Archive for category Authority

Walk the Talk

walk_the_talkI like to hear Gwyenth Paltrow sing. She’s really good at singing! Unfortunately, she can’t keep her big mouth shut when she’s not singing. Recently, in an interview with Marie Claire, she regurgitated her views about her divorce from Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin. She stated, “We’re very, very close, and it’s so nice… I feel like it’s, in a way, the relationship we were meant to have.” Sadly, people in the music and entertainment industry have been excusing themselves for their lack of moral fortitude since the beginning of time.  I’m not really aghast at their behavior (even though it is appalling) but rather am shocked at their continual lies and self-absorbed beliefs, that they have mastered sinfulness, and are quite happy in it! I’ve not once talked to or seen up close those who have been in a divorce come out of the experience feeling like everything was just hunky-dory. To the contrary, divorce is irreversibly damaging and for some who have put away their spouse for reasons other than what God described, eternally condemnable. (Matt.19:8-9; 1 Cor.7; Mal.2:16)

Perhaps the more reprehensible aspect of this statement is that Ms. Paltrow has now put herself forth as an authority on the moral relativism of divorce. Her words carry no weight for me mind you, but to millions of followers and/or admirers, her blanket endorsement of how great and wonderful divorce is will give license for them to follow suit.   Gwyneth Paltrow is leading and others are following her lead. She’s not the only one of course, but like her many in the entertainment realm have openly endorsed wrong behavior (fornication for example), and publically condemned good behavior.

The question then becomes, how do we, as Christians, fight this unseemly and unfathomable wave of the “New Moral High ground”?  The answer is quite simple. We must live and lead with God’s eternal righteousness. Paul, I believe, said it best in the Roman letter, Rom 2:13  For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. The point is, rather than spouting off moral code (as does Ms. Paltrow), shouldn’t we be living morally?  Behavior is contagious.  We see this with the example of the way we dress and present ourselves before others.  If one man decides it’s fashionable to wear a beard, soon many will follow.  If we, who claim to be morally upright, live morally so others will see, soon others will follow.  However, for every day we hide our Glorious Father, we are susceptible to follow the lead of those we shouldn’t.  We must not be followers of the ungodly, but leaders of righteousness.  If we are leaders, then we best lead by being doers of His righteousness.
 1Pe 2:12  Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Ms. Paltrow is unequivocally wrong about divorce. It’s not nice, nor is it the way marriage was meant to be.

If we expect to make a difference in the lives of others, we must preach the true moral high ground, then live it!  When they see us living it, they may want to live it, too.

Darryl Fuller

By who’s Authority

I received the other day a disturbing but eye opening email forwarded from David Thomley, a faithful gospel preacher in the Nashville area.  The information Brother Thomley  shared concerned a young woman who is an “intern preacher”, for the 4th Avenue church of Christ in Franklin, Tennessee.  A link was provided in which a video of this young girl was being introduced to the congregation (posted on Facebook), in which she proclaims her gift of the Holy Spirit and calling to preach the gospel. To watch the video is to take a bath in religious postmodernism.  It shows in 9 minutes the essence of this growing trend toward “direct guidance of the Holy Spirit”, to the abdication of God’s word.  The issue I raise here is not the subjugation of women or teaching or preaching before a congregation of God’s people. Although, God commands that women are to keep silent in the church (1 Cor.14:25, 34; 1 Tim.2:11-12; Eph.5:33; 1 Pet.3:1-6) this does not mean they are inferior! Women play as critical a role in proclaiming the gospel to the world and demonstrating Christ in their lives as do men. Women and men alike however, are both subject to Christ, who is our head. God is not the author of confusion (1Cor.14:33), but rather did everything  in order and with dominions, or rulers.   For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Col.1:16-17. The issue then is not whether women can preach in church, but by what authority can we do or say anything “in church.” The above examples displays an appalling disregard for Christ’s authority.

We currently face an onslaught of Postmodern thinking, with the continual mantra, “Question authority!” If you’ve watched or read the news lately, you know what I mean.  Not just in Ferguson, Missouri or New York City, but in places like Franklin Tennessee and Columbiana, Alabama, people are beginning to question our seats of authority.  Each day more and more  people gripe and complain about our government, leading to an erosion of respect, contributing to disobedience, and ultimately leading to anarchy.  When people lose faith and respect for the rule of law eventually those laws cease to have power to protect, and then it’s every man for himself.  A great example is the semi lawless state we saw in our country after the Civil war.  For 20-30 years, especially out west, the rule of law was in a man’s pistols.  Disillusioned by the war, cynical of the North, discouraged over the destruction of the South, men gave up on the rule of law and made their own laws.  God warns us that in order to have peaceful and prosperous lives, we must have complete confidence in Him and the governments he has so ordained.(Rom.13:1-3)

