Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Slave by John MacArthur: Week Four- Chapter Four

Here we are again for week four of John MacArthur’s Slave. I’ve really learned a lot from this book and I hope you have as well. Thanks for joining me!

In the previous weeks, the book takes a look at the slave/master relationship from the viewpoint of the slave. This week we’ll take a look at that relationship from the viewpoint of the master.

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

What traditions was John Huss trying to overturn? On what authority did he challenge those traditions?
John Huss spoke out against the Roman Catholic Church’s policy that the pope was the head of the church (not Christ) and the cardinals were the body, the fact that ordinary people weren’t really the ones who comprised the church (only the pope and cardinals), the church’s sale of indulgences (a sort of lessening of punishment for a forgiven sin), and the fact that the Bible was not used as a final authority. John Huss challenged these traditions on the fact that they didn’t line up with what scripture taught and he used the Bible as his final authority.

Why is it important for us to continually evaluate our traditions in light of God’s Word? What should we do if our traditions don’t measure up to the Scriptures?

I think people in general rely very heavily upon tradition. Growing up in the south, the term “Christian” is passed down from generation to generation as a social/familial status. If you aren’t constantly examining things in light of scripture, it’s very easy for things to change just a little at a time so that several generations later you may have something that has totally deviated from scripture, but no one has noticed because it was so gradual.

I heard a story recently (I think I read it in a book?) about a wife who was cooking a ham for her family and cut the end off of the ham before placing it in the pan. The husband asked why she did this and she replied, “I don’t know. It’s what my mom always did.” So, the husband suggested they go ask her mom why she cut the end off of the ham. The mom replied, “I don’t know, it’s what my mother always did.
So, then they asked her mother why she cut the end off of the ham before cooking it. The mother replied, “Well, I don’t know why you’re doing it, but my pan was too small and that’s the only way it would fit!”
Two generations of women followed a tradition and had no idea why!

What happens in our world when believers speak up for the cause of Christ?

The world rejects it. They rejected Him when he came in the flesh and walked here on the earth. And, they are still rejecting Him.
What is some evidence that our culture isn’t interested in what the Bible has to say?
The world has so many religions and cults that reject the Bible, or have twisted it in such a way that it’s no longer God’s word. Sin is rampant. Homosexuality is the “cool” thing to do, living together outside of marriage, fatherless children, pornography-nothing has really changed over the years. Sin has always been rampant, because people don’t care what the Bible says. They want to do what they want to do.

Who are some of the people to whom you regularly listen (from television, radio or personal relationships)? What is their perspective on God? How does their perspective affect their advice?

I only listen to people that I know are in line with what Scripture teaches. I evaluate everyone whose teaching I listen to with whether or not they are in line with scripture, or if someone I trust has recommended them.

(Deep breath.) Now, I know there are so many tv personalities out there who seem like they are teaching truth of Scripture, but they are not. I recently read a higher education paper of a friend who had researched the Word of Faith movement, sometimes called the “Prosperity Gospel”. There were some big names in that paper and I knew there was something about those names, but couldn’t place them in a particular group. Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, and Kenneth Copeland are naming a few. These people appear to be speaking God’s Word, but they are NOT. These are people who are on “Christian” tv channels. I know believers who listen to the teaching of these people. I was just in a Christian book store last week and there was a row of books from Rob Bell, who used to be a pastor of a large church, but was removed for preaching a false gospel that everyone will go to heaven. This was a pastor of an evangelical church!

How do you know which authorities to listen to? What is our final authority as believers?

It is so very important to examine everything someone says in light of Scripture. If what they are saying doesn’t line up with Scripture do NOT fall under their teaching.

Truth is contained in the pages of Scripture. Describe your plan for knowing and applying God’s Word to your life.

Get a trusted translation of the Bible. (I prefer NAS.) Read it. Memorize it. That’s the only way you will actually know for yourself what the Bible says. You can go even further by studying Greek and Hebrew, then you can understand and translate for yourself an original text of Scripture. Then, as you become familiar with God’s Word, you can evaluate what other people, pastors and commentators are saying about God’s Word. If it doesn’t line up with what you’ve read for yourself in the Word, do NOT fall under their teaching.


How should we, as Christians, respond when we are ridiculed or rejected by unbelievers? If threatened with arrest for your belief in God, what would be your response?

Of course we should stand on the Word of God, no matter what anyone says. I have to say, I’ve never been really ridiculed or rejected by anyone where I would consider it really “suffering for Christ”. Of course, over the years people have disagreed with me on issues regarding God, but I’ve never been in the position where taking a stand would require that level of sacrifice that so many believers have had to endure. I would like to think if I was in a position where I could be arrested, or worse, lose my life, that I would count it all joy and readily endure whatever may happen, but when I think of the torture and death so many have suffered it really humbles me.

What are your thoughts?


Kathleen said...

It was rather apropos to read about how the Catholic church esteems their pope as the head...since at this moment, they have no pope!

What a great example in John Huss of someone who truly followed His master and submitted to His will COMPLETELY! Just yesterday in Mystery of History, we were studying Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and I was trying to really, really impress upon the children the absolute obligation to obey Christ NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how much pain and/or ridicule it may cause. That pain and/or ridicule is just a passing moment in Eternity. With the world (and our country) heading in the direction it is, I don't think we're that far away from actual, painful persecution in this country. (Of course we already deal with persecution: God out of school, etc., but I'm talking about persecution like in N. Korea, China.) Will we stand up for our Master?

About traditions and the evolution of those traditions: I was going to mention Joel Osteen (and wondered if I would offend you!), but you beat me to it. I find so many of the churches these days are straying farther and farther away in the name of being an "oasis church", in the name of attracting more of the unchurched. While bringing the unchurched in is certainly a very worthy goal, churches should not be doing so at the price of abandoning the Bible at the pulpit. I have only listened to one of Joel Osteen's sermons on TV, but in that sermon, he did not crack the Bible open ONCE! It was like a motivational speech. Yet he attracts thousands who, because of his leadership, think this is what the Christian life should be like. It is subtle. And it is continuing to evolve.

OK - I've rambled on enough. For now anyway. :) We are headed to ice skating. Maybe I'll add more later. Lots to think about. :)

Courtney said...

The whole pope thing is very interesting. My husband grew up Catholic, so even though it's a little foreign to me, many of his relatives are still in that mindset.

You know, I thought for a second about not include those names, but then I thought, no, I know too many people who are being influenced by these people and their corrupt teaching is so subtle that you could get caught up in it without realizing it.

It's scary.

And, you're right, we aren't very far away from persecution. We get our rights as parents challenged all the time, it's evident with homeschooling.

And that's scary.

Kathleen said...


And btw, I love that ham story. It does illustrate so well the fact that people accept things without question. We need to question everything we hear from man by holding it up to the Bible measuring stick.

Dawn said...

WOOT!! Preach it girlfriend!!

Courtney said...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...