Daily Archives: August 23, 2013

How Lame and Silly Can Americans Be? While Syrians Die and Egypt Burns, Our Citizens are Concerned About Batman

Zwinglius Redivivus

America has become so lame and so silly that, while Egypt burns and Egyptian Christians are being systematically destroyed; and while 1 million Syrian children have been exiled;  and while countless Syrians have been gassed by their own government- none of which has stirred America to action, they are outraged by the choice of Ben Affleck to play the part of Batman…

I’m not kidding.

Controversy erupted across social media networks when Warner Bros. announced Thursday the 41-year-old Affleck will star in the newest version of the Dark Knight, a movie that promises to bring Batman and Superman together.  And then this happened: Two petitions started, one on change.org and another in the “We the People” section of the White House website.  The change.org petition is aimed at Warner Bros.; the White House petition asked the Obama administration to “denounce the selection of Ben Affleck” and recast the role of Batman…

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Help with Personal Holiness

We must be holy, because this is the one grand end and purpose for which Christ came into the world [2 Cor 5:15; Eph 5:25-26; Titus 2:14]… Jesus is a complete Saviour. He does not merely take away the guilt of a believer’s sin, He does more – He breaks its power (1 Pet 1:2; Rom 8:29; Eph 1:4; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 12:10).

 J.C. Ryle, Holiness, p. 49.

 

I’ve recently preached a mini-series on holiness for our congregation (links to the audio can be found under Preaching, above) We began with Lev 10:1-11 and 1 Cor 6:9-11, and I’ll conclude with Heb 12:1-14 next Lord’s Day, DV.

After being a Christian for nearly 20 years, I can unfortunately say that personal holiness has not been a topic that’s received great emphasis in the churches and ministries with which I’ve been in fellowship. In Rediscovering Holiness, J.I. Packer points to the same reality.

Read More Here: http://www.affectedbytruth.com/help-with-personal-holiness/

Proper Doctrine Used to Matter to the Church

This new piece from Apprising Ministries offers that the visible church seems more concerned with pleasing men then standing for the great truths of the historic, orthodox, Christian church:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Once Upon A Time, In A Place Far Away, Proper Doctrine Used To Matter To The Church

The current apostasy just continues to grow; spiritual blindness becomes darker, and mainstream evangelicalism has largely rejected sola Scriptura in favor of its infatuation with Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM). Sadly, this all began with evangelicalism’s spiritual adultery with the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church aka Emergent Church, which had CSM as a core doctrine and has contributed mightily to postmodern form of liberalism that the EC refers to as Emergence Christianity.

Read More Here: http://apprising.org/2013/08/22/proper-doctrine-used-to-matter-to-the-church/

Teens and Unrestricted Access: Time to Repent

The statistics have been published, the literature has widely circulated, the conversations continue, but the issue still doesn’t seem to be addressed with due vigilance. I’m talking about teenagers with unrestricted access on their smartphones and tablets. I give a hearty “Amen!” to Russell Moore’s recent tweet: “I am just stunned by parents who give their pre-teen children iPhones and iPads with unrestricted Internet access.”

We rightly claim that pornography is an addiction, but we don’t seem to be challenging the dealers of this drug. Who are these dealers? Parents. Parents who foolishly give their teens (and pre-teens) free rein with their smartphones and by doing so have invited the world into their child’s bedroom each night.

Some of you might think I am being a bit extreme, but after wrapping up another summer of youth retreats, my eyes have been opened once again to this absolute foolishness (there’s no softer way to put it). The things our youth post on social media prove many things, and one is parental absence in this sphere.

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/08/23/teens-and-unrestricted-access-time-to-repent/

The Muslim Brotherhood’s War on Egypt’s Christians

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

cross(Washington, D.C.) — “The Muslim Brotherhood is showing the world its true colors,” writes columnist Kirsten Powers. “The group that ‘renounced violence’ in an effort to gain political power is engaged in a full-scale campaign of terror against Egypt’s Christian minority. Brotherhood leaders have incited their followers to attack Christian homes, shops, schools and churches throughout the country. Samuel Tadros, an Egyptian scholar with the Hudson Institute, told me these attacks are the worst violence against the Coptic Church since the 14th century.”

Kirsten is absolutely right. She’s written an excellent column. I’m grateful she did. I encourage you to read the whole thing.  For the moment, here are some excerpts:

  • The news coming out of Egypt is staggering. USA Today reports that “forty churches have been looted and torched, while 23 others have been attacked and heavily damaged” in one week. According to the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches in Egypt, 160…

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The Truth about the God of the Old Testament

With All I Am

Copan Is God a Moral Monster

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomanical, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Atheist Richard Dawkins’ infamous description of Yahweh in his book The God Delusion is enough to make most Christians’ blood boil. Unfortunately, we are not always well-equipped to calmly and reasonably respond to such vitriol.Dr. Paul Copan, a well-respected professor of philosophy, author, and speaker, notes that Christians shouldn’t ignore the charges of Neo-atheists like Dawkins. Rather, “As people of the Book, Christians should honestly reflect on such matters.”

Copan’s recent book, Is God a Moral Monster?, is one of my new favorites. Written for a lay audience, the provocatively titled work responds to atheists’ most frequent attacks against the Old Testament God:

  • God’s…

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Be Prepared to Answer Skeptics

Steak and a Bible

Ephesians 6: 10-16 NASB, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word…

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Apologetics Sermon Illustration # 15: Beware of parasitic false teachers and Polyergus breviceps Parasitic ants

The Domain for Truth

GO TO PART 14

Polyergus breviceps parasitic queen

Point: Contrary to the spirit of our age, the New Testament has a lot to say about false teaching and false teachers.  Believers are to be on the alert for them, to resist false doctrines , refute them, warn others about it and not to fellowship with false teachers.  Sometimes Christians today lack discernment and often will just let false teachers go because they use Christian vocabulary with different meanings; that is, false teachers have a pass among some Christians because their false teachings are “sprinkled” with a little bit of Christianese even though the true meaning of their contents are not Christian at all.  It might be appropriate to get the idea across that Christians must be aware of false teachers (be it in the form of a cult leader, compromiser, Liberal or secularists) with the following illustration.

Picture: Polyergus breviceps is a species…

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Total Depravity: ‘Christian’ Swingers

Zwinglius Redivivus

Just to show how far some ‘Christians’ have swerved aside from any kind of ethics or morals, behold:

depraved

Yup.  The Christian Post has the details about the latest damnable deviation of ungodliness parading itself as Christian.

A new dating website called CHRISTIANSwingers is sending ripples throughout the Christian community for offering “faithful couples” the opportunity to “hookup” with each other. One mental health professional warns the practice will lead to nothing but “pain.”  The oxymoronic website brazenly declares that it was “designed to cater to the needs of those like you: devout Christian couples who still want to have an active love life and share it with another, in good faith!”  Before it details its mission, however, the website attempts to make a connection with visitors by justifying the lifestyle.  “For Christian Swingers things are not easy – often other religious people judge you, out of ignorance or envy, telling…

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They Actually Expect Us To Have Faith In These Financial Markets After This Week?

What in the world is happening to our financial markets? Trading on the Nasdaq was halted on Thursday for more than 3 hours, and the only formal explanation that we got was that it was a “technical issue”. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs made thousands of “erroneous trades” that are now being canceled. If those trades had not been canceled, it could have cost Goldman “hundreds of millions of dollars” according to the Wall Street Journal. How nice for them that they get a “do over”. When Knight Capital made a similar “trading error”, they were not so fortunate. Our financial system has become completely and totally dependent on computers, and that means that it is extremely vulnerable. After what we have witnessed this week, how can they actually expect us to have faith in these financial markets? And what happens if these “technical issues” get even worse? (Read More….)

The Secret Document That Proves China Considers The United States To Be A Mortal Enemy

If you believe that China is our “friend”, then you have been deceived. While U.S. politicians, the mainstream media and the U.S. military may consider China to be a “friend” and a “partner”, the Chinese see things very, very differently. As you will see below, documents produced at the highest levels of the Chinese government make it abundantly clear that China considers the United States to be a mortal enemy. Unfortunately, in the west we have naively assumed that if we opened up trade with China that they would want to be more like us. Instead, opening up trade with China has allowed them to severely damage us economically while continuing to loudly denounce “western constitutional democracy” at the same time. (Read More…..)

Learning From Oprah: New Age Spirituality, Racism, And The Influence Of Celebrity

It is not, however, her views on race that concern me as much as her views and criticisms about the Bible. Oprah has been more influential than some of America’s pastors and religious leaders. Too many people today follow their pop-culture icons. Oprah has launched book sales and resuscitated careers for many authors and gurus while giving proponents of higher spirituality a platform, particularly those who promote a New Age philosophy.

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Judges order Christians to work for ‘gays’

Court rules photographers must violate religious faith

The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment does not protect the owners of a photography studio who refused, because of their Christians beliefs, to serve a lesbian couple.

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“Strange Disciplines” from Christianity Today

In the recent Building Church Leaders newsletter, Drew Dyck has endorsed what he once referred to as “strange practices.” He wrote, “When I first started to hear about ‘spiritual disciplines,’ they made me nervous.

Lectio Divina sounded strange, even a little New Age. Walking the labyrinth seemed like something people in a cult might do.

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What Is Discernment? – Sinclair Ferguson

Someone I know recently expressed an opinion that surprised and in some ways disappointed me. I said to myself, “I thought he would have more discernment than that.”

The experience caused me to reflect on the importance of discernment and the lack of it in our world. We know that people often do not see issues clearly and are easily misled because they do not think biblically. But, sadly, one cannot help reflecting on how true this is of the church community, too.

Read More Here