Monthly News Roundup (07.29.21)

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Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This is the last episode for the month of July – time for our monthly news roundup. In this episode, we’ll be talking about assisted suicide, children reading the Bible, and Chinese authorities shutting down a virtual church service.Continue Reading

Monthly News Roundup (06.24.21)

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | RSS

Plain Bible Teaching Podcast

This is the last episode for the month of June – time for our monthly news roundup. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the number of Americans who are reading the Bible, the Department of Education and transgender students, and the effects of the pandemic on our emotional well-being.Continue Reading

Remembering Jesus’ Words

Pointing at Bible

On the first day of the week following Jesus’ crucifixion, a group of women came to the tomb and discovered it to be empty (Luke 23:55-24:3). Instead of finding the body of Jesus, they saw two angels who explained why Jesus was not there:

Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again” (Luke 24:5-7).

At this point, Luke indicated that they “remembered His words” (Luke 24:8). After that, they went and told others (Luke 24:9). In other words, remembering what Jesus had said led them to action.

In this article, we are going to discuss why we are to remember Jesus’ words, how to do this, and what we should do with His words once we get to the point of remembering them.Continue Reading

Being a Productive Christian

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Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

There are many books, articles, and websites dedicated to the subject of productivity. People want to improve how they use their time and work more efficiently and effectively. While being productive is important in the realm of work and business, we should not limit it to those areas of our lives.

The Scriptures teach that we are to be productive in our spiritual lives. Though the word productivity is not used in the Bible, the concept is certainly discussed. In this article, we are going to see what the Bible says about how to be a productive Christian.Continue Reading

Thoughts on the Bible-Minded Cities Report

2015 Bible-Minded Cities

The Barna Group released a report on “Bible-Minded” cities. The report ranked the “Bible-mindedness” of individuals in the 100 largest media markets in the United States. According to the criteria of the Barna Group, an individual is “Bible-minded” based on two qualifications:

  1. They “report reading the Bible in a typical week.”
  2. They “strongly assert the Bible is accurate in the principles it teaches.”

It is interesting to read reports like this one. Regardless of how “Bible-minded” the cities are in which we live, there are some points we should consider.
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Traditionalism and Illiteracy

Matthew recorded a discussion that Jesus had with the Pharisees and scribes on the subject of traditions. The Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus about His disciples breaking “the tradition of the elders” by not washing hands before eating bread (Matthew 15:1-2). Jesus responded by questioning them about another tradition in which they neglected to care for their parents in need, but justified themselves by claiming to have given the money that would have helped them to God (Matthew 15:4-5). Jesus said that keeping their tradition caused them to “transgress the commandment of God” (Matthew 15:3). They had “invalidated the word of God for the sake of [their] tradition” (Matthew 15:6).

The Pharisees and scribes were blinded by traditionalism. While there was nothing wrong with their tradition to wash hands before eating bread, their tradition blinded them to the fact that no sin was committed by one not washing his hands. The other tradition that Jesus cited led to a direct violation of God’s law. Yet their tradition blinded them to their sin of failing to honor their father and mother.

Jesus connected their traditionalism with the prophecy of Isaiah:

You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men’” (Matthew 15:7-9).

If we look at the context of Isaiah’s prophecy, we can see that Jesus likened their traditionalism to illiteracy.
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Reading Denominational Authors

Reading

With the rise of social media in our modern age, it is easy to share information with others. The information we share often includes what books and articles we have read. I have observed that, in general, brethren read a lot that is written by denominational authors on spiritual topics – possibly more than they read the writings of other brethren.

It is not necessarily wrong for brethren to read the writings of denominational authors. In some cases it can even be helpful. However, we need to be careful. Let me offer the following considerations.
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