Monday, September 30, 2013


I put a quote on my Facebook page the other day from Scott Saul, a Pastor in Nashville Tenn. He said.....

"The more you mature, the more flexible you become ABOUT non-essentials, not less."

What does he mean non-essentials? Does this mean there are some things that don't matter in scripture? Are we to have a correct understanding of everything talked about in the bible? Is that even possible?

I remember hearing a pastor once say concerning doctrine, “You are either one-hundred percent right or one-hundred percent wrong on what you believe about something the bible says. There is no in-between and there are no gray areas. God is not confused or unsure. Why should we be?”

I think the guy was correct concerning God not being confused or unsure. But for the rest of us, well, things are a bit different as far as Paul the Apostle was concerned.

In 1 Corinthians 13:12 he clearly asserts, under inspiration I believe, that we see things [things he's writing that we now call scripture] through a glass that's rather dim at times. Peter even confessed that Paul said some things hard to understand. [11Peter 3:15-16 is in the context of Escatology and the phrase "hard to understand" is better understood "not easily grasped" I believe.]

So we wind up with people often having two extremes on some things in scripture that are, admittedly "not easily grasped" and we only know partially because of being this side of eternity.[ In eternity we WILL know as we are known, but we're not there yet are we!]

One extreme view of understanding things scriptural is held by the Fundamentalists who often draw more lines than you can count in the sand of theology all in the name of their perception of "Doctrinal Truth." Too often if you disagree with them on ANY issue of doctrine, your belief is called "sin" and you a "sinner" for holding to it. Every truth talked about in the bible is a "hill to die on."

Then there is the extreme position of the Liberals, [about scripture] who are bound and determined to erase as many lines in the sand of theology as possible in the name of their perception of "grace and love." They get just as angry as the fundamentalists only they are at the opposite extreme doctrinally. As usual, reality is somewhere in between those two extreme mindsets.

But there are some legitimate essentials that relate to "Salvation" that I believe, by their very nature, are a "hill to die on." Thus, the need for some things to be called "essentials." This means that in this context only, all other things could legitimately be called "non-essentials." So a doctrine being called a "non-essential' relates ONLY to the weightier doctrines that deal with salvation or eternal life. It DOES NOT mean "non-essentials" are unimportant or less true, when correctly understood, or are not needed for knowledge and Christian living. They are important. Just not essential for the reason stated.

 What might the essentials for salvation be? In essence, if someone does not believe these things that are “essential for salvation,” they simply cannot be Christian in the true sense of the word. Here are what I see as the things I would call the "essentials."

A belief that God is real. [Hebrews 11:6]    (There is no such thing as an atheistic Christian)

A belief that mankind is lost and each person is a sinner in need of God’s grace and mercy and that includes me. [1 John 1:10] ( God and man are separated)

A belief in Christ’s deity and humanity as a Person sent from God. [1 John 4:2-3: Romans 10:9]  (Christ is fully God and fully man without sin.)

A belief that Christ died on the cross and rose bodily from the grave for our sins. [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]  (He bridged the gap between God and man whatever one's view of the atonement)

A belief that faith in Christ and His life and death is necessary for a relationship with God. [John 3:16]   (He alone is the object of our faith)

As I see it, these are the key doctrines. Without these, you simply don’t have any sense of what it means to be Christian. This is where the "exclusivity" of the gospel message cuts across the ideology of the rest of humanity and creates quite a backlash for us. But that is as it MUST be for us to present Christ for WHO He is and WHAT He has really done.

All other doctrines or beliefs can be called "non-essentials" which only means they do not relate to matters of salvation or eternal life. That doesn't mean they are unimportant. It doesn't mean they shouldn't be studied and taught as one sees and understands them. But it does mean people can understand them differently and be Christian.

Now read Scott Saul's quote again.  "The more you mature, the more flexible you become ABOUT non-essentials, not less."

Paul B.


Rex Ray said...

Did you write a “checker trap”?

In Tool Design, the designer draws the tool to be made; then another person checks it for errors. If the designer wants to know if the ‘checker’ really did his job, he will make an error on purpose to see if the checker catches it.

You wrote: “So being "non-essentials' relates ONLY to salvation or eternal life.” :)

BTW, good post. I think with some people “a hill to die on” means ‘a hill to kill on’.

Paul Burleson said...



I have to say it was unintentional, but there. I've corrected it. Thanks.

I have to say that I couldn't agree with your last sentence more. Unfortunately, it seems to apply to Conservatives AND Liberals equally.

Bob Cleveland said...

Might need to make a distinction between what we do believe, and what we refuse to believe.

If I refuse to believe that the Bible IS God's word, but choose to believe what's said about salvation, I'm really trusting in my own discernment, and not in the Bible, God, or Jesus.

If I refuse to believe Jesus was born of a virgin, but do believe He was the Savior, I'm still just trusting me. Ditto for the resurrection.

When I was saved, All I knew from VBS was that, if I believed in Jesus when I died, I'd go to heaven. I trusted Him in that minute and He saved me. It then took a lot of education for me to realize that had really happened.

Had I refused to accept the inerrancy of the Bible, or the resurrection, or the virgin birth, that would tell me I had not truly trusted in the finished work of Jesus, when I was that scared little kid.

LOTS to like in the post, Paul.

Bob Cleveland said...

Whoops. Forgot one thought.

One of my early friends in a Bible study (1969+/-) said the following:

"When you read a verse in the Bible, think about the Bible being finished, but without that verse. And God says "Wait .. it's not complete", and then He adds that verse.

I think every verse is just that important in the context of the entire Bible, and that we won't "get" all of them as long as we have a finite, fallible mind.

Aussie John said...


What a different representation of Christ and His Church would be revealed if your second last paragraph was understood by all.

As Augustine said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

Surely that's what the Apostle was writing about in 1Cor.13:8ff.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

That's why I believe Scott Saul's quote to be on target. "The more you mature, the more flexible you become ABOUT non-essentials, not less."

Good comment and a good reminder about the wisdom of Augustine.

Rex Ray said...

Bob Cleveland,
Since we were both a “scared little kid” when Jesus saved us, you might think that we would believe the same, but you seem to list “essential” what I would call “non-essential” that being “inerrancy of the Bible” and “virgin birth”.

I list the two as “non-essential” because when I was ten years old, I didn’t know what either meant. In fact “inerrancy” was a word that came into existence in the early 1900’s, so how was anyone saved before then?

One might argue that a young kid must grow to accept the ‘two’, but if they don’t, does that mean God would ‘unsaved’ them?

The ‘old’ conventions of Texas and Virginia reject “inerrancy”—does that mean none of them are saved?

I’ve just demonstrated where there are two Baptists in a room, there are three opinions. :)

Rex Ray said...


My uncle would argue, “It’s in the Bible; don’t you believe the Bible?”

I believe my uncle’s mistake was accepting lies, untruth, and ignorance that came from man’s lips that are recorded in the Bible as coming from God.

I believe we need the Holy Spirit as Jesus said to teach us as Paul wrote in (2 Timothy 2:15) “Study…rightly dividing the word of truth.”

I believe “Study” is a lot more than just reading.

What do you think?

Victorious said...

Love this post, Paul! BUT...I always seem to have a BUT... :(

The “non essentials” are normally the focus of the Sunday morning and evening services, the Wednesday evening Bible study, and small groups. And that's where they are presented as “essentials” often by those not mature enough to be flexible about them.

For instance, lest you get feeling too free, you will know up front that the non-essentials are of paramount importance; i.e. no dancing, movies, or alcohol. Women must wear dresses; no manifestations of sign gifts; no female deacons and/or pastors; tithe or else; KJV only; mandatory attendance at services; authority/submission issues, etc. The essentials seem to be more about restrictions, contracts, covenants, rules, regulations, and so on rather than setting people free from laws. And the "essentials" become nearly immaterial if one abides by the list of "non-essentials."

Frankly, the focus on non-essentials became so burdensome, I opted out of church.

I know there must be some regulations, but please... it's out of control from what I've witnessed.

Paul Burleson said...


I'm not sure but what you are really saying, to me at least, "and" instead of "but," and I like your 'and."

There is not one word in your comment that I do not say "amen" to, "and" [I have one of those too] where you say, "I opted out" of church, I would say, you ARE the "Church" and will never be able/want to opt out of that. You and I simply ARE the Church.

I hear you saying that you've opted out of "gathering" as the Church and that I REALLY DO understand. But whether you EVER "gather" in a traditional way or not you are the Church "scattered,"

For what it's worth, were I to find myself in the kind of group you've described, I would opt out of gathering with that group or any like it EVER as well. You'll get no argument from me.

Thanks for your comment.

Victorious said...

Paul, thank you for the reminder that we ARE the church! Easy to forget when we're encouraged to go to a building on Sunday and that's considered "church." I'm going to make a mental note of that phrase, "church scattered." Interesting. Paul maintained fellowship with "church scattered" through his letters to them I think. We have assemblies and fellowship through a different medium available to us...the internet. I'm grateful for that!

Thanks again for this post and your response.

Oloryn said...

There are some things where the proper response to the slightest error is (at least eventually) excommunication, and there are some things where the proper response to differences in belief is "Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind" (Rom 14:5). That is, to my mind, the primary differences between the essentials and the non-essentials, if we're going to use that terminology. For the latter, our primary concern seems to be recognizing that the other person stands as a servant to the Lord, not to ourselves. On the latter issues, attempting to batter them over the head with our own views might be considered to be trying to make the other person our servant, not the Lords (Rom 14:4ff).

Rex Ray said...


You had: “So being "non-essentials' relates ONLY to salvation or eternal life.”

You said: “I have to say it was unintentional, but there. I've corrected it.”

But now is written: “So a doctrine being called a "non-essential' relates ONLY to the weightier doctrines that deal with salvation or eternal life.”

Need I say “non-essential” needs to change to ‘essential’? :)

In my opinion, an example of ‘non-essential’ being made ‘essential’ is the requirement of the SBC forcing their employees (missionaries, professors etc.) to sign the BF&M 2000 whether they believed it or not.

For ‘the powers that be’ to have AUTHORITY to force signing, the BF&M 1963 had to be changed. They removed: “Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having NO AUTHORITY over the conscience” and “Such statements have never been regarded as complete, infallible statements of faith, nor as official creeds carrying MANDATORY AUTHORITY.”

The large committee that wrote the BF&M 1963 was composed of the presidents of the state conventions. Whereas the BF&M 2000 small committee was composed of 15 friends of Paige Patterson who was president of the SBC.

Whereas the 1963 was open to the public, the 2000 was behind closed doors and kept secret until it was presented to be voted on. That meant no church could instruct their representatives how to vote.

Some changes were very small, but had great repercussions such as adding “s” to “believer”. The 1963 had “priesthood of the believer”, and the 2000 has “priesthood of believers”.

That meant the individual had to agree with the majority because they said it was dangerous for the individual to have too much freedom.

They removed: “The sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures.” And “The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.”

The 2000 states: “Baptist cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of ANY secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of Churches.”

That sounds great BUT then they said: “The office of pastor is limited to men.” DUH


Rex Ray said...


Can you see why my dandruff gets up when some believe “inerrancy” is essential to salvation when in years back I’ve written on you son’s blog more than once:

Due to the firing of missionaries, professors and the tears and heartache of many leaving their God called positions over the controversy of inerrancy that I wished “inerrancy” would go back from where it came from—the smiling lips of the devil.

Rex Ray said...

I might add—one was my son.

Paul Burleson said...


I think you're smart enough to know my intention is to be saying, "Non-essentials ONLY WHEN COMPARED to weightier doctrines relating to salvation or eternity. I do agree my wording has not been the clearest and I will watch that in the future.

I agree that the word "inerrant" is a non-essential. I prefer the word "infallible" which carries a stronger meaning than does inerrant anyway. As to where the use of it came from, I have no idea.

I DO KNOW it has been used as a club by some in the past. I know people hurt by that use as well. I don'r believe ANY word that is a non-essential should be used by ANYONE as a club, whether they love OR hate the word and are for OR against the word.

I'm convinced that an understanding of the doctrine of the nature of the scripture isn't essential for someone who hears, believes, and embraces the message of the gospel for salvation. This, since it is the gospel itself that is the power of God to salvation, and it is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit bringing light understanding when the gospel is preached or presented that brings real salvation.

The learning of the true nature of the bible itself is for the growing up of a believer after and takes on an importance as they begin to understand the nature of the Word of God.

Rex Ray said...


I have often written things that were not in my mind. And I’ve written things that can be taken two ways.

Yes, I think I’m smart enough to know what you intended to say, but it’s hard to argue with copy/paste.

You intended to say:

‘Essential relates ONLY to the weightier doctrines that deal with salvation or eternal life.’

Your last statement: “Non-essentials ONLY WHEN COMPARED to weightier doctrines relating to salvation or eternity” is still wrong since it should be ‘essentials’.

You said, “…I will watch that in the future.”

At least you didn’t say like Obama: “I will not negotiate. :)

Anonymous said...

To me, the possibility that the original documents of Scripture contained lies, untruths and ignorant statements, does not exist . Even to someone of little understanding it must be clear that God's revelation of Himself through the prophets in the OT, and then finally through Christ Jesus, must of necessity be perfectly truthful and without error. Further, Jesus appointed His Apostles, and endued them with power and authority to record and consolidate the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. So we may rightly say that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God".

Jesus had a high view of the veracity of Scripture and chided those infidels who erred in their selective and partial acceptance of the Scriptures, calling them blind leaders of the blind.

To discard the stated Biblical teaching of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and the miracles of Jesus would seriously weaken belief in the essential divine personhood of Jesus Christ.

A prayer : "Lord, lift me up that I may see further, and increase my faith".


Paul Burleson said...


With this..."To me, the possibility that the original documents of Scripture contained lies, untruths and ignorant statements, does not exist."....I could not agree more.

With this..."To discard the stated Biblical teaching of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and the miracles of Jesus would seriously weaken belief in the essential divine personhood of Jesus Christ."...I could not agree more.

Sounds like we think the same way. Both "Infallibility" and 'Inspiration" would not allow for me to believe otherwise. Good comment.

Rex Ray said...


“To discard the stated Biblical teaching of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and the miracles of Jesus would seriously weaken belief in the essential divine personhood of Jesus Christ” is a very true statement.

But do you really believe “…the possibility that the original documents of Scripture contained lies, untruths and ignorant statements, does not exist”?

That would mean literally that the devil told the truth. I’m sure you would agree there are exceptions to that statement.


Which is correct Deuteronomy that blames the people or Numbers that blames Moses?

Deuteronomy 1:37: “And the Lord was also angry with me because of you. He said to me, Moses, not even you will enter the Promised Land!”

3:26: “But the Lord was angry with me because of you, and he would not listen to me.”

4:21: “But the Lord was angry with me because of you. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession.”

Numbers 20:12,23 and 27:14 records that God told Moses three times that he and his brother had not trusted Him to follow his instructions and their punishment was they couldn’t enter the promise land.

Gordan, it looks like to me that Moses didn’t want the people to know about his sin; therefore his “untruth’ is recorded in the Bible.

That’s what’s great about the Bible…the truth is recorded even though it’s untrue. Since Moses wrote both Books, wouldn’t you or I have left our lies out?

The lesson about these Books is we cannot read just one part of the Bible about a subject and ignore other Scriptures that pertain to the same subject. As Paul wrote…we must “rightly divide the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Paul Burleson said...


I won't speak for Gordan, he's perfectly capable of doing that for himself I'm sure.

But my opinion only, the fact that it is recorded in scripture that the devil SPOKE a lie, being the father of lies, and that lie is recorded in the text given by inspiration and being infallible, I can trust that he IS a liar and what he said IS, in fact, a lie and will not be led astray by living in the light of that fact.

Inspiration/infallibility is not to be taken to mean that every recorded statement is a TRUTHFUL statement, but that whether a statement is recorded that is a lie or is truthful, it is recorded as a God-breathed record of that true/false statement and trusting the scripture that it is true/false [which ever the scripture indicates it is] you will never be led astray.

It's a cliche now, but when it is recorded that God hides us under His wings, it's NOT intended to be taken as saying God has wings, anymore than it;s intended to be taken that what the devil says is true.

But when you correctly understand WHAT is being intended, you can trust that the original record of it was without error and it was and is infallible, will never lead astray in life when you live in light of what was intended or meant by its being recorded.

You will also remember that Moses did not go into the promised land because he struck the rock instead of speaking to it. So there are three reasons recorded for Moses not going into the land. I have no problem believing all three are truthful and correct knowing how complex our behavior is and how God sees actions and attitudes perfectly and can speak to all of both without being in error.

I'm finished. I think you know what's being said whether you agree or not and I don't wish to parse every word or sentence structure, so I'm done.

Thanks for commenting. Just know I'm not committed to responding to this point any more since I've given an opinion, you've given an opinion, and since I'm am not into debating, as previously stated. LOL

I appreciate your comments always. [Don't always agree but what's that among friends!] ;)

Rex Ray said...


WOW! I believe you came along pretty strong. You didn’t even agree we must read all Scriptures on a subject to learn the truth.

What if we got four people to read only one of four different accounts who killed Saul, and see if they agree.

1. (1 Chronicles 10:14) “…So the Lord killed him and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”

2. (2 Samuel 21:12) “…the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa…”

3. (2 Samuel 1:10) “So I killed him, the Amalekite told David, for I knew he couldn’t live.”

4. (1 Samuel 31:4) “So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.”

I believe you have the wrong attitude on debate because we can all learn by debating. Refusing to debate is like someone saying, “My mind’s made up; don’t confuse me with the facts.” :)

Paul Burleson said...


I understand why you might think I have a wrong attitude about debate. But my attitude is really because of an understanding about dialogue that I've come to believe is true since Rodney recently suggested it might be a better word for what I believe than is the word I'd used which was "discussion." I thought he was right and I have come to see a MAJOR difference in dialogue [which I NOW use] and debate. Here is a sample of what I've discovered.

“What is the difference between dialogue and debate?

Dialogue is collaborative: multiple sides work toward better understanding.
Debate is oppositional: two opposing sides try to prove each other wrong.

In dialogue, one listens to understand, to make meaning, and to find common ground.
In debate, one listens to find flaws, to spot differences, and to counter arguments.

Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participant’s understanding.
Debate defends assumptions as truth.

Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong and an openness to change.
Debate creates a close-minded attitude, a determination to be right.

In dialogue, one submits one’s best thinking, expecting that other people’s reflections will help improve it rather than threaten it.
In debate, one submits one’s best thinking and defends it against challenge to show that it is right.

Dialogue respects all the other participants and doesn't feel obligated to alienate or offend.
Debate rebuts contrary positions and may/will belittle or deprecate other participants when needed to win an argument.

Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of answers and that cooperation can lead to a greater understanding.
Debate assumes a single right answer that one side already has.

Dialogue remains open-ended. [I don't have all the understanding of the issue]
Debate demands a conclusion. [I have it right or wrong and I'll prove mine to be right.]

Nuff said for me. I'll stick to dialogue.

Anonymous said...

I cannot see that these four accounts of Saul's death are contradictory in any way. Each one adds something more to our understanding of the tragic events of the day.
1. God had arranged a defeat in battle because of Saul's disobedience.
4. Saul was seriously wounded by the Philistine archers. To avoid capture, he fell on his sword but still lived.
3. Saul asked the Amalekite to finish him off.
2. When the Philistines soon arrived on the scene they cut the head off the corpse and claimed the credit for his death.

The whole story fits together perfectly and simply. It's no Rubik cube, much less is it evidence of confused or deceitful reporting.

I think some minor problems can arise since we do not have the original documents. We can concede the possibility that slight errors in numbers and spelling, or word omissions could have occurred in some of the many copies that were made over the centuries.
We also have to deal with the problem of erroneous, biased and inadequate man-made translations found in various ancient or modern editions of the Bible.

Also, our interpretation of the Scriptures needs to follow sound principles of language and common sense, as you pointed out, Paul.

Personally, I must confess I have a bias toward accepting the Word as it comes, but I am open to receiving much more light and life as it breaks forth from His Word. And for this, I am grateful for the part played by your blog and bloggers (including RR and Fair Lady...if you can guess who I mean).


Aussie John said...


Thank you for your wise words re"the fact that it is recorded in scripture", and,
"Inspiration/infallibility is not to be taken to mean that every recorded statement is a TRUTHFUL statement".

By the way, I stand by my previous comment,"The intent,to win (a debate, argument, etc.)is that which portrays the character or the qualities the words or deeds as in a right or wrong spirit before God".

That word "intent" has much to say: It means,"An anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions".

The word "debate" has changed since I went to school, when I took part in debates, where the debater was NOT judged on whether they won by the power of their proposition,or, their knowledge, but by the way they conducted themselves, and, their use of language.

One has only to watch the political debates (?) in your country (and mine) to see the way debate has decayed into a verbal, no holds barred,mud slinging, wrestling match where I'M right, and YOU'RE wrong.

Paul, no doubt you have observed, as I have, the ugly "debates" in denominational workings, professed "brother" against "brother"; and. I mean AGAINST!

Yours are wise words and a wise attitude! May your tribe increase!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I think you have summarized quite well how I feel about this thing of debating. It may be nothing more than semantics, but I don't think so. It think it IS a matter of spirit and you, my friend, have nailed it for me at least. Thanks.

Rex Ray said...


Thanks for the dialogue. I agree numbers 1, 2, & 4 fit together and are true.

4. (1 Samuel 31:4) “So Saul took his own sword and fell on it.”

Saul had killed many men and knew a sword through the heart was instant death. He would not want a slow death by a sword through the stomach. The main proof was: “When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died beside the king.” (1 Samuel 31:5)

The armor bearer had seen hundreds die by the sword…the body stops moving and breathing stops. He would not have taken his own life if Saul was still alive.

I believe #3 was a made up lie in (2 Samuel 1:10) by an Amalekite thinking David would reward him for killing Saul who had tried to kill David several times. He found Saul dead so he took his crown and arm band and gave them to David and called him “my lord”.

David thought the Amalekite had killed Saul and David had the Amalekite killed in (2 Samuel 1:15).

By the fourth chapter of 2 Samuel much time passed which allowed David time to learn all the information of Saul’s death.

Instead of David saying he killed the Amalekite because he killed Saul, David wrote:

“Someone once told me, ‘Saul is dead’ thinking he was bringing me good news. But I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That’s the reward I gave him for his good news!” (2 Samuel 4:10)

Garen Martens said...

The Bible clearly discusses non-essentials when it refers repeatedly to the eating of meat that had been offered as sacrifice. As I understand that discussion, it was an item left up to personal choice or avoided if it were to cause another to stumble. Apostle Paul was eloquent on how he personally would handle that decision.
There are many "meat" decisions that face me daily. I have to apply my understanding of the essential doctrine to the choice I make on the non-essential.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ray,
Thanks for your explanation of the part played by the Amalekite. He was, most likely, a battlefield scavenger.It seems he kept close to the action and was on hand when Saul fell on his sword, and was thus able to loot Saul's valuables. I am inclined to believe his story, as David did, that he had a final part in killing the Lord's anointed. (2 Sam 1:16).... "and grievously hath he answered for it".

Whatever the details of the event , I see the story as having been written, as with all Scripture, for our correction and training, etc (2 Tim 3: 16-17).


Rex Ray said...


Off topic:

I know what we could discuss/debate/argue/dialogue: What is the proper sequence to write the date?

The link:

Tells the different ways depending on the location on earth. Most of the earth is Day-Month-Year, but the United States is Month-Day-Year.

For proof of the United States sequence, type Month and space; and the day and year will be typed in for you.

If you type Day or Year, nothing happens. :)

Rex Ray said...

“…Today the Lord has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring.” (2 Samuel 4:8) The men were holding the head of Saul’s son. (BTW, the men that spoke these words thought they were true and thought they would be rewarded—but were their words true?)

I believe David replied to them (paraphrasing):

‘You idiots! I killed a man just for saying he killed this man’s father. And you think I’m going to reward you for murdering his son while he was in bed? Prepare to die!’

David’s actual words were: “Someone once told me, ‘Saul is dead’. But I seized him and killed him…That’s the reward I gave him for his good news. How much more should I reward evil men who have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed? Shouldn’t I hold you responsible for his blood and rid the earth of you?” (2 Samuel 4:11)

I believe the Bible cannot be read like a dictionary or encyclopedia. If it could be read like that, there would be only one denomination among Christians.

I think a belief cannot be based on one Scripture alone while ignoring others that have a different view. For example:

“Peter replied. “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. THEN YOU WILL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.” (Acts 2:38)

With this Scripture some teach you must be baptized before you can receive the Holy Spirit or be saved.

But another Scripture shows people being saved without being baptized:

“Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message…Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” (Acts 10:44)

Rex Ray said...


There’s a knob on TV to turn up “intelligence” with much on CNN; it’s called “OFF”. Rex

Rex Ray said...

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forget their use.

Galileo Galilei