The first session of the final day at the Strange Fire conference brought Conrad Mbewe back to the pulpit. Phil Johnson introduced him by sharing how others have called him the Spurgeon of Africa. Today he brought message entitled, “Are We Preachers or Witch Doctors?”
Though an odd question, it is pertinent to him because there has been a clear shift in how “evangelicals” relate to pastoral ministry. Mbewe’s aim is to give a broad sweeping picture of the landscape of African “evangelicalism.” Throughout this message his caveat is to put “evangelicalism” in quote and end-quote, because it does not represent biblical and faithful Christianity. There will be those in Africa who do not fit within the picture Mbewe portrays, but what he shares today is the trend and it is a dismal trend.
I grieve writing this post and it brings me no pleasure.
Yesterday I wrote a post concerning a major bad point of the theology of Kong Hee, a famous prosperity Gospel preacher in Singapore who is now facing legal trouble for inappropriate use of church funds. Today I want to focus my post more on where he spent the stolen church money that reveals more of where he and his wife is at spiritually. According to the UK newspaper Daily Mail, reportedly the Singapore megachurch founder was ‘stealing more than $40million to fund his wife’s American pop star dream’
Kong Hee’s wife is name Sun Ho. What is the fruit of her American pop star dream?
This carnal music video. (WARNING: INAPPROPRIATE)
And videos like it.
I hesitated posting this video, after all I have managed to blog about Miley Cryus without posting any pictures on here. Here we…
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For those who are unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five, Session Six, Breakout Session 1, Q&A 1, Session Eight). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I’ll be able to do other sessions (check out Tim Challies’ blog for his coverage) But I thought a little would be better than nothing. It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.
“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].” (Isaiah 45:7)
“[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…”(Habakkuk 1:13)
“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)
In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures. On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”. Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says “[Thou art] of purer eyes than to…
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- Rescuing the Gospel from evangelical trendiness.
- Here are some links to Fred Butler’s articles on cessationism and continuationism.
- J. Gresham Machen on continuing revelation, or lack thereof.
- The governor of California has signed a transgender student bill “allowing the state’s transgender public school students to choose which bathrooms they use and whether they participate in boy or girl sports.” Oh yeah, I’m sure this will end well.
- This is your weekly dose of adorable.
- There have been arguments over the final cut of Hollywood’s upcoming movie, ‘Noah’. Yeah, I knew you’d want to know. After all, I’m sure this epic will overwhelm its viewers with theological and biblical inaccuracies.
- An interview with the Apostle Paul about God’s wonderful plan for your life.
- The Israeli army has been finding (and destroying) tunnels dug from Gaza.
- Uh. . . Okay, I give. What in the world is Neale Donald Walsch talking about?
- The Cripplegate has been sharing summaries from Strange Fire. I am particularly sad that I missed Phil Johnson’s session, “Is there a Baby in the Bathwater?“
- If you didn’t see or hear Conrad Mbewe’s first session from Strange Fire, it is a must-see
(note: this is not the official video as provided by Grace to You):
Read More Here: http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/10/this-n-that_18.html
The Holy Spirit is often described as light. He shines into the dark places of the heart and convicts us of sin (John 16:7-11). He is a lamp to illumine God’s word, teaching what is true and showing the truth to be precious (1 Cor. 2:6-16). And the Spirit throws a spotlight on Christ so that we can see his glory and be changed (John 16:14). That’s why 2 Corinthians 3:18 speaks of becoming more like Christ by beholding the glory of Christ. Just as Moses had his face transfigured when he saw the Lord’s glory on Mount Sinai (Ex. 34:29; 2 Cor. 3:7), so will we be transformed when, by the Spirit, we behold God’s glory in the face of Christ.
The Spirit, then, is a light to us in three ways: by exposing our guilt, by illuminating the word of God, and by showing us Christ. Or to put it another way, as Divine Light, the Holy Spirit works to reveal sin, reveal the truth, and reveal glory. When we close our eyes to this light or disparage what we are meant to see by this brightness, we are guilty of resisting the Spirit (Acts 7:51), or quenching (1 Thess. 5:19) or grieving the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). There may be slight nuances among the three terms, but they are all speak of the same basic reality: refusing to see and to savor what the Spirit means to show us.
There are, then, at least three ways to grieve the Holy Spirit—three ways that may be surprising because they correspond to the three ways in which the Spirit acts as light to expose our guilt, illumine the word, and show us Christ.
This film has been made as part of the celebrations surrounding Dr. Al Mohler’s 20th anniversary as President of Southern Seminary. And truly there is so much to thank and praise God for. It is a remarkable story of God’s faithfulness to His church in raising up so many faithful servants to reform and renew His church. As I watched the various interviews, I couldn’t help but praise God for the constellation of outstandingly gifted, gracious, and godly men that He has equipped and sent to serve and support Southern Seminary and it’s worldwide witness to the truth. May He continue to keep these men in His truth and in His love.
For those who are unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I’ll be able to other sessions (check out Tim Challies‘ blog for his coverage) But I thought a little would be better than nothing. It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.
For those who are unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I’ll be able to other sessions (check out Tim Challies‘ blog for his coverage) But I thought a little would be better than nothing. It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.
People often follow the religion of their parents or culture, whether Muslim, Buddhist, or Catholic. But when we stand before God on Judgment Day, each person must give account for himself—whether he believed in God’s truth. But among so many religions, what is the truth? “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ ” (John 14:6).
True Christians are followers of Jesus. How could Jesus claim to be the one and only way to God the Father? Let’s find out in the Scripture, the Bible.
Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection
The Bible records how Jesus fulfilled prophecy when He was born to the virgin Mary. He grew up unique from any other human because He never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). Crowds flocked to hear His teaching and marvel at His miracles. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and walked on water.
Of all people, Jesus did not deserve to die. Yet Jesus prophesied that He would be crucified and raised from the dead (Matthew 20:18–19). His words came to pass. Soldiers beat Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head; people mocked and spit on Him; nails pierced His hands and feet into a wooden cross. Jesus had the power to save Himself, but He gave Himself, willingly dying on the cross (John 19:30). Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave!
Why the cross?
As a Muslim, you may ask, “Why would Allah allow His Prophet Isa to be mistreated and killed?” Jesus’ death was essential because …
• Every person is a sinner: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Whether dishonoring parents, telling a lie, failing to love God best, or disbelieving God’s Word, we each have sinned against the holy God.
• The punishment for sin is death: “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). God pours out His wrath against unbelieving sinners by separating them forever in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9). As the just Judge, God will not overlook sin.
• We cannot save ourselves by good works: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). This is a key difference between Christianity and Islam. Islam teaches that a person can earn paradise by keeping the Five Pillars. Even if possible to outweigh bad deeds with good deeds, the Bible teaches that “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6b). Even one single sin makes a person guilty of breaking all God’s law (James 2:10). Sinful humans can do nothing to merit heaven.
• God sacrificed His Son for sinners: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God knew mankind’s sin kept them from heaven. God knew the only way the sin debt could be paid was by a perfect One paying the price of death. God knew He alone could pay such an infinite price. So God’s eternal plan was to send His Son Jesus to die in the believing sinner’s place.
Becoming a Christian
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31b).
As a Muslim, you may say, “Oh, I believe in Jesus. I believe Isa was a true teacher, a great prophet, and a good man.”
But you cannot say Jesus was a true teacher and yet deny His teaching that He is the only way, truth, and life (John 14:6). You cannot believe Jesus was a great prophet and yet reject His prophecy that He would die and rise again in three days (Luke 18:31–33). You cannot admit Jesus is a good man yet disbelieve His claim to be the Son of God (Luke 22:70; John 5:18–47).
You cannot consider becoming a Christian without realizing that Christianity excludes all other religions (Acts 4:12). The inescapable conclusion of Christianity is this: either Jesus bears your sin on the cross or you bear your sin in hell. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him” (John 3:36).
As you search the Bible, may God awaken your heart to turn from your sin and trust in Jesus. You may respond with a prayer like the one below. Remember, the prayer does not save you. God alone can save! But the prayer may be your expression of the faith God gives you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Dear God, I grieve that I have sinned against You. As a sinner, I’m worthy of death in hell. But I believe You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for sin and rise from the dead in victory. I now turn from following my own sinful desires and from trying to reach heaven through my own works. I trust in the Lord Jesus alone as my Savior from sin. I love You, Lord, and submit myself to follow You by Your Word, the Bible. Amen!”
“Mercy killing” is simply another word for “euthanasia” in most English-language dictionaries. Euthanasia and, therefore, mercy killing is “the act of putting a person or animal to death painlessly or allowing them to die by withholding medical services, usually because of a painful and incurable disease.”
The Greek word euthanasia translates to “good death,” making it and mercy killing terms that can be comforting in the face of difficult medical situations. When any person, especially a family member or close friend, is experiencing pain, mental degeneration, or other adverse condition, our instinct is to relieve the person in any way possible. Sometimes, this desire to alleviate pain can become so strong in the caregiver or patient that it overrides our deeper impulse to preserve life and survive.
This struggle is not new to humanity. In fact, one of the oldest stories in the Bible tells of Job’s desire for death in the midst of his suffering. Job laments his life, even requesting God to kill him rather than allow his pain—emotional, physical and spiritual—to continue (Job 6:8–11). Most pertinently, Job declares, “I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning” (Job 7:15–16).
Does the Bible endorse Job’s feelings? It certainly recognizes that such feelings exist. Other characters in Scripture have, in desperation, asked for an early end to their lives, including Elijah (1 Kings 19:4) and Saul (1 Chronicles 10:4). Scripture acknowledges that emotion and even logic can support the idea of a “mercy killing.” However, we do not live by emotion or logic but by faith (Romans 1:17). God has plans and an understanding we can never grasp. He is the Giver and Sustainer of life (Nehemiah 9:6), and we do not have the right to usurp His authority. Near the end of Job’s story, his friend Elihu warns him, “Beware of turning to evil, which you seem to prefer to affliction” (Job 36:21). It is not our place to decide the time or manner of our death. Mercy killing is a sin against God’s plan and power.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who had great personal experience with suffering. He was imprisoned and eventually executed by the Third Reich during World War II. While in prison, he wrote this in his Ethics, published posthumously: “The right to the end of life is reserved for God, because only God knows the goal toward which a life is being directed. God alone wishes to be the one who justifies or rejects a life.”
The U.S. national debt is 36 times larger than it was just 40 years ago. That is not a misprint. That is actually the truth. We are literally destroying the future of America, but most Americans don’t really seem to care. In fact, the most hated politicians in America are the Tea Party politicians that recently tried to take a stand against the out of control borrowing that the federal government has been doing. Pew Research has just released a new survey that shows that the popularity of the Tea Party is at an all-time low. So while many Americans may say that they theoretically want something to be done about the national debt, when push comes to shove they don’t actually mean that. You see, the reality of the matter is that about 128 million Americans get money from the federal government every month. That accounts for the majority of all government spending. Anyone who tries to take those goodies away is going to be hated. So we are going to continue down this crazy path until the system completely crashes someday. (Read More…..)
Preparations for perhaps the largest evangelistic event in U.S. history continue for Billy Graham and his ministry team with just three weeks to go before the famed preacher’s message “The Cross,” filmed from his home in North Carolina, is planned for broadcast through multiple platforms.
The loneliness of being alone is a sting which penetrates to the depths of a person’s soul. This kind of loneliness is different from being by yourself: it cannot be solved by simply hanging out with folks.
Being lonely is an isolating pain. It is more internal than external. Sometimes people talk about physical coldness that penetrates the body to where you’re bone cold.
This kind of physical chilling is akin to the spiritual feeling of loneliness in that it’s experienced on the inside. It reminds me of the curse of darkness Moses put on the Egyptians.
The Walk Free Foundation has released The Global Slavery Index 2013. The Index provides an estimate of the number of people living as slaves in the twenty-first century. The Index lists 162 countries around the world where some form modern slavery exists and the estimated number of people who are living in forced servitude.
According to The Walk Free Foundation, “Slavery refers to the condition of treating another person as if they were property – something to be bought, sold, traded or even destroyed.” Slavery in the twenty-first century takes different forms, such as forced labor or human trafficking.
The Walk Free Foundation describes modern-day slavery as follows:
The final session on day two of the Strange Fire conference was led by Steven Lawson who spoke on “The Puritan Commitment to Sola Scriptura.” This was another historical message meant to demonstrate how our forebears were committed to the doctrine of Scripture alone.
The Strange Fire conference is in full swing, and clips are being unloaded all over the blogosphere. The Charismatic movement has met a little resistance and the war is now raging. Not all the Evangelical leaders have weighed in, but one prominent one has weighed in: Mark Driscoll. Here’s a quote from this article:
In a cessationist tribe, the functional Trinity is sometimes the Father, Son, and Holy Bible: the Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures through human authors, and then it’s like he’s been on vacation ever since.
Fairly “in your face”, but not surprising for Mark Driscoll. Cessationists, at least in practice, are not Trinitarians. Well, what can you say? He’s a pastor of a megachurch and an expert theological matters like the Trinity, right?
You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, they lie. This one is worth a million:
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For those who are unable to view the free live stream of the Strange Fire Conference here at Grace Community Church, I thought I would do my best to provide a written summary of the various sessions as they unfold (Session One; Session Two; Session Three; Session Four, Session Five, Session Six, Breakout Session 1, Q&A 1). I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep this up, or if I’ll be able to do other sessions (check out Tim Challies‘ blog for his coverage) But I thought a little would be better than nothing. It provides us with a helpful opportunity to interact with what is actually being said at the conference. Having said that, the following was transcribed in haste, and so please forgive any typos. I pray it’s a benefit to you.