What Are We Defending?

While the illustration has been used before, I believe it is appropriate to begin this particular post. It has been said there was a time when people applied to become a bank teller that they would have to undergo strenuous training in order to detect counterfeit monies. The training would consist of learning the difference between bad bills and good bills. However, throughout the training, the teller never touched the counterfeit. Their job was to handle the real thing all day long. When an individual came along who tried to pass off a counterfeit bill, the teller would know immediately. Why? Because they were completely familiar with the real thing.

A Christian brother has brought to my attention an issue that I feel is worth sharing with our readers. Recently, we have put out a spate of videos and articles that truthfully would be difficult to show how such a post has made us like Jesus Christ. Even more importantly, with such a wide readership, it would be difficult to show how such posts have sought to point out to you the importance of becoming more like the Saviour Who died for us on the cross of Calvary. They were titillating, newsworthy enough for CNN, bloated on the wickedness found in so-called Christianity, etc., but many did only that and did not focus on the “Author and Finisher of our faith Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12:2)

Is defending truth and contending for the faith important? YES! A thousand times YES! However, I believe our goals should be to put the real in front of our readers so that you, as Berean Christians, will know when you see the counterfeit. Yet, the counterfeit has been given a great deal of airtime and even I, The Desert Pastor, have been guilty of doing this.

Having received a rebuke in Christian love, I have started my response by removing the recent post with video on Ed Young. I want to make it clear that by removing this post I am in no way endorsing Ed’s ministry for I believe he is a charlatan and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He makes light of the ministry and is certainly not in line with the Biblical mandates of a Scriptural pastor. I posted the video more in what I had considered to be “righteous” anger instead of giving full thought to the impact it might have on the reader.

Secondly, I apologize to our readers for not personally being more careful in the type of material I produce. Yes, the world is full of junk, charlatans, and fools. However, my goal in wanting to be more like the Lord Jesus Christ is to point to the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. My desire is that through ALL of my writing that you as the reader will desire yourselves to become more like the One Whom we claim to love and want to be like. Romans 12 makes it clear that we are to be transformed as a believer, but this can only take place by the renewing of the mind.

From my perspective, the renewing of the mind does NOT need constant airing of the trivial, the mundane, the mockery of the world, or even the foolishness of those who supposedly claim the name of Christ. Many good posts have been written emphasizing quotes from men of old who exalted the Saviour. Many more have been written dealing with the truth of Scripture as they pointed out the error of world cults. Many have been a theological exposition with the full intent of pointing the reader to Christ.

If a Christian man desires purity, it is not the best choice to pick up a copy of “Every Man’s Battle” which is written in a lewd manner that does not truly reflect the mind of Christ. In my understanding of Scripture, the same should be true when we seek to defend truth and contend for the faith.

The bottom line is this. If you and I are learning at the feet of the Saviour, the truth will cause us to rejoice. It will enable us to admit when we have been wrong, and it will exhort us to change in areas that do not reflect Jesus Christ 100% of the time. I want to make it clear that these are my own personal thoughts and are not intended as a slight to any of my fellow contributors. Each of us have the responsibility for our own posts. This is the stand that I am choosing to take.

To conclude, Charles Spurgeon often stated, “When I preach, I begin with a passage of Scripture and make a beeline for the Cross of Calvary.” The Lord being my helper, this will be the direction that I will pursue in every post that I produce. For that, I will never have to give an apology.

Rewriting Acts – A Relevant Perspective

In light of all the editions and revisions being made to the Word of God in recent years, we understand much of this has been done to suit the belief system of the editors. With that in mind as well as recent events such as Ravi at the Mormon Tabernacle and Driscoll at the Crystal Cathedral, we recommend the following changes. We are certain these will be much more in keeping with the issue of relevancy and contextualization. In addition, it will ensure that people like all those meanies, judgmental Pharisee-types here at DefCon will have to close shop for they will no longer have a Biblical leg to stand on.

In each example, we will start with the original and then put in the suggested revision to match what we are seeing and hearing today.

Let’s start with Acts 2:22, 23, 36, 37 – “22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know– 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men and brethren, what shall we do?'”

REWRITE – “22 Hey dudes, listen up: Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be God did some really cool things that some people might call miracles and then told us that God did it through Him. Well, you guys are smart enough to figure out for yourselves whether that was the case or not. 23 At any rate, you guys have heard about Him before, if nothing else, you use His name all the time at the workplace. Well, the Romans put Him on a cross because He was like, well, um, you know, He was making the kind-hearted, very religious, good-upright Jews unhappy and He even tried to start a few riots. 36 Well, this same Man Who got crucified also claimed to be both Lord and the Christ. We want all you guys to follow Him because after all when you reach the end of your current journey, He will be there to greet all of us with open arms. 37 So when the multitude heard the nice things that the apostles said, they decided to invite them back again to the next Jerusalem conference knowing they could trust these men not to confuse the issues. They knew that these men were not going to rock the boat and demand they do nasty things like repentance. They knew they wouldn’t call them down for their sins but would instead seek to lift up their self-esteem. 42 Because of the really cool programs, and the worldly music they offered at the First Church of Jerusalem, and the contextualized messages that encouraged their depravity such as “Biblical Sex for 40 Days Except the Sabbath” the church grew exponentially and was featured on all the late-night talk shows from Jerusalem to Asia Minor.”

Example 2 – Acts 7:51-55, “51 You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” 54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.”

REWRITE – Example 2 – Acts 7:51-55, “51 Listen up fellows. I am not here to offend you in anyway, but you know we have all done a few things we shouldn’t have done in our lives, and I’m sure there are times we all ignore what the Holy Spirit is trying to get us to do, but hey, after all, we are only human and God understands this. 52 There are some people who didn’t treat the old preachers very well, but I’m sure it wasn’t any of you guys or your ancestors. In fact, history tells us that some people just didn’t understand the prophets and tried to get rid of them, but some of the prophets just weren’t with the program anyway. Well, one or two of those old guys told us that Jesus was coming, and He came. He was a really good guy and hung out with really cool guys like our friend Peter. 53 Jesus told us that we have to just learn to love each other and don’t judge, so who am I to tell you what you need to do. 54 When the gathered nice group of people heard these wonderful things they invited Stephen to be the new president of the Jerusalem Ministerial Association. He was then able to go about preaching more of the great news that “Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” 55 When Stephen saw how much everybody liked him, he cut a lucrative book deal with Jerusalem Christian Bookpress entitled, “49 Days of Learning to Become a Better Religious You.” His ministry expanded to both Europe and Asia, and he was able to walk about with his head held high knowing that he was accepted in every major religious establishment.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE — Personally, I think it will be a best seller and rewriting church history will be the best thing that could happen for Western Christianity Religiosity. Sadly, there are a few downfalls. True Bible believing Christians will reject it as false, but they are in the minority and it won’t affect book sales as most who claim to be Christians are unlearned when it comes to true doctrine anyway. Secondly, this material probably won’t go over to well with the church members that are being persecuted for their faith. However, I’m sure somebody will find a way to make it culturally accepted and the church will probably expand and still be able to get along with the local governments when they stop being so particular about what they will preach. After all, no government could have an issue with Christians preaching the new message of “love yourself”, “build your self-esteem”, and “We never condemn anybody for God wants you just as you are and we don’t care if you stay that way because that is between you and God.”

PS – Not sure how we can rewrite the persecuting parts of Acts like Paul and Silas in prison, but I’m sure any number of modern preachers could help so that it makes us all look better in the end.

PS2 – Stay tuned for the rewrite for the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity Gospel edition.