Arkiv | juli 2012

Arguments for gun control

For a Scandinavian it’s difficult to understand the attitude that many Americans have towards guns and gun control, but if I lived in Colombia, the Middle East, or maybe even in the US where pretty much any non-convicted adult can spontaneously buy one or more guns without much trouble – resulting in loads of guns in circulation also in the hands of criminals – then I too might feel the need to get a  gun to protect myself. But I live in Sweden and I’m only SO happy that we don’t have the same situation in my own country. I would consequently be against any kind of change towards more liberal gun laws where I live because I prefer to keep criminals away from guns. I wish Americans would understand why Europeans would dread to have American gun laws introduced to their countries. We have considerable lower homicide rates, which makes sense since it’s so much easier for a murderer to kill people if he can use firearms instead of knives, bombs (takes time, patience, skills and money to make) or his fists. I can also understand the frustration Americans have if they feel that their politicians play under different rules.

It’s truly wonderful to know that you can go out running alone late at night  without feeling you should be carrying a gun or a knife in your hand – so every change in our current gun laws would be for the WORSE.

Over here it’s hard to get hold of a gun or own a gun unless you can pass certain requirements, so I don’t feel the need to buy a gun myself for protection and I have personally never encountered a single person in my life in this country who has expressed such a need. That is surely a good thing and something we should try to maintain? There are lots of weapons over here though, and that’s because there are lots of hunters and many of them own more than one weapon (rifle). It’s of course tricky to change the laws in the US now when the harm (lots of uncontrolled guns in circulation) is already done, and it would equally be a nightmare to make the gun laws more liberal in Sweden now when we seldom need to fear guns in the wrong hands.

It’s interesting to read the arguments against gun control. I include some below:

– If one or more law-abiding citizens in the Cinema at Aurora, Colorado would have carried a gun for protection, then the damage that James Holmes did would have been reduced

So that is the goal for the nation? To reach a level where there are so many uncontrolled guns in circulation (not to mention that a person can store up 25 shotguns in his home without a single gun seller saying ”What?”)  that normal law-abiding people would feel the need to go protected even at the movies, while eating in a restaurant, on the beach, when taking your dog for a walk, etc? If there is a gun control, this could prevent criminals from obtaining guns in the first place, resulting in that we don’t need to carry guns for protection while living our every day lives.

– Criminals would get hold of guns anyway, like on the black market. They don’t stop using guns just because certain laws tell them to stop or for reading a sign that says ”Guns prohibited”. They are criminals for Pete’s sake!

This might be the case in America where loads of guns are already in circulation without much control, why there consequently is a large black market for weapons, but this is not the case in countries like Sweden. How could criminals ”get hold of guns anyway” if the laws prevent them from buying one, and when they can’t even acquire any from friends who also can’t get hold of guns? Don’t get me wrong because  there ARE guns in the wrong hands also in Sweden but the point is that the cases where guns are used for homicide is relatively low here, and especially compared with the US. I believe this is thanks to our gun control that we have had for generations.

But couldn’t persistent criminals get weapons if they really wanted through other means? Only if they have the right contacts and a great deal of good luck – both are hard to achieve. If they desperately want to cause a lot of damage and lack guns, they might want to use bombs but then they are obligated to have the know-how and to get the ingredients. They must also have the time to make experiments and willing to spend some time in jail if they get caught. This alone will prevent some people from taking such risks, but of course not all. One option is to smuggle in weapons from neighboring countries, but the problem is that it’s just as tough to get hold of guns over there, and there is a risk to get caught.

– Banning guns might create a potential risk for organized crimes, black markets and smuggling

So we should therefore make drug use and prostitution legal? No, we should make it hard for criminals to attain their goals, and if they transgress laws, they do this illegally and they risk charges. Some people think again for this reason. One way to smuggle guns into Sweden would be to transport them over the bridge between Denmark and Sweden, but how would you get hold of guns in Denmark in the first place? They have similar gun laws as in Sweden. We can only pray that no country in Europe will ever apply similar gun laws as in the US, resulting in more illegal weapons crossing our boarders (and if that happens, one could only hope for an extensive border control).

– Woman may have no means of self-defense from rape or other crimes

Women have also died from domestic violence where guns have been in use. Again, if criminals have a hard time obtaining weapons, then it will automatically be harder for them to commit such crimes and women have less need to defend themselves.

– Guns in the possession of citizens are an added protection against government tyranny. Just look at Germany in WWII!

Citizens in Sweden would of course NOTICE  and KNOW if the gun control laws would suddenly be amended to their disadvantage and to the advantage of politicians in rule. (Besides, this risk would be higher if the citizens would be voting for a person instead of a party – that normally must cooperate with yet other parties in order to get a majority rule.) Laws are not changed overnight and not without first publicly announcing them. Everything that concerns hunting, firearms, gun laws, etc is covered in the big hunting magazines, and they will naturally announce all changes which concern the world of hunting and firearms usage.

– The homicide rate is high in the US because it’s a melting post for so many different races and cultures, and not due to a liberal gun control

That is not a good argument unless you believe a certain race is more prone to commit crimes than others. If individuals and their ancestors have lived in the US for generations, then the race issue is no longer valid since they have been assimilated. What might be a factor however is RECENT IMMIGRATION (like the first and second generation of immigrants). You will find a lot of that in Europe where loads of people from a certain country immigrate to a certain country, often placed in the same city or suburb. Statistics sadly show that immigrants from the Middle East and the northern part of Africa commit crime more frequently than the rest of the population. In the last few years Sweden has received a lot of immigrants from Iraq.

– All violent crimes are not reported so the high rate in the US might also depend on this

Yes all crimes are not reported but one crime that is reported to a great deal in all countries is murder, and that’s what makes the statistics for homicide rather interesting. Countries that neglect to report such crimes would be countries that have a high homicide rate to start with. Statistics for homicide with guns would of course be the most interesting ones, but you will more often find statistics and charts where the homicide rate is not divided any further.

You can also kill people with knives, bats, etc. Should we try to ban and control those weapons as well?

It would be hard to control such objects, wouldn’t it? So totally unlike firearms which CAN be restricted and which potentially could kill more people at the same time than a knife ever could. Yes, knives, bats and bombs could also be used to kill people but this is not a factor that applies only for the US. This is a truth for all countries so the statistics are still fair. The homicide rate per country can give us a clue whether a liberal gun control has saved lives or not.

– Guns don’t kill people. People kill people!

Then it’s a good idea to prevent such people from obtaining guns! In that way YOU don’t feel the need to be protected.

– It’s my right as a citizen to own guns for me and my family’s protection. Why does the government prevent me from doing this?

It’s a government’s responsibility to make sure the citizens of a country can live in peace, and if possible (as it is in Sweden) without having to carry guns for protection. If we reach a state where we start to feel insecure due to the awareness that guns can be bought rather freely and therefore abound in the wrong hands all around us, then the government has failed with its mission.

– Anders Breivik in Norway managed to kill LOADS of people even though he was a member in a proper gun club

Yes, and I’ve never said the system is airtight. Most people kill someone they know, and those who are willing to kill strangers for no reason are oftentimes those who kill because of an ideology/evil religion or because they are totally disturbed and simply enjoy killing. Terrorists come to mind, and we also have odd fellows like Anders Breivik. He was a smart guy, he was not poor, not on drugs and he was not in a hurry. Those are not the typical factors in a murderer’s life. He had a license for three weapons; a Glock to be used in the gun club where he was a member, a semiautomatic Ruger rifle to be used in hunting and also a shotgun. The Norwegian police PST got a tip that Breivik bought aluminium powder and sodium nitrate from Poland (to build a bomb) but unfortunately they didn’t make a follow-up on the tip because Breivik had previously not been convicted for any crimes.  The idea was good though (seeking control of suspected substances) and this procedure could prevent future crime. Breivik ended up killing 77 people the year 2011. 8 of them through a bomb explosion in Oslo, and the rest (mostly young teenagers) on a little island outside Oslo. This tragic event will pull down the homicide rate for Norway tremendously. It’s impossible to always be protected against lunatics like Breivik. You would have to carry a gun around the clock and you wouldn’t be safe even then.

– Why is it so bad to be able to buy lots of guns? It is also sad that so many people are obese because of these sheer amount of forks and spoons available to them

This argument totally baffled me when I read it. So if we can’t prevent people from getting forks and spoons, then neither should we try to prevent people from getting guns? Is it possible to ban or control forks and spoons? NO, right? Is it possible to restrict guns through gun control laws and make it difficult for criminals to get hold of guns? YES! So why not doing exactly that? Isn’t the idea to save lives? Can a spoon in the hands of someone kill 10 people in 2 minutes? Can a gun in the hands of someone kill 10 people in 2 minutes? If we know that dangerous people could use guns for dangerous things, isn’t it a good idea to try to prevent such people from obtaining guns since we CAN?

– When the guns are removed from the law-abiding citizen, only criminals will have guns

Not if they are not able to get hold of guns due to severe restrictions and requirements. 

– Guns aren’t evil or the cause of violent situations. Like a hammer drives the nails, guns are the tools of these crazies

Some countries have gun control laws in order to prevent such ”tools” ending up in the hands of criminals. It seems like it’s working based on the statistics. 

– Disarming innocent people does not protect innocent people

Over here they don’t disarm people, because they can buy guns for hunting and target shooting if they pass the requirements. The requirements are tough and that will prevent many criminals from getting guns. So the idea is to disarm CRIMINALS and prevent them from getting guns. This will lead to a safe environment for INNOCENT people. Hard to see why this is not a good thing in all people’s lives. This of course works best in countries which have had a history of strict gun control laws for quite some time, so that weapons already in circulation will not be in use in the wrong hands.

– You can prove anything with statistics

Maybe, and I’ve read all kinds of silly statistics for pro-gun lobbyists, usually comparing one American state with another American state, as though this  could apply to the whole world.  But if statistics are fair, they could also reveal the truth and especially if several sources get similar results. The rule shouldn’t be ”if statistics work against you, then you don’t need to rely on them because you can prove anything with statistics”. The question is if we can find any statistics for that a liberal gun control reduces the homicide rate compared to other countries, and/or if statistics show that a strict gun control law (as the one in Sweden) reduces the homicide rate compared to other countries. When we look at various statistics and charts, for instance this or this or this or this (the latter is from 2012 and is more specific concerning firearms) then the US is always listed with a very high homicide rate per capita, and European countries much further down. It’s interesting to see that Canada, which is so close in culture and a neighbor country to the US, has a low homicide rate.

– In Switzerland it’s very common to own guns also for protection and they have a low homicide rate, so this shows gun ownership is not related to murder

There are some differences between the US and Switzerland. 1) Switzerland has MUCH STRICTER GUN CONTROL LAWS.  All military weapons (which are long-barreled) must be kept locked up, with their ammunition sealed, stored in a separate place, and strictly accounted for. Hence it is almost impossible to use these weapons for crime without detection. 2) Switzerland (one of the richest countries in the world) has none of the social problems associated with gun crime seen in other industrialized countries, like drugs or urban deprivation. The US is of course also one of the richest countries in the world BUT there are still many areas which are considered poor and where drugs are in much use. 3) In comparison Switzerland is a small country both in square meters and in population, and therefore easier to control. All the neighboring countries have the same strict gun control as is common in western Europe, so there is no great danger of guns smuggled across the boarders. More info:

Up until October 2007, a specified personal retention quantity of government-issued personal ammunition was issued, which was sealed and inspected regularly to ensure that no unauthorized use had taken place. In October 2007, the Swiss Federal Council decided that the distribution of ammunition to soldiers shall stop and that all previously issued ammo shall be returned. By March 2011, more than 99% of the ammo has been received. Only special rapid deployment units and the military police still have ammunition stored at home today.

Gun ownership in Switzerland is not universal; only 32 percent of the general population own guns. By comparison, this figure is 49 percent in the U.S. Handguns are also HIGHLY REGULATED. Even then Switzerland has both the highest handgun ownership and highest handgun murder rate in EUROPE.  The suicide rate in Switzerland is very high. You can buy ammunition at ranges, but there is a regulatory requirement that ammunition sold at ranges must be used there. More here .

Brief comments about the Swedish gun laws (similar in all Scandinavia)

The two reasons for owning guns in Sweden are due to hunting and for target shooting. If citizens one day would want guns for protection then I feel that the government has failed with its mission to produce a safe environment for us to live in. Today we don’t have to live with such fear (unless we have placed ourselves in risk groups, such as being criminals ourselves or by marrying criminals) and a good guess is that it’s due to the strict gun control laws. Many criminals might want to kill a person NOW, and they don’t have patience enough to be a member of a gun club for 6 months before they do it. This alone will prevent some people to kill others in a sudden rage when they are involved in a deep argument.

Over here you’re obligated to have control over your guns at all times (when not in use locked up in certain cabinets, weighing at least 150 kilos) and not lend them to anyone unless a certain license is made for the other person who is also obligated to pass strict gun requirements. There are basically two gun categories, for hunting and for sports (target shooting). All weapons are licensed with a few exceptions and the serial number of the weapon is written on the license.

Hunting; rifles and shotguns – One has to pass the hunter exam that includes a theoretical test concerning animals and hunting, and a practical safety test including  judging distances and a shooting. You would need some sort of written declaration from others that you are a law-abiding person, and you can apply for up to 4 licenses for long guns (rifles or shotguns).

Target weapons – You need to be an active member of a gun club that competes with the weapon you want to buy. For handguns you need to be a member of a gun club for at least 6 months and shoot three ”gold series” and a ”fast series”. Your club can then certify that you may own a gun for competition only. After 5 years one has to reapply. Owning guns for protection is not allowed and such exceptions are therefore extremely unusual. More info here

Yes, extra protection in form of guns might be needed in certain countries

Again, if I lived in an area or country where there was a high risk for violent crimes and/or robberies, then I too might choose to get a gun. There are many white farm owners in South Africa who feel the need to protect themselves with guns (or they might choose to leave the country) due to the high risk of being attacked. Just the mere fact that criminals KNOW those farmers are protected might prevent them (the criminals) from making any attempts to harm them. So yes, guns might not be a bad idea in such situations. Read more about such cases in South Africa here.

In Scandinavia however it would be a VERY BAD IDEA to make the gun laws more liberal, because that would change our countries from having a SMALL amount of guns in the wrong hands into countries with LOTS of guns in the wrong hands, causing more criminals to make offenses and more people to buy guns to protect themselves, which would lead to even more crimes. An evil circle. Since the homicide rate is low in Sweden it wouldn’t make any sense at all to gamble with the situation and start amending the gun laws. If we do, then an evaluation will likely show an increase of violent gun crimes but then it will be too late to revoke the damage. Instead we would have lots of guns in the hands of criminals and there is a long expiration date for guns. They can be used again and again, and found on the black market, and if we then try to save the situation by making yet another law that guns must be turned in, then criminals will not stand first in line to return them.

In summary, I understand the situation that America is in, but I hope Americans will not reason ”Gun control doesn’t seem to work here, and people now have the need to protect themselves, so this means strict gun control won’t work in any country”. I hope they don’t believe that liberal gun laws in our countries would be for the benefit of the citizens or reduce the homicide rate because that is NOT true and the statistics seem to confirm it. If there are countries which have had strict gun laws and therefore a low amount of guns among criminals, resulting in no need for citizens to protect themselves, then it’s good to keep it that way.  America might not have gun laws that I admire, but I admire and envy the country in so many other ways.

Annonser

Farao förhärdade sitt hjärta – emot Guds vilja

Skriften säger ju till farao: Just därför lät jag dig träda fram, att jag på dig skulle visa min makt och att mitt namn skulle förkunnas över hela jorden (Rom. 9:17)

 (Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up – KJV)

Guds poäng är att han inte ÄN  har eliminerat Farao, just för att kunna visa sin makt för människorna på jorden. Gud förskonade Faraos liv ett tag och även landet Egypten. Rom. 9:17-18 är en referens till 2 Mosebok:

2 Mosebok 9:15 Ty jag hade redan räckt ut min land för att slå dig och ditt folk med pest, så att du skulle bliva utrotad från jorden;16 men jag skonade dig, just därför att jag ville låta min kraft bliva uppenbarad för dig och mitt namn bliva förkunnat på hela jorden.17 Om du ytterligare lägger hinder i vägen för mitt folk och icke släpper dem,18 se, då skall jag i morgon vid denna tid låta ett mycket svårt hagel komma, sådant att dess like icke har varit i Egypten, allt ifrån den dag dess grund blev lagd ända till nu

Notera att Farao lade hinder i vägen för Guds folk och vägrade låta dem gå. Det var Faraos egen idé och inte Guds idé.

”Förhärda” i 2 Mosebok översätts från tre olika hebreiska ord för att förklara Faraos hjärtas tillstånd – Kabed, Qasah och Hazaq. Plågorna som drabbade Farao och egyptierna kallades för ”straffdomar” (2 Mosebok 7:4). Det fanns skäl till detta eftersom Gud ville straffa dem för att de inte agerat enligt Guds vilja.  Om Egypten hade agerat som Assyrierna (se Jonas bok) så skulle katastroferna kunna ha undvikits.

2 Thess. 2:Den laglöses ankomst är ett verk av Satan och sker med stor kraft, med lögnens alla tecken och under 10 och med all slags orättfärdighet som bedrar dem som går förlorade, eftersom de inte tog emot sanningen och älskade den, så att de kunde bli frälsta. 11 Därför sänder Gud en kraftig villfarelse över dem så att de tror på lögnen 12 och blir dömda, alla dessa som inte har trott på sanningen utan njutit av orättfärdigheten. 

Allt som allt var det tio stycken plågor och huvudsyftet med dem var att få Farao att släppa israelerna fria. Gissningsvis så utfördes de olika plågorna under en tidsperiod av 6 månader. Spåmännen erkände till slut Guds inverkan:

2 Mosebok 8:18 Spåmännen ville då göra samma tecken genom sina magiska konster. De försökte få fram mygg, men de kunde inte. Och myggen kom på människor och boskap. 19 Då sade spåmännen till farao: ”Detta är Guds finger.” 

Även Farao (och tjänarna) erkände Guds tecken, men glömde snart det erkännandet.

2 Mosebok 9:27 Då sände farao bud efter Mose och Aron och sade till dem: ”Den här gången har jag syndat. Det är Herren som är rättfärdig och jag och mitt folk har gjort orätt28 Be till Herren, för hans dunder och hagel har varat länge nog. Så skall jag släppa er och ni skall inte behöva bli kvar längre.”

2 Mosebok 10:16 Då kallade farao snabbt till sig Mose och Aron och sade: ”Jag har syndat mot Herren, er Gud, och mot er. 17 Men förlåt nu min synd den här enda gången och be till Herren, er Gud, att han tar bort bara denna dödsplåga från mig.”

2 Mosebok 9:20 Den av faraos tjänare som fruktade Herrens ord lät sina slavar och sin boskap söka skydd i husen, 21 men den som inte brydde sig om Herrens ord lät sina slavar och sin boskap bli kvar ute på marken.

