Daily Archives: September 6, 2013

Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That (06 September 2013)

  • So if I want God to get me a really groovy job within a week, I just need to start tithing? Got it. Thanks, Perry Noble and Robert Morris.
  • Carson and the gift of tongues or something.
  • I admit, I don’t really understand parents who plaster pictures of their children all over social media.
  • Because I know you’ll want to get in on this vote.
  • Once again The Christian Post brings you all the news that doesn’t interest you.
  • Your story is not the gospel. It won’t save anybody. Tell people about Christ.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Hm. Well, I guess a virtual scapegoat for Yom Kippur is a clever idea. You know, in gospeless-bizarro-I-think-the-Internet-is-real-life world.
  • Few things irritate me more than people who retweet compliments. It’s usually done by “Christian celebrities” so we can know how incredibly fabulous their latest book is or that they knocked Sunday’s sermon out of the proverbial park.
  • Football season has now officially begun. Here is your schedule of Packers games. Trust me, they’re the only team that matters right now.
  • Is God still revealing truth?

 

Music Video: By Your Side – Tenth Avenue North

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching
As if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

‘Cause I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands at my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

And I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Here at my side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

‘Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, yeah I’ll love you
I’ll never let you go, no, no

And I’ll be by your side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Here at my side wherever you fall
In the dead of night whenever you call
And please don’t fight these hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Here at my side, my hands are holding you
Ohhh…

A Charismatic Primer #4 – The Outreach Top 50 (#11-15)

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

Good day all, time for the next installment in the series!

We’ve looked at the New Apostolic Reformation, the Outreach Top 50 #1-5, as well as the Outreach top 50 #6-10, so now we’re on the next 5 churches on the Outreach Magazine top 50.  For those who may forget, the Outreach Top 50 #1-5 post has a little glossary on it to define the categories that I’m using in this series.  As a reminder, those categories are Prosperity Gospel, Charismatic, Continuationist, Practical Cessationist, Committed Cessationist and Reformed Charismatic.  Let’s look at #11-15:

11.  Gateway Church – Pastored by Robert Morris. Morris is a somewhat tame continuationist (i.e. John Piper, etc. ***read the updates below***), but he’s definitely open about:

11a. Tongues, as in this sermon or this sermon (they generally play up the angle of tongues being a prayer language).

11b. The doctrine of…

View original post 1,062 more words

“The Devil’s Lie to Give False Security to Damned People”

airō

jmacarthur

In Part 3 of The Christian’s Incompatibility with Sin, Pastor John MacArthur comments on the popular false gospel, preaching from 1 John 3:9-10:

“A no-repentance gospel, a no-holiness gospel, a no-submission gospel, a no-transformation gospel is the devil’s lie to give false security to damned people. So for the protection of the church from the false teaching agents of Satan, the New Testament is crystal clear on how you can determine whether one is a believer. And that is John’s very specific purpose in writing so there’s no mistaking the fact that true Christians are transformed people and their new life is very different than their former life…

“…True believers have a pattern of righteousness in their life. The pop gospel is void of this truth. It only wants to acknowledge an emotional moment, an event, and affirm people’s salvation on the basis of that event, that prayer, that…

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6 Enemies of Apologetic Engagement by Doug Groothuis

 

Philosopher and apologist Douglas Groothuis presents a great article on Six Enemies Of Apologetic Engagement from the Bethinking.org website.  His  purpose is briefly to lay out six factors that illegitimately inhibit apologetic engagement today. If these barriers are removed, our apologetic witness may grow into what it should be in Christ: 1. Indifference 2. Irrationalism 3. Ignorance 4. Cowardice 5. Arrogance and intellectual vanity 6. Superficial techniques or schlock apologetics
Be sure to read the article in its fullness. PDF also available.
Enjoy.

Special edition: Live Panel – 2013 Great Lakes Prophecy Conference

The bible is one-third prophecy and has a lot to say to us about the conflict in the Middle East, the global geopolitical landscape, the world economy, and the New Spirituality changing the visible church.  Today we are broadcasting live from this year’s Great Lakes Prophecy Conference at Calvary Chapel of Appleton. (The event is full, but you can stream it live this weekend HERE.

Christianity losing its discernment – Exclusive: Jim Fletcher questions evangelical media and more

There is an interesting reality at play in the American church now that  smacks of propaganda.

A … cabal (I don’t hesitate to use a word that is precise) exists whereby  certain conservative voices are shut out of the debate – whatever the debate is  at the moment. 

For now, I’ll focus on a couple areas to illustrate.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/09/christianity-losing-its-discernment/

Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke at Jesus Culture Event: ‘God Will Save America’

When a person believes that they are receiving special, personal revelation from God, no claim is off limits, no matter how absurd or outlandish. How can one argue with ‘thus saith the Lord’? What retort is there to ‘God told me’? One could respond with the simple challenge of ‘Prove it,’ but such curtness likely will elicit the response of, ‘How dare you question my experience!’

The problem with these claims of private revelation and prophecy ought to be obvious to the Christian who is committed to the objective Word of God. The man who seeks to know the truth through this Word has no time to chase after fanciful, manipulated experiences. The man who devours the truth of the Word will be too full to feast on fairy tales of his imagination.

Yet this is a world that thrives on emotions. It desires the subjective, anything that might make the individual feel more important, more spiritual, more fulfilled. This is why the deceptive (and often damning) teachings of the charismatic movement are so often aimed at young people. Fragile, vulnerable, and always seeking more of anything, the youth of this world are perhaps the favorite delicacy sought by the wolves who have infiltrated the church and are devouring its sheep.

This reality is evidenced by the popularity of such groups as Jesus Culture, a music group that was borne out of the youth group of Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church in Redding, California. The group claims that they have been specially commanded by God to ‘mobilize’ a ‘new breed of revivalists’:

Read More Here: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/09/evangelist-reinhard-bonnke-at-jesus.html

Questions about God: Why Does God Test Us?

When we ask why God tests us, or allows us to be tested, we are admitting that testing does indeed come from Him, as clearly taught in Scripture. Although we are forbidden to test Him (Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7), when God tests His children, He does a valuable thing. David sought God’s testing, asking Him to examine his heart and mind and see that they were true to Him (Psalm 26:2; 139:23). In both the Old and New Testaments, the words translated “test” mean to prove by trial. Therefore, when God tests His children, the purpose is to prove that our faith is real. Not that God needs to prove it to Himself since He knows all things; rather, He is proving to us that our faith is real, that we are truly His children, and that no trial or test will overcome that faith.

In His Parable of the Sower, Jesus identifies the ones who fall away as those who receive the seed of God’s Word with joy, but as soon as a time of testing comes along, they fall away. James clearly explains that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, which leads to maturity in our walk with God. Perseverance in times of trial and testing will result in our spiritual maturity, our completeness (James 1:3–4). James goes on to say that testing is a blessing, because when the testing is over and we have “stood the test,” we will “receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). Testing and trying come from our heavenly Father who works all things together for good for those who love Him and who are called to be the children of God (Romans 8:28).

The testing or trials we undergo come in various ways. Becoming a Christian will often require us to move out of our comfort zones and into areas we have never encountered before. We’ve perhaps heard the saying ‘No pain—no gain’ when exercising our physical bodies. The same applies to exercising our faith in God. This is why James wrote ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds’ (James 1:2). Testing our faith can be in small things like daily irritations; they may also be severe afflictions (Isaiah 48:10). Whatever the source of the testing from God, it is to our benefit to undergo the trials.

The account of Job is a perfect example of God allowing one of His saints to be tested by the devil. Job bore all his trials patiently and “did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing” (Job 1:22). However, the account of Job’s testing is proof that Satan’s ability to tempt us is limited by God’s sovereign control. No demon can test or afflict us with beyond what God has ordained for His perfect purpose and our benefit.

There are many examples that can be used to illustrate the positive results from our being tested. The Psalmist likens our testing to that of being refined like silver (Psalm 66:10). Elsewhere in Scripture we can read of our trials as that of gold being refined in order to remove all its impurities (1 Peter 1:7). By the testing of our faith, God causes us to grow and mature into strong disciples who truly live by faith in Him, not by what we see (2 Corinthians 5:7).

When testing and trials come our way, we should receive them with joy, because we know that it is God who allows them to strengthen our faith. When we are knocked about in the storms of life, like the tree that digs its roots ever deeper for a greater grip, we must dig our roots deeper into God’s Word so we can withstand whatever comes against us.

Most comforting of all, we know that God will never allow us to be tested beyond what we are able to handle and in all things will provide a way out of the test (1 Corinthians 10:13). This does not mean He will remove the trial from us. Why would He when He says trials are for our benefit? Rather, the “way out” is the way through. the trial, with Him ever faithful by our side, until we come out on the other side of it by His grace and power, stronger and more mature Christians.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about the Church: What Does the Bible Say about the Position of Worship Leader?

Because the term “worship leader” means so many different things to so many people, it is always best to see what Scripture has to say about the role of worship and those who lead corporate worship. True worship, whether corporate or individual, has several major components, as described in Romans 12:1–2. First, the motivation to worship is “the mercies of God” which embodies all He has given us, none of which we deserve. Second, the manner of worship is the presentation of our bodies, including our hearts, minds, hands, thoughts, and attitudes to God. Third, our worship involves renewing our minds through the Word of God. To know the truth, to believe the truth, to hold convictions about the truth, and to love the truth will naturally result in true spiritual worship. Fourth, true worship is God-centered, not man-centered. The purpose of worship is not to produce an emotional experience, but to acknowledge God’s singular worthiness to be worshipped. So the first duty and responsibility of those who desire to lead others in worship must be to first understand the nature of worship itself.

Although the New Testament does not name “worship leader” as one of Christ’s gifts for the edification of the church (Ephesians 4:11–12), worship leaders are common in the modern church. If the worship leader is to lead, he must lead by example, and his life, therefore, must exemplify that of the true worshipper. As with all leaders in the body of Christ, his must be first spiritual leadership. He must be the first to bow before God in humility and obedience. Just as the high priest had to sacrifice for his own sins first, so must the worship leader ensure he has scraped away the hardness from his heart and loosened the stiffness of his neck before he can begin to lead others. It is the primary duty of a worship leader, therefore, to be aligned with God’s will and to be humble before the great and awesome God. He must lead in humility and genuine concern for those under his care.

Because worship leader is not a biblical office for the church, his role is somewhat indistinct. Most worship leaders are musicians of some kind, whether vocal or instrumental, and their primary role is to lead the other musicians/singers that are involved in the service. It is the responsibility of the worship leader to ensure that it is not the music, nor the instruments, nor the presentation, nor the voices which are the focus of the worship service. Worship is bowing humbly before God and exalting Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. The responsibility of the worship leader is to become less, that Jesus Christ can become more. And when all of this is done, when hearts are humble before Him, His people are ready to receive, and be changed by, the focal point of the worship service—His glorious and living Word.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Salvation: Is There a Difference between the Book of Life and the Lamb’s Book of Life?

There are eight references in New Testament to the “book of life,” and two of them refer specifically to the book of life that belongs to the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Seven of the references appear in the book of Revelation. Those whose names are written in the book of life are those who belong to God, those who have attained eternal life.

Paul refers to those who have labored alongside him as those whose names are in the book of life (Philippians 4:3), again identifying the book of life as a record of the names of those who have eternal salvation. In the same way, Revelation 3:5 refers to the book of life in which the names of believers in the Lord are found. These are those who overcome the trials of earthly life, proving that their salvation is genuine. This verse also makes it clear that once a name is written in the book of life, Jesus promises that He will never blot it out, proving once more the doctrine of eternal security. The Lord Jesus, who is speaking to the churches in this part of Revelation, promises to acknowledge his own before His Father. Conversely, Revelation 20:15 reveals the fate of those whose names are not written in the book of life—eternity in the lake of fire.

In Revelation 13:8 and 21:27, we find the references to the “Lamb’s book of life,” in which also are the names of all those who have been washed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. The Lamb who has been “slain from the creation of the world” has a book in which are written all those who have been redeemed by His sacrifice. They are the ones who will enter the Holy City, the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:10) and who will live forever in heaven with God. Since the book of life is that which records all who have eternal life through the Lamb, it’s clear that the book of life and the Lamb’s book of life are one and the same.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

The Persecution & Prayer Alert Voice of the Martyrs – September 5, 2013

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good (people) do nothing.” – E.M. Bounds

Persecution and Prayer Alert

EGYPT: Worst Violent Onslaught Against Christians in Centuries

Sources: CBN, Morningstar News, Christian Post

A church set on fire in Upper Egypt
Photo: AINA

After weeks of rampages by the supporters of the ousted Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, many Christian properties in Egypt were left in extreme disrepair. The attacks began on August 14th, shortly after Cairo police dispersed two pro-Morsi protest camps. Blaming Christians for requesting the police presence, the protesters fled to neighbouring communities where they spray-painted Christian buildings with black “X” marks. Before emergency crews arrived, most of the marked buildings had been torched.

Some scholars believe this outrageous onslaught of violence represents the greatest attack on Egyptian Christians in 700 years. More than 30 Christian houses were set on fire. At least two Christian schools were attacked. When the Christ Soldiers orphanage was destroyed, about 200 children were left homeless. The assailants also burnt three branches of the Bible Society bookstore. In fact, all businesses having any affiliation with Christians were in jeopardy.

The greatest level of damage, in both severity and scope, was inflicted on churches. More than 60 have been attacked, with varying degrees of damage. One of the most heavily damaged churches, the Amir Tadros church in Minya, was completely gutted. Engineers plan to demolish the building and, if adequate funding is available, hope to rebuild it. The congregation continues to meet at a nearby alcove at 6:30 a.m. when violence is less likely to occur. This is a valid concern considering that at least 500 civilians (along with 43 police officers) have lost their lives and thousands more have been injured. A brief four-minute video clip on this current situation is available on Persecution.TV. For a previous written report, you may click here.

In the midst of all the destruction and chaos, may God’s peace reign supreme in the hearts of His people. For those who have tragically lost dear loved ones as a result of the vicious attacks, may His comforting presence be a reminder of the eternal promise that lies ahead. May these Egyptian believers continue to trust in God’s sovereignty, remain obedient to His teachings, and be granted the grace to respond in a manner of love. Through the unwavering witness of Egypt’s Christian community, and the workings of His Holy Spirit, may God work mightily in the country — also touching the hearts of those committing the violent acts.

We invite you to join others in prayer for our fellow believers in Egypt by posting your prayers on our prayer wall.

NIGERIA: Minor Provocation Incites Muslim Mob to Attack Church

Sources: Release International, Morningstar News

Property damaged at St. James Anglican Cathedral
Photo: Morning Star News

Several attendants of a church in Lafia, Nasarawa, were severely injured by a mob of Muslim militants in an attack that was prompted by an altercation over a miniscule amount of money. During the early evening of August 17th, while the choir was rehearsing, Rev. Isaac Onwusongaonye held a Bible study meeting with the elders of St. James Anglican Cathedral. At the time of the meeting, he was informed about a confrontation that took place at the church’s water borehole. The confrontation led to a violent assault against the church building and those in it. Reportedly, a Muslim woman in the community had incited neighbouring militants to attack the church after engaging in a minor dispute with a young Christian man who runs the borehole…over the payment of 20 naira, which is equivalent to about one cent (CAD) in change.

Despite the church’s attempts to defuse the row by waiving the fee, the woman’s son and associates responded with violence. Using knives, clubs, motorcycle chains, iron poles and wooden rods, the angry mob of 30 attacked the church’s security guards, causing most of them to be hospitalized. In addition, three pastors, four elders, and an indeterminate number of choir members sustained injuries. Church property was also destroyed. Thankfully, the arrival of police averted plans to burn down the church building. While the ringleader’s mother was initially arrested, she was later discharged in exchange for her son. The case is still under investigation. (For more information on persecution in this country, please check the Nigeria Country Report.)

Thank the Lord for the courage of the security guards who risked their lives while trying to protect the church. Pray that these guards and others who were wounded during the attack will not succumb to fear, but rather would set their eyes on our Almighty God as their Protector and Deliverer. Ask Him to minister to the traumatized victims, granting them needed comfort and healing. May the Lord encourage and reward the church’s leaders and congregation members, bringing justice in this situation and blessing their outreach in the community.

CHINA: House Church Pastor Attacked by Government Agents

Sources: ChinaAid, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Li Shuangping
Photo: ChinaAid

Li Shuangping, pastor of Linfen house church, was abducted, beaten and threatened by government agents on the night of August 13th. While Li was driving to his home in Shanxi province, a man who appeared to be drunk staggered in front of his vehicle, at which point Li stopped. A black sedan pulled up alongside Li, and three men hurried out. The men forcibly seized Li from his vehicle, with help from the man who pretended to be drunk, and dragged him into the sedan. As one man drove, the other three restrained and harassed him in the backseat. After blindfolding him and tying him with a rope, they beat him for the duration of the journey, inflicting noticeable wounds on his head, neck and torso. The driver strayed from the main roads until reaching a cornfield, where the other men pushed Li out of the sedan.

Throughout the journey, one man repeatedly threatened to kill Li for his involvement in the house church. The threats ranged from being tossed in the river to being forced to drink sulfuric acid. The man also threatened to track down and kidnap Li’s family. The abducted pastor believes that the assailants work for the local government which has previously targeted him for his involvement with Linfen church.

In 2009, several hundred police officers raided the church, which regularly holds about 50,000 attendants. Bibles and areas of the building were damaged during the raid, and scores of parishioners were violently attacked. Some of the church leaders travelled to Beijing to file a formal complaint, but they were arrested and detained on the way. Li was released in July of 2011, along with several others. More detainees from Linfen church were released later, but some are still in custody, including Yang Rongli, who is serving a seven-year sentence. Learn more about the challenges facing Christians in China at the China Country Report.

Pray that Pastor Li and all those affected by the church raid will draw closer to the Lord and develop greater fervency in prayer. Ask Him to provide protection for these believers and their families, keeping them at peace and free from the spirit of fear. Also pray that the members of the Linfen house church will continue to gather together in fellowship to the glory of God, reaching multitudes more in China with the Gospel… including Li’s abductors.

Source: http://www.persecution.net/persecution-prayer-alert.htm

Unless he’s serious, vote no By Charles Krauthammer

Sen. Bob Corker: “What is it you’re seeking?”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”

—Senate hearing on the use of force in Syria, Sept. 3

We have a problem. The president proposes attacking Syria, and his top military officer cannot tell you the objective. Does the commander in chief know his own objective? Why, yes. “A shot across the bow,” explained Barack Obama.

Now, a shot across the bow is a warning. Its purpose is to say: Cease and desist, or the next shot will sink you. But Obama has already told the world — and Bashar al-Assad in particular — that there will be no next shot. He has insisted time and again that the operation will be finite and highly limited. Take the shot, kill some fish, go home.

Read More Here: http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-unless-hes-serious-vote-no/2013/09/05/18fb85be-165c-11e3-804b-d3a1a3a18f2c_story.html

US intercepts Iranian reprisal plot if Syria is attacked

US intelligence has intercepted orders from Iran to militants based in Iraq to attack American sites should a strike on Syria go through, US officials said Friday.

The intercepted message came from the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, Kassem Sulemenai, and went to Iranian-supported Shi’ite militia groups in Iraq, according to US officials cited in a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The targeted sites could include the US embassy in Baghdad and other American interest sites in the Iraqi capital, as well as the US embassy in Beirut and other sites in Lebanon via the terror group Hezbollah, the Journal reported.

Read More Here: http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-intercepts-iranian-reprisal-plot/

Putin warns Russia could come to Syria’s aid over US strike

Putin escalated concerns about the fallout from any strike when he indicated in an interview published Wednesday that his country could send Syria and its neighbors in the region the components of a missile shield if the U.S. attacks.

U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified this week that the Russians might even replace any military assets the U.S. destroys in a strike.

The warnings raise the possibility of a supposedly “limited” strike on Syria turning into a proxy tit-for-tat between Russia and the U.S.

Read More Here: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/09/05/obama-to-engage-putin-on-syria-strike-at-g-20-summit/

Obama’s Al Qaeda Syrian Allies Bombard Christian Village

Obama’s allies in Syria — those who will directly benefit from the coming US airstrikes — stepped up their genocide against Syrian Christians today, attacking Maaloula, a Christian village, indiscriminately using mortar shells fired from a hilltop above the village.

Read Full Story

Christians in Middle East: U.S. Attack on Syria Would Be Detrimental

NEW YORK (RNS) — As the Obama administration considers a strike in response to recent chemical attacks, the head of a global evangelical group said Wednesday (Sept. 4) that Christians in the Middle East oppose military intervention in Syria.

“There is major consensus amongst the Christian leaders in this region that any military intervention would have a detrimental effect … on Christians in Syria,” wrote Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general/CEO of World Evangelical Alliance, in a letter to the State Department, the White House and the United Nation’s Security Council.

Read More Here: http://m.religiontoday.com/news/christians-in-middle-east-us-attack-on-syria-would-be-detrimental.html

Syrian Woman Drops Bombshell On McCain At Town Hall Meeting- Audience Applauds (Video)

A Syrian woman confronts John McCain at an AZ town hall, dropping a bombshell on him that her 18 year old cousin was killed 10 days ago, in Syria at the hands of the U.S. backed rebels. She informs him she has more family over there and she begs him, literally, to not support the bombing of Syria and causing more bloodshed.

Read More Here: http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2013/09/syrian-woman-drops-bombshell-on-mccain.html

‘Yes We Can…Kill People’: Anti-war Activists Protest As Obama Visits Sweden – (Video & Stunning Images)

Obama’s visit to Sweden wasn’t smooth sailing as hundreds of anti-war protesters held up signs and used Obama’s own campaign slogan of “Yes We Can,” but adding “Kill People, ” to the end of the slogan to make their point. They also held up signs saying “I have a dream; I have a drone” and waved Syrian and Egyptian flags. Other signs had Obama’s picture on it with the caption “This is how a terrorist looks like,” then they lit it on fire.

Read More Here: http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2013/09/yes-we-cankill-people-anti-war.html