As a Christian, you might have noticed that there are a lot of Christian ministries, churches, and individuals who are associating themselves with the name Zion. You might also have noticed that a lot of modern day Christians are referring to Yahweh as the Light of Zion or the God of Zion or the something else of Zion. So what’s with all the talk about Zion? What exactly is Zion anyway? Most importantly, is God a fan of our ongoing obsession with this term? Or is this just one more misguided Christian tradition that we need to move past? The purpose of this post is to help you get Zion in proper perspective. Continue reading
Why do Christians today say that the entire Bible is God-breathed or Divinely inspired? Where do we get that idea from? We get it from the apostle Paul. Paul once said to Timothy:
All Scripture is Divinely inspired and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. (2 Tim. 3:16)
Of course when Paul said this, he was only talking about the Old Testament, because that was the only “Scripture” that he knew. But today when we quote Paul’s words, we pretend that he was referring to both the Old and New Testaments, even though the New Testament that you know today wasn’t compiled until long after Paul’s death. It simply doesn’t matter to you that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, Hebrews, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Revelation were all written after Paul had died. You still insist that when Paul said all Scripture was Divinely inspired, he was including documents that he’d never personally heard of. Are you starting to get a feel for how ludicrous the modern day application of Paul’s words is? Continue reading
Like the word grace, the word holy has multiple meanings. In the Bible, we find people, places, objects, actions, and God all being described as holy. This should immediately raise a red flag in our minds, because we should definitely not be viewing God Almighty on the same level as some cup or some human activity. In one passage Yahweh says that He is holy, and in another passage He says that the Israelites are a holy people. Obviously He is talking about two different kinds of holy because He certainly does not view Himself as being on the same level as human beings. Instead, He views Himself as infinitely superior to humans, which is why He says things like:
“All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of Yahweh blows on them.” (Isa. 40:6-7)
When we care about pleasing God, Satan will try to use our sincere desire to drive us to legalistic extremes. Idolatry is a prime example of this. At what point does something become an idol in your life? If we don’t have a proper understanding of idolatry, Satan can get us so paranoid that we feel guilty the moment we form any emotional attachments. This is not how God wants us to live. Humans are created as sensual, emotional beings. We naturally form emotional and psychological attachments to things which play important roles in our lives. God has no problems with this as long as we don’t get carried away.
If I show you a piece of blue material and I say “Is this darker or lighter?”, you are going to say, “Compared to what?” You can’t answer my question until I give you some standard to compare it to. It’s the same with the concept of idolatry. To simply ask, “Is this person or thing becoming too important to me?” is an incomplete question. We must first establish some standard that we are going to compare things by—some baseline measure by which we can say “If it’s more than this, it’s too much.” Continue reading