Design of the Week 04/30/08 – Pop Quiz

April 30, 2008 at 10:16 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

This week’s design incorporates a method of evangelism into it. It will hopefully set up a witnessing encounter through the questions that it asks. The questions come from Way of the Master. WOTM is a method of evangelizing the lost using God’s law.

 

You may have just read that and said to yourself, “God’s law?” Yep. God’s law. The method is really simple. You start out talking to the person and connecting with them. Then, you swing the conversation to spiritual things. You might ask them about churches in the area. You might ask them what they think happens when someone dies. You might ask them if they’ve had a Christian background. Once you’ve gotten the spiritual into the conversation, you ask them if they would consider themselves to be a good person. Almost everyone that I’ve asked has said yes. Then go through some of the Commandments with them. Have they ever told a lie? What do you call someone who tells lies? (A Liar). Have they ever stolen something? A person who steals things is called? (A Thief). Have they every taken God’s Name in vain? (Blasphemy). Have they ever hated someone? (Murder according to the New Testament – 1 John 3:15). Have they ever looked at someone with sexual desire? (Adultery according to Jesus – Matthew 5:28). Then you recap what you’ve just done. If they said yes to all the above, then they are lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterous, murders; by their own admission. That last part is important. You haven’t done anything except show them what God’s Law says about their condition. Many times, it won’t be easy to get them to admit something. You’ll have people try to explain things away or get you off track. Just keep taking them through the commandments.

 

If they are constantly justifying themselves and will not be honest with you, then they are not ready for the gospel. I know that that may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true. The Bible says that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6/1 Peter 5:5). If they are willing to admit that they’re a sinner, then ask them if they’d be innocent or guilty if God judged them by this standard (He will…). If they say guilty, then ask them if they would go to heaven or hell. If they’re honest, they’ll say hell. Then ask them if that concerns them. It should, and they should know that it concerns you too (it should). If they have come to this point, then they are ready to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and the wonderful sacrifice that He made for them. They are ready to hear how Jesus paid the fine for their sins so that they don’t have to. Ask them if they understand what you’ve said to them and make sure that it makes sense. Ask/remind them what they need to do for salvation (repent and trust Jesus). Then encourage them to do that as soon as possible. If they want to pray, then go ahead and pray, but it’s not necessary for you to lead them in the “sinner’s prayer”. If they’re truly repentant, they will be able to say what’s on their heart. Then you can pray after them. Make sure that they have a bible at home and encourage them to read it daily.

 

Much more information about this can be found at www.wayofthemaster.com and www.livingwaters.com. You can also hear this in action through Way of the Master Radio (www.wayofthemasterradio.com).

Go?

April 28, 2008 at 11:12 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As I look at America’s Christian landscape, I am often surprised at what I see compared to what I hope to see. I hope to see our country returning to its Christian roots, being lead by strong Christian men and women. What I see is men and women professing to be Christians and then leading those who are truly looking for Jesus away from Him. I see men and women in positions of authority shaping a “God” to suit themselves, a sort of “golden calf” Jesus that amazingly agrees with everything that they say and do.

 

Evangelism has changed much over the last 100 years. It used to be that when the evangelist came to town, you heard about fire and brimstone, hell, sin, and judgment. You heard about how death was waiting for you and that if you died without the redeeming blood of Christ, you would end up tormented for eternity. That’s how it used to be… now, you very rarely hear about hell, sin, or judgment when the scriptures are preached.

 

One thing that I have been seeing a lot of since I became a Christian (and something that continues to grow daily it seems) is the effort by churches across the country to “reach out” to the lost. You’re probably saying, “Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?” Yes, that’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s not my point though. A lot of the “reaching out” has nothing to do with “reaching”. I see more “Christian events” now than I ever have, but is that “reaching out”? I am entirely frustrated by the modern idea of evangelism. Many church leaders and laymen seem to think that if you have an “event” that is held by a church and sing songs about Jesus and put on dramas with Christian themes that that’s “reaching out”. They seem to think that people will pick up on the “vibe” and become Christians by osmosis.

 

“Hang out with us and you can be Jesus’ best bud!”

 

That may be a little rough, but that’s the basic idea behind many of the events that I’ve seen. There are some that make sure that the gospel is heard, including some “big name” Christian entertainers. But, they seem to be fewer and farther in between. Instead we try to get the lost to come to us by enticing them with Nintendo Wiis and other worldly stuff. We appeal to their sense of greed and covetousness, believing that they’ll forget about that when they get to the event and “hear the gospel” (it makes me sick to write that in quotes…blah). Then, we dress up the event in the most “cutting edge” styles of entertainment the world has to offer. We “rock out” for Jesus in the hopes that just one soul will come to Christ. I mean it’s worth all of the money and time that we spend if just one soul comes to Christ right? Isn’t that the mentality of today? “If just one soul comes to know God…” That makes me sick too because it’s used as a cop out for the lack of true evangelism. Let’s say you have a two-hour “Christian event” coming up. Now, let’s look at some common scenarios:

 

#1) The event starts with fun and games. It has prizes and, throughout the event, there are announcements as to the “amazing” and “awesome” things that will be given away. There is Christian music blaring in the background and everyone is laughing and having a good time. At the appointed time, the games are stopped, the crowd is gathered, and the people are shown a drama or two and some other common youth ministry efforts. The people then hear the gospel for about 5 minutes and told that if they just “ask Jesus into their heart”, everything will be ok and they will go to heaven. After those five minutes are up, the people are herded to the main event, after which they leave and are never seen again. If “just one soul comes to Christ”, was that worth it? Was that effective evangelism?

 

#2) A Christian event is advertised to take place once a month. It is known to be a “rock out” type of event where there are hundreds of people who stand shoulder to shoulder dancing and singing and jumping and shouting. After about an hour and a half, the plea is made for funds to help the ministry continue and then the “preaching segment” is started. In this segment, the guest preacher stands up and delivers their view of scripture. Their manners and method of delivery make the presentation an emotional event that stirs up the heart and gets people “connected” to the preacher. The truth of the gospel is never preached. Instead, it’s replaced with a “gospel lite” about how those who are hurting and broken can “be free” (with John 8:36 often quoted). The “congregation” hears about how they can come to the front and be prayed over to receive healing, freedom, and even a “fresh anointing” of the Holy Spirit. Is this effective evangelism?

 

#3) A church hosts one day a month where they give away food to those who are less fortunate. They structure it in a way so that while those who are there for food wait for their order, others come in and minister to them. They may or may not hear the gospel. They may or may not get seen to. Some of them may “accept Christ”. They will all get food and have their physical needs satisfied. Is this effective evangelism?

 

These scenarios are not the only ones that take place. There are good things that happen at each, but are they effective evangelism? There are many others, but all of the ones that I’ve seen have some common issues and some that are specific to that scenario.

 

The first thing that all of these scenarios have in common is the direction people are going in and who’s doing the moving. In the modern church, the church makes the effort to draw people to them. It is the lost that are doing the moving in the direction of the church. This is one of the main problems of modern evangelism. In Matthew 28 and Mark 16 Jesus says to His disciples that they are to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. It is Jesus’ followers that should be the ones moving. They should be making the effort to go to the lost and preach the gospel. Sadly, much of the church isn’t doing either. They aren’t going to the lost, they’re trying to get the lost to come to them! It’s like the churches want the lost to see the wonderful building that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on and to hear the amazing sound system that they have in their sanctuary. It is almost as if they think that the lost have to come to the church because that’s where the presence of God is…Not only is that not true, not only is it not scriptural, it seems awfully arrogant to me. As Christians, we have the promise of eternal life given to us and we are commanded to go and tell others about it!

