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Disciple.Luke

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  1. I have a question that I'd love to hear some of you opine on. So the snake handling part of their services have been made illegal in every state except West Virginia I believe. From the snake handlers view they believe they have right to practice their religion as they are fit, and even where it's illegal they do it anyway believing it's better to obey "God rather than men". On the flip side the authorities make the argument that it's not about religious rights but as a crime to have poisonous snakes without the proper permits or security standards of how they are caged. I don't believe snake handling in church is biblical, but I do understand how someone could read verses in Mark and convince themselves they are obeying God. If a Jehovah's witness has a protected religious right to refuse blood transfusions for themselves and children in life threatening situations then I don't see how that is much different than grown adults handling snakes at their own risk? Is snake handling religious freedom or a crime?
  2. I've never been to a snake handling church but have spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos and some reading about them. I noticed that nearly all of them fall into the Oneness Pentecostal theological group, so it doesn't surprise me that one erroneous doctrine can give way to insane practices like this. I understand where they justify snake handling and drinking poison from Mark 16 but I've always wondered what verse they use to support those bottle fire torches believing God has promised to protect them from it?
  3. I haven't heard of any churches that use the HCSB. Isn't the Holman publishers and translators from the Southern Baptist Convention? I was just looking at the Holman KJV Study Bible and am considering buying it. If anyone on here has the Holman Study Bible I'd love to hear what you think about or recommend it?
  4. Yeah I for sure feel like 1977 edition was good how it was, and would rather read it over 95 any day. I didn't care for the 1995 edition. I respected it's accuracy but I found it rather difficult to hold my attention when reading it. I would reference it often when I wanted see how a verse read word for word but it wasn't my go to other than the KJV.
  5. He accomplished much for the. Lord here in Anderson. After Leigh passed his son Josh stepped into the pulpit and brought Pastor Doug back to Grace. I knew Josh much more than his father as he and I were the same age. Unfortunately God called Josh back to Greenville, SC where he went to college to Pastor a much larger congregation there (Morningside Baptist). I believe Josh's brother Nathan is teacher at Bob Jones as well so that's where most of the Crockett's live now. Josh weathered the storm and made sure Grace was back on its feet before he left for his new calling. Bringing Pastor Doug back was a huge help while the church was looking for a new Pastor. I know Pastor Leigh really helped Indiana Christian Academy grow during his Pastorate which as you know has been a blessing to me and my son. Did you know Pastor Don Camp? That was way before my time but I still hear his name and family brought up even after all the years that have passed since he was at Grace.
  6. I realize this thread was started several years ago, and normally would not revive such an ancient topic but I actually know something about what has been said. I live in Anderson, IN where the Church of God is headquartered and not far from the small town Bill and Gloria live in. Many years ago as a new believer the first several churches I attended were Church of God (Anderson) and would occasionally see the Gaithers in passing before or after service. I personally do not listen to or enjoy the Gaithers music. I just don't care for the style or like the music of the other singers they normally perform with. One reason is partly because of the reason mentioned in the initial post about how they sing songs from almost every denomination even if the message of the song itself contradicts the doctrinal lyrics of the next song performed. I personally take issue with that but that is just my own personal belief. THe reason the Gaithers music can be described as "non denominational" is directly related to the churches they attend. Historically the Church of God started out as a very strict "Holiness" church who was Wesleyan-Arminian theologically and believed their movement was fore told by prophecy and scripture. Their message was for other Christians to "come out" of denominationalism and join them as the true "Church". By the time I started attending that initial identity was an ancient belief. The movement had been so strict and legalistic in the past that the new generation of Pastors were so scared of past criticism to the point that they shyed away from from any definitive doctrine or belief that made any exclusive claims of their denomination. This view that their original beliefs were something to be ashamed of quickly led it to see itself as "non denominational" and refused to say anything that may be controversial or offend any other groups labeled as Christian made it a church with no clear definition and an increasingly progressive attitude toward sin or even the mention of it. I watched from the pews as addressing sin became less and less common...to the point that you could attend five weeks straight without an altar call. It's hard to sell Jesus if the sin he died for isn't preached on Sundays. To the churches credit it did put it's foot down when it came to the definition of marriage being man and a women, but since the congregations are free to believe what they want the pulse of the church was moving away from traditional marriage despite the leaders stance. In many ways this shift in identity could be seen in the Gaithers themselves. The hymn books were becoming more of a decoration than a way to sing a long with the music of Sunday morning. Before long every Church of God I attended had turned worship into a modern rock concert. I believe this was partly because children of influential members in Anderson (like Sandi Patty for instance) preferred their own style of music and quickly spread across the whole movement. Once the music changed the doctrinal domino's began to fall and it seemed nothing was off limits to God anymore...including homosexuality. While the church wasn't promoting unbiblical sexuality they weren't discouraging it either by ignoring the subject. Like many other holiness churches at the time they were redefining what it meant to be "holy". Instead of trying to live out a life of personal and,physical holiness they instead insisted holiness was "loving all people like Jesus without being judgemental". It wasn't long before "loving" was synonymous with not offending anyone. Today most of the churches thriving here because the Sunday menu consists of rock music and having your ears and ego tickled with feel good seminar based on one or two isolated verses out of The Message or New Living Translation. Like I already mentioned...the Gaither beliefs are a mirror of the Church of God (Anderson, IN). I could give several examples of the local Church of God "elite" ignoring blatant sinful behavior while refusing to confront the fellow believer with scripture choosing to just "love" them for who they are. I will refrain from specifics as my intention is to add some commentary to the original post...not to gossip.
  7. I believe God can and does still heal when that's his will, but sickness is an unfortunate consequence of a sinful world. As Christians we are supposed to be spiritually not of the world but we are still physically in a fallen world where sickness and death comes for everyone. I would agree with the others who point out that the healings during Jesus earthly ministry were to validate the claims and identity of Jesus of Nazareth. If healings were continually occurring even among believers everyone with enough faith would be virtually immortal and in a way forcing God to be subordinate to human will instead of his own sovereign plan. The former Pastor here was diagnosed with brain cancer that was already at a stage that they had to do surgery or he would've died very quickly. While Pastor Leigh Crockett was in the hospital preparing for surgery his IFB congregation were on their knees desperately praying for God to intercede. When the doctors did the next brain scan they were shocked to see that the cancer had changed form into a non life threatening stage. God had interceded and prolonged Pastor Crockett's time on earth. This was not some Benny Hinn or TBN emotional fake healing...this case was documented into the official health books as something that had never been seen or recorded before. This Pastor from a small Indiana town was interviewed on national news agencies along with the doctors who verified it was nothing short of a miracle. If you Google the his name there may still be footage of it somewhere on YouTube. I knew Pastor Crockett and eventually became a member of Grace Baptist so I know first hand that the story was not only real but a modern miracle. About seven years later the cancer returned and eventually the beloved Pastor lost his battle with cancer and went home to be with the Lord. I Know for sure that God can and will heal people today, but it only happens when it's in his will to do so. We all hope for good health and miraculous healing for people we love, but Jesus didn't welcome the death of his body for us to avoid death in this life. All I know is that God in his wisdom sacrificed his son to reverse sins curse so that our death here isn't the end but is just a step into eternity for the believer.
  8. Yes I was very disappointed with the 2020 revision. I bought it and sent it back for a refund a few days later. I like the 1977 NASB even more than the 1995 version.
  9. Thank you brother. I just haven't logged in for quite awhile. I've been so distracted with other things lately I just haven't had much time. I had an email earlier telling me there was a new post in this thread so I logged in to see how the conversation was going. I have a lot of unread content to get caught up on.
  10. Agreed. Justin Peters does a fantastic job as well by making videos like this. Not only is biblically sound but he is extremely witty which makes his presentations even more enjoyable. I only wish Justin would use the KJV instead of the MacArthurs Legacy Standard Bible in his recent videos. I'm sure the LSB is a sound translation I just find it hard to understand why the NASB needed revised again even the Lockman Foundation had just released the 2020 version.
  11. Thank you Pastor Matt and Brother for helping me regain access to my account. Glad to be back!
  12. I'm all for our right to own and carry guns especially for self defense purposes. Back when people were walking into churches and killing the worshippers for no reason and without restraint I liked the idea that we had off duty officers in the pews with concealed guns just in case. When I started to hear that some Pastors decided to carry guns while preaching the sermon it didn't feel right to me. Just the idea of the Shepherd carrying a Glock as opposed to a "staff" felt a little hypocritical to me. My opinion later changed after I met Pastor "Mac". Somehow in our conversation he mentioned to me that he had his gun on him every Sunday. I don't remember my exact response but I know I inquired why he felt it was necessary for him to be armed when there were other men who brought guns too. He basically explained that the reason was that he believed it was his responsibility to not only protect the flock spiritually but physically as well. He also brought up that because of the lay out of the building and sanctuary entrance he would be the first person to see a threat and react to it. After getting to know Mac I felt completely different about Pastors arming themselves. I'm sure many Pastors feel a responsibility to protect their congregations during church services. I was glad Mac wanted to protect us during worship, but it was a situation that occured outside of church that made me realize that my Pastors concern for his congregation went far beyond 40 minute talks and hospital visits. There was a situation about two years ago where my brothers wife's ex-husband told him that he was going to come to their house and kill everyone Including his own children. Being that my younger brother and I have been as close to each other as any siblings could possibly be I was going to stand with and share the threat with him without hesitation. I suggested that we have his wife and the three children go stay at a hotel and I was going to spend the night there with him Incase the ex acted on the threat. I called Mac later that day to explain the situation and asked him if he would please pray for our safety. He assured me that he would. To my surprise after he prayed he them immediately asked if I needed him to come over, bring his gun and insert himself in a very real and dangerous situation by staying the night to face the potential threat with us. There aren't words that even begin to describe how thankful and emotionally touched I was that my spiritual leader was willing to risk his life without hesitation out of concern of me being harmed or worse. Despite how grateful I was for his willingness to help I in turn declined his offer. This was man who I already respected as a preacher, a missionary, a student of the Bible, a mentor, an author, etc.. and now as protector. It's really unfortunate that non believers only get exposed to Christianity through church scandals, televangelist frauds, abuse claims, and the nice preachers who don't judge people by not confronting sin because he loves you SO much that he don't even want to hurt your feelings. I'd be willing to bet that the majority of those pastors who seem sensitive, always positive, and are so loving that they would NEVER judge anyone aren't so "loving and caring" during the week once the office hours close. Many of them probably wouldn't even come help you change a flat tire even if it deflated right in front of their house. They will tickle your ears by saying what they think you want to hear so church becomes a place where you come to hear how great you are every week so they can get paid. All the wrong "Christians" end up getting all the attention for all the wrong reasons and the non believers see it. Meanwhile they never hear bout the Pastor of a small church in a insignificant town. The leader who prefers you call him "Mac" instead of his religious title, and has a daughter going through a rough divorce like most imperfect normal families. He's the kind of man that just might confront your hidden sin in a sermon and you think he's personally attacking you or being too judgemental. The truth can hurt but it's still the truth and some pastors love you enough to tell it to you. "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for his friends". - John 15:12,13 Sorry guys I accidentally posted the same post twice and it merged the two
  13. I can't speak for SureWord, but I believe he is saying that the Matthew 7:1 rebuke about judging others has to be interpreted in the context of the rest of the chapter. Later in Matthew 7 Jesus tells us to beware of false teachers and that we would recognize them by their "fruits" which we clearly have to use humble discernment and judgment which leads to the need to rebuke false prophets. Jesus isn't saying that Christians can never make a judgement or turn a blind eye to false teaching or immorality. In context hes talking about the hypocritical judgement of the Scribes and Pharisees. But you're right we shouldn't be quick to judge but if have to do so it needs to be done out of humility and with as much understanding and compassion as possible.
  14. I'm with you on that. I remember feeling a little annoyed when Trump walked across the road from the white house (or wherever he was) and held that bible up while standing on the sidewalk. I'm not trying to bash Trump by any means but the few times I heard questions posed to him about the bible he side stepped the question by just kind of summarizing basic beliefs, and not to ,mention the biblical interpretations of his faith mentors like Paula White. When he did that it wasn't for the Christians be ause he already had their support for the most part so it felt like he was antagonizing the leftists more than anything. I'm sure Christianity didn't get any new believers because of that and most likely pushed people further way from Jesus since it felt like a political move.
  15. Thank you. I see what you're asking now. And no I believe very little of what our country's leaders promise, and what their true intentions really are. I also realize that we are supposed to be subject to our leaders unless they try to force us to believe or act unbiblical. Unfortunately I don't think our leaders care about what the Bible teaches anymore and have so many prayers to different Gods in our government buildings that they have lost all focus of who to pray to bless and be merciful to our country. Congressmen and women are allowed to pray to Allah, a plethora of Hindu Gods, or meditate in their office like Buddha in buildings paid for by taxpayers but I have pay to send my son to a IFB Private school because the PUBLIC schools won't allow prayer and can't figure who goes into which restrooms? Its to the point that I don't even want to listen to our leaders while they try to lie and make excuses. To make things worse the media and news just seems like an extension of the politicians to help shape and distort whatever they want us to believe. It's seems like to get a hint of truth I have to read and watch media from other countries to try to decipher what is really happening in this world.
  16. Hope you come back as a guest and elaborate further, because I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say or how it's relevant to what you quoted from my post.
  17. Great quote that cuts to problem of the US going to war in the Middle East. It's easy in hindsight for me to say we never should've been in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in 2001 I wanted revenge like everyone else and supported the Bush administration All these years later I look back at what we accomplished and the lives we lost and it makes me feel uncomfortable. As an American the issue that bothers me most is how we end up abandoning nearly all of our allies in the region while the militaries we train for years get toppled by groups like ISIS and the Taliban. For example - The Kurds. They not only helped us defeat Sadaams army but were the ones pushing the ground assault on ISIS that pushed them all the back into Syria, and then we just left them like they had done nothing for us. The same with the Shia Muslims and militia's that helped us in the first gulf war who were later hunted down and killed by Sadaam Hussein. We spent all these years fighting in the middle east but when Russia rushed into Crimea and when our Ukrainian allies looked to us for the protection promised for their denuclearization we were no where to be found. I understand we shouldn't have been in Afghanistan and had to leave sometime but the way Biden pulled us out embarrasses me as an American and the cycle continues where we use people in other countries to get the result we want and then once we are finished we seem to care less about the vast majority of them. I don't see how any country would ever believe a single word or promise we make as a country.
  18. Yes there has always been opposition and different groups fighting for control of Afghanistan. I can remember shortly after 9/11 watching a documentary about Ahmad Shad Massoud ( who was later assassinated by the Taliban or Al Qaeda)who was the head of the Northern Alliance resistance even before we entered Afghanistan. I have repeatedly heard that Massoud tried to warn the US about Al Qaeda attacks but no one took it seriously. His son is still leads that small army and the area that the Taliban we're never able to conquer and are still willing to fight the Taliban today. After the mujahedeen defeated the Soviets there were Muslims from all over the world settling there with different ideologies, so there is tension like in most Islamic countries where sects are fighting for power and influence. Like Yemen as an extreme example. There is an interesting story related to the Taliban founder and leader Mohammed Omar that made him very popular and even with people like Osama bin Laden would refer to him as "Amir-ul-Momineen" or the "commander of the faithful. Omar went to the Kirka Sharif shrine in Kandahar where under protection and locked away is the "Cloak of Muhammad" which for centuries is believed to be the one their prophet Muhammad had on during his Night Journey to the spot of the Dome of the Rock/Al Asqa Mosque in Jerusalem and then into heaven and back. Sometime in 1996 Mohammed Omar went to the shrine and was given permissions to hold it and he lifted it for all his Taliban students and local residents alike to see and from that time on the Taliban grew in popularity and Omar was seen as sort of a rightfully guided successor of prophet Muhammad. Even the current Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has known to refer to Omar as the commander of the faithful. If the Panjahir resistance (successors of the Northern Alliance) can withstand and defeat the Taliban I think Afghanistan would be a much better and respected country, but it doesn't look to me anyone can can defeat the Taliban now especially after gaining access to US military weapons and vehicles. I do hope that the Taliban realize that if they want any chance of being accepted as a legitimate government they are going to have to implement sharia in a more moderate way and go after the ISIS fighters who are trying to take advantage of the chaos in Kabul to do suicide attacks. I have kept a close eye on Islamic leaders around world these last few weeks for response to the Taliban take over, and there seems to be a majority consensus that the Taliban needs put in writing how they plan to implement Sharia Law this along with reasons from Quran, Hadith, and one of the four major schools of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) so the world will have a better understanding of their intentions. I think MOST Islamic Scholars and Theologians don't want to see another radical group like ISIS hijacking everyone's perception of their religion.
  19. Agreed. I also agree with your comment about how we never should've been in Afghanistan in the first place. When the US threatened the Afghans if they did not hand over Osama Bin Laden I am not completely convinced that Mohammad Omar refused because he agreed with the 9/11 attacks. Of course once we invaded then the Taliban hit the green light on jihad against us. I think to understand why Omar refused to cooperate with the US you have to consider the Islamic teaching on giving asylum to another Muslim when asked but in Mohammed Omar's case you also have to factor in the local Pushtun tribal traditions that are a part of the Afghan culture. In places like Afghanistan those traditions and rules are taken very seriously and in many cases they would rather die than break an oath or promise, and I believe this is why the Taliban refused to hand bin Laden over. Well or at least part of the reason. Anyone who has seen the movie based on the true story Lone Survivor has seen a portrayal of this. When the US soldier makes it to the village and the jihadist come looking for him the villagers refused to hand him over risking their lives because their tradition compelled them to protect him regardless of personal feelings. In the end we invaded and went to war with an entire country to find one person who was living in PAKISTAN when we found him.
  20. Unfortunately the reality is that Afghanistan was never going to be a democracy without US troops present. I think we have stop looking at the middle east through a "American" or western perspective. I'm sure there are a minority of liberal Afghans who admire and want to live in a free country like we do here, but for the most part the Afghans are deeply rooted in Islam and various forms of tribalism. The United States was never going to take over the country and make it some kind of proxy state under the US government so once we finally left SOMEONE inevitably was going to take control. While the Taliban may not be much better they have been effective in defeating ISIS fighters who want to make Afghanistan a part of their new "Caliphate". Like SureWord said - the Afghans are Muslims and WANT to live under Islamic laws. While Muslims believe Sharia is "Allah's" blueprint for a government I think MOST are afraid and are against the very strict interpretation and enforcement of used by the previous Taliban rule and places like Saudi Arabia. It's my understanding that one of the reasons Mohammed Omar formed the Taliban was to combat local powerful warlords who were practicing "Bacha bazi " which is the practice of having naked young boys dressed like females dance for them like strippers, and the sexual activity associated with it. Omar assembled and armed his "students" after a warlord kidnapped and raped two young girls and rescued them. Bach bazi was made illegal by the Tabliban and was punishable by death when they came to power. I'm sure the men in Afghanistan today who have been practicing these kind of sex acts while the Taliban were out of power are among the ones in the Kabul airport praying for a way to get out of the country. The Taliban couldve easily overlooked parts of Islamic law and turned those poppy fields into a cash machine for the manufacturing of heroin but Omar and the other Taliban leaders rightfully concluded that it was unislamic and burned the fields while making it illegal. There is simply no good solution when it comes to who controls the Afghanistan government. Because of Islam alone no matter who ends up in power it's going to upset outsiders and draw criticism from Western countries. I don't feel like a Taliban government is a good thing, but like I said there is no perfect solution or substitute that is a realistic option for the future there. I only pray that the Taliban truly mean what they say about changing their views on women's rights and the way they ruled before.
  21. Agreed. That seems to be the pattern here for many churches. It would be great if they could help others with physical needs but not lose focus on their eternal needs but that just isn't the reality. Another issue I've seen is that the churches get so focused on funding needs for others in the surrounding community that they end up neglecting their own church members who may need assistance with bills,food, or whatever. A churches first responsibility should be the well being of individuals in the local body...like widows, single parents, the handicapped, etc.. who may struggle to make ends meet regularly. Almost every local church here that runs a food bank or similar outreaches fall into the "mainline" church category. Don't get me wrong it's great to help and reach out to others in need. The problem is that they come into contact with probably hundreds of people's month and won't even make the effort to hand them a Bible tract to help them with their spiritual and eternal needs.
  22. My son has attended our IFB Private School since Pre K and is going into sixth grade this year. The school uses mostly curriculum from BJU Press and A Beka Book but I'm really not sure if they use them for every subject. I am not sure about the Mathematic books but I'm certain they use the christian curriculum for Science, History, and obviously their bible studies.
  23. After Spurgeon’s baptism, his mother wrote him a letter: “Ah, Charles! I often prayed the Lord to make you a Christian, but I never asked that you might become a Baptist.” “Ah, mother!” Spurgeon replied. “The Lord has answered your prayer with His usual bounty, and given you exceeding abundantly above what you asked or thought
  24. I spent a long time yesterday searching the internet looking for churches connected to Oprah. I did see 4-5 churches in Tennessee that are connected and use the name "Experience" in the church name, but I couldn't find anything linking them to Oprah. That doesn't mean her new age beliefs haven't influenced the leadership though. It appears that she attends the Potters House Church with T.D. Jakes as her Pastor...at least from what I could find.
  25. Yes that is the same Toronto Blessing I was referring to. It hard to even watch such nonsense, and it's unimaginable to me how they believe that kind of stuff is biblical. Maybe they need to study the bible a little more so they can recognize the true Spirit.
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