Tag Archive | bible

If we inherited Adam’s sin and were born with a sinful nature, we have Bible contradictions

wonderfully madeThe non-Biblical sinful nature  

The Bible does not teach that man is born with a sinful nature (not in Romans 5, not in Ephesians 2, not in any psalms, not anywhere). This illogical idea (that babies are sinners) can be traced back to Augustine and even all the way back to the gnostics.

Neither does the Bible claim that man can get an injection of someone else’s righteousness and thus magically become righteous despite living in sin. Man himself is responsible for being faithful to Jesus and to live a righteous life. Do not let anyone tell you that being obedient to Jesus is about self-righteousness, and therefore a sinful works-based salvation.

If man would be born (or conceived) with a sinful nature, we end up with many contradictions.

  • The Bible is strangely silent about it and rather claims that man is guilty when he transgresses the law of God, which requires that he knows the law in the first place.
  • We would have the best excuse for sin there is – our nature made us do it.
  • All the church fathers the first 300 years AD would be wrong for claiming the opposite.
  • Jesus would have a HUGE advantage over us from the very start since he was not born with a sinful nature, which is something that makes the holder prone to sin. We would be able to say ”No wonder that Jesus could so easily refrain from sin! He was not born with a sinful nature like the rest of us!”
  • Sinning is apparently something that can be found in the DNA and be inherited from person to person, and not (always) something that a man DOES.
  • It is apparently a sin to have ”flesh”, since this is the starting point for our sins?  Jesus started to get flesh just like us during his conception, but his flesh was without those sin genes?
  • God turns out to be an unrighteous judge who charges all human beings for something they are innocent of and could not help.
  • The sinful nature has apparently prevented all human beings from being obedient to God from the very start, so God has either made us too weak to obey his laws, or he has made the laws too difficult for us to obey.
  • Sinning is described in the Bible as transgressing God’s law (1 John. 3:4) and something that offends him, but what exactly offends God about a person being born (or conceived)?
  • Babies (also newborn, and unborn babies) would be able to commit sin – even before they have hearts, despite that Matt. 15:18-19 and Mark 7:20-23 tell us that evil thoughts proceed from the heart.
  • Babies are apparently spiritually ”dead” already from conception when they are still tiny specks, which puts Eph. 2:1 in doubt since it claims that we are dead due to ”trespasses and sins”.
  • Romans 5:12 should not be saying that ”death passed upon all men FOR that all have sinned”, but rather that SIN passed upon all men because Adam sinned. (Btw, the Bible itself proves in many verses that ”all” does not always refer to all human beings.)
  • James would be wrong for claiming that man’s own lust and giving in for temptation is the cause of sin (James 1:14-15), when in reality all people are sinful long before they can have lust and before they even have functional body parts.
  • Is. 7:16 would be wrong for suggesting that a child does not know to refuse the evil and choose the good.   
  • etc

But … if we have no sinful nature, why do we sin? Answer: Why did Adam and Eve sin? Think about that for a moment.

But … if we have no sinful nature, then there could potentially be someone out there who could have been totally free of sin all his life. Answer: Yes.

But … if we have no sinful nature, why did Jesus have to die? Answer: Because we have sinned. We have transgressed the law of God.

We are sinners precisely because we could have chosen to obey God but chose to not do it. This makes us guilty rather than God. God is graceous and does not give us one single chance to live righteous, but if we mix sin and righteousness we have not truly repented and we are fooling ourselves.

Transferring blood to make us righteous?

imputed righteousness.jpg

”Impute” translated from the Greek verb λογίζομαι (logizomai, Strong’s 3049) = can also be translated to think, reckon, count and suppose. Note that it does not mean ”transfer” or ”inject”. 

When we repent we become totally cleansed from our past sins (certainly not any future sins) and we are totally forgiven even if our sins are numerous and severe. We are counted as righteous because sin can no longer be found in us when we are 100% free from all sin. It is therefore no divine lie that we are counted as righteous because the fact is that this is what we have truly become thanks to the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.

So how long does this righteous state of being last? It lasts as long as we remain righteous by walking in the light, which is OUR responsibility. WE are supposed to be led by the holy Spirit and be faithful to Jesus. Do not let anyone tell you that someone else will do it for you or instead of you. Jesus is ”our righteousness” in the sense that he died for us and removed our sins, but this does not mean that we can get his righteousness transferred into us. Many Christians misunderstand ”imputed” righteousness in Rom 4-5, because they erroneously believe it means ”transferred”. This is not true, since the word rather means to be reckoned, counted or regarded as righteous. Not because of a blood transfer, but because our sins have been removed. The Bible does not teach ”once righteous always righteous” (or ”once saved always saved”). If a prisoner gets out of jail, it does not mean that he is now free to commit further crimes since he has

There is no way that God would count us as righteous unless we truly were, and we can never fool God by suggesting that he does not see our sins but only the precious blood of Jesus. We can never be regarded as positionally righteous while still living in sin. Always remember Satan’s famous lie ”Ye shalt not surely die”. The idea that blood can be transferred into us and make us righteous (even if we sin), is an attempt from Satan’s side to trick us into feeling comfortable in our sin and to get the idea that we have a heavenly fire insurance. Even many pastors teach that it is normal for Christians to sin, and abnormal if they do not. They might even go further than that by suggesting that it is self-righteous to be completely faithful to Jesus, and that we should never believe that we can be victorious over sin. Satan could not be happier for this type of help, because it is totally backwards: ”Christian sinners” (an oxymoron) go to heaven, but righteous Christians go to hell (because of the sin of self-righteousness). This sounds like the greatest sin (and the only one that can make you lose your salvation?) is to teach and believe that you can be completely faithful to God. THAT angers God the most?

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Matt. 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall DO and TEACH THEM, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, YE SHALL IN NO CASE ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.  

God is speaking:

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Deut. 30:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. —- 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it. (NASB)

Read about Rom. 5 here.

Biblical examples of POLYGAMY – a marriage form not supported by God

ringarThe Bible – contains advice concerning the marriage between a man and a woman 

Biblical examples of polygamy further down below 

When it comes to the question of marriage and the relationship between a man and his wife, the Bible contains plenty of good advice from the apostle Paul and from Proverbs, but never about other marriage constellations (same-sex marriages or polygamy). This naturally suggests that other variations are not according to God’s plans.

Unfortunately God’s view of an ideal marriage is attacked by some people (there is even a name for them – liberals), and there are also people who try to find support for polygamy from the Bible. Nevertheless, the Bible explains on the first few pages that a marriage is a union between one man and one woman – for generations. No other variations are listed. The marriage union is intended to be:

  1. between a man and a woman
  2. between two individuals (who become one flesh with each other)
  3. unbreakable

Such a natural union is also ideal for the children who would then be born into a stable household, and each new generation would grow up with a mother and a father as role models. Men and women have different abilities and characteristics depending on their gender, and children benefit from both.

Gen. 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Prior to the time of Moses, marriages between cousins and siblings were legitimate (even if they might be rare), but then again Adam and Eve were created ”very good”, and had no deficient genes which might cause any defects in their children. Such risks did not arrive until much later due to gene pool bottlenecks.

If God would have accepted same-sex marriages, we would be able to find support for this somewhere in his word. Not only are there no such examples but we can find many warnings against this type of unnatural life style. If we choose to live against God’s intended purpose and creation order, we are also choosing to live a risky life style which could even lead to depression and an early death. In his great love, God wants something much better for us. If all people would adhere to God’s advice about this, there would be no room for any venereal diseases.

Rom. 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

1 Cor. 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

Lev. 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination

If something is an abomination in the old testament, it could not possibly be acceptable and right in the new testament.

LIST OF COMMONLY USED EXAMPLES OF POLYGAMY giftermål

Even if the ideal marriage union is between two persons, there are Biblical examples of men (never women) who have deviated from this rule and who have lived in a polygamous marriage with more than one woman. It is noteworthy that none of those marriages have been peaceful or successful.

God is not a fan of either polygamy or divorce but due to man’s own will and the hardness of the heart, God provides rules for the sake of the weaker part – the woman. During the time of the old testament there was no safety net for women apart from belonging to a household which could provide for her (and her children). A single woman who is neither a virgin or a widow would have great difficulties achieving a good standard of living with no protective laws giving her certain rights. As soon as people deviate from God’s intention, problems arise for one or more parties. In such cases one could only do the best of the situation. 

The first person we can read about living in a polygamous marriage is Lemech (Gen. 4:19) who was not a godly man. The book of Jasher provides more information about him and his wives, and discloses that he initially used only one wife for child-bearing.

Sometimes the reason for a polygamous marriage is not disclosed, but whenever it is disclosed among the godly men of the Bible, we can see that the reasons seem to be due to having been persuaded by a barren wife to have children with a handmaid, or possibly due to having been tricked into marrying more than one wife. These are not the reasons you would hear from Christian polygamy supporters today. They provide totally different reasons – none of them Biblical.

They might suggest that God accept polygamous marriages since there are plenty of Biblical examples of them, but they are almost always in relation to ungodly men. Yes, there are a few cases when it comes to godly men, but if you see the details in the list below it is evident that these cases still cannot be used as support. I do not list individuals who had multiple wives and who were never considered righteous in the first place, such as Jeroboam, Ahab, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Esau, etc.

Concubines in the Bible among godly men: The practice of taking concubines as ”wives” was used to provide a male heir for a barren wife (Gen. 16, 35, 36), but concubines did not have the same status as wives. The sons of some concubines were treated as co-heirs with the sons of wives. Multiplying children through concubines would also increase the available family workforce and the family wealth and power. The practice of having concubines was NOT to meet the sexual desires of the males. The practice could even provide a social safety net for poor families who could sell their daughters in dire times ( Exod 21:7-10; Judges 19:1).

The list consists of the most commonly used Biblical examples when it comes to the attempt to support polygamy today.

1) Abraham 

Abraham allowed himself to be persuaded by his wife Sarah to go to bed with her maid Hagar in order to obtain a child with her. The reason for this was that Sarah herself was barren and likely eager to be pregnant with a son as per God’s promise. Perhaps Abraham was easily persuaded because he too was eager to see the divine promise fulfilled. Hagar did indeed become pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael. Even though a son was now born to Abraham and Sarah, it was still not the son of the promise. God had promised that Sarah would be giving birth to a son – and never suggested that she would make her own arrangements through another woman to see this promise fulfilled. Their second son Isaac was born by Sarah and he was the son of the promise. There have been many contentions between the  descendants of Isaac and Ishmael (even today).

Abraham also had a wife/concubine after Sarah’s death – Keturah, and Keturah and Hagar are likely the two concubines referred to in Gen. 25:6 (unless one would like to make a case about Abraham’s vague mentioning of Eliezer of Damascus which requires a blog post in itself and still would not prove yet another concubine).

Gen. 16:1 Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. — 4. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes.

Gen. 25:6 But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.

Gen. 15:2 And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.4 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.

1 Chron. 1:32 Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.

Jasher 16:29 And when Hagar saw that she had conceived she rejoiced greatly, and her mistress was despised in her eyes, and she said within herself, This can only be that I am better before God than Sarai my mistress, for all the days that my mistress has been with my lord, she did not conceive, but me the Lord has caused in so short a time to conceive by him.30 And when Sarai saw that Hagar had conceived by Abram, Sarai was jealous of her handmaid, and Sarai said within herself, This is surely nothing else but that she must be better than I am.31 And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee, for at the time when thou didst pray before the Lord for children why didst thou not pray on my account, that the Lord should give me seed from thee?32 And when I speak to Hagar in thy presence, she despiseth my words, because she has conceived, and thou wilt say nothing to her; may the Lord judge between me and thee for what thou hast done to me.33 And Abram said to Sarai, Behold thy handmaid is in thy hand, do unto her as it may seem good in thy eyes; and Sarai afflicted her, and Hagar fled from her to the wilderness.

2) Jacob

Jacob was tricked by his uncle Laban to marry an extra wife – Laban’s oldest daughter Leah. Jacob himself had preferred to be married to his love Rachel alone, who was Laban’s younger daughter and was promised to Jacob. Even though Jacob was innocent, he could not make what happened undone, and with a promise to also get married to Rachel he accepted his fate of being the husband of two wives. This polygamous marriage of course produced problems when the sisters were jealous of each other, and due to being barren each of them managed to persuade Jacob two have children with their maids. Bilhah and Zilpah became Jacob’s wives as well and their offspring became his heirs.

Laban was actually a polygamist as well, but since this information is not from the Bible (but from the book of Jasher) I do not include him on my list. It might very well be true, but then again it cannot be used as support for a Christian polygamy since he was hardly a righteous man at all times. Since Jacob was tricked into marrying an extra wife, and since it was his wives who suggested additional wives due to the reason of being barren, this case cannot be used by polygamy supporters today.

Gen. 29:21 And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in unto her. 22 And Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her.24 And Laban gave unto his daughter Leah Zilpah his maid for an handmaid.25 And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah: and he said to Laban, What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.30 And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.31 And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.32 And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.33 And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.

Gen. 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.2 And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?3 And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her.5 And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son.6 And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.

Jasher 30:13 And Laban had no sons but only daughters, and his other wives and handmaids were still barren in those days; and these are the names of Laban’s daughters which his wife Adinah had borne unto him; the name of the elder was Leah and the name of the younger was Rachel; and Leah was tender-eyed, but Rachel was beautiful and well favored, and Jacob loved her. — 18 And in the fourth year of Jacob’s residence in the house of Laban, the Lord visited Laban and remembered him on account of Jacob, and sons were born unto him, and his first born was Beor, his second was Alib, and the third was Chorash. 19 And the Lord gave Laban riches and honor, sons and daughters, and the man increased greatly on account of Jacob.

Jasher 31:1 And in the seventh year, Jacob’s service which he served Laban was completed, and Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife, for the days of my service are fulfilled; and Laban did so, and Laban and Jacob assembled all the people of that place and they made a feast.2 And in the evening Laban came to the house, and afterward Jacob came there with the people of the feast, and Laban extinguished all the lights that were there in the house.3 And Jacob said unto Laban, Wherefore dost thou do this thing unto us? and Laban answered, Such is our custom to act in this land.4 And afterward Laban took his daughter Leah, and he brought her to Jacob, and he came to her and Jacob did not know that she was Leah.5 And Laban gave his daughter Leah his maid Zilpah for a handmaid.6 And all the people at the feast knew what Laban had done to Jacob, but they did not tell the thing to Jacob. 7 And all the neighbors came that night to Jacob’s house, and they ate and drank and rejoiced, and played before Leah upon timbrels, and with dances, and they responded before Jacob, Heleah, Heleah.— 10 And in the morning, when daylight appeared, Jacob turned to his wife and he saw, and behold it was Leah that had been lying in his bosom, and Jacob said, Behold now I know what the neighbors said last night, Heleah, they said, and I knew it not. — 12 And Laban answered Jacob, saying, Not so is it done in our place to give the younger before the elder now therefore if thou desirest to take her sister likewise, take her unto thee for the service which thou wilt serve me for another seven years.13 And Jacob did so, and he also took Rachel for a wife, and he served Laban seven years more, and Jacob also came to Rachel, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and Laban gave her his maid Bilhah for a handmaid. — 17 And when Leah saw that she had left bearing, she also took her handmaid Zilpah, and she gave her to Jacob for a wife, and Jacob also came to Zilpah, and she also bare Jacob two sons, Gad and Asher.

3) King Saul

bible 4Saul only had one wife, but one concubine is also mentioned. According to the story about Saul, God regret making him a king rather early on. Since Saul ended up being a rebellious and unrighteous leader, his case cannot be used as support for polygamous marriages today.

1 Sam. 15:10 Then came the word of the Lord unto Samuel, saying,11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the Lord all night.

1 Sam. 16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

1 Sam. 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.

1 Sam. 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

2 Sam. 3:7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name was Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and Ishbosheth said to Abner, Wherefore hast thou gone in unto my father’s concubine?

2 Sam. 21:11 And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done. — 

It is possible that Saul had additional concubines who are not mentioned. Nathan quotes the Lord as saying, “And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more” (2 Sam. 12:8). Based on this information it seems like David inherited Saul’s wives, and we do not know the reason for this. See more below. David could have done it out of mercy, but also due to his impression that God would make David the king of Israel (and Jerusalem the capital city), which means David needed to be more powerful than his enemies. See more below.

4) King David

Eight of David’s wives are mentioned in the Bible. David started out marrying Saul’s daughter Michal, but later Saul gave her to someone else (1 Sam. 25:42-44). David eventually got her back (2 Sam. 3:13-14), but in the meantime he married two other women (1 Chron. 3:1-3), as well as additional four.

Later in his life he took still more wives and concubines (out of Jerusalem) and it seems like the motivation for those marriages was connected to God making him king of Israel and Jerusalem the capital city. David’s own words just prior to the information about those latest wives David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake”. David was likely under the impression that he could accomplish God’s goal much easier if he could produce more heirs and also bond with many different families to eliminate enemies. Are these extra wives former concubines of Saul?

Nathan quotes the Lord as saying, “And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more” (2 Sam. 12:8). Based on this information it seems like David inherited Saul’s wives, and we do not know the reason for this. David could have done it out of mercy, but also due to the reason mentioned above – David thinking bonding with different families would make him powerful enough to withstand his enemies when uniting Israel. This reason is hard to use today as support for polygamy among Christians.

This does not mean that it was God’s idea that David should take many wives, but it certainly seems like God tolerated it. If the extra wives were Saul’s, the damage had already been done.

1 Sam. 18:27 Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.28 And Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal Saul’s daughter loved him.

1 Sam. 25:39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife. —  43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

2 Samuel 3:1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.2 And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;4 And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

2 Samuel 5:12 And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake.13 And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.14 And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,15 Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,16 And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.17 But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard of it, and went down to the hold.

1 Chron. 14:2 And David perceived that the Lord had confirmed him king over Israel, for his kingdom was lifted up on high, because of his people Israel.3 And David took more wives at Jerusalem: and David begat more sons and daughters.

5) Solomo

Salomo had no less than 700 wives and 300 concubines, and it was due to the love of many strange women. Despite God’s commandments to not have relations with strange women, he did so anyway.

1 King 7:8 And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch.

1 King 9:16 For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon’s wife.

2 Chron. 8:11 And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the Lord hath come.

1 King. 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.

6) Gideongideon

Gideon was considered to be a wise and God-fearing man who considered God’s ways being the most important. He was not entirely faithful though, since we can read about a great sin when he made an ephod out of gold which all of Israel used as an idol. Since Gideon clearly was not obedient to the end, neither his case could not be used as support for polygamy among Christians.

Judg. 6:12 And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Judg. 8 27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house — 30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech.

7) Elkanah  

Elkanah is described as a God-fearing man but his choice to have two wives caused trouble in his household – just like all polygamous marriages do. A common problem occurs if one wife gives birth to children and not the other, when various negative feelings will follow. According to this story, it was even God who made Hannah barren, and could this be for a reason? Perhaps it was a way for her to put all her focus on God and to seek his divine plans for her and her son? Did God feel that she deserved to be sad for a while since she had accepted to become a wife to a man who was already married? I am only speculating. Elkanah’s case is not enough to suggest that God is for Christian polygamous marriages.

1 Sam. 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there. — 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

8) Abijah

Abijah had great faith in God and his power, but why were not pagan altars and idols broken down during his own rule? Why did the people have to wait for his son Asa to do this job after his father’s death? Perhaps such altars were even erected in the end of Abijah’s life, like around the time when he started to marry multiple wives. When God is communicating with Jehoram in 2 Chron. 21:12 he (God) mentions Asa and Jehoshaphat as individuals who walked his ways, but he does not mentioned Abijah. 

2 Chron. 13:5 Ought ye not to know that the Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? — 21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.

2 Chron. 14:1 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years.2 And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God:For he took away the altars of the strange gods, and the high places, and brake down the images, and cut down the groves:

9) Rehoboam

Rehoboam’s reason for polygamy was that he desired many wives. He is yet another who forsook the Lord and can therefore not be counted as a righteous believer in a polygamous marriage.

2 Chron. 11:17 So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon.

2 Chron. 12:1 And it came to pass, when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.

10) Jehoram

Also Jehoram fell away from God, so neither his case could be used as support for Christian polygamy today.

2 Chron. 21:9 Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.10 So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers.11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,13 But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself:14 Behold, with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:15 And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.16 Moreover the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians.

11) Joash

It may not have been Joash’s own idea to be a bigamist since we can read that it was his Father Jehoiada who arranged it. We do not know when Joash were provided his wives (and when the marriage was consummated) but Joash officially started to reign when he was 7 years old. He was a righteous man to begin with, but we can also read that he was disobedient to God and fell away serving other gods.

2 Chron. 24:2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters. — 17 Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them.18 And they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.19 Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear

12) Moses?

The Bible does not explicitly state that Moses had another wife apart from Zipporah. She was the daughter of Reuel, the priest of Midian, but this Midian priest and Moses father-in-law apparently changed his name to Jethro later on (Ex. 2)Num. 12:1 mentions a Cushite woman and even if this woman is likely not the same as Zipporah, it is possible that she is Moses second wife after the death of his first wife. Ex. 4:20 mentions only one wife of Moses.

Moses was generally a righteous man, but he did not always obey God. He killed an Egyptian guard (who was assaulting a Hebrew slave) and Ex. 4:24-26 provides another example where Moses contrary to God’s wish did not want to circumcise his son.

Above is the whole list of candidates! Not much to hinge Christian polygamous marriages on.

brudparBible verses which support the marriage between 1 man and 1 woman

Below are some Bible verses which show God’s intended purpose with a marriage union. You will never see any examples of same-sex marriages, and you will never see support for a polygamous marriage:

Prov. 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.20 And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

Prov. 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Prov. 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.18 There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not:19 The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Prov. 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Ps. 128:Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.

Below you can see what the law of Moses says about the marriage, as well as the words from Jesus Christ:

Deut. 25:If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband’s brother unto her.6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;9 Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.

Deut. 17:14 When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;—-17 Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Deut. 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the Lord: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Matt. 22:24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.27 And last of all the woman died also.28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

Matt. 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matt. 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

Mark. 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.3 And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.10 And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

Paul provides living instructions for man and woman in a marriage unionchurch9

If Paul would be open for other alternatives than the natural marriage between a man and a woman, he had many chances to say so but he does the contrary – warns against them. Paul says that the man is the head of the woman and that the wife does not have power of her own body but the husband and vice versa, but what if there are even more women in the marriage or what if there is no man at all? Who has the power over which body, and who is the head of the family? Paul does not say, which naturally indicates that there are no such alternatives.   

1 Cor. 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. — 10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?—27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.— 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;—33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.—39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

Eph. 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;—28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.— 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Col. 3:18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

God does not produce rules because he hates us, but because he loves us and wants children to grow up in stable homes with a mother and a father.

10 Bible verses /examples commonly used to support the sinful nature – refutation

bebis2Man’s idea to add original sin to the Bible

The idea of original sin, or the sinful nature from birth, was first pushed by Augustine who was a former gnostic. Augustine is guilty of having introduced many unbiblical ideas into church, and  some of them were later also taught by both Luther and Calvin. The old church fathers before Augustine did not teach the sinful nature (see here), and most importantly the Bible does not. Below are some of the most common verses used as an attempt to prove the sinful nature.

Example 1) Romans 5:12

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man SIN entered into the world, and death by sin; and so DEATH passed upon all men, FOR that all have sinned

Comment: Sin entered the world the first time through Adam, because no one had sinned before him (him and Eve). The verse does not say that SIN passed upon all men but DEATH passed upon all men, and it also explains why this is: Because all have sinned! Not because all have inherited sins from Adam. Notice that ”all men” is a translation from the Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anthrópos, Strong’s 444) and could mean 1) men, 2) men and women, or 3) mankind, people, human beings. It may or may not include babies depending on context. Since the verse claims that we die (spiritually) because we have sinned, this verse cannot be used as support for another idea – like the idea that we die spiritually because we have inherited someone else’s sin. Dying physically is something different, and even Jesus Christ died a physical death. It is possible to say that we die physically due to Adam, because we cannot reach the tree of life due to him.

Example 2) Romans 5:18

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation — 19 so by the obedience of one shall MANY be made righteous.

Comment: The entire context is this:

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; EVEN SO by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon ALL men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience MANY were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall MANY be made righteous.

If ALL are automatically condemned through Adam, then ALL are automatically made righteous through Jesus. Are 100% of all ALL PEOPLE automatically righteous in Jesus? No, that would be universalism. It is not proper hermeneutics to read ”all” in two different ways in the same sentence – an ”even so” indicates a valid comparison. If ALL die in Adam, then the very same ALL are saved in Christ. If ”many” (not all) were made righteous, then ”many” (not all) were made sinners. We cannot make one absolute and the other conditional. If, however, we add conditions on both accounts (we die spiritually if we sin like Adam, and we become alive in Christ if we choose to believe in him) then we have solved all contradictions. Rom. 5 does list conditions, just like the rest of Romans and just like the rest of the Bible.

Example 3) 1 Corinthians 15:22 

1 Cor. 15:22 For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive.23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Comment: If all people are automatically dead in Adam, then the very same ”all people” are automatically saved in Christ. But this interpretation leads to universalism, and we know this is not true. The context makes it clear that the subject is the RESURRECTION and what will happen when Jesus returns. Most importantly what will happen to those in Christ. They will die physically just like Adam (even Jesus Christ once died physically), and they will be made alive to get their judgments and rewards.

Example 4) Ephesians 2:1

Eph. 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins

Comment: What makes us dead? Sinning makes us (spiritually) dead! It is not being born (or being conceived) which makes us dead, but it is transgressing of his law:

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law

Is. 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Eph. 2 does not say that we are BORN dead in trespasses and sins. How can newborn babies choose to transgress the law of God?

The solution to the problem of sin is to repent, which explains why Paul in Acts 17:30 says that God ”now commandeth all men every where to repent”.

Example 5) Ephesians 2:2-3

Eph. 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Comment: Do not get fooled by the term ”children of disobedience” or ”children of wrath” because these terms refer to those who follow Satan – as the text indicates. Likewise the term ”children of God” (or sons of God) does not necessarily refer to little toddlers, but to those who have chosen to believe and follow God. The text certainly does not claim that people are BORN as children of wrath – merely for the ”crime” of existing. It is crystal clear that those spoken about in Eph. 2:2 are adults. They:

  • have a need or reason to be ”quickened”
  • perform TRESPASSES and SINS and through them be dead
  • walk according to the world
  • walk according to Satan (the prince of the power of the air)
  • are disobedient through following Satan
  • walk in the lusts of their flesh
  • fulfill the desires of their flesh
  • fulfill the desires of their mind

Example 6) 1 Corinthians 2:14

1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned

Comment: It is a bad idea to be a natural man, which is a man who lives of the world. If someone is a natural man (which is no obligation), he cannot please God. It is impossible for a person to please God if he at the same time chooses to walk in darkness.

”Natural” is a translation from ψυχικός (psuchikos, Strong’s 5591) and could also be translated ”worldly-minded” or ”sensual”. It describes the behavior of a carnal man who lives of the world. The word can be contrasted with ”spiritual” (pneumatikós, Strong’s 4152).

Example 7) Job 25:4 + Job 15:14

Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be CLEAN? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?15 Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?

Comment: The first comment is from Bildad, and the second one is from Eliphaz. They did not always provide good advice to Job. On top of this, the book of Job is replete with poetic expressions. See for instance Job 1:21 and see if you read it in a literal sense.

Example 8) Romans 3:10

Rom. 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Comment: Paul, who made the above statement that no one is righteous, called HIMSELF righteous, along with Silas and Timothy (see 1 Thess. 2:10) and he constantly requested that people should avoid obeying their flesh and be righteous. Paul also said (Acts 23:1) that he had lived ”in all good conscience before God until this day”. (NASB: ”perfectly good conscience”). Paul urged his readers to ”sin no more”! Was Paul a hypocrite or a man of God who we can trust?

Paul was in Rom. 3:10 referring to a couple of well-known psalms where we can read ”there is none righteous ….” and if we go to these psalms (Psalm 14 and Psalm 53) we can see the proper context to this phrase. There we can read about unrighteous people, called FOOLS, who do not seek God but we can also read about righteous people who DO seek God. Psalms contain poetic expressions which are mirroring the truth, so we should carefully keep this in mind.

We can read in Acts 17 that we are created precisely to seek God, even though he is not far away from any of us. We can also read verses such as:

Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart 

Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you

Below are more psalms, and it would be unwise for us to start new doctrines (which are not supported by non-poetic verses) based on such poetry. Poetic expressions can of course teach us things and be encouraging, but it is not always correct to read poetic texts in a literal sense.

Example 9) Psalm 51:5

Ps. 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me  

Comment: This verse is not about all people in the entire world but concerns only David and his mother. It could be understood both figuratively (the way also king David has battled with dark powers and obstacles very early on) or literally (David’s mother was indeed sinning during the conception) but either way, this verse does not say that we have all inherited Adam’s sin and have a sinful nature from birth. David starts out speaking about his own transgression (not sins inherited from another), and we can read claims from David which could not possibly be understood in a literal sense:

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice…

Example 10) Psalm 58:3

Ps. 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, SPEAKING LIES  

Comment: Naturally newborn babies cannot speak, much less speak lies. This is just a poetic expression to describe that the wicked man go astray very early on and usually continue on this path. The psalmist starts out addressing a ”congregation” and apparently they are old enough to SPEAK since they are asked if they speak righteousness. They are also old enough to JUDGE, they are able to WORK WICKEDNESS in their hearts and WEIGH the violence of their hands. Babies are unable to do any of that, and it is the WICKED who ”are estrange”. If someone goes astray, it means he must have started from a position where it was not ”astray”. In verse 10 and 11 we can read about righteous people who do NOT go astray:

10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. 11So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Some people might ask: ”If we are not born with a sinful nature, why do we sin?” Well, why did Adam and Eve sin? Certainly not due to a sinful nature. They might also ask ”If we are not born with a sinful nature, why did Jesus have to die for us?”. Because we have chosen to sin – despite that we did not have to. This is what makes us guilty.

If we are born with a sinful nature (which would provide an excellent excuse for sin), why does the Bible not disclose this important piece of information anywhere? Why can we read the exact opposite story? Moreover, the idea of the sinful nature actually reduces the great deeds that Jesus Christ did for us, when we accuse him of not having to struggle with a sinful nature as the rest of us. In reality, Jesus was tempted in all things just like us and he did not get an advantage.

rom-8The Bible says that babies are innocent

While there are no Bible verses which say we are born with a sinful nature (or born depraved, which is not even a word included in the KJV Bible), the Bible does say that we are wonderfully made.

Zecharia 12:1  The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and FORMETH THE SPIRIT OF MAN WITHIN HIM. 

Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet bornNEITHER HAVING DONE ANY GOOD OR EVIL, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

Mark 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God AS A LITTLE CHILD, he shall not enter therein.

Isaiah 7:16 For BEFORE THE CHILD SHALL KNOW TO REFUSE THE EVIL, AND CHOOSE THE GOOD, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. 

Isaiah 42:Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and SPIRIT to them that walk therein

Job. 31:14 What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?15 Did not HE THAT MADE ME IN THE WOMB make him? and DID NOT ONE FASHION US IN THE WOMB? 

Ps. 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.14 I will praise thee; for I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Ps,73 Thy hands have made me and FASHIONED ME: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.  

Ecclesiastes 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that GOD HATH MADE MAN UPRIGHT; but THEY they have sought out many inventions.  

PASSOVER in the Bible is celebrated as such in most Christian countries – and Easter does not derive from Ishtar

brödPassover is translated ”Easter” – a fact

Each year when it is getting closer to Easter there will always be some native English speakers (I would assume not only Americans) who claim that Christians should not be celebrating this holiday because it is related to paganism (Ishtar) and because Easter bunnies must be involved in the celebration. It is extremely difficult to get them to understand that the Biblical Passover is in fact still called Passover and celebrated as such in most Christian countries. Just because Easter bunnies pop up in America and other English-speaking countries, it does not mean that they do so in all countries. There is no obligation to celebrate the holiday with bunnies, and in fact not even all Americans do. Some call it the Resurrection Day, and that is fine too.

Fortunately there are only a few Americans who believe that English-speaking countries are the center of the world and that the sun revolves around them.

Here are som FACTS about the holiday called Easter in English and Passover elsewhere

  1. The word PASSOVER is found in the Bible. In the KJV the word is found 72 times.
  2. The first time we come across the word it is in relation to the Exodus and the Jewish commemoration of it – where males had to be circumcised before they could participate (Ex. 12:48) and where a proper sacrifice had to be made. Ever since Calvary, the focus of the commemoration has changed from the Exodus to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – our Passover Lamb – who offered his life for mankind during a Passover holiday. The Jewish Passover was a foreshadowing of the spotless Lamb of God whose blood would cover the sins of those who believe in him, causing God’s judgment to pass over them.
  3. Most Christian countries have continued to have Passover celebrations ever since Calvary, albeit not according to the old Jewish traditions (but with a focus on Calvary). The NAME of this holiday is PASSOVER in most such countries (naturally in their respective language).
  4. Now comes the fact that confuses so many English-speaking Christians: The holiday which is called PASSOVER in most non-English speaking countries, is translated into EASTER in English! We know it is the same holiday because ”Easter” is celebrated at the very same day/weekend as the rest of the Christian world where they call the same holiday ”Passover” (in their respective language). It is therefore not correct to say ”Passover is not Easter”. It is!
  5. The reason for this language difference is due to Tyndale’s choice to use the word ”Ester” in his English Bible translation rather than sticking with the Passover word. John Wycliffe before him (produced the first English Bible in 1382) had translated from the Latin and left the word pascha untranslated and called it pask/paske. The word Ester is Anglo-Saxon and not Babylonian. It was the common word for both Passover and Easter.
  6. Easter/Ester has nothing to do with Astarte (Ishtar in English), and it is not a safe linguistic method to assume that words which might sound alike in the English language are related to each other! You can end up with all sorts of craziness by making such assumptions.
  7.  Just because America and some other countries include Easter bunnies in the holiday, it does not mean that all countries have this pagan element. Sure, there might be other pagan elements involved depending on country, but there is NO OBLIGATION to celebrate the holiday with any such things.
  8. The Bible does not prohibit anyone from celebrating the Passover (Easter) holiday with a focus on the perfect Passover Lamb. Nor does the Bible teach Christians to talk other Christians out of celebrating it.

Even wikipedia says: ”In most European languages the feast called Easter in English is termed by the words for passover in those languages and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover.”

Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Each year at the time of the Passover, children ask their parents why they are celebrating it (see Ex. 12:24-27; Deut. 6:20-23) and that continues to be a wonderful fact even today even if Calvary is the focus rather than Exodus (they are intertwined). Children (and adults) will continue to ask questions such as ”Why are we off from school/work today, and why are all the stores closed?”, ”Why do we celebrate Easter?”, ”What is Good Friday and what happened on the first Good Friday?” Why did Jesus die for the world?”, ”Why did he have to suffer on the cross?”, etc. These questions are often the cause of further discussions about the Bible, and if Christians are present they have a great chance to spread the gospel. Also in secular countries JESUS CHRIST is the focus, and Christian communities do not have to pay a dime to let his name be spread around the country through radio, TV, and other news media. This is done totally free of charge.

Believe it or not, but despite that the name of Jesus Christ is spread freely in so many secular countries during Easter, the Ascension day, Pentecost, Christmas, etc, there are Christians (English-speaking) who are not happy about it! They would prefer that most of these days immediately ceased to exist because they are convinced that they are pagan and that God does not like them. Let us assume for a minute that the Christmas celebration was ”pagan” a few hundred years ago (which is not a fact). Would God really be upset if we eliminated this pagan holiday by placing a Christian holiday in its stead? Would he have preferred if we let the pagan holidays be, and if we avoided new Christian celebrations? Where is that verse in the Bible, where God dislikes seeing Christians commemorating the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection, etc?

Or do they perhaps suggest a scenario which is a total utopia, where Christians gather in churches totally free from all falsehood, where Christianity is spreading  like crazy, etc? Is the best way to reach this goal to get rid of Passover (Easter), Christmas, etc? Would that be the great starting point to reach a higher level? Unfortunately it is quite possible that they will get what they want in the near future when we get closer to a world government, and where eliminating all religious holidays will be one step on the way. In that way Jesus Christ will be an even more forgotten name. Let us be thankful for each year that we have our Christian holidays intact.

Another article about Easter.

Calvinists and their focus on a sovereign God who must submit to Calvinism

calvinism 38God is sovereign, but what does it mean?

Calvinists have a huge focus on God’s sovereignty, which would not be a bad thing had they not interpreted this unbiblical word in a very unfortunate way.

The Calvinist R.C. Sproul for instance wrote:

”If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled. ”R.C. Sproul.

Also freewillers believe that God IS sovereign but certainly not with the Calvinistic interpretation. God is so sovereign and powerful that he is able to create us in any way he likes, including creating us with free will where we are responsible for our own actions (rather than blaming our shortcomings on God). Or is this too difficult for him? Must he ask someone for permission before he can create us with free will?

While freewillers also believe that God is sovereign, their main focus is rather on God’s holy character and the fact that he does not tempt anyone, much less causes anyone to sin. This means, that if someone suggests that God directly or indirectly makes people sin (or endorses sin in any shape or form), it is clearly a huge misunderstanding and an attack on God’s character. Many would call it blasphemy. The fact that sin does exist is evidence of that God’s will does not always happen, which is quite clear in the pages of the Bible. God is in control of his creation even though he does not act through micro managing human beings.

”Sovereignty” and ”sovereign” are words not found in either the KJV nor the NKJV Bible (except for ”sovereignty” mentioned once in the NKJV but not in relation to God).  ”Sovereignty” is however found in the NIV in a couple of cases where it does not refer to God (Dan 5:18, Dan 7:27) and ”sovereign” is used multiple times referring both to God and others.

It is therefore not incorrect to say that ”sovereignty” and ”sovereign” are not Biblical words, if you exclude modern translations which many Christians are reluctant to use. When Calvinists are told about the lack of these words in the Bible, they usually bring up the trinity and say something like ”The trinity is not mentioned in the Bible either! Does this mean that it’s false?!”. They neglect to notice that the freewiller does not claim that absence of these words in the Bible automatically means that God is therefore not sovereign. What the freewiller does say is that the word must mean defined before we can conclude if it is a correct description of our holy God or not.

What if I asked a Calvinist if he believes that God is sympathetic. Yes, or no? Is he? The Calvinist might say that yes, ”sympathetic” could very well be one of many definitions applicable to God. What if I then said ”See?! Therefore God would never send anyone to hell! That would not be sympathetic at all but truly unkind!”. Then the Calvinist might rightly protest and say that this interpretation does not automatically follow. Of course God could still be sympathetic even though he rightly judges people’s hearts and sends some to hell due to their evil actions and refusal to submit under him. So the Calvinist might admit that God is sympathetic but he certainly does not admit to God being the sort of sympathetic that I propose. What right do I have to define the word ”sympathetic” in such a way? Therein lies the problem.

Non-biblical words must be defined or else you would not know whether you agree with them or not. Who has the authority to define unbiblical words, add them to the Bible with a strict definition tied to them? It is not always a watertight solution to let theologians define such words (even though they are usually right on target). If we truly want to learn and understand God’s true character, it is a lot safer to pay attention to the descriptions and examples which are used in the Bible. Or else anyone can select various unbiblical words, insist on a preferred meaning and add them to the Bible.

Atheists might suggest that if God is all-powerful and sovereign, he should be able to do absolutely everything, including performing logically contradictory ideas such as creating a square circle or even ceasing to be God. This is what one of my daughter’s  science teachers taught his high school science class, with the summary and conclusion that this is proof for God’s insufficiency and therefore non-existence. (For some reason  schools are supposed to be neutral when it comes to religion, but atheism can freely be taught with no consequences?). Although, the God of the Bible never promised to be this sort of omnipotent being who likes to perform ridiculous things – and by the way ”omnipotent” is mentioned once in the KJV Bible (Rev. 19:6) in relation to his reign.

The point is of course that both Calvinist and atheists make the mistake to insist on a certain definition of words which may not even be included in the Bible. They might erroneously assume that everyone sides with their understanding of these words.

Read more about 15 Bible verses Calvinists misinterpret in relation to God’s SOVEREIGN WILL

Biblical examples of bad / unregenerate / spiritually dead people who seek God and do good

acts 17 27We are created to seek and find God

Our reformed friends often claim that we cannot seek God, repent or do good unless God monergistically ”regenerates” us, which is a term that they unfortunately interpret as God making us see and enabling us (actually forcing us) to seek him and come to him. The Bible, however, explains that we are all created to seek and find God, and that he is not far away from any of us:

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but NOW COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT.  

Every single man (all people) has been given the light, and if we receive him and believe in him, God will give us the power to become the sons of God. It does not say the other way around; that God gives light to some people and gives them power so that they can believe in him.

John 1:9 That was the true Light, WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

Each time an atheist decides to not sin, it is surely a good thing. There are loads of atheists every day who do many good deeds by being helpful to complete strangers without expecting anything in return. This does not mean they are saved, but it shows that we can all do good. Seeking God and repent are good things which bad people are requested to do, and they are created by God to do so. If a person does not repent, the blame must be on him and not on God.

1. The prodigal son

The prodigal son came to his senses while living in deep sin away from his Father. He made a good decision to repent for his sins and return to his Father. He went from being alive, to being dead (due to sin), to being alive again:

Luke 15: 24 For this my son WAS DEAD, and is ALIVE AGAIN; he WAS LOST, and IS FOUND. And they began to be merry.—30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.—32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was DEAD, and is ALIVE AGAIN AGAIN; and was LOST, and is FOUND. 

The prodigal son was clearly dead while living with prostitutes (Luke 15:30). The below verse is a good description of his status and (unless he repented), his future would be corruption – which means spiritual death since it is contrasted with everlasting life:

Gal. 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

2. Rahab, the harlot

Rahab rescued the Joshua’s men, which was a good thing to do. It is quite possible that she decided to rescue these strangers because she was aware of their God who was the God of both heaven and earth – which would include herself. She wanted them to swear by this Lord to return her kindness and letting her and her family stay alive. James says that she was justified by works (she combined faith and good deeds):

Josh. 2:9 And she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.10 For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.11 And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the Lord, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token:13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.

Josh. 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Ja 2:25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

3. Barbarian islanders of Malta

Barbarian inhabitants of Malta showed much kindness to Paul and his companions, and showed this compassion for them due to troublesome rain and cold. These islanders were not ”regenerated” because afterwards they thought that Paul was guilty of murder in his past and that he was justly bitten by a viper as a punishment for his past deeds (Acts 28:4).

Acts 28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

4. Evil fathers

Also evil people can do good to the children (which surely is a good thing), and even give good gifts to them. It is definitely possible to find multiple atheists who are being nothing but kind to their children, and even towards relatives, friends as well as complete strangers. There are even non-believing soldiers at war who have even given their lives for other fighting men.

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

5. Everyone

Peter asks everyone to repent (that would be both good and bad). If they do so, they shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost. It is not the other way around; that God gives the holy Ghost to certain people and in that way they enabling them (and forcing them) to repent.

Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

6. Cornelius was not certainly not a bad person, but before he (and his family and friends) received the holy Spirit he had faith and did good

Cornelius with all his house feared God, and he gave much alms to people and constantly prayed to God. His urgent prayers, fasting and alms-giving were noticed by God who sent an angel to him in a vision. Prior to Peter’s visit to his house Cornelius had collected family members and friends who were all waiting for Peter’s arrival. Peter came and explained that he believed that Cornelius (and maybe his company too since Peter addressed them all) already knew the word of God – the gospel about Jesus Christ. ”— Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)37 That word, I say, ye know”. This means that they had faith, and consequently had good deeds to go with their faith (faith without works is dead) before any of them had received the holy Ghost. 

Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:6 He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.—

22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.—24 And the morrow after they entered into Caesarea. And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.32 Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)37 That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached;38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.— 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

8. Saul/Paul

Unlike Cornelius Paul was not a humble person but rather a dangerous pharisee. He saw Jesus in a vision on the way to Damascus, and fortunately he was not disobedient to the call that the vision involved. He obeyed the Lord Jesus and visited Ananias who was a child of God. Not until three days after the vision was Paul filled with the holy Ghost, with Ananias as a tool.

Acts 9:17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision

Other examplessin

I can also mention Lydia, who was already a God-fearing and worshipping woman when God opened he heart to attend the things spoken by Paul. (It does not say that God selected Lydia and opened her heart to believe.) She obviously already had the right mind and heart to hear and understand the deeper things of God presented by Paul. It is always a good choice to not be ”a natural man”. 

Acts 16:14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 

Acts 16:14 and a certain woman, by name Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, worshipping God, was hearing, whose heart the Lord did open to attend to the things spoken by Paul (YLT)

People can also do bad things even though they are fully capable, and expected, to do good.

God expected Cain to rule over sin and naturally understood that he was created with this capacity. Still, Cain slew his brother against God’s will. Cain was already a sinner before this time, since he did not react well do God’s rejection of his offering (which makes one wonder about the condition the fruit since God rejected it).

Gen. 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fellAnd the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

Do read my article about regeneration not preceding faith here.

Jesus was not against organized religion according to the Bible

church 4”Organized religion” could be a church gathering with certain basic rules

Sometimes believers try to justify their separation from other Christians, as well as church meetings, with the idea that Jesus was against organized religion. The Bible says no such thing.

During the time of the apostles Christians often met in their homes, which makes sense since they could not always take over Jewish synagogues and start having assemblies there (but sometimes they did). The climate is usually very warm in the Middle East and this means that people often could gather outside, like on top of their buildings to make room for more people. Where I live (Sweden) it is a totally different matter, and it is a huge advantage if Christians have access to a large building in order to assemble several families who can worship together in a practical way. Hence, the idea of a large building with the very suitable name ”church” – since the building is supposed to be a place where Christian believers assemble. ἐκκλησία (ekklesia, Strong’s 1577) is often translated church and could mean an ”assembly of believers”. (An assembly of Christian believers or a church building are not necessarily Babylon ….)

Naturally a certain amount of rules must be implemented in order for everyone to have a pleasant time together in their worship. The Bible (particularly the book of Acts), gives us some details how such meetings could work out and why they are even needed. A church meeting (an assembly with Christians) provides a chance for everyone to hear sermons (from a pastor), to sing worship songs together, to hear prophesies, to get healed, to edify each other, etc. These things must logically be made in a certain order to avoid total chaos.

It is true that Christ is in our midst if 2-3 persons gather in his name, but 1) let us at least do that, and 2) this does not diminish the importance of having Christian assemblies with even more believers.

Matt. 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them

1 Cor. 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Some Bible verses about gathering with Christians under structured conditions

It may not be a salvational matter to assemble with other Christians (and sometimes it is not even possible or preferable for various reasons), but it can be very edifying both for you and others. Maybe you believe that you know best anyway so why let some pastors speak and hold sermons you might disagree with? In that case, maybe you can enlighten fellow lost believers (like after the sermon in order to not disturb the peace). Or perhaps you are the one who needs to be enlightened after all. If you are only willing to attend a church meeting where you agree with the pastor about everything, then you will have to continue spending your Sundays alone. A church meeting is not solely there due to the sermons, but in order to have fellowship with other Christians, to sing worship songs together, etc.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching  

Below we get advice for church meetings:

Ja. 2:2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool

Ja. 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The ”laying on of hands” means to officially confirm a qualified person as an elder, which is an important task done by another elder. This is indeed ”organized religion”, and if everyone had obeyed Paul’s advice in selecting elders all would be well. Unfortunately Paul himself knew that there would be believers who would deviate from his teaching rather soon.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:—7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;—9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 

1 Tim. 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Below we can read about ”organized religion” in the book of Acts. 

Acts 2:41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls42And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and FELLOWSHIP, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles44And all that believed WERE TOGETHER, and had all things COMMON; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46And they, continuing daily with one accord in the TEMPLE, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

We can see above that Christians had fellowship with each other in the same place. Notice that 3000 people were saved and added to them the day in question. Baptism and breaking bread with others could not be possible unless Christians assembled together. Neither would signs and wonders have a large impact on people unless they were seen by others. Christians did not abandon the temple, even though they could of course assemble also in their homes.

When Paul was out travelling, he knew there were Christian assemblies that he could meet up with. We can see below that believers met together during a certain day and time, were taught in the temple and in homes, we can read about structured purifications and offerings,

Acts 3:1 Now Peter and John went up together into the TEMPLE at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

Acts 4:1 And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the TEMPLE, and the Sadducees, came upon them, 2Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Acts 4:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20Go, stand and speak in the TEMPLE to the people all the words of this life.

Acts 4:42 And daily in the TEMPLE, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

Acts 9:19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. 20And straightway he preached Christ in the SYNAGOGES, that he is the Son of God.— 26And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. 

Acts 13:4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the SYNAGOGES of the Jews: and they had also JOHN TO THEIR MINISTER.-–14But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the SYNAGOGUE on the sabbath day, and sat down. 15And after the reading of the law and the prophets the RULERS of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and BRETHREN, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.–

Acts 13:42 And when the Jews were gone out of the SYNAGOGUE, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. 43Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium that together they both went into the SYNAGOGUE of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude of both the Jews and also of the GREEKS believed.

Acts 18:4 And he reasoned in the SYNAGOGUE every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the GREEKS.— 7And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man’s house, named Justus, one that worshipped God,whose house joined hard to the synagogue.8And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Acts 17:1 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a SYNAGOGUE of the Jews:2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,—10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.—-17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 18:19 And he came to Ephesus, and left them there: but he himself entered into the SYNAGOGUE, and reasoned with the Jews. —22And when he had landed at Caesarea, and gone up, and saluted the church, he went down to Antioch.— 26And he began to speak boldly in the SYNAGOGUE: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.27And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

Acts 19:1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,—8And he went into the SYNAGOGUE, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.— 

Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the TEMPLE, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. 27And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the TEMPLE, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,

Acts 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the TEMPLE, I was in a trance;18And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. 19And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every SYNAGOGUE them that believed on thee:

Acts 24:11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. 12And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:—18Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the TEMPLE, neither with multitude, nor with tumult.

church9Church (ekklesia) is sometimes used in CONTRAST to a group of individual believers!

1 Tim. 5:3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. — 9Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man. 10Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. 11But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;—16If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church (ekklesia) be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed. 17Let the ELDERS (presbyteroi) that rule well be counted worthy of DOUBLE HONOUR, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.—19Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses20Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

Above, Paul gives instructions to the assembly of christians (the church) concerning the treatment of widows, and he advised them to preferably take care of their own family members (like widows) rather than having the church providing for them. In that way the church could focus on those with the most urgent needs. Apparently taking care of widows was one of many functions that the church had during this time. Paul also provided regulations concerning treatments of church elders, again indicating that christian meetings were ”organized”.

3 John 1:6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: — 9I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

The man Diotrephes refused to receive the brethren and he even cast them out of the CHURCH. So the true brethren are mentioned in contrast with the Church. The wicked person (in the church) cast them out of the church.

Acts 15:4 And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church (ekklesian), and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.—

If we can never say ”I’m going to church” because we as christians are always the church wherever we go, then neither does the above verse make any sense. Here we can read that Paul, Barnabas etc were ”received” by the church. It is better to receive godly men into church, instead of casting them out as Diotrephes did.

1 Cor. 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.2Now I praise you, brethren,that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. —4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.—16But if any man seem to be contentious, WE have no such custom, NEITHER the churches of God. 17Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18For first of all, when ye come together in the churchI hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifestamong you20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord’s supper. 21For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? what shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.—30For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.—33Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34And if any man hunger, let him eat at homethat ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Above Paul contrasts (differentiates) ”we” with ”the church”. He is also talking about ”when ye come together in the Church”, which sounds like a physical place. Paul takes for granted that we are going away when we ”come together in the church” because he complains about people who take the chance to eat a lot of food while being in the church. Paul asks ”have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” and ”if any man hunger, let him eat AT HOME”.

1 Cor. 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 34Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands AT HOME: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Paul says above women should be silent in a teaching situation in church (not when it comes to singing, making prophesies, translating tongues, etc) and in this instance he is speaking of a certain place (away from home) and not a metaphor for believing people because he then gives permission for them to speak at home.

1 Cor.16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.— 15I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. 17I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 18For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.19The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 

2 Cor 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.—  19And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:— 

We are supposed to be the body of Christ, which means many members with many gifts and talents. God has set some in the church (the body of Christian members) to be apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. Paul speaks about the importance to use the spiritual gifts in a certain order – in an organized way.

1 Cor. 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.— 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor. 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.— So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.— 11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. —16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.—  23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. 

Here is a similar article about the same topic.