Thursday, January 31, 2008
An excerpt from the article from Bob DeWaay:
"Most evangelical churches have elders; these elders are responsible for the Lord’s flock. My interviews with people who have witnessed their churches being infiltrated by unbiblical teachings and practices have opened my eyes to a serious problem in our evangelical movement: elders who do not think that what is being taught and practiced in their church is important enough to judge biblically. This is serious. In many cases, these elders consider their primary job to be—support the senior pastor and his reputation at all costs. Their secondary job—watch over the financial well being of the church as a corporation. Their tertiary job—make sure no one rocks the boat. Thus, in these elders’ interpretation of their job description, the problem in the church becomes those concerned members who care about the integrity of the gospel message."
Read the rest of the article here.
The audio can be heard here...
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
"Hey, Tim. White Horse Inn gave my friend and I permission to post these on Youtube so we've been taking turns posting them. I've made a play list including all of them that have been released this year so someone could just scroll through them. Lord willing, we'll keep that updated throughout the year. You can get that here, if you like:
There's also an embed option.
What about those who won't get "on-board?" with the Purpose Driven Agenda? What is the reason for this new "Reformation"?
Proverbs 29:18 is discussed and exegeted, and other topics discussed.
Hear the clip here...
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Well, we have a winner!
The question was "Specifically what is in the jar in the picture?"
While it would have been nice to have a few more participants, I was still surprised (although I suppose I shouldn't have been) that we had a winner in so short a time.
JFranklin6 tried, but it was a swing and a miss. He submitted "It's a tree branch". Well, it is part of a tree, but not a branch...and even then that wasn't specific enough.
Sorry, but that one fell short.
Stella went for broke and guessed "an insect?". Sorry. Maybe there was one in there, I don't see it. I was starting to sweat things a bit when I read that one...
Reformedlawless made a valiant effort with "Tree Bark Tea". Well...that's just not what you see in the jar...Although he was headed in the right direction. He just missed his "turn-off". But he is our runner-up. And, we'll give him credit for being a visionary.
Finally, it was Karen (RoseAndTea) who correctly answered the question...And those of you in the south may have noticed from the pinkish-orangeish wood tone that it is...
Yes, it's that delectable, delightful, delicious and delovely deciduous gift from God, the roots (yes roots, I say!) of which are harvested and ever-so-lightly boiled for a whole half hour to give us that wonderful, root beer aroma, which in its liquid form we do sip slowly and drink deeply...
So, it is my honor to inform you, Karen, that you -- yes, YOU -- are the winner of the contest. And, as the winner, you will be the recipient of 100 "Way Of The Master" tracts from my tract box. I'll try to make it an assortment of each type. However, if you have a preference (and I have what you ask for) I can customize the assortment for you.
And, ReformedLawless, as runner-up, I've decided that your answer was so close that you qualify for a stack of 50. Good enough?
So, if ya'll would send me your addresses to me via email (address available in profile), I'd be more than happy to box these up and ship them off.
Congratulations to our Karen and our runner-up, ReformedLawless.
"From the Davos World Economic Forum, Rick Warren describes how private, government and faith sectors (Drucker's 3-legged stool) can tackle the global giants of poverty, AIDS, corruption illiteracy, disease, and spiritual emptiness. Rick Warren use the word THEM to describe the people of faith.
But who are the "WE" in Warren's comments? Plainly, the "WE" consists of the global movers and shakers of the World Economic Forum. Warren also tells the audience of his membership on the Council on Foreign Relations. Could the "WE" Warren refers to in this video clip refer to the global elite with whom he associates?
Here's the highlights of the clip below..
- The global faith sector plays an integral part of the "3-legged stool " of global social change
- Houses of worship have Universal Distribution: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians represent 5/6 of the world's population. If you take "people of faith" out of the equation you rule out 5/6 of the people on the earth. "WE" are in more locations than the United Nations, "WE" speak more languages, "WE" are in a thousand more people groups than the United Nations. "WE" have to mobilize these faith groups to work together on these unsolvable issues.
- WE have the biggest manpower and WE don't have to pay THEM... THEY have local credibility...people trust the priest, pastor iman and rabbi, the religious leaders of their faith. Government and nations come and go, but the CHURCH has a 2000 year track record.
What WE need to do here at Davos (World Economic Forum), WE WE need to work on a three legged stool...WE haven't solved these problems before because WE have to have the public, private and faith sectors to solve these things.
Frankly, I don't care why you do good as long as you do good. You may have a political, profit, or personal motivation to do something now about the problems of the world."
Although I have a degree in computer science, I work in the health care industry. Most recently, I have become self-employed, doing private, in-home care for a friend's grandmother. And the Lord has been financially gracious to me and my wife as a result.
This morning, as I sat with "granny" after her breakfast, I noticed one of those very large (Giant) universal remote controls (yes, just like the one in the picture). It was still in the packaging. It needed to be set up, so I opened it.
