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Mandela and the Bible

7599644294_edd240a72fIt’s hard for me to think about how often the Bible was quoted to resist the policies of emancipation for civil rights in the USA, or to support apartheid and to resist Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

The question has me thinking again about a conference I recently attended on the trustworthiness of the Bible. Many if not all sessions affirmed that the Old and New Testaments can be relied on to tell us the truth about God and ourselves.

That’s not to say that all of us were on the same page. Some presenters reasoned that if God is true, then the Scriptures he inspired are truthful and trustworthy. Others argued that the issue isn’t just the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the Bible, but rather how the inspired Scriptures are read, interpreted, and applied. A student of history, for instance, reasoned that belief in the trustworthiness of the Bible did not keep much of the church from arguing for slavery in the United States, or for Apartheid in South Africa. Another professor of theology from a well known Seminary reviewed a controversial book that shows how divided we are on a seemingly endless series of subjects— especially when the Scriptures are viewed as a handbook of answers written to resolve our differences and problem-solve the brokenness of our lives.

Ironically, in spite of our many differences, most or all of the attenders and presenters of the conference probably would agree that the Bible is a trustworthy witness to the God who revealed himself in Christ—and to our need of him. We all would readily affirm how important it was for Jesus to say to the defenders of Moses,  “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40).

All attenders and presenters in turn would undoubtedly agree that this same Christ gave us the key to understanding the practical implications of all that was written. None of us would deny that he told us to love one another as he has loved us; and that he then gave to all who come to him the Spirit who enables us to share his love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This doesn’t resolve all of the different ways we read the Bible. But it does lead us to the One who brings fullness of meaning to all Scripture— and to our ultimate reason for loving our God, one another, and all for whom Christ died.

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58 Responses to “Mandela and the Bible”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Whether at a conference, bar stool, ancient agora, or even Sunday school where there are two or more people there are two or more opinions on just about everything.

    Jesus said He didn’t come to unite, but to divide. Believing that the Scriptures are the demonstration and explanation of who God is and what He expects from us, why wouldn’t there be an endless division of ideas?

    The very dividing factor causes some to look further into what they actually believe and if we combine that thinking as a collective undertaking it may resemble a whirlpool rather than a gentle flowing brook.

    From its inception the church did not follow what the Bible teaches about mercy and forgiveness at all; simply look at the history of Christianity.

    Most would agree that the way a person thinks and acts is very different than that of how *people* think and act, which is why there is an understanding in the comment “mob mentality”.

    Peaceful resistance of the blacks, the Christian conscience of its white people as well as bloodshed is what ended Apartheid in South Africa.

    The American Civil War was about more than slavery; though it ended slavery in the US it did not end bigotry or racial divisions.

    This is a matter each individual has to deal with even though collectively as a people laws are in place to create legal racial equality, racial bigotry still exists and does so in the individual heart of Christian and non Christian alike.

    Slavery still exists in Islamic countries today and their religion allows for it according to them.

    Not sure where you want to go with this subject Mart, but as stated many times every thing ultimately leads to Jesus the Christ and to our individual standing with Him.


  2. plumbape says:

    Thanks Steve, I see an answer to my question in what you just commented! Which I should have went to there web site any way. What a knuckle head I am some times.

    My wife Sharon is up to walking 40′ with a brace on her right foot and ankle, while using a walker she can lean on with right arm! Will just take some months of rehab. Thanks everyone for prayers.


  3. swwagner says:

    It is interesting to me that God confounded the languages of the people at Babel so that they would not be able to join forces and become more corrupt. And, like Steve said, Jesus did not come to unite but to divide.

    This is the kind of “real life” topic that challenges me to look beyond myself and my own ideas. My “heart burns with me” as I think of Christ being the peace that endures through all centuries and generations. Only Christ can bring peace to individual, cultural, national, differences.

    That is all for now…but, I will be mulling this over all day. Please pray for me as I seek the clarity of God’s will about closing my fabric/quilt shop. The decision deadline is looming (December 31st) and the situation is difficult to unravel. Thank you.


  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    Mart, your reference to America’s slavery South and South Africa’s apartheid are spot-on for poor use of Scripture to defend an immoral practice – even to defend a godless view of holding others in contempt. Those who “use” the Bible for such argument have missed God’s grace entirely.

    You wrote:

    “This doesn’t resolve all of the different ways we read the Bible,” as you reference Jesus’ core teaching to love God and to love one another. As the earthly remains of Nelson Mandela lie in state before the whole world, there are those who proclaim his greatness in seeking freedom and democracy for all the peoples of his country. At the very same time, we are hearing those who are convinced he had socialist and communist philosophical leanings – and that he did encourage armed resistance against the then all-white S.A. regime.

    It seems to me all these ideological struggles rage on in every era of history. Perhaps it is for followers of Jesus to squint a little and take a “longer view.” So long as the argument does not lead to mischief or outright fighting, each one who pipes up has the right, in a democratic society, to express his/her beliefs. In my own life, I have learned that the more shrill the opposition to my convictions, the more I am given the gift of examining and refining what I truly believe.

    No human, whether a believer or non-believer in God, should grip the Good Book too tightly. Neither should anybody declare that Scripture completely undergirds his/her political beliefs.

    Sorry my post is so long,

  5. swwagner says:

    correction : my heart burns WITHIN me.

  6. fadingman says:

    This is something that’s has been on the forefront of my mind lately: doctrine vs. practice.

    We become church members by agreeing with a statement of faith, but that’s as far as many of us go. James said we are not just to hear the word (i.e. agree with it) but to put it all into practice (James 1:22-25). Jesus compared the doers and the hearers-only to wise and foolish men (Matthew 7:24-27). While I may be wise in some areas, I find I am a fool in others by not putting into practice everything He taught. This is just like those who affirmed the inspiration of the Bible while at the same time practiced discrimination against their brothers.

    I’m finding an essential corrective part of this is to let the scriptures examine me, rather than me just examine the scriptures. The Bible is light that reveals where I am not a doer but a hearer only.

  7. SFDBWV says:

    Michael it is so very good to hear of your wife’s recovery. The devotion and love you show your wife is exemplary and a rarity in our world, thank you for that.


  8. poohpity says:

    Yes I agree that history has shown that people who “claimed” to be Christians were bigots, hate mongers, racists, obviously their identity in Christ was empty and meaningless because they look no different than others of the world. Normally it seems they wanted to be the big fish in a small pond and who would want to be drawn to that other than those who think the same way. In the end the Lord will divide the wheat from the chaff. Those type of people are normally ruled by fear which is usually the root of oppression. Men over women, whites over blacks, Germans over Jews, Muslims over Christians oppression comes in many forms and colors.

    Most times it seems the racism, hate mongering and bigotry are brainwashed into a child’s mind, they know nothing different but one can be born again. Once that new life takes over it will cause division in families when the old thought patterns are challenged and a new way of thinking emerges. Sadly the commitment to the families/flesh is stronger than the commitment to Christ similar to what is referenced by the soil types.

    Sounds like with all the differing thoughts Mart you all had One thing in common which brought you all together in unity when you stated, “None of us would deny that he told us to love one another as he has loved us; and that he then gave to all who come to him the “Spirit who enables” us to share his love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” That seems to be the evidence of what a life/vine looks like that is deeply connected to the root of Christ.

  9. poohpity says:

    It would be beneficial if we were to watch out for those who cause problems in the body by bringing racism, hate and bigotry rather than peace, love and forgiveness. Romans 16:17 NIV; 1 Cor 12:25 NIV

  10. poohpity says:

    John 8:36 NIV

  11. poohpity says:

    Mart, you stated that people have used the Bible to support Apartheid and resist emancipation where in the Bible did they find their basis?

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    BTA family… I am asking for prayers for my sister Sharon who is caught in the battle with depression and overdosed again.
    With her background in nursing and a history of dispensing medication to others for years, she now uses them on herself as desperate attempt to escape her personal battle with these very real demonds.
    So far, God has used this type of pain in her life for a reason which her immediate family now must suffers with also.
    What a horrific form of revenge being helpless can become when used against those who love and care for you.
    It reminds me a little Ralphie in the Christmas Story who plays out being blind and finds relief in punishing his parents to suffering just to justify his own end means.
    This particular episode came to fruiition conveniently on
    Thanksgivng Day when invited to a relatives house who she absolutely abhors and refused to go claiming sudden onset of illness with all the negative family dynamics in fun play it has morphed into this latest overdose which happened last night.
    We can never know the pain we bring to others or ourselves but it is real regardless of whether it is physical or emotionalally derived or incited.
    My only recourse is to bring it all to the Lord asking for His perfect solution which only He can provide.
    I am sorry that the Holidays do bring on so much stress and strain in many families.
    If we knew better we would do better, but we all know that Christ has the better way for us all, we need only to learn and to apply it as well.
    What can one do to resolve the desperate cry for help in those who also refuse our help as well?
    Only God Knows…

  13. freedom12 says:

    Regarding this article, it is the differing theologians who stand out to me This morning I read, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” John 15:5,8 NIV.

    I envision the theologians as Christ’s branches, with Christ as the Vine listening in on all this. I can’t help but wonder, how long before an agreement is reached – before the verse is deemed trustworthy (or not?

    I also wonder what Jesus would say. I believe he would say, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39) – to quote De Hann, who quotes our Lord Jesus.

    I am also reminded of Exodus 20: And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God….You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath or…”.

  14. belleu says:

    I was just reading a book by a preacher who said it may not be a bad thing for there to be so many churches and interpretations of Scripture. But he said we should follow what Paul said, “Let every person be fully convinced in his own mind.” Romans 14:5

    Since God gives us the freedom to believe as we choose, I think we should give this same freedom to everyone else.

    As for Mandela perhaps being a Communist or Communist sympathizer, in my mind this is understandable. I would hate to live in a Communist country, and the worst thing about Communism is their persecution of religion.

    However, the people of Russia were starving to death under the Tsars. Communism seemed an improvement to that. Chinese people were in extreme poverty and starving under the Emperors. The French people were starving under King Louis. When you have nothing to eat you have nothing to lose and will revolt.

    It is easy for us to condemn Communism while we have lots to eat and live in a free country but I can see where people might flock to it in the face of suffering and death.

    I pray, Gary, for your sister who is in great suffering and addiction. I pray she will find help from therapy and God.
    This is what my grandson went through before he died and I understand how this brings terrible pain to the family. Our hearts were broken time and again. At the end, he was striving to get clean but losing the battle. One day he thanked my husband and me for praying for him and that night he died from suffocation from too much to drink and sleeping with his face in a pillow. The coroner told us this was quite common.

    Some would say my grandson’s soul was lost. No, I know he was saved. He was praying and striving to change and God was with him. God took him from a life that was too hard for him. My grandson was in deep sorrow all the time because of his childhood and never having a real father to look up to or to help him. All his drug friends had no fathers. They all seemed to be in pain.

  15. poohpity says:

    Gary, praying for the unconditional love of God to touch the emotional pain your sister is suffering and to touch you and your family as well.

    belleu, sad to hear someone presumes to speak for God regarding your grandson’s soul. I do agree that God gives us freedom to choose to believe in Him or not but I do not agree that means anything we want to believe about Him. Let me also qualify that statement about “anything we want to believe about Him” I think there are truths and then there can be distortions or heresies which is what Paul warned us about but that also does not mean we can know all there is to know either. It seems better to error on the side of grace and mercy no matter what.

    Also Mandela was not a communist that was thought before he entered prison but not after the change he went through in prison and his life afterward.

  16. belleu says:

    It seems to me that what one person believes is heresy can be truth – like when the Catholic Church used to kill people for heresy, even though we may now believe that heresy is truth.

    How can another person tell me what heresy is? They can quote the Bible, but perhaps I believe that verse means something different than what you believe. Some people believe the dead sleep until Jesus returns; others believe we go straight to heaven. There are verses to support each belief. Some people believe in the Rapture; some people believe Jesus second coming will be when every eye will see him. Who is right? Let everyone be convinced in his own mind.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Thanks to all for your prayers.
    I can not say that there is a history of addiction present in my sisters behavior, although her advanced Lyme’s Disease can produce great periods of pain and then suddenly go into a remission without pain,but there is a history of depression and this is the second time she has used perscribed painkillers to overdose.
    So, not knowing the actual basis for the pain or what actually percipitated it, it is real and debilitating for her and robs her of having the freedom we may take for granted not having to live with depression and an advanced disease both present in her body.
    I pray that a powerful move of the Holy Spirit comes upon her and overtakes her present condition and provides her relief beyond any worldly understanding.
    Why God would send the worm to take away the comfort that Jonah was having in the shade of the plant is as perplexing as why He also had him thrown overboard just to rescue him in the belly of the Whale.
    We may only see the pain of the moment endured, where God sees the totallity of His plan to grow us as we all need.

  18. foreverblessed says:

    We can believe as we are convinced in our own mind.
    But God is greater then our conviction, where is the bible verse which says so?
    If we are sincere seekers of the truth the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, slowly but surely.
    It is Ok to have many sort of churches, not everybody like soul music, let everyone choose their own way of worship. as long as the Person worshiped is Jesus. It is all through Jesus.

    In my own life I was convinced that I should keep the sabbath day holy, the 7th day. And I thought every christian who did not do that, was misled. Yes, I am sorry now, that is what I thought. And I see now how misled I was myself.
    The thing is, I found out that all is coming together in the Person of Jesus.
    Jesus is the All in All.
    Col 2:16-17 The reality is in Christ, the days (sabbaths) are a shadow.
    If I live in faith in Jesus, then I have fulfilled the Sabbath command, every second of my life I live in the Sabbath, Jesus is the Sabbath. That feeling that I had when the sun went down on friday night, I thought: this is now where God wants me to be, this is holy time. But now I have this conviction every time I look up to Jesus. And that is the disciplinary part of it, these times increase. More and more often during the day I focus on Him.
    Doesn’t it say: the spirit that is within us He longs for it with great jealousy? James 4:5

    There is another verse 1 John 5:6-12
    If we have the Son, we have life, and that is IT. If you sing different type of songs, if you celebrate with dance or not, if you keep a day holy or not, it doesn’t matter, these are trivial things, things from the earth, but Jesus is our Lord, a heavenly Lord, our Lord in the Spirit. We worship Him in spirit and in truth.

    Mart is leading us to see the bible in this way: everything is about Jesus, I have learned that the Sabbath is about Jesus, but there is so much more to learn!
    And Jesus is all about saving mankind that is lost!
    The circle is round, God and Jesus long for our souls with great Jealousy, they so look forward for every person to come the Rest in Him, Jesus.

  19. foreverblessed says:

    Gary I pray for your sister, that God will send His Spirit of Love and of peace upon her.
    Sheryl, I pray for you too, that God may give you the desires of your heart, them being within the Kingdom of God: saving souls, we working in His secret service however we do it, may it be done in a quilt shop.
    That God may bless you with His Spirit of insight, of wisdom, of peace, of love, to touch all those that come in contact with you.

  20. foreverblessed says:

    Cherilyn, I also hold you in my prayers, Rom 5:2-5
    That God may pour out His love into your heat, that you may be a blessing to all around you.

  21. foreverblessed says:

    Rom 5:5 pour out His love into your heaRt..

  22. SFDBWV says:

    In an attempt to somewhat prioritize my comments this morning, let me first say to Gary that I am sorry he and his family are hurting and do pray for a full and total recovery of his sister.

    Looking at the second paragraph of Mart’s comment I had to smile at the idea of what I suppose to be professing Christian’s attending a conference on the *trustworthiness* of the Bible.

    For us “lay” people, it is an indwelling knowledge in our hearts that causes us to *trust* the Bible, not a dissection of the Word of God by the standards of academic intellectuals.

    In fact it is in the academic arena that most young people fall away from the faith.

    As a veteran of life, living has taught me a great many things, one being that there are very few absolutes if any at all; one possibility being that I can not prove my faith to another.

    My faith may be the one thing in all of existence that is totally and personally between me and God.

    The faith I possess can be seen by others in my actions and words, but that acceptance and belief we call faith can only live in a connected relationship between me and God there in my inner being, nothing I can impart to another.

    Questioning the trustworthiness of the Bible is almost an affront to God, I say almost because there are a great number of other *books* that make bold claims of being the *truth* and *way* to completion spiritually for mankind, and where as I think it questionable to question God’s Word, I do see it important to *compare* the Bible against the other false religions of the world.

    In this I see a difference between questioning the trustworthiness of the Bible and questioning the tenets of other religions as compared to what the Bible has to say.


  23. BruceC says:


    Prayers for your sister’s complete healing to the glory of God.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  24. BruceC says:


    You said: “In fact it is in the academic arena that most young people fall away from the faith.”

    And that is the truth. Reminds me of …”woe to those who are wise in their own eyes.” It happens quite frequently in the indoctrination camps we refer to as colleges.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  25. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Bruce, are you getting this second round of snow as are we today? Sunday it snowed 5 inches in three hours, I was wowed. They are calling for 2-4 this morning.

    Colleges are very different institutions then they were originally created to be, and so are their graduate’s very different people than they first began to turn out.

    To all as well, I had mentioned a third friend that was in hospice on the last topic; he died yesterday and will be buried tomorrow.

    It is so strange that there are always three or more that die here at the same time; an observation from living in a small community and of knowing so many other people, almost an extended family.

    The classic conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilot went something like this “…and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.”, “What is truth?”

    It seems Pilot is still looking for the truth, while not listening to it.


  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Thanks to all for your prayers.
    Christ taught his disciples this… that some demons can not be expelled except through prayer.
    This was taught to them after they had failed to cast out or remove a demon from the possessed boy..
    Mark 9:29 (NIV)
    The Power of Prayer is shown to be one of the greatest tools that God has given us, to overcome our most challenging circumstances, even demonic possession.

  27. poohpity says:

    I guess reading the Bible depends on the heart. This God who loved me enough to go to the Cross for the forgiveness of all my sins is what prompted me to seek Him. The crush I have on my teacher put a desire in my heart to learn all I can about him and in that process of learning I saw that the Bible taught me about myself as a human being and others. My love for others prompted me to study human behavior in school but found more truth in the Bible about people coming from the One who created them.

    The Bible can be used against people or for the love of them. I have witnessed how people can use it to cause harm because it is used for personal reasons apart from it’s original intent but I also found that if people will only read it they will not be lead astray. People can have all kinds of reasons for the misuse of the Bible and it is usually evident in who the focus is on, man or God. The unity found will be greater than the divisions, the agreements greater than the disagreements, grace and forgiveness greater than oppression and hatred because it will be the reliance on the Spirit of God rather than the understanding of a the natural instincts man.

  28. poohpity says:

    understanding the natural instincts of man.

  29. belleu says:

    The best news is that all Christians can believe together that love is the most important thing about God and religions. Mart said that in his writing, and if we can agree on that it is wonderful.

    Foreverblessed, I do believe the Sabbath day is holy and I believe that day is still the 7th day Saturday. But, we can have our own convictions and be walking towards God and his love every day. And you are right, everything is about Jesus!

  30. BruceC says:


    We had some snow yesterday, about 1-2″. Had to run some errands in our nearby small city and the roads were a mess. Temps have been pretty cold for Nov.(felt like Jan.) and Dec. is about average. I thank the Lord for our wood stove! Toasty inside!!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Jumping ahead a bit this morning to Mart’s commenting that “Probably” most of the attendees would agree that the Bible is a trustworthy witness to the God who revealed Himself in Christ- and to our need of Him.

    It was the word *probably* that struck me. It is so true that in any assembly of people there is most often one that is going to be contrary to the majority.

    In the upside down twisted society that we live in today it is that 1% that gets its way on every issue.

    In an attempt to allow everyone to have their *place at the table* and a voice in our world, we have given over to them *control* of our world.

    For that 1% publishers are rewriting the Bible to play to their views, for that 1% we as a people can’t have Nativity scenes in our public places, because of that 1% courthouses must remove the Ten Commandments from public view, because of that 1% our children can no longer honor God in our public schools….this list goes on.

    The entire matter reminds me of Jesus’ comment that the good shepherd left the 99 in order to go and retrieve the 1 lost lamb.

    Jesus didn’t say to allow the 1 lost lamb to lead the 99 astray, no He said that He/we were to go and bring that 1 back into the safety of the fold.

    Time to take a review of how things are progressing and see what it may be we need to do better or at least put more emphasis on.


  32. poohpity says:

    Steve, I am so glad that sheep do not lead sheep but that we follow the Good Shepherd. I so agree everyday I need to look to and listen for the voice of our Shepherd to lead as we are given a new chance everyday to put all in His hands as I am guided in my service to Him. I find it so wonderful that God has even given us the abilities we need to carry that out. As we spend time in His word He shines a light on those areas that need work then it is God that even cleans those up as we trust in Him. God seems to deal with us one heart at a time beginning with my own.

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Unfortunately, this age we live in is not trying to Silence the Lambs, but instead they are trying to Silence, hide, cover up, or remove any mention of the Good Shepherd.
    They are now giving a voice to only the lost lambs instead, which is driven by those who do not want to hear His voice, but only cherist hearing their own.

    Isn’t it funny that today’s ODB is all about how reading/hearing the word is what then brings God’s voice alive onto our page of understanding, and that changes us forever.

    Hearing the Shepherd’s voice is what redirects and saves the lost.

    Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.

    Remember this, if “they” can keep the word out of the Government’s Elementary learning process and they have so far, then they really can change a nation.

    Was the change of removing Christ from the Halls of Justice and Education all part of their change and really always their plan.

    I’m so thankfull that God is in ultimately in control and that His “better plan” will come to be,
    If my people who are called by my name…

    I pray for healing of all nations who currently find they are not fully submitted and trying to be Under God.

  34. poohpity says:

    How come we are worried about a nation taking God out of things when only 19% of Christians in the USA read the bible everyday. We desire a nation to do more than most believers do in their own homes. We want prayer in public places when it is lacking in the privacy of our own homes. We want our public schools to do more with our children than we do in gathering around the table to pray together or read the word. Are the 10 commandments posted in our yards but yet we cry out that they are taken out of government offices? I think we need to cry out to God to bring back devotion to Him in the heart of each believer who is called by His name then we can live out what we believe cause it seems like we have allowed it to be taken out of each individual before it was ever taken out of the government or schools because it is us who works in the governments and schools.

  35. street says:

    I think the division Jesus was talking about was between kingdoms not His Church. Man only tries to unify what God has already unified. Jesus prayed for unity among believers before the cross. I am sure His prayer was given approval by His Father. I think Aswold Chambers address this problem quite well in the last couple of days, Dec. 9,10,and 11, in the devotional he wrote so long ago. It is on your website. street

  36. oneg2dblu says:

    I do not think it is the fault of those unread Christians, (meaning whether they have read the bible daily, completely or not,) that they are responsible for the removing the Ten Commandments, or the now unacceptable mention of Christ, or use of the word God in the Court Houses today.
    But, I may be wrong.
    Nor are those unread Christians the ones who supported taking prayer out of the schools, or removing the bible that used to be the “approved and required” reader for the budding minds of yesteryear, when God’s Laws were actually accepted and upheld.
    But, I may be wrong.
    I do believe however, that always bending to this 1% as Steve has mentioned, where many today do support this new corrupted mindset of polictical convention, or correctness if you will, (talk about an oxymoron or misguided use of language,) where even the very word Christ now becomes sooo offensive, and where the courts now give “their hallowed rights and blessings if you will, to those who now freely practice even those yesteryear biblical, “Thou Shall Nots!”

    That is to me, perhaps where the root problem lies.

    But, you are correct in saying that I may be at fault or lending to the problem instead of the solution, as I do not display the Ten Commandments in my yard, nor have I ever been led to do so by my reading of the bible.
    But, I may be wrong.
    I may have mis-turned a page or two, or missed those particular verses, and will need some further reference to them, for I did not know that it was my responsibility to post them bodly in my yard.

    I am glad to know that I may qualify as a 19%er though, as I do read my bible daily and prayerfully converse with the Lord every day.

    I trust I’m not being pridefilled or boasting mind you, I’m just confessing my new and improved lifestyle since my hearing improved as well, and made God’s Word become so valid and alive.

  37. cbrown says:

    Pooh and Gary you have confused me even more than I already was. Pooh in the past said do not judge but have mercy but now says that only a small portion of Christians have devotion (my comment: and obedience). Gary you in the past have said that same thing but now say that it is the world that has messed everything up implying that it does not matter what Christians do or don’t do. In one since I think you are right because God is sovereign but I still think he blesses those who “fear” Him.

  38. belleu says:

    Because of what has happened in history when church and state were united – persecution and death – I do believe in complete separation of church and state. The world of God is openly available to all, there are churches everywhere, and there are lots of preachers on TV and the net.

    I do think it would be good to advertise for the Lord. There are bumper stickers, or we could have a verse from the Bible on our cars. A sign on the front lawn would be a bit strange, but not too bad an idea. We do it for political campaigns so why not religion? In my city there used to be billboards with ads for churches and they were very nice.

  39. BruceC says:


    Granted there were persecutions when church and state were one.

    But the greatest persecutions have been done by God- less nations/governments. For example the Nazi’s, Communist China, Communist Russia, Cuba, North Korea, some Islamic states, etc., etc. Millions upon millions died. I don’t think anyone here advocates a church/state union; it’s just that we don’t think God or the mention of His Word or His Son Jesus should be eliminated from all avenues of public life. Last night I heard that a sports network rejected an ad by a Catholic Hospital for the holidays because it mentioned “Christ” too often. I thought I only heard His Name once! This is how far “political correctness” and “separation” has gotten us. Now even the private sector bows to this “new, man-made god”.
    There is a big difference between separation and eradication. We need to keep or eyes open.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  40. SFDBWV says:

    A few topics back we talked about the “Beatitudes” and looked at the various ways we see differently the teaching of Jesus.

    Since we have been talking about Mandela we have the concept of peaceful resistance and peaceful defiance to unreasonable rule or oppression.

    The Bible gives no example of one kingdom defeating another *peacefully*; the peaceful transformation of a persons soul comes from the gift of God’s Son, but at a very non-peaceful price.

    Often I talk about how I see in God’s creation an opposite to everything, much like the God given laws of physics we can strain to understand, as for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction.

    So whereas there can be a peaceful transformation from oppression to freedom, there also can be a quiet transformation from living in God’s blessings to losing it, and when we lose that oppression is soon to follow.

    The Bible gives us much in the way of instruction as to how God wants us to live and react with others, but it is all *headed* by God as the ultimate authority.

    We are given the freedom to decide for ourselves how we as a people want to live, that freedom is God given and ordained. We should give honor and thanksgiving to God in both word and deed.

    When we omit God from His position as ultimate authoritarian; who then do we think is the highest authority?

    It is that entity then that we bow to and give our freedoms over to.


  41. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me the spiritual awakening that comes with entry into the blood covenant of the God of Creation by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ — calls us to watchfulness.

    The social contract, under the Constitution of the USA, asserts that “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”

    We must be attentive to what is occurring in all three branches of our government. Sometimes, our only avenue after letter writing and other forms of communication with our representatives, is to engage in opposition.

    Though our national life is based on a contract, not a covenant, the authority of God (see the Declaration of Independence) is the source authority for our freedoms.

    Mandela stood against a corrupt military state and prevailed. We must thank God for the victory — and the people of South Africa, like the people of any democratic nation, are not permitted to go to sleep at the switch of the train of state. Once the human soul enters into this kind of social contract, it cannot go “back to the garden” of expecting everything to be maintained to its benefit. It is work.


  42. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Maru, I agree that the *contract* the founding fathers created for us Has God as the ultimate power and its language is threaded with Biblical principals.

    It is the *spirit of the ant-christ* that is the driving force behind the blossoming culture to remove all mention of God and especially of Jesus the Christ from our culture as a self governing people.

    Our battle is on two fronts, the first in the spiritual and the second as active representatives of Christ. However as agents of Christ we also know that the power of the anti-christ is growing and what that means.

    God’s will, will be done and no earthly power can prevent that, Just as Jesus had to endure the cross so it is that there is a hour coming when the world will be judged and Christ return as the triumphant King of Kings.

    Once again it is the Bible that gives us detailed knowledge of this and what the world will look like as that hour approaches.

    When *the* Anti-Christ appears on the world scene once again the world will celebrate a man and honor a man and praise a man and give over to this man all their futures and freedoms, too their doom.

    Our work is a very serious one, as our power seems to look as if it is weakening; it is actually in obedience to the will of God and is shown only to our enemies as weakness giving the enemy a false sense of victory, as the trap is being set.


  43. poohpity says:

    cbrown, that percentage was from a research organization and was not a judgment. Reading stops a lot of divisions with those who discuss God’s Word because I thought we were to discuss God’s word when we rise, throughout the day and before we go to bed. We can not discuss what we do not know that is where some problems arise because of a lack of knowledge. I also thought that is how we get to know our God and hear Him speaking to us. There is a big difference in judgment and stating facts. I do not look down on those who don’t but in my heart look forward to sharing with others what we learn together. It is like being in a book club that very few read the book only this is the Word of God passed down through centuries that some would give their lives to have just one page and 81% in the USA never read all of it. I do not judge that I feel sadness of heart for what they are missing.

    I turn 60 today and never thought I would see a day over 21 but God!

  44. poohpity says:

    How can one really understand grace and mercy without reading the extent of it in God’s Word? How did Madiba understand forgiveness and servanthood without knowing the source? He understood more about it than many who openly claim they have received it, he lived it.

  45. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Steve —

    My assessment of the working of the anti-Christ is in agreement with yours. There is a net laid for Satan and all his agents, hose who are conscious and unconscious of his wiles. It will play out just as John of Patmos has foreseen. His doom is approaching: the lake of fire.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we are about the day-in-day-out work of igniting faith in all we may by sharing the reason for our hope in God.

    Happy Birthday, Deb! 60 is a nice round number! Blessings on your special day!


  46. remarutho says:

    meant to write: those who are conscious and those who are unconscious of his wiles. Maru

  47. BruceC says:

    Welcome to the “over 60 club” poohpity.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  48. poohpity says:

    Yep Bruce it is not so hard to forget the past and press on for the future in hope., lol!!! Even if you don’t intend on forgetting, lol

  49. cbrown says:

    Happy Birthday Pooh!Thank you for your faithfulness. You are a blessing!

  50. belleu says:

    Bruce, I agree that “political correctness” has become ridiculous. I don’t understand how an ad for a Christian hospital could be censored for having the word “Christ” in it. That is just crazy.

    What I fear is a slippery slope from super political Christians. I did read of a politician (can’t remember his name) saying his goal was to have a Theocracy in the U.S. If this ever happens, may God have mercy on us. There will be persecution, small at first and then growing worse.

  51. oneg2dblu says:

    Thanks to you pooh, the 60’s crowd is still growing.

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    BruceC…. great comment earlier,
    “There is a big difference between separation and eradication. We need to keep or eyes open.”

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown… I am astonished that somehow you have posted some further confusion for me as well, by your saying that I have “implied” somewhere that it does not matter how a Christian lives or acts, or that it does not matter what we do or not do.

    You may have misread something, or I have mis-spoken someting, and I do not know which it is.

    If that is the best extrapulation one can claim from my past posting, then I have truly failed miserably to convey any message of any value to my Christian brothers and sisters here, and have totally mis-spoken my whole purpose and intention for ever posting.

    Please share with me, (cut and paste it if you can)where I have failed you so I can learn from my past mistakes that may possibly be seen by others as well to imply that, It doesn’t matter how a Christian lives.

    If those words have slipped from my mouth, they have failed to be my intention, and I want to read them to correct any misgivings they might imply.


  54. oneg2dblu says:

    Extrapolation would be a correct spelling, just for the record I also mis-spell frequently and enjoy finding my mistakes and correcting them.
    Mostly right after I post. :0

  55. SFDBWV says:

    One of the difficulties of being the boss is transferring your desired results from your instructions to another’s understanding.

    It is amazing how what you see so clear another sees or at least understands from a different base than you; the result a very different outcome than your instructions and desires presented.

    I have come to understand that this is why sometimes the best prayer is to just ask God for His desired will in every matter, rather than present my own *view* of a good result.

    The Gospel message is that a Savior (Jesus of Nazareth) was born to take the punishment man deserved upon Himself and free man from the sting of sin, and that all we need to do is believe that.

    Yet look at all the other baggage that people have added to the message.

    I feel something of empathy for God in trying to make mankind understand Him, Maybe that is why He has so little to say; it always gets misunderstood.


  56. Artle says:

    Steve, I very much agree.

    We people misunderstand each other every day. Most times and in most relationships and conversations a little misunderstanding is passed over because it really doesn’t matter. But in close relationships understanding each other is important, so misunderstandings are accentuated.

    What the conference Mart mentions could agree on was the simple, easily understood stuff.

  57. poohpity says:

    I believe God has a lot to say to us. A whole book, creation and then some but how many can hear Him above their own voice. God does not seem to want to get into a shouting match He has all the time and patience to wait until people are ready to listen.

  58. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps the God who created the “natural laws” like those found in a magnet, may also apply to the spiritual laws in the spreading of His word, because Opposing Ends can attract!
    We know this to be true as we were first enemies of God before we were attracted to Him, and then we become polarized with the realigning elements of His Holy Spirit now within us.
    Like having a shouting match with us, spritually speaking, keeping us set apart or separate, and from returning to this world if you will.

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