Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How To Identify Counterfeits

Let me ask you a question. How is it that federal agents and the like are able to identify counterfeit money? The answer is simple. They train by studying the original intensely. When a counterfeit bill is presented, the flaws will be obvious because they have spent countless hours looking at the authentic.

Let me ask you a follow-up question. How ought Christians (every Christian) to be able to identify counterfeit religions and sects of Christianity? Once again, the answer is simple. They ought to train themselves (2 Tim. 2:15), like the Bereans, by studying the Bible intensely. The Bible is God's Word, after all. As Christians, ought we not to desire to know its contents inside and out? To know the mind of our Creator, God, Lord, Saviour, and King? To know more of Him? "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect" (Rom. 12:2). "...Walk as children of Light...trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord" (Eph. 5:8c, 10). "...That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Col. 1:9).

You see, we can (and ought to) know the mind of God because He has given us His written Word. If I want to know God's mind on controversial subjects such as abortion or homosexuality, all I need to do is turn to God's Word. I should know God's Word so well—know God's mind so well—that when controversial subjects come up, I should already be standing firmlyunable to budge. I should not need to hum and hah about it not knowing where I ought to stand.

This is not a task meant only for specific types of Christians (e.g., preachers and teachers). This task is meant for every Christian! Every Christian is going to encounter resistance from the enemy, the devil, and his children. Every Christian is going to encounter counterfeit teachings and teachers in their every day life. Every Christian ought to be equipped to be able to answer these. "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1 Pet. 3:15). "Let your speech always be with grace, as though season with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person" (Col. 4:6).

If counterfeit religions such as the Mormons or the Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door, you are not going to be able to ask your pastor or your theologian friend for answers. God has ordained the meeting between you and them. You ought to be well-seasoned enough in the Word to be able to reason with them and give a response to their false teachings and doctrines. If all you do is rely on others, then you will never be anything more than a spoon-fed parrot. You will simply repeat what you have been told and it will never become real to your own soul; something you know intimately because you have spent hours studying and meditating upon it.

Christians are supposed to be in God's Word daily, because that is where we hear from God and learn God's mind. If you never open your Bible ever, how can you claim to be a Christian? You apparently do not enjoy hearing from the One you claim as your Lord and Saviour. If your husband/wife wrote you a book about himself/herself, would you not pour over it so that you may know them inside and out? So ought every Christian to do with the Bible. Every Christian should train themselves (or be trained) to identify counterfeit religions and sects of Christianity by studying God's Word—the Bible—intensely. That way, when the counterfeits are presented they will be so obvious because the Christian has spent countless hours studying the authentic.

"Now [the Bereans] were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so." Acts 17:11

"[Study] to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching (what's right), for reproof (what's wrong), for correction (how to get right), for training in righteousness (how to stay right); that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Monday, September 1, 2014

Matthew Vines' Greatest Fallacy

On page 178 of his book God and the Gay Christian, Matthew Vines says, “As more believers are coming to realize, [affirming same-sex relations as moral] is, in fact, a requirement of Christian faithfulness.

Can anyone spot the fallacious argument made in that statement by Matthew Vines? There are actually several fallacies found here, but one big one in particular. Do you see it? He is saying that if you do not affirm same-sex relations then you are an unfaithful Christian. The gullible and easily influenced Christians will read that and think to themselves, "I don't want to be an unfaithful Christian, so I better affirm same-sex relations." Vines constantly and consistently employs pervasive use of logical fallacies, forces false choices, assumes conclusions, makes faulty appeals to authority, makes false analogies, etc., throughout his entire book. Not only that, but when he shares his story, he does so via emotional manipulation, employing the Appeal to Pity and Appeal to Sympathy fallacies. He has to resort to deceptive tactics and manipulation (like all homosexuals) because he does not have the truth and the truth undermines him and condemns him once and for all time.

Affirming same-sex relations as moral is not a requirement of Christian faithfulness and has nothing to do with Christian faithfulness whatsoever. Contrary to Vines' false declaration, more believers are not coming to the realization of his fallacious statement. Same-sex relations are immoral, unhealthy, and unnatural. They are perversions of the created order, as anyone who stops to use their brain knows full well. When they are manipulated via emotional blackmail and fallacious logic they forget their brain and succumb to the idiocy. But let them stop and think, making full use of their brain's capacity (something many people rarely do any more these days because they do not like to think, otherwise they are faced with issues they do not want to deal with), and they know full well that homosexuality is a perversion of both human and sexual natures.

