Why We Should Have Learned Our Catechism…
Repentance is never a tool to get the victims of your heinous sins to quit calling you on it. It isn’t a tool to get out of earthly consequences. True repentance has only one object: to see the smiling face of our heavenly Father. Turn away from the rot and filth of every idol, and seek his face for we know that he is a God who abundantly pardons.
How to Respond When a Ministry or Cause You Love is Involved in a Scandal
This post is addressing those who feel compelled to try to minimize the sins of their scandalized idols, to compare abusers to truly repentant biblical examples, to silence those of us who call for reform. This post is not intended to squelch those who are calling for reform.
Faithfulness Versus Popularity
By contrast, the faithful minister is willing to boldly speak the whole truth, even when it is not popular to do so. The only way to see lives transformed from sensuality to salvation is to faithfully proclaim the message of the gospel. If those who wish to have their ears tickled are to be radically transformed, they must be confronted with the truth. To that end, the faithful expositor will not cease to preach the Word.
Leaving Baptist in Your Church Name Won’t Scare People Away
It’s a tricky line to walk. Naming your denomination may come across as more “rigid” or “old-fashioned,” but leaving the name out can appear sneaky or unstable, according to a 2013 Grey Matter Research study. Either way, a church’s name isn’t going to drastically change the way the public perceives it, according to a new study from the Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
So How Do I Really Know I’m a Christian?
They claim that looking at the heart, looking at our deeds, looking at a life of discipleship, looking at a basic faith commitment has no bearing on whether you know you’re a Christian. Even if these were absent there would be no grounds for questioning your position in Christ. Is this good biblical counsel and pastoral care? Is there anything a professing Christian can say or do or fail to manifest that would suggest a profession is false?
Preachers Must Sweat Out the Text
Furthermore, the preacher is one who has worn out a path to the throne of grace petitioning for the hearts of his people to ‘get it’. The preacher is convinced of the urgency and power of the message; he really believes that what he is about to say is exactly what God wants these people to hear, therefore, it is the most important thing in the world for them to attend to at that very moment.
“Sex Change” Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know
Ihlenfeld worked with Benjamin for six years and administered sex hormones to 500 transsexuals. Ihlenfeld shocked Benjamin by publicly announcing that 80 percent of the people who want to change their gender shouldn’t do it. Ihlenfeld said: “There is too much unhappiness among people who have had the surgery…Too many end in suicide.” Ihlenfeld stopped administering hormones to patients experiencing gender dysphoria and switched specialties from endocrinology to psychiatry so he could offer such patients the kind of help he thought they really needed.
Smartphones, Tablets, and Christian Parenting
Don’t get me wrong, I think the digital revolution is largely a good thing. I think children should be reared to see technology as a tool to be used for kingdom priorities. But there’s far too much at stake to turn a developing psyche loose, with no boundaries, with a technology that could psychically and spiritually cripple him or her (and a future family, too), for a lifetime and thereafter. Technology is good. Turning our children over to the cyber-wilderness is not.
Baptizing Children – Church & Culture Blog
A Baptist church in Ohio set off a heated debate when it decided to baptize an infant. Most Baptists would maintain that only those able to make a mature confession of faith should enter the waters.
But hold on.
The Southern Baptist Convention – the nation’s largest Protestant denomination – routinely baptizes children age 5 and under. In fact, a task force report found that this was the only baptism demographic in the SBC showing growth. So while most Baptists don’t practice infant baptism, they seem fine with toddler baptism.
This isn’t about those faith traditions that embrace paedobaptism. That’s another conversation. This is about those who do not. And for those who do not, there is no excuse for those embracing a theology of “Believer’s Baptism” to baptize those who are clearly too young to understand what they are doing, much less remember it.
So why are they?
How Should the Church Talk About Same-Sex Attraction?
by Pastor J.D.
This is the first of a five-part blog series on same-sex attraction. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for part 2 (“Is same-sex attraction wrong? If so, why?”), on Wednesday for part 3 (“What do I do if I’m attracted to people of the same sex?”), on Thursday for part 4 (“How do I love my gay friend?”), and on Friday for part 5 (“Concluding Thoughts”).