Många egyptier (12.38) anslöt sig till israelerna och räddades undand dödsängelns angrepp, och filistéerna i Kanaans land ärade Israels Gud och kände till vad som hände med Farao:

1 Sam. 4:Ve oss! Vem kan rädda oss från denne mäktige Guds hand? Det var denne Gud som slog egyptierna med alla slags plågor i öknen. 

Farao förhärdade sitt hjärta ett flertal gånger innan Gud sägs ha gjort det. OM Farao INTE förhärdade sitt hjärta innan Gud gjorde det skulle det betyda att hans hjärta INTE var hårt/förhärdat dessförinnan. Det är vanligtvis inte vad reformerta troende anser, eftersom de menar att de som inte är utvalda har HELT förhärdade hjärtan som Gud inte ska behöva förhärda ytterligare.

Hebr. 3:7 Därför säger den helige Ande:I dag, om ni hör hans röst,8 så förhärda inte era hjärtan, som när era fäder väckte min förbittring på frestelsens dag i öknen.Där frestade de mig och satte mig på prov,fastän de såg mina gärningar under fyrtio år.10 Därför blev jag vred på detta släkte och sade: Alltid far de vilse i sina hjärtan. De vill inte veta av mina vägar.11 Då svor jag i min vrede: De skall aldrig komma in i min vila.12 Bröder, se till att ingen av er har ett ont och trolöst hjärta, så att han avfaller från levande Gud13 Uppmuntra varandra i stället varje dag, så länge det heter i dag, så att ingen av er förhärdas genom syndens makt att bedra.—15 Det heter: I dag, om ni hör hans röst, så förhärda inte era hjärtan som när era fäder väckte min förbittring.

Detta betyder att det är vårt ansvar att ändra våra hjärtans inställning och att se till att vi inte förhärdar våra hjärtan. Om du skulle gå ut och evangelisera för några personer och uppmuntra dem att ge sina liv till Gud, så kanske någon av dem verkligen skulle känna sig manad att göra just detta. Han kanske känt sig dragen till Gud sedan tidigare. Men vad skulle då kompisarna säga, och skulle det inte betyda att all synd måste upphöra? Pga tvekan och rädsla för vad omgivningen skulle säga så kanske personen ifråga väljer att göra sitt hjärta hårt och tacka nej till erbjudandet, samtidigt som han t o m förnekar Gud. Vem orsakade då att personen förhärdade sitt hjärta? Ja, på sätt och vis kan man säga att det var du som evangelist! Hade det inte varit för dig så hade personen inte behövt förhärda sitt hjärta den dagen. Å andra sidan kan man säga att det var personen själv, eftersom det var hans eget beslut att tacka nej till Guds kallelse trots att han kände att mötet var gudomligt. Det kan hända att du stöter på den här personen vid andra tillfällen och påminner honom om det nödvändiga beslutet att ge sitt liv till Gud, och vid varje tillfälle som han tackar nej emot sitt samvete, så kan man säga att han förhärdar sitt hjärta (eller DU gjorde).  Evangelister är ständigt orsak till att människor ”förhärdar sina hjärtan”, när de vägrar att ta emot evangeliet trots bättre vetande. På liknande sätt kan man säga att Farao kunde förhärda sitt hjärta samtidigt som det var Gud som manade fram förhärdningen. Vägrar vi att lyda och samarbeta med Gud så förhärdar vi våra hjärtan. Innan Farao stötte på israelernas Gud så kan man säga att hans hjärta inte var ”förhärdat” eftersom han tidigare inte behövde ta ställning till några val från Gud. (Jag säger inte att han därför var frälst, eftersom han ändå kunde levt emot sitt eget samvete.) Jag kan tillägga att det inte heter ”en gång förhärdad, alltid förhärdad”, men en människa måste se upp om hon väljer att göra sitt hjärta hårt om och om igen. Hjärtat riskerar att bli helt igenom genomhårt och samvetet blir mer och mer rymligt. Chanserna till omvändelse kan försvinna och en dag kan det vara helt för sent.

Farao sägs ha förhärdat sitt eget hjärta i nedanstående verser:

  • 2 Mosebok 8:15 Men när farao såg att han fått lindring,stängde han till sitt hjärta och hörde inte på dem
  • 2 Mosebok 8:32 Men farao stängde till sitt hjärta också den här gången och släppte inte folket
  • 2 Mosebok 9:34 Men när farao såg att regnet och haglet och dundret hade upphört, framhärdade han i sin synd och stängde till sitt hjärta, både han och hans tjänare. (Här kan vi läsa att Farao framhärdade i sin SYND. Vad slags synd? Att vägra släppa israelerna, eller hur? Om det är GUD som tvingade på Farao ett förhärdat hjärta som gör att han syndar, så är det egentligen GUD som syndar. Alltså fungerar inte en sådan tolkning.)
  • 1 Samuelsboken 6:6 Varför förhärdar ni era hjärtan, som farao och egyptierna gjorde? När han använde sin makt mot dem, släppte de då inte israeliterna och lät dem gå?

Verser i 2 Mosebok som inte ger någon information om VEM som förhärdade Faraos hjärta:

  • 7:13 Ändå förblev faraos hjärta hårt och han lyssnade inte på dem
  • 7:14  Faraos hjärta är tillslutet, han vägrar att släppa folket
  • 7:22 Och faraos hjärta förblev hårt så att han inte lyssnade på dem
  • 8:19  Men faraos hjärta förblev hårt och han lyssnade inte på dem
  • 9:7 Men faraos hjärta förblev tillslutet och han släppte inte folket.
  • 9:35 Faraos hjärta förblev hårt och han släppte inte Israels barn

Gud sägs ha förhärdat Faraos hjärta vid nedanstående tillfällen i 2 Mosebok: 

  • 4:21 Men jag skall göra honom hård till sinnes så att han inte släpper folket.
  • 7:3 Jag skall förhärda faraos hjärta 
  • 9:12 Men Herren gjorde faraos hjärta hårt så att han inte lyssnade på dem
  • 10:1  ty jag har förhärdat hans och hans tjänares hjärtan för att göra dessa tecken mitt ibland dem
  • 10:20 Men Herren gjorde faraos hjärta hårt
  • 10:27 Men Herren gjorde faraos hjärta hårt
  • 11:10 men Herren gjorde faraos hjärta hårt
  • 14:4 Och jag skall göra faraos hjärta hårt så att han förföljer dem. Jag skall förhärliga mig på farao och hela hans här, så att egyptierna förstår att jag är Herren.
  • 14:8 Och Herren gjorde faraos, den egyptiske kungens, hjärta hårt
  • 14:17 jag skall förhärda egyptiernas hjärtan

Exempel på förhärdade hjärtan

Hebreerbrevet 4:7 Därför bestämmer han på nytt en dag som han kallar i dag, när han långt senare säger genom David vad som redan är nämnt: I dag, om ni hör hans röst, förhärda inte era hjärtan.

Hesekiel 3:7 Men Israels hus vill inte lyssna på dig, ty de vill inte lyssna på mig. Hela Israels hus har hårda pannor och förhärdade hjärtan. 8 så förhärda inte era hjärtan, som när era fäder väckte min förbittring på frestelsens dag i öknen. 

Psaltaren 95:7—I dag, om ni hör hans röst,så förhärda inte era hjärtan som i Meriba, som på Massas dag i öknen

Psaltaren 17:10 Sitt hjärta förhärdar de, med sin mun talar de stora ord.

Ordspråksboken 28:14 Salig är den människa som alltid fruktar Gud, den som förhärdar sitt hjärta faller i olycka.

Isaiah 63: Varför, o Herre, låter du oss gå vilse från dina vägar och varför förhärdar du våra hjärtan, så att vi inte fruktar dig? Vänd tillbaka, för dina tjänares skull, för din arvedels stammars skull. (Man kan alltså vara medveten om hjärtats hårdhet och be att Gud griper in. Att Gud gör hjärtan hårda beror på deras egna synder. )

5 Mosebok 10: 16 Omskär därför ert hjärtas förhud och var inte längre hårdnackade17 Ty Herren, er Gud, är gudarnas Gud och herrarnas Herre, den Gud som är stor och väldig och inger fruktan, som inte är partisk och inte tar mutor.

5 Mosebok 15:Om det finns någon fattig hos dig, en av dina bröder, i någon av dina städer i det land som Herren, din Gud, ger dig, skall du inte förhärda ditt hjärta eller tillsluta din hand för din fattige broder, utan villigt öppna din hand för honom och villigt låna honom vad han behöver i sin brist. Se till att inte denna onda tanke uppstår i ditt hjärta: ”Det sjunde året, friåret, är nära”, och du så ser med ont öga på din fattige broder och inte ger honom något. Han kan då ropa till Herren mot dig, och synd kommer att vila på dig.

5 Mosebok 30:1 När allt detta kommer över dig, välsignelsen och förbannelsen som jag har förelagt dig, och du lägger detta på ditt hjärta bland alla de hednafolk dit Herren, din Gud, fördriver dig, 2 och du vänder om till Herren, din Gud, och lyder hans röst, i allt vad jag i dag befaller dig, du och dina barn, av hela ditt hjärta och av hela din själ3DÅ skall Herren, din Gud, göra slut på din fångenskap och förbarma sig över dig. Herren, din Gud, skall då åter samla dig från alla folk, dit han har skingrat dig.—6 Herren, din Gud, skall omskära ditt hjärta och dina efterkommandes hjärtan, så att du älskar Herren, din Gud, av hela ditt hjärta och av hela din själ. Då ska du få leva. (Notera villkoret för att Gud ska omskära hjärtan.)

1 Kung. 8:57 Må då Herren, vår Gud, vara med oss, så som han har varit med våra fäder. Må han inte överge oss eller lämna oss,58 utan vända våra hjärtan till sig, så att vi alltid går på hans vägar och håller fast vid de bud och stadgar och föreskrifter som han har givit våra fäder. 59 Må dessa mina ord med vilka jag bönfallit inför Herren, vara nära Herren, vår Gud, dag och natt, så att han skaffar rätt åt sin tjänare och rätt åt sitt folk Israel dag efter dag, 60 för att alla folk på jorden skall veta att Herren är Gud och ingen annan. 61 Låt era hjärtan vara hängivna Herren, vår Gud, så att ni alltid lever efter hans stadgar och håller hans bud, så som ni nu gör.

1 Krön. 29:18 Herre, Abrahams, Isaks och Israels, våra fäders Gud, låt ditt folks hjärtas håg och tankar för evigt vara redo till sådant och vänd deras hjärtan till dig19 Ge min son Salomo ett hängivet hjärta, så att han håller dina bud, dina vittnesbörd och dina stadgar och utför allt detta och bygger detta tempel, som jag har skaffat förråd till.” (Vi kan påverka med våra böner.)

Krön. 36:13 Och han gjorde uppror mot kung Nebukadnessar, som hade tagit en ed av honom vid Gud. Han var hårdnackad och förhärdade sitt hjärta, så att han inte omvände sig till HERREN, Israels Gud.

Jer. 4:4 Omskär er för Herren,  avlägsna ert hjärtas förhud, ni Juda män och ni Jerusalems invånare. Annars skall min vrede bryta fram som en eld för era onda gärningars skull,  och den skall brinna så att ingen kan släcka den.

Josua 11:20 Ty från HERREN kom det att de förhärdade sina hjärtan och gick ut i strid mot Israel, för att han skulle ge dem till spillo och inte visa dem nåd. I stället skulle han utrota dem så som HERREN hade befallt Mose.

People hearkened NOT unto God but closed their ears

The word ”hearken” is not commonly used today, but it’s an oft mentioned word in the Old Testament. It means: To listen attentively; to give heed, to give attention to what is said, to listen, or to hear in order to obey or comply. Below are some Biblical examples of people who did NOT choose to hearken to God or his prophets (contrary to God’s will) and they mainly concern his own people – the Israelites. Note that there are of course many more instances where we can read about people who refuse to listen to God or obey him, where the word ”hearken” is not used. Did God want people to hearken to him? Of course he did! Why pleading with people and attempting to get their attention if he wouldn’t want them to listen to him and obey in the first place? This means God’s will doesn’t always happen, but he is still in control. God can be sovereign and in control even though he doesn’t direct each of our steps. The Bible is a book filled with examples of individuals and large groups of people who disobey God and refuse to listen to him, and we can take these instances as warnings for ourselves.

Let’s ask ourselves, does God want us to rebel against him, to sin, to harden our hearts, to provoke him, to be evil, to not believe him, to gather together against him, to tempt him, to worship idols, to disobey his commandments, to forsake him, to be wicked, to cause him to anger, to go a whoring, to corrupt our ways, to transgress his covenant, to be stubborn, to harden our necks, to despise him, to be proud, to dishonor him, to reject his law, to refuse to repent, to speak lying words, to kill his prophets, to be deceived, to not receive correction, to do worse than our fathers, to not incline our ears to him, to not serve him, to turn our backs on him, to cause others to sin, to commit villany, to defile his house, to make abominations, to do something that he hates, to not turn to him, etc? I hope you say with emphasis that God of course does NOT want us to behave in such a way. Yet this is what we can read happened, and his own people reacted wickedly. To deny man’s free will is to deny major parts of the Bible, resulting in a Book that doesn’t make much sense.

Exodus 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.

Exodus 16:20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Numbers 14:11 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?—22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:—35 I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die

Deutoronomy 1814 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.—

Deutoronomy 28:1And it shall come to pass, IF thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, IF thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy GodThe Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways—15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:—20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.-45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee–62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.

Judges 2:2 And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim:—12 And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.13 And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.14 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.—16 Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so.18 And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.20 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;

1 Sam 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.30 Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men.

2 Kings 22:13 Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us

Nehemiah 9:15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments,17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.—26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations.27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the land of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies;29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands.—34 Neither have our kings, our princes, our priests, nor our fathers, kept thy law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them.—35 For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.

Psalm 81:11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me

Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.21 They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;—23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.24 Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:25 But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lordcommanded them:35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.—39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.—43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.44 Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:45 And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.

Jeremiah 6:Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited.—10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord;—16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.18 Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Jeremiah 7:For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.—12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.—23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.—31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Jeremiah 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

Jeremiah 17:27 But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.

Jeremia 25:From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that theLord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. –Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord—

Jeremia 26 Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:3 If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,5 To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

Jeremiah 29:For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.—19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith theLord, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the Lord.—23 Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken lying words in my name, which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord—31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the Lord concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite; Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie:32 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the Lord; because he hath taught rebellion against the Lord.

Jeremiah 32: 23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not thy voice, neither walked in thy law; they have done nothing of all that thou commandedst them to do: therefore thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them:—30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, saith the Lord.-33 And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction.34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Jeremiah 34:13 Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying,14 At the end of seven years let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew, which hath been sold unto thee; and when he hath served thee six years, thou shalt let him go free from thee: but your fathers hearkened not unto me, neither inclined their ear.15 And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:16 But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.17 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.18 And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof—

Jeremiah 35:12 Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying,13 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the Lord.14 The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons not to drink wine, are performed; for unto this day they drink none, but obey their father’s commandment: notwithstanding I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye hearkened not unto me.15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:17 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

Jeremiah 36:It may be they will present their supplication before the Lord, and will return every one from his evil way: for great is the anger and the fury that the Lord hath pronounced against this people.31 And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not.

Jeremiah 44: Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.—Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.Therefore now thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain;—15 Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying,16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.—22 So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.

Ezekiel 3:But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.—As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.—20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand—27 But when I speak with thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

Ezekiel 20:Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.—13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.—18 But I said unto their children in the wilderness, Walk ye not in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols:19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.—30 Wherefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Are ye polluted after the manner of your fathers? and commit ye whoredom after their abominations?31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.—39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.43 And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed.

Hosea 9:1  Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people: for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, thou hast loved a reward upon every cornfloor.—They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted: for their bread for their soul shall not come into the house of the Lord.—9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.—15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters—17 My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Zechariah 1:The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.—Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.

Zechariah 7:Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts:

Descent into error (about division among christians due to doctrines)

Thanks to blog.savetheperishing.com

This is the true story of a witnessing team’s birth and its subsequent fall into the errors of Calvinism by some of its members. I decided to write this as a warning to others who may be involved with Calvinists who evangelize or who may be on the verge of embracing the doctrine.  Looking back on my experience I am amazed at the subtle shift in behavior, doctrine, interpretation, attitude and mindset of the group due to Calvinism.  Its interesting to see how a doctrine like this can change humble, smart, loving people into prideful, contradictory, unthinking, unloving people.  It wasn’t one thing per se that caused problems nor was it one person but an accumulation of events with many people over a few years.  It took me a several years of prayer and bible study to come to the conclusions I am writing about in these posts.

Way of the Master Radio

One day in 2006 I heard on the radio that Kirk Cameron, the actor, had his own Christian ministry.  I decided to do a google search on him.  The Way of the Master website popped up and I started reading its material and watching the witnessing videos.  They also had a radio show where they record themselves witnessing to others.  I decided to share this with my friends.

What started out as a mere curiosity turned into a full-blown ministry.  Some of my friends and I took Way of the Master classes, read their books, and studied the bible to see if this method of evangelism were true.  It seemed to be so we started witnessing to the lost using this method.

For the first two years it was great.  We would go to the bus stops or the Sprint Center downtown, perhaps to a festival, we had the ministry listed in our church’s bulletin so we could have others join us if they wanted to, we could see God moving in the conversations we had with the lost.

Along the way we had others join our group and 4 of them were Calvinists.  We didn’t have Calvinists in our group before and at the time I was undecided on the doctrine but was leaning away from it.  Months later I started to notice some disturbing trends emerging in the witnessing group.

Shift of Interpretations

I was at my friends house before a bible study and there were four us standing in the kitchen.  We were talking about the lost and then the verse from  1 Corinthians 1:18 came up, “the preaching of the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing.”   Up to this point we had understood this mean’t the gospel is foolishness to those who have pride and think they are good.  This is the context of Corinthians and was in fact taught this way by Ray Comfort on the Way of the Master Training Course.  In other words, “Why would you preach the gospel to me?  I’m not a sinner!  I’m a good person!  Go preach to a sinner.”  The preaching of the cross is foolishness to someone with… pride.

While I was standing in the kitchen I was amazed to hear the reason why the “preaching of the cross is foolishness” is because sinners are “totally depraved” and unable to believe.  When I objected to that interpretation another verse was used, taken out of context, to further demonstrate how total depravity is true.  While it is true “totally depraved” sinners have pride it is also true Christians have pride, so I can’t say the reason why people have pride is because they are totally depraved.  Besides, the chapter in Corinthians we were discussing has nothing to do with total depravity.  It has to do with the pride of man and how God uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise.

What in the world was going on?

The Gospel Tract Enigma

When we witnessed we mainly gave out million dollar bill tracks.  They look like a real million dollar bill even though there is no such thing as a million dollar bill.  Several times after an evening of witnessing we would either have dinner or meet afterwards for fellowship.  Some questions would arise in the minds of my friends who later became Calvinists.  “Why do certain people take the tracks we give out and others don’t?  Its a mystery they say.  Twenty people don’t take a tract and then a bunch of people do.”  Some concluded this MUST MEAN God is drawing only those people who took the tract.

There are many reasons people don’t take tracts:

1) They think its a political ad because there is a president on it.

2) They think we are selling something and aren’t interested in buying.  This is a normal reaction.  People rarely give away material to people without selling something.

4) People in the back who see people in the front reject the tract also reject it.  “If the person ahead of me didn’t take it than I probably don’t want it either.”

5) Maybe they are upset, or tired, or who knows how many other reasons for avoiding taking a leaflet from a stranger.

There are many reasons for people taking tracts as well:

1) They are curious about what it is.

2) They like political ads.

3) They don’t want to be in an awkward situation where they must reject what someone is freely giving them so they take it.

4) People in front of them grab one so they grab one.

5) God is drawing them.

Calvinists attribute everything that happens to God.  While Calvinists vary in their opinion as to the amount of control God has on His creation many believe natural disasters, and even sin as something God has ordained, so its not a surprise the people in the witnessing group are focusing on why certain people take a gospel tract.

When I mentioned to them the different reasons why people may grab or not grab a tract it went in one ear and out the other.  Suggesting these ideas makes their exciting discovery that God controls everything not so exciting.

Popular Preachers and Popery

My friends in the group spent a great deal of time listening to Calvinist preachers such as Paul Washer, Alestair Begg, John MacArthur, James White, RC Sproul, and John Piper to name a few.  If you spend all your time listening to Calvinists preachers you will eventually be… a Calvinist.  Particularly if you spend more time listening to them than reading the bible for yourself allowing the Holy Spirit to interpret the Word.  Every Calvinist I have known or debated with spend far more time reading reformed titles, or listening to popular reformed preachers than they do reading the bible.

After they do this they believe Calvinism and then later tell me how “God opened my eyes to this truth.”  How deceived they must be to think “God opened my eyes” when in reality they spent more time reading theinterpretations of men rather than the words of God.  They have not learned the “deeper things” of God but rather what someone else thinks the bible says.  How can they possibly say “God opened my eyes” when in fact they are being told what to believe by human fallible preachers?  Are they confusing a preacher as God Himself?  Is this the Catholic church with a magisterium who speaks infallibly for God?  It seems so.

This is called indoctrination and thats what happened to the witnessing group over time.  They were becoming indoctrinated right before my eyes.

I used to be a Catholic and after that I was in the occult for several years.  Its not difficult to be indoctrinated, all you have to do is keep on listening, and believing it little by little until eventually it will take hold.  Before I was a Christian I was on the brink of worshiping the Earth due the shamanistic teachings I was studying.  I had the sudden realization that the next step in my learning was to worship the earth.  It made sense because of what I learned and knew.  Once I realized I was about to do this I stopped myself because deep down I knew it was wrong.  As a side note how would I know it was wrong?  I was “totally” depraved!  Perhaps the concept of total depravity is wrong, but thats another topic for another post.

Listening to the same preachers over and over again amounts to a type of popery similiar to the Catholic church.  Instead of one person as a pope there are several that teach the same things.  These people cannot be questioned because they are “Godly” men who preach hard on sin.  They couldn’t possibly be wrong about this doctrine!  They spend all their time studying this and are smarter than us, they know Greek and use fancy theological terms such as “doctrines of grace.”  Who am I to question them?

Oh what an insult to Christ!  The Holy Spirit, through His Word, is “unable” to teach believers better than men!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to forsake all preachers…I’m saying their interpretations are not the final word.  If you spend more time listening to other human beings than reading God’s Word you do indeed have a Pope, whether its in the form of one preacher or many.  If someone asks you “What do you believe about election” and your answer is “Read this book by James White” or “Here is an article on this by John Piper” or “Here is a sermon from RC Sproul” or “Here are some commentaries on this” you may possibly have a “pope” in your life telling you what to believe.

An objection to what I just wrote might be “I don’t have time to write a full answer to your questions, its easier to show you what <insert preachers name> believes.”  Yes I know.  You have spent so much time studying the interpretations of others you know what these other preachers believe.  Thats my point!  Do you honestly think you can listen to preachers everyday in podcasts or on the radio and not be influenced by them?  The reason you are listening to them is because you WANT to be influenced by them.  Perhaps its true you don’t have enough time to study.  Maybe your job forces you to drive frequently or you have many family responsibilities.  If thats true, why not listen to the bible on CD instead of a preacher most of the time?  Are you confident enough in the abilities of the Holy Spirit to teach you directly through His Word?

Furthermore if you know words like “monogerism” or  “synergism” or if you automatically think since I am not a Calvinist that makes me an “Arminian” or I’m a “free-willer” you spend way too much time studying the writings of men rather than the word of God.

The extent to which this idea of popery was entrenched in the witnessing group was made evident one day.  Tony Miano, a well known Calvinist who evangelizes, was saying some things to sinners on video which were questionable and confusing.  When someone in the witnessing group was asked to reexamine what Tony said he refused to do it.  He felt examining Tony would make him “sick” because he is after all a “Godly” man who apparently cannot be questioned.  Accusing Tony of teaching questionable doctrines would definitely disrupt the peace among the group and we can’t have that!

This is a far cry from the Bereans who examined what the Apostle Paul had to say to see if what he said was true.

It seems the witnessing group is not so interested in truth after all.

Cont.:

Descent Into Error Part 2 – Mottos to live by?
“Descent Into Error” Part 3 – Judgement Without Discernment
“Descent Into Error” Part 4 – Love waxes cold to the unsaved
“Descent Into Error” Part 5 – The Bible as a spell-casting device

Ords.16:4 Herren har gjort den ogudaktige för olyckans dag?

Herren har gjort var sak för sitt särskilda syfte, även den ogudaktige för olyckans dag. (Ords. 16:4)

(KJV: The Lord hath made all things for himself—)

Några försöker göra gällande att  Gud skapat och/eller förutbestämt både ondska och synd, och att han gjort några människor till syndare bara för att helt enkelt kunna straffa dem på domens dag. Detta är dock inte Bibelns Gud, och om Gud skapat människor just för att synda så borde de få en medalj för att de gör hans vilja genom sin synd i stället för att kastas i elden. Vid första anblicken ser Ords. 16:4 ut att säga emot många andra verser i Bibeln där vi kan läsa att Gud vill att alla människor ska omvända sig och vara goda:

2 Peter 3:Herren dröjer inte med att uppfylla sitt löfte, så som en del menar. Nej, han har tålamod med er, eftersom han inte vill att någon skall gå förlorad utan att alla skall få tid att omvända sig.

Hes. 33:11 Svara dem: Så sant jag lever, säger Herren, Herren, jag gläder mig inte åt den ogudaktiges död. I stället vill jag att den ogudaktige vänder om från sin väg och får leva. Vänd om, vänd om från era onda vägar! Inte vill ni väl dö, ni av Israels hus?

Hes. 18:23 Skulle jag finna någon glädje i den ogudaktiges död? säger Herren, Herren. Nej, jag vill att han vänder om från sin väg och får leva.

Ps. 5:5 Du är inte en Gud som älskar ogudaktighet, den som är ond får ej bo hos digDe övermodiga består inte inför dina ögon, du hatar alla ogärningsmänDu förgör dem som talar lögn,  Herren avskyr de blodtörstiga och falska.

Det hebreiska ordet maaneh kan betyda ”att stå till svars för”. Den första delen av versen kan alltså betyda ”Herren har skapat allting att stå till svars inför honom” . De skördar alltså vad de sår. Versen skulle då lyda:

”Herren har skapat allting för att stå till svars inför honom, ja även de onda, som tror att de kan undkomma, måste stå till svars inför honom på Domens dag”

Detta passar perfekt med resten av Bibeln där vi tydligt kan läsa att Gud FÖRVÄNTAR sig att vi ska vara lydiga och INTE bryta hans bud. Versens sammanhang visar att ett stolt hjärta är en STYGGELSE för Gud eftersom han AVSKYR det, så självfallet skulle han inte skapa människor för att utföra synder som han avskyr. Varför skulle Gud ens överväga att tvinga oss att synda för att sedan svänga 180 grader och straffa oss för det han orsakat oss att göra?

Ords. 16:2 En mans vägar är rena i hans egna ögon, men Herren är den som prövar andarna. Befall dina verk åt Herren,  så har dina planer framgång.Herren har gjort var sak för sitt särskilda syfte, även den ogudaktige för olyckans dag. Herren avskyr de högmodiga, de blir förvisso inte ostraffade.Genom nåd och sanning sonas skuld,genom Herrens fruktan undflyr man det onda.

Texten säger att människor kan undfly det onda om de fruktar Gud, vilket är något som DE måste göra, och Gud vill gärna att de undflyr det onda. Gud skapade allt för att stå till svars inför honom, inklusive de som tror att de har allt på det torra. Han skapade världen så att det goda som görs ska bli belönat och de onda ska bli bestraffat. På det sättet så kommer syftet med allting att besannas även vad gäller de onda, för de ska ju stå till svars för sina handlingar på domens dag.

Ords. 16:7 Om någons vägar behagar Herren, gör han även hans fiender till vänner.—9 Människans hjärta tänker ut sin väg,men Herren är den som styr hennes steg.

Människan kan ha önskningar och göra upp planer för att utföra dem, men vi är ändå helt beroende av Gud, och han kan hjälpa och stjälpa. Vi borde söka honom så att han kan leda oss rätt. Vi kan inte använda Ords. 16:9 som stöd för att Gud leder varje steg som vi tar, för det skulle absolut göra honom till källan till våra synder. Vi skulle då vara offer i händerna på en tyrann och vi skulle kunna anklaga Gud för det onda vi gör. Abraham planerade ett sätt att hitta en fru till sin son Isak, och tjänaren stötte på Rebecka. Jakob planerade att fly från Esau, och Herren välsignade honom och han blev rik med en stor familj. Josef valde att leva rättfärdigt och Herren ledde honom till Egyptens tron. Jesse planerade att sända mat genom sin yngsta son till sina andra söner i armén, utan att känna till att Gud skulle leda David att utföra ett storslaget dåd gentemot Goliat. Att Gud kan ”leda våra steg” betyder inte att vi inte har en fri vilja. Det är vår fria vilja som kan leda till att Gud svarar, reagerar och hjälper oss.  Att Gud alltid har kontroll betyder inte att vi är bundna till att vara marionettdockor i hans hand. Vi borde helt enkelt inte använda kapitel med poetiska inslag för att bygga upp doktriner som motsäger andra delar av Bibeln, utan vi måste läsa varje avsnitt i sitt sammanhang. God förutbestämmer inte att vi ska synda och punkt slut.

Ords. 16:12 Kungar avskyr onda gärningar,  ty genom rättfärdighet blir tronen befäst.13 Rättfärdiga läppar behagar kungar, den som talar sanning blir älskad. —17 De rättsinnigas väg är att fly det onda, den som ger akt på sin väg bevarar sitt liv. 18 Stolthet går före undergång och högmod går före fall—.20 Den som ger akt på ordet finner det goda, lycklig är den som förtröstar på Herren. —2Den vises hjärta gör hans mun förståndig och främjar lärdomen på hans läppar.— 25 En väg kan synas rätt för en människa, men dess slut kan leda till döden. 27 En illasinnad man gräver upp det onda, förtärande eld är på hans läppar. 28 En falsk människa vållar trätor,  den som skvallrar skiljer vänner åt.29 Våldsverkaren förför sin nästa och leder honom in på en väg som inte är god.30 Den som kniper ihop ögonen umgås med vrånga tankar, sammanpressade läppar är redo till ont. —32 Bättre en tålmodig man än en hjälte, bättre styra sitt sinne än inta en stad. 33 Lotten kastas i knät,   men avgörandet kommer alltid från Herren.

Psalmer och ordspråk innehåller ofta poesi, sånger och hyperboler som speglar verkligheten, så vi måste vara försiktiga så att vi inte använder några verser ur sitt sammanhang och använder dem som universella sanningar som ska passa för alla människor i alla tider. Speciellt inte om det tvingar oss att ignorera många andra verser i Bibeln som har motsatt lära. Kan vi exempelvis acceptera nedanstående verser som absoluta sanningar som ALLTID stämmer in i ALLAS liv under ALLA omständigheter och utan undantag? ELLER ska vi läsa dem som generella sanningar som speglar människans liv här på jorden?

Ords. 13:21 Syndare förföljs av olycka, de rättfärdigas lön blir lycka.22 Den gode lämnar arv åt barnbarn, syndarens egendom förvaras åt den rättfärdige. De fattigas nyodling ger riklig föda, men den sopas bort när orätt råder.24 Den som spar på riset hatar sin son, den som älskar honom fostrar honom i tid. 25 Den rättfärdige äter och blir mätt, de ogudaktiga får gå med tom mage.

Ords. 22:Vänj den unge vid den väg han bör vandraså viker han ej av från den när han blir gammal.

Ords. 12: Flitig hand får härska, den late tvingas till trältjänst.