Seven Comments Overheard From Friends Online
- A friend posted a link to a rather unhelpful (to say the least) article titled “Why the Vatican Removed 14 Books From the Bible in 1684”. The article contains quite a number of flaws, including its miscounting of the number of books found in today’s Bibles. The Bible used by Protestants contains 66 books (including only Old Testament books that were in the Hebrew canon). The Bible used by Roman Catholics contains 73 books (because in 1546 they added 7 books to their canon from the Greek Old Testament, which is called the Septuagint). Given that there are such basic flaws as this within the article, I recommend taking everything it says with a giant sized grain of salt. In fact, it’s so bad I’m not even going to provide the link.
In lieu of that link, I’ll offer a better resource. Given that I am myself a Protestant, I have referenced a Roman Catholic source in order to help dispel undue appearance of bias on my part. This link only barely touches on all the details that could be shared, but does provide a somewhat helpful and simple overview. I hope it is useful to you. https://uscatholic.org/articles/200807/do-protestants-and-catholics-read-from-the-same-book/
- A second friend posted something quite a bit more helpful than did my first friend. She wrote:
Lamentations chapter one was my devotional material this morning. The meaning behind Lamentations 1:14 is at first, sin seems to offer freedom, but the liberty to do anything we want gradually becomes a desire to do everything. Then we become captive to sin, bound by its “yoke”. Freedom from sin’s captivity comes only from God. He gives us freedom not to do anything we want, but to do what He knows is best for us. Strange as it may seem, true freedom comes in obeying God – following His guidance so that we can receive His best.
- A third friend, a pastor I’ve known for many years, wrote:
I somewhat selfishly splurged by buying the six-volume ESV Reader’s Bible for Claire for her tenth birthday (leather bound, to boot). I told her I wanted this to be a family heirloom, and I wanted her to give the set to her child on his or her tenth birthday. I told her this Bible represented the central role which we wanted the Word of God to occupy in our home. It sits now prominently on top of the piano… it is beautiful. Perhaps it will stay there. She woke up this morning and pulled out the Poetry volume. She read the opening chapters of Job to me, one of her favorites. She held the volume in her hands, and said, “This is such a beautiful book.” I don’t regret this gift.
PS, Here’s my short review: It is beautiful. The paper is like a standard high quality book, the print is the same size as an ordinary book. No chapter or verse numbers or notes of any kind. Just text on the page.
- A fourth friend posted a joke featuring words attributed to the devil. It reads: “I’m really getting behind these liberals. Planned Parenthood?! I wish I’d thought of that. But I couldn’t be a democrat. I know Christ.”
I asked for clarification: “Is this a James 2:19 joke?”
My friend responded: “James 2:19 –‘Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.’ Yup, I had to look it up, good call. This is why I miss you.”
- Someone else posted: Wow! Helpful article for when you dive into Bible study. https://blog.logos.com/use-not-use-amplified-bible/
- A sixth friend posted images of an alleged pastor literally tackling people and slamming them into a tub of water in apparent baptism rites. My frined jokingly typed, “That’s what I’m talking about… who’s next?”
I sarcastically retorted: “I’m sure this is exactly how the practice of baptism is modeled for Christians in the New Testament. After all, who needs reverence for a sign and seal of God’s covenant of grace which brings regeneration (and ingrafting into Christ) for followers of Jesus?”
- A seventh friend posted a link to an article about which he has very strong feelings. He actually called for “a public retraction” because the author used “a very broad brush” and “sweeping generalized statements” which are “dangerous” and “based on very flimsy evidence”. One of his primary concerns revolves around the rhetorical question, “Abolishing human abortion as an objective should be on the hearts of all redeemed Christians shouldn’t it?” But the primary concern centers on “false accusations” in this “hit piece”. He calls the writer to account saying, “This is sin brother, unless you can prove the accusation. I believe you’ve gravely erred on this charge.”
Here is the link, followed by what I had to say about it: https://pulpitandpen.org/2017/03/02/aha-and-the-heresy-of-christian-nomadism/?fbclid=IwAR1eiSl2CiZgFq2RvigfnQD2yAbo9jFcLewp7xYi00WNl1m09RFUlzARzVk
A shortcoming of the article, it seems to me, is that it states as its thesis: “One of the heresies plaguing professing Christianity in these days is Christian Nomadism.” But then it goes on to posit almost the full weight of its argument on the AHA folks. This makes it seem as though there might actually be two theses, which has the unfortunate effect of undercutting the focus on the initial thesis (i.e. Nomadism = Bad). This is a bummer. A thoughtful article about the ills of Christian Nomadism would have been more compelling, in my opinion.
As I close, let me add one more thing. I had this song on my heart today. May it bless you with the promise of His perfect love. This is one of my most favorite bands. I’ve seen them in concert probably a half-dozen times. (Four when they were the “real” Newsboys with Peter Furler singing lead.) https://youtu.be/nwjTT2bqKk0
Pastor Troy Skinner