Tag Archives: Daniel

Compromise: The Great Divide

 

Is there ever a time when it’s okay to compromise your beliefs and values?  I say unequivocally no and when it’s phrased that way you’d probably agree.  Why then is it so common place?  Why do so many people claim Christianity, yet not only contradict their own personal values, but more importantly those outlined by the Bible.  How is it that so many people are persuaded to do so?  Is it merely to appear “politically correct” and to fit in with society’s worldview?  Or is there a deeper issue involved, such as failing to understand and apply rightly the Word of God?

We’ve seen such examples with supposed Christians openly supporting gay marriages, pro-choice abortion, not advocating for abstinence, etc, each of which is inconsistent with Christianity and contradictory to the Word of God.

Jesus says in Luke 6:43-44, For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.”  There’s a clear distinction here, either you’re a good tree and produce evidence of such, or a bad tree and likewise evidence of that will show.  Jesus goes on in the verses that follow to condemn the Pharisees for their duality and provides the following as insight into those whose words compromise their beliefs, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

It becomes easy to negotiate one’s values when the Word of God is not hidden in our hearts, instead compromise ensues when our hearts are selfish or filled with worldliness. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Probably one of the best known biblical examples of standing up in the face of compromise is that of Daniel.  In fact, I firmly believe that the agendas taking place in our country now are soon to result in Christians experiencing the same trials as Daniel.  Daniel was such an exemplary citizen that administrators at that time tried to find fault with him.  Having been unable to do so they concluded, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:5  They went to the king and urged him to declare that anyone caught praying to any god or any man, other than the king, over a thirty day period should be thrown into the lion’s den.  Daniel, being a man of God, was caught praying, during one of his 3 daily praying sessions.  As a result of his decree, the king had no choice but to throw Daniel into the lion’s den for his disobedience to societal law.  But what we have to understand is that even the laws of society do not outweigh the laws of God.  Because of his faith in God, Daniel was not harmed by the lions.  Daniel refused to compromise his beliefs and stood strong on his foundation in the Lord.

Are you (or am I) like Daniel or like so many people who waffle and waiver in the wind, scared to take a stand for what’s right, for fear of offending or appearing controversial.  It is never wrong to stand up for your beliefs in the Bible, never.  In light of the homosexual agenda and the overwhelming societal outcry against the sanctity of marriage, combined with the soon to be legislated hate speech laws (perhaps targeting those that speak out against issues like homosexuality), we’ve seen evidence of Christians being placed in situations more and more like Daniel.  Will you yield to demands of those around you and compromise your beliefs as a matter of convenience?  Or will you stand strong on your foundation in God, even to the point of death?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

*Edited 6/5/2015

**Image Credit – www.handdrawnwords.tubmlr.com

Build Your House in ’09

The Foundation

Who says the housing market is down?  The financial market is a mess, uncertainty with a new administration coming in, Israel battling with Hamas, Real Pirates of the Cari…Gulf of Aden, now is the perfect time to build your house or better yet refurbish your current one.  Before I jump into other topics on my blog, I wanted to first lay the foundation for it, much like you will do with your house.  For this foundation though, I’ll be talking about something more solid than bricks, block, and mortar, I’m talking about the absolute Truth, the Bible.  Now before you bail on me thinking this will be another religious rant blog, hang in there for a sec and keep reading.

Most people’s first impression when they hear the Bible is probably one that’s been formed through a preconceived notion about someone they’ve met who’s proclaimed themselves a Christian or someone else attempting to force the Bible on them when they simply weren’t ready.  But let’s first look at the bible as a “text” to better understand its truth.  If you were to separate the “religious” truth from the Bible, there would be absolutely no doubt of its historical accuracy in the secular world.  The problem is that since it documents the life of Christ and is subsequently the foundation for Christianity many people immediately dismiss it and perhaps even lump it in with other religious texts like the Koran or the Tripitaka that lack historical accuracy. 

Let’s take a minute a review the actual facts.  Archeologists continue to find evidence that proves the Bible is historically accurate.  One such example is the Elba archive, found in Syria in the 1970’s that dates back to 2300 B.C.  Just watch the History Channel and you’ll see endless building site locations depicted in the Bible that are found, including the palace at Jericho and King Hezekiah’s tunnels through Jerusalem.  In fact, over 25,000 places mentioned in the Bible have been discovered and documented, even the controversial Land of Canaan.  So if there’s undisputed archeological and scientific data being discovered almost daily that confirms the Bible’s accuracy, why then would we consider the spiritual truth’s contained within it to be anything less than completely accurate?

The Bible tells us it is the Word of God, inspired and recorded by men of God, II Timothy 3:16.  If we were to look at the Bible in its 2 Testaments, Old and New, we would find 7 division’s.  Law: Genesis-Deuteronomy (5 books), O.T. History: Joshua-Esther (12 books), Poetry: Job-Song of Solomon (5 books), O.T. Prophecy: Isaiah-Malachi (Major: 5 books, Minor: 12 books), N.T. History: Matthew-Acts (Gospel’s: 4 books, Acts), Epistles: Romans-Jude (21 books), N.T. Prophecy: Book of Revelation.  Since we briefly touched on some of the historical accuracies and the Poetry and Epistle’s (or letters) leave no room for accuracy debate, let’s focus on the prophecies.  I’ll briefly discuss what history says about their accuracy.

There are over 2000 accurately fulfilled prophecies, including over 300 regarding the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (www.faithfacts.org) Isaiah 53 paints such a picture and it was written 700 years before Christ’s birth!  Other historical texts, such as those of Plato (7 copies) and Ceasar (10 copies) have gone unquestioned despite the fact they were written with over a 1000 year gap between copies.  In contrast, there are over 24,000 manuscripts or portions of the New Testament that are dated 100 to 300 years later than the original.  To continue examining the accuracy of the prophecies, you need to look no farther than the times in which they were written.  Prophecy was not taken lightly in biblical times.  If your prophecy was wrong or you gave a false report, you were killed, period!  Take for example Daniel, who was revered by King Nebuchadnezzar because of his God-given ability to interpret dreams and visions.  The king had a dream that he wanted revealed and he requested many people to interpret it, including magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans (Daniel 2:2).  The king stated in Daniel 2:5 that those who could not interpret the dream would be “cut to pieces”.  So prophecy, or dream/vision interpretation was a serious matter back then.  Daniel successfully interpreted the dream and prophesied about the kingdoms future (Daniel 2:47).  Despite these grave consequences, the prophets and prophecies of the Bible remain because of their truth.

Although it was written by about 40 different writers, throughout 66 books, over a span of around 1500 years the central theme in the Bible remains true; God’s eternal love and gift of salvation from sin  through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus (John 3:16).  I hope you’ve stayed with me through this process of laying the foundation of truth for our new year and more importantly think on the words from Joshua 1:8, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.”