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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
If you are church shopping [this article was first published in OCTOBER 2011] or looking for a local Christian fellowship a Reformed Baptist Church may not be your cup of tea 🙂
Well you see, Dr. James White has (honestly) noted that in a Reformed Baptist Church…
- You don’t get to leave after every sermon feeling good about yourself. You may even desire repentance.
- You don’t get to hear the sermons in the same way you may be used to. It’s frequently verse by verse, maybe not even relevant to your current situation.
- You don’t get to be entertained. We don’t want to entertain you. Read more of this post
M and J were a missionary couple who were working in Uganda. (Story was first posted in Feb 2013) Every week they sent updates on their progress with evangelism in the community or the growth of the local church and new orphanage that they are setting up. Some times there were moments of deep heart ache (especially when the gospel was rejected) but nothing lightened up my heart with a good old laugh than this particular week’s ‘veggie tale’. Apparently not every thing that is green and leafy is lettuce:
The Mistake – (J writing) While at the trading center on Saturday, I saw two ladies sitting on the veranda of a little restaurant with bags of green leaves for sale. The leaves were a lovely shade of green, and I thought I should buy some of them and take them back for our orphan children to eat. I asked the ladies how much one bag would cost, and they replied, “It is seven hundred shillings.” That seemed a little high to me for greens so I went into the little restaurant and gave out some more tracts and asked the owner (who happened to be a lady that I knew quite well) how much a little bag should cost. She said that 700 shillings was the usual price. So I went back outside and started digging in my purse for the money. I was going to buy 7 bags to take home so there would be enough for all of the children to enjoy. As I was digging in my purse, the lady inside the restaurant called out, “Who are you buying that for?” I replied that I wanted to take it back for the children at home. “What children?” she asked. …Read More!
A slight hiccup of biblical proportions?
Ever turned on a radio station and found a nice song (read Contemporary Christian music) playing and then suddenly frozen while singing the distantly familiar words when you almost reached the end of some stanza? (Well, honestly I sometimes stop at the titles of some of the contemporary songs seeing how sentimental and romanticised most of them have become.) That aside… I couldn’t help laughing when I read of Tony-Allen’s “thorn in the side” moment. I thought such moments only happen to me:
[Tony-Allen:] So a while ago, I was at a worship service, and encountered the song “How He Loves.” As I was singing, I came to an abrupt halt when I encountered a specific lyric in the second verse:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss…
I stopped singing because my jaw literally dropped to the floor at seeing those last words pop on the big screen. “Sloppy wet kiss”? Did someone seriously put “sloppy wet kiss” in the lyrics of a worship song?
I must be growing old..and becoming a legend. I have seen several Popes come and go (and of recent wait for this) I have witnessed a Pope resign from service! It sure is an absolute rarity -and this has happened in my life time! Wasn’t it just the other day that the white smoke was puffed out of the Vatican chimneys to announce the installation of a new “man of God” with the zeal and enthusiasm of a spring chicken and the agility of a rabbit to absolve helpless sinners of their iniquities, venerate saints and springboard helpless souls from purgatory? Wasn’t it just a wink ago that Pope Benedict XVI made his first tour of the world to declare his commitment? And just before any one can say ‘Smith Wigglesworth’ guess what he has declared:
In a decision that has surprised even his closest aides, the 85-year-old Pontiff said his strength was ‘no longer adequate to continue in office due to his advanced age’.
He announced his resignation in Latin to a meeting of Vatican cardinals this morning, saying he did not have the ‘strength of mind and body’ to continue leading more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide.
The decision is unprecedented. He is the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and no Pontiff in history has stepped down on health grounds. …Read More!
Funny list of Bible riddles (or rather misapplied hermeneutics)
Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.
Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out A little prophet.
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?
Q. Who was the first drug addict in the Bible?
A. Nebuchadnezzar. He was on grass for seven years.
On a lighter note, I hear the chicken crossed the road and there is now a grand theological debate to find out why ‘the chicken crossed the road’…
Greg Boyd: It’s a possibility that the chicken crossed the road.
TD Jakes: A manifestation of the Chicken crossed the road for his blessings.
Rick Warren: The chicken was purpose driven.
Mark Driscoll: The chicken crossed because of the rooster’s leadership.
Joel Osteen: The chicken crossed the road to maximize his personal fulfillment so that he could be all that God created him to be.
Creflo Dollar: God told the chicken that if he clucked, “That land across the road is mine!,” he could claim it. He crossed the road to take possession.
Pelagius: Because the chicken was able to.
John Piper: God decreed the event to maximize his glory.
Billy Graham: The chicken was surrendering all.
Pluralist: The chicken took one of many equally valid roads.
Chris Rosebrough: It was a pirate chicken!
Steven Furtick: You can’t tell chicken to stand still. They are spontaneous!
Universalist: All chickens cross the road.
Annihilationist: The chicken was hit by a car and ceased to exist.
Fred Phelps: God hates chickens!
If you’re going to be good at fishing, you’ve got to learn to think like a fish. If you’re going to be an effective fisher of men, you’ve got to think like a lost person. Here’s the problem. Unfortunately, the longer you are a Christian, the less you think like an unbeliever…To catch fish, you’ve got to know their habits, their preferences, and their feeding patterns. Certain fish like smooth water. Others are bottom crawlers. Some like rushing water. Others hide under rocks. You’ve got to know what the fish you’re trying to reach like to do. If you’re going to understand and reach non-Christians, you’ve got to begin with their mindset.-Rick Warren
Still scratching my head till I can get my hair cut straight enough to become hip and “relevant”. I think I will reach there next year! Trying!!
I have never thought that kicking a ball that is burning with vivid scorching flames would make one more spiritual. How does a soccer match make you “more spiritual”? Thanks for asking, you see…
For these players have been preparing for these football matches for 21 days – praying and fasting and learning to ‘tame fire’.
When they are ready, the tough 60 minutes of football begins – played in bare feet with a burning coconut which has been soaked in kerosene for two days. The burning matches take place over 60 minutes – and the players may go through four coconuts before the game is over.
Each coconut soaks for two days, ensuring it is drenched with flames and ready to burn.
Then the players place the ball in the centre-spot, and prepare to play – lighting a match to the match-day ball.
Some Arminians were kind enough to help the world out by giving them a dictionary of Calvinist terms (see here). In the spirit of brotherly love, the Calvinist’s did the same:
All (1): All always means all. Yup, Jesus died for every single human, including those already dead and in hell, and even including himself.
All (2): (as to sin) If its related to sin, “all” doesn’t include babies.
Amazing Grace: Horrible song composed by a Calvinist. Teaches wretched “doctrines of grace.”
Argument (1): The mean things Calvinists do, means: a group of propositions wherein the truth of one is asserted on the basis of the evidence furnished by the others.
Argument (2): An unfortunate term for how Arminians lovingly discuss the glorious truth of Scripture, means: if it feels good, it probably is.
Arminius, Jacob: The first church father.
Assurance: Keep trying, hopefully you’ll make it, but since you have libertarian free will, you could just flip sides one day. Never can tell. …Read More!
This dictionary was created by a well meaning Arminian to help other Arminians better understand Calvinist terminology. (Please don’t take this too seriously, this is meant in good fun)
All: The elect
Altar Call: An insult to God
Arminianism: Man centered theology
Assurance: hoping that you’re elect
Augustine: The first church father.
Calvinism: The gospel
Call (effectual): to be irresistibly dragged
Call (general): God’s justification to condemn the reprobate.
Catholicism: What Arminianism leads to.
You might just be Lutheran if…
…during the entire service you hold your hymnal open but never look down at it.
…when someone mentions red and green (in terms of Christmas), you immediately think of a battle over hymnals.
…during communion you hum the hymns so you can see who’s at church that Sunday.
…rather than introducing yourself to a visitor at church, you check their name out in the guestbook.
…you have your wedding reception in the fellowship hall and feel guilty about not staying to help clean up.
…a midlife crisis means switching from the old hymnbook to the new one. …Read More!
On a lighter note, next time you listen to announcements or read the Church bulletin you might double up in laughter. Looking back at some bloopers, here are some Lutheran reminders…
·For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
·Due to the Rector’s illness, Wednesday’s healing services will be discontinued until further notice.
·Evening massage – 6 p.m.
·The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement on Friday at 7 p.m. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
·Potluck supper: prayer and medication to follow.
·Don’t let worry kill you off – let the church help. …Read More!
God wants his messenger to have the spiritual needs addressed, which super-cedes all other needs. It is God, through the Holy Spirit that we start with, not man. Seeker sensitive preaching is determined by the audience, the target is the “felt needs” or what people think is needed in their life. But who knows better, the sinner or God? Our teaching should start with the Holy Spirit leading us into the Scripture. The apostle Paul made it clear “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10-11). The gospel offends when it is spoken correctly but for those who come to the cross it heals.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. ~ 2 Tim 4:3
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For some reason Michael Patton’s “Beginner’s Guide to Christianity” has left me rolling on the floor. Okay, (crawling back into the chair) here is an excerpt and read with a pinch of salt:
1. “Heads bowed, eyes closed . . .”: During a church service, you may hear a preacher abruptly break into this unexpected dialogue with the audience: “Heads bowed, eyes closed. If you have accepted Christ into your heart [more later], I want you to raise your hand.” Don’t get scared. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. It is not a fancy way to steal your money or pull anything sneaky. It is the preacher’s way of helping the uncomfortable seeker feel more at ease about accepting Christ. It is best if you just follow instructions here.
2. “Into the Word”: This is a portion of an important phrase that may be communicated by seasoned Christians in many different contexts. It always has reference to the Bible. Yes, I know, the Bible is more than one word, in fact it is thousands, but once you are a Christian, it becomes singular and has a definite article, “the,” attached to it. If you hear someone say, “Are you in the Word?,” this is another way of saying, “You need to read the Bible if you are going to be spiritual like me.” IMPORTANT: This has no relation to the phrases, “Word to your mother,” “Word up,” or just plain “Word.”
3. Backslidden: This has no reference to the past event of sliding down a hill on your back. It is used to refer to those Christians who are now suspect in their original confession due to their current participation in a particular sin.
On a lighter note, here is why the Arminian and Calvinist did not cross the road….
15. We are not sure if the Arminian will cross or not. No one knows. Not even God.
14. The Calvinist believes that “road crossing” ceased with the death of the last Apostle or the completion of the New Testament.
13. He has felt the draw of the other side of the road and the Arminian has resisted thus far.
12. Calvinists were not elected to cross before the foundation of the road.
11. The Arminian heard someone yell at someone on the other side calling him a dork. He thought he said “Dordt.” It scared him.
10. The Calvinists said road was called Tiber Ave.
9. The Arminian shipwrecked on his way across therefore he never made it.
The message that one gets from the questionable theological liaisons is that doctrine doesn’t matter. You can have a Reformed soteriology, but hold onto an Arminian ecclesiology, believe in a
non-trinitarian quasi- modalist definition of the God head and even have an Emergent missiology. Who cares about doctrine? Be…..pragmatic!
You don’t have to stay true to your orthodox convictions. Just blend in and appear cool…with a swagger. …Read More!
I found this hilarious:
10. “The Bible says that God is not concerned with outer appearance . . . neither should you.”
9. “The Good Book said that I might be visited by angels unaware, but something must be wrong with my interpretation, because I am perfectly aware of you.”
8. “I noticed you crying during alter call, can I help?”
Bonus:“Until this moment, I thought I had the gift of singleness.”
7. While giving a her a TULIP say, ”This Totally depraved person has been Unconditionally drawn to you, Limiting himself to your Irresistible beauty that is Persevering beyond all others.”
6. “God may be the bread of life, but you are the butter.”
5. “The [sight] of you leaves me apophatic.”
4. “Well, gouge out my eyes and cut off my hands. If I hang around you much longer, I won’t have any limbs left.”
On a lighter note on the i-church…
Motivational speakers are in high demand. Motivational sermon series sell like hot pan cakes in many churches too. These days actually some pastors prefer to be called life coaches or motivational speakers. Speaking of which a popular secular motivational speaker will have a lot of ‘splaining to do when he failed to help a group of fanatics “unleash the power within”. You see…
Nearly two dozen people were treated for burns on their feet after walking on hot coals during a motivational seminar conducted by self-help expert Tony Robbins in San Jose, California, local media reported.
Firefighters treated at least 21 people for burns to the soles of their feet, several of them second- and third-degree, on Thursday night, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News. At least three people went to the hospital, although none of the injuries was life-threatening, the report added.
It was the first night of the motivational seminar called “Unleash the Power Within,” a four-day Robbins event attended by some 6,000 people, the Mercury News reported
A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales.
The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though they were a very large mammal their throat was very small.
The little girl stated Jonah was swallowed by a whale.
The teacher reiterated a whale could not
swallow a human; it was impossible.
The little girl said, “When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah.”
The teacher asked, “What if Jonah went to hell?”
The little girl replied, “Then you ask him.”
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On a lighter note I think you will like the disclaimer that comes with these scary costumes 😉
Contrary to urban mythologies spawned by ignorant sooth sayers and idle whisperers Calvinism is not about trends in fashion. It’s actually far from having a high view of man. So, if it’s not about v-neck t-shirts or tight skinny jean pastors, then what is Calvinism about? I am glad you asked. You see…
Calvinism, also known as reformed theology, is a movement within orthodox Protestantism that … adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual to where he is then able to and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation… …Read More!
If you are into prosperity gospel, you will probably be happy that the “Financial Breakthrough Spiritual Warefare Bible” by Morris Cerullo is available at the small price of $200. No kidding. However I realise only two people have made comments about it on the Amazon website. I find the comments rather interesting. One enchanted buyer was glad to say:
My mother absolutely loved this Bible, but she lost it one day. She was so upset that I rushed to Amazon to see if I could replace it. I found the same version she had with the leather cover and it was a good price, so I bought it. It shipped quickly and she was impressed with the condition of the item. No complaints here.
However another customer called Kaylee was rather not amused and wasted no time in pointing out that:
I would not give 2 cents for any of his books, let alone his bibles. The man is a HERETIC and a SWINDLER. Save your money.
Oh by the way Morris Cerullo has started recruiting for a “Joel’s army”. A team of immortals who will bring judgement on the ungodly (the ungodly being those who oppose them). And you can buy some more religious junk and junta paraphernalia
Jim West never pulls any punches. He doesn’t beat about the bush either and that’s the reason I love his blog. Today we will visit his blog and listen in on a question and answer session. Hey, do not say I did not warn you 😉
First, let me thank you for your blog. I love it. I do have a question. What is your definition of a mega church?
That’s actually an easy question to answer- a mega-church is any church which is so large that the Pastor doesn’t know the names of every person who regularly attends. Such Pastors aren’t truly pastors – they are merely functionaries, public speakers. Pastors know their flock just as shepherds know their sheep. It is no accident at all that the early Church seized on the analogy of the Pastor as shepherd.
For that reason a church which is so big that the Pastor can’t or doesn’t know those who come is no longer a Church as such but a group, an ‘audience’, nothing more.
With all best wishes,
I told ya! 😉
A: What is the shortest verse in the Old Testament?
B: Where in the Bible do you find a father who had 88 children?
C: Saul was the first king of Israel. Who was the second? (It wasn’t David)
D: Who is the only person in the Old Testament mentioned as being buried in a coffin?
E: How many times does Eve’s name appear in Genesis?
F: Who are the only three angels mentioned in the Bible by name? …More Questions!