Daily Archives: February 27, 2014

Questions about Eternity: If Reincarnation Is Not True, Why Do Some People Remember Their past Lives?

 

While the Bible never addresses reincarnation specifically, it is clear that the biblical model of life, death, and afterlife is incompatible with any form of reincarnation as posited in religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and certain New Age or Neo-Pagan belief systems. In Hebrews 9:27–28, we are told that “just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” This passage alone appears to eliminate the possibility of reincarnation.

Along the same lines, in Luke 23:43 Jesus tells the thief on the cross that he will be with Christ in paradise that very day, which assumes that the man will not be reincarnated back into earthly life. Similarly, passages such as James 4:14, which discuss the temporal nature of human life are inconsistent with a reincarnationist idea of living earthly lives over and over for centuries, millennia, or all eternity. On top of all this, if human souls were reincarnated over and over, then how could some people in the Bible see the spirits of long dead people, like Moses being seen by the apostles in Matthew 17:3 during the transfiguration of Christ?

But what are we to do with those who claim they have memories of their past lives? The first and perhaps most important question we should ask is whether or not these “memories” are genuine. Human memory is notoriously unreliable (just ask any lawyer or detective), and people frequently misremember things, believing they remember things that never actually happened or not remembering things that did happen. In the case of those claiming to remember their past lives, one can easily imagine them misremembering images from TV shows or movies, mental fantasies from books they read years earlier, or mistaking dreams for genuine memories. How can we know with any certainty that their past-life memories are not one of these things? Is it really more logical to assume that their memories are genuinely from past lives rather than one of these other things? While some modern “past-life experts” claim to find evidence for reincarnation by connecting things like phobias and physical ailments in currently living people with traumatic events in past lives, the past-life “experts” are assuming the existence of a past-life (or past-lives) in explaining current health problems, not showing that those past lives actually happened.

The fact of the matter is that there is simply no solid, scientifically acceptable evidence that the memories of past lives claimed by some people are genuine, rather than misremembered events or simply make-believe. Ultimately, the question comes down to whether we will find Truth in the unreliable minds and memories of fallen and fallible human beings or from the timeless, holy Word of God. Christians can confidently assert that reincarnation is not a possibility for the human soul; when this life ends, our eternity in the afterlife begins.[1]


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

Questions about Christianity: What Is the Reformed Baptist Church?

 

In order to understand the Reformed Baptist Church, we need to answer two preliminary questions: 1) What does it mean to be Baptist? 2) What does it mean to be reformed?

To be Baptist is to be part of a church or denomination that, broadly speaking, holds to adult believer baptism (typically by full immersion) following a credible statement of faith as the only biblically acceptable way to administer the sacrament of baptism as commanded by our Lord in his Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20). This is the view called credo-baptism (“believer” baptism), which is held over against the view of paedo-baptism (“infant” baptism) that is commonly practiced by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and many continental Reformed churches.

Baptists also generally believe in the autonomy of the local congregation over the more hierarchically-structured denominations such as Roman Catholicism (which is based on an Episcopal model of church government) and Presbyterianism (which is based on a Presbyterian model of church government).

Within this broad category there are many different types of Baptists who hold various views on soteriology (doctrine of salvation) and ecclesiology (church structure and governance). Some fundamentalist Baptist groups hold that the King James Version of the Bible is the only true, inspired version of the Bible in the English language. Other Baptist groups are so theologically liberal that they fall outside the boundaries of what is generally accepted as orthodox. All this to say that Baptists come in many different shapes and sizes, but nominally they are all unified on the doctrine of adult believer baptism.

Baptist history is also a bit difficult to trace. There are some Baptist groups that claim the Baptist tradition can be traced in an unbroken line back to New Testament times, somewhat akin to the Roman Catholic tradition of papal succession. Others claim that while there was not an unbroken chain of Baptist churches going all the way back to New Testament times, there was a continuity of Baptist forms of faith going all the way back to the earliest beginnings of the church. The most commonly accepted view holds that Baptist tradition is traced back to the English separatist movement of the early 17th century. The English separatists were a group of individuals who were unsatisfied with the changes made during the English reformation, which was part of the larger reformation movement sweeping the continent, and hence they separated from the Church of England. From this separatist movement, two strains of Baptists emerged—General Baptists and Particular Baptists. This leads us to our second question noted above: What does it mean to be reformed?

Generally speaking, to be reformed means to flow out of the Protestant Reformation movement of the 16th and 17th centuries. The Reformers were those who protested against certain abuses within the Roman Catholic Church. It is often said that the Protestant Reformation had both a formal cause and a material cause. The material cause of the Reformation (i.e., the particulars of the dispute) was over what became the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. In other words, the debate centered on the question of how a man is made right (justified) before God. Rome’s basic answer to that question is that grace, faith and Christ are all necessary, but they are in and of themselves, not sufficient. The Reformers argued that grace, faith and Christ are both necessary and sufficient.

The formal cause of the Reformation was the question of authority. What is the ultimate authority for the Christian in matters of faith and practice? For Rome, the answer is both Scripture and tradition. However, since according to its dogma, the Roman Catholic Church is the source of both Scripture and tradition, as well as the infallible interpreter of both, the matter of authority essentially boils down to the Catholic Church alone. The Reformers believed that the Scriptures alone were the sole infallible rule for Christian faith and practice; hence the Bible is the ultimate authority in these matters. All other lesser authorities—church councils, synods and other such declarations—are only authoritative insofar as they conform to Scripture.

Inasmuch as Baptists are Protestant, they are reformed in this general sense as noted above. However, there is a more specific sense of the word ‘reformed,’ and this is more germane to our discussion. Reformed in the more narrow sense refers to those groups that follow in the theological footsteps of John Calvin—in particular his doctrine of salvation. This is what separates the General Baptists from the Particular Baptists. The General Baptists are so called because they hold to a belief of general atonement—Jesus died to make all men, in a universal sense, savable. Particular Baptists hold to the Calvinistic understanding of salvation that believes Jesus died only for the elect, and He died to actually secure their salvation, i.e., particular atonement. Reformed Baptists flow out of this Particular Baptist stream.

Today there is no official Reformed Baptist denomination, but there are several federations of Reformed Baptist churches, such as the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches in America (ARBCA). Most Reformed Baptist churches subscribe to the London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) as their doctrinal standards; the 1689 LBCF is essentially the Westminster Confession of Faith reworded as it pertains to baptism. Some notable Reformed Baptists in history are John Bunyan, William Carey and Charles Spurgeon.[1]


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

“Pastor” David Yonggi Cho Guitly, another case of Strange Fire in Asia

The Domain for Truth

David_Yonggi_Cho_w_church_original

NOTE: We have written on the topic of “Strange Fire,” specifically the problems of Charismatic and Pentecostal Theology in the Asian context here on the blog in the past and will continue to do so from time to time in the future.

“Pastor” David Yonggi Cho is the founding pastor of the Yoido Full Gospel Church in the Assembly of God denomination and reputed as the world’s largest congregation.  There are concerns about his theology being biblical since he’s an advocate of Word of Faith teaching, among other things.

“Pastor” David Yonggi Cho was recently on the news this month, having gotten himself in legal trouble and found guilty by the court.  A Gospel Herald news article writes,

According to reports, Cho was identified as an accomplice through committing breach of trust in 2002 by ordering the church to purchase his elder son Hee-jun’s stocks at four times the market price. The…

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5 reasons why that guy didn’t really go to Heaven…

Watch Your Life and Doctrine Closely...

I got an e-mail from a pastor friend who was picking my brain about the whole “I went to Heaven” book industry since one of the largest and most successful fleece-job books is now becoming a movie. I couldn’t be more please, since that always turns out to be a smashing victory for biblical fidelity and the proclamation of truth, right?

the-bible-angels(Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Angels?)

Here’s what I said to him (with minor edits to remove names…and make it a tad more entertaining):

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A Word of Caution: Ecumenical-Backed Movie, “Son of God,” May Send Subtle New Age/Roman Catholic Messages

“If everything begins with intention, our heart on ‘Son of God’ was to find the places that we could bring people together.”—Roma Downey, New York Times

On February 28th, 20th Century Fox will release the movie Son of God in theaters. The movie is produced by husband/wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (Downey plays Mary in the film). While the movie is about the life of Jesus, and if the movie trailer is any indication, it will be  a very moving and emotional account, Lighthouse Trails wishes to issue a word of caution and warning to those who will be going to see it. Between Roma Downey’s affinity toward New Ageism and the highly ecumenical (evangelical, emerging, contemplative, Catholic, Mormon, etc) group of endorsers and advisers, there may be subtle messages in the movie that are contrary to the Word of God and its portrayal of Jesus Christ and truth. Thus, we encourage those who will be seeing the movie to watch it through the eyes of discernment and the filter of God’s Word.

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“The Responsibility to Rebuke” – John MacArthur

 

Among many pastors and church leaders today there is a popular rationale that proclaiming truth is the viable alternative to rebuking error. Rather than wrestling with false teachers and their heresies, they’re content to cover their eyes, plug their ears, and “stay positive” in their teaching.

But there is no either/or when it comes to preaching the truth and confronting error—that’s a false, unbiblical dichotomy that contradicts the examples we see throughout Scripture. In his letter to Titus, the apostle Paul made it clear that both duties are fundamental to the work of a church leader:

For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. (Titus 1:7­–9)

Pacifism has never been a pastoral option in the war for people’s souls. Any pastor who teaches faithfully is called both to exhort believers in sound doctrine, and to refute those who oppose sound doctrine.

Pastors have the God-given obligation to cultivate discernment among their congregations. And that discernment is needed to give their people an understanding of the truth necessary to protect them from the ubiquitous error that incessantly assaults them. Antilegō (to refute) means literally “to speak against.” The Lord’s preachers and teachers are to be polemicists against unsound doctrine that goes under the guise of biblical truth.

Not long after Paul himself ministered in Crete, “many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,” were causing trouble and confusion in the churches there (Titus 1:10). They were not to be ignored, much less tolerated, but were to “be silenced because they [were] upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain” (v. 11). They were particularly dangerous because they arose from within the congregations. “They profess to know God,” Paul said, “but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless for any good deed” (v. 16).

Even the spiritually mature church at Ephesus was not immune to false teaching. “I know that after my departure,” Paul warned elders from that church, “savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29–30).

Although false teachers in the church exist under many guises, they all, in one way or another, contradict biblical truth. They are the enemies of sound doctrine and, therefore, of God and His people. Simply to accept Scripture as the inerrant Word of God does not protect against its being misunderstood or even perverted. To give personal insights and decisions of church councils authority equal to Scripture is to contradict God’s Word—just as surely as is denying the deity of Christ or the historicity of His resurrection. The final warning of Scripture is: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18–19, emphasis added).

The dual role of the godly preacher and teacher is to proclaim and to defend God’s Word. In the eyes of the world and, tragically, in the eyes of many genuine but untaught believers, to denounce false doctrine—especially if that doctrine is given under the guise of evangelicalism—is to be unloving, judgmental, and divisive. But compromising Scripture in order to make it more palatable and acceptable, whether to believers or to unbelievers, is not “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). It is speaking falsehood and is the furthest thing from godly love. It is a subtle, deceptive, and dangerous way to contradict God’s own Word. The faithful pastor must have no part in it. He himself tolerates, and he teaches his people to tolerate, only sound doctrine.

All Christians share the biblical mandate to cultivate biblical discernment. Remaining passive in the church and ignoring the cancerous effects of false teaching is a serious dereliction of our duty as believers. We are to be equipped with the biblical tools necessary to identify, expose, repudiate, and excommunicate all wolves who sneak into the church. Out of love for Christ, His people, and the pure exclusive gospel that He delivered, each of us must take up arms in the ongoing war for the truth.

 

(Adapted from The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Titus.)


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COPYRIGHT ©2014 Grace to You

(SSM) Same Sex Marriage Issue Round-up

Yesterday I wrote about three obvious questions from the recent scrap about gay marriage. Today’s post is for those that have been sleeping for the past week and missed the controversy all together.  If you suffer from gay-marriage-controversy overload, you may have missed the newest twists and turns, which is a shame because you missed some really good writing.  Today I want to give a round-up of what others have written, and direct you to some of the better posts on this issue.

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Russian Spy Ship Docks In Havana, Moscows Military Moves In Ukraine, And Kerry Warns Russia. The Chief Prince Gog Begins To Flex Magogs Muscles.

These Christian Times

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO AND NEWS LINKS: Vladmir Putin has ordered over 150000 soldiers for war drills over the Ukraine crisis. John Kerry demand’s that Russia respect the sovereignty of the Ukraine after Pro Western riots succeeded in ousting President Viktor Yanukovych. I feel the recent docking of the Spy ship in Havana is a message to Washington. Why John Kerry is making  threats to Russia for. We all know what happened in Syria. We blinked first in a staring contest with Russia. Someday though, our great nation will be hopeless to stop an Invasion on Israel by a Country called Magog. This Country (Russia) will come onto Israel to take spoil. This will be a day when the world will witness the sovereign hand of God. Russia is beginning to March towards her prophetic destiny. She will usher in the 7 years Tribulation and the rise of the Antichrist. …

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A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-19-The Lord’s Supper

Reformedontheweb's Blog

The Lord’s Supper

 

1. What other ordinance has Christ established?

The Lord’s Supper.

2. In what does this ordinance consist?

In eating bread and drinking wine in remembrance of Christ.

3. Who alone are authorized to receive it?

The members of His churches.

4. In what way is it to be observed?

As a church ordinance, and in token of church fellowship.

5. Is there any established order in which these ordinances are to be observed?

Yes; the believer must be baptized before he partakes of the Lord’s Supper.

6. What does the Lord’s Supper represent?

The death and sufferings of Christ.

7. Does the mere partaking, either of Baptism or the Lord’s Supper confer spiritual blessings?

No; they are worthless, if not injurious, to those who do not exercise faith.

8. But how is it when they are partaken of by those who do exercise faith?

The Spirit…

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Question 60-Puritan Catechism

Reformedontheweb's Blog

Spurgeon 1Q. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?

A. The eighth commandment forbids whatever does or may unjustly hinder our own, (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 28:19, 21:6) or our neighbor’s wealth, or outward estate. (Ephesians 4:28)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

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Is Russia preparing to move on Ukraine? Sends fighter jets, troops near border. U.S. warns Russia military force would be “grave mistake.” Here are the latest developments.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

(ukraine-mapWashington, D.C.) — Is Vladimir Putin preparing Russian forces to move against Ukraine?

I pray not, but at the moment, there are mixed signals, and U.S. and Ukrainian officials are clearly worried and warning Russia not to intervene.

Here are the latest developments:

  • Russia Warns Of “Dangerous” Dilemma In Ukraine — “Forcing Ukraine to choose between close ties with Russia or the West is ‘dangerous,’ the Russian foreign minister has warned. Urging the European Union and the United States not to intervene in shaping the country’s future, Sergei Lavrov said: ‘It’s dangerous and counterproductive to try to force upon Ukraine a choice on the principle: “You are either with us or against us,”‘” reports Sky News in London.
  • “Russian President Vladimir Putin put 150,000 Russian combat troops on high alert for war games Wednesday, rattling nerves in a neighboring Ukraine already consumed by upheaval,” reports NBC News.

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Must read: “More Christians died for the faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries of Christian history combined.”

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Jesus-onthecrossRead a sobering yet fascinating article this morning about the magnitude of Christian persecution in our age. It was written by George Weigel, the distinguished senior fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Weigel is Catholic and writes from this vantage point in an on-line magazine called, First Things.

Regardless of whether you’re Catholic or Protestant, however, it is worth noting what Weigel is saying, especially in light of Christ’s warning in Matthew 24 that persecution will increase in the last days before His return.

Let us be praying faithfully for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, and around the world.

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Excerpts from article by George Weigel:

We have been living, and we’re living now, in the greatest era of persecution in Christian history.

More Christians died for the faith in the twentieth century than in the previous nineteen centuries of Christian history combined.

And while the character of…

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31 Percent Of All Food In America Is Wasted – And Why That Is About To End

According to a stunning new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly a third of all food produced in the United States gets wasted. We are probably the most wasteful society in the history of the planet, and we are also one of the most gluttonous. More than 35 percent of all Americans are considered to be officially “obese” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, this era of gluttony and taking food for granted will soon be coming to an end. Thanks to crippling drought in key growing areas and other extremely bizarre weather patterns, a massive food crisis is beginning to emerge all over the planet. If you don’t think that this is going to affect you, then you simply are not paying attention. Approximately half of all produce grown in the United States comes from the state of California, and right now California is suffering through the worst stretch of drought on record. Food prices are going to start soaring, and that is going to affect the household budget of every family in America. (Read More....)

The Collapse Of Bitcoin

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that has no intrinsic value. The only thing giving bitcoin value is the faith that people have in it, and now that faith has been shattered. This week, the most prominent bitcoin exchange in the entire world, Mt. Gox, totally collapsed. At one time, Mt. Gox boasted more than a million accounts and it accounted for approximately 25 percent of all global bitcoin trading. But now the website has been taken down, there are rumors of catastrophic losses, and many investors are concerned that they will lose all of their money. In fact, according to one report, investors could be facing total losses of up to 367 million dollars. The collapse of Mt. Gox is also affecting other bitcoin exchanges. As I write this, the market value of bitcoin had fallen to about $470, but just three months ago it was trading close to $1,200. Needless to say, a lot of bitcoin investors are going to be licking their wounds tonight. (Read More....)

Yes, There Are Paid Government Trolls On Social Media, Blogs, Forums And Websites

Do you want solid proof that paid government shills are targeting websites, blogs, forums and social media accounts? For years, many have suspected that government trolls have been systematically causing havoc all over the Internet, but proving it has been difficult. But now thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden and revealed by Glenn Greenwald, we finally have hard evidence that western governments have been doing this. As you will see below, a UK intelligence outfit known as the Government Communications Headquarters, through a previously secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, has been systematically attempting “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse”. This should be deeply disturbing to anyone that values free speech on the Internet. (Read More…..)

The Persecution & Prayer Alert (Voice of the Martyrs – February 27, 2014)

IRAQ: Christians Facing ‘More than Desperate’ Crisis Sources: Release International, BBC

Canon Andrew White, known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” has requested urgent prayer for the church in Iraq during this time of intense violence in the country. With frequent bombings and shootings in cities such as Baghdad and Mosul, monthly death tolls have soared recently. January’s toll of more than 1,000 killed was the highest in almost six years.

Canon Andrew, a partner of The Voice of the Martyrs, recently shared that some of the young people at the church he leads have been among those tragically killed. His Christian friends are leaving and begging him to leave too.

“Hundreds of our people have left the church because they have left the country,” he explains. “The hundreds left are those who cannot afford to leave, so the poverty and needs seem greater than ever. I honestly cannot tell you how terrible things are. We are in more than a desperate crisis. We need your prayers.”

Yet Canon Andrew remains resolute. “I will not leave my people here, however bad it is,” he says. “I am not leaving, and neither is God.”

Trusting that God is indeed present and at work in Iraq, let us bring this country to Him in prayer. Pray that He will use Canon Andrew and other leaders like him to faithfully shepherd the dwindling Christian population. Through their example, may believers be encouraged to remain steadfast in their faith, despite the instability and the constant risks. May the church there be a vessel of God’s peace, extending love to all their neighbours. Pray, too, for an end to the fighting and bloodshed in Iraq which have been mainly caused by tensions between Sunni militants and the Shia-dominated government.

To learn more about Canon Andrew’s ministry and the powerful ways in which God is at work in Iraq, check out VOM’s recent 18-minute documentary at http://www.persecution.tv/iraq.

KENYA: Pastor Murdered While Guarding Church
Sources: VOM USA, Morning Star News, World Watch Monitor

Assistant Pastor Lawrence Kazungu Kadenge was murdered in the early morning hours of February 2nd while guarding the Glory of God Ministries Church in Mombasa. Although police are still investigating the murder, it is believed that radical Muslims may have killed the 59-year-old pastor for alerting police about security threats and for preaching the Gospel near a mosque. Pastor Lawrence leaves behind his wife, Lydia, and their 13 children.

“It is very hard for me because we worked very closely together,” said the church’s senior pastor. “His family has been hit very hard. All of us, the family and congregants, need prayer as we grieve his loss. We need God’s comfort. Please pray for us.”

Several days before Pastor Lawrence’s murder, a controversial mosque in Mombasa was raided by police on the suspicion that the mosque was being used to recruit Muslim youth to engage in terrorist acts against Kenyan civilians. Police arrested 125 young people during the raid. One person was killed, and two police officers were seriously injured.

Pastor Lawrence’s death has increased fears among other pastors in the area. Several other church leaders have been murdered, and radical Muslims, who are attempting to create an independent state along the coastal area, have attacked churches.

As Lydia and her children, along with members of their Christian community, mourn the loss of Pastor Lawrence, pray that through Christ they will be able to share abundantly in His comfort (2 Corinthians 1:5). Pray for guidance and strength for the church’s senior pastor, as well as the leaders of other area churches. May God grant them boldness to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ to others of their community, especially to those who oppose them. Finally, intercede on behalf of the mosque leaders and the Muslim youths, asking God to open their hearts to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

To post a prayer of support and encouragement for this grieving family and congregation, please visit our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall at http://www.persecution.net/prayerwall.

RECENT PRISONER UPDATE

KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor Receives Suspended Prison Term Sources: Forum 18 News Service, World Watch Monitor

On February 17th, a retired pastor accused of harming the health of a church member was handed a four-year suspended prison sentence. Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev was also ordered to pay his alleged victim “moral damages” of two million tenge (approximately $12,000 CAD).

The case against Pastor Bakhytzhan dragged on for months after his arrest in May of 2013, when he was charged with the psychological manipulation of Lyazzat Almenova, 34, through the use of a “red-coloured hallucinogenic drink.” In reality, the drink was a harmless, non-alcoholic beverage used as part of the church’s Holy Communion to represent red wine. Although she insists her pastor is “totally innocent,” Pastor Bakhytzhan was arrested after Lyazzat’s mother claimed that her daughter’s mental health had been damaged due to attending the church. (For more information on his arrest, please visit http://www.persecution.net/kz-2014-01-30.htm.)

“In my experience as a lawyer, this is one of the strangest cases I have seen in terms of legality,” said the pastor’s lawyer after the verdict was handed down. “It was not just strange but, from the standpoint of the law, all types of violations occurred when the case was opened, when it was being investigated, and during the trial.” Pastor Bakhytzhan will reportedly appeal the verdict.

As Pastor Bakhytzhan and his lawyers work towards appealing this latest verdict, pray that God will grant them wisdom and endurance. May the charges against him soon be dropped! Ask God to strengthen this pastor’s faith, encouraging him to stand strong as he weathers this storm. Pray, too, for Lyazzat and her family. May her understanding and acceptance of the Gospel increase each day, and may her family members come to a saving faith in our Saviour. Finally, bring the country of Kazakhstan to God in prayer, asking that He will enable His church to grow in faithfulness and in number.

For more information on the challenges Christians face in Kazakhstan, go to http://www.persecution.net/kazakhstan.htm.

***********************************
The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of:
The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, P.O. Box 608, Streetsville, Ontario, L5M 2C1
Tel. (905) 670.9721. Website: http://www.persecution.net

Attacks on Religious Freedom Amount to ‘Sophisticated Warfare’ on Christians, Say Top Journalist, Legal Scholars

Public policy experts at this year’s National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville asserted that the government religious liberty and freedom issues facing Christians today are fundamentally and intrinsically tied to the future of culture in America….[view article]

People No Longer Trust Traditional Media, Go to Family and Friends on Social Media for News

By way of of social media, people look more to their friends and family for reliable information, including shared links to news stories, a Facebook manager for policy told Christian media professionals during the opening session of the National Religious Broadcasters Convention on Saturday….[view article]

No One Has Seen God the Father . . . Except Jesus Culture’s Kim Walker-Smith

So not only has Kim Walker-Smith seen Jesus Christ and God the Father, but she also fills the Kim-shaped hole in God’s heart. Kim Walker-Smith’s testimony here is blasphemous. What ought to be of great concern to the Christian, however, is that this is the mindset behind the music and teaching of Jesus Culture, a group that is extremely popular among young, professing Christians.

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