Friday
Jul272012

Site Has Moved!

This blog is now over at hardtruth.tv so please go and check it out!

Thursday
Jun212012

Can We Speak in Tongues?

There are churches all across America that believe people can speak in what is commonly referred to as “tongues.” These churches, almost all of which would consider themselves to be part of the charismatic movement, believe that we have the ability to be filled with the Spirit of God in a unique way which allows us to speak in a language that is not able to be understood by anyone other than God. While there are some churches who make vague attempts at interpreting this “communication”, most just accept it as a special language that only God is able to discern.
 
Let me state very clearly and unequivocally that the belief stated in the previous paragraph is absolutely false, and the belief that we can make up words out of the blue in some special momentary “filling of the Spirit” fails every time it is held up to a Scriptural standard. Because there are many texts in the Bible that have been manipulated in an attempt to make the doctrine of tongues Scriptural, there will be several passages that must come under consideration if we are to know, once and for all, if this teaching is of God or not.
This would also be a good time to point out that all teaching must come from the Bible in order for it be true. Men have many ideas, and sometimes these ideas make perfect sense to us. But we must understand that no matter how reasonable or logical an idea or belief may be, unless it can be substantiated by Scripture we must conclude the belief to be false, even if we’ve heard many preachers repeat them from behind pulpits.
Let us look very closely now how the doctrine of “speaking in tongues” fails every single Scriptural test:
 

1. The “Day of Pentecost” Test

The Day of Pentecost was a great day for the institution of the Lord’s church because it was the day it was empowered by the Holy Ghost. It was on the day of Pentecost (which simply means fiftieth, noting the fiftieth day since the Passover) that the Lord gave His already existing church three thousand new members in addition to the one hundred and twenty they already had. (read Acts chapter one)

On this day the Lord used the preaching of His Word to bring people to Himself, just like He always does, but on this day it was done in a very special way; he allowed men to speak languages they had never studied and had never before been able to speak. What a sight this must have been! Imagine seeing the “cloven tongues of fire” sitting upon each of the apostles as they were preaching the Word in these other languages!

And please, make no mistake, the apostles were speaking real languages when they preached on the day of Pentecost. If you don’t believe me, just look at the Scriptures for yourself. Here is Acts 2:6-11:

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

There is only one possible interpretation of this scene; the apostles were preaching the Gospel, not yelling wildly, not convulsing, not rolling around on the ground, but preaching. The difference was that they were miraculously able to preach in languages that they couldn’t have spoken without the aid of the Holy Ghost.

As we can plainly see, the doctrine of speaking in tongues miserably fails the day of Pentecost test. Let us look now at the next test:

2. The “Spiritual Gifts” Test

When a person who believes in speaking in tongues is made aware that the disciples on the day of Pentecost were speaking in real languages instead of made

up gibberish, they will usually turn to I Corinthians chapters 12-14 because they believe Paul is referencing their church’s Sunday morning escapades as a spiritual gift, although we will quickly see that he is doing no such thing. Paul does spend these chapters teaching the Corinthians about spiritual gifts;why they should want to have them, and which ones are the most profitable.

Since time and space will not allow us the opportunity to go verse by verse, dissecting each mention of spiritual gifts, I will go directly to I Corinthians 14, where Paul explains that even though speaking with other tongues (languages) is fine in it’s proper place, it is the least desirable of the spiritual gifts. You see, the church at Corinth had elevated speaking in other tongues to a lofty height that it was never given by God, just like the charismatic churches of our day have done. 

I’m paraphrasing here, but Paul explains in chapter fourteen that it is better to be able to speak with understanding, meaning to be able to know what words you are speaking, than to speak with words that you can’t understand. He goes on to teach them that if there isn’t anyone there who can interpret the words you are saying, (meaning if you were given the gift of speaking Italian, yet there was no one there who could understand Italian) than you should just be quiet altogether.

This might be difficult for a born and raised charismatic to understand because speaking in tongues is so normal and seemingly beneficial to you, but if you stop for a moment and consider the reasoning for this, you will understand.

The Word of God makes it clear that God uses the preaching of the Gospel to save sinners. I Corinthians 1:21:

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 

So, you see it is the preaching that God uses, regardless of the language. So if a man is given the gift of being able to preach in a tongue or language that he doesn’t understand, or if he can preach in a language he does understand, either way, he is preaching, which is what God uses to save souls. Preaching in your native tongue, or not in your native tongue is simply preaching, and God doesn’t value one over the other.

I know that I have only briefly covered this text where Paul deals with spiritual gifts, but whether I say two words or write an entire book on the subject the result is the same, the doctrine of speaking in tongues miserably fails the spiritual gifts test.

3. The “Does God Still Use the Gift of Tongues” Test

For this final Scriptural test, we must look closely at I Corinthians 13:8-12:

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Notice in verse eight that the apostle points out that tongues shall cease, or stop. This tells us beyond a shadow of a doubt that there will come a time when the gift of speaking in other tongues will no longer be used by God to give the Gospel to the lost. The question is when. When will God stop using the gift of tongues? The answer: He already has.

In verse ten of our passage Paul writes “But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.” What is the perfect thing? What is this thing which is in part?

The perfect thing is God’s Holy Word. It is very easy for us to forget that Bible in it’s complete form has not been something that we have always had access to. At the time the Apostle Paul was writing this Epistle, only a small part of the New Testament had even been written. What Paul was explaining here is that when that perfect thing (The Complete Bible) had come, that which was in part, or what was only a partial revelation, would be done away with.

The partial revelation are the gifts mentioned in verse eight. The gifts of prophesying, tongues, and knowledge, specifically special knowledge only given to some people will all stop because none of them can do what the Bible can do: give all the knowledge that God wants us to have. Those gifts, while greatly used of God, simply cannot accomplish what God’s completed, inspired Word could accomplish.

So once again, when put to the test, the doctrine of speaking in tongues utterly fails. As we can clearly see from the Word of God, tongues have ceased to be used by God, and they have been for some time now.

What Does This Mean?

Simple this; the doctrine of speaking in tongues is a falsehood, it is untrue, and I would go as far as to say that it is of the devil. We must remember that the Scripture says in Matthew 12:30:

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

So if a doctrine or teaching is not of the Bible it is against the Bible, meaning it is working against God. Anything that works against God is on the side of Satan. This is not to say that the millions across the world who speak in tongues each and every Sunday are attempting to be tools of Satan, as I’m sure that ninety-nine percent of them are just doing what they have been taught their entire lives to do, which is go to church, get excited, and speak in tongues. But although they may be sincere, they are sincerely wrong.

I hope if you believe the doctrine of speaking in tongues to be true that you will consider these Scriptures that have been presented to you and seek the truth of God through more personal study and prayer. Let me close by repeating something that I said at the beginning; if a teaching is not found in Scripture it is false, regardless of who is teaching it. Again, study the Word, seek God’s will, and He will guide you into all truth.

Tuesday
Jun192012

Are You a Parentian?

Tim, the seventeen year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Smith walked proudly down the stairs and into the family room at about eleven o'clock on Saturday Morning.  He walked over to his parents who were sitting on the couch, His dad is reading the morning paper and his mom is watching Oprah that she tivo'd from the day before.

"Mom, Dad, may I have a minute?" Tim asked in a very official sounding voice. "I have a declaration."

"This should be interesting," replied Mrs. Smith as she paused Oprah and elbowed Mr. Smith implying that he had better put the paper down if he knew what was good for him.

"What would you like to declare, son?"  Said Mr. Smith in a somewhat sarcastic, somewhat annoyed voice.

"Mom and Dad, I want you both to know that from this point forward, I am a Parentian."  He spoke these words as if he were on stage speaking to thousands of glowing fans hanging on his every word.  "From now, and until I take my last breath, I will be a devoted Parentian.  I will serve and love my parents with all my heart.  I will live to do whatever pleases my parents for as long as I shall live."

Mr. and Mrs. Smith just sat there, waiting for the punch line.  They knew this was some sort of a ruse, or sick joke, so they just stared at him with widened eyes.

"I thought this would make you happy," said Tim.  "I mean, look at me, I'm a Parentian!"  He said this in a loud, declarative voice.

By now Mr. and Mrs. Smith realize this isn't a joke and are searching for what to say.  Mr. Smith opens his paper back up and  dismissively says, "So, you're a Parentian, that's good son."

After gently but firmly pushing the newspaper down, and staring at her husband with a look that screamed, "If you pick up that newspaper again, it will be last thing you ever do!"  Then she smiled and looked lovingly at her son and said, "So, this means you're going to be the best son ever from now on, right?"

"That's right, Mom!" said Tim happily as he started to go back to his room.

"Wait son," said Mr. Smith, "I have a couple of questions for you."

"Ask me anything, Dad." Said Tim, happy and relaxed.

Mr. Smith, as he leaned back in the couch to a more comfortable position said, "Did you clean your room yesterday like we asked you to?"

Tim said, "No, I understand that you and mom really want me to do it, it just doesn't seem like the time is right.  I know that I need to do it, and that you want me to do it right away, I'm just still waiting for the right moment to start."

"Hmm," said Mr. Smith, "That's interesting.  Did you get the note that your mom wrote and left for you on the counter?"

"Yeah," said Tim.

"Did you see that it said you were allowed to go with some friends to the mall right after you cleaned your room, but that you needed to be home by eleven?" Said Mr. Smith.

"Yeah, I got it dad," said Tim not understanding why he was being asked these questions.

"Well, if you got it, why didn't you get home until 11:30?" Said Mr. Smith sternly.

"At first when I saw your note, I thought you were saying that you wanted me home at eleven, but after sharing the note with my friends we came to realize that this was too narrow an interpretation of what you were saying," said Tim calmly.

"Too Narrow?" Said Mrs. Smith while wrinkling her forehead trying to be understanding.

"Well, yeah, it was too narrow because we hadn't taken everything into consideration," said Tim, still very calm and matter of fact.

"What else did you need to consider?  We said be home at eleven."  Said Mr. Smith very annoyed but trying to hide it.

"Ok, well first of all you didn't specify whether it was eleven pm, or eleven am.  Then I remembered that it is always eleven pm somewhere in the world, which allowed me to come to an obvious conclusion." Said Tim very proud of what he was about to reveal.

Mr. Smith, while sighing said, "What was your obvious conclusion, son?"

"My conclusion was that your note was trying to tell me that your love for me has no time limit, and that it didn't matter when I came home, as long as I did come home." Tim spoke these words with his head up and chest out.

"Well, let me tell you my conclusion," said Mr. Smith, very angrily but keeping himself under control. "My conclusion is that I told you to clean your room and you haven't done it.  I also told you to be home by eleven PM, OUR TIME, and you didn't do it, so you're grounded for two weeks." 

Mr. Smith calmed himself and said, "Son, just because you call yourself a Parentian, and claim that you are obedient, doesn't mean that you are, and when you disobey, there are consequences."

"You guys are so unfair!" Tim yelled as he ran up to his room.

Here's the HardTruth

Many so-called Christians today love talking about how much they love God and obey Him, when in reality they live just like Tim.  Instead of doing what the Bible says they make excuses, or try and twist the meaning of the Bible to suit their desires.  Just like Tim's parents meant what they said, and expected obedience, God means what He says, only He DEMANDS obedience.  We also can't forget that just like the Smith's had every right to punish their son, God has every right, and will punish those that are not obedient to His Word.  And God is ALWAYS fair.

Friday
Jun082012

Another Preacher Tramples Jesus, the Gospel, and the Bible

It seems that when our President revealed his true character by stating his belief that gays should legally be able to marry, it also brought out the true character of many of the men standing behind pulpits today. Let me introduce you to Frederick Haines III, a Dallas pastor who has some very interesting revelations about why the President's position shouldn't alarm us Christians. (This video is about six minutes long, and I highly recommend you watch it. Caution: this video may make your stomach turn a little.) 

 

Quite frankly, there are too many errors in this video for me to address them all, unless of course I wanted to write a small book, which I don't, so I'll just point out two things.

1. Jesus had a lot to say about homosexuality.

Here are some passages that prove my point:

Leviticus 18:22:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Leviticus 20:13:

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Romans 1:26-27:

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

I Corinthians 6:9-10:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

I Timothy 1:9-11:

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Please allow me to be very blunt: The ONLY way a preacher would say that Jesus didn't have anything to say about homosexuality is if he doesn't know how Jesus is, period. Jesus is the Son of God, making Him equal with God, and in fact, making Him God. Even if a person has been saved for only five minutes they know this to be true. But on the off chance that someone reading this needs Scriptural proof, here you go:

I Timothy 3:16:

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

And John 1:1-2:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

Jesus is God. If God says something, then Jesus said it. If Jesus says something, then God said it. Therefore, regardless of what men like Frederick Haines III have to say, Jesus had a great deal to say about homosexuality, and He ALWAYS called it sin.

2. Frederick Haines III was NOT preaching the Gospel.

At one point in the video Mr. Haines declares that he is preaching the Gospel while he was waxing eloquent in attempt to justify the President's abominable stance on gay marriage. The good thing is, the Bible is couldn't be more clear about what the Gospel actually is, so let's take a look and see if Mr. Haines was truly preaching the Gospel.

I Corinthians 15:1-4:

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

So, the Bible says that the Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Did you hear Mr. Haines mention any of those things while talking about the President's stance on gay marriage? Me neither. Please be aware of this fact; saying the word "Gospel" is not the same thing as preaching the Gospel.

Here is the Hard Truth.

