Friday, November 29, 2013

"Does God Require Animal Sacrifices, Or Not?

QUESTION: “I read many times in the scripture where laws are given regarding animal sacrifices; yet, I also read many injunctions against killing, including statements where God does not accept sacrifices. Please address this contradiction.”

ANSWER: First, anyone who reads should be commended because reading demonstrates the desire to know. When we read we are challenged to think, which is better than merely hearing something and drawing a conclusion without checking out the facts.

There are many laws and instructions regarding the animal sacrifices and there are statements of God’s displeasure in them. What God desires is obedience, not sacrifice; but, since man would rather disobey, sacrifice was to remind man of God’s perfection.

Remember: from the beginning God and man enjoyed unbroken fellowship until man disobeyed God and brought death by his sin. So that man may keep before him the seriousness of the consequences of sin and the need to be clean before God, God required a symbol that would keep life and death before his eyes. The sacrifice does not do the cleansing--God does. This is why all the sacrifices point ahead to God stepping into time and space in the person of Jesus Christ, to meet God’s requirement of life-blood in payment for sin. The resurrection means the payment was complete. This is why sacrifice is no longer required.

Let’s look at a couple of verses:

Psalm 40:6, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.”

Reading the verse in its context one finds that the man who hears God and obeys (“I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” 40:8) has cleans hands and clean heart. God does not require sacrifice from one who is clean. One who is clean is able to minister the mercy God does require.

"But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice. For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Matthew 9:13)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

Not quite certain how it all got away from me, but it did. I’ve not written much lately for blogging or for personal journaling (besides recording daily events--boring), but that does not mean I’m not busy.

I am a husband, father and as of October--a grandfather, again and again. The last four years have been filled with the curly-headed laughter of one grandchild, now we have two more. Both born within two weeks of each other. Just the other day, I held our month-old grandson and asked him when he was going to start making fairies (it’s a Peter Pan thing, a family thing) and I kid you not when I say he actually gave a tiny giggle. Honestly, I am still trying to get used to the idea of more grandchildren (there are people everywhere around my house!) but am thankful for each and every one of my family members--especially the love of my life, my wife.

I am one person managing two Seminary offices is not easy; but I am thankful--ever so thankful--I have this ministry.

I am thankful for my Church, Calvary Chapel Blythewood. Our pastor is unlike any pastor I know and am so blessed to serve under his leadership. I think the most prominent lesson he teaches me (whether he knows it or not) is how to be genuine, real. Our church family reflects that same quality in ministry to one another. I can’t think I’ve seen much of that.

I am thankful that each week I get to play loud music with my kids and their significant others during worship practice.

I am thankful for health and fitness. Last month my heart doctor told me he did not want to see me for a year, and that just to check in. To date, I’ve lost 68 pounds. The first 30 from 2011 to May of 2013. The other 38, since May. CrossFit is the golden ticket!

No promises, but I am going to try to keep this blog going, even if it is a small post. I like doing it and am thankful for anyone who reads and thinks along with me.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Kill Every Man, Woman, and Child in the Promised Land?

If God says don't kill, how could he command that every Canaanite man, woman and child be killed by the Israelites?

R.C. Sproul writes, "Among the countless nuggets of wisdom I have received over the years from my father is this bit of gold—when you are reading your Bible and you come across something that makes you uncomfortable, resist the temptation to simply move on to something else. Where the Bible makes us uncomfortable is precisely where we need to slow down. It is compelling evidence of a specific weakness. When our thoughts or feelings bristle under God’s Word, He is right and we wrong."
Read the rest here.

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