The Church and Her Creed

Nicaea_icon

While I believe in the church as being the people, as inferred by the Gospels and Epistles of the Bible. While there are four tenets, or marks, of the Church as referred to in the Nicene Creed.

…I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church…

One may refer to the one church, the one belief (to which the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed was intended to clarify.) The one brotherhood of mankind. However, the word “catholic”, unbeknownst to me, was a reference to (note the small “c” in “catholic”) the church universal or the undivided Christian church. I have always been of the mind of “to name it is to kill it.” Meaning that once you name something, you limit it by placing it into a neat little box…without any ability to expand barring the change of its name.

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. ~1 Corinthians 1:10 NKJV

Holy refers to the holiness of the Church which is presence on earth. Sadly, all too often, the Church in the eyes of many men and clergy is the building not the people. But we are reminded by Christ, Himself, that

For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. ~Matthew 18:20 NKJV

Catholic, more than likely, refers to the origins of the Catholic Church in Rome, this was part of the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed created, or modified, at the second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople (381 A.D.) which was convened by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

Apostolic may refer to:

An Apostle meaning one sent on a mission:

  • The Twelve Apostles of Jesus, or something related to them, such as the Church of the Holy Apostles
  • Apostolic succession, the doctrine connecting the Christian Church to the original Twelve Apostles
  • The Apostolic Fathers, the earliest generation of post-Biblical Christian writers
  • The Apostolic Age, the period of Christian history when Jesus’ apostles were living
  • The Apostolic Constitutions, part of the Ante-Nicene Fathers collection

Specific to the Roman Catholic Church

National churches

Christian denominations

Concepts

I am all for Churches and their administrations to develop studies and creeds to make life easier for the people they serve. However, when those nice steps to make things easier for the people are later used as a noose to help hang those, proverbially speaking, by trying to get them to yield more and more of their income in trying times is abhorrent to me! The purpose of the Church is to teach the people and spread the word, to glorify God in their selfless acts of kindness. To encourage and build up the people to go out even further to repeat what was done for them. We are all called into the ministry and priesthood to further God’s word.

Sadly, from my perspective looking through history, the latter creed (381 A.D.) was re-clarifying the church to be the center of the people’s minds and hearts, as opposed to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (the Trinity) who was to be the center of the people’s minds and hearts.

Personally, I believe I could accept the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed without any modifications:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilot;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

It being more personal, I would change out all of the “We”s for “I”s.

While I do not accept the Catholic Church as God’s Church on this earth, I believe they did and do serve a purpose in His God and Holy works on this earth. Most of what we have and know was protected by the early Church fathers which later became the Catholic Church. However, in my personal opinion, the Catholic Church, itself, has strayed from the Biblical tenets and God’s purpose, then became themselves more self absorbed and centered into the power they have acquired. My case in point is their consistency in protecting their clergy from prosecution in sexual misconduct among their ranks. Their history in denigrating the abused and victims of such crimes.

PLEASE, do not take this blog post as a snipe or shot at the people of the Catholic faith. Just as all others within Christianity are fallible, so are Catholics. Remember what King David told us and was reiterated by the Apostle Paul (Romans 3:10 NKJV):

They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.  ~Psalm 14:3 NKJV

Is your faith and belief based upon the bible and tenets, therein, or are they based upon doctrines taught to you without your researching what is being taught? We must be very careful, my friends. Jesus warned us

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. ~Matthew 10:16 NKJV

This warning of Christ to His own Apostles, applies to us as well. Wisdom comes from learning and studying, including learning from our mistakes! We become harmless when we show the love of God to those who wish to do us harm. Remember ever when the Jews wanted to harm Jesus…He walked right through them or went out another way.

Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone. ~John 6:15 NKJV

Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. ~John 8:59 NKJV

Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. ~John 10:39 NKJV

Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way. ~Luke 4:30 NKJV

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

Refer to this for a Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381

References:

The Importance (and Early Use) of Creeds

Expositio in Symbolum Apostolorum THE APOSTLES’ CREED by Thomas Aquinas

The Apostles Creed

Advertisements

Where There Is Not Friendship, There Can Be No Fellowship

bible-study

Where there is not friendship, there can be no fellowship.  God and man cannot walk together, except they are agreed. We were reminded by the Prophet, Isaiah, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” ~Isaiah 59:2 NKJV

If we are not in agreement with God, then there is no way anything good can come of our endeavors. They will be for nought. Of course, the movie GOD’S NOT DEAD had a line in it from the mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease, but had a moment of clarity and spoke a veritable truth to her son who was all about himself.

FreeOfTrouble

The line was rather truthful in it’s sentiment. Think on it for a moment. It is not very likely that you would look to, or for, God if everything was going your way. When things go wrong is when most turn to God, for a while until all goes well again. However, if you are blessed in such a way as if all things were going your way…it was all your doing and work…so why would you look to God??

You only have I known of all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” ~Amos 3:2 NKJV

The Prophet, Amos, warned the Israelites rather blatantly the warning of God. And the Prophet Ezekiel reminded us:

Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me” ~Ezekiel 3:17 NKJV

As Christians, followers of Christ, we have been adopted into the family of God by and through Jesus:

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” ~Ephesians 1:5 NKJV

In so doing, we (Gentiles) were grafted into the olive tree. We are given an opportunity like no other! God was willing to wipe out the whole of the Israelite people and make a chosen nation from Moses. Upon the rejection of Christ by the Israelite people, as a whole, gave rise to such blessing that the Gentiles might be saved through Christ.

Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day.” ~Deuteronomy 29:4 NKJV

For the Lord has poured out on you The spirit of deep sleep, And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.” ~Isaiah 29:10 NKJV

God has given us all the blessing of freewill, but this (as I have mentioned numerous times before) can also be a great curse upon us. We each have the ability to choose to follow the right path, or the wrong path, in our lives. God did not create us to be drones who blindly follow, but rather those who would choose to follow His ways and commandments. Even the angels had a certain amount of freewill choice, otherwise there would not have been such a great war…

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?’“ ~Isaiah 14:12-17 NKJV

And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains” ~Revelation 6:13-15 NKJV

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. ” ~Revelation 12:7-17 NKJV

The moral of the blog is that we must be in agreement with God in order to walk with Him. By being contrary to God’s ways we are in a sinful state, which was the entire reason for Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation. There is no way that we can be perfection, as God requires. We are made perfect through Jesus’ sacrificial blood atonement. Choose the right path, choose God’s righteous ways…salvation is a gift offered to us…you can choose to accept it or you can deny it.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

We Failed To Follow God’s Admonition

GodsAdmonition

God gave us up to the vile passions of our hearts and minds (Romans 1:26), because we failed to follow His admonition of ruling over the evil and sin that lied at our door (Genesis 4:7). We always seek to blame some one else for our misdeeds, our improper conduct, our lies, our mistakes, etc. But our greatest problem is traced back to Adam & Eve, back in the Garden just prior to their eviction. We, as the species of man, are easily tempted and easily fail by giving in to our temporal desires, instead of withstanding the temptation  and maintaining our integrity with God and His Word. Genesis 3 is a great explanation of how man easily gives in to temporal pleasures, whether by one we trust or by our own failure to stand firm in God’s Word. It all comes down to us and a choice to take one path or another. I have always said that “choice” is both man’s greatest blessing and greatest curse. Sadly, the Bible is riddled with those who have made very bad choices and few who have made wise choices.

God once spoke with Cain and told him rather plainly,

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord Sin-is-at-your-doorrespected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.  ~Genesis 4:1-10 NKJV

Cain’s anger was based upon a bad choice on his own part. Instead of choosing to a lessermy way valued offering, as many of us do or have done in the past, Cain could have chosen to give the best to God. Sadly, this is the story of many of us and the paths we have lead throughout our lives, by finding shortcuts in our work. In so doing, we fail to give our best to those who have employed us. Ultimately, WE work for God! We are reminded by the Apostle Paul:

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. ~Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV

We are also reminded by King David of the following:

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.  ~Psalm 24:1 NKJV

So, when you look at working and who you presently work for…remember that the What-does-the-Bible-say-about-workingrewards you receive are from God, Himself! God pays you through your employer and rewards you for what you do. If you receive little, perhaps…you have done little. Consider the The Parable of the Talents:

14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ ~Matthew 25:14-30 NKJV

We are a product of our choices. Choices are not that difficult, you know…pick one or the assumeother. Unfortunately for us, we tend to choose to do what is easiest for us and most profitable for us. Even if we have to bend our principles a little. And when I speak of principles and their bending…I mean Yoga flexibility! Because biblical principles are rather rigid and should not be bent in any direction. Your word, my word, and the word, or promise of others, should carry a promissory meaning with it. That we are willing to live up to a specific code of ethics. That we will not lie to anyone, nor cheat them in any way.

The Bible is filled with advice and wisdom. We each can read and apply the basics of what is written therein. You know: Do not steal, do not lie, do not commit adultery, do not murder. Although, we must extrapolate some other teachings from the Bible. Such as determining what is meant by the numerous parables within the New Testament and then apply those teachings to our present day lives. This seems to be one of the bigger problems, as a whole, to mankind. Don’t misunderstand me, people are mean and demand their own way…even to the point of murdering, bearing false witness or stealing from others. But it is those people who are truly seeking the ways of God, those seeking to better understand Jesus, and those who seek the answers to the bigger issues of life’s great questions that are truly enamored by the Parables of Jesus. THOSE are the people that will greatly be affected by their quest for the “Holy Grail” of the Bible and it’s teachings.

We, as the species of man, often are misguided and lazy in our desire to seek wisdom. We know, inherently, that which is right and that which is wrong. However, we tend to take the more expeditious route by doing what is easy, more pleasing and more advantageous. It is those people who stave off the desires of the heart and carnal pleasures and follow the truest teaching of Jesus. Thereby maintaining a straight line of moral standards in our lives. Jesus was our example of moral standards and we are to follow His example, not the example of those around us or those who we have some sort of hero worship over.

Hope I did not over blather like a bloviated warthog! Godspeed My Friends!!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

False Prophets & Teachers Among Us

false-teachers

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber…For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who [i]have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” ~2 Peter 2:1-2,18-19 NKJV

false-prophetsSome time ago I had a bit of a disagreement with some Ghanaian friends on Facebook. They, the Ghanaian People or the Legislature, were proposing a law that you must have a bachelors degree in theology in order to be a minister/priest. I took umbrage with such an argument on several accounts. First as a matter of rights ordained upon us by God and secondly, as a matter of liberty which would be eventually taken away by the government. John the Baptist had no degree in such studies and yet he drove people to repentance. We were reminded by the Apostle Paul that,

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.” ~Romans 1:26-27 NKJV

While this verse primarily discussed the vile passions as being those of homosexuality, the looser reading would be of the vile passions of our spiritual hearts. How many fallen evangelists have had degrees?

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” ~Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant” ~1Corinthians 3:5-6 NKJV

We have been charged by God, through Jesus, to minister to the people of the world, every nation. We each are called to do so. But, unfortunately, not all heed the call. Just as we were reminded that we will always have the poor among us, we will always have false teachers and prophets among us, as well. And I say this based upon the fact that “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” For false-teachers1whatever their reason or desire, the evil in man’s heart will always strive to turn man from the spiritual blessings that God has to offer him in his life.

It is my opinion, that we can recognize these false teachers and prophets by the fruits of their actions and demeanor. We are suppose to be active learners and studiers of God’s Word by comparing our actions and the actions of our teachers to the Word we have. Anyone who varies the Word and changes the Word to suit his needs…is not a teacher or prophet of God. We are reminded by the Gospel of Matthew the following:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. ~Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

My greatest concern with such a situation as this, there are several situations which will create adverse problems with an enmeshing of government and religion.

