My Personal Christian Blog

Thanks for sliding into my blog site. This blog bog is a spin-off from my website at Call me a Night Owl, as my full-time mission and hobby are jabbering from midnight until 8 a.m.ish with chatter bugs across the world. Hoot, hoot! Being a retired newspaper guy and a Curious George, I've written and assembled a whack of stuff that I hope you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. Check out the Stories bar on the right side, below, for all my articles - from my web site and this blog.

May 29, 2014

What does the Bible say about confessing our sins to a priest?

The practice of confession of sin to a priest is nowhere taught in Scripture.
The New Testament teaches that all believers are priests. describes believers as a “holy priesthood” and a “royal priesthood.” Revelation 1:6  and 5:10 both describe believers as “a kingdom of priests.”
In the covenant of the Old Testament, the faithful had to approach God through the priests. The priests were mediators between the people and God.
The priests of the Old Testament offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. That is no longer necessary.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we can now approach God’s throne with boldness (Hebrews 4:16).
The temple veil tearing in two at Jesus’ death was symbolic of the dividing wall between God and humanity being destroyed. We can approach God directly, ourselves, without the use of a human mediator.
Why? Because Jesus Christ is our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-15; 10:21) and the only mediator between us and God (1 Timothy 2:5).
The New Testament teaches that there are to be elders (1 Timothy 3), deacons (1 Timothy 3), bishops (Titus 1:6-9), and pastors (Ephesians 4:11) – but not priests.

When it comes to confession of sin, believers are told in
1 John 1:9 to confess their sins to God. God is faithful and just to forgive our sins as we confess them to Him.
James 5:16 speaks of confessing our trespasses “to one another,” but this is not the same as confessing sins to a priest as the Roman Catholic Church teaches.
Priests/church leaders are nowhere mentioned in the context of James 5:16. Further, James 5:16 does not link forgiveness of sins with the confession of sins “to one another.”

The Roman Catholic Church bases their practice of confession to a priest primarily on Catholic tradition.
Catholic point to John 20:23, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven."
From this verse, Catholics claim that God gave the apostles the authority to forgive sins, and that authority was passed on to the successors of the apostles, i.e., the bishops and priests of the Roman Catholic Church.
There are several problems with this interpretation.
(1) John 20:23 nowhere mentions confession of sin.
(2) John 20:23 nowhere promises, or even hints, that the authority to forgive sins would be passed on to the successors of the apostles. Jesus’ promise was specifically directed to the apostles.
(3) The New Testament nowhere states that the apostles would even have successors to their apostolic authority. Similarly, Catholics point to Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 (binding and loosing) as evidence for the Catholic Church’s authority to forgive sins. The same three above points apply equally to these Scriptures.

Again, the concept of confession of sin to a priest is nowhere taught in Scripture. We are to confess our sins to God (
1 John 1:9). As New Covenant believers, we do not need mediators between us and God. 

We can go to God directly because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

May 26, 2014


Leviticus 17:11 says, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood…

Scientists tell us that the blood flowing in our veins is the world's most amazing medicine.

Blood, and the medicines made from blood, are saving more lives than any one drug that science has ever discovered, and there is still much to learn in how to use blood in the fight against disease.

Blood has always fascinated man, and he has been prying into its mysteries for centuries.

In the year 1628, William Harvey, an English scientist, discovered that the blood was a "river of life" flowing around in the human body, and shortly thereafter, physicians tried for the first time to replace lost blood with the blood of other humans, and also animals.

Often the patients died, but occasionally a life was saved. However, failures were so common, that during the 17th century, laws were passed forbidding transfusions of blood.

It was in the year 1900, that a German scientist, Dr. Karl Lansteiner, discovered that there are four different kinds, or groups, of human blood. This unlocked the door to successful blood transfusions, for it was learned that if blood from a donor of one of these groups, was given to a patient of the same group, no harm could be done. Thereafter, many blood transfusions were made, and many lives were saved.

However, it was not until 1915, when two American scientists, Peyton Rous, and Joseph R. Turner discovered a solution which, when mixed with blood, would keep it from clotting.

Now, blood could be preserved or "canned" for emergency and future use, and the first blood bank was established by an English army surgeon Oswald Robertson, back of the Allied army lines in France in 1917, resulting in what we have today in the various community "blood banks," which are endeavoring to serve their area day and night, which have as their slogan,

"BLOOD IS LIFE"-"HELP SAVE A LIFE. Yes, "blood is life," and this truth is verified in God's Word.

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)

The greatest subject in the Bible is the blood which is the very life of the Christian faith.


And that brings us to the subject to the "World's Greatest Blood Donor," and none other than God's own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who willingly and sacrificially gave blood, so that poor guilty sinners might have eternal life.

As sinners, (and let us ever bear in mind we are ALL sinners in God's sight) we fully deserve punishment. Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death,  BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

It was the Lord Jesus Christ, who voluntarily gave Himself, suffering the cruel death cross, and who permitted Himself to be punished in our place, and who offered His life's blood for us, so that we might have lasting life through Him.

To be saved by His blood, we must call upon Jesus, repent of our sins, and place our trust in Him.

May 23, 2014

GAGGING on Political Correctness

By Paul Tatham

I've been somewhat concerned, of late, over the growing impact of political correctness on the body of Christ. So I wrote this article, which you might want to print and read at your leisure.

Let’s see what the Bible says about the subject.

Our adult Bible study group examined Romans 12 and, here, in chapter 13, we examine the well-worn passage that outlines a Christian’s obligation to render unto Caesar - the government.

The Apostle Paul instructs believers to be subservient to their governing rulers, even going so far as to pin a lofty name tag - “ministers of God”- on them. A few chuckles could be heard when we read that verse.

I then probed a little further. Is a Christian ever allowed to disobey his government? For years, I had asked that same question in previous Bible studies with other groups and had always gotten the response I was hoping for.

Several were quick to speak up and confidently declare that we were obliged to obey government except when government decrees that we do something forbidden in Scripture or, the opposite, forbids us from doing something commanded in Scripture. 


Feedback included some examples of each and invariably someone would quote Acts 5:29, where the Apostle Peter defies Jerusalem’s religious authorities who had commanded him to cease and desist from all evangelistic efforts.

Without hesitation, Peter responded that “we ought to obey God rather than man” and continued his quest to fulfill the Great Commission. We all cheered his brashness and coveted it for ourselves.

If we are to defy government, I would often caution, let’s be sure we are not disobeying a law simply because it doesn’t sit too well with us personally. We want to make sure we have Scriptural backing.

We do not have the authority, for example, to stop paying our federal income taxes solely because some of those taxes are used to fund a war that we deem a worthless cause. We would have no biblical mandate for such a position.

But over the last couple of decades, governmental law has taken on a new twist. Something called “political correctness” has elbowed its way into our lexicons and law books.

Now individuals, or groups of individuals, who have been insulted by what someone said to them are publicly licking their damaged egos and demanding that offenders be held accountable.

Cases that were once laughed out of court are now taken seriously, resulting in hefty fines and even prison time. No one is laughing anymore.

All of this because someone was offended. Gone are the days when “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” Now, mere words are treated as lethal.

Suggest that someone might benefit from losing a few pounds and you could be charged with “harassment.” Poke fun at someone’s height and run the risk of “bullying.” Drop an innocuous ethnic joke and run the risk of being charged with a “hate crime.”

We live in what has been described as “a nation of thumb-suckers” in which I can seemingly do as much harm with words as I can with a weapon.

The end result is that too many Christians are now hesitant to voice their faith.

The fear of offending someone has taken center stage and is classified as the new unpardonable sin that must be avoided at all costs. There is no greater faux pas.

Pastors who once preached entire sermons on the horrors of Hell are now reluctant to even use the word, almost as if the place doesn’t exist. They might, after all, upset someone in the audience.

The fallout of political correctness has been devastating, resulting in a de facto gag order on evangelism. Most Christians understand that they have an obligation to spread the good news, whether they possess that gift of the Spirit (Ephesians 4:11) or not.

They realize that the Great Commission pertains to all believers, not just a few “specialists,” and that everyone is expected to do his part. But with political correctness, now Satan’s latest trump card, a growing number of Christians are intimidated into quietly hiding their light under a bushel. Call it spiritual lockjaw.

Sadly, I even get the impression that some shy Christians are actually relieved by the rise of PCism. Now, they figure, at least I have a good excuse for keeping my mouth shut, hiding behind the I-might-offend smokescreen.

To make matters worse, political correctness is often viewed as more threatening than it really is. We know that occasional cases end up in court, and may even result in convictions, but sometimes we imagine the situation to be far more dire than it actually is.

Despite all the hand-wringing over PCism, we do live in a land where freedom of speech is still the norm. We still have vast opportunities to speak up for our Savior.

Admittedly, that freedom seems to be eroding. And the day may indeed come in which proselytizing is banned outright. When, and if, that sad day arrives, our Scriptural obligation will be to defy it.

Let’s not fall into the trap of applying a broad brush. We must be careful not to impose on ourselves more restrictions than actually exist. Because we may not be familiar with all the details of political correctness, and its sometimes confusing legal applications in certain situations, we are tempted to immediately throw up our hands and surrender without firing a shot.

Even when such a response is not yet lawfully imposed upon us, we don’t want to needlessly muzzle our witness for Christ, so let’s not hastily retreat into a self-imposed exile.

As we approach the end of the age, and Christians suffer increasing restraints, we may be forced to take a stand. But we are not quite to that point yet.

None of us intentionally wants to offend people. After all, we are doing all we can to be as winsome as ever, so that the lost will be attracted to us and, more importantly, our Savior.

Perhaps we have actually learned from political correctness and have honed our presentation. We now come across as more gentle, more caring, and perhaps a little less condemning while, at the same time, not shying away from the realities of eternity.

Hopefully, we have learned to polish our witness. But we have also learned that there is a big difference between polishing our witness and shutting it down entirely.

May 16, 2014

Why are there so many different Christian interpretations?

If all Christians have the same Bible, and the same Holy Spirit, should not Christians be able to agree?

Ephesians 4:5 says there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”

This passage emphasizes the unity that should exist in the body of Christ as we are indwelt by “one Spirit” (verse 4). In verse 3, Paul makes an appeal to humility, meekness, patience, and love—all of which are necessary to preserve unity.

In a perfect world, every believer would dutifully study the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15) in prayerful dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s illumination.

As can be seen, this is not a perfect world. Not everyone who possesses the Holy Spirit actually listens to the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says there are Christians who grieve Him. Every educator has his share of wayward students who seem to resist learning, no matter what the teacher does.

So, one reason different people have different interpretations of the Bible is simply that some do not listen to the Teacher—the Holy Spirit. Following are some other reasons for the wide divergence of beliefs among those who teach the Bible.

1. Unbelief. The fact is that many who claim to be Christians have never been born again.

They wear the label of “Christian,” but there has been no true change of heart. Many who do not even believe the Bible to be true teach it. They claim to speak for God yet live in a state of unbelief. Most false interpretations of Scripture come from such sources.

It is impossible for an unbeliever to correctly interpret Scripture because he is missing the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians  2:14 says, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned

Without the Holy Spirit, a pastor or theologian is not saved and is not Heaven-bound.

2. Lack of training. The apostle Peter warns against those who misinterpret the Scriptures.

In 2 Peter 3:16, he attributes their spurious teachings in part to the fact that they are “ignorant.” 

Timothy is told to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

There is no shortcut to proper biblical interpretation; we are constrained to study.

3. Poor hermeneutics. Much error has been promoted because of a simple failure to apply good hermeneutics, the science of interpreting Scripture.

Taking a verse out of its immediate context can do great damage to the intent of the verse. Ignoring the wider context of the chapter and book, or failing to understand the historical/cultural context will also lead to problems.

4. Ignorance of the whole Word of God. Apollos was a powerful and eloquent preacher, but he only knew the baptism of John.

He was ignorant of Jesus and His provision of salvation, so his message was incomplete. Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and “explained to him the way of God more adequately” (Acts 18:24-28).

After that, Apollos preached Jesus Christ. Some groups and individuals today have an incomplete message because they concentrate on certain passages to the exclusion of others. They fail to compare Scripture with Scripture.

5. Selfishness and pride. Sad to say, many interpretations of the Bible are based on an individual’s own personal biases and pet doctrines.

Some people see an opportunity for personal advancement by promoting a “new perspective” on Scripture. (See the description of false teachers in Jude’s epistle.)

6. Failure to mature. When Christians are not maturing as they should, their handling of the Word of God is affected.

“I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly” (1 Corinthians 3:2-3). An immature Christian is not ready for the “meat” of God’s Word. Note that the proof of the Corinthians’ carnality is a division in their church (verse 4).

7. Undue emphasis on tradition. Some churches claim to believe the Bible, but their interpretation is always filtered through the established traditions of their church.

Where tradition and the teaching of the Bible are in conflict, tradition is wrongly given precedence. This effectively negates the authority of the Word and grants supremacy to the church leadership.

On the essentials, the Bible is abundantly clear. There is nothing ambiguous about the deity of Christ, the reality of Heaven and Hell, and salvation by grace through faith.

On some issues of less importance, however, the teaching of Scripture is less clear, and this naturally leads to different interpretations.

For example, we have no direct biblical command governing the frequency of communion or the style of music to use. Honest, sincere Christians can have differing interpretations of the passages concerning these peripheral issues.

The important thing is to be dogmatic where Scripture is and to avoid being dogmatic where Scripture is not.

Churches should strive to follow the model of the early church in Jerusalem: “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

There was unity in the early church because they were steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine.

There can only be unity in the church again when we get back to the apostles’ doctrine and forego the other doctrines, fads, and gimmicks that have crept into the church.

May 3, 2014


QUESTION: If salvation is by grace alone and not by works, then could not a Christian live any old way?

ANSWER: Salvation is defined in Ephesians 2:8, 9 as being by grace (on God's part) and faith (on our part) ALONE and "not of works lest any man should boast."

The following verse states, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works........"

Grace alone saves, but grace is never alone. Salvation is not by works, BUT IT WORKS. We have too many professing Christians who have a salvation that DOES NOT WORK.

Paul said in 1Corinthians 15:10, "I am what I am BY THE GRACE OF GOD."

Salvation is like a person that has a plumbing problem. They know nothing about plumbing. They are absolutely incapable of fixing it, but they know a plumber that they believe can fix it.

Their confidence in him is so high that through their faith in him they call him to fix it. They do no more. They leave it all to him. If when he is finished, the plumbing works and their faith in him produced it. If they had not called him, it would still be the same.

A person has a sin problem. His life is all messed up. He cannot straighten it out. He is absolutely helpless. So he calls in a Savior. He trusts in Him to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. The Savior comes in and the life begins to work right.

If you have a salvation that does not work it is NOT THE SALVATION THE SAVIOR PROVIDED. Salvation is a reflection on the ability of the Savior.         

Good works has nothing to do with our salvation, but it is the evidence that we are saved. Titus 3:8 points out, "......that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works."

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation......teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and that we should live soberly, righteously and godly.

You can be saved by trusting Christ. It works because He starts working in you.