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Guest post by Heather Mertens

Changing words and ways over to a “reinterpreted” view, especially when done to fit an agenda, has certainly made its mark in this world by this new generation of “thinkers”. But how did they become so emboldened to change words to mean what they decide they should mean? A silent generation, that’s how.

It’s been proven throughout history that mass amounts of people will believe something, even something untrue, if they are told it enough times with loud enough voices.

The 1980’s ushered in the “I’m okay, you’re okay” worldview in the western world, which was birthed out of that silent generation’s children. But nothing lasts long these days. About 15 years or so ago, that all turned into “I’m okay because I’m going to do what I want and believe what I want. What you believe is irrelevant and unconcerning”.

Worse yet is what that mentality has turned into this past 5 years or so… the generation of “If I am okay that’s all that matters, and you HAVE to believe what I believe for me to be ok”.

Now, I never speak in gross generalizations, and I loathe labeling for the sake of lumping people groups together.  So, I know not every person in each of these generations fell into those agendas. However, a movement of sorts came out of each that has shaken the modern world’s particulars to the core. At least, to a great degree of certainty and observation, we can say this all to be true about the United States, which has led the world in freedoms… some run amok.

As far removed as this newest generation would love to believe that they’ve taken themselves from the few generations that paved a way many now regret, the truth is obvious and painful. They are in complete chaos. They took the adamant desire to “not be silent” and ran so far in the other direction that they feel a misguided obligation to essentially shove their very agendas down the throats of everyone else.

From a whole generation 75 years ago that cherished and expected silence came this generation of chaos to never be silent again.

And that silent generation has birthed this chaos.

To the world and in the world they were silent…

They were silent about sex.

They were silent about sexuality.

They were silent about identity.

They were silent about politics.

They were silent about God.

They were silent about giving a reason for their faith.

They were silent on so many things. And now there is chaos.

It might not have happened overnight in the last 75 years, but it happened rather quickly. And the masses have changed drastically in the last decade. Why? Because inside chaos people don’t know what they are hearing; they can’t tell which end is up. So they look around for clues.

You have the most signs? You talk the loudest and most often? People will listen. And people will believe what you say. Why? Because nearly an entire generation has lost its ability to think for itself. And why is that? Because the generation that came years before them was silent.

Silence got us to a point that we didn’t fight for what we knew was worth fighting for in life. Like life. 

Silence got us abortion on demand … because they demand it … “you HAVE to believe what I believe for me to be ok”.

Silence got us an identity crisis to exponential levels … because they demand it …  “you HAVE to believe what I believe for me to be ok”.

Silence got us redefined concepts of family … because they demand it…  “you HAVE to believe what I believe for me to be ok”.

Silence got us politics just shy of lunatics … because they demand it …  “you HAVE to believe what I believe for me to be ok”.

And they were silent about God and His Truth in public places. They were silent about most of these things in churches, too. In this regard, silence got us redefined churches by the whole denomination and “reinterpreted” Scripture to fit this chaotic culture.

Liberal theology, which was already far enough removed from actual Biblical Truth in many areas, became dominated by progressive politics.

And they’ve changed the language and meaning of words. Love is being redefined. Faith is being redefined. Life is being redefined. God. God is being redefined.

But only to a generation unwilling to think for themselves… or worse yet, to the extent they actually believe they are thinking things through for themselves while clouded by the chaos around them.

But…

Truth is immutable. 

God is immutable. 

His Word is immutable. 

A new generation of forceful agenda driven people can’t change the immutability of God’s Truth.

Silence can’t change it.

They can talk differently. Sing differently. Congregate differently. They can change to fit the new ways…  “You HAVE to believe what I believe for me to be ok”.

But they can’t change Truth.

Who is going to stand up for Truth? We must. But are we running out of time?


Heather Mertens has studied Scripture and Theology in various ways throughout the years, sharing much of what she has learned via her studies as well as her life experience. She has a Certificate in Apologetics-Core Module from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Academy. She has also had the joy and blessing of learning Theology and Biblical Studies from her daughter, who is finishing up her 2nd Theology and Biblical Studies degree and has a Biblical Studies Certificate, all from Liberty University.

Heather shares her personal experience and writes in Apologetics-style at 40YearWanderer.wordpress.com as well as on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HeatherMertens) and on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thelifeofwhy/) where she shares Scriptural Truth for Life’s Biggest Questions in hopes that people can come together to know what the Bible actually says.

Her pure joy is raising her daughter to adulthood and now enjoys her freelance web design and marketing career of helping people find their unique web presence… and the beach!


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Guest post by Greg Hutana.

Recently, I watched a YouTube video on the Top 30 things to have prepared in case the Government or Financial systems that we have grown up with should come to an abrupt end.

The first on the list was to have some cold hard cash on hand, if indeed this should happen, while cash is still legal tender. The second was a real surprise. I was dumb struck to find, that according to this commentator’s reasoning, the second was to be debt free.

The person went on to explain that in a crisis like this most people assume that they get a free pass on their debts. In fact this is not the case. Instead the wealthy and those in power, turn to the function of a debtor’s gaol in order to continue having control and influence over people’s lives.

Now is this a fact or not? I couldn’t tell you for sure, but it might be worth investigating some of the small print in your mortgage contracts or credit card contracts to find out.

I realised after my first wife took the houses and left me with nothing, that in fact God had been generous with me in a roundabout way. Overnight I became free of my mortgage. I still had to work for five more years in a cleaning business to payoff my other debt’s, but today I’m debt free.

The Bible talks about not being in debt. Some may just see it as a story or a parable and not all that valid for today, but I believe it’s there to help us not be slaves to this world and its system. It’s very much valid for us today.

The Scriptures and this conversation are not meant to make you feel like crap or condemn you because you might be in debt to your eye balls, but rather to potentially help you to make new decisions around debt and the accumulation of more debt in the future.

People often say to me, “but Greg I have a house I can sell, or my kids must have the best schooling and health, so in fact I am not in debt, but instead, I’m sowing into equity for my kids future.”

The problem with this is that when you lose your job, fall ill or the housing market collapses, the people who loaned you the money, won’t want your brick house, your kids wonderful teeth or good education as payment. They will want the cold hard cash that you owe them, or something else far worse. The equity you thought you had will vanish.

If this teaching stirs up something in you then please don’t let it be condemnation. Let it be rather be a call to action.

One of the main reasons the modern church is so powerless is because the people of faith are as broke as everyone else around them, so how can you sow into your neighbour’s situation when your own is so dire?

Every month I’m able to be generous for no other reason then I have surplus. I have overflow. Will I ever own a house again? Maybe not, especially when I keep giving the savings for a deposit away, but God is big enough and he is more than able.

I’m fortunate, my ex-wife has a knack for milking the worlds systems for all their worth. My kids will never go without. Even though I don’t agree with everything she does, I thank God for her and her wisdom in this area. She has no idea that God has been able to give me confidence to be generous because of her skills.

God is big enough to care for my girls future, pretty awesome ha. God bless you and keep you in the faith. May you find the strength to be generous and work from abundance in regard to your neighbour, on your journey towards being debt free.

‘Keep yourselves free of the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,” So we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear; what can man do to me?”‘ (Hebrews 13:5-6, ESV)

Greg is 47, and currently lives in New Zealand.

He is an elder at Beth Melek Jewish Community and a member of Maori Initiatives, helping indigenous people do better. Maori Initiatives runs a podcast, which can be listened and subscribed to via itunes.

He is the proud father of two daughters, and by his own admission is “a terrible example of Christ, who Christ still loves anyway!”

 

 


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Guest post by John Moore.

Critics of the Bible like to engage in skeptical games, one of them I like to call ‘nullification of history,’ that is, if one example of bad conduct is shown, then just about everything can be rendered uncertain.

There is no doubt that certain ancient historians, like Thucydides (circa 460-400 B.C.), have often been accused of personal bias. But does that automatically cast doubt about all transcribed accounts of personages in the past?”[1]

Unfortunately, higher criticism too has obfuscated the real problem. ‘At issue are, not doctrines, myths, or speculations, but the facts which took place in the clear light of history at a specific time and place, facts which can be established and on which one can rely’[2].

Note that there is no basis for any arguments about subjective experiences concerning events during the earthly and post resurrection ministry of Jesus, or after His ascension[3]. Nor is ‘witness’ a subjective category, as in Aristotle’s book, Rhetoric[4].

So what is the solution to this problem?

The New Testament was written in the common language (Koine) of ordinary people: it too is dependent upon earlier linguistic usage[5], that it might be easily understood by its audience. That is important because the courtroom model of an objective proof [6] is also clearly intended to convince the readers of the Gospels [7].

The Apostles clearly understood that they would have to confront the unbelieving world with truth. They took the message of Jesus to the world (Mt. 28:16-20) without any fear of being contradicted by detractors.

The case for objectivity has been defended by a scholar thusly: “The Christian faith is an historical faith based on God’s revelation in history; it is based on facts[8].”

Even in a postmodern age, the concept of evidentiary proof is still valid.

The Gospels are not mere opinions about the past; they are a ‘witness’ in a specialized sense; presented in a literary/judicial format, genre de style; still worth upholding as an apologetic method.


Notes & References:

[1] Note the vernacular of testimony The common Greek noun martus and the verb marturein are used by orators (Antiphon, Demosthenes, Lysias, Andocides) and historians (Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Dion of Halicarnassus). For examples see Henry Liddell and Robert Scott, A Greek English Lexicon, (1883), pages 922-923.

[2] Suzanne de Dietrich, ‘You are My Witnesses.’ A Study of the Church’s Witness, Interpretation, Volume 8, Issue 3, July 1954, page 278.

[3] This point is especially seen in the post Resurrection appearance of Jesus in Luke 24:44-48 where the disciples are to be witnesses to the historical events of the death and resurrection of the Messiah. “As such they were to proclaim the facts (vs. 48), and the repentance and remission based upon them (vs. 47); and thus be the fufillers of the prophecies summed up in vss. 45-46.” Matthew B. Riddle & Phillip Schaff, A Popular Commentary on the New Testament, (1879)

[4] For a discussion, see Hermann Strathmann, Martus, TDNT, (1967), vol. 4, pp. 474-478.

[5] For an overview, see H. Strathmann, op. cit., pp. 474-515.

[6] See the Greek examples in Liddell and Scott, loc. cit. “The elemental meaning of martus is a legal one, where someone who has observed an event, or heard words spoken, or seen the signing of s deed, appears in court to authenticate such. To witness, therefore, is to rehearse what one has seen or heard, to verify the factuality of something.” Donald G. Miller, Some Observations on the New Testament Concept of ‘Witness,’ The Ashbury Theological Journal, vol.1, (1988), p. 57. Deuteronomy 19 :15 is the set rule of confirmation used in both Testaments. “According to the Old Testament idea of justice a statement is considered valid in law only if it is confirmed by two or three witnesses,” Robert Koch, Witness, Sacramentum Verbi, vol. 3, p.984.

[7] “Here clearly the idea of witness is used in a twofold sense, just as in secular Greek literature and the Old Testament lawsuit. The apostles are both witness to facts and advocates who try and convince their opponents of the truth of the Christian position. Consequently, their testimony concerns not only the reality of historical events which they have seen and heard, but also a conviction as to what these events signify, namely, the saving activity of God in history,” Allison A Trites, The Concept of Witness in the Synoptic Gospels: Some Juridical Considerations, Themelios, 5, (1968), p.25

[8] Suzanne de Dietrich, op. cit., p.278.

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John lives in America. He is passionate about all things Søren Kierkegaard, and has a deep understanding of the theology of Karl Barth. He currently runs the Facebook page, Theological Scholarship and contributes a welcome scholarly passion to other academic platforms.