Monday, July 28, 2014

Ryan Anderson explains why gay marriage doesn't exist

Here is a 4-minute clip well worth watching for its logical, lawyerly speech regarding marriage. The responder is Ryan Anderson. Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

The homosexual man at the microphone is asking why he, as a married gay man, can't have the same tax advantage when it comes time to file IRS tax returns, as a heterosexually married couple.

Anderson is brilliant in his response. The homosexual man doesn't seem to understand the underlying principle of what Anderson tried to get at three times, so finally Anderson answers the gay man's question within its limited scope. But he does that brilliantly too.

Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh
. (Genesis 2:23-24)

Anderson said in part:
Marriage is a union of sexually complementary spouses, a permanent, exclusive union- man & woman, husband & wife, mother & father. If you're not interested in entering into that sort of union, you're not being discriminated against.
What you're asking us to do is redefining marriage to include "the adult relationship of your choice." The relationship of your choice happens to be a same-sex couple. There are other adults who want to redefine marriage to include a relationship of their choice, which may be the same-sex throuple, or the opposite sex quartet.
It's like this. There is the color red. Red is known, it is certain. It is defined "of a color at the end of the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet, as of blood, fire, or rubies."
EPrata photo
Now say some people came along and wanted to add yellow to the color red. They agitated for it, proclaimed, exhorted, fought for yellow to be added to red, just because they thought that would be good.
EPrata photo

And say that they were successful in getting yellow added to red. You don't have red anymore. You have orange.

Because red and yellow make orange. Once you mix another element into the red, it becomes something else, and the old definition won't fit anymore. People will not recognize the old thing because now it is a new thing.

Once you add same-sex humans to the old definition of marriage, it isn't marriage anymore and it isn't recognizable.

The homosexual man asked as a final question, why he, Anderson didn't think that he, the gay man, had the right to get married.

Anderson concluded with this:
It's not that you don't have a right to get married, it's that what you are seeking out, isn't marriage.

Mission: Peru

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

We just prayed over and sent our 12-member mission team off to Lima, Peru. May God bless their steps and carry their words on the wind of the Spirit. Lord, may You loosen their tongues so they boldly speak of the Savior. May angels minister to them, and smooth their way. Prepare divine appointments and receptive hearts. May You keep them in Your hand as they go out and share the Gospel to the ends of the world.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

Historic Centre of Lima, Peru. Wiki CC. Photo by Martin St-Amant

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Scripture photo: drink offering

Easton's Bible Dictionary: Drink Offering
Consisted of wine (Numbers 15:5; Hosea 9:4) poured around the altar (Exodus 30:9). Joined with meat-offerings (Numbers 6:15, 17; 2 Kings 16:13; Joel 1:9, 13; 2:14), presented daily (Exodus 29:40), on the Sabbath (Numbers 28:9), and on feast-days (28:14). One-fourth of an hin of wine was required for one lamb, one-third for a ram, and one-half for a bullock (Numbers 15:5; 28:7, 14). "Drink offerings of blood" (Psalm 16:4) is used in allusion to the heathen practice of mingling the blood of animals sacrificed with wine or water, and pouring out the mixture in the worship of the gods, and the idea conveyed is that the psalmist would not partake of the abominations of the heathen.
What is a drink offering?
Answer: The first recorded occurrence of a drink offering was that given by Jacob in Genesis 35:14, right after God changed his name to Israel. Drink offerings were also included with burnt and grain offerings in God-ordained sacrifices, including the morning and evening sacrifices of Exodus 29:40.

One-quarter hin, about one quart, of wine was poured out into the altar fire for each lamb sacrificed (Numbers 15:4-5). A ram sacrifice required one third of a hin (Numbers 15:6), and a bull required one half (Numbers 15:10).  It has been speculated that the offering of an animal, grain, oil, and wine—the smoke making a “soothing aroma to the LORD”—is a metaphor for providing food for God, an important cultural requirement in the Middle East. What we do know is that the pouring out of a drink offering is a metaphor for the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. Jesus spoke to this directly in Luke 22:20 when He instituted the New Covenant. He picked up a cup of wine and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the need of a drink offering, His blood literally pouring out when the soldier pierced His side with a spear (John 19:33).

Paul took the metaphor further, twice using the image of a drink offering to describe his own service. In Philippians 2:17, he challenged the church in Philippi to live a life worthy of his dedication to them. In 2 Timothy 4:6, he sensed the end of his ministry, again comparing his efforts to wine poured out of a vessel onto an altar. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

River in China runs blood red

In 2012 there was a spate of bodies of water turning blood red, and interest in the phenomenon was high.

February 2012: Beirut River runs red.  (a factory had illegally dumped red dye.)

August 2012: A lake in France turned red. ("Scientists say the blood red lakes in southern France are actually a natural phenomenon. Camargue, France is a river delta where the Rhône meets the sea. The picturesque area is home to numerous salt flats, and it is this concentration of salt that will occasionally stain red the region's normally blue water.")

September 2012: Yangze River in China runs red ("officials have no idea why, or officials say it may have been caused by recent floods stirring up silt upstream. The Environmental Protection Bureau is also looking into potential industrial pollution or sewage breaches.")

The other day a river in China turned red and interest is again high. I can only guess this is because Revelation says that rivers shall run with blood.

The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. (Revelation 16:4).

River In China Mysteriously Turns Bloody Red Overnight
Residents in Zhejiang province said the river looked normal at 5 a.m. Beijing time on Thursday morning. Within an hour, the entire river turned crimson. Residents also said a strange smell wafted through the air. ... Inspectors from the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau said they have not found the cause of the incident, although water samples seem to indicate the suspicious color was a result of illegal dumping in the river....  “We suspect that somebody dumped artificial coloring in the water because he thought the typhoon yesterday would cause heavy rain, and nobody would notice [the color],” Jianfeng Xiao, Chief of the bureau told China News.  “It turned out there wasn’t heavy rainfall yesterday, so the evidence is left behind,” Xiao said.  Xiao said there is a paper manufacturer, a food coloring company and clothing-maker a long the river.

Cases like these are usually due to illegal dumping.

But whenever something like this happens, hits on the blog go way up. On the one hand, I'm glad that people are so interested in prophecy! The bible speaks of future things almost a third of the time.
Fully 17 of the Old Testament's 39 books are classified as prophetic: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. All of the other 22 books are also filled with prophecy. Source
It's a significant topic and one that is definitely worthy of study and attention. On the other hand though, too many people are willing to proclaim it a sign, and overlook the obvious.

For example, a river turning red is NOT a fulfillment of Revelation 16:4, because we have not been in the Tribulation for ten chapters. We are not in the Tribulation now, and none of the other signs have happened.

Even in Revelation 8:10 which prophesies a third of the rivers on earth turning to blood, happen because of a star falling from heaven.

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. (Revelation 8:10)

And at that time, also a third of the seas will turn to blood as well. One cannot pick and choose which prophesies are fulfilled. Either it happens the way the bible says, or it is not a prophecy. It's some food coloring manufacturer dumping dye.

Secondly when it does happen, a third of all the earth's rivers will turn to blood. And the verse says what it says, the waters will become blood. Not salt making it look like blood, not illegally dumped dye, not silt from a typhoon, but actual blood.

I'm so grateful that people become so interested in biblical prophecy when these strange things happen. I'm personally fascinated with the sky sounds of the apocalypse, myself. Others are fascinated with the large bird and fish die-offs that had occurred a few years ago. Yet it's our responsibility to rightly teach how to study prophecy, and not become hand-wringing, pickers and chooser bell ringers when they happen.

The most important thing is to always point to the certainty and safety of life in Christ. Once we repent and are justified by faith in Jesus as Resurrected Savior, He will always hold us in His hand. We become legal heirs and sons of God. Our life changes from one of despair to one of hope and joy. Our future is also spoken of. It does not include rivers running with blood or fish die-offs or starvation or other prophetic wrathful things. Our future is one of hopeful prophecy, like this:

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. As I went back, I saw on the bank of the river very many trees on the one side and on the other. And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, and enters the sea; when the water flows into the sea, the water will become fresh. And wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish. For this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. Fishermen will stand beside the sea. From Engedi to Eneglaim it will be a place for the spreading of nets. Its fish will be of very many kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea. But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they are to be left for salt. And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:6-12)

Or this prophecy:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ (Revelation 23:7)

Or this:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

So when you come across someone who is interested in a strange phenomena, and connects it with bits of prophecy they have heard, teach them the true prophecy from the bible, show them why it can't be happening now. Connect their interest in prophecy with Jesus and His Gospel. It is one reason He gave us prophecy, to warn of judgements to come for the ungodly- and ultimately to educate about the One who spoke it, Jesus Christ.

