Saturday, 30 April 2011

Do YOU Feel the Spirit?


God is everywhere. Not in a room or a certain church. He is everywhere! And His Spirit dwells in every believer!

It's not in a moment or a feeling you get at church. No where in the bible does it explain the experience with the Spirit as a 'tingly feeling.'
Many other religious people would affirm the same thing about their god if all we could say was "I feel His presence," or "I just know because I can feel it." Where is this in scripture? Where is the grounds for your faith then? Feelings are temperate! They come and go. And sometimes they are deceiving!
If you base your faith on emotions, you're sadly mistaken. Don't be mislead by your heart. Don't over-spiritualize every feeling or thought as a divine intervention with God. Read the scripture and pray to Him. That's where you'll 'connect' with the Lord. Jesus doesn't come and go. He is always there.

Greg Koukl - God's Sovereignty and Evil

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Doctrine of Hell is Waning in Canada

I just read a statistic from a survey done from 23 countries about belief in a god(or gods) and Canada happens to be one the countries where people believe there is no Hell, but rather just Heaven. Although I can attest to that and say that a lot of people think there is a Hell, they'd just rather think that people like rapists, genocidal dictators and terrorists will go there instead of themselves. Read what John MacArthur has to say about the nature and reality of Hell in his blog post titled For Those Who Rail Against Hell.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Rob Bell: Part 4

Bell’s Inferno
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that religion is a means of gain (1 Timothy 6:3-5).

No one in all the Scriptures had more to say about hell than Jesus. No stern messenger of doom from the era of the Judges, no fiery Old Testament prophet, no writer of imprecatory psalms, and no impassioned apostle (including the Boanerges brothers)—not even all of them combined—mentioned hell more frequently or described it in more terrifying terms than Jesus.

Read more


Resource: gty.org/blog

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Atheism and Orthodoxy in Modern Russia

"The Russian nation is a bearer of God... But, it was here that revolution broke out, and it...revealed a spiritual emptiness in Russian people."


THURSDAY, JANUARY 27, 2011
MYSTOGOGY
By Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

In this talk I propose to outline the history of atheism in Russia during the last hundred years. I will start by considering the kind of atheism present in Russia before the Revolution. Then I will say something about the development of atheism during the Soviet period. And finally I will conclude with some observations concerning the nature of Russian post-Soviet atheism.

I should like to begin with the following questions. How did it happen that the country known as 'Holy Russia', with such a long history of Orthodox Christianity, was in a very short period of time turned by the Bolsheviks into 'the first atheist state in the world'? How was it possible that the very same people who were taught religion in secondary schools in the 1910s with their own hands destroyed churches and burned holy icons in the 1920s? What is the explanation of the fact that the Orthodox Church, which was so powerful in the Russian Empire, was almost reduced to zero by its former members?

I should say at once that I cannot interpret what happened in Russia in 1917 as an accident, the seizure of power by a small group of villains. Rather I perceive in the Russian revolution the ultimate outcome of the processes which were going on within the pre-revolutionary society and so, to a considerable extent, within the Russian Church (as there was no separation between Church and society). I would claim that the Russian revolution was the offspring of both the Russian monarchy and the Church. The roots of the post-revolutionary atheism should be looked for in pre-revolutionary Russian society and in the Church.

Read more


Resource: JohnAanidopoulos.com

Sectarianism and Extremism in Russian Orthodoxy

'Already 10 years ago some of the most rigorous priests would not give sacraments to believers from “less Orthodox” parishes unless they repented and recounted their false beliefs.'

SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 2011
MYSTAGOGY

Which Road Leads Away From the Church?

Aleksandr Baunov and Ilya Arkhipov
November 26 – December 2, 2007
Russian Newsweek

A young man, recently converted to Russian Orthodoxy, wandered into an ordinary Orthodox church in a Moscow side street. He was approached by an old woman, a donations box attendant, who began to instruct the young man: “You’d better take off that slip-knot. Our Lord did not wear neckties. The Devil lives in these knots.”

An old joke about a lonely Jew on a desert island who built himself two synagogues — one to go to and another one NOT to go to — perfectly fits modern Russian Orthodoxy. Already 10 years ago some of the most rigorous priests would not give sacraments to believers from “less Orthodox” parishes unless they repented and recounted their false beliefs.

There is another church, formed long ago within the confines of the Russian Orthodox Church. This inner church reads its own books, listens to its own authorities, and despises the bishopric. In the language of modern sociology, its followers may be termed “religious fundamentalists.” It’s just like the modern Islamic world, where universal peace is preached in one mosque, while jihad is preached in the one right next door, and both types of worshippers are “good Muslims.”

Read more


Resource: JohnSanidopoulos.com

Gandhi was Wretched... Sorry, Rob Bell!

"For all his lifelong campaign for Swaraj ("self-rule"), India could have achieved it many years earlier if ­Gandhi had not continually abandoned his civil-disobedience campaigns just as they were beginning to be successful."

By ANDREW ROBERTS

Joseph Lelyveld has written a ­generally admiring book about ­Mohandas Gandhi, the man credited with leading India to independence from Britain in 1947. Yet "Great Soul" also obligingly gives readers more than enough information to discern that he was a sexual weirdo, a political incompetent and a fanatical faddist—one who was often downright cruel to those around him. Gandhi was therefore the archetypal 20th-century progressive ­intellectual, professing his love for mankind as a concept while actually ­despising people as individuals.

Read more


Resource: The Wall Street Journal

How Will Religion’s Growth in China Impact its Relations With the West?

"The moral formation offered by catechesis and Christian teaching is a valuable resource for a new generation of youth without a moral compass."

By Tony Blair

There are more Muslims in China than in the whole of Europe. There are more practising Protestants than in Britain. More practising Catholics than in Italy. And an estimated 100 million or more people who consider themselves Buddhists.

I was in a province of China recently where I met the governor - a Muslim - who openly asked about, and was interested in, my Faith Foundation activities. Official Chinese surveys show that nearly one in three Chinese describe themselves as religious. This is not where they were 30 years ago.

Read more


Resource: The Washington Post

Lee Strobel - Why I’m Celebrating my 30th Easter

How do we know Jesus rose from the dead? Here's a snapshot of the kind of evidence that led me to abandon atheism and embrace Christ

I had seen plenty of dead bodies as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, but I never saw anyone come back to life. That's why I was a skeptic about Easter - until my agnostic wife's conversion to Christianity prompted me to spend two years investigating the historical evidence for Jesus' resurrection.

What I encountered turned me from atheism to faith - and what I've learned since then has only cemented that decision:

First, there's persuasive evidence Jesus was executed. In addition to multiple early reports in the ancient records that make up the New Testament, we also have confirmation outside the Bible. Atheist historian Gerd L├╝demann called Jesus' death by crucifixion "indisputable."

Second, there are resurrection accounts that date back so early they can't merely be legendary. A.N. Sherwin-White of Oxford said the passage of two generations was not even enough time for legend to grow up in the ancient world and wipe out a solid core of historical truth.

Yet we have a creed of the early church (recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:3ff) that confirms Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose and appeared to named eyewitnesses, including skeptics. This creed dates back to within a few years of Jesus' death - and therefore its underlying beliefs go back even further. It's like a historical news flash!

Concluded historian James D. G. Dunn: "This tradition, we can be entirely confident, was formulated as tradition within months of Jesus' death." To me, this devastates the claim that the resurrection is simply a legend.

Read the rest of the interview at BibleGateway.com!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Rob Bell: Part 3

Rob Bell’s Unbelief in His own Words

“I have as much in common with the performance artist, the standup comedian, the screenwriter, as I do with the theologian. I'm in an odd world where I make things and share them with people." --Rob Bell
Read more


Resource: gty.org/blog

Friday, 15 April 2011

Rob Bell: Part 2

Rob Bell: “Evangelical and orthodox to the bone?” Hardly.

Rob Bell is reminiscent of the Rich Young Ruler in Mark 10:17-27. He has a warped view of goodness. He talks as if his own standard of good is the norm, and Bell even suggests that God is not good if He sends people to hell.

Jesus’ reply to the young inquirer ("No one is good except God alone"—v. 18) says God himself alone is the standard of true good, not any creature—certainly not a fallen creature.

The Young Ruler was not saved, nor can any person be who thinks his or her own preferences determine what is truly good. That kind of arrogance reflects a damning egotism.

Read more


Resource: gty.org/blog

Rob Bell: Part 1

Rob Bell: a Brother to Embrace, or a Wolf to Avoid?

If Christopher Hitchens or Deepak Chopra penned a book that scoffed at the biblical teaching on hell, we would not be surprised. So why would anyone be shocked or confused when Rob Bell writes Love Wins? Has Bell shown any more commitment to gospel truth, or any more devotion to the principle of biblical authority than Hitchens or Chopra?

Read more


Resource: gty.org/blog

Moral Relativism

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It! - GTY Blog

by Fred Butler
Volunteer Ministries Coordinator, GTY Blog

As much as we’d like to abolish slavery in practice, and even from our memories, the Bible demands that we remember. Slavery has everything to do with our relationship to Christ. We are His slaves, and our slavery to Him is the guarantee of our eternal security.

Historically, nearly every society on earth has practiced human slavery. In the Roman Empire, during the time the New Testament was written, slaves accounted for roughly one-fifth of the population. Slaves were of all ages, ethnicities, and both men and women. Some slaves engaged in hard labor, while others had an easier, domestic existence, serving in a household.

No matter what kind of slave labor they performed, every slave was owned by a master. Slaves did not have personal rights. They had to obey their master. Disobedience guaranteed severe punishment; more serious offenses could result in death.

What Can We Know about the Afterlife? - Greg Koukl

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Do-It-Yourself Spirituality - Lee Strobel

Inspired by Lee Strobel

"People have shifted religious authority away from creeds, traditions, and churches and assumed it themselves," said James R. Edwards of Whitworth College. "People are less inclined today to defer to established religious authorities, and more inclined to express their own religious preferences." *
Increasingly, people seeking religious input draw more from the Internet than from church history, more from their own intuition than formal study. They stress sincerity over doctrinal specifics. They feel untethered to their religious upbringing and are more than wiling to interpret Jesus in a fresh light for a new generation. According to a 2005 survey by CBS, 38% of Americans say the search for spirituality--no matter where that takes them--is more important than sticking to the traditions of their church. ¹

Do You Struggle to Believe God Loves You? - R.W. Glenn

by Wretched on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 10:50am

The answer to this question is, We all do! The freeness and richness and depth of God's love for believers in Jesus Christ sounds too good to be true. Our world operates as a meritocracy. Everything is about achievement, success, what you do to get ahead. So when we hear in the gospel that the Father loved us so much that he sent Jesus to live the life we could never live and die the death we deserved to die as a sheer gift by his grace, we are baffled. And because we're in touch enough with our weaknesses and flaws and sins, we can from time to time feel insecure: Does God really love me?

How should you handle this struggle? Repent and believe the gospel.

Say What?