The sound of heresy…

February 16, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I know that it’s been awhile since I wrote something other than the Bible study, newslinks, or Persecution Friday spots. I’ve been kinda busy, but I haven’t forgotten. Something I saw the other day made me have to write this though. It’s going to be a long read, so if you have to take a potty break or get a cup of coffee, do it now…:)

I heard about something the other day that just about made me sick, but I didn’t want to say anything about it until I had some proof from the horse’s mouth. Now I have it and this needs to be put out in the open.

For a long time, I’ve been talking about false teachers and men who call themselves pastors. I see many both locally in my home town, nationally in the U.S., and (unfortunately) they are now spreading to other countries. Not that there weren’t false teachers there already, but the American style of prosperity gospel preachers is sadly reaching into other parts of the world that are just now opening up to real Christianity. It is one of these types of people that I am writing about today. Continue Reading The sound of heresy……

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…

Naughty or Nice?

December 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Well, it’s that time of year again. The time when every little girl and boy tries to make it onto the “nice/good” list. In a recent Rassmussen poll (Dec. 8th), the consensus was in and 9% of Americans believe that they would make the “naughty/bad” list. Nine percent. Another 77% say that they would make the “good” list and 14% weren’t sure about it. The poll clarified things a little bit by saying that they didn’t really define “naughty” or “nice”.
 
I can only shake my head and laugh at this. It’s not surprising at all. The poll left the definition of good and bad up to the individual and 77% of Americans have defined themselves as good. If we go by the definition found in the dictionary, someone is good if they are “pleasing, agreeable, delightful, virtuous, respectable, and decorous”. On the other hand, the definition of naughty is “disobedient, mishcievous, improper, tasteless, indecorous, or indecent”. This means that 77% of Americans believe that they are agreeable, virtuous, and respectable. If you ask the majority of people on the streets if they are good, they will say that they are without hesitation that they are good. Some go to the point of painting themselves as saints. They are the most helpful, courteous, kind, cheerful, (and humble) people that you’ve ever met. They’re veritable Boy Scouts. The 14% who aren’t sure are at least honest enough to consider that they’ve done something over the past year that is less than virtuous. Then there are those poor souls who make up the 9% of naughty people in America. They are the dark, horrible, twisted souls who roam about seeking trouble and making lives miserable. What’s amusing about this is the fact that all of this “naughty and nice” stuff is all to determine whether or not a non-existent fat man in a red suit can bring them a lot of material goods. Continue Reading Naughty or Nice?…

Joe Wilson and the church

October 5, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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A few weeks ago, Republican Senator Joe Wilson made the news when he shouted “You Lie!” during a speech given by the President to Congress. The news media was all over this and, because they are pretty much a liberal bunch that blindly follows the current administration, made a lot of noise about what Senator Wilson did. To them, it was an “outrage” that anyone would do that to the President of the United States. Of course they forgot how the Democrats treated George W. Bush while he was in office, calling him a “liar” and other derogatory terms without respect for his office or remorse after they did it. I can’t say that I’m surprised that this is how they looked at it, but that’s not what I want to talk about. Continue Reading Joe Wilson and the church…

Arm Yourself – Persecution

August 31, 2009 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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In America today, there seems to be a horrible disconnect with the rest of the world concerning persecution. Many children and adults who grow up in the American church have no idea or understanding of what persecution really is. Sadly, many don’t even realize what is happening to Christians outside the U.S.

In America, we consider persecution to be when people attack us verbally for our beliefs. We see anti-Christian groups like the ACLU and various atheistic groups as persecutors when they try to get Christmas images removed or when they try to get “Under God” removed from our money. To many, persecution is covering up images of Moses in the government buildings in Washington, D.C. or it’s seeing our ability to speak out against issues like homosexuality or abortion slowly eroding away. For Americans, persecution is uncomfortable and disconcerting because it removes some of the things we take for granted or bursts our little bubble of warm fuzziness. Continue Reading Arm Yourself – Persecution…

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…

Just Stop!

December 29, 2008 at 5:12 pm | Posted in Christianity | 5 Comments
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As 2009 begins, I wanted to write a plea to Christians, to other faiths, to Americans, and to the world. My plea is this:

 

Just Stop!

 

To Americans: STOP blaming everything but our sins for the problems that we are now facing! Do you realize that God promised all the problems that we have at this moment to the nation who turns its back on Him? From diseases, to plagues, to enemy attacks, to financial instability, these things are because of our sins. It doesn’t matter who we put into office or what kind of legislation or efforts we make, unless our nation turns back to God, things will only get worse. Not only that, but why not take the time to learn some of our nation’s 200 year history? So many people talk about how having Christianity in the political process, the government, and in schools is unconstitutional because of the “separation of church and state”. Do you realize how ludicrous you look when doing this because you don’t know your own country’s history? The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution. It comes from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. But the idea of “separation of church and state” is not in there either. The founding fathers of this nation feared God and depended on Him to guide their nation. The only thing found in the constitution is the idea that the nation cannot declare a state religion. The U.S. has never declared a state religion although, until recently, it has been recognized by most as a Christian nation. How much has to happen to us before we cast aside our pride and admit that IT IS OUR FAULT?!?!

 

Also, to those who lead our nation, what are you thinking? STOP thinking only of yourselves and nothing of the nation or the future. You don’t seem to care what happens as long as you get yours. You are supposed to be serving the people and yet you’ve done nothing to help our nation get back on track. You vote yourselves a raise every year, even though you don’t do your job, no matter what the economy is like. In the meantime, thousands of people are being laid off and put in positions where they can’t even afford to feed their families, while you make six figure salaries. Why? STOP relying on everything but God and leading our nation away from the One who can actually save us. You rub shoulders with those who pay you the most money while ignoring the people you’re supposed to be representing. You seem to have forgotten the history of our nation and the giants whose shoulders you’re standing on. Just STOP! STOP blasting America and her leaders while you sleep with the enemy and cater to them and their desires (thank you Mr. Carter…). And, all of this is going on while our soldiers are fighting these people overseas! STOP allowing the leaders of foreign countries to speak at American universities like dignitaries when they’ve made it clear that they hate America. Just in case there are a few in Congress who actually strive to do what God desires, then I encourage you to be bolder in your faith. Either you are being overshadowed by the wickedness and deception of the majority or you’re not speaking loud enough to be heard.

 

To those who preach tolerance: First, learn the definition of the word. It is not being accepting of everything and everyone by compromising your faith. Being tolerant is putting up with something even though you disagree with it. STOP saying that you are tolerant and open to all beliefs when you rail against Christianity and those who follow Christ. That doesn’t seem very tolerant (by either definition), if you ask me. You whine and complain saying Christians are intolerant, but you practice the very same thing in regard to Christians. If you really want to be tolerant, then treat Christians and Christianity like you treat everyone else. If you don’t want to do that, then treat everyone else just like you treat Christians. The truth is Christianity, while exclusive, is the most tolerant belief system there is! If you look around the world, you don’t see much about Muslims being killed (unless it’s by other Muslims), but you hear about the Christians in Iraq who are living naked in the woods because the Muslims there have threatened their lives. You don’t hear much about Hindus being killed, but you hear about the Christians in Orissa being killed by Hindu radicals for the death of a high-level Hindu cleric, even though it’s been proven that the Christians had nothing to do with it! How many atheists are being persecuted and killed for their lack of faith? If you’re going to preach tolerance, then live it out as well. Otherwise, STOP!

 

To Muslims:  STOP trying to compare your beliefs to Christianity. They aren’t even close. Allah is not the same as the God of the Bible. Islam is not the religion of peace that many Muslims try to convince Westerners it is (read Surahs 9:29, 5:33). We don’t worship the same God. We differ on the fact that Jesus is God. In Islam, you have to work for your salvation. You must do a list of things to be saved. Even then, you’re not guaranteed that you’ll be saved when judgment comes. In Christianity, you can do nothing to help with your salvation. It is by grace that we are saved and nothing else (Ephesians 2:8-9). In Islam, an “angel” (Gabriel) came and gave the “revelation” of Islam to Muhammed. Oddly enough, much of the “revelation” is based on 2nd century Jewish fables and self-serving “decrees” given to Muhammed by “Allah”. In Christianity, God Himself spoke to prophets and patriarchs in the Old Testament, and through His Son in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:2). To those in the U.S. who call themselves Muslims: read the Quran and the Hadith. If you’re not following this, then can you really be called a Muslim? You claim that the Bible is corrupted and untrustworthy even though the Quran has a myriad of problems and contradictions that you seem to ignore and that cannot be reconciled. You don’t have anything in common with Christianity except where the Quran has correctly lifted verses from scripture…

 

To atheists/evolutionists: Whether or not you believe that God exists is your choice, but at least be intellectually honest about what you believe. STOP saying your belief is based on “cold, hard facts”. Your belief that God does not exist is a metaphysical one. Many of you have been trying to deny, rewrite, or erase the history of our country that shows that those who founded our nation were men and women who not only believed God, they feared Him and it’s apparent in their writings and quotes. Also, STOP trying lump the God of the Bible together with false gods like Allah, Buddha, Wotam, Odin, Zeus, and the “flying spaghetti monster”. I also have to wonder if you really believe what you say. According to what you believe, God doesn’t exist. If that’s true, then there is no basis for morality. I may be missing something, but if that’s true, shouldn’t there be a lot more bloodshed and anarchy? If you really believe in “survival of the fittest” and “man makes the rules”, then why don’t we see more atheists and evolutionists attacking others or using violence to get what they want? Isn’t that how nature works according to what you believe? Not only that, but why do leading atheists (including Richard Dawkins) admit that the atheistic/evolutionary worldview is savage and try to promote a Christian morality without Christ? If you don’t believe that God exists, why does He bother you so much? Why not just be honest and say that you don’t believe He exists because you don’t like the moral laws that come with His existence? Why not just be honest and say that you hate Him and be done with it?

 

To homosexuals: STOP hiding behind excuses. You claim that you are victims because you can’t have the same rights as heterosexual people. In actuality, you do have the same rights as heterosexuals. You just choose not to take part in some of them because they contradict the lifestyle that you choose to live in. Also, STOP trying to compare homosexuality to skin color. The color of someone’s skin is not a choice they make. They are born with it. To compare the “trouble” that homosexuals are going through to the race issues of the 60’s is ridiculous and an insult to those who suffered through those times and even lost their lives in the troubles. Homosexuality is not genetic. The Bible says that when God created man, He made a man and woman. He then instituted marriage between the two in Genesis 2. That’s what marriage is. That is the definition of marriage and to be married, you need to ascribe to it as God created it. If you choose not to, then you are not married. STOP pretending to be Christians when you are living a sinful lifestyle. The Bible clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination to God. This is not just an Old Testament idea (Leviticus 18:22). Paul spends a lot of time in the New Testament saying the same thing (1 Cor. 6:9, Gal. 5:16-19, Rom. 1). If you choose to reject what the scripture says and go ahead to live a sinful lifestyle, then you cannot be a Christian. You are choosing to rebel against God and His Word even though many of you have been told very clearly what the Bible says. That is not the lifestyle of a Christian and it will prevent you from being saved. To those who support “homosexual Christians”, STOP! You are doing nothing but perpetuating a false view of what scripture says and deceiving others into believing they are saved when they aren’t! If you’re going to attack Christians (like that weak Prop 8 musical) at least get some idea of what Biblical Christians really believe (see the next section).

 

To those who hate Christ/Christianity: If you are going to attack Christianity/Christ, please STOP using the same weak arguments. Please STOP setting up straw men that are easily knocked down and ridiculed. I know that it makes you look good and that it helps to persuade people to agree with you, but it is poor form. Not only that but if you’re going to argue, please STOP with the potty mouth. It doesn’t do anything to further your argument and makes you look like a juvenile delinquent (no offense to juvenile delinquents intended…).  If you’re going to attack Christianity, at least make an argument based on Biblical Christianity. Take the time to do some research on what scripture actually says. Do the work to understand what true Christians actually believe and what the Bible really says and then make your argument. If your not willing to do that (whether it’s because you’re too lazy, you think that Christians are beneath you and not worth the time, etc…), then STOP whining and arguing! Many of the arguments used nowadays are the same regurgitated arguments that have been refuted for years (some for centuries). Also, please understand that many (if not the majority) of the “pastors” and “evangelists” that you see on television do not represent Biblical Christianity.

 

To those religions who claim to have ties to Christianity: God the Father is eternal. He is not a man who has been elevated to “god” status, nor does He have any wives. Jesus is eternal as well. He is not a “spirit child” of the “Father” and one of “His” wives. Jesus is God and not just a man or prophet. He is NOT the spirit brother of Lucifer. You cannot do anything to help yourself to enter heaven. STOP trying to force people to believe unnecessary things (dogmas, etc…) as part of their salvation. STOP adding to or taking away from Biblical Christianity to suit yourself. STOP redefining what Christianity is instead of seeing it the way God defines it. STOP trying to read modern ideas and thoughts into the scriptures. Instead, read the Bible the way that it was meant to be read. STOP trying to weave Eastern mysticism (yoga, “centering” prayer, etc…) into the gospel (Rob Bell, Brian McClaren, Doug Pagitt)! STOP claiming that everyone will be saved (universalism), even if they don’t know Jesus. This is a horrible heresy that has no grounds in scripture. You are propagating a false doctrine that will lead numerous people to hell. STOP! If you are not going to follow Biblical Christianity, then please STOP calling yourself a Christian.

 

To pastors: STOP preaching a false gospel and making false converts. You are supposed to be teaching, protecting, and leading people to Christ. If you’re not preaching the truth of scripture, then STOP calling yourself a pastor, STOP calling what you speak a sermon, and STOP calling your group of people a church. If you’re going to spend your time tickling ears and entertaining people instead of warning people about hell and motivating those who believe to go out with you to preach the gospel, then you’re not a pastor, you’re a motivational speaker or a cheap entertainer. STOP preaching prosperity as the reason Christ came and telling others they should be “blessed” and if they’re not, they are missing out (Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Jerry Savelle, Bill Winston, Creflo Dollar). STOP talking about the blessing of Abraham as dealing with material things and actually read the whole text of Galatians 3 in context. STOP saying that we should be “blessed” so that we can turn around and bless others. I can go out and preach the gospel and not have to spend anything, and I will, if it I really want to bless people. STOP encouraging the greed of others to seek material “blessings”. STOP teaching others that they can somehow create the things that they want by “speaking in faith”. STOP telling people that they shouldn’t be sick or they might not be saved. STOP telling people that they should be speaking to the weather, or their circumstances, or any number of other things like they have control. STOP blurring the line between God and man. You bring God down to the level of man and raise man up to the level of God. STOP replacing the true gospel with one that focuses on social ills (Rick Warren). STOP trying to tell believers (or those who call themselves believers) that they need to be spending their time and money helping fight poverty, illiteracy, and hunger. While these are things that we do need to help fight, they are not as important as the eternal destiny of the souls of humanity. STOP saying that the focus of Christianity is “joy, peace, love, and hope”. IT’S NOT! The focus of Christianity is the glory of God through the salvation of man by God’s grace brought about through the death of Christ and His resurrection. The Bible gives no guarantee that the Christian life will be sunshine and roses. As a matter of fact, Jesus gives the promise of persecution to His followers a number of times. STOP teaching people they should feel good about themselves (Joel Osteen, Robert Schuller) when the Bible says that they are wretched sinners. STOP telling people that they just need to “be positive” and “think good thoughts”. STOP trying to be relevant and mimic the world. If you are riding motorcycles on the stage or using secular songs as the basis for your “sermons” STOP! You are not only making a fool of yourself, you are giving haters of Christ an easy time mocking the Lord. STOP courting sinners and tickling their ears with what they want to hear instead of preaching the truth. STOP talking to the unsaved to determine how you’re going to run your church (Bill Hybels). STOP trying to make programs to bring people in the church in the hopes that they might get saved by osmosis while listening to one of your weak, unscriptural messages. STOP shrinking back from speaking Biblical truth because it might offend someone or cause the numbers in the church to go down. STOP compromising the gospel.

 

To those who support unbiblical ideas: STOP calling abortion the removal of “blobs of tissue” when it’s murder and an abomination to God. STOP saying that abortion is about a woman’s choice, when it is about whether you are going to follow God or man. STOP saying that everyone will be saved. I know I said this above, but it bears repeating. Not all religions lead to heaven and God. Only one does. Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” and “that no man comes to the Father but through Him” (John 14:6). This means that if you haven’t repented of your sins and put your trust in Christ, then you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. STOP telling people that hell is not a real place or avoiding the topic at all. Jesus makes it clear that hell is real and that those who are found with their sins unpaid for on the Day of Judgment will be sent there.

 

To Christians in general: If you’re one of the dying breed that obey Biblical Christianity and what the Bible says, keep fighting. Don’t compromise the truth in the name of “love” or “tolerance”. Don’t grow weary because you think that you are the only one who is trying to follow Biblical Christianity the way that Jesus laid it down in the gospels. Remember that if you are truly following the scriptures and doing what God has called all Christians to do, people will hate you. When you speak the truth of the Bible and tell wretched sinners that they will go to hell because they are in rebellion against God, they will not like you. Unfortunately, in America, you will be in the minority. There will be numerous legions of “believers” who will tell you that you need to focus on the love of God. They will shake their head as you preach the truth because they don’t understand it. You will find yourself in hardship and may find yourself alone at times. Nonetheless, it is a worthy thing that you do regardless of whether or not the majority of “believers” agree with you. I encourage you to look for those of like mind and heart. Find those who are more concerned about the truth being preached and the lost hearing how they can be soundly saved. Be bold in the preaching of the truth. Stand in the open square and shout to be heard. Don’t let emotion keep you from telling others the reality of hell and the future of those who die in their sins. Make sure that your motive is the same as Christ’s. Grieve over those who walk away from you at the end of the message without repenting, but trust that God is well able to move on their hearts and confirm the seed of truth that you preached.

 

If you’re one of the many people who claim to be Christian but you do not follow the Biblical view of what a Christian is/should be, then I would have to wonder. If you hold to a worldview that doesn’t agree with what scripture says, then I would have to wonder. If you openly live your life in opposition to what the Bible says, then I don’t have to wonder, you’re not a Christian. It’s really that simple. If Christianity is just a way for you to be “blessed”, or a way for you to feel good about yourself, or a way for you to live the life you want to live; then I don’t just wonder; I’m concerned for you. Christianity is about the sinfulness of man. It’s about how man is a wretch and is unable to save himself. It is about how he rebels against God on a daily (if not minute by minute) basis and is at enmity with Him. It is about how man deserves hell because of the sins he’s committed against a holy and just God. And, it’s about the fact that despite how decrepit and wicked man is, God came to earth and died for us. It’s about how God paid the fine that we couldn’t pay so that He could dismiss the legal case against us. Because of God’s Law, we are all guilty. The punishment for the crime against a perfect, eternal God is eternal damnation in hell. Because God paid our fine, if we are willing to do things on His terms, we can have our case dismissed and be free to go. For this to happen, we don’t “ask Jesus into our heart”. We must repent (turn form our sins) and put our trust in Jesus (like we would trust a parachute). If we will do this, then God will forgive our sins and grant us eternal life. If that’s not your version of Christianity, then I would urge you to examine your motives, your understanding, and your heart. Please make sure of your salvation and know that your eternity and the eternity of those around you may be at stake!

Newslinks 05/16/08

May 16, 2008 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Newslinks | 2 Comments
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Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080508/32296.htm

Evangelical Statement on Faith, Politics Stirs Up Religious Right

 Many Christian leaders have expressed concern about the document called the “Evangelical Manifesto”. There are varied issues as to why many of them won’t sign it (see below), but all of them need to be considered very carefully. The Manifesto is a 19-page document that is a call for Christians to keep faith and politics separate and to “expand their concerns beyond single issue politics”. The document says that Christians have allowed faith and politics to become too closely mixed and allows Christians to become “useful idiots” for the politicians. Some of those who would not sign the document had an issue with the given definition of evangelical being too vague. They also said that some of the statements see to leave room for inclusivism and universalism.

I haven’t read the document yet, but I hopefully will get the chance this weekend. I have heard bits and pieces of what the Manifesto says and even caught an interview with Os Guiness on Way of the Master Radio. Without having read the document, I just wanted to make a few general statements (which may change in regard to the Manifesto after I read the entire document). From what I understand, the definition of evangelical has changed over the last few decades and has become just a shadow of what the word used to mean. I also don’t like the push to try and separate faith and politics. I don’t think that we all need to be so politically minded that we aren’t doing what we’ve been called to do, but at the same time, we do need to be involved to some degree. We need to speak out against abortion and gay marriage, not because it’s a politically charged topic that happens to be “hot”, but because the Bible says that it’s wrong! Many times, the only way that Christians can be heard is through their voting. The Manifesto will hopefully get a lot of people thinking about things, but I don’t know if it’s really necessary. Instead, we need to have more and more people return to the biblical truths that God has given us and live them out. Not our way, but God’s way…

Related Articles:

 

 

Why Some Leaders Won’t Sign the Evangelical Manifestohttp://www.christianpost.com/article/20080514/32364.htm

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080508/32292.htm

University Employee Suspended Over ‘Anti-Gay’ Column

 A member of the faculty of the University of Toledo has been fired (see below) because of statements made in a recent column she wrote. Crystal Dixon was the associate vice president of human resources at UT. The article that she wrote in the Toledo Free Press was in response to another article, which compared the effort to legalize same-sex “marriage” with the struggle for racial equality by African-Americans. Dixon said that she is unable “to wake up tomorrow morning and not be a black woman”. She then went on to say that many homosexuals are choosing daily to leave that lifestyle and that homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic like race or gender. Not long after her column was printed, the president of UT wrote his own column saying that Dixon’s writings “did not accord” with the views of UT or its values. He made a statement later saying that “race, gender, disability, and sexual orientation are not included in any decision making process nor the evaluation of worth of any individual at this university” and said that UT will continually be “aligning its actions with that value statement”. Attorneys defending Dixon say that her right to free speech was taken from her. They say that she wasn’t speaking on behalf of UT but as a private individual.

I fully agree with Miss Dixon. Homosexuality is a choice and always has been. You can see that in the Bible. All of the biblical statements describing homosexuality are conditional and show a choice to disobey God being made. To compare it to the struggle for racial equality is getting to be a tired canard of the pro-homosexual movement. It’s not the same. As Miss Dixon said, when she wakes up tomorrow morning, she’ll be black. It will always be that way. There are many people in the U.S. who are ex-homosexuals. They choose not to live that sinful lifestyle anymore. It is completely different. The fact that UT didn’t agree with Miss Dixon is very clear, but should in no way bring about her termination. I know that it’s getting old, but if this were turned around and it was Christianity that was being derided, no one would have said anything to the article writer and those who condemned the article would have been labeled “narrow minded” or “bigots”…

Related Articles:

 

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200805/CUL20080512e.html

 

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http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200805/FOR20080508b.html

Vote Against Embryonic Cloning Seen as Sign of Shifting Debate

Lawmakers in Western Australia have recently voted down a bill that would allow the cloning of human embryos for research purposes. The major reason for the vetoing of the bill is a discovery made in November of last year. The discovery came from a joint effort between Japanese and American scientists who found a way to “reprogram” adult human skin cells into cells that behave like embryonic stem cells. This means that they have the potential to develop into any type of cell (pluripotency). This new technique provides cells that are genetically identical to the patient and avoids the ethical problems with using embryonic stem cells (ESC). Those who support the lawmakers’ decision cite examples of scientists on the forefront of cloning, including Ian Wilmut (who cloned Dolly the sheep), walking away from using embryonic cells in favor of the “reprogramming” method. Western Australia’s health minister, who supports ESC research, said that the veto has put Western Australia out of step with the rest of the country. He also said that the decision has “denied its people world-class medical research and denied potential cures to those with life threatening medical issues”.

I think that this is a wonderful development both for Western Australia and for the world. The discovery of being able to reprogram adult skin cells is a boon for those who are actually involved in the search for cures. For those wishing to push a naturalistic agenda, well, I doubt they’ll ever be happy with things like this. If the “health” minister truly cared about the science and about the lives his position is supposed to be protecting, he would be shouting about this. Instead, he is griping and complaining about not being able to destroy unborn human life. Look at the issue for a minute. The discovery last November says that scientists have been able to “reprogram” adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. They have the ability to become any cell. They are also genetically identical! This is HUGE. This means that scientists can now work with cells that are the same as the ones they should be with that specific patient! Not to mention that they would no longer have to kill unborn children. On top of that, think of how many adult skin cells we have and how fast they are replaced. This is an unending, ethical supply for doctors and scientists to work with. I can’t see a problem with any of this, unless of course you have another agenda…

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080509/32306.htm

Israel Celebrates 60th Year

This year, Israel celebrates its 60th year as a nation. The country became a recognized nation on May 14th 1948. It is the longest living democratic state in the Middle East. More than 700 world leaders were in attendance at the celebration. Also joining in the festivities were many evangelical Christians. A report released recently states that around 90% of evangelical Christians support Israel because they see it as a “biblical obligation”.

I’m glad to see Israel celebrating and hope that it continues. I also hope that the US will continue to support Israel and help them. I am one of those who see it as a biblical obligation to back Israel. It is obvious both from scripture and just what has happened in the last 60 years that they are a special people that God has not forgotten. We need to do what we can to show them our support and stop trying to divide their country…

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080509/32312.htm

‘Lost’ Christians Greatest Crisis in American Church, says Author

Author David Sanford believes that the reason many in the church are leaving and not coming back is due to them “losing their faith in Christian beliefs, the Bible, and the church”. He says that the topic is taboo among many Christians and that the lack of its discussion is not helping the situation at all. Sanford said that most of the time, Christians walk away from the church because of doubts or questions that go unanswered or because of the feeling that God has just “walked away”.

While I think that this is something that should be discussed openly among all Christians, I think that there is one reason that needs to be discussed more than any other. Those who do talk about people leaving the church focus on the reasons like Mr. Sanford did; the ones who walk away because of doubts or because they were “wounded”. A more alarming reason that many seem to be leaving is not because of being wounded or of doubts or because God “walked away”. They are leaving because of the unscriptural teachings and the complete lack of biblical foundation that many churches push as an agenda nowadays. If you wanna talk about taboo, there it is. Toss that up in front of pastors and ministers. I doubt that it would be seriously talked about and I’ll tell you why. In the modern church, the pastor is no longer just one of the many who are called to serve the church. They are the one. There may be others that handle ministries and stuff, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about the pastor. Look at the TV people. You never hear about “so and so”. It’s the pastor. The pastor has become a career choice or “job” for many people and they treat it as such. There is great pride taken by pastors who “build their church” and to question their actions, words, or motives is to get the same treatment as if you were the antichrist himself. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all churches. The problem is, many pastors who operate this way see that as applying to them. It’s not “their church” that does that it’s other churches. Ya know what? You’re wrong. It’s you’re church too, and until you see that and repent of your pride and callousness, people will continue to leave the church. They won’t leave God and they won’t “lose their faith experientially”. They’ll find others who have experienced the same thing and fellowship with them. It’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s where we are today in many churches…

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080509/32311.htm

 

One evangelical writer has said that he thinks that his fellow writers are alienating those who don’t attend church. Tim McLaughlin says that they use “passwords” like how long a person has been married and how many kids they have and that it alienates the “unchurched”. He also that evangelicals are alienating non church goers with their campaign for traditional marriage. He said that the idea of “one man with one woman for life” may be unrealistic depending on where you look in scripture. Examples given were: “Adam and Eve had no civil ceremony, Abraham slept with other women including Hagar, Isaac’s wife was selected by his father’s servant and was his cousin, David ‘collected wives like military victories, and his most memorable son came from an affair with a married woman,’ and Prophet Hosea married a whore”. McLaughlin said that we “shouldn’t call marriage biblical, but healthy”. McLaughlin says that when he writes he’s not “picturing someone who is lost, but someone who is finding themselves and being chased by God”.

If this is the modern definition of evangelical, then it’s no wonder people are so confused! How many “evangelical” writers actually write specifically to those who don’t attend church? I can’t think of any or why they would. Other than evangelism, what would be the point? The Bible says that they wouldn’t understand it anyway (although there are many in the body of Christ today that don’t understand it either…hmmm). This is the “seeker sensitive” view of the church brought to writing. “Don’t talk about Christian topics using Christian words or phrases because you might upset or alienate someone”. Didn’t Jesus alienate those who were living in sin? Yes. Should we go out of our way to make it difficult to understand? No. Should we cater to people who have absolutley no idea about what Christianity really is? No. McLaughlin then says that we shouldn’t be “campaigning” for traditional marriage because it’s not clearly defined in scripture. Huh? What version of scripture is he reading? Genesis 2:24 defines what marriage is – one man and one woman for life. Period. The fact that Abraham, David, Solomon, and others had multiple wives doesn’t mean that God approved of it or that the definition of marriage changed. And, if you’ll notice, they were still wives. Marriage is biblical if it follows the guidelines that God set for it. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t matter how “holy” the person was, it wasn’t a proper marriage. He then says that he writes to people who are “finding themselves and being chased by God”. Oh…how sweet. Unfortunately, it’s not scriptural. We don’t have to find ourselves. We know who we are, we just don’t like to admit it because it isn’t the sweet adorable image that we want people to see us for. If people ever truly come face to face with themselves, they will shrink back in horror. God is not “chasing us” either. He’s omnipresent. How would He run? He is everywhere and knows everything and He is waiting for one of two things to happen. He’s either waiting for us to repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ, or He’s waiting for us to die without Christ. If the latter happens, then we’ll be judged and find ourselves in hell.  It really is that simple. To treat people otherwise is to mislead them and keep them from finding the truth.

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080510/32317.htm

‘Academic Freedom’ Legislation Advances in Four States

Four states, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri and Michigan, are currently considering legislation that would allow public school teachers and students to discuss problems, critiques, and objections to Darwinism and evolution. Lawmakers in all four states said that the bills were in response to both teachers and students who felt marginalized or discriminated against when sharing views that were opposed to Darwinism. The legislation has been helped by Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” as well.

I think that this is a great first step. Those who are opposed to legislation like this say that it would be allowing religion into schools. The truth is, religion is already in schools. Public school systems have become “churches” for the humanistic viewpoint shared by many atheists and agnostics. The teachers are preaching a message of “No God” and anyone saying otherwise is furiously attacked to protect the sacred cow of evolution…I hope that the legislation passes in all four states (especially Alabama) and that it leads the way for others to follow suit. If evolution is truly as strong and evident as its proponents say, then why are they so afraid to allow criticism and actual scientific study and debate of all the evidence (or lack thereof)?

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080513/32351.htm

Joel Osteen Maintains Homosexuality as Sin

Jay Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy Bakker, and a group of pro-homosexual activists met with Joel Osteen on Mother’s Day to discuss the issue of homosexuality and to try and get the pastor of America’s largest church to endorse them. While a spokesman said that the meeting was cordial meeting, the end result was that Osteen and his church will continue to see homosexuality as a sin. The group, called the American Family Outing, is planning on meeting with five other “megachurches” over the next couple months to try and receive endorsement for the homosexual lifestyle.

I couldn’t help but think about something when I read the headline. What does it say when you’re the pastor of a church and you have a headline written about you saying that you see homosexuality as a sin? Shouldn’t it be that way? I guess the reason it struck me was that it sounded like this is something out of the ordinary. From the sermons I’ve heard him preach, I would have to say that it is, at least to a certain degree. Whenever I have heard or read anything by or about Joel Osteen, it has been about how he is focused on helping people live a better life. Not once do I recall hearing him speak out against any sin at all. I am glad to hear that he still holds to the Bible in this case, but what about many others where he seems to “waffle” back and forth when scripture is clear about how God sees something? One of the people travelling with the American Family Outing was a lesbian mother. She said that “families come in all forms” and that “God loves us”. Why is it always the same canards? Man may see families as coming in different forms, but that doesn’t mean that God approves of it or that the biblical definition of a family has changed. And while it is true that God loves homosexuals (just like He loves anyone else who is living in sin) that doesn’t mean that He condones their lifestyle or approves of what they’re doing…

Evangelical Writers Challenged to Avoid Alienating the Unchurched

College Official Fired for Column on Homosexuality


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