Category Archives: Theology

A Violent Reaction to a Violent Agreement

While looking at the internet, I happen to stumble upon this…

POST: Unless it is a theological debate quoting the bible is totally and utterly pointless. Of course the same must be said for any religious text but the bible is the only one quoted over and over again on this site.
Quoting it over and over again is not going to convince someone who is a not believer. Or someone who knows the historical inaccuracies of that book.

COMMENT: Its a good self help book and philosophical book but when it starts dipping into the realm of claiming certain truths and ultimatums if you don’t follow certain tasks, it crosses the line. True you may be able to find geographical locations mentioned in the bible but you can find them in just about any non fiction book, but it loses its validity when issues of rivers turning into blood to men walking on water with little or no verifiable eye witness accounts outside of the bible. Accounts theist would not except anywhere else outside of the bible. If you cannot believe them to happen outside the bible but believe them as unquestionable facts in the bible, you lose all credibility. Its like saying it was true Tom Sawyer walked across on top of the Mississippi River and the eye witness to this account was Huckleberry Finn in the same book so it must be true.

What angers me is the fact that these very people are ignorant of their own biases when it comes to the Bible. Somehow, when they overquote from another book, they do not realize that they will be guilty of the same thing. The reaction as well also angers me. The Bible is NOT a self-help NOR a philosophical book! On the contrary, nowhere in the Bible is “self-help” ever written or taught since salvation in itself for example is NOT by good works or “self-help” but by the grace of God. Also, the Bible cuts across various philosophies and actually dumps them. The Bible is counter-cultural and is meant to be against prevailing philosophies that are around. It is revolutionary and truly positively life-changing, the only book that it truly is so.

This just confirms the fact that there will be widespread unbelief just as the time that the Messiah goes back to earth. I just remember the passage from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 which says…

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Truly, everything that the Bible says would not make sense! What is life to a man who is dying already, much less life to someone who is dead! Truly a dead soul can never comprehend the mercies and grace of God which brings life to man! The Bible itself says and accurately details the unbelief of people. Who would imagine a KING being executed in the most horrible and shameful way? Who would believe that the dead can rise again? The Bible was not written to be your average novel to be read and after which you will throw away but rather an ever-living personal journal of God’s greatness. Even the diary of the most famous person on Earth would never make sense to just any stranger who does not have any idea about him. Why? Its because he does not have a relationship with Him. The same way, without the intervention of the Holy Spirit in a person and the salvation it brings, the things of God will never make sense.

I just hope and pray that we as believers would persist and persevere in keeping his word. All these people will see nonsense in the Bible we read if we ourselves do not live the life which it tells. I’d rather suffer hearing insults of people for the word of God rather than miss the chance of eternity for God to tell me “Well done! Good and faithful servant.”


What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

One of the seven basic rights of children is to be given a name. Why a name? A name is the most fundamental identity of a human for it speaks about his or her personality or being. Animals are given names but it is only a human being that can be moulded by a name and be described by it. Over time, names have envoked a noteriety and as well as thoughts of holiness and charity. Who would not remember the names like Adolf Hitler, Nikolai Lenin or Kim Il-sung? Or, who would not forget about the stories behind the names of Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa or Billy Graham? These names stir up a variety of emotions and responses from us but, what is the name that actually has power to invoke change in humanity? The name of Jesus.

Let us read the account by which the name “Jesus” was given…

Matthew 1:20-22, NIV

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

The name “Jesus” was given to Him by Joseph through the instructions of Angel Gabriel. His name has the name of God in it and means “YHWH saves. The original Hebrew of His name is יְהוֹשֻׁעַ or Yehoshua, shortened to יֵשׁוּעַ Yeshua in Aramaic. So what if His name means “YHWH saves”, right? His name is similar to that of Joshua, son of nun the right hand of Moses and commanding general of the Israelite army againts Canaan. “Jesus” is a common name among Spaniards and those from Spanish-speaking countries or here in the Philippines. What makes his name different from the rest of the names in the Bible and the rest of the names I have mentioned and have not mentioned earlier?

Examine with me some passages from the Bible that talk about His name…

John 20:30-31, NIV

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Acts 3:15-16, NIV

15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

1 Corinthian 6:9-11, NIV

“…do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Philippians 2:9-11, NIV

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus’ name is life (John 20:30-31, NIV); Jesus’s name is healing (Acts 3:15-16, NIV), forgiviness, justification, sanctification (1 Corinthian 6:9-11, NIV) and power (Philippians 2:9-11, NIV). His name can affect people’s lives, can heal a wounded heart, can keep you company in times of danger, trouble and need. This very name of Jesus has affected my very life. In my deepest of troubles and afflictions, I call on the name of Jesus and He gives me comfort and healing. His name is the name that understands, cares and loves. This very Jesus, Whose name gives me power, is the the very Jesus who faced many temptations and thought of me even on the cross. This very name has affected my life and can affect yours too!

Afflicted, heartbroken, sick, tired or fearing? Call upon the name of the Lord and be saved. Every believer of Jesus power through His Spirit and His holy name. What shall you fear? What should you care in mind? Call upon His name. His name will bring your heart to His rest and care. Here is a song to minister to you in the name of Jesus.

The Church’s One Foundation

The Church has been a survivor of many hardship and persecutions, both outside and inside the Church. Most notable of its hardships are the constant persecution it receives from unbelievers but what shakes the Church is not physical persecution but spiritual persecutions. Heresies and schismatic cults have so tested the stability of the Church to its core. The very environment of which the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation” was written was a period of distress in the Anglican Church not just in England and South Africa but the rest of the world. The first Bishop of Natal’s actions led to several skirmishes among the episcopate that it was only solved when he died. Such distresses can be more evident now that many more heresies have risen up.

The first three stanzas of the old hymn minister to me much. The lines are as follows…

The church’s one foundation

is Jesus Christ her Lord;

she is his new creation

by water and the Word.

From heaven he came and sought her

to be his holy bride;

with his own blood he bought her,

and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation,

yet one o’er all the earth;

her charter of salvation,

one Lord, one faith, one birth;

one holy name she blesses,

partakes one holy food,

and to one hope she presses,

with every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder

we see her sore oppressed,

by schisms rent asunder,

by heresies distressed,

yet saints their watch are keeping;

their cry goes up, “How long?”

And soon the night of weeping

shall be the morn of song.

The hymn is an allusion to the 9th article of the Apostle’s Creed, which talks about the unity and universality of the Church. This unity and universality the heresies and cults try to undermine. In our everyday dealings, we encounter heretical movements and cults. Some are as obvious as claiming to be “the Messenger”, “the Second Coming of Jesus” or “the Appointed Son of God” but many others are less obvious with many clothing in the guise of Scriptures themselves that we understand and know. The difference though is the snake of doctrine that hides under the pages of orthodoxy. When I say orthodoxy I do not mean the church based in Constantinople or Alexandria but rather our beliefs as stated in Scriptures by which we breathe and live in our faith.

As Jesus said in Mark 13:21-13: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” Many will come, not much in the very obvious magical arts sense but rather in flowery explanations of the gospel and the nature of Christ. They hide in the pretense of proclaiming God’s word in its “purest” sense. Sometimes, you would not know the difference so how can we know which is which?

Determining the genuine orthodoxy from sham heresy is similar to the convention in determining counterfeit money. I have shared this before but let me share again. There are countless counterfeits running around the market. It is impossible to memorize each and every counterfeit since counterfeiters improve on their art. However, its a known fact that there is only one genuine. Determining counterfeit money is by taking into consideration the features of genuine money from the inside out. When you know the genuine one by heart, you will easily spot the fake. The same way, the truth is sifted away from heresy by knowing the truth of God’s word inside out. Many cults and heresies are springing up from everywhere. The only way to be safeguarded is by deep study of His word. As for you, are you ready to spot the difference?