I get asked about homosexuality a lot. And over the past few years, I have grown to see this issue not strictly as a theologian, but more like a friend, like a pastor.
I think, for instance, of Brennan, a young man in our church—and a close personal friend. He was very active in our leadership for many years, but he had a secret. He had a same-sex attraction that had led to several bouts with pornography and a string of hook-ups with guys he met in chat rooms. He has wrestled with this now for several years.
Recently, Brennan and I had a long conversation. “You know,” he said, “I understand that acting on this is wrong. I can’t read the Bible in a responsible way and not conclude that. But there’s no way I chose to be like this. It wasn’t like in seventh grade I suddenly decided this is how I want to be. I was never abused or anything. It just seems to be something that I’ve always had with me, even though in many ways I have it under control. I imagine that this is going to be a struggle for me, until the day that I die.”
I remain very close to Brennan. I love him. My kids love him. I’ve had to learn not merely to answer Brennan’s theological questions, but to feel his pain, to grapple with his questions from his point of view.
Three Observations about Tony Campolo’s acceptance of committed gay relationships
by Denny Burk
Tony Campolo has released a statement today calling for “full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.” Campolo has long been a stalwart of the theological left, so this announcement is no surprise. Still, it is significant as another prominent leader moves away from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. He is not the first to have done this, and he will not be the last. American Christianiaty will be in a period of winnowing for the foreseeable future, and there will be more to come.
A few observations about Campolo’s announcement:
Are Christians Really the Arrogant Ones?
by Michael Kruger
When religious matters are debated in our culture–e.g., the existence of God, what God is like, morals and ethics–there is an implicit set of rules that everyone is obligated to follow. Number one on this list of unspoken rules it that you can never claim to know anything about God with any level of certainty.
Wow, That Didn’t Take Long
The reason why Jesus compared the days of Noah to the last days is because Noah’s time was when the earth was filled with violence. Another thing the Lord pointed out that matches our day is the inability to know how much we are in danger of judgment. In Barack Obama’s America, there is only perpetual sunshine. Never mind the fact that the economy is crumbling and our foreign policy is a mess. Once Christians leave in the Rapture, the flood that comes to wash away today’s sinners will be a flood of fire.
Prosperity Preacher Creflo Dollar to Get Coveted $70 Million Dollar Jet
Dollar, whose teachings state that God wants all Christians to be prosperous and that material wealth is a sign of God’s favor, will get the coveted jet after the board of directors for his nonprofit organization known as “World Changers Church International” approved the purchase.
Unraveling: Distress with Perplexity of Nations
Jan Markell and Eric Barger first talk to Anne Graham Lotz about the unraveling and distress with perplexity among the nations as history winds down. Is God trying to get the world’s attention? Anne reminds us that God always warns before judgment. They also focus on the hope of Heaven in dark times. They discuss the wounding by God’s people of each other and how this can cause many to walk away from the Lord and the church. Then Jan Markell talks to filmmaker George Escobar who is producing a theater version of “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell.” Find that current documentary about Anita Dittman here. Find the book only here. We use the mobile app at http://www.oneplace.com.
Isaiah 17, An Oracle Against Damascus
In the past couple of years it has become even clearer that Isaiah’s prophecy of the destruction of Damascus will soon come to fulfillment, perhaps being part of the Psalm 83 scenario I’ve written about. If so, it would explain why Syria is not included among the coalition of Moslem nations who will gather against Israel in the Battle of Ezekiel 38. even though at least part of the attack on Israel will come through land currently occupied by Syria (Ezek. 38:6). Let’s review what God had Isaiah say about this.
An Oracle Concerning Damascus:
Life is full of difficult circumstances. Life inevitably involves circumstances that we would never have chosen on our own. Yet, the Bible assures, God does not work his grace in his people despite circumstances, but right through the middle of them.
Do you struggle to read the Bible? Do you want to read the Bible more than you do? Do you often start a Bible reading plan, only to quit after a week?
Gay marriage is not primarily about gay marriage; it’s mainly about silencing gay consciences.
Given that so few homosexuals and lesbians actually marry when given legal opportunity, their vigorous and often vicious campaign for gay marriage has always puzzled me.
Again and again I have been asked: How do I get my faith from my head to my heart? The great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky may not answer in so many words, but his experience points us in the right direction.
ISIS Is A Preview Of The World During The Time Of The Great Tribulation (VIDEO)
We are looking through the glass of the window of prophecy and literally watching the forces of the Tribulation rising to life.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4 (KJV)
We live in the most technologically-advanced civilization in world history. There is an app for everything, social media is how we connect, and computers and the human body are in the processing of merging. Because of these advances, many have said and are saying that Bible prophecy cannot be true because in the book of Revelation it shows a decidedly low-tech view of the world.
Armies riding on horseback, swords are the main weapons, and people being beheaded is how Revelation says it’s going to happen. That would be a giant leap backward, right? Maybe not. Perhaps we are already heading in that direction right now.
The rise of ISIS is not only a regional issue but it is a global issue fraught with spiritual and prophetical implications as well. Seemingly overnight, ISIS, a barbaric killing force of biblical proportions has been raised up and is terrorizing the Middle East with no foreseeable end in sight. Even months of United States led air strikes has done nothing to slow their ascent. But if you have ever read the Old Testament, then you know exactly who ISIS is and where they came from. The world is in a transition period right now., and God is raising up the forces of the end times.
Photos Of ISIS Executions Released: WARNING EXTREMELY GRAPHIC
At this very moment, we are in the closing hours of what the Bible calls the Age of Grace, otherwise known as the Church Age. This period of time will end in an event known as the Pretribulation Rapture of the Church. The Rapture is not the Second Coming, those two events are separated by the Great Tribulation which Jeremiah calls the “time of Jacob’s trouble”. But we are so close to that time that we are experiencing an overlap in dispensations. We are looking through the glass of the window of prophecy and literally watching the forces of the Tribulation rising to life.
I believe that ISIS will form the nucleus of the army of the Antichrist, and I also believe that there will be a merger between Islam and the Vatican. The Antichrist has a partner known as the False Prophet, a religious figure that creates the One World Religion and directs worship to the Antichrist. Pope Francis, for reasons stated here, is an excellent candidate for the role of the False Prophet.
So as you watch the videos of ISIS conducting their endless beheadings, crucifixions and amputations, go back and reread the book of Revelation. Then read the books of Joel and Jeremiah. You are watching prophecy from the pages of the King James Version 1611 Authorized Version Holy Bible being fulfilled in your sight and in your hearing. There is nothing left to be fulfilled for the Rapture of the Church to take place.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” Revelation 4:1 (KJV)
Our days are the days of prophecy. The war is real, the battle is hot and the time is short. To the fight!
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Is Pride A Sin?
Q. I have a question about pride. In our Bible study last night, someone said that he didn’t agree that pride is all that bad. His example was that he takes pride in his job, not so much in the job title, but that he takes pride in doing a good job at what he does.
Other members of the group brought up the issue of motives and that we do all for the glory and honor of God. And that sin is compared to leaven in the OT in that leaven puffs up and that is what pride does, it puffs us up.
My question is, are we straining at mere use of words, or should we take “pride” in making sure we do a good job, or is all pride (in whatever form) sin?
Q. I am wondering about the unequally yoked issue. I don’t understand the principle of an unrighteous person being made righteous because they happen to be married to a believer when they themselves are not a believer. Does the unrighteous one being made righteous mean that the believer may somehow “cover” their non believing spouse? What if there are children involved and what is the right thing according to God when the unbelieving spouse begins to teach their views against God to the children?
Pregnant At The Rapture
Q. I have a question that I am pretty sure is not covered in the Bible, but I was just curious about your thoughts on the matter.
I am six months pregnant. I was thinking about what would happen if I was taken in the Rapture today. Would I still be pregnant in Heaven? I believe that if I did give birth, it would not be painful at all. But if time does not exist in Heaven, then people could not age. So would my unborn child always be a child?
I know that Heaven is a concept my mind will never be able to grasp while on Earth, but these are things I think about.
“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime
9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.
The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?
Our Time is Short
Ready to start your new life with God?
Who do you think that I am?
With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.
Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.
Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more
Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!
30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.
New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed
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