If you read the Psalms only for doctrine, you’re not reading them for what they are. They are psalms, songs, poetry. They’re musical, and the reason human beings express truth with music and poetry is to awaken and express emotions that fit the truth.
One of the reasons the Psalms are deeply loved by so many Christians is that they give expression to an amazing array of emotions. Listen to this list of emotions I pulled together:
Confidence: “Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident” (Psalms 27:3).
More explicitly than all the other books in the Bible, the Psalms are designed to awaken and shape our emotions in line with the instruction they give. What happens when you read and sing the Psalms the way they are intended to be read and sung is that your emotions and your mind are shaped by these psalms.
(Part 1 | Part 2)
The first two posts of this series form an important foundation: we
must rely on the truth the Holy Spirit revealed to us through His Word,
lest we grow arrogant and embrace bold deception in the name of God. If
we lean on our own understanding of how God operates, we will fall. If
we grow unsatisfied with the Bible and seek words and visions, we
invite spiritual destruction.
Indeed, the light of Proverbs 30:6 dispels our confusion: Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
In total, we said we must avoid Bethel because it is spiritually dangerous, and we said there are two reasons for that.
The first reason we examined in length last week, that it promotes false doctrine, and we looked at the heretical teachings streaming from
the pulpit to computers and MP3 players near you. If you have not read at least that post, please do so now, because we now turn to the
second of these reasons.
(Part 1 | Part 3)
In the previous post,
I argued that doctrine is not only unavoidable, the Holy Spirit wants us to grow in
our knowledge of biblical doctrine. Even so, I understand the many Christians who,
burned by those intellectuals whose convictions were buried in seminary,
believe avoiding deep theological study is the best salve for the
injured soul. They believe that you can feed only your intellect
or your spirit, seeking a moving experience that is not necessarily
meaningful, and missing the fact that God created both in union.
such, some of today's most popular teachers and preachers proceed with
that foundation; books and sermons promising bigger and better
experiences create many celebrity pastors. However, upon this
foundation a house of theology must reside, inside which a Christians
find a spiritually environment that is not up to biblical code. We will
see this with our case in point --- Bill Johnson --- as we examine what
Did Isaac marry a three-year-old? If you've never pondered this question, it's because nothing in the straightforward reading of the text would suggest that Rebekah was a toddler or that their marriage was arranged.
Even so, a couple of verses out of context could be used by skeptics to prove anything. While perusing the web for a related topic, however, I found a thread stating that the Bible isn't against the raping of children. The cited evidence was this issue, the claim being that Isaac engaged in pedophilia.
The question comes from the fact that Genesis 22:23 announces the birth of Rebekah after the binding of Isaac. Tradition states that Isaac was then thirty-seven, and Scripture says that the two wed when Isaac was forty (Gn 25:20). Hence, Isaac robbed the cradle.
The whole theory is fraught with assumptions, the primary being that Scripture never records a age marker for Rebekah. Further complicating the matter, however, is Jewish tradition, which speculates…