Daily Archives: June 10, 2014

Herescope: This is not Discipleship

 

Some of the most frequently quoted verses in Evangelicalism are Matthew 28:18-20:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

Decisions 
The Great Commission calls for making disciples rather than preaching the Gospel. (The same command in Mark 16:15 says “…preach the gospel….”) It is probably for this reason most Christians assume incorrectly that preaching the Gospel fulfills the Matthew 28:18-20, but it does not. Preaching the Gospel and making disciples are two entirely different (though related) things. Billy Graham, and others, have illustrated very well that there is a huge difference between these two ideas. Preaching the Gospel is relatively easy, and skilled evangelists can bring many to the altar through a single 30-minute sermon. But that is only the first step of many, and on its own does not fulfill the Great Commission at all. In fact, calling someone to the altar often does nothing more than give the candidate a false sense of security—they believe they are saved because they prayed a rote prayer and signed a decision card. Billy Graham worked that out and eventually started calling these “decisions” rather than “converts.”

So while preaching the Gospel is commanded and is vital, it is NOT discipleship and does not obey the Great Commission. For instance, many young men mistakenly think that inseminating a young girl makes them a father. It does not. A father provides for, trains, and raises that child until it is an adult. So evangelization without discipleship is like giving birth to a baby, and then dropping the newborn on Main Street and pointing the infant to a range of restaurants.

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He Just Figured Out that Todd Bentley is a Fraud?

Zwinglius Redivivus

A man confined to a wheelchair due to his struggles with cerebral palsy gave a face-to-face warning to ‘faith healer’ Todd Bentley this past Thursday in front of a live audience that had gathered for Bentley’s healing crusade.  Justin Peters, who runs Justin Peters Ministries in Oklahoma, attended the event to rebuke Bentley over what he believes are deceptive healing practices. Not knowing that he was about to be excoriated, Bentley handed the microphone over to Peters.  Peters then began to quote from Matthew 7, which speaks of those who do wonders in God’s name but live lawless lives,  in presenting the rebuke to Bentley.

“And Jesus will look at them and he [will say], ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you workers of iniquity,” he declared. “This man is a worker of iniquity.”  “Which man?” Bentley asked, standing adjacent to Peters.  “You,” Peters answered, who continued preaching until he was escorted off stage…

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Catholic Questions: Is Mary the Co-redemptrix / Mediatrix?

 

Some Catholics view Mary as a co-redemptrix or a mediatrix who plays a key role in the salvation of mankind. (The suffix -trix is a feminine word ending in Latin, so a redemptrix is a female redeemer, and a mediatrix is a female mediator.) Within Catholicism, there is a drive to define a new Marian dogma in which Catholics, as a matter of faith, would be obliged to accept these three doctrines: (1) Mary participates in redemption with Jesus Christ, (2) grace is granted by Jesus only through the intercession of Mary, and (3) all prayers from the faithful must flow through Mary, who brings them to the attention of her Son. This movement would, in practice, redefine the Trinity as a kind of Quartet.

The belief in Mary as a co-redemptrix would be in addition to current Catholic teaching on Mary, which states that Mary was a virgin perpetually, that she never had intercourse with her husband, Joseph; that she never had children other than Jesus; and that she was sinless and ascended into heaven. These teachings are more than unscriptural; Scripture directly refutes them.

The idea that Mary is a co-redemptrix or mediatrix contradicts 1 Timothy 2:5, which says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” Jesus is the Mediator. There is no mediator between man and Jesus. Jesus Himself dwells in believers; thus, none is required (Colossians 1:27).

Jesus is the perfect and sole Mediator between man and God because He is the sinless Son of God. Mary was not sinless. There is no Scripture whatsoever to back the claim of Mary’s sinlessness or of her assumption into heaven. This dogma was accepted as a result of papal proclamation. In the biblical narratives, Mary is pictured as a humble and submissive young woman, faithful to God, grasping the implications of what is about to happen to her, and uttering praises and doxologies (Luke 1:46–55). In fact, in her Magnificat, Mary says, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (verse 47). The clear implication of Mary’s calling God her “Savior” is that she recognized her need of salvation. Just like the rest of us, Mary needed a Savior, a Redeemer.

Jesus Himself indicated that Mary holds no special place relative to redemption or mediation. In Matthew 12:47–50, Mary and her other sons were trying to see Jesus while He was teaching. “Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ He replied to him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’ ”

Later, at the foot of the cross, Mary is a grief-stricken mother. She did not suffer for mankind as a whole; she clearly suffered her own pain and mourning. She is one of the people receiving salvation from Jesus, not a contributor to His work. She is anguished and must be cared for by the apostle John.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Mary was part of the community of believers continuing in prayer and supplication prior to Pentecost (Acts 1:14). Mary is “most blessed among women” (Luke 1:42) because she was the mother of the Messiah. But she is not divine and cannot be seen as part of the Trinity. She did not redeem us from sin and cannot be made part of the redemptive process.[1]

 

 

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

Questions about Sin: Is Sex a Sin?

 

In the proper setting, sex is not a sin. In fact, sex is God’s idea. In Matthew 19:4–6, Jesus states with godly authority, “At the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” The creation account is thus the foundation for the institution of marriage, which was validated by the Creator Himself and established to be a lifelong union between one man and woman.

The very fact that God created humanity as “male and female” reveals that we are created as sexual beings. And God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” cannot be fulfilled without sex (Genesis 1:28). Sex is a God-given mandate, so there is no way that sex is a sin if done with one’s lifelong marriage partner of the opposite sex.

The word sex is not found in the Bible. The numerous mentions of the word in society, and the world’s tendency to sneer, have given the word a certain amount of notoriety. But God never intended it to be a dirty word.

The Song of Solomon follows a loving relationship between a husband and his wife through the betrothal period, wedding night, and beyond. The description of the husband and wife’s pleasure in chapter 4 is discreet yet unmistakable in its meaning. That description is followed in 5:3 with God’s approval: “Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.”

It is only outside of marriage that sex is sinful. God made it very certain that the marriage bed must be kept pure (Hebrews 13:4). Sexual activity outside of marriage is called fornication. First Corinthians 6:9–10 says, “Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men … will inherit the kingdom of God” Engaging in sex without the benefit of marriage is immoral, and “it is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18).

If the Bible’s message on abstaining from sex until married were upheld, there would be far fewer sexually transmitted diseases, far fewer abortions, far fewer unwanted pregnancies and unwed mothers, and far few children growing up without both parents in their lives. Abstinence saves lives, protects babies, gives sexual relations the proper value and, most importantly, honors God.

In no way is sex between a husband and wife a sin. Rather, it is a beautiful expression of love, trust, sharing, and unity. Sex is God’s gift to a married couple for pleasure and procreation.[1]

 

 

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

Questions about Relationships: How Can I Heal from the Hurt of a Broken Relationship?

 

The world is full of people with broken hearts, broken spirits, and broken relationships. The pain of a broken relationship includes a very real sense of personal loss, not unlike bereavement. Sometimes the hurt is so great it prevents people from functioning properly and, in extreme cases, can result in mental breakdown or even a desire to commit suicide. The world puts forward various ways to assuage the pain: taking antidepressants, writing an angry letter and tearing it up, going on a shopping spree, getting a makeover, etc. Some advocate the power of positive thinking. The most common “cure” is time. While the intensity of a heartbreak may wane over time, only a child of God can experience complete recovery because only the Christian has access to the power of the Spirit of God, the One who “heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Jesus understands the pain of rejection. “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11, ESV). Jesus was betrayed by one of His closest associates (John 6:71; cf. Psalm 41:9). As we deal with the pain of a broken relationship, we must take our burdens to the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). He weeps with those who weep (John 11:35), and He is able to “empathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15).

A broken relationship can be the source of many negative emotions. Christians understand the futility of allowing their emotions to guide them. Jesus Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing and has made us accepted in Him (Ephesians 1:3, 6). This acceptance transcends all feelings of rejection we may have because it is not based on “hope so” but on “know so.” We know that God has accepted us because God’s Word tells us so, and as we appropriate this truth by faith, it changes our hearts and lives.

Everyone experiences the hurt of a broken relationship at one time or another. We are bound to be hurt and disappointed, for we live in a fallen world. What we choose to do with that hurt and disappointment can make us stronger in our walk with the Lord. God promises to walk through the disappointments in life with us (Hebrews 13:5), and He wants us to know His provision for us is sure. His grace and comfort are ours as we rest in Him.

Every born-again child of God has blessings in Christ, but we have to choose to utilize them. Living in constant gloom and dejection over a broken relationship is like having a million dollars in the bank and living like a pauper because we never make a withdrawal. It is also true that we cannot use what we do not know. Therefore, every believer should seek to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord” (2 Peter 3:18) and to be “transformed by the renewing of [his] mind” (Romans 12:2). We must face life armed with a real understanding what it means to walk by faith.

As believers we are not defined by past failures, disappointment, or the rejection of others. We are defined by our relationship with God. We are His children, born again to newness of life, endowed with every spiritual blessing, and accepted in Christ Jesus. We have the faith that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4).

God has prepared for each of us unique opportunities to walk through the “all things” of this life. We can either walk in our own strength and what the apostle Paul calls our “flesh,” or we can walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is our choice. God has provided us with armor, but it is up to us to wear it (Ephesians 6:11–18).

We may suffer disappointment in this life, but we are children of the King, and the rejection we experience is a momentary bump in the road to glory. We can allow that bump to derail us, or we can claim the heritage of a child of God and move forward in His grace. Like Paul, we can be “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” (Philippians 3:13).

Forgiveness of others is important to the healing process. Holding on to bitterness or nursing a grudge only poisons our own spirit. Yes, we may have been truly wronged, and, yes, the pain is real, but there is freedom in forgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift we can give because it was given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:32).

What a comfort to know the God who said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). God is always near to comfort the believer. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4). God, who cannot lie, has promised to go through our trials with us: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). In reality, feelings come from thoughts, so, to change how we feel, we should change how we think. And this is what God wants us to do. In Philippians 2:5, Christians are told, “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” In Philippians 4:8, Christians are told to think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and praiseworthy. Colossians 3:2 says to “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” As we do this, our feelings of rejection diminish.

Overcoming the hurt of a broken relationship requires taking one day at a time, praying for God’s guidance, and reading and meditating on God’s Word. The healing can never come from our own efforts; it comes only from the Lord. It helps to take our eyes off ourselves and focus on God instead. He can make us whole. He can take our brokenness and make us into what He wants us to be. A broken relationship is painful, but the Lord is gracious. He can give our lives meaning, purpose, and joy. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me I will never drive away” (John 6:37). Our Lord’s relationship with His children is one that will never be broken.[1]

 

 

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

Hillary Begins 2016 Proxy Campaign For President On Lie About Her Massive Wealth

 

What difference does the truth make anyway?

Hillary’s new book tour to support her latest fantasy novel, Hard Choices, regarding her life in Washington, is widely regarded by many to be a trial balloon for a 2016 run at the presidential campaign. During the interview, however, she made a number of comments that even her liberal interviewers raised a jaundiced eyebrow at. In the non-political world we call them “lies”.

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Tin-Foil Hat Theology [2]

hipandthigh

In part 1 of this series, I began a study in what I call tin-foil hat theology. That is individuals who are supposed to be Bible-loving Christians who believe in and promote conspiracy theories as the “real deal.”

I think I would be safe in saying that the bulk of these tin-foil hat theologians have an independent fundamentalist background, or at least that is where I find them concentrated. I am unaware of any specific Orthodox Prebyterians who are into promoting conspiracy theories on the same level as say, the fellas over at the Jesus-is-Savior website.

By the way, why is it that tin-foil hat theologians tend to promote their conspiracy theories with hideous, seizure inducing websites? Are there no Christian conspiracy people who can put together a decent looking website? Why must they all be bright, hi-liter yellow letters on a brown background with baby-blue flashing link titles and crude, rotating graphics?So here…

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Ask RC: Why are evangelicals guilty of one in six abortions in America? – R.C. Sproul Jr.

Before I offer up my thinking on the why’s, two things need to be said. First, the source of this statistic is here. Second, while we cannot know the hearts of others, it is important to understand that murder is not beyond a true believer. David, a man after God’s own heart, committed murder in order to cover up the adultery he committed. We Christians are reborn, indwelt, and we do in fact grow in grace. In addition, we do not practice gross and heinous sins. We do, however, from time to time, commit them, and in turn repent. That it is shameful that Christians do this isn’t an argument that Christians don’t do this.

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Kevin DeYoung’s article opposing gay marriage has broad appeal

WINTERY KNIGHT

Marriage and family Marriage and family

In my own secular case against gay marriage from a while back, I argued for 3 points:

  • same-sex marriage is bad for liberty, especially religious liberty
  • same-sex marriage is bad for children
  • same-sex marriage is bad for public health

My hope when I wrote that was that pastors and other Christian leaders would learn to argue for what the Bible says by using evidence from outside the Bible, so that they would be able to appeal to more people instead of only appealing to the minority of people who accept the Bible. I think that Christians who argue for their views by citing the Bible only will only be convincing to people who already accept the Bible. But there is not a majority of people who do accept the Bible as an authority, so I think that pastors have to make another plan. They need to argue…

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End Times Prophecy Headlines: June 10, 2014

End Times Prophecy Report

End Times Prophecy Report Headlines: Bible prophecy in Today's headlines. Bible prophecy in Today’s headlines.

End Times Prophecy Report
HEADLINES
June 10, 2014

CommentaryAnd OPINION

===INTERNATIONAL

VENEZUELA: Venezuela prostitutes double their earnings by moonlighting as currency traders

ISRAEL: Israel warns Iran could have 50-100 nukes in a decade

RUSSIA: In Russia, One man stands against Vladamir Putin – Sounds exciting!

RUSSIA: Sr. Russian diplomat to NATO: Don’t come any closer to our borders

RUSSIA: Russians to change name of city back to Stalingrad?

===NATIONAL

Senate Races: A toss-up or GOP tilt?  – Does there exist anyone who seriously believes that it matters?  Quick!  Name one thing the GOP accomplished the last time they controlled the Senate! (They relinquished control in 2006.)

GOP cool to impeachment, afraid it will rally Democrats – They never will run out of reason for why they do or do not do something.  It’s the Corporate Media’s job to sell the reasons to the citizens. …

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Ten Lies I Told as a Mormon Missionary

The Bible predicts a dreadful fate for liars. For instance, while banished on the island of Patmos, the Apostle John saw that “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Similarly, the beloved disciple writes, liars are doomed to an eternity outside of God’s presence (Revelation 22:15). Because Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44), lying is extremely serious sin.

As a full-time Mormon missionary from 1975 to 1977, I lied for the church countless times. Like my colleagues in the South Dakota-Rapid City Mission, which served the Dakotas and adjacent areas, I spoke truthfully about my background, but touted many Mormon teachings that contradict the Bible. After my mission ended, however, I examined these doctrines more closely. The harder I tried to reconcile the contradictions, the more evident they became. So, after extensive prayer and study, I resigned my church membership in 1984. Cheated and betrayed, I lacked spiritual life for the next 17 years. But God, knowing those who are His (John 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:19), drew me to Christ (John 6:44) and saved me in 2001. My spiritual emptiness was replaced by the abundant life only the Savior can give (John 10:10). And now, like millions of Christians worldwide, I have everlasting life through my faith in Him (John 3:36; 6:47).

I can’t remember all of my missionary lies. Some were small, others grandiose, but all were false and misleading. Here are ten I’ll never forget.

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Transgendered priest to give sermon at Washington National Cathedral

The most visible Episcopal church in the U.S. is hosting its first openly transgender priest this month.

The Rev. Cameron Partridge is set to give the June 22 sermon at the Washington National Cathedral in Northwest.

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See Also:

Obama’s Church Welcomes Transgendered Sodomite Priest To Perform Services

15 Quotes From Our Founding Fathers About Economics, Capitalism And Banking

Why have we turned our backs on the principles that this nation was founded upon? Many of those that founded this nation bled and died so that we could experience “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. And yet we have tossed their ideals aside as if they were so much rubbish. Our founders had experienced the tyranny of big government (the monarchy) and the tyranny of the big banks and feudal lords, and they wanted something very different for the citizens of the new republic that they were forming. They wanted a country where private property was respected and hard work was rewarded. They wanted a country where the individual was empowered, and where everyone could own land and start businesses. They wanted a country where there were severe restrictions on all large collections of power (government, banks and corporations all included). They wanted a country where freedom and liberty were maximized and where ordinary people had the power to pursue their dreams and build better lives for their families. And you know what? While no system is ever perfect, the experiment that our founders originally set up worked beyond their wildest dreams. But now we are killing it. Why in the world would we want to do that? (Read More….)

Of Course Obama’s Amnesty Was Going To Cause A Massive Spike In Illegal Immigration

Some of us tried to warn that this would happen. When you create incentives for people to come to the United States illegally, of course that is exactly what they are going to do. In recent months, many political observers have breathlessly been watching to see if “amnesty” for illegal immigrants will get through Congress. But as you will see below, the truth is that Barack Obama has already created a de facto policy of amnesty for most illegal immigrants, and word about it has spread quickly throughout Mexico, central America and South America. If you are an illegal immigrant living in America and you haven’t been convicted of a crime, you are probably going to get to stay. And if you would like to illegally immigrate to the United States, if you get blocked from entering a few times it is not that big of a deal. You just keep trying until you finally get in. And once you are successful, there are a whole host of “goodies” that you can sign up for – especially if you go to one of the “sanctuary cities” that Obama steadfastly refuses to crack down on. In fact, the federal government actually has a website that instructs immigrants how to sign up for welfare programs once they arrive in the United States, and the Obama administration has actually distributed flyers that inform illegal immigrants that their immigration status will not be checked when they apply for food stamps. So we shouldn’t be surprised at the massive influx of illegal immigrants that we are experiencing right now. This is a problem of our own creation. (Read More…)

‘Obama’s Lawlessness’ Responsible for Spike in Illegal Immigration

A sharp spike in illegal immigration has caused facilities and resources along the U.S.-Mexico border to become overwhelmed. As a result, U.S. Border Patrol has been releasing thousands of illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil each week. Some released immigrants are even criminals–as Breitbart Texas previously reported, more than 36,000 convicted criminal illegal aliens were released by U.S. authorities in 2013 alone….[view article]

CultureWatch: Warnings About Riches: Old Testament

Let me say at the outset, in order to avoid any misunderstandings, that I am a firm believer in wealth creation and the free market. Time and time again it has lifted the masses out of poverty like no other system. So I am certainly no socialist. Thus my concern here is how Christians use their wealth.

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CultureWatch: Warnings About Riches: New Testament

The Bible says so very much about the deceptive nature of riches. As we have seen, the Old Testament speaks to this constantly. The New Testament is equally concerned about the dangers of wealth. Only some representative examples can be given. Jesus of course had much to say on the subject.

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CultureWatch: Truth-telling and homosexuality

“If ever there was a subject which is almost universally surrounded in falsehoods, deception and misinformation,” says apologist and ethicist Bill Muehlenberg, “it is the topic of homosexuality.”

According to Muehlenberg. the liberal media will not challenge the dangerous homosexual lifestyle for fear of reprisals from the powerful and well-financed homosexual lobby. But there’s hope! Muehlenberg believes that the truth will eventually come out due largely to a few “brave voices being raised” who refuse to cave in to gay activist’s threats and intimidation. We learn the names of four of them in this piece.

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