Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Beating the Horse…with Joy

Todd Friel wrote in the Wretched Newsletter to those who are having a hard time reconciling if they are saved.

Here is what he wrote:

Charles Spurgeon once said,
"I would not mind if I were condemned to live fifty years more and never allowed to speak but these five words, if I might be allowed to utter them in the ear of every man, woman, and child who lives. 'Christ Died for the Ungodly.' That is the best message that even angels could bring to men."

As you probably know, we encourage people to write us at saved@wretchedradio.com if they are not sure of their salvation. While we receive many different types of letters, there are two major themes that stand out:

1. I am addicted to porn.

2. I am not sure I am saved because I don’t do enough.

Basically, those two major themes are:

1. I hate the things that I do.

2. I hate that I don’t do enough.

The operative word there is: do. My dear fellow Wretch, if we fail to understand who does the doing, we will fail to understand the Gospel. The result will be that we live in fear, either for what we have done, or for what we have failed to do. Either result is miserable. Neither is the Gospel.

The Bible tells us to test ourselves to see if we are in the truth. It is imperative that we do this right. As we examine ourselves, we must hold two things in tension.

1. God is growing us in holiness. Remember, it is not perfection, but we should be moving in that direction.

2. We are not holy enough.

You and I must recognize both of these. If we examine our fruit and recognize that we are growing in holiness, but fail to see that we are not as holy as we should be, we will become self-sufficient, prideful and worst of all, we will forget the Gospel.

However, if we ONLY recognize that we are not as holy as we should be without recognizing that God is growing us in holiness (not perfection, but direction), then we will always doubt our salvation.

The reality is, we sin too much and we don’t do enough. But the good news of the Gospel is: Jesus did enough. Never forget, His passive obedience (being beaten and crucified) cancels our sin debt. His active obedience (living a perfect life) credits our account with infinite righteousness.

As a Christian, you sin too much, but Jesus died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6). Therefore there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

As a Christian you don’t do as much as you should; but Jesus did! His perfection has been credited to your account.

You must proclaim that good news to yourself every day or you will certainly end up in the Pit of Pride or the Slough of Despair. God does not want you in either place.

-Todd

Say No To Drugs, Kids

Boycotting Facebook











Facebook can get pretty addictive. Here's an interesting fact for you: statistics say that on average each Facebook user logs in at least once a day. It's more addictive than YouTube in some cases. Twitter is even worse! Who needs to know what I'm doing every hour of the day? Who cares!

An Interesting Comment on the GTY Blog:
#3 Posted by Alex Passarello | Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 12:30 PM

I am so concerned about all of this. I see my children and their friends and the fascination with social internet platforms. They do a marvelous job of communicating from behind a computer but an absolutely terrible job of face to face personal communication. It is no wonder our churches are depreciating to the point they are. The church body is losing its interpersonal skills. No one talks anymore they chat, they don't speak they text, they don't write they email. So much of what people do today is based on reaction instead of thoughtfulness. I wonder what the divorce rate is going to be with the next generation? You can't raise kids from behind a computer or cell phone. You can't solve conflicts with your spouse through facebook. If we can't communicate and healthy relationships with each other how on earth on we going to foster a relationship with Jesus? We have done everything we can to insure that our children read more than they mess around with the computer. I mean "down" time in our house is on the couch or back porch with a book.

http://www.gty.org/blog/B100422?utm_source=feedburner

Monday, 24 May 2010

Quote of the Month - Abortion

Being human we assume that hopes and dreams are made for us and that we are made for them. In some cultures parents consult astrologers and determine the baby's name according to planetary alignments, and they celebrate with endless ceremonies to ensure a wonderful future. A baby throbbing with life is embodied promise. The birth day gives birth to more than a life—it gives birth to new hopes. - Ravi Zacharias

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Was Jesus Polite to False Teachers?

Matthew 23
John MacArthur's Commentaries

Many Christians today are greatly concerned about the rising influences of communism, humanism, secularism, and social injustice. Yet those evils, great as they are, do not together pose the threat to Christianity that false shepherds and pastors do. Throughout the history of redemption, the greatest threat to God’s truth and God’s work has been false prophets and teachers, because they propose to speak in His name. That is why the Lord’s most scathing denunciations were reserved for the false teachers of Israel, who claimed to speak and act for God but were liars.

