Tuesday, 31 August 2010

There is Freedom in Forgiving Your Enemies

What's Love Got To Do With It?
Technically, we aren't being asked to like the other person, because that would require an emotion that we sometimes can't conjure up, despite our best intentions. But in effect we are to treat them as though we like them--because that's a decision of our will.
We don't have to approve of what they are, what they've done, or how they conduct their affairs, but we are to love who they are--people who matter to God, just like you and me. People who failed but who are eligible for God's forgiving grave.
In fact, the Bible says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Amazingly, God's response to our rebellion against Him wasn't to declare war on us as His enemies. Instead, returned love for evil so the path could be paved for us to get back on good terms with Him. And that's the kind of love He wants to extend to those who have crossed us.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

400th Post! Charles Darwin Autobiography


Religious Beliefs
During these two years (i.e. October 1836 to January 1839) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, would he permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, etc., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament. This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual Discernment
  • Required to make decisions daily
  • Some decisions our own preferences
  • Good conscience
  • Decisions not always clear
  • Factors causing difficulty:
    • subjective
    • mystery - hear God; affirmation
What is Spiritual Discernment?
  • The process of assessing and evaluating a particular situation or determining the desire of God in one's life.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Roman's Identity and Honour

It was to others that a Roman had to look for any confirmation of his ability and identity.
In Roman society confirmation by others was sought as well as required. Be they the elders of his family, his patron or his clients, army comrades, or even - in an election - the people of Rome; no Roman could be his own judge, but could see himself only through the eyes of others.

Jesus Above Other Gods

Christ’s features and myths are in many ways similar to those of the Greco-Roman salvation cults of the time known as “mystery religions”, each having its own savior god or goddess. Most of these (e.g., Dionysos, Mithras, Attis, Isis, Osiris) were part of myths in which the deity had overcome death in some way, or performed some act which conferred benefits and salvation on their devotees. Such activities were viewed as taking place in the upper spirit realm, not on earth or in history.

Earl Doherty

Most of my blog posts are usually references or inspired by other authors. But now that I come across this quote on an atheist site it made me want to beg the question, “aren't these atheists just quoting from other atheists to prove their point?” Why don't they go look at the evidences themselves? When they attack Christ, they seem to just point at some Christians and call the hypocrisy from them and use that as evidence that Jesus is a liar of some sort. Of course they do believe he is a liar because they want to believe in naturalism and they come from a presupposition that hates God or any religious doctrine.

I want to respond this time in my own words and by my own knowledge of Scripture and history; my own facts. Here we go!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Submissive Family - John MacArthur

by John MacArthur

What makes a family work? Is it authority—a firm-ruling father who keeps the peace? Activity—weekly date nights and regular family outings? Availability—members who make time for one another? According to Scripture, a key ingredient for a successful family is submission. Society scoffs at the very mention of the word, but God places submission at the top of His list for a unified family.

When our culture brings up the topic of submission, it’s usually to mock or malign it. After all, we live in an age where prideful self-assertion and ambition are major hallmarks of personal success. Sadly, that same attitude is brought home to the family, with disastrous results. Mutual submission may sound like a strange success formula to the world, but God’s ways are higher than our ways—and always better.



Listen to John’s sermon excerpt, then join the discussion in the comment thread.


Resource: GTY.org

Friday, 20 August 2010

Christ's Unique Claims - RZIM



The First Attack on Family - John MacArthur

by John MacArthur

After God created the first couple and brought them together in the first marriage ceremony, there was perfect harmony, fellowship, and joy. Adam had a wife to fellowship with; the two of them exercised dominion together. Eve had her husband to protect, provide, and care for her. All was well in Eden, for the moment.

Perfection didn’t last long—a serpent was loose in the Garden of Eden, crafty and animated by Satan. He launched the first attack on the first family, striking out against God and His perfect creation.

Read more at Grace to You Blog


Resource: GTY.org

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

True Religion - John MacArthur

"If you want true religion, if you want true communion with God, if you want true worship to take place, if you want godly living, if you want to please God, then you must be filled with the Spirit...not controlled by alcohol but controlled by the Holy Spirit. The parallel to this is in Colossians 3:16 where instead of saying be filled with the Spirit, Paul says let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly because that's really the same thing. When the Word of Christ dominates your life and you respond in obedience to it, it's the same as being controlled by the Holy Spirit, of course, who is the author of Scripture. Obedience to the Word is being filled with the Spirit. It's not some kind of mystical experience. It's not some kind of ecstatic thing. It's not something that comes over you and catapults you into some unconscious behavior. It's not being knocked over into a dead faint, as you see so often on television. It's not launching off into some ecstatic speech. It's not going out of yourself or being beyond control. It simply is to be continuously controlled by the Spirit who does it through the Word and that means we are obeying the truth."

John MacArthur,
A Plan for Your Family: God's vs. the World's, Part 1

Deathbed Reptentance

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Dark Side of Darwinism: What Hath Darwin Wrought?

The Atheists are really gnashing their teeth about this one!

Between 1934 and 1939, in the interests of evolutionary hygiene, the eugenic program in Nazi Germany forcibly sterilized about 400,000 people. The victims were men and women suffering from hereditary and mental illnesses along with the deaf, the blind, alcoholics and others judged unfit to reproduce. At the time, another government was also busy sterilizing citizens it deemed racially unhygienic. Measured for eugenic enthusiasm, this other state entity ran second to Germany worldwide. And what state was that?

Why, the United States, but in particular the state of California. In the first half of the 20th century, the U.S. sterilized 60,000 Americans, to which California contributed a very robust 20,000. One of the more haunting features of an excellent new cable documentary coming out this summer, What Hath Darwin Wrought?, is the setting where many of its interviews with scholars were conducted: the grounds of the old Stockton State Hospital in Stockton, California.

Read more at The Huffington Post

http://www.whathathdarwinwrought.com/

Discovering Your Spiritual Gift - John MacArthur



1 Corinthians 12

Spiritual Gifts

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Bishop Väisänen Defrocked

Bishop Matti Väisänen of Luther Foundation Finland (LFF), the Finnish partner to Mission Province in Sweden and Finland, was defrocked on Wednesday 08/11 by the Cathedral Chapter of Tampere Diocese led by Bishop Matti Repo. The basis of defrocking was the episcopal ordination of Väisänen in last March. Prior to this, Väisänen had served as a pastor in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland for 46 years, and is a well-known figure in the confessional movement inside the Finnish national church.

Väisänen was called to serve as a bishop in the Mission Province, the care of Finnish pastors and congregations as his primary task. Luther Foundation and Mission Province are reacting to the rapidly increasing liberalism and secularism inside the Scandinavian established churches, the key issues being the ordination of women and - lately - blessing of the same-sex partnerships. For already ten years, it has been practically impossible for candidates refusing to accept female clergy to receive ordination into the pastoral office, while the members of the church with similar conviction find it increasingly difficult to find places to worship in anymore. Luther Foundation has countered this problem by calling and ordaining its own pastors via Mission Province, assigning them with the task of serving new congregations in Finland. Neither these pastors nor the congregations they serve are recognized by the established church.

Check out the LFF website for Matti Väisänen's response to the Cathedral Chapter as well as LFF's response concerning the defrocking of its Bishop.

http://www.luthersaatio.fi/uutiset/bishop-vaeisaenen-defrocked.html

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A Look at the Christian Home - John MacArthur

by John MacArthur

There are many opinions about the restructuring of the family. Some sociologists say marriages need to change. They say we need “open marriages,” “gay marriages,” or even “non-marriages.” Many seem to think it really doesn’t matter whether marriages continue as they have in the past. People are groping, without any base of authority, to try to find out how to make meaningful relationships in a disintegrating society.

Read More at GTY.org

Monday, 9 August 2010

God Kills Innocent Children

Inspired by Norman L. Geisler

In 1974, Thomas Paine wrote In the Age of Reason: “Whenever we read the obscene stories, voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the work of a demon, than the word of God.”

That sounds like a tough challenge, but it isn't. And it's too bad he didn't have a Bible when he began writing his book. Apart from that, he is confusing two things: what the Bible records and what the Bible approves. For instance, the Bible records David's adultery, but it doesn't approve of it. God let that happen in order for something good to happen. God used a sinner like David to accomplish something greater in the future. He changed him and made him a king over Israel.

It's true the Bible is full of grotesque stories. In the book of Judges it reports a raping of a woman, then cutting her into twelve pieces and sending one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But the Bible certainly doesn't approve of that. God later gave the Benjaminites into the hands of Israel for the evil things they did to that woman. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everybody did what was right in their own eyes (ch.21, v.25). Paine is factually wrong. The Bible doesn't condone any torturous executions that God commanded.

Quote of the Month

Man's weakness is a showcase for God's strength.
- Charles F. Stanley

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Ladies, Does How You Dress Cause Men to Lust? - Al Martin



30 minutes long

Read John Piper's article Is Modesty An Issue In Church Today?

The Truth About Yoga



'The PraiseMoves program utilizes gentle stretches that correlate with Scripture verses. There's "The Eagle" stretch, where the arms are pulled back to resemble a bird in flight. While students hold this stretch, Laurette reads Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles" (NKJV). Other stretches include "The Angel" (Psalm 91:11), "The Rainbow" (Genesis 9:16), and "The Altar" (Romans 12:1). At each session's end, students are asked to prayerfully consider a verse from the Bible, or to spend some quiet time expressing gratitude to God.' - davidicke.com



Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Man With Three Huts

I heard a story about a man who was stranded on an island for some years and when he was rescued they found that he built three huts. The rescuers asked him why he built three huts. The man replied, "The first one is my home and the second one is my church." "But what about the third one?" they asked. He said, "Oh, that was my old church."

Even we can get sick of our selves sometimes. My friend told me about this American friend of hers who sold all that he had to move to China. He sold his flat in New York, his car and all that he owned to start a new life half across the world in Beijing. She tells me that he is always complaining about the people in Beijing and from all over the world. He travelled all over Europe and couldn't be satisfied where he was. The reason he moved, he says, is that he was sick of the people. He has no friends, he moved to Beijing for a girl, and after two years they broke up because he was complaining too much and unpleasant to be around. Today he still lives in Beijing.

No matter where this man lives, he will always be unhappy. The reason I am sharing this story is because it has great irony to why he is really unhappy. Like the man with the three huts, this former New Yorker moves to the next hut when he finds something he doesn't like, and he focuses on that and magnifies it to the point that he blame it for his unhappiness on that instead of himself.

A lot of people ten to hold onto something that they don't like about themselves. That builds into hatred. They have problems with other people. They can't have a good relationship with anyone unless that person is absolutely opposite of them. They are afraid to confess their sin with someone else, afraid that they may be exposed for who they really are.

Have you every noticed that most people would remember you for something you did in the past a long time ago and they would just look at you as that person? They identify you for what you had done. A person might remember something you did when you were eighteen and label you that way.

Instead we should look at a person for who they are, and not what they have done.

The world needs us to be examples of Jesus. Though many unbelievers will tell us that Christians are the problem why they won't believe in Him. We all come short of displaying God's love or even loving God back whole heartedly. We get angry at the ones who we see ourselves in, and we keep inside the lies. Satan loves it when we keep our secrets and lies inside because a lie will grow inside where no one can see and eventually spawn up hate. We must confess our sins to each other and not be afraid of exposing our true selves. We are not perfect. When we share our sins with each other, the weight will be lifted off and we can enjoy God's love. The freedom from the guilt and shame by confessing to each other will not only bring you so much joy and peace, but your sins will be crushed, and your relationships will grow. This is how we can train ourselves to be more in the likeness of Jesus.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

There Is A God and Why It Matters

Christopher Neiswonger 04 August at 15:59

Christopher Neiswonger in a special presentation at the global center of one of the world's largest non-governmental relief, development and advocacy organizations on why the existence of God has an important place in our thoughts about human rights and international development.

http://apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=524%3Athere-is-a-god-and-why-it-matters&catid=43%3Akkla-995-fm-los-angeles&Itemid=74

"Why do we need to defend “the existence of God” and relatedly the existence of this one specific God as opposed to one of the many other deities? Two reasons: Truth and Goodness. Having the wrong God or no God at all will tend bring about, as it's normal consequence, violations of human rights, the repression of peoples on the basis of race, nationality and gender, the objectification and evaluation of people on the basis of utility which manifests itself in slavery, human trafficking, genocide, and the devaluation and commodification of children. Making ourselves into animals, or less than animals, carries within itself every kind of misery. These things are always looking for an opportunity to manifest themselves in the very worst that humanity has to offer and the denial of objectives goods and the inherent dignity and value of Man as a creation in the image of God, rather than an accident of the mindless universe, is usually at its center."

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Darwin's Stance on Christianity? A Damnable Doctrine

Have You Been Stealing Promises?

by Greg Koukl, STR.org

When I was a new believer in the 70s, part of the standard “gear” for Jesus Movement Christians was a dog-eared paperback copy of The Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book.

It seemed like a sensational idea at the time, collect God’s promises, and then cash them in as needed. Now, nearly 40 years later—though the promises of God are no less “precious and magnificent” (2 Peter 1:4)—I think twice when people claim them.

Promises are frequently abused, in many cases by people who should know better. A promise not carefully tethered to the details of the text becomes an empty exercise of relativistic wishful thinking.

Knowledge—“an accurately informed mind”—is the first characteristic of a good ambassador. Ambassadors need to get the content of the message right before they can accurately pass it on to others. Since everything we offer on God’s behalf consists of promises of some sort, mistakes here really matter.

A biblical promise is a binding pledge from God to do—or not do—something specific. If the promise is made to you, you have a right to expect God to keep His word. If you are not the rightful owner, though, you may not lay claim to it. It is pointless to expropriate promises made to another, and can lead to disappointment and discouragement.

But how do you know if you are the fortunate beneficiary? You find out by looking closely at the details of the promise itself and applying two simple principles.

The correct meaning of any biblical passage is the meaning the author had in mind when he wrote it. A promise is only a promise when it is used as its maker intended. We discover that intention by paying attention to the specifics—the words, the conditions, the recipient, the timing, the historical setting—the details that make up the context of the promise.

The process can be organized into steps by asking (and answering) four questions: Who?, What?, Why?, and When?*

Who?—Identify the particular person or people the promise is made to. The promise may be for a specific individual, for a group, or for anyone. Ask, Am I that person? If the promise is to a group (e.g. Jews, Christians) ask, Am I part of the group?

What?—Zero in on the particulars of the promise. Specify what the promise actually commits to. Ask, What will happen (or not happen) when the promise is fulfilled?

Why?—Why will the promise be fulfilled, that is, what must happen first? Note the conditions or requirements the promise hinges on, often signaled by an if/then clause. Ask, Do I meet the requirements?

When?—This is the promise time. The promise may be for a particular time (“…at this time next year …“) or for an unspecified time. Ask the question, What is the time of the promise, if any?

We can only legitimately claim a biblical promise if it is rightfully ours. If the promise is for us, and we have satisfied the conditions, and the promise is for our time, then we can count on God to keep His word.

If not, then we must leave the promise to its rightful owner and profit from the text by learning what we can from God’s faithful dealings with them.