Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"But someone else is better qualified than I am"

There are certain statements that get thrown around in Christian circles and even become conventional wisdom, even though they don't agree with the Word of God. One that comes to mind is, "God helps those who help themselves."

You have to wonder what the inventor of that phrase was thinking...because I can think of about a dozen verses that would contradict what people generally mean when they use that phrase; one of them would be, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm..." (Jeremiah 17:5)

Some sayings of conventional wisdom have a firm root in Biblical truth, however. One is "Where God guides, He provides," (See 1 Thessalonians 5:24 for the proper version)... and "God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called." (See Isaiah 6:8; Ezekiel 22:30) God is looking for workers for the harvest, and availability is the ability that is primarily required, to use another appropriate maxim.

I have an example today that may not be all that obvious. As I answer questions from seekers worldwide some of them--very, very few of them, actually, are a little more involved to answer. What makes that easy is that our system contains a little button labeled "reassign" which enables you to put an e-mail back in the system for someone else to take a stab at answering. So if you run into a question that would take more time to answer than you're able to give at the time, someone in my so-called "Difficult Theological Questions" community will answer it instead.

Here's a DTQ e-mail I received this morning:
La verdad que no creo en la santa biblia, yo veo que este texto es un instrumento de los judios para dominar al mundo.

Ejemplo se acuerdan de Sepriane, es el Nº uno como autor intelectual para asecinar a los terrucos y los sectistas utilizan el texto de la santa biblia para luego convertir en mollonarios y los pobre siguen ofrendando su diesmos esto que significa, otra cosa utilizan como parte de la política como LAY y eitnotizar al publo pobre.

Yo me pregunto de acuerdo a la biblia a dios nunca las hemos visto vivo y por que colocan a un judio con barbas llamado JESUS se sabe que los judios son los unicos enimigos del mundo.

Otra pregunta si dice que dios es el criador del mundo y entonces quien creó a dios?

Espero que me respondan Uds y a que relegion pertenecen seria muy buena leer la biblia junto a Uds anticipadamente graias por la respuesta.

We occasionally get tricky questions in other languages. Using Google Translate and my pitiful recall of Spanish from college, I can tell what this guy's question is about the believability of the Bible. He suspects that it's a tool of the Jews to control the world's law and politics. An obvious response is that if that's the plan, it has gone very poorly for them. Especially in the New Testament, the Jewish leaders are shown in such a poor light that the "unlearned and unstable" (2 Peter 3:16) have used the Scriptures over the centuries as justification for acts of violence against the people about whom God said, "he who touches you touches the apple of my eye." (Zechariah 2:8)

Ironically, however, even in unbelief, the Jews give testimony to the God who repeatedly stands up for them. Nowhere else in the history of the world is a record of an ancient people dispersed among the nations, then restored (for the SECOND TIME, see Isaiah 11:11), united thousands of years later in their original land, speaking their original language, (Zephaniah 3:9) so that they can call upon His name when they acknowledge the offense (Hosea 5:15, Zechariah 12:10), thus "all Israel shall be saved." (Romans 11:26)

I hated to reassign Ernesto. Something in the way he asks the question makes me think he really wants an answer, not just an argument. I think most of the people who come our way are that way. It's not a forum for Christians to debate Christians over fine points of doctrine like how many angels could balance on the head of a pin. It's not a forum for atheists to debate Christians and make them look bad in front of a lot of others. It's a place where a willing person with answers is alone with someone driven by God to find them. The questions themselves are louder than the discussion.

I'm faced with a problem, though, in my desire to make all of that clear to Ernesto, in that I can't communicate it to him in his own language.

Some of you can. Would you be willing? Maybe Ernesto's question looks like too much trouble, but there's always the "Reassign" button. Thankfully, we do have Spanish speakers in the DTQ community who will be answering Ernesto.

No, our problem is not in answering the very few Ernestos out there. It's in getting enough willing Spanish-speaking Christians to help the 20,000 Spanish-speakers who are waiting right now for an answer to their real question, "would you help me have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?" If you know Jesus yourself, that's an easy question to answer. ¡Es facil! as our online invitation to join this effort proclaims. If you can help, won't you sign up now and become a part of extending God's grace to Hispanics worldwide?


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