Machoism: A Sinful Response to Feminism

Feminism and egalitarianism has done major damage to the American culture. Primarily, it has skewed the image of how men are supposed to behave and their roles within a society. Although not every single tenant of feminism and egalitarianism should be viewed with overt hostility, we should, however, be cautious in allowing ourselves to submit to any system’s premise that is unbiblical. For the most part, almost all proponents of modern feminism and egalitarianism seeks to undermine the authority of men, feminize the male persona, elevate the homosexual agenda, and bring the law in subjection to sexual immorality and unattainable equality for all. Nevertheless, even with all that said (now that I have some head nods from males and perhaps some females), men need to be cautious and just as aware in defaulting to the knee jerk reaction against feministic attitudes – machoism.

Also called machismo, machoism may vary its form depending on the culture, generation, business, religion, peer relationship, and home. Generally speaking, machoism presents itself in a way that that is dominating, assertive, or aggressive simply because the person is a man, or feels that they have the right to be so because they are a man. This can be done sexually, physically, or socially. The definition may change depending on who is talking and the research or experience they have had, and the standard of identifying any instance of machoism is pretty subjective, but, nevertheless, machoism is a real problem and a sinful response to any perceived usurping of the authority of the male figure.

The kind of machoism that I have seen within Christendom can sometimes be borderline Islamic. Anywhere from a man stating in front of his wife’s friends, “Submit woman!” to irritability that manifests itself in harsh tones or overbearing gestures, some men treat their wives in such a way that is enough to cause heads to turn. Thankfully I have never witnessed any physical threats, but machoism can also lead to forms of spousal abuse or rape. However it may manifest itself, this kind of thinking is usually rooted in the idea that a women “has her place” and that any form of perceived disrespect is grounds for disciplinary measures (whatever that may be).

machismo

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Attacking the Church – It is Rarely Doctrinal

Pastor Jon Gleason does an excellent job in this post addressing the issue of church problems being based on doctrine. This is his second article and should be read by all discerning believers. I have chosen to highlight a few parts and added a couple of pictures.

Attacking the Church — It is Rarely Doctrinal

My last post said that church problems are always doctrinal.  It is never accurate to say that a church which is straying in some way is doctrinally sound.  Every church problem is based on an error in applied doctrine.

In this article, it may sound like I’m contradicting that article.  If every church problem is doctrinal, won’t attacks on the church always be doctrinal in nature?  Perhaps — but they rarely start with a doctrinal focus.

Paul and John, in their epistles to the churches, warned of false teachers, sometimes naming them.  Down through the centuries, whether Christianity was persecuted or state-sanctioned, there has always been heresy, there have always been those who tried to come into the church to spread their false doctrine.  Just as there has always been false teachers, there have always been those who would stand against the heresies — and always those who have fallen prey to the wolves.

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Today, false teaching is gaining traction in many churches.  One can walk into any number of “evangelical” churches and hear a false Gospel preached.  In recent high profile cases, some famous mega-church pastors endorsed a man who spreads false teaching on the Triune nature of our God, and a well-known British evangelical rejected the Biblical teaching on the atonement (and now, he rejects Biblical teaching in other areas as well).  Almost every area of Biblical doctrine is under attack in churches where the Bible was once faithfully taught, often where the stated doctrinal position of the church is still sound.

False teaching seems to be on the rise — but the attack on a church rarely begins with false teaching.  Sound pastors or teachers do not usually wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll change the doctrine I teach going forward,” and begin to promote error.  Faithful church members do not usually say, “I think I’ll stop checking the Scriptures to see if what I’ve been taught is true.”  No one in a true Biblical church suddenly decides, “I think what our church needs is more false teaching.”

The first attack is usually spiritual, not doctrinal.  We have been told not to love the world, but we have accepted the world’s value system, its philosophies, its politics, its entertainment, and its loves.  Too many churches are full of people who love what the world loves and think the way the world thinks.

People don’t say, “Let’s let error come in,” whether it be error that is taught directly or (as I mentioned in yesterday’s article) error that is taught by practice.  But when churches are full of spiritual weaklings who have been drugged and poisoned by the world and the things the world loves, they don’t even see what is happening.

