Heresy = Bible verses twisted just a couple of degrees off center

Craig Benno:

I have problems with making tithing a law. But, have no problems with people who tithe. Pastor Gary makes some great points here.

After reading his blog post, all I can say is “Gulp! Yikes!’

Originally posted on Open Our Eyes, Lord!:

If someone desires to give a certain percentage of their net or gross income, I honor that as their right and privilege. I also believe that all Christians should give generously and cheerfully.

But full disclosure – I believe that tithing was an Old Covenant rite by which about 23% of goods, usually agricultural products, were given to God for the maintenance of the priests, for the poor. I see no comparable requirement for the church, which is supposed to “honor” its leaders (1 Tim 5:17) and make voluntary pledges to special projects (Paul’s Jerusalem Fund). [1]

I have no argument with tithers so long as they have no argument with me. And I’m not speaking here about legalistic tithing or carnal non-tithing.

But in the past few weeks I have found people preaching what must be held up and labeled perversions of the gospel and of the practice of…

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I reached 1000 posts.

I didn’t realize till after I posted, my previous post, was my 1000th article I had written and published here. I’m both surprised and chuffed. I now have 999 more to go to reach 2000. Wait, there could be a book or two with all those words. Maybe I can write a book after all.


Αuστραλια hémera

ειμι, ει, εσμεν αuστραλιαν.


Justification. Is it imputed or declared. Does it really matter?


The way of the Incarnation.

Because the 2nd person of the Trinity existed before the creation of the earth. (Yeah I know, I just offended a heap of peeps) His eternal purpose was always to become incarnate. Christ, was always God’s plan to redeem his people. Christ was, is and will always be the elect. Israel as a nation, was elected to bear forth Christ. Their election by God, was always within the framework of bearing forth Christ. God’s eternal plan for the salvation of all humanity.

The incarnation was never plan B. Instead, before the creation of the world. God planned to redeem and reconcile humanity to himself. The elect of God, Christ, died our death, so that we might live. We live; not through his death; instead we live through his life. Through his death we gain forgiveness of sin. Through resurrected life, we are justified. He ascended to God the Father. The scars of the cross remain etched into his body for eternity: an intercession for us, scars that pave the way to God; only for those who would follow.

For its those who would receive him, he receives in Himself. Though he died for all; its only those who follow him, he lives for. For life can only be granted to those who follow him. For he is the way, the truth and the life. For whoever believes in him, shall not perish; but receive eternal life. But for those who don’t receive him. For those who don’t believe, receive and follow, there is no resurrected life.


Social Media: Is it the same as engaging in real life?

I have heard it said many times that engagement on social media is a fantasy that is far removed from real life. For many people I agree that social media, such as Face Book is a format to escape the realities of life. For those people, its all about games and frivolities. It’s a place to build false persona’s. A place to get drawn into mind numbing endless games. Games which have a cost: Those costs can be financial, relational, or precious time its self.

For others social media is used as a marketing strategy, continue conversation and to build networks which are linked to day to day work related activities. New products and services are launched. Old services are revamped. To have a business or organisation on social media gives those org’s some street cred; which those who don’t – well they simply don’t.

Social media for others provide much needed contact with an outside world. These people are home bound, bed bound, hospital or hospice bound. For many reasons: which can include but are not limited to, sickness, injury, infirmity and old age. Social media provides a means for conversation in environments where there is no one in the immediate vicinity to speak with. Skyping, messaging, blogging and facebooking all provide a means to converse with others. It provides an important element in ones social belonging. It provides an important part of identity and acceptance.

Perhaps for many of us who use social media, a combination of all of these points are the reason we use it. I can truthfully say its been my own example. But, is it a way of engaging in real life? It’s critics will say its not. But, I want to say it is.

For the home bound: their reality is being bound to their environment. Being in social contact with the outside world is a reality of experience for them. Networking and engaging with customers is a reality for those business’s. Its a real experience when someone buys a product or service online. The customer is real. The business is real.

But what about the question of faith you ask? Can Christians truly meaningful engage on social media which reflects the reality of life outside the screen of cyberspace. Once again, I will say yes, one can truly engage in real Gospel work, through the media of social media. Note, I say one can truly engage and haven’t said it replaces real life engagement.
For those home bound, perhaps social media engagement provides a link for others to come and visit. The promotion of and invitation to a event is a real invitation for people to take part in, The networking across the world between scholars, pastors, students and laypeople alike is a real engagement of ideas, research and learning.

Today through the media of social media: I was asked by a number of people to pray for them, I noticed a few were doing it tough and prayed for them. There are others who lI have made dates with to meet for coffee and talk life. Another person shared about raising funds for mission and I spoke with them about supporting it, A Muslim far from Australia asked me questions about faith, God and life and we had a fruitful conversation based around Jesus and the forgiveness of sin. (This conversation came out a relationship that was formed through a online game I was involved with a number of years ago)  A number of important articles were shared and a mix of light hearted and serious comments were made.

All of those examples are real life experiences. Which shows that social media can be a useful part of reality; and that ones life can have a real expression through the media of social media. Anyways, if you are reading this blog, you are convinced of this reality anyways.


Answer me ‘O God’. Arrogance or Humility? Psalm 4

The Psalmist begins Psalm 4 with the cry. Answer me when I call to you; O my righteous God. He continues, Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. 

My first reaction in reading this passage pictures a child who is standing up to his / her parent, demanding that they answer them. There is a sense of an urgent demand. It’s not one of quiet humility and trust. Instead, its appears to be a scene where God is being told what to do. It’s more like an order, then it is a humble request.

I am taken back to a scene towards the end of the book of Job. It’s one where after all his complaining Job is called to account, and God asks him – “Who are you Job, to call me to account?”  Job eventually replies, “Now I have seen you, I repent in dust and ashes”

But, am I right to equate God’s dealing with Job, to the apparent arrogance of this Psalmist. And I have to say NO!” For the Psalmist knows his ‘right’ relationship with God. In verse 2 he talks about the foolishness of those who seek false gods. He knows those false gods neither see, hear, speak, or act. He knows those who follow those false gods are deluded in their thinking. He states a fact in verse 3 that his God will hear when he calls to him. Because the Lord has set apart for himself those who follow him.

Therefore, his heart before God is a right one. It’s a heart of humility. It’s a heart of trust. It’s a heart of knowing that God himself promised to hear his prayers. It’s a heart of worship. For he knows that only God can deliver him from his distress. And he knows that he can indeed sleep in peace, because God will protect him. And so because he knows God is a God who promises to hear his prayers; in the midst of heartache and pain – his cry, “God answer me, is one of urgent need.”

In the midst of our own heart ache and pain, do we dare cry out in humble trust – God, answer me. Give me relief from my distress. Be merciful and hear my prayer. Not because we are ordering God to do so – but, instead, its because we know that God is honored in our dependence upon him.


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