Common ground with false teachers doesn't exist

These are brief excerpts from a tremendous sermon by John MacArthur in 2012 called

Creative Commons, source
And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. (Jeremiah 14:14-15)

Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.'" ...“I did not send the prophets, (Jeremiah 23:16-17, 21)
John MacArthur: You think that’s gone away? That hasn’t gone away.
False teachers are described graphically in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament like this:
The description of them goes like this, “They are leaven. They are whited tombs, whited walls, graves concealed, broken pots covered with silver, tares, wolves in sheep’s clothing, wells without water, they are presumptuous, natural brute beasts to be taken and destroyed, they are filth spots and scabs, immoral, covetous, cursed children, clouds in a tempest to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever, deluded dreamers who defile the flesh, spots on your love feasts, clouds without water, trees without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots, raging waves of the sea foaming out their own shame, wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness. They are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts, their mouths speaking great swelling words, cloaks over sin, sensual and without the Holy Spirit.” (source)
That’s a sad state. That’s counterfeit religious authority. Why would you be looking for common ground with them?
 The answer is obvious. Common ground with false teachers doesn't exist.
Clerical collar on a table in a pub. CC. Source
Listen to the entire sermon. It's good.

Teens plant white flags atop Brooklyn Bridge

This is interesting on so many levels. First, the kids waltzed up the Brooklyn Bridge undetected, despite a plethora of cameras and herds of patrolling terror cops. Turns out the video is too blurry and doesn't have facial recognition capability. Okey dokey then. Thanks for the million$.

Second, I get the joke. I mean, it could be that the suspects, four skateboarding teens, planted a white flag to make a statement that we must surrender. But I think they are making a statement that we HAVE surrendered. As a nation. Here is the story. It is still unfolding.

Skateboarder, friends sought by cops in Brooklyn Bridge flag switch
A skateboarder and four young pals emerged Wednesday as the unlikely suspects who eluded around-the-clock NYPD security to scale the venerable Brooklyn Bridge and raise two white flags. While cops had no real leads in the second day of their probe, the five youths wanted for questioning were described as in their late teens or early 20s, a source told the Daily News. There’s still no explanation for the removal of two U.S. flags or the bizarre substitution of two bleached-white American flags left flying above the bridge’s two towers Tuesday. New Yorkers on the bridge amid ramped-up security Wednesday were still wondering how anyone could reach the top of the two towers on the 131-year-old landmark without detection. “It’s crazy that someone was able to do this when there are all these cops around,” said Kristen Ames, 30, who walks across the bridge to work every day.
Millions of Manhattanites and Brooklyners awoke to white flags on top of the most iconic NY landmark in the city and one of the most identifiable landmarks in the world. I understand that this might have cause a great deal of fear on the minds of those who lived through the worst ever terror incident on our soil the September 11, 2001 Islamic attacks.

But I think it is more of a teenage prank joke. Putting a white flag up to bring a visual to what we all already know: our nation's president has caused this nation to capitulate. At least that's how I read it.

It got me thinking about flags and banners. I recently posted a story about how the American Embassy in Israel hoisted a homosexual rainbow flag in support of Gay Days in Tel Aviv. That sparked outrage and anger in the US and abroad.

Flags mean things. They are a potent symbol.

When my husband and I lived aboard our sailboat, we had anchored in the James River in Virginia, near William and Mary College. It was an out of the way anchorage, far upriver, and not many cruisers made it up there. We thought we had the anchorage to ourselves, until we heard a cannon shot! I was the Tall Ship HMS Rose, a training Tall Ship. They came in gangbusters. They circled us, downed their national flag and hoisted the pirate Jolly Roger. We got a huge kick out of that. They were probably training the cadets on rope work. We saw them scrambling up and down and everywhere. They shot the cannon once more and then re-hoisted the national flag and headed back downriver. It happened so fast we thought it was a mirage! That was twenty years ago but I still get a chuckle from remembering it.

HMS Rose hoisting the Jolly Roger

Back in pirate times though, if a ship downed its national flag and hoisted the Jolly Roger, you knew you were in for the fight of your life, literally. You fought and maybe died, or you surrendered and definitely died. The Jolly Roger struck fear. It meant something.

Who doesn't feel a certain amount of national pride in thinking of the American flag planted on the moon? I do.

Source- Times Herald

By our flag you know who we are. Back in when I was traveling to Europe a lot, I noticed a decline in affection for Americans between 1990 and 1998. By the end of the decade, Americans were sewing Canadian Maple Leaf ensigns on their backpacks and luggage, in hopes of getting better service at the least, and to avoid a fight at the most.

A white flag on an important landmark like the Brooklyn bridge, and BTW an important piece of infrastructure, is a signal, whether the teens intended it to be or not. They perhaps performed a prank, or maybe something more intentional. They haven't been caught and brought to justice yet so we don't know. But a white flag means surrender. Has America surrendered? I believe so. Many fine Americans are still willing to fight for our liberty, but if our national life blood is in the hands of the top officials, then yes, I do believe we've surrendered.

How I wish the nation would surrender to Jesus, how I wish the capitulation would really mean that every knee is bowing and every tongue is confessing. I pray that almost every night. I pray, "Lord, will tomorrow be the day that every knee shall bow and Your name shall be lifted in glory?" I can't wait for that.

God spoke to Moses. He told Moses to tell the Joshua and the Israelites that He purposed to utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.

And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The LORD Is My Banner (Exodus 17:15)

The Hebrew word in this verse for banner means "a standard, ensign, signal, sign." Right now on earth there are a multitude of flags for 193 nations, a number of emblems, like the perverted rainbow flag, and banners galore. There is even a Christian flag. But someday there will be ONE Leader, ONE banner, ONE symbol. We will all identify under it, the cross, and our Leader is Jesus. Everyone who surrendered to Him before death will be given white, this time meaning the righteousness of Jesus imputed to us.

What a day that will be.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Discernment: Start naming some names!

Todd Friel in a short bit about the heartbreak of false pastors AKA wolves, and how devastating they are to the flock. He spoke of a pastor in Africa who urged his flock to eat grass. They did. When we refuse to name their names it perpetuates their apostasy and does nothing for the faith except allow the chaos to bring death. Here's Todd at Wretched:

Cameron Buettel at Grace To You Blog this past February 2014 says the same thing,

Naming Names
When it comes to false teachers, naming names seems to have become the unpardonable sin for many in the charismatic movement. Certainly, much of the criticism aimed at last fall’s Strange Fire conference focused on that issue. But is “Thou shalt not call out false teachers” really another commandment for the modern church, or is it an unbiblical shield designed to protect heretics from theological scrutiny?
Great question! Buettel continues,
The Arian heresy, the Pelagian heresy, the Sabellian heresy, and the Socinian heresy—to name just a few—were all named after the heretic who taught them. Yes, their names were named, and still live on in modern memory as a reminder of the damnable errors they taught.

When the bubonic plague broke out in London in 1665, the officials who were charged with the health and safety of the populace didn't walk down the street ringing a bell saying, "There is plague here, somewhere, but we won't mention who has it because we don't want to hurt their feelings." No!Their responsibility was the safety and protection of the people, and to contain the spread. So, they marked the door of each house that had plague with a red X. False teaches are like the rats that have plague ridden fleas on them, they bring disease, chaos, and death to the people. We mark them-

 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Romans 16:17 KJV)

Satan has the false teachers in his pocket. He protects his own, and will not let a thrust go without a parry. A Christian woman friend named DebbieLynne Kespert noticed this week that several of Beth Moore's more controversial (read: critiqued and challenged) videos are disappearing from the web. I linked to several of them on this blog, which unfortunately as of today, if you click on them bring you not to the video anymore, but to this:

As Ms Kespert noted,
"videos give better evidence and are harder to refute. It is harder now to substantiate our objections to her teachings". 
That's true because a person can see the teacher saying it, know the inflection and tone, and witness the context. Ms Kespert wrote about it very well, here, saying
"These videos provided enormous help in evaluating Beth Moore's ministry. ... have no wish to assault Beth Moore's character, nor may we pass ultimate judgment on her salvation. But, like the Bereans in Acts 17:10-11, we examine her teaching, ministry and conduct against Scripture. The missing videos troubled us. Their disappearance troubles us even more."

After prayerful consideration and plenty of evidence, we must name names. Mr Buettel advises,
Of course Romans 16:17 is not talking about witch hunts, but it does highlight the responsibility of Christian leaders to identify, expose, and reject false teachers wherever and whenever they appear. 
When we name names, and we must name them, be prepared for push-back by satan, either directly against you and/or on behalf of his false teachers as we've witnessed with disappearing videos, or in refutation books, or in Facebook or other online ad hominem attacks. We cannot mark those who cause divisions without expecting a response from satan, for we are not unaware of his schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

God's sovereignty is supreme. His truth will continue to unfold where He wills it. (John 3:8). Our duty is to the Head of our Church, Jesus Christ. Do not be afraid to name some names


(The grass eating pastor was Legeso Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries in Garankuwa, Pretoria, South Africa, it happened in January 2014). The news report sparked a series of online complaints. One said, "Is this a scene in a movie...this can't be real. God created animals to chew grass and made human beings to dominate over animals. Any person who reduces human beings to animals is definitely not of God." (source)