Are You Playing Church?

BLOG_SHELL GAME MEME

Are you playing church? This is a theme I have heard preached my whole life. When I would hear this message, I would think to myself: Am I serious about what I am doing? As long as the answer came back that I was dead serious about it, then I was okay.

As a child, I played many board games – Monopoly, Sorry, checkers, chess, the game of Life. I remember that these games were played with the utmost of seriousness, at least in our family that was true. Landing on Boardwalk and Park Place with hotels on it became real serious. Having a stack of Monopoly money was the end all beat all in seriousness. Knocking someone out and saying “Sorry” was all the excitement. What was greater than winning the Game of Life by beating everyone else to Millionaire Acres? Winning was everything.

But as I grew up, I learned that Monopoly money won’t work in the store. Life is not about winning at the expense of everyone else losing. Being serious about church and ministry is no guarantee that you are not playing church.

Stop what you are doing and look around.

Are you in competition with others in a race to be the most spiritual?

Do you see yourself ahead of others in the Christian walk? Do you become upset when someone else gets their way in church and you don’t? Do you see yourself as being rich in goods and in need of nothing? Do you and your church have great facilities and programs with something for everyone?

Be careful. You might just be playing church, believing you are winning at church.

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

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Bad Marriage Advice vs Good Marriage Advice

The question needs to be asked: why is the church bothered by the marriage of same sex couples? Why is the church so upset about this issue? Do I have your attention yet? Many things have been said and written in the last number of days and weeks on this subject. One can only help but wonder how it is that we find ourselves addressing this issue now.

I can recall as a child some preachers saying that in our lifetime we will face this issue straight on, while others laughed and scorned them for saying it. Now that we are here facing this issue, some are asking how could this happen. Others are trying to understand what is actually happening. Some in churches are even asking if it really is that big of a deal? Wide ranges of emotions are being expressed on all sides. Anger on both sides of the issue seems to be prevalent throughout the internet world. Those who believe they have won a great victory express glee and excitement. Those who feel as if they have lost a great battle exhibit sadness and depression. Defining marriage may sound simple and easy. On one side, it is one man and one woman. From the other side, it is for any who love and care for each other and want equal treatment as anyone else.

Where does the Bible-believing church truly need to stand on this issue? Preaching louder and longer repeating the “marriage is one man and one woman” mantra is not the answer to this question. This is part of the reason we got into this mess to begin with. The Bible truth is that marriage was created by God from the beginning to be one man and one woman for life. Any deviation from this is a violation of God’s plan for life. This message has continued to be preached but just preaching it doesn’t seem to have stopped what has happened. Some feel that we must just preach harder and louder. Some feel that we just need to get almost to the level of an argument to convince the other side that they are wrong. I have seen in the past weeks people grasping and grabbing at any and everything they can do to cope or deal with this issue.

Where did we go wrong? What can we do to fix it?

10 Bad Marriage Advices that led us to this point:

  1. Marriage is 50/50

This advice has been used for a long time. Each give half of the whole of marriage making the marriage complete and whole. The problem is that if one or the other or both don’t do their half this doesn’t work. However, the idea of this is that if each does, then the marriage will work.

  1. Marriage is 100/100

This advice was developed to address the previous advice that half of a marriage is not enough. Each one must give 100% effort in every aspect of the marriage. The problem is again that if one does not give 100% the marriage will not work. The advice requires each person to at all time give 100%.

  1. Marriage is learning to compromise

This advice helps each person to not be harsh on areas of thoughts or actions. Everyone needs to learn to be tolerant of each other’s beliefs and compromise as needed to make the marriage work. Again, a must-do of each person or this advice will not work.

  1. Marriage is learning to live with each other’s differences

Each person is different in so many ways. No two people are alike. Acknowledging others’ way of life is vital to working together as one. The problems are many. For example, if the differences are regarding Biblical doctrine, then simply understanding their differences won’t help.

  1. A good marriage is learning to respect the other.

To respect: show honor and esteem for one or another. If the advice is to respect the other, then we are to place them higher. If both are doing this, what does this mean? Is there a race to the top for the other person? The problem is that someone is going to fail.

