Saturday, March 29, 2008

Humor Day

(You, walking away...)

Friday, March 28, 2008

What I'm Listening To...

For some time now, I've been searching for better "Christian" radio. For the past 8 months or so, I've been aware of Christian Tuner, which is a web site that provides links to various internet stations. For quite a while I was listening to one particular station but started hearing things I just didn't care for. So I began looking again.

This time, I went to Christian Tuner and checked out the "Messianic" section. Turns out that there is a station named "WSTW" (We Share The Word). And I like it, quite a bit. I'd encourage you to give it a listen.

There is obviously a distinct Messianic sound that you don't get in "regular" Christian radio. Some of it has to do with basic musical differences. And there are some things that are sung with Hebrew lyrics which obviously have limited impact on my life. However, after listening for three days, I've noticed that the lyrics to the songs in English are so scripture oriented. It puts American "contemporary Christian" music to shame. . .and I'm talking about the 'good' stuff.

Perfect? No. I'm not saying that because I've found anything to point to, but just because nothing will be perfect. But I've found it to be a far cry better than most of the regular "Christian" fare. The lyrics are invariably understandable and reverent. They actually and Biblically exalt God and His character. There is nothing flippant or "me" centered about any of it.

It's been a rich experience. They have regular "snippets" of teaching where a Rabbi exegetes a passage from the Jewish point of view. It's "here a little, there a little" but so far very good.

Just wanted to pass the link along. I so appreciate Messianic Jews. There is a richness there that we Gentiles don't generally have.

Which Gospel Are You Preaching?

Just found this over at Christian Worldview Network.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Paul Washer: Jesus' Sufferings and How He Viewed It.

Lutheran Resistance Movement to Purpose-Driven Take Over of the LCMS

From Christian Research Network:

"The cancellation of the Issues Etc. radio program last week has literally been the talk of the LCMS for the past week and there are no signs that the controversy is going to subside any time soon. It appears that the move to cancel Issues Etc. was part of a larger plan that LCMS President Jerry Kieschnick has for transitioning the LCMS into a seeker-sensitive / purpose-driven denomination. One site in particular seems well connected within the synod and is now passing their insider information on to the public. The name of the site is Save the LCMS and any Lutherans concerned and alarmed by the creeping seeker-sensitive evangelicalism in the LCMS needs to read this site.

Click Here to visit “Save the LCMS""

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Canadian "Tolerance" on Display

From Lighthouse Trails Research:

"Source: Miscellaneous News Source

LTRP Note: The following report is regarding MacGregor Ministries, whom Lighthouse Trails Research has linked to for many years.

BC, Canada: LORRI MacGREGOR, co-founder along with her husband Keith of MacGregor Ministries a Christian counter-cult apologetics organization in British Columbia, Canada, will address the theme: "CANADA GAGS THE GOSPEL." The Canadian Government will not allow any critiques of other religions. You can be any religion you want as long as you do nothing but promote your own religion. In Lorri & Keith's case, in addition to presenting the Christian religion, they were responding to attacks on Christianity.

MacGregor Ministries carefully documented these attacks and responded to them from a biblical perspective, in a respectful and even kind manner. To their knowledge, none of the groups attacking Christianity through their websites or magazines got taken to task, only MacGregor Ministries! At the same time, they present sound, biblical, Christian doctrine, which promotes the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is, of course, their purpose. They were told they had to present all religions as equal, could not be "persuasive" regarding Christianity over others, and had to get rid of their website and magazine. Their presentation of the Christian gospel through their DVD's and printed matter was ruled "uncharitable" and their careful critique of others in defense of Christian doctrine was called "hate". Since they could not compromise their faith, they had to ask that they Charity status be voluntarily revoked.Click here to read this entire report."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Potency of God's Word

A while back I said something about not posting so frequently. It seems of late that the Lord has been helping me become more convinced of the potency of God's Word. Specifically, the Law of God (specifically the ten commandments). This lesson was driven home to me so clearly when I learned of another area pastor who, unfortunately, admitted having an affair with a person in his church.

To say this news was a shock would be an understatement. However, this is the third such incident (that I am aware of) in our area in recent years. I won't divulge what I do know. And I won't speculate as to why this happened to each particular person except to say that all three pastors had one thing in common. . .a lack of emphasis on God's Law. One church was caught up in the social "gospel". Another was as well. The third was a "Purpose Driven" church.

See, where the law is deemphasized, sin can gain a foothold. It is the law that helps us remember what God's standard is. It isn't meant to constrain us under the chains of legalism, but it is there to remind us of what God expects. It reminds us of His character.

1 Timothy 1 says that "the law is good if it is used lawfully". In context, its purpose is to show us our sin. It is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. It is also there to prompt us on in progressive sanctification. Read Psalm 19!

The opening verses of Psalm 19 are there to remind us that all creation bears witness that there is a God. It bears witness with our conscience as well as our mind. It speaks of the existence of God, but without words. But that isn't sufficient. We must be aware of what God demands of us. And that is the function of God's Law.

In Psalm 19, we read (beginning at verse 7):

"7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making the simple wise.
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether,
10 more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 And Your servant is warned by them; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors? Oh make me pure from secret faults ;
13 and keep Your servant back from presumptuous sins ; do not let them rule over me; then I shall be upright, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

So, what have we learned? We have learned that God's Law is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, righteous, desirable and sweet. If you do a word study on those terms, you find that God's law is complete, certain, correct, without spot, absolutely trustworthy, sweet and to be coveted. It shows us the right way, it is reliable in doing so. We can trust what it says without exception. It is without error. . .it never leads us astray. I'd invite you to consider these verses and track the relationship of each of these terms with what it claims to do. . .such as how the law being "right" rejoices the heart. This is what I'll be doing in my own personal time in the Scriptures.

We can't have holiness without the law. When we deemphasize the law, we open the door to compromise. How? By getting our focus of God's standard.

Could I fall? Am I susceptible to falling into sin? Sure. in my flesh, I am just as vulnerable as anyone else. But that is no excuse. God has told us what He expects. We are to "pursue Holiness, without which no one will see the Lord". Does that mean you lose your salvation? No. But if you don't continue in sanctification, you may be well warned to examine your profession of faith.

Are the three pastors that I mentioned earlier lost? Saved? Only the Lord knows. But I believe without any fear of contradiction that God is allowing Satan to sift the professing church. As the days grow darker, this will become more common.

The contemporary church has compromised itself in the name of "relevance" to the point where it doesn't know how to act. We were never told to be "relevant". We were told to be Holy. Just as the Jews were told to stand out in how they conducted themselves, we are also called to be a "peculiar people". We are "called out". That is the very definition of the word "church".

Meanwhile, God's law is there. Among other things, it is complete, perfect, straight and trustworthy. God spoke clearly. He didn't mumble. In addition to that, God equips His people to understand it. There is no excuse.

Have you ever taken a moment to consider how precious a privilege is to be able to read a message from the very God of the Universe? Does that thought impact you at all?

Why don't we esteem God's Word? What has God (seemingly) done to deserve our contempt? But that is what we show Him when we ignore what He has to say!

May God save us from our jaded attitudes. See, we can't know our "hidden faults" and our weaknesses. Not really. That is why they are hidden! But God's Law helps us keep our focus. It cuts to the heart of the matter. And it led the Psalmist to say, in effect, "let everything I say and everything that I even think about be acceptable before God".

May we renew our commitment to keeping a focus on God's standard as revealed in His Law.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Jehovah's Witnesses: "Jesus Loves You"

Carla over at More Books and Things has a great post on a new tactic used by Jehovah's Witnesses. It follows:

"On Saturday a pick up truck pulled into our driveway and some cowboys got out, handed my daughter an invitation, and left. My friend from church had a similar experience that day when a nice young guy came to her door, handed her an invitation and left. The strange thing is that these people weren't pushy, did not want to talk about Armageddon, and carried no briefcases filled with literature and books. But they were JW's, and they have a new method. All around the city, they are quietly handing people this nice little invitation. On the front is a picture of Jesus and these words:

No Greater Love Was Ever Shown
By whom was it shown, and how?

Open it up, and...surprise! It's an invitation to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses.

They are already the fastest growing "church." Are we seeing a post-modern version of JW's emerging that will get even more members?"

My two cents: Just how does the average "Evangelical" message differ from the above? Just what is the average "evangelical" offering that is fundamentally different from this?

Think "Biblical Evangelism". See, it's not primarily about the "love of Jesus", it's about the sinfulness of man and the need to present the law to reveal that sinfulness. Then the Gospel makes sense.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Where Am I?

By now, most of my regular readers have noticed a lull here at the 'Fly. There is nothing wrong -- I'm just taking a hiatus, I think. The weather here has finally gotten warm enough to go out doors and take our dog for a walk every day.

While I haven't posted anything in a few days, I have been thinking about some topics which I hope will see the light of day. Be patient. I'm still here!

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bob DeWaay: Rob Bell’s Abstract “Elvis”

From "CIC Ministry":

"Bell claims that people in church history (he gives Luther as an example2 ) were involved in “rethinking.” I don’t deny that. But when he says that we have no objective means to determine whether Luther’s teachings or those of the Council of Trent are in closer agreement with the teachings revealed once for all in the Bible—there I strongly disagree. In fact Bell rejects “Scripture alone” on principle:

This [that the canon was not settled until the 4th century] is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice, but it is not true. In reaction to abuses by the church, a group of believers during a time called the Reformation claimed that we only need the authority of the Bible. But the problem is that we got the Bible from the church voting on what the Bible even is.

He thereby takes the same position that the Roman Catholic Church took against the Reformers: That since the Church (guided by the Holy Spirit) gave us the Bible, the Church (guided by the Holy Spirit) is authoritative over the Bible. Bell’s version simply expands that idea beyond Rome to any Christian group anywhere struggling with the meaning of the Bible. Rather than to rely on a grammatical/historical approach to determine the author’s meaning, he trusts that in some manner the Holy Spirit is “enlightening us.” "

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Infallible Pope Admits Being Wrong about Martin Luther

From Fide-O blog:

"Pope Benedict XVI is to rehabilitate Martin Luther, arguing that he did not intend to split Christianity but only to purge the Church of corrupt practices. According to Vatican insiders the Pope will argue that Luther, who was excommunicated and condemned for heresy, was not a heretic.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, the head of the pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the move would help to promote ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Protestants. It is also designed to counteract the impact of July's papal statement describing the Protestant and Orthodox faiths as defective and “not proper Churches”.

James White comments on the various problems this will cause for several real heretics:

By the way, the Pope has also reached out to the Muslim world to mend fences after his 2006 speech at Regensburg University in which he appeared to describe Islam as inherently violent and irrational. Furthermore, the Pope has rewritten the Good Friday prayer for the "conversion" of the Jewish people in the old Latin rite in an attempt to avoid accusations of anti-Semitism.

So don't be fooled. Rome is not trying to correct its unbiblical theology by "rehabilitating Martin Luther." Rather, Rome is trying to help itself politically. This is typical Roman Catholicism... its all about the money."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Another Humor Day!

Yeah, yeah, I know. I posted this on Friday night. But it is, after all, Saturday somewhere!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Paul Washer: The Idolatry of Decisionism

John MacArthur: How Christ Builds His Church

Nathan Busenitz has provided what he refers to as a "summarized paraphrase" of John MacArthur's opening presentation at this year's Pastor's Conference. What follows is a summary, but the rest can be found at "Pulpit Magazine" (until I get my hands on an mp3 of the actual sermon)....

"There are many ways to build “The First Church of the Tares,” behind which Satan is the real power. It can be done very effectively, it can be big and enduring. The gnostics, the Roman Catholics, the liberals, and the cults have all done it—and they are still around. The Church of the Tares is actually bigger than the Church of the Wheat. And today, those calling themselves “evangelicals” are also doing it. There are churches all around the country where tares gather together and call themselves churches.

If you want to take a shot at competing with the rest of the “tare-pastors” on how to get a large group of tares into a building each Sunday, there are plenty of strategies to do that.

But if you want to build the true church, the wheat, in the way that God commands, then we must discern how Christ builds His church, and how it is that we are to be part of that.

The answer is not vague or obscure. When you ask how it is that Christ builds His church, the answer is not hard to find. In fact, it is so clear and inescapable that we are bound to follow what He commands.

If you are caught up in the church growth mentality, trying every devise to increase numbers, I want to throw the gauntlet today and ask you to make a choice: If you want to build the church of the tares you’re on your own; but if you want to be part of Christ’s work of building the church, that is a different thing altogether...."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

You Provide the Caption

Ed Stetzer at Lifeway wants you to provide a caption for a picture at his site.

My suggestion?

(before turning the microphone on)...

"Ed, it just astounds me just how gullible some people are to listen to anything I have to say..."

Why Are We Here?

Every once in a while, it's a good thing to stop and reflect on what the "Main Thing" is. And I think that, at least for me, this is a good time to do just that.

Our world is winding down. Jesus foretold it and we can see the evidences around us, not in any one thing but in all the pieces. The buzzards are gathering. Natural disasters are increasing in number and severity. Wars are ever increasing. The price of food is increasing, even as there is talk of gasoline going up to at least $12 per gallon (which of course will push food prices sky high). There is a great apostasy going on across entire denominations through Emergent, Purpose Driven and New Age, with the ground work being laid for the coming Antichrist . . . and, incidentally, ironically enough, there is talk of Presidential candidate Barak Obama as some kind of "Messiah" (whether or not the world proclaims him as such). You say you can't see it? I'd ask "are you sure you are a Christian or could you simply be self-deceived"?

Do these things bother me? Well, I can only say that you'd have to be numb for things like this to not have some effect on you. In our flesh, we want things to go on pretty much as they have. We want security! Our fallen humanity wants to "play it safe" and be kept "safe and warm"! I'd like nothing more than a nice quiet life where I can work on music projects and do some recording and no doubt, should God allow, I will do some.

But God didn't promise us what we think of as "security". Not at all. He promised us trials and tribulations and, yes, persecution when we are faithful to His Name.

We aren't here for our comfort. We are here to spread the gospel. To proclaim it. We aren't here to debate heretics or atheists. In my years as a believer, I've found that to be perfectly fruitless. And, after a while, you begin to hear the same trash over and over again, just in slightly different terms. All any of it amounts to is rabbit trails and rabbit chases. All it does is serve to get your eyes of the real job at hand and that is to proclaim the gospel and let God draw His own to Himself. Period.

But the Gospel is always relevant. It was relevant in the Garden of Eden when God gave the first hint of the redemption to come and it is relevant now.

So we are to preach the Gospel. We are to announce it to everyone and leave the results to God. We are to present God's law so that the lost can see that they fall short of God's standard. And once they understand themselves to be sinful before a Holy God, then the "cure" (Jesus' death, burial and resurrection) makes sense.

This life is nothing more than a place to make a decision. Just as Adam and Eve had to make a choice, so must we all. Each and every one of us. Will we live by faith? God's word says in Hebrews 11 that "those who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Why? The same verse says that "...without faith it is impossible to please God"! You say you want to please God? Where is your faith? And by faith, I don't mean the "Faith" of so many huckster preachers and evangelists on T.V. such as Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn and others.

"Faith", biblically defined is described as obedience. Choosing to trust God, take Him at His Word and do what He says. Don't believe me? Try reading Hebrews 11. There you will find a whole list of those who believed God and obeyed him. Yes, they were justified by faith alone. But saving faith will manifest itself in obedience!

Did they struggle? No doubt. I'm sure that they all did in one way or another. But in the end, they obeyed God, trusting in His character in the face of what seemed, in human reckoning, to be folly.

What was their Earthly reward? Well, read on in Hebrews 11:

"32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah; also David, and Samuel and the prophets,
33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the strangers.
35 Women received their dead raised to life again, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings; yes, more, of bonds and imprisonments.
37 They were stoned, they were sawed in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented.
38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and caves of the earth.
39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise,
40 for God had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us."

So, let's reconcile ourselves to two things; First, to obey God's Word. Second, to obey God's Word regardless of personal cost. God never promised us an Earthly reward. He only promised to meet our needs, to sustain us. And in that, we are to be content.

So, for each and every individual on this planet, it is a re-enactment of the Garden of Eden. Each person is told that they can "Eat of the tree of Life" if they will. Most don't. Jesus said that "The gate is narrow and few will find it". Most will, as did Adam and Eve, choose to partake of the forbidden tree, which the devil promises will "make them like God".

And therein lies our mission. To bring the Good News of the Gospel to those who stumble toward death in their ignorance. To help them understand that they can partake of Christ, Who died to pay for their sin so that they may live.

Will we face ridicule? Increasingly. Persecution? God says to bet on it. But while Jesus said "In this world you will have tribulation..." He also said "...but take courage for I have overcome the World". And he also overcame death through his own death and resurrection, didn't he?

So, who are you gonna trust? The world? or Christ? The world is passing away, the Bible says. All the fancy, glitzy things that catch our eyes will one day be blown away as God destroys the current heavens and Earth for the new heavens and Earth which will be forever unstained by the ravages of sin.

So let us count as dung the very things that the world holds dear and cling to Christ in obedience. Do what you can, when you can, to spread the Gospel while there is still time.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The New World Religion

From Christian Worldview Network:

"Brannon Howse: March 4

This program sounds like a movie script but it is real and you are seeing it first hand. Brannon said this was one of the most revealing and important radio program he has ever hosted. After years of research, writing and radio, the events of the past few weeks have revealed the merger of modern-day "Christianity" & evangelicalism. with the New Age Movement and Universalism. The players are assembled and are laying the groundwork for a world religion and a world leader as predicted in the Bible. This is happening fast and you are seeing what the Bible foretold thousands of years ago. Brannon interviews Ingrid Schlueter and you must listen now"

Go to the following links and be warned...

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Forget global warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age

For those of us who are so sick and tired of the "Global Warming" scare and can remember the "Ice Age" scare of the 60's, enjoy this excerpt from the National Post:

"Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.

The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January "was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average."

China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.

There have been so many snow and ice storms in Ontario and Quebec in the past two months that the real estate market has felt the pinch as home buyers have stayed home rather than venturing out looking for new houses.

In just the first two weeks of February, Toronto received 70 cm of snow, smashing the record of 66.6 cm for the entire month set back in the pre-SUV, pre-Kyoto, pre-carbon footprint days of 1950.

And remember the Arctic Sea ice? The ice we were told so hysterically last fall had melted to its "lowest levels on record? Never mind that those records only date back as far as 1972 and that there is anthropological and geological evidence of much greater melts in the past.

The ice is back..."

The fact is that the Earth has gone through warm and cool cycles for ages. It has been doing that regardless of what humans do. It was happening before industrialization came about. But, I guess that's just an "inconvenient truth". . .(tb)

Yes, It's Humor Day!