REPROOF OF GOOD MEN
(Friday Church News Notes, December 7, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) – Where did we get the idea that no warnings should be given in regard to good men and churches? That is one of the vain and unscriptural traditions that IFBaptists have inherited from their forefathers. All such reproof of good men is considered mean-spirited and divisive and wrong-headed, but Jesus reproved the good church at Ephesus for the very reason that He loved it and wanted to see it prosper and not be destroyed (Revelation 2:4-5).
Paul reproved the good preacher Peter because he loved Christ and the truth and didn’t want to see hypocrisy destroy the work of God (Galatians 2:11-14). The prophet Jehu reproved the good king Jehoshaphat for his compromise because God commanded him to do so and the prophet feared God more than man (2 Chron. 19:2). The Psalmist said, Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head… (Psa. 141:5).
MY CROWD (Friday Church News Notes, May 13 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
As for fellowship and association, I want a crowd today that is willing to raise the flag against compromise and apostasy high without hesitation — publicly, clearly, being willing to name the names of those who are leading in the compromise –without speaking out of both sides of the mouth, without facing two ways. I want a crowd that doesn’t just give lip service to the fact of growing compromise among IB churches but that warns plainly of such compromise and distances themselves from it in real, practical ways.
I want a crowd that not only preaches against Christian rock but also doesn’t hold hands with those who use it. I want a crowd that really hates the quick prayerism that has given multitudes of unconverted hell-bound sinners assurance of salvation and wants to distance themselves from those who practice it, not making excuses for it and not giving mere lip service to the importance of repentance.
I want a crowd that knows that Jack Hyles built a man-centered cult and not a New Testament church, a crowd that plainly, unhesitatingly, publicly exposes Jerry Falwell for the dangerous compromiser that he was instead of speaking sympathetically of him and only haltingly, vaguely mentioning his errors. I want a crowd that wouldn’t dream of sending staff members to Saddleback conferences or youth groups to Dollywood.
I want a crowd that understands that the very essence of New Evangelicalism is trimming one’s message down to the essentials for the sake of any sort of broader unity or fellowship, even for evangelism and world missions.
I want a crowd where a serious teaching-warning ministry like Way of Life is welcome and appreciated. Yes, I want a crowd that doesn’t take cheap shots at warning ministries. And I thank the Lord that there is still a crowd like this among IBaptists, though it is definitely in the minority.
The Third Commandment. Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” What does it mean to take the Name of GOD in vain? Is it just swearing and cussing? Or is there something more to it than that, and if there is, what? Swearing and cussing are definitely involved here, but this commandment goes further than just that; it not only deals with our outward words but our inward thoughts [~Matthew 12:34].
Many of us, Christians…Prayer Warriors, would never give sanction to the idea of swearing ourselves when we, for instance hit our fingers instead of the nailhead when using a hammer; but how many would exclaim “Oh, G…., Oh G…!” Or “J…!” Or “J…. C…!” when something horrific happens? This, too, is taking GOD’s Name in vain. Or how many ‘Christians’ tell someone a ‘little’ lie? Or get angry at another because they did something wrong? Yet JESUS has told us to: “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. ~Luke 6:27,28].
Being a Christian is more than just wearing the name of CHRIST. 1 John 2: 6 says: “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.. When a person wears the name Christian but doesn’t act or speak like CHRIST, they are breaking the third commandment by taking GOD’s Name in vain as well. Another meaning for this verse includes what is called “slang cussing” [~Colossians 3:8], but unfortunately many professing Christians come in this bracket.
The following ‘words’ are euphemisms, or substitutions, that are less direct or expressive than the real words or terms, according to Webster’s New World dictionary:
*Gee…a slang term for JESUS’ name.
*Geez…a slang term for JESUS’ name.
*Golly…a slang term for GOD.
*Gosh…a slang term for GOD.
*Go-darn…a slang curse about GOD doing something nasty.
*Holy Toledo…a slang term about holiness.
*Darn…a slang term for damn, a curse word. This word, in effect is calling GOD to take ones own side and condemning another.
Whenever a ‘professing’ Christian uses “dag-nabit” or “gosh-darn” or even “dar-nation,” each of these is a slang swear word.
*Holy cow…this is making light of GOD’s character – holiness is an attribute of GOD.
To use any of these substitutions for our heavenly Father’s or JESUS’ Name and/or character is the same as using it outright [~Colossians 4:6]. Beware of also telling jokes that use the person of GOD as a character within the joke. While it may not directly attack or mock Him, it is using Him in a light manner [~Ephesians 5:4].
Additional notes by Angela Trenholm
The tongue is definitely an area we all need help on! I’m very thankful for whoever the author of this devotional is.
To answer some questions and comments, the “Oh my goodness” is really a slang on the “Oh my G…”, but also, the whole term is unscriptural. What is good about us? The Bible clearly says there is nothing good about us, so why proclaim our own goodness?
This verse comes to mind:
Proverbs 20:6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?
I know I have used this term in the past and try very hard not too.
The term “Good night” is one I’ve used quite a bit, but I have never used it with the intent of a cuss word or heard others do so. It might be different for others. To me it has always been an exclamation equivalent to saying or an expression of confusion on a particular event.
When teaching our children about cussing, I have tried to explain to them that it is not necessarily the word that makes it a cuss word, but rather the intent behind it. Perfect examples are the words “hell” or “damn”. Neither are cuss words in themselves. It is the improper use of each word that turns them into cuss words at that time.
The point? Any word can be a cuss word if it is substituted in the place where a cuss word would normally be used.
So, when teaching our girls I basically tell them that if your intent is not proper, don’t say anything. The old adage “If you haven’t got anything good to say, then don’t say anything” sums it up very well.
| Christian Cussing?
Cussing, Swearing, & Profanity; A Matter of Opinion?
Timothy S. Morton
“Words Mean Things“
“For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
Needless to say, the Bible says a lot about words. It was with words God spoke creation into existence [Gen. 1:3], with words God revealed His will to man [Ex. 20:1], and with words Christ revealed the truths of eternal life making salvation available to mankind [John 6:63, John 6:68]. Words are the primary means of communication between men and to men. So much so that the Lord Jesus Christ is referred to as the “Word” [John 1:1]. He was God’s means of communicating to man. It is with words man can communicate back to God with prayer. However, man often uses words for a much less noble cause. The Bible refers to them as “vain words” [Eph. 5:6], “lying words” [Jer. 29:23], “corrupt words” [Dan. 2:9], “enticing words” [1Cor. 2:4], etc. But whether noble or vain, “words mean things.”
It does not take much imagination for one to believe that society in the 21st century is one of the vilest, vulgarest, and most profane in history. With the ease of communication today by radio, television, telephone, and Internet, vulgarity and profanity seems to multiply and abound. The mentality of most Americans and others is so warped and jaded that they believe they must be vulgar and profane to communicate the simplest idea.
Who among you that works in the world, shops in the world, or merely deals with people of the world does not hear obscene and profane words an a regular basis? One cannot go to a supposedly benign place such as mall, shopping center, or grocery store without being exposed to vulgarities from young “cursed children” [2Pet. 2:14] to crusty, vile seniors. If one ventures to a more worldly gathering such as a ballgame [especially high-school or college], most “music” concerts, or Nascar [or any other] race, then he exposes himself to such an onslaught of profane, obscene, vain, and vulgar words and behavior that a dozen Catholic “cardinals” with “holy water” couldn’t clean him up in a week. However, what should one expect from the world? Should we expect them to behave other than their nature requires them?
Christians, though, have a new nature that desires to speak “sound words” [2Tim. 1:13] “wholesome words” [1Tim. 6:3], comforting words [1Thes. 4:18]. Although this nature may also use words to “reprove, ” “rebuke, ” [2Tim. 4:2] or correct, it never uses truly profane or obscene words and never speaks about the Lord in vain. However, all believers some of the time and most believers most of the time do not allow their new nature to control them in their speech. They often get caught up in vain, meaningless talk and many, more than will admit, regularly cuss and swear.
Any type of cussing, swearing, “off-color” speech, or profanity brings harm to the cause of Christ. The world sometimes knows how a Christian is to behave more than some Christians. I don’t believe your author has ever encountered a lost worldling who thought it was proper for a Christian to cuss. As soon as a believer does and a lost person knows it, unless the believer sincerely and openly asks apologizes, he will not have a chance winning that lost person to Christ. The lost person will simply write the believer off as another hypocrite.
Over 20 years ago your author worked at a sawmill here in the hills, and as one can imagine some of the characters who worked there were pretty rough and “uncouth.” The “lifestyle” of some of them was vile and destructive and along with that there was little restraint in their “speech.” The day I started to work my boss was telling me about some of the people who worked there and mentioned one fellow they called “preacher.” I had only been saved for a year or so and relished at the thought of another believer working there. However, my boss continued, “…but he is not much of a preacher because he cusses all the time.” I soon learned that this “preacher, ” who had “Rev.” written on his hardhat, was a joke to the others. They mocked him as a hypocrite. Once the equipment he ran fouled while I was near and I heard first hand one of his cussing fits. If this fellow was a true believer [there is plenty of room for doubt] he was a disgrace to the cause of Christ. He had absolutely no respect from anyone.
This day and age society is so jaded and perverse that if a person doesn’t cuss or swear he is looked on as an oddity. But the plus side is he is often also respected. Your author has made it a point ever since he has been a Christian not to use any type of profanity or cussing, and the Lord has enabled him to do that for around 25 years. Not one person he has worked with can truthfully say they have heard him cuss. This is not to say the Devil has not on many occasions placed profane words in his thoughts, only that they have not come out of his mouth [Matt. 15:11].
You author has also found that once others realize he doesn’t join with them in their profanity, many of them restrain themselves in using it around him. Some even ask him, “Does my cussin’ offend you” and then promise to stop using it around him when he tells them he would rather not hear it. Where he works now he even overheard two fellow workers who didn’t know he was around “discussing” a broken piece of equipment that took considerable effort to repair, “This is enough to make Tim cuss” one said to the other. It wasn’t, and I didn’t, but I took it as a complement. Believer, what you say and don’t say more than anything else affect how others think of you and treat you.
What Are The Terms?
Before we go further lets look at some terms. What does it mean to “cuss, ” “swear, ” and be “profane.” The definitions below are from Websters 1828 dictionary except where noted. First look at “swear, “
SWEAR, v.i. pret. swore. [Eng. veer; L. assevero.] 1. To affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed.
4. To be profane; to practice profaneness.
An “oath” is much the same,
OATH, n. A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath, implies that the person imprecates his vengeance and renounces his favor if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it. A false oath is called perjury.
To be “profane” means,
PROFA’NE, a. [L. profanus; pro and fanum, a temple.] 1. Irreverent to any thing sacred; applied to persons. A man is profane when he takes the name of God in vain, or treats sacred things with abuse and irreverence.
2. Irreverent; proceeding from a contempt of sacred things, or implying it; as profane words or language; profane swearing.
“Curse” or the modern “cuss” means,
CURSE, v.t. pret. and pp. cursed or curst. 1. To utter a wish of evil against one; to imprecate evil upon; to call for mischief or injury to fall upon; to execrate. CURSE, n. 1. Malediction; the expression of a wish of evil to another.
2. Imprecation of evil.
And “vulgar” is defined as,
VULGAR , a. 1. Pertaining to the common unlettered people; as vulgar life.
2. Used or practiced by common people; as vulgar sports.
6. Mean; rustic; rude; low; unrefined; as vulgar ninds; vulgar manners.
Thus there are different types of “cussing.” One can be profane and take the name of the Lord in vain, he can swear or make a foolish oath in anger or sport, or he can use vulgar and base terms and expressions. Nevertheless, they all are works of the “old man” [Eph. 4:22].
Some ignorant believers often use expressions such as “My God, ” “God almighty, ” and even “Christ’s sakes” when speaking, but in nearly all cases this is taking the Lord’s name in vain. To profane God’s name or take it in vain it to merely use His name lightly or inappropriately. These people are not praying to God or using His name in an honorable way, but only using it as a “by-word.” They could just as easily say “My word” or “My soul” to express the same sentiment, but neither is this scriptural. One is not to swear by his word, soul, person or anything else [Matt. 5:36].
Although most Christians will refrain from using the obvious “cuss words, ” very many will lightly and carelessly use “minced oaths” from time to time. According to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia minced oaths are,
“corrupted forms of (usually religion-related) swear words that originally arose in English culture sometime before the Victorian Age, as part of the cultural impact of Puritanism after the Protestant Reformation.”
In other words these “oaths” are a veiled form of cussing, swearing, and profanity. During the Puritan era in England open cursing was largely shunned so, true to their nature, people invented other ways to “express themselves.” No wonder the Bible says of man,
“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:” [Rom 3:13-14]
The dog will return to its vomit every time [2Pet. 2:22]
So some of you won’t remain ignorant concerning what you say, below is a list of some oaths that are of a religious nature adapted from the list found on Wikipedia. Although both “God” and “damn” are Bible words, the use of these words together is offensive and thus some of the letters are blanked out in the definitions.
- Begorrah = By God
- Bejabbers = By Jesus
- Bleeding heck = Bloody Hell
- Blimey = Blind me
- Blinking heck = Bloody Hell
- Bloody = By Our Lady
- By George = By God
- By golly = By God’s body
- By gosh = By God
- By gum = By God
- By Jove = By God
- Cheese n’ Rice = Jesus Christ
- Chrissakes = For Christ’s sake
- Christmas = Christ
- Cor blimey = God blind me
- Crikey = Christ
- Criminy = Christ
- Cripes = Christ
- Crivvens = Christ defend us
- Dad gum = God d–n
- Dagnammit = Damnation, God d–n it
- Dagnabbit = Damnation, God d–n it
- Dang = Damn
- Dangnabbit = Damnation, God d–n it
- Dangnation = Damnation
- Darn = Damn
- Darnation = Damnation
- Doggone = God d–n or Dog on it
- Drat = God rot it
- Egad = A God
- For crying out loud = For Christ’s sake
- Gadzooks = God’s hooks (referring to the nails in Jesus on the cross)
- Gat Dangit = God d–n it
- G.D. (pronounced “jee dee”) = God d–n
- Gee = Jesus or Jerusalem
- Gee whizz = Jesus
- Gee willikers = Jesus or Jerusalem
- Gorblimey = God blind me
- Good grief = Good God
- Goodness gracious = Good God
- Gosh = God
- Gosh darned = God d–ned
- Heck = Hell
- Jason Crisp = Jesus Christ
- Jebus = Jesus
- Jeepers Creepers = Jesus Christ
- Jeez = Jesus
- Jeezy Creezy = Jesus Christ
- Jehoshaphat = Jesus
- Jesus wept = Jesus Christ
- Jiminy Christmas = Jesus Christ
- Jiminy Cricket = Jesus Christ
- Judas Priest = Jesus Christ
- Jumping Jehoshaphat = Jumping Jesus
- My goodness = My God
- SacrÃ© bleu = “sacred blue” = Sang de Dieu (“God’s blood”)
- Sam Hill = Hell
- Suffering succotash = Suffering Saviour
- Tarnation = Damnation
- Yumping Yiminy = Jumping Jesus
- Zounds or ‘Swounds = God’s wounds
“Shinola, ” “Shoot, ” “Shucks, ” “Sugar, ” etc., all refer to the modern and vulgar barnyard reference to dung. “Freaking, ” “Frickin, ” “Fudging, ” “Feck, ” “Fig, ” and other “F-words” obviously refer to the highly obscene and insulting “F-word” that is so commonly used by the ignorant, vulgar and profane. As often as it is used by some one would think it was the speaker’s middle name.
These words and similar can regularly be heard in Christian homes, work places, and even in churches. Some of you may claim you didn’t realize these seeming benign terms were “oaths.” Fair enough, but now you know [1Thes. 5:22].
Your author has been guilty of using some of them when he was younger, and even today catches himself using variations of them he heard as a child growing up in “Appalachia.” Just the other day he heard himself say “I declare” which is a form of “I swear” [Matt. 5:34-36; James 5:12]. He still uses old terms like “I reckon” for “I suppose” or “over yonder” for “over there, ” but “I declare, ” “I swan” or “I hope my die” are not acceptable. [Some of you are lost on these terms, but they are still common here in the hills.]
Bible Cuss Words?
If the reader has been reading his Bible long he has encountered what some call “Bible cuss words.” Some will ignorantly claim that cuss words can be found in the Bible and insist it as a justification for them to cuss, but this is just diabolical self-serving reasoning. Although there are places in the Bible where a person curses or berates another [1Sam. 17:43, 1Sam. 20:30], there are no cuss words in it per se. Even if there were that would not be a justification for anyone to use them as such.
The most notable word people mention is “piss” or “pisseth” found in eight places [2Kings 9:8, 2Kings 18:27, etc.], but this is not a cuss word. It is merely a word that describes a bodily function. That the world has taken it and others such as “hell, ” “damn, ” “dung, “ and a couple others and tried to make them into foul words is not the Bible’s fault. “Piss” and “pisseth against the wall” is the literal translation of the Hebrew. Most of the weakling new Bibles are afraid to translate these terms literally.
Cuss Words That Aren‘t
The warped and jaded society today fulfills the words of Isaiah 5:20 where the Lord says,
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ”
A prime example of this Satan inspired reversal of truth is today it is “politically” and “socially acceptable” for the “hero” of a movie or television show to routinely cuss, swear, and even take the Lord’s name in vain, while it is never correct for a hero to use a “racial epithet, ” “ethnic slur, ” or “sexual orientation” remark. Only the “bad guy” can stoop to such a low level. The lesson is in today’s society it is acceptable to swear with vulgar oaths and blaspheme the God of heaven, but it is never acceptable to use any word towards “your fellow man, ” no matter how factual, that anyone may deem a “slur” or “demeaning.” This is not only true for celebrities but for politicians and business as well. A politician may be overheard saying “God d–n” or “Jesus Christ” during an election campaign and it will be laughed off, but if one slipped and said “nigger, ” “spic, “ or “dyke” in any context then he would be severely ostracized and likely cast aside.
This is not to say one should use offensive terms without cause [Christ regurarly offended many with the truth (Matt. 13:57, Matt. 15:12)], but this fact proves that society and human nature is just like the Bible says it isâ€” “evil.” It loves the creature and ignores the creator [Rom. 1:25].
The Scriptures, however, are not as “sensitive” as many today. It reveals that the use of racial and ethnic remarks are sometimes warranted. The Lord referred to a woman who came to Him for help as a [Gentile] “dog” [Matt. 15:26] and referred to all Gentiles as such [Matt. 7:6]. Paul quoted a Cretian writer that said, “the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies” and assured Titus this was a true statement. Imagine a prominent person making such a blanket, ethnic statement today? He would be considered a prejudiced bigot. Paul was simply telling a truth he knew from experience. Certain ethnic and cultural groups do have prevailing characteristics. It is by no means wrong to state obvious facts.
Being born and raised in West Virginia has exposed your author to various ethnic slurs about those who live among the Appalachian Mountains. Unlike the highly tender ears of members of the NAACP and other groups, he is not offended or insulted by this type of remarks. The Pharisees regularly tried to insult Christ with remarks about his home town [John 7:52], birth, and mother [John 8:41]. They didn’t faze Him. Neither does it bother your author to be called a “hillbilly, ” “hick, ” “yokel, ” “white trash, ” “inbred, ” etc., who lives in the “armpit” [to put it nicely] of the country and speaks with an illiterate accent. When times get hard in this country, and they definitely will, these sophisticated “city-slickers” will be asking us undignified and unlearned hillbillies how to survive. As the Scriptures say, “But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” [1Cor. 14:38].
The Greatest “Hate Speech” Of All
There are three words that can be spoken that are the most hated and despised words as far as the world is concerned that can be uttered by any man. They diametrically oppose everything the world stands for and strives for. They are such great words of intolerance that highly trained “doctors” deem those who repeat them [and worst of all believe them] as mentally unstable and severe non-conformists in need of “therapy.” These three words, with their variations, if spoken publically will cause a person to die a violent death in many countries of the world. The same hated words will cause him to be imprisoned in others. Yet the Lord sends His people out to speak these words, in fact, to shout them from housetops. He sends them as sheep among wolves to proclaim the eternal truths encompassed in these words so others can join them in partaking in the precious promises belief in them provides.
What are these words you ask? What are the three words that the world and the Devil hates more than any other?
Jesus Christ Alone!
“Jesus Christ alone, ” “Jesus Christ only, ” “only by Christ, ” etc., they all declare that salvation is not in Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, and all the other religious quacks this world has produced, but only in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through His shed blood on the cross. The world will tolerate Christ being “a way” to God because this allows there to be other ways, but it will never tolerate one who insists Christ is the ONLY way to God. To it this is bigoted, narrow-minded hate speech of the highest order.
Among the “religious” one will hear references to “God” regularly. They will say “God this” and “God that.”
They will “pray to God, ” invoke God’s blessing, thank “God” for various things, tell people the “need God” in their life, and on and on. The problem is one doesn’t know who or what they are talking about. Who is this god of the media, sports stars, and politicians? This generic god can be anything from nature, self, even Satan.
To Louis Farakan, Osama Bin Ladan, and the other billion or so Moslems, “God” is some “moon god” named “Allah.” To Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the “Osmonds, ” “God” is some creature that used to be a man. To Shirley McClain, Dione Warwick, and other “new agers, ” “God” is some kind of pantheistic force that encompasses the whole universe. Again, when somebody speaks of “God, ” you don’t know what they are talking about. Anyone who assumes they are referring to the God of the Bible and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is gullible indeed.
Much the same can be said about the term “Christian.” The word “Christian” today usually has little to do with Christ or the Bible. To the majority of the people of the world when they hear the word they think of the pope and the Roman Catholic Church. They think that kook in Rome is the epitome of a “Christian.” Why anyone would think a clown who wears a Halloween costume year ’round, never led a person to Christ, and lives a life of abundance and ease is a Christian is beyond me, but most do.
Type the word “Christian” in a search engine [Google] and what comes up first? The “Christian Science Monitor.” As another has said, “Christian Science is neither Christian or science.” “Christian Science teaches that reality is an interpretation of Divine Mind, that Jesus was not the Christ, that His sacrifice did not clean from sin, that sickness and evil are illusions, and that the Bible can only be understood correctly through its teachings.” In other words they are a Christ and Bible denying cult.
Another group who uses the term Christian is the, “Southern Christian Leadership Conference” which is nothing more than a political [some say communist] organization designed to “achieve social, economic, and political justice.” It was founded by the “Reverend” Dr. Martain Luther King Jr. and the “Reverend” Jesse L. Jackson was a member. Jackson, the year after he was “ordained” a Baptist minister , told Life magizine, that when he worked as a waiter in a Greenville, South Carolina restaurant, he would spit into the soups and salads of white customers. He said, “[Spitting into the food] gave me a psychological gratification.” He also said, “The Bible is nothing but a succession of civil rights struggles by the Jewish people, against their oppressors.” Clearly, the term “Christian” doesn’t mean much of anything today and neither does the term “Reverend.”
That Holy Name
There is only one name in the universe that gets the attention of heaven. There is only one name that sinners can believe on and get their sins redeemed, their is only one name that will compel every person who ever lived to bow the knee and confess this name as Lord [Phil. 2:10]. That name is, of course, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. When a person says this holy name, then one can take notice because this is the name of a specific person who lived and still lives. There is little doubt to who he is referring, but this name is rarely heard in the world except in vain. It is the hated name. Hated on earth, but loved in heaven.
Christian, if you feel you need to “cuss, ” a little now and then why don’t you use speech that this present evil world deems as cussing instead of words that bring a reproach to your Lord? The next time you feel the urge to “let one rip” go out and tell someone how Jesus Christ alone can save them from a Devil’s Hell. You will offend a lot of people, but you will make your Father in heaven delight and the angels rejoice. Choose this day whom you mouth will serve [Josh. 24:15].
The rejection of separation begins softly and quietly. It is something that is difficult to put one’s finger on, something not easy to identify. And those who are at the outset of rejecting separatism are offended when someone challenges them that this might be happening. The rejection of separation begins with a mere change in mood toward a more positive emphasis, a greater tolerance of error. It is a gradual loss of militant zeal in the defense of the faith.Â The first step in the rejection of separation can be identified not so much by what a preacher or a church or a Bible College does or says as by what it fails to do and neglects to say.
The following questions can help identify whether or not an institution is giving up on separation:
Does it ever host a conference on separation?
Does it invite strong separatist preachers to blow the trumpet against compromise in a plain way?
Does it publicly and clearly identify itself with separatists?
Does it recommend literature on separation to its members? Or is separation something that was once preached, talked about, and practiced but now, for the most part, is left out of the agenda?
Is the institution affiliating with those who use Contemporary Christian Music and contemporary Southern Gospel (which is no different in character from CCM) and perhaps moving toward adopting this music itself? If so, this is a loud warning, because CCM is not just music; it is a philosophy of Christianity that is diametrically opposed to separatism and CCM and a separatist stance cannot and will not live in harmony for long.
Scriptural Tests for Modern Dilemmas
How Can I Decide What is Right?
Original Author Unknown
Edited and preached by Pastor Claude Madle
People’s Baptist Church,
Kelowna, BC, Canada
1. The Definite Command Test.
a. Is there a command or principle of Scripture that clearly and definitively addresses the issue in question? If so, the issue is settled once and for all.
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. John 12:48
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
b. Where there is no direct reference to the issue in question, the issue should be put under the scrutiny of the following tests listed below.
2. The Glory of God Test.
- Can I do it to the glory of God?
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Colossians 3:23
b. Can I do it in the name of Christ with His approval?
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
3. The Love Test.
a. Does genuine concern for others predominate over rationalization – (intellectual justification)?
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 1 Corinthians 8:1
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8
b. Will love for others prevail over my own personal desires?
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16
4. The Testimony Test.
a. Can it easily be construed to be evil or wrong?
Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1
b. Will it cast a negative shadow on the good I am doing?
Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
5. The Identify Test.
a. Will it reflect adversely on my identity as a child of God?
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29
b. Is it identified in the minds of others with that which is evil or wrong? Does it communicate a wrong message about me?
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2
And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. John 8:29
How about my music? What does it sound like at a distance? (ie. When you can’t understand the words.)
6. The Clear Conscience Test.
a. Is it doubtful?
And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23
b. Can I do it without reservation of conscience?
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16
7. The Total Commitment Test.
a. Is love for God the ultimate basis of determination of every issue?
But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 1 Corinthians 8:3
b. Is God’s approval more important than anything else to me? (Am I selling out?)
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:21
8. The “Temple” Test.
a. Does it result in harm to my physical body? (examples: drugs, alcohol, junk food, medical drugs, not getting enough sleep, etc.)
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
b. Does it give due reverence to this “dwelling place” of the Holy Spirit?
Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
9. The Stumbling Test.
a. Will it offend the conscience of a sincere Christian brother?
Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. Romans 14:13
b. Will it cause someone, whether saved or unsaved, to stumble?
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:25-33
Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 1 Corinthians 8:7-13
Concern for the other guy. Does my example help others walk to or away from Jesus?
10. The Edifying Test.
a. Does it contribute positively to my own spiritual upbuilding and strength?
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 1 Corinthians 10:23
b. Does it contribute positively to the upbuilding and strengthening of others?
Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. Romans 15:2
Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 1 Corinthians 14:1-4
11. The “Others First” Test.
a. Is it pleasing (helpful, inoffensive, acceptable) to others?
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. Romans 15:1-3
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:3-5
b. Does it consider the feelings of others first?
Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. 1 Corinthians 10:24
Example: Sunday is viewed as a “Holy Day” to the lost. What do I do on that day?
12. The Enslavement Test.
a. Is it addictive? It can be a good thing, but am I addicted to it? (Food, entertainment, internet, computer…..What or Who really has first place in my heart?)
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:12
b. Will it bring me into bondage?
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 2 Peter 2:19
13. The Heart Motive Test.
a. Does it come out of a pure (unmixed) heart?
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matthew 15:18-20
b. Does it come out of pure motives?
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15
14. The Fruit Test.
a. What is the product of the proposed course of conduct?
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:19-23
The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. Proverbs 10:16
b. Am I willing to put aside the immediate for the sake of the permanent?
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. Hebrews 11:24-26
15. The Defrauding Test.
a. Am I taking for my own pleasure that which really belongs to another?
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7
b. Am I taking for my own pleasure at the personal expense of another – his or her purity, sanctity, testimony, or life?
Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 1 Corinthians 6:1-8
Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 1 Corinthians 7:2-5
16. The “Garbage In” Test?
a. Am I willingly participating in my own temptation or in the corrupting of my own mind?
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalms 101:2-3
Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments. Psalms 119:137
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10:12
b. Am I protecting my own heart and mind in a responsible manner?
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? Job 31:1
17. The Intrinsic Value Test.
a. Is it good, worthy, of significance or of permanent value?
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10
b. Is it a waste of time and effort in the light of real needs and eternal valued?
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
18. The Wisdom Test.
a. What is the wisest thing to do in light of God’s will and considering the future vs. the present?
Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:5-7
How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver! Proverbs 16:16
He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good. Proverbs 19:8
b. What is the counsel from wise, godly people over me?
Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Proverbs 8:33
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 13:20
Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. Proverbs 19:20
If there’s any doubt, lean to the conservative side!
That which cools down or hinders my zeal for God is sin!