 

The second problem with those scenarios is the fact that the gospel is not being preached. The truth of the gospel isn’t just the “love” of Jesus. I put love in quotes because many pastors and other Christians don’t seem to understand the love of Jesus anymore. The gospel is not about the “love” of Jesus alone. It is about the fact that God the Son was willing (before the foundation of the earth!) to come down and die for the world that we might be reconciled to Him. It is the fact that our sin separates us from God and we can do nothing to cleanse ourselves. It is the fact that salvation comes through Christ and Him alone and not any other belief system. It is the fact that without Christ, our sins will cause us to spend eternity in hell. It is the fact that we can be forgiven of sin if we repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ. THAT’S the gospel! That’s not what’s being preached though. Instead, many churches are preaching another gospel. They may preach the prosperity gospel about how “God wants you blessed”. They may preach the “love gospel” where that’s all God is and there is no judgment or justice or fear of consequence for our actions. They may preach about how we all have a “God-shaped hole in our hearts that only Jesus can fill”. None of those are the gospel! We were commanded to preach THE gospel not A gospel. Paul says that any man or angel (Muslims) that preaches a gospel other than the one he preached (the one that Jesus preached); they are to be accursed! That word accursed is anathema in the Greek and means banned or excommunicated! Paul is saying that if anyone preaches a false gospel, they are to be banned or excommunicated, and yet how many preachers, pastors, evangelists and teachers are preaching a false gospel? Can we really be surprised at the lack of response? Can we call this effective evangelism? I don’t think so…

 

We have adopted a wrong attitude toward evangelism. We try to lure the lost in with worldly things and then wonder why they aren’t impressed. If we happen to see one person saved, we can’t understand why they are back into a life of sin a couple months down the road. This happens because we aren’t preaching the truth. We are making them comfortable and tickling their ears. We are telling them what they want to hear or what we want them to believe instead of telling them the truth. We aren’t going out into the world and preaching anymore. We’re trying to get the lost to come to us. If we adopt a biblical understanding of sin and hell, and then preach that to the lost, we would see more than “just one soul” when we go. If we truly care about the fates of the souls of the lost, then we will stop playing around with the lives of others and spend our time going and preaching THE gospel!

 

No newslinks today…

April 25, 2008 at 9:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , ,

This past week has been really busy and I have company this weekend so I haven’t been able to get the feature up or finish the news links. I will be back on schedule Monday though! Thank you to all of you who read this blog and I pray that you help me Get The Word Out!

Mike

America’s Greatest Need

April 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In light of the presidential race and the focus on America, I’ve been hearing a lot about what America needs. Issues like jobs, the economy, tax reform, the environment, and abortion are all over the news with each candidate putting their spin on the issue in hopes of gaining the most votes and the presidency. All of this got me thinking about something…

What is America’s greatest need? Is it one of the issues listed above or is it something else? In the church, there might be a somewhat different response (although many churches today seem to be caught up in the same social issues that the world is). With spring comes buds on the trees and beautiful flowers, but spring also heralds the season of revival for many denominations. From now until the fall churches across the nation will be holding weeklong revivals in an effort to stir up the hearts of God’s people. There will be fiery sermons and exhortations. There will be songs of praise and worship. All of this will be done in an effort to please God and to “get Him to move” in the lives and cities where His people dwell.

But, is this America’s greatest need? Do we need revival? Should the body of Christ spend a week at a time clamoring for God’s attention, emotionally and spiritually whipping themselves into a frenzy? Should they put off everything else to spend an entire week of nights in the building called a “church” hearing a sermon that they may or may not remember a month from now? Is revival really America’s greatest need?

I don’t think so. I have nothing against revivals and have heard some wonderful sermons preached during these events, but that’s all they are: events. I don’t think that America’s greatest need is revival and I think that the church needs to realize that as well. In the book Downpour, author James MacDonald says what should be common sense to the church and yet seems to be ignored so many times. He says “to be revived, you have to be vived in the first place”. For revival to take place, those who profess to be Christians have to be “vived” to begin with. Sadly, that’s not the case. There are many in churches across the country living in sin (many openly) and no one is saying anything about it. There are people (including pastors!) committing adultery and they just keep on preaching “the Word”. There are people lying, stealing, cheating, and lusting after others and they are all professing to be Christians!

I don’t think that America’s greatest need is revival. You may disagree with me, but America’s greatest need is repentance. America needs to repent before we can ever be revived. So many talk about God bringing revival to the land, but many of those same people haven’t repented. We want our country to be free from the plagues that we face from every side, and we cry out for revival but to no avail. Why? Because we need to repent.

I’m not talking to the pagans and heathens either. I’m talking to the “Christians”! I’m talking to all of those pastors who are preaching a different gospel whether it is the “prosperity” gospel, the “feel good” gospel, the “you are god” gospel, the “social gospel” or any gospel other than the one that Jesus preached. REPENT! I’m talking to those “Christians” who think that they can live in adultery or sexual immorality and no one will know. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those youth who are sexually active or secretly pregnant. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those “men of God” who spend hours on the Internet looking at pornography. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those women who smile all pretty and talk sweet to people’s faces and then turn around and talk about them like nobody’s business. REPENT! I’m talking to all of the “Christian” men who need to be husbands to their wives, leaders in their houses, and examples to their children. REPENT! I’m talking to all of the women who profess to be Christians and have no problem at all killing the child that’s inside of them. REPENT! I’m talking to all of those “Christians” who claim that they can live a homosexual lifestyle and still be obedient to God. REPENT!

Is it any wonder why our country is in the shape that it’s in? We sit back and allow the world to fill our heads with lies about everything (and we believe it!). We chase the world and it’s ways in an effort to be “relevant” so that we can “reach out to the lost”. We spend all of our time and money on entertainment and events and the things that are “popular” in the world’s culture to draw people into the church, even though we know that Jesus said that we were to GO into the world! Our children run rampant (I’m talking about the ones from “Christian” families), they get into just as much trouble (if not more because they think they’re immune), and they are just as sexually active as those in the world. The divorce rate in the church is just as high as that of the world, even though we have scriptures that tell us how much God hates divorce and how it’s a permanent covenant that “no man” should separate.

Many will read this and say that the answer is 2 Chronicles 7:14:

2 Chron. 7:13-14:”If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

My first post was on the event last year called “The Call”. In almost a year since The Call, I’ve looked back to see very little impact from that event. The verse from 2 Chronicles was used extensively during the pre-Call time as well as during The Call itself. But is that really what happened? Is that what’s happening now? I wonder if those who profess to be God’s children really know how to do what’s quoted? First, do they know if they are His? If they’re living a life of sin, they are not His. Do they know how to humble themselves? I have seen a lot of false humility in the body of Christ lately. Many act like they are humble and contrite, but they don’t live it out. Do they know how to pray? I’m not talking about shouting to the heavens so that God might hear you better, and I’m not talking about rocking back and forth speaking in tongues. I’m talking about praying, spending time with God talking to Him, and interceding according to the truth of His Word. Do they know how to seek His face? From the looks of the modern church they don’t. They seek His hand or they seek His Name but they don’t seek His face. They look for “the blessing” and they talk about how they are glorifying God but they lack the substance that should accompany their efforts. Do they turn from their wicked ways? I can say with confidence that the answer is NO. They don’t turn from their wicked ways; they look to twist scripture to justify them. They seek for “loopholes” in scripture that they can make use of to suit themselves and lead others astray. They turn a blind eye to the truth of God for their own lives but seem to be quick to point out the troubles in the lives of others.

If none of what’s in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is happening, is it any wonder why God can’t hear us? Is it any wonder that our land isn’t being healed?

As I said above, I believe that the thing that America needs most is repentance. Those who profess to belong to Christ and follow Him need to actually start doing so. They need to stop living out “their best life now” or living Christianity out their own way and start living the Christian life the way that scripture says to live it. We are called to be holy. We are called to be set apart and different than the world. We are called to be a royal priesthood. If God were to treat us like He did the priests in the Old Testament, He would consume us with fire (Lev. 10) or have the earth swallow us up (Num. 16) because of our disobedience!

I can’t help but wonder something else as I write this. Why would we not want to repent? Ultimately, I know why. Think about it though. We have been given the greatest gift ever given! We have been given freedom from our sins and reconciliation to God! Not only that, but we have been offered the chance to be used by God to share that gift with others by telling them the truth of the gospel! Why are we not doing this? Why don’t we repent? Why aren’t we be rushing to God to ask for forgiveness, aligning our lives with His Word, and then doing everything that we can to go out and preach the gospel to the lost? Are we that happy with living our lives in the flesh? Are we so proud of ourselves and our accomplishments that we would rather rest on those than in the Savior of our souls?

What is our problem?!?!?!

