Daily Archives: October 30, 2013

Music Video: STEADY MY HEART – KARI JOBE

Wish it could be easy
Why is life so messy
Why is pain a part of us
There are days I feel like
Nothing ever goes right
Sometimes it just hurts so much

But You’re here
You’re real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when it’s hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to You
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my soul
Healer of my scars
You steady my heart (x2)

I’m not gonna worry
I know that You got me
Right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What’s good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that You plan

And I will run to You
You’re my refuge in Your arms
And I will sing to You
Cause of everything You are

You steady my heart (x2)

[New post] Why Distrust of Government is a Good Thing

My colleague, Mr. Daniel Larsen, recently published an insightful article arguing that a government that cannot be trusted leads us to a Savior who can. He poignantly articulates how the general lack of trust in American political leaders pushes us toward a better hope in Christ. That government deficiency illuminates Christ’s sufficiency. I want to argue that the government’s questionable trustworthiness is not quite a deficiency, but a central strength of the American system: Distrust of government cultivates unmitigated, self-revealing honesty.

Read More Here

5 Reasons To Be Cautious with Tim Keller’s Theology

5 Pt. Salt

Tim-Keller1

[Here you can find more on Doctrine, and Tim Keller ]

Last night a ‘new calvinist’ young buck let me know in no uncertain terms that my concern for Tim Keller’s theology was ‘silly’. Fair enough. I disagree with that of course. The sounding alarm of error is never silly.

Now, I have received many questions by some who are quite fond of Tim Keller and have been blessed by his preaching and teaching. Great. But there are some things that cannot be ignored when it comes to Tim Keller’s – and others – theology, and here are five of them:

1) Endorsed Eastern Mystic feminist Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, also endorsed by mystic Ruth Halye Barton. Read more here.

2) Believes true Christianity is attractive to unregenerates and one purpose of the local church is to exist for and welcome unbelievers to worship with believers.

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New Article: The Darker Side of a Dark Holiday: Should Christians Believe in Paranormal Activities? (Pt. 2)

Halloween is a holiday known for its haunted houses, costume parties, kids trick-or-treating, and various scary imagery on screens big and small.  The final day of October is also a time associated with darker ideas, like the Occult, witchcraft, and other unexplained phenomenon.

Many of these images dominate movies and television programs during late October, showcasing to mainstream America spiritual notions known as the “paranormal.” According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, when something is paranormal it is “very strange and not able to be explained by what scientists know about nature and the world.”  The term involves a fairly diverse group of activities and entities, including the Occult, psychics, spirits, and other supernatural phenomenon.

So, should Christians believe in paranormal activity?

Read More Here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-darker-side-of-a-dark-holiday-should-christians-believe-in-paranormal-activities-pt-2-107607/

New Article: The Darker Side of a Dark Holiday: Where Did Halloween Come From? (Pt. 1)

Every October, as leaves and temperature fall, a certain festive change takes place across the United States.

Spooky decorations mark houses and other buildings, scary movies dominate primetime television, and candy sales skyrocket.  It is the season of Halloween, a holiday known for its haunted houses, costumes, trick-or-treating, and creepy imagery.

Yet where did such a modern holiday come from?

Read More Here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/the-darker-side-of-a-dark-holiday-where-did-halloween-come-from-pt-1-107601/

Catholic Questions: What Is Beatification and Canonization and Are They Biblical?

Beatification and canonization are acts of the Roman Catholic Church declaring that a deceased person led a holy life. People still living can then request the blessed (if beatified) or saint (if canonized) to intercede with God on their behalf. The blessed or saint is honored and revered due to their actions while living, but they are not worshiped as God is. Honors may include feasts and masses performed in their name, as well as images and relics displayed to inspire the worshipers.

Beatification is an administrative act whereby a nominee is authorized to have a “cultus” or a specific group of people who identify with, and request favors from, the beatified. The nominee can be a martyr killed in the service of Christ or a confessor. A confessor’s life and writings must be inspected for heroic virtue (bravery and distinction marked by godly motives and not human desire), sanctity, and adherence to Roman Catholic doctrine. The deceased confessor must also have had part in a verifiable miracle. The presence of an unauthorized cultus disqualifies both the martyr and confessor from consideration.

The formal process for confirmation has changed greatly in the last several hundred years. Originally, the church required fifty years between the time of the nominee’s death and the beginning of the investigation. This has been decreased to five years. After a long inquiry, the pope authorizes the beatification, the newly beatified person is labeled “blessed,” and people of the area identified with the beatified are allowed to perform limited actions in the blessed’s name.

Canonization is a decree announcing a person has qualified for sanctification. The decree publically declares the nominee is holy and in heaven with God. Where the veneration of the beatified is limited in scope, canonization binds the universal church to honor the saint. The qualifications include all those included in beatification plus another miracle occurring due to the intercession of the person, which is seen as God’s confirmation of the nominee’s sanctity. Additional honors include specific liturgies performed and churches dedicated in the saint’s name.

The core of beatification and canonization is in the belief that very good people of the church go straight to heaven, rule with Jesus, and intercede with God on behalf of the people on earth and in purgatory. James 5:16 is used to justify the practice: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” But nowhere does the Bible encourage seeking the attention or favor of those who have died, and praying to the dead is strictly forbidden.

Beatification, singling someone out for special status among the deceased believers, is unbiblical. All believers, whether dead or alive, are called “saints” in Scripture (1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 9:13, 32; Ephesians 4:12). All believers are equally holy and righteous, not by our own acts, but by virtue of the righteousness of Christ imputed to us at the cross (2 Corinthians 5:21). All believers are equally precious in the sight of God and there is none who can boast of any special place before Him. Finally, developing a “cultus” (from which we get the word “cult”) around a deceased person to whom we offer prayers and petitions borders on necromancy, (consulting the dead) which is also strictly forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:11).

Beatification and canonization are rites and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and are based on a misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation of Scripture. Saints are the body of Christ, Christians, the church. All Christians are considered saints. All Christians are saints—and at the same time are called to be saints. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped (although this is vehemently denied by Catholics). In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to God alone.[1]

 


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

Questions about Life Decisions: How Should a Christian View Bodybuilding / Weightlifting?

Moderation is perhaps the governing concept for a Christian view of bodybuilding / weightlifting. First Timothy 4:8 teaches, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (emphasis added). Physical fitness is important, and as this verse states, it does have some value. We are physical and spiritual beings, and the condition of the physical body undeniably can impact the spirituality of a person. Surely part of “glorifying God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:20) is keeping it in reasonably good physical condition. Bodybuilding can definitely be a part of a Christian’s physical fitness program.

At the same time, as with many things in this life, bodybuilding, if taken to the extreme, can become an idol. Eventually, a point is reached where there is no true value in adding more muscle. In fact, too much muscle can be hazardous to your health, as it puts additional strain on the heart. Bodybuilding / weight lifting can become an addiction and/or obsession. While this is much more often an issue with men, it can be an issue for women as well. Striving for bigger and stronger muscles, taken to the extreme, is nothing but vanity (1 Samuel 16:7; Ecclesiastes 1:2; 1 Peter 3:4). Once we allow our physical appearance to become more important than our relationship with God, it has become an idol (1 John 5:21).

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). That is the key question. Does bodybuilding / weightlifting glorify God? If it is done to increase fitness, strength, and tone, and thereby health, yes, it can be done for God’s glory. If it is done out of vanity and pride, or from an unhealthy obsession with getting bigger and stronger, no, it does not glorify God. How should a Christian view bodybuilding? “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive” (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23).[1]

 


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

Questions about God: What Does It Mean that God Is Eternal?

The word eternal means “everlasting, having no beginning and no end.” Psalm 90:2 tells us about God’s eternality: “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Since humans measure everything in time, it is very hard for us to conceive of something that had no beginning, but has always been, and will continue forever. However, the Bible does not try to prove God’s existence or His eternality, but simply begins with the statement “In the beginning God …” (Genesis 1:1), indicating that at the beginning of recorded time, God was already in existence. From duration stretching backward without limit to duration stretching forward without limit, from eternal ages to eternal ages, God was and is forever.

When Moses was commissioned by God to go to the Israelites with a message from Him, Moses wondered what he would tell them if they asked him what God’s name was. God’s reply is most revealing: “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you’ ” (Exodus 3:14). This signifies the real being of God, His self-existence, and that He is the Being of beings. It also describes His eternality and immutability, as well as His constancy and faithfulness in fulfilling His promises, because it includes all time, past, present, and future. The sense is, not only I am what I am at present, but I am what I have been, and I am what I shall be, and shall be what I am. God’s own words about His eternality speak to us from the pages of Scripture.

Jesus Christ, God incarnate, also verified His deity and His eternality to the people of His day by declaring to them, “Before Abraham was born, I AM” (John 8:58). It is clear that Jesus was claiming to be God in flesh because the Jews, upon hearing this statement, tried to stone Him to death. To the Jews, declaring oneself to be the eternal God was blasphemy worthy of death (Leviticus 24:16). Jesus was claiming to be eternal, just as His Father is eternal. This was declared again by John regarding the nature of Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). From before recorded time, Jesus and His Father were one in essence, and sharing equally in the attribute of eternality.

Romans 1:20 tells us that God’s eternal nature and His eternal power are revealed to us through His creation. All men see and understand this aspect of God’s nature by the witness of the various aspects of the created order. The sun and heavenly bodies continue in their orbits century after century. The seasons come and go in their appointed time; the trees produce leaves in spring and drop them in the fall. Year after year these things continue, and no one can stop them or alter God’s plan. All of this attests to God’s eternal power and plan for the earth. One day, He will create a new heaven and new earth and they, like Him, will continue into eternity. We who belong to Christ through faith will continue through eternity as well, sharing the eternality of our God in whose image we are created.[1]

 


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

New Article: 10 Signs That Obamacare Is Going To Wreck The U.S. Economy

It is hard to find the words to adequately describe how much of a disaster Obamacare is turning out to be. The debut of Healthcare.gov has been probably the worst launch of a major website in history, millions of Americans are having their current health insurance policies canceled, millions of others are seeing the size of their health insurance premiums absolutely explode, and this new law is going to result in massive numbers of jobs being lost. It is almost as if Obamacare was specifically designed to wreck the U.S. economy. Not that what we had before Obamacare was great. In fact, I have long argued that the U.S. health care system is a complete and total train wreck. But now Obamacare is making everything that was bad about our system much, much worse. Americans are going to pay far more for health care, the quality of that care is going to go down, they are going to have to deal with far more medical red tape, and thousands upon thousands of U.S. employers are considering getting rid of the health plans that they offer to employees altogether due to Obamacare. If the U.S. health care system was a separate nation, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet, and now Obamacare is going to absolutely cripple it. To say that Obamacare is an “economic catastrophe” would be a massive understatement. (Read More….)

New Article: The President Who Has Done the Most Damage – Dennis Prager

I have been broadcasting for 31 years and writing for longer than that. I do not recall ever saying on radio or in print that a president is doing lasting damage to our country. I did not like the presidencies of Jimmy Carter (the last Democrat I voted for) or Bill Clinton. Nor did I care for the “compassionate conservatism” of George W. Bush. In modern political parlance “compassionate” is a euphemism for ever-expanding government.

But I have never written or broadcast that our country was being seriously damaged by a president. So it is with great sadness that I write that President Barack Obama has done and continues to do major damage to America. The only question is whether this can ever be undone.

Read More Here

New Post: 5 Differences Between Catholic Theology and the Gospel

“With Reformation Day this week, it is a good time to remind ourselves of what exactly the differences are between the Roman Catholic Church and Protestants. Certainly on just about every single area of theology there are differences, but here are what I think are the five most glaring and significant issues that separate the Catholic Church from the gospel of grace…”

Read More Here

Albert Mohler Blog: “Christianity and the Dark Side—What About Halloween?”

In his latest Blog Essay, “Christianity and the Dark Side—What about Halloween?” Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. discusses the pagan roots of Halloween and its place in today’s culture.

How should Christians handle Halloween? Celebrate it? Avoid it? Transform it? Christians have always had to respond to pagan rites appeasing the “lord of death” and evil spirits, beginning with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain that was in practice even before the birth of Christ. But Christians have never had to confront a culture that has commercialized and cinematized an ever-deepening fascination with evil and the demonic.

Go to Dr. Mohler’s fulll essay to read why now, more than ever, “Christian parents should make careful decisions based on a biblically-informed Christian conscience.”

[New post] Strange Fire, Mark Driscoll and a Few Thoughts

Now that the long awaited Strange Fire conference (16–18 October 2013) has wrapped up at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA, the Sola Sisters have a few thoughts on the conference overall and also on Mark Driscoll shameless gatecrashing publicity stunt.

Read More Here

GodLife: Teach Them

Teach Them

Do you have children? If so, you might know that the Bible instructs us to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Taking a new Christian on a path of discipleship can be compared to teaching or training a child. Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it” (Mark 10:14-15).

Just for You

What kind of example do you want to be: one who just gives information, or one who makes a permanent impact on someone’s life? Click the link to read about a lifelong example of discipleship by Luis Palau in our Articles for Growth series.

Personal Help

Do you need help training your “spiritual child” in the way they should go? We have trained followers of Jesus who can help you figure it out! Click here to share your story with us. You will hear from someone shortly.

Prayer Points

Will you pray this week:
• That God will protect new believers from straying from the faith
• That you will be able to teach your disciple God’s Word
• That you will teach and serve according to God’s will
• That your disciple will remain faithful to the Lord all their life

GodLife Family

Where can you go online to get daily encouragement and inspiration, and to discuss teaching others about Jesus? Visit the GodLife Facebook Page where we can gather daily to share our stories, to express ourselves, and to pray for one another!

Trust in God Destroys the Fear of Man

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. (Proverbs 29:25 ESV)

 

Our enemy is pretty smart. He has been around long enough that he believes he knows us. He knows that lost people are enslaved to him via their sin nature. He knows that the little flock, our Lord’s sheep, may be new creations via the washing of regeneration, but they still have their flesh and a deep, overwhelming need to be fulfilled. Their salvation has changed them so they now have the ability to be fulfilled in God the more they take on Christ’s character. Our enemy, on the other hand, does all he can to neutralize those sheep by attacking them in innumerable ways so that they walk according their flesh instead of according to the Spirit.

Satan has always wanted to be God. He caused a war…

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