  1. A good marriage is putting into it what you want to get out of it.

Someone approaching marriage should not go into it expecting all their needs being met with a high demand of results. The advice is to put effort into the marriage because you should not expect more out of marriage just by showing up.

  1. A good marriage is giving to the other everything and getting the same in return.

This is advice is often given from an outsider of the relationship to both people at same time. Both are to give to the other everything they need. Who determines what the other needs and who determines if everything has been given? That is a problem.

  1. A good marriage is one that never considers divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!

Great advice so it seems. Just make a decision to never divorce. No matter what you must realize that life and people are not perfect; therefore, staying married is simply the act of staying married. The problem is that both would always have to agree to this and live a life from the negative viewpoint.

  1. A good marriage is knowing no one is perfect.

Again the advice is just knowing no one is perfect is enough to be perfect so just live with this and move on. The problem, again, is that it takes two to follow this and creates a negative outlook on life.

  1. A good marriage is serving one another.

Advice to simply forget yourself and serve the other. Meet needs and desires not thinking of one’s own needs or desires. Being selfless and giving is the key. The problem: it takes two.

Why are these all truly bad advice on marriage? There are some good things in this list. We know no one is perfect so these are just the best we can do. All of these bits of advice I found in multiple places by multiple sources in books, websites, and blogs listed as Biblical Christian advice for marriage. Yes, in most every one there were mentions of marriage being “one man” and “one woman.” Each assume that the advice they are giving is going to this type of marriage. A number of these quotes of advice were given in premarital counselling material.

What has all this to do with problems with same sex marriage? Just this: we as a church fell right in line with the agenda that we are now angry about. We have taught for at least one generation, if not two, the wrong definition of marriage. I know some will argue with me right now by posting sermon after sermon where preachers and the churches taught “one man” and “one woman” is God’s only way. You will show messages showing that God ordained marriage right from the start with Adam and Eve. God established the home and it is the only way God wants it. There are even messages that preached God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. I know there are messages showing that God will not have a same sex marriage due to all the verses condemning the physical acts of sex between two men and two woman. We all know the Bible teaches that sex is only right when in the confines of marriage. The circular reasoning concludes the argument against same sex marriage. If we have preached all this repeatedly, why is it we still ended up here with same sex marriage now legal in the United States of America? There may be a small group who will begin to accuse the rest of the Church for not truly standing strong on these Biblical truths. They will use words like liberal, apostate, and any other defining of those not standing firm on the truth.

I believe the fault clearly falls into the lap of us who truly believe the truth of God’s Word. All of the above advice has been given and all the messages were preached, but we have left out the most vital part of God’s design for marriage. Let us get the whole picture to define marriage before we attack others for theirs, especially if both are wrong.

We need more than ever to define marriage God’s way.

6 Things That Define Marriage:

  1. One man, one woman.

This is the part we got right and need not back down from. God created male and female thus establishing the home and marriage.

One of the purposes for this union of man and woman is for having children.

Genesis 1:27-28, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

  1. God made woman for man to be the completion of a whole.

God made man and woman to complete each other for the full purpose of God’s plan for life, (not that God requires all to be married).

The woman, being the “help meet for him,” is clearly defined as the one who stands alongside to enhance and bring in front to be seen by all. The union of the woman and man is to be a clear picture for all to see. They are to see the Lord.

The one flesh is a physical act, but it is also a representation of one in unity with God for all the world to see.

It is vital then for a man and a woman to be one for the Lord to leave others, specifically fathers and mothers. Marriage is not a group effort, but two as one for the Lord.

Genesis 2:18, And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:21-24, And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

  1. Marriage is a union that God puts together for the purpose of demonstrating a much bigger Biblical principle of God’s love and salvation.

This salvation is secure and eternal. This salvation is solely from God’s love by His Grace.

God loves us more than anything thing else and gave Himself for us.

The relationship of a husband and wife is that of the church and Christ.

Vital to this truth of marriage and the relationship with Christ is this: one is submitted to the   authority of the other.

Matthew 19:4-6, And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Ephesians 5:28-32, So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

  1. Marriage is the woman submitting to the husband.

The church began to fail in this truth, which gave way to the issue we are facing today. Marriage is not equal, 50/50, 100/100 or any of those other advice ideas.

Marriage is a wife submitting to the authority of the husband and the husband being the head of the wife.

The curse given to woman was not that she was to have this role; it was her role from the moment of creation. The curse was that she was going to have a fleshly desire to rebel and want the authority that was her husbands.

Genesis 5:1-2, This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Genesis 3:16, Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

1 Timothy 2:9-13, In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

  1. Marriage is the husband taking total 100% responsibility for the entire home.

The husband is to take the full responsibility for all that the wife does or says. God acknowledges this truth. He even defers to the husband in regards to any decision he makes in the marriage relationship.

If the woman makes a vow to God and the husband hears it, he can take that vow away and God will forgive her for it.

The below passage shows how the woman was submissive to her father before marriage, then to her husband after marriage. Notice the plan of authorities God has placed in the home.

Notice that at the end of this passage, a widow is submissive directly to the Lord, as she is no longer submitted to a father or a husband. This passage also refers to a divorced wife being on her own, but to be directly answerable to the God.

Numbers 30:2-9, If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. 3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her. 9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.

  1. Marriage is both men and women knowing their God-given role and being obedient to it.

Colossians 7:34, There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-26, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

If we define marriage correctly and preach it that way we will address the issue we are facing today. Let us get very practical. It is not about just shouting one man and one woman only, or telling people who commit sexual acts that the Bible condemns as the end of the argument. If we follow the advice from the first list above, the same sex marriage crowd can take the same advice and keep their same sex couples together as well as any one man and woman couple.

It is about God-given roles. We as a church have been avoiding the Biblical truth of roles in marriage because we became afraid of the world’s pressure to “be equal.” Our flesh is always wanting to rebel against any authorities in our life. This is why we are in the trouble we are in.

The Church did not teach and stand correctly on this issue for a long time. Again, let us get practical. Since the Bible teaches marriage as roles of males and females and those roles are not interchangeable, how can a same sex couple get “married?” Which one is going to submit to the other? Which one is going to take full responsibility of the family? How are they going to follow God’s plan as being “one” in order to demonstrate our relationship as a church with Christ. Where in Scripture do we find that God put together two of the same sex together to meet the requirements of a marriage? How does a marriage between two men or two woman follow God’s plan for completing? God made a woman to complete a man. Nowhere does Scripture show God creating man for a man or woman for a woman.

If we follow God and take His creation of one man and one woman, who He made to complete each other and place each in a preset role, blessing each as they follow their roles, we then have marriage.

No one can redefine marriage away from God’s definition.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/36604840@N03/6941548889″>Two gold rings on white background</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The question needs to be asked: why is the church bothered by the marriage of same sex couples? Why is the church so upset about this issue? Do I have your attention yet? Many things have been said and written in the last number of days and weeks on this subject. One can only help but wonder how it is that we find ourselves addressing this issue now.

I can recall as a child some preachers saying that in our lifetime we will face this issue straight on, while others laughed and scorned them for saying it. Now that we are here facing this issue, some are asking how could this happen. Others are trying to understand what is actually happening. Some in churches are even asking if it really is that big of a deal? Wide ranges of emotions are being expressed on all sides. Anger on both sides of the issue seems to be prevalent throughout the internet world. Those who believe they have won a great victory express glee and excitement. Those who feel as if they have lost a great battle exhibit sadness and depression. Defining marriage may sound simple and easy. On one side, it is one man and one woman. From the other side, it is for any who love and care for each other and want equal treatment as anyone else.

Where does the Bible-believing church truly need to stand on this issue? Preaching louder and longer repeating the “marriage is one man and one woman” mantra is not the answer to this question. This is part of the reason we got into this mess to begin with. The Bible truth is that marriage was created by God from the beginning to be one man and one woman for life. Any deviation from this is a violation of God’s plan for life. This message has continued to be preached but just preaching it doesn’t seem to have stopped what has happened. Some feel that we must just preach harder and louder. Some feel that we just need to get almost to the level of an argument to convince the other side that they are wrong. I have seen in the past weeks people grasping and grabbing at any and everything they can do to cope or deal with this issue.

Where did we go wrong? What can we do to fix it?

10 Bad Marriage Advices that led us to this point:

  1. Marriage is 50/50

This advice has been used for a long time. Each give half of the whole of marriage making the marriage complete and whole. The problem is that if one or the other or both don’t do their half this doesn’t work. However, the idea of this is that if each does, then the marriage will work.

  1. Marriage is 100/100

This advice was developed to address the previous advice that half of a marriage is not enough. Each one must give 100% effort in every aspect of the marriage. The problem is again that if one does not give 100% the marriage will not work. The advice requires each person to at all time give 100%.

  1. Marriage is learning to compromise

This advice helps each person to not be harsh on areas of thoughts or actions. Everyone needs to learn to be tolerant of each other’s beliefs and compromise as needed to make the marriage work. Again, a must-do of each person or this advice will not work.

  1. Marriage is learning to live with each other’s differences

Each person is different in so many ways. No two people are alike. Acknowledging others’ way of life is vital to working together as one. The problems are many. For example, if the differences are regarding Biblical doctrine, then simply understanding their differences won’t help.

  1. A good marriage is learning to respect the other.

To respect: show honor and esteem for one or another. If the advice is to respect the other, then we are to place them higher. If both are doing this, what does this mean? Is there a race to the top for the other person? The problem is that someone is going to fail.

  1. A good marriage is putting into it what you want to get out of it.

Someone approaching marriage should not go into it expecting all their needs being met with a high demand of results. The advice is to put effort into the marriage because you should not expect more out of marriage just by showing up.

  1. A good marriage is giving to the other everything and getting the same in return.

This is advice is often given from an outsider of the relationship to both people at same time. Both are to give to the other everything they need. Who determines what the other needs and who determines if everything has been given? That is a problem.

  1. A good marriage is one that never considers divorce as an option. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other!

Great advice so it seems. Just make a decision to never divorce. No matter what you must realize that life and people are not perfect; therefore, staying married is simply the act of staying married. The problem is that both would always have to agree to this and live a life from the negative viewpoint.

  1. A good marriage is knowing no one is perfect.

Again the advice is just knowing no one is perfect is enough to be perfect so just live with this and move on. The problem, again, is that it takes two to follow this and creates a negative outlook on life.

  1. A good marriage is serving one another.

Advice to simply forget yourself and serve the other. Meet needs and desires not thinking of one’s own needs or desires. Being selfless and giving is the key. The problem: it takes two.

Why are these all truly bad advice on marriage? There are some good things in this list. We know no one is perfect so these are just the best we can do. All of these bits of advice I found in multiple places by multiple sources in books, websites, and blogs listed as Biblical Christian advice for marriage. Yes, in most every one there were mentions of marriage being “one man” and “one woman.” Each assume that the advice they are giving is going to this type of marriage. A number of these quotes of advice were given in premarital counselling material.

What has all this to do with problems with same sex marriage? Just this: we as a church fell right in line with the agenda that we are now angry about. We have taught for at least one generation, if not two, the wrong definition of marriage. I know some will argue with me right now by posting sermon after sermon where preachers and the churches taught “one man” and “one woman” is God’s only way. You will show messages showing that God ordained marriage right from the start with Adam and Eve. God established the home and it is the only way God wants it. There are even messages that preached God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. I know there are messages showing that God will not have a same sex marriage due to all the verses condemning the physical acts of sex between two men and two woman. We all know the Bible teaches that sex is only right when in the confines of marriage. The circular reasoning concludes the argument against same sex marriage. If we have preached all this repeatedly, why is it we still ended up here with same sex marriage now legal in the United States of America? There may be a small group who will begin to accuse the rest of the Church for not truly standing strong on these Biblical truths. They will use words like liberal, apostate, and any other defining of those not standing firm on the truth.

I believe the fault clearly falls into the lap of us who truly believe the truth of God’s Word. All of the above advice has been given and all the messages were preached, but we have left out the most vital part of God’s design for marriage. Let us get the whole picture to define marriage before we attack others for theirs, especially if both are wrong.

We need more than ever to define marriage God’s way.

6 Things That Define Marriage:

  1. One man, one woman.

This is the part we got right and need not back down from. God created male and female thus establishing the home and marriage.

One of the purposes for this union of man and woman is for having children.

Genesis 1:27-28, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

  1. God made woman for man to be the completion of a whole.

God made man and woman to complete each other for the full purpose of God’s plan for life, (not that God requires all to be married).

The woman, being the “help meet for him,” is clearly defined as the one who stands alongside to enhance and bring in front to be seen by all. The union of the woman and man is to be a clear picture for all to see. They are to see the Lord.

The one flesh is a physical act, but it is also a representation of one in unity with God for all the world to see.

It is vital then for a man and a woman to be one for the Lord to leave others, specifically fathers and mothers. Marriage is not a group effort, but two as one for the Lord.

Genesis 2:18, And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Genesis 2:21-24, And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

  1. Marriage is a union that God puts together for the purpose of demonstrating a much bigger Biblical principle of God’s love and salvation.

This salvation is secure and eternal. This salvation is solely from God’s love by His Grace.

God loves us more than anything thing else and gave Himself for us.

The relationship of a husband and wife is that of the church and Christ.

Vital to this truth of marriage and the relationship with Christ is this: one is submitted to the   authority of the other.

Matthew 19:4-6, And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Ephesians 5:28-32, So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

  1. Marriage is the woman submitting to the husband.

The church began to fail in this truth, which gave way to the issue we are facing today. Marriage is not equal, 50/50, 100/100 or any of those other advice ideas.

Marriage is a wife submitting to the authority of the husband and the husband being the head of the wife.

The curse given to woman was not that she was to have this role; it was her role from the moment of creation. The curse was that she was going to have a fleshly desire to rebel and want the authority that was her husbands.

Genesis 5:1-2, This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Genesis 3:16, Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

1 Timothy 2:9-13, In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

  1. Marriage is the husband taking total 100% responsibility for the entire home.

The husband is to take the full responsibility for all that the wife does or says. God acknowledges this truth. He even defers to the husband in regards to any decision he makes in the marriage relationship.

If the woman makes a vow to God and the husband hears it, he can take that vow away and God will forgive her for it.

The below passage shows how the woman was submissive to her father before marriage, then to her husband after marriage. Notice the plan of authorities God has placed in the home.

Notice that at the end of this passage, a widow is submissive directly to the Lord, as she is no longer submitted to a father or a husband. This passage also refers to a divorced wife being on her own, but to be directly answerable to the God.

Numbers 30:2-9, If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. 3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father’s house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her. 9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.

  1. Marriage is both men and women knowing their God-given role and being obedient to it.

Colossians 7:34, There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Ephesians 5:22-26, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

If we define marriage correctly and preach it that way we will address the issue we are facing today. Let us get very practical. It is not about just shouting one man and one woman only, or telling people who commit sexual acts that the Bible condemns as the end of the argument. If we follow the advice from the first list above, the same sex marriage crowd can take the same advice and keep their same sex couples together as well as any one man and woman couple.

It is about God-given roles. We as a church have been avoiding the Biblical truth of roles in marriage because we became afraid of the world’s pressure to “be equal.” Our flesh is always wanting to rebel against any authorities in our life. This is why we are in the trouble we are in.

The Church did not teach and stand correctly on this issue for a long time. Again, let us get practical. Since the Bible teaches marriage as roles of males and females and those roles are not interchangeable, how can a same sex couple get “married?” Which one is going to submit to the other? Which one is going to take full responsibility of the family? How are they going to follow God’s plan as being “one” in order to demonstrate our relationship as a church with Christ. Where in Scripture do we find that God put together two of the same sex together to meet the requirements of a marriage? How does a marriage between two men or two woman follow God’s plan for completing? God made a woman to complete a man. Nowhere does Scripture show God creating man for a man or woman for a woman.

If we follow God and take His creation of one man and one woman, who He made to complete each other and place each in a preset role, blessing each as they follow their roles, we then have marriage.

No one can redefine marriage away from God’s definition.

 

Excited Ministry Grows

Encouraging the Church
Ministry Update

I am excited about the growth of the ministry this year.  As we begin 2018 we are upgrading our web site that will allow so much more than what we have seen in the past.  With addition of the Advance Ministry evaluations we can now offer through Ministry Imprints through access to this ministry.   Also with the growth of our publishing arm with the ability have our own store on our website now.  We are excited that we are now apart of the Christian Small Publishers Group.  Joining them will allow us to get our books out to areas we would never be able to reach.  We will also have access to publishing conferences and other venues to present our ministry. We now have the ability to post video and audio messages on our new web site.  We will soon be including training messages that your church and use to address needs with solutions to your church leaders.    There are pages that deal with issues from church leader needs, to women’s issues, children’s and teen ministries, and links to other ministries that may also help your ministry.  We are all about not re-inventing the wheel.  If someone out their is doing a great job we want you to know about it.  This year will also see an extended travel schedule to conferences and training meetings.  We are praying about new ways to reach more churches to help.  Follow our blogs as well as our web site churchhelps.org as we will be dealing with root issues oppressing our churches today.

Christmas Gifts That Last Longer Than A Day


Merry Christmas from Hold Fast The Truth Ministries.

christmas-giftGo to our web site  churchhelps.org   or our  web store to get the books we released this past year. Use christmashelps  at check out for your 20% discount.

In addition to these four books, we are releasing a smaller, carry-along edition of the Daily Bible Study book.  This edition has all the daily Biblical Principles and Practicals and verse references to look up for yourself. If you order before December 15,  you can receive the discount and guarantee arrival before Christmas.

PROMO COLLAGE_FIRST 4 BOOKSYou may also opt to purchase these books through Amazon and Kindle after December 15 and with added shipping costs to receive books by Christmas as well. Sorry, no discounts available.

You may also purchase each book from Amazon and Kindle from the links below:

Biblical Principles full version

Biblical Principles Kindle

Prepared to Bless Biblical Principles for Preparedness print version

Prepared to Bless Biblical Principles for Preparedness Kindle

The Business of Ministry print version

The Business of Ministry Kindle

Prepared to Bless Practical Preparedness for the Home print version

Prepared to Bless Practical Preparedness for the Home Kindle

christmas-picture

No Gossip Challenge

Gossip: Idle talk which foolishly or maliciously spreads rumors or facts. The effects of gossiping are divisive and destructive.[1]

No GossipChallenge

Matthew 12: 36-37, But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.[2]

Proverbs 20:19, He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: Therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.[3]

Proverbs 25:9-11, Debate thy cause with thy neighbour himself; And discover not a secret to another: Lest he that heareth it put thee to shame, And thine infamy turn not away. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.[4]

We are issuing a “No Gossip Challenge” to churches, pastors, and individuals. There may be a debate as to what constitutes gossip. The above definition and verses provides a good start. Gossip is having a conversation with anyone where you talk about someone or something (i.e. a ministry) where that someone or something is not present. It does not matter if what is being said is true and accurate or not. If the person is not present during the conversation, then it is most likely gossip. We are instructed in Matthew 12 not to have idle words as there will be an accountability before God for these words. We are also instructed in Proverbs 20 to not to deal with or listen to those who would be talebearers. The hearer of gossip is just as guilty in the sin of gossip as the talebearer. In Proverbs 25, we are instructed to not bring anyone else in a conversation that has nothing to do with the conversation. We also learn in Proverbs 25 that words should be “fit,” that is, they “fit” the right thing. If the words we speak are not fitting right, then they should not be said.

The challenge is this:

For 10 days:

  1. Do not talk or listen to any conversation where the person or ministry is not present.
  2. Do not begin any conversation with statements such as: Did you hear…? I heard… Did you know…? Would you pray about a situation involving person or ministry name here? I am concerned about person or ministry name here. I can’t believe what person or ministry name here did.

Take the next ten days and make this a reality.

Remember, no conversation about someone or using their name without the person being in your presence.

We would love for you to then share what you have learned or any comments you may have. Come back and share in the comments on the blogs. Share your experience on Facebook on the Hold Fast the Ministry page or on your own page using #GossipChallenge.

We are up for the #GossipChallenge. Are you?

[1] Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

[2] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Mt 12:36–37). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[3] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Pr 20:19). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[4] The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2009). (Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version., Pr 25:9–11). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/95501481@N02/28206789833″>The Joy of Gossip (2016)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Pastors Check Out How To Get This Four Book Set

Dear Pastor,

I would like to get a copy of each of our books in your hands and in the hands of the members of your church.  I know that these books will be a blessing and help to you and your ministry.  I am making a way for you to purchase all four, including shipping, for $35.  I believe that once you see these books you will want to get these books in the hands of your people.  Following the links below will take you to the Amazon pages where the retail price is given.  By clicking here, you can pay $35 through our PayPal account in order to receive this special offer for all four books.  If you are interested in also having a Kindle version of the book, you can find them here as listed:  Biblical Principles and Practicals for Everyday,  The Business of Ministry, Prepared to Bless Biblical Principles for Being Prepared, and Prepared to Bless Practical Preparedness for the Home.

Biblical Principles and Practicals for Everyday is a daily Bible study that teaches absolute truths by going through the Bible starting in Genesis.  Day one begins with the beginning and proceeds 366 days to the book of Revelation. This devotional book can be started at any time; you don’t have to find what day it is on a calendar.  We have also included at reading plan that will help someone read through the Bible in 90 days or in one year. This book will help your people to know what they believe and why.

Some may call this a devotional book but that would depend on your definition of a devotional. What are we devoted to? Are we devoted to the tasks of reading the Scriptures and a lesson? Or, are we devoted to the person the Lord Jesus Christ? The idea of a devotional should be starting our day with the purpose of being devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ. What we read in the Scriptures should lead us to a day of devotion instead of treating the act of reading the Bible as the completion of doing our devotions. We need to be careful to not to check off our daily list of completing our devotions in the morning after reading. We can check off devotions from our list at the end of the day when our day was devoted to HIM. Most devotionals are so titled to give us verses to read then a story to teach us what the verses mean. This book is going to give verses and explanations of those verses. However, the intention of the daily process is much more. The intention for this book is to help lead you to green pastures with encouragement to eat, which will then require doing something with the truths. This book is to help teach the reader to also learn to receive the most out of the green pastures. This is not something you should rush through reading then check off your list of to do’s in your spiritual walk for today. “I read the page for the day. I am now ready to move on to the next spiritual thing to do on my list.” Each day you will begin with a biblical principle. A Biblical principle is an absolute truth from God that can never change. These principles are universal and eternal truths for all times. These truths are absolutes that never change based upon time, culture or fluctuation of opinion. All truth is God’s truth no matter if man tries to steal the credit for himself. If it is true, it was never about the man who presented it but the God who established it because of His perfect nature. A biblical principle is never someone’s view or opinion on Scripture. Best aspect of this book is that you can begin at any time of year! No dates included. Start on Day 1 at any time to study line upon line and precept upon precept. A daily Bible reading guide is also included each day to read through the Bible in a year using either a Genesis-Revelation plan or chronologically. A 90-day reading plan is also included in the first 90 days.

The Business of Ministry is designed to help the church leadership as well as the member in the pew to understand clearly the business of the ministry. The strength of any endeavor is in its foundation. The church should not be any exception. Starting a church should include a true biblical understanding of a church as well as organizing the business aspects of the church correctly. A church has a unique role in the world. It is first a ministry in that it ministers to the needs of its members and those outside the church by proclaiming the Gospel through preaching, teaching, and organizing various outreach efforts for and in the community. However, it is also a business. Churches must maintain the business of church or they may not have a church with which to minister. In this book, we examine the foundational documents that every church should have in order to protect themselves and their members. We discuss the differences between the legal and spiritual items necessary for a church to function. We then explore the areas where biblical principles need to be followed yet where there are many practical ways to function in the day to day business of the church without violating any biblical principles.