After putting the batteries in it, I knew I had to set the thing up to be able to communicate with the television. The "autodetect" function never works on these things, so I set about looking for the manual to find out how to get the TV code entered so this dear woman could use it.
Mind you, these things are made large because the presupposition is that you have a problem seeing small things. So, please understand my amazement when I found the entire "manual" to be contained in a booklet that is perhaps 1.5 inches by 2 inches and print so small that even my bifocals (Yes, I wear bifocals) didn't help...much.
Here is this product that professes to be a solution to a problem, yet when you try to learn how it "works", you can't get much more than gibberish from the manual!
Welcome to the Emergent Church!
Emergent makes big claims to be the solution to traditional Christianity. Indeed, its' proposition is that it is a return to genuine Christianity. . .but when you want to know "how it works", all you get is gibberish! I've seen it, you've seen it. It's like nailing jello to the wall. They say something, you catch the error, then the backpedaling begins. Then you catch the next error, and the backpedaling repeats.
Yup, they look big. The tout themselves as the next big, great thing. They claim to be a return to First Century Christianity.
But they have nothing to say. No details on how it works, nothing. So forget a "manual", because I doubt that even they know how it is supposed to work.
The emergent church and Granny's shiny new giant remote control. They both look big but they are equally useless.
Among today's topics: "What is the difference between the visible and invisible church? Is it a 501(c)(3) entity?, What effect does that have on evangelism? Does the ends justify the means? What is vision casting?"....
Here is part three.
The others can be found here...
Monday, January 28, 2008
"Countless sermons in churches across the country focus on moralistic concerns and personal transformation. But has Christ gotten lost in the shuffle? Have we inverted Paul's warnings by intentionally preaching ourselves, and not Christ crucified? On this edition of the White Horse Inn, the hosts introduce the new theme for 2008: Christless Christianity!"
Today, we offer part two and hear them discuss various topics, including "How did Rick Warren begin disseminating the "Purpose Driven" paradigm? What does it mean that he is "re branding the Church"? Is there evidence that this paradigm, after all, isn't even working? How does Rick Warren's public proclamation of the gospel differ from the Biblical model...and does it matter? How does "doing church" differ from the traditional, Biblical model?"
Click here for a worthy 30 minute listen...
As you listen to those in the emergent "conversation", listen for the same words..."I think, Perhaps", etcetera. Again, words of uncertainty!
"But we have a more sure Word of prophecy". We have the Scriptures. We don't have to be stuck in uncertainty. We don't have to fumble around in the dark, trying to figure out what God is doing or what His will is for us. We can search the Scriptures and find answers to our questions.
Today, have you given thanks to God for the simple gift of His Word?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
For those of you who are not familiar with Bob DeWaay, you can find him at Critical Issues Commentary or Twin City Fellowship, where he serves as pastor.
Today, we start with show number one. What is the genesis of Purpose Driven? Why did it come about? What is the soteriology behind Purpose Driven? When and how does the Gospel get preached in a PDL church? What are other philosophies that drive the PDL paradigm?
I'll try to post one half-hour segment at least every other day. Did you know what elements of New Age are in the book "The Purpose Driven life"? Listen up. . .and be ahead of most people who blindly follow this contemporary heresy!
Here is half-hour segment number one of fifteen.
I just finished reading a piece on Christian evangelism in Israel.
In effect the author commends a "draw men with your loving good works" tact given the fact that evangelism/proselytizing are illegal in Israel.
Given the temporal illegality of witnessing in Israel the author points to the NT passages about submitting to governmental authority and being obedient to secular laws and concludes that showing forth your light unto men is the only available option for Christian witnessing.
Now I respect this particular blog author and generally agree with much that he produces, but I find myself shaking my head in disagreement on this point in light of Christ's repeated commands to preach the gospel and due to the myriad suffering, persecution, and martyrdom of the saints of God.
The Apostles themselves were ordered by the Jews to quit preaching Jesus and were beaten and Peter's resounding response was "We ought to obey God rather than men."
All of the 12 were executed by earthly authorities with the exception of John the beloved Apostle who was nonetheless exiled to the rocky wind stripped isle of Patmos whereupon he was given The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Where has our confidence in Christ gone?
Why do we fear temporal persecution more than we fear God?
Why do we refuse to take up our cross (an instrument of torture and death - not a good luck charm on a necklace or bracelet) and follow Him?
Why do we hold our reputation, our comfort, our safety, our job, or even our lives dearer than we hold our obedience to the offense of the cross and the glorious Gospel?
Why do we esteem ourselves (by holding onto the items listed above) higher than others who need to hear the truth?
What has become of the church militant?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Here's another example (in an analysis by Todd Friel) of how low they have gotten:
Apparently, xxxchurch thinks pornography is "Ok for consenting adults".
So, for Lee Johnson, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Galesburg Illinois (as well as other pastors who would endorse xxxchurch.com) I would ask "Who are you sending porn addicts to???"
Now, no one knows (accept the Lord), as to the spiritual state of this man. The article didn't mention if he was of any faith at all, and of course a secular paper isn't going to report on whether or not a person professed Christ...unless it is an obit at the family's request.
While we certainly hope this person was born again, let's assume for the sake of illustration that he was not and that he never heard the Gospel.
Let's discuss two scenarios, both having to do with his last day on Earth. Let's say you know this guy. Furthermore, let's presume that you, a person who professes Christ, would like to see this person "get to heaven".
Finally, let's look at this from two perspectives.
Perspective one: You really, really don't want to offend this guy. Your reasoning is "I don't want to turn him off to the Gospel. It is his choice and it is important for me to convince him that he needs Jesus".
So, you plan to "Love him to Jesus". Of course, this means doing things slowly, gradually. Your first move is to just "become his friend". So you say "Hello" to him. You ask him about some of his interests. Ok. Great. No problem! But after talking a bit, you decide that enough is enough. . .after all, you don't want to make him uncomfortable, so you leave it there and say "see ya later!"
Then this morning's story appears in the paper.
What has happened to this guy? Well, he never heard the gospel, right? We know that Romans says "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God"(Romans 10). But he didn't hear it (at least from your conversation...) did he?
A popular line today is "You may be the only Bible people read". Well that's good as far as it goes. But it might be better to say "You may be the only Bible people hear". The problem is, your "friend" didn't "hear" anything, did he?
Meanwhile, what has happened to this guy? Well, there are numerous stories in Scripture. Jesus had much to say about the afterlife. In one of them, He told about the Rich Man and Lazarus. It is widely accepted as an historical account of two real people and what happened after they left this Earth. If you've been exposed to scripture for any length of time, you know the story but I'll include it here from Luke 16:
"19 There was a certain rich man who was customarily clothed in purple and fine linen and making merry in luxury every day. 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores 21 and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. But even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it happened that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. The rich one also died and was buried. 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, there is a great chasm fixed between you and us; so that they desiring to pass from here to you cannot, nor can they pass over to us from there. 27 And he said, I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, 28 for I have five brothers, so that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. 30 And he said, No, father Abraham, but if one should go to them from the dead, they would repent. 31 And he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even though one rose from the dead."
The rich man had plenty...he had what the poor man needed. However, he didn't help poor Lazarus out. They both die, and the rich man finds himself in hell. What is his concern now? That someone go to his brothers and warn them so they won't join him in his fate! Did he say "Have someone go and be a buddy to my brothers?" No. Did he say "Get someone to go deal with their felt needs so maybe they'll want heaven?" No. He said "Send someone to testify to them!". And even Abraham told him "Unless they believe the words of Moses and the prophets..." nothing else matters...even if someone were to rise from the dead! (And, of course many still don't believe, even though our Lord rose from the dead!)
See, it is the LAW that convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). That is the work of the Spirit, and the Spirit uses the Word of God (1 Timothy 1:8) to address the Law which is written on each person's heart (Romans 2:15).
So, from this, we see clearly that the Biblical, Heavenly emphasis is on what they must hear, not what we think (or they feel) they must have.
Now, someone will say "You mean you just throw scriptures at people and don't help them if they need help? Of course we help those in need! James said "2:14 My brothers, what profit is it if a man says he has faith and does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and if one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, but you do not give them those things which are needful to the body, what good is it ? 17 Even so, if it does not have works, faith is dead, being by itself."
But what if I have what someone really needs (the Gospel) and don't give it to them? If I am not willing to share the Gospel with those who need it, James implies I don't have it to offer them! To the point, to neglect giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost person is just as serious an indicator of non-saving faith as not meeting their physical needs if I have the means to do so! And, which "need" is greater, a person's physical need or spiritual need?
Feed the poor person? Sure! But give him the gospel too. Give a person clothing when they need it ? Yup. But give them the gospel too. And, if they won't believe the law ("Moses and the Prophets") what good is the endless seeker sensitive, entertainment oriented "banana bread treatment" going to do?
Second point of view: You know this guy. You know he doesn't profess Christ. You don't want him to go to hell. What do you do? Be his friend? Fine! But you show your friendship to him by telling him what he needs to hear. If you've never met him before, you can make small talk. But you can swing things around to the spiritual. That's what Jesus did. In John 4, he approached the woman at the well. He asked for a drink of water, no doubt he was thirsty. But He didn't keep things on the physical level. He switched to the spiritual. It didn't take him days or months to do it. It took a few moments. He was about to offer her what she really needed...living water. So, "10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water. "
He was baiting his hook! He intentionally switched to spiritual things and went on help her understand her sinfulness!
Was he condescending? No! And properly done, Biblical evangelism isn't that way at all.
So, you share a little small talk. But make the change to spiritual things. All you have to do is ask "do you know of any good churches around here?" or "Do you have a Christian background?" or something of that nature. You are just "testing the waters" to see how they react to talk about spiritual things. Also, people love to talk about themselves, they can't be offended if you ask them a question about them!
