Daily Archives: April 2, 2013

Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 NASB)

One of the early leaders of the Bolsheviks who lead the Russian Revolution at the beginning of the 20th Century was Leon Trotsky. After the death of its main leader Lenin, Trotsky came into conflict with the Bolsheviks who supported Stalin. He had to leave the country. He wrote articles in hiding that attacked the policies of the Stalinists. One of the “strategies” of Trotsky that was rejected by the Stalinist was “Continual Revolution.” He was a true Communist. According to Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Communism is the goal, but in order to reach it Capitalism must be replaced with Socialism and eventually done away with completely in order to bring in a pure Communistic state. Trotsky was a true believer, while Stalin was more pragmatic…

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UK Government Approves Genetically Engineered ‘Three-Parent’ Embryos

LifeNews reports:

Great Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which oversees fertility treatments and embryo research in that nation, recently approved fertility procedures that would amount to the genetic engineering of children through cloning (nuclear transfer) technology and germ-line modification, resulting in a “three-parent embryo” that would have genetic material from two mothers and one father.

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/02/uk-government-approves-genetically-engineered-three-parent-embryos/

Blog Series: Attacking Anxiety

http://www.gty.org/blog/attackinganxiety

Attacking Anxiety Fractured families. Crippling financial debt. Political strife. Rampant violence and immorality. Scuffling economies. Countries in turmoil. Unstable job security and an unemployment epidemic. Widespread hunger. Catastrophic weather events. Poor health. Uncertain futures. Religious persecution. In almost any direction you look today, there is some issue that could cause you to worry.

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Overwhelmed by Anxiety? Anxiety, fear, worry, and stress are familiar words in our day, and familiar experiences to many. More and more we’re hearing of an extreme form of anxiety referred to as a “panic attack.”

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Worn Out by Worry Worry is a common temptation for all of us. The source of the anxiety might vary from person to person, but no one is completely immune. For some, it’s even a favorite pastime, occupying large portions of their days by troubling over their doubts and fears about the future.

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John MacArthur on Anxiety and God’s Sovereignty It should be clear by now that unchecked anxiety isn’t good for you. It’s a sin expressly forbidden by the Lord, so there is the spiritual cost to consider. But it’s also harmful to your health, your productivity, and your relationships. It wreaks havoc throughout your life, and as we saw yesterday, it strangles your mind.

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Observing God’s Care Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, is one of the most intriguing creations of literary fiction. He is, quite simply, extraordinary. His famous cohort, Dr. John Watson, is ordinary, at least by comparison. Watson has often been erroneously portrayed as a bumbling fool, but that flies in the face of Doyle’s attempt to make the average reader relate to Watson.

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What Did Jesus Say About Worry? You probably remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” trend from the late ’90s. It seemed everywhere you looked, plastered across T-shirts, hats, jewelry, and all kinds of other merchandise, the WWJD slogan was a blithe, shallow reminder to live up to Christ’s moral code…

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Our Father Overcomes Our Anxiety, Part 1 One of the most hopeless aspects of unrepentant sinners’ lives is that they have no answer for anxiety. They’re forced to put their hopes in flimsy, fallible plans and institutions. They aren’t able to rest firmly in the unchanging promises of God—they have to ride out every wave of calamity, every unexpected disaster.

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Our Father Overcomes Our Anxiety, Part 2 God is sovereignly in control of all things. That fact alone ought to dispel much of our anxiety. And when we consider the Lord’s fatherly care for His people, we see just how foolish, unnecessary, and impotent our worry truly is.

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The Incompatibility of Faith and Anxiety If you worry, what kind of faith do you manifest? “Little faith,” according to Jesus (Matthew 6:30). If you are a child of God, you by definition have a heavenly Father. To act like you don’t, nervously asking, “What will I eat? What will I drink? What will I wear for clothing?” is to act like an unbeliever in God’s eyes (vv. 31-32).

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The Folly of Worry in Light of Our Future Much of our anxiety is born out of concerns and uncertainty regarding our future. We get caught up in our plans and programs, overlooking the blessings of today and obsessing over uncontrollable details on the horizon…

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Replacing Worry with the Right Focus God’s Word is clear—believers are not to be given over to anxiety. But it’s not simply a cold, abrupt command to stop worrying. Scripture is clear that we shouldn’t focus on the plans, needs, and uncertainties of tomorrow, but it’s also clear about where our focus should be instead.

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Casting Your Cares on God, Part 1 The apostle Peter was a worrier. He worried about drowning when he was walking on water, even though Jesus was right there with him (Matthew 14:29-31). He worried about what was going to happen to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, so he pulled out his sword and tried to take on a battalion of Roman soldiers (John 18:2-3, 10). And when he worried about Jesus being crucified, Peter ordered God Himself not to go to the cross (Matthew 16:22).

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Casting Your Cares on God, Part 2 A prideful heart cannot find rest in God’s sovereignty. A person who values his or her own plans, opinions, and desires above all else has nowhere to turn when worry creeps in. In fact, pride paves the way for an anxious heart.

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Having Peace in Every Circumstance, Part 1 Any anxious Christian would love to have this prayer offered on his behalf: “May the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. . . . The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

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Having Peace in Every Circumstance, Part 2 It’s only through God’s grace that believers can face every circumstance with calm, assured peace. Anxiety does not have to reign in our hearts—we can hold fast to God’s peace and provision through any of life’s storms.

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Having Peace in Every Circumstance, Part 3 Believers often find themselves living in contradiction to the world, and we should. The runaway anxiety and constant fear that grips so much of the world does not have the same hold on us—or at least, it shouldn’t. Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at anxiety from a biblical perspective, and examining God’s care and provision for His people, and how that should free us from worry.

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Christ in a Karmic Age

Every religion and philosophy has a version of the Golden Rule. Until Christ showed up on the scene two thousand years ago, the rule was almost always expressed in the negative — do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.

It is, if you will allow, a very libertarian philosophy. We can do X, Y, or Z because they do not harm our neighbors. It is the embodiment of karma in today’s culture. We think that we should be allowed to do that which we please as long as we do not harm others. We think that if we do bad things to others, bad things will be visited on us.

When bad things happen to us or someone else and we think the perpetrator has gotten away with it, the average person tends to think that at some point something bad will happen to the perpetrator. “Karma’s a bitch,” the saying goes.

Either God will smite them or fate will intervene. Likewise, many Christians and others of faith think that when we consciously sin, at some point we are going to be punished, rebuked, or otherwise have our comeuppance. This worldly notion of karma that pollutes even the thinking of many a devoted Christian is not very Biblical and it is something preachers should work harder to combat.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/29/christ-in-karmic-age/print

Sinclair – Something Has Western Central Banks Terrified

“This is all because of the one quadrillion dollars in derivatives that are in the financial system. Six years ago the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) at that time reported that the amount of derivatives already outstanding exceeded one quadrillion dollars. This number is unimaginable to most human beings. But that is the actual number (over one quadrillion dollars). They never should have released that number because it created a bit of panic.

http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/KWN_DailyWeb/Entries/2013/4/1_Sinclair_-_Something_Has_Western_Central_Banks_Terrified.html

Obama Urges Quick Adoption of Arms Trade Treaty by UN General Assembly

Despite failing to be adopted by consensus vote on last Thursday, the Arms Trade Treaty’s (ATT) civilian disarmament agenda marches on. In an interview with The New American in advance of Thursday’s ill-fated final plenary session of the conference at UN headquarters deliberating the Arms Trade Treaty, a member of the U.S. delegation said the they were prepared to vote in favor of adoption of the gun grab.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/item/14959-obama-urges-quick-adoption-of-arms-trade-treaty-by-un-general-assembly

Saudi Arabia Declares Destruction of All Churches in Region

Earlier this month, news reports surfaced out of Saudi Arabia that raised the red flag for Christians.

Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA, says, “The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia—the top Islamic official in the country of Saudi Arabia—has declared that it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.'” Nettleton goes on to note that the report hasn’t surfaced anywhere except on the Council on Foreign Relations Web site, which was then picked up by The Atlantic.

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Justification by Grace

Justification by Grace (via http://preachingchristcrucified.com)

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” —Romans 4:3 “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?” (Romans 4:1). This passage begins once again with an almost rhetorical question from the…

Steven Furtick: It Is ‘Dangerous’ to Elevate God’s Sovereignty at the Expense of Human Initiative

As at least one person noted on Twitter, Pelagius would be proud:

Source

Oh yes, perish the thought of elevating the sovereignty of the Creator, the Savior, the Redeemer, the righteous and thrice-holy God of the universe. Never mind the fact that all things sit in subjection to Him (Eph. 1:21–22). Who are you, oh Steven Furtick, to speak back to God (Rom. 9:20–24)?

No doctrine is more despised by the natural mind than the truth that God is absolutely sovereign. Human pride loathes the suggestion that God orders everything, controls everything, rules over everything. T he carnal mind, burning with enmity against God, abhors the biblical teaching that nothing comes to pass except according to His eternal decrees. Most of all, the flesh hates the notion that salvation is entirely God’s work. If God chose who would be saved, and if His choice was settled before the foundation of the world, then believers deserve no credit for their salvation. But that is, after all, precisely what Scripture teaches. Even faith is God’s gracious gift to His elect. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (John 6:65). “Nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27). Therefore no one who is saved has anything to boast about (cf Eph. 2:8, 9). “Salvation is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). . . . Moreover, everything that exists in the universe exists because God allowed it, decreed it, and called it into existence. “Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3). “Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). He “works all things after the counsel of His will” (Eph. 1:11). “From Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Rom. 11:36). “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Cor. 8:6). . . . Paul anticipated the argument against divine sovereignty: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?’” (v. 19). In other words, doesn’t God’s sovereignty cancel out human responsibility? But rather than offering a philosophical answer or a deep metaphysical argument, Paul simply reprimanded the skeptic: “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ‘Why did you make me like this,’ will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?” (vv. 20, 21). Scripture affirms both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. We must accept both sides of the truth, though we may not understand how they correspond to one another. People are responsible for what they do with the gospel—or with whatever light they have (Rom. 2:19, 20), so that punishment is just if they reject the light. And those who reject do so voluntarily. Jesus lamented, “You are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (John 5:40). He told unbelievers, “Unless you believe that I am [God], you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). In John chapter 6, our Lord combined both divine sovereignty and human responsibility when He said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (v. 37); “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life” (v. 40); “No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (v. 44); “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life” (v. 47); and, “No one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father” (v. 65). How both of those two realities can be true simultaneously cannot be understood by the human mind—only by God. Above all, we must not conclude that God is unjust because He chooses to bestow grace on some but not to everyone. God is never to be measured by what seems fair to human judgment. Are we so foolish as to assume that we who are fallen, sinful creatures have a higher standard of what is right than an unfallen and infinitely, eternally holy God? What kind of pride is that? In Psalm 50:21 God says, “You thought that I was just like you.” But God is not like us, nor can He be held to human standards. “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8, 9). We step out of bounds when we conclude that anything God does isn’t fair. In Romans 11:33 the apostle writes, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?” (Rom. 11:33, 34).

– John MacArthur, ‘God’s Absolute Sovereignty

 

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/04/steven-furtick-it-is-dangerous-to.html

UK Government Approves Genetically Engineered ‘Three-Parent’ Embryos

LifeNews reports:

Great Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which oversees fertility treatments and embryo research in that nation, recently approved fertility procedures that would amount to the genetic engineering of children through cloning (nuclear transfer) technology and germ-line modification, resulting in a “three-parent embryo” that would have genetic material from two mothers and one father.

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/02/uk-government-approves-genetically-engineered-three-parent-embryos/

The Bill of Rebellion

The Bill of Rebellion (via http://preachingchristcrucified.com)

“But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” —Jonah 1:3 Let us begin to reckon up the bill…

A Biblical Perspective on Demons and Deliverance Ministry

“Deliverance ministry” is enjoying increasing popularity in the church. Don Dickerman is a notable advocate, and teaches a “deliverance process.” For Dickerman, the basic thrust is as follows: Salvation is a first step to being free, but many Christians are oppressed by demons in their bodies, wills, minds, etc., resulting in ailments of all kinds. The demons don’t get into the spirit, Dickerman says, because the Holy Spirit indwells the spirit. But while Dickerman insists a believer cannot be demon possessed, he does assert that believers can have demons in their soul, by appealing to certain legal rights to get in. These rights can come by unforgiveness, generational curses, secret society oaths or pledges, childhood traumas, and anxieties. If doors are opened to allow demons in, in they will come. Those same rights can be revoked, Dickerman asserts, but they must be handled by closing the legal-rights demonic doorways, and by binding and casting out the demons themselves.

The prescribed solution for demonic oppression is not counseling nor medication, but rather is “deliverance,” which includes intercessory prayer and binding and casting out demons, and which can allow Christians to be free from demons who lay claim to the Christian’s body, will, mind, or soul. The process works like this: the believer must confess the doorways, have a genuine desire to close the doorways, and the deliverance minister will cast out the demons. Dickerman speaks of a “courtroom of deliverance” in which he represents the oppressed believer and prosecutes the demon(s) before God. He leads the oppressed in a prayer of confession and repentance. Then he binds demons, commanding them in the name of Jesus to depart to the abyss after having fixed what they damaged in the oppressed person.

What is the biblical teaching on demons? Can Christians be oppressed or even possessed? Is deliverance ministry the solution?

Read More Here . . .