I used to believe in Word of faith and prosperity gospel. I feel quite relieved that I have come a long way and now understand some things a lot better like God’s sovereign control of events and circumstances around me and the world. I am also grateful for His providence and looking back I am more rested now knowing that He is in complete control of everything. How puny my thoughts were when I thought that if I sowed a bigger seed or made a positive confession or regularly said prayers breaking generational curses then these would keep me from ‘afflictions of the devil’. John Berrige has an interesting letter to a Christian friend under severe affliction. I hope it helps some one struggling to understand afflictions:
I grant that your circumstances are very severe and difficult—but let me beg of you not to construe your afflictions as…
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Willem noted these in comments but I want to elevate them to a post of their own:
* Lists of Burnt Egyptian Churches: http://willemjdewit.com/2013/08/15/lists-of-burnt-egyptian-churches/
* Bookshops of Egyptian Bible Society Burnt and Destroyed http://willemjdewit.com/2013/08/14/bookshops-egyptian-bible-society-burnt-destroyed/
* Urgent Prayer Request from Anglican Bishop of Egypt http://willemjdewit.com/2013/08/14/urgent-prayer-request-from-anglican-bishop-of-egypt/
*And perhaps of related interest for American readers: Rev. Dr. Tharwat Wahba of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo is visiting the USA these days and speaking in various places: http://willemjdewit.com/2013/08/14/meet-my-egyptian-colleague-rev-dr-tharwat-wahba-in-the-usa/
This kind of behavior is profoundly reprehensible. Our Egyptian blogger writes
I have just received the sad news of the complete burning and destruction (by Muslim fundamentalists) of our Bible Society’s bookshops in Assiut & Minia (the largest cities in Southern Egypt). These were both very beautiful, fully equipped bookshops. Fortunately we were closed today, fearing such an attack, so none of our staff were injured. The attackers demolished the metal doors protecting the bookshops, broke the store windows behind them and set the bookshops on fire. They did the same to many stores on those streets as well as demolishing many parked cars. Similar incidents are taking place across the nation and to date 15 churches and 3 Christian schools have been attacked and some set on fire.
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7) and accepts us as righteous in his sight (2 Corinthians 5:21) only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, (Romans 5:19) and received by faith alone. (Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism
Here are some Presuppositional apologetics links from around the World Wide Web between August 8th-14th, 2013. Are there other links you see that should be added on here?
2.) The Atheist’s Guide to Reality –James Anderson’s latest writing for the Christian Research Journal.
1 Timothy 3:3 Code: B130815
Imagine taking your family to a new church. The teaching is decent, so you keep attending. You get to know some of the elders, hoping to learn from their examples and grow spiritually. Meanwhile, your kids get involved in the youth ministry, and your family becomes immersed in the church.
But as the weeks pass, you realize that big problems lie beneath the surface. Several elders tolerate major sin in their lives, and they disagree on virtually every issue. The congregation is confused on important doctrines. Factions form, and everyone picks sides. To make matters worse, your family members are becoming disjointed and quarrelsome, likely affected by the poor church leadership.
Would you stay? Probably not. It would be difficult for you and your family to grow spiritually in that environment. Churches need leaders who live according to biblical principles and who are unified in sound doctrine. Otherwise, believers have no one to guide them in following God’s design for the church.
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul gives Timothy God’s standard for church leadership. Picking up where we left off on Monday, an overseer is “not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money” (1 Timothy 3:3).
Not a Drinker
The Greek word translated “addicted to wine” (paroinos) means “one who drinks.” It doesn’t refer to a drunkard—that’s an obvious disqualification. The issue here is the man’s reputation: Is he known as a drinker?
The Greek word translated “temperate” (1 Timothy 3:2) refers in its literal sense to one who is not intoxicated. Paroinos, on the other hand, refers to one’s associations: Such a person doesn’t frequent bars, taverns, and inns. He is not at home in the noisy scenes associated with drinking. A man who is a drinker has no place in the ministry because he sets a poor example for others by choosing to fellowship with immoral men instead of God’s people.
Not a Fighter
A leader of God’s people cannot settle disputes with his fists or in other violent ways. The Greek word translated “pugnacious” means “a striker.” An elder isn’t quick tempered and doesn’t resort to physical violence. This qualification is closely related to “not addicted to wine” because such violence is usually connected with people who drink excessively.
A spiritual leader must be able to handle things with a cool mind and a gentle spirit. As Paul said, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome” (2 Timothy 2:24).
Easily Pardons Human Failure
Instead of being pugnacious, a leader must be “gentle.” The Greek word translated “gentle” describes the person who is considerate, genial, forbearing, gracious, and easily pardons human failure.
In a practical sense, a gentle leader has the ability to remember good and forget evil. He doesn’t keep a record of wrongs people have committed against him (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:5). I know people who have left the ministry because they couldn’t get over someone’s criticizing or upsetting them. They carry a list of grievances that eventually robs them of the joy of serving others.
Discipline yourself not to talk or even think about wrongs done against you because it serves no productive purpose. It simply rehearses the hurts and clouds your mind with anger.
The Greek word translated “peaceable” means “reluctant to fight.” It refers not so much to physical violence as to a quarrelsome person. To have a contentious person in leadership will result in disunity and disharmony.
Free from the Love of Money
Love of money can corrupt a man’s ministry because it tempts him to view people as a means through whom he can acquire more riches.
Here’s a simple principle I’ve used to keep from loving money: Don’t place a price on your ministry. If someone gives you a financial gift you didn’t seek, you can accept it from the Lord and be thankful for it. But if you pursue money, you’ll never know if it came from Him or from your own efforts, and that will rob you of the joy of seeing God provide for your needs.
All these traits are essential for Christian leadership, since every leader sets an example that others imitate. If the example is one of godly character, then the leader’s ministry will edify the body of Christ. As he strives to be hospitable, honorable, peaceable, forgiving, and unselfish, other Christians will do the same. The result is an environment of purity, humility, and genuine love among brothers—fertile ground for the growth of the church.
Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130815 COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You
Two weeks ago, we began a series articulating ten reasons every Christian should learn more about church history. So far, we have considered the first four on our list of ten. Today we will consider three more reasons why church history is important … and why it should matter to you.
The “penal” in the doctrine of penal substitution, being tied to God’s wrath, has long been a source of controversy inside the church and out. It’s criticized as overly “legal” or “forensic.” People want to look to the cross and talk about Christ’s love, not his enduring the divine penalty.
But it’s worth stopping for a moment and meditating on what is behind a penalty. What is behind wrath? The answer is God’s worthiness or God’s worth. God’s wrath is equal to God’s worth, and that the “penal” in penal substitution therefore reveals this very worth.
Wrath and worth are perfectly matched together. The former takes the measure of the latter and expresses itself accordingly. One is as precious as the other.
So drop the “penal” from penal substitution and you diminish God dramatically. Despise his wrath and you despise his worth.
I’m convinced it’s better for your church to have an evangelistic culture than just a series of evangelistic programs.
In a church with a program-driven approach to evangelism, sharing the gospel can become something mostly for certain people at certain times, like when the evangelism team goes out visiting.
But in a church with an evangelistic culture, each member is encouraged to play a role within the larger church’s effort to reach the people around them with the message of salvation in Jesus. It becomes a part of every believer’s life.
THREE INGREDIENTS OF AN EVANGELISTIC CULTURE
If you are looking to create an evangelistic culture in your local church, here are three ingredients that may help.
Religion News Service reports on the latest example of compromise within the visible church as the ELCA appoints the denomination’s first female presiding bishop.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on Wednesday (Aug. 14) elected the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton as the denomination’s first female presiding bishop. Eaton received 600 votes against incumbent Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, who received 287.
Eaton, the current ELCA bishop of the Cleveland-based Northeast Ohio Synod, is married to the Rev. Conrad Selnick, an Episcopal priest. Like Hanson, she is considered a moderate who supported the denomination’s decision to allow partnered gay clergy while allowing room for churches to disagree, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
by Mike Ratliff
12 There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12 NASB)
I have yet to encounter a person who has a problem with the genuine, biblical gospel, or the sovereignty of God, or election, or the exclusivity of genuine discipleship, et cetera who does not also force a man-centered perspective on God’s Word in one form or another. These same people lean towards a form of Christianity that is almost all experiential. Since their view of how the gospel works and how God works with Man is wrongly focused and the Word of God contains clear teachings about the sovereignty of God, these people conceive of their entire “Christian” paradigm from a philosophical and existential base rather than on the authority of Sacred Scripture.
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On occasion, the thought still comes to me, “This feels silly.” That is, the simple acts of corporate worship. We gather the congregation together, somebody gets up and reads a portion of the Bible, then we pray and sing. After that, someone speaks from another part of the Bible for an extended period of time, which is followed with more prayer and singing. And this is what exalts our holy and Triune God? This is stepping into the presence of heaven in spiritual worship? Sometimes it can feel like little more than a corporate delusion of grandeur.
So I completely understand the appeal of a little mood-lighting, perhaps even with candles, as well as music that’s more impressive in its movements and performance. Maybe even architecture that’s grandiose and dramatic pictures to adorn our walls or display on the overhead. I even understand why Christians suggest inserting poignant movie clips or poetry readings or dramatic skits in a service of worship. Wouldn’t adding these elements engage us more and help us feel more like what we’re doing is important, even transcendent?
Christians add foreign elements to worship, because just reading, speaking, and singing from God’s Word feels foolish. But, of course, ensuring that it does is really the point.
Worshiping the God Who Is
Dr. Eben Alexander’s Proof of Heaven has now been on the New York Times Bestseller List for 41 weeks and is estimated to have sold over two million copies. With a lot of discussion going on about the book, and after being asked several times what I thought of it, it seemed time to blog about it.
“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” —Romans 6:15 Because of the incredible revelation of the freedom in Christ, a misunderstanding may arise and an objection made that God’s law is null…
The Center for Security Policy’s Dave Reaboi spent some time with Professor Barry Rubin of the GLORIA Center in Israel. Prof. Rubin is one of the world’s foremost experts on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and in the Arab world. He’s the author of dozens of books and hundreds of articles on topics ranging from Islamism in the East to anti-Americanism in the West. He blogs regularly at http://rubinreports.blogspot.com
Two Christians who were arrested and charged after reading the Bible outside of a DMV location in Hemet, Calif., have been found not guilty. As TheBlaze previously reported, Mark Mackey, 60, a member of Reconciled Christian Fellowship and Pastor Bret Coronado, 44, were facing misdemeanor charges after reading the gospel outside of the public building back in 2011.
Muslim culture still practices inbreeding and has been doing so for the better part of 1400 years. Consanguineous marriages were originally sanctioned by Islam’s prophet Muhammed, who had a very liberal view on men’s sexual relationships. In addition his many sex slaves, he married several cousins, the divorced wife of his own adopted son and the six year old Aisha, with whom he had sex with when she was nine.