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Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by TheSword

  1. In addition to what DaveW said and along the lines of Swathdiver, depression can come in different forms. DaveW covered the emotional form in which events in our lives affect our emotional health. Swath talked about an environmental form in which the things we do to or put in our bodies can have a profound effect. I would like to add a physical or hormonal form in which our bodies fail to function properly. A great example of this is post-partum depression, which my wife has been through a couple times. Sometimes it's not related to any event in our lives other than the fact that in our sin-cursed world, the body breaks down and doesn't always work correctly. Just as our pancreas can stop producing insulin and cause diabetes or your kidney may stop filtering your blood properly and result in kidney failure, your thyroid or pituitary glands can stop producing the right amount of hormones and wreak all kinds of havoc. Whether we like to admit it or not, this fallen vessel we call a body functions or fails without or consent and has a profound impact on how our soul is able to interact with the physical creation. There are many potential causes for true depression, and the cause determines the treatment. Sometimes it is steady prayer and engagement with friends, family, or counselors and sometimes it's medication to get your body functioning the way it should. While I believe it can be sinful to keep yourself in a depressed state by focusing on the negatives in life and a refusal to find joy in Christ, true clinical depression is an ailment like any other illness. Making yourself (or someone else) feel bad about it will only make it worse. Acknowledging the problem and seeking the cause to determine the right solution is the first step to recovery.
  2. I had to chuckle at this. I applaud your desire to instill discipline in your future hypothetical children. However, you'll either learn that parenting is not always so black and white and has to be rooted in and tempered with love before discipline is effective OR your children will fear you (not in the godly way) in your presence but rebel against you in your absence. If you demand silence and compliance without first instilling a loving respectfulness, you will get neither immediate compliance nor respect. Certainly don't neglect the rod and spoil the child (Pro 13:24), but don't forget that it has to be based in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
  3. I am of the opinion that it is the latter application and the Great Commission applies to the individual believer. I think the greater witness of the New Testament bears out the directive to spread (i.e. preach) the Gospel to everyone: - Even if Jesus spoke the Great Commission only to the Apostles (questionable), part of that was to teach everyone to obey all of His commandments, which included the Great Commission itself (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). - Evangelism is a spiritual gift, but so is giving, service and mercy, but all are still expected to give and serve and be merciful. Spiritual giftedness speaks to divine enablement, not basic responsibility. (1 Cor 12-14, Eph 4) - All believers are ambassadors of Christ charged with helping people be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:20; 1 Pet 3:15; Col 4:5-6; 1 Pet 2:9) - Acts 8:4 tells the entire church went out preaching the Gospel when they were scattered from Jerusalem. - If the Church is a body of believers and not a building, then it is the responsibility of the members of the body to spread the Gospel (Eph 4:12; 1 Cor 12:12) Given all of that, I would say that the individual believer has the divine "authority" to baptize based on the possession of the Holy Spirt and the inclusion as a member of Christ's church. If baptism is a self-declaration of faith in Christ and affirmation of inclusion into His church and the act itself imparts no grace/salvation or any other secondary blessing, then then the one assisting the immersion is irrelevant. Technically speaking, anyone can act as a representative of the church to assist the new believer in joining the fellowship. One does not need a preacher, priest, or apostle to obey God through baptism. However, baptism is also an identification with a set of doctrines/teachings (e.g. Baptist, Mormon, Catholic, etc.).This is why we Baptists accept baptisms from like-minded churches and reject baptisms in errant churches or false religions and require re-baptism for membership. In order to identify with a particular set of teachings, it is necessary to be baptized by a representative of that set of teachings. As has been tradition since Paul's day (1 Cor 1:10-16), the one preaching and teaching the true Christ are the ones who perform baptisms on those whom they instruct/evangelize. Having a leadership representative of the church also lends to conducting things decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40). As it happens, the pastors and deacons are the appointed, elected, or otherwise recognized leadership of a body of believers ascribing to a certain set of doctrines and they act on behalf of the church rather than as the mediator of grace in the way that the Catholic church does. To sum up...I believe any born-again Christian may baptize, but for the sake good order in the church and clarity of identification, the duly-designated representatives of the local church body should do the baptizing in the presence of the body of believers (i.e. the church). There's my two-cents.
