Proper Discourse In Apologetics

When debating unbelievers, it is easy to get caught up in the conversation/argument. Most atheists live in a fragile environment made of toothpicks of misunderstanding and vitriolic attacks. These attacks hinge on non-logic and frankly internet propaganda. A person that I was debating with very recently was using a fake name with no accountability attached, so I found this hard to find that person being honest. By the way, that is the coward’s method shining through!

My suggestion is worth thinking about as I have found it an excellent way to proclaim Christ as well as making the unbeliever (hopefully) think about their dilemmas. Do not let them blow you away with a multitude of questions. Take one question at a time and dissect it with the one whom you are communicating.

Just recently I had the opportunity to discuss Zoroastrianism claiming that Christianity is a mere copy of it. He wanted to do this discussion over a chat situation and frankly was abusive and closed minded. I suggested we take one point at a time over personal email. We started, and I was soon inundated by at least 20 so-called contradictions in the Bible with his first message!

At this point, I simply focused on the first alleged contradiction, and the unbeliever could not respond as I did not hear back from him. I pray that he has at least given some deeper thought, and the Holy Spirit has shed light into his darkness!

God Bless

Brian Mason

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Imputation And It’s Importance

Theologically speaking, imputation refers to the righteousness of Christ being transferred to those who believe in Christ for their salvation.

Reading the book “The Righteous Shall Live By Faith” by RC Sproul, Dr. Sproul mentioned that he was at one time a part of the ECT, (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) and the partnership wanted to remove the doctrine of imputation. As RC Sproul wrote;

“Many say “it is fine for you theologians to worry about dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s, but why can’t we all just get along?”
This minor detail of imputation is the article upon which we live or die, upon which our eternal life is at stake.”

2 Corinthians 5: 16-21 (ESV)
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

This is a major issue with the Roman Catholic faith. Please pray for the Roman Catholic!

God Bless

Brian Mason

The god Of Buddhism

Buddha is the god of Buddhism! I know that many Buddhists will not freely admit this. If Buddha is not a god, then why does the Buddhist worship, Buddha?

“There are different types of worship. When someone worships a god, they praise him or her, making offerings and ask for favors, believing that the god will hear their praise, receive their offerings and answer their prayers. Buddhists do not indulge in this kind of worship. The other kind of worship is when we show respect to someone or something we admire. When a teacher walks into a room, we stand up, when we meet a dignitary we shake hands, when the national anthem is played we salute. These are all gestures of respect and worship and indicate our admiration for persons and things. This is the type of worship Buddhist practice. A statue of the Buddha with its hands rested gently in its la, and its compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. The perfume of incense reminds us of the pervading influence of virtue; the lamp reminds us of light of knowledge and the flowers which soon fade and die, reminds us of impermanence. When we bow, we express our gratitude to the Buddha for what his teachings have given us. This is the nature of Buddhist worship.”

http://www.buddhanet.net/ans6.htm

Is that true?

“Though Buddhists claim that they do not serve a god, another fact contradicts their denial of serving a god. They have their version of a “Bible”: “The Dhammapada, an anthology of 423 verses, has long been recognized as one of the masterpieces of early Buddhist literature. From ancient times to the present, the Dhammapada has been regarded as the most succinct expression of the Buddha’s teaching found in the Theravada Pali Canon of scriptures known as the Khuddaka Nikaya (‘Minor Collection’) of the Sutta Pitaka.”

(http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/dhammapada.html).

Buddhism is pure idolatry! Bowing down to statues of a dead spiritual leader is strictly forbidden in the Holy Bible!

Gal 5: 16-21

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Buddhism is a false religion bowing and praying to a false god. Pleas, Christian, pray for the Buddhist. Pray that the Holy Spirit comes upon these people.

Christianity is the true religion and the only religion that can be historically verified. Buddhism and Hinduism are not true faiths, as they do not have any central claims of events in the spectrum of time or space, so believers cannot investigate such claims.

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God Bless

Brian Mason

Once Saved Always Saved?

The paramount issue here is that Salvation is a gift and received by faith alone. It is by grace and nothing that man does. Salvation is not by faith and some ceremony such as baptism. Once a man receives Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, that person is born of God! Having being born, you cannot be unborn. When regeneration is ordained the Christians life is forever changed.

