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The Moral Argument for God’s Existence.

  An atheist might say you can be good without believing in God. However the question isn’t can you be good without believing in God but can you be good without God? Here’s the problem if there’s no God. What basis remains for objective good or bad, right or wrong? If God does not exist objective moral values do not exist. Here’s why. Without some objective reference point we    really have no way of saying something is up or down. Gods nature however provides an objective reference point for moral values. It’s the standard which all action and thoughts are measured. However, if there is no God then there is no objective reference point. All we are left with is one persons view point as opposed to some other persons view point. This makes morality subjective not objective.  It’s like a preference for vanilla ice cream. The preference is in the subject not the object. Therefore it doesn’t apply to other people. In the same way subjective morality applies only to the subject. It’s not va

What's More Important: Doctrine or Practice?

Is it just me or do we see this over emphasis on orthopraxy in Christian churches and Para Christian organizations across the USA? To the point where what you believe is not as important as what you do. Therefore, we give room for non-traditional, even aberrant Christian doctrine, which are elevated to a place of normalcy and acceptance within the body of Christ, the human manifestation of the Kingdom of God?

So, what’s more important for the transmission of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to humanity? Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy? You can tell which one you subscribe to by how you do ministry.

I knew this one minister that proposed to open a human weigh station of the sort. A place where people can come and do business in a non-business atmosphere. He wanted it to be an incognito Christian ministry. He said because Jesus use to tell people not to tell anyone about what he did, therefore, we won’t be emphasizing Jesus there. As a matter of fact, they wanted the gay major of the town to dedicate it. They had a philosophy of ministry that emphasized orthopraxy to the exclusion of orthodoxy.

There was this one time I was sitting in my living room with one of the main leaders within a district of a Christian denomination. The meeting was about church planting. After we were done talking about that subject, I told him about a bible study I went to, taught by one of the young ordained ministers in this denomination. I inform him that this young minister was teaching those at the study that he believed that God didn’t know what he was going to have for breakfast the next day (false doctrine of God called Open Theism). The response of this bishop type person within this denomination said to me, “People aren’t interested in theology. They’re interested in how to live.” (It may sound good but it’s unbiblical.)

If that is your approach to the message of the kingdom of God, then why teach theology? If theology doesn’t really matter, then Jehovah Witness are good? Because they live more Christian then a lot of Christian I know. Maybe we should partner with them and get some tips and not be concerned about what they teach. The same could be said about the Mormons. If orthodoxy doesn’t really matter or is treated as a by-the-way item, then having a different Jesus doesn’t matter, which is what JW’s and Mormons have. The message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God takes a back seat with this mentality. This is where the enemy wants the church and we’re inviting him in.

So what does the New Testament teach us on this subject? That, it’s not an either/or proposition. It’s a both/and. We see this with Jesus first.  Everyone loves the part of Jesus’ ministry that meets people’s needs. How he healed and feed the masses. The physical part of Jesus ministry. A part he wanted his disciples to follow. But in wasn’t to the exclusion of the preaching of gospel of the Kingdom of God. As a matter of fact Jesus always told people about the kingdom of God during the times he met people’s needs.

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. - Matthew 9:35 (NIV)

We see in Matthew 10, Luke 10 or Mark 6 He sent the disciples out to preach the Kingdom of God and meet people’s needs. It was doctrine and practice. Why? Because Jesus knew what these people needed in order for them to hear the plan of redemption for their souls, the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Souls are forever. Our life here on earth in temporary. If you meet people’s needs they may be more favorably inclined to listen to what you want to say about the kingdom of God.  But you must speak. It’s not an option. Jesus didn’t make it one for himself or the disciple’s. I don’t see where he makes it one for the body of Christ.

Paul tells Timothy, 1 Timothy 4:16 "Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” It wasn’t an either/or proposition for Paul either. For him it was both/and plus he taught Timothy the same thing. I think he’d teach me the same thing also. Because he tells us elsewhere, "Follow me as I follow Jesus” and we know this was Jesus' way of doing things.

Paul even calls Christian leaders out by name, in certain Christian communities, who teach false doctrine or live worldly lives. In 1 & 2 Timothy he calls out Hymenaeus, Alexander, Philetus and Demas. The first 3 were people teaching false doctrine within the body of Christ. He called them ungodly. He said their teaching was like gangrene. He handed them over to Satan. Paul didnt play patty cake with the body of Christ like so many overseers do today in local churches all over the U.S.  For Paul doctrine was not to take a back seat to orthopraxy. It was both/and.

Now Demas was what we might call an assistant pastor or for his place at the time, an assistant apostle. In other words, someone that would have been respected in the Christians communities of that time as a leader. In his closing remarks, Paul acknowledges and includes him, with Luke, in at least two of his letters to the churches. However, by the time of 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul accuses Demas of loving the world. It wasn’t about what he was teaching but how he changed his lifestyle. Remember that being charged with loving the world is very serious business within the body of Christ.

Elsewhere in the New testament, it says in James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” Indirectly Paul is calling Demas, a once beloved brother in the faith, an enemy of God. John says, 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

Paul doesn’t play around with doctrine or lifestyle when it comes to the body of Christ. They are both important parts of the message of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. For Paul it was all about Jesus and protecting His work. Calling out "leaders", who teach false doctrine or live a worldly lifestyle, in a public way is not mean spirited, it's scriptural. However, we must judge rightly and be gracious.

Both correct doctrine and right living are essential elements in professing to be a follower of Jesus Christ.


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