“No one knows what he himself is made of, except his own spirit within him, yet there is still some part of him which remains hidden even from his own spirit; but you, Lord, know everything about a human being because you have made him…Let me, then, confess what I know about myself, and confess too what I do not know, because what I know of myself I know only because you shed light on me, and what I do not know I shall remain ignorant about until my darkness becomes like bright noon before your face.” ~St. Augustine of Hippo 354-430 AD Comments
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Read More
A couple of years ago there was a Japanese minister who caught the eye of mainstream media when he lamented on his behaviour of not accounting for public funds. He publicly wept and brought a press conference to an unprecedented pause. I keep wondering what happened to Mr Ryutoro Nonomura there after – was he being remorseful or was he repentant? So, whats the difference?
I came across this article from a blog from the yester years that tries to explain alittle more by going into a bible story….
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. (1 Kings 21:27)
Ahab was a wicked king, as anyone familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures will know. From the beginning of his reign until the end he defied the Lord God of Israel, in whose stead he reigned. Two verses earlier it is written: “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” (1 Kings 21:25)
After King Ahab took possession of the murdered Naboth’s vineyard, God sent Elijah to prophesy against him. Elijah told Ahab that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs, that he himself would have his blood licked up by dogs where Naboth had died, that God would cut off his posterity and all his descendants would have ignominious deaths. Upon hearing this, Ahab humbled himself before God by tearing his clothes, putting on sackcloth garments, fasting, and mourning.
How long all of this went on we are not told. We are told that God honored his self-humiliation and postponed the fulfillment of the prophecy until after Ahab’s death.
“‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish his mercy to the world.” – William Booth
Why do so-called Christians forsake the pure wine of Gospel joy for the adulterated poison which the whore of the world smilingly holds out to them in her golden chalice? Is it because the message of the Gospel, which once sparkled in the preached Word, and furnished comfort to mourners, has now gone stale? Or has that stream of spiritual joy which has run through the lives of saints for so many generations, without mingling with the world’s polluted pleasures, at last fallen into them and lost its divine nature? No, the Gospel stays the same. . . and the joy it brings is as refreshing and restoring as it has always been. It will be lovely as long as God and Christ continue to be life, for it flows and is fed from their heart.
The problem is not in the Scripture; it lies in those who say they hold to it. Those who insist that they obey this Gospel are not like holy men and women of earlier times. The world has grown callous, and men’s priorities and affections have chilled and become cold. Our palate is no longer chaste; it no longer prefers the heavenly foods served in the Gospel. The cheer is as lively as ever but the guests are as deadened by constant contact with the world. We have grown debauched in our judgments and corrupt in our principles; no wonder that our joys are carnal.
Error is a whore that lures the heart away from Christ and His spiritual joys. Once the mind is confused by error and begins to malign the truth, it affects the heart, poisoning it with carnal joys. Here, then, is the root of the misery of our times. ..Read More!
Look around in the world, and you may see some in every place who are objects of pity, bereaved by sad accidents of all the comforts of life, while in the meantime Providence has tenderly preserved you .- John Flavel
One of the most important questions for a Christian after where will I spend eternity and whom shall I marry is what church shall I attend? Well of course if you just need a joint where to spend Sunday morning ‘s hang over then you may as well a steer away from this site. Steer far away.
I was recently asked by a friend how to choose a good church. To be honest it is a head ache. Possibly a migraine of a decision. With the plethora of churches on the high street these days one needs a lot of prayerful patience. You probably won’t find a perfect church but a good solid Biblical church with sound doctrine is indeed a God send. There’s More
I am currently reading a rare and out of print 1993 book that was kindly given to me by a retired pastor and I have reached the interesting section on ‘church discipline’. Indeed my coffee cup is filled to the brim and I am sprawling on a tiny chair as I indulge in savory words of virtue and wisdom. Okay lets back track a bit -church discipline -this of course is a delicate issue facing any congregation of Christians:
On one hand, believers are sensitive to the claims of truth on the conscience. They are further aware that truth is for the purpose of promoting godliness. Consequently, sin is to be taken seriously, and discipline when necessary, is to be administered according to the gravity of the offense in question. ‘If your brother sins,’ says our Lord, ‘correct him.’ (Matt 18:15).
On the other hand, Christians are aware that the truth has not been entrusted to the church in abstraction from the welfare of the people who are recipients of that truth.
If sin is exposed and corrected, it is only to the end that Christ may be glorified by the recovery and restoration of his errant sheep (cf James 5:19-20). The problem of church discipline, accordingly resides in the BALANCE of the truth and love of people… Read More!
Do you ask how it is with me? Just as the weather is this morning. My heart is cold as the snow under foot, and cloudy as the sky over my head. Not a beam of sunshine, but it is a mercy to have daylight. It will not be always winter, though it has been a long winter with me. We want a revival at Olney both for the shepherd and the sheep. Yet my mouth is not stopped. I can sometimes talk loud and look big in the pulpit, but how different a creature am I behind the scenes! Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord!
“Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment. They try to believe it is false and useless, because they don’t like to believe it is true. An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this book. Men question the truth of Christianity because they hate the practice of it.” – J. C. Ryle
The label Calvinist is thrown about flippantly. In some circles it’s used with a snarl and a growl. In most cases people do not actually know what it means. However Times Heraldhas noted that….
This label that once was considered very bad in almost all Christian circles is enjoying incredible new popularity. Surging numbers of Christians are attending Calvinistic conferences and reading Calvinistic books and articles.
Calvinism is still misunderstood and is recovering from so many decades of bad press. In spite of that, however, more people opening called themselves Calvinists or variations of that, like mild Calvinists or moderate Calvinists. Have you been labeled a Calvinist? How can you know if you or someone else is such an animal? In a moment I’d like to give you a simple test to determine just that.
The nickname Calvinist comes from the Reformer John Calvin (1509-1564). Although John Calvin taught through books of the Bible day-by-day in Geneva, Switzerland, he is known mostly for teaching that God is sovereign over the salvation of sinners. He taught that God chose to save some people before time began, and then predestined that they would become believers in Christ. …Read More!
Blair Wingo Linne the wife of Christian musician Shai Linne minces no words as a spoken word artist in her poem as she re introduces Christ… Here is the transcript:
Allow me to reintroduce the Christ…
We got a false Jesus being portrayed
As seen on TV, acting cool, you see He’s changed
A different Jesus from the Bible so
Allow me to bring the real Christ on stage
Not that whack Jesus, the one not based on fact Jesus, too often displayed
The Christ in glory, not the one on your chain
Cause He is the real Jesus peace that only dwells in the saved …Read More!
It’s not that rare now to see Christian leaders sin grossly and within a few months after the publicity has died down to see the very same leaders being restored into public ministry and leadership. Does that mean sinners can never be restored or forgiven? Actually on the contrary – restoration to fellowship is what church discipline is all about but this shouldn’t be confused with restoration into office. Conservative Christians have a strong legacy of battling for doctrinal purity. But are we now at a point in time when we are losing the battle for moral purity? Should the church lower the standard to accommodate the moral malaise of leaders in our generation?
Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong within the contemporary church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin. That churches are so eager to bring these men back into leadership—and to do so relatively quickly—is a symptom of rottenness to the core.
Christians must not regard leadership in the church lightly. The foremost requirement of a leader is that he “must be above reproach” (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.
Some kinds of sin irreparably shatter a man’s reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever—because he can no longer be above reproach. Even Paul, man of God that he was, said he feared such a possibility: “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
If you are wondering about what to pray for when it comes to the church in Africa, do pray for faithfulness to the message of the gospel. Conrad Mbewe a local pastor in Africa in his recent newsletter from Kabwata (Zambia) laments:
[This post was first run here in 2012] I came across a pamphlet today. It was given to me at the traffic lights while waiting for the lights to go green. It read as follows:
My name is Stella Mwanza from Sinda (Eastern Province). I used to read in newspapers and listen to the radio about how different people were testifying concerning Pastor Elijah and I was so impressed with his healing powers that I decided to try him as I had a lot of problems.
First, my husband was divorcing me as he accused me of having an affair with another man and even doubted our lastborn child. Pastor Elijah prayed for me and this calmed down my husband and now we’re happily married with our kids.
I introduced a friend of mine to the same pastor who had an unstable marriage because her husband was sexually weak and had a tiny manhood. She was going out with other men to satisfy her sexual desire though she loved her husband. Pastor Elijah invited the couple to his place and prayed for both of them. Now they are back in a good relationship. Thanks to Pastor Elijah. …Read More!
If 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
As a tenured lesbian professor at Syracuse University, Dr. Butterfield had no desire to become part of the heterosexist, patriarchal culture that she perceived to be the identity of Christianity. …Read More!
“The problem in our day, which gives rise to highly questionable church growth methods, is twofold:
On the one hand, we are seeing a waning confidence in the message of the gospel. Even the evangelical church shows signs of losing confidence in the convincing and converting power of the gospel message. That is why increasing numbers of churches prefer sermons on family life and psychological health. We are being overtaken by what Os Guinness calls the managerial and therapeutic revolutions. The winning message, it seems, is the one that helps people to solve their temporal problems, improves their self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves.
For some this may not be new but I just want to repost this bit of information. The website Monergism is a good site to get free ebooks of invaluable wealth especially if you would like books on evangelism, basic Christianity, biographies and Reformed Theology. Check the link Here!
This week the focus goes to praying for missionaries all over the world. In particular we will pray that Jacob Lee a church planter and missionary with Reaching Africa’s Unreached who is battling malaria some where between Moyo and Yumbe (in Northern Uganda) will have a steady recovery. Remember him plus many more nameless missionaries who toil day and night to reach the unreached with the gospel and spend some more countless hours teaching them how to read and study the Bible for themselves.
Jacob Lee in Ugandan Village…
I have now been fighting malaria the last 4 days with last 2 days being the worse. My definition of malaria is “flu to the 10th power”. I am starting to feel a bit better now. I am so grateful for my dear friends Kevin and Ron with SWI (Strategic World Impact) who have pushing on without me preaching the glorious gospel. …Read More!
Death – 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!
Why the Gift of Faith is Not Given to All…Faith, then, as well in its beginning as in its completion, is God’s gift; and let no one have any doubt whatever, unless he desires to resist the plainest sacred writings, that this gift is given to some, while to some it is not given. But why it is not given to all ought not to disturb the believer, who believes that from one (Adam) all have gone into a condemnation, which undoubtedly is most righteous; so that even if none were delivered therefrom, there would be no just cause for finding fault with God. Whence it is plain that it is a great grace for many to be delivered, and to acknowledge in those that are not delivered what would be due to themselves; so that he that glorieth may glory not in his own merits, which he sees to be equalled in those that are condemned, but in the Lord. But why He delivers one rather than another,-” His judgments are unsearchable, and His ways past finding out –St. Augustine of Hippo
(The Puritans believed in) the supreme importance of preaching. To the Puritans, the sermon was the liturgical climax of public worship. Nothing, they said, honours God more than the faithful declaration and obedient hearing of His truth. Preaching, under any circumstances, is an act of worship, and must be performed as such. Moreover, preaching is the prime means of grace to the church. ~J.I Packer
“He therefore…is a fool in this world, who, renouncing his own understanding, allows himself to be directed by the Lord, as if with his eyes shut – who, distrusting himself leans wholly upon the Lord, places his whole wisdom in him, and yields himself up to God in docility and submission. It is necessary that our wisdom should in this way vanish, in order that the will of God may have authority over us, and that we be emptied of our own understanding, that we may be filled with the wisdom of God.”-John Calvin
“The preacher must be a serious man; he must never give the impression that preaching is something light or superficial or trivial….What is happening [in the act of preaching] is that he is speaking to them from God, he is speaking to them about God, he is speaking about their condition, the state of their souls. He is telling them that they are, by nature, under the wrath of God…that the character of the life they’re living is offensive to God and under the judgment of God, and warning them of the dreaded eternal possibility that lies ahead of them. …Read More!
“But if I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is, rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of a self-assured and carnal Christianity. The old cross slew men, the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it.” ~A.W Tozer
Conrad 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.
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!
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...
“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!
“Doctrinal preaching certainly bores the hypocrites; but it is only doctrinal preaching that will save Christ’s sheep. The preacher’s job is to proclaim the faith, not to provide entertainment for unbelievers–in other words, to feed the sheep rather than amuse the goats.” – (Packer, A Quest For Godliness , 285).
Children believe all things. They trust everybody. They yearn to learn the difference between right and wrong. The greatest beginning point of knowledge is when you introduce the fear of God to them. For the Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Sadly children of our times many times fall into the wrong hands and they cascade into a life of utter and total hopelessness. We live at a very precarious time when even most education systems and government programmes (and may I add even lukewarm churches) are allowing questionable material to be served up to toddlers as ‘acceptable’ fodder. To those who sow wickedness and call ‘bad’ good and good ‘bad’ I urge you to remember the words of Jesus:
“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.- Matthew 18:6”
Why do I have the feeling that our social moral fabric is not only fundamentally eroded but will get worse?
Did the movie Invictus get it wrong? What legacy does Nelson Mandela leave? Why was he sent to prison? Well, one South African Christian, Peter Hammond, answers these questions and also tells of his face to face meeting with the ‘madiba’…
[The film Invictus] on South Africa’s 1995 Rugby World Cup victory includes serious distortions of history. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman as President Nelson Mandela, Invictus makes a major contribution towards the building up of the mythology of Nelson Mandela as a modern day idol.
Their Finest Hour
Invictus focuses on the New South Africa’s finest hour as the Springbok rugby team, led by Francois Pienaar, won the World Cup. It also focuses on President Nelson Mandela’s finest hour as he donned the Springbok rugby team’s green and gold jersey and cap and publicly associated with the Springbok’s triumph.(Watch Part 2 of video interview below)
[This article was first posted in March 2012] It is true that for many believers, fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations has no greater joy than seeing their loved ones come to faith in Christ. Few experiences bring greater joy to Christian parents than seeing their children come to faith in Christ. But how does one evangelize one’s children?
The process of evangelizing one’s children, however, can be a daunting task. For many parents, the questions are as practical as they are disconcerting: How should I present the gospel to my children? What’s the best approach to take? How do I know if I’m doing it right? Pitfalls, both real and imagined, intimidate virtually every parent who contemplates this responsibility. On one hand, there’s the danger of leading children to think they are saved when they are not. On the other, there’s the risk of discouraging children who express a genuine desire to follow Christ.
How, then, should we evangelize our children? The answer to this question is not an easy one, but it begins with recognizing and avoiding some of the common pitfalls in child evangelism.
A series of five messages by Tom Chantry on the definition of ‘Reformed’. The subjects are neither the Five Points nor the Five Solas. Rather, they define the word ‘Reformed’ in five distinct but complementary ways. We examine the Reformed Perspective on the Bible, on History, on Salvation, on the church, and on the Christian life.
1) Scripturally Reformed– A Reformed perspective of Scripture: Reformed Christians stand with other Evangelicals in affirming the inspiration, infallibility and inerancy of the Bible. We go further, though, in defending both the clarity and the sufficiency of Scripture. These convictions determine our approach to the Bible – the manner in which we study, interpret, and teach its truths. A church which believes in the sufficiency of Scripture will emphasize the ministry of preaching, and the Bible will be central to everything it does. [Download Here]
2) Confessionally Reformed – A Reformed perspective of History: Scripture teaches us certain things about the history of mankind which should impact the manner in which we look at all of history, including the history of the church. Being convinced that sinful men have not changed, we understand that the problems of each age are not really new.
This question has been adapted from a post written by Jim Bublitz in 2007 titled Why has Jim become a ‘Reformed’ Christian?
As opposed to a “normal” Christian. . .
What exactly does it mean that I have become “Reformed”.
First off, “Reformed” simply means that I attend a church that holds to the beliefs of the protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when Luther and Calvin and others were instrumental in splitting the true church away from the abuses of the Roman Catholic system that evolved through the medieval centuries…
Like the majority of the churches during the post-Reformation era (and the Puritan era that followed), I have come to believe that Salvation begins with an unfailing work of God in the hearts of all those who will believe. While most churches in our current day believe that you “believe to be born again”, like the Reformers and Puritans I have come to believe the opposite about that; my belief is that you are “born again to believe” (see the change in order?).
Here’s a simple quiz for bible believing Christians who may not be convinced of this. Click the link below and see whether you truly believe that God is sovereign over the salvation of souls. …Read More!
“At best we are but clay, animated dust; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a miracle that the Lord Jesus should set His heart’s love upon people like us.”― Alistair Begg
The death, burial and resurrection of Christ and the Easter message was well summed by the Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon:
He suffered all the horror of hell; in one pelting shower of iron wrath it fell upon him, with hail-stones bigger than a talent; and he stood until the black cloud had emptied itself completely. There was our debt, huge and immense; he paid the utmost farthing of whatever his people owed; and now there is not so much as a doit or a
farthing due to the justice of God in the way of punishment from any believer; and though we owe God gratitude, though we owe much to his love, we owe nothing to his justice; for Christ in that hour took all our sins, past, present, and to come, and was punished for them all there and then, that we might never be punished, because he suffered in our stead. ~ Charles Spurgeon
Paiye of the primitive Moi tribe of West Papua tells the Easter or Resurrection story in his own words. It is said that there are only 700-800 Moi in existence. The Moi have a language and culture completely their own.
Hmm. Good to see no one has introduced the Easter bunny plus all the commercialism that goes with Easter and most Christian festivities. Pray for missionaries – pray that they remain faithful to the message of the gospel.
‘If I knew I were one of God’s elect, I would come to Christ; but I fear I am not.’ To you I answer: nobody ever came to Christ because he knew himself to be one of the elect. It is quite true that God has of His mere good pleasure elected some to everlasting life, but they never knew it until they believed in Christ. Christ nowhere commands the elect to come to him. He commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. The question for you is not, ‘Am I one of the elect?’ but ‘Am I a sinner?’ Christ came to save sinners.”
In some streams of Evangelicalism, Christian faith and practice are defined by popular prevailing notions or personal charisma and less by Scripture. J. Lee Grady (of Charisma magazine) seems to be fighting a losing moral battle when it comes to some his brothers within the Charismatic camp. In a scathing memo he appears to be decrying the materialistic trendy lifestyle that most Charismatic televangelists and pastors are adopting. Honestly, it is good to see some one from within the charismatic camp get loving enough to rock the boat this much:
Such “preachers” are a cancer in the Body of Christ–“….I’ve pulled a lot of my hair out watching our embarrassing charismatic sideshows over the last few years. I think it is time we draw a line in the sand and say: “NO MORE.”
NO MORE BODYGUARDS. We have evangelists who send a small squadron of muscular thugs to “scout” the lobby of a hotel before they arrive. This is extremely odd when you realize that most of the people in said lobby have never even heard of the guy! Sorry, but I really don’t trust a man of God who claims he needs a bodyguard in church. Get down on the people’s level if you want to minister to them.
NO MORE $10,000 PER NIGHT HOTEL ROOMS. We have traveling preachers who book 10,000-square-ft. hotel rooms with private pools so they can rest on their way home from international trips. Excuse me? We could build an orphanage with the money this man wasted. (P.S. I know a good Hampton Inn where you can get a nice bed for $89 a night—and it includes a hot breakfast.) …Read More!
Of man’s spiritual condition out side of Christ and obstacles he faces …
Under this head it will be our endeavour to show why it is that the natural man is unable to “come to Christ.” As a starting point let us again quote John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him.” The reason why this is such a “hard saying,” even unto thousands who profess to be Christians, is because they utterly fail to realize the terrible havoc which the Fall has wrought; and, it is greatly to be feared, because they are themselves strangers to “the plague” of their own hearts (1 Kings 8:38). Surely if the Spirit had ever awakened them from the sleep of spiritual death, and given them to see something of the dreadful state they were in by nature, and they had been brought to feel that the carnal mind in them was “enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7), then they would no longer cavil against this solemn word of Christ’s. But the spiritually dead can neither see nor feel spiritually.
This sounds like a joke stretched too far. However when it comes to making merchandise of men’s souls there is no end to the limit of options. A new bible version inserts your name in almost every sentence that sounds good or may make you feel good about yourself! It is the ‘personal promise bible’ of course and you can imagine how many misguided people will be buying into this fad. In a liberal generation that holds high self esteem as an essential, this is just the tip of the proverbial self actualization and narcissistic iceberg.
It’s sad to see the line up of celebrities trying to endorse this ‘bible’. To quote some of the personalities:
I loved the Bible and I was quoting excerpts from it in church!! It is a great idea! Brian Houston, Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church, Sydney, Australia
“Its awesome…how alive the most routine verse has become! I can’t put it down.” Dr. Wanda A. Turner, Author of Sex Traps and Celebrate Change
A friend on FB made a very interesting observation …Read More!
In nothing does Providence shine forth more gloriously in this world than in ordering the occasions, instruments and means of conversion of the people of God. However skillfully its hand had moulded your bodies, however tenderly it had preserved them and however bountifully it had provided for them; if it had not also ordered some means or other for your conversion, all the former favours and benefits it had done for you had meant little. This, O this, is the most excellent benefit you ever received from its hand. You are more indebted to it for this, than for all your other mercies. ~ John Flavel
Preachers of the gospel and others have sufficient warrant to press upon all men the duties of faith, repentance, and obedience, although they know that in themselves they have not a sufficiency of ability for their due performance; for, it is the will and command of God that so they should do, and that is the rule of all our duties. They are not to consider what man can do or will do, but what God requires. ~John Owen
“Pastors are supposed to be under-shepherds of Christ. Too many modern preachers are so bent on understanding the culture that they develop the mind of the culture and not the mind of Christ. They start to think like the world, and not like the Savior. Frankly, the nuances of worldly culture are virtually irrelevant to me. I want to know the mind of Christ and bring that to bear on the culture, no matter what culture I may be ministering to. If I’m going to stand up in a pulpit and be a representative of Jesus Christ …Read More!
If any one ever told you that false teachers are always nasty looking and carry placards – they are very wrong. No, you see false teachers are actually suave, have sleek smiles (with well packaged video promos) and they are very affirming. They always give you positive vibes and have programs that appeal to your emotions so that you can give them an inch. Speaking of some one inching closer, do you remember that smooth talking Universalist ‘pastor’ called Rob Bell (in whose church a bewildered muslim was invited to partake of the Communion table) and who said that there is no Hell and every one will go to Heaven? Well, Rob is back (big sigh) and this time he wants your teens…..
Author and speaker Rob Bell is set to release a teen version of his book Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived nationwide next month.
In a promotional video created for Love Wins: For Teens, Bell explains that the book is designed to teach youth that God is the life of the party, rather than the one that spoils everyone’s fun.
“What do you believe about God?” he begins. “Is God somewhere on a cloud with a long beard, making a list of no’s?”
“For a lot of people, when you mention God, the first thing they think of is, ‘Oh yeah, God shuts the party down,’” Bell continues. “But when Jesus talked about faith, when Jesus talked about God, one of the dominant images He uses again and again is that of a party.” …Read More!