Romans 6: 22-23

22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The believer’s life is eternal!

John 1: 9-13

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Terminology Tuesday: metanarrative

*The idea that there is an overarching, all-embracing story of humankind into which all of creation – fall – redemption – new creation is this all-embracing metanarrative, for the biblical story is the narrative of all humankind. In this sense the biblical narrative functions in Christian teaching as the central metanarrative.

*Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki &, Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 77

God Bless

Brian Mason

When You Die Does Your Soul Cease To Exist?

No, the soul does not cease to exist after death. The Bible clearly teaches us in the New Testament that we continue after death. We will go over those Scriptures, but before we do, those who affirm soul sleep often refer to the Old Testament and obtain their doctrine from it alone.

Eccl. 9:5, For the living, know they will die; but the dead do not know anything, nor have they any longer a reward, for their memory is forgotten.”
Eccl. 12:7, “then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”
Often, the case with people who hold this position and refer to Ecclesiastes forget the context. The first three verses of Ecclesiastes say,

“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” 3 What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?”

Notice that he is writing about things from a human perspective, from that which is “under the sun.” He is not providing doctrinal statements about life after death. From the human perspective, when you die the dead don’t know anything in that the spirit returns to God who gave it. But neither one of these statements means that the soul ceases to exist. Of course, the pro-soul sleep advocate will say that “the dead not knowing anything” means they don’t exist. But again, this is written from the perspective of people on earth. Also, we do not interpret the New Testament in light of the Old. It is the New Testament that interprets the Old Testament. This is why we look to what the word of God says in totality.

Matthew 17:1-8

“And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus Himself alone.”

This scripture describes the Transfiguration of Christ. What is important to note is that Moses and Elijah were both alive in their, so to speak, dead state. In other words, they are not united in their resurrected bodies because the general resurrection has not yet happened. Therefore, we can clearly see that there are at least two people who are alive, after death, who are not in their physical bodies.

Luke 16:19-31

“Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day. 20 “And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21 and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22 “Now it came about that the poor man died, and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom, and the rich man also died and was buried. 23 “And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25 “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27 “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 “But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”

We can see in the story of Lazarus and the rich man that after each has died, both were conscious and self-aware. Jesus is apparently teaching that the soul survives after death. Still, there are those who will say that this is a parable. Of course, the problem with this theory is that parables don’t have proper names in them. In this case, there is a particular individual named: Lazarus. Also, if it were a parable, then what is Jesus saying with the illustration of consciousness after death and before the resurrection? The most logical answer is that Jesus was teaching us that there is life after death.

2 Cor. 5:8

“we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.”

Paul is telling us that he would rather be outside of his body, “absent from the body,” and be at home with the Lord. If soul sleep is a true doctrine, then how is it possible to be outside of the body and also be home with the Lord? It wouldn’t make any sense.

2 Cor. 12:1-4

“Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise, and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.”

To understand this section of Scripture we need to know what is meant by the term “third heaven.” In the Jewish theology, there were three “heavens.” The first heaven deals with the atmospheric region (Deuteronomy 11:17; 28:12; Judges 5:4; Acts 14:17). The second heaven deals with the area of outer space (Psalm 19:4,6; Jeremiah 8:2; Isaiah 13:10). The third heaven is God’s dwelling place (1 Kings 8:30; Psalm 2:4; Matthew 5:16).

So, when Paul says that knew someone who was caught up to the third heaven, he was speaking about entering into that dwelling place of God. What is important is that it occurred either in the body or out of the body of which he did not know. If soul sleep is a right doctrine, it could not be said that such a person who is outside of his body (who had died), was also with God at the same time. It just wouldn’t make any sense. Therefore, soul sleep is wrong.

Matt Slick…CARM.ORG

The Biblical Position Of Bowing To Statues Or Idols

(Leviticus 26:1, Deuteronomy 5:8-9, and Luke 4:8).

“Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God… Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me… And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”

Bowing down is a form of worship:

Psalms 95:6 and Exodus 34:8;

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker

And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped.

If you are following Buddhism, Roman Catholicism or any other form of false religion that bows to and worships idols, REPENT!

John 14: 5-7
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Follow Jesus, repent.

God Bless
Brian Mason