Daily Archives: October 10, 2013

Music Video: Lord I Need You – Matt Maher

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here, I find my rest
Without You, I fall apart
You’re the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Where sin runs deep
Your grace is more
Where grace is found, is where You are
Where You are, Lord I am free
Holiness is Christ Your name

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Teach my song
To rise to you
When temptation comes my way,
When I cannot stand
I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay

Lord, I need You
Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You
You’re my one defense,
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You
My one defense,
My righteousness
Oh, God how I need You

Cold Case Christianity: Am I a Christian Simply Because I Was Raised in a Christian Culture?

People who are unfamiliar with my journey of faith sometimes seek to explain my conversion from atheism on the basis of geography. The objection sounds something like this: “Christians believe Christianity is true simply because they were raised in a Christian culture. If they were raised in a Muslim culture, for example, they would believe Islam is true with the same passion and certainty.” While it is true that cultural and geographic influences often favor a particular point of view or behavior, our personal experience demonstrates that individuals often make private, independent choices in spite of the accepted beliefs of our culture. As an example, many of us are vegetarians in spite of the fact the culture is predominantly carnivorous. The history of Christianity also confirms the vast majority of Christian converts concluded that Christianity was true in spite of their geographic location or cultural background: – See more at: http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/am-i-a-christian-simply-because-i-was-raised-in-a-christian-culture/

Do Joel Osteen and I Worship the Same God? by Michael Patton


By C. Michael Patton at Credo House

What a presumptuous question, right? The presumption is in the fact that I would even pose such a question. The question itself presumes that I might answer in the negative. Chill. It is just a question. But your are right. The presumption behind the question does evidence my uncertainty as to its answer.

I was listening to Osteen the other night. He was very pleasant and had a lot of nice things to say. For the most part, except for his interjections of the word ”God” here and there, his speech was a typical motivational speech. He did not use the Bible, but he attempted to give the impression that he was. He held it in his hand the entire time.

Why he bothered interjecting “God” into his motivational speech, I can only suppose. Maybe because his speaking venue is called a “church”? Isn’t that…

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New Post: 9 Things You Should Know About World Hunger

This weekend many churches will observe their annual World Hunger Sunday, and next week (October 16) is World Food Day, a worldwide event designed to increase awareness, understanding and informed, year‐around action to alleviate hunger. Here are nine things you need to know about one of the world’s most persistent, but solvable, global problems.

New Article: The Fear of the Lord – Ray Ortlund

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). If that is so, and it is, then the fear of the Lord is never to be feared. This fear is not a barrier to growth but a breakthrough to growth and eternal fulfillment. But the word fear needs clarification, doesn’t it? After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18)? Yes. So, there must be two kinds of fear.

Read More here: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/fear-lord/

New Post: Tongue Tied, Part 2 – John MacArthur

The following is an excerpt from the preface of the Chinese edition of Charismatic Chaos. It explains the origins and early history of the charismatic movement. With the Strange Fire conference rapidly approaching, we believe it is appropriate to share this material with you. This is the second of two excerpts; part one is available here. —GTY Staff

by John MacArthur

From the day he announced to the world that Agnes Ozman had written in Chinese until the end of his life, Charles Parham tirelessly sought to perpetuate the mythology he had invented. Despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary and without a shred of evidence to support his claims, he remained insistent that the gift of tongues would revolutionize Christian work overseas and accelerate the church’s efforts to fulfill Christ’s Great Commission. Several years after those original Pentecostal missionary teams had come home under clouds of failure and disillusionment, Parham was still painting a shining picture of success:

We have several missionaries in the field who have the gift of tongues, who not only speak the language and understand the natives, but can use the language intelligently; it has become a gift to them. . . . It is a known fact that scores of infidels have been converted through hearing people speak distinctly in other languages. [1][Charles F. Parham, The Everlasting Gospel (Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, 1911), 68]

None of that was true, of course.

The movement Charles Parham helped start has grown to massive proportions today. Multiple millions claim to be able to speak in tongues. But charismatics and Pentecostals still cannot communicate with people from different language groups (or even with one another) unless they have learned whatever language they wish to use. More than a century after Parham claimed his students were speaking Chinese, not one documentable case of the Pentecostal gift of tongues has ever occurred. Charismatic tongues have been repeatedly recorded and analyzed by linguists, and they have none of the characteristics of language. Modern Charismatic tongues are indiscriminate syllables and sounds spoken or sung in rapid succession, conveying no discernable meaning at all.

That is not the biblical gift of tongues. At Pentecost, people heard the apostolic gathering speak in recognizable languages (Acts 2:6, 11). The tongues described in the New Testament were always capable of translation (Acts 10:46; 19:6). Indeed, the meaning of any message delivered in tongues was a vital aspect of the gift itself. No one was even supposed to speak in tongues without an interpreter (1 Corinthians 14:27).

With all the controversy surrounding Charles Parham, in the wake of so much scandal and so many unfulfilled promises, especially once the total failure of his missionary strategy was evident, it may seem amazing that the Pentecostal movement managed to stay alive at all, much less gain the kind of following we see today. But by the time Parham had been arrested on sodomy charges in Texas, his teachings were spreading like leaven.

One of Parham’s early disciples was William J. Seymour, an African-American holiness preacher who had sat under Parham’s instruction in Houston, Texas. In 1906, Seymour was invited to lead a series of meetings in California, and while preaching in a ramshackle building in Azusa Street on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, he began to teach some of the distinctive doctrines he had heard from Parham. He taught, for example, that the only biblical evidence of Spirit baptism is the gift of speaking in tongues. Within weeks, dozens of people at Azusa Street were manifesting glossolalia, and the fame of the Pentecostal movement spread from there. Pentecostalism had at last gained a significant foothold, and from Azusa Street it ultimately expanded across America.

Going back to the apostolic era, the church has of course always been troubled by false teachers claiming supernatural gifts who are driven by ungodly passions—“people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:5 ESV). (That is a picture-perfect description of people who have sold out to the Word-Faith heresy.)

But at its heart, the charismatic movement is uniquely American in character. It had its genesis in the American heartland, and from its very inception it was the fruit of a unique style of religious fanaticism that thrived on the American frontier. With an abundance of untrained, unaccountable, and often self-appointed prophets and itinerant preachers roaming freely, superstitions and aberrant doctrines spread virtually unchecked.

The charismatic movement was exported from America to the rest of the world by an aggressive public-relations campaign, employing several media networks that are devoted mainly to raising money. Large amounts of whatever funds are raised are spent to enable lavish lifestyles for charismatic televangelists. The culture of charismatic religion seems to breed rank charlatans who deliberately flaunt immoderate lifestyles and expensive appetites in order to entice people with the false promise that if they will donate more money than they can afford, God will be obliged to make them rich, too.

The prosperity of the charismatic televangelist fraternity is illusory. So are the miracles they pretend to perform and whatever degree of holiness they want their viewers to think they have attained. Indeed, superficiality and phoniness have been the besetting sins of the Pentecostal and charismatic movement since its inception.

Why is that? Well, as we have noted already, it is a simple matter of fact that modern charismatic tongues are nothing like the Pentecostal gift of tongues described in Acts 2. Charismatic doctrine therefore requires its followers to suspend biblical discernment and embrace a variety of “spiritual gifts” that have no basis in biblical teaching. That makes the movement a perfect hunting ground for frauds, false teachers, and charlatans. Indeed, Pentecostal-charismatic history is littered with an extraordinarily high percentage of leaders and celebrities who have shown themselves to be doctrinally corrupt and morally decadent.

In short, charismatic teaching fosters willful gullibility while subtly but systematically undermining the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. That is a recipe for spiritual and doctrinal disaster.

In short, charismatic teaching fosters willful gullibility while subtly but systematically undermining the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. That is a recipe for spiritual and doctrinal disaster as I’ve documented in the chapters that follow.

The first edition of this book was a relatively thin volume titled The Charismatics, published in 1978. A decade or so later, the so-called “Third Wave” was making headlines. Charismatics and evangelicals alike were intrigued with signs and wonders, extrabiblical prophecies, and strange manifestations such as “holy laughter.” At that time I wrote several additional chapters, more than doubling the size of the book. The expanded work was retitled Charismatic Chaos and released in 1992. It has now been more than twenty years since that second edition was published. The book has never gone out of print and remains in great demand, even though some of the trends it deals with were much more popular in the early 1990s than they are today.

People sometimes ask whether I have changed my stance since then. The answer—emphatically—is no. Scripture, of course, hasn’t changed, and my understanding of what the Bible teaches on the charismatic issue hasn’t changed materially, either. My commitment to the authority and sufficiency of God’s Word hasn’t changed. If anything, my convictions are clearer and more settled than when I first began addressing this issue in the 1970s.

I’m also frequently asked whether I think the charismatic movement has changed for the better as more people in the evangelical mainstream have either embraced charismatic doctrines or made an uneasy truce with our charismatic friends. Few leading evangelicals today seem to have the will or the interest to wade into controversy over the charismatic question these days.

I’m convinced that is a serious mistake, and the drift toward acceptance of charismatic beliefs and practices is a sign of decline and a harbinger of apostasy in the evangelical movement.

Some of the people critiqued in this book (including John Wimber, Kenneth Hagin, and Oral Roberts) are no longer living. But the movements and the doctrines they taught are alive and well and still causing chaos. The leaven of their influence is still spreading. Christians confronted with their teachings are easily confused by them, and those seeking a critical and biblical analysis of popular charismatic claims will find that such resources are scarce.

So I’m very grateful that this new edition of Charismatic Chaos is being published in Chinese. My prayer is that it will provoke discussion, encourage discernment, and equip more believers worldwide to resist the tsunami of fraud and confusion that seems to follow the charismatic movement wherever its tentacles have reached.


Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B131010     COPYRIGHT ©2013 Grace to You

New Post: Two Kinds of Tongues? – Nathan Busenitz


In light of the upcoming Strange Fire Conference, it seemed fitting to post something related to the charismatic-cessationist debate.

Charismatics generally define the gift of tongues as a devotional prayer language that is available to every believer. This prayer language, according to its proponents, is not bound to the linguistic structures of earthly, human languages. In other words, it is not a real language — but rather “angelic” speech which supposedly transcends human language.

But therein lies a problem. On the one hand, the charismatic version of tongues does not consist of real human languages. On the other hand, Acts 2 makes it clear that the tongues spoken at Pentecost were real human languages.

So how can modern charismatics justify a type of “tongues” that does not fit the biblical description in Acts 2?

Proponents of modern tongues usually answer that question by asserting that there are at least two types of tongues in the New Testament. Charismatic blogger Adrian Warnock summed up the charismatic position like this:

One thing that most of us agree on is that there are different kinds of tongues…. I think it is fair to say that the tongues of 1 Corinthians are different from those of Acts 2.  Paul himself speaks here of different kinds of tongues. It is at least possible that at different points in this passage [1 Cor. 12–14] Paul is talking about different forms of tongues.

In this post, I want to briefly respond to the idea that the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14 is somehow qualitatively different than in Acts 2.

* * * * *

Is the gift of tongues in Acts the same as in 1 Corinthians?

Without giving an in-depth exegetical treatment of the related passages, here are some initial observations that suggest that there is no qualitative difference between the two:

Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/two-kinds-of-tongues/

New Post: 15 Questions to Help Christians Follow Jesus on Social Media

Social media is everywhere today.

We can’t watch anything on TV without being reminded of the option to tweet about it.  Now with smartphones we can use social media in the car, in class, at a meeting, and even at church (gasp!).

There are many advantages to social media: worldwide connectivity, instant news updates, growing friendships, and most importantly, your daily dose of funny cat pictures and videos of babies laughing.

But is constantly using social media good for us? More importantly, how can we obey the Great Commandment to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength while using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+?

The following questions should help discern your heart and make sure that your social media use is pleasing to God.

Read More Here: https://www.unlockingthebible.org/15-questions-to-help-christians-follow-jesus-on-social-media/