Men like Frederick Haines III are corrupting the minds of Christians all across this country, but he is only partially to blame. Yes, he is at fault for standing up for our President and, by extension, standing against God. He is to blame for conflating the Gospel with the nonsense he was spewing. But the people of that church were to blame as well. They should have stood up and demanded his resignation right there on the spot, which they did not. Instead, they cheered and clapped for him as if he were doing some noble thing. As discouraging as this can be, at least we know the solution to all of this is very simple; read your Bible. Read it everyday. Search out for yourself to see if what your pastor is teaching is correct according to the Bible. Any true man of God would want you to do that. Our nation has to get back to Bible if we ever want to see change we can believe in, and that is the Hard Truth.

Friday
Jun082012

Prominent Liberal Blogger Attacks the Biblical View That Only Men Should be Pastors

Liberal Christians are constantly on the offensive. I believe the reason for this is because they harbor hatred, or at the very least, a very strong dislike for those of us who hold to a plain, literal interpretation of Scripture. I'm sure there are many reasons for their disgust, but the main reason is probably that holding to a literal interpretation of Scripture doesn't allow for the vain, rhetorical philosophy that liberals pass off as true Christianity.

An illustration of this is found at a popular blog called the "Tony Jones Blog." I don't know much about him other than that he appears to be your typical "I'm smarter than anyone who doesn't believe what I believe" liberal Christian who mocks those who hold to the Bible while never using Scriptural support to back up his conclusions which we are supposed to take as the Gospel truth. 

He recently wrote a post about how he is "totally over" us jerks who believe that only men should be pastors. Of course he doesn't use the word pastor, but uses the broad term of "ministry" in his post. What's really nonsensical about this is that I have never met any Christian who believed that women shouldn't minister, in fact there are only a small handful of ways that women are restricted in ministry, one is pastoring, and the other is any position that puts her in authority over men. Believe it or not, there are only a few areas of ministry that fall into that category, but don't tell Tony that, it will ruin his post.

Let's look at one of the gems from Tony's post:

It is simply unfathomable to me that entire versions of Christianity today — be they Roman Catholic or Southern Baptist or Amish — restrict ministry to men. I grew up in a tradition that long had women preachers — beginning in 1853, with the first modern ordination of a woman, Antoinette Brown (I preached about that here, in my first (and likely my last) ordination sermon).

Ok, so it is unfathomable to you, ok, good enough for me! Or not. Tony, next time something is unfathomable to you, try this, "This teaching or belief is unfathomable to me because the Bible says in . . ." See the difference? If you use Scripture to argue your point, it might make someone who disagrees with you actually take stock in something you've said, but instead you used what, some woman in 1853?  So are you saying that women should be pastors because this lady was? Peter denied Christ all the way back in the days of Christ's earthly ministry, does that mean we should do that too? After all, look how long ago that happened!

Let me help you, Tony. Here is why people of my ilk don't believe women should be pastors, it's this really good book called the Bible. It has a couple verses in I Timothy chapter 3 that talk about this:

1. This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Notice how the Bible says "man" and "husband", you see, Tony, both of those words refer to what we commonly call "men." So as you can see, it is unfathomable that anyone would think it is okay for women to be pastors.

Now it's time for gem number two:

Let me interpret that verse for you: If the Holy Spirit has given the charism of preaching or teaching or pastoral care to a woman, and you deny the authority of that charism because of some head-in-your-a** (Tony, being the good Christian that he is, used a curse word here) biblical hermeneutic, you are committing an unforgivable sin.

Go ahead and read that again real quick.

Yeah, you read it right. If we claim that women can't be pastors we are committing the unpardonable sin. If only Tony would have given us some Scriptural support for such a ridiculous claim, it might have helped, but as we can see, Tony would rather just give us his opinion than waste time quoting some Bible verses.

Let me help you, Tony. The Holy Ghost and God the Father, and for that matter Jesus Christ, are all the same Person even though they are separate, and get this, because they are the same, they ALWAYS agree. Let me show you: I John 5:6-7

This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

So Tony, here is why you can't use the argument, "If the Holy Ghost calls someone who am I to say otherwise!" Because the Holy Ghost and God would NEVER, EVER be contrary to One Another. So if God says in His Word that only men are to be pastors, (which he does) than we can know for an absolute fact that the Holy Ghost will NEVER call a woman to pastor. So once again, Tony, it is unfathomable that anyone would think the Holy Ghost would call a woman to pastor.

Here is the Hard Truth.

I hate the fact that guys like Tony Jones have a lot of readers. I hate that this liberal theology (I shouldn't even call it theology) that outright ignores the Bible continues to attract would-be, could-be, and wannabe Christians, but it does. What we as Bible-believers have to do is continue to point out error while pointing to the truth. Jesus did it constantly. He was always telling people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees and to look out for false Christs. To be honest, I hate finding and reading this nonsense, but if I can make even one person aware of the tactics of Satan, and if God uses it to prevent them from going down the wrong road, than it will all be worth it, and that is the Hard Truth.