Disintegration of Character

The syndrome of chronic moral debility

We live in a morally debilitated and degenerate world resulting in the disintegration of character. Decadence is on the increase. The line between morality and immorality has been blurred so much that most people can no longer distinguish one from the other. Society has engendered such a sharp inversion of values that it has absurdly considered this to be a culturally and modern advance.

The worst part is that this is entering into the church and contaminating it. People who accept chronic moral debility allow themselves to be conformed to the immoral circumstances that routinely confront them. They end up conforming to the ungodly values of the present age.

In many churches growth has been accompanied by worldliness due to disintegration of the character of Christ in their respective leaderships. To the detriment of the ethics of character, the ethics of personality, which ignore and violate the basic principles that rule the spiritual world, leave many believers at the mercy of satanic bonds. The problem is that ignorance does not exempt us from the consequences and punishment of breaking the law.

A lifestyle wrapped up in moral ignorance gives place to social chaos when we become indulgent with sin calling it “weakness”. It begins with tolerance of sin, continues with collusion, then comes insensibility and finally a damaged conscience, which compromises the foundation of life. Sin becomes a comfortably natural routine.

In this generation where society subject’s true laws and values to relativity, the collusion with moral weakness has placed the message and integrity of the church in checkmate. The avalanche of emotional problems that are debilitating modern society is nothing more than a symptomatic collateral effect of the moral disintegration of a passive “prosperity”.

Some people think that certain debilities are part of their personality. Many people, some of which are Christian workers, leaders and pastors, have embraced their moral weakness as an evangelical vice, and are trying to convince God that they were born morally weak, but that’s the way they are and there’s nothing they can do about it.

However, the truth is that this spiritual debility produces ungodliness and evil. This lack of moral strength gives place to the devil, profaning the work of God and bringing on scandals and destruction.

Defining defeat due to the disintegration of character

What is defeat? From the perspective of approval, we can quickly define defeat as “a cyclic life of reproof”. A vicious cycle is any evil dynamic or situation to which we feel obligated to return.

When someone faces a situation of testing and fails, he or she will be obligated to return to the same type of situation. Each time that we go through a test and we fail to pass it, we have to go through it again.

This obligatory return to the point of defeat defines the law of the test, from which no one escapes. Through repeated confrontations with this law, either a character of obedience or an alternative moral failure eventually emerges.

However, the draining dynamic of having to return routinely to the same situation, to which we subject ourselves repeatedly, begins to build a picture of defeat. In other words, whenever we take a test we fail! Therefore, we take the test again and we fail again! We repeat the test and suddenly we fail again! Each time the test defeats us more easily and we become convinced that we are a failure. It is just as Jesus declared:Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. (John 8:34)

We feel defeated and without hope. This has become a periodic cycle in the lives of many people, leading them to spiritual disintegration, apathy and apostasy.

In this way, the specific points of testing become oppressive internal giants, building up fortresses that we are convinced are impenetrable. We must learn from David to leap over these walls and overcome these enemies.

The Bible tells us how Goliath, the most famous Philistine hero, challenged any man of the armies of Israel to face him in personal combat. Each day he came at the same time and repeated his humiliating and psychologically crushing challenge to all:

And the Philistine drew near and presented himself forty days, morning and evening. (1 Samuel 17:16)

This represents a cold and calculated strategy, in which the enemy plants a mentality of defeat. Each warrior of Israel had to tolerate two challenges per day. They were defeated each morning and each afternoon every day! Goliath imposed a cyclic process of personal and collective reproof simultaneously.

Because of the terrible challenges of the giant, day after day, each warrior had to accept failure through their cowardice. That became a humiliating routine, destroying the self-esteem of each man of Saul’s army. This represents more than a defeat, it was a massacre!

And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. (1 Samuel 17:24)

Each of Goliath’s public challenges imposed a deep sense of impotence that immobilized each soldier of Israel. Not only were they already accustomed to the situation of defeat, but also, they were totally intimidated, desperate and terrified. This lasted 40 days without interruption, until God sent David. We have here a true picture of spiritual defeat.

This episode reveals what happens in many people’s lives. When they are in the church, with all of the members, they appear to be ready for anything. They pray, worship, preach and zealously testify. However, personally, alone before their internal giants of anger, impatience with their spouse, pornography, debts … they can’t control themselves, they feel discredited and defeated.

Defining trauma due to the disintegration of character

In the dynamic of this cyclic life of reproof resides the true point where our weaknesses are concentrated. It is impossible to speak of defeat without speaking of trauma. Areas of defeat are also areas of trauma. Each new reproof represents a newly inflicted wound. From this perspective, we can define trauma as “the result of wounds and reproof concentrated at the same point”.

An example of this would-be children roller-skating without kneepads. Years ago, protective equipment was not readily available or at least sought after by children of that generation. The joy and thrill of racing down a hill on roller skates, during a time, supersedes the fear of falling head over heels and smashing up knees and elbows. Only after several falls and multiple wounds on top of wounds does the fear of falling overcome these children’s fun.

This is a good way to describe a trauma: it is when you sustain a wound on top of a wound! The mere thought of someone touching the place that was hurt, causes pain! The terrible fear of being hurt again installs itself, as in automatic defense mechanism.

Psychologically, this point begins to suffer a constant weakening, becoming ever more acceptable to collapse where the structure itself can be broken, like a bone that can be broken, producing permanent damage, or a healing process that takes much longer.

Some people after four or five attempts to enter a college or university, who repetitively fail to pass the entrance exam, permanently give up their professional dreams. Similar types of things happen all around us wherever our abilities are tested. All of this describes most people’s moral and emotional life. The truth is that we can rightly claim that almost everyone has struggled or is struggling with areas of trauma and defeat.

