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“The Bible Clearly Says…” and Other Things Christians Often Say
Posted by Clare
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It’s stunning how often I hear grown Christians claim “the Bible clearly says” something that other Christians believe it “clearly says,” just the opposite!

We have Baptists who believe the Bible teaches believers baptism and Calvinist, the baptism of infants.

You have serious Christians who believe the Bible clearly teaches that women should never teach men and others, “no problem.”

Even more serious, Armenians believe salvation is a human decision, while the majority of Protestants believe salvation is God’s decision, start to finish.

So who’s not reading the Bible clearly?

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Myths That Many Christians Believe
Posted by Clare
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It’s surprising how often I’ll hear Christians repeating a “truth” that the Bible does not support. Worse yet, repeating a truth that is an outright falsehood or actually antithetical to a biblical worldview!

In all fairness, I don’t blame them. All of these people truly believe these things because other Christians have passed them on. So, let’s take a look at some of the most common of these Christian “urban legends” and myths, that have found their way into our “biblical worldview.”

1. All sins are equal in God’s sight.
I’ve met with men deep in pornography or who have left their wives, who have taken comfort in the fact that we’re all sinners. Which is true. But some sins are clearly more serious than others. How do we know that? In the Old Testament, some sins were punishable by death;
Adultery (Leviticus 20:10-12)
Incest (Leviticus 20:17)
Murder (Exodus 21:12)
Perjury (Deuteronomy 19:15-21)
Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:14-16)
(and a dozen or so more.)

There are many other sins listed primarily in Exodus, Deuteronomy and Leviticus. How do we know they are “lesser?” Because God’s punishment for them is of banishment, making restitution, doing some ceremonial cleansing or making sacrificial offering. In other words, God considered some sins far more serious than other sins, hence the lesser punishment.

Then, where in the word did the “all sins are equal” idea come from? It may be from this fact, that all sins are an offence against God and must be dealt with by faith in Jesus Christ.

But actually committing adultery is worse than thinking about it. And murder, is still more serious than anger, even though all four are still sins.

2. Christians shouldn’t ever judge other Christians
The root of this myth is a misunderstanding of Jesus words, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Here’s the question; Is this a prohibition against all judging, or a warning about the hypocrisy of judging others before examining our own sin? Let’s read on.

“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:2-5

Now read Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5. We are commanded to judge and punish other Christians under some circumstances. And it couldn’t be that only “sinless” Christians can do this. There aren’t any!

Most theologians agree that the current interpretation of the “judge not, lest you be judged” passage is a warning that if you have a serious sin area in your life, or are secretly committing the same sin that you’re now judging someone else for, you either need to repent of that sin, or excuse yourself from passing judgment. I’ve known elders who have excused themselves from voting to discipline a man divorcing his wife because at that time, this elder and his wife were having a very tough struggle in their own marriage. I admired his integrity and I believe it’s a proper application of the warning against hypocritical judging.

The Bible does flat out prohibit us judging non-Christians. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked person from among you.’” 1 Corinthians 5:12, 13

In next week’s blog, I’ll cover a few more of these myths or misunderstood teachings.

Question: Do you have some “myths” you’ve heard or wonder if they are true? Let me know.

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Guest Blog – Does The Bible Really Prohibit Sex Outside of Marriage
Posted by Clare
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By Dr. Preston Sprinkle

God loves sex. The first two commands recorded in the Bible are “have dominion over creation,” and then “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:26-28). In other words, rule the world and have lots of sex. Not a bad day at the office.

Whoever said God was some cosmic killjoy? God created sex and declared it to be “good.”

Within Christian circles, it’s assumed God only wants us to have sex if we’re married. Sex outside of marriage is one of the clearest, unquestionable prohibitions in Christianity. But where does the Bible teach this? Can you name a verse?

Many will race to the Ten Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). But adultery means having sex with someone else’s spouse; it doesn’t refer to an unmarried couple sleeping together. Likewise, when Jesus condemns lust in Matthew 5, He does so in the context of adultery. In other words, we should not sexually desire another person’s spouse as our own.

God loves sex. But He’s designed us to have sex within the boundaries of a marriage covenant.

Others might turn to Leviticus 18. This “sex chapter” lists all sorts of sexual prohibitions including incest, bestiality, adultery and other sexual sins. It’s fascinating, though, that nowhere in Leviticus 18 is sex before marriage condemned.

Some might argue that when the Bible condemns “fornication” or “sexual immorality” this includes sex before marriage. And maybe it does. But this needs to be shown and not just assumed. Again, the Old Testament’s most detailed list of sexually immoral acts (Leviticus 18) does not include sex before marriage.

So Does the Bible Really Say It’s Wrong?
Before you book a hotel room and call up your girlfriend with the good news, please keep reading! Yes, the Bible does say that all forms of sex outside of marriage are wrong. Here’s how.

The early chapters of Genesis give a basic blueprint for marriage, and even though it never says “Thou shall not have sex before marriage,” it certainly suggests that sex outside of marriage flows against God’s design. God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1) is joyfully heeded by Adam and Eve after they are joined in marriage (Genesis 2:24-25; 4:1, 25). The same goes for their descendants. Noah, Shem, Abram and others all have sex and therefore have children within the confines of a marriage covenant.

When they turn to other women, such as Abraham’s sexual relations with Hagar (Genesis 16), the act was not considered an affair. Hagar was more like a modern day surrogate mother who bears a child in the place of an infertile wife. Nevertheless, f a to3

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maow obong>By Dr. Preston Spr, How following Jesus works in real life.

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Posted by Clare

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