Monday, July 6, 2015

Contrast of Character: Jude 19-20

It is not uncommon for biblical writers to use the literary devices of comparison or contrast to make a particular point to their audience. It is also not uncommon for these devices to conjure up a mental image in the reader's imagination, or to paint a mental picture to help explain the particular point being emphasized. When these comparisons or contrasts are illuminated to the reader, it as though one is looking through a microscope at a single cell. All of a sudden, one can understand nuances and details that were once cloudy and vague. In an instance one is transported into a world where a new perspective brings deeper meaning and a more vivid understanding of God's Word. These nuggets of details are found throughout Scripture and constantly amaze those who seek to explore the depth of their wisdom. 

 

While listening to a friend bring a message to a group Bible study, I was reading through the passage only to find where the author employed a contrast that I had before simply missed. In the book of Jude verses 19-20 we read, "These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit" (NIV; all references of Scripture are drawn from the NIV unless otherwise noted). It is critical to analyze these verses within their literary context in order to ensure a correct interpretation. Therefore, the "men" Jude was speaking of in v19 were those men addressed in v18 who would scoff at the Word of God while following their own desires. This begs the question, "Why was Jude addressing evil men who follow their own wishes and desires?" The answer is found in Jude 3ff. According to Jude's own words, he wanted to write about one topic but changed the purpose of his letter to urge his audience as they contended for the faith of Jesus Christ (Jude 3). This struggle, or opposition, was taking place within the church because false teachers had slipped into the church and had begun teaching false doctrines. In reading Jude's description of these false teachers from Jude 4-16 one can see a tenacity in the language and a veracity to expose these men for what they were—godless, false teachers. Thus, when one arrives in v19 there is an understanding that these false teachers do two things. One, they divide the people of the church. Two, they do not have the Holy Spirt so they follow their natural instincts to sin. However, instead of simply describing the actions of these wicked teachers, or revealing their true motives, Jude goes on to offer a contrast with the word "but." 

 

As one of my Bible college professors pointed out, in Scripture there are big "buts" and little "buts". Little "buts" are connecting words used in the same manner as the word "and." However, big "buts" are those instances where "but" is used to offer a contrast—these are worth noting because they signal two items that are not compatible or completely opposite by nature. For instance, in 1 John 1:5 John explained, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." Light and dark are opposite; in no way, shape, or form can one have both light and dark at the same time because darkness is the absence of light. In much the same manner Jude proclaimed, "But you, dear children, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit." With this statement, Jude drew a line between those with evil intentions and those who have been kept by Jesus Christ (Jude 1). However, upon closer analysis, one noticed a vivid picture within this contrast. Notice that v19 used the words "divide" and the phrase "do not have the Spirit" while v20 used the phrases "build yourself up" and "pray in the Holy Spirit." While those who run after their evil desires divided and acted out of sinful instinct because they did not have the Holy Spirit, Jude informed his audience of believers that their nature was opposed to these characteristics. Jude informed his audience of believers they were to build themselves up in the faith of Jesus Christ and they were to pray in accordance with the Holy Spirit given them upon their accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.   

 

Therefore, those who are not kept by Jesus Christ, those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, are different in character and purpose to the individuals who have accepted Jesus Christ. God has given believers the task of building ourselves up according to faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone. This means believers should be different from the world around them as their faith transcends every area of life more and more. We do not have the characteristic of dividing and destroying the family of God, but the responsibility to build it up. Moreover, because the Holy Spirit of God dwells within every believer, we should be praying in accordance with the moving, working, and will of God. This is opposed to the idea of embracing every whim that our sinful flesh seeks after. In short, the line between the essence of the believer and the nonbeliever should be deep and wide. Let us embrace the contrast in character because it comes through a love relationship with Jesus Christ.   


James Christopher Powell has served as assistant minister in Northwest Florida for ten years. 
He studies at The Baptist College of Florida where he is working on a Master's degree in Christians Studies.
He married his wife Jennifer in March 2014. 

HOMOSEXUALITY IS "NORMAL"



It is often stated in defense of homosexuality that some animals engage in homosexual acts. Therefore, some say that "homosexuality is normal".  I agree. Homosexuality is normal for people who have the inclinations of some animals.  Dogs eat their vomit, some spiders kill after mating, gorillas carry their dead babies around for days before dropping them on the ground to be eaten by insects and cats lick themselves rather than take a shower.  People who pattern their behavior by or justify their behavior because of the habits of animals or insects can be scary people, indeed.  

I was watching an old television movie (set in the 1960's) the other day.  Two FBI agents were watching for any unusual person that was entering the front door of a public building, where hundreds of people were gathered inside.  They were relaying information via radio frequency to ear pieces worn by other FBI agents inside the building.  One man was described as looking like an "gangster, about 5' 9" in brown suit with brown tie, in his 30's", another as a "tall man about 6' 2", walking slowly and looking about as if checking to see if being followed, wearing a black sport coat, no tie and light blue shirt, late 20's" The third man identified had a short definition of his demeanor and appearance -- "short, 45, pervert".  Every FBI agent inside the building knew to look for a man who acted like a homosexual.  I could not help but laugh. What was commonly known to be perverted in the 1960's is called "normal" in 2015.  Things tend to deteriorate with time. This is certainly true of the average person's awareness of what is morally right.    
 
The Bible tells us that homosexuality is the result of God giving a person over to a "reprobate mind".  Therefore, homosexuality is normal for reprobates.
 
The Bible tells us that homosexuality is a "shameful" sin.  Homosexuality is normal for those who live in a constant state of shame.
 
The Bible tells us that homosexuality will be popular throughout the world when Jesus returns to set up his Kingdom.  Therefore, the rise of homosexual acts is the normal progress of the downward spiral of society's sinfulness that will bring back the Lord Jesus Christ to banish the wicked and set up his Kingdom on Earth. Homosexuality is normal for those whose lives are fuel for the anger of God.
 
Homosexuality is known in scripture as a sin of abomination.  Homosexuality is, therefore, normal for those who are abominable in the sight of God. 
 
The Bible states that homosexuality is one of the punishments for people who choose not to retain God in their knowledge.  So, for people who dismiss God as unimportant in their lives, God reserves the punishment of giving some of them over to homosexual behavior or to defending homosexuality.  For the person who rejects God, homosexuality is normal. 
 
It is always easier to justify sin than repent of sin.  It takes moral courage to repent of sin and an immoral coward to justify sin. Those who justify homosexuality are acting like any normal coward would act.  
 
Satan is pro-homosexual.  It is normal for a person who has a relationship with demons to be homosexual and/or justify (excuse/deny) the sinfulness of homosexuality.
 
It is perverted that a man would yearn for sexual expression with another man (the clarification of which is too vile to express in print) or that a woman would be drawn towards sexual interaction with another female. However, no one is surprised to learn that perverts are perverted.  Homosexuals are perverts.  How much more natural could it be that a pervert would act like a pervert?  Pigs wallow in the stink and filth because they are pigs and true to their nature. 

Scripture warns of "...hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared with a hot iron."  (1 Timothy 4:2).  Their consciences are still aware of the sin. They are, however, liars without consciences' about what is right and wrong. 
 
The word "repulsive" scratches the surface of our hate for the sin of homosexuality and the promotion of it as normal within decent society. "Those who love the lord hate evil..." (Ps. 97:10). "To fear the Lord is to hate evil." (Prov. 8:13).  "....Hate what is evil...." (Rom. 12:9).  See also  http://www.cprf.co.uk/pamphlets/hatingthehatersofGod.htm#.VZmwpBtViko.

Homosexuality is absolutely normal for animals, reprobates, the shame-filled, as mounting evidence of the soon return of Christ, for the abominable, God-rejecters, cowards, the satanic, liars and perverts.  For the rest of us, homosexuality is about as queer as anything can be.  
 
joda collins  
Rev. Joda Collins

Note:  "queer - ....4. Mentally unbalanced, deranged."  Source:  https://mail.aol.com/webmail-std/en-us/suite.  I make no apology for using the word "queer".   I do not call homosexuals "queer", but homosexuality is queer in the context of proper English.  If I were to call a homosexual by any slang term, I would use the word "crooked" as compared to "straight".  I refuse to call homosexuals "gay" for two reasons.  First, I do not see anything cheerful about sexual perversion, even if there is such a thing as a happy-pervert.  Second, if homosexuals are gay then those of us who are not sexual perverts must be unhappy with our sexuality. Not so. Therefore, "gay" is, to me, an inaccurate description of homosexuality.    
References : It is customary to list Bible verses when referencing the Bible.  I did not do that for this article for several good reasons. If you want to know why, just ask. It would take another article to explain it. 
Disclaimer:  I make no claim that my opinions are shared by anyone else.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

There is one thing the American Indians, the participants in the Boston Tea Party, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Junior had in common.  They all participated in civil disobedience when the government violated their rights. Second, they were right to do so.  Third, they made a difference even if only to go down in history as doing the right thing. 
 
Our allegiance is to the Constitution of the United States, not to a political party, a President or the US Supreme Court.  When anyone, including politicians, the President or the US Supreme Court violates the Constitution they should be held accountable.  We, the people, have no obligation to follow rules, regulations or laws pasted by anyone or any group that violate the Constitution of the United States.  Rather, we have an obligation to protest and overthrow both the unconstitutional laws and the law-makers who violated the Constitution by passing laws in conflict with our Constitution. 
 

I hope we will do that so we can keep the Happy in the Happy in the Fourth of July.   How is that done?  Voting?  No!   Too late.  Most of our elected officials will not stand up for our Constitution or even read it.  Most politicians who do read it are too stupid to understand it or too Benedict Arnold too adhere to it. This process starts with the statement, "We are mad and we are not going to take it any more!"  First, get mad.  Then refuse to obey unconstitutional laws no matter the cost.  Be a hero, not a zero.  We are all going to die anyway and leave all our possessions behind. We might as well swing away.  There is nothing to lose that we will not lose eventually.  Protest in every way you can find to do so.   Civil disobedience frightens the cowards in Washington DC; always has - always will. 

joda collins
Rev. Joda Collins
I make no claim that my views are shared by anyone else.


The Genius of July 4 Trumps All Gun Control Arguments!



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Supreme Court: "We're Bigger Than Jesus!"



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