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I am running this more lengthy article for the 17th anniversary as Pastor here at Faith. I began writing the weekly "What Does The Bible Say" articles about 9 years ago. My first article was on Prayer and was a response to the Catholic prayers to saints in the Daily News. My intention has been the same ever since: Give a Biblical answer to the issues that most often go unchallenged in a public media. I do not write on these subjects to stir up controversy. I write to allow people who have been taught to believe without question to question what they believe. Here is the good news: Many have been liberated by the truth of the Scriptures. I have been greatly rewarded by those who have been saved, those who have been drawn to a deeper faith in the Word of God, and those who have a closer walk with the Lord. Deadlines, inconveniences, sometimes harsh criticism and money spent have been worth the dividends seen in the lives of people.

Please read Matthew 22:15-46. Notice in verse 15, the Pharisees try to 'entangle Him (Jesus) in His talk" by sending the Herodians (v16) to do their dirty work.

Jesus confounds them and they leave. Then in verse 23, on the same day, the Sadducees came (who didn't believe in angels, spirit, or resurrection) asking Jesus questions. He astonishes them with His doctrine and they leave. In verses 34-45, "But when the Pharisees had heard that He had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked Him a question, tempting Him..." Jesus takes the Old Testament which the Pharisees knew well and tangled them up with the Word of God! Verse 46 says, "And no man was able to answer Him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions." Chapter 23 should be read here.

In Acts 17:15-34 Paul goes to Athens and while he waited for Timothy and Silas, V16 "his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry." So, in verse 17, "Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him." In verse 18, "Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans and of the Stoicks encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: Because he preached unto them Jesus, and the Resurrection." Verse 20, "For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears:" Then in verses 22-23 Paul stood on Mars hill and said, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." Read the rest of the chapter. He preaches and in verse 32-34, "some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again... Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: " Paul could have had the attitude many want us to have: "Leave them alone, they have their own religion and their own beliefs... furthermore, they believe in God. They are okay." Apparently Paul did not think so. Paul told the Galatians in 4:16, "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" The truth will set you free.

In Acts 17:2, "Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures," In Verses 4-6,   "... But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." In verse 8, they troubled the people and the rulers of the city and in verse 10, Paul and Silas went to Berea. In verse 11, we see,  "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

The plain teaching of Scripture has always stirred up people and it becomes controversial when the plain teaching of the Bible is in conflict with the teaching of those who do not use the Bible as a basis. For example, look at the accusation in Acts 17:7: "and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus." In Acts 18:13 the accusation was,"This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law." Paul told Titus in 2:7-8, "In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity. Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say to you."

It is amazing that the disciples were accused in Acts 17:6 of turning the world upside down with their doctrine. In Acts 24 Paul goes before Felix (Because of his preaching). In verse 2-4 Tertullus flatters Felix and condemns Paul in verse 5. "For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes." Romans 16:17-19 says, " Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil."

"For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth." 2 Cor. 13:8

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