Harold Camping, the church, and the world

May 25, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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This past Saturday, after months and years of warning people about the Day of Judgment, Harold Camping was proven to be a false teacher. After months of laying out the specific mathematical calculations he used to determine that the rapture would happen on May 21st, 2011; after spending millions of dollars on billboards all across the country (and around the world) warning drivers of their impending doom and having his followers hand out t-shirts and buttons telling people of the rapture to happen, Mr. Camping’s supposed final moments came and went with little fanfare (well, from Mr. Camping anyway). Continue Reading Harold Camping, the church, and the world…

Genesis 3:8-13

November 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Continue Reading Genesis 3:8-13…

Newslinks 07/25/10

July 25, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Ahead of Key Kabul Meeting, Clinton Woos Pakistan With Aid, But Wants More Counter-Terror Measures
(CNSNews.com)
– Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s plans to reconcile with elements among the Taliban will take center stage in Kabul Tuesday, when the world’s foreign ministers meet to discuss the country’s future…

Maryland Becomes Second State to Offer Federally Funded Abortions under Obamacare
(CNSNews.com)
– Maryland will join Pennsylvania as the second state to use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March, according to information released by Maryland’s State Health Insurance Plan…

New Regulations Outline Content, Transmission Standards for Every Americans’ Electronic Health Records
(CNSNews.com) – New regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Tuesday outline federal standards for the electronic health records that every American must have by 2014…

Obama to GOP: Restore Unemployment Benefits Now
Washington (AP) –
President Barack Obama took aim at Republican lawmakers Monday, accusing them of holding the public hostage to Washington politics by blocking extended unemployment benefits for millions of out of work Americans…

Pro-Lifers Win a Round in Health Care Overhaul
Washington (AP) –
Abortion foes have scored a victory and traditional allies of the Obama administration are grumbling about a decision to ban most abortion coverage in insurance pools for those unable to purchase health care on their own… Continue Reading Newslinks 07/25/10…

False Teachers

May 10, 2010 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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With all of the different events taking place in the church and all of the men and women who claim to be preaching the gospel, a question arises. How do you know? How can you be sure that the man (or woman) that you are hearing speak is actually speaking the truth? Some talk about how they’ve heard from God and how God “told them” things. Others proclaim that the growth and size of their ministries is proof that God is “blessing” them. There are many “preachers” today, especially in America, and all of them profess to be Bible-believing, truth-preaching, Christians. But are they?

 In the New Testament, there are a number of passages of scripture that should give us pause before we go proclaiming that “Pastor so and so” is the next “up and coming” pastor. Unfortunately, a number of people in the church seem to go by appearance or charm. Others go by whether or not the one preaching agrees with what they already believe. We go by sound or size of the church or by popularity or by relevancy.

 So, how should Christians be testing their pastors/preachers and other people claiming to do the work of God?  Continue Reading False Teachers…

Church Business

February 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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The other day on my “safe for the whole family” radio station, I was listening to the ~Christian~ hosts talk about children, youth, and young adult ministries. I will preface all of this with the fact that I find it really hard to listen to much “Christian” radio anymore. The topics of discussion seem to have no real value and the music isn’t much better. There is no theological discussion, as you’re about to see. Instead, it seems like it’s just a bunch of church-going people who are trying to be “relevant” and sound like the world so that they will gain unbelieving listeners. Then, they can sneak the name of Jesus in on them (which they always seem to forget to do…) and maybe make a false convert. Continue Reading Church Business…

The church and the Prince

June 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Christianity | 1 Comment
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I bet at least one of you is wondering about the title. What prince am I talking about? Well, it’s not the Prince that used to be a symbol. It’s also not the Prince of any nation led by royalty. The Prince that I want to talk about is a book by Niccolò Machiavelli. I’ve been reading a book by Dr. Benjamin Wiker called Ten Books That Screwed Up the World, and Five Others That Didn’t Help. In this book, Dr. Wiker talks about various books that have had an extremely negative influence on the thinking and actions of the generations that followed them. The first book that Dr. Wiker talks about is The Prince.

 I am shocked by how much influence the books have had, but reading about The Prince brought me to some thoughts about the church that I wanted to toss out for discussion. The book says that everyone understands that the honest and faithful leader is laudable and praiseworthy. Everyone understands that it is best to be honest and faithful, but Machiavelli questions whether or not the honest leaders are successful ones. The premise of The Prince is that a leader needs only to look pious, holy, and noble. The leaders, while looking like leaders are expected to look, are then told that they can use whatever means necessary to keep themselves in power. Machiavelli says that “goodness” is whatever the ruler does to maintain his rule. He says that being good is something to be tossed aside but appearing good is to be pursued. A prince doesn’t keep his word, but instead practices deception and that is what brings the most successful results.

 Unfortunately, this is in direct opposition to Christian beliefs. Sadly, this thought pattern has shown itself in even religious institutions. While it may not be to the point that Machiavelli encouraged in his book, it made me wonder about some of the basic premises. For instance, Machiavelli says that it is not necessary for leaders to be righteous, holy, noble, or honest as long as they look that way. It is this thought that started me thinking about the church.

 It seems to me that this is one of the founding ideas of the modern Christian church. It seems that the modern church is more concerned with looking holy, righteous, noble and honest, all the while acting like the world and doing whatever they want. They present a façade of what Christianity should be while using whatever means necessary to get what they want. Look at some of the examples we have nowadays. Joel Osteen is the pastor of a “megachurch” in Houston. He is one of the most well known pastors in America and around the world. Many, many people talk about how they love his “sermons” and how he is a great example of Christianity. But what’s the true measure of Christianity? Is it what we think a Christian is, or is there another standard? I believe that there is a much higher standard than what we set for our “leaders”. If someone looks pious and acts that way, does that make them a Christian? If they are soft-spoken and do good things, are they necessarily a Christian? Or, is it an instance of The Prince influencing the church? Does it matter how a “pastor” looks and acts if they fail to preach the truth? Now, before you think I’m just attacking Joel Osteen, listen to what he preaches. A few months ago, Mr. Osteen preached to his 50, 000 plus congregation that he doesn’t eat pepperoni or shrimp because it was something that the Jews were told not to in Leviticus. What does this have to do with the New Testament or the gospel? Does this not sound like the Judaizers that Paul faced in Galatia? What purpose would keeping the Levitical laws have for someone who believes in Christ? The Levitical laws no longer apply to Christians! The moral law (Ten Commandments) still does because Jesus didn’t abolish that law; He fulfilled it (Matthew 5:17).

 How about other examples? What about the prosperity gospel “preachers”? They go around the world “preaching” prosperity and blessing to those who will listen, but to what end? They act piously and righteously (often touting their piousness) but what they preach isn’t found in the gospel. Not only that, there are some statistics that show that the people who follow these false gospel preachers are some of the poorest people. What does this say about their gospel? The influence of The Prince is evident here. In the “prosperity” circles, it’s all about chasing the blessing and gaining God’s favor. Those who preach the prosperity gospel will say that it’s not about money only. They will talk about how they want “believers” to regain the “authority” they lost and live like Christians are supposed to live. If it’s not about money, then why do all of their messages revolve around money? If it’s not about money, then why do they all have to have private jets, million dollar mansions, and designer suits? Why do they constantly talk about “sowing and reaping” and asking their followers to give money so they can gain God’s blessing for their lives? They parade around and shout and yell and get red-faced as they “preach” their “message” with “authority” but the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Machiavelli would be proud. They aren’t killing anyone to keep themselves in the position of power that they have, but they are using deception to get exactly what they want and looking as pious, righteous, holy, and noble while doing so.

 What about the whole conflagration with Miss California? Carrie Prejean has been held up as a role model for Christians (young women especially). She talks about her faith and when she answered the question Perez Hilton asked, she was lauded as a wonderful example of Christianity. Is this true? Think about this for a minute. Here is a “Christian” woman parading around IN A BIKINI!!! What kind of example is she setting? So she thinks that marriage is between a man and a woman. That’s great, but is she a role model? I will not have my daughter doing what she does…ever. The bible makes clear statements about how women (and men) should dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:8-9). How can you be modest when your body is almost totally uncovered? How does this reflect Christianity? Is it because she claims to be a Christian or thinks that marriage is between a man and a woman that she is a Christian? I think that it’s great that she believes in traditional marriage, but that alone doesn’t make here a Christian. She goes to a church, but that doesn’t make her a Christian either. She seems to be using Christianity to forward her career. She looks and sounds pious, but where is the fruit? If she understands what the bible says and was taught by people who understand the bible, then she should know that what she wears and how she presents herself does not line up with Christianity. She would know that parading around in a bikini on a stage in front of millions of men (and women) could likely cause many of those watching to sin by lusting after her. Now, I understand that they could lust after her even if she dressed modestly, but do they need help? What really irks me is that she seems to have no concern or care for what she’s doing. She’s basically said that she doesn’t care if people don’t agree with what she’s doing, she’s a Christian and she’s going to continue to model and do pageants. Machiavelli would be proud.

 Watching what is going on in the church and seeing how so many people call themselves Christians and then do whatever they want, I can’t help but wonder how small the true church is. I can’t help but think about the parable of the wheat and the tares. It seems that the church is full of weeds. There are a number of people who look like wheat, but they have no fruit. The new game for the church is to see how quickly you can start a church, fill the seats, and then build your new buildings. Of course, this doesn’t happen when you preach the true gospel. To get this to happen, to build a “megachurch”, you have to compromise the gospel. You have to preach what people what to hear to keep them comfortable. You have to have programs that help people to feel like they are doing something good and “reaching out” to others. If you have this, then you’re off to a good start. Unfortunately (in these churches), it’s not the gospel that saves. Instead, it’s the emotional experience that people have and then spend the rest of their lives creating. I have said this before but I still can’t help wondering how you can grow a “megachurch” and preach the true gospel. The bible itself says that people will hate the message of the true gospel. If people are going to hate that message, how likely is it that you’re going to have thousands upon thousands to fill a former sports arena?  If you really want to see the effects of the gospel clearly, look outside the US.

 The church of America today (and to a large extent the rest of the world) is playing with the principles found in Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince. They strive to build a convincing façade of holiness, righteousness, and piety while doing everything that they can to fill and grow their churches (even if it is directly against the scriptures they are supposed to uphold). Is this what Christianity is? Nope. Christianity is about recognizing that you are a wretched sinner and that you have been saved by the grace of God. It is about Jesus Christ taking the punishment for your sins (crimes against God and His law) and you being released. It is then a life of striving to be an example of Christ on earth. It means that you repent of your sins as soon as they are committed and share the truth of the gospel. This is Christianity. It is not about being perfect, it is about striving for perfection while understanding that you will need God’s grace daily for the sins that you still commit. To those who profess and play up their “Christianity” for the public eye and to gain anything for themselves (whether it be money, congregants, or anything else) you need to stop. You are doing nothing other than making a mockery of my Lord and Savior…

Pointing in the wrong direction

November 30, 2007 at 11:28 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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There has been a lot of attention brought to bear on Philip Pullman’s series “His Dark Materials”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the series is a trilogy in which two children find a way to succeed in killing God. The first book in the series, “The Golden Compass” has been made into a motion picture set to be released on December 7th of this year.

The director of the film has said that this first film is a watered down version of the corresponding book. He said that it is his hope that the success of this watered down movie will allow them to make the two remaining movies in the trilogy closer to the way they were written, full of anti-God and anti-Christian sentiments.

Scholastic Inc. has even launched a grade school curriculum and a contest to go along with the movie’s release.

The sad part about all of this is that Christian parents and children alike are likely to be drawn in by the look of the movie’s trailers. They look very similar to those from the “Lord of the Rings” and “Chronicles of Narnia” series. If the flash and action draw the kids into the movie theaters, they will most likely desire to read the books. And without doing research on the movie or the books, parents may help their kids right out of their belief in God.

I would seriously recommend any Christian to avoid this movie, the corresponding books, and all the hype and to let others know about it as well.

The name of God

August 27, 2007 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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What is God’s name? Those who claim to follow Him seem to be forgetting what His name is. A retiring 71 year old Roman Catholic bishop, who has raised other issues that go against his church’s mainstream ideas, has said that Dutch Christians (and others) should be fine calling the God of the Bible Allah. He has suggested that this is whom Christians are actually praying to.

There are some major problems with this, but all of them seem to be ignored by the retiring bishop. The bishop says that “Allah is a beautiful word for God” and that “God doesn’t really care what we call Him”. Oh really? The God of the Bible doesn’t care what we call Him?  God makes very clear throughout the Bible what those who follow Him are to call Him. Not only that, but God made sure that people not only knew His name but He let them know (and us too) who He was to them. He is called Elohim (used over 2300 times to refer to the Lord), El Olam (The Everlasting One, Gen. 21:33),  El Roi (The God who sees me, Gen 16:7),  and Adonai (The Lord). When Moses asked God what His name was at the burning bush, God replied, “I AM”. This is Yahweh in Hebrew (where we get Jehovah from). God also used this name to remind His people who He was. To Israel (and Christians) He is Yahweh Yireh (The Lord who provides, Gen 22:2), Yahweh Nissi (The Lord our banner, Ex 17:8-15), Yahweh Rapha (The Lord who heals you, Ex 15:26), Yahweh Shalom (The Lord our peace, Jdg 6:1-22), Yahweh Tsabbaoth (The Lord of Hosts, many references), and Yahweh Tsidkenu (The Lord our righteousness, Jer 23:5-6). Amazingly, not one of these names(and there are many others) sounds anything like Allah…. Continue Reading The name of God…


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