Daily Archives: November 3, 2013

New Article: Upcoming Faith-driven Movie a Social Media Phenomenon: God’s Not Dead

As we pointed out recently, the entertainment industry increasingly understands the importance of Faith Driven Consumers to the success of movies and television shows. Given this, we suspect that Hollywood execs will be taking note of the phenomenal social media interest to the upcoming movie, “God’s Not Dead,” scheduled for release on March 7, 2014.

Here, the Facebook page for the movie, which follows a Christian college student defending his faith in an atheist professor’s class, recently exploded with impressive viral activity following the release of the movie’s trailer on October 22nd.

In the span of less than two weeks, the “God’s Not Dead” Facebook page now has more than 322,500 “likes” on Facebook – and more than 408,000 “shares” – and would rank #19 for Christian-themed Facebook pages.

And in terms of the all-important social media engagement metric, 1.1 million people are “talking” about “God’s Not Dead” – outpacing the 3rd-ranked page for pop culture celebrity Rihanna, who has nearly 80 million “likes” and 850,000 people “talking” about her.

While time will tell if the movie is a good one, one thing’s clear:  there’s a hunger and passion among the Faith Driven Consumer audience for entertainment that welcomes and respects a biblical worldview.

Check out the trailer here:

Read More Here: http://www.faithdrivenconsumer.com/upcoming_faith_driven_movie_a_social_media_phenomenon_god_s_not_dead

Questions about False Doctrine: Is the Personal Prophecy Concept Biblical?

There are some within the Christian faith, predominantly in Charismatic/Pentecostal churches, who view/practice the gift of prophecy as giving personal advice with a “thus says the Lord” presentation. Sadly, those who practice personal prophecy in this manner are often not any different than those who portray themselves as psychics. In fact, there are prophetic hotlines as “Christian” alternatives to psychic hotlines. Some in the personal prophecy movement advertise with statements such as “come get your prophetic reading,” again, very similar to the terminology psychics employ. This understanding and practice of the gift of prophecy is completely unbiblical.

Biblically speaking, the gift of prophecy is the Spirit-empowered ability to declare revelation from God (Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11, 28). Prophecy sometimes, but not always, involves proclaiming revelation from God in regards to the future. In both the Old and New Testaments, God used prophets and/or the gift of prophecy to reveal truth to people. Prophecy is proclaiming the truth of God, it is special revelation, truth that cannot be discerned by any other means. Much of the Old Testament was once prophecy. Through a prophet, God would reveal truth that the people needed to know, and sometimes, that truth would be recorded in written form. This, ultimately, resulted in the Bible, the Word of God, the ultimate special revelation from God.

The completion of the Bible impacts the nature of the gift of prophecy. The Bible contains all the revelation we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). As a result, the gift of prophecy transitioned from primarily being a declaration of new revelation from God, to primarily (or exclusively) being a declaration of what God has already revealed, as recorded in His Word.

This is not to say that God would never give one person a message to deliver to another person. God can, will, and does use people in whatever ways He sees fit. But, the fact that the Word of God is perfect and complete means that we are to rely on it for guidance. We are not to rely on prophets, prophetic hotlines, and prophetic readings. God’s Word contains the truth we need to know. God’s Word presents the wisdom we need to know to properly apply His truth. Beyond that, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and teach us (John 14:16, 26). Using the concept of personal prophecy to gain influence over people and making them dependent on “prophetic guidance,” is a blatant distortion of the biblical gift of prophecy. Any time people trust the fallible words of men instead of the infallible Word of God, it is a travesty.[1]

 


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

Questions about Family / Parenting: Should a Christian Continue Spanking His/Her Children If It Is Illegal?

The subject of spanking is a divisive one, even among Christians. Several countries have banned the corporal punishment of children, yet many parents consider spanking an essential tool in discipline. When the law forbids spanking, the question arises—if spanking is illegal, do parents have the God-given right to continue to use corporal punishment to discipline their children?

When the subject of spanking is broached, it must be assumed that the corporal punishment in question does not occur in an abusive way. It is not extreme nor given in anger, but proportionate to the offense and part of a loving, responsible relationship. And the fact is, spanking is efficient and can be very effective. Some children respond to spanking quickly and completely when all other types of punishment fail. Parents of a strong-willed three-year-old who loves to run out into the street understand they have two choices: spank promptly to curb the dangerous behavior right away, or confine their child to a strictly controlled environment that may disrupt the entire family and restrict the child from more pleasant activities.

The Bible neither explicitly demands nor forbids the spanking of children. (Although the “rod” of Proverbs 13:24 could refer to reproof in general, corporal punishment cannot be excluded as an option.) Firm, decisive discipline is vital to the well-being of a child. It provides guidance and wisdom the child will need later in life. Fathers in the New Testament bear a responsibility to rear their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). Mode of discipline is not specified.

Christian families in many nations in Europe and even on U.S. military bases are faced with the challenge of disciplining their children without the option of spanking / corporal punishment. Parents who believe that spanking is a God-ordained practice necessary for the rearing of their child may spank privately, disregarding the ban as a matter of civil disobedience. Other parents may choose not to spank, submitting to their civil authority and trusting that God is wise enough to lead them to discipline in other ways.

Both options have their merits. When rearing a fearless and stubborn three-year-old, spanking may seem like the only safe and responsible option. In most cases, however, spanking is not the only option; alternatives can be found. Non-corporal punishment will most likely require a great deal more effort, time, and commitment, but it can be effective as well. God knows His children well. May we know our children well enough to know how best to discipline them with patience, perseverance, and love.[1]

 


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

Questions about Theology: What Is Dispensational Premillennialism / Premillennial Dispensationalism?

Premillennialism as a system is primarily based on a literal method of biblical interpretation. The main premise of premillennialism is that Jesus will literally return to the earth before (pre) the millennium begins and that He himself will inaugurate and rule over it. Premillennialists can be divided into two groups with respect to their central approach to the prophetic Scriptures, historic premillennialists and dispensational premillennialists. The basic difference between the two is the emphasis that each gives to the nation of Israel during the millennium, the period of a thousand years during which Christ will reign on earth (see Revelation 20:1–7).

Historic premillennialists believe that scriptural prophecy, especially the passages in Daniel and Revelation, give the entire history of the Church in symbolic form. Thus, they look into the Church’s past and present to find prophetic fulfillment and to see where they are in God’s prophetic timetable. Most historic premillennialists hold that the nation of Israel will undergo a national salvation immediately before the millennium is established, but there will be no national restoration of Israel. Thus, the nation of Israel will not have a special role or function that is distinct from the Church.

In contrast to historic premillennialism, dispensational premillennialism has gained popularity among modern evangelicals. Dispensational premillennialists hold that the second coming of Christ, and subsequent establishment of the millennial kingdom, is to be preceded by a seven-year-long period known as the “Tribulation,” the earthly activity of the Antichrist as well as the outpouring of God’s wrath on mankind. Dispensational premillennialists hold that the nation of Israel will be saved and restored to a place of preeminence in the millennium. Thus, Israel will have a special function of service in the millennium that is different from that of the Church or saved Gentiles.

Another difference is that most dispensational premillennialists hold that the millennium is for a literal 1000 years, while some historic premillennialists assert that the 1000 years is figurative for a long period of time. Basically, the fundamental difference between historic premillennialism and dispensational premillennialism consists in the latter’s insistence on maintaining a distinction between the nation of Israel and the Church. According to dispensationalists, the millennium will be a period of history in which God reverts back to fulfilling His Old Testament promises made to ethnic Israel, after this modern “Church Age” in which we live today is concluded. As such, the millennium will be a state of Jewish dominion over all the world, along with a newly restored Jewish temple and priesthood.

The Christians who reign with Christ will all have been given eternal, glorified bodies, and will reign spiritually, while the Jews will own the world physically, and will live, marry, and die (although evincing incredible longevity), just as people have throughout the history of the world. It is only after this thousand-year period, in which God fulfills His promises to ethnic Israel, that Christ will put down a final rebellion and usher in the eternal state with its New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21–22).

Historic premillennialism, conversely, requires none of this strict dichotomy between God’s spiritual people, the Church, and His physical people, ethnic Israel; it merely looks ahead to a time when Christ will reign visibly on the earth, before He brings in the eternal state.[1]

 


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