Harold Camping, the church, and the world

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

Do they apply?

March 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems that in the American church’s rush to appease the lost and the non believers (I was going to say pagans but that would probably offend someone), or their effort to bilk trusting, tested Christians of all the money they have by “sowing their seed”; the church has forgotten one of its greatest tools. Ok, I don’t think that they’ve forgotten it as much as they’ve tossed it aside for church growth plans and light-hearted, shallow events that bring people in based on their greed and have them leaving the same way (if they’re lucky). Now, any pastor can pick whatever they want to say and then go traipsing through the scriptures and cherry-pick whatever verses they want to support their “sermon”. To do this, of course, they have to twist the scriptures until they squeeze every last drop of life out of them; but the ends justifies the means even if the means completely destroys the foundation upon which the “sermon” should be built on.

This attitude bleeds to the flock of the “shepherd” over time until the entire group goes through the Bible picking out “life verses” and “claiming” specific verses as “theirs”. After awhile, the church is full of puffed up men and women who expect everything from God because they can string together a group of verses that have no real connection and then muster up their most faith filled voice to command Him to bring it to pass right now because they deserve it. Mix in the idea that we have to look blessed (whatever that looks like) and act blessed even if we don’t have two nickels to rub together and you’ve got a large portion of America’s churches.

So, what is this missing tool? What is the thing that would stop all of this nonsense? Hermeneutics. Continue Reading Do they apply?…

In the last days

November 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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With all that is going on in the world today, I’m really surprised how little is being said on the latter days. The times that we are in seem, to me at least, to be those latter days. Much of scripture talks about what is coming in the last days. The Bible says that the last days will involve horrible events that continue to get worse. What is interesting to me is that the church seems to be saying very little about these times. Many pastors today won’t even touch the topic or what scripture says. Instead, they spend most of their time telling Christians how to be happy, wealthy, and healthy. They spend their time telling others what they want to hear and not warning them of what’s to come.

 

This, too, is in scripture. If many of America’s preachers do talk about the “last days”, they end up focusing on Joel 2. What’s even sadder is the fact that they don’t even focus on all of Joel 2. They only focus on the part the says what they like:

 

Joe 2:28  “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.

Joe 2:29  “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

 

This is all that many pastors talk about when they speak of the last days. The Bible says a lot more about the last days. They are times that both Christian and non-Christian alike need to know about.

 

In 1 Timothy 4:1, Paul warns Timothy that the Spirit says that in the last days many will fall away from the faith:

 

1Ti 4:1  But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

1Ti 4:2  by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron,

1Ti 4:3  men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

 

Paul says that those who fall away from the faith will do so because they pay attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. They will also pay attention to the hypocrisy of liars who have been seared in their conscience. Peter says that these people will follow their own sensuality and malign the way of truth. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul again describes these people and warns Timothy about them. He tells Timothy that they “will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, reacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power”. Sadly, the churches of today seem to be full of these very people. As I said above, many of the messages being preached are focused on health, wealth, and happiness. They are messages that are based on scripture taken out of context and twisted to “fit” the desires of the listeners. All the while, the Christians and non-Christians who hear these messages sit oblivious to the truth of the times that we live in because they are focused on “what God is doing in their lives”.

 

It is sad that we are not warning others of what is to come. The Bible says that all of the things that we are seeing going on are signs of the end times. The time for Jesus’ return is constantly approaching closer to us. Christ Himself has spoken about all the famines, earthquakes, wars, rumors of wars, and other events. The truth is that we are to be warning others of the judgment to come. We are to remind ourselves, and others, of the terrible justice that will come when Christ returns. The Bible says that when Christ returns, He is coming to bring justice to the world. Those who have rejected Him will be seen as an enemy.

 

So where are all the Christians? Where are those who are truly “watchmen on the wall” who are warning of the danger to come (Ezekiel 33:1-6)? Why are we not doing everything we can to tell others of what’s coming? Why have we allowed the church to be filled with people who preach false gospels? Why do we allow people to call themselves Christians when we know that they are not living according to scripture? Why are we so afraid to speak the truth to those around us who profess the name of Christ and mock Him with their words, their lives, and their actions?

 

What will it take for us to get off of our butts and actually start living the way we’re supposed to? What will it take for us to stop focusing on our bank accounts and our health and start focusing on the horrible, despicable, moral depravity that is IN THE CHURCH! I’m not even talking about the world(although there’s plenty of it there too)…I’m talking about the church. What would happen if we truly loved the Lord? What would happen if we truly held God and His Word as high and holy as it should be? What would happen if we stopped pretending that we’re living right and started actually living it out? Will it take us losing every freedom we have before we cry out to God? Will it take Christians losing the ability to speak out against sin to actually wake up? I doubt it. Most churches don’t speak out against sin as it is. Will it take Christians losing the freedom to worship openly before they start speaking up? Will it take Christians having to meet secretly in houses or underground before we turn back to the Lord? The things that the church has neglected to do should weigh heavily on her and cause her to grieve greatly. It should be something that drives each and every member of the body to take every opportunity to preach the truth.

 

When I say preach the truth, I’m not talking about telling them “Jesus loves you”. I’m not talking about telling them how “wonderful” Jesus will make their lives. When I talk about preaching the gospel, I’m talking about telling others that if they die without Christ, they will find themselves in an eternal hell without God. They will spend eternity in judgment because their sins were not paid for.

 

What will it take, church?


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