Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is your church doing the "Courageous Resolution"?

The movie Courageous sparked another fad driven product. Fireproof's Love Dare diary is so yesterday. Now it's all about the Courageous Resolution. You may even be thinking that I'm late to post information on this. See? If you are, then it's a fad.

The Courageous movie had a scene in which several of the fathers gathered in a living room with a pastor and made a resolution (swore an oath) which emphasized fatherhood, fidelity, and the man as head of the home. The Christian version of 'man up!'

Like its previous movie, Fireproof, which came with a 40-day love dare diary or some such thing, now this movie has the Resolution For Men or whatever it is called.

It is supposed to mark the moment and celebrate the commitment being made to God and family. Here is the text of the resolution--

THE RESOLUTION
I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

There are a few things to ponder. First, the positive:

I see nothing wrong on the face of it for any of the above statements, because they do not seem to vary with what God told us in the bible. That's it. I can't think of any other positive.

Now the negative:

--I see no bible verse addresses with them. Therefore they are man-made.

--At some point we have to take these fads that emerge from Christian movies and put them on the same level as the product fads that emerge from any other movie, like Star Wars light sabers or the Avengers dolls.

--Where is the Love Dare book now? Does anyone still do it? Where will The Courageous Resolution be in 2 years? Will anyone be doing it? Or will they be trailing after the next big thing?

I am a bare bones gal. I think the bible is all we need. Why make a man-made vow and swear on that? Don't we make a resolution when we repent? Don't we make a vow when we get married? Don't we make an oath when we get Baptised? Don't we make a vow when we present our children on Dedication day? Don't we make a vow when we partake of the Lord's Supper? How many vows do we need? How many ordinances? How many resolutions?

Here is the main point: Aren't men already doing the things that are in the resolution? If not, then they need church discipline. If so, then abandon any man-made vow as unnecessary and extra-biblical.

The New Testament speaks to this oath taking: (from Got Questions)

"[The Jephthah account] shows us is the foolishness of rash vows. Perhaps this is why Jesus gave a new commandment concerning vows. "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No ,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:33-37)."

"The principle here is clear for Christians: do not make vows, either to the Lord or to one another. First, we are unable to know for sure whether we will be able to keep vows. The fact that we are prone to the errors in judgment which are part of our fallen nature means that we may make vows foolishly or out of immaturity. Further, we don’t know what the future will bring—only God does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14), so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish".

"God is the one in control, not us, and He “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Knowing this, we can see that it is unnecessary to make vows and that it indicates a lack of trust in Him."

"Finally, Jesus commands that our word be sufficient without making vows. When we say “yes” or “no,” that’s exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan whose desire is to trap us and compromise our Christian testimony. If we have made a vow foolishly and realized we cannot or should not keep it, we should confess it to God, knowing that He is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

"A broken vow, while serious, is not an unforgivable matter if taken to the Lord in true confession. God will not hold us to vows made imprudently, but He expects us to obey Jesus and refrain from making vows in the future."
---------end GotQuestions--------

God made it simple and wrote it down for us. We keep editing it... I just think it is better to live by the bible rather than take what is in the bible, mix it with man's words, and swear an oath by it. To me that seems idolatrous. Submit to the Lord, live by His word, and get on with it, men!! For heaven's sakes, stop talking about being men and just be men!

If a contract to be honorable fathers was such a good thing then why haven't we been doing it for 2000 years?

37 comments:

  1. More stupidness! My sister recently chastised me for not knowing my wife's "love language" Turns out her church is teaching a class based on a book by some idiot. Dr. Phil might as well paster her church.

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    1. What is wrong with knowing your wife's love language. If it helps in the marriage. Everybody needs help in their marriage, cause there is know perfect marriage, husband or wife.

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    2. Anonymous, there is nothing "wrong" about seeking better communication with your spouse. The bible speaks much about listening, speaking, hearing, and being in relationship- in the Proverbs, Psalms, and lots of other places.

      God wants us to have good communication. The "wrong" comes in when we seek man's wisdom from pop psychology books. Man';s wisdom is not nearly helpful compared to the advice and admonitions in the bible. God's word has advice for every subject known to man, either by direct application or general concept.

      Using a pop psychology book in a church for a class study is foolhardiness of the highest order. Man can only see through his depraved and sinful heart. We must see through His pure word. God's love language is the best there is. Yet we seek it not. That's wrong.

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  2. Hi Elizabeth, I was not aware that the signed Vow and 40 days things was still alive or being resurrected after Warren, Promise Keepers, etc. I got some flak when I spoke against it at my church when It was the next new thing in western Christendom and refused all the invitations to participate since I didn´t see that in the Bible and since I didn´t identify in their classification of the ones needing that kind of "new fangled human therapy!. I am glad you are keeping an eye on these things.

    I am like you, my Bible and the Holy spirit are all that I need to guide me. You are right in saying that these things are already written in the Word and that we already made promises at certain times in our life that mark important events or commemorations.

    I am glad that you brought up the Jephtah account. There is more to it that is rarely taught from the pulpit or in SS, at least I, personally have never heard it.

    There is something that is overlooked in these last days that shows the lack of knowledge of the Word and the resulting explanation why the average christian falls prey to these recurring fads.

    The fact is that Jephtah didn´t need to offer his daughter as a sacrifice and the daughter didn´t need to go through it. I am surprised that the priest or teachers of that time didn´t show and apply the law to Jephtah´s situation about the provision countering the thoughtless taking of an oath or making of a vow as he made in Judges 11:30. This provision to rescind the vow is a sin offering that is described in details in Leviticus 5:4-13. Perhaps it shows how far Israel had gone form the Lord during the time of the Judges. Pretty scary stuff if we compare to nowadays.
    I won´t get into what I think was Jephtah´s motivation to stubbornly go on and fulfill his voe but I have an inkling it´s the same as the one that drives men to perform those unnecessary and unbiblical "rituals" today. The word idolatrous as you describe it seems to fit, and I would add "tribal" in the sense of the need to belong to a distinct group that does things differently to be looked upon as better, more spiritual or more committed

    Thanks for being faithful to the Word and to your calling.
    You are a blessing to me. I am always learning and being encouraged from reading your posts.
    God bless you. Jean-Louis.

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  3. I guess none of you got married with the standard marriage vows because those aren't in the bible either.

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    1. Of course they are. Your comment is besides the point, anyway. Marriage is a covenant vow under God. But here are the scriptures-

      Genesis 2:24 speaks to union
      Ephesians 5:25 speaks to sacrificial love
      1 Peter 3:7/Ephesians 5:22 speak to honor and obey

      The most famous vow typically uttered at the end of the ceremony, "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" is direct language from Matthew 196b.

      OK?

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    2. Pastor David W. McDanielDecember 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      The comment is NOT besides the point and as this person said the "standard" wedding vows are NOT found in the Bible...and oh, I just completed the love dare and the resolution in December 2012 so to answer your querry, yes, they are both still relevant.

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    3. Dear Pastor, I'm glad you participated in an activity that you feel helps you grow as a father and a Christian. However, isn't it better to model and demonstrate for your flock that reliance on the bible, and not man's merchandising of it, as the better path? The Love Dare and the Courageous Resolution are not wrong per se, but they are fads that are produced by man's merchandising of the bible. Both 2 Corinthians 2:17, Geneva Bible, and —John 2:15-16 condemn making merchandise out of God's word.

      And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (2Peter 2:3) this says that the time will come."

      False teachers will make the Word a merchandise and they will exploit the believers.

      The people who make the Courageous and Fireproof movies are obviously not false teachers, but they are falling into the merchandising trap. Isn't it better just to preach Fatherly love and Marital love straight from the bible, especially in these dangerous times? Don't we have enough Christian devotionals, study guides, curricula, posters, keychains, and tee shirts? Where do you draw the line in the commercialization of God's word...and from where do you draw your basis as in the practice of it?

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    4. Well, I'm not educated or old and wise, but from my point of view the Resolution can only be supported. I'll take my own life as an example:
      I'm 20 years old, and my mother just divorced her 10th husband. This has certainly left a lot of scars in me and my three siblings, and usually I can't concentrate on anything during these periods of my life. When I saw the Courageous movie I immediately realized a lot of things. I've never wanted to have a family, because I thought it impossibe to have a happy life in a marriage, but this movie made me realize that I have been wrong all the time. I now have a fantastic girlfriend, who reminds me of my fathers love for me every day. And some day when I get married and have a couple of children this Resolution is going to hang on my wall to remind me about how blessed I am.

      But of course on the other hand I could never support a whole church doing this, just because the pastor says so. When I'm going to sign The Resolution, I'll sign a paper to remind my self, that I WILL take responsibility, because I WANT to do it.

      I'm sorry for my bad english. I'm from Denmark.

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    5. Why throw stones at something designed to encourage men to be the spiritual head of their homes? I agree that it is a shame that we have fallen so far as a culture, but I think it is wrong to be critical of those who are trying to call us back to the correct view of family values. You should be applauding them, not chastising them.

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  4. I agree with you. This is a fad indeed. Yet my church is doing the Bible study and having people stand up on Father's Day, today, to sign the resolution. The Bible study has been good in that it has forced people to confront issues in their lives. But the reality is that it is another Bible study relying on verses from different translations of the Bible and if people really aren't accountable in their lives then it is just another gimmick. Some men in my church have expressed to me that they will not participate because it is just those two things -- a fad and a gimmick. I agree with you on additional point as well. We can save ourselves a lot of money and time if we just open up the Bible and start reading it. All these book studies are doing is keeping people distracted from the word of God and really seeing what scripture says. No wonder we have a generation of Bible believing illiterates in our society.

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  5. My goodness. It makes me sad to see that people are so unaccepting of anything that people do to try to bring outsiders into the fold. So what if it's a fad? Does it help any families? marriages? lives? If the answer is yes and maybe - just maybe - changed a life or two, then why can't we just be supportive of the efforts by other fellow Christians?

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    1. Here is why bringing a fad into church is wrong:

      1. "Here is the main point: Aren't men already doing the things that are in the resolution? If not, then they need church discipline. If so, then abandon any man-made vow as unnecessary and extra-biblical."

      2. Matthew 5:33-37

      3. Fads distract us from His word.

      4. so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes- Eph 4:14. Fads are winds blowing the immature Christian here and there. Eventually the wind does out, and so does the fad.

      Bringing people to Jesus is not throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks!! These are souls we are talking about, and the Holy Word of God.

      We bring people into the fold by His word, our testimony of the risen Jesus and His power to save sinners. THAT'S how. Bringing in an outsider on the back of a fad simply means when the fad is over, the outsider is still an outsider and he disappears along with the fad.

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    2. Funny that you refer to church discipline. When did Jesus open a church? Nowhere in the bible did he start a church. Why is there so many churches with different views if the bible is only one book? GOd says where two or more are toghether there he will be. You realise that the churches has killed more people than all the previous wars? You realise that the three easiest things to manipilate is schools, churches and legal systems? Lets take appartheid in SOuth Africa, the goverment inforced the law, the schools and churches condoned it. This has been going on for ages. Open your eyes, if this saves one sole - do you thing God would mind it?

      Have to side with karleasmom here.

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    3. The first church is recorded for us in the New Testament, which is THE *record* of the first church. DO you think that Jesus came to offer a few wise gems and then send us on our way? No indeed. He came to start a church. (In Acts 20:17-38 Paul talks to the church leaders, for example).

      Paul wrote a corrective epistle to the Corinthians to explain what to do and not to do in church.

      Rev Matt Slick writes at Carm.org:

      "The Christian church can be seen in two ways: the visible and the invisible. The visible church is comprised of all who claim the name of Christian and who gather together for worship and participation of the sacraments: the Lord's Supper and Baptism. The members of the visible church claim the name of Christian (excluding the cults like the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.). The visible church contains both believers and non-believers; that is, there are people in the visible church who are not really saved.

      "The members of the invisible Church are the actual body of believers..." more here
      http://carm.org/church

      Rejecting the church on the basis that Jesus didn't come to start any church is actually rejecting Him. We are commanded to gather in worship, songs, praise, fellowship and to hear the Word preached. There are ordinances we participate in too(baptism and Lord's supper).

      Saying things like 'churches kill more people than all wars' is a ridiculous generalization that can't be supported by facts or history. I decline to address that comment.

      I agree that there have been abuses by the Catholic church, for example- but that is not a Jesus following, true church. There have been abuses by cult leaders, but ditto on them being false. Same with Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and others. And even in evangelical, true doctrinal churches there have been abuses, and that is because there are sinful people in them. Some of those are not even saved, so when you have a body of people together with some at differing levels of maturity, with satan sending false teachers and prophets, and some who are operating in a counterfeit sanctification, then yes, there sill be some local churches that are stronger in faith than others. No one said Christianity was easy. Go to a good bible-believing church to find out more.

      Here is an answer to your question, why are there so many different interpretations if there is only one book?
      http://www.gotquestions.org/interpretations-Christian.html

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  6. Such good points from both sides! I think both sides have spoken very well. Here is my 2 cents: we, as a nation and as Christians, need this. There are millions of fathers out there that have abandoned their post. They have no idea about God's role for them as fathers.

    I agree this is not Biblical in it's entirety(sp?). HOWEVER: they are rooted in Christian ideas that can both bring the lost one step closer to Christ and help those that are saved to focus on the task and grow in His word!

    I can tell you there are some great GREAT dads out there...that don't know the Bible. And there are some great Christian men...that are focused more on their career, hobbies, etc than being the best dad they can be.

    As believers in Jesus Christ...we can all agree that there are PLENTY of other battles that we can don the Armor of God and go fight! I don't think the negatives on this program were an attack at all, but a well constructed observation and I appreciate them.

    Our ultimate goal should be to open our spiritial 'toolbox' and simply have the Bible there. I know I'm not a mature enough Christian to have that today. I have many tools to help me understand that wonderful book! My opinion: let this be one of them...and pray that it guides all who participate to the arms of Christ! God bless you all!

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    1. Hi Ray,

      I agree it has been a good debate. Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. Overall, the main thing is we need good fathers shepherding families in a biblical way!

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  7. Ray Myers, I agree with you. Elizabeth, resolutions are not the same as vows. Please, look up these words in a good dictionary to see the difference. The film Courageous is a must have not just for Christians but for all race and religion.

    God Bless us all.

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    1. Anonymous,

      OK, I took your advice and looked up 'vow' and 'resolution' in the biblical dictionary and reviewed how each word was used in several contexts.

      The Greek word for *vow* as in, for example, Ephesians 5:5, "It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay", means

      "to promise (pos., to do or give something to God) -- (make a) vow." from Strong's concordance. It means the same thing in the Hebrew as it is used in Deut 23:21.

      *resolve* as used in Judges 1:27 or Joshua 17:12 as in the word persisted, is 'To undertake as an act of volition.'

      The first line in the Courageous resolution states:

      "I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children."

      So it would seem that people who decide to undertake this action do it resolutely before God, which makes it both a resolution AND a vow. When you consecrate an action before God is is a vow. Like wedding vows - they are not wedding 'resolutions.'

      Just because it says 'resolution' in the Courageous title doesn't mean that it is, necessarily. That is why I call for discernment!

      I agree that the film has helped many and may indeed be good to watch. What I'm saying is, be cautious before making vows before God, and do not do them because they are a trend, or the heat of an emotionally manipulated celluloid moment, but because of a sincere internal desire. Also, to watch out and be sober and compare all actions with the biblical standard. The bible doesn't say NOT to make a vow, but to do so with eyes wide open and soberly. My essay's point was to urge caution in the face of ever-growing trends in the Christian culture.

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    2. Dear Miss Elizabeth, Your thoughts are well noted. However if you take a closer look at proverbs ,Ephesians, Matthew, Psalms, to name a few, you will realize these vows are paraphrased and can be backed by scriptures. And to keep things in prospective, one makes resolutions each year to become better people in character, integrity, and most popular weight control and financial responsibilities. ( Those are Vows). These too, can be taken as pointless vows and not biblical, however people make them yearly and daily to hold themselves in some way accountable to a vision or task to accomplish. (Are they empty?) One may need to Go on national TV to remind billions on New Year's Eve. I'm quite certain you have made several yourself. So you see we can twist things for our own point of view. I doubt very strongly, that the author/writer created this story to contradict Biblical teachings other than to remind families the importance of the male figure in the home; and if not in the home a Dad willing to take responsibility outside the home or if Dad is not present, having positive Christian male role model in a child's life. As women we can't be fathers to the sons or daughters, we're not made like that. Perhaps a more in depth study of the old testament of the importance of divine order will make things more clear. Read I &II Samuel about Saul wanting to kill David and Johnathan helping to keep him alive because God had appointed David as the future King, and then Ephesians, I& II Corinthians about family and the man as being the head as Christ is the head of the Church. When we follow God's Divine order we will be blessed. Sometimes one can be so spiritual; that one overlooks the intended purpose of of the writer. Examples are: Although not Biblical;Mozart, Shakespeare, Beethoven, to name a few. Unless you truly have an appreciation, their writings, art, and music is easily misinterpreted and unappreciated. I think a very valid point was missed here. The intent of the Resolution was to renew ones commitment to God with their own words from the heart not to man or public acceptance or gratification. If you recall in the movie, the man said it was for him ( what God gave him for and his family to help him become a better parent), and specifically told his buddies not to follow him or do it because he was doing it. But they prayed and thought is was a good way of remembrance of God's grace and mercy for them as well.Joshua (paraphrased) As for me and my house, I will serve the Lord. What other scripture requires notation of the vows made? That says it all!! For you, perhaps you could quote scriptures with every sentence to remind you daily of your personal commitment to God. Not every is as gifted as you. Even in Sunday worship pastors will use scripture, then paraphrase their interpretation of what they believe God want's us to know and understand. So, I believe the writer of "Courageous", did the same. We all can find scripture to say what we want it to say. It is my understanding we must understand Bible history and the time of events, and not to use scripture to support isolated events. We all can do that. I doubt very seriously most people speak quoting scriptures as a form of daily communication. People do paraphrase.
      Bless You.

      Signed,
      Grace to you.

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    3. The bible speaks to the importance of not making vows. I believe that people in the full flush of emotion after having seen the movie will rush out, BUY something that isn't bad bus is unnecessary because its principles are already in the bible, and make a vow. Here is what the bible says about such behavior Here is the essay from GotQuestions-

      Question: "What does the Bible say about keeping your vows / oaths?"

      Answer: There are about 30 biblical references to vows, most of which are from the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Numbers have several references to vows in relation to offerings and sacrifices. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who made and broke vows, especially vows to God.

      The story of Jephthah illustrates the foolishness of making vows without understanding the consequences. Before leading the Israelites into battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah—described as a mighty man of valor—made a rash vow that he would give to the Lord whoever first came out of doors to meet him if he returned home as the victor. When the Lord granted him victory, the one who came out to meet him was his daughter. Jephthah remembered his vow and offered her to the Lord (Judges 11:29-40). Whether or not Jephthah should have kept this vow is dealt with in another article. What this account shows us is the foolishness of rash vows.

      Perhaps this is why Jesus gave a new commandment concerning vows. "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No ,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:33-37).

      The principle here is clear for Christians: do not make vows, either to the Lord or to one another. First, we are unable to know for sure whether we will be able to keep vows. The fact that we are prone to the errors in judgment which are part of our fallen nature means that we may make vows foolishly or out of immaturity. Further, we don’t know what the future will bring—only God does. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow (James 4:14), so to make a vow that we will do or not do something is foolish. God is the one in control, not us, and He “works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Knowing this, we can see that it is unnecessary to make vows and that it indicates a lack of trust in Him. Finally, Jesus commands that our word be sufficient without making vows. When we say “yes” or “no,” that’s exactly what we should mean. Adding vows or oaths to our words opens us up to the influence of Satan whose desire is to trap us and compromise our Christian testimony.

      If we have made a vow foolishly and realized we cannot or should not keep it, we should confess it to God, knowing that He is “faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” A broken vow, while serious, is not an unforgivable matter if taken to the Lord in true confession. God will not hold us to vows made imprudently, but He expects us to obey Jesus and refrain from making vows in the future.

      Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/vows-God.html#ixzz2LogoS65u

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  8. Elizabeth Prata,

    It seems as though your whole life is determined by the bible. This greatly disappoints me because according to the bible you shouldn't kill an individual that is determined to kill one of your children, and the bible also states that you should forgive them as well if I am not mistaken. All that I know is I would not let any individual harm my children and if I had to I would take their life without a moments hesitation and I would never forgive them. I hope that if it came down to it you would do the same instead of being a "good christian". I have nothing against religion but religion has been the cause for most of the wars and violence that has taken place on this earth and last time I checked this has never been God's will.

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    1. Gregory McNamara,

      My whole life IS determined by the bible. It is the word of God, telling us who He is and telling us how we should act. As a Christian, it is a precious thing to me, that our Holy God revealed to us His mind and His heart. It greatly disappoints me that you reject it.

      Last time I checked, much of the conflict and war in the 20th century was the result of atheist ideologues. Religion gets the blame but history tells us quite a different story. Your criticism of religion needs to be able to offer an explanation for why the greatest butchers of the last 100 years turned to atheism and secularism for their justifications... (source- http://www.bethinking.org/resources/quotreligion-causes-warsquot.htm)

      Being a 'good Christian' means I want to obey my Lord, the Lord who died on the cross, who took on the world's sins, who laid down His life for me, and who keeps me in His precious (resurrected) hands. Why would I not want to cling to Him and His ways, after He showered us with such love?

      So last time you checked the bible you read that war and violence isn't God's will? You're right. If you read Genesis 1 and 2 you will see that he created Man for Jesus's glory, that we were made to have a relationship with Him. So, no, it never has been God's will that we are violent. He created us perfect, and set Adam and Eve in the Garden and they had a relationship. But... they sinned and henceforth, violence has been the pattern. It was not long before Cain killed Abel. No, that was not God's will for us. But we all have a sin-nature now.

      In His grace, He sent the remedy: Jesus. If you believe on Jesus name, His work on the cross, and His resurrection, and REPENT of your sins, you will be saved. And the bible will make sense to you and then you will truly understand God's will for you.

      Here is a simple, concise explanation of the Gospel that saves: http://4laws.com/laws/english/flash/

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  9. This is more of a physical reminder since were are human and need to be reminded how to live from time to time. Also its a way to be held accountable to God, our family, and anyone else who chooses to be involved in the process. Yes we should only need the Bible in a perfect world but as we all know the world is broken. So this Resolution is a tool for accountability and a reminder of how we should be living our lives as spiritual leaders and men of God, men of courage.

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  10. Not by strength but by grace.
    Thanks to all for the comments. The world needs to hear the word, to be reminded... so that we can have faith to take the steps. Its a broken world. WHO SAYS AND IT COMES TO PASS, UNLESS OUR SOVEREIGN LORD DECREES IT? If we stand saved, its not by our strength but by grace. When fathers around the world make that resolution; God is touched by their faith and their willingness to step out so he will extend his grace and enable them to accomplish their resolution. Of course the kingdom of darkness rages! Beware of wolves in sheepskin. For many years Gods people have perished for lack of knowledge!

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  11. Hi There, I am neutral on this as the movie was actually good and the gospel was clear.

    As a rule I am against all "Christian" things, from movies to music. But as for this last one, I think the main article is harsh.

    I would like to know if anything in this resolution is against the word? I mean, we must think about this. If your preacher expounds the scriptures to his flock, does he quote scripture ALL the time? Does everything you say and do during the day in your work and business come directly out of scripture?

    I believe that most men are spineless and that something like this is good. This is one of the few resolutions that one can make, as God will help one if he s committed.

    I said much, but the point is, there is much worse things in the church and Christian community than this movie and even fireproof. Like all the people in the world claiming to be Christian but isn't. The reality of Christianity etc.

    I did not read anything else about you or on the website, so if I am missing something, just show it to me. Also I am actually afrikaans, so please have grace on my spelling and grammar.

    Regards,

    Theunis

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    1. Theunis,

      There was nothing against the word. However it is in addition to the word. it is a man-made item borne of a fad, and we don't need it. All we need is the word. That was my point.

      We are getting so cluttered with Christian "things" that we're drowning in them. Devotional books, workbooks, keychains, posters, bumper stickers, scented candles, angel figurines, tee shirts, bookmarks...the bible said that satan would make merchandise of us (2Peter 2:3 KJV) and that is so true. Let's just get back to the bible as the basis upon which to make our resolutions, shall we?

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    2. The story goes that once there was a man caught in the middle of a flood. He climbed to the roof of his house for safety. He started to pray for God to save him from this flood. A man in a small boat came by and said to him " Hop in the boat and i'll take you to safety, the man replied " no thanks God will save me from this. shortly after a helicopter came by and offer to take him to safety, he again replied, no thanks God will save me from this. An hour later he drowned. Standing before God he ask him, Why didn't you save me ? God replied, " I send you a boat and a helicopter and you refused them both " If this resolution didn't line up with God's word i would 100% agree with you. The truth is even when you go to a bible institute to study the word, the bible is not the sole source of teaching tool. I agree with you that everything we do must be looked at from the bible's perspective, but it doesn't mean other sources that line up with the word can't be used. SO if this is saving lives, marriages, relationships and putting a dent in the stagering numbers of divorces in the church, do we just say " no thanks God will save me from this " and neglet to see how God speakes to us not only thru His word but he will use a donkey to speak to us if He has to to get our atention. I say this respecfuly. God Bless !!

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    3. Thank you for your respectful comment. I am a simple gal. He got our attention with the bible. Why repeat it with man's stuff?

      The danger is that we are warned that satan will make merchandise out of us. TO me, the Resolution is an unnecessary merchandise that takes our eyes OFF the Lord.

      Remember, the demon-possessed girl following Paul was saying a true thing- Acts 16:17, "“These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” "

      So just because the message is good doesn't necessarily mean that the thing it's delivered IN will be good...

