Ken Ham uses “Flat Ken” as an Evangelistic Tool? Or Maybe a Slick Advertisement Campaign Geared to Children to Promote His Business?

Ken Ham & Creation Museum claim to have an evangelistic tool, but who is it promoting, Ham or Christ? Sorry, Ken … just not kosher.

Have you heard of the children’s book, Flat Stanley? The character in the story, Stanley, gets bonked on the head by a bulletin board while sleeping, and is flattened. The cool thing about being flattened is that now Stanley can slide under doors. And he’s also very portable, as he can be sent to fun and exciting places in a stamped envelope. That sounds like a fun way to travel to me.

A third-grade teacher in Canada thought this would be a great learning tool for students, “meant to facilitate letter-writing by schoolchildren to each other as they document where Flat Stanley has accompanied them.”(Source)

When we were living near Portland, Oregon, a friend of my daughter’s who lived in Virginia, sent Flat Stanley to my daughter. We took Flat Stanley around Portland and across the Columbia River into Washington State and took pictures with the Flat Stanley paper cut-out, identified the location, and sent the pictures back to Virginia Beach. My daughter’s young friend was able to see all the places Flat Stanley traveled, not only with my daughter, but other kids as well. Can’t you see how kids would learn geography with this tool? I love it.

Well, the people at Ken Ham’s group, Answers in Genesis (AiG), have decided to make their own Flat Stanley, using a cartoon cutout of Ken Ham.  I’ve printed it out here:

 

flat ken, Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, Creation Museum,

The first announcement of “Flat Ken” was in this article, Flat Ken is Here. In that article, you can see a Creation Museum promotional video narrated by a cartoon version of Ken Ham. My eyes caught this statement from Mr. Ham about the “Flat Ken” concept:

But once I understood the idea, and that it was based on the “Flat Stanley” character, I was willing to go along with the idea for the sake of reaching more kids with the truth of God’s Word and the gospel.

A flat cut-out of Ken Ham is going to reach “more kids with the truth of God’s word and the gospel?” Earlier in July, I posted a link of this original article to the SSB Facebook page, which yielded quite a few responses. Now I see Ham has a new blog post plugging this venture:

 Ken Ham, Flat Ken, Young Earth Creationism, Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 6.21.50 AM

 

Evangelistic opportunities?  Ok, let’s think this through. A kid takes a cartoon-cut out and gets together with friends. Now what? How does a child get from a flat cartoon cutout of Ken Ham to the life-saving gospel message of Jesus Christ?

I’ve seen other evangelistic tools, like the gospel bracelet. If you are wearing the gospel bracelet, one can easily explain the colored beads (red is for the blood of Christ, white represents our purification). There is a direct gospel message with this evangelistic tool.  But to get from Flat Ken to the gospel?  What does Flat Ken have to do with the gospel? Flat Ken represents a man with a ministry/business. It seems like a big stretch.

In the article, he posts a quote and photo from a family who used the Flat Ham “evangelistic” tool:

Got to providentially introduce AiG to some youth from South Mount Bible camp on the way to the Creation Museum. Flat Ken Ham is being held by one of the girls who had not heard of AiG before. Our families (2) got to share with them about how God created everything in six literal days. It was amazing how just pulling of an exit in a Swiss reformed area of North Carolina turned into an opportunity to share with young people who never heard of AiG! We got to pray with them as well. God is good!

Sharing with another family how God created everything in six literal days is not the gospel message.  And frankly, what exactly are they evangelizing?  Is it the gospel of Ken Ham and AiG or Christ’s gospel: “It was amazing how just pulling of an exit in a Swiss reformed area of North Carolina turned into an opportunity to share with young people who never heard of AiG!”

Take a look at the very next sentence from Ken Ham’s blog:

“The Flat Ken photo contest is really an evangelistic tool for Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. “

It’s a tool for what? Where is Christ in this picture? And there’s more:

“What’s more, when I speak at conferences, children regularly come see me afterwards to show me their Flat Ken pictures.”

Oh, I get it – it’s not an evangelism tool for Christ. Silly me, it’s an “evangelism” tool for Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum. Shoot, and I thought using the word “evangelism”  had to do with spreading the gospel. There’s more:

Now, the Flat Ken contest may seem like a silly promotion to some, but it actually draws attention to the ministry and mission of AiG and the Creation Museum—and we are finding adults and kids are loving it.

and:

Don’t miss out on this fun and exciting opportunity share the message of God’s Word!

No, I’m sorry, this is not an evangelistic tool, this is a promotional tool for a business. 

Another important note about this is how he talks about the gospel. The gospel is about Christ on the cross, dying for our sins, rising again so that we can commune with Him. Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for us. Ken Ham’s says “gospel” all the time, but where is his sole focus? Creation and his business.

We truly desire to reach the lost with the gospel of Christ—using creation apologetics—and to equip the church to take God at His Word, beginning in Genesis 1:1.

Ken Ham is making 6-day creationism as the gospel message. This is the basis of his whole ministry. 6-day creation does not equal gospel. Sorry. It just does not. 6-day creation is about creation. Gospel is about gospel.  Let’s see what Scripture says about the gospel and please take note and see if there is any mention of 6-day creation:

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . Corinthians 15:1-4

 

Children do not need Flat Ken mediators to get to Christ and the true gospel message. If Ken Ham wants to use Flat Ken to promote his business, then fine, just say so, but to say that this cartoon image of Ken Ham will pave the way for evangelistic opportunities?  Come on, give me a break.

 

Here’s the definition of Farce:

a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

 

In the comments on the SSB Facebook page, there was talk about taking pics with Flat Ken and posting them. I’ve decided that Flat Ken’s  pseudo “gospel” message is a #FlatKenFarce and will have a little fun on Twitter as I take my Flat Ken cutout around town in the desert of Eastern Washington.  If you’d like to join in and send in pics to the SSB Facebook page or to me at spiritualsb@gmail.com, I”d be happy to post them.  Here’s where you can get your Flat Ken cutout.

 

 

77 comments on “Ken Ham uses “Flat Ken” as an Evangelistic Tool? Or Maybe a Slick Advertisement Campaign Geared to Children to Promote His Business?

  1. JA, you have clearly laid out what is wrong in so many ministries: conflating gospel evangelism with ministry promotion. Nicely done.

    Mr. Ham is so focused on six day creation that he has trouble understanding that the doctrine of creation covers more than merely the act of creation itself. This type of narrow focusing leads to problems like you’ve found here, so that everything is about Mr; Ham’s narrow focus and no longer really about Jesus. Sad.

    Tim

    P.S. I’ve got a bit more on Mr. Ham’s lack of understanding of the doctrine of creation at my place too.

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  2. I have to wonder if Mr. Ham has read the New Testament or anything beyong Genesis for that matter. His promotion is not only offensive and materialistic it is easily leading people astray. I’m sure there is a charge to go into the Creation Museum. Oh yes, $29.95. Shame on you Mr. Ham.

    Julie Anne, Well done bringing out the truth to another narcissist.

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  3. Like

  4. Oh, yippee. Another “christian” promoting his image and making bank off of his ideology. #whodofthunkit How did I manage all these years without this?

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  5. “What’s more, when I speak at conferences, children regularly come see me afterwards to show me their Flat Ken pictures.”

    Ugh…how gross. That’s all I can say.

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  6. Exactly, Diane. I’d get excited about children sharing their faith, but I would be embarrassed if they brought pictures of me. Ewwww! Where’s the focus, Christ or Ken? Christ or Creation Museum?

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  7. What’s bugging me about this is he copped someone else’s idea.

    What’s next? Where’s Ken patterned after Where’s Waldo? Or Ken the Explorer? Or at Christmas time will we see Ken on a Shelf, after Elf on a Shelf?

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  8. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (Titus 1:11 ESV)

    It has been addressed at length in previous threads, but YEC is taught with an arrogant insistence that drives many from the faith. From Matthew 18 I have argued, based on the use of the Greek word from which the English “scandalize” is derived, that one is at great risk when they “cause a person to begin to DISTRUST AND DESERT one whom he ought to trust and obey.” The good news is that our Lord, as it were, abandons all others in pursuit of His lost lamb. See the July 27 at 9:32 AM comment here:

    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/07/27/the-lord-is-my-shepherd/#comments

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  9. BIT,

    What’s next? Where’s Ken patterned after Where’s Waldo?

    I was thinking the same thing. My kids found Waldo years ago though. There is an exit off of the expressway within 20 miles of where we live. The exit just say “Waldo exit”. We’ve not questioned where Waldo was since finding it.

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  10. I can’t help but laugh at the idea of “Flat Ken” visiting various places to promote ignorance and arrogance. Maybe he needs to visit the M*rmon T*bernacle and Temple? I wonder how well that would be received. Or the Salt Lake that smells like rotten eggs – that would be an awesome analogy even a preschooler could understand. I cannot understand why people refuse to leave the Gospel alone, free from embellishment of man made rules. As for tools of evangelism, all I needed in school was a willingness to treat my fellow classmates with love and kindness, not a brace or a paper doll or anything else.

    By the way, I love the picture of Flat Ken in the recycling bin. It’s the best place for him to be of use.

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  11. This reminds me of the comic book kids were (are?) given that had pages about Pastor Steven Furtick and his “vision” at Elevation Church in Charlotte. But this Ken Hamm marketing tool is beyond anything I have seen. So he puts out his image to kids, like Furtick and openly plagiarizes from another book, like Driscoll! I know Jesus would be proud! (Snark). Jesus was very clear about harming or misleading children. I would rather my pastor sleep with a prostitute (Swaggart), experiment with drugs while engaging with gay sex (Haggard) or con me out of money (Driscoll, Furtick, Noble, etc—) than seduce my child with his narcissism and profit from it at the same time. The gospel message is not about the age of the earth, what animals were on the ark and especially not about some creeper called Flat Ken.
    Why does there always have to be some business angle to sharing the gospel? Ken Hamm knows the parents have the money, but the kids can easily be influenced to beg for Ken Hamm merchandise. Parents please do not mix up the gospel with so called Christian Business. Just because a business has a fish symbol, sells “Christian” toys, or is politically conservative doesn’t mean they have pure motives and are interested in anything but profit! JA, Sorry for the rant. You are welcome to moderate it, but I was sickened by what Hamm is doing. He should be sued for stealing! That is a commandment I can get behind!

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  12. I can’t believe you guys are asking what’s next….

    It’s obvious, in Fall there will be the Doug the creepy pervert doll. Sit him outside your child’s window and he says I love you as he climbs up the ladder sold separately. Pull the string and he says, ” you’re an excommunicated feminist”. Pull it again and it says” I think I will sue you “. With the 905 outfits / costumes sold separately your children will love changing their little Dougys action outfits. The 5 star general outfit, dinosaur explorers outfit and pilgrims thanksgiving outfit included. Whenever your child changes Dougys clothes he giggles and says ” now we are getting somewhere, let’s go hide in the kitchen where your parents can’t see us”. Although the doll is 1/2 the height of Barbie most Barbie lingerie will fit.

    Future lines to include the psyco Scott Brown limited edition complete with military Jeep for Barbie’s annual parade through the living room , the purpose driven gangster doll, the Jack Schaap I think we are alone now collection and CJ Mahaney 1970’s collector doll with hair, and 2013 bald versions. All sold separately .

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  13. “Ken Ham is making 6-day creationism as the gospel message. This is the basis of his whole ministry.”

    Exactly. Spot on analysis, Julie Anne!

    Perhaps the end of Flat Ken’s adventures should be a visit to the paper shredder.

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  14. “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
    For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures . . Corinthians 15:1-4”
    YES, THIS IS THE GOSPEL MESSAGE!!
    Ministries like AIG are very persuasive and are a huge part of the home education family. They have some excellent resources but “flat Ken” is just too much and I just can’t understand why Ken Ham would be so desperate to stoop sooo low!?
    Any thoughts on Ray Comfort and The Way of the Master/Living Waters ministry? … or should we save that for another post:-)

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  15. Scott, you forgot the Gothard doll! Comes complete with his own umbrella and private jet.

    Can you imagine what a Mark Driscoll doll might say? Something about bodies under the bus…

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  16. You know, you just can’t make this stuff up. I vote for Eric Fish, the Halibut.

    Picked ’em out of thousands. All the others were too flat.

