Saturday’s News – 07/26/08

July 28, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

I know that it’s two days late, but I wasn’t able to get it up until now. I hope to have my regular Monday message up tomorrow! Thanks for understanding!

 

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080719/more-methodists-support-clergy-performing-gay-weddings.htm

More Methodists Support Clergy Performing Gay Weddings

 

The number of United Methodists that support “gay marriage” is growing. The Northeastern Jurisdiction Conference of the United Methodist Church have approved a resolution that expresses respect for Methodist clergy in California who perform “same-sex” marriage ceremonies calling it “a matter of Christian conscience, spiritual discernment and prophetic witnessing”. In April, the UMC struck down a measure that would have removed the ban on non-celibate gay pastors as well as the statement that “homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching”. In response to the legalization of “gay marriage” in California last month, many of the regional conferences have promoted measures that support “gay marriage”, encouraging pastors to support these “families”. The UMC Book of Discipline – the laws of the UMC – expressly forbids its churches or clergy from performing “same-sex” marriages. Those who disagree with the recent changes have called Methodists to be faithful to biblical teaching and have expressed concern at the continuing decline of membership in the UMC.

 

That whirring sound that you hear is, in fact, John Wesley spinning in his grave. Once again, another denomination has begun to dismantle the authority of God and to create a God in their own image. Those who support the pro-homosexual “Christians” in the UMC call it “a matter of Christian conscience, spiritual discernment and prophetic witnessing”. I disagree. It has nothing to do with Christian conscience. If it did, it wouldn’t be an issue to begin with. It is a matter of conscience, but it’s a poor one and more of an example of ignoring the conscience. As far as “spiritual discernment”, I again have to disagree, unless they mean a lack thereof. Spiritual discernment can only come from a right understanding of scripture and the application of that understanding. Spiritual discernment is about seeing what is happening around us and using the Word of God to determine if it’s right or wrong. As far as “prophetic witnessing”, while I’m not sure what they mean by the phrase, I think that this will be a witness to others. For something to be prophetic in relation to God, it has to spring from the truth of God. The growing support for homosexuality in the Church is a witness to those outside the church. It is not the witness that God is fallible like many would have people believe. If anything, it’s a witness to God’s patience. I also believe that it will be a witness of God’s judgment. The scriptures say that judgment will start in the house of God (1 Peter 4:17). I can help but fear for those who have deceived themselves and others into thinking that homosexuality isn’t a sin and that it’s ok. There will be a time when God will judge sin and that will include the church. This is just another instance of the tragedy of the modern message and the fault of the church in not holding true to the gospel…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080719/anglican-head-god-doesn-t-need-violent-protection.htm

Anglican Head: God Doesn’t Need Violent Protection

 

The Archbishop of Cantebury has decided that God doesn’t need to be protected by human violence. Last fall, a group of 138 Muslims wrote a letter called “A Common Word Between Us and You” as a call for interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians. In his response to the letter, Rowan Williams cited John 19:36 where Jesus tells Pontius Pilate that His kingdom “is not of this world” and “if it were, my servants would fight”. He also said that the “eternal God cannot need ‘protection’ by the tactics of human tactics”. He then went to the Quran (Al-Baqarah) 2:256 and stated that it shows that there is no compulsion in religion. He said that using violence to “compel religious allegiance” is really a way to “replace divine power with human power”. He called for renewing Christian-Muslim relations that would break the “current cycles of violence, to show the world that faith and faith alone can truly ground a commitment to peace”. The original letter was sent last October. In response to the letter, 300 “Christian leaders” responded positively and signed a return letter. Some of the signers of the response letter have since removed their signatures because they feel that the Muslim letter compromises the Christian faith. In October, on the anniversary of the release of the original letter, the Anglican Communion will hold a conference for Muslims and Christians to talk about practical ways to deepen mutual understanding.

 

Without wanting to sound mean, it seems that every time Rowan Williams opens his mouth, he sticks his foot in it. I’ve already written a blog on the original letter so I won’t go into that much here. What it seems that Mr. Williams is trying to say is that Christians should just lie down and let the adherents of other religions walk all over them. Williams also talks about using violence to compel religious allegiance. Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t recall if I’ve ever heard any instance of Christians using violence to compel others to become Christians. I do recall having recently heard many stories about Muslims using violence to compel others to become Muslim. I have heard of Muslims killing Christian missionaries. I’ve heard of Christians being jailed for no good reason other than the fact they were Christians. The Christian-Muslim dialogue will not happen in the way that many people desire it for one simple reason. Muslims deny Christ as God. Without this foundational truth being equal, it will be impossible to have some kind of lasting dialogue. What I think that we need is for Christians to have a deeper understanding of the God that they claim to follow, the Word that He spoke (and the way that He spoke it), and the truth of what it mean to be a Christian.

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=186256

California court drops charges against home schoolers

 

According to lawyers for the homeschooling families in California, there has at least been a cease-fire. They have said that the case against those who homeschool in the state has been dismissed. The judicial analyst for Focus on the Family Action says that the family court has decided to dismiss the case because the state either didn’t want to pursue the families or understood that they couldn’t pursue the families. He says that there is still some concern that this isn’t a complete win because the uncertainties that brought the case about in the first place still exist. He says that the best thing would be for the state to enact a law that protects the parents’ rights to educate their children as they see fit.

 

I think that it’s sad that the rights of parents that homeschool their kids (most of whom are Christian) are being neglected. I think that this is a great step for homeschooling, but I would still be leery of the future. Just because it didn’t happen now doesn’t mean that this won’t come back up in the future. If our nation’s public schools would put the emphasis where it needs to be and actually teach our kids what they need to know, our children would be doing much better and so would our schools. Most of the time spent in schools now is devoted to passing standardized tests, which help determine how much money the school will get. That’s ridiculous. Our kids need to be educated so that they will help to restore our nation and continue to move it forward. I am glad that there are many who have realized the failure in our public schools (which is not a reflection on the teachers in the schools!) and have decided to homeschool their kids. It is a wonderful thing and I would recommend it to anyone who can do it!

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jul/08072207.html

South Dakota Law Goes Into Effect: Women Must be Told They Are “Terminating the Life of a Whole Separate, Unique Living Human Being”

 

A law passed in 2005 has now gone into effect in South Dakota. The law requires that all doctors performing abortions must inform the mothers that they are “terminating the life of a whole separate, unique living human being”. The mothers must also acknowledge in writing that they understand what they are doing. Planned Parenthood challenged the law and an injunction was set. That injunction has since expired. Aside from informing the mothers-to-be that they are taking the life of their child, the doctors must also tell the women that they are putting themselves at high risk for suicide and depression. On July 1st, another law took effect, which required doctors to ask if the woman wanted to see a sonogram of the baby. About 700 abortions are performed each year in South Dakota and while there are many other states that have informed consent laws, the one in SD is the only one that recognizes the child as another human life.

 

I applaud SD for their decision to stand by the truth and not allow the monstrosity that is Planned Parenthood try to bully them into backing down. Since this article was posted, I have heard that the last abortion clinic in SD has shut down because the doctors flying in to the clinic did not want to comply with the law. Shouldn’t that say something? Shouldn’t that tell you something about the doctors? Shouldn’t that say something for the truth of abortion? I hope that other states begin to update their laws to reflect the ones in SD and that our nation is purged of the sin and death that it has been privy to for so long!

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080723/grants-to-boost-recruitment-of-young-christians-to-ministry.htm

Grants to Boost Recruitment of Young Christians to Ministry

 

A recent announcement from the Fund for Theological Education (FTE) has said that it will be giving away grants to congregations that encourage young people to enter into the ministry. According to the announcement, the grants will range from $5,000 to $12,000 for 18 month long grass roots programs that foster a sense of Christian vocation and a call to the ministry. This is in response to the numbers that show that young people entering the ministry are on the decline. Those interested in the grants have up until Sept. 8th to apply for them.

 

Is anyone else saddened by this? I have to say that I’m not surprised though. Before the modern gospel took hold, pastors/preachers were actually men of God who took their calling seriously and understood that they were not dealing with ethereal ideas from a “doting daddy”. They understood the Word of God for what it was, the absolute truth given by a holy, just, and righteous God that will punish sin and send those who deny Christ to hell. The number of pastors/preachers actually continuing in that calling is falling as those who respect the Word are replaced by those who desire to play church and coddle sinners. They entertain their congregations with witty stories and comedy, preaching on the hottest topics of the day, all the while ignoring the fact that many of the people sitting in their pews (including many professing “Christians”) may die and go to hell before the day is over. They dance, sing, shout, holler, whoop, and carry on like idiots. They ride motorcycles in the church, show movie clips from films that have an “R” rating, and participate in antics that would make P.T. Barnum proud. They know very little about what it means to preach the gospel and even less about how to go about it. They have large congregations full of people who have tickled ears and stony hearts. They feel a sense of accomplishment because they’ve stood on a stage and played their part, not realizing that they are performing for a group of people who are just as accomplished at acting their own roles. It’s disgusting and it does not bode well for the future of our nation or of the church in America. Those who speak out for reform and repentance are seen as “stuffy”, “old-fashioned”, and “fundamental”. If pastors/preachers were doing what they were supposed to be doing, there would be no shortage of people entering into ministry. They would be raising up entire congregations of youth that are ready to proclaim the truth of the gospel to the world that needs it both by word and by deed. Instead, our churches are filled with thespians and “scholars” who spend more of their time receiving accolades and promoting false doctrine than they do investing in the youth in their sphere of influence. Is it any wonder why our kids are leaving the church in droves? They have no role models!

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080724/gay-bishop-dismisses-call-to-resign.htm

Gay Bishop Dismisses Call to Resign

 

The Archbishop of Sudan recently made a call for V. Gene Robinson to step down from his position and called for those who supported his consecration to repent. The Sudanese Archbishop said that Robinson’s actions violated the “norms of the Anglican Communion”. Because of Robinson’s ordination, 300 bishops have boycotted the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference. Robinson was not invited to attend Lambeth but has been at the University of Kent while the Conference is going on. Robinson said in his blog, “Those calling for my resignation seem to be under the impression that if Gene Robinson went away, that all would go back to being ‘like it was,’ whatever that was! Does ANYONE think that if I resigned, this issue would go away?! We are not going away, as much as some would like us to.” Robinson also said that many people “seem to forget” that he is not there representing himself alone, but that he “represents the diocese of New Hampshire”. He said that it is a privilege to “minister in Christ’s name with them”. He also said that calls for his resignation ignore the vows he made to his “flock”. Robinson will be attending “fringe” events where he will give his testimony. He said that it is an opportunity to “talk about my own life and journey in Christ in such a way that those who are listening will perceive that the God I know in my own life is the same God they know in THEIR lives”.

 

Mr. Robinson seems to be extremely confused on a lot of things. First and foremost is the identity of God. He says that his testimony as a gay bishop will help others see that the God he knows is the same God that they know. To do this, it would definitely have to be a “sell job”. All it takes is a cursory glance at scripture to see that homosexuality is a sin. To say that the “God” that he knows (who allows and approves of homosexuality) is the same God that I know (who condemns homosexuality as sin both in the Old and New Testaments) is a lie. They are not the same God. One is an idol created by someone who wants to live their life their way and still have all the “benefits” associated with being a Christian. He is compromising the truth of the Word and making himself an example of the same to others. He also seems to misunderstand the intentions of those calling for his resignation. They are not trying to get him or others practicing homosexuality to “go away”. They are trying to get them to understand that homosexuality is a sin and you cannot live in sin and be a Christian. There is no gray area there. If you are living a lifestyle that God says is a sin and knowing this continue to do so, then you are living in open defiance to God. Because of this, there is no possible way that Robinson could be ministering in Christ’s name. In Matthew 12:30, Jesus said that “whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me, scatters”. Gene Robinson is scattering his “flock” under the guise of a false image of Christ. He asked if the issue would change if he went away. No, it wouldn’t. But, if he resigned, it would allow communion to be restored with hundreds of bishops who have separated themselves because of the Anglican Church’s condoning of sin. He says that he represents the NH diocese. Is it unanimous? Does every single person in that diocese support his lifestyle and his actions? I doubt it. Gene Robinson has become a prideful man who has put his faith in a false image of the God of the Bible and has allowed that pride and faith to fester and grow, leading many people (either undiscerning or willingly) away from the only hope they have for salvation…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080724/brian-mclaren-challenges-anglicans-on-emerging-culture.htm

Brian McLaren Challenges Anglicans on Emerging Culture

 

Brian McLaren made a visit to the Anglican Lambeth Conference in order to speak “on behalf of the people who never show up in your church, … who are never part of your community, the multitude of people who have been created in the image of God, but who have never known the redeeming of the Spirit of God through the Good News of Jesus Christ”. He said that religion has orphaned “emerging” culture like materialism and technology and has failed to answer the multitude of questions raised by the “hurricane of change” in the modern world. McLaren also offered his view of evangelism in what he sees as three different worlds, pre-modern, modern, and emerging. He told those at Kent, “You might say that evangelism is almost non-existent because the Christian faith is, to be very frank, almost non-existent”. He also told the gathered bishops that they needed to get rid of “internal institutional maintenance” and focus on the “outward mission” of making disciples of all men. According to McLaren, this is the only hope for “saving the church from division, diversion, implosion, irrelevance and triviality”. He applauded the Anglican Church and said that they could be a great asset to the church if they would realize that they are “in a different place, different contexts and we have different challenges”. He also said that because of this, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. He encouraged Anglicans to become part of the post-modern, emerging world and change history. He said that the church needs to “re-discover” and “re-prioritize” our “outward mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus”, to “turn that mission into the good news of hope”, and to “stir up new and unimagined capacity”. He also challenged them by asking them whether newcomers would hear the “gospel of evacuation” or “Jesus’ Gospel the Gospel of the kingdom of God, the message that brings reconciliation, hope, transformation and engagement”. McLaren said that dealing with things like homosexuality should be done with a conscious effort to consider the challenges of the person in one place by a person in another place. The approach taken by those attending Lambeth is one of more conversation and less legislation so that they can “better understand” one another. The discussions will center on biblical authority, human sexuality, and Anglican identity.

 

I am fully convinced that Brian McLaren has absolutely no idea what it means to be a Christian and may not even understand what he is saying most of the time. First, I find it amusing that McLaren nominated himself to speak for the people that never show up in the church, those who need to know the “redeeming of the Spirit of God through the Good News of Jesus Christ”. I would personally say that if anyone has a right to speak for those who are at enmity with God it would be McLaren. He talks about the Good News of Jesus Christ and spends his entire “ministry” trying to water that Good News down and nullify everything that God has established through His Word. Can you have both? To say that religion has “orphaned” materialism is a lie. Look at the “prosperity preachers”. They haven’t orphaned materialism. Look at those who try to make evolution fit into Christianity. They don’t orphan materialism. Not only that, but he seems to completely miss the fact that throughout scripture God calls us to “orphan” materialism! We are to be separate from the world and its ways. So the very thing that McLaren rebukes the church for is the thing that it is supposed to be doing in obedience to God’s Word. He says that evangelism is almost non-existent (probably because saying that it is non-existent would be an absolute and we can’t know anything absolutely…) because “the Christian faith is almost non-existent”. Really? The Christian faith is almost non-existent? If this is true, then he should probably tell the millions of professing Christians that their faith is in vain. Why is he telling this to a group of Anglican Christians anyway? I will agree that there could be a lot more biblical evangelism going on, but to say that it’s non-existent is ridiculous. He said that the church should “ditch” “internal institutional maintenance” and focus on the “outward mission” of making disciples. Huh? Could it get any more wishy-washy or downright confusing? To tell the church, “don’t worry about doctrine or obedience to scripture, and definitely disregard any matters of church discipline” is just dumb. Saying that keeping the church in line with scripture and maintaining that consistent relationship with God’s Word is not important is to steal the identity of the church right out from under her! How well will the “outward mission” go if the church is not maintained? What would we be bringing the “newcomers” that McLaren represents into if we didn’t maintain the church? It would be chaos! The “only hope of saving the church from division, diversion, implosion, irrelevance, and triviality” is to get people like McLaren to stop spewing their atrocious anti-Christian diatribe and to get back to putting things right. He says that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the problems facing the church but then offers his own! Which is it? To be honest, there is a solution to all of the problems facing the church right now and it doesn’t matter what the “setting” is, where the problem is happening, or what condition the people are in. That is to repent of the sins of the church and to return to full scriptural authority in every aspect of our individual and corporate lives. If the body of Christ were to do this, many of the “problems” that we have would disappear almost immediately. There would be no issues concerning abortion, homosexuality, or identity. They would all be taken care of. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the same as it’s always been and there is no other. Paul said that if anyone else preaches a gospel other than what he preached, they are an anathema. McLaren is doing just that and the church is soaking it up. McLaren needs to be tossed out on his ear and the church needs to get back to its biblical foundation…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080725/ukraine-celebrates-its-1-020th-anniversary-of-christianity.htm

Ukraine Celebrates Its 1,020th Anniversary of Christianity

 

In 988 A.D., Prince Vladmir the Great was baptized and instated Christianity as the state religion of what is now the Ukraine. He then had his family and the people baptized and tore down the Slavic pagan gods. Today, Patriarch Bartholomew I, Patriarch Alexy II of Russia, and other Orthodox leaders from other countries will hold a service near a statue of Prince Vladmir.

 

I think that this is great! I would love to see something like this happen in America. I would love to see the pagan gods that most Americans worship torn down and God restored to His rightful place. We have put everything that we can think of before God and it shows. To have our nation return to its Christian Heritage would be wonderful and it would be the beginning of lasting change in our country…

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