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  12. It sounds as if you are just sick of "fads" and having Christianity marketed to you. I don't like how twisted the "christian" bookstores have become in their desire to make a buck. That's why I won't use the NIV anymore; Zondervan has made it stupidly expensive to obtain God's Word. It's obscene. As far as this being a "fad," yes I think it could be if it's not taken seriously. But if it is? Then what? It seems like you are just spouting off to spout off. I am all about "sola scriptura" as much as the next guy or gal, and if this distracts someone from the Word or becomes their "scripture," then that's an issue that they need to deal with. I find it hard to believe this could happen though, considering 7 of the 12 statements specifically point to God/Jesus. Isn't that what our focus should be? I just don't see why you caused such a stink about this. Why are you fighting this so much?

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  13. What a problem. Someone buying Christian products. I am certain no one here buys anything secular-- including movies. If the folks involved in the making of the movie, Courageous, were strictly out for profit there were many more lucrative, less Godly, options. No question.

    Additionally, a large part of the importance in the movie, Courageous, is the accountability factor. The men have spelled out exactly what they hope to achieve in respect to their God-given role as husbands and fathers and on exactly what grounds they expect their friends to hold them accountable. That seems more like a life goal with a deep commitment. The items listed in the resolution are Bible based. Has anyone ever asked a friend or loved one to help keep them accountable?

    Granted, these great commitment issues brought to light by media seem to come in waves and some may even go a bit too far and off point. However, has anyone noticed that God often moves in waves? If you listen to multiple sermons on any given Sunday-- themes in the sermons often recur.

    As to pastors "forcing" their flock to submit to resolutions or other media based items-- that is between them and God whom I pray they are following. I pray none of them actually "force" these things but merely suggest. As Paul said, "Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah)." I Corinthians 11:1 Amplified Bible

    When a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior is that a vow or a resolution? Let's be real. If we do not commit to go all the way with Jesus, how can we ever make it?

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  14. Everybody is making a big deal out of this and some not so much! It's a promise made by the man, in front of his family and God! It does not have to come from the Bible! God wants us to honor his word and to live not only by His but to the promises we make to others! This contract has nothing to do with the Bible, its promise made by a man to live according to God's will and to help his family to do the same! If you say it is wrong your argument is flawed for no one here can say that making a promise to some one you love and by living to that promise is wrong! God said "To what ever measure you judge, to the same measure of judgment will you be judged"Matthew 7:2. I love this movie and I think more men should follow this example! I am 21 years old so I don't have a family of my own but someday I might and if by God's grace I live to see that day, I hope I can live to His standards and make the same promise to Him and my family!

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    1. Thanks Anonymous for commenting. My stance is, if you have a choice to make a promise made by man, or make a promise made by God from the bible, which should we choose?

      The Courageous Resolution is a promise made by man. Families are urged to live by the word of God, not resolutions from movies.

      For if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? 1 Timothy 3:5

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  15. How many Christians have backslid because of the lack of support of their fellow church members, Family, Friends... etc? How many have backslid because they truly never repented their sins? I've been praying about making this resolution in front of my church and family for Christmas as a gift to Jesus Christ. I want him to know that I am not ashamed or afraid of standing up and saying " LORD, I want to follow you in all your ways until my last and final breath is taken here on earth!" Call it a Vow, Resolution, or Whatever...I am calling it my Confession to My Lord, my family and my fellow Christians that "I" want to be accountable for my actions, and that those actions will serve the Lord and all his Glory! That with the gifts in my life which I've been given and truly don't deserve, I will invest everything in my power to please the Lord. When we pray, We don't always quote scripture, When we reach out to God for help, Ask for forgiveness, Pray for loved ones, We use the words in our heart. This "Resolution" If you will is speaking from the hearts of sinful men that don't deserve salvation, but got it anyway...Committing to the Lord in the words from their heart. Do you really think God will not listen? Any time anyone makes a stand for the Lord, He automatically becomes a target of the evil one. In knowing this, I find it VERY interesting that others have mixed emotions about this topic and why it's being debated... It's not like we WANT to invite evil into our lives, We just want to stand up against it and make it known to those in this world that we will NOT tolerate it in our lives. That we WILL stand firm in our walk with the Lord and not yield. And by the grace of God, Show others to do the same. Make NO mistake. This "Resolution" Is for the one who takes it....And makes it. Not for the ones that want to break it.

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  16. @the last anonymous, God bless you richly for those words. Often time it amazes me at the way some of us Christians jump to criticize and judge others. We act all spiritual and faithful than others forgetting that even our righteousness is as a filthy rag in front of God.

    We say we do not want merchandising of God's word, I agree but would we rather purchase those with the truth or get a bunch of blasphemy for free.

    Let's be careful and take heed less we unconsciously take the place of God. I've seen the movie myself and family and I've been blessed greatly by it and considering how great of a Christian scholar this blogger is, I believe deep down you know that its Bible based. But again, I get confused on what exactly your argument is regarding this movie, is the fact that it isn't. Bible based?, or is it that it is a fad?, or is it that it encourages merchandising of God's word?

    What exactly do we want? There is a Christian cartoon called Bible Man, that was created to help children learn about God and yet very few Christians are aware of it, talk less of supporting it, and I've heard some Christians criticise its production qualities and yet this same "Christians" glad goes out to purchase spider man, ben 10 etc for their children. Rather than support our own Godly inspire movies, books, materials etc and then give suggestions after seeing/reading it on how to better and effectively win souls with it, we scrutinize, criticize and crucify it.

    The Resolution isn't something forced on anyone, it is a PERSONAL decision to fulfill the will of God in every area of ones life in total submission and asking for Grace to do it till Christ our Lord comes. Sometimes, Its so Hard to go through life and situations, and at times even as faithful Christians you are so overwhelmed to the point of having no scripture or prayer so say, that's why we surround our selves with materials that edify our soul.

    We often act like Christ came for the Saved and as long as we know His Words all else can fail...have you thought about an unsaved person watching this movie?.Some have never even heard about Christ nor read the Bible. It is not everyone that has a vast knowledge of the word of God and movies like this often time creates the pathway to touching this lives and telling them about the Love of Christ and His ability to help us stay true to every decision, vow, resolutions etc.

    May God continually give us wisdom and true discernment to know when and how to help support and grow the work of His Kingdom

    Shallom

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    1. "I get confused on what exactly your argument is regarding this movie, is the fact that it isn't. Bible based?, or is it that it is a fad?, or is it that it encourages merchandising of God's word?"

      #2 and #3.

      As far as being a PERSONAL decision, well, all decisions are personal.

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  17. I am currently making a resolution for myself after seeking, and continuing to seek, guidance from my pastor, friends (that are believers) and family as well. Most of all, I am leaning on God's Word and prayer for guidance and direction.

    I personally believe that doing a resolution (which is man made) is like a ceremony, so to speak (please bare with me). Baptism is openly showing others that you have received Christ as your Lord and Savior and that you have repented your sins. Like baptism, a resolution is openly showing people that you are deciding to follow what the resolution says.

    Personally, I am creating a "dating" resolution. Yes, I know, this sounds cheesy, but what I have come up with has in fact been from the Bible. If you're a woman, check out Ephesians 5 for characteristics of a godly woman.

    Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV) says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." With this verse, you may say:

    I WILL love God with all of my heart, mind and strength

    That is just an example of what you might put in a resolution. Yes, those words are man made, but I have done research, not to write a resolution, but to make my faith stronger. As you saw, the sentence above (I WILL love God........) was based off of a Bible verse but was put into my own words.

    I am a 21 year old young man. I do not know the Bible inside and out, and I won't pretend like I do. I am doing this resolution for the first time in my life so it will help me follow God and keep Him first in my relationship. My soon to be girlfriend will write one of her own, biblically based.

    Before you make any claim of, "well this wasn't biblically based", ask yourself this question: Do you know everything that's in the Bible, word for word? Perhaps you have missed something along the way. I do not say any of this out of hatred towards you. I can see where you are coming from. I used to be like you and thought books written by Christian authors, such as C.S. Lewis' 'Mere Christianity' or Rick Warrens' 'Purpose Driven Life', weren't what I needed because it was man made, but instead, all I need is the Bible. Boy was I wrong!

    So, before you make a statement, please jump into someone elses shoes, so to speak, and look where they are coming from. Perhaps you didn't know that C.S. Lewis was an outspoken atheist before he converted to Christianity. Now, he's one of the most widely known Christian authors.

    And again, maybe you have missed something when reading your Bible. I've never known someone who knew everything there was in the Bible, word for word. Another thing, don't just read the Bible. Try your best to understand it, and then put it into practice.

    God Bless,
    Jonathan

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