To be honest, our problem is the same one we had in the garden. A friend of mine and I were talking about the Fall. She made a good point about Eve eating the fruit. In Genesis 3, when Satan questions God’s Word to man, Eve replies that she can’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or touch it or they would die. God only said that they couldn’t eat it. So, when Eve allows herself to be carried away and enticed by her own lusts (James 1:13-15), she reaches for the fruit. When she takes the fruit and it doesn’t kill her, she may have thought, “Well, I didn’t die then…”

THAT’S what’s happening today too. We sin against God and it doesn’t kill us on the spot so we delude ourselves into thinking that it’s ok. We begin to feel comfortable with that sin so we commit another one. That one doesn’t kill us either and in time, we are ok with it too. Eventually, we are miles away from God, but we are comfortable with it because we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we’re still His, still doing His will, and nothing is wrong. I mean, if it were really as bad as it sounds, God would have done something about it by now right? I bet the Amorites said the same thing, until Israel came out of Egypt millions strong and decimated them…

Our greatest need here in America (and from the sounds of it everywhere else too) is not revival. It’s repentance. We need to truly repent of our sins and trust in Jesus. We need to live out our lives according to the way He has said. We need to study to show ourselves approved and to equip ourselves to do every good work. We HAVE to do this if we want to see America restored!

America, it’s time to repent!

Newslinks 04/18/08

April 18, 2008 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by

 

At Ease Tees

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041002.html

Report Reveals Komen Gave Over $700 Thousand to Planned Parenthood in One Year

According to a recent report from STOPP, various organizations affiliated with the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation gave over seven hundred thousand dollars to Planned Parenthood between April of 2005 and April of 2006. The report also expresses some surprise at the Foundation supporting PP due to the fact that both abortion and chemical contraception have been linked to breast cancer. For a foundation “dedicated to ending breast cancer” it seems a least a little odd that they would support things like abortion and chemical contraception. If they are truly against breast cancer, then shouldn’t they also be against those things that cause breast cancer? Why couldn’t that $700 thousand dollars have gone to the hospitals and other people that are actually trying to find cures for breast cancer?

_______________________________________________________

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041003.html

Police Apologize After Driver of Truck with Graphic Abortion Images Ordered to Leave Town

In an incident that came close to mimicking an event from last November, a Truth Truck from Operation Rescue was forced out of the city because of the graphic images it displays of the victims of abortion. A Sgt. of the Olathe Police Department told the driver of the truck that he either had to “leave the city, cover it up, or be charged”. He was further told that if he were charged, the truck would probably be impounded. When the police chief found out about the incident, she put the Sgt. on administrative leave and personally apologized to both the driver and Troy Newman of Operation Rescue. She has also stated that she will be seeing to it that the officers of her department know what is protected under the first amendment and what isn’t. While this sounds like another case of a police officer who took the law into his own hands, I don’t know that for sure. What I do know is that the chief took the right action. I applaud the police chief for recognizing the truth of the situation and making immediate restitution to both the driver and Operation Rescue. I also am encouraged by the measures that she is planning to take to make sure that her officers know how better to handle a situation like this in the future!

_______________________________________________________

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041007.html

Clinton Strengthens Homosexual, Anti-religious Links with Endorsement by Elton John

During a “party for a good friend”, Elton John spent time railing on Christianity and religion as a whole and promoting homosexuality. He gave a benefit concert for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on April 9th during which he stated that he believes Hillary trails in the polls because of America’s “hatred for women”. He also stated that he believes that “religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people” but “there are so many Christian people I know who are gay and love their religion”. If John had his way, he would ban religion completely because organized religion turns people into “hateful lemmings”. For someone who claims to be a Methodist, Mrs. Clinton is doing all that she can to prove otherwise. To have someone like Elton John endorse your campaign shows her true colors, regardless about what she says about her “faith”. It’s just another example of the doublespeak going on in both Democratic camps. They both talk about “faith” and how it strengthens them, but it’s not the Christian faith. If it truly were, they wouldn’t support many (if not most) of the things that they do. Elton John has tried to blame religion for the plight of the gay community. I wonder if he realizes that God’s wrath would be on anyone who is gay even if every Christian alive supported homosexuality? The standard for right and wrong is not set by man but by God. Any time we go against that standard, we are wrong, whether we think that it’s ok or not. There are many times in scripture where we see man doing something that was “right in his own eyes”. John also talks about the many Christians who are gay and “love their religion”. I hate to break it to you Elton; they may love their religion and even call themselves Christians, but it’s not the Christianity of the bible. It is a form of idolatry that comes from creating a “God” in their own image that likes the things that they like and hates the things they hate. As I’ve said many times before, God makes it very clear in both the OT and the NT that he sees homosexuality as an abomination. This judgment is from God and not His followers…John says that he would ban religion because it “doesn’t seem to work”, but I wonder if he’s actually tried real Christianity?

Related Articles:

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200804/POL20080415a.html

FEC Asked to Investigate Fundraising Concert for Hillary Clinton

_______________________________________________________

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200804/CUL20080411b.html

‘Spanking’ Bill Is Government Intrusion, Conservatives Warn

A bill against spanking was put to vote on the 15th (as of now, I don’t know that it passed but seeing how there wasn’t a huge uproar I would assume that it didn’t…). The bill would identify parents as child abusers for using things like a stick, a rod, a switch, an electrical cord, an extension cord, a belt, a broom, or a shoe to discipline their children. The parents guilty of breaking this law would be subject to jail terms, “nonparental violence classes”, and could even be ordered by the court to stay away from the child. Those against the bill say that it is unnecessary because California already defines child abuse as a crime. They say that the bill is aimed at good parents who discipline their child occasionally and equates discipline with abuse. I’ve already written on this, but I think that it’s ideas like this that have helped put America where we are today. I think that children need MORE discipline. They have somehow become the leaders of families. They have been allowed to get away with murder (literally in some cases) by parents and government officials who don’t seem to understand the importance of discipline or who need something to fight for. I will be the first to say that I whoop my daughter and I use my hand. I haven’t seen the necessity to use a stick or anything else, but I wouldn’t be against using one if I felt it was necessary. I am not ashamed to say this because of what it’s done for my daughter. She is a well-mannered, respectful young woman who knows where the line is and what will happen when she crosses it. I don’t threaten her and I don’t “beat” her. I don’t have to. She knows that I’m serious about it, but she also knows why I do it. If my disciplining my child so that she respects authority and understands that there are consequences for her actions is abuse then call me an “abuser”. Looking at where our country is, there need to be a lot more “abusers” taking the time to teach their kids the truth instead of caving in to their every whim, letting them run the show, and giving our country a generation of kids who have no concern for how what they do affects others.

_______________________________________________________

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=75547

New Mexico commission orders $6,000 fine for Christian beliefs

Elaine and John Huguenin, the couple that refused to photograph a lesbian couple’s “commitment ceremony” has been ordered by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission (NMHRC) to pay $6000 dollars in costs. They have appealed the decision and are awaiting the results. The Alliance Defense Fund, who defended the Huguenins, says that laws like this are being used as weapons against Christians in businesses and even in their churches to silence biblical beliefs. As also noted in the article, this squelches the right of free speech that the Huguenins have. They don’t lose any of their rights when they open a business and should be allowed to express their religious beliefs as they see fit in regards to that business. There is no reason that the “couple” couldn’t find someone else who would do it. It just seems like another attack by those in the homosexual community on the one group of people who seem consistent in their opinion of the gay lifestyle.

_______________________________________________________

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=75585

Could the apostasy be upon us?

This is a column written by Steve Gallagher. In it he asks a very simple question. Is the apostasy here? He uses the movie “Time Changer” as an example. In the movie, a man from the late 1800’s is transported into present day America. He is then a witness to what is going on for five days. He sees the things that we have come to take for granted as they are and openly expresses disgust and revulsion at those things. In one instance, he is invited by other Christians to go see a movie and ends up running out of the theater because the actor took God’s name in vain and blasphemed! None of this seems to phase us anymore. We watch television and movies that contain blasphemy and filthy language, scantily clad women and men (unless they’re on prime time then they’re nude…), and situations that are openly against scripture and what we say we believe in. Mr. Gallagher asks some questions that I think we all should consider:

Why aren’t we more outraged when we hear actors take the Lord’s name in vain?
How can we look upon scantily clad girls on television without blushing?
Why do we permit TV to indoctrinate our children with the world’s values?

I think that Christians in America need to answer those questions because it will give us an idea of where our heart truly is…

_______________________________________________________

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200804/NAT20080414b.html

Students Urged to Focus on Their ‘Carbon Footprints’

As National Environmental Education Week comes to a close, it’s interesting to see what our K-12 students spent time learning about. It seems that the kids learned about their “carbon footprint” and their impact on our environment. They spent the week studying how much carbon dioxide they are emitting when they travel, eat (insert your own joke here), when they are at home, when they use something, and when they throw something away. All of this was done in order to help us reach a “sustainable society” according the spokesperson Alexandra Cousteau. Why are we having kids do this? This is an example of why our kids are behind in school. We give them silly weeklong things to do to try and “educate” them instead of focusing on stuff they really need to learn. Was it necessary to have “EE Week”? Could it not have been done at home? Is teaching kids about their “carbon footprint” really going to help them or even stick with them? I know that this may seem crass and all, but how big do environmentalists think that the “carbon footprint” of 9/11 was? That’s how silly all of this is to me. I am all for us taking care of the Earth. God says that we are to be stewards of it. But when doing so becomes an idol and takes away from other, more important things, then it’s gone too far. Sadly, many Christians are jumping on the “go green” bandwagon and are concerned about their “carbon footprint”. Instead of teaching kids about their carbon footprint, why don’t we teach them to follow in the footprints of Christ? Why don’t we spend time to show them how He walked, why He walked, and the result that it had on individuals and entire nations? That will help them a whole lot more than teaching them how much gas they emit…

_______________________________________________________

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080414/31933.htm

Obama, Clinton Face Deep Questions on God, Bible

Both of the Democratic candidates for president spent time this past Sunday fielding questions on faith and their beliefs.

Hillary Clinton was asked questions like:

1) Why does God allow people to suffer?

2) Does God want you to be president?

3) When do you believe life begins? And,

4) What or who do you depend on to do what is morally right?

Mrs. Clinton’s responses were:

1) “I don’t know. I can’t wait to ask Him”. (applause from the crowd). She also said that whatever reason suffering exists, it is a “call to action”.

2) “I don’t presume anything about God” (she then said that she tries to put her faith into action to help others everyday).

3) She believes the “potential” for life begins at conception, and noted that her denomination the United Methodist Church has struggled with this issue. But she contends that it’s not only about potential life, but the other lives involved and the government does not have the authority to make the decision on whether a mother should keep her child.

4) Mrs. Clinton said that her decision-making processes are rooted in prayer, contemplation, study, and advice from others, which is needed because she does not know the answers to many of the questions.

 

Mr. Obama’s questions were:

 

1) Does God intervene in history and punish or reward nations?

2) The second question was one about abortion that I don’t have…

3) Did God create the world in six 24 hour days?

4) The last question was one about his reaction to growing up in Muslim dominated Indonesia.

Mr. Obama’s responses were:

1) He believes that God does intervenes, but the concept is “too mysterious” for him to grasp. He said all he can do is try his best to be an instrument to do God’s will and apply what he believes is the core value – to be his brothers’ and sisters’ keeper – then he is moving God’s agenda forward, even though he doesn’t know what the “master plan” is.

2) He believes ( “absolutely”) that pro-choice and pro-life supporters can find common ground. He said pro-choice people must acknowledge there is a moral ground in the debate and that it is a heart-wrenching choice. Secondly, both sides must admit there can be people of “goodwill” that exist on both sides of the issue on abortion. He believes that ultimately it is up to the woman, her doctor, and her family to decide.

3) he does not believe that the universe was created in 24 hour day periods although he believes the Bible’s creation story is “fundamentally” true. He also added that he believes in evolution and that it is not incompatible with the Christian faith. Rather, as he knows more about science it strengthens his faith.

4) As a result of his experience, he says most Muslims are goodwilled, trying to raise their kids the best they can.

The commentators of the forum brought up how much the Democrats have tried to broaden their view and how evangelical Christians are looking deeper into social issues like Darfu, the environment, poverty, and AIDS.

Again I’m amazed at how carelessly and easily people will throw around Christian terms in order to get their way. The statements made by both candidates are both scary and insightful. They are scary because they don’t line up with scripture and are still believed by many to be biblical responses. They are insightful because anyone who spends the time in the Word that they should be will be able to see that what comes out of the mouths of the candidates gives us a truer picture of what they stand for. I would like to respond to the same questions posed to both candidates from what I know of scripture.

1) Why does God allow people to suffer?God allows people to suffer for many reasons. There are a few things that we need to understand first though. One, there is no one on the planet that is innocent or inherently good. We are born into sin and if left to our own devices will do evil. Much of the suffering of man comes from one main cause: SIN. It was Adam’s sin in the garden that caused us to be in the condition we are currently in. We are not where we are because of God’s doing. It was Adam’s choice. The fact that God allows us to suffer could be for many reasons including the testing of our faith, our rebellion to His Word, to get our attention…all of this are perfectly legitimate for God.

 

2) Does God want you to be president?

While I know what my opinion is, that’s all that it is. If God deems fit to put Hillary Clinton in as president, then that’s what He’ll do. I personally would see it as a punishment from God, but as I said before, that’s my opinion…

3) When do you believe life begins?

Life begins at conception. If we were to go by scripture, then it could start before that. God says that He knows us before we are born. If we are just a blob of tissue, then we have no identity. For us to be known by God, we have to have life…

4) What or who do you depend on to do what is morally right?

I depend on God and Him alone because I know that He is the only One that has the truth. If I were to depend on man or myself or “following my heart” I would find myself deep in darkness and sin.

1) Does God intervene in history and punish or reward nations?

This should be a question that anyone with any semblance of the Christian faith should know the answer to. From just a cursory glance of the Old Testament it should be clear that this is the case. There is absolutely no mystery about it. It also tells of the promise that God made that those who bless Israel would be blessed, and those who curse Israel would be cursed. It should be a warning for our nation…

2) The second question was one about abortion that I don’t have…

Without the question, I can’t give my own answer, but I will say that to say that there are “people of goodwill” on both sides of the issue seems ludicrous to me. This is about killing human beings legally. There are those that are for it and those that are against it. Which ones seem to bear goodwill?

3) Did God create the world in six 24 hour days?

Again, this should be a no-brainer. The fact that evolutionary thinking has permeated our culture makes this more difficult that it should be. The Bible says that God created the earth and everything in it in 6 24 hour days. Where’s the difficulty? The plainest reading of the Bible is the true one and there is no indication that this account of creation is anything but historical. To say that evolution is compatible with Christianity is to lack understanding about one or both. Evolution says that the sun came first, that plants came after the sun, and that man is at the very end of the timescale of the universe. The Bible says that the earth came before the sun, plants came before the sun, and man was created in the image of God at the beginning of a much shorter span of time. It can’t be both ways…

4) The last question was one about his reaction to growing up in Muslim dominated Indonesia.

This one I really can’t comment on other than to say that I hear what many Muslims say and see what they do and the two don’t line up…

The Christian faith isn’t about social issues, it’s about sin and judgment. It’s about the fact that man chose to disobey God and do things his own way. It’s about how God has every right to send each and everyone of us to hell and instead, He came down here to die in our place so that we might be restored to Him. That’s the Christian faith and anything else is weak at best and heresy at worst…

Related Articles:

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=76013

Obama shares beliefs about Islam and evolution

_______________________________________________________

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=75835

Minnesota allows Islamic school to operate on taxpayer monies

A school in suburban St. Paul serves Islamic permissible (halal) food, it students spent time performing various Muslim rituals, and are required to learn Arabic as a second language. The students study Islam and the buses don’t leave the schools until the Islamic studies are over. All of this is being funded by taxpayer dollars. Those against the school and it’s taxpayer funding say that the Minnesota department of Education is being PC about everything and giving liberties to the Islamic school that would never be allowed to Christians or Jews. The school also does not fly the American flag (it’s required by state law) because the school’s executive director says that he cannot operate the flagpole. I couldn’t help but laugh at that last part for two reasons. One, it’s got to be the lamest excuse that I’ve heard in a while for why someone can’t do something. Two, if it’s really true, then I am seriously concerned for the kids are learning! As stated, if this were a Christian school being funded with taxpayer dollars, the ACLU would be all over it and clamoring about “separation of church and state”. Seeing as how this school is not promoting Christian ideals (even though it’s a church) it is ok. I wonder if anyone knows what type of Islam the school adheres to? If they are giving a strict adherence to the Quran, then St. Paul could be the staging ground for terrorism…

_______________________________________________________

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08041501.html

“Truth Booth” Shows Fetal Development in Ohio Mall

Mall kiosks in Toledo and Cleveland are showing people the development of a fetus from 7 weeks until birth through 4-D ultrasound images. The kiosks also have booklets explaining the events. The kiosks are unmanned so that people “can debate the issue for themselves” and “just wander up to look at the images without being pressured”. A “truth booth” in New Jersey was unmanned but is now staffed in order to protect it from vandalism. I think that this is a great idea. Giving people education about life in the womb will definitely help to reach people. I only wish that the ones in Ohio were manned. I know that anti-abortionist can be “in your face” and there are many times and many issues when I feel that Christians need to be that way. The problem with not having someone there, at least to me, is this: What if you have a young pregnant girl who is considering having an abortion? She sees the video and that may be enough, but what if it’s not? What if she’s needs some biblical instruction? What if she needs encouraging? What if she needs to be saved? These are opportunities that are being missed by not having people there to man the kiosks…

_______________________________________________________

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=76434

Deterioration of families now a ‘legitimate gov’t concern,’ says activist

According to a study released by four different groups, divorce and out-of-wedlock births are costing the US $112 billion dollars annually. The report says that the most accepted reason for “family fragmentation” is poverty. The study looked at a lot of factors including the increased ease of getting a divorce that started in the 1970s. The study only gives information on how families have been affected by divorce and OOW births but doesn’t give any solutions. Those involved in the study say that Americans need to “band together” to find solutions for the problems and strengthen marriages and families. They also say that lawmakers should set aside money for marriage strengthening programs. NOW it’s a legitimate concern? After how many years? Sheesh. This study is one of many that shows the crumbling of America’s foundation because of one overwhelming event that continues to happen. The people who ran the study say that we need to “band together” to strengthen marriages and families by letting the government develop programs. That’s a load of rubbish. Look at the many government programs we have now that don’t work at all! What America needs is the same thing that it’s needed for a long time. We need to return to the Judeo-Christian beliefs found in scripture! They say that we need to find ways to strengthen families and marriages. How do we do that? By understanding that a marriage consists of a covenant made by one man and one woman for life! This would immediately cut down on the number of problems that we have. Then, we can look in scripture and see that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). If God hates it, then we should too! After that, we could add the fact that sexual immorality, adultery, homosexuality, and fornication are sins and should be repented of and thrust from our nation. We could also add the fact that men are supposed to love their wives like Christ loves the church and give themselves for her. And that wives are supposed to respect their husbands (Eph. 5:22-33). These are the reasons that it is costing us this much money, and we are having so many hurt and families are being torn apart. We don’t need another government program. What we need is for Christians to start living like God has called us to and for our nation to return to it’s Christian roots. If we do that, then many things in this nation will turn around…

Design of the Week – Shell Game

April 16, 2008 at 9:49 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The featured design for this week is one that comes from my interest in magic. I have enjoyed watching magicians since I can remember. As I grew up, I took up sleight of hand. Recently, this has come to include historic con games like Three Card Monte, Fast and Loose, and The Shell Game.

 

In the shell game, the object is to choose the one shell (out of three) that hides the pea. If you are right, then you win (if you’re playing for money, then you win money), but if you’re wrong, you lose. Many of those who run the game use singsong poetry to draw people into playing.

 

Unfortunately, there seem to be many “Christians” today that are playing the shell game. Some of them are the ones running the game and some of them are the ones playing. Often, if the shell game is played on the streets, there are more people involved in the con than most people realize. It’s the same way in the church. Those running the game use others as “heavies” to push and persuade those playing to gamble. Those playing have no idea what’s really going on and play in hopes of winning. What they may not realize is that the stakes are ultimately their soul. Those running the game are showing them Jesus and then hiding Him under the shell of religion. That shell is then moved around with the others in dazzling patterns. The people playing the game feel that it’s easy to find where Jesus is, but when they pick a shell, they come away with nothing. They have been told something about Jesus that isn’t true and when they choose what they think is right and find that the shell is empty, they become hardened toward anyone that tells them about Jesus and may not receive the gospel.

 

The sad thing is that the people playing the game are the only ones that lose. Those running the game lose too. By teaching false doctrine, they are guilty of mocking the character of God and His Son. They are teaching people to build idols and compromising the truth in the name of religion. They are more concerned about the number of people playing than they are about the souls of the players. They tickle the ears of the players with singsong sermons and “relevant” teaching, lulling the players into believing that they’re truly saved. The scriptures say that these preachers bring “swift destruction on themselves” (2 Peter 2:1).

 

It’s time that those that present the gospel (whether you’re a preacher or not) do so in a way that glorifies God. We need to stop playing church, stop hiding Jesus, and start telling people the truth. It is the only way that we will see God’s mercy in our lives and our nation!

Jesus has left the building

April 14, 2008 at 10:42 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I don’t watch American Idol (gasp!!). I may be one of the eight or so people that don’t. I don’t have any desire to watch it. But I do hear about what happens on the show from time to time. What they did last week was blasphemous but typical of much of the programming that’s on TV today.

Last week was the “Idol gives back” week. They had all of their events and special guests to help them raise money for those in need (some of the money goes to support abortion too…). The theme for the week was “inspiration” and the remaining idols were to pick a song that inspires them. Much of the music selected was the “I’m ok, you’re ok, we’re all ok and we feel good” stuff. One idol sang about how we’re all “innocent” (that’s not true according to scripture!). The entire show was spent talking about how we could help those in need and we can lift man out of poverty, with absolutely nothing about God. Then for the big finale, they decided to sing, “Shout to the Lord“. You may be saying, “Well, what’s wrong with that? Aren’t you a Christian? Shouldn’t that be encouraging to you?” Yes. It should be encouraging, but it wasn’t. There was something different about the song than I remember it. They changed some of the lyrics and even removed a few lines. What did they change? Here is the first few lines of “Shout to the Lord” from American Idol:

My shepherd, my savior

Lord there is none like you

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of your mighty love

As you read that, if you know the lyrics, you’ll see something is missing. Well, not something, Someone. Here are the original lyrics:

My Jesus, my Savior

Lord there is none like you

All of my days, I want to praise

The wonders of your mighty love

They took Jesus out of the song! Why? Why is it His Name that offends people so much? Now, they did sing it again with the correct lyrics, but this entire scenario got me to thinking. People talk about God all the time, although they rarely mean the God of the Bible. Even among Christians, when God is talked about, it is often not the God of the Bible. It is an image of God that they have created for themselves.

In a way, I’m not surprised that this happened on American Idol. The show has absolutely nothing of Christianity in it. That’s made clear by how the “judges” treat those who sing a song that actually has Christian value. What does surprise me is that in churches across America today, Jesus has left the building. A number of churches (many of them either “seeker sensitive” or “emergent”) are removing the cross from their churches. The reason it’s being removed is that they are concerned that it might offend someone!! That’s what scripture says it’s supposed to do!! The cross is offensive to those that don’t believe! It shows them that they are sinners and that they are responsible for the death of the one truly innocent man. By removing the cross and other things that might be offensive to the non-Christians, you are starting down a slippery slope. Not having a physical cross is debatable, but the physical cross isn’t the only thing that has been removed. I’ve spoken on this before and it continues to grow in popularity in churches across the nation. Pastors and leadership in our churches continue to remove Jesus from every aspect of “church”. They no longer talk about the cross. They’ve stopped talking about sin, judgment, and hell. They have removed the power of God for salvation. They have not just removed the “offensive” cross; they’ve begun to remove everything that MIGHT be offensive to someone. In the end, they have made “church” more of a club or social gathering instead of what it’s supposed to be.

Because they’ve removed the cross, because they’ve stopped talking about sin, judgment, and hell, because they no longer say anything that might offend someone they’ve had to replace it with something else. Without the cross and the truth of eternal damnation, they have had to build a completely different religion based on a “God” that doesn’t exist and preaching a message that lulls people into a false sense of security with nothing but twisted scriptures and platitudes holding their belief system together. This is how the modern gospel started. We rarely hear about the real gospel anymore. Instead, we hear about how God loves us. We hear about how He wants to dote on us and would never harm one of His kids. We hear about how He wants us to “prosper” and bless our socks off. Really? He does? All of this “new” gospel is not new at all. It’s the same thing that Satan’s been using from the beginning to tempt people and lead them away from God. How many poor Christians do you know? How many believers are struggling with finances? Are they all in that position because they don’t have enough faith or because they are “out of God’s will”? Or is there something more to it?

Not only have preachers begun preaching something other than the cross, they’ve mixed the tenets of other religions in with the Christian faith to make a religion suitable for themselves. Some have added things like yoga and Eastern mysticism to their beliefs. They are adding Eastern meditation to their daily routine. This method of meditation causes you to “empty your mind”. That’s not scriptural, but many are doing it. Others have added “New Age” beliefs to Christianity. They are talking about “God-consciousness” or “Christ-consciousness”. They are talking about how we all have “God” in us. How we can achieve “synchronicity” with “God” and be on the same level with “Him”. We have removed the fear of God from our preaching and our way of life. We have moved away from the truth of the Word of God and into a big melting pot of lies, trying to mold a golden calf that we feel comfortable worshipping without any conviction about doing wrong or having our sins weigh on us to the point that we cry out to the true God for forgiveness and repent.

The body of Christ exists ultimately to tell others the truth of what’s to come. We are supposed to be telling others about how Jesus is coming back to judge the world in righteousness and how if they are caught in their sins they will find themselves in hell. We are to tell them how they are storing up the wrath of God for the Day of Judgment and that they will have to stand before Him and give an account for every idle word they’ve spoken (Matt. 12:36). They will have no excuse for their disbelief and will not be able to just “talk to God about it”. By the time they stand before God, it will be too late. We are supposed to be telling them that they are not promised tomorrow and that the only way that they can know they will go to heaven is to recognize that they are a sinner, repent of those sins, and put their complete faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Sadly, we’re not telling people this. We’re not redeeming our time like we should be. We are spending days and weeks with people, laughing and joking, but we don’t tell them the truth that they need. They could die tomorrow and we would be guilty of comforting someone straight into hell. Their blood will be on our hands. What will you say to God for all the souls that you didn’t tell the truth of the gospel and are now in hell because they died without Christ?

If we are truly Christians, then we will stop trying to build bigger churches, run programs, and spend our time and money entertaining people. If we’re truly Christians, we’ll take that time and money and invest it into the lives of men, women, and children that need the truth of the gospel. We’ll put it into ministries that are helping others instead of doing our own thing. We’ll start to make the impact on their lives that Christ has made on ours. We’ll start being Christians…

Your thoughts?

Newslinks 04/11/08

April 11, 2008 at 12:19 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=74825

Georgia lawmakers escalate fight for water

 

As a drought continues to affect life in Georgia, lawmakers there have pushed a bid for the northern border of Georgia to be moved up, allowing the state access to the Tennessee river and much needed water. The Georgian House and Senate both passed a bill that would move the northern border of the state 1.1 miles north. This move would allow Georgia to tap into the Tennessee River and get water to pipe to Atlanta and other cities. There are also measures in place to file a lawsuit to force the issue if the negotiations fail. Supporters of the action say that they must “reassert our rightful claim to the border territories and the water of our shared Tennessee River”. Many are beginning to question the move and have begun to express concern for the measure. I hate it for Georgia. I know that the drought has been affecting them badly, but I don’t think that this is the answer. Tennessee’s border has been “off” for 200 years and no one felt the need to “reassert their claim” until now. This method of trying to answer the problem they’re having is shady and lowball. I see nothing but trouble for Georgia if they continue to push this tactic. The state sits next to the Atlantic Ocean. I wonder what would happen if they put as much energy into getting and purifying water from there as they are trying to change the border and steal water from the Tennessee River? No one doubts that they are facing troubles, but they need to stop trying play political games and have some common sense about this. It may be time for the leaders in the state to turn their eyes toward heaven and pray to God, which they should have been doing all along. God withheld rain from Israel for 3 ½ years by the word of the prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17-18) because of the sin that the leaders were not only allowing but also promoting. Could this be the reason for the drought? I don’t know, but I pray that if it is, someone has the guts to stand up and do something about it…

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=74821

52 girls removed from Texas compound

 

By the end of the day Friday, 18 of the 52 girls taken into custody from the religious retreat owned by polygamist Warren Jeffs were put into state custody.  The girls ranged in age from six months to seventeen years old. The event occurred when a sixteen-year-old girl from the compound complained of physical abuse. Those put into state custody were the ones believed to have been abused or in risk of being abused. The event started on Thursday night when police searched the compound. They returned with a search warrant looking for records of the 16 year old giving birth and being married to a 50-year-old man. Those listed on the warrant were not named, but they were not found as of Friday night either. The religious retreat is on a 1700-acre former exotic game ranch. It belongs to the 150 members of the FLDS church who split from LDS church when the latter renounced polygamy in 1890. First, I hadn’t realized that the LDS church had renounced polygamy. Second, what were they thinking? While polygamy takes place in the Bible, God never condones it. From the beginning God made one man for one woman. Period. There are 150 people on this 1700-acre ranch and no one is concerned? This 16-year-old girl has been physically abused and supposedly married to a 50-year-old man. What is the deal?  This is a sad example of people making God into whatever they want and not following what He’s made clear. I pray that those girls are placed into homes where they will be raised as Christians and be taught who God really is…

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=74789

Ultrasound making in-roads in pro-life arena; So. Dakota latest to join

 

There are now 12 states that give a woman seeking an abortion the ability to see an ultrasound and hear a heartbeat (if possible) before going through with the procedure. South Dakota passed into legislation a bill making it a requirement for abortion facilities to show the ultrasound and listen for a heartbeat before going through with the procedure. The other 11 states that have this requirement are: Mississippi, Idaho, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Louisiana. I see this as a wonderful thing! I hope that this movement gets more and more support from other states as well. This is the right thing to do. If these women see the baby and hear its heartbeat, they are much less likely to want an abortion. This doesn’t solve the problem of teen pregnancy nor does it address those who kill their children because they are “unwanted”, but it is a start in the right direction. The church needs to stand up and support these issues loudly. They also need to be looking for ways to offer biblical guidance and counsel for those in this situation. They also need to be more pro-active in teaching abstinence and fidelity.

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=/Politics/archive/200804/POL20080404b.html

Congressmen Waffle on Dr. King’s ‘Moral Law’ View

 

The Cybercast News Service recently asked some congressmen what they thought of the statement Dr. Martin Luther King made in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. In the letter, King states, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law”. He also said that he agrees with Augustine and Thomas Aquinas that an ‘unjust law is no law at all’ and an ‘unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law’. When asked about whether he agreed or disagreed with the statement, Senator John Kerry said that he believed that morality was relative and that we all have the right to make individual decisions about our laws because that’s ‘what the Founding Fathers essentially did’. Republican Danny Davis said that he agrees with the statement and believes that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, so if we find something unjust, we have to change it”. He said that he believes that our laws should reflect God’s moral law, and that if something is immoral, then it certainly cannot be just. However, when asked if laws allowing same-sex “marriage” and abortion were immoral and should be disobeyed, he, too, said that morality was relative. THESE are the men that are helping to lead our nation? Senator Kerry says that he believes that we all have the right to make individual decisions about our laws. Ok, then next year, I decide not to pay taxes to the government. Let’s see how that goes over! To try and pull the Founding Fathers in as support for this is ridiculous. Our Founding Fathers overwhelmingly made it clear that our country was/is built on Judeo-Christian beliefs, including those based on God’s moral law. To say otherwise is to deny the history of our country. Congressman Davis says basically the same thing. He tries to throw in words about God and morality. He talks about if something is immoral, than it certainly cannot be just, but then goes on to say that morality is relative! How is that possible? If morality is relative, then nothing is unjust because, while it may not be morally correct for you, I may find it to be ok. And that’s what is happening in our nation today!!!! Our leaders are living their lives and guiding this nation down the path that states that “all things are relative” and at the same time calling for some semblance of morality because of the gross depravity of America. You can’t have it both ways! If you want “all things to be relative” then you will have anarchy and no ability to enforce laws because they’re all relative. If you want morality and justice, then you need to have absolute laws that are based on morality. To find those laws, you have to look in the Bible. There is no other religion or belief system that can supply morally sound laws that will provide justice to our nation. But, I have a hard time seeing this happen in Congress because it would mean that many of them would be jailed for doing immoral things! Our Founding Fathers knew what they were doing when they built this nation on the moral laws found in the scriptures. If our country is to ever see some semblance of hope and morality again, it will HAVE to come from our return to God and His standards!

