Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

We start with Scripture as our highest authority in ALL things not mere reason. That includes apologetics.

“If we truly want to help men’s consciences so that they are not gripped by perpetual doubt, we must derive the authority of Scripture from a higher source than human reasoning, evidence or conjecture. We must, that is, base it on the inner witness of the Holy Spirit.

Although Scripture’s own majesty is enough to command our reverence, it really begins to affect us only when it is sealed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Being illumined by his power, we no longer believe on the strength of our own or of others’ judgment that Scripture is from God. Above and beyond all human judgment we conclude without question that it is given to us from the mouth of God himself, through the ministry of men. It is as if, in Scripture, we beheld with our own eyes the very essence of God. We cease, therefore, to look for proofs and probabilities on which to base our judgment; instead, we subject our judgment and intellect to Scripture, as to a source so high as to rule out the need for judgment. Not because we are like some who thoughtlessly embrace unfamiliar things only to tire of them once they become better known; but because we are very sure that in Scripture we have the unassailable truth. Nor because we are like the ignorant who are in the habit of surrendering their minds to superstition; but because we feel that in Scripture the express power of deity is displayed, kindling in us the desire to give conscious and willing obedience more powerfully than if only human will or knowledge were involved.

This, then, is a conviction which does not require reasons. Nevertheless it is also a knowledge which is based upon a very sound reason, since our mind has a firmer and surer place to rest than in any set of reasons. It is, finally, a feeling which can only spring from heavenly revelations. Here I am talking of nothing else than what every believer experiences in himself, except that my words do not do justice to so worthy a theme, and are most inadequate as an explanation.

Unless we have a higher and firmer certainty than any human judgement can provide, there is no point proving the authority of Scripture by rational argument: it cannot be established on the basis of the church’s consent nor can it be confirmed by other evidences. For if this foundation is not first laid, it is bound to remain in abeyance. Once, however, we obediently accept Scripture as we should, and place it beyond all doubt, the reasons which before were not strong enough to impart certainty to our hearts will now appear as valuable aids.”

– John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion. p.20-21 (John White’s translation of 1541 version)


The Evils of Gossip

Posted: April 13, 2012 by Ricky Roldan in Topical
Tags: , , ,

One of the things that brings disharmony to families and friendships and that can destroy any church or ministry is gossip. Other terms in the Bible for gossip include: backbiter, busybody, slanderer, secrets, talebearer and whisperers. The Hebrew word for “gossip” in the Old Testament is “Rakiyl” and is defined as “one who reveals secrets, one who goes about as a talebearer or scandal-monger”. A gossiper is a person who has privileged information and engages in revealing that information to people who have no business knowing such and or makes up blatant lies about another person or exaggerates. The intent of a gossiper is to make themselves feel better while making other look bad and boast about being some kind of saint. Gossipers speak of the failings and faults of others or reveal embarrassing and or shameful details in regards to other peoples lives without their knowledge or approval, even if they don’t mean to cause harm nevertheless it is still gossip.

The Word of God tells us in Proverbs that ” A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Prov. 16:28)

Many upon many families and friendships have been ruined over a misunderstanding that started with gossip. Those who proceed to engage in this malicious behavior only serve to bring conflict and stir up trouble that cause anger, bitterness, and pain among friends and family. Unfortunately and sadly, some people thrive on this and look for opportunities to destroy others and when confronted about it they either attempt to deny that they have spread gossip or attempt to justify their gossip spreading with even more gossip and slander. Rather than admitting their sin, they blame someone else or would want to minimize the seriousness of their sin of gossip.

“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” (Prov. 21:23)

Therefore, we must be sure to guard our tongues and refrain from the sinful act of gossip. I pray that we all may follow God’s Word and its example and keep our mouths tamed and closed unless it is necessary and appropriate to speak on the issue. Consider the following passages for your meditation on this matter:

Lev. 19:16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD.”

Pslm 34:13 “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.”

Pslm 101:5 “Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence;whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure.”

Prov. 6:19 “a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

Prov. 10:18 “He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.”

Prov. 11:9 “With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape.”

Prov. 11:13 “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.”

Prov. 16:28 “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”

Prov. 17:9 “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

Prov. 18:8 “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.”

Prov. 20:19 “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much.”

Prov. 26:20 “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.”

Ecc. 10:11 “If a snake bites before it is charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.”

Matt. 12:36 “But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”

Eph. 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Eph. 4:31 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

2 Thes. 3:11 “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies.”

1 Tim. 3:11 “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.”

1 Tim. 5:13 “Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.”

Tit. 2:3 “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.”

Tit. 3:1,2 “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”

Jam. 4:11 “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.”

1 Pet. 2:1 “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.”

1 Pet. 3:10 “For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.

Matthew Henry on the sin of gossip:

“It is required of us that we be tender of the good name of our brethren; where we cannot speak well, we had better say nothing than speak evil; we must not take pleasure in making known the faults of others, divulging things that are secret, merely to expose them, nor in making more of their known faults than really they deserve, and, least of all, in making false stories, and spreading things concerning them of which they are altogether innocent. What is this but to raise the hatred and encourage the persecutions of the world, against those who are engaged in the same interests with ourselves, and therefore with whom we ourselves must stand or fall? Consider you are brethren.”

Grace and Peace, I am Richard Roldan preferably Ricky. I’m married with 2 children and 2 stepchildren who all live with me. But before being regenerated aka being born again I was pretty much a bad dude. You know the whole thug life, drug dealin gun wheelin lifestyle etc… don’t feel the need to go into details cause that would be a book actually LOL… but seriously, I made an official commitment to Christ at the age of 20 since being raised in a Christian home where your pops is a pastor, you really don’t know when that actual regeneration occurred and I don’t think anyone really does, but anyways I stop thuggin cold turkey like the next day, which brought me some trouble but that’s another story. Ever since I have been given a Godly desire to take the gospel and sound doctrine back to da hood aka my culture…..not that my culture is all hood but that is term we lovingly use to describe the inner-city and urban environment.

Basically, I feel called by the Lord to be an Evangelist/Reformer/Pastor to my culture, to bring them the true message of the gospel and teach them sound christian doctrine as found in our creeds and reformed confessions, which we in the Reformed faith, believe are the accurate summaries of the Word of God. I do not have any formal training but I have been studying biblical theology and systematic theology through the same means as bible college and seminary students via books, audio, video, and mentors for the last 19yrs and I also have been teaching for 18yrs but I am open to getting a formal training for the sake of better credentials and hanging a degree up on my wall…lol…..not to downplay formal training or anything, there is much need for it, believe it!

Now what culture do I refer to? By that I do not mean my spanish culture as many people quickly assume being that I’m Puerto Rican or Philarican, I was born in Philly, rather what I mean by my culture is the Hip Hop culture/inner city urban culture to which I was born and raised in. This culture is a sub-INTERNATIONAL culture, I emphasis international because individuals not learned of this culture quickly assume it is only a sub-American culture, which it is but not limited to America. This like any other culture or nation must also be evangelized and discipled as the principles of our Reformed faith mandate, a Reform Ordinance sort of speak, to bring nations and its cultures to Christ receiving this command by our Lord in the Great Commission.

Some of you will not understand this need, and to be quite frank, it makes me no difference being that my concern is for those likened to me in the same culture I was raised in. Christ calls us to engage the culture not attempt to change it but He does call us to to call them to repentance and to shun the sins of the culture. That’s a little about myself and the intentions of my heart.