Category Archives: Quest for Truth

Seeking the truth about God, the bible, and faith.

Quest for Truth 122 Five Ways for Exercising Prayer

A solo episode that gets a little help from the Retrobots.

In the Meet the Host segment, the Retrobots prove how funny they are… or think they are… as we talk about exercising. I’ll just say that they have better writers than I do. There isn’t much else to say, other than to explain where the topic for the day came from, A sermon from about a year ago where the audio got munched. Fortunately, , being heavy on scripture, and light on commentary, Keith gives it a read through from his original notes. But first, the Retrobots want to share a song from the days of old time radio. Phil Harris wasn’t known for being a Christian performer, but like many did in the early 20th century, he recorded spiritual songs. Not that this one is particularly spiritual, but oddly enough, it seems to fit the topic.

Main Topic

Grab your bibles and read along to these passages. If you find yourself in the same kind of need, say the prayers right along.

Psalm 51. Repentance, Confession, and Forgiveness. David had a horrible sin in his life. We may not have the same ones, but examining sin in our life should. Cause us to see it how God does. When we do we should have the same shame, and desire to get rid of it, and be restored as he did.

Acts 4:27-31. Encouragement. Knowing the immediate context of the events leading to this moment will intensify the courage it took for Peter to pray this short prayer. He. Had just seen the Messiah be cruelly and unjustly killed. He denied him, then was restored with the command to, “Feed my lambs.” Despite witnessing the spirit move, and healing taking place, Peter now faced the same accusers and powers that killed Jesus.

1 Kings 3:5-15. Wisdom. Imagine that you received a clear word from God, and he would grant your one wish, the deepest thing you might ask for to guide your life, Solomon faced that decision. He was young, inexperienced, had a tough act to follow and live up to after his father David’s righteous reputation. He was humble, understood the weight of his office, and asked only for wisdom. Always a good default thing to ask for, God will give it, and include things we never asked for.

2 Chronicles 20:5-12. Deliverance. Jehoshaphat was one of the good kings. He faced a time where enemies threatened to over run and destroy Judah. He called on the historical promises of God. That the land was theirs, that the nations who threatened them had no right to do so, and that all oppressed who call on God will be heard. Bottom line, Jehoshaphat didn’t know how he could survive the armies that outnumbered him. All he could do was trust God to move in a big way.

Matthew 6:9-13. Lord’s Prayer. A model prayer that’s easy to remember, and say anytime, or plug in your personalization in praise and worship. We close the show with a musical version of this well known prayer.

Music in the show include

  • Phil Harris – Deck of Cards
  • Dylan Langan – Lord’s Prayer (as found on Internet Archive)

Quest for Truth 121 Fundamentally Discerning Truth

It’s another show that almost wasn’t. We knew going into it that Nathan would be missing, so it was up to the remaining hosts to pick up the slack. A discussion was started, in hopes that our prodigal host might at least phone in for a couple minutes. Nothing.

Since we were already under full steam into the topics for the day, we decided to hit the record button, and jump right in. There was just one little problem. The record button never got hit. After an hour or so of the most amazing podcast ever… the kind of thing to knock your socks off, and skyrocket us into the attention of national notoriety and fame as prize winning podcasters… well, OK… maybe not that great, but nobody will ever know for sure except for those in the room.

Instead, what the listener is stuck with today is Keith re-creating the general flow of conversation. To break things up are a few tracks from an episode of the Old Fashioned Revival Hour from April 6, 1952. Stand by though… there is something of a surprise when a phone call actually gets through.

The topics covered include:

A response to a bunny trail comment made in the last episode where we mentioned Adam West, and how he was still out there, actively doing voiceover work. Then he died within the week. We weigh in on the loss, and want to assure listeners that it was in no way our fault. We promise that if we ever mention your name in the podcast, you won’t die before the week is up… We think… Or, at least we hope you don’t… Hey! Is anybody up for some experimentation to prove that theory?

Another topic involved a definition of what a fundamentalist is. As heard from another podcast, the lengthy definition was that, words to this affect, that it is a belief of black and white principles that are used to suppress, or brush under the rug, the complex issues of life. Opening the door to repressed emotions, or bad characteristics to come boiling out in a dangerous way. This doesn’t even resemble the dictionary definition, or reality of fundamentals in real practice.

From Miriam Webster:
fundamentalism
noun
Definition of fundamentalism
1 a: often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching
b: : the beliefs of this movement
c: : adherence to such beliefs a minister noted for his strict fundamentalism
2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

Even the definition on Urban Dictionary closely reflects this same definition.

The problem is that even someone who practices fundamentalism, is often painted by the kind of black and white brush that the critic is so offended by. Doesn’t that make that critic also fundamental in their belief against a fundamentalist person?

In the original, now non-existent recording, Chris and Keith discuss how real fundamentalism is practiced. It has nothing to do with suppressing complexity. Rather using fundamental building blocks and skill is the foundation to grow into complex environments. Here’s a sample of what we mean. Think of learning the fundamentals of arithmetic. Remember 1st grade? Simple addition and subtraction. You need to learn it, practice it. Master it. Fast forward to college, and advanced algebra or calculous. To survive the complex world of the formula in front of you, you use the same fundamental concepts you learned long ago to crunch the numbers, and apply to the strategy in the formula’s complex function. Fundamentals are ingrained in the core of what you know, not layered over the complex problem to suppress it.

Finally, a presentation of an open source book by CI
Schofield, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth. Keith reads from the table of contents, and the introduction. Since Chris wasn’t available to re-create his classy, colorful commentary, the Retrobots lend a hand with a bit of righteous reading.

Basically, the book is a short one, and doesn’t make an effort to cover the entire bible. Schofield presents a handful of core teachings that he felt all Christians should know. The purpose is to demonstrate how to properly discern, or using his words, and the King James era writers, to divide the word of truth. Taking the bible literally means having an understanding of the context in which it was written, to who it was written, who wrote it. Historical events are literally true, and often are easily proved true by evidence when archaeologists uncover artifacts. Schofield also addresses the diligence a bible student should have in understanding that kind of context. Built on evidence, not on experience.

Being aware of interpretation fuzziness can also be rightly discerned. Comparing parallel versions, correctly applying the lesson, or principle the original historical event presents, and observing how the principle carries its message across the span of time. Knowing the difference between promises made to ancient people, more modern people, those outside the faith, to matters under law, as opposed to grace, and the understanding to know where they cross over, or where they don’t. Lots of complexity, but applying fundamental, core principles, is key to always being able to correctly divide the word of truth.

This is a topic that could likely resurface, but for now drop us a line if there are questions, or if something needs to be clarified.

Quest for Truth 120 Uncompromised Truth

Or… Pollutionin the Church.
Or… Turning Away from Authority

After a few weeks of pre-recorded content, we’re back in the chat room, and live. Except for Chris, due to sometechnical difficulties. With a lot on the table to talk about, we get right to our segment of…

Meet the Hosts. We review some things that transpiredsince our last live chat, and a Mother’s day moment. The cat bible gets some attention. Yes, there is such a thing. No, it isn’t a weird religious cult, just a handbook on understanding your furry feline pet better. As a random Internet tidbit, we compare a quote from an atheist observation, to a well known Christian doctrine. Proving that even a self proclaimed atheist can arrive at godly wisdom, which they reject, and can actually understand the benefit of that wisdom

We also present the definition of discernment anwisdom. Two much neeeded traits for existing worldviews today that seem lacking most of the time. .

  • Discernment: Knowing the difference between good and bad, the genuine and the fake.
    ,li>Wisdom: desiring the good and genuine.

In a slow progression to the main topic, we talk about politics. Not in taking sides , but in examining what “Classic Liberalism” is, and how we ended up with the extremes we have in our modern climate between modern liberals and modern conservatives. It’s just a brief outline to illustrate how ideas have shifted, and have strayed due to movements that have polluted and compromised the original idea of democracy in America.

Why is that important? If core teachings are strayed from, it doesn’t matter if it’s a political ideal, a worldview, or the bible itself. The original truth is lost at the whim and at the mercy of a declining humanity.

Main Topic

Ezekiel 2:3-7 (ESV)

Ezekiel 2

3 And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.
4 The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD.´
5 And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.
6 And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house.
7 And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.