When we spend more time on entertainment and Internet discussion (which is often really just another form of entertainment, even if it is on Christian topics) than we do our Bibles, we become spiritually stunted.  Our minds are not being transformed and renewed, and we don’t even recognise the error when it comes.

The Scriptures warn repeatedly that false teachers will come, and keep coming, and we need to be ready.  The solution is not writing better doctrinal statements or owning more theology books.  That has already been done.  Those who had good doctrinal statements and owned (and even wrote) good theology books have gone into error.

They loved the world, or the praise of man, or their own intellectual or preaching prowess, or pleasure, or another person, or some other thing.  Their hearts grew distant from God as sins of pride or lust or ingratitude or anger took hold — and doctrinal error found fertile soil to produce its bitter harvest.

If our senses are tuned to truth, we’ll recognise when someone tries to give us something besides the truth, even if we don’t know exactly what it is.  If you love a cup of tea, you’ll know when someone gives you one containing a foreign substance.  There will be a taste there, a taste you don’t recognise.  You’ll say, “Hey, something is wrong here!”

Nice_Cup_of_TeaBut if you stop making yourself a cup of tea, you just don’t take the time to do it anymore, you’ll forget the exact taste.  If someone gives you a cup that seems a little off, well, you probably just forgot what it really tastes like, right?  You’ve gotten away from tea drinking these days.  I’m sure it’s fine.

But not only do our hearts grow distant from God, we take from the world and learn to love its loves.  Too easily, we spend Monday through Saturday drinking the spiritual equivalent of anti-freeze.  Our spiritual taste buds become a mess.  A false teacher could put anything in your spiritual cup of tea on Sunday morning, and you’ll never know the difference.  You’ve forgotten what truth tastes like, and learned to like poison.

Church problems may always be doctrinal — but the attacks on churches almost always start on a spiritual level (not a doctrinal one) in turning our love, ever so slightly, away from the Lord to other things.  It starts slowly, deceptively, insidiously growing, until we either don’t care or don’t notice when error shows up.  We’ve been drugged by false loves, the love of the world, and the enemy can do with us what he wishes — as long as he keeps supplying the drug.

When we get to that state, the adversary could easily get us to leave the church, but he’s in no hurry to do that.  He can use us to destroy from within.  We won’t recognise error any longer, or care about it.  There are things we want, now, things we love, and we’ll be in favour of anyone who provides them.  If we can get those things we want and love in the church, all the better — we’ll be able to drift along feeling good about ourselves spiritually as we pursue the loves we got from the world.  If anyone says anything, tries to warn us, we might even get angry — “It tastes good to me, and I like it!”

In fact, if the church only had teachers who said the things we love are ok, are Christian, are actually what the church SHOULD be doing, that would be best of all!  Give me my loves in a Christian flavour, please!

We’ll be ready allies for the false teachers when they show up.  One should be along any day now.

Colossians 3:1-4

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Church Problems?

We occasionally repost articles by permission from other writers. Pastor Jon Gleason does an excellent job in this post addressing the issue of church problems being based on doctrine. I have chosen to highlight a few parts and added a picture.

Church Problems — They Are Always Doctrinal

Most pastors have heard it many times, especially if they are active on the Internet — it hits their email inbox all the time.  “Something has gone wrong in my church.”  Sometimes it is from another pastor, sometimes a member of the congregation, often from someone he doesn’t even know, who gets in touch online.

There’s an additional statement that often comes with it:  “It’s not doctrinal.  The church still teaches sound doctrine.”  That addendum is wrong.  It is always doctrinal.  Problems always are.

The most common errors are probably in Bibliology, the doctrine of what the Scriptures are, their inspiration, authority, and sufficiency.  Close behind, if not even more common, are errors in ecclesiology, the doctrine of the church of Jesus Christ, what it is, its purpose, and its leadership.  But perhaps underlying almost every problem is a failure to truly carry out what it means when we say God is great, holy, loving, and true.  If we didn’t diminish who God is, it would probably be impossible to have problems in the church.

