Know Your Bible

VOL. 12                                                                                                                          February 24, 2013                                                                                                                            NO. 4




"So when someone excludes supernatural causes from science on the basis of that they cannot be observed, yet include the vast multitude of natural causes that cannot be observed as science, what they are really doing is practicing philosophical naturalism (PN).

This assumption of PN essentially means that science is no longer looking for the best explanation or 'the truth', but instead merely looking for the best naturalistic explanation. The once noble aim of science is reduced to an atheistic propaganda machine."

---posted by Alan Grey; September 20, 2007

There is no observable cause of the so-called "Big Bang". Thus, it is merely an unobserved naturalistic theory, and it is offered because the Philosophy of Naturalism calls for only a natural explanation or cause. God cannot be allowed to be the cause, even though He gave His testimony.

There is no observable cause for the origin of life. Thus, the evolution of life from random chemical processes is merely an unobserved naturalistic theory, and it is offered because the Philosophy of Naturalism calls for only a natural explanation or cause. God cannot be allowed to be the cause, even though He gave His testimony. So, even if it is TRUE that God created the heavens and the earth, it is not TRUTH that the scientific method really wants. It wants only the best naturalistic explanation even if it is not actually TRUE.

So, as Grey points out, the sciences are good for certain observable causes and repeatable things that pan out into practical things we can enjoy, but the sciences have been hijacked by the Philosophy of Naturalism when trying to explain the origin of the universe, the origin of our Solar System, the origin of life, and the origin of man. The hijacked sciences have been duped and deceived into accepting the Philosophy of Naturalism without the slightest bit of proof. You can look for truth or you can look for the best naturalistic explanation of things, but unless you can prove naturalism is all there is, truth and naturalistic explanations are NOT the same thing.

---Terry Benton 

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Billy Graham, a world-renowned Baptist preacher, has never taught the truth about the necessity of baptism in the plan of salvation. Whenever he is asked about baptism, he says, "I believe baptism is important, and I have been baptized. But I think we violate the Scriptures when we make baptism the prime requirement for salvation...Paul's central theme was Christ and His saving power. Although he spoke of baptism, he said: 'I thank God that I baptized none of you ... lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name' (1 Corinthians 1:14-15). Baptism is a conclusive act of obedience and witness to the world that we are Christ's. I believe in it wholeheartedly. In our crusades we don't baptize because we feel that this should be done by the local pastors -- and that if I baptized, some people would say they had been baptized by me, and that would be putting the emphasis on the wrong person.

To one who has received Christ, baptism is a necessary and meaningful experience. But, I must say with Paul: 'Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel' (1 Corinthians 1:17). You may know that we urge immediate and extensive Bible study for each convert. As the Scripture is reviewed, the place of baptism will surely be discovered. If baptism were a requirement for salvation, we would certainly say that. But you couldn't support that knowing, for example, that the thief on the cross had no opportunity for baptism or church membership. Yet on his confession, paradise was secured. Jesus said to him, 'Today shalt thou be with me in paradise' (Luke 23:43)," 


The key to understanding what Billy Graham teaches about the necessity of baptism is when he says, "If baptism were a requirement for salvation, we would certainly say that." This statement is identical to that which Leroy Garrett, a change agent in the Lord's church, made after I asked him in an interview if he believed that baptism was necessary for salvation: "No. If this were so, God would be restricted to saving only the immersed. But should you ask if it were essential for me to be immersed, the answer is yes, for I understood this to be my duty. I accept what the Scriptures say about baptism; it does not say it is essential to salvation. That is a deduction, unwarranted, I believe," (Source: Eight Questions For Liberal Brethren)

Contrary to the false doctrine that Billy Graham, Leroy Garrett, and others promote, the Bible teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation. In fact, Jesus Christ commanded that all men must be baptized in order to be saved from their sins. He said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," (Matthew 28:19). Also, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned," (Mark 16:16). Consider also, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”, (1 Peter 3:21). And, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin”, (Romans 6:3-7).

To teach otherwise is to be guilty of being a false teacher and to be cast into everlasting punishment. It is because false teaching is the same as lying, and, therefore, the word of God warns us that He condemns all liars to Hell, (Revelation 21:8). Are you willing to take that risk?

---Ira Mikell

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For several years my sons earned money during the summer months by mowing lawns for different individuals. It was hard work, but they did well, and by “word-of mouth” they developed a clientele of several dozen people.

I watched with interest as they worked for these folks. Some people were determined to get all that they’ve paid for, and then some. They would watch carefully as their lawn was mowed, and then frequently ask for some sort of “extra” at the end. This might include trimming a shrub or pulling weeds in a flower garden. There was usually very little expression of thanks. I can tell you that the boys didn’t always enjoy working for people like that, and there was the tendency to do what had to be done and get out of there.

On the other hand, some of their customers were more than generous. They regularly commended them for their good work, and some even gave them an extra $5 once in a while. You’d be surprised at how much they got for that extra $5! There was a desire to do a really good job for these people. Because of the kindness and appreciation these folks gave, they got more without even asking.

I was thinking about how this has some application to our work together in the church. There are different kinds of people in any congregation. Some are negative and critical. They have many complaints and often express how dissatisfied they are.  When folks do this they very often hurt themselves. The natural (not necessarily right, but natural) reaction is to draw back from such people. They are not pleasant to be around, so people start avoiding them.

On the other hand, there are brethren who are positive and pleasant. They are quick to encourage others and express their appreciation. These ‘go the extra mile’ in showing their love and commitment to their fellow Christians. And, as a result, they get more in return as folks give the same back to them. They get more by giving more! Which kind of Christian are you?

---Greg Gwin

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Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.

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