More perilous than civil disrespect is the lack of respect for God’s authority. If it becomes chic and passé to reject man’s authority, God’s authority is ultimately negated as well. This was seen in the days of the Judges when it was said;   In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:25,  and also  in Judges 2:13  They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.  God provided His word and command in a very clear and concise manner.  Those who say that the Bible is open to interpretation are void of understanding.  They seek to accomplish their will and agenda by questioning God’s.   How hard can it be to see that the Bible teaches that one is to be baptized in order to be saved, or that only those that call on Jesus’ name and not Mohammad’s  shall inherit eternal life? How difficult is it for those to see that, fornication, disrespect for God’s authority and women performing in the roles of authority are abhorrent to God?  To question whether or not a person can do these things and still have fellowship with God is to question God’s authority.  Paul may have penned his letters 2000 years ago and they may not fit with our times, but he was only dictating from Him who is was and is and shall ever be.

Darryl Fuller

Message and Messengers

One obstacle, when teaching the gospel, is defending the truth against those who question the authority or integrity of God’s word.  I recently had a conversation with a woman who claimed to be a minister in “her church” (she was correct here, it certainly wasn’t the Lord’s church!) I quoted to her  1Co 14:33-34  For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints,  the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. Her retort, “Paul is old school and we live in a new day when women have been liberated from such tyranny.” Her defense was to attack the messenger and his message. It’s the age-old argument that Satan first used on Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; Gen 3:1  Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” Satan successfully planted seeds of doubt and rebellion in Eve’s heart by questioning the message and the Authority behind that message. Eve gave in to her desires, ate the fruit and the rest is the history of man’s rebellion against God’s authority.

The same thing is happening whenever I discuss or try to reason with those in regard to fornication, whether it is adultery or homosexuality.  People will often be quick to say, “Jesus never condemned it!” (Actually, He did in Matt.19:9). However, Satan’s tricks and sleight of hand are still at work; doubt the message and the messenger.   The problem stems from a lack of understanding or sheer rejection of God’s word; all of it!  The red letter addition of the bible was a clever way to help the reader distinguish the words that Jesus spoke as opposed to everyone else.  The problem is that we begin to give more weight to the words that Jesus said than the rest of God’s word.  2Ti 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,JFKCommission_wide-ad539059061c5dcec988ca81a18fac4544a8cb02-s6-c30

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy, many critics are now coming out in support of the Warren Commission’s finding, made some 49 years ago. The 7 member committee, appointed by President Johnson, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president and that there was no credible evidence to support a conspiracy by the government or other agents including the Soviet Union or Cuba. These men acted in good faith, and their different political and social backgrounds are evidence that any cover-up could not be contained. It carried the weight of authority invested upon those men by the President of the United States. Yet from the date of its release, the public questioned the report and the government. You could say that the very embodiment of the rebellious 60’s is connected to that report. Doubt the message and the messenger.

Jesus received His authority from God.  Before Jesus came to Earth, God spoke through Old Testament prophets, but now God speaks through His Son. Heb. 1:1-2. When Jesus did come to Earth, He spoke and taught only that which He was told to speak from God. [John 12:49,50; John 7:16; 8:28; Acts 3:20-23; 10:38; Luke 4:1,14,17-21]

Then, Jesus promised the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would come and teach them all things, guide them into all truth, and remind them of Jesus’ teachings. [John 14:26; 16:13] When they taught, they were not teaching from themselves, but the Spirit of the Father spoke through them. [Matthew 10:19,202 Timothy 3:16,17; Acts 1:5,8; 2:1-4,33; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Peter 3:2; Revelation 1:1

Then, the Holy Spirit revealed the things of God to Paul. Paul taught in words what the Spirit gave Him, just like the other Apostles did. As a result, he knew the mind of Christ. [1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 2:10-13,16; 14:37] The teachings of Paul came from God;  the same source of Jesus and of the other apostles. [Galatians 1:11,12; Ephesians 3:3-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:15; Romans 1:15,16; 15:15-19; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Acts 13:12; 16:32; 1 Cor. 11:23; 2 Corinthians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 5:27; 4:8] All of them spoke the will of God as revealed to them by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles’ teaching was as accurate and as authoritative as Jesus’ teaching. All spoke with the infallible authority of God.

The report is out! Believe and obey the message and the messengers.

Darryl Fuller