Tag Archive: Christianity


The subject of hierarchy in families is sure to raise eyebrows any time it is mentioned. One reason we are often touchy about this subject is our misunderstanding of how God views hierarchy. In the world’s view, family hierarchy is synonymous with domination, control, and superiority. But those things are contrary to God’s ideal for the family. The world’s system ranks people or groups according to importance and responds to them accordingly. In God’s system, to be the greatest means we must become the servant of all (Mark 10:42–44). There should be hierarchy in Christian families, but not in the way we might naturally enforce it.

When God created the family, He began with one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27). He then instructed them to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). When Adam and Eve sinned, God punished each of them in different ways. Part of Eve’s punishment was that she would be driven by a desire to control her husband, but God would place the man over her in authority (Genesis 3:16). Although this was part of Eve’s curse, it was also God’s way of protecting women in the future. He had created Eve different from Adam, and, in order for them to work together in complementary ways, only one could be in charge. Without hierarchy, we have anarchy.

Ephesians 5 picks up this theme and elaborates on the roles of husband and wife. Paul begins the section on family in verse 21 with “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” With that mindset in place, we are then prepared to accept the specifics of God’s hierarchy for the family. Without a willingness to live in mutual submission, we will easily distort and destroy the dynamic by which God designed families to thrive.

God gave the husband the role of servant-leader, as Jesus Christ was a servant-leader (Mark 10:45). The man’s responsibilities are to love his wife sacrificially (Ephesians 5:25), care for her as he would his own body (Ephesians 5:28–29), live with her in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7), and bring up his children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). God placed the full responsibility for the family health on the shoulders of the husband. Husbands and fathers must give an account of their service to the Lord in the way they served, led, and loved their families.

To the wife, God gives the role of helper in the family hierarchy (Genesis 2:18). Rather than indicate subservience to the man, the word helper is also used of the Lord: “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:20; cf. Psalm 124:8). Jesus used the term Helper to describe the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives (John 14:17, 26). So, while God places the bulk of family responsibility upon the husband, He places a lighter burden upon the wife and instructs her to submit to her husband’s leadership, as the husband submits to Christ in all things (Ephesians 5:22–24). A wise husband seeks his wife’s input on family decisions, but a wise wife knows when to step back after expressing her opinion. Ideally, husband and wife are in agreement about family decisions. But on those occasions when they don’t agree, a wife is freed from the responsibility once she has expressed her views. She can then trust the Lord to work on her behalf through her husband’s decisions, right or wrong. The Lord has ways of protecting an obedient wife, despite whatever consequences He must levy against an erring husband.

After Christ, husband, and then wife, children are last in the family hierarchy. Children are never to rule the roost. Parents who allow their children to run wild, disobey, disrespect, and have their own way are demolishing God’s hierarchy for the family. Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” When parents require obedience from their children, they are training those children how to respond to God. God does not allow us to run wild, disobey, disrespect, and have our own way without severe consequences. Parents can model their parenting style after the heavenly Father and know they have the best possible example (2 Corinthians 6:18).

God instituted hierarchy in the family for our own good. Christ must always be first and foremost (1 Corinthians 11:3). His Word and His example are to be the standard in a Christian home. As husband and wife both seek the Lord together, they share the leadership role for the home and children. When each member of the family seeks to honor his or her role as a way of honoring God, the family flourishes and everyone’s needs are met.

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Complementarianism is the teaching that masculinity and femininity are ordained by God and that men and women are created to complement, or complete, each other. Complementarians believe that the gender roles found in the Bible are purposeful and meaningful distinctions that, when applied in the home and church, promote the spiritual health of both men and women. Embracing the divinely ordained roles of men and woman furthers the ministry of God’s people and allows men and women to reach their God-given potential.

The complementarian view starts with Genesis 1:26–27, which says that God created humanity, male and female, in His own image. Genesis 2:18 contains the further detail that God created Eve specifically to complement Adam: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” The two genders are, therefore, part of God’s created order. Any modern-day blurring of the genders or distortion of the roles is a result of the Fall.

Complementarianism follows Ephesians 5:21–33 as the model for the home. The husband has the role of headship in the family. He is to nurture his wife and lead his family lovingly, humbly, and sacrificially. The wife has the role of nurturing her children and intentionally, willingly submitting to her husband’s leadership. When both husband and wife are complementing each other in this way, Christ is honored. In fact, the marriage itself becomes what it was designed to be: a living picture of Christ and the church (verse 32).

In the church, complementarianism follows 1 Timothy 2:11 — 3:7 and Titus 2:3–5 as the model. Biblically, the men in the church bear the responsibility to provide spiritual leadership and training. The women are to exercise their spiritual gifts in any way that Scripture allows—the only prohibition is “to teach or to assume authority over a man” (2 Timothy 2:12). When men and women are fulfilling their God-given roles within a church, Christ is honored. In fact, the church itself becomes what it was designed to be: a living picture of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:12–27).

The opposing view is egalitarianism, which teaches that, in Christ, there are no gender distinctions anymore. This idea comes from Galatians 3:28. Because all believers are one in Christ, egalitarians say, men’s and women’s roles are interchangeable in church leadership and in the household. Egalitarianism sees gender distinctions as a result of the Fall and Christ’s redemption as removing those distinctions, bringing unity. Complementarianism sees gender distinctions as a result of Creation and Christ’s redemption as a return to those distinctions, avoiding confusion. Paul sides with the complementarians, citing the order of creation as the basis for his teaching: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve” (1 Timothy 2:15).

A difference in role does not equate to a difference in quality, importance, or value. Men and women are equally valued in God’s sight and in His plan. Complementarianism seeks to preserve the biblical differences between men’s and women’s roles while valuing the quality and importance of both genders. The result of true complementarianism is honor to Christ and harmony in the church and in the home.

All that we know of Nicodemus in the Bible is from the Gospel of John. In John 3:1, he is described as a Pharisee. The Pharisees were a group of Jews who were fastidious in keeping the letter of the Law and often opposed Jesus throughout His ministry. Jesus often strongly denounced them for their legalism (see Matthew 23). Saul of Tarsus (who became the apostle Paul) was also a Pharisee (Philippians 3:5).

John 3:1 also describes Nicodemus as a leader of the Jews. According to John 7:50–51, Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin, which was the ruling body of the Jews. Each city could have a Sanhedrin, which functioned as the “lower courts.” Under Roman authority in the time of Christ, the Jewish nation was allowed a measure of self-rule, and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was the final court of appeals for matters regarding Jewish law and religion. This was the body that ultimately condemned Jesus, yet they had to get Pilate to approve their sentence since the death penalty was beyond their jurisdiction under Roman law. It appears that Nicodemus was part of the Great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

John reports that Nicodemus came to speak with Jesus at night. Many have speculated that Nicodemus was afraid or ashamed to visit Jesus in broad daylight, so he made a nighttime visit. This may very well be the case, but the text does not give a reason for the timing of the visit. A number of other reasons are also possible. Nicodemus questioned Jesus. As a member of the Jewish ruling council, it would have been his responsibility to find out about any teachers or other public figures who might lead the people astray.

In their conversation, Jesus immediately confronts Nicodemus with the truth that he “must be born again” (John 3:3). When Nicodemus seems incredulous, Jesus reprimands him (perhaps gently) that, since he is a leader of the Jews, he should already know this (John 3:10). Jesus goes on to give a further explanation of the new birth, and it is in this context that we find John 3:16, which is one of the most well-known and beloved verses in the Bible.

The next time we encounter Nicodemus in the Bible, he is functioning in his official capacity as a member of the Sanhedrin as they consider what to do about Jesus. In John 7, some Pharisees and priests (presumably with authority to do so) sent some of the temple guard to arrest Jesus, but they return, unable to bring themselves to do it (see John 7:32–47). The guards are upbraided by the Pharisees in authority, but Nicodemus presents the opinion that Jesus should not be dismissed or condemned until they have heard from Him personally: “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” (John 7:51). However, the rest of the Council rudely dismisses Nicodemus’s suggestion out of hand—they appear to have already made up their minds about Jesus.

The final mention of Nicodemus in the Bible is in John 19 after Jesus’ crucifixion. We find Nicodemus assisting Joseph of Arimathea in Jesus’ burial. Joseph is described in John as a rich man and in Mark 15:43 as a member of the Council. He is also described in John 19:38 as a disciple of Jesus, albeit a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews. Joseph asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Nicodemus brought 75 pounds of spices for use in preparing the body for burial and then assisted Joseph in wrapping the body and placing it in the tomb. The sheer amount of burial spices would seem to indicate that Nicodemus was a rich man and that he had great respect for Jesus.

The limited account in John’s Gospel leaves many questions about Nicodemus unanswered. Was he a true believer? What did he do after the resurrection? The Bible is silent on these questions, and there are no reliable extra-biblical resources that give answers. It would appear that Nicodemus may have been similar to Joseph of Arimathea in that perhaps he, too, was a disciple of Jesus but had not yet mustered the courage to declare his faith openly. Perhaps Nicodemus’s final recorded act was his declaration of faith—although we are not told how public it was. His presentation in the Gospel of John is generally favorable, which suggests that his faith was indeed genuine.

 Does a faith healer heal with the same power as Jesus?

There is no doubt that God has the power to heal anyone at any time. The question is whether He chooses to do so through those who are called “faith healers.” These individuals typically convince their audiences that God wants them to be well and that through their faith—and usually a financial offering—God will reward their faith by healing them through the power of Jesus.

By comparing the healing ministry of the Lord Jesus to that of the modern faith healers, we can determine whether their claims have any basis in Scripture. If, as they say, they heal through the same power and in the same way that Jesus healed, we should be able to see marked similarities between them. However, just the opposite is true. Mark 1:29-34 gives us a description of just one day of Jesus’ healing ministry. His power to heal—and to do all kinds of miracles—was evidence that He had power over both the physical and spiritual effects of the curse of sin. He healed those afflicted with physical diseases, illnesses, and injuries, even raising the dead, and He cast demons out of those who were possessed by them. Only God can rescue us from the results of the Fall of man into sin—disease and death—and by His miracles, Jesus proved His deity.

There are several distinctive in the way Jesus healed that are not characteristic of the modern faith healers. First, He healed instantly. Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:31), the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:13), Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:41-42), and the paralytic (Luke 5:24-25) were all healed immediately. They did not have to go home and start to get better, as is the advice from many faith healers. Second, Jesus healed totally. Peter’s mother-in-law was fully functional after being healed from an illness so severe she was bedridden, but when Jesus healed her, she rose immediately and prepared a meal for all who were in the house. The blind beggars in Matthew 20:34 were given instant sight. Third, Jesus healed everyone (Matthew 4:24; Luke 4:40). They were not required to be pre-screened by the disciples before coming to Jesus for healing, as is the standard procedure with the healers today. There was no healing line they had to qualify for. Jesus healed all the time in many places, not in a studio with carefully-controlled circumstances.

Fourth, Jesus healed actual organic diseases, not symptoms as the faith healers do. Jesus never healed anyone of a headache or back pain. He healed leprosy, blindness, and paralysis, miracles that were truly verifiable. Finally, Jesus healed the ultimate disease—death. He brought forth Lazarus after four days in the grave. No faith healer can duplicate that. In addition, His healings did not require faith as a precondition. In fact, most of those He healed were unbelievers.

There have always been false healers who prey on the suffering and the desperate in order to pad their bank accounts. Such behavior is the worst kind of blasphemy because many whose money is wasted on false promises reject Christ outright because He does not do what the healer has promised. Why, if faith healers have the power to heal, do they not walk the halls of the hospitals healing everyone and releasing them all? Why do they not go to clinics and cure all the AIDS patients? They do not because they cannot. They do not have the power of healing that Jesus possessed.

 

Many of you understand the concept of love; listen to  Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski explain the real side of love.. I think you’ll find it interesting….

 

 

Perhaps many of you have viewed this video before; I think it’s worth reviewing over and over until we, as Christians, get it right. Christianity wears a black eye because others see the hypocrisy within the church…… Some  churches  are a den of vipers while others a nest of Pharisee’s and hypocrites . Take this video to heart and measure yourselves by “what you have done for the least of His.'”

This is what Thanksgiving is all about……. being thankful…. for one man’s actions…..

 

 

This interesting prayer was given in Kansas, USA, at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.  When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says: “Woe to those who call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done. *

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. *

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism. *

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism. *

We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle. *

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. *

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. *

We have killed our unborn and called it choice. *

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable. *

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. *

We have abused power and called it politics. *

We have embezzled public funds and called it essential expenses. *

We have institutionalized bribery and called it sweets of office. *

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. *

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. *

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh GOD, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!”

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea. With the LORD’S help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and WHOLEHEARTEDLY become our desire so that we again can be called “ONE NATION UNDER GOD.”

Think about this: If you forward this prayer to everyone on your list, in less than 30 days it would be heard by the world.

Do you have the boldness to pass it on?

May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob once again bless our Nation and it’s people.

 

The phrase “reprobate mind” is found in Romans 1:28 in reference to those whom God has rejected as godless and wicked. They “suppress the truth by their wickedness,” and it is upon these people that the wrath of God rests (Romans 1:18). The Greek word translated “reprobate” in the New Testament is adokimos, which means literally “unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication, worthless (literally or morally).”

Paul describes two men named Jannes and Jambres as those who “resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8). Here the reprobation is regarding the resistance to the truth because of corrupt minds. In Titus, Paul also refers to those whose works are reprobate: “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16). Therefore, the reprobate mind is one that is corrupt and worthless.

As we can see in the verses above, people who are classified as having a reprobate mind have some knowledge of God and perhaps know of His commandments. However, they live impure lives and have very little desire to please God. Those who have reprobate minds live corrupt and selfish lives. Sin is justified and acceptable to them. The reprobates are those whom God has rejected and has left to their own devices.

Can a Christian have a reprobate mind? Someone who has sincerely accepted Jesus Christ by faith will not have this mindset because the old person with a reprobate mind has been recreated into a new creation: “The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Christians are basically “new” people. We live differently and speak differently. Our world is centered on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and how we can serve Him. Also, if we are truly in the faith, we will have the Holy Spirit to help us live a God-honoring life (John 14:26). Those with reprobate minds do not have the Spirit and live only for themselves.

To define what is beautiful is difficult because beauty is, as the old saying goes, in the eyes of the beholder. What is beautiful to us may be ugly to another. To regard something as beautiful, it must meet our own definition and concept of beauty. The fact that beauty is an individual concept is understood clearly by all. However, many don’t realize that God’s concept of beauty also is His own. No one defines for God His concept of beauty. If a person is beautiful to God, he fits God’s concept of beauty.

For example, God never uses one’s outward physical appearance to determine beauty. When the prophet Samuel examined Jesse’s sons in search of the next king of Israel, he was impressed with Eliab’s appearance. God told Samuel: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Nothing in a person’s outward appearance impresses God. God looks upon the inner beauty, the beauty of one’s heart.

God never uses the origin or culture of a person as the criterion of beauty. People of one culture seldom see beauty in people of a different culture. Only a divine revelation could convince Peter to enter a Gentile’s house and preach the gospel to him (Acts 10). It took an angel to get Peter the Jew and Cornelius the Gentile together. Only a divine sign convinced the Jewish witnesses that Gentiles unquestionably had the right to be God’s children. When Peter said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism (Acts 10:34), he was saying, “At last, I understand.” Peter realized that God is unconcerned about a person’s origin or culture. God gladly accepts those who revere and obey Him. His concept of beauty is different because He ignores cultural preferences and prejudices.

While our opinions are strongly influenced by one’s address, occupation, and social role, God never determines beauty by social rank or life circumstances. When we speak of the so-called “beautiful people,” rarely do we mean those who are struggling to survive, who make their living by menial jobs, or who come from “backward” areas. In contrast, God never notices those things when He considers beauty in people. Paul wrote, “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26-28).

What is beautiful in God’s eyes? Recognizing the qualities God has cherished in the lives of other people is one way to determine His concept of beauty. Noah’s implicit trust in God led him to construct a gigantic boat miles from water. Abraham trusted God’s promise so implicitly that he would have sacrificed his son of promise without hesitation. Moses yielded total control of his life to God and became the man of meekness. David gave his whole being to doing the will of God. No consequence or shameful treatment could keep Daniel from reverencing his God. Peter, Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy were ruled by God in every consideration and decision. They were totally focused upon Jesus’ will as they shared the gospel with all. In all these qualities God saw great beauty.

While all these people were beautiful to God, virtually nothing is known about their physical appearance. It was not their physique or stateliness but their faith and service that made them beautiful. The same was true of God’s beautiful women: Rahab, Hannah, Ruth, Deborah, and Mary of Bethany. Those noted for physical beauty were often great spiritual disappointments. Rebekah was “very beautiful” (Genesis 26:7), but she was also a deceiver and manipulator. Saul was a man of physical beauty, but his disobedience against God hurt the nation of Israel.

Peter directed Christian women to focus on the inner, spiritual qualities in order to be truly beautiful: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful” (1 Peter 3:3-5). Peter is not prohibiting nice clothes or nice hairstyles; he is simply saying that a gentle and quiet spirit is even more beautiful in God’s eyes.

The qualities God wants in His people further reveal His concept of beauty. The beatitudes reveal some of God’s standards of beauty. An awareness of one’s spiritual poverty, sorrow for wickedness, hunger and thirst for righteousness, mercy, purity of heart, and being a peacemaker are all qualities of beauty. The epistles also stress attributes valued by God: keeping a living faith while enduring physical hardships, controlling the tongue, enduring personal harm to protect the church’s influence, making sacrifices for the good of others, and living by Christian convictions in the face of ridicule. All these are beautiful to God.

However, just as a beautiful appearance can become ugly through neglect, a beautiful life of righteousness can become ugly through neglect. Spiritual beauty must never be taken for granted or be neglected. We must remember that just as it is possible to be one of society’s most impressive people and be ugly in the eyes of God, it is also possible to be an unknown in society and to be radiantly beautiful in His eyes.