Sunday, May 31, 2009
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Dangerous Turn Ahead: Traveling down the road to compromise
by Henry Morris, Ph.D. (1918-2006)
Genesis 1:1 states, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." This is the first and foremost apologetic. If a person stumbles on this one profound truth, a lifetime of doubt and confusion lies ahead for him, full of uncertainty about the ultimate purpose for being alive. But when a Christian attempts to alter this ultimate statement of reality to fit the compromising philosophies of men--even scientifically-trained professionals--then woe to him for his unbelief and, even graver still, for teaching others that unbelief. The following article by the late Dr. Henry Morris, published some years back, contains a timeless warning about the failure of Christian scientists who compromise the truth. Today, the names of Christian leaders who advocate compromise in the Genesis record are different, but the precipice on which they stand is just as dangerous. -- Lawrence Ford, Executive Editor [ICR's Acts & Facts magazine]
The road of compromise looks attractive at first, but long experience has proved it to be a one-way street. The evolutionists at the end of the road are never satisfied until their opponents travel all the way to the atheistic void at its end.
Charles Darwin set the pattern. Starting out as a Bible-believing creationist, he first became enamored of Charles Lyell's uniformitarianism and his "progressive creationism." Soon he abandoned the Bible and creationism altogether, moving on into the domain of theistic evolutionism. Eventually he became an agnostic and finally an atheist.
Many others in his day followed this compromise road. Darwin's chief opponents, in fact, were scientists, not the theologians of his day.
"Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, it is widely believed that the church was a bitter opponent of evolution."
Whole denominations and their religious colleges and seminaries were teaching evolution during Darwin's lifetime, and multitudes of more fundamental Christians were accommodating the evolutionary ages of geology by their "gap theory," "local flood theory," and other devices of artificial biblical exegesis.
But did such compromises ever persuade the evolutionists to meet them half way? The present state of the schools and colleges and the intellectual community in general is the obvious answer.Despite these lessons of the past, most modern Christians seem oblivious to the fact that all their different accommodational schemes were discredited a hundred years ago and that none of them ever budged the evolutionary establishment from its base of total naturalism.
A good modern example is found in the writings of Davis Young. As a beginning graduate student, Dr. Young originally believed in a literal six-day creation and flood geology. Under the guidance of his Princeton professors, however, he converted to "progressive creationism" and the venerable "day-age theory" of Genesis. This position he strongly advocated in two influential books. He did acknowledge, however, that the "natural" interpretation of Genesis, as well as the teaching of the early Christians and the Protestant reformers, was the literal interpretation. He had simply decided this had to be abandoned because of its supposed geological difficulties.
His progressive creationism did not even satisfy his theistic-evolutionary colleagues at Calvin College, however, let alone his geological peers at the secular universities. So how far was he willing to travel down this road?
I further suggest that both literalism and concordism have outlived their usefulness, and that these approaches should be abandoned for a newer approach that does not try to answer technical scientific questions with biblical data.6
I suggest that we will be on the right track if we stop treating Genesis 1 and the flood story as scientific and historic reports.7
This approach is essentially that advocated by Christian "liberals" a century ago and now taught in most mainline seminaries.
The road of compromise, however attractive it seems, is a one-way street, ending in a precipice and then the awful void of "rational religion," or atheism. Our advice is to stay on the straight and narrow road of the pure Word of God.
~Morris, H. M. 2009. Dangerous Turn Ahead: Traveling down the road to compromise. Acts & Facts. 38 (6): 4.
The entire article at the site, including 7 footnotes.
This goes along very well with Morris' article "Old Earth Creationism":
Many evangelical leaders today, unfortunately, have capitulated to the evolutionary timescale of modern unbelieving geologists and astronomers. They feel that they must somehow reinterpret the Genesis record of creation to allow for billions of prehistoric years, which the evolutionists must have in order to make cosmic evolution and biological evolution seem feasible. This compromise is necessary, they say, in order to win scientists and other intellectuals to the Lord...
The difference is this: we believe the Bible must take priority over scientific theories, while they believe scientific theories must determine our biblical interpretations.
It all seems to us to hinge on one overriding question. Do we really believe the Bible to be God's inerrant Word or not? If the Bible is really the Word of our Creator God, then--by definition--it must be inerrant and authoritative on every subject with which it deals. This assumption leads clearly to the conviction that the creation took place in six literal days several thousand years ago. We believe this simply because God said so and said it quite plainly! And then we find also that this revealed fact will fit all the facts of science much better than the long-age evolutionary scenario does.
It is no good to say, as one evangelical leader said recently: "Well, I believe that God could create in six days or six billion years--it makes no difference." Yes it does, because it has to do with God's truthfulness! It is not a matter of what God could do. The question is what God says that He did! And what He said in writing was this, recorded with His own finger on a table of stone: "In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day" (Exodus 20:11; see also Exodus 31:15-18).
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Excerpts, part 1.
The Down Grade
March 1887, Sword and Trowel
By some means or other, first the ministers, and then the Churches, got on "the down grade," and in some cases, the descent was rapid, and in all, very disastrous. In proportion as the ministers seceded from the old Puritan godliness of life, and the old Calvinistic form of doctrine, they commonly became less earnest and less simple in their preaching, more speculative and less spiritual in the matter of their discourses, and dwelt more on the moral teachings of the New Testament, than on the great central truths of revelation. Natural theology frequently took the place which the great truths of the gospel ought to have held, and the sermons became more and more Christless. Corresponding results in the character and life, first of the preachers and then of the people, were only too plainly apparent.
The Presbyterians were the first to get on the down line. They paid more attention to classical attainments and other branches of learning in their ministry than the Independents, while the Baptists had no academical institution of any kind. It would be an easy step in the wrong direction to pay increased attention to academical attainments in their ministers, and less to spiritual qualifications; and to set a higher value on scholarship and oratory, than on evangelical zeal and ability to rightly divide the word of truth.
As is usual with people on an incline, some who got on "the down grade" went further than they intended, showing that it is easier to get on than to get off, and that where there is no brake it is very difficult to stop.
It is exceedingly painful to have to state—and the conduct is no less censurable than pitiable—that among the two classes into which those who held Arian sentiments may be divided, the first were so mean and dishonest as to conceal their sentiments under ambiguous phrases. They so expressed themselves that their orthodox hearers might appropriate their statements in support of their own views, while their Arian adherents could turn them to support their scheme.
This is terrible to think of; men going down to the grave with a whole life of the very worst kind of hypocrisy unconfessed, the basest deceit and dishonesty unacknowledged, the life-long practice of a lie unrepented of. Such a course is the very worst form of lying, for it is telling lies in the name of the Lord. Others were only a little less hardened in their career of falsehood; they prepared a sermon, or other composition, revealing their true sentiments, which was made public after their decease. Still more confided their real sentiments to a small circle of adherents, who told the tale of heresy to the world only when the grave had closed over the teacher.
