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Brother Stafford

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Everything posted by Brother Stafford

  1. It is clear that, many times, in the Old Testament, God found it appropriate for certain people to kill other people; even after He gave the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill;” as in the commands to kill the Canaanites and the Amalekites and for the reason of committing sins worthy of death; but it was when He commanded it. Think of a parent telling their child not to go into the street. It’s a rule they have made for their child; except for when the parent holds the child’s hand and crosses the street with them. The rule still applies, but the parent has the authority to apply exceptions for specific reasons. Paul, in Romans 13:1-4 and Acts 25:10-11, seems to support the right of the state to use capital punishment appropriately. In Luke 22:36-38, Christ tells His disciples to buy swords and, when they tell Him that they already have two of them, He says, “It is enough.” He tells twelve disciples that two swords are enough; so, it would seem that, whatever His reason was for telling them to have swords, He didn’t seem to be telling them to rely on them, but, rather, to rely on the sword of the spirit; the Word of God. If anything, those verses could be used to make a case against stockpiling weapons. I believe that Matthew 26:52 pertained to the disciples defending Christ with weapons. He says, in the very next verse, that He could ask God to send legions of angels for that, if that’s what He wanted. By applying various other verses to the subject, I believe that Christ was telling His disciples to have weapons to defend themselves against certain kinds of violence. I think of it like this: If I walk into a store and a gunman is threatening to kill people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to end the threat. If a shooter is going through a school, and is shooting people, it is my duty to use deadly force, if necessary, to stop them. If a gunman is holding someone at gunpoint and says that they will kill them unless I renounce my faith, if I am unarmed and unable to stop them, I would offer myself as a substitute; but if that was not accepted, then I must maintain my faith and let the gunman do what he will; but, if I also am armed, then it is my duty to end the threat. In short, I believe that it is a Christian’s duty to save lives that are being threatened, unless unable to do so or if doing so would require him to renounce his faith. I do not, however, see any value in boasting about such things or finding joy in them. I find even the practice of hunting for pleasure and hobby, most distasteful. I believe we should be grateful for being able to provide for ourselves and our families, if that’s how we do it, or for being able to defend ourselves and others, but I don’t believe we are to use them as entertainment. Lest anyone think I am anti gun, I say these things as someone who carries concealed whenever I leave my house, and have been doing so for the past twelve years, but I pray to God that I will never have occasion to use it and, so far, I never have. I also keep the fact that I even own a weapon to myself and only a handful of people in my life even know about it. While I don’t believe it is sinful to display, “Come and take it,” or other 2nd amendment kitsch, I find it to be a foolish and prideful display of machismo and that it does nothing for the cause of Christ. I am not dogmatic about any of this; this is just how I understand the scriptures. I am always open to correction and instruction and, if I have misunderstood the Word of God, I will alter my beliefs accordingly. *edit - David Cloud’s thoughts on the Old Testament commands to wipe out certain people are very helpful. They can be read here: “Is the God of the Old Testament Cruel?” *note that most, if not all, of the reasons given for God’s judgement on those nations are being committed, in one way or another, by America.
  2. 1. I'm not a fan of intentionally using God, or His Word, for politically divisive posturing. It appears that this woman is using God's Word as a prop for the purpose of exhibiting self righteousness and intentionally aggravating those who disagree with her. A visual representation of the bumper sticker, "God, Guns & Country." However, that is not what Scripture is for. God is a God of love and forgiveness, and we are commanded to share the good news of the Gospel with every creature. He is also a God of wrath and justice and He can be severe in His reproofs, corrections and punishments, but they are always made for the purpose of either convincing the lost to believe in and turn to the one true God, or to convict the chosen/saved of their sins and to repent and turn back to Him. This often involved the ones left living learning from the lessons of the ones who were destroyed. People will reject the Gospel because the truth of the Gospel is unattractive to them and they will harden their hearts against the Gospel. We don't need to try to make the Gospel even more unattractive to them for the sake of feeling patriotic. We must remember that there are millions of people, in the U.S. and all over the world, who have either never heard the Gospel or whose only exposure to it was a misrepresentation of it; so photos, like the one in the OP, can be frightening and/or confusing to people. Some may even think that you have to be an American or move to America or think like Americans in order to be a Christian. Did Jesus say "...Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and a love for the United States to every creature?" Of course He didn't. We are to obey our leaders, unless it would conflict with our faith, and pray for our leaders, but our love and our passion, I believe, we must reserve for obeying and glorifying God and our allegiance to the Kingdom of Heaven. There are many positive things about the United States. There are also many ungodly things about the United States. Many people will say that the U.S., although it isn't perfect, is still the best nation on the planet. Let us remember what God has said about man that it might humble us and take us down off of our high horse: So let us not amalgamate our country, or any other, or intentionally divisive politics, with the Bible or the ways of God. This woman (Holly Fisher) posed for another photo while standing in front of a Hobby Lobby store, holding a Chic-fil-a coffee cup and wearing a pro life t-shirt (while wearing very short shorts, by the way). Again, political posturing; using her faith as a cudgel of division for the purpose of raising the ire of those with whom she disagrees; in this case, by saying Liberals' heads will explode if they look at the photo. A similar sentiment as an "I Drink Leftist Tears" mug/t-shirt; https://images.app.goo.gl/TC7KzGYGrbvjvAWJ8 2. As Christians, we are to be separate from the things of the world, for our own spiritual protection, but we are not to be divisive for the sake of divisiveness. By posing with a Bible, she is saying that she is a representative of Christ. She has said, in interviews, that her being launched into the conservative spotlight took her off guard and was a "whirlwind." So much, in fact that she says that she lost her faith in God and faith in her marriage, to the point that she entered into an adulterous relationship with another man, a Tea Party member named Joel Frewa, while her husband was serving in the military. I believe this happened because, like many people, she focused on herself and her personal, political and patriotic passions and simply sprinkled some Jesus flavoring on top of them. Since then, she says that her and her husband have worked things through and they have recommitted their marriage to God; which is a very good thing and I hope it's true. However, when I see women, who purport to be Christian, while they dress in very immodest, tight, sexual clothing, wear all sorts of make up, have expensive and fancy hairstyles &c. and love posing for the camera, well, "Ye shall know them by their fruits." I will not post them here, but a quick internet search shows photos of her wearing other tops that almost completely expose her chest as well as skin tight trousers and leggings &c. She seems completely oblivious to the concept of modesty. This can only mean that, either she has never read the verses about modesty or she chooses to willfully disobey them. So, to answer the question: "I don’t see any problem here do you…" Yes. I do see problems.
  3. Hello all, I’ve been working on a poem, for a while, about telling children the truth about Santa Claus. I know it’s only August, but I’m hoping to have, at least, the text version available for Christmas. I’m in the process of looking for an illustrator so I can have it made into a children’s picture book. I would love some feedback on this, if you have the time. “Santa and the Christ” By B. Joseph Stafford Come my child, and draw thee near And sit upon my knee; And I’ll tell thee of two magic men Who live beyond the Sea. Both of them are ancient And know thee very well; (But one of them is fiction; which one, I shall not tell.) Both of them keep ledgers Of all of thy behavior; One of them brings candy canes; The Other is thy Savior. Both of them were witness To the cookies that thou stole; But One of them forgives thee; The other brings thee coal. One of them has smoke rings Encircling his head; The Other wears a crown of thorns Upon His holy head. One man comes but once a year And all he brings are toys; The Other One is always near, And brings eternal joys One makes children wait in lines, Causing them to groan; One says, “Let them come to Me; Boldly to My throne.” One fed many from a few Small fishes and some bread; One begs milk and cookies For himself to eat, instead. One’s a servant of deception, Gluttony and greed; The Other One has worked so from thy sins thou may be freed. One man’s clothes are dirty With ashes from thy chimney; The Other’s clothes are soaked in blood; He was nailed upon a tree. One ascends thy chimney By fingering his nose; The Other flies to Heaven, For from the dead He rose. One warns thee not to pout or cry And that thou better not; The Other welcomes