Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Enough to make you sick!


I just had the misfortune of reading this article. Really? Throw a kid and his mom out of church for being a "distraction," just because he's handicapped? What would Jesus say? I can only imagine an event similar to his clearing of the temple. How can the Body of Christ possibly be edified when things like this are becoming more and more common place? The God of the Bible would not find this to be a satisfactory form of worship. He IS the Creator of the Universe, and created that little boy, just like created you and I. Jesus died for all of us, and that includes the boy and his mother.
(Mat 25:42-46 ESV)
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." 
He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30 ESV) - John the baptist. He had it right when he made that statement. It's not about us, it's about Jesus Christ and his work on the cross.

Please, if this kind of behavior is tolerated in your church speak out against it! If the less fortunate are shunned by the leadership, take them to scripture and show them the error of their ways. This has to be stopped here and now. If they will not listen, move on to another congregation, and having nothing to do with them.

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
(Tit 3:10-11 ESV)
Jesus never meant for his Church to be a rock concert with concessions and t-shirt sales. When we allow the Church to be an entertainment venue that is focused on the "show," we are treading on dangerous ground.

Please join me in prayer for every Church around the world. Christianity is under attack from the inside out.

God Bless.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The death of wisdom.

     Although everyone has different backgrounds, with varying degrees of education, almost all of us have had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by someone whom is "over" educated. Unfortunately, I had the opportunity this week to hear a lecture (4 hours worth) given by a Ph.D. in an Old Testament History class. He has obviously educated himself to the point of stupidity. This lecture took place at a very conservative Bible college, and it was anything but conservative.

     I''ll try to avoid going into a full blown diatribe, but I am disappointed, so it may be a struggle. First off, when speaking on the creation of the universe, I stand with the literal interpretation, same as the fine folks at http://www.answersingenesis.org/. As for the integrity of the scriptures, I believe that all scripture in their original languages and entirety is the very word of God.

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

Now that we have established where I stand, we will address some of the lunacy that the fine "Dr." was expounding. Below are a few of his supposed "teachings." -Warning- if you are weak in the faith, please do not proceed.

  • The Genesis account of creation indicates in no way shape or form that God created the universe in 7 literal days. Creation likely took place over time, (he didn't come right out and say evolution, but he hinted around about it) and in no way does Genesis chapter one indicate the doctrine of creation ex nihilo
  • The Nephilim of Genesis Ch. 6:4 and Numbers 13:33 were not giants, but the Hebrew for the Nephilim indicates "the falling ones." This is due to the demise of the "Nephilim" to the Great Flood, and then allegedly when Israel invades the promised land. (When read in context, this makes no sense.)
  • The book of Deuteronomy may have been written as late as the 6th century B.C. (He uses B.C.E) in order to incite religious reform after the Babylonian Sojourn (He's too good to call it the "captivity"). Therefore making it a forgery.
  • Moses did not write the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible). The good "Dr." did not say who wrote it, but it was not Moses. "Who would have schlepped it around the desert?" (Obviously the part of Deuteronomy that was written after Moses death  was not written by him posthumously.)
  • In Genesis Chapter 1, the sun and moon was not referred to as the "sun and moon" but the greater and the lesser lights. This was to counter Mesopotamian Sun worship, you wouldn't want to get that started of course...
  • The creation account in Genesis was written as a response to other Mesopotamian creation accounts. Not an original document inspired by God so that his people would understand the "beginning." 
Throughout this "lecture," I found myself looking "fool" up in the Bible.

 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.  (Pro 28:26 ESV)
   In everything the prudent acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly. (Pro 13:16 ESV)
 Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. (Pro 17:28 ESV)

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Pro 26:12 ESV)
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. (1Co 3:18 ESV)

    The list goes on, but  I will stop here. You get the idea, it was by far the most mind boggling Bible college class I have taken.

 Please leave a comment with any insights that you may have, it would be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Have you experienced the saving power of Jesus?

Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission
I was reading Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission by Darrin Patrick, and realized that he makes an excellent point on page 21. Paraphrased, it says that no one should attempt to shepherd a church without having experienced the saving power of Jesus. That got me to thinking.. How many "Christians" have not come to terms with their salvation? 

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jn 1:9 ESV)

In today's society, forgiveness is somewhat of a mystery to most of us. It has become common place for people to nurse grudges, and to slander and to hate. Not only is it common, but it's encouraged. This occurs almost everywhere we look. Even television shows that are geared towards children/teens encourages them to be mean spirited and hold grudges. It's no wonder that we have difficulty in feeling that the God of the Universe sent his Son on PURPOSE to die for our sins. 

Even though many of us say that we know that we are forgiven, do we feel forgiven? Is this feeling of "almost, but not quite" from God, or man? I believe it is of man. We have difficulty understanding that God has forgiven us, because he loves us. It's a concept that is rather foreign to us; forgiveness. Jesus taught about forgiveness on numerous occasions. Why? He knows that forgiveness is something that we struggle with almost daily. 

Probably the most difficult person to forgive is ourselves. Many of us struggle with guilt about our past lifestyles, mistakes, and the people we may have hurt (in one way or another). We must strive to put this behind us, and allow Jesus to save us, despite ourselves. No, we don't deserve it. The Apostle Paul was inspired to address this:
"but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 ESV)
God new that we were sinners, but he sent Jesus ANYWAY! If you still struggle with accepting salvation, or have not yet "felt" the healing of a savior, pray for God to take your doubts, and your feelings of past guilt away from you. Confess that you were a sinner, and ask for forgiveness, if you still have not experienced an encounter with Christ, pray that you will, and that your sin will be put behind you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What's your testimony?

From time to time I find a deeply insightful article like this one from the Christian Post. I had never thought of the effect ones personal testimony would have on a non-believer or a "young" Christian.
 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1Co 10:13 ESV)
Once we give this some thought, how often does anyone ever accept Jesus and then never again feel tempted by sin? Anyone that is honest about their Spiritual condition will admit that temptation never truly ceases. Sometimes we may even experience a greater degree of temptation as Satan attacks us, tempting us to turn our backs on Christ and do things that we know to be wrong. 

Even though some people are not as susceptible to some of their previous sins/addictions such as alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, theft, lying etc. to state that they NEVER feel tempted by anything may not be accurate. If it is the case that they are no longer tempted by their prior addictions, it may be necessary to add a disclaimer... "Although I still battle with other temptations, I no longer crave alcohol etc." Also, others who have overcome addiction through Christ, but still struggle with the temptation of their previous/habitual sins should share their testimony. If a young Christian, or a non-believer that is on the fence thinks that being a Christian is easy, and care free, they will be extremely disappointed. This could lead to backsliding, and or the feeling of being mislead. When witnessing, always be 110% honest, and upfront. Let them know that just because they may fight with the sinful desires of the flesh, their is always an alternative... Jesus Christ! They are not alone, they have the Lord, and other believers to give them strength and comfort.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Eph 6:13 ESV) (emphasis added by author.)

We are no longer of this World, so we can resist sin through the strength we have in Christ.

Walking with Christ is anything but easy, especially while trying to survive in this depraved world. Often times, we feel as if we are outsiders, that we don't fit in to the "worldly" culture that we are surround by. That's because we don't! As Jesus said:

 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:19 ESV)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Censorship on the Web?

First Amendment (Bill of Rights)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Have you ever been the victim of internet censorship? With social media, blogs, and content sites there are a plethora of locations to publish your work. Have you ever fallen victim to a site administrator that finds your content offensive? Did they say that your writing was:

  • Offensive to a particular race, lifestyle or religious practice.
  • Hate speech.
  • A personal attack.
  • Vulgar/obscene.
  • Inappropriate commercial purposes. 
  • Copyright infringement.
Was their complaint justified, or was it simply a lack of humor on their part? Grant it, that copyright infringement and other blatantly illegal activities should be squelched, the outcome is generally determined by the Spirit in which it is performed.  The most dangerous part about censorship is, that once it begins, where does it end? In most oppressive cultures it began gradually, then snowballed into a full blown loss of freedom .  Please leave a comment below. 

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
(2Co 3:17 KJV)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Have you ever wanted to give up?

     Everyone hits rough spots in life. You begin to feel beat down, bummed out and down right bad. Nothing is going right, and not only is it not going right, but it continues to deteriorate. I've been there. It's not pretty, and it's anything but easy. Most of the time it is a case of everything "ganging up" on you. It's not one or two unfortunate situations, but a whole conflagration of trouble from multiple directions.
     Then it hits you, your tired, wore out, and exhausted. You don't have to stay down. Each and everyone of us goes through this from time to time (if your honest with yourself), but we have hope. We have Jesus Christ!
      Now if you ever think that you have it bad, think about the Apostle Paul. He was under stress from being a leader in the church, as well as having suffered numerous persecutions:

  Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one--I am talking like a madman--with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
(2Co 11:23-30 ESV)
Yet, Paul did not allow this to discourage him. He repeatedly turned to Christ for focus and comfort. At the end of his life, while awaiting execution in a Roman prison, Paul composed his final epistle. Writing to Timothy, Paul briefly reflected on his hardships, and the fact that he was able to pull through them in order to serve God till the end.  We also have that strength available to us, all we must do is ask in genuine prayer. God has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of us, but we must listen, and humble ourselves to the Lord. Often times I find that I thrash around like an animal with my head in a trap, not allowing the God of creation the opportunity to set me free from my agony.

Do you struggle with frustration, fatigue, exhaustion or a feeling of failure? Please leave a comment below, or a prayer request.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Rom 8:28 ESV)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red Skeleton the American Patriot.

In this Red Skeleton monologue, he not only explains the Pledge of Allegiance in full, but makes an interesting comment about the statement "under God." The man was apparently wise beyond his years when he speculated that someday using "God" in the pledge could make the liberals feel that it is a prayer, and prohibit it's recitation in public schools.
As most of us know, their are school systems here in the United States that have done exactly that-banned the daily recitation of the pledge of allegiance. It's a shame that this wonderful nation which was founded on Biblical principles by strong Christian men has sunk to the level of censoring our own "pledge of allegiance."
What's next? Patriotic songs such as "America the Beautiful, God Bless the U.S.A, America (my country, 'tis of thee), The Star Spangled Banner (A.K.A U.S. National Anthem), Eternal Father-The Navy Hymn," will probably be banned from public performance as well. Each and every one of the songs listed contains a reference to God. If this is the case, then the Battle Hymn of the Republic will surely be a "gone-er" as well..
Please pray for our nation, as we are in an unprecedented time of spiritual turmoil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
(Eph 6:12 ESV)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Not allowed to talk about Religion at a Military Funeral?

I generally try not to get to hung up on current events/news, but this week has been a rough one for Jesus here in the U.S. of A. The Houston National Cemetery's VA Director is now part of a law suite that has been filed on the behalf of the VFW, American Legion, and The National Memorial Ladies concerning the censorship of prayer and other religious recitations. Here's the release from the VFW .
Pray, pray fervently, fast, and pray. Our nation is in serious trouble. At every turn Christianity is being attacked. As a country that was founded on the principles of the Bible, and faith in the Lord, it is disgusting that we should fall into apostasy so quickly. Are you concerned about what is going to happen if we continue to turn our backs on God? Leave a comment and share your concerns and prayer needs.