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.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Plight of the Persecuted Church

From the CrossTalk website:

"Getaneh Getaneh is a pastor from Ethiopia with Watch and Pray Ministries. He is a rising voice within the Christian solidarity movement that highlights the persecution of believers around the world. He has spoken at various conferences, testified before congressional hearings and has been featured in publications that speak on behalf of the persecuted church.

As a young person, Getaneh had questions as to who God was. From Islamic to psychic influences, eventually he was brought to salvation in Christ through Mennonite missonaries at the age of 13. Eventually through his conversion, Getaneh's family became Christian as well.

As most Crosstalk listeners know, those who live for Christ will suffer persecution and Getaneh's story from this point on is no different.

Getaneh's experiences involve eventually being arrested by the communists for preaching, being denied food, sleep and water for days, being tortured by boiling oil that was poured on the soles of his feet and being whipped with metal cable during his many years in prison. He managed to escape but not before the Lord showed him how much He loves, and we are to love, even our worst enemies.

Eventually he returned to Ethiopia only to be arrested at the airport because an autonomous Islamic court in his home region charged him with converting Muslims to Christianity. He escaped again where his exile led him to the United States in 1994."

How The Seeker Movement Quenches the Holy Spirit

Bob DeWaay has a great article for your consideration. Read up!

More on dad...

Well, dad made it to the doctor today. He was having problems breathing (heart function). It all boils down to this:

He's been given a medication to help him breathe better. We're giving it a week. If it doesn't help by then, dad has a decision to make; either go to the hospital and get help, or stay home (which would be tantamount to giving up).

My mind is kind of going into "pause" mode. It's difficult because I want to "do something" but there isn't a thing I can do. I'm simply available if mom needs help.

It's tough because I have things I could say but don't want to send the wrong signals. I don't want him giving up. I don't want to lead him to believe I'm expecting him to die. Mom wants him to go to the hospital but he's so dirt tired of being there. He'd have greater physical comfort there but less psychological comfort. Tradeoffs.

So, if you don't see much going on here you'll know why.

Thanks for your prayers at this difficult time.

Blessings to all of you,


What's Going On Right Now...

Well, for some reason, my employer gave me six days off. Not sure why but I'm not arguing with it. I had asked for tomorrow off because I go to the hospital tonight for a sleep study. We're trying to see if I have sleep apnea. In tonight at 9:15pm and out tomorrow morning. Besides that, it gives me the opportunity to help mom take care of dad. Which is the next update.

This is my second day off in a row. And my routine for this "break" is to stop by and help mom get dad up and help her with other things she might need. Today he seems awfully rough. His breathing is very labored. He has a doctor's appointment at 2pm but we're wondering if he'll be able to go. I imagine we'll end up calling the doctor and I'm thinking he'll end up telling us to get him to the e.r. again. Not good. He's tired of being in the hospital.

So, we'll wait and see. I'm very concerned that his heart is failing. Last August 17th the doctor gave him 6 months to a year without heart surgery. Of course, he could last longer -- or not.

Thanks for your ongoing prayers. If the Lord is calling dad home, His will be done. There is a sense in which I think that is happening. It may be that the Lord is allowing me to spend some last time with him. Only the Lord knows. But I'm not going to hang around him and send off those kind of signals. Dad isn't showing signs of giving up. Besides, I'm only three blocks away from him here at home; a 5 minute walk.

In the name of diversion, I've been working on a humorous graphic which pictures the "Devolution of Christianity". Think "Homo Sapiens In Reverse". It will involve a "complete the subtitles" contest. Winner gets a pile of tracts from Ray Comfort's "". So, get your quick wits ready!

Again, thanks for your prayers. This past year has been tough but the Lord is faithful.

"Onward Christian soldiers", Not "Play There Christian Babies"

It's getting to where I feel I need to apologize for beating the same horse over and over again. But then I keep running into excellent articles about the modern farce called contemporary Christianity. By the grace of God I'll keep beating it as long as I have breath.

Here's an article at Apprising Ministries regarding a work by A.W. Tozer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Oswald Chambers on Justification by Faith

The following is actually from the devotional for October 28th. I read it on that day but didn't get a chance to post it till now.

When I read this, I had to scratch my head a bit. The wording is so precise and tight that it had my head swimming a bit -- I get up at 4:30 a.m. and do my reading at about 4:55.

It betrayed to me my warped view of justification and helped me to see it in its clarity. It's all of God, none of me. I'm not saved by believing, I realize I am saved (when I believe). It's a matter of faith and assurance that only comes by obedience. Salvation is from a sovereign God, from first to last and not of myself. It's not even "my faith", even that comes from the Lord.

