Naked Bible 38: Acts 2:22-41 – The Naked Bible Podcast

Acts 2:22-41

This episode will focus on two items of biblical theology that are controversial in biblical study:

How the New Testament writers / apostles quoted the Old Testament

The meaning of Acts 2:38

Of the two, the second is more familiar to Christians due to denominational debates about baptism. Acts 2:38 needs to be interpreted in light of the new covenant context that Luke has been framing since early in Chapter 1 and that we’ve been talking about in the preceding episodes.

The first issue is less known because many Bible readers never bother to compare what they read in the New Testament to the Old Testament, even when Old Testament passages are being quoted. Neglecting this simple exercise stunts one’s understanding of biblical theology, and leads to interpretations that are often out of context and idiosyncratic.

READ MORE OR LISTEN:
http://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com/naked-bible-38-acts-222-41/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=postfity&utm_content=postfitybfd5b

Inanna: Patron Goddess of Nimrod | Weapon of Mass Distraction

Looking at the values of our modern society, it’s safe to say that Inanna–Ishtar, Aphrodite, or Venus, if you prefer–is the spirit of our age. The values of Inanna—immediate gratification and sex with whoever, whenever—are considered more open-minded, tolerant, and loving than the virtues of chastity, fidelity, and faithfulness introduced by Yahweh long after Inanna was first worshipped as the Queen of Heaven.
Read More:
http://www.derekpgilbert.com/2017/03/29/inanna-patron-goddess-of-nimrod/

2017 Holy (Passion) Week Worship Guide

This Worship Guide is not meant to create “traditions of men” but merely to make it easy for individuals and families to worship well during the week we celebrate our Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection.

The reader will note that I hold to a Wednesday evening Lord’s Supper and a Thursday crucifixion. This is not meant to be controversial on my part, but it is the best reconciliation I can make with the scriptural data that contradicts Roman Catholic tradition (as handed down to Protestants).

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Passion Week / Holy Week Worship Guide

Sunday – 9th: Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Application: Declare the King, and Rejoice!

[Activities: Decide to be someone who lends yourself and your goods “for the Master’s use.” Decide to believe the Master prepares supply for His work ahead of time (ex. Donkey colt). Anything to do with Palm branches, Learn the meaning of “Hosanna!” Remember true leadership is first humble (ex. Jesus’ riding on the colt of a donkey). Stay with friends.]

Monday – 10th: Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem, Curses the Fig Tree & Purges the Temple of Crooked Religious Leaders/Merchants

Application: Reflect on true worship and fruitfulness.

[Activities:  Think of ways to make it possible & easy for the outcasts and poor and spiritually abused/overburdened to worship freely. Anything to do with figs and fig trees; Remember that God is not done with Israel (analogous to the cursed Fig Tree), according to Romans 11. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the Lord’s Prayer. Stay with friends.]

Tuesday – 11th: Jesus Occupies the Temple and Refutes the Pharisees / Teaches Prophecy.

Application: Allow the Master to occupy your heart with His Living Truth.

[Activities:  Learn Jesus’ teachings that combat the Pharisees. Give to the needy; Give yourself to God; Give back to governments what they create.  Reflect on the cursed fig tree and being full of faith. Reflect on not perverting the Good News by Religious Law, disbelief and Traditions of Men. Consider the prophetic future and God’s plans for humanity; be ready & hopeful. Stay with friends.]

Wednesday – 12th: Jesus observes Feast of Unleavened Bread/Passover and Institutes His Supper. He observed the last Passach (Passover) on evening of, due to Jerusalem pilgrimage allowance; He instituted Lord’s Supper/Lord’sTable/Communion as a commemoration of the New Covenant in His blood, seeing the next day He would be the prophetic Passover Lamb to take away the sins of the world.

Application: Remember that Jesus was betrayed by one of His own. Remember the all the Disciples forsook Him. Remember He did this all joyfully and with Thanks, and the Lord’s Supper  commemorates His death and resurrection “until He comes again.”

[Activities: Observe communion and foot washing. Sing Psalms, Hymns & spiritual songs in the open air. Stay with friends. Watch and pray well into the night, commit to complete devotion (i.e. love with heart, soul, strength and mind; Deuteronomy 6) and faithfulness to Jesus; resolve to keep the faith, no matter the cost.]

Thursday – 13th: Jesus endures 6 trials, scourging and crucifixion. Passover lambs slain from 3-5pm.

Application: Recognize Jesus as The Lamb of God, who are away our sins.

[Activities: Remember Jesus’ 7 sayings (and their meaning) on the Cross. Read Isaiah 53 and the Gospel Crucifixion accounts and Psalms 22 & 103

  1. “Father, forgive them…”
  2. “Today…with me in paradise”
  3. “Woman, behold thy son…” [darkness: noon – 3 pm] Honor mothers.
  4. “My God, My God…”
  5. “I thirst”
  6. “It is finished”
  7. “Into Thy hands…”

Also, an earthquake happened, and the graves opened and the Temple veil rent. Read Gospel accounts of this & the Book of Hebrews. Jesus taken off the cross at evening and hurried by sundown (start of Jewish new day).]

*1st Night in Tomb*

Friday – 14th: Jesus being in the grave, the Romans seal the tomb at Jew’s request. The women would have prepared anointing oils / spices on this day.

Application: There is a time to grieve; and even Jesus’ enemies fear His Resurrection.

[Activities: Learn about wax seals on paper and objects… and how they represent authority. Read Book of Revelation, wherein Jesus opens the seals. Learn about anointing oils and spices. Learn about / practice good bereavement ministry.]

*1st Day & 2nd Night in Tomb*

Saturday – 15th: Jesus still in the grave. Rest (Shabbat)

Application: Remember that God is at work in every circumstance, which means we can rest/trust in Him…even in the darkest/loneliest times. He has completed all the work, and He gives life and opportunity for sustenance.

[Activities: Take off from work but do remember to do good. Do trust-building group/family activities. Honor Fathers.]

*2nd Day & 3rd Night in Tomb*

Sunday – 16th: Resurrection before Dawn (very early in the morning the women came, He already was risen just as He predicted more than 3 times).

Application: Recognize the prophetic aspect of “Feast of First Fruits.”

*Arose on the 3rd Day*

[Activities: Worship & Declare the Risen Messiah/Savior; Read 1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4]

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OTHER RESOURCES: (On the Holy Week Timeline and Harmony of the Gospels)

Bible Gateway 

Got Questions

The Gospel Coalition

Bible.org

Christ In Prophecy: the Passion in Prophecy

The Difference Between Medical Anxiety and/or Depression & Anxiousness and/or Self-Pity

The physiological disorders, which the medical field diagnoses as “anxiety” or “depressive anxiety” or “manic depression” or even “bi-polar disorder” are different from what the Bible means when it says, “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6). The biblical term “anxious” refers to someone’s needlessly worrying about life matters or social situations, instead of practicing and growing in trust toward God as the One Who provides, protects & guides us… and from Whom comes our true identity and self-worth as believers. 

Well-meaning pastors such as Steve Furtick and Tony Evans make blanket statements about anxiety and depression like,

Depression is well described as anger turned inward. –Tony Evans

And 

Anxiety is the result of a pride (“I”) issue. –[Paraphrased], Steve Furtick

Now, I realize that even these statements were made within certain contexts. But, I think they are general enough to consider the topic of “broad-brush or blanket statements” that express a common , error-filled notion within Christendom. I will explain this misconception farther down. 

Without contest, the Apostle Paul does use “I” as a selfish and sinful identity concept, often called “the flesh” in his many New Testament letters. Anger and bitterness toward God and others is also a human tendency. But, to say anxiety or depression is ONLY a matter of pride or inwardly turned anger is plainly wrong and detrimental to any audience. Here’s why:

The medical term for depression and/or anxiety means someone who—due to physiological (chemical) imbalances and/or emotional/psychological traumas—cannot function normally, due to the paralyzing fears or feelings of overwhelm or depressive thoughts directly associated with their condition. There is a big difference between that and what the Apostle Paul describes.

The Scope of the Bible

The scope (intended purpose) of the Bible is to deal with things spiritual. In other words, it provides the worldview for human origins, a corrupted creation, brokenness, disaster, disease and death. It also gives maxims and warnings about how our spiritual existence directly affects our physical existence, and vice versa. Yet, the Bible does not attempt to diagnose and prescribe medical treatment for individual medical conditions, which mankind can diagnose, treat and prognosticate on his own. [This is not to say there are no dangers with medical treatments] It DOES describe a miraculous Healer (Jesus) of all sickness, with a priority given to the spiritual healing and restoration of souls to God and His intended design for life.

Do Tony Evans’ and Steve Furtick’s assertions account for those who have been (against their will) repeatedly abused, physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually… or even drugged? There are so many trauma-based mental disorders diagnosed in the criminally abused or cult abused (ex. trauma-based schizophrenia / split personality, dissociative disorder, hostile attribution bias, Stockholm syndrome, PTSD). 

Do assumptions like Furtick’s and Evans’ account for those who have chemical imbalances due to postpartum or other physiological conditions (e.g. Autism, Menopause, biologically induced forms of Schizophrenia, Thyroid dysfunction, Sleep Apnea, or depression in chronic illness patients… like Diabetics) that stem from our living in a fallen world & in mortal bodies? What about soldiers who have been exposed to/taken part in such atrocities and chemical warfare that they may never fully recover from PTSD or other mental/emotional or physiological disorders?

All the above situations are not far fetched. They are more common than one from a privileged life can know. Sometimes the depression is really just a physical condition, other times it is spiritual oppression (warfare) which requires deliverance; yet other times, counseling and joy & relational trust building are required. Still, there may be a combination of two or all of these needs. 

Thankfully, there are levels of healing for all of these cases, but we must be careful of blanket statements. They tend to smother the most needy and innocent, not to mention shame/blame the victim for their valid struggles. Some inward hurts are just as serious as outward broken bones or damaged organs. They take serious attention, treatment and recovery time to heal. Instead of generalizing and inadvertently scolding the wounded, we must temper the statement by context… saying, “For someone without any medical condition or heritable disease/disorder…”

Human Reason & Divine Revelation

Too often, Christians hold a hyper & cultish view regarding the Bible’s scope. “If the Bible doesn’t say it, I don’t believe it,” is their (unspoken) mantra. They add to it an insistence on disregard for context and genre and employ a rigid literal interpretation, for which even the most conservative scholars (ex. B.B. Warfield) of the early 20th century derided them. Their insistence is spuriously bolstered by their blindly lifting out of context and misquoting, “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). This cultish peculiarity reveals itself in a staunch disregard for and fear of human reasoning and philosophy and the sciences. God uses many methods and many people (even disbelievers) to bring healing into the lives of the needy.  These sort of believers forget that “all truth is God’s truth,” and such a set of positions fails to see that the Bible is a collection of Holy Writ that carries out a specified agenda, and therefore, does not speak to every matter known to mankind. Some things, mankind is to arrive at on his own.

They take too far the warnings against “science so called” and “empty philosophy” (1 Timothy 6:20; Colossians 2:8), which—in context—were warnings against the Gnosticism and Judaizers of the Apostles’ era… the same 2 antithetical systems that were directly attacking the Christian Faith, and for which Faith, the Apostles were giving reasonable defenses. Modern-day equivalents of Gnosticism and Judaism would be anything that undermines the Christian worldview about human origins, the reason for human mortality, (i.e. the spiritual condition of humanity) and/or the Divine Trinity, reconciliation to God only by Jesus, etc. Medical disciplines—in so far as they do not alter humanity at the DNA (germline) level or otherwise chemically or technologically augment human brain functionality—do not match the context of Paul’s warnings against empty philosophy or “so-called” science.

Again, some things, mankind is to arrive at on his own. As Cheryl Lowe writes, 

“most things mankind can discover for himself – geometry, logic, the principles of history, government, literature, the sciences, etc. These things were first discovered by the Greeks. God did not reveal to man what he could discover for himself through reason and experience. To do so would have confused human reason with divine revelation.” (http://excellence-in-literature.com/why-study-the-pagans-by-cheryl-lowe/)

The Balance:

Now, all the above is not to say a person cannot induce medical anxiety upon himself or herself by using drugs, doing illegal and risky stuff and/or continually worrying, being petty or cross or caustic. A person can induce a physiological condition by cognitive habit or by substance abuse. Any number of lifestyles, including something as simple as a poor diet / no exercise, can bring on medical disorders just as easily as a physiological predisposition makes one susceptible. This is a chief reason the Bible provides spiritual maxims and warnings about our beliefs and personal conduct. God just wants us to experience the best that life can be, such as it is in a fallen world.

Also, it is my opinion that someone with medical anxiety should not rely on meds alone to defeat anxiety/depression. If they train their thoughts and emotions to grow in trusting God more than being co-dependent upon people (i.e. insecure), then stepping down medication is always possible. But those who simply trust in the meds will only need more and more meds. Moreover, forgiveness at the decree of God is a powerful thing for eliminating paralysing guilt and for getting one’s conscience & identity rooted and grounded solidly in unconditional, loving grace. Even if someone brings a condition upon himself or herself, then God is abundant in mercy and will rescue & redeem us from our own self-inflicted peril… if we call upon Him for that in humility. [It may take a while or no time at all. Healing is His business, and we just keep on trusting & expecting Him to do His thing in His way and time].

The Encouragement for Spiritual Anxiety / Depression:

Feeling down, depressed, and discouraged? You are not alone. Moses, Elijah, Job, and even the Apostle Paul at different points of their lives were overcome with these emotions. They all got to the point that they wanted to end their lives. In the darkness they failed to see that God was working. We often are looking through a microscope at our problems, instead of looking through a telescope at our God. Depression never tells us the whole story or let’s us see the entire picture. Even when we are at our worst, God is at His best. In 2 Corinthians 1:9, the Apostle Paul tells us that it was in the darkest moments of his life that he learned to trust God the most. When you come to the end of your rope, God is there. Have faith and don’t lose heart!

Reject uncritical approach to technology, Mitchell says at Southern Seminary’s Norton Lectures – News – SBTS

“We have to reject uncritical consumeristic adoption of digital technologies,” said Mitchell, provost, vice president for academic affairs, and Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University. “Remember our humanity and resist excarnation. … Resist the notion that efficiency is the summum bonum, the chief end, and seek to have our desires formed by the good news of the incarnate Christ.”

In a series of lectures titled “Homo Sapiens to Homo Deus: Technology as Mastery or Master?” Mitchell explored how digital and scientific technologies attempt to redefine humanity by overcoming limits to human knowledge and ability. He described the potential dangers for using technology and robotics to strive for immortality, which undermine the creation narrative and blur the lines of reality and one’s relationship to the world.

“Three major technological innovations — information, nano[technology], bio[technology] — are challenging us to rethink those dichotomies which have been part of our way of inhabiting the world and have tempted us to begin to redefine what it means to be human,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell identified human self-loathing, or “the lament of limitation,” as the driving force behind the culture seeking technologies that perfect the human condition, without concern for how they may disorder desires and restrict human freedom. Philosophers and scientists promoting transhumanism, eugenics, and robotics hope to create a “techno-utopia” of an enhanced human experience that no longer looks very human, Mitchell said. He called for believers to engage in serious theological reflection on how the structures and patterns of technology may work against the desires that shape a faithful Christian life.

“Do not loathe your incarnation; you were made embodied creatures in the image of God,” Mitchell said. “We are not just brains on sticks; we have been made whole persons in the image of God … we must not exchange our incarnation for a new Gnosticism.”

Read More
https://www.google.com/amp/news.sbts.edu/2017/03/07/reject-uncritical-approach-technology-mitchell-says-southern-seminarys-norton-lectures/amp/