I hope things are going well with all of you, and especially that prayers are bearing fruit with your daughter. And let me say again, what a beautiful grand-daughter. No doubt about it, grand kids give a body the feeling that there is something good come out of his life, something of himself that will live on into coming generations. And also, it's a chance to teach them lasting values, that may also 'infect' upcoming generations bearing your own genes.
Have you ever noticed, how brilliant some of these folks on the forum seem to be? I know you have. But have you also noticed that those who seem smartest, are also the same that do their utmost to cast doubt on God's Word?
There is at least one forum that I won't even bother to post on, because every thread, and every poster, is a testament to their perceived falsity of the Bible, stripping out passages here and there, putting in the words of man while casting out the words of God. It is an utter shame.
But, while it's a shame, it is also a direct fulfilment of scripture, especially that written by Paul,
"For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1 Cor 1:26-29.
I'm thankful every single day, that i'm not smart, nor quick of wit, that instead, I'm even a bit slow (getting older didn't help in that regard). Yes, I'll admit to being simple and glorying in it.
Because in being simple, I'm not smart enough to argue with God. Instead, I just simply accept what He says in the Word as truth.
And do you realize, that that is the single best definition of faith? That we simply believe what He says.
I knew a man, a man whose integrity was so upright, so strong, that he intimidated those of us who have faults.
But I believed what the man told me. Had he told me black was white, and white was black, I would have unhesitatingly believed him. His integrity was so strong, that I would have had no choice but to believe.
And isn't God that way? His integrity is the strongest of all, of all times, of every place. And when God says something to me, out of His Word, I HAVE to believe it.
And that's faith. Simply believing what God says. I'm still applying that simple kind of faith to your situation, and I know you are too. My wife is also joining us in this. We don't see time as God does, and maybe, with the natural eye, we can't see what God has said He's doing, or has done....but with simple faith, we know it is.
Anyhow Brother, God bless you and yours, and keep us posted about how everything goes.
because you know as well as I do that, far from "casting doubt on God's word," I asked you merely to consider God's word as it was written. Are we to add a word that is not there, or subtract words that are, from God's Word, Sahagan?
It is sinful human nature to find scapegoats, and preachers all too often take the lead. How easy it is to condemn a minority of whom one is not a part, while ignoring one's own sins and the sins of the powerful in any society: Impiety, injustice, inhospitality, violence, sexual sins generally. Yes it's a lot more comfortable to single out a minority and claim God hates them more, in a "special" way, which is exactly what a lot of preachers do in fact, though leaving themselves weasel room. In other words, when pressed they acknowledge God hates all sin, but they spend an inordinate amount of time on condemning sins that conveniently leave the comfortable unafflicted. Often it takes the form of returning again and again to railing against "the homosexual agenda," while never once even mentioning the many other sinful agendas ravaging society. Systemic sins the Old Testament prophets described in considerable detail in words that are still extremely relevant to us today.
When God spoke through the Old Testament prophets, what did He say? If you haven't read them, you might have your eyes opened.
In case I haven't made this clear, I'm not trying to excuse any sinful behavior. And I don't agree with any agenda that seeks to normalize sinful behavior. But we should be careful when interpreting God's Word that we don't insert our own biases into the interpretation. For example, the word "sodomy" came into use long after the Bible was written. Its origin is Late Latin, peccatum Sodomiticum. It is not found in the original Hebrew or Greek.
So when someone says, "it is obvious what the sin of Sodom was, because we know what sodomy means," that actually doesn't make any sense, because the word appears nowhere in the Bible, and did not even exist in biblical times. What the Bible does make clear is that the Sodomites were guilty of a multitude of sins that, forebodingly, are quite common in our own society, but really aren't linked to homosexuality at all. Check out Judges 19-21.
You've just proven beyond shadow of doubt, my own simpleness...for I, for the most part, have not a clue as to what you're talking about.
And before I go on, I'd like to state my own view of the Bible. The Word of God is God's will, what it is God wishes us to know, to do, to believe. It is the 'plumbline' by which all must be built, and the foundation upon which all must be built insofar as God's Kingdom is concerned,
"Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more." Amos 7:7-8.
That plumbline is God's Word. For all else is subjective. God's Word is absolute, objective, endless, incorruptible, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." 1 Peter 1:23.
Man is subjective, fallible always. For even in the most important of spiritual matters, from first to last, "...the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets." First Corinthians 14:32.
God's Word isn't subject to the prophets, nor the doctors, nor the self-proclaimed experts, nor those who would know more than God. God's Word is objective, absolute, incorruptible.
And when anyone, whether prophet or pope, saint or sinner, deigns to add to, subtract from, or in any manner otherwise alter God's Word, he is in error. And there is no appellate court, no recourse, no place, for error in God's Word.
Our own judgment will be set alongside the plumbline of God's Word,
"Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet:" Isa 28:16-17.
I own no other source, I admit no other word, I will countenance no other interpretation beyond what it is God's Word says. There are no secret codes, no hidden keys, no curious intonations in God's Word. What it says, it means, and what it means, it says.
And as to the Sodom matter, the Word of God tells us that Lot had a couple of angelic visitors, and that the men of the city, from every quarter, came and required that they might 'know them'...
"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door." Gensis 19:4-11.
And as the dark, thunderous cloud precipltates rain, so that little misadventure precipitated the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
If you, or others, wish to alter that fact, then more power to them. And if, after centuries of common usage the term "Sodom" and it's derivatives have fallen into disfavor with the gay community, I am at a loss at to how to please them, nor am I overmuch concerned with my inability in that regard.
I say again, the Word of God is incorruptible. It says what it means, means what it says. And my answer to you in every matter, will be that Word. For by it I live, and have my being, for I do not live by bread and White Castle hamburgers alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.
And yes, I'm biased, for since the summer of 1975, I have pursued a discipline that makes me to read and study the entire New Testament, every word, even the 'begats' and 'sons of', every thirteen days. And not that alone, but I follow up with any possible Old Testament reference as I do my daily discipline.
And when I said that I derive life from that discipline, I speak the truth. For it is all I know. Perhaps I should apologize to you and God for that...but I am what I am, and God is well aware of my standing in this thing.
It is my avowed intention to breathe my last breath with the Word of God in my hand, in my mouth, in my heart, and in my mind, God willing of course.
I will though, humbly apologize to you for an apparent error on my part in the other thread you mention (although I did not go back and read it). I oftentimes mis-speak (although I do my best not to misquote), for I'm as fallible as the worst of them.
Jude 1:7 states Even as sodom and gomorrha and the cities around them. Giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh. are set forth as a example, suffering the vengance of eternal fire. Now I take that strange flesh as any thing besides a woman. That could be a man or animal, or vise verse for a woman. I take the word for what it says and there is no interpritation. Its spiritual and to the worldly its a stumbling block and to the spiritual is the truth to everlasting life. I think Jesus would call alot of theology experts of today pharisees. Something to think about
I believe the thread you're referring to (as is freesw) was the one that dealt with Sodom and the definition of the act and why that name has been attached to it.
And I do believe it was/is in the political subforum, although I disremember the name of the thread. That forum is pretty hot, and moves along swiftly.
This thread was an actual letter to a brother, who had asked for prayer. As you know, the folks with the strongest belief, the greatest trust in God, the most powerful faith, are oftentimes those who tend toward and strive for, a simpleness (whether deliberate or not), in their minds and lives. It was Paul who said, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." 2 Cor 11:3.
This is the same Paul who said, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:" 1 Cor 1:26-28.
In forum fellowship, we often have those who are wise, very educated, very literate, those who can take the wrong side of an issue, and by their intellect actually 'prove' their side of the issue, being wrong the entire while...not from the truth within them, but from their superior wit and knowledge.
That's not who I want to be, not who I am. I treasure simpleness, plainness, and straightforwardness in fellowship and bible discussion.
By way, welcome! It is nice to see anyone who enjoys discussion about God and guns. And please, do continue to join in. You see, sometimes, the best is the result of two or more, making up that which lacks in others.
And I do lack...what you and others add to me is always helpful, and it's my prayer that I might help add to others.