  4. So I'm not really disagreeing with you, but I want to pull some analytical threads... You're comparing the activities and rewards of Church Age/present-day believers with respect to eternal rewards and crossing some major eschatological timeline boundaries so you have to answer a few questions before determining whether it's a valid comparison: 1) Who are the 24 Elders in Rev 4:10 that are casting the crowns at Jesus feet? 1a) Do they include the tribulation saints? If not, what indication do you have that they will have crowns like we will have crowns? 2) When do you believe the Judgment Seat of Christ takes place wherein the works of the Church Age saints are tried? Will the tribulation saints go through the same process as we will? 3) How can Rev 14:13, which takes place sometime in the latter half of the tribulation, point back to Church Age believers that are already in heaven according to Rev 4:10 before the tribulation has begun? 4) When you say "their rewards do follow them...", to whom are you referring (church age saints or tribulation saints)? 5) You also say "...would indicate that both positive rewards and negative rewards will be eternally acknowledged." What is a negative reward and why do you say they will be eternally acknowledged? 6) What exactly do you believe is being tried by fire? Before I can offer a thoughtful answer to your main question, I need to have a better understanding of what exactly you're asserting.
  5. True, true, and true. The big problem is that according to "secular scientists" they get to claim their "gospel" as fact as if they're teaching a science class. So many people, Christians included, have already compromised their foundational beliefs to make room for Darwinism and all of its related made-up storylines. They've compromised with ridiculous explanations such as theistic evolution or progressive creation or whatever and have unwittingly conceded the battleground in full. Christians need to understand (and teach their children to understand) that it's either God and the Bible or Darwin and evolution. They are mutually exclusive faith systems.
  6. Unfortunately, atheistic evolution is the religion of just about any public school system and it carries over into most universities, including many "Christian" universities.
  7. I'm perfectly calm. I'm truly sorry if my post came across otherwise. On viruses being evidence of God's judgment, I would have to give an emphatic yes, and here's why. Due to the inherent destructive nature of a virus (particularly on mankind, though I know there are viruses that affect non-humans), I cannot fathom a way in which it can be considered a part of a "very good" creation (Gen 1:31). Therefore, viruses must have been introduced after God had concluded His creative activity. The most logical place for their introduction would be sometime after the Fall when man was then decreed to die. If God could have introduced a virus after Creation week, then there is no reason He could not have done it anytime until now or anytime after.
  8. First, show me an example of proof that a virus spontaneously arose in a controlled environment and was definitely not a discovery of an already existing virus. Second, viruses are not living cells. It cannot reproduce itself without the presence of an actual living cell and has no source of power/energy. Third, since it is not a living creature in the way that bacteria, mammals, fish, or birds are, it presents to problem from a creationist/biblical perspective because God has not precluded Himself from introducing new viruses. In fact, it makes more sense that a plethora of new viruses would have been introduced as a judgment upon sinful man.
  9. I didn't do Bible college, but went to Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary for my MDiv
  10. Wow, that is an excellent and astute question and one I don't think I've ever gotten before. It's not often someone makes me stop and think on an academic level, so thanks for that. The answer is actually kind of simple. What we've left out of this conversation so far is that there is a possibility in addition to an allele persisting or being lost, and this is an allele being damaged. A great example is human blood types which has three possible allele's (A, B, and O) that produce four different blood types (A, B, AB, O). The intriguing thing is that the O allele is, functionally, a damaged A allele that will not allow production of A traits on the outside of cells. This might sound a little bit odd, but denying evolution via a gain of genetic information through mutation does not necessarily mean we should deny that mutation never happens. Indeed, it happens all of the time, but it is deleterious or damaging. If a damaged allele is copied and propagated, it results in a different gene expressions, but that does not make it a new allele and it certainly does not add information to the genome.
  11. In short, you're correct. This is a very simplistic example of how loss of information leads to a certain expression of traits. In reality, there would be several letters with various levels of dominance. Human eye color, for example, has three different alleles (B - brown, G - green, b - blue). It's chart would look something like this: As you can see, even adding 1 allele variation gets a little cumbersome to look at which is why I used such a simplistic chart for the beaks. What should be immediately clear, though, is that blue eyes can only result from a complete absence of both B and G allele because they are dominant. This brings me to the answer for your first statement. Variation does not only come through a loss of information, but also through allele combination. This will sound a little backward, but in truth lack of variation is what comes from a loss of information. Take, for example two parents, one with blue eyes and one with brown: BbBBBBbbBbbbThey will be capable of producing both brown- and blue-eyed children and you will see variation within the population. Since both brown and blue alleles are present, there is variation. However, if you have two blue-eyed parents, the only possible outcome is blue because there is only one allele at play: bbbbbbbbbbbbIf you extrapolate this to a larger population, you'll see that a group of people that only have blue eyes, you know that there has been a complete loss of both the brown and green alleles. This is the same process that is at play in Darwin's finches that started this line of discussion. There likely existed the capability of variation at one point, but as the populations were isolated, the variation within each population was truncated and resulted in static speciation even though they are all of the same created kind. The point is, that the speciation did not occur through random mutations (which is what both micro- and macro-evolution assert). Organisms don't adapt and change through a gain of information, they simply lose the ability create varied offspring and so only one possible trait becomes expressed.
  12. On micro-evolution, not exactly. The variation is never due to added genetic information. What you see with finches is more of a sorting and subsequent loss of genetic information. When a species becomes isolated in a particular environment, the genes most effective for survival are the ones that end up becoming expressed. Rather than gaining a mutation to survive in a particular environment, less effective genes are essentially bred out. Consider the attached graphic of finch beak alleles where "T" (large/thick beak) is the dominant trait and "t" is recessive. If the available food supply cannot be collected or eaten with a small beak, the "t" will ultimately die out and "T" will eventually be the only available trait to be expressed. This is an example of how the loss of genetic information is what produces variation and not the addition of it. Speciation occurs when enough genetic material is lost from a population so as to be distinct from another previously identical population. You don't need a compromise with evolutionary theory to explain the variation in kinds or the diversity of species.
  13. In addition to UM's excellent points, here's a fantastic article on a Noah's Ark feasibility study that should answer most questions you have on that one: http://creation.com/how-did-all-the-animals-fit-on-noahs-ark Additionally, I would caution against the use of micro-evolution because it still implies evolution is a real phenomenon. Evolution (be it micro or macro) assert a gaining of genetic information through mutation. Rather, what we see with speciation within the created kinds is a loss of genetic information that differentiates between species we know of today.
  14. I know I said I was out, but given the way this topic has gone, I thought this article would be a good read for anyone wondering why Genesis 1-11 should be read as history and not taken allegorically like poetry or prophecy: http://creation.com/genesis-is-history Out again.
  15. I'll say it one last time... You can't conflate prophecy with historical narrative. "Day" in Gen 1 has always meant a regular day as we understand it not matter how much you try to read into it. Gen 1:5 gives a very clear description and delimiter for the definition of that day and how it was reckoned. That is how the original audience took it. That is how it has always been taken until people compromised with atheistic Darwinism. Those are facts you can't get around. I'm out.
  16. Yes, there is traditional doctrine that completely lacks biblical support. This, however, is not one them. Your example is not a valid comparison because the Bible says nothing of structure of the solar system to indicate geocentrism (earth at the center of the solar system). If there is a similarity in your example, it is that there is nothing to be found in the Bible about billions of years for the age of the earth. Darwinism doesn't shape my beliefs, but it does shape the beliefs of our youth, new believers, and people struggling to come to faith. Therefore, it should be a concern to anyone and everyone who is concerned with evangelism and spreading the Gospel (which should be every Christian on earth).
  17. I'd say the chances are pretty good based on the biblical reckoning of time/chronology.
  18. Yes, I suppose you could look at it that way.
  19. If I may, I'd like to submit as a possibility that all of the steps in this process are, in essence, one singular sin that took began at the decision to disobey which took place before the touch. As you mentioned, it all probably happened in such a rapid succession as to be indistinguishable. There is no reason to think Adam took the fruit, held it for 30 minutes while he wrestled with his conscience about whether or not to eat it. It is possible that he willfully sinned before even touching the fruit and the eating of it was merely a completion of the action. Consider Matt 5:28 in which Jesus declares that the sin of adultery occurs in the heart before action is ever taken. Perhaps, then, it should be considered one all-encompassing act as opposed to a series of actions that led to a sin?
  20. Intriguing. I have to agree with your grammatical analysis. I also offer up that at this point Adam and Eve were married and were one flesh. Since the man is the head of the single body (1 Cor 11:3), it stands to reason Adam is the one ultimately responsible for the events that transpired.