Disintegration of character and the process of deepening a wound

Reiterating, each cycle of reproof imposes a new blow on the wound. The level of pain begins to intensify and deepen each time we are subjected to the same type of test. Wounds are sustained on top of wounds. This picture of defeat works according to a type of “spiral effect” deepening the pain and the roots of the state of reproof.

Morally speaking, we can define the deepness of the trauma as feelings of “shame”. The intensity of the shame and spiritual embarrassment can be determined by the distance between the first and the last reproof.

There is a type of shame that is healthy and promotes decency, however there is another type of shame that is an enslaving feeling that comes as a result of this chronic process of moral debilitation, abuses suffered, losses marked with the feeling of injustice, inferiority and bitterness. As much as we try to flee, that same thing always pursues us and repeats.

Invariably, wherever this type of spiritual shame exists, much fear, guilt and pain also exist. The moral shame that torments our memory establishes the depth that this cycle of chronic reproof has dug into our soul.

Paul insists that it is necessary for us to be before God not only as a worker, but “as a worker who does not need to be ashamed.” It is fundamentally important to deal with this shame of the soul. We must present this same position and disposition of conscience with that which Jesus faced and confronted all of Satan’s ability to accuse:

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. (John 14:30)

Much thanks to Mr. Rick Spinos.

Character Formation

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)We all desire to have a character approved by God. We all want to please God and for that reason, we merely wait to discover the rules before beginning to practice them.

The Christian life is not a mere fulfillment of rules and precepts, because we are no longer under the law. We can sum up the Christian life with the phrase “Christ in you”, or in other words, the Christian life consists of the complete dependence on the Holy Spirit that lives within us. He changes our will and He enables us to do His will. He is all in everything. Jesus is our goodness, our meekness, our justice; he is really everything that we need. Everything that we need is already within us in the person of the Holy Spirit. It would be very easy for us to begin to exert ourselves to fulfill a set of qualities; however, this is not our purpose. Our desire is that you have the revelation of the full supply of God for your life, because to the extent that you understand this, your character qualities will develop naturally. The full supply of God for us is Christ Jesus, who lives within us. He is our life. He is our all in all.

It does no good to speak of character and conduct if we do not yet appropriate the full supply that God has for us: the deliverance from the old man from the power of sin, our justification and our regeneration in Christ, our complete dependence on the Spirit and the walk in the Spirit. We need to appropriate these great spiritual realities but not only that, we need to learn to perceive the direction of God in our spirit, to learn to separate the soul from the spirit, and learn the practice of daily renouncing the ego in the principle of the cross. We must understand all of these experiences in the spirit.

When we over emphasize recommended qualities, we run the risk of establishing a stack of rules that are not in the Bible, such as five steps to overcome wrath, 10 steps to overcome lasciviousness etc. These things do not work and divert us from the center of the Christian life, which is Christ (Colossians 3:4).

Many people think that they can be holy if they can just overcome certain types of sins. Others think that by being humble and gentle they are victorious. Others imagine that by praying and reading the Bible more, being careful to fast and pray that they will attain a holy character. Others have the idea that simply by killing the ego they will be victorious. All of these formulas have the appearance of godliness and sincerity but they are vain and useless. We cannot live the Christian life using 1001 formulas for the most varied problems. In practice, none of this works. What God desires is that we understand that Christ is our life, the perfect supply of God for all of our needs.

With this understanding in mind, we will now study some fundamental principles that will increase our understanding that Christ is in fact our life.

  1. The formation of character through God’s dealings with us

The multiform grace of God enables us with gifts to do certain things that would otherwise be impossible (2 Peter 1:1). God, through Jesus Christ, provides us with His own nature. God has granted us certain divine promises (2 Peter 1:4) and the power of God is our guarantee that He will operate the necessary changes within us (2 Peter 1:3).

Only through an attitude of diligence will we be able to perfect our character. We must make the decision to assume the likeness of Christ, to have within us the maturity of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:10, 11).

The Christian life is a process. We attain it gradually, each step corresponds to a new level reached and a new victory attained in a specific area. We must constantly grow.

God’s responsibility is to provide His own divine nature to every Christian through the repentance of sin and faith in Christ Jesus. Man’s responsibility is to apply all of God’s supply to fulfill this reality in his life.

God has given every believer everything necessary for a holy life as a birthright along with power and authority. The Christian has everything he needs to develop a mature character according to that of Jesus Christ.

  1. Describing the process

We have all been born in iniquity and formed in sin. All of us by birth have a fallen nature that may or may not accompany us for the rest of our lives (Romans 5:12). The fallen nature of man is not in harmony with anything of God.

God has placed before the Christian the goal of perfection (Genesis 17:1; Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:40; 1 Peter 1:15). Spiritual maturity is the biblical goal for all those who are in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes man’s carnality does not permit him to develop his character, as the Scriptures require. God definitively treats human nature by the power of the cross, but the ego is the principal reason why man needs the discipline of God. Each Christian needs the discipline of God to motivate him to continue in the direction of spiritual perfection (Hebrews 6:1, 3).

  1. The purpose of discipline

The Christian needs the discipline of God in his life in order to reveal hidden areas that must be transformed (1 John 1:5-7). God desires to reveal these hidden areas of sin in us, but in a way that helps us to grow. The Scriptures affirm that God reveals such secrets (Matthew 10:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 3:13).

God reveals our hidden sins so that He will not have to destroy us and our ministries. God reveals the dark areas that are present within us so that we renounce them. In order for this to happen, the Christian needs the grace of God because the human tendency is to cover up our own faults and weaknesses. Man always attempts to defend himself and to hide the motives of his heart (Genesis 3:8).

God has given His Holy Spirit to the Christian. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals the spiritual needs of man, probing the heart of the Christian and pointing to sins that must be abandoned (Psalm 139:23; Proverbs 21:2).

The word “reveal” means to remove the lid and the word “conceal” means to hide, to block the vision of, or to cover up the subject. God tries to remove the covering over man, while man tries everything to retain it.

There are several men in the Scriptures that illustrate the danger of hidden sins. The Scriptures drastically contrast the beginning of their lives with the end of them. They began well but ended up tragically.

Every Christian can start out well. Nevertheless, if they have hidden sins, which they have not confessed and continue practicing without repentance, they will destroy their lives and their ministry.

In the second book of Samuel, David, lamenting the death of Saul and Jonathan, called out three times: “How the mighty have fallen” (2 Samuel 1:19). In this lamentation, David described the “mighty” in the beginning of their ministerial life as beautiful, mighty (verse 19); beloved, pleasant, swifter than eagles and stronger than lions (verse 23); they clothed the daughters of Israel in scarlet and ornaments of gold (verse 24).

Every leader needs to remember that the purpose of the discipline of God is to reveal their heart so that they themselves will not fall. The Bible is full of examples of men who began well, but finished in tragedy, for the very reason that they did not understand the purposes of the testing of God in their lives.

A series on Character by Rick Spinos.

The Personal spirit of Man.

The Personal spirit of Man.

The spirit of man is the Lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being. Proverbs 20:27. This lamp was darkened by the fall. This fall has distorted the soul’s functions as well. Man’s whole being is corrupted—his spirit is darkened (Eph. 4:17,18; 1 Cor. 2:14); his soul is debased (Jer. 17:9; Eph.4:19); his body is diseased and death -ridden (Rom. 7:24).

Man became other than God intended him to be… instead of allowing his spirit to bring God in (at the moment of original temptation) man acted independently… Then the spirit of man, being so seriously violated, ceased to be the link between himself and God. Fellowship with God, which is always spiritual, was destroyed and the spirit sank down into subjection to man’s soul. These observations of the fall confirm the value of distinguishing spirit from soul.

I have often used the analogy of the soul as a 900-pound gorilla, driving a bus (body) and way in the back of the bus is a skinny scared 90-pound spirit hiding under a seat. That is not God’s plan after conversion.

Words and usage

A clear understanding of the meaning of words is very important for New Testament believers. I will give some basic definitions of words with explanations where appropriate.

Spirit: references the person of the Holy Spirit.

spirit: references the spirit of man.

The distinction is made clear in usage. The root word pneu has the idea of dynamic movement of air. The verb form is always used of blowing wind in the N.T. (Matt.7:25,27), unless John 3:8 is interpreted as referring to the Holy Spirit’s activity.

The noun pneuma can retain the literal idea of wind (Heb. 1:7), it usually refers to spiritual beings, entities, or qualities. F. Foulkes observed,” Many things can be said to describe the action of man’s spirit as his functioning in his essential being.”

In a conceptual sense, pneuma can refer to one’s purpose (2 Cor.12:18; Phil. 1:27) or character (Luke 1:17; Rom. 1:4). Moral qualities are spoken of in terms of spirit.  Bad qualities include a spirit of bondage (Rom.8:15), Stupor (Rom.11:8), or timidity (2 Tim.1:7); good qualities of spirit include faith (2 Cor. 4:13), meekness (1 Cor.4:21), liberty (Rom. 8:15), and quietness (1 Pet.3:4). Context determines when spirit is used in these ways.

Since the spirit of man can be influenced by good or evil spiritual beings, believers are warned to exercise discernment: “Beloved do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God…” (1 John 4:1).

In 1 Thessalonians 5:22,23 and Hebrews 4:12, they do not merely refer to different functions or roles; they are identified as distinct parts of man.

Spirit (spirit) is pneuma, “that part of man that knows” (1 Cor.2:11). “Soul” is psuche, “the seat of the affections, desires, emotions, the will, therefore self” (Matt. 26:38; John 12:27). “Body” is soma, the tabernacle, the house of the spirit and soul. The Bible makes a distinction between man’s spirit, soul, and body (Gen.2:7; Heb. 4:12). Man’s spirit gives him God consciousness. His soul him self-consciousness. His body gives him world or sense-consciousness.

Tune in tomorrow: What is the human soul as revealed in the Bible?


Non-Judgmentalism Examined


Non-Judgmentalism Examined

reblogged from:https://precepts.wordpress.com/2007/12/23/non-judgmentalism-examined/

December 23, 2007 in Righteousness

There is an increasingly large movement in our country today that might best be described as non-judgmentalism. This movement is defined by a way of thinking that states that we have no right to judge the actions of anyone else, no matter how immoral or sinful we believe them to be. Those who ascribe to non-judgmentalism feel very open, forgiving, and loving by holding this position. Those who do see fit to condemn the actions of others and believe that they should be called into account for their actions are said to be unloving, harsh, and judgmental.

I recently entered a discussion with a friend regarding whether or not we have a right to judge others regarding their moral behavior, particularly sexually. My friend suggested that we shouldn’t judge others, whereas I insisted that we not only should, but we have no choice in the matter. My friend sent me a series of verses dealing with judgment calculated to get me to reverse my position. I went through each verse and offered my commentary on them. I hope this discussion may help you in seeing the Biblical basis for condemning sin. Let us examine the first verse.                             finger

-Proverbs 29:26 — Many seek the ruler’s favor, but every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord.

Thus we are immediately confronted by the question, “What is judgment?” Most people have an idea in their heads of what this word means, but is this really what the Bible means when It uses the word?

What does this passage mean when it says that every man’s judgment cometh from the Lord? I believe this with all my heart, and I know that it is true. However, just this verse alone is not enough to establish what the word “judgment” means.

-Hebrews 12:23 — To God, the judge of all…

God is the Judge of All. Compared to him all judges of men, such as those mentioned in the book of Judges in the Bible, are just shadows. But what is a judge? We have people we call judges in our governments today, but are they the same thing as the judges mentioned in the book of the Bible? An examination of that book, I think, would reveal to us that they most certainly are not.

-Acts 17:31– He shall judge the world with righteousness…

This presents to us the truth that the One Who is the Judge of all will one day use His authority as the Judge of All to judge the entire world with righteousness. Again, though, we cannot know exactly what this means until we establish what it means to judge.

-Romans 14:13 — Let us not judge one another…

We must be careful with this verse, and note its context. If we will look at what Paul is talking about here, we will see that it is ceremonial laws, like eating meat (verse 2) or keeping holy days (verse 6.) We are not to judge our fellow believers in things like these. However, we must be very careful that we do not take this farther than we should. For the Holy Spirit speaks by this same author, Paul, and says in I Corinthians 5:9-11: “I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is…” Then he goes on to list the classes of people, and finishes with, “—not even to eat with such a person.” At that time, eating with a person indicated friendship with that person and a kinship of spirit. Therefore, this verse tells us that we are not to let anyone think that we are friends with someone who is perceived as a brother (that is, a fellow believer,) and yet who does certain things. These are (verse 11,) a fornicator (that is one who has sex outside of marriage,) or covetous (that is one who desires things that rightfully belong to others and not to himself,) or an idolater (that is one who worships anything other than God,) or a reviler (that is an abusive person,) or a drunkard (that is one who allows himself to enter a state of stupor through the use of either alcohol or other drugs,) or an extortioner (that is one who forces money or other things from another person for his own personal gain.) Anyone who is called a fellow-believer but does these things we should utterly reject as friends, and be most careful not to be associated with them. This is by the commandment of Scripture! Would this be judging them, I ask?

-Hebrews 10:30 — For we all know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again The Lord shall judge his people.

I agree that believers should not try to take vengeance on others.

-Matthew 7:1 — Judge not, that ye be not judged!

Some people take this verse to mean that we are not allowed to make any sort of moral decision judging the rightness or wrongness of other peoples’ actions. If they hesitate to put it quite that boldly, then they will say that we should not publicly make such decisions. Yet, let me say that if this means that we should not condemn others when they do wrong or else others will condemn us when we do wrong, then I would say that I feel perfectly free then to condemn others when they do wrong because it is my earnest desire that others will likewise condemn me when I do wrong!

If I were to fall into sin, forgetting what I know of God and His desire for me, and were to start living with someone outside of marriage, would it be my desire that people would ignore that? Would I really wish that others would say, “Oh, I can’t judge him. I’ve sinned as well, so I just don’t want to say anything.” Would it be my desire that all my friends would act like it was okay? Not at all! I would hope that all of my friends would be bitterly disappointed in me. I would hope that they would openly declare to each other that what I had done was wrong. I would hope that they would come to me and lovingly but firmly remind me that what I was doing was wrong, and suggest that I turn from my sin and repent and return to God and what I know is right.

But I would hope for even more than that. You know, I love the head of my Sunday school department. He is a great guy, and I respect him a lot and I know he respects me as well. But if I were to commit this sinful act, I would hope and pray that he would come to me and gently but firmly inform me that I would no longer be allowed to teach my Sunday school class. Why? Because the act I had committed was an affront against God, and I should not be allowed to stand up as an example to these children when I am living in open rebellion against the God I’m claiming to serve. I also love and respect our church music director. But, if I were to commit this sin, it is my earnest desire that she would come to me and tell me that I was no longer welcome in our church band. Why? Because the sin that I had openly entered into would exclude me from performing even such a small service as a representative of our church.

But even greater would be my expectations of my parents. I would hope that they would come to me and express to me their deep sorrow and disappointment at my actions. I would hope that they would absolutely forbid me to ever sleep with my girlfriend under their roof until I married her. I would expect in such a case that they would strongly urge me to stop my sinful actions and to do what was right and end this sinful and destructive behavior.

But I would not only expect this of those who would talk to me about it in person. If any child should ask his parents about what I had done, I would hope that his parents would tell him that what I did was wrong, that it was a sin that God forbids, and that I needed to turn away from my sin and ask God for forgiveness and start doing what was right again. I would hope that other people in discussing my actions would all agree that what I had done was wrong, that I had known better and that I had sinned against God, and that they would agree that I needed to return to God in repentance and ask His forgiveness and then do my best to live up to the responsibilities that my guilty actions had incurred upon me. I am not against being judged by people in such a manner. If I had truly done such a thing, then I would be most disappointed if all these people did not react and treat me in this way!

So if this sort of action is what I will receive if I make the same sort of determination about others who do things like this, then I say that I am open and ready for anyone to condemn me if I were to act in such a manner. I would not want to avoid it. If everyone I knew had a deep enough appreciation for what is right and what is wrong to rightfully condemn me if I were to do such a thing, then I would praise God and say that it would be a very good thing! Yet I do not think that that is what that passage is talking about. God does not want us to refuse to recognize sin as sin. He Himself urged His prophets to warn those who had fallen into sin to repent! And I think that we would be doing rightly if we were to do the same thing. How disappointed I would be in my parents if they did not even love me enough to grieve if I did such a thing! If they did not even love me enough to come to me in bitterness and disappointment and urge me to stop what I was doing and return to what is right! How disappointed I would be if none of my friends saw fit to condemn me and urge me to repent! If none of the leaders of my church cared enough about me to remove me from my positions of leadership and demand of me a return to what is right and good before I could ever participate in such things again! If this is truly the case, that no one would treat me like this, then I would have to say that I do not have true friends, and that I am indeed a most lonely individual. But I do think that there are people who care about me, and I do think that there are plenty of people who care about me enough that they would warn me and condemn me were I to do such things.

So is this what that verse is really saying? That we have no right to ever decide that what someone else is doing is wrong? No, I do not believe that for an instant. That is not what is meant by “judge” in that verse. “Judge” in the Bible does not mean to make a personal determination as to the rightness or wrongness of someone else’s actions. It does not mean that I am not allowed to decide if someone is a fornicator, an idolater, a covetous person, a reviler, a drunkard, or an extortioner. I can most certainly make a determination about such things, particularly if I see them with my own eyes! And once I have determined that a person, at least a believer, is one of these types of sinners, then it is my duty before God to refuse friendship with such a person. So if we are not to judge, then this must not be judging, for we are specifically told to do it!

If you desire to find out the truth about judging, I would suggest sitting down with a Bible concordance and looking up the words “judgment” and “judge.” I do not think you will have to look up many occurrences before you will start to get an idea of what God means when He uses the words “judgment” and “judge.” But I do not believe that He means to decide in your heart whether what someone is doing is right or wrong, or to declare publicly your beliefs on whether or not what someone is doing is right or wrong. I think a study of the occurrences of this word in Scripture will bear me out.

You cannot ascribe a meaning to a verse that is contrary to other passages of Scripture! If Matthew 7:1 means we should never make decisions about whether or not someone’s actions are right or wrong, then how can I Corinthians 5:11 say that we are to avoid people who act in certain sinful ways? That would have us refusing to befriend people who do certain wrong things that we haven’t actually decided are wrong since we’ve refused to judge them! But that makes no sense, and is, in fact, impossible. This leaves us with two possibilities:

  1. We are interpreting one or the other passage incorrectly, either not understanding the context or the words used.
    2. There was a change in dispensation and the earlier statement is no longer true. I am a firm believer in the concept of progressive revelation. That is, I believe that God reveals more and more truths in the Bible as time goes on that He had not revealed earlier. Sometimes, the new truth will cancel out the old truth. For example, the commandments to keep the holy days are canceled out by the statement that we are not to judge each other regarding any holy day. So, if this were the case, then Christ’s statement in Matthew was made several decades before that made in I Corinthians, so we would have to conclude that the statement of Christ is out of date and that the statement in I Corinthians is the truth for today. I am not saying I believe this, but only that this is a possibility.

That concludes my correspondence with my friend on this issue. Let me close by saying that I don’t for a minute believe that my friend doesn’t make determinations about the rightness or wrongness of other people’s actions every day. Everyone must do this. We are constantly judging the motivations of others even as we are talking with them. Surely no one would urge a child to be non-judgmental if a stranger pulls up to the curb and offers him candy if he will climb in the car! Surely no one would urge his daughter to be non-judgmental if she was asked to go on a date by a serial rapist! And can we really say that we do not judge others? No one can truly say that! This argument of non-judgmentalism is not for the purpose of being kind and loving. It is made for the purpose of excusing sin! That is the primary reason for this current argument. But sin is not to be excused by us, as it can only be truly forgiven by God. If we truly believe that what God says is wrong is wrong, then we should not bury our heads in the sand and pretend that someone is not sinning when he commits that wrong action. No, God tells us what is right and wrong so that we can make this determination correctly whenever we need to. But the Bible calls this discernment, not judgment. We would do well if we would call it by the same term.

The Pope who claimed to be Jesus Christ in the flesh


Does the pope speak?
It is Jesus Christ who is speaking!

“The Pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh, and who by means of a being common to humanity continues His ministry amongst men … Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ Who is speaking. Does he teach? It is Jesus Christ Who teaches. Does he confer grace or pronounce an anathema? It is Jesus Christ Himself Who is pronouncing the anathema and conferring the grace. Hence consequently, when one speaks of the Pope, it is not necessary to examine, but to obey: there must be no limiting the bounds of the command, in order to suit the purpose of the individual whose obedience is demanded: there must be no cavilling at the declared will of the Pope, and so invest it with quite another than that which he has put upon it: no preconceived opinions must be brought to bear upon it: no rights must be set up against the rights of the Holy Father  to teach and command; his decisions are not to be criticized, or his ordinances disputed. Therefore by Divine ordination, all, no matter how august the person may be — whether he wear a crown or be invested with the purple, or be clothed in the sacred vestments: all must be subject to Him Who has had all things put under Him.”

Source: Evangelical Christendom, Vol. 49, January 1, 1895,  pg. 15, the organ of the Evangelical Alliance, published in London by J. S. Phillips. (See also Index pagepg. 14)

Frequently quoted, this blasphemous claim is attributed to the inaugural sermon (given in St. Mark’s) of Cardinal Giuseppe Melchior Sarto, Patriarch of Venice (1893-1903). His elevation to Cardinal and Patriarch, in June of 1893 by Pope Leo XIII, was contested and delayed for 18 months by the Italian government, who claimed the right of exequatur, but withheld their approval. (See Evangelical Christendom, Vol. 48, May 1, 1894, pg. 142.) During that time, Cardinal Sarto was even denied entry into the city of Venice. King Humbert finally relented September 5th of 1894, giving his assent to the appointment. In his first pastoral letter to the Venetians, Cardinal Sarto then wrote:

“Harmony between the different social classes must be re-established; peace must reign on earth. This is the task I intend to perform for you; this is the duty I promise to fulfil that all may once again be subject to the dominion of God, Jesus Christ and His Vicar on earth.”

Source: Saint Pius X, The New Italian Life Of The Saint, by Fr. Hieronymo Dal-Gal, translated and adapted by Rev. Thomas F. Murray, M.A., fourth revised impression, published by M. H. Gill and Son Ltd., 50 Upper O’Connell Street, 1954, pg. 104.

Dal-Gal continues:

“On the afternoon of November 24th 1894, a steamboat of the Royal Marine carried Cardinal Sarto over the peaceful waters of the Grand Canal, stopping in the close vicinity of the Golden Cathedral of St. Mark. All the bells of the city announced the joy and triumph of the multitudinous throngs lining the canals and crowding at the windows of the palaces. They waved their white flags beneath the rich marble balconies and shouted a prolonged chorus of jubilation as the Cardinal in his scarlet robes passed by, blessing them as a father does his children. … Midst such festivity, flourish and magnificence did the humble Patriarch enter the city of the Doges; … [pg. 107] Cardinal Sarto’s first real meeting with the Venetians took place the following morning when he celebrated Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral of St. Mark and addressed his first words to them from the pulpit. The Cathedral was brilliantly illuminated, and a huge crowd of people hastened to take a closer glance at their new Patriarch and listen to his words.”

Source: Ibid, pgs. 106 & 107.

As first reported by Evangelical Christendom, the Cardinal’s homily was, in context, boldly asserting the Pope to be the sole authority to appoint the Princes of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Sarto later became Pope Pius X (1903-1914). His sermon was also cited in:

  • Catholique Nationale, July 13, 1895 (Reported in the Protestant Church Review of October 3, and November 14th, 1895, and the India Watchman, in The Friend, A Religious And Literary Journal, Volume LXIX, 1896, Philadelphia, pg. 154.)
  • Daniel and the Revelation: The Chart of Prophecy and Our Place In It, A Study of the Historical and Futurist Interpretation, by Joseph Tanner, published in London by Hodder and Stoughton, 1898, pages 153, 154.

In Publications of the Catholic Truth Society, Volume 29, 1896, The Catholic Truth Society of London published a booklet by Rev. Sydney F. Smith S. J. titled Does The Pope Claim To Be God. On pages 10 and 11 it reveals that Cardinal Sarto was queried about the alleged homily, and that he gave the following reply in a letter written sometime before Jan. 10, 1896:

“… I have read all the homilies I have made since my coming here in Venice, and only in the sermon for the anniversary of the election of the Holy Father, I said these exact words: ‘The Pope represents Jesus Christ Himself, and therefore is a loving father. The life of the Pope is a holocaust of love for the human family. His word is love. Love, his weapons; love, the answer he gives to all who hate him; love, his flag, —i.e., the Cross, which signed the greatest triumph on earth and in heaven.’ … &c.”

The Pope at the time, Leo XIII, was elected on February 20th, 1878, so the date referred to by Cardinal Sarto for his homily celebrating the Pope’s anniversary would have been on or about February 20th of 1895, while the blasphemous homily attributed to him was given at the first Mass he celebrated in St. Mark’s, which was on Sunday November 25th, 1894, some three months earlier. Note that the above article in Evangelical Christendom was already in print and on the street some two months before Cardinal Sarto gave the sermon he offers as the genuine one!  I find that very curious indeed.

Clearly when Cardinal Sarto was contemplating his reply, he was not aware of the Evangelical Christendom article of January 1st, 1895, that essentially pinpointed the homily as the one he gave the day after he had so triumphantly entered the city of Venice as its new Patriarch, a mere five weeks earlier. And who would need to check their records in order to ascertain if they had ever given such a sermon and made such claims? I would suggest that rather than being a credible denial, Cardinal Sarto (Pius X) offered an evasive and inadequate reply that does not exonerate him, rather it tends to support the reported blasphemous homily as being completely genuine.

A new and revised edition of Rev. Smith’s booklet titled Does The Pope Claim To Be Divine? published in 1929 makes no mention of, or defense of, Cardinal Sarto’s homily. Very curious indeed.———-Do you wonder why? 

Donald Trump Versus the Counterfeit Morality of Political Correctness

Donald Trump Versus the Counterfeit Morality of Political Correctness

by J.R. Nyquist—————part one of two.trumpterror


Presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested that Muslim immigration into the United States should be temporarily suspended. In saying this, Trump did not break one of the Ten Commandments. He did not deprive anyone of their rights. He did not vilify anyone. He did not advocate genocide or racism. But here in America, in the West, we know perfectly well that he transgressed. In saying the same thing, we might expect to lose our jobs, our relationships, our standing in the community; for we have been indoctrinated to believe that everyone is equal, and all religions are equal. We have been told that the unfairness of the world cannot be allowed. This is our new morality — a counterfeit morality which has become more precious to us than our continued national existence. 

Trump is said to exemplify racism and sexism. When he says, in genuine consternation, that he is merely talking common sense, his elite listeners shake their heads. When Trump says that his own Muslim friends agree that he is right about temporarily suspending Muslim immigration, the elite refuse to believe him. He must be demented or insane. He is not to be taken seriously. It is some kind of “stunt.” Trump tries to explain that he is motivated by considerations of public safety and prudence. The elite sneer because they believe he is merely trying to win over bigots and yahoos. From this we may infer that our present media elite regards our Founding Fathers as malicious oppressors whose sexism and racism was every bit as heinous as the most rabid Nazi. Of course the Founders were patriarchs. They believed that women and children had to be protected. They believed that raising children and taking care of a family required fully engaged mothers. Any other course would have been a disaster (and now is a disaster) They also knew that alien religions and foreign tribes were not easy to assimilate — as the long and violent race war between red Indians and white settlers amply demonstrated.

To our politically correct politicians and pundits, our Founding Fathers were class oppressors whose policies included genocide and slavery. And it is, indeed, a funny thing to have benefited from these same forebears, decrying their prudence as racism and their foresight as sexism. It is no wonder our mainstream media do not appreciate Donald Trump.

It does not occur to our modern geniuses that restrictions on immigration might be prudent under the circumstances — and might save the country from future heartbreak. It also doesn’t occur to these same people that skepticism toward abortion and feminism might have nothing to do with animosity toward women, but might stem from concerns about the survival of a nation and its culture. Such concerns are not sexist, just as concerns about Muslim immigration are not racist. Every nation and every people should consider their posterity. And so this illustrates, in a particularly vivid manner, the war that is really going on in our time. It is a war against our ancestors and against our posterity which is waged by our present leaders.

Everyone, of course, has heard of the Constitution of the United States. It is the supreme law of the land. The first ten amendments to the Constitution are known as the “Bill of Rights.” Americans today hear a great deal about “rights” and very little about the practical measures needed to ensure those rights. Many Americans have forgotten that you cannot have a constitution unless you have a country; and you cannot have a country unless you defend it against enemies, foreign and domestic. At bottom, every constitution must be construed so that national security is not compromised by a growing tangle of individual and minority rights that choke off those measures necessary for self-protection. So here we are, wrestling with the question: Do Muslims have a right of immigration into the United States? Does the Constitution’s right of religious freedom extend to foreigners who want to come here and whose religion has proven to be hostile?


Whatever we think of the Constitution, it cannot protect Muslims from the enmity which Islam generates wherever its standard has been raised. In fact, the Constitution was not written to protect the nation of Islam, or various colonies of that nation planted in our midst. The Constitution nowhere says that Muslims have the right to come to the United States, build mosques, or establish their own culture as part of a multicultural patchwork celebrated as a new kind of nation (self-negated). This is not why the Constitution was established. As stated in the Preamble, our Constitution was established “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….” It is worth repeating that last phrase — “to ourselves and our Posterity….” There is no reference to Muslims, explicit or implicit. They do not belong to our nation. They are not “ourselves and our Posterity.” Furthermore, we should pay careful attention to the objectives of the Constitution. How does the presence of millions of Muslims in the United States make a “more perfect Union” or “insure domestic Tranquility”? Clearly, the presence of an alien colony in our midst serves to promote disunion and unrest. How would the Arabs react if we insisted on a right of immigration to Arabia? How would they react if we began erecting Churches in Mecca?

hi-lighted because of anger toward a nation run by spineless wonders.

Wake up America! —————-i welcome responses.


Teach the controversy

Two years after Intelligent Design advocates lost a key court battle, some biology classrooms and ID supporters are finding a balanced approach to evolution that-so far-is lawsuit-proof


Posted July 21, 2007, 12:00 a.m.

For 15 years Doug Cowan has taught the scientific evidence for and against Darwinism to biology students at Curtis High, a large public school several miles southwest of Tacoma, Wash. Over that time, the popular teacher and athletic coach has drawn periodic criticisms from community activists and local media. But he has faced no lawsuits and never worried over losing his job.Evolution

Students in Cowan’s classes praise his balanced presentation. And parents rarely, if ever, raise objections. “I haven’t heard a thing,” he told WORLD. “Kids think it’s really neat that I’m allowing them to weigh the evidence from both sides and make their own informed conclusions.”

Throughout the country, many other attempts to teach evolution critically have faced stiff opposition. Educators and school board members have lost legal battles and even their jobs. What makes Cowan so different?

“I don’t teach alternative theories, because that’s not part of the curriculum,” he explained. “There aren’t a whole lot of alternative theories other than design theory, but that’s not in our curriculum. So unless a kid asks specifically about it, I don’t deal with it.”

Instead, Cowan deals more thoroughly with Darwinism than most existing biology textbooks, using resources from outside the standard evolutionary syllabus: Darwin on Trial, Icons of Evolution, Darwin’s Black Box, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. Cowan says the ideas he draws from these extra texts engage his students, challenging their ability to analyze and discern truth from competing sides of a controversial issue.

This fall, the 34-year teaching veteran will restructure his evenhanded presentation around a new textbook from the Seattle-based Discovery Institute. Explore Evolution: The Arguments for and Against Neo-Darwinism (Hill House Publishers, 2007) does not address alternative theories of origins but succinctly lays out the scientific strengths and weaknesses of the most critical elements of Darwinism. “It’s made my work a lot easier,” Cowan said.

Explore Evolution encapsulates a “teach the controversy” paradigm that the Discovery Institute has advocated for the better part of the past decade. Over that time, the institute has advised school boards against the inclusion of Intelligent Design in their science standards. Some boards have heeded that counsel; others have not.

In 2005, a now famous board in Dover, Pa., attempted to mandate the inclusion of ID in ninth-grade biology classes. Backed by the ACLU, parents sued and won a landmark decision in which a federal judge ruled that ID was religion, not science. The shockwaves of that decision reverberated nationwide and have quieted other efforts to push ID into schools.

But the Dover lawsuit also highlighted the effectiveness of the Discovery Institute’s approach. State school boards in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Minnesota along with local boards in Wisconsin and Louisiana have adopted science standards that encourage critical analysis of Darwinian Theory. To date, not a single lawsuit has challenged such standards.

“This is an approach that if I were a Darwinist I would be particularly frightened of,” said John West, associate director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. “The policy that we’ve recommended turns out to be the precise common-ground approach we said it would be. It reduces the decibel level; you don’t get sued; you get good education; and the Darwinists don’t have a leg to stand on.”

In the wake of the Dover ruling, many committed Darwinists declared victory for an uncritical approach to teaching evolution. But, in fact, the ruling has worked to galvanize a previously disjointed movement. Whereas many teachers and school boards might previously have shunned the “teach the controversy” strategy in favor of the more bold step of introducing ID, those groups and individuals are now more willing to listen.

John Calvert, managing director of IDnet, praises Explore Evolution as “enormously important.” Since 2005, his organization has focused its efforts on bringing critical analysis of evolution into classrooms, not ID.

In past years, groups like IDnet might have rallied around another new textbook scheduled for publication this fall: The Design of Life, a rewrite of the ID-advancing classic Of Pandas and People. Like Explore Evolution, this 360-page text presents the scientific weaknesses of Darwinism, but it also goes further in outlining the case for ID. Authors William Dembski and Jonathan Wells lay out such noted design arguments as irreducible complexity and specified complexity.

The Design of Life publisher Jon Buell, president of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, has no illusions of his textbook cracking public-school curriculums in the wake of the Dover ruling. “Our book, we fully expect to be taught in university courses,” he said. “We will not market to public schools.”

Teach the controversy” Continued…


Issue: “When the base cracks,” July 21, 2007
Posted July 21, 2007, 12:00 a.m.

Prior to the Dover case, Of Pandas and People broke into public biology classrooms in 22 states over its two-decade run. Now, Explore Evolution offers the latest real hope for a text critical of Darwin to repeat such success. West told WORLD that one state school board has already expressed interest in using the new textbook, though discussions remain in the preliminary stages.

“We expect a lot of teachers to use it, including public-school teachers, to help them teach evolution better,” he said. “In fact, we already know some of those where the school may not be purchasing 30 copies, but the teacher is using it to build their lesson plan.”

Despite not mentioning ID, Explore Evolution has received sharp criticism from the Discovery Institute’s usual opponents. PZ Myers, a biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris, and author of the highly popular Darwinist blog Pharyngula, rails against the text as “a dirty, dishonest book in a slick package.”

In a cursory review of the 159-page volume, Myers charges that it fails to represent the case for Darwinism accurately and presents complex subjects superficially: “The biology part is shallow, useless, and often wrong, and the critiques are basically just warmed over creationist arguments.”

Similarly, writers on the influential evolution blog The Panda’s Thumb have dismissed Explore Evolution as a “creationist textbook” that seeks to hide its true enterprise of “religious apologetics.”

Most of the book’s five authors are not unfamiliar with such charges. Stephen Meyer, Scott Minnich, and Paul Nelson are fellows of the Discovery Institute and well-known advocates for ID. Ralph Seelke, a professor of microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, is an outspoken critic of Darwinism. The fifth contributor, Jonathan Moneymaker, provided technical writing assistance.

Without a Darwinist representative, that panel has drawn predictable questions as to the textbook’s objectivity. How can skeptics of Darwinism be trusted to represent faithfully the strongest evidence for a theory they oppose?

But Explore Evolution does not purport to provide comprehensive outlines of Darwinian arguments, leaving that up to most every other biology textbook on the market. The preface to this new text explains that its summary accounts of the case for Darwinism are meant to recap briefly what students have already learned elsewhere. The focus of the book is to present new information as to why the theory of evolution remains scientifically controversial.

Though supportive, IDnet director Calvert does not share the Discovery Institute’s optimism that this new textbook and the approach it embodies will significantly dent the uncritical Darwinist dogma currently taught in most public schools. In February, he emerged from a long political battle in Kansas where attempts to mandate the critical analysis of evolution fell short.

Opponents of the new Kansas science standards argued that any criticism of Darwinism amounts to thinly veiled ID, which according to the Dover ruling amounts to thinly veiled religion. The state school board agreed, effectively determining that any scientific challenge to Darwinian evolution violates the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

That blow to the “teach the controversy” approach has left Calvert skeptical: “I don’t think the Discovery Institute’s textbook is going to have any traction until we get the Dover court decision reversed. Until we get a legal decision on our side, things will keep getting worse.”

Doug Cowan disagrees: “The schools want to have critically thinking kids. And you can’t be a critical thinker if you hear only one side of the story.”


Growth In Confidence.

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Psalm 34:2 NKJV.path

How many of us can remember as a child when we would boast about our dad saying”My daddy can do anything.” Soon, as we grow the phrase is repeated less.

However, for the child of God, the opposite is true, as we grow in understanding of the greatness of our Lord. As growth increases our awareness of His greatness, both in His love demonstrated for us and His power toward us, we will become increasingly more dependent on Him to direct us and enable us.Psalm 34

That is what is referred to as “walking in the Spirit.” Growth daily in Him, comes through a desire for a childlike worship—heartfelt praise that is vocal and visible in our celebration of Him.

King David who presented a vocal and visible praise describes himself in Psalm 131. “Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes arrogant. Neither do I concern myself with great matters nor with things too difficult for me. Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.”

David describes himself as a small child, looking to God for everything in the way a child looks to its mother.

Therefore, true maturity is learning the childlikeness that looks less and less to our own wisdom for answers or to our own strength for results—and trusts the Father entirely.

Then, as God moves on our behalf, we will find ourselves boasting about Him to anyone who will listen. Confidence grows, and we find ourselves asking others do you know who our “ Daddy God” is?


Growth in Servant hood.

Growth in Servant hood.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NKJV. are-you-a-servant

Becoming like Jesus means we will grow into His servant-hearted character. Some may seek to do miracles, but Jesus did not say His first work was that. Some may desire recognition, or to exercise the power Jesus functioned in, but He did not say His primary purpose was to display His power.

Jesus said His primary purpose was that He came to serve and to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came to serve as an example of humility and self-sacrifice (John 13:14, 15); even now, He continues to serve as our intercessor, praying to the Father on our behalf (Rom. 8:34).4_romans_5_8_romans_3_25_mark_

The primary call to the church is to secure and multiply Jesus’ model of servant hood by creating an atmosphere and ministry emphasis that produces servants (Eph. 4:12).

The ability and opportunity to serve are gifts from God; and true growth, when it is pure, will produce the fruit of service.

Tomorrow: Growth in Confidence.

Growth Indicator.

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” “This is the first and great commandment.” “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”” Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV.loveyour-neighbor

Growth Indicator.

One of the greatest indicators that we growing in our relationship with God is found in our willingness to love. God is love. Love is not just something He does. It’s what He is. It stands to reason that we are never more godly, never more like God, than when we love.

How easily we may look at these two commandments and say quickly, “I love the Lord,” yet struggle with loving our neighbor. Jesus makes the second commandment as important as the first. We cannot fulfill the first commandment to love God without obeying the second commandment to love our neighbor (1 John 4:20).

Nor can we avoid this problem by narrowing our definition of “neighbor” to people “in our neighborhood” –that is, to those of our family, race,perspective, economic or intellectual level, value system, or religion.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), Jesus makes the world my neighbor by qualifying anyone God puts in my path, or who needs me, as “my neighbor.”hands reaching

Tomorrow: Growth in Servanthood.

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