Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Request for Prayers and Petitions

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with an old deacon friend of mine. He still attends my old church. A few years ago, they began chasing the purpose-driven rabbit. And my friend is about the only one there who is trying to stand up for the truth.

Yesterday he let me know that the pastor's wife came to him, crying, and saying "Please don't leave, we can work something out."

Well, repentance would be a good start ma'am, but I don't think that is going to happen. Besides, do you represent church leadership?

Anyway, he said all he really wants is for them to be willing to just read the material he has on Warrenism and where it is going, not to mention the issue of Rick Warren's character. But that doesn't appear to be in the works. Once you've eaten the "purpose driven mushrooms" you get so tripped out you don't care much for reality.

Anyway, I remember at my new church they said "you never mention the name of the church you left in your testimony". Oh yeah, we can't offend anyone, can we... Oh well, this isn't my testimony, and even if it were, I would take that statement for a walk down to "Frankly, my dear" park. (Ok, that dates me. Think "Casablanca").

Here's a link to the all knowing - all serving "Purpose Driven Church Finder".

Look for "Village Baptist Church". And please remember that there is a guy there who is fighting a lonely battle for biblical Christianity.

Blessings to you.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Are You Part of the Majority or the Remnant?
part 2.

In this post, I linked to an article which addressed this question. And it's a great article.

But I've been wanting to add a second part to this. A warning to those who profess Christ but may not really be his.

I remember reading a book some time ago that told a story of a man who videotaped a skydive event. He was part of it. He watched the others dive from the plane, and then he followed -- his camera running. They all fell earthward and as they did, the other skydivers held hands, made formations and did stunts. Then they began opening their parachutes. The camera kept rolling.

One by one, the parachutes opened. What a beautiful sight! But then something apparently went very wrong. Suddenly, the camera began swinging wildly. It became obvious that there was great panic by the way the camera kept moving. Then nothing.

What happened? The found that the person with the camera had failed to put on a parachute! He thought he was just as safe and secure as the other skydivers. He enjoyed the fall and watched the show. He really believed he had nothing to worry about. But he found out, too late, that he was falsly assured about his safety.

Jesus says in Matthew 7 that there will come a day of great catastrophe for many who profess Christ. They will expect to enter heaven, only to hear "...depart from me, I never knew you...", and that will be an eternal catastrophy. Even while those words are shocking them, they will sink into an eternal hell from which they will never emerge. Their "spiritual experiences" will prove to be false evidence of a salvation they never had. They really thought (or should I say 'think' because some of you reading this may be among that number!) they were converted because "God Stuff" happened to them, only to find out experiences prove nothing.

See, conversion is not found in a profession of faith. Conversion is not found in walking an isle, signing a card, or praying a prayer. It isn't even found in martyrdom. It is not, according to John 1, by human decision but by a sovereign act of God.

Salvation is, as Paul said, by grace through faith and even faith is a gift of God (we know that because the Greek word for "that" is feminine as is the word for "faith").

So, what is my point? Simple. Look for fruit. Look for the fruit of obedience. Look in Romans chapters 1 and 16. Both chapters tell of "the obedience of faith". In other words, "the obedience that comes from faith". Don't agree with me? Read Hebrews 11. Here you see the repeated working out of faith in demonstrated obedience. James would say they were showing their faith "by their works". And they did.

Read John's first epistle. The entire epistle was written to help John's readers tell those who profess Christ from those who really possess Christ. The "if we sayers" are the unsaved and the "if we doers" are the saved.

True Christians continue to love the bretheren. Do you love those who preach the pure unadulterated Gospel? Or do you merely tolerate them or maybe even become angered by them because they are "offensive" or "narrow". Be careful; you may not be shunning mere people. You may be refusing the real Gospel.

Do you continue to find excuses for sin patterns in your life? Then you have little or no right to assurance of salvation. Why? because John tells us that, on the negative side, a true convert will not practice sin. John adds that a true Christian cannot "continue to practice sin because His seed abides in him...". As he later says, a true Christian will "continue to purify himself". That is the positive side.

Today, we hear a popularized "gospel". It really has nothing to do with the true Gospel. It basically says "Hey, wanna be happy and fulfilled? Pray this prayer and you're in!" That isn't the biblical Gospel, but a false Gospel that is known by a very wide gate. Jesus said the gate is narrow, as is the way. The contemporary gospel knows nothing of repentance. After all, that would alienate "seekers".

Well, I have news for you. If anyone is really seeking Christ, you need to tell them how to get to Christ. And Jesus said it's by denying yourself, taking up your cross (death to self) and following (obeying and conforming to) Him. Nothing more. Nothing less. And it begins with repentance.

If you leave this out, you have a false gospel. And you really need to, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians, "examine yourself to see if you are in the faith."

There is only one thing that matters. That is "What does the Bible say about salvation".

We live in days of great apostasy. Many are those in prominence who are gathering many around them. They have charismatic personalities. They say great things. And they appear to be so noble. They promise happiness in this life. They promise to solve the world's problems. The problem is that God never promised these things. Not in this life.

One promise that Jesus made was that "...those who seek to live godly in this present evil age shall suffer persecution." So, I ask you, when was the last time you took a pounding for a legitimate expression of your faith? And yes, I have to ask myself that as well.

So, I ask you to take a serious look at your life. Do you really know Him? I remember a song from years ago; "Hey You, I'm into Jesus". I hate that song. I don't care if you are into Jesus any more than I care if you are "into" stamp collecting. What I want to be sure of is "Is Jesus Into Me?" It isn't "do I know Jesus". It's "Will Jesus say He Knows Me?"

Let us ask that question daily.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

We Have a Winner!

You will remember that we had a contest going on. Well, today's the day I am supposed to announce the winner.

Well, actually, we only had two entrants. Not sure what that says about the contest. I'm sure that the prize (Ray Comfort "Living Waters" tracts) are very popular. Oh well.

Anyway, I had said something about sending tracts to the winner and also maybe the second person with the right answer. Well, that's what I've decided to do.

Pastor Ken Silva was the first to answer correctly that the guy in the picture is Steve Camp. Blaurock was the second (and last one). I sent a copy of the full image to Steve, but never heard from him. Tough luck Steve, you coulda nailed it and walked away with some great tracts! Oh well, at least I'm sure that the image of the bulletin brings back some great memories for him.

Click here to see the entire sheet that Steve's picture was scanned from. That puppy is dated 1978! Steve was at a place near Morton named the "Jesus Barn". It has since been torn down. Fortunately for us, Steve is still standing!

Congratulations to you both. Ken has sent me his mailing address and I'll be boxing the tracts up for him tomorrow. I'll need Blaurock's real name and address as well. You can email me at


Friday, December 22, 2006

Get Yer Seeker Sensitive Contracts Here!
(a personal challenge)

Hey, we've all run into those who believe it is far more important to make a lost -- err, unchurched -- person feel good about him or herself. Evangelism? No rush!

Next time you have a discussion about evangelism with a member of the "seeker"movement, just smile and give them one of these -- after you've printed them out, of course.

Just do a right click and save the file. It's in Word format.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just Say "NO" to Warrenism

It's like a bad drug that's taken over the mind of the church. Spiritual junk food that impoverishes the Body of Christ. Rick Warren and "Purpose Driven". I say, "Just Say No". Why? Here are a few reasons:

Rick Warren isn't even an example to follow from a pastoral standpoint. Why? He seems to be perfectly happy having a pornographer in his church. Ever heard of Rupert Murdoch? He's the guy who printed Rick's books (Rupert also owns Zondervan).

Now, I've heard it said "Big Deal, so Rupert Murdoch published his books. And what is wrong with allowing a pornographer in your church?". Well, regarding the books, I'd probably be kind of concerned about who is getting my money. And as far as allowing a pornographer in the church, that is fine! Pornographers are sinners, just like all other sinners including me. But this isn't about Murdoch. It's about Warren. And Rick Warren apparently thinks there is something humorous about having a pornographer as a part of Saddleback. And because Rick says he is Murdoch's pastor, that implies Murdoch isn't merely a visitor. So Rick, when are you going to ask him to repent? And if he doesn't, when will you bring on church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18? Again, if Murdoch is going to a church to seek the truth and is seeking salvation, great! But Rick should give him the truth and expect repentance -- and if that doesn't happen, church discipline should be the result.

2. Rick Warren's abuse of God's Word. Now, if you just pick up "Purpose Driven Life" and read it, you don't really notice anything wrong. Why is that? Because he uses paraphrases to make it look like the scriptures support his point. Worse, he uses various versions. Why? Because only a given translation or paraphrase will support his point! This is becoming more and more prevalent in the church. If "The New Living" renders a verse in such a way that it supports your argument, then it is "the most accurate translation". I've actually heard that excuse at my own church -- while we were using some of Warren's material.

The proper way to handle God's Word is to read the verse in question and use the original languages to give a proper interpretation for the verse, taking it literally and also incorporating what we know about the verse in the contexts of history, culture and the rest of scripture. A good rule is to ask "What would this verse mean if I were dead". In other words, kill any self-interest in any meaning other than the true one. The one God meant.

But Rick Warren doesn't do that. He uses The New Living and "The Message" (which sometimes even reverses the original intent of a passage). Does he know better? Well, he's formally trained as a Pastor in the Southern Baptist Conference -- so I'd hope he knows better. I'm sure he does. And there is no excuse for this because there are plenty of biblical language tools out there that are simple enough to use by even the newest believer in Christ. But yet, Rick Warren will flip from version to version, paraphrase to paraphrase depending on which one serves to support his arguments.

3. Rick Warren's teachings include New Age elements. Ever heard of "Discovering your life metaphor"? "The way you see your life, shapes your life." Just listen to Rick in PDL. He'll tell you all about it. He uses the writings of Anais Nin who is a writer of female erotica (another pornographer, Rick?). "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are". We change reality by changing our thinking. Uh. Hello? This is right out of the human potential movement and it is certainly not biblical.

Now, I can just hear someone saying "Hey, there are some good things in the human potential movement." Well, I'm not going to go there. All I'm going to do is ask you this: Do you really believe that the scriptures are sufficient? Is it or is it not good enough that God has told us what He wants us to know about church growth and how He wants it done? Or has man somehow improved on God's ideas? Am I saying we have no need for books and preachers? Of course not! But we are to examine everything we hear ("Test the spirits") to be sure that what we are hearing accurately represents what God has said in His Word. If we don't do that, we do it at our own peril because God's Word is the only objective standard we have.

Rick Warren denies the true Gospel. Don't think so? Ok -- If you and I were sitting in a room with those who oppose the message of the Gospel -- such as Orthodox Jews, Buddhists, etc., and you heard me tell them that I can't or won't tell them what beliefs are true, what would you think of me as one who professes Christ?

I thought so.

And here is Rick Warren (on video) addressing a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders at Synagogue 3000. And if that doesn't bake your cookies, here's a quote from the Jewish Journal: "Warren told Wolfson his interest is in helping all houses of worship, not in converting Jews. He said there are more than enough Christian souls to deal with for starters."

If that doesn't ruffle your feathers just a little, I'd urge you do ask yourself if you really know Christ.

5. Rick Warren is a serial liar. This is public knowlege. It came to light with his visit to Syria a while back. He went there and gave praises to Syria for being "moderate". He was caught doing this on video. He then lied about a video being made and blamed "Christian Bloggers" for "trusting the Syian press" (funny, I thought he had good things to say about Syria...what happened?). The video was pulled by Saddleback, and Warren kept saying it's all about bloggers telling untruths. He claimed that there was no video. Oddly enough though, he showed it at his "AIDS Summit" at Saddleback! What? Rick? How can you show a video that doesn't exist? To this day, he maintains this is all misrepresentation by bloggers. He just can't deliver the truth that the rest of us can hear and see.

(Article in progress, check back later for updates)

Are You Part of The Majority or the Remnant?

Those of us who have, in one way or another, been trying to sound the alarm regarding compromise in the church have been facing a spiritual "slog". Of course, Jesus never promised things would be easy.

Many of us have been pushed out of churches for not "going along to get along", deciding instead to stand for what God has clearly said, rather than hear the world's oldest lie: "Has God Really Said...".

If you have found yourself fighting for a return to the simple faith of "read it, believe it and DO it", please read this and be encouraged.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Another Contest??? --
Yes! Another Contest!

Did I hear you say you really could use 100 tracts from Ray Comfort? I thought so. Here's your chance! And this may not even be much of a contest!

Ok, here ya go.

The other day, I was going through a bunch of old papers and I found a sheet of paper announcing an event. I won't say what the event was, what the date was or anything else. Besides, I have to save those for hints later, don't I?

I will say that the person in the picture was/is well known. But who is it?

Contest winner will be announced on December 27th.
If you won our last contest (that's you, Dan from Tennessee!) sorry you are not eligible. Time to scoot over and let someone else have some goodies! In case of multiple correct entries, the earliest submission will be considered the winner. Or, maybe I'll send the first two correct ones tracts. Hey, I'm moody, who knows!?!

No anonymous entries will be accepted (and believe it or not, we got them on our last if you can send tracts to "anonymous"! -- hey, maybe they were emergent???) so make sure you have a name on your entry. One entry per person.

Have fun!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Yup, It's Happening --
Growth in the home church movement

Not a bit surprising.

According to this news article from, home churches are gaining ground.

I am rather amused by one statement in there, referencing how some "...question their theology because they have no trained clergy." To which I reply "Given how so many seminaries are buying into emergent and PDL, how is seminary a guarantee against anything"? Indeed, Rick Warren went to a seminary. My conferences seminary is Bethel in Minnesota, and it's buying into the new age marketing techniques of Erwin McManus.

While I'm not against formal training for ministry, I don't see it as a requirement. The closest I've seen to an argument for requiring seminary is "Paul was in the wilderness for three years". To which I reply "...and?".

Then there is the faux argument (not in the article) that you need conferences so you can send missionaries. Uh, yeah....right. I've actually heard that one.

It seems that the reason so many are starting home churches is because they want to get back to the basics. How was it done in the first century? And I'll admit bias -- I think it should be done that way too.

And you know what? Mark my words -- this will continue as traditional churches buy into the PDL/Seeker baal worship. People will eventually see it as empty. The soul can tell the difference, you know. If you eat enough cotton candy, you learn that you are still empty.

Also, as true believers become more marginalized, we will see more of an "underground church" movement. No, I haven't "had a vision", but it is going to happen barring some mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Answer to a Culture in Decline --
an article by Steve Camp

It's easy to get very depressed when you look around and see what's going on spiritually in our country, and even in the visible church. Having done so much research on Warrenism has been a challenge to me personally. Add to that the fact my involvement in discipling an individual who is attempting to bring even one or two minds around in his (my former) church. It gets tiring. Then to add to that, the endless "discussions" with those who give absolutely no evidence of knowing what the Bible teaches about evangelism, repentance or faith -- just what Warren told them in his book about "building relationships" -- misrepresentations of Biblical texts.

Here, beloved, are the basics. Here are some non-negotiables that we would do well to review and reinforce.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Odd Couple -- Or Not?
Rick Warren and Rupert Murdoch

Wow. That's all I've been able to say since I found this stuff tonight. Wow.

And I've passed the info onto a friend of mine who is fighting "PDL" at his church. Now we'll find out just how dedictated to Warren these people are.

Here are some facts.

1. In this article on his own website, Rick Warren states that he is Rupert Murdoch's pastor. Search the page for "rupert". It's there.

2. In the same paragraph, he states that Murdoch even published his book(s) for him.

3. Rupert Murdoch (for those who don't know) is a pornographer.

4. Zondervan is owned by Murdoch (look under the subheading of "Marketing Tactics")

As I've said to others, this is not "hearsay". This stuff didn't come from a website like "Uncle Eddies Pitstop on the Dock on the Mississippi" or something like that.

So, to those who really, really think that Warren is a "good guy" or a "good pastor", I say "It's time to use some discernment".

Does this touch someone's bubble? I sincerely hope so.

I'm Thankful...

You know, I've had this rolling around in my system for some time and haven't put it in words yet. Maybe it is time to do so.

I remember in 1998, when I was convicted of sin and the need for Christ, I was working at Western Illinois University at the time. Before my conversion, the place was "ok", I guess. Lots of stuff there, things to do. but after my conversion, it became a very dark and scary place. WIU is known as a "Party College". And I mean a "Party College" in the truest sense of the word. The university sits in McDonough County, Illinois which has a very high concentration of witchcraft. My guess is that it's connected with many of the university staff, but who knows.

About a year after my conversion, we moved back to my home town and commuted to Macomb from my town. As I drove into the area down there, I could sense a "darkness". Kind of like going into a tunnel. It was very intimidating. Finding little glimpses of light here and there, the Lord kept me pointed in the right direction, and I'm thankful.

But I hated that time. There were conflicts that the job brought to me -- fixing computers for faculty so they could foist their evolutionary fantasies on the students, fixing printers so the "women's center" could print and spread abortion propoganda. Seeing GBLFA stickers on office know "Gay Safe Zones". It was a struggle. But, you know, I can now see God at work even then.

I was getting a foretaste of what is happening around our country now that almost a decade (hard to believe) has passed. Some of the things that I saw then on the campus, I now see and hear about as a general matter-of-course in our society. I hear of "hate crimes legislation" and all that on the radio, and I remember all the talk I heard at the university. The solution now is the same as it was then; "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..."

I'm thankful for the experiences I had at the university. I kind of suspected it then, but now I'm more convinced; the Lord was allowing me to be stretched and to get a fortaste of what I'd be seeing and hearing now.

The Lord certainly does "...cause all things to work for the good..." Ultimately, things like this prepare us for the greater trials when they come later.

Rick Warren, Ed McMahon
and the Holy Spirit.

TeamPyro always seems to come up with great comparisons. This one is no different.

It's time to review priorities. In the light of all the attention PDL brings to Rick Warren (and that he brings to himself), I think it healthy to review this at TeamPyro. What did Ed McMahon do that Rick Warren doesn't? And most importantly, what the Bible says about the work of the Holy Spirit.


Monday, December 11, 2006

How Do You Define "Insanity"?

The term "insanity", has been defined (by A.A., I think) as "doing the same repeatedly while expecting different results".

Well, today on "
Crosstalk" at VCYAmerica, Dr. Paul Cameron tells us of the folly of the continual attempt to fight HIV/AIDS by education and condom distribution. If this were any other epidemic we'd be changing our strategies after 20 plus years with no results. Newsflash: "Education" and condom distribution doesn't work.

In today's "Crosstalk", he discusses the error of the Church turning its focus on fighting AIDS at the expense of the Gospel. He explains that HIV/AIDS is primarily a homosexual disease and, in fact, is increasing among the homosexual community while declining among heterosexuals.

Here is the link to the broadcast.

Wonder What His Definition of "Is" Is?

Here we go again.

Seems like Rick Warren's machine can't make up its mind.

If you've been following the RickCapades, you know that Slick Rick went to Syria and spoke on how nice and moderate Syria is -- you know, the place where the terrorists breed. The place that killed a Christian (just for being a Christian) the day after Warren made his claim about Syria. *cough*

Then, as we read at WorldNetDaily, he said that he never invites politicians to Saddleback to speak (Of course, later in the same email, he listed the politicians that were coming to his church to speak).

Why should this surprise me? This Clintonesque behavior comes from the same guy who says that he isn't "telling us what parameters are right and wrong" when it comes to defining what we believe -- and in context, he's including Buddhists, Catholics, Jews and Christians. And if you can't decide what real truth is, anything goes, doesn't it Rick?

That explains a multitude of behaviors. I guess it depends on how you define "is".

So, Rick, if "not everything can equally true..." please tell me what you believe to be exclusively true. You know, the Gospel. Oh yeah, you can't do that because you'll alienate your product from your potential "customers". Oh well. The truth is only worth so much, isn't it?

Hear it yourself and come to understand Rick Warren the Chameleon; Here, he tells his congregation "We all need Jesus! Left or Right is irrelevant to me. I'm not a politician. I am a pastor, and my calling is to go "to ALL nations and ALL people " with the saving knowledge of Jesus." But here he can't tell other faiths what is true or isn't.

By the way, here is a link to the list of Warren videos at Synagogue3000. Remember -- I didn't post them, they (Orthodox Jewish leaders) did.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Jeremiah on Trusting God

Just a while ago I was reading Jeremiah. I got to chapter 2 and read the following:

" 5 This is what the LORD says:
"What fault did your fathers find in me,
that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
and became worthless themselves."

When I read this, I couldn't help but think of how far off the contemporary church is. With the seeker/PDL/PDC/Emergent errors, I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe the Lord is asking us the same question today.

What fault have we, the church, found in God that we should stray from His Word and His Will? We say we love God's Word, but we ignore it. We read it, we don't obey it!

We are following the worthless idols of contemporary "growth" strategies. We bow down and worship numbers. We have the heretical notion that gaining numbers means we are doing real worship and obedience! How far off track we've gotten!

We are the "plastinated church" as Steve Camp has put it. Our vitality is gone, but we have a structure that makes us look alive even while we are dead. The living cells that were led by the Spirit have "died". What has replaced them is activity and human strategy.

I ask you, what did we find wrong with God's Way? Of preaching repentance and faith in Christ alone? Since when did we become wiser than God and decide that His ways are irrelevant and foolish? Our times have changed? I challenge that argument. Our society, really, is no different than the pagan times of the birth of the church. Read Corinthians. Yet they preached repentance and faith. So, when did we become wiser than God?

Augustine said that "If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." Well, let this be true for the whole of Scripture. You say you believe the Bible? They why, in our hearts, dare we edit God? We do this when we dismiss any part of what He has said. We repeat the words of the adversary, who said "...has God really said...?".

At what point did the Lord of Heaven and Earth become unworthy of our allegiance? And at what time did earthly wisdom become worthy of our worship?

We are like Israel:

13 "My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water..."

And again:

23 "How can you say, 'I am not defiled;
I have not run after the Baals'?
See how you behaved in the valley;
consider what you have done.
You are a swift she-camel
running here and there, 24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert,
sniffing the wind in her craving—"

Must the church be so bent on "sniffing the wind" to see whatever direction it will prefer to go? Are we not simply followers of fads, bowing down to gods of our own making? We want popularity, so we excuse our practices and say we are trying to be 'relevant'. Isn't the truth that we simply want acceptance? The Lord Himself says if we are faithful, we won't find it!

Repent, Church, repent!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Church Growth Mania:
It's a choice, not genetic.

Here's a revealing and encouraging article presented by Ray Baumann at Christian Worldview Network. Could it actually be true that someone hooked on "Church Growth Hormones" can turn around?

This man's answer is "Yes!"

"Is Moody Really The Name You Can Trust?"--

In this earlier post, I asked the question "Is Moody Really The Name You Can Trust". Well, from readng this post from "Slice", it would appear that anyone who listens to Moody must be willing and able to use discernment that we used to trust MBI with.

Apparently Dr. Easley, the president of MBI, has a problem with those who question Rick Warren's affiliation with Senator Obama.

So, Dr. Easley, it's ok to join up with a pro-abortionist in the name of "fighting aids" even when they refuse to speak against the things that contribute to its spread -- such as gay bathhouses, the promotion of same-sex marriage, etc., ad-nauseum?

Dr. Easley; Rick Warren says "It takes two wings to fly", which (in view of his alliance with Obama) apparently means "left and right wing". So, are you going to ask your friend Rick Warren to flap his "right wing" and ask for the shutting down of the bathhouses and the unqualified defense of traditional heterosexual marriage?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pastors or Human Potential Advocates?

Here's a pop quiz on discernment!

Apprising Ministries has a revealing post which compares PDL/Seeker with contemporary new age marketing techniques. Think you can tell the difference? Give it a try!

The tragedy of this is that the SBC pastor represented in this article is Erwin McManus who “' with Bethel Theological Seminary as a futurist and distinguished professor.' Futurist and cultural architect Erwin McManus is actually involved with a number of other projects as well such as Origins, Awaken Humanity, The International Mentoring Network, founded by his brother Alex McManus and yelo, an awakening of the human spirit to name a few."

Sad. I'm a member of a BGC church. Bethel Seminary is BGC.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Recovering the Sufficiency and Authority of Sola Scriptura

With all the bad news regarding Rick Warren and Purpose Driven, do you have spiritual vertigo? Need some spiritual dramamine? Let us focus on the real solution and not the problem.

Here's a wonderful article at Steve Camp's site.

The father of lies will do what he will. Let us do what we are supposed to do!

My Kingdom for Someone With Discernment:
A lesson in duplicity

Is there anyone left who really believes in the proper view of the Word of God?

One really wonders this. Especially after the conversation I had today.

Just a while ago, I had a conversation with someone who is struggling with his church leadership. Now it turns out the problem is far more widespread than he had thought.

He had presented a deaconess (that's a whole other topic) with this article which clearly shows the abuse of scripture in "The Purpose Driven Life".

This person, normally, is one who would stand "for the authority of the Scriptures". Wow! You'd think this article would get some positive support from the individual.

Well, it did. To a point. The deaconess said "Yes, I can see how this is wrong. It gives the wrong meaning, BUT the book has helped so many people!"

Wow. So, in other words, deception is ok as long as it helps someone? And how, in what specific way, has it "helped" anyone? And this is a "leader" in the local church? Deception is ok in the right context? Even if it means misrepresenting the Lord of Glory Himself?

Now, this is my former church. I know the people he's talking about. And it grieves me. I had expected so much more of these people.

There can be no middle ground. When it comes to God's Word, you cannot have it both ways. Either you agree with God, or you don't. And how dare us (myself or anyone) approve of anything that misrepresents what God has said, even if it shows apparent "benefits".

We are told to "...speak the truth in love...". That kind of eliminates falsehood. We are to speak the truth in love but a lie, by its very nature, leaves love out. A lie is merely a verbal tool to get an immediate perceivable reward. How dare us think God works that way! And isn't that what the serpent did in the Garden? He told a lie to get an immediate result.

And so it goes on today.

Beloved, we are called to dedication to God's Truth. To read it, know it, obey it and speak it. It couldn't get any clearer. Or simpler. The outworkings may be difficult but the principle is very, very simple -- Know what God has said and do it -- that is the essense of saving faith!

May the Lord have mercy on us, and help us to be faithful in these dark days.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Oswald Chambers --
The Supremacy of Jesus Christ

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ
"He will glorify Me . . ." —John 16:14

he holiness movements of today have none of the rugged reality of the New Testament about them. There is nothing about them that needs the death of Jesus Christ. All that is required is a pious atmosphere, prayer, and devotion. This type of experience is not supernatural nor miraculous. It did not cost the sufferings of God, nor is it stained with "the blood of the Lamb" ( Revelation 12:11 ). It is not marked or sealed by the Holy Spirit as being genuine, and it has no visual sign that causes people to exclaim with awe and wonder, "That is the work of God Almighty!" Yet the New Testament is about the work of God and nothing else.The New Testament example of the Christian experience is that of a personal, passionate devotion to the Person of Jesus Christ. Every other kind of so-called Christian experience is detached from the Person of Jesus. There is no regeneration— no being born again into the kingdom in which Christ lives and reigns supreme. There is only the idea that He is our pattern. In the New Testament Jesus Christ is the Savior long before He is the pattern. Today He is being portrayed as the figurehead of a religion— a mere example. He is that, but He is infinitely more. He is salvation itself; He is the gospel of God!Jesus said, ". . . when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He will glorify Me . . ." (John 16:13-14 ).

When I commit myself to the revealed truth of the New Testament, I receive from God the gift of the Holy Spirit, who then begins interpreting to me what Jesus did. The Spirit of God does in me internally all that Jesus Christ did for me externally."

Heads Up!
The New Atheists are Coming

While I don't have a link to the broadcast segment (yet), I did want to post a comment an interview I heard on "PrimeTime America" today on Moody Radio.

They were interviewing Kerby Anderson and were discussing the topic of "The New Atheist". From the discussion, the new atheism is not one that seeks peaceful co-existence with Christians. They are militant. They are sold out to marginalizing anyone who disagrees with atheism.

And for those who are into the "seeker" movement, they aren't interested in building bridges, only blowing them up.

The "new atheist" would argue that Christians are dangerous and should not be allowed in the public square at all. For example, because we believe in the Second Coming, we supposedly would be horrible politicians because we wouldn't plan for the future (of course this is non-sequitor). There were other examples as well but I don't recall them. However, you do get the idea.

They are also warning "lukewarm theists" to "get off the bridge and pick a side" because they are going to "blow the bridge up". There will be no middle ground. To which I respond, "That's ok, Jesus said there was none already". And, there is none.

So does our mission change? No. Not at all. But the tenor will be different. And above all we are called to answer those who have questions for us with respect.

Look for this post to be updated as the segment becomes available.

A Final Comment on the Rickcapades

Because I'm just plain getting nauseated by the "Rickcapades", this will be my final post on Warrenism, at least for the time being. But let the following by commenter Michael Banak at "Slice of Laodicea" serve to put a laugh in our hearts by revealing the farce we've been covering as it really is:

From: Paul the Apostate
To: All Christians in and around Laodicea

Notice: Guest Appearnces at our Campus:

We are honored to have Herod visiting us direct from Jerusalem. He will be presenting a talk on, "Building Things Together - Unity Through Shared Purposes." He will be explaining how he acheived peace in The Holy Land through brick-and-mortar projects, while keeping Rome off his back and the Jews under control. He will also be giving us his unique interpretation of the events surrounding the incident when Christ cleared out The Temple.

You won't want to miss this experience. Hearts will be touched and lives will be changed.

Dancing entertainment will also be provided by Herodias' daughter.

Special Note: This event forces postponement for the reading of a brief letter from John. The scheduling team apologies for any inconvenience.

Thanks, Mike!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rick Warren Apologizes --
(well, sort of...)

WorldNetDaily reports that megachurch "pastor" Rick Warren has emailed an apology to Joseph Farah. However, he then went on to imply that those who oppose him are doing the devil's work. (Which, of course, would include Mr. Farah...!)

Biblical lesson number one: Never trust a serpent.

Now, let's just review a bit. This is all about Rick Warren inviting Pro-Abortion Barack Obama (among others) to Saddleback Church for a conference on solving the AIDS problem.

Uh, Rick? Aids can only be avoided by practicing abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity to your spouse in marriage... So what's the conference about? Dispensing condoms? When you speak, will you make a point of proclaiming the message of sin, judgement and reconciliation through repentance from sin and trust in the finished work of Christ? Do it! I dare you!

But, in my opinion, Rick Warren doesn't care about AIDS, any more than he cares about obeying God's Word. All he cares about is political gains. Power. From what I have seen, that is the "purpose" that "drives" Mr. Warren.

His superiors at the Southern Baptist Conference have requested he turn Sen. Obama away.
Many Christian groups have done the same. Has he changed his mind? No. And I doubt he will! What threat does the SBC pose to Rick Warren? None! All they can do is excommunicate him, to which Rick would most likely just paint it as a "poor persecuted me" scenario. He's already doing that in his letter of "apology" to Mr. Farah.

Mr. Warren's ego is at stake. He wouldn't turn back if he even cared to because that would hurt his pride. He perceives he has nothing to lose because he has already decided that appealing to the unredeemed world is of prime importance. He has openly written that those who oppose the "Pupose Driven" agenda must be pushed out of the way. He has his global P.E.A.C.E. plan in place, and the ears of the U.N., at which he spoke some time back -- without once mentioning the Lord Jesus Christ and how He can redeem mankind.

Make no mistake about it. He doesn't care about any of the issues he talks about -- beyond any political gains he can make through them.

Mr. Warren lied about Syria being "moderate". Then when he thought the evidence was gone, he denied saying this, blaming it on "bloggers who got bad information from the Syrians". Now that the evidence is all over the place, does he apologize for lying? Nope! Just that he may have "...angered and offended..." Mr. Farah "...personally...", which Mr. Farah says isn't an issue.

And now, he's moving to damage control

Mr. Warren: It has been said often by others, but let me say this as well. You owe alot of apologies to alot of people. You owe an apology to those in your own church. You owe an apology to the Christians in Syria who know the persecution you implied doesn't exist in "moderate Syria". You owe an apology to those who have mistakenly put their trust in you as a leader because you now demonstrate you have no sense duty to speak the truth. You need to repent, Mr. Warren, and while I cannot ultimately judge the state of your heart before God, I'd be willing to guess based on the fruit I've seen that you need conversion as well.

You've been trusting in yourself. You must repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Saddleback Member's Frustration with Warren

Here is an article by Kevin McCullough at MuscleHead Revolution. It is based on a letter from a very frustrated Saddleback member who has been through all the spin by and over her pastor, Rick Warren.

My prayers are for her, that the Lord would use this to strengthen her faith -- in God and His Word.

How Long WIll The Blindness Continue?

If you really, really, really believe that all the negative reports about Rick Warren amount to "Warren Bashing", you need to listen to this.

Rick Warren has lied. He has lied about Syria -- the day before a Christian was murdered just for being Christian. Then he lied about lying! Don't believe me? Listen for yourself.

Then call it "Warren Bashing". Please. I dare you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sage Advice for Purpose Driven / Seeker Churches

I'm always hearing "If you want to reach the young people, you have to communicate on their conditions..." Well, maybe this link at the BBC can shed a little light on the folly of pragmatism.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Here's An Action Point

Maybe it will help, maybe it won't. But here's a link to something that Ingrid at "Slice" posted. It's based on a graphic that I grabbed from her blog, added some text to, then returned to her. I was just venting some steam -- but she she thinks it might help people understand the issue of Warren and Saddleback embracing Barack Obama at the AIDS conference there.

Don't get me wrong; I don't think that the unsaved need the pro-life message first and foremost; they need the Gospel of Jesus Christ! But the target audience is Rick Warren and Saddleback. Indeed, hopefully it will give anyone who embraces Rick Warren's cause to rethink their position.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

How to Identify a Good Pastor

Do you think you know how to identify, or even pick, a good pastor? Think it's about how many people he can visit in a week? How happy he can make you? The answer may surprise you.

I just found this at Here's their description:

Today's evangelical pastors often look and sound alike. Their sermons are witty, full of stories, and they tend to quote bible verses and expand upon them with their own personal ideas and philosophies. Think of this short audio clip as a "shopping guide", for those who are looking for a church, or for anyone who simply wants to evaluate their own pastor to see how he measures up. Following the wrong teaching has the potential to shipwreck your faith, so it's vital to know the right criteria to judge your pastor by. This 16 minute audio clip is from the "Who's Teaching You?" program of the CrossTV video series called A Workman Approved By God. The audio asks and answers the question, "what is the most important criteria for choosing a pastor?". Using sermon samples (some of them are quite shocking) from nationally known religious leaders, the aim is to contrast true bible teachers from counterfeit pulpit-philosophers. What should you be careful of, in evaluating a church or ministry according to the size of it's audience, or by the number of "decisions for Christ" it claims.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hell Is Necessary

This video from SermonAudio is a must-watch. Let it serve as a wake-up call to the church in America -- and to each one of us.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Standing for the Truth

Seems that you can't get away from ecumenism and emergent. Not even in one's own family.

Don't get me wrong. I love my relatives. I really do. They know how to make me laugh. And they care very much for the rest of us.

This past week I came to know one relative a bit better, and my prayers are for him. He sang "The Lord's Prayer" at dad's funeral. He has a great voice. But I pray that the Lord will open his eyes.

This past Tuesday night my mom and I sat at the table with two of my cousins. They were joking as usual. It was a great time. But then I made a comment about being happy that I could tell dad everything I wanted to tell him before he went to be with the Lord; Not long after he died, I was looking at his car and talking as if he was there -- then too my pleasure realized that I had indeed said those words to him while he was alive. It gave me a great sense of peace.

Anyway, I told my cousin this, and that is when the tension came. His response was that dad could still hear us and that, indeed, he was there with us watching us. It was stressful because mom was there and she simply wants us all to get along...but on the other hand I know that I can't tolerate bad doctrine.

Now, do I believe dad is interested in us who he left here on Earth? Yes, to some degree. And periodically in my prayer time I have asked the Lord to let my dad know I miss him and love him and am proud of the heritage he left me. One of integrity and character.

My relative's bad doctrine is the result of his being involved in a spiritist church. He's also a mix of United Methodist and Roman Catholic (how one can be a protestant non-protestant, I have no idea but he attends a Roman Catholic church and mixes the two). He also mentioned Mary as intercessor, etcetera. Of course, I had to simply let him know that dad isn't an ominipresent spirit, that he is with the Lord and that he probably is so busy in wonderment over heaven that he's not interested in this place. I added that "we aren't spiritists or Catholics" and "Jesus Christ is my intercessor". Period.

That ended it.

I'm thankful that I was equipped to deal with this. All the stuff he had to say was said with such a convincing "just-so" air. Of course, not one shred of scripture was necessary for any of it.

This past week I have become so aware of people who buy into all the junk religion. Seems like everyone wanted to talk about angels. Surprisingly few wanted to talk about Jesus and what He had done.

Again, I love my relatives. But I love the Lord and His Word more. Did I upset my cousin? I don't know. But if I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I'd change much.

Could have I been more graceful? Maybe. But I was so taken by surprise by what he said and how he said it that I don't blame myself. Besides, I could hear my mom starting to agree with the "Fred is right here with us" theology, and it got my blood pressure up a bit.

So I pray for my cousin that the Lord would help him see the simplicity of the Gospel -- that Jesus Christ died once for all to pay for our debt of sin so we could be adopted into the family of God through the transformation of the Holy Spirit.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Thank You

As I write this, I'm not sure what words to type. But I do wish to express my thanks to those of you who have been praying for me and my family. Times are hard, but God is faithful. The adversary likes to kick us while we're down, but God always helps us through.

It is tough to let go of my father, but I have to. And I'll eventually get to the point where I realize it is ok to do so.

I'm reminded of a story once of a pastor who lost his mother. He was at his desk working and someone asked why he was able to carry on. His response was, simply, "Well, you don't mourn someone who has gone to the store knowing you'll see them again, and this is no different."

It is true that it is only a temporary separation. And if he could talk to me, he'd tell me he wants me to get on with my life.

Furthermore, I can hear him tell me that the Lord "will never leave you nor forsake you". Over the years as I expressed my doubts to him, he'd remind me of that.

Although it hurts to do so, it's time to move on. Slowly at first, but one step at a time. One day at a time.

It seems that the words "rise up and walk" have been going through my mind repeatedly this morning. And I intend to do so.

Praise God for His mercy and grace.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Purpose Driven Propoganda:
Rick Warren Praises Syria

Well, it would appear that Rick Warren's defection knows no bounds. One has to wonder how long it will have to take for the masses to wake up and see what's going on.

Here's a link to a video at YouTube about his trip to Syria.
(This video has since been pulled from YouTube. Here's a link to a WND article by Joseph Farah).

Ingrid Schlueter at Slice uses the words "Mouthpiece for the Devil". I'm definitely inclined to agree. How "in your face" does he have to get?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Fred T. Brown
A Giant Among Men

Dad passed away yesterday, November 11th 2006 at 9:30 pm. He had just turned 89 this past August 17th. It's been a long day, sorting through things and preparing for the funeral. And it is horribly difficult to deal with the fact that he is really gone to be with the Lord.

As I've said previously, dad was a true Renaissance man. It seemed that he was capable of doing anything extremely well. He came by that through observing others carefully and also noticing their mistakes.

We came to Galesburg in 1956 with mom and us three kids. He went straight to a bank to borrow the first month's rent. What did he do for a living? He came here to manage Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. He also sold cemetary lots. He earned a living on a commission only basis. He was successful because he believed in integrity and service above all else. His mantra to me was "if you serve others, the money will follow". Would that we saw more of that today.

Later, he became a real estate broker and started his own office. At one point, he also sold Shelter Insurance while operating the real estate business and the cemetary.

While we would agree that obtaining material goods is not the main point of life, his business ventures were so successful that he was able to invest in (I think) 15 rental properties, some of which were multiple income homes. Of course, he did all the plumbing, electrical and carpentry work on those properties.

It was in 1998 that he designed a new home for mom and himself. He took his drawings to a contractor and had blueprints produced. After making modifications to the blueprints, he and one other person built the house. This was at age 82 and included all work except for digging and pouring the foundation.

He also busied himself with the Lions Club, of which he was a 40 year member. Over that time, he never missed a meeting. He was devoted to helping others who needed it.

In his later years, he showed the fruit of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, in one of his last hospital stays he was constantly asking everyone he saw "do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?". And today I was cleaning off his computer hard disk and ran across at least two devotionals that he wrote, one of which he wrote in 2000 and which I think I'll post here.

Watching him pass was tough. But he had been fighting for some time. Near the end he was being given 1200 mg of Lasix every 8 hours. He was also being given heparin and Dobutamine to try to keep things going. Over the last two days he had two heart attacks...and before that his ejection fraction was only 10% to 15%. His kidneys were also failing and his lungs were filling.

At perhaps 6pm last night the hospital staff recommended morphine to help him rest. This calmed him down considerably although he was able to communicate somewhat up to a little before he died. And even with the morphine it was obvious that he was fighting to stay with us.

That word "died" is hard to absorb. And to say I am proud of him is a vast understatement. The Lord blessed me with a tremendous dad.

The funeral is this coming Wednesday. My mother and I would like to thank each and every one of you who has been praying for us through this.

May God bless you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

More on Dad...

Well, we appear to be winding down. As I say this, dad is in the ICU having problems breathing. His lungs are filling up and his heart is shutting down. His "ejection fraction" was 10% to 15% the other night but it has to be less now due to a heart attack they say he had yesterday. When he speaks, he rarely speaks more than one word per breath. Essentially, he's drowning.

He's on Heparin, Dobutamine and Lasix among other things. His blood pressure when I left the hospital was 85/56 or so. And it is hard to see him laboring for every breath. He has problems eating or drinking because his epiglottis won't close. So he aspirates.

But I'm very thankful that last evening I had the opportunity to tell him that even though he never got around to teaching me all the things he knew (he's a Renaissance man) he succeeded in teaching me (without being aware of it) the more important things like integrity and character. Those are the things that God is interested in above all else.

I praise God for having him as an earthly father even though I didn't always feel that way (he was a workaholic enterpreneur type). And as I told him, I will always love him.

So, I'm now dealing with the adjustment of knowing that, barring some very large miraculous work of God, dad has very little time left on this earth. It is a very tough adjustment.

My prayers are now more for my mom, who is 83 and having to deal with all this. She's in fair spirits but they will have been married 69 years on the 28th of this month. And that house will get very big in a hurry. I'm thankful that she professes Christ. I hope that the Lord grants her many healthy years to come. She is still fairly active, at least to this point.

So, as always, thank you for all your prayers. God will grant us grace to endure whatever comes along, even though I feel the anxiety that comes with a loss of control of things. But I can't do anything at all to reverse this. After all, it is appointed that we all leave this life sooner or later, one way or another.

May God be praised for the gift of my father, who taught me to value character and integrity above all else. It's the part of him that will live on in me, by the grace of God.

From the "Gee, Ya Think?" Dept...
A British paper claims there may be another side
to the global warming story.

Of course, don't expect this to get much real press But hey, at least you can link to it here.

psst...pass it on to these people...

The Church and Politics

While I don't always agree with Chip Ingram, I just heard this message by him and couldn't agree more.

Are we to be separatists? Activists? Listen and hear what he has to say.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oswald Chambers
on Sacrimental Service

It would appear that this morning's devotional is quite timely relative to the thrusts of contemporary evangelicalism. We are to preach the finished work of Christ, not just seek to meet felt needs or increase self-esteem. It's not about "I'm worth alot because Jesus died for me", it's about "Jesus had to die to because I was dead in sin". It's not about "having peace in your life", it's about the Prince of Peace and what He has done.


"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. . . ." Colossians 1:24

The Christian worker has to be a sacramental "go-between," to be so identified with his Lord and the reality of His Redemption that He can continually bring His creating life through him. It is not the strength of one man's personality being superimposed on another, but the real presence of Christ coming through the elements of the worker's life. When we preach the historic facts of the life and death of Our Lord as they are conveyed in the New Testament, our words are made sacramental, God uses them on the ground of His Redemption to create in those who listen that which is not created otherwise. If we preach the effects of Redemption in human life instead of the revelation regarding Jesus, the result in those who listen is not new birth, but refined spiritual culture, and the Spirit of God cannot witness to it because such preaching is in another domain. We have to see that we are in such living sympathy with God that as we proclaim His truth He can create in souls the things which He alone can do. What a wonderful personality! What a fascinating man! Such marvellous insight! What chance has the Gospel of God through all that? It cannot get through, because the line of attraction is always the line of appeal. If a man attracts by his personality, his appeal is along that line; if he is identified with his Lord's personality, then the appeal is along the line of what Jesus Christ can do. The danger is to glory in men; Jesus says we are to lift Him up."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Haggard's Replacement Promotes Contemplative
Spirituality and the Emerging Church

Over here, I "threw down the gaunlet" (and no, by using the particular graphic, I am not identifying myself with Sauron in Lord of the Rings for cryin' out loud). In that piece, I said that I believe that evangelicalism has morphed into a cult. You can read my reasons there. That post was prompted by a statement I read at another blog. Someone had said that "emergent" is a cult within evangelicalism.

Well, here ya go, fresh from the lighthouse. Looks like the "evanjellyfish" is coming out of the closet. Looks like we were both right!

So without further ado, we award the NAE the


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Contest? YES! A Contest!

Well, with everything else going on here, we've decided it's time for a contest. The winner will receive a whole mess 'o tracts from my personal cache. A little of everything. Could anyone use 100 free Livingwaters tracts? I thought so. Don't worry, I'll buy more.

Anyway, no doubt you want to know how to get these in your hot little hands for distribution.

Well, it's simple. Go to this link and submit a caption for the “missing link” at position “c”. I've supplied all the others. The best submitted caption will be inserted on the graphic for posterity....or posters, whatever.

So far, I have the following caption for our “devolution parade”. Remember the infamous “Evolution Chart of Missing Links?” Well, think “Homo-sapiens in Reverse”.

A. Authenticus Christianus
- Knew the Word
- Counted the Cost
- Obeyed the Word

B. Godus Downus Manus Uppus (God lowered by man, man elevated himself).
- Product of the “enlightenment”, you know, when we got “so smart”.

C. Blank – I have my own ideas, but I'll leave this up to you.

D. Seekerus Sensitivus
- Marked by searching for the mythical “Seekerus”.

E. Purposus Drivenus
- Trying to figure out “What on Earth He's Here For”.

Contest ends one week from today. Send submisions to me via a comment. I'll post all submissions/comments when the winner is announced.

Have fun!

Monday, November 06, 2006

America Abandoned by God
John MacArthur at SBTS

Here's the link at Apprising Ministries.

No Longer Accepting Anonymous Posts

Just a heads up. We've gotten a few anonymous posts lately, which has since seemed to be on the increase. While one or two didn't seem bad, it's gotten to the point where we won't post anything without a name on it.

Besides, if you really are ready to stand by what you have to say, good or bad, you should be able to put your name on it!

So, we will put all future "anonymous" comments in the trash.



Sunday, November 05, 2006

What's going on...again...

Well, again, I wish to express my thanks to all who have been petitioning the Lord on my father's behalf. He was steadily going downhill. He was even hallucinating. But we didn't know he was dehydrating badly. His kidneys are fine but he couldn't eliminate. He's back in the hospital (as of 4am yesterday), but this time he's in a different one, and is getting much better care. After leaving church this morning (that's another story), my wife and I went to see him Frankly, I haven't seen him looking so good in a very long time! Hopefully this trend will continue and he'll get some major strength back. Nice to have him in a hospital that is not understaffed...the other place had been purchased and went from non-profit to profit based operation. You can guess what happened. Not good.

It's been a rough past week. Had a sleep study done last Thursday night (checking for apnea). On my wife's way home that night, the transmission failed in her car. We're just going to replace the car. Then my left eye is going "lazy" on me -- it turns inward so now I see double till it gets better (this tends to happen every year at least once).

Oh well. It never rains unless it pours. But at least dad is doing much better.

Then there's church, as I mentioned earlier. Our associate pastor preached. He tends to be easier for me to relate to than our head pastor. And his messages tend to have less polish and more substance, which I appreciate. Not expositional, unfortunately, but....

What I'll do is post a link to his message when it becomes available. I agree with him that we need to relate to people, such as our neighbors but after a while you just gotta wonder "when are you going to give the guy the gospel?" It's like all we're trying to do is get people to come to church. After all, they are "unchurched"! Well, going to church doesn't convert anyone. And they shouldn't have to go to church to hear the Gospel. And if I had brought someone to church that wasn't saved, my visitor friend wouldn't have heard the gospel anyway, just a message about relating to your neighbor and getting them in the building!

We keep trying to play the equivalent of 2 or 3 bumper shots (think pool). I guess this is in the name of "not offending". But how long does anyone have to live? I remember how D.L. Moody, after preaching, used to tell people to go home and consider their state before God. Then so many people died (in the Chicago fire, I think). Later he said "never again" would he tell them to "wait till later". It broke him!

But the game goes on: "Well, let's go out and do this, which might cause that, and if that happens they might come to church. Then maybe they'll hear the gospel!". What drivel! Why not just hit the cue ball directly to the 3 and knock it in? Give them the Gospel straight up! It takes less time and contrivance to do it God's way! Just give them the law to help them become aware of the knowlege of sin and guilt, then give them the message of grace through the finished work of Christ!

Nah, that's too easy.

Of course we want to be friends to our neighbors and help them. Of course if we see someone in need we help them. But if we can paint their homes and give them food, why can't we give them what will cleanse them and feed them forever?

Oh well. This is supposed to be an update, not a sermon on evangelism.

Maybe I'll post on this tomorrow.

Blessings and thanks to you for your ongoing prayer support.

...But Remain Faithful

It occurred to me earlier today that perhaps I needed to post this. None of us (as I well know myself) is immune to the temptation to "give up" on the local church at this hour in church history.

With all the negative reports that I have read (and some of which I've passed on here), this morning I felt an old temptation. The one that felt in the early 80's - and that is "give up. It's not worth it. It's all messed up and no-one will listen".

Well, while that may be true, we are still called to be faithful to the body of Christ and be somehow accountable in a local assembly of those who at least profess to know Christ. There isn't a one of us who can survive alone spiritually.

I've already stated in a previous post that I believe that it will get so bad (both inside and outside the church) that we will be pushed further from the "mainstream" and begin to see more house churches. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, in the meantime, let me encourage my readers to remain as faithful to a local body as much as is possible. If you are viewed as "radical" and therefore not asked to have a public ministry, that's ok! And remember, I'm one who has tasted teaching a class or two and thoroughly enjoyed it as did my class! But I'm not going to compromise the message to get there. The Lord will give me what he wants me to have regardless of what others refuse me.

Let me commend this to you from John MacArthur. Let it encourage your heart that you are not compromising by seeking to remain faithful in whatever "best church" you can find in your situation. Remember, being salt and light might even mean being salt and light in the context of the local assembly!

May the Lord bless you richly.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Throwing Down the Gauntlet --
Evangelicalism as a Cult.

Go to and look for the word "cult".

Definition 6 should be "...a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader."

Ok, what's my point? Well, I'll have to locate it but on another blog, I read a comment from a reader which stated that "emergent" was a new cult within evangelicalism.

I disagree. Reread that definition, and consider the words "false", "unorthodox" and "under the direction of a charismatic leader". Let that sink in. Now, read the next line slowly and thoughtfully.

Those terms fit contemporary evangelicalism.

That's precisely what I said -- Those terms fit contemporary evangelicalism.

Now, I grant you that most of us aren't extremists " outside of conventional society". But then the definition doesn't make that an absolute. Besides, many bona-fide cults also are not marked by extremism or living apart from conventional society, such as Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons. They make decent neighbors and so often the Mormons even come off better in society than many "evangelicals".

You say "But we aren't under a charismatic leader!" No??? What about Rick Warren, "America's (untouchable and unexaminable) pastor"?

Modern evangelicalism is not orthodox. How do I know? Because the Scriptures stand as the sole authoritative norm by which we must measure ourselves and the Church.

"Considered to be false"? By Whom? Simple question, simple answer. God.

In an earlier article I mentioned that we have created our own god (small 'g' intentional). You know, the one who wants us to ignore purity in the church althewhile pretending to care about "seekers" (which will then become the "newly ignored" as we go out to get more "seekers"). We worship a god (again, small 'g' intentional) that only cares about numbers, not purity. One who (intentional small 'w') doesn't mind us worshipping and fulfilling our own "needs" through entertainment disguised as worship.

So, we have a false gospel, wrong mission and wrong goals.

Not only that, we preach a "gospel" that teaches "salvation by decision", not by grace through faith (which the Bible teaches is the dual-sided coin of repentance and trust in Christ alone). In fact, at Saddleback, all you have to do to be considered saved and eligable for baptism is check a box on a sheet of paper! Please, show me that in the scriptures!

Now, if you were to walk into your church and see a golden calf sitting there, would you tolerate this? Of course not! But what is the difference between a "graven image" or statue made of metal or wood and the falsehoods we hold to in our own minds? And evangelicalism is rife with falsehoods, which I've already alluded to.

God doesn't differentiate between physical idolatry and spiritual idolatry any more than He differentiates between hatred and murder.

Furthermore, just try moving within almost any evangelical circle and raise questions about Rick Warren and his methods. Please. Then tell me what happens. Evangelicalism would question Jim Jones, but for some reason it's considered "unacceptable" to suspect anything of "Pastor" Warren. Even though he has stated on video that he can't tell us what parameters are right or wrong in any religion such as Christianity, Judaism or Buddhism.

So, we have a false gospel, wrong mission and wrong goals and a wrong object of worship. Our motives may be right, but then that doesn't make "evangelicalism" any different than (again) Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons. And we have our own "Jim Jones" who is more than happy to dispense poison to us.

Does that tick you off just a little bit? Is there something inside you that gets angry about this? Then perhaps that's because this hits home.

So, I disagree with the person that posted that comment. Emergent isn't a cult within evangelicalism. Evangelicalism has morphed. It is, itself, now a cult.

As God Cleans House

You have to wonder just how far this will go. In addition to Ted Haggard, now we have Kent Hovind found guilty of tax evasion.

Don't be mistaken: God is using the unredeemed to begin cleansing His Church. We don't seem to care to do it ourselves.

I'm not, in any way, rejoicing in the misery of Haggard or Hovind. I'm upset, yes, but this is nothing I'd wish on anyone. But I am wondering. How many pastors this week or next, in light of what has been going on, well start preaching simple obedience to God's Word? Even more pointed, how many will start stressing practical accountability and obedience in the local church?

Beloved, this is being paraded before an unbelieving world. How many unsaved were convinced by the Haggard story that Christianity is a joke? And now, just try quoting Kent Hovind when you try to argue creationism to an unbeliever!

How far must God go to purge His Church before we fall on our knees and repent of sin on our own? I don't recall who said this but "God may work slowly but he will grind exceedingly small".

Pastors and other leaders, preach the Word. Quit being concerned about what others may think. Only one thing matters and that is what God thinks.

Should this continue I'll be looking for house churches to become more popular. It's going to be harder and harder to identify with mainline evangelicalism, which is now suffering "as an evildoer" It ostensably cares so much for "seekers" but doesn't seem to have one speck of regard for God's Standards for holiness in the Body of Christ. And I don't care to associate with that. My guess is that many others will come to that conclusion as well.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ted Haggard: The Symptom

First of all, TeamPyro has an excellent article on this here.

But I'd like to contribute my 2 cents.

I'm sick and tired of being associated with a "Christianity" that does not seem to care one whit about holiness or obedience to God's Word. Let me say this as perfectly clear as I can: I believe that "Christianity" in America is nearly totally apostate. Why? We have abandoned the vision of the Holiness and Fear of God.

We've built a false god that will cater to our flesh and meet our "felt needs". Our real need? Repentance. But we don't want to go there. We live in Laodicea. No apologies. Cut and dried. Stuff like this can only happen because contemporary Christianity is rotten to the core.

Don't believe me? How about churches that ignore God's standards for leadership in Titus and 1 Timothy:

From Titus...

"5The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint[a] elders in every town, as I directed you. 6An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. 7Since an overseer[b] is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

10For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group. 11They must be silenced, because they are ruining whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach—and that for the sake of dishonest gain. 12Even one of their own prophets has said, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." 13This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith 14and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of those who reject the truth. 15To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."

And 1 Timothy 3...

"Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer,[a] he desires a noble task. 2Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.

8Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons."

Long ago, in effect, we cut those pages out of our Bibles and threw them out. You can even be head of the NAE and apparently have no accountability and live any way you wish (as long as you get results!).

Interpersonal accountabilty? Descipling one another? Nah. That's intrusive. Might touch my bubble! So we cut out Galatians 6, where Paul told his readers to "bear one another's burdens" which, in context, means accountability for our areas of failure. Nah. We need to just keep those "happy masks" on.

Forget that God says "Without holiness no one will see the Lord". You and I know that Scofield has said that's merely referring to postional truth, not practical. Live any way you want and call yourself a Christian. That nasty little passage in Matthew 7:21? We can't know who that is -- must be Mormons, or some other cult, huh?

Well I'd agree with it being some other cult. That would be the new cult of contemporary politically correct Christianity. The "I'm ok, you're ok and ain't God good all the time" nonsene that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has nothing to do with. Nor the God who took on human flesh and said "If any man wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me".

It's not just Ted Haggard. It's contemporary Christian philosophy that promotes this by turning the head at sin while hypocritically being concerned about "seekers". Beloved, we have nothing to offer an unsaved world (notice I didn't say "unchurched"'s not about going to church, remember?) if we can't even keep holiness in the Body of Christ.

The cult of American "Chrstianity" is nothing more or less than an insult and a blasphemy to God. We worship a God of our own making. And behind any false "god" is a demonic entity.

We flaunt God's standards through the week in our daily lives, ignore God's standards as revealed in His Word, then hypocritically gather on Sunday morning to tell God we are there to "worship". How dare us try to separate obedience from worship like that! Beloved, let me say this as clearly and succinctly as I can: There Is No Worship Apart From Obedience!

At least once in the past, I've been compelled to tell a person who professes Christ to make a choice. "Either live like a pagan and shut up about Jesus, or repent and start living like a Christian." And I'm saying it all over again.

And why not? Joshua said the same thing long ago:

24:14 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

Let us summarily cut the theological manure about the "fear of the Lord" meaning something smarmy like "respect". Let us do as Paul said in Philippians and " out our salvation with fear and trembling". And yes, that is the how to relate to the "New Testament God". Or was Paul a liar?

If you love the Lord, you will obey His commandments. If you believe this isn't true at face value, then come out of the closet and admit you believe Jesus to be a liar, because that's precisely what He said. No more games. If you want to fill your church with tares, go ahead. But please leave the God of the Bible out of it. And don't count on me to help you.

God's Word is clear. It is sufficient. God didn't mumble, stutter or stammer but spoke with clarity. And it's not inherently prideful to be a steward of God's Word and present it as He gave it.

It is time to renew our commitment to words like "Sin", "Obedience", "Repentance" and "Accountabilty" -- and quit calling sin an "indiscretion".

Don't think that's loving? I don't give a rip. You tell me how "loving" it is to allow a soul to "...miss the grace of God." (Hebrews 12:14). In context that is salvation. If you disagree, Prove it! Give me your exegesis! We are bound by God's Word to hold each other accountable so that those who merely profess come to truly possess. And when we fail here, souls end up in hell. Do they lose their salvation? No. I'm saying that many don't have it to begin with. We call them "backsliders". But they most likely never slid forward to begin with.

This is no game, people. This is for God's Glory. And beloved, if we don't repent, we will continue to dishonor God and cause those who don't know Him to blaspheme His holy name.