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I just love how, lurking in the background, someone is always ready to take any chance they can to ignore the topic, and rip into someone else. The early Church flourished under persecution from the outside... But when inside we are always fighting each other, how will the Church be able to stand under the new modern persecution?
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?" (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10) Lol
Technically, swearing is making a promise, and using God as the overseer of that promise. Christians were warned to not do that, since most people, being sinners, tended to not follow through. It was a warning to not frivolously use God's name. Cursing is pronouncing hurt or harm on someone. Profanities are words that are so crude that a man (or woman) of God should never use. So‚ÄĒtechnically, profanities are not swearing.
Christopher; the way I always understood it was a limit on the time left before the flood. God was done striving with men who wanted nothing to do with Him, since their hearts dwelt on evil continually. It was obviously not a lifespan limit, since Shem lived all the way through to (nearly) the end of Abraham's life. (502 years after the flood.)
That, Dave, is the crux of the matter. They will not trust John 3:16 if they question Genesis 1:1. But, my point stands: God has proven Himself in nature. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork." (Psalm 19:1) and we have a command that we should... "...be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..." (I Peter 3:15) It would behoove us as Christians to learn the information we need to explain to others why we KNOW God created, beyond the simplistic "the Bible says so..." Because if that's your only defense, you deserve to be mocked. Just saying.
It comes down to a war of definitions. When the anti-God movement can redefine natural selection, (scientifically proven method of speciation) to call it evolution, (absolutely not scientifically proven) and then cram it down the throats of millions of public school children... That is the beginning of the problem. Most Christians do not have the level of scientific understanding to debate against evolution, and the arguments that many attempt to use are outdated, disproven, or ridiculous. There is plenty of solid scientific fact that can be used, but Christians are too lazy. Or, (and I shudder) they use the Bible to "prove" creation. Pray, tell me how you are supposed to use the Bible to prove something, when the people you are proving it to do not believe the Bible? God gave us the natural world which PROVES His existence.
Jim, et al... Biblically we are to go to the sinner quietly, and only IF they refuse to acknowledge the sin, or get it right, THEN you bring it to witnesses, and then the public. The unfortunate problem is in today's society, ruled by gossip and 24 hour news, people revel in the "dirty secrets" and are derisive of people who handle faults Biblically.
There are some great Biblical reasons a Christian should avoid gambling, (being a good steward of money, etc...) I have heard many liken it to "investing" however, there are marked differences; the one that spoke most to me was the idea that there is a winner and a loser. With investing, it is for mutual benefit, with gambling; poker, lotto... It matters not which, you are putting your money against someone else's that you will win and they will lose. Not a Godly principal... Of course, that blows the idea of raffles too, but nobody likes that one.