Ad Hominem ATTACKS pt5; Your mind is CLOSED

What are the pros and cons of a Fixed Mindset vs a Growth Mindset? - Quora

An open mind doesn’t mean acceptance of error.

 

The FIFTH ATTACK sounds like this: “You already have your mind made up. It’s obvious you’re CLOSED minded.”

Objectors (whether atheistic or religious) to Biblical truths will say that they’re objective and open minded, that it is people in cults like the church of Christ that are CLOSED minded. They may use words like; ‘fanatical’ ‘legalist’ ‘rigid’ ‘without grace.’ Is this true and is it fair? How could we answer this attack?

First, it’s important to note that they are just as CONSTANT in their position as you. Is it only the other guy that is closed minded? How come I’m the one that’s closed minded when they’re the ones arguing against the bible? Does the one who gives the attack first get to be the open minded one?

One of the ways to prevent this attack is to LISTEN before you respond. So often we begin answering before we even understand what the other person is asserting. “He that giveth answer before he heareth, It is folly and shame unto him.” [Prov 18:13]. It’s key that we LISTEN to understand them before we’re able to answer them effectively.

I am OPEN MINDED. I left the world and became a Christian based on the evidence for God, both internal scriptural evidence and external evidence. I am OPEN MINDED because I’ve accepted their challenges, listened to every one of their discussion points and then asked questions about them, citing scriptures. I am OPEN MINDED because I examine the scriptures daily to see if these things are so. [Acts 17:11; 1Thess 5:21] I am OPEN MINDED because I examine myself, whether I’m in the faith. [2Cor 13:5]

Being ‘CLOSED MINDED’ is the terminology used by the antagonist. The Bible uses the word ‘STEADFASTNESS.’ We are to remain steadfast in our faith. “Fear not the things which thou art about to suffer: behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, and I will give thee the crown of life.” [Rev 2:10] Steadfastness, faithfulness will be perceived as being closed minded to the unbeliever. “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye STEDFAST, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.” [1Cor 15:58] How this verse sounds depends on the hearer, whether they believe the scriptures or disbelieve. (emph. mine seb)

Being closed minded is approved in other areas of life. There are EXAMPLES of their minds being made up. Are you closed minded against 7×7=28? Are you closed minded against the idea of a flat earth? Are you closed minded in favor of the idea that man went to the moon? Are you closed minded for the truth that George Washington was a real person?

DO NOT GET ANGRY and do not take it personally. Ad Hominem attacks usually come at the end of a person’s ability to defend their position. Maintain a positive and friendly demeanor as the scriptures say, “but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” [Eph 4:15] Always remain calm. If the person had a scripture, they’d produce it. The ones they do produce are taken out of context & distorted to prove their point. This is predictable, so prepare for it. “…as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” [2Peter 3:15]

Finally, we’re not here to win arguments, we’re trying to win souls to Christ, to show people the way to heaven. Always remember that.

–Spencer

 

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not LOVE, I am become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not LOVE, I am nothing. And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not LOVE, it profiteth me nothing. LOVE suffereth long, and is kind; LOVE envieth not; LOVE vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. But now abideth faith, hope, LOVE, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

[1Cor 13:1-7, 13] ASV

The Force Awakens

star wars

It’s been 32 years since Return of the Jedi, the final episode of the Star Wars trilogy that began in 1977 with episode IV A New Hope. Since the announcement of an episode 7, adults and children alike have endured a 2-year, Christmas like anticipation for the movie to finally arrive in Theaters, of which I am one.

Stories abound of fans scrambling to purchase tickets, pilgrimaging to theaters in droves, to be witness to the first public viewings. Folks have called in sick, one website offered a list of plausible excuses to use when you call off work, so as to be a part of this momentous event. Threats of “unfriending” folks from Facebook if they reveal any spoilers to those of us who have yet to navigate through the sea of people for one of the early showings.

This article shall neither bash those among the masses who make the trek to the early movies, adorned in their Jedi regalia, nor those who couldn’t give a rip that a new Spock movie just opened. (laugh if you got that joke.) No, just a comparison shall I draw. (laugh at that one too.)

I am curious about a few things, have we as a church ever posted online, for any amount of time, displaying our excitement for the coming day to worship our Lord and Savior? Or even better than that, the breathless anticipation of the Return Of The Christ? Oh how I long for the day we could anticipate the 1st day of the week, or His wonderful, triumphant return.

____________________________________________________
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. [Hebrews 10:25]
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I can’t believe you missed it!

Has anyone ever excitedly said to you, “I can’t believe you missed it!”, when referring to the Sunday worship that you had to miss due to illness or work? Have they ever gushed out every single line from the sermon, every emotion and every point drawn? No? Yeah, neither have I. What I HAVE heard was, “Missed you on Sunday”, in that tone as if they were really saying, “what kind of sin kept you from the worship?” Worse than that are those that say, “missed ya on Sunday”, but really saying, “I had to be there, why weren’t you?”

To be sure, If I were given a $200 million budget and 3 years, I may be able to produce a sermon entertaining enough to draw in the numbers comparable to Star Wars. But alas, I do not. I have 6 days to produce 4 lessons (2 sermons & 2 bible Classes). Not counting the myriad of other personal Bible studies, calls and questions I receive. No, my budget is far less.

We have no authority to do anything of the sort. We are to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” [Matthew 28:19-20] We have no authority to draw anyone by any carnal lust whether it be food, entertainment or money. No, we have the Gospel to draw folks in, drawn in with a “true heart in full assurance of faith” [Hebrews 10:22].

Our Lord warned us about such things. “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” [John 6:26-27]

He was pointing out that some will only come if you feed them with food, but they should be laboring for the spiritual food that brings about everlasting life. A preacher once said to me, “what a person is converted with, they are converted to.”

I have nothing against Star Wars or many other forms of non-sinful entertainment. The question I must ask myself, and you must ask yourself, is this; Do I care as much about the worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Triumphant return as I care about a movie?

Spencer Blackwelder
Evangelist, Borger, Tx

The faith of Abraham

 

The scriptures say, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Ro 4:3

Have you ever wondered what it was about Abraham to receive such praise? I have, so I looked into the Bible to see about this wonderful man. As I studied his life, I came across the story of God’s demand of Abraham…..

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Gen 22:1 KJV

You’ve heard the story before, but perhaps you have yet to notice one little part. It’s found in vs 3, after God commands him to take his only son and offer him as a burnt offering it says, “And Abraham ROSE UP EARLY..”

HE ROSE UP EARLY….

I have no idea about you, but ME, would I get up early to go and sacrifice my only son. I have 3 sons, would I rise early to sacrifice any of them? Abraham did. I wonder how well he actually slept that night. Was he worried, was he afraid, did he have any doubts?

To find the answer, we need to continue to study our bibles. As we do a word search, we would find this scripture;

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 8 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. Heb 11:17 KJV

I believe that Abraham had no worries, no doubt, no tossing and turning that night. He had non of these troubles because he knew, “…that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead;” NOW THAT’S FAITH!

He believed God, and then ROSE EARLY. I have a question; Would he have gotten the label as a man of faith had he failed to take Isaac to that mountain? Consider this verse and tell me if it has any bearing on the answer…

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, WHEN he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. Jas 2:17

I emphasized one of the words in that passage to point it out to you, WHEN. Abraham was justified WHEN he had offered Isaac. Abraham was fully convinced that God was able to do what He promised, just as he was fully convinced in Gen 15. (Rom 4:21) Are we in any different a position? We’re told to have faith, Heb 11:6, but how do we know that we have a faith like Abraham?

WHEN we do whatever God says.

  • Lu 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
  • Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • Joh 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

 

spencer

Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10

IYADWYADYAGWYAG

IYADWYADYAGWYAG 

If you always do what you always did you always get what you always got

I learned this saying about 20 years ago while managing a restaurant. The basic premise is this, if you want something better then you have to do something different. Einstein said it this way, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

In business that is a fine way to go about it. If a business fails to improve, grow or update their technology, they shall eventually die.

Change in the church

As awesome as this is in business, this is a very dangerous thing for the church. Many today feel that the church needs to change. They say….

The old ways produce so little fruit.
We need to bring the church or even the Gospel into the 21st century.
We need to preach a modern Gospel.
Let’s begin programs and organizations that will bring people into the church.
Let’s build Community centers and sports facilities.

While speaking with a pastor at a particular denomination, he commented that their Wednesday study had a larger attendance than their Sunday service. Why? “We feed ’em!” He was speaking of a weekly spaghetti dinner.

You and I would agree that feeding is most certainly required; Joh 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.-KJV

The “food” that one serves is what is at issue. Is that the point of the Gospel? Feeding people physical food, providing entertainment when we get bored? You see, what we’re converted with, we’re converted to. What happens when you take those things away?

What if following Jesus only provided salvation? Would that be enough?

Joh 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
27 “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” – NKJV

The Gospel as it was written is RELEVANT TODAY –

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. – ASV

Eph 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles–
2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,
3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,
4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), – NKJV

As you can see here and other places when you study your Bible, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is relevant today, tomorrow and forever.

A final thought…..

The Apostle Paul gives this warning about changing the Gospel……Ga 1:6 ¶ I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. – NKJV

If you always do what is GODS will, you always get what is GOD’S way!

Spencer
Borger, Tx