Wednesday, January 31, 2018

When to Keep Your Mouth shut

Don't open your mouth:

1. In the heat of anger - Proverbs 14:17
2. When you don't have all the facts - Proverbs 18:13
3. When you haven't verified the story - Deuteronomy 17:6
4. If your words will offend a weaker brother - 1 Corinthians 8:11
5. When it is time to listen - Proverbs 13:1
6. When you are tempted to make light of holy things - Ecclesiastes 5:2
7. When you are tempted to joke about sin - Proverbs 14:9
8. If you would be ashamed of your words later - Proverbs 8:8
9. If your words would convey the wrong impression - Proverbs 17:27
10. If the issue is none of your business - Proverbs 14:10
11. When you are tempted to tell an outright lie - Proverbs 4:24
12. If your words will damage someone else's reputation - Proverbs 16:27
13. If your words will destroy a friendship - Proverbs 16:28
14. When you are feeling critical - James 3:9
15. If you can't say it without yelling - Proverbs 25:28
16. If your words will be a poor reflection of the Lord, your friends or family - 1 Peter 2:21-23
17. If you may have to eat your words later - Proverbs 18:21
18. If you have already said it more than one time - Proverbs 19:13
19. When you are tempted to flatter a wicked person - Proverbs 24:24
20. When you are supposed to be working instead - Proverbs 14:23

"Whoever keepeth his mouth and his tongue, keepeth his soul from trouble." - Proverbs 21:23 

Author/Compiler unknown

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

On the Hill and Around the World

The House has voted to release FISA Memo; FBI & DOJ now under investigation. The report is believed to contain allegations that the FBI obtained a surveillance warrant application for Trump adviser Carter Page using research funded by the Clinton campaign. The FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe quit ahead of the agency review. "An internal communication authored by Mr. Wray shows Mr. McCabe's early departure was the result of a forthcoming FBI inspector general report that concluded the agency must perform at the highest standards." (And some think Chief of staff Rybicki leaving government is also related. "Earlier this month, Rybicki was grilled by lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees over the way the FBI handled the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State.")

The Department of Health & Human Services announced the creation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division. "The creation of the new division will provide HHS with the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights."

A new poll in Costa Rica shows huge surge for evangelical pastor in the presidential race. "Fabricio Alvarado has leaped to the lead in voter support – from just three percent of voter support in December to 17 percent in January...The conservative presidential candidate attributed his boost in the polls to the rigid position he adopted after the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Jan. 9."

It is not bigotry, and other quotes

The posting of quotes by human authors does not constitute agreement with either the quotes or their sources. (I try to confirm the sources that I give, but may miss on occasion; please verify if possible.)

"It is not bigotry to be certain we are right, but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong." -- G. K. Chesterton (similar to what Paul expressed in 1 Cor 8:2)

"If a definitive argument resolving Calvinism [and Arminianism] was possible, we would have heard it by now." -- Stephen Pruett

"We need to go by Calvary to get our pardon, and we need to stop by Pentecost to get our power." -- Jerry Young

"Those who have the most business in public, and of the best kind, must yet sometimes be alone with God." -- Matthew Henry

"Many times a right position can be clouded by a wrong disposition." -- Bob Presswood

"When you reject the God of the Bible you end up making your own waffle." -- David Robertson [The full quote is "This is a great example of what happens when you reject the God of the Bible.  You end up making your own waffle, and being judgemental in your own name (all of course whilst declaring you are being non-judgemental)."]

"God's intention for the body of Christ, the local church, is that it be a place of teaching and edification for the saints." -- Steve Anderson

"Fundamental to our system is the idea that justice is of a higher value that conformity to an unjust law." -- Dave Miller

"History doesn’t change because of 21st Century cognitive retardation." --  J. D. Hall

"Verbiage is too often the fig-leaf which does duty as a covering for theological ignorance." -- Charles H. Spurgeon

"A man who preaches nothing more than a therapeutic gospel preaches no gospel at all." -- Copied

"Time moves in one direction; memory in another." -- William Gibson

"The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." -- Dennis Prager

Monday, January 29, 2018

The “Anti”-KJV Quiz

Last Friday I posted a link to The KJV Quiz. I have personally dubbed it an “anti-KJV quiz.” Why?

First, the constant use of the term “false friends.”[i] It is used in 9 of the 10 examples. Using “false friend” seems to be an attempt to express the idea that folks may generally think the KJV word will mean something else than it actually means. Curiously, in a quiz about word meanings the compiler of the quiz uses “false friend” incorrectly! A false friend is a word in one language that looks or sounds similar one in another language that is wrongly assumed to have the same meaning.[ii] While this may have been unintended, such usage supports the tired old saw that King James English is a foreign language!

Second, five times the compiler uses the expression “Today it means…” (in the other five questions he or she uses something similar, though perhaps not quite as dogmatically). But it is not true that these words don’t mean the same today – and you usually don’t even have to look in an unabridged dictionary to discover that![iii]  Most words have a range of meaning. As far as I know every one of the words in the quiz still carry that 1611 meaning today.[iv] Just because some – even a majority of folks – are unaware of the range of meaning of a word doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have that meaning.

Third, some of the choices given seem almost a “set-up” so that the person taking the quiz will be confused about the answer. The answers for “What does halt mean in 1 Kgs 18:21” are: pause, limp, stop, and vacillate. All four of the answers supplied fall within the current range of meaning of the English word “halt.” While the Hebrew word pacach means limp, it also has a range of meanings.[v] Further, “to limp between two opinions” surely must have the connotation of to pause, hesitate, waver, yes, even vacillate. This makes me wonder whether the design of the quiz is to make those who read the King James Bible doubt their comprehension of what they are reading.[vi]

So, that is why I dubbed it an “anti-KJV quiz.” Then why did I post it and recommend people take it? I guess to some extent it was a “set-up” for this post! But, more importantly, I think it is worthwhile for any reader of the King James Version (and non-readers as well) to take this test, or something similar, to gauge how much one is actually comprehending when reading the Bible. It is not just exclusive King James readers who have this problem – we read over words assuming that we know what they mean. Part of studying the Bible is studying words to understand their meaning. If we think we know that apt means “inclined” we will never search to learn that it just might mean “able” instead!

[i] From the French faux ami.
[ii] For example, agenda in French does not mean the same thing as agenda in English.
[iii] The “unabridged” Random House Dictionary of the English Language contained 315,000 entries when it was published in 1966.
[iv] For example, one of the current meanings of “want” at is “to have need” – which is what the compiler implies it doesn’t mean today.
[v] It is translated “passing over” in Isaiah 31:5 (and in Exodus 12:13, 23, 27).
[vi] Another purpose of the quiz is a “come on” advertising Authorized: The Use and Misuse of the King James Bible by Mark Ward. It is a book designed to move folks away from the King James Bible. “In Authorized Mark L. Ward, Jr. shows what exclusive readers of the KJV are missing as they read God’s word.”

Believers held prisoner

"Many believers are held prisoner by the multitude of commentaries, self-help volumes and conferences. Perhaps putting all these “chains” away and just reading and observing what the Bible has to say would begin to solve the biblical illiteracy epidemic in our churches. Often we get the cart before the horse in our Bible study." -- David Marrandette

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Faith and Repentance, by Hart

Hymn No. 237 from Gadsby’s Selection

8s.7s.    By Joseph Hart
Faith and Repentance. Rom. 4. 18; 7. 18-25

1. Let us ask the important question,
  (Brethren, be not too secure),
  What it is to be a Christian,
  How we may our hearts assure?
  Vain is all our best devotion,
  If on false foundations built;
  True religion’s more than notion;
  Something must be known and felt.

