Monday, 29 March 2010

XXXChurch in Sin City


A book called Jesus Loves You…This I Know by Craig Gross and Josh Harper. Some of the chapter titles were “Jesus Loves the Broken”, “Jesus Loves Skeptics”, etc. But one that catches my eye is called “Jesus Loves Porn Stars”. He even makes T-shirts titled with Jesus Loves Porn Stars. To the unbeliever this would look like Jesus loves porn!
This is so silly! Why must we think that we have to be hip and relevant with the world in order to fish them into our churches? We're not trying to get people a part of another group. If they don't come to the Father in repentance, they are not saved. These guys should be preaching the gospel, not washing their dishes! Yes, I understand random acts of kindness.. but helping out the sex industry while we do it? We should be helping them by reading the gospel. Jesus didn't say Go out and make friends with all the nations! He said make disciples, and spread the good news of His resurrection! Where is the gospel? I have to say these guys are doing more than any of us by getting the name of Jesus out there. But they are putting a stain to His name. They are creating confusion.
I just hope that the true gospel is getting read and talked about behind those cameras. I don't wanna be misjudging these guys but this is what it looks like on camera and flowing from their mouths. If they truly love these women they'd clutch their heels and weep for them to repent. And they'd preach the Word to them.
I hope that these women get saved from the industry and into the loving arms of their Father in heaven. I'd just like to tell them or any other woman stuck in sexual immorality, whatever you've done, God will forgive you. Just give it up to Him. Please! Repent and trust the Saviour today.

Is Repentance a Work?

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Reconciliation With God

Have we been taking this verse out of context? "If you seek you will find, if you knock, I will answer."

Read Luke 14 and the parable about the lost sheep. When the repented son comes to the father. He stops. But the father ran towards his son. When the sheep was lost, the shepherd went looking for him. There was rejoice when the last sheep was found, and a celebration when the boy was forgiven. God seeks a repented heart, not a decision that makes Him acceptable in one's mind as if God was made up in a man's mind. God justifies a sinner that falls on his face and begs for forgiveness of his sins. It's not about doing things like getting baptised and becoming a member of a church or how many years one has been at church. It's about God forgiving a sinner who has come to the Father out of a pithy cry for His forgiveness. It's a broken heart and not just an acknowledgement that Jesus is Lord. Many people can believe that the God of the Bible is the true God but never have repented. Many will cry out Lord, Lord, but will not enter the kingdom. It is a narrow gate. It is a narrow path. People may confess that they sin and know that they are sinners and whole-heartedly believe in Jesus with all their heart but will not see him seated at the right side of the Father.

One may trust Him and know His truth, but actually hate Him. A man must love God with all his heart, mind and strength. In comparison to his love for God he must hate his brother, sister, mother, and father. It's about the first two commandments because the other nine follow naturally. It's about denying self, hating what you are, and then taking up a cross. Being a Christian is not about having a happier or more prosperous life. It's not about giving money to the poor and feeding the hungry and making life better for everyone on earth. It's about living a crucified life. It's realizing that you can do nothing to credit to your account. You can't substitute or add to what Jesus did on the cross. When you "become" a Christian it is not about doing the sinners prayer, or making an alter call, or accepting Jesus into your life. It's a life totally given up. God runs to the repented heart. It's acknowledgement of sin and knowing that you deserve nothing.

There is no other God in history that is known as a loving God. Our God is a merciful God, a forgiving God. A man may think that he has done so many good things based on his own vindication. One may say, "I tried to live a good life." They tried to live by their own performance, their own works, their own righteousness. Before God created man, He had a plan to save us. (If I am at fault, if I am blaspheming, God will judge me justly). The love of God teaches us that God is just and God is holy. He is perfect. If all He does is forgive us, then He would compromise all of His integrity and character. Not only did He come to die for you, He came born as a baby and lived under the Law. He came down as a man, Jesus, to obey every will of God. According to the scriptures He kept the Law perfectly. He came to be our substitute under the Law. So He took very seriously to His task as our representative to obey every detail of the Law. His meat and His drink was to do the will of the Father. He did it perfectly. If God indeed was marking your indignities and iniquities in a book, how many marks would you have? If God turned over the book, how many marks would be there? If God had granted a person to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, then they have a blank page. God sees that page blank under your name on the basis of Jesus Christ.

Man gets the idea that there are conditions to get to heaven. For anyone to have the benefit of the perfect work of Christ contributed to them, the New Testament says that the benefit contributed to them is to have faith and faith alone in Him.

Even if you acknowledge the reality that God exists, that's not enough. Even the demons believe and they tremble. It's not enough to acknowledge that Jesus is able to redeem you. You have to rest in Him. You have to trust in Him. That means when you stand at the gates of heaven, you will not be able to say "I did this and I did that." You'll be able to say, "I did nothing. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law and I'm trusting in Christ and Christ alone. I rest in Him solely and in His righteousness and His atonement because there is nothing I can do to make restitution for my own iniquities." Therefore, the gospel for you will not be an abstraction but it will be the power of God for your salvation. The power is found in His word. The power is found in the proclamation and work done in Christ.

Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ."

Our Lord said, "He who puts his hand to the plow and turns back is not worthy of the kingdom of God." This message is so crucial. This message of God is so vitally important. It takes precedence over anything else that is intruding into your thinking. I urge you today as a personal message for you, don't put your head on your pillow tonight until you have put your trust in Christ, in His life, in His righteousness, and in His atoning death.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Where Does Fido Go When He Dies?

Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth?

Ecclesiastes 3:21

The animal in the ground, the human up to heaven (we hope). Therefore, that is more of a reason to love your family pet since they won't be spending eternity with you. It may be possible for God to raise them to life in the new earth, but the bible doesn't mention this. It may be possible, but I don't think it's in His will. I remember praying to God about my last pet that died. But the more I learned about God in the Bible the more I laid it to rest in Him.

The Anecdote

by Ray Comfort, WOTM Ministries

The issue of modern evangelism chose to attract sinnners, the issue was of life enhancement. The gospel degenerated into; Jesus will give you peace, joy, love, fulfilment and lasting happiness. To illustrate the unscriptural nature of this very popular teaching, listen very carfeully to this important antidote. The illustration pivots on this teaching.


Anecdote
Two men are seated on a plane. The first is given a parachute to improve his flight. He's a little sceptical at first because he can't see how putting on a parachute can possibly improve a flight. After time he decides to experiment to see that the claim is true. As he puts it on he notices the weight upon his shoulders and he finds he has difficulty sitting up right. However he consoles himself with the fact that the parachute would improve the flight. So he decides to give the thing a little time. As he waits, he notices some the other passengers are laughing at him because he is wearing a parachute on a plane. He begins to feel somewhat humiliated. As they begin to point and laugh at him, he can stand it no longer. He sinks into his seat, unstraps the parachute and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart because as far as he was concerned he was told an out right lie.

The second man was given a parachute, but listen was he's told. He's told to put it on because at any moment he will be jumping 25,000 feet out of the plane. He greatfully puts the parachute on, he doesn't notice the weight upon his shoulders, nor can he stand up right. His mind is consumed with the thought what might happen to him if he jumped without that parachute.

Let's analyse the motive and the result of each passengers experience. The first mans motive of the parachute on was to souly to improve his flight. The result of his experience was that he was humiliated by the passengers, he was disillusioned and somewhat inbittered against those people who gave him the parachute. As far as he is concerned, it'll be a long time before anyone gets one of those things on his back again.
The second man put the parachute on souly to escape the jump to come. And because of his knowledge of what would happen to him with out it. He has a deep rooted joy and peace in his heart knowing that he is safe from sure death. This knowledge gives him the ability to withstand the mockeritity of the other passengers. His attitude towards those who gave him the parachute is one of heart felt gratitude.

Now, listen to what the modern gospel says. It says put on the Lord Jesus Christ. He will give you love, joy, peace, fulfilment, and lasting happiness. In other words, Jesus improve your flight. So the sinner responds and in an experimental fasion puts on the savior to see if the claims are true. And what does he get? He gets temptations, tribulation, and prosecution. The other passengers mock him. So what does he do? He takes off the Lord Jesus Christ, he offended for the words sake, he's disillusioned, and somewhat imbittered and quite rightly so. He was promised peace, joy, love, fulfilment and lasting happiness. And all he got were trials and humiliation. As bitterness is directed on the so-called “good news.” As later aim becomes worse than the first; another inoculated and bitter backslider.

Peace and joy are legitimate fruits of salvation. But it's not legitimate to use these fruits as a draw card for salvation. If we continue to do so, sinners will respon with impure motive lacking repentence.
Now, can you remember why the second passenger had peace and joy in his heart? Because he knew that parachute was going to safe him from sure death.

Paul said: I have the joy and peace in believing because I know the righteousness of Christ will deliver me from the wraths to come.

Now, if we look on an incident onboard our plane, we have a brand new flight attendant. She's carrying a tray of boiling hot coffee. It's her first day and she wants leave a lasting impression on the passengers and she certainly does. Because as she's walking down the isle, she trips over a someones foot and spills all that boiling hot coffee on the lap of our second passenger. Now once the reaction of that boiling hot coffee hits his tender flesh, does he go “damn that hurt!” Mmhmm! He feels the pain. But does he rip the parachute from off his shoulders and say “stupid parachute!”? No. Why should he? He didn't put the parachute on for a better flight. He put it on to save him from the jump to come. If anything, the hot coffee incident causes him cling tighter to the parachute and even look forward to the jump.

Do Not Be Ashamed Of The Gospel

The Just Live by Faith
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonour their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgement of God, that those who practice such things rare deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

God’s Righteous Judgement
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgement of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgement of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God, who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and ido not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Romans 1:16-2:16 (NKJV)

Friday, 19 March 2010

A Real Look at Pornography

The negative portrayal of women and sex by the porn industry is an alarming problem for society as a whole – especially since this problem has the backing of a multi-billion dollar industry that is funded by millions of people everyday.
The porn industry can be down right disrespectful of women in their descriptions and portrayals, with violent and derogatory terms often being used to indicate the rough nature of how the women appearing in the films are used and abused. Women are seen as sexual objects to be used for the physical pleasures and perversions of men. No matter how brutal or invasive the act may be, women are also shown as enjoying it immensely – and in fact desiring the same things. Women are perceived in such a way that they would like nothing more than to have sex with any man with a pick up line and some easily removable pants, but contrary to what some men may allow themselves to believe, this is not the case. There is nothing wrong with seeing a female as a beautiful and sexual being, but that is not all that they are – and most desire much more than sexual gratification (especially if its in weird and unflattering ways).
The main problem with this portrayal is that many porn users are exposed to porn at a young age, which may lead to an early lack of respect for females and for sex itself. This in turn can breed a society in which not only is it the norm for men to see women as sexual objects, but young girls may be conditioned into believing that this is normal.
We live in a society where sexual values and ethics are fading, as young men are all too willing to have sex with the first willing female they can find and young women do not value themselves and the act of sex enough to wait for the right time and partner. The sexual antics with no personal connection shown in porn movies can be seen as a contributing factor to the promotion of promiscuity and casual sex. Sex itself is not the problem here – it is the way in which it is used and portrayed by the pornographic industry.
Any act seen in a porn movie can be considered to be acceptable, as long as it is done with genuine love and consent by all those concerned (which is unlikely, especially in terms of group sex or any form of humiliation), and not for economic gain where it is used as a tool of trade. Sex is not a commodity to be filmed and sold and no matter what they are being paid, the “stars” of these films are going very cheaply. As with many multi million dollar industries, ignorance is indeed bliss, as the women who act in these films are treated like the objects that they convey.
If you watch a pornographic film, how do you know when you are watching an abused or psychologically damaged women “performing” or not? Perhaps you are funding the drug addiction of abused and humiliated women who are selling their dignity and respect for their next hit? The porn industry is rife with these kinds of stories, and many worse – so if you’re not sure where your money or attention is going, why fund or use any of it? There is genuine sexual fulfillment to be found in the real world, in real relationships – where there are no cameras, money and profit margins involved.


Finding freedom from porn addiction,
pornography addiction, the effects of pornography

by Gene McConnell

Porn & addiction...sex out of context
On a cold, dark night, there's nothing better than a blazing fire in the fireplace. You can pile on the wood and let it burn nice and warm. It's safe, warm, relaxing and romantic. Now take that same fire out of the fireplace (which was built for it) and drop it in the middle of the living room. Suddenly it becomes destructive. It can burn down the whole house and kill everyone inside. Sex is like that fire. As long as it's expressed in the protective commitment of a marriage relationship, it's wonderful, warm and romantic. But porn takes sex outside that context.

Porn - A Big Business
It's a big business that makes a lot of money and doesn't care how. They'll show you whatever they think will make you come back and buy more. "There were 11,000 porn video titles last year versus 400 movie releases from Hollywood last year...[and] 70,000 pornographic web sites."1

Porn's Image of Sex
One of the most vital parts of mental environment is a healthy idea of who we are sexually. If these ideas are polluted, a critical part of who we are becomes twisted. The porn culture tells you that sex, love and intimacy are all the same thing. In porn, people have sex with total strangers -- people they just met. All that matters is my satisfaction. It doesn't matter whose body I'm using, as long as I get it. Porn gets you to think that sex is something you can have anytime, anywhere, with anyone, with no consequences.

What Sex is Really About
The problem with porn's shallow perspective is that relationships are not built on sex, but on commitment, caring and mutual trust. In that context, like fire in the fireplace, sex is wonderful. Being with someone who loves and accepts you, someone who is committed to you for your whole lives together, someone you can give yourself completely to, that is what makes sex really great.

Effects of Pornography: The Lies of Porn
You can't learn the truth about sex from pornography. It doesn't deal in truth. Pornography is not made to educate, but to sell. So, pornography will tell whatever lies attract and hold the audience. Porn thrives on lies -- lies about sex, women, marriage and a lot of other things. Let's look at some of those lies and see just how badly they can mess up your life and attitudes.

  • Lie #1 - Women are less than human
The women in Playboy magazine are called "bunnies," making them cute little animals or "playmates," making them a toy. Penthouse magazine calls them "pets." Porn often refers to women as animals, playthings, or body parts. Some pornography shows only the body or the genitals and doesn't show the face at all. The idea that women are real human beings with thoughts and emotions is played down.

  • Lie #2 - Women are a "sport"
Some sports magazines have a "swimsuit" issue. This suggests that women are just some kind of sport. Porn views sex as a game and in a game, you have to "win," "conquer," or "score." Men who buy into this view like to talk about "scoring" with women. They start judging their manhood by how many "conquests" they can make. Each woman I "score" with is another trophy on my shelf, another "notch" in my belt to validate my masculinity.

  • Lie #3 - Women are property
We've all seen the pictures of the slick car with the sexy girl draped over it. The unspoken message, "Buy one, and you get them both." Hard-core porn carries this even further. It displays women like merchandise in a catalog, exposing them as openly as possible for the customer to look at. It's not surprising that many young men think that if they have spent some money taking a girl out, they have a right to have sex with her. Porn tells us that women can be bought.

  • Lie #4 - A woman's value depends on the attractiveness of her body
Less attractive women are ridiculed in porn. They are called dogs, whales, pigs or worse, simply because they don't fit into porn's criteria of the "perfect" woman. Porn doesn't care about a woman's mind or personality, only her body.

  • Lie #5 - Women like rape
"When she says no, she means yes" is a typical porn scenario. Women are shown being raped, fighting and kicking at first, and then starting to like it. Porn teaches men to enjoying hurting and abusing women for entertainment.

  • Lie #6 - Women should be degraded
Porn is often full of hate speech against women. Women are shown being tortured and humiliated in hundreds of sick ways and begging for more. Does this kind of treatment show any respect for women? Any love? Or is it hatred and contempt that porn is promoting toward women?

  • Lie #7 - Little kids should have sex
One of the biggest sellers in pornography is imitation "child" porn. The women are "made-up" to look like little girls by wearing pony tails, little girl shoes, holding a teddy bear. The message of the pictures and cartoons is that adults having sex with kids is normal. This sets the porn user up to see children in a sexual way.

  • Lie #8 - Illegal sex is fun
Porn often has illegal or dangerous elements thrown in to make sex more "interesting." It suggests that you can't enjoy sex if it isn't weird, illegal or dangerous.

  • Lie #9 - Prostitution is glamorous
Porn paints an exciting picture of prostitution. In reality, many of the women portrayed in pornographic material are runaway girls trapped in a life of slavery. Many having been sexually abused. Some of them are infected with incurable sexually transmitted diseases that are highly contagious and often die very young. Many take drugs just to cope.

Effects of Pornography: Bottom Line
Pornography makes a profit from the ruined lives of young women and entraps men who will spend lots of time AND money succumbing to their product.

Effects of Pornography: The Power of Images
We might think that the things we see and hear don't affect us. Yet we all admit that good music, good movies and good books add a lot to our lives. They can relax us, educate us, move us or inspire us. Just as uplifting media can benefit us, pornographic images can negatively affect us.

Images are not always neutral. They can persuade us. Businesses know that if they can get a persuasive image of their product in front of you during a highly emotional moment, it will sink into your subconscious mind. The advertising scientists are so good at what they do, they can predict just how much more of their product you will buy if you see their ad. Sometimes, viewers don't even see the name of the product. Reeses Pieces paid a huge price just to have their candy shown for a few seconds in the movie "ET," and sales of Reeses Pieces skyrocketed. Why? Because the emotions connected with watching that small boy reaching out to the alien were transferred to the visual image of the candy. If a split second view of a product -- even when it's not the center of attention -- can affect people's behavior, imagine the effect of a movie that keeps your attention glued to the screen for an hour and a half with sexually explicit images.

What are the effects of pornography on a man?
What kinds of ideas is porn putting into our heads? If the wrong things keep getting dumped in, your mental environment can get so polluted that your life is going to have problems. One of the most vital parts of mental environment is a healthy idea of who we are sexually. If these ideas are polluted, a critical part of who we are becomes twisted.

Porn Addiction: The Pull of Porn
Not everyone who sees porn will become addicted. Some will just come away with toxic ideas about women, sex, marriage, and children. However, some will have some kind of emotional opening that allows the addiction to really grab hold. The porn companies don't mind at all if you become completely addicted to their product. It's great for business. Dr. Victor Cline has divided the progress of addiction into several stages; addiction, escalation, desensitization, and acting out. For porn addicts, I've found that there is another stage that comes first -- early exposure. Let's look at these stages:

EARLY EXPOSURE
Most guys who get addicted to porn start early. They see porn when they are very young and it gets its foot in the door.

PORN ADDICTION
You keep coming back to porn. It becomes a regular part of your life. You're hooked and can't quit.

ESCALATION
You start to look for more graphic pornography. You start using porn that disgusted you earlier. Now, it excites you.

DESENSITIZATION
You start to become numb to the images you see. Even the most graphic porn doesn't excite you any more. You become desperate to feel the same thrill again, but you can't find it.

ACTING OUT SEXUALLY
This is the point where men make a crucial jump and start acting out the images they have seen. Some move from the paper and plastic images of porn into the real world, with real people, in destructive ways.

Porn Addiction: Am I Addicted?
If you see any of these patterns in your life, you need to put the brakes on right now. Is porn becoming more and more in control of your life? Do you have trouble putting it down? Do you keep going back for more?

Porn Addiction: What Can I Do?
The first thing you've got to do is admit that you struggle with pornography. Believe me, you are not strange or unusual if you do. Millions of men are at various stages in the struggle with porn. It's really not surprising. The porn industry has spent billions of dollars trying to snare you. Is it really shocking that they have succeeded? For some of you there may also be issues in your past, such as abuse or sexual exposure, that makes porn addiction even harder to shake. There is only so much you can do in fighting addiction without help.

You need someone to help you break this addiction. Overcoming the secrecy is absolutely vital. You probably can't escape addiction without it. That doesn't mean everyone has to know you're struggling. Pick someone you can trust who counsels men who are having problems with addiction -- a pastor, youth group leader or counselor. Someone you can completely trust, feel safe with and has experience in the area of addiction isn't going to be surprised.

Is There Any Freedom from Porn Addiction?
Pornography entraps you with lies. In contrast, God can lead us into truth. Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Those who heard Jesus say this were offended and countered, "We have never been slaves of anyone, how can you say that we shall be set free?" And Jesus explained that people are enslaved to sin, but that He can set you free.

Sin not only enslaves us, but it distances us from God. And no one is perfect. No one is righteous in God's eyes. Instead we're told that "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way." We all deserve God's judgment and punishment. Yet God, who is holy and loving, provided a solution for our sin, so that we would not have to be justly condemned. He personally took the punishment for our sin on Himself. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was tortured and died on the cross for our sin so that we could be forgiven. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead, just as He said He would. And He now offers you a relationship with Him. One of the most amazing statements in the Bible is this one, "If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The Most Important Relationship
In your search for intimacy and love, pornography is an empty substitute for real love. We have been created by God to have our intimacy needs met most deeply by God Himself. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." In contrast to the darkness and destruction that pornography can bring to people's lives, Jesus said, "I came that they might have life, and have it more abundantly." God offers you his forgiveness through a relationship with Him. Do you want to ask Him to forgive you and come into your life? You can tell Him right now. If you need help putting this into words, here is prayer that might help:

"Lord Jesus, I am aware of my sin, and I know that you are also. I ask you to forgive me and cleanse me. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I ask you to come into my life right now and begin to work in my life. Direct my life as you see fit. Thank you for your forgiveness and for coming into my life right now."


(1) New York Times, May 20, 2001, "Naked Capitalists"
(2) John 8:31-32
(3) John 8:33
(4) John 8:34
(5) Isaiah 53:6
(6) 1John 1:9
(7) John 3:16
(8) John 10:10


The Bible is Harper's Guide

PM Stephen Harper (or was it the apostle Stephen?) slammed the door on family planning. He is accused by this columnist of using the Good Book instead of a medical book. She says, "This is just a Trojan horse for your religious beliefs."
For all the statistics Harper has spouted on the 2 million women and children who die every year due to lack of proper care during pregnancy and delivery, has he not looked at a medical book instead of the Good Book?

Read the article.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

What's Your Flavour?

The Philosophy Behind the Movie Avatar

Feb 16, 2010 by Thais Campos, Suite101.com
 The movie Avatar directed by James Cameron was a huge success. Not only the 3D effects are astonishing, the story of the movie is also fascinating. Much more than a simple tale about a man who falls in love with a native girl, this enchanting movie hides deep philosophical truths that date back to ancient times.


What is an Avatar?
According to Hindu philosophy, every person incarnates many times on Earth, in different bodies and different places, in order to acquire knowledge and wisdom through the process of reincarnation. This process exists to help humans evolve and become better beings.

Mission is accomplished after many different lives, when the soul is purified after having surpassed the obstacles of the physical world. This is when the soul rests in the seventh heaven, or nirvana, as Buddhists say. However, some evolved beings will not rest until the whole humanity has evolved too, so they come back to the physical world one more time, in a new body, conscious of their wisdom, to teach humanity the path to evolution, and therefore, help them reach heaven. These people are called avatars.

Jesus, Muhammad, Zoroaster, Buddha and many others who have enlightened the world with their wisdom are said to be avatars who had the mission to lead humanity towards the light.



The Meaning and Symbolism of the Movie Avatar
Reincarnationists believe that the spirit or consciousness of every person is always the same but the body changes in different incarnations. The body dies, but the spirit remains intact.

In the movie Avatar, the consciousness of the main character, Jake Sully, is transferred to a different body while he is inside a machine. The real Jake is the one who is in the machine while the "fake" Jake is the one infiltrated among the Na'vi people. Jake has to learn the native language and habits to be able to gain the trust of the people.

This process symbolizes the role of the avatar as described in Hindu philosophy since it is said that each avatar comes to a different culture in a different time and speak to each nation in their own language in order to be heard and followed.



Eywa – the Meaning of the Sacred Tree in the Movie Avatar
In the movie Avatar, there's a tree which is considered sacred by the Na'vi people. The tree protects the balance of life, never defending a specific side but always providing whatever is necessary for the nature to remain harmonious.

This tree is also a place where the Na'vi can be in touch with their ancestors who are no longer alive. When Jake's friend dies, the Na'vi say she has merged with Eywa.

Eywa represents the Akashic records, which in eastern philosophy is a force that registers everything that happens, from a leaf that falls on the ground to the deepest thoughts of each person. When a person dies, only the body dies, the memories are never lost as the Akashic records saves them.

According to eastern traditions, Akashic reading is a psychic ability that allows initiated disciples to access the memories from the Akashic record, just as the the character Neytiri does when she unites her hair to the three. Hindu and Buddhist monks learn this practice from a young age.


The Spiritual Messages of the Movie Avatar
The most important message o the movie is that the spirit or consciousness remains the same no matter what is the body that it is "wearing", revealing the principles of reincarnation, as described in eastern philosophies.

When consciousness comes back to its original source after having experienced life in different bodies, it comes back wiser, better, richer and full of love. This is why it is believed that everybody needs to be born again many times in order to be worthy of heaven, as only one existence isn't enough to learn everything that needs to be learned.

Jake Sully, at the end, decided to go back to the Na'vi for love. This is exactly what every avatar of humanity did. Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha and many others, were so evolved that they could have stayed in the heavens, but instead, they came back to help humanity, just like Jake did to help the Na'vi. This, according to Sanskrit scriptures, is the highest level of love.

Notably, Krishna, one of the avatars described in the Vedic literature, is depicted in Hindu tradition as a blue man... coincidence?


Read more at Suite101: The Philosophy Behind the Movie Avatar: Eastern Religions – What is an Avatar?

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Masturbation

Read | Leviticus 15

Ejaculation = v. 16-18

Commandment v. 31

God will separate the clean from the unclean. If you are doing something that is unclean willingly, stop it! It is better to enter heaven without an eye. Pluck it out! Get rid of any temptation. Clean up your thoughts. God's Word will clean out all those filthy thoughts. Practise reading the Bible and applying it to your life. Memorize verses. I know we still sin, but if there is a big sin in your life that you're just holding onto, get rid of it! Even if you have already gotten rid of the big sins, if there is something still bothering you like a quick temper, work on it. Don't be so lax on your walk. Don't dilly-dally on the path. But run! You're in a race! Just like the athletes, you must train yourself so that you don't fall when others challenge you. And when times get rough, keep on practising in the Word. Grow in intimacy with the Lord. Pluck out any temptation, for it is better to enter heaven with a missing eye than to hold onto the sin that you still love, dragging it along the path, and then call out "Lord, Lord" and He tells you "Depart from Me, I never knew you." Give it up to the Lord! Focus on the reward in heaven. When you're done this race, congratulations sir or ma'am.

What About Those Who Haven't Heard The Gospel?



God reveals Himself in creation, in our conscience, and in revelation.

Romans 1:18-20

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Anti-Semitism In Universities

video

What Is God's Will?



Do what brings you closer to Him. Do what you know glorifies His name. Do what keeps you from sin. Commit your works to Him. Don't just follow your heart, for your heart can be deceived, but you need to lead your heart according to His will.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


What are some hindrances to discovering God’s will?
By Charles F. Stanley

  • Self-will: If you have already made up your mind, it will be difficult for you to hear what the Lord wants you to do.
  • The influence of others: They may give you reasons why you can’t do it or say that God would not expect you to make such a large sacrifice.
  • Ignorance of God’s Word: The next generation knows almost nothing about the Bible. Sunday school is wonderful. But children need to sit in the worship service, too—even if they don’t understand everything. Only by getting in the habit of attending church will they remain involved as adults.
  • Doubt: Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”Once you have heard God’s will, don’t start to second-guess it ( James 1:6-8).
  • Unworthiness: Every single believer is loved equally by the Father. Don’t believe the lie that you are undeserving of His guidance or grace.
  • Busyness: All of us have the same amount of time in a day; how we choose to invest it is an indication of what we value. If your life is too full to pray, you need to re-evaluate your priorities.
  • Fear: God’s will can seem impossible, destined to failure, or foolish. But remember that the Lord can bring good out of every situation (Rom. 8:28).
  • Known sin: If you are determined to live a rebellious life, the Father will not fully reveal His will to you.


How can you know for sure that you’ve heard Him correctly?

Ask yourself these questions:
Is it consistent with the Word of God? The answer you hear should line up with the clear teaching of Scripture.
Is it a wise decision? Carefully think through the consequences before making a commitment.
Can I honestly ask the Lord to help me achieve this? If you are submitted to His will, you can boldly ask for His help. But the same isn’t true regarding your own agenda.
Do I have genuine peace about it? Don’t rush to make a decision if you feel unsettled. If you lose an opportunity because you were obedient, God will bring you a better one.
Does this decision fit who I am as a follower of Jesus? Does it fit the Lord’s overall plan for my life? The Father has the best planned for you.
And finally, will this decision honour God? Unless your choice glorifies Him, it is not His will.


Scripture to read:
Jeremiah 29:11-13, Psalm 16:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Colossians 1:9, 1 John 5:14-15

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Don't Wanna Be Rich

And Obama Got A Prize?

Irena Sendler
There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena. During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw Ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive'. She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews, (being German). Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried, and she carried in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena had kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar, buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived it and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. The kids she had helped got placed into foster families or adopted.

Irena was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. She was not selected.

Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.


IN MEMORIAM - 63 YEARS LATER

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This is written in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!

Now, more than ever, with Iraq, Iran, and others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it's imperative to make sure the world never forgets, because there are others who would like to do it again.

Oprah Wouldn't Like This Church


Oprah Denies Christ ... and she calls herself a Baptist!

A Response to The Question: What about all those who have not heard the Gospel?

Oprah is wrong!

He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Psalms 98:9


All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD.
Proverbs 16:2


And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
Revelation 20:12


Notice that we are accountable for how we live our lives--what thoughts, actions, and the consequences of who we are that make it out in history. We are not judged by whether we heard the gospel or not.

He has redeemed us to God by His blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9


For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:4

And for those who cannot mentally hear like the mentally retarded, and the babies? I would refer you to John MacArthur's message.

Do not be deceived by the leaders of the world, for God will make fools of the wise and elite (1 Cor 3:19). But be like little children and believe with all your heart and strength, for the heart of a child is most cherished by the Lord (Matt 18:3). I'm not asking you to check your intelligence at the door, (Prov 14:18) but to deny yourselves and take up the cross. (Luke 9:23)

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Spiritual Maturity

Read | Acts 17:21, 1 Corinthians 16:13

Act like men! Learn your doctrine so that you can be confident in your convictions. Be manly! In modern terminology; Man up! You are not steadfast in faith until you are truly mature, so learn what you believe before you go around preaching that point of doctrine to be the only one important doctrine than all the others. Defend the faith in a manly way. This applies to everyone in the church. Be steadfast and courageous.
"Quit you like men" - 1 Corinthians 16:13 (KJV). In the late 20th century Evangelical Christians had taken this wrongfully and read it as "Quit being like men!" The actual Greek meaning is "Be men." The English Standard Version and New American Standard Bible reads; "Act like men." In modern terminology; be courageous, be brave! So many Evangelical Christians dress up in warriors clothes and pretend to be men of God. If you're going to enter the battle in earnestness, you're going to battle the world that hates you. If you're faithful, you will be persecuted. It's not enough to be bold, but you must be strong.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010