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……

Tea party in the church?

April 12, 2010 at 4:16 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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The climate of the US has changed dramatically in just over a year. Where there was talk of “hope and change”, there is now talk of disappointment and disgust. Where there was talk of a better tomorrow, there has been more of the same. The politicians that supposedly lead this country have shown themselves, for the most part, to be incompetent at even the most basic of tasks. They can’t do the things that the Constitution gives them the power to do and they still try to grow beyond the limits the Constitution places on them. Some of them don’t even know basic geology (Guam, or any other island, cannot capsize and sink…). Enter the Tea Party. The Tea Party has been mocked as an “Astroturf” type of movement that is all fluff and no substance. Those who support the Tea Party have been labeled as “right-wing extremists”, “terrorists”, and “racists”. They have made their voices heard as they stand up for truth and integrity from our so-called leaders. They share the same principles that our God-fearing founders did. All of this started with the people… Continue Reading Tea party in the church?…

Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

U.S. Baptists arrested in Haitian orphan incident
A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti.

A GOP bow to the Tea Party movement?
The Republican National Committee has adopted a rule that will prod GOP leaders to provide financial support to only those candidates who support the party’s platform.

Fortuneteller sues, claims discrimination
A Virginia fortuneteller is suing to overturn a Chesterfield County ordinance, saying it discriminates against her beliefs.

Muslim parents reject deal with Christian daughter
The Muslim parents of an Ohio girl who ran away from home claiming she feared harm for becoming Christian have rejected a deal meant to resolve the conflict.

U.S. Attorney Reviews Call for Probe of SEIU Activities with White House, Congress
(CNSNews.com)
– Federal prosecutors are reviewing a request for an investigation into whether Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act with his frequent visits to the White House and with members of Congress in 2009. Americans for Tax Reform has written to acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia asking for a probe.

SEC Ruling Requires Companies to Tell Shareholders If Climate Laws Are Bad for Business
(CNSNews.com)
– A new SEC ruling by would require corporations to inform their shareholders about the business risks and potential impacts of climate change legislation, environmental regulation, and international climate treaties. The ruling marks the first time the SEC has required companies to make such information available to shareholders, and one fiscal conservative told CNSNews.com the ruling will benefit investors.

Congressional Salaries Should Not Go Up Until Federal Spending Is Under Control, Hatch Says
(CNSNews.com)
– While the Congressional Budget Office reported last week a projected $6 trillion total in new national debt over the next 10 years, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told CNSNews.com that lawmakers’ salaries should not go up until Congress does a “really good job of getting budgetary spending under control.” Continue Reading Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10…

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…

The name of God is blasphemed because of you

November 17, 2008 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Christianity | 6 Comments
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Rom 2:1  Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

Rom 2:2  And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

Rom 2:3  But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Rom 2:4  Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Rom 2:5  But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Rom 2:6  who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:

Rom 2:7  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

Rom 2:8  but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

Rom 2:9  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,

Rom 2:10  but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Rom 2:11  For there is no partiality with God.

Rom 2:12  For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;

Rom 2:13  for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

Rom 2:14  For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,

Rom 2:15  in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

Rom 2:16  on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Rom 2:17  But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God,

Rom 2:18  and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

Rom 2:19  and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,

Rom 2:20  a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

Rom 2:21  you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?

Rom 2:22  You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

Rom 2:23  You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?

Rom 2:24  For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written.

Rom 2:25  For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

Rom 2:26  So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?

Rom 2:27  And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law?

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh.

Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

 

I know this is a long passage. To be honest, I could have made it longer by putting up chapter 1 as well. The therefore at the beginning of the chapter connects it to what Paul was talking about in chapter 1. At the end of the first chapter, Paul talks about those who have turned away from God. They knew God and turned their back on Him. They didn’t/don’t honor Him as God and now they speculate foolishly about God and His creation. They call themselves wise, even though their fools. They worship the creature instead of their Creator. Because of this, God has given them over to their lusts. He’s allowed them to drift farther and farther away from Him because that’s what they wanted. They have gotten so far from Him that “women have the natural function for that which is unnatural” and “the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Paul then goes on to give a list of things that describe these people.

 

In the second chapter, Paul continues explaining and gets to the heart of the matter. It is something that grieves me to see happening today. Paul continues talking to the hypocrites and tells them that the name of God is blasphemed because of them. They have been judging others and practicing the same sins they’ve been judging. This doesn’t mean that Christians shouldn’t judge. I know many will throw out Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged”. But, Jesus also said, in John 7:24, “judge not by appearance but by righteous judgment”. We are to judge with righteous judgment, and that judgment only comes from God. When we line up our lives and those of others to the Word of God, if there are discrepancies, we have a responsibility to point them out with the right attitude. We don’t become their judge and we don’t hold it over them, but we do let them know the truth of their predicament and what could happen if they continue to live in sin.

 

Paul also says that it’s not someone who calls themselves a Jew that’s a Jew. It doesn’t matter if you do the rituals. That’s not what makes you a Jew. If you call yourself a Jew and transgress the Law, you are no better than a Gentile. But the one who has had his heart circumcised by the Spirit is a Jew. Someone who calls themselves a Christian and does all the outward things to “prove” they’re a Christian but doesn’t obey the gospel, isn’t a Christian at all.

 

There are numerous people today in the church who live like this. They go to Sunday school and church on Sunday. They are there on Wednesday nights. They can pray out loud in front of others like nobody’s business. They can speak the “lingo” and have all the right Christianese phrases, but they hearts are far from God. They can mimic their pastors and teachers, but don’t know (or care) whether what is coming from them is correct. They feel good about themselves and want others to feel good about them. They chase prosperity and health and teach others to do the same thinking that they’re fulfilling the great commission. They judge others and practice the same sins. They think that they are above the judgment of God and are arrogant and self-righteous. They boast in the Law or in their own works. They know God’s will and choose not to obey it. They are confident that they’re living a righteous life and get upset when someone gives even the slightest hint that they might not be.

 

The most horrible effect of this, other than the fact that they’re deceived into thinking they’re Christians, is the fact that God’s name is being blasphemed because of them. The name above all names. The name by which every man, woman, and child will be saved. The name at which every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. The name that is so holy to the Jews that they won’t even write it out. This name is being blasphemed because of those who call themselves Christians and don’t live like it. Paul tells the Romans that they non-believers are watching them and blaspheming the name of God because they see “believers” acting just as immoral and unholy as they are. Sadly, it’s still going on today and it seems to be even worse than ever.

 

I’ve talked to many friends who are waiters or waitresses at restaurants and they all agree that Sundays are the worst day to work. It’s not because of the fact that they miss church. It’s because of the “church crowd”. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that the “Christians” who come from church are some of the most rude, obnoxious, ungrateful people to serve. They don’t tip well (if they tip at all), and they have an air about them like they’re royalty. How does this look to those servers who aren’t Christians? They see the attitude of the “church-goers” and how they are treated by them, and have a horrible view of God and the church because of it!

 

There have been numerous times over the years of those leading a church being caught up in a sexual scandal. The world sees this and scoffs. To their eyes, God obviously isn’t powerful enough to help His people stay away from that. They see pastors/clergy/preachers as hypocrites (and they are) because they preach truth, righteousness, and chastity in the pulpit, and then disobey what they’ve just preached.

 

Another reason the name of God is blasphemed is because of the false prophets, false teachers, televangelists, and prosperity preachers. People like Peter Popoff talk all about God and say the right things in their “crusades” and bilk thousands of people out of millions of dollars a year. When it was shown that Popoff was a fraud, he wasn’t the one that was affected. It was God’s name that was blasphemed and Christianity was ridiculed. Popoff was just “another one of them preachers”. The same goes for the numerous (and the numbers seem to be growing) prosperity preachers. People like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Bill Winston, Jerry Savelle, Benny Hinn, and many others preach a man centered message that skews the truth of scripture and portrays a false Jesus. They teach that Christians should be healthy and wealthy because “it’s their right as Christians”. They teach that we have some sort of “mandate” from heaven to be rich and healthy. They teach that God needs our permission before He can take action here on earth. It’s all false. There is nothing in scripture that supports this. People who preach this type of message sound like a broken record. They preach the same messages and same scriptures over and over again. They take scriptures out of context to support their false teaching and constantly ask for money to support their ministry so that their followers can be “blessed”. But where does all the money that gets “sown” into their “ministries” go? I’m sure that some of it goes to good things, but is a 6 million dollar mansion necessary? Another more recent example of this is the Lakeland “revival” that took place in Florida. Todd Bentley, the leader of the revival, claimed that thousands were saved and healed. There were even claims that people rose from the dead. There was no documentation to show any of this. In fact, there were some cases of people dying because an expected healing didn’t come. And the shenanigans that went on just gave non-Christians another reason to blaspheme God’s name.

 

There are many instances of false prophets as well. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say they’ve had a “Word from the Lord” and it hasn’t come to pass. Many of these people are the same ones that preach the prosperity message. There are others though. I lost track of the number of times that I heard someone say that God told them that John McCain and Sarah Palin would win the election because “they were raised up for such a time as this”. One prominent person who “prophesied” this was Dutch Sheets. In case you’ve been in a cave somewhere, that didn’t happen. So, according to the scriptures, those who “prophesied” this are false prophets. So what was the response of Mr. Sheets when his “prophecy” didn’t come to pass? It was because God’s people didn’t stand up and vote like they should have. Mr. Sheets said that this election was not the will of God. Um…whose will was it then? Doesn’t scripture say that God is the one that puts kings and rulers into place and takes them out? First, as a false prophet in the Old Testament, Mr. Sheets would have been stoned to death by the nation. Second, if I understand Mr. Sheets correctly, he’s saying that the reason the “Word” that God gave him didn’t come to pass was the fault of God’s people. Where is this in scripture Mr. Sheets? If we look in the Bible where would we find this? As a matter of fact, let’s just look at the book of Genesis and the “Words” God gave.

 

In Genesis 3, God tells Adam and Eve of the seed of the woman. Women don’t have seed. And yet, in God’s time, a young virgin woman conceived by the Holy Spirit. God’s Word came to pass, even though Herod tried to kill all the kids two years old and younger. Even though many other things tried to thwart the plan of God.

 

In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham that He will bless him and make him out of a great nation. In Genesis 15, God tells Abraham that He will give him a son of his own. Abraham had a son just like God promised, even though Abraham tried to do it on his own. It didn’t thwart God’s plan that Abraham had Ishmael. The promised child was still born. God’s Word still came to pass. God’s will wasn’t dependant on His people.

 

In Genesis 28, God gives Jacob a promise that his descendants would be given the land that he was resting on and that his descendants would be a great nation. That’s come to pass too, despite God’s people.

 

In Genesis 37, God gives Joseph two dreams. Both of them consist of Joseph’s family bowing down to him. In Genesis 40, Joseph receives the interpretation of two dreams. In Genesis 41, Joseph interprets the dreams of Pharaoh. All of these things came to pass. Jacob and his sons ended up bowing to Joseph when he was made second in all Egypt. The cupbearer was restored to his position while the baker was hanged. There were seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Not only that, but the famine helped bring Israel into Egypt where another one of God’s plans was fulfilled. In Genesis 15, God told Abraham during the making of their covenant that his descendants would be strangers in a land that wasn’t theirs for four hundred years. When Israel left Egypt on the Passover, it was 430 years after they entered. They entered Egypt as 70 people and came out as millions. They were a nation.

 

Everything that God has ever spoken has come to pass, regardless of God’s people. Much of what the prophets of the Old Testament has come to pass. What hasn’t come to pass yet will come to pass in the future.

 

To be honest, I’m tired of hearing that people have a “Word from God”. Many of times, these “Words” use scripture out of context and twist the meaning to make it fit that “Word”. When these things don’t come to pass, how does that do anything to edify the body? What do non-Christians think when they see these people “prophesying” in the name of God and it doesn’t come to pass? IF all of these people are hearing from God and it’s not coming to pass, is God really all knowing or all-powerful? If this wasn’t God’s will, then is God running around making up backup plans? If all these people aren’t hearing from God, they are false prophets. If they’re not hearing from God, who are they hearing from? If they “hear from God” and they’re wrong, why should I believe other things that they say?

 

This is a sad commentary on how far the church has drifted from the truth. We love to hear what we want to hear and there seem to be a growing number of preachers who will speak exactly what we want to hear. They don’t tell us what we need to hear. They tell us what will keep us coming back and giving money. They will make us feel invincible and above God. They will build us up on a foundation of false scripture and present to us a false Jesus that loves what we love and hates what we hate. These are the people that Peter warned about in his second epistle. It is a call to repentance. The church is still losing its influence and we seem to be oblivious to it all. We need to stand up for the truth even if it means disciplining people, calling false prophets/teachers what they are, and holding our preachers up to the standard of the Word. We must not take anything for granted and when things don’t line up, we have to ask questions. Where are the real Christians? It’s time to start standing up for the truth!

Newslinks 08/02/08

August 4, 2008 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Business/Default.aspx?id=193830

Those close to televangelist prosper

 

Findings from the Associated Press (AP) seem to show that those who are closest to televangelist Kenneth Copeland have prospered over the years. There have been questions regarding Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Bishop Eddie L. Long, Randy and Paula White, Joyce Meyer, and Benny Hinn. The Senate Finance Committee launched an investigation into whether or not the ministries run by those listed above have complied with federal tax laws for tax-exempt organizations. Of the ministries being investigated, only two, the ministries of Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn, have given the information requested and cooperated with the Committee. AP says that through phone conversations, church documents, and public records, they’ve found a number of things that may be trouble if Copeland’s ministry were to be audited by the IRS. Copeland is a pioneer of the prosperity gospel, which holds that believers are destined to flourish spiritually, physically and financially; and share the wealth with others. The KCM ministry sits on 1,500 acres near Eagle Mountain Lake. The campus holds a church, private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry’s $17.5 million jet and other aircraft, and a $6 million church-owned lakefront mansion. KCM has said that they welcome an audit, which would keep all findings private. If he continues to refuse, the Committee could have him subpoenaed. Some of the things brought into question include the selling of church owned land to Copeland’s son John for use as a ranch and residence. Also under scrutiny is the media and airtime that has been purchased at a “deep discount” through Integrity Media, which is owned by Copeland’s son-in-law. A natural gas and oil company was also started on the church land when an underground oil and gas field was found on church property. Because KCM is organized under the tax code as a church, it only has to make sure that pastors get a “reasonable” salary. While Copeland’s current salary is unknown, AP found that a tax-exemption application from 1995 listed his salary at $364,577 while his wife Gloria made $292,593. AP says that it is unclear whether or not those figures include other earnings or not. Sen. Charles Grassley said that the main goal of the investigation is to “figure out whether existing tax laws governing churches are adequate, which could carry sweeping implications for all religious organizations”. While he continues to fight against the investigation, Copeland has started a fund-raising event to raise money for new television equipment that will allow him to broadcast in high definition.

 

Ok…there are a million thoughts going through my head right now. When I first heard this story and began following it, I wondered what would happen. I tried not to say too much about it for a number of reasons, but now I can’t help but speak. First, I applaud both Joyce Meyer and Benny Hinn. Whether or not I agree with everything they believe, they have been transparent in front of those who support them. Both ministries offered more than the required information. They have been up front and honest about the whole process. This is one reason I can’t help but wonder whether or not KCM is trying to hide something. They vehemently claim that they are above board and they have nothing to hide. If this is the case, then why fight? What would you lose if everything is fair? If nothing else, you would be able to turn around and say, “See! We are on the up and up and the idea that a Christian ministry would do something that doesn’t comply with the law is both unfair and unchristian”. Some people are crying foul for OneNews reporting this, saying that they should be attacking Christians like this. Remember, AP reported this. It was a secular news group that made the report. This is what the church looks like to the world!!! Copeland’s ministry has 1,500 acres of land, a church, a private airstrip, an oil and gas company, and a 6 million dollar mansion! Most of those who follow Copeland and other prosperity preachers would just claim that God has blessed him and that he is living it out. Is this true? How about the hundreds of thousands of people sending in anywhere from $5 to $5,000 a month as a “seed”? According to the 1995 reports, Copeland and his wife made $657,170. That was 13 years ago! I used to be a part of the whole “prosperity” trend, but as I began to study the Word, I have come to understand that the “blessing” of God is not all that Copeland and others make it out to be. Copeland says that this is an attack on religious liberty. I will have to say that I’m concerned about the comment from Grassley. I don’t understand exactly what “religious liberty” Grassley is attacking. Grassley is trying to find out whether or not KCM should have the right to remain a tax-exempt organization. While that is something that should remain a right of churches, if the organization in question is not following the regulations to be a tax-exempt organization, then they should lose that status. As part of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Grassley is doing part of his job. There are a number of others who probably should be investigated too, but they chose the six listed above. The role of a pastor/evangelist is to preach the gospel. They are to share the truth of the Word the way Jesus spoke it and the way that God meant it. Jesus focused much more on hell, sin, and judgment than He did on whether or not His followers should be prosperous. Many who follow the “prosperity gospel” claim that Jesus was “rich” and that as His followers we should be too. They take a number of scriptures out of context to support this. It would have been much better for KCM and others resisting to act as Christians. If they are doing something wrong, they should own up to it and make amends. If, after all the fighting and refusal to cooperate, if it comes out that something is up, it’s just going to reflect more negatively on Christ. If Copeland and others aren’t concerned about how they reflect on Christ, they have no business being pastors…

 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Business/Default.aspx?id=193578

Man dead after shoot-out at Christian radio station

 

A man armed with a shotgun was killed in a shootout with police in front of a Christian radio station. The station manager received a tip at 10 AM saying that a man with a gun was asking for money and directions to the radio station. The police received the same tip and met the man at the station. The manager took his employees into a safe room while the man shot at the police and tried to run them over with his vehicle. The police are now investigating the reason why the man would have attacked the radio station.

 

This is just a tragedy. While we don’t know the reason why the man attacked the station, the fact that he died in anger and was trying to kill others doesn’t bode well for him. We can only hope that he died with “Jesus” on his lips…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080727/christians-muslims-seek-common-ground-at-historic-conference.htm

Christians, Muslims Seek ‘Common Ground’ at Historic Conference

 

The meeting between top Christian and Muslim leaders in order to promote deeper understanding and peace between the two religions just ended. The conference was held in response to the letter written last October by Muslims. The letter cited “common ground” between the two religions and expressed the desire to use that ground to promote peace. Christian leaders responded to the letter with a letter of their own, which was signed by 500 leaders. Those who signed the letter said that they desire to “reshape” the two communities “genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another.” Many of the leaders removed their names from the response letter when problems with the original letter were shown. Those at the conference explored ways to change the “distorted perspectives” that Muslims and Christians have of each other. One of the attendees said, “Christians and Muslims have had periods of good and bad relationships”.

 

I’ve talked about this many times already. The “Christian leaders” continue to show that they have no clue what Muslims truly believe or an understanding of their own religion. Their desire to “reshape” Christianity proves this. When bringing these to religions together, the one that will get reshaped is Christianity. There is no reason in the world to compromise the foundations of Christianity, not even peace. To compromise Christianity is to remove it completely. You cannot change Christianity without ignoring or defacing Christ. The reason for the bad relationships is the differences in the religions. To profess a willingness to completely abandon your supposed Lord and Savior is to show yourself to be a non-Christian of the highest order…

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=192888

Is Rick Warren ignoring sin in search for ‘peace’?

 

Tom McMahon says that Rick Warren is introducing the church to the social gospel. Warren’s belief is that the church should be taking the lead in solving the world’s problems like poverty, disease and war. McMahon says that the problem is that he cannot find this in scripture. McMahon says that he believes that Warren and those like him are focusing on the symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself. Warren is gathering a number of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders together to talk about “cooperation for the common good of all Americans.” McMahon responds, “It’s true the world has all kinds of problems, but he’s working on the symptoms and avoiding the root cause, which is the sin nature of humanity. So how can you work with all kinds of people [who are] called ‘people of faith,’ but it’s not biblical faith?”

 

I have to agree with Tom McMahon. Rick Warren and so many others have made the focus of the gospel something other than what Jesus preached. Jesus preached sin and repentance. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a social gospel. Jesus did heal, He did feed, and He did many other things. Those things were not His focus though. Jesus’ focus was His death on the cross and His resurrection so that wretched, sinful man could be reconciled to the Lord. If we’re not preaching that, then we are not preaching at all.

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080731/theology-professor-leaving-traditionalist-seminary-over-bible-claims.htm

Theology Professor Leaving Traditionalist Seminary Over Bible Claims

 

As of August 1st this year, Peter Enns agreed to leave Westminster Theological Seminary after being suspended since March. Enns, a 14-year professor, was suspended for teaching his students that the Bible is the work of both God and man. This teaching goes against a foundational belief of the seminary, which comes from the 1649 Westminster Confession. This belief says that the Bible is solely the work of God.

 

What is happening to the church when those who are teaching the younger generations are not teaching what our Lord taught? What are we thinking when we allow those who have unscriptural ideas to teach them to our kids? Our churches need people that will teach what the Bible says. To do this, those teaching need to understand what the Bible says! Without proper biblical understanding, we will not be able to raise up children who understand why things are the way they are and what they need to do about it…

 


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