Christian Era |OT| W.W.J.D

ryseing

Resettlement Advisor
Member
Hi folks. I do not consider myself Christian, though since I grew up that way I do lurk this thread from time to time. It's interesting to see the thoughts of folks that spend time on this board even though it can be very opposed to traditional Christian (or mainstream American Christian, at least) values.

Anyway, that's not why I'm here. I'm here because I read a glowing review of a new biography about Larry Norman. I hadn't heard of him before today but now am planning to pick the book up. Just wanted to get this community's thoughts on Norman. He sounded like a fascinating guy. The review brings this up, but it sounds like he wanted to make actual art, which is my main issue with so much "Christian" media in that it all feels cynical and soulless. Every time I see an ad for one of those Pure Flix films, I start facepalming.
 
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Wanted to say that with the general tone a lot of this forum takes with Christians it makes me very happy to see a community like this. Non-denominational Christian raised in a Baptist household.

I've got a question for anyone willing to take a crack at it. The Bible does not specifically touch on marijuana use. I have been told by many throughout my life that it is a sin, but the closest I can really find myself of His word ever indicating as much is the condemnation of intoxication (which I wonder if realistically applies the same as it does to the wine referenced) and the general idea that anything not with Christ is against Christ, therefore its lack of references should be an indicator to not involve yourself with it...? Is recreational marjuana use a sin? If anyone has any scripture to add insight that'd be awesome too.

Cheers, hope this thread prospers
This is a good question that I've never considered. My initial reaction is to agree with your thought on intoxication. The Bible is clear on God's stance when it comes to intoxication and my own opinion would be to lump Marijuana into the same category. 1 Peter 5:8 is a short but simple verse on remaining sober. Other perspectives to consider are: Are you breaking the law by smoking marijuana (probably location specific)? Is smoking marijuana leading you to participate in any other sinful behavior? We can more readily apply scripture to situations like breaking the law or sinning in other ways. Thus, you can make an overall judgement on whether smoking marijuana is sinful behavior for you or not.
 
Also, I'm really glad to see all this deep debate in this thread... I just got caught up this morning. I didn't really quote much of it but I just wanted to share random thoughts that have come to mind after reading your posts.

When considering salvation and who is saved, I believe John 14:6 is authoritative on this concept. I don't believe in Universalism in that I agree that Jesus is the only way to eternal life - you must surrender your life to Him and repent of your sins. I also don't believe that this approach makes Christianity "exclusive" in some way. Anyone can come to a belief in Jesus - there's no pre-requisite. You just have to believe in him. I am not quite sure what happens to those who do not get a chance to believe but my own thought on this is Jesus leaves it intentionally ambiguous. I believe Jesus intends for us to take the Great Commission seriously with an understanding that some people may be lost if we don't make the effort to take the gospel to them. There are real stakes involved in this mission.

I have a soft spot for finances and how they work within a church. I actually believe the idea of the Tithe is still valid today and it's an act of obedience and is not rendered irrelevant by 2 Corinthians 9:7. I think the two concepts go together. I believe everything we receive, financially and otherwise, is from God. The 10% is what he asks for us to immediately as an act of obedience. The concept of "giving", in my opinion, is above and beyond that 10%. I know this is a tough topic for people but I always ask people to consider the following (in the environment of a healthy and Biblical church, of course - not one that abuses it's finances): churches cannot function without money (tithe/offering) similar to the way our government can't function with taxes. Money has to come in for the church to be able to do things that people expect. For instance, the church cannot help those in need if they don't have the money to do so.

To give a specific example, my church recently did a sermon series on finances. Long story short, the giving numbers were concerning. Our annual budget is ~$16 million and we expect to meet that with whatever regular attendance we have now (I forget the exact number). There were a lot of numbers to consider but, basically, we are not on track to meet that budget this year. That's fine... but then they asked us to consider that if everyone in the church were at the poverty line for our state (around $20k annual income) and only gave 10%, we would meet the $16 million budget. That's humbling because it essentially means that, left up to our own devices, people just don't give. I'm not saying this is a universal truth but, clearly, there is either a lack of trust between people in the church, a lack of obedience, or people don't handle their personal finances in such a way that they even have money to give (i.e. overwhelmed with debt).

As for the topic of homosexuality and whether it's a sin, I think far too much attention is given to that question. What does it matter, as a broad discussion? The goal is in the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) - specifically verse 20: "... and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...". I think the idea here is that we need to share the gospel with all. This doesn't mean to convert them to our culture or every set of behaviors but, instead, introduce them to Jesus Christ and help them learn how to be obedient. From that point, each person goes on a journey of serving Jesus and having their lives being refined. I believe this includes the refinement of sexual behaviors, beliefs, and approaches to relationships. There's no point in calling such behaviors out at the beginning (such as homosexuality or pre-marital sex) as possibly a sin or not because it does nothing for people outside of the context of a mature relationship with Christ. It may, instead, just turn them away from the church. The key is the relationship with Christ.
 
Also, I'm really glad to see all this deep debate in this thread... I just got caught up this morning. I didn't really quote much of it but I just wanted to share random thoughts that have come to mind after reading your posts.

When considering salvation and who is saved, I believe John 14:6 is authoritative on this concept. I don't believe in Universalism in that I agree that Jesus is the only way to eternal life - you must surrender your life to Him and repent of your sins. I also don't believe that this approach makes Christianity "exclusive" in some way. Anyone can come to a belief in Jesus - there's no pre-requisite. You just have to believe in him. I am not quite sure what happens to those who do not get a chance to believe but my own thought on this is Jesus leaves it intentionally ambiguous. I believe Jesus intends for us to take the Great Commission seriously with an understanding that some people may be lost if we don't make the effort to take the gospel to them. There are real stakes involved in this mission.

I have a soft spot for finances and how they work within a church. I actually believe the idea of the Tithe is still valid today and it's an act of obedience and is not rendered irrelevant by 2 Corinthians 9:7. I think the two concepts go together. I believe everything we receive, financially and otherwise, is from God. The 10% is what he asks for us to immediately as an act of obedience. The concept of "giving", in my opinion, is above and beyond that 10%. I know this is a tough topic for people but I always ask people to consider the following (in the environment of a healthy and Biblical church, of course - not one that abuses it's finances): churches cannot function without money (tithe/offering) similar to the way our government can't function with taxes. Money has to come in for the church to be able to do things that people expect. For instance, the church cannot help those in need if they don't have the money to do so.

To give a specific example, my church recently did a sermon series on finances. Long story short, the giving numbers were concerning. Our annual budget is ~$16 million and we expect to meet that with whatever regular attendance we have now (I forget the exact number). There were a lot of numbers to consider but, basically, we are not on track to meet that budget this year. That's fine... but then they asked us to consider that if everyone in the church were at the poverty line for our state (around $20k annual income) and only gave 10%, we would meet the $16 million budget. That's humbling because it essentially means that, left up to our own devices, people just don't give. I'm not saying this is a universal truth but, clearly, there is either a lack of trust between people in the church, a lack of obedience, or people don't handle their personal finances in such a way that they even have money to give (i.e. overwhelmed with debt).

As for the topic of homosexuality and whether it's a sin, I think far too much attention is given to that question. What does it matter, as a broad discussion? The goal is in the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) - specifically verse 20: "... and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you...". I think the idea here is that we need to share the gospel with all. This doesn't mean to convert them to our culture or every set of behaviors but, instead, introduce them to Jesus Christ and help them learn how to be obedient. From that point, each person goes on a journey of serving Jesus and having their lives being refined. I believe this includes the refinement of sexual behaviors, beliefs, and approaches to relationships. There's no point in calling such behaviors out at the beginning (such as homosexuality or pre-marital sex) as possibly a sin or not because it does nothing for people outside of the context of a mature relationship with Christ. It may, instead, just turn them away from the church. The key is the relationship with Christ.
Your arguments on why you believe tithe is still valid are good and well presented and that is good since that way we can learn and gain knowledge from different opnions.

The thing is, from my experience church leaderships do not present convincing arguments about this particular topic, they literally just sell the tithe as something you should give in order to receive big rewards in the future. So my question to you is, do you agree with this as well as a form of convincing more members to help the church?
 
Your arguments on why you believe tithe is still valid are good and well presented and that is good since that way we can learn and gain knowledge from different opnions.

The thing is, from my experience church leaderships do not present convincing arguments about this particular topic, they literally just sell the tithe as something you should give in order to receive big rewards in the future. So my question to you is, do you agree with this as well as a form of convincing more members to help the church?
Well, I almost immediately disagree with that statement. As in my post, I do not believe people should tithe in order to get a reward - I believe tithing is obedience to God. Expecting to get someone in return, financially, is not Biblical.

I believe some churches (mis)use Malachi 3:10 as a way to convince people that they will get a monetary reward for tithing. However, I believe the Bible is trying to tell us, in a general sense, that being obedient with your finances (by tithing) means that you will blessed in a general sense. This could mean many things - God doesn't abide by the rules we think he should. But Malachi 3:10 does say to test Him in this area (the only such challenge he offers in the whole Bible, I believe). Be obedient and generous with your finances and see what God (not your church) does for you.
 
Well, I almost immediately disagree with that statement. As in my post, I do not believe people should tithe in order to get a reward - I believe tithing is obedience to God. Expecting to get someone in return, financially, is not Biblical.

I believe some churches (mis)use Malachi 3:10 as a way to convince people that they will get a monetary reward for tithing. However, I believe the Bible is trying to tell us, in a general sense, that being obedient with your finances (by tithing) means that you will blessed in a general sense. This could mean many things - God doesn't abide by the rules we think he should. But Malachi 3:10 does say to test Him in this area (the only such challenge he offers in the whole Bible, I believe). Be obedient and generous with your finances and see what God (not your church) does for you.
I forgot to mention the rewards they mention are not only financial (though they certainly focus a lot here), but in life in general as well. And since Malachi 3:10 is from the old testament, in the new testament it has no value whatsoever because the law was erased by the grace of Jesus, at least that is what i learned from others more open minded pastors and my own studies.
 
I forgot to mention the rewards they mention are not only financial (though they certainly focus a lot here), but in life in general as well. And since Malachi 3:10 is from the old testament, in the new testament it has no value whatsoever because the law was erased by the grace of Jesus, at least that is what i learned from others more open minded pastors and my own studies.
I think we have to really careful about suggesting to people that the Old Testament - whether part of it or the entire thing - has no value because of the teachings of Jesus that exist in the New Testament. I understand the reason people say this... which, as you have suggested, has to do with the grace of Jesus.. but consider Matthew 5:17-20. These verses introduce that idea that Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. So, while we may not fall under a lot of the rules that were introduced in the Old Testament, consider how much higher Jesus raised the bar in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

Also, I do not interpret Malachi 3:10 as a negative verse. I see it as immensely positive and reassuring that God asks us to challenge him in this area. What would be the motivation for Jesus undoing that promise? (Serious question - I'm not asking it in a rhetorical fashion.)

In general, I think it's important to consider how the Old Testament and New Testament actually work together in telling the story of God reconciling man to himself. This is a larger conversation so I wanted to say a little something... it always just raises a red flag to me when I hear people say that the Old Testament has no value. That's a really broad statement to make and would cause a lot of people to either misunderstand or completely miss certain teachings of the Bible.
 
