In the last newsletter I mentioned my desire to go full time with CARM and I asked if people would consider supporting CARM to help that along. I'm pleased to say that many people committed to monthly donations. In fact, just over $200 in monthly support was pledged for one year. With everything that CARM produces (notebook, CD, speaking, preaching, donations, etc.), just over $1100, a month is coming in. It isn't enough to move full time yet, but it is about 25% there. I want to thank all of you who have supported CARM in the past and will continue to in the future.
Please remember that the goal is to go full time, get an office, a staff, produce a magazine, do radio, and write more books. It can be done and it is only a matter of time. There is so much that needs to be done. There is so much error out there. Christians all over the place need the documentation, the logic, the answers to be able to stand firm in their faith. After all, Christianity is under heavy attack from other religions, from society, and, of course, in secular school. Statistically, I have heard that something like 80% of the Christians who enter college leave it having lost their faith. This is something I want to stop. Information, logic, truth, prayer, and God's word are what is needed.
If you want to support CARM, please go to http://www.carm.org/goods/donations.htm and you will find different ways to help. If possible, if any of you want to commit for a year to help out, please email me and let me know, [email protected].
DEBATE WITH A MUSLIM
On Tuesday evening (10/1/2002) I had an internet debate with a Muslim on the deity of Christ using the Bible. The whole debate, including Q & A, lasted 3.5 hours. I opened the debate with a biblical defense of the deity of Christ. My opponent ignored every verse I raised and quoted scripture emphasizing the humanity of Christ such as Jesus being a man, growing in wisdom (Luke 2:52), the Father being greater than Jesus (John 14:28), etc. I answered his objections by explaining that Jesus is both God and man, not just man. Col. 2:9 says, "For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form." Phil. 2:5-8 is also good to demonstrate that Jesus has two natures: divine and human. As a man, he was made for a little while lower than the angels (Heb. 2:9) and was subject to the Law (Gal. 4:4-5). Furthermore, He is still a man because He forever lives to make intercession for us as a High Priest (Heb. 6:20; 7:25). All this explains why we would see Jesus in a lesser position, growing in wisdom, etc., because He really was, completely a man. But, He wasn't only a man. He was the Word who was God and with God, made flesh (John 1:1,14). Of course, this information was ignored by the Muslim who simply continued to cite verses demonstrating the humanity of Christ.
One particularly interesting moment came when the Muslim stated that he would believe that Jesus was God if I could show him that Jesus knew all things and was all powerful. I then showed him how Jesus knew all things (John 21:17) and has ALL authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). Since Jesus has all authority, He also must have all power since He can do anything He wants. But, the Muslim dismissed this answer by going to verses that showed that Jesus did not know all things, i.e., His return (Mark 13:32). I answered by telling him that before Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus cooperated with the limitations of being a man (since He was under the law - Gal. 4:4-5). But, after the resurrection Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, you know all things," (John 21:17). Jesus did not correct Peter here. Therefore, I said, Jesus knew all things. Needless to say, the Muslim did not accept the answer. He couldn't. If he did, he would have to abandon Islam and come to Christ. But this is something he could not do.
I have an internet friend in England whose internet name is "Limey Bob." He was helping to moderate the debate room. After the official part of the debate was over, and the Q & A session began, the Muslims in the room (over 100 people) began to barrage him and myself in PM's. (PM's are Private Messages and we enabled that function for the Q & A session). These pm's were insulting and deceptive to both Limey and myself. I wont' get into details, but we quickly discovered that many of the Muslims were trying to crash our systems and send us false information about other people in the room who were listening. It caused confusion.
Nevertheless, the debate went well because the truth was told. Even though the Muslim refused to accept the truth, the word of God will not come back empty without accomplishing what He wishes it to (Isaiah 55:11).
SHORT BIBLE LESSON - MARRIAGE
Marriage is a sacred institution established by God for the primary purpose of bringing Him glory. It's main purpose is not, as some think, to procreate, or to have companionship, or to fulfill sexual needs. No. It's primary purpose is to bring glory and honor to God. It is only in marriage that we are able to carry out the commission of God to replenish the earth and to subdue it. This commission by God can only be properly accomplished in marriage where the husband and wife in faithful, covenantal relationship purpose to glorify God by having children, raising them in a godly fashion, and sending them out into the world having trained them in the ways of the Lord. This is what marriage is for. It is outward focused (for God's glory), not inward centered (for our comfort).
Unfortunately, in this world of feminism the biblical role of women has been compromised. Too many Christian men don't know how to be men since, unfortunately, many of them learn "manhood" from one of two main role models on TV: the wimpy, bumbling male buffoon who is the object of laughter or the macho stud who can kill thousands with his bare hands and then go fornicate his brains out. Add to this sad state of affairs the unbiblical allowance of teenage rebellion and disrespect (due mostly to parental failure) and it is obvious that families are under attack. What is a Christian family to do?
The answer is simple. Men, it starts with you. So listen up. You are the ones responsible for your families. You are the ones who are the heads of your families. This is how God set the family structure up. God made the first married couple in a certain order and gave them certain duties. Adam was made first and God put him in charge of the Garden (Gen. 2:7,15). Adam looked for a helpmate from among all the animals and found none suitable (Gen. 2:19-20). So, God made Eve to aid him in the commission God had given Adam (Gen. 2:22). It was Eve's purpose to aid Adam in accomplishing the will of God. Furthermore, remember that sin entered the world through Adam, not Eve, even though she sinned first (Rom. 5:12). God addressed Adam for the failure, not Eve. To use an analogy, it was Adam who was the captain of the ship and when it went aground, he was the one God came to. Therefore, the responsibility of the family falls on the man. If you don't like it, that is too bad. That is how God set it up.
The healing of the Christian family begins with the head: the husband. The husband needs to take the helm and lead the family in spiritual matters -- whether he likes it or not. He can't be perfect at it and that's okay, but he is responsible for carrying out his duties as a husband and for loving his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). This is a very tall order to love his wife as Jesus loves us. But that is our calling. It is love in the family, lead and exemplified by the husband that sets the tone of the marriage. He is responsible for the well being of the family. It is to Him that God will come and require an account. This is serious business and the man needs to take it seriously.
Aside from the unfortunate reality where women must lead due to divorce, widowhood, separation, etc., if the woman is the leader in the family it is because the man has not taken his proper place. The man is the spiritual head, the discipler of the family (1 Cor. 14:34-35), the teacher, the one responsible for the the material, financial, and spiritual well being of his family (1 Tim. 5:8). It is a tall order, but it is simply the way it is. And one more thing: a family is a family by virtue of the covenant bond of marriage. It does not become a family once children arrive. Children are welcomed into the family at birth and need to be taught how to be proper, godly members of God's covenant family.
But what of the wife? What is her responsibility in marriage? It is simple. She is to respect, honor, and support her husband (Eph. 5:33). She is to encourage him to be the leader. She is to not undermine his position has head. This means that wives should not show him disrespect by speaking ill of him behind his back to anyone else. In addition, though many women will not like it, the woman's primary responsibility is to take care of the home (Tit. 2:3-5) and to make it a suitable place for the family to dwell as she aids her husband and nurtures the children (1 Thess. 2:7) with love (Tit. 2:4).
Of course, the husband and wife are both responsible for overlapping and helping each other as they love one another (1 Cor. 13), but the primary duty of a husband is to love and provide. The primary duty of a wife is to nurture and respect.
Is this important? Absolutely! Is it popular? No. But, it is what God calls us to do as Christians. So I ask you, how important is your family to you? How seriously are you considering them before God, not just in provision, but in love, nurturing, honor, training, and godly upbringing?
GOT A SUGGESTION FOR CARM OR THIS NEWSLETTER?
If you have suggestions for what you would like to see in this newsletter or for CARM, please return e-mail me and let me know.
VERSE OF THE WEEK.
1 Thess. 2:1-5,
"For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, 2 but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. 3 For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men but God, who examines our hearts. 5 For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— 6 nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority," (NASB).
Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet.