Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just Stop & Think: God's Way or My Way--Who's Lord in all of this?

I've been in contact with the producer of "Just Stop and Think" video. Originally I had emailed Francis Chan, the one in the video. My email got bumped to the producer. Ok, not the person I really wanted to address, but I'll talk with him.

What was given to me in three emails was appalling. Man-centeredness all over the place with no Scripture and sprinkled with insults. The communication on Johnny Karls' part left a lot to be desired-- one wonders how HE communicates to the lost who are deaf. I gave several Scriptures that say God hates the wicked (as opposed to the claimed "God is crazy about you...God loves you" in the video). Karls said, yes, God has wrath against sin. I said, no, God hates the wicked PERSON...see right here... and showed the Scriptures I had given to him previously. Again, he said, yes, God hates the sin. Sigh. Was he even reading the Scriptures or what I clearly and distinctly said?

Reading Steve Camp's post on this video today, I also saw a HUGE lack of communication between Karls and Chan. They apparently had conflicting intentions and accomplishments (can one expect any differently in such a man-centered Post Modern/Emergent thinking?):

Chan said: “I really just wanted to present the gospel to the world; just the plain simple, as I clear as I could make it gospel, but outside of a church setting....Cause we thought if the Lord comes back this year, we wanted to know that we got out the gospel to everyone. (source: Passion 2007 Podcast, December 2006)

Karls said: Mind you, our fifteen minute movie is by no means the totality of the gospel message (where did you the idea that that was our intention?) This movie was meant to be an introduction to the God of the Bible. Our intention was to be brief, to be relational, and to introduce the unbeliever or the "religious" to the Rightious, Just, Loving, Holy God of the Bible.

Our goal of this short movie was to introduce or wet the appetite of the view to get to know God, PERIOD! Where did you get that this was meant to be Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost?

End quote. Source: email correspondance

These two men are supposed to be "full time pastors" who communicate the truth to their flocks (Karls doesn't say where he is a "full time pastor" but was sure to remind me repeatedly that both he and Karls graduated from seminary--not sure why that was even brought up). But if they can't even 1) communicate with EACH OTHER about their goal and accomplishement with the film, and 2) communicate the actual Gospel, and 3) listen and respond to what is actually said to them, then they then have no business doing what they are doing as "spiritual leaders". A pastor and evangelist are to clearly present the truth, and both have failed in this.

Stand To Reason did a search through the book of Acts and found that no where does it declare that God loves all people. Rather, it focuses on Christ, the need for repentance, sin, God's wrath, forgiveness, and even God's sovereignty, etc.

I went through Acts myself and found that when the gospel was given, so was the Resurrection. In fact, it was precisely because of the preaching of a Resurrected Christ Jesus that the apostles were on trial (Acts 23:6;24:14-15) and were also presecuted (Acts 16:22-23; 17:32;18:6).

In Scripture the Gospel is proclaimed, and a bait is not used. We aren't to try to hook unregenerates in to what we say and tell them if they really want the rest of the story (like Paul Harvey gives to the news), then you have to go hunt them down and read more of their own words.

Secondly, the makers of this movie do not trust the Sovereign God and His ways in converting the lost. They use the world's ways and means, not God's. This is a huge indictment upon them.

Col 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

1Co 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

Rom 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

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. 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. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!

Using Hollywood and paying top dollar for it in order to teach about spiritual things is NOT the way of God. Paul did not present the truth in an entertaining way, but rather used plain speech with the bold truth. Same with Peter and John. And they didn't HIRE someone to make it a prettier package so the God-haters wouldn't be so offended.

Karls told me: "I have witnessed to many many people and the majority RUN when you mention the Bible, or Jesus, or the resurrection, or church. Now is that to say these things should be left out of the total conversation? absolutely not! It just means we're dealing with cultural paradigms that are real. Though I agree with the "fire and brimstone" message, it initially chases more people away than it draws in."

Truth always makes sinners run.

Joh 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

Joh 6:60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" 61 But Jesus, knowing in Himself that His disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? ...64 But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father." 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

Mat 15:12 Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" 13 He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."

Rom 3:11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."

Karls continues: " I find the approach we used in Stop and THink much more effective. Is it the complete gospel, absolutely not! Is it bringing people to the true, authentic, message of scripture? I believe so. "

This is pragmatism and the way of the world. This is man-centered baloney. Of course God-haters will run from being told about their hate of God, their lack of having any good, that Christ Jesus is Lord and the ONLY way, truth, and life and that no one can go to the Father but by HIM. Of course they are offended and run when they are told they have no good works and can't get to heaven by what they do or don't do. Its unbelievable that a seminary graduate worries about this, and more, tries to change the gospel given and its offense.

Karls said,“If you have a means of inspiring more people to Christ then I am VERY interested to hear about it.”

Yes I do: preaching the Gospel, which IS the power of God unto salvation. Rom. 1:16-17; Rom. 10:12-17; Acts 16:14; Acts 13:48.

Hear the words of GOD:

1Co 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart."
1Co 1:20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1Co 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.
1Co 1:22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,
1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,
1Co 1:24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Why would "seminary graduates" ignore such clear truth from the Bible? Who are they to try and improve upon God's Word and HIS means?

Perhaps that's the biggest indictment on such people: Scripture is not enough. The Cross of the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is NOT enough, and the Lordship of Christ is denied.

Folks, its HIS Gospel declared in HIS given ways by HIS given means. If we call Him Lord, then let's do it HIS way, not our way. Or stop calling Him "Lord".

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What We Say vs. What We Proclaim: More questions

What we say we believe vesus what we proclaim. Sometimes they are two different things. Why? Shouldn’t we give the gospel we say we believe? Do others need less of the gospel than we do? If Scripture says we MUST believe certain things to be saved, then why would we NOT say this to the lost? Is this not hording the treasure, the freedom? We have the truth, but let the others stumble in the dark trying to find bits and pieces, or worse, give them enough to bait them to come back to us later to find out the rest of the truth?

I suggest folks read Acts and see how the Gospel was proclaimed. The fact of Jesus being Lord and God, who lived and died on the cross on behalf of sinners for tthe forgiveness of their sin and then rose again from the dead "according to the Scriptures" is paramount.

Go here for a quick glimpse at what the Gospel declared in Acts did or did not entail in Acts (clue: "God isn't crazy about you" is missing ). But the most important place to go to, as I already suggested, is the Word first. Read Acts for yourself. Read 1Cor. 15, too.

Fear of Man or Fear of God: The Wrath of God

I received this today from Grace Gems in my email box. I found this to be Providence, since lately the issue of God's love vs. His wrath has been part of a bigger issue about what the Gospel is and who God is.

The wrath of God(Thomas Boston, "Human Nature in its Fourfold State")"The wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36

1. The wrath of God is IRRESISTIBLE, there is no standing before it; "Who can stand in Your sight, when once You are angry?" Psalm 76:7. Can the worm or the moth defend itself against him who designs to crush it? Can the worm, man, stand before an angry God? Foolish men, indeed, bid a defiance against God; but the Lord often, even in this world, opens such sluices of wrath upon them, as all their might cannot stop--they are carried away thereby, as with a flood! How much more will it be so in hell!

2. The wrath of God is INSUPPORTABLE. What a man cannot resist, he will try to endure. But who shall dwell in devouring fire? Who shall dwell with everlasting burnings? God's wrath is a weight which will sink men into the lowest hell. It is a burden which no man can endure.

3. The wrath of God is UNAVOIDABLE to those who continue impenitently, and die in their sinful course. "He who, being often reproved, hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed--and that without remedy!" Proverbs 29:1. We may now flee from it, indeed, by fleeing to Jesus Christ. But those who flee from Christ, will never be able to avoid it. Where can men flee from the avenging God? Where will they find a shelter? The hills will not bear them. The mountains will be deaf to their loudest supplications, when they cry to them to "hide them from the wrath of the Lamb."

4. The wrath of God is POWERFUL and FIERCE. "Who can comprehend the power of Your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear You deserve." Psalm 90:11. We are apt to fear the wrath of man more than we ought; but no man can apprehend the wrath of God to be more dreadful than it really is. The power of God's wrath can never be known to the utmost; for it is infinite, and, properly speaking, has no utmost limit. However fierce it is, either on earth or in hell, God can still carry it farther. Everything in God is most perfect in its kind; and therefore no wrath is so fierce as His. O sinner! how will you be able to endure that wrath, which will tear you in pieces, Psalm 50:22, and grind you to powder! Luke 20:18.

5. The wrath of God is PENETRATING and PIERCING wrath. It is burning wrath, and fiery indignation. There is no pain more intense than that which is caused by fire; and no fire so piercing as the fire of God's indignation, which burns unto the lowest hell, Deut. 32:22. The arrows of men's wrath can pierce flesh, blood, and bones--but cannot reach the soul. But the wrath of God will sink into the soul, and so pierce a man in the most tender part.

6. The wrath of God is CONSTANT wrath, running parallel with the man's continuance in an unregenerate state; constantly attending him from the womb to the grave. There are few days so dark--but the sun sometimes looks out from under the clouds. But the wrath of God is an abiding cloud on the objects of it; John 3:36, "The wrath of God abides on him" who believes not.

7. The wrath of God is ETERNAL. O, miserable soul! if you flee not from this wrath unto Jesus Christ; though your misery had a beginning--yet it will never have an end! Should devouring death wholly swallow you up, and forever hold you fast in the grave--it would be kind. But your body must be reunited to your immortal soul, and live again, and never die; that you may be ever-dying, in the hands of the ever-living God. Death will quench the flame of man's wrath against us, if nothing else does. But God's wrath, when it has come on the sinner for millions of ages, will still be the wrath to come! Matt. 3:7; 1 Thess. 1:10. While God is, He will pursue the quarrel.

8. However dreadful it is, and though it is eternal--yet it is most JUST wrath! It is a clear fire, without the least smoke of injustice. The sea of wrath, raging with greatest fury against the sinner, is clear as crystal. The Judge of all the earth can do no wrong. "Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world?" Romans 3:5, 6. The Judge being infinitely just--the sentence must be righteous. Therefore, stop your mouth, O proud sinner! Still your clamor against your righteous Judge!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!"1 Thessalonians 1:10
"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but toreceive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ!"
1 Thessalonians 5:9

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Where Has the Gospel Gone? And other questions I have

Where has the Gospel Gone?

Why is it that professing evangelical Christians don’t declare the gospel?
Why do they value style over substance?
Why do professing Christians ridicule, mock, and insult Christians who hold Scripture as the standard for all things, particularly about the Gospel and God?
Why do they Devalue Scripture when God values it and His name above ALL else?
Why does declaring the truth that God hates the workers of iniquity (not just their sin) make one divisive, mean, and hateful?
Why do professing Christians paint God as a romantic slob, “crazy” over those who utterly hate Him?
Why do professing Christians look to the world to woo people instead of looking to God and His Word to work in the hearts of those whom God has chosen to save?
Why do they see the world's way BETTER than God's way?
Why don't they trust the SOVEREIGN God and His living Word?