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080407/31833.htm

Unchurched Prefer Cathedrals Over Contemporary Church Buildings

 

In a poll taken by LifeWay Research, a majority of unchurched people preferred the Gothic looking style of older churches and cathedrals to the modern looking churches that are being built. The study showed that this preference was almost 2-to-1 and was very high among the younger (ages 25-34) unchurched people. One person even said that modern churches look “cold”. The survey was conducted recently and considered unchurched people those who had not gone to church in the past six months except for holidays or special events. To me, this just reeks of one of the problems of modern Christianity. We spend so much time and effort building “appealing” buildings for nothing. All the modern looking, “high-tech” stuff just doesn’t mean anything to many people. Something else that strikes me as odd, but totally on par with modern Christianity, is the fact that this survey was asking unchurched people what they liked about church. This is the “seeker sensitive” movement in action! We ask non-Christians what they want out of church and then give it to them. I wonder how much money has been spent to get the church looking “just right” so that it will somehow “draw people in”. It’s like they have the “Field of Dreams” mindset. How about spending that money where it will actually help the “unchurched”. Spend the money on getting the truth of the gospel to them! Not just on Sunday morning or Wednesday night, but all the time! Not with “outreach events” or special “rock out, wild and ‘holy’” services. I’m talking about teaching the congregations to reach the lost with the truth of the gospel so that they don’t go to hell. THIS is what we should be spending money on, but unfortunately, the church seems to be so busy chasing the world and its fads that it doesn’t seem to care that hundreds and thousands of people are getting tossed to the curb. I can’t help but wonder if the people taking the survey actually tried to witness to the people they talked to…

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080407/31829.htm

Black Baptist Leaders Call for Religious Tolerance for Presidential Hopefuls

 

The leaders of the three largest African American Baptist churches in America have stated that the personal faith, church attended, and pastors associated with shouldn’t affect how Americans vote for presidential candidates. They say that by using these attributes to determine our vote is to infringe upon their religious freedom. They also condemned the media for bringing the presidential candidates’ faith into the spotlight. They said, “Where Sens. Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Barak Obama or any other candidate worships, how they interpret sacred Scripture, who they listen to preach the Good News of the Gospel, and their choice of denominational affiliation should not be at issue.”  I don’t see how this makes any sense. If they are truly people of faith (whether that faith is Christian or atheist – professed or otherwise), that faith is going to determine their decisions. If they are atheists, their atheistic views will color their decisions on the direction of the country that I live in. That DEFINITELY means something to me when I vote. Being a Christian, I’m not going to vote for people that are actively opposed to the morals and truth that I hold dear, even if they profess to be Christians. Not only that, if they are connected to someone who makes comments that are outrageous and offensive and don’t line up with the truth that I hold to, I would be apprehensive about voting for that person. Proverbs tells me that the companion of fools will suffer and that when I associate with people, they will affect me. Second, to say that I can’t vote for someone based on their religious beliefs is to infringe on my rights as an American. To have something like this come from those who lead churches just astounds me. These are men that are supposed to look at the Word as inerrant, infallible, and perfect. The Word is holy and is the first and final authority. They are the ones that are supposed to be leading others to the cross and teaching them the Word. What are they doing? To say that Christians shouldn’t look at whom presidential candidates associate with or how they interpret scripture (!!!!) is to ask the Christian to leave their beliefs at the door when they go to vote.

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08040712.html

Focus on the Family Adapts Programming Due to Canadian Sexual Orientation “Hate Crime” Laws

 

Because of a Canadian law that added sexual orientation to its list of groups protected from “hate crime speech”, Focus on the Family has been editing its programs before being broadcast to the Canadian listeners.  The Canadian Human Rights Commission, an rabid pro-homosexual group, has used this law to remove anyone who would speak out against homosexuality. Pastors have been fired for writing letters to the editor that promote the Christian view of homosexuality. Those who have refused to print pro-homosexual material have been fired also. A Bishop was taken before the council for speaking out against homosexuality, and a Catholic Magazine is also under scrutiny. Is this what America has to look forward to if the pro-homosexual agenda gets its way? They are already attacking anything that is openly against their views. They send death threats to those who speak out against them. They whine to lawmakers about the “unfair” treatment they receive and then use that same kind of treatment on Christians. America needs to take a good hard look at those nations who have no moral standard. Many of the European nations are like this. They have no standards and it shows. Look at the UK. They started out as a God fearing nation, and now, their church attendance is down to maybe 14%. They are passing laws that make absolutely no sense. Canada is the same way. They have very little moral thread to go by and it shows in who is allowed to do what with free reign. America has been an example to other nations for years. If we are to remain an example, then it’s high time we started obeying the moral laws that God laid down and live out our lives as examples of the truth of scripture!

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/apr/08040711.html

Blasphemous Works Removed from Atheist’s Exhibition in Vienna Cathedral Museum

 

As Marxist and self proclaimed atheist Alfred Hrdlicka recently celebrated his 80th birthday, his homoerotic portrayal of “The Last Supper” as a homosexual orgy was exhibited in a museum connected with the Catholic Church. The museum’s curator said that he saw no blasphemy in depicting Christ as a homosexual. In response to the flood of calls and expressions of outrage, the museum removed the offensive artwork. The office of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said that the removal has nothing to do with censorship, but with “reverence for the sacred”. The office also said, “It is also an act of respect towards those believers who feel this portrayal offended and provoked them in their deepest religious sensitivity.” I know that I’m not the only one who is flabbergasted by this, but I have to wonder what those in leadership in Vienna were thinking. They haven’t really spoken out against the artwork. Instead they’ve just mildly placated those who take their faith and their Savior seriously. The fact that it was even allowed in the first place leads me to wonder what kind of view they have of Christ. The man who painted the works is an atheist, so why were they shown in a Catholic museum? I’m sure they didn’t just keep everything covered and hang it up and then unveil it, so they had to have seen the disgusting images beforehand. Were they not offended? Were they not disgusted? Obviously not. Instead, having seen the works, they still decided to show them to the public. How deep is their “religious sensitivity” if they can go through all of that and still be ok with it? What kind of Jesus have they created that would allow them to have no conviction against hanging up artwork that portrays the Son of God as a homosexual? They obviously do not follow the Jesus of scripture. If they did, then this repulsive work would never have been considered in the first place. If they did, they would have honestly and truthfully apologized for allowing it to even be shown at all. What is Jesus to them if they will do something like this? This just boggles my mind…

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=74807

PTC applauds NBC for returning to ‘family hour’

 

The Parents Television Council recently applauded NBC for determining to promote the “family hour” from 8:00-9:00 PM each night. They have given a partial list of the programs that will be available at this time, including Chuck, Biggest Loser, Knight Rider, and Deal or No Deal. The PTC applauds NBC for recognizing the growing hunger for family-friendly programming and movies. The PTC believes that NBC’s profits will increase during the family friendly hour. Are any of the programs listed actually family friendly? Do they promote family values and moral tenets that we desperately need in this country? I don’t think they do. When I think of family friendly stuff, I think of “Andy Griffith” and “The Cosby Show”. I think of things that had no cussing, no gratuitous sex or violence and were good for kids to watch. I would love to see variety shows return as well. Things like Red Skelton had. I love the older programs. Some of them were a little risqué but they weren’t near what is available for kids to watch now. The things that are on “prime time” and “family hour” nowadays weren’t on until after the 11:00 o’clock news when I was growing up…

 

 

Related Articles:

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=75173

Obscured nudity during TV’s ‘family hour’ draws complaint

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200804/CUL20080410a.html

Glass Particles in the Sky Studied As ‘Global Warming’ Fix

 

Government scientists are looking at sending glass particles into the upper atmosphere in order to “dampen” the effects of global warming. Others say that while it’s an interesting idea, it could cause more harm than good. The glass microspheres would be shot into the sky in hopes that they would contain some of the carbon dioxide and reflect some of the sunlight that is believed to cause global warming. Leave it to the government to spend thousands (if not millions) of dollars to find an answer to a problem that we don’t have. It’s fascinating to me how many people will trust science just because they have explained how some things work. Science is very rarely sure of anything. Instead of spending money on the global warming “phenomenon” that doesn’t exist, how about we put that money toward other things that will actually help our nation?

__________________________________________________________________

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=75399

Obama, Clinton to headline forum on ‘pressing moral issues’

 

The group Faith in Public Life (FPL) is sponsoring “The Compassion Forum” this Sunday on CNN. During the forum, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will each have 40 minutes to speak about a myriad of topics including poverty, AIDS, global warming, abortion, and others. The director of FPL says that she hopes that the discussions about abortion will get “beyond the divisiveness and get to work”. She says that from what she’s heard from both Senators attending the forum is that they would like to see a lot less abortions. According to the director, the issues that many younger evangelicals are getting fired up about are climate change, poverty and global AIDS. I guess that means that I’m not one of the young evangelicals…its funny how people can hear the same words and come away with different meanings. The director says that she sees that both Senators want fewer abortions. I don’t see that at all. I see the opposite. The fact that they support abortion at all should say something. The issues that our country should really be worried about are the moral ones. Climate change isn’t what’s important, but it seems that many younger Christians are “going green”. Abortion is the murder of children and should be condemned and outlawed across the board. The moral decay of our society is much more important than whether or not the temperature is going up or down a few degrees. The things that our country needs to worry about are being pushed under the rug and more popular issues with “flash” are taking their place. We need to get our priorities straight or it’s not really going to matter whether or not the climate changes. If America continues on the path that it currently walks, God’s judgment of this nation is going to make climate change look insignificant…

 

Design of the Week 04/09/08 – Bald Guys

April 9, 2008 at 9:42 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s feature came from the story of Elisha in 2 Kings 2:23-24. In this passage, Elisha has just performed a miracle for the city of Jericho. The land of the city was unfruitful and the water was unpalatable. The people of Jericho came to Elisha and asked him to do something for them. Elisha then took a new jar full of salt and threw it into the spring waters. He then declared that the Lord had purified the water and that there would no longer be death or unfruitfulness.

 

He then went to Bethel. On the way there, a number of young men (more than 42) came out and, seeing Elisha, made fun of him. They taunted him saying, “Go up you baldhead! Go up you baldhead!” When he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord and went on his way. Then, two female bears came out from the woods and killed (tore up!) 42 of the young men.

 

Whenever I read this, I think of the lack of respect that many young people have for those who are older than they are. Many of the youth have been led to a place where they don’t want to listen to those who have already been where they are. They would rather mock, tease, and taunt their elders. They take no interest in the advice and wisdom that these men and women may have. Instead, they look to their friends and peers to give them advice that they use to make decisions on. I’m reminded of the blind leading the blind…

 

I’m not going to throw all of this on the youth though. There are many adults and elders that don’t get any respect because they haven’t earned it. Many adults think that just because they’re older or because their in ministries or positions of leadership in the church, they have the right to tell others what they should do. This is especially apparent in youth ministries. There are many today who seem to think that because they are the youth pastor or involved with youth ministry that they can just speak into the lives of the youth. They lead how they want, teach what they want, and try to command the youth. They expect total and unwavering obedience from the youth without question. For one, that’s unheard of. Two, that’s not scriptural. If those youth are saved, then they are brothers and sisters in Christ and need to be seen that way. You need to earn their respect. You can’t demand it from them. Well, you can, but you won’t get it and you won’t have the connection that you need to truly speak to them. If they’re not saved, then commanding them to be obedient to something that they don’t understand is just going to turn them away from Christ…

 

Those in the younger generations need to have respect for their elders because they’ve been there. They have faced a lot of things that youth face and can give scriptural advice that will keep them from making mistakes. Those in the older generations need to see the youth for who they are. They need to remember that they were young and dumb once and that the youth need leaders who are actually concerned about them and are doing everything that they can to help them live a life that glorifies God. We need to take care of our youth and teach them to understand and apply scripture to their lives so that when we’re gone, the body of Christ will continue to grow and flourish.

Divided We Stand?

April 7, 2008 at 9:18 am | Posted in Christianity | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In the body of Christ today there are many denominations of churches. There are Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of Christ, Calvinists, Nazarene, Seventh Day Adventist, Non-Denominational, and Interdenominational churches. Within these denominations there are further splits. For instance, in the Baptist denomination, you have the Baptists, Southern Baptists, Missionary Baptists and others. In the Methodist denomination you have the Methodists, United Methodists, First United Methodists, etc. There are many other denominations that I haven’t even listed!

 

Why all the denominations? What is the need for them? What is their purpose? Are they helping the body of Christ? Many of the denominations that started did so because someone disagreed with someone else about theology. This doesn’t mean that the disagreements were wrong. In fact, many of them are still being argued over today. But in the last few decades, many new denominations have arisen because people just want to do things their way. They try to be more “relevant” and culturally up to speed with the secular world. They have a theology that is very liberal and only loosely based on the Bible (if at all). Some of them even introduce ideas from other religions into their denomination!

 

Sadly, the large number of denominations in the body of Christ has been an excuse used by many for a reason not to become Christian. And, to some degree, I can see why. Which “denomination” has the correct truth? Is it the Catholic Church, which claims to have been the “Church” that was founded by Jesus in Matthew 16? Or is it the Lutheran Church, which came about because of Luther’s doctrinal and theological disagreements with the Catholic Church? What about the churches that say that the followers of their denomination are the only ones going to heaven? Do they have the “right” truth? The number of denominations in the body of Christ has been a major cause of grief for many outside the body. There are more and more people that are looking for the truth, but when they see this denomination’s truth and it contradicts that denomination’s truth, they not only turn their backs on both denominations, but they turn their backs on Christ as well. Because of the continued confusion for non-believers, many denominations have watched their attendance drop.

 

So, why are there so many denominations and what can we do about them? First, I’m not trying to knock any denominations. I know that there are scripturally sound churches in every denomination that treat the Word of God the way that it’s supposed to be treated. Sadly, these churches are becoming more and more scarce. I believe that the number of denominations is the direct result of the lack of understanding of God’s Word. I believe that as the body of Christ grew, instead of dealing with the disagreements according to what God said, the people involved handled it their own way and they either forced the disagreers out or they left on their own. Many, many churches today don’t teach God’s Word the way that He said it. They teach topical things that are “relevant”. The truth is, I don’t need “5 ways to a better job”, “3 steps to be spiritually fit”, or “30 days to a better sex life”. What I need is the truth of God, the way He said it. I need to understand what He said, in the context He said it, and I need to understand how to apply that to my life so that I become more like Him. Many today don’t do that though. They put themselves in authority over the Word and they change it to make it say what they want. Instead of letting the truth of the Word change them; they change the truth of the Word! They twist it and contort it so that it supports the point that they’re trying to make – and many in their congregations are clueless!

 

In Acts 17, Luke points out the Bereans because they listened to Paul’s preaching and then compared it to scripture “to see if it was so”. This isn’t happening in the majority of churches in the US! How do I know? Look at what’s being preached. Just looking at many of those who preach on TV, there is a great discrepancy between the “messages” given and the truth of the Word. It doesn’t matter if the message sounds good or they give a lot of scriptures to support it! If the scriptures don’t actually support what’s being said, then they made worthless. I have seen scripture notes of some pastors and have had the hardest time getting what was preached out of the scripture references listed. Why? Because they either don’t know how to study the Word, or they are trying to make scripture say what they want it to say instead of telling their congregations what God’s already said. My heart weighs heavy for these men and women. They call themselves shepherds but instead of leading people toward Christ they are leading them farther away.

 

But, why are there so many who don’t understand the truth of the Word? I believe that there are many reasons, but there are a few that stick out to me.

 

First, many don’t understand the truth because they spend their time looking for “deeper meanings”. I’ve had conversations with people who held to a doctrine that wasn’t scripturally sound and said that I didn’t see it because I wasn’t seeing the “deeper meaning”. We can’t be looking for a deeper meaning in scripture. I’m not saying that there aren’t any, but why don’t we work on reading and understanding the plain meaning first? If you read scripture and it says that God created in six 24-hour days, then that’s what it means! There’s no “deeper meaning” in that. That’s the plainest reading and that’s what was meant. I can’t help but think of the scripture “God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise”. People don’t need “deeper meanings”. The simple truth of God will change the life of the most hardened sinner, but WE’RE NOT GIVING IT TO THEM!

 

I believe that if every denomination were to turn back to the truth of the Word of God the way God said it, and stop trying to make it say what they want it to say, we would see a lot more things happen. First, we would see the denominations start to have a lot more in common than they did and the differences would be small indeed. Second, the body of Christ would be in a better position to do what it’s supposed to be doing because the energy being spent going against other denominations would be spent preaching God’s truth to the lost. We would see more people truly saved and changed instead of a large group of people who talk about being Christians but look nothing like what scripture says a Christian should. Our nation would change, as the secular world would be facing a united front of Christianity instead of a whole bunch of little pockets of Christians doing their own thing their own way. We would begin to see morality return to the nation, as those who claim to be Christian would actually be living it out and be examples for others.

I’m not trying to make a call for all Christians to become mimics of each other. God made us all with differences and we need to use those to our advantage. But, we need to have our lives based on the truth of the Word of God so that we rightly and honestly represent the risen Christ to a world that is in dire need of Him…

Next Page »


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: