Saturday, January 30, 2016

Abraham Lincoln On The Homeless

"Let not him who is houseless not pull down the house of another; but...labor diligently and build one for himself."
Embedded image permalink

If God Loves You

If God loves you, man will hate you; if God honours you, man will dishonour you.  ~Spurgeon

Devotion To God

Devotion to God will be found to be the basis of holiness and the buttress of integrity. If you backslide in secret before God, you will soon err in public before men.

~Spurgeon

Luk 12:1  Under these circumstances, after so many thousands of people had gathered together that they were stepping on one another, He began saying to His disciples first of all, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 

Luk 12:2  "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. 

Do not associate with those who are given to change

Pro 24:21  My son, fear the LORD and the king; Do not associate with those who are given to change,


John Gill on Prov. 24:21:


My son, fear thou the Lord, and the king,.... First the Lord, and then the king; and such as fear the Lord are generally loyal to their king; the fear of God includes love to him, reverence of him, faith in him, submission to him, and the whole worship of him, inward and outward, attended with holiness of life and conversation: and the king, who is under God, is to be feared also, with a fear suitable to him; he is to be loved and reverenced, to be trusted in and submitted to, in everything consistent with the fear of God and obedience to him; in whatever is not contrary to his laws, commands, and ordinances; see 1Pe_2:13;

and meddle not with them that are given to change; in political things; that are for new laws, new forms of government, a new ministry, and a new king; never easy with the government under which they are, but are continually entering into plots, conspiracies, and rebellions, who, instead of fearing God and the king, change the laws and commandments of God and the king, and therefore to be shunned. Some render it, "with rebels"; the Targum and Syriac version, "with fools"; as all such persons are, and should be avoided as scandalous and dangerous: mix not with them, as the word (s) signifies; keep no company, and have no conversation with them, lest you be brought into danger and mischief by them. Or who are given to change in religious things; make innovations in doctrine and practice, always love to hear or say some new thing; turn with every wind, and shift as that does; are tossed about with every wind of doctrine, fickle and inconstant, carried about like meteors in the air, with "divers and strange doctrines"; such as disagree with the perfections of God, the doctrines of Christ and his apostles, the Scriptures of truth, the analogy of faith, anti form of sound words; and so the word here used signifies "divers", and is so rendered Est_3:8; and may design such who hold doctrines and give into practices divers and different from the faith once delivered to the saints, and from the institutions and appointments of Christ; innovations in doctrine and worship ought not to be admitted of; and such who are for introducing them should not be meddled or mixed with; they should not be countenanced and encouraged; they should not be attended upon or given heed unto; have no fellowship, and join not in communion with them. This is interpreted by some of such who repeat (t) their sins after repentance, or who return a second time to their wickedness after they have repented, as Ben Melech observes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Question

"Who is more irrational? A man who believes in a God he doesn’t see, or a man who’s offended by a God he doesn’t believe in?" 

~Brad Stine 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Is America Racist?

Is America Racist?: Is America racist? Is it -- as President Barack Obama said -- 'part of our DNA'?

Author and talk-show host Larry Elder examines America's legacy of racism, whether it's one we can ever escape, and in the process offers a different way of looking at things like Ferguson, crime, police and racial profiling.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Complicity With Error

Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers had errorists among them, but were resolute to deal with them in the name of the Lord, all might come right; but confederacies founded upon the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God. If truth is optional, error is justifiable.


~ C.H. Spurgeon

Saeed Abedini: abuser and sexually immoral man is released from Iran's prison

1Pe 2:20  For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

***UPDATE***

Naghmeh has now filed for a domestic relations case against Saeed, even filing with her maiden name, Panahi. The "Christian" Post reports:

Idaho Attorney General Dave Leroy suggested that often such cases lead to divorce.

"We have a process in Idaho where instead of being divorced parties can separate for a period. There can be other collateral issues that are taken up early or late in a domestic relations case but ultimately a domestic relations case between man and wife typically means a divorce," Leroy told KIVI-TV.

End quote.

*** End of Updat***

As it turns out, according to Naghmeh Abedinin, wife of just-released from Iran's imprisonment, Saeed Abedini, her husband was quite abusive from before they married all the way through his imprisonment, which led to her public appeals for his release.

"Christianity" Today had reported on November 15, 2015:

In two emails to supporters, Abedini revealed details of her troubled marriage to Saeed Abedini, an American citizen and pastor imprisoned in Iran since September 2012.
Those troubles include “physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse (through Saeed’s addiction to pornography),” she wrote. The abuse started early in their marriage and has worsened during Saeed’s imprisonment, she said. The two are able to speak by phone and Skype.
End quote.
Charisma Magazine noted, "An American citizen and the mother of two children, Naghmeh Abedini said the abuse began in 2002. The two were married in 2004."

Reuters reports:
During most of her husband’s time in prison, Abedini served as the public face of the campaign for his release. But their private conversations, she said, became ever more fraught.
“I just couldn't understand - the more I fought for him the more abusive he was becoming,” she said.
Because of that, and out of concern that she wasn’t spending enough time with her children, Naghmeh Abedini decided to pull back from her advocacy work in the fall of 2015. At that time, she sent the emails about her marriage that attracted so much attention. She said she was “very upset” when they were made public, in a Christianity Today article, and that her husband was “devastated.”
End quote.
CBN's interview with Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC),  saying that Abedini was in "good shape" and in good spirits, surmised that with the view to releasing Abedini, the Iranian government took good care of him for about the last six months.
Yet the abuse Saeed hurled at his wife increased to the point of her having to just step away and told some people how overwhelming it was. She went private for a little over a month or so after her revelation of the abuse by Saeed for their whole relationship, including prior to their marriage if the report is accurate.

The fruit revealed by Neghmeh is that her husband is not saved. He abused her physically, emotionally, and sexually while also enslaved to pornography. Moreover, his abuse INCREASED while in prison in the last two months. This man is neither a Christian nor a pastor.  One would think that a Christian who is imprisoned, having the indwelling Spirit of the triune God, would be made to withstand harsh treatment as Scripture repeatedly says (1 Peter is full of this truth, and Acts and Hebrews 11 has numerous examples of them). But that's not what has been reported even by his wife. Saeed was bad prior to his imprisonment, and his abuse during that imprisonment increased. That shows a hard heart, not a spirit-filled Christian. All the religious talk we heard about from letters he had written is absolutely bogus when the real picture of his abuse toward his wife is revealed. In a word, Saeed is a Pharisee. Good works like building an orphanage is disgusting when you realize at the same time he was enslaved to sexual immorality and physical abuse. 
Apparently, Christians don't care about his sexual immorality and abuse. They will use this fraud of a man as a "hero" of the Christian faith, except he's not in the faith. Christianity today then, is also a fraud.
1Pe 3:7  You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 8  To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; 9  not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 
Tit 1:6  namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. 7  For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8  but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled9  holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. 
1Ti 3:2  An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 
1Ti 3:3  not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 
1Ti 3:4  He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 
1Ti 3:5  (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 
1Ti 3:6  and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 

Eph 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 
Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 28  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29  for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30  because we are members of His body. 


**Note**

While at this time I believe that Naghma likely was abused, I believe that their whole story seems to have holes in it.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jeff Bethke: confusing justification with sanctification

Confusion coming from Jeff Bethke:

Quote:

Although Christians tend to naturally hide their imperfections from God and others, Bethke points out that as the Bible states, God is actually seeking out "ungodly people."

"[God] is not hiding the fact that the very people He is looking for is the messed up people, the jacked-up people, the broken people," he explains.

Bethke therefore encourages Christians ashamed of their "ungodly ways" to instead embrace them and present them before God to be "made right" and be "[pulled] from darkness to light."

The motivational speaker suggests Christian must [sic] "[lean in] to really believing He's going to do what He says He does because He's always come through."

Once Christians are able to present their flawed ways to God, their faith then "is the power that activates that cleanliness and that power of healing."
Bethke therefore encourages Christians ashamed of their "ungodly ways" to instead embrace them and present them before God to be "made right" and be "[pulled] from darkness to light."
The motivational speaker suggests Christian must "[lean in] to really believing He's going to do what He says He does because He's always come through."
Once Christians are able to present their flawed ways to God, their faith then "is the power that activates that cleanliness and that power of healing."

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/jefferson-bethke-god-jesus-wants-broken-messed-up-jacked-up-people-155480/#XGJoGwLjlrLyKlH6.99
"[God] is not hiding the fact that the very people He is looking for is the messed up people, the jacked-up people, the broken people," he explains.
Bethke therefore encourages Christians ashamed of their "ungodly ways" to instead embrace them and present them before God to be "made right" and be "[pulled] from darkness to light."
The motivational speaker suggests Christian must "[lean in] to really believing He's going to do what He says He does because He's always come through."
Once Christians are able to present their flawed ways to God, their faith then "is the power that activates that cleanliness and that power of healing."

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/jefferson-bethke-god-jesus-wants-broken-messed-up-jacked-up-people-155480/#XGJoGwLjlrLyKlH6.99

End quote.

~The "Christian" Post

The problem is that this first of all doesn't take into consideration the presupposition of God that all men are already ungodly and "messed up".

Rom 3:9  What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 
Rom 3:10  as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; 
Rom 3:11  no one understands; no one seeks for God. 

That's all there is in this world. So God's choice of children is ONLY from sinful, ungodly mankind.

Secondly, no one can "hide their flaws from God".  That's just asinine.

Thirdly, while we are justified by God while ungodly, that is not a call or sanction to stay that way.
There is shame before God for our sin against Him. After salvation, the sanctification process begins.

Bethke wants to deal with Rom. 4:5. Here it is in context:

Rom 4:4  Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.
Rom 4:5  And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
Rom 4:6  just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
Rom 4:7  "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
Rom 4:8  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."

This passage is discussing justification which presumes total depravity (see Rom. 3 and Eph. 2). 

But then Bethke talks about how some can feel ungodly. He tells us to stop being legalistic and religious. Legalists are unsaved, like the Pharisees who pushed aside God's inflexible holy standard for man's unholy one which they then, can achieve. As Christians we are absolutely called to live according to the Word, striving to live godly lives through His immeasurable power which is at work in us through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1-4). 

True humility confesses that one IS ungodly before God and ill-deserving of His salvation.  The truly regenerate person will humbly bow before Christ Jesus the Lord in agreement with Him of his sin and ungodliness before the thrice Holy God. As the Publican exemplified:

Luk 18:11  The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
Luk 18:12  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.'
Luk 18:13  But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'
Luk 18:14  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."

One cannot be saved without this attitude of biblical humility before God that we see with the tax collector. If this wasn't part of one's life, then one isn't saved, it's that simple. To try and present one's life as better than he is is to be the unjustified Pharisee.

There is always shame attached to the sin of a child of God because we have offended the thrice Holy God whom we love. We must never lower the treason of sin against the King of kings.

Another problem is that Bethke is not precise enough when dealing with the issue of salvation and sanctification. I suppose he wants to squeeze in his motivational speaking in less than 3 minutes, but he's lacking biblical precision. It seems he's mixing up  justification and sanctification. On the one hand he's using a passage about being justified which is the first part of salvation; on the other he's talking to people who are claiming to be Christians and yet might be too religious, churchy, or legalistic. He doesn't clarify if he's talking to unbelievers or if he's talking to Christians who think that a change in behavior is salvation. His hasty treatment of Romans 4 and sanctification or justification very sloppy and dangerous.

On another note, Bethke dares to call the God-breathed words in Rom. 4:5 as "churchy" which is his anti-church, anti-"religious" view coming out. This is talking down Scripture. This is treating the HOLY Word of God as trivial. This young man is not sober minded when trying to "preach" to people in 2 minutes. Moreover, he doesn't give time to do the actual verse any justice. It's just a pep talk. Considering that most churches today are geared toward the ungodly, Bethke's confusing call fits right in. He seems to be right in line with the Emergents who are trying to be counter-church and push this "stop trying to live holy lives, we're all imperfect and God likes it that way" thinking. In their view, having godly lives is somehow looked down upon. There are standard for behavior in the church as seen in 1 Tim. 3:14-16, 1Peter 3:1-5, 1 Cor. 14, etc.

If a Christian has a life riddled with sin ("jacked up"), then the sin must be addressed within the local church by Scripture. We are called to lay aside our old man:

Eph 4:17  Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 
Eph 4:18  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 
Eph 4:19  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 
Eph 4:20  But that is not the way you learned Christ!—
Eph 4:21  assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 
Eph 4:22  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 
Eph 4:23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 
Eph 4:24  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 

Lowering the standard of God's command to be holy in order to sound less "religious" is wrong and actually perpetuates the sin in people's lives.

1Pe 1:14  As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 
1Pe 1:15  but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct
1Pe 1:16  since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." 
1Pe 1:17  And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 

1Th 4:3  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality;
1Th 4:4  that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor,
1Th 4:5  not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
1Th 4:6  that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you.
1Th 4:7  For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 
1Th 4:8  Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 

As Christians, we are to be conforming to Christ more and more. His dynamic power is at work in us and therefore bears much fruit.

1Jn 1:6  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 
1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 

Php 2:12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
Php 2:13  for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Social Justice and Politics: weapons of the gospel of Satan

The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great "brotherhood." It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to "the best that is within - It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come.
It appeals strongly to the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again.
~ A.W. Pink

Saturday, January 16, 2016

How You Dress Reflects How You See God

At least this group admits it: how they see God is demonstrated by how they dress:

We Value Being Real
We want to be real in our relationship with God and each other. We choose to unmask our religious veneers even when it is much more “comfortable” to hide. We will not consciously try to “hype” the atmosphere or do things for “show”.
As a Result:
Casual and comfortable characterizes our dress and attitude.
Conversational teaching/equipping characterizes our meetings.

End quote.

They also ordain women, against Scripture's command.

AEA says: 

"Pastor Saeed has been connected with the American Evangelistic Association since early 2010, when Dr. John Reinhold, who was then President of AEA, invited Pastor Saaed into the organization."

It seems there are some inconsistencies with Saeed Abedini's story.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Wayne Grudem Backs Marco Rubio As If He's A Christian

And his own words about his personal faith seem to me, as an Evangelical, to indicate a genuine belief in Christ as his own Savior and Lord."
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-theologian-wayne-grudem-endorses-marco-rubio-154737/#HEbdFPj8u29lPYu6.99
Grudem, professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, directed The Christian Post to a statement he issued last week in support of Fla. Sen. Rubio, calling him "a reliable, thoughtful, articulate conservative who seems to me more knowledgeable than any other candidate on the important issues facing the nation."
"Rubio is a winsome, likable candidate who has the b

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-theologian-wayne-grudem-endorses-marco-rubio-154737/#HEbdFPj8u29lPYu6.99
Grudem, professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, directed The Christian Post to a statement he issued last week in support of Fla. Sen. Rubio, calling him "a reliable, thoughtful, articulate conservative who seems to me more knowledgeable than any other candidate on the important issues facing the nation."
"Rubio is a winsome, likable candidate who has the best chance of soundly defeating Hillary Clinton. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English, which will be a huge asset with Hispanic voters in the general election," stated Grudem.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-theologian-wayne-grudem-endorses-marco-rubio-154737/#HEbdFPj8u29lPYu6.99
"He does not come across as harsh but as reasonable and thoughtful in his defense of conservative positions. And his own words about his personal faith seem to me, as an Evangelical, to indicate a genuine belief in Christ as his own Savior and Lord."
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-theologian-wayne-grudem-endorses-marco-rubio-154737/#HEbdFPj8u29lPYu6.99
Rubio is a winsome, likable candidate who has the best chance of soundly defeating Hillary Clinton. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English, which will be a huge asset with Hispanic voters in the general election," stated Grudem.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/evangelical-theologian-wayne-grudem-endorses-marco-rubio-154737/#HEbdFPj8u29lPYu6.99

Wayne Grudem, a professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary,not only is on Rubio's religious advisory board, but he is backing Marco for President.

“Rubio is a winsome, likable candidate who has the best chance of soundly defeating Hillary Clinton. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English, which will be a huge asset with Hispanic voters in the general election,” stated Grudem.

“He does not come across as harsh but as reasonable and thoughtful in his defense of conservative positions. And his own words about his personal faith seem to me, as an Evangelical, to indicate a genuine belief in Christ as his own Savior and Lord.”
Grudem stricks again. He's endorsing Romanist Marc Rubio as if he's an Evangelical. He says about Rubio: "And his own words about his personal faith seem to me, as an Evangelical, to indicate a genuine belief in Christ as his own Savior and Lord." That's what happens when you deny the sole authority and clarity of Scripture and instead hold to a Charismatic position---you embrace anti-Christs and paint them as Christians.
He is Roman Catholic, so he denies the biblical Gospel and the biblical Jesus and instead embraces demonic Roman Catholic doctrine including "craving" the "holy communion" RCC offers, which is blasphemy....
In a 2012 interview with "Christianity" Today, he stated:
I'm a Roman Catholic. I'm theologically in line with the Roman Catholic Church. I believe in the authority of the church, but I also have tremendous respect for my brothers and sisters in other Christian faiths. I recognize, as the Catholic Church does, that there are excellent teachings of the Word throughout other denominations. The elements of salvation are found in these churches as well. Some unifying principles bind all Christians: that God became a man and died for our sins, and that without that sacrifice, all of us would be doomed.
If someone says he is a Christian, it is a sign of Christianity in and of itself. Christianity calls us to our salvation, and it also calls parents to contribute to their children's salvation. 
 If your faith is real, burning inside of you, it's going to influence the way you view everything. That belief influences your job and the responsibilities you have.
 I believe marriage is a unique and specific institution that is the result of thousands of years of wisdom, which concluded that the ideal—not the only way but certainly the ideal—situation to raise children to become productive and healthy humans is in a home with a father and mother married to each other.
End quote.
These are not biblical Christian views at all. And Roman Catholicism is not another "denomination" of Christianity. Roman Catholicism has a damnable doctrine of a works-gospel, a false Jesus, and a false church authority which denies the absolute and sole authority of Scripture alone for the Christian for all things pertaining to life and godliness. Moreover, it hates Christ alone getting sole praise and adoration, it adds works to grace, Mary to Christ, and the church to Scripture.

For Wayne Grudem to embrace a man who is part of a demonic religion is to not only be a friend of the world (contrary to James 4), but is to do what the Israelites did:
 30:1  "Ah, stubborn children," declares the LORD, "who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; 2  who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! 3  Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation. 
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. 3  The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. 
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.’” 

2Co 6:14  Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
2Co 6:15  What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
2Co 6:16  What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why A Young Creation Doctrine Matters

Excerpts from ICR's "Why Recent Creation Matters":

As a result, many people who consider themselves creationists have been intimidated against this biblical concept. Instead, they try to cling to the 19th-century evolutionary compromise now known as the “day-age theory” and “progressive creation.” Some take refuge in the “gap theory,” hoping they can ignore the problem by pigeonholing the evolutionary ages of the geologists in an imaginary gap between the first two verses of Genesis. Both theories attempt to accommodate the geological ages, even though it is the geological ages that provide the main basis and framework for evolution. We “young earth creationists” are an embarrassment to both the progressive creationists and the gap creationists, and so they urge us to acknowledge that recent creation is merely an optional interpretation that is unimportant and expendable.
When the biblical and theological data are also considered (in a church or another Christian context), the doctrine of recent creation becomes critically significant, integrally interwoven with the doctrine of creation itself. 
Progressive creationism” is not a modern interpretation developed to bring the Genesis record into harmony with modern science, but it is a very ancient concept devised to impose a theistic connotation upon the almost universal pagan evolutionary philosophies of antiquity. 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Francis Chan on Hell: He can't be sure about eternal torment; not feeding the poor could send you to hell

Francis Chan has stated (on his article about Hell):

Jesus evidently hates it when we tear into our brothers or sisters with demeaning words, words that fail to honor the people around us as the beautiful image-bearing creatures that they are.

Then he goes on to say:

Yet many hellfire preachers are overfed and overpaid, living in luxury while doing nothing for the majority of Christians who live on less than two dollars a day. 

Oh the irony there.

Chan goes on to distort Matthew 5:

Jesus threatens hell to those who curse their brother (Matt. 5:22). He’s not warning drinkers or smokers or murderers. Jesus preaches hellfire against those who have the audacity to attack a fellow human being with harsh words. It’s ironic—frightening, actually—that some people have written books, preached sermons, or written blog posts about hell and missed this point completely. In fact, some people have slammed their Christian brothers and sisters in the process, simply because they have a different view of hell, missing the purpose of Matthew 5: Whoever calls his brother a fool may find himself guilty of hell.

Pitting Jesus against Paul who stated:

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


1Co 6:9  Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 1Co 6:10  nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

Moreover both Paul and Jesus condemned sodomy as a damnable act.

Mat 11:23  And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Luk 17:29  but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—30  so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

Does  Chan ever define "poor" or any of his other claims and terms when he states, "pastors who are overfed and overpaid, living in luxury,  while doing nothing for the majority of Christians who live on less than two dollars a day" ? Who exactly is doing nothing? How much is enough?

He goes on to say:
And what about the poor? Jesus is crystal clear about the necessity of reaching the poor. Yet many hellfire preachers are overfed and overpaid, living in luxury while doing nothing for the majority of Christians who live on less than two dollars a day. [2] Contrast that with Jesus, who in His longest sermon about judgment made helping the poor a vital criterion.

Put simply, failing to help the poor could damn you to hell.

I know, I know, everyone wants to qualify this. We want to add all sorts of footnotes to fix Jesus’ shaky theology in Matthew 25—justification is by faith, not by works; you don’t really have to help literal poor people, etc.... [3]

Let’s keep the teeth of both truths. There’s a literal hell, and helping the poor is essential. Not only did Jesus teach both of these truths, He saw them as necessary and interrelated.

However, the poor Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5, "the poor in spirit" that are blessed, is just that---those who recognize their spiritual poverty and look to Him for salvation. This has nothing to do with material goods at all. For a Master's Seminary grad, he should know better.

Jesus had shaky theology? What? And who says we don't have to help the literal poor people? Who exactly has ever stated that? Names, please, because I haven't met anyone who has ever said that and I grew up and have been in various churches all my life. That is nothing but a disingenuous straw man argument. And he's knowingly marrying works (feed the poor) to the Gospel, because Chan defends against "justification by faith and not works" AS "shaky theology" of Jesus. That's blasphemous. It is also a gospel of works. It is a social justice "gospel" which is damnable according to  Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 1:7-9 and 1Cor. 15:1-2 for example.

Moreover James 2 states:

Jas 2:5  Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 

God decides what state to place each person. Social justice is really an entirely different gospel. Indeed, Christians are to help with the poor as God gives opportunity and means, but we are not a welfare system nor are we to be about trying to eradicate poverty from the world. Jesus said we'd always have the poor with us. God also tells us in Scripture to be especially helpful with those within the household of God (Christians). But to say we'll go to hell if we don't, isn't biblical. It's phariseeism. After all, can the poor help the poor? Of course not. So are they a special class of Christians? If it's a command, it's a command to all, is it not? You can see the conundrum Chan gets himself into.

In an interview in 2011 on his book about Hell:
In your book you seem agnostic as to whether hell is a conscious eternal torment or annihilation.
That was one of the things I was a little surprised by: the language. I would definitely have to say that if I leaned a certain direction I would lean toward the conscious torment that's eternal. But I couldn't say I'm sure of that, because there are some passages that really seem to emphasize a destruction. And then I look in history and find that's not really a strange view. There are some good, godly men—and maybe even the majority—that seem to take the annihilation view. I was surprised because all I was brought up with was conscious torment. And I see that. I see that in Scripture and I would lean more that way but, I'm not ready to say okay I know it's this one. So say here "Here are a couple of views." I don't even remember if I wrote that I lean towards that, but maybe it comes across.
I'm still open. And I hope that's because of my study and not because I'd rather have the annihilation view. I don't know what was harder, researching or keeping a check on my heart and making sure there are no weird, ungodly motives in everything I wrote.
End quote.
Scripture in both the Old Testament as well as the New is dogmatic on this:
Isa 66:24  "And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

Mar 3:29  but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an
eternal sin"--

Mat 25:46  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Destruction is eternal. Just like the bush that burned in front of Abraham without being obliterated, so too will the soul who never repents of his sin.

Not Recyling Is More Immoral Than Viewing Porn According To Teens And Young Adults, New Barna Study Shows


The nationally representative online survey of 3,000 people also found that about 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors say they struggle with using porn, and 12 percent of youth pastors and 5 percent of pastors say they're addicted to it.
Additionally, 27 percent of young adults (ages 25-30) say they first viewed pornography prior to puberty.
A news release said the research is the "most comprehensive, in-depth and wide-ranging study to date on pornography among the American population."
This finding was revealing of just how social justice is controlling the minds of our children:

"Teens and young adults say "not recycling" is more immoral than viewing porn."

End quote.

Consider also that these teens later become youth pastors and directors....Folks, sexually immorality and not recycling is sin, condemned by God, and disqualifies a man from being a leader in the local church (1Tim.3, Titus 1)

Jen Hatmaker: An Unbiblical Author

Well there's yet another new book that women are mindless following7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. For a fuller treatment, The End Time Blog has two articles here and here. I'll share my own concerns based on the quote used in the first article (along with things I've read on Hatmaker's blog), which says:


Here is the Amazon.com book blurb:
American life can be excessive, to say the least. That’s what Jen Hatmaker had to admit after taking in hurricane victims who commented on the extravagance of her family’s upper middle class home. She once considered herself unmotivated by the lure of prosperity, but upon being called “rich” by an undeniably poor child, evidence to the contrary mounted, and a social experiment turned spiritual was born.”
“7 is the true story of how Jen (along with her husband and her children to varying degrees) took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.”
“Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.” So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.”
End quote.

First of all, her guilt came from hurricane victims who commented upon her lifestyle. This isn't true conviction of Holy Spirit by the Word; it's actually ingratitude it seems, from victims who had the gall to say something so ungracious. I mean, judging those who are able to take you in (while presumably wanting to not be judged) is not only bad form, it indicates jealousy. Also, how is "poor" defined? In the US, the poor rarely are truly poor. Our "poor" are actually rich compared to the real world poor. Hurricane victims typically get federal help, too.

"a social experiment turned spiritual was born.”


It was a social experiment, not a biblical principle or conviction, first. That's from the flesh and not of Christ, so it has no benefit in honoring Christ Jesus nor having any spiritual benefit to the person. You cannot change something of the flesh into something spiritual because by definition it didn't come from the Holy Spirit. Slapping on Jesus' name to a fleshly endeavor doesn't sanitize what is filthy flesh.

"
 modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.”


Greed, materialism, and overindulgence seem repetitive words to describe the one thing: greed. But none of these are diseases. To medicalize sin is to necessarily deny the reality that greed is a spiritual condition of sin and needs to be repented of.  This disease model is borrowed from humanism's psychology to remove the sting of reality that it's nothing less than sin. As with the term "poor", greed, materialism and overindulgence should be defined. When one is infested with anti-American, pro-socialism, and white guilt, how they define greed etc.is going to likely be different along with their motives, on how and who they define as such. In Scripture, the poor really were poor--they had to beg for food or money every single day. They weren't supported by government programs, they didn't play the system or fake their poverty, and they were known in their communities for being truly poor. Not so today. 

"Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress." 

This list is arbitrary and I'm sure the author admits that. But if it it's arbitrary, then it's not biblical, is it?
Joh 12:4  But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 
Joh 12:5  "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 

Joh 12:6  He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 

Lev. 19: 15 ”‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Exo 23:2  "You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to
turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice;3  nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute. 

The reverse of  this verse is also true:

Jas 2:4  have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil
thoughts? 

To pretend to be poorer than one is by living with the poor for a few weeks or months, is artificial
and insulting to those who are truly poor. To literally jet into a poor area, live there for a little bit,
then jet back out is not compassion nor real. Poor people can't jet out of their poverty. They're stuck
there for likely all their lives. 

Prov. 21: 3  To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Mar 14:7  For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.

In the parable of the talents:
Mat 25:16  He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.

Mat 25:20  And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.'
Mat 25:21  His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'

Of the one who did nothing with the one talent the master had given him:

Mat 25:25  so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'
Mat 25:26  But his master answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?
Mat 25:27  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.
Mat 25:28  So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents.
Mat 25:29  For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

Consider that while Jesus is explaining a spiritual truth, He also isn't condemning making more money, otherwise that would give reproach to His teaching. Wise investments with money is commended, not condemned.

Scripture doesn't condemn being rich; it condemns relying on riches instead of Christ as we see with the rich young ruler who wouldn't give up his riches to follow Jesus Christ (Matt. 19:16-24). Nor does Scripture uphold the poor as more spiritual; being poor and without Christ Jesus means you are still lost (and today, weirdly, the poor are actually idolized as are those who think they are helping them). God is the creator of both.

"adopt seven green habits, and observe “seven sacred pauses.”  "

Green habits is nothing more than socialism wrapped up in environmentalism. Most "green habits" are really not very efficient anyway, like with recycling which is costly and spends quite a lot of energy in the process. Environmentalism is predicated on unbiblical principles for the most part; New Age worship of "mother earth" or Gaia is often behind much of this, as is socialism (a way to reject capitalism and to control people's behavior and spending and living habits).

"So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.”

As you can see, this whole restrictive structure isn't for honoring Christ or others, but Self. What do "I" get out of it? In Hatmaker's view, her god is increased. That is not the triune God of Scripture who is immutable (without change)--Mal. 3:6.

Where does Christ call us to simplicity in how we live in every day circumstances like her 7 areas she's posted? Would she have called King David's life, a man after God's own heart, "simple"? What's her standard of what is simple? Where's the Scripture to support this?

On Hatmaker's blog "About" page she says in part:

"
I understand God best through people; their gifts and strengths, their love and compassion, their character and courage. I sincerely believe we were made in God's image, and when I evaluate the goodness of people, I love God more. I crave a world of justice where people are safe, loved, empowered. I plan to use whatever influence I've been given on behalf of edged-out people for all my days. If I loved well, I will consider my entire life a success. "

This is not biblical. First of all there are no good people; we are all totally depraved (Rom. 3:9-18; Eph. 2:1-3).  Therefore to use this as a way to love God more is fleshly. Also this social justice is of the flesh. Jesus said the poor we'll always have with us. Poverty won't be eradicated and certainly not by fleshly means. This is either liberation theology or dominionism. She marks her success by her social justice "love". But Scripture states that our "success" isn't in and of ourselves; rather it's if we obey and love Christ as His slaves.
Joh 14:15  "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Col. 3 tells us:
Col 3:1  If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 
Col 3:2  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 

Hatmaker's got her eyes set on earth, with results on what she can see, and things done in the flesh.

Jesus didn't come to bring social justice (His own disciples then and now, will not see justice done, but rather often will be victims of injustice b/c the world hates Christ). True biblical righteous justice will only happen when Jesus returns as Judge and a Lion (for example, Is. 14, 16, Rev.18-19 )

Now, as I peruse Hatmaker's blog I see she lists a couple of feminist books, one book and one books' forward by false teacher Rachel Held Evans--a rabid Evangelical feminist; a book by mystic Brother Lawrence, another on Roman Catholic mystic Henri Nouewen, and some social justice books (one claims to end "extreme world poverty", one is of speeches made by plagiarist and womanizer Martin Luther King Jr., and one claims that the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes socialism (aka liberation theology). In fact, one of Hatmaker's  categories of books is "Christian Contemplatives, Fathers, and Mothers)".
Hatmaker's "sacred pauses" seems to be coming from Eastern mysticism like Contemplative Spirituality. One blogger writes an article called "Seven Sacred Pauses 1: Vigils":

The Ammas and Abbas, the holy mothers and fathers of our faith, made a practice of praying the Liturgy of the Hours—the seven holy pauses during the day which call us to draw together in community and become deliberate in our consciousness of God’s presence.

We begin with Vigils, also known as Matins. Vigils is the first hour of the day, between midnight and dawn. It’s the time of darkness, of unknowing. In the words of Christine Valters Paintner, “Vigil prayer is one of waiting, tending, listening, and surrendering to the wisdom of the night.” (The Artist’s Rule, p. 54)
Day begins with night. This may not seem to be good news if we fear the dark, if we rebel at the idea of not being in control. Yet darkness comes before light, gestation before birth, death before resurrection. The seed must be planted in the darkness of the soil if it is to blossom and bear fruit.
So I invite you to offer yourself up to the holy darkness. Take a breath. Relax. Listen, in the stillness, for the wisdom that comes at midnight.
End quote.

I suspect Hatmaker's obsession with the number seven comes from one of her favorite authors, Richard Rohr, who wrote "What The Mystics Know: Seven Pathways To Your Deeper Self". She didn't list this book, but she listed this author, who is a mystic/gnostic.

This is just a few of the resources she's found helpful, but which are anti-biblical. Clearly these authors have influenced her thinking, behavior, and writing.

Hatmaker is definitely another author to reject. What she offers isn't Christian, but pagan phariseeism which will only enlarge the flesh because it is of the flesh and not of Christ Jesus.