A Voice in the
July 16, 2001
OK for women to communicate with VW?
There are situations where I will (to both men & women) not answer as readily, or not at all... when the questions are merely wrangling about words, or there is the spirit of whining and complaint. In some cases I will answer the spirit according to the spirit of the communication, before ceasing to answer further. There are some "whose mouths must be stopped" (Tit1:11) And if they don't heed, then to "withdraw" (1Tim6:5) and "turn away" (Rom16:17) Thus, in some most severe cases (on average, about once a year) I will also even delete some such from the e-list; even if they didn't unsubscribe.
When it comes to 'women', with me being a 'man', I sometimes need to exercise -EXTRA- caution. While there are many women (as with men) who write with legitimate concerns, questions and issues, there are also some whom the enemy sends along to try to be snares. The enemy has used various tactics with these women. One of the most blatant was when one person wrote, suggesting she had a couple of friends who were looking for "godly husbands" with whom to have babies. The context was an unspoken suggesting that I might be a candidate for consideration for them. There have been others; one who was offering herself in "service to the Lord" as a wife. Others, married women, offering to "minister to me". (These are just a few examples) These women are rather blatant and shameless in what they do. And I expect I hear from them, because I am what might appear to them to be an 'available' man; so they come, at their various times, periodically.
Now, if a woman writes, and by the nature of things it is either obvious she is after something, or by things she does or says, there might be a question, I play it "cool". I am here to minister in spiritual things through the Scriptures. And there are some subscribers (both men and women) who write periodically, with whom a certain rapport has developed. But if a woman writes in a flirtatious manner, I keep my distance. There are also occasions where, if a woman has been corresponding more regularly, and due to 'familiarity' begins to write repeated nonsense busybody gossip stuff (women seem to do this more than men...truly!), I won't necessarily say anything (that's for their husbands to do), but they will tend to stop hearing back from me.
Each personal correspondence is handled on an individual basis. Things that are obviously quite personal never leave my Eudora folders as I answer them privately. Some things seem to be more 'generic' in nature, and they might not get answered personally, but will become a Q/A item. Some things get answered personally, and then modified further to become a public Q/A, where the subject matter can serve for general exhortation. And in amongst all the subscribers, there's a 'handful' of you that have become 'friends', etc. Yes, for obvious reasons I have to be careful where women are concerned... but the VW mailbox is open to all, both men and women.
Bible Study Tools and Methods?
The "tools" part of this question is easy. I use the Bible and the Strongs/Lexicons from Online Bible for word studies. The TSK (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge) is a very good cross-referencing tool. And of course, as I study, I have developed my own cross-references of many passages which, when I started using OLB regularly, I transfered all my scribbled notes from my printed Bible (margins) into OLB's user notes system. Bible study is from the Scriptures, itself. God speaks through His Word through the Holy Spirit. (Jn16:13, 2Tm3:16-17, 1Jn2:27) I don't use any commentaries of any kind for basic Bible study. It is -just- the Word. If I need to look up some historical/archaeological/cultural perspective, I will use whatever tools will help find the information, whether an encyclopedia, or various commentaries/dictionaries.
Now, "methods" is a little tougher to answer; because I find that, since VW began, I don't necessarily use (consciously) any of the "methods" I learned at Bible school. In fact, I'd have to go look up old class notes to even remember 'what' any of them are called.
For 'personal' group settings the best study method is verse-by-verse, sentence-by-sentence...sometimes word-by-word. If a person wants to know WHAT GOD SAID, that is the best way to learn it. Not jumping around willy-nilly here and there. And if a person is studying on their own, this is also quite effective. And while doing this, if a person is of a mind to be writing notes, often, formulating an outline of the passage helps to see the overall picture of a passage and/or book.
Topical studies can tend to be 'dangerous' for a newer convert, if they are not as familiar with the -whole- of the Scriptures. It can be terribly easy to stray down a wrong path if only isolated passages are used to base major doctrines upon.
Sometimes 'word' studies can be rather effective...particularly with the various Bible software programs that are now available. For instance, if a person wanted to know what the Bible says about "repentance", just do a search of "repent*", and then read each passage in context to see what it says about it; and then perhaps make lists of the various subtopics that come out of such a search.
Since you ask what I do... what I do for VW is a little different than when I am studying for just myself, or like I have done when in actual groups with people. On the Internet the audience is 'invisible'. I would dare say the vast majority of the readers are either unsaved, or at best baby Christians. Thus, the studies we do seem to turn out to be much less detailed or as in-depth as when I assume the group is supposed to be predominantly Believers (like in a fellowship). We have had the more verse-by-verse studies in 1John and Jacob (James). Matthew was somewhat passage-by-passage, but less-detailed than 1John was. Romans was chapter-by-chapter. Naturally, a lot of little details get overlooked in such a case. And more recently, Ephesians is turning out to be more topic-by-topic within the traverse through the book.
I find that VW writings do not follow the "norm" that I had been used to before VW began. Some writings are quite organized before writing commences, with many notes laid out. In many cases, when I sit down to actually write a given study, the only thing I know for certain is the passage and/or topic, but 'nothing' will have been on my mind/heart regarding specifics. And quite often in these cases, where I might have had an 'idea' of where it was going to go before I began, by the time I was finished, it was obvious that the Lord had -His- direction for the study...that was completely different from what I would have thought it might have gone.
In this ministry God has called me to not only be a teacher, but something I had never before imagined...a preacher/prophet (proclaimer) And thus, as such, the message from the Lord quite often focuses on specific topics of the need of the day/moment. Preparing the "way of the Lord" and exhorting people to "make His paths straight". Thus, some topics get 'harped' on. Even in this, I need not worry, because those who are 'strong' Christians are not limited by the 'simple' nature of what is mailed...they are faithfully in the Scriptures for themselves, anyway, being fed through the Holy Spirit. But repeating simple concepts is necessary ("safe" Phil3:1) for those who are yet on the "milk" of the Word (1Pt2:2), because they have not yet grown to maturity, and need continual reminders to counteract the continual prowlings of the enemy that would seek to lure them astray and forsake Christ. And as subscribers come and go, the newer ones haven't heard what has been repeated to others. Thus, what I do each time is to be led by the Spirit...and whatever direction He takes any given study, that's the direction I go. That means that, quite often, the "method" does not conform to any "method"... if you follow what I'm saying. God's ways are not always pigeon-holed into man's concepts of "methods".
My "method" is to follow God's call upon my life, "..and you shall say to them, Thus says the Lord Jehovah". (Ezek2:4)
Study Series: Bible Study Methods
Rock Music and Christianity "don't belong together" (PI/Mahrer)
Tonight (7-13-01) on Bill Mahrer's "Politically Incorrect" program he made the statement to his panelists to the effect that "Rock Music is the antithesis to Christianity". Matter-of-factly, he stated the obvious that anyone who is honest knows, and those in the world's rock music industry have publicly stated numerous times; that rock music is a music of "rebellion, sex and drugs"; and, as others were getting riled and interrupting him, he tried to say how Christianity, by definition, is the 'opposite of those things'. Essentially, like we always say, the two do not belong together. Rebellion and submission/obedience are opposites. Immorality and purity cannot coexist. Drugs, a close relative of demon-possession makes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and thus being saved (Rom8:9), an impossibility. A person cannot be under satan's influence with drugs, and also call themself a "Christian". And Mahrer was trying to convey the idea, essentially, that "christians" are CRAZY for trying to embrace Rock Music "into their religion". Of course, one of his panelists was a rock musician/recording artist, who had all the slithery arguments we always hear from the Serpent's doctrines of demons. And the woman (I don't know who she was representing), was sounding not at all unlike today's "christians" who say that "what counts, is the -message-; it doesn't matter the medium of presentation". The other two panelists essentially sat there making fun of the whole topic, not really saying anything substantive one way or the other.
Now, for you who aren't familiar, Bill Mahrer is one of the most crass individuals I've observed. He does not make secret his own biases in favor of illicit/immoral sex and legalizing of hallucinogenic drugs. However, for all his crassness, and whatever other beliefs he has morally and politically, he seems to be honest as to what he believes, and faces his own beliefs...however vile some of them may be. And one of the purposes of his show seems to be to observe and expose hypocrisy in others.
A PERSON OF THE WORLD, who by his own admission, promotes sex and drugs, recognizing that rock music is a "music of rebellion, sex and drugs", and certainly has NO sympathies for the things of God, has enough 'integrity' to recognize and state openly that rock music and christianity "DON'T BELONG TOGETHER"...
So, why is it that "[c]hristians" think they do? [Editor: it is 'because' they are merely [c]hristians, and not [C]hristians] As some panelists were giving the same old worn-out excuses, the other suggestion was made (tongue-in-cheek), that if rock music is OK for Christians, they should also have "christian porn". That would make just as much sense, as to have "christian" rock music. They both are just as [un]pleasing in God's eyes, and [in]appropriate to Christianity. By definition...!
Dear "[c]hristian", if you won't hear it from God's Word, as we have often shared in the past, as I know many of you don't from the responses usually received whenever we speak of these things on other occasions, will you not at least hear it from one of your own...a person of the world?? Either that, or stop calling yourself a "Christian". Stop being a hypocrite! You might be fooling all those thousands you are leading down the "broad way" leading to destruction (Mt7:13); but you are not fooling many of us who truly know the Lord. And you -certainly- are not fooling God! "God is not mocked"! (Ga6:7)
"..for when Gentiles [unsaved like Bill Mahrer], who do not have the Law, by nature do the things in the Law [understand the 'concept' of a Righteous God, and pure Christianity], these, although not having the Law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts meanwhile accusing or else excusing themselves.." (Rom2:13-15)
"Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, being devoted to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared, (1Tm4:1-2) You see how this works? When one is devoted to doctrines of demons, the only way they can justify their lusts (for rock, and other related music and the sexual, demonic titillations they provide) is to be hypocrites and lie. Remember that satan is the "father of" lies. (Jn8:44) And if a person lies and makes excuses long enough, pretty soon the conscience doesn't even notice (seared) that anything is wrong.
We have studied this in the past (if you're a newer subscriber, please check "music" and/or "worship" at the website TopicSearch 'left' scroll box); so we won't cover old ground again. But rock music is a music of the "flesh".
But -TRUE- Believers are "NOT in the FLESH but in the SPIRIT, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, HE IS NOT HIS." (Rom8:9) If you are tenaciously clinging to your "[c]hristian" rock, then you need to tremble before God as you investigate your heart... "Examine yourselves as to whether you are [even] in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed you are unacceptable?" (2Cor13:5) What are your -fruits-? Not necessarily the fruits others see, but the fruits within your own heart which bring forth your arguments and desires for the flesh. Remember: "Therefore from their fruits you will know them." (Mt7:20)