. Please seek Him only. Study all you can and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth. Remember that the disciples had a very hard time accepting this also but Jesus did not make an allowance for them to "feel" better. The "Church" has led many astray and therefore allowed the enemy to divide and make us non-effective. We look no different today that than the world. I do not believe this was why Christ died. I don't what else to say. I wish I could say different, I wish I could convince myself the go along but I can't. If I am wrong, I pray earnestly for God to make it clear. I think I want a different answer but cannot find one. Please seek God!
Teresa , 02/24/10 11:09 AM
It's unfortunate that we get so caught up in the "human" side of things...yet we do & always will. Regarding "altering" our bodies...if a child was born with some sort of disfigurement that medical training and knowledge was able to "fix" most of us would do this for the the child so to provide them with a "normal" life, one without staring or being made fun of or one that because of how others react to the disfigurement could cause emotional pain to the child. Yet we criticize the person who wants to increase their bust size or remove a few wrinkles. It would be wonderful if we didn't care what others thought about how we look but the unfortunate truth of the matter is "we" do. Outer appearances affect us in so many ways some of which we are not even conscience of. Just keep trying to live our best life and love...love one another! There will be arguments and disagreements but through it all just show how much we love each other.
, 02/24/10 11:32 AM
I had a mentor once tell me something when I was struggling with a repetitive sin and was getting really down on myself about it.

He said, "Why don't you just confess it to God and get on with your life?"

While this statement fails to deal with the emotional damages I was doing to myself in this, it does communicate the essential truth. For the believer, God keeps no record of sins, repetitive or otherwise. As a believer you belong to God. He saved you and he will keep you. Keep praying to God. Keep worshiping God. Keep following Christ. If you sin, confess it and move on and, as hard as it is, forgive yourself. God has. The main thing is to continually abide in Christ.

I can honestly say that I am no longer trapped in the sin-cycle I was in in college, but it would be disingenuous to say that I "no longer struggle with it." I still fight and I will never stop in this life. And with Christ's righteousness, I already have the victory. I'm just continuing to struggle with "liv[ing] up to what we have already attained." (Phil 3:16)
Ross , 02/24/10 12:18 PM
Thanks for your comments, Teresa. I've already been disowned by my family and congregation because they consider me to be an adulterer and won't associate with me. I've been raised in legalism all my life and it's hard to differentiate a God who is constantly looking over our shoulder to find sin from a God who loves us unconditionally. No matter how hard I try, there's no way I can live totally up to His standards in all ways because I'm human and a sinful person. I DO NEED mercy and grace; otherwise there is no hope for me whatsovever!! I don't want to make more of a mess so I will pray for guidance. Thanks again.
Stacey Wright , 02/24/10 01:21 PM
For full disclosure, I fall on the Calvinist side of things.

It seems to me that the debate is not about elect versus whosoever. It is about sovereignty. Am I in charge of producing saving faith or is God in charge of producing it in me?

I believe God is in charge of it. Without his influence, I could not have believed or continue to believe. I'm safe in his hands because he is responsible for capturing me and keeping me, not against my will however. I WANT to be here. There's no question about that. I'm just glad I don't have to rely on my own "faithfulness" to keep me here. I'll rely on Jesus's faithfulness. He never fails and he will not fail to keep what the father has given him. Thank God it's not on me! I'd fail miserably to keep myself here in Christ.

@John Wilson

The youth pastor who tells children that they are predestined for hell presupposes that he (or she) knows the mind of God and has the Book of Life in his back pocket. Only God knows the names of "the elect". Even those people who look to be Godly may only be good imitators. By the same token a saved person can look pretty ungodly as well. No one can ever know, for certain, the eternal destiny of anyone else except God himself.

The argument that says, "I'm predestined to hell, so I'll just do whatever I wish" assumes that it's possible for the unsaved person to know their future. And it assumes that God is not powerful enough, even in the face of radical unbelief, to reach out and get someone's attention. Neither assumption is true.

No one knows whether they will ever believe or not. God can reach in to the darkest depths and pull someone out of condemnation.

The problem doesn't seem to be how do you convince your son not to do as he pleases, but instead how do you convince him to ignore the uninformed pronouncement of that pastor. If that is indeed what he said, he was completely off base. He can't know who will come to faith. It's not possible.
Ross , 02/24/10 01:42 PM
So here we go. My wife commits adultry, then to cover her tracks, divorces me to hide her sin which I did not uncover till some months later. I stand up against the divorce, but the state gives me no ground to stand on. I am left powerless to affect the outcome. I am overcome by a state that allows "no-fault" divorce.
Do I have to remain unmarried? Is it adultry if I marry another, when the state forces the issue against my will?
Ed Sissel , 02/25/10 09:35 AM
Roger,
I'm am desperate for help! I am a Christian and have strived to serve God faithfully. However, my marriage has been so daunting practically all of the 20 years I've been married. I have always been taught that one cannot divorce because of scriptures and it is rooted deep in my belief system and convictions. I felt so trapped in this marriage with a gentleman who doesn't have the "obvious" signs of abuse, cheating, etc. etc. and basically he is a good man. However, he is very controlling, I feel inept with him, he decides how the house is decorated where we vacation how we spend money etc. and generally I feel like other than the children I had no say. He will say and perhaps its true, that he only has done what he felt best for the family. I feel like my womanhood has been stripped with him and Im just his trophy piece. I must a most STUPID judgement of becoming involved with another man after 17 years of marriage. It has cost me more than it was worth, of course! I struggled with God hating me, guilt, shame, self-disgust etc. But I fell deeply for someone who just happened to pay me attention. Despite all of the obvious wrong and convictions I plowed on ~ to more misery. I told my husband because the guilt, shame was unbearable. He wanted to forgive and move on. But it hasn't changed how I feel for my husband. I learned a very HARD lesson. I wonder why I can't just come to my senses and see the love my husband has for me, but I've been so emotionally dead for years. We have been to numerous marriage counselors ~ mainly Christians and now I have "this" thing to confess to the counselors, in my eyes now my husband is a saint. I don't know what to do. I want to be married and in a relationship but I just don't know how to with my husband. Do I just be thankful that he still loves me despite my adultery and grin and bear it for my conscience sake?
lynette Smith , 02/28/10 09:56 AM
can the state determine God's covenant broken? it doesn't matter what man does, it's not broken in the eyes of God.
, 03/01/10 08:15 AM
I was looking for the meaning of the word raca. And you gave me something to think about when I get angry at my neighbors! I have a very bad habit of calling just that! I guess now I have to really think before I open my big mouth! There is a famous lady preacher name Joyce Meyers, who has a dvd out called me and "Me and My Big Mouth." And I have listen to it quite often to remind to keep my mouth big mouth close! This gives me something to think about! My mother alwaystold me if Ican't say nothing nice to someone don't say nothing at all! Boy she was 100% right! Thanks And God Blees!
Pat Maruniak , 03/01/10 09:53 AM
Julie,

I wish that I could post this on my Facebook page. Many others would do the same, which could only help PITI. Might be something for you to think about for the future.

:) Chet
Chet Weld , 03/03/10 12:30 PM
Dear Roger,
I once read the term "weak" in Romans 14:1-23 was a translation choice and the word "unable" may be a better translation. To me the word "unable" better describes how some need to forgo gray area items.

One may be "unable" due to a ministry to people who struggle with alcoholism. By not drinking, I have been blessed many times to be a witness of God's healing and restoration.

Thanks, Jim
Jim Palmer , 03/03/10 04:27 PM
im married to a divorced man, we were married in church, and was married to his ex-wife in court. does that make any difference?...im confused
lou tapiak , 03/05/10 09:55 PM
I do not drink and stay away from it not because I think Christians cannot because I have seen so many lives ruined by addictions to drugs and alcohol even among Christians and in my own family. The hurt and destruction is devestating
Janet Stone , 03/05/10 11:44 PM
I believe while the Bible does not specifically answer these questions, we need to carefully examine our motivation for these things. Specifically, Romans 12:2 and James 3:16. We are not to conform to the patterns of this world. And "where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you have disorder and every evil practice." Is the motivation for having a breast augmentation because you want to look good in a swim suit, impress the opposite sex or fill out a dress? That's what the world tells us is right and I believe that is conforming. It is also purely selfish ambition. And the large expense is not an honoring use of God's money. Were you in a car accident and your body was mangled and you want to get it back to normal, working order? I don't believe that is selfish. There are definitely gray areas with this issue, but I don't believe you can solely examine the act, you also need to examine the motivation.
v , 03/12/10 10:19 PM
I was baptized as an adult in a Presbyterian Church (sprinkling). I look at my baptism as representing what God has done for me, not what I did by being baptized. Do I (or you) really believe my baptism was of less importance to God because I wasn't dunked? Does God love me or accept me any less? God's GRACE is a wonderful GIFT to me regardless of how I was baptized. Don't let the neo-evangelical emphasis on actions rob you from the wonderful relationship God began with you even as an infant.
Rick Paderick , 03/14/10 11:16 PM
I'm in high school and there's a lot of drama associated with being there as you probably know. Lately the devil has been attacking me through the drama sources surrounding me there. anonymous people sending nastytext messages around about me, people trying to fight me, spreading rumors and other things. is there a verse or text from the bible that may help me to understand and fight the worldly urges of thinking in the flesh, or do you have any advice.
britny , 03/15/10 09:30 PM
I am divorced and my ex wife pretends to be a Christian. Fortunately God knows our hearts. I believe God smiles on my remarriage.

And, yes, God's mercy is a given but something not to be taken for granted.

Cheers
Lloyd Hunt , 03/19/10 07:17 AM
You comment on several steps and you base them on Scripture and so I have examined those Scriptures, because as you indicate it is good to proceed with the Christian life using the Scriptures to find the path God desires(Prov. 3:5&6). The first step cites the story of Philip and the Ethiopian. The only problem with that citation is that the eunech was seeking instruction in the Jewish religion and Philip instructed him to that end. After all the message presented had been to the "Jews only" up to this point (Acts 11:19; 15:14). The baptism of Romans 6:1-10 is only supposed by you, that it involves water. The second step is to demonstrate the washing away of sin; however, you indicate that water can not do that and that water is in some way symbolic of Christ's death or burial or resurrection (even though I can't figure out which one it was because their's no water involved in any of Christ's crosswork). Plus you change the divinely inspired order of such passages as Mark 16:16. No one should do that for any ritual. Third step, is not something any human can do per 1 Cor. 12:13 and Col. 2:10-12. That is the Holy Spirit's work and Him alone. Just as we are circumcised without hands likewise God baptizes us the same. No shadows or types from the Old Testament are necessary (Heb. 9:10).
Glenn Waugh , 03/19/10 03:07 PM
Believe all you want, but "believing does not change God's word which He puts even about His name. Atheist really believe there is no God. Does that make them right? Cheers
, 03/20/10 10:20 PM
Sorry, but the dispute in the early church was over Jewish holidays not pagan holidays - Christians should never take part in PAGAN practices (e.g. Halloween) for obvious reasons. The church is sick today because we pretty much do what we like using liberty as an excuse. The bible says we must be HOLY as God is holy and that nothing with spot or blemish will enter into heaven. We are quick to condemn homosexuality based on old testament laws yet the same old testament forbids tattoos, men having long hair etc. Of course we shouldn't be stoning anyone to death and are no longer saved by works, but many OT laws give us helpful insights into what offends God. Christians must be separate from the world and work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Even things which are lawful may not be expedient. Personal conviction or not, certain things should not be even heard of in the church.
JJ Mantle , 03/22/10 09:41 AM
Roger

Thanks for your insight on these questions. With reference John 2-11, wine at the feast. I think it's safe to reason that folks at that feast were buzzing pretty good, yet it doesn't say that some folks were not allowed additional servings of wine. So, was Jesus at that point in time of his life contributing to drunkenness of those at the party? Just an observation, not trying to dismiss your points.
Bob Motz , 03/23/10 04:15 PM
Thank you for your post. It sems as if God himself is speaking right to my soul please continue to post scriptures and stories.I want to lessen the tip of my nose and get the fat off my chin but I wasnt sure if it was right. I still do not know if its right but I do pray that God will help me to live happy and free of sin.
Alisha Harkey , 03/24/10 09:12 AM
Thank you Roger for your wonderful, caring and thoughtful message. After thinking back to times when she were still here, I know she hears me. There many ,many timesehen she were here that I could sense that she wanted to speak to me and vice vera sand that we would call each other at just about the same time.Now, I sense that she can hear me and is waiting on me to "call
home " and just chat. Brian Carswell
Brian Carswell , 03/24/10 01:04 PM
Hi I was for a long time one who only believed that believers should be baptised. I have since by Gods grace seen the the true meaning of baptism, I enclose a link to a very helpful article on baptism. I must say that I do not agree with some of the doctrines contained on this website. Just copy and paste the link.
http://www.mybrethren.org/doctrine/frambapt.htm
Bob Pat , 03/24/10 01:41 PM
Roger,

What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Does every Christian receive this baptism? Is it necessary for Christian living? How does one get it?

Anon
Carolyn Bishop , 03/24/10 04:39 PM
JJ,
Actually the bible doesn't forbid tattoos. It forbids body marks/tattoos in honor of other religions.
k m , 03/26/10 03:43 PM
Roger, this helped me very much. I recently lost my son and have struggled and struggled with this very question, especially to my son and daughter who are still living. Working through the grieving process is very difficult. I struggle with him seeing how heartbroken we all are without him. Thanks again Roger
Tonya Haley , 03/28/10 06:59 PM
The question for me is: How do I tell the difference between the eternal, religious, and governmental laws?
Ross , 03/31/10 02:19 PM
This was very helpful. Thank you, Roger.
JB , 04/01/10 05:09 PM
I have a fish tattoo with Jesus name in Greek on my upper arm. When my non-christian coworkers or friends have seen it, it seems to bring up some interesting conversation and is always a test of my faith. I decided at a young age to get it in order that I would never be able to deny my faith if I was every truly tested. I thank God that I got it and realize that it has truly made me stronger in my faith when I have been questioned about my beliefs.
Dan G , 04/02/10 12:27 PM
I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?
SteveC Brett Mcdonald , 04/05/10 09:50 PM
Thank you for this. Too many believe their loved one's come back in spirit form. They need to know the truth.
Danielle bishop , 04/23/10 11:40 AM
Thank you, Roger. This will help me heal. Just by reading this, I am already healing. Many thanks and God bless you and your work!
Katerina , 04/26/10 09:37 AM
thank you for your advise
Iosefo Vosaboto , 04/26/10 10:16 PM
My husband died suddenly while working out of town on 3/23/10 and I too wondered if he could see and hear me from heaven. Your answer gave me such peace. Honestly, we don't know for sure, but we know what our hearts tell us and feel. Thank you for such a heartfelt answer to such an important question.
Theresa Sullivan , 04/28/10 12:08 PM
Excellently written and very insightful. I am researching as I will be speaking to a womens group Theme: Freedom:Steps to wholeness, and I will be presenting "My feet hurt but I'll go anyway" Joshua 3:15-17.

This is helpful and I hope it is okay to use some of the information. Let me know.
Thank you.
Carol Johnson , 05/04/10 09:47 AM
Robert and Carol,

That is the whole reason we post here. We hope it will be helpful and useful to others!

Blessings, and thank you for the kind compliments.
Mark Marikos , 05/08/10 02:41 AM
This posting has been most helpful. May God bless Name Withheld and Roger for sharing as I too am a blackout for 15+ years just now remembering things that happened when I was a child. My husband and I have only been married for 6 yrs, and he, too, wants to help me. I will take your precious words of advise and encouragement, Roger, and put them to work in my healing and share with my husband as well. Many blessings to Name Withheld and her husband, as well as Cheryl who commented.
A Rob , 05/11/10 03:46 PM
i don't really think if the devil can read our mind maybe you have some points in your analization about the topic,and if your belief can help you to defeat the enemy maybe thatinterpretation is correct and it is from GOD.
eric fetalvero , 05/13/10 02:49 AM
in my opinion it is not hard for a christian(that did go through that kind of situation)to tell that is not important to remarry.in my situation i am a faithful christian and my wife backslid and commit adultery,she has now 2 kids in different father.i am convincing her to go back to the LORD but she refuse.i feel trap in this situation in which i am very confuse whether i will divorce her(in which i feel that it is a sin)and find a faithful christian wife.i am now 38 years old and faithfully serving the lord as a worship leader and as a preacher of HIS WORD.as of now i am very much single and wanted to have a christian wife,i think this teaching of ptr.roger will help me a lot to have liberty in my captivity.
eric fetalvero , 05/13/10 04:58 AM
Tithing - "top of the heap?". Is that in the bible?

All I see is your personal opinion which I guess you are allowed to but to pass that off as God's word is not right at all. Tithing was not instituted by Abraham's meeting with Melchizedek. No verse of scripture in the bible suppports this theory. No where in scripture is the tithe defined as the top of the heap - the tithe was always A TENTH.

Jesus' statement to the Pharisees was no endorsement of tithing. The Pharisees already practised tithing quite meticulously and that was the point of Jesus's rebuke. They were so meticulous with thier tithing but not judgement and mercy. Mind you, Jesus never commanded any gentile to tithe so to hold this as a proof text to preach the tithing doctrine is not rightly dividing the word of truth.

Tithing is not for today's church instead we are encouraged to give any thing we can afford.
Tony Isaac , 05/14/10 03:30 AM
I lost my son 10 months ago and I know he visits me often. I feel his presence and I talk to him. I believe that there is a place in Heaven where our loved ones can go to see us, but I know they don't understand earthly things anymore. I often pray and ask God to just let my son know that I love him and miss him and I know, without doubt, God does this for me.
Melissa Doo , 05/14/10 03:35 PM
Pastor Barrier wrote. "Remember that baptism never washes away sins; the blood of Jesus washes away sins."

To claim baptism never washes away sins is to intentionally misread the plain meaning of I Peter 3:18-22. Peter writes that God saved eight people in the flood in ancient times, but for us "Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Not sure how you can ignore "Baptism now saves you...through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."
T. Jones , 05/16/10 11:15 AM
I know that you posted this response a few years ago, but this was exactly what i needed for today. Tomorrow I meet with so new Christians to talk to them about applying God's word, and your answer to this question is so practical.

Thank you!
In Christ,
Derrick
Derrick D , 05/26/10 12:27 AM
Dear Roger,

It was wonderful reading this article. For the past year our ladies Bible Study here in Alaska has been doing the Precept study on Revelation and you so succintly stated the seals, trumpets and bowls. In the class many ladies have speculated with the current world conditions about where we are in the "end times" and my mantra has been that each day brings us one day closer to the "end". What is so encouraging is that we know the "end"! That we serve the God Most High who will one day be seen by EVERYONE as such! Praise God that the Lamb is worthy!
Valerie Turner , 05/27/10 12:06 PM
The night my son, Mike, died I had a vision of him being escorted away and quickly vanishing by an angel of sorts. Very vivid memory. I think that it might have been a vision of what had happened and not of it happening. It was nice.
Dan Winters , 06/02/10 12:17 PM
Not sure if the end, or a stern warning that we are not in control. Oil spill, like earthquakes and volcano, shows us we are not as invincible as we beleive we are and that we must turn to the Lord for protection
Convinced Beleiver , 06/07/10 09:02 AM
excellent Roger! precept upon precept. Thank you.
Sara Dowdle Simmons , 06/08/10 08:47 PM
I ama a bit suprised at what you said because the Bible says 'if you ask anything that you will, believing you shall receive' so then why should we still live under the tormentings of the devil when the Son of Man came to destroy the works of the devil? Why then did Jesus Christ heal the sick?
shadreck Ndebele , 06/11/10 08:16 AM
Don't let Satan deceive you into thinking that Christ's coming is very far in the future. His coming is right at the doors. These signs we are seeing and hearing about are screaming His soon return. If we are not watching for His return, He will come as a Thief to those not watching. This gulf oil spill is stupendous. Massive sea life will die. I also believe that a massive amount of humans will also die as a result of starvation and toxic fumes that will be emitting from the ocean. It is sad to see that people are not taking these signs seriously. I pray they will wake up before it is too late. Remember the New World Order.
Colleen Jeffries , 06/12/10 04:10 AM
ì am a Christain and sometimes i don't know how can apply and interpretation on it in my life?
Do you have any commends?
thinang yann , 06/13/10 09:15 PM
Dear Roger: On Nov. 10, 2006, Jesus took me home, I met my Lord face to face thru a veil. He judged me fairly, In His brilliant light, I saw what a sinner I was and how I missed the mark. I was religious and did not know it. He saved me, healed me of Parkinsons, I am now teaching and preaching while see many healed!
Juanita Baumann , 06/14/10 02:24 PM
I remember the incident. I was in Jr. High, sitting right beside the minister turning pages for him as he stood directing the orchestra. I think it would be good to call the younger people out of the session. I know this was a long time ago and you mentioned dealing with it slightly differently now, and I agree with the changes you've made. Not everyone needs to know what happened. It can bring harm to many to actually know what's going on sometimes. I know it hurt me and everyone in the church. If I had just been told God had a different path for him for now, it would have been much less painful and less damaging for me. Hindsight is often more clear than foresight. We've all grown through this together. You did a great job handling it as you felt God was leading you to. I just thought I'd mention it from a youthful perspective as I was in Jr. High at the time. The incident I'm referring to happened nearly 30+ years ago.
Melissa Skorseth , 06/17/10 08:28 PM
Dear Rodger,

Thank you for your availability to Jesus with questions ...Your service as a servant of Christ,,

The question, Why do we as followers of Christ,, saved and cleansed by the Blood, still have to pray for forgiveness of our sins? I am not trying to be funny, but if he has forgiven us for our sins, past, present and future? Why do we pray for forgiveness?? as always,
larry
larry pinkerton , 06/19/10 11:27 PM
I wanted to thank you for addressing this! I am finding more churches offer yoga classes and yoga groups and it's refreshing to see the change in attitude. One thing I find enriching about yoga that many people miss in the quest for a perfect figure or trendy yoga outfits is that the exercise itself is incidental to the workout of the mind...all that stretching and straining is centered on the idea that physical stress clears your mind. Those who practice regularly may notice that is it easier to pray, read scripture and meditate on God's word without being distracted. Training your mind to be disciplined and focused is something God desires for us: "Be still and know that I am God." Yoga helps me work on that discipline.
Erin , 06/22/10 01:39 PM
In the world history we have always read about natural/ man made disasters, but these especially within the last year, is all to frequent to be coincidental! I pray for our Father's will be done and for Lord Jesus to return...as brothers and sisters of Christ we have a job to do, we need to be beacons of hope for all those who need Him!! For the end times are here!
John Roberts , 06/22/10 08:51 PM
We may be in the end times but this is no reason to abandon our commitment to justice. Free speech is very restricted now in America. if you doubt this then try holding a sign by side of a road that tells people to pray, be free, end war, or anything else and see how long it is before homeland security comes over to ask you some questions. I have seen too many Christians assume that during the end time the government of America will be the “good guys”. If you open your bible, you will see that the US government is not the “good guy” during end times but part of the “beast” system.
Christian Peper , 06/24/10 05:21 AM
Many churches today, including many "Kingdom Churches", are so externally focused they loose track of the people God has led to them to be discipled. I was onced involved in a church that morphed into a "Kingdom Church" and it became very works-based. Those who did the most stuff got the plaques and their egos were stroked on Sunday mornings from the pulpit. The Pastors spent more time talking about who's house we painted than teaching from God's Word.

I think churches are called to be evangelistic and discipling churches. If we drop the ball on either one of those, we should close up shop and let our congregations find churches who take these two things seriously.
Scott M , 06/24/10 04:29 PM
Just came upon your site when trying to connect the oil spill with "end times".What a blessing.
Thank you LORD for opening this communication with others who love and need You.
I am trying to be strong and not afraid as I see the world changing rapidly.I have little fear for myself and great fear for my grandchildren.
Let me be a beacon of hope too.
Jean Collins , 06/26/10 08:39 AM
Yes, I have heard many stories similar to yours and Julie's, and these stories are from sincere people who don't care if you believe them or not! With many or most of these accounts, we can find equivalent stories in the Bible, which interests me greatly. I have spoken with several Bible study groups on this subject, and my last talk I called, "Crazy Love/Crazy Miracles." After these classes, people have come up to me and told me their own personal stories. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so it's really no surprise that God would still perform miracles and even still use His angels.
Chet Weld , 06/30/10 12:14 AM
On the third hand, I grieve that judgmental cries of condemnation have failed, not only to change society, but they have decidedly damaged evangelistic efforts to reach the Lost.

Amen to that!
, 06/30/10 11:29 AM
Matt Mattson , 06/30/10 04:56 PM
The ministry of Angels
1) In times of confusion angels might come to direct us - Acts 11:13
2) In times of chrisis God might send an angel to stregthen us - Luke 22:43
3) Sometimes in sickness they assist us - John 5
4) When we are discouraged, they encourage us - Genesis 16:7-12
5) In times of danger to protect us.
Google "The white Calvary(The angels of Moms)
Great account from WW1
Matt Mattson , 06/30/10 05:06 PM
Thank you! I write books about angels and miracles, and run into a lot of people who arent very well-informed about angels. I wish I had your explanation above written on a card to give them---it would fill in the blanks in a gentle, non-threatening and Bible-based way. Thank you for being accurate!
Joan Wester Anderson , 07/02/10 04:09 PM
To Stacey Wright,

No, you should absolutely not divorce your present spouse in order to reconcile with the former. Paul instructs those whose unbelieving spouses are leaving, to let them go. You are in a situation where you cannot go back to your former spouse, no matter the reason for the divorce. Jesus did not say that clause was now abrogated/done away with. It is nonsensical and wicked to have people break their marriages up when Paul gives no such instruction in the New Testament. Please, listen to common sense and examine 1 Corinthians 7 carefully. The 'binding' in the marriage relationship is a moral bond, not an inseparable one.It is wrong to divorce and remarry, but the new marriage is a marriage nonetheless, just as those who have fornicated in the past can still be married to someone even though they have sinned by being joined to many others in body.

If these over literalistic false teachers would consider the logical end of their teaching, then many people from tangled divorce backgrounds, with many marriages including to people divorced themselves, then some would not even know who they were literally married to. We can't destroy marriages in defiance to Paul's instruction to the married to stay married (he makes no distinction about those who had been divorced before they came to Christ, and what about the unbeleiving spouses the Christians are meant to stay with? Surely many of those were probably divorced before too).

Please, pray and seek the Lord and his grace, do not an overly literalistic view of divorce and remarriage destroy your marriage, your peace and your life.

If you would like to contact me, my email is as follows:

vonny63@googlemail.com
Yvonne D , 07/03/10 07:27 AM
Roger, could you address the heart attitude behind labeling Barack Obama or Bill Clinton Anti-Christ?

What kind of heart attitude should Christians have toward people, whether they agree with them or not? How does talking like this reflect on Christ?
Steve Branson , 07/07/10 08:38 AM
What is the meaning of 666?
Nancy Weatherspoon , 07/07/10 09:20 AM
Thanks Roger for the excellent summary of the events surrounding the Anti-Christ!
Bob Cooper , 07/07/10 01:24 PM
Roger, I would like to clarify my question. Can you give input on what Christians' heart attitudes should be in a situation like this. In this instance, they are talking about someone they disagree with as being the Anti-Christ. What should the heart attitude of God's people be when they disagree with someone? How should they express their heart attitude in a way that reflects Jesus' heart to the listening world around us? Thank you.
Steve Branson , 07/08/10 11:25 AM
Thank you Roger for your answer. To reiterate your opening sentence- we need to be praying for this president and other leaders and keep praying. Hopefully we will wear out our knees
Peter Watson , 07/08/10 12:34 PM
I experienced this situation in my church just three short years ago and it still hurts very deeply. I was the wife of 30 years to the worship pastor in a large church in Metro Atlanta for 18 years. We had grown children and grandchildren and he was involved with a young married woman with three small children and she also had a music ministry. He was immediately discharged from the church. The Administrator and Senior Pastor told the congregation we were having marrital problems and not to call or talk to us so we could work things out. A congragation usually does what their pastor tells them and so I had no support system at all not even my Sunday school teacher came until a year later then he came by my house and ask me to forgive him for not being there for me. It was the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life but there is always a reason we go through these times in our lives. Mine was to rely on our Lord for all things and not man. He gave me the strength and comfort I needed when I had nobody near to fall back on and cry my eyes out. Our children and grandchildren were hurting so badly and I had to be strong in their eyes. I had to seek employment at a senior age when there were very few jobs in a slow market. But our Lord provided me with three jobs. I was left paying all the bills, a house note of $1300, his truck payment $500 (he took the car that was paid for) food and utilities but I never missed a payment or went without. I even made enough to tithe. I am not boasting for my sake but for the sake of our Lord. I had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and osteo penia everywhere in my body but HE healed my bones completely in one year per the bone scans! I can tell the difference in my strength. As for my X, I really think God removed his blessing from him. Their relationship didn't last but six months and he is still trying to survive selling insurance and living with relatives. It hasn't been easy and many people were hurt. I have kept my integrity by not confronting the church or my old friends with the details of the events that went on during that time and after. I have made a new life and much better than the old one although I often think about the families that were closely involved, mostly the small children and how this will effect their lives forever and I pray everyday they will not be permanantly damaged by this. I close in saying.... If we trust in our Lord as our guide, He knows the way and will keep us on the right path when we can't see beyond the fog. May our Lord God receive all the praise and glory for all things.
Batyahann Canttell , 07/08/10 11:19 PM
Roger, I'm so glad to have your perspective on the many concerns we have now and in the future. It's all right there, in God's word.
Betty Roe , 07/09/10 12:08 AM
Thank you for your insight. This is a wonderful answer.
Steve: I may not have the answer, but I believe that Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Whether your lost in a decision, lost in your faith, etc....God will guide you in the right direction. I, often, disagree with "hot topics" like this one. I usually state that I am glad "this topic" is NOT a salvation issues. I love the other person and respect their difference. I know all will be answered in heaven. For now, if a person has repented of their sins and accepted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, then I am content. I can just say, aren't we glad we can agree to disagree on this topic. It's not a salvation issue, so I leave it at that, because I'll still be with them in Heaven where all will be answered.
I hope this makes sense. My father was a pastor, and used this technique, so it's something I have taken with me on my Christian Journey. God Bless!
Rebecca Krell , 07/10/10 07:45 PM
Well, now Roger I have to know all about the number 616, would you please the story, please, pleeeeeeeeeeeeese???
Respectfully
Jimena
jimena , 07/14/10 07:14 AM
Thank you, Roger. Yes, your answer is both interesting and informative. Thank you for explaining it so clearly.
Sincerely,
Nancy
Nancy Weatherspoon , 07/14/10 09:12 AM
But doesn't this just give Christians the permission to sin .... with an attitude of oh well I'll still be going to Heaven even if I commit a crime or do something wrong...
, 07/15/10 05:15 PM
I am in agreement with your article on praying - or NOT praying for healing. I have been suffering from a rare form of arthritis (in my spine) for 18 years. I prayed three different times for God to heal me. No such healing came. I had one guy tell me I was not acting in faith. I prayed and asked The Lord for an answer... I was led to the passage in 2 Corinthians chapter 12. I then realized that like Paul, I had a thorn in my flesh that I must deal with... it's not an issue of faith, it's God's sovereignty... His grace is sufficient for me! I have thus been inspired to write a book about this. I hope to publish it soon.
God bless,
David from Ventura, California
David Glass , 07/17/10 05:26 PM
Awesome!
Zach , 07/21/10 12:28 PM
Yes, I do believe in angels and miracles!
we can find equivalent stories in the Bible such as above, as a consoler and advisor, many a times I have come across people who are true and real with amazing stories to tell, and am left only with the words......What a miracle, you have an angel gaurdian some where watching you and protecting you!
God watches us all, and some where we are all protected by the All Mighty.....
Cherie M. Bharti , 07/21/10 01:38 PM
Jesus Christ spoke of the literal Adam as well. (Just as He made mention of Jonah,Noah,Moses,Abraham and others whose stories might seem like fable to future generations.)
Since the Time magazine cover reporting on the findings of the DNA link to a single mother, I have felt that God allows science to prove Him over and over. We have the joy of discovery and the greater joy of finding Him wholly true.
Thanks for the article.
Kathryn Faulkner , 07/21/10 08:17 PM
Is it coincidence that this situation doesn't work out or if it does it's hard - I don't see this as being gods plan or design or intent - blended families is not good idea nor is it the brady bunch - two facotrs god didn't intned - the ex and the children - Brady bunch is a tv show not real life
Kathryn Matheny , 07/26/10 09:25 PM
Roger, thank you for addressing this issue. While many people see the "Twilight" movies and books, and their ilk, as harmless entertainment, I believe them to be highly dangerous. Are you or your readers aware that in the final installment of the "Twilight" stories, according to an entry on WikiPedia, Bella herself becomes a vampire and really enjoys it? I find that horrifying. I can remember when "monster movies" were designed to terrify, not attract. Along with vampires, zombies seem to be on the rise in popularity, and turning up in the strangest places. In Marvel Comics, a series of stories transformed the popular heroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Iron Man into flesh-eating "undead". In a Star Wars novel, a strange virus had the same effect on a shipful of Stormtroopers. I wonder what the Word of God has to say about zombies? I find it all sickening. You are wise to say that we need to be aware that many stories have hidden agendas. I have young children. We are presently boycotting Marvel Comics over their "Zombies", and when their school started to recommend the "Harry Potter" books, I explained to their teacher that we would not allow that material in our home. The teacher thought out rationale was ridiculous, but we stood by our beliefs. Certainly, "Twilight" is not welcome, either. Finally, I urge all of your readers to visit a local bookstore and check out the "Teens" section. You will be utterly shocked, horrified, and disgusted at what is being presented to our young people.
Jason Stevens , 07/28/10 09:59 AM
It should be noted that this individual was engaged in a practice of self-deception, doing things that he did not feel were in his nature, in order to fit in and be accepted. His mental health issues were probably part and parcel with that.

The description of the cult is pretty atypical. Most vampiric groups aren't so cult-like, and don't involve running around in cemetaries. It's important to note that they do not see vampirism as any sort of perversion of religion, (nor as related to religion at all) but many members of the greater vampire community see it as more akin to a medical condition.

Yes, there are good Christian vampires, too. They're probably not going to tell you who they are. It's true, the Bible does say that blood should not be consumed--but it says the same thing about pork and shellfish. Blood is consumed in many cultures (blood sausage, czernina, etc). For those who don't hold to such dietary restrictions, there seems little reason to single out one of them. There was, no doubt, a good medical reason for no consuming blood in Biblical times. Remember, Jesus' Last Supper happened long after that rule was penned. Most Christians in the US don't pay attention to Biblical dietary restrictions.

The modern vampire community has long been insistent on safety, blood testing, over 18 only, and consent. This community pre-dates Twilight by decades. Far from encouraging people to join them, they tend to be somewhat suspicious of them, and do NOT encourage those who do not already feel they absolutely are vampiric to engage in bloodletting. Perhaps if your fellow had found them first, he would not have fallen in with the graveyard bunch in the first place. He would have been encouraged, in fact, to seek counseling.

The vampire community itself isn't an enemy to Christianity, and they'll be as happy as you to see an end to cults of kids lurking around cemetaries engaging in unsafe practices. Just try not to catch them in the crossfire. Some of them may be in your congregation.
Donna Fernstrom , 07/28/10 10:16 AM
Thank you Donna! Donna is right. The actual vampire community is comprised of people of all cultures, creeds, beliefs, and walks of life. There are doctors, nurses, police officers, judges, etc that are vampires, and you'd never know it! The vampire community is VERY retentive about being safe, and they would NEVER recruit people! Either way, Roger, please don't compare lonely, depressed teenagers involved in unsafe practices to the real vampire community, as the two are NOT related! Oh, and ease up a bit on the Bible verses...good grief! If I want to hear a sermon, I'll attend church! Thank you!
Jill Buck , 07/28/10 05:20 PM
While I appreciate the concern and motivation of both the initial inquiry and the response, I fear that this is an all too typical reaction by evangelicals. We tend to equate fictional characters of the fantastic, whether in horror or fantasy, as real and somehow "occultic," and from there it is a short journey to allegations of satanic ritual abuse. Along the way we end up misunderstanding and misrepresenting real-world vampires, Witches, Pagans and the like, and react in fear instead of engaging with understanding. It is my hope that we can develop a more informed understanding and response, both of those with fantastic identities and those in new spiritualities, and that we can be more discerning in regards to horror and the fantastic in pop culture.
John Morehead , 07/28/10 07:31 PM
I appreciate your enlightening my husband Roger and me and our other readers to the fact that it is possible to enjoy fantasy. I do think the original question asked had two issues in play.

The first was the actual practice of vampirism, which is definitely on the rise in this country. The second revolves around Twilight and other fantasy movies or books. Here are some positive notes about Twilight.

For example, I appreciate Stephanie Meyer's attempt to portray Bella’s insecurity and awkwardness. Fortunately, there was a family willing to take her in and treat her like one of their own. It was nice to see, in the context of so many sexual television programs and movies today involving teenagers, that the value of virginity and integrity is laid out so clearly in the book. I know that there are many other positive things I didn’t deal with, and for that I am sorry.

There are many "fantasy" media offerings out today. As I said, that is where parent and child get together to make choices about what is appropriate. An adult, of course, makes those choices based on their individual consciences, and the issue of choosing media is one between a mature person and God.

Secondly, the actual act of vampirism is another matter. It has serious moral and spiritual repercussions. If you have a friend or colleague involved in vampirism, do not be ignorant. Learn how to love the person, show an interest in coming alongside of them concerning these matters, and give them an opportunity to interact with you concerning biblical teaching on the subject.

To be "preachy", as Donna, John and Jill have said, is not a compassionate way to approach the issue.
Julie Barrier , 07/29/10 09:30 AM
What version of the Bible says "after rejecting"
All my studies says after receiving. Which means sinning after receiving salvation.???
Steve miller , 07/31/10 08:10 PM
I would like you to answer Sherrill Weaver's question. If he went to hell (or the core of the earth to preach) why does he say that he and the criminal are going to paradise that day?
Please do not tell me that hell is paradise.
Greg Carter , 08/03/10 10:26 PM
Eternity transcends the concept of space and time. In the spiritual realm, Jesus could have told the thief he'd be with him in paradise today and at the same time descended into hell or hades for some spiritual battle, whatever it may be. It is possible that Jesus died for our salvation in the earthly concept of time and still had spiritual work to do in eternity. Like many things spitual, this is beyond our human understanding
James , 08/05/10 08:43 AM
Roger,
After many years of hearing you teach and then staying in touch through Julie and other friends, I was aware of most of these events, but let me tell you ... when I read it all in one sitting it almost took my breath away! It sure appears like the Lord has allowed you and Julie to withstand more than most folks. I am so sorry for the pain you've been through. In particular, the amount of pain you two have withstood as parents of a hurting child seems beyond what anyone could tolerate. But as you referenced, God does work all things for good for those who love Him. I don't know of two people more powerfully equipped to teach and to comfort those who are hurting than you and Julie. There is a genuineness in your pastoral care because "you've been there" and are no stranger to the heartache and pain living in this fallen world brings. "You shall comfort others with the comfort you've been given." You have. Often. And remarkably well. Thank you.
One of your old sheep,
Betty
Betty Schuck-Kruszka , 08/11/10 05:28 PM
Roger, you don't know me, although we've spoken once by phone. At the time, you took a huge block of your time the day before heading off to the mission field. That was amazing enough. I had no idea of the trials your family has endured, but had heard of a few. I just want to tell you how blessed I am to have had the privilege over the past 5 years to sit under your teachings. i was one of those that just sat in the pew in tears for quite a while. The ministry of grace and the tenderness of how Casas moves throughout is a testimony of your leadership. I am so sorry for your sufferings, but I want you to know that as I look at my sufferings, and how I have complained, I am not so happy with myself, in light of what you have endured, and yet you keep pressing forward and ministering to the rest of us. Thank you and Julie for the blessing you are to Casas. Your posting here really ministered to me today. I just wanted to tell you this. In Him. Nina
Nina Puente , 08/12/10 10:30 AM
We love you Roger and thank God for your sacrifices for us and our church. And the sacrifices of your dear sweet family. We have seen the hand of God move at Casas in many ways through our families' fragile minds and bodies. I think the Devil hates our guts! aha! And well he should.
Somehow, God takes this dust we are and works miracles through our mustard seed of faith.
Thanks for sharing...makes me cry.
Kathy Knipp , 08/12/10 03:47 PM
Shirley Ray , 08/14/10 02:09 PM
Dear Roger -- You have been so dear to each one of my family. Your teachings have blessed us so greatly since 1978. Can you believe so many years have passed. The largest blessing for me was to serve at the church office for the last 5 years of my "working" years . . . What a blessing that was for me.
Hank and I both pray that healing will take place for each of your girls. They have been through so very much. With a son fighting leukemia at this time, we have some understanding of the worries that you and Julie have experienced over the years. May God continue to richly bless each of you.
Shirley Ray , 08/14/10 02:15 PM
I had the exact question that Marta had...if sin is in the current Heaven, can people living there still be thrown out? or is that people in heaven no longer sin?
Nick Puente , 08/14/10 05:32 PM
The end is closer than we think,watch out for the feast of tabernackles in september!!! So many of the prophesies already came true, the man on white horse, with bow without arrows, crowned, been to the north and south...??? (wont call names) just...who received a nobal price for what he is going to do, not what has been done??? The focus is not on him though, he is only the first horse...many still to come. I am staying in Africa, read the prophesies (all of them). Fear Yahwe (God), for the tribulation hasn't started yet, forget about the rapture theory, it's a manmade theory that was introduced by a Jesuit priest (NWO doctrine) in the early 1800ds to confuse "eaven the believers". Read Matt;24...it will be the same as in the days of Noah, maybe there will be a rapture, but defenately not before the end of the Great tribulation. Be aware of the signs of satan in the sky...holograms from satelites??? Yahwe will speek in your hearts, His Spirit will be with you, fear not...
pierre t , 08/15/10 01:05 PM
, 08/15/10 10:34 PM
speaking tongues need to speak clear not babbles. i had been to churches that spoke in tongues and always hear them babbles like a baby talk. that s not speaking tongues . that s their own will their own effort.
can anyone tell me can a deaf person speak tongues?
and what if deaf person go to deaf church that there isn't any people who can hear? what is the purpose for deaf person to speak tongue if deaf people can t hear and be able to iinterpret?
mark , 08/17/10 12:08 AM
Dear Roger,

Here is a question regarding something that I have always struggled with: How can a person serve God, live a holy-righteous life, and be a suffering servant being led solely by the Holy Spirit and not by the flesh? I find myself so often doing something with the wrong motives and then just feeling like giving up.

Thanks

Peter
Peter Watson , 08/17/10 10:59 AM
this was an excellent source of information, the best I have come across, because I too had issues regarding this topic. I am a young woman of Christ, who is also for women's rights. I wanted to show that the Bible, the New Testament does not hate women as many feminists of today claim.
Cruxlilium , 08/24/10 06:05 AM
I have said in the past; and I continue to say; the Federal Government should have made the World Trade Center Area into a National Park, with emphasis on it being a Memorial to those whose lives were taken from them on 9/11. The likelihood of that happening under the present Administration is 'little to none', for multiple reasons, some of which I don't support at all.
George Erhardt , 08/25/10 07:42 AM
Roger,
Thanks for such an excellent overview. Your wisdom & experience flows through your writings. In a crazy mixed up world it is very reassuring.
Alex Garcia , 08/25/10 08:42 AM
I think they should install mosques at the very top of each new World Trade Center tower when they reconstruct. That might avert future attacks of the Islamic nature. JK!
I really appreciate your answer and taking a stance in an overly politically correct society. I fully agree that while American Muslims have every Constitutional right to build a mosque on whatever plot of land they legally purchase, it demonstrates extremely poor taste and superfluous amounts of insensitivity. It's the same kind of "insensitivity" our President argues Americans have towards Muslims. To quote Alanis Morrisette, "Isn't ironic, don'tcha think!" I don't believe this proposal strengthens a muslim's argument of practicing a "peaceful" religion or being "misunderstood." An inflammatory action such as this speaks louder than their words ever could! Why don't we put a cross on top of the Ka'ba? Or erect a statue of Timothy McVeigh in front of the federal building in OKC? How about a Hitler tribute museum next to the National Hallucost Museum? Ridiculous. All we can do is pray for our leaders... and vote them out next go around!
Richard Muenckler , 08/25/10 08:59 AM
Roger, I appreciate your insight, and your thoughts on this matter, but I think you've understated it just a little. In my opinion, allowing a mosque anywhere near the site of the 9/11 tragedy is no different in principle than flying Nazi flags over a Holocaust memorial. It does not surprise me that Muslims wish to do this. Theirs is a violent and destructive religion with no regard for human life. Their religion demands warfare against and the destruction of unbelievers, unlike Christianity which seeks to reach out to unbelievers in love. And Muslims who follow the precise dictates of their faith are not interested in peace. They seek conquest and dominion. It's just that simple. It does not surprise me that our current "President" and one of his main cronies, Nancy Pelosi, have come out in support of this atrocity. It sickens me, but it doesn't surprise me. It also won't surprise me, or sadden me, if this mosque is allowed to be completed, if someone decides to firebomb the place shortly thereafter. A big part of me hope it happens. And I hope that later this year, and in 2012, America remembers who our current "elected" officials sided with, while there's still an America left.
Richard Kirk , 08/25/10 12:17 PM
I understand that the angel who spoke to Mohammed did not have a name until 15 years after the experience and a visit by him to Israel. Then the angel was identified as Gabriel.
My concern is the history of building mosques – in areas that are seen as a conquest. That in itself makes building this mosque, in this location, an insult.
Marguerite Smith , 08/25/10 11:18 PM
ok divorced my drunk of a husband 4 years ago. i knew very little about the Bible and God..then, however today i know a lot more. I met a man 3 years ago and we would like to get married. When i found out that im a fault as being a cheater in God eyes..icried like a baby! I did ask my God forgiveness once i found out about the truth. So i can never remarriyM
charise w. , 08/25/10 11:46 PM
Well, I think it's all been pretty well said. Well spoken, with admirable and appropriate restraint. I want to speak to one small thing Richard Muenkler said in his response.
I find myself becoming angry every time I hear someone characterizing this effort by Muslims as "insensitive." It is not. It is instead, intentionally antagonistic, intended to humiliate Americans and to further embolden Muslims all along the spectrum of Islamic fervor - from hard core jihadists to the so called moderate, every day Muslim American upon whom responsibility to make converts to Islam is imposed by the Koran. The moderates should be as incensed as any other good American. But they are not and I think it's time to stop wondering why not. Saying that Muslims are being "insensitive" is like when a policeman in a court room refers to a serial murderer he caught in the act as a "gentleman" in accordance with some kind of courtroom etiquette. Well, which is he; a gentleman or a serial murderer? He can't be both. Yet such politically correct terms imposed tend to sway the outcome of proceedings on some level subliminally and criminal defense attorneys love them for that fact. The well meaning all the while are playing naively into their hands.
Calling the builders of this mosque insensitive makes us look like the weak, tearful victims they wish to portray us to the world as instead of strong and worthy adversaries who see through their ruse and aren't going to apathetically take this insult laying down. But to borrow a phrase from our president - "Let me be clear": I'm not advocating violence as a response in any way. I agree with Roger; we should have a missionaries heart. And honestly, I have difficulty grasping the balance between being passionate and rightfully outspoken in opposition to what I see as a serious injustice, and being an emissary for our Lord. (Anybody have anything for me on that one?) I'm simply saying that we have to learn to discern our way through all the spin and our tendencies toward political correctness so we can see how things really are and can define our responses to them wisely and not naively. Definitely need to seek God's wisdom.
Ed Costanza , 08/26/10 01:40 AM
Just one more brief comment... Roger, I deeply appreciate your candor in response to the questions about the Park 51 Mosque and Islam. Whether I should feel this way or not, seeing that we agree in some things reassures me that I am NOT going crazy. I just want to speak to your even handed concession that other religions have also erected buildings in efforts to reach out to communities with goals of persuading others to embrace their faith. I think that's fair enough. However, the difference between Islam and Christian faiths is as different as the motivations of their founders, Muhammed and Jesus. Jesus said, in a manner of speaking, "OK, you can't do it. So I'm gonna do it for you and OFFER reconciliation to you because of of the deep, rich love I feel for you." Muhammed said, by and large, "Convert or kill! Either way, the only people left will be Muslims." In short, one building is built as an offer of reconciliation; the other as a symbol of conquest.
Ed Costanza , 08/26/10 02:01 PM
What does the congregation do when that leader is put back into the same leadership position a year later. Our churches Youth Leader had a 9 month affair with one of the youth counselors. Both were married with spouses active in the youth group. The youth leader stepped down stating "family issues" It has been just a year and the Pastor has put him back in the same position. Kids are joking about him behind his back ( they all knew why he left) and parents are shocked. It has been 3 months and already there is discord in the youth group. The PAstor is not addressing these issues. What should the congregation do?
Adrianne Finster , 08/27/10 08:54 AM
beware of this writer. The Bible say "save for the cause of FORNICATION. Not adultery as the author suggested. Two different sins.
hh , 08/28/10 04:52 PM
I appreciated everyone's viewpoints and feelings. I recognize that this is a very emotional issue and that many continue to feel anger and fear. With that said, at what point do we let God's love show through us. We don't have to condone it but the level of hate that I read about and hear on some news stations is shocking. I think they have a right to be there.They expect us to discriminate against them. Why not respond with open arms? Why not attend their community center and fellowship with them? Why not do what we are supposed to do as Christians? If Muslims don't hear the love from God shouldn't we show them God's love? I remember the fear that putting a synagogue or Mormon temple in a Christian neighborhood invoked many years ago. The community center has been there for awhile if I'm not mistaken and it is not on ground zero. I believe that a stip club and porn store are actually closer to the site than the community center. At least that is what my New York friend said to me last week.
I wonder if some of you feel just as strongly against the Confederate flag flying in the South? To many Americans that represents slavery and breaking up the United States of America. Isn't that as insulting? Many died defending the Union and trying to end slavery.
I worry about the hypocrisy that I see in the Christian Church. I worry that we are becoming like the the radical Muslims that are filled with hate and utter disrespect for another human being because that human is different.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts. God bless all of you. Thank you Roger for always being willing to discuss difficult issues.
Lisa Logan , 08/30/10 09:09 PM
Dear Pastor Barrier, My father took his life when I was 5 years old being the youngest of nine and raised by my mom who never remarried I saw what depression does to a whole family and the struggles I was not a Christian until my early 20 and was Baptized at the Old Casas. My mother went on depression meds when my brother took his life at the age of 40 he was seeking help and couldn't afford it was off meds when that happened just a few weeks ago a girlfriend of mine took her life when she was on meds caused her to do things at night she was a Christian. My ma was on meds to help her brain function better she never recovered from my brothers death she passed at age 82 to high of dosage for her weight and she had talked about her passing told me she was proud of me I told her God wasn't ready for her yet she was given 120 years I went to grief counseling at Casas thanks I do still miss my ma fr earthly way but heavenly way I know she is busy. since my ma passed one of sisters tried to take her life 3 times last time on ventilator they changed her meds she is doing better Amen. My other sister also was on same meds to long finally changed hers doing better also I pray they come to know the Lord because He is the ultimate healer with what doctors can do to help they would be awesome. I am so glad you and Julie sought help. I have many co workers even my boss who take meds and are able to function whereas some before where very angry and scary to work with. I have seen good and bad results with anti depressants. I have been married for 27 years three sons they are my earthly help and strength and wisdom our 10yr old would make a great pastor one day he has the Lord in him and comforts all. He has seen to much grief I try to be strong he senses my saddness I am generally a happy go lucky person I smile behind the pain I know God only gives me what I can handle. We left our home this past March do to foreclosure we were told by the mortgage company to stop tithing we didn't God will continue to bless this family we are renting a home almost across the street fr old neighborhood we are strong for our children so thanks for being a awesome Pastor you and Pastor Bartoe and Julie and Jack and well the church for keeping our sheep together through worldly attacks sorry for spelling names wrong thanks for listening In His Name Mrs Litteral
Mary Litteral , 09/02/10 11:42 AM
Short answer: Absolutely YES. BUT, it's appropriate under certain circumstances and should not be the first thing we reach for.

We have to recognize that there are different causes of depression. Sometimes depression can be caused by environmental or situational factors...or by sin in our lives. It is also caused by chemical or biological imbalances in our brain.

I went through a short bout of depression where I hid in my room and cried. I was struggling through a personal situation that needed to be resolved. It took several months for God to process the pain, and help me to forgive a man in my life, but even in the midsts of my tears and anguish, I had peace because I knew God was helping me. I did not use anti-depressants and God helped me to overcome my pain. In this circumstance, I don't think it was appropriate for me to take anti-depressants.

On the other hand, I have personal experience with my mom who struggled greatly with depression. She tried several times to "wean" herself off anti-depressants with disastrous results.

Where depression has a biological or chemical cause, anti-depressants are necessary. Just as a diabetic needs to inject themselves with insulin, biologically/chemically based depression needs anti-depressants.

But I think it's important to eliminate the other factors first before taking anti-depressants. Otherwise, the anti-depressant won't solve the real source of the problem.
Christine Dolan , 09/02/10 10:21 PM
Your comments are right on Roger. I suffered clinical depression in the early 90's. It was really debilitating. Here I was, a good Christian, and I was in a deep black hole and couldn't get out. Oh, I had faith...lots of faith that God could deliver me but my truckload of faith just didn't work. I had regular appointments with my doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant. Wow! They worked! I felt a lot better. But then one day they didn't work so well so he doubled the dose. I was getting hooked. How long would the double dose last? I also had weekly sessions with my therapist. She tried to help me reach to the top of the black hole. But I couldn't. I just couldn't do it. One day I heard of a group of men going to a new thing called Promise Keepers. I decided to go. Maybe it would help. Part of the singing was a song "God is able" as well as another song of his ability to deliver. Alas! I had scuttled my truckload of faith and had only a tiny amount, smaller than a mustard seed. There in that stadium I believed that God could heal me...and He did! Right then and there I was instantaneously healed. I felt healed, but I would leave it up to the public to decide for sure. I kept it to myself, went home, threw my anti-depressants as far out into the desert as I could. Called my doctor and cancelled all appointments. Called my therapist and cancelled all appointments. "Why?" she asked. Because God healed me. Yes, my assurance came from my wife and the public. God works in different ways with everyone. Some are healed and others are not. Some are medicated and survive. Others, unfortunately don't survive. I learned one thing though. Depression is a terrible thing and we should be most sympathetic towards those who suffer with this illness.
Mike Sandusky , 09/02/10 10:56 PM
i love my mommy so much
i dont want to watch her cry
sam islam , 09/02/10 11:32 PM
Roger, thank you so much for writing on this topic. I am currently in my third bout of depression. My is situational. I was raised in a very happy Christian home. I have been a Christian since a child and one of my spiritual gifts is encouragement. Unfortunately, I married an angry man, though, of course I didn't know it at the time. My first two depressions were the results of my thinking I could make him happy. Of course I couldn't. Then I realized he was, and continues to be, my worst accuser. After reading Job's accuser's, I can definitely identify with Job.The first two depressions I didn't know what they were and so were not treated.

This time I knew immediately what was happening and I have medication and I am getting counseling. Both are helping. Fortunately I was never told Christians should not be depressed. Also, Roger your sermon on Marriage recently has helped me tremendously because my husband has definitely not lived up to his marriage vows. My situation is also hard because I have numerous health problems; I also have two daughters with chronic health issues, one is living with me so I often need to take care of her.

My anchor through all this is my moment by moment relationship with Jesus. He is always with me, helping me through every situation. Praise His Name. I would not have survived without Him.
nane withheld name withheld , 09/03/10 03:53 PM
Roger: You are RIGHT on target. Having been in the black hole of depression off and on since high school, my experiences parallel yours in so many ways. Medication has been a literal God-send. Good counsel from folks like you and friends who have crawled successfully from the depths of their own black holes were essential to my recovery. A loving wife who got me through those awful nights was my guardian angel. Some of the best advice came from you, Roger. I know you've had a ton of folks in your office with any variety of issues, so you may not remember, but I sure do. One of the best pieces of advice you gave me that day was to seek balance in the three areas of my life: physical, emotional and spiritual. You said that if one of those "pipes" got plugged up the stresses of life that normally flow through all three would come crashing through the others. Your counsel gave me not only some good strategies but hope. Thanks for taking the time to allow God to use you in my life.
Rod Robison , 09/03/10 11:58 PM
It is tough when all members of the family have mental health issues. Through the years we have learned to take our meds, keep going and TRY to keep our eyes on Jesus. Sometimes when you or a loved one is living with a mental illness, faith in Jesus is the only truth you can absolutely cling to. Someday we will all be healed. In the meantime, I share our story so others know they are not alone with their thoughts.
anonymous , 09/04/10 08:58 AM
This is not beyond our understanding, for it has been revealed! We do know where he went with perfect certainty. He went to the spirit world (as Peter said, the spirit prison) and "from among the righteous he organized his forces and appointed messengers clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness... thus was the gospel preached to the dead." Furthermore, this is in direct fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that the redeemer was sent to "bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound."
Keith Richards , 09/05/10 07:41 PM
I think, guys, that no one is actually in the new heaven yet. Those that have died are "asleep", and everyone will enter heaven at the same time. For those that have already died, time no longer has meaning. When we die we will instantaneously be with God, but here on earth that "time" hasn't come yet.
C , 09/08/10 10:27 AM
how very interesting!
Rita , 09/08/10 02:28 PM
Dear Roger,
I know it doesn't erase the suffering, pain and bone weariness that comes with constant trials, but you need to know this: You are one person we truly believe when you hear something awful from one of us and say, "I know what you mean. I know how you feel". So often those words are spoken by someone who doesn't really know how it feels. Your trials have given you a set of credentials that enables us to fully trust in you. We know you know and sometimes that makes all the difference in the world. We are so thankful we have you -- regardless of the shape you are in! Blessings and prayers to you and your family. Ed and Gail Houston
Gail Houston , 09/09/10 11:54 PM
I've struggled with taking meds for mental health issues, depression, not sleeping, anxiety and the list goes on.
I've concluded the brain is a physical part of my body and has a lot to do with mental health issues. It supplies certain substances called chemicals to allow for our emotional states, however if something is wrong with the release of the chemicals at the appropriate times then we suffer the concuquences, similar to insline and being diabetic, the only problem as i understand, is the chemicals in the brain cannot be measured unless your being autopisied. then it doesn't matter, and also we don't have substitutes for the brains chemicals, so the best we can do is take meds that are known to cause the brain to release more of what we are lacking, some foods and suplements also can help, as well as a good exercise program but nothing to date will make up for the lack, so nothing will bring us back to normal, thus we still suffer, albeit somewhat less and the side effects of the meds are just what we have to tolorate. Hopefully we find a med or meds that cause tolorable and acceptable side effects while giving us some normalicy in our lives. oh by the way DO NOT submitt to elect shock therapy, it just kills the brain and causes loss of intelegence and memory, I don't know this by experience but by research. A 2x4 to the head a few times will accomplish the same thing.
David Tarr , 09/12/10 09:05 PM
I got so caught up in the physical i forgot the most important thing, we are not alone in our struggles, we are promised that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose. Rom 8.28, I could quote so many other verses that have helped me in the dark times as well as in the good times, one thing i try to do daily is acknowledge Him in all things, knowing nothing is happening to me except through His loving care, as our father He will not let anything happen to us that He doesn't ordain for us, for our good. It always helps to remember that.
David Tarr , 09/12/10 09:14 PM
the night my mum died in hospital i had a dream and my mum was telling me that i dont need to worry that she was ok now when i woke up a bit confused then my brother was caling me to tell me my mun had died still miss her mums never stop caring worrying and looking after even though they are not here love to u all
patrick kirwan , 09/13/10 04:36 PM
Since the United States was supposed to have been founded under God one nation under God Lets build Gods holy third temple in world trade center since "due to Islam" it will never be built in Jerusalem we have a right as A Christian country to have what signafies what our country was founded on the principles of God. But alas that would offend our own politicians far more than Islam ever would!
Kedric Pitman , 09/13/10 09:11 PM
Roger, while I do not necessarily agree that it is appropriate to burn the Qu'Ran, I will not blame Pastor Terry Jones for the violence that has taken place in the wake of his initial pronouncement. That can be laid squarely at the feet of the radical Muslims who committed those acts, the same type of radical Muslims who committed the atrocity of 9/11 in the first place. They didn't NEED to do any of those things, they CHOSE to do them, to intimidate both America and Christians alike. You paint a picture of some Muslims as friendly and hospitable. That may be so. Unfortunately, they're in an increasingly losing battle, almost right alongside we Christians, against the fanatics who want the harshest form of Islam possible implemented across the world. THAT is the Islam that is taking over the Western world, THAT is the Islam that we as Americans and as Christians must be wary of, and MUST COMBAT. It is too great a threat to everything we hold dear to allow it to gain any more of a foothold than it already has, whether it's a mosque near 9/11 -- or just down the street. I applaud Terry Jones for his stance, if not his intended actions. America and American Christians need to wake up to the dangerous reality around them.
Winston Leeds , 09/15/10 01:42 PM
Islamaphobia is unfounded and wrong. I just got back from three Muslim countries. I know first hand.
James Taylor , 09/15/10 02:38 PM
Roger, great thoughts. I may differ on a couple things, but great work on articulating a biblical perspective - loved Cherie's recommendations. Insightful.
, 09/15/10 09:53 PM
I am glad people are commenting on their thoughts and feelings. However, I really believe that fear and hatred can only fuel mistrust and violence. We must keep our Christian integrity, and pray.
Roger Barrier , 09/16/10 09:39 AM
Jesus sums up all these questions and concerns with this:

"And behold, a certain teacher of the law stood up and put Him to the test, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
And he said to him, What is written in the law? how does it read to you?
And he answered and said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as thyself.
And he said unto him, You have answered correctly: do this, and you shall live.

But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor?
Jesus replied and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance a certain priest was going down that way and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion,
and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring on them oil and wine; and he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the next day he took out two denarii, and gave them to the inkeeper, and said, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I, when I come back again, will repay you.

Which of these three, do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man that fell among the robbers?
And he said, He that showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and do likewise." Luke 9:25-37

The Jews and Samaritans hated each other. The Samaritans would say, we pray toward this mountain and the Jews would say, well we pray toward this mountain. They faught and argued for centuries on who worshipped God the right way...who was the right one.
So many misconceptions and lies had been built up in the minds of the Jews that they would cross the river Jordan and go all the way around then travel through Samaria.
They would rather kill each other then pass each other on the same road.

So when Jesus used the Samaritan as the neighbor that showed mercy, He knew exactly what He was doing.

Out of all the nations and peoples in the world the Jews and Samaritans could not disagree with, dispise, or hate anyone more then they did with each other.

Today, in the Christian and Muslim worlds so many misconceptions and lies have been built up from past hurts (crusaides, etc.) and present pains that both of us disagree with, often dispise, and sometimes hate each other.

So...for all us followers of Jesus, what did He challenge the teacher of the Law of 2000 years of traditions with and what do you think He would challenge Christians with today?

If you said what I think you said, then Jesus would have only one other thing to say..."go and do likewise".
Jayson Chiles , 09/17/10 08:57 PM
Hi Roger,

First, thanks for your exhaustive ("exhaustive," not exhausting...) response to my question about the ground zero mosque. If I may, perhaps one more volley?

First, I take no offense at your use of the term "jackass." I doubt many others will either. If they're like me, they likely by now are also weary of the political correctness that has everyone crippled with paranoia whenever they would dare to speak frankly. Formerly easy banter is now like pealing an artichoke. The tedium imposed by that paranoia is becoming outrageous, so, thanks for your candor. I'm not sure how to field the normalcy (Ha ha!).

I want to respond to your comment that the attack on 9/11 was carried out by radicals. My understanding of Islam informs me that the false prophet Muhammed promoted his new religion by force. We call his methods terrorism today. In a nutshell, he instructed his followers to convert the inhabitants of cities or kill those who resisted conversion and keep their stuff. Formerly transient Bedouin sheep herders, at the mercy of difficult elements; extremes of heat, scarcity of water, were now living in cities in the homes of the conquered. As I understand it, the word hashish means "assassin." Some of Muhammed's followers would smoke the hashish resin from the Indian Hemp plant in preparation for late night raids of the homes of disidents who would be stabbed or slashed to death along with their families as an example to the rest of the community. Small wonder Islam spread so quickly. (You don't know this, but in 1975 I was told by a Muslim U of A student I was witnessing to that if I was in his country, he would stab me to death with a sword or a dagger.) So, I'm just being honest when I say that it angers me when I hear well meaning people saying that a few fanatics have "hijacked " Islam. As a friend of mine said, the only thing that's changed about Islam is the weapons. I personally feel it's the moderates who have hijacked Islam and I'm concerned about how long it will be until those who still subscribe to Muhammed's brand of Islam begin to radically shift the balance between them and the moderates. As you said in so many words, the move is afoot and I believe firmly. This leads to one other comment you offered that I would like to speak to.

You said that, like Muslims, Christians have also used the practice of building churches as neighborhood centers for the purpose of making converts. While a building is just a building, I'm not sure that's an apt comparison on other levels, namely: Every religion I know of offers conversion while Islam insists on it and, given the power, will impose it. The way I see it, Roger, there are three kinds of Muslims: 1) Refugees, many of whom are severely downtrodden. Their quest for mere survival is necessarily an all consuming labor that leaves them with extremely little, if any, interest in politics of any kind. Also, many of them are women who have experienced the cruelty of Islam first hand and are only Muslims because they were told they were so from birth. I have very little concern that such people pose a threat to America's security. 2) The so-called moderates. You mentioned some of note who are finally speaking against terrorism. In my opinion, it's way too much too little, too late. What's taken them so long, Roger? That concerns me deeply. Because of that, moderates have no credibility and I'm very concerned about who's side they may end up on if forced to choose. Further, I think I can guess which side that will be. 3) The radicals who, in fidelity to Muhammed's brand of proselitizing are working feverishly at putting the machinations of conquest in place with incredible arrogance and speed and with the help of an accommodating White House.

Final thought: Roger, sure the constitution gaurantees the right of religious freedom. But when any religion becomes a threat to national security, laws restricting how it is practiced need to be implimented to hamper it's success. That's only prudent, but I fear the political correctness that's gripped America, strangling normal sensibility, may be her death. At that, I'm glad to know that my ultimate end and destination is bound up in Jesus' faithfulness. Thanks again Roger.

Ed Costanza , 09/20/10 04:35 AM
Hi Roger. Yesterday I wrote a lenghty response to yours regarding my questions about the ground zero mosque. Today the controversy and solution became clearly defined to me.

All Americans have the right to practice religion free of governmental interference. But clear, impirical, historic evidence of Islam is that wherever it's practitioners multiply, the conquest of Islam is accomplished, with it's attendant tyranny. That's just historical fact. The problem America now faces due to it's rightly placed love of universal religious freedom is that Islam is defined as a religion. It is not. It is a religio political ideology; a political scheme of conquest that exploits all the welcome and privelege accorded other religions because of the religious window dressing and guise it is presented with, though it is devoid of any expressions of benifiscence toward outsiders that usually characterize other religions to some degree. Maybe I'm wrong but I've never heard of any Muslim hospitals here in America.

Islam needs to be properly redefined and the American public and politicians need to be educated on the facts of Islamic jihad. Jihad is implemented on three fronts: 1)Political; 2) Economic; 3) Through violence. Our President is extremely accommodating to Muslims, so they're fast making inroads politically. Mayor Bloomberg is parleying with mega wealthy Muslim businessmen. Willing only to court their favor for personal gain, he'll do all he can to support the mosque project. And violence? It's historically just a matter of time.

We need to redefine Islam and change the laws to protect ourselves and to preserve America. Muslims may practice Islam any way they want to; but they may not practice treason under a religious guise.
Ed Costanza , 09/20/10 12:50 PM
Roger,
This is a very interesting topic. I appreciate your care and stance. I am in agreement that the burning threat was misguided and fraught with unintended consequences. That said,
Regarding the use of the Perjorative, "Allah". Muslims do in fact claim that this is a generic form of the word God, but you must understand the underlying foundation of that thought-stream. Research indicates that "Allah" has its roots in an earlier lunar deity, "Im nin-Uluuah" (I'm sure I butchered the spelling). That said, that Muslims argue its genericism: Of course they do and many Islamic Apologists base their debates on that statement. But you must realize that in Islam, there is no other God, period. So, there is zero contextual grasp of the "other". God is Allah...period. That Arabic Christians also adopt the term has its own roots in over 1000 years of forced Dhimmitude. To dare invoke the name of any other deity than Allah, was to invite persecution. Over the last millenia, the use of Allah as a genericized name for god became a way for those under Dhimmi law to continue their religious journey, within dhimmi law.
Kelly . , 09/20/10 03:04 PM
I would have appreciated it if you would have either waited to post this, or at least change the names/specifics. This family doesn't need another source of pain right now. Too early.
A grieving friend of the , 09/20/10 03:08 PM
The woman left her husband and will not come back. He should be free to remarry. What kind of a God would make him stay single.
R M , 09/23/10 03:00 AM
Roger,
Thank-you for being a friend to many. In the past few years you have shared very candidly and I for one deeply appreciate it. You have openly shared your short-comings and what you have learned. It has made me see that it is not all about pointing out sin but loving people the way Jesus did and helping them to have an opportunity to have a relationship with him.
Alex Garcia , 09/26/10 11:22 PM
Roger,
Thank-you for being a friend to many. In the past few years you have shared very candidly and I for one deeply appreciate it. You have openly shared your short-comings and what you have learned. It has made me see that it is not all about pointing out sin but loving people the way Jesus did and helping them to have an opportunity to have a relationship with him.
Alex Garcia , 09/26/10 11:22 PM
Which two books of the bible were written by women?
I don\'t know , 09/28/10 12:58 PM
Roger. I still remember that Sunday morning, at the old site, when you said in your sermon; that it was wrong for Christians to take anti-depressants. I was so hurt, not because of any depression but because I understood chemical imbalance and neurotransmitters misfiring. I have been taking SSRIs for many years for my fibro-myalgia. without them my body can not make the repairs to my micro tears in muscle that simply occur from every day life. We as a society have accepted many "invisible" illnesses such as diabetes, thyroid disorders or heart problems. However we do not seem to be able to accept that our brains are just as likely to mall-function as any other part of our body. I know that we way over medicate in America, but medication is there to help you live a better more productive life and should never be used to cloud or cover up an issue in ones life. It's very late and night and I realize I am rambling. So sorry!! I just wanted to say Thank You for addressing the subject. Talk about sleep disorders, it's after 2am!
Linda Harbin , 09/30/10 04:13 AM
reading this letter pleading for help and the reply has just turned me around and made me look at my husband differently.Literally at this moment when i was maybe days from running away from this hard confusing life,i have realized what is wrong with him. I must stay and try to help him. I love him and at one point he loved me !
A.J , 10/06/10 03:41 PM
Thank you for your encouragement...and yes, i DO believe God passes along my messages and thoughts of love and missing her to my Mom...she died 2 years ago this month...I miss her so much...but i KNOW i WILL see her again!!!
pam crosby , 10/09/10 01:28 PM
Our pastor has been in the ministry for over 40 years and has committed adultery in our church with a middle age female. The Pastor has been having this affair for over two years. The membership found out because the pastor sent a pornographic email to several females within the church which he inadvertently sent to a male member of his family. This is the second time the pastor has committed adultery. My husband and I were members of the previous church of which he was the pastor. He committed adultery in the previous church as well. Additionally, we learned that he has committed adultery in various churches and has moved from church to church when he is discovered. In summary, he has not stepped away from the pulpit but has continued to preach every Sunday. Now the pastor has taken to using the church funds to go on mission trips which he uses to redirect focus from himself . The female he had the affiar with still attends the church. He never went to counseling but brought a bag of books that he states he and his wife have been reading. Many of the members have left the church as a result. My family and I find it hard to trust the pastor because of the situation. Should we remain or leave?

Thanks.
Atman Hammond , 10/15/10 12:21 AM
I have always had a heart for hurting people.I know I was one of those people and I ask God for a vision. I really feel that He has and know I'm asking the Lord to help me to do what He has asked of me.
kathie edson , 10/19/10 02:53 PM
i need healp to improve mr sermons
vinay Gaikwad , 10/23/10 12:56 PM
There where times my mom and i talked and i said to her we should have a signal that we both know so when you are gone i still know you are around. We never picked out what it would be but there is a song she loved and always wanted to listen to so on her last day here i asked her if she wanted to here it and she said yes. i also played it at her funeral. the first time i heard it after her funeral was almost a year later the night i brought flowers to the cemetery for her birthday i got in the car and it was playing i just got married this last july and i told my girlfriend if i here the song the next day i will know my mom is there. it was not even five minutes later and a friend called me who i have not heard from in a year said she heard a song on the radio and it made her think of me so she called it was my mom's favorite song. i hung up the phone and within two minutes my son text me and said mom wave on wave is playing. my girlfriend and i went into tears and said my mom is here. i believe my mom is still with me all the time.that song has played on to many impotant times and i believe that is our sign. i will always love and cherish her may she be happy in heaven. Gail
gail corrick , 10/24/10 08:53 PM
Roger, I too feel that the Zacchaeus example is a very "powerful" lesson on how to deal with a "newby". I just stumbled across this web sight today and read you article.
I am a pastor and while praying for direction for a sermon for this week, the Holy Spirit led me to this portion of scripture about Zacchaeus. The Holy Spitit inspired me with the same understanding as you have shared in your article.
The Holy Spirit is tender and kind, yet He is very convicting. He knows how to do His job and leave us with our dignity.
Tony Pittman , 10/26/10 06:11 PM
There was no poop before the fall. Poop is waste and in a perfect world, our bodies would use up everything in the food we ate.
Casey , 10/26/10 10:13 PM
The reason why he went to preach to the dead is given for us in the next chapter:
1 Peter 4:6
For for this cause was the gospel preached
to them that are dead, that they be
judged according to men in the flesh, but
live according to God in the spirit.
The question then arises: who did the preaching?
I think the answer comes from Saint Paul in
Ephesians 4: 8-10
Wherefor he saith, When he ascended up on
high, and gave gifts unto all men.
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that
he also descended first into the lower
parts of the earth?
He that descended is the same also that
ascended up far above all heavens,
that he might fill all things.
If you analyse the ascension and descention of the individual, (the verse preceding verse 8 tells us that it is Christ)! tells us that before he ascended, he FIRST he went 'into the lower parts of the earth.'
Colloquially, do we not refer to the regions of the dead as the 'lower parts of the earth'?
I rest my case. But I would be pleased to hear feed back.

Son of Nun
john nicholson , 10/28/10 06:33 PM
Dear Roger, tell me something, can we worship the Holy Spirit directly? the some way we always : ( i worship Jesus) can we say i worship Holy spirit.
looking fowoard to read from you
landry kapend , 10/29/10 06:37 PM
Yes, our church just received back its worship pastor after eleven months of counsel. It was told that he had numerous affairs. I do not understand. Forgiveness and restoration of a marriage is wonderful. But he should have found another profession. He is "disqualifed" . Forgiven, YES. But not back in leadership. I have left this church.
Julia Morris , 11/01/10 03:27 PM
I don't see Jesus' endorsement of paying taxes as Jesus endorsing capitalism. Most people who love capitalism today criticize the paying of taxes and uphold as a model the American rebellion against British taxation.

What if we step back and look at the whole of Scripture. Add together Jesus' endorsement of paying of taxes with Jesus' values of caring for the poor, the sick, the husband-less, the father-less, the foreigner, and God's commands in the Old Testament of the year of Jubilee, not harvesting the corners of your fields, inviting the foreigner to eat and work with you, paying tithes, double tithes, and triple tithes, besides sacrifices and offerings - all taking up huge portions of the incomes of obedient people. It is quite a contrast to the average middle class American's behavior and values. I wonder if we are making Jesus over in the image of ourselves. I wonder which has more influence on us - political media we intake or Scriptural values.
Steve Brown , 11/02/10 07:59 AM
I beleive Jesus commands us to help those in need, but not because the government tells us to. He wants us to do it out of love for him. This kind of love is only possible when we have accepted Jesus as our savior & helives in our hearts. He is the only one who can change hearts to have that kind of love.
Betty Harris , 11/02/10 10:00 AM
Steve, I think your points are very valid. In fact, I hope we get a lot of conversation on this topic. I really believe there is no definitive answer to this question, but to examine the issues at hand cause us to really look at the heart of Jesus and at the implications of the Gospel.
Roger Barrier , 11/02/10 11:09 AM
Thank you Roger for your insightful and clear look at these concepts that are often discussed - especially recently. I think the concept that makes sense to me is that we have the 'free will' to use our money according to our moral compass. As a Christian I have the free will to give all my money, some of my money, or no money to those who need it. If I listen to the Spirit of God and obey, I will use the resources that God has given me.

On a related theme, there is a great contradiction to those individuals who espouse both socialism and evolution. Darwin's concept of survival of the fittest (natural selection) is sometimes used in "Social Darwinism" to describe unfettered capitalism. If you believe in evolution how can you believe in socialism, the two cannot coexist in the same social, biological, or cultural domains.
Peter Watson , 11/02/10 11:39 AM
Jesus taught that all money belonged to God. It seems to oversimplify the discussion at first mention but is foundational if we desire a logical and/or biblical conclusion. If all money is God's then we must see why God has given us money and Jesus is clear on both the purpose and ever present danger of money. The question is then: Whether by pooling our money a government can, will, is better suited, or endorsed to handle God's money the way He instructed "us" to handle it? or Are we individually more suited and/or commanded to use God's resources in the way He desires? History shows we have failed quite miserably in carrying out God's purpose for money. Socialism fails to produce the capital, because of strategy, or to deliver the wealth diversification it promises, largely because the greed/agenda of men. Capitalism obviously can grow over all wealth but it has failed, or we have failed to leverage it, to deliver on God's commands once again b/c of greed/agenda. I feel confident from scripture that Jesus does not command the government to do the work that He clearly has given to His disciples and His Church, but am equally confident we do not like to hear about the responsibility He has placed on our shoulders. Our quarrel over the two views usually stems from one side getting more money in one story and the other side gets more money in the other but neither side has shown real intentions other than spending God's money like it is theirs. We can argue who deserves it or has most earned it, and these are helpful in discussing God's view on work, sowing and reaping, etc. We also need to realize Jesus did not assume we would live w/out gov. or that gov. would be self-sustaining. We can argue political leanings and it is useful to do so but we cannot argue what Jesus did or does with the Father's resources. He gives them!! Jesus saw every second, breath, dollar, insight, and resource through the lens of two relationships. His with the Father and the one the Father gave Him with others. And He gave both of them all of Him!! He did this not only out of obedience and certainly not with earthly common sense or principle but because He saw the severity of the physical, emotional, and chiefly spiritual depravity of us! He found us not only undeserving and incapable of His favor but unwilling to even desire it. Yet, with His great love He loved us and we are supposed to take that love and demonstrate it to others. They might be undeserving and unwilling. This is not because it makes sense or is smart, but because He first loved us. We are a reflection of His glory and grace. We fall into the trap of thinking the sower made us so He can mature us but He has much bigger plans than maturity for us; He wants us to multiply and that requires selflessness, sacrifice, patience, steadfastness, and yes; ultimately death, so we can live. John 12:23-26
So, to make a long answer short. If you desire to live the life He has given for you, chosen for you, and promised to empower you for more than you want to use Him to give you the life you always wanted before you even met Christ then I think Jesus would love for you to be in a capitalist country where He could distribute His resources to use you for His glory by His perfect love being perfected in us as we learn to love one another(I John)!!!
John-Paul Davis , 11/02/10 12:58 PM
Hey Roger, I hae to stick my nose in this one. Jesus was neither a Socialist, nor a capitalist. Historically, neither schema had been codified. Rome was far from being a Capitalist society. Rather, the Empire was an Oligarchical entity, based on military might, that controlled all aspects of life, including trade, minting, etc. It was more quasi-feudal than capitalist. During it's long history, Rome either was governed by a vanguard of Senators, supposedly representing the people (think "Bread & Circuses"), Administerial Curae, or oppressive dictators. Trading was widespread, though only under the Auspices and good graces of the Senate during the republic era and under the various Emperors, post republic. And trade law was furiously enforced at the points of the gladii, Pila and Pugio. on to the other discussion of Jesus' stand. There simply is no biblical support that Jesus was either Capitalist, or Socialist. It's a spurious argument. Jesus was Jesus. At times he taught that we should render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's. Jesus wasn't a dem, a rep, a tea partier, an indie, or any other of these post-modern archetypes...He was (and is) our Lord, born of virgin, sent to earth by the Father to redeem us....Period. I'm getting really tired of both Christians and non-Christians trying to shoehorn our Lord into some unnuanced, crude and frankly silly politcal, or socio-economic artifice. We have been given, it the most simple of terms possible (i.e. the Lord's own words), the "Great Commandments" as a guide for living.
Fear not! Apply The Great Commandments to your voting process and all will be well!
Kelly , 11/02/10 05:32 PM
Sorry, I forgot to add: I very much disagree with the thought of the early church being socialist. Again, it makes no sense to apply post-modern architypes to such ancient institutions. It's apples and oranges. Socialism isn't just about taking care of everyones needs. Rather, it's about FORCED redistribution of wealth and control of the many by the few (i.e. Vanguard of the Proletariat) -What many on the right would call, "The nanny State". It just isn't applicable, or correct. To claim that the earliest church did thusly is not supported by facts and data and may in fact be a stumbling block to youngling xians. Now, I would conced that this is exactly what did occur in the developing church of the dark and middle ages under both Easterna nd Western branches, post-Nicea) I repeat, taking care of the poor in and of itself is not Socialism. It is simply obeying the Great Commandments. To say the the churc, or jesus, for that matter was Socialist is flat wrong.
Kelly , 11/02/10 05:40 PM
I'm glad that you guys have given such penetrating insights. I hope that more readers will do so.
Roger Barrier , 11/03/10 12:11 AM
I like to look at Acts 5 and how Peter speaks about Ananias's possessions. They were his, at his disposal to do as he pleased.

I think capitalism works better than socialism, if your goals are cheaper food, faster cars, faster computers, better healthcare. But I think it works because it harnesses man's sin nature. Socialism doesn't work because people are like Ananias - they will always keep something to themselves and you have de facto capitalism.

Does the render unto Caesar passage imply that all my money really belongs to the federal government? And not to me (or God even)? I believe Jesus is addressing those who complain about having to pay high taxes (traditional fiscal conservatives in this country). Is he condemning them in this passage? If the federal gov't wants their money back, are we not allowed to protest or question it? It almost seems like that is what He is saying(though I don't really like this answer).

This is a good topic for an election night! :)

Fred Jones , 11/03/10 01:41 AM
It is important to note that the early believers VOLUNTARILY gave of their posessions because of a heart changed by Jesus-their earning/posessions were not forceably SEIZED by a government and redistributed.
Val , 11/03/10 11:27 AM
I am trying to find a good book find out what the practical use of the words were in the bible. For example, James uses lure and enticement for lust. I heard that Lure comes from a baited trap used to catch animals and enticement was a fishing term used for baiting a hook to be driven to eat it. I have books like Vines and Kittles, but they don't give me that kind of detailed background to the word. Do you know of any sources that I can get that information from? Thank you!
Ervin Alexander , 11/13/10 11:42 AM
Top Priority is Soul winning………Proverb 11:30.
My Dear earnest Director/Pastor,
Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I am an Evangelist and in full time ministry saving lost souls at any cost through the Sound Bible Doctrine. I have been anointed by the Holy Spirit for teaching and preaching ministry. I have three mission stations looking after their Spiritual needs as an Evangelist. I am 39 years old, married and have two Children. I conduct prayer services, Spiritual retreats, Marriage counseling, House visiting, prepare Hindus and Muslims for adult Baptisms in our Holy Church. In these last days keeping the blessed Hope in Mind. Titus 2:13. Together we can prepare the Bride to meet Jesus at His Second coming. For this is Gods assignment for us, we must do what must be done.
Faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His word will help us to see the invisible, believe the incredible and receive the impossible.
I am waiting your urgent reply. Please, send some resource material books and some finance help for my ministry needs feel free to do so.
Yours winning lost souls for the Church,
N.C.Sekhar, Evangelist,
Mbc.sekhar@rediffmail.comy Address: N.C.Sekhar, Divine Mercy Ministries,Dr.No.14-11-17/6,Nidubrole-522124, Guntur (Dt) A.P.India. Email: bc.sekhar@rediffmail.com
N.C. Sekhar , 11/15/10 07:51 AM
Great post Roger. I am born again and practice yoga almost every day. I practiced it before I was saved and continue to do so. On the rare occasion I've been in a class where a teacher starts to teach something we no to be untrue, I just say to God, "Lord, you died for her/him and please let your Truth be known to this teacher, that they too might be saved." Regardless of what they teach in these classes regarding untruths, our belief in Jesus trumps anything anyone tries to teach. Simply, reject the teaching in Jesus' name and make sure to love everyone in your yoga class the same way Jesus love you. God bless you!
Lilly Ferrick , 11/16/10 06:10 PM
Roger, I too have dealt with the devastation of a cheating husband. One who was always "sorry" enough to convince me he wasn't going to do it again. After 35 yrs. of marriage and 4 beautiful children (and grandchildren) we divorced. He decided he really didn't love me anymore. He married one of the women he had a "years long" affair with. It took me 2 years almost to be able to let go of the hurt, pain, desire for vengence and the overwhelming desire to keep my family from them. Once I relinquished my right to feel justified, let go of them and allow God to deal with them as he wills, after all God loves them, I was finally free of the burden of bitterness and anger and hurt that I had been carrying. The other thing I had to confront is recognizing that my need for a savior is just as great as theirs. It is never an easy process to deal with the hurt from another human and there are so many that have had it so much worse than I but I do know what it is to love the unlovely. I am thankful that I am in a better place and maybe you can tell F. that there will be better days ahead as long as she holds on to Jesus. Oh, one more thing all of my feelings and hurt came to a "head" one Sunday morning while I was getting ready for church. The Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit and I was moved to finally let all that go. It was only then that I felt the comforting touch of my Savior and it was all I needed. I haven't struggled in that way since. :)
Jennifer Duncan , 11/16/10 08:33 PM
I think my comment is... If we have to ask our selves "What would Jesus Do" it is perhaps already to late. We know what He did and how He lived. Even baby Christians get convicted of their actions. That is how we grow in Christ and Spirit. There isn't any braclet that is going to make us, want to make better decisions. Nor does leaving your Bible in the back dash of your car tell people how you follow the Lord. I do not need a wedding ring to remind me I am married. Having it on or off will not make me be faithful.So while I understand and appreciate WWJD braclets, people notice the actions of a person long before they get close enough to see a braclet.
Rick Von Kanel , 11/16/10 10:20 PM
What a wonderful testimony, Jennifer! Thank you for sharing those powerful, encouraging words for suffering women!
Roger Barrier , 11/18/10 02:45 PM
Well said, Rick!
Roger Barrier , 11/18/10 02:46 PM
Thank you for this! I kind of feel that the world has stolen the idea of healthy bodies and that we as Christians need to reclaim the concept of our bodies as dwelling places of God. During the meditation part of my yoga practice, I offer up thanks or meditate on Jesus or the miracle that is the human body. I feel like I'm reclaiming something holy. Having said that, though, there are some Christians around whom I never discuss the fact that I do yoga--they would jump to pretty unpleasant conclusions.
Jennifer K , 11/18/10 09:48 PM
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question. I will take all of this to heart, and try to go on. I will share this with my children, in hopes that they will give all their hurts to God.

Jennifer, It is nice to know there is happiness in the future and that God will restore my peace. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story, and your encouraging words.
sincerely, F
, 11/18/10 11:37 PM
Economic systems are "things" of this world. That said, socialism by its nature requires a powerful overreaching government to achieve its goals, both of which are wholly inconsistent with providing an optimal environment for the great commission....
Lex Rex , 11/21/10 09:44 AM
I laughed all the way through this posting. Thank you for being brave enough to answer even the silliest of questions (kids say/ask the darndest things). You exemplified, through your answer, that God truly is interested in EVERY detail of our lives.
Shari Schultz , 11/22/10 01:07 PM
My lovely mum passed away on 23 nov 2010. I am devasted about the sudden departure and I cried a lot. While waiting to identify the body, I feel someone standing beside me. I know is Jesus even though I cannot see him. He was here with me and my mum. ( my mum do not know Christ, but God forgive all sins and I believe she is taken with him to heaven). But my faith was low, I begin to question God, will my mum be in heaven? If yes, pls rain for me as a sign. Suddenly it rain. Then I am weak again and ask God to wash away my mum sin, by rain. Then it rained the second time in one day. God answer me and I believe if you want to talk to anyone, just ask and he will not failed you. Ask will be given. Amen
Sam Wong , 11/26/10 08:22 AM
i started a blog on this subject since i have BPD am i the right person to marry and have kids and settle down i think at best it would be very testing
kevin Blumer , 11/26/10 01:41 PM
What a pity that you would have such a closed mind and remove my well researched comments instead of addressing issues.

Gotten used to that from way too many "Christians" though...


Tom
Tom H , 11/29/10 03:48 PM
Tom, I read your material very carefully and appreciate your thoughts. However, because of our belief statements, I think the discussion you wish to pursue would better be served to be held in a private forum. Feel free to send us a message on our facebook page and we will respond.
Roger Barrier , 11/29/10 03:51 PM
I have to agree that either/or argument makes no sense. It is only because of the sinful nature of man that we even need a government. If we all were true to God's desires, what would we need such an institution. God was against the getting a king in the OT because he knew that it would take the attention off of Him and was open to abuse.

The Evil One is prince of this world and will work his desires through whatever means he can, all governments included. We see examples is all of the governments in the world today and in years past.

But, I disagree with the characterization by some on this thread that capitalism is by its nature anti-christian (i.e. oppress the poor at the expense of the all mighty dollar). For all of the US capitalism market failings, it is still the most generous to the poor in both our backyard and the rest of the world. Can we do better? Of course! Should we do more? Of course. Scripture is clear, to that which much is given, much will be expected. We have been richly blessed and therefore should be richly blessing others.
Jim Selvy , 11/30/10 12:57 AM
Mom died suddenly in 89. We were best friends. The day before we had a little spat and through her pain she said "You do not love me". I said. "I do love you Mother", those were our last words. My brother died at an even younger age in 96, his last words to me were "don't judge me"... I know they are both with Jesus, I wish they knew that I never for one moment had anything but love in my heart for them. I know that they cannot feel pain so they cannot see me. It is awesome that they are with Jesus. Please all, be careful what you say words stay here when we are gone and others could be deeply hurt by them.
Jacki Harris , 12/02/10 08:14 PM
Dear Roger,
I believe we live in a universe that is incomprehensible. The latest assessment is that only 0.4% of the univers is observable: 3.6% is Hydrogen gas, and the other 96% is "dark matter" and "dark energy" which we have no glue what they are. But, when I explore the scriptures I find something that may be a clue to the question of weather there is life on other planets. I refer to Isaiah 45:18: "He is the God how formed the Earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited".

Everything we have discovered in space, including the 506 extra-solar planets (planets orbiting other stars)are waste places. In fact, astronomers are challenged today to reinvent how planets form because of what is now observed. What if we are all alone? That God created us here on this planet Earth to reveal how absolutely special and proposeful His plan for the Comos really was. "The heavens declare the glory of God..."

Ron
Ron Cottrell , 12/06/10 08:18 PM
Thanks, Ron. Great thoughts. I imagine we will learn all of God's secrets when we get to heaven!
Roger Barrier , 12/06/10 08:21 PM
Hi Dad,

Great thoughts--much to ponder. How did your studies on this subject impact your personal relationship with Jesus?

Brie
Brie Engeler , 12/07/10 11:45 AM
Peter , 12/07/10 03:20 PM
It wouldn't surprise me that God would show His cosmic glory on a "...little planet with a second-rate star tucked in between two spiral arms in the Milky Way galaxy." Looking forward to finding out!
Peter Watson , 12/07/10 03:24 PM
To answer your question, Brie, I believe that it has deepened my faith to realize the infinite greatness of God and the incredible sacrifice that He made to send His Son to earth for me.
Roger Barrier , 12/07/10 07:37 PM
Interesting that you should mention the notion of a "Multi-verse", sir. This has been a staple of science-fiction and comic books for decades. Star Trek used it as the basis for one of its most popular episodes, where the crew of the Enterprise was thrown into a "Mirror" universe, where everything that they had known to be good and heroic was now evil. Comic book companies routinely use the concept of a "multiverse" to publish stories featuring their characters that could not plausibly happen in the existing continuity, and explain that it happened on an "alternate" Earth. It's generally been regarded as one of the more fanciful creations of pop culture, but what if it WERE real...?
Jason Roykirk , 12/08/10 03:10 PM
It was really inf0rmati0n but d0es it list the curse w0rds in the bible s0 ppl can kn0 wat n0t t0 say cause i d0nt really think s0m 0f the w0rds usd 2day wer said back then wen the bible was made
M0rgan Walte , 12/09/10 10:39 PM
No where in scripture does God define speaking in tongues as anything but speaking in another language. You're trying to fit in an extra biblical practice for the sake of the christians who are misled by the babbling techniques. My fiance has the gift the tongues, and its exactly like the bible defines it in Acts. She was speaking to a crowd in africa in english, then next minute she was speaking swahili, she didnt even notice at first it was just so natural. Biblical.
With much love,

Luke
Luke Henderson , 12/11/10 12:53 PM
Luke,my wife had the same experience. She was in Brazil and was in an emergency situation on a mission trip where she needed to speak Portuguese. God gave her that ability, even the medical terms she needed to understand!
Roger Barrier , 12/11/10 02:10 PM
Oops. Jesus was not the one speaking in John 7:4, as mentioned above. It was His brothers speaking to Him.
Stephen Davies , 12/14/10 12:19 PM
b , 12/14/10 12:28 PM
One of the other dangerous consequences of WikiLeaks is that other governments are releasing false information, propaganda, and crediting it to WikiLeaks, so it looks as if it's true. And many citizens are accepting it at face value without seeking verification. A very dangerous thing to do.
Dawn Martin , 12/14/10 02:33 PM
What WikiLeakds has done is far more despicable than anything any government has done, even the current American administration, which is plenty despicable.

We live in a culture that believes we must be completely open and transparent. Down that road does not lead freedom and honesty, but anarchy and chaos. A person's privacy, and by this I mean individual citizens, is no longer something to be respected or even taken into consideration.

A government has the right, within reason, to withhold information from the populace. Your example of the media wanting real-time military information is a good example of this. To be provided that would have been to endanger our soldiers, and as such, ourselves. It's preposterous.

God Himself does not reveal everything about Himself or His plans to us. We do not know the hour of His Second Coming.

The very concept of WikiLeaks is frightening in its implications, and should be of continuing deep concern to all those who care about the path and future of this nation and our world.
Jason Fillmore , 12/14/10 05:40 PM
The www.cadz.net crowd posts that R.A. Torrey quote a lot, but they never state that Torrey taught that if one had already remarried that their was no need to divorce again to make it right. I'm just wondering if it is a pick and choose thing?? I know that God hates divorce....trust me I KNOW!!!! But the problems are what to do now if the divorce was in the past.
mike m , 12/18/10 10:22 AM
Thank you for this post. I am dealing with the same feelings as F. Husband is cheating and wants to divorce me. I am angry and hurt; however, I toggle between being forgiving/handing my problem over to God and being angry and vengeful. I continue to seek God and He is seeing me through this situation. There are, however, times when I get so angry and want to make him feel and look stupid. This post was a reminder of how I must act, like Jesus. God bless you.
Mary Brady , 12/19/10 06:13 AM
Why do people even go to the courthouse to get divorce papers? Jesus said they don’t dissolve the marriage in His sight. Jesus said they will not make you single again. The papers say the “State of Colorado” has dissolved the marriage, NOT GOD! “A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives.” 1 Corinthians 7:39

Jesus said if you get a divorce and then remarry you will be committing adultery with this new person AFTER you marry them. AFTER you marry them! If you can commit adultery AFTER a divorce—the divorce failed to do something...DISSOLVE YOUR MARRIAGE! That is why this is NOT your spouse. A real husband and wife cannot commit adultery with each other. You are not eligible for marriage--you are not FREE!

I have no idea why people today believe their remarriage is legitimate in the sight of God. Jesus said they are committing adultery with their so called “new spouse.” They are remarried by “the state” not by God. The church is afraid to tell them what Jesus said.
The divorce did not work because when you have a sexual relationship with this “new spouse”--Jesus is calling that sex ADULTERY. How could that person ever be your spouse if you are committing adultery with them?

The truth is shocking because over the years this has become so normal. No one reads their Bible--they listen to pastors tell them God forgives them and they do not have to give up their adultery partner, their so called “new spouse.” If Jesus says you are committing adultery with this “new spouse” how can you claim that this is your lawful spouse in the eyes of God?

We need to stop listening to everyone around us and listen to Jesus. He really meant what He said. 50 years ago people understood the TRUTH. Today people don’t want the TRUTH! Pastors don’t tell them the TRUTH because it is a HARD TRUTH. Divorced people have no right to remarriage. Their divorce did not make them single.

The ONLY people in the Bible who commit adultery when they marry are divorced people, not single people, not widowed people, ONLY divorced people! Why is that? They are NOT FREE to marry. Their divorce did not make them FREE if they can commit adultery AFTER a divorce, like Jesus said.

Most people won’t flee this kind of adultery because they have been deceived by Satan to stay in it even though God’s Word is clear. Remarriage is the greatest DECEPTION of our time.

http://www.cadz.net/mdr.html
Luke , 12/22/10 12:47 AM
Dear Roger,
When researching subjects such as these, which avenues do you pursue? Did you take science classes as a part of your seminary education? Are science-based topics, such as these, just a personal interest of yours? I ask because I feel, as Christians, we need to know our scientific laws, theories, etc., itimately. We must realized that God is the creator of "science", and we must not minimize the truth that it can teach us. However, I feel that many biology, chemistry, physics, etc, books are biased in an anti-spiritual way. How can we properly discern which materials to learn from, and which to disregard?

Thanks,
Amy
Amy , 12/23/10 10:09 PM
This kind of attitude is what pushed me away from the church in the first place. No tolerance or understanding towards others or their beliefs. I have been Wiccan since I was in my mid teens. Wicca is a nature based religion that does not even believe in your so called devil so how can we be worshiping him? We believe that harming others will cause 3 times the payback for any harm caused. If it harm none do as though will.

I am also a member of the vampiric community and have been for nearly 25 years and I have never ever seen or heard of anyone being coerced into joining the real community. We are not a cult. We are people from all walks of life. Even People you may know and call friend or relatives. And even people that may attend church with you. All you are doing is promoting paranoid people that are to scared to educate themselves about things they don't understand. It truly saddens me to read close minded and un educated articles like this. Does not your own bible say judge not lest ye be judged? Please Educate yourself more. These writers did not write their stories to corrupt any young minds. They are simple stories of fiction and that is all.The Wiccan or vampiric communities have been around for centuries in one form or the other. Blessed Be and may enlightenment be your guide.
Sylivia Jensen , 12/26/10 03:35 PM
I guess I am confused why someone who probably knows nothing about the vampire community, nor the people involved, would claim that vampirism has both moral and spiritual repercussions?

Your morals are not the same morals that everyone has. Nor are your spiritual convictions the same that others have.

I am especially confused what all the uproar is over fiction. I mean, that is what this is - zombies, mythological vampires, mythological wizards and witches. These stories are helping children enjoy reading and expanding their imaginations. If you sit down and talk with your children, explain to them the difference between fiction and reality, then you're doing your job as a parent - guiding them while allowing them to expand their horizons.

Lastly, I just REALLY have to object to the whole 'Satanic Ritual Abuse'. C'mon - that load of hooey was debunked decades ago.
Talk about being swayed by fiction!
Mikyla Abagor , 12/27/10 08:28 PM
Dear Roger - Nice post on Nancy's part; and your comments were also interesting. Let's step back a little and agree that Creation is a closed System and the Living God exists outside of His Creation.

Because He is outside of Creation and therefore outside of Time, He knows the Beginning and the End and everything that is transpiring in between.

Now, I believe that He Who called Creation into existence intervenes in His Creation from time to time to 'steer' events to a conclusion that agrees with the Plan that He has for all of us and for His Creation. We are truly in a Cause and Effect World; and if it were not for His intervention, all the events in the world would go to an end that He is able to observe.

However, because God is Love and Is a God of both Mercy and Justice; He gives Mercy to those who He chooses to show Mercy to; and gives Justice to the rest.

I remember that it is the Living God that causes the sun to shine upon both the righteous and unrighteous and sends the rain to fall upon both the just and the unjust. We get the cards that He allows us to be dealt; what we do with them shapes our destiny (free will). We can learn from the past, but we can't change it. We can plan for the future, but for now it is beyond our reach. All we have is the present; and the Living God Who loves us, Is watching over us, and is listening to our prayers. I believe that the Living God hears all prayers; some of which He chooses to act upon. Why, you might ask, does He do it the way He does? We'll have to ask Him when we get to stand in His Presence.

George F. Erhardt , 12/28/10 01:19 PM
I haven't a clue what you meant by those quantum physics stuff. Sorry
I wish I could because I have a skeptic son.
Rich
Rich Ehrlich , 12/29/10 11:25 AM
Thank you Roger that was incredibly interesting, and encouraging. Would love to hear more like this.
Alicia Smith , 12/29/10 11:56 AM
Dear Rich, If you want me to give you more info, or ask more specific questions, please feel free to write another "Ask Roger" question. Also, I have more "Ask Roger" questions under the category of science and the Bible.
Roger Barrier , 12/29/10 12:15 PM
Nancy, Roger,

An interesting view of this is presented in a book I am now reading, "Anatomy of the Soul". Written by Curt Thompson, MD, it looks at brain structure and function and how God works through the natural creation to transform our lives to be more like Him, so that we display the fruit of the Spirit.

It resonates with Nancy's comments about transforming our past so that our future is changed. He talks about how we tend to think of and react to things in similar ways because of familiar firing patterns of the brain's neurons. So we tend to react to similar situations as we always did, until we make a choice to intentionally respond differently. In the process, we change how we perceive the past (not changing what happened, but how we view it), so that in the future we are more likely to respond in a different way. It's called healing!
Mark Marikos , 12/29/10 12:50 PM
Hello, I am lost in my current situation. I want to do the right seek and thats why I am seeking biblical truths. My husband and I been married for 3 yrs, in that three year's he has committed adultery more than twice. I was truly hurt and we tried counseling and he refused to listen and still want to continue doing wrong. I reach my end and decided to separated cuz my heart can no longer take this pain, I went tru alot of pain by him. I never cheated on him while we were living together and was totally committed to him.

While being separated, I gotten close to my friend who was madly in love with me in college. I ended up choose my bf over my friend knowing my bf who is my husband who treats me like a dog. My friend is a nice guy and treated me like a person, he have the qualities in a man that i am looking for.

During my separation stage cuz in my heart I wasnot going back to my husband and I thought about getting a divorce. I kissed and did some sort of oral sex but we didnot have sex. I was the one who initiated this.
My pastor told me i had grounds before since my husband committed adultery. I know what I did was wrong but if i had known better i wont have do it, i was thiking since am seprated it was ok but i know it is wrong.
I know i can get a divorce but i wont be able to remmarried since i did this eventhough i was separated. Help please, am lost, I want to do the right thing to please Jesus.
Natalie Meade , 12/29/10 02:42 PM
anonymous , 12/29/10 07:42 PM
I feel that the bracelets are primarily effective to send the message out that you are a Christian. I dont believe they have any effect on a Christians walk.
, 12/29/10 08:20 PM
I think my comment is... If we have to ask our selves "What would Jesus Do" it is perhaps already to late. We know what He did and how He lived. Even baby Christians get convicted of their actions. That is how we grow in Christ and Spirit. There isn't any braclet that is going to make us, want to make better decisions. Nor does leaving your Bible in the back dash of your car tell people how you follow the Lord. I do not need a wedding ring to remind me I am married. Having it on or off will not make me be faithful.So while I understand and appreciate WWJD braclets, people notice the actions of a person long before they get close enough to see a braclet.
Rick Von Kanel , 12/29/10 08:21 PM
Dear Beloved Brethren,

Much greetings through the exalted name of our Loving saviour Jesus Christ from kenya.
I am very much pleased to tell you that your teachings on your website are a great blessing to me, my family and the young independent christian fellowship that i founded when i got the call of the lord to do so.
So, i, my wife , children and some few brethren from the commmunity we are serving the lord under this christian fellowship.

The fellowship is of 32 members.
I also take care of ten orphans whose parents died.
In this i am requesting you to send us more teachings that will enable us, as a small church to grow spritually.

As well it is my kind request that you also remember these needy orphans under my care
in your daily prayers that God can open them ways for their needs both in physical and spritual growth.As well I kindly invite you to come here in kenya and bless our people with the gospel of our lord jesus.Kenya needs mighty people of God to lead her in to salvation and know the Living God. Please have a kind consideration to extend your kind cooperation for the extension of the Kingdom of God.
Also i would be happy if you will accept us to be part of your fellowship.
Pass our sincere regards and greetings to all Brothers and Sisters in christ.

yours at His service,
Pastor. Dennis
Dennis Onsongo , 12/30/10 03:48 AM
*if you're under 11 please don't read this!*

Umm, isn't it kind of... sinning to tell children that there is a santa watching them 24/7 who will come down there chimney using MAGIC and leave them gifts?

Why not tell your children about the three wise men who brought gifts to Jesus, and about how the REAL St. Nick brought gifts to boys and girls, who is probably (I'm not God, I don't know) in heaven with Angels right now? And that in the spirit of CHRISTmas we give each other gifts?

I don't mean to start an argument here, but "Santa" IS a lie. A "white lie" but a lie. The Bible clearly states that lying is a sin, and that there is a special place in hell for liars. The Bible also tells us to stay away from witchcraft, like the kind it would take to make reindeer fly...

I'm only 17 so this is just a stupid opinion here. But why lie on the day we celebrate Christ's BIRTH? I personally would not to that. Too afraid of lightning 0.0
Angela Cross , 12/31/10 04:35 AM
I feel that I need to put my two cents in here... I don't THINK I struggle with a repetative sin, but I've prayed that God tell me LOUDLY when I do something wrong, and boy did he ever! If I disrespect one of my parents (I'm 17), if I lie, if I cheat at a game, ANYTHING my concience burns like a wildfire until I make it right! And even after I prayed for forgiveness, and admitted to whomever I wronged that I'd wronged them, I still felt like the lowest of the low.

Eventually I began to hate myself. And my old Church telling me that because I liked music and television that I was "possessed" wasn't helping at all. I even stopped going to that church which made it even worse because I felt that not going to church was a sin!

Vic Mignogna, a man that I honestly believe has a God given gift for sharing the Word, is a mostly unknown actor and voice actor. He goes to anime conventions and tries to entertain fans AND introduce them to God at the same time. He even recorded the entire Gospel of John on CD and hands it out free.

I was watching one of his Sunday service panels, and someone asked him about his opinion on forgiveness. I don't know the exact words, but he said that God himself loves you with all his being, he forgives you if you'll only ask him, God will not only forgive you for your sins but he will literally "forgive and forget". Our Lord, the one who hung the stars in space, placed every hair on your head, and breathed life into all creation! If God himself forgives you, what right do you have to hate yourself for something he deems forgiven and forgotton?

God himself cleanses you with the blood of the Son he sent down as the eternal lamb. He made you pure, and he loves you. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness from the bottom of your heart and in his mercy he takes you under his wing and vows to love and care for you for all eternity.

After hearing that God is that forgiving, without some crazy Sunday school teacher in my face screaming "MUSIC IS FROM THE DEVIL!"... I forgave myself. That was the last time that I had a long, deep, soul cleansing CRY. I cried until I ran out of tissues~ I wasn't sad anymore, I didn't feel like dirt, I felt that even though my actions weren't worthy of being saved, Jesus MADE me worthy!

I hope that this lesson it took me years of pain to learn can help you too =D
Angela Cross , 01/03/11 09:14 PM
Although it's a bit dated now, Chaos Theory (early 1990's) seems to address this issue. It says that despite total randomness there can be somewhat predictable outcomes -- a set of probabilities. Chaos theory has been a boon to weathercasters, who can now tell us that there is a 30% chance of rain when they have no clue what is happening.

In a spiritual sense, chaos theory suggests how an apparently (and even actually) random universe can still move toward fulfilling God's plan. Predestination through random probability = free will?

I keep in mind your teaching that God wants a genuine relationship with us, which can't result from a coercive approach. On the other hand, an omniscient God will know how we will respond to our settings so how could He help but structure them benevolently?

Forrest Davis , 01/04/11 01:00 PM
Thanks for your thoughtful response Roger.
Robert , 01/05/11 10:32 AM
Read some of the comments. All interesting stuff. I am impressed with the clarity of Nancy's insight and her resolute courage. Her outlook brings a dynamic into view that frames life and life's challenges in a way I'd never thought of before and I will take those insights with me,out into life from this point forward. Thank you, Nancy. Excellent! 2Cor. 1:4 says that we are able to comfort others with that which God comforted us in our own trials. I like that. Somehow, our trials enable us to become servants to others who are in need of comfort. (Roger's been good at that over the years. Thanks Roger!) This may also be along the lines of the same subject... I buried my dead this year. I'd kept their caskets in my living room for far too long -praying over them, laying hands on them, mourning their loss and begging God over and over and over again to raise them from the dead when He just never would. It was far past time to let them go and so I finally did. I hope that this year we may all accept some facts of our lives and let go of things God never intended to resurrect for us so that we may live in the now and make the rest of our lives the absolute best that they may become. Bury your dead... God bless.
Ed Costanza , 01/05/11 03:47 PM
Pharisees weren't obsessed with purity, those were the Saducees.

Pharisees even reproached them their purity.

Pharisees were the first to say: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.".

"The rest is commentary" was directed to the Saducees obsession to follow every little thing in the Torah.

You should study a little more about history and theology before give any advise about the subject.

Also, HC, our bodies cannot survive without meat. Vegans need to use artificial supplements for several nutrients.
Mary Jonhson , 01/06/11 12:23 PM
Nothing left to say. It's all been said, and much better than i could have done.
Brilliant! Where did you study theology by the way?
, 01/06/11 01:49 PM
Roger, You made the incorrect statement that "earthquakes and natural disasters have not really increased any, they are the same as always." I have to strongly disagree with you! There have been numerous deadly Earthquakes over the last 10 years such as: the Earthquake in Bam, Iran, which killed 30.000 people and destroyed that city; The Earthquake, which caused the devastating 2004 Boxing day Tsunami that killed approximately 230.000 people and had a very heavy death toll on coastlines in the Indian ocean; The powerful 2005 Pakistan Earthquake, which killed approximately 82.000 people and destroyed that city and even killed people in other countries; The 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, which destroyed that whole region and killed over 80.000 people; The Earthquake in Haiti, which took over 230.000 lives and utterly destroyed that capital; The super-quake in Chile that literally “shortened the day”; The Earthquake in Baja California (April 04) and China (April 13), which claimed over 2.200 lives. Several strong quakes these past months have struck the Indonesian region, one quake measuring 7.8 (April 06) and another 7.2 (May 09) in magnitude. 27 earthquakes this year have been measuring 6.5 or greater in magnitude as of July 19 2010. USGS' lists a total of 43 significant earthquakes worldwide for 2010. A fairly comprehensive database listing natural disasters beginning in November of 1981 up to and including May 2000 can be found at: http://www.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf

In searching various databases, I found one database that lists 18 volcanoes that have erupted since January 1, 2000. Among the 18, several of the volcanoes have erupted more than twice since the beginning of the year. A couple of the volcanoes have had a marked increase in seismic activity which warranted them being placed on the active/alert lists.
The increase in the frequency of worldwide disasters from 1984 until present is fairly clear. Events listed in the database reflect 2,390 disasters for the period 1984-1989, 2,816 disasters for 1990-1995 and 2,096 disasters for the period 1996-1999. The initial data for the first three months of the year 2000 reflect 160 recorded disasters. Evidence exists which points to an incredible rise in the rates of worldwide disasters if anyone wishes to determine this for themselves. The number of natural disasters around the world has increased by more than four times in the last 20 years: http://www.naturalnews.com/023362.html

There is no doubt that Jesus' Words are coming true and that the birth pangs are definately INCREASING, not "staying the same as they always were." (God does not lie...Titus 1:2)

And the other issue I want to address is the comment made by Larry Pinkerton: "The question, Why do we as followers of Christ,, saved and cleansed by the Blood, still have to pray for forgiveness of our sins? I am not trying to be funny, but if he has forgiven us for our sins, past, present and future? Why do we pray for forgiveness??" Before I can answer your question, Larry, I would like for you to point out to us where in the Bible Jesus said "Your sins are forgiven, past, present and future." That is nothing but manmade religious heresy from the false doctrine of "once saved, always saved." From my reading of Scripture our PAST sins are forgiven. And in the Book of 1 John we are told that "we all stumble in many things" and "whoever says he is without sin is a liar and the truth is not in him." It also says that if we CONFESS our sins He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Now there is a BIG difference between "stumbling" and WILLFULLY sinning. Heb 10:26 is CRYSTAL clear about willfully sinning: "For if we sin willfully after having received the knowledge of the Truth (Jesus), there no longer remains a SACRIFICE FOR SINS (Jesus), but a certain fearful dread of judgment, and fiery indignatin which will devour the adversaries (unbelievers)." Jesus said that if He comes back to find one of HIS servants partying with the unbelievers, that He will cut him in two and cast him in with the unbelievers. That doesn't sound like "Your sins are forgiven, past, present and future." That is a false, SATANIC lie from hell and NOT the true gospel of Jesus Christ. He said that those who love Him OBEY Him and those are the ones who will be saved. If people would read the Bible for themselves and stop listening to all these 501c3 government controlled pastors who tickle their ears, then they might understand what this verse really means: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembline." Phil 2:12 or this one: "Beware, lest you FALL from your secure position, being led away by the error of the wicked." 2 Pet 3:17 or this one: "And many of Jesus' DISCIPLES turned back and walked with Him no more." John 6:66 They were not "once saved, always saved" because there is NO OTHER salvation apart from Jesus Christ! Learn to rightly divide God's Word and stop listening to wolves in sheep's clothes who give you Satan's gospel and call it the Gospel of Truth. The mantra of hardcore Satanists is: "Do what they wilt as long as you do no one else harm". This is basically the same gospel as "Once saved, always saved." They don't teach the requirement of obedience to Christ and regular repentance because we REGULARLY STUMBLE along the way! "And He became the Author of eternal salvation unto all who OBEY Him." Heb 5:9 "Narrow is the path and difficult is the way that leads to eternal life and FEW are they that find it." Matt 7:14 MILLIONS of people call themselves "Christian" and attend government controlled "churches" who give them many different manmade versions of the gospel. But there is only ONE true Gospel and ONE true Jesus Christ. Anything that goes against the Word of God, is antichrist and another Christ. Most people believe in a false Christ, because they contradict Him and refuse to believe His Word but want to twist it into an easy believism. The very word "believe" in Hebrew translates to OBEY, not some sentimental "I believe Jesus is the Son of God" like you believe 2 plus 2 is 4.

Lynn D , 01/07/11 05:55 PM
This may come as a shock but I was wondering, is it said in the bible that God knows everything? Or is it assumed? Because if God were to know everything, he must also know the future. If this knowledge exists then the future must be predetermined. In result, the free will we see would only be an illusion to a plan that has already been predetermined in his head.
P , 01/08/11 09:17 PM
Roger,

I have been praying for several months about sharing my testimony with you and Steve Dowdle. I have been going through what I believe is the discipline of the Lord for the past 30 years. you and Steve have to hear this story before I share it with other pastors. You both are a large part of this process. Like I said I had 2 Lord experiences on baseball fields while coaching Palo Verde Christian baseball in 1980. I am compelled to talk about about this now because I now have a peace and the abscence of fear and anxiety. I believe the Lord has hid his face from me but I still see in the light of his glory. For years I believed that I had done something to cause this and was being punished maybe never to experience the shining of his face again.But his promises tell me different and I believe that one day I will live as I did for about 3 hours in 1980 after being filled on a baseball field. I want to tell you both this story first before I tell any other pastor. It may take me some time and maybe even take you to the fields at Catalina high school and Patagonia high school. I cant believe that this day has come.
I cant wait to tell both of you this story!
Larry Moser , 01/09/11 10:19 PM
Roger - Thank you for this. I pray we don't have this in Heaven, because I've struggled with many of these symptoms for most of my life, and it was only a few years ago that I even had a name for it.
Thomas Wheeler , 01/11/11 08:54 AM
Hi,

I'm 53 years old and have been a Christian for about half that time. This is an interesting string and very relevant to my situation, even though I have never been married. For years I have desired to live the way God wants me to live (His way is best, after all) and that has included not dating divorced women. This is a problem for me, because most of the "desirable" women I know are divorced. Being 53, there are not a lot of desirable never married ladies to choose from (I know they're out there, I just haven't found the one, yet...)

I believe the way I do for two main reasons:

1) You discuss the word "pornea." I have been taught that this word do not refer to the common sexual adultery between men and women. The word for that is "moicheia." Pornea is closer to fornication, and Jesus meant it the sense that, if your wife claims to be a virgin, but you marry her and find out she was lying, you can end the marriage and marry again (and likewise, if she claims never to have been married before and you find she was, you can end the marriage and marry again.) That's all there is concerning remarriage! If your partner cheats on you, sorry, not good enough. You can divorce, sure, but get on your knees and pray for the salvation and restoration of your lost love, and eventual reconciliation.

2) When Israel ran away from God and committed adultery with other gods, God did not "remarry" another race of people. He stuck with them, and does to this day. As Christians, should we be modeling God's example, or Israel's?

Recently, however, I came across Deuteronomy 24:1-4:

"If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance."

What I'm getting from this is, once the runaway spouse remarries, his/her business is completely concluded with the person left behind; there's no going back, the bond has been severed. For me, this seems to say it's okay to date a divorced woman who's ex-husband has remarried.

I have two questions. First, do you feel I'm too rigid in my interpretation of the whole divorce/remarriage topic, and second, do Old Testament laws like the one above still apply today?

Thank you for any response, and God bless.



Curt , 01/11/11 09:28 PM
Interestingly, confessional Lutherans believe in neither Calvinism nor Arminianism. We believe, teach, and confess single predestination (God predestines Christians for salvation) and free will (if you end up in Hell it's because you chose to go there).

The Bible never says God predestines people to Hell (double predestination). In fact, Matthew 25:41 says Hell is prepared for the devil and his angels, which would be an odd thing to say if it was also prepared for unbelievers.

But the Bible also teaches, contra Arianism, we can't do anything to bring about our own salvation. We rely entirely on God's grace, not our works, lest any man should boast. And yet we are entirely responsible for our sin. C.S. Lewis said Hell is entirely populated with people who want to be there.
Jonesy , 01/12/11 02:17 PM
I love your answer to this man's question, so thoughtful and so very hopeful. This is so perfect for this week since my son Josh had his birthday 1-11-11 and just turned 29. He has mild symptoms of Asperger's-veers away from social, but quite contented to do so. He is a delight and his siblings find his humor hilarious. I struggled at first feeling like he would struggle (my self-centeredness flaring) but as I watch him more objectively, he actually has made for himself some strong healthy boundaries. It is wonderful to agree with the Lord on how He knit Josh together.
Kristi Allen , 01/13/11 10:24 AM
I'm sure the author of this blog means well and I appreciate that, but any Mormon who is inactive in the church, or any person who is unfamiliar with the church, and does not know what the church actually teaches, because they have not set foot inside the church on a regular basis is vulnerable to the ideas and concepts about the church that are being misrepresented here. Since his is a blog, initially about a husband and wife with different belief systems, I would say that resolving any differences would best start with them each visiting the others church on a regular basis and understanding one another and communicating openly, clearly, and accurately about their actual beliefs. It is interesting that after talking about about not trashing another religion, 60 percent of the above article is pretty much doing just that. We are to be kind as Christians. John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." That said, as a Christian, I would hopefully, kindly clarify a few things. The apostle James said that faith without works is dead. (James 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.") There is one faith and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5 "One Lord, one faith, one baptism."). The faith referred to in this article then must be faith in Christ, so we have the formula Faith + works = salvation from the Bible.

Maroni is spelled Moroni as the spell checker seems to understand. One Baptist minister I read said he has actually read the Book of Mormon and knows several others who have completely read it outside the LDS church and he called it "more Baptist than the Baptist Hymnal." He clamed that it very well outlines the the concept of being born again, grace, the Fall of Adam and many other Christian concepts and beliefs. It is interesting how much so called Evangelicals seemed to know about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints when they do not get doctrine first hand, but rather are content to take other biased person's word for it and repeat over and over on the internet and to their friends incorrect information. There is still the rumor, perpetuated for decades that Mormon's have horns. From your article above: "According to Mormonism, Jesus was the firstborn spirit-child of the Heavenly Father. He became mortal through the Father’s physical union with Mary." The Bible states that Christ was the only begotten of son of the Father. (John 1:14 "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." There is not much room for error there. Although people out side the LDS church love to state that Mormons believe God the Father had physical union with Mary, this is not official doctrine of the church, even though if you take the Bible literally beget means beget. To quote the Alma in the Book of Mormon, Alma 7:10, "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God."

The idea that Christ lived prior to this earth life if established and implied in Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." as well as many other scriptures in the Bible which I don't have time to mention here. Christ can be the only portal for salvation and have a pre-mortal existence and still be our savior and redeemer. 2 Nephi 25:23 for the Book of Mormon states "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." We can not of course save ourselves by works. We rely on the grace of God and we are changed as person daily by our works and out acts so the we are more live the Savior. To believe that a person can live a life of sin and do all sorts of things outside the teaching of Jesus Christ and then confess and "have faith in him" and be saved makes no more sense and is an empty ritual in and of itself. It is about the same as believing in the act of circumcision which was fulled in the Law of Moses, another "act" as the above article condemns. As is it says in Job 4:8
"Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same." In fact, one of the most familiar concepts of the Bible is that "you reap what you sow" and the "the idler shall not eat the bread of the laborer." Why would God fill our lives with the every day experience that verifies this in work and deeds and then completely contradict this law and principle by rewarding the wicked, as well as those have made sincere and honest effort to live the life of a Christian, with same results in this live and in the next? Paul talked of the thorn of the flesh that was not removed. Even Paul, as great as he was, did not receive freedom from the acts and deeds in the flesh. We can only come to understand and know Christ by walking in his footsteps an living the life he lead. He said, "Come follow me." Through effort on our part and by being directed daily in our lives by prayer, fasting, and seeking his guidance and direction, any one can find peace and joy in this life and the next. As it states in the 3rd Article of Faith in the Mormon Church " We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind my be saved through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel." The forth states: "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." I have been to Baptist baptisms. They are at least part of the Evangelical movement and they believe in at least on ordinance of salvation and one other act other than confessing Christ and expressing faith in him.

Regarding the above comment that Mormons have classes on how to respond to critics. The Sunday School class in every Mormon congregation in the world is called Gospel Doctrine. In consist of a four year cycle of scripture study of the churches cannon of the Bible, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. There is open discussion of the scripture by members and a person who leads the discussion. No one in the church receives pay as a preacher or minister of the gospel.
Andy Perry , 01/13/11 07:54 PM
I heard the pastor of that church online, inadvertantly. It was the most upsetting thing to see/hear. A supposed man of God, telling us that this sad senseless tradgic event was what God wanted and it was somehow good. That he sees himself as a profit is also strange and sad. Thanks for tackling this disturbing media message...you are so right about the difference that our Lord desires and I love you too!
Jeri
Jeri Cheatum , 01/17/11 10:35 PM
I find it shocking that 78% of Americans consider the evangelical Christian church to be the most judgmental in America. Have they not studied the tenets of Islam? If you want judgmental, there it is. I find it frightening that people are so horribly misinformed about both Christianity and Islam in this nation.

These Westboro lunatics are doing no favors to the Name of God and the cause of Christ in America. Even if they may have some legitimate points about homosexuality, their methods and overall attitudes are deplorable in the extreme.

Yet, I DO believe that Christians in America have a responsibility to be involved in their society, to call sin for what it is, to oppose it whenever possible within reason (which clearly eludes the Westboro people), along with seeking to win others to Jesus. We cannot be idle while our nation plunges further into a moral sewer. Right-minded Christians can be properly active in society to stave off the sin that so engulfs it.
Jackson Roykirk , 01/19/11 02:30 PM
Thanks for this, Roger(s)! This church has been on my mind since the shooting happened. I feel so sorry that the people of this church are being led in such a hateful way. I'm praying for them!
Cherie D , 01/20/11 09:53 AM
I do not believe satan can read our minds. There are evil spirits that are assigned to people by satan. God assigns guardian angels to individuals.(satan always tries to pervert what God does). These evil spirits (demons) study the person they are assigned to and they also tempt them in areas where they are weak by putting thoughts in their mind. They can put thoughts in our mind but they can not read our mind. Sarah above writes ("I have many weakness that I have not confessed outloud or said to anyone, However those weakness seem to be the ones the devil attacks at full force this alone leads me to believe the devil can read what I am thinking.")The reason the devil can attack those weaknesses and know what they are even if they've never been confessed out loud or shared with anyone,is because the devil (or one of his demons), put them in your mind to begin with. From childhood evil spirits tempt us with evil thoughts. Then they watch us to see if we will take the bait. If we do not rebuke those thoughts, then the devil knows we are taking the bait( by entertaining the thought.) These spirits then continue baiting (tempting) us with these thoughts which are now weaknesses, until we bite. This is also how satan brings condemnation. He injects his thought and we unknowingly believe the thought originated from us. Then he introduces thoughts such as "if you were a real christian you wouldn't be thinking such things. If we are not familiar with these (thought attacks or fiery darts)we fall into condemnation and we will also now believe that satan can read our thoughts.

King James Bible
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Hope this is helpful.
God bless you all
Fred
Fred Smith , 01/22/11 06:42 PM
Roger, thank you for taking on this difficult topic. I must disagree with you, however, that marijuana has medicinal properties that offset the dangers of its use.

You state that cannabis can be used to reduce nausea and vomiting, stimulate the appetite, etc. And yet, it does nothing whatsoever to improve the overall condition to cure the diseases in patients that are undergoing treatment that cause these effects! And there are certainly other, less dangerous medications that can reduce nausea and improve the appetite!

In the next paragraph, you quite rightly state the dangers of this drug. Psychoactive, hallucinogenic, reality-altering, mood-altering, increases blood pressure, increases heart rate, impairs memory, lung cancer, depression, anxiety...! Does ANY of that sound like a fair trade-off for the alleged benefits? It sure doesn't to me!

There are those who say that there are people out there who do not respond to or cannot tolerate other forms of medication. That may be so. HOWEVER, at the risk of sounding harsh, the exceedingly minimal percentage of people who cannot tolerate other forms of medication DOES NOT JUSTIFY WIDESPREAD LEGALIZATION given the very clear and distinct dangers of it!

There is only one reason why marijuana advocates want it legalized for "medical" purposes. It's the first step towards general legalization. And your nightmare of a higher number of stoned-out drivers becomes a reality, if not worse. Would you or anyone reading this want your airplane pilot trying to fly a plane after a legal toke? Or a surgeon performing a delicate operation? Can't happen? Don't bet on it.

Also consider the fact that the marijuana that is commonly available today is far more potent than the stuff that was floating around in the 1960's, which has almost become the stuff of comedy routines. More potent, and more dangerous.

I live in one of the states that legalized this garbage, by the slimmest of margins, and I find myself thoroughly disgusted that any reasonable percentage of supposedly intelligent people voted in favor of something like that.

It comes down to this -- the dangers of the drug, and the full intent of the legalization advocates, are not enough to offset the alleged medican benefits. It's as simple as that.

No Christian, or anyone else with an ounce of common sense and any concern for people around him, should be smoking this stuff, or advocating its legal use for any reason.
Richard Wayne , 01/25/11 09:22 AM
I agree that it should't be legalized only on the basis that it not only effects the user but also anyone near them. It's not like alcohol where the user only puts himself medical at risk.

Thank you Roger for sharing on this topic. It's less about "should it be legalized" and more to the point of use and abuse.

To comment on Mr Wayne's topic of occupational use, anyone working for a zero tolerance company still won't allow use of a legalized substance. Pilots cannot drink while flying, why would you think they could smoke? Doctors shouldn't be drinking during surgery, why would they smoke? The company I work for has already made it clear that they are zero tolerance. Even if it's legalized they will still randomly drug test us and give out pink slips.
Jake S , 01/25/11 09:55 AM
Thank you both for your thoughtful and eloquent comments. I am glad some discussion is being formulated on this very pertinent topic. I want to be absolutely clear that I do not advocate any use of marijuana and that my understanding of its medicinal properties are only those of a layman and not a physician. My goal in this conversation was to see some open dialogue and prayerful consideration of an unspoken topic. God bless.
Roger Barrier , 01/25/11 12:00 PM
Any substance has the potential for human abuse, even food. Some struggle with serious eating disorders. The U.S.A is growing more obese by the moment. Others suffer with terrible addictions to sex or compulsive behaviors. These things are not bad in themselves it is the human response of abuse that is tragic. Anyone suffering with any addiction to anything should seek help.
Please consider the "pharmarkaia" argument as applied to other daily used and acceptable mind altering substances, not to mention commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals.
Whether or not something has medical use and application should be for medical professionals to decide.
No one should put another at harm, in my opinion. That means drunk, sober, high, stressed, sad, or happy, doesn’t matter.
All this is just my opinion on a very controversial topic. God will guide us if we seek Him.
T , 01/25/11 02:26 PM
T makes some valid comments about the obesity problem in this country, but at the same time, food, when properly used, serves to nourish the body. The same can't be said of marijuana (among other drugs).

To comment on Jake S' response to Mr. Wayne's comments, fine and well to work in a "zero tolerance" profession, but I seem to recall a news story quite a number of years ago about a number of pilots that had been caught flying drunk. Flying stoned may be just as against the rules, but that doesn't make it impossible, and if marijuana is legal, it does make it somewhat easier in some respects.

For myself; I lost a good friend in my early college years to marijuana. He was so stoned one night that he didn't realize that his car had stalled on a railroad track. He probably didn't even realize that the train was approaching. At the risk of being graphic, there wasn't enough left of him to bury.

In high school, I watched another friend ruin his life through marijuana use. This was a brilliant young man who was taking advanced courses in science and languages. He had all the potential in the world. Then somehow, he started smoking pot. None of his longtime friends at the time, myself included, could figure out how he'd gotten started, let alone why. Was it merely a moment's lapse?

Long story short, he stopped hanging around with us, and spent more and more time with his new pothead friends. His grades plummeted. He refused to listen to reason from anyone. He thought pot was cool, cooler than anything he'd ever done in his life. Somehow, he graduated by the barest of margins, someone who couldn't been the class valedictorian. We lost touch with him after that, but a mutual friend told me some years later that he had moved out of his parents' home after high school, and had just drifted off, a homeless bum looking for his next hit of pot.

That's what marijuana does. That's why the growing legalization of it offends me. Anyone remotely in favor of it should be ashamed of themselves.
Jason Christopher , 01/25/11 08:03 PM
My mom died jan 2010. Suddenly we had been arguing on and off for ages. She also used o ask me did I love her of course I did we were just both stubborn. I am having problems comig to terms with it and spent the whole year drinking to block out the pain I feel so guilty about some of the things I said an idoubed her love for me all the time. I can't shake this feeling of sadness it is with me all the time. I miss her so much she has been giving me so many signs still I thank her for them.  thanks for reading m post
Natalie Harrison , 01/28/11 08:11 PM
Our response is important, but equally important is to realize all that God is doing to help us in that response. God's grace is not without effect, that we should respond, but it is also the reason that we do respond - because God is at work in changing our hearts. It's his faithfulness and unmerited love that ultimately results in our response. Or do we want to say that we ultlimately do not need His help? That our heart needs no work or that we can do the work ourselves? Hopefully I have not missed your point.
amy pineda , 02/01/11 05:13 PM
I like to think that we are predestined for a certain outcome because it was God's goal, intention, all along to save us. We may determine some of the stops along the way, but God is like a master chess player because he knows exactly what to do so that we are led to Him. He can humble us whatever move we make. God can be assured of the final outcome even as we are still making decisions that affect how that outcome will come about. The outcome is complete victory for all, though some of us will experience more severe consequences in getting there.
gene pineda , 02/01/11 05:19 PM
Alcohol is a drug it is legal. Recently named the worst of all drugs by a the British Medical Association.

You are either for prohibition or against it.

Drinking Beer = Doing Drugs

Stop being a hypocrite and legalize.
Finrod Felagund , 02/05/11 12:10 AM
@ Peter... Do not give up! =)
When you're tempted to do something for the wrong reason... stop. Don't do it. As far as I'm concerned, if you're doing something for the wrong reason, even if it's for a good thing, you shouldn't do it.. You won't reap the rewards of a good deed, etc if you do it for the wrong purpose! Examine yourself and your motives closely, yes, examining your motive in all things is a very wise thing to do =) Ask God in prayer to help you, to cleanse your heart,and to show you yourself.. your own motives..

Whatever you do though... never give up.
Dusti , 02/07/11 02:01 AM
Thanks for that post n answer.I'm in the same situation.only my husband had been seeing prostitutes behind my bek.he confessed this started before we even met.he dsnt help out much .I'm in debts trying to support us yet I'm nt wekin cozwe hev a liittle one.he gets in a state jus wen I tok bot bills etca. Nything involving finances.I get no support as I dnt hev family around and his are always intrusive. My spiritual life has gin down and in always depressed.had a bad pregnancy coz my bp was so high the labour was so traumatic after failed induction and failed forceps as I was loosin too muxh blood etc.he recently had a relapse due to him requesting change of medication his personal request.but unfortunately it triggered a relapse.which is when I found out.he was paranoid schizophrenic which hid told me was jus general depression n I'd questiond his medication befo we got married which I feel was dec meeptive to lie to me.now hiz in hospital but he won't be nice to me.even when I try to col all he wants is his family n they are givin me a hard tym.a lot has has happened but his aggression started when I'd told His family bot him paying for sex.I had to let them no after a discussion we had with them n since my husband insults me etc evrytime I try to support him.his not home and i have a realtime broken heart and not jus want out for my health n for our child.iv tried evrything but seems I'm at the worst point in my life.yet we wet married less than four years ago.and since living together its bin a nightmare
praise praises , 02/09/11 07:26 AM
Well said, Roger. I also believe that if you are truly born-again of the Spirit that you won't turn away and there WILL be fruit.

When I talk to folks now that have a question about their salvation because they were so young, I often say "Why don't we just set it in concrete right now!" and then take them through the Roman's Road and the prayer of salvation.

Might as well have peace of mind about it instead of wondering!!
Susan Shew , 02/13/11 08:38 PM
It's wonderful to hear your comments and observations. Thanks so much!
Roger Barrier , 02/14/11 09:47 AM
Dear :(

Your pain is being shared, even though we may not know exactly how YOU feel. As I read your note, it brought tears to my eyes =((....losing a mother and dad, not knowing what happened, and confused about what is ahead in the future. You are not alone in these circumstances. This has happened to others.

Please know that the circumstances surrounding your losses is not your fault. It is hard to think it is not. Children naturally think that somehow they were the cause of the pain that has been brought into your life. This is a lie and not true. In your mind, refuse those thoughts as soon as you think them. Instead, you can say to yourself, "that is not true", and then think something that is good and wonderful.

I, too, am grateful that your grandparents are able to help you grow up. As Roger said, all of you have different kinds of pain, and sometimes it helps just to love on each other by telling them good things that you appreciate about them, even though you all are hurting. Group hugs is one way to show your appreciation. I hear that it is hard for you to not know the events that occurred, and your grandparents have decided for now, to not go into the details. They are having to make hard decisions, while they have pain, to consider what is best for you.

I too will pray that the family you have, will reach out for help to sort things out and learn that you can have a wonderful, creative, and loving life. It is very important that you all seek out someone who is experienced in helping people who have these type of situations.

The shortest scripture in the Bible is John 11:35, "Jesus wept." He was weeping because he saw how upset a family was and He loved them. He was hurting because of their pain. Jesus weeps for you. The hope He has for you, is that He wants to be in the hearts and minds of your family. He wants to direct you to get good help, comfort you, and for you to be able to receive help.

I am praying you will receive encouragement from these notes and that they bring comfort to you. You have done a good thing by reaching out to this site and asking your questions.

I know that your situation will come to my mind often and I will pray for you and your family.

Lovingly,
Donna
Donna Wigginton , 02/15/11 11:49 AM
Thank you Roger for sharing your thoughts on Wars. I appreciate your openness,wisdom, and pointing out biblical principles on so many topics, in Ask Roger. Prayers for health, and blessings to you, and your family.
Betty Frank , 02/15/11 01:31 PM
I must agree with Finrod. It is absolutely hypocritical to allow alcohol into society without legalizing marijuana.
The claim that smoking pot increases your risk of cancer is false. The cannabinoids in marijuana are themselves anti cancerous and are indeed the cure for many cancers. There is marijuana use in the bible. You must however, read the original Aramaic text as it was removed during translation. Kaneh Bozm = cannabis = marijuana.

I am a firm believer in God, we need to unite and talk about this logically as well as scripturally.

Even if you do not think that pot should be legal, you should be for the legalization of hemp. It's a non THC plant and could feed the world. Genesis 1:29.
Reginald Fergison , 02/15/11 03:02 PM
, 02/18/11 07:15 PM
Interesting comments. Thanks.
Roger Barrier , 02/18/11 07:15 PM
Love the explanation. Another way I look at it (in a more simplistic form) is kind of like a rainbow between times. Someone in one time (whether the same or different) believes and another (whether the same time or different) knows...and therefore it is real. Was it real before the belief and knowing or after? Doesn't really matter. The fact is, that it is real.
Daniel , 02/21/11 10:59 PM
Wow... I have to admit I don't really know a whole lot about QM and all that other stuff but this was a really interesting read and I'm looking forward to sharing it with others.
A big thanks to you Roger and to Julie for asking the question ;0)
Tam
Tamara Thomas , 02/21/11 10:59 PM
Hi Roger -

Your article on QM was nicely written. In including Julie in your narrative, you set the 'stage' to explain Roger's Theory of Everything in simple terms, that a lay person could understand. Well done, Blessings, George
George Erhardt , 02/22/11 09:51 AM
Im just confused on one point, where does it say that satan has open access to Heaven? and there are scriptures that say no sin can dwell in the presence of God, so Heaven isnt where God is right now?
Seth Boye , 02/23/11 07:50 AM
Hey Seth, check this out http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-access.html
Austin Webb , 02/23/11 08:48 AM
Roger, thanks for your information. I've spent three days studying this and have some questions: QM says "nothing is real until someone observes it." Then it would seem logical to say that God is not real until we have seen (or observed) him and no one has ever seen (or observed) God. Secondly QM says "objects only become real when an observer expects it to be (real)." Therefore God is real only when we expect him to be real. Therefore as QM also says "observing an object to be someplace causes it to be there. It wasn't there before you observed it." Then if this is the case it would seem to indicate that we are the creators and perpetrators of mass and life and in fact everything is solely dependent upon us and our observations...thus we might as well call ourselves gods. What do you think?
Mike Sandusky , 02/23/11 11:27 AM
Thanks for this topic, we had a great discussion. I didn’t know my family was into QM so much. It was fun & interesting. Your statement that God is presently observing everything help settle our family study around our computer. :0
Tom Miller , 02/24/11 09:16 AM
I have been looking for a young lady by the name of Lana Smiley, who made a comment on this web site. If you were born in October of 1971, we are related, and I would like to talk with you.
Janet Griffin , 02/28/11 10:03 PM
my dearest mom died in 93 it is as though it was yesterday.i think of her always and i know she is with me especially when i need her ..funny how one thinks of all of the family gone now ..memories come and they are alive again and just in the other room or on the other side of the phone. how i love her and miss her
yvonne glover , 03/04/11 10:23 AM
Whew......that was a close one! I never liked vegetables as a kid and as a senior now, still don't like them and never eat them no matter how good a casserole someone makes. As for my steak....am not a Texan but a Jersey girl and love my beef well done....not even a tinge of pink...with catsup on it I might add! That was a great question and enjoyed reading your answer. I would hate to think that I wasn't a Christian just because I didn't eat my veggies! The same goes for milk....never liked it unless chocolate syrup was put in it.
Carol Erhardt , 03/08/11 07:13 AM
I'm a 'part-time' vegetarian, simply due to my hypoglycemia needing poultry and fish. I've recently cut down on the amount of meat, because I believe it's healthier to have less meat and more veggies and fruit in the diet (per Doctors Oz & Weil).

Jesus ate a Mediterranean diet, which has been proven to be healthy and anti-inflammatory, thereby fighting a myriad of diseases. I'm following in His dietary footsteps!
Lynn Rogalsky , 03/08/11 01:47 PM
Roger:

Remember Tom Terry Truth of Life #46: "If it's dead and red you are well fed."

Tom
Tom Terry , 03/08/11 10:57 PM
My husband and I, and our children, were vegetarians for a little over ten years through the seventies and early '80's. I never felt that I was sinning for eating meat but I did find that I felt healthier not eating meat. (It was also very accepted in Northern Calif.,where we lived in the '70's) I have Chrohn's disease and have had it since I was 14. Even though I know it is an incurable disease...I actually started to believe that I was cured just from changing my lifestyle! It was truly amazing! I never saw the dr. during those 10 years except when I was pregnant with my first 4 children. I knew that I had to eat right and that in itself was quite a challenge being pregnant, nursing, feeding small children, etc. It wasn't until we opened our first store that I couldn't keep up with the daily chore of making my garbanzo loaf and vegetarian lasagna, etc. (the '70's were tough to EVER get fast food of any sort, since it really didn't exist for vegetarians.) I remember going to a burger place and asking for a cheeseburger... hold the burger please! LOL! They wouldn't do it and they were SO confused! Now that our 6 children are raised, we are finding time to steam veggies and eat a lot healthier again! But here's a tip to anyone who is a vegetarian...don't think you can just eat a good steak one day and think you'll be okay! It is BRUTAL! Dave and I did it while on a romantic getaway once...it was not romantic any longer! We writhed with pain!!! When your body is used to only vegetables...meat can only be introduced very slowly, especially red meat! Believe me...this is experience talking! :) We now like the freedom of just eating sensibly with a little meat but mostly veggies. Unfortunately, steak just doesn't like us any more! But for intestinal disorders...vegetarianism is the best! (still absolutely LOVE the smell of steak when our neighbors are barbequeing though!) Just thought I'd jump in on this one! It was nice seeing this question asked!
barbara parker , 03/09/11 12:00 AM
I enjoyed reading this PITI. God made the Human body perfect in so many ways. When God loves us enough to care about our inter-most secrets to the number of hairs on our head you know this design is perfect. Humans need nutrition from many different foods to keep a stable healthy diet. When people take things to an extreme (vegetarians,vegan,meat only diet) it becomes an addiction, and with most addictions it ends with health issue's and death.
Curtis Heim , 03/09/11 11:51 AM
I readily eat meat, and I don't really have a taste for vegetables or even a lot of fruits.

I think we live in a culture and society that overemphasizes "diet" and underemphasizes "exercise", which is one of the main reasons we have the obesity problem in this country that we do.

I believe that a person can eat almost anything they want -- allergies and certain specific-to-the-person health restrictions notwithstanding.

HOWEVER -- I do believe that two things also need to be done in conjunction with an omnivorous diet.

#1 -- Eat reasonable amounts of food. Americans especially do not do this. The helpings that the average restaurant serves would be enough for three people! Take the rest of it home if you must. And when you eat at home, don't pile your plates so high.

#2 -- EXERCISE. This doesn't have to include a gym membership, a personal trainer, or a grueling workout several times a week that leaves you too exhausted to get your work done properly. Try taking a reasonably brisk walk for half an hour or so in the evening. Don't watch as much television. Instead, do something active.

These practices will allow most people to enjoy a varied diet, including meat, without having to buy into one "fad" or another, and maintain a decent level of health.
Jason Shaw , 03/09/11 08:39 PM
I have no problem with anyone maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet. I don't choose to myself, but that's their decision.

Where I draw the line, and I'm certain the Bible would back me on this, is when someone who's rather militant in their dietary beliefs challenges me about it, claiming that "meat is murder" and making the very offensive remark that "animals have just as much right to live as you do."

No, they don't. There isn't an animal on Earth that has an equal right to live relative to a human being. I'm not saying that people have been the best stewards of the planet, or that we don't need to be taking somewhat better care of things, but don't anyone tell me that any animal has an "equal" right to life as a human being, because that just isn't true.

We are God's finest creation, and every animal on the face of the planet is beneath us.

It makes me wonder what these people do when they find a spider in their home, or worse, if they're confronted with a scorpion or some other animal that is hazardous to human life. Do they just let it attack them?

Sorry, I digress. If someone wants to be a vegetarian or a vegan, fine. As long as they don't get in my face about it while I'm eating a steak, a pork chop, or bacon.

I'm pleased that you don't see it as specifically supported or necessarily endorsed by the Bible. I also agree with Mr. Shaw's comments that if people got more exercise, we wouldn't need all the weird diet plans that come along (and in my opinion, do little good).
Raymond Adams , 03/09/11 08:57 PM
Roger,

As a Calvinist myself, I thank you for what seems to be a genuine attempt to give a fair and accurate representation of what the various degrees of Calvinism believe. I do think, however, that you have fallen short in your analysis in a few areas of what is the actual beliefs as I understand them:

1. Calvinists believe whole-heartedly in the "whosoever will" of John 3:16. This is not a challenge or a problem at all to our theology. We might respond with agreement that whosoever will come to Christ will be saved. The pivotal questions that remain are who are the whosoevers who will in light of Romans 3:9-18 and its description of the total depravity of mankind as making us totally opposed to God and His will and what happens to create this change in anyone who is saved. I believe this question would rightly be answered again by Paul in Romans 5:6-11 where Paul actually calls us His enemies and then tells us that we were brought to be friends (reconciled) with God through the righteousness of Christ that is imputed to us. It is by grace that we are saved, not by works or any righteousness that was within us. This doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ is further reiterated in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The context of John 3, likewise, shows that those who are saved are determined by those who are "born again". Jesus also tells us that the Spirit goes as it will, bringing the new birth. Nicodemus is told that he knows not where it came from and where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit: They will be the whosoever wills who will be saved (John 3:3-8).

2. There are more than the two teachings that you presented about election: specifically, foreknowledge vs. Arbitrary God. Most Calvinists, myself included, would point to Romans 9:11 and state that our election is not based on the foundation of our own goodness, but on God's Purpose of grace and His righteousness. Many Arminians I have discussed this issue with will reply that this is in the context of Israel and not applied to everyone. The problem, as I see it, with that reply, is that Paul then goes on to discuss His purposes for hardening Pharaoh's heart (vv. 16-18), and then the election of the Gentiles as well as the Jews for glory (vv. 22-26). This makes it clear that the message of Romans 9 is not exclusively referring to the Jews. So then, if God's election is not based on what he foresaw would be our righteous choice for Him, how is it not arbitrary? Very simple: God is Holy. We are not. God would have been just as Holy and righteous had He chosen to send all of us to Hell. I heard someone say once that sinful mankind is quick to judge the Holy God of eternity and just as quick to acquit the totally depraved enemies of God. Although, we may not understand all His choices, His knowledge is way above our knowledge (omniscience), His righteousness exceeds our righteousness (His Holiness), and all of His decrees and choices are just, righteous, and the best of all possible decisions. When we can look through eternity past all the way to eternity future, then we might have a starting point to tell God how He should judge and when He should show grace. But we must put ourselves in our proper place, as Paul does in Romans 9:19-21 when he answers the question about God's perceived arbitrariness in the matter of His election. He is the creator, we are the created. He has complete authority over what He does with His creation. It is not arbitrary at all, and to suggest that it is is to question the holiness of God. Since God is Holy, all of His decisions are Just, Righteous, and Holy. I hope this helps to dispel any misunderstandings you may have had about what we, as Calvinists, do and do not believe about God's election and His righteousness. I really do appreciate a lot of the discussion I see taking place on this website and look forward to learning more from you. On a more personal note, my wife and I were greatly blessed by you and your wife at the marriage retreat this weekend and we know that God is using you for His purposes to strengthen our marriage, our parenting skills, and our ministry. Thank God for you, and in the words of the Reformers, Sola Deo Gloria.
Joseph , 03/19/11 09:55 PM
I was searching online for anyone who might be experiencing the same thing. I was LDS for a year and a half. The deceitful spirit left my body. I started getting headaches after I would have discussions with the Mormon that introduced me to the church. I tested it and it seemed like these headaches came when they would pray for me or even when they tried to separate from me. I do not think it is a curse. I believe it is sensitivity. I found one story of an individual who would get sick from missionary visits. One comment a defender of the faith said that you get sick because of a resistance to submit. The thing is my sister is dating an inactive mormon. She gets the headaches also. When her relationship starts pulling a part she gets headaches and she and I both know medicine doesn't help these. I have prayed and looked around in the bible. What makes most sense to me is a sensitivity to their spirit.
Lori Grilley , 03/21/11 10:30 AM
An excellent dissertation, Roger, but I believe you left one thing out as to what we can do -- KNOW OUR ENEMY (or enemies) AND OPPOSE THEM.

Now I am aware that the Bible states that we do not fight the principalities and powers of this world, that ours is a spiritual battle, but I worry that too many Christians have seen this as an excuse to largely absent themselves from the socio-political scene, feeling that there's nothing they could or SHOULD do. I cannot agree with this. I believe that Christians need to be active in their societies and in this world on a socio-political level to strive to keep the powers of evil at bay as much as possible.

In America we currently have a President whose policies are detrimental across the board to the future of this nation. He proposes a government takeover of the medical system, representing no less than 20% of this nation's economy, he is sympathetic to Muslims, and has no respect for the established culture and history of this country.

We have roughly 15 million people in this country who have no right to be here, who came up from our southern neighbor and are demanding various public services while returning nothing to our society, and who have no intention of assimilating. They became lawbreakers the second they stepped across the border, and they represent a threat to our culture, our society, and possibly our lives. No one is doing much about them because they're seen as "cheap labor".

We are assailed on many sides by adherents of a false and dangerous religion -- Islam -- that demands that all infidels, all non-believers, be killed, and this religion has gained a considerable foothold in many parts of this country. How long until we are forced to either bow in "prayer" or risk our very lives? And yet we are expected to respect this religion in the name of tolerance, something this religion itself has no use for.

Where are the right-minded Christians in all of this? Where is the outrage? Where is the opposition? I believe our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who cleared the temple of the greedy moneychangers, must be disgusted with our lack of action.
Jason Collins , 03/22/11 01:22 PM
Dear Roger,

It sure does look like we are in the season of the rapture, as you stated. May He come to get us soon and be encouraged as we look up and anticipate His appearing.

A couple of points you made stuck out as I read your article to which I'm responding:

1. I'm firmly convinced by the Holy Spirit that Genesis is literal as well as possibly being Hebrew poetry. He is capable of both. The genealogies in both the OT and NT convinced me. as such:

2. I believe in a fixed spherical earth in our universe which is geocentric rather than heliocentric, since God stated that He made the sun, moon and stars four days after He made the earth and made them for the benefit of the earth. I believe the seasons are a result of the sun making a spiraling rotation around the earth. This is visible to our own eyes, particularly with time-lapse photography on a clear night.

There are 67 scriptures stating that it is the sun which moves, stood still and went backwards and several stating that the earth does not move. God would have told us it only "appeared" that way from our vantage point if that was the case, but I believe He inspired the Bible from His point of view. God is Good and is not a deceiver. I had to ask myself whether I really believed the Bible is true or not. The Lord personally revealed to me that His Word is indeed true and to be taken literally in most cases unless a clear allegory or parable is given or the passage is a case of accurately-recorded but mistaken thoughts of some such as Job's comforters or accurately-recorded lies of Satan, etc.. Genesis is not written as allegory. Names and times are clearly stated in the OT. So I believe the earth is about six thousand years old.

From my studies I have learned that the heliocentric (anti-Biblical) propaganda began around 400 years ago and that it goes to sun-worship rather than worshipping the true God who is Father/Son/Holy Spirit.

3. I also firmly believe that any "global warming" attributed to humans by driving cars, etc., is a hoax perpetrated to exact a "carbon footprint" tax on all humanity. It is interesting to follow the money to see who is heavily invested in companies who are already gearing up to collect this sort of tax. (The love of money is the root of all evil).

This doesn't, however, exclude the capabilities for destruction that the military/industrial complex may already have and may have been using for some time to produce the worldwide results the money-brokers and one-world people are after.

4. On tithing: I believe that the requirement to tithe was strictly an Old Testament, Old Covenant concept under the law. Sure, sowing and reaping still works. The difference now is that ALL that we Christians have belongs to God, not just 10%, but we are to be free and cheerful givers. Mandatory giving is not cheerful, it is a tax like it was when the temple in Jerusalem still stood with the Levites receiving the tithe as they had been given no land. As I understand it, the Jews do not require a tithe ever since the destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

Grace will never lead us to do less than the law did in the Old Covenant. In my opinion, the tithing doctrine as taught in most Christian churches is in error.

For one thing, there is no example of a wage earner ever paying a tithe on wages. All of the examples are for farmers on the increase of their flocks and on the produce of the ground. If the flock yielded ten lambs but lost ten to wolves, there is no increase so no tithe. Even one better, if the flock yielded ten lambs and lost one to wolves, there would be no tithe, because it was every tenth animal that became the tithe, not the first (or the first nine). See Leviticus 27:32. That also implies that the tithe is the last tenth, not the first tenth.

Second, the tithe Abraham paid to Melchizidek was after the defeat of five hostile kings and only on the plunder. Abraham didn't chase Melchizidek all over the desert ever time he had another sheep. Perhaps the New Testament application is that after you defeat the devil in your personal life and after you get all your stuff back that he stole from you along the way, and you run across Melchizidek on your way home, go ahead and tithe.

Third, “income” in general is not the subject of the tithe. The Levities received the tithe from the people (Number 18:26) and the levities, among other things, “tithed” to the priests (Numbers 18:28). In other words, the priests “tithed” to no one despite the fact they received 1% of all the increase of the nation (that is, 10% of 10%).

Aren’t the believers made a nation of kings and priests to God? (See Rev 1:6 and Rev 5:10). It sounds like there is no tithe due for priests.

No one should violate their conscience, and most Christians I know, myself included, freely and cheerfully give way more than 10%, but never to get anything back from God or to avoid some curse God may place on the non-thither. I believe that God blesses us for no other reason than that we are His children. He will not hold our blessings hostage to tithes nor punish us if we don't tithe. Jesus made it clear that we are in no way to mix the old and new covenants (old and new wine).

Well those are my Two Cents-worth on the above parts of your article. Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.

Roger, we miss seeing you in Tucson.

Love in Christ,
My Two Cents Worth
My Two CentsWorth , 03/22/11 01:50 PM
keto sithole , 03/25/11 12:50 PM
how l wish to receive your sermon ideas
, 03/25/11 12:52 PM
i love to poop.
, 03/27/11 02:43 PM
Roger
Have you read The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church by Marvin Rosenthal? I found it an easier read than van Kempen's book.
Joanne
Joanne Winner , 03/29/11 09:30 AM
Roger, Thanks for this information. I have been a student of eschatology for years. I have the book "The Sign" I am going to look at it again. The one thing this generation has (sign) that no other generation had is that Israel is a nation again. I think that is a major sign. Do you agree?

Love
Wayne
Wayne Harris , 03/29/11 03:24 PM
I'll grant that your views are completely in line with much of marriage councilling today. Husbands should love their wives as Christ loves the church, and then their wives will feel like respecting them. If wives don't love/respect/submit, it's because of their husband's failure. The important thing for wives to remember is that their feelings are the only arbiter of behaviour.

It's peculiar logic, and not at all obvious to everyone.
Paul Klassen , 03/30/11 05:38 AM
My firt husband and I were married and we had 3 children, we both were unfaithful in the marriage. He was verbaly abuseive and he was a womanizer. I met and fell inlove with another man. I left my husband and divorced him. I married the other man I met. My first husband has sence died, am I still living in adultry?
Mary ferg , 03/30/11 11:21 AM
Thank you for this article. I have been in a so-called christian relationship for almost a year and it began physical although I knew it was wrong I ignored the signs because everything else seemed so right and I was tired of being alone. When I tried to explain that I wanted us to honor God in our relationship, rather that a resounding "yes" let's do that I got a "I don't think I could do that". I thought we loved each other and maybe on some level he did love me but not enough. There was alot of justification about why it was okay for consenting adults. I just want to say to those out there, when we trade God's plan for us for the world's, no matter how wonderful it looks, it will lead to pain. Thank God for 1John 1:9. I have sent him this article along with others, praying God will change his heart.
anonymous , 03/31/11 07:08 PM
What about daily birth control pills or the patch? I understand how they work and they say that despite taking the pill conception could occur but then the pill causes a chemical abortion. I don't want to be killing babies without realizing it.
Concerned Woman , 04/05/11 09:22 AM
Being a Christian that suffers from multiple sclerosis, I am confused. I know that there is a general acceptance of antidepressant drugs, and these drugs definitely alter brain chemicals. I would not ever want to drive if using marijuana, BUT if it could help with the spasms associated with ms, as it is purported to do, it would be something I would really want to check out. But, if this drug, more than any other drug, is associated with the occult from anciant times, I would run (as fast as I can).
Can you sort this out for me Roger?
L B , 04/07/11 08:24 PM
Roger, I believe you have answered well. I feel affirmed in my own recent teaching on this subject inasmuch as by the guidance of the Spirit you and I have drawn the same conclusions from the same passages. In light of world events and in the face of the ebbs of flows of citizen responses to government here in our own country, sound instruction from God's word must be shared. Thank you for using your ministry gifts and resources to instruct the Body of Christ biblically in such matters as these and all those you are called on to address.

I hope perhaps to see you again at the Shepherding conference in Kentucky. God bless you, my brother.

Michael
Louisville, KY
Michael Wyndham , 04/12/11 08:52 AM
Thank you, Michael, for your kind words.
Roger Barrier , 04/12/11 08:54 AM
God is so good. It is when we feel like giving up, that he shows us that he won't give up on us. I just stumbled on this article and can't explain how it happened. For the past month I have been very down and not myself because I lost my first job. What made me so sad was the fact that I did not know what I did wrong to get fired. I was told, " your level of thinking was not up to par for the job". I internalized this and wondered, " Am I smart enough". I cried today because I look back and saw all the things that were said about me that were not true. I was mad at myself because I was allowing these words to impend my ability to function. As I read your post, tears came to my eyes and your testimony hit a note within me. You have gone through so much and you have come out unscathed. I realized that I have so much to be thankful for because I don't know what God has protected me from. Sometimes we get so lost in what is going wrong that we forget to give God thanks for shielding us. After I read your post, I asked God to forgive me for crying all this time. I know that he has a divine plan/purpose for my life of which I can’t even begin to fathom. You brought back a favorite scripture to me " I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength". As of today I make a vow, not to shed one more tear over what happened but to give God thanks for his blessings in my life. My desire is to develop a closer relationship with God and to use my gift of singing for his kingdom. Please keep me in your prayers while I do the same. God Bless!!! K.C
Ki C , 04/12/11 06:49 PM
Dear Concerned Woman,
Good news and bad news. The bad news is that daily pills and the patch can cause early abortions in exactly the same manner Pastor Barrier says Plan B works. It says so right on the insert that explains how the drugs work. 1) block ovulation, 2) reduce quality of cervical fluid (making it harder for the sperm to get to the egg), and 3) thinning the endometrium lining. It's this last one that basically makes the uterus inhospitable to a fertilized egg -- it aborts a baby. It says it right on the packaging. Your OBGYN can look you in the eye and tell you daily birth control pills don't cause abortions because the College of Obstetrics and Gynecology changed the definition of "conception" from "when an egg is fertilized" to "when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus." They did this so they can say "birth control does not cause abortions." But it's simply not true.

The good news is that there is mercy in Jesus even if there is a possibility you have accidentally killed a baby. God bless you.
T. Jones , 04/13/11 07:58 PM
The Bible is the one true source of what we, as Christians, are called to believe and put our faith in. Rob Bell's, or anyone else's, decision to repudiate Scripture in order to be politically correct is, quite simply, wrong. Seems to me that Mr. Bell wants everyone to "feel good" and have peace about their eternity while ignoring what Jesus sacrificed for all of us. That he would even attempt to second guess what God's true intentions and plans for us are is ludicrous. Unfortunately, there are more than enough people out there, Christian and non-Christian, that will jump at the chance to embrace a "no hell" line of thinking...after all, it is much more comforting to believe we are all going to Heaven than to have to actually put forth the effort and dedication to believe in what the Bible tells us. As for me, I will continue to rely on Scripture as the ONLY true guide in this life, which includes specific knowledge about God's desire to have relationship with us, as well as the how, why and details of Jesus life, death, and what it all means to us, should we decide to accept Him as our Lord Savior.
Lavender Grey , 04/19/11 12:45 PM
My reply to the question, "What if there is no Hell?" is always the same -- What if there IS!? Is that really a chance you want to take? For ALL ETERNITY? Brother, I sure wouldn't.

People who say, "I can't believe that a loving God would send a person to Hell" have it all wrong. It's not God that sends them to Hell. It's their own refusal to recognize their sinful nature before God, and to accept the LOVING GIFT of Jesus that God has provided so that we CAN avoid Hell.

Rob Bell and others would have us try to reconcile Christianity with the modern world. As you pointed out, that's entirely backwards. Bell's current teachings are highly dangerous, and he will be held eternally accountable for them. The concern is the damage they will do and the lives that will be lost in the meantime.

Those of us who do not hesitate to know God's truth, follow it, and express it, need to be ready with the right answers to these questions.
Raymond Shaw , 04/19/11 02:46 PM
Elaine Nicholson , 04/19/11 04:59 PM
Hi Roger,

As always your information gives me balance in my thinking. Thanks again...and for all the years you've faithfully kept my feet on the right path.

Thanks...Elaine
Elaine Nicholson , 04/19/11 05:04 PM
I'm crying as I'm reading the stories of all the Mum's that have passed away. I came to your site by searching for "talking to Mum in Heaven." I talk to my Mum all the time and I do feel she hears me, but when I'm feeling down I want to talk to her and hear her answer me.
Frances Salemi , 04/20/11 04:04 PM
Many people believe that a legal abortion service in a legitimate medical facility is necessary because abortions are to be performed by trained medical health professionals. The fact that without it many women who chose to have an abortion will get it performed either illegally or try to do it on themselves. Is this a legitimate humanitarian concern? Would you agree with this proponent argument? Would you say that more education about the dangers of abortion would be adequate enough to minimize the risks? Or would this argument still be worthy of merit if this service was performed to prevent a high-risk birth that would save the mother's life or save the mother from inadvertently taking her own life and the life of her unborn child? Even if the pregnant expectant mother was educated and counseled prior to being granted permission to obtain a legal abortion, they could still choose to abort the pregnancy. So the bottom line is that it is still a choice and whether or not it is made illegal will not ultimately prevent the senseless loss of some innocent lives. Please do your best to address these concerns because the more we talk about it, the better chance we have of saving souls and preventing the taking of innocent lives.
Jeffrey Green , 04/21/11 12:48 PM
With his (Rob Bell) line of theological thinking I would suppose he is not having a special Easter service because what's the point in making a big deal about the resurrection if there is really no special reason for Jesus to have done it.
Brad , 04/21/11 05:11 PM
Thankyou so much for this lesson! I. Know our God is so great and we are going to learn such wonderful stories in Heaven! Thankyou for the mini science lessons...they are really helpful...of course God can do all the events you mentioned and many more...I appreciate the scripture you mentioned to put it in perspective...I get so excited thinking about this subject...there's a lot to pray about and ponder...bottom line-God should never be put into a box! Thankyou again for this lesson! Also, I want thank you and >ulie for creating this teaching site...you both do a great job...love, Patti
Patti Ritter , 04/22/11 11:23 PM
If you are teachable you may want to consider materials on this subject by Walid Shoebat. I can be found on Youtube.
Robert Kuth , 04/24/11 03:47 PM
I'm sorry, but I will never accept evolution in place of God's clear creation story in Genesis. I am greatly dismayed to read of such beliefs among Christians.
MyTwoCentsWorth , 04/28/11 12:41 AM
Have you even read the book, the entire book. Please answer honestly.
Aubrey , 04/28/11 03:07 PM
And what about homeopathy? is it OK to use it? The Bible is also silent on the subject but it seems to me that the Christian community is divided on the subject. Please, make some light for me as I feel confused about it.
Thanks a lot
Jimena
jimena campos , 04/30/11 11:41 PM
Perhaps we shouldn't and here's why....
Proverbs 24:17-18 (New International Version, ©2011)
17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, 18 or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away
Tamara Thomas , 05/02/11 08:21 PM
Tamara, I think there is a big difference between gloating and celebrating. Rejoicing that this truly wicked man can no longer do harm and cause devastation is justified!
I think that Proverbs 24:17 refers to personal "enemies"... people you don't like and that are generally against you in your own personal life. For example, a self righteous co-worker who treats everyone badly: it's wrong to see them fall and gloat about it. I'm pretty sure that person isn't going home and directing that planes fly into buildings.

Roger, I listened to your preaching for nine years at Casas and think you are a phenomenal teacher. I miss hearing your sermons. Thank you for your service to the Lord!
Katie Noah , 05/02/11 08:42 PM
I, for one, cannot celebrate when a person, no matter who they are or what they've done, dies without Christ. It is good that justice was done, and for that, I'm glad that what needed to be done was done. I'm not rejoicing in a Christless death.

Also, Roger, I have a question about some of the verses you chose to use in this answer.

First, looking at Matthew 10:34 in context, I would think that Christ was using a figurative image of a sword to represent the divisions that following Him would cause, as a sword divides. I didn't see any real references to killing the wicked in that one.

Second, Luke 22:36 was referring to them heading out to the betrayal after the Lord's supper. If you look at the things He asked them to bring, each represents what was about to take place. Most of the versions I looked at about this read something like this: 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”

In otherwords, the person with the moneybag (Judas), would use it to pay the guards. The sword would later be used to dispatch an ear.

The Biblical context for both of these verses doesn't seem quite equitable to the context in which you've used them.

I completely agree with your last half of this, however. It is right on. I think that we should rejoice when Christ would rejoice, and weep when Christ would weep.
Mike Freeman , 05/03/11 01:29 AM
I can only think of the verse in Ez. 33:11
"'Ás surely as I live,' declares the Sovereign Lord, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.'"
I find rejoicing and dancing in the streets over the death of anyone deplorable. I have seen people do it over the death of Americans. I am ashamed of my countrymen who rejoice in such things, for all the world to see. Let us fear God and not be so bold to think that we hold justice in our hands.
Mimi Agers , 05/03/11 06:01 AM
Celebrate the death of evil? Yes.
Celebrate the loss of a soul to evil? No.
Celebrate the death of a misguided individual? No.
Patrick Lee , 05/03/11 08:20 AM
Yes and No .... should we celebrate the fact that evil was dealt a blow and that this mans vileness can no longer hurt others? Yes, we should be happy about that. And I agree with the scripture...

His death and the fact He's in Hell? No absoloutly not!

Plus lets just throw out the fact that the way celebrations were being done (burning his photos,etc) were just like what we condemn on Al Jazerra.... are we to look/act just like those who don't know Christ?

How bout the fact that these "celebrations" have resulted in higher danger to our troops? Trust me -- hubby's on his 4th go round in Iraq and this is not something to be taken lightly.

Again, am I happy that Justice has been "served" to Osama? yes, although he still awaits the final justice with everyone else, but am I happy enough to dance in the streets and act like an idiot about it? no
Holly , 05/03/11 08:24 AM
Its one thing to be relieved and glad that a threat is no longer, but its another thing to dance on someone's grave. There is a diff between holding someone accountable for their actions and being joyous in revenge. I mean, is it really something for us to rejoice that someone is going to hell? Don't get me wrong, I think it had to be done, but I see it as part of the whole tragedy.
mark l , 05/03/11 11:12 AM
I can't help but feel like at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian is to consider oneself a follower of Christ. He commands the disciples to follow him and he gives each of us who seek to know him that same call. That means we learn to see as he sees, love as he loves and walk as he walks. Therein lies my issue with your comment above. If Christ is weeping over this than we who are "in Christ" are called to weep with Him. Why are we using proof texts to justify our own sudden burst of emotions and animosity that we had toward a wicked man. One of the most disturbing images I witnessed after 9/11 was the sight of various people in Muslim nations rejoicing in the streets over the atrocity that had just occurred. We now, in many ways, send the same message right back. What's troublesome is that it leaves me with the question, "do both of our faith and belief systems then point toward the same view of people, death and justice?" Jesus seems to point us in a different direction, and I say we follow Him.
Michael Ambrose , 05/03/11 12:29 PM
Well I might not be as spiritual as some but I am overjoyed that this evil person was killed and I don't feel guilty for feeling so. There is no evidence that Bin Laden ever showed remorse for what he did. Do I wish that he would have come to Christ? Of course I do but he didn't and I won't be put on a guilt trip for being very happy that he is gone.
Gary Robb , 05/03/11 06:31 PM
Just a comment to the "dancing in the street" comparison...various people in Muslim nations dancing in the streets after 911 were celebrating murder. Americans "dancing in the streets" were celebrating justice, an end to the one who murdered. We need to be careful about moral equivalency/relativism. Yes both groups were "dancing in the streets" but for very different reasons - one evil, one good.
Julie , 05/03/11 10:13 PM
Jesus made it clear that we are to love our enemies, not kill them. This is what makes us different from the Muslim faith. When the Romans came to arrest Jesus, Jesus could have beckoned legions of angels to kill the Roman soldiers, but he used this as a demonstration to show us that God's kingdom isn't about physical violence and brute force. When Peter chopped off the
Roman soldiers ear, he corrected Peter and healed the ear, again showing that physical violence and physical force is not what the Kingdom of God is composed of. I agree that we need a military to protect the boundaries God has given us, but it's clear that Jesus did not initialize his ministry by training his disciples in martial arts or military combat. People need to think about this. Jesus could have done this to set an example of what God's kingdom was about,but Jesus did not do this. Our enemy is Satan, not people. God's kingdom is about changing the hearts and minds of men and women. Love is a powerful tool that can change our world. God calls us to love Him, our neighbor, ourselves, and our enemies. That's what the New Testament teaches.
Michael James Hastings , 05/04/11 01:40 AM
I live in another country and the news is quite different. Just going to bbc.com will give on a slightly different perspective. The whole issue is a nation that has turned from God and gotten involved in foreign entanglements that George Washington warned us against. Christians have for years voted for the lesser of two evils. That is prostitution. Can we really stand before God and say at the last day yes God but he was the lesser of two evils. According to surveys 64 percent of the people before the last presidential election were not happy with the choices and yet they went and voted for the two supposed only choices. Do you have any idea how many there were actually on the ballot in most states? So when we vote only for some one that we can be proud of win or lose we are not throwing our vote away we are telling the world who was actually worthy of the office. What if those 64 % and the voters that stayed home in disgust had actually voted for good for all of our lifetimes. We would have a different country and we would almost certainly not had an enemy like Osama bin Laden.
Raul , 05/04/11 04:30 AM
I am deeply unsettled of the use of Matthew 10 to defend our rejoicing. Jesus was not suggesting any sort of literal violence, here. That is very clear when the passage is read in context. I'm discouraged by this post. I respect Roger's teaching (and this doesn't change my respect for him), but as a Christ-follower I cannot agree with much of what has been written here.
Trevor , 05/04/11 11:23 AM
As Roger pointed out there is some good biblical foundation for vanquishing evil. However, as he stated that Jesus is probably not rejoicing but is instead weeping, that should probably also be our response. If we are going to be more like Jesus then we shouldn't simply respond to our human desire to celebrate. Just my opinion.
Phil , 05/04/11 12:15 PM
Roger,
Thank you so much for this blog. I was struggling in the beginning over my excitement as I have many ties to wanting this victory to occur. First, my husband who is a Marine and has spent 3 deployments overseas for this cause. When I started to see the uproar and quoting over the Proverbs verse many have quoted out of context, I was appaled. I have felt for days that the whole reason my husband defends this country is for freedom, your freedom to blog, our freedom to pray and the last time I checked that freedom encompased celebrating all within the first amendement rights. Thank you for clarifying the meaning of the scripture and what it really means within the context. I by no means would rejoice over a loss in the Kingdom of Heaven, but in the same light, I rejoice over the concept that he can no longer cause harm, no longer take lives. God Bless!!
Natalie Lucero , 05/04/11 03:59 PM
I'm curious to how the naysayers would answer this question had one of their friends, families, or co workers were victimized by OBL, or any other Mass-murderer/Tyrant for that matter. I find them disengenuous and self-righteous in their musings on the expressions of healing uttered by others. Lighten-up, people, a mass-murder is dead, never to hurt anyone else again...ever. it's ok to be happy for that.
Hyseracles Magnus , 05/04/11 06:25 PM
Roger, I can not thank you enough for stating this exactly the way you did. As a Christian it is really hard sometimes to know or explain why we are feeling the way we do when things like this happen. I, too, was saddened and yet happy that he will no longer have a reign of terror over innocent people. But it will always be a sad day when someone dies who is not a Christian, as they will live and eternity that you and I could never imagine. That breaks my heart. Thank you for always being such a strong spiritual leader in my life even when I am far away!!
Jennifer Stelmah , 05/04/11 06:53 PM
Proverbs 21:15, which says, "When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers."
Thank you, this was a wonderful article!
Melody Rachunok , 05/04/11 10:56 PM
To Aubrey - From what I know of Roger Barrier I would very much guess that he has read the whole book. I'm not trying to answer for him but I've known and learned from him for many years and trust that he would thoroughly research before answering such a serious question.

I intend to read the book but only so that I can accurately answer anyone who might try to use it to suggest that God's holy Word cannot be trusted. I've read the introduction and the first few pages of Ch. 1 and felt great sadness for the scores of people who will be deceived by this man's false teaching.
Shari Schultz , 05/05/11 02:34 AM
Dear Rogers
I am pastor dennis From the country of kenya.I a lways thank God for your spiritual contribution of you as a team of preach it teach it.your website has been our source of spiritual food.
sir i have severally faced challenges concerning baptism and the true baptism may i have teachings from you concerning the true baptism and if it is Biblical for a chiristian to be re baptised
Dennis onsongo , 05/06/11 05:21 AM
Sujo John spoke here on Easter. How many of you remember his speech? I pray that many of you do. You may disagree with Roger, but maybe you'll be interested to see what a 9/11 survivor turned minister has to say about this. http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/05/02/minister-911-survivor-says-justice-is-served-following-bin-laden-[..] be with you all!
Rebecca Krell , 05/06/11 01:18 PM
er, I hope to god (hehe) that this isnt an article slandering the beatles as false prophets?

first of all, the beatles are the greatest band of all time, if jesus (if real) found out you were bad mouthing the beatles he might actually pull through and come back to earth to pimp slap you as he plays She Came In Through The Bathroom Window on a stereo in the background.
chris lapoie , 05/06/11 09:53 PM
Did you answer Landrys ? or are you charging $ for truth ? Love Brother David
David Martin , 05/09/11 09:31 PM
God shall supply all your needs don't get in front or behind God listen to the prophets before going to war and you will win Love you Brother david
David Martin , 05/09/11 09:34 PM
Hi,
I believe that there is life in others planets. When Jesus died and resurrected and was taken by angels. I believe Jesus resides in another planet with the angels of God where the chariots are in the midst of him and thousands of angels serve him as the King of kings and Lord of Lords. Where is Jesus then if he has gone to the heavens?
Melvin Moran , 05/11/11 10:04 AM
Hi, again,
I believe that Christians should not take marijuana. A true Christian do not take marijuana. I believe our body is the temple of God and we should take care of this so glorious temple in which we reside so that God may reside in us. Everyone has the right to choose wrong or right. No one is obliged to do so.
Melvin Moran , 05/11/11 10:08 AM
I believe it is just information from the wikileaks. I have nothing that offends someone reputation of the government. Maybe, there could have been so many misunderstandings. Anyway. I have nothing to condemn or judge or find it something unusual. Wikileaks is the real life of the world. Because that's the way all the world it is. All around is like Wikileaks. I think personals things is not really so bad. Why? It does not offend me.
Melvin Moran , 05/11/11 10:13 AM
I have nothing to say about the Mormons. Well, I think that Mormon church is very highly different than any Christian church because they have no angelic choirs, and they do not clap and glorify God. But, they are nice and calm people. As all the churches there are bad and good people because no church is perfect. I have nothing against the church. Even though, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I do not know and I am not sure if the Church is true because of the 144.000 who goes to heaven who touched not women and get defiled with women, and the Doctrine and Covenant teaches a very different notion of the gospel of Jesus Christ of Revelation 14, verse 4. It sounds to me that heaven discriminates women and only allow virgin men in heaven. The Mormons teaches that men has got to marry with a woman in order to enter in heaven. The bible teaches that in order to access to heaven, a man must not marry and touch woman and defile themselves with woman and become virgins and remain faithful to Jesus forever.
Melvin Moran , 05/11/11 10:22 AM
Dear Roger, I like your message of the gospel and I have enjoyed reading your gospel message. Thank you for the message.
Melvin Moran , 05/11/11 10:29 AM
Thank-you Roger for your transparency in revealing how you felt about Osama. However, I think our response to the death of osama bin laden is quit revealing as to the status of our hearts. The bible says all have sin...Rom 3:23 . In the site of God sin is sin and apart from Christ we all deserve hell but thank God for His grace and mercy. The most cruel and vicious act of hate was displayed toward the death of Jesus Christ, the only perfect human that ever walked this earth. I hear Jesus saying to them, Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Therefore, who do we think we are? Apart from God's grace we all have have the potential of a osama. Finally, I never want to display the behavior of the world but rather to be conformed the mage of my dear Master and Savior. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son,....Romans 8:29 respectively and humbly submitted,
Larry Tatum , 05/17/11 12:59 PM
I never been marry and I have a question I have a friend that I've been knowing for six years we made a promise is that when we both decide to get marry that we would marry each other mind we both were in relationship that wasn't. Going anywhere. I found out he meet this girl in feburary and married her in april. He caught her in bed with another man while they were married. Now she's filing for a divorce. Is it ok for him to remarry in god eye sight
Kay rea , 05/21/11 12:36 AM
I think there may also be an aspect of why we would wear one. Because it's trendy? Because we want others to know we're Christians? Or because we sincerely want to remind ourselves that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and need to behave and present ourselves accordingly. While we may not need to ASK ourselves, "What Would Jesus Do?" in a general sense, since if we are maturing properly in Christ, we have a good working knowledge of the Word of God in order to guide us, it can't hurt to consider this question in given specific situations. What would Jesus do if He were stuck in traffic at rush hour behind a stalled vehicle? (Well, He'd probably just step out and start the stalled vehicle's engine with a wave of His hand, but you see my point.) The WWJD bracelets are a REMINDER of where we should keep our heads, our hearts, our words, and our actions. I need to write reminders to myself all the time, to keep appointments, to shop for certain groceries. I see nothing wrong with a reminder of how to comport ourselves.
Thomas Wheeler , 05/24/11 10:15 AM
I need bible
THEOPHILUS ADENIYI , 05/30/11 01:08 PM
This is an exceptionally tough subject, but I would like to offer my thoughts.

As far as I'm concerned, Kevorkian is a direct or indirect mass murderer. Period.

However, as to the subject itself, that, as you have shown, is not as simple.

The notion of England cutting off dialysis treatment when a person reaches the very arbitrary age of sixty is horrifying (but that's socialized medicine for you). People are living longer these days than ever before, and every case is different. How dare a government assign an age number to the value of its citizens?

As strange as this will sound, this was actually dealt with in an episode of "Star Trek The Next Generation", where the Enterprise crew came to a planet where citizens who reached the age of sixty didn't have their dialysis cut off -- they were required to commit suicide so as to not be a burden to their loved ones in old age. The crew met a scientist who was working on a significant environmental problem, and was close to a solution, but was five days away from his 60th birthday. As in real life, the episode ended with no easy answers.

I don't have any, either. I have had friends who have family members who are little more than vegetative shells, and yet they remain alive. It affects everything the family does. It eats away at their finances, they cannot travel, they cannot afford even some basic things for themselves, because of endless medical bills for a family member that will never recover. I find that scenario to be just as horrific and some arbitrary government-mandated "pull the plug" date.

I do believe that our society has grossly minimized the value of human life. Legal assisted suicide is the opposite end of abortion, and both devalue the sanctity of human life. And yet I cannot ignore the fact that while medical technology is able to keep a person alive almost indefinitely, it has yet to address the "quality of life" issue to an equal degree.

Ultimately, I can only speak for myself. With regard to Kevorkian, he proposed legalized suicide for people that were still in command of their mental faculties, and had some ability to act for themselves, even if limited. I disagree with that concept, because I believe it destroys hope, and gives a person a level of control over life and death that rightly belongs in the hands of God.

At the same time, I can't say that I would want to live for any length of time unable to move, speak, or express myself, confined to a wheelchair or a bed, if there were ABSOLUTELY no prognosis for improvement. Additionally, if my mental faculties gave out and there was effectively "nobody home", then I would hope that someone would do me the favor of sending me on my way to Heaven.
Thomas Wheeler , 06/07/11 10:17 AM
Pastor, your last sentence '...would hope that someone would do me the favor of sending me on my way to Heaven.' That sounds that you're saying you would hope someone would do a mercy killing on your behalf. Please explain.
Rita Reynolds , 06/07/11 10:59 AM
Rita, those comments were not mine, but the opinion of someone else.
Roger Barrier , 06/07/11 11:02 AM
Thanks Roger, for speaking to this. I recently lost two dear people to cancer, all within 3 weeks. One, my Mom-in-law, passed peacefully, yet in a drawn out fashion via hospice, while the other passed in a traumatic fashion while en route to hospital.

Both were versions of passive euthanasia - no intervention. I have swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. I now wish we could have at least offerred both the chance to bypass their suffering. i recently viewed a documentary in which a terminally-ill man traveled to Sweden in order to conduct an active euthanasia. the entire journey was recorded. It was the most peaceful, dignified process I've ever witnessed.
Dr. K has been and continues to be villified for helping end suffering.

From a spiritual standpoint, I continue to pray and sarch the scriptures for a definitive view on this subject. There is no explicit ban, or mandate. Politically, I think it has been manipulated in order to support the right to life movement which is focusing on ending abortion. (I support the pro-life stance). i think it is disengenuous and intellectually dishonest to link these two issues, as euthanasia has to do with personal accountability and self-consent, while the other deals with the lack of choice by the baby.

From the temporal, earthly standpoint, I now support a person's right to shed their mortal coil when faced with incurable/terminal pain and anguish.

I get it now. I really get it...
K M , 06/07/11 02:01 PM
Thanks Roger, for speaking to this. I recently lost two dear people to cancer, all within 3 weeks. One, my Mom-in-law, passed peacefully, yet in a drawn out fashion via hospice, while the other passed in a traumatic fashion while en route to hospital.

Both were versions of passive euthanasia - no intervention. I have swung from one end of the spectrum to the other. I now wish we could have at least offerred both the chance to bypass their suffering. i recently viewed a documentary in which a terminally-ill man traveled to Sweden in order to conduct an active euthanasia. the entire journey was recorded. It was the most peaceful, dignified process I've ever witnessed.
Dr. K has been and continues to be villified for helping end suffering.

From a spiritual standpoint, I continue to pray and sarch the scriptures for a definitive view on this subject. There is no explicit ban, or mandate. Politically, I think it has been manipulated in order to support the right to life movement which is focusing on ending abortion. (I support the pro-life stance). i think it is disengenuous and intellectually dishonest to link these two issues, as euthanasia has to do with personal accountability and self-consent, while the other deals with the lack of choice by the baby.

From the temporal, earthly standpoint, I now support a person's right to shed their mortal coil when faced with incurable/terminal pain and anguish.

I get it now. I really get it...
K M , 06/07/11 02:02 PM
Great question and answer. JS Mill's quote rings true. My life verae (really a Psalm) has carried me through my 12 years in uniform. It nicely captures, for me, the essence of our place in making war.
Psalms 144
A Psalm of David.

1 Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues [a]my people under me.
3 O LORD, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that You think of him?
4 Man is like a mere breath;
His days are like a passing shadow.

5 Bow Your heavens, O LORD, and come down;
Touch the mountains, that they may smoke.
6 Flash forth lightning and scatter them;
Send out Your arrows and confuse them.
7 Stretch forth Your hand from on high;
Rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,
Out of the hand of aliens
8 Whose mouths speak deceit,
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

9 I will sing a new song to You, O God;
Upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,
10 Who gives salvation to kings,
Who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens,
Whose mouth speaks deceit
And whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

12 Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants,
And our daughters as corner pillars [b]fashioned as for a palace;
13 Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce,
And our flocks bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our [c]fields;
14 Let our cattle [d]bear
Without [e]mishap and without [f]loss,
Let there be no outcry in our streets!
15 How blessed are the people who are so situated;
How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

As to your Bear analogy and last statement. i agree 100%. We must remember that war does not exist only on some far-away field. it occurs at home, amongst us, on our streets and tragically, in our churches and homes. We fight in order to drive of the wolves and bears.

A wise man, LTC(Ret.) Dave Grossman wrote the following about a more personal form of war-making and the shepherds/sheepdogs who stand ready to do violence on the wolves of our world.

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs:
"For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, "I will never be caught without my gun in church." I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy's body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, "Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?"

Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for "heads to roll" if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids' school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"
It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn't bring your gun, you didn't train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: "...denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn't so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling."
Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be "on" 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...

"Baa."

This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between.

Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth."

It's just a question of scale. Right is right, wrong is wrong and there are we ready few Sheepdogs who stand in the way of the wolves.
K M , 06/07/11 02:18 PM
Thanks Pastor for pointing that out to me :)
That's what happens when you read too fast.
Rita Reynolds , 06/07/11 06:08 PM
I have never thought assissted suicide was the answer. Although we may be suffering and God has not chosen to take us home yet--his timing is always perfect. We may not know how we are an example of his love for others in our own suffering. However I do agree with you about artificial life support. If we are a vegetable or can not breathe on our own that is entirely different.
G J , 06/07/11 08:39 PM
With a lesson on Philippians 3 just behind me, i am curious how Paul may have thought on this subject since he was sold out to 'know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (vs. 8-10). It could be a means to salvation-truly that last 'coming to the end of one's self', or becoming more Christlike, preparing us more thoroughly for the Kingdom of God-thinking how even our earthly death conforms us more to the image of Christ. It is relatively easy to say that now since I am not physically suffering but truly, is it permissible to end one's existence if one is mentally suffering in exceeding anguish. It may not be the same, just throwing that particular out there to consider.
Kristi Allen , 06/07/11 09:05 PM
Some say that Jesus' death was a form of active euthanasia, as it had been planned, predicted, consented to, and implemented by his own (and the Father's) will. Granted, he self-resurrected, but it opens up the discussion a bit more, no?
K M , 06/08/11 02:20 PM
How could you teach that Taoism is not spiritual and discard it is Atheistic? Taoism IS an occultic religion. It is based on Energy and forces in the universe and explains everything based on the positive and negative forces. I hope you would look into what I am saying and do more research on what Taoism is.

The Qi is not and never will be the Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit is not just a life force, He is God.
Shery Cu , 06/13/11 04:15 PM
Sherry,
The Dao, wass a relgious approach to explaining the flow of energy through our bodies. Qi is a qord that they used to explain it. Today, we use scientific terms to describe these self-same processes our bodies undertake. Because we are covered by grace, we don't need to use Doaist phiosophical explanations. WEe can use neutral, scientific study. Acupuncture does in fact work, from a scientific standpoint. We don't need the Occultic ephemera that surrounds a medical reliable practice.

It reminds alot of Eziekel trying to describe the images he saw in his visions to an ancient audience. Please don't be so blindly dogmatic. I hear what you are saying and what you are saying is incomplete.

I do not consider the HS = Qi. I consider Qi ("Chi") to be the normal brainwave activity that is observable in any MD's office.

There is scientific/medical legitimacy to Acupuncture. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
K M , 06/14/11 12:46 PM
The argument is just silly. One must accept the idea that only a son can be a child of god, and that also, that nothing female is holy. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Nothing female.

i believe that it is our each and only goal to put forward the most positive, wonderful and most productive attitude, and that we should invest ourselves towards the good.



Lisa Taylor , 06/21/11 12:22 AM
should i tithe to my church when i know the paid nursery worker is out gambling
genny davis , 06/22/11 11:53 AM
This is a subject I have been strugling with for sometime now, all the discussions for and against are paradoxical. The Bible says you shouldnt get drunk but says its ok to drink wine ( which is a drug, and far worse in my opion than alcohol)so isnt it ok to ingest a natural plant that God created. Many christians I know drink loads of strong coffee( which is a drug ) and no one tells them that they are sinning. I think that we as humans have let our goverment control us with so many laws that we will ALL break them daily.
Loz Skelly , 06/22/11 04:47 PM
Hi, Roger and family. Even though I go back far enough at Casas to have met Julie before she became a redhead, I did not know the full depths of the suffering you, Julie, Brie, and Bronwyn have endured. Thank you for trusting God through it. Thank you for being an example to thousands of us. I've ordered your first book, and look forward to reading it.
Bill Foltz , 06/24/11 02:35 PM
Hi, Roger and family. Even though I go back far enough at Casas to have met Julie before she became a redhead, I did not know the full depths of the suffering you, Julie, Brie, and Bronwyn have endured. Thank you for trusting God through it. Thank you for being an example to thousands of us. I've ordered your first book, and look forward to reading it.
Bill Foltz , 06/24/11 02:35 PM
Thanks for posting this question. As the parent of a small child with Autism it's a hard one to read. There are qualities about my son that I absolutely enjoy, and there are some that are extremely hard to deal with. For his sake I always think that he will be released from the problems that Autism and Aspergers can create. As a parent, it's very hard to watch your child be different from others. Maybe he wont be so bothered by some of the things I worry about for him. Thanks also to Craig for sharing that you like some things about your Aspergers.
Megan Watts , 06/26/11 03:43 PM
Yes, that answer is scripturally correct and i have learnt something too from that answer. Thanks.
Abiodun Iremiren , 07/05/11 09:57 AM
I also had the same question. I just lost my mom to 45 day fight with Pancreatic cancer. She was my best friend. I am 51yrs old. At 76yrs on June 3rd. She was still my mom, and best friend. When things got tough in my life, she would say to me. Mike everything is going to be ok. Even when she was dying. She said. Mike everything is go to be ok. I miss you mom. I wish I could hear you say those comforting words again. Love your son Mike.
mike mcnally , 07/05/11 06:01 PM
Thank you Pastor!

Can you send me the answer of "Should we worship Holy Spirit? Why & Why not.

Thanks
Mukesh Daniel
mukesh daniel , 07/07/11 01:03 AM
I'm gaining a lot of understanding from this site. I think there is a big difference between a mercy killing and a murder. The intent is not the same and the onus ultimately falls on the person requesting to be killed rather than the killer. As stated above, the mechanism of death just happens to be another person. In the same vein, I don't think that an executioner is a murderer. Kevorkian was simply trying to follow his conscience (and had a historical precedence for doing so.)

Now, do I think that as Christians we should be looking for that kind of assistance? No. Probably not. I think it's so interesting how much I am learning here, and how many of these puzzle pieces fit together. I just finished listening to the sermon on the "furnaces" we face in life, and how sometimes our suffering is used to bring glory to God. How can we know that our terminal illness (and our reaction to it) is not that exact kind of thing?
Fred Manning , 07/09/11 11:55 AM
Great article, Roger! A few other ideas occur to me:

1. Tactfully ask them what they want from you. Jesus did this. Most people who want to be rescued - when that's not the appropriate thing to do for them - don't even know what they want from you. What they often want is confirmation that they're "victims" in this life and are unable to change. But if they can tell you want they want from you, you can tell them whether you can give them that.

2. Trust your intuition. If you love the Lord, your intuition will almost always be correct. For example, if you feel uncomfortable trying to help them, or in giving them too much time, money, etc., that's like the red light going off on your dash board. You should simply tell them that you're uncomfortable trying to help them and that you don't know why (if you don't). You don't have to know why!

3. Tell them it's time to "redefine" your relationship, and "This is what I can do for you and this is what I can't do for you." Also, define if this relationship is intimate, close, casual, or that of an acquaintance. I've had acquaintances or casual friendship friends expect to be close. How awkward! Simply tell them the truth about how you "feel" about the limits or limitations of your friendship. You don't have to know why you feel that way. And someone can't tell you that you don't feel the way you just said you felt!

Anyway, this is an interesting subject, and Roger has given a great answer to your question!
Chet Weld , 07/09/11 08:46 PM
Hi Roger,

I grew up at Casas and I learned so much from you over the course of my life. I have lived out of state since graduating from the U of A, so I love being able to learn from you and hear your perspective, even as I call another church home. I appreciate you taking the time to answer so many questions (even about what seems to be ridiculous to many)!

I have been reading many, many, Preach It, Teach Its today, and I have to say that I am so surprised by such harsh (and outright rude) remarks by some. I am sure that you have dealt with many individuals who were similar or worse over the years, but I want you to know how much we appreciate you speaking wisdom anyway, and not letting them hinder your teaching. We know that you are not God, and you do not know everything, but you have dedicated your life to serving Him and learning from Him, and we are SO grateful for your teaching!

In Him,
Rachael
Rachael , 07/10/11 03:21 PM
Would it be fair for me to summarize as follows? If something good happens, give God all the glory. If something bad happens, give God glory that it wasn't something even worse. God is responsible for all of the good and none of the bad.
Hannah , 07/12/11 12:32 PM
Hannah, your answer is far too simplistic. Unfortunately, there are those who would apply it far beyond the subject at hand. They would say to a person who has fallen off a ladder and broken their leg, "Praise God you didn't break your back!" This despite the fact that they may be laid up for weeks, unable to work, pay bills, etc. They may say to a person who has lost their job or even their home, "Praise God! You have life! You have Jesus!" Do you really think that helps them in that moment? I believe that to use the rationale of "could have been worse" is both weak and insulting. People suffering a wide range of serious traumas and who are shaken in their faith as a result of them need more than "Praise God that it wasn't worse." For them -- it's bad enough, and they want to know where God is in the midst of their present suffering, not that He just kept it from being worse. Where IS God during these times? It's a question I have asked myself, with no good answer yet.
J Z , 07/13/11 02:16 AM
JZ, I'm with you 100%. The original question was, "Where was God when I was raped?" I didn't see a good answer, just some good advice on what to do after the tragic event. The answer that appears to be there is that God wanted to relive his crucifixion. If that's the case then he must be in a constant state of reliving it because these tragic events happen constantly around the world. Why would God possibly want to relive that? I think that answer raises more questions than it does to answer the original question.
Hannah , 07/13/11 10:33 AM
Or where were the angels that people claim they've seen help them in situations where they would have been otherwise dead. The "stranger" that came from nowhere and just dissappeared. I just saw a story on Guideposts with one of these. Why do these spiritual beings appear to some in need and not others like Jaycee.
Angel Moon , 07/13/11 11:59 AM
No christians should not smoke pot. Even if your state has made it leagal it is still a federal crime and no you don't see people getting arrested for it, but guess what the feds at any time could arrest you. People with medical issues should ask their doctors,& advocate for them selves to try this medication. It is derived from THC to help people with chronic pain. And yes like any other medication in the world it does have side effects for some people, & it does not work for everyone. But lets not say we're smoking pot for medical reasons when you have not tried actual medical cures. At that point you're smoking pot because you like it and want an excuse.

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-9308-Marinol+Oral.aspx?
drugid=9308&drugname=Marinol+Ora[..]
C. Nichols , 07/14/11 02:43 PM
As a victim of abuse in my life in a couple of various forms I got mad at God at times, but then as I have gone on with life from that point I have found that those things (as bad as they might have been) did help me to help others who were hurt in the same ways. Even Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46 KJV) while he was dying. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking God why something happened or where he was, but I'd also say that just like prayer you should prepare yourself for an answer that isn't loud and clear. Would I have preferred to not be abused? SURE! But I value the lessons I learned from it even though it took a long time to learn them. I don't know if that's a very good answer, but it's worked for me.
Fred , 07/15/11 03:49 PM
August 1st will be 1 year since I lost my mother to Pancreatic Cancer. Learning to live with it, knowing I'll never get over it...So I have to believe that she hears me, even when I'm not speaking....
michelle khalaia , 07/17/11 02:01 PM
Sorry for all the typos above.
Here is a corrected version of my last post:
---
Sherry,
The Dao, was a relgious approach to explaining the flow of energy through our bodies. Qi ("chi") is a word that they used to explain it. Today, we use scientific (and Occidentalist)terms to describe these self-same processes our bodies undertake. Because we are covered by grace, we don't need to use Daoist phiosophy to explain causation, or correlation. We can use neutral, scientific study. Acupuncture does in fact work from a scientific standpoint. We don't need the Occultic ephemera that surrounds this medically-reliable practice.

It reminds alot of Eziekel trying to describe the images he saw in his visions to an ancient audience. What he took for, "...Beasts with the faces of men and stingers in their tails..." might be a reference to the Apache, or Hind-D attack helecopters. -how do you tell an ancient audience about such technology (and the science behind human flight)? Please don't be so blindly dogmatic, or in this case, occidentally-biased. I hear what you are saying and what you are saying is incomplete. As a person of mixed-race/ethnic parenting, I have always been caught in the middle of oriental and occidental views on everything. It's a game of semantics and culture in the case of acupuncture. I think the ancients would bristle at the thought of what constitues "modern" medicine. To many from the eastern traditions, western, or occidentalist medicine is viewed as a crude, "chainsaw" approach, devoid of subtlty and complete healing.

I do not consider the Holy Sprit to be = Qi. I consider Qi ("Chi") an ancient explanation of what western medicine calls "normal brainwave activity". Brainave activity that is observable in any MD's office.

There is scientific/medical legitimacy to Acupuncture as well as other non-occidentalist Medical treatment. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.
K M , 07/18/11 12:42 PM
Roger,
Does not Moral Decay play a factor in every societal breakdown?
Alex Garcia , 07/31/11 08:25 PM
Thank you for reiterating that "Not Guilty" does not mean "Innocent".

"Vengeance is mine..." saith the Lord seems to be the only comfort I can hold onto when the injustices in this world break my heart daily.
Kelly Henderson , 08/03/11 03:29 PM
Amazing commentary on our situation. Thanks Roger
Teresa Varney , 08/04/11 09:47 PM
Excellent read Roger. Thank you.
jim slone , 08/04/11 11:55 PM
Jesus Christ is the Son of God The wicked will not see

Take a second look around you there are organizations that parallel the description of the whore riding the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns.

The USA fits the description of the whore that controls the Presidents through the UN and makes war at will for profit and control of the maddening wine of her fornication, black gold the whole world is addicted to oil. USA is where they first made gas out of petroleum.
The woman you saw is that great city that rules over the kings of the earth.

NEW YORK CITY headquarters of the United Nations where the largest luciferian goddess of the Babylonians and Romans stands, Lady Liberty.

The UN is the beast that controls the 7 continents, seas,the whole world (the heads are also mountains remember, hello) with peacekeepers who kill and rape. There are your 7 heads.

The UN controls the WTO (who controls food) and has divided the world into 10 regions. NAFTA is one region. Take a look at their website and you will see their new logo an inverted 666 the old logo were 10 horns.

They are responsible for the death of millions of people since they were created by USA (Babylon) UK (mother of Babylon) Russia (gog-magog), China (the dragon paying for the wars) and France the leopard.


All the people in this organizations worship the devil. Making money at all cost is what they have in common.

Better go back and read there are many clues given to you for you to have missed.

jose romero , 08/05/11 02:57 AM
Thank you for clarifying something that has puzzled me. I've often heard
people say at the time of one's death that it must have been God's will even when a person walks out in a street without looking both ways. Now
I will not struggle with that comment. Keep up the good work!
Fonda Watts , 08/23/11 12:48 PM
As you said - "It is wrong for Christians to put themselves in risky situations and justify the risks by saying, 'Nothing can take me before my time—or before the time God has planned for me either.' Another term for this is 'tempting God'; another way to say this is 'presuming on God’s will.'"

Or, as I've been known to say, admittedly a little crassly -- God's under no obligation to watch over you if you're deliberately going to be a bonehead.

This is why I don't own a skateboard or a bungee cord... :)
Thomas Wheeler , 08/23/11 12:59 PM
My husband divorced me after being married for seven years. Is it a sin to still be having sex with him?
Cindy Mitchell , 08/27/11 07:42 PM
WOW. I was fortunate to mentor two girls who were victims of similar circumstances. I pray that this mother understands that emotional/psychological ramifications to her children if she goes back to the husband. The ladies I was fortunate to mentor told me of how betrayed they felt by their mothers who chose to go back to the men who did these things to them. "I felt like she chose him over me and minimalized what I went through. Like I didn't matter. Her emotional need for intimacy was more important to her than my emotional need to feel safe." I pray that this mother thinks long and hard about the responsibility God has entrusted in her with these girls' lives. We are stewards of our children as they are God's children. To sacrifice our children's needs for our own need must be heavily contemplated with biblical consideration.
Emily D , 08/30/11 11:58 AM
I have two nieces who had the same experience at 12 and 14 however, my sister chose to defend her man and dismiss his behavior as a "misunderstanding". The girls came to visit me and I spoke to law enforcement but there was no concrete evidence such as the text messages in this case, only the girls testimony and without their mothers support they were too afraid of him to speak honestly to the authorities for fear of his retaliation. I spoke to my sister many times. She and I were raised in a strong Christian household and I know she had never encountered a man who behaved this way before. Also, being educated and successful as he was and claiming to be a Christian, she desperately wanted to believe him, she would not listen to me or her girls. The girls eventually returned home. It is now 20 years later and BOTH girls married similar men whom they had to divorce due to various sexual violations against their marriages. My sister, who I love dearly, made a fatal mistake by betraying her daughters when they were young and, as a result, has sent them a message this behavior is acceptable which perpetuated a cycle in the girls lives. My niece who was the 14 year old in this story, her husband did the exact same thing to her daughter ironically, at age 14 and her daughter tried to commit suicide.
To this woman and others like her I say, our Lord and Savior does not wish this for you and for your daughters. If you trust him and do the right thing blessings await. We cannot send the young women in our family the message that this kind of behavior is somehow acceptable, if we do, we do irreperable damage to subsequent generations.
Deborah , 09/01/11 07:26 AM
I have lost faith in the religion, more than in God, but still check ur posts once on a while from my cell...when i saw this, i thought here we go, give me one more reason for not believing anymore... And i was greatly surprise with ur answer, i was told that u have to forget and forgive, doing bad things to other, specially kids, doesnt erase magically with one im sorry...thank you pastor for the last part of ur comments, i could think what kind of mother even think about to goimg back to him.only the one who was living with a guy like him, she is a victim and needs help.
silvia chavira , 09/08/11 11:08 PM
Kate, Roger's three points about baptism are right on, however, that doesn't mean you have to get baptized again. It isn't the baptism itself that saves you, but faith in Christ. If you were baptized as an infant, it may not have meant very much to you until now. But now, why can't you go back and claim by faith that something started even way back then (and even before, while you were in your mother's womb!).
Compare it to a child at the age of 5 who asks Jesus into her heart. When she's 25, her faith means so much more to her than 20 years previous, but that is no reason she would need to ask Jesus in again! God works in such marvelous, strange, and beautiful ways. If you can claim your infant baptism as meaningful for you now, then do it! If you have doubts and concerns and want to be baptized again, then do that! What is most important is where you put your faith and trust now.
Ben E. , 09/11/11 10:23 AM
Jesus Christ is the Son of The Most High.
The wicked will not see.

Take a closer look at your surroundings there are organizatons today that parallel the description of the whore riding
the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns.

The USA fits the description of the whore riding the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns by control of the presidents through the United Nations (the beast). She makes war for profit and control over the maddening wine of her fornication. Black gold, the whole world is addicted to oil and it is in America where petroleum was first refined into gasoline.

The woman you saw is that great city that rules over the kings of the earth. Rev 17:18
New York City headquarters of the United Nations land purchased by Rockefeller Jr.
Here is where the largest luciferian goddess of the Babylonians stands, Lady Liberty.

There are 5 powerfull permanent members in the security counsil of the United Nations and soon to add a couple more permanent members possibly to make 7 , some demanding a permanent seat
like Germany, Brasil, Japan, and India because of the large amounts of money they pitch in to support the many organizations it has created like the WTO, IMF, IAEA just to name a few.
The WTO controls the food and has divided the world into 10 regions one is NAFTA their old logo were 10 horns their new logo is an inverted 666 it also looks like claws with a grip around the world.
The IMF is a world bank that lends money and makes false promisses to the 3rd world Countries
(also the 10 horns) to take over their natural resourses, the list of lies and deception goes on.
They are directly responsible for the death of millions of people through out the whole world since their creation.

USA (babylon, eagle with wings ), UK (mother of babylon, the lion), Russia (gog-magog, the bear, army from the north), China (the dragon paying for the wars) and France the leopard through the United Nations control the 7 continents, seas( "the 7 heads are 7 mountains on which the woman sits". Rev 17:9), with peacekeepers that rape and kill and are responsible for using starvation as a weapon of war." And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.It had 7 heads and 10 horns with 10 crowns in each horn and each head a blasphemous name". Rev 13:1 Resolution 666 of the United Nations Security Counsil is just that using starvation as a weapon of war againts Iraq/Kuwat/Babylon. All these permanent countries are strong as IRON.

There are 10 non-permanent members elected by the General Assembly of the United Nations that share the power with the 5 (IRON) permanent members, for 2 years their vote counts.
Non-permanent Countries are weak as CLAY
We know this is just a put on as we saw the Bush administration go into Iraq with only 4 votes and not 9 out of the 15, 5 permanent and 10 non-permanet members. This clearly lets us see who is in control of the UN in other words who rides the United Nations. The fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and those responsible for killing millions for raging war are not behind bars for the rest of their lives is aggravating and scary. Taking down the World Trade Center is just a little example of what they are willing and capable of doing and getting away with to get the people
to accept war much easier just like Pearl Harbor.

But we know that iron and clay do not mix we also know that CORPORATE AMERICA has wiped out
large populations in this weak Countries and continues to kill and slotter in the wars it rages and the weak or clay Countries hate CORPORATE AMERICA and its in their hearts to give back double as what she is dishing out to them. "As the toes were partly iron and partly clay so this kingdom (NATIONS) will be partly strong and partly brittel. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay so the people will be a mixture and will not remain UNITED anymore than iron mixes with clay". Daniel 2:42

The Roman Catholic Church is responsible for todays false Christianity and religious confusion. Most if not all Christian religions are tentacles of the Roman Catholic Church that have MAKING MONEY at the top of their list in common and will never admit to the fact that they are responsible for the worship of statues, self proclaimed saints, made Mother of Christ into a goddess, stand between you and
Christ and many more blasphemies. Some continue to promote war and the slotter continues at a greater scale than ever before "After that, in my vision at night I looked and there before me was a fourth beast terrifying
and very powerfull. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot
whatever was left".It was different from all the former beast, and it had 10 horns.Daniel 7:7

No church will ever tell you any of the above or even want to go there.
joe rome , 09/11/11 10:26 PM
All,
And if you received the Warrior's calling? That is definitely putting yourself in harm's way, albeit for the greater benefit of others. I was born a Warrior, to a family of the same predeliction, going back over 400 years of recorded family history. Were we/are we wrong for answering the call to arms, knowing full-well that we could come to some unforeseen end?

My Northern ancestors believed in fate. That the 3-Norns wove the skein of our life. As a Christian, i can't help but think that there is some amount of fate involved in our lives. Could I be wrong? -Most assuredly. What are your thoughts on the Warrior's call and your statement about putting one's self in harm's way purposefully?
-KM
k M , 09/12/11 08:23 PM
Roger, this deals with a topic that I have struggled with. Although I was never in a position of having to support my parents, and both have since passed away quite a number of years ago, it has been difficult to honor them. I look at two paragraphs in your posting as comparison.

Technically my father met most of the qualifications outlined by Paul for an overseer: "Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. … He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap (1 Timothy 3:2-7)." My father managed to do most of these, and certainly provided for us well.

But the next paragraph... "According to the Bible Parents are to meet their children’s’ needs for appreciation, acceptance, approval, comfort, encouragement, respect and security—among other things."

Hmmm. I think back on this. I certainly had comfort and security. I grew up in a large and comfortable home in an excellent neighborhood. I've sometimes said that if I had enough money, I'd like that house back -- or construct a duplicate of it where I presently live. But appreciation? Acceptance? Approval? Encouragement? Respect? Not so much.

My parents felt that I never did well enough in school, and this got progressively worse as school wore on through the years. Since every standardized test (fill in the circles with the #2 pencil) placed me in the top 5% or better, they believed I should be making straight "A"s. Those tests never took into consideration that I was being bullied and beaten on a regular basis by so-called peers. I was the small, skinny, unathletic, glasses-wearing smart kid. You can guess about how popular I was, and I might as well have been wearing shirts with bulls-eyes painted on them.

Only once in all my school years did my parents do anything about this, getting me out of a class that had just become intolerable. The rest of the time, the mantra was "just ignore it and work on your grades." A little hard to ignore being ganged up on day in and day out. I hated school and didn't even care about my grades. Somehow I managed to pass, at least, but I often felt like my parents cared more about the report card than about me.

Obviously, these feelings have stayed with me later in life. Honoring my parents is no easy thing, especially since they aren't around anymore. I find I can honor the good that they did provide, but there's still some hurt there, obviously.

One additional, unrelated note: I sometimes see how parents treat their children today, when I am out in stores or such. There seems to be a horrible lack of any sort of discipline, and the kids are hellions. A few months ago, I nearly got a soccer ball kicked in my face by a kid in the sporting goods section of a Walmart, and the father chewed ME out for getting in the kid's way! Whatever problems may have existed between me and my parents, I really fear for how kids are being raised today, and I think one large factor may be because the parents themselves didn't receive much discipline because of how they were raised. If that's a pattern, I hate to think what the next generation will be like...!
Thomas Wheeler , 09/13/11 09:58 AM
Dear Roger,

I appreciate your very practical answer to this question. I take this to heart as a confirmation from the Lord as I (and my siblings) have struggled how to honor our father who was not a loving,caring father when we were growing up. He was selfish, mean, and violent at times. Though it has been very, very hard, I have forgiven him and have felt the Lord leading me to extend grace to him for a while now. You recently wrote about forgiveness and that has helped me also. I have let my earthly father off my hook, and know that he is still on God's hook. I can truly say that Jesus has truly set me free from all the hurt! Alleuia! Thank you and God bless you. Erin Entrican
Erin Entrican , 09/13/11 01:17 PM
Dear Roger,

Thank your for addressing this very real problem, that unfortunately my daughters are enduring now. While I disagree with you on some of your points, I do feel that honoring someone who is not honorable, is perpetuating falsehood and a lie. Do not cast your pearls before swine. My 3 teen daughters "honor" their estranged father with silence. When you choose to engage and potentially lead to arguement, fighting, etc...you are responsible for the cycle of violence and destruction. Choosing to remain silent is an option. Honor is something that is deserving of background..like helping to raise, support, love, your children. By choosing silence as a way of communication, you end the cycle of dysfunction and end the negativity that surrounds its purpose.
Hollie David , 09/14/11 04:44 PM
Rick

I have been a devout Christian all my life. It is the Dougard case that has changed everything. The Bible says in so many ways that God is there for you.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you”

“Yet not one of them [a sparrow] will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”

But I ask: Where was God? Where was the power of prayer? Where was the Holy Spirit that was left to guide, direct and comfort us?

Many times in the Bible and many people today claim that God spoke to them or came to them in a dream. How many times did a parole office, police officer, etc. come to the house where this poor girl was held and brutally raped, sodomized, and brainwashed starting at the age of 11. Where was God? Why did God not come to someone in a dream the night before or after the visit and show them that there is a girl hidden in the house? Why did the Holy Spirit not direct one of these officers to search the back yard? The answer?

1) there is no God or

2) God does exist but does not act on this earth and prayer is useless

THERE IS NO OTHER ANSWER. If you believe the second, however, then you CANNOT believe the Bible is true because the Bible DOES NOT describe a world that God created and now turns His back on.

“If two or more are gathered in my name then I am there”
“If you ask your father for bread would he give you a stone? How much more does God love you then your own father?”
“Come to me yea who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

So where was God? Where was prayer? It could have been an incredible testament to God to hear that a probation officer or sheriff left the house and claimed to hear from God or God came to him in a dream and he called the police and a young 11 year old Dougard was discovered. But we all know that there was no such dream, no such revelation. GOD DID NOTHING. Read “Mother Theresa, A Crisis of Faith.”

The funny thing???? If you worship the God of the Bible then Phillip (the captor) will go to heaven because he believes in God and has asked for forgiveness. Dougard, however, does not believe in God (because of this evil man) and she is the one who will spend an eternity in hell. Does this make sense to anyone?

But we just don’t understand…. And who are we to question God? I am so tired of hearing this lame answer. A thinking, caring, loving human. That’s who.
rick holms , 09/19/11 02:13 AM
I am on the other end (offender). When my wife told me to man up and accept resposibility for my actions and not fight in court, that is exactly what I did. I walked in to the police station on a friday and on monday in court even at my lawyers request to fight the charges, I advised I would take responsibility and would take what they offer and is what I did. Sentenced within a couple of days of me turning myself in. This was two and a half years ago and have worked very hard on my recovery. Our family has been on counseling for the past two years. About a year ago I had an opportunity to sit with my step daughter in counselling and ask for forgiveness. It has not been easy for any of us but through hard work and making sure that there is no minimization and all fault falls on me period. My wife believed my daughter from day one and I never denied anything my step daughetr told her mom or the police. Was I scared yes but I knew that I had to face this horrible thing I done to my family. I now work with men and sex offenders and I know the guys that are just playing games and the guys that are trully remoseful and working on recovery. My family and I have been accepted by a church that is aware of our sitiuatuion and on the road to restoration. We do not live together but that is all part of the healing process. Your husband need to take his medicine and not drag your daughter through court so he can get a light senence or possibly get off scott free.
fallen one , 09/22/11 02:32 AM
Part2:
I to have battled anger problems, drug addiction and more. The last two years living on my own without getting high has been a huge learning experience and truly trusting in God for all my needs. I have proven myself time after time both as my family will tell you how I have changed over the last two years. Am I cured from my sexual addiction? No but I stay close to God daily to get some inside and control of my behavior. One thing I learned in a sex offender program is if you were to ask me today if I would do it again, we'll I would say it is possible and with that, it keeps me on my toes to work that much harder daily. Just like drug addiction, this will be a lifetime fight. God bless you, your children and ask God for guidance of every step you make in life. Please focus on your daughter healing first the rest will fall into place if it is Gods will.
fallen one , 09/22/11 02:37 AM
It seems as if you are following the mayen calender, profesy from the book of Daniel, Revelation or any other book of The Word. Or any other testimony that has to do with A Power much greater than ourselves which I'd like to call GOD, the one and only thing that any human should be concerned with NOW would be " REPENTANCE". Now alot of people take that word in a general way according to society, as we know it, and repent of the things that are comfortable to them. The Homosexual who has come to feel safe with his sexuality because of the way of the world, won't even look at the TRUTH and how wrong that trully is in God's Eye's. How about the backstabber or person talking constantly about their neighbor's fault's while trying to make themselves feel good about the Scum that they really are. The Bible say's that only a select few will come to know the truth and as in Noah, David , Moses, Ninevah, etc.,etc.,etc.,it is not a lie but the truth. So don't deceive yourself into believing the lie, Come to really know the truth and " REPENT." God Bless You
The Effect , 09/26/11 11:37 AM
Three years ago I began having very ungodly thoughts of a sexual nature. I knew they were wrong and so told my husband. He told me that he knew it wasn't me and that we would work through it. What we didn't know at that time, was that the thoughts were demonic. I ended up having 2 years of part time ministry dealing with genereational sin, soul ties and freemasonry. Once all the deliverance had been dealt with (along with prayer and bible study) I knew the matter was closed. However, thoughts kept coming back. Each time I renounced them in the name of Jesus Christ and rebuked them, telling them to get behind me. Then in the name of Jesus I told Satan and his cohorts that their plans and lies had failed and I would quote any appropriate scripture verse that I could think of. I also had scripture cards all around the house, in the car, as well as scripture cds, and I would consciously speak out scripture and meditate on the word of God. For about 5 months I did nothing but deny the thoughts all day long (always putting on the armour of God.) I felt exhausted in the battle. Then the thoughts/whispers started to phase out. Now I don't have any. It took alot of work and perserverance, and I thought I would never be free. I thought long & hard about killing myself because I couldn't stand being sullied with pictures & words that were unholy (that was a spirit of suicide convincing me it was the only answer.) I don't know much about this area/ministry, only that for me there were deep roots reaching back generations of unrepented sin and curses. I wish to encourage anyone with unholy thoughts/urges/desires to enter into prayer and repent of allgenerational sin and unholy soul ties. Ask Holy Spirit to bring revelation. Then please find a ministry where you can share in confidence what is going on in your head, and work at it. JESUS WILL NOT FAIL YOU. What you think of as being "you" could just as much be demonic oppression. Internet search for ministries that offer soul and physical healing and ask Holy Spirit where you should go for help. In the meantime, until you are free, stay completely away from locations and persons that would tempt you. I refused to go out, as I was so wretched with what I was seeing and hearing. Satan can be very convincing - he's the father of lies afterall. YOU CAN DO IT. BUT, YOU MUST FIT. REFUSE THE THOUGHTS/TEMPTATIONS AND SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT. GOD BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO SEEKS FREEDOM. JUST REMEMBER, HE WHO THE SON SETS FREE, IS FREE INDEED!!!!!!! Hallelujah, Amen
Healed , 09/27/11 03:07 PM
Roger,
I've come to understand what a crushing blow parents can inflict on their children. Thanks be to our Loving Father in Heaven I have led a different life for my child to see. I am the son of a wealth physician; a person who's had almost everything a man could desire, however his love for alcohol & selfish pleasure has left a huge scar on our family. I can see the sins my siblings struggle with and certainly know what I've been set free from and I can directly tie them back to my father. Dad's set "The Tempo" for the whole household. When they live outside our Heavenly Father's directions for life the consequences are at minimum very sad & frustrating; at their extreme they can be devastating. Fathers need to lead the way! I am the only one in my family that will bow my knee to The King and he is faithful!! Yet it is still devastating to watch as his life "winds-down" and he continues to fill his spirit with alcohol.
Name Withheld , 09/27/11 10:00 PM
Dear Roger, I was reborn Christian 2years back, prior to coming Christ I have married my second wife! I have committed to her and my adopted son due certain circumstance to safe straying away her life , I have save her and the child which was not born to us! At the same time I have first wife have first wife and 2 grown up children who I love and respect!As I become Christian , I have also convince my kids and wife to Christ and god bless they become a true Christian.My first wife and children happens to know my second marriage and currently the church and my wife ask me to leave my first 2 wife or leave them ! As Christian I am caught in faith to lord Jesus and as human I fell what I am doing a unjust to person who I have taken responsibility !As the word say you are responsible for what you are committed!Please advise me as I am totally depressed to the extend to commit suicide .God bless . Menon
Sugumaran Menon , 10/02/11 08:42 AM
Wow, this is a fantastic response, Roger. I have often worried about my youthful anger, in which I got very angry at the Lord for implementing His own will, and not my own in certain events taking place in my life at the time. It is so reassuring to know that Jesus' love and forgiveness was sufficient to forgive me. I could never call the Lord a liar, but have certainly lashed out in frustration and angst in times of despair. But I now know for certain that my sins have been forgiven, all thanks to Jesus' love for us all.
Harrison Koch , 10/03/11 06:15 PM
It's go great to hear from you, Harrison. Your family has meant so much to us. I am glad my answer was helpful to you. God bless!
Roger Barrier , 10/03/11 07:41 PM
Roger,
Your eloquent assurance of forgiveness was so beautiful it made me cry. Much love to your family. Paula
paula perrone , 10/04/11 05:47 AM
Roger, thank you for this essay. There have been times when I have been angry, including angry at God. Although I know my salvation is secure, I sometimes wonder why (and how) God puts up with me.

At the same time, I have had friends who have various misconceptions about God, Jesus, and salvation. Two attitudes I especially encounter are those who believe that God will save everyone, ultimately; and those that believe that if you're not very, very careful, you can lose your salvation by doing or saying something that God will not forgive. Interestingly, these people are among the hardest to reach, and they seem to live very worried and paranoid lives, tip-toeing on eggshells, as it were, afraid of anything they might say or do that would cause offense.

Certainly we need to live lives that are godly, but we are also human beings with a full range of emotions, and we are not perfect. God knows this and understands.

Your essay addresses matters such as this in a superb fashion, and I look forward to sharing it with others.
Thomas Wheeler , 10/04/11 09:56 AM
i enjoyed rogers response very much, i have struggled as well with that verse. one thing that came to mind though was when young teenagers die, or older ones, or young kids. if they havnt quite accepted the lord. its just hard to wonder what happens to them, its hard to just say well God knows what He doing.
ryan lipphardt , 10/05/11 12:43 AM
For those of you struggling, I urge you to read the entire post.

The Bible isn't really something that is open to our own interpretations. God's word is infallible, and in that, we cannot simply look at one verse and conclude that is or isn't the WHOLE truth. True, yes, but God is very specific about the different motivations for divorce. It is written that "God HATES divorce". God is very strict about divorce, and it shows here that you may not remarry.

Luke 16:18 Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

This applies to covenants that HAVE NOT BEEN BROKEN. If you divorce over trivial matters, or neglect your Godly duty to exhaust all possibilities of reconciliation, it is absolutely a sin, and any remarriage would be adultery due the covenant of marriage still remaining intact in God's eyes. There has been no breach of the covenant that you made under God, and to your spouse.

Mark 10:9 Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.

Adultery, however, is another matter. Adultery is a man's(or woman's) choice to break the covenant that God regards so highly.

Matthew 19:9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.

In Matthew we see that God is merciful to those who's spouses have BROKEN that covenant of marriage, and defiled it in God's eyes. Divorce is accepted, due to the defilement of the covenant we created with our spouse. Other texts use the term "sexual immorality" in place of "marital unfaithfulness", which refers to everything from adultery, pornography, sexual abuse, incest, rape, ect.

God does NOT allow a BROKEN covenant to continue to exist or to even be ATTEMPTED.

Deut 24:1-4 Suppose a man marries a woman and consummates the marriage but later finds her displeasing, because he has found her offensive in some respect. He writes her a divorce document, gives it to her and sends her away from his house. She leaves his house, goes and becomes another man's wife but the second husband dislikes her and writes her a get, gives it to her and sends her away from his house; or the second husband whom she married dies. In such a case her first husband, who sent her away, may not take her again as his wife, because she is now defiled. It would be detestable to God, and you are not to bring about sin in the land your God is giving you as your inheritance.

"Finds her offensive" specifically refers to an offense against the covenant of marriage, and in no way should we allow ourselves the worldly view of "offensive" and interpret it as, well... pretty much any reason we want. "Becomes another man's wife" refers to exactly that literally, as in remarriage, AND by Old Testament Law, committing the act of fornication with another.

The punishment in the Old Testament for adultery is DEATH! THANK GOD FOR JESUS! Through Him, we can be forgiven, repent, and continue to live our lives for God.

The scriptures are very clear on the grounds for divorce being only limited to sexual immorality, non believing spouses leaving the believer, and death.

1 Corinthians 7:12-16 To the rest I say--I and not the Lord--that if any believer has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so; in such a case the brother or sister is not bound. It is to peace that God has called you. Wife, for all you know, you might save your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife.

Here we see that it is very clear that non-believers may leave the covenant of marriage, and the divorce is acceptable under God. The believer may NOT divorce the non-believing spouse, but under Old Testament law, the believer may ask for the non-believer to divorce them.

As for remarriage, without one of those three "exception clauses" remarriage would be entering into a false-covenant not recognized by God. We have all read the many many passages on God not permitting spouses to divorce each other, and I feel that quoting them would be redundant. If you're seeking a Godly perspective in the Word, then you have already seen most of them. The key here is to look at all of God's word, and find harmony between the verses. After a marriage covenant is broken, God allows divorce. The things God views as breaking that covenant are very very few.

Obviously, the last reason is death of a spouse.

1 Corinthians 7:39 A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord.

I notice the last phrase of this passage "only in the Lord". This is an especially significant part of a re-marriage covenant approved by God. If you must remarry, it is only permissible if your new spouse shares your faith.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?

IF your divorce is "God approved" due to these reasons, The apostle Paul speaks on remarriage:

1 Corinthians 7:8-9 Actually, I wish everyone were like me** but each has his own gift from God, one this, another that. Now to the single people and the widows I say that it is good if they remain like me; but if they can't exercise self-control, they should get married; because it is better to get married than to keep burning with sexual desire.

**unmarried

Paul speaks on walking with God. It is better to remain single to keep your focus on God. If your focus is taken away from God because of a worldly relationship, Peter urges us to sanctify the situation BEFORE we enter into sin, or take our eyes away from God.

Have faith, my brothers and sisters. Our God is a loving and merciful God. I hope this helps.

Adrian Rea , 10/08/11 01:31 AM
Thanks Roger, for such a warm and loving answer to that question. And thank you CW for asking the question. I am sure many others wrestle with the same thing. I don't know how many times I have heard people ask similar questions, especially after they have read about "the unpardonable sin".

I usually answer that if someone is concerned that they have committed the unpardonable sin, they haven't. If they had totally blocked the influence of the Holy Spirit in that way, and truly blasphemed Him, they wouldn't care that they had, and wouldn't be bothering to ask someone such questions.

The fact that it concerns you indicates that the Holy Spirit is working in your life to convict, with the aim of restoring your relationship with God.

However, any condemnation you are feeling is not from God. What you need, is to separate any condemnation (which moves you towards hopelessness) from the conviction (which has already moved you towards repentance).

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1)
Mark Marikos , 10/08/11 06:07 PM
Great! Your teaching is the truth. Two similar lives. One of Divine nature and the other of earthly nature. God our sweet father always give us men and woman, chosen by him to give us an example in out life.
Maria VanV , 10/10/11 10:21 PM
Roger, Thanks for the insightful comparisons and ultimate contrasts between Jobs and Jesus.
Chet Weld , 10/11/11 12:52 AM
There is no doubt that Jobs was a brilliant executive. However, the methods by which Jobs and Jesus achieved their goals are diametrically opposed.
Jonathan Krautter , 10/11/11 10:16 AM
I believe that Ephesians 5 may trump all. Paul clearly lays out the responsibilities of husband and wife. consider that these are in essence binding vows. To break them is to break the marriage bond and open the door for divorce and remarriage.
roger barrier , 10/12/11 12:32 PM
This is such a well written and complimentary response to His kingdom Roger. I believe also that this is what God wants for us. Purity is essential to a happy outcome. Marriage issues are not easy and placing yourself deliberately into such a situation will create more problems than solutions. Growing up back in the midwest we were always taught in my home to do what's right, no what's easy. I see that applying here as well. Doing what's easy is being involved with someone who first off is not available emotionally or "legally" for that matter while the problems associated of both still exist. Doing what's right is heeding the scripture and honoring ourselves as this is what He wants for us; stepping back from that person and being supportive through faith only. Time is the ultimate revealer of all things, and the one element people within such situations do not utilize wisely. Give yourself space from people in such situations, trust that He knows best and all things, and lastly, give it time. To do so is to do what's right by ourselves and our heavenly Father who wants what is best for His children.
Charlalynn Harris , 10/18/11 10:23 AM
I first hand know that you can be a christian and still be depressed. I am a evangelist that has been diagnosed with post termatic stress disorder and termatic brain injury. so is someone like me can be called into the ministry and live with this then I know that you can be a christian and still be going through depression.
eric kelly , 10/18/11 04:12 PM
Some time ago, I did need to buy a building for my business but I did not earn enough money and couldn't purchase something. Thank heaven my comrade adviced to take the mortgage loans from banks. Thus, I did so and used to be satisfied with my collateral loan.
credit loans mortgage loans , 10/25/11 05:44 AM
Anon I just read about the baptism of the HS, the Calvary Church has a lot of material about it and is part of their beliefs for growth. I think its a seperate thing you do after being a christian for awhile and want to be blessed with what gifts the Lord has planned for you. Through prayer in a group setting you ask for the gifts of spirit to come upon you. I think.
Ryan Lipphardt , 10/25/11 01:38 PM
"Dating a married man doesn’t dirty up a heart. However, the danger of a dating a married man presupposes that the relationship may escalate to sexual impurity." I agree that purity is important but saying dating a married man doesn't dirty up a heart? So it's okay to date a married man as long as you don't have sex with him? I don't think so. Maybe I'm missing the point, but that's what I read out of that statement. If I'm wrong, please correct me.
Dustin Scott , 10/26/11 10:45 AM
Hey Roger:

Once again, you've hit it out of the ball park.

It might be a good idea to write a column on another species of religious pest: Those who preach the true Gospel, but live counterfeit lives. They probably do more harm to the cause and body of Christ tnan do the "genuine phonies."

How do we spot them? Should we just leave them, or seek to expose and remove them?
Bill Foltz , 10/29/11 10:54 AM
I agree with Dustin Scott. Dating a married person absolutely dirties up the heart. We have a covenant with Jesus and anytime we allow anything in between us and Jesus its called sin, usually idol worship. We can't allow human beings to have a different set of standards for covenants. There is sooo much more here to discuss, but I'll leave it at that for now.
Adam Hinkle , 10/31/11 11:45 AM
I lost my wonderful and perfect mom exactly two months ago to lung cancer. She was healthy as can be, diagnosed and gone in three months. I feel the holy spirit with me often when my heart aches. I get amazing strength, I can feel the greatness. I know we can't possibly grasp the power of god and what he is capable of however, I'm very confident that my mother is incredibly well taken care of and I like the possibility that by praying to Jesus he is relaying in some way the message that we are thinking of her. My mom's last written words to me on my birthday card one week after she was diagnosed were, "wow, what a bombshell! Well, one day at a time, things could be worse! Please don't worry, we just need to get things organized." When I read this over and over I think she knew she was not going to be around long. But, she never said anything to crush my hope that she would live much longer. Jesus had already spoke to her I think and she went peacefully in Hospice. Oh, Mom, I know its possible Jesus is relaying you news on joni, Dad and I. I love you and know that we will see you again!
jay soneff , 11/01/11 12:00 AM
i suffer from persistent sexual arousal syndrome. It is sooo annoying.. i have begged God to stop it. with no luck. i have ofter wondered if it a demonic attack.. if any one can help me leave a message.
E F , 11/01/11 12:06 PM
Dear Roger,

What about a case of the husband refusing to have sex very often with is wife even when she was still slim, young and attractive, and it only got worse after having a baby and she gained a little weight? Due to the rejection, the wife, rather than break up her family, has stayed with him but has become obese and diabetic and now can't seem to lose any significant weight and is afraid that if she does, she would be tempted to sin. Even if she lost the weight now, at this age, she has no hope that he will be a real husband to her. Publically they are a team. Privately he doesn't seem to even like her very much. Is there any hope for a normal marriage in what remains of their expected lifespan (late 60s)? or do they just go on like this until the Lord takes them home?
S C , 11/01/11 03:50 PM
Roger, This is the best article I've ever read on the subject of masturbation. All you would need to turn it into a journal article is more references....and maybe a co-author! (Only kidding!)

Chet
Chet Weld , 11/01/11 05:02 PM
Dear Pastor Barrier,

While I admire your attempt to comfort “B,” I think your logic is a little faulty.

First, if 95% of men masturbating is an indication that God approves, then 98% of men looking at pornography should also be an indication of approval, right?

Second, using the same logic, if 95% of men masturbating is an indication of God’s approval, what does it mean that so many Christian men feel guilty? Surely that is an indication of what Romans 2:15 is talking about: “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.”

As a brother in Christ, I would warn against searing the conscience of a sinner by telling him not to sweat his sin. Remember Matthew 18:6. What "B" needs is to be told, often, that he is forgiven because of Jesus' death.

JSP
Joshua Palmer , 11/01/11 08:51 PM
Joshua,

Because the Bible doesn't speak to the issue, I think that Roger has presented several perspectives, especially the biblical perspective on the importance of the doctrines of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. Roger speaks clearly on these truths while ministering grace, which is at the heart of Jesus' teachings.
Chet Weld , 11/03/11 01:29 AM
Dear Roger,
I just read the comment from SC and wonder what your thoughts are about her situation. Is it expected that a wife should have to endure a loveless marriage?
This prompts me to further ask, Is it right or fair that a husband have apathy toward his wife that he prefer to masturbate rather than have relations with her? Is this not a valid reason for divorce?
M. G. , 11/04/11 12:58 AM
the universe is our dna. it is two opposite forces the grew and learned upon each other. it connects the small things with the big things. i.e atoms and space. it's like beings in beings in beings. so out there in space we a just a small atom in a bigger form. and with a D.N.A there is always a exact opposite base i.e A-G T-C and thatlso connects Einstiens theory of every action has an equal and opposite reaction. the connection to life is that when you die here in this BASE you get born in the Opposite base e.g D.N.A strand ( my definition of the universe) Your living in Base A and then you die and you are born in Base G. It gives life and takes life EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION. the universe continues to grow bigger because it thrives to find out how it started.
Sisilili Elika , 11/04/11 10:55 PM
I've always thought of God as existing outside of time, with time being a function of our universe. If this is so, then it would seem to me that God does not look forward to the future—he is already there. Right now God is experiencing our past, present, and future. He knows the future because from his eternal perspective he is already there, and here, and back there in for what is us the past. From our perspective God is already experiencing our future. But for him it is an ever present now. This gives me great comfort since it also tells me that God is unchangeable. He is unchangeable because he is eternal. He can therefore always be depended upon to act according to his good nature, and he always does, and is, and will do.

This is probably confusing to a lot of people. It's hard enough for me to wrap my head around it. But nevertheless it gives me a tiny glimpse into the nature of God.

Tom Terry
Tom Terry , 11/22/11 11:24 PM
Thank you for this article. I've accepted Jesus a long time ago in faith. This was one of the questions which I've never truly understood until now.
Patrick Lee , 11/23/11 12:40 AM
It is interesting to think about Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial of him before it actually happened. Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times. Did God/Jesus cause Peter to deny Jesus? No, but he knew Peter's heart, and he provided a way for Peter to repent and become the Rock he later became. The Bible is full of God putting choices before people and urging them to make the right choices. It is also full of God telling us he knows the future. I'm glad he knows the future, because he knows how to write his laws on my heart and mind in such a way that I will never be separated from his love. I also know that I make real choices every day that bring me closer to him or further away.
Jim Park , 11/23/11 12:46 AM
As always, Roger, I have never encountered anyone who could take scientific principles regarding how the universe operates and so seamlessly and effectively correlate them to the Word of God. As someone who followed a rather godless scientific view of the universe before I became a Christian, I am always impressed by this. I recall the lessons you taught on cosmology at Casas. I'd've loved to have seen you debate Carl Sagan... :)
Thomas Wheeler , 11/23/11 01:04 AM
My mom passed just two month ago on September 14, 2011. I truly believe she is in Heaven at peace and suffing no more. I recently learned through my sister to ask God to relay messages to my mom. As a believer in Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I know He answers prayer. I pray each day that He would wrap His arms around my mother and give her a big hug for me and to let her know that I love and miss her. I believe He does just that and my request if fulfilled daily. Mr. Roger Barrier, your response and perspective to the question asked by so many is actually confirmation for me. Both my two sisters had dreams of talking with my mom on the phone (after she passed) and she told them both that she was fine, and her voice was so crisp, clear and vibrant. I have yet to experience that dream, being her only other daughter, but I'm sure if I continue to pray and ask God to hear her voice and to let me know she's fine, I'm sure it will eventually come to pass. Just gotta have faith!
Chantay Johnson , 11/23/11 09:21 AM
I love contemplating scientific theories like time, light, and theoretical physics like gravity, wormholes and such, all through the lens of a sovereign God who is the master of all things in Heaven and earth, and beyond.

When something like a huge, unlimited God is in charge of the universe, things like time travel, teleportation, spiritual warfare, ghosts, and all manner of "fringe" events seem not only possible, but less amazing. If you think about all the things that are theoretically possible to known science, but are only really doable to a Godly force with outside control, those things seem less awesome in the shadow of a limitless God :)
Marc Sandin , 11/23/11 09:50 AM
Boy, what a tough concept to grasp. Who can understand how great our God really is?

And, as 'Relational Theology' is considered so closely aligned to an open view of the future...it is good to finally hear your comments regarding Open Theism.

Thanks Roger. And thank you for 35+ years of great teaching!
George Soltero , 11/23/11 09:40 PM
Dear Child,

I too grieve with and for you. Though I cannot truly know how you feel, I know it must be a heavy weight to bear, and not knowing the full truth leaves almost infinite possibilities to imagine the worst. I pray comfort, grace, and peace from God, and ask Him to let you see just how close He is to you every moment as you deal with the many feelings and fears all of this stirs in your heart.

You have done the most important thing to begin the healing process. You have asked for help. That is a step too few ever take. They feel it is their burden to bear, and to ask for help is a form of weakness. Yet that is the very reason God formed the church – to be a safe place where each of us can minister to others and be ministered to by others as we grow into Jesus’ likeness. In fact it is probably not completely possible to grow spiritually without ministering and being ministered to.

I pray that you are part of a supportive church body that will come alongside of you and help you process this hurt. And I pray that God will use this to build you into a loving and grace-filled minister to others. In fact you may have done more in that respect than you could ever imagine, just by writing your letter. So many people live their entire lives with hurts that they never mention. My own father lived most of his adult life with the burden of having accidentally killed someone. Not even his family knew until shortly before he died. Looking back I can see its effect on him, and wish I had known so I could have ministered grace to him.

Not knowing all of the circumstances surrounding this and your current life, I will refrain from saying whether your grandparents are doing the right thing or not by withholding information (if they even know the truth). Rather, I will suggest that you see your current position as a starting place to move towards healing and fullness of life.

We rarely can control the things that happen to us, and in many cases can’t even understand them to our satisfaction. Yet we do not have to be crippled by those limits. As in a card game, I cannot control the cards I am dealt. I can only control how I play them. You have been dealt a difficult hand, and it will require great wisdom to transform it into a winning hand. The good news is that you don’t have to depend only upon the wisdom you now possess. You have other resources at your disposal.

First and foremost, you have the wisdom of God to help you make sense of this.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

As you ask for wisdom, practice what wisdom God has already given you. Just like muscles, it will grow stronger with use. As James says above, God gives wisdom freely to all who ask. Too often, we fail to use it and it never develops fully in our lives.

God’s Word, in the Bible, is full of wisdom for every situation in life. The more we get into it, and let it get into us, the wiser we become. Let His word become the basis of your understanding and perspective in life. Build your life on that foundation, and you will maintain a firm footing no matter what you face. As you build your life on His Word, you will see life from His perspective. To Him, the highest mountains seem like smooth plains, even though they seem so daunting to us.

Another resource is the wisdom of mature believers around you. Seek out such people. They are relatively easy to identify. Jesus tells us that we can recognize who people really are by the fruit they bear in life. Paul gives us a good list of fruit to watch for in ourselves and in others:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23a)

When you find people that bear that kind of fruit, it is because they have a close relationship with God, and have built their lives upon His Word. They will have great wisdom to share with you as you build your life, and they will delight to share it with you in a way that displays the very fruit mentioned above. You will not be beaten with it, but you will be nurtured into it. I pray you will very soon find people like this to walk through life with you. Like skilled coaches, they can show you how to use the wisdom you have been given in ways that make it grow stronger and more capable.

One more resource is people who are willing to continually hold you up in prayer as you grow. They may or may not have any specific advice to offer, but by holding you up in prayer, they will clear the air of lies, deceptions, and distractions that the enemy of your soul uses to keep you from finding wisdom. You must remember that that enemy, Satan, was the very one who took your parents from you, in the first place, and he will do whatever he can to keep you from becoming wise. Having “prayer warriors” that will “cover” you in prayer can frustrate Satan’s efforts to keep you from the truth.

I may never meet you this side of Heaven. But I look forward to that day when we do meet in Heaven, and you tell the story of how God took this broken situation and used it to accomplish great wonders in your life and the lives you touched. All through the Bible, we see how God uses Satan’s worst work to bring about glorious victories for His Kingdom and for His children.

I believe He has great plans for you, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story!

Grace and peace to you, in Christ
Mark Marikos , 11/24/11 02:25 AM
Tom Terry,

In my opinion, yours was an excellent compliment to Roger's excellent commentary. If I may, I don't think that God exists outside of time, but rather that He exists inside AND outside the realm of time. He simply is not subject to it's affects since He is it's Creator. Time is an artifice of God's device. It is a machination of God's imagination, instituted through physics which He devised and ordained for our Earthly environment. I like what you said about God's perception of past, present and future too. Very well put. I like to think of it sort of like perspectives on a parade from different vantage points: We see the parade of our lives, of history, from a knot hole in a fence; while God sees the entire parade from a helicopter.
Ed Costanza , 11/24/11 12:47 PM
Thanks, Roger. Time, one of the mysteries of the physical universe. Time is used by the smartest man in the world, Steven Hawking, as his proof that there is no God. Hawking argues that if we go back in time to the moment of the Big Bang, which he is totally committed to, time stops. Therefore, according to Hawking, God had no time in which to create. Therefore there is no God. The smartest man in the world can not think beyond the physical, thinking God, if He exists, must be confined to the physical. But take heart, Romans 21:25 stated this kind of thinking would be commonplace and know before the creation of the universe.
Ron Cottrell , 11/24/11 01:51 PM
I made an error in the Romans reference. It is Rom 2:25.
Ron Cottrell , 11/25/11 11:28 AM
This is you at your best. Thanks for addressing open theism. There's a lot of truth mixed with error in it.
Judy Krautter , 11/28/11 09:35 AM
Roger, you've dealt here, very effectively, with one of the touchiest subjects we currently face in America. The increasing numbers of elderly.

Speaking for myself, I want to live as long a life as God allows -- as long as I'm in reasonable health. I have no desire to end up in a nursing home or hospice care. Both of my parents ended up in nursing homes, thankfully for rather short periods of time. Miserable places. The people who staff such places do the best they can, but they're dealing with patients who cannot take care of themselves any more, who may be somewhat out of their minds, unable to control their bodily functions, and are just miserable. I have no desire to be around that, and I have less desire to become that.

The medical statistics you quote are interesting. I believe we have in our society such a fear of death, perhaps not unwarranted for those who don't know Jesus, that we have placed far too great a priority on keeping a person alive at all costs, even if it means hooking them up to machines and pumping them full of drugs.

What's needed, in my opinion, is a greater emphasis on keeping a person vital. When medical technology shifts its focus to not only keeping a person alive, but active, perhaps even slowing the effects of aging or the aging process, and we have a society that values the contributions of, let's call them the "active elderly", then I believe we'll be making real progress.
Scott Davis , 11/29/11 09:06 AM
Roger,

My Mom was in home Hospice care just days before she died. I found the staff to be some of the most wonderfully caring people. They not only helped my Mom be comfortable in her last days, they helped us so much as a family. It took some stress off of us as they carefully explained the dying process and what events we would most likely anticipate in Mom's last days and hours before she went to be with her Saviour.

Because of what Hospice meant to us as a family, I became a Hospice volunteer at and inpatient clinic here in Tucson. What a blessing to give back to the patients and families as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death with their loved one. I can absolutely not say enough wonderful things about the organization, and the loving and merciful way they deal with the dying and their families.

Connie Hamner
Connie Hamner , 11/29/11 10:55 AM
Hey Roger,
Thanks for the sincere and Biblical response to masturbation. I suffered chronic and compulsive masturbation that was tied to pornography and sexual fantasy. My personal experience is that masturbation is symptomatic of my spiritual brokeness and leaves me in the powerless cycle you described. The addictive component is underlying this sin-filled process.
Only God and honest accountability have helped me to break the grip of chronic and compulsive masturbation. I attend 12 step groups for sexual addiction and grow spiritually in my church in the attempt to honor God on a daily basis. This is a very shame-filled dynamic that the church needs help to overcome in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul May , 11/29/11 02:17 PM
Roger,
You did a beautiful job explaining what hospice is. I worked for Casa de la Luz Hospice in Tucson before we were relocated to Denver. Your explanation is exactly how we'd explain it to potential staff, patients and their loved ones.

Thank you for saying it the way you did - it truly is compassionate care for both the patient and their loved ones. We always considered it our honor to care for the dying and their loved ones during their most precious time.

Kathy Finuf
Kathy Finuf , 11/29/11 03:26 PM
Roger,thanks for the very clear explaination of hospice. I've been with Carondelet Hospice for over six years now,providing comfort at the end of life is a good thing to do. It is often hard for us to understand that one day we will need assistance with the most basic of tasks; that need doesnot indicate a lack of value, just another stage in life.
gayla strong , 12/02/11 10:12 PM
wow! Thanks Roger for having the courage to write down our secret thoughts and help us trust God even when life gets really touch. Blessings
catherine Grennell , 12/07/11 03:10 PM
Fellow Christians
I came to this website because I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit to find out more about 'the feel good' gospel.
In my understanding, feel good gospel is about the church seeking to preach a gospel that is pleasing to the ears, and that gives a 'feel good experience'.
I do not think that this is the gospel that Paul preached about or that Jesus preached about.
Entering through the narrow gate is a very painful experience. Sacrificing all for Jesus isn't exactly fun. But the truth is that the joy that God gives as a reward is beautiful beyond description. But pastors need to give people the raw truth about the gospel. People should be crying in repentance when a pastor preaches. We should have a conviction of our sins so that we repent. Honey is bitter-sweet and that is what the gospel is. It’s not entirely sweet not entirely bitter but a bit of both and when it’s preached in completion, it saves. It's the only way to go to heaven.
The crown is in heaven, the tears will be wiped off in heaven. Salvation will only be given in heaven.
Therefore let us be heavenward in thoughts and actions.
Let's seek the truth from God and not theology.
Let the Holy Spirit teach us and convict us to be Holy.
Let us have overflowing joy in place of a 'feel good experience' as the latter will not last.
Beloved ones of the Lord open your hearts and minds to the truth. Trials and tribulations follow a follower of Christ because the world is not our home.
Let us not seek after passing pleasures but seek everlasting salvation from God.
Let us pursue a life of holiness and obedience, carry our crosses alongside our saviour and Lord Jesus, enduring it all, so we can gain eternal life.
Let us flee from the ‘feel good gospel’; it will lead us to everlasting perdition. God help us
Bless you all
Given to the Lord , 12/08/11 09:44 AM
Roger,
Thanks for saying that it's OK to be sick and tired of God. I don't recommend it but though I wish it weren't so, it is and I can relate and I appreciate your forthrightness. The kind of discouragement and lack of depth, for which I am deeply grateful that God is very patient with, is just a fact of some people's lives. It has often been so with mine.

If I may, a factor that all too often fuels that kind of debilitating discouragement is an untrue, unbalanced or misleading perception of who Jesus is or what life in Him is supposed to be like, as taught by well meaning but mistaken other Christians. It just adds pain to pain.

For example: I'm a musician. I was taught by someone close to me that music was an unruly temptation that could overthrow me in my walk with Jesus. As a young, unmaterialistic hippie, I was also taught by a Pastor/mentor that money was filthy lucre and by implication, therefore not something to pursue. Of course, the bible teaches that greed - an unbalanced pursuit of money, is unhealthy. I get that. But today, the person who told me that music was somehow evil has 8 or 10 songs published and has plenty of money in the bank as well. Meanwhile, after a lifetime of allowing my music mostly to languish, large as a result of that false teaching, I've all but given up on it and financially - I could and should be doing a lot better. How should I feel about that? I was also taught as a young and nieve Christian that college was a dark place - no place for a Christian - and that if I gave up my dreams, God would resurrect them and give them back to me and like Joseph, I would one day become 2nd in command, figuratively, over all Egypt. Can you believe that? Where is that stuff in the bible?

My point is that the normally overwhelming challenges of life are sometimes exacerbated by unreasonable expectations about how things are supposed to because of false perceptions implanted by others.

If you see this post, I hope you can comment on it. I've suffered much unnecessary hardship and disappointment because of a lot of misinformation and well intended but false spirituality of others and I still battle regret. Thanks, Roger.
Ed C. , 12/09/11 08:55 PM
Dear Roger,
I largely agree with your response to "S" about headship, with a couple of exceptions.

If I may? The way I feel about the husband/wife relationship is something like this: Jesus said that the law isn't for the righteous; but for the unrighteous. In some sense, it's as though spouses who genuinely love each other don't, or hardly do not, need teachings about love and submission. However, I believe that for order's sake, the bible teaches a universal heirarchy which originates at the Father's exemplary relationship with Jesus in submission to the Him, then continues with Jesus being over the husband and wife/the church, then to the husband being over the wife and the husband and wife being in authority over the children. I believe that this is so for the sake of order and to promote peace.

What would it be like if corporate heads or team coaches all equally shared authority when they came to an impasse on an important decision? In short, it would result in chaos, confusion and a certain breakdown and failure of the team or corporation, for "A house divided against itself cannot stand." )Mat. 12:25) Someone has to hold a 51% share in the company or team. Someone has to have the final say. That's very clear. Anything less will result in chaos and destruction. It has to.

I think you are mistaken when you cite the verse which says that we are to submit to each other as a rule for husbands and wives. I believe that passage, while a good guideline for husbands and wives, is intended instead to be instruction for the church by and large. You also avoided the verses starting in 1st Peter 2:19 through 3:2, in which Peter instructs wives to submit to their husbands as Christ submitted unto the death of the cross. (Why do you do that?) Though unpopular in the modern church, that's very clear. Jesus was reviled but didn't return it; suffered without threatening(v.23); bore our sins, taking stripes (v.24). And according to ch. 3:1 wives are to suffer like Jesus did, as unto the Father. I didn't write that. That's what the bible says. Why is that unacceptable and why isn't it preached; rightly divided with a wise balance of understanding?

Roger, as I understand it, God is trying to tell man AND women both to act like Jesus. That's all. Why is that so taboo? Why so disdained? Is the gospel for men only? Was the death of the cross an example only for men and not for women as well? Are men alone called to strive toward Christlikeness or are women as well? Was Christ's cross an act of love or of submission?

Christ's cross was both an act of love and submission; an act of love for the church and an act of submission to the Father, setting the example for both the husband AND the wife. Why is that so offensive? On the cross, Jesus was suspended between heaven and Earth, cursed both by God and man, for "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree." (Gal. 3:13). As I see it, Jesus reached down to man in love, pulling him up to God and up to God out of submission, pulling Him down to man, reconciling both in His death on the tree. Remember, Jesus prayed for the Father to spare Him the cross, then submitted to the Father's will for Him to go to it.


To summarize - Christ's example on the cross was for both the man and the woman. I believe that's pretty clear. Teachings about submission aren't intended to give husbands a license for tyranny and teachings about a husband's charge to love like Jesus aren't intended to grant wives a license to rebel.

In closing, another great pastor once preached a sermon on something he referred to as "The Strong Man Theory" based on Matthew 12:29, which tells that a thief can't plunder a house without first tieing up the man, or the "head" of the house. The Strong's Concordance defines the word head (of the house) as that part of the anotomy that is most readily seized upon. That's the man. A burglar would be a fool to go after a child or the wife without first attempting to seize and neutralize the man of the house. Nothing would inflame the man - husband - father more than the accosting of his wife or kids. I think that God ordained commission and responsibility should be being recognized with greater regard and respect from modern pulpits than it usually is and quite frankly, I find that very frustrating.

With all due respect and a whole lotta love for you Roger, this subject offers an excellent opportunity to promote a great deal of healing and I feel that you divide the word on the subject somewhat out of balance and just a little unfairly. I hope I'm not out of line by saying so.

Ed C.

Ed Costanza , 12/09/11 11:25 PM
My Grandma passed about two months ago. My mom and I have had a really tough time dealing with her loss, and we've asked each other this question several times. Her birthday was last Monday, and my mom was having a hard time getting through the day (she teaches 3rd grade at Casas). The night before, she asked me with tears in her eyes, "Jess, what should I do? Do I get her a card? Do I write her a letter? Does she hear me? What's she doing up there?"

The next day, afraid that she might break into tears, she told the kids, "Sorry guys, I'm having a sad day. It's my Momma's birthday." The kids all said "Awwwwwwww," in unison, with genuine sympathy on their faces. One little girl said, "Let's sing her happy birthday!" My mom fought back tears and said, "I don't know you guys. Do you think she will hear us?" The little girl said, "Well I don't know, but Jesus will definitely hear us, so He'll probably want to tell her!"

They all sang happy birthday to my Grandma, and my mom found some comfort in it. Whether or not my Grandma heard, I think it does us good to have that child-like faith that she did. We won't know for sure until we meet Jesus, so why not hope for the best, and send them our love anyway? Worst case scenario, Jesus hears it, and it touches His heart.

The Bible says we get the mind of Christ when we die, and though we won't know everything Christ knows, I think there's a good chance that He shares things of eternal value with us while we are in Heaven. Love is eternal, so maybe He shares our love with them. Never hurts to have child-like faith!
Jess Woody , 12/10/11 09:45 PM
I agree with Tom and Teresa. We must humble ourselves before God and surrender to Him. I can speak from personal experience that not being equally 'yoked' does have serious disadvantages. The sick cannot exist with the healthy, nor can a believer and a non-believer. Life is tough! To not have a partner in it that shares in your beliefs seems very illogical to me. We are not here on this Earth by our own doing or our own will. That form of thinking to me is the highest of arrogance. Life is not only better with God, but better with someone who also believes the same way as you do. Obviously if someone marries a person with different beliefs that is their choice, but I feel that if you have standards for everything else in a partner why not have the same standards when it comes to our Saviour? I have known Christian people that have done this and will bypass not seeking out someone with a like belief in their hearts only to regret it later. It's a problem in my opinion. If you are a believer honor yourself and Him by stepping up and do partnerships and marriage His way. Our way clearly isn't working. If more of us did marriage His way divorce rates would not be as high as they are. I'm 37 years old and a single Christian. I believe in doing what's right and not what's easy. Doing marriage God's way is doing it right and requires strength, patience, and time. Doing it easy is having a set of standards for another person to have that doesn't include Him because the other person may not make the 'grade' and you'll have to be single longer doing it His way. We're doing nothing but short-changing ourselves by doing this and eventually it will fall apart and we'll be right back to where we were. Single!

There are contributors and contaminators in relationships. It is essential our partnerships are equally yoked and contributing.

Blessings and peace to all.

Charlalynn
Charlalynn Harris , 12/13/11 11:01 AM
Dear roger, , 12/17/11 05:47 PM
Well spoken Roger. Excellent! Not necesasarily all things I'd have wanted to hear, but well spoken none the less. Very sobering and thought provoking. "Teach me to number my days that I might apply my heart to wisdom."(Ps. 90:12) "Don't forsake the gathering together of yourselves as some do, seeing that the days are evil." (Heb. 10:25) Also - very well spoken, JASON COLLINS. Thanks for that.
Ed Costanza , 12/17/11 11:32 PM
My mother passed away on Thanksgiving night this year. I still don't know exactly what caused her death, but I know that whatever it was there was nothing that I could have done to save her. When God decides it's time to go, we must go. If my mom had a choice, she would have never left. As she was always apologizing to me, I know that if she could say something to me now, it would be that she's sorry for leaving. As other people mentioned above, my mother and I also had a rocky relationship. Luckily for me when she passed we had just left on a very happy note. We had even prayed together. In all honesty I think it's one of the only times I've ever seen my mother pray. As far as my mother hearing me when I pray to Jesus or talk to her, I know that she can. I pray every night to dream about my mom and every night since she's passed.

Tiffany
Tiffany Guerrero , 12/21/11 08:55 PM
Roger,

As one responder to your answer about the origin of Cain's wife alluded, SOMEONE had to have committed "incest", as another put it, in order for a female to have been born for Cain to marry.

If I may; The idea that God would allow incest as a means of multiplying to "fill the Earth" as He commanded may baffle some. But plainly, that was God's plan. We should keep in mind that the world was different then. For one thing, the effects of sin's corrupting power had not yet taken their full toll on mankind. Though he was no longer a physically eternal creature, he still lived to be several hundreds of years old. Pre flood era humans also probably enjoyed a higher quality of life than post flood to modern day man does. For one thing, there was probably a much greater concentration of purer oxygen in man's environment before the Earth's canopy was removed at the onset of the flood. In part, as a result, mankind likely also had the benefit of all or most of his brain capacity. It is also probable that sin's decay was still only partially effected upon him.

My point is this: Things were different then. The idea of Cain's wife originating through incest simply seems unsavory in modern terms. It is further thought unseemly because of the many mental and physical birth defects associated with close inbreeding. However, unless a person is willing to accept some possibility drawn out of speculations which don't coincide with the information God in wisdom has already given us in the bible, I think that we probably should accept the most obvious as acceptable. That's just one man's opinion.
Ed Costanza , 12/21/11 09:16 PM
Dear Roger,

Just a P.S. to my earlier comments...
Q said that Adam and Eve only had males, then asked if Cain's wife was a product of incest. That's a really strange question, since same sexes can't procreate...
Ed Costanza , 12/21/11 09:41 PM
Dear Roger,

You characterized to Falwell's approach as flawed because laws can't change people's hearts. By that line of reasoning I guess we shouldn't have laws against murder either because they don't change people's hearts either. The law isn't intended to change how people feel; it's intended to influence how they behave. Just as we should have laws forbidding murder, so should we have legislation forbidding homosexuality. Surely you see that? No law gaurantees that a prohibitted act will cease, it is simply an arrow to point us in the right direction. why would you protest that?

In response to the question of God's party - Democrats are pro abortion of the innocent yet anti death penalty for heinous murderers; pro homosexuality. If God had to choose, I believe He would lean more closely toward the party that, though flawed, leaned more closely to His values.
Ed Costanza , 12/21/11 11:48 PM
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Zifenditernek ZifenditernekKH , 12/28/11 01:59 AM
"Now, Harry, we can proceed to answer your question. According to Roman Catholic theology, you may not attend a Sunday mass and therefore you can’t have saving grace"

The above is not a correct answer to the Poster's question... In a state of mortal sin, a person is not to receive the Holy Eucharist. However, attending Mass is still an obligation that must be adhered to unless disposed by the priest or for some other serious reason.

God bless!
Matt W. , 12/30/11 10:02 AM
Dear Roger,

Thank you, thank you thank you. Said with clarity and compassion and with love.

Having a child who is in this category, brings many days and nights of despair. But this gives Melanie and I hope as we continue to pray for our child.

Sincerely,

Peter Watson
Peter Watson , 01/08/12 04:11 PM
Yes, thank you Roger! This brings much peace as we continue to pray for our children to turn back to Jesus!
Lillian Sako , 01/10/12 10:53 AM
I am hoping Jesus says, "welcome home" when I get to heaven. It would also be nice if he said, "well done" but we aren't supposed to earn our way in. Nothing but the blood of Jesus gets me in, If I don't feel like I am doing enough for God now I guess I will still have that experience in heaven. I'm really looking forward to heaven and want to believe it's a wonderful, loving, kind place.

Roger, I know you want to work in heaven evangelizing other planets but having worked my whole life I just want to sit on a cloud and eat chocolate.
Bobbiie Seelig , 01/10/12 12:47 PM
Hello and God bless you ! I regret to inform you that I do not agree with your teaching that God absolutely knows every single detail of everyone's life. I also do not think that you should be so quick to mock open theism. Who are you to say that you know or anyone really knows how God works ?! Who has known the mind of the Lord or instructed Him as His counselor ? His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than ours, His ways are beyond our searching and by our finite minds we can never fathom His infinite wisdom and power ! But as I have been studying Scriptures for quite some time now, I can say that your hypothesis is not in alignment with Scripture. I myself have much to learn and will never be able to fully figure out God, but I take into account my experience in the study of Scripture. God does what He pleases because He is SOVEREIGN ! His prophecies were not future predictions, but rather an unveiling of His plan that He wrote before the beginning of time, HIS WORD. The only way that the future can exist is by having a CHOICE to make a future occurance tangible. If God were to know every single detail of the future, then it would have to all be set in stone, thereby completely being contradictory to free will. God is NOT the author of confusion and He does NOT lie, and will NEVER contradict Himself ! In Scripture, it plainly states in many passages the word "if". IF you obey My commandments, IF you love Me than you love My Father in heaven, IF you eat of the fruit of the tree, etc.... Why would God give us options if it was already set in stone ? If that was a realistic doctrine than we would merely be puppets being strung along by a puppet master. Yes, God is SOVEREIGN, but He is not in control. God has authority over all, but there are certain things He must allow to happen and therefore does not control certain events that happen. For you to believe that God pre-ordains everything would be like saying that God knew or "wrote" that terrorists would crash into the WTC on September 11, 2001. If the everything in history were written from the beginning to end then there would be no point in prayer, no point of choices, no point of God even creating us. God makes it very very clear that He wants us to pray ferverently, He created us in His image, with a choice to love Him, He knows us intimately, every single fiber of our being is known by Him, but we are the ones that determine our future, that is the power of free will, in which God took a colossal risk in giving us. Last point I would like to elaborate on is this and I pray that you would consider this and that God will guide you in all truth and discernment in this matter.....God is all powerful, all knowing, all present, He is God, He can do anything. Did not God LIMIT Himself by coming down as Jesus Christ in the flesh ? So if He courageously, honorably, and humbly lowered Himself to sinful flesh for the sake of mankind, then why would He not LIMIT His omniscience for the sake of us having the choice to love Him ? I think it is more respectable, more real, more intimate, that God would limit Himself and take a risk in sacrificing His One and only begotten Son, just for us !! Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. *John 15:13* (NASB) 
May the peace of God which transcends all understanding, guard your mind and heart in Christ Jesus ! Amen 
T Ruth , 01/12/12 03:25 AM
Dear Roger,
I was very appalled that you were telling or implying that the writer should not honor her parents because they were not ideal parents. The reference used from the Bible as far was I am aware is a command and is the only command in the bible that has conditions applied to it. The condition is however applicable to children having long life not conditioned on parents being good. In essence therefore the Lord commands that children are to honor their parents eventhough they may not be perfect or the ideal as yours were. Although some people are not blessed with excellent parents God in his wisdom has become our Father and we can call Abba and rely on him at all times in all things. The word also says ALL things work together for good. So every situation helps to mold us into the person we become. My heart goes out to writer and hope she is able to take the leading of God to deal with her situation. It is during these difficult times that we are to totally rely of God to take total control of us and we would be surprised at how joy can be experiened even during these times. Finally if God commands us to love our enemies who obviously would do us some of the worse possible things how much more would he not expect us to honor our parents
Marcia Halley , 01/12/12 07:02 PM
Teresa, no one nor any relationship is perfect yea we now live in the Spirit now and everything is given up to God for His will. However who are you to judge this man. I'm sure your life is perfect and without mistake. Its Christians like you who who are quick to judge without looking in the mirror. Pointing the finger at someone else when you have THREE more pointing back at you. CHRISTIANS LIKE YOU MAKE ME THINK TWICE ABOUT HOW I REALLY LOOK AT CHRISTIANITY PERIOD. I MYSELF HAVE BEEN A FOLLOWER 8 MONTHS SOBER 8 MONTHS AND EVERY TIME I TURN AROUND THERE IS ANOTHER 'SISTER' 'BROTHER' JUDGING OTHERS AS IF THEYRE THE ONES HANDING OUT THE CROWNS. LADY GET OFF THE GAS!!!!!!
cynthia flores , 01/13/12 08:15 AM
Just wanted to say thank you i was hurt in a church and went back to my old life
But God never gave up He pursued me relentlessly
Thank you so much today I follow Him and want to tell the world of His great love
Steve in uk ps God bless you
stephen harrison , 01/16/12 09:30 AM
Thank you for your message I recieve Christ when I was 18 I am now 53. I used to be so close to God I went on mission trips worked at the church all the time,I was a teacher, I loved it but I got hurt soooooooooooo bad by the preacher it really knocked me down spiritually then that preacher left and the church got another one and he was a dictator and chased people away I had no respect for him and I finnely left, I can not seem to get the closeness back that I had with God any way thanks for what you said in your message God bless you in your ministery
frances , 01/17/12 06:52 AM
Thank you Roger for your answer. Your caring heart and caring words are touching me right now. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your thoughts. I, too, am keeping this writing for future reference. I asked God if I can be in your prayer/discussion group in heaven. Won't it be wonderful to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to him. Nancy
Nancy Weatherspoon , 01/17/12 09:05 AM
From Reading the Bible, I do not come to the conclusion that we are to forgive the unrepentant sinner, but rather we are to forgive those who finally igknolledge that they have sinned and repent of it. Jesus ask forgiveness for those who crusified him because they didn't know/believe that He was the son of God that they were murdering. Jesus forgave the thief that igknolleged Him, not the one who mocked and disbelieved Him. Jesus offers forgiveness if we repent and turn to him, not if we continue to live an ungodly life. Most people know in their minds and/or hearts what they are doing when they sin, that they are doing evil and harm. They just don't care at the time and are more 'in love' with their evil desires than with leaving others in peace. So, we must ONLY come to forgive those who sin against us IF they come to repentance of their evil ways and actions toward us. Otherwise, BURN IN HELL YOU EVIL SCUMBAGS!As for why He allows evil- He gave us free will, which unfortunately means the option to do others harm and the consicuences thereof to both themselve and the victim. No, I don't know or understand why some are rescued from being victomized and others aren't, some suffer the consciquences of their actions on earth and others just in the afterlife. I am unhappy that we have such terrible free will but there is nothing we can do about that. I believe that God understands and forgives those who blame Him for catastrophic events so long as they don't seek to hurt others for the hurt they have inside. If they do then they sin in their actions and will reseave the penalties for them.
christina Inez , 01/17/12 10:09 PM
Dear Christina, I am so sorry for the pain and suffering you are going through. I know you are still working on the issues in your mind. forgiveness does not mean that everything is all right, or that we will play like it didn't happen. It does not mean that they are off the "hook" for what they did. The are still on God's hook. He will deal with them. Forgiveness is for us--not for them. Your mom or dad may hurt you and die before they ever apologize; but you still can forgive them, Paul says that the purpose of forgiveness is to keep us from getting bitter and making our lives miserable by thinking about the inflicted hurt again and again. So, go on and forgive them when you are ready. find freedom from your tormentors. Trust that God will take care of him.
Sincerely, roger
roger barrier , 01/18/12 05:40 PM
Roger,

Thank you for writing this. What an awesome and comforting piece. I too suffer from migraines and have also gone through the neck fusion process. I feel for anyone who deals with these issues.

I will pray for your son. I hope he is able to recover without surgery. If he needs surgery similar to what I had and wants someone to talk to, I would be more than happy to answer any questions from a patients perspective.
April Schlee , 01/19/12 11:39 AM
Roger,
Thank you so much for that information. Some of my family members as well as myself have suffered from migraine headaches. One thing that has worked for a couple of us is an herb called Fever Few. It naturally helps to keep the blood vessels open and flowing properly. Just a suggestion for those who have tried all the different medications.

Debbie Hightower
Debbie Hightower , 01/19/12 11:52 AM
I was to get the neck fusion surgery, but at the last minute (I believe the Lord answered our prayers about making the right decision) the dr. said he was not going to do the surgery because there were also muscular problems that would leave me in pain from surgery as well as this 'unknown' problem. I also have Crohn's disease (since I was 14). I am now 61, & talking to my husband about the trials of these illnesses this morning (I don't talk about it much) I said I didn't feel I was being punished, but I did question many times, 'why me Lord?' (especially as a young teen) As I pondered this question over the course of my life, I've realized that there could have been no better way for me to grow spiritually than through what I have lived. It reminds me that the shepherd will sometimes break the leg of a wandering sheep to keep him close to him. I also didn't feel that I was wandering, but in closer analysis I realized I was never as close to Him (the Shepherd) as I could be and wanted to be. I don't know why things happened to me (when in remission it's easier to say this)..but I grew through the pain. He is preparing me for Heaven while on this Earth and pain is laced all through living on this Earth. I will pray for your pain. I'm so sorry you were chastised by other Christians. Sometimes that is the most painful of all! Praying for the woman at the dr. office, & for Ricky. Thank you Roger! Praying for a happy, pain free day!!
Barbara Parker , 01/19/12 12:54 PM
Dear T Ruth,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I certainly don't know all the answers, but I really enjoy wondering about them.
roger barrier , 01/19/12 12:54 PM
Thank you Roger. You always have the most amazing way of simplifying God's Word - and I don't mean that disrespectfully. I don't believe God intended for His Word to be confusing. What would be the point?
The "thorn" which He has given me is certainly no where near what some others suffer with. But I have dealt with Chronic Urticaria (chronic hives) for the last 20 years. The most frustrating part, aside from the intense itch and ugly red splotches, is the mystery. We have been to countless doctors and specialists including the Mayo Clinic with no answers or relief. I have often wondered if it's from God, Satan, or just the result of a Fallen world. But I am truly encouraged and inspired by your insight. Whatever the reason - if it strengthens my faith and my relationship with the Lord - then I praise Him for it.
God bless you and Julie. We miss you SOOOO much in Tucson.
Admiringly,
Angie Vega
Angie Vega , 01/19/12 02:38 PM
I have suffered from debilitating migranes and cluster headaches since I was a child. When I was young they would not get better until I threw up. It was awful. As I aged I just suffered through them and there was nothing I could do about it. Today I'm 48 and I still suffer from headaches, but not like I used to. I get them now about once or twice a month. What changed? I stopped drinking regular Coke. The caffeine and sugar combination was a significant trigger of my headaches. Also, when I work out regularly my headaches virtually disappear (I need to get back to working out).

I don't know if this helps anyone reading this, but these two changes helped me and did away with 90% of my headaches. I hope it helps somebody.
Tom Terry , 01/20/12 03:35 AM
When Christ floods your soul with forgiveness, and you meditate on His great sacrifice . . . It matters less and less what others do, because you're focused on His great love.He then enables you to pass it on to others. He NEVER gives up on us, even when we're terribly misguided. A former prodigal.
Kathy Jenkins , 01/21/12 07:12 AM
Great job Roger! The warm light of the Lord's grace shines brightly 'through the cracks pain and suffering have made' in your life. Blessings.
Evelyn Wright , 01/21/12 12:42 PM
My mom died suddenly at the age of 79 of a cardiac arrest. I was staying in a hotel in New Hampshire at the time after a recent trip out west. At about 4:00 AM, I was awake and getting ready to go to the bathroom. All of a sudden, a bright light came into the room and was flitting around over my side of the bed. At first I was scared and pulled the covers over my eyes, than again, I looked up in the air. The room was pitch black other than this light that was about 10 inches long, flitting around, even more quickly than before. I put my left hand out and it touched me. I didn't feel anything physically, but I felt a wonderful feeling of happiness, love, and simply a happiness I'd never felt. The light than hovered over my husband for a few seconds and continued to the left out of the room. On the way home later that day, I received a call about my mom passing away the night before at about 3:00 AM. I went from a total feeling of elation to tears and mourning. I still remember that peace and happiness. It helps with the grief, and it also helps my father who keeps wondering where she is.
Cindy Johnson , 01/24/12 11:29 AM
My mom died June 27 last summer (2011) I still cry myself to sleep sometimes.I needed an answer to that, and you answered it.I almost cried reading it. You really touched my heart. P.S.I am 10 years old.


Love,
Karyn Dion
Karyn Dion , 01/25/12 08:45 PM
I seem to suffer from migraines when I'm under a huge amount of stress. I can usually deal with stress pretty well until it is heaped upon me. I also have serotonin neurotransmitter problems. I have found that I no longer fight the migraine. Instead, I have learned to make peace with my situation, talk to God more and He makes it to where what absolutely has to be done, gets done by me.

Thank you for writing this! It has helped! Blessings!
Gloria Hass , 01/26/12 08:44 AM
CURE FOR THE MIGRAINE!!! Include but not limitted to the following:

* Mix anywhere from 2 tsp's to 2 tblsp's of APPLE CIDAR VINEGAR Daily in water, or some Orange Juice and swig down. A nasty but a Quick nasty and absolutely worth it. This will get rid of most every kind of Migraine and in less then 10 minutes. Take daily to avoid Migraines from coming back. ACV is like 89 cents for a big bottle. Can't get a cheaper cure then that. Don't take it straight.

* Migraines can be caused by the slightest variables in many factors such as internal water pressure; edema/oedema. Start journaling what your variables are.

* Stop drinking even diet iced tea and decaff teas. Again with the internal pressure thing.

* Being in a desert can cause a slew of health issues for sensitive bodies. Deserts also amplify parts of a Migraine such as the sensitivity to sounds(Hyperacousis)to sensitivity to lights. At least try to sound buffer your own home.

*Too High altitude or Too Low humidity can be a cause. Try to move.

*Decreasing the amount of sugar intake, even if you are not diabetic will alleviate, decrease symptoms.

* Splenda and other wonders of the modern day can cause Migraines, even paralysis or other things.

* Lavendar is supposed to help alleviate Migraine symptoms. A little scent under the nose.

* Supplements like Magnesium tremendously helped me along with reducing stiffness, arthritis, menstral cramps, pains, mood swings. Get Thee to a Vitamin Cottage where they offer free nutritional consultations

I had ALL of these reasons causing me migraines that were out of the ball bark. Crippling, I had no life. They would last 13 days of endless agony. I am Migraine Free now. Thank God and Praise to God for Him helping me to find cures.

* There's always Advil and such.
Alaina Reil , 01/30/12 09:38 AM
WOW!!!!!!!
vanisia tapia , 01/30/12 02:12 PM
Wow! What a timely message Roger! Rekindling our true first Love! As a Christian who has been enjoying the delights of carnality for the last several years I really needed to hear this. I am the Prodigal and as my house of cards has tumbled down the only thing I have is Jesus! I have been deeply touched by the words to the song "Oh Love that will not let me go". The table is set and I choose to dine with my Master, regardless of the price!
Larry K
Larry Kennard , 02/01/12 10:08 AM
If marijuana is used for medical purposes why would you not just take any other pill? Trusting in God for help is a first. Faith. & as sin came into the world, things that would make one sin did too. God gives us strenvth. Through him nothing is impossible. Some people smoke marijuana just to take they're mind off things. A good amoumt of them are claimed to be Christain. Why trust in marijuana but not God?
Sophia Florence , 02/05/12 12:00 PM
Wow this is such fantasy and dogs wollop.

You guys are living a dream....
James Bryer , 02/07/12 12:58 PM
My friends, I feel your pain. You are not alone. Something that has help me and my friends in this area is skip lunch as often as needed and spend your lunch in prayer for others. Jesus said a new commandment I give you, love one another and in Matt 22:37 he said that the Law(Moses) and the prophets(everything after) hang on these two commandments, love God and love your neighbor. When we fast in order to pray for others, it is loving our neighbor as ourself, and in turn like Isaiah 58 reads our garden will be well watered in the process. This is a simple biblical principle that is often over looked in a society where we are too wrapped up in ourselves. When I fast for others I gain clairity and focus spiritually of mind which fills me with good imaginations to replace the old and also I am stronger in overcoming and sometimes uninterested in the desires of the flesh, more often than not. Freedom is possible, alot of our struggles has to do with where we keep our imaginations during the day. We were created in God's image, and imagination comes from the word image. God imagined us, then we were created, what we imagine we create, whether good or bad. We invent things, the painter imagines a picture then creates it. The adulterers first imagined themselves with someone, then it became a fact. Fasting and focus can create a new you especially when your focus is on someone else. Imagine that. Richie
Richie Matlock , 02/10/12 03:12 PM

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PASTOR MEDINA MEDINA , 02/12/12 10:20 AM
Whether the devil can or cannot read our minds, I've started taking precautions when praying. I start off asking the Lord to keep Satan from hearing my prayers, except for my praise of Jesus. That's one thing the Enemy cannot stand and won't hang around to hear.
Lynn R. , 02/15/12 10:38 AM
Hi Roger,
Thanks for a very thoughtful response on honoring parents. I know you had good parents and I appreciate your insight. Over the years at Casas I learned from you how to deal with the "slush fund" and it was revelatory for me. I am just starting to deal with the reality that my parents, who failed me and my siblings on every level, including claiming to be born again, and then never living like it, are very toxic for me. Their spiritual deception further perverts truth and integrity. My five brothers and sisters were quickly caught up in drugs and promiscuity in their search for love. Our parents are still living, 66 years of marriage, and I wonder how God will make this all work out. I believe in His Power and Presence in even the worst of situations. The way my life turned out is nothing short of God working miracles for me. And my parents resent my success. It's very sad to see satan's hand in their lives. I realize that while I have honored them, I no longer have to like what they do. I fear that their salvation is not genuine.
Sandy H. , 02/19/12 05:35 PM
Brother, it IS adultery. Matt 5:32, Matt 19:9, Mark 10:2-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2-3, 1 cor 7:10-14...please read them and know that pastors will twist this scripture around on you to fit remarriage. go to www.cadz.net, www.marriagedivorce.com, http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/divorceandremarriage.php

may God reveal the truth to you brother, it is tough, but He will help you through it.
God Bless you
Gerard Suarez , 02/21/12 07:05 PM
I'm in tears reading these stories. My Mum died five months ago; she was my closest friend. I miss her incredibly.

I don't go to church really but I was praying every day for a miracle and for faith. I just want her to be in a much better place now if she can't be here on Earth.

(I know you can hear me Mum.) Love you xxx
K , 02/23/12 10:22 PM
I am from Nigeria and I was born a Muslim, I later gave my life to Christ and married a Christian, He was an abusive husband and I have marks to show for my 7 yrs marriage to him, I left him and waited after another 7 yrs I met a Muslim man that was actually a wonderful man, we had 2 children and we are happy, I became a teacher of the word and I realised that I had to make some very difficult restitution, My purpose of writing this is that My Christian Husband was a very cruel and manipulative man while my Muslim husband was a great guy who actually tried to live with my faith BUT its still not the same, I cant hold christian meetings at home despite the fact that am the co-ordinator for House fellowship in my Church, I cant pray loud at home so as not to disturb my Huby and worst of all I cant atke my Children to Church. So it is better not to be equally yoked, I have lived it and I can tell you it will not work no matter how nuch love exist, I KNOW.
kehinde adenrele , 02/27/12 07:09 AM
“And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”
--Jesus Christ

Barnes' Notes on the Bible:

And I say unto you - Emphasis should be laid here on the word "I." This was the opinion of Jesus - this he proclaimed to be the law of His kingdom, the command of God ever afterward.

This is the law of God; and by the same law, all marriages which take place after divorce, where fornication is not the cause of divorce, are adulterous.

Legislatures have no right to say that people may put away their wives for any other cause; and where they do, and where there is marriage afterward, by the law of God such marriages are adulterous!

People's New Testament:

“I say unto you,” we have here Christ's law of divorce.

He committeth adultery...because he is married still to his former wife, who is still his wife in spite of the divorce; so, too, if any man marries the divorced woman, he marries another man's wife.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:

Causeth her to commit adultery; that is, as much as in him lies: should she commit it, he is the cause of it, by exposing her, through a rejection of her, to the sinful embraces of others; and, indeed, should she marry another man, whilst he is alive, which her divorce allows her to do, she must be guilty of adultery; since she is his proper wife, the bond of marriage not being dissolved by such a divorce.

And whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery; because the divorced woman he marries, and takes to his bed; is legally the wife of another man; and it may be added, from Matthew 19:9 that her husband, who has put her away, upon any other account than fornication, should he marry another woman, would be guilty of the same crime.

In Matthew 5:32 "causeth her to commit adultery also", by being the occasion of marrying another man, when she is still his lawful wife.

Divorce + Remarriage = An Adulterous Relationship

http://www.marriagedivorce.com/
Paul , 02/27/12 11:29 PM
I will need some clarity on your exposition. You claimed Isaiah 14:12-15 should make us to believe that heaven mentioned is not the real heaven, where did it mentioned that there was other heaven? Was it then that the most high God was in another heaven while Satan was in another heaven with 1/3 of the other created angels?
And if your conclusion is that the new heaven will be coming down from heaven, which i assumed is in the literal context, then I will hold that all the precious stones used to pave the streets are literal? I thought Peter mentioned, (2 Peer 3:10-13) that the earth will be cleansed from all unrighteousness, or evil,for the day comes when the Lord will cleanse the Earth, the sinners out of it (Isaiah 13:9-11)
Is not the tabernacle of God (Rev 21:3) symbolizes God indwelling presence with men?

Thanks
F.Taylor
francis taylor , 03/04/12 08:05 AM
HELLO, PARADOX (That's a private joke, folks.)

Thank you for that. I've struggled with issues of anger and bitterness for years. It's good to hear how others have overcome.

Is Richard (or "Dick," as he briefly styled himself) still among the living? If he is, do you think reading your column would make any impression at all upon him?

Oh, by the way--I still strugle with a tendency to gossip.
Bill Foltz , 03/06/12 11:08 AM
Lets not forget that this man has lost (or really gave up) his 3 children and what seems like a wonderful wife. I would bet that any vengeance your mind could think of wanting, he is now experiencing. You have the very best part of him, the children, and he has nothing. Hopefully this will bring him to Jesus, finally.

I know Jesus is taking care of you more now than ever.

Amber , 03/06/12 01:11 PM
If I were the man upstairs reading all these comments, I would be very disappointed. First of all, pills, alcohol, tobacco, or any other narcotic takes an actual process for man to create in order to "work". it actually doesn't work, and that is why we have "cancer". If we would just eliminate the substances in our lives that create harm and inflict pain with something as simplistic as a PLANT in which God has created for us to enjoy, maybe there would be a heaven. Read your scriptures. The first plant grown from King of Solomon's grave was cannabis. It is used to heal all nations.
Not alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, rx pills, or any of the other crap WHICH has been proven to kill you. People please wake up and educate yourselves. If marijuana was so harmful, why is it curing cancer?
Melissa Alger , 03/07/12 02:35 PM
Ivan Tate , 03/09/12 11:41 PM
Beautiful Roger. I find myself seeking answers to questions lately when I don't really even know the questions. Our grandson's health is waning yet he has lived for 14 years when over and over we thought it was his last Thanksgiving, last Christmas, last birthday. When we were at his house on his 12th birthday and he slowly eeked out (he has a trach)...'Grammy...can you believe it..next year I will be a teenager!' I had to hide my tears because I never thought we would celebrate that birthday. We did. Now we await his 15th birthday in June. Against all odds, Jacob has survived. Yet knowing one day he won't has changed our lives forever. Daily. Our dear dear friend has the same cancer as your dad. We celebrate life with he and his wife right now, and wait. My uncle just passed away on the 17th of Feb. He was my second dad. Today was my day of...hmmm...the house of cards starting to fall? The Lord has provided 3 testimonies of others surviving trials that are enormous. Thank you. Yours was one of them. The Lord hears my 'groanings' as Andy Thomas said on his post today. I didn't realize I was too weary to truly pray, but I think I was. He heard my cries, and saw my fears and my tears and He answered. Thank you for your post. We all suffer. When we know Jesus...it's going to be okay.
Barbara Parker , 03/12/12 11:40 PM
Dear Rodger,

I feel like you and I are brothers. Just about everything you suffered in life? So has my family, I was a big time loser, until about 5 years ago.

Given the death notice, My wife called on you and your servanst of God at Casas for spiritual prayer.

God performed a miracle, he refused to let Hell have my soul and spirit.

After 7 operations from Heart to Colon Cancer I am feeling great,, I have repented and have been saved by the grace of God and his son Jesus Christ.

again, thanks in a way only you can comprehend,,,cheers,,I have the best God ever and wife as well amen
Larry P Pinkerton , 03/13/12 09:01 AM
Roger, You've told much of this to your congregation at Casas before, and of course I have heard it. I cannot imagine being 12 or 13 and having open-heart surgery, let alone then being told it was a mistake. You have endured much, and your faith was strengthened through it to make you the powerful man for God you have become. My faith, I suppose, is sufficient for me. I am not strong enough that I think I could endure what you have. If I needed to, I expect God would supply the strength. I hope you can understand when I say I would hope it would never be necessary for me. That you have endured, however, gives me, and I am certain others, strength to continue through what we do endure. Thank you.
Thomas Wheeler , 03/13/12 10:44 AM
I thought all was lost. I had done everything wrong. The more I tried to convince her to take me back, the more she pushed me away. but agbalaxy@gmail.com helped me to get her to want me again and now I have my girlfriend back. Thank you. Greenberg
Green berg , 03/14/12 11:02 PM
was there ever sin in heaven? if so what was it? could you send the answer to my e-mail?
sinle jackson , 03/15/12 01:24 PM
Me and my husband has been separated for 7 months. Is it a sin to still having sex with him?
Gerilyn Richardson , 03/18/12 01:12 AM
Hello,
I think too, that schisophrenia is possible to have under control :). People can be very caring! My mom has this ilness, she raised me alone with the hELp of my grandmother :) i come from christian family, by the way. BUT. I dont also agree that is possible to live with obsessive compulsive personality disorder! They are so impossible to live with and they ARE ABUSIVE, VERY PASSIVE AGRESSIVE. 1)My bestfriend separets from the boyfriend, they have been togehter for 3 years. It was a hell!!!! 2)And im with man (im 40-divorced for 10 yars after 9 years unsecsessful marriage-2 children on my own, he/the guy is 36) - he is in divorce prosess after 17 year of marriage! Wife is OBSESSIVE COMMPULSIVE (personality disorder). So, she was abusive PSYCOLOGICALLY, SEXUALLY (witholding sex), FINANCIALLY. We found out all that together, because i wanted to know why he fell in love with me :).... So we went into details an WOW, SO BAD IT WAS- no respect, almost no sex and no caring (no emotional, verbal, psycological care at all, very manipulating). I think, its not just DISORDERS, but also how people manage to controll themselves. But disorders DO HARM - its difficult to explain. Totally different, not adeqat reactions to anythuing, very controlling an so on. Be careful, people. I noticed in my single life for 10 years - IF ALL STARS VERY PASSIONATELY, VERY (TOO) BEAUTIFUL, FAST - be carefull, that not right :)
Im gonna marry the guy. He noticed that im very nice person, i noticed that he is also very nice person. But we have looong life experience, we can see things. But for ypung people is different, its diffucult to see things until they MARRY.... Because, THINGS CHANGE RIGT AFTER YOU MARRY!!!!!!!!!!!! If happens so - its a clue for something wrong. People dont CHANGE IF THEY ARE HONEST BEFORE MARRIAGE :). It can take not 1-2-3 yeras to see things. It can take more years until you realise that you married wrong person....
Good luck to all!
Bea , 03/19/12 08:03 AM
Roger - I liked your story. This is why. People cannot imagine or grasp the idea of the Creator of the Universe having a personal interaction with them. Like He is too big and they are too small or insignificant. They try to place a boundary or limit on One Who is Limitless. I also get amazed to hear people tell the story of how the Sunday Sermon was delivered with the message tailored just for them or how they heard the Lord speaking to them during the quiet time of the Communion Meditation. If only more people would come forward with their encounters with the Living God; books would be filled Roger. Not every one is a bold as you or as good as a communicator to relate the event. But if every story be told, libraries would be filled, I am sure. For the Lord God surely loves His children, the sheep of His pasture. God bless you and Julie; continued blessings on your ministries. George.
George Erhardt , 03/20/12 10:35 PM
Is it so unbelievable that Cain married his sister? Just because the Bible doesn't specifically mention that Adam and Eve had daughters directly after-or in between- the births of Cain and Abel doesn't mean they didn't. Even if Cain married his sister, things were different then, genetics were probably different too. With genetics getting bottle-necked after the Flood and a few thousand years of genes becoming 'diluted' so to speak, things change, and God surely knows what's best for us, anytime, anywhere.
Trust in God , 03/29/12 01:15 AM
Roger,
Thank you so much for this article! I have suffered from debilitating, hormonal-related migraines for the past three years, and it is really comforting to see such understanding of my suffering, of God, and of the purpose of pain. But I would like to point out that Mormons do not follow a different gospel from the one that Paul preached. We love and revere the words of the Bible and do our very best to follow them. I cannot imagine surviving the pain of migraines without my faith in Christ that has been built up through my years of participating in the Mormon church. I know that Christ suffered for each of our afflictions. He has a perfect understanding of what we are going through and is thus the perfect comforter. I have definitely found that my suffering has brought me closer to Him, as you suggest is a cause of suffering pain in this life. Although I have never seen a study on the subject, I am quite certain that there is no correlation between suffering from migraines and being Mormon. It is true that Mormon churches use fluorescent lights that are particularly bad for migraines. Sadly, I have had to miss church on occasion because of this. Also, I have noticed that feeling the Holy Ghost strongly can occasionally act as a strong sensory input, like light, sound, or smell, which can make migraines worse. But I wouldn't give up opportunities to feel the Holy Ghost for the world. It gives me pure joy, brings me closer to God, and encourages me to be a better person. Another purpose of pain that I have found is to find more joy in health by comparison. I am sick one week out of each month, but then for the other three weeks I revel in my health and thank God I am well each day.
Sarah Linsenmayer , 04/02/12 12:20 AM
Fascinating subject, and one I didn't really think would be addressed in here. I am often astounded and disappointed at the close-mindedness of fellow Christians to the notion of life elsewhere in the universe. I have encountered believers who say that we have no business exploring space in any way whatsoever, either in person, through mechanized probes, or even telescopes. They say there's nothing out there of interest to them, or to any Christian.

I disagree. There is nothing wrong with exploration and discovery, and I believe that there must be intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. God is not wasteful. Why create an incomprehensible immensity like the universe, and only populate one meager world? We would have been staggered with a lot less. Look at the images that the Hubble Space Telescope delivered to us. Not evidence of life, but I certainly can see God's creative glory in them.

I find Peter Watson's comment interesting: "It wouldn't surprise me that God would show His cosmic glory on a '...little planet with a second-rate star tucked in between two spiral arms in the Milky Way galaxy.'" Consider what Bethlehem was. Not exactly the center of activity in the ancient world, but God had His Son born there. The same could be true on a cosmic scale.
Christopher Shaw , 04/03/12 10:24 AM
i suffered a trajic abusive marriage...years ago...since my divorce i have learned the importance of counseling...and moreover...good counseling. I recommend an organization called Focus on the Family....they have an excellent radio show and a fone no. that can get you connected with a good Christian counselor...
robin wanke , 04/03/12 12:20 PM
Being raised to believe we were alone, that God was all wise and all knowing, and then learning to love science fiction as a child, I never struggled with the concept of other liveable worlds.

I have always felt so special that God loved us so much to do what we KNOW He did, and trust Him enough to reveal more to us as He sees fit in the future.

What a mighty God we serve. Enjoy the ride !
Phil Auernheimer , 04/04/12 11:56 AM
I think we should think there is another world out there, and that we should do our best in every way, and every action to be better than it!
Aaron Alvarez , 04/05/12 01:03 AM
Roger, I found your information very interesting and helpful.

Thank you
world citizen , 04/09/12 11:04 PM
I really believe it comes down to the motive behind the action. Otherwise, young boys would be sinning when they experience their "wet dreams", waking up shocked at what their bodies have done.
If a person is "pent up" with sexual drive simply from being human, would it not be better to allow that pressure to be released in a private setting than begin to lust after another's body? This is not the same as the person who begins with porn or lusting and it drives to masturbating. This is the person that has a physical need. The spouse that is out of town. The widow/er that has lost their spouse. Would it not be permissable to relieve their bodies than to harbor a desire that leads to sins explicitely spoken of in the Bible?
Of course, this should not be a daily event. In that case, it would be an addiction, which would become a different issue.
M F , 04/11/12 06:48 AM
I have been having a tough time recently and the stories of God's might and power in Josh 3, 4 moved me to tears. Unless I do not wish to come out in faith like the Joshua, I will be missing a huge part of His goodness.

Thank you for your explanation. I feel empowered by the knowledge that He who did a good work then will continue to do so in me. Love, trish
trish lye , 04/12/12 10:50 PM
thanks for your knowledge sharing. i want verses to teach on this coming sunday in church
Aloysious Matt , 04/13/12 06:14 AM
Can the man with two wives now that have accepted Christ be baptized?
Zachary Khor , 04/15/12 03:51 AM
It seems to me the Adam and Eve part of this is a two-part question. 1) Did Adam and Eve poop? , and 2) if so, did it smell? I do not know the answer to the first. It seems perfect bodies would produce no waste, but all one can really do there is speculate. However, if they did poop, I am quite sure of the answer to the second part. It absolutely did not smell. Why? Because all bad smells are a result of death. Human waste and even body odor is a result of dead bacteria. And a dead animal (or person)? We all know what happens to the air quality in the vicinity of a clump of decaying flesh. Since foul smells originate from death, and there was no death before the fall, I am certain that if Adam and Eve did poop, it had no bad smell. As for in Heaven, while there presumably are notable differences between Adam and Eve's pre-fall bodies and glorified Heavenly bodies, it seems a safe bet there is no pooping in Heaven, and an absolute certainty there are no bad smells there!
, 04/16/12 08:57 AM
When Jesus died on the cross, so did tithing. See Hebrews 7:5,12,18.

The New Testament calls for generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, and NOT under compulsion. Tithing was like a tax. It had nothing to do with giving nor the heart.

Christians give, not tithe.
Gary Arnold , 04/16/12 06:36 PM
at least two marriages should be allowed in christianity because everyone is not lucky to ohave a desired wife of his wishes due to poverty or some other reasons...divorce is not a justice as she would suffer from it may commit suicide or go in to depression if a man can establish coordination between two wifes then no worry he should marry two and live a happy life and should serve lord like others do...
prashant john , 04/17/12 08:47 AM
The tithe surely is a word we hear Jesus mention only once in New Testament scripture, and Paul only once in all the epistles, in Hebrews 7. It therefore is mentioned less than 1 percent in all New Testament scripture. What's the big deal? God bless all the non tithing Christians! But like Gary said, giving is the correct term!!
justin butler , 04/18/12 12:42 AM
I have been a tither for many years, and believe in it wholheartedly. Just because Jesus mentions something only once, does that mean we disregard it? What Jesus has to say is wayyyy more important that what any of your educated opinions have to say, and He said not to disregard tithing!!! ""Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former." HE said..."without NEGLECTING the FORMER (tithing)!As far as the advice given, I believe that anything a non-believing spouse desires of us that does not line up with the Word of God, or when a spouse tries to persuade us to disobey the Word of God- we are NOT required to submit!!!SUBMIT to God!
Kimberly Crayton , 04/18/12 01:11 PM
@Kimberly,

YOU don't tithe per the scriptures. No one does. Notice Jesus said they ought to tithe their HERBS, but said NOTHING about them tithing from their income from their professions as lawyers and teachers.

God defined His tithe in Leviticus 27:30-33 as a tenth of the increase of the seed (crops) and animals in herds and flocks, NOT money, and NOT from anyone's income.

Have you ever read what the scriptures say you are to do with the tithe? Read Deut. 14:22-29. Do YOU follow the scriptures?

The Biblical tithe was to be EATEN by the tither, his family, the Levites, the priests, the widows, the orphans, and the stranger.

Is that what you do? OR, do you instead follow the teachings of MAN to take a tenth of your income to the church? That is not tithing.

No Christian Church in the US ever taught anyone to tithe on their income before 1870. Do the research and read your Bible.

Pastors never seem to explain the truth about the Biblical tithe.

First, ONLY those who inherited the promised land with everything on it were commanded to tithe. In other words, God GAVE to them their land and all buildings already on that land, including houses, barns, etc. No mortgage payment. No rent payment. Free and clear. Then God said He reserved a tenth of the crops and animals that HE would increase. He gave them the land and buildings, and then the crops and animals, but reserved, for Himself, a tenth of the crops and animals. He gave them their home and their job! He never asked them to pay Him a tenth of any money they earned; i.e. from selling the food from the crops and animals, or from bartering the crops and animals, or from any other income or earnings.

Now, wouldn't it be nice if today God gave each of us a piece of land with a house on it, free and clear, and only required us to pay Him a tenth of what we earn? That would be a great deal for most of us.

What tithing was in Biblical times and how the church teaches tithing today is like comparing apples to automobiles. It is like comparing a gift to a debt. There is nothing common between the two other than tenth.

It's a real shame how the tithing scam has spread around the world. I am sure God is not pleased.
Gary Arnold , 04/18/12 08:42 PM
A person is acting like a non-believer because he does not want to tithe? Unbelievable! His refusal to tithe might be an indication of some hurt or frustration with God? Amazing!

Please do now sow discord in people’s homes with this rather unbiblical take on the tithe. Nowhere in scripture are we told that the New Testament church is supposed to tithe and Jesus never ever taught that tithing is the natural outcome of a heart of love and obedience to God.

The rule of thumb in the New Testament on giving is that anything given willingly and cheerfully is acceptable. No tithes are commanded.

@Kimberly, if you tithe anything other than mint, dill and cummin, then you are not obeying the words of Jesus. The biblical tithes consisted of crops, grains, wine, olive oil, flocks and herds alone. Nowhere in the bible is a tithe of money commanded.

God bless.
Tony Isaac , 04/19/12 07:48 AM
Thank God he loves us and gives us redemption.
It was interesting to read through this string now that I have the matter settled between God and myself.

After nearly ten years of marriage to a man I Loved deeply, but who was emotionally and sexually abusive towards me, I was in a place of desperation. Growing depression and a desire to just die. I could barely get myself out of bed anymore and the effort I had always put in to trying to get my husband to love me and show him I loved him, was depleted. I was never good enough for him and he spent our marriage trying to change me to being what he thought I should be instead of appreciating me for who I was. I in turn, try as I might, was not good enough at housework and gained weight, two things which greatly displeased my husband.

I never believed in divorce, and although my husband had wanted to leave me since our honeymoon, he also did not believe in divorce. (We were both virgins till we married too by the way). I allowed myself to get into a place where I could see no way out. I found myself in a situation with a friend who was attracted to me and I cheated on my husband. Although I had the strength to stop before we actually had sexual intercourse, and, for the first time found a man who immediately listened to and respected my "no", even though we were well and truly on our way towards having sex. This man was divorced, his unbelieving wife having left him after years of sexually withholding from him, lying to him and living secret lives he didnt find out about until later. He had never been with anyone except her, although he only became a Christian while married to her.

Within two weeks I told my husband what happened and what had almost happened. He wavered between being upset about failing in marriage and feeling finally free from me, from being angry that I had turned to the comfort of someone else's arms and confessing all the things he had been doing in secret behind my back. And for the first time he agreed to come to counselling with me (previously I had just gone on my own as he refused). Throughout this time I was completely honest with him. I didn't want to be with him anymore because it was abundantly clear to me that I could be with someone who loved me and wouldn't sexually or emotionally mistreat me. But I would wait on his decision, go to counselling and do whatever was needed. After a short while he decided that that wasn't good enough- if I didn't immediately feel the love and desire that I always used to feel for him (but which he never felt for me), then he would exercise his "right" to leave me on the grounds that I cheated on him. And so he did and we proceeded with getting a mutually signed divorce.

The good thing for him was that in going through this process he finally turned to God, for the first time in his life. Till now he had had a set of religious beliefs and lived a fear based life based on them. Now he found a relationship with God.

For me, I also turned back to that relationship with God that I had let slip during the later years of marriage. But I also commenced a new relationship with the same guy I 'cheated' on my ex-husband with. Eventually I got to a point where, after wading through many discussions about divorce and remarraige, I was prepared, whether I liked it or not, for whatever God wanted from me. I asked him for clarity, and cried thinking I would have to go back to a marriage which would just kill me with a guy who didnt understand, respect or appreciate me.

So I asked God if it was ok to be with my new relationship and felt a strong sense of peace, feeling that it would be ok, but not always easy- I just needed to keep trusting him.
Not convinced that the "peace" was God and not just me trying to justify what I wanted, I prayed again and again, always feeling this peace about my new relationship.

However I was still being bombarded by others about the evils of remarraige and the necessity of trying to get back with my husband, especially now that he had turned his life to GOd and the confusion and distress this caused was difficult to bear and causing a great strain on my new relationship.

I decided to have some space from my new relationship and he was quite upset about this, given the amount of time he had already waited for me. But I felt I had to be prepared to lose him. Then I prayed again. I specifically asked God for clarity on these fronts. Firstly, if that peace I felt about my new relationship was really from him. Second, if I should try to reconcile with my ex-husband. Third, if I should just remain unmarried and seek a relationship with neither. That Sunday I went to a different church and the pastor called me out with a word from God. He told me that the peace I was feeling was from GOd and that I should stop doubting it, embrace it and trust what he was telling me. He also said that the confusion I was feeling would be clarified, even over the next few days. Two other people also spoke over me and confirmed the same thing, that I would find healing from the pain of the past in accepting the future.

Two days later I received an email from my ex-husband. He basically said that he was glad we were at a point where we could talk in ways that were healing, but that he felt he needed to clarify (yes he used that word) with me that there was no way we would be in a relationship again and urged me not to entertain any thoughts about that possibility. He also stated that I was free to move on with a relationship with the other guy. The next day I also received a message from the other guy telling me he loved me and God had answered his prayers about us in a way that somewhat surprised him. Not having been raised a Christian he believed that it was ok for us to enter a sexual relationship since we were going to get married and had already somewhat been together, and were not looking at our first marriages, but our seconds. But God told him that he needed to be patient with me and ensure we built our relationship up right, ensuring no further sexually immorality at all so that we had a strong foundation for our future marriage.

I must say, based on what many Christian sites say, I was surprised that God didnt tell me to go and try to convince my ex-husband to try again, or to remain unmarried so I could focus on other work He had for me. I had grieved thinking this is where it would take me and was prepared. Both my ex and I stuffed up our relationship and ended it with the tragedy of divorce. But God very clearly gave me the choice and freedom to move on and make a new life, with a new path. I don't believe it is the ideal, and it has and will cause additional problems- but my first marriage was destroying me and not serving the function that marriage should. I am so happy that God has shown me that he cares more about me, his child, than he does about making sure everything is "right".

I still believe God hates divorce and I believe the Christian church should be promoting healthy, functioning marriage relationships, with the first course of action from problems being redemption and healing. However He loves us more than he loves the rules that exist to protect us- so when we fail and fail to use the rules in the protective manner in which they were designed, he does not condemn us from walking with Him in the next best option. Neither should we condemn people who find hope and healing through a new relationship.

God is Love. God is Holy. And He can use even the bad things we do towards His good. Even after we fail and have to start again, learning to rely more on Him the next time around. Trust Him, not people's opinions, as we each go through a journey searching for Him and learning to not just cope with the pains endured in this sin filled world, but to enact God's love and healing.


Bethany Renee , 04/19/12 09:19 AM
this is what gets me: supposedly educated pastors and ministers that DO NOT rightly divide the Word. then give faulty counsel to people who need a real answer to their problems. tithing was part of the law which Christ fulfilled at calvary. Galatians 3:10-14
tim terry , 04/23/12 08:41 AM
Hi Roger...
I distinctly remember a faith-flowering sermon I heard once about subatomic particles imbued with signature songs. Such a creative, detail-oriented Father is not about to lose a molecule of those He loves. Cremation or postmortem worms have never bothered me since; nothing can trump the power of Jesus' resurrection and nothing will be lost to our incredible God. He will delight in restoring those He loves, triumphing over whatever diabolical destruction in this world that the Evil One has attempted, past or future. My in-laws' bodies are buried among fellow-believers of a previous generation. My mother's ashes are next to her mother's, but I dwell on the anticipation of greeting their heavenly bodies in a much Better place!
Linda Borden , 04/24/12 05:47 PM
Dear Tony,
Thanks for the helpful comments. While I happen to disagree with most of your conclusions on tithing, using the word "unbeliever" was not good. I make a mistake there. What would have been better was to say that he was acting like a "carnal Christian."

Thanks again,
Roger
roger barrier , 04/25/12 08:07 PM
@Roger,

You are still saying that one that does not tithe is acting like a "carnal Christian."

Let's use some common sense here. You, Sir, are using a man-made definition of tithing while Tony and I are using God's definition of tithing. You are using the worldly definition, while we are using the Godly definition. Now be honest here. Who is acting like a "carnal Christian" here?
Gary Arnold , 04/26/12 12:40 PM
Carnal christian? That is even worse! To be honest, I don't get you at all. Just as Gary stated, you give your own definition to biblical things and then turn around and call someone else carnal. That is quite disappointing to say the least. I most sincerely hope "Name withheld" does not take your advice as it would definitely destroy her home
Tony Isaac , 04/27/12 04:08 AM
I am a Christian survivor of child abuse, incest and rape and I have been clean and sober for almost 20 years. I have never heard it put like this but I do know it has help me to see why I act and feel the way I do at time. Every time I try to grieve I feel I can't cause of those around me. Seem to tell me what I should or should not feel or try to fix me. I just wanted to say thank you for tackling this sensitive topic with such compassion. I am sharing it with others that are survivors also. It will help so many cause I know what it has done for me. Thank you!
Paula , 04/27/12 12:52 PM
1> Right on the money as usual, Roger!
I am male, but as a kid I suffered from harsh parenting and bullying at school. At age 62, I am still dealing with the after-effects.


Of greater grief to me is my abusive behavior to others, especially to girls and women. If I were ever again to do something I did to a girl when I was 13, I hope I would have the guts to turn myself in to the police, and to tell the court to lock me up for as long as they saw fit. And I know that my wife would support that decision.
2. I've been waiting a long time to get this off my chest:

There is a certain Christian leader. So you'll know exactly who I'm talking about: He holds a PhD in New Testament, and he leads a school from which we both graduated.

I heard him speak in 1974, and was charmed by him. Either he was hiding a dark side all along, or he has changed for the worst. He has done some despicable things. The worst, in my book:

Several years ago, several Christian women and teenage girls publicly accused a dynamic young Baptist preacher sexually abusing them. This guy was a friend and protege of the Rev. Dr.
Not content to deny that friend was guilty, big Dr. P publicly libeled these women and girls.
Lo and behold, Mr. Dynamic preacher was indicted, tried, and convicted, and is serving a prison term. Has Dr. ever admitted that he was wrong? Has he ever apologized to his sisters in Christ? Not to my knowledge. If he has, would someone please inform me.

By what possible criterion is such a man fit to lead God's people??? Whyis he being tolerated? Should he not be removed, and if he does not repent,forced to live out his remaining years in ignominy and shame?

our thoughts and advice would be appreciated by me, and I'm sure by others.
Bill Foltz , 05/01/12 10:08 AM
In the interest of full disclosure, and as an urgent prayer request:

The man to whom I referred in the above posting was Dr. Paige Patterson, President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Spirit convicted me that I should contact both sides, and get their side of the story. Accordingly, I emailed Dr. Patterson on May 3, 2012. He replied on May 4.

The reply was gracious in tone, and nondefensive (for sheer literary prowess, few prominent Christian leaders equal him.) Nevertheless, I am not satisfied with it.
This matter has been a source of pain tothousands of God's people. It desperately needs a public resolution.

Within the next few days, I will likewise contact Dr. Patterson's accusers.

Dr. Patterson, his accusers, and the thousands of onlookers very much need your prayers. Please include me in those prayers.
Bill Foltz , 05/05/12 05:46 AM
ROGER and J
I'm mad at God. I can't seem to forgive him. Why? The father I never knew is dead. My mother is there for me physically, but not emotionally or spiritually. I feel like I have no family. I was also mentally abused by God and his leashed dog the devil back in 2005. Yes I sinned but did I have to be tortured? I envy other people's families, earthly comforts, fame, and even beauty. I explain a lot of my pain in my blog: http://imagodeivision.wordpress.com.

You know what I realized on the National Day of Prayer two days ago? That just like the Jews during World War II, I'm putting God on trial. But I can't do that. I can't accuse or find fault in him. I can't forgive, show mercy, or judge him. I'm the one on trial through my trying experiences, not God...

ED C.
I'm sorry for your pain. I can see you've been given lots of bad advice. Music is the heart of God. It's vital in worship. How can anyone think it would detract you from him?

There's nothing inherently wrong with money or college either. I heard someone say that if God blesses you with money (and it's not his only blessing), you should be a pipe instead of a tub. What matters is what you do with money. What matters is your motives. Money is like a weapon or a social network: it's neutral but we're not. The problem is our heart, not it.

And college? I told someone yesterday that education should be a chiseling tool to help others, not a hammer to knock them down into little pegs. I believe if a person has an opportunity to receive formal education, he/she should take it. Otherwise they shouldn't feel bad if they don't have the opportunity. Others shouldn't make them feel bad either. Education doesn't define us, just grow us. If we 'lose our faith' in college, we never had any faith to start with.
Kelley K. , 05/05/12 12:49 PM
For all of you, I strongly recommend "Streams in the Desert." Today's post is "The Captive" (Ezekiel 1:1-3).

http://www.christianity.com/devotionals/streams-in-the-desert/1395203/
Kelley K. , 05/05/12 01:01 PM
So glad to see and hear you speak about this Roger! So so well said!!! My husband and I only wonder if there is any way to save our economy at this point! I guess that will be a question that will be answered before long! Thank you Roger!
Barbara Parker , 05/05/12 01:10 PM
Like your post Roger. I have been thinking about the same verses from Genesis in relation to the national economy as well recently. From my calculations, Joseph levied an average taxation rate of 50% during the plentiful years in order to have the same standard of living during the lean years. I also wonder how the grain was doled out during the lean years from the reserve they built up. Was it proportional to the amount put in, based on "real need" or rationed equally? They apparently had enough to sell to foreigners during this time also (his brothers coming down to buy grain).
Fred Jones , 05/05/12 04:25 PM
Thanks Roger. - Will share on my facebook wall, for all my nieces, nephew, and children to see. Retired folks like my husband and I, who have saved, drive 1991 paid off cars, have no mortgage or debt, have shrinking income, and fears of sinking. Won't be a worry too much longer. Plan A - New home in heaven, when God calls us.
betty frank , 05/05/12 04:48 PM
Thank you Roger. It is good to have someone speak about finances without placing blame on specific individuals - refreshing. It continues to be my prayer this nation will repent and turn our hearts toward Jesus for many generations to come.
Vivian Chansky , 05/05/12 10:56 PM
1. The teaching that "God expects Believers to give 10% of their income as an act of faith, obedience, and love. And if they do, God will bless them. But if they don't, they're robbing God and cursed with a curse"
Evelyn Marie , 05/09/12 04:11 AM
1. The teaching that "God expects Believers to give 10% of their income as an act of faith, obedience, and love. And if they do, God will bless them. But if they don't, they're robbing God and cursed with a curse"
Evelyn Marie , 05/09/12 04:12 AM
1. The teaching that "God expects Believers to give 10% of their income as an act of faith, obedience, and love. And if they do, God will bless them. But if they don't, they're robbing God and cursed with a curse"
Evelyn Marie , 05/09/12 04:13 AM
The teaching that "God expects Believers to give 10% of their income as an act of faith, obedience, and love. And if they do, God will bless them. But if they don't, they're robbing God and cursed with a curse"
Evelyn Marie , 05/09/12 04:17 AM
Dear Evelyn, thanks for taking to share your thoughts. I will respond to point four below. I encourage you to turn to Genesis 14:17-20 which occured long before the Old Testament covenant. Tithing transends the OT and the NT as an eternal principle and activity for all people to follow.
Also, do an indepth study of Hebrews 7 and note the eternal relationship between Jesus and Melchizedek in all things regarding to God.

I hope you will enjoy this study.

God Bless you,

Love, Roger
roger barrier , 05/09/12 03:52 PM
@Roger,

You state that tithing started before the law and therefore is an eternal principle. There are many things that started before the law that are not considered eternal principles. That is faulty reasoning.

Furthermore, the ONLY example of a tithe being given before the law is Abram giving a tenth of war spoils to Melchizedek and kept nothing for himself. The Word does not tell us WHY Abram gave the tenth. IF God had given such a law to Abram, then he abolished that law when the Mosaic law came into being as under the Mosaic law, God did NOT require a tenth of war spoils, but rather 1.1% (Numbers 31). Therefore, to say tithing was before the law and then in the law is not true. What Abram did in no way resembles the Mosaic laws of tithing.

The Bible clearly shows that the tithe ENDED at the cross in the Book of Hebrews. The ONLY place in the Bible, after Calvary, that tithing appears is in Hebrews 7. In the first nine verses of Hebrews 7 the words tenth or tithes appears SEVEN TIMES.

Hebrews 7:5 (KJV) “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:”

Verse 5 is the first occurrence of the words TITHES, COMMANDMENT and LAW.

Hebrews 7:12 (KJV) “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.”

Hebrews 7:18 (KJV) “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.”

The word COMMANDMENT in verse 18 must be referring to the word COMMANDMENT in verse 5 which is referring to the tithe.

Therefore, the COMMANDMENT to TITHE was disannulled.
Gary Arnold , 05/09/12 08:00 PM
Roger,

I miss your teaching at Casas but am so happy to read the material provided in PreachIt TeachIt.

My husband & I just completed the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Univeristy program sponsored by Casas.

We have been living in sin of materialism, not with lavish item but by not saving to buy the big ticket items & budgeting to support our family on our income. Your message reinforces what Dave Ramsey teaches, I think God is really talking to me.

Thank you!
Myrlene Francis , 05/10/12 10:56 AM
i have been sexually abused by my step-dad and i told my mum and she chose my step-dad over me. both of them go to church on a regular basis. from my horrific experience i can honestly say that all sexual predators need hanging and those who hide behind relegion. my nan who also is a christian told me; god says to be forgiven you must forgive. my step-dad is a fraud he isn't religeous because no christian can lie and be a sexual predator in the lords house just to be forgiven its is abysmal. i could never forgive him for what he did, he has traumatized me, lied to my family, took my family away from me. i am oonly 18 now i was 14-16 when these horrific events happened they were on going everynight. i had to go through pregnancy without my mother, i had to go through labour without my mother i had to go through the first 6 months of my childs life without my mother all because of him and you expect that i should forgive him. you are all on drugs unless you have been in the same situation as me then you FORGIVE HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lolly , 05/10/12 06:08 PM
Hi all,

I practice Acupuncture and I am a Christian.

Firstly, acupuncture points, where needles are usually inserted, is not a made up story. To a practiced/experienced fingertips these can be felt. Therefore, acupuncture points are not created or designed by someone but rather it was discovered. It was there naturally, meaning God has created it for us to use.
Just as God has created the nervous system, or the blood vessels.

Secondly, Daoism (Taoism). This is sometimes referred to as a religion. Daoism is simply observations of nature. Quite simply, it teaches to follow and stay in tune with nature. It does not necessarily teach to believe or worship certain gods or spirits.

Thirdly, the idea of Qi (energy). The bible mentions nothing of the nerves that run throughout the body. Nor does it talk about different body cells that build our physical body. In todays world we rely heavily on Western science to tell us what is true. But science is never an absolute truth, only God is. One day science may claim one thing, then few years later another study comes out suggesting just the opposite. Only God is the absolute truth, science never is or will be the absolute truth. The idea of Qi, is something Western science has failed to prove. Just as it has failed to prove the Holy Spirit, or the use of the Holy Water. Scientifially, we are just very physical beings who will sooner or later die and decay, our ancestors are apes and the Holy Water is just H2O. This is ofcourse, not what we believe in. Why is it that when it comes to the medical field, we start looking at Western Medicine as the only source of answer?

I pray everyday, before I start a session with my first patient. And then again at the end of the day. I pray that God look after myself and my patients. And that it is only in his Will, Power and Blessing that I am able to do my job and that the patients can heal. I am only a tool of God and nature. Only an ignorant practitioner will believe they are doing the healing. Don't let the feeling of guilt, or suspicion keep you away from natural therapies (what "alternative" therapies should be called). Hope that answers some questions.

-Noah
Noah R , 05/11/12 06:32 AM
There will be no poop in heaven in Gods kingdom. Poop began when man fell.
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Pam Pam kity , 05/12/12 09:47 AM
Really good article Roger. I share your concern for our country. In the absence of responsible leadership getting our country back on track to fiscal sanity, at least we can control our own families' financial house by getting out of personal debt and storing up for hard times as Joseph did.
Rod Robison , 05/13/12 12:43 AM
Back in the 1960s there was a newspaper cartoon called "Church Chuckles." It was drawn by a pastor. It always featured a pastor either preaching a sermon or interacting with a parishoner.

One cartoon featured a pastor in a pulpit. He said:IN RUSSIA I'D BE SHOT FOR SAYING THIS, BUT AT LEAST I'D GET SOME KIND OF REACTION!

THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE ABOVE TWO COMMENTS I POSTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COME ON, GENTLE READER! MAN UP! SHOULD I HAVE EVEN SUBMITTED THE FIRST COMMENT? HOW ABOUT THE SECOND?

ROGER, YOU HAVE KNOWN ME FOR 35 YEARS. YOU WERE MY PASTOR FOR ABOUT 13 OF THEM. WHAT IS YOUUR TAKE ON IT?
Bill Foltz , 05/14/12 06:31 AM
Roger: When you call the Saul-witch-ghost passage "enigmatic," you ain't just whistling 'THE EYES OF tEXAS ARE uPON yOU!"

It is probably the most "iffy" of the bunch.Even some great Christians have believed that some "demons" are actual spirits of the dead. Pastor Blumhardt was a notable example.

The acid test: WERE "SAMUEL" 's words GOD'S TRUTH, OR A SATANIC LIE? If they are doctrinally unsound, they ipso facto can't be from God, or from one of God's messengers.

ANYONE CARE TO WEIGH IN?
Bill Foltz , 05/14/12 06:44 AM
I believe satan can read your mind. I remember some years ago I was praying deligently in my mind about an issue because I didn't want satan to hear my request. I believe satan heard me because he answered me in a deceitful way and it caused me a great disappointment. Only God was suppose to hear my petition, but somehow satan heard it and gave me a dellutional answer. It was mockery.
Patricia Wattley , 05/14/12 08:19 AM
My mum passed away on July 10 2012 and after 2 days I gave birth to my baby girl.She was my friend with whom i could share mu ups and downs.Hope she can hear me.I almost cried reading all the above stories.
sayari uprety , 05/15/12 01:08 AM
These articles have got thorough discernment without unclear the readers.
sex nu
sex nu , 05/15/12 01:36 AM
Does this mean we'll still struggle with sin in heaven?
jessie meredith , 05/15/12 11:02 AM
What he did is despicable and ought to be punished and dealt with accordingly.
Unfortunately, as far as i can determine, he has no one to whom he is accountable so there is no one in position or authority who can or will deal with this.
roger barrier , 05/16/12 03:24 PM
I'm like everyone else, crying reading all of your stories about your mothers. My mother is 88 and she is my best friend. She has always helped me and listened to me and advised me all of my life. I am losing her slowly to dementia and physical decline but I'm still glad I have her. All my life I feared my parents' death, and now that my Dad is 92 and Mom 88, it will happen someday relatively soon. I'm really really going to miss them.
m k r , 05/17/12 09:57 PM
Roger, Great answer. No one knows more the I do what the insides look like (physcial) because of my work, you are correct when you said there is no difference on the inside. (physcialy)
Wayne Harris , 05/20/12 06:56 PM
Dear Roger,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article on racism and found this link as a result. This issue (on tithing/giving)is one I have studied extensively. For many years, I was a tither and believed that it was the right thing to do--because it was what I had been taught all of my life, and I never questioned it.
When evidence to the contrary was first presented to me, I couldn't give an educated response, but I narrow-mindedly stuck to my guns for several more years until God (I believe) convicted me to put aside my preconceived notions and study His Word on the subject, for MYSELF.
When I did one of the things that I couldn't deny was the Law/Grace factor. If we really believe that Grace which came by Jesus released us from the tutelage of the Law--which was temporary, then it couldn't just be bits and pieces of the Law, but ALL of the Law. In your racism article, you end with Matthew 22:37-40--which is probably one of the most pivotal Grace scripture passages in the Bible, because it tells us that ALL OF THE LAW hangs on LOVE, which is the way everything works in the grace dispensation (even faith according to Galatians 5:13). Love is important because our giving along with everything else we do from the time the temple veil was rent in twain, MUST be governed by love, not laws and rules. Our giving is not based on percentages--Jesus was teaching us that when He showed us that the poor widow gave the most even though she gave the least, because she gave sacrificially (When He told the Pharisees that they shouldn't omit tithing--they were still under the Law, but His major point here was to focus on the inward things of the heart, and not the outward, showy things that men see).
In the NT church, giving was according to need and according to love--and, as was purposed in "a man's heart". The biggest problem with tithing is that it LIMITS giving. People become very satisfied with ten percent when the need is often 90 percent--and the ability to give is far greater than 10 percent. Additionally, there was no command to tithe prior to the Law or after the Law of Moses. Prior to the Law, both Abraham and Jacob gave the tithe voluntarily--as a gift because they had been blessed.
During the early church there was no tithing system in place until the second century when it was instituted by the Roman Catholic Church--and even then (at its inception) it was voluntary. Later it became mandatory. If the apostles who walked with Jesus understood that tithing was not God's plan for the Church and did not receive contributions by that system why would we continue it, today?
Tithing was meant for an agrarian society, not a monetary one. There is no fairness in the tithe in a monetary system. Consider two individuals who earn (respectively) $10000/mo and $1000/mo tithing--for one tithing will always be a hardship. For the other, tithing will only be a hardship if he makes lifestyle choices that cause him to live a desires-based lifestyle rather than a needs-based lifestyle.
Finally, if we are going to tithe scripturally then there are some things missing. Jews don't tithe today because it is illegal for them to tithe because there is no temple at Jerusalem and no Levitical priesthood in place at the temple (in Jerusalem) to receive the tithe. In light of these things, I think it is time for pastors and church leaders to, at the very least, revisit the issue and stop pronouncing curses on those who do not tithe.
Many who do not tithe give more than the tithe, but that is unknown and in their churches. Many have been mistreated because they have followed the Word of God, literally.
LISA CROOMS , 05/20/12 08:38 PM
Roger, you continue to be a blessing to me even after many years. Be blessed brother.
David Mann , 05/21/12 09:04 PM
Jesus said his children would hear his voice and know his voice. But the problem with hearing God's voice is that we hear Him through the filter of our own minds. How much of what we think God says to us is His voice and how much is the voice of our own minds? Heaven forbid that we are listening to ourselves.
Tom Terry , 05/21/12 10:21 PM
"whoever wrote this book about Jesus, certainly loved Jesus."

A mysterious MALE lover may be?
George Bhoora , 05/22/12 01:28 PM
Today is Memorial Day 5/28/12 my mom would have been 86 today. i lost her 01/09 and not a day goes by I don't miss her terribly. Internet/computers was not in moms vocabulary but i actually sent her a message today emailing her with mymommy@heaven.com and it wasn't returned. I feel our Lord has passed it on to her and that gave me great peace in a very hard day. lub my mama, sherie
SHERIE WILL , 05/28/12 08:31 PM
Lisa,

I believe you are wrong when you said that tithing is only for an agrarian society not a monetary one, what do you think the widow gave? Two copper coins, for the expense of the Temple, not grain (Mark 12:41-44). You already have it figured out and justify that those who make less must in some way have it tough and therefore anything they give is a hardship. For giving to be real, it must be sacrificial. Unfortunately, for many of us, this is untrue. We rarely do without our pleasures, but instead we hold back. I believe God put this story in the Bible for a reason, to show us all how we should give. The widow gave because she wanted to and thought nothing of the hardship. That is where God wants us to be. How we get there, well, 10% is a good place to start.

Bonnie

Tony and Gray,

I have only one question for you two, do you give like the poor widow in Mark 12:41-44? If not, then maybe you should start with 10%.

Bonnie


Bonnie Hayes , 05/29/12 01:00 AM
@Bonnie,

To answer your question, I neither give like the widow in Mark 12 nor do I EAT FROM THE TITHE as the widows did. The widows did NOT tithe, but rather RECEIVED a portion of the tithe. See Deut. 14:28-29.

Rather than following an Old Testament law that ended at the cross, I am Spirit led. Being Spirit led, I find myself giving far, far more than a mere tenth of my income.
Gary Arnold , 05/29/12 12:24 PM
@Bonnie, How does the way Gary and I give lean weight to your view? Has the bible set us both as standards all must aspire to? Say something meaningful and prove it from scriptures.
Tony Isaac , 05/30/12 10:50 AM
"Correct as usual, King Friday."
Bill Foltz , 06/05/12 03:28 PM
"Correct as usual, King Friday."
Bill Foltz , 06/05/12 03:28 PM
I think in short, what all discomforts mean, is that God wants you to learn something from it. My motto is "be a quick learner, so your discomfort will go away as quick as possible". What is God trying to teach you right now?
Aaron Alvarez , 06/07/12 09:03 PM
So how was the ground of the river bed made dry? My Bible says Joshua 3: 17 "and the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on DRY ground IN THE MIDDLE of the Jordan. I would think it would have been very muddy if a natural occurance in nature made this happen.
Shelly Rice , 06/08/12 07:55 AM
This is disgusting. It's one thing to care for And to love another human being, but to sentence a person to be verbally abused by a mentally unstable spouse in the name of God and Jesus is pure cruelty. My mother is dying every day "sacrificing" her health and sanity to care for her schizophrenic husband who NEEDS to be cared for by professionals. Yet she would be considered to be sinning even if she divorced him in order for him to qualify for medical aid. On one hand the cost is too high to hire the care he needs (thanks to the horrific underfunding of state-funded mental health service assistance), on the other hand to have her hear that it is better she die a prisoner of this marriage in torture and shame is insulting and unconscionable. In the name of God, how little do you think of the pain of our human struggles? I have begun fully to doubt Religion if this is what's expected of us: pain and shame for some unknown reward. "More like Jesus"? This is insensible madness. God is nowhere here.
Unnamed Faithful , 06/09/12 08:25 PM
This is very common and religion should stop defending the man's actions, the man is a grown adult male that is capable of taking care of himself, the girls are young innocent children, they need their mothers to protect them, they need love and guidance! Women do not understand what they are doing to their children by picking these men over their young girls, my mother did the same, you scar them so bad, that to this day i'm 33 and i can't get married or have children, because i do not like to be touched by a man. So part of my families next generation is lost, when i was 12 i was molested by my mothers "boyfriend" which normal happens to all 60% of girls due to mothers husbands and boyfriends! I and my aunt told my mother and she didn't believe me said i was lying, i was a child still having toys in my room and was not sexually active, i didn't even start my periods yet, and 6 months later after i was removed, my mother married him and funny thing the minute my mother had her own house he got her pregnant 2 times so she was kind of stuck then he turned around and molested me. Today i no longer talk to my mother, i told her never to contact me, because everytime she calls me, i think bad to her not believing me or helping me, she would even go as far as for me not to tell details to the child therpist she was cruel. I never could heal right, he would bully me infront of her and she would just sit there like it was allowed and okay. I was sick of the beatings when she wasn't around it always starts like that when i was 9. I did try to take my life when i was 12 and 13 and i fail. But now i am left alone as an adult and afraid of relationships, and because of that i have no children - part of me is scared. I have found most men to be evil. I think all 2nd marriage should not be allowed because when a woman has children i can tell that the little girls are the next victims and is always the case! God needs to stop breeding evil men, i even now dislike it when boys are born in the world, because i think to myself that that baby boy is going to grow up to be a rapist or a pedophile, and this is what is being done to us victims so i tell all mothers out there do not pick him over your girls, because what you are doing is destroying your child's life, i didn't ask to be born, i didn't ask her to marry him, you choose that, so you need to fix it, all men that rape, molest children need to go to jail, there are places for these monsters...god even says its wrong!
lia g , 06/10/12 08:33 PM
Thank you for that, Roger.

I am not yet, in any consistent way, a spiritual father. But I think that, by God's grace, I am moving in that direction.
Bill Foltz , 06/12/12 03:05 PM
In a Presbyterian Church I attended, there was a female Director of Contemporary Praise Music who had two affairs while working at the church. Her second affair was with the Choir Director. She resigned from the church to avoid disclosure; however the affair became public knowledge. Knowing of the affair, the church Pastors allowed him a six month sabbatical (later rescinded), and he was subsequently fired. Both the man and the woman were married and each had several children. Both families divorced and have been irreparably torn apart. The Director of Contemporary Praise Music and the Choir Director subsequently married. Scripture makes it clear that – Biblically - they continue to commit adultery.

The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) no longer excludes active adulterers or those actively involved in same-gender relationships from consideration ordination and/or installation as deacons, elders, and ministers of the Word and Sacrament within the PC(USA).

A few years later, the Presbyterian Church knowingly rehired the same individuals in positions as a Director of Contemporary Praise Music and a Choir Director, without disclosing this to the congregation.

Church leadership stated that every Presbyterian congregation does its own hiring and employing of staff. In this case Presbyterian “leadership” evaluated the situation and determined the pastor, the church’s personnel committee and the session all acted appropriately and responsibly in hiring the adulterers. In explanation, it was stated that Christians may have more than one arguable conclusion on what the Bible says regarding on adultery and remarriage, and “how they are best applied in our modern context”.
Tailor Andrews , 06/13/12 04:52 PM
Dear T,

thanks for sharing. How sad is this story of misguided and un Biblical decisions (also, sounds like to me the Presbyterian leadership brings into play future lawsuits for what they have done.
roger barrier , 06/14/12 11:05 AM
Divorce and remarriage is a very difficult issue in the church today (along with tongues and women...1 Corinthians is a casebook for pastoral theology (Ryrie)).
There are passages in Mark and Luke that imply no divorce and remarriage, and the exception clause in Matthew. Not all are in agreement with what the exception clause is. I have learned through the years that you need to hold your convictions, but give others the freedom to hold theirs. If you feel divorce and remarriage are wrong, fine, but don't force your convictions on someone who thinks the Bible makes allowances. And if you believe the Bible does make exceptions, don't force it on someone who doesn't believe that. This is a very sensitive issue in the church, and whatever our convictions are, God is still a God of mercy and grace. Jesus Christ has done everything necessary to pay for our salvation and He will be glorified in the end. And one day we will look forward to a new world with no divorce and remarriage and no suffering!
Michael Karpf , 06/14/12 10:17 PM
Great article...except one correction,..Jehovah's Witnesses DO believe Jesus is the son of God
Dan Carlson , 06/15/12 09:04 AM
I also cried reading a lot of the letters here. After my mom passed on September 3 I was in shock! I prayed so hard for her not to go and she did. I was so angry at god and the devil. These days I,m working on not being so angry at god because she is with god , hopefully. I had so much to do with her , I hope our loved ones do hear us. I try not to believe in ghosts but I do believe in spirits. My daughter thinks she was dreaming but thinks it was real , says around 5 or 6 in the morning saw a spirit in her room watching and smiling . My daughter said she looked so young and strong . My daughter said she was wearing a white robe. My daughter said she was watching for a while then walked towards the bed and told her to sleep and carressed her. The night light flickered went away away. I truly hope she comes back again. I love her and miss her so much. God please let me be with her again ,see her again or give me a sign she is around. Tell her love her and I,m sorry for all the times I,ve disrespected her, I want to see her again.
Millie , 06/17/12 02:15 PM
Whew! a lot of comments. Bethany Renee. Thank God for your story. People come on! Use wisdom. Thank God that God still speaks through his Prophets today. Or else I would still be in a horrible marriage where my kid was being abused!!! God spoke to a woman of God regarding my situation that I kept secret and then spoke through 3 others as confirmation cuz I was fearful to leave my marriage. God told me to leave and be at peace! I later founds out my hubby was committing adultery! Yes Gods word is specific but there are situations in this day that arise that you have to ask God what to do cuz its NOT laid out in His word verbatim. That is what having a relationship with God is for. You have to ask did GOD call you two to be together in the first place or was it what YOU wanted and when it went sour you begged God to get you. When you did not seek Him about the marriage in the first place. God is still speaking to us today and he forgives EVERY sin except blaspheming the HOLY GHOST. God is love and He loves everyone so stop coming on here damning people! You lose souls so folks feel like they can't come to God so now they may say forget it and serve Satan. COME ON PEOPLE! Also out of all these adultery scholars who of you are honoring ALL the commandments? ESPECIALLY HIS 4TH ABOUT the Sabbath day! I am not 7 day adventist or Jehovah Witness but I am a Christian that honors that commandment because it is very important to God. Saturday is the Sabbath and God is very specific on that for Everyone not just the Jews as we know it. You want to get something right GET that together first! Check out Jim Staley on youtube called Truth or Traditions begin there and be enlightened. Walk in love. God bless
Gods Child , 06/30/12 12:05 PM
I was raised LDS and I feel that there were many inaccurate points made in this post. I encourage all to get the facts straight beforehand and to really do the research and talk to the missionaries. I now attend Casas with my husband who was not raised LDS, and I do agree that it is not an easy road; but the LDS church is most definitely Christian. Doesn't Christian mean to be a follower of Christ and his teachings? It's all in the name-Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.Being raised LDS and also attending Casas I have been taught many of the same doctrine and scripture that I have also learned from Casas. Granted there are many differences as well but the fundamental basic is that we all believe in the God the Father, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit. Again I encourage discussions with LDS missionaries just as a way if understanding what Mormons truly believe.
, 06/30/12 11:12 PM
matthew 6 vs ee seek he first the kingdom of GOD and his righteousness and these things will be added unto you.
bentley graham , 07/02/12 05:26 PM
matthew 4 vs 17 FROMthat time on jesus began to preach ,turn away from sins he said the kingdom of heaven is at near.
bentley graham , 07/02/12 05:31 PM
we are talking kingdom here not religion or reliGIOUS, we talking kingdom citizen not christianity, jesus never call us christian , he call us belivers christian is only mention twice in the bible 1st peter and in acts.
bentley graham , 07/02/12 05:36 PM
Dear B

I have printed below chapters 11 and 12 of my book, Got Guts! Get Godly! which may be obtained at amazon.com if you so desie. However, these two chapters deal with your question.

I hope this helps.
Love, Roger

Chapter 11



The Temple



Julie and I often pick a Bible subject to study when we have some time off. We were sitting in the car trapped in a construction zone in Pittsburgh and had yet to pick our study topic. Julie asked me, “Have you ever heard a sermon on the difference between the soul and the spirit?”

“No,” I replied. “The truth is that I have no idea what a soul is, much less a spirit. I’ve never heard any one preach or teach about it. I never saw a book on discerning or analyzing the spirit—or the soul. Let’s make that our study.”

At the book store I found a three volume work by Watchman Nee called, “The Spirit Man.” His book was a guide to understanding the spirit and the soul.39

We began with a Bible concordance and categorized all the verses containing the words, “body,” “soul,” “spirit,” and “heart,” We were utterly confused. We humbled our hearts and prayed, “God, there has to be something significant to this spirit and soul stuff. What is a spirit? What is man's soul? What is the difference between the Holy Spirit and our human spirit? How does the soul fit into all of this?” Grouped together, we began to notice certain patterns appear regarding the meaning and functions of each.

I need for you to bear with me in this chapter. It is a teaching chapter regarding essential foundations for building what makes a spiritual mother or father and for understanding the spiritual nature of mankind. It will not have as many illustration stories as usual.

The Greek words were intriguing. “Spirit” is the Greek word “pneuma” which means spirit, breath or wind. “Soul” is the Greek word “psyche” which is the root word for our word “psychology.” “Body” is the Greek word, “soma”. “Psychosomatic” is from the root words “psyche” and “soma “ and describes those whose minds tells them that something is wrong with their bodies when in fact there is not.



Dichotomy Or Trichotomy



Some argue that man only has two parts. This view describes man as a dichotomy. Julie and I found it hard to justify this theological position. Paul certainly believed that God designed man with three different and distinct parts: a spirit, a soul, and a body. This is called a “trichotomy”. Paul was concerned for the sanctification of all three parts: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body), be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

In addition the writer to the Hebrews not only identified all three parts but also revealed the power of the Word of God to make distinctions among the three. Understanding the divisions is critical for maturity and for helping us determine whether God, Ourselves, or Satan is speaking to us.



For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Soon we will see how the Word of God diving between soul and spirit enables us to discern and distinguish God’s voice from personal or Satanic counterfeits (Hebrews 4:12-13).



The term, “Word of God”, does not refer primarily to the Bible. More than likely the writer to the Hebrews is identifying Jesus as the “logos” (“Word”) Think of the Apostle John’s assertion in John 1:1-14 that Jesus is the “logos”, or the Greek philosophical term referring to the unrevealed wisdom of God. Jesus Christ sorts out what is going on in our spirits and souls. By the way, “joints and marrow” refers to the Greek words for bones and brain matter.

Obviously, the Bible is also the Word of God and comes into play in dividing among these three parts of mankind. As we mature we will discover how useful the Bible is in the dividing.

The word, “heart”, can be understood as either soul or spirit based on the context in which it’s used.

The creation story introduced the terms “spirit” and “soul”. Genesis 2:7 declared: "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground, and breathed (spirited) into his nostrils the breath (spirit) of life and man became a living being (soul)." In simple terms, God fashioned a body out of clay and then breathed His Spirit into the body. Since the words “breath” and “spirit” are English translations of the same Hebrew word, one body plus one spirit equals a living soul. From this passage some teach that man is a two part being—a dichotomy. However, taking this concept a little farther indicates that there is more to man—a trichotomy.



When Breath Is Gone



Once upon a time people were assumed dead when they stopped breathing. But today, no one is really sure when the moment of death occurs. Some bodies are brain dead as measured by EEGs but still breathing. If there's no brain activity, we say they're dead even if they are still breathing.

Distinguishing between life and death were simpler in Biblical times. Moses used the same test I used when my daughter Jessie died. I put my cheek down to her little nostrils to see if I could feel any breath. There was none. I knew she was dead.

"Moses, how do you know when somebody is dead?"

Moses replies, "Is he breathing? If he's breathing, he's alive. If he's not breathing, he's dead." The Jews used the terms “breath,” “wind” and “spirit” interchangeably. As long as someone was breathing, there was a spirit inside. When the breath stopped, he or she was dead. The spirit had departed.

Through the years some Jewish cultures developed an idea that when the spirit left, it hovered around the body for three days before departing to the place of the dead. The TV series "Mash" (about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital working just behind the front lines during the Korean Conflict) used this idea as the core for one particular episode. An American soldier died in the Mash unit as the doctors struggled to save his life. For three days his spirit hung around the unit. He could see and hear all the living people, but, none of the living could see or communicate him. Finally, after three days, in a strangely sobering scene, he unwillingly joined a long line of soldiers, American, Korean, Chinese, and Russian who were shuffling off together to the place of the dead.

This idea explains why Jesus waited around for four days after the call came that Lazarus was sick. He waited to dispel the notion that Lazarus’s spirit was anything less than long departed to the place of the dead. Then, and only then, was it time for this final resurrection sign before the crucifixion. After four days there was absolutely no doubt that Lazarus was totally dead.

According to Psalm 49, the reason that man is separate and distinct from all other animals is because he alone has an eternal spirit. Animals have bodies and souls. But man is different. He has a body, soul, and a spirit.

Oftentimes the Bible refers to men and women as living beings or souls. The term “soul” is used two ways. It is used in a restrictive sense as in body, soul and spirit. It is also used in a broader sense to refer to the whole being of a man or woman by gathering body, soul, and spirit into one unified entity. Peter describes eight souls being saved from the Flood in 1 Peter 3:20. The primary example occurs when God breathed (spirited) into Adam’s nostrils and he became a living soul.

Let’s develop a Biblical model to help us understand our inner spiritual workings. In Galatians 4:24, Paul used an allegory to teach spiritual truth about two mountains, Mount Sinai, and Mount Zion. He declared that Hagar was Mount Sinai who represented slavery to the Law. Sara was Mount Zion who represented the grace of freedom in Christ.



An Allegory



In First Corinthians 6:19 Paul used another allegory to help us better understand the inner spiritual workings of mankind: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you?" Paul never compared the body to a house of the Holy Spirit. Each of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit.

The Temple had three parts. The outer courts surrounded the temple building itself. Inside, the Temple was divided into two main parts. The Holy Place occupied the front two-thirds of the building. Here the priests ministered daily in worship to God. The Holy of Holies, which made up the back third of the Temple, was behind the curtain separating the two sections. Inside the Holy of Holies was the Ark of the Covenant, with the mercy seat under the shadowing wings of two Cherubim. If we were to ask any Israelite in Biblical times, "Where does God live?" The answer was simple—and always the same: “He inhabits the universe and He manifests His presence on the mercy seat deep inside the Holy of Holies.”

Most any one could have access to the courts outside the Temple. Only some of the priests could come into the Holy Place. Only the High Priest could go into the Holy of Holies and then only once a year on the Day of Atonement.

When Paul wrote that the human body is like the Temple he used an allegory to describe the internal nature of mankind. The following picture summarizes our entire beings. Use it as a reference as I describe each part.





[Insert Graphic19]





The outer courts correspond to the human body (“soma”) which is our organ for world consciousness. Our bodies are the outside part of us that utilizes the five senses to put us in touch with the world. We see each other, touch, feel, sense each other, and communicate with each other through our bodies.

The next deeper level is the soul (“psyche”). This part of the temple model corresponds to our “Holy Place” which is our organ for self consciousness. Our souls are the essence of who we are. This is the mind, “me,” my personality, my self. The Bible ascribes three functions to the soul. It is the source of our intellect, will, and emotions. By definition any Psychology textbook will describe intellect, will, and emotions as the definition of personhood.

The most inner part of our being is our human spirit (“pneuma”) which is our organ for God consciousness. When Christ enters our lives at the moment of salvation, He does not come to live in our souls. He comes to live in our inner-most human spirits. This is our “Holy of Holies.” A cursory study of the Bible verses on spirit reveals that the human spirit also has three main functions. It is the source of our intuition, conscience and communion with God.

In the days before Christ the Ten Commandments were placed in the Ark of the Covenant inside the Holy of Holies. God revealed His will and intentions through the law. Today, God reveals His will and intentions in our own Holy of holies which is often manifests as godly intuition. We find an example of this in Mark 2:8: “Immediately Jesus knew in His spirit what they were thinking in their hearts.”

In the days before Christ God received man’s worship in the Holy of Holies on the mercy seat which was sprinkled with blood once a year by the High Priest to bring forgiveness of sin. At the moment of Christ’s resurrection the curtain between the Holies of Holies and the Holy Place was ripped in two from top to bottom. We now have full access into the throne room of God. We no longer need a priest to approach God for us. Our communion with God takes place in our inner most spirits—our Holy of Holies if you please. This activity is confirmed by Jesus in John 4:23-24: “Yet a time is coming and now has come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the father seeks. God is spirit and His worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.”

In the days before Christ the Ten Commandments inside the Ark in the Temple accused or excused the Israelites’ behaviors. Today our consciences guide our conduct based on what we have learned is right or wrong. Paul illuminated this aspect of the human spirit in Romans 9:1: “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying—my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit.”

The deeper one moved into the Temple, the fewer the people who were allowed there. Let’s follow Paul’s Temple allegory. The Outer Courts (body) was an open place. People could come and go as they pleased. In the same way, we communicate with others mostly through our bodies. We talk, smile and gesture in numerous ways to share our inner thoughts and feelings with others. The Holy Place (soul) was open only to a few priests at a time. In the same way, the only people who can gain access to our inner souls are the people we let in. With selected others we can communicate on a deeper level of soul to soul. The Holy of Holies was most inaccessible and secret. Only the high priest entered there and only once a year.

Our human spirit is one place deep within us where no one but God is allowed to enter. Just as the average person could not go from the outside courts into the Holy of Holies, and just as most of the priests could not go from the Holy Place into the Holy of Holies, no one can enter into our inner-most spirit except God Himself. Here is where we meet with God, to listen to Him, to gain guidance and wisdom and forgiveness and where our communion and worship really occur.

By the way, according to this Biblical model of truth, Satan can never enter into our inner human spirits This is where we are indwelt by God. But, he can surely attack our souls and bodies. The struggle with Satan is always for control of the intellect, will and emotions.

Remember that models are not the real thing. Nor are they perfect in representing every detail. They simply allow us to get a handle on understanding rather complex truths. Other models help us to understand the nature of the God-designed structure of mankind. Think in terms of three concentric circles. The outside circle represents our bodies. The next inner circle represents our souls. Our souls are the essence of who we are. The inner most circle within the other two represents our human spirits. God usually moves from the inside out. Satan usually attacks from the outside in.





[Insert Graphic20]





Now think of another model utilizing three interconnecting circles. The top circle intersects partly with the middle circle. The middle circle intersects partly with both the top and bottom circles. The top circle is the human spirit. The interconnecting circle right below it is the soul. The bottom circle which interconnects with the soul represents the body. The intersection between spirit and body is the conscience which we will detail shortly.





[Insert Graphic21]





What happens in the soul is crucial because the soul is where we make choices. When we choose to follow the promptings and guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit we live as spiritual men and women. On the other hand, the soul, the seat of our personhood, can also choose to suppress our spirit and the Holy Spirit within and live on the basis of its own wants and desires. We are now operating no longer as spiritual but as what Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 2:10-16 as “soul” (psyche) men and women who are without the spirit. It is possible to be indwelt by the Spirit of God and not live like it at all. It is only when the soul submits to the promptings of God that the spirit can lead as God designed.

Let’s imagine for a moment what living in the spirit or soul or body might look like. I struggle with the sin of gluttony. I know all about diets since I have tried them all. I know that weight is 70% genetic. I know that the number of amino acids, hormones, endocrine secretions, metabolism rates, thyroid problems, and neurotransmitters which combine to produce body size is complex. I know that there are enzymes at the top and bottom of our stomachs which tell us when we need to eat more and when to stop. I also know that for most of us, we choose how much to eat. I mean, after all, I have never eaten an accidental bite of food in my life. When food is so plentiful, smells so good, looks so inviting and my body is enticing me, I succumb too often. This is an example of living by the promptings of my body.

My colon disease was debilitating before an ileostomy operation brought things under control. The pain, bleeding, and gastritis were made life miserable. I had to resist focusing on my bodily problems to the exclusion of focusing my internal human spirit where God lives. A vast difference exists between focusing on the body and being miserable versus focusing on the spirit and watching God use the experience to make me more like Jesus.

“The Bible says that Christians are not to be unequally yoked to nonChristians,” I said to the young lady sitting before me. Her fiancé was not a Christian and she wanted to know if God would bless their marriage. I explained that God has a plan for life and marriage and some one who has not received Christ is working from a different set of marriage blueprints. God was not “spoiling her life” by denying her the opportunity to marry the man she loved. He was looking out for her long-term spiritual health and well being. But the promptings of her soul were too strong for her. Her intellect and emotions were more powerful that the leadership of the Spirit of God within her spirit. By an act of her will, she married him anyway. Two years later she was again in my office weeping as she detailed her recent divorce.

William Borden was heir to the Borden family fortune. Think Borden dairy products. Think rich! Shortly after being graduated from Yale University, he sensed the prompting of the Holy Spirit Deep in his inner spirit to give away his life advancing the Kingdom in China. When he made his decision many of his friends thought he was crazy: “Why are you going to throw your life away in some foreign country,” they asked, “when you can have such an enjoyable and worthwhile life here?” But, Borden was responding to the voice of God. While in Egypt, on the way to China, he became sick. Soon it was evident to everyone, including himself, that he would die. At this point he could have said, “What a waste. My friends were right. I should have stayed home.” But, he chose to respond otherwise. As he lay on his deathbed in Egypt, he scribbled a farewell note to his family and friends that became his epitaph: “No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.” 40

So, Julie is communing with God quietly in prayer. She looks up at me and says, “Brie,” our daughter who lives 980 miles away, “is in trouble. Let’s pray for her. Moments later her husband calls. Brie was in the hospital struggling for her life. She had arrived by ambulance moments earlier. Julie was already packing for the flight to Dallas.

God originally designed Adam with all three parts in perfect balance. Think of Adam as being like a three story building. The lower floor was his body. The middle floor was his soul where he lived. The upper floor was his spirit where God lived. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3:1-6) a spiritual bomb exploded inside Adam’s spirit and decimated the third floor. Cracks opened up down into the second and on down into the third. Adam was also going to die—both physically and spiritually.

The bomb of self-willed disobedience wrecked great havoc on Adam's entire being. Genesis 2:8-17 recorded God’s planting of two critical trees in the Garden of Eden: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In Genesis 2:16-17 God gave Adam specific instructions regarding the trees: “And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the Garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die’”

Let's not miss spiritual principle. The Tree of Life represents life in the spirit. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents life lived out of the soul—which is the seat of the human intellect, will, and emotions.

The real issue in the Garden revolved around how Adam would live. They could to choose to live by the promptings of God in their inner human spirits; or, they could choose to live by their own self promptings in their souls. A careful examination of Genesis 3:1-6 reveals that the serpentine attack was aimed directly at Adam’s and Eve’s souls:



Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat of any tree in the garden.” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say you must not eat fruit from the tree that's in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die” (Genesis 3:1-3).



Note the attack on Eve’s intellect. Satan did not accurately represent God’s instructions. Eve was vulnerable because she was unable to correctly repeat God's instructions. God said nothing about touching the fruit. The struggle between Satan and Eve was for her soul because her soul is where she will decide her future. Satan attacked in three areas. He confused her intellect, appealed to her emotions and then seduced her will.

No one knows the duration of her temptation experience. The struggle may have continued for years, for months, or perhaps for minutes. However, it continued long enough for Satan to get her confused and to entice her with the look and smell of the fruit. Then, Satan convinced her that she could by like God! She surrendered her will and ate the fruit.



“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you'll be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and she ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it (Genesis 3:4-6).



Satan was unable to confuse Adam's intellect. Perhaps he confused Eve but not Adam because Adam heard God’s commands about the trees first hand. Eve’s information came second-hand as repeated to her by Adam. It may well be that Satan got to Adam's emotions through his emotional attachment for Eve. On the other hand, it may well be that Adam was caught up in the emotional moment of thinking what it would be like to be like God. He did not see that in his desire to be like God he was instead becoming like Satan. Subsequently, Adam surrendered his will, ate the forbidden fruit and the spiritual bomb exploded.

Satan’s goal is always to seize the will. Spiritual battles always occur in the mind or on the body. The battle for the mind is for control of the will. The personal dimension of the battle is, “Who will be in charge of my life: God, Satan, or Me?” By the way, technically, God will never take charge or control of our minds. He wants us free to choose His way by an act of our own free will. He will never coerce or manipulate us. On the other hand, Satan doesn’t hesitate to take control of anything in our lives that he can get his hands on: “… and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:26).

As we move into the realm of spiritual young men and women we need to keep in mind the three classes of Christians: Jessie Penn Lewis in her book, “War On The Saints,” warns us to keep alert in order to avoid the sneaky deceptions of the Evil One—especially the moment that we decide to go on to maturity at any price.



Class One: Unsurrendered and Deceived Class

Class One describes Christians who have yet to surrender fully to Christ. For example, a Christian who fails to tithe is by definition Unsurrendered. He is deceived because he thinks that all things spiritual come from God.



Class Two: Surrendered and Deceived

Class Two describes Christians who are maturing into spiritual young women and men. They are surrendered but deceived, still thinking that all spiritual thing are from God.



Class Three: Surrendered and Undeceived

Class Three describes Christians who are fully surrendered and who understand that Satan is alive and well and not everything spiritual come from God.



The most dangerous moment in the life of a spiritual child may well be the moment that he or she decides to go on to maturity at any price—to move from Category One to Category Two. Guaranteed, Satan will offer a counterfeit at that moment. He offered one in the Garden; he will offer one to us.

“Do you want to be like Jesus?” Satan asks.

“Yes, that is the desire of my heart—the target of my maturity! I want to be like Jesus.”

Be careful. Sometimes we start out to look like Jesus and end up looking like Satan—think spiritual pride.

“Do you want to be like God?” he asked the first duo. Of course they did. “Here,” he said, “Eat the fruit and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.” But, he omitted the part about becoming like Satan in rebellion and isolation.

Would you like to be a spiritual man or woman at any price? Then, beware, the battle is enjoined. Counterfeits are not all alike—because we are not all alike—but their purpose is the same. They are intended to seduce us into a kind of life that is not the Life at all.

The explosion during Adam’s and Eve’s head-long fall into sin distorted God’s balanced design horribly out of proportion. Let’s use our model of three interlocking circles to understand a simple schematic of fallen mankind.





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When they ate the forbidden fruit Adam’s and Eve’s intellects soared. They became quite intelligent. After all, they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When their knowledge increased, “they became like God, knowing good and evil.” Since the soul is our organ for knowledge or intellect, the comparative size of the human soul swelled into a dominate state never intended by God. The body shriveled and would die. The spirit shriveled and was “darkened.” It was no longer God-responsive. It was unable to hear the voice of God (1 Corinthians 2:14). Fallen man’s human spirit is now dead toward God and toward godly spiritual things. Fallen mankind is far removed from the time when God said, “Let us make man in our image.”

Fortunately, God provided a plan through Jesus Christ, the Seed of woman, for rebuilding the human spirit so that mankind can once again commune with God and live forever. The process of salvation makes the spirit of man alive toward God and to spiritual things. The gospels make clear that Jesus suffered to redeem all three parts of mankind: ody, soul, and spirit.

Matthew 26:67 recorded sufferings of His body: “Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him…”

Matthew 26:38 documented suffering of His soul: “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.’”

Finally, Matthew 27:46 detailed separation from His Father in His inner-spirit: “… Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’—which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’"

Since Christ died in body, soul, and spirit the door to cleansing and restoration swings wide open. The salvation experience continues with the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration. Regeneration (making something alive again) brings life to the spiritually dead human spirit and cleansing for the soul and body. Jesus explained to Nicodemus how the Holy Spirit gives birth to the human spirit.



In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:3-5).



Let’s use the three interlocking circle model to imagine how God intends for spiritual growth to progress.

In our early years we were fortunate if our parents were godly Christians deeply concerned with our spiritual development. If so, there is a good chance that our spiritual maturity proceeded hand-in-hand with our growing mental acuity. As they taught us to pray, exposed us to Christian fellowship, explained the Bible and took us to relevant, Holy Spirit-anointed churches they persistently enhanced our spiritual development. Notice in the diagram below how the soul and spirit mature at both a constant and balanced rate. Neither is dominating the other. Note how the body grows until the age of twenty or so and then hopefully maintains that same size (or close to it) during the following decades. We see here the development of a solidly growing spiritual man or woman.

Our interlocking-circle model demonstrates how God intends for spiritual growth to proceed. Body, soul and spirit develop in balance and mature right along with each other.





[Insert Graphic23]





Unfortunately, not all Christians grow according to God’s plan! My observation is that as most Christians age, their human spirits shrivel under the domination of an over-developed soul. Like the insidious choice in Genesis many Christians still choose the Tree of Knowledge over the Tree of the Spirit of Life.





[Insert Graphic24]





We have here a schematic of what Paul often identified as a carnal, fleshly or worldly Christian. Worldly Christians are dominated their souls and inundated by their selves. Notice how spirit, soul and body begin in balanced proportion, but, soon after receiving Christ, the soul grows dramatically in knowledge during the school-age years; unfortunately there is not a corresponding spiritual development. By the early twenties, the body is stabilized in size (hopefully), but personal desires crowd out spiritual ones. Mental smartness outstrips spiritual acuity. Personal experience and accumulated knowledge are more attractive than godly wisdom. Worldly Christians are so used to following their own wishes and desires that the voice of God is increasingly muffled.

Carnal Christians in their fifties, sixties and seventies have less spiritual insight than some fifteen and sixteen-year-olds. Too many churches are led by men and women who are much more likely to lead out of their souls than out of the inner promptings of God’s Holy Spirit.

Some of the most attractive Christians I know are in their senior years and filled with enormous souls of great knowledge and wise experiences—guided by equally well-cultivated, well developed and mature human spirits.

Please understand carefully: knowledge, education and experience are essential. Paul encouraged Timothy to study hard as he prepared for the ministry. I love to study and learn. I deeply appreciate the solid educational foundation I received both as a child and as an adult. I am just saying that as we go about the work of increasing our knowledge and intellect, we must have a corresponding increase in our innermost spirit. We never want to be in a position where our spirits are less important than our souls.

I wonder sometimes if too much emphasis is placed in Bible colleges and seminaries on books and learning and not enough on maturing, cultivating and utilizing the inner-most human spirit where God dwells.



Now, take a moment as we conclude this lesson and consider what your three-interlocking circles look like. Have you increased and waxed strong in soul—to the neglect and detriment of your spirit? Are you a spiritual man or woman in good spiritual balance? Is your soul in humble submission to your spirit? Or, is grotesquely misshapen and grown oversized all out of proportion to your spirit? Do you live by the promptings of your soul or your spirit?

The real question is: “We will we live by the spirit or by the soul”? The drama of Adam and Eve is acted out every day in our lives. Which tree will we choose? Can you imagine the delight in God’s heart when His plan for our lives life is once again on track and Jesus is on display for people to see?



Dear Lord Jesus,

I want to hear you speak. I desire time with you communing in my inner Holy of Holies. Help me overcome the driving voices of soul and body which assault me at times. I want to hear you so I can choose You and your will for me life.

Amen.

Chapter 12



Cultivation



Spiritual Maturity Is Carefully Cultivated.



Let’s now take our understanding of the structure of our inner spirits lives a little further. The human spirit must mature since it does not come ready to operate. At the time of conversion the spirit is cold, darkened and shrunken. At the moment of conversion it awakens and begins to grow. But, it does not blossom immediately. Think about Jesus’ early growth as Luke recorded in Luke 2:40: “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.” He was not born spouting spiritual truth! He could not add two plus two. As fully human He had to learn and mature just like us! Joseph and Mary obviously helped Him understand His mission on earth. Can you imagine Mary putting Jesus on her knee and reading Psalm 22 (the Psalm of the cross): “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? … I thirst!...They have pierced my hands and feet … “I thirst.”

Mary whispered, “Jesus, this is all about you.”

The early years of John the Baptist are described in Luke 1:80 as years of maturing his inner human spirit: “And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly to Israel.”

Man is body, soul and spirit. Cultivating the innermost human spirit is critical because this is where God the Holy Spirit indwells and speaks. Cultivating the soul and body are critical because with these two we personally decide to follow Christ—or not—as we present our bodies as “living sacrifices, renew our minds, and express our inner transformations as sacrifices of worship” (Romans 12:1-2).

I will illustrate several ways of cultivating our spirits, souls, and bodies. My list is not exhaustive. It is designed only to share some helpful thoughts to stimulate your thinking. You will add to the list as you grow in your own spiritual life.



Praying In The Spirit As Well As In The Mind



Paul makes a rather intriguing statement in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15: “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” Paul is referring here to more than the spiritual gift of praying in tongues.

When I think of praying in my mind I think of using a prayer list. I have people and things I pray for every day. Often times I actually have a list in hand. I often use the ACTS acrostic to guide my prayers: Adoration; Confession; Thanksgiving; and Supplication (requests). These prayers come from my mind. On the other hand, praying in my spirit proceeds from my inner human spirit that leads me into the presence of God and helps me to pray from the heart of God. Here I pray for people and things and issues as God reveals them to me: Holy Spirit to human spirit.

Think of a prayer model with God at the top and us at the bottom. We might have an arrow pointing down from God to us labeled: “God speaks to us in the Bible.” Another arrow points up from us to God labeled: “We speak to God in prayer.” We might describe this process as “praying in the mind. But there is more to prayer than this. Think of another arrow pointing down from God to us labeled: “God speaks to us, Holy Spirit to human spirit.” A arrow points up from us to God labeled: “We speak to God, human spirit to Holy Spirit”.

Sometimes, I use the word “knower” to describe communing and communicating with God in my spirit. Sometimes I say to others, “It is like I sense God speaking to me down deep in my ‘Knower’. Have you ever felt God talking to you deep inside and you just knew it was God? You’ve experienced this deep sense of what He wanted you to do or not do?”

Shortly after graduating from seminary, my wife, Julie, and I prayed for an opportunity to pastor in a place with many non-Christians and not many churches. Since there were over thirty-five churches within a three-mile radius of my own home church in Dallas, we sensed that we were needed elsewhere. One Sunday afternoon the phone rang as I was leaving to fly to Denver to candidate for a church. The caller was from Tucson. “We have your resume. Could you fly out and interview with our church next week?” she asked. We talked for several moments until I had to excuse myself. I had to catch the plane to Denver.

While talking on the phone with Doris, I felt God tell me that I would become pastor of that church. I hung up and turned to Julie: “I am going on to Denver; but, God just told me that we are going to pastor in Tucson.”

Julie’s smiled, “I know. While you were talking, He told me the same thing.”

It was snowing when I arrived in Denver. The deacon who met me at the airport slipped on the ice and cursed as he dropped my suitcase. This would not be the place (and Denver is one of my favorite cities in the world!)! A week later Julie and I were on the airplane to Tucson. We have pastored that church for over twenty years now with never a doubt that Tucson was the place God called us.

People sometimes ask, “How did you know for sure Tucson was where God wanted you?”

I don’t try to explain all about the human soul and spirit. I usually say, “Have you ever had that experience when deep down inside you just know what to do? It seems that God Himself gives you impressions, encouragement and advice?”

“Sure, I’ve felt that!”

“That is what I call my ‘Knower’. My “Knower” is my human spirit.”

“Oh, I get it now.”

I have discovered that God delights to communicate with me deep down in my inner spirit—in my ‘knower.’ Do you know what I mean?” Most Christians indicate they have had similar experiences of sensing the promptings of the Spirit deep within. They just did not know what to call it.

I have a three-point checklist I use before every sermon. First, I check that my microphone is turned on. Second, I pray, “Dear Lord, I pray that my words will move directly from my spirit, into my soul, out my mouth, into the ears of my listeners, then into their souls, and into their innermost spirits. Dear, Lord, help me communicate spirit to spirit with the folks today. Amen.” Then, I check my zipper and walk to the pulpit.

One of the first things I do in cultivating my spirit is to quiet down my mind. We live in a society of frantic activity. God has a hard time speaking to busy people who never take time to sit and be still. Frantic activity, racing thoughts, and media bombardment demand our energy and attention. God says: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

The word, “still,” can mean, “abate, cease, forsake” and “let alone”. There is a time for ceasing from the frenzy of daily activity to rest in the presence of the Lord. It is only then that we will hear the “gentle whisper” of the still small voice of God (1 Kings 19:11-13). The whirlwind blew by Elijah, but God was not in the storm. The earth shook; God was not in the quaking. Thunder and lightning flashed and roared; God was not in the storm. Then, when all was still and quiet, God spoke to Elijah.

Current American society encourages us to oscillate between frenzy and collapse. The principle of listening quietly to the promptings of the Spirit is a lost art in our media-saturated culture teeming with radio waves, television waves, computers, internets, cell phones, blackberries, I-phones, “X” boxes and Droids, just to name a few.

“Taking every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) begins the critical path that leads to the proper mental, spiritual and emotional state for hearing from God. Try to sit quietly and refuse to let you mind run away in uncontrolled thinking for five minutes. Most can’t do it! When your mind wanders into today’s upcoming activities, or yesterday’s failures, stop it! Don’t go there. Instead, stay in the present and anticipate the upcoming moments communing with God.

I like to meditate on favorite Scripture passages to keep my mind from wandering. For example, I like to imagine that I am on my hands and knees looking up at the Shepherd in Psalm 23. The Lord looks so simultaneously tall and rugged and gentle. I picture Him picking me up in his arms and hugging me. The sense of peace and security is incredible.

Once I felt like all Hell was breaking loose around me. I remember getting quiet before God and thinking about the last Israelite in line when Moses led the people through the Red Sea. What would it be like to see the Egyptian armies coming up rapidly from the rear and wondering whether I would reach the other side in time? I see Moses far ahead with the Rod of God lifted high. I am hurrying. I am embarrassed to run past the women and children so I hang back to help them along all the while keeping an eye out behind on the rapidly closing chariots. It seems like I will get to Moses none too soon—maybe not soon enough. Then, finally, I pass Moses as the Rod descends. The waters close cataclysmically. I am safe. This Red Sea meditation of deliverance has remained with me for years. When the enemy armies surround me, Jesus stands with arms outstretched. At that moment, I am mentally and spiritually prepared to meet in my human spirit with God the Holy Spirit.

Practice quieting your mind. Don’t allow it to wander. Keep your mind focused. Be still and take every thought captive. Meditate on a Bible verse or passage that draws you into the heart of God. A quiet mind is the foundation for special times in your spiritual throne room.

A godly person, the Bible says, is like a tree planted by rivers of living waters (Psalm 1). Trees are not frenzied or frantic. They do not consume vast amounts of caffeine to keep adrenaline flowing. Trees are unhurried. They do not wander from their source. They quietly produce fruit.



Keeping The Temporal And Eternal In Perspective



The art of spiritual maturity is learning to transition from the temporal to the eternal. Our human nature leads us most naturally to focus on the temporary things of earth like material possessions, human relationships, physical health, and so forth. Our spiritual nature has an eternal focus in mind.

The weeping woman beside me at the casket was disconsolate. Her best friend’s son drowned after riding his tricycle into a swimming pool. “Why?” she pleaded. “Why did this have to happen? Where was his Guardian Angel? Why didn't God prompt some adult walk out just in time to stop him?

She was hurting, so I first took some time to comfort her. But, that was not enough to calm her raging heart. She wanted some sort of answer to make some sort of sense to this tragedy. At what seemed like the right moment I quietly asked her, "What is God's ultimate plan for believers?"

"To be with Jesus," she replied.

"Where is that little boy?"

“With Jesus!"

We will never sustain an eternal prayer life unless we determine to develop an eternal perspective. We must never allow temporal discomforts to destroy our view of God as He proceeds with His sanctifying, and maturing work.

In the midst of difficult times our humanity cries out, "God heal my body,” or “God fix these circumstances,” or perhaps, “God turn around this tragedy....” However, sometimes God whispers 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:



Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.



Transitioning from the temporal to the eternal is accomplished by learning to pray from the inside out.41 Let’s use our three concentric circle model. Remember that the human spirit is the innermost circle. The next outer circle represents the soul (the “psyche, the mind, the place where I myself live) and the outer circle is the body.

Paul’s prayers reveal his deep concern for the maturing of the internal-eternal-human spirit. He seldom prayed for anyone’s body to get well—he never stopped praying for the development of the inner person. Here are two examples:



For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe (Ephesians 1:15-19).



For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:14-19).



By the way, putting your name or one of your friends or loved one’s name in those verses will bless your heart. Only one of Paul’s recorded prayers show him praying for the healing of someone’s bodily infirmity. Three times he prayed for his “thorn” to be removed; but, after Jesus said, “No,” he accepted his thorn as part of God’s plan and stopped praying for healing. I am certain that he prayed for others to be healed; however, those requests are most likely not recorded because they were so insignificant compared to his prayers for maturing the inner spirits of his readers.

For example, when Timothy was sick with various stomach ailments Paul did not pray for his healing or send him to the local faith healer. He advised him that a little wine would be good for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23).

God often allows or creates circumstances so that we may know Him better. He wants to sensitize our God consciousness. Satan wants to focus our minds on our bodies or circumstances in order to desensitize our God consciousness. Too often we are obsessed with removing pain and problems. God, on the other hand, is obsessed with divinely sensitizing our inner spirits. Our bodies are temporal and decaying. God will sacrifice the body every time if that is what it takes to mature the eternal!

We can pray seven times to be healed of cancer; nevertheless, we will eventually succumb to death. Praying for healing is not eternally effective. Life is a terminal disease. There are no Biblical verses which describe angels rejoicing when bodies are healed! On the other hand, the angels rejoice when lost sheep enter into eternal life.



Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, … Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:1-7).



Too many Christians beg for God to change their situations and heal their bodies while not having the slightest idea of God’s eternal intentions. Praying from the inside out allows us to see things from God's perspective and interpret the circumstances surrounding our lives in light of how our requests affect our inner spirits.



Three Times Is Enough



I think we should follow Paul’s example when we pray for healing. Three times is enough. If we aren’t healed after three prayers we can assume that God has other things in mind. Let’s start praying for wisdom to understand His intentions and get with His plan.

Let’s look a little more carefully at Paul’s own physical-healing journey in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9:



To keep me from becoming conceited, because of these surpassing great revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But, He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”



“Thorn" is the Greek word describing a “tent stake” that is driven into the ground to stabilize and secure a tent. The Babylonians used the word to describe sharpened trees used for impaling people. “Torment” is a Greek boxing term meaning, “to beat, to strike with the fist.” Paul had a stake impaled in his body tormenting him to keep him humble.

There are four main guesses as to the nature of Paul's thorn. First, he was ugly—probably a result of his five beatings with rods, three whippings, and one stoning (2 Corinthians 10:10). Second, he was often incapacitated with malaria contracted in the marshy areas of the southern coast of Turkey. Third, he struggled with epilepsy which was considered in the ancient world to be caused by demons (Galatians 4:3-14). Finally, and most probable, he had some sort of debilitating eye trouble. Think about the blind scales falling off of his eyes at his bright-light conversion in the desert (Galatians 4:15; 6:11; and Acts 23). As he finished the letter to the Galatians Paul took the pen from his amanuensis and wrote a greeting with his own hand. The implication here is that he couldn’t see well enough to write an entire letter on his own.

To one degree or other, we are all like Paul in our weaknesses. Pray three times for healing and if the answer is “no” then consider that God wants you to live with it and find grace and strength to handle it accordingly.

I was invited to a healing service for an American missionary serving in a Middle Eastern country. People had prayed for his healing for over ten years. He was at his wits end. As we prayed it became increasingly obvious to me that he was struggling with brain-chemistry-neurotransmitter imbalances.

When the prayer time ended I gently told him that it was time to stop praying for healing: “If God hasn’t healed you after ten years of praying then another year will probably not do it either. God’s answer is, ‘“Stop asking Me. My grace is sufficient for you.’”

I continued, “You get to ask three times, maybe four; then, it is time to stop praying and figure out how to live for God’s glory while the “stake” twists in your body. Consider that up to this point my friends’ prayer was for the Holy Sprit’s healing oil to bring supernatural healing as mentioned in James five. But, oil was often used as medicine in the Biblical world. It was time to find a good doctor.

After the meeting we discussed the genetic implications of his disorder. We shook his family tree and all sorts of ancestors with the same malady fell out. “There is medical treatment available that can give you great relief,” I said. “Go see the right doctor.” The next morning the missionary came by the table where I was eating breakfast and said, “Thanks, I needed those insights about Paul and his thorn. I’d forgotten that His grace is sufficient.”

By the way, praying without considering eternal perspectives can be dangerous. If you pray without being enlightened, without knowing His will, God will sometimes give you what you request with devastating results.

Let me illustrate. Tired of waiting for God’s provision, the Israelites in the wilderness began to murmur and complain about God’s seeming lack of care. They prayed for meat to eat. They were sick of the manna. So God answered their prayers. They soon wished that He had not. God provided quail. It was poisonally diseased.



But they soon forgot what he had done

and did not wait for his counsel.

In the desert they gave in to their craving;

in the wasteland they put God to the test.

So he gave them what they asked for,

but sent a wasting disease upon them (Psalm 106:13-15).



An awareness of God’s will is essential in intelligent praying. Dr. L. Taylor Daniel told me a story about a pastor who received a late night call from a mother whose baby was dying. She pleaded with him to, “Pray for my baby to be healed.” He replied, “First, Let’s get on our knees and see how God wants us to pray.”

“No, I want to pray for healing now,” she demanded.

“I would be glad to pray for your baby; but, first let’s kneel and try to get God’s insight.”

“No, she screamed, “If you won’t pray for God to heal my baby, then I will.” So she did. The pastor opened the door and left. Dr. Daniel shared the end of the matter: “Eighteen years later she lived to watch her son mount the stairs of village gallows to be hanged for murdering the family of six next door. 42



Making Intimacy with God a Priority.



Quality time and consistent effort provide for a close relationship with God (or anyone else for that matter). Therefore, Jesus withdrew often to pray:



When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place (Matthew 14:13a).



Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35).



One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God (Luke 6:12).



In Exodus 33:9-11 God met with Moses face to face. In Genesis 3:8 Adam was intimate with God in the Garden. In Genesis 5:23-24 Enoch was so close with God that God took him on up to Heaven. James 2:23 tells us that Abraham was the "friend of God".



Jeanne Guyon reminds us of Christ’s lovely invitation:



All who are thirsty, come.

All who are starving, come.

You who are poor, come.

You who are afflicted, come.

You who are weighted down with a load of pain, come and be comforted.

You who are sick and need a physician, come.

You may think that you are simple or uneducated or inexperienced in the ways of the Lord or that you are very far from a deep experience from the Lord. If that is your case, the Lord has especially chosen you. You are the one most suited to know Him well. 43



The Lord searches for men and women who will commune with Him. What does it do to your heart to hear His entreating pleading in the opening pages of the Book of Revelation?



Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20).



Practicing Spiritual Disciplines



The spiritual disciplines are Biblically-based activities recognized throughout Christian history as essential for reaching spiritual maturity. The disciplines produce humility, brokenness, and a corresponding increase in God-dependence with a corresponding decrease in self-reliance, self-centeredness, and self-condemnation. God’s strength is what we want to experience—not our own. The victory belongs to God and not to us.

Properly used, spiritual disciplines not only move us swiftly along our spiritual journeys, they often minister strength and grace to others.

I once performed a wedding ceremony for a young groom who was at the beginning of his spiritual journey. His bride was much further along than he. He came to Christ and I baptized him several months later. The morning after the wedding his mother shared that one Saturday during the hot month of July, her son was working at a gasoline service station when a woman drove up, hopped out of her car, and announced, “Hi, I am a Christian and I love Jesus and I want to clean your bathrooms.” He was shocked. We all know how dirty service station bathrooms can be! Besides, one of his jobs was to clean the bathrooms. When she finished cleaning she said to him, “I did this because I love Jesus and Jesus loves you.”

The very next day, sitting in church with his wife, he was shocked to see the bathroom cleaning lady. She was at the microphone singing a worship song before I preached my sermon. What she did is an example of the spiritual discipline of service.

Spiritual Disciplines are special tools in the hands of God. Depending on how we classify them, there are fourteen to nineteen Spiritual Disciplines.

They include such activities as:

Celebration—I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11).



Community—Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:1-2).



Confession—Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed (James 5:16).



Fasting—When you fast, … put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:16-18).



Fellowship—They devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer….All the believers were together and held everything in common…. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people…. (Acts 2:42-47).



Guidance—Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:19-20).



Meditation—Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (Joshua 1:8).



Prayer—This is how you should pray: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name …” (Matthew 6:9).



Simplicity—Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you (Psalm 73:25).



Service—After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him…. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:5, 34-35).



Solitude—Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).



Study—Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:16 KJV).



Submission—We have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live (Hebrews 12:9-10)!



Worship—Yet, a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks (John 4:23-24).



I want to make one thing clear. The Disciplines are NOT spiritual hurdles that we jump over in order to earn a deeper relationship with God. Instead, they are profitable activities though which we can experience God’s revelation of Himself to us by His grace.

Spiritual disciplines often result in a strong outpouring of God’s power—especially in combination with several other disciplines.

Spiritual disciplines are not only for our benefit. Most of the disciplines, directly or indirectly, bring care, comfort, encouragement, acceptance, respect, and security to others.



Throwing Up In Church

Not too many people have had the privilege of throwing up during a church service like I had when I was seven. I spent most of the afternoon and early evening eating peanut butter out of the jar with a spoon. When Dad announced, “Time to go to church,” I was feeling rather rumbly. We took our seats to the pastor’s right on the second row. Several moments into the sermon I felt the peanut butter on the way up and told my mom so. She said, “Just sit still and it will all go away.” I couldn’t and it didn’t.

I have several seemingly simultaneous memories. First, I remember looking at the pastor as he announced to the congregation that there was a little boy having some problems on the front row and that it was all under control and that they didn’t need to look and that they would go on with the service. I never heard anyone communicate so much information in so little time. Second, I remember my mother scooting away from the onslaught as she said, “Oh, so that’s where all the peanut butter went. Third, I remember the strong arms of Dick Dickens picking me up from behind as he said, “I’ll take care of him.” Fourth, I remember the astonishment of being cleaned up by a man I hardly knew and I wasn’t even his son. Fifth, I remember my mother bringing a mop into the bathroom to clean up. Mr. Dickens said to mom, “You take him while I clean up.” Six years later Mr. Dickens donated a pint of his blood for my open heart surgery.

I also remember two types of people; those who didn’t want to look at the peanut butter rolls, smell the smell, or get touched by the onslaught. They scooted away. Some people were like the pastor: “Don’t look! The little boy had a accident. Let’s not let him be a distraction. We will keep on with the service. These people saw me as a problem.

Mr. Dickens was of the other type. He saw a little boy in need, ignored the pastor, and gently carried me to the bathroom, then got a mop and cleaned up my mess. He saw a person to be cared for and not a problem to be avoided. He exercised several disciplines on my behalf—disciplines like community, fellowship, service, simplicity, and submission.

How we see people affects our levels of compassion and determines how willing we are to draw near to care for those who’ve have made a mess of their lives. The spiritual disciplines produce the maturity to see the needs and pains of others—and do something about it.



Take a moment and think of some of the spiritual disciplines you’ve used. Imagine yourself growing big spiritual muscles as you utilize the disciplines for both your own benefit as well as for the benefits of others. Choose one or two that you’ve never experienced and decide right now to practice them this next week. Remember that the disciplines are designed to increase our God dependence while decreasing our self-dependence.



Dear Father,

I grant you the freedom to use whatever you consider necessary to mature me to be a spiritual mother/father.

Amen
Roger barrier , 07/03/12 02:40 PM
The following comment, "you confess your mortal sin to God ... hen go ahead and attend Sunday Mass ... Regarding communion, my advice is to feel free to experience it " is basically suggesting the Catholic faithful to not follow what the Church indicates is the Lord's will in this context.

As Catholics, we have believed for centuries before the Reformation in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Even Martin Luther believed in the real presence, as he explains in Luther’s Collected Works, Wittenburg Edition, no. 7 p, 391: "Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? [...] Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, [...] ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present."

See, therefore, that unlike other protestant communities, Catholics believe that Christ is truly presence in the Eucharist and it would be a sacrilege to "feel free to experience it" without first receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

As for God's ability to forgive mortal sin, this is clear and the Church agrees that perfect contrition - pain for offending God - can restore grace even before confession. But it would be a sin of pride to claim to have grace again, for we know not if our contrition was perfect. The Doctor of the Church s. Thomas Aquinas wrote: "deus non alligatur sacramentis", that is, God is not tied to the Sacraments that He established. But they are the way traced by Christ to restore grace.

If the intervention of a priest - a presbyter who has the fullness of the Holy Order - were unnecessary for the forgiveness of sins, could you explain to me why Christ said to the Apostles in John 20:22-23: "When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained" ?

I conclude by reminding that according to Catholic doctrine it is not "the priest" who forgives, but Christ himself: the presbyter acts "in persona Christi", that is, he is the visible instrument through which God grants His mercy on the repented sinner.

Pax Christi vobis!
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 09:45 AM
Please note that ever since the first centuries Christians have acknowledged baptism both by immersion and by affusion ("sprinkling"). The Didachē (40-60 A.D.) reads: "...if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit".

Infant baptism is highly recommended by the Church in consideration of the words spoken by the Lord: "Timeless truth I am telling you: “If a person is not born from water and The Spirit, it is impossible that he shall enter the Kingdom of God."

The Church also believes that infants who died without being baptized may receive God's mercy and be granted entrance to the Kingdom in considerations of the words spoken by Jesus: "Let the children come to me and do not forbid them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."

Pax Christi vobis!
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 10:22 AM
Wonderful and edifying response!

I'd like to mention two examples by our dear Lord Who said "If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also".

Chained before the religious leaders:
"When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. "Is this the way you answer the high priest?" he demanded. "If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?""

Before Herod:
"Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus, for he [...] was hoping to see some sign performed by Him [...] Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing."

Before Pontius Pilate and the people accusing him of false things:
"When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?" But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor's surprise."

What does this teach us? It is useful to meditate on the three situations and on the behavior of our Lord of whom the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah:
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth" and "I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting."

Pax Christi vobis!
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 10:33 AM
Dear Roger, I don't understand how you can say this: "No one can answer your question with any degree of certainty. As far as I know, the Bible never gives a definitive answer."

Did not Christ Jesus say: "a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear
the voice of the Son of God"? And aren't all Christians incorporated in the mystical order into the body of Christ? Then it is unequivocal, even from the biblical standpoint, that they can listen to us.

As for those in heaven - that is, those admitted to the infinitely beautiful presence of God - are they not all saints? And does not the Revelation state: "The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God"?

That is why ever since the year 325 Christians profess their faith in the "communion of saints".

So yes, Brian, she can hear you and she intercedes for you and your beloved ones.

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 10:45 AM
We ought to be very carefull and pay no attention to any of these manifestations. They ought to be treated with utter contempt, as if they were from the devil itself. Only then will we be less prone to be tricked by those powers who can even appear as angels of light to deceive us.

Now, it has been recorded throughout the history of the Church that faithful departed, as members of the communion of saints, sometimes by the grace of God come to defend the soul of a dying person...that is the last chance the devil has to take his soul through horrible temptations...we know the Blessed Virgin prays to Christ for the faithful departed "at the our of their death", and the angel that God put to protect the soul is definitely there as well.

Yet, the deceased have no authority to "come back" since they are at the presence of the Most High God: what need is there for a creature to do something or to come down to earth when they see face to face the Lord and they can pray to Him, the Creator, to have mercy on the dying soul?

Again, let us disregard all of these visions and if they brought some consolation to the dying soul or the family then let us give thanks to God for what could be thought of as a special gift of His infinite mercy.

Pax Christi vobis!
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 10:53 AM
Our Lord Jesus went through a horrible psychological torment which we know as the agony in the Garden. So extreme was the depression and the mental struggle that He asked the Father, which He touchingly calls "Abba'", "dad", to take that cup of suffering away from Him if it were possible, but He added: "not what I want, but what you want!". So great was the struggle that he suffered the rare condition of hematidrosis - sweating blood - triggered by acute fear, or rather, terror.

If the Lord endured these sufferings to an extent that none of us will ever reach and stood up victorious, then us Christians, incorporated in Christ as members of one body, can be assured that yes, we can suffer depression but we can also get out of it victorious like our beloved Lord.

Remember that God did not leave Jesus alone in His depression. Rather, "An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him." Though we may not see the angel with our eyes, rest assured that God will be by our side and strengthen us by any means He considers best - for He wants the best for us.

I conclude by quoting a poem by s. John of the Cross, the "Mystic Doctor" of the Church who experienced intensely the "dark night of the soul":

"Where have you hidden, Beloved, and left me moaning? You fled like the stag after wounding me; I went out calling you, but you were gone. [...] Ah, who has the power to heal me? Now wholly surrender yourself! Do not send me any more messengers; they cannot tell me what I must hear. [...] Reveal your presence and may the vision of your beauty be my death; for the sickness of love is not cured except by your very presence and image. [...] When you looked at me your eyes imprinted your grace in me [...] Do not despise me; for if, before, you found me dark, now truly you can look at me since you have looked and left in me grace and beauty."

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 11:12 AM
A poor friar whom loved God with all his heart once said: "Preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words."

I suggest the following morning prayer:
"My dearly beloved Lord, may I have You in all I plan or do...may I see You reflected in all I encounter, and may I reflect You to all I encounter. Amen."

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 11:16 AM
A poor friar whom loved God with all his heart once said: "Preach the Gospel and, if necessary, use words."

I suggest the following morning prayer:
"My dearly beloved Lord, may I have You in all I plan or do...may I see You reflected in all I encounter, and may I reflect You to all I encounter. Amen."

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 11:18 AM
The Canticle of Canticles is the most beautiful expression of sexual love between the Bridegroom Christ and the Bride, His Church, in which are all baptized Christians. What we experience as creatures on this earth may seem great, to some even the greatest thing that a human being can experience...just like Moses and the chosen people must have thought that the sea opening before them was the greatest manifestation of God's power they would ever see...but we know by faith that both were just a small metaphor for something much greater...something both physical and spiritual, but fully supernatural...

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 11:36 AM
"God also forgave all the sins we would commit in the future"

It's not that simple...yes, the Lord is always ready to forgive, but He also said: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
And it was James who wrote: "You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. But don;t you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

There is the need for repentance after sin...for repentance and forgiveness of sins. That is why the Lord granted His apostles the Holy Spirit to forgive sins, and why He said: "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet."

And yes, the Lord will always forgive one who repents of his sin...always.

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 02:01 PM
It's not about what me or you believe, it's about what has been noted throughout centuries of spiritual warfare.

While some exorcists will tell you that it is their impression that Satan can read the mind - of others beyond the possessed, of course - Satan cannot have direct access to the thoughts of men.

The theologian Didymus the Blind wrote in "De Spiritu Sancto" (250 A.D.) that a divine characteristic of the Holy Spirit that makes it different from creatures is that it can - like all persons of the Trinity - penetrate the soul. He even talks about Satan "entering Judas", arguing that he did not enter Judas with his substance - something only God could do - but through his operation, that is, through malicious suggestion.

The theologian s. Thomas Aquinas will retake the same argument and state that "solus Deus illabitur animae" - only God can penetrate the essence of the soul.

Then why have some the direct impression that the devil can read minds? There is a famous Sherlock Holmes novel by Sir Artur Conan Doyle in which Holmes, upset at Watson's admiration for one of Edgar Allan Poe's novels, demonstrates that he can also trace someone's (appearently) inner thoughts and reasonings by simply observing his behavior and facial expressions.

How much more can a creature that is by definition more clever than man (who is "a bit lower than the angels") and definitely much more older and experienced in his business than we are at defending ourselves.

Which is why the great mystics of the Church, like John of the Cross and Therese of Avila, point out that it is very easy to be deceived and that all suggestions or "voices" et cetera are to be treated like enemies, pointing out that only privileged souls that live an intensely conteplative and penitent life obtain certain revelations by the Holy Spirit. And they said so centuries ago! When there was no traffic of cars, no television, no ipod...!

In conclusion: the devil can see our actions - and he pays close attention - and from them he can track some of our thoughts, keeping note of our weaknesses and of the vices - especially lust, pride, and vanity - through which he can tempt us.

Does it make a difference? Yes - Satan is a creature, he is not omnipotent and he cannot read our hearts like Christ does. So he is often deceived in his own ideas and thoughts, and we are often not as guilty as he thinks he made us be.

It is not useful to focus on what Satan can do to us...rather, let's focus on what God can give us. An infinity of love, a sanctuary of safety beyond all dangers...in the depths of your conscience, only the Beloved dwells.

I conclude by mentioning Psalm 91 - which has been one of the night prayers of the Divine Office for centuries:

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: "My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust"

It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge.

[...]
A thousand may fall at your side,
Ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach;
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: "Lord, my refuge!"
and have made the Most High you dwelling.

[...]
Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: "I am with you."
[...]

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 03:43 PM
It is subtle and discomforting, but excess of prayer sometimes may hint at a few things:

- disbelief that God is listening. Yes, He listens very carefully to each of us, regardless of what we have done, and it is impossible to even conceive that after hearing our prayer our beloved, who is infinitely merciful, will not immediately do something to address our deepest concerns, which may or may not be the ones we prayed about.

- vanity in man's status: the Lord of infinite kindness, who called Himself "son of man" and willed to be known as the "son of the carpenter", called us creatures "no longer servants, but friends". This is reason for us to greatly meditate on the virtue of humilty, keeping in mind that yes, the Lord is infinitely kind with us, but "dust we are". Once we go to the beloved God with faith, hope, and love, we ought to keep in mind that it is His will which ought to be done, and that we have no power whatsoever. "Abba'...not what I want, but what you want."

Indeed, through faith we could literally move mountains: "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength", said the Apostle. But we ought to be humble and, like the Blessed Virgin of Israel before the archangel, always acknowledge the will of our creator and the lordship of Jesus Christ: "let it be done to me according to your word"...

He always listens to each of us individually, as if we all were the only son...isn't it such a great mystery of love?
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 03:55 PM
"I don't ask for forgiveness for my sins"
That is very sad to read...why, it is Christ whom your sins offend, not just other creatures! He bore the pain both mentally and physically, and now He bears it mystically...He suffers for each of us...the Creator suffering for the creatures...and yet, no matter what, He is always ready to immediately forgive a penitent soul! Why, then, should we not ask for forgiveness?


"does God still hear the prayer, or will He turn His back"

God cannot do by definition anything bad, for there is nothing "bad": there is good and lack of good, there is love and lack of love. God is the infinite fullness of everything, nothing lacks in Him...in God you shall always find infinite love, infinite mercy, infinite patience.

So the question is: can God turn his back on anyone, at all? Impossible. It would imply to do something imperfect. In fact, some theologians suggest that one of the greatest torments of condemned souls is that they have rejected God for eternity, yet they are somewhat always aware of His presence - though not like the souls in heaven, whom dwell in the ecstasy of His infinite beauty.

God will always listen to our prayers - in fact, God is always listening to us and looking carefully over us, as if we were the only son! "For in him we live and move and exist."

Finally, from the mystical standpoint, s.Paul wrote: "so we, though many, are one body in Christ". And being one body in Christ, we ought to always remember the words that Jesus spoke to the Father: "I know that you always listen to me"

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 04:06 PM
Dear Roger, you mention that "discerning spiritual men and women in the Body of Christ will be able to read the signs" and although I would love for that to be true, I am afraid that it is not the case.

First of all because Christ Himself, whom is - as we know - one with the Father, said: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

Second, because despite the apparently clear signs - but haven't we always seen most of these signs throughout the centuries? - the Book of Revelation clearly states that in the last days Satan will be given power "to make war against the saints and to conquer them", and Jesus stated that the false Christs and false prophets will do such wonders as to deceive, if possible, even the saints.

So who will be able to tell when Jesus will be back? Nobody! Not even the angels in Heaven. "For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night."

Jesus Himself said it:

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. [...] Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 04:20 PM
We will not know.

Even though we are "one body in Christ", we will still not notice: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

Second, because despite the apparently clear signs - but haven't we always seen most of these signs throughout the centuries? - the Book of Revelation clearly states that in the last days Satan will be given power "to make war against the saints and to conquer them", and Jesus stated that the false Christs and false prophets will do such wonders as to deceive, if possible, even the saints.

So who will be able to tell when Jesus will be back? Nobody! Not even the angels in Heaven. "For you know quite well that the day of the Lord's return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night."

Jesus Himself said it:

"As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. [...] Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come."

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 04:23 PM
"Being sprinkled when you were an infant missed the point of baptism"

How can you say this...it denies the most firm traditions of Christianity!

First of all, baptism by "sprinkling" has been accepted since around the year 60 A.D. as a valid form of baptism "in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". There are plenty of historical documents - like the famous Didache - that prove it.

Second, it is not what we do - or what the pastor does - that makes a Baptism: it is the Holy Spirit who descends into the infant! Just like the Precursor baptized many, but when the Lord came, the Holy Spirit out of His own initiative descended upon Christ in the form of a dove.

Why - many ask - baptize infants who know nothing about Christianity? The tradition of the Church for centuries has been that it is not prudent to postpone baptism, for "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit".

As for why the Church has preferred the baptism by affusion ("sprinkling") for infants rather than by immersion, one would think it is common sense.

Christians are then supposed to learn more and more about the meaning of being incorporated into "one body in Christ" until the day comes when the presbyters lay their hands on them and they are confirmed as adult Christians, sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This was mandated by Christ Himself when he told Peter: "confirm your brothers" and indeed the apostle Paul wrote very clearly:

“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when[a] you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

[...]
When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them [...]

For all those who dare to request a second baptism, I humbly point that it has been the profession of faith of Christianity for over 1600 years that "we believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins". And Christ Jesus told Peter "he one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean."

A different question is the form of the Baptism, for we are commanded by God in Christ Jesus to "baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit". A baptism that - despite the form - is not done as such, is invalid and yes, the Christian may be baptized again using the proper Trinitarian form.

And yet...we still believe in one baptism, for theologians have stated that the Christian whom desired to be baptized may have been granted, through God's infinite mercy, a "baptism of desire"...

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 04:40 PM
Numbers are a peculiar topic. Ever since the Pythagorean idolatry ("God is number") some men have given to numbers the wrong status...

The number 144000 in the Bible clearly does not mean 144000 units. Did not Christ Himself point out this when He told Peter to forgive "not seven times, but seventy-seven times"...did He place a limit of 77, or 490, or 1.4x10^59 times to forgive? Of course not, the Lord was making the point that it is not the number that matters...everything in God is infinite. All that we should care about is what Christ told us:

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you."

Is there a limit on "many"? Was there a limit when Christ said: "this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins"?

No...no matter how many "love light instead of darkness", the Lord will embrace them all.

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 04:54 PM
Forgive me...forget Calvin and Luther and others who have given their own interpretation of God's will, especially when that meant contradicting the doctrine of the Church during the times of the Reform...

...what did the apostle John write?
"to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

This is the only statement we should keep in mind. One that clearly came from the Holy Spirit - for no man could know these truths.

Predestination? Yes, theologians have written many words on it throughout the centuries. We are given at birth the royal right to become children of God, and we are called every moment, every instant of our life, to chose. To chose God or to be against Him. Jesus stated: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."

As for what is Hell, there would be too many things to say on this topic...theologians have written that it is a state in which the soul, having freely rejected God in life - a choice that after the death of the body becomes permanent - find themselves fully aware of God's presence, that is, they find themselves at the presence of a God of infinite love, infinite mercy, infinite beauty...and fully aware that they have rejected Him. And theologians have written that these damned souls respond by intensely hating God and all of creation and wanting to be set away from His presence...but He is everywhere, therefore they suffer a neverending agony. A mystic once stated that it was like swimming in an ocean of love, being unable to love.

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 05:07 PM
-10

People who consecrated their entire life to God claimed that they were nothing but sinfulness. In fact, the greater their perfection, the greater their humilty.

Christ, Whom we know is God, called Himself the "son of man"...in the Psalms we hear His words to the Father: "I am your servant, the son of your handmaid"...and in the painful prayer on Calvary which we know through the Holy Spirit: "I am a worm and not a man; a reproach of the children of men and despised of the people." He even said: "I became the laughingstock of all my people"

That is why we ought to always draw closer and closer to God, and yet by doing so we become more and more aware that our spiritual level is very, very low...in fact, the "-10" who never heard of God or Christ may be far more spiritually advanced than us if, unaware, he follows his conscience and does God's will. And even if he makes mistakes, God will have mercy on his ignorance.

But one who know about God and Christ? I tremble of what would he be without divine guidance...all we can do is grow in humilty, for "he who humbles himself will be exalted", says the Lord.

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 05:17 PM
Dear brother in Christ, I am sorry you had to endure such excruciating pain...truly sorry.

I know that you have united your sufferings to those of Christ, for in suffering we "fulfill in our flesh what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ"...

...but we know through the words of Christ that many of the things in the Old Testament were not as we thought...suffering, especially innocent suffering (like yours, for it was not your fault if you needed surgery and those were the only means) is not a punishment, especially not one that comes because of our parents or forefathers...

The Lord spoke, about the coming of Christ, that "from that day he would no longer remember our sins"...not anymore! With Jesus Christ, mercy came into the world...He embraced aching humanity and said: Blesseed are you, innocent who suffer, for it is unfair...blessed are you, for you are so similar to the Son of Man! It is you who are entitled to the greatest love from God. I will reward all your unjust sufferings with an everlasting, infinite joy!

Pax Christi vobis
Carmine C. , 07/04/12 05:26 PM
@ Mrs.Stella;
If you understand what "death" God defeated on the cross you would understand more of the meaning. God didn't make it to where we couldn't die here on earth, but that he made it to where we live eternally off of this earth. We do not finnish and vanish but have everlasting life with him.
Mrs. KGuthormsen , 07/06/12 04:59 PM
I pray to God all the time and ask him to let my mom know that I love her, its weird I am a Dj and as I am writing this a song came on A Mothers Prayer by Jackie Evancho, if thats not proof then I don't know what is.
Sean Russell , 07/09/12 03:06 PM
I appreciate your comments and agree that non-religous based yoga that emphasizes the physical benefits of yoga are indeed acceptable for christians. I caution that one must use discernment if you are atteneding yoga classes. Most classes offered at Gyms usually don't have the religous underpinnings of yoga. Most of the arguments I hear against yoga are based on the religous side of yoga and not the physical practice. If you are thinking about it pray and ask God, he is the final authority if you feel his prompting to not take it then don't! If you pray and really ask God about it and he permits it then do it. We all as Christians are blessed with a personal relationship with God so excersize that relationship pray and seek God he will never lead you astray!
James Harrell , 07/11/12 06:29 PM
This was an excellent essay. I've been struggling with this idea of women to be submissive for quite sometime, especially since in my heart i truly dont believe that God would make me or any woman the wayy we are if we were just to be nothing but statues. And many of my beliefs stemmed from the fact that paul said it. And soyou manyy people tookon him word for word ouut of context. And i too read those words as maybe its just by his opinion due to him saying it, but i never took into context the time period and how revolutionary he was being in a time wheen women really were considered as scum.

This has brought some interesting things for me to think and consider.
andrea harrington , 07/13/12 07:43 AM
Roger, my cousin is a pastor. He said what you have about cremation. Thanhyou for your insight to this topic. I dont lik the idea of my body being buried either. But mike does want a spot for him to visit and remember me.
Penny hayden , 07/13/12 11:26 AM
Some professing Christians see no reason for concern, however, such as defrocked Catholic priest turned Episcopal priest Matthew Fox, as Yoga Journal reports:
But what if the religious people in your life won’t let you sidestep the doctrinal controversies (for instance, the propriety of chanting a Hindu deity’s name)? [Matthew] Fox sees no problem with challenging them back: “....If there’s been too much God-talk in our brains, then other names, whether it be Brahma, Shiva, Shakti, what have you, can add to our repertoire. It’s not a subtraction. If our God is so fragile that He or She is threatened by new names then we ought to look at that.”48
This is an amazing thing for an ordained Christian minister to say. Has he read the Scriptures of his own religion? God’s First Commandment was, “You shall have no other gods before me.” His Second Commandment was, “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” (Exod. 20:3–5). Throughout the Old Testament the emphasis remained the same, with Yahweh visiting severe judgments upon the Israelites when they invoked the names of other gods (see, e.g., Deut. 18:20; Judges 10:14; Zech. 13:2). The New Testament takes a similarly unfavorable view of idolatry (see, e.g., 1 Cor. 6:9–10; 1 John 5:21; Rev. 22:14–15).
The God of the Bible has made it quite clear that He does not identify with the gods of other religions or receive their worship as His worship. Fox may feel qualified to psychoanalyze God’s dislike of idolatry, but
Karen Shaw , 07/15/12 07:47 PM
I am "married" to a man who divorced his first wife after she left him for another man. We have children and are both involved in our church. I am afraid of exposing my newfound convictions regarding the sin of remarriage because there are so many in the church who accept this and use God's grace as an excuse to continue. And on top of it all, I have determined for many years to stay married through much conflict because I believed that divorce was not an option. Now I am confused because it appears my "marriage" was never recognized by God in the first place. I would appreciate prayer to help me sort out this mess. I need to hear from the Lord on this matter. My question is: If I seek a "divorce" from my "husband" would it be permissable for me to marry again as I have never actually been considered married in God's eyes? And if not, should I pray for my "husband" to reconcile with his wife and then wait around for him just hoping she'll die before I'm old? It seems like these things are sin as well because one part is coveting my neighbor's spouse and the other half, according to Jesus, is murder because if you even think about doing these evil things then it is as if you had already done them. Just to clarify, I DO NOT wish for his former wife to die.
Also, if their marriage were to end with her death, would it be all right to "remarry" him assuming I never marry another man?
anonymous withheld , 07/19/12 02:08 PM
Ok, I am confused. I have been diagnosed with Cancer twice now and have Fibromyalgia, which is more painful that the actual Cancer! I love the Lord and I have been using Opiates for the past 10 years to dull the pain. I am home bound, can't hardly sleep or get things done like I once did. After years of pestering by my son I opted to try pot. I got a legal licence and a distributor I deal with, yet I am so afraid I will end up a "pot head" like Cheech and Chong... LOL I am almost 60 and I never did anything drug wise when I was growing up because I valued my mind and thinking capabilities. What I have come to is that this is worth a try because I am killing my liver and the legal pain meds won't hold any longer. I am under a Psychiatrist care and I want to do this right. This is not for a buzz or a high, this is so I can sleep and stop feeling like I am unable to move due to pain. I also know that no one is God. The Lord knows and if this is wrong, than so far He hasn't made it blatantly clear to me. I wish my life would have been different but it is what it is, Praise the Lord. Maybe the debate is a personal one, I don't know. What I do know is the Pharmaceutical companies are pretty anxious that we don't try anything but what they provide, at enormous costs to the person who is sick. I am trying to keep going when the church in general looks the other way while I stumble and fall, trying to take care of things. I wish there was an easy answer to this one, but there is not. May the Lord have mercy on my soul if I am sinning by using this. I felt just as scared and worried when I started using opiates for the pain way back when. Of course I would prefer healing, but I don't know what else to do. Maybe you staunch anti "illigal" drug people need to try walking a mile in our shoes. I am sorry that I disappoint you but I am doing my level best and the Lord does know that. Blessings, Katie
Katie Bond , 07/20/12 06:58 AM
God bless you Katie. I pray for God's healing upon you. It is what is in your heart that really matters. God sees your heart. We have been living in a society that views marijuana as a drug, which is why we have people who are against medical marijuana. I pray that God speaks to their hearts and judge not, but have compassion and more understanding. Yes, there are people who abuse marijuana, but there are people like Katie that really need it. It's sad that people like Katie suffer for the abuse of others. I ask anyone that is reading this, please do not judge people who use medical marijuana. Let God do that job. Unlike the pharisees, do not condemn, but rather pray for your fellow brother or sister in Christ. They are not pot heads, they are children of God, just like you.
Tauoa Laie , 07/20/12 01:39 PM
Sounds like some people are Pride full and judgemental.. What does it say in the good book?! Who are we ( a simple human species ) to judge one another as 2Pac said," Only god can judge me now " lol. I have loved the stories in the bible and the teachings, and what I have learned over the years is if I believed so hard in my heart that god will help us in the time of dire need or the ones we love.. what I learned is... HE DOES but... not in a straight up I will heal you now way. We were made with intelligent minds and that why we have such technical bodies that react to stress, environmental changes, toxins etc. In the bible it says to use all the fruits and plants for long life and prosperity ( not in that exact sentence but it's all good.. we just pick the stuff we want out of the bible or I would be dead this sunday when I have to work right.. :P ) Our earth is contaminated, our food is contaminated, our water is contaminated, our air is contaminated and our minds are contaminated. Do you not believe that god put everything on this earth to be used accordingly?? You can abuse ANYTHING in life! I commend the true believers, the thinkers, the questioners, the unperfect people who are willing to destroy the boundaries and speak out against this crime on humanity as others will watch there selfs or others get murdered as we are just lab rats for BIG PHARMA. Stop being so self absorbed and open your eyes to the truth. SEE THE TRUTH, SPEAK THE TRUTH. Don't just sit there and expect god to handle all your problems ... you ask for a miracle and he gives us a plant that grows on every corner of the earth and places that nothing could survive.. used by millions to relieve there pain that has corrupted our bodies and minds. I say this with love and compassion because I do not judge you for who you are and the way you think... maybe were wrong but only god knows what lies we face every day :)
This Guy , 07/20/12 03:31 PM
Dear Roger,

Im 25 years old and been separate for almost three months.We been married for almost two years.
I had one son he is almost 7 months and my husband was not really trust me he thought that i got pregnant from some one else.But the true is i did not slept with any one.We got DNA test it is his son.
I was sad and i did want to divorce him be course the way he never interested the child.All he care was work and money just for him self.After two week i gave birth i told him that i wanted to divorced,and he was surprised and he was ready to divorce too.Start from that week he found another woman and force me out of the house all the time until my son was 5 months old and he change the house key.I finally out of his house and end up with some
one i knows house.Now he is traveling with his new woman and he is already engage her four months ago.
Right now I'm looking forward to move in my own apartment with my son and also wait to go to the court with my husband.8 days ago he send emails asked me if I wanted reconciliation we could try to go to therapy and restart all over.I respond to him said no and thank you to him that i will never go back to him.But in my deep heart i still love him very much and can not forget him i still think about him everyday.
Please help.
Kind regards
Chanseng


Chanseng Hang , 07/22/12 03:15 PM
Gary and Tony,

The reason I brought up the window's mites is that she gave her all, 100%. Her story was put in the Bible for a reason; to set us to a standard we all hope to aspire to. You both seem to think that money meant nothing to Jesus, but you would be wrong. In Luke 12:33-34 Jesus makes it very clear to, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor”, not your grain, wheat, or barley, but your stuff. For He knew, that were your treasure is, your heart would be also. Jesus was trying to tell us that if you want to know where your heart is… money will show you. Our job is to share this truth with others and not sugarcoat it. Jesus warned us about our possessions and we should do the same and then… let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Bonnie
Bonnie Hayes , 08/02/12 02:01 AM
Roger thanks for addressing this.I was in a church years ago where the Pastors wife dressed in such revealing clothing that it was a distraction to many,including myself.My church ought to be the place where I am not barraged by this kind of thing!Needless to say I am very happy at Casas!
Dave Pierce , 08/04/12 03:18 PM
Thank you Roger for sharing your thoughts. My daughter is 8 years old and I don't want her admiring older girls that dress inappropriatly. This is a good reminder that I need to be praying now that she makes the right decisions regarding clothing.
Amanda Yanez , 08/04/12 06:31 PM
Thankyou for this post. I feel that a pastors wife and any worship team on platform, should dress to represent the ideals of the church. Perhaps there should be a dress code for attending church, if people cannot respect their own bodies and respect the House of the Lord. Yes, you must choose your battles with your teen, but also have rules for covering body parts.
Penny Hayden , 08/05/12 11:40 AM
What a great perspective on clothing from a woman... now being a MAN and a Father I think the idea of clothing is one of PERSONAL choice, if they want to wear tube tops and miniskirts LET them! Modesty is a perspective of EACH individual and how they express themselves, is it wrong to have long hair a piercing and blue hair. Is It wrong to wear my pants half way down the middle of my butt, where in the bible does it say, Thou shall Not have a TRAMP STAMP. and WHY would you ASSSume a tattoo in the small of a woman’s back equals that.... unless it says "free admission."
You can't fix stupid, and common sense is NOT so common, I am NOT the fashion Police, or the legal secretary for the church.
I believe Rogers’s example is Spot on. Love, Encourage and Support, let God judge and the natural consequences of provocative dressing give each person insight into their own behavior naturally,
Without, "Baptist Sister Better than You, Frigid and cold, I want to Mold you" judging them....
Consequently, I have a daughter entering high school this year, my wife shops with her, I view and "approve" all outfits, we also have the bend over test, if I see cleavage north or south of the waistline, then it doesn't get worn in my house.... my daughter tells me other girls leave their house and change clothes at school, I asked her if she did and she stated, "No because I never know when you’re going to show up.." and that is the point, I love my daughter I am Active in her decision’s but I cannot make them for her...
And as a church member you cannot regulate what other members wear...you may encourage and uplift these people of questionable dress and
SMACK your husband/ companion for looking though....
kirk tjalas , 08/06/12 08:54 AM
why is female dressing such a big problem in the church today all over the world?DO we(believers)fear GOD ANY MORE? DOES THE WORD SHAMEFACEDNESS mean anything to todays professing christians?
rebecca reynolds , 08/06/12 08:58 PM
I had the same type of dream the other night. However other people friends and family were possessed. In my dream I was able to say in the name ofJesus and started singing a praise song. I woke up singing the praise song. It really did freak me out. I had to turn on the light and sit up a while. This was very timely for me as well. Thank you~
Gigi J , 08/06/12 09:54 PM
I am discouraged right now. I want to give the full 10% as a guide, but we only give 1 - 2% on my husband's wishes. I am a stay-at-home, homeschool mom. We don't spend friviously. I am the budget person in the home (because I'm good a math and my husband hates it) and record every cent onto my Excel program. If we give 10%, there will be no money for homeschooling, car maintenance and so forth. We will go in to debt and probably have to claim bankruptcy or lose our house. This probably sounds a lack of faith on my part.

I guess I really have to study this for myself to know what's really right. I have to lean on the Holy Spirit to guide me instead of reading other people's beliefs. Does the Holy Spirit tell each of us differently what we are supposed to do? Or is it one-size-fits-all?

Thank you all for sharing your verses. I am going to dig deep on this one, because it has been bothering me for years. Is it conviction by the Holy Spirit or induced guilt by Satan?

So here I go. Study, study, study. And hopefully, the Holy Spirit will show me a very clear answer without my fleshly agenda being involved.

Keep sharing your verses and I will look at both sides.
Charity Machiela , 08/07/12 02:09 PM
I was baptized by sprinkling when I was a young adult. After 10 years of attending a church together, my husband decided that it was time to return to a Baptist Church (where he used to attend and is a member). I was hesitant at first, however I find that I like attending on Sundays and Wednesdays and would like to become more active in the life of the church. As I was searching for membership, I was informed that I cannot become a member unless I am baptized again. I was also informed that I cannot receive communion because I am not a member. This information has hit a cord with me. If I submit to the Baptist Church beliefs, then I have betrayed my baptism for all these years. I am the one that wanted to be Baptized 33 years ago because I wanted Jesus Christ to be apart of my life. Therefore, how can I allow a church to tell me that I have to do it again in order to receive church membership or communion? I am at the point that I think it's time to find another church that will accept me with open arms because I love Jesus!
Darlene Parham , 08/08/12 10:39 PM
Carmine, We may not no the exact day or hour but we will know the times and the season and we are definitely in those times.
Lena T
Lena Trone , 08/09/12 01:58 PM
Dear Roger,

Thank you for the insight about after death. I was confused all these years after my Mom's sudden demise. God comforted me with the assurance that I'll see her one day. God bless you.
Don Caleb , 08/10/12 02:20 AM
Catherine,

This may sound strange, but I found your post encouraging! I experience the same type of dream very frequently. The dream itself isn't what bothers me, it's the fact that I can never get the word "Jesus!" out. It's nice to know I'm not the only person with this experience.
Here's my take on it. Humans have 3 layers: Body, Soul (which is our mind and will), and Spirit. When we become Christians Jesus comes in and occupies our Spirit. Satan no longer has a claim to it or can occupy it (possess it). The Bible teaches us that now the battle is for the mind and will. We have total control over our conscious minds. The choices we make are willful. We choose the mind of Christ, or to indulge or resist a fleshly/Satanic thought or behavior.
The Bible also tells us that God knows our thoughts... but Satan doesn't! Satan can only make "suggestions" to influence our thoughts or actions. He "suggests," we then "choose."
We have no control over our sub-conscious. Our bodies are also wired for sub-conscious biological urges and functions: hunger/eating, emotions, sex... God created us that way and he doesn't holds those against us. Especially a biological impulse occurring in a sub-conscious state! Here's an example: In the Old Testament there are rules for men having "nocturnal emissions." God acknowledges our bodies can influence our sub-conscious for sex in our sleep!
Now to my point: I think our experience is two fold- partly a demonic attack, and partly a physical/bodily process. God won't allow Satan to occupy our sub-conscious. We're defenseless and I believe God watches over us. Satan however tries, and obviously can, "influence" our dreams. I believe this element is essentially a "demonic attack" while we sleep.
Our inability to call for Jesus to help us is the physical/bodily element. It's what Roger is talking about with the physical hand-off between conscious and sub-conscious. In our dream we recognize we are under attack. We call out to Jesus but because we are asleep the chemicals that relax our active muscles, like our tongues and mouths, are still engaged so we can't move them. However, we can make sounds. Sound is just air passing through our vocal chords. It's a passive process, hence the incomprehensible moaning. We finally wake up, startled, but now conscious and able to take the offensive, just as you did!
Again, this is my opinion based out of experience and speculation. I'm not sure why Satan/demons do this. All it seems to accomplish is startling us for a moment... But that may be the point. It's his way of taunting or intimidating us. He's trying to get us to fear him, or to make us believe we are powerless against him- that we can't even call to Jesus... Maybe even try to convince us Jesus Himself isn't strong enough to challenge him! Satan is hoping when we face him consciously, deep down we might remember that dream and act based on that seed fear he tried to plant. Clever tactic when you think about it. But that's all Satan has... Tricks! The truth is this: he's TERRIFIED of us!!! And his fear is a waking nightmare!
Ricky M , 08/10/12 01:19 PM
oh my,

To all the faithful people in pain struggling with this my heart bleeds for you. Divorce in every situation IS a sin, PERIOD.

BUT,

Martin Luther - "God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign"

Paul says that it is much better to marry than to burn with sexual desire. He regards being able to live life single as a gift. Any person who is unmarried for what ever reason is doomed to commit adultery every day no matter what. So you may as well remarry.

So the divorced Christian has two choices. Remarry and commit adultery with your new spouse, or don't remarry and commit adultery by burring with desire. Ether way take comfort in the fact that Christ paid the price for those sins on the cross and you will spend eternity with him in heaven.

I pry for God's peace to be with you all.

Andrew Wachter , 08/10/12 04:48 PM
Roger, I would like to comment on the second portion of your blog, as much as your first. Is it possible for a person who, for whatever reason, is no longer especially aware or cognizant, to accept Christ? I hope so. I would like to relate a personal experience.

In the last few months of her life, my mother became increasingly unaware of her surroundings. Ultimately, my father had to place her in a nursing home. She didn't seem to recognize either of us, her surroundings, and she became increasingly unresponsive.

On my final visit to her, I felt I had to say something to her about Jesus. She'd never been especially interested in hearing about Christ, but it wasn't like she could leave the room or tell me to hush this time. I hoped there was still "enough left" of her to be able to hear.

And so, I sat by her bedside, and as best as I could, presented the basics of the Gospel and her need for Jesus. I couldn't even tell if she was awake, but it has been said that people in a coma -- which she wasn't, technically -- can hear and process what's going on around them on some level. I was sort of counting on that.

I said a prayer, and got up to leave. I was about halfway to the door when I heard a noise. I looked back, and she was reaching out to where I'd been sitting. I went back over, and her eyes were open, and there seemed to me an awareness there that hadn't been there for a while. She didn't speak. I don't think she could. But she stared directly at me for a long moment, and I am convinced she knew who I was, at the very least, before closing her eyes again.

That was the last time I saw her alive. Did she hear me? Did she understand? Did she accept? I don't know. I like to think so. I imagine that one day, I will find out, when it's my time to go. In the meantime, all I can do is hope, and realize that I did what I could. That's all a lot of us in similar circumstances with loved ones can do. The rest is up to God.
Thomas Wheeler , 08/14/12 10:01 AM
Thank you, Roger! I am studying Biblical Womanhood and this adds greatly to the conversation. I wanted to add a thought that I have found Wayne Grudem's teaching on 1 Cor. 14:34 to be valuable from his book "The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today", specifically chapter 11 (Women and Prophecy: Prophesying encouraged, but not the judging of prophecies). In his summary paragraph he writes, "However, this does not imply a total silence, but only a silence with respect to the spoken evaluation of prophecies, the topic which Paul has just mentioned in the previous context (1 Cor. 14:29)." It is a very satisfying read.
Kimber Bowers , 08/14/12 03:18 PM
I lost my amazing father exactly 1 month ago too cancer and it was sudden and he was only 63 he went through 2 surgerys too get the tumor removed and the 2nd one he was outta surgery and was doing fine and then all of a sudden his heart stopped they tried too revive him but the docters had no luck and im only 23 and i still need my dad very muchso i cry constantly for him and i always question can he see me can he hear me crying for him is he with me and by my side i have gotten some signs when he passed away but i havent noticed any more signs and i know that hes made his peace with the lord but i just hope he can see me and hear me like ill ask for signs such as flicker the light but he never does. im so confused and i just miss him so much and if theres anybody out there that is goin through the same thing as me u can email me if u wanna talk cuz i think i need too talk too somebody becaue i cry constantly and i mean every second of every day last night i cried for about 2 hrs because i miss him so much heres my email...bbryanh69@gmail.com please no crazy ppl emailing me please. R.I.P daddy may 8 1949- july 11 2012 gone but never forgotten
Brittany Heath , 08/17/12 01:53 AM
Hanna,

I understand exactly what you mean. Look at it like this. over 7 million children die every year before the age of 5. Yet biblically, children are the most precious. We are led to believe that 1 imperfect mortal man and woman messed it up for generations so that event he innocent are not protected. What nonsense.
Nelson Hernandez , 08/17/12 11:50 AM
I cheated on my now ex wife several times, but nevef slept with any of the women (oral once). She divorced me and is having sex with her bf now. I have tried to work it out (one big problem is that she would only have sex with me once a month and we were young....i tried everything to help her) but she says NO. I don't want to live without a wife and the enjoyment of sex with a spouse.... What do I do?

She is talking about marrying her bf, and he sleeps at her house already. I am trying to live a Christian life now after many years of mistakes.
nick armo , 08/20/12 08:23 AM
It breaks my heart to see the media trumpet the stories of the very few who do win. They hold out this unrealistic hope that drives so many. I once worked with a lady who skipped lunch every day--going hungry--to buy lottery tickets each Friday on her lunch hour. She was waiting for the day when "her ship would come in." I hated to see her face fall every Monday when she skipped lunch yet again after she'd lost. It was just like a gambling addiction.
Brianna Engeler , 08/21/12 08:56 AM
Roger, thanks. I have been studying this for a number of reasons, and it's refreshing to see an unbiased, Biblical approach to this concept. I am on staff at a Baptist church, and I teach others -- your post here has better equipped me to that end. Thank you.
Michael Britt , 08/21/12 09:15 AM
I am a Christian and I have been married for about 2 and a half months now and have realized marrying the man was a mistake. He lied to me and told me he was ready for marriage and then told my brother that he was having doubts. Not only that but we only knew eachother for a few months and I was so desperate to get married that I married him. He told me he was a Christian but when he came to live with me he started acting different and that is probably because I didn't know him for too long and his true colors were coming out but all we would do is argue and he wouldn't communicate with me at all. We are currently seperated right now and during the seperation he committed adultery and so did I a week ago sadly and I wish I didn't give into it. But to be honest I have been praying about our situation whether to reconcile or divorce and my heart still wants to go for the divorce after all the praying I have done. Even my husband told me he prays but yet I don't feel different about divorcing him. I feel God's best for me is still out there and he isnt the one I married either. Like one of my Christian friends told me and he is filled with the Spirit He told me if the person we marry wasn't appointed by God but we went ahead and married based just on what we felt then we could get a divorce because that person wasn't chosen by God. I'm afraid to get a divorce because I don't want to be living in sin and reading the comments here it seems alot of people are in my situation. What will happen to the ones who were already divorced and remarried? Are they living in sin? Or did they finally marry the one God chose for them before they were even conceived in their mother's womb? By the grace of God that man or woman has already been chosen we just need to wait on God to bless us with what He has already chose for us.
Brandy Benda , 08/23/12 05:33 PM
I have also put out information about the role Americas plays in the end times. I have written a book called: America's Role in Revelation.

If you have time please visit my web site: http://www.americasrolerevelation.com I would love to here your opinion.
Eileen
Eileen Townsend , 08/25/12 11:30 PM
Roger, This is so helpful you cannot even imagine. Thank you for yet another thoughtful and inspired response to a difficult question. Your kindness, truth and empathy shine through as always. So grateful, Carole Lisson
Carole Lisson , 08/27/12 08:52 PM
Thank you Roger for your post. Although my situation is nothing like "M"'s, I still ask myself the same question. I was raised to think so many things were wrong, including going to movies, wearing slacks, etc. I remember you saying in one of your sermons the term "mixed swimming, and I knew what you meant. My parents have both passed away. They raised their four children how the church believed. I loved them both very much, and miss them so much. My husband and I have been blessed with two wonderful sons. We've raised them according to the Bible, but have not put the restrictions on them as I was raised. What I have witnessed is God is at work in their lives everyday, and they are so strong in their faith. They are 15 and 17 years old. One of my sisters raised all 8 of her children the way we were raised as a child. I see her children struggling with so many things, as most of them are now adults with families of their own. One of her sons has not seen her for years. I have been made to feel like I am not as good of Christian as I should be, and that I have not raised my children right. I have not talked to my sister for years, and neither has my other sister spoke to her after being hurt several times. There were things she did delibrately to my family and other family members, including getting mad at our mom and not letting her see her grandchildren for 9 months. I have always felt guilt for putting distant between our families, to avoid getting hurt over things that were being done on purpose. I still and probably always will feel guilt, because she is my sister, and I wished things were not this way in our family. You have answered so many of my questions in your post, and put things into perspective for me. Thank you and God Bless
Joanie Davidson , 08/28/12 02:47 AM
Wow. I look at that list of what defines someone who came from a dysfunctional family, and I'd say I can qualify for at least eight of those. And I wonder how much I should be surprised.

I didn't grow up in a harsh environment like "M". I had a good home and everything I needed -- except any substantial emotional connections, something that is difficult for me today.

I can't say that I "disowned" my family. I'm not sure there was enough of a relationship there to begin with. I think the only time I ever really was unfairly challenged about that was when my mother passed away, and someone in the Sunday School class I was attending made the rather nasty comment that in her opinion, I wasn't grieving enough. As if that's something that can be measured from one person to another like that.

You gave "M" good advice, Roger. No one should have to endure something like that.
Thomas Wheeler , 08/28/12 09:12 AM
"I have often heard it said that the things we don’t like about others are often the things we don’t like about ourselves." I too have often used this with others who wonder why certain people cannot befriend them or vice versa. "Hurt people hurt people" is another profundity I share and remind myself of. SO thankful Julie and you are in our class! The challenge seems to be making time for YOUR reflective thoughts. You never talk over anyone--a true gift. I know I will refrain myself more to learn from Sue Wells and you two. Blessings, Carolyn
carolyn roeder , 08/28/12 09:30 AM
HOLY COW!!! Did you really say "no wonder he committed suicide"???????
Chris Crawford , 08/31/12 08:33 AM
Thank you 4 ur idea, it warmth my heart.. My prayer n wishes reaches to her as she Mom hears me through God..
Jain N S , 08/31/12 11:16 AM
I have a question:
I was married at 19 to my ex wife..I was not a good christian though i had been baptized at 12 years of age. She was a preacher's daughter but was also in the "world." We separated for 3 years because she did not want to give me a divorce. I found her to not be a good person morally or a good christian. She refused to sign the papers. In those three years I cheated because i suspected SHE was as well. Finally I divorced her un-contestantly in 2008. I found out my ex was married when she met me and got back with this guy after we had been separated. I met my fiance' in 2008 its been four years now and we want to marry. She is in the word I have yet to be born again, but i am confused to know if she is allowed to marry me. I know I can remarry because my spouse was married and never told me plus she lied about so many other things let alone being a very evil person. BUT I want to know if my fiance marries me would she be committing adultery??
Harvie , 09/06/12 10:33 AM
I am now divorced. My ex-wife was cheating on me. We tried counseling and knew that it was too late for that and the trust would never be there. During my divorce I started seeing a woman that was married. I was not right with God when I first married and this woman helped me find my way to God. We did not plan it and both knew it was wrong. Her husband has given her divorce papers. We are truly in love with each other but fear what punishments if any God may cast on us. what I am asking is if she gets a divorce and we marry, even though my divorce was justified by my ex cheating. Can we have a blessed marriage and family together? This is a question that is really troubling us right now. Her husband does not want to stay married to her bc he knows that she is not in love with him. They married young and I'm not sure that it was meant to be... So can making the mistake of marrying the WRONG person keep you from being truly happy and pleasing to God if you have to suffer in that marriage?
Russell Clark , 09/09/12 08:19 PM
In the Bible Code, The term Amun is encoded in every verse of Genesis, and every other OT book I have checked so far; along with words such as,Creator, God, Lion, and King.

Why would God go to all that trouble if Amun was just some pagan god? I am not certain, but I believe Amun and Christ could be one in the same. That does not diminish Christ in any way, nor does it change the Law of God. Christ is the Savior of all men, and that includes Egyptians.He said Himself that He would send Egypt a Savior. ISAIAH 19:20
Lewis Spring , 09/10/12 03:03 PM
Excellent article, Roger! In one counseling approach called Transactional Analysis, five "drivers" of our personality are postulated. One of these drivers, in the Parent part of our personality, is called the "Hurry-Up" driver. This driver has probably wreaked havoc on many a body and taken many souls too early to the grave.

Thank you for your wisdom and for a few good tips on how to re-parent ourselves and defeat the Hurry-Up driver!

P.S. The other four drivers: Be Perfect, Be Pleasing, Try Hard, & Be Strong. I think that there is a time and a place for these messages to have sway over our thoughts & actions. But there are other times when to be obedient to these programmed instructions is simply to "be in the flesh" and to stand against God. They may have enabled our survival as children, for which we are to be commended, but as adults, they often sabotage effective living.
Chet Weld , 09/12/12 12:04 AM
If you read Job 40: 15-24, a creature is described that sounds much like a dinosaur. Evolutionists try to say that it's an elephant or buffalo, but those animals don't have "ceder"-like tails. Evolutionists cannot figure out what happened to the dinosaurs, and have come up with at least 15 things that happened. Just read http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/1999/11/05/dinosaurs-and-the-bible.
Addison Hill , 09/12/12 08:55 PM
I lost my mother on April 13,2012. I thought I prepared myself for her death but words can't describe how I feel. I just want to know that she is in heaven and that she is doing good. So far I have cried myself to sleep every night. I just want a sign from her or god. She was a strong woman in God. I love you mom...
lakesha ray , 09/16/12 11:43 AM
Kathryn,

Of COURSE a blended family isn't part of God ’s design, but sometimes it is still a reality...painful as it may be.

My husband and I have been married only a few months. He has a thirteen year old daughter (who frankly needs much firmer discipline from her dad so that she can be raised to be a wise, godly woman). As a child of divorce myself, I know she should be able to have one, two-parent home. My husband STILL is saddened that she has to live this way.. .but we are not responsible for this situation. His ex wife, though a professing Christian (and a legalistic one at that), left him without biblical cause. He did not want the divorce and she remarried one month after their divorce. That was over NINE years ago. My husband is not one of those few that has the gift of celibacy, therefore, god DID design him for marriage. His ex deprived him of that (as did mine)...and, the Bible holds the spouse who leaves unbiblically responsible for the fact that the spouse who was left will necessarily want to remarry.

I am still having to deal with her aftermath though. I DO know that he loves me.. .of that I am sure.. .but she is meddlesome, controlling, manipulative, etc. ..all things she did in their marriage from what I hear. ..but all things that he (wrongfully) brushes aside or cow-tows to for the sake of "keeping the peace" (in the midst of the grief over the divorce he foolishly gave her primary custody without any discussion. ..and now, just as she did in their marriage, she tries to call all of the shots (even though, honestly, I believe we would win in any court battle)). She poisons the waters. ..trying to keep her daughter’s "loyalty" to her, etc...

So, what have I to fight with? The weapons of spiritual warfare.. .I fight the enemy (working through her) in spiritual battle....so, I know that the Lord will prevail...yes, even though multiple marriages are not his PERFECT plan.
Kristi Holzwart , 09/16/12 05:49 PM
Very interesting. As a teacher of 35 years, this was so true and a technique more readily used with students. Since my best friends are/were teachers, we as a group have the ability to all talk at once and be understood by each other. I am learning this is not true in "mixed" company, especially when not known by all. HOWEVER, if one only has the gift to LISTEN, after awhile there will no longer be anyone to listen to. Thanks for your wisdon.
Carolyn Roeder , 09/18/12 08:35 AM
Jesus said to the adulteress, go and sin no more. You people are the very ones who bring on more pain and suffering with your "restoration" hypocricy. Please get out of the business of rewriting the bible. People who commit adultury will pay the price without your "intervention"
Arthur E , 09/24/12 05:00 PM
There was no second chance given to those who lived during the time of Noah. The bible clearly states in Romans 5:13 "To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law." Also, the only people with the law were the children of Israel, therefore all of the heathen tribes of people on earth (from Noah to Christ) did not have their sins charged against them either.
Ron Gibson , 09/24/12 09:17 PM
I believe I have a Guardian Angel. He has told me he cannot share his true name, but he has told me I can call him Jeb. He has protecting me throughout my entire life, leading me and showing me the true way of Jesus. He says this is his Divine Duty. God has told him this is his life mission.

He first presented himself to me in a dream. I thought I was goind crazy but then he informed me that this was God's will. I felt safe after that. Jeb makes me feel safe.

I am a man. Jeb and I are in love.
Fredirica Smith , 09/27/12 10:44 AM
i believ some of this explanation is wrong, Heaven is an eternal place, so whatever u do in heaven will have a lasting effect, as someone put it if u have a headache in heaven u have a eternal headache , so Satan is sinning is eternal, he messed up along with 1/3 of angels who went with him. The bible speaks of 3 heavens and it is believed that the heaven that we see when we look up will be destroyed is the one aka the sky... because all its elements will be gone...as we know it heaven is not effected or affected by sin as a matter of fact we will not dwell in heaven permanently , , bible says and he made a "new heaven and earth" , blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. Now one can ask why did Satan sin? well we dont have much info on angels but i can speculate or allude that angels have Violation like man , meaning they have "will power" they can do good or bad , the fact that 1/3 volunteer to go with Satan means exactly this.. No sin is a state of being, that means even if or when Satan sin it is him that messed up not the place so when we were redeemed by Christ and accept Him and continue to walk according to what was taught along with God grace and mercy that will be our new state Adams old state of being, "we know not what we shall be but when he appears whe shall be like him"... eternity is chopped up in time and time will seize once Judgement is done , " he that is holy let him be holy still"i hope this helps or make sense to u guys
natalee murray , 09/27/12 10:50 PM
My son was brutally murdered January 10, 2010. He was only 22 years old when his life was taken so tragically. I've had a few dreams of him, but only two where he's spoken to me. He was crying in one and told me that he missed his baby. I know that my grief has played a role in these dreams. I do wonder often if my son can see me or hear me when I'm crying for him. I wonder if he's awake or if he's asleep as some have interpreted from scriptures. I, myself don't want to think of him as being unconscious and asleep. It's too sad for me this way. I want to imagine him someplace beautiful and at peace. I want him to be present with Jesus and even our family members that have passed on. I've been trying to find the answers but there are so many different beliefs regarding this. I've asked God many times to help me know what is true about this after I read different things. My heart keeps telling me that my son is awake, in a spiritual form in Heaven with Jesus. I keep receiving the same feeling each time I ask for God's guideance. This leads me to believe that His answer is this. My son is alive and with Jesus in Heaven. I can't imagine Satan being the one bringing me these feelings. In fact, it's Satan that continues to disrupt my peaceful thoughts. It must be, because just as I receive peace and confirmation I become unsure and unsettled. I also wonder often if my son knew what was happening among his family as he was leaving. Did he see our pain? Did he know he had died? I have a lot of unanswered questions regarding his death and wish someone could share with me the scriptures where I might be able to find my answers. Is my son with his family and friends in Heaven? Will God ever allow my son visit me in a dream to know that he's really ok? Does my son know what his family is doing and how we are coping? Someone, please share scriptures that might give me some certainty about these things. I would love to know if the bible speaks of any such thing I am needing answers to. Thank you!
Kimberly Mays , 09/30/12 06:46 PM
Great answer Roger! Great encouragement on prayer.
Evelyn Wright , 10/04/12 09:44 AM
I am not convinced that hospice is biblical at all. My mom signed papers for my dad to be in hospice care in 1997 when he was struggling with als. He was a preacher for over 40 years, and I he believed that Jesus could heal. To me hospice removes the encouragement for a christian to believe in healing, but just to accept a death sentence. Moses's eyes were not dimmed, neither was his strength diminished, it was "GOD'S TIME" I'm very concerned that we're trying to decide when someone should die instead of God. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the Life" Let's make sure we're staying out of God's business.
David Lewis , 10/04/12 09:50 AM
If we don't want to "delay our time to go to heaven" then why do we go to the doctor when we're sick, take medicine to be healthy and extend our life? Luke was a physician. I strongly believe in promoting "LIFE"in as natural a way as possible through eating right, exercising, etc. It does take extra effort to promote life. We should be committed to that extra effort, just like we would want that extra effort given toward us. Jesus is Lord. John 14:6
David Lewis , 10/04/12 09:52 AM
I believe that a demon can read our CURRENT thoughts to some degree. The demon then goes back to Hell and gives satan feedback. The devil strategises how he can tempt the Christian to sin.

When the demon comes back it enters / tries to enter the mind but only if it can successfully influence the individual to sin after gaining an understanding of their current thoughts.

Surely if demons cannot read our current and past thoughts then we cannot be tempted. Dont forget battlefield of the mind --- it is a spiritual thing Proverbs 4:23 and 2 Corinthians 10:5 ONLY GOD KNOWS OUR FUTURE THOUGHTS though
Hilary Gaihai , 10/08/12 11:34 AM
Lightbulb moment--now I get why best WI friend will be discussing DVD THE BEMA SEAT by Pete Driscall. Sounds interesting. I still cannot fathom a loving God dealing with a Hades rather than just having some not have the Good Life After Death, returning ashes to ashes. Why don't Julie and you teach a Sunday School Class?
carolyn roeder , 10/09/12 08:36 AM
I love my mom in Heaven, she's been gone a few months now & I miss her, but know she's in safe hands and can always see me & I definitely still love her. I was 12 when she passed on, and I definitely still miss her, but well, I'll have to just live on, talk to her & God and one day be with them..
Love you mom
Random Perosn , 10/09/12 03:04 PM
There is no relationship between the dead and the living,once one dies is separated from living the cant talk,speak,show love and advice in dreams or vision what appears is the beast in an image of the death Ecclesiates 9:5-6.
George Morara , 10/13/12 04:46 AM
i am adopted. my dad died in 83 from cancer. my mother died August 19th, 2011. i was blessed to have wonderful parents. I'm now an adult orphan, and i miss them so much. while my mom laid dying her sister said out loud to me that now i can go find my real mother. this has caused me to have hatred in my heart towards her because the parents who adopted me were my real parents. they loved me. i know i need to forgive but cant. all contacts with her is gone. i miss my parents and ask god to tell them so. life will never be the same.
bernadette drabek , 10/17/12 09:15 PM
I read your article entitled "Am I Guilty Of The Unpardonable Sin?" and had a few questions. Is it possible to commit this sin and even though I've asked forgiveness, to be denied? What I mean is, would God allow someone to do this and even though they've tried to come back to God, since the Spirit is no longer there, the person not be able to? I know you said the unpardonable sin is simply not accepting Jesus as Lord, and therefore dying without a Savior. But is it possible for someone who has been raised in the church all their life to commit this sin out of distress and pride and even though they think they want forgiveness and have tried to turn from their wicked ways, to be condemned without hope? Would God be done with that person, and allow them to think they have sought repentance when they really haven't? Please be in prayer for my soul right now.
Seriously Concerned , 10/18/12 04:42 PM
In the early 90s when I was doing radio commentary I did a piece about the biological influences for homosexuality. I took the position (and still do) that homosexual leanings are partially influenced by genetics and other biological factors. I remarked that this is in agreement with the biblical data as I understand it. The sin nature encompasses every part of us, spirit, soul, AND body. You can imagine the verbal assault that I received from some Christians on the issue.

Homosexuality is still a sin, even with genetic influences. But so are many other sins. As one example, propensity toward violence, we know, has genetic and biochemical factors. But we don't say it's not a sin.

For me, this boils down to one important truth: the homosexual is trapped. He cannot deny his secret nature. But so are we trapped in those sins that we have propensities for. Therefore, relationships, and mercy, and compassion, and biblical love from the believer to the homosexual are critical. Just as they are critical to express to anyone entrapped in any sin.

Keep the relationships, but humbly and lovingly draw boundaries that will help you express your values in Christ along with his love at the same time.
Tom Terry , 10/23/12 08:23 AM
After being a stay at home mom for almost 15 years, I had become very set in my "Christian" ways and was seldom challenged as long as I remained in the "Believer Bubble" I had constructed around myself. I knew what I believed and why. But when I re-entered the work force I found myself sharing an office with a lovely, intelligent, funny and beautiful woman who was also decidedly gay. Suddenly the "issue" I felt so strongly about had a face, a smile and loved telling me about her dog. For a moment I felt conflicted but God assured me all I needed to do was love her. She didn't need me to spew scripture at her (she knew scripture better than I did anyway, her dad was a Baptist preacher.) And she certainly didn't need me to tell her she was a sinner! Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! I have enough to do just confessing and dealing with my own multitude of sins before I start pointing out other peoples! And what if other people did that to me? What if, because I am decidedly pudgy, people felt they had the obligation to constantly tell me I must confess the sin of gluttony!
When my husband died suddenly, my friend came to the funeral with her partner. They told me later they were terrified to step inside a Baptist church but once inside they said all they experienced was love. The love I had for my husband, my family and friends' love for me and my boys and our church's love for one of their families.
I don't know the end of the story as she and I lost touch when we both moved away from Tucson but I smile when I think of her and I am grateful for all I learned in having her as my friend. I was reminded that we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Rom 3:23-24)
Betty Kruszka , 10/24/12 09:19 PM
Great response and information. Thank you Roger. This is helpful in answering folks who inquire about Christian faith. Like the current Gospel song says it is time to" put down our signs, cross over the line and love like Jesus did". Blessings to you and Julie.
Evelyn Wright , 10/27/12 04:27 PM
Hi Roger...

I'm not qualified to judge, but if I was, I would say that this was an excellent, balanced response to a question that's a very difficult one to have to ask. I like that your response was bathed in love. That should be the premise that informs our every response to the needs of others. Not that we turn off our brains or our sensibilities or our knowledge of God's word, but that we let a motive to love spearhead any action we take in efforts win others to Jesus. Thanks, Roger...
Ed Costanza , 10/27/12 09:24 PM
Pls Roger.....u have blessed my spirit...
My good friend is a moslem,am feeling bad about not sharing christ with him.
`°`° `°• Pls shed more light
phiyin , 10/28/12 10:12 AM
God is Theocratic, and defiantly not a republican.
God will rule the earth with an "rod of iron" and it will be His way, or else! Time until he takes office is very shortly.
On the other hand, God is the giver of ALL AUTHORITY, spiritual, family, and governmental. Who ever is to become the next President is there because God appointed him. In many cases God appointed and evil ruler to destroy the nation, and if we are not care He will do the same thing to America. PRAY BEFORE YOU VOTE, AND LISTEN FOR GOD'S VOICE ON THE MATTER. Remember,the devil pushes, shoves, lies, deceives, and LIES. Holy Spirit leads gently and with a soft, quiet voice.
Trust you spirit, not FOX!
Van Cottom , 10/30/12 11:10 AM
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, 11/04/12 01:17 AM
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Mary Linda , 11/04/12 01:23 AM
I am always amazed at how easily those who know God's Word and have an understanding of grace are quick to brush it aside when it comes to matters of a political nature or ethics. Grace is for every aspect of our lives. We, as Christians are no longer governed by the Law of Moses, but by the promised covenant that God gave to Abraham--which came through Jesus Christ. The Law could not supercede it, and cannot annul it or make any part of grace void. Grace overcomes and finishes the Law. Jesus became a "curse for us" for a reason, and the Law was temporary and it served its purpose, until the cross. All of these things--"an eye for an eye" and every other commandment that Conservative Christians try to force upon (even the unsaved, who by the way, are supposed to sin, that's what a sin nature causes everyone who has one to do, until it is controlled by the Holy Spirit!) everyone have been summed up in these two: Love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, soul and mind--and love your neighbor as thyself. That's what Jesus said, and He meant it, and Paul reiterated it in Romans 13 and Galatians 5; James said it, too (James 2:8). Apparently, it was important that we understand that we are not to live by the old laws and rules, but by the New "Commandment" of LOVE. And Jesus showed us how to do it by example--being moved with compassion for sinners, the poor and hungry, the sick and even the dead. That is very different from the Republican agenda and its bootstrap philosophy--which is hellish, in nature, and it isn't Godly even according to the Law, because even under the Law, God always saw to it that "the widow, the fatherless, the poor, and the stranger among you" was cared for. And, thankfully so, because that is how Ruth, the grandmother of King David through whom Jesus Christ the Savior of the world was sustained until she met Boaz. God's economy for His people is not practical, but supernatural--and it gives, to those who have need, without regard to their ability to repay--and God takes care of those who handle His Kingdom.
Homosexuality and abortion are the hot topics on the republican agenda--of course they are bad; of course God hates them, and so should we all. Guess what? Sinners know they are in sin--they don't need us to point it out--they need a solution--the Gospel, not hate-filled rhetoric, and not a return to back-alley abortions, or gay-bashing, and that is what a reversal of Roe v. Wade and tighter laws governing homosexual's and lesbians would entail. That is not the answer. The answer is to win them to Christ, not to repel them; unfortunately, as Christians, in America, we have been very good at repelling them by judging them--and 1 Corinthians 5:12,13 tell us it is NOT our job to judge the world, but to judge ourselves--God will judge the world. Our job is simple: Be light and salt. Show love--even to our enemies; and overcome evil with good.
Grace is the answer; it came by Jesus Christ, and it stands before us, today. Really, be honest, what would Jesus do??? Would He be protesting in front of abortion clinics, or kneeling writing in the dust and asking, "Woman, where are thine accusers?"
LISA CROOMS , 11/04/12 03:40 PM
i have been in the ministry for 15 years pastored for three i had a affair i stepped dow i disqualified my self and no longer can preach or pastor it goes against gods word as bad as i miss it and repented of it its wrong to say one can still pastor or preach after such an act it slaps god in the face and brings reproach upon the body of the church so no one cant preach or resume position after such act sin is still sin
robert hensley , 11/04/12 10:46 PM
it its wrong to say one can still pastor or preach after such an act it slaps god in the face and brings reproach upon the body of the church so no one cant preach or resume position after such act sin is still sin what ever happen to godly living and fearing god churches play church and use things to cover sin the fig leaves didnt work for adam and eve and sugar coating wont work for us thats why churches are in the shape their in and souls arent getting saved ungodly men in the pulpit and no fire in the preaching anymore
robert hensley , 11/04/12 10:54 PM
My brother called the other day and told me he had become a Christian. After a tearful, joyous conversation, I said, "Thank you. I have been praying the same prayer for 38 years and tonight I get to pray something different for you!" NEVER STOP PRAYING
, 11/08/12 09:40 AM
I am divorcing my husband as well. He also wants to reconcile but the divorce will be final soon. I am sticking with my initiative. Our marriage is over and I have to close that Chapter of my life. If he truly loves me as he state that he does....he will understand that I am ending the marriage because it was not working....If reconciliation is what he wants, then he needs to seek Jesus and be reborn again... a new man in Christ... only Jesus knows what lies ahead.
Angie Perry , 11/11/12 02:48 PM
I live in united state, Two years ago i married a lady called saline, we had two children together, we were very happy to be husband and wife, so when i travel on business trip to Brazil, i spent 1 years in Brazil due to my kind of business, i and my wife talked on phone all the time, we chat on the Internet, i never knew that my wife had started cheating on me by going out with her old school friend called mark, i never knew something was going wrong till i came back from my trip, then i and My wife started having problems, she goes out and come back late at night, she changed in a strange way that i could not endure, i tried to do everything to please her but it got worst, so one day she left the house and never came back, i tried reaching her but no way i could reach her, i never knew she traveled with her new lover which was mark, i wanted her so much because of the children she left for me and because i loved her so much too, because of the heart break she put me into, i went into search of a real magic spell caster I was scammed twice by a spell caster, but I never relented in my search because I want a happy life with my wife, so one morning i saw testimony about a spell caster prophet harry, so i contacted him and to my greatest surprise this dr okogie you can contact him on okogiepowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com made life manful for me again, my wife came back to me, i took her back and I am now settled with my wife by the magic power of okogiepowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com
Mr Dr soni Frank , 11/12/12 04:54 PM
First of all, in response to all of those above who posted a link to 'cadz.net,' they are cultists. Their doctrine is a fabrication of Stephen Wilcox, 'Dr.' Mike Gorrie and 'Dr.' Joseph Webb. It is not a teaching from the Bible. History alone should be able to answer this question for people. 1 Corinthians 7 was written before the Gospels were completed. What does Jesus instruct, through Paul? To remain. There is no such thing as correcting the past. People end up with more than one spouse such as the woman at the well (John 4:18), 1 Tim. 3-2&12, Titus 1:5-7 and 1 Tim. 5:9. You cannot divorce-to-repent. When Jesus spoke in Luke 16:18 and said 'anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery...' you must remember that Jesus was speaking to people who were already married to others. He just told them that if they divorce their current wife and marry another they commit the whole process all over again!
katie novack , 11/14/12 01:04 PM
Dear Roger,
Your reply to "B" Helped me realize that I am not the only male out there with this problem. I wish that youth groups would address this issue! It's extremely heard to initiate the topic with a fellow brother.
A brother in need , 11/15/12 01:04 AM
Well, this piece did and didn't answer my question regarding this issue. Kudos to you for trying tour best to do so however-haha.

My issue is that if a guy has had past lust issues and pre-marital sexual relations, and the Bible says that Jesus was tempted in every way just as we were then I have never heard anyone enlighten me to this answer on HOW exactly Jesus was tempted sexually.

If he felt every temptation we, as men (and yes woman) felt, then how did he in Biblical terms experience sexual temptation like we do? I know a lot of people, including myself, that have had lustful and sexual temptation barrage us everyday. I know that one of the fruits of the spirit is self-control but how can we learn how to have self-control if we don't know fully and/or exactly how Jesus overcame this same temptation if he was fully God and could not sin? We, as humans, are not fully God in any way, so from what examples of Jesus are we supposed to follow if there is no biblical evidence of Jesus overcoming any sexual desire or temptation?

May I also clarify, I am not questioning anything relative to Jesus' deity or power to overcome sin, I am just wanting to know HOW Jesus over came sexual sin, if there is any Biblical evidence? Thank you
Brent Smith , 11/15/12 07:44 PM
I am in a Blended Family. God has truly blessed me with a wonderful faimly (hers and mine). One of the things I had to learn to make better choices for God, my family, and my ez/exinlaws... was to forgive- myself and those who have hurt me (or continue to attempt to hurt. I acknolege the pain and anger I have caused. I am very specific about furure expectations of myself and those that God CHOOSES to bring into my life. I have conceded my right to "get even," but do insist on being treated better in the future. I continue to work on detaching myself from blame, resentment and negativity toward those around me. I do work hard everyday to find forgivness for my self and others in my life and when ever possible work toward reconciliation with others. In Short- Practice the same Grace toward yourself and others as you would ask God to show toward you! -Because of the Cross, Chuck
Chuck Williams , 11/17/12 09:31 AM
A great pastor, Tim Kellor has said the one you married is the right one. And that is probably God's answer as well.

In the end, if you begin to do the most loving thing you could do, and remain with your wife, and are kind to her, your children will have deep respect for you in the years to come, as well as many of the people who are your friends and aquaintances. God will bless you for being obedient, and who knows, perhaps your wife and you will work to find common ground, work hard to throw away selfishness, forgive old offenses and throw away hard feelings. It will not be easy, but in a few years you will wake up in the morning knowing you did the right thing and taking delight in that. And you will know that God takes delight in you!
Beth Losch , 11/20/12 07:13 PM
Dear Russell,

Sorry to be so long in answering. i have been in and out of the country and am way behind in answering. I will try to do better in the future.
I have several thoughts.
Can can give you a successful marriage.
According to John 8:1-12 Jesus can help you pick up the pieces and start over.
It is hard for God to bless a marriage like yours because of the sin involved. Thank God for grace.
Forgiveness does not necessarily mean there may not be any consequences.

I am really sorry for the instability you and your new wife are experiencing as well as for the other family members who will be hurting over this.

I will pray for God to bring good out of bad.

Love, Roger
roger barrier , 11/23/12 01:46 PM
Dear Roger,

You spoke truth in respose to this question to the best of your understanding - and to the best of my understanding as well. I too married a woman I didn't love a long time ago. The circumstance leading up to the move is too convoluted and painful to convey here, though I would like to tell you about it person to person some time. Maybe that will happen some day. I short though, we were very young and we rushed into marriage. That's never good.

Despite longings like Name Witheld (I'll refer to him as just N.W. from here on) must also feel and though I have wanted to be able to indulge them as he also does, God simply has not set me free to do so. I find myself in a difficult quandary but I cannot deny His voice. His call to me to remain remains unmistakable. I suppose that if I didn't want to serve the Lord, none of this would really matter - I'd just do what I want and no one in the worldly sphere of values would care much about it. In fact, I'm sure they would all support it. But I honestly want to serve the Lord, therefore, I have to listen to His voice. That will require acceptance of my realities and some denial of my self. That's that. I too don't mean to sound harsh, but that IS that. But it's healthy to keep a bigger picture in mind.

Don't ask me to explain this, Roger, but through it all - through all the pain, all the struggles, there has also been a lot of good and a lot of blessing. Knowing my God as I do, I'm already certain that there has also been much blessing in N.W.s life as well, though he may be somewhat blinded to it, being consumed by the problems of his struggles. I have raised three children, now grown, whom I love very dearly. I always regarded and still regard fatherhood as a rich privilege that I have always cherished and for which I have always, always been grateful. I wouldn't have known - couldn't have known - the kids I have with any other woman and wouldn't trade them for anything in the world; not even for my own life. Did I mention that this is a quandary? I sometimes feel like Jacob, who was deceived into marrying Lea - only I don't get Rachel. But a lot of blessing came to Jacob, and to his posterity, through Lea. I too have suffered a lot of loss but I too have reaped a lot of gain. I've always loved my relatives on my wife's side in spite of everything. I love my married children's relatives. I've spared my children the heartache of divorce. Quandary or not, I couldn't live with knowing I had caused them sorrow they would carry all their lives and all because I felt a greater need to put my own feelimgs ahead of theirs. I'm not being legalistic or trying to put a trip on anyone else - that's just me. Take it for whatever it's worth to you but I refused to bear it. I'm sure there are may others who feel the same way too, though. Add to it all the fact that though our relationship is a struggle, my wife has a lot of good qualities. She still brings good things to this world and to other people and she deserved better too. There is blessing, even in the midst of quandary. That's the kind of God we serve. But one thing's for sure, Roger - there are just two things in my life that I wish I could do over. One of them is waiting on the Lord before getting married. I'm not even so sure that I shouldn't have married my wife but I am sure I could have foregone a lot of sorrow and a lot of doubt and confusion about everything had I simply waited - just waited a while - prayed a little more, took some time. What was the rush?

Just a couple of closing thoughts that I hope might be helpful: Your and Beth Losch's responses were, in my opinion, excellent and I thank you both for them. N.W. (and others like him and me) needs to decide what he wants to do. Difficult as it may be, if he sincerely desires to serve Jesus, he'll need first to accept the facts of his situation with a perspective on bible teachings about it. Truth is never less than truth. God will forgive him if he moves on but obedience to the God of love who is also the God of all truth will be better and as I commented about my own wife, N.W.'s wife also deserved better. He should take that also into consideration among all his many thoughts and prayers on the situation. Surely now more than ever, she needs - and deserves - to have someone around to care for her well being. Surely God will be pleased with his sacrifice as unto Him and who knows what blessing may result from the hand of the generous and caring God of heaven and earth. Then, also in my opinion, he would do very well to begin counting his blessings already bestowed. Focusing more on what he has than what he thinks he lacks, or actually may lack, will contribute a life giving benefit to his reality. He also needs to begin to look for the good qualities in his wife. Like my wife, she probably has a lot of them. He shouldn't allow his feelings, or his lack thereof for her, to keep her from being a blessing to others and to our world. God will also be pleased with that, and I think will bless him. N.W. needs to begin to learn how to shift his focus from what's bad in life, even from something so difficult as his marital situation, to what's good in life. Who know's what tomorrow may bring? In shifting his focus and asking God to help him find a better perspective on the big picture, with more of a view toward other good things in life, he may also begin to find that God is a good God and a God of grace in ways he has never experienced before. Lastly...

To you starry eyed kids out there - DON'T BE IN A HURRY TO GET MARRIED! I can't shout it loudly enough. Marriage is forever. It's the single biggest decision you will ever make. You need to consider it prayerfully and you need to prepare for it. Take your time. Don't be afraid to date for a long time. It will help you get to know each other in a way that will tell you about each other and about the realities of a life long relationship with each other. The world will undoubtedly challenge you with sufficient trials daily under the best of circumstances and you only get one go around in life. Take your time to make it your best.
Name witheld But not for my sake , 11/24/12 12:12 PM
In response to Carmine C's comments: There is nothing in the bible to support his ascertion that any of the deceased come to defend the soul of a dying person. That may be a false teaching like some others about things like celibacy among priests and Mary's being without original sin which the Catholic Church teaches. But there is nothing in the bible to support any of those teachings. They are all just long held traditions and dogma generated by the Papacy.

That said - Shorly after my father went home, I had a dream that he was at the door of my house here in Tucson. I opened the door and went out to him. I said, to him, "Dad! I'm so glad you're here!" I hugged him and kissed his head and as we walked toward my door, I told him about all the things we were going to do while he was here. Then I realized that he wasn't supposed to be there. I began to think about all the times I had gone home on vacation but busied myself with so much catching up with other things that I only realized a couple of days before I was to depart how little time I had actually spent just hanging out with my mom and dad, but by then it was too late. Then all of a sudden, it became clear to me what I needed to do and I decided at that moment that while my dad was with me, I wasn't going to do anything at all but just hang out with him and talk - just be with him and enjoy his love and his company. It all seemed so real. Did God, knowing my need and my sorrow, send my dad to me in spirit? Did I actually spend a little time with my dad in some dream state? Could God make something like that happen? Surely he could if He so chose. Did He do that or was it all just a dream? I really don't know but I like to believe it was something real. Either way, it was surely a much needed gift and a comfort from God. You can decide what you wish to believe about whether or not it was real.
Ed Costanza , 11/24/12 02:25 PM
Dear Charity,
Your situation is about the same as mine and how you are handling seems ok, but I am not the Judge. I cannot whitewash things, but only speak the truth in love. That is why I shared with Tony and Gary. I got the impression that they did not think they had to give as the people in the OT gave, and therefore, I had to speak up.
There are many verses in the bible about money and the reason for that is to warn us of the dangers of riches. The idea that, giving in the OT is different from the NT is false. God does not change. If you read Matthew 5:21-22 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago (OT), “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, Raca (“You brainless one!”), is answerable to the Sanhedrin (I believe a priest or court person). But anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.” Which do you think is harder to obey? Not murdering or not calling someone a fool? I would say the ladder. Jesus came to earth to change our hearts. He wants us to obey his commandments, but he also wants us to do it out of love. Yes, a tithe is what was given in the OT, but after what you just read, do you think Jesus would want less in the NT? I for one think not. Our goal should always be 100%, but how we get there is between the Holy Spirit and us.
Hope this helps and I will be praying for both of us:),
Bonnie

Bonnie Hayes , 11/25/12 10:30 PM
Thanks for this answer. My husband to be told me to swear to him with bible that since he travelled to abroad that no man has ever sex me inorder to make him believe me. Though am innocent but he said i must swear with bible to prove my innocence. What will i do?
Esther John , 11/26/12 08:23 AM
I could easily be the man described above. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with non-small cell carcinoma with death certain in 2 to 6 months. It's been TEN years.Because of the cancer, the chemo destroying my joints, and the radiation treatments (62 of them) burning a holes in my brain I am on Social Security Disability. Both my hips have been replaced, both shoulders will need replaced shortly. My wife, while getting a little depressed at times, has hung in there with me. I think one of the best things we have done is seek and secure volunteer ministerial "jobs". It has worked, and will continue to work until Jesus comes. Chaplaincy at hospitals, nursing homes, music, a lot of things that will honor God, and direct your attention towards Him. Go as a TEAM!
Van Cottom , 11/27/12 11:59 AM
When I lived in Mongolia I learned an important thing about Buddhism and rebirth (reincarnation). A person is not born again over and over into new lives. Rather, the person's essence is what is carried over, but the actual person dies. So, picture it this way: Bob dies. His essence is born into another life, but Bob the person is dead and will never exist again. Or imagine it this way: Your car dies and you sell it. But you siphone off the gas and put it in your new car. The gas is not the car. So too, the essence is not Bob.

Why is this important? Because under Buddhist karma, rebirth is the means of paying for your sins until you reach final nirvana. This is inherently unjust. You are paying for the sins of another, but you never pay for your own sins.

Of ourse, when you think about it, Jesus death paid for sins not his own—it was unjust. But he did it willingly, unlike karma. And his death was once for all so that when we die we can continue to live in a wonderful, conscious eternity as ourselves—just without sin.
Tom Terry , 11/29/12 08:35 AM
Of course the ultimate author of the Bible and its Books is the Holy Spirit. The human "authors" of the discrete "Books" were men, yet there are a half dozen instances where women are quoted and thus they too are human "authors" of Scripture; albeit of passages within larger Books.
GC McComas , 11/30/12 02:20 PM
God will forgive repeated sin, but no genuine Christian enjoys to repeat sin,let alone to live in any kind of sin.There is nothing more disheartening than repeated sin in a believer. Thank God we are saved and kept by grace, otherwise none of us could be saved and remain saved. The Christian's desire is to please God, always depending on God for victory. However if he sins, let no pride in him hinder him from asking for forgiveness. God in his grace will forgive him, "For he knows our frame, he remembers that we are dust" Psalm 103:14
Harry Chinkumbi , 12/12/12 05:38 AM
Dear Roger,
You will be very interested on some research done on the Star of Bethlehem. Here is a website to begin with:
http://www.bethlehemstar.net/
We have been studying this in our ABF. I have verified the claims of the researcher using different astronomy software that allows you to visit the skies in the era of interest. The "Star" was an amazing series of astronomical events over about a two year period of time. The Star is real!

Ron
Ron Cottrell , 12/12/12 04:04 PM
So, did this blog entry exist before I clicked on a link that brought me here?
Steven Gauck , 12/13/12 12:00 AM
I presented this basic premise for a college speech class and the teacher told me I made too many assumptions. I wonder how it would have been received in a science class. I still LOVE quantum physics, even though I know I only "understand" a tiny sliver of it! Thanks for your post. ^_^
Heather Ann , 12/13/12 12:00 AM
Yes, Steven, because I was observing it! Hahaha...^_^
Heather Ann , 12/13/12 12:02 AM
Are you familiar with the philosophy of George Berkeley? Because this just seems like a version of his, 'To be is to be perceived'. It doesn't really seem to tell us that much as his philosophy regarding the existence of God doesn't really hold that much weight
Andrew Meneses , 12/13/12 01:13 AM
Hrm, okay. Even if it doesn't make sense to me, I'm okay with whatever you believe as long as you don't use it as a weapon against others.
David van Wert , 12/13/12 01:24 AM
Matthew 17:9-13 "And as they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, 'Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead'. And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?' And He answered and said, 'Elijah is coming and will restore all things: but I say to you, that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.' Then the disciples understood that he had spoken to them about John the Baptist"

Jesus teaching reincarnation to his disciples.
Tim Paulson , 12/13/12 02:10 AM
Great blog. Thanks.

Einstein's statement, "'Spooky actions at a distance', refers to the instantaneous transfer of information over a distance. This of course, not only breaks the speed of light speed limit, it obliterates it and shows that information can be transfered over the entire width of the universe in zero seconds. This is not possible in Einstein's space/time fabric universe. So we must look outside of this fabric for a solution.

The Word of God created this fabric so it begins outside of it. The Word of God is timeless so the Word's information can be instantly transfered across the entire universe. Could not be Einstein's "spooky actions" be God's Word still creating our universe? I believe when God speaks the universe listens.
Dennis Brault , 12/13/12 09:06 AM
Dear Timothy,
I like your reasoning; however, I think what is going on there is God allowing these two men to make a special earthly spiritual apperaance for the purpose of glorifying Jesus. When their work as finished, God returned them immediately to Heaven. They were not reincarnated in the sense that they got new bodies and new personalities to live another life (reincarnated).
God bless you and thanks for the comments.
Love, roger
roger barrier , 12/13/12 11:48 AM
JJ, im sure God will also give you his throne of judgement when we all reach there, since you'r already practicing the role!

"Legalism says, "I do this or I don't do that, and therefore I am pleasing God." Or perhaps, "These things that I'm doing or not doing are the things I perform to win God's favor."

"All who embrace grace become "free indeed." Free from what? Free from oneself. Free from guilt and shame. Free from the tyranny of others' opinions, expectations, and demands. Free to obey. Free to love. Free to forgive others as well as myself. Free to allow others to be who they are different from me! Free to live beyond the limitations of human effort. Free to serve and glorify Christ.Because of grace we have been freed from sin, from its slavery, its bondage in our attitude, in our urges, and in our actions."
- Chuck Swindoll
(chancellor of Dallas theological seminary)
A Alex , 12/15/12 05:41 AM
Hensley, you poor soul. Where in the bible does it say a forgiven man can't preach the Gospel? Sounds like you disqualified yourself. Anyway, hope you can get past your self condemnation. Until you do, you're right. You can't preach.
Ben Howery , 12/16/12 02:20 PM
To David,from roger
I will do my best not to!

To Dennis, from roger
I never thought of the Word of God instantaneously spanning the universe. Thank you. that is really exciting.
roger Barrier , 12/17/12 07:47 PM
Beautiful.
Donna Ruboyianes , 12/19/12 03:01 PM
The Bible lists the qualifications for a pastor, and therefore - it also includes those things that disqualify someone from being a pastor.

The two lists of qualifications for pastors are presented in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

Timothy 3:1-7: *One must seek the office, *Must be without reproach, *A husband of one wife, *Self-controlled, *Sober-minded, *Orderly, *Hospitable, *Able to teach, *Not a drunkard, *Not violent but gentle, *Not quarrelsome, *Not a lover of money, *Must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, *Must not be a recent convert, and *Must be well thought of by outsiders.

Titus 1:5-9: *Above reproach, *A husband of one wife,*His children are believers not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.,*Not arrogant,*Not quick-tempered,*Not a drunkard,*Not violent,*Not greedy for gain,*Hospitable,*A lover of good,*Self-controlled,*Upright,*Holy, *Disciplined, *Must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught

I believe adultery renders adulterous pastors, ministers, elders, and/or deacons as being ruled out permanently.

The Scriptures teach that he must be a “one woman man”. If he commits adultery, he is not a one woman man, and therefore that man cannot be in the ministry.

His adultery disqualifies him for another reason. The second requirement is that he is to be “above reproach”. That is, he is to be “blameless”, meaning “without blame”. Once a pastor has committed adultery, he will never again be “without blame”. He may be above reproach from that point on, but he will never be “above reproach”. A pastor who has broken the most solemn and sacred human covenant that human-beings enter has, by his actions, proven himself to be untrustworthy and reproachable. He may, if he repents be forgiven, and may be restored in his marriage; but he cannot be returned to office because he simply no longer qualifies.

The third requirement for the ministry relevant to this issue is that the pastor/elder must be “self-controlled”. This requirement means that he is to be “in control of himself”. Although a pastor will be a target for all of the temptations that exist, he must demonstrate “self-control”. If he commits adultery, he has demonstrated that he does not possess self-control, and therefore must be excluded from the ministry.

How can we minimize the wisdom literature which teaches that “a man who commits adultery lacks judgment. Whoever does so, destroys himself” (Proverbs 6:32). Are we to have leaders in the Church who lack judgment? And yet again “among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible. They commit adultery and live a lie” (Jeremiah 23:14).
Tailor Andrews , 12/19/12 07:46 PM
The majority of the time we are talking about main line protestant denominational churches. You concerned folks need to be looking at the root cause which is the rampant apostasy that has crept into these institutions over the years wherein man has been set up and worshiped rather than the King of Creation. Divorce and remarriage is permitted? Man can chose his own salvation. The Words of our heavenly Father are desecrated into new translations. "...Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded." "...Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Folks, therein and therein alone is your answer. Ye have sown unto man and of man will ye reap corruption! Before the throne, Jim
Jim Dean , 12/23/12 07:04 AM
Andrews, I agree except for one major problem. What do we do about restoration? You are a "shooter" of the wounded. A known soul who has committed adultery, in your eyes, has no place in the kingdom according to your pious views. Better throw the whole story of Jesus out rather than to go a little deeper to understand the cleansing, healing virtues of Christ. Oh, and don't bother looking at the life of David or Paul. They were just an exception to being disqualified for ministry.
Ben Howery , 12/23/12 05:53 PM
Mum I miss you and love you
You was taken away so suddenly
there was no time to say good bye
but please I pray my Lord Jesus Christ
Please pass this message to my mum
Mum I miss you and love you
richard alexander , 12/24/12 03:12 PM
dear mum
thank you for 36 years of great joy and memories
although you in heaven where there is no more tears of pain and suffering
dad/esther and i are sad and miss you
this is the first time you away from
us for Christmas and we want you to know we love you and you will be always be remembered daily in our prayers
dear God in the name of Jesus Christ please kindly pass this message to our mum in heaven -
thank you kindly dear God
richard alexander , 12/24/12 04:44 PM
This is the most helpful article I have read all these years of trying to get rid of masturbation. I have seen the true light. I will never be confused again. Thank you Roger. Pls., reply! I need to have your email.
I M , 12/24/12 06:41 PM
i finnaly understand my life all should give it all to god and i must do his ways so thank you
carter gweed , 12/26/12 04:25 PM
Mr. Howery,

It is important to differentiate between forgiveness, on the one hand, and restoration, on the other hand. Forgiveness is to occur in all instances. Restoration, on the other hand, while possible in many cases, may not be possible or advisable in all cases. Restoration, in human relationships, should always be the goal, but there is no scriptural mandate that it is to always occur.

I, for one, try to always to forgive and to restore others whenever possible. However, there are cases in which the behavior of the individual does not make that type of restoration possible or advisable; at least without limitation.

Take for example, someone employed as a driver who later is convicted of vehicular manslaughter caused by drunk driving. While those involved should seek to forgive that individual, the acts of forgiveness does not suggest it would be appropriate to restore that same person to another driving position. The same concept applies to individuals who are convicted of felonies; even when forgiven - they must forego certain rights as a result of their actions.

As to your claim I am a shooter of the wounded, I believe it is rather presumptuous for you to make this assessment, although clearly you are free to do so. However, I believe your quarrel is with scripture, and not with me.

What I did is to point to scripture as the basis of my statements and conclusions. While you may not agree with either the specific scripture or my conclusions based on that scripture, you certainly cannot speak to my motives. I believe your suggestions that I am a “shooter of the wounded” attempts to assign motives; something you clearly are not qualified to do.

I do not agree with your errant summary of my “pious views” that if a soul commits adultery he has no place in the kingdom of God. Although your ill-intended suggestion seems to suggests otherwise, for the avoidance of doubt, I do not believe someone who has committed adultery has no place in the kingdom of God; in fact I believe they have the same place as anyone else, except to the extent scripture indicates otherwise. And I believe there is a clear scriptural basis indicating that someone who commits adultery no longer qualifies as a pastor or elder. I am not alone. Many who are much more qualified and learned that me have reched this same conclusion. You might conclude we have a club of "shooters", but that simply is not the case.

I think it is rather unfortunate when one attempts to summarize another’s views by attempting to tarnish them by name calling (you know, like “pious”) and motive assignment. I believe it is much more contructive to present a scriptural basis for their contrary conclusion. I think name calling anmd motive assignment is innapropriate and lacks maturity.

So, rather than reduce a disagreement to name calling and motive assignment, I’d like to respectfully request that you provide your scriptural basis providing a clear and cogent position that suggests someone who has committed adultery should be restored to church leadership, despite their failure to continue to meet the requirements set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and/or Titus 1:5-9. Where, specifically is this addressed in the Bible?

And if you accept my request, I promise not to assign motive or call you names, since it is obvious that doing so is misguided, useless and serves no edifying purpose whtsoever.
tailer andrews , 12/26/12 04:39 PM
The following is an extract from an article (“Should Fallen Pastors be Restored to Ministry”) written by John McArthur in 1991:

“We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.

There are some sins that irreparably shatter a man’s reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever. Even Paul, man of God that he was, said he feared such a possibility. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 he says, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

When referring to his body, Paul obviously had sexual immorality in view. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 he describes it as a sin against one’s own body—sexual sin is in its own category.

Certainly it disqualifies a man from church leadership since he permanently forfeits a blameless reputation as a one-woman man (Proverbs 6:33; 1 Timothy 3:2).

Where did we get the idea that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust? Certainly not from the Bible. Trust forfeited is not so easily regained. Once purity is sacrificed, the ability to lead by example is lost forever. As my friend Chuck Swindoll once commented when referring to this issue—it takes only one pin to burst a balloon.

What about forgiveness? Shouldn’t we be eager to restore our fallen brethren? To fellowship, yes.

But not to leadership. It is not an act of love to return a disqualified man to public ministry; it is an act of disobedience. “

By all means we should be forgiving. But we cannot erase the consequences of sin. I am not advocating that we “shoot our wounded.” I’m simply saying that we shouldn’t rush them back to the front lines, and we should not put them in charge of other soldiers.

The church should do everything possible to minister to those who have sinned and repented. But that does not include restoring the mantle of leadership to a man who has disqualified himself and forfeited the right to lead. Doing so is unbiblical and lowers the standard God has set. “

I agree with Mr. McArthur.

Tailor.
Tailor Andrews , 12/26/12 07:19 PM
**Very helpful advice !
Mary F. , 12/26/12 10:07 PM
I was also reading your answer Brother Roger to Brian. Tears jerk into my eyes while I was reading your good answers to Brian based in the Bible because my mother also died just last May 30, 2012. She died 2:30 Am while in the Hospital. Her blood pressure got lower and lower. I cannot imagine losing her because she was part of my plans and dreams in life. Now this is the first Christmas and New year she was not with me anymore. But I'm glad that there is hope and I believe you are right because I know there is Paradise in heaven. Before my mother died, right in the hospital I invited a Pastor or an elder in the church. She was anointed with oil. She Prayed the prayer of acceptance to Jesus Christ our Lord. After six days she passed away. Up to now the pain is still in my heart. Out of my loneliness and sadness I browse the internet and find this site. May God directed me here to find comfort from you.
Carlos Angelito Dufourt Morales , 12/28/12 05:20 AM
I must thank you for the commintre that has been made it has helpt me with my problim thanks.
laurence peper , 12/28/12 06:29 AM
Hi Brent. Someone even lesser than Jesus managed to do that. Joseph. His solution was to run away from the object of his temptation. (Potiphar's wife)
And I think Job made a covenant with his eyes... probably meaning he choose to never look where he shouldn't.
The same solution won't always work for every person. We're wired differently.

Most of Jesus' temptations probably happened during his years of growing up. (He started His miracles when He was about 30?) So the only ones we learn of were probably His biggest ones in His life.

search for "How to Deal with Your Sexual Addiction" in google. (first link). posting URL's here don't seem to work - otherwise i would've posted it.

That page has excellent tips about this issue.
Wimpie Ratte , 12/28/12 07:31 PM
This is very complicated as the bible doesn't say much about it and I'm considering having a breast reduction and lift and fat transfer in my bottocks but I do also fear that I may be commiting a big sin or the biggest mistake of my life. I wanted th e this procedure so badly now i am hesitating to have it...i will allow myself more time to thing about it.
Tami , 12/29/12 12:11 PM
hello!
why do so many pastors have different point of view regarding masturbation.Its quite confusing becoz if some of them will say that masturbating is a sin and the others are not,well there will be a possibility that christian youth will be confused and issue will not be addressed properly.
enrique valdez , 12/30/12 12:49 AM
wow... this was very insightful.
I am preaching on this passage and since I heard someone at a conference preach on it as a teenager 20 years ago it has really marked my life. This pastor in his preachers imagination took significance in the part of it being flood waters... sometimes God is working miles away and we can see it but we still have to step into flood waters... we may be up to our neck wondering where is God.. but if he truly challenged us to take a step of faith... He will come through! May we consecrate ourselves and take those steps of faith and make sure He gets the credit :)
Dwayne Eslick , 12/30/12 05:39 AM
Ok Andrews, who could ever disagree with the great John McArthur? Your mistrust of mistake makers makes me distrust you and everything about you. Please remove yourself from the body of Christ since you have demonstrated nothing but caveats to the word of God.
This is my final word on this. I do hope you are not involved in a local church or worse, teaching somewhere. Get some help.
By the way, who is John McArthur?
Ben Howery , 12/30/12 11:28 AM
Dear Roger,

Though I commend your desire to answer this man's question with grace, I sadly believe you mislead desperate believers on this issue.

Why?

1) A theology of sex is completely left out. I can't recall where in your post you explain a biblical theology of sex itself. I think this is highly important in answering the issue of masturbation as it brings our shallow views of sexuality into the light.

So far online, I have found Joshua Harris' article on "Why Masturbation Matters" helpful with regards to this.

2) I get the feel (in this article) that the solution you offer to struggling saints' consciences is to tell them not be so hard on themselves.

Again I applaud your desire to show grace. However, I think even if we were talking about struggling with unholy anger or some other sin (not sexual) we must direct our attention and affections towards the all-sufficiency of Christ.

The solution to unresolved guilt is not to convince yourself, "Well I'm not so bad after all." or "That's not that bad." Rather it's to have your mind and affections filled with God's grace. His grace - unmerited favor - given to you based on the merit of His Son, not yours. His grace in electing You before you did any good or bad (Romans 9:11).

The solution to a tempted individual is greater affections for Christ. A pastor by the name of John Piper rightly point us to "Pursue the explosive power of a new affection...empowered by the better pleasure of feeling Christ conquer the temptation" (Missions and Masturbation).

I have found Piper's teaching "For Men: What the Life of Augustine Teaches Us" great in this regards. It is a "hope-giving example of how we fight sin by a sovereign joy that masters us and severs the root of all competing, controlling pleasures."


I hope my comment is helpful both to you and readers.



Alex Suarez , 12/30/12 09:42 PM
I often speak to my Mum and feel in my heart she listens. She passed away on December 7th 2011 age 73 in her chair at home. She'd recently had a fall and broken her shoulder which with ill health contributed to her death. I wasn't there and after learning she had been shouting my name a few hours earlier, this is something that torments me. In times I think of this, I pray and feel strongly she is with me, reassuring me and sending me her love. I dream of her occasionally which makes me feel close to her again. Love you Mum, you're always in my heart - for Margaret Rose Tranter xxx
Elizabeth Tranter , 01/01/13 07:01 PM
Thank you so much for this. It helped me in ways unimaginable. God bless you.
Sam Varughese , 01/02/13 02:33 PM
Mr. Howery – I can’t help but find it a bit amusing that you are willing to mock a position supported by a highly-respected Bible scholar and theologian (“who could ever disagree with the great John McArthur”) after not even taking the time to research Mr. McArthur.

I had hoped you might provide a well thought out response based on Biblical concepts; specifically. Sadly, I believe you may be guilty of binary thinking, where you mis-summarize the position of another, and then draw far reaching conclusions based on your own errant summarization.

I would suggest you read and look into issues, prior to espousing pseudo-theology. Your response appears to be based on your feelings, but not knowledge, fact or scripture.

Although I appreciate your helpful (and ever-so-funny) suggestion that I remove myself from the body of Christ – my faith is simply stronger than that. And why would I ever consider doing that, because Ben Howery thinks I should? I am sorry my Biblically (not emotion) based conclusions don’t sit well with you; but that is not my objective or concern.

P.S. - You aren’t the same Ben Howery who has tweeted something about it being “pretty dope to crash a lesbian wedding …” and aspring to “work” that into something inappropriately sexual, are you? If so, that speaks volumes.
Tailor Andrews , 01/02/13 04:38 PM
Andrews,

Have a nice day.

Forgiven, restored, loved and serving,

Benjamin Howery
Ben Howery , 01/03/13 10:33 PM
Iam a Christian with alot of FAITH in God and follow all the will of God. Above all i have a lot of LOVE for all humanity. However, the problem is that am married and am in love with a lady i saved from the verge of committing suicide. I have helped her reconstruct her life and the way she looks at it. To her am the husband and to some extent i look at her as my second wife. Her children call me dad. I have even introduced her to Christ and i always insist that she must be in the presence of God. WONT I ENTER HEAVEN? My concience tells me that i will.
Katebe Katongo , 01/06/13 03:29 AM
Dear Alex,
I really appreciate your comments. I wish God had made understanding how to handle masturbation much more clear. I really appreciate your perspective and the thoughts you shared. I know that they will be helpful to many.

Love, Roger
roger barrier , 01/10/13 11:24 AM
Roger, interesting thoughts. The Lord God is simple and complex both at the same time. The very fact that there are layers of complexity to creation and that God's various laws are obeyed by the nature He has created within each layer indicates a grand intelligence, far beyond what simple man, even the most intelligent, can comprehend. Yet to all of this is an elegant simplicity as well. I believe when God brought something out of nothing in the beginning, He set forth processes, an evolution if you will, at the same time as being actively involved with the nuances of His creation, both at the same time. He could have simply set the mechanics of creation in motion at let them free-wheel, but He doesn't do that. He wanted to be personally involved. And so it is with us. He created us, not as automatons, but for the purpose of actual personal interaction and relationship. These patterns can be found throughout creation. Look at what we have discovered in the past fifty years about the physical universe around us alone. Now, add to that what we have not yet discovered and that which remains unseen at the atomic and subatomic levels! Take all these together and we can catch only the tiniest smidgen of a glimpse of who God is, what He is like, and how filled with fulfillment and excitement heaven will be as we worship this wonderful Creator and worship and sing praises to Him! Truly a Utopia that will be ANYTHING but mundane and boring! How mighty, how wonderful, how AWESOME is this God we serve and who loves us so! "And the things of this earth will grow strangely dim" (from 'Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus') will be an understatement as we rest in Jesus' loving arms one day and leave the trivial cares of this world behind. What a marvelous hope we have that all of us who believe and trust in Jesus share!
Michael Swanson , 01/11/13 03:50 PM
The job of the apologist is to always find round-a-bout ways to justify the archaism of old holy books.

This is another way of saying, "Why do I need this book if it's full of archaisms?"

There is not reason to believe the Biblical Jesus (we actually don't know what this supposed figure actually said) was figurative here while literal in other parts. Preachers make a point to use any means necessary to use their books to justify what they already believe.

In other words, if you need an interpreter to interpret a book that supposedly does not "sow confusion" you can keep said book in the same place you put the Bathroom Reader or possibly even newspaper you line your parakeet cage with.
Ryan Jeanes , 01/21/13 04:59 PM
i was the only child and it was me and my mom. She died on the last day of June. I just want her to be with the Lord. She heped so many people and i want her to be at peace. However i know it is not up to me. i didn't eat or drink for about a week and I had fainting spells. i fell and hit mw head and woke up in a pool of blood... twice. At this point (not because of the fall) I just want peace. I don't want any conflict with anybody and can't deal with any negativity. nobody understands that she was all i had. No wife no kids. people think an insurance policy takes away the pain. LOL! We didn't always get along and I am sorry for some of the things i said. I didn't deserve her. I feel like I am waaiting for my turn. I hope that my mom knows I love her and I appreciate her So much. I thought I was ok but I seem to be getting worse. Her family is of no help. i am not mad at God, and I pray that i don't become mad. But I thought she was going to pull through. I was at the hospital for three weeks and the night I left to check on the house she died. I just want peace. I feel physically weak. I am writing here because i know that noo one wants a sad guy around.
At this point if God wants me to be sad, wellI guess i had better get used to it. I feel stupid asking God not to make me sad. I don't think he does that. i know it is a test to see if i doubt him butI feel like this is as far as i can go and just stop eating. i pray but i am SO lost and i know he wants me to feel this way or otherwise I wouldn't. i just don't understand why he created grief. I sat on the edge of my moms bed for three months and I barely remebember sept.oct. Nov.
I honestly feel lost. I am not going to do anything bad or stupid but I am afraid that God may be angry because I am sad, as to say o don't have faith. But I miss my mom anf I can't help it. I hope he will understand. I PRAY that he will. I feel like I went back on my word.I am confused. i just don't want feelings. I got real drunk and that is NOT the answer.
Robert
robert , 01/23/13 09:54 PM
hi am marryied and i think my husband is cheatting i havent seen it but the signs are ther am a christian and i just want my marriage to work he say and do thing to me that hurts me sometimes i might say things to hurt him but i always find myself telling him am sorry and that i love him. i love jesus and always want to remain pleasing unto him yes am hurtting and want him to hurt to but most of all i want whats gods will is for the both of us.
lovetta jnes , 01/30/13 12:53 PM
I can very well understand the feelings of the guys who have two wives and are told to divorce thier one wife. God is very merciful and he is just. He seeks prosperity for the humanity. How can God can order a thing which is tearing families apart. If a man is having two separate families and performing his duties well for both of the families. God must be happy with that man. On the other hand those who are doing unlawful sex they are either not producing children or children without love of father and family. Who is better. I am a believer of christ and i believe that the bible is word of God. But after the bible God has revealed another divine book which is "Quran". It is clearly mentioned in Quran that man can have more than one wife. In fact man can have maximum number of four wives at a time as long as man remain fair and just amongst them. It is no sin for them who believe in QUran and Mohammad(peace be upon him) to have more than one wife. Quran teaches us believe in christ but also gives us wise and striaght way of leading our lives. For my brothers who are about to commit suicide because they can not divorce one of their wives should stasrt reading Quran as God's most latest and last word. Thanks
salman zahid , 02/01/13 08:19 AM
Roger, thank you for posting this. It is very difficult, but you said what needs to be said.
I have several Catholic friends, all Filipino. They told me that if a person commits suicide, the priest will not give last rites, or extreme unction, so they will go to hell.
I always bring it back to the question, what are you trusting in for salvation? If something you do can cause you to lose your salvation, then Christianity is nothing more than a salvation by works religion. Either Christ's death on the cross was sufficient for ALL our sins, or it was not sufficient. It is or it isn't. End of discussion.
Suicide is a difficult topic and also very tragic. Either way, it is traumatic for those left behind. But for the person who has never trusted in Christ as their personal Savior, instead of being the end of their problems, it is only the beginning of a Christless eternity.
Michael Karpf , 02/04/13 11:47 PM
As usual, Roger, you answer the tough questions with such gentle truth. I can only imagine the pain that the Anonymous "asker" is feeling. Probably due to a life experience. I hope that God's Grace and Mercy is able to seep in and that forgiveness radiates. The inability to forgive is a prison that is unlocked by the very one who holds us captive. . . ourselves. Thank you for your loving words and explanation.
Merissa Fazio , 02/05/13 08:58 PM
I knew two girls who were molested by their stepfather. Mom said it is against God's will to leave her husband and she has forgiven him. She feels the girls just need counseling and they will all be one happy big family living. Her daugher committed suicide. Have a nice day.
Cult Church Smith , 02/09/13 09:37 PM
A comprehensive and thought provoking train of thought with aspects I had not considered before.

I feel sure it is the truth and therefore a very great probability our wonderfu Heavenly Father will use it for his glory to those directed to your website
Jim Harper , 02/10/13 01:13 AM
My 16 year old son died jan 9th of 2013. I want to so much know that he can see us some time or that God will give him a message for me. He was my baby and I am still full of grief
Peggy Rickard , 02/12/13 07:27 PM
plastic = Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Tats = Leviticus 19:28
You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.
CHRIS , 02/14/13 11:03 AM
Roger: Thank you for covering this topic with such depth. I have been able to hear your method of numerical calculations using Greek gematria before and it is fascinating.

Steve: I know it is difficult to have a loving heart toward someone or something that we may disagree with so vehemently. We are called, however, to love as Christ loved. Agape (unconditional) love. He went to the cross despite knowing we were going to sin against Him anyway.
God loves ALL of His children despite the poor choices they we make along our journey. Don't also forget that God actually created Lucifer who made a terrible choice! When I think of all the terrible things that happen in our world, I am often times reminded of the shortest verse in the Bible: "Jesus wept."
Let your heart break for those who don't know Him. Pray for their hearts to be softened and their eyes to be unveiled. Pray for conviction in their hearts. It is not up to you to teach them anything. It is up to you to love them despite their flaws and deficiencies just as Jesus chooses to do for you everyday.
Lastly, let's not forget that God put these men in power according to His plan (which is a better plan than any of us could come up with) and then tells us to obey the laws of the land. God allowed for them to be in this position. While we may not like or even understand His purpose behind it, we have to trust in Him and in His plans that it is necessary for what is to come. That is Faith! But greater than Faith is Love!
Merissa Fazio , 02/19/13 10:58 AM
I have your answer, for this was my deadly sin. I was "raised" by Jesus Christ in October 2011. (John6:44) I hadn't pursued a relationship with Him since high school. Porn ruined my marriage but I didn't understand how since science preaches, "Ejaculation twice a week will reduce a man's risk for prostate cancer by 20%." What they don't tell you is that "you will die in your sins" spiritually. (John8:24)

Now let me explain to you what the LORD has spoken to me, directly. " When you lust in your heart, it reduces the bond you have with your significant other. "No one can serve two masters." (Matthew6:24)

If I'm desiring the flesh of one of His children, how would that make you feel if someone was lusting after one of your own? So, whether its images, video, or even an beautifully done artist rendering of a naked women; the desire of her flesh will reduce the bond you have with the soul of another. If you are single, it will reduce the potential bond that you will have for the women He has planned for you. He knows all of our hearts and desires. He will have difficulty delivering Mrs. Perfect if your concept of perfection is skewed.

We are products of our environment, if we are exposing our minds to actresses, then we will expect all women to behave in this manner. And since we hope they will behave this way, our whole cultural dynamic shifts in that direction. "All because we lust, repent, and repeat."

Now I didn't go looking for God, He came and woke me up. How He did it was by introducing me to the "Fleshlight." I won't go into details on how but it was divinely guided, but once I got it, I preferred using it in the shower. (For cleansing reasons.) Then I desired the women that I was in love with most recently. I hadn't heard from her in months and that same day she contacted me. (Another reason you should be careful about who you lust for.)

This was clearly part of His plan because as you may guess, one can't really watch porn and lust for the flesh in the shower. After 3 weeks time, I had fallen in love and the LORD said that thinking about her would promote that bond. So long as you are desiring her soul while pleasing your flesh.

Just as Jesus warned us about that which is projected from the heart (Mark7:14) the same can be said about the mind. If you project love during this private moment, then you will receive love. "God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows." (Galations6:7)

For more advice or prophetic revelations, please checkout my social media sites.

Thank you, and God bless...

"May God keep you safe, up until the time the living father (John6:57) of Jesus Christ returns our 2,000 year old king."

In Jesus name I pray, Amen! †

Facebook.com/DrawnByTheFather
SoundCloud.com/GerardCayo
YouTube.com/GerardCayo
Gerard Cayo , 02/22/13 03:07 AM
i agree to this explanation, no confusion needed .how did satan entered heaven in (job 1:6,7,8).if he has no access to heaven how did this happen. we are the temple of Lord,then spirit of Lord lives in us(1co3:16,17) if satan has no access then why did christians sin or commit iniquity?so God has to distroy old heaven and earth because it is messed up with sin and the new heaven and earth will be created (Rev:21:2).which in nearer so let us try to be holy as God is Holy. Amen
jehoshua , 02/22/13 02:35 PM
I've heard a person recently joke that she was a witch doctor. She uses alot of herbs...
She has been my roommate but I am leaving soon, I'm glad.

Isn't that opening herself for bad things?
Adora Redd , 02/26/13 10:11 AM
Great post! I was particularly fascinated with the "All Observant" God notion. In Islam, we know that Allah is the all seeing and all hearing. He (The Most High) told us in many verses and narrations he observes everything constantly. For example "Allah is on everything a witness" 4:33
Moe Yassine , 02/28/13 08:47 AM
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 1446 that, "Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.""

According to Pope John Paul II the Catechism of the Catholic Church "is given as a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine."

A confession bible verse John 20:23
Jane P , 02/28/13 12:40 PM
I learned the hard way and definitely yes God will punish a cheater. I was the cheater God blessed me with a great guy but I didn't realize it right away becuz of my struggling life up to that point and I had been searching form a man so long I guess I didn't stop lookig when he finally appeared and I was still fooling around with fools cheating on my new man ruining my life. Well a long series of events and circumstances tying into mg cheating got me robbed for $1000. Cash the guy purse snatched me when I saved up all month to get my car out of impound another curse. I couldn't believe I was living a real live nightmare hat moment. .at 1st I blamed the thrifty but the way it all happened the timing the person I eventually realized it was my bad karma for cheating then I messed up 1 night and he dumped me like a stray dog and is now cheating on me and now he is the evil cruel destructive cheater for not forgiving me when I was healed by the break up. I now a loyal girlfriend but he's showing all the worst signs of an abusive cheating man I can see the evil in him his eyes his words his actions and I am deeply devestatedthat I lost my blessing but I know that now its his turn to get healed somehow
jenny h , 03/01/13 12:45 PM
Your response to the question was right on to what I understand the Scriptures to say. I would only like to share two points that I found very helpful for me to things not expressly forbidden in the Bible.

The first is that to keep in mind the mind of God. What I mean is that God doesn't and can't judge us on the letter of the law. If He did than grace and mercy wouldn't be necessary or work in redeeming us. I need to be clear what God meant when He inspired the writers to pen those lines. In doing so, it helps me to remember who and what God is; holy and pure, the Creator of the universe and final authority on everything. Compromise seems more difficult to justify after that.

Second is that after the basic questions have been answered - is it sin, is it immoral, is it illegal, could this cause another to stumble - the choice that I usually make is after asking the question, "What would bring God the greatest glory?"

When I remember that I breath, that I exist, that I am here for and because of Him it is less about what I want. And though I still screw up at times His standard is my goal.

All that said, although I do have some tattoos I want others to know where I stand not by what is written on my skin but on my heart and only the fruit I bear will be the real evidence of that.
David Kamashian , 03/06/13 02:21 AM
I am very glad and thankful for the way you answer the question. I agree the issue is a sensitive one and it touch our society and government policy. Many thanks senior pastor and Be bless IJN !!
Hendrik Kerto , 03/12/13 02:15 PM
Hi, I'm doing a Bible report for school and i was wondering what believers are aloud to hate and what they can be angry about. Also what God hates and what makes Him angry - Brianna
brianna Strong , 03/13/13 08:40 PM
It's only a few genes difference in the DNA that differentiate between a rat and possum, a leopard and a lion, a llama and a alpaca, a chimp from a gorilla, a horse from a donkey.
It's those few - nay - every difference of gene that differentiated between any and all creatures of God's creation of which He commanded each to bring forth it's own kind (DNA) type - this is His order.
To say the Bible is not racial is an out and out lie - for God is very racial and you are a liar.
sion shadd , 03/18/13 03:36 PM
Religion may be about having faith, but sensible faith is based on some logic and common sense and this will help show that Jesus must have been vegan:

1. Jesus preached compassion, love and kindness to all. He is quoted many, many times regarding this. I doubt if such a man with His morals and ethics would then go and eat animal flesh.

2. As with John the Baptist being commonly mistaken to have eaten locusts and honey, there most likely was confusion in using the word “fish” or “meat” in the bible. There’s a longstanding confusion in the etymological origin of the word locust. Locust is both a bean from the carob plant and an insect. The Greek word for cakes or bread made from the flour of the carob bean is ‘egkrides’ and the Greek word for locust the insect is ‘akrides’. The insect locust is approved to be clean for consumption in Leviticus. It was a delicacy in those days and was mostly consumed by the upper and/or priestly class.

John the Baptist belonged to a group of ascetics who believed in repentance and in leading an austere lifestyle. The carob bean was seen as the diet of the lower class who normally endured hardship and exploitation from the priestly class. So most likely John the Baptist ate locust plant seed from the carob tree.

Also, regarding honey, it could be anything from saps of certain trees to juice of the crushed dates. Carob flour and crushed dates made a good damper or sweet rustic cake, hence the word ‘egkrides’ in the Greek version of the Bible.

Some Church Fathers circa 400AD put forth an injunction to change the word ‘egkrides’ in the Bible meaning cakes to ‘akrides’ the insect locust, not realising that locust the insect was a delicacy enjoyed by the priestly upper crust, from whom John the Baptist and people like John distanced themselves from.

Words in the Bible have been known to be erroneously translated.

3. The Bible isn’t the only source that mentions Jesus’ life. Check out the book, The Gospel of the Nazirenes, edited and restored with historical documentation by Alan Wauters and Rick Van Wyhe. This book tells us that Jesus did not eat animals, and it also details the accuracy of their scripture in the beginning of the book. I believe this version of the New Testament because it agrees with Jesus’ nature of being non-violent.

4. Jesus was a known rebel during His time on earth. He, many times, did not go along with what people often did, hence what was one of the reasons why He was persecuted.....It makes sense that one of the things He rebelled against was eating animal flesh because, as I mentioned earlier, Jesus was a very moral and ethical person.

For further studies, check out the book, The Lord Christ Was a Vegan, by Saba.
Lorrie Paige , 03/27/13 01:30 AM
My husband cheated on me to and left me and my son for her after 12 years he file for divorce and send the divorce paper to my job but i can tell you what i no there is a god
topaz young , 03/27/13 06:51 AM
why is it no one in the has a last name
Ellis Stamps , 04/04/13 07:49 AM
I think that I have always believed that we all have guardian angels from the time we are born, however it wasn't until I experienced it in real life that I really knew that they do exist 100%. I was going through a really tough time because I had just lost my brother in an accident and I was grieving. I had a 6 month old daughter and I had just laid her down for a nap and decided to call a close friend to help me through some of my grieving, we were very deep in conversation when a powerful voice came over me, and told me that I needed to check on my baby. I immediately told my friend that I needed to hang up. I ran into my baby's room and found her blue and not breathing. Long story short, she survived and I cannot tell you how thankful I am that God does assign each of us a Guardian Angel!
Lori Carson , 04/07/13 03:56 PM
I remember your story about Brianna, Roger. It fascinated me then, and i've remembered it always. Our Ben used to tell us he saw angels. He started telling us this when he was two. What I fund most interesting was that he hadn't been told about angels yet and certainly didn't know what they looked like. But he would describe them and the brilliance of color he saw!
I also am reminded of the time I was six months pregnant with Ben. I had been at the church bringing a little gift to someone and was heading home. I had not put my seatbelt on. It was hot and I was getting bigger... And it was uncomfortable. As I turned the corner onto River Rd, i heard a whisper in my right ear. The voice said, "put your seatbelt on." It startled me a bit and I reached over and put that seatbelt on. Three minutes later, i was in a car accident. Ben was safe in my tummy.... Because my angel spoke to me.
Susan Sneathen , 04/07/13 06:40 PM
So enjoyed reading your article, as someone with a science degree this question has always bothered me . Hard evidence of dinosaurs are there, rocks can be dated at more than 6,000 years old. I' ve seen And studied them. How can they be disputed, so where do they fit in. I believe God created them and when we meet up in Heaven ,God will indeed explain it too us!
Angela Lester , 04/12/13 11:33 AM
Masturbation I believe is more Spiritual than physical. If its a serious problem even for those not of the faith (spiritually dead), then how much more we of the Faith. We often wanna stop it using our own strength and ways but I believe its only the Holy Spirit that can help deliver us from the paws of this sexual sin.
Exercising self-control is key but the strength to do so stems from the Holy Spirit.
Its therefore expedient to understand the Love of God and the Power of the Holy Spirit and the conscious effort to rely on His Grace to see us through all life challenges.
Roger God bless you.
SHALOM!!!!
Emmanuel Ayisi Manu , 04/13/13 01:55 AM
Brent, you are asking 2 different questions; how was Jesus tempted and how did Jesus overcome temptation (how can we). I'll try to Answer both. But before that, I'm sure there is a difference between lust and temptation. Temptation is thrown in front of us by satan, lust is our acceptance of that sin, our beginning of desire. So how was Jesus tempted? I assume the same way nowadays; a scantily clad woman walked in front of Jesus (for an example), or (dont kill me or condemn me) He was tempted when His aunt bent over to pick something off the ground, a lot of adolescent boys see that one :( ... That is temptation. Lust is when we think "I sure want to bed her etc etc etc"

Now for the most important part. How did he overcome? Dunno ;) How can we overcome? Pray, get in the habit of praying when you feel sin. The first time you try you will fail. Second time you'll succeed, third fail, fourth fail, fifth succeed, so on and so forth eventually getting to 100%. Along with prayer, living everyday with the Holy Spirit will help to even block the temptation before you even feel it. This I can attest to; been nearly a month without porn, couldn't even go 2 days without. I forgotten almost that porn exist, the temptation is nearly 0 (now I must go and pray for continued protection and strength.

So last but not least, how do we live in the Holy Spirt? Pray and worship our Lord several times a day, start studying your bible (not just reading), ask for strength, wisdom, and understanding. Fellowship with other believers (Romans 1:11-12) fellowship can include going paint balling with some other Christian guys, getting a nice lunch and having a clean conversation about ANYTHING.
David Smith , 04/15/13 05:01 AM
Well said, I had a belly laugh when I read you illustration of the lost keys, because I've found myself in the same position. It's interesting that we preachers often get find ourselves face to face with a passage that humbles us.
Greg Crocker , 04/15/13 09:54 AM
Roger
for it is the first time to hear someone of statue to confess the honest truth which many pastors downplay or burrying in the sand and pretend everything is rosy in our church.
I'm in total agreement with the fact that so many christians use their convictions on others and ended up harming them.
I don't pretend to know it all but i was commenting this morning on a christian website about the hostility shown to carlton pearson's preaching the gospel of inclussion by the christian fundamentalist.
Everybody is so happy about him stepping down over doctrinal issues when they should be grateful over his long service for the lord for he was not working satan in those decades.
Whether we like it or not i do believe in the salvation of gays,prostitutes without condoning the immorality that goes with it that's why God said to moses that whosoever,whosoever...looks at the snake.that on it's own is unbiased and all inclussive.
The truth of the matter we can not claime ownership of the gospel and judge others because of differences.
Why is it that there's a prodigal son story for us in how God saw a repentant soul before the masses would judge.
I therefore feel that the church has ended up harming and betraying the pastor's love for christ by making him step down from his office.
I don't know how the unbeliever would interprete this.
Is there no love and forgiveness in the church?
How come are they not following the master just like in the act of adultery wherein
jesus says 'neither do I condemn you.now go and sin no more.
It is pride that which judges the other to say that I own the gospel therefore i now show you the door.
What a shocker!
What's your comment sir?
Given Ngomane , 04/15/13 10:26 PM
Fallen one: My husband (I believe) is being led to fight his situation by his parents. I believe they have a family where abuse is o.k. He has been amazingly restrained in not having contact with his child or me for months but he didn't have the same control years ago when he molested my other daughter (the truth came out after we married and had a child). I feel lost without him in my life. I feel like a failure for not being able to get him help and for being so afraid that I had to leave. His parents say this is all my fault that I left him and that he would never hurt his child. I pray that God will not only heal my children and me, but him as well. Legally he is getting away with it, he might even get custody (or unsupervised visitation) of the baby as well. Could he really find God and change? If so how could he get help? Where would he go and how could I get him that information if he refuses contact from us? Fallen one, if you are able to get information to him on how to get help please contact me. I'm @yahoo.com as completedisaster thank you.
Broken , 04/19/13 10:34 AM
I don't think this is just a kids question. I ask my husband things like this all the time. A sophomoric fascination with bathroom humor I suppose.
Rochelle Miller , 04/20/13 04:09 AM
How Grace Does Not Stop Remarriage from Being Sin by Myron Horst

The topic of the church granting a remarried couple grace often comes up with the subject of divorce and remarriage.

The argument that the church can grant a remarried couple grace to continue in their remarriage relationship has become a stumbling block for many.

To understand grace better, I did an in-depth study of grace in the Bible. I found some interesting facts.

The main fact is that grace is from God. Most of the verses in the New Testament that use the word grace also state that it is from God or Jesus. Nowhere is there any verse that the church has any authority to grant another grace for their sins. We can bless another with God's grace, but not from us.

When the church grants another person grace in a sin area so that the sin is no longer viewed as sin, the church is setting themselves up as God and making the church equal with God.

This line of thinking has occurred before in Jeremiah 7:9-10: "Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?"

They thought they had received grace to continue in their sins but they had not.

Grace is not an allowance to sin a little more than what the Bible says.

Grace is not a license from God or the church for one to continue in sin as many would lead us to believe.

Grace is not God overlooking our sin as we continue to sin after we know better.

Romans 6:1-2 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

Romans 6:15 "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."

There is no grace for those who willfully continue to sin and don't want to stop or change because it would be "too difficult".

God's grace is not a license to do what is right in one's own eyes, and follow one's own beliefs, even if it is contrary to Scripture.

Who forgives sin? Can Christians grant forgiveness for sin against God? No. We can only grant forgiveness for offences to us.

We cannot grant a person grace for offences that they are committing against God when they have not repented to God and stopped their sin.

When Jesus through grace forgave the woman caught in adultery, He also told her to do something. He said "go and sin no more!" Jesus did not give the woman grace so that she could continue to commit adultery. Jesus told her she had to stop committing adultery.

When a divorced and remarried couple repents and receives forgiveness from God for the adultery that they have committed, they must change so that they can also obey Jesus' command to go and sin no more.

If they go on sinning and committing adultery they will not receive God's grace but rather incur His judgment. There cannot be grace and mercy without justice.

When a person realizes that they have sinned by divorcing their spouse and remarrying another, and they go to God and confess their sin and FORSAKE their sin of remarriage (get out of the remarriage/which is an adulterous relationship in God's sight), God forgives them.

It is only through the grace of God that they receive forgiveness. Without God's grace none of us would be saved because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.

"A wife is married to her husband as long as he lives."
1 Corinthians 7:39

Paul , 04/21/13 01:05 AM
What is Significant about Adultery in Remarriage?

When Jesus said, "whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" He said something significant…

When Jesus made that statement, He was stating that divorce does not end the first marriage. Some people have assumed that divorce ends the first marriage, but Jesus said that it is not true.

The sin of adultery can only occur if one or both of the persons involved is married. If neither of the persons are married the term adultery cannot be used.

When Jesus said that "whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery", He was stating that when a man marries a divorced woman he is living with another man's wife and therefore is guilty of adultery.

God states that the sexual intercourse of a divorced and remarried couple is adultery.

Therefore each time they have sexual intercourse they commit an act of adultery. As they continue to have sexual relations and there is no repentance, it becomes a state of adultery.

Therefore, adultery in remarriage is both an act each time it occurs, and a continuing state of sinning.

Divorce does not make a man or a woman single again. Divorce does not end a person's first marriage. That is why a person commits adultery when they marry and live with a divorced person.

Do we get the significance of Jesus' use of the word adultery? Adultery could not occur in remarriage if divorce ended the first marriage.

Adultery can only occur in remarriage because the divorced spouse is still married to their first marriage partner in Jesus' judgment.

Jesus is the Judge we will stand before, for our hearing on Judgment Day and it is important that we understand our Judge's reasoning and logic if we want to enter Heaven.

The significance of the sin of adultery in remarriage is that divorce does not end a person's first marriage!

God has joined the husband and wife together as one. "And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.'".

Man's civil action of divorce in the court system of this earth, does not end the "one flesh" aspect of the marriage that God has joined together.

Paul , 04/21/13 01:11 AM
Well, like most of you here, I've done quite a bit of research myself. I have realized, ultimately, it is between you and God. Keep a strong prayer life and converse with Him and His word. He will make it clear to you. So, in my relationship with God I have decided to not put it over Him and still do my best to follow Him as the rest of us here have decided. This has been of help to help me realize this. Thank you Pastor and all of the men who have commented here. Stay strong and whatever you decide in your relationship with our true Father, give Him the glory always and put nothing over Him.
God Bless,
Nolan J. Soldahl
Nolan Soldahl , 04/26/13 08:18 AM
my girlfriend i was with for 12 years who was 56 years old when she died suddenly she was brought up in catholic schools while i was with her my best friend passed away she would say talk to him he can hear you so i did it made me feel better so i talk to her now that shes gone with the hope she can hear me my lamp in my house is a three way light where it gets brighter till it gets to the brightest now three times while i was talking to her on different nights the light went to the brightest on its own with nothing touching it it actually went off and came back on and got bright now last night when i was talking to her i walked out of the room when i got done just as i got out of the room it went brighter again i believe that there spirit can come and visit us after seeing this happen i have no doubt in my mind.they watch over us.
randy h , 04/28/13 03:33 AM
"Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws." Matthew 7:21-23
Godwin , 04/28/13 02:27 PM
Thanx to all of u dat comments on diz post, it's of help to me... May d peace, power nd strength of d LORD b wit us in Jesus Name.
elvis onyi , 04/29/13 11:03 AM
hi first time here. i used to fast two days a week food only with only water to drink. i wish i had never stopped. in light of this article,i am going to start again. maybe not two days a week,because of digestion issues,but DEFINITELY one day a week. my daughter needs direction and the HOLY SPIRIT has been speaking to me for some time about this. please pray for me because i am so weak. also tv is a great problem and i need to fast from that. thanks so very much for this ministry.
kathey kranis , 05/02/13 07:07 AM
I cannot see any logical reason why Peter should have made this utterance as only Jesus would have known what transpired in those days. I am not even sure if Jesus knew this at the time when he was dead, as the dead knows nothing. Remember, Jesus died as a man. However, Jesus remained with them after he was resurrected, and I have not seen that He even so much as attempted to discuss that issue...I now wonder where Peter got that from.
Norman Johnson , 05/07/13 09:16 AM
Dear Roger,
Thanks for your article about Christians and antidepressants. I am 55 years old and was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, B.P.D. and Dysthymia in 2007. I have been a Christian since 1983 same as my wife of 25 years. I always struggled with depression and mania but didn't really know what the problem was all these years! As you can imagine my life has been a roller coaster and yet I still survived and I can only put it down to God's Grace! I hit rock bottom through an event in my life in 2007 and hence the diagnosis and that when I was given medication which worked for me at the time but I have been on and off medications since around 2008. Some worked and some didn't or the side affects were to frustrating for me. Anyway, I have always struggled with should a Christian take these meds or not but I agree totally with what you have said. There are many so called Christians who criticize other Christians who take antidepressants which I think is appalling to say the least. Thank you for your encouraging words.
Mal Miller
Mal Miller , 05/14/13 09:48 AM
I am really sorry to go off topic on this one, but please I need help right now. I used to consider myself strong on issues of sexual immorality. But today I found out the wrong way that I am not. I have just committed adultery, seduced by a prostitute at a hotel I am staying (I am not trying to justify the action)in a foreign country when my wife is back home. Since then I have a feeling that I have totally distroyed my spiritual life which had taken years to build and I just came across this article through internet search. I also have a position in church and have been critical of sexual immorality in church. I came across an article http://www.religioustolerance.org/bethel01.htm which says there is no longer any hope for me as this is an unforgivable sin. To be honest I am quite sure that this first experience is my last as the whole thing was regret after regret, including during the act itself. What do I have to do to be forgiven for this sin and to regain the confidence that I now had? I know that I will get some harsh or even insulting comments, but I am sure I deserve them
Mlungisi Moyo , 05/17/13 05:39 PM
When the goal is to sew confusion, it's easy to find a confusing result, so if the goal is to blur the definition of "terrorist" beyond all meaning, I suppose that can be done. But clarity is available: there is a broad mainstream of definitions of terrorism that contain the elements of attacking the innocent to further political aims. IED's in Iraq targeting soldiers aren't terrorism, nor are criminal attacks of the wicked and the deranged (absent any political motive).

The Bible condemns hatred as being equivalent to killing. When the Israelites were told to utterly destroy certain cities of the wicked Caanenites, killing the enemy soldiers (and everything else in the cities), were they expected to do so without any hatred in their hearts? Seems that if God hated the Caanenites, and told the Israelites to destroy them, for an Israelite to hate that enemy along the way didn't really go beyond what was already allowed.

So, to take the modern context, if we assume that our soldiers are not acting sinfully as they stalk and identify and kill those who would do our nation great harm, can we also assume that they are allowed to hate their targets? These are the wicked who rejoiced as thousands of my countrymen, innocents whose worst crime was going to work that day, were slaughtered by the murderers of 9/11... these are terrorists who bomb their own countrymen in the hope of blaming their enemies for their murderous plots... these are terrorist who would visit similar horrors on our soil if they could... these are terrorists who recruit children, to brainwash them and use them as suicide bombers against innocent victims.

Can any reasonable person doubt that our soldiers are allowed to hate such as these?

And if they are allowed to, does it not follow that the rest of us, who send them into harm's way to protect us and our children, are similarly justified in hating the evil that they fight so bravely to eliminate?
Ralph Jackson , 05/20/13 10:04 PM
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank you all for sharing, this was such fun to read! My heartfelt prayers go out to those who are reading this in a time of suffering, whether physically, psychologically, or spiritually, caused by this divisive issue. I have read literature surrounding marijuana extensively and must disagree with the finality of your conclusions, Roger. Though it is clear that your heart is in the right place, many people, including myself, feel a calling to accept marijuana as a gift.

All concerns about spiritual attacks should be taken into consideration. However, your primary argument that in choosing to use marijuana we are subjected to spiritual attacks seems to deny the protection of the Savior to those under the influence. Your argument also generalizes that all substances that cause mind altering states shouldn't be used due to concern over spiritual attack, but to deny those in pain medicine over this fear seems cruel. A more challenging question arises when marijuana is compared to opiate use (both mind altering under the spiritual attack argument) in terms of overall harm to the individual. Having seen the lives of several friends destroyed by opiate addiction, I would strongly support treating loved ones with lower dosages of opiates if the same analgesic effect could be achieved by additionally using marijuana. Studies show that in treating pain with both marijuana and opiates simultaneously, the effective pain relief is achieved with a lower dosage of opiates. Marijuana does not have the strong physically addictive properties, the high risk of abuse, or the lethality of opiates. To uphold that abstinence from mind altering substances for fear of spiritual attack appears to not only require the surrender of currently accepted pain treatments, but also miss the opportunity to discuss the lesser harm issue I raise here.

Secondly, I am proud of many of our brothers and sisters who are doing mission work in countries where practicing Christianity is illegal, there is a higher law.

As Christians in America, it is certainly wise to obey the law. That is not the end but the beginning of the conversation about how we in turn shape our laws. As we see our courts and jails filled with non-violent marijuana offenders while those convicted of more violent offenses receive reduced sentencing due to overcrowding, it is also wise to re-examine the priorities defining such justice.

Jason, whose friend became a homeless bum who barely graduated college, I hope that I am not as devalued as your friend because our views differ. God has a different plan for each of us and such seemingly condescending views isolate many of us, like your friend and I, from many Christian communities.

I have a strong personal conviction to advocate for marijuana decriminalization, especially as a Christian. When I face adversity in the secular world for my beliefs, I find comfort in the Word. But when I am personally devalued for this conviction by members of the Body, I am deeply troubled while at the same time must take their opinions into serious consideration, weighing them against the evidence and the Word. However, in all of my debates with members of the Faith, I have found nothing to change my view but continually find more evidence to strengthen my conviction.

There is an underlying fear that I feel is shaping many Christian's beliefs about this plant. Reasonable inquiry into the origins of marijuana prohibition reveal a foundation of overt racism, fear of our brothers and sisters. Frequently in discussing this, members of the church admit that they simply feel it is wrong, and I accept their feelings but wish to explore the root of such a notion, particularly as my feeling is recognizably opposed to theirs but not equally valued. Is it not at least possible that the root 'feeling' that marijuana is wrong is in fact the very spiritual attack that we are so afraid ending marijuana prohibition will cause? Would this not be the more insidious and devious attack; to turn Christians against part of God's own creation, deprive those in pain a medicinal plant that heals, imprison members of society for possessing this medicine, elevate more harmful substances above one that is relatively safe, deprive society of the most industrious plant (hemp - divinely matched to rotate with corn and has over 25,000 known uses), and to see all of these things upheld without thorough questioning by God's people...

Fear, lies, and misinformation are the weapons of the enemy, and they're all present here. It is time to reconsider this stale belief system.

I wrote too much, so thank you for considering the words of my heart. I'll leave you with this:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
Lon Lawson , 05/22/13 08:54 PM
how to become spiritual fire
bismark akotey , 05/27/13 07:25 AM
Sir,

I am not a preacher but believer in Jesus.
in old testament Many prophets have morethan 2 wives.
In new testament it was said that preachers should be husband of one wife 1Timothy 3: 2

it did not say "believer should be husband of one wife"

it indirectly says, husband of 2 wives should not be preacher. He should not take that responsibility....

I understood from this that non preachers can have 2 wives but they cannot take responsibilty of preacher

am i correct?

sincerely,
Sudheer
a husband of one wife
sudheer sirra , 05/27/13 12:07 PM
Roger,

Do you think it is biblical and loving for a husband to leave his wife if she is unbalanced and dysfunctional? Do you think it is right for me to commit myself to a group of believers and they to me and then when I am 'unhappy' to find another family? Is that the biblical vision for the church of Jesus Christ? I guess if your vision of church comes from our N.A context where we pick and choose what we want and abandon one another for grass that always looks greener somewhere else ....maybe.

If a community of believers is in crisis and you abandon them without at the very least first addressing your concerns biblically with them whether they are pastor, elder, deacon, or whoever in the community you take issue with... then the act of leaving them in their state of chaos or sin without making any effort to help them see their error, as the body of Christ is clearly called to do, is just as unbiblical as the problem within the church.

Too many folks look at church like it is a cinaplex where we go looking for the best show, with the best folks, the best programs and where all our needs get met as opposed to a family of believers who are committed to one another in loving accountable and committed realtionships come h--- or high water because thats what Jesus showed us. We too often focus on how others break their commitments to us rather than seeing where we can continue to keep our commitments to others in spite of them.

We are Christs reprentatives. Speak truth in love ... always. Never quit... he didn't. Don't abandon your church... he didn't. Don't look out for number one... he didn't. Why then would we counsel someone to do these things?

Affirming believers to break their committment to other believers by removing themselves from their local body because it is an imperfect community is not sound teaching. You said yourself no church is perfect so what do you expect. I get no sense from reading Paul's epistles that any of the churches he wrote to were perfect yet he never once encouraged communities to fracture over it.

My encouragement to you is to stop and consider the identity, the function, and the purpose of the church of Jesus Christ before giving any more advice to folks who come up against a challenge. The problems we face in the church today are due to a misunderstanding of what church is all about. Please consider this ...

In grace and in truth

Ken
Ken Pesch , 05/29/13 11:55 AM
Thank you for the insight. I have been wrestling with whether or not gambling is ok in the Lords eyes because theres no scripture condemning or approving it. I do believe that the Lord works miracles. I think that if the Lord sees fit for you to have or do something that he will put you on the path to make it happen for you. About a year ago, i was not a regular lottery player. I could count on one hand how many times i had played. But this one day when i had gotten off work, i was flat broke. I will never forget it. It was a Wednesday in late March. When i got home, i had finally received my income tax check. I was pleased & said to myself, this must be my lucky day. I think the check was for about $250. Anyway, i hurried to my bank to cash it. On the way home, i stopped at a local fish market. Next door there was a party store. On this day, i decided to play the Daily 4. I only spent $4, four different numbers, 2way. That evening, i almost fainted when the last number i played came out straight. I won $2708! What mademe play that number on that day, especially since i didn't play every day? What made the income tax check come on that day? What made me decide to play only those four numbers? To this day, i believe that something divine occurred on that day. And since then, other similar experiences have happened. I am not naive enough to think that i am just lucky. The lord sees you, he knows what you are going through and always finds a way for you. I believe in my heart that he did that for me.
Christina Webster , 05/29/13 02:44 PM
This post really helped me in a special way, I'm young 20 to be exact, and I have been struggling from sexual desires since I was young. I used to figure it was maybe to the fact that I was just a young boy and mate I would grow out of it. As I got olde it just got worst. Then again I also thought maybe the reason I was dealing with such strong sexual desires was because I was moleated my many men growing up but I didn't want to put the blame on them... Now my grandfathers a Pastor and my grandmother a First Lady... I been in church ALL MY LIFE! I love The Lord dearly and I want to overcome this. I pray and ask god to help me with this but let's be real temptation feels soooooo gooooooooood! Anyways the post really helped me cause as a young Christian I can see that Jesus set the perfect example to overcome it... Pray for me & ill do the same god bless
Marcus Wills , 05/29/13 08:09 PM
First of all, God looks at the heart of a person before He looks at an amount. If someone gives a huge amount in a service simply because he wants credit for it or to look good, I believe God looks at that "gift" like the person gave nothing. But if someone on the next pew gives $10.00 out of a heart of love and desire to help support the church she loves, God looks on that with pleasure.It's all about motive with God. Remember the little widow. But there is one thing that many do not consider. How many people would be able to con-tinue working at a job that consistently held back their paycheck and only paid when they "felt like it?" How would your electricity, gas and water bill get paid? Why not just devote all your time to your job and quit insisting that you get paid for it. Isn't that paycheck an indication of your greed and lust for money? Of course it isn't. Not wanting to tithe, or just plain give to help the church, which God established, may be an indicator of a heart condition which we, as the church, should be dealing with, instead of making excuses for why we do not have to do anything more than the bare minimum to get by.
We've all heard stories of ministers and t.v. evangelist using money in dishonoring ways. But we should not base our behavior on thier wrong choices. If you feel you cannot trust your pastor with the finances of the church, then ask God where you should go instead. People who deny God and deny Gods word are people that love their sin and their sinful condition and don't want to give it up. We all sin, but the difference is clear: we either acknowledge God and allow him to change us, or we deny His existence, which eases the conscience and helps one to live in denial.The truth will set you free!!!
Linda , 05/30/13 05:46 AM
Ken, after reading Roger's response, I felt personally refreshed in my spirit. We all desire (or most anyway) to plant roots in a church and stay there as we grow spiritually and fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
It doesn't always work out that way. I won't speak for Roger, he is perfectly capable of doing that himself. I will, however, say that I don't believe Roger was suggesting in any way that we flee to another church at the first sign of conflict. I do think he is saying that sometimes there can be more serious issues. God may actually call people to leave in order to do his work in a pastor who is not leading biblically.
We also need to be cautious about not allowing ourselves to become legalistic in our view of scripture and our faith. If there is anyone I trust with my spiritual growth and advice, it is Roger.I truly miss his godly wisdom and teaching.

Shared with a sincere heart.
Susan Sneathen
Susan Sneathen , 05/30/13 07:10 PM
Hey roger, so I'm engaged to be married and my fiance and I are having trouble keeping our hands off each other, he suggested that masterbation is not a sin I say it is, his argument is that its not a sin as long as we don't keep our focus off of God. Now please correct me if I am wrong, if we are supposed to be focused on the bible and instead fufilling our self needs isn't that a sin?
heidi , 05/30/13 08:48 PM
Hello,
There is no doubt that the call to follow Jesus example and love other selflessly in spite of who they are, not because of who they are, is a difficult and exhausting task. This unfortunately is what I think Christ had in mind when he talked about picking up your cross. Relationships are hard – 5 minutes into Paul’s epistles and you see problems everywhere. What you never see is a reason to end relationships with people we are committed too, and stop pursuing what is best for others. Even when you see Paul telling the Corinthians to discipline a church member, it is not an egocentric pursuit, it is doing what is best for that person.
In order to really know what to do in this situation we unfortunately have to look past how we feel and look to God for the answers – the only sure way to do this is to look to a biblical foundation. This is hard in our culture and puts a premium on emotions. But the reality is serving Jesus is not always easy – it is often very hard. But it is embracing this kind of difficulty in spite of how we feel that conforms us to be more like Jesus, and brings us closer to Him and His calling for our lives.
I have to say I am very confused by Rogers attempt to look at this biblically. For example your reference to the qualifications of an elder – these are descriptive qualities of what qualifies someone as a elder. Paul is telling us here what people should look like to be leaders in a Christian community. He never gives any indications that having leaders that do not meet this criteria gives you a reason to leave relationships and commitment. Paul never addresses this?? So I am unsure how we then should use this as a means to “do” something that the author never intended or applied. Unfortunately the rest of the example does not in any way address conflict resolution, or leaving a church. So if we are to use this standard as a means to make biblical decisions – could you not then decide if anyone were to fall short of what they are biblically exhorted to do, this is a grounds to end relationship and commitment.
The other confusing part is that Roger has applied judgment to this pastor, church, and situation without knowing the whole story. I do not know how Roger comes to his conclusions and gives advice like this without knowing the details. The bible never gives us a reason to end relationships with others, certainly not to benefit our own interests or preferences. It commands us to try to resolve conflict one on one, then with a witness, and then inside the context of community. There are times it is in the best interest of others and the community to discipline by removing someone from the community - after all steps are taken to try to help them . But this is not anending of relationship, but the practical application of truth in love. We never stop giving people an opportunity to make it right and resolve the issues. We always stay committed to pursuing what is best for others.
If there are things that are potentially damaging to you and the people in the church – the best thing you can do is try to help to fix them. Leaving a community that is in error only looks after your interests, and does not put the interests of others above your own. If there are things happening that should not – perhaps God has allowed you to see this to help others. Use this to make a difference in the community. Helping people to see things that they may not otherwise see if the best way you can love someone. Look at marriage – we would never has the insight into who we really are and what needs to change if we did not have people close to us that help us to see this. And what is it that allows this relationship to hold together even when we have to say things that don’t “feel” good, but are true and need to be said? –commitment. That’s what Christian love is – and that is the only way we can really grow. It can be messy, it can be tiring, and it certainly does not always feel good. But this is what we are called to, loving people in a way that wants what is best for them before wanting what is easy for us. To really answer what to do in this situation one glance at the cross should answer your question.
In Christ - Jamie
Jamie Lockhart , 05/31/13 02:02 PM
I lost my beautiful mum less then 3 months ago she was born again she was married to my farther for 3 months he left as he wanted to live in Athens my mother begged him to return he remarried my mother raised me with her father she never remarried always worshiped our lord Jesus a very clean & loving carding person she was 1 month to reach 67 years old her father passed away in 05 he passed away in my arms, my mother had none alcoholic liver problems due to diabieties was in & out if Hsptl 3 years my wife & 3 children & I took care of her as we always lived together, I am sorry for the long story but I am crying everyday for her praying to god that when I die I want to be in my mothers arms that joy of knowing she is in heaven with her patents &
younger brother makes me hungry for heaven even more so I have children I must rase it's very hard with put my mum as they cry everyday every 20 minutes I feel alone Iv no 1 to care for the death is a sad thing for us on earth as we miss those who leave us but having faith in god & Jesus out lord saviour knowing there is a place in heaven for us I just hope I recognise my mother & grandfather I wouldn't change a thing I'd worship god in heaven with them in 1 house she would tell me there's Angels in heaven who say halleluja over & over none stop she would always say don't worry it's going to be ok when she was alive after her being in a coma 5 days she would be ok & it always was, now I am afraid I am alone for my kids & beautiful wife I feel alone I pray to god thanking him he gave me strength while in hospital with her for 6 months at a time she would cry for her daddy I'd cry with her also now I am alone missing her so much this is a nightmare I pray for all children who has lost there mothers & fathers for peace & comfort I pray that you also make your self known to Christ Jesus without him there really is nothing god bless everyone who reads I can't see this iPhone from my tears peace & gods love & protection upon all his children In Jesus name Anen
Tony London , 06/01/13 09:16 AM
pls mail me more about tatoos and body piercing(ex :tongue piercing,umblical cord)
anitha nesamani , 06/03/13 03:41 AM
My pastor gave a sermon on that passage where Jesus says that anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. He went back to the orignal Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible and the word "divorce" was mistranslated. That passge should read that any man who ABANDONS his wife and marries another commits adultery - because, since he just walked out on his wife - abanonded her - he is still legally married to her. That mistranslation of that one word has been the cause of so much pain, suffering, and guilt on the part of people who get a divorce. If two people are unhappy in their marriage, it is a dishonest relationship, and I don't think God likes dishonest relationships. We are human, we are capable of mistakes. I simply cannot belive that God wants people to stay in a miserable unhappy marriage, instead of honestly getting a divorce and moving on. That would be a really ugly inhumane unloving God indeed!
Kathy Handyside , 06/03/13 07:28 PM
The reason many people will fail to see heaven is because of the modern day Pharisees. Many preachers have not understood what Jesus meant by love. Many preachers have not read their Bibles under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Some of them have not read it in totality. The Bible first and foremost teaches that we must never divorce. If someone wants to come to Christ while married to two wives, we must receive him the way he is and we should never ask him to divorce any of his current wives. However we must tell him that he should not enter into another marriage while being born again. Paul teaches here below that a man can be born again even when his wife (and I believe wives, if he has more than one) are non-believing. God may use him to change them and bring them to the Kingdom.
"For married people I have a command which is not my own but the Lord's: a wife must not leave her husband; but if she does, she must remain single or else be reconciled to her husband; and a husband must not divorce his wife. To the others I say (I, myself, not the Lord): if a Christian man has a wife who is an unbeliever and she agrees to go on living with him, he must not divorce her. And if a Christian woman is married to a man who is an unbeliever and he agrees to go on living with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made acceptable to God by being united to his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made acceptable to God by being united to her Christian husband. If this were not so, their children would be like pagan children; but as it is, they are acceptable to God." 1Co 7:10-14

To answer your question, I believe that all people should be welcomed to salvation and to the service of Christ regardless of their past state. But on salvation, a line of righteousness must be drawn. They must not cross that line. They must not marry any other wife other than the one/s they already have. If not already married, they must marry in the stipulated Christian marriage practice in their area. I believe that such Christians must keep only one wife. To desire a second may lead to lust, fornication and wilful sin.
So if you have one wife keep her and her alone. If you have two wives, come to Christ with both of them but we have to draw a line for you after which you will not be allowed to cross and to do so will be considered willful sin.
Pastors and preachers I have a message for you: 1)be driven by love while trying to bring people to Christ 2) accept people as they are and help them to change 3) you have no power to separate a man from his wife or wives; you cannot ask anybody to divorce one of his wives. It is not biblical but you can help bind the spirit of lust, fornication and polygamy in the person 4) read the Bible in totality.

Pastor Francis Kihiko South Sudan
FRANCIS KIHIKO , 06/04/13 01:07 AM
Nicole, what i am going to say to you is a bitter pill to swallow. I amay aslo sound like I am judging you. But far away from that. I have helped save many dying marrriages and I hope you will bear with me.

Nicole, the only reason given for divorce is sexual immorarity. Mat 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Mat 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

As much as I agree in freedom and not slavely in marriage I would rather obey the Bible. Rogers has given us a passage from Ephesians 5:25-33.But read it again.Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Have you ever considered that you could help your husband by being patient, understanding, respectiful, un-judgemental? have you taken time to understand him? Have you found out what is driving him to his current emotional behavior? Have you been fasting and praying for him?

Nicole, before you make any decision on divorce, I want to take a 21 day fasting and praying for your family and I believe God will move into saving and restoring your marriage. I want you to check your own behavior and see where to amend and work at it. Your husband is not a fool. He will notice a change in your behavior. Don't give him a fight he is looking for. Don't use Saul's armor to face Goliath---you will end up dead. Use what God has given you to face Goliath: your Christian virtures and the Holy Spirit. Take the armor of love and reclaim your spouse from the enemy.

Rogers has said a very important thing to you: you can't change a man but only God can.

You can reach me on rehoblovemin@ymail.com
FRANCIS KIHIKO , 06/04/13 03:08 AM
Actually, I remember Perry Stone briefly taking about this and commented that people who think Satan is in Heaven right now accusing us before God with Christ interceding for us and our sins is simply not true. When Jesus shed his blood it was literally taken to Heaven where his blood was sprinkled covering sin. Satan is not up there accusing people to God anymore. That happened to people like Job before Jesus came and shed his blood and FINISHED the sin problem, including what happened in heaven when Satan committed the first sin. Satan has been cast out and is no longer able to be in Heaven. He likes to accuse us an torment us in our minds down here though. As soon as you repent and ask for forgiveness God forgets all of your sin past, present, and future. They are literally blotted out by Christ's blood.
Hannah H , 06/04/13 06:21 AM
My husband and I find your counselling extremely good guiding the reader in the Christian path. May God bless you and use you mightily in this ministry.
Lilian De Silva , 06/06/13 05:48 AM
i never had a normal marriage, had my first wife via both families meet and consent 1992,we separated after 2 kids in 1997.i got another wife with no formalty,so far we have two kids.my ex had remained unmarried,now am feeling guilt and sin.can i take her back and keep both women?
eni wilson , 06/08/13 11:32 PM
The cosmic crucifixion/resurrection referenced here I believe is speaking about the eternal plan to redeem "us" which was planned out before the foundation of the Earth. But I love the fantasy of Science FICTION.
Al Reynosa , 06/11/13 09:54 AM
CHRIS (02/14/13),

You have taken the passage in Leviticus regarding tattoos out of context. I encourage you to read the whole chapter of LEV. 19 (esp. verses 19c and 27) before passing judgement.
E. J. , 06/11/13 05:37 PM
There is no version of the Bible that Hebrews 10:26 says rejected. Changing the words to make your point just weakens it. However, we are forgiven for our aims of we believe in Christ. So if one asks the question about perpetual sin, there must be some type of conviction for it. And with conviction comes repentance. If you we're not saved, why would you care?And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 ESV)
J Howland , 06/14/13 06:41 AM
Dear Pastor Rogers,
I want to thank you for such good explanation about kissing on the lips! I always thought that passionate kisses between couple that are only dating were not appropiate until the couple gets married.How does the Christians couples deal with such restriction when the world has other opinions about it?
Angie Flowers , 06/20/13 10:41 AM
My husband and I got married and then divorced after only three months of marriage. We got back together and, though still currently divorced 'on paper', i'm wondering if we are correct in seeing ourselves as a husband-and-wife team again. We were only divorced three months when we got back together, and we both feel like divorced never even happened and that we are still married...just happier and into the Lord more than before.

So curious of what you thing, and if there's any reference in the Bible about my situation.

God bless,

Myra
myra keeney , 06/20/13 12:53 PM
Thank you for this message. God has created all of us, whether we are black, white, yellow, or brown. God did not mentioned race in the bible because, it not an issue with him. When God punished or cursed anyone it was out of disobedience to him not their skin tone. That's why in the Act 10:35 it's written: "But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him." We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, if we do what Apostle Paul mentions in Galatians 3:26-29
Malachi Bryant , 06/23/13 08:29 PM
Dear Heidi,
My rule is that you never start something that you cannot finish with purity before God.Masturbation may encompass one person but impurity enters when another person is involved.
Roger Barrier , 06/24/13 07:43 PM
Dear Luke and Roger,

I just read this blog, quite late I think, so I would like to clear something about the gift of speaking in tongues.

Those cases that two of you were talking about are the manifestation of Holy Spirit (It happened because situation required the help from our Helper). If you said that it is a gift, then my question is: Does it belong to you completely? Will you be able to use it anytime you want? Romans 11:29 "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance." Gift can never be a gift if the person give it to you want it back. When you receive it, it's your. You can use whatever you want and whenever you want. You are the one responsible for maintaining it, not God. He has done His part by giving it freely to you as a gift.

Many people said that speaking in tongues is come from Devil. Really? So Devil has his own languages? How about God's Kingdom - Heaven?...

I hope that my thoughts can help you know more and search more in the Scriptures.

With prayers,
Jerry Dao , 06/25/13 03:46 AM
If there are books written in the third person, why do you assume they were "definitely" authored by men?

"We really don’t know any of the authors of the historical books in the Old Testament like Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Nehemiah or Esther. They were all written in the third person."
Guest Poster , 06/26/13 04:16 PM
I was married 32 years and last week my divorce was final. My husband was adulterous always and lives with his latest adultery partner. I am 53 and until my husband passes, we are married in God's eyes. Everyone tries to set me up with other divorced men and I have been asked to dinner on several occasions. I refuse to be a part of any dating scene or remarriage and always kindly decline. My heart is broken and I feel Jesus with me always. I am going against the flow and I have been ridiculed and mocked for my beliefs by other Christians. I am going the distance with the complete strength I receive from Jesus and I have been saved a lot of grief that a new relationship would bring. My life is my Lord's and my future is in His hands. I want to serve Him only and I look forward to experiencing joy again. I am not any better than any of you listing your questions and concern and agony: I just have seen too much remarriage and dating horror to ever be dissuaded. My home is too quiet and often I am lonely for conversation and my husband's presence, but I know the Lord's warnings and truths for all of us.
Elise Kuznetsov , 07/04/13 10:46 AM
Truly the bible clearly states in Romans chapter 8a woman is bound to herhusband until he dies. What remarriage is that you are speaking of? Why are we rewriting His word. The Lord says so not add nor take away from his word. Stop before the complications will be on you. His word would never pass away people. Don't divorce. God hates divorce. Pray ad stick it out, he said live is patient, love is kind, it is not envious does not boast nor keep track of wrong, does,not rejoicein iniquity but in the truth. Love believes in all things hopes in all things hopes in all things endures in all things,...LOVE nit hate but love never fails.
Tamika Manzay , 07/04/13 11:31 AM
If you did win you would be told alot of things to make you feel guilt. I had turn my back to the church as through seeing alot of people giving there time are over run by those that can buy there way to in.

I am sick of going to church and being told we are not good christians for having time and dissapointing donations while the people with

questionable morals are praised for paying there way to acceptane.

Buy a ticket. I bet if you won, the first one's to accept you would be the one's to make you guilt ridden at the moment.

Alot of things are not right in the chruch.
chris chafg , 07/05/13 07:21 AM
Please see this link. it sheds some light to all your questions and backs it up with scripture.

http://www.cprmarriageministry.org/CPR_Second_Marriages.html
Joe Alonzo , 07/07/13 03:27 AM
Our salvation is something we don't want to mess up on. It's about as important as the gospel itself...because it is what the gospel of Christ is all about.
It's okay and normal to have doubts about our faith, about what God's word says, and about what it all means. I agree that this really demonstrates that we are continuing to search for answers. Maybe when we are searching for answers, the spirit within us is prompting us to study further something that may not be right.
I recently read a book called "Follow Me". I read it alongside God's word and it clarified so many questions I have had over the past few years. I would encourage anyone to read it. But I would further encourage people to dig into God's word, not take it at face value, look at the language it was written in, and really let God speak to you about what He meant.
Seek and you shall find.
Susan Sneathen , 07/07/13 04:31 PM
Hi there, I have recieved some acupuncture by western practitioners and found great relief from it from serious long term back pain, fatigue and digestive problems. I am a christian and was ill for many years before receiving these treatments because they were considered 'taboo'. However when i became more open minded and fascinated by natural health, I benefited from this and really believe God created systems in our bodies that we can enhance by natural methods such as acupuncture. But how do I deal with christians or leaders that warn or condemn me for using such therapies because they believe I will be under a negative spiritual influence? I pray each time and believe I am covered by Christs blood and his Holy Spirit, who wants me well. It is worth noting that for many years I only received prayer, to no effect, and continue to receive prayer. AJ
A J , 07/08/13 04:07 AM
Mr. Moyo.

It is not an unforgiveable sin.

Remember how Jesus delivered the adulterous woman?
John 8:1-11

Repent. Thank God. Do not dwell on guilt for that is a sin. Go on and serve the Lord.
Roy Nouneh , 07/08/13 09:22 PM
Good evening. I have a question...bob & i got married in 1985. We divorced in 1994. We have been living together since 1998. I thought that the bible states that it is an adulterous sin for either bob or i to sleep with anyone else (whether or not we r married to that person...is that correct? Is what we r doing a sin? I guess i talked myself into believing that since bob & i used to b married, that god still actually considers us married! Hope i am making sense! :p god bless ALL of you that posted also. Thank you, lisa :)
Lisa Nothank you , 07/08/13 10:49 PM
He went to Disneyworld!
Bubba Smith , 07/11/13 01:29 AM
really lifted my spirit,i also read hebrews 10 and was in such pain...what ever so he's love is ever changing and forever
thank u lord
thank u pastor rodger
grace hanusha , 07/11/13 02:31 PM
I was saved in 1995. I then married a believer who wasn't baptized yet.
I a few years later committed a form of adultery with a woman I had a
child with years before. We did get divorced due to this. I went back to the world so to speak and am now living with the woman I committed adultery with. I refuse to marry her and now for as long as I can will not engage in sex with her because of my undying yet weakened faith in the only one who matters GOD. Biblically and only biblically can I remarry in the eyes of God properly or has my sin denied me of this Godly union?
Jason Frisinger , 07/14/13 08:30 AM
Satan lied to Eve, before the "fall of man". A lie is a sin. So sin was in the world before the fall? So there could be animal death befor he fall of man, just not human death, because humans hadn't sinned?
KC Woo , 07/14/13 04:47 PM
Jeanne Calment lived to be 122 years old.
KC Woo , 07/14/13 09:48 PM
I will forever be grateful for the privilege of serving with you for almost twenty years at Casas. I have been blessed by your grace-filled redemptive teachings on divorce and the compassionate way you ministered to so many who suffered the loss of a marriage through divorce. I continue to counsel others using the truths and principles I learned from you. With much love...Jerry
Jerry Wilkinson , 07/16/13 01:42 PM
Masturbating would not be sinful if motivated only for sexual tension release only.
Bryan Pacot , 07/18/13 01:27 PM
I have read all of the posts here and am still very confused. I guess I am just not "getting it".

I was married to my ex for 22 years but we were a couple for over 25. Throughout the marriage he cheated on me numerous times and was very abusive not only to me but to my two children. It got so bad that I had attempted suicide to get free of him. I was too scared to leave. Well I survived the suicide attempt and after much counseling I finally got the courage to leave him.

We are now legally divorced. He is remarried and I am engaged to another man. I was always told that if one or the other cheats that it is no longer a marriage in gods eyes.

I have been baptized and I pray all of the time that god will forgive me for all of my sins. I hope and pray that once I do marry my fiancé that god will recognize our marriage and not think of us as sinners.

I love my fiancé and would die for him. He is good to me, never hurts me or makes me feel like I am garbage. I wish I had met him first and not the other way around but I can't exactly go back and change things.

I'm scared that both my fiancé and I will burn in hell even though we have so much love for each other and are good people.

We are Christians, we love Jesus/God and attend church as often as we can.

Please tell me we are not damned.
Claudia James , 07/20/13 02:14 AM
As long as I have a breath in my body I will never vote for legalization of Marijuana...I have seen first hand what it did to a member of my family..
Jim Slone , 07/23/13 05:27 PM
I agree wholeheartedly with Jim Slone. I lost a good friend in high school who basically toked his brains out, dropped out of school, and was never heard from again. And he'd previously been a straight "A" student with tons of potential. The degree to which "medical" marijuana provides any actual medical assistance to the user, that cannot be accomplished with other, safer drugs, is so infinitesimal that legalization shouldn't even be brought up in a sane society. I have to believe that the efforts to do so are only an attempt to fully legalize the drug -- as if we need one more legal mind-altering, body-killing "recreational" substance on the market. The dangers of marijuana have been proven time and again, and regardless of what any given state may have legislated, marijuana remains illegal at the FEDERAL level. To me, that means that no American, and certainly no law-abiding American Christian, has any business using marijuana for any purpose, or attempting to justify its use.
Thomas Wheeler , 07/24/13 11:37 AM
In today's climate, too many conservative evangelicals tolerate and/or wink at overt racist and white supremacist rhetoric.

What's more disturbing is that they are enthralled by these meanderings not by lawless, and woefully inaccurate teachings about the so-called "Hamitic Curse" (which the author of this article should have unequivocally refuted), but by unsaved and/or unconverted political pundits in this racially charged sociopolitical climate.

When you love your neighbor, you don't underestimate, undervalue, or marginalize them. Period. It's simple, but it covers and nips in the bud a great deal of the issue, without going line upon line, precept upon precept about who our neighbors are and why we should love them.
Pedat Ebediyah , 07/26/13 08:26 AM
Hello Roger-
You are correct in that this Creation Issue is quite the hot topic. Although you didn’t specifically state it, am I correct to assume that you side with current scientific thinking that the universe is about 15 billion years old? And Earth about 4 billion years old?
What would Jesus think?
Here is a link to an article in Creation Magazine, that talks a bit about how Jesus viewed Creation.
http://creation.com/jesus-age-earth

The article is written by Dr Carl Wieland who started the magazine 35 years ago.
One of the interesting quotes in the article is from an old-earth scientist. Regarding Jesus, the scientist is quoted as saying “Jesus didn’t know as much science as we do today.” Oh my gosh! What to believe?
Rich Milligan , 07/30/13 06:29 PM
Roger:

I also lean toward an old-age view of the universe. However, I've tried to keep myself open to other interpretations of the Genesis account. One book I read recently is, "Genesis Unbound," by Dr. John Sailhammer. In it he argues that the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 are not about the creation of the cosmos and earth, rather they are an account of God preparing the promised land of "Eden," later to be the location of Israel or Jerusalem. He actually makes some very compelling arguments for this based upon the context of the biblical text, recognizing the role that the early chapters of Genesis play in setting up the stories and accounts in the Pentateuch.

However, there is one argument that Sailhammer makes that is a bit hard to swallow and perhaps you can touch on it here? He notes that Exodus 20:8 God reveals to Israel that, "In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day."

Sailhammer says that this passage is what is known as a "merism," designed to present the scope of something, but is not meant to be taken in a literal form. For example, when we mean to say that someone searched thoroughly, everywhere, we often say that someone "searched high and low". You also say "ladies and gentlemen" and the "'young and old." According to one definition, merisms are frequently used in law, which is ironic in that Exodus 20 is the beginning of the Law for Israel.

I'm wondering how you see Exodus 20:8 in your perspective on the Genesis account and if the idea of it being a merism fits with that interpretation.

Many blessings!
Tom Terry
Tom Terry , 07/31/13 06:06 PM
Scripture clearly slams the door shut on remarriage.

Jesus calls remarriage after a divorce…ADULTERY.

America’s divorce rate is the world’s highest because the law permits one partner to unilaterally end a marriage.

Marriages are terminated by one person against the will of the other spouse in 80% of cases.

I wonder how many people would divorce if they knew they were forbidden to remarry as long as their spouse is still living.


Ellie , 08/03/13 04:13 AM
Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

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