Why We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday

FeaturedWhy We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday

Every week I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at We Celebrate Resurrection Sunday.

On Sunday we celebrated Easter or Resurrection Sunday. In either case we celebrated the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Some people favor the crucifixion as taking place on Friday (Good Friday). However this is based on a misunderstanding of Scripture. It is true that it took place the day before the Sabbath, but there was the Passover (a Sabbath) that week on Thursday.

There is the additional problem of getting three days and nights between Friday and Sunday. There are some pretty fanciful ideas out there to solve that problem. The truth is that we are talking about real days as in 24 hours. You simply can’t get three 24 hour days between Friday and Sunday.

To resolve this some have placed the crucifixion on Thursday. But this still doesn’t work because the Jewish day started at dusk (around 6 pm). So you’d have Friday and Saturday (2 days) and Thursday evening, Friday evening, and Saturday evening (3 nights). An additional problem is that the Passover (a High Sabbath) was on Thursday.

The only solution that works is the crucifixion was on Wednesday. Passover began at 6 pm, thus beginning Thursday and the Passover. Now you get three days and nights with Jesus rising sometime between Saturday 6 pm (start of Sunday) and Sunday 6 am.

I’ve included a chart to show the events of those days.

However the real point of our celebration is not the name (Easter vs. Resurrection Sunday) or the day of crucifixion. Nor is it just the resurrection. We celebrate His death, burial and resurrection. He died for our sins thus satisfying the holy justice of God and rose on the third day to signify that we have new life in Christ. The two must be together.

It has special significance for believers: It proves the deity of Christ; it fulfills scripture; it proves that what Christ said about Himself and His power to forgive sin is true; it shows there is eternal existence after death; and it shows that ultimately Christ and all believers will have the victory irrespective of politics, etc. here on Earth.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

FeaturedSinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Every week  I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. This week I am taking a look at Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.

The title of this blog is taken from the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon. That sermon dealt with the fact that the only thing keeping the ungodly (unsaved) out of Hell is God. In other words, God keeps such people alive and out of Hell to give them the opportunity to be saved. How long He gives them is strictly according to His will not theirs!

Just as this truth shook millions of churchgoers who heard or read this sermon the same should shake those of us who are believers. The same Bible that teaches the truth about the unsaved also teaches that while the saved are secure in the Lord they also are kept from a different judgment purely based on His will and purpose.

What do you mean?

As a believer I am forever secure. I was saved by grace, I am kept by grace, and I will continue to live according to His grace. But my rewards in Heaven are based on works.

But before we discuss that let’s take a look at the very first word in the title, namely Sinners.

Who are Sinners?

Many people believe and some even teach and preach that there are small sins, medium sized sins, and then the whoppers! Furthermore, they teach that Hell is the destination of those guilty of the big sins or whoppers. But the Bible doesn’t teach that.

In fact the Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” and in Roman’s 3:10-12, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” In verse 23 it says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We are all sinners! And in case you think you are the exception take a look at Revelation 21:8:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Did you notice ‘and all liars’? It only takes one lie to become a liar. And you, my friend, have told at least one lie; and so have I!

Then all will go to Hell?

Without God in your life the answer is yes. The Jonathan Edwards sermon showed that the unbeliever (aka unsaved) is only a fraction of a second from Hell. But Roman’s 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” and has provided for us a way to Heaven. In Romans 10:13 it says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”; in other words, if you sincerely ask Jesus to save you He will. And He knows whether you are sincere or not!

Then a Believer isn’t under God’s Wrath?

That is true. However, God sets a very high standard for our behavior. When we got saved He didn’t take us home to Heaven. Instead, He left us here to serve Him. To accomplish that He wants us to triumph over our sins but we live in sinful flesh and will continue to do so until we are raptured or die!

Then we have no hope!

Wrong! If you belong to God (and all believers do) He loves you eternally. He loves you and will make a way for you to confess your sins and restore your fellowship. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Oh, you mean we can sin all we want as long as we ask forgiveness afterward?

If you approach life with that attitude you will find yourself in a world of trouble. 1 John 1:9 is not a free pass. It’s talking about real confession of the heart with the understanding that God can read our hearts and knows whether it is true or not. And don’t forget, it’s talking about forgiveness not consequences.

I’m confused.

That’s because you haven’t discerned that the wrath of God and the judgment of believers are two separate issues. The wrath of God is upon unbelievers (unsaved) while God’s judgment of works is reserved for His children (only believers are the children of God; all people are the creation of God).

So what is this Judgment of Works?

In the old Roman arenas the victors were rewarded by leis or something of that nature. The victors would wear them like crowns. The governor or some other high official would sit upon a seat called the Bema Seat to award the victors.

Just as that governor watched and awarded the winner God is watching us. When His people (all believers in Christ) do His work He takes notice. Someday we’ll stand in His presence and He will reward us for what we did for Him. He will reward us with crowns that we’ll cast at His feet in awe and worship for Him.

Oh, then our works are involved!

For rewards, yes; for salvation, no. In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Combine that with James 2:18, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works” and you get a powerful statement of faith.

Then we are ordained to work?

Yes. We are saved by grace, ordained to work, and displayed for all the world to see.

But what if I don’t do good works?

Good question. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul touched on this issue. Within that verse is the following phrase: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Castaway is not the loss of your salvation. Rather it is the loss of usability. It means to be put on the shelf; to be worthless for service; to be unusable! It means God will reject your service!

I can’t think of anything worse than that for the believer!

That’s scary!

Yes it is! And some don’t like that idea because it doesn’t fit with their concept of a loving God. They’ve adopted the Hollywood concept of love where God ignores our sins because He loves us! But this is not found in the Bible. He is both a loving God and a holy God. He does and He will judge sin!

God loves me but He hates it when I sin. And then there comes broken fellowship, correction, forgiveness, and restoration. But before forgiveness I must first confess. In 1 John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is a promise from God to all believers. And please note that it’s sin being forgiven, but nothing is said of the consequences! (God promises to forgive a man for drinking alcohol if he repents, but He doesn’t promise the man won’t get Cirrhosis of the liver.)

Conclusion

We who have trusted Christ for our salvation are spared the Wrath of God which is for an unbelieving world. But God will judge our works that follow our salvation. And if we are disobedient and thereby sin we are in danger of being castaways. It means that we could enter Heaven without any crowns to cast at Jesus’ feet! What a tragedy that would be!

In writing this blog I am very aware of my own sinfulness. I received Christ as my Savior on May 9, 1973 and have a home in Heaven. The Bible doesn’t teach sinless perfection. In fact it says in 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Therefore we need to trust God, rely on His help and mercy, and worship Him with all our being!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four), I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. In addition he is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical and Speculative Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

FeaturedWhy is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Why is the Florida Gospel Crusade an Astonishing Opportunity?

The Florida Gospel Crusade is HERE!

Well almost. It kicks off this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. and runs through next Wednesday (February 20). This exciting event has been looked forward to since the completion of the Crusade last year. And that one was a success!

It was a time of commitment, seeking answers, even getting to ask Jesus into their hearts. I am so glad that there is yet another one. Hopefully this will be an annual event.

Here’s a quick look at the festivities:

Saturday (2/16) is the kickoff. The featured speaker is Evangelist Tom Ferrell. A well known evangelist he will be bringing powerful messages every night (plus Sunday Morning). This powerful and dynamic speaker will be backed up with the merged choirs of Calvary Baptist Church of Englewood, First Baptist Church of North Port, and Tri-City Baptist Church of Punta Gorda led by Evangelist Randy Merrill. And the children will have activities aimed right at their age level and led by Evangelist Kevin Walker.

Sunday (2/17) This will be the morning service (11:00 a.m.). Called Friend Day it will be the opportunity to bring a friend. If you live in the area and read this blog then you can come as my friend. It will be worth it! Or bring a friend.

Sunday (2/17) All Educators are to be honored on this night. It doesn’t matter if you teach in the Public School system, you Home School, you teach in a church school or in Sunday School, come to the crusade! This is your day!

Monday (2/18) All Veterans will be honored. I’m a veteran so I certainly don’t want to miss this. Again I don’t know the how we’ll be honored but I’m looking forward to it. I’m a veteran of the Vietnam War, but there’s a good chance that there will be veterans from wars dating back to Korea or maybe World War II.

Tuesday (2/19) First Responders will be honored. The men and women of our Fire Departments, Police, and whoever is considered a First Responder. This is your day!

These are the people who protect us, rescue us, and stand ready to help every day. It will be our opportunity to meet them.

Wednesday (2/20) Prophecy night. This promises to be very informative as we live in a day when many prophecies have already been fulfilled yet a few remain. This is always interesting and chances are we’ll learn something new.

But I asked about an astonishing opportunity. So let’s delve into this.

Opportunity to hear great preaching.

As mentioned above Evangelist Tom Ferrell is a powerful and dynamic preacher. Last year I was only able to hear him once because my wife was sick and I needed to be with her. But I’ve heard him in the past and this is an opportunity that both of us won’t be missing!

Opportunity to meet and learn.

We’ll have the opportunity to meet educators, veterans, and First Responders. That in itself will be a privilege. As a veteran myself I will have the opportunity to meet other veterans and perhaps share remembrances. And then to meet the men and women who risk their lives daily on our behalf. Or perhaps you’d like to meet educators and hear their stories. There is something for everyone!

Opportunity to get right with God.

Face it, we all have needs. We were all born sinners, but God has a message for our hearts, our souls. Sometimes it is difficult to go forward in your own church and let God deal with you, yet it is also difficult to get with God at home because of a multitude of activities and responsibilities. A tent crusade is less structured and surprisingly less threatening. Perhaps you have never asked Jesus into your life. You’ll have an opportunity to do that.

Opportunity to commit yourself.

If you’ve been a Christian for awhile then you probably have heard God’s call upon your life. Maybe you’ve been fighting it or maybe you just need clarity. Something in the messages may touch your heart strings and the answer will present itself.

Opportunity to see a friend or loved one get saved.

Has the Lord burdened your heart for someone? Invite them to come. God has promised His Word won’t come back void. It just may be that the answer to your prayers will be met right here at the Florida Gospel Crusade.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), Task Force Hunter (Book Three), or Black Death (Book Four) I value your reviews.

If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Why You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade

FeaturedWhy You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Monday’s I try to focus on issues. This week I am taking a look at Why You Should Go to the Florida Gospel Crusade.
Today I’m writing on what I consider one of the most important issues of the day, namely our eternal destiny. Below are five basic questions that can turn your life around?
What is the Florida Gospel Crusade?
The Florida Gospel Crusade is the result of God burdening three churches for their respective communities. These are First Baptist Church of North Port, Tri-City Baptist Church of Port Charlotte, and Englewood Baptist Church of Englewood.
The burden of these churches is for the evangelization of their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The first such crusade occurred in February 2018 and it was a tremendous time. That was right when my wife was diagnosed with cancer, so I only made it to two services. But I was really impressed!
Do You Live In SW Florida?
If you live in Sarasota or Charlotte counties then you are automatically invited. But just because you live elsewhere is no reason for not going. Perhaps you live in Lehigh Acres, Ft. Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, or any other county not far from Charlotte. Then come!
Perhaps you live even further away. Come anyway!
Are You Searching for Life’s Answers?
In this day and age we find ourselves facing questions. Things we once accepted as truth are today being challenged. What is the truth? Who can you rely on? How does that truth affect you?
These and many other questions are addressed right from the Bible.
When Will it be Held?
The dates for this event are February 16-20, 2019.
Where will it be Held?
The crusade will be held at Port Charlotte Fairgrounds on 776 (across from the Charlotte Sports Park).
Why Should I Go?
As mentioned above you will learn the answers to where you’ll spend eternity, what is salvation, and how do you get saved. You’ll learn what God says as opposed to what man says.
Even if you don’t have any questions but just enjoy good preaching, then come!

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

FeaturedHow to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Better Understand Your Church’s Deacons.
The Establishment of Deacons
Over the years I’ve seen great deacons, mediocre deacons, and lousy deacons. Sometimes this disparity stems from a misunderstanding of what a deacon is and is not. The first mention of deacons appears in Acts 6:1-7:
“And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”
While you don’t see the word deacon in the English, the word serve stems from the Greek word diaconos which means servant among other things. We see from this passage that the Grecian widows were being neglected. The underlying reason was that the Apostles were so busy proclaiming the Word that they didn’t have time to take care of these matters. So they created the office of deacon to take care of the daily needs of the people, in this case the Grecian widows.
The impact upon the Ministry
Then and now the deacons provide a very strong presence in the church. Not necessarily as rulers but as men who, under the authority of the pastor, serve the congregation. The pastor benefits from their ministry so that the ministry of the gospel would go forward in power. It benefits the people in that their needs are constantly looked after.
Do Deacons Run the Church?
Somewhere during the ensuing generations there arose the belief that deacons were there to protect the congregation from the pastors. While there isn’t any Scripture to support such a belief it is believed and practiced in some otherwise Biblical churches. Aside from its unbiblical source it also creates a division between the pastor and the people.
When you study it out in the Bible the deacon represents the pastor. While it is expected that the pastor would visit those who are sick sometimes he is unable to visit all of them or even any of them (he’s sick, etc.). In those cases it is not uncommon for a deacon to make the visit on behalf of the pastor. To use that occasion to undermine the pastor is to become an Absalom who stole the hearts of the people from King David.
How are Deacons selected?
Most churches use a method that is similar to what is seen in Acts 6. This procedure consists of Nominated by the people, Approved by the Pastor, and Elected (chosen) by the people. So the people have a hand in the process, whereas the Pastor examines the worthiness of the nominee and uses Scripture to determine if the nominee should be approved. The actual selection is by the people.
But the first thing that needs to be done is: , look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Also Deacons should be held to the same standard as the pastors!
Different churches have different criteria pertaining to term of office. For example, some churches elect their deacons for a term of six years and every year they re-elect a certain number of deacons or elect new ones to replace the existing deacons. Another thing that churches differ on is that in some churches if a man is elected a deacon the title is his for the rest of his life whether or not he is serving as a deacon.
In effect the Bible allows a great deal of flexibility on the part of the churches in the selection of deacons.
What are the Duties of Deacons?
This is another area where churches may differ. So I am not trying to cover all the duties. Here are some:

  • Benevolence:

This involves the care of church members who are in need. It may also involve meeting needs of non-members. The deacon handling this may desire to interview the person in need.

  • Hospital visits as requested by the Pastor
  • Advising Pastor if requested.

Sometimes the Pastor wants the feedback of his deacons to help him determine the future direction of the church. They are a powerful tool to be used in this manner.

  • Serving within the Church’s various departments as directed by the Pastor:

For example, a deacon may be placed over the office work. Sort of an Office Manager. Since this is often the area an Associate Pastor may be involved in the two would work together with the Associate being in charge.
Your church may have additional duties but these give you some insight. There is another duty that I think all churches should consider.
Are Deacons Trustees?
The office of Trustee is not a Biblical office. It is an office demanded by states. I am not a lawyer so I can’t tell you exactly how to do this but here are some thoughts:

  • The Deacons should automatically be Trustees (and perhaps the Associates should be also).
  • This should be in the church’s constitution.

Conclusion:
To better understand your deacons study the Bible. It is there that you learn that only men can be deacons (the Bible allows no room for deaconesses), what kind of men should be selected, and how they are selected. And when you vote, don’t just vote for the “nicest” person. Vote for the godliest man that you think can do the job. And don’t forget it is a Biblical office and therefore an important office.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven

FeaturedHow to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at How to Navigate the Many Ways to Heaven.
In today’s world it is widely believed that there are many ways to Heaven. Instead of denying this belief let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways, see what God says, and determine if they’ll get you to Heaven.
Baha’i

The Bahá’í view of God is essentially monotheistic. God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. He is described as “a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty“.
Bahá‘ís believe in Muhammad as a prophet of God, and in the Qur’an as the word of God. Baha‘i teachings ‘affirm that Islam is a true religion revealed by Allah‘; accordingly, members of the faith can give full assent to the traditional words of the Shahadah.
The Bahá’í teachings state that there is no such physical place as heaven or hell, and emphasize the eternal journey of the soul towards perfection. They explain that references to “heaven” and “hell” in the Holy Scriptures of other religions are to be understood symbolically, describing states of nearness to and distance from God in this world and in the realms beyond.
Thus if heaven doesn’t exist it stands to reason you can’t go there.

Buddhism

Buddhists seek to reach a state of nirvana, following the path of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, who went on a quest for Enlightenment around the sixth century BC. There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible.
Buddhism refers to the theory of rebirth and “cyclicality of all life, matter, existence”, a fundamental assumption of Buddhism, as with all major Indian religions. Samsara in Buddhism is considered to be dukkha, unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.
Thus, there is no belief in a Heaven.

Hinduism

Major principles or beliefs in Hinduism include the four Purusartha (aim of human life) namely, Dharma(duties/ethics), Artha (prosperity, work, wealth), Kama(desires/passions) and Moksha(liberation/freedom) along with Karma, Samsara and Yogas.
 Core Beliefs of Hindus

  • Truth is eternal. Hindus pursue knowledge and understanding of the Truth: the very essence of the universe and the only Reality. …
  • Brahman is Truth and Reality. …
  • The Vedas are the ultimate authority. …
  • Everyone should strive to achieve dharma. …
  • Individual souls are immortal. …
  • The goal of the individual soul is moksha.

Like Buddhism there is no belief in Heaven, however they do believe in many gods.

Islam

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام, Al-Islam (Submission)‎) is a religion that believes in one God (Allah). All of its teachings and beliefs are written out in the Quran (also spelled Qur’an or Koran), the holy scripture of Islam. Believers of Islam are called Muslims.
Faith (iman) is generally outlined using the six articles of faith:

  • Belief in Allah, The Only God.
  • Belief in the Angels.
  • Belief in Holy Books.
  • Belief in the Prophets.
  • Belief in the Day of Judgment.
  • Belief in God’s predestination.

(Note: While Wikipedia gives a rather wide explanation of Allah’s roots, it is believed that Mohammed adapted the name Allah from a minor tribal god. Wikipedia mistakenly identifies Allah as just another name for God, but there is no comparison between the God of the Christians/Jews and Muslims.)
Islam rejects the divinity of Jesus and teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, nor the Son of God, and—according to some interpretations of the Quran—the crucifixion, death and resurrection is not believed to have occurred, and rather that God saved him.
Paradise is the term used by Muslims for Heaven. Muhammad is reported to have said, “Allah will bring out people from the Fire and admit them into Paradise.” Different branches of Islam believe differently about Heaven however they believe most of humanity will not get to Heaven.

Judaism

Judaism (originally from Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, “Judah”; via Latin and Greek) is the religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people.
The Jewish religion is closely related to Christianity. At present they reject the Deity of Jesus, His being the Son of God, and His being the Messiah. However, according to the Bible they will someday receive Him.
The Jewish people have been and still are a people that God separated unto Himself and loves dearly. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with Christian worship. While the Jewish people are temporarily set aside, their day is coming!
In the meantime we Christians are to pray for the Jewish people and their land. True Christianity never ascribes to Anti-Semitic behavior.
The Jewish belief in Heaven is centered upon the Old Testament Paradise. Today Modern Judaism differentiates from the historical Jewish view. It seems complicated and works driven to me, so I won’t comment on that. But historically speaking, the Jewish people have believed in God (Jehovah) and in the prospect of going to Paradise. The concept of Paradise having been lifted up to be with God is foreign to many Jewish people today; that is an event that happened in the New Testament at the Crucifixion.

Christianity

The central tenet of Christianity is the belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah (Christ). Christians believe that Jesus, as the Messiah, was anointed by God as Savior of humanity and hold that Jesus’ coming was the fulfillment of messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
A literal view of the Bible teaches that when Jesus was crucified and rose from the grave He took the Old Testament Paradise with Him into Heaven. This is where all the Old Testament saints and prophets are today.
To get to Heaven Christians believe you must be “Born again.” That term has lost some of its luster because it is used frequently to describe a sports figure’s rekindled career or a change of life involving career, money, etc. But in the Bible “Born again” refers to the fact that we are born spiritually dead in the flesh and born again spiritually when we receive Christ as our Savior.

So there aren’t many ways to Heaven?

That’s correct. When Thomas questioned how to be where He was going, Jesus responded, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
There is only One Way and That is Jesus!

The above blog used Wikipedia for much of the material. This by no means represents an endorsement of Wikipedia. I only used that which was pertinent and accurate.

VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Remarkable Insights from Pauline A New Home

FeaturedRemarkable Insights from Pauline A New Home

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Tuesday’s I try to focus on Insights. This week I am taking another look at Remarkable Insights from Pauline A New Home.

‘At that moment the President was still building his Cabinet, which currently held Vice-President Sarah Adams and Secretary of State Mark Taylor. But today he welcomed Jessica Harper into his office.
The twenty four year old Jessica was a graduate of Michigan State University, located in East Lansing, Michigan. She had majored in education and had planned to continue for a Masters Degree. In fact, she had already enrolled at the time of her arrest.
“Have a seat Miss Harper. May I call you Jessica?”
“Yes, although some simply call me Jess.”
“Any preference?”
“Jess is reserved for friends and I have a hunch that we’re going to be friends, so Jess is fine.”
“Does that mean you are accepting the position of Secretary of Education?”’

The above quote is taken from my novel Pauline A New Home. If you’ve read the book you know that President Adams was in the process of forming his cabinet shortly after the Christians landed on Pauline. Today’s insights come from that necessary step as the Christians formed their new government.
Whenever a new government is formed the new leader needs men and women around him that he can trust to carry out whatever agenda he may have for his government. It matters little if it is an existing government on Earth or a brand new government on some distant planet, you need government and you need the right people to run it.
In our country the President, who is elected by the people, selects people he feels will help him administer his government. These men and women are then submitted to the Senate who either approves of disapproves. If approved then they run their respective department in a manner that supports the Presidents will.
Representative Democracy.
Here in America we have what is called a Representative Democracy. This is not the same as Democracy. In Democracy you have the people making laws, etc. It is unwieldy and closely resembles mob rule. Representative Democracy is where the people elect representatives to make the decisions for them. If the people are unhappy with their representatives they have the right to replace them.
When first formed it was truly unique. Since then other countries have tried to copy us with limited success. As with the government on Pauline our government adopted a Constitution based upon Biblical principles. Some people have challenged this fact, but while the Bible is not mentioned in the Constitution the ideas either came directly from the Bible or indirectly.
Some countries modified their constitutions or charters. Great Britain had already adopted a form of government that has largely continued to this day. In their government they have a King or Queen born for the job and a Prime Minister chosen is the leader of the winning party and appointed by the King or Queen. Many countries have followed this pattern.
But to my knowledge no country has truly imitated the United States. Not that we haven’t tried to export it. But it remains unique. The problem is that our type of government is linked to the Christian faith in spite of the detractors. When we remove God from our government we run into trouble.
Wall of Separation
For example, there are many politicians who insist on a “wall of separation” between the government and religion. They claim it is constitutional, although the term is nowhere found in the constitution. It first appeared in a letter by President Thomas Jefferson to a group of Danbury Baptists in 1802. They were worried that the government would do as governments in Europe, namely run the church. His letter was to reassure them, that they were protected by a wall of separation, namely the 1st Amendment. That wall was to keep government out of the church, not to keep the church out of the government.
Unfortunately in today’s world politicians don’t want to be bothered with morality (look at their lives if you doubt that). So they reinterpret the wall statement to mean the church is to be kept out of the government. Most Americans today don’t know this because modern history books reflect the current view rather than historical fact. It’s called revisionism!
This tearing down of the relationship between church and state causes additional problems!
Based on the new understanding God was kicked out of our schools. Bible Scripture has been removed from buildings; Bible knowledge has been banned from our schools; and Bible standards are systematically being removed from all public institutions.
Persecution of Christians.
Christians find it rough in colleges where toleration is preached but persecution is practiced. Every year we read of Christian college students being barred from this activity or that activity. But it’s not’s just colleges. It is showing up in government. We recently witnessed the attempt to destroy a good man whose only crime was that he was religious. Whether or not you believe the woman who claimed to be a victim, her story lacked credibility and was even denied by people she claimed were there. Plus, of course, she didn’t remember how she got there, how she left, where there was, and a lot of other details.
Crime.
We also see a rise in criminal activity by our young people. If they kill someone the finger is pointed at the NRA whether or not the killer was a member (usually not). The real culprit is not the gun used but the fact that our government has removed absolutes from our lives. Children grow up with no moral absolutes, therefore having their consciences instructed by TV and the movies. The only absolute they are taught is that the end justifies the means.
Of course, this thinking doesn’t apply to speed limits on the road. Try telling the policeman that the speed limit is only a suggestion since there are no absolutes.
Violence.
Our children are growing up in a violent world. That’s a fact. I grew up watching westerns, cops and robbers, and war stories. That didn’t make me violent. My parents were not particularly religious, but they instilled in me some absolutes. And every one of them can be traced back to the Bible.
The Bible teaches Christians to love one another. Not the love as expressed in Hollywood, but a love that is based on respect for one another; a love that truly cares for others. Christ is our example, but the world denies Him. They’ll use His name but ignore His Word (Bible). Is it any surprise that children that have grown up without Biblical teachings is violent to others?
Apathy.
The other side of violence is apathy. Women can be raped and no one will help her; people can be beaten and murdered while people look the other way.
Why?
“Because they are not concerned with human life except their own. So instead of stepping in, or calling 911, or providing the police with the needed information, they look the other way and keep their mouths shut. It is a tragic day we live in.
Abortion.
The Bible clearly teaches that abortion is a deadly sin.
“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,” Exodus 21:22-23.
Homosexuality (aka transgender, gay, etc.)
In the Book of Romans (1:22-28) the subject is dealt with clearly. But if people don’t read the Bible, if they don’t go to church, or are taught otherwise in school it is going to be a rampant problem. Today immorality has taken the position of being the new morality. And it all began with the removal of God and His Word from our schools!
Family
The family is the basic unit of our government. When we have strong families we tend to see more respect for government, we value absolutes, and we are more agreeable with one another. But today the family is being attacked on almost every level.
Call to Action
There is issue after issue where the Bible has expressed itself, but today most people either are unaware or don’t care. And the results are tragic!
Those of us who are Christians have got to do more than protest. We need to take political action. That includes taking moral stands. It includes using the power of the vote. And it includes being a daily example.
I speak to everyone including myself. We are in danger of losing America!
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Church and Politics

Church and Politics

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Church and Politics.
Is the Church Prohibited from Participating in Government?
To answer that question you must look at both the Bible and the Constitution. First the Bible:
There are no Bible verses that prohibit Christians from participating in government. On the other hand we know that God has used His people in government.
The first one that comes to mind is Joseph who God prepared for high office. Aside from his two dreams, Joseph also experienced treachery, slavery, and imprisonment. But when you take a closer look you see that he was put in positions of responsibility that not only were instructive but nurturing him toward eventual high political position, namely the second highest person in Egypt. Today he’d be called a Prime Minister.
The second one that comes to mind is Daniel. He was taken as a teenage boy to serve King Nebuchadnezzar. Although essentially a slave he rose to be the most prominent advisor in the kingdom. He was so good that the Persian Empire made him the equivalent of a governor and, at that, the highest among the governors.
The third example is Nehemiah. A servant (slave) in the Persian court his job was to taste the food given to the king. Although not usually considered an influential job it was important as he was a defense against assassination. But God raised him up and caused him to have a good reputation with the king. The king not only allowed him to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and the city, but he gave Nehemiah his authority! Nehemiah went back, became the governor, and built the wall.
In the New Testament I don’t recall any governors, but we do know that men high in the military called centurions became Christians. Christ never condemned people for being rulers, although he did condemn those who were corrupt.
In addition we as Christians are to be light and salt, which by definition requires being used.
So Biblically Speaking Christians are not prohibited.
So What About the Constitution?
We now know that the Constitution was the product of mostly Christian men praying and deliberating to hash out the Constitution. When you research it you learn that the Bible was instrumental in both the Constitution and the Amendments. If you would like an in-depth book on the subject read America: A Journey of Faith and Freedom by Caleb Garraway.
What About Separation of Church and State?
Glad you asked. Revisionists have removed from our history books the truth about that phrase and revised our history to match their agenda. But here are a few facts:

  • It is not in the Constitution
  • It was a letter from President Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists
  • It was in response to their fear that Government might someday impose religion upon them (as did England)
  • He wrote reassuring them that there was a wall protecting them from the government
  • It was never about keeping religion, specifically Christianity, out of government
  • As citizens we are to participate, which includes voting and serving (if God leads)

In fact our country was great because of Christian involvement and to be great again it will need Christian involvement.
My Opinion
I labeled this my opinion because I don’t have hard facts at hand to prove my contention, just the memory of a man who’s lived a long time. I grew up in the 50s. Since I was a child I don’t remember any sermons. However, the mindset was that because politics is dirty Christians shouldn’t be in it! Serving in government was considered almost sinful.
In addition, pastors felt they shouldn’t even preach about the evils that existed in government. I don’t recall any well-known pastor standing up against the Congress and the Supreme Court when the attacks upon Christian influence in our schools began. Christians buried their heads in the sand!
But decisions made in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, have had a detrimental effect upon our society. Today we have more violence all around us than prior to the 50s. Children grow up to be disrespectful, rebellious, and extremely violent. What’s the reaction? They say we need more gun control. But the real need is to have God in our children’s lives. And with that godly discipline. Returning to our Biblical heritage will solve most of our problems.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Church Splits

Church Splits

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Church Splits.
One of the tragedies in Christianity is church splits. I’ve heard of churches splitting over where the organ sits, the color of the carpet, personal reasons, and more. But there is only one Biblical reason for a church split: doctrine.
We are to be true to the Bible. It is the Word of God. The Bible is the authority upon which a church exists and ministers. When a church departs from doctrine it loses its authenticity.
What Should We Do When Our Church Leaves Biblical Doctrine?
The first thing to do is to try to stop the church from going that way. If you wait until after the church has already moved, then you’ve probably waited too long. The time to correct a church’s slide from the Bible is before it slides.
If the church has already moved then it is time for you to look for a church that still upholds the Bible as the Word of God.
How Do I Know If The Church is Leaving Bible Doctrine?
First of all you need to learn Bible doctrine. Your pastor should be teaching and preaching doctrine. But there are reliable resources outside your church. Then you compare what the preacher is preaching to what the Bible says.
What Reliable Resources Are There?
One is the Sword of the Lord which is a reliable resource. This is a publication founded by the late Dr. John R. Rice and it still upholds the Bible after decades of existing. There are others but this is one of the best. Solid, fundamental doctrine is important. So be sure of your resource. There are outfits that claim that they teach correct doctrine but when you examine them you discover that they don’t.
Here are some critical doctrines:

  • Divinity of Jesus Christ
  • Christ the foundation of the church
  • Salvation by Grace alone
  • Baptism by immersion
  • Church government
  • Rapture before Tribulation
  • Security of the Believer
  • and more

Another Sign of Leaving Good Doctrine
One of the interesting things I’ve seen over the years is a pastor leaves the KJV Bible yet continues to preach the doctrines he learned from the KJV. Now everyone has the right to use the “Bible” of their choice. But Bibles that are not translated from the Texus Receptus are corrupted right from the start. You could call them commentaries rather than Bibles because they only contain portions of the Word of God. The KJV Bible can trace its heritage all the way back to the 1st Century, while the other versions that claim to be older don’t have a continuous record for their text. Instead they compare copies to copies (there are no originals today) to prove their claims and ignore history.
While the history of the Bible can be an exhausting study there are books that detail both the history of the Textus Receptus and the other texts (such as the Alexandrian and the Westcott and Hort). But the primary point I’m making here is that doctrine is based on the Word of God. When you start substituting inaccurate versions, which omit portions of Scripture, for the true version you end up with error. We see this play out frequently.
So if your church moves to a modern version of the Bible you should be alarmed.
Does That Mean They’ve Left Good Doctrine Already?
In one sense, yes they have. Because these newer versions leave out key words and verses they are considered in “Error.” The Bible used in the pulpit is itself a doctrinal issue. That said, other doctrines may remain true for some time. I know of one church (unnamed) where the pastor no longer uses the KJV and uses a different version, yet he still preaches the same solid doctrines that he learned from the KJV. The problem there is that it is a step in the wrong direction. It may take a short time or a long time before the next step is taken, but the way has been paved. And when that pastor leaves he will leave a church that no longer has the whole Word of God and is therefore vulnerable to error.
What if All My Friends Remain?
That is their choice. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. I was in a church that departed from the tenets of the Bible. In their case they were getting rid of a pastor who preached the Word of God faithfully and led a strong moral, Christian life. They had no Biblical basis for this (although they claimed to have Biblical backing, yet never revealed it). I fought it and lost. I not only had friends in the church but I had positions within the church. Some of my friends stayed though they agreed with me. But I left it all and God gave it all, and more, back to me!
It Will Hurt
Yes it will. When the church split first began I didn’t know what to do. It bothered me so much it affected me at work. I finally broke and told God that if He wanted me to leave I would do so. The moment I told Him that I felt the Peace of God upon me! That lessened the hurt and enabled me to leave, but it still hurt. Especially when they called me names. By the way, that church is no longer an independent Baptist church.
Church splits are harmful not only to our testimony to the world but to the individuals involved. In the end you must choose what you believe is the right thing for you to do. That is between you and God. So pray hard about it.
VISIT MY AUTHOR’S PAGE TODAY: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Me and My Pastor

Me and My Pastor

Monday through Friday I deal with different subjects in this blog. I also post my blog to my Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld. Wednesday’s I try to focus on the Church. This week I am taking a look at Me and My Pastor.
What is a Pastor?
There are several names for Pastor in the Bible. They are:

  1. Pastor
    • The word pastor only occurs once in Bible (Jer:17:16)
    • This is considered the equivalent to under shepherd
    • Depending on church government can be elected or appointed
    • Elected in Baptist churches
    • Runs the church
    • Most churches have Deacons who serve as his extension
  2. Bishop (I Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:7; I Peter 2:25)
    • In the Bible this is same as Pastor or Under Shepherd
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Husband of one wife (rules out women)
  3. Elder (Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-2; 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1)
    • Same as Pastor
    • Some churches make this a separate office but no Biblical authority
    • Elder and Bishop mentioned in same passage (Titus 1:5-9)
  4. Priest (Book of Hebrews)
    • Generally Old Testament
    • Equivalent to Pastor
    • Jesus is the Great High Priest
  5. Under Shepherd (I Peter 2:25, 5:4)
    • Term Under Shepherd not in Bible; references  Great or Chief Shepherd
    • Same as Pastor
    • Jesus is the Shepherd, the pastor is the under shepherd

Different denominations treat these names in different ways. Bible believing Baptist churches identify Pastor, Bishop, Elder, and Under Shepherd as the same office.  The primary reason for this is that the Scriptural definitions of the office and the requirements for the office are very similar or the same.
You’d have to do an in-depth study of the subject to truly understand the differing titles, but the above is how I understand it. In general, the titles depict differing aspects of the same office.
But How Do I Interact with the Pastor?
Your view of the office will affect your interactions with the Pastor. The following is with pastor viewed as the Under Shepherd.

  • Highest officer of the local church
  • Called by God
  • Voted in by congregation
  • Equivalent to CEO

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
As a member of a local church I serve under the pastor at his direction. There may be others between him and me but he is the boss. There is one more aspect that we Christians have a problem with: namely that his rule appears to extend to our personal lives. Considering that each of us are also subject to God’s will and direction for our lives, our subjection to the pastor must be tempered by the knowledge that both he and I are subject to God.
I am not a theologian, but I think this means that as regarding our personal lives we must at the very least listen to the man of God. Does his advice, warning, etc. align with God’s Word? Is his advice, warnings, etc. Biblical or based simply on experience?
I say this because the pastor doesn’t always know all the circumstances of your life. I had one pastor advise me on secular work. I followed it and later regretted it.
I think the key is the phrase: “they must give account” for our souls. This implies moral and spiritual responsibility.
You may differ with me on this, but I conclude with this final statement:
A Christian is subject to the moral and spiritual leadership of his pastor. As such a Christian should submit to that leadership. Outside the church the personal lives are still to be governed by the moral and spiritual leadership of the pastor. It is also advisable to listen to the pastor’s advice about secular work or plans, but does not require submission. Sometimes the pastor’s advice is based on countless dealings with people and seeing wrong decisions and the results. His advice can at least provide you guidance in your decision making.
ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? I am always looking for book reviews. Whether it is Perished The World That Was (Book One), World of Noah and the Ark (Book Two), World of Shem (Book Three), World of Abraham (Book Four) or Death Ship (Book One), Pauline A New Home (Book Two), or Task Force Hunter (Book Three), I value your reviews.
If you would like to review any of these books contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. An example of an appropriate subject line would be: ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ In the email make sure to indicate your email address, your name, and the choice of copy (PDF or ePub).

– – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.