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I remember some 15 years ago when I was hospitalized and in group therapy. A counselor asked the group to express how we felt in the moment. Each went in order and then the patient before me expressed his necessity to leave the hospital. There were obvious concerns in his life, he was greatly agitated. Then it was my turn. I expressed an annoyance too. There was a fly buzzing around in the room. I asked the counselor whether they knew that a typical house fly only lived for two days? She looked intrigued and asked me to go on. I said, the fly lives for two days and all I want to do is to kill it. The gentlemen before me repeated his desire to leave the hospital actually now seemingly bothered by what I said. Then I once again followed up with did you know a fly only lives for two days, and all I want to do is to kill it? He responded directly to me and said, yea, I heard you the first time. He didn’t ask or nobody else asked for me to explain myself, thus I interpreted the very inaction as nobody really cared not even the counselor. Perhaps If I could rewind time I would share what I have learned. It is our tendency to fix things especially among men. We feel an urgency or desire to fix problems in life. But fact is, life has a way of working things out in time. Life will run its course. Therefore, the urgency to kill the fly is simply my desire and want to fix things according to how I want them to be. In two days life will run its course and the problem fly which is annoying me in the moment will be resolved.
In the next few minutes, we'd like to take the opportunity to help you get to know us better. We're Christforums.com or CF. Our purpose is simple:
- to bring glory to God through our website to and from individual lives
- to make known to the world the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ
Committed to God
You'll find Christforums' staff and members are called to demonstrate the love of God and the relevance of Christ's message of deliverance to a society that is weary of sin, hollow materialism, and shattered relationships.
We enjoy meeting together online to worship our Creator and Redeemer. God's people adore him, bring him thanks, ask for his help, and receive the blessing of his presence. Through studying of the gospel, God announces his saving acts and calls people to believing and obedient response to his Word.
Through faithful teaching, our members grow spiritually. We seek to obey God's laws because such obedience pleases him. So we not only embrace the teaching of God's Word, but also strive to demonstrate its application in our lives.
Our members care about people. We show concern for the poor and for victims of such catastrophes as famines and earthquakes. We'll show you this love and concern as you involve yourself with us. Our goal and purpose can be summed up in the motto, "Preaching all of God's Word; sharing all of Christ's love."
Grounded in Scripture
Our modern age has witnessed the progressive rejection of authority. God's Word, the Bible, has not been spared. However, Christforums believes that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, the only infallible rule for our faith and conduct.
We believe that the Bible alone gives us the correct knowledge of who God is and how we may please him. It teaches that God the Father gave up his Son Jesus Christ to death on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of his people. We want to share with you the joy that comes from a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
The doctrine of our staff is summarized in the following paragraphs:
- The Bible, having been inspired by God, is entirely trustworthy and without error. Therefore, we are to believe and obey its teachings. The Bible is the only source of special revelation for the church today.
- The one true God is personal, yet beyond our comprehension. He is an invisible spirit, completely self-sufficient and unbounded by space or time, perfectly holy and just, and loving and merciful. In the unity of the Godhead there are three “persons”: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- God created the heavens and the earth, and all they contain. He upholds and governs them in accordance with his eternal will. God is sovereign (in complete control) yet this does not diminish human responsibility.
- Because of the sin of the first man, Adam, all mankind is corrupt by nature, dead in sin, and subject to the wrath of God. But God determined, by a covenant of grace, that sinners may receive forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in Christ has always been the only way of salvation, in both Old Testament and New Testament times.
- The Son of God took upon himself a human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary, so that in her son Jesus the divine and human natures were united in one person. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and died on a cross, bearing the sins of, and receiving God’s wrath for, all those who trust in him for salvation (his chosen ones). He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, where he sits as Lord and rules over his kingdom (the church). He will return to judge the living and the dead, bringing his people (with glorious, resurrected bodies) into eternal life, and consigning the wicked to eternal punishment.
- Those whom God has predestined unto life are effectually drawn to Christ by the inner working of the Spirit as they hear the gospel. When they believe in Christ, God declares them righteous (justifies them), pardoning their sins and accepting them as righteous, not because of any righteousness of their own, but by imputing Christ’s merits to them. They are adopted as the children of God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies them, enabling them increasingly to stop sinning and act righteously. They repent of their sins (both at their conversion and thereafter), produce good works as the fruit of their faith, and persevere to the end in communion with Christ, with assurance of their salvation.
- Believers strive to keep God’s moral law, which is summarized in the Ten Commandments, not to earn salvation, but because they love their Savior and want to obey him. God is the Lord of the conscience, so that men are not required to believe or do anything contrary to, or in addition to, the Word of God in matters of faith or worship.
- Christ has established his church, and particular churches, to gather and perfect his people, by means of the ministry of the Word, the sacraments of baptism (which is to be administered to the children of believers, as well as believers) and the Lord’s Supper (in which the body and blood of Christ are spiritually present to the faith of believers), and the disciplining of members found delinquent in doctrine or life. Christians assemble on the Lord’s Day to worship God by praying, hearing the Word of God read and preached, singing psalms and hymns, and receiving the sacraments.
The history of the Christian church is replete with vigorous debate over what should be included in our core beliefs. Indeed, the creeds or confessions of faith have been a means both to test orthodoxy and by which to pass on our faith. Here are the ecumenical creeds which we rely on heavily to test orthodoxy:
"We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
“And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate. He suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. And he shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead, whose kingdom shall have no end.
“And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets. And we believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."
* The word "catholic" (literally, "complete," "universal," or "according to the whole") refers to the universal church of the Lord Jesus Christ and not necessarily or exclusively to any particular visible denomination, institution, or doctrine.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.
Whoever desires to be saved should above all hold to the catholic faith.
Anyone who does not keep it whole and unbroken will doubtless perish eternally.
Now this is the catholic faith:
That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity,
neither blending their persons
nor dividing their essence.
For the person of the Father is a distinct person,
the person of the Son is another,
and that of the Holy Spirit still another.
But the divinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one,
their glory equal, their majesty coeternal.
What quality the Father has, the Son has, and the Holy Spirit has.
The Father is uncreated,
the Son is uncreated,
the Holy Spirit is uncreated.
The Father is immeasurable,
the Son is immeasurable,
the Holy Spirit is immeasurable.
The Father is eternal,
the Son is eternal,
the Holy Spirit is eternal.
And yet there are not three eternal beings;
there is but one eternal being.
So too there are not three uncreated or immeasurable beings;
there is but one uncreated and immeasurable being.
Similarly, the Father is almighty,
the Son is almighty,
the Holy Spirit is almighty.
Yet there are not three almighty beings;
there is but one almighty being.
Thus the Father is God,
the Son is God,
the Holy Spirit is God.
Yet there are not three gods;
there is but one God.
Thus the Father is Lord,
the Son is Lord,
the Holy Spirit is Lord.
Yet there are not three lords;
there is but one Lord.
Just as Christian truth compels us
to confess each person individually
as both God and Lord,
so catholic religion forbids us
to say that there are three gods or lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten from anyone.
The Son was neither made nor created;
he was begotten from the Father alone.
The Holy Spirit was neither made nor created nor begotten;
he proceeds from the Father and the Son.
Accordingly there is one Father, not three fathers;
there is one Son, not three sons;
there is one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
Nothing in this trinity is before or after,
nothing is greater or smaller;
in their entirety the three persons
are coeternal and coequal with each other.
So in everything, as was said earlier,
we must worship their trinity in their unity
and their unity in their trinity.
Anyone then who desires to be saved
should think thus about the trinity.
But it is necessary for eternal salvation
that one also believe in the incarnation
of our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.
Now this is the true faith:
That we believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son,
is both God and human, equally.
He is God from the essence of the Father,
begotten before time;
and he is human from the essence of his mother,
born in time;
completely God, completely human,
with a rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards divinity,
less than the Father as regards humanity.
Although he is God and human,
yet Christ is not two, but one.
He is one, however,
not by his divinity being turned into flesh,
but by God's taking humanity to himself.
He is one,
certainly not by the blending of his essence,
but by the unity of his person.
For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh,
so too the one Christ is both God and human.
He suffered for our salvation;
he descended to hell;
he arose from the dead;
he ascended to heaven;
he is seated at the Father's right hand;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
At his coming all people will arise bodily
and give an accounting of their own deeds.
Those who have done good will enter eternal life,
and those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith:
one cannot be saved without believing it firmly and faithfully.
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable soul and body; consubstantial with us according to the manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the virgin Mary, the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us.
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I am sure that all of the one of you who read this blog are asking yourself, "Do we really need to keep God at the center of our celebration of any holiday?" Well, here is a holiday that will allow us to explore that in a bit more detail.
"Valentine's Day" (February 14th), or otherwise known as, "Saint Valentine's Day". This holiday, it should be noted, started as yet another Feast Day. Though, this is a rare occurrence where more than one person was celebrated on the day in question. There were possibly two or three different individuals that were remembered on this day. This is also a rare occurrence that all of the individuals celebrated on this day were neither born nor died on this day. However, there is very little historical record to rely on to know specifically who is being remembered.
Regardless, the day eventually became what we know it as today. An arguably more secular holiday where we celebrate romantic love. The origin of which really dates back to Geoffrey Chaucer in the "High Middle Ages". Though, it is also important to mention a legend that involves at least one of the Saint Valentines the day was set aside for, where during the 3rd or 4th century AD the Roman Emperor, Claudius II, had decreed that none of the young soldiers in his army were permitted to marry under the belief that they made better soldiers than their married counterparts. Saint Valentine took it upon himself to secretly perform wedding ceremonies for those young soldiers who wished to be married. The Emperor eventually found out, of course, and had Saint Valentine thrown in prison.
But should we as Christians celebrate a holiday that has become much more secular than spiritual? Well, that depends. Are we able to bring God back into the holiday in a way where, even though we have couples celebrating their love for each other, we can still bring the glory back to Him? Of course it is quite possible. It simply depends on where your focus is when you are celebrating.
It is important to note, however, that what is being celebrated is romantic love, which, biblically, should only be reserved for married couples. Otherwise you are venturing into a perversion of this kind of affection. Also, even though it may seem innocent enough, should children really be participating in the celebration of this holiday? What this really raises the issue of is dating and whether or not it is biblically appropriate. Of course in today's society it is perfectly acceptable, even for children as young as ten years of age, to have a girlfriend or boyfriend. But was this something that was intended by God, and as Christians should we be endorsing it, even when considering something as seemingly benign as the celebration of a holiday? There is, arguably, no biblical support for dating, though many Christians do participate in it and in its more formal counterpart, courting.
This all really comes down to personal preference, but should we really do anything if there is no biblical support for it? Personally, I see no reason to allow a child, even in their teens, to participate if, as a parent, you are not going to allow them to date since it would only incite confusion.
Coming back to the main point, there is certainly nothing in the bible that speaks against celebrating the love between two people whom God has brought together and joined in holy matrimony, as long as we keep that in mind in our celebration and give God the deserved glory.