This is an encouraging prayer for all. Feel free to share:
Heavenly Father, I bow in worship and praise before You. I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ as my protection. I surrender myself completely and unreservedly in every area of my life to You. I take a stand against all the workings of Satan that would hinder me in my prayer life. I address myself only to the True and Living God and refuse any involvement of Satan in my prayer.
Satan, I command you, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, to leave my presence with all of your demons. I bring the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ between us.
Heavenly Father, I worship You and give You praise. I recognize that You are worthy to receive all glory and honor and praise. I renew my allegiance to You and pray that the blessed Holy Spirit would enable me in this time of prayer. I am thankful, Heavenly Father, that You have loved me from past eternity and that You sent the Lord Jesus Christ into the world to die as my substitute. I am thankful that the Lord Jesus Christ came as my representative and that through Him You have completely forgiven me; You have adopted me into Your family; You have assumed all responsibility for me; You have given me eternal life; You have given me the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ so I am now justified. I am thankful that in Him You have made me complete, and that You have offered Yourself to me to be my daily help and strength.
Heavenly Father, open my eyes that I might see how great You are and how complete Your provision is for this day. I am thankful that the victory the Lord Jesus Christ won for me on the Cross and in His resurrection has been given to me and that I am seated with the Lord Jesus Christ in the heavenlies. I take my place with Him in the heavenlies and recognize by faith that all wicked spirits and Satan himself are under my feet. I declare, therefore, that Satan and his wicked spirits are subject to me in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for the Armor You have provided. I put on the Girdle of Truth, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Sandals of Peace and the Helmet of Salvation. I lift up the Shield of Faith against all the fiery darts of the enemy; and I take in my hand the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. I choose to use Your Word against all the forces of evil in my life. I put on this Armor and live and pray in complete dependence upon You, blessed Holy Spirit.
I am grateful, Heavenly Father, that the Lord Jesus Christ spoiled all principalities and powers and made a show of them openly and triumphed over them in Himself. I claim all that victory for my life today. I reject all the insinuations, and accusations, and the temptations of Satan. I affirm that the Word of God is true and I choose to live today in the light of Gods Word. I choose Heavenly Father, to live in obedience to You and in fellowship with Yourself. Open my eyes and show me the areas of my life that do not please You. Work in me to cleanse me from all ground that would give Satan a foothold against me. I do in every way stand into all that it means to be Your adopted child and I welcome all the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
By faith and in dependence upon You, I put off the fleshly works of the old man and stand in all the victory of the crucifixion where the Lord Jesus Christ provided cleansing from the old nature. I put on the new man and stand in all the victory of the resurrection and the provision He has made for me to live above sin.
Therefore, today, I put off all forms of selfishness and put on the new nature with its love. I put off all forms of fear and put on the new nature with its courage. I put off all forms of weakness and put on the new nature with its strength. I put off all forms of lust and put on the new nature with its righteousness, purity, and honesty. I am trusting You to show me how to make this practical in my daily life.
In every way I stand in the victory of the ascension and glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby all the principalities and powers were made subject to Him. I claim my place in Christ as victorious with Him over all the enemies of my soul. Blessed Holy Spirit, I pray that You would fill me. Come into my life, break down every idol and cast out every foe.
I am thankful, Heavenly Father, for the expression of Your will for my daily life as You have shown me in Your Word. I therefore, claim all the will of God for today. I am thankful that You have blessed me with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I am thankful that You have begotten me unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I am thankful that You have made a provision so that today I can live filled with the Spirit of God with love and joy and peace, with longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness, with meekness, faithfulness and self-control in my life. I recognize that this is Your will for me and I therefore reject and resist all the endeavors of Satan and his wicked spirits to rob me of the will of God. I refuse in this day to believe my feelings and I hold up the Shield of Faith against all the accusations and distortion and insinuations that Satan would put into my mind. I claim the fullness of the will of God for my life today.
In the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I completely surrender myself to You, Heavenly Father, as a living sacrifice. I choose not to be conformed to this world. I choose to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, and I pray that You would show me Your will and enable me to walk in all the fullness of Your will today.
I am thankful, Heavenly Father, that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, to the casting down of imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring every thought into obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, in my own life today, I tear down the strongholds of Satan and smash the plans of Satan that have been formed against me. I tear down the strongholds against my mind, and I surrender my mind to You, blessed Holy Spirit. I affirm, Heavenly Father, that You have not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. I break and smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my emotions today and I give my emotions to You. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my will today, I give my will to You, and choose to make the right decisions of faith. I smash the strongholds of Satan formed against my body today. I give my body to You recognizing that I am Your temple. I rejoice in Your mercy and goodness.
Heavenly Father, I pray that now and through this day, You would strengthen and enlighten me, show me the way Satan is hindering and tempting and lying and distorting the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that would please You. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer and faith. Enable me to be aggressive mentally, to think about and practice Your Word, and to give You Your rightful place in my life.
Again, I cover myself with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and pray that You, blessed Holy Spirit, would bring all the work of the crucifixion, all the work of the resurrection, all the work of the glorification, and all the work of Pentecost into my life today. I surrender myself to You. I refuse to be discouraged. You are the God of all hope. You have proven Your power by resurrecting Jesus Christ from the dead, and I claim in every way this victory over the satanic forces in my life. I pray in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving. Amen.
Victor M. Matthews
Just wondering how you guys feel on the topic and how you would respond if someone were to pose this question to you.
Throughout the Old Testament (look especially in Deuteronomy and Joshua) God instructed the warrior men of Israel to kill off all surrounding territories to claim the promised land. This included all men, women, and the one we all struggle with- children. As Christians, how can we advocate protecting the lives of the unborn when God declared mass infanticide in the O.T.? Is there a discrepancy? Why or why not?
What is relativism?
Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual. This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual. Under the umbrella of relativism, whole groups of perspectives are categorized. In obvious terms, some are:
cognitive relativism (truth) - Cognitive relativism affirms that all truth is relative. This would mean that no system of truth is more valid than another one, and that there is no objective standard of truth. It would, naturally, deny that there is a God of absolute truth.
moral/ethical relativism - All morals are relative to the social group within which they are constructed.
situational relativism - Ethics (right and wrong) are dependent upon the situation.
Unfortunately, the philosophy of relativism is pervasive in our culture today. With the rejection of God, and Christianity in particular, absolute truth is being abandoned. Our pluralistic society wants to avoid the idea that there really is a right and wrong. This is evidenced in our deteriorating judicial system that has more and more trouble punishing criminals, in our entertainment media which continues to push the envelope of morality and decency, in our schools which teach evolution and "social tolerance," etc. In addition, the plague of moral relativism is encouraging everyone to accept homosexuality, pornography on TV, fornication, and a host of other "sins" that were once considered wrong but are now being accepted and even promoted in society. It is becoming so pervasive that if you speak out against moral relativism and its "anything goes" philosophy, you're labeled as an intolerant bigot. Of course, this is incredibly hypocritical of those who profess that all points of view are true, yet reject those who profess absolutes in morality. It seems that what is really meant by the moral relativists is that all points of view are true except for the views that teach moral absolutes, an absolute God, or absolute right and wrong.
Some typical expressions that reveal an underlying presupposition of relativism are comments such as: "That is your truth, not mine;" "It is true for you, but not for me;" and "There are no absolute truths." Of course, these statements are illogical, which I demonstrate in the paper "Refuting relativism." Relativism is invading our society, our economy, our schools, and our homes. Society cannot flourish nor survive in an environment where everyone does what is right in his own eyes, where the situation determines actions, and if the situation changes lying or cheating is acceptable -- as long as you're not caught. Without a common foundation of truth and absolutes, our culture will become weak and fragmented.
I must admit, however, that there is validity to some aspects of relativism. For example, what one society considers right (driving on the left side of the road) another considers wrong. These are customs to which a "right and wrong" are attached, but they are purely relativistic and not universal because they are culturally based. Child rearing principles vary in different societies, as do burial practices and wedding ceremonies. These "right and wrong ways" are not cosmically set in stone, nor are they derived from some absolute rule of conduct by some unknown god. They are relative, and rightly so. But, their relativism is properly asserted as such. It doesn't matter what side of the road we drive on as long as we all do it the same way.
Likewise, there are experiences that are valid only for individuals. I might be irritated by a certain sound, where another person will not. In this sense, what is true for me is not necessarily true for someone else. It is not an absolute truth that the identical sound causes irritation to all people. This is one way of showing that certain aspects of relativism are true. But, is it valid to say that because there is a type of personal relativism that we can then apply that principle to all areas of experience and knowledge and say that they too are also relative? No, it is not a valid assumption. First of all, to do so would be an absolute assessment, which contradicts relativism.
Furthermore, if all things are relative, then there cannot be anything that is absolutely true between individuals. In other words, if all people deny absolute truth and establish relative truth only from their experiences, then everything is relative to the individual. How then can there be a common ground from which to judge right and wrong or truth? It would seem that there cannot be.
Of course, the issue that is important here is whether or not there are absolute truths. Also, can there be different kinds of absolute truths if indeed there are absolute truths? We might ask if it is always wrong to lie. Or, does 1 + 1 always equal 2? Is it always true that something cannot be both in existence and not in existence at the same time? Is it always true that something cannot bring itself into existence if it first does not exist? If any of these questions can be answered in the affirmative then relativism is refuted -- at least to some degree.
More questions arise. If all moral views are equally valid, then do we have the right to punish anyone? Can we ever say that something is wrong? In order to say that something is wrong, we must first have a standard by which we weigh right and wrong in order to make a judgment. If that standard of right and wrong is based on relativism, then it is not a standard at all. In relativism, standards of right and wrong are derived from social norms. Since society changes, the norms would change and so would right and wrong. If right and wrong change, then how can anyone be rightly judged for something he did wrong if that wrong might become right in the future?
Finally, is it fair to apply logical analysis to relativistic principles? Many relativists say no, but I do not see why not. If a relativist were to convince me that logic isn’t necessary in examining relativism, he’d have to convince me using logic, which would be self-defeating. If a relativist uses relativism -- the subjective view of his own opinions -- to validate his position, he is using circular reasoning; namely, he is using relativism to establish relativism. So, either way he has lost the argument.
To conclude, if relativism is true and all points of view are true, then is my view that relativism is false also true?
Does truth contradict itself? No it doesn't.
Are there absolutes or is everything relative?
Yes, there are such things as absolutes. There are also things that are relative, but if everything were relative then it would be absolutely true that everything is relative, and that would be self-refuting. So saying that everything is relative can’t be true. Likewise, if everything were absolutely true, then we couldn’t have such things as personal preferences or things that change. Relative truths can be things dependent upon each person.
That which is absolute is always true. That which is relative is not necessarily always true. For example, it is always true that the number seven is greater than the number five. It's always true that something cannot bring itself into existence.
On the other hand, one person may believe that blue is a better color than green, where another person may disagree. In this case, what is true for one person is not true for another. Therefore, there can be truths that are relative, that change. The person who believes that blue is a better color than green may change his or her mind later on.
Unfortunately, more and more people are not able to distinguish between absolute truths and relative truths, and they put their feelings and preferences above absolutes to make them more palatable. A typical example is when someone would say that “It is true for you that Jesus is the only way to God, but to a Muslim, Mohammed would be the only way." Such statements ignore the logical possibilities of having two "only-ways" to God.
So, there are absolutes and there are things that are relative.
How do you talk to someone who used to be a Christian, but is now into the whole New Age Movement? My cousin says his beliefs are metaphysical and he believes in auras and energies. He's also homosexual, which is kind of why he walked away from God. I really don't know what to say to him. Any help would be awesome, I don't know anything about the New Age Movement.
Witnessing to New Agers
If we are all God, then why do we act so badly?
They might say it is because we all have not come to a full realization of our true divine potentials. It is ignorance that leads to bad deeds.
Then ask them how, if we are divine, our mere ignorant self could so easily override our divine goodness.
Why do our "realities" contradict each other?
They might say that they don't contradict each other. They are simply different shades of light on the same picture (or something vague like that).
Then ask if truth contradicts itself. It does not. The logic is that if we are all in different forms of truth, then these different truths can't ultimately contradict each other--or they wouldn't be true. However,...
The NAM says that Jesus is only one of many ways to God. But Jesus said He was the only way to God (John 14:6). They can't both be right; therefore, the NAM teaching that we can create our own truths can't be true.
Don't let them take Christian words and use them out of the context of biblical meaning.
New Agers recognize the tremendous influence and spotless reputation of Jesus. They want Him to be associated with their beliefs. As a result, you might find yourself facing a New Ager who uses Christian words--but with non-Christian definitions. Listen carefully, and don't let them steal what is Christian and transplant it into their system.
You must question the terms they use. You need to make sure that what they mean by Christian terms is the same thing that you mean by them.
Listen for internal contradictions.
As mentioned above, truth does not contradict itself. You must listen to what they are saying and ask questions. Sooner or later you catch on to inconsistencies.
Inconsistencies usually arise when discussing the relationship between reality and belief.
For example, a New Ager might say that you can create your own reality. I might reply, "Good. Then if I believe red lights are really green, would you want to go driving with me?"
Tell them that God is personal, that he loves them, and that Jesus died for sin.
The Word of God will not come back empty without accomplishing what God wishes it to (Isaiah 55:11). If you focus on Jesus, tell them the truth about sin and salvation, and use Scripture, then, at least, they will have heard the truth. Praise be to Jesus the Christ.
Remember, God's word is powerful. Whether or not they accept it isn't the issue. You simply need to present the truth in an accurate and loving manner (Col. 4:5-6; 1 Tim. 1:5).
An Interesting Quiz
How would you respond in these situations?
1. A preacher and his wife are very, very poor. They already have 14 kids. Now she finds out she’s pregnant with the 15th. They’re living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending she get an abortion?
2. The father is sick with sniffles, the mother has TB. Of their four children, the first is blind, the second has died, the third is deaf, the fourth has TB. She finds she’s pregnant again. Given this extreme situation, would you consider recommending abortion?
3. A white man raped a 13-year-old black girl and she’s now pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending abortion?
4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She’s not married. Her fiancé is not the father of the baby, and he’s upset. Would you recommend abortion?
In the first case, you would have killed John Wesley, one of the great evangelists in the 19th century. In the second case, you would have killed Beethoven. In the third case, you would have killed Ethel Waters, the great black gospel singer. If you said yes to the fourth case, you would have declared the murder of Jesus Christ!
God is the author of life, and He has givenevery single individual supreme value. Each life—whether inside or outside the womb—should therefore be valued by us. God knows the plans He has for each individual and has written in His book all the days ordained for us before one of them came to be. When we presume to know better than God who should be given life, we are putting ourselves in the place of God and are guilty of idolatry.
What God’s Word Says About Abortion
By Lynn Copeland
God speaks very clearly in the Bible on the value of unborn children. God’s Word says that He personally made each one of us, and has a plan for each life:
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart" (Jeremiah 1:5).
"Even before I was born, God had chosen me to be His" (Galatians 1:15).
"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb . . . Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13, 16). "Your hands shaped me and made me . . . Did You not clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life" (Job 10:8–12).
"This is what the Lord says—He who made you, who formed you in the womb" (Isaiah 44:2).
"Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One form us both within our mothers?" (Job 31:15).
Because man is made in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27), each life is of great value to God: "Children are a gift from God" (Psalm 127:3). He even calls our children His own: "You took your sons and daughters whom you bore to Me and sacrificed them...You slaughtered My children" (Ezekiel 16:20,21). The Bible says of our Creator, "In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being" (Job 12:10). God, the giver of life, commands us not to take the life of an innocent person: "Do not shed innocent blood" (Jeremiah 7:6); "Cursed is the man who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person" (Deuteronomy 27:25). "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13). Taking the life of the unborn is clearly murder—"He didn’t kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave" (Jeremiah 20:17)— and God vowed to punish those who "ripped open the women with child" (Amos 1:13).
The unborn child was granted equal protection in the law; if he lost his life, the one who caused his death must lose his own life: "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined . . .But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life" (Exodus 21:22,23). Life is a gift created by God, and is not to be taken away by abortion. God is "prochoice," but He tells us clearly the only acceptable choice to make: "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19).
by Matt Slick
Centering prayer is popping up within the emerging church movement. Centering prayer, also known as contemplative prayer and listening prayer, is the practice of relaxing, emptying the mind, and letting one's self find the presence of God within. It involves silence, stillness, patience, sometimes repeating something, and the practice of "not knowing" as the person seeks God's presence.
Centering Prayer is a method of prayer, which prepares us to receive the gift of God's presence, traditionally called contemplative prayer. It consists of responding to the Spirit of Christ by consenting to God’s presence and action within. It furthers the development of contemplative prayer by quieting our faculties to cooperate with the gift of God’s presence.1
Centering prayer is "the opening of mind and heart - our whole being - to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words, and emotions." So, it is a non thinking, emptying of the mind that seeks to find God in a way that is "closer than consciousness itself."2 Why? Because, according to the contemplative mystics, absolute truth is unknowable just as God is mystically unknowable. Sure, they know that they can know things in truthful ways, but ultimate truth is not perceivable via the senses and mind. Experiencing God is through silence, emptying of self through contemplation in the quiet of the mind and soul. Some directions for centering prayer are offered at contemplateiveoutreach.org: Here are four guidelines it recommends.
Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
When engaged with your thoughts, return ever-so-gently to the sacred word.
At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.
Sounds pretty mystical doesn't it? Yes, it is and it is based in occult and eastern metaphysical practices, something the Christian church should carefully avoid.
Before I became a Christian I was involved in the occult. One of the practices I would undergo when trying to contact the spiritual realm and/or trying to receive some mystical experience would be to empty my mind, remain motionless, and completely open myself up to receive whatever would come. Essentially, I was seeking an altered state of consciousness and contact with the spiritual world. This is one of the hallmarks of occultic practices and it opens the person to demonic contact.
This centering, this emptying of the mind was a physical and mental process of stillness, waiting, non-thinking, and expecting to have a spiritual experience. It worked. Using these techniques I have seen lights move in darkness, a bright yellow cross materialize out of thin air, and I've heard voices calling me from the darkness. I'm not exaggerating. I was not on drugs, medicated, drinking, or sleep deprived. I definitely contacted something in the spirit realm. But, it wasn't God.
God wants us to contact him through his Son Jesus, in prayer, as we meditate on God's word and truth, not by emptying our mind, being still, not thinking, and "feeling" whatever we can spiritually.
“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”
One of the most common biblical verses cited in support of centering prayer is Psalm 46:10, “Cease striving and know that I am God." But, the verse is not about mental emptiness or physical stillness since that would contradict what the Psalms already teach us about prayer and meditation. We are to meditate actively, using our minds, based upon Scripture, not empty nothingness and waiting.
Psalm 63:6, "When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches."
Psalm 119:15,23,27,48,97, "I will meditate on Thy precepts, and regard Thy ways... 23Thy servant meditates on Thy statutes.... 27So I will meditate on Thy wonders. 48And I will meditate on Thy statutes... 97O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day."
We are not supposed to empty our minds and let whatever is out there contact us. Instead, we are to use our minds and meditate upon the word of God. In fact, Rom. 12:2 says, "...be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." If you are doing nothing with your mind but emptying it in an attempt to reach God, you are on dangerous, unbiblical ground.
Centering prayer is an unbiblical and dangerous practice. It can put a person in an altered state of consciousness and open him up to a spiritual connection that is not in harmony with Scripture.
Instead, we are to seek God in prayers that are non-repetitious, with a focus on God's word and truth, with an active mind seeking to find the true and living God through the revelation of the Scripture and communion with his son Jesus.
In short, avoid centering prayer and avoid whatever church promotes it.
Title: The captive released who gained a new passion
Satan's getting people locked up through his captivation
he lures you in through the eye catching fleshy sensation
speaking lies in disguise through his charming eyes and subtle indoctrination
check yourself to see if you're in the faith when you do something what is the motivation?
The direction your headed to is destruction without salvation and the Word of God through His inspiration
He is revealed through His creation on the center of His glorious revelation from His Kingly proclaimation
The law written on your heart from the start of procreation in conception you were born in sinful desires on a lustful murderous lying thieving worldly celebration from Satan's plantation of seeds on your mind through his penetration
There is no way I wrote this without the Holy Spirit's direction and guidance He guides me and tries me to be a conduit to set captives free from depravity through being filled in Him and His word bringing sinners down on their knees like gravity
I have a holy discontent that nags at me like a cavity and something must be done to bring me satisfaction to my King and the message He gave to me so I can come before Him and I would be a child He is glad to see
Here I am Yahweh send me and before that cleanse me to be refreshed and renewed so I won't be lukewarm and spewed I need you because I am at war with my flesh and it feels like an endless feud
Relentless is the new name you gave me when I was born again but relentless describes your pursuit of me You gave me a new beginning when I thought my life was going to come to an end
I was a captive set free God I am in awe of thee and how you shed such grace on me when I broke your law hanging by a thread I was said to have been declared dead but You took on my sin and named me righteous with your signature written across my forehead
I was bought with a price it was your life and You came down from your Kingdom on Your throne in glory with the angels worshipping You God I know this to be true because Your Spirit told me this was true and I believe in You but O how I am a wretch without You God I need you forgive me of my sin and not worshipping You like the angels do I don't deserve You but You love me and I don't have a clue as to why You do but I will spend the rest of my life loving You and others the way You do
Don't follow after the traditions of men.
Don't believe or follow the philosophies of this world.
Have you ever sat there and thought deeply on your life as a Christian? What shaped and formed your thought life and heart life? Have you been transformed by the renewing of your mind? Have you taken every thought captive and brought it to Christ? Do your philosophies reflect a Biblical worldview after the doctrines of Christ and His apostles? Did something sneak in there that doesn't belong? Have you ever challenged everything you ever thought and believed? Or did you just accept the things said to you at face value and digest it without discernment? Pray for wisdom, knowledge and discernment. What philosophies do you hold and affect your thought life, heart life and lifestyle in general with the words you speak and the actions you take? What traditions do you keep and are they patterned after the traditions held by people in the Bible namely Jesus Christ or after traditions of men? What is the Gospel to you?
Thanks Jordan. I agree with you. Would you agree that we should test all things? Do you believe we should guard our hearts? Do you believe we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds? Is a biblical worldview important? Is doctrine important? Should we pray for wisdom? Should we pray for discernment? Should we consider logic? Should we reason and rationalize? These are all good questions. In a sense your correct that we should come to our opinion just as long as our opinion reflects Biblical truth that is time tested and held by well respected people throughout history who were true believers who produced fruit by the Holy Spirit. Even then we should test things they say. I am not saying to follow what most people say because in some cases that can be a bad thing. We should be non-conformist. We should use be free thinkers just so long as our thinking is conformed to the Scriptures and under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Would you agree? So here is a good question for everyone. What is traditions of men? What are philosophies of this world?
People take this verse out of context. It is talking about how God is revealing to Peter that he can witness to the Gentiles.
Look at the whole thing in context a second time and you may find something different.
1 There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment. 2 He was a devout man and feared God along with his whole household. He did many charitable deeds for the Jewish people and always prayed to God. 3 About three in the afternoon he distinctly saw in a vision an angel of God who came in and said to him, “Cornelius!”
4 Looking intently at him, he became afraid and said, “What is it, lord?”
The angel told him, “Your prayers and your acts of charity have come up as a memorial offering before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa and call for Simon, who is also named Peter. 6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.”
7 When the angel who spoke to him had gone, he called two of his household slaves and a devout soldier, who was one of those who attended him. 8 After explaining everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
9 The next day, as they were traveling and nearing the city, Peter went up to pray on the housetop about noon.[b] 10 Then he became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something, he went into a visionary state. 11 He saw heaven opened and an object that resembled a large sheet coming down, being lowered by its four corners to the earth. 12 In it were all the four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth, and the birds of the sky. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!”
14 “No, Lord!” Peter said. “For I have never eaten anything common[c] and ritually unclean!”
15 Again, a second time, a voice said to him, “What God has made clean, you must not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and then the object was taken up into heaven.
Peter Visits Cornelius
17 While Peter was deeply perplexed about what the vision he had seen might mean, the men who had been sent by Cornelius, having asked directions to Simon’s house, stood at the gate. 18 They called out, asking if Simon, who was also named Peter, was lodging there.
19 While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit told him, “Three men are here looking for you. 20 Get up, go downstairs, and accompany them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them.”
21 Then Peter went down to the men and said, “Here I am, the one you’re looking for. What is the reason you’re here?”
22 They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who has a good reputation with the whole Jewish nation, was divinely directed by a holy angel to call you to his house and to hear a message from you.” 23 Peter then invited them in and gave them lodging.
The next day he got up and set out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa went with him. 24 The following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him.
26 But Peter helped him up and said, “Stand up! I myself am also a man.” 27 While talking with him, he went on in and found that many had come together there. 28 Peter said to them, “You know it’s forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit a foreigner. But God has shown me that I must not call any person common or unclean. 29 That’s why I came without any objection when I was sent for. So I ask: Why did you send for me?”
30 Cornelius replied, “Four days ago at this hour, at three in the afternoon,[d] I was[e] praying in my house. Just then a man in a dazzling robe stood before me 31 and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your acts of charity have been remembered in God’s sight. 32 Therefore send someone to Joppa and invite Simon here, who is also named Peter. He is lodging in Simon the tanner’s house by the sea.’[f] 33 Therefore I immediately sent for you, and you did the right thing in coming. So we are all present before God, to hear everything you have been commanded by the Lord.”
Good News for Gentiles
34 Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, 35 but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him. 36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all. 37 You know the events[g] that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything He did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, yet they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.”
Gentile Conversion and Baptism
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came down on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers[h] who had come with Peter were astounded because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46 For they heard them speaking in other languages and declaring the greatness of[i] God.
Then Peter responded, 47 “Can anyone withhold water and prevent these people from being baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.
So Jehovas Witness's just came to my house like an hour ago.
They were trying to hand out all these little books and different types of flyers to me.
Of course i respectfully declined to take anything but i wasnt sure what to do after that?
I didnt know whether to pull out my bible and debate with them a bit because im pretty familiar with their beliefs or just say thank you have a nice day.?
What would you have done?
Speaking the Truth in Love to Jehovah’s Witnesses
By Clint DeBoer
I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and remained one until age 11. Coming out of this cult, I entered my teenage years as a bitter atheist where I remained until I graduated from college. Through God’s amazing grace I was saved in 1994 after reading the Bible and realizing that it was indeed the true Word of God. Repeatedly God has blessed me with the passion and privilege to witness to the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
You’ve almost certainly had them come knocking on your door on a Saturday afternoon and you may have even engaged a Jehovah’s Witness in a theological discussion. In talking to other Christians I find that when presented with a face-to-face encounter with a Jehovah’s Witness there are usually two responses: 1) A "frontal assault" via debate or heated discussion; or 2) A polite "no thanks, I’m already a Christian" followed by an all too abrupt closing of the door. For the mature Christian, what’s usually missing is the realization that this is a true witnessing opportunity—one that has arrived right at your doorstep. In my earliest attempts at grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns, I tried engaging them in direct debates, often quoting from several texts I had studied regarding the cultic practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
After several failed "conversion" attempts, often ending with thoroughly frustrated Jehovah’s Witnesses unwilling to ever return to my residence, I arrived at a startling realization: Jehovah’s Witnesses are real people, with real needs and real feelings. They can feel frustration, anger, fear, and confusion. I then realized that the reason my frontal assaults on the Jehovah’s Witnesses never seemed to work was because I had not put myself in their place and taken their feelings into account. A wise man once said, "When you want to get someone’s attention, you don’t shine a flashlight in their eyes." In presenting my arguments and facts without giving them time to prepare, I had forgotten that they were human beings searching for the truth. I had not been speaking this truth in love.
Months later, when I was again presented with an opportunity to speak with Jehovah’s Witnesses at my door, I engaged them in conversation, and agreed to do a weekly Bible study with them in order to further discuss what exactly they believed. They agreed, with the understanding that along the way I would ask questions whenever we arrived at a topic or subject with which I disagreed or failed to understand. The amazing difference was that instead of blindsiding them with questions and points of contention, I was giving them an opportunity to prepare themselves for a topic of discussion. More importantly, though, I began to care about them personally and yearn for their salvation. In this way, I am able to meet with Witnesses on a weekly basis and take them off the streets, focusing on critical topics such as the requirement that one be born again to enter the kingdom of God, the unbiblical theology of a two-class system of believers, and the true identity of Jesus Christ.