Do all dogs really go to heaven, (or did they never leave?)

 

If you are interested, you can read the main article on the subject “Do all dogs really go to heaven”  by clicking here. 

You can also partake in our Poll on the same subject by clicking here.  

POLL: Where do you stand on the issue of infant baptism?

Grant Swart

Infant baptism represents yet another controversial subject among many of those who regard themselves as being steadfastly of the Christian faith. It has continued to be divisive and a cause of much confusion ever since it started developing as a Christian sacrament over the first few hundred years of church history.

Infant baptism is sometimes referred to as, or can be confused with, a christening ceremony in which the baby is named and welcomed into the congregation. In certain instances the ceremonies are private and held between family members and close friends, but often it involves entire congregations and can be a very public affair. Christenings and infant baptisms generally require the infant to be sprinkled with water or to be bodily immersed in water. Neither of these are the same as the non-sacramental Continue reading

POLL: Which three Books in the Bible are the most important to you? (Please choose 3)

Grant Swart

In a more light-hearted poll, we create a hypothetical situation which could leave some of us with a difficult choice. Although the scenario is totally fictional and most unlikely, it is nevertheless something to think about, and have a little fun with while watching how our fellow readers regard the various books of the Christian Bible.

For those who might have forgotten the numbers, there are a total of 66 books in the canon of the Christian Bible, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. There are 1189 chapters in those 66 books containing 31,173 verses and approximately 773,692 words. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the Bible also contain a collection of uninspired books written during the “silent centuries” (400BC – 27AD). Christians reject the Apocrypha as having not been inspired by God and view all these books as secular uninspired history written by men without the aid of God. But, that is not the subject of this poll, as we covered the subject of the Apocrypha in another poll last year.

Our fantasy situation is this. You will be compelled by the ruling authorities to go to a foreign country for an extended period of time to pick pink striped bananas, count goats and to disprove reports which say that Elvis is selling second-hand pizzas in that country. There you will find yourself among a population consisting of mostly unbelievers and people who follow false religions. So, you will have to do some evangelizing and Bibles will be scarce. Continue reading

POLL: What do you think are the four most controversial issues being discussed by Christians IN GENERAL today?

 

Grant Swart

(This is Part 3,  the final poll in a 3 part series.  Please see older posts on this blog for the results of the previous 2 polls)

The results of the previous two polls in this series have been tallied and voting is now closed on them, but only on those two polls. Voting will remain open on all other polls. Thank you to all the readers who participated in those polls. This will be the final poll in this series, the result of which should give us a good idea what the most controversial subject being discussed among Christians today, is.

The previous polls which I am referring to here were “What do you think are the four most controversial THEOLOGICAL issues being discussed among Christians today?” and “What do you think are the four most controversial CULTURAL issues being discussed among Christians today?. As I said I would, in the article which accompanied both those polls, I have combined the winning results you voted for of those two polls into one final poll here.

Anyone can vote in this poll, even if you did not vote in the previous polls.  This is also a multi-choice poll, you may vote for the four issues you regard as the most controversial.

Please refer to the article accompanying the previous two polls if you would like further information regarding the nature of and reasoning behind the content of the three polls.

The ten issues included as choices in this poll are the ten most voted for issues from the previous polls (the top 5 from each group).

 

Copyright © For the Love of His Truth 2008 – 2013  All Rights Reserved. No part of this page or its images may be reproduced without Grant and Elmarie Swart’s  express consent. See our contact us page for email details.

POLL: What do you think are the four most controversial THEOLOGICAL issues being discussed among Christians today?

 

Grant Swart

(This is Part 2 of a two part poll. Please also vote in Part 1 in the previous post below)

 

Strange, this, but true. I suppose one should ascribe it to the exhausted misnomer, “human nature”, or more simply to the way we mostly think. With regularity, it is the more controversial subjects which attract the most attention on most blogs, forums and discussion groups in the social media. This tendency, a norm within secular circles, inevitably seems to apply to many Christian discussions, as well.

This is a Christian blog regarding fundamentals of the Christian faith, therefore, one would expect that the majority of the regular readers here would be from of the fundamental Christian camp. Even so, previous polls which I have placed on this blog regarding the more controversial issues are those which have, by far, received the most votes. Polls regarding the less controversial, and dare I say it, the more scholarly topics, generate less interest.

Are all the issues listed appropriate subjects for Christian discussion? Continue reading

POLL: What do you think are the four most controversial CULTURAL issues being discussed among Christians today?

 

Grant Swart

(This is Part 1 of a two part poll. Please also vote in Part 2 in the next post above)

 

Strange, this, but true. I suppose one should ascribe it to the exhausted misnomer, “human nature”, or more simply to the way we mostly think. With regularity, it is the more controversial subjects which attract the most attention on most blogs, forums and discussion groups in the social media. This tendency, a norm within secular circles, inevitably seems to apply to many Christian discussions, as well.

This is a Christian blog regarding fundamentals of the Christian faith, therefore, one would expect that the majority of the regular readers here would be from of the fundamental Christian camp. Even so, previous polls which I have placed on this blog regarding the more controversial issues are those which have, by far, received the most votes. Polls regarding the less controversial, and dare I say it, the more scholarly topics, generate less interest.

Are all the issues listed appropriate subjects for Christian discussion? Continue reading

POLL: Regarding religious tolerance, which of these best describes your position? (You may choose multiple answers)

GRANT SWART

“Religious tolerance”: a term favoured by the world media, by Satanic religions and by those who seek to unify the world’s people under an imaginary peaceful, all powerful and inclusive global government. With the climate change summits and global currency restructuring, with digital communication, severe population control and forced democracy being implemented at any cost, the unbelieving world is being blinded and numbed to the will of God. The very existence of God has become a hot subject for debate and science claims to have disproven Creation in favour of evolutionary chance.

But, what is the will of God according to biblical Christians and even professing Christians, regarding the myriad of religions of the world? Should Christians show a tolerance toward other religions for the sake of temporary peace among nations, or should Christians bring the words of Jesus to the unbelieving world in no uncertain terms, regardless of the fact that they will be ridiculed and persecuted for their radically so-called “fundamental” beliefs?

What are Christians to make of John 14:6? Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

What do you think of the issue regarding religious tolerance? Please give voice to your opinion in the following poll.

 

Copyright © For the Love of His Truth 2008 – 2013  All Rights Reserved. No part of this page or its images may be reproduced without Grant and Elmarie Swart’s  express consent. See our contact us page for email details.

POLL: Celebrating Christmas in the traditional way on December 25 is…?

Grant Swart

Another year is coming to an end, and for me personally, another dreaded “festive” season is fast closing in. As a child, Christmas time was by far my favourite part of the year; school holidays, presents, friends, feasting and families. Even while our children were growing up and lived at our home, Christmas always had a very special place in our calendar, for all the traditional reasons and some of our own.

Those comforting, warm (Southern hemisphere) and fuzzy days of simple togetherness and caring have long gone and have been replaced with over-priced consumer goods, mad shopping frenzies, enormous traffic congestion, escalating crime rates and death on the roads. It is all very sad. Quite frankly, I would probably be safer, more comfortable and my normality would be less disrupted if I found myself evangelizing on some Far-Eastern quiet Bhuddist island on December 25 this year.

As the years have passed, the “festive” or holiday season, which includes Christmas time, has become a commercialized farce, along with other similar festivals such as Mothers Day and Valentines Day. The original meaning and “reason for the season” has been replaced with lavish parties, extreme festivities, entertainment and expensive gifts. No longer is it “the thought that counts”, rather the value of the gift which apparently demonstrates the level of affection one has for the recipient. Rarely is the birth of our Saviour brought into the picture on Christmas, except in some churches and, of course those are quite empty over the holidays.  Almost half of the congregation has gone to the beaches and leisure resorts of the world and the other half are in the shopping malls. The vast majority of children in the world will never know the true meaning of Christmas or experience the love which can surround the day.

Additionally there is a war being waged on the traditional Christmas by the secular world, atheists and falsely religious. “Merry Christmas” is being replaced with “Seasons Greetings” or “Happy Holidays”. This, of course, is being done in an attempt to promote a religiously tolerant society and an acceptance of a secular world religion. The battle for your bucks in the countdown of shopping days to Christmas has also become a major spiritual battle.

That brings me back to the controversial issue among many Christians, which is the celebrating of Christmas in the traditional way. The debate as to whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas on December 25, or any other date for that matter, has been raging for centuries. There are sincere Christians on either side of the debate, and many reasons as to why or why not Christmas should be celebrated by Christians.

One argument against Christmas is that the traditions have origins in paganism. Another argument is that the Bible forbids Christmas trees, and the passage in Jeremiah 10:1-16 is cited as biblical disapproval, even though that passage has no relevance to Christmas or Christians. Some regard the fact that the Bible gives no indication as to the birth date of Jesus as reason enough not to celebrate the day on December 25.  Others, on the other hand, regard the fact that the Bible is silent on the issue as tacit approval by God over the celebration issue.  Some say that because the world celebrates Christmas, Christians should avoid it. And so, on and on the arguments pro- and anti-Christmas are cited.

As in all things we should prayerfully seek guidance over the matter of Christmas, particularly if it is a divisive issue for the Christian family. Please tell us what you think about Christmas in our poll below.

God bless all those who, like myself, will be ever so slightly traumatized by the upcoming rush toward the end of the year and the fake celebrations of a Christ-less Christmas, and God also bless those who will enjoy every moment of celebrating the birth of our Saviour on December 25.

Particularly, I pray for God’s blessing on those who will not have a morsel of food, a drop of water or who will have to fight for their very life on the day that the rest of the world goes shopping and tolerates spoilt grandchildren demanding more expensive toys.

– Grant

 

Copyright © For the Love of His Truth 2008 – 2013  All Rights Reserved. No part of this page or its images may be reproduced without Grant and Elmarie Swart’s  express consent. See our contact us page for email details.

POLL: Is it important to know and to note when you were saved?

Grant Swart

1 John 5:13 tells us, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” God wants us to understand salvation. God wants us to have the confidence of knowing for sure that we are saved. Briefly, let’s go over the key points of salvation:

(a) We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God(Rom 3:23).

(b) Because of our sin, we deserve to be punished with eternal separation from God (Rom 6:23).

(c) Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins (Rom 5:8; 2 Cor 5:21). Jesus died in our place, taking the punishment that we deserved. His resurrection proved that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay for our sins.

(d) God grants forgiveness and salvation to all those who place their faith in Jesus – trusting His death as the payment for our sins (John 3:16; Rom 5:1; Rom 8:1).

That is the message of salvation. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior, you are saved! All of your sins are forgiven, and God promises to never leave you or forsake you (Rom 8:38; Matt 28:20). Remember, your salvation is secure in Jesus Christ (John 10:28-29). If you are trusting in Jesus alone as your Savior, you can have confidence that you will spend eternity with God in heaven.

However, there are some who believe differently, and that salvation is not such a simple matter of faith. They would argue that salvation is a far more detailed and on-going process of actions whereby the sinner needs to retain their possible salvation by proving his or her worth. They may also believe that salvation is not to be attained during this life and that it will be determined according to their good works, sinless life or efforts in reaching a higher standard of holiness or increased spirituality.

Some may believe that they were saved subsequent to them having responded to an altar call, where they might have been asked to pray a certain prayer, or they were prayed for by an elder or other congregants. These people may have been told to carefully note the date of this “decision for Christ” for their future referral.  After these events, some might have undergone life-changing experiences and for those believers we praise the Lord for His Grace in their lives, while others might have encountered no changes in their lives at all and may have become disillusioned with Christianity as a result. It is often important to these people to know and note the exact date and circumstances surrounding their “decision”.

Some may believe that they were saved by birthright or by infant baptism. Still others hold to the belief that salvation cannot be attained or assured during this life, as good works have yet to be performed to earn their salvation; some believe that only a sinless life can lead to salvation and that ever increasing holiness is necessary for any hope of salvation. In certain circles it is also referred to as “theosis” or becoming more like God by upholding certain traditions or ancient rituals, or by performing certain acts and deeds. For these people it is impossible to note when they were saved, or even when they will be saved.

Please tell us what your position is regarding this most important matter in the poll below. Of course, not all possibilities are covered by the choices available, so if your understanding does not appear among the choices, please give us a little detail of what you believe to be important, in the comments below the poll.

May your life be blessed with His Grace and with coming to know His Truth!

– Grant

 

POLL: What do you believe about evolution?

There are three major origin-of-life worldviews, atheistic evolution (also commonly known as Darwinian evolution and naturalistic evolution), theistic evolution and special creation.

Atheistic evolution says that there is no God and that life can and did emerge naturally from preexisting, non-living building blocks under the influence of natural laws (like gravity, etc), although the origin of those natural laws is not explained. Special creation says that God created life directly, either from nothing or from preexisting materials.

Theistic evolution says one of two things. The first option is that there is a God, but He was not directly involved in the origin of life. He may have created the building blocks, He may have created the natural laws, He may even have created these things with the eventual emergence of life in mind, but at some point early on He stepped back and let His creation take over. He let it do what it does, whatever that is, and life eventually emerged from non-living material. This view is similar to atheistic evolution in that it presumes a naturalistic origin of life.

The second alternative of theistic evolution is that God did not perform just one or two miracles to bring about the origin of life as we know it. His miracles were constant. He led life step by step down a path that took it from primeval simplicity to contemporary complexity, similar to Darwin’s evolutionary tree of life (fish begot amphibians who begot reptiles who begot birds and mammals, etc). Where life was not able to evolve naturally (how does a reptile’s limb evolve into a bird’s wing naturally?), God stepped in. This view is similar to special creation in that it presumes that God acted supernaturally in some way to bring about life as we know it.

Special creation says that God created life directly, either from nothing or from preexisting materials, exactly according to the Genesis account over a literal six day period.

Share with us your views on which of these three is true of how, what we see today in the universe, came to be. Please feel free to leave us a comment on the subject, in support your view.

– Grant Swart

POLL: Do you believe animals go to heaven?

Grant Swart

This is a question which I posed to adult members of my family on many an occasion while growing up. More often than not, the answer which they gave me was based rather on that which they knew I wanted to hear, than on specific Scriptures.

It is also a question to which, when the verses pertaining to animals in the Bible are pondered on,  the answer does not immediately seem that clear. Animals are so very dear to the hearts of so many people, as they are to mine, that the mere suggestion that their beloved pets might not go to heaven, would be met with fierce opposition. Would that opposition be warranted?

Please tell us what you think in the light of the Scriptures such as: (Gen 1:25)  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Also (Isa 11:6)  The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.

– Grant

POLL: How should the Apocrypha be considered by Christians?

The Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical books are a number of books which do not appear in the modern Protestant Bible, although they were part of the King James Version at one time. These books still form an integral part of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church Bibles.

The Apocrypha were written primarily in the period between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The books are named: 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Manasseh, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees. The early Christian church debated the status of the Apocrypha and certain early church fathers held these writings in high esteem, while others rejected them as not being the inspired Word of God.

Tell us what you think:

Please take a few moments to vote in our poll below.

Your comments regarding why you think the Apocrypha should or should not be regarded as important would also be appreciated in the comment section below. They could be of assistance to other readers.

Many thanks

Grant Swart

  My apologies for the background picture (skulls!!!), I only noticed it after publishing!!

PLEASE VOTE IN OUR NEW POLLS

Your participation in our new weekly polls would be greatly appreciated. It can certainly help us understand your likes and dislikes, beliefs, concerns, what you might like to read more about, and your opinion on Christian and other matters. If you have an idea for a poll on a subject of your choice, please leave us a comment and we will place your poll on the blog! Many thanks and much Grace to all!   – Grant

POLL: English Bible translations / versions

Grant Swart

I always enjoy polls on just about any subject ranging from politics to food, religion to sport, but I admit that such polls are rarely indicative of international opinion. Rather, they tend to represent the opinion of a select group of like-minded people who happen to frequent certain publications.

For example, the game of cricket would certainly not top a poll concerning the most popular sport in Los Angeles. Polls published in right-wing orientated newspapers will generally deliver results more representative of the right-wing or more conservative populace. Polls in more liberal publications will, more often than not, deliver liberal results. The results from a poll in the Tehran Times in Iran, concerning the most popular religions, would certainly not have Christianity topping the votes.

But nevertheless, polls remain popular and are generally fun and quick to answer. Results are generally immediately available, and those who like to be on the winning side at all times, can view the current result before voting for the most popular answer! I hope we get more honest opinion in our little polls, in the hope of learning more about how true believers think.

This particular poll about English Bible versions has more than the usual three or four choices. Most future polls should have fewer choices to enjoy clicking on. Thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to complete them, I hope they are of use to the reader and are enjoyable and relevant.

Please check back soon for the next poll.

My apologies for the background picture (skulls!!), I noticed it too late after voting had begun!