Showing posts with label morals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label morals. Show all posts

02 August 2019

A Few Thoughts on the Epistle of James—James 1:19-25

C3 The Christian life—listening and actions James 1:19-27

D1 Believers Should Listen Quickly, Hesitate Speaking James 1:19-25

James 1:19-25 WEL So too my beloved brothers, all must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, 20 Because the anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filthiness and all types of wickedness. Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 Be doers of the word, not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror. 24 He looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But whoever looks at the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, is not being a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work. This one will be blessed for what he does.

7 rules=
  • 3 Attitudes and actions
    • Quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger
      • Good listening requires slow to speak.
      • Slow to speak is to listen until the other has finished speaking, except for those who talk continuously.
      • Slow to speak has the idea of thinking before talking.
      • Slow to speak has the idea of not offering advice until asked.
      • Slow to anger is to be angry slowly.
        • The next verse points out that our anger does not achieve (bring about, bring to reality). Arguing to prove doctrine or pressuring one to believe the Gospel, will not bring about God’s righteousness. So this leaves out bullying, verbal abusing, controlling, etc. behavior. These actions will not bring about God’s righteousness. In fact, often it makes things worse.
        • There are 2 wills: God’s will and any other will.
        • God’s way is best. Being angry at God’s thoughts, desires, words, and deeds does no good. Fighting it is wrong. The Pharisees were guilty of this (John 16:2, for example).
        • Our thoughts, desires, words, and deeds do not bring righteousness. Building a church, do it God’s man, not with man’s philosophical or business practices. Encouraging spiritual growth, same. 1 Peter 4:3 NIV For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
        • JFB: Man’s angry zeal in debating, as if jealous for the honor of God’s righteousness, is far from working that which is really righteousness in God’s sight. True “righteousness is sown in peace,” not in wrath (James 3:18).
        • It is not debating as Stephen did (Acts 7). It is an anger that destroys as Acts 15:2 NIV This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.
        • Proverbs 15:1 NKJV A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.
      • Anger is not necessarily a sin. There is both an anger that is not sinful and a type that is. Consider, Mark 3:4-5 and John 2:13-16.
      • Unrighteous anger leads to sin
        • Psalms 37:8 NRSV Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
        • Proverbs 15:18 NIV A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.
  • 4 duties
    • No moral filthiness
      • This is specifically referring to James 1:14-15)
      • It refers to dirt as opposed to clean.
      • Acts 15:20 NIV Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.
      • Galatians 5:19-21 MKJV Now the works of the flesh are clearly revealed, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lustfulness,  20  idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, fightings, jealousies, angers, rivalries, divisions, heresies,  21  envyings, murders, drunkennesses, revelings, and things like these; of which I tell you before, as I also said before, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    • No wickedness
      • Breaking God’s laws in thoughts, desires, words, and/or deeds
      • See Romans 1:18, Romans 1:29, Romans 6:29.
    • Read and study Scriptures especially the New Testament. Understand it, believe it, and live it.
    • Be doing what the New Testament teaches
      • This is what we believe and why
      • This is how to live and why
Implanted word= the Gospel and God’s law which is written on our hearts by God Himself. (Romans 2:29 and Hebrews 8:10).
Law of liberty= the opposite of Old Testament law which could not bring righteousness and reconciliation with God. The New Testament contains God’s rules for us (Galatians 5:1).
Reading the Bible brings blessings, but the Bible is not just to be read but to be lived. We live what we believe.
  • How can we change our lives?
  • If we can’t, who can?
  • How do Christians cooperate with God to live more God’s way?
  • Which law is greater, Old Testament law or New Testament law? Defend your answer.
  • Why do Christians have to live by God’s New Testament rules?

18 July 2019

A Few Thoughts About Morals Are Only Personal Opinions

Often we hear objections to Christianity as, “Moral Truths Are a Matter of Personal Opinion.

Answer: This is the narcissistic view of truth and life. The relativistic view of truth is similar, but it doesn’t have the personality disorders. Both lead to chaos.
B1 Some resources on the narcissistic and/or relativistic view:
C3 Or even Relativism from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
B2 Christian view
C3 You might consider the Book by Nancy Pearcey on Total Truth
D1 The book Total Truth

B1 Everyone would then have their own moral standard.
B2 What is right for one, is wrong for another.
B3 Stealing from you, is it right or wrong? Someone/s steal your identity, take all your money and reputation. Is this wrong? You may think it is, but the criminal/s do not. So there cannot be any punishment if every is OK.
B4 This is chaos.
B5 The Bible addresses this:
C1 Judges 17:6 NLT In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.
D1 Each person or person group had their own standards of right and wrong.
D2 So there is nothing lawful and nothing unlawful.
C2 It is selfishness. It is the narcissist view of truth.
C3 Psalm 12:4 NLT They say, "We will lie to our hearts' content. Our lips are our own--who can stop us?"
C4 The last days are characterized as such: 2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
C5 Proverbs 14:12 NLT There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.
C6 It results in a society of lawlessness: 1 John 3:4 NRSV Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.
B6 The solution
C1 1 Corinthians 14:33 NLT For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God's holy people.
C2 We should be living in thoughts, desires, words, and deeds that are right in God’s eyes: Deuteronomy 13:18 NIV because you obey the LORD your God by keeping all his commands that I am giving you today and doing what is right in his eyes.
C3 Matthew 6:33 NLT Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
C4 Matthew 7:24 NLT Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
C5 Christianity has a gospel (humanity’s problem, forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with God), a way of thinking (theology), and a way of life (worldview). The New Testament is our source.

John 14:6 NLT Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

08 July 2016

Christians believe...?

Christians believe...
in absolute truth?
in strict moral absolutes?

The Barna group did a survey on absolutes.

They found, among other things, these six principles:

  1. 'The best way to find yourself is by looking within yourself.' An incredible 91% of US adults and 76% of practicing Christians agreed 'completely' or 'somewhat' with this statement.
  2. 'People should not criticize someone else's life choices.' Overall 89% of adults and 76% of Christians agree.
  3. 'To be fulfilled in life, you should pursue the things you desire most.' 86% of American adults and 72% of Christians said, 'Yes.'
  4. 'The highest goal of life is to enjoy it as much as possible.' 84% of adults and 67% of Christians agreed that this was the highest goal of life.
  5. 'People can believe whatever they want, as long as those beliefs don't affect society.' Those who agreed with this statement consisted of 79% of American adults and 61% of practicing Christians.
  6. 'Any kind of sexual expression between two consenting adults is acceptable.' Incredibly, nearly 69% of American adults and an astonishing 40% of Christians agreed with this.
Something is wrong.
If morality is different in different countries and with individuals based on their own views, there are not standards. Is God so fickle that He has differing laws and rules that change all the time? What kind of weak-kneed God is that?

  1. "For I, Yahweh, have not changed, and you, O children of Jacob, have not perished. (Malachi 3:6 LEB)
  2. in order that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge may have powerful encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us, (Hebrews 6:18 LEB)
  3. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of change. (James 1:17 LEB)
Which is correct? Does God and His rules change at every whim or do they remain the same?
I believe that God does not lie, nor change. He is consistent. I can rest in that. If He changes all the time, how could we ever know what He wants or maybe He will change His mind about His love for us.
The Christians today are starving spiritually. We need to study our Bibles. We need this food.
God bless you.
Therefore having put away all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all slanders, as newborn babes, desire the genuine milk of the word, that by it you may grow, if indeed you tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:1-3 EMTV)