So… I did a thing. . .

Ever since I created this blog over four years ago, I’ve had numerous people tell me that I should sell merchandise or have a donate button or something. Basically, a way to make money from this ministry. But I have been heavily against it, because Paul says not to make a profit from the Bible. Here, here, and here. I’m sure that there are other instances, but I found those by literally searching “profit” on Bible Gateway and scrolling through the results.

But over the last few months, I’ve had a few people tell me that I misunderstood what Paul was talking about. I even submitted a question to Got Questions, which I’ve linked to several times on this site. This was their response:

There are some scriptural principles that may be helpful in making your decision.  Obviously, people are paid to teach and preach.  1 Tim. 5:17 tells us that elders are worthy of double honor – respect and monetary compensation.  1 Peter 5:2 tells us that the same group of people, the elders, are not to minister for sorbid gain.  Meaning they are not to be greedy for money.  They are to minister eagerly for the purpose of helping people grow in Christ not for money. I hope these two verses help.

So I guess I misunderstood what Paul was talking about? Anyway, the thing I did that is the reason I’m making this post is that I started a Patreon for this ministry. For those who don’t know, Patreon is a site used by creators to receive support from their fans. It’s mostly used by YouTubers, but I’ve seen other people using it. It’s different from setting up a PayPal donate button in that you can set up recurring payments if you want. Plus, there are perks for the patrons.

I’ve set up three tiers of perks:

$1 – You get access to the Fig Tree Reborn Discord server (yeah, I made a new one, and I’ll discuss that below)

$5 – You get the Patreon flair on Reddit when on the Fig Tree Reborn subreddit. (plus access to the Fig Tree Reborn Discord server)

$10 – With this tier, you’ll be able to have a private conversation with me (the creator of Fig Tree Reborn) about anything biblical. I tend to get passionate when discussing the Bible, and my friend and church family tell me that I make them think about things they’d never noticed before. We can do this however you like (Skype, Facebook, phone call, smoke signal, etc….plus you still get the Patreon flair on Reddit and access to the Fig Tree Reborn Discord server)

About the Discord server…

If you read this post you’ll know that I had a Discord server for this site one, but if you read this post, you’ll know that I had to delete it because it had been overrun by nonbelievers as a base of operations to troll other Christian sites. Well, the only reason I made a new one is because of the Patreon page. It gives you the option to connect your Discord account and have a patron-only server. Meaning that you can only access it by being a patron. That should hopefully prevent what happened last time.

I’ll end this by stating that donating is entirely optional, and I’m only doing this to help cover the cost of running the site. I’m hoping to do more with this site, and in order to do that I’ll need the paid version of WordPress, which isn’t cheap. I might consider doing merchandise at a later date, but I’ll worry about that if anyone is interested.

Here is the link to the Patreon page if you are interested.

Is Asexuality A Sin?

[I posted the following on Facebook on 9 June 2015. I had this site back then, but for some reason it never occurred to me to post it here. I was looking through old posts and came across this and figured it’d be a perfect post here. I’ve edited slightly for grammar, but otherwise it’s exactly what I posted on Facebook over three years ago. Yes, I do long Facebook posts. My friends complain about it all the time…]

 

Well, great! I get home from work and lay down to rest and check my notifications and find I messages from three different people. Two on my friend’s list but never spoken to, and one not even on my friends list and had no idea who she was. All three were angry about a post I did the other day. The one where I said that I’m asexual. That wasn’t really an announcement, I just casually said it publicly.

Anyway, those three girls were upset about it and said things like, “You call yourself a Christian and yet you’ll commit such a disgusting sin!”. Three different wordings of that. Apparently they didn’t realize what asexuality is. I’m finding that to be the case, usually having to explain it. So here is the Wikipedia summary for those who don’t know what it is.

“Asexuality (or nonsexuality) is the lack of sexual attraction to anyone, or low or absent interest in sexual activity. It may be considered the lack of a sexual orientation, or one of the variations thereof, alongside heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality.”

Other definitions describe it as “lack of sex drive”. Like, I don’t think about the world sexually, and it makes for some awkward moments because I’ll say something I intend to sound purely innocent, but everyone around me thinks as perverted.

Like one time this girl asked me if it looked like she was losing weight. I said that she did, because her stomach used to be level with her boobs and now her stomach was several inches back. To me it wasn’t a perverted comment, it was just an honest observation. Sure, I noticed her boobs, but I also noticed her arms and eyes. That’s how I saw it. But all of a sudden everyone in the room was like, “Creepy!” and “Pervert!!”. I was baffled at first.

One of the waitresses at work noticed that I don’t hit on or flirt with her or the other waitresses. She thanked me for “restraining” and then helped me clear a few tubs of dishes. To me that was a weird thought, because I wasn’t restraining, it honestly never occurred to me to do that, and I wouldn’t have even if it had.

Anyway, the three girls who sent angry messages tonight claimed asexuality is a sin. They probably assumed it was homosexuality or something. I’m definitely straight, I like girls, just I’m not interested in sex. I know, I know, that’s baffling to most people. But onto my point. Let’s see if asexuality is a sin.

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (KJV)

Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (KJV)

I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.


1 Corinthians 7:25-28 KJV

Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

And this is a very important one…


Matthew 5:27-28 KJV

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Um…I’m not seeing asexuality as being a sin. If anything, Scripture encourages it. I didn’t choose to be asexual, I’ve always been like this. Alot of people ask why I hate sex. I don’t hate it, I’ve never even had it. I just have no interest in it. It’s like sports. I know it exists, but I don’t understand why everyone looses their heads over it, and every attempt by people to explain it just made it more confusing.

Chroview: Christian Mingle

By now I am sure that everyone is aware of the Christian dating website, Christian Mingle. It’s pretty hard to ignore, considering they advertise everywhere. I would not be surprised if they end up having a massive banner across the Moon someday. But for now, they did the next best thing.

They made a movie.

The film is about an attractive girl, Gwyneth, living in a universe where she doesn’t have any luck with dates, and no one even attempts to flirt with her, until she happens across Christian Mingle. She’s not a believer, but figures she can fake it and no one would notice. Of course, this being a feature length advertisement, the next day she goes on a date with the first guy she meets on the site, Paul. He appears to be the first guy in the world to be able to look her in the beautiful eyes and not vomit in disgust. He also happens to be attractive. Because this is an advertisement for a dating website.

Christian Mingle.

The sight of them just makes me sick!

So, they go on a few dates. The whole time, Paul makes it quite obvious that he is a sincere Christian, and he just takes it for granted that she is, because she says she is. After awhile, he invites her to come spend time with his friends for a Bible study. At the study, his friends quickly realize that Gwyneth isn’t who she says she is.

The story carries on for a bit, then it turns out he and his family are about to head to Mexico on a missionary trip tomorrow! The reason he never told her was because he didn’t think they’d still be talking that long. Still, that’s kind of a bit thing to mention. “Oh, by the way, I’m going to Mexico soon!”. She leaves her job without telling anyone but her friend and goes to Mexico.

That’s when Paul and his family find out her secret; she’s not really a Christian. They find out because she literally had a copy of Christianity For Dummies on her bed. Paul is upset and breaks up with her. When Gwyneth goes back to America, she decides to become a Christian, which she does over the course of a Rocky-style musical montage.

She goes and tells Paul the good news, but by then he’d moved on. But he wishes her luck in the future. It’s not the ending I would have expected for this movie, but they chose to go the realistic route for this one.

lol Just kidding. This is a feature-length advertisement for a dating site. They part ways, but then it cuts to “Next Christmas” and she’d moved to Mexico (??). Paul shows up out of nowhere and basically says, “Nevermind what I said before, let’s be together”. Roll credits.

Right, so I seem to be picking on this movie alot. That’s because it’s a Rom  Com, and I can’t help it. To be honest, it’s a surprisingly decent film, and I’d gladly watch it again. Not only is the film done well, the Christian message is clear and accurate. They could have just rushed out a thoughtless movie without any thought and just slapped their name on it, but I was impressed with the quality. I especially loved the opening credits (of all things). I always rate movies on a scale of 1 to 10, and I give this one an 8.

(It’s on Netflix)

Denominations

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 (KJV)

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I have actually gotten a few messages asking if I’m okay. Well, I didn’t start this series to post in it fifty times a day. I actually said in the introduction post that I’d space them out. I hadn’t been doing that. So I posted a bunch in the course of a week, then abruptly stopped. Not because I ran out of ideas, i simply had writer’s block. I’d been planning this topic since before I stopped, even telling someone in a comment that I would be covering this. But then every time I sat down to write, my mind would go blank. I hate writer’s block. I couldn’t even work on my novel.

Anyway, as the opening verse points out, we’re called to be joined together as one. Denominations are unscriptural I go to a Baptist church, but I do not consider myself a Baptist. Because I don’t go by what my pastor says, I go by what the Bible says. I am a Christian. Most people ask “Which denomination is correct?”. Which ever ones accept that Jesus is the Son of God and that He’s the only way into Heaven. There’s going to be little differences between different churches, but as long as the core is the same throughout, there is nothing wrong with going to a Baptist church or Methodist or Lutheran or [fill in the blank].

“The Apostle Paul Was A Deceiver!”

The Apostle Paul Was A Deceiver!” is what made me want to do this series. It’s so easy to disprove that I was actually laughing while scrolling down the page. It was written by Sherry Shriner.

For starters, she presents a list of “truths” that “prove” that Paul was a deceiver. These include:

“Paul was Satan in the Flesh” (no verse to back it up)

“Paul’s account of his Damascus Road Experience changed every time he told it, thus the disciples knew he was lying.” (no verse to back it up)

“Paul declared  he himself was the son of God” (no verse to back it up)

“Paul taught the exact Opposite of what Jesus and His real disciples did.” (no verse to back it up)

“Paul worked to destroy and undo everything Jesus and His disciples did and were doing.” (no verse to back it up, and is pretty much the previous one reworded)

“Paul condemned Jesus and His disciples for false teachings, he condemned Jesus Himself for having long hair in 1 Corinthians 11:14” (Jesus doesn’t have long hair)

“Paul said God’s law was a Curse. Jesus said it was a blessing. Who’s lying?” (no verse to back it up)

“Paul claimed he himself was the son of God” (again, repeating herself, and still no verse to back this one up)

“Jesus Said: Keep the Sabbath (Mark 2:27), circumcise male children (Luke 2:21), Paul Said: Circumcision is not necessary (Romans 2:26) that is going against what the Christ said in Luke 2:21.”

Mark 2:27 (KJV)

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

If you read the context, Jesus is angering the priests for performing miracles on the Sabbath.

But she said Jesus says that you have to be circumcised. Let’s go read what Jesus said on the matter, using only the verse she gave.

Luke 2:21 (KJV)

21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Oh, well there it is. He totally said……nothing, because He was a baby. He had it happen Him. That’s not Him commanding us to be circumcised. Jesus was a Jew, and it was their custom to circumcise. He was also crucified. Does that mean He told us to go be crucified? You can’t even take that verse out of context. She says twice in the same line that “Jesus said it”, but it clearly says He was circumcised.

“In 1 Corinthians 15:1 Paul says that he was not giving them anything but what “he preached.” He explained this even further in the second book (or letter) to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 11:17). It reads – “That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.” He’s telling you plain and simple he was speaking of himself and not from or of the Lord!”

Now this is where she nearly got me. I read those verses and they do say what she says it says. I even read the whole chapter and he constantly calls himself a fool and that he’s boasting. Paul even goes on to say:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

I saw that and went, “Whoa! Is Paul calling Jesus corrupt!?”

But you need to look at the bigger context. Which she never bothered to do.

The next thing she says is:

Jesus: “DO NOT CALL ANYONE ON EARTH YOUR FATHER; for ONE IS YOUR FATHER, HE who is in heaven”
(Matthew 23:9)

The devil ‘PAUL’ BLASPEMOUSLY BOASTED

“For I BECAME YOUR FATHER”
(1 Corinthians 4:15)

I’m guessing she didn’t think anyone would check on that. This is what that verse ACTUALLY says:

1 Corinthians 4:15 (KJV)

15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Where does it say “for I am your father”? That “begotten” thing? Let’s look at the previous verse:

1 Corinthians 4:14 (KJV)

14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.

Why, that looks like he’s speaking metaphorically.

The next thing she does is take three verses out of context, literally splicing them together to make a new sentence.

“I (‘PAUL’) testify to the gospel of the grace of god…ANOTHER GOSPEL…ALL THINGS ARE LAWFUL “
(Acts 20:24. 2 Corinthians 11:4. 1 Corinthians 10:23)

Acts 20:24 (KJV)

24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

2 Corinthians 11:4 (KJV)

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

 1 Corinthians 10:23 (KJV)

23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

For that last one, you need, again, context.

After that point, the rest of the page is just a random collection of spliced verses (like “SAUL who is ALSO called ‘PAUL’.” Acts 13:9), and SCREEN-FILLING LARGE FONT LETTERS. The line “THE COMING OF “THE END…THE ABOMINATION WHICH MAKES DESOLATE ” **PROPHESIED BY DANIEL**” Took up my whole screen.

False Teacher

From what I could make out, she was trying to prove that Paul was the antichrist because the antichrist will desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem, and the temple is gone now (even though she even points out that this will happen in the last days).

On her list of “truths”, she pointed out, “Paul was never recognized as an apostle by the Disciples OR Jesus”. That is simply not true. Jesus appeared to Paul (then called Saul), and told him to go into the city to be given instructions, and Paul was called to be God’s vessel.

Acts 9:15-16 (KJV)

15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

But she could just say that of course Paul would say that. But here’s the thing, Paul didn’t write that. Acts was written by Luke, who wrote The Gospel of Luke (surprise!). Acts is actually a direct sequel to Luke. If you’re going to say that the Book of Acts is unreliable, then you’re saying the Gospel of Luke is unreliable.

Wolf-Like Sheep: Introduction

Matthew 7:15 (KJV)

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

In all my research of the posts for Fig Tree Reborn, I’m always coming across sites, usually other blogs, that teach something other than what the Bible teaches. Often it’s either atheists trying to disprove the Bible or turn people away from it, or Muslims trying to show that Jehovah and Allah are one and the same (they aren’t).

Every time I come upon one of those sites, I always check out their claims in the Bible to make sure not only if it really says that, but also to check the context. That’s taking so much time that I thought that I would just make a separate series where I take a site or blog or article and disprove it’s claims. I finally decided that just now, when I came across a site trying to claim that Paul was a false prophet. Their claims were hilariously out of context, and in at least one instance (that I found), they merely used the NIV translation to backup their claim. So without further ado, let’s begin exposing these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Music in Church

1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)

12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

 

I was raised Church of Christ. In the Church of Christ churches, music is looked upon as being evil. Because God didn’t tell us to do it, therefore, it’s pure evil. I’ve been to several of those churches throughout my life, and it seems that all of them at some point were split over whether or not to allow the use of musical instruments. By split I mean some or most of the members left to start a new church where the only difference would literally be that they played musical instruments.

Back in April of this year (2014), I moved from Texas to Ohio and started going to a baptist church. They play instruments. The first couple weeks I was so uncomfortable that I sat there rigid expecting the place to be destroyed any second. But soon I found that I preferred the music. It enhanced the worship for me. It didn’t hinder the worship.

Romans 14:2-3 (KJV)

For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

Paul isn’t talking about literal herbs. The context is talking about worshiping God. Verses 2 and 3, and the verse I opened this with, are basically saying, “If it enhances your worship without hindering it, and doesn’t go against the Bible, go ahead and do it”. You’re saved by believing in Christ and being baptized, not by playing music or singing A Capella.

Besides, Paul instructed us to use instruments. At least, he said to use string instruments. What? You didn’t know that? That’s because you don’t know Greek.

Ephesians 5:19 (KJV)

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Speaking to yourselves in psalms. The original Greek, psalmos (or ψαλμός) means “a striking (of musical strings)“. So Paul, through whom God spoke, tells us to strike a sting instrument and sing spiritual songs.

So we’ve seen here that not only does scripture give us the freedom do enhance our worship as long as it doesn’t hinder, but we’re also instructed to use string instruments.

Law of Moses

Matthew 5:17-18 (KJV)

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Is Jesus saying that we’re still under the Law of Moses, the set of 613 laws given to the Israelites by Moses through God? Well, at least now we can ask for forgiveness instead of sacrificing a lamb.

But what about these verses?

Galatians 3:23-25 (KJV)

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

 

Galatians 3:24 (KJV)

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Acts 6:14 (KJV)

14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

 

The Law of Moses was only meant to be temporary until Christ could come to be the sacrificial lamb. Because of His sacrifice, we have forgiveness of sins. Here is a great site I highly recommend.

So if we’re not bound by the Law of Moses, how are we saved?

Romans 10:17 (KJV)

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Luke 7:50 (KJV)

50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

 

Ah, I see it now. So we’re not bound by the Law of Moses because salvation comes from faith. As previously covered, you have to believe in Jesus (that he was crucified, was buried, and was resurrected from the dead, and that He is the only begotten Son of God). Jesus came and made everything so much easier. Instead of remembering 613 laws that you COULD NOT break because you would never be fully forgiven, now you just have to remember that simple thing, and on top of that you can now be forgiven of sins.

Romans 10:13(KJV)

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.