Then ask them if they think they are a good person. Offended? No way! They will be happy to tell you they are good. Remember, they are talking about their most precious subject...themselves! Take them through three or four of the commandments. Ask them if they have ever told a lie, stolen or lusted. If they admit having lied, ask them what this would make them...let them point the finger at themselves, and let God's Law do its' work. Ask them if they think they'd go to heaven or hell. If heaven, why? Would a just judge let criminals go free? Of course not? If they think they'd go to hell, how do they think they'd avoid their fate? Ask for forgiveness? On what basis? "Judge, I know I killed the guy, but I'm just asking you to forgive me!" Won't work! Someone must pay the fine!
But that is when the death of Christ on the cross makes sense! Then you can explain how the judge of the Universe came around to our side of the bench and paid our penalty for us! And then they can understand the importance of repentance and faith in what Christ has done for us!
So, if you had met this guy who died in a snowmobile accident, which approach would be more apt to help him understand his need for a savior? And if you knew he were going to die in that accident, how would that change your approach?
My friends, you have no idea if the next person you talk to won't die tomorrow!
So, can you see how the "seeker sensitive approach is really insensitive to the lost? If not, something is horribly wrong.
But you know what? The seeker "sensitive" approach is also insensitive to God! Don't think so? Read your Bible. As you read it, consider the message that men of God give to others. For those of you who only care about "what Jesus said" (as if the rest of the Bible is not equally inspired), consider the first words of Jesus' public ministry: We read from Matthew 4: "17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
Throughout His ministry on Earth, He continually pointed people to their sin. From Luke 18:
"18 And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 19 And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? None is good except One, God. 20 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and your mother. 21 And he said, I have kept all these from my youth up. 22 And when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, Yet you lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, follow Me. 23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, How hardly those having riches shall enter into the kingdom of God!
Jesus forced him to deal with his false concept of what "good" is and, after the man justified himself, showed him that he was guilty of breaking the first and second commandments...that you shall have no other Gods before the Lord, and that we are not to bow down to idols! So, he demonstrated what was really important to himself; his earthly riches!
And Jesus let him walk away. After all, the man "did not believe Moses or the Prophets"!
And what of the feeding of the 5000 in John 6? Wasn't that Jesus being "seeker sensitive"? Well, if so, he failed. Yes, Jesus was showing mercy on those who were hungry. But He was also performing a food miracle to validate His claim to Whom He was. But if he was being a model for being seeker sensitive, he failed! Why? Because later in the same chapter, he turned people away because they wanted more bread!
My "seeker sensitive" friends -- If you really care about being sensitive to God and your lost friends, will you do as Jesus did? Are you willing to say as He did in John 6: "26 Jesus answered them and said, Truly, truly, I say to you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for that food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of man will give you. For God the Father sealed Him."
Sure, you can meet their physical needs and meet their emotional needs. But it doesn't stop there nor, by our Lord's example, does it take alot of time to move to the realm of spiritual needs. . .which, contrary to what they think they need, is what they so desperately need.
So you say you care about what our Lord cares about? Then stress what Jesus stressed. The eternal, the spiritual.
You know, after He died, 1 Peter 3:19 tells us He "made a proclamation to those now in prison" to announce what He had accomplished. Why? To save people in Hell? No. Because proclaiming the message glorifies God. Why else would he preach the news of His victory over death to those who are eternally lost? For the same reason that "every knee shall bow". . .even those who are sent to hell. Why? "To the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:10,11)
So, you wanna be "seeker sensitive"? Then be sensitive to the only seeker that the Bible says exists. . .Jesus, the one Who came to "seek and save the Lost" (Luke 19:10).
A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us if we are not simple. How are we going to be simple with the simplicity of Jesus? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, obeying Him as He brings the word of God, and life will become amazingly simple. "Consider," says Jesus, "how much more your Father Who clothes the grass of the field will clothe you, if you keep your relationship right with Him." Every time we have gone back in spiritual communion it has been because we have impertinently known better than Jesus Christ. We have allowed the cares of the world to come in, and have forgotten the "much more" of our Heavenly Father.
"Behold the fowls of the air" - their main aim is to obey the principle of life that is in them and God looks after them. Jesus says that if you are rightly related to Him and obey His Spirit that is in you, God will look after your 'feathers.'
"Consider the lilies of the field" - they grow where they are put. Many of us refuse to grow where we are put, consequently we take root nowhere. Jesus says that if we obey the life God has given us, He will look after all the other things. Has Jesus Christ told us a lie? If we are not experiencing the "much more," it is because we are not obeying the life God has given us, we are taken up with confusing considerations. How much time have we taken up worrying God with questions when we should have been absolutely free to concentrate on His work? Consecration means the continual separating of myself to one particular thing. We cannot consecrate once and for all. Am I continually separating myself to consider God every day of my life?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Criticism from people outside of Christianity toward the Church doesn’t surprise many. But when negative viewpoints are being expressed by believers, it raises a red flag for churches across the country.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
All you have to do is be the first to submit the correct answer to what you see in the picture. To be clear, you must be specific as to what it is in the one gallon jar...and I've already given you a hint in the title.
"What do I win?" you say? Well, the winner gets an assortment of 100 "Way of the Master" tracts from my personal cache. No, I don't know which ones (yet) but I'll make it an assortment.
Contest lasts one week, ending next Tuesday at this time (9pm central time). Winner will be announced shortly thereafter, Lord willing. If you think someone has already given the right answer, submit yours anyway. The last time we had a contest here, the winner wasn't concerned about getting the tracts...already had them if I recall.
If you want to see the jar contents better, click on the picture. It's 1024 x 768.
And, oh yeah, I need to create a "contest" label for these things...
Friday, January 18, 2008
"A Misguided Hermeneutical Approach
The second problem is that the FG view apparently sees John 6:40 as the interpretative key which unlocks the hidden meaning of Matthew 7:21. There is nothing in the immediate context which leads the interpreter to understand “the will of the Father” as faith in Christ, and only when this meaning is imported from John 6:40 does this interpretation emerge. But where does that leave the original hearers’ of the Sermon on the Mount? Without a copy of the Gospel of John in their hip pockets, they would be left completely in the dark, with the true meaning of Matthew 7:21 hidden from their eyes.
On top of that, even if the original hearers had possessed the Gospel of John, what would compel them to look to John 6:40 to discover the meaning of Matthew 7:21? FG teachers confidently state that the meaning of “the will of the Father” in Matthew 7:21 can be found in John 6:40, but how do they know that? The whole approach seems to betray a desire to preserve FG theology. Unfortunately, it does so at the expense of the clear meaning of Matthew 7:21-23.
A Complete Misunderstanding of John 6:40
Thirdly, the FG explanation completely misinterprets John 6:40. In other words, this interpretation not only ignores key details in the immediate context of passage under consideration, but it also uses John 6:40 to import into Matthew 7:21-23 meaning which is not even found in John 6:40! Put simply, the will of the Father in John 6:40 is not God’s will for mankind, but rather God’s will for His Son Jesus.
Consider the verse in its context. In John 6:38-40, Jesus says:
(38) For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. (40) For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.
Verse 38 is simple enough: Jesus says He has come to do with the will of the Father. He follows this up in verse 39 by explaining what this will is: that He (that is Jesus) would lose none of those whom the Father has given to Him, but rather that He would raise up all of these believers on the last day. In verse 40, Jesus elaborates further on what He has said in verse 39 (indicated by the explanatory gar [“for”] at the beginning of v. 40) by again explaining the will of the Father for Jesus. The will of the Father, He says, is that all believers will have eternal life (the emphasis being not on the present possession of eternal life but on the future culmination of it). And who is going to make sure they have eternal life? Who is going to accomplish the Father’s will and guarantee this eternal life by raising believers up on the last day? Jesus! As He says at the end of verse 40: “I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” Jesus will indeed accomplish the will of Him who sent Him, and therein is the hope of the believer.
To summarize, the will of the Father in John 6:38-40 is not that people would believe—it is that those who do believe would have eternal life and that Jesus would guarantee this by raising them up on the last day. None whom the Father has given to the Son shall perish, because Jesus shall do the will of the Father. Therefore, to use John 6:40 to interpret Matthew 7:21 may seem to get FG off the hook, but it amounts to a careless handling of the Word of God. If FG teachers are determined to relieve the tension that exists between Matthew 7:21-23 and their theology, they will need to seek some other way to do it. My vote is that they jettison their theological system altogether."
Thursday, January 17, 2008
"FG teachers would go so far as to say that if an individual were to believe in Christ for a brief moment—even as brief as 10 seconds—and then recant of that belief and live out the rest of his life as a Christ-rejecting atheist who never obeys God, that individual is a true child of God and will some day be in heaven. In other words, rather than recognizing that such an individual did not truly believe in Christ to begin with (1 John 2:19), Free-Gracers would affirm that person’s faith and conversion as genuine, for regeneration is no guarantee that one will persevere in the faith.
Among the many passages of Scripture which contradict FG on this point is Matthew 7:21-23. In this passage, Jesus says:
(21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ (23) And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
The obvious problem that this presents for the FG position is Jesus’ assertion that only those who “do the will of my Father” will enter the kingdom. This runs contrary to the FG gospel which says that most of those who end up in heaven will not have lived a life of obedience to God during their lives on earth.
One of the primary ways that FG teachers try to solve this dilemma is by using John 6:40 to interpret “the will of My Father” in Matthew 7:21 (e.g., see Joseph Dillow, The Reign of the Servant Kings, 199; Bob Wilkin, Confident in Christ, 216). According to this approach, doing the will of the Father in John 6:40 (and therefore in Matthew 7:21) refers to believing in Christ. Therefore, Matthew 7:21 simply says that only those who do the Father’s will (which is to believe in Christ) will enter the kingdom of heaven. And with that, the tension between Matthew 7:21-23 and FG theology suddenly vanishes. Or does it?"
Read the rest here...
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I can relate to what he's preaching against...This is the struggle I fought so many years ago, and had all manner of "evangelicals" assuring me I was saved.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
We still aren't sure what caused her to fall, nor are we sure what caused her to become so disoriented, save perhaps her very high blood pressure at that time. It's going to take more time and testing.
For those who have been praying for my mother, my wife and I would like to express our thanks. The past few days have been a bit scary and tough but we are thankful that we have friends who care.
Blessings to you all,
Monday, January 14, 2008
"People don't want to believe that Adam's sin put the whole human race in a spiritually hopeless state. They don't want to admit that they are sinful to the very core of their beings. They don't want to admit that their most basic desires, and even the private imaginations of their hearts are utterly and hopelessly sinful, and they are powerless to change themselves. By any standard, these are hard truths."
You can read the rest here...
Sunday, January 13, 2008
"Calvinism is so effective that itinerant evangelists had a summit in Jackson, Tenn. to discuss the fear that they may be out of a job:
"In a broad sense, it's happening on Christian college campuses too, as Calvinism appeals to young people who are wanting a more intellectual approach to Christianity," said Hal Poe, Charles Colson Professor of Faith and Culture at Union University in Jackson. "Southern Baptists neglected serious Christian education from the early 1960s, and that's when all the trouble started. From discipleship training we went to the amorphous youth groups, whose only real good was to keep kids happy until they graduated from high school and graduated from church. Now, you have a generation [of college students] who have come along and want something deeper and they have latched onto Calvinism."
"When the pastor preaches on Sunday morning in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and tennis shoes, do you think he's going to bring in this fire-breathing evangelist who wears a tie and black suit and have him stand up there and tell people that they are going to hell?" Michael Gott of Keller, Texas, asked rhetorically. "Do you think he's going to change that whole user-friendly approach to have somebody like you or me tell people that they must recognize there's something wrong, and what's wrong must be changed, and the only one to change it is Jesus Christ."
Gott then charges: "They're going to try to woo them step by step, overextending friendship evangelism, to the point that confrontational evangelism is not part of the package."
(quotes from this Baptist Press article)
So now Calvinists are too smart, too friendly, too effective and too young.
Hmmm. Looks like we are making good headway!"
She also needs more physical exercise. Her legs are weak which contributed to her falling. She has not been very active since dad's passing. She will be getting help from physical therapy for this.
So, we praise God for his mercy. Having lost my dad about 14 months ago, this was "deja vu all over again". And of course, there are some reservations. But, she is in a great mood and is having normal discussions with her visitors.
So, again, thank you for your prayers - - each and every one of you - - as we continue to trust God with my mother's recovery.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Well, turns out that, at the very least, she fell. At worst mom has had a small stroke.
She was very confused when I got to her home. She wasn't sure where she was. She didn't know whose pill box she was holding. She couldn't tell me where she lived until I gave her the first digit of her street address.
She's had a c.a.t. scan, and they said that there is some vascular constriction in the brain but didn't see signs of a stroke.
So, she's in the hospital now and I'm happy to say it's a reasonably good one. We are trusting God with her, knowing He is the giver and sustainer of life.
Mom is 84 and is otherwise in reasonably good health. We just pray that the symptoms of stroke...short term loss of memory...will continue to subside, as they appear to be doing.
Thank you for your readership, friendship and support.
Friday, January 11, 2008
"With the nation focused on political primaries, we thought a post on politics might be appropriate – a reminder to all of us as to what our primary concern ought to be.
We can’t protect or expand the cause of Christ by human political and social activism, no matter how great or sincere the efforts. Ours is a spiritual battle waged against worldly ideologies and dogmas arrayed against God, and we achieve victory over them only with the weapon of Scripture. The apostle Paul writes: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
We must reject all that is ungodly and false and never compromise God’s standards of righteousness. We can do that in part by desiring the improvement of society’s moral standards and by approving of measures that would conform government more toward righteousness. We do grieve over the rampant indecency, vulgarity, lack of courtesy and respect for others, deceitfulness, self-indulgent materialism, and violence that is corroding society. But in our efforts to support what is good and wholesome, reject what is evil and corrupt, and make a profoundly positive impact on our culture, we must use God’s methods and maintain scriptural priorities..."
Here's the rest of the article...
Thursday, January 10, 2008
As I have stated on this blog at least a few times, Charles Finney was a heretic. However, his views and approach to evangelism have continued on and have been adopted widely by Christianity. Even Moody Bible Institute, considered by many to be a bastion of orthodoxy, lionizes Finney. Don't think so? I would ask you to do a google on "Stories of Great Christians", which is produced and broadcast by MBI.
Unfortunately, Charles Finney's legacy is contemporary "christianity" with its shallow conversions, mass evangelism focusing on results based on emotional manipulation.
Let Charles Finney stand as an example of what happens when you "do religion" with unsound theology. Sound familiar?
Monday, January 07, 2008
"In this time filled with so many timid and effete men in leadership positions in the American Christian Church we are reminded of some words written by Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989):
the New Testament itself, the very cradle of Christianity, reflects in a startling way the fact that the faith of Jesus Christ was built and nourished upon the controversy which it provoked. It was said of the early Christians that they “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6); indeed the message of the Cross itself is offensive and controversial by nature. (The Kingdom of the Cults, 473)..."
Read the rest here...
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The statement which started all the furor and blog commenting was "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."
And I stand by that statement to this moment. In fact, even more so.
Contrary to what some blogs reported it as, it was a statement on the lackadaisical attitude in contemporary Christianity toward scriptural teaching and Biblical accountability. It wasn't a piece about "Ted Haggard has fallen", but a piece that clearly said "This is what you get when you get your eyes off truth and the application of it."
This is still true today. Since then, evangelicalism has drifted even further out into the "La La Land" of Warrenism, Emergent and seekerism to the point where we even find it necessary to debate whether or not it is a sign of apostasy to sign a document in which one asks for the forgiveness of the false god "Allah" and the Islamic community for the Crusades (Yeah, we should have just let Islam take over the world by sword), and the "excesses of the war in the Middle East". (Ditto).
Welcome to contemporary evanjelloism.
No thanks. Not sure what I should call myself these days. "Old School Evangelical"? I suppose that would work.
But just as I had no desire to affiliate myself with evangelicalism as represented by Haggard, I am even more repulsed by the "evangelicalism" of Leith Anderson and Company who have sold out the faith. Yup, I'm referring to the "Common Word" document which included apologies for the Crusades, "excesses" in the war in the Middle East and an appeal to the false god of Islam and the Muslim community for forgiveness.
And of course, they imply that we worship the same God. Nope. No way.
It's my conviction that evangelicalism is more apostate than it was when I wrote that missive so many months ago. Actually, it may be that it has just been given more opportunity to put its' rottenness on display.
The cry back then (about what I had to say) was "No, it's because of you and me. We are sinners. We all could fall like this", which implies "Poor you and me. We just couldn't help it, there but for the grace of God go I, quit beating on Haggard" (which wasn't happening anyway).
That misses the point completely. The point is we are called to holiness. Ted Haggard and Leith Anderson are not the problem per se. The problem is what it was years ago...an unwillingness to know the scriptures, obey them and hold our leaders accountable. We want entertainment.
I'm not up on my politics, and my major in college was in the sciences. But I remember that one reason socialism, communism, etc. overtakes a people is because they get to a point where all they care about is "are the trains running on time".
Brothers and sisters, we have reduced our spiritual concerns down to "are the trains running on time?" We want a comfortable religion. We want paid clergy to do the work. Want music? Hire a worship pastor. He'll do all the work. Don't care about visiting the sick? That's ok, it's the pastor's job. And of course, now it's about making the lost comfortable. So, we cater to the sinful nature of the lost. Else, how will we keep them? After all, they aren't interested in the Scriptures.
Uhm. That's because they are lost....
But that doesn't stop us. No. We gear our "worship services" to draw the unsaved. A church in our town has a large marquee that often scrolls the message "Come Worship With Us!". Never mind the fact, of course, that God seeks those who will worship in spirit and truth...something which the lost cannot do.
Kind of hard to have high standards for holiness when you are trying to appeal to those who have no interest in it. So, the clear proclamation of truth must go out the window. Accountability must go. Discipleship must go. After all, its about the comfort of the Canaanites!
How wretched we have become. And we are paying the price.
The solution? Study the Word. Believe it. Obey it. And, expect your leaders to fit the Biblical models given to Timothy and Titus. If they don't, confront them. Yes, we are supposed to submit to our church leaders but we are responsible for submitting to godly leaders. We need to quit turning a blind eye to those who are supposed to be shepherds but give their sheep stones instead of loaves of bread and live lives contrary to the godly examples they are to be.
So, you profess to be a Christian? What do you care about...the Glory of God through the proclamation of and obedience to His truth? Or do you care more about your spiritual trains running on time? Are you or are you not willing to stand for the truth, regardless of the cost? Yes, it will cost you something as it has me. It has cost me fellowship at at least one local church. This past fall it cost me my job. But it's worth it.
Beloved, the only way to get rid of the disease is the proper cure. And the proper cure is right doctrine and obedience to it. We must have convictions. But not just convictions, Biblical convictions!
You say "but that sounds so hard!" Well, yeah it does. And it is! But what you and I must do is look at that hardness and see it as an opportunity to trust God with it as we obey Him and confront the things we know are wrong.
You say "But I may catch flack!" I say that Paul told Timothy that " Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.." The implication is that if you don't see any resistance in your life, you aren't living a godly one...or possibly even seeking to. You say you are getting along fine with those in the world? That should bother you...or was Paul wrong...or maybe even lying?
Each and every one of us is put on this planet to make a decision. Will you or will you not obey Christ as Lord? Period. End of discussion. What you decide to do will determine the validity of your profession of faith in Christ. No, it doesn't save you. But it does confirm or betray your profession.
So, you want to see the tide change? Then it's time to get off the "train" and start taking a stand.
"Some prominent evangelical leaders [who] are criticizing the heads of the National Association of Evangelicals for signing a letter to Muslim leaders containing controversial language.
The critical leaders include Dr. Albert Mohler, Gary Bauer, and Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo who voiced opposition to the apology in the letter for the sins of Christians during the Crusades and for “excesses” of the global war on terror, without mentioning Muslim acts of violence..."
Note: NAE President Leith Anderson was asked why he signed the document. His response? "...“There simply was not an easy way to process the complexities of this inter-faith communiqué on short notice." That was preceded by another statement of his which amounts to "Someone who knows more than I do about Islam told me I should do it."
Yeah, that's leadership....
Leith? Let me give you three words..."Just Say No".
Here's a link to the original article at the Christian Post...
Thursday, January 03, 2008
San Diego Christian Leader Pays Steep Price For Speaking Out Against Rick Warren's Unethical Use of Saddleback Church Pulpit:
Christian Activist James Hartline Loses Well-Known Media Support After Signing Published Letter That Calls On Rick Warren To Stop Allowing Pro-Abortion & Pro-Homosexual Speakers In His Pulpit
(JHReport) A nationally recognized Christian activist has learned firsthand that there is a steep price to pay for speaking out against the moral corruption of one of America's most powerful Protestant ministers. Despite the high cost to himself personally, James Hartline has been willing to expose, what he says, is a disturbing trend of theological and moral compromise coming from the pulpit of Rick Warren, pastor of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church.
Included in Hartline's laundry list of complaints against Pastor Warren is the recent speaking engagement of pro-gay and pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Saddleback Church. Hillary Clinton's invitation from Warren to speak at his church followed a speech by Clinton before the radical gay activist group The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) where she told the HRC "she wants a partnership with gays if elected president."...'
"The main substance of today's entry is something I originally wrote in 2006 in the comments section of another blog. A writer on that blog had complained that my criticism of the "Emerging Conversation" was insufficiently nuanced and unnecessarily nitpicky. He seemed to be suggesting that there are more good influences than harmful ones in the broad world of Emerging religion..."
Read the rest here...
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
We have just begun a new year. What a great time to set new goals or refocus on old ones that haven't yet been realized!
With that in mind, how many of you would like to join me in making or renewing your commitment to personal evangelism? Lest you think I'm asking for some big leaps of faith, I'm not necessarily doing that. For those of you who (like me) are sometimes squeamish here are some easy ideas....
1. Get some postit note pads. Write "www.needgod.com" on them and stick them on things such as library computer monitors or on the bank drive-through door. People will see them, get curious, and check out the web site!
2. Print a small sign for the back window of your car that has two lines that says "Think you're a good person? www.needgod.com"....and drive courteously.
3. Get some "Gift for You" tracts from Living Waters. Put a real dollar bill in each one. Next time you go to walmart, approach the greeter and say "Here, this is for you!" Trust me, they will thank you, and when they see the dollar bill they will be overcome by the idea that you "gave of yourself".
There are tons of other things you can do like this that are very simple. If you like to write, why not write an article to your local paper...a letter to the editor in response to an article on some health issue or the environment saying "Hey, sure, we're concerned about this, but even more importantly we need to think about bigger issues such as life and death" and give them the message of law and grace, sin, repentance and faith.
Then, of course, when you have opportunity, talk through the gospel with someone. If you don't know how, check out Way of the Master, Living Waters, or NeedGod.com. There are good classes, outlines and examples there.
If you need encouragement, let me know! If you need help getting started, let me know!
Let's press on for the glory of God!
"If you didn't see Rick Warren's Christmas Sermon on Fox News then you missed a dooosie of a sermon and by dooosie I don't mean that it was a good sermon I mean that it was a bad sermon.
This year's "Christmas Sermon" at Saddleback is a perfect example of the quintessential Warren sermon.
First of all, the sermon was chock full of verses ripped from their context which were cited from really bad paraphrases like "The Message". Warren delivered these verses in such a fashion that they didn't even remotely resemble what the Bible actually says and means in the original languages. (Since, when did this practice become okay?)
Secondly, his sermon barely mentioned sin and the entire context of what we need a savior for. Instead of giving us the Biblical context of sin and the gospel proclamation of a savior being born to us Warren, like a used car salesman, listed out 3 benefits that people could receive by accepting God's "Christmas Present" to them. (Warren and his apologists call this approach the 'Positive Gospel'). Here were the promised benefits."
You can read the rest (and view the video) here...
Have you been "out" in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question - "What do you expect to do?" You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder - you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a "going out," building in confidence on God. "Take no thought for your life, . . . nor yet for your body" - take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you "went out."
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to Him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?
Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him - what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual "going out" in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
"The Apprising Ministries reader who sent CRN the link to this piece at Truth Matters told us that it’s "a video of the church service ‘McWorship’ at my former church. They will actually have the church set up looking like a McDonalds with golden arches and cut-outs of the McDonalds characters!"
Sick yet? If not, watch this sample of what else you can look forward to at Lititz Grace Church: