Church Leadershp

December 5th, 2022

What is the rank from lowest to highest title, position, degree in the Christian church of today. And can someone without a doctorate degree confer a doctorate on someone else?

Thank you for your questions. However, I’m not sure that I understand what you’re asking, but I’ll try to answer.

Within a local church, the highest authority is usually a pastor (or a priest), or a board of elders. Some churches ordain deacons who may have some lower level of authority. Some churches are completely autonomous, and the pastor or elders report to nobody, other than Jesus Christ.

However, most churches are part of a larger organization. For example, in the Roman Catholic Church, the priests report to bishops, then cardinals, then the pope. Protestant churches often have overseeing organizations, or conventions. Among these, the Methodist denomination has a more rigid hierarchy, with bishops etc., while the Southern Baptist Convention has a less rigid hierarchy.

However, none of these organizations then recognize the authority of the others. For example, the Protestant churches do not recognize the authority of the catholic pope. There is no universal church organization that has authority over all of them–only Jesus Christ himself.

No, I don’t believe that someone without a doctorate degree can officially confer a doctorate on someone else.

I hope this helps, but please let me know if I haven’t adequately addressed your questions.



What is Eternity?

October 17th, 2022

What is Eternity?

Christians talk a lot about spending eternity in heaven, but the Bible doesn’t really tell us much about what it will really be like. The dictionary defines eternity only in terms of time: “infinite time; duration without beginning or end.” But how can we have a duration without time (or with “infinite time”)?

I once had a reader send me this question: “I was going to reply to a video that a friend used on utube. Because I try to use actual scriptures, I ran into a phrase that I cannot find in any translations of the Bibles that I have here. Where do people come up with the phrase, ‘there is no time or distance in the Holy Spirit?'”

These words, “There is no time or distance in the Holy Spirit,” do not come directly from the Bible. However, this idea is a logical deduction from a couple of scriptures. Romans 8:9 says, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit…” So, the realm of the flesh is quite different from the realm of the Spirit.

Then, there are several verses like Titus 1:2, “…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time…” The realm of God exists beyond time. So, the logical conclusion is that the realm of the Holy Spirit is outside of time, and probably space (distance) as well. So, again, how can we have a period (of time, or whatever) “before the beginning of time?”

Well, this subject is so inconceivable to us, that we can’t really use words to talk about it. This is another anomaly, which is, I’m sure, intended by God. Our brains are just too small to understand God’s omniscience.

If there is no time in eternity, then we can’t use words like “when;” “then;” “now;” “past;” “present;” “future;” “later;” or, “again” when we talk about eternity. The best we can do is to say that, in eternity, “everything is now.” Somehow, everything happens concurrently. The same applies to space. Everything happens at the same place. (However, “happens” is probably another word we can’t use to describe eternity.)

I’ve heard preachers talk about a “time” in eternity past. Again, that doesn’t make sense, and “past” is one of those words that is off-limits. (For the remainder of this article, I’ll just use italics and an asterisk (*) to denote any off-limits words.)

So, I think (to the extent that our tiny brains can understand it), eternity is some kind of a place * where * everything happens * concurrently * and at the same place *. Somehow, if you’re on the other side of the universe, and you’re needed right back here *, you just instantaneously * zap yourself back. If you do something incorrectly, you just do it again *, and it’s like you never did it incorrectly in the first place.

All we know for sure is that, in heaven, we will always * have God’s omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence, and we will never sin again *.

Differing Opinions among Christians

September 22nd, 2022

How should we respond when another Christian has a difference of opinion as to what is right, or what is wrong; what to do, or not to do; or where to go, or not to go?  The apostle Paul had to face that question in the early Roman church, and he answers it in Romans 14.



The United States is a Christian Nation

September 9th, 2022

Did you know that the Unites States is legally a Christian nation?  On February 29th, 1892, the Supreme Court declared (in Holy Trinity v the United States) that the historical record of America overwhelmingly demonstrated that the United States “… is a Christian nation.”

For more info, please see this article:  Supreme Court Declares America Christian.

The Climate / Tax Bill

August 5th, 2022

I love Larry Kudlow, but I have a beef with him.  He has been disparaging about the “Inflation Reduction” bill, and today Kyrsten Sinema even removed what Kudlow called the worst part of the bill –  a provision raising taxes on “carried interest,” or profits that go to executives of private equity firms.

Yet, Kudlow continues to lament the addition of 87,000 IRS agents.  In my view, this is the only part of the bill that could conceivably pay for itself by catching tax cheaters.  Since I report all of my income; take the standard deduction; and, pay all of my taxes, I say, “Let’s go for it.”  The only people who wouldn’t want this are people who cheat on their taxes.

My remaining beef with this bill:  It should be called the “Climate / Tax Bill.”

Risk of Death vs. Sure Death

July 15th, 2022

Since the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the pro-death crowd is now complaining about the “risk” of death to mothers who may now have unsafe abortions.  How does that compare to the sure death of their aborted children?

Biden’s Numbers Games

July 13th, 2022

Today, it was announced that inflation is accelerating.  The annual rate of inflation was 8.6% in May, and it was 9.1% in June.

Among many reporters today, President Biden was asked about all of the Democrats recently abandoning him.  His response was that 92% of Democrats say that they would vote for him in 2024.  He didn’t cite the poll, but let’s assume that that’s true.

The latest Gallup poll for 2022 showed that 47% consider themselves (or lean toward) the Republican party, and 42% are Democrats, leaving 11% as Independents.  Well, 92% of the 42% of Democrats amounts to only  38% of the population.  Even if half of the Independents were to vote for Biden (which polls show is not likely), that still shows that Biden would get beat in a landslide: 56% to 44%.

BTW, President Biden blames everybody but himself for the 9.1% inflation rate, calling it “Putin’s Price Hike.”  If inflation were to ever come down, I wonder if he would call it “Putin’s Price Cut.”

Why God Allows Sin (Against the Innocent)

July 10th, 2022

Why does God allow innocent children be sexually abused?

Thank you for your question. This is a difficult subject–why God allows such bad things to happen. I believe that the simplistic answer is because of sin. Adam and Eve chose to sin, and all of the rest of us choose to sin also, by our own freewill. Sin introduces much evil into the world, and God still allows each of us the privilege of exercising our own freewill.

However, I think that it’s helpful to consider that the Bible tells us to be joyful even when bad things happen. James 1:2 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” In 2 Corinthians 7:4, Paul said, “In all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.” The Bible tells us that bad things happen for three specific purposes: in order to accomplish God’s master plan; to give us perseverance; and, to provide us with heavenly rewards.

God’s Master Plan

When Paul was persecuted and imprisoned for the cause of Christ, he wrote the prison epistles. In Philippians 1:12, he said, “Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.” Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Being so close to the physical circumstances around us prevents us from seeing the big picture. God’s master plan may include some steps where we have to endure some negative circumstances before the next positive step of God’s plan can be accomplished, either for us or for others. Perhaps the reason that we can’t see the forest is simply because we’re not omnipotent like God. We simply have to trust Him, which is indeed the heart of the gospel message (John 3:16).


In James 1:3-4, we are told that, “The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Verse 12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

John 16:20-24 says, “You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So, with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”

Heavenly Rewards

In Luke 16:19-31, Christ tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus. It’s a disturbing story of the rich man spending eternity in hell while the poor man Lazarus spends eternity in Heaven. In verse 25, Abraham told the rich man, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.”

This is also the message presented to us in the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12, culminating in Christ’s summary, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

I hope this help.



The Temptations of Christ

June 14th, 2022

‘And the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil’ Matthew 4. Owen, this seems a very strange thing to do?

Thank you for your question. Yes, this does seem somewhat strange.

These temptations were a necessary part of Christ’s earthly ministry. They constituted an attack by Satan against Jesus’ human nature–temptations that would have overcome any normal man. However, Jesus was no ordinary man. As the virgin-born God-man, His divine nature could not sin (1 Samuel 15:29), and this held his human nature in check. This does not mean that the impeccability of Christ denies the reality of Satan’s temptations. Satan’s rebellion against God has already been defeated in Christ’s atonement, but his rebellion is still real, even though the outcome of God’s victory is certain. The same is true for the temptation of Christ. The temptations were real, although the outcome was certain. In a demonstration of spirit and power, Jesus overcame the tempter, showing that He is the One who enables us to overcome temptation as well.

I hope this helps.



The Tabernacle of Moses

May 7th, 2022

How are the articles of the Tabernacle related to God’s plan for man or the lives of believers?  Thank you for your assistance.

Many Bible scholars place a lot of significance upon the symbolism of the tabernacle and the furniture in it. Basically, the tabernacle symbolizes the Messiah, but I think that we have to be careful about how much symbolism we apply to the articles in the temple. This is because the New Testament does not offer a lot of information to confirm some of the symbols that some see. (For example, some have claimed that the four pillars of the tabernacle symbolize the four gospels of the New Testament, but I think this is a stretch.) Hebrews 8:5 tells us that the Tabernacle was modeled on a heavenly pattern (Hebrews 8:5), and he used it to give meaning to the priesthood and the atoning work of Christ (Hebrews 9:9), but without excessive symbolism.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the particular furniture and materials used in construction of the tabernacle may have been chose, at least in part, by culture, necessity, and availability, and they had purpose and significance to the Jewish people even aside from their symbolic meanings. Still, I believe that the following symbolism is quite obvious:

The ark is the throne of God–the visible sign of His presence (1 Samuel 4:7). Jesus Christ, who “tabernacled” (John 1:14) among men to make God present and known.

The table of shewbread (“bread of the face of the Lord”) suggests the constant (fresh) dedication of the 12 tribes to divine service, indicating that they were always before the face of the Lord. I believe that this can also be applied to us as Christian believers today.

The lampstand was the only source of light for the holy place, indicating that God is the ultimate Source of Light. There was no provision in the holy place for natural light, just as there is no need for light in heaven other than the light of God (Revelation 21:23). This gives meaning to the claim of Jesus to be the Light of the World and to His challenge to believers to allow their light to shine (Matthew 5:16). This is further understood Revelation 1:12-20 where the seven churches of Asia are represented by seven lampstands, with Christ standing in their midst.

The altar of incense symbolizes the ascending prayers of men to God.

The bronze altar, with its many sacrifices, symbolizes atonement and reconciliation, and it points to the ultimate, all-sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The laver, used for washing, signifies the necessity of purity, cleansing, and confession (1 John 1:9) in our approach to God.

The desire of man to draw near to God and God’s willingness to be approached are clearly visible in the furniture of the Tabernacle.

I hope this helps.