Giuliani Claims To Know The Bible Well

I found this article linked to from Drudge about Giuliani and how he understands the Bible. In the article Giuliani is quoted as saying

“I have very, very strong views on religion that come about from having wanted to be a priest when I was younger, having studied theology for four years in college,” he said. “It’s an area I know really, really well academically.”

He is basically saying the he knows and understands much of what is taught in the Bible. The only problem is that a few paragraphs before this comment he demonstrates that he apparently does not. He said

“I’m guided very, very often about, ‘Don’t judge others, lest you be judged,'” Giuliani told CBN interviewer David Brody. “I’m guided a lot by the story of the woman that was going to be stoned, and Jesus put the stones down and said, ‘He that hasn’t sinned, cast the first stone,’ and everybody disappeared.”

There are two errors in this one quote. Did you see them? First, Giuliani quotes for Matthew 7:1 and gets its meaning wrong. To be fair though, he makes a mistake that many people make with this verse by not knowing the context of it. Matthew 7:1-5 says

“(1) Judge not, that you be not judged. (2) For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. (3) Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? (4) Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? (5) You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

The context of this verse does not mean that we are never to make judgments about other people as Giuliani seems to be suggesting. It simply means that when we make those judgments that we should know that the same standard will be applied to us.

Second, he refers to the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery. John 8:1-11 says

“(1) but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. (2) Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. (3) The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst (4) they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. (5) Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” (6) This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. (7) And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” (8) And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. (9) But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. (10) Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (11) She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

In his quote Giuliani says that Jesus put down the stones.  We see in the text that Jesus never had a stone.   This is a very well known passage and someone who “studied theology for four years in college” should not make this error.  Interestingly, the author of the story actually points out the error.  I was a bit shocked by that but then I remembered that Giuliani claims to be a republican and is one of the front runners so the media will point out every error they can.

Now, for my take on this and remember my analysis is worth every penny you paid for it.  I think Giuliani is trying to appeal to the religious conservative voter.  He is pandering.  I think he knows that he cannot get elected without them.   The problem is that he does not have the background for it at least that is what comments like these seem to indicate.  His liberal policies on things like abortion also indicate this.  Do we want to elect someone who is just trying to say what they think we want to hear?  Giuliani is not the answer and this is just another example of why!!!

Should The Republicans Take It Easy On Hillary Because She Is A Woman

“You can’t go after a woman candidate the way you can go after a guy,” said Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and an influential conservative leader. “It’s very, very difficult to campaign against a woman candidate.”

This quote is from an article I saw on the Drudge Report.  I could not believe this when I read it.  Is she not running for the Presidency of the United States of America?  Will she not be the leader of the free world if she is elected?  I know that we are not supposed to pick on or hit the girl but lets get real here.  She has put herself in this position.  She has a track record.  She is the smartest woman in the world…or so her people claim.  Since when does examining her record…her fitness for the office…her ability to lead and govern constitute being mean to the girl.

Lets get our heads on straight here….do we expect her to reciprocate.  NO! and if you do then you are extremely naive.  Her gender should play no role in how the republicans seek to campaign against her.  Stick to her record….there is more than enough there.  If the republicans insist on taking it easy on her or treating her differently because she is a woman then they will be playing right into her hands.

Lets hope they wise up or we will be seeing Hillary implementing her communist agenda as the next president and the media and congress will be behind her all the way.  Click here to see a good site dedicated to stopping her.

A New Discovery…..Sort Of

(Matthew 1:20-21) (20) But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. (21) She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” [ESV]

My Sunday School class is in the book of Matthew this quarter.  If you use the Explore the Bible curriculum then so are you.  The above verses were part of our first lesson of the quarter.  The context of these verses is this:  Joseph and Mary are betrothed (similar to being engaged) but they are not yet allowed to live together.  During the betrothal period, Mary is found to be pregnant and Joseph knows for sure that he is not the father.  The only possibility remaining is that Mary had committed adultery.  As Joseph was preparing to divorce her (they were considered legally married under Jewish law during the betrothal period) an angel speaks to him in a dream and tells him that Mary has not committed adultery but is part of God’s plan to bring the Messiah into the world.  The angel told him what to name the child and for what purpose the child was being born.

While I was preparing to teach the lesson, the last phrase of verse 21 practically jumped off the page.  Now, I had read this before but had just assumed His people meant those who chose to accept Him.  I never gave it a second thought but it floored me this time.  The implications are staggering.  Do you realize what they are?

We all know that Jesus came into the world to seek and to save (Luke 19:10) but I had assumed that meant to offer salvation to everyone (because that was what I had always been taught).  Verse 21 above actually proves that Jesus’ purpose in coming was limited in scope before He was even born.  He was coming to save His people and only His people.  The text does not even suggest that He was only making salvation possible.

The second part of the phrase says that He will save them from their sins.  This is another way of saying what He said in the first part of the phrase (save His people).  Not only was there a particular group or set of people that Jesus was going to save but there was a particular set of sins that He was going to save them from.  Wow!!  Do you see the limited scope now.  Had you noticed this before?

Until I started to study theology, I never would have noticed this phrase.  Now, sometimes it seems as if I am reading the Bible for the first time.  It makes me wonder about how my Bible study time could have been more productive if I had known then what I know now.  But then, I know that I was not spiritually mature enough then.

What do you think?  Do you get the same meaning from these verses or do you have a different interpretation?

God’s Absolute Sovereignty

This article was posted over at Pulpit Magazine.  It was written by John MacArthur and discusses God’s sovereignty and human responsibility.  He makes the point that Scripture teaches both and briefly explains how this is possible.  It is worth the time to read it.

Sovereignty and Free Will – An Arminian Perspective

This article was posted over at Arminian Perspectives by Kangeroodort. In the article he discusses the differences between Calvinists and Arminians on this issue. He asks a question that I have asked in the past. In fact, when I first started to study Reformed Theology this was one of my first objections.

Kangeroodort said

Is a God who can only control His universe through cause and effect bigger or smaller than a God who can allow for true contingency in His creatures and still accomplish His will?

Likewise, Arminians consider that this view magnifies God’s power, in at least two interrelated ways.

1. God was able to create a being who was not merely “determined,” but an actor who also “determines” things, a being who is free and in His own image. He of the only true sovereign will was able to endow man with a will that really has the power of decision and choice.

2. God is able to govern the truly free exercise of men’s wills in such a way that all goes according to His plan. A God who created a complex universe inhabited by beings pre-programmed to act out His will for them would be great. But one who can make men with wills of their own and set them free to act in ways He has not determined for them, and still govern the whole in perfect accord with His purpose is greater.” [page 43, italics his]

This was my position. I can still understand the argument. After all, in what way is God more powerful…when He controls everything or when He allows his creatures to have free will and He is still able to have His will accomplished? The answer seemed obvious. It makes so much sense, doesn’t it? Well on the surface it does. But there is so much more to this. The biggest problem I now see with this position is that it does not accurately account for the depravity of man. The depravity is total meaning that it permeates our whole being to the point of enslaving our will. Click here to read a more thorough discussion of Total Depravity. When we understand the true condition that our will is in we can understand that we can not have free will.

A.W. Pink explains it this way in Ch. 7 of The Sovereignty of God. He said

To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between two or more alternatives. But there is something which influences the choice; something which determines the decision. Hence the will cannot be Sovereign because it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both Sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. The will is not causative, because, as we have said, something causes it to choose, therefore that something must be the causative agent. Choice itself is affected by certain considerations, is determined by various influences brought to bear upon the individual himself, hence, volition is the effect of these considerations and influences, and if the effect, it must be their servant; and if the will is their servant then it is not Sovereign, and if the will is not Sovereign, we certainly cannot predicate absolute “freedom” of it.

All men have free will but they are only able to make choices within and in cooperation with their nature.  For unregenerate people that nature is the sinful nature inherited from the Fall.  For regenerate people that nature is the new nature given to them at the point they are made alive and freed from the bondage of the sinful nature.  The new nature is one that seeks after God and can respond when the Gospel is proclaimed to them.

The Gospel According to Islam

This (Pulpit Magazine » Blog Archive » The Gospel According to Islam) is a very good article on the differences between Christianity and Islam.  It points out that both cannot be true.  It says

“Clearly, Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Both claim to be the only true way to God, but both cannot be right. There is no atonement in Islam, no forgiveness, no savior, and no assurance of eternal life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a message of hope; Islam is a religion of hopelessness.”

This brief list of distinctions is powerful.  How can people say that these two religions are related?  How can Christians insist on being tolerant of something that is completely opposed to Christianity.  We as Christians need to understand that those in the Islamic religion are not on another path to God, they are on a path to Hell.  They are lost. We need to recognize and attempt to share the Gospel with them.  Showing love to them does not mean that we have to accept their religion as equal to ours, it means that we must reach out to them as we would any group of lost people.

We as Christians need to stand firm on Jesus and His teachings.  We need to be uncompromising when it comes to the Gospel.  We cannot be afraid that we will be labeled (and we will be labeled) by non believers as being too harsh or unloving or any number of other things.  God calls us to take a stand for Him….will we be obedient? 

Human Will….Sovereign or Servant?

In Chapter 7 of The Sovereignty of God, A.W. Pink has the following discussion on the nature of the human will.

What is the Will? We answer, the will is the faculty of choice, the immediate cause of all action. Choice necessarily implies the refusal of one thing and the acceptance of another. The positive and the negative must both be present to the mind before there can be any choice. In every act of the will there is a preference-the desiring one thing rather than another. Where there is no preference, but complete indifference, there is no volition. To will is to choose, and to choose is to decide between two or more alternatives. But there is something which influences the choice; something which determines the decision. Hence the will cannot be Sovereign because it is the servant of that something. The will cannot be both Sovereign and servant. It cannot be both cause and effect. The will is not causative, because, as we have said, something causes it to choose, therefore that something must be the causative agent. Choice itself is affected by certain considerations, is determined by various influences brought to bear upon the individual himself, hence, volition is the effect of these considerations and influences, and if the effect, it must be their servant; and if the will is their servant then it is not Sovereign, and if the will is not Sovereign, we certainly cannot predicate absolute “freedom” of it. Acts of the will cannot come to pass of themselves-to say they can, is to postulate an uncaused effect. Ex nihilo nihil fit-nothing cannot produce something..

He makes an interesting point in this paragraph. He proves that the human will is NOT sovereign. I have struggled with this concept of human free will for a long time. I was always taught that we must choose to accept the gift of salvation when God offers it to us. I also thought that we could choose to reject His offer of salvation. If the will is not sovereign then that calls into question our ability to accept or reject the offer of salvation.

If the will is servant…then servant to what? Pink addresses this a couple paragraphs later. He says

That which determines the will is that which causes it to choose. If the will is determined then there must be a determiner. What is it that determines the will? We reply, The strongest motive power which is brought to bear upon it. What this motive power is varies in different cases. With one it may be the logic of reason, with another the voice of conscience, with another the impulse of the emotions, with another the whisper of the Tempter, with another the power of the Holy Spirit; whichever of these presents the strongest motive power and exerts the greatest influence upon the individual himself is that which impels the will to act. In other words, the action of the will is determined by that condition of mind (which in turn is influenced by the world, the flesh, and the Devil, as well as by God) which has the greatest degree of tendency to excite volition.

So we see here that the will chooses that which has the greatest influence on it. Another way of saying this is that we will choose the thing that we want more and is in agreement with our nature. This is why that an unregenerate person cannot choose God. In their fallen sinful nature the sin has the most influence over their will (For a discussion of how our sinful nature permeates us read this post on Total Depravity). We could actually go a step further and say the the sin nature has control over the will because the will can never choose something against its nature. Pink sums it up this way “if the will is controlled, it is neither sovereign nor free”.

What does all this mean to us? It means that until God chooses to change our nature that we will never be able to choose God. Calvinists call this regeneration. Arminians call it Prevenient Grace. Either way God has to initiate the process of Salvation. We are not free to choose to accept or reject salvation.

Monetary Restitution for Sin of Adam

Now this (Tominthebox News Network – Religious Humor/Satire: Monetary Restitution for Sin of Adam) is funny.  Like most good humor there is an element of truth to it.  We can all point out people we know who want to blame others for the circumstances in their life that they created.  Sometimes we probably do it ourselves.

Sin is the cause of all the problems in our world.  Sin has become our master.  Romans 3:23 says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”.  John 8:34 says “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.””  The Good News is that we don’t have to stay in this state of slavery.  We cannot save ourselves but there is one who has purchased our freedom.  Our benefactor is Jesus THE Christ.

If you don’t know Him or want to know more about how He did this, post your question here.  I, and others who post here, will be glad to explain it to you.

Fred Thompson says “My wife would make a better First Lady than Bill Clinton”

This is hilarious.  Check it out here.

John MacArthur – Doctrines of Grace

John MacArthur is doing a series on the Doctrines of Grace on his show Grace To You. The series started on 9/17/07. Click here to go to the first one. They have been very good. Today’s show was on reprobation.

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