Friday, September 16, 2011

Solyndra: Should Be Obama's Haliburton But He Gets A Free Pass From the Media

Why aren't people seeing the similarity between the Solyndra debacle and Haliburton? The media and liberals climbed all over Dick Cheney for his connection to Haliburton and its contract in the Mid East, but not a thing about the White House and its investment in the failed Solyndra company along with other environmentalist corporations. I wonder who in the WH has a connection to Solyndra.

Hypocrites.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TIM KELLER AND CONTEMPLATIVE SPIRITUALITY

Ken Silva shows directly from Tim Keller's church website that Keller himself is teaching Contemplative Spirituality (Eastern Mysticism) in this article.

There is no doubt that Keller is a false teacher, leading many astray into Eastern paganism while he smiles and stumbles over the exclusivity of Christ Jesus and exclusivity of biblical doctrine. He is the Reformed version of Rick Warren.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another False Conversion Turned Over To A False Church: J. Budziszewski

I came across this today, and its a sobering reminder that we must be very careful who we read and listen to---who influences us. J. Budziszewski used to be a Christian apologist, author and professor on a college campus. Then he rejected the Gospel and became a Roman Catholic. See what he says in his own words about that development....who influenced his thinking. Such false conversions of thinking walking an aisle saves a soul is DEADLY and does no one any good. Budziszewski is the poster child of a false conversion.

Quote:

During the 1990s, J. Budziszewski rose to prominence as one of the leading intellectual lights among Evangelical Christians in America. A political theorist with a special interest in the natural-law tradition, he was highly sought as a speaker at conferences organized by groups such as the InterVarsity Fellowship and Campus Crusade for Christ. A principal theme of his many talks to American campus groups is captured in the title of his 1999 book, How to Stay Christian in College.

For some Evangelical Protestants, then, it came as a jolt when, on Easter Sunday 2004, Budziszewski was received into the Catholic Church. After maintaining a public silence about his conversion for several months, Budziszewski agreed to tell the story to CWR.....


My birth family was Baptist; in fact my maternal grandfather was one of the first Polish Baptist ministers in the United States. He pastored a Polish-speaking congregation.

I was a convinced Protestant. At the age of 10, I "walked the aisle," presented myself for Baptism, and vowed to follow Christ. Probably the best description of my spiritual condition during adolescence is "pious, but not holy."

Although the seeds took another 20 years to sprout, Catholic friends and thinkers had influenced me even during my wilderness years of atheism.

But I was going to tell you the Catholic influences that worked on me during my wilderness years. I read St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and especially Dante Alighieri. When I read Dante’s imaginative description of the center of Hell–the Lake of Cocytus, where the damned are imprisoned in ice, unable to move a muscle to the right or to the left–I thought that he was describing me. I couldn’t move either. I’d thrown out all possible motives for movement.

Naturally I taught my students Thomas Aquinas, but I found it difficult to do so. The problem was that his arguments presented such a strong appearance of truth. For the very beauty of this appearance, I had to exercise strong discipline not to weep. One of my students in those days asked permission to put a personal question. "I’ve been listening carefully," he said, "and I figure that you’re either an atheist or a Roman Catholic. Which one is it?"

You can see why, when I finally returned to Christian faith, I wanted that one foot in Catholic tradition.

Yet return also meant recovery of lost elements of Protestant belief, and I couldn’t see my way to Catholicism proper.

I had the common Protestant idea that Catholicism teaches "works-righteousness"–that we earn our way into heaven, apart from the merits of Christ–that if we just earn enough "virtue points," we’re in. It took a long time to get over such misunderstandings.

But the ongoing collapse of the Episcopal enterprise forced us to ask deeper questions about the nature of the Church. Our ecclesiology was very nearly Catholic, long before we actually joined the Catholic Church. This fact made our picture of ourselves as part of a "faithful remnant" inside the Anglican communion harder and harder to believe in. After all, if what the Catholic Church teaches about her nature and authority is true, then how can you justify not becoming part of her?

Although we continued to disagree with a number of Catholic dogmas, we suffered a growing suspicion that where we disagreed, it was we who were wrong, not the Church.

Not all converts come into the fold in the same way. For some people on the way into the Catholic Church, the ecclesiastical objection is the last one to be overcome. First they become convinced about doctrine A, doctrine B, and doctrine C, and then at last they becoming convinced that the Church has authority to teach about these matters. For me it was the other way around. First I became convinced that the Church has authority to teach. That didn’t mean that my various difficulties about doctrine A, doctrine B, and doctrine C disappeared, but it converted my "objections" into "obstacles."

After several years of wrestling, becoming convinced on one point after another, I finally found myself able to say with respect to the remaining issues, "I am ready to obey." That turned out to be crucial. As Augustine said, we believe in order to know. There are some things you have to understand before you can accept them–but there are others you have to accept before you can understand them.

End quote. Source.

Too bad he didn't hear the likes of Tony Miano:



Monday, September 12, 2011

Regeneration: what it is and is not

Make no mistake on this point; regeneration is the direct result of the supernatural operation of God. This needs to be stressed today, for regeneration has been so misrepresented by modern evangelists that to the popular mind the "new birth" signifies nothing more than a process of reformation. But the new birth is no mere turning over of a new leaf and the endeavor to live a better life. The new birth is very much more than going forward in a religious meeting and taking the preacher’s hand; very much more than signing a card and "joining the church." The new birth is an act of God’s creative power, the impartation of spiritual life, the communication to us of the Divine nature itself.

It is of first importance that the Christian, especially the young Christian, should be clear upon the two natures in the believer. The new birth is not the improving of the old nature, but the receiving of a new; and the receiving of the new nature does not in any wise improve the old. Not only so, the old and the new natures within the believer are in open antagonism the one to the other. We quote now from the works of one deeply respected and to which we are much indebted: "Some there are who think that regeneration is a certain change which the old nature undergoes; and, moreover, that this change is gradual in its operation until, at length, the whole man becomes transformed. That this idea is unsound, can be proved by various quotations from the New Testament. For example: The carnal mind is enmity against God. How can that which is thus spoken of ever undergo any improvement? The apostle goes on to say, "It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." If itcannot be subject to the law of God, how can it be improved? How can it undergo any change? Do what you will with flesh, and it is flesh all the while. As Solomon says, "Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him" (Prov. 27:22). "There is no use seeking to make foolishness wise. You must introduce heavenly wisdom into the heart that has been hitherto only governed by folly" (C. H. M.) - Pink

What the natural man needs first and foremost is not education or reformation, but life

"That the natural man is dead in trespasses and sins is no mere figure of speech; it is a solemn reality, an awful fact. It is ignorance and the denial of this fact which lies at the root of so much of the false teaching of our day. What the natural man needs first and foremost is not education or reformation, but life. It is because the sinner is dead that he needs to be born again. But how little this is pressed today! The unspeakably dreadful state of the natural man is glossed over where it is not directly repudiated. For the most part our preachers seem afraid to insist upon the utter ruin and total depravity of human nature. This is a fatal defect in any preaching: sinners will never be brought to see their need of a Savior until they realize their lost condition, and they will never discover their lost condition until they learn that they are dead in sin.

But what does Scripture mean when it says the sinner is "dead"? This is something which seems absurd to the natural man. And to him it is absurd. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor. 2:14). To the natural man it seems that he is very much alive. Yes, and Scripture itself speaks of one that lives in pleasure as being "dead while she liveth" (1 Tim. 5:6)."

Spurgeon Speaks:The Christian Is To Be Separate From The World


"Be ye separate."

2 Corinthians 6:17

The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world. He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life. To him, "to live," should be "Christ." Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God's glory. You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal. You may strive to be rich; but be it your ambition to be "rich in faith," and good works. You may have pleasure; but when you are merry, sing psalms and make melody in your hearts to the Lord. In your spirit, as well as in your aim, you should differ from the world. Waiting humbly before God, always conscious of his presence, delighting in communion with him, and seeking to know his will, you will prove that you are of heavenly race. And you should be separate from the world in your actions. If a thing be right, though you lose by it, it must be done; if it be wrong, though you would gain by it, you must scorn the sin for your Master's sake. You must have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Walk worthy of your high calling and dignity. Remember, O Christian, that thou art a son of the King of kings. Therefore, keep thyself unspotted from the world. Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in his beauty-let not those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets-let not those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy.


~ Spurgeon

Behold "Christian Hedonism"

Shane Hipps is a Mars Hill "pastor". Here's what he tweeted recently and shows what's utterly horrific about the Emergents:

Shane Hipps
Watched members of invite a Muslim woman to the communion table today. You all amaze me.


Shane Hipps
@
My apologies. I wasn't trying to be cool. I just thot it was cool. We practice an open table. Anyone wanting grace is welcome.


Shane Hipps
To clarify, the Muslim woman didn't actually take communion. Even so, taking it would violate her theology more than mine. Open table here


Shane Hipps
@
I love the Bible. I think Paul is talking to a specific community, like head coverings, slavery, or women being silent.


Tony Miano makes excellent points in his article at "On the Box" today:

Quote:

Communion, like baptism, is an ordinance given by the Lord Jesus Christ to His Church. Communion is "open" in the sense that all who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are welcomed and encouraged to partake--regardless of the local fellowship to which the individual Christian belongs. All Christians are part of one Body (Romans 12:3-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Philippians 2:1-2).

On the other hand, communion is "closed" in the sense that it is an ordinance for born again followers of Jesus Christ, only.

And to bring worshipers of false gods to the communion table is to encourage the idolater to partake of the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:27-28). To bring the idolater to the Lord's table is to spurn the Son of God and to profane the blood of the covenant by which He was sanctified (Hebrews 10:26-31).

What the leaders and the people at Mars Hill did today, around the Lord's table, was not an act of love toward the Muslim woman who was invited to the table. It was a supremely unloving and selfish act. For by trying to show the world how tolerant, ecumenical, and conversant they are with the practitioners of a godless religion (and the showiness of the timing, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks did not go unnoticed by this writer), the church at Mars Hill set up the Muslim woman to blaspheme God. Instead of calling the woman to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 1:15; 16:15; Acts 17:29:31), they called her to the Lord's table in an unworthy manner (1 Corinthians 11:27-28). How crafty. How careless. How cruel.

Fortunately, as Shane Hipps indicated in one of his tweets, the Muslim woman declined the idolatrous invitation. And in so doing, while still utterly lost in her sin and worship of a false god, she showed more spiritual integrity than those who invited her to the Lord's table.

End quote. For the full article go to "On The Box".

Friday, September 09, 2011

Tim Keller on preaching about homosexuality: “Ummm…its just…its just think about it…you know…you know…

**UPDATE**
"Keller clarified that "you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal."" ~ Huffington Post



Excerpts from: BalyBlog (two Presbyterian pastors): (emphasis, mine)


Tim Keller on preaching about homosexuality: “Ummm…its just…its just think about it…you know…you know…”

(Tim, w/thanks to a faithful man) By now, when the President of our own Covenant Theological Seminary invites Tim Keller to model pastoral ministry to his students over in St. Louis, he should know precisely what he's going to get and not be left batting cleanup for him. But take a listen to this exchange from one of Keller's recent visits, there. [Denise's note: I couldn't get the link to the audio, however the original article to which I do link above, still has the audio.]

It's a Q & A session in front of men preparing for pastoral ministry. A Covenant student asks the Rev. Dr. Tim Keller this question: "How do you think the church is or should be proactive with regard to the issue of homosexuality? I see the prevalence of homosexuality, yet the church seems to be afraid to touch the issue. How do we actively speak to believers about this topic in truth and in love?"

Which question launched the Keller/Chapell duo into this session of semantic dodge ball, with protective pads and helmets.

Was Tim Keller's answer bad?

Yes, his answer was bad…..

