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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
By Charles Spurgeon
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
Smyrna 155 A.D-The night is cold and damp. There’s great anticipation that something is going to happen. It is the Asia minor city of Smyrna. There’s feasting around the corner. The proconsul Statius Quadratus is present, and the asiarch Philip of Tralles is presiding over the games. Eleven Christians have been brought, mostly from Philadelphia, to be put to death. This was the pattern of life in the first century –Anno Dommini.
“There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveller to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
For some this story is familiar; well it is Nathan the prophet having a chat with King David. David has just made a royal cover up and taken Bathsheba as his wife after arranging the murder of her husband, Uriah. This was against a back drop of an adulterous affair. Nathan, first indulges the king in a intriguing allegory. (2 Sam 12)
David listens intently to the story and on hearing of such a gross miscarriage of justice tells Nathan in no uncertain terms, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
Nathan then sadly tells David, “You are that man!”
A 2008 survey of behaviours with moral overtones among adults conducted by The Barna Group over a one week period revealed that 19% of adults had viewed pornography, 11% had lied, 9% had engaged in sexual intercourse with someone to whom Read More
New York, New York – Pastors across the country suddenly found themselves in a bit of a predicament this past weekend as Sunday morning quickly approached. The trouble began Saturday afternoon when word began spreading that the Sermon Writers Guild was going on strike on the grounds that they were not being paid enough for their work.
The Sermon Writers Guild has, for the most part, been a secret to the church-going public. Founded in 1977, the organization started out as a small group of theologians and laypersons who were “gifted and creative in the art of preaching” but lacked the charisma necessary to pastor and lead a congregation. When the group was formed they began offering sermon writing services for “witty pastors who lacked scholarly abilities” and who were “less than studious” for a fee of only $20 per sermon. Over the years the guild expanded to over 1500 “ghost preachers” who have written sermons for some of the most famous pastors in the country. Read More
By Charles Spurgeon
Our Savior did not use any means which might enlist man’s lower nature on his side. When I have heard of large congregations gathered together by the music of a fine choir, I have remembered that the same thing is done at the opera house and the music-hall, and I have felt no joy. When we have heard of crowds enchanted by the sublime music of the pealing organ, I have seen in the fact rather a glorification of St. Cecilia than of Jesus Christ. Our Lord trusted in no measure or degree to the charms of music for the establishing his throne. He has not given to his disciples the slightest intimation that they are to employ the attractions of the concert room to promote the kingdom of heaven. There’s More
Deception has been one of the oldest games since Eve fell foul in the garden of Eden. The most immediate reaction is usually why didn’t God step in at that moment and in one blaze of purple and blue smoking lightning zap the fruit and serpent into an ashen crisp or vapour? Why didn’t God realize that the serpent would be slithering his way into the garden sooner or later? Then how about in the modern day church, why are there heretics with wacky theology thriving in pulpits and on Christian television? Why do they seem to have larger followings, draw higher ratings and yet they seem to be delving in utter rank deception? Where is God when another false teacher or prophet panders his way through the pockets of innocent people? Well, thanks for asking. I came a cross an excerpt from A.W Pink that may perchance shed some light on what scripture says: Read More
“I Finally Got Sent A Hillsong Video That Proves They Preach The Gospel . . . NOT!!” says Cameron Buettel a blogger who set up an interesting challenge. This is the what he found…
To his credit Troy did take up my challenge that no one else has responded to. He went looking for a solid example of someone from Hillsong church preaching the Gospel. I had burdened Troy with the responsibility of substantiating his claim that:
I can assure you that I’ve been to Hillsong quite a few times and have heard the gospel accurately preached. Yes, including the mention of sin and the cross. But There’s More
Its one thing to be a preacher it’s another thing to bring oratorical skills to the pulpit and blend it with perfectly choreographed gimmicks to bring hundreds to their feet beckoning for more stories. Doesn’t it just amuse you when a preacher walks to the pulpit with a Bible and then decides to close it as he begins the sermon? My favourite ones are those “anointed coat” swinging show men who blow into microphones and keep repeating over and over, “I feel the anointing of God is here”. But I must say the deadliest are those slick ones who slide past you and mesmerise you to the point that you don’t even notice that they sneaked into the pulpit without a Bible (not even a pocket Message Bible). And as you try to figure where the sermon is going to come from…BANG! He has hit you between the eyes with a “holy ghost” stunner and you are writhing under your seat with your tie choking the living day lights out of you. Read More
To the ordinary eye this appears to be an era where Christians have had unprecedented success. What, have you not seen the celebrity pastors with personal jets, how about the pastor with the $18,000 poodle or the goofy multi millionaire pastor with a $15,000 espresso machine who raps about the best days in Christian living?
Have you heard about the Cristo de la Concordia, a statue of Jesus Christ located on San Pedro hill in Cochabamba, Bolivia? The statue is 34.20 metres (112.2 ft) tall, on a pedestal of 6.24 metres (20.5 ft), bringing its total height to 40.44 metres (132.7 ft). The statue is slightly larger than Christ the Redeemer (located in Rio de Janeiro), making it the largest statue of Jesus Christ in the world. It is also the largest statue of any kind in the Southern Hemisphere. But to take Christian merchandising to another level, Poland has unleashed the mother of all statues. Read More
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may Read More
While muslims are teaching their kids to recite the qur’an cover to cover, lets see what Christian children get to do with their youth pastors. In desperate bid to appear relevant and cool some youth pastors seem to be krunking it up a notch. And sadly there’s little time or none spent studying the Bible. Or I could just be wrong.