Yet for some reason, evangelical Christianity is often hesitant to confront false teachers with the seriousness and severity that Jesus and the apostles did, and that the godly prophets before them had done. Today, more than at any time in modern history and perhaps more than at any time in the history of the church, pagan religions and cults are seriously encroaching on societies that for centuries have been nominally Christian. Even within the church, many ideas, teachings, and philosophies that are little more than thinly veiled paganism have become popular and influential. As in ancient Israel, the further God’s people move away from the foundation of His Word, the more false religion flourishes in the world and even in their own midst. At no time have Christians had greater need to be discerning. They need to recognize and respect true godly shepherds who feed them God’s Word and build them up in the faith, and they also must recognize and denounce those who twist and undermine God’s Word, who corrupt the church and who lead lost people still further away from God’s truth and from salvation.

In Matthew 23:13–33 Jesus relentlessly condemned the false spiritual leaders of Israel, in particular the scribes and Pharisees, who then held the dominant power and influence in Judaism. Jesus warned about them in His first sermon, the Sermon on the Mount (see, e.g., 5:20; 7:15), and His last sermon (Matt. 23) consists almost entirely of warnings about them and to them. In this final public message, the Lord wanted to draw the people away from those false leaders and turn them to the true teaching and the godly examples of His apostles, who would become His uniquely commissioned and endowed representatives on earth during the early years of the church. He also gave the apostles themselves a final example of the confrontational stance they would soon find it necessary to take in their proclamation and defense of the gospel.

The unbelieving scribes and Pharisees whom Jesus addressed in the Temple stood alone in their sin and were condemned alone in their guilt for misappropriating and perverting God’s law and for leading Israel into heresy, just as the false prophets among their forefathers had done (vv. 30–32). But they also stood as models of all false spiritual leaders who would come after them. Therefore what Jesus said about them and to them is of much more than historical significance. It is essential instruction for dealing with the false leaders who abound in our own day.

In the first twelve verses of chapter 23, Jesus had declared that the scribes and Pharisees, typical of all false spiritual leaders, were without authority, without integrity, without sympathy, without spirituality, without humility, and therefore without God’s approval or blessing. Now speaking to them directly, He asserts they are under God’s harshest condemnation. In verses 13–33 Jesus pronounces seven curses, or woes, on those wicked leaders.

The scene in the Temple that day had become volatile in the extreme, in some ways more volatile than when Jesus had cast out the merchants and money-changers the day before. At that time Jesus’ anger was vented against what the religious leaders were doing outwardly, and that attack had outraged them (21:16, 23). Now, however, He attacked what they were inwardly, and that infuriated them even more.

In our day of tolerance and eclecticism, the kind of confrontation Jesus had with the scribes and Pharisees seems foreign and uncharitable. A person who speaks too harshly against a false religion or unbiblical teaching or movement is considered unkind, ungracious, and judgmental. Jesus’ indictments in Matthew 23, as well as in other parts of the gospels, are so inconsistent with the idea of Christian love held by some liberal theologians and Bible scholars, for example, that they conclude He could not have spoken them. What Jesus really said, they maintain, was modified and intensified either by the gospel writers or the sources from whom they received their information.

But the nature of Jesus’ condemnation of those corrupt religious leaders is perfectly consistent with the rest of Scripture, both the Old Testament and the New Not only that, but Jesus’ words in this passage fly from His lips, as someone has said, like claps of thunder and spears of lightning. Out of His mouth on this occasion came the most fearful and dreadful statements that Jesus uttered on earth. They do not give the least impression of being the afterthought of an overzealous writer or copyist.

Matthew 23 is one of the most serious passages in Scripture. Jesus here makes the word hypocrite a synonym for scribe and for Pharisee. He calls them sons of hell, blind guides, fools, robbers, self-indulgent, whitewashed tombs, full of hypocrisy and lawlessness, serpents, vipers, and persecutors and murderers of God’s people. He uttered every syllable with absolute self-control but with devastating intensity.

Yet Jesus was never cold or indifferent, even toward His enemies, and on this occasion His judgment is mingled with sorrow and deep pathos. It is not the Son’s will any more than the Father’s that a single person perish, because it is the gracious divine desire that everyone would come to repentance and salvation (2 Pet. 3:9). At the end of His denunciation, Jesus extended by implication another last invitation for belief, suggesting that He would still gladly gather any unbelievers under His wings as a mother hen gathers her chicks, if only they would be willing (Matt. 23:37).

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Awkward Questions About Jesus



This shows exactly the Evangelicals' problem. We need to address the Law before Grace. "Why did He kill him?"

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Purpose Driven Church

Todd Friel wrote an open letter to those who are having a hard time reconciling the recent decision of John Piper to host Rick Warren at Desiring God '10.

Here's the letter.:

If You Have Been Hurt
"How many people have been deeply wounded because of “The Purpose Driven Church”? If I were a betting man, I would guess millions have been driven from their beloved church because of the writings of Rick Warren.

That is the second reason I absolutely hate the decision made by a man I love to invite Rick Warren to speak at the Desiring God Conference in the fall of this year.

As Purpose has seduced over 300,000 pastors (that is not a guess) to leave the Jesus Model and follow the Rick Model, faithful sheep have been forced out of their church by their shepherd to make room for the goats. Devastating.

If you are one of those people, I am very, very sorry that one of the men who probably served as an anchor during your storm has seen fit to use his national conference to figure out how Rick Warren ticks. Frankly, we know how Rick Warren ticks. He may have file cabinet orthodoxy, but his public works are nothing short of lethal.

Perhaps you have suffered the effects of purpose poison and now your almost-healed scars have been ripped open. Many of us feel bad for you. Please heal fast knowing that you were not wrong, you were wronged.

You were not the bad guy when you left your church whimpering and scalded. You were right. Rick Warren’s pragmatic methodology is not Biblical. His use of Scripture is worse than a self-proclaimed “bishop” on prosperity TV. Rick Warren’s Gospel is no Gospel at all.

That is the number one reason why I continue to be saddened by this decision; the Gospel will suffer and more people will be hurt.

Honestly, I thought Rick Warren’s Purpose kingdom was one to two years away from joining Jabez on the ash heap of church trends. Unfortunately, Purpose has been given new life by a highly esteemed pastor.

Tragic.

-Todd"

How to Worship

Joyce Meyer

Edited on Friday, August 19th 2011 for accuracy.
The following information is from JoyceMeyer.org
Sharing Her Story to Help Others
Over the years, God has provided Joyce with many opportunities to share her testimony and the life-changing message of the Gospel. In fact, Time magazine selected her as one of the most influential evangelical leaders in America. She is an incredible testimony of the dynamic, redeeming work of Jesus Christ. She believes and teaches that regardless of a person's background or past mistakes, God has a place for them and can help them on their path to enjoying everyday life.

Educational Background
Joyce holds an earned PhD in theology from Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida; an honorary doctorate in divinity from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and an honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. Joyce and her husband, Dave, have been married for over 40 years, and they are the parents of four grown children. Dave and Joyce Meyer make their home in St. Louis, Missouri.

Several favourite Bible teachers who hold degrees from LCU.
Many internationally notable ministers have chosen to receive earned LCU degrees by virtue of advanced standing awarded for published works. Their books are frequently used as texts in the LCU curriculum. The list of distinguished ministers include Dr. Joyce Meyer, Drs. Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Dr. Benny Hinn, Drs. Rodney and Adonica Howard-Browne, Dr. Rick Renner, Dr. Norvel Hayes, Dr. Mike Francen, Dr. Terry Law, Dr. Dennis Burke, Dr. Larry Ollison, Dr. Billye Brim, Dr. Dick Mills, Dr. Terry Mize, Dr. Bob Harrison, Dr.Christopher Alam, and many others.


My Comments (Please read my comment below this post)
We can stop right there at Benny Hinn and question the rest of the cast... I mean pastors (televangelists) coming from this school.

I cannot say that Joyce has said anything to call her a heretic. I've listened to her on TV a couple times and she sounds quite sound in her teaching so far, but something just doesn't sit right with me about her. Watch out when their statement of faith mentions healing. I always have to question these televangelists and wonder why they're testimony is just that much more exciting than the Gospel alone.

Billy Kangas, on Orant.blogspot.com writes,

Instead of looking at the context of the passage or the Greek she uses the definition of the word found in Strong’s Concordance. To me this is silly, it either indicates that Meyer is either ill-equipped to study the word in depth, or is trying to squeeze the word somewhere it was never intended to go.

In here book Seven Things That Steal your Joy, in the chapter “Be Uncomplicated,” the passage used is 2 Corinthians 11:3. Billy Kangas writes,
This passage expresses Paul’s concern that the church in Corinth might be deceived by other preachers. Meyer takes it a completely different direction and claims that it’s talking about Satan complicating our lives. This kind of blatant disregard for what the text is actually saying continues. She uses Deuteronomy 6:4 to construe the oneness of God to mean going to him is simple. Then she changes the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that says “pray without ceasing” to “Pray as long as the anointing is on you to pray.” This seems to be a clear example of changing scripture to fit a more charismatic perspective which Meyer holds.

She mostly lets the scripture stand without commentary so I have no big issues. So far from what I see, Meyer doesn’t teach heresy, she even has some good things to say, but I can’t get over how loosely she seems to hold the scripture she claims to hold so tight too.

Anyways, I still don't see how this makes her a heretic. But if I'm wrong, please, the comments are always welcome!

Resources: JoyceMeyer.org, Life Christian University, Orant.blogspot.com

Friday, 14 May 2010

An Open Window

The humanistic worldview has increasingly controlled our society for the past seventy years or so. I wonder how many Christians are aware of the cases that the churches have faced in the last century. The things that have been brought into the courts of law should make our hair stand on end.

Robert L. Toms, an attorney-at-law, lists the issues pending in 1981 and which are up for final adjudication during the coming decade before the United State's courts, administrative bodies, executive departments, and legislatures:
  1. Is a minister of the gospel liable for malpractice to a counselee for using spiritual guidance rather than psychological or medical techniques?
  2. Can a Christian residence house in a college have the same standing as a fraternity and sorority house for purposes of off-campus residency rules?
  3. Can Christian high school students assemble on the public school campus for religious discussion?
  4. Can Christian teachers in public schools meet before class for prayer?
  5. Can Christian college students meet in groups on the state university campus?
  6. Can HEW require a Bible college to admit drug addicts and alcoholics as "handicapped persons"?
  7. Can a church build a religious school or a day-care centre in an area zoned residential?
  8. Can parents who send their children to religious schools not approved by a state board of education be prosecuted under the truancy laws?
  9. Is an independent, wholly religious school entitled to an exemption from unemployment taxes as are church owned schools?
  10. Will the State enforce anti-employment discrimination laws against a church which in accordance with its stated religious beliefs fires a practising homosexual staff member?
  11. Can seminary trustees refuse to graduate a practising homosexual?
  12. Can a city continue its forty-year practice of having a nativity scene in front of the city hall?
  13. Can zoning laws be used to prevent small group Bible studies from meeting in homes?
  14. Can a court decide which doctrinal group in a church split gets the sanctuary?
  15. Must a religious school accept as a teacher an otherwise qualified practising homosexual?
  16. Can a church be fined by a court for exuberant noise in worship?
  17. Can a state department of health close a church-run juvenile home for policies that include spanking?
  18. Can religious solicitation in public places be confined to official booths?
  19. Is an unborn foetus a "person" and entitled to Constitutional protection?
  20. Can The Ten Commandments be posted in a public classroom?
  21. Can students in public education have a period of silent medication and prayer?
  22. Can Christmas carols be sung in the public schools?
  23. Must an employee who believes he should worship on Saturday be permitted a work holiday on that day in order to worship?
  24. Can the graduation ceremony of a public high school be held in a church?
  25. Can a State official seize a church on allegations of misconduct by dissident members and run the church through a court-appointed receiver?
  26. Can the Sate set minimum standards for private religious school curricula?
  27. Is religious tax exemption a right or privilege, and, if it is a privilege, are the exemptions an unwarranted support of religion by the State?
  28. Should churches be taxed like any other part of society?
  29. Can Federal labour laws be used to enforce collective bargaining rights and unionization in religious enterprises?
  30. Can the State require a license before a religious ministry may solicit funds for its work?
  31. Are hospitals, schools, counselling groups, half-way houses, famine-relief organizations, youth organizations, homes for unwed mothers, orphanages, etc., run with religious motivations or are they secular and subject to all controls secular organizations are subject to?

He further says:
". . . two U.S. trial courts have recently ruled that a group of college students who wish to discuss religion could not meet int he context of a public state university, that religious speech must go on elsewhere since it might "establish religion" on the campus. . . . The State must screen our religious speech from the otherwise free speech practiced on a university campus."


Reference: Theology, News, and Notes (December 1980), A Christian Manifesto by Francis A. Schaeffer.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Ligonier Academy


"Ligonier Academy is the encapsulation of everything Ligonier Ministries and founder Dr. R.C. sproul has valued and advocated for the past 39 years, and is a natural outgrowth to Ligonier’s decades of teaching Christians to think deeply, critically, and obediently about every aspect of faith." - Ligonier Academy on Facebook




Why a Reformed Bible College at Ligonier?: Because Time Is Too Precious for Education Based on Historical Novelties
from R. Fowler White

Why is Ligonier Academy introducing an Undergraduate Program alongside its Certificate Program and its Doctor of Ministry Program? To get answers to these questions, let’s take some time to think about the vision and the mission of our Undergraduate Program.

Our Vision: A Community of Teaching and Learning
Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies has been founded to provide educational opportunities for Christians who recognize that the knowledge of their God and His holiness is foundational to lives and vocations that lead to the glory and enjoyment of God. Each of the Academy’s program offerings provides opportunities to be grounded and growing in Christian maturity. Our Undergraduate Program is no exception. Committed, as we are, to training Christ’s disciples to live in the Word and live out the gospel, our vision for the Academy is that we will be a community of teaching and learning from which God’s people will emerge with a fuller knowledge of their God and of their gifts for service to Him.

Our Mission: A Heritage of Reformation
Because time is too precious for education based on historical novelties, Ligonier Academy of Biblical and Theological Studies aspires to be a leader in providing education in the historic Reformed faith. Our undergraduate degree program is specially designed to pass on the heritage of our Reformed forebears to our children and the generations that follow them. Convinced that literacy in theology and history is necessary for a mature knowledge of Scripture and a discerning engagement with the world, we focus on four areas: the content of Scripture, the system of doctrine taught in Scripture, the history of the church, and the great works of literature, philosophy, and music. We believe that our curriculum, with its emphasis on the coherence of biblical revelation and of the Christian worldview, will give Christ’s disciples the grounding needed to live lives and to engage in vocations that glorify God and foster continuing reformation. We are persuaded, then, that what God enables us to realize here will advance the cause of God’s kingdom as the truth of Holy Scripture reaches every corner of the globe.



Prepare to Defend Your Faith

Ligonier Academy’s Certificate Program offers laypeople, church leaders, and educators a structured way to prepare to defend your Christian faith by studying Apologetics at your own pace, at your own level of interest, and in your own home. Sign up today by calling 1-800-435-4343. For more information, visit LigonierAcademy.org.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Preacher Charged After Calling Homosexuality 'A Sin'

A British Christian street preacher who was arrested for saying that homosexuality was a sin denied the charges in court Monday.

Dale McAlpine, 42, of Workington, Cumbria, was charged on April 20 with using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour" after his remarks to a passing shopper were heard by a gay police community support officer.

He denied the charges Monday, and was released on bail pending trial.

McAlpine, a Baptist known to preach from atop a stepladder, was having a conversation on the street with a woman about the Bible's book of Corinthians, which refers to the sins of blasphemy, adultery, drunkenness and homosexuality.

The police support officer, after speaking with the woman, then approached McAlpine and told him there had been a complaint.

McAlpine said he wasn't homophobic, but told him "sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator," according to London's Daily Telegraph.

The officer, who acts as a police liaison for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, told McAlpine he was gay, to which he replied, "It's still a sin."

As McAlpine continued to preach, three uniformed officers arrived and took him to the police station, where he was held for seven hours.

"I felt deeply shocked and humiliated that I had been arrested in my own town and treated like a common criminal in front of people I know," he told the Telegraph.

"My freedom was taken away on the hearsay of someone who disliked what I said, and I was charged under a law that doesn't apply."

He was charged under Britain's controversial Public Order Act, originally intended to curb hooliganism.

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/Preacher+charged+after+calling+homosexuality/2981430/story.html#ixzz0myblbkYW