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Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?

February 24, 2016 Leave a comment

By Brett Kunkle

On Sunday, I returned home from another Berkeley Mission trip, where I intentionally exposed high school students to some of my atheist friends in the Bay Area. For the last six months, we’ve taught apologetics to these high schoolers from Upland Christian Academy. Now it was time for them to “get off the sidelines and into the game” and engage non-Christians with the truth. Of course, my atheist friends are more than happy to oblige, so they meet with our missions teams, challenge them with a short lecture, and then dive into some rigorous dialogue.

Without fail, a couple of our atheist guests will contend, “Religion is the cause of most wars.” This cultural mantra has been uttered so often….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Do not only hold the same doctrines, but hold them in the same shape

April 20, 2015 1 comment

CharlesSpurgeon“Well, says one “I think we ought to hold the truth firmly, but I do not see the necessity for holding the form of it- I think we might cut and trim a little and then our doctrines would be received better.” Suppose, my friends, we should have some valuable egg, and some one should say, “Well, now, the shell is good for nothing: there will never be a bird produced by the shell certainly, why not break the shell?” I should simply smile in his face and say, “My dear friend, I want the shell to take care of what is inside. I know the vital principle is the most important, but I want the shell to take care of the vital principle.” You say, “Hold fast the principle, but do not be so severe about the form. You are an old Puritan, and want to be too strict in religion, let us just alter a few things, and make it a little palatable.” My dear friends, do not break the shell; you are doing far more damage than you think. We willingly admit the form is but little, but when men attack the form, what is their object? They do not hate the form; they hate the substance. Keep the substance then, and keep the form too. Not only hold the same doctrines, but hold them in the same shape — just as angular, rough and rugged as they were, for if you do not, it is difficult to change the form and yet to keep fast the substance. “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Jesus Christ.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856

Top Ten Passages to know in the Qur’an

Have you ever encountered a follower of Islam? If so, then how did you respond when they raised objections against Christianity and promoted the doctrines of their religion?

In order to aide you in your witness and refutation of Islam, here are two links to give you more insight into the faith of Muslims and to help you be a better apologist against their religion.

 

 

Top Ten Passages to know in the Qur’an (Mp3’s)

Top Ten Passages in the Qur’an that Christians Must Know (.pdf)

All men suppress the knowledge of God and instead worship demons instead

September 11, 2013 4 comments

John%20Calvin%2011All guilty of revolt from God, corrupting pure religion, either by following general custom, or the impious consent of antiquity.

13. Hence we must hold, that whosoever adulterates pure religion, (and this must be the case with all who cling to their own views,) make a departure from the one God. No doubt, they will allege that they have a different intention; but it is of little consequence what they intend or persuade themselves to believe, since the Holy Spirit pronounces all to be apostates, who, in the blindness of their minds, substitute demons in the place of God. For this reason Paul declares that the Ephesians were “without God,” (Ephesians 2:12,) until they had learned from the Gospel what it is to worship the true God. Nor must this be restricted to one people only, since, in another place, he declares in general, that all men “became vain in their imaginations,” after the majesty of the Creator was manifested to them in the structure of the world. Accordingly, in order to make way for the only true God, he condemns all the gods celebrated among the Gentiles as lying and false, leaving no Deity anywhere but in Mount Zion where the special knowledge of God was professed, (Habakkuk 2:18, 20.) Among the Gentiles in the time of Christ, the Samaritans undoubtedly made the nearest approach to true piety; yet we hear from his own mouth that they worshipped they knew not what, (John 4:22;) whence it follows that they were deluded by vain errors. In short, though all did not give way to gross vice, or rush headlong into open idolatry, there was no pure and authentic religion founded merely on common belief. A few individuals may not have gone all insane lengths with the vulgar; still Paul’s declaration remains true, that the wisdom of God was not apprehended by the princes of this world, (1 Corinthians 2:8.) But if the most distinguished wandered in darkness, what shall we say of the refuse? No wonder, therefore, that all worship of man’s device is repudiated by the Holy Spirit as degenerate. Any opinion which man can form in heavenly mysteries, though it may not beget a long train of errors, is still the parent of error. And though nothing worse should happen, even this is no light sin — to worship an unknown God at random. Of this sin, however, we hear from our Savior’s own mouth, (John 4:22,) that all are guilty who have not been taught out of the law who the God is whom they ought to worship. Nay, even Socrates in Xenophon, (lib. 1 Memorabilia,) lauds the response of Apollo enjoining every man to worship the gods according to the rites of his country, and the particular practice of his own city. But what right have mortals thus to decide of their own authority in a matter which is far above the world; or who can so acquiesce in the will of his forefathers, or the decrees of the people, as unhesitatingly to receive a God at their hands? Every one will adhere to his own judgment, sooner than submit to the dictation of others. Since, therefore, in regulating the worship of God, the custom of a city, or the consent of antiquity, is a too feeble and fragile bond of piety; it remains that God himself must bear witness to himself from heaven.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 5-Henry Beveridge Translation 

Many worship according to their own devisings

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The knowledge of God suppressed by ignorance, many falling away into superstition. Such persons, however, inexcusable, because their error is accompanied with pride and stubbornness.

1. But though experience testifies that a seed of religion is divinely sown in all, scarcely one in a hundred is found who cherishes it in his heart, and not one in whom it grows to maturity so far is it from yielding fruit in its season. Moreover, while some lose themselves in superstitious observances, and others, of set purpose, wickedly revolt from God, the result is, that, in reward to the true knowledge of him, all are so degenerate, that in no part of the world can genuine godliness be found. In saying that some fall away into superstition, I mean not to insinuate that their excessive absurdity frees them from guilt; for the blindness under which they labor is almost invariably accompanied with vain pride and stubbornness. Mingled vanity and pride appear in this, that when miserable men do seek after God, instead of ascending higher than themselves as they ought to do, they measure him by their own carnal stupidity, and neglecting solid inquiry, fly off to indulge their curiosity in vain speculation. Hence, they do not conceive of him in the character in which he is manifested, but imagine him to be whatever their own rashness has devised. This abyss standing open, they cannot move one footstep without rushing headlong to destruction. With such an idea of God, nothing which they may attempt to offer in the way of worship or obedience can have any value in his sight, because it is not him they worship, but, instead of him, the dream and figment of their own heart. This corrupt procedure is admirably described by Paul, when he says, that “thinking to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22.) He had previously said that “they became vain in their imaginations,” but lest any should suppose them blameless, he afterwards adds that they were deservedly blinded, because, not contented with sober inquiry, because, arrogating to themselves more than they have any title to do, they of their own accord court darkness, nay, bewitch themselves with perverse, empty show. Hence it is that their folly, the result not only of vain curiosity, but of licentious desire and overweening confidence in the pursuit of forbidden knowledge, cannot be excused.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Henry Beveridge Translation

On Reading the Bible Pt 1

The preaching of the gospel being an instituted means of grace, ought to be thankfully and frequently improved. And books that have a savoir and unction may likewise be helpful, provided we read them with caution, compare them with the scripture, and do not give ourselves implicitly to the rules or decisions of any man or set of men, but remember that one is our Master and infallible Teacher, even Christ. But the chief and grand means of edification, without which all other helps will disappoint us, and prove like clouds without water, are the Bible and prayer, the word of grace and the throne of grace. A frequent perusal of the Bible will give us an enlarged and comprehensive view of the whole of religion, its origin, nature, genius, and tendency, and preserve us from an over-attachment to any system of man’s compilation. The fault of the several systems, under which, as under so many banners, the different denominations of Christians are ranged, is, that there is usually something left out which ought to have been taken in, and something admitted, of supposed advantage, not authorized by the scriptural standard. A Bible Christian, therefore, will see much to approve in a variety of forms and parties; the providence of God may lead or fix him in a more immediate connection with some one of them, but his spirit and affection will not be confined within these narrow enclosures. He insensibly borrows and unites that which is excellent in each, perhaps without knowing how far he agrees with them, because he finds all in the written word.

John Newton—A Letter Written to a Certain Madam

Do Not Try to save Yourself

If you think about it, God’s value of heaven and yours are very different things. His salvation, when he set a price upon it, was to be brought to men only through the death of his Son. But you think that your good works can win the heaven which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, procured at the cost of his own blood! Do you dare to put your miserable life in comparison with the life of God’s obedient Son, who gave himself even to death? Does it not strike you that you are insulting God? If there is a way to heaven by works, why did he put his dear Son to all that pain and grief? Why the scenes ofGethsemane? Why the tragedy onGolgotha, when the thing could be done so easily another way? You insult the wisdom of God and the love of God.

Charles Spurgeon-Advice for Seekers