Just when evangelicalism is reeling with main stream media’s concern that the church is fostering a generation of “fake Christian” teens, now we have another term -Hipster Christianity. According to Christianity Today:
The latest incarnation of a decades-long collision of “cool” and “Christianity,” hipster Christianity is in large part a rebellion against the very subculture that birthed it. It’s a rebellion against old-school evangelicalism and its fuddy-duddy legalism, apathy about the arts, and pitiful lack of concern for social justice. It’s also a rebellion against George W. Bush—style Christianity: American flags in churches, the Ten Commandments in courtrooms, and evangelical leaders who get too involved in conservative politics, such as James Dobson and Jerry Falwell. But There’s more
The butterfly effect is a term used in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. For example, it is said that a butterfly flapping its wings in a jungle in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas.
A couple of years ago we leavened up the unleavened bread of Christianity. A little nip here and a tuck there. We created a brand of Hip and Cool Christianity not only smooth but market savvy. Relevant. We used reproducible and successful entrepreneurial church growth models to bring as many people into the church complexes as possible.
However, if the recent trend of events is anything to go by, it seems God has gone on a hiatus and left the youths playing peekaboo in the night. Recent statistics show that there is an increasing exodus of young people from churches, especially after they leave home and live on their own. In a 2007 study, Lifeway Research determined that 70% of young Protestant adults between 18-22 stop attending church regularly. Some critics have attributed this yo-yo effect to the perils of hipster Christianity. Read More
Is there still any reverence for the Holy and sacred things of God these days? What ever happened to the good old sermons about sin, righteousness and judgement? They called some of these ‘fire and brimstone’ sermons and phased them out of most churches, radios and television. Have you ever listened to Jonathan Edwards’ sermon ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’? Not even so called christian broad casters feature such sermons any more. These sermons are deemed ‘volatile’ and dont draw ratings they say. But they make a fatal error as they gladly proclaim a new gospel. One that is billed as the best thing since sliced bread called Gospel lite -the health, wealth and prosperity gospel.
Flip to a typical modern christian church sermon broad cast and what do you see? A young man who should be a pastor struts around an arena with spandex and jiggles as he lays his closed bible on the Plexiglass pulpit that casts a silhouette against the laser lit giant screen behind him. It’s Sunday and the topic is self esteem and positive confession…for the fifty second time that year. ‘This is our year of destiny’ reads the banner that has always been flown year in and year out. New visitors and tourists stagger in awe as they trudge through the church programme.The message elates them and sure enough tickles their fancy enough to bring them back But There’s More
“Pastor is it OK to sell a Bible to a prostitute?” the story is told of a young girl called Laura from a small church in a small town in central Brazil. She sold Avon products for years in the town to supplement the family income. One of her weekly routes took her through the red light district. With those business contacts she often shared her faith in Jesus Christ.
God opened a door to present Bibles and Christian books in a house of prostitutes. Oddly enough, the house was located directly across the road from a large evangelical church. Ten of these women gathered around a table one afternoon as Laura shared with them the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. A few Bibles and some books containing testimonies of transformed lives were sold that afternoon.
Several months later there were terrible rains and floods in that part of Brazil, causing several deaths. With the floods came mudslides in communities that had been inundated by the rising rivers. Two prostitutes who had attended the book demonstration earlier that year talked about the danger and decided to read the Bible Read More
Anne Rice, the renowned American author of gothic, erotic, and religious-themed books has on her Face Book page un-liked Roman Catholicism and as it is Christianity. It’s yet to be seen if she will be de-baptised. A de-baptism is a mystic ceremony usually said to be carried out by symbolically drying up water off your fore head -with a blow drier. Thats not all, you can also get a certificate commemorating this dark slap stick mockery.
For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” Read More
When talk show host Oprah Winfrey so much as spits on a book it immediately catches fire. The ashes can so much as sell for a lump sum that can earn you enough money for an early retirement. In 2006 an Australian Rhonda Byrne got much more than she bargained for when she wrote the New Age self help book, The Secret. Her book did not get spat on. No. The book got featured not once but twice on the Oprah Winfrey show and (wait for this) by the Spring of 2007 the book had sold almost 4 million copies, and the DVD had sold more than 2 million copies. Byrne was listed among Time Magazine’s list of 100 people who shaped the world in 2007.
Byrne writes, “Disease cannot live in a body that is in a healthy emotional state.” But be warned: “If you have a disease and you are focusing on it and talking to people about it, you are going to create more disease cells.” The tenet of the book is that an individual’s focused positive thinking can result in life-changing results such as increased wealth, health, happiness and more.
By Denise Mala, Full article Here.
Bay Area Fellowship, the largest church in Corpus Christi, is giving away flat-screen televisions, skateboards, Fender guitars, furniture and 15 cars — yes, cars — at its Easter services.
And even those who don’t win big will walk away with something. The church has gathered donations for 15,000 gift bags, each with about $300 worth of free goods and services.
“We’re going to give some stuff away and say, ‘Imagine how great heaven is going to be if you feel that excited about a car,’ ” lead Pastor Bil Cornelius said. “It’s completely free — all you have to do is receive him.”
He hopes the prizes will help Bay Area lure some people Read More
In a bid to inject a much needed machismo, gloss and finesse to Christianity and make it more appealing to men, a growing number of Evangelical Churches are involving fight night television viewing parties and sermon series that use ultimate fighting. Other ministers have gone further to hosting or participating in live events.
MEMPHIS — In the back room of a theater on Beale Street, John Renken, 37, a pastor, recently led a group of young men in prayer. “Father, we thank you for tonight,” he said. “We pray that we will be a representation of you.”
An hour later, a member of his flock who had bowed his head was now unleashing a torrent of blows on an opponent, and Mr. Renken was offering guidance that was not exactly prayerful. But There’s More