 

Prepared to Bless: Biblical Principles for Being Preparedness is designed to teach biblical principles Christians should do in meeting the needs of others. In the last several decades, we have watched as many disasters affected Christians around the world. Early on, only the extremely organized mainline denominations seemed to have a sense of what to do in the event of an emergency anywhere in the world. Plans were not previously in place to assist missionaries on the field, help churches in disaster zones or pass on information to other Christians so they would be able to help. Those that did have plans had difficulty with logistics and communicating information. However, over the years, as more and more tragedies have occurred, churches and Christian organizations have improved their action plans. Today, many mission boards have established plans for their missionaries to supply needs for the missionary and to those to whom they minister as well as plans to disseminate information to supporters. Yet, some still seem to not understand the importance of emergency preparedness. We believe it is because they do not understand the “why.” Written as a Bible study, this book explains the biblical principles behind emergency preparedness for those who seek to be the hands used of God in times of crisis.

Prepared to Bless: Practical Preparedness for the Home is written to give very practical help to families so they can be a blessing to others when difficulties come. The goal for this book is to bring to the attention of the reader, regardless of their religious or political beliefs, their opinions about society, or their views regarding end-times or “doomsday,” the importance of being prepared for an emergency for the benefit of their family and others. As I researched and studied, I became more resolved that several books had to be completed. God’s Word reveals a plan and many principles that we should and must follow. In Prepared to Bless: Biblical Principles for Preparedness, we examined Scripture to see not only principles but also examples of Bible heroes preparing for trials to come. It is not a lack of faith to prepare for a coming trial. We also saw that being prepared is a great blessing to our family, to our neighbors or to a stranger. In Prepared to Bless: Practical Preparedness for the Home, our goal is to help the reader determine and establish reasonable and attainable preparedness measures for themselves and their family. If you have watched any of the doomsday or prepping shows on television, then you have seen people depicted as focusing on one disaster or another. Our approach is not to focus on a specific event. Most preppers and survivalists agree that families should focus on self-reliance and general preparedness in the event of an emergency. We believe that there are basic preparedness principles and practices that can have a family prepared for a variety of disaster possibilities. There is not a “one size fits all” plan when it comes to preparedness measures. Each family has unique situations and family members for which they must prepare. We help the reader see the difference between basic, minimal, moderate, and extreme preparedness. Charts, lists, and product suggestions are included to help the reader better determine what they need and to what extent they want to prepare themselves and their family.

We do ask that you only use this deal for Pastors, Evangelists, Missionaries and also one set per ministry.  We also ask that the shipping address be the church or ministry address.  If you would like to order more at full price, you can either go to Amazon to pay full retail by clicking the links above or go to our web store at churchhelps.org by clicking here to order more copies for those in your church for a lower price.

PROMO COLLAGE_FIRST 4 BOOKS

Happy 25th Anniversary to My Love

What a great day 25 years ago today.  I married my best friend, the love of my life.   God gave me a wonderful young lady with great spiritual discernment.  There or those who find someone special and think to themselves I can see myself living with them for the rest of their lives. I remember the day when I realized I can’t live without her.  Words are hard to express my thoughts and feelings when I am around her.  After 25 years I find myself looking at her and having all the same feelings.  I remember seeing her walk down the aisle. Brides are beautiful, Melissa surpassed all beauty with her smile and soft voice.  From the very first day we began a life of excitement and adventures.  As in any life there are ups and downs, that is why the vows we took that day are more special today and ever.  No matter what we have gone through, Melissa has always been by my side.  I decided many years ago I could not live without her, now even more I can’t imagine a day without her.  Thank you Melissa for marrying me.  I love You.

  1. Artist Series at PCC
  2. Dating outing at PCC
  3. Wedding Party
  4. My Beautiful Bride
  5. On our way together
  6. Cake we never got to eat.