  21. Maybe this timeline will help with some analysis? Gen 2:15 - God puts Adam in the Garden to dress it (serve in/labor) and keep it (keep/guard/observe) Gen 2:17 - God tells Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil Gen 2:21-25 - God creates Eve Gen 3:1 - The serpent asks if God told them not to eat of every tree Gen 3:2-3 - Eve says they can eat of every tree except the one and adds the requirement not to touch At this point, there are 3 possibilities (as mentioned by several people above): God reiterated and expounded on the command after Eve was createdAdam passed on the command and added that Eve shouldn't touch it. Eve relayed the command as she heard it.God reiterated or Adam passed on the original command without addition. Eve added the requirement when talking to the serpent.Gen 3:6 - Eve takes the fruit, eat is, and gives it to Adam who also eats it. The verse suggests that Adam was there during the encounter and he did not correct her. It is also one long sentence that lists events but does not necessarily specify time order. the entire phrase "with her; and he did eat" is actually one Hebrew word. I suppose then, it is also possible that they ate simultaneously. Anything we come up with is obviously speculation, but it stands to reason that Eve making up the new rule not to touch on the fly is unlikely given Adam's lack of intervention or correction. Therefore, either God added or Adam added it, which means Eve did not knowingly twist God's Word. That would put the responsibility back on Adam then wouldn't it?
  22. ​Sort of, but that's not entirely accurate. The first three degrees are a continuance of a single-story arc. At each successive degree, more and different symbols are introduced. I don't recall any reinterpretation of a particular symbol. The only things that really changed in meaning were the ways in which the apron was worn and the positioning of the square and compass; but these were progressive symbols that said something of the new degree attained. What you may be thinking of is the way they explain the meaning of each symbol. For example: "The twenty-four inch gauge is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to measure and lay out their work; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing their time; it being divided into twenty-four equal parts is emblematical of the twenty-four hours of the day, which we are taught to divide into three equal parts; whereby are found eight hours for the service of God and a distressed worthy brother; eight hours for their usual vocations; and eight for refreshment and sleep." The discerning Christian should notice several unbiblical things here, but most people who go through this don't look below the surface. It's all done verbally and nothing is allowed to be written down. So when you hear it, most think "hey, he just said we have to make time for God. That sounds good and right. Next symbol please!"
  23. ​I feel I need to interject here on behalf of the hypothetical individual you're describing because the tone of this thread seems to echo your sentiment to varying degrees. This is not an attack on this quoted post in particular or anyone really, but rather a plea to all who are concerned with the issue. At full disclosure, I was a Mason for a few years (just after graduating college) before I got right with God. I was saved long before I ever even considered that. Many concerns about Freemasonry are valid and wholly agree that a Christian should not be a part of it. However, I would ask that you please realize and keep in mind that just because someone is a Freemason does not negate their claim to Christ. Almost to the person, every Mason I ever knew who fit this description fell into one of two categories: 1 - They did not think critically about anything they encountered in in Freemasonry. Everything is done in highly symbolic fashion such that people who aren't inclined to look below the surface never see anything out of place. A requirement for entry is the belief in a singular deity. Combined with the ceremonies revolving around a narrative about building Solomon's Temple (albeit an entirely fictional one) with many Old Testament references; many undiscerning Christians don't see how it can refer to anything but the faith that they know. They, themselves, have been greatly deceived and just don't understand what the fuss is about. They think they're in an organization that augments their Christianity. They're not devious. They're not heretics. They're not cultists so far as they understand it. They are simply deceived/misguided/undiscerning and need loving correction. 2 - It is entirely a social club. They don't see anything particularly religiously binding and the majority of time spent in/with the lodge have nothing to do with spirituality. They play dominoes and eat chips and cookies. They lean on each other through personal problems. They volunteer with charities and having meetings on public service projects. They just spend time with their friends. Simply put, they don't see it as something in opposition to their faith or in direct support of it. To them, it's no different than the Lion's Club or Rotary Club or even their local DFW. As far as they see it, they're a group bound together by a higher moral standard (one of their tag lines is "taking good men and making them better"). They simply think they're involved in something dedicated to the greater good, and that's all the investigation they think they need. Again, they're deceived, not condemned. Look, I know all the downfalls of Freemasonry. I came out of it for a lot of a good, biblical reasons; but please don't make the mistake of branding all of its members cultists like Mormons or Jehovah's witness. I know some that are as worldly as the visitor sitting in the pew next to you and some that are as spiritually mature as anyone here and could run circles around most of us in a biblical/theological discussion. Being deceived and entangled by something that intentionally obscures its true nature does not negate their saving faith. They are every bit as much a redeemed believer as you and I. (please keep in mind I'm not talking about all Masons, just those who continue to proclaim Christ) Yes, they are a part of something that ultimately teaches heresies of all kinds. Yes, they absolutely need to come out of it. I simply ask that you consider their statement of faith and treat them with brotherly love, because I promise you that the people they're entangled with treat them with more of it than what I see posted about them by those who see Freemasonry for what it is. Each one is a soul in dire need of correction and deliverance, and you'll never get anywhere without love.
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