Is the problem that the church has a pastor who won’t lead, or one that is dictatorial?  Those are doctrinal problems.  Whatever may be said from the pulpit or in Bible studies, the practice of the church in teaching the role of church leadership is not according to sound doctrine.  The ecclesiology is in disarray.  If the pastor is dictatorial, the Bibliology of the church is also likely in trouble — instead of the Bible being the authority, the pastor begins to become the authority in the church.  If the pastor is the authority, then we diminish God.

Doctrine

Is the church adopting new and questionable practices in an attempt to bring more people into the church?  Whatever the words of the doctrinal statement may say, the practice of the church is based on a flawed doctrine of salvation.  The pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, including His work in regenerating lost souls) has also probably gone astray, as that is effectively set aside for the view that the new practices are the key to evangelism.  We’ve replaced the work of the Spirit with our own ideas — and diminished God by saying our ideas can do what the Spirit does.

Has the church become emotionalistic, giving the emotions of an individual or the entire group a central focus?  This is doctrinal error on many levels, skewing the ecclesiological doctrine of the church’s worship so that it becomes more about human emotions than about honouring God — we reduce God to a reason for me to get excited or emotional.  It is flawed Bibliology, for the Scripture emphasises truth — the facts of what God has done (not “how I feel”).  It is often errant anthropology (the doctrine of what Bible says man is) by exalting human feelings to the most important part of who we are.

Is the church unfriendly and cold?  The church’s doctrinal practice, whatever is taught in words, denies the doctrines of regeneration and sanctification which teach us to love.  It denies the ecclesiological truth that the church is a family of brothers and sisters, a body united together.

Is the time of teaching the Word decreasing?  If you decide that your church needs more time on other things and less on Scripture, you effectively deny the inspiration and sufficiency of the Scriptures.  Is a pastor’s preaching changing, so that he spends less time simply explaining the Scriptures, and more time telling stories?  Does he give the impression he is more concerned with a powerful or entertaining performance than with simply communicating truth?  It is the same problem — the pastor’s presentation has been exalted to the detriment of the sufficiency of Scripture.

Is someone grumbling and complaining?  That is a denial of the doctrine of last things (eschatology), our future hope.  It is also a denial of the doctrinal truths about sin — if we really believe our sin is as bad as God sees it, then we know that we deserve nothing but judgment, and we have nothing of which to complain.  If we complain because we think we deserve better, we deny the doctrinal truths of God’s grace.  In fact, grumbling is a denial of almost every doctrine in the Bible.

Is there gossip in the church?  That is a doctrinal error on the doctrine of sanctification (as Christians, part of the holy life we are to live is to speak the truth) and the doctrine of the church (we are to be one body, united, loving one another).

page38_picture0If your church has a problem (and which church doesn’t?), it can always be traced back to doctrine, either what is taught in word or what is taught in practice, or both.  Almost always, if doctrinal errors are practiced long enough, they begin to make their way into the verbal teaching of the church as well.

Note:  Of course, the problem just might be you.  You might be the one who is grumbling or gossiping.  The church’s problems may not be anywhere near as bad as you are making them out to be.  You may be the one who is in doctrinal error (in your practice, whatever you say you believe).

How can you tell?  And (the vital question) if the church is in trouble, how can you help?

A good place to start is to identify the doctrinal questions involved.  If there is a real problem, there is a doctrinal error.  Cut through the surface considerations to identify just exactly which doctrine is at stake.  There may be more than one, for many wrong behaviours violate more than one doctrine.

Once we’ve done this, we begin to see the problem Biblically.  When we see problems Biblically, then we not only understand them better, we are well on our way to finding Biblical solutions.

Furthermore, when we can identify the Scriptures and doctrines which are at stake, we are much better equipped to discuss the problems with others, if necessary.  This does not guarantee that any such discussions will go well, but using the Scriptures gives an authority which we could never have on our own.  Most importantly, we’re using God’s way of addressing problems.  The Scriptures are sufficient for the problems in our churches, if we will only use them.

Not every difference between people in a church is doctrinal, but if it isn’t doctrinal, then it isn’t a real problem.  If it is real, there certainly is doctrine at stake somewhere — someone (or the church as a whole) is denying true doctrine, in words, actions, or both, whether they recognise it or not.  If you sort out the doctrine (both stated and applied), you sort out the church.

Speak Softly, and….

Speak Softly, and….

Teddy Roosevelt, US President:
“Speak softly, and carry a big stick.”

Jesus of Nazareth
spoke softly, and carried a cross.

Isaiah 42:1-3

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

The Fallacy of Pope Francis

Big Bang Theory true according to Pope Francis

Once again, the world has the distinction of hearing “Thus says the man in the white robe” instead of “thus says the Lord.” If we question the veracity of God’s Word and the foundations which He has established, then it will be easy to cut out further parts of Scripture. Here are a few things to consider as to whether pope Francis is right or wrong.

There are several problems with Christians accepting the Big Bang Theory and the theory of evolution.

1.  It questions the validity and work of the Trinity. Genesis states that each member of the Triune Godhead was involved in creation.

A.  God the Father is attributed with the work of creation throughout the Old Testament. If creation is not true, then we must exclude every writer who spoke and wrote falsely giving credit to the holy God. This means that Job, Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, the five books of Moses, and others must be taken out of the Bible.

B.  God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, speaks of the creation during His earthly ministry, especially when He addresses the matter of marriage being between one man and one woman.  If Jesus was wrong about creation and the beginning of the world, then He cannot be God for He spoke at least one lie.

C.  God the Holy Spirit is attributed with the inspiration of the Scriptures. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Thus, if the words written are attributed to the moving of the Holy Spirit, then we can only come to one of two conclusions. 1) Either the prophets wrote contrary to the leading of the Holy Spirit, or 2) there is no Holy Spirit that guides into all truths.  Therefore, the Holy Spirit made a mistake in the work of inspiration which makes Him no longer God, or the Bible is not inerrant and we have nothing which we can believe.

2.  If these theories are correct, then there is no hope for mankind.

A.  There would be no reason to accept any absolutes.

B.  There would be no morals on which to base our lives. If survival of the fittest is truly an underlying principle of evolution, then logic MUST dictate that what Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Nero, Genghis Khan and others did is acceptable. They weeded out those who added nothing to the gene pool.

C.  There would be no such thing as sin. Any “wrongdoings” are only based on one’s upbringing, culture, and societal mores. What would be unacceptable in one culture must be acceptable in another. Therefore, as one example, if evolution is correct, then what ISIS is doing cannot be considered as wrong. If evolution is correct, then we have no right to correct the actions of another culture or society that has “evolved” in a different manner than we have.

D.  Fighting against the inevitable will be a horrific exercise in futility if evolution is correct. Therefore, those who have some deformities, or the wrong skin color, or mental imbalances are doomed to eventual extinction for they add nothing to society and the future of a greater man.

E.  If evolution is true, then there is no sin to die for. There would be no reason for Jesus Christ to have died for a sub-species of animal that has simply evolved from a primordial soup. If evolution is true, then Christ died in vain as a good person, and not as the God-Man.

Now, here is a further thought about the article I have linked to at the top in which pope Francis endorses these false theories. Many in so-called evangelical circles have decided that the Roman Catholic church is also Christian and that their teachings are compatible in many ways with evangelicalism or fundamentalism. There is little that could be further from the truth than this thinking. The Roman Catholic religion is not based on Scripture but on the traditions of man.

Many want to claim that Roman Catholics are going to heaven, but the ONLY way to heaven is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone. The RCC does NOT teach this, and has NEVER taught these truths. To the pope and the teachings of the RCC, all who believe that salvation is only through Christ are to be considered anathema and accursed to the deepest regions of hell.

Before somebody accuses me of hating those who do not believe like me, this is not about me. This is about what the Bible teaches. Either God is true or He is not. If He is not true, then He cannot be God and we are yet in our sins. My prayer is that people will come to Christ alone and realize the joy that comes by believing by faith in the work of creation and the finished work of Calvary.

These theories of the big bang and evolution are NOT based on the truth of Scripture. Any time, science comes up with a new theory designed solely to undermine intelligent design and the truth of a Creator, then the Bible trumps the scientist. The Bible does not ever discredit true science but endorses the truths of what we find in the scientific world.

To conclude, my response to the false teaching of the pope, the heresies of the Roman Catholic church, the false theories of science, and the falsely held positions of a growing number of people in evangelical circles is based on the words of Martin Luther when he was being held to account by the religious establishment –

My belief is based on God and His infallible, inerrant Word. Here I stand, I can do no other. So help me, God.

 

 

Are You Ready to Die For Jesus?

I took a few minutes last night to read a news article on ISIS and the suffering some have been through at their hands. I didn’t really want to take the time or put it in my mind but I feel like too many American Christians live in blissful oblivion, not realizing how incredibly blessed we are.

We can sleep without having to worry about interrogators knocking on our door in the middle of the night. We can walk down the street without fear of being surrounded, arrested, and tortured. We are not forced to watch as our children are murdered. Understanding what people go through in other countries should make us cease our complaints and praise God for His over-abundant goodness.

I am praying for God’s people in those countries. The only reason some are being treated badly is because they worship the true God. Here in America, it is so easy to be a “Christian.” The word means different things to different people but most people can handle knowing that you are a person of faith.

We may not always have this freedom, however. There may come a time when we will be asked, while facing the barrel of a gun or the blade of a machete, “Are you a Christian?” What would I say then? Would I be able to unflinchingly look my assailant in the eye and say, “Yes, I am”? I hope that, if that day comes, I will do just that but I will not have that boldness if I do not begin now to surrender to Him until it is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me. I cannot make provision for the flesh now and think I will stand for Christ then.

Sobering thoughts I know, but we need to think about these things from time to time. We need to evaluate our lives in light of God’s Word and know that we are not becoming complacent or lukewarm. God desires us to be lights in a dark world. He wants people who will praise Him in all circumstances. He needs an army who will not bow the knee to the Baals of our time. Are you that person? Am I that person? I think of the song that says, “I’m not what I wanna be. I’m not what I’m gonna be but thank God I’m not what I was.”

Father, help me to surrender every bit of my flesh to you. Continue the work you have begun to rid me of myself and fill me with You. Increase my love for You and for others that I may be the light You have called me to be. Make me willing to die for you daily so that I will have the strength to die for you in reality if you call me to do so.

persecution

Is Same Sex Attraction Sinful?

In light of the current events taking place in Houston, Texas, we will be addressing the issue of homosexuality. One of the overarching issues is that Houston is under the leadership of a woman, who is openly living in sin as a lesbian. Regardless of what laws are passed, the laws of man will NEVER supersede the laws of God.

ALL forms of sexual practices outside the bounds of one man and one woman united in matrimony are a perversion and go against the standards that God ordained back in the Garden of Eden. This standard was then reiterated by the words of the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.

Fellow believers, remember that regardless of what happens here on this earth that truth and right will ultimately prevail. Our God reigns victorious and evil will be totally defeated. It also does not matter what the Catholic church or any other denomination says in support of homosexuality and lesbianism, it is still and will always remain wrong.

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For those who are not believers, there is still time to confess and repent of your sin and fall upon the tender mercies and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Despite what you may have done or what sin you are involved with, you can plead for mercy that is given ONLY because of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary.

For the record, we do not hate homosexuals, lesbians, etc. but we do stand on the Word of God as our guide. We desire those living, practicing, and/or desiring such a life-style to come to a place in their lives where they know the peace that passes all understanding. This goes not just for those who are violating the Scriptures in the sin of sexual perversion, but is for any and all who think they can violate the commands of God and still have a right standing before God.

The link below is a great place to start if you have questions about this issue. It addresses part of the heart issues at stake and that is the question – “Is Same Sex Attraction Sinful?”

5 Part Sermon Series by Pastor Geoffrey Kirkland