Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scot McKnight At Rick Warren's Church

Latest from Lighthouse Trails Research on Warren's Apologetic Weekend which offered Greg Koukl, Scot McKnight, and Philip Yancy. Here's the part on McKnight:

Quote:

In McKnight’s books Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us (with an endorsement by Brian McLaren on the front cover and McLaren references within) and in his book A Community Called Atonement, McKnight doesn’t necessarily reject penal substitutionary atonement (as does McLaren) but says there are many ways of viewing atonement, likening it to golf clubs–using different ones for different purposes (Prologue). Worth noting, McKnight’s Atonement book was published by the emerging publishing partnership of Abingdon Press and Emergent Village. McKnight is seen by the emerging church as someone who represents it. And McKnight’s website and his books confirm this with numerous favorable references on these issues. In his book Jesus Creed, he recommends a variety of books by contemplative advocates including Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Pathways, where he instructs readers to repeat a word for twenty minutes (which is mantric like meditation) and several other authors of whom we have already mentioned in this article. One of the books McKnight recommends is Eternal Wisdom from the Desert: Writings from the Desert Fathers. St. Anthony is one of the desert fathers featured in that book. Contemplative teacher, Willigis Jager disclosed the following:

Christian literature makes reference to many episodes that parallel the
experiences of those going a yogic way. Saint Anthony, one of the first desert
mystics, frequently encountered strange and sometimes terrifying psychophysical
forces while at prayer. (Jager, Contemplation: A Christian Path, p. 72)

What is being described here is the Kundalini experience that can happen during mantric-like episodes. While McKnight does not come right out in his books and recommend practicing this, he recommends those who do. What we consider McKnight to be is a “bridger,” someone who claims orthodoxy but is actually being used as a bridge between orthodoxy and a dangerous mystical practice.

End quote.

LHRT noted in 2007:

"In emerging church leader, Scot McKnight's book, "The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus", McKnight says that Protestant Christians are the only Christians who do not honor Mary. He recommends that Protestant churches all practice an "Honor Mary Day" (p. 144), saying she "leads us to a Jesus who brings redemption ... To listen to Mary is to hear the message of Jesus' death and resurrection as a mega-event whereby God established a new kind of power, a new kind of family, and a new kind of kingdom" (p. 145).
McKnight describes this great event as a time when the world will come together and worship Mary."

This is the same group that JP Moreland and Koukl have been involved with (yes, its a small world). Patton, head of Credo and host of "Converse With Scholars" who is a neo-Calvinist, has promoted a lot of liberalism, Emergent church junk, Eastern Orthodoxy, and denies the inerrancy of Scripture and doubts the Six Literal Days of Creation as Genesis teaches.

List of past guests on CWS here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Consistency of life must be followed by consistency of speech

From John MacArthur's Commentary:


Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6)

Consistency of life must be followed by consistency of speech. Paul is not speaking here of preaching the gospel, but general conversation. Believers’ speech must always be with grace, as was Christ’s (Luke 4:22). There is no place for those things that characterize the unredeemed mouth. Whether undergoing persecution, stress, difficulty, or injustice, whether with your spouse, children, believers, or unbelievers—in all circumstances believers are to make gracious speech a habit. To speak with grace means to say what is spiritual, wholesome, fitting, kind, sensitive, purposeful, complementary, gentle, truthful, loving, and thoughtful. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

The speech of the new man must also be seasoned… with salt. It is not only to be gracious, but also to have an effect. Salt can sting when rubbed into a wound (cf. Prov. 27:6). It also prevents corruption. Believers’ speech should act as a purifying influence, rescuing conversation from the filth that so often engulfs it. Salt also adds flavor, and the speech of the new man should add charm and wit to conversation.

Believers must also know how to respond to each person. They must know how to say the right thing at the right time. In Peter’s words, they must be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15).

The speech of the new man is vitally important: “If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well” (James 3:2). Unlike the ungodly, who say “Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?” (Ps. 12:4), we as believers should echo the prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

End quote.

I found it interesting that salty conversation in this context is to have a godly affect, not a carnal affect...which is what Mark Driscoll and Paul Tripp, among others, have. They clearly, as have many Reformergents, either ignored or twisted this passage.

Christ Jesus Our Shield - A Word of Encouragement For The Soldier of Jesus Christ

"Surely, I am with you always — even unto the end of the world!" Matthew 28:20

Christ is ever with His people — as a shield and deliverer. Our estimation of this truth, will be proportioned to our intelligent apprehension of the number and potency of our enemies — and the costliness and preciousness of the treasure thus divinely protected.


"Surely, I am with you always — even unto the end of the world!" Matthew 28:20

Christ is with us, as our guide. How deep our need of Him as such, and how endeared does it make Him! So blind are we, so dark is our future, so perplexing is our present path — that the very next step might be a false one — taking us into a wrong direction, entailing untold anxieties and sorrows, or hurling us from a precipice into total ruin! Yes, we need just such a guide as Christ!

What Alpine traveler would attempt the ascent of a steep glacier, or cross the dangerous pass — unattended by an experienced guide — one who knew the route, whose skillful eye could detect the treacherous crevice, and whose strong arm could fence the narrow, winding way?

Our path to eternity demands just such a guide as the prophet foretold Christ would be. "I have given Him," says God, "for a Leader and Commander to the people." His own gracious words corroborate this statement when speaking of Himself as the Shepherd of His flock, who "Goes before them, and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice."

Oh, what a privilege — in every path of doubt, in every circumstance of danger, where human judgment is either warped or beclouded, and your own mind hesitates and falters — to have such a wonderful Counselor, such a divine Guide as Christ at your side! As such — He is ever with you!

He will guide you . . .with His eye of providence,and with His hand of power,and with His heart of love!

He knows the way that you take — for He has ordained it.
He knows every crook in your lot — for He has appointed it.


He will . . .roll away the stone of difficulty,level mountains,fill up valleys,make the crooked path straight,and the rough place smooth; this will He do unto you, and not forsake you.

Oh, be honest and upright with Him! Go to Him first, consult Him first, acknowledge Him in all your ways — before you consult any human guide. May Christ, in all the minute details of your life, have the pre-eminence. Learn to lay your own desires and thoughts at His feet.

"He guides the humble in what is right — and teaches them His way!" Psalm 25:9.

Not our way — but "His way." We must first surrender our way and will — before He will teach us His. He guides the "humble" — the childlike, trustful, unquestioning disciple, who humbly locks his hand in Christ's and says, "Lord, lead me and guide me, not in my own way — but in Yours!"

Oh, take a firm grasp of this unfailing Guide, and you shall travel safely and surely, through all your unknown future. Be honest and sincere only to know and to walk in the Lord's way, the way in which He would have you to go; and then will He fulfill His most gracious promise, "Surely, I am with you always" — in the midst of the utmost peril and dangers!

There are assaults from which alone Christ can shield us!

Innumerable and invisible,sleepless and restless,working with an almost almighty power,everywhere with an almost omnipresent existence,ever plotting our ruin — are the spiritual enemies of our soul, and the sworn foes of our faith!

The world and its fascinations,Satan and his devices,the flesh and its tendencies,error and its disguises — are all confederate against the child of God, opposing his every advance in holiness!

But Christ is our ever-present shield, near at the moment of assault, and skillful to deflect and disarm it! "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield!" are words addressed to all who have like precious faith with him.

Listen to Paul when defending Christianity before Nero: "At my first answer no man stood with me — but all men forsook me. . . . Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me and strengthened me." Severed from the protection and sympathy of man — he was all the more conscious of the presence and love of God. This is the manner of the Lord with us. The stage shall be swept of the human — to give place to the Divine. When the last human prop bends, and the last spark of creature-hope expires — hail it as the harbinger of Christ's nearness, that the more signal may appear His loving deliverance, and the more complete and undivided His glory.

