happy feet

August 4, 2017

Image result for picture of happy feet

This week I was reminded of the story of a little girl who went to visit her grandparents. It seems as though they held Sunday as the Lord’s day, and holy. They thought it should be a day of quietness, to walk, not run in it, and that the Bible was the only book that should be read. The granddaughter could not swing nor gather the flowers that grew in the pasture. While grandpa was taking his nap, she asked for permission to walk to the gate, and received it. Along the fence she stopped to watch the old mule, standing with his head bowed and his eyes closed. Reaching through the fence, she said, “Poor old fellow, have you got religion, too?”

“The Law lays it down that the Sabbath Day is to be kept holy, and that on it no work is to be done. That is a great principle. But these Jewish legalists had a passion for definition. So they asked: What is work? All kinds of things were classified as work. For instance, to carry a burden on the Sabbath Day is to work. But next a burden has to be defined. So the Scribal Law lays it down that a burden is ‘food equal in weight to a dried fig, enough wine for mixing in a goblet, milk enough for one swallow, honey enough to put upon a wound, oil enough to anoint a small member, water enough to moisten an eye-salve, paper enough to write a customs house notice upon, ink enough to write two letters of the alphabet, reed enough to make a pen’—and so on endlessly. So they spent endless hours arguing whether a man could or could not lift a lamp from one place to another on the Sabbath, whether a tailor committed a sin if he went out with a needle in his robe, whether a woman might wear a brooch or false hair, even if a man might go out on the Sabbath with artificial teeth or an artificial limb, if a man might lift his child on the Sabbath Day. These things to them were the essence of religion. Their religion was a legalism of petty rules and regulations.”

Nothing will kill a church, defeat a pastor or drive out members of the church like legalism.

Having spent several years as an evangelist in both the bible belt and the New England states. I knew if pulled up to church and there were only a few cars, I might be in for a hard time. When you walked in the church you knew right away if you were going to meet brother love or mister done wrong on everything.

And for some reason Pentecostal churches seem to attract more than a few shares of stuffed shirt.

Oh, you could dance in aisles and shout “glory” but don’t sing the wrong song, or wear short sleeves on Sunday morning.

I once pastored a church where the little old ladies sat on the front row with blankets, so that when the altar call was given, they could lay the blankets across the young ladies’ legs if they deemed the skirts to short. Man, that was a tough church and it had a reputation of spitting out pastors every 12-18 months. I managed to stay 6 years. Talk about a rollercoaster experience.

Our Lord persistently and publicly chose to violate these traditions and to preach against them (cf. Mark 7:1-13). As a result of His refusal to comply to scribal regulations and traditions, the Lord Jesus earned the reputation of one who had no regard for the Law. In fact He was accused of setting aside the Law in deference to His own (new) teachings. The scribes and Pharisees who were regarded (at least among their own ranks) as the guardians of the Law were condemned by Jesus as hypocrites (Matthew 6:1,2,5,16; cf. 15:1-9; chapter 23).

So there must be balance in our Christian life, enough rules to keep on the straight and narrow, but enough liberty to actually enjoy the Christian life.

One secret is find a church with happy people, seriously, (pardon the pun) but a joyous, loving church will make every aspect more pleasant, regardless which side of the pulpit your on.

So good luck to those that are looking for a new church home.

P.S. avoid the kool-aid

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

HEY, I JUST REPORT THE NEWS

January 10, 2017

HEY, I JUST REPORT THE NEWS!

Eve,” the serpent inquires in astonishment and disbelief, “something is bothering me. Is it really true that God forbade you two to eat of any of these trees? That perplexes me. After all, didn’t He pronounce everything ‘very good’? And hasn’t He put both you and King Adam in charge of it all? Our loving Creator wouldn’t impose so severe a limitation on you, would He? I don’t understand, Eve. Would you please explain this problem to me?”

Eve hadn’t even known there was a “problem.” But the Serpent’s prejudiced question unsettles her. It knocks her back on her heels. And so the Serpent engages Eve in a reevaluation of her life on his terms. She begins to feel that God’s command, which Adam had shared with her, has to be defended: “We are allowed to eat of these trees, serpent. But there is this one tree here in the center of the Garden—God said, ‘Don’t eat of it; don’t even touch it, lest you die’.” God had actually said, “You shall freely eat from any tree, with only one exception.” But Eve’s misquote reduces the lavish generosity of God’s word to the level of mere, perhaps grudging, permission: “We may eat from the trees.” Already the Garden doesn’t look quite the same to Eve. No longer is the Tree of Life at the center of things (cf. 2:9). She doesn’t even mention it. Now, in her perception of reality, the forbidden tree is at the center. Life is taking on a new, ominous feel. Eve also enlarges God’s prohibition with her own addition, “you may not touch it.” In her mind, the limitation is growing in significance. At the same time, she tones down God’s threat of punishment: “you shall surely die” becomes the weaker “lest you die.”

With Eve’s view of the consequences of sin weakened, the Serpent springs on that point: “You will not surely die.” Now we see that he hasn’t been seeking information at all. He knows exactly what God had said. And then the Serpent pretends to let Eve in on an important secret:

“Eve, I’m going to do you a favor. I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you deserve to know. God has a motive other than love for this restriction. The truth is that God wants to hold you back, to frustrate your potential. Don’t you realize that God Himself has this knowledge of good and evil? He knows what will enrich life and what will ruin life. And He knows that this fruit will give you two that same knowledge, so that you will rise to His level of understanding and control. Eve, it may come as a shock to you, but God is holding out on you. He is not your friend; He is your rival. “Now, Eve, you have to outwit Him. I know this Garden seems pleasant enough; but, really, it is a gigantic ploy, to keep you in your place, because God feels threatened by what the two of you could become. This tree, Eve, is your only chance to reach your potential. In fact, Eve, if you don’t eat of this tree, you will surely die!”

It was a lie big enough to reinterpret all of life and attractive enough to redirect Eve’s loyalty from God to Self. The lie told her that obedience is a suicidal plunge, that humility is demeaning, and that service is servility. And so Eve begins to feel the aggravation of an injustice which, in reality, does not exist.

Having planted the lie in her mind, the serpent now falls silent and allows Eve’s new perception of reality to take its own course (3:6). With Moses’ enablement, we can imagine what her thoughts might have been:

“It doesn’t look deadly, does it? In fact, it makes my mouth water! How could a good God prohibit such a good thing? How could a just God put it right here in front of us and then expect us to deny ourselves its pleasures? It’s intriguingly beautiful, too. And with the insight it affords, I can liberate us from dependence upon our Creator. And who knows? If He finds out we’ve caught on to Him, He’ll take this tree away and we’ll be stuck in this prison forever! Let’s eat it now while we have the chance!”

After his careful, detailed description of Eve’s deception, Moses describes the actual act of Adam and Eve’s sin very simply, as a matter of fact, without a hint of shock: “… she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (3:6b).

Mark well what the text says and what it does not say. The text does not say, “… she took some and ate it. Her husband, who was with her, also took some and ate it.” What actually happened is full of meaning. Eve usurped Adam’s headship and led the way into sin. And Adam, who (it seems) had stood by passively, allowing the deception to progress without decisive intervention—Adam, for his part, abandoned his post as head. Eve was deceived; Adam forsook his responsibility. Both were wrong and together they pulled the human race down into sin and death.

Isn’t it striking that we fell upon an occasion of sex role reversal? Are we to repeat this confusion forever? Are we to institutionalize it in evangelicalism in the name of the God who condemned it in the beginning?

But if Adam and Eve fell into sin together, why does Paul blame Adam for our fall in Romans 5:12-21? Why doesn’t Paul blame both Adam and Eve? Why does Genesis 3:7 say that it was only after Adam joined in the rebellion that the eyes of both of them were opened to their condition? Why does God call out to Adam, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)? Why doesn’t God summon both Adam and Eve to account together? Because, as the God-appointed head, Adam bore the primary responsibility to lead their partnership in a God-glorifying direction.

This may explain why Satan addressed Eve, rather than Adam, to begin with. Her calling was to help Adam as second-in-command in world rulership. If the roles had been reversed, if Eve had been created first and then Adam as her helper, the Serpent would doubtless have approached Adam. So Eve was not morally weaker than Adam. But Satan struck at Adam’s headship. His words had the effect of inviting Eve to assume primary responsibility at the moment of temptation: “You decide, Eve. You lead the way. Wouldn’t you rather be exercising headship?” Just as Satan himself fell through this very kind of reasoning, so he used it to great effect with Eve. Presumably, she really believed she could manage the partnership to both Adam’s and her own advantage, if she would only assert herself. Adam, by contrast, defied God with eyes wide open.

When confronted by God, Adam does not actually lie. He just shifts the blame to Eve: “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’” (3:12). Why is it that we all feel Adam’s face—saving, despicable hypocrisy in his factual, but evasive, reply to God? Because we recognize, if only intuitively, that Adam bears the final responsibility for what happened. Eve, when challenged, can only hang her head and admit, “The serpent deceived me” (3:13).

In 3:14-15, God curses the Serpent, condemning him to humiliation and to ultimate defeat under the victorious offspring of the woman. Our only hope as a fallen race is God’s merciful promise to defeat our enemy.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments and prayer requests to the email address above please

 

“We have allowed the enemy to come into our churches.

“What happens is we think we can fight the homosexual invasion by smiling and being real nice and loving,”   “We have to understand who the enemy is and what he wants — he wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation.”

“We have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with,”  “We have to be so careful about who we let into the churches. You have immoral people that have malice and wicked intent who get into the churches and  begin to affect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”

“So, I’m going to encourage you the church to take a stand for Christ,” “To be the a church, to take a stand for righteousness.  And homosexuality is still a sin, you can’t be a practicing homosexual and claim to be a Christian–  we have allowed them into our schools – that’s why I want to get the school boards back — homosexuality is taught to be okay in our universities, and you have all these diversity classes and all these nice names that they come up with promoting and pushing homosexuality.”

“Listen, I’m not here to bash gays, I don’t want to do that – and God does love them. I have people ask me, can a gay person go to Heaven? Absolutely, sure.”

“But the gay person is going to have to repent of their sins and turn from their sins, leave their sins,”  “And they have to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him as their Savior. They have to be willing to follow him as their Lord.”

“But you cannot stay gay and continue to call yourself a Christian,” “You can’t do it.”

“You know, it’s a whole lot broader than just the gay agenda. L-G-B-T. People are militant, intolerant and hate all Christians. When they say people have this inclination and want to fall in love and want to express this in the form of marriage and so on, they have no idea what a Godly marriage is and now want to adopt and spread their anti-god message.

 “L-G-B-T. You know what the B stands for? Bisexual.  That is lots of sex with lots of people.” The average homosexual (age 18- 50) has over 300 different sexual partners in a year. I believe there is a no unhappier person than the homosexual. We have an opportunity to show them the joy of the Lord that a changed life can bring.

Are there Christian churches and Christian people that have handled this all wrong and not been the love of God, yes, but we cannot be ignorant of the peril and accepting the idea that it is an alternate lifestyle. Read the first three chapters of Genesis, God had no plan, ever for this sinful lifestyle. I’ve said this before and it’s not a joke, there was only Adam and Eve and not two Bob’s. God’s plan has always been for a man and a woman to be wed in marriage and that is the basis for the family.

There shouldn’t be one pastor, Sunday school teacher, deacon, elder or day care worker or janitor or secretary working in a church that has not gone through a thorough background check.  We have a duty to protect our families and also not cause confusion on where the church stands.

Send your hate mail, questions, comments and prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And yes,, people can leave this lifestyle and be set free and lead wonderful lives either celibate for the rest of their lives or in a consecrated marriage of one man and one woman.

the bible

I am a big, big fan of the old testament , great character studies, we will start part one in the life a Asa, a man who started our great and finished out rotten.

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God 2 chron 14:2

If you read chapter 14 you find out Asa is king of Judah and he started out completely dedicated to God; in verses 3-7 we find him doing good work.

3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.

7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars.

He has spiritual confidence, and a plan that will please God; he is cleaning up his half of the kingdom by cleaning out all the false idols and false god (something we need to continue to do even in this day and age)

Verse 4, as king he commands Judah to seek God; (pardon the commentary, but I don’t see our current Government leaders doing that to fix our country) and because of spiritual cleaning the country was at rest.

Now here’s an interesting verse; look at verse 6; in a time of peace he built up the kingdom for war. As a martial arts,  gun fighting practitioner  , knife fighting attack kind of guy myself this is a great life code. You can’t be prepared during the battle, you will fight the way you train, no training equals poor fighting.

So it is in spiritual warfare, if you are not prayed up, close to God, when the spiritual battle happens you will collapse like a house of cards. So get your spiritual groove on, pray often, read your bible, seek God’s guidance in all you do and the result will be… (verse 7) The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side

By doing right by God “the land is still ours” you will retain your spiritual inheritance, and you get to rest.

Imagine being at peace, and restful, not burdened with fears, doubts and worry; not plagued by carnal urges, not in slavery to substance abuse or violence.

Wow, is that great, so figure out what in your life has become and idol, (Webster defines idolatry as; “The definition of idolatry, according to Webster, is “the worship of idols or excessive devotion to, or reverence for some person or thing.” An idol is anything that replaces the one, true God.”)

So is anything or anyone in your life more important than God, hmmmmmmmm

Think about it and put everything and everyone in the right order in your life and you will have peace.

(stay tuned for part 2, as we continue the study of Asa. God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Remember Randy H, kidney surgery

Paula H, in hospice, not long now, has known the Lord for 89 years

Pray for Paul K, they keep putting of the surgery now til January

Paul C, the third year after his wife’s suicide, keep him in pray when he comes back stateside in January.

Marsha, she is just now starting to come to church. She’s wondering what’s it all about. Pray she keeps coming.

Pray for a new little church just starting in the area, “The TLC Church” the loving Christ church, hoping for big things in this little church.

 

just in case you wonder

November 28, 2016

the bible

Yes, I take the bible literally.

JUST IN CASE YOU WONDER

At first sight the fifth chapter of Genesis appears to be nothing more than a list of names interesting only to historians and theologians. But there is a recurring theme which is of profound interest to every human being. The theme is: “he lived … then he died.” It is important to remember that man has been given only two things to master: “how to live” and “how to die.” Despite his ability to conquer space and disease and other massive challenges it is ironic that he still struggles with the problems associated with living well and dying nobly.

 

 

There are two preliminary matters which need to be addressed concerning the fifth chapter. First, the longevity of these remarkable gentlemen and, secondly, the period of time which elapsed during their lifetimes. Methusaleh lived to the ripe old age of 969 and his forebear Jared lasted only seven years less. We hear occasionally of remarkable people living in remote areas of Siberia whose age far outstrips the life expectancy of other groups, and, of course, considerable attention has been paid to their diets and lifestyles to see if we can learn their secrets. Apparently a steady diet of yogurt has played a major part in their unusual health and vigor! But their lives are infant compared to the antediluvians.

 

 

Some scholars have suggested that the ages are not to be taken literally or perhaps that the life spans related not only to a person but also to the family that sprang from his loins. Others wonder if “years” were calculated differently in those long ago days. While keeping our minds open to what researchers may discover in these areas we see no reason to doubt that these men were probably an exceptionally hardy breed.

 

 

The other question relating to the time which elapsed during this period is important. Scholars like Ussher took these genealogies seriously when they tried to calculate the date of the creation. They assumed, understandably, that the genealogies were complete and that if they added up all the ages of the antediluvians they would arrive at an accurate figure for man’s first appearance on earth. Modern science has shown their calculations to be inaccurate and modern research has shown that the lists are by no means complete.

We now know that it was normal genealogical practice to omit whole generations so that the person who “begat” somebody else could as easily be his great, great, great grandfather (ad infinitum) as his father! Therefore we conclude that while these are real men who lived real lives of a stated duration we are not obliged to assume that the antediluvian period lasted for a period of time equaling the sum total of the ages recorded in Genesis 5.

God bless and have a great week from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

hhmmmmmmmm,

November 25, 2016

  There are far too many irresponsible believers. At the same time, there are far too many over-responsible believers who are seeking to carry out the Lord’s responsibilities. Our primary concern is to trust Him, and rest in Him, while ‘it is God who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us…in Christ” (2 Cor. 1:21, Amp.).

  “The good fight is the fight of faith. Nothing is easier than to step out of faith into feeling, or sight. But then it is failure, and no longer a fight of faith. When we abide in the Lord Jesus, the force of the assault is borne by Him. He takes the strain and the burden; whilst the believer passes into His triumphs, and is kept in perfect peace through it all.

 The believer then understands the meaning of Asa’s words: ‘Lord, it is nothing with Thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power….O Lord, Thou art our God; let not man prevail against Thee… (2 Chron. 14:11). Against us? No; against Thee! Why? Because the battle is the Lord’s! How often we have looked at the battle as ours and have asked that man shall not prevail against us. But perhaps you are not wholly on the Lord’s side; and this may be the secret of your failure. If you want continuous victory, you must be on the side of Him who knows no defeat. The question is not whether the Lord is on your side, but whether you are on the Lord’s side.

  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isa. 26:3).

  3-7. Imitating Is Imitation

  “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21).

  Once we learn the truth of our union with the Lord Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, any attempt to imitate Christ will be seen for what it is: unscriptural, and futile.

 Our Father is going to teach us, mainly through personal failure, that the life we live is the life of our Lord Jesus alone. The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; ‘no longer I, but Christ.’

 The end of Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection was to prepare and form an holy nature and frame for us in Himself, to be communicated to us by union and fellowship with Him; and not to be able to produce in ourselves the first originals of such an holy nature by our own endeavors.

 The believer’s true education is in the growth of Christ within. The Church’s real ministry is not multitudinous public services, so-called, but the forming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the lives of His people; the reproduction of Christ; epistles made alive by the Holy Spirit, to be seen and read of all men.

 There is no answer to infidelity like the life of the Lord Jesus displayed through the Christian. Nothing puts the madness of the infidel, and the folly of the superstitious more to shame and silence than the humble, quiet, devoted walk of a thorough-going, heavenly-minded, and divinely-taught believer.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Blessings

the plan

November 21, 2016

Image result for picture of blueprints

Crucified with Him” (Rom. 6:6).

  Often when a believer finally sees his identification with the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection, as set forth in Romans Six, he will then seek to experience it by self-effort. The net result: Romans Seven!

 As our Substitute He went to the Cross alone, without us, to pay the penalty of our sins; as our Representative He took us with Him to the Cross, and there, in the sight of God, we all died together with the Lord Jesus. We may be forgiven because He died in our stead; we may be delivered because we died with Him.

 God’s way of deliverance for us, a race of hopeless incurables, is to put us away in the Cross of His Son, and then to make a new beginning by re-creating us in union with Him, the Risen, Living One. It is the Holy Spirit who will make these great facts real and true in our experience as we depend upon Him; and so the plague of our hearts will be stayed, and we shall go on to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 The Holy Spirit so unites us to Christ that Christian experience becomes a reproduction in us of the essential facts of Christ’s fourfold revelation He died unto sin: with Him we died (Col. 2:20). He arose: with Him we are risen (Col. 3:1). He is in heaven: our life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). He will appear again: with Him we shall appear in glory (Col. 3:4).

  “Risen with Christ” (Col. 3:1).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

who’s your daddy

November 19, 2016

Image result for picture of a monkey holding a skull

It is encouraging to note that even though Adam and Eve’s relationship had undergone tremendous strain in the events leading to their expulsion they were still together and apparently committed to raising a family. There was a dedication to love which became evident in the succeeding generations. “Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch,” (Gen. 4, v. 17) and so the human race began to proliferate because men found women to love, produced children whom they loved, and so the mandate to be fruitful and multiply began to be fulfilled. Love was starting to make the world go ’round.

No schoolboy worth his salt has failed at some time to ask the question, “Where did Cain get his wife from?” It may not be the most profound question ever asked but it does address a fundamental question about the beginnings of the race. The important question it raises is, “Did the human race originate exclusively in Adam and Eve or were there other sources from which people like Cain’s wife could have come?” Those people who hold to evolutionary theories of the development of different segments of the human race are hard put to account for the remarkable similarities which exist between all segments, assuming they all developed from different sources under different circumstances. The factors that unite the Eskimos and the Masai, the Aucas and Aborigines are infinitely greater than those that divide them. They share a common physiology and demonstrate a common psychology. They are so similar physically that they are totally interfertile.

All these factors point to a common source of the race. Paul, of course, was unequivocal on the point, insisting that the fallenness of the race is attributable to its solidarity in Adam in the same way that salvation is available to all men through the mediation of Christ Jesus our Lord. We should, therefore, not hesitate to tell our schoolboy inquisitors that Adam and Eve no doubt had other children besides those who are named and that Cain presumably married one of them—hardly the normal thing to do but under the circumstances perfectly acceptable!