Over generations, the truth of worship to the true God had been lost. In a short phrase, to love the Lord God, had been forgotten, distorted, and compromised by outside worldviews. One small compromise had been made, then another, and still others. I’m sure the reasons made sense. They probably suited personal convenience, or brought in a practice from outside religious, or pagan practices. Truth had ben lost, and the time to return to God was coming.

How bad was it? Keep in mind, this wasn’t the world at large. These were God’s special people who should have known better.

The people were:

  • Rebellious
  • Transgressing – To break away from authority.
  • Impudent – Severe, cruel.
  • Stiff-Hearted – stropng, or bold, but in a bad way. Hard, violent.

Ezekiel had a mission to speak truth:

  • Sent
  • Say
  • Word of Lord God (‘Adonay Yahweh)
  • Fearless (fear not).
    • Not of briars (stings), or thorns prickles()
    • Not Dismayed (layed down)

      by their looks, or rebellion (bitterness)

The people may, or may not listen. – Listen and under stand.

They may, or may not Forebvear, or to cease, or go slack.

But they have been told a clear word from a prophet.

The important thing here is that if God wasn’t goin to spare his own people, he will surely do the same to his modern churches when the effort isn’t made to keep uncompromised from world teachings. Let the world do what it does. Let God’s light shine, but it has to be his unpolluted light, discern the good and bad. Discern the genuine and the fakle, and apply wisdom to keep it out of worship[ practices.

Quest for Truth 119 Unseen Events (True Misconceptions)

A pre-recorded episode, where we visit Nathan Caldwell as he delivers a sermon titled: Unseen Events. (Matthew 10:34-40)

After Keith introduces the topic of the movement of Christians away from holding a basic biblical outlook on life, we pop into Missionary Baptist church. It’s not the lack of belief that the bible is God’s authoritative word that opens up the doors to slide further away, but because Christians have begun to get their ideas about God from the media and secular sources, a falling away from a bible based worldview has resulted. Do you have doubts about what you believe? Do you feel torn between what society claims is right, compared with what the bible teaches as absolute truth? Doubts are good when they cause you to think, and search for what’s true.

Featured in the show is a track from Country Gospel Music Association artist, Kathy Adkins: I Give You Jesus. . Her songs are used by permission. Find out more about her online. at the Country Gospel Music Association

  • Christians are to do the work to:
    • Win souls,
    • Baptize,
    • Train.
  • We can’t do our mission if we’re keeping silent.

    So then faith cometh by hearing,
    and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

  • We can’t win our own way,

    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
    and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6 KJV)

  • We can look for a future of hope, andpeace.

    2. Peace is not always possible. (35,36)

    Truth of Jesus sets a man against father, and woman against mother.

    • Knnow Jesus know peace. No Jesus, no peace.
    • Be at peace with Jesus, and through him at peace with others.
    • Don’t seek peace with the world.
    • Misconception: humanity is basically good. (see, Isaiah 64:6)
    • Christians have a duty: Matthew 5:13-16
      • Christians are to be salt and light.
      • Salt without flavor is useless.
      • Light should be prominant, and not hidd.
      • Have influence. Flavor your community. Shine in doing what’s right and good.

    3. The delusional disciple(37)

    Love for others, above Jesus, is not worthy of him.

    • Love for Jesus demands to be shared.
    • Share, even when world finds it offensive.
    • Prioritize.
      • Blend with the world, be in it, but don’t change the gospel.
      • World success is no indication of success with God.
      • Stand out, but stand out for Jesus.
      • Act how Jesus acts. Model him.
      • If the world hates you, it’s because it hated God first.
    • Satisfactory solution
      • Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)
      • Serve him. (a workman)
      • Seek what God thinks on the issues. (study to be approved)
      • Be ready to give an answer. (Rightly dividing the word of truth)
      • Do right, even if treated unfairly. (unashamed)

    Conclusion

    The philosophy of “Live and let live” has taken away religious liberty.

    Silence is acceptance. It’s time to stop being silent, and hold to the truth of Jesus.

  • Quest for Truth 118 Saving Sinners, with Charles E Fuller

    The Old Time Revival Hour is a show from the world of old time radio, that first aired on March 10, 1940

    Rather than playing the full hour, which consisted of a half hour of music, prayer requests, and reading letters from listeners, with the second half featuring the sermon, Keith comments on some of Charles Fuller’s biography, and the struggles he faced. He felt that Christianity was becoming to liberal in it’s political stance, and it was straying from foundational teaching, namely the truth of the gospel.

    Though he was on the air off and on in the 1920’s, he wasn’t on regularly until the early 1930’s. In those days religious programming wasn’t allowed to have a commercial sponsor, or a foundation to support it. All funding had to come from listeners, and money could only go to the radio ministry. No outside missions work could be supported with those contributions. An area that was important to Charles Fuller.

    Though he supported himself with his 20 acre orange ranch, weather caused crops to fail as he tried launching his radio ministry. Sickness struck his wife, and young son, to the point of near death. The ordeals caused him to rely on God for money as the needs arose. At times it seemed the answer would be to phone in to cancel his radio time slot, or to declare bankruptcy.

    Tracks from this episode are inserted between comments by Keith, but the entire show can be downloaded for free on the Internet. By and large, shows from old time radio are considered in the public domain, however most of the hundreds of Old Fashioned Revival Hour shows are held by the Fuller Theological Seminary. You will need to visit their library, or purchase them online.

    Details shared about Charles Fuller, his family, and life are taken from his biography, written by his son, Daniel Fuller. Read the biography online for free.

    Tracks included are:

    • Opening theme song, and announcement
    • Hymn: He Included Me Too
    • Charles Fuller: Mentions how churches play the show before service, and prepare men for salvation of souls.
      • Plus a hymn: Jesus Calls Us.
    • Hymn: Trusting Jesus
      • Followed by Charles Fuller: Making appeal for prayer to keep broadcast going with free will gifts.
    • Hymn: I Must Tell Jesus
    • Grace Fuller: Reads letters from listeners, begging to stay on the air, and sending nickels, dimes and quarters. Others reporting salvation, help through sickness. From people of all ages including young people.
    • Hymn: When Your Heart is Aching.
    • Charles Fuller: Saving Sinners, based on 1 Timothy 1:15 and surrounding passage.
    • Benediction Hymn: Just as I Am.

    As the program signs off, be aware that the contact information given for the radio ministry is out of date, and no longer applies. However, to contact us, feel free to use the comment form on these show notes. Send email, or through our HPNCast Community Facebook group.

    Quest for Truth 117 Mothers Day in Arkansas

    Doing a solo episode, Keith is joined by the Retrobots. They want to hear Nathan’s sermon he gave the day before for Mother’s Day, so they tell how they plan to use an old time machine to do it. It’s one that used to be used in Keith’s other podcast, in the early years to visit the old time radio days. They somehow manage to sabotage Keith, and get themselves lost, as they travel to Western Arkansas. Who knew it would be so difficult to travel back just one day in time?

    After taking a peek in at Pine Ridge, Arkansas to see what people are doing, and that Mousey Gray gent who thinks people are like a mother to him… well, except for his actual mother. She’s more like a father to him. Huh? We all finally manage to arrive in one piece, more or less, at the doors of the Missionary Baptist Church.
    Services are already in session so… sshh… be quiet, and have a seat.

    Nathan preaches on Proverbs 31, and shares about the important women in his life, and all the ways they care for, and nurture those in their lives. He attributes all the respect a family or household may have to the industriousness of mothers. Moms do so much for us that there isn’t enough words to do them honor.

    Enjoy this tribute to mothers, even if it’s a day or so late when we put it together, and a little more than that by the time it gets posted. Let us know what you thought about the presentation, or if you would like to have us discuss a particular topic. Leave a comment on the web site, send us email, or even use the voice mail number. (401)753-4844. Feedback is always nice.

    Quest for Truth 116 Easter: Fact or Fiction, with Chase A Thompson

    The first thing you’ll notice is the opening, pre-show comment sounds so much better than the audio Keith is stuck with in the show. Unbelievable, but it’s the exact same microphone. Thanks Skype. Audio troubles aside, which make a tiny glitch or two as the show progresses, we are glad to have a special guest. We skip all the usual segments to interview Chase A Thompson about his recently published book. Easter: Fact or Fiction.

    The book is more than the logical arguments behind the historic and philosophical reasons to have every confidence the resurrection account is true, Chase also offers his own story of having doubts, and what it took for him to begin his journey to understand why the New Testament accounts are trustworthy. His personal testimony and background are told in the same honest look as what he gives to common challenges to the risen Jesus.

    We talk a little about The Gospel Friends podcast, which Chase has been a co-host, we talk about what you’ll find in the book, including: The empty tomb, Hysterical women, and The Crucifixion stigma. The opening chapters contain probably the single most compelling reasons to trust that a dead person really came to life, and the account is a historical one.

    Do you still need more? There are 20 chapters to cover several logical arguments, the reliability of some unlikely eye witnesses, conspiracy theories, and why they don’t make sense. In the interview, we pick apart some of the challenges that the whole thing is a myth, and the handwritten books of the New Testament are somehow in error. The embarrassment factor, and sometimes mundane accounts don’t seem the kind of things someone would make up, if the idea was to create a hoax, or conspiracy, or make Jesus out as a legendary hero.

    Grab your copy of Easter: Fact or Fiction: 20 Reasons to Believe Jesus Rose From The Dead. Kindle Edition by Chase Thompson (Author). It’s a fairly short book, easy to read and understand, and for the price of $0.99, you can’t go wrong. It’s a good read for anyone who may be having doubts to what they believe, or those just curious about events that have shaped our history.

    Quest for Truth 115 Examining Myths of the Sexist Bible

    Everybody is back in the chat room for today’s show. We get right into the Meet the Hosts segment to learn about boring days in the Man Cave, and secret messages from Harry Potter in Critter Castle. Either that,ornature is just being rude at Church House studio.

    Main Topic

    There’s a lot to cover, so we get right into how this topic came to our attention. On a comment on another podcast that Keith does, someone claimed a character in an audio drama is misogynistic. What does that mean exactly? A can of worms was uncovered with the simple search for information on the web: “What does the bible say about misogyny or sexism?”

    Results came back from sources both friendly to, and hostile to the bible. The choice was put to Nathan, and up for a challenge, he led the confrontation of common claims not only claiming the bible is sexist against women, but in trying to prove god is imaginary.

    First, some definitions of what the word misogynistic means from dictionaries, as well as some of the emotional baggage placed on the term, as found on Urban Dictionary. Finally an article from Psychology Today, that offers 12 signs that someone is misogynistic. To give voice to the opposition to bible teaching, Keith reads from an article: Proof #30 – Examine God’s sexism – God is Imaginary – 50 simple proofs

    On the surface, the article seems to have sound logic in challenges to the bible as a sexist book. However, simple rules of logical argument soon fall apart in the one sided article, that is itself presented through a sexist lens. Scriptures are freely used to prove the discrimination against women, but largely at the expense of taking sound bites out of context, and not presenting the full conversation the bible narrative is addressing. Mostly focusing in on passages that define roles of organization and authority of church leadership. Though roles are clearly different, with various degrees of responsibility, none are of less importance than another.

    There is also a tendency to key in on phrases that say one sex is weaker, but ignoring the beauty and purpose of the full statement. It focuses on commands to submit, but ignore the larger command of love, respect, and mutual responsibilities in a marriage relationship. The command to submit also is not a blanket command. Women should never submit to any man, only the one who they are committed to in a marriage relationship.

    Matters of considering the punishment of Eve, and pain in child birth are made, totally ignoring the punishment that Adam faced, and the importance role in salvation that a woman would play. A claim is made that there were no women disciples, or no woman wrote a single book in the bible. It totally ignores that most books were written anonymously, but two books in scriptures have women as the main focus, Ruth and Esther. Both playing vital roles in the future of the nation of God’s chosen people, and the salvation of the world, by being in the lineage of Jesus.

    A total lack of mention of other important roles of women, even women in roles of authority. Deborah was a prophet, women won the final blows in battle, women were first to see the risen Jesus, the first to carry the gospel message to restore Samaria to the kingdom was the woman at the well, the first convert to Christianity outside Israel was a woman. Women taught even the apostles to set them straight on the correct teaching of the gospel. One thing that we didn’t cover is that compared to the secular treatment of women, that of the humannistic society of the world at the time, Christianity and bible teachings put woman in more position of power and authority than was common.

    The author of the article goes on to claim that humanity clearly understands that God is wrong, the bible is wrong, and it’s obvious in the way humanity rejects those teachings to put women in power. Women presidents, politicians, teachers, and more. Women surely are capable, and when in positions of authority should certainly be given all the respect due to them. However, the clear statement is not that God is wrong, but that humanity is in rebellion against his definition of gender roles. Both are equal in importance, but clearly different. Can one gender pick up the authority and do the job just as well? Yes, but not without certain trade offs, or added demands that natural gender roles dictate.

    On a basic, biological level, women have one role in the birth process, and men have another. It is physically impossible for a man to carry a baby to full term. Though he might feed, nurture, and raise a child once it’s born, a woman’s personally is generally designed to do a better job of it. Can the woman take up the labor the man has? Providing for the new family, earning income, fighting battles of survival? Yes, single moms do it all the time. But there’s the trade off of… Who’s raising the kids? School, day care, other people who might not have the same nurture, ethic, or expectation of the natural parent? The pride should be in trying to live by God’s ideal, not in rejecting or rebelling, just to show that we can.

    We manage to get through the entire article, and scratch beneath the surface at this sexist view point, to prove that the facts it claim,, and tries to offer as prove aren’t so clear after all. The logic that makes sense, only does so by taking arguments out of context, misinterpreting what the other side has to claim, and to a degree admitting to circular and suicidal logic. If you feel that our claims are unfair, here’s the chance to let us know. Drop us a line by email, leave a comment in the show notes, use the voice mail number (401)753-4844, or how ever you’re comfortable. Different, and even opposing ideas are important to hear about.

    Quest for Truth 114 Bible Survey 11: Sin Hurts God

    The Retrobots are up to a little sassiness as we open the show. Chris is taking some time off, but Nathan Caldwell has returned.

    Meet the Hosts

    Nathan shares abbout his recent Easter sermons, and a new episode that should appear soon on his Team Jadeth Live podcast. Keith reviews the situation with the recent visit from grandkids, and the ongoing need to have one who will be around here for a while.

    Returning to our temporary format for Dumb News, we read a few headlines and talk about the dumb things that people do. Burping bartenders, and more.

    To transition, we talk about when to draw a line in sharing the love, and gospel message of Christ. Obnoxious people who rant, and run away. Steamrolling people who try to muddy the waters with topics they don’t want to hear the answers to, or give the chance to reply to any. The concept of throwing pearls to swine, which can be found in Matthew 7, is also brought up.

    Main Topic

    Bible Survey 11: Sin is Hurtful to God

    How does sin appear to God’s way of seeing things? It’s not pretty. In fact it’s stinky and gross. After a review of where our Bible Survey has taken us thus far, we read the focus passage, Ezekiel 20:1-26

    People had sought answers, but God refused to answer them. He tells the prophet Ezekiel that through the history of the nation, starting from their captivity in Egypt, and wandering in the wilderness, he has shown only good things, given a good land, but all he has had in return is rebellion, and bad choices. The people deserve to be wiped out, but he preserved them for his own glory and satisfaction. His promises made to Abraham and Jacob are still in affect, and he keeps his promises.

    His laws are good, and direct us to honor him, and get along well with eachother. God’s glory includes being a witness and testimony to prove hjis power even to the heathen nations.

    A difficult teaching comes in the final statements in this focal passage. Does God contridict himself after claiming to give good laws and gifts, does he say he is now giving bad laws? It’s a concept similar to warning a child to obey the rule to be safe, but finally giving in to let them experience the bad law they choose. Warning to not touch the hot stove, then letting hem touch to see that it really is hot, including the potential consequences of that rebellious decision.

    God gives good rules, he warns, he gives plenty of chances, but in the end he let’s choose the god, rules, and consequences his people choose.

    Bible Reading for New Christians
    By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir

    This Bible Reading Plan for those New to the Christian Faith – can be found at:

    http://70030.netministry.com/

    Quest for Truth 113 Who Was John the Baptist

    Or: Tossing off the Baggage of Lies.

    Once again live in Church House studio, but missing a co-host, we glide into our Meet the Hosts segment to give an update on doctor appointments, and upcoming surgery for Chris. We also had a house full of kids for the past week, reminding grandma and grandpa why people stop having them. Hey, we love the kids, but admittedly, the house hasn’t had the need to be child proof for some time, and it shows. Plus you get reminded of how noisy, messy, andsmelly little kids can be. It was good to have them over for their Spring break, and leading into Easter weekend.

    Trying a new approach, we look at some Dumb News headlines, and comment on what the story was like based on the headline. No quizzes, just weird people, doing weird things.

    Main Topic

    To roll into our topic of who John the Baptist was, Keith talks about the merits of using labels or descriptions. Labels are good shorthand, as long as both parties in the conversation understand what it means. Descriptions may be cumbersome, but go a long way to put a well crafted definition to a matter. Does the label still fit, after the thing is described? Or is there still baggage that clings, and refuses to break free of baggage, bias, and assumptions?

    John 1:19-28 (ESV)

    19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

    20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

    21 And they asked him,
    “What then? Are you Elijah?”
    He said, “I am not.”
    “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

    22 So they said to him,
    “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

    23 He said,

    “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘
    Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”

    24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)

    25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

    26 John answered them,
    “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know,

    27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”

    28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

    Profile of John:

    • He bore witness
    • He emphatically claimed he was not Messiah. ((confessed and did not deny. v20)
    • He was not Elijah, or the prophet. (Wasn’t he? Didn’t he know he was? see politics)
    • His claim was to quote Isaiah. (Descriptions, not label)
      • He was the one crying in the wilderness.
      • Making straight the path of the lord.

    John Answers regarding baptism:

    • John’s was of water, (other gospels make it more clear, water vs spirit and fire baptism.)
    • John claims: One is coming who they don’t know.
    • (also see preceding verses. 6-8 and 15)
    • (Also: The word coming to his own, and not being known.)
    • Messiah was already in their midst, and they haven’t recognized him.
    • The one coming is one John wasn’t worthy of lacing his shoes. (emphatic through all the gospels)

    Profile on Scribes and Pharisees:

    • Sent by the jews.
    • v24 clarifies they were messengers, sent by the Scribes and Pharisees.
    • See Politics.

    The questions:

    (They were right to ask, and validate his authenticity as a prophet. But they had other motives. politics.)

    • Asked if he was Elijah, or the prophet. (labels, not description)
    • (Who are you? What do you say about yourself?)
    • What’s this baptizing?
    • (They had never read about it. Was it connected in some way to the prophet?)

    Location:

    • Other side (East side) of the Jordan.
    • Symbolic of the entering of the promised land. (shedding a stiff necked generation)
    • Repenting, prepared to receive the promise.

    Politics:

    • Scribes and Pharisees had become lovers of money, paying shallow, surface appearance to worship. .
    • Jesus: Called them hypocrites, white washed tombs, clean on the outside, but not the inside, and more.
    • The traditional belief:
      • The prophet, and Messiah were promised. They would come.
      • The tradition was that a new political power would be set up.
      • As insiders to the profession of keeping God’s word, they expected to be with the in crowd.

      John’s ministry fulfilled the truth of the prophecy, but without the baggage. Breaking the mold of their traditional expectations, this might rock the boat for them. By John’s avoided use of the label of “the prophet”, or “Elijah”, he didn’t play into the political tradition, or attempt to lead them further into their false security.

      John answers regarding his identity:

      • Emphatic. (Each gospel records similar confrontations)
        • Not the prophet,
        • Not the Messiah,
        • One is coming who he isn’t worthy to touch his shoes.
      • John described his call, not his title.
      • Religious leaders heard well defined answers, but didn’t hear.
      • They saw the witness, but didn’t see.

      John’s message of repentance must have been powerful. Many were baptized. Religious leaders were curious, and gave him attention.

      Elsewhere, Jesus was clear that John was Elijah, or came in the spirit and power of him. From other gospel descriptions, his physical appearance was similar, even including his diet, and clothes. Being so clear and emphatic may seem silly today, but it needed to be clear for the time.