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Who Is Listening Determines Who Cares.

Updated on May 8, 2019
The70thweek profile image

I have been studying and teaching Bible doctrine for over 45 years and currently the shepherding teacher (pastor) for a home based Church.

The Wrong Solution to a Practical Gospel.

The Gospel is to be presented exactly the way Jesus instructed us; there is no other solution.
The Gospel is to be presented exactly the way Jesus instructed us; there is no other solution. | Source

Practical Christianity vs Today’s Impractical Religion.

The Gospels portray the Son of God’s practical approach to teaching centered around relationships: towards God, our fellow believers and with the world. Sadly, as Spurgeon put it, “…it is far from savory to the sickly sentimental Christians who do not care much for the practical…”. Spurgeon, the master of the practical further stated, “…whether you like it or not…but of this I have little care.” These quotes are from his sermon concerning the command to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Why is it that churches today deem it necessary to make the Gospel less relevant to the Truth but more relevant to the way of the world?

Even the World Knows the Difference Between Theory and Practical.

When it comes to religion, practical becomes anathema because it goes against the will of man.
When it comes to religion, practical becomes anathema because it goes against the will of man. | Source

Good Old Fashion Wisdom Found in a Children's Book Series.

Soon, one's theories, speculations and ideals will come crashing down and the CAT will pay.
Soon, one's theories, speculations and ideals will come crashing down and the CAT will pay. | Source

Theories, Speculations and Ideals – the Core Essence of Religion.

Your dictionary's definition of practical:

Of, relating to, governed by, or acquired through practice or action, rather than theory, speculation, or ideals.

Why is it that theory, speculation and ideals appear to be the modus operandi of the majority of questionable Christian posts now proliferating the social media. It is not the questionable doctrines or even the lack thereof that is the main problem; it is the fact that they care for no one else except those who agree with their theories, speculations or ideals. As Hank, the old cow-dog would be heard to say; "these people have activated their scriptural avoidance systems". The evidence across the board is very consistent:

  • A few pet verses upon which to hang their belief system, and
  • Ignoring verses that might just contradict their golden few, and
  • Disregard for the original languages, allowing the English translation alone to dictate the definition, usage, grammar, etc. and
  • Poor (at best) exegesis, avoiding context and at times the entire O.T., and
  • Isolating themselves from the treasures of the entire Word of God, and
  • Extreme lack of discernment in whom they choose to follow and parrot, and
  • Making themselves and fellow adherents unteachable, and the big one…
  • Filling the minds of lost souls with a dogma that does not result in salvation.


The Sermon on the Mount - Practical to the Max.

Jesus never waivered from being point on in dealing with the needs of both friend or foe.
Jesus never waivered from being point on in dealing with the needs of both friend or foe. | Source

Our Lord Jesus Christ, a Pattern to Live By.

What now must we do? Seeing that we have so great a cloud of witnesses that have gone on before: we have no excuse but to contend for the Gospel ONCE delivered. Our Lord was perfectly practical, and we must strive to make ourselves consistently practical; the war that rages around us demands our utmost.

  • His teaching never wavered from the Old Testament laws and precepts.
  • His teaching was filled with compassion but never shirked from the Truth.
  • He confronted the traditions of the priesthood; several became followers.
  • He was extremely blunt and direct towards the sect of the Pharisees, an elite separatist group that ignored the weightier precepts of the Law and demanded strict adherence to their select ordinances. There truly is nothing new under the sun, as today’s modern separatists practice the age old believe as I do, or it is hell for you.
  • Jesus stressed sola scriptura as every person must live by the Word of God alone; not to pick and choose what seems to your liking, and lastly the most apropos for us today…
  • Jesus left no one behind, friend or foe; He made time for every need under heaven whether it was healing of the body, of the soul or instruction in righteousness.

What You Believe Makes All the Difference in the World.