The human race apparently set to work with a vengeance. There was a dedication to labor. Abel was committed to a pastoral lifestyle; he “was a keeper of sheep” while Cain, we read, was an agriculturalist, “a tiller of the ground” (v. 2). Cain turned to architecture and “built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son—Enoch” (v. 17). Later on other activities developed including the artistic labor of Jubal and the industrial endeavors of Tubal-Cain, the former being an expert on “the harp and flute,” the latter a highly skilled craftsman in “bronze and iron” (vv. 21-22). While all this activity points to the development of a skilled civilization, it also poses problems for those who try to date exactly the civilization which is here described. But the dedication to labor is clear.

Some people are surprised to discover there was also a genuine dedication to the Lord. “Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat” (vv. 3-4). Leaving aside for the moment the well-known fact that only Abel’s offering was acceptable we note that both men displayed some degree of gratitude to the Lord for what had been produced through their labor. After the sad events which led to Abel’s death Seth was born, and under his influence and that of his sons “men began to call on the name of the Lord” (v. 26). The three fundamental areas of dedication through which the human race is blessed were firmly in place. But all was not well, for this was a fallen society.

How quickly we forget or deny we are a flawed race, the evolutionist relates us to monkeys, the humanist to a god and atheist elevates himself. What shouldn’t be lost in all this is the complete cycle of sinning and the need of redemption.

So here’s something we haven’t done before, a HOMEWORK assignment; take this week to tell everybody you believe that the book of Genesis is to be taken literally. Watch some eyes pop out. Go ahead shake them up.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Marilyn, recovery from a severe fall

Pray for Dave and his 5th bout with prostate cancer

the end of a fool

November 18, 2016

Image result for a picture of a dead fool

The Causes of Folly

I believe it is possible to reduce the causes of folly to two principle choices: the decision to distrust God and the decision to trust in one’s own heart.

First, the fool is one who has willfully determined not to follow the way of wisdom. Although wisdom has sought him out, he has refused and rejected her.

Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel, And did not want my reproof; . . . Because they hated knowledge, And did not choose the fear of the Lord (1:20-25,29).

The fool is not neutral toward wisdom, he hates it, and he loves the evil of his way (cf. 10:23;13:19; 29:27).

Second, one becomes a fool by trusting in himself. If one will not trust in God (1:7,29), he must trust in himself. Proverbs tells us that the fool is self-confident, trusting in his own wisdom, rather than in God and the counsel of those who are wise.

The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel (12:15).

To the fool, no one is more trustworthy, wise, or reliable than himself. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered (28:26).

Realizing the tendency of the fool to trust in himself enriches our understanding of one of the most familiar passages in the Book of Proverbs:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil (3:5-7).

The fool, trusting in his own understanding, rejects the fear of the Lord, and chooses to walk in the way of evil.

This decision to trust in self results in arrogance (21:24) and in a rejection of all authority, including that of one’s parents (15:5; 10:8). The fool is characterized by complacency (1:32).After all, who needs instruction, if he knows it all? Who needs correction who is never wrong? Who needs improvement, who has already arrived at wisdom and maturity? As a result, the fool has an autonomous spirit, and is reckless in his living (14:16).

How to Treat a Fool

Now that we have seen the characteristics of a fool and have learned the root causes of his folly, we must direct our attention to the treatment of a fool. Proverbs has a good deal to say on this subject, and nearly all of its instruction pertains to what we should not do. Our actions with regard to fools are often more negative than positive.

  1. WE SHOULD AVOID THE FOOL IF AT ALL POSSIBLE. While wisdom is not contagious to a fool, folly is to the wise; therefore, the wise man should avoid the fool.

Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge (14:7).

In addition, the fool is dangerous and harmful, and we should avoid him like a bear robbed of her cubs (17:12).

  1. THE FOOL SHOULD BE DRIVEN OUT. In those cases where we cannot leave the fool, the fool may need to be sent away.

Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease (22:10).

The New Testament teaches that Christians should not fellowship with professing Christians who are living in sin (I Cor. 5:9-13). The church is instructed to put out those who disregard biblical rebuke and correction (Matt. 18:15-17; I Cor. 5:5). The words of Paul to Titus seem closely related to the teaching of Proverbs that we should avoid the fool:

Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned (Titus 3:10-11).

  1. WE SHOULD NOT WASTE OUR INSTRUCTION ON FOOLS. In the New Testament Jesus taught that we should not “cast our pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6). In Proverbs, we are told not to attempt to teach fools:

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, For he will despise the wisdom of your words (23:9).

  1. WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW THE FOOL TO DRAG US DOWN TO HIS LEVEL. The fool is exasperating; he is looking for trouble, and he often tempts us to oblige him. Since the fool will spout off and speak his mind, we are tempted to lose our temper with him as well. Proverbs instructs us not to allow him to get the best of us, lest we be lowered to his level.

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you be like him (26:4).

  1. WE SHOULD NOT DIGNIFY A FOOL BY GIVING HIM UNDUE HONOR, SO THAT HE WILL-BE FLATTERED AND PUFFED UP EVEN FURTHER. The fool is pompous and proud, and he will take any positive strokes as a compliment. We should avoid giving him any honor.

Like snow in summer and rain in harvest, So honor is not fitting for a fool (26:1).

Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes (26:5).

  1. WE SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO CORRECT THE FOOL, FOR IN SO DOING WE WILL ONLY PUNISH OURSELVES. The fool is never open to rebuke or correction. Any effort to correct a fool by mere verbal rebuke is futile.

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, Reprove a wise man, and he will love you (9:7-8).

When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest (29:9).

  1. WE SHOULD NOT MAKE LIFE EASY FOR THE FOOL. While verbal rebuke is not effective with fools, we should not seek to cushion the painful effects of their folly. The “way of the transgressor is hard” (13:15) and so the folly of a fool will bring about many difficulties. These painful consequences of sin may be instrumental in bringing the fool to the end of his folly, but regardless, the painful blows of sin should not be softened.

In the mouth of the foolish is a rod for his back, But the lips of the wise will preserve them (14:3).

A fool’s lips bring strife, And his mouth calls for blows. A fool’s mouth is his ruin, And his lips are the snare of his soul (18:6-7).

Luxury is not fitting for a fool; Much less for a slave to rule over princes (19:10).

The prodigal son did not come to his senses until he was allowed to suffer the consequences of his folly (Luke 15:11-14).We must not hinder fools from entering the pig pens of life, for it is there that they may come to recognize their folly.

  1. FOOLS SHOULD BE SEVERELY DISCIPLINED. Fools do not learn from a lecture, but they cannot ignore physical pain. The only method of discipline for the fool is “the rod.”

A whip is for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, And a rod for the back of fools (26:3).

The fool may not learn even though he is severely disciplined, but others may learn a lesson by seeing the outcome of folly.

Strike a scoffer and the naive may become shrewd, But reprove one who has understanding and he will gain knowledge (19:25; cf. 21:11).

The preceding principles governing our treatment may incline us to draw the wrong conclusion. Are fools utterly hopeless? Should we not make any effort to turn them from their folly? What are the implications of Proverbs for evangelism? Since, in one sense, all unbelievers are fools because they have rejected the fear of the Lord, should we do nothing to win them to Christ? The answer to these questions is also found in Proverbs.

The point which Proverbs is stressing is that the fool cannot be reasoned from his folly, cannot be shamed from it, and likely cannot even be beaten from it (cf. 27:22).This should not, however, lead us to the conclusion that the fool is utterly hopeless and helpless. Everyone who does not know Christ is hopelessly lost apart from divine intervention. The reason why Proverbs teaches us not to try to reform a fool is that he must be transformed. The fool’s problem is one of the heart (3:5; 4:23).

Proverbs reminds us that if we would help deliver a fool from his folly he must be saved from his sin. Rather than working on the symptoms of folly, we must deal with the heart of the matter. Notice that in Proverbs wisdom offers herself to all men; and specifically the fool is urged to turn from his folly.

“How long, 0 naive ones, will you love simplicity? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing, And fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you (1:22-24).

“Come, eat of my food, And drink of the wine I have mixed. Forsake your folly and live, And proceed in the way of understanding” (9:5-6).

The solution for the fool is to turn from his folly, from trusting in himself, to fearing God. If we would help the fool it is by proclaiming to him the way of salvation, not trying to inform him (by teaching) or reform him (by rebuke and correction). It is only the gospel which transforms men through the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

 

the fool

November 16, 2016

Image result for picture of a fool

The Fool (Proverbs 26:1-11)

I met 5 people today, they believed in astrology, water witches, tarot cards, rune reading and reincarnation. But when I asked them about believing in Jesus they said it just seemed preposterous! Really, you have enough faith to believe in a Ouija board, but not the bible or the Lord God himself. Only a fool.

Certain people immediately come to our minds (only if you are as old as I am) with the mention of the word fool. The first person I thought of was the actor, Jerry Lewis, followed by the Three Stooges, Larry, Curly, and Mo, then the Marx Brothers, Maxwell Smart, Tim Conway, and Don Knotts. It is interesting to me that none of these men fit the definition which Proverbs gives us of the fool. The “fools” I thought of are all rather harmless creature, basically well-intentioned and innocent. All of them evoke a certain sense of pity, mixed with amusement. Not so with the fool in the Book of Proverbs. This is but one of the reasons why the study of “the fool” is important.

But if we take the words of our Lord seriously, we must begin by asking whether our study is sanctioned by Him in the light of His teaching in Matthew 5:22:

“But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother ‘Raca,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the hell of fire.”

In the Sermon on the Mount, of which this verse is a part, our Lord was attempting to show that He did not come to reduce the requirements of the Law, but to reinforce them so that they would be interpreted even more strictly than was common in Israel. Not only was it sinful to commit murder (5:21), but it was wrong to be angry with a brother (5:2f) because anger may lead to murder, just as lust may lead to immorality (5:27-30).24 To call a brother a fool is to declare him to be worthless. If a man is but a fool, a blight on society, it would be better for all if he were dead. To conclude that one is worthless, then, is to come to the conclusion that the world would best be rid of him, which is but one short step from murder. Our Lord did not condemn the assessment of a person’s character, but the assassination of one’s character.

Just as our Lord did not forbid us from discerning the character of fools, the Book of Proverbs commends this assessment as a necessity for those who would be wise. Several reasons are given for the need to discern between those who are fools and those who are wise.

  1. TO ASSOCIATE WITH FOOLS IS BOTH UNWISE AND UNPLEASANT. To some degree folly is contagious, and association with a fool tends to diminish our ability to discern truth from error and wisdom from folly.

Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge (14:7).

A fool is bound for his own destruction, and he will inevitably destroy everything in his path. Those who get in the way of the fool will get hurt.

Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, Rather than a fool in his folly (17:12).

The scoffer, the worst form of fool,25 is not only to be avoided, but is to be driven away.

Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out, Even strife and dishonor will cease (22:10).

If anyone needs to be able to recognize a fool it is the young man or woman who is seeking a life’s mate. There is nothing more miserable than to be married to a fool. While Proverbs takes the positive approach here, exalting the godly wife (e.g. 31:10-31), the fool should be avoided as a partner in marriage. Abigail was married to a fool (I Sam. 25), but God was gracious enough to deliver her by his death; but this is not the norm. She may not have had much to say about her marriage to Nabal, but you do, and will have to live with your mistake in a marriage partner.

  1. TO EMPLOY A FOOL IS A TRAGIC MISTAKE. Those who are responsible for hiring employees will want to take special note of the warnings of Proverbs to those who would hire a fool.

He cuts off his own feet, and drinks violence Who sends a message by the hand of a fool (26:6).

Like an archer who wounds everyone, So is he who hires a fool or who hires those who pass by (26:10).

  1. FOOLISHNESS IS INHERENT IN CHILDREN AND THEREFORE PARENTS MUST KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH FOLLY WHEN IT OCCURS.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of discipline will remove it far from him (22:15).

Proverbs offers hope to parents that foolishness can be cured if detected early and disciplined diligently.

  1. FOOLS MUST BE DEALT WITH DIFFERENTLY THAN THOSE WHO ARE WISE. We cannot deal with all men in the same way. Our response to people must be based on the kind of character they have demonstrated.

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, lest he hate you, Reprove a wise man, and he will love you (9:7-8).

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, Lest he be wise in his own eyes (26:4-5).

These considerations necessitate discerning the character of others and, in particular, that of a fool. Not only will we be able to see foolishness in others as a result of our study in Proverbs, we will also see a greater measure of it in ourselves. May God enable us to be honest with ourselves, to confess our foolishness, and to forsake it as sinful and destructive, both to ourselves and to others.

Tomorrow “pity the fool” nope, only on TV.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com