No Apologizing

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Tag Archives: Salvation

Are Christians Sociopaths?


Are Christians, particularly Christians in America, sociopathic?

What started as an off the cuff remark I made during a recent sermon at my Church (Legacy Church, in Kansas City, MO) has begun to legitimately haunt me (you can hear the sermon here)…

Christian… Sociopath… These are two words that on the surface seem completely incompatible.  Acts 11:26 tells us that the term “Christian” was first used of disciples in the Antioch church.  This was initially used as an insult in that people were saying they were “little Christs”.  In other words, they were just like Jesus, who because of His great love for people, voluntarily died to pay for the sins of the world. On the other hand – the dictionary defines sociopath as “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” Another says that “Sociopaths are interested only in their personal needs and desires, without concern for the effects of their behavior on others.”

How can someone who is living a life that is reminiscent of a man whose critics admit was at least a good person and moral teacher exhibit behavior or attitudes that are patently selfish and apathetic to others? However, in spite of the apparent contradiction, I think if we are truly honest with ourselves, the answer is closer to “yes” than any of us who call ourselves a Christian would like to admit… And it tears me up inside… Let me allow this clip from Atheist Magician and Comedian Penn Jillette to begin to explain what I mean:

“How much do you have to hate someone to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” There is the rub… Way too many “Christians” fall in a daily routine and are comfortable to coast through life without a broken heart for their friends and family who, if what we believe is really true, are destined for an eternity without God… Well… to be honest that is the essence of selfishly living life “without concern for the effects of their behavior [or lack thereof] on others”, isn’t it???

We certainly shouldn’t be comfortable with it… But sadly I think that may just be the problem… our comfort.  Because we are relatively comfortable, especially in comparison to most of the rest of the world, we just get into auto pilot and unintentionally slip into apathy.  It’s not a conscious thing, but it occurs anyway… and it’s tragic.

Penn said “There comes a point where I tackle you… and this is more important than that.” Because people’s eternities are so important, our “social conscience” should remind us that we have a “moral responsibility” to love those around us enough to take the risk of offending them or losing a friendship to in a sense “tackle” them by sharing the truth about Jesus

Let’s pray to God for forgiveness for our sociopathic tendencies and begin to live a life that actually reflects our name-sake, Jesus… and refuse to scoot through life uncaring and unaffected by the many people we know who do not yet have a relationship with Him.

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Mourning the Death of Osama Bin Laden…


If you’ve read this blog at all you know that we are not fans of any religion or worldview that sets itself up against the God of the Bible. Nor do we back down from honest and straightforward debate with proponents of those worldviews.  I’m also not a fan of heinous acts perpetrated against our great nation and her people.  So it will probably surprise you that I have been grieved over the last few days by the death of Osama Bin Laden and I have been doubly heart-broken over the reaction the majority of our nation has had over this news.  Before you even think it, let me say that doesn’t make me a Muslim sympathizer and it makes me no less patriotic.

Look, let me explain:  I’m not saying that justice wasn’t served… because it was.  Nor am I claiming that he didn’t bring it upon himself… because he did.  And I’m definitely not saying that he shouldn’t have been stopped and dealt with… because he absolutely 100% needed to be.

What’s got my heart hurting is the fact that there is one more soul whose fate is sealed to be eternally separated from the loving God of this universe in a horrible place called Hell and people are rejoicing over it.  Regardless of what people may claim or wish or pretend, or what Rob Bell may imply, Hell is very real… it is very bad… and it is eternal.  So much so, I’d not wish it on my worst enemy – Even Osama Bin Laden… Even Hitler… Even the people who have directly, personally and deeply wounded me (both intentionally and unintentionally).

Again, please don’t misunderstand me here…  I am NOT a fan of Bin Laden… I detest and denounce what he has done… He was evil to the core and I realize the chances of him ever accepting Christ were slim to none… Well, given recent events, Slim is permanently out of town, so the chances are obviously zero now. But we have condemned Osama for his blatant disregard for the value on human life, but yet, by rejoicing his death aren’t we doing the same?

Some of you may call me a hypocrite because I am a proponent of capital punishment… And I definitely believe that Bin Laden should have been put to death (and unlike Mendenhall I do believe we have all the info we need to condemn Bin Laden’s actions and he would have undoubtedly been convicted had he made it to court)…. What I’m saying is that we need not rejoice over it.  There are often things that NEED to be done, but which should give us no pleasure in the doing of them… Burying the dead, disciplining your children, complicated and painful (but life-saving) surgery, chemo-therapy, etc. are all examples of things that have to be done that no sane person should rejoice over.  In fact, that last one may be the best example… Killing Bin Laden was chemo-therapy – it eliminated a cancer that needed to be dealt with, but is it cause for jubilant celebration? I submit to you no, it is not.

Consider this… 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  That “everyone” includes people we’d rather not have existed… Hitler… Stalin… Bin Laden… child abusers… rapists… your ex… EVERYONE.  Further food for thought is Ezekiel 33:11 which says, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’”

Does that mean everyone will believe and or that everyone will enter into Heaven? By no means, (God speaks about punishing the wicked in the Ezekiel verse – sorry Rob Bell, both God’s Love AND His Justice wins) but it does mean that we should value human life and desire, like God does that everyone come to know him… It means that we need to tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ… and it means we should grieve when people die without Him – even people as evil as Osama Bin Laden.  We need to love and pray for people as long as we and they are alive and let the Lord sort it out when we’re all dead (cf. Romans 12:19)… In fact Jesus Himself said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-45).

Getting to that place is hard… and it will require a revolution in thinking… but let me ask you this:  Can you bring yourself to care more about the Kingdom of God than the good ol’, US of A?  That’s where I believe God is leading me… How about you?

So yes, I grieve for Osama Bin Laden… as well as all who die without knowing Jesus. Do you?

What is it with laminin?


In our young history we have written 127 posts.  Of those, there is no dispute as to which are our top

A true sign from God?

two.  Both of them are on laminin.  Some statistics:  Laminin has been googled between 25,000 to 30,000 times in the last 30 days.  This seems to be a pretty steady statistic even beyond those 30 days.  Both of the laminin posts are the most shared posts that we have written as well.

I look at these numbers and think… “what is it with laminin?”  Why is this protein so interesting to people?

I get it.  The first time I saw Giglio’s presentation…in combination with the Corinthian scripture, chills went down my spine.  I believe that it is an illustration of the divine inspiration of the Bible.  Think about this for a second…there is no way that Paul could have known what a diagram of the laminin protein molecule would look like when he penned the words:

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (NIV)

That being said…

There are some who doubt that the design of laminin is intentional from God.  To be honest…there is no way for any of us to know the truth behind the design itself.  This is a topic that both Kevin and I have debated pretty regularly.  I think the design intentionally points to the cross… Kevin, on the other hand, is a little more skeptical.  The basis of the argument is really as simple as this…Is it intended as a message or sign from God?  All I can say is this…as Christians we believe in an intentional design, a specific creation.  God created the laminin protein…is it really impossible to believe that the imagery people have attached to it was intentional? 

Both of us answer this question with an emphatic NO – because with God all things are possible .  God is perfectly capable of doing this and sending messages any way He so chooses.  But the question remains… why is this protein so interesting to people?

After thinking this through, I believe the answer is simple:  people are, and always have been looking for a sign from God.  While some can look to creation and see it as the sign that God exists, others need to see something more explicit.  For some a true “sign” needs to be in your face and un-deniable.  All you have to do is look at how quickly people can find signs in everyday common items…like a piece of toast.  Laminin fits this category.

Don’t get me wrong.  I will not compare the design of laminin to a piece of toast.  One was created by God specifically (whether or not it was intended to “point to the cross”), and the other… well…it just exists. 

There is power in seeing a “sign” from God.  Many look at laminin as a sign…right, wrong or indifferent.  There are two things that can happen from this point: 

The first is that they look at laminin, and see a “sign” from God, and make no substantial life change.  They see the sign and cling to it as justification of their faith. This is not a good thing as they worship an image and not God himself.

The second is that they look at laminin, and see a “sign” from God, and use this sign as the springboard to their full fledged faith.  In other words, it is the catalyst that drives them to the next level.  This is what laminin should be. 

The cross signifies the sacrifice by our divine Savior.  The legal transaction that took place on that cross represents our sins, our transgressions AND it is the point in time where Christ won victory over Satan, sin and death.  We are free from punishment, because the punishment has been dealt…as long as we trust in the divine (resurrected) Christ and repent of our sins. 

Salvation cannot be achieved any other way.  Not only would worshipping an image (such as laminin) be violating the first and second commandments, but it would also short-circuit the type of abundant life Jesus said he wants for you in John 10:10. 

Laminin can be viewed as a reminder of the transaction.  Laminin is not THE transaction itself.  So while

Kevin and I can agree to disagree on the degree to which God intended the shape of laminin molecule itself to point people to the cross, we both can agree…that whatever you believe about laminin, it is not a replacement for salvation – and that is FAR more important.

Earthquake in Japan


There is no doubt that all of us have seen images and video of the earthquake in Japan.  The death toll is rising.  The damage is unimaginable.  All of us should be praying or continue to pray for the people affected by this disaster.  Disasters like this seem to draw attention to God.  Some, will look at God and demand answers, while others will use it as another reason to not believe in God. 

God has provided those answers for you.  Below are some of our posts that deal with disasters.  We should be doing everything we can to help the people of Japan.  Be praying for mercy and grace for the people affected by this disaster.

Challenger Disaster Anniversary

Is God Evil?

Why does God allow bad things to happen?

Also please consider the urgency in which our lives need to change.  Do not delay any longer because YOU don’t know the time or the hour of your own death.  100% of us will die at some point.  There is no guarantee for tomorrow.  Disaster’s like this are a perfect demonstration of that.  We all need God’s salvation.  Repent from your sins.  Accept Christ as you Lord and salvation.  You cannot prevent death, but you can prevent eternal damnation.

 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Romans 8:18-21

HOLY WAR (but NOT Jihad)!!!


God’s Word makes it very clear that all Christians are in a very dangerous and deadly battle – we are called to MAKE WAR!  That is why we are given instructions on how and who and with which weapons we are expected to fight. Check out what Eph 6:10-18 has to say about it:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Not only are we expected to fight, but we are expected to WIN – BIG TIME (cf. Romans 8:37).

Over the coming days we are going to look at the various aspects of the Armor of God… and see how each to be used to increase our effectiveness for our Supreme Commander-in-Chief. But before we strap on the Armor and go out Rambo-style to kick tail and take names I think it’s important for us to examine just exactly who who or what is/are the enemy.

Far too often I see Christians assuming that we need to fight against people and their messed up thinking… their ideologies (aka their politics), but it seems to me that verse 12 above makes it pretty clear that this is not the case. Let’s take a peek at what God says about it elsewhere (Ephesians 2:1-3):

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

One can derive from this passage, and the one from chapter 6 above, that Christians have three basic enemies: the World (culture), Satan/the Devil, and our own wicked Flesh… NOT other people!!! Nowhere does it talk about political entities… Hmmm…

Now for those of you who know me you know that I personally have a massive disdain for certain political views and that most of these views are held dear by a certain political party here in our country. This, of course, leads me to have VERY strong negative feelings about that party. But I have to stop and ask myself are rage… frustration… outrage… disgust… against a political party (and thus many of the people in it) a good use of my time and energy?

If our enemies are the World, our own flesh and Satan, aren’t we already fighting on 3 fronts? No military expert would tell you that is a winning battle plan… So why on earth would we want to add a 4th? It is a losing strategy, it is harmful to other people, the reputation of Christ and when you get down to the bottom of it, in almost every instance, fighting against other people it is downright sinful…

When I studied this out to teach it on our recent youth retreat I think I found that, we can reduce this fight to a two front battle. I deeply believe that if we will rightly focus our efforts it will make us more effective for the cause of Christ – I welcome your comments on whether or not the following makes sense.

In spiritual warfare we often (rightly?) begin by focusing on Satan as the primary enemy. Let’s look at some of his names (characteristics) to understand him better and fight him better. As I studied out his names I saw a pattern or progression unfold that made a lot of sense to me and helped me focus my battle efforts – hope it does the same for you.

In simplest terms the Devil is God’s enemy… Satan HATES God and would love nothing more than to replace Him. We see this in these names: Satan (which means Adversary) 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Timothy 5:15; Enemy/Opponent – Matthew 13:28; Evil One – John 17:15…

He is not powerful enough to oppose/fight God directly so he employs a round-about attack by going after God’s people and doing everything in his power to keep others from becoming God’s people… To do this Satan has masterfully influenced the culture toward greater and greater depravity and evil. God recognizes this ploy and has warned us in other names that have been given to Satan: Prince of the Power of the Air (which means he controls unbelievers) – Ephesians 2:2; Ruler of Demons – Mark 3:22; Ruler of this World (which means he rules the world system/culture) – John 12:31; God of this Age (which means he influences the thinking of this world) – 2 Cor. 4:4; Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) – Matthew 12:24; Belial (which means that he is worthless – just like the corruption he has brought to the world) – 2 Cor. 6:15

Satan then uses the Culture/World to provide temptation for our flesh (the second enemy listed above). We see this in his names: Tempter – 1 Thes. 3:5; Serpent of Old – Deceiver in Garden – Rev. 12:9, 20:2

God warns us from falling to these schemes in 1 John 2:15-17 when He says:

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

However, Satan is stubborn and will not give up… through the World/Culture will try to tell you that certain sins are OKAY… he’ll try to convince you that they are not that bad… He’ll provide you with every kind of justification from “I’m just wired/born this way” to “God wants me to be happy and this will do it” to “I/they deserve this”… But I’m here to tell you IT’s NOT OKAY…

Satan is a masterful liar (cf. John 8:34) – Though he tries to make it look good, pleasing and harmless, sin is an affront to God and His Holiness and it is harmful to our soul and damaging to our lives and relationships! Sinning is telling your heavenly father that you know best – it’s basically giving God the finger… and though God is loving and forgiving that is a dangerous game to play…

Once Satan has trapped you in one of his schemes and he has hooked you with some type of addictive sin, he then capitalizes upon our temptations and failures. God calls him the Accuser  (Rev 12:10) because Satan bad-mouths you to God, in your mind and to other people. He is called the Dragon/Destroyer (Rev. 9:11; 12:3, 7, 9) because he uses your sinful mistakes to ruin your life. He is called a Roaring Lion (1 Peter 5:8) because he wants to swallow you up in the consequences of sin and keep you from experiencing fellowship with God. He is a Murderer (John 8:34) because he leads people to eternal death (aka Hell). The term “Devil” actually means “slanderer” ( Matt. 4:1) because If he can’t get to you any other way, he’ll try to destroy your/God’s reputation.

So, what I see from all this is that if Satan is the deceiving force that is corrupting the culture we only truly have to fight the battle on two fronts… We need to Submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7-8).  And we need to MAKE WAR against our sinful nature (cf. 1 Cor. 9:27, Galatians 5:16-26). John Piper would say that the war against our own flesh is the most important aspect of this… but I’d have to respectfully disagree… I think both prongs of our counter-attack are equally important… If we fight directly against Satan (and we’ll see how to do that in coming posts) then the culture will be effected which will minimize temptations as much as possible, making it easier to fight against our sinful desires…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen sin’s painful effects on a lot of people’s lives and I’m hopping mad about it… I’m ready to strap the armor on and get it on with Satan in God’s mighty power… Will you join me?

That’s it….I QUIT!


My wife was perusing the internet tonight and found an interesting article.  Anne Rice has quit her religion, and is moving on, on her own.  To quote the LA times article… “she announced she had quit Christianity “in the name of Christ” because she’d seen too much hypocrisy”.  The article goes on to talk about religion in a  generic sense, and how people are leaving church because they have become disillusioned with the religion in general.  Now, if you know me…you know that I am not a big fan of the LA Times, but I have to admit, with this article…they have hit the nail on the head.  There are a number of great points to take from this article.

25% of people between the ages of 18-29 do not associate with any particular faith. 

This is a startling statistic.  Having seen firsthand the impact of what a secular college can do to a kid with a mind full of mush…I would have thought this number to be much higher.  And perhaps, in reality, it is.  Especially taking into consideration the second point…

Every day, the church is becoming more like the world it allegedly seeks to change.

It is hard being a Christian, isn’t it?  You have to stand out in the crowd, you are an alien in this world, and as a result an outcast.  Just for believing in Christ.  Now take this into combination with the fact that everyone has a natural desire to be liked (well not me, but I love being the alien) and you have a recipe for disaster.  It is easier to blend in, to follow the crowd, and to do what feels good than it is to be ridiculed for your actions, and mocked for your faith.  So what do people do who are not grounded in their faith… go with the flow.  Which leads me to the more controversial point…

Many people who call themselves Christian don’t really believe, deep down, in the tenets of their faith. In other words, their actions reveal their true beliefs.

This I believe is closer to the truth.  It gets to a really tough question…can a Christian truly backslide…or are they (were they) ever truly a Christian?  I do have a personal example to draw from in this sense.  Someone I know, attended church until the age of 18.  Went to college, and began to live a life that was contrary to the Word of God.  So the question becomes… was this person ever a Christian?  This topic alone deserves it’s own post, and possibly it’s own debate.  What is clear is that all three of these points are a call for concern to church leadership from all denominations.

The primary question for me…are we preparing our youth to enter a world bent on getting them to deviate from the Word of God?  The statistics will tell you no!  The world will tell you no, and the actions of these “Christian” youths will tell you no! 

I have decided to throw my hat into the ring of education by helping out with the Sunday School at my church.  I am not sure if I can make a difference with these kids, but if I can help prevent one or two kids from following this path….wouldn’t it be worth it? (BTW…my wife hates this cliché)  I think so.  So then the question becomes…what are you doing to help?

We’ve got mail….yeaaaaaaah. We’ve got mail, we’ve got mail, we’ve got mail…


No Apologizing now has its own email… noapologizing@gmail.com.

KB and I are gearing up for our 100th post.  It is a pretty big deal that we hit this mark.  For the 100th post we are hoping to put together a vlog.  For those of you not familiar…a vlog is like a blog but only in video format.  What we would like to do for our vlog is to be as interactive with you as possible.  This could include questions about us, questions you have on theology, or just comments in general.  That is where the e-mail comes in…

Use the e-mail to send us your questions or comments.  We will use them in the vlog to generate discussion.  If you have something you would like for us to debate….send it in.  I can tell you right now the vlog has been decided on.  If we don’t receive any e-mails Kevin will be forced to do 20 push-ups on camera…well maybe that won’t work…because I am sure people will want to see that.

On behalf of Kevin (who is probably getting upset reading this) and I, we would like to thank you for reading our posts, and we hope you get something out of it.

SEND US SOME COMMENTS!

BOY, it’s HOT!!!!


The heat wave that is sweeping the nation is definitely brutal… My A/C is having a VERY hard time keeping up… When Robert and I spoke earlier today he mentioned to me that this reminded him of how urgent we ought to be about the souls of our friends, family and neighbors… He said: “If you think it’s hot now… Imagine how bad it’s gonna be in Hell, where the heat never lets up!” What a sobering reminder…

Revelation 20:12-15 says, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Later on we’re reminded elsewhere (Rev. 14:11 and 20:10) that this torment is forever and ever… OUCH… Let’s take a cue from my friend and let this oppressive heat help remind us that we are called to the ministry of reconciliation (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20)… Let’s get to it… Let’s show them how to get permanent/eternal A/C!!

Themes in the Bible and God’s Will


With the sermon last week I got bogged down in study rather than the speed reading needed to keep up the G90X pace… Today is a catch up day…

So instead of trying to teach today, let me pose some questions (please shoot me your answers as a comment to this post)… In a previous post I said that the overarching theme for the Bible is the redemption of mankind, in other words it is about God easing the tension between His perfect love and His perfect justice…

  • What other themes do you see in the Bible?
  • How do they speak to you?
  • AND… How are you responding to them in obedience (And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6)?
  • Finally, do you trust these as God’s Will for your life (The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17)?

Are you a God? Part 2


This is part 2 of the “Are we gods”.

God called us little gods, so we are what the word says we are.  This argument is based on John 10:32-36, and Psalms 82.

Word of faith preachers lean heavily on this text to show that we are little gods.  Here is John 10:32-36:   but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”   33 “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”   34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— 36what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?

Word of Faith preachers say “Scripture calls us little gods.  We must follow the scripture.”  This argument offered up by the word of faith preachers offers more of a challenge because it is so easily misinterpreted if it is taken out of context.  When you read John 10:34-36 it says you are “gods”.  When you read Psalms 82:6 it says you are “gods”.  Like I mentioned before, when you listen to a word of faith preacher discuss these two verses in particular this would be about as deep as they go.  “It says it, so you are.”  So let’s put these into context…

When you are looking at this section of John, Jesus is standing before the Pharisees.  They are ready to stone him for claiming to be God.  Christ defends himself in 34-36 referencing Psalms 82. 

1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah

3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;

7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.”

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

 Psalm 82 was written in reference to the judges and magistrates.  These people are official representatives and agents of God.  I am going to break Psalm 82 down and look at it verse by verse to help you gain better understanding of what Jesus was referencing in John 10:34. 

Look at verse 1.  This is notification to the “gods” that God gives judgment on them.  This statement is followed by a plea to the “gods” in verses 3-4.  Verse 5 offers truth, without these things anarchy will ensue.  Then, in verses 7-8, comes the reckoning… Though they are honored in verse 6 God also humbles them by reminding them  in verse 7 that they are only mere mortals and that they will, therefore, die.  Basically, these two verses are saying that these judges are NOT god-like, because they are imperfect and mortal then verse 8 definitively declares that God has authority and will judge all of them.  If you read Psalm 82 through the lens that the “gods” are just the average person (as opposed to leaders and judges), it makes no sense.  Let’s dig a little deeper.

Look at verse 2.  When the question is asked “how long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?”  Focus on the word “you”.  The word “you” in verse 2 can only be referencing God or “gods”.  God does not judge unjustly, so then the reference must be to the word “gods”.  The “gods” judge.  On to verse three…the “gods” are able to give justice.  Now, if the “gods” judge and are able to give justice, are they average folk or are they people with power and authority (like leaders, kings, judges, rulers, etc.)?  The actions described in Psalm 82 describe the actions of people in leadership.  The actions they perform are “god” – like in that they judge and have a certain (limited) amount of power and authority.  They are judging and leading others with the possibility of liberating them.  This is similar to the way that God will one day judge the world, but in a limited way. Of course leading other people and/or judging for them is an awesome and powerful responsibility – one that carries a heavy burden  One last comment on Psalm 82.  When you read this verse, think of a local or national leader.  Keep them in mind as you hear God’s plea to them to be fair, and righteous.  Keep them in mind as God reminds them that his judgment will happen.  When I do this I am filled with the instant need to pray for them. 

Let’s jump now to John 10:34-36.  Here, Jesus quotes Psalm 82 to make a point.  So who is Jesus talking to here?  The Pharisees.  The keepers of the law (magistrates), and the judges of the law.  So when Jesus says “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’, he is referencing the judges and magistrates of His day (like Psalms 82 was).  What we are seeing Jesus do in John 10:34-38 is draw a comparison between himself, and the Pharisees.  The Pharisees, administers of the law of God, and Jesus the one the Father consecrated and sent into the world.  Both are the word of God delivered.  This is cemented by what Jesus says in verses 35-36.  “Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods'[e]? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world?

If “gods” in John 10:34-36 means just anyone then this verse becomes superficial, and meaningless-There is no power to the analogy that Jesus draws between the two groups, because is no distinction between the groups.

There is danger in claiming that we are gods, even if it IS with a little g, because it minimizes God, and lifts man up to be more than what we are intended to be.  If, in fact, we have God like authority on Earth why would we need to submit to God?  If this sounds silly, then think about this…  Many word of faith preachers go so far as to teach that God has to submit to US!  That God cannot act on this Earth without our consent (much more could be said about this clear fallacy, and probably will be in a future post).  Any preacher who teaches that man controls God, or preaches that you are god like preaches a God that does not exist in the Bible (cf. Romans 11:33-36), and deliberately, or otherwise, misleads people into thinking they have God like power.  Keep in mind that this type of teaching has been used before (when Satan told Eve that she could like God). Of course, we know that Adam and Eve’s response to this false teaching had a catastrophic effect on the history of the world – Let’s be wise and refuse to listen to that same lie again.

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