Week of February 27, 2011
Check it Out
What do you do when you hear or read something purported to be Christian that is different or really strange? Check it out! There are close to as many different beliefs under the umbrella of the word Christianity as there are people. Some churches or Pastors allow evangelists or popular, high profile TV preachers to come and teach or preach even though they know that what they might say will require disclaimers like we are "not responsible for what they say". Some churches reach out to false religions or false teachings by claiming to promote diversity, as if evil teachings or sexual perversions were similar to a different color skin. Jesus compliments the church at Ephesus by saying "I KNOW THAT YOU CANNOT TOLERATE " and then describes some faults of people. Then in a letter to another church Jesus says, "I HAVE THIS AGAINST YOU: YOU TOLERATE WHO CALLS HERSELF A MESSENGER OF GOD. BY HER TEACHING SHE MISLEADS MY SERVANTS " and then goes on to describe evil and false teachings. If you allow people to promote false teachings or doctrines, you are tolerating things that are offensive to God. God is very emphatic when He says, "Do not pray to other gods; do not even mention their names". Some false religions use foreign words that reflect the names of their god. This is why it is better to refer to them with words like followers of Mohammad or Mohammadanist. Freedom of religion may mean that people are free to practice and believe in false religions or evil religious belief but it does not require us to condone or expose ourselves to their evil beliefs. As a follower of Jesus, if you allow misleading teachings or if you accept false teachings by silence or by tolerating them, you may be offending God who said, "You must not have any other gods except Me"1.
How do we check it out? Our best biblical example is when we read that the Bereans, "examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true". Paul as a man made mistakes and sometimes offered his personal opinions. In some Christian churches, Paul is quoted more often than Jesus. Some religious doctrines deify Paul's words. Once when some people tried to treat Paul and Barnabas like gods they protested saying, "We too are only men, human like you". Paul never claimed his words were from God; like Jesus did when He said God told Me what to "say". To check out Paul or any other person or teaching, we need to examine their words with what God and His Son Jesus said. God's spirit, which Jesus refers to, as "the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth". God can guide you by His spirit to know the truth about what teachings need to be checked out2. Recently an internationally known pastor wrote that God said something, which God did not say. To verify the false statement was as easy as checking what was written in the bible. Although Jesus said, "Fear only God ", many do not fear God.
How do you make sure that what you teach or believe is accurate and truthful? Simple, only teach or believe what Jesus and God teach as recorded in the bible. Jesus says, "If you continue to obey My teaching, you are truly My followers. Then you will know the truth. And the truth will make you free". Many bibles help you by recording Jesus' words in red3.
1. Rev 2:2-25; Ex 23:13 (TE); Ex 20:3 (IC)
2. Ac 17:11; 14:15; Jn 12:49; Jn 16:13 (NI)
3. Mt 10:28 (TL); Jn 8:31-32 (IC)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
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A Psalm for reflection "Point out anything You find in me that makes You sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life." Ps 139:24 (TL)
Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
To refresh what you have learned in our Workshop or entice you to experience our Workshop
"Remember, all marriages can be better, if you use what you learned."
Last week we talked about how events can trigger issues resulting in an argument. For example if money is an issue and the event of a bill coming might trigger an argument. There are also hidden issues. Many years ago I knew a man who grossed over a million dollars a year and yet had money issues with his spouse, including taking her credit cards away. There could have been a hidden issue of controlling. Wanting to control the money or control his spouse. Hidden issues can be powerful issues that partners are unaware of, unable to talk about, or unwilling to talk about. Spinning your wheels in a conversation, avoidance and trivial triggers can reflect hidden issues. Hidden Issues often respond best to open, safe, and clear communication as found by using the Speaker Listener Technique. As a spouse, being sensitive to possible hidden issues such as controlling, caring, acceptance, integrity, commitment, recognition, etc. can help you in your relationship. For example, if acceptance/rejection is a possible hidden issue, you can be careful not to say anything that might trigger this hidden issue, like threaten divorce.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage ("all things are possible with God", Mark 10:27 NIV). Although in this situation, with hidden issues, communication is difficult, as a spouse, being sensitive to possible hidden issues such as controlling, caring, acceptance, integrity, commitment, recognition, etc. can help you in your relationship. . For example, if acceptance/rejection is a possible hidden issue, you can be careful not to say anything that might trigger this hidden issue, like threaten divorce. If you aware of a possible hidden issue like acceptance/ rejection in your relationship pray for God to guide you what to say that might make your spouse feel more accepted. Also you may pray for God to guide you regarding any hidden issues in your life and help you overcome them.
Hi Followers of Jesus,
Recently in our expanded Prayer suggestions on our web page, that Jesus teaches us to pray, the last two sentences were added to Mt 6:11 part that some of you may want to consider.
:11 "Please give us this day our daily bread."
Please give us today our daily bread, both physical and spiritual bread. As we seek first Your "kingdom", thank You for providing all our needs (Matthew 6:33). Guide us regarding everything You want us to do to receive the blessings you want to give us (Luke 6:38, Malachi 3:10, etc.).
Jesus said as recorded in John 4:34 (NKJ), "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." For some men and women of God, this may be a good time ask God for help in doing what He wants.
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