Saturday, January 26, 2008

Forever questioning.....

Ok, so I really honestly do my best to not be a doubting Thomas. It seems downright wrong to question things that you are told are in the bible. But, that being said, I am a big believer in people using things out of context to "make the bible say what they want it to" to prove their point.

I have heard this about everything from "spare the rod, spoil the child" to tattoos being evil. Should you spank your child? Can you get a divorce? What about interracial marriage? People ponder on all that stuff all the time.

Pretty much everyone that talks to me knows I am pretty close to my ol' buddy Dean, and we talk about all kinds of stuff, some trivial, some not. He has given me scriptural references many times, on different things. The odd thing about Dean is, (and yes he did go to seminary, although I don't think that makes him who he is) he doesn't try to force his interpretations on you like you would assume a pastor would. We went through this when discussing tithing, and a few other biblical issues. Bottom line is, Dean makes me think. Dean makes me dig. A lot of the time, when wanting answers to my own questions, I google for info. It's hard to know what sites to trust, and I am aware of that. A lot of the time, too, I find lots of mind boggling stuff on blogs. Are those people necessarily right? Nope. But they may be. Instead of reading 10 blogs or information sites and trying to put my thoughts into words on it, I am going to start linking some of the things that interest me. I am aware that a lot of people won't go check out my links, but that's ok too. I know there are a lot of people pondering on the same things that I am, based on my site meter letting me know how many people come here, and how long they stay. I really wish more of my readers would get in the discussion, and put in their two cents. I know some have told me that they "don't want to sound dumb" and etc. Well, guess what? You can't sound dumb when doing bible study. It's what we are supposed to do. We are supposed to dig.
If you want to post anonymously, go for it, just be respectful that it is the word of God we are trying to decipher.
Here are a few things I have run into lately online that I found interesting.

How much authority should a pastor have over a church?

Can I lose my salvation?

Does committing suicide mean you will go to hell?

What does the bible say about tattoos?

Another spin on tattoos

What's wrong with not dressing up for church?

Does music really count as worship?

Now remember when you read these, my linking them does not indicate that I believe any or all of a certain article. I like to get different perspectives on things, and this is one way to do it. Reading opinions fascinates me, but I always look for scriptural references as well.

Before anyone jumps out there and says it, yes, I have a tattoo. Yes, I wear pants to church. No, I don't believe you can lose salvation if you ever truly had it, I don't believe the pastor deserves total control of a congregation, I believe music is not only important, but a huge part of worship, and, last but not least, I am pretty much convinced that suicide does in fact send you to hell.
Get to googlin' and see what you think.


K.T. is Mommatude January 26, 2008 at 4:01:00 PM CST  

I will check out these links when I get more time...
You and I seem to be on the same basic wavelengths on your last views as you stated,but I like to dig as well...

dean January 27, 2008 at 4:26:00 PM CST  

so is that "ol'" as in your buddy for a long time, or "old" as in your buddy dean is OLD??

in any event, the questions you've raised here are valid and of concern to many. i'm a bit surprised there hasn't been more discussion, or at least just more folks weighing in with thoughts and opinions. anyway, here goes...

i was raised catholic, so my only exposure to church governance for decades was from that perspective. and as you probably know, it all comes down from the top. and by that i mean the pope. surprisingly, even though the catholic church gives lip service to Jesus being the head of the church, the pope actually has the authority to issues decrees that supercede scripture... of course the catholic church has never bought into the idea of "sola scriptura" (scripture alone), so they have no problem trampling all over it. when i left catholicism i was involved with a presbyterian church for a time, and when i was saved i joined a baptist church, and for a long long time bought into the idea that the church was to be run as a democracy. as i've studied this, the only instance in scripture that i have found the members of the new testament church voting on anything was in acts 6 when they elected seven men (precursors to deacons) to oversee the daily distribution of food, because the grecian widows were being overlooked. in acts 1 the apostles told 120 believers to draw lots to select judas' replacement, but the church had not yet been established at this point, so that wouldnt count. most everything else seems to point to an elder model (the pastor is included as an elder). selection of elders seems to differ from church to church... in some churches the existing elders select new elders, in others, the congregation selects the new elders. i'm in the process of trying to determine what, if anything, the scripture has to say about this. in any event, i don't really buy into the baptist system of the congregation voting on every little thing that comes up. deacons for sure, and my jury is still out on elders (and pastors for that matter).

i believe in eternal security of the believer, so no, i do not believe you can lose your salvation either.

i don't believe that committing suicide will send a person to hell. dying without Jesus sends people to hell. if we're going to say that we believe you can't lose your salvation, then we cannot say that if a Christian commits suicide that is going to send them to hell. one could say that a person who commits suicide must not have been a Christian, but we don't know a person's heart (or mind), and i couldn't pass judgment on the frame of mind of a person who would be driven to suicide. depression and other mental illness affects people in ways we cannot even imagine. would i ever hold up suicide as a way out of a painful situation? NEVER. bottom line: if a lost person commits suicide, it is their separation from Christ that sends them to hell, not the act of suicide. if a Christian commits suicide, it is my understanding that they would not go to hell, because their salvation is secure and eternal.

tattoos: from what i've read in scripture, the practice of tattooing to honor the dead is what is condemned. scripture also tells us to do all things to the glory of God. does tattooing glorify God? i don't know honestly. if someone gets a tat of a cross on their bicep as their way of bringing glory and honor to God, i'm not going to doubt their motivation or their sincerity. i personally haven't felt led to get one... for any reason, but hey, that's just me!

i wholeheartedly subscribe to 1 samuel 16:7, which says man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart. there is also the age-old argument that when we show up at "God's house" we should dress our best. God does not live inside the building where i go on sunday to worship corporately with the other members of first baptist church of warren (yep, i joined this morning:-) He doesn't live in any building. he lives in ME! and the worship i offer on sunday morning is just a small part of my worship... romans 12:1 says that i am to offer my body as a living sacrifice, and that is my "spiritual (or reasonable) act of worship." so should i spend my entire day, every day, in a suit and tie? hardly! go to church on sunday with a pure heart and a right motive, and dress MODESTLY.

music is most definitely a vital part of worship, but as romans 12:1 cited above reminds us, the entire living of our lives is an act of worship. whatever we do, we should do it to the very best of our ability, and to the glory of God.

so, that's my short answer :-)

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