Church of Christ Beliefs

Church of Christ Beliefs

At the memorial service for a recently-deceased saint, a denominational preacher who had known well, had numerous religious discussions with, and occasionally worked alongside the deceased in a secular capacity over the years in their small community, was overheard to say something along the lines of: “Well, we had a lot of religious discussions over the years – and he sure hung onto his church of Christ beliefs! But he was never able to convert me.”

He was never able to convert me!

He was never able to convert me!

That final statement has haunted me at times ever since I heard it… just as it may well haunt him on into and for all eternity if he doesn’t get into the word of God, study, repent, and get converted. To me, it was a sort of masochistic modern-day equivalent of what the misled religious people and leadership of Jesus’ day said of Him before Pilate in Matthew 27:25 and John 19:15: “His blood be on us and on our children,” “We have no king but Caesar!”

The entire misunderstanding – and the resulting, satanically-engineered reasoning and statement that accompanies it – can be seen inherent in the phrase, “church of Christ beliefs.” What exactly are, “church of Christ beliefs” anyway? And why is such phraseology seemingly so widespread in today’s contemporary religious climate? It’s like when we seek to simply quote, read, and/or present God’s black and white, “book, chapter, and verse,” soul-saving gospel truth to those around us who are lost in sin according to God, and all we get in return is, “You have your beliefs, and I have mine” – like all belief systems are on the same level or something!?! And what I always want to respond with at that point is, “Yes; you’re absolutely right! I believe entirely and exactly every word of what God says in Scripture (Matt. 4:4). So…what is it again that you believe, instead of God’s eternal word and divine promises?”

You see, notwithstanding a few of the liberal, bible-denying and perverting colleges and publications “associated with churches of Christ,” and the few larger congregations of the Lord’s church which have promulgated and/or decided to join them in their culturally and pride-driven trip down the wide path towards eternal destruction by seeking to please people instead of pleasing God (Gal. 1:6-10), by and large the vast majority of “churches of Christ” (Ro. 16:16) still cling to and insist on faithfully following the “old paths” (See Jeremiah, chapters 5 + 6) of Spirit-driven and dictated, divinely-inspired and God-breathed Scripture (2 Ptr. 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

And the recently-departed saint mentioned at the beginning of this article was apparently no exception. He had, from everything I have ever heard about him, for decades believed exactly what God said – nothing more and nothing less than God’s “book, chapter, and verse” truth – regarding things such as the one church (or body) of Christ; the one faith, one baptism, one way of salvation, and Spirit and truth worship commanded by, and instructed in, God’s holy  word (Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4-6; Ro. 16:16-17; Acts 2:37-41, 22:16; Rom. 6:1-23; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Ptr. 3:21; Jn. 14:6, 4:23-24; Matt. 15:1-14; Mk. 7:1-13; and etc).

So what the denominational preacher’s statement actually meant, and how his actual statement should therefore have been literally worded and expanded to explain, was in the one way, arena, and wording which he could never, in his currently biblically-ignorant and blinded mindset, ever bring himself to admit:

“Well, we had a lot of religious discussions over the years – and he sure hung onto every word of what God actually said in Scripture, in all of its black and white, “book, chapter, and verse” glory and clarity! But he was never able to convince and convert me into doing things God’s way! I stubbornly opposed and rejected everything he showed me God actually said on several essential life and death doctrines! Instead, I staunchly and strongly defended such things as a man-made and devised church never found, seen, or ever mentioned in God’s word; a man-made and devised way of salvation never found, seen, or ever instructed in God’s word; and even argued in defense of several humanly-desired but biblically-unauthorized additions, deletions, and changes to corporate worship!

Tragically, it strikes me as extremely obvious that this poor man had absolutely no idea of the horrifying implications of his original, public statement! You see, unlike all the denominations around us, the churches of Christ never had to come up with their own belief system – they simply take and trust God, totally at His word! Jesus said that if we love Him, we’ll obey His commandments (Jn. 14:15); that it is His words which are spirit and life (Jn. 6:63); and that it is those words which will judge us all in the last day (Jn. 12:48-50). Therefore, we in Christ’s church also do not seek to ‘judge’ (pass final or eternal sentence or judgment on) anyone – nor do I this man. We don’t have to. This, because God has also made it clear in His word, that to continue to reject and not be converted by what He said in His word, is to judge one’s self unworthy of eternal life (Acts 13:44-49). May God help all who truly want to go to heaven, to accept and obey only His word… for there is simply, no other way there!

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El Arrepentimiento de Dios en la Biblia

El Arrepentimiento de Dios en la Biblia

La primera frase que viene a la mente es “Dios no es hijo de hombre para que se arrepienta”. Es muy probable que esta frase haya sido recitada un sin numero de ocaciones por diversas personas, sin embargo la Biblia menciona tal frase específicamente en Números 23:19 y algo similar vuelve a repetirse en 1Samuel 15:29, Dios no se arrepiente. Partiendo de estos dos versículos los críticos de la Biblia han hecho “fiesta” al argumentar una contradicción en la inspiración divina. Hay muchos hermanos en la fe que han tambaleado al encontrase con estas trabas y no poder explicar correctamente. Los críticos y la filosofía siempre desacreditarán la Biblia pero los cristianos fieles responderán correctamente cada una de las objeciones que el diablo invente disfrazado de lógica. Hay varias cosas a notar, sin embargo en esta ocasión consideremos algunas de ellas sobre el arrepentimiento de Dios en la Biblia. 

Arrepentimiento de Dios en la Biblia?

Arrepentimiento de Dios en la Biblia?

  1. DIOS NO SE ARREPIENTE: La naturaleza misma de Dios imposibilita que esto suceda. Ambos versículos tienen algo en común y es el hecho que menciona a Dios no como hijo de hombre. Es decir el hombre como tal experimenta este sentimiento de arrepentimiento por algo malo que ha cometido que no debió de haberlo hecho. La implicación en cuanto a Dios es que el comete errores. Amigos Dios Jamás ha cometido errores ¡nunca!. Para Dios cometer un error, entonces El mismo tendría que suplicar el perdón y la misericordia de alguien superior a El mismo. Moises bajo inspiración divina escribe en Deuteronomio 10:17 “ Porque YHVH vuestro Dios es Dios de dioses y Señor de señores, Dios grande, poderoso y terrible, que no hace favoritismo ni admite soborno.” (BT). Muchas personas pasarán ligeramente por alto lo que este versículo está en realidad  diciendo en cuanto a la naturaleza de Dios. Será muy difícil conocer todo lo relacionado a la persona de Dios pero, El ha hecho lo posible para que podamos comprender algo de quién en realidad es El. En Hechos 17 en una de las más grandes disertaciones de Pablo él menciona que Dios no habita en templos hechos por manos de hombres, contrario a las deidades de los griegos, ni tampoco es horado como si necesitase de algo, una vez más contrario a los sacrificios que los falsos dioses de los griegos pedían a ellos. Pablo en este capítulo está presentando al Dios que está por encima de nosotros por cima de cualquier filosofo y por en cima de cualquier dios griego, El único que da vida a todos. Por lo tanto es imposible que este ser supremo comparta de la naturaleza humana al arrepentirse. Es realmente triste que hayan personas y aún hermanos que atribuyan a Dios un arrepentimiento como el nuestro.
  2. DIOS SE ARREPIENTE: ¿Acaso no es esto una contradicción rotunda al punto anterior? En Génesis 6:6 Dios, dice la Biblia: “se arrepintió de haber hecho al hombre”. También en Jeremías 18:8 el versículo vuelve a mencionar la palabra arrepentimiento que proviene de Dios, y que decir de el arrepentimiento de Dios sobre Nínive que causó tanta ira en el profeta Jonás (Jonás 3:10). Hay varias  maneras diferente de responder a estos cuestionamientos de Dios 1). La ley de la no-contradicción. Anteriormente observamos brevemente la naturaleza superior de Dios. Por lo tanto la ley de la no-contradicción nos dicta que algo no puede estar o no pude ser dos cosas al mismo tiempo. Si Dios no es humano entonces el arrepentimiento que tiene tampoco es humano, así de simple. Es nuestro trabajo indagar cual es ese tipo de arrepentimiento descartando por completo el que Dios cometa faltas. 2) Los contextos. Es fácil entender por los contextos, de que tipo de arrepentimiento el escritor está tratando de comunicar a su audiencia que Dios había sentido. Tanto en Jeremías como en Jonás las escrituras dan la idea de Dios sintió dolor en su corazón y no hizo el mal que estaba planeando hacer a ellos, se detuvo de hacerlo. El arrepentimiento humano se da después de haber hecho el mal, ¿si ve usted la diferencia?. En el caso de Génesis 6 no es la excepción, el v5 menciona que los pensamientos del hombre eran continuamente en el mal, la maldad hiere a Dios porque su naturaleza es pura, también el versículo 6 menciona que le dolió. Si hubiese sido el caso de que Dios se hubiera arrepentido en el sentido de haber cometido un error al crearlo, ¿porque entonces 1Pedro 1:19-20 menciona que Cristo estaba ya destinado para ser sacrificado como un cordero por expiación del pecado desde antes de la fundación del mundo?… ¡Oh no amigo mío! Ya Dios sabía que el hombre iba a pecar y sabía bien cual era la solución para ese problema del pecado, sin embargo cuando la maldad comenzó a proliferar esto no dejó de tocar el corazón (metafóricamente hablando) de Dios. 3) Expresión original. La explicación numero 3 tiene que ver con la expresión original, después de todo la Biblia no fue escrita en español y lo que tenemos son traducciones por lo tanto lo seguro será siempre regresar al original y observar en primera fila, claro que esto requiere estudio y el estudio tiempo, todos nosotros estamos en la capacidad de poder investigar en el original. La palabra Naw-kahm’ (Naham)para arrepentimiento en Hebreo aparece unas 108 ocaciones. Su raíz primaria tiene que ver con sentirse desconsolado, sentir pena por algo con tal fuerza que conduzca a un cambio de actitud frente al objeto por el cual se siente la pena. En este sentido Dios se arrepintió. En muchas ocaciones “Naham” es usado para dar a entender la idea de que Dios desistió el ejecutar algún juicio, pero también el Señor advierte de que puede llegar el día que diga: “Estoy cansado de arrepentirme”( Je.15:6).  También el termino es aplicado al ser humano. En una ocasión cuando hubo una guerra civil entre el pueblo de Israel  y murieron muchos de la tribu de Benjamín “Los hijos de Israel se arrepintieron a causa de ello”, pues vieron que esta tribu iba a desaparecer. Decidieron por tanto buscar una solución para que esto no aconteciera (Jueces 21:6-7). La consecuencia aún no había acontecido (que desapareciera la tribu) pero ellos tuvieron arrepentimiento. En el N.T el arrepentimiento es un tanto diferente evocado a un cambio de mente.  Dios se arrepiente sí, pero también Dios no se arrepiente. 
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Looking at Cells

Intelligent Design: That’s Shocking

I can still remember the first time I looked at a nerve cell through a microscope. I was impressed—after all, I knew firsthand the result of injuring a finger or toe—but I was not nearly as impressed as I would become years later as my scientific training progressed. From that first casual glance, I was able to identify various parts of this highly specialized cell, but that glance didn’t reveal much about how a nerve cell communicates, or how different nerve cells carry out different tasks. It was easy to forget this was a living structure. My first glimpse into just how complex this little cell was came from a textbook titled Ionic Channels of Excitable Membranes written by Bertil Hille. It was during that same semester that I enrolled in a cellular biology class and began learning about molecular machines and intracellular transportation.

The study of cells points to an intelligent designer.

The study of cells points to an intelligent designer.

Having taken biology and science classes from my undergraduate years, I was extremely familiar with the common labels of “organelles” within a cell. Not many students graduate with a degree in biology without being about to identify the nucleus of a cell, and structures such as the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, ribosomes, and Golgi apparatus. But suddenly those labels seemed far too elementary as we began to study these structures in microscopic detail—and how they actually functioned. I spent weeks disseminating information on ion and voltage-gated channels that allow the cells to maintain a voltage gradient across the cell membrane. We examined vesicular transport and all of the proteins necessary for normal cellular activity. I had always heard of the word protein—primarily in regards to diet, but now I was learning there were countless proteins necessary just to conduct routine cellular maintenance.

And then we jumped off the deep end—into the ocean. By my third year of graduate school we had learned not only how to record electrical activity from specific nerve cells within the brain, but also what was happening to those nerve cells on the microscopic level that allowed them to pass an electric current. Our textbooks went from broad generalities about areas of the human body down to very specific physiology of a single system. For instance, we studied Douglas Junge’s classic Nerve and Muscle Excitation to fully comprehend synaptic transmission and membrane potentials. And, even though in many cases I was looking at the same type of nerve cell that I initially observed through the microscope, it was no longer just a two dimensional cell with a nucleus and an axon. I was looking at an incredible living machine that itself purposefully created specific proteins and transported them to distinct areas of the cell for specific tasks. This was a three-dimensional cell that conducted electrical current from one end to the other, and was able to pass the nerve signal on to a neighboring cell—in less than a second! I’ll never forget one of the hardest tests I took was just a single question (and lots and lots of blank paper). My professor wanted us to describe in microscopic detail what happened when a painful stimulus was felt in the leg and the leg moved. That was a test in which we were given several days to complete.

The human body is just like a massive onion in complexity. Every time you peel back an anatomical layer there is a new and even more complex layer underneath. It appears to be unending in layers. So from whence did all of this complexity arise? Is it logical to conclude that everything we see is the product of time + mutations + natural selection?

How many beneficial mutations would it take to make all of the necessary proteins for life?

That’s not even addressing the chicken/egg problem. For instance, within the cell two ribosomal subunits are required to synthesize proteins from amino acids in mRNA. Without the ribosome, proteins cannot be formed—and the cell would die. Yet, those ribosomes are made of large complex proteins themselves. How were the original proteins for the ribosome formed if protein assembly is dependent on having ribosomes present? From whence did the original ribosome originate? In thinking of the chicken vs. egg, consider which came first, the heart or lungs—the digestive system or the vascular system? Both are needed to function properly.

How do cells know to become a liver cell, blood cell, or nerve cell? How did they know which type of nerve cell to become? How did the cell know how much of each secretory protein or cargo molecules to produce? How did they acquire and store the material needed to make such molecules? How did the proteins know the proper way to fold and unfold? How did the various genes know when to turn on and off? How is each protein programmed with stop codons as polypeptide chains were forming? This is machinery far more sophisticated than the iPhone, and it can last years longer.

Anyone who evaluates the evidence with an unbiased eye is forced to admit that the only logical conclusion is that the human body—just like the Universe—demonstrates far too much complexity to have arisen by chance. It shows incredible design and purpose, and many scientists recognize it. During my scientific training, I had the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with many brilliant minds. I talked to neurosurgeons, physicists, anatomists, molecular biologists, etc.—and in almost every case, they would admit that what we were studying was far too complex to have arisen by purely evolutionary processes. However, as soon as another individual walked into the laboratory, the scientist would drop the conversation and always toe the evolutionary party line. After all, in many cases their positions were tethered to an allegiance of naturalism.

How tragic is it that thousands of young people today are growing up under the impression that evolution is a “fact” and that naturalism has an answer for everything. In many cases, they are being intimidated to repeat evolutionary dogma under the assumption that all “intellectual” people believe in evolution. The notion of anything supernatural is considered unscientific—and religion is viewed as a crutch for weak individuals. After all, no respectable scientist would ever posit a belief in some Intelligent Designer. In 1989, Richard Dawkins wrote a book review in the New York Times espousing, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”

I think it is time someone reminded Richard Dawkins of the shoulders he is currently standing on. Dawkins has the privilege of standing on the shoulders of giants who laid the foundations for the scientific fields he studied. Most of those scientific fields—currently taught in major universities—were founded by men who believed that God created everything, similar to the description given in the Bible. Did that mean these men were ignorant or stupid? Did it lessen their discoveries in the scientific community? Consider the following small sample.

Sir Isaac Newton, a man who was perhaps the greatest scientist of all time, who laid much of the groundwork in areas like physics, calculus, mathematics, astronomy, etc. He wrote strong papers refuting atheism and defending creation and the Bible.

He said, “I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.”

Johann Kepler, a man considered by most to be the founder of the field of astronomy, who said his astronomy was thinking God’s thoughts after Him. He went on to declare, “I see how God is also gloried, by my endeavors in astronomy for the heavens declare the glory of God.”

Blaise Pascal who helped develop hydrostatics and differential calculus. He came up with the famous Pascal Wager in which he asked the question, “How can anyone lose who chooses to be a Christian?”

Samuel B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. The first message he sent was “What hath God wrought” (Numbers 23:23). He went on to declare, “The nearer I approach the end of my pilgrimage, the clearer is the evidence of the divine origin of the Bible …”

Robert Boyle, a man considered by most to be the father of modern chemistry. He actually conducted mission work, used his own money to translate Bibles into foreign tongues, and set up the Boyle Lectures after his death to defend the Christian religion.

James Clerk Maxwell, a mathematician and theoretical physicists who originated “Maxwell’s Equations” and developed the classical electromagnetic theory. Albert Einstein called Maxwell’s achievement the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton. During his life Maxwell mathematically refuted evolutionary “nebular hypothesis” (still being taught in many classrooms today), and scientifically refuted Darwin and other evolutionary philosophers.

These were brilliant men—men who founded many of the fields we turn to for answers today. These were individuals who conducted phenomenal science, held a belief in God, and weren’t pre-committed to naturalism. Don’t let someone tell you that belief in an Intelligent Designer is unscientific. I maintain that those who are so pre-committed to naturalism, who are able to look at the evidence of complexity and irreducible complexity and deny the handiwork of God, are either ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that). The evidence of design is unmistakable. Darwinism is the mistake.

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