Daily Archives: April 9, 2014

Of Course He Preaches a God of ‘Yes’- He’s In Vegas and He Runs a Mega-Church. He Knows His ‘Congregation’

Zwinglius Redivivus

When you think of Las Vegas, you may think of slot machines, strip clubs, and Zach Galifianakis shouting, “There is a tiger in the bathroom.” You probably don’t think of Christian churches. Yet, somehow, Jud Wilhite has managed to grow Central Christian Church to 19,000 members and four campuses in the middle of it all.

The Sin City pastor is now promoting a new message about what he calls “the God of yes.” Believers have often defined Christianity as “no,” reducing it to a series of rejections of just about everything God has created. In his book, “The God of Yes,” Wilhite urges the faithful to throw off these ideas and discover a divine “yes” to all of life. Here, we discuss his message and whether he’s just trying to make faith more palatable and positive.

He must not like the Ten Commandments very much.

RNS: But there are many…

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RISE OF THE BLOOD MOONS: Why a rare astrological event TONIGHT could herald the ‘End of Days And Rare Alignments Of Mars, Earth, And The Sun Associated With Major Religious Events Begin This Week

These Christian Times

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SCROLL DOWN FOR NEWS LINKS AND VIDEO: Blood Mon Mania has finally been hit into high gear. Doom and gloom is what the media is reporting on these tetrads. They never once consider it to be signs in the heavens that a world is ignoring. This has nothing to do with Jesus returning. It has everything to do with events that are setting Israel and the world up with it prophetic destiny. These are signs in the heavens warning us that time may be up to an unrepentant world. Look to the Bible for answers. Open up the good book and seek truth with all your heart to discern these times. The tetrads is an awesome astronomical event that will be breathless. Could it also herald the End Of Days. Thank you for visiting These Christian Times and God Bless You.

Luke 21:25: “There will be signs in sun…

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GTY Blog: Discerning Leaders – John MacArthur

 

In my previous post on discernment I closed by quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:21–22, which is essentially the biblical recipe for discernment: “Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”

“Examine everything carefully” (v. 21) is a command for all believers. In the context of the passage, Paul sets discernment alongside some of the most basic commands and instructions for the Christian life. Just like prayer and contentment, discernment is a crucial element of the effective Christian life.

That may surprise some Christians who see discernment as a uniquely pastoral responsibility. It is certainly true that pastors and elders have an even greater duty to be discerning than the average lay person. Most of the calls to discernment in the New Testament are issued to church leaders. In 1 Timothy 4:6–7, for example, Paul told Timothy:

Be constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.

“Worldly fables fit only for old women” was an epithet Paul applied to the philosophy of his day. He was urging Timothy to know the difference between the truth of God and the nonsense of the world. If Timothy couldn’t tell the difference between sound doctrine and dangerous philosophy, he would not be able to protect the flock. Just a few verses later, Paul added, “Give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching” (v. 13). And then, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things” (v. 16).

Throughout his epistles to Timothy, Paul repeatedly commanded the pastor to pay close attention to sound doctrine, preach the Word, preach and teach these things, guard the truth, and so on. Paul also charged Timothy to avoid empty talk, shun worldly wisdom, turn away from false teachers, and rebuke those who oppose the truth. Timothy needed to stay alert to the differences between the truth and lies, to separate the truth from falsehoods and half-truths. Paul was commanding him as a pastor of the flock to be discerning.

Every elder is required to be skilled in teaching truth and able to refute unsound doctrine (Titus 1:9). As a pastor, I am constantly aware of this responsibility. Everything I read, for example, goes through a grid of discrimination in my mind. If you were to look through my library, you would instantly be able to identify which books I have read. The margins are marked. Sometimes you’ll see approving remarks and heavy underlining. Other times you’ll find question marks—or even red lines through the text. I constantly strive to separate truth from error. I read that way, I think that way, and of course I preach that way. My passion is to know the truth and proclaim it with authority. That should be the passion of every elder, because everything we teach affects the hearts and lives of those who hear us. It is an awesome responsibility. Any church leader who does not feel the burden of this duty ought to step down from leadership.

 

(Adapted from Reckless Faith.)


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Understanding the Times and Knowing What the Church Should Do

The falls and mishaps of others are never occasion for juicy gloating though they must be for humbly learning. At our local resort, you’re the mountain chump if you chuckle at a big fall. But you’re also the mountain fool if you fail to learn from them.

As normal for any era between Genesis 3 and Revelation 20, these past few months have seen a far share of ministry falls, scandals, apology-kind-of-things, disqualifications, and hard-to-name-types-of-things. As the church, this provides opportune learning occaions for us to understand the times and know what to do.

This is by no means exhaustive, but here are 7 suggestions in light of recent events:

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What We Need

Kevin DeYoung:

In our day careful attention needs to be paid to the issue of sexual immorality in particular.  This isn’t because Christians are prudes or like to judge others or are obsessed with sex.  We have to talk about sexual sin because it is the idol of our age. For the church to be silent on the most important ethical matters of our day would be irresponsible and cowardly. This means Christians have difficult waters ahead, especially as it relates to the issue of homosexuality. How can we talk about sexual immorality in a way that is both true and gracious?

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Podcast: Don’t need no church…

BoredDid you know: The nation and nature of Turkey is changing rapidly, and in just a moment we will have our guest on tell us more about what is shifting, and also why Christians are being seduced by “interfaith” movement with Muslims.

A little later on, we’re sharing a recent Barna study that says this: About half of us who say that we are born-again Christians don’t think church attendance is all that important. In fact, those in this half would say that if we show up once a month or even every six weeks, that constitutes “regular” church attendance in our eyes. What say you?

Stand Up For The Truth is a radio and online ministry that covers news of the day, trends in the church and theological issues that Christians deal with and talk about every day, and we give you a place to be educated, equipped and connected to help you discern along the way. But most importantly, we point you to Christ Jesus as our Savior, and His Word – the Scriptures, as the truth that you can depend on. In fact, you should filter everything you read, hear and consume as a believer – including what you find on this program – through the Scriptures to see if it lines up.


Today’s Episode:

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Kerry blames Israel for collapse of peace talks. Ridiculous. This is part of a troubling pattern of this White House alienating America’s friends & appeasing our enemies.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Secretary John Kerry. Secretary John Kerry.

(Washington, D.C.) — UPDATED: Over the past year of the peace talks, Israel has consistently taken practical, concrete steps to show goodwill, including releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, some of whom were terrorists with blood on their hands.

Israel took such measures even though Palestinian terrorists have continued to fire rockets and missiles at innocent Israeli civilians over and over and over again.

What practical, concrete steps did the Palestinian leadership?

The sad fact is that Mahmoud Abbas gave concrete nothing in return.

What’s more, he outright refused to even consider recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. Then he embarked on unilateral steps to create an independent Palestinian state in direct defiance of the terms of the peace process which call for a negotiated settlement. Then he refused to continue the peace talks beyond the April 29th deadline without Israel releasing thousands of more prisoners.

Yet now Secretary of State John Kerry is blaming Israel for the breakdown of…

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Traditional, Transitional, Transformational – The Slow Suicide of Many Churches

seekermergentIt’s the way it works. Every church that has decided to follow Peter Drucker‘s business model, Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek model, Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven model – all under the term “Seeker-Friendly”.
It begins slow, and continues steadily. The people in these churches are like the frog in a pot of slowly boiling water – never being told what’s happening. In the end, some usually find out the truth – the sordid truth of the leadership’s goal to slowly transform the church from “traditional” (the “old-fashioned” way) to contemporary (the “cool, new, fun and relevant” way) by slow transition.
~ Vincent and Lori Williams, Falsified Ministries
This is an article originally shared by our friends over at Falsified Ministries, from Vince and Lori who had spent many years attending and serving at a church just like many others: cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, missional, transformative, you get the idea. But what they didn’t hear from their pulpit or in their life groups was the full Gospel message. Ever. It wasn’t until some Christian believers shared some podcasts of solid biblical teaching that they realized they were false converts (check out their ministry page).
It’s a symptom of a post-modern sickness in the visible church. The Peter Drucker business model has manifested itself through the Willow Creek Association, the Saddleback affiliations and the Leadership Network, and has seeped into many churches much the way a sweet-tasting yeast does.  At the bottom of this article is some must-read background information on this purpose-seeker model, and how to find out it it has infected your church.
With that, I share this:
The People’s Church, Willow Creek, and the Church Growth Movement

The Narcissistic Christian Leader

Narcissism should not be said in the same breath as Christian. The former is love of self; the latter is love of God in Jesus Christ.

But the sad reality is that narcissism can and often does creep into the lives of many Christian leaders. And narcissists are selfish and inconsiderate. They demand excessive attention. They feel entitled. And they often pursue power and prestige without regard for others.

The world of narcissistic Christian leaders is complicated by the fact that these leaders rarely recognize their problem. And the disorder may not be readily apparent to those who see them from a distance. They can appear, at least on the surface, to be brilliant and charismatic.

In fact some of those leaders may be reading this article thinking it’s about someone else. They have trouble recognizing their own malady. Let me be more personal. On too many occasions I have struggled with prideful and narcissistic behavior myself. And it took a confrontation from a friend or confidant to open my eyes.

Any person in leadership, even Christian leadership, can be tempted to love self and move into narcissism. So what can we who are Christian leaders do to avoid this trap? What can we do proactively? Allow me to offer five suggestions.

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Volcanoes All Over The Ring Of Fire Are Erupting Right Now – Is The U.S. Next?

All of a sudden, the Ring of Fire is starting to tremble violently. Last month, we had a whole bunch of major earthquakes along the Ring of Fire, and this month volcanoes all over the Ring of Fire are erupting. Of course there has always been seismic activity within this giant band that stretches around the Pacific Ocean. After all, approximately 75 percent of all volcanoes are located in the Ring of Fire and approximately 90 percent of all global earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. But what is alarming is that the level of activity appears to be rising. Chile is experiencing almost constant shaking by earthquakes, a volcano in Peru just awakened for the first time in 40 years, and major volcanic eruptions have just taken place in Ecuador, the Kamchatka peninsula and off the coast of Japan. The west coast of the United States also lies along the Ring of Fire, but so far it has gotten off easy. Yes, there has been (Read More…)

16 Signs That Most Americans Are NOT PREPARED For The Coming Economic Collapse

Sometimes I think that I sound like a broken record. I am constantly using phrases such as “get prepared while you still can” and “time is running out”. In fact, I use them so often that people are starting to criticize me for it. But the truth is that only a small percentage of people out there are actively taking steps to get ready for what is coming. Most of the country is not prepared at all. In many ways, it is just like 2007 all over again. There were many people that could see what was about to happen and were doing all they could to warn people, but most did not listen. And then the great financial crisis of 2008 struck and millions of people lost their jobs and their homes. Unfortunately, the next great wave of the economic collapse is going to be even more painful than the last one. It is imperative that people get prepared for what is on the horizon, but for the most part it is just not happening. (Read More….)

Is Bob Coy’s Resignation as Result of Moral Failing Part of an Epidemic Among Pastors?

Christian leaders across the nation reacted in shock at the news over the weekend that Pastor Bob Coy, founder and leader of the 20,000-member Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in Florida resigned because of what his church described as a moral failure. Some observers are calling the church’s loss of its pastor part of an epidemic that needs to be guarded against.

“I was devastated – heart sick – this morning to open my Facebook and the top story shared by a couple ministry friends was the resignation of pastor Bob Coy due to moral failure,” wrote Kentucky pastor Ron Edmondson. “I have personally dealt with near a dozen churches in the past couple years who lost a pastor due to a moral issue. One of the leaders in our denomination used the word ‘epidemic’ recently to describe the number of pastors who are leaving the ministry because of moral failures.”

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The Rise of American Totalitarianism – We are a country on the precipice. . . .

It’s a disturbing story, to be sure. But it’s also just the tip of the iceberg: Unfortunately, the same folks administering the private Thought Police would love to extend their control into the realm of government. These are not libertarians arguing for the right to hire and fire as you see fit in the private market. These are power brokers seeking to use whatever means necessary to quash opposition.

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Americans Divided On The Importance Of Church Attendance

In the U.S. today, adults today are evenly divided on the importance of attending church, with the practice declining in recent years. And although tens of millions of Americans attend church each weekend, the nature of churchgoing is also changing: people who went to church once to several times a week were once considered regular churchgoers. Now people who show up once every four to six weeks consider themselves regular churchgoers. Churches are now forced to account for sporadic attendance in their ministry planning. …….. Click here for full story

The False Teachers: Marcus Borg

A few weeks ago I set out on a new series of articles through which I am scanning the history of the church—from its earliest days all the way to the present time—to examine some of Christianity’s most notorious false teachers. Along the way we have visited such figures as Arius, Pelagius, Joseph Smith, and Ellen G. White. Today we will look at the life and legacy of a man who assumed and further developed theological Liberalism and paved the way for what became known as Progressive Christianity. His name is Marcus Borg.

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Law and Gospel

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 ESV)

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6 ESV)

“By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
(Genesis 3:19 ESV)

God commanded Adam to…

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