Such were the crafty devices of the men of "broad views," and "free thought," and "advanced sentiments," in those days of "rebuke and blasphemy."
But these men deepened their own condemnation, and promoted the everlasting ruin of many of their followers by their hypocrisy and deceit; professing to be the ambassadors of Christ, and the heralds of his glorious gospel, their aim was to ignore his claims, deny him his rights, lower his character, rend the glorious vesture of his salvation, and trample his crown in the dust.
The second, and less numerous, class of Arian preachers were more honest. They boldly avowed their sentiments to their congregations, who as readily received them. In most cases, in both preachers and hearers, it was only a short step down from the Arianism which makes the eternal Son of God a super-angelic being to the Socinianism (miscalled Unitarianism) which makes him a man only, denying alike original sin, human depravity, the mediation of Christ, the personality and work of the eternal Spirit, and that new birth without which divine truth has declared no one can see the kingdom of God.
It amazes me at how timely the words are even today. Spurgeon fought Modernism. We fight Post-Modernism.
Any age you pick, liberalism is still liberalism. Error still recoils at Truth. Rebels still declare war on the Truth.
We are in the Second Downgrade Contraversy. Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries calls it the New Downgrade Contraversy. Either way, its the fight agaist truth.
It is the War On the Word.
It is headed up by pastors, elders, seminary professors, authors, and conference speakers. Spurgeon called them in his day, " the captains in this unholy war with truth." They were clergymen and pastors who espoused Arianism. Others would embrace Socianism. The weapon of such monstrosity were within the church (and seminary) walls. This downgrade from truth to error started at the top, as it always does. As it does today. When people study a broad spectrum of views, they open their minds to error and become desensitized to the horror of falsity, ending up either seeing error as optional or embracing it whole-heartedly,
As the shepher goes, so goes the sheep, Spurgeon reminds us.
And so it goes today. Schuller, Warren, Driscoll. Liberal Reformed Theology. The Pagan-Friendly Movement. The Emergent Church Movement. One thing they have in common: a low view of Scripture and therefore of God, and a high view of man. This is perversion and God will have none of it.
So from time to time, as we deal with the Driscolls, Warrens, Pipers, as well as the movements mentioned above, I would like to offer prudent quotes from The Downgrade Contraversy.
To close I leave with this from The Down Grade, First Article, March 1887, Sword and Trowel:
"These facts furnish a lesson for the present times, when, as in some cases, it is all too plainly apparent men are willing to forego the old for the sake of the new. But commonly it is found in theology that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true.
In another paper we propose to trace "the down grade" course among other Protestants in this country—a sad piece of business, but one which must needs be done. Oh that it might act as a warning to the unsettled and unsettling spirits of our own day!"
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Sam Guzman over at Slice of Laodicea also shares my view that Driscoll's treatment of Jesus is absolutely horrific and unbiblical. He tried to delve into Driscoll's book "Vintage Jesus" but the way the man walks all over Jesus and trivializes Him made him angry. It should make every Christian angry. This is why its astonishing who defends Driscoll and his pathetic book.
Sam, you've got far more wisdom than many other men (starting with the men who endorses the "Vintage Jesus" book: Wayne Grudem, Bruce Ware, Chuck Coleson, and JI Packer) who think they can find something of spiritual value from Driscoll. But we recognize there is no life in the things of the flesh and we did not come to Jesus Christ through impurity and filth nor do we know Him according to the flesh.
Eph 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.
Eph 4:20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!--
Eph 4:21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus,
Eph 4:22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
Eph 4:23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
Rom 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
Joh 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
I'd like to expound on the impurity issue. Here is what John MacArthur says about Eph. 4:19:
"[They] have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness."
The Greek word translated "lasciviousness" (aselgeia) speaks of shameless wantonness and unblushing obscenity. It primarily refers to sexual obscenity. Basil, the fourth-century church father, defined it as a disposition of the soul incapable of bearing the pain of discipline (cited by Richard C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983 reprint], p. 56). Some bad men will try to hide their badness, but a man given over to aselgeia doesn't care who he shocks or how indecent he is, just as long as he gratifies his own sick mind.
A person with a reprobate mind can't reason, be logical, or receive the truth. He continually gives himself to lasciviousness and does so without fear of shocking anyone. He may indulge in homosexuality, promiscuity, lying, cheating, and stealing.
"To work [Gk., ergasia, "business"] all uncleanness with greediness" implies those people make a business out of evil and lust. That's certainly true of our society. There was a day when dirty business was hidden; now it's wholesale. Pornography, prostitution, X-rated films, suggestive TV programs, and other types of uncleanness form a large industry in our country. It's been stated that the books published in America rival the drippings from a broken sewer.
Paul said such people pursue their evil with "greediness." The Greek word translated "greediness" means "a lawful desire for things that belong to others." Reprobates are after your purity, sanity, morality, and character. They want it all!
And so does Driscoll. He's so consumed with the flesh and impurity that he has placed it onto Jesus Christ Himself!
My pastor is teaching through the book of Colossians. A few weeks ago we went over this verse: Col 3:5 "Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming."
Again "impurity" is a wide-based Greek word ("akatharsia") that encompasses all manner of impurity--not just sexual, but it includes even the thoughts; its a moral corruptness.
Speaking on Eph. 5:4-7, MacArthur notes also:
"Impurity is another devilish perversion of love. Here Paul employs the Greek term akatharsia, which refers to every kind of filth and impurity. Specifically, Paul has in mind “filthiness,” “foolish talk,” and “crude joking,” which are the peculiar characteristics of evil companionship. That kind of camaraderie has nothing to do with true love, and the apostle plainly says it has no place in the Christian’s walk."
More on purity here and here.
More Driscoll quotes here.
"I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me!" Psalm 119:75
"God disciplines us for our good--that we may share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10
In Scripture, we read much concerning the emptiness, vanity and uncertainty of the present world.
When our minds are enlightened by the Holy Spirit--then we receive and acknowledge what His Word declares to be truth. Yet if we remain long without changes and trials, and when our path is very smooth--we are for the most part but faintly affected with what we profess to believe. But when some of our dearest friends die, or we ourselves are brought low with pain and sickness--then we not only say, but feel that this world must not, cannot be our rest!
Strength of grace is not ordinarily acquired by those who sit still and live at ease.
Afflictions do us good likewise, as they make us more acquainted with what is in our own hearts, and thereby promote humiliation and self-abasement. There are abominations which, like nests of vipers, lie so quietly within our hearts, that we hardly suspect they are there--until the rod of affliction rouses them! Then they hiss and spit their venom! This discovery is indeed very distressing--yet, until it is made, we are prone to think ourselves much less vile than we really are, and cannot so heartily abhor ourselves and repent in dust and ashes.
I must write a sermon rather than a letter--if I would enumerate all the good fruits which, by the power of sanctifying grace, are produced from this bitter tree of affliction!
While we have such a depraved nature, and live in such a polluted world; while the roots of pride, vanity, self-dependence and self-seeking, are so strong within us--we need a variety of sharp afflictions to keep us from cleaving to the dust!"
Before I was afflicted I went astray--but now I obey Your Word." Psalm 119:67
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Many people are afraid of offending everyone but their own circle of people who actually stand on its platform and principles. Such people are not tolerated even though they are abiding by their group's own document, "Christian" or Republican. They give lip service to the principles, but they cower in public, fear rejection, and basically are sissies, unwilling to be men...to be leaders. Thank GOD these "leaders" weren't around in 1776, otherwise we'd still belong to England.
When a celebrity (examples here , here , here, here as well as here) becomes the identification of a group (by people in the group) and not the principles and values, you've just reached failure. Their leader will not be questioned or jettisoned if proven to be in great error. Because people will dump principles to follow a man.
They already have. And they will again, to their destruction.
Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.’”
"Ever since President Obama cited Las Vegas trips as an example of corporate greed run amok, 340 planned conventions and business meetings have been canceled there, costing the gambling mecca 36,700 hotel-room nights and an estimated $130 million in non-gambling revenue.
On Tuesday, the president heads to Las Vegas to attend a star-studded fundraiser for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. While some hope Mr. Obama will try to set things right - even apologize - top officials there aren't holding their breath.
Gov. Jim Gibbons, a Republican, said he has been denied a meeting with Mr. Obama while he is in Las Vegas. The fundraiser, at the Caesars Palace Colosseum, is set to feature actress/singer Bette Midler and singer Sheryl Crow. "
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
More on RockHarbor being emergent here.
Excerpts from Lighthouse Trails special report on Mike Erre, author of "Death by Church" and emergent pastor:
In light of an event (Movement 2009) scheduled to take place on May 29th at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, the Calvary Chapel mother church, with RockHarbor pastor, Mike Erre (and a similar event (Pure Worship) that took place earlier this month), Lighthouse Trails is posting this special report....
Death by Church has a point to make--that God is saving "all of creation" (eg. p. 100) and that the "church" is not the substance of the kingdom of God (i.e., the whole of creation and all of humanity is). In fact, Erre says, the church is not the kingdom of God at all - it only points to the kingdom of God, which incorporates all of creation and, if the church does all the right things it can have the privilege of being part of that kingdom too. Erre seeks to prove his point but not just by turning to Scripture - he turns to prominent figures in the emerging/emergent church (those such as Brian McLaren and Dan Kimball), the contemplative mystical prayer movement (those such as Dallas Willard and panentheist Richard Rohr-a favorite of Erre's), and New Age sympathizers (those such as Marcus Borg, who believes Jesus did not see himself as the Son of God (see FMSN, p. 124), and Gregory Boyd, author of the not-yet published work, The Cosmic Dance). Couple Erre's frequent use of emerging/contemplative/New Age sympathizing authors with his kingdom-now theology wrapped in universalist/panentheistic overtones, and Death by Church actually takes on a pseudo-name, Death by Deception.
If that is not enough, the report is filled with direct quotes from Erre's book, including six direct quotes in that book referring to Erre's universalism.
Death by Church lays out a perfect example of what Lighthouse Trails calls "the new missiology." In essence, Erre tells believers that "we don't take Christ to a region or people group, but we instead show up and pay attention to the work that Jesus is already doing. We have to move away from the current mind-set about church, ministry, and mission." (p. 136). In other words, we don't have to tell people about Jesus because Jesus is already there among them (before they hear the Gospel and believe; i.e, they can keep their same religion and still be connected to God).
As if the kingdom-now theology, replacement theology, universalistic message, and new missiology were not enough, Erre presents to the reader a case for panentheism (God in all things).
In Death by Church, in Erre's presentation of panentheism, Erre quotes Madeleine L'Engle: "There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation" (p. 159). What she is saying here is that God (the sacred) can be found in everything (the secular). In that line of thinking, Erre himself says that his new kingdom "dismantles the sacred/secular distinction" and "all things are given over to God--including those things formerly thought to be secular or unspiritual" He adds: "Confessional worship ... seeks to see everything as having been made to reflect the glory of God. ... we reawaken to the possibilities of redemption in all areas of life" (pp. 158). This is the same theology as Sue Monk Kidd (see ATOD, p. 134). This concept reflects classic panentheism--God is in all things. Keep in mind, that there is a continuity of the theme that God is in everything with many of the figures that Erre turns to in his book. Richard Rohr, Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, and John Dominic Crossan are four who hold to this view and are referenced in Death by Church.
These things obviously are a direct attack on Scripture. God Himself denotes what is of the Spirit and what is of the flesh--He will not call evil "good" nor things of the flesh as "of the Spirit":
Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Also, universalism denies the very words of Jesus Christ (and the Gal. 5 passage above):
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Mat 7:13 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
2Pe 3:5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
Erre follows his father of old--he attacks God's Word by practicing "Has God said?" Erre will be teaching at a conference hosted by Calvary Chapel. While Erre clearly is emergent, CC claims to be against the ECM. The fact that Chuck Smith's son, Chuck Jr. is also Emergent, has led to the compromise that Calvary Chapel is experiencing, even if its a slow decline. Its a decline all the same.
Monday, May 25, 2009
My Country Tis of Thee
My country,' tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty,
of thee I sing;
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside let freedom ring!
Our fathers' God, to thee,
author of liberty,
to thee we sing;
long may our land be bright
with freedom's holy light;
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.
Today I remember my father who was in the Navy during WW II. He was in boot camp, just out of high school, with Gene Kelly, and then became a radioman on a yard mine sweeper . My dad went on to go to USC on his GI bill. He was a teacher and an engineer, and made many patents, including oxygen masks for the military (two examples are in the Smithsonian Museum) which is still in use today and those orange ones used in airlines for emergencies (started out as a sketch on a napkin).
My father passed away and I miss him very much. I am so grateful he was willing to die for our country.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
The Americans Who Risked Everything
Excerpts from the speech of Rush Limbaugh Jr., the father of Rush Limbaugh III on the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence:
Each had more to lose from revolution than he had to gain by it. John Hancock, one of the richest men in America, already had a price of 500 pounds on his head. He signed in enormous letters so that his Majesty could now read his name without glasses and could now double the reward. Ben Franklin wryly noted: "Indeed we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately."Fat Benjamin Harrison of Virginia told tiny Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts: "With me it will all be over in a minute, but you, you will be dancing on air an hour after I am gone." These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.
They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.
William Ellery, delegate from Rhode Island, was curious to see the signers' faces as they committed this supreme act of personal courage. He saw some men sign quickly, "but in no face was he able to discern real fear." Stephan Hopkins, Ellery's colleague from Rhode Island, was a man past 60. As he signed with a shaking pen, he declared: "My hand trembles, but my heart does not."
Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.
And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.
He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: "No."
The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
The entire speech including specific signers and what happened to them and their families--the cost they personally paid for your freedom can be read here.
America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates,Melody by Samuel Ward
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!
O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!
O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice, for man's avail
Men lavished precious life!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!
Fly Old Glory this weekened and praise the Lord for your freedoms--first physically to live in America (for those reading this that do), and most importantly for your salvation and the redemption Jesus Christ paid to buy you, a wretched, God-hating sinner, back--turning you into a work of HIS hand, freeing you from sin and death and the devil. Live for Him in a manner worthy of Christ Jesus.
Gal 5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Joh 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ...36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
Rom 8:4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
May 21, 2009
By Mike Ratliff
4 But to this day g the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. (Deuteronomy 29:4 ESV)
God is Sovereign. He is on the throne in Heaven. He is high and lifted up. The seraphim around the throne of God cry to one another, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” The arrogant and the proud have no portion with Him for all who encounter Him will immediately see their sin and cry, “Woe is me for I am ruined!” These may fall on their face before the throne, but they do so because “It has been given” to them to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. They have been given a heart to understand and eyes to see and ears to hear the truth, grasp it, know it, believe it, submit to it, and be changed forever by it.
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, x “To you it has been given to know y the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 z For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, a even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because b seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, c nor do they understand. (Matthew 13:10-13 ESV)
The Lord Jesus affirms that the ability to comprehend spiritual truth is a gracious gift of God, which He bestows sovereignly on His elect (v11). On the other hand, the reprobate are passed over. They reap the natural consequence of their own unbelief and rebellion, which is spiritual blindness (v13). God’s sovereign choice lies behind the hardening of their hearts towards the truth of God. Our Lord spoke in parables to the multitudes. These parables served as instruments of judgment by hardening the impenitent. Is this still going on today? Yes it is. When we teach the truth to the skeptical and all it does is make them even more defiant then we know for sure that they have been hardened. The reverse is true as well though. When people actually believe the Gospel and are saved it is because God has drawn them to the Son (John 6:44) in His mercy and by His grace through the faith He gives them they believe and repent and are justified (Ephesians 2:1-10). More...
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
The contemporary moral climate does not favor a faith as tough and fibrous as that taught by our Lord and His apostles. The delicate, brittle saints being produced in our religious hothouses today are hardly to be compared with the committed, expendable believers who once gave their witness among men. And the fault lies with our leaders. They are too timid to tell the people all the truth. They are now asking men to give to God that which costs them nothing.
Our churches these days are filled (or one-quarter filled) with a soft breed of Christian that must be fed on a diet of harmless fun to keep them interested. About theology they know little. Scarcely any of them have read even one of the great Christian classics, but most of them are familiar with religious fiction and spinetingling films. No wonder their moral and spiritual constitution is so frail. Such can only be called weak adherents of a faith they never really understood.
“Lord, send the Holy Spirit to renew within us a depth and seriousness again in our pulpits. Give us a boldness in our preaching. Amen.” (Tozer on Christian Leadership, May 20)
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
"He spreads snow like wool; He scatters frost like ashes; He throws His hailstones like crumbs. Who can withstand His cold? He unleashes His winds, and the waters flow." Psalm 147:15-18
What a declaration is this! The changes of the elements are beneath God's sovereign control. It is God who withholds the rain--and it is God who gives the rain . . . when He wills, where He wills, as He wills, and on whom He wills!
"I also withheld the rain from you while there were still three months until harvest. I sent rain on one city--but no rain on another. One field received rain--while a field with no rain withered. I struck you with blight and mildew; the locust devoured your many gardens and vineyards, your fig trees and olive trees! I sent plagues like those of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword . . . says the Lord." Amos 4:7-10
"The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; He scatters His lightning through them. At His direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever He commands them. He brings the clouds to punish men--or to water His earth and show His love." Job 37:10-13
Truly, then, God governs the elements!
Earth and wind, fire and rain, hail and snow, stormy winds and angry seas--all obey His omnipotent word--and fulfill His sovereign pleasure! Therefore, when we complain about the weather, we are, in reality, murmuring against God!
Let His Word speak once more: "The Lord does whatever He pleases throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths. He causes the clouds to rise over the earth. He sends the lightning with the rain, and releases the wind from His storehouses." Psalm 135:6-7
~ ~ ~ ~
"All things are in the hands of God, have Him for their Author, and are directed and governed by Him to such ends as are most suitable to His wise providence. Whoever complains of the weather--complains of the God who ordains the weather!" William Law
Monday, May 18, 2009
Which woman do "Christians" applaud and approve? Which ones would Jesus Christ say portrays a truly beautiful woman?
Friday, May 15, 2009
"Jones’ friend, Adam Walker-Cleveland, has been denied ordination in the PCUSA for a second time. The first was when a presbytery in Idaho objected to Adam’s request to have his best friend, a homosexual, preach at his ordination service. The recent rejection to ordain Adam has come from his current presbytery in San Francisco, CA, due to academic qualifications.Tony Jones is outraged at the presbytery’s denial of Adam and is calling out Emergents for support in his post Let’s Ordain Adam....
But rather than walking into the Emergent Village Corporate Office with an uzi and murdering folks, Jones calls on other rebellious, anti-authority, burned-out evangelical, emergents to join him in his cause and circumvent the local presbytery by ordaining Adam themselves."
The liberals are turning on themselves. I'm sure eventually they'll all kiss and make up. The PCUSA is hardly a bastion for biblical doctrine. Obviously neither is Tony Jones nor his ECM.
I've been getting a number of comments that defend CCOCM and Chuck Smith and try to discredit Lighthouse Trails Research (who, by the way, has had first hand contact with some involved as the article shows). I'd like for you who read this to also read the article I posted on CCOCM. While LTR doesn't say CCOCM IS going Emergent, just that it appears to be heading that way and LTR hopes it doesn't, I believe it is. If you read this article (below) you will see why.
Those who reject the Emergent Church Movement would confirm this by staying away from ECM leaders/churches/pastors/events. To have such a man come preach at a church is to open the church and the hearers to the philosophies that so permiate a man like Erre. His spiritual views are conforming to the ECM's heresies and this will come through in one way or another in his teaching. To denouce the ECM and then turn around and tout one of its pastors is hypocrisy. Actions speak louder than words. Please bear this in mind.
RockHarbor reveals itself to be Emergent. Go here for the latest report.
A heads-up from the Christian Research Network took me to this article on Calvary Chapel's firing of Chuck Smith's brother. There is some information from behind the scenes that prompted the firing of Paul Smith, which Lighthouse Trails Research has revealed. This is directly linked to the Emergent Church Movement's Eastern Mysticism infiltrating that church denomination.
In typical fashion, the liberals get rid of Christians who question and challenge the spiritual direction of the church. They welcome all who agree with them, but not those who dogmatically stand solely for Scriptural truth.
Here are some excerpts:
Lighthouse Trails regrets to report that on May 5th, Paul Smith, brother of Chuck Smith (the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement), was fired from his position in the Calvary Chapel (CCOF) organization during an unscheduled meeting that day. The motion to fire Paul Smith was made by board member Roger Wing and seconded by Chuck Smith's son-in-law, Brian Broderson. Other board members affirmed the motion, and Paul Smith was dismissed.
Concerns over the direction that the Calvary Chapel movement may go after Chuck Smith is no longer heading the organization have continued to grow. And now with Paul Smith, who strongly advocated and supported his brother's hopes of having a NON-contemplative/emerging/Purpose Driven movement, those concerns are mounting. Just two weeks ago, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (home church of Chuck Smith Sr.) hosted a Pure Worship Conference, which included worship leaders from the nearby Rock Harbor church. Rock Harbor has shown signs that it is being significantly influenced by the emerging church, including having had their youth group study New Age sympathizer Rob Bell's book, Velvet Elvis , for three weeks. A few months ago, Rock Harbor held a meeting due to concerns by congregants as to whether they were going emergent or not. Approximately 700 people showed up!
Recently we reported on Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa's high school in which a teacher there asked his class to read, review, and study How to Stay Christian in College written by Protestant-turned-Catholic J. Budziszewski . The book has references in the back of some editions to mystic emergent Tony Jones, and Budziszewski himself is a proponent of contemplative prayer practices. Our article "Concerned Family Asks Legitimate Questions of Christian Leaders" illustrates what many families are going through in trying to protect their children and teens from spiritual deception. Christian parents must realize that the souls of their youth are at stake.
Paul Smith came on board to Calvary Chapel about four years ago to help with what could possibly be a sinking ship. Paul believed that the only answer for the movement was to hold to the basic tenets of biblical Christianity. As he learned of the various emerging/contemplative/Purpose Driven influences pouring into Calvary Chapel, he often spoke up but was also often received with resistance--until last Tuesday, when an impromptu meeting in the middle of the day brought his efforts to a halt.
This situation with Calvary Chapel is not isolated. Nearly every evangelical denomination and organization of any size in North America is going in this same direction to one degree or another. One key factor in why this is happening so rapidly is that Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries are heavily saturated with contemplative/emerging spirituality. Biola University, for instance, where many Calvary Chapel pastors have attended and graduated, is deeply involved in this "new spirituality."
But as with most denominations and Christian organizations, there are indications that contemplative/emergent/Purpose Driven is continuing to influence the Calvary Chapel movement contrary to the efforts and statements of Chuck Smith in 2006. For instance, Calvary Chapel speaker Gayle Erwin has come out strong in support of the New Age sympathizing book, The Shack. Erwin's endorsement for William Paul Young's New York Times best-seller sits on The Shack website, and says:
Riveting, with twists that defy your expectations while teaching powerful
theological lessons without patronizing. I was crying by page 100. You
cannot read it without your heart becoming involved. [emphasis added]
Even though a statement was issued by Calvary Chapel denouncing The Shack, which is reported in our article "New Age Similarities, Popularity Continues, and Calvary Chapel Gives Official Statement" , Gayle Erwin continues speaking at Calvary Chapel churches today.
Earlier on (as the Lighthouse report states), Roger Oakland, who had a long standing ministry within the Calvary Chapel denomination in teaching and evangelism. He began to sound the warnings of the ECM and for a time, Calvary Chapel, including Chuck Smith Sr., agreed.
However as the pull of heresy continued, and the son of Chuck Smith Sr., Chuck Smith Jr., embraced Eastern Mysticism, the fight against the ECM started to crumble. Now they have fired Paul Smith, Smith Sr.'s brother.
Again we see two things I've pointed out repeatedly in the past: error comes in by way of churches, books, schools, seminaries and colleges (it MATTERS what we read and who we listen to!) and when a relationship is at stake, as with Smith Jr.
Christ said that unless we're willing to give up even our family members for HIM, we are not worthy to be His disciples.
Loyalty to Christ Jesus at ANY COST!
On a side note, in this article from Lighthouse, I read with disappointment of another seemingly solid Christian leader leaving the faith, J. Budziszewski. It reminds me of the whole debacle with Ravi Zacharius. Very sad.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A new Barna survey revealed on Monday that half of churchgoers cannot describe how their church defines a "healthy, spiritually mature follower of Jesus."
Some defined it as having a relationship with Jesus (21 percent), following rules and being obedient (15 percent), living a moral lifestyle (14 percent), possessing concern about others (13 percent), being involved in spiritual disciplines (13 percent), applying the Bible (12 percent), being spiritual or having belief (8 percent), sharing their faith with others (6 percent), and being involved in church activities (5 percent).
About one-fifth of self-described Christians did not offer an opinion.
The survey also suggested that most pastors struggle with defining spiritual maturity.
Surveyed pastors offered a range of ways to measure someone’s spiritual maturity, including the practice of spiritual disciplines (19 percent), involvement in church activities (15 percent), witnessing to others (15 percent), having a relationship with Jesus (14 percent), having concern for others (14 percent), applying the Bible to life (12 percent), being willing to grow spiritually (12 percent), and having knowledge of Scripture (9 percent).
Most of the pastors who participated in the survey were also vague in offering biblical passages that address spiritual maturity.
About one-third of pastors gave the generic response that the “the whole Bible” described spiritual maturity. Pastors were asked to identify the most important portions of the Bible that gave a definition of spiritual maturity.
Other pastors gave general answers such as “the gospels” (17 percent), the New Testament (15 percent), and Paul’s letters (10 percent). Overall, about three-quarters of pastors gave some type of generic answer. Another one out of five pastors gave a “semi-generic” response, such as “Romans” or the “life of Christ.”
Only one-fifth of pastors offered specific passages that included Galatians 5, John 3:16, Ephesians 4, Matthew 28, and Romans 12:1-2. Just two percent of pastors specifically identified the Galatians 5 passage that describes the “fruits of the Spirit,” which includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.
Seven percent of pastor respondents gave “theme specific” responses, most commonly the Sermon on the Mount, the Great Commission, the Great Commandment, and the Beatitudes.
I cautious with Barna's labeling of "Christian" and thus "Christian pastor", but if what he has found is pretty accurate, this is not unexpected.
Go back and look at how the pastors answered this.
Pastors measure spiritual maturity by:
"spiritual disciplines" (that's good news for Donald Whitney, especially when you see that knowing Scripture is lowest on the list)---this is highest on the list
"having a relationship with Jesus" (not sure what that means, but for the benefit of the doubt, let's assume they mean salvation--I'm being generous here for argument's sake)--this isn't even on top of the list! It comes in FOURTH. Other things are better indicators of spiritual maturity than being saved? Without salvation we are dead and consider the things of God to be foolish and can't understand them (1Cor. 2:14).
It gets worse...
"applying the Bible to life" (12%) comes BEFORE "having a knowledge of Scripture" (9%)!
Excuse me, but HOW CAN YOU APPLY SCRIPTURE IF YOU DON'T KNOW IT?
Most men who go through seminary were never qualified to be elders to begin with, so why would anyone think they would automatically be qualified to be pastors after a few years of school? Education doesn't qualify a man to be and elder. GOD does. No amount of Greek or Hebrew or expository preaching will ever turn a man into a shepherd. That is solely the work of God and it doesn't come by way of high tuition fees.
The fact that knowledge of Scripture is the lowest on the measuring rod of spirituality is an important factor when you consider that merely 1/5 of the pastors even offered a specific passage on spiritual maturity! If they don't know what Scripture teaches about spiritual maturity, they don't know themselves and therefore are ignorant of what GOD says about maturity, let alone teaching their churches.
Only a measley two percent of the pastors surveyed even gave Galatians 5 as the definitive passage on spiritual growth.
One-third threw out a generic answer such as "the whole Bible" describes spiritual maturity. These are men who are neither mature, nor qualified as pastors. They should've failed their seminary classes. And their sincerity isn't the issue here. God has made CLEAR requirements for those who desire to be elders, because clearly not all who have the desire, dare I say MOST, are not qualified.
What are these "pastors" spending their time doing during the week?
What are they "preaching" on Sunday after Sunday?
If they haven't a clue about what God says regarding the growth of the Christian, then they can't exhort them to grow. They themselves won't grow either. So what is their motive to be pastors if its not the spiritual condition of the people and the honor of the Lord?
Here are just some of the requirements for pastors/elders:
1Ti 3:2 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach...6 He must not be a recent convert
Tit 1:8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
These are qualifications of men who are mature, both spiritually and mentally/emotionally.
On the heels of the famous (well I guess its not so well known by pastors anymore) Gal. 5 passage about deeds of the flesh versus fruit of the Spirit, is this command:
Gal 6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
This verse is referring to those who are spiritually more mature to exhort those overtaken in a sin and aid in their restoration (refer back to chapter 5). But it takes maturity! If you haven't a clue what that is, you can't help the one caught in a sin! I guess only two percent of the pastors in Barna's survey would be able to help those caught in a sin.
And so the carnality of the "churches" continues. "Church" leaders haven't a clue or care about spiritual maturity for themselves let alone their flock so we end up with anemic or even dead "churches" filled with people who find it far more interesting to be entertained than grow spiritually and please the Master, Jesus Christ.
We end up with the Prejeans, Osteens, Warrens, Pipers, and Driscolls.
These hirelings ought to be fired for impersonating a pastor.
True shepherds, like Peter, will have a heart for the maturity of their flock:
1Pe 5:2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
Peter's final recorded words from his shepherd's heart was:
2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Job 31:1 "I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
As the dust settles over the question if Carrie Prejean will keep her Miss California crown (yes, even when you are caught lying on your job application, you can keep your job), more has come to light about her.
Unfortunately many public "conservative" or "Christian" figures immediately jumped to Prejean's defense because of the ridicule she received by others for stating her opinion of traditional marriage, while ignoring the fact she was “dressed” in a way that can destroy marriages but causing men to lust. This wasn’t a problem for these "leaders". But as her modeling pictures surfaced (some were soft porn photos--- she wasn’t modeling for JC Penney’s catalogue ), those who voiced concern were vindicated.
Now it has come to light that Prejean, who is an attendee at The Rock is part of the JC 's Girls. Here is a news story on it, although she also said this in her interview at The Rock.
What is "JC's Girls"?
JC's Girls ("Jesus Christ's Girls") is a group of women who go out to strip clubs and porn conventions and prostitutes to tell people "Jesus loves" them without judging them. Their target audience is the "adult entertainment" industry, with an emphasis on, but not limited to, women. JC Girls proudly describe their "ministry" as "without condemnation" and call this "love". They invite these Adult Entertainers to " church" and support them and prays for them. There are various chapters of JC Girls around the country.
Sadly, they don't tell the women what they really need to hear: that they are under the wrath of God and in need of salvation, and that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way, truth, and life, without Whom, they will not go to the Father. They are not told that they are violating God's laws and earning Hell. They are not told to repent of their sins. Its all acceptable according to JC'S Girls.
JC's Girls' founder Heather Veitch's stated goal is that Christians need their minds open to go out and into the strip joints and porn conventions, she contends. The "long term goal" of JC's is to open the churches up to these strippers and prostitutes and drunks.
JC's Girls don't require the women to leave the industry before joining JC's. Just come and "try out a relationship with God".
Scripture says otherwise:
Luk 14:26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?... 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.
Veitch's myspace blog is full of happiness at exposing her "church lady" friends to the strip scene and getting them comfortable (desensitized) to the adult entertainment industry and the strippers comfortable with "Christians".
"The ministry does not just focus on local strip clubs. They have even had an outreach to porn conventions and online. They don't put demands on people. All kinds of people come to Sandals Church and the growth comes from people who see that the church accepts strippers – the church gets homosexuals, men addicted to porn, etc. They like that the church is nonjudgmental. Heather cites that hosts from the radio show "stripper society" are the ministry's biggest fans- the sex industry feels like they are on their side."
Porn is a $56 billion dollar industry that is making more than the major networks. JC's Girls got a booth at the Las Vegas porn convention, which is the biggest industry trade show. They went to minister to girls at the convention by giving them a gift that would direct the girls to the JC's Girls booth. At the booth Heather and her group would give them Bibles wrapped in t-shirts that said 'Holy Hotties.'
Heather says Christians should not be judgmental of people in the sex industry like they are people that are less than others.
So this is what Prejean has been involved with. This is hardly biblical or moral.
The Church Accomodating The World
A local body of believers assembled together in unity in Christ Jesus and worship of Him, is not the place for porn stars, strippers, drunks, and prostitutes. Bringing in blatant sinners who have not bowed to the lordship of the Lord as they continue in their "industry" is bringing in the polluted God-hating world into the Body of Christ. They expose the sheep of Christ to all manner of sexual sin and that cannot be tolerated. This is very dangerous for the men, teens, girls, marriages, and leaders. A little yeast leavens the whole loaf, God says (see how God deals harshly with sexually immoral “brothers” in 1Cor. 5, where there is a wall of distinction between the world and the churches). So much for church discipline as Christ commanded of His churches in Matt. 18---that would be too judgmental and demanding of what The Master commands.
When professing Christians accommodate the World, they always compromise Truth, Love, and purity of God and His Word.
Evangelism cannot be done pragmatically, otherwise it will be done in the flesh, not by the Holy Spirit (see 1Cor. 1-2 and Acts 2, for example). Christians are not to expose themselves to sexual immorality by walking into strip joints, buying lap dances in private booths (sans the dance, but no one on the floor knows that—the “evangelism” is done in secret), and attending porn conventions. What our eyes look upon matters to God. We can’t erase the images of many of these things. We are not to look like, nor fellowship with such darkness. Rom 16:19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
“innocent” = unmixed, pure, of the mind, without mixture of evil. Clearly exposing oneself to sexually immoral places of business violates this verse.
There IS a wall of separation between the Christian and the world.
1Co 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
When Jesus proclaimed the Gospel to people, He did it plainly, boldly, and did not join in their frivolity ro carousing. He did not go to bars, brothels, or porn conventions. There’s absolutely no biblical foundation for such an accusation against Him in order to justify what many “Christians” do in order to get cozy with the sexually immoral drunks (and yes, even Veicht admits that many in the “Adult Entertainment” industry, including herself when she was in it, are often drunk). Jesus Christ calls people OUT of their sin and darkness. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is far different than this "non-judgmental" liberal junk being pawned off as the "Gospel". Like pornography, its a horrible, fake immitation of the real and abiding thing.
1Pe 4:3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Did Jesus eat at the homes of sinners? Yes. We know of one or two occassions. But that is not the same as buying a lap dance or watching topless women gyrate or sell their bodies for sex. He was perfectly above reproach—a standard that is demanded of those who are truly HIS (1Tim. 3:2;Titus 6,7;1John 1:6-7; Eph. 4:1;5:8; John 8:12; Col. 1:10; 1Thes. 2:12).This is why when asked what sin the Pharisees had over Him, they could not answer. He violated no OT law, no standard of God. Jesus is our standard of holiness and we see our constant need of the Holy Spirit to help us walk in a manner worthy of the calling. We need His grace to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus. Most often, The Master taught in the synagogue, on hillsides, and in other places like boats, etc. Eating with a tax collector is not the same as going to a porn convention no matter how much you really want it to be.The stated goal of JC's Girls is to lower the bar of excellence, holiness, and purity within the churches. This is a direct attack by the enemy. Scripture says,
2Co 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you....
God will not tolerate the mixture of the two. We who are His, are IN the world but not OF the world. Matt. 18 commands the dealing of unrepenting brothers (sexual sin would qualify, nudity, etc. would qualify) by church discipline. If the person refuses to confess then leave his sin and walk in the ways of Jesus accordng to Scripture, he or she is to be excommunicated until he either repents or gets saved and then repents. God's name is at stake and therefore He demands purity in doctrine and practice. The sinner should be uncomfortable in the midst of believers because the light of Truth is exposing his or her sin (see John 3). If not, there's compromise going on, on the part of professing Christians.
The liberal "Christians" who claim God is love, are the first ones to hate the purity of God and His church. They excuse sin, they don't repent of it. They boldly lower the bar of God's HIGH standard. They infect churches with rebellion and impurity, calling it love, but its not biblical love at all. They make the churches as a social gathering place to practice non-descrimination policies of the world. But as Acts 5, 1Cor. 5, and 2Cor. 6 demonstrate, God indeed does discriminate against ungodliness. He struck down a husband and a wife for lying about the money they received when they sold a plot of land! Do you think God has changed in the last 2,000 years? Do you think He will be honored when His name is sullied?
Just as God said about the Jews, He can say about the “Christians” today:
Rom 2:24 For, as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."
2Pe 2:18 For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
When there’s no difference between “Christians” and the world, except for a higher self-esteem
or different life-management skills, or a job, then its time to examine yourselves to see if you are really in The Faith (having a mere form of godliness but denying the power). God draws a clear line between believers and unbelievers; light and darkness; the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of His Son; of the flesh and of the Spirit; of the devil and of God.
Christians should proclaim the Gospel to all kinds of people including prostitutes and strippers and porn stars, as God opens up opportunities. But HE will not allow Christians do enter into sin to do so. There are a number of ways to evangelize the lost without getting into the mire of the world. But many find it far more exciting and almost rebelliously fun, like an adolescent who defies his parents’ rules, to go into such places and then justify doing so.
"Take up the cross--and follow Me." Mark 10:21
You have not the liberty of making of your own cross; although unbelief is a master carpenter at cross-making. Neither are you permitted to choose your own cross; although self-will would gladly be lord and master. Your cross is prepared and appointed for you by divine love--and you are cheerfully to accept it. You are to take up the cross as your chosen portion, and not to stand caviling at it. Jesus bids you to submit your shoulder to His easy yoke.
Do not . . . kick at it in petulance, or trample on it in vain-glory, or fall under it in despair, or run away from it in fear.Take it up like a true follower of Jesus.
Jesus was a cross-bearer; He leads the way in the path of sorrow. Surely you could not desire a better guide! And if He carried a cross--what nobler burden would you desire? The Way of the Cross is the way of safety--do not fear to tread its thorny paths.
Beloved, the cross is not made of soft feathers, or lined with velvet--it is heavy and galling to disobedient shoulders! But it is not an iron cross, though your fears have painted it with iron colors! It is a wooden cross, and a man can carry it, for the Man of sorrows carried the load. Take up your cross, and by the power of the Spirit--you will soon be so in love with it, that like Moses, you would not exchange the reproach of Christ for all the treasures of Egypt!
Remember that the cross will soon be followed by the crown. The thought of the coming weight of glory--will greatly lighten the present heaviness of trouble. May the Lord help you to bow your heart in submission to the divine will--that you may go forth to this day's cross with the holy and submissive spirit which befits a follower of the Crucified.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Lamb, not the Lion.
The Baby not the Carpenter.
The Servant not the King.
The humanity not the divinity.
The Prince of Peace not the Judge ruling with a rod of iron ,sword, and fire.
The Savior not the Sovereign.
The feeder of the 10,000, but not the slayer of the first-born in Egypt.
Looking at such a Jesus, it resembles the one of Rome rather than the one of Scripture.
"Evangelicalism" is steeped in feminism, which turns...
men into boys, warriors into cowards, women into men, leaders into followers, boldness into mealy-mouthed. It makes men quiet and women loud, men learning while women teaching. It makes men lazy and women frustrated; women to be the bread winners ; divorce as acceptable while marriage temporary; rejects submission of wives to husbands and husbands as leaders.
certainty into doubt; truth into opinion; marriage into divorce; Scripture into a mere guide book; church discipline into psychological self-esteem; purity into impurity; sin into mistakes; holiness into ungodliness; spirituality into temporary "social justice"; grace into works; preaching into cheerleading; death of Self into love of Self; the role of pastor over to the psychologist.
It has a god that...
is human not divine; always learning but never truly and exhaustively omnicient; man-centered not God-centered; offering but not demanding; wishing for things but not controlling all things; must learn from man; is chopped up into an OT God (mean) and NT God (nice); is double-minded; a friend not a parent; a politician, not King; is just love but not holy; happy, not wrathful; mealy-mouthed, not bold; effeminate, not powerful and sure.
It has man that...
is sovereign, not God; has a high view of himself and a low view of God; he determines his own destiny; knows God's will for all individuals; decides God's actions and reactions; is Self-centered; teaches God what to do;has free will but denies God the same; demands God do things yet rejects God's demands on those who call themselves Christians; considers himself to be the king and God the slave; knows better than God, loves better than God, is more powerful than God.
They have a Bible that...
is not poweful; is mere opinion or suggestion; is ancient and dead, not living, active, and eternal; is cultural not cross-cultural; is limited in its wisdom; is dull not double-edged; is the last resort not the first, primary, and only source for Truth and Wisdom.
Monday, May 11, 2009
There is a three part series dealing with Richard Abanes, the vile Warren defender and Saddleback member and his liberal (read: emotional and unbiblical) attack on Phil Johnson's article about the sissyfication of evangelicalis:
This is all in due course, as Rick Warren and Saddleback Community is very feministic and has employe women pastors and leaders. Saddleback IS a sissy "church" and is neither evangelical nor is it a true church. Homosexuality also is very feministic, and we all know Warren is pro-Sodomy as he has continually boasted about all his "gay friends".
Rick Warren Supports Women in leadership and the Emergent Church Movement (which is highly feministic):
Dr. Katie Brazelton, Ph.D., M.Div., M.A., is a Life Coach and the bestselling author of the popular Pathway to Purpose for Women book series (Zondervan). She is also the founder of Life Purpose Coaching Centers, International®, which trains Christian men and women internationally to become Life Purpose Coaches and two-day-intensive Life Plan Facilitators.
Prior to the book series launch in 2005, Katie Brazelton worked at Saddleback Church (where Rick Warren is pastor) in various roles over # years: Director of Women’s Bible Studies, Director of Golden Gate Theological Seminary, Director of Research for Dr. Rick Warren, and as a Licensed Minister. Before coming to work at Saddleback Church, Katie held positions as Director of Public Relations for a multi-million-dollar medical laboratory and as Vice President of Curriculum Development for an ethics education company. Katie also taught English classes at local colleges for five years. Today Katie is focused on fulfilling her God-given dream of opening 200 Life Purpose Coaching Centers worldwide. Visit www.LifePurposeCoachingCenters.com for details.
Katie has been a featured guest on national television and radio shows such as “100 Huntley Street,” “HomeWord,” “Midday Connection,” and her print interviews include Today’s Christian Woman (TCW) and www.pastors.com. Katie has been a columnist for www.purposedriven.com and TCW, and she is currently a regular columnist for Extraordinary Women magazine, published by the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC). She has spoken at such venues as AACC’s World Conference and Focus on the Family. She is a Rockbridge Seminary professor.
The two seminaries Saddleback endorses are both feministic:
Saddleback Seminary is supplied by Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary which has women on its faculty : List: Leslies Dodtrill, Faith K. Kim, Shera Melick. “Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary: Saddleback Church is proud to host Golden Gate Seminary classes on its campus. As an extension of Golden Gate’s Southern California campus, Saddleback Church hosts two classes each semester that are fully accredited and taught by Golden Gate faculty members. These classes can help you earn a master of theological studies degree. ~source
Rockbridge Seminary: Rockbridge Seminary provides online ministry training with a Purpose Driven® curriculum design. Rockbridge provides training for pastors, ministers, or interns who want to stay involved in their current ministry. All courses are presented online and you can earn a diploma in ministry studies, a master of ministry leadership, and a master of divinity. To contact Rockbridge Seminary directly, please call 1-866-931-4300. To learn more, please visit www.rockbridgeseminary.org. " -- source
Rockbridge, an online seminary which Saddleback endorses has women teaching men at the seminary level (usually men go to seminary to become pastors) thus violating Scripture (1Tim. 3; Titus 1-2, 1Cor. 14): Rhonda Boggs, Katie Brazleton (seminary Advisor), Ingrid Buch-Wagler, Susanne M. Reid (lead teacher and department head). Seminary advisors also include women: Katie Brazleton, Cassandra A.Jones. ~source
Warren spoke at the 2004 National Pastors Convention which includes women pastors.
Both Kay and Rick Warren taught at the Robert Schuller Institute.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Last year Chan was involved in Exponential 08 which had some of the same Emergent leaders spewing their Post-Modernism.
The "Christian" Post reports:
Youth Specialties, one of the largest organizations equipping Christian youth workers, will be making some dramatic shifts this year at their popular convention.
One of the major changes includes featuring main session speakers who won't push the buttons of a theologically diverse crowd.
For years, Youth Specialties had brought in various speakers to the National Youth Workers Convention to cater to youth workers from different denominations, theological backgrounds and contexts.
"I think part of how we pursued that (serving a diverse crowd) is, to put it in a negative, we've almost built a convention where everybody has the opportunity to get pissed off or to get bugged by something," said Mark Oestreicher, president of Youth Specialties, in a webcast this week.
"It's like celebrating those differences was actually becoming divisive rather than bringing us together," he added.
Oestreicher explained that the organization received "so much more critique," some of which were ugly, from convention attendees last year who felt the youth workers organization was pushing an agenda of some sort.
One of last year's main sessions addressed the issue of homosexuality and youth. The featured speaker was Andrew Marin, president and founder of The Marin Foundation, an organization created to build bridges between the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) and religious communities through scientific research, Biblical and social education.
This year's featured speakers will "address the heart and soul of youth ministry rather than hot button issues," Oestreicher said.
"We're trying to be very intentional to choose speakers that are not there to push buttons or raise issues as much as to speak to your soul as a youth worker, challenge you in areas of leadership or carrying out your calling but not like hot button theological topics," the YS president stressed.
Speakers for the main sessions (now termed "Big Room" rather than "General Session") this year include Francis Chan, pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley; Andy Stanley, founder of North Point Ministries; and Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz.
While controversial topics such as homosexuality will not be discussed in the main sessions, Oestreicher noted that participants will still have the opportunity to engage in such discussions during the "labs" or seminars portion of the convention.
"It's not like we're trying to make this a vanilla event that is lowering the bar to the least common denominator so that we can all agree on everything and create some kind of false utopia," he stated.
Every year in the fall, Youth Specialties hosts three conventions. The 2009 National Youth Workers Convention will be held in Los Angeles, Cincinnati and Atlanta, respectively, beginning in September. More than 3,000 attendees are expected to attend each event.
So they still are offering their liberalism, but they want to keep their base broadened. It seems the president is ticked off at having to simmer down the brazen ungodliness. Oestreicher thinks that homosexuality is a hot theological topic, but its not. Scripture is clear: homosexuality is condemned by God and homosexuals will not go to heaven. Case closed. What GOD says is enough....but never enough for liberals.
Those of you who thought Chan was Reformed in any way, he's not. He's a pagan-friendly, man-centered teacher.
Diversity means disunity, Oestreicher. And there is no biblical unity with lies. In the words of World Net Daily, diversity is perversity. And the ECM is indeed pushing homosexuality and hate for God's Word and biblical doctrine with leads to godliness. For Youth Specialties to be amazed that some KNOW they have an agenda is just plain stupid.
Biblical doctrine isn't optional. Nor are God's commands. Homosexuality is not to be tolerated nor is foul language and course jesting or mixing pagan worldly practices with biblical Christianity.