Daily Archives: September 10, 2013

Music Video: Jesus Messiah – Chris Tomlin

He became sin
Who knew no sin
That we might become His righteousness
He humbled Himself and carried the cross

Love so amazing
Love so amazing

Jesus Messiah, name above all names
Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all

His body, the bread
His blood, the wine
Broken and poured out all for love
The whole earth tremble and the veil was torn

Love so amazing
Love so amazing, yeah

Jesus Messiah, name above all names
Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all

All our hope is in You
All our hope is in You
All the glory to You, God
The light of the world

Jesus Messiah, name above all names
Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel
The rescue for sinners
The ransom from Heaven
Jesus Messiah, Lord of all

Jesus Messiah, Lord of all
The Lord of all
The Lord of all

15 Things NOT to Say at a Funeral (or to anybody in pain)

It is always difficult to know what to say at a funeral or to people in pain. Usually, unless we have experienced great pain, suffering, or loss in our own life, we stick our foot in our mouth and say the wrong thing. Sometimes, in painful situations, it is better to not say anything at all, then to try to comfort those who are grieving only to offend or hurt them further.

Read More Here: http://www.tillhecomes.org/do-not-say-at-a-funeral/

Sexual Immorality and Five Other Reasons People Reject Christianity

Why do people reject Jesus? As someone with a keen interest in doctrine and apologetics, I usually focus on the more intellectual reasons for disbelief. I have found that skeptics are generally ignorant of sound theology, sketchy on the facts of history, and shoddy in their use of logic and philosophy. As such, my goal is always to gently instruct them in these areas, using evidence and argument to help them understand the teachings of orthodoxy and the reasons for believing that the Christian worldview is true. But I also know that even if I succeed in my argument, that’s won’t necessarily get a skeptic to turn to Jesus. There are a myriad of other factors at play. Here are six. – See more at: http://donjohnsonministries.org/sexual-immorality-and-five-other-reasons-people-reject-christianity/

How to Punish Christians and Influence People, by Pliny the Younger

the archives near Emmaus

I’m currently taking a course on worship practices in the early church, and just read this (in?)famous letter from Pliny the Younger to the emperor Trajan regarding the Roman punishment of Christians around the year 112 CE.

Pliny’s letter is  striking and, at times, humorous. He suggests that the primary reason he has Christians executed (after giving multiple chances for rescission) is not that they are Christians, per se, but rather because he “had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished.” Apparently Pliny believed that the earliest Christians deserved to be executed simply because they were unwilling to be persuaded, not because there was anything inherently insidious about the belief system.

He mentions that some defendants, when questioned, maintained that they had been Christians at one point, but “ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some…

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9Marks Blog Book Review: Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel

Flip to just about any TV channel with religious programming and you are likely to encounter the prosperity gospel. From Joel Osteen’s perma-smile to T. D. Jakes’s mopped brow, from Jan Crouch’s bouffant cotton-candy hairdo to Benny Hinn’s Nehru jackets, America’s electronic preachers tell us there is a God of inexhaustible abundance ready to bless us with our own personal miracle. Whether our troubles are financial, physical, or emotional, God will change our fortunes if we will just pray in faith for the desired outcome, proclaim it ours, and then act on the certainty of its arrival in our lives.

Of course, it helps to sow seeds if you want to reap a harvest, so a gift given to the ministry is a tangible sign of our faith that God will do as we say. And the bigger the gift, the larger the faith. Lest we doubt this simple spiritual formula, we need only look at the extravagant lifestyles with which the good Lord has blessed prosperity preachers. It’s all so straightforward and appealing, as American as mama’s apple pie and a 30-year mortgage. Evidently, we can’t get enough of the stuff.

Read More Here: http://www.9marks.org/books/book-review-blessed-history-american-prosperity-gospel-kate-bowler

Doctrine of Demons

Courtesy of pastor Anton Bosch, Apprising Ministries offers food for thought concerning giving too much attention to Satan and demonology.

DOCTRINE OF DEMONS

Biblical Discipleship vs. Right Now Media

Amy Spreeman of Stand Up for the Truth shares some information about the latest church gimmick:

Are you ready for the next big state-of-the-art discipleship tool for every member of your church, including staff? It’s called RightNow Media, a slick new video streaming program that compares itself to the Netflix of Christianity, and you don’t even need to lift a finger to sell it to your membership: Its marketers have provided an out-of-the-box promotional launch package with videos, banners, enthusiastic emails (“our church has unlimited access to three awesome libraries: Bible Study, Customizable Training, and Leadership Events,” says the form letter), and a powerful announcement kit for your pulpit on the big unveiling day.

Best of all, church leaders no longer need to disciple Christians; they simply let these guys do it for you.

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/09/biblical-discipleship-vs-rightnow-media/

John MacArthur on the Deafening Silence of Evangelicals

There is a widespread reluctance in the evangelical community to offer strong, biblical critique in response to theological error. And the glut of unrestrained charismatic teaching serves as a glaring example of that.

Theological pacifism has inadvertently given license to many false teachers. They have free reign to misrepresent the Holy Spirit and mislead the people of God by proclaiming their imaginings as direct revelation from the Lord. Believers cannot sit and watch as such blasphemy poisons the minds of people looking for the truth.

In the following video clip, John MacArthur challenges the silence of evangelicals toward errant teaching about the Spirit, and exposes what he believes is the driving force behind it.

False teaching always flourishes where there is little accountability and poor discernment. The Strange Fire conference is intended to fill the void of silence that has been created by passive and undiscerning Christians. For more information, please visit our conference website.

Grace to You Staff


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B130910     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

Questions about False Doctrine: What Is a Christian View of ‘A Course in Miracles’?

“A Course in Miracles” is a self-study curriculum written by a woman named Helen Schucman, (1909–1981) a research psychologist raised by Jewish but non-religious parents. From 1958 through 1976 she was a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University in New York. It is claimed that “A Course in Miracles” was “scribed” by Schucman between 1965 and 1972 through a process of inner dictation. She experienced the process as one of a distinct and clear dictation from an inner voice, which earlier had identified itself to her as Jesus. After Schucman’s death, the Foundation for A Course in Miracles was begun and is the organization that holds the copyright to “A Course in Miracles.”

The teachings of the Course—a mixture of the mysticism, Gnosticism, and New Age psycho-babble—run counter to Christian beliefs. The fundamental teaching of “A Course in Miracles” is the “Atonement principle” which states that separation from God through sin did not happen. The course further teaches that sin is the absence of love and nothing more. It denies that sin is an act against God. The principal purpose of “A Course in Miracles” is to “restore to one’s awareness the power of one’s mind to choose.”

There is no doubt that whatever ‘voice’ Schucman was hearing, it was not the voice of Jesus Christ. Too much of the Course contradicts what God has already revealed in Scripture, and we know that God does not contradict Himself. Jesus Christ is God incarnate, “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) and He would never contradict the Truth revealed in the pages of Scripture. The Bible tells us that sin did indeed occur and that it is the source of our separation from God. Sin is described in the Bible, not as the absence of love as the Course states, but as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). It goes without saying that demonically-driven false religion is eager to convince people that sin does not exist, that they are not separated from God, and that they do not need a Savior to keep them from hell. But the Bible reveals the truth on these issues: “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:21–22).

Furthermore, the idea of restoring to sinful, unredeemed man the “power to choose” is against everything the Bible teaches. The only power in the life of a Christian is the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, of which we are not ashamed (Romans 1:16). The heart and mind of the unregenerate man has no power to choose anything but death. “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Jeremiah tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”

The danger of “A Course in Miracles” is that it does use Christian vocabulary and attempts to sound Christian. Many churches have been deceived by the sound of the course and have used the material in Sunday school classes and other church sponsored activities. This damages the Church through the spread of false teachings and exposes the congregants to the lies of the enemy who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Christians need to be wise as serpents and steer clear of “A Course in Miracles.”[1]

 


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

Questions about Family / Parenting: What Does the Bible Say about Breastfeeding?

To start, it is important to understand that the Bible does not give any specific instructions on breastfeeding. In spite of that, there are Christians who come down very strongly on each side of the debate, often to the detriment of Christian love and unity, not to mention our witness to the world. When Christians allow non-essential issues to divide them, no one gains except those who want to see dissention in the body of Christ. Breastfeeding is one of those issues.

In Bible times, the only alternative to a mother breastfeeding her children was to employ the services of a “wet nurse,” who was a woman who had recently given birth and was able to nurse other babies. The baby Moses was found floating in a basket in the Nile River by the Egyptian princess, who brought him into the palace and adopted him. Since the princess had no children, she needed a wet nurse to breastfeed him. Through a series of divine interventions, Moses’ own mother was procured to nurse him (Exodus 2:1–10).

Breastfeeding has been shown to be the most beneficial method of feeding an infant, partially due to the presence of colostrum, the first milk produced by mammals which contains essential nutrients, antibodies, and immunoglobulins newborns need for healthy growth and development, especially in the first days. Clearly, human breast milk is the healthiest form of milk for human babies. At the same time, there are conditions under which an infant’s mother simply cannot breastfeed. Women still die in childbirth, necessitating the implementation of bottle-feeding. Mothers are sometimes dry of milk altogether, and mothers with HIV, hepatitis, or other communicable diseases are precluded from breastfeeding. Some mothers have to go out of the home to work soon after giving birth and find the use of a breast pump simply too cumbersome and time-consuming. Finally, millions of American children born in the 1950s were bottle-fed because of a cultural passion for anything “scientific,” which included the new-and-improved method of feeding babies. There is no conclusive evidence that these children grew up to be any less healthy than those who were breastfed.

In the end, the choice of whether or not to breastfeed an infant is best left to the individual mother, her family, and God. It is incumbent upon mothers-to-be to acquaint themselves with the facts about breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding and then make their own informed decision, prayerfully and in the wisdom God provides (James 1:5). No woman should be made to feel that she is a terrible mother or in any way less of a Christian because she does not breastfeed. As Christians, we are not to judge one another on the non-essential issues but are to build one another up in the love and grace of the Lord Jesus (Romans 14:19).[1]

 


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

Questions about Theology: What Is Theosis?

The term “theosis” has two meanings, the condition or the state of deity and the deification of man. Only God has the condition of deity in and of Himself. No man can ever attain true divinity. There is only one God and we are not Him. However, theosis is also the state of being divinized or God-infused, both in character and person (2 Peter 1:4). Peter describes Christians as being “partakers of the divine nature” (KJV). The Greek word koinōnos translated “partakers,” means a sharer, associate, companion. Christians, through the great promises of salvation, sanctification and the privilege of sonship through faith in Christ, become participants in the divine nature of God.

Through the process of theosis, man exhibits or reveals within himself the presence of God in his life. Theosis is also associated with another term called”perichoresis” which is a Greek term describing the relationship between each person of the Trinity. Therefore, theosis is related to his ability for perichoresis, or interrelationship, in which God resides within His human creation. As a result of theosis, and this indwelling relationship of God, man is made alive, full, and complete.

It is only because God created man with the ability to experience theosis, i.e., God literally dwelling within us, that we become a reflection of Him. Another way to look at the idea of theosis is what Paul tells us in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Theosis, that process of becoming like God, is the transformation that takes place within the believer. But it is really more than that. This transformation is made perfect through our partaking in His nature through the Holy Spirit which resides within us. As a result, there comes to the Christian a profound sense of unity with God. Though we know that the full realization of our oneness—our perfection with God—comes after death, this process of theosis or divinization grows in time, by degrees, throughout our lives.

One of the best ways to describe how we can become like God is found in the teachings of Jesus, especially in the Beatitudes as recorded in Matthew chapter 5. It is here that Jesus culminates his teachings with the command to be “perfect” as God is. Prior to this, He was setting a new standard, a new law that superseded that of the old law. The goal, to be perfect, to achieve spiritual excellence, is a constant process. The goal for the Christian is essentially to be different from the world, to be more like God.

Having said that, though, it is crucial to understand that we do not experience theosis by any amount of determination or fleshly effort of our own. It is only through the indwelling Holy Spirit, who empowers us and leads us to godly living by His work in our hearts that we can come closer to God and display the divine nature. For example, it is through this process of theosis, becoming one with God, experiencing His absolute, limitless love that we come to know how to love even our enemies. It is only through His Spirit residing within us that we as believers love and pray for those who seek to do us harm (Romans 12:14–21).[1]

 


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

Bibles called ‘worse than chemical weapons’ – Syrian rebel fighters make video of confiscated materials

A video apparently made by Islamic rebels in Syria shows a large collection  of confiscated Bibles and biblical materials, such as the Book of John, that it  describes as “more dangerous than chemical weapons.”

The video appeared yesterday, just as reports  from Syria said Islamic rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s army  were “liberating” villages and forcing Christians there to convert to Islam or  die.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/09/bibles-called-worse-than-chemical-weapons/

2nd VIEW: SBC ethicists: Criteria for ‘just war’ not met

NASHVILLE (BP) — The use of chemical weapons against civilians is a human tragedy with moral urgency, but the United States should not intervene in Syria because the conditions for a “just war” have not been met, according to two Southern Baptist ethicists.

Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said in an article on Religion News Service Sept. 3 that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad is “lawless and tyrannical,” and the first principle of just war — a just cause — has been met.

“That said, there are other principles missing here, both to justify action morally and to justify it prudentially,” Moore stated.

Daniel Heimbach, senior professor of Christian ethics at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, offered a slightly different take on Syria, stating that the United States lacks a basis for intervening “in the internal affairs of a distinctly sovereign and separate state.”

Read More Here: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=41038&ref=BPNews-RSSFeed0909

Q&A: ‘Finally Free’ of pornography

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) — “You don’t have to wait until heaven to be free from pornography.”
Heath Lambert sets forth his case for a pornography-free life in his new book, “Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace.”
Lambert, a biblical counseling professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s undergraduate school, Boyce College in Louisville, Ky., also is executive director of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors.
Lambert was interviewed about the book by Matt Damico, book review editor for Towers, Southern Seminary’s news magazine.

Deal Or No Deal: John Kerry’s Historic Diplomatic “Mistake” Proves That Obama Does Not Want Peace

When it comes to diplomacy, Russia is playing chess, Syria is playing checkers and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is playing tiddlywinks. On Monday, Kerry said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could avoid having his country bombed into oblivion by turning over “every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week.” Of course Kerry just assumed that Assad would never do such a thing, but the Russians immediately pounced on his statement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov quickly announced that Russia would encourage Syria to turn over their chemical weapons to international control in exchange for a guarantee that the U.S. will not attack, and subsequently Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem stated that his government was prepared for “full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression.” Later on Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon indicated that he is thinking about asking the UN Security Council to support such a deal. (Read More….)

Precious Little Girl Dismembered While She Is Still Alive By Obama’s Psychotic Syrian Rebels

Should the United States be allied with radical Islamic jihadists that dismember little girls while they are still alive? That question sounds ridiculously absurd, but that is precisely what Barack Obama is proposing. Obama wants the United States to go to war so that it will be easier for al-Qaeda Christian killers to take over Syria. What you are about to read should absolutely shock you. Please send it out to your friends and share it everywhere that you can. If America willingly sides with psychotic, murderous savages that behead little children, it will bring a curse upon our nation. It is imperative that the American people be told the truth about this. (Read More…..)

The dark knights of the Syrian opposition

By Richard Engel, Chief Foreign Correspondent, NBC News

News Analysis

NORTHERN SYRIA and ANTAKYA, TURKEY — There was another checkpoint up ahead, so we slowed down, but didn’t stop. It’s better to keep moving at rebel checkpoints now. Don’t make too much eye contact, and move on.

We were in a convoy of pickups with commanders from the Free Syrian Army, top guys, but they didn’t have much juice anymore.

A year or two ago, the FSA ran all the checkpoints. They ran the revolution. With their fatigues, Winston cigarettes and patriotic songs blaring on their car radios, they were the rebels of Rebelstan and the people loved them.

Farmers stopped them on the road to push baskets of figs snapped right from the trees into their cars. The FSA didn’t need bases because families opened their homes for fighters to bed down for the night.

But it got all messed up. The extremists started coming about a year ago.

Read More Here

The Prosperity Gospel Is Surprisingly Mainstream

Mocked and derided across the cultural spectrum, the message of “health and wealth” enjoys wider support than one might imagine.

Prosperity-oriented teachers (including Roberts, the Bakkers, and Tilton) climbed to the top of the televangelist heap and suffered heavily during the “Pearlygate” scandals of the late ’80s. But even from the ashes of scandal, the Prosperity message rose again and gained new momentum. Bowler notes two major changes that extended its longevity. First, the ascent of a smoother, more sophisticated “soft prosperity” message—touted by more relaxed, corporate figures like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White—replaced the more theologically-explicit “hard prosperity” teachings of an earlier generation.

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Video: Neil Cavuto interviews Joel Rosenberg on Isaiah 17 and “Damascus Countdown.”

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Cavuto-Isaiah17(Washington, D.C.) — On his program, “Your World,” on Monday afternoon, Fox News Channel anchor Neil Cavuto interviewed me about the current crisis in Syria and whether Bible prophecy sheds light on the future of that country.

Cavuto specifically asked me about the prophecies of Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49, and whether these foretell the future destruction of Damascus, or whether these prophecies have already come true. We also discussed how these prophecies are factored into my novel, Damascus Countdown.

“Amazing,” he said at the end of our discussion of the biblical account of Damascus’ future judgment. “It’s in there [the Bible]. It’s worth a read.”

To watch the video of this interview, please click here.

———————–

>> To read my study notes on Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49, please click here. [Link fixed]

>> Track the latest developments and analysis on Twitter — @JoelCRosenberg.

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Remembrance and Forgetting

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NASB)
23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD. 25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ 26 “How long?…

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