On pages 31 and 32 of God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines, it has this to say:
"Answering a question about divorce in Matthew 19:4–5, Jesus quotes Genesis 1:27, “male and female he created them,” then Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man. …” Significantly, Jesus attributes the words of Genesis 2:24 to the one who made them male and female. Jesus asserts that God himself declared that what happened between Adam and Eve was determinative for mankind in general. When Vines argues against the idea that Genesis 1–2 teaches that procreation is a fixed standard for marriage (137–41), and when he argues that sexual complementarity is not required for the one flesh union (144–48), he sets himself against the understanding of Genesis 1–2 articulated by Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus said that God the Father created them male and female (Gen 1:27), and Jesus said that God the Father concluded from the union of Adam and Eve that man should leave father and mother and cleave to his wife, the two becoming one flesh (Gen 2:24; see Matt 19:4–5). Matthew Vines does not interpret Genesis 1–2 the way Jesus did. The interpretation of Genesis 1–2 provided by Jesus is the one that binds the conscience of Christians.
Prior to sin, prior to the curses spoken in Genesis 3:14–19, God instituted marriage as a permanent, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman, and the one flesh union of their bodies brings about a biological miracle neither could experience without the cooperation of the other: the begetting of children, procreation. Marriage is referred to as a creation ordinance because God made it in the garden prior to sin as a moral norm for all humans at all times in all places."
Matthew Vines stands against and in direct contrast to Christ Jesus. Vines makes arguments in his book that are contradictory to the very words of Jesus. Jesus affirmed both gender complementarity (that men and women, although equal in value, dignity, and worth, have different roles) and sexual complementarity (that one man and one woman only form the bonds of marriage, and no other union), both of which Vines and other homosexuals want people to dissolve.

Vines also attempts the old "divide and conquer" with the 6 main passages of Scripture that condemn homosexuality. He attempts to remove them from their immediate context, as well as from the context of the rest of Scripture, and then attempts to destroy the understanding held for 2000 plus years by reinterpreting them. He claims that he took a year off school to study this subject, which is another blatant lie. Had he actually studied it, he would have read the opposing side and not merely non-scholarly books that support his position and further tickle his itching ears. Contrary to Vines' self-deception, he is not a Christian and will find himself in hell (like every other homosexual) if he does not repent and turn to the true Jesus (not the one he has created as an idol who accepts and affirms his homosexual choices).

If you would like to learn more about the truth concerning homosexuality and the biblical passages that condemn it, see these blog entries:
1.) "Homosexuality" (The facts and evidences from nature.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2012/01/homosexuality.html

2.) "Exegeting Homosexuality, Part 1" (An in depth look at Leviticus 18:22, 20:13, and Romans 1:26-27.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2012/10/exegeting-homosexuality-part-1.html

3.) "Exegeting Homosexuality, Part 2" (An in depth look at the words Malakoi [Mαλακοι] & Arsenokoiai [Aρσενοκοιται] from 1 Timothy 1:8-11 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2012/10/exegeting-homosexuality-part-2.html

4.) "Exegeting Homosexuality, Part 3" (An in depth look at Genesis 19, Judges 19, 2 Peter 2:6-8, and Jude 7.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2012/10/exegeting-homosexuality-part-3.html

5.) "Exegeting Homosexuality, Part 4" (An examination of several translations in various languages for 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2012/10/exegeting-homosexuality-part-4.html

6.) "Leviticus 18" (Exposing Alex Haiken's crude handling of the Word of God as he is caught with his hand in the cookie jar.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2012/10/leviticus-18.html

7.) "Handling the Word of God Deceitfully" (Answering the homosexuals' recent translation of the Bible.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/01/handling-word-of-god-deceitfully.html

8.) "Bow Down and Worship" (Demonstrating how homosexuality is attempting to make the rest of the world bow down and worship it.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/01/bow-down-and-worship.html

9.) "The Creation Account vs. Homosexuality" (Demonstrating God's design and intentions for ALL humanity.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-creation-account-vs-homosexuality.html

10.) "Genesis 19: What the Bible Really Says Were the Sins of Sodom"
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/09/genesis-19.html

11.) "Romans 1: What Was Paul Ranting About?"
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/09/romans-1.html

12.) "Why No One in the Biblical World Had a Word for Homosexuality" (A deliberately misleading title to the article as the biblical world has both words and descriptions for the acts of homosexuality, contrary to the lies of homosexuals and homosexual advocates.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/09/biblical-word-for-homosexuality.html

13.) "Leviticus 18 and 20" (An examination of the contexts of both chapters.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/09/leviticus-18-and-20.html

14.) "The Bible and Homosexuality" (A thoroughly sound exegetical response to Alex Haiken's erroneous arguments.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-bible-and-homosexuality.html

15.) "Why Christians Should NOT Re-think "Gay Marriage"
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2013/12/why-church-should-not-re-think-gay.html

16.) "Illogical Homosexual Arguments" (The many foolish things they use to argue with.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/01/illogical-homosexual-arguments.html

17.) "A Letter to Harry Knox"
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/01/a-letter-to-harry-knox.html

18.) "Exegesis Avoids Abusing Scripture" (A look, once again, at the context of Leviticus 18 and 20.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/03/exegesis-avoids-abusing-scripture.html

19.) "Does the Bible Forbid Homosexual Behaviour and Not Homosexuality?" (A response to some erroneous statements made by William Lane Craig.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/03/does-bible-forbid-homosexual-behavior.html

20.) "Temptations: The Truth Behind Homosexuality" (What is the the real drive behind people being homosexual?)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/03/temptations-truth-behind-homosexuality.html

21.) "Pais (παις): A Young Male Lover?" (A response dealing with the false interpretation of the Centurion passage.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/04/pais-young-male-lover.html

22.) Ezekiel 16 and Sodom's Sin (A response to Alex Haiken's eisegetical interpretation of Ezekiel 16.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/09/ezekiel-16-and-sodoms-sin.html
And for facts and evidence regarding the behaviours, ploys, tactics, and agenda of homosexuality, please see these following links:
1.) "The True Objective Of `Gay Rights' - Total Domination!"
http://prolife.ath.cx:8000/plae117.htm

2.) "Homosexual Tactics: Anything Goes!"
http://prolife.ath.cx:8000/plae118.htm

3.) "The Real Homosexual Agenda"
http://www.truenews.org/Homosexuality/real_agenda.html

4.) "Crafting 'Gay' Children: An Inquiry Into the Abuse of Vulnerable Youth Via Government Schooling & Mainstream Media"
http://www.defendthefamily.com/_docs/resources/6390601.pdf
And to see how homosexuality is indeed harmful to not only the individuals, but to others and to society as a whole, see this link:
1.) "The Risks of Gay Sex" (Written by a doctor.)
http://bereansdesk.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-health-risks-of-gay-sex.html
Here are some books I encourage you to read in order to educate yourself better on the truth of the matter:
  1. The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics by Robert A. J. Gagnon
  2. The Same Sex Controversy by James R. White and Jeffrey D. Niell
  3. The Gay Gospel? How Pro-Gay Advocates Misread the Bible by Joe Dallas (a former practicing homosexual)
  4. A Queer Thing Happened to America by Michael L. Brown
  5. The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principle Threat to Religious Freedom Today by Alan Sears and Craig Osten

Honeymoon

The definition of "honeymoon" is as follows:
  1. a period of harmony immediately following marriage
  2. a period of unusual harmony especially following the establishment of a new relationship
  3. a trip or vacation taken by a newly married couple
While today, the term "honeymoon" has a positive meaning, the word was originally a reference to the inevitable waning of love like a phase of the moon. The term originally described the period just after the wedding when things are at their sweetest; it is assumed (note the word "assumed" here) to wane in a month. The "honeymoon" was the period when newly wed couples would take a break to share some private and intimate moments that help establish love in their relationship. This privacy in turn is believed to ease the comfort zone towards physical relationship, which is one of the primary means of bonding during the initial days of marriage.

Typically, the excitement of love in a marriage is at its highest peak at the beginning of a marriage, and then love "settles in" and begins to wane to something consistent (not high, not low). While this is true of most marriages, it is not necessarily the rule for all marriages. For Christians, the more they seek Jesus and find their fulfillment in Him and in each other, the excitement and height of love can remain for years and years. It is not unheard of to see couples in their later years, having been married for 30 or 40 years, still having the same spark as they had when they were younger. This is the kind of marriage I desire for myself, and I will work toward it each day.

If we examine marriage and "honeymoons" back in the early 1900s, 1800s, and earlier, people could not afford the luxurious and lavish expensive vacations and holidays that married couples typically take today. After they married, there was one of three things that happened.
  1. They would travel around, sometimes accompanied by friends or family, to visit relatives who were unable to attend the wedding.
  2. They would travel to a nearby city and spend a few days at the local hotel.
  3. They would return to their new home to begin their life together.
In the mid-1900s, married couples would leave midway through the reception to catch a late train or ship. Today, many couples will not leave until 1–3 days after the ceremony and reception in order to tie up loose ends and/or simply enjoy the reception to its fullest and have a relaxing night afterwards to recover, before undertaking a long journey. In fact, it is not unheard of today for many couples to postpone their honeymoon for many months or years because they cannot afford to take a vacation or holiday (or their jobs get in the way and they cannot get the time off to do so).

Today, couples will spend over $10,000 on their wedding day and honeymoon vacation (a down payment on a house) only to end up fighting about money problems for the next three to five years and end up divorcing because they were constantly fighting about money problems. The traditions that we see in marriages and honeymoons today were never traditional 100 years ago. Marriage and honeymoons have become money-making schemes (as well as funerals), and people have ignorantly bought into the foolishness of modern traditions. I have talked to several couples who have gotten married for under $2,000 (in both Canada and the USA). That is also without anybody else contributing anything. The wedding receptions back in the early 1900's and 1800's and earlier were basically potlucks. All the guests would bring something and everybody would enjoy a common meal together. Today, guests mooch off the newly wed bride and groom, expecting them to pay for their meal. Whatever happened to friends and family supporting the newly wed couple so that they did not start their new life broke?!? In fact, whatever happened to friends and family supporting the newly wed couple in any capacity? Nobody cares about the struggles others go through any more. The love of people sure has grown cold...

Whether other people like your wedding and reception or not is of little consequence. It does not matter whether they enjoy it or not. It is not for or about them. It is for and about you (plural, meaning both husband and wife–it is not "her day" alone)! If they think it is the most boring and uneventful wedding in the history of weddings, that is their problem. Not yours. Watch older movies from like 50 years ago and watch how weddings were done in those days. They were nothing like you and I see today in our cultures. We need to smarten up and use our heads when planning our weddings and honeymoons. There is no need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on both. You need that money to start your life together. Use it wisely!

Ezekiel 16 and Sodom's Sin

Alex Haiken says, "In Ezekiel chapter 16...the prophet spells out explicitly what God calls the sin of Sodom: 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord … this was the sin of your sister Sodom:  She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.  They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.' (Ezekiel 16:48-50)"1

As usual, Mr. Haiken is being deceptively dishonest. He is begging the question and failing to address the whole context of what the prophet is saying. Mr. Haiken fails to notice—or chooses not to address—a significant connection between Genesis 19, the two passages in Leviticus, and Ezekiel 16:48–50. Behold:
"Ezekiel, who makes abundant use of the book of Leviticus, describes various sins of Sodom (Ezek 16:48–49), then concludes, “They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it” (16:50). This indicates that the “abomination” committed by Sodom led to their destruction. Ezekiel’s reference to Sodom’s “abomination” uses the singular form of the term toevah, and that term is used in the singular only twice in the book of Leviticus, when same-sex intercourse is called an abomination in 18:22, and when the death penalty is prescribed for it in 20:13. The four other instances of the term in Leviticus are in the plural, making it likely that Ezekiel uses the term from Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 to reference the same-sex intentions of the men of Sodom."2
By the statement "committed abomination before me" (Ez. 16:50), our minds should be brought to Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, where we find the term "abomination" used to describe homosexual behaviour. The Hebrew word translated "abomination" here is to'ebah (תועבה), the very same term used to describe homosexual activities/relationships in the Holiness Code. To'ebah properly refers to something morally disgusting. Mr. Haiken attempts to dismiss this and sweep it under the rug, but the fact it is a viable correlation between the two can be seen in how 2 Peter 2:6-8 and Jude 7 refer to the sins of Sodom as gross immorality. Proper exegesis arrives at the conclusive fact that Genesis 19 informs us of the homosexual behaviour that the Sodomites were guilty of.

The Sodomites were guilty of many sins, but only one sin in particular lead to their destruction, as attested to by God Himself:  “They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it” (16:50). Sodom was destroyed because of the rampant homosexuality that had enveloped and engulfed it. Make no mistake about it, homosexuality is immoral, unhealthy, and unnatural. It is a perversion of both human and sexual natures, and abomination of the created order.


2 Albert Mohler, God and the Gay Christian?: A Response to Matthew Vines, p.35.