You do not have to believe the Word; unless you are concerned about your tomorrows.
You do not have to believe the Word; unless you are concerned about your tomorrows. | Source

God Speaks, by His grace, to Those Who Will Listen.

Here are some points you may want to consider. Always remember, having differing doctrines works both ways: good doctrine under attack or poor doctrine being questioned.

  • When another brings up a troubling verse that seems to fly in the face of what you believe to be true or differs from that which you have been taught; you may be listening.
  • When you personally come to a troublesome passage that does not strengthen your personal doctrinal position, you may be listening.
  • When your very soul is troubled by another’s doctrine; you may be listening.
  • When you purposefully search the scriptures, seek extra-biblical aids or enlist the assistance of one you fully trust, you are listening.
  • When you have settled upon a doctrinal issue because the Word richly embellished and deepened your understanding in a manner that continues to grow, you have listened.
  • When you take your understanding and seek to honor our Lord by helping others to see the Truth, you have listened.

Caveat: the above is based upon one seeking to rightly divide the Word to show themselves approved to God; a born-again believer or one who is being drawn by the Father to the Savior.

Conversely, one who does not listen will desperately cling to their beliefs, and will entertain no other scriptural evidence. They blindly follow their leaders, question nothing, seek only like prejudiced believers and avoid any who would question their biblical legitimacy. The pseudo-Christian may seem to exhibit some of the above tendencies, but only to deceive others as to their spirituality. Many in today's churches are pros at deception.

One last note:

The body of Christ, the Church, belongs to Him and no other. He is more than faithful and will draw His own to the Truth. Why our Lord allows some to seemingly struggle along is not of our concern, but according to His will; not according to any standard that man should attempt to impose on another. Where He has placed you and I this very day is our concern. If we are to be found faithful, we must be about His business which is loving the brethren and our neighbors as ourselves. He never said it would be easy. So, before we consider damning another, we need to look into the Law of Liberty and clean our own house first.

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    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      I am happy to return the compliment! At least you haven't barred me from daring to challenge your views, which is what often happens with convinced Christians who cannot abide opposition!

    • profile image

      David Campbell 

      5 months ago

      What I appreciate about you is that you are someone who does not sit on a fence, but takes a stand, albeit a dangerous stand, but a stand none the less. The Bible equates fence sitters with vomit, God would rather a person be hot or cold towards Him, it means they have a brain and when He decides to let you in on the Truth, it will rock your world. Prepare to be rocked.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      I'm sorry, but you are so wrong about Geology! What the fossil record proves beyond doubt is the order in which things lived - nowhere in the world, for example, will you find a fossil of an ancient primate below a fossil of a stegosaurus.

      There are several ways in which rocks can be dated, of which radioactive decay is just one. Measurements of decay are certainly accurate enough for dating rock strata, because the decay rate of specific radioactive elements is known precisely. Errors are certainly possible, but this usually because of extraneous factors such as contamination of samples. For most practical purposes the methods are highly trustworthy.

      Incidentally, the notion of eternal existence in some disembodied form after death is one that I find far from attractive!

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      5 months ago from Winlock, Washington

      The day is coming SOON for both of us, when we will know the Truth without a doubt. If you are right, I have NOTHING to lose, BUT if I am right, you will lose EVERYTHING.

      The geological record of stratification is a made up concept by the way. Did you know that all fossils are found in the same strata; billions of dead things fossilized in a strata laid down by water. The deeper you go, you do not find anything. I live near Mt. St. Helen which is an evolutionists nightmare. A 1/40th scale Grand Canyon was created in a matter of days when the Toutle River log jam gave way, tearing its way to the sea. Radioactive decay is known to be so inaccurate, that a snail shell of a living snail outside of Las Vegas was measured at being 40,000 years old and a dead seal found at Antarctica was measured at 3,500 years old.

      Evolution itself is decaying as a science as more and more data is being accumulated. Evolutionists hang on to 3 main tests: potassium-argon, uranium-lead and carbon-14 "ratios". If the data in one part of a "strata" does not fit their model, they pick another area until one fits their assumptions. Creationists on the other hand use at last count 104 measurable tests available to all.

      One last note: why did the moon landing find only 1/2" of dust on its surface. If the moon was millions of years old, space dust falls everywhere and in measurable amounts; there should have been, as many at NASA assumed, several feet of dust. That is why they designed the lander with broad disks, to prevent it from sinking into the dust. Oh, speaking of the moon and its ever increasing orbit, where would the moon have been in relation to the earth, several million years ago? Evolution raises more questions and provides only another excuse for mankind in his rebellion against God.

      My God is Creator and He is coming soon; be prepared to meet your Creator.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      What do you mean "Nothing fits millions of years"? It ALL fits millions of years! Do you honestly believe that the geological record, with strata on top of each other obviously created by long-drawn out processes (as proved by such methods such as analyzing elements by radioactive decay), can all have happened within thousands of years? That is such nonsense!

      Incidentally, there is nothing to be wondered at in the evolution of the eye - Darwin may have had problems with it, but later scientists have seen quite clearly how eyesight evolved.

      As for Genesis, there is strong evidence for multiple authorship, and also for its being written at the time of the exile in Babylon, which is when the Jewish religion was created and writers sought to explain their past. That is why the story of Noah so closely resembles the flood myth of Gilgamesh - a clear case of a good story being repeated.

      Every ancient culture has its myths, including creation myths. The Hebrew myth is no different from any other - unless you look at it through a different lens, and I see absolutely no reason for doing that.

      I recommend "The Bible for Grown-Ups" by Simon Loveday (Icon Books, 2017). This might give you some fresh insights - it also points to some of the contradictions that you deny.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      5 months ago from Winlock, Washington

      John Welford: I have been a Christian for over 50 years and your stated problems with Genesis have been part of an anti-bible play book for longer than that. I am actually surprised that it is still floating around, as it has been refuted by even some the most liberal of theologians. No one can find an extant document that verifies any of the concerns you have raised. I also find it funny that no one can find and label a direct contradiction within the Word and every so call “discovery” of another document turns out to be an unsubstantiated historical item, but one written by sects, agnostics and well-known heretics. Sadly, many of today’s bible “translations?”, are based upon documents that were found in the trash at Alexandria. They were in excellent condition, because everyone from that period knew they were heresy, written by Essenes and other cultic heretics of the day. A man can choose what he wants to believe: a document that has stood the test of time, demonstrated by miraculous growth of Christianity and its current world-wide impact. Why is it, that Christians are the most persecuted people on the earth? Because Jesus said: they hated ME they shall also hate you. If the Bible was a fairy tale, NO ONE would give a hoot about a bunch of lunatic Christians. But that is not the case. The most loving of all “religions”, the most peaceable, the most generous and the one that is made up of the most diverse of all peoples of the entire earth is the most hated of all religions. Even more than Islam.

      P.S. The order of creation amazingly is not in question among the scientific community, whether Christian or not. Do you realize that more scientists (mostly non-Christian) now believe in a creation scenario than an evolutionary theory. Too much evidence to the contrary. There is a lot of good reading material out there. I particularly love reading Darwin, Asimov and others when they state their problems with evolution: i.e. Darwin (the eye) and Asimov (the brain), others - shrinking sun, expanding moon orbit, slowing earth rotation, earth's decaying magnetic field, etc. etc. etc. Nothing fits millions of years; nothing.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      Let's just take the question of Genesis. The evidence - based on stylistic variations in the original Hebrew (still very clear in translation) - is that it is the work of different authors, and that Chap 1 and Chap 2 1-3 was written by a different hand than Chap 2 4-25. They present quite different accounts, and there has even been a suggestion that the second author was female. Efforts to reconcile the two lead to difficulties, such as in the order of Creation.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      5 months ago from Winlock, Washington

      There is only one account of Creation; chapters 2 & 3 concern man, created on day 6 and his fall after the 7th day. The two accounts of Matthew and Luke appear different because the Matthew account is the lineage of Christ of Joseph through David's son Solomon while Luke's account is the lineage of Christ of Mary through David's son, Nathan. Perfectly, historically accurate to extant records. There is only ONE author and that is God. In Peter you will find that all those different men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. They were the pens in the hand of God. What appears to be poor editing, is textual writing that requires effort upon the part of the reader to put all the pieces together. God did not write a manual with step by step instructions, but a document to puzzle those who will not apply the effort but a treasure to those who have been transformed by its eternal Truth.

      I like it when someone has some good observation and hard questions. I have been at this for over 50 years and I am still learning. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      Bible contradictions? There are dozens of them! You only have to look at the two accounts of Creation in Genesis that cannot both be accepted, or the incompatible accounts of Christ's birth in Matthew and Luke that simply do not hang together. This is hardly surprising, given the many authors of the various books, and the fact that many books were quite poorly edited.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      5 months ago from Winlock, Washington

      To John Welford. I myself have grown to disdain most sermons mainly on the basis that there is NO substantive exchange between the orator and the captive audience. A poor sermon leaves the hearers with more questions than answers and a reasonable sermon never addresses the individuals need at any given moment, leaving the struggling behind. These sermons are: I have a point(s) to make, I really do not care what your need of the moment may be. Some tune in and most tune out; just filling out their Sunday morning obligation. It is now the reason, I hope to never be a part of crowd where one never takes the time to address everyone’s questions, challenges or their valuable insights into a subject that no one this side of heaven has the knowledge of all.

      Yes, I do consider the Bible to be the Word of God in its entirety with zero apologies. I will ask you this one question: can you name ONE contradiction of scripture, just one?

      The Bible itself is God designed to be a difficult reading for the purpose of separating the serious from the looky-loos. That is why God has gifted many to be teachers, that diligently search the scriptures and study to show themselves approved. This includes a knowledge of the original languages, their meanings and usages but most importantly, the experiential knowledge that has proven itself over and over that the Word is alive. We are to have a testimony, not of head knowledge, but of a changed life that comes with a peace the world cannot comprehend.

      George Bernard Shaw had it right; if a man does not like what the Bible says, let’s make something up that fits my lifestyle. The proof in my life is that the Word, which is unfathomly deep, has and is continuing to shape my life. Thanks for the great comment.

      P.S. Last year I was in Oxford, Birmingham and Glasgow, pretty countryside.

    • Jack Jenn profile image

      Jack Jenn 

      5 months ago from Nelson Bay NSW Australia.

      Hi David,

      To take one sentence from your post - He was extremely blunt and direct to the sect of the Pharisees, an elite separatist group that ignored the weightier precepts of the law and demanded strict adherence to their select ordinances.

      To which I'll add just two verses that Jesus said while giving His sermon on the mount:

      Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate that leadeth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

      It is also few who really understand the truth behind these verses.

      Regards,

      Jack.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      My experience of listening to sermons - which I have not done for a very long time, I hasten to add - is that this is precisely what many preachers do. I assume that you start from the premise that the Bible is the "Word of God", but that is itself problematic, due to the many contradictions between different passages. Leaving that aside, different interpretations of what the words actually mean are entirely possible, even allowing for the fact that we are dealing with translations from original texts, which are also subject to differences.

    • The70thweek profile imageAUTHOR

      David Campbell 

      5 months ago from Winlock, Washington

      Many years ago, a very good bible teacher made this comment; whether or not he was the originator of the comment I do not know, but here goes: "If God did not mean what He said, we have NO right to say what He meant". This along with James 3:1 have been my "reins" so to speak for nearly 40 years. Still learning after all these years.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 

      5 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      I reckon that George Bernard Shaw was on to something when he wrote that "No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means."

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