  1. There will be a state sponsored church or religion and all others made illegal.
  2. If you do not meet the state requirements, you cannot be an evangelist, apologist, or pastor.
  3. Some European countries take your 10% tithes out when you claim a religion as part of your taxes.
  4. Though you meet the state mandated requirements, you are free to reassess the tenets of the religion; thereby teaching it wrongly.

The blind allegiance to a country’s governing authority over all matters within the country is very troubling to me. It is bad enough in America where all things religion and political are being reassessed all of the time and reinterpreted all of the time. Sadly, it is very hard to get the student of the Word of God to actually actively listen and discern what he or she is being taught while sitting in church. All the while thinking it was a great and appealing service. We are reminded by the Apostle Paul in the Book of Romans:

Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” ~Romans 1:24-25 NKJV

I believe God gave us not only the ability to discern right from wrong, truth from false, love for God and His Word and a reprehensible hatred of/toward it. God, by His Grace, gave us reason and logic to formulate an understanding in every situation, as well as, the ability to discern the proper path that we should take in any given situation. While the Apostle Paul’s statement in the Book of Romans was primarily geared toward sexuality, it can and is applicable in all matters of truth. God has, throughout the history of man, given man over to the lusts of his heart when he chose not to follow God’s Word. The term “lust” could be anything that man has placed higher in his own heart and mind above that of God.

The Word of God, the Bible, is a manual for our lives and should be used everyday in order to compare what people say (including pastors, ministers, and other people of God) against what the teachings of Christ are. In so doing, we can determine, through the gift of reason and logic, if a person truly is a man or woman of God. By comparing what they teach, say, and how they act we will know their intentions, because You Will Know Them by Their Fruits.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. ~Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

We, the species of man, should not be placing our governments above our abilities to reason and logic and entrust them is such a way that they will be our moral compass in our lives to protect us from all wrong doings. I have always say, and still believe to this day – despite how crass it may be, “The government is so inept that it can run a brothel into the ground.” [A brothel being an entity which is a self contained and revenue generating business since the beginning of time.] Refer to the article: That Time the U.S. Gov’t Tried (and Failed) to Run a Brothel.

While God has placed our governing authorities in their place for specific purposes, He did not place them where they are that we should place our governing authorities in a higher priority and position to God in our lives. WE must step up our game and strive to make those determining decisions as to what is right and wrong and choose to follow God’s Word and love. These teaching, which Christ promoted and carried forth throughout His ministry, were meant to guide us and lead us to God.

I will leave you with this final word: Read and Follow God’s Word! Rely on no one and nothing else in God’s place.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

 

Why Do So Many Christians Dismiss Apologetics?

Posted June 14, 2016 by Sean McDowell [SEANMCDOWELL.ORG]

Why Do Many Christians Dismiss Apologetics?

SeanMcDowell.org

I love apologetics. It’s fun to teach apologetics, discuss apologetics, and offer reasons for what I believe to non-Christians who ask. Yet, quite clearly, not all Christians share my enthusiasm. Why not? Below are five common reasons why many Christians dismiss apologetics (thanks to my Twitter friends, acknowledged below).

Apologists have often failed to model gracious apologetics. Rather than blaming others, we apologists might do well to start by examining ourselves. Let’s be honest, we could probably all share a story where we failed to model the kind of evangelism and apologetics we see in Jesus, Paul, and the early church fathers. If you can’t think of a story, then you’re probably not even aware of your own blind spot! As I emphasize in A New Kind of Apologist, many Christians dismiss apologetics because they have seen apologists being arrogant, dismissive, and uncharitable to others. Many dismiss apologetics because of a bad experience.

Faulty understanding of faith and reason. Some time ago my father and I were speaking at a student conference in the southeast. Noticeably upset, a young female youth worker approached us afterwards and (essentially) said, “I wish you guys had a more biblical view of faith. We don’t need evidence. Real faith involves believing something without proof.” And then she stormed away. Sadly, this young lady had bought the idea that faith involves believing something blindly without evidence. If she were right, then apologetics would be frivolous. But the Bible both teaches and models a different view of faith. Simply put, evidence is offered to give people a confident faith (E.g., Exodus 14:31; John 20:30-31; Acts 1:1-3).

Mistaken view of apologetics. A couple years ago I spoke with an influential youth leader about the present state of youth culture. When I inquired about his views on apologetics, he quickly dismissed it, even though his own research showed that many kids were leaving the faith because they had unanswered questions. As I probed further, it became clear that he equated apologetics with a cage-match where people defend their hot-button issue without relationship or gentleness. If that is what apologetics is, then I would dismiss it too! What should apologetics be about? Dallas Willard Perhaps said it best:

Like Jesus, we are reaching out in love in a humble spirit with no coercion. The only way to accomplish that is to present our defense gently, as help offered in love in the manner of Jesus.[1]

Not being engaged in evangelism. Motivated by my friend Brett Kunkle, I have been taking high school students on apologetics mission trips for the past few years. Inevitably, whenever we meet up with atheists, Mormons, student freethinking groups, Unitarian Universalists or people of other faiths, students become highly motivated to study apologetics. Students often study theology and apologetics late into the evening getting prepared for the next day! In my experience, nothing motivates Christians to care about apologetics more than evangelism and spiritual conversations. After all, once you start sharing your faith, people will inevitably have questions about the Bible, evil, evolution, and more.

Apologetics is often motivated by fear. Something stood out to me a few years ago at an apologetics conference—virtually every speaker used the hook of “fear” to motivate people. We were told to fear changing sexual mores, the growth of atheism, the tactics of various “cults,” certain theological movements within the church, and more. While there is undoubtedly a place for healthy fear, apologetics should not simply be a reactive discipline to changing cultural mores. Rather, we ought to provide positive answers and reasons for the supremacy of the Christian faith. Insofar as we are primarily negative, apologists will fail to inspire people to stand up for the faith.

There are certainly other reasons many Christians dismiss the value of apologetics. If you want to see a few more, which were suggested by my friends on Twitter, check out this interesting Twitter exchange. Here are a few samples of their insightful feedback:

@rickwade55: Apologists focusing on true conclusions rather than on the individual they’re talking to and coming to believe.

@triciascribner: Some believe that apologetics undermines the gospel’s supremacy, diminishing the authority of the Word and of Christ.

@smlabonte: I’ve heard people say that Jesus doesn’t need us to defend him. (Not exactly what apologetics is)

@DynAggelos: some Christians think it is unnecessary since the Holy Spirit and the Word of God ultimately do the transforming of the mind.

@prashanthdaniel: I’ve been told that its pointless nitpicking, argumentative and therefore divisive, Sean. Naturally, I disagree.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, a best-selling author of over 15 books, an internationally recognized speaker, and a part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.

*****

I was reading through many saved posts on Facebook to clear them out and thought this was noteworthy.

Hope you enjoyed it!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

Dysphoria & Identity Crises Today

GenderDysphoriaIdDisorder

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and He blessed them and named them Man in the day when they were created. ~Genesis 5:1-2 NASB

Look at any news channel or report and you will see something going on with someone and their identity crisis with their gender. They do not know what they are, they seem to identify with the opposite sex, or some other species on this earth. So much so that they are being pushed toward some kind of gender fluidity or non-binary creature. Someone, somewhere, is trying to make a headline for themselves, or  their parent is choosing not to label their son or daughter as male or female, because it is their (the child’s) place to do so. Ahhh, WHAT? Talk about enhancing and enabling a dysphoric or identity crisis where actually none exists until they created it! Admittedly so, there are those who have an identity crisis of such a magnitude because there is no one to help guide them on their path in life. Such as a man for a male child, or woman for a female child, in order to mentor them in life.

Even as a parent, I have made my share of mistakes. Unfortunately, since the advent of the politically correct (PC) wave in this country, let alone in this world, things have only gotten worse. Look at the UK for a moment. There is a rise in transgender reassignment surgeries, as of October, 2017. Rita Cooper was the UK’s youngest transgender reassignment surgery at 15, back to a man at 18, and is set for a third reassignment…

Sadly, if you desire to think about it, the fact that God made two sexes, male and female. Consider this, if you are a college/university student: College student kicked out of ‘Christianity’ class for saying there are only two genders. Yes, there are only two sexes because each complements the other through procreation, companionship, psychological, emotional, physically, etc.

Practically, the concept of complementarity has proven versatile and effective. It offers an explanation of human sexual difference that provides individual men and women with a firm sense of identity within their equal, yet distinctive, experiences of human life. It provides a foundation for a positive vision of sexuality and marriage that avoids the deep-seated negativity and suspicions of earlier eras. And it affords a rationale for defending traditional sexual ethics…” ~Did God create men and women to complement each other? By Jacob Kohlhaas

There are those who will posit that there is homosexuality in the animal kingdom; I would retort that this is usually in order to vie for Alpha male status, or Alpha female status within a pack, or group of animals. I have yet to see truly plausible scientific research where the homosexuality within the animal kingdom, or natural law, where two become long term mates in order to set up a same sex marriage, of sort, and adopt children of other packs or groups, thus creating a familial unit & bond.

Ben Shapiro, a Conservative Jew and a Political Analyst for the Daily Wire, has on numerous occasions asserted, rightfully so (I might add!), that Caitlyn Jenner is a man. Why do I say rightfully so and why does Ben Shapiro say this is so? Caitlyn Jenner was born Bruce Jenner, the same one who won the 1974 AAU title and in 1975 he was PanAm champion and set a world record (8,524) in the triangular meet with the USSR and Poland. In 1976, Jenner won his second AAU title and crowned a brilliant career by taking the Olympic gold medal with a new world record of 8,618 points. The charismatic Jenner became a television and movie personality as soon as his competitive days were over. After splitting with his first wife, he married Linda Thompson, who was Elvis Presley’s girlfriend when that legend passed away in 1978. He later identified himself as Caitlyn in July, 2015. And progressively changed his gender (September, 2015) through gender reassignment surgery. And soon was awarded Woman of the Year on November 9th, 2015. Ironic isn’t it??

Considering the fact that this country, as well as the entire world, has moved so far away from the moral ethics of Biblical teaching and have steered toward the relativistic moral ethos of the self…this world is destined to go down hill much as the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  ~Romans 1:26-27 NASB

When one person who was born as a man and then surgically becomes a woman and advertises himself as a woman and then becomes involved with a man during the course of his life, whether in a long or short term relationship…they (the two involved) are committing an act of homosexuality which is an abomination to God. The fact remains this…though you change your appearance through any means, you are what you were born to be. Your genetics never changed. Though scientists or medical professionals may find a way to alter genetics at some point in time…you are still what you were born to be. Man or Woman, Male or Female…you see, there are still only two sexes!

In the end it is a matter of confusion. Though you may be confused about who you are, this does not mean I am confused about the matter. I am not obligated to be sucked into your dysphoria, or your inability to identify yourself properly.

Sometimes, regardless of our personal thoughts, we must speak & stand up for what moral truth is. I am friends with many who are persuaded to these unnatural ways. But if we believe in the ONE TRUE GOD, then we must be willing to stand alone at times, for the truth of God. Godspeed to each and every one of you!!

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. ~Galatians 5:1 NASB

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. ~1 Corinthians 16:13 NASB

But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. ~Matthew 24:13 NASB

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, For all things are Your servants. ~Psalm 119:89-91 NASB

You may be thinking that this post is about judging others, that could not be further from the truth. The Bible is an edict from our Creator on how to live and act. It is also a history of man and where he came from and where he is headed, his purpose and vision. I believe the Bible tells us that God loves us, He wants what is best for us, and that we must love our brothers & sisters, to love them and warn them of God’s judgement. That we are to love the dinner and not the sin.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy

Are There Consequences For Revising History?

head-in-sand

I try to not get too awfully political in my blog posts; however, sometimes politics seems to creep into our religious topics of interest. We have seen in the news over the past year and a half of all the “politically correct” crowd, students, etc. needing safe spaces. Now keep in mind that a university and college setting is intended to teach, share ideas, and the higher hope is that they (the students) will learn from their experiences and their course curriculum. The Dean of the University of Chicago stated in a welcome packet for those intended to graduate in 2020 the following statement:

Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn, without fear of censorship.” ~University of Chicago: We Don’t Condone Safe Spaces or ‘Trigger Warnings’ (Elizabeth Chuck ,

After Dr. Everett Piper (President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University) was approached by a student after a university chapel service and complained that he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. Dr. Piper had an answer for this student, and those who had similar thoughts:

Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up. ~This is Not a Day Care. It’s a University! (Piper, 11/2015)

There are those who are actually changing their campuses for the worse, because they (the student body, at least the loudest group) believes wholeheartedly that microaggressions must be met with violence because they are not to be tolerated. Psychology Today wrote upon this subject matter (Microaggressions: More than Just Race). And of course, Wikipedia has a section on this very topic of Microaggression. And if you look hard on any search engine you will see a plethora of articles and blog postings.

It basically comes down to this: “Oh! You snubbed me so we should riot until your ilk is no longer allowed on this campus!

So how does this come to touch on the consequences for revising history? Was it not the loudest minority who screamed for the removal of the great southern statues?

…can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish! Also…

The above is a Tweet from Donal Trump’s Twitter feed. Funny how he could see the call for such  to happen…and soon thereafter people were calling for the removal of the Jefferson and Washington memorials. hmmmmmmm… We are reminded in both the Old and the New Testaments:

Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren ~Deuteronomy 4:9 NKJV

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. ~Romans 15:4 NKJV

Our past happened for a reason. Because we did not know any better, we did not have any proper guidance, or because we did not listen to those who knew better than we did and did what we did because we could! The fact is, at this point it does not matter why we did it way back when, the important thing is that IT DID HAPPEN…whether we like it or not.

Matt Walsh’s podcast (episode 57) entitled “STOP TRYING TO ERASE THE PAST”, which aired on June 29th, 2018. His podcast was drawing on the ludicrous removal of Laura Ingalls Wilder from an award. She was posthumously condemned for being racist and culturally insensitive. Please tell me…when will this ignorance and stupidity stop???

Bad people can teach us good lessons, bad history can be a reminder to us that we should not do such things again. To remove monuments from existence because those people were bad, in some way shape or form, means eventually we will have to remove every monument from existence. If we were to cut off anyone who did something remotely bad or sinful, in anyone’s eye, we would need to revoke eveyone’s birth certificate, pronto haste! Consider the biblical scripture:

There is none righteous, no, not one” ~Romans 3:10 NKJV

We all make mistakes and we all sin. As mentioned above…Bad people can teach us good lessons, bad history can be a reminder to us that we should not do such things again. The purpose for these monuments is to remember that we can do great things while at the same time they can be a reminder that we must not do these things, or allow them to happen,  again!

Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) a man who survived the holocaust Frankl-mans-search-for-meaning-meaning-of-lifeduring WWII. Viktor Frankl’s memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of others he treated later in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Finding meaning in difficult times (Interview with Dr. Viktor Frankl)

To erase our past, or to even attempt to do so, you set the tone to repeat the same mistakes. Unfortunately, those mistakes will be even greater and more devastating. Our past happened for a reason and we should be strong enough to accept our faults and seek to better ourselves. While we should strive to better ourselves as a personal mantra, this not always the case for everyone…but as a norm we should seek to be better than we were! My opinion…take it for what it is worth.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy