Enlarged May 26, 2016 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
A principle that has helped me, and a principle that I delight in is that when things aren't spelled out in Scripture, there is liberty for the Lord’s will to be sought and followed in each particular situation.
When the Bible’ teaching is clear, that is law. When the Bible is silent, that is liberty, and there is a lot of liberty.
One man put it like this: There is form and freedom. The form is the words of Scripture rightly interpreted. The freedom is anything beyond the form.
This is the teaching of Romans 14. Paul says that in matters such as diet and holy days, we are not to judge one another. There is liberty. Those are examples of things that aren’t spelled out in Scripture. There are no dietary laws or laws about holy days in the New Testament dispensation, so there is liberty in all such matters. Though the New Testament does mention Sunday as the day of the Lord and it does say that the brethren assembled on that day, it doesn’t spell out what can and cannot be done on that day as in Israel’s Sabbath laws, so there is great liberty.
I strongly disagree with those who try to make laws out of things that the Bible isn't clear on. The Bible’s silence is not law; it is liberty.
For example, the principle that churches should not use musical instruments is based on the fact that the New Testament is silent on that. But the silence isn’t a law against musical instruments; it is liberty to use them or not use them so long as they are used according to Scriptural principles. Some within the house church movement make laws out of silence in things such as graded Sunday Schools, youth ministries, and nurseries. Though the Bible doesn’t describe such things, it also doesn’t forbid them if they are operated according to scriptural principles.
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Enlarged May 25, 2016 (first published June 16, 2004) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org)
TWO COMMON PROBLEMS IN USING COMMENTARIES:
1. Leaning on them too much.
The Bible student should first go to the Bible and dig it out for himself. For this, he must get a good understanding of how to interpret the Bible. The equivalent of a Bible Institute education is the starting point to be able to use commentaries effectually and test them properly so as not to be led astray by any error that might be present.
2. Despising them.
On several occasions I have heard people disdain commentaries, but I have learned to love good commentaries and I thank God for them often. I thank God that I read and understand English, because that is where most of the good commentaries are today.
When I was a young Christian, I determined to read and study the Bible alone and to forgo consulting any commentaries or study books. I did this religiously for a few weeks, and I the Lord made it plain to me that I need help from men and that He was not going to give me everything by direct enlightenment. It is not that the Bible is insufficient; it is that I am only one weak man and can’t possibly know and understand everything without help. When I rejected the use of commentaries, I was left with my own meager resources, and though I have some gifts in understanding and teaching the Bible, I am still only a very puny man with very limited ideas when left to my own.
Any man who is honest before God will acknowledge that most of his knowledge and understanding is gleaned from other men. God has ordained this. That is why we start life as a child and are dependent upon parents and tutors, and even as we grow older, we remain very dependent upon the help of others.
God has given ministry-gifted men to the churches, and He uses them to edify the saints (Ephesians 4:11-14; 2 Tim. 2:2). If I were shut up on a remote island with only the Bible, I am sure the Lord would give me everything I needed for that situation directly through His Word, but that is not His normal way of operation.
May 24, 2016 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com)
Corban, meaning gift, was the Jewish custom of devoting one’s property to God. The Pharisees taught that it was acceptable for sons to dedicate their property to the temple even if they did so for the purpose of not taking care of their parents. If the parent asked for help, the Jewish son could say, “It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me” (Mat. 15:5). The child was saying to the parent, “Whatever help you are asking from me is forthwith devoted to God, so you cannot have it.”
This type of thing came from a very hard and unloving heart, but the practice was supported by the Pharisees. Yet God cares more for honoring parents and caring for one’s fellow man and loving God in sincerity and truth than for making religious offerings and vows (1 Sam. 15:22; Psa. 51:15-17; Prov. 21:3; Mat. 5:23-24).
An example of this today would be a wife who neglects her duties to her husband and children in the name of serving the Lord. Pentecostal preacher Aimee Semple McPherson abandoned her husband in order to preach. Aimee’s associate pastor, Rheba Crawford, did the same thing. This is corban. God’s Word instructs the wife to be a keeper at home, to love her husband and children (Titus 2:4-5), but this law is made of none effect if a wife and mother neglects her family for the sake of “serving the Lord.”
The Jewish Talmud has countless examples of Jewish traditions that contradict Scripture. For example Leviticus 15:19-24 says that a woman is unclean during her menstrual period and if a man lie with her, he also becomes unclean. But Horayoth 4a says “that a woman is not regarded as a ‘zabah’ [one with a discharge] except during the daytime because it is written, ‘all the days of her issue.’”
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The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, though this does not imply an endorsement.
LARRY THE CABLE GUY CHRISTIANITY (Friday Church News Notes, May 20, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - American Christianity is breathtakingly shallow. Typically, the words “I love Jesus” mean absolutely nothing. This is most evident in the entertainment industry, but the members of even the staunchest Bible-believing churches are in love with the pop culture and blink, even smile, at its filth and blasphemy. Consider the comedian Larry the Cable Guy (Daniel Whitney). Many of his routines are too filthy to quote. A friend who wrote to me recently about this said, “I would just point out that most of Larry the Cable Guy’s ‘stand up’ comedy routine is nothing but filth. He constantly uses profanity and sexually explicit material and then says ‘forgive me Lord’ to the howling laughter of the audience. I wanted to show a clip of his routine but the content was just too bad.” Yet foul-mouthed Larry was recently interviewed by evangelical leader David Jeremiah as a man who loves the Bible. The interview occurred on Jeremiah’s Stand Up Tour, which has been packing out arenas throughout America. The one in Lincoln, Nebraska, in which Larry the Cable Guy appeared, was attended by 10,000. Larry said that he has been listening to Jeremiah for several years and has been “impacted.” But the comedian hasn’t been impacted enough to quit spreading filth in American society, which is a very great sin before a holy God. And the “preacher” doesn’t have enough spiritual discernment and conviction to rebuke Larry for his filth according to the command of Ephesians 5:11 and many other passages. No wonder Larry likes the man’s preaching. If David Jeremiah’s preaching were more like 2 Timothy 4:2 and less like 2 Timothy 4:3-4, the Larry’s of American society wouldn’t like it. Instead of reproving Larry (and all others like him) for his filth and border-line blasphemy, Jeremiah had a merry old time. “Together, the two men laughed and joked, and enjoyed each others company. Whitney’s wife even had her Bible signed by Jeremiah”(“Larry the Cable Guy Shares Love for the Bible,” Christian Post, April 30, 2016). Isaiah 30:10 describes what America has said to her preachers in my lifetime, and what the vast majority of her preachers have agreed to do. “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isaiah 30:10). Larry the Cable Guy Christianity and David Jeremiah style preaching is the root problem in America. Liberal politics is only a symptom and product.
ATHEIST GROUP RIDICULES NOAH’S ARK PROJECT (Friday Church News Notes, May 20, 2016, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - An atheist group is ridiculing the Noah’s Ark project that is being completed in Kentucky by Answers in Genesis. The atheists want to post a billboard depicting “the ark with people drowning around it and the words ‘Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 Years of Myths.’” Though the ad has been rejected by billboard companies, the group is still trying to find a way to display it, perhaps outside of Kentucky. The atheists in this case are not only obnoxious to their fellow citizens and Nazi-like in their war against freedom of speech and freedom of religion; they are ridiculous in the extreme. Consider: They claim that there is no God, yet they rail against God and care deeply about things of God. The very mention of God’s name sends them into an outrageous frenzy. But there is more. They claim that life evolved, but they act as if it had true meaning. They claim that truth and morality are..
Republished May 19, 2016 (first published December 15, 2015) (Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143)
We are glad to announce the publication of a free new video documentary BEHIND THE MRI: DR. RAYMOND DAMADIAN.
This professional, 30-minute video presentation features a rare interview with the inventor of the MRI scanner, a top scientist who calls evolution a “fairy tale.”
Dr. Damadian is the recipient of the 2001 Lemelson MIT achievement award and the 1988 National Medal of Technology from President Ronald Reagan, and his name stands among America’s greatest inventors in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
In this fascinating presentation, Dr. Damadian describes his invention and comments on multiple scientific controversies related to the origin of life. He gives the reasons why he rejects evolution and why he accepts the Bible as the Word of God.
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