CHAPELL: [CTS student question] How do you think the church is or should be proactive with regard to the issue of homosexuality? I see the prevalence of homosexuality, yet the church seems to be afraid to touch the issue. How do we actively speak to believers about this topic in truth and in love?
KELLER: Uhhhh….well…(sigh)…The church is afraid to touch the topic? I….it may…….it..its possible…that….in the 20 yrs that I’ve seen that this issue has actually not.…ummm. it..uh…it hasn’t gone away its really gotten to be much much more..socially….
CHAPELL: Sure. Rural church, Sparta Illinois, 1985. I can tell the first Sunday I used the word ‘homosexuality’ and my wife wondered if I would have a job the next week. I mean, it was that scary of a subject at the time. So, if…now again, that’s rural Illinois but I’m guessing even now the church questions..now there’s all kinds of reasons for the fear. One, are you going to say something that your people are going to get mad at you about? Second, is the subject going to be so hot that the people who are struggling with an issue of of gender or sexuality, that I can’t even say in a public setting the kind of things I want to say to minister privately to this person. So how do I do this?
KELLER: Well, it’s much, much, much easier to to have private conversations about it. I think…..uh…I can make this short. I…I believe in general that if you preach on why homosexuality is a sin,..uhhh….there are……at least in my…in my..in my..in my church I know there’s lots and lots of folks who have same sex attraction who know that that’s not….as a Christian, I can’t do that. I’m not gonna go there. There’s a good number of them. I’ve got a lot of non-Christians who are present who are friends of gay people but are not gay. Uhhh…and then uhh there’d be a number of people with same sex attraction who…are there. And generally speaking, it’s almost impossible to preach a sermon and hit all 3 or 4 of those constituencies equally well. Ummmm.. it’s just.. it’s just think about..you know..you know…you’re a communicator. You know you need to…well, what’s my goal? Who are my audience and..wow! it’s like a conundrum you can’t solve. So, the best thing has always been for me..[CONSPICUOUS COUGH]…to not do the public teaching as much as segment my audience through…ummm [CONSPICUOUS COUGH]..Books, through classes, through one-on-ones, and so on. I think the time is probably coming in which we’re going to have be more public in how we talk about homosexuality. And I haven’t….I’m actually thinking quite a lot about it. Uhhh.. as to how I will go about it or how we should go about it but I’m not prepared to give you 3 bullet points.
CHAPELL: have you been able to say…again, very different congregations and cultures…Couldyou would you say from the pulpit at Redeemer, ‘Same-sex attraction, if it leads to activity that is same-sex oriented is a sin’?
KELLER: O yeah..well, you have to because you get to it and you’re preaching and you do. sure. But..what I’m saying is if you go…if you make it the subject of your sermon, uhhhh… it’s uhhhh..uh an entire sermon on it would not be an easy thing to get..you..you…you have to say what the Bible says and nobody at Redeemer doubts where we are. But for me to do teaching in the worship service, I am now going to give you the re…you know….the biblical teaching on homosexuality, that has been a hard thing to do when my audience is so diverse. I would have to say the average church, the audience isn’t nearly that diverse. And…so….I have not…made that the main place in which I’ve taught. But…we…we’ve done a fair amount of teaching inside amongst our leaders, our counselors, our undershepherds, our elders. We talk about it. Nobody doubts where we are. But I think that preaching on a Sunday about it…uhhhh…making public statements is…kind of in the cards because I think it’s gonna be a very, very divisive issue in the future.
CHAPELL: Good.
EISENBACH:…. You go to the Bible quite often and there are many evangelicals who would say it is listed as a sin in the Bible [KELLER: sin in the Bible, right.]…and these people are going to Hell.
KELLER: Right. Now…What you..first…ughhhh…Let’s talk about my church again [nervous laughter]. Let’s go back here. What we would say is…I think it’s unavoidable. I think most Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox Christians over the years have said, you read the Bible and the Bible has reservations. The Bible says homosexuality is not God’s original design for sexuality. Ok? There we are…you have it. The Bible also says, ‘Love your neighbor’. The Bible…in fact, The Good Samaritan parable which is how Jesus tells us to love our neighbor…you put a Jew and a Samaritan there. So, what Jesus is trying to say is everybody is your neighbor. Gay people are your neighbors. Uhhh…people who are of other faiths are your neighbors. People of other….. other…uhhhh….uhhh…races are your neighbors. And it’s the job of a Christian to do what Jesus did on the cross which was to give himself for people who were opposing Him and people who were diff….believe….didn’t believe in Him even. And so, a Christian is supposed to say, ‘I serve the needs and interests of all of my neighbors in the city, whether gay or straight, whether Hindu or Muslim. I mean Hindus, for example, don’t believe in the Trinity. It’s a different view than what the Bible says. Gay people have a different view of sexuality than generally what you see in the NT. I’m supposed to love my neighbors. So, what I don’t see is…at this point, I see some churches that are…basically, ignoring the places in the Bible that talk about homosexuality in order to love their gay neighbor. And I see other Christian churches taking very seriously what the Bible says about homosexuality but in a very self-righteous way. So, they actually do single out gay people. I mean, there are a number of conservative churches that will love their Hindu neighbors and will love their Muslim neighbors, and not their gay neighbors. And I really don’t think there is any excuse for that. So…that’s what [EISENBACH: Is…is] I mean, I…I….Therefore, I have to take some responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals.
EISENBACH: Are committing homosexual acts sin….against God?
KELLER: uhhhh….What do you mean by ‘sin’? The answer is ‘yes’.
EISENBACH: Yes.
KELLER: Now see. Here’s the problem with that. You don’t go to Hell for being a homosexual…..
EISENBACH: …..but committing homosexual acts will get you to go to Hell?
KELLER: Noooo. Wait a minute. Wait, wait [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER].
EISENBACH: well, you know. Some people say, ‘Well, it’s not the homosexuality or being gay. It’s being/doing gay stuff that’s the problem’.
KELLER: No, no. First of all, heterosexuality does not get you to heaven. I happen to know this [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER/CLAPPING]. So, how in the world could homosexuality send you to Hell? And actually…uhhh…The Bible…Listen…..This is…this is true. Jesus talks about greed 10x more than he talks about adultery, for example. Now, one of the problems Christians have here is partly…let’s be nice to Christians. You know when you’re committing adultery. I mean you don’t say, ‘Ohhh, you’re not my wife’ [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER]. I mean you know when you are committing adultery. But, almost nobody knows when they’re greedy. Nobody admits…thinks they’re greedy. You know cause everybody is comparing yourself to other people and so, it’s a frog in the kettle kind of thing. Ahhh….however, the fact of the matter is…the Bible is much harder on greed/materialism. It’s a horrible sin, terrible sin. Will greed send you to Hell? No! What sends you to Hell is self-righteousness – thinking that you can be your own savior and lord. What sends you to heaven is getting a connection with Christ because you realize you’re a sinner and you need intervention from outside. That’s why it is very misleading actually to say, even to say, ‘Homosexuality is a sin’ because most people…Yes, of course homosexuality is a sin because greed is a sin, because all kinds of things are sins. But what most Christians mean when they say that and certainly what non-Christians think they hear when they hear that is ‘If you’re gay, you are going to Hell for being gay’. It’s just not true. Absolutely not true.
EISENBACH: So then, what’s….then how is homosexuality a ‘sin’. I’m not….
KELLER: ….Well, homo…[sigh]..Greed is a sin. In other words, it doesn’t help human flourishing. Basically, Christianity has an account of what we think human beings were built to do and what will therefore, help human flourishing. So, we would say if you spend all of your money on yourself, that’s bad….not only for your own soul, but for everybody elses. We would say homosexuality is not the original design for sexuality. Therefore, it’s not good for human flourishing. We want people to do things that are good for human flourishing. But that’s not what sends you to heaven or Hell. Now, there…maybe we ought to talk about that [NERVOUS LAUGHTER]. What sends you to heaven or Hell really has to do with your faith in the Gospel which is that you can’t….uhhh…be your own savior through your performance and your good works. Now here, I’m coming at this like a protestant now. You know…ummm…everybody’s gotta be a particular kind of Christian and there’s differences of opinion within Christianity about this. But uhhhh…no. being gay doesn’t send you to hell and sin doesn’t send you to Hell like that. The sin underneath the sin is, ‘I am my own savior and my lord’. And that’s the reason why pharisaism, moralism, Bible-believing people who are proud and think God is going to take people to heaven because they’re good…that’s sending them to Hell. I mean, I know that this is a lot to take in at once.
End quote.
Scripture states:
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Luk 13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Act 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,

Mat 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you."
1Ti 1:10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
1Co 6:9 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,
1Co 6:11 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.
Jud 1:7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
Rom 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
Rom 1:25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
Rom 1:27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Rom 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Rom 1:29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,
Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

Tim Keller's Church Still Promotes Contemplative Spirituality (Mysticism)

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Meditation: Not So Mysterious
Two ways to move Scripture off the page and into your life

by Jan Johnson

Ever get sick and tired of old habits that won't go away? You find yourself whining when you should be grateful. You trash someone in your mind when you should care about his needs. You feel lazy when there are so many exciting things to do. What does it take to have the heart of Christ, to obey the commands that seem so difficult?

Trying to be good doesn't work because such efforts are about us, not about Christ. What works better is connecting with God in deeper ways that allow God to "[work] in you to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Phil. 2:13).

One important–but overlooked–way to connect with God is meditating on Scripture. Joshua wrote: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it" (Josh. 1:8). As we invite God to move beyond the door of our inner being by meditating on Scripture, He works miraculous heart changes within us that lead to a more Christlike life.

The psalmists valued meditation; they mentioned it 16 times in Psalms. By inserting the word selah 71 times in Psalms, they encouraged resting in and reflecting on the Word. Though selah is sometimes dismissed as a mere musical notation, most commentators agree that it was used at points where the singer or psalm reader should pause to reflect.

But reflect on what? The objects of meditation include aspects of God's character (such as God's unfailing love, see Ps. 48:9), God's works (see Ps. 77:12), and God's precepts and ways (see Ps. 119:15). Beyond that, we are given little instruction. That's why I wasn't sure what to do in my early attempts to meditate. I turned to classic Christian writers for help. Just as there are many ways to pray and study Scripture, Christians throughout the ages have found many ways to meditate. Those who've gone before me have helped me connect with God in ways that have surprised me. Let's look at two specific approaches to meditation.

Spiritual Exercises
One of the best-known ways to ponder God's character, works, and ways is a format originated by Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Loyola's methods, recorded in his book
Spiritual Exercises, have been used for hundreds of years. He urged people to enter into Scripture with all five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell.

If this idea startles you (as it did me), consider A. W. Tozer's words:

The same terms are used to express the knowledge of God as are used to express knowledge of physical things. "O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8). "All the garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of ivory palaces" (Ps. 45:8). "My sheep hear my voice" (Jn. 10:27). "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Mt. 5:8) . . . What can all this mean except that we have in our hearts organs by means of which we can know God as certainly as we know material things through our familiar five senses?

Using the five senses allows you to experience the text in a fresh way. For example, as you enter into the text of Mk. 10:1722, you may take the role of the rich young ruler and see what he saw. In verse 21, Jesus "looked at him and loved him," then immediately challenged him to give up what he apparently loved best: his wealth. Years ago, I began meditating on that passage. Ever since, I have regularly had a sense of God looking at me, loving me, and then challenging me to give up ingrained habits I hold close: self-centered thoughts, judgmental attitudes, the need to be right. When nothing else has been able to persuade me to relinquish such things, that picture of Jesus' loving yet challenging gaze has resurfaced, and I have quietly acquiesced.

As I meditate on a passage, I often ask myself, What did the biblical scene look like? At first, this was difficult. But then I decided to pretend I was Cecil B. DeMille creating a scene for a biblical epic such as The Ten Commandments. When I meditated on the transfiguration of Christ, I tried to imagine Jesus' radiance. This passage required that I bring in Steven Spielberg tooadding the special effects of lightning-bright clothes. Then as I imagined the scene, I wondered (as a skilled movie director would), What was Jesus doing when His appearance changed? I peeked at the original script and found that Jesus was praying (Lk. 9:29). I immediately prostrated myself on the floor and said to God, "As I pray, change me, too. Make me the person You wish me to be."

Another meditation question I use is, How would I have behaved if I'd been a disciple standing by? As Jesus talked to Legion in that graveyard by the sea, how would I have responded to the screams of the demonized man and the smell of blood from his cut flesh (Mk. 5:5)? What would I have thought of my teacher, who was not intimidated by this naked, crazed man, but cared for him? Would I have wanted to run for the hills? Would I have gotten out of the boat to watch Jesus in action (which, according to the text, none of the disciples seems to have done)?

For meditation to work, you need to pay attention to the details of Scripture. Though this may seem similar to Bible study, meditation differs in technique. In Bible study, you dissect the text; in Scripture meditation, you savor it and enter into it. In Bible study, you ask questions about the text; in meditation, you let the text ask questions of you. In Bible study, you examine how biblical facts relate to each other; in meditation, you let God speak to you in light of the facts you've already considered. Meditation is about absorbing scriptural truth: seeing in our minds how God behaved in Scripture and being open to His leading to behave in the same way.

Lectio Divina
As I tried to meditate on the discourse and poetic texts, such as the New Testament letters and Old Testament poets and prophets, I found that another classical method helped me: lectio divina. This kind of meditation has been used widely among believers since the sixth century. Lectio divina consists of four parts: reading a passage, meditating on that passage, praying, and contemplating God. After the Scripture is read aloud, participants wait for a word, phrase, or image from the passage to emerge and stay with them. From this phrase or image, the participant asks,
What does this passage say to me right now? (Bible study before meditating is important preparatory work because it asks, What did the passage say to listeners then? This keeps us from coming up with absurd answers to this question.)

Once while meditating on Mt. 11:20-30 (10 verses or fewer work best for lectio divina), I was struck by the wordweary. I pondered that word for a while and began picturing weary people who needed Jesus for their rest. I was so grateful that Jesus was there for the weary. I read the passage aloud again, and this time I noticed the word gentle. I spent some time thinking about how much weary people need gentle people.

A few weeks later I found myself at a school reunion. I don't know why, but everybody there irritated me. I listened to the women at the next table yak endlessly, and I thought terrible things about them, such as, No wonder they couldn't stay married! At the same time, I was highly aware of my own judgmental attitude. I became so sick of myself that I got away and asked God to help me with this harshness. "Make me gentle," I prayed. The words of Mt. 11:28 immediately came to mind: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." I pictured one of the women who had annoyed me and prayed, "O God, she is weary and burdened. Give her rest. Help her come to You."

I did that with a few others until I felt strong enough to return to the gathering. In the midst of parties and sight-seeing, I kept praying Mt. 11:28 for each person I met. My attitude changed completely. I felt merciful and genuine in my heart and started having fun! I would never have prayed this way if I hadn't spent time with Jesus meditating on that passage.

Danger Ahead?
Some evangelical Christians are wary of meditation because it's practiced in other religions. But it's important to remember that Christians do not meditate the same way that practitioners of Eastern religions do. The goals are different. In Eastern religions, participants empty their minds and fill them with nothing. In Christianity, we seek to surrender our hurried to-do lists, our worry about today's appointments, and our obsession with what others think of us and focus instead upon the words and images of Scripture.

Other Christians object to using the imagination in meditation. But since I read Richard Foster's words about "sanctifying the imagination" many years ago, I've asked God to purify my imagination along with my heart, mind, and will. Isn't it wiser to give the imagination to God to be retrained than to ignore it? If we don't, our imagination finds entertainment of its own and gets us into trouble. When activated by the images and truths of Scripture, the imagination supports the penetrating Word of God's ability to become active in our lives.

Doing Nothing?
But what if you meditate and "nothing" happens? What if God doesn't confront you with a verse or you don't get a personal insight? That's normal.

My long years of meditating on Zeph. 3:17 have helped during these times: "The Lord your God . . . will take great delight in you . . . [and] will rejoice over you with singing." When I don't receive any fresh insights while meditating, I imagine God delighting in me and singing over me. As I've tried to picture this scene, I remember how I used to rock my children and sing all three verses of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" until they fell asleep. (A friend of mine pictures God as a father standing on the sidelines of a soccer game and cheering whether or not he makes a goal.) These quiet "nothing" moments of meditation are valuable because we can enjoy the company of God without yammering about our 455 prayer requests. To simply enjoy God's presence is a delightful thing.

Over the years, I've noticed that meditation often results in "accidental obedience." I meditate on a passage, and without realizing it, I am "careful to do" God's will (Josh. 1:8). I meditate on Jesus challenging the rich young ruler, and I begin giving up obsessions. I meditate on Jesus' gentleness with the weary, and I am gentle with those around me. I meditate on being loved by God, and I am conscious of God's love in ways I haven't been before. This accidental obedience–or spiritual formation–works a lot better than trying hard to be good. This way, God comes into my soul and sits with me, teaching me to abide in Him.


About the author:
Jan Johnson is a writer and retreat speaker. As a trained spiritual director, she helps believers immerse themselves in God's Word. She also volunteers with a drop-in center for the homeless. Her book
Listening to God (NavPress) includes 30 passages of Scripture and directions for meditating on them.


Used by permission of Pray! Magazine. Copyright © 2006, The Navigators. Used by permission of NavPress. All Rights Reserved. To subscribe, visit www.praymag.com or call (800) 691-7729.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tim Keller: Unsure What Happens To Muslims, Sikhs, and Jews After Death?

Brannon Howse: Aired September 8, 2011

Topic One: Jan Markell joins Brannon Howse to talk about an author that wrote an article attacking Brannon because he believes the culture war is lost and does not believe in dominion theology. This author writes, “Who is going to bother being 'salt and light' in a lost cause? “ Do you think Christians in Cuba and China have given up on preaching the gospel because they live under communism? “Light” in this verse means showing forth the gospel in our lives and Christians can and should do this in good and bad times? Topic: Hear Pastor Tim Keller say that he does not know what happens to Muslims, Sikhs and Jews if they die without Jesus Christ. Can you say “political correctness”? Has Keller become the Joel Osteen of reformed theology?


Well back in 2009 I wrote that Tim Keller is the Reformed version of Rick Warren and I did a comparison of the two. Go here for that article. I'm glad Brannon Howse is shedding light on Keller too.

Furtick and Noble: The Bully Pulpits

Behold Christian Hedonism.

Francis Chan has been sharing the pulpit with Nobel at the Catalyst Conference. The Gospel Coalition and Justin Taylor has promoted both Furtick and Nobel. Another bully among them: Driscoll. They all run in the same bad boy circles.

Here are my comments regarding Furtick and his videos especially after viewing them at Apprising Ministries:

Wow Futrick hates to feed the sheep with doctrine. He's goal, like Warren and Keller is to have Goatherd. Have at it boys. Not only am I so NOT impressed, its really very anti-Christ, anti-Lordship, anti-Scripture, anti-love for God, and anti-love for the souls of men. His little church (oh the Numbers Game is played again--big deal 500? 500 what? Goats who think they're going to Heaven when they are going to Hell??!!) couldn't feed the Sheep anyway....they'd starve to death. What did Jesus say to Peter, "Feed MY Sheep". The Great Commission is to go and make DISCIPLES of all nations. That doesn't mean preach the "gospel" and let them starve. Discipline is an ONGOING FEEDING OF SAVED people! What an utter lunatic Furtick is.

This speaks to Steve Furtick:1Ti 6:3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 1Ti 6:5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

These guys are quite literally part of the "Bully Pulpit. So is Driscoll. You should see some of the video footage. This is what these boys think is "manhood"---bulldozing over their followers. Its nothing more than being a bully and these guys haven't grown up at all.

Rick Warren Tweets And Whines



1Jo 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Rom 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

The problem that caught the attention of some from Rick Warren's Facebook was this:

RickWarrenRick Warren
Imputation is 1sided but fellowship with Christ is 2sided.Koinonia means PARTICIPATION! God want your passion,not passivity
6 September
But as usual, Warren doesn't see the problem but some like Daniel Chew and Discern The Times have. Moreover Warren continues to tweet horribly unbiblical ideas (they aren’t cute, pithy, or helpful). Here are more recent tweets:

RickWarrenRick Warren
A"friend"who constantly attacks the errors of others will eventually get to yours."Dont associate with an angry man"Pr22:24
29 Aug via web
Twisting Scripture, he uses it to play the victim game. Attacking the error of a public teacher (who LOVES to tweet his error and arrogance) isn't about anger, its about Truth. However, righteous anger is indeed right as Jesus and James and Paul clearly demonstrates in Scripture. We SHOULD get angry as a clearly false teacher, a wolf in sheep's clothing like Warren. If there's a time to get angry, THIS SHOULD BE IT. What sheep is called to embrace a wicked wolf who's about to shred the sheep? This is where we should "be angry and not sin". If we love God we will love what He loves and hate what He hates. A wolf doesn't get it. He can't.
Psa 119:53 Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake Your law.
John 7:24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment."
Is. 8 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
2Co 11:4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
Twitter is Rick’s Turn To Mock:

RickWarrenRick Warren
@BurkParsons Burk I ask myself: Would I rather be attacked for praising a Christian brother or praised for attacking one?
7 September
But what does he do? Praise his critics or attacks them?

RickWarrenRick Warren
On busy days with mtg after mtg, reading goofy remarks from critics on my phone makes me LOL.Then staff insist I read them aloud!
6 September
Yes nothing hypocrisy like publicly insulting one of your critics with your staff. That reeks of “praise” doesn’t it? I’d say no. It reeks of hypocrisy. Then again that’s Tricky Warren’s M.O. on Twitter.
Here’s more:

RickWarrenRick Warren
Wise leaders absorb the pain, refusing to retaliate against opposition even tho they have the power & means to hurt back.
9 September
Yet he publicly scoffed his critics in his hypocrisy –Twitter is his playground to get back at them. So by his own definition, he’s not wise himself, nor does he “absorb the pain”. (One grows tired of the drama he brings, as if he has any pain from his critics. No, he calls them "goofy" and laughs at them.)

RickWarrenRick Warren
Which pleases Jesus? Standing WITH saved brothers I disagree with or standing AGAINST them over matters, methods and styles?
7 September [emphasis, origina]
The questions arise, given Warren’s false teaching, is which Jesus is he referring to? The Roman Catholic one? The Mormon one? The Muslim One? And just who is he referring to by “saved brothers” with whom he stands but might disagree? And disagree about what? Doctrine matters and faith along with it defines whether a person is in the Truth or not . He’s held hands with many who are NOT Christians, nor does he have the Gospel that saves or the Jesus that saves. His continued error earns continued assault on such nonsense that he feels he can share on Twitter. I mean, don’t sit there and tweet hypocrisy and error and then whine when others demolish what you wrote by shedding the light of Scripture on it.

RickWarrenRick Warren
Wherever there is love, there is light and liberty.
7 September
What happened to Truth? True agape love is based upon biblical Truth. 1Cor. 13:6 "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth." He doesn't delight in Truth because he isn't in it. His gospel of social justice merely condemns him according to Gal. 1:7-8. He's a universalist, inter-faith teacher who prays in the name of a Muslim prophet who hates the cross of Christ Jesus. For specifics go here.
True biblical liberty is in light of Bible doctrine (see Romans 1-14). He can’t get doctrine right but wants the liberty and “love” to continue tweeting it without accountability. He clearly denies absolute and total depravity (see his 2008 Beliefnet interview for example), yet wants to jump to Romans 14 about liberty? You can’t get to chapter 14 without FIRST dealing with Total Depravity and the doctrine of Justification in chapters 1-8! Doctrine is not placed into Romans 14 or 1Cor. 8 for that matter. Doctrine isn’t optional as he continually suggests (see his PDL book around p. 33-35 for one example). Romans 1-11 is pure doctrine, and ch. 12-16 is practice. Rom. 14 is about that which is NOT doctrinal, that is, matters of conscience, which is NOT where God places doctrine. Rick does though, to his condemnation.1 John 3:18 "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in TRUTH."

RickWarrenRick Warren
Everything changes except the nature of God and the nature of man.
7 September
Another example of why Warren continues to get demolished (2 Cor. 10:5) when he arrogantly tweets such nonsense.
Gal 6:14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Gal 6:15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
By the way, his god does change--his god has plans B,C, etc. His god is NOT thrice holy and absolutely sovereign over the entire creation.
Warren in his 2008 interview with beliefnet:"No body works correctly – we all have problems with our bodies. The weather doesn’t work correctly – tornados and hurricanes and stuff like that. It’s the result of living on a broken planet. That’s why we’re to pray “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” ‘cause in heaven it’s done perfectly...God’s will is not done most of the time on earth. When people go, “oh, that hurricane must have been God’s will” – baloney! That wasn’t God’s will. God’s will is not done most of the time. If I go out and get drunk and run over a pregnant mother and kill her and her baby, that’s not God’s will, that’s my will." ~Rick Warren
Psa 148:7 Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps, 8 fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word!
Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'MY counsel SHALL STAND, and I WILL ACCOMPLISH ALL my purpose,' 11 calling a bird of prey from the east, THE MAN OF MY COUNSEL from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.
Ps. 33: 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. 9 For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. 10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples. 11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.




Personality shapes theology.The more profound the impact, the more vehemently it's denied.
5 Sep via web
Scripture shapes theology, not personality. It is Scripture that conforms us to the image of Christ.
Joh 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."
2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
Look at his Twitter Account at the top of his page:
Rick Warren

RickWarren I live in the State of Grace
Mentors young leaders. Helps the sick&poor thru global P.E.A.C.E. plan(195 nations).Serves pastors. Leads Saddleback. Wrote some books.Loves everyone.Forgiven http://pastors.com
This passage of Scripture where Jesus is teaching the disciples to not be like the Pharisees is very applicable to Warren:
Mat 6:1 "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 5 "When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full."
The thing is, the reward such hypocrits get isn't good, its fair. That is to say, the applause of men and damnation of their souls. Social justice doesn’t help the eternal soul. His pathetic plans and destiny ideas are nothing but carnal doctrines of demons slapped over with Christianese. And who’s aided and abetted him? John Piper. Piper is guilty of treason against the King of kings for fellowship and welcoming a false teacher.
2Jn 1:9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting;11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
Spurgeon's reply to his critics (and this is just as true for those of us who have sounded the alarm both on Rick Warren and John Piper:
"In The Sword and the Trowel for the present month Mr. Spurgeon gives no uncertain sound concerning departures from the faith. His exposure of the dishonesty which, under the cover of orthodoxy, assails the very foundations of faith is opportune in the interests of truth. No doubt, like a faithful prophet in like evil times, he will be called a 'troubler of Israel,' and already we have noticed he has been spoken of as a pessimist; but any such attempts to lessen the weight of his testimony are only certain to make it more effective. When a strong sense of duty prompts public speech it will be no easy task to silence it.
    "The preachers of false doctrine dislike nothing more than the premature detection of their doings. Only give them time enough to prepare men's minds for the reception of their 'new views,' and they are confident of success. They have had too much time already, and any who refuse to speak out now must be held to be 'partakers of their evil deeds.' As Mr. Spurgeon says, 'A little plain-speaking would do a world of good just now. These gentlemen desire to be let alone. They want no noise raised. Of course thieves hate watch-dogs, and love darkness. It is time that somebody should spring his rattle, and call attention to the way in which God is being robbed of his glory and man of his hope.'