Thursday, 29 April 2010

God’s Dupes?

by Ravi Zacharias

Is the Christian faith intellectual nonsense? Are Christians deluded?

“If God exists and takes an interest in the affairs of human beings, his will is not inscrutable,” writes Sam Harris about the 2004 tsunami in Letter to a Christian Nation. “The only thing inscrutable here is that so many otherwise rational men and women can deny the unmitigated horror of these events and think this is the height of moral wisdom” (p. 48). In his article “God’s Dupes,” Harris argues, “Everything of value that people get from religion can be had more honestly, without presuming anything on insufficient evidence. The rest is self-deception, set to music” (The Los Angeles Times, March 15, 2007). Ironically, Harris’ first book is entitled The End of Faith, but it should really be called “The End of Reason,” as it demonstrates again that the mind that is alienated from God in the name of reason can become totally irrational.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

John MacArthur Predestination

Firm 'No' Given to Abortion for Harper

by David Akin and Meagan Fitzpatrick, Canwest News Service
April 26, 2010



OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives say they will not provide funding for abortions as part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's centrepiece initiative for the G8 this year to improve maternal and child health in developing countries around the world.

.....

At a recent meeting of G8 foreign ministers in Gatineau, Que., British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton both said the G8 must include abortions in any initiative aimed at improving maternal health.

Harper, in response, told the House of Commons that Canada would reserve the right to set its own policy on the issue.

"Of course G8 countries will have different priorities in terms of the specific things they fund," Harper said. "Particularly on the issue of abortion, a number of G8 countries have a different position. (But) whether it comes to our role in Afghanistan, our sovereignty over our Arctic or ultimately our foreign-aid priorities, it is Canada and Canadians who will make Canadian decisions."

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Firm+given+abortion+Harper+health+initiative/2953580/story.html#ixzz0mJdfgkrt

Sunday, 25 April 2010

W. Cleon Skousen - The Man Behind Glenn Beck

by Bill McKeever

Glenn Lee Beck has become a leading voice in American media and his radio and television programs have become quite popular among those who hold conservative political views.

Born in Everett, Washington on February 10, 1964, he converted to Mormonism in 1999 shortly after marrying his current wife Tania (Beck's first marriage ended in divorce in 1994). With all the emotion of a typical LDS fast and testimony meeting, Beck passionately proclaims his love for America while decrying the efforts of liberals to abandon the ideals fashioned by America's founding fathers. He regularly displays his in-depth knowledge of American history, and while he challenges his listeners to "Question with Boldness," many, myself included, wonder if he really did that when it comes to the dubious historical past of Mormonism.

Beck doesn't hide the fact that one of the people who has made a major impact on his political worldview is W. Cleon Skousen, a Mormon political thinker and author of The 5,000 Year Leap, a book Beck says "changed his life." First published in 1981, Beck wrote the foreword to a new edition that instantly became a top seller on Amazon.com.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

God Fearing

And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Deuteronomy 10:12

Fear is defined as reverential awe toward God. Reverence is a feeling of deep respect tinged with awe.

Unfinished

Whitney Houston - I Look To You

Friday, 23 April 2010

Putting Humans in Their Place

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - Grace to You Blog

The naturalist, if he is true to his principles, must ultimately conclude that humanity is a freak accident without any purpose or real importance. Naturalism is therefore a formula for futility and meaninglessness, erasing the image of God from our race's collective self-image, depreciating the value of human life, undermining human dignity, and subverting morality.

The drift of modern society proves the point. We are witnessing the abandonment of moral standards and the loss of humanity's sense of destiny. Rampant crime, drug abuse, sexual perversion, rising suicide rates, and the abortion epidemic are all symptoms that human life is being systematically devalued and an utter sense of futility is sweeping over society. These trends are directly traceable to the ascent of evolutionary theory.

And why not? If evolution is true, humans are just one of many species that evolved from common ancestors. We're no better than animals, and we ought not to think that we are. If we evolved from sheer matter, why should we esteem what is spiritual? In fact, if everything evolved from matter, nothing "spiritual" is real. We ourselves are ultimately no better than or different from any other living species. We are nothing more than protoplasm waiting to become manure.

As a matter of fact, that is precisely the rationale behind the modern animal-rights movement, a movement whose raison d'être is the utter degradation of the human race. Naturally, all radical animal-rights advocates are evolutionists. Their belief system is an inevitable byproduct of evolutionary theory.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is well known for its stance that animal rights are equal to (or more important than) human rights. They maintain that killing any animal for food is the moral equivalent of murder; eating meat is virtually cannibalism; and man is a tyrant species, detrimental to his environment.

PETA opposes the keeping of pets and "companion animals"—including guide dogs for the blind. A 1988 statement distributed by the organization includes this: "As John Bryant has written in his book Fettered Kingdoms, [companion animals] are like slaves, even if well-kept slaves."

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's controversial founder, says, "There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. . . . A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy" (Cited in Katie McCabe, "Who Will Live and Who Will Die?" The Washingtonian, August, 1986, p. 114). Newkirk told a Washington Post reporter that the atrocities of Nazi Germany pale by comparison to the killing animals for food: "Six million Jews died in concentration camps, but six billion broiler chickens will die this year in slaughterhouses" (Cited in Chip Brown, "She's a Portrait of Zealotry in Plastic Shoes," Washington Post, 13 November 1983, B-10).

Clearly, Ms. Newkirk is more outraged by the killing of chickens for food than she is by the wholesale slaughter of human beings. One gets the impression she would not necessarily consider the extinction of humanity an undesirable thing. In fact, she and other animal-rights advocates often sound downright misanthropic. She told a reporter, "I don't have any reverence for life, only for the entities themselves. I would rather see a blank space where I am. This will sound like fruitcake stuff again but at least I wouldn't be harming anything" (Ibid.).

And the summer issue of Wild Earth magazine, a journal promoting radical environmentalism, included a manifesto for the extinction of the human race, written under the pseudonym "Les U. Knight." The article said, "If you haven't given voluntary human extinction much thought before, the idea of a world with no people in it may seem strange. But, if you give it a chance, I think you might agree that the extinction of Homo sapiens would mean survival for millions, if not billions, of Earth-dwelling species. . . . Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental" ("Voluntary Human Extinction," Wild Earth, Vol. 1, No. 2, 72).

That is worse than merely stupid, irrational, immoral, or humiliating; it is deadly.

But there's even an organization called The Church of Euthanasia. Their Web page advocates suicide, abortion, cannibalism, and sodomy as the main ways to decrease the human population. Although the Web page contains elements of parody deliberately designed for shock value (for example, they "advocate" cannibalism with the slogan "Eat people, not animals"—to make the point that in their view the act of eating any animal is the moral equivalent of cannibalism),the people behind it are deadly serious in their opposition to the continuance of the human race. They include detailed instructions for committing suicide.

The one commandment church members are required to obey is "Thou shalt not procreate." By deliberately making their views sound as outrageous as possible, they have received widespread coverage on talk shows and tabloid-style news programs. They take advantage of such publicity to recruit members for their cause. Despite their shocking message, they have evidently been able to persuade numerous people that the one species on earth that ought to be made extinct is humanity. Their Web site boasts that people in the thousands have paid the $10 membership fee to become "church members."

That sort of lunacy is rooted in the belief that humanity is simply the product of evolution—a mere animal with no purpose, no destiny, and no likeness to the Creator. After all, if we got where we are by a natural evolutionary process, there can be no validity whatsoever to the notion that our race bears the image of God. We ultimately have no more dignity than an amoeba. And we certainly have no mandate from the Almighty to subdue the rest of creation.

And if a human being is nothing more than an animal in the process of evolving, who can argue against the animal-rights movement? Even the most radical animal-rights position is justified in a naturalistic and evolutionary world-view. If we really evolved from animals, we are in fact just animals ourselves. And if evolution is correct, it is a sheer accident that man evolved a superior intellect. If random mutations had occurred differently, apes might be running the planet and humanoids would be in the zoo. What right do we have to exercise dominion over other species that have not yet had the opportunity to evolve to a more advanced state?

Indeed, if man is merely a product of natural evolutionary processes, then he is ultimately nothing more than the accidental byproduct of thousands of haphazard genetic mutations. He is just one more animal that evolved from amoeba, and he is probably not even the highest life-form that will eventually evolve. So what is special about him? Where is his meaning? Where is his dignity? Where is his value? What is his purpose? Obviously he has none.

It is only a matter of time before a society steeped in naturalistic belief fully embraces such thinking and casts off all moral and spiritual restraint. In fact, that process has begun already. If you doubt that, consider some of the televised debauchery aimed at the MTV/Jerry Springer generation.

You're No One Special

Thursday, April 15, 2010 - Grace to You Blog

Carl Sagan, perhaps the best-known scientific celebrity of the past couple of decades. A renowned astronomer and media figure, Sagan was overtly antagonistic to biblical theism. But he became the chief televangelist for the religion of naturalism. He preached a world-view that was based entirely on naturalistic assumptions. Underlying all he taught was the firm conviction that everything in the universe has a natural cause and a natural explanation. That belief—a matter of faith, not a truly scientific observation—governed and shaped every one of his theories about the universe.

Sagan's religion included the belief that the human race is nothing special. Given the incomprehensible vastness of the universe and the impersonality of it all, how could humanity possibly be important? Sagan concluded that our race is not significant at all. In December 1996, less than three weeks before Sagan died, he was interviewed by Ted Koppel on "Nightline." Sagan knew he was dying, and Koppel asked him, "Dr. Sagan, do you have any pearls of wisdom that you would like to give to the human race?"

Sagan replied,
We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy, which is one of billions of other galaxies, which make up a universe, which may be one of a very large number—perhaps an infinite number—of other universes. That is a perspective on human life and our culture that is well worth pondering. (ABC News Nightline, December 4, 1996)

In a book published posthumously, Sagan wrote, "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves” (Pale Blue Dot, New York: Random House, 1994, p. 9).

Although Sagan resolutely tried to maintain a semblance of optimism to the bitter end, his religion led where all naturalism inevitably leads: to a sense of utter insignificance and despair. According to his word-view, humanity occupies a tiny outpost—a pale blue speck in a vast sea of galaxies. As far as we know, we are unnoticed by the rest of the universe, accountable to no one, and petty and irrelevant in a cosmos so expansive. It is fatuous to talk of outside help or redemption for the human race. No help is forthcoming. It would be nice if we somehow managed to solve some of our problems, but whether we do or not will ultimately be a forgotten bit of cosmic trivia. That, said Sagan, is a perspective well worth pondering.

All of this underscores the spiritual barrenness of naturalism. The naturalist's religion erases all moral and ethical accountability, and it ultimately abandons all hope for humanity. If the impersonal cosmos is all there is, all there ever was, and all there ever will be, then morality is ultimately moot. If there is no personal Creator to whom humanity is accountable and the survival of the fittest is the governing law of the universe, all the moral principles that normally regulate the human conscience are ultimately groundless—and possibly even deleterious to the survival of our species.

Indeed, the rise of naturalism has meant moral catastrophe for modern society. The most damaging ideologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were all rooted in Darwinism. One of Darwin's earliest champions, Thomas Huxley, gave a lecture in 1893 in which he argued that evolution and ethics are incompatible. He wrote that "the practice of that which is ethically best—what we call goodness or virtue—involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence” ("Evolution and Ethics," The Romanes Lecture, 1893).

[Note: Huxley nonetheless went on to try to justify ethics as a positive result of humanity's higher rational functions, and he called upon his audience neither to imitate "the cosmic process" nor to run away from it, but rather to combat it—ostensibly by maintaining some semblance of morality and ethics. But what he could not do—what he and other philosophers of his era did not even bother attempting to do—was offer any justification for assuming the validity of morality and ethics per se on purely naturalistic principles. Huxley and his fellow naturalists could offer no moral compass other than their own personal preferences, and predictably, their philosophies all opened the door wide for complete moral subjectivity and ultimately amorality.]

Philosophers who incorporated Darwin's ideas were quick to see Huxley's point, conceiving new philosophies that set the stage for the amorality and genocide that characterized so much of the twentieth century.

Karl Marx, for example, self-consciously followed Darwin in the devising of his economic and social theories. He inscribed a copy of his book Das Kapital to Darwin, "from a devoted admirer." He referred to Darwin's The Origin of Species as "the book which contains the basis in natural history for our view” (Stephen Jay Gould, Ever Since Darwin, New York: Norton, 1977, p. 26).

Herbert Spencer's philosophy of "Social Darwinism" applied the doctrines of evolution and the survival of the fittest to human societies. Spencer argued that if nature itself has determined that the strong survive and the weak perish, this rule should govern society as well. Racial and class distinctions simply reflect nature's way. There is therefore no transcendent moral reason to be sympathetic to the struggle of the disadvantaged classes. It is, after all, part of the natural evolutionary process—and society would actually be improved by recognizing the superiority of the dominant classes and encouraging their ascendancy. The racialism of writers such as Ernst Haeckel (who believed that the African races were incapable of culture or higher mental development) was also rooted in Darwinism.

Friedrich Nietzsche's whole philosophy was based on the doctrine of evolution. Nietzsche was bitterly hostile to religion, and particularly Christianity. Christian morality embodied the essence of everything Nietzsche hated; he believed Christ's teaching glorified human weakness and was detrimental to the development of the human race. He scoffed at Christian moral values such as humility, mercy, modesty, meekness, compassion for the powerless, and service to one another. He believed such ideals had bred weakness in society. Nietzsche saw two types of people—the master-class, an enlightened, dominant minority; and the "herd," sheeplike followers who were easily led. And he concluded that the only hope for humanity would be when the master-class evolved into a race of Übermenschen (supermen), unencumbered by religious or social mores, who would take power and bring humanity to the next stage of its evolution.

It's not surprising that Nietzsche's philosophy laid the foundation for the Nazi movement in Germany. What is surprising is that at the dawn of the twenty-first century, Nietzsche's reputation has been rehabilitated by philosophical spin-doctors and his writings are once again trendy in the academic world. Indeed, his philosophy—or something very nearly like it—is what naturalism must inevitably return to.

All of these philosophies are based on notions that are diametrically opposed to a biblical view of the nature of man, because they all start by embracing a Darwinian view of the origin of humanity. They are rooted in anti-Christian theories about human origins and the origin of the cosmos, and therefore it is no wonder that they stand in opposition to biblical principles at every level.

The simple fact of the matter is that all the philosophical fruits of Darwinism have been negative, ignoble, and destructive to the very fabric of society. Not one of the major twentieth-century revolutions led by post-Darwinian philosophies ever improved or ennobled any society. Instead, the chief social and political legacy of Darwinian thought is a full spectrum of evil tyranny with Marx-inspired communism at one extreme and Nietzsche-inspired fascism at the other. And the moral catastrophe that has disfigured modern Western society is also directly traceable to Darwinism and the rejection of the early chapters of Genesis.

At this moment in history, even though most of modern society is already fully committed to an evolutionary and naturalistic world view, our society still benefits from the collective memory of a biblical worldview. People in general still believe human life is special. They still hold remnants of biblical morality, such as the notion that love is the greatest virtue (1 Corinthians 13:13); service to one another is better than fighting for personal dominion (Matthew 20:25-27); and humility and submission are superior to arrogance and rebellion (1 Peter 5:5).

But to whatever degree secular society still holds those virtues in esteem, it does so entirely without any philosophical foundation. Having already rejected the God revealed in Scripture and embraced instead pure naturalistic materialism, the modern mind has no grounds whatsoever for holding to any ethical standard; no reason whatsoever for esteeming "virtue" over "vice"; and no justification whatsoever for regarding human life as more valuable than any other form of life. Modern society has already abandoned its moral foundation.

Gossip Question

The World is Full of Gossip, Has the Church Caught the Disease? Are We Addicted to Gossip?

The Slavery of Serving Worldiness

American Idol Backs Abortion

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) - The popular talent television show American Idol has again decided to align itself with pro-abortion groups for its annual "Idol Gives Back" fund- raising campaign. The program, which aired on Wednesday, will send donations from viewers to Save the Children and the United Nations Foundation, both of which back abortion.

Save the Children has a working relationship with what it describes as "prominent international organizations," but the groups read like a who's who of the pro-abortion movement.

They include the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights legal group, the mammoth Planned Parenthood Federation of America abortion business, Population Action International, and the U.S. Committee for UNICEF.

Save the Children says "family planning" has been a "critical component" of its work for nearly 20 years and its alliance with Planned Parenthood means promoting abortion is included in that.

The 2008 American Idol Gives Back program funded UNICEF, which also supports abortion, and Save the Children.

Ironically, American Idol has produced pro-life finalists and a winner, Jordin Sparks, who is a long-time pro-life advocate.




Should we even be watching a show called "Idol"? I've always enjoyed watching the auditions, but always felt uncomfortable watching people get worshipped by teenage girls. The fact that the show is just feeding the idea to kids that being famous is the best thing in the world makes it blasphemous. It's poison! It just fills them with so much self-esteem, inverted admiration, personal affluence, and seeking for the world's approval. Just watch the auditions for American Idol and you'll see the outcome of parents who promote self-esteem to their kids. If you ask most children today what they want to be when they grow up, what would they say? Would they say a doctor, a teacher, an astronaut? Or would they say, "I want to be famous!" or "I want to be rich!" 2 Timothy 3:2.
No one can serve two Gods. Matthew 6:24. Do not be a slave to the things of the world. 1 Corinthians 7:23.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The New World View

Let me start with a selection from A Christian Manifesto, written by Francis A. Schaeffer,
We must understand that the question of the dignity of human life is not something on the periphery of Judeo-Christian thinking, but almost in the centre of it (though now the center because  the center is the existence of God Himself). But the dignity of the human life is unbreakably linked to the existence of the personal-infinite God. It is because there is a personal-infinite God who has made men and women in His own image that they have a unique dignity of life as human beings. Human life then is filled with dignity, and the state and humanistically orientated law have no right and no authority to take human life arbitrarily in the way that it is being taken.

Take into consideration this sermon clip of Pastor John MacArthur.



Let's continue from the book A Christian Manifesto,
A girl who has been working with the Somalian refugees has just been in our home and told us their story and shown us their pictures. One million—and especially little children—in agony, pain, and suffering! Can we help but cry? But forget it! In the United States we now kill by painful methods one and a half times that many each year by abortion. In Somalia it is war. But we kill in cold blood. The compassion our country has been known somewhat for is being killed; it is humanness which the humanist world view is beating to death.
The people of the Unites States have lived under the Judeo-Christian consensus for so long that now we take it for granted. We seem to forget how completely unique what we have had is a result of the gospel. The gospel indeed is, "accept Christ, the Messiah, as Savior and have your guilt removed on the basis of His death." But the good news includes many resulting blessings. We have forgotten why we have a high view of life, and why we have a positive balance between form and freedom in government, and the fact that we have such tremendous freedoms without these freedoms leading in chaos. Most of all, we have forgotten that none of these is natural in the world. They are unique, based on the fact that the consensus was the biblical consensus. And these things will be even further lost if this other total view, the materialistic view, takes over more thoroughly. We can be certain that what we so carelessly take for granted will be lost.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Why I'm Not, Not A Christian

A Response to “Why I’m Not A Christian” by JT Eberhard at zerowing21.xanga.com (click on the link to read the article)

I can understand how you feel, but being nice doesn't earn your way to heaven. Actually, the bible teaches that there is nothing you can do to make it to heaven. Everyone is trying to work their way to heaven, but not one of us will make it on our own strength because we all have sinned. Since Adam and Eve sinned at the beginning mankind has been tainted with sin. None of us are able to make it to heaven because we are not perfect. God is perfect and because He is He cannot have sin in His presence. Since God is all loving He will not allow any evil in His presence. If you were to ask Him why He doesn’t just get rid of all the evil in the world and punish the wicked, He'd have to destroy the whole world or cast a flood because we are all guilty of breaking His law, but He won't because He promised us a way to be redeemed.
As in the beginning when Abel brought a spotless lamb as a sacrifice to God, and God was pleased with it, so throughout the past we have seen sacrifices of lambs and rams for sins. In so, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to prove his obedience, God stopped him and provided to him a ram as a substitute, and God said He would provide. In Leviticus it is said that if there is no lamb present for a sacrifice for sin (atonement for our iniquities) then a ram should be a replacement, or doves, or pigeons. Over 2,000 years ago God provided that sacrifice. A perfect and spotless lamb—Jesus Christ. He was God in the flesh—a sinless man. Only God could provide atonement for our sins. Only Jesus could fulfil the law. The law was God’s curse on us because since He knew we cannot be perfect He made a system for us to follow—the ten commandments, plus the sacrifices which foreshadowed the ultimate sacrifice in the future through the Messiah/Christ Jesus.
You see, only by God can we be redeemed. Only if you believe in what Jesus did on the cross for your sins, confessing your sins, then humbling yourself to him, then you’ll be forgiven. God must know you before you enter His gates. So many people believe or say they know Him but God doesn’t know them. It’s like walking up to Parliament Hill saying “I know the Prime Minister, let me in!”, or walking up to the White House and saying “I know the President, let me in!” The Prime Minister has to know who you are before you can be granted entrance into his house.
No one and I mean no one will enter heaven without repenting, confessing your sins and turning away from them (not to live perfectly, but to go into a new direction), turning to the narrow path which is the way Jesus Christ showed. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. No other religion will get you there. The Koran doesn’t even believe in sin, and neither do any other of the religions. They all teach you that you can work your way to heaven, or reincarnate yourself, or reality is just a figment of your imagination. Only Christianity gives you a real God, with a real world, and a reality in which we can perceive God and His invisible attributes. We are capable of knowing right from wrong by our conscience which God planted into us. The bible says, “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” Jeremiah 31:33. But even the devil can deceive us of what is truth, just like he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. We mistaken God’s truth and trade it for Satan’s lie. That is why we have the bible, and God’s word written by men not only inspired by God, but eye witnesses of Him.  “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.” 1 John 1:1.
Without God, we are left with the world and its naturalistic/material viewpoint. From the material worldview, or change concept of final reality, final reality is, and must be by its nature, silent as to values, principles, or any basis for law. There is no way to ascertain “the ought” from “the is.” On the basis of this viewpoint of reality there are no other conclusions that this view could produce. It is a natural result of really believing that the basic reality of all things is merely material-energy, shaped into its present form by impersonal chance.
The god of the Koran is a natural god, and that’s what attracts people to Islam. God is not involved or in a relationship with man, and bad things happen just because we are not perfect and Allah is okay with that because he understands... so you can outweigh the good with the bad. But how is that a loving God? A loving God would punish the law breaker. How is that a reasonable God? Try that in court.
The bible teaches us that God is a personal being. He is a relationship being—three persons in one. God the Father, the Son(the Word, and who became flesh to atone for our sins), and the Holy Spirit(who comes to dwells in us), all working in relationship as one. God is conceivable, not as a simulation in the mind, but in reality. He wants a relationship with us just like an earthly loving father would want a relationship with his own children. He is jealous for us to know Him. He loves us and was willing to humble himself and live lowly with us sinners to show who He is and to sacrifice himself to us. What brother wouldn’t give his life for another in battle? He knows we need a saviour, so He sent His Son to take on all the sins. He was baptised in the river for the people’s uncleanliness just like the sheep, then he fasted in the wilderness to be taunted by the devil for 40 days, as it was written in scripture, then was hung on a tree to take upon himself the wrath of His Father that we deserve.
Jesus said, if you even look at a woman with intent of lust, you have committed adultery with her in your mind. Jesus also said that if you hate someone, or call them an idiot, you are committing murder in your heart. God looks at the inside, at the heart, not what’s on the outside like all those false gods. He cares about your soul and wants you to be reconciled with Him forever. He loves you. Yes, He must punish law breakers but He does not delight in it. We can see that by example of Jesus in John 11:35, Luke 19:41,45 and by Elisha when he wept 2 Kings 8:11. It is because those people had turned away from Him and done vile and indecent acts. But God rejoices when a lost one returns to Him. Just read Luke 15. And because God loves us so much, we spares us from the wrath, only if we believe in Him. You see, we have lived our lives in rebellion to Him. If we ignore this message, we are spitting in His face, the one who gave us breath, food, our life! How could we turn down such a message? Because it sounds foolish, because it doesn’t fit to the god we have created in our own minds. It doesn’t fit our agenda, our point-of-view, or our life style. We reject His truth for our own.
Back to regarding to our own worldviews, we have to understand that it is one total entity opposed to the other total entity. It concerns truth in regard to final and total reality. And our view of final reality—whether it is material-energy, shaped by impersonal chance, or the living personal God and Creator—will determine our position on every crucial issue we face today. Please, think about this. Your life depends on the decision you make today about the message of the Gospel. God offers you life through Jesus Christ, today.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Anselm: The Existence of God

Anselm
In his book Cur Deus Homo? Anselm (1033–1109) explains the necessity of the incarnation. In his Monologium, he explains his understanding of knowledge. In the Proslogion, he develops his ontological argument for the existence of God.
Anselm explains that God is not just a simulation of the brain. The God he believes in (of the Bible) does not only exist as a being in the mind, but in reality as well. God is a being, and therefore must exist not only believed as being, but also in the mind as reality. He is not just a made-up God inside the mind, but is conceivable in reality. God existed before man could have an imagination. Just because we can conceive God in our mind does not mean that He then exists. It's because you can't think a being into existence without having a mental concept of being. God is logically a necessary being. God by definition is. God is the being beyond what we can conceive. You can't think of being as not being. R.C. Sproul said, "The impossibility of the contrary is the rule that says, something cannot be. It's opposite intellectually, logically, or rationally so that the being who is greater than which no other can be conceived cannot even be conceived of as not being."


Warrengate - Rick Warren And John Piper

This is concerning the invitation from Dr. John Piper to Rick Warren asking him to be a keynote speaker at the Desiring God Conference 2010, which has opened up a bit of a Warrengate across the blogosphere. Yesterday Justin Taylor offered The Piper-Warren Connection Revisited over at his Between Two Worlds for The Gospel Coalition.

In his post Taylor points us to “two thoughtful entries on the debate.” One is a post by Trevin Wax called John Piper with Rick Warren: Compromise?; and yes, it is compromise. While Dr. Rick Warren says he holds to Reformed theology his open and very public embrace of the apostate Roman Catholic Church as brothers in Christ actually reveals his stance to be decidely contra Reformation theology.

Wax begins with a quick recap of what brought this Warrengate on:

A couple weeks ago, John Piper announced that he had invited Rick Warren to speak at the Desiring God conference this fall. His announcement caused an uproar in some parts of the Reformed blogosphere. Some even questioned Piper’s commitment to the gospel, wondering out loud if he is a “wolf” in sheep’s clothing… (Online source)

Then Wax discusses the issue of separation as it pertains to Independent Baptists before offering some his “thoughts regarding this controversy.” The other post Taylor points us to is On the Warren-Piper Connection by Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs. You may know Johnson is also executive director of Grace to You, which is the ministry of Dr. John MacArthur, who is himself very good friends with John Piper.

Johnson reminds us “Rick Warren will headline the list of speakers at next October’s Desiring God Conference”; and then shares his view:

Of course I think it’s a bad turn of events, and I didn’t find Dr. Piper’s rationale for handing his platform over to Warren satisfying at all. I was surprised when I heard about it, but on second thought, I have to admit that it is consistent with Dr. Piper’s modus operandi. Last year some people were appalled, others delighted, when Doug Wilson spoke at the conference. The year before that, the blogosphere was all abuzz with strong passions for months because Mark Driscoll would be the featured speaker. In 2007, it was John MacArthur, who (let’s face it) is hardly a John Piper clone...

as much as I differ from Piper on the question of who deserves his imprimatur, there’s at least an equal measure of difference between what I think is the proper way to respond to Piper and the way some of his most vocal critics have responded. I’m appalled and ashamed at how some on my side of this debate have expressed their disagreement with Dr. Piper. (Online source)

For Johnson Warrengate “reflects in microcosm why the evangelical and fundamentalist movements of the 20th century have both failed so egregiously.” He then offers “some observations about John Piper, Rick Warren, the critics, and the biblical duty of separation,” and not only from “false teachers (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 1:8-9; 2 John 7-11), but also “from deliberately, incorrigibly disobedient brethren (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Corinthians 5:11)” as well.

Phil Johnson, rightly in my estimation, speaks well of John Piper’s labors in the Lord even though he respectfully differs “with him on some fairly important issues, mostly related to his belief that the charismatic gifts are still fully operative.” I know I fully agree with Johnson when he says that “ungodly passions are a massive problem in the church today,” and further, “especially in the charismatic fringe.” I’d suggest that it’s even deeper into mainstream evangelicalism than most people know.

Like Johnson I also wish “Dr. Piper were more vocal in warning against that kind of imbalance” as well as the imbalance from those evangelicals becoming involved with the corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism of Richard Foster, and his spiritual twin Dallas Willard, whom Dr. Piper’s been known to quote favorably. And Johnson’s also dead-on-target when he says:

Furthermore, human passion and biblical discernment can be like oil and water—a truth Dr. Piper acknowledges in principle. Unbridled passion and feelings-based judgments are deadly to discernment. Hang onto that thought, because it will come up again later in this post. It’s a principle that works both ways. (Online source)

Johnson then gives a very accurate assessment of Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren:

I can’t think of anyone who would make a finer poster-boy for the pragmatic, spiritually impoverished, gospel-deprived message of modern and postmodern evangelicalism than Rick Warren. He is shallow, pragmatic, and chameleonic. He is a spiritual changeling who will say whatever his audience wants to hear. He wants desperately to be liked and accepted by Muslims, evangelicals, and everyone in between…

Warren has squandered too many opportunities to proclaim the gospel accurately and muffed too many questions on national television to be given a platform by one of the leading figures of Together for the Gospel, The Gospel Coalition, and similar movements whose central goal, after all, is to undo the damage Warren’s philosophy has caused in the evangelical movement.

The massive problems with Warren’s ministry philosophy are well documented. The same with his practice of softening, omitting, or denying key gospel truths about sin, judgment, the wrath of God, and the necessity of repentance. A preacher doesn’t have to affirm heresy or overtly deny truth in order to be dangerous… (Online source)

Agreed; however, Rick Warren is heretical in, at least, his double-minded stance concerning the Roman Catholic Church. Please know I’m not saying Phil Johnson doesn’t believe that; my point is, while Warren can possibly hide in the weeds concerning his strong-arm bullying tactics with hostile PDL church take-overs, his pragmatism and such, he has absolutely nowhere to hide concerning his sinful embrace of the Church of Rome as being “in God’s family.” [1]

Rick Warren’s fellow DG 2010 speaker Dr. R.C. Sproul is right when he says:

I admire the Church, the Roman communion of the 16th century for at least understanding what apparently people don’t understand today, and that is what is at stake here. That they understood that somebody is under the anathema of God! And we can be as nice, and as pleasant, and as gentle, and as loving, and as charitable, and tolerant as we can possibly be, but it’s not going to change that folks.

Somebody is preaching a different gospel! And when Rome condemned the Protestant declaration of “Justification by faith alone” I believe, Rome, when placing the anathema on “sola fide (L.),” placed the anathema of God upon themselves. I agree with his [John MacArthur] assessment, that the institution [Roman Catholic Church] is apostate! (Online source)

This means that Rick Warren is in sin to accept as Christian an organization who has cursed the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself; it also makes him double-minded biblically because he claims to “hold to the five solas of the Reformation.” [2] Therefore, following Romans 16:17-18, John Piper should be marking Warren out publicly as I just have; and because Warren’s sowing division in the visible church, Dr. Piper he should not be offering Rick Warren a forum in Christian fellowship.

Johnson also discusses the issue of criticism surrounding Warrengate:

Speaking of Twitter chatter and Facebook feedback, I can’t touch on this whole subject without pointing out that the tone of some of the criticism leveled at Dr. Piper is simply revolting… I remarked on the radio this week that I think a lot of Dr. Piper’s critics have been too shrill, too hysterical, too trigger-happy, too eager for immediate reprisals, and too disrespectful to Dr. Piper… (Online source)

Since AM isn’t on Twitter or Facebook I can’t really speak to that; however, what I will say is that from what I’ve seen in my 5+ years doing online apologetics and discernment work, there’s no shortage of people attempting to be “discerning” who actually are quite “odious.” And, sadly, it does reflect badly upon those of us whom Jesus has sent into this oft-ugly, and largely thankless, mission field. Johnson then finishes up his post with a teaching on separation, which is also worth the read.

________________________________________________________________________________
Endnotes:

1. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05316/605324.stm, accessed 4/9/10.
2. http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/03/31/rick-warren-monergist/, accessed 4/9/10.

Source: http://apprising.org/

Friday, 9 April 2010

The Nature of Justice - Amartya Sen



Even the heathen understands that the survival-of-the-fittest was the theocracy behind the experiments conducted by Nazism. Also, Hitler used his diluted idea of God as a scapegoat, using religion so that the people would follow him.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

A Day of Reckoning



I had a brush with death when I was 18 then again when I was 19. As naive as I was and ignorant of who He was, I "made a deal" with God as well. I had a second chance so I wanted to live my life better, not to take any crazy risks. It wasn't till a few years later that I found Christ. Prior to when I was 19, I was comfortable just not knowing who God is and what happens when I die.

When I was 19 I started to look in the Bible, I kept reading from time to time until I was reading more and more. When I was 20 I took into consideration of God in the Bible. I fell in love with His word. The first book I read was Genesis up to the part about Noah and the Ark, then I put it down for a while. Later on I picked it up again and read Ecclesiastes. As I was reading I felt like God was reading my mind. Whenever my dad tried to share something of God to me I just ignored him. That worked for him, but I felt like it wasn't for me. But I saw the difference in him and my brother. I thought I could never get a long with them. I remember walking past the living room once while my parents were watching a program called InTouch with Charles Stanley. I was just passing by until I stopped by the corner of the wall when his message caught my attention. I don't remember what he was talking about but I remember that I finally heard about God's grace and love. This love part was a big shock. I wanted to know who this God was and the gospel drew my attention. I heard words like repent and surrender, but I hadn't really grasped the idea, because if anything didn't I owe something to Him? Don't I have to prove myself in the way I live my life? What did this mean to surrender?

I grew up with good morals and listening and respecting the Jewish people, especially through the eyes of my parents who got gifts from my mother's sister that she bought in Israel. I remember when I was a child watching Fiddler on the Roof, and when our whole family went on a long road trip through the United States listening to traditional Jewish folk music. As a teenager I called myself a Christian because that's what I thought I was spiritually. I believed that there was a God and an afterlife, but I never read the Bible. I called myself a Christian and had an idea of God but I was agnostic. I didn't really live like a Christian. So, I re-examined my life the morning after waking up at the hospital. Where was my life going? This isn't right. I felt shame and guilt for my life. God pierced my heart that night.

One night I came home in the middle of the night after drinking again with some friends. I came to the end of myself, I wanted to stop. I was 20 years old and I wanted to give up. I had so many dreams to look forward to, and so many things that meant a lot to me. But those were just things, what was most important to me was my very own soul. What was worth while under the sun? The answers to life's biggest questions were left unanswered within the naturalist world.
The media, tv, and material culture left all answers open to every person's imagination. To the post-modern world there was no real truth. "Truth is in the eye of the beholder." I didn't believe that. It sounded comforting but diluted. Truth is subjective? That is sheer lunacy! The mere fact that someone says that is on a disjointed discourse to collapsing any argument onto themselves. The post-modern world sees absolute truth as incognizable. I saw the world as it was--an insane asylum. Anything goes, and there are no consequences. There is no shame, and no guideline on which to live by. It's survival of the fittest, but people chose to live that way or not.
The intellectuals of the world have so many ideas, the psychologists have cognitive experiments but no solutions, but there were no answers to the affections of the heart. There was nothing in life that could erase my memory from shameful acts. I needed a saviour. I knew deep down that I needed assurance. I walked to the back yard and knelt down. I surrendered my life to Him. I asked Him to reveal Himself to me and if He was there, I'm willing to lie down my life for Him and follow Him.

A couple more years pass and I'm reading through the New Testament. I started at the Gospel of Luke. I was on my way to Finland to study International Business. It was September and school started. Boy, did I ever have fun meeting new people from around the world. I made so many friends. It was just a few weeks into the semester when I was listening to a radio program via the internet from the US called The Way of The Master Radio (which is now Wretched Radio). I had started listening to it at my job at the auto auction before I left Canada. I listened to this caller talk about his sin, and it was the same big sin I had. The host of the show told him that if he didn't stop it, it would kill him, spiritually. He then went through the law on the show many times and I finally understood what a sinner I was. I was looking into myself and thinking about all the sins that I had committed and especially the ones I would never tell anyone. But God knew them. My heart broke. The host explained about justification and sanctification, and that in Jesus alone I will conquer my sins. He also said that in Jesus alone, you must put your faith. Now is the day, and don't wait till it's too late, you don't know your last day on earth. I finally knew my relationship with God. It was made through Jesus on the cross. I saw my own heart before Jesus Christ. I admitted who I was and how sinful my heart is before Him.

The year after that I had struggled so much. God had convicted me in so many things. I was dating the wrong girl, then I felt like God was calling me to ministry, so I left Finland and I got baptised in my home town in Airdrie, Alberta. After that I ended the relationship with that girl, there was no relationship without Jesus in the centre. I spent the rest of the year figuring out what God wanted me to do. I applied to bible school in Calgary. I got accepted but there was a mix up on my application. The program that I had applied for was cancelled. So, since I was still enrolled in the business program in Finland, I just flew back to continue in that as Plan B.

Here I am now, finishing my first year in IB. I've been in touch with a friend in Brazil via a Christian networking site (No, I wasn't looking for a date). This past January I told her that I love her. I've prayed and prayed for someone like her, until God kinda nudged me and made me listen to my own words. "Like her?" I said, "It is her!" She was the answer to all my prayers. And now I'm in pursuit to be with her. I'm leaving to Canada this spring, then I'll fly down to Brazil for five weeks from June till July. When Jesus is at the centre, anything is possible!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Prosperity Gospel


Prosperity gospel supporters "believe that faith works as a mighty power or force. That it is through their faith that they can obtain anything they want such as health, wealth, or any form of personal success. However, this force is only released through their faith." Adherents of the Prosperity Gospel, almost always also part of the word of faith movement, usually hold to the tenet that God never grants suffering or poverty, and that both always should be attributed to sin and Satan in every way, and in no way attributed to God. For example, Kenneth Copeland writes,
"Tradition has taught that God uses sicknesses, trials, and tribulation to teach us. This idea, however, is not based on the Bible. God has never used sickness to discipline His children and keep them in line. Sickness is of Satan, and God doesn't need Satan to straight us out! "Kenneth, I see Christians that are sick all the time. Why does God allow it?" God allows it because we do. Why? Because He's given us the right to make our own choices, along with authority over the kingdom of darkness. According to Deuteronomy 30:19, He has put life and death before us. Then He instructed us to choose life. It's up to us to make that decision. You have the power to live after God's ways and resist sickness, or not to. You have the choice to let Satan run over you, or use the authority you have been given. Good gifts come from God. No matter what tradition has taught, sickness and disease simply don't fall into the category of good gifts---ever."

Criticism

God himself is the chief blessing
While it is true that God often shows his goodness by granting health and wealth, we must see these as secondary blessings. The primary blessing is knowing God himself (Psalm 27:4; John 17:3), and all secondary blessing is meant to point to him. We will enjoy health and material blessing to a degree unfathomable at the resurrection, but while on this fallen earth, preparing in a spiritual battle for either heaven or hell, we must remember the words of Proverbs:
"Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, 'Who is the Lord?' or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God." (Proverbs 30:7-9)

Jesus warned of the danger of wealth
Jesus frequently warned against the allure of wealth. In Matthew 19, after Jesus told the rich young man, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me" (v. 21), he said:
"Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:23-24)

And in Matthew 6:
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21)

And in Luke 6:
"But woe to you that are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you that are full now, for you shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep." (Luke 6:24-25)

Suffering is a blessed means of producing endurance and testing genuineness
When we define (either implicitly or explicitly) blessedness chiefly as having material things and good health, and obligate God to bless us with these things, we ignore scripture which speaks of the sufferings of the followers of Christ as a badge of honor, and a means of producing endurance and testing genuineness. Paul wrote,
"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake" (Philippians 1:29, emphasis added).
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:3-5, emphasis added)

Peter wrote,
"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7, emphasis added)

And we have David saying,
"It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes." (Psalm 119:71)

And lastly, James writes a sober warning to those who have "lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence":
"Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter." (James 5:1-5)

God's goodness is not bound by our exacting demands
The theology of the Prosperity Gospel also distrusts God's higher prerogative and wisdom and sovereignty--God has the final, supreme right to answer our prayers how and when he pleases. His wise goodness is not bound by our exacting demands.

Quotes

"My God is a God who wants me to have things. He wants me to bling. He wants me to be the hottest thing on the block. I don t know what kind of God the rest of y all are serving, but the God I serve says, 'Mary, you need to be the hottest thing this year, and I m gonna make sure you re doing that'." - Mary J. Blige

"He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep. There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger. Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart." (Ecclesiastes 5:10-20)


Reference: Theopedia.com

Word of Faith Movement

The Word of Faith movement or word-faith theology developed in the latter half of the 20th century in mainly Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. Its beginnings trace back to an early twentieth century evangelical pastor, E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948), who preached that God would award financial and other gifts if the faithful would ask. Kenyon coined the phrase, "What I confess, I possess." Kenneth E. Hagin is often credited with being the father of the modern Word of Faith movement, using a four-part formula he claimed to have received from Jesus: "Say it; do it; receive it; tell it."

Proponents of the doctrine include Oral Roberts, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Jerry Savelle, Charles Capps, Bill Winston, Creflo Dollar, Charles Nieman, Hobart Freeman, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, and Marilyn Hickey, among others. They teach that Christians must claim the grace God has promised them, whether in material goods, health, social position, or roles within the church.


Teachings

Faith
Probably the most distinctive teaching of the word-faith movement is "an idealized and prescriptive conception of faith that diminishes the relational and personal dimensions of Christian spirituality... [They push] the logic of faith to an idealized and absolute conclusion".


Health and material prosperity
The word-faith movement promotes "an enthusiasm for material prosperity as a concrete expression of the goodness of God towards his people that is difficult to square with the high value placed, for various reasons, on poverty in the Bible, and which is likely to compromise the church s prophetic voice."
The "health and wealth" teachings have been heavily criticized for avoiding scripture that warns against material prosperity (eg. Luke 6:20, Matthew 19:24, Ezekiel 16:49, James 2:5) and tells of the importance of helping the poor (eg. Isaiah 58:5-7, Luke 12:33 Mark 10:21, Acts 20:35, Psalm 82:1-5; Proverbs 19:17, 21:13, 22:9, 24:31, 29:7; Luke 20:37-42, Acts 10:5).

See main page: Prosperity gospel

Salvation history
The word-faith movement teaches "a narrative of salvation history that is at odds with mainstream evangelical thinking at a number of crucial points".

Christ's Spiritual Death
"Spiritual death means something more than separation from God. Spiritual death also means having Satan's nature. Jesus tasted death, spiritual death, for every man." (Kenneth E. Hagin, The Name of Jesus (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1981), 31.

"The righteousness of God was made to be sin. He accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit. And at the moment that He did so, He cried, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" You don t know what happened at the cross. Why do you think Moses, upon instruction of God, raised the serpent upon that pole instead of a lamb? That used to bug me. I said, "Why in the world would you want to put a snake up there the sign of Satan? Why didn t you put a lamb on that pole?" And the Lord said, "Because it was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross." He said, "I accepted, in My own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off." (Kenneth Copeland, "What Happened from the Cross to the Throne" (Fort Worth, TX: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1990), audiotape #02-0017, side 2.

"He (Jesus) accepted the sin nature of Satan in His own spirit." (Kenneth Copeland; "Christianity in Crisis" by Hank Hanegraaf, pg. 157-158, quoted in "Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin, pg. 501)

Man's Divinity
"I am a little God! Critics be gone" (Paul Crouch, "Praise the Lord," TBN, July 7, 1986, quoted in "The kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin pg. 504)

"We are a class of Gods! You don't have a god in you, you are one." (Kenneth Copeland, leader of Kenneth Copeland Ministries; "Christianity in Crisis" by Hank Hanegraaf, pgs. 110, 116, quoted in "Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin, pg. 504)

"The eternal life He (God) came to give us is the nature of God...It is, in reality, God imparting His very nature, substance, and being to our human spirits...Many in the great body of Full Gospel people do not know that the new birth is a real incarnation. They do not know that they are as much sons as daughters of God as Jesus...Jesus was first divine, and then he was human. So He was in the flesh a divine human being. I was first human, and so were you, but I was born of God, so I became a human-divine being." (Kenneth Hagin, "ZOE: The God-Kind of Life," (1989): 1-2,27,40, quoted in "Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin, pg. 505)

"The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth." (Kenneth Hagin "The Incarnation" in the Word of Faith, Dec. 1980: 14, quoted in "Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin, pg. 505)

"We are the Word made flesh, just as Jesus was." (Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Copeland Ministries; Crenshaw, "Man of God", 202, quoted in "Kingdom of the Cults" by Walter Martin, pg. 505)


Reference: Theopedia.com

Criticism

Monday, 5 April 2010

300th Post! Undercover Ethics: An Atheist Infiltrates the Church



Watch the full video at FORA.tv.

Militant Atheism: A Tribute to Richard Dawkins


Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL was born on the 26th of March 1941 in Nairobi, Colony of Kenya, British Empire. His father, Clinton John Dawkins, was an agricultural civil servant in the British colonial service, in Nyasaland (now Malawi). His father was called up into the King's African Rifles during the second world war and was based in Kenya, returning to England in 1949, when Richard was eight. Both of his parents were interested in natural sciences, and they answered Dawkins' questions in scientific terms.

Dawkins describes his childhood as "a normal Anglican upbringing". Though he began having doubts about the existence of God when he was about nine years old, he was persuaded by the argument from design, an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, or design in nature. By his mid-teens, he had instead concluded that the theory of evolution was a better explanation for life's complexity, and became non-religious.

Dawkins is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science author. He was formerly Professor for Public Understanding of Science at Oxford and was a fellow of New College, Oxford. He came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to evolutionary biology with the concept, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism's body, but can stretch far into the environment, including the bodies of other organisms.

Dawkins is a prominent critic of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argued against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he described evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker. He has since written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics.

Dawkins is a prominent and outspoken atheist, secular humanist, sceptic, scientific rationalist, and supporter of the Brights movement. He has been referred to in the media as "Darwin's Rottweiler", by analogy with English biologist T. H. Huxley, who was known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's evolutionary ideas. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that faith qualifies as a delusion − as a fixed false belief. As of November 2007, the English language version had sold more than 2 million copies and had been translated into 31 other languages, making it his most popular book to date.

Reference: Wikipedia.org




Links:

The Origin of Species

Darwin and the case for 'militant atheism'

Pro-Darwin consensus doesn't rule out intelligent design

Dawkins: Evangelist an 'idiot' on evolution

Dawkins: The Origin of Species (YLE)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Come Awake



Our God is not dead, He's alive! Christ is raised from the dead.

If your conscience is bothering you, think about the message of Jesus Christ. He freely gives you His love and forgiveness today if you accept it.

If you don't think this is true, please find out for yourself. No religion or good deeds can earn your way to heaven. The bible says that God sees our good deeds as filthy as a menstrual cloth or dog vomit. Harsh words, but God is not impressed if we take any credit for our redemption. No matter how good we think we are, we cannot work our way to heaven.

If God is a just and good judge, then He will judge every one of us accordingly to His will. He is perfect and good. No one is good and no one is perfect except Him. And since we are not perfect, we fall short of God's will. We all deserve hell. It doesn't matter what you feel about this situation, it's the truth. Some of us reject the Gospel because we don't want to believe that someone is watching over us, and we want to live our lives according to our own lifestyle. Just because we choose to live another lifestyle, it doesn't mean the law doesn't exist. God will judge every one of us by His law. Everyone has broken the law. Just examine yourself with the Ten Commandments.

God shows no partiality. For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the word is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Romans 2:11-16

Have you every stolen anything, irrelevant of its value?

Have you ever hated someone? Jesus said if you even hate someone, like call someone a bad name, you committing murder in your heart.

Have you ever looked at a person with sexual intent? Jesus said if you look at a woman with lust you have committed adultery with her already in your heart.

Have you ever told a lie?

Have you ever desired something because you were unhappy with what God has provided for you? Been jealous(envious) of what someone has instead of what God has provided for you?

Have you put God first in your life? Loved Him more than anything or anyone?

These are only six of the Commandments. If you just break one of these laws you’re guilty. It doesn’t matter how many times; you’ve still broken the law. Every one of us is guilty and therefore should not even be worth being in His presence. God is holy and perfect. Just being in His presence would burn us up. But since He is all loving and merciful He has provided us a way to be with Him.

Some may ask why would I want to be with someone who condemns people to a fiery pit of darkness to be tortured forever? Since God is all loving, He cannot and will not have any evil in His presence. Love hates evil. A loving and just judge would not allow evil-doers to go unpunished. There must be a hell; a place for punishment. And God takes no pleasure in the death of the one who dies. Ezekiel 18:32

God gives us His grace every day with the air we breathe and the life He has given us. We could even wonder why would He give us a chance to live when there is so much evil in the world? Why does he put us through this?

Everywhere we find human beings acting against the moral precepts and standards of the New Testament. No matter how low the level of morality is in a given society, people break it. It’s not that we are sinners because we sin, but rather, we sin because we are sinners; that is, since the fall of man, we have inherited a corrupted condition of sinfulness. We now have a sin nature. However, the Fall altered the image of God, in the narrower sense, that we were created to reflect.

Man is the creator of sin since the beginning. Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and therefore corrupted what was first that good and innocent nature. We have a disposition toward wickedness, so that we all do, in fact, commit sins because it is our nature to commit sins. All have sinned according to God's law and the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23

We cherish so much about the little things in life like the food we eat or the music we listen to. Then how much more important is your very soul?

You owe it to your loved ones and yourself to think about this. This is eternity I'm talking about, your very existence, your soul. God has poured out His mercy and demonstrated His love by taking upon the wrath of His judgement upon Himself when we crucified His Son Jesus Christ on the cross in Jerusalem and rose up to life three days later to prove that He was the Christ, God in the flesh.

Just like a father is jealous for His children's love toward him, God demonstrated His love for us even though we have been disobedient children. The bible says before we believe in Christ we are like children of wrath. But because God is so gracious and wants us to be with Him He gave Himself as a sacrifice and humbled Himself by coming down to the earth as a human being, living with the most lowly and despised among us. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

This is the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Once you forsake your sins, confess your sins to Him by your mouth, and put your trust and hope in Christ, God adopts you into His family. The bible says because you believe this message He sees you perfect in His eyes. And because you believe in this message you not only love the LORD but you turn from your sins because you hate them, and you turn in a new direction towards a holy life. Not in perfection, but in a new direction because of what He did for you. Just like Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he will raise you from the death made by your sins.

Please examine yourself according to His law and not of your own or anyone else’s point-of-view. The bible says the path to heaven is narrow and the gates of hell are wide. That is because so many people will reject this message. We are naturally at war with God, living the way we want and closing our minds and blocking our consciences from making the decision to believe.

Some people think that they've gone too far and God will never forgive them. Don't believe that! God will forgive you not matter what you have been or what you've done. He offers eternal forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He will forget your past and future sins. Your page will be wiped clean in His books once you have received Jesus as your Saviour.

If your conscience starts to bother you please read your bible, or if you don’t have one, get one and read one of the gospels in the New Testament; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Please consider this message today. I’m earnest about this. Your soul is hanging on the edge of eternity and you don’t know if tomorrow comes. Your decision today will make all the difference in eternity. Redemption and forgiveness come in Jesus Christ today.

And now why do you wait? Confess your sins, rise and be baptized to wash away your sins, calling on His name. Acts 22:16

If you want to know more about Jesus please talk to me.

Friday, 2 April 2010

It's About The Cross



I posted this because it has same meaning for Easter.

Did you share the gospel today? It's the perfect opportunity to share our faith with friends, family, and even strangers today. It's a time of reflection of what Jesus did for you on the cross, and it's a time of affection for the lost. Enjoy His presence and relationship with you this weekend.
God Bless!



He was pierced for our transgressions.
Isaiah 53:5

Toronto Transit Balks at 'Does God Care if I'm Gay?' Ad

TORONTO — Toronto Transit Commission objections have led to the removal of a church group's transit ad campaign asking the question "Does God care if I'm gay?" even though the marketing student who proposed the ad is himself homosexual and in favour of free speech.

Bus Stop Bible Studies began the campaign two weeks ago, featuring a series of 24 questions for God on TTC vehicles, which are answered online at answerme.ca based on interpretations of biblical passages.

David Harrison, president of Bus Stop Bible Studies, said he knew the ads would garner attention, but insists they try "not to be judgmental or use words of condemnation or anything like that."

"The TTC has an obligation under the Ontario Human Rights Code not to refuse religious advertising," Commission spokesperson Brad Ross said. But, "the website content that this ad pointed to was not appropriate."

The website content has since been pulled; Harrison refused to comment on what the answer was, saying only that it was based, like all answers on the site, from biblical passages.

Ross said the website "went beyond a religious message and into the realm of sexuality and sexual orientation and that's where the difficulties lie." He said the TTC, which reviews ads if it receives five or more complaints, asked Bus Stop Bible Studies to pull the content from their website. Bus Stop Bible Studies then pulled the specific ad voluntarily, Ross said.

The answer to the question "does God care if I'm gay?" on the website was replaced with message from Harrison, stating: "It has become apparent that, while one is free to ask the question, "Does God care if I'm gay?" one is not so free to answer the question from a Biblical perspective."

"The prevailing attitude at the time is you're free to say anything that I'm in agreement with, which is not real dialogue," he said in an interview. "In a supposedly liberal society, 'liberal' has become a one-word oxymoron."

Last year, an ad campaign by Atheist Bus reading "There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" ran on the TTC. Harrison said he supported those ads, as they were just expressing freedom of speech.

The question-and-answer campaign was created in conjunction with a class of advertising students at Centennial College from all different religious backgrounds, who created the list of 24 questions. The question at the centre of the controversy was created by an openly gay student.

Bus Stop Bible Studies posted a note on its website from the Centennial student. Referred to only by the initials M.D.B., the student is quoted as saying: "I do not endorse or agree with the response, but am tolerant and understand the answer's origin. We as homosexuals ask for tolerance of our lifestyles, so we must also respect the lifestyles of others. For that is true equality."

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Toronto+transit+balks+Does+care/2754854/story.html#ixzz0jwR5Sdw1

"I do not endorse or agree with the response, but am tolerant and understand the answer’s origin. We as homosexuals ask for tolerance of our lifestyles, so we must also respect the lifestyles of others. For that is true equality." M.D.B.

The Bible is not about true equality among men. I wish real men would stand up and give a sincere answer to homosexuals. Apologizing and good intentions will not save them. Hearing the gospel will by God's grace. My answer is, Yes, God does care.

This is a very delicate matter. They really have come to terms with their sexual immorality and accepted it. Let them hear the gospel, or better yet, lead them to reading the gospel. It's not good to directly attack their sin. Let God work in them. It's not about tolerance, it's about the truth. And it's a heart issue, so it's very delicate.

You can't tell, but the apology by the president of bus stop bible studies said it's best that individuals seek the answer themselves. He said the message of God's justice and grace was being misinterpreted. So who knows, maybe people were saying angry things.

Basically, the President said this was created to encourage individuals to consider the personal relationship with God and seek Him. that's a good message. I mean with such a delicate sin like that. He closed all comments about the question because it went out of hand, I guess. But they should still try to give a sincere answer. I guess they just find it hard to give one without pushing homosexuals away from the gospel.

I hope that guy will read the gospel. From reading his comment it sounds like he was told the answer, but he doesn't agree with it. He believes since homosexuals are asking for tolerance, that's true equality.. but that has nothing to do with the gospel. That's the world's idea. I think this ad campaign for the buses is a great idea. It get's people thinking about the gospel and get's people asking Christians questions.