2. ‘Tis to trust our Well-belovèd
  In his blood has washed us clean;
 ‘Tis to hope our guilt’s removèd,
  Though we feel it rise within;
  To believe that all is finished,
  Though so much remains to endure;
  Find the dangers undiminished,
  Yet to hold deliverance sure.

3. ‘Tis to credit contradictions;
  Talk with him one never sees;
  Cry and groan beneath afflictions,
  Yet to dread the thoughts of ease.
  ‘Tis to feel the fight against us,
  Yet the victory hope to gain;
  To believe that Christ has cleansed us,
  Though the leprosy remain.

4. ‘Tis to hear the Holy Spirit
  Prompting us to secret prayer;
  To rejoice in Jesus’ merit,
  To receive a full remission
  Of our sins for evermore,
  Yet to sigh with sore contrition,
  Begging mercy every hour.

5. To be steadfast in believing,
  Yet to tremble, fear and quake;
  Every moment be receiving
  Strength, and yet be always weak;
  To be fighting, fleeing, turning;
  Ever sinking, yet to swim;
  To converse with Jesus, mourning
  For ourselves or else for him.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Farewell, Palestine

The Lockman Foundation has decided to drop the word “Palestine” from their New American Standard Bible translation.[i] See Well-liked Bible translation drops controversial phrase and Why Would a Bible Translation Use the Word ‘Palestine’?

I suppose I fall into the “big deal?-who cares?” crowd. The Kaplan contributor writes, “…there was no land known as Palestine for 1,500 years after Joshua’s time” and Michael Brown writes, “…that ‘Palestine’ did not exist at that time.” But aren’t they talking about Palestine as we know it as a country today and not the long-time historic use of the word in English to refer to the land of the Philistines?

I don’t know exactly when the word “Palestine” entered into the English language, but it was around by the time Wycliffe translated the Bible in 1382. The Jewish Virtual Library says, “A derivative of the name Palestine first appears in Greek literature in the 5th Century BCE when the historian Herodotus called the area Palaistinē (Greek - Παλαιστινη)” and English dictionaries give its etymology sometimes like this: “From Greek Palaistinē (used in early Christian writing), from Latin (Syria) Palaestina (the name of a Roman province), from Philistia ‘land of the Philistines’.”

According to the modernized printing of Wycliffe’s Bible available at Bible Gateway, Palestine is used 15 times in his Old Testament.
  • Genesis            (5)
  • Exodus             (1)
  • Jeremiah          (2)
  • Ezekiel            (4)
  • Joel                  (1)
  • Amos               (2)
The earliest use I found was in Genesis 21:32 – “the land of Palestines.” This is translated “the land of the Philistines” in most every other English Bible. So, to me, it seems that saying “…there was no land known as Palestine for 1,500 years after Joshua’s time” is the same as saying “…there was no  land of the Philistines for 1,500 years after Joshua’s time.” And yet the NASB itself says there was a land of Philistia even in the book of Genesis.

Nevertheless I have no objection to dropping “Palestine” from this Bible that I don’t use anyway!

[i] Not used in the text, but in the in subheads of Joshua 10:29 and Joshua 11:1 – “Joshua’s Conquest of Southern Palestine” and “Northern Palestine Taken.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

40 Questions about Membership, and other reviews

The posting of book reviews does not constitute endorsement of the books or book reviews that are linked.

The KJV Quiz

The KJV Quiz – “Understandest what thou readest?”

The KJV Quiz has ten questions about words in the King James Version of the Bible, beginning with “What does want mean in Ps 23:1?” Take it and see how you do. I intend to come back early next week to say more about the quiz.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Theodosia Ernest, the Heroine of Faith

Yesterday I noticed that the full name of my wife’s paternal great-grandmother is Theodosia Ernest Propes. I had not noticed before. Noticing this made me think of the book, Theodosia Ernest: or, The Heroine of Faith. Perhaps her father and/or mother were fans of the book, and she was named after the heroine.  Theodosia Ernest is an interesting and important piece of Baptist history.

Theodosia Ernest was written by a Baptist preacher named Amos Cooper Dayton. He was born in 1813 at Plainfield, New Jersey. He died in 1865, and was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Houston County, Georgia. Dayton was raised Presbyterian, and is supposed to have written Theodosia Ernest soon after he converted to the Baptist faith, perhaps in 1853 In this work of fiction he puts forth an argument and defense for immersion baptism. On the marker they erected at his gravesite in 2005, the Georgia Baptist Historical Commission calls Theodosia Ernest the “1st Southern Baptist Novel.”

A. C. Dayton was a preacher and writer – also a dentist, editor and teacher, who is sometimes considered a member of the “Great Triumvirate” of Landmarkism. His writings also include Theodosia Ernest (Vol. 2): Ten Days’ Travel in Search of the Church, Emma Livingston, the Infidel’s Daughter, and  Pedobaptist and Campbellite Immersions. According to James Taulman, Dayton’s first sermon in 1852 was on the ‘Love of God’ from the text Ephesians 3:17-19, and that this topic and text was also Dayton’s last sermon in May 1865.

For a different format of the book, if you prefer: Theodosia Ernest: or, The Heroine of Faith

Online information regarding Amos Cooper Dayton
Weekly Whig (Vicksburg, MS), Wednesday, January 10, 1849, p. 3

The Christian Herald (Moulton,AL), Friday, September 2, 1865, p. 3

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Debate on Trine Immersion, and other links

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Holy Church of Christ - reaching out to readers

Have any of you ever heard of the Holy Church of Christ? It is a small denomination found in Northwest Alabama and Northeast Mississippi. I have identified the following churches in the general area that have that church name in common (though I can't be sure all of them are organically connected).
  • Cains Chapel Holy Church Of Christ, Jasper, Alabama
  • Emmanuel Holy Church Of Christ, Leighton, Alabama
  • Fairview Holy Church of Christ, Belmont, Mississippi
  • First Holy Church of Christ, Decatur, Alabama
  • Harmony Holy Church of Christ, Walley, Alabama
  • Hartselle Holy Church of Christ, Hartselle, Alabama
  • Highway 36 Holy Church of Christ, Moulton, Alabama
  • Hunters Chapel Holy Church Of Christ, Jasper, Alabama
  • Lindsey Hall Holy Church of Christ, Danville, Alabama
  • New Hope Holy Church of Christ, Nauvoo, Alabama
  • Phillips Chapel Holy Church of Christ, Empire, Alabama
  • Pine Grove Holy Church of Christ, Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama
  • Pinhook Holy Church of Christ, Moulton, Alabama
  • Pleasant Ridge Holy Church of Christ, Moulton, Alabama
  • Pleasant View Holy Church of Christ, Battleground, Alabama
  • Red Bay Holy Church of Christ, Golden, Mississippi
If you are familiar with this group, do you know anything about their history (or a source of information on their history)? So far I have not been able to find anything online, and I would like to find specifics of how they came into existence.


Monday, January 22, 2018

Salvation and the Church

"Biblical history reveals that Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden some 4,000 years before the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. This same history also helps us to understand that the New Testament Church was organized by the Lord around 30 years after his birth. This places around 4,030 years between the time when men started to be saved and the time there was a true Church that they could enter. This fact alone makes it apparent that soul salvation fails to place a person into the Church set up by the Lord Jesus Christ." -- Mike Brawner

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dialogue between a Believer and His Soul

“A Dialogue between a Believer and His Soul” by Joseph Hart appears below. It was first published in Hart’s Hymns, Composed on Various Subjects in 1759. Hart was the author of many unique and worthy hymns, including “The Stony Heart.” In The Sacred Harp, we sing two stanzas of Hart’s longer “Dialogue” hymn under the title The Grieved Soul.

The structure of the poem is intriguing, truly a dialogue or discussion between a man and his own soul. The internal conflict can be seen and felt as the soul’s doubts fight to be heard. The believer reasons from the Saviour and Scripture. It begins with both the believer and the soul alternating their speaking in 8-line stanzas. The discussion is sophisticated in the beginning. In stanza eight this gives way to 4 lines for each, then 2 lines alternating back and forth in the ninth stanza. It ends with a staccato flourish, the soul and the believer each quickly alternating lines as the soul seems to exhaust its questions in a gasp, giving way to the biblical answers of the believer. We might easily relate Hart’s struggle to our own within ourselves.

In the presentation below “B” stands for the dialogue of the “Believer” and “S” stands for the dialogue of the “Soul”. It appears as in A Sheaf of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs.

246    A Dialogue between a Believer and his Soul    7s. 6s. (8 lines)
1.            B:            Come, my soul, and let us try,
                              For a little season,
                              Every burden to lay by;
                              Come, and let us reason.
                              What is this that casts thee down?
                              Who are those that grieve thee?
                              Speak, and let the worst be known;
                              Speaking may relieve thee.
2.            S:            O I sink beneath the load
                              Of my nature’s evil!
                              Full of enmity to God;
                              Captived by the devil;
                              Restless as the troubled sea,
                              Feeble, faint, and fearful;
                              Plagued by every sore disease;
                              How can I be cheerful?
3.            B:            Think on what my Saviour bore
                              In the gloomy garden;
                              Sweating blood at every pore,
                              To procure thy pardon!
                              See Him stretched upon the wood,
                              Bleeding, grieving, crying,
                              Suffering all the wrath of God,
                              Groaning, gasping, dying!
4.            S:            This by faith I sometimes view,
                              And those views relieve me;
                              But my sins return anew;
                              These are they that grieve me.
                              Oh! I’m leprous, stinking, foul,
                              Quite throughout infected;
                              Have I not if any soul,
                              Cause to be dejected?
5.            B:            Think how loud thy dying Lord
                              Cried out, “It is finished!”
                              Treasure up that sacred word,
                              Whole and undiminished;
                              Doubt not He will carry on,
                              To its full perfection,
                              That good work He has begun;
                              Why, then, this dejection?
6.            S:            Faith when void of works is dead:
                              This the Scriptures witness;
                              And what works have I to plead,
                              Who am all unfitness?
                              All my powers are depraved,
                              Blind, perverse, and filthy;
                              If from death I’m fully saved,
                              Why am I not healthy?
7.            B:            Pore not on thyself too long,
                              Lest it sink thee lower;
                              Look to Jesus, kind as strong -
                              Mercy joined with power;
                              Every work that thou must do,
                              Will the gracious Saviour
                              For thee work, and in thee too,
                              Of His special favour.
8.            S:            Jesus’ precious blood, once spilt,
                              I depend on solely,
                              To release and clear my guilt;
                              But I would be holy.
               B:            He that bought thee on the cross
                              Can control thy nature;
                              Fully purge away thy dross;
                              Make thee a new creature.
9.            S:            That He can, I nothing doubt,
                              Be it but His pleasure;
               B:            Though it be not done throughout,
                              May it not in measure?
               S:            When that measure, far from great,
                              Still shall seem decreasing?
               B:            Faint not then, but pray and wait,
                              Never, never ceasing.
10.          S:            What when prayer meets no regard?
               B:            Still repeat it often.
               S:            But I feel myself so hard.
               B:            Jesus will thee soften.
               S:            But my enemies make head.
               B:            Let them closer drive thee.
               S:            But I’m cold, I’m dark, I’m dead.
               B :           Jesus will revive thee.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Menlo Church Challenge

Menlo Mega Church of San Francisco has instituted a biblical farce of brasen manipulation -- their weird and wacky Tithe Challenge. Sign an agreement to tithe for 3 months -- complete satisfaction or your money back!

God help us survive the fraudulent Christianity permeating our society!

See also MegaChurch Offers Legally-Binding Money Back Tithe Guarantee.