Oh yes! the Lord encompasses you! Encircled by danger — you are also encircled by Christ! When you embark in His cause on foreign service, enter the carriage of a railway, launch upon the treacherous sea, bend your steps of mercy to the bedside of the sick, travel the lone and dreary road — be your experience what it may, let your mind be kept in perfect peace, trusting in this truth: the ever-present protection of Jesus. The unhealthy climate shall be harmless, the sickening malaria shall be innocuous, the perilous transit shall be safe — curtained within the pavilion of your Savior's love. Swelling above the tempest, louder than the voice of many waters, or whispered in the still solitude — shall be heard the words of Jesus, ""So do not fear — for I am with you! Do not be dismayed — for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand!" Isaiah 41:10. Lord, it is enough! My heart trusts in You, and I am helped!

~ Octavius Winslow

Psychosomatic Effects of Sin and the Biblical Solution

I got this from a very solid sister in Christ, Susan Brackley.

Quote:

Evil and sin cause psychosomatic effects of inner turmoil and anxiety which affects our physical body. Not all sickness is a result of personal sin, but the bible does often recognize a common link between sin and sickness.

Proverbs 3:2 “For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.”

The ‘they’ here refers to God’s law and commandments, as we saw in the previous verse yesterday.

This fatherly figure here in Proverbs is echoing the fifth c...ommandment in Ex 20:12 ‘Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God gives thee.’ In general those who heed this command of God do live longer, and have better lives. Those who rebel against parental authority, even as imperfect as parents can be, solicit God’s wrath in their lives.

Jay Adams writes, “The Bible teaches that a peace of mind which leads to longer, happier living chimes from keeping God’s commandments. A guilty conscience is a body-breaking load. A good conscience is one significant factor which leads to longevity and physical health. And so, in a measure, one’s somatic (bodily) welfare stems from the welfare of his soul. A close psychosomatic connection between one’s behavior before God and his physical condition is an established physical principle.”

Sin, can be, and often is, the root or contributing factor of some illnesses. Not all sickness is related to particular sins. Job was a godly, upright, and righteous man, yet God allowed illness in his life for His own reasons. They were not a result of Job’s sin. There are many diseases, birth defects, and physical conditions that are not a result of personal sin. It is unwise and ungodly to go around suspecting these situations as being a result of a person’s sin. God knows and He doesn’t need us passing judgment on things that we don’t know about.

Yet the bible does often recognize a common link between sin and sickness. Jesus healed a crippled man and implied that his condition had been a result of sin in his life. “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, Behold, you are made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Jhn 5:14 Again, in 1Cor 11:30 speaking of people taking communion unworthily, not taking the time to examine ourselves and truly repent of our sins first … “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” (sleep = die)

We are not to judge everyone’s sicknesses as being a result of sin. We need to leave that type of judgment up to the Lord. However if we are personally involved in one’s life and see a pattern of sin and sickness we aren’t to omit the idea from perhaps being true. I have had to address this subject many times through counseling situations. We cannot judge the motives of the heart any more than we can know exactly what God is doing in another person’s life. However we are to wisely, and mercifully take what we do know and hold that out to those who need our help. It gives them hope when there are biblically sound answers to what they may be facing in life.

It is ideal that we examine our own sicknesses ourselves before God. If we know that there is un dealt with sin in our lives and we keep getting sickly; it is right that we consider chastening. Repentance doesn’t mean that our sickness will go away…but it does ensure that God’s hand of chastening will be lifted. There are times that our sickness lives on, although we have repented. We have a reaping and sowing principle that kicks in here. I have a dear friend who was a long time alcoholic, he had lived a very rough life. Frequenting the bars, fighting, motorcycle accidents, car accidents, as well as the internal ruining of his liver, lungs (smoking), and heart. He got saved later in life, and stopped his evil lifestyle, he truly repented of his sins and gave his life to Jesus…a tremendous testimony of God’s grace and transforming power! Yet, he had the repercussions of his former sins haunting him all through out his Christian life. Those old choices eventually took his life with many physical problems. He never once blamed God for his ailments. A more thankful man you’ve never seen! He is walking on streets of gold now!

Again, and I can’t stress it enough… we are not to think evil of sick people. If we don’t know of sin in their life, don’t assume it. This causes us to be guilty of evil thoughts. If we do know of a sin in someone’s life, we need to go to them, in love, to help them see and consider it. Some illnesses are Psychosomatic; of the mind. David was depressed and in sin and recorded Ps 32 to tell about it. He affirmed that in his case, happiness came through confession and forgiveness of sin. David knew that sin brought on his physical sicknesses at that time. Evil and sin cause psychosomatic effects of inner turmoil and anxiety upon the physical body. This is not a new teaching. Refer to Psalms 38 and 51 for more on this subject. Worry, fear, guilt, depression, hate, jealousy, (just to name a few examples) all originate in the mind first; then if continued, they reek havoc on the body. Hiding sin causes distress of body and soul.

If we are sick and we know that we are right before God, we know and are at peace that God has a purpose. If we are sick and we know that we have been entertaining sins and that we aren’t right before God, we can know that His hand is heavy (in love) upon us to repent. Hebrews 12

Doing right before God has all of the promises both in this life as well as the life to come! What do people want? Universally…right across the board… everyone wants the security of long, peacefully abundant life and assurance of the future. Even those who boast of ‘not needing God’ seek after this type of happiness and security themselves. They, of course, cannot find it apart from Him, but nonetheless they spend time, money and great effort trying to obtain it on their own. True lasting peace cannot be found apart from God. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked.” Isa 57:20-21 This only comes through loving and keeping God’s Word, through a faith based relationship with Jesus. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.” Pro 9:10-11

God’s people enjoy peace, “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Php 4:7 Christians have trials, we have enemies, we live in a sin cursed earth, we even fight our own sinful desires constantly…but we have answers, we have a Comforter, The Holy Spirit and amidst the storms of life we have peace. Even if our very life is taken; we enter into eternal peace in the end. ‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.’ Ps 119:165(Jay Adams Competent to Counsel p. 125)

End quote.

I'd just like to add, this is exactly why we shouldn't run to medication to solve a sin issue. Our Creator has told us what to do already, how to live, how to think, how to have relationships. HIS ways are perfect and bring true peace.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple...Psa 119:11 I have stored up you...r word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Joh 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Php 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; Php 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Php 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Php 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Being Told You're Too Negative

"When others say or suggest that perhaps my outlook on life or my comments and links are "too negative", I remind myself that "being positive" in their minds...is being blissfully silent and/or at peace while this nation, its' seminaries, churches and schools and the people in them are being systematically spiritually dismembered limb from limb. I won't put a happy face on carnage, I am to resist evil, not embrace it." ~ Don Mitroff

Well said!

Rick Warren To Give Away $1 Million To His Empire

Don't believe it when Rick Warren plays "average Joe" or poorboy.

He's revealing what some of us already knew: he's raking in the bucks. In his pride which is drapped in mock humility, Tricky reveals he's a millionaire. Please don't tell me you are surprised.

Quote:

"Every time we've done these campaigns, Pastor Rick and his wife have always led the effort by saying what they're going to commit or give," he told The Christian Post. "They're committing based out of a slogan we've been using here: Not equal gifts but equal sacrifice."

Warren and his wife, Kay, have chosen to step out in faith by committing to give $1 million a year for the next three years to Saddleback.

"[T]his is how deeply we believe in the vision of this church," the California pastor said in an email to the congregation. Notably, Warren takes no salary from the church and supports his family with 9 percent of the royalties from his books while giving away the other 91 percent. He revealed that last year his personal income from his books was $87,000.

End quote. Source.

After being told yet again about how he doesn't take a salary from his church and does "reverse tithing" (which isn't biblical, and which if he had the right motives, we'd never know about it...we aren't to let the left hand know what the right hand is doing), we are then told he's going to give $1 million over the next three years to his new Decade of Destiny program to multiply his empire. How can he afford that?

What Tricky won't equally boast about is how he can afford to give away that much cool cash if he is only making $87,000 as he claims. Here's where he likely gets his money: from his interviews, seminars, and conferences, not to mention all the money gifted to him and/or his "church", all the freebies, etc.

Folks any pastor who parades around how much he isn't making isn't humble. He's prideful.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Francis Chan

Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.


CNN reports :

“Even in my own church I heard the words, ‘Francis Chan’ more than I heard the words, ‘Holy Spirit’,” he said.

That was a big part of the reason he walked away at the peak of his professional career.

“I think there has been too much emphasis on me. I want to be used by God, but I think we have this desire to make heroes out of people rather than following God and the Holy Spirit.”

End quote.

The Holy Spirit? The emphasis should be on Christ, not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ Jesus, and Christ Jesus glorifies the Father. Chan's concern about "The Holy Spirit" being talked about seems more along the lines of a Charismatic view than a biblical view. And I'm not saying we don't talk about what the Spirit of God is doind in our lives. But to have that be the focus instead of a man, is still not the right emphasis. In addition, for most men, being a pastor is a career, not a calling. You can quit a career, you can't quit the calling God has called you to.

And if he's so done with all that, then why is he still speaking around the us? Just like Piper...quit, but not totally---give it "all" up, but not really. This is fake humility. If he wants it to not be about him, then no more interviews, no more speaking engagements, no more books, and no more DVDs (and yup that's his latest angle).

More concerns: he claims he never made more than $36,000 which I don't believe, not in Simi Valley California, and not including all his speaking engagements, the Seminary of which he is president (the dude has enough money and time to spend on a surfboard and trapse around to go surfing--or was that just another gimmick for his dvd "Just Stop and Think" that they sent out to thousands of homes in Simi Valley?). Why is he so proud of how "little" he made? Why is he letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing?

"Chan plans to return to the states in January. He is already scheduled to appear at the Passion Conference in Atlanta, which has drawn a crowd of more than 20,000 in the past, and do a stint in the chapel at the NBA All-Star game in February."

See? If he's trying to escape being a celebrity "Christian" then why does he continue to feed the monster?

These celebrity "pastors" whine about being a celebrity, when they are the ones that fed into the whole thing by selling books and going on national or even international speaking engagements. Part of the problem is that they aren't shepherding their own flock...they are feeding their egos by going everywhere else...seminaries (don't we have enough of these man-centered things?), youth conferences, Emergent conferences, Desiring-I-Don't-Know-What-Kind -Of-God Conferences, book writing, etc., instead of sitting still and feeding his own flock. If you don't write books and go on speaking engagements, then you won't get "famous". Yeah, you'll "just" be a pastor. That's not too exciting for some who easily get bored apparently.

Flashback to April 2010:

Quote:

Chan made clear that his decision to depart wasn't prompted by immorality, discipline or disputes within the church. Rather, he has long felt a restlessness and stirring to let go of the church he founded 16 years ago to "do something different."

"I started to just feel too much like this earth was my home in some ways – you know you just get your roots in and get comfortable. And then I started feeling this call and there's all sorts of fears," he said.

Just five years ago, Chan was struggling with whether he was willing to completely surrender himself to God. He realized he was and was willing to go anywhere for God.

At that time, his calling was with Cornerstone Church. Today, he's feeling a tug somewhere else.
The well-known preacher is still unsure of what his next adventure will be or where God is calling him to though he's feeling drawn toward Los Angeles. Part of him wants to go somewhere where he is unknown, he said. He also has a sense that he's being called to do church differently, not necessarily with formal Sunday services.

Chan will preach at Cornerstone through the end of May and participate in speaking engagements over the summer. He then plans to take his family to a third world country – possibly Thailand – where they will care for victims of the slave trade and orphans while spending time seeking the Lord.
After a few months overseas, Chan plans to launch something new at the beginning of next year. While fearful, he expressed full trust in God.

End quote.

Sorry, but God doesn't call a pastor away from a flock like this. Chan has emphasized in youth ministry for a long time, and its not of HIM when a senior pastor wants to get out of his comfort zone--he by his own admission, has gotten bored and wants to move on to do something different. Being a pastor, a TRUE pastor IS to lay down your life for Christ Jesus and HIS sheep. Chan thinks it means giving up a house (but not speaking engagements and selling DVD's). And frankly I find it dishonest for him to whine about "stop making about ME" when HE'S the one making about him: his "little" salary, his celebrity, his comfort zone, etc. Then again that's his "gospel"---man-centered, so this is the fruit.

Contrast that to the maturity we see in someone like John MacArthur or Spurgeon, Gill, etc. Here's something interesting MacArthur said:

I am committed with all my heart to the church, and not just THE church in a generic sense, but this one. The average pastor stays in a church three years in America, just long enough to accomplish nothing. It's true. Three years. But I'll tell you one thing you do accomplish, you send a message very loud and clear to your congregation that you didn't make a commitment to that church, then try to convince them that they should for a lifetime. It's a tough sell.

In the eighteenth century in America, for example, seventeen hundreds, eighteenth century, 71 percent of pastors in that century at one church their whole life...71 percent. There was one particular church that was pastored by a father, a son and a grandson for 123 years. They only knew one family...one family. There was another church I read about in the eighteenth century where the pastor died and a young pastor came and married the widow...and so they knew that family and that new man. That was pretty typical. Men spent their entire life in the same church. Four percent of pastors in the eighteenth century had three churches. One was the norm, 71 percent. You gave your life to the church and then you could tell your people to give their life to the church. Pastoring a church wasn't climbing a ladder, it wasn't sort of a road for self-promotion. It was...it was like a marriage. In fact, when a person went to candidate at a church, the minimum stay was three months. You didn't go in there and preach two sugar-stick sermons which were a lot better than you could produce every week, and wow them, you know, with your best shot. You went for three months, maybe six months, maybe even a year. And at the end of that time they determined whether you would come. And then they had what was tantamount to a wedding and you made a commitment, a vow to the church. In today's environment there are lots of divorces. It's very hard if pastors aren't committed to local congregations to expect people to be. In fact, in some cases I think pastors move faster than people do. But this is a day of non-commitment, isn't it? This is a day of "I need my needs met." "I want fulfillment...I want to be happy," etc., etc., so we bounce along thinking we can find a more favorable place. That goes all the way down through our whole culture. Everything we do is that way and the church tends to accommodate that with a very high mobility in the pastorate and a very high mobility in the people. And even more than that, the people are looking for the briefest kind of association with the church. If you can hit me with a Sunday-night service, I'll really be happy, "one hour, I'm in there and out of there and don't mess up a whole day" mentality. And this shows up in the unwillingness of people to join the church.

End quote.


Joh 10:11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 "He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
Joh 10:13 "He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.
Joh 10:14 "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
Joh 10:15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reconsidering How You See Scrooge

In Defense of Scrooge

By Michael Levin

Excerpts:

Quote:

No doubt Cratchit needs—i.e., wants—more, to support his family and care for Tiny Tim. But Scrooge did not force Cratchit to father children he is having difficulty supporting. If Cratchit had children while suspecting he would be unable to afford them, he, not Scrooge, is responsible for their plight. And if Cratchit didn't know how expensive they would be, why must Scrooge assume the burden of Cratchit's misjudgment?

...As Scrooge observes, he supports those institutions with his taxes. Already forced to help those who can't or won't help themselves, it is not unreasonable for him to balk at volunteering additional funds for their extra comfort.

...The normally taciturn Scrooge lets himself go a bit when Cratchit hints that he would like a paid Christmas holiday. "It's not fair," Scrooge objects, a charge not met by Cratchet's patently irrelevant protest that Christmas comes but once a year. Unfair it is, for Cratchit would doubtless object to a request for a day's uncompensated labor, "and yet," as Scrooge shrewdly points out, "you don't think me ill used when I pay a day's wages for no work."

...The biggest of the Big Lies about Scrooge is the pointlessness of his pursuit of money. "Wealth is of no use to him. He doesn't do any good with it," opines ruddy nephew Fred.

Wrong on both counts. Scrooge apparently lends money, and to discover the good he does one need only inquire of the borrowers. Here is a homeowner with a new roof, and there a merchant able to finance a shipment of tea, bringing profit to himself and happiness to tea drinkers, all thanks to Scrooge.

Dickens doesn't mention Scrooge's satisfied customers, but there must have been plenty of them for Scrooge to have gotten so rich.

Third, most important, and completely overlooked by Ghost and by Dickens, there are hopefuls whose own plans turn on borrowing the money returned to Scrooge from his old accounts. Scrooge can't relend what Caroline and her unnamed husband don't pay up, and he won't make a penny unless he puts the money to use after he gets it back.

The hard case, of course, is a payment due from Bob Cratchit, who needs the money for an emergency operation on Tiny Tim. (Here I depart from the text, but Dickens characters are so familiar to us they can be pressed into unfamiliar roles.) If you think it is heartless of Scrooge to demand payment, think of Sickly Sid, who needs an operation even more urgently than Tim does, and whose father is waiting to finance that operation by borrowing the money Cratchit is expected to pay up.

Is Tim's life more valuable than Sid's just because we've met him? And how do we explain to Sid's father that his son won't be able to have the operation after all, because Scrooge, as Christmas generosity, is allowing Cratchit to reschedule his debt? Scrooge does not circulate money from altruism, to be sure, but his motives, whatever they are, are congruent with the public good.

End quote.

For the entire article go here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

John Newton : Comfort For the Christian In Everything That Comes Our Way

Excerpts from Letters of John Newton

"We are disciples--Jesus is our Master. The world we live in is His school--and every person and event is under His management, designed to forward us in the great lessons which He would have us to learn--such as . . . self-denial, a distrust of creatures, and an absolute dependence upon Himself. In this view, afflictions--are mercies, losses--are gains, hindrances--are helps, and all things, even those which seem most contrary--are working together for our good."

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink

Excerpts: (Arthur Pink, "The Sovereignty of God")

Because God is righteous--His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him.
Because God is faithful--the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled.
Because God is omnipotent--none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel. Because God is omniscient--no problem can master Him and no difficulty baffle His wisdom.

It is just because God is who He is, and what He is--that we are now beholding on earth, the beginning of His out-poured judgments! In view of His inflexible justice and immaculate holiness--we could not expect anything other than what is now spread before our eyes!

Faith endures "as seeing Him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27) Faith endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life--by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err--and too loving to be unkind. So long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart, nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand--then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings--whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr's stake--we shall be enabled to say, "The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places!" (Psalm 16:6). But that is the language of faith--not of sight or of sense.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

There's No Such Think As A Christian Drunk

I like to keep things very simple. I think Scripture does too. Its clear enough for a baby Christian to understand some things, and deep enough for a mature Christian to continue to be amazed and learn from. Here's the thing: if drunks and liars can't go to heaven, then we cannot think a Christian can be a Christian and a drunk; a Christian and a liar---even if he professes sound doctrine. Years and years of unrepentant sin proves one is lost. It really IS that simple.
1John 1:6 says that if we say we have fellowship with God while we walk in darkness we lie and the truth is not in us.

Drunkeness is a fruit of darkness, the world, those dead and outside of Christ.

1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." How much more a "pastor"?

One cannot be a drunk--drinking oneself to Alcoholic Heptitis--and be a Christian, just as one cannot shoot up heroine consistantly and be a Christian. And don't forget, drunks can hide their drinking very well. Just as a false teacher can hide his false teaching or immorality really well....eventually God reveals what was done in darkness, especially done in HIS name while shepherding and teaching His sheep in His name.

If one mourns over his sin and repents, then perhaps its at that time he got saved. Time will reveal if the repentance was real because the fruit that's in keeping with repentance will be evident and be lasting.

1Co 5:11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler--not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you."

1Cor. 11:21 seems to be talking to professing Christians, but which are not, given 1) the context and 2) the rest of 1Cor. letter including the surrounding verses of that chapter and surrounding chapters. The whole letter as well as 2Cor. is a letter of rebuke and a call to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith. Many were causing division from the truth.

1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Eph 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit

Rom 13:12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.
Rom 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.


1Pe 4:3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
1Pe 4:4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;
1Pe 4:5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1Pe 4:6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
1Pe 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

2Co 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless indeed you fail the test?

**Update**

It seems some who have sought to post comments regarding this article are defenders of Alcoholics Anonymous and/or its thinking in regard to the sin of drunkeness. Because of this, here is some information to show just how UNbiblical AA is and therefore should be avoided totally. True resolution to drunkeness is going to be spiritual because God says its a spiritual issue, therefore Scripture and the Person and work of the Holy Spirit is how HE deals with this as well as other sin issues.

How Alcoholics Anonymous Doctrines Compare with Scripture: http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/aa&bib82.html

Roots of AA http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/bobs11_1.html

More info on AA and also includes “Celebrate Recovery” critique.: http://morebooksandthings.blogspot.com/search?q=AA

Psychologist father and neo-pagan mystic Carl Jung's influence on AA: http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/e-books/ECP-ebk.pdf p. 161-162, "The End of 'Christian Psychology'"

AA changed U.S. view of God, say emergents:
http://mywordlikefire.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/aa-changed-u-s-view-of-god-say-emergents/

12 Steps: http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/12steps1.html & http://www.psychoheresy-aware.org/12steps2.html

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Real Discernment (and Spiritual Maturity)

"Real discernment is not an attack to cause disunity. It is a ministry to remove pretenders from the flock who are causing harm to it, which is, of course, the real crime of causing disunity. We simply warn and tell the truth. It is God who opens hearts and speaks the truth to them." - Mike Ratliff

Beth Moore Teaches Alongside Modalist T.D. Jakes, Bully Perry Noble

Catalyst Announces 2010 Speakers

Got a note yesterday from the Catalyst peeps about the 2010 conference. They just launched the new website, so you can make plans now to attend the Catalyst Conference this fall in Atlanta. They’re also offering an opportunity to register to win a free iPad. Winners will be chosen weekly up until the first week of October.

The conference is on October 6-8 in Atlanta at Gwinnett Arena. This year’s speakers include:

Andy Stanley
Seth Godin
Beth Moore
Bishop T.D. Jakes
Daniel Pink
Francis Chan
Perry Noble
Craig Groeschel

Catalyst 2011 Matt Chandler Shares The Pulpit With Emergents, Reformergents, Feminists, and other Worldlings

It just gets worse:

The Catalyst Conference March 2011:


"The Catalyst stage is renowned for some powerful moments with speakers. We start by hosting an eclectic mix of seasoned sages, leadership experts, and passionate young upstarts. We introduce social entrepreneurs who are shaping culture and creative minds whose fringe thinking and audacious ideas challenge us all to redefine the playing field.

Over the years, we’ve found that this learning community encourages leaders to return home impressed by God to do specific and amazing things. Some of the very best ideas and leadership insights are born in this room … and we give much of the credit to these gifted communicators and the strong presence of the Spirit of God."

Speakers include:

Andy Stanely, Matt Chandler, Dave Ramsey, Judah Smith, Nancy Ortberg (pastor of 8 years at pagan-friendly Willow Creek Community Church), Christine Caine (Hillsong church, founder of the A21 Camptain), Joseph Rev Run Simmons from MTV and fashion guy, Soledad O'brien, John Perkins, Dorsey Twitter founder, Britt Merrick pastor of Reality in Carpenteria, author, Scot McKnight, David Platt.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

New Age Sneaks In By Cookbooks, Diet Programs, And Children's Books

New Age sneaks in the most seemingly innocuous ways: children's books, cook books, and diet programs. Beware folks!

Oprah's endorsment of her New Age friend Marianne Williamson's new cookbook.

Marianne Williamson's children's book, "Emma and Mommy Talk To God."

Gwen Shamblin of Weigh Down diet fame, is staunchly anti-Trinitarian.

Soros' Excellent Goverment: China: labor camp for tweeting

"A Chinese woman sentenced to a year in a labour camp could be the first person in the country persecuted over a tweet, human rights groups said Friday, as Beijing tightens its grip on social media." ~Source

This is the country that ol' Soros says has "a better functioning government than the United States."

So this is how Soros likes it. And funds it. And wants it. Becareful what you wish for, you may end up being its first victim.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Ties That Bind: Kimball Likes "Discerning" Men Who Endorse His Emergent Book

In his slam against discernment websites and ministries and Christians, Dan Kimball said:

"There are trusted ministries like a Walter Martin. Or like Greg Koukl and Stand To Reason whom I frequently go on their web site and trust Greg. Or like a Josh McDowell or Lee Strobel. These are leaders and apologists you can trust as they have shown over time they do their homework and aren't judging by mere appearance."

There's a vested interest in why he drops their names. As Lighthouse Trails Research reports:

Quote:

Josh McDowell tells readers “it would be foolish” to not carefully study Kimball’s book. Gregory Koukl of Stand to Reason (an apologetics ministry) also endorses the book:
With insight, gentleness, and an unswerving commitment to the wisdom of the past, Dan Kimball shows us what we don’t want to see but must see if we care about the Great Commission in the twenty-first century.

McDowell’s and Koukl’s endorsements are nestled between staunch emerging church/New Thought promoters: Leonard Sweet, Tony Jones, Mark Oestreicher (Youth Specialties) and several others. One example of Kimball’s poor biblical theology is in his chapter titled: “The Church Arrogantly Claims All Other Religions are Wrong.”

End quote.

Greg Koukl denies the sufficiency of Scripture, even accusing it of having uninspired text. Go here and here to see this.

McDowell ripped David Wood and the Acts 17 group for doing evangelism wrong at the Arabic Festival this year in Dearborn Michigan, and were then arrested. Rather, McDowell commented on how he had no problem with any of the Muslims. And he had video to prove it----he was giving away his books and didn't proclaim the Gospel of Jesus boldly showing them they were offending the Triune God of Scripture.
Lee Strobel, author of "The Case For Christ" and considered an apologist. He joined Saddleback Community Church (Ricky Warren's pad) in 2000-2002 after being a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community church in the late 1980's- 2000. He quite WCC in 2002 to "focus on writing" (but he was writing the whole time he was at two different churches) and there's no indication if he's at a church. His son Kyle is now Emergent.
Its interesting that Kimball rejects those Christians with discernment and embraces others that have none, save for Walter Martin (who, ironically spoke out against the liberalism Kimball promotes; Martin did a whole study on seminaries and how they all eventually went liberal--Kimball is attached to the Quaker George Fox University and Wesley Seminary).

"The preachers of false doctrine dislike nothing more than the premature detection of their doings. Only give them time enough to prepare men's minds for the reception of their 'new views,' and they are confident of success. They have had too much time already, and any who refuse to speak out now must be held to be 'partakers of their evil deeds.' - Spureon on The Downgrade Contraversy

Dan Kimball

Recently Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio and A Little Leaven has paraded his new friendship with Emergent Church Movement (ECM) leader Dan Kimball on Facebook complete with multiple photos. Kimball is supposed to be more conservative than some other ECM leaders. Because Rosebrough was considered by many to be sound doctrinally as he has exposed some error in the ECM, Word of Faith movement, etc. it came as a surprise that not only did he befriend Kimball, but sees nothing heretical in Kimball at all. This is the same issue of Piper/Driscoll and Piper/Warren. And it stinks to high Heaven.

Has Kimball become more moderate in his views? Has he repented of his leading thousands astray in the unholy Emergent movement?

No.

Promoting the ECM Catalyst conference for 2011 under the heading "Some of the Events I am Part Of", Kimball also was at this year's conference in which he applauded his fellow Emergent leaders. In addition he mentions the other Emergent conferences he's involved with along with applauding even more Emergent leaders:

Quote:

I had the joy of speaking at Catalyst West Coast last year and will be speaking at it again this year. I'll be speaking at a "Lab" which is the first day of the event. You have to register for the Lab day in addition to the main event. Catalyst is having an Origins* tract and myself, Scot McKnight (I have done research on McKnight) and Margaret Feinberg will be leading Origins labs. Chris Tomlin is leading worship music.

Last year was the first Catalyst event I ever went to and I was really amazed at the incredible way they put on the event. This year the list of speakers includes Andy Stanley, Donald Miller, Mark Driscoll, Erwin McManus, Dallas Willard, Louie Giglio and a bunch others you can read on the Catalyst West Coast web site.


There are so many exciting events coming up this year.... and it is hard to simply highlight one. A couple others are in July I will be part of MissionShift Conference and also on the "Framers" team with Tim Keller, Ed Stetzer, Alan Hirsch, Linda B. and others. The Framers team will be working on a "Missional Manifesto" document which is going to help give some definition to what is "missional". So I am thrilled to be part of that as I believe it is something that is needed and will be helpful in the missional conversation.

In July we also will be putting on our first formal Origins event. It will be Saturday, July 24. it will be in Los Angeles - we will be announcing details soon. Erwin, myself, Dave Gibbons, Scot McKnight, Amena Brown, Margaret Feinberg and several others and some unique speakers we will be announcing soon will be part of this. It will likely be more for west coasters since it is a one-day event. Next summer in 2011 we will put on a several day festival event in Pasadena.

End quote.

Current on Kimball's website he has this on the right sidebar regarding Origins:


"Origins: New Network/Community
Sign up on this link for new network/community Erwin McManus, Dave Gibbons, Scot McKnight, Rick McKinley and some others (see link) are in the beginning process of forming a new community/network based around a passion for evangelism, Scripture and innovation for mission. Go to the above link to sign up for updates as it is formed."

Origins is chalk full of Emergents. Mosaic "gathering" (aka "church") is an Emergent church headed up by Emergent leader Erwin McManus, and is one of the three "core churches" of Origins. Another Mosaic leader is also part of the "Origins Team",

Then there is the post of 3 days with NT Wright.... Catalyst West Coast.... Beauty from Ashes :

Quote:

It is a "Consultation with Bishop NT Wright" (what they call it) with about 20 people. NT Wright is the featured speaker for Wheaton's annual theology event happening later that week. But they formed this pre-event before that big one. NT Wright will be presenting some things about Jesus, Paul and evangelism - and then we have discussion about it, some roundtable discussions and panels.

I am thrilled to be there at this and it is a very unique and diverse mix of 20 people who are going to be there. Myself, Alan Hirsch, Mike Frost, Phyllis Tickle, Shane Claiborne, Rick McKinley, Darrell Guder, Dave Ferguson.... Should be some very fascinating discussions.

I am staying over Thursday night and going to hang out in Chicago with Alan Hirsch and Rick McKinley, so that should be quite fun as well whatever we end up doing.

End quote.

Again, notice the Emergent leaders he lists and he finds this "thrilling". NT Wright is a promoter of the "New Perspective on Paul" which is heresy and has issues with the doctrine of Imputation.

The other day Kimball (who Rosebrough and others claim is not like his Emergent brothers in arms), posted this on homosexuality:


"The reason I invited Deb to speak was from a night I was over Alan and Deb Hirsch's home in LA for dinner last summer. As we were hanging out, we ended up talking about the need for moderate voices in the homosexuality/church discussion. By moderate I mean people who may hold the historical view of sexuality and what we believe God's original intent and design for sexuality is as revealed in the Scriptures. But while holding these views, they do not speak with rhetoric of fear, anger, non-compassion, unintelligence about Scripture or without love. Alan and Deb's theological viewpoint is the same as mine and our church's leadership which would be the church's historical view. But it is important to note, that this is not just a doctrine or theology we are talking about with this. This is lives we are talking about. Hopes, dreams, real people - not merely a doctrinal puzzle to solve or theological discussion. "

The issue of homosexuality is never to be debated. Scripture is very clear on this:

1Ti 1:10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

Jud 1:7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 11 And such WERE some of you. BUT you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

This issue was not new during Paul's life or that of Jesus' or of Abraham's. How did Paul deal with sexual immorality? 1Cor. 5 is very clear on how he dealt with the Corinithian church. He was angry at their "tolerance" and told them to throw out the professing brother, from the church. Immediate action was to be taken. Later we see that the man did repent and was granted back into the fellowship in 2Cor. But the immediate issue is about the leaven among the people.

Kimball said, " As we were hanging out, we ended up talking about the need for moderate voices in the homosexuality/church discussion. By moderate I mean people who may hold the historical view of sexuality and what we believe God's original intent and design for sexuality is as revealed in the Scriptures. But while holding these views, they do not speak with rhetoric of fear, anger, non-compassion, unintelligence about Scripture or without love. "

Ok look at how this is presented. Scripture is never "moderate" on the issue of homosexuality nor homosexuals. "Moderate" connotes a more "balanced" view as if the view of rejecting whole heartedly homosexuality from every aspect is somehow unbalanced. Its a subtle, but nonetheless attack on those who hold boldly to the authority of Scripture.

Whenever people say they hold to biblical doctrine, and follow that by "but", that's where you need to zero in. And really, we have to question what they mean when they claim their view is "biblical" anyway. But for arguement's sake let's say their profession is in line with the biblical view. There shouldn't be "but" followed by that. What this is, is a way to tone down the harsh dealings against sin.

Kimball is also making an assumption that Christians are NOT dealing with homosexuality without "intellegence about Scripture" or "without love". How they define love will be very different from that of Scripture. Of this I'm sure. And what about fear? Liberals think that anger = fear, and I guarantee that's EXACTLY what's going on here. Rather, we should fear to offend our thrice holy God; we should fear for the souls of men and women in bondage to such deviant behavior of sin and unbelief. We should be angry against those who claim to be Christians and yet are homosexuals. No one can be both, according to Scripture. We should be angry against those who bring shame to HIS name by their unnatural lifestyles. We should be angry that people dare call Jesus "Lord" but refuse to submit to HIM. You see what I mean?

Another thing to note: Kimball says , "Alan and Deb's theological viewpoint is the same as mine and our church's leadership which would be the church's historical view. " Do they have homosexuals sitting in their pews? Are they disciplining the homosexuals if there are? Leadership vs. the rest of the congregation---one group holds to a "biblical view" (and what does he mean by that exactly?) while its ok if the members are in that sin or have a different view? See, there's the Post-modern loophole. And frankly, its all unconvincing. I'll go even a step further. If you REALLY have a biblical view of homosexuality, you will not be debating it or minimizing it (aka humanizing it, tolerating it), but you will strongly preach against it and then your actions as pastor will be strongly against it also (ie, church discipline). The actions or non-actions bear out if one really is being biblical.

In further research I found this regarding Kimball by Lighthouse Trails Research (the book by Kimball which LTR deals with in the article, is heavily promoted at his own website even as I write this.)

Excerpt:

Sexuality in the New Reformation :

...One example of this new reformation mindset on sexuality can be found in Dan Kimball’s book, They Like Jesus but Not the Church. Kimball devotes an entire chapter (called “The Church is Homophobic”) to homosexuality and says that Christians need to reinterpret what we thought the Bible says about homosexuality.

He states:

Because this is such a huge issue in our culture, and because all of the tension and discussion on this issue is over what the Bible says about it, we can no longer just regurgitate what we have been taught about homosexuality.… We cannot do that any longer … We must approach the Bible with humility, prayer, and sensitivity, taking into consideration the original meaning of Greek and Hebrew words and looking into the historical contexts in which passages were written.… we can no longer with integrity merely quote a few isolated verses and say “case closed.”1

Kimball elaborates:

Quite honestly, and some people might get mad at me for saying this, I sometimes wish this [homosexuality] weren’t a sin issue, because I have met gay people who are the most kind, loving, solid, and supportive people I have ever met. As I talk to them and hear their stories and get to know them, I come to understand that their sexual orientation isn’t something they can just turn off. Homosexual attraction is not something people simply choose to have, as is quite often erroneously taught from many pulpits.2

Kimball does not stand alone within the ranks of the emerging church in his permissive, accepting view of homosexuality.....

Notes:1. Dan Kimball, They Like Jesus but Not the Church, op. cit., p. 137.
2. Ibid., p. 138.

End quote.

First of all, as noted, Scripture indeed does say its a choice by those who refuse to submit to God and worship Him alone. Secondly there's no such thing as being born a homosexual. This idea is the notion that is "quite often erroneously taught" by the liberals. Go here and here to find out why there's no such thing as a homosexual gene.

Cloaking liberalism in Christianese doesn't work for those of us who know the Truth well and our power of discernment from the Lord Jesus Christ has been sharpened by constant use of the Sword of the Spirit by the Holy Spirit in our lives as we diligently study the Word and believe it. There is NO doubt that Kimball is indeed trying to get homosexuality accepted by Christians. Incrimentalism is the tool being used. But it still smells to high Heaven.

Clamouring for "Fair and balanced" (aka "moderate") views usually means a little leaven is ok. Not in God's eternal and perfect Book.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Politics And Religion

"I often hear it said, “Do not bring religion into politics.” This is precisely where it ought to be brought, and set there in the face of all men as on a candlestick. I would have the Cabinet and the members of Parliament do the work of the nation as before the Lord, and I would have the nation, either in making war or peace, consider the matter by the light of righteousness. We are to deal with other nations about this or that upon the principles of the New Testament." -Spurgeon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Slaves to Christ, Not Servants.

The resounding theme that keeps coming back to me: Slave/Master. It has everything to do with the Gospel, justification, sanctificationm, decision making, marriage, parenting, politics, church function. "Hath God said?" YES HE HAS.

Slaves in the Greek/Roman world has no rights, no citizenship, no lawful recourse, no ownership of anything, no freedom, and couldn't be part of the military. They couldn't even give testimony as a witness in court. They were totally owned by their master. THIS is what we are to Christ: slaves. Not mere servants. We are slaves whom HE bought, whom HE owns, whom He has full authority over in every sense. This is what the Gospel is about.

MacArthur says in part:

Quote:

"Well if you read the New Testament in its original text, you would come away stunned really by how different the original text is from any English version that you’ve ever read...whether King James, New King James, New American Standard, ESV, NIV and you can name all the rest. All of them virtually have found a way to mask something that is an absolutely critical element of truth. In fact, the word “slave” appears in the New Testament 130 times in the original text. You will find it once in the King James, once the Greek word “slave” is translated slave. You will find it translated “slave” a few other times in other texts, like the New King James text and even the New American Standard text, and it will be translated “slave” when, one, it refers to actual slavery, or two, it refers to some kind of bondage to an inanimate reality. But whenever it is personalized, the translators seem unwilling to translate it “slave.”

For example, in Matthew 6:24 Jesus said this, “No man can be a slave to two masters.” What does your Bible say? “No man can serve two masters.” The favorite word for slave is servant, favorite English word. Very often bondservant is used which tends to move in the right direction but is not exactly slave. You have a word used 130 times in the New Testament, you have other uses of that word with a preposition, sundoulos which means fellow slaves, used about a dozen times. You have the verb form used another approximately a dozen times. So you have at least 150 plus usages of just three of the words and there are others in the group with the root doul, d-o-u-l in English for doulos. There are about twenty established English translations of the New Testament, about twenty. Only one of them...only one of them always translates doulos slave, only one and it is a translation of the New Testament written by a formidable scholar in New Testament Greek who studied the original papyri, and things like that, by the name of E.J. Goodspeed. Have you ever heard of Goodspeed translation? Goodspeed is a well-known scholar. For fifteen years he was a pioneering professor of New Testament Greek at the University of Chicago. The Goodspeed translation always translates doulos as slave. And when you read it, it gives you an entire different sense of our relationship to Christ. You do have a personal relationship to Jesus Christ, you are His slave. That’s putting it as simply as I can put it."

"This word doulos in the Greek should never be translated anything but slave...never. Do you remember these words, Matthew 25:21? “Well done, good and faithful......,” that’s what you’ve read all your life. That is not the word for servant. That is not any of the six words for servant, that is doulos, well done, good and faithful slave."

"...this doulos, a kind of service which is not a matter of choice for the one who renders it, a kind of service which he has to perform whether he likes it or not. It describes one subject totally to an alien will, the will of the owner and in total and utter dependence on that owner. That’s what the word means. It is the word for slave."

Now, when you’re coming to James and Jude and the Apostle Paul and we could include our beloved Peter, 2 Peter 1, Simon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ, you’re talking about the elite. You’re talking about those at the top of the spiritual list and they happily and gladly and joyfully identified themselves as slaves of Christ and slaves of God.

Just a couple of other illustrations. Colossians 1:7 mentions Epaphras and then the NAS says, “Our beloved fellow bondservant.” It is in the Greek our sundoulos, our fellow slave, Epaphras. Further in chapter 4 verse 12, “Epaphras who is one of your number, a slave of Jesus Christ.” They not only were willing to take to themselves the title of being a slave, but they conferred it upon the most noble of other believers.

In 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 24, Paul is writing to Timothy and he’s writing about how pastors ought to conduct themselves and how they ought to minister in the church and serve in the church. And he says, in 2 timothy 2:24, “The Lord’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged with gentleness, correcting those who are in opposition that perhaps God may grant them repentance, leading to the knowledge of the truth.” Here those who teach and lead the church are identified as slaves. This is not some reference to the low-level of believers. What I’m trying to tell you is, the Apostles took this identification to themselves. The most noble authors of the New Testament took this signification to themselves. They conferred it upon the noblest of their brotherhood and they so labeled those who following them would be the leaders of the church. We are slaves of God and slaves of Jesus Christ.

The Revelation, verse 1, chapter 1 of Jesus Christ which God gave him to show to His slaves. This extends it beyond the New Testament era, beyond the Apostles, beyond those upon whom the Apostles conferred high honor, beyond those who followed the Apostles. Now we are extending this to the great body of people who will come and will read this great glorious revelation of the glory of Christ contained in this book. It is to His bondservants that this truth is to be communicated, as the NAS says, but the word is slaves.

Chapter 10 of this book of Revelation, verse 7, “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished as He preached to His slaves, the prophets.” The prophets were His slaves in the past. People of the future are also His slaves. And it just continues to go on like that through the book of Revelation. The people of God are identified as slaves.

- MacArthur "Slaves for Christ"

So when you confess "Jesus is Master", as MacArthur points out in the sermon, you are necessarily claiming yourself as His slave. Not servant that was just hired and will be paid. If He is Master, then you are His slave. If you are in Christ, you belong to Him because He bought you. So, are you doing the will of the Master who has already spoken? Or are you arguing with Him? Are you deciding when it will be convenient to obey His commands? Are you baptized biblically? Are you striving to live a godly life? Are you proclaiming the Gospel? Are you submitting to your husband, wives? Are you men being godly leaders?

Well? Are you?

If not, then don't bother calling HIM "Lord". If your "Christian" life is about your freedom, your dreams, your future, your goals, your fulfillment, your happiness, then you are committing treason against the King of kings and Lord of lords.


Luk 6:46 "Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I tell you?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Tranquillizers And the Brain

Psychotropic drugs' affects unknown and the industry is unwilling to do research:

"Secret documents reveal that government-funded experts were warned nearly 30 years ago that tranquillisers that were later prescribed to millions of people could cause brain damage.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) agreed in 1982 that there should be large-scale studies to examine the long-term impact of benzodiazepines after research by a leading psychiatrist showed brain shrinkage in some patients similar to the effects of long-term alcohol abuse.
However, no such work was ever carried out into the effects of drugs such as Valium, Mogadon and Librium – and doctors went on prescribing them to patients for anxiety, stress, insomnia and muscle spasms." - The Independant

GOP Increases Homosexual Votes

This is what the CPAC and GOPROUD, both part of the "conservative" branch of the GOP was hoping for...and why I'm no longer a Republican. I hope ol' Ann Coulter is proud ( yeah that was a pun), from FoxNews:
Quote:

The Republican Party drew more gay voters in Tuesday's midterm elections than it has in 10 years, according to Fox News national exit polls.

The data shows that 31 percent of self-identified gays voted for the GOP, an uptick from 19 percent in 2008 and 24 percent in 2006 and 2004.

The 12-point uptick could be a reflection of the gay community's disappointment in President Obama's record on gay rights. While Obama says he supports ending the ban on gays openly serving in the military, his administration is challenging attempts by a federal judge to impose an end to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

End quote.

Deviant, perverted behavior not only is not Conservative, its anti-family, and most importantly, its anti-Christ.

The "big tent" liberal mindset means compromise on something so fundamental like marriage and heterosexuality. I'm sure Anne Coulter will find herself congradulated (maybe by herself) in this goal of her's which had been established at least a few years ago, as a success. But for what and at what price?

Funny how Coulter and Limbaugh continue down the road of social liberalism, as if that won't affect anything else. It will. Its a mindset that seeps into everything. Its the same in "Evangelical Christianity" as well. Same liberal mindset, same compromise. Same pragmatism. And its wrong.

Isa 3:12 My people--infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

Isa 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD! 2 And yet he is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.

Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.’”

Prov. 16: 8 Better is a little with righteousness, Than vast revenues without justice.
Prov. 21: 3 To do righteousness and justice Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Prov. 29: 27 An unjust man is abominable to the righteous, And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked.
Lev19:15 ”‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

False Teachers Hate Premature Detction As Do Their Followers

‎"The preachers of false doctrine dislike nothing more than the premature detection of their doings. Only give them time enough to prepare men's minds for the reception of their 'new views,' and they are confident of success. They have had too much time already, and any who refuse to speak out now must be held to be 'pa...rtakers of their evil deeds.' - Spureon on The Downgrade Contraversy

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rick Warren At Desiring "God" Conference

Discerning the Times has two videos that deal with the problem of Rick Warren's recent prostylitzing at DIDKWKOG Conference.

Warren says that too much knowledge is bad, you need to dream, and you need to buy his book on how to self-feed. This Scripture-twisting pelagianist dares to say he can teach people about studying Scripture when he consistantly teaches against ...it?

Case in point:

Quote:

Nothing happens till somebody starts dreaming. What we need today are great
dreamers."Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Proverbs 29:8)In the
last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and
daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will
dream dreams. (Acts 2:17, NIV)
End quote.

The guy just twisted these two passages yet dares to say people are given too much knowledge and then says we need to learn from his book on how to study the Bible? The guy doesn't know how to himself! He's a SELF-feeder alright.

Christians And Politics: How Do You View Politics?

John MacArthur on Christians and Politics (part 3) excerpts:

Quote:

My point is not that Christians should remain totally uninvolved in politics or civic activities and causes. They ought to express their political beliefs in the voting booth, and it is appropriate to support legitimate measures designed to correct a glaring social or political wrong. Complete noninvolvement would be contrary to what God's Word says about doing good in society: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10; cf. Titus 3:1-2). It would also display a lack of gratitude for whatever amount of religious freedom the government allows us to enjoy. Furthermore, such pious apathy toward government and politics would reveal a lack of appreciation for the many appropriate legal remedies believers in democracies have for maintaining or improving the civil order. A certain amount of healthy and balanced concern with current trends in government and the community is acceptable, as long as we realize that that interest is not vital to our spiritual growth, our righteous testimony, or the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. Above all, the believer's political involvement should never displace the priority of preaching and teaching the gospel.

...The issue again is one of priority. The greatest temporal good we can accomplish through political involvement cannot compare to what the Lord can accomplish through us in the eternal work of His kingdom. Just as God called ancient Israel (Ex. 19:6), He has called the church to be a kingdom of priests, not a kingdom of political activists. The apostle Peter instructs us, "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Pet. 2:9).....

Christ, however, was not devoid of care and concern for the daily pain and hardships people endured in their personal lives....

...Jesus' earthly ministry took place right in the midst of that difficult social and political atmosphere.Many of His followers, including the Twelve, to varying degrees expected Him to free them from Rome's oppressive rule. But our Lord did not come as a political deliverer or social reformer. He never issued a call for such changes, even by peaceful means. Unlike many late twentieth-century evangelicals, Jesus did not rally supporters to some grandiose attempt to "capture the culture" for biblical morality or greater political and religious freedoms.

Still, as beneficial and appreciated as His ministry to others' physical needs was, it was not Jesus' first priority. His divine calling was to speak to the hearts and souls of individual men and women. He proclaimed the good news of redemption that could reconcile them to the Father and grant them eternal life. That message far surpasses any agenda for political, social, or economic reform that can preoccupy us. Christ did not come to promote some new social agenda or establish a new moral order. He did come to establish a new spiritual order, the body of believers from throughout the ages that constitutes His church. He did not come to earth to make the old creation moral through social and governmental reform, but to make new creatures holy through the saving power of the gospel and the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. And our Lord and Savior has commanded us to continue His ministry, with His supreme priorities in view, with the goal that we might advance His kingdom: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:18-20).

In the truest sense, the moral, social, and political state of a people is irrelevant to the advance of the gospel. Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).

End quote.

For the full article go here.

When you go to vote this election, consider your loyalty. It is to Christ or Man? Where do you place your hope? Whom do you fear? What do you really believe? What makes you truly a Christian and Conservative? Because you say you are or because your actions, including how you vote (or don't vote) makes it clear?

Are you willing to compromise biblical principles just to save a little cash? Are you willing to trample over the blood of unborn babies so you get to keep more of your money through lower taxes? What are you willing to give up? Why?

As I see it, politics are not to be conducted pragmatically. We are to vote (and run) by principles. You cannot be a Christian and a pragmatist. Sorry. To be pragmatic is to deny the authority and commands of Scripture, which aren't optional. Pragmatism says God's commands are optional. Scripture goes against pragmatism which says "the ends justify the means" or "the ends are the lesser evil". God calls us to not compromise His standards. Politics will reveal if you do.

Fear God.

Vote Biblically.

Don't Compromise.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

John Piper Says We Slandered Warren: this AFTER Warren's Pelagian Teaching at DGC

From the Lighthouse Trails Research group:

Quote:

In a Christianity Today interview with popular evangelical teacher John Piper, Piper is questioned for his recent invitation of Rick Warren to his Desiring God conference, which brought criticism to Piper. In the interview, Piper states the following:

CT: You invited Rick Warren; would you say he exemplifies [your] “thinking”?

Piper: No, I don’t think he exactly exemplifies what I’m after. But he is biblical. He quoted 50 Scriptures from memory. Unbelievable, his mind is Vesuvius. So I asked him what impact reading Jonathan Edwards had on him. What these authors like Karl Barth and Edwards do for him is give him a surge of theological energy that then comes through his wiring. What I wanted to do with Rick is force him to talk about thinking so pragmatists out there can say, “A lot of thinking goes into what he does.” (emphasis added)

CT: You received some negative feedback for inviting him.

Piper: It was real risky. I don’t even know if I did the right thing. If somebody said, “Are you sure you should have invited him?” “No.” I think the first thing I’d say—maybe the only thing—is I think he’s been slandered. I think we probably need to work harder at getting him right. (emphasis added)

Lighthouse Trails authors and editors have written extensively on the teachings and promotions of Rick Warren. Our question, after reading this interview is, in what way have we slandered Rick Warren? What has been said from this ministry that is not true about Rick Warren? Has Rick Warren really been slandered, or is John Piper just another evangelical leader who gives credibility to another leader who is leading millions toward a mystical/emerging/ecumenical spirituality?

End quote.

I agree with Lighthouse. How have we slandered Warren when we've proven with facts that Warren is a false teacher and the epitome of an unbiblical teacher?

Just yesterday Warren proved me (us) right again by Tweeting that his "ministry" is ALL about him.

Interesting the man-centeredness of Piper the "Reformer". He doesn't worry about Scripture being the tool to correct theology and thinking. Theologians are seen to give men "theological energy". Whatever that is. All theology, all doctrine should be from Scripture. Period. Not dead men. Not a council. Not a book. Truth is from the Word of Truth, that is, Scripture, which alone is God-breathed and sufficent for all things pertaining to life and godliness, "that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." (2Tim. 3:16-17).

Joh 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

Joh 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Piper is bearing false witness against us and needs to repent. He also needs to stop being a silly man and mindlessly believe what Warren tells him. He can start here. I've rarely seen anything so ridiculous in my life: a grown man, a pastor, a teacher, a "mature Christian" so easily be swayed by a snake like Warren. Its as if Piper wants to be taken in, be mesmerized, be swayed by Warren. Its very strange indeed, and not biblical by any means whatsoever.

I also find it funny how Piper keeps showing up in the media when he's supposed to be on a sabbatical. I mean, the man just can't help himself.

You might notice, too, the false humility of "I just don't know". Piper continues to use that phrase which is mock humility. He SHOULD know that it was sinful and treasonous to invite Warren to DIDKWKOG Conference; He SHOULD know that Warren is a liar and deceiver. He SHOULD know what language is acceptable or not (recall last year's X-rated parading of Driscoll at the same conference...and Piper's promo video of "not knowing" how far to go with language). "I don't know" is UNEXCUSEABLE. Its what Joel Osteen claimed over 45 times on Larry King's show a few years ago.

What's with pastors not knowing? Not being decisive? Thinking ignorance is a virtue? Its not! Ignorance and immaturity in a pastor especially, is an utter shame. And its cancerous.

1Ki 18:21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." And the people did not answer him a word.

Eph 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Jas 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Spurgeon, in regard to his leaving the Baptist Union said, in "An Attempt At The Impossible" in the Sword and Trowel:

My course has been of another kind. As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but quitted the body at once. Since then my one counsel has been, "Come ye out from among them." If I have rejoiced in the loyalty to Christ's truth which has been shown in other courses of action, yet I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil.

I may, however, venture to express the opinion, that the evangelical brethren in the Association have acted with much kindness, and have shown a strong desire to abide in union with others, if such union could he compassed without the sacrifice of truth.

The points mentioned were certainly elementary enough, and we did not wonder that one of the brethren exclaimed, "May God help those who do not believe these things! Where must they be?" Indeed, little objection was taken to the statements which were tabulated, but the objection was to a belief in these being made indispensable to membership. It was as though it had been said, "Yes, we believe in the Godhead of the Lord Jesus; but we would not keep a man out of our fellowship because he thought our Lord to be a mere man. We believe in the atonement; but if another man rejects it, he must not, therefore, be excluded from our number."

To this hour, I must confess that I do not understand the action of either side in this dispute, if viewed in the white light of logic. Why should they wish to be together? Those who wish for the illimitable fellowship of men of every shade of belief or doubt would be all the freer for the absence of those stubborn evangelicals who have cost them so many battles. The brethren, on the other hand, who have a doctrinal faith, and prize it, must have learned by this time that whatever terms may be patched up, there is no spiritual oneness between themselves and the new religionists. They must also have felt that the very endeavor to make a compact which will tacitly be understood in two senses, is far from being an ennobling and purifying exercise to either party.The brethren in the middle are the source of this clinging together of discordant elements. These who are for peace at any price, who persuade themselves that there is very little wrong, who care chiefly to maintain existing institutions, these are the good people who induce the weary combatants to repeat the futile attempt at a coalition, which, in the nature of things, must break down. If both sides could be unfaithful to conscience, or if the glorious gospel could be thrust altogether out of the question, there might be a league of amity established; but as neither of these things can be, there would seem to be no reason for persevering in the-attempt to maintain a confederacy for which there is no justification in fact, and from which there can be no worthy result, seeing it does not embody a living truth. A desire for unity is commendable. Blessed are they who can promote it and preserve it! But there are other matters to be considered as well as unity, and sometimes these may even demand the first place. When union becomes a moral impossibility, it may almost drop out of calculation in arranging plans and methods of working. If it is clear as the sun at noonday that no real union can exist, it is idle to strive after the impossible, and it is wise to go about other and more practicable business.

End quote.