Anyway, here's what I read. May it bless you as it did me:


"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10

I am not saved by believing; I realize I am saved by believing. It is not repentance that saves me, repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus. The danger is to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. It is my obedience that puts me right with God, my consecration. Never! I am put right with God because prior to all, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals I can accept, instantly the stupendous Atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me into a right relationship with God; and by the supernatural miracle of God's grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, not because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings it with a breaking, all-over light, and I know, though I do not know how, that I am saved.

The salvation of God does not stand on human logic, it stands on the sacrificial Death of Jesus. We can be born again because of the Atonement of Our Lord. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creatures, not by their repentance or their belief, but by the marvellous work of God in Christ Jesus which is prior to all experience. The impregnable safety of justification and sanctification is God Himself. We have not to work out these things ourselves; they have been worked out by the Atonement. The supernatural becomes natural by the miracle of God; there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done - "It is finished."

Welcome to Difficult Times

From 2 Timothy 3:

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men 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, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith.

But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes's and Jambres's folly was also. Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!

Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.".

It wasn't so long ago that I saw this passage in a different light. The point of view I took was that of the mean, wicked, openly unbelieving world coming to my door. The Big Bad Enemy demanding I renounce Christ under threat of thumbscrews.

Not any more. Not that this may not happen; anyone who follows what is going on in the underground church in countries such as China and North Korea knows that this type of stuff (and worse) is a daily occurrance.

See, it's just like our view of the Adversary. We keep expecting him to show himself in a red suit, tail and pitchfork. But Paul said he appears as an "Angel of Light". In other words, he looks attractive! He and his evil minions are too intelligent to show up and put their cards on the table. No. It's never this "Hey you are doing great, so I'll just tempt you with this really big obvious sin".

He shows up and looks smooth. What he says goes down easy. It promises peace with the world at no apparent cost to us. And so my view and application of this verse has changed.

Welcome to Difficult Times.

It's not a matter of the "big bad unbeliever" getting us. It's how the devil uses those in the visible church to try to get us off course.

And I'm making my position known. How about you?

We're going into a time of persecution and turmoil. From the outside? I don't think so. Not so much as from the "inside".

From experience, if you speak of faith being obedience to the Word of God (you can't separate God from His Word), you will be called a legalist. If you insist on taking a stand for the sufficiency and clarity of God's Word, don't expect them to listen -- rather expect to be called dogmatic and devisive. (See Illustration).

So be it.

Are we to fear man above God? No. All men can do is, at worst, destroy the body. It's God who consigns a soul to hell. So, when it comes to human approval or God's, I will take my side with God, thank you.

Jesus said that the time would come when believers will be killed by those who think they are serving God. Who will these people be? I don't know beyond all shadow of doubt but beheadings being referred to in Revelation gives us a clue, and Islam is growing at a very rapid pace. And with emergent Christianity embracing all manner of things it may even include those who claim to know a "Jesus". Notice, I said "a Jesus". One of their own making. One that isn't the real Jesus.

Look around! Use discernment! Be a Berean! Is the person you are submitting to or "fellowshipping with" submitting to the True Jesus? Now is the time to not only "examine ourselves" but also remember that "by their fruit we shall know them". Only through visible obedience to God's Word do we know the true from the false. 1 John 3 "If someone says 'I know Him' and does not keep His commandments, he is a liar and the truth is not in him". That, beloved, is not a believer.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not talking sinless perfection. The verse in 1 John is talking about a pattern of life. But if you see someone walking in obvious disagreement with God's Word, tell them, and they shrug it off, you have to wonder. Be careful! It is the devil's plan to sucker us off course one step at a time. Then you and I will come to a point where we wonder "how did we get way over here?"

We aren't here for party games
. We aren't here to "go along to get along". We are in a war. It's a spiritual war, but a war nonetheless.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ, who make up the underground church, don't have this problem; at least not to the magnitude that we have it. Christianity in those countries is not a superficial commitment. To convert from Islam to Christianity invites the death penalty. Here? Pheh! Just sign a card or check a box and you're an "innie" -- guaranteed! "Oh, have you turned back to your former life of sin? Well, too bad...but we'll see you in heaven!"

All around us we see Paul's words to Timothy coming to pass. And now we have a prominent pastor who has his own global P.E.A.C.E. plan, going around helping "Christians", Jews, Hindus and Moslems alike building bigger "houses of worship". And of course, he can't tell you what "parameters" (beliefs) in your faith are right or wrong. How nice. We're all on this journey together...regardless of what we believe.

So forget about the "big bad lost people". This is a spiritual battle. The lost will act like the lost. But expect better from those who profess to be "brothers" and "sisters" in the Lord. Do they obey God and His Word? Or do they, by their words and actions (no matter how sweet they may sound or honorable they look) deny Him?

Stand for God's Truth. Obey it. Proclaim it. And when you hear "legalist" or "devisive" or "unloving" remember we are called to die to self. These are mere appeals by the enemy to return to the seamless slumber of which they want us to become fellow partakers.

Proverbs 3:5,6 (My paraphrase) "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight".