A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Category Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Picture two Jews on the night of the first Passover

Whatever you do, spare atleast 3 minutes and 28 seconds today, and watch a wonderful and powerful illustration from Don Carson at the recent Bethlehem College & Seminary Pastors Conference:
HT: The Gospel Coalition.

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Do you miss men in Church and at home?

Conrad Mbewe from Zambia reports men are missing in many places not only in the work place but also at homes and even church. No, not that he can’t see any of the male species in all these spheres but what is irking is that so few of them seem to be rising to the calling that God has given to them as men in society. Furthermore on the missing men….

prayingLook at the family, for instance. Many men are as good as absent. They seem to be content to being served rather than playing their God-given roles of presider, protector, and provider. There is little effort at leading family devotions, home maintenance, and discipling the kids.

In society where men were once dominant, the trend is also fast reversing. Apart from the push from the West to kick women out of the kitchen and put them at par with men in the business world, men seem to see the workplace as a place where you only go to make money. …Read More!

Seven (7) things your church should not do in missions

The Great Commission is a clear command of Jesus to his church. By and large, part of what it means to be an evangelical church is to support the spread of the gospel to those who have never heard it. Based on decades of experience on the other side of the equation (Zane Pratt as a field worker living overseas), has a list of 7 things your church should NOT do as it considers its involvement in fulfilling the Great Commission:

church1. You should not ignore the missionary imperative.
Lots of excuses can be given for doing nothing about global missions other than, perhaps, an occasional missions offering. Taking the gospel to the unreached is expensive, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and sometimes even unhealthy or dangerous. There are so many lost people right around you where you live. You have so many needs within your own church. The list could go on. …Read More!

Spearheading the gospel into unreached regions is risky BUT…

Spearheading the gospel into unreached regions is risky says church planter and missionary David Sitton. You see…

david sittonIn the time it takes to read this blog post, another Christian will be killed because of his or her faith in Jesus Christ. 160,000 believers around the world will be slaughtered this year alone. . . simply because they love Jesus.

This should not be a news flash. The physical risk of “going public with the glory of God” among Satan-dominated peoples is obvious. Jesus warned his disciples that they would probably be “chugged” (disposed of quickly and without pause), just as lions chomp through lambs (Matthew 10:16; 1 Peter 5:8). That is the likely reality of identifying with Jesus in this world; and most shrivel up at the thought.

However, Scripture describes the butchering of believers as horrifically beautiful. Horrible because of the indescribable torment endured by so many; but stunningly beautiful in their humble Christ-likeness as they are afflicted, persecuted, struck down; but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). As one Chinese Christian martyr confidently testified to his tormentors, “You can kill me, but you can’t hurt me and you can’t stop my testimony!” When Jesus followers are crushed by suffering, the aroma of Christ stretches out even more widely and rapidly among the peoples (2 Corinthians 2:14-16; Acts 8:1). …Read More!

Encouraging news: Church planting in Lyon France

William Carey’s 11 Commandments of Missions

An interesting piece here on William Carey’s 11 pieces of advice on missions:

  1. Set an infinite value on immortal souls.
  2. Gain all the information you can about “the snares and delusions in which these heathens are held.”
  3. Abstain from all English manners which might increase prejudice against the gospel.
  4. Watch for all opportunities for doing good, even when you are tired and hot.
  5. Make Christ crucified the great subject of your preaching.
  6. Earn the people’s confidence by your friendship. …Read More!

Are these your feelings about sin? If not, you should doubt whether your religion is “authentic.”

sermon notesIf I came  across Osteen’s sermon notes and they read something like this I would be somewhat encouraged:

“Christianity which is from the Holy Spirit will always have a very deep view of the sinfulness of sin. It will not merely regard sin as a blemish and misfortune, which makes men and women objects of pity, and compassion. It will see in sin the abominable thing which God hates, the thing which makes man guilty and lost in his Maker’s sight, the thing which deserves God’s wrath and condemnation. It will look on sin as the cause of all sorrow and unhappiness, of strife and wars, of quarrels and contentions, of sickness and death–the curse which cursed God’s beautiful creation, the cursed thing which makes the whole earth groan and struggle in pain. Above all, it will see in sin the thing which will ruin us eternally, unless we can find a ransom,–lead us captive, except we can get its chains broken,–and destroy our happiness, both here and hereafter, except we fight against it, even unto death. Is this your religion? Are these your feelings about sin? If not, you should doubt whether your religion is “authentic.” – J. C. Ryle

HT Friends on FB for this quote.

Who was Samuel Zwemer?

zwemerIf you have never heard of Samuel Zwemer, he was one of the first American long term missionaries to…wait for it…the Arab world of the Middle East. He sought to go about God’s mission aspiring not to be famous but to be faithful:

Some missionaries are known for their great fruit, their many converts, churches they started, or hospitals they helped build. Samuel Zwemer is not known for these things. After 38 years of missions work throughout Arabia, the Persian Gulf, Egypt and Asia Minor, Samuel had seen his efforts produce fewer than 12 conversions to Christianity.

Yet producing converts was not the ultimate goal for Samuel. The man who would become known as the Apostle to Islam wrote “The chief end of missions is not the salvation of men but the glory of God.” We are faithful to God’s call on our lives for no other ultimate goal than that of bringing glory to God.

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John Bunyan: SIN is the dare of God’s justice…

 IMG_5136“Sin is the dare of God’s justice, the rape of His mercy, the jeer of His patience, the slight of His power, and the contempt of His love”~ John Bunyan

Test your child’s theology with five questions….

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Test your child’s theology with five questions and then teach him some more. Here are the first five questions:

1. Who made you?

A. God.

2. What else did God make?

A. God made all things.

3. Why did God make you and all things?

A. For his own glory.

4. How can you glorify God?

A. By loving him and doing what he commands.

5. Why ought you to glorify God?

A. Because he made me and takes care of me.

Excerpt from Catechism for Young Children. (An Introduction to the Shorter Catechism) For free down load click here.

HT Reformed Gene via FB.

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Conundrums: Did Jesus Go To Hell Between his Death And Resurrection?

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Joyce Meyerand several other preachers say that Jesus suffered in hell. My good friend Tim Prussic got stuck with the same question when going through the Heidelberg catechism. So I decided to look for afew answers to this conundrum. So did Jesus go to hell or not? Well here is something to munch on (get your bible closer too)….

There is a great deal of confusion in regards to this question. This concept comes primarily from the Apostles’ Creed, which states, “He descended into hell.” There are also a few Scriptures which, depending on how they are translated, describe Jesus going to “hell.” In studying this issue, it is important to first understand what the Bible teaches about the realm of the dead.

In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word used to describe the realm of the dead is sheol. It simply means the “place of the dead” or…

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Free morning and evening Spurgeon devotional Ebook 

If you like Spurgeon you will like this Morning and Evening devotional [pdf]…

A wealth of Biblical meditations from Spurgeon with applications that are relevant for contemporary Christians. Spurgeon’s characteristically pithy comments hit home with a wit and elegance rarely found in other writing. Christians young and old will find his words challenging and stimulating.

HT to Twenty of the best daily Devotionals by Word + Life.

Preparing for a (Humorous) Reformed Baptist Christmas!

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

This is an old humorous clip. It features a Baptist Church singing about Christmas (Er, plus 12 Doctrines that their pastor taught them). The kids seem to learn an earful in one seating…Please, sing along! 🙂

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Dad, should Christians celebrate Christmas?

IMG_5001.PNGIt’s coming to that time of the year and Christmas is in the air as they say. From movies to merchandising ads every one seems to have the same Christmas thought. Or do they? Say, your little ankle biters walk over to you and this year tell you they are not going to celebrate Christmas. What will you tell them are your reasons for celebrating or not? Here is a good link with resourceful answers…

The debate [reports Got Questions] about whether or not Christians should celebrate Christmas has been raging for centuries. There are equally sincere and committed Christians on both sides of the issue, each with multiple reasons why or why not Christmas should be celebrated in Christian homes. But what does the Bible say? Does the Bible give clear direction as to whether Christmas is a holiday to be celebrated by Christians?

First, let’s look at the reasons why some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. One argument against Christmas is that the traditions surrounding the holiday have origins in paganism.

…Read more!

A poem for CHRISTIANS who have lost all their livelihood to ISIS and jihadists

IMG_4991.JPG When we read of persecution and hear of despicable things being done to Christian fathers, mothers and children by people filled with hatred and violence we should remember this was similar to the times of Habakkuk in the time of the Babylonian invasion. At a time when Habakkuk reports his belly trembled with fear, his lips quivered and he felt rottenness in his bones in the day of trouble. Yet his encouragement came from putting his trust in the one True God.
Consider this an encouragement and a poem to all those who have lost everything or are on the verge of losing everything to ISIS OR BOKO HARAM ….

…Read More!

How can I go Geocaching with the gospel?

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

If you have ever stubbed your toe on a rock or stumbled on an innocuous stick and there after chucked the offending ‘litter’ into a bonfire or into a nearby pond then you may have missed seeing the angry face of a bamboozled geocacher the next day as he looked for his lost ‘cache’. So then, what is geocaching you ask? …Read More!

The end result of prosperity gospel is to take you away from the cross. Here is why!

Any time one turns away from the true gospel of grace and the cross to another ‘gospel’ they will always drift and even the sound of the cross will be as an insult and an indignation. Many teachers of prosperity gospel don’t think much of sin and how men ought to turn away from sin and embrace Christ through repentance but are leading as many followers into eternal damnation by promising there is a god who only wants to give them dominion in material wealth and gain-which is really sad. Here in this video is a Prosperity and Word of faith teacher demonstrating how rather un-important talking about the cross and redemption in the atoning work of Christ is . Oh! Mr prosperity preacher I would like to remind you of the importance of the cross to a worm and sinner in the words of the good old hymn that:

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Jesus is mighty to save those who repent…

                  “Mighty to save.” -Isaiah 63:1

spurgeonBy the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but He is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but He is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of His name to bend the knee before Him.

…Read More!

Pleading with Africa’s unreached to come, come to Christ!

Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U) has been relentlessly preaching, pleading and imploring the heathens in Northern Western Uganda plus refugees from Southern Sudan to be reconciled with God. The message is the same every day …Come to Christ:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:20-21)

20140427-080931.jpg Jacob Lee of Reaching Africa’s Unreached at one of their preaching points in Moyo, Uganda.
Follow R.A.U on Facebook here.
Visit R.A.U online here.

Best Easter Caption: A Roman soldier’s recollection [German subtitles]

On a lighter note:

20130401-171603.jpg Loosely translated:

Dude? If it wasn’t you then who said “Good Morning”?

HT Jim West.

7 signs your church could be backsliding

Is your church following the Word and ways of the Lord and abhorring all that is otherwise? Is the fear of God, the love for truth and for God’s glory, and the desire to walk according to all God’s commandments prospering among the believers? When a church begins to slip it loses track of that which it must hold to firmly, it gradually and steadily drifts. Here are a few signs your church could be backsliding….

1.When [a] church begins to backslide, the first visible sign is usually an increase in worldliness. In everyday lives, in conversation, and even in dress and fashion, the spirit of the world begins to infest church circles. What crept ashamedly into the church before begins to walk in freely, often covered or overlooked instead of exposed and admonished. The black and white line separating godliness and worldliness becomes increasingly grayer.

Instead of walking in opposite directions, the world and the church begin to have more in common with each other, much to the church’s detriment…

…is this not what Hosea warned against when the Spirit directed him to write, “Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people” (Hos 7:8)? The sin of increasing worldliness is the church’s first downward and tragic step in the spiral of backsliding.

2.Worldliness bends the church towards further backsliding and into a hardening condition of unbelief. Jesus Himself complained of His generation, “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented” (Mat 11:16-17). …Read More!

Whoa! This guy bleeds the gospel!

Listen to this clip….
Dr Steve Lawson and Todd Friel. …Read more!

When looking for a church beware of churches who…

Should Africa re-think homosexuality?

Sandala Mwanje from Zambia writes an interesting article on Africa’s position on homosexuality. Most African countries will take the stand against the legalization of homosexuality on the premise that it is against their culture.  How about Christians in Africa should they hold to the same mantra? Will this stance stand the test of time? He writes…

africaCulture is not static—it changes. Therefore if culture is the only basis upon which [Africans] are rejecting the legalization of homosexuality, then we are just postponing the problem. The Kenyan author and self proclaimed gay, Binyavanga Wainaina, is right when he says, “I’m extremely optimistic about rapid transformation and change of things in Africa in general.” In addition Mr. Wainaina says “It’s set off. It cannot stop. It’s going to be turbulent. There’ll be dark bits and there’ll be bright bits, but it’s a speed train.”[1]Part of what is going to make this train move even faster is the pressure from the western countries. On 28th February 2014, BBC reported that the World Bank postponed 90million dollars in aid because the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had signed a bill that criminalized homosexuality in Uganda.[2] …Read More!

5 marks of the Holy Spirit in a Believer

1. The Spirit awakens a person’s heart.

2. The Spirit leads to the Word.

3. The Spirit convinces of sin.

4. The Spirit makes a person love the brethren.

5. The Spirit teaches a person to pray.                      ~ J.C Ryle

HT J.C Ryle Archive

The problem with false Evangelism

“The trouble with all false evangelism is that it does not start with doctrine, it does not start by realising man’s condition… If you and I realised that every man who is yet a sinner is absolutely dominated by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, if we only understood that he is really a child of wrath and dead in trespasses and sins, we would realise that only one power can deal with such an individual, and that is the power of God, the power of the Holy Ghost. …Read More!

9 signs your church is growing in the right direction

church growthMark Dever in his book, What Is a Healthy Church? writes, “When you peer into the life of a church, the growth of its members can show up in all sorts of ways.”   Here are just a few good examples – though of course this is not an exhaustive list :

  1. Growing numbers being called to missions—“I’ve enjoyed sharing the gospel with my neighbors from South America. I wonder if God is calling me to …”
  2. Older members getting a fresh sense of their responsibility in evangelism and in discipling younger members—“Why don’t you come over for dinner?”
  3. Younger members attending the funerals of older members out of love—“As a single man in my twenties, it was so good to be taken in by Mr. and Mrs.…”
  4. Increased praying in the church and more prayers centered on evangelism and ministry opportunities—“I’m starting an evangelistic Bible study at work and I’m a little nervous. Would the church pray that …”
  5. More members sharing the gospel with outsiders. …Read More!

A Christian’s spiritual fight and conflict…

A quote by J.C Ryle …

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R.C Sproul: I have some regrets…

I found this excerpt quite interesting…

regrets“Do you have any regrets? I have some regrets…I’m ashamed…all the junk I know…all the theme songs of all the TV shows, all the pop songs, all the garbage in my head…because of all the time I wasted. What if I had been studying the bible instead of watching TV, what if I would have been reading great theology instead of listening to all the rock stars of the day?”- RC Sproul on Believing God

HT Friends on FB

Preparing for a (Humorous) Reformed Baptist Christmas!

This is an old humorous clip. It features a Baptist Church singing about Christmas (Er, plus 12 Doctrines that their pastor taught them). The kids seem to learn an earful in one seating…Please, sing along! 🙂

20121108-205419.jpg

Jim Elliot on Missions

“You wonder why people choose fields away from the States when young people at home are drifting because no one wants to take time to listen to their problems. Ill tell you why I left. Because those Stateside young people have every opportunity to study, hear, and understand the Word of God in their own language, and these Indians have no opportunity whatsoever. I have had to make a cross of two logs, and lie down on it, to show the Indians what it means to crucify a man. When there is that much ignorance over here and so much knowledge and opportunity over there, I have no question in my mind why God sent me here. Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it—while these never heard of such a thing as writing.”
Jim Elliot

 

Strength at a difficult time in life.

winnie 1Death – O how cruel you are!  I recently lost my sister (at 4.00am on 11th October 2013), Miss Winnie Amaguru,  just a few days after her thirty ninth birthday and the last couple of days have been tough. The funeral service preparations and preparations for burial have had a physical and emotional drain on me. Yet in all this I am  seeing the providential hand of God’s comfort.

In the next few days I will be travelling from London back to Uganda where I will present the body to the rest of the family. We intend to give my sister a decent burial and thank God for the short time He loaned her to us. …Read More!

Parents: Do you know where your children are?

A very interesting article on Christian parenting….

I got into a brief conversation with one my classmates the other day. He is a youth minister and was telling me that one of his greatest challenges is dealing with parents who want him to talk to their teens regarding unChristian behavior. The challenge is not so much talking to the teen but to the parent who insists that their child is a Christian and therefore should be exhibiting Christian behavior. In other words, there is denial that the child may not actually be a Christian.

Now as a parent, I certainly understand where this insistence comes from. You have established your home as a Christian home. Christ and his church have taken priority. You want your own commitment to Christ reflective in your household. No doubt, your children have been immersed in church from birth – Sunday school, VBS, Awana. Hopefully you have spent time with them at home training and exposing them to God’s word and to prayer. It seems reasonable then that they should turn out to be Christian. And let’s be honest, there is a level of personal pride to say that we have intact Christian homes. …Read More!

Explaining the seven trumpets of Revelation

“A man says to me, “Can you explain the seven trumpets of the Revelation?” No, but I can blow one in your ear and warn you to escape from the wrath to come.” ~ CHARLES SPURGEON

The church in Legionowo (Poland)

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This year the Grace Baptist Mission church planting group in Legionowo, Poland opened their new meeting place. They have had a number of breakthroughs in their work.

Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. After years of being a Soviet satellite state, labour turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union “Solidarity” that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A “shock therapy” program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, but Poland still faces the lingering challenges of high unemployment, underdeveloped and dilapidated infrastructure, and a poor rural underclass. Poland remains a strongly Roman Catholic country with more than 90% of the population claiming allegiance to that church.
…Watch Video Below

A night of Hope? But why?

night of hopeEver watched a mime perform and wished that he would clearly articulate the message he is dying to bring across? The audience a mime has will interprete his gesticulations with a degree of error because most of it is shrouded. But if he speaks and articulates his message, then the listeners are illumined. They are then not in any doubt of the original intention of the message bearer. A good message bearer delivers what he is entrusted with, without subtracting or altering it and leaves his audience with the intended message so that they are without any excuse. This is probably why miming (though is truly entertaining) falls short in many ways in delivering the Gospel message (which requires the hearers to know the name and person of Jesus Christ). Speaking of incomplete messages there’s one other thing….(ha ha look what I just did there!)

There are many conferences going on around us that supposedly are ‘bringing hope’ to the world or ‘happiness’ to the community. These in themselves are not bad but if it comes in the name of ‘Jesus’ then it has got to be clear in it’s intended message. Hope – why does the world need hope? …Read More!

Why do Today’s trendy sermons have a wide road to Salvation (but lack repentance)?

Martin Lloyd Jones once said:

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The preaching and teaching of a false prophet does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way leading to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need not be aware of the blackness of your own heart. You just “decide for Christ” and you rush in with the crowd, and your name is put down, and is one of the large number of ‘decisions’ reported by the press. It is entirely unlike the evangelism of the Puritans and of John Wesley, George Whitefield and others, which led men to be terrified of the judgment of God, and to have an agony of soul sometimes for days and weeks and months. John Bunyan tells us in his book Grace Abounding that he endured an agony of repentance for eighteen months. There does not seem to be much room for that today.

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“The man of God” personality cult has made the Charismatic movement thrive in Africa.

churchConrad Mbewe a pastor of a little church in Kabwata in Africa has written an interesting post on the growth of Charismatic movement in Africa to the point that there is now a fringe mystic personality that has replaced the local witch doctor. This personality called ‘the man of God’ has become an ‘anointed guru’ who brings deliverance, breaks generational curses and dishes out break-throughs at a local center where you have to come ready to sow a seed. Oh let me not spoil the article for you…

Many explanations have been given for the explosion of the Charismatic movement in Africa. Many have seen this as a powerful visitation of the Holy Spirit. Whereas there is probably more than one reason, I want to add my own observation to this for what it is worth. In this blog post, I do not refer to the old conservative form of Pentecostalism once represented by the Assemblies of God churches. I have in mind the current extreme form that is mushrooming literally under every shrub and tree in Africa. How can one explain this phenomenon?

I think that one reason why the Charismatic movement in Africa has been like a wild bushfire is because it has not challenged the African religious worldview but has instead adopted it. It has simply baptised it with Bible verses and Christian words that previously meant something totally different.
The African Spiritual Worldview
Let me explain what I mean. The African spiritual worldview consists of four tiers.
1. God
2. Angels and demons
3. Ancestral spirits
4. Human beings
It is because of this reality that Africans do not question the existence of God, as is the case with many people in the Western world. To an African, God is there. He is the Creator and ultimate Governor and Benefactor of the whole universe.
Rather, in our spiritual worldview, although God is there he is very far away. Between him and us as human beings lie two layers in the spirit world. One is that of angels and demons (i.e. bad angels) and the other—which is even closer to us—is that of the spirits of the departed.
So, although God is a benevolent, loving, and caring Being, unless the beings that dwell in these two layers that lie between him and us are appeased, his blessings cannot reach us. It is, therefore, important to appease the ancestral spirits and defeat the demons. Only after that will God’s blessings come upon us.
This is where in African traditional religions witchdoctors come in. …Read More!

Longings after God…

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. How precious it is to have a tender sense and clear apprehension of the mystery of godliness, of true holiness! What a blessedness to be like Thee as much as it is possible for a creature to be like its creator! Lord, give me more of Thy likeness; enlarge my soul to contain fullness of holiness; engage me to live more for Thee. Help me to be less pleased with my spiritual experiences, and when I feel at ease after sweet communings, teach me it is far too little I know and do. Blessed Lord, let me climb up near to Thee, and love, and long, and plead, and wrestle with Thee, and pant for deliverance from the body of sin, for my heart is wandering and lifeless, and my soul mourns to think it should ever lose sight of its beloved. Wrap my life in divine love, and keep me ever desiring Thee, always humble and resigned to Thy will, more fixed on Thyself, that I may be more fitted for doing and-suffering.~Puritan Prayers (Valley of Vision)

Atheists hear the gospel for the first time.

The longer version of the video is here: …Read More!

Alas! The Emperor in the West has no clothes on!

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Looking at the trends in the West through the eyes of Christians in Africa it appears as though, says Conrad Mbewe, the Western Emperor is marauding with no clothes on. Yet no one dares say….

Even if you tried to bury your head in the sand, you can still hear the tremor in the ground of the Western carnival that is coming. The music and dancing are getting louder and louder. It is one of human-rights-with-no-holds-barred. It is coming with all the revelry that you would expect. It cannot be ignored.

However, one problem with this procession is that it long left its original route. There are no principles to guide it, except the whims of those who are hiding behind its masks and leading it in whichever direction they please. Even those of us who are in Africa are totally alarmed by its lack of principles.

The other problem is that the issues being fought for under the guise of human rights are so patently wrong that an African like me stands aghast as I look at the current campaigns, debates, and legal reforms in the West. I am asking myself, “But can’t everyone see that the emperor walking in front has no clothes on?”

A century or two ago, Christian missionaries came from the West and taught us the Bible. As a result of this, we did away with polygamy, cannibalism, tribal feuds, etc. We were taught to put on more clothing to hide our nakedness. We learned to desist from tattooing our bodies, which were now temples of the living God. We even stopped sacrificing our babies to ancestral spirits.

The perplexing turn-around
All this made sense. It was logical, once you realised that we were all created by God and in his image. But, alas, the very principles that we were taught from Scripture are now being abandoned wholesale by the countries where our missionaries came from! Sadly, the basic questions are not being answered in this turn-around. As a result, we are bewildered. A few examples should suffice:

Abortion: Who in the West does not know that life begins at conception? It must be obvious to all, therefore, that abortion is murder. Surely, we all know that we are killing fellow human beings in their mothers’ wombs in the millions every year. How come, then, that this reckless killing of babies is not being stopped?

Indecency: It is shocking to see what some adults wear when they leave their homes in the West. They leave very little to the imagination! As if that is not enough, billboard adverts all over the cities are full of naked women, or men and women poised in sexually suggestive positions. As for television and movies, indecency seems to be the stock of the trade. Add to this, public erotic kissing at stations and airports, etc. When visiting the West, I often feel like shouting, “Hey, guys, am I the only one around here who knows that all this is indecent?”

“Living together”: It is commonplace now in the West to have a man and a woman living together who are not married. Their parents know it and they just shrug their shoulders. How? I mean, how? How can a man start living with your daughter without getting your permission, as if she just fell from the sky? Surely it must be wrong. But again, are we the only ones who are seeing the obvious?

…Read More!

Stampedes for holy water, prosperity seekers and disgruntled word of faith congregations

Christianity in Africa is some times very mystical that it borders witchcraft. No, and I do not mean the video game. Ever since prosperity gospel and word of faith teaching drifted in to churches there has been fringe theology sprinkled with Charismatic mysticism. Not many people read their bibles or even see any relevance in doing so. What some pastors are doing in the name of Christianity makes Judas appear a choir boy. A recent report highlighted that...

20130805-102257.jpg“People are leaving churches. Some practice fellowship in their homes, but some leave the church and go back to their old lifestyles. Some leave to stay at home and do nothing,” Thuso writes in Where Are We Heading To? The book critiques the “obsession” of some pastors for material things and large congregations.

“This is because of the disappointments people experience with churches and church leadership. This is more prevalent with so-called spirit-filled or charismatic churches,” Kewana adds in his book. “The greed for worldly wealth, huge church membership numbers, and fame form the cornerstone of such dissatisfaction engulfing the congregants and encouraging them to leave the church of God. Pastors are involved in all sorts of ungodly behaviors.”

The prosperity gospel appears to most find its home in the “word of faith,” or name-it-and-claim-it movement, which positions some charismatic preachers as special carriers of God’s favor and power. These particular ministers are then often looked to by hopeful Christians as their key or source to divine healing and blessings.

A recent example unfolded in a deadly way in May, when a stampede broke out at Temitope Balogun (T.B.) Joshua’s Synagogue Church of All Nations in Ghana. At least four people were killed and 30 others injured when a throng of 1,000 people made a frantic rush to get a hold of free holy water, which usually costs $39.36 and was presumably blessed by Joshua, a popular self-declared Nigerian prophet who has churches around the globe. …Read More!

Why aren’t Christians popular? Why are they persecuted and called ‘bigoted’?

“We have no reason to be discouraged and cast down if the religion we profess is not popular and few agree with us. We must remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in this passage: ‘The gate is narrow’. Repentance, and faith in Christ, and holiness of life, have never been fashionable. The true flock of Christ has always been small. It must not move us to find that we are reckoned singular, and peculiar, and bigoted, and narrow minded. This is the ‘narrow way’. Surely it is better to enter into eternal life with a few, than to go to ‘destruction’ with a great company” – J.C. Ryle

PCUSA rejects Hymn “In Christ Alone” because it contains “The wrath of God”

If Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) had it’s own way it would write it’s own bible. A bible written in pencil -so that you can erase the bits you don’t like. Speaking of which….

Recently, the wrath of God became a point of controversy in the decision of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song to exclude from its new hymnal the much-loved song “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. The Committee wanted to include this song because it is being sung in many churches, Presbyterian and otherwise, but they could not abide this line from the third stanza: “Till on that cross as Jesus died/the wrath of God was satisfied.” For this they wanted to substitute: “…as Jesus died/the love of God was magnified.” The authors of the hymn insisted on the original wording, and the Committee voted nine to six that “In Christ Alone” would not be among the eight hundred or so items in their new hymnal. …Read More!

Halling Baptist Church finally gets a new Pastor!

Halling Baptist Church was actually established and built in 1898 by workers from the Halling Cement Works as an alternative place of worship for those who wished to attend a Nonconformist meeting place. It has witnessed great times of joy with many coming to the Lord in faith and repentance and being baptized. It is well remembered by many for it’s ever so well attended Sunday School meetings. It has also gone through times of difficulty and testing, enduring through 2 World Wars and the Great Depression. Recently the congregation has been going through a time of prayer as they didn’t have a pastor. Well, this summer their prayers were answered …

On the 27th July 2013, Kevin Felix-Hollington was inducted into the office of pastor. On this beautiful and warm Saturday afternoon this little Baptist church was the point of convergence of many people from Basildon (Essex), Watford, North London and several members of the Grace Baptist Partnership were in attendance too. Grace Baptist Partnership provides Biblical counsel, training, practical experience, research and assessment services and materials helpful in worship and witness for those involved in planting new Grace Baptist churches.

Here are the highlights of the induction:

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Halling Baptist Church in Kent, England

Halling Baptist Church in Kent, England

University students sign petition to legalise even “4th Trimester” abortions.

I know of three tri-mesters during which a baby is in utero (the womb). I also know that the hearts of men and women is utterly wicked and duplicitous. Now follow this closely

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FAIRFAX – A new video posted by the Media Research Center (MRC) shows a number of university students in Virginia signing a petition to legalize 4th trimester abortion — that is, murdering the infant after birth.

The video was part of an experiment by MRC’s Dan Joseph to see if students at George Mason University would really support the cause, and how many. While most students did not seem to know what a “4th trimester abortion” was, they proceeded to sign the petition anyway–some without question.

“Currently, 4th trimester abortions are illegal in all 50 states,” Joseph begins his pitch.

“We believe that it’s a woman’s right to choose — that men in Washington [should not] get to make the rules about what a woman can do with her body and with her baby,” he tells one group of students in the video. “Are you down with that?”

“I’m down,” answer a couple of females in the group, while a male standing by inquires further about the matter.

“Cool” replies one girl later on in the video, and another student happily explains her affiliation with Planned Parenthood.

In one part of the footage, a female student asks Joseph, “Does it cause harm to the child?”

“Well, the child wouldn’t be there anymore,” he replies. “It’s abortion, you know. The child’s gone.”

The student then proceeds to sign the petition.

Man could be more wicked and depraved than he is if it were not for the grace of God restraining him. Each of us almost appears to have within himself a seed of corruption able to blossom enough to make Hitler appear a choir boy.

Kate’s Royal Baby…

Just in [as per 20th July 2013], Every one in Great Britain is ecstatic about the Royal baby. But Ray Comfort has made us all pause for thought with a very good pro-life message:

Duchess of CambridgeLondon: The royal fetus is about to be born, much to the delight of frantic world media and the excitement of millions throughout the world. However, if the pregnancy had become tiresome in the past months, thankfully, Kate could have changed her mind and had it quietly removed. It’s her body, and so British law (as in the United States) affords her the right of choice.

…Read More!

5 Theological errors to learn (and avoid) from the purpose driven church

A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Do they want bigger hot dogs? Flavored water or cushions for their ankles the customer is king. This is the approach to successful entrepreneurship. It is sometimes no different when it comes to modern day church marketing only that it is called being ‘purpose driven’. Long gone are the days of preaching the gospel and teaching sound doctrine. It’s not uncommon to hear pastors talk and ask questions like ‘what’s the vision for your church?’ or ‘how is your church going to grow?’ By ‘vision’ they usually mean ‘a purpose driven plan’ or pragmatic approach to church growth.

You see, the purpose driven church movement makes several assumptions but here we will look at 5 common errors and how they deviate from scripture.

1.A pragmatic church assumes that the primary purpose of Sunday morning church services is to reach out to unbelievers who are some times erroneously referred to as…

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We have all sinned and fall short…

“No one will be offended if we tell them that they are good people who could be a little better. The offense comes when we tell them that they – and we – are ungodly people who cannot impress God or escape his tribunal. Until our preaching of the law has exposed our hearts and God’s holiness at that profound level, our hearers will never flee to Christ alone for safety even if they come to us for advice.” -Michael Horton

Voddie Baucham and the Youth Ministry.

Voddie Baucham answers the key questions surrounding youth ministry, its historical context, its failures, its industry, and its Biblical solutions.

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