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  17. I am just curious has anyone here ever actually looked into the huge amount of evidence for Evolution and an OE. OE is often seen as a no brainer by some but the ToE has just as much compelling evidence that supports the validity of the Theory. I know I agonized over these issues and going to a Pastor or fellow believers in the real world was, is, and never will be an option. I poured over resources, read John MacArthur’s The Battle for the Beginning and other such books, they were total nonsense and extremely dishonest. I see the same thing on the other side, I read The God delusion and could not stop laughing at the childish rantings. Now Dawkins book “The Greatest Show on Earth” was somewhat compelling though I like Francis Collin’s works more.

    Ken Ham is not a credible source for science or theology, but I do believe him to be sincere and he actually did quite well in the debate with Bill Nye. It is sad that he is so set in his way, he really could be a force for good in my opinion. I am trying to be optimistic and believe the Best.

    An aside Mr. Driscoll I read your William Wallace rants which seems to be confirmed by you in a book. If it is you please, seriously seek professional mental health professionals. You really need to check that anger. It is not healthy.

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  18. brian, re: “Ken Ham. . .actually did quite well in the debate with Bill Nye.”

    Your definition of “quite well” and mine are “quite different”. 🙂

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  19. “Just like Flat Stanley, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

    Tip: When you can describe something as “Just like Fill-in-the-blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”, that’s NOT a good sign.

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  20. I’m thinking of a Flat Ken picture close to a lit match…

    Nah, too sadistic….

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  21. I also read Mark Driscoll’s WWII rants on Wenatchee the Hatchet’s blog. In one long post while he was arguing for why almost all Christians are called to marriage and parenthood, there was one sentence that stood out for me.

    “Most of the problems in our church and world relate to sexuality, selfishness, marriage, and childbearing and childrearing.”

    That right there sheds a lot of light on the history of Driscoll’s pastorate at Mars Hill as well as things he’s written.

    Of course, he obviously hasn’t checked with Ken Ham, who might tell you that most of the problems in the church and world are due to what people believe about Genesis 1 and 2.

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  22. “Most of the problems in our church and world relate to sexuality, selfishness, marriage, and childbearing and childrearing.”

    If Driscoll feels this way, perhaps he should stop pushing people into marriage. It isn’t for everyone, just ask Paul. He wished that everyone could be like Him, using all of His energy to serve Jesus. I Cor 7, I believe. Had that have happened the human race would have died out a long time ago.

    It seems Driscoll’s views are directed at women. If only they would not be selfish and perform all sexual acts that their man desires when he desires them, the world would be such a better place. Then of course the woman goes through pregnancy and birth. After that, the man takes over as head of the entire house and whatever he says goes, including over his wife. The couple is not a team, but a dictatorship. Why any woman would ever want to be married under these terms is beyond my comprehension.

    Driscoll should be removed from the pulpit along with many of his other pals. The concentration on marriage, sex, headship and submission has left out the Gospel. I don’t see where Jesus and the love that He showed on Calvary is in any of this.

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  23. Random (Former) Methodist Reader said: “I’m thinking of a Flat Ken picture close to a lit match…
    Nah, too sadistic….”
    Nonsense! It’s just what Kennyboy needs: a nice fry-up!!

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  24. “Most of the problems in our church and world relate to sexuality, selfishness, marriage, and childbearing and childrearing.”

    I disagree, Mark Driscoll. in fact, most of the problems in our church and world have to do with people who have narcissistic and/or psychopathic personalities, and the chaos and abuse they create in the lives of others. Oh, and the abuse and worship of alcohol in our culture doesn’t help matters much either. And neither does the ideology of determinism and Calvinism.

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  25. I don’t understand why six day creation people are so adamant about what they believe. My wife is in that camp, she even dragged our whole family to the Creation Museum/Propoganda Machine and as a thinking person, there are some serious holes with these beliefs. For instance, there are stars that I can look up and see tonight that are 50,000 light years away. That means that I am literally looking at light that took 50,000 years to get here. How can I see it if it the world is only 8,000 years old. And when we were at the Creation Museum/Propoganda Machine I asked the lady why the dinosaurs were eating plants and she said they were vegetarians that switched to meat eaters. Um what? Can anyone explain this stuff to me. And what if I don’t believe this stuff, does that make me any less of a Christian. Just because I ❤ science?

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  26. I don’t get it either, dan. Your Christianity does not hinge on your believing 6-day creation. The Bible doesn’t say Believe on the 6-day creation and be saved. I think you’re safe 🙂

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  27. I couldn’t begin to tell you how everything started. The only one who knows all and sees all is on His Throne in Heaven. I’m sure He will tell us all about it some day. The Bible does lay out an outline of how things were created day by day in Gen. 1 and specifically says that on the seventh day He rested. Gen 2:2.

    Was a day a day as we see it? I don’t know. Is a light year really a year in our thinking? I don’t know that either and really don’t care. When the Word says that he created the stars He could have created every last one for as far out as He chose. I have a feeling that God hasn’t stopped creating. He is a busy bee and whatever glorifies Him is ok with me.

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  28. Psalms 104:2
    Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

    Isaiah 40:22
    It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:

    Isaiah 34:4
    And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

    Revelation 6:14
    And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
    ______________________

    Imagine a balloon. Blowing up a balloon expands the space in the balloon. Let the air out, and the space dissolves.

    God is in eternity. There is no time in eternity. No concept of time.

    Genesis 1:1, in the beginning…

    There is no beginning in eternity. But there is a beginning in “time”. Time is based on speed and distance.

    We know that God created something out of nothing. Based on what I read, our universe started out of nothing, and is expanding, still to this day. Science at least agrees that the universe is expanding, like blowing up a balloon.

    I agree with Dan. There is a beginning where time started, and it is expanding.

    Ham’s side just doesn’t make sense to me.

    For anyone interested, I wrote a bit about this here: http://chapmaned24.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/why-young-earth-creation-is-wrong/

    Ed

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  29. Great article Ed, I read your writing on young earth and it sounds pretty good. There are so many holes with Christianity. I wish I could just swallow it all, really I do. I wish I could just go to church and listen and go home and eat chicken and sings songs about America and live in bliss but some things man, what in the world? Here is another question I have, where is heaven physically? Pastors always say grandma is up in heaven. Up where, we can see millions of miles away, no one has ever said, hey, I saw your grandma up there. And hell, if it was a fire, we would see that place for sure right? When Jesus “ascended” where did he go? And Noahs ark, man that one is crazy if you think about it. All those animals, only 8 zoo keepers for a year. Thats not even possible. And Jonah, I assume the fish (whale, whatever) that swallowed him was in the water, how did he breathe? And back to the flood (or as I like to call it, the great genocide event) how did the whales survive in all that fresh water? And it says the water was higher than the highest mountain, wouldn’t that have killed all the plants? I think the problem is that I have a long commute so I just think about all this stuff. Is this even real or is it just one big magic show? My wife said, “You shouldn’t have all these questions because you are supposed to be the spiritual leader of our family.” Well, sorry but some of this stuff makes no sense at all, none!

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  30. http://www.mljtrust.org/ Providing the link for the late Martyn Lloyd Jones. Many may benefit from sound Biblical expository preaching. Instead of questioning let us be as the Bereans, let us study the Word and receive from those who have indeed studied the Scriptures diligently. I have been greatly blessed by ML Jones sermons and resources.
    Also, Pastor Jeff Crippen at A CRY FOR JUSTICE blog has fed many sheep well. ACFJ also has links to others. http://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/ As you listen to sound expositors of the Word, questions like the age of the earth, etc will come into focus in that the most important aspect of a true believer is glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Lord.
    Also another good resource for study: http://www.gotquestions.org/

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  31. Hi Dan,

    I’m in the middle of responding to you.  But I wanted to respond to healingInHim for a moment.

    HealingInHim,

    I’m topical driven, which means that any topic that I study, references to the topic is all over the place in the Bible.  Expository preaching does nothing for me.  You can read your Bible all by yourself for that one, Book by Book, Chapter by Chapter, Verse by verse.  That’s the easy part.

    But, as we know, the Bible has spiritual treasure in it, and that treasure has to be dug up.  In other words, it’s hidden.  You will not find anything spiritual by just doing expository, which sounds like a suppository, teaching.  You don’t need a preacher for that.

    I am not a fan of expository preaching.  It just doesn’t do anything for me.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  32. Hi Dan,

    You ask some great questions.  I love your questions.  I do perceive that you are not a Christian.  I do not know if that is correct or not.  I have a roommate that is atheist.  We get into some great discussions about things.  He’s an ex-Catholic, however.  That explains why.

    Bill Nye, in the famous debate with Ken, tried to get Ken to answer a question.  Ken tried to dance around the issue.  He had no answer, but he tried to make it out as if he did.  But I “think” that I could answer the question.  I am only speculating, tho.  I do not have the actual answer, but based on my knowledge of the Bible, I think I “could” be right.

    Bill’s question:  How did Kangaroos get to Australia from Noah’s Ark since there is no evidence of any (I can’t remember the science term that he used, but it had something to do with traces of evidence of bones, etc.).

    OK, so, the way that I see it is based on the following:

    Genesis 10:25 (Long after Noah’s Ark) And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.

    Genesis 10:32

    These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.

    1 Chronicles 1:19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother’s name was Joktan.

    What this tells me is that before the earth was divided, that the whole earth was just one big huge continent, including Australia.  And seeing that Noah lived 350 years after the flood, for a total of 950 years, I don’t see a need for animals to have lived short lives, either, hence, no trail of bones, etc.

    That is just one example.  I’ll answer more in a bit.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  33. Dan,

    Ok, so, not all of this is going to be in the same order as you brought up.

    One of the biggest debates amongst Christians is if we are to take the bible “literally”. My answer is, yes. But, some of us disagree with the definition of the term, “literally”. My example is of the word “day”, as in the six day creation, with a seventh day, of rest.

    Yes, the word “day” is to be taken literally, but the answer to “what is a day” is the question to be determined. I do not believe that it is “literally” 24 hours.

    Take for example this riddle of a question:
    How do you get 3 days and 3 nights from Good Friday afternoon, to Easter Sunday Morning? Notice I didn’t say thee days. I said days and nights.

    I do not shift the days in that, either, as some Christian groups do, as they say that Jesus died on Wednesday or Thursday. Nope. He died on Friday, and that is provable, too. So, based on a Friday crucifixion, how is it possible to get 3 days and 3 nights?

    I know the answer to that. Here is a hint:

    Genesis 1:5.

    Was it dark when Jesus died?

    Many use the word “poetry”. I’m sorry, but I don’t see the Bible as “Roses are red, violets are blue” writings. I like the word, “spiritual”. Why? Because what is spiritual is eternal, and eternal things are invisible.

    As I said above to healingInHim, spiritual things are hidden, and not easy to find, but it is treasure. I believe that God hid himself in the Bible for us to search for him.

    Proverbs 25:2
    It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

    Proverbs 2:3-5
    3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

    4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

    5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

    Matthew 13:44
    Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field.

    All of this will give you a background as to what I will be talking about next, because I do believe in a literal Noah’s Ark, a literal flood, etc.

    Before I end, in regards to the flood, much of the water came from below the land, not just the rain. Just recently, I read on Yahoo somewhere, that scientists found that there is more water under the earth than there is in all of the body of water on the earth. That was an interesting article. I’ll continue more in a bit…

    Ed

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  34. chapmaned24 – I don’t think you really understand what expository preaching is:
    http://www.gotquestions.org/expository-preaching.html
    “An expositor cares little if his audience says, “What a great sermon” or “What an entertaining speaker.” What he truly wants them to say is, “Now I know what that passage means,” or “I better understand who God is and what He requires of me.””

    Please refer to the link for a more thorough understanding of why we need to not rely on just our own reading. Our hearts our deceitful and we must also look to others who have studied the Greek and Hebrew texts to back up our English translations. The link provided also refers to topical and textual study.
    Furthermore, Ed … I’m going to be blunt. Just because you are not a fan of expository teaching/preaching and that “It just doesn’t do anything for me.” … well, that doesn’t mean that you are right in your interpretation. You are just stating your own personal ‘feelings and opinions’. It’s not a matter of what WE LIKE – our carnality needs THE TRUTH of the infallible Word.
    For several years I was influenced by preaching/teaching that offered a man’s personal interpretation. Hardly ever was the Greek and Hebrew texts referenced.

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  35. healingInHim,

    The phrase “Our hearts our deceitful” is one of the phrases most misused in the reformed camp. And that is just one of many examples as to why I reject expository preaching. Just read what I have posted above, for example. That is how you learn.

    The Bible is a love letter TO YOU personally, from God. Dig in yourself, get to know the God that created you…YOURSELF.

    Our hearts are deceitful is a famous reformed reference to make you feel like you are stupid.

    YOU MATTER TO GOD. He loves you…and it isn’t the kind of love that the reformed folks teach, either.

    I don’t have to be a Greek expert. That’s the beauty part. Someone has already translated the bible in my own native tongue.

    Is Greek the official God language? Is God incapable in speaking your language to you? I’m not buying into the Dr. James White thing, a doctor who doesn’t wear a stethoscope around his neck, who thinks that he is a genious, because he knows Greek.

    You don’t need to know Greek. But if YOU want to do word studies, you can do it yourself with a Strong’s Concordance…ON YOUR OWN.

    Our hearts are deceitful, huh? I’m Not buying that reference as a means to endorse expository preaching. That saying has nothing to do with YOU AND GOD having a RELATIONSHIP.

    I’m gonna be blunt. If you ditch the “our hearts are deceitful” thing, and YOU read the Bible as a LOVE LETTER from God to you alone, then you will discover what other REAL Christians have already discovered.

    Please, do not take the word of Calvinists. Do it on your own. That is what I endorse. Just you and God. Period.

    Respectfully,

    Ed

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  36. healingInHim,

    Let me give you an example:

    The preaching of Jonah in expository preaching:

    Jonah was a bad man, because he didn’t want to go to Nineveh.

    Now, let’s see this from a different aspect.

    Jesus called Jonah a prophet. Prophets prophesy about Jesus. That is their function. The whole bible is about Jesus. Every dog gone bit of it. Jonah is telling a story of Jesus.

    Luke 24:44
    And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

    Jonah is a prophet, and he is included in Luke 24:44

    The sign of Jonah. Jesus was in the “Heart of the Earth” for 3 days and 3 nights.

    Jonah prophesied of that very thing.

    Read Jonah Chapter 2 and you will see what Jesus went thru, just by reading Jonah Chapter 2. It’s a short chapter.

    There are 2 other Old Test references that equate to Jonah Chapter 2, as well.

    Expository preaching will only show you what a bad man that Jonah was. Spiritual preaching will reveal Jesus in Jonah.

    Expository preaching is one of the reasons that the Pharisees refused to see Jesus for who he was. They refused to interpret things in the spiritual, and Jesus scolded Nicodemus for it, too.

    Respectfully,

    Ed

    Like

  37. chapmaned24 – I wish I had more time to expound on my answer but I am in the midst of personal emotional upheaval, however , please allow me at least this one last comment. I may not be able to respond for quite some time but I will if circumstances permit??
    I have a Strong’s Concordance and it is used. It was when the Lord graciously saved me that I realized just how deceitful our hearts are. I have done numerous word and topical studies. There are countless warnings in the Word to “guard our hearts”. Why? Because we are easily deceived and many times our fleshly desires allow ourselves to fall into the temptations. “The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

    Where in the Scriptures does it ever refer to itself as a “love letter”?

    From GOTQuestions (I refer to them because they state facts succinctly)
    Question: “What is the Bible?”
    Answer: The word “Bible” comes from the Latin and Greek words meaning “book,” a fitting name, since the Bible is the book for all people, for all time. It’s a book like no other, in a class by itself.
    Sixty-six different books comprise the Bible. They include books of law, such as Leviticus and Deuteronomy; historical books, such as Ezra and Acts; books of poetry, such as Psalms and Ecclesiastes; books of prophecy, such as Isaiah and Revelation; biographies, such as Matthew and John; and epistles (formal letters) such as Titus and Hebrews.

    What is the Bible? – The Authors
    About 40 different human authors contributed to the Bible, which was written over a period of about 1500 years. The authors were kings, fishermen, priests, government officials, farmers, shepherds, and doctors. From all this diversity comes an incredible unity, with common themes woven throughout.

    The Bible’s unity is due to the fact that, ultimately, it has one Author—God Himself. The Bible is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). The human authors wrote exactly what God wanted them to write, and the result was the perfect and holy Word of God (Psalm 12:6; 2 Peter 1:21).
    http://www.gotquestions.org/what-is-the-Bible.html

    Like

  38. healingInHim,

    I may not comment all the time on here, as I get quite busy myself, but I try to read certain posts, so I will check in from time to time. Take your time, and I am sorry about your emotional upheaval. We all go through it. Yes, even me.

    You had asked:
    “Where in the Scriptures does it ever refer to itself as a “love letter”? ”

    My response: Read the whole thing, and you should come to that conclusion.

    If young kids can read a Harry Potter book, which is how much bigger than a bible? Then we can read a Bible.

    My church just did a Read the Bible in 90 days. Read only. No preconceived doctrines, no hand picked questions and answers…just read.

    You’ve got a Strong’s, that’s great.

    Other things needed:
    1. College Ruled Paper.
    2. Pens (Black and Red)
    3. Yellow Hi-liter
    4. Time
    5. Lots of Coffee, as you will be up until 3 or 4 in the morning sometimes.

    With much respect,

    Ed

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  39. chapmaned24 – First of all … I have all of your 5 pt check list, however I do not drink coffee to be up until 3 or 4 because I’m usually up at 5 am:-)
    I honestly can not tell you how often I have literally read through the Bible. And God in His wisdom ordained even more reading of the Word aloud because of home schooling. I treasure those moments of reading and reflecting on the Word and spoken aloud seems to resonate even more deeply.
    RE: your example of expository preaching referring to Jonah: “Jonah was a bad man, because he didn’t want to go to Nineveh.” etc, I don’t know where you have obtained that particular teaching in reference to expositors but I can assure you that I have heard countless expositors preach/teach from “your different aspect”.
    Ed, respectfully, I fear you may have been offended by someone and seem to be lumping all expositors under one umbrella?
    LOL … guess what? … I’m heading for the bed, ED … I’m exhausted and will be up at 5 am:-) Sincerely, IN CHRIST, ____

    Like

  40. I know you won’t read this until 5 am, but, one of the things you should do is ask the tough questions, and then research the answers. That is one reason that topical overrides expository.

    You had said “I fear you may have been offended by someone and seem to be lumping all expositors under one umbrella?”

    Let me put it this way. There are tons Christians like me that believe the same way that I do.

    I had always classified myself as Protestant. I had NO idea why. I only thought that distinguished myself from the Catholics. I couldn’t figure out why that word was used, as I wasn’t protesting anything. I never was a Catholic. I didn’t go to Catholic church.

    But I thought that all Christians believed the same thing as I did. At least all the Christians that I knew did.

    Then I find out that there is a different group of people, calling themselves Christians, and I discover that their beliefs is totally different than mine. Then I find more and more groups calling themselves Christians and they all have differing beliefs.

    Wow, what a mess.

    But you know what I did? I take each and every point of every goofy belief, and I dissect it. Hence, topical.

    I wanted to find out why the 7th Day Adventists, for example, insist on going to church on Saturday.

    Well, I found out why. Because they believe in being “obedient” to the Law. Oh, they are legalists, all the while preaching grace. Well, those two things just do not go together.

    Fast forward a few years, I discover what Calvinism is. And wow, they are hot on that word “obedience”. Then I find that they are also hot on the words “church discipline”. Wow. What is this strange teachings. I had to find out why. And I found out other things of this Calvinism stuff. Then I find out what denominations believe this scary stuff. Wow. If I am a protestant, then I protest Calvinism.

    Grace and Law do not mix. It is either Law, or Grace. It isn’t both. And everyone outside of Calvinism and the 7th Day Adventists, including their offshoots, do not believe that we are to be “obedient” to the law. We are not legalists. I see a huge double speak when I hear “oh, we know we are not saved by works”, and yet, the Calvinists are working to be obedient to the law, as they think it’s Law/Grace, or is it Grace/Law?

    Well, if I were to do expository preaching, that topic would certainly show that it is grace alone, not law plus grace.

    Not only that, the Calvinists teach a totally different meaning to Grace than we do. Grace thru faith, yes, Calvinists teach that faith is imputed. Really? Not on my side. Calvinists will retort with, “Oh, if faith is not imputed, then you are working for your salvation”. Nnnnnooooooooo. Works is based on the law, and the law is not of faith.

    Anyway, this is getting a bit long, but I do know that the Calvinists are the main ones who love to expository preach, giving all sorts of “EXE-JESUS” in their teachings, thinking that they are the go-to people to learn, because YOUR heart is deceitful.

    Oh, you mean in order for you to get to God, you must go thru them, first, because your heart is deceitful? Come one. I’m not buying it.

    In my humble opinion, THEIR hearts are deceitful in telling you that yours is. And to think that people are actually believing that their hearts are deceitful is crazy. They are telling you that you are too stupid to learn on your own, that you NEED them. NO YOU DON’T. You need God alone. Just you and him alone. Then they will tell you that you need them because God put them OVER you. Wrong again. Then they will tell you that you must submit to church authority, and that you must do what they say, because they watch over your soul, or else suffer the consequences of church discipline. Wrong again. Non-Calvinists do not buy into any of THEIR interpretations, that THEY come up with by using THEIR version of expository EXE-JESUS.

    I was flabbergasted when you asked me where it states that the Bible is a love letter. Totally flabbergasted.

    Ed

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  41. “The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?”

    I hate to be a bore but quoting this as applying to every person for all time wears me out. It has been done to death, so to speak. It is a fav of Calvinists to prove total depravity and imputed guilt.

    Just look at the very next verse:
    10
    “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
    to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”

    And then go back up and look at verse 7:

    “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
    8
    They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
    It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
    It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

    Does that sound like everyone has a de facto deceitful heart? What is a deceitful heart, anyway in this context?

    Just ask 3 questions. Who is speaking? Who are they speaking to and what is the occasion. Please do not take a proof text and make it a “law” for all time for every single person.

    Like

  42. McArthur exposits quite a bit and I have heard him say some whoppers. Like men having long hair is a sin. (did he forget Paul took a Nazerite vow?) Here is another one expositors totally miss often because of an agenda: they teach that 1 Corin 11 says that women must have a “symbol of” authority on their head. That is not in the Greek. It was added by translators. Look it up in a interlinear. They also teach that the word “submit” is in Eph 5:22. Not it is not. It was added by translators. I could go on and on. So are they scholars or have an agenda? The question is why did the translators add these things? Agenda?

    Expositing means nothing if we start with a wrong premise or have an agenda. For example, a Calvinist will start with the determinist God filter in expositing and insist that is what the text teaches no matter where. A free will pastor will start with free will filter and insist that is the message. And worse, both sides will teach poetry as literal. Both sides will insist Genesis 1-3 is a science book ignoring the genre for an agenda.

    Even choices for Greek words in translation have many disagreements among scholars/linguists.

    I don’t want someone expositing for me. That is between me and the Holy ‘Spirit. With others, we can discuss ideas, thoughts, word meanings, etc. I am done taking the word of some guy on a stage who expects me to pay him to do my work for me. :o)

    I much prefer scholarly teaching that makes me dig and think. No agendas, please.

    Like

  43. healinginHim – I’m sorry you are going through an emotional upheaval. I am sending you positive vibes.

    Although Ed and I are at loggerheads about most things, this is one area where I am on his team. He’s absolutely correct in encouraging you to ditch the “our hearts are deceitful” mantra. Many pastors hammer away at this and it’s a powerful tool that sets up an unequal power dynamic. Your heart is probably just fine the way it is. You are NOT a depraved individual (another idea that seems to pop up in the Calvanistic camp) needing guidance from a ‘God-appointed’ pastor. In my estimation, you are probably a good person trying to do the best you can – like the rest of us. No human is perfect, but we learn. We use our loving hearts and our brains to figure out how to relate to each other; try looking at all the good things you do, instead of cherry-picking verses that reinforce your weakness and depravity.

    I think you’ll feel better about yourself, instead of beating yourself up. YOU are your greatest asset, in my opinion. Give yourself a break.

    Like

  44. My church just did a Read the Bible in 90 days.

    I like that. I did that on my own over a summer maybe 4 years ago. My church seems to take summers off or very light, which I still don’t understand. Of course I am from the era where you were told that grandpa walked up the hill to church 5 miles both ways and maybe so. I still don’t know how that is possilbe, but grandpa’s shoes were pretty big to fit into.

    As a church, we go through different ways of reading including chronologically. Mixing it up keeps people reading. Asking each other questions about the reading, keeps us on our toes. If you don’t read it, you won’t have a response. If you don’t read it, you’ll never get to really know Christ.

    Like

  45. Good morning Brenda, just so you know – I HAVE read the bible, but I came to the conclusion that me and christ/god/bible just aren’t compatible. (and, yes – I realize it’s me, not them; I’m fine with that.) 🙂

    Like

  46. Just ask 3 questions. Who is speaking? Who are they speaking to and what is the occasion. Please do not take a proof text and make it a “law” for all time for every single person.

    Lydia, I surely wish those 3 questions were asked more often. Many verses are misunderstood because they are not asked. Not all is black and white. This was in no way a bore for me.

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  47. Carmen,

    You know I love ya!  Our differences are OK with me.  I used to be like this in my profession in the Admin world of the navy, too.  I was a payroll clerk.  Our Bible was the Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation (DODFMR), which were all of the laws passed by congress of every single military pay entitlement.  I would debate vigorously with some in my own office that were of higher rank than me, including our own audit team, in order to get the navy member paid what he/she was entitled to.  But, we all respected each other no matter how heated any of the debates went.  It was fun.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  48. Brenda,

    What I found fascinating is the elderly people that have been going to church since they were children that said, “I never knew that before”, and/or, “I really learned a lot”, etc.  People seemed more at ease knowing that they learned a lot just by reading it on their own.  Now when the preacher preaches, they get it.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  49. Ed, that’s the nicest way of telling someone they’re a pain in the ‘A, double snakes’ I ever heard!! ha, ha. . . . I can’t say I love ya, too because we’d have to get to know each other waaaaayyy better for me to say that. 😉 Have a good day!

    Like

  50. Carmen,

    LOLOL.  Well, we are both pain in the “A” at times.  As I’ve said before, my roommate is atheist, and we get along great. 

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  51. Carmen,

    I came to the conclusion that me and christ/god/bible just aren’t compatible.

    I hope some day you change your mind.

    Like

  52. Lydia you said, “I much prefer scholarly teaching that makes me dig and think. No agendas, please”
    Could you please reference these scholars so I can be a Berean and look into their teaching. I am sincerely curious to understand where some are gleaning their insights from?
    “Expositing means nothing if we start with a wrong premise or have an agenda.” That goes for any type of teaching …
    And also, in my haste I only quoted the one verse of Jeremiah 19, however … for anyone not familiar with me … yes, I do ask the three questions as pointed out in other comments along with many others questions.
    God has been faithful; He has used the ‘dry bone years’ to cause me further study of His Word but most importantly to lean solely on HIM.
    Presently, Barbara Roberts has written an excellent article and she is showing scholarly digging into the Word: “The Bible virtually commands divorce for domestic abuse” http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/08/12/16990/
    Blessings – IN CHRIST

    Like

  53. RE: “To Be Happy”
    Yes, the article can be very uplifting but I do agree with the comments referencing, “There needs to be a balance”. Read the comment: Susan August 12, 2014 at 6:38 am …

    Like

  54. Great, I started a sh*t storm. I just wanted to know how we can see stars that are 50,000 light years away when the earth is only 8,000 years old.

    Like

  55. Ken,

    Ha!  Funny!!  No, I wouldn’t mind addressing your other concerns that you mentioned, as well, such as the Noah’s Ark situation, etc.  The other storm is just some rain showers, while ours is a sunny and 72 degrees.  But, I’m busy with much things right now.

    Ed

    ________________________________

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  56. “Could you please reference these scholars so I can be a Berean and look into their teaching. I am sincerely curious to understand where some are gleaning their insights from?”

    I am sure you are, my friend. But I am very uncomfortable with that. My journey is my journey and you should go on yours. My questions were probably different, too, which took me in a different direction.

    I will tell you this: I saw so much evil, deception, and down right cruelty in my days working with seeker megas that I felt I had to start over. I am fortunate I had a good foundation as a kid or I fear I would still be in that world and part of them.

    I sincerely believe that in American evangelicalism the understanding of what is a Christian has changed quite a bit over the last 30-40 years. (Part of what I did was to track trends for training/marketing) I am speaking IN GENERAL.NOt that it was perfect before but it has changed. In some ways good but in other ways very badly. We now think it pious to brag about our sin. We think it communicates humilty. It keeps us stuck. But it has become a sort of sin not to do that. The other side of that coin is JD Hall type Christianity.

    The rise of cult of personality Christianity to the place it is today has been a game changer. Now the charlatans, deceivers and creeps use our own beliefs against us to continue on and we are so paralyzed that we will look mean or unforgiving we go along. Who are we to question, we think? How do we know if it is genuine or not? Wrong questions. Every narcissist or sociopath uses our forgiveness against us for personal advantage or to “save” themselves. And I was around a ton of these types all the time. I had to figure it out. How in the world did these folks become so popular? Why do people hang on their words? And so on.

    So I started with Jesus. Period. I read the Gospels over and over ONLY for 3 years. I tuned out any sermons and read no Christianese books. I used many translations and an interlinear a lot. (all free online). I used some lexicons and did research here adn there on historical context. I prayed a lot, begging for wisdom. Nothing else. No Paul– because he is so easy to twist and if we know Jesus Christ we can understand Paul better. (Even Peter said he was hard to understand!)

    Then I went from there. It changed my life. I had more Holy Spirit radar than ever. I could spot flags a mile away. It is all about knowing Jesus Christ. He was no door mat, either, contrary to how many want to position him. He was also not a cage fighter. He was compassionate, on mission, just, merciful and dished it out to the religious leaders of his own tribe. People also miss the huge political overtones historically. It was astonishing to learn that many young jewish men had been crucified before and after Jesus Christ. Only ONE resurrected. But think how so many pastors want us to stay at the cross and not live out the resurrection. This became HUGE for me.

    I do believe starting with Jesus Christ is paramount. Just the Gospels. Jesus Christ is the exact representation of God. Now, how about the God of the OT? You think we have misunderstood a few things because of the filter we were taught to read it through? I do. Jesus Christ is the representation of God: There are a lot of people who don’t really want you to believe that. It is inconvenient. Mainly because you won’t need them anymore to explain it to you. And that is how they get paid.

    Once you get past that part, you will start having gut checks when you do read scholars. You will only question more. Because we must realize that having perfect doctrine is not the goal. Reflecting Jesus Christ back out to the world is the goal. Even the demons have “correct doctrine” and tremble. :o)

    Like

  57. Lydia … You know your testimony sounds very much like ours and it’s too bad we couldn’t meet face to face and ‘share’ what the Lord has been teaching each of us.
    I have a background in broadcasting/commercial writing … so when the Lord saved me it was a little alarming for me to witness as you say, the seeker friendly, market driven drivel entering our ‘c’hurches. AND as I eventually drew away from corporate fellowship, well, it was then and there that the Lord indeed did show me that I wasn’t imagining it the apostasy.
    There is no doubt that keeping my mind, heart and eyes on the Word is what kept me somewhat sane as my marriage was also disintegrating due to much deceitfulness under the guise of being a Christian spouse.
    Yes, we probably had different questions and probably some the same; yes, the Lord has put each Pilgrim on his/her own unique journey just as we alone are accountable for our own lives before Him.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer and share, however I feel badly that you don’t have the freedom to share who you have possibly gleaned Biblical knowledge from but I accept your reluctance. It’s taken years of hardship to learn that we are to beware wolves within ‘the body’, however, God has expressed that He does appoint certain individuals to be shepherds, teachers, elders, etc. References are made to “the body of Christ”. God’s will would be that we be within a healthy body and it takes loving leadership to keep the body healthy and uncontaminated.
    Pastor Jeff Crippen at A CRY FOR JUSTICE had a wake up call concerning domestic and spiritual abuse within the church. He lost much of the congregation as he preached out against it. We need more like him for souls like us.
    I’m an old farm gal … sheep need someone to care for them, however it must be a shepherd who has received the ultimate training from the awesome Shepherd, Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/resources/sermons/

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  58. healingInHim,

    You are one of the most humble people that I have come across on blogs like this from the opposing side. That is a blessing to see.

    In regards to your last to Lydia,

    John 10:11-13
    11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 The hired man is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when the hired man sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired man. He does not care about the sheep.

    You also mentioned the word “elder”. Remember the old saying to “Respect your elders”? That was not at all in reference to religion, nor was it in any reference to anyone who has authority over you. It has to do with someone who is older than you only. And why is that important? Because they have “Lived Life”. That, and that alone shows that they have wisdom. That’s all.

    So, when we get to “religion” in association with the word “elder”, that elder is there to SERVE YOU, not for you to serve him. He is to give wise advice, not to lord over you.

    1 Peter 5:3
    Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.

    Luke 22:25-26
    25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the nations hold power over their people. And those who order them around call themselves Protectors. 26 But you must not be like that. Instead, the most important among you should be like the youngest. The one who rules should be like the one who serves.

    Mark 10:
    42 Jesus called them together. He said, “You know about those who are rulers of the nations. They hold power over their people. Their high officials order them around. 43 Don’t be like that. Instead, anyone who wants to be important among you must be your servant.

    Note that verse 43 states the word “WANTS”, “WANTS TO BE IMPORTANT”.

    Be careful when you state that God appointed certain individuals. Jesus is the owner, He is the Shepherd. We hear his voice. What you perceive as God appointed is most of the time, self anointed. They are the hired hand that will scatter you. They do not care for you. But Jesus does.

    Pay to pray? Pay to be a slave? Some of those self anointed are very rich off of people. Very rich.

    Ed

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  59. “Thank you for taking the time to answer and share, however I feel badly that you don’t have the freedom to share who you have possibly gleaned Biblical knowledge from but I accept your reluctance.”

    I is not really about freedom but because it was so disjointed and bizarre. I studied the Reformers, early church fathers and even the German stuff considered heresy by SBTS and many others. I agree and disagree with all of what I studied I love history so it was often a combination of the two. The more I read the dumber I felt and kept coming back to: Jesus loves me….this I know. And Micah 6:8

    “It’s taken years of hardship to learn that we are to beware wolves within ‘the body’, however, God has expressed that He does appoint certain individuals to be shepherds, teachers, elders, etc. References are made to “the body of Christ”. God’s will would be that we be within a healthy body and it takes loving leadership to keep the body healthy and uncontaminated.”‘

    I totally disagree with this thinking and even did a word study on the word “appoint” once which was amusing. One of the uses in Greek is “hand stretching”. I am a big believer in free will. We choose who we listen to and who influences us in all walks of life including church. I see this often in folks that come out of cults. The thinking is, “If only I could find the right leaders”. It does not work that way. You could spend your whole life doing that and even then loving leaders can turn into tyrants eventually. This thinking is the cause of most spiritual abuse.

    “I’m an old farm gal … sheep need someone to care for them, however it must be a shepherd who has received the ultimate training from the awesome Shepherd, Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ.”

    I also advise against taking metaphors too far. The pastor is just as much a sheep as you are. Paul described himself as an “underrower” which is the bottom level of a ship where slaves rowed. The lowest place you can get.

    The elder is sheep. The elders were the ones who were fed to the lions first so the others could get away. There is no caste system within the sheep. There are functions and gifting’s. (The word “office” was added by the translators) But these functions are fluid. Not static. YOU can receive the ultimate training from the Shepherd, too. Read 1 John. We all have anointing if we are true believers. We don’t need anyone to “teach” us, either. You have the same Holy Spirit anyone with a Christianese title has.

    There is a Holy Priesthood and within it, we are all priests.

    Blessings to you!

    Like

  60. chapmaned24 – dare I say I’m “humbled” at what I consider a compliment in calling me ‘humble’ … considering my present circumstances with many turning against me and certainly not considering me to be ‘humble’; well, I was somewhat taken aback.
    Lydia, chapmaned24 and others who have commented to me, please be reassured that I have not neglected your input. I would like to say more but have had another ‘full’ day.
    “Thank you, dear Lord for praying saints and Your infallible Word, given to us so that we may serve You with a pure heart.” Blessings to all, IN CHRIST

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