Newslinks 07/11/10

July 11, 2010 at 11:55 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Atheists put billboard on Billy Graham Parkway
A statewide coalition of atheists and agnostics has placed billboards in six North Carolina cities, including one along the Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte.

Euthanasia weighs evenly on U.S. morality scale
Gallup’s most recent “Values and Beliefs” survey shows an even split among Americans on the issue of doctor-assisted suicide.

Reformed churches merger approved
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches and the Reformed Ecumenical Council have agreed to merge into the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

When is someone brain dead?
In order to make sure doctors reach the correct conclusion in determining brain death, new guidelines that call for a lengthy examination have been developed.

Joni Eareckson Tada Not Shaken by Breast Cancer
After 43 years of living paralyzed from the neck down and recently learning that she now has breast cancer, Joni Eareckson Tada remains all smiles. Continue Reading Newslinks 07/11/10…

Naughty or Nice?

December 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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?…

The gospel according to Santa

December 15, 2008 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Most adults would say that they don’t believe in Santa. They would say that they are too old to believe in something like that. The funny thing is, the theology they hold to seems to say otherwise:

Prosperity gospel – God wants us to be healthy and wealthy and if we’re not, it’s our own fault. Either we lack faith or we’re not confessing the right things.

Social gospel – God left us an example in Jesus. This example was not about being holy and righteous. It wasn’t about being obedient. It was about doing everything we can to help and care for the less fortunate. We should give money, food, and other things to eradicate poverty, hunger, and other social ills. This was Jesus’ purpose for coming.

“Feel good” gospel – God is love. He loves us unconditionally. He is happy with us and we should feel the same way about ourselves. God is not judgmental, angry, or upset with “His children”. Sin isn’t talked about because that would imply we are wrong and God would judge us.

As I said above, many adults would say that they don’t believe in Santa, but what they teach/preach/listen to/believe seems to imply that Santa’s sitting in heaven. They make every effort to do good, not because it’s the result of salvation, but because they think it will help them get saved. They expect “good” things or “blessings” because they call themselves Christians, go to church, or even preach a “sermon” or “message” with scripture references. They treat God like Santa. They run to Him, “sit on His lap” (or “at his feet”) to ask for stuff and then run off and forget Him unless they don’t get what they asked for. They “believe” for things like God is sitting up in heaven waiting for them to be “good enough” or “have enough faith” to “receive” what they want.

I overheard someone say that God not only gives us our needs but our wants too. That was why Jesus changed the water into wine at the wedding of Cana…

I’ve also heard numerous people say “I know that God wants me blessed” or “I know God wants me to have it”.

It’s like they believe God’s entire existence revolves around them and their happiness. God seems to hang on their every word waiting for them to “confess” something so that He has the ability to act! I’ve heard “preaching” by well-known a prosperity preacher, Bill Winston, say that “the reason that Satan killed all the prophets was because they were saying things. ‘When the prophets spoke, God could act’” This is ridiculous! Not only that, but those who see God like this never seem to see anything but “good” like love, joy, peace, and “blessing”. They never see the “bad” things like judgment, justice, righteousness, and holiness. Even when someone makes “Santa God”’s “bad” list, they don’t get punished. They just get a little less blessed than others! They get a Toyota instead of a Mercedes, a three bedroom ranch instead of a mansion, and a middle-class $50K job instead of the “big money”.

Even at Christmas time we do this. We focus on ourselves:

Q: Why do we celebrate Christmas?

A: Because Jesus was born.
Q: Why was He born?

A: To save us.

While this is true, it’s not the main reason that Jesus came. Everything God does is for His glory!!! Yes, Jesus died for us. Yes, it was one of His purposes, but it was NOT the main one.

It seems that at the heart of everything most Christians do today is self. Everything that’s preached is all about what “God” can do for you. All the sermons by the “pastors” are focused on health, wealth, sex, relationships, and image. Sin, hell, judgment, and justice are taboo now because it might offend someone.

I’ve got a newsflash for those “Christians” who follow these warped and misleading theologies:

God is NOT some doddering old man who sits on a throne in heaven anxiously waiting for you to “ask in faith” for the materialistic, worldly, things you can do without. He is NOT “making a list and checking it twice”. His main focus is NOT to “bless you so you can bless others”. He does not need you to say something before He can act, nor does He need your permission. He is not surprised by anything that happens and is not powerless to work without us. He has NOT changed His mind about sin or how someone gets saved. He’s NOT our “buddy”, our “lover”, or our “divine butler”. He does NOT sit up in heaven trying to thing of ways to bless you.

The God of the Bible IS the Triune, eternal God who existed before time and will continue to exist for eternity. He IS the One who created everything and breathed millions of stars into existence. He IS the One whose voice shakes the mountains. His presence causes heaven and earth to flee from Him. He IS the judge of the living and the dead. He brought plagues on the nation of Egypt and wiped out their entire army with the Red Sea. He destroyed two priests because they offered unholy fire. He opened the earth and swallowed up Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their families because of their rebellion. He has raised up and brought low entire nations, including His chosen people. He IS the One who hates sin. It is His wrath that rests on those who live in disobedience and rebellion. He judged the entire world with a global flood and has promised a fiery judgment to come. No human being will ever fully comprehend Him and no other “god” (Allah, Brahman, Buddha) will ever compare to Him.

Do you see the stark contrast between the “god” of the modern church and the God of the Bible? If you follow the “modern God”, you are deceived and need to understand what God says about Himself and not what the “pastor” says. If you preach this “modern God”, you need to repent and you should be ashamed. God will not hold you guiltless for the people your misleading!

The modern church needs to stop focusing on what they want. They need to stop focusing on what the unsaved want. They need to start focusing on what God wants. As Christians, we need to be focused on glorifying God! God will provide for us. He will test us and bring us through trials for His glory. If we lose our jobs, loved ones, finances, or health, God knows and will do what will bring Him the most glory. This doesn’t mean we can’t grieve or rejoice. It doesn’t mean that things will always be tough or that God is “out to get us”, but it doesn’t mean that everything will be rosy either. It means that God will get the glory that He alone deserves.

God wills save people if they come to Him on His terms. He will provide as He sees necessary, whether we agree with it or understand it or not. God does love those who are His, but not to the point of overlooking sin. He hates sin and will judge those who have not repented of their sin and put their trust in Christ. God doesn’t mind us asking for things. It is when we demand or expect things from Him that we cross the line. So many Christians seem to have put themselves in a place above God. There isn’t a more dangerous place someone could be…

As Christmas draws near, instead of focusing on what you want or want you don’t have, focus on how you can use everything God has given you to glorify Him.

Design of the Week 12/10/08 – Half Right

December 15, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This time of year, many people are focused on the “Christmas rush”. They run around from store to store to find the perfect gift for those they love. The big attraction this time of year for the kids is getting their picture with Santa and telling him what they want for Christmas. One of the most famous phrases from Mr. Claus is “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

The sad part about this is that Santa is only half right. Unfortunately, many people are happy with that. See, what we should be saying this time of year is “Holy! Holy! Holy!” These three words are known in scripture as the trihaggion. The only time they are used is to describe God. Holiness is one of God’s characteristics. He is holier than everything else.

We should be focused on God and His holiness instead of gifts and Santa. It was God who came to earth to save us. While many people know this, they seem to forget that He didn’t have to. He is perfect and holy without us. He doesn’t need us or depend on us. And yet, He still came and lived as a man in order to provide us the opportunity to be reconciled with Him. The Christmas season is the beginning of something that God had planned before the foundation of the world. It ended on Resurrection Sunday when Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

This season, when you find yourself caught up in rushing around to get your shopping done and everything just seems to be pressuring you, stop for a minute and put your focus back on Christ. It is His gift that we should be receiving. It is His gift that we should be most happy with and most grateful for. It is His gift that is the only thing that can save us from an eternity in hell. Being half right is the same as being all wrong when your eternal life is on the line…


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: