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I was listening to a podcast on genocide in Scripture recently. The question will sooner or later come across our ears, by someone outside the church and most certainly from those within the church. Text such as these:
Death of the Firstborn – “So Moses said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘About midnight I will go out in the midst of Egypt, and every firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the cattle. There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever will be again. But not a dog shall growl against any of the people of Israel, either man or beast, that you may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.’” (Exodus 11:4–7 ESV)
women, child, and infant – “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”” (1 Samuel 15:1–3 ESV)
There are others but the idea is obvious, God has either commanded or sent out the execution of death upon those people that were hostile to him and Israel. The people he sent judgment against were not exclusively soldiers but included women, children, and infants. (more…)
In a recent discussion on the issue of, Gun Control and the 2nd Amendment, I asked a question. I asked “Why is the Church speaking on this issue?” The question isn’t about the effectiveness of gun control, if you should be allowed to have concealed carry, gun violence, etc. I question if it is the place of the Church to speak on the issue. When I see ministers, para-church ministries, and Christians speak on these issues as if the Church or Scripture has spoken on the issue, it is clear to me that they are outside the mandate given by Christ and therefore it makes me question the what is happening.
The question I ask in the debate on guns and the 2nd amendment (“Is this something for the Church to speak on?”) stands. In response, I was given a batch of passages in Scripture that (I assume) would be a basis for why the voice of the church should be involved in the gun debate. The gun apologist, who is an Advocate for the Church on Guns (ACG here on), basically carpet bombed me with bible passages. It’s a tactic that Greg Koukl has labelled as “Carpet Bombing” because they throw so many Bible verses/passages at you that it’s almost impossible to deal with all of them in any meaningful way. The response to people who carpet bomb is usually throwing our hands up and saying, “no thanks”. I can definitely sympathize with that response. (more…)
I received a question that I thought could be helpful to write about. The question was
Why did the Holy Spirit stop Paul from preaching the Gospel in Asia?
Acts 16:6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
Acts 16:7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
In this passage, the Apostle Paul has been forbidden by God to bring the Gospel to the people in Asia and Bithynia. How are we to understand this? And what should our response be?
This passage points out to us very clearly that God does not want the grace of his Gospel to touch everyone. Some are blessed to hear to the Gospel of Jesus and will respond in repentance and faith and some never will never hear the Gospel.
On the face of it, it seems unfair, harsh, or even cruel. The image for some, may be an image of people longing to hear the Gospel. They desperately want to find God and be reconciled but their cries are met with God’s deafening silence. On the face of it, it seems unfair and we ask “What have these people done that they would deserve such a treatment?” We must understand this verse as Scripture has portrayed all of humanity and not how we “think” humanity is. In other words, our anthropology (how we understand humanity) must be informed by Scripture. We don’t form our anthropology outside of Scripture and then make it fit Scripture. (more…)