all thy tears, Every one you’ve got. We tell thee both are real and true And that thou must believe. What wilt thou do when thou finds out We’ve practiced to deceive? One of them is make-believe As soon thou are to know; But wilt thou cleave to The Other’s sleeve Or simply let Him go? So now we think the time has come To clear up this confusion; And tell thee that this Santa Claus Is merely a delusion. There is no secret workshop, No magic reindeer fly; There is no jolly elf Who soars across the winter sky. All those presents that thou thought Were left there by Saint Nick, It was really we who put them there, But please, don’t punch or kick. We see thy disappointment, And thy feelings of betrayal; For all that time was wasted Sending letters through the mail. The cookies and the milk that thou Left out for that fat man; Well, they were both consumed by me; Forgive me, if thou can. Indeed, we tried to fool thee By telling Santa’s story; We didn’t mean to take away The truth of Christ’s great glory. The stories about Santa, They were only meant for fun; We didn’t mean for thee to doubt In God’s beloved son. We know that it’s important That thou trust in what we say; That is why were coming clean And telling thee today. That from now until forever, Thou can always trust the truth; That Jesus Christ, the Savior, Is The One who cam’st in sooth. His power, strength and glory Are something to behold; And His salvation story Is the one that should be told; That He’s The One who died for thee, Forgiving all thy sins; In the battle with the evil one, It’s Jesus Christ who wins. Repent from all thy naughty ways And follow all His teachings; And offer up to Him thy prayers, And longings and beseechings. The gifts He bears are beyond compare, One cannot set a price; They come with His forgiveness; For the naughty and the nice. For He never does expect thee To be perfect in thy ways; But, simply, to accept Him And to love Him all thy days. He wishes thee to tell His story To, oh, so many others; Thy father and thy mother And thy sisters and thy brothers; Tell thy teachers and thy friends And those you’ve yet to meet, The lonely and the hungry, Who are sleeping on the street. Tell them all, that from the fall, God‘s had a mighty plan; That He has fixed what we have rent By coming here as man. He taught us and He brought us All His messages of love; He was sent down here from heaven, From the father up above. They beat Him and they cursed Him And they hung Him on a cross; He was so brave, but in that cave, He did not gather moss. In just three days, yea, He was raised, Defeating sin and death; And we’re to tell the whole wide world Until our dying breath; Repent and kneel before Him, Humbly, asking His forgiveness; And He will gladly give it to thee, Promptly and with swiftness. Eternal life with Him he gives To those who do adore The one and only mighty God, Who reigns forever more. But He’s not done, there’s more to come, Indeed, He’ll come again; And we will gather all together, In Jesus’ name, amen.
  4. In this next recording, Uncle Murray tries to explain the story of Cain and Abel to his nephew, Abe. Murray also has a guest stop by.
  5. I used to listen to the lake Woebegone stories too. I consider Garrison Keillor the master of modern storytelling. With his voice, he could read the phonebook and people would still tune in! Thanks for the feedback on the accent. I've been doing it so much, that I can hardly hear it and, in my ears, I sound like a small town Michigan guy doing a horrible New York accent. I'm trying to learn a Boston accent, but it's not going so good. My natural voice actually sounds like Froggy from the original Our Gang shorts! Heh heh... nah, I'm just kiddin'. I really sound like Cuddles Sakall! Heh heh. I do want people to enjoy listening to the stories, but I'm more concerned with making sure I'm staying true to Scripture and that everything is appropriate.
  6. Here is the latest Uncle Murray story. He starts at the beginning of the book of Genesis and explains things up to Adam and Eve being kicked out. If you listen to it, your feedback would be greatly appreciated, as I am still new at this storytelling thing and learning.
  7. The first six are what Murray apologizes for in #7. I’m working on #9 where Murray paraphrases the beginning of Genesis. In the one you liked (#8), did you notice anything wrong with what Murray was saying? It’s very important to me that I’m being scripturally accurate.
  8. I'm not sure if I understand what you're asking. It sounds like you're asking if my recorded stories help people deal with being lied to by their government and church. If that is indeed what you're asking, then I would say, no; at least not at this point. Murray briefly mentions how some people use the Bible to take advantage of others, but that's not the main focus of that recording. Story #7 deals with Murray apologizing to Abe for lying to him about the previous stories. Story #8 has Murray talking about the necessary existence of God. Give them a listen and tell me what you think. I'm very interested in feedback and suggestions. That's why I made this thread.
  9. Hello all, Over the last several months, I have been writing and recording stories as a character I came up with named, “Uncle Murray,” and I have been uploading these audio stories to YouTube in hopes of developing the idea into a successful Channel. (To be clear, I don't really sound like Uncle Murray; it's just a voice that I came up with) The stories started out as Uncle Murray recording audio letters to his nephew, “Abe,” (who had lost his glasses, preventing him from reading and writing). Uncle Murray would try to convince Abe that all the fables and fairy tales that he had heard, about people like Tarzan and Rumpelstiltskin &c, were not true and that he would tell Abe the true stories behind them all. I was enjoying it at first, but then it started to feel wrong. I was spending a great deal of time coming up with nonsense alternatives to the original nonsense stories and was muddling the concept of truth in the process. I kept thinking that I was being an hypocrite because of my strong feelings about the Santa Claus myth. When I discovered the truth about Santa, as a child, it was devastating to me; not just because Santa was not real, but because I realized that the adults in my life were not as trustworthy as I had previously believed. When I began to question the Santa story, many people went to great lengths to convince me that my suspicions were unfounded and that I could really believe in Santa. The night I discovered the truth, I felt humiliated and foolish and began to question the existence of God and, eventually, concluded that God must be a fable as well. So I decided to make Uncle Murray come clean with Abe and admit that he’d been lying to him and why what he had been doing was wrong; telling Abe that his stories were true. Then Murray decides to abandon those kinds of stories and he tells Abe that he could have been telling him about all of the wonderful stories in the Bible and that those stories really are all true. As of this posting, I have recorded eight Uncle Murray stories. The first six are the retellings of the classic fables and the following two are Uncle Murray beginning to tell Abe about the Bible. At first, I was going to remove the first six stories, but then, I thought that, perhaps, it would be better to leave them up and show Uncle Murray admitting his mistakes and then changing his focus from wasting his time, trying to impress his nephew with foolish stories and lies, to trying to teach him about the truth of the Bible and the glory of God. I’m hoping that, perhaps, I can use Uncle Murray as an interesting way to share the Gospel and biblical truths with young people as well as older people. The reason that I have posted this here is because I am looking for feedback and input on the whole idea because I'm still not sure about it. I want to make sure that what Uncle Murray is teaching Abe is faithful to scripture and is also not irreverent. I’ve included links to the stories down below this post and would very much appreciate any feedback or suggestions you may have. #1 Da True Story of Tarzan of De Apes #2 Da True Story of Rumpelstiltskin #3 Rumpelstiltskin Explained in Four Minutes #4 Da True Story of Cinderella #5 Da True Zombie Origins of Baseball #6 The Little Mermaid of New York #7 Uncle Murray's Confession #8 A House Needs a Builder
  10. "When I hear evolutionary scientists talk about the importance of discovering as much knowledge about the universe as possible, then go on to talk about how the universe will end in heat death, I cannot help but imagine them saying, 'Make haste! We must fill the library with as many books as we possibly can before the whole building burns down!'" - B.J. Stafford
  11. “Saying that you enjoy my friendship, but that you do not care for my faith, is like saying that you enjoy eating peaches, but that you do not care for their flavor.” - Unknown
  12. Hello again, Brandon. The study of the end times is called "eschatology," and is a very interesting thing to study, but there are many opposing views out there that can be confusing or even overwhelming to the believer who is just becoming acquainted with the subject. Many hundreds (if not thousands) of books have been written on the subject; some containing good teaching and others containing very false teachings. What I recommend to everyone, when they are curious about scriptural things, is to first read those parts of the Bible yourself, several times and see what you can understand yourself, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I cannot stress how important reading Scripture yourself is. I even read it out loud as much as possible. Actually hearing the words of God spoken aloud as I read has increased my retention, understanding and faith a great deal. Then, when you find that you need help understanding (and we all do), seek out good, biblically sound, trustworthy sources of commentaries that will help you understand specific parts of scripture better. Brother David Cloud (Way of Life Literature) is one of the most trustworthy sources I have been able to find. He has written a book called, "The Future According to the Bible," which deals with a great deal of end time prophesies. He has made a smaller book, which contains selections from the book I just mentioned, which is available for free. He has also written a good article that may be of help to you called, "Date Setting and Sign Looking." Another good source of help is an audio teaching series called, "Through the Bible," by J. Vernon McGee." He goes through the entire Bible and explains quite a bit. You can download just the parts you want or the entire thing for free at the link provided above. David Cloud also has a VERY helpful book called, "The Way of Life Encyclopedia of The Bible and Christianity." I HIGHLY recommend it. Also, a very helpful book is, "Willmington's Guide to the Bible." While every part of God's word is holy and helpful... ...many people have allowed themselves to become obsessed with end times studies and sometimes neglect the reading, understanding and sharing of the Gospel. So, enjoy learning about every aspect of God's word, but just take care not to get caught up in certain aspects. I hope this helps, my friend.
  13. A moth walks into a doctor's office: Doctor: "What seems to be the problem?" Moth: "Well, Doctor, I'm feeling a bit depressed. My daughter has been getting very poor grades in school, my son has dropped out of school, my wife has come down with the flu and I lost my job." Doctor: "My goodness, sir, that is quite a bit to deal with. I can understand why you are feeling down, but I'm a general practitioner. It sounds like you need a doctor who is a psychologist." Moth: "I thought of that, but I figured I'd come and see you." Doctor: "Why is that?" Moth: "Your light was on."
  14. The other day, a friend of mine told me that he had been reading Descartes and asked me, "Do I exist or not?" So I asked him, "Who wants to know?"
  15. I revisited the original thread on this subject and found that it is now "closed to further replies," so I thought I would continue it here. I was hoping to get more input on the subject, as I am still finding conflicting information. Explanations for both views - pastors being required to be married and pastors not being required to be married - have persuasive arguments. I am interested in hearing from more of the pastors on this issue. Additionally, I am interested in hearing about how a never-been-married man might engage in or participate in preaching/teaching in his church, if at all permissible by scripture.
  16. I accidentally did a workout that was meant for children. Now I'm really sore in my head, shoulders, knees and toes... knees and toes.
  17. That's not the case. I only have LCBP bibles, purchased from LCBP with their logo and information on the title page. All of theirs say "Church" on the base of the spine.
  18. I have just started receiving promotional emails from "Church Bible Publishers" (CBP). They had a promotion, recently, that said that for every bible a customer purchases, they will donate a bible to someone who needs it; or something like that. I was going to purchase a few of the same item number that I have already purchased from "Local Church Bible Publishers" (LCBP), thinking that they were the same ministry. However, when I searched for the item number (on the sticker in the front of my bible), it didn't show any results. I thought this very odd. Their website also looked very different from what I was familiar with. I clicked on the bookmark saved in my favorites and it came up with the bible I was looking for and the website was in the familiar format. After comparing them for a few minutes, I realized that I was dealing with two separate ministries. However, since I had never initiated any contact with CBP, but only with LCBP, the only way that CBP could have gotten my email address was from the customer list of LCBP. Perhaps LCBP gave CBP permission to use their customer list, but that seems a bit unlikely to me. If anyone has any information about this, I would appreciate knowing. If CBP is using LCBP's customer list without their permission, I don't think I want to give them my business or recommend them to others.
  19. I thought I would stop and say goodbye. I have decided to stop using the internet, with the exception of posting my restoration videos. Since they are hardly viewed, I may eventually just remove those as well. I find the negatives of internet use to outweigh the positives and I believe that it will get worse in the future. Inappropriate ads have even appeared a few times now on this forum, even though I have ad blockers installed. I have grown tired of trying to safeguard against the dangers of malware, adult content and protecting my privacy. I also find that there are no news sources that I find reputable any longer and they all seem to share the goals of sensationalism and division. Keeping up with the news only serves to cause me to be anxious and depressed and really has nothing to do with my everyday life anyway. I have also decided that whenever my current computer decides to die, that I will not be getting another one. I think we've had such technology long enough for me to decide that it all does more harm than good, at least in my view, and I've had enough. Take care and thank you for including me in your community.
  20. I agree with the fact that God never promised every person have a perfect copy of God's word in their own language. I think you're reading things into my original post that I did not write.
  21. I have been re-reading "Bible Wines" by William Patton (pub. 1871). It is an absolutely wonderful explanation of the use of the word wine in scripture. He explains the difference between alcoholic wine and nonalcoholic wine. That is a subject for another thread. However, on page 46 (of the paperback), he states, (All caps is in the original test by the author) He expresses such things in a few other places as well. I actually felt my heart sink when I read this. His writings are so well done that it boggles my mind that such a learned man could make such a basic mistake. Indeed, countless others have made the same illogical mistake. In my view, if this view were to be true, it would mean one of three things: 1. God lied when He said that He has preserved His word and that all of His words are pure. (Psalms 12:6-7, Proverbs 30:5-6, Mark 13:31) 2. His originally inspired word is hidden somewhere in the world, perfectly preserved but inaccessible and unknowable to us, and that all translations contain errors. 3. His words are still perfectly preserved in the copies in the original languages, but that one must possess a perfect command of those languages in order to know the word of God. Am I missing something? It seems like such a basic Logic 101 type of error. If no translation or interpretation is the ultimate authority, what prevents anyone, at any time, from bringing any passage, whatsoever, into doubt?
  22. Sorry, it still reads exactly like the Buddhist proverbs I used to memorize when I was a Buddhist. Lessons on karma were taught like that as well.
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