The Confident Christian

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Posted 11/25/12 at 3:41 PM | Robin Schumacher

Tis the Season for Christian Reason

At least two times a year, you can count on the insecurity of some atheist organizations (like the Freedom from Religion Foundation) to be on full display. Nothing threatens these atheist’s worldview quite like the celebration of Jesus’ birth and resurrection, so to help ease their anxiety, they erect billboards and other such signage’s that are aimed at telling Christians how ignorant they are to believe in things these groups consider to be superstitions and myths.[1]

One recurrent theme of their displays is how unreasonable Christianity is vs. atheism. Atheism, we are told, is a reasonable and adult position to embrace whereas Christianity is childish and chocked full of irrational claims.

Actually, the Bible tells us that one aspect of Christianity is indeed unreasonable to embrace, at both the unbeliever and believer’s levels. But before we get to that, let’s work our way through a few truths that unravel the atheist’s general assertion that the Christian faith is unreasonable. FULL POST

Posted 11/18/12 at 8:33 AM | Robin Schumacher

The Futile Search for a Secular Savior

The old saying “Never discuss religion or politics” is fast becoming a redundant statement because, for many people, politics has become their religion. While those who disbelieve in God point to signs that America and other countries are becoming less religious, the truth is religion is thriving everywhere – it’s just not the kind of religion that most people think of when the term is used.[1] 

The stone cold truth is, when you hold God’s funeral someone will always take His place. That particular someone will each time seek and come to power under the promises of delivering their audience from the fears and problems that plague society. They will always present themselves as a savior to their desperately seeking and needy populace.

What’s happening in today’s political climate as the world searches feverishly for its secular savior, while denying the only true Savior (Jesus), is living testimony to Solomon’s statement of there being nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). Their quest today is as doomed as it has always been. FULL POST

Posted 11/11/12 at 9:16 AM | Robin Schumacher

Missing it on Morality

Voters in Los Angeles sent a clear message on November 6th that they weren’t going to put up with the gross immorality that was threatening their community any longer. Although the vote wasn’t a landslide (56% vs. 44%), a majority of the city still agreed that enough was enough, with the end result being the enactment of a new law.

Porn stars must now wear condoms.

“Measure B,” which was sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, was lauded as “a major referendum on the subject of safer sex,” according to the Foundation’s President Michael Weinstein.[1] Not everyone agrees with Mr. Weinstein, however.

The adult film industry complained that, "Our individual rights have been fading fast since the Patriot Act. Do-gooders such as New York Mayor Bloomberg seek to create a nanny state where our behavior is increasingly regulated for our own good.''[2] One porn actor went so far as to complain that they are “currently being persecuted”.[3]  FULL POST

Posted 11/7/12 at 8:17 PM | Robin Schumacher

Are you a Counterfeit Christian (Part 3)?

In a letter dated Dec. 25, 1834, James Boyle, an associate of an evangelist named Charles Finney, asked these questions of Finney regarding some of their previous evangelistic campaigns: "Let us look over the fields where you and others and myself have labored as revival ministers and what is now their moral state? What was their state within three months after we left them? I have visited and revisited many of these fields and groaned in spirit to see the sad frigid carnal contentious state into which the churches had fallen and fallen very soon after we first departed from among them.”[1]

What happened at those particular churches that Finney and Boyle visited? Was the enemy at work among true believers, was it a case of simple human friction, or was it instead a sad example of people not being truly saved to begin with?

In Parts One and Two of this article, we discussed what the primary evidence is for understanding a true saving faith from one that’s counterfeit, and saw how the fruit in a person’s life along with their true affections speaks volumes as to the legitimacy of their claim to be known by Christ. Let’s now turn our attention to a few other questions that always come up when this topic is discussed and see what other practical ways the Bible instructs us to ensure we are truly in the faith. FULL POST

Posted 11/6/12 at 7:25 AM | Robin Schumacher

Are you a Counterfeit Christian (Part 2)?

In Part One of this article, I provided an introductory look at the question of how a person can Biblically ascertain whether they are a genuine believer or a counterfeit Christian. As we saw, the Bible speaks with one voice regarding what the primary differentiator is between the two: a life that consistently bears ‘fruit’ for God distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian.

But what exactly is that fruit, what causes it, and are there other characteristics of which the Bible speaks that sets apart believers from non-believers? Let’s look at these questions now to get a better understanding of how a person can reach the place of assurance that they truly belong to Christ.

How the Bible Describes the Non-Christian

The Bible says that every human being is born a sinner and a rebel where seeking God is concerned (cf. Ps. 51:5, Rom. 3:11-18). That being true, each of us is born with a nature (called “the flesh” by the Bible in various places) that has ungodly affections and a mind darkened to the standards of God. FULL POST

Posted 11/3/12 at 12:11 PM | Robin Schumacher

Are you a Counterfeit Christian (Part 1)?

In recent months my wife and I have watched a number of professing Christians we know leave their Christian walk, engage in a completely worldly lifestyle, and even go so far as to state they aren’t interested in the Church anymore and/or doubt the existence of God. These aren’t simply moderately active believers, either, but rather people who were seemingly very engaged in their faith, families, and various Christian activities at one time. Such drastic contrast between who they were before and what they’ve become now has brought us great sadness and caused us to wonder if they were truly saved to begin with.

Is it really possible for someone to appear as a true Christian for some time, but really not be born again? Making the question more personal: How can you tell if you’re a counterfeit Christian vs. the real thing?

Commanded to Be Sure 

Some argue there’s really no way for someone to have full assurance that they’re truly saved. However, if that’s true, why does Scripture command believers to make such an examination and ensure they’re in the faith? FULL POST

Posted 10/27/12 at 9:33 AM | Robin Schumacher

Why Limited Atonement is Easy to Believe

Some long-time friends came over the other night for dinner, and since they’re fellow believers, we naturally discuss Christian-oriented topics when we get together. One of them teaches at a local Christian school and he was lamenting the fact that they had hired a Calvinist (gasp!) as one of the teachers. I shocked both him and his wife by disclosing the fact that I now embrace reformed theology. That revelation produced an awkward pause in the evening, followed next by some good discussion.

After some brief back and forth on the subject, they made the statement to me: “But Jesus died for everybody!” (referencing, “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world” - 1 John 2:2). Such a claim is very common. Of all the doctrines of grace or so called five points of Calvinism, the teaching of limited atonement seems to get people’s skin the most.

The doctrine of limited atonement says that Jesus only died for those whom God chose to be the Bride of His Son and no one else. To those unacquainted with the logic and theology behind the teaching, it creates lots of questions, and also sometimes produces what are called “four point Calvinists” (those who hold to every other doctrine in reformed theology except limited atonement). FULL POST

Posted 10/21/12 at 10:31 AM | Robin Schumacher

Is Getting a Tattoo a Sin?

A short while back, I got an email from a young woman at our church who was confused over whether or not it’s sinful to get/have a tattoo. Thinking it may not be appropriate for Christians to get tattoos, she referenced Leviticus 19:28, which says: “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD.”

How would you have answered her? Is it wrong for Christians today to have tattoos?

What Matters Most

In tackling the question, it should first be understood that Scripture makes it clear what God cares most about: the ‘inside’ of a person rather than just what’s on the outside. Jesus said, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23). FULL POST

Posted 10/17/12 at 9:13 PM | Robin Schumacher

What Would Change Your Mind about Christianity?

“When, as a very young man, I first began seriously to study the life of Christ, I did so with a very definite feeling that, if I may so put it, his history rested on very insecure foundations.”[1] 

Albert Henry Ross was a strong adherent to science and Huxley’s assertion that “miracles do not happen”, but nonetheless he still held a strong admiration for the person of Jesus. Ross decided to conduct his own personal, historical investigation of Jesus’ final days and compile his findings into a work he planned to call “Jesus, the Last Phase,” which he believed would help remove the superstitious notion that a dead man could come back to life.

Ross mentions this plan in a chapter called “The Book that Refused to be Written,” which begins a very different work he wrote instead of the one he had planned, whose conclusions brought him to what he calls “an unexpected shore”.[2] Penned under the pseudonym Frank Morison, “Who Moved the Stone?” is a work that showcases a change of mind for someone who was previously a skeptic of Christ’s resurrection, but now is a person who believes one dead man truly did come back to life. FULL POST

Posted 10/6/12 at 10:38 AM | Robin Schumacher

Does Paul Condemn Homosexuality in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy?

Recently, 22-year old Matthew Vines became a new voice in the homosexual Christian community with a message he delivered at a Midwest church that promoted homosexual Christianity. In his address, Vine asserted that all the Biblical passages dealing with homosexual behavior have been wrongly interpreted and do not prohibit ‘loving and monogamous homosexual relationships”.

In truth, nothing in Vine’s address was original, other than his personal emotional appeals. Drawing from people like John Boswell and others, Vines’ attack on the Biblical passages that address homosexuality has been heard many times before.

Nonetheless, it is good for Christians to revisit those sections of Scripture and see how Vines’ assertions stand up to Biblical exegesis. In this brief article, we’ll examine two passages in Paul’s epistles that deal with homosexuality. Go here for my article that tackles Vines’ and other similar pro-homosexual arguments against Paul’s passage in Romans 1. FULL POST

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