Do you pretend to know someone else’s heart?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

There are two words I’ve heard Christians and non-Christians alike use to start sentences during an argument. The two-word preface may carry more implications than some would like to admit.  The words are: “You want…”

In the heat of argument one may say, “You want to cause trouble…” or “You want to seem smart…” sort of poisoning the well, if you wish, as they portray their opponent as someone with a malicious motive rather than someone with whom they disagree.

Consider, 1 Samuel tells us, “The Lord does not see as man sees; for the man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Corinthians in the New Testament tells us, “…who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit.” There are other scriptures that seem to say God alone is capable of knowing someone’s true motivation.

It may be comforting to believe that the only way someone could disagree with us about important matters is if they have some nefarious incentive. But given that we can only guess what goes on within someone else’s heart, should we really speak as if we have the ability to do so? Too, shouldn’t we ask God to make sure we understand our own motives before casting judgement on others?

What are your thoughts?

Can people tell you are a Christian by what you post on Facebook?

I once told a woman that what she posted online was not very Christian at all. She responded by telling me, “We aren’t in church and I’m not bound to any biblical rules or principles. This is FB and we make the rules.”

There is at least a grain of truth in that statement: We can choose to go against God’s principles. God does not force us to live as we should. Is it not hypocritical to claim you are following Jesus while purposely doing our own thing?  Doesn’t this misrepresent to the world what being a Christian means?

What are your thoughts?

There is a difference between judging what a person does and judging the individual

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

The Book of Mathew says, “Judge not, or you too will be judged.” Does this mean that Christians should never judge the actions of others?  I believe this scripture and the answer to the question show just how easy it is to get a wrong understanding of the Bible if you only hear a snippet. The same Chapter of Matthew says that Jesus told His followers how to know a false prophet. He said, “By their fruit you will recognize them.” He is clearly telling Christians to make a judgement about a person’s actions.

Notice, he says to judge the actions, not the individual. The Bible warns us against actions that go against God’s will.  The Bible warns us against adultery, murder, etc. I believe this makes it clear we are to judge actions. But when it comes to judging the individual; that is, assuming we know why he or she did the action, that’s a different story. We have no idea what lies in a person’s heart , but God does. He alone judges the heart. Doesn’t this mean that only God judges the individual?

How would other folks judge you if they only saw you at your worst?

What are your thoughts?

Why are some people so opposed to faith?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

Some atheist writers expound on the idea that Christianity is in retreat as they strive to get others to abandon their faith. One writer proclaimed with glee that, “religion isn’t just losing members – it’s also losing social status and public prestige.” He made it clear this was not just a non-consequential observation, it was something he touted as reason to rejoice. Let’s examine his position. Is it true that Christianity is in retreat? Why would someone who claims to be void of belief so strongly desire that others turn from Jesus?

Let’s talk about that first question: Is Christianity in retreat? If by retreat one means to imply that God is becoming less important, then no. God’s importance has not changed. But if by retreat one means there are fewer people who understand the importance of God, then yes; that’s something the Bible tells us to expect. 1 Timothy tells us, “…that in the last days many people will turn from their faith.” 2 Timothy tells us many of the people who turn from God will have, “…a form of godliness but denying its power.” So yes, for thousands of years we’ve been expecting a time when people will turn from God. A yes or no answer does not address the assumed premises that are possible when one asks: Is Christianity in retreat.”

The second question is addressed in scripture.  Why would a person who claims to have no belief either way so strongly advocate for others to turn from God? Consider John tells us,” Everyone who does evil hates the light…” Because of this, if rejection of a Holy God is evil, then those who reject God hate the light. They may not acknowledge or even be aware of their hatred, but some are so motivated to oppose Christianity that they create websites, produce podcasts and write books trying to encourage others to follow them in their rejection of God.

God is there.  You can choose to seek and find Him, or allow yourself to become blinded by the god of this world to the wonderful gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus.

Which do you choose?

Do you lean on your own understanding or ask God to reveal His word?

FLOYD ROGERS, TEXAS GOSPEL CANADA VOLUNTEER

I’ve been told there are things in the Bible that are contradictory; therefore, they say the Bible is in error. Oddly enough, most of the folks who have said this to me also maintain that the Bible means whatever a reader wants it to mean, and this is where the real problem lies. If one believes Bible verses have no intrinsic meaning, of course readers can see “contradictions” if that’s what they want to see.  To be clear, this does not mean the Bible contradicts itself. It does demonstrate that if one falsely believes the Bible’s meaning changes depending on desire, then people who desire to find contradictions will do so. But does the Bible’s meaning change?

The Book of John tells us when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. Mark tells us, to you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive…” I believe these scriptures, and others like them, tell us that knowing God’s word is a gift.  I believe it’s the same as grace and faith. Ephesians says, For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.

By the way, the Bible isn’t unique when it comes to people quarreling over meaning.  Legal contracts, charters, constitutions, ALL have been misinterpreted to match people’s wants and desires. Isn’t this alone a good reason to ask God to open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in His law?

What are your thoughts?