In general, I think it's important to consider how the Old Testament and New Testament actually work together in telling the story of God reconciling man to himself. This is a larger conversation so I wanted to say a little something... it always just raises a red flag to me when I hear people say that the Old Testament has no value. That's a really broad statement to make and would cause a lot of people to either misunderstand or completely miss certain teachings of the Bible.
Agreed. The value of the Old Testament is one of those areas where we tend to get things ckmplecomp backwards about. Both extremes regarding it are obviously a major issue, as Christ's status as the fulfilment of the Law means that it holds power. But at the same time, that fulfilment means that the parts that relate directly to the Old Covenant are now pieces of history that allow us to hold better understanding rather than teachings we should be practicing. The Old Testament is important, but as always must be viewed through a post-Jesus lens, and that's where I think a lot of people get tripped up in both directions when it comes to studying it.
 
Agreed. The value of the Old Testament is one of those areas where we tend to get things ckmplecomp backwards about. Both extremes regarding it are obviously a major issue, as Christ's status as the fulfilment of the Law means that it holds power. But at the same time, that fulfilment means that the parts that relate directly to the Old Covenant are now pieces of history that allow us to hold better understanding rather than teachings we should be practicing. The Old Testament is important, but as always must be viewed through a post-Jesus lens, and that's where I think a lot of people get tripped up in both directions when it comes to studying it.
I like the way you phrased that. Reading the old testament unveiling Jesus is amazing.
 
By the way, does anyone know what happened to Phoenix RISING? He's been banned for a while now...
A Phoenix

always

RISES!


Phoenix pushed the rules a bit too much on touchy subjects in the main EtcetERA forum and crossed the mod lines in a thread on Pakistan. He should be back in a couple of weeks or so.

As for the church avoiding politics, it's for the best that it stays as far away from them as possible, history has already taught us far too well on what happens when you marry church and state too closely. While we absolutely should let our faith guide our personal voting patterns, I can't think of a scenario where a pastor telling their church how to vote doesn't cause division and disunity. (By how I mean what they should vote for, not the obvious research and prayer we should be doing as we make any important decision that requires forethought)
Mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn it's not like "Do not defend theocracies" is listed in the TOS. Sheesh, how was I supposed to know??? I was at work, made a post, went to run an errand, came back, and I was ghosted. The worst part of it was like, nobody really cared about that story. I caught a three-week ban in a thread that was barely two pages long. What a waste!

I will be spending significantly less time in OT going forward. With a ban like that, which was extended, I'm certain my next one will be a perm...since I was previously banned for three days or so, again, while speaking about religion on ERA. I'm not going out of my way and being a jerk to anyone or anything. Apparently my worldviews are frowned upon. In that case, I simply will not share them and go back to lurking mostly like I was at the other place.


As for the church and politics. It's a trendy thing to say, "separation of church and state." But it's another to believe that the Risen King will one day return and establish heaven on earth. Essentially a monarchy. Totalitarianism. Autocracy. Like, the closest we get to democracy in the Bible is something akin to Oligarchy through the Judges. Things like voting and such are outside Biblical jurisdiction as far as I know.

I don't think it's possible to separate the two. You would have to be a-religious.

Wanted to say that with the general tone a lot of this forum takes with Christians it makes me very happy to see a community like this. Non-denominational Christian raised in a Baptist household.

I've got a question for anyone willing to take a crack at it. The Bible does not specifically touch on marijuana use. I have been told by many throughout my life that it is a sin, but the closest I can really find myself of His word ever indicating as much is the condemnation of intoxication (which I wonder if realistically applies the same as it does to the wine referenced) and the general idea that anything not with Christ is against Christ, therefore its lack of references should be an indicator to not involve yourself with it...? Is recreational marjuana use a sin? If anyone has any scripture to add insight that'd be awesome too.

Cheers, hope this thread prospers
Glad to see that this thread has seen some action in my absence.

The Bible does not specify marijuana as a sin--only if it is illegal where you are. Still, always be careful of idols. "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial."
 
Is recreational marjuana use a sin? If anyone has any scripture to add insight that'd be awesome too.
As my Spiritual Father would say, the fact you are asking this question, answers it.

The Bible does not specify marijuana as a sin--only if it is illegal where you are. Still, always be careful of idols. "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial."
And there are four or five other verses which can be interpreted to reach the opposite conclusion.
 
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I think we have to really careful about suggesting to people that the Old Testament - whether part of it or the entire thing - has no value because of the teachings of Jesus that exist in the New Testament. I understand the reason people say this... which, as you have suggested, has to do with the grace of Jesus.. but consider Matthew 5:17-20. These verses introduce that idea that Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it. So, while we may not fall under a lot of the rules that were introduced in the Old Testament, consider how much higher Jesus raised the bar in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

Also, I do not interpret Malachi 3:10 as a negative verse. I see it as immensely positive and reassuring that God asks us to challenge him in this area. What would be the motivation for Jesus undoing that promise? (Serious question - I'm not asking it in a rhetorical fashion.)

In general, I think it's important to consider how the Old Testament and New Testament actually work together in telling the story of God reconciling man to himself. This is a larger conversation so I wanted to say a little something... it always just raises a red flag to me when I hear people say that the Old Testament has no value. That's a really broad statement to make and would cause a lot of people to either misunderstand or completely miss certain teachings of the Bible.
Why then Jesus and any of the apostles do not talk specifically about tithes? The only verse i found is on Luke 11-42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. But then again i do not see this as a "law" but more like a lesson to the pharisees who think only tithes and appearances matter, just like Ananias and Sapphira. And after Jesus rises i have never read about tithes in any of the new testament.

Why do pastors in general are selective when they talk about the old testament? They say most of what is written there is not relevant anymore because of Jesus grace, but somehow Malachi is still relevant?

What i believe is that we should try to behave as much as possible like the first Christians in Acts, giving and sharing with those in need and helping the church in general.

I also searched right now and found many sources online that support this point of view, though since im not from the US i dont know if they are credible. Here are two examples: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/7-reasons-christians-not-required-to-tithe/ and https://www.biblestandard.com/must-christians-pay-tithes.html.

Also kinda off-topic i guess but do you guys believe in asking others for prayers? I ask this because i have a chronic disease and in my last consult with the doctor my test results got worse and this left me a little depressed to be honest, i dont think i ever done this but i ask that you guys pray for my health to improve.

Thanks.
 
Why then Jesus and any of the apostles do not talk specifically about tithes? The only verse i found is on Luke 11-42 "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone. But then again i do not see this as a "law" but more like a lesson to the pharisees who think only tithes and appearances matter, just like Ananias and Sapphira. And after Jesus rises i have never read about tithes in any of the new testament.

Why do pastors in general are selective when they talk about the old testament? They say most of what is written there is not relevant anymore because of Jesus grace, but somehow Malachi is still relevant?

What i believe is that we should try to behave as much as possible like the first Christians in Acts, giving and sharing with those in need and helping the church in general.

I also searched right now and found many sources online that support this point of view, though since im not from the US i dont know if they are credible. Here are two examples: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/7-reasons-christians-not-required-to-tithe/ and https://www.biblestandard.com/must-christians-pay-tithes.html.

Also kinda off-topic i guess but do you guys believe in asking others for prayers? I ask this because i have a chronic disease and in my last consult with the doctor my test results got worse and this left me a little depressed to be honest, i dont think i ever done this but i ask that you guys pray for my health to improve.

Thanks.
It's interesting that you mention Luke 11:42 because that is the exact verse the senior pastor at my church mentioned when talking about tithing and New Testament. It seems we just interpret it differently because I belief Jesus means the exact words that he is saying when he tells the Pharisees that they should've "...practiced the latter without leaving the former undone." I don't think it was a general lesson where Jesus didn't mean for us to take him at His word. I think he intended to say that the tithe (and giving) is important along with embracing and showing the justice and love of God.

Why are pastors selective when talking about the Old Testament? I don't know. I know it's definitely an ongoing debate about how to interpret the Old Testament. I don't think it's as simple as either disregarding the entire Old Testament (due to the grace of Jesus) or abiding by the whole thing. I think it's a mix and it requires thorough studying of both the Old and New Testament to see how they work together. I think that anyone that tries to simplify it is misleading others.

As for those examples you shared on why tithing isn't relevant, I would need to dive into them further. I took a quick glance but am not sure what I think, yet.

As for prayer, I absolutely believe in asking others for prayer. I am heavily involved in the Prayer Ministry at my church because I really believe in the power of prayer. I would be happy to pray for your health to improve and I'm really sorry that you received some depressing results. If you're interested, my church has a section on our website where prayers can be submitted (anonymously, if you desire) because we have a team of people that pray for the submitted prayer around the clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Let me know if you are interested.
 
It's interesting that you mention Luke 11:42 because that is the exact verse the senior pastor at my church mentioned when talking about tithing and New Testament. It seems we just interpret it differently because I belief Jesus means the exact words that he is saying when he tells the Pharisees that they should've "...practiced the latter without leaving the former undone." I don't think it was a general lesson where Jesus didn't mean for us to take him at His word. I think he intended to say that the tithe (and giving) is important along with embracing and showing the justice and love of God.

Why are pastors selective when talking about the Old Testament? I don't know. I know it's definitely an ongoing debate about how to interpret the Old Testament. I don't think it's as simple as either disregarding the entire Old Testament (due to the grace of Jesus) or abiding by the whole thing. I think it's a mix and it requires thorough studying of both the Old and New Testament to see how they work together. I think that anyone that tries to simplify it is misleading others.

As for those examples you shared on why tithing isn't relevant, I would need to dive into them further. I took a quick glance but am not sure what I think, yet.

As for prayer, I absolutely believe in asking others for prayer. I am heavily involved in the Prayer Ministry at my church because I really believe in the power of prayer. I would be happy to pray for your health to improve and I'm really sorry that you received some depressing results. If you're interested, my church has a section on our website where prayers can be submitted (anonymously, if you desire) because we have a team of people that pray for the submitted prayer around the clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Let me know if you are interested.
Its just that i think that some pastors only select the parts in the old testament that are convenient, and disregard what they dont need. Ultimately i think that no matter if we believe in tithe or not, if we give what we can to help others and the church without neglecting love and justice like Jesus said, we are in the right path regardless.

As for the prayer question, from my studies i believe it as well though i dont know if the Bible mentions it. So im kinda curious if the Bible has this specific information.

Im very glad for your offer and i would like to submit this to your church.

Thank you very much!
 
And you make an assertion and bring no proof. Not even a paraphrase.

K.
I don't like quoting parts of the Bible to promote my personal argument.

Getting high from marijuana is a form of intoxication and there are copious texts that warn against this, as well as avoiding activities that are detrimental to your health and a sober mind. To interpret that intoxication and drunkenness solely to be restricted to wine is disingenuous and self-serving.

Moreover, to suggest that if something is "legal" it's okay is equally disingenuous. There are many "legal" things that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
 
I don't like quoting parts of the Bible to promote my personal argument.

Getting high from marijuana is a form of intoxication and there are copious texts that warn against this, as well as avoiding activities that are detrimental to your health and a sober mind. To interpret that intoxication and drunkenness solely to be restricted to wine is disingenuous and self-serving.

Moreover, to suggest that if something is "legal" it's okay is equally disingenuous. There are many "legal" things that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
If this is true, then I can only conclude that you are here to start frivolous quarrels.

You don't get to say something like this:

As my Spiritual Father would say, the fact you are asking this question, answers it.


And there are four or five other verses which can be interpreted to reach the opposite conclusion.
And then when asked to prove it, you're like "I don't want to."

Man, get outta here with that nonsense. It is more probable that you actually do not know scripture due to your reticence to cite it than "personal preference."

Sola scriptura!

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" ~ 2 Timothy 3:16

"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels." 2 Timothy 2:23-24.

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Auros01 your commentary on giving is...convicting. When I was poor and by all intents and purposes could not afford to tithe, I did it. Now that I make well above what I *need*, I just give $100 here or there whenever I feel like it, but I don't tithe.

In fact, when we did tithe, I had my wife cut the checks or arrange for the automatic withdrawals. If 2 Corinthians 9:7 is applicable, I have never been a "cheerful giver" toward the church. Now when someone is sick or in a hard spot, yeah, I'll gladly chip in for a funeral, car repair, groceries, etc. because I can see/witness/experience the immediate effect. The church might have done the same, but it's not like I'll get an itemized receipt that says my specific dollars went to these specific things. In fact, typing this reminds me that we give monthly to a couple of missions.

The literal reading of "cheerful giver" would mean that I would never give. On the other hand, the innate meaning is suggestive in that I should be cheerful, grateful, humble, and give in that way. This creates a sort of feedback loop and I don't know what to do or how to proceed.


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On the topic of the relevance of the OT, YMMV, or at least, your pastor may vary. We are NT Christians living in the domain of Christ, so that is indeed our focus. I, for example, would most certainly be considered a gentile, so it is in my best interest to focus on the NT, because many of the ritual laws in the OT simply are not applicable.

I tend to be able to address "relevance of OT" questions more effectively when people are more specific as to what it is they feel the Church doesn't pay attention to. I mean, Jesus frequently quotes from the OT, so it is necessary that we address it and what he says in tandem.
 
If this is true, then I can only conclude that you are here to start frivolous quarrels.
Not at all. Quite the contrary, I am observing Lent and wish to avoid such situations.

However, a simple Google search, gets your answer

http://www.revelation.co/2010/01/27...-marijuana-is-smoking-pot-a-sin-in-gods-eyes/
https://youtu.be/CWiS7A8s2yY?t=224
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/is-recreational-marijuana-use-a-sin/

I am not going to comment on this further. If you disagree fine. If you like, we can debate it again after April 8.
 
Not at all. Quite the contrary, I am observing Lent and wish to avoid such situations.

However, a simple Google search, gets your answer

http://www.revelation.co/2010/01/27...-marijuana-is-smoking-pot-a-sin-in-gods-eyes/
https://youtu.be/CWiS7A8s2yY?t=224
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/is-recreational-marijuana-use-a-sin/

I am not going to comment on this further. If you disagree fine. If you like, we can debate it again after April 8.
Marijuana usage is like, among the least pressing matters in Christiandom. I personally don't care.

I do care about you making provocative posts, then back peddling. It would be prudent to not say anything at all if you do not intend to follow through.
 
Ivellios or anyone else that needs prayer - my church would be happy to okay for you. You can submit requests at: https://www.centralaz.com/NeedPrayer

You can keep it mostly anonymous (if you want) by only providing a first name and the request.

These requests are kept confidential at the church and only shared with a relatively small team that prays regularly. Let me know if you have any questions!
 
I'm a regularly browser of political posts. For whatever reason, I always seem to stumble onto people that make fun of Christian beliefs. Like...unprompted. And everyone joins in. So finding this topic was a breath of fresh air and made me happy to see. I'm not exactly the greatest Christian out there, but hopefully that's okay.

Also, the person who led me to being Christian just passed away literally nine hours ago, so it's kind of funny I found this topic today.

I actually had a question about Christian music, if it's okay. I hope it's not too specific. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the direction of modern "hard rock" bands that play Christian music. I'm looking in the direction of Skillet or The Letter Black. (If you listen to general modern rock music, you've almost certainly heard Skillet, but The Letter Black isn't quite that big. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVFfbomH_eg That's one of my favorite songs by them.)

Thank you for any suggestions, and I hope everyone's having a good day.
 
Welcome Gravity Queen! Sorry for your loss, will keep that in my prayers. Don't worry about being the best Christian ever, we're all chief among sinners here like Paul ( 1 Timothy 1:15), and this is meant to be a place for us to gather, support, share and edify. I hope we can be that for you in addition to whatever community you're plugged into offline =)

As for music, well... You're speaking my language fluently! The Christian Hard Rock scene is far from dead, but it has gotten a little bit harder to find new acts these days now that Hard Rock and Metal as a whole are at an all-time low in popularity in greater music culture. I still listen to classic acts like Red, Disciple, and Thousand Foot Krutch, but these days I've been diving more into Metal thanks to my younger brother discovering this incredible power metal band from Georgia called Theocracy. Not only are they incredibly gifted musicians, but Matt Smith (lead vocals, band founder and not 11th doctor) manages to write incredibly deep lyrics that go much deeper than what I'm used to seeing in the Christian music community. Strongly recommended, and they put on a killer live show if you ever try a chance to see them. I've been to tons of concerts, but theirs was something special. I've gotten a bit behind with what new bands are out there myself, so maybe we can start exploring together!
 
Ah! To update everyone on my goings-ons the past three weeks.

So self-promotion is frowned upon here (I composed an email several weeks ago to send to Zhuge EX as an application to become VERAFIED but never hit "send"), but for context, I am the editor of the video game department at Geeks Under Grace. It's one of the reasons why I'm able to participate in the indie gaming threads so frequently, because we're often getting review/Early Access codes to games for coverage. I currently run a team of 12 so that I can publish one new thing M-F (lately, I have been running S-S; one of my crew, bless his heart, suffers from insomnia, so they are able to use their misfortune for the Lord by playing and reviewing a LOT more than anyone else).

One recruit--let's call them "M" has been with us for almost a year, and one day disclosed to me that he is gay. He did this because as part of our policy as a Christian website, we are required to do a content guide like you see at Plugged In or Common Sense Media (fun fact: If we actually used the paid version of Slack, I could pull up how Plugged In updated the content section of their reviews to look like ours), and someone, "J," cited that half the crew is gay in their review of Tacoma. M did not feel it necessary to point this out in the review. He also "came out" to me because he didn't want things to blow up if someone found out. I said that I do not foresee things being a problem because it's not like a "sexual orientation check" is a requirement for joining the team.

I also PM'ed three people on our board "J, C. and L" whom I trusted to let them know what's up, and that I didn't want things to go nuclear down the road with some of the more conservative members of our organization (we are indeed a non-profit; tax-refundable and everything). They were cool, and agreed that we would carry on, business as usual.

Some months down the road, M added a rainbow flag as his avatar. Nobody noticed for months--or nobody cared. Then J notified me via PM that someone else on the board noticed the rainbow flag on M's avatar, and called a board meeting about it. The concern is how GUG would look as an organization if someone on the outside noticed, or if there should be any concern at all. I told J that we're either all God's children or we're not, and it's not like we're in a discipleship keeping each other accountable for our personal sins. Christians already have a bad reputation with LGBT, because that's the most visible splinter in our brother's eye. It is important to me on a personal level that I can name (at least) one person who has had a positive experience in ministry who struggles in that area. J agreed.

Some weeks pass, and nothing happens.

(while I am banned here) M goes into the payer request channel in Slack and asks for prayers. Comes out to the entire staff now, citing struggling to find his place within Christian communities, pointing to his rainbow flag avatar (a joke was made about God's promise to never flood the earth again). His church is currently doing a series on relationships and marriage and he feels alienated because he does not feel that he is getting advice or teachings from a Christian perspective that are relevant to his sexual orientation. He says he tries to fit what might pertain to him, but it gets difficult and emotionally draining to do all the time.

I call my pastor the next morning and speak with him for 45 minutes. I've never had *this* conversation before. And as I said, it is important to me that LGBT have a positive experience interacting with the Church.

Only one other person replies that they are praying.

I reply that first I pray that his church is committed to the biblical truth through scripture. I prayedsecondly that he has not just asked Christ into your life (because that's a prerequisite to being Christian in the first place, right?) but that he submits to his lordship over every aspect of his life.

M replies something that reads, "Like duh," but I'm not certain that he took the time to really consider the difference between salvation and allowing Jesus to take total control. So I explain the differences to him in a long post with scripture and all that.

I also post a testimonial/sermon speaking precisely to his life that my church did in 2015. It resonated with me, so I hoped it would resonate with M.

It did not. He said this to me via PM. The following conversation becomes a digression from why I am sharing all of this story, but suffice to say, M holds something akin to a Universalist/Gnostic view of scripture. His theology is...hmmm....


Well, my ministering to him caught the attention of the board, and so I have been promoted to a board advisor (!!!). I do not get an official vote on organization policy, but I do get a voice. Now that I'm in that channel, I can see a few things they have been discussing that I can weigh-in on.

M is still with us through all of this, so that would make this post a DOUBLE praise report!

(triple if you count me still being on Era, lol)

Auros01 and Ivellios might take interest to this since you were discussing a similar issue on a separate page.
 
Welcome Gravity Queen! Sorry for your loss, will keep that in my prayers. Don't worry about being the best Christian ever, we're all chief among sinners here like Paul ( 1 Timothy 1:15), and this is meant to be a place for us to gather, support, share and edify. I hope we can be that for you in addition to whatever community you're plugged into offline =)

As for music, well... You're speaking my language fluently! The Christian Hard Rock scene is far from dead, but it has gotten a little bit harder to find new acts these days now that Hard Rock and Metal as a whole are at an all-time low in popularity in greater music culture. I still listen to classic acts like Red, Disciple, and Thousand Foot Krutch, but these days I've been diving more into Metal thanks to my younger brother discovering this incredible power metal band from Georgia called Theocracy. Not only are they incredibly gifted musicians, but Matt Smith (lead vocals, band founder and not 11th doctor) manages to write incredibly deep lyrics that go much deeper than what I'm used to seeing in the Christian music community. Strongly recommended, and they put on a killer live show if you ever try a chance to see them. I've been to tons of concerts, but theirs was something special. I've gotten a bit behind with what new bands are out there myself, so maybe we can start exploring together!
Thank you, it would mean a lot...On top of being my spiritual guide, she also happened to be an amazing grandmother who's done more to support me emotionally than my own father has. I...don't think it's fully registered that she isn't here anymore. But people never really die unless they're forgotten, and if I actually do see the other side of those gates, I know I'd see her again someday.

Oh my gosh how in the world did I forget about Red. I have some of their stuff on my phone. Years ago I was completely addicted to them.

Thank you so so much for these! Admittedly, slightly disappointed about the not-Doctor thing, but I'll give them a try anyway.
 
Thank you, it would mean a lot...On top of being my spiritual guide, she also happened to be an amazing grandmother who's done more to support me emotionally than my own father has. I...don't think it's fully registered that she isn't here anymore. But people never really die unless they're forgotten, and if I actually do see the other side of those gates, I know I'd see her again someday.

Oh my gosh how in the world did I forget about Red. I have some of their stuff on my phone. Years ago I was completely addicted to them.

Thank you so so much for these! Admittedly, slightly disappointed about the not-Doctor thing, but I'll give them a try anyway.
A friend I know would add Scarlet White, Fireflight, and Ashes Remain, and Sent by Ravens.
 
A friend I know would add Scarlet White, Fireflight, and Ashes Remain, and Sent by Ravens.
Awesome, thank you! Wow, I got a lot of music to check out.

By the way, I read your post just above and I just wanted to thank you. I'm more than one letter in the LGBTQ+ acronym, which that combined with my beliefs is like walking around with a target on my back. Seeing support for both coming from either side always means a lot to me.
 
Ivellios or anyone else that needs prayer - my church would be happy to okay for you. You can submit requests at: https://www.centralaz.com/NeedPrayer

You can keep it mostly anonymous (if you want) by only providing a first name and the request.

These requests are kept confidential at the church and only shared with a relatively small team that prays regularly. Let me know if you have any questions!
Thank you very much again for this!

Ah! To update everyone on my goings-ons the past three weeks.

So self-promotion is frowned upon here (I composed an email several weeks ago to send to Zhuge EX as an application to become VERAFIED but never hit "send"), but for context, I am the editor of the video game department at Geeks Under Grace. It's one of the reasons why I'm able to participate in the indie gaming threads so frequently, because we're often getting review/Early Access codes to games for coverage. I currently run a team of 12 so that I can publish one new thing M-F (lately, I have been running S-S; one of my crew, bless his heart, suffers from insomnia, so they are able to use their misfortune for the Lord by playing and reviewing a LOT more than anyone else).

One recruit--let's call them "M" has been with us for almost a year, and one day disclosed to me that he is gay. He did this because as part of our policy as a Christian website, we are required to do a content guide like you see at Plugged In or Common Sense Media (fun fact: If we actually used the paid version of Slack, I could pull up how Plugged In updated the content section of their reviews to look like ours), and someone, "J," cited that half the crew is gay in their review of Tacoma. M did not feel it necessary to point this out in the review. He also "came out" to me because he didn't want things to blow up if someone found out. I said that I do not foresee things being a problem because it's not like a "sexual orientation check" is a requirement for joining the team.

I also PM'ed three people on our board "J, C. and L" whom I trusted to let them know what's up, and that I didn't want things to go nuclear down the road with some of the more conservative members of our organization (we are indeed a non-profit; tax-refundable and everything). They were cool, and agreed that we would carry on, business as usual.

Some months down the road, M added a rainbow flag as his avatar. Nobody noticed for months--or nobody cared. Then J notified me via PM that someone else on the board noticed the rainbow flag on M's avatar, and called a board meeting about it. The concern is how GUG would look as an organization if someone on the outside noticed, or if there should be any concern at all. I told J that we're either all God's children or we're not, and it's not like we're in a discipleship keeping each other accountable for our personal sins. Christians already have a bad reputation with LGBT, because that's the most visible splinter in our brother's eye. It is important to me on a personal level that I can name (at least) one person who has had a positive experience in ministry who struggles in that area. J agreed.

Some weeks pass, and nothing happens.

(while I am banned here) M goes into the payer request channel in Slack and asks for prayers. Comes out to the entire staff now, citing struggling to find his place within Christian communities, pointing to his rainbow flag avatar (a joke was made about God's promise to never flood the earth again). His church is currently doing a series on relationships and marriage and he feels alienated because he does not feel that he is getting advice or teachings from a Christian perspective that are relevant to his sexual orientation. He says he tries to fit what might pertain to him, but it gets difficult and emotionally draining to do all the time.

I call my pastor the next morning and speak with him for 45 minutes. I've never had *this* conversation before. And as I said, it is important to me that LGBT have a positive experience interacting with the Church.

Only one other person replies that they are praying.

I reply that first I pray that his church is committed to the biblical truth through scripture. I prayedsecondly that he has not just asked Christ into your life (because that's a prerequisite to being Christian in the first place, right?) but that he submits to his lordship over every aspect of his life.

M replies something that reads, "Like duh," but I'm not certain that he took the time to really consider the difference between salvation and allowing Jesus to take total control. So I explain the differences to him in a long post with scripture and all that.

I also post a testimonial/sermon speaking precisely to his life that my church did in 2015. It resonated with me, so I hoped it would resonate with M.

It did not. He said this to me via PM. The following conversation becomes a digression from why I am sharing all of this story, but suffice to say, M holds something akin to a Universalist/Gnostic view of scripture. His theology is...hmmm....


Well, my ministering to him caught the attention of the board, and so I have been promoted to a board advisor (!!!). I do not get an official vote on organization policy, but I do get a voice. Now that I'm in that channel, I can see a few things they have been discussing that I can weigh-in on.

M is still with us through all of this, so that would make this post a DOUBLE praise report!

(triple if you count me still being on Era, lol)

Auros01 and Ivellios might take interest to this since you were discussing a similar issue on a separate page.
From what i understood from your post, im glad you as a Christian defended M and took yout time to help him instead of judging him like the majority would. Also congratulations for your promotion!
 
Thanks for sharing, Phoenix RISING - really appreciate you taking the time. Yea - those are hard situations but it sounds like you took a good approach. It is so true that the church already has a really bad standing with the LGBTQ community, so efforts like yours to use a lighter touch are appreciated while still maintaining the truth that Christ asks of us. I think the results speak to the positivity of your approach, as well. Trying to point M in the right direction while not falling into the temptation to pass judgement on the lifestyle choice... that's a hard line to walk and it sounds like you did it admirably.

Also - congrats on that promo!
 
Hey guys! I've been trying to get back into earnest praying on a more regular basis- not just for my own personal issues but for friends and family that are going through various things and I was wondering if anyone here would like me to add them to my prayers? I don't know if praying means much, especially here at Era, but I'm finding that I've kinda regained a bit of empathy for others that I think deteriorated a bit over the past few years when my struggles with faith started to surface. And at the end of the day, I think that goes a long way in helping both yourself and others.
 
Hey guys! I've been trying to get back into earnest praying on a more regular basis- not just for my own personal issues but for friends and family that are going through various things and I was wondering if anyone here would like me to add them to my prayers? I don't know if praying means much, especially here at Era, but I'm finding that I've kinda regained a bit of empathy for others that I think deteriorated a bit over the past few years when my struggles with faith started to surface. And at the end of the day, I think that goes a long way in helping both yourself and others.
I'll never turn down an offer for prayer. :)

A few specific requests - firstly, for my marriage. It's going well but we have ups-and-downs just like everyone but we've been married long enough (almost 4 years) to start to recognize clear areas of weakness. We just need to make the time to work on these. Also - for my wife - she struggles with chronic stomach issues and it can be pretty debilitating, at times. We've done many (many) doctor's visits but no one has had a great solution. We're not really sure what to do next.
 
Anything but ECT is unbiblical.

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Just want to make that clear.
 
Anything but ECT is unbiblical.

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Just want to make that clear.
lol, that was random.

Did you mean to post in that thread about the Pope saying that nonbelievers just disappear?
 
Happy Good Friday.

God is love yes, also as judge sin has to be judged. The only way we were clear of our sins was because Jesus took our judgment at the cross. That's why He died so we live. Anyone who believes in their own righteousness are subject to the same judgment.

Instead of focusing on hell, I believe the good news and the goodness of God is what changes hearts.
 
Happy Good Friday everyone!

Anything but ECT is unbiblical.

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. . . . And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Just want to make that clear.
what is ECT?
 
I might as well ask this -

Does anyone else feel uncomfortable talking about their faith publicly? I do. And not because of doubt or fear of persecution, but because I feel like I'm making other people uncomfortable. I hate conflict, I hate making others feel even the slightest bit uneasy - but I so strongly believe in God and Christ and the church that it is a literal part of me, as much as my arm is attached to my body or my eyes can see, that I speak about it completely naturally. I don't filter my thoughts for secular society because I know what the truth is, and I speak it because it is the truth. But that feeling of discomfort, the strong sense of unease you get from people who you can tell are internally thinking "Yeah well, I don't believe that" at best or "Shut UP" at worst, is depressing and painful, because it makes me realize

A) The power secularism has in today's world
B) The disdain many hold towards religion in general
C) How far from the truth of Christ people have become due to years and years of human error (among other things)

I don't know if I'm explaining this very well, but I ESPECIALLY feel this online. ResetERA is actually one of the nicer places regarding Christianity, believe it or not, where it's tolerated but not always appreciated.

Even worse is that I totally understand it. When Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses show up at my door, I have to say, "no thank you." To think other people view Christianity in this same way is incredibly disheartening, because it isn't simply another religion - it's the Word of God, the instructions of Love incarnate, something beyond "religion" and something intrinsically human and real.

I will always proclaim the good word. But I guess the fact that other people don't see it clearly, or misinterpret it, and most tragically of all, speak out against it will always make me really sad.
 
I hear you on that one Sol, it's very much something I've had to process over the years. It's something I see more of in person than online due to living in Austin and working in the film industry. You run into a lot of people that have had bad experiences with the Gospel due to over-zealous religious personalities. I try my best not to hide my faith or perspective, but it's not something I flash on the regular. I think a lot of what we feel comes down to the fact that while Christ came to fulfill the law and make us whole again, he still has said in his own words that he came to divide in Luke 12:51:

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.
ESV

Some of this is obviously in reference to what would lead to the crucifixion, but it also shows the nature of his arrival. That there will be division over the fact that he has declared himself as the Son of God, and obviously a lot of people are going to take issue with such a bold claim.

The main takeaway for me is to always remember that we represent Christ, and that because we are called to share his love we must learn to find the delectate balance between alienating people by making them feel uncomfortable and proclaiming the truth. That's where the importance of prayer without ceasing and being sensitive to the call of the Holy Spirit is so critical. We may in our flesh suck at reading the situation on when we should be bold or silent, but we go forward with the Spirit as our guide and we can know that it won't lead us down the wrong path, even when it feels that way.

On that note, some prayer and praise on what's going on in my life. I finally got my job title changed correctly from QA Technician to Software Engineer this past week! I've been serving in that role for a while and been trying to get properly credited for a while so getting that for me is a big deal. It also came with a significant raise that I wasn't expecting, and the timing is very good, so that's a major win as well.

At the same time, I'm working at an animation studios and studied film in college, so it's been very difficult for me to be in such a technical position when my passion is for the creative side of the craft. Throw in the fact that I don't actually enjoy programming and went out of my way in college to specifically not study it and you can easily see how it's a bit of a bittersweet victory. It's taken a bit of an emotional toll on me, and I'm trying to let that all process while we are in the middle of a major crunch. The company is in that awkward transition between small and mid-sized, so we've been swamped with getting a lot of pipeline work done. Even though I hate the job itself, I really enjoy the team I work with, the projects we're working on are cool, and I have a show proposal that I'm hoping to hear back on in the coming weeks, though I'm not sure exactly how soon it'll be before I can talk to our lead writer about it. The positive side of that front is that he was totally into the idea when I turned in the first draft and was super supportive of taking another pass on it to get it ready for the next step.

So if you guys could keep these things in your prayers, I'd really appreciate it.
 
Yeah, I'm not privy to all that ultra-theological terminology like ECT (I had to Google it to find out what it was). I'm a simple Christian who knows that the Bible is the Word of God. He is a God of order, not chaos, so the exegesis that cause "confusion" or "misinterpretations" are of man's own doing.

I kinda scoff at these newer 21st century interpretations of the gospel that defy 2000 years of dogma. I just rolled my eyes at that Pope quote and kept on rollin'. I guess if you're Catholic, you'd have to give it more thought....


I really came in here to say that the PR manager for a professional Overwatch team contacted me and my PR man. They have a documentary and everything that focuses on the faith of one of their players. I told my PR man to book that interview IMMEDIATELY, even if I have to do it myself.

PRAISE THE LORD!!!

THAT IS AWESOME!!!!

I'll tell yall about it in the next couple of days.
 
I really came in here to say that the PR manager for a professional Overwatch team contacted me and my PR man. They have a documentary and everything that focuses on the faith of one of their players. I told my PR man to book that interview IMMEDIATELY, even if I have to do it myself.

PRAISE THE LORD!!!

THAT IS AWESOME!!!!

I'll tell yall about it in the next couple of days.
That's really cool. I think this potentially could a great story to get out to the public since gamer culture is often under fire for being so toxic (especially with some prior incidents with professional Overwatch players). This would a great counter to that.

What a fantastic opportunity God has placed in front of you!
 
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