Thursday, December 31, 2009

Is There Such a Thing as a Carnal Christian?

Some compelling truth from Paul Washer.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Cause for Concern

The 'carnal Christian' teaching is, after all, the consequence of a shallow, man-centered evangelism in which decisions are sought at any price and with any methods. When those pronounced to be converts do not act like Christians, do not love what Christians love, and hate what Christians hate, and do not willingly serve Christ in his church, some explanation must be found other than calling upon them to 'decide' for Christ. They have already done that and have already been pronounced by the preacher or personal worker to be 'Christians'. But when they don't act like Christians something is wrong. What is it? The teaching I have sought to answer says that the trouble is that they are just 'carnal Christians'; they have not made Christ 'Lord' of their lives; they have not let him occupy the throne of their hearts. Once this explanation is seen to be unscriptural it will also be seen to be closely connected with an initial error over evangelism itself. Too often, modern evangelism has substituted a 'decision' in the place of repentance and saving faith. Forgiveness is preached without the equally important truth that the Spirit of God must change the heart. As a result decisions are treated as conversions even though there is no evidence of a supernatural work of God in the life.

- Ernest Reisinger.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Gospel Old and New

Have you heard the New Gospel? It’s not been codified. It’s not owned by any one person or movement. But it is increasingly common.

The New Gospel generally has four parts to it.


It usually starts with an apology: “I’m sorry for my fellow Christians. I understand why you hate Christianity. It’s like that thing Gandhi said, ‘why can’t the Christians be more like their Christ?’ Christians are hypocritical, judgmental, and self-righteous. I know we screwed up with the Crusades, slavery, and the Witch Trials. All I can say is: I apologize. We’ve not give you a reason to believe.”


Then there is an appeal to God as love: “I know you’ve seen the preachers with the sandwich boards and bullhorns saying ‘Repent or Die.’ But I’m here to tell you God is love. Look at Jesus. He hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. He loved unconditionally. There is so much brokenness in the world, but the good news of the Bible is that God came to live right in the middle of our brokenness. He’s a messy God and his mission is love. ‘I did not come into the world to condemn the world,’ that’s what Jesus said (John 3:17). He loved everyone, no matter who you were or what you had done. That’s what got him killed.”


The third part of the New Gospel is an invitation to join God on his mission in the world: “It’s a shame that Christians haven’t shown the world this God. But that’s what we are called to do. God’s kingdom is being established on earth. On earth! Not in some distant heaven after we die, but right here, right now. Even though we all mess up, we are God’s agents to show his love and bring this kingdom. And we don’t do that by scaring people with religious language or by forcing them into some religious mold. We do it by love. That’s the way of Jesus. That’s what it means to follow him. We love our neighbor and work for peace and justice. God wants us to become the good news for a troubled planet.”


And finally, there is a studied ambivalence about eternity: “Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in life after death. But our focus should be on what kind of life we can live right now. Will some people go to hell when they die? Who am I to say? Does God really require the right prayer or the right statement of faith to get into heaven? I don’t know, but I guess I can leave that in his hands. My job is not to judge people, but to bless. In the end, God’s amazing grace may surprise us all. That’s certainly what I hope for.”


Continue reading....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Marcus the "Drunken Christian"


Recently I was questioned by a family member for using the term "Professing Christian" in referring to some of the people I meet at the college and on the street while preaching the gospel. This audio segment from Wretched Radio should clear things up a bit.

The idea of "Carnal Christianity" is nothing new. The danger is that it has the potential for lulling someone into false assurance based on a "decision for Christ" they made sometime in their past, or an aisle they walked down at church. They are putting faith in a decision.

Here are just a couple, but powerful verses to ponder considering genuine salvation:

Spiritual Fruit

"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit." (Matthew 12:33)

Obedience

"The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." (1 John 3:24)















Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hindu Attacks on Christians in India


Another video from The Lawman Chronicles. Thank you for posting these Tony.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Church Closed in Bandung City, Indonesia


This weekend for "Watchmen," I will be featuring two videos I found on Tony Miano's blog.



Friday, December 25, 2009

An Evangelistic Short Film: That's Christmas

Merry Christmas. From us to you!

An evangelistic short film (3 minute version. see the full one here.) from St. Helen’s Bishopgate in London on whether or not the Christmas story happened and what it means—featuring New Testament scholar Paul Barnett .

That's Christmas (3 min version) from St Helen’s Church on Vimeo.



HT: Between Two Worlds

Thursday, December 24, 2009

This Is What Jesus Christ Upholds by the Word of His Power

The Son of man came to us as a child in a manger, yet "All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being." (John 1:3).





HT: Between Two Worlds

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Linus Christmas Monologue

This is one of my favorites.

Don't Expect a Perfect Repentance - Paul Washer

This is one of the most helpful videos I have seen from Paul Washer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Most Delightful Doctrine



The doctrine of God's sovereignty plays a large role in what drives my zeal for evangelism. He alone is in control of a persons heart. Nothing I can say in and of itself can convince a person to repent and trust the Savior. It is the work of God through the preaching of His gospel. If a person walks away having rejected the message he heard from me, I can rest in knowing that God can change his heart long after our encounter. Perhaps through the faithful witness of another.

I am sure there is no more delightful doctrine to a Christian, than that of CHRIST'S ABSOLUTE SOVEREIGNTY!I am glad there is no such thing as 'chance',that nothing is left to itself,but that Christ everywhere has sway.If I thought that there was a devil in hell that Christ did notgovern, I should be afraid that devil would destroy me.If I thought there was a circumstance on earth, which Christ didnot over-rule, I should fear that circumstance would ruin me.Nay, if there were an angel in heaven that was not oneof Jehovah's subjects, I should tremble even at him.But since Christ is King of kings, and I am his poor brother,one whom he loves, I give all my cares to him, for he caresfor me; and leaning on his breast, my soul has full repose,confidence, and security.

--Charles Spurgeon

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kid's Answers: Something Cool From Answers In Genesis


If your kids are like mine, they like to play games on the computer. Most are CD's that we have loaded, but occasionally, they like to play online games.

Here's and alternative that is interactive and fun for kids to check out....and they're sure to learn something about what the bible says about creation and the world around us. If you're looking for something safe, biblical and educational, check out Kids Answers.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Church Registration Inches Along

Assemblies of God obtains ‘operating license,’ but quest for recognition continues.


HO CHI MINH CITY, October 23 (CDN) — The Assemblies of God (AoG) in Vietnam on Monday (Oct. 19) received an “operating license,” which the government described as “the first step . . . before becoming officially legal.”

This operating license gives permission for all of the congregations of the Vietnam AoG to “carry on religious activity” anywhere in the country for the next year. During this time the church body must prepare a doctrinal statement, a constitution and bylaws and a four-year working plan to be approved by the government before being allowed to hold an organizing assembly. These steps, AoG leaders hope, would lead to legal recognition.

The operating license is the first one granted since five were granted two years ago. The last of those five churches, the Christian Fellowship Church, was finally allowed to hold its organizing assembly in late September. According to an internal 2008 government Protestant Training Manual obtained by church leaders, this assembly was delayed because authorities observed large discrepancies between the number of followers the group claimed and the actual number, as well as other “instability.”

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pakistani Muslims Allegedly Poison Christian Employees to Death





Two brothers die, third in critical condition, after complaining they were not paid.


GUJRANWALA, Pakistan, December 15 (CDN) — Muslim employers of three Christian sanitation workers at a banquet/wedding hall here allegedly poisoned the three workers yesterday, killing two of them; at press time the third was struggling for life in intensive care.

The father of the three workers, Yousaf Masih, said the owner of the hall, along with the manager, poisoned his sons because they were Christians who had dared to ask for pay owed to them.

Imran Masih, 29, and Irfan Masih, 25, died at the Ferozewala Pul Banquet & Marriage Hall after being forced to drink something that was heavily poisoned, Yousaf Masih said. The third worker, 23-year-old Aakash Masih, was in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit of Civil Hospital Gujranwala, in Punjab Province.


"It appears from the position they were in that they were forced to consume some kind of poisoned drink, or a drug, and they were left there to die,” Yousaf Masih said. “The administration of the banquet and wedding hall did not call a hospital or take them to a hospital – instead they called us after the death of two of our loved ones.”


Friday, December 18, 2009

Global Burning

Another great article from the blog and mind of Cameron Buettel.

I must confess that I am intensely frustrated at so many mega church pastors signing on to the "Evangelical Climate Initiative". Pope Al Gore clearly holds a lot of sway these days with 85 evangelical leaders jumping onto his global warming train. Let's just hope that it's a train with a carbon neutral footprint.

As an Australian living in Scandinavia, I see the prospect of global warming as a highly enticing prospect. And I am fiercely determined not to let Al Gore and all his clergy stand in the way of my dream of wearing shorts in December. I've invested heavily in this vision too and stand to make a killing. Not many people have the foresight to open a surf shop 50 miles inland from the Norwegian coast. But when the icecaps melt and the global warming really kicks in, Norway will be the new Hawaii. And when the oceans rise my surfshop will be right on the beach. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am about this. Of course, the Norwegians are very concerned about rising sea levels which is why they're killing so many whales and keeping the sea level as low as they possibly can. The unconvenient truth is, however, that if someone shut off the power to Al Gore's house, the holes in the ozone layer would close up in one fell swoop anyway.

But what about the mega church dudes crying over the environment. I mean, if there was an 11th commandment it would have to be about using bio-degradable communion cups wouldn't it. I must confess to always being a doubter when it comes to finding a biblical basis for global warming but then I stumbled upon it in the New Testament. How could I have doubted, how could I have been so wrong for so long . . .

Continue reading....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Is Pragmatism & Why Is It Bad?

By John MacArthur

In a column published some years ago in a popular Christian magazine, a well-known preacher was venting his own loathing for long sermons. January 1 was coming, so he resolved to do better in the coming year. "That means wasting less time listening to long sermons and spending much more time preparing short ones," he wrote. "People, I've discovered, will forgive even poor theology as long as they get out before noon."1

The church has imbibed the worldly philosophy of pragmatism, and we're just beginning to taste the bitter results.

What Is Pragmatism?

Pragmatism is the notion that meaning or worth is determined by practical consequences. It is closely akin to utilitarianism, the belief that usefulness is the standard of what is good. To a pragmatist/utilitarian, if a technique or course of action has the desired effect, it is good. If it doesn't seem to work, it must be wrong.

Pragmatism as a philosophy was developed and popularized at the end of the last century by philosopher William James, along with such other noted intellectuals as John Dewey and George Santayana. It was James who gave the new philosophy its name and shape. In 1907, he published a collection of lectures entitled Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking, and thus defined a whole new approach to truth and life.

Pragmatism has roots in Darwinism and secular humanism. It is inherently relativistic, rejecting the notion of absolute right and wrong, good and evil, truth and error. Pragmatism ultimately defines truth as that which is useful, meaningful, helpful. Ideas that don't seem workable or relevant are rejected as false.

Continue reading....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spiritual Drift


by Jim Eliff


"For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it" (Hebrews 2:1 NASB).


Some time ago, I spent a day on a Florida beach with my family. Nestled in my inner tube (not the one I grew by eating too much), I paddled out a little from the land to tune out the world and to rest on the soothing undulations of water beneath me. All was perfect for a while.

Yet my rest was interrupted when I discovered that I had floated too far away from the family-dangerously far out from land. I could no longer remain with my mind in neutral. Instead, neurons firing, I took quick stock of the situation and immediately began to kick and slap the water with everything I had. The going was difficult but I finally managed to land myself and the inner tube back on land. Even then, when I finally slogged on to the beach, I was a considerable walking distance from my starting place.


You know what it took for me to drift out so dangerously far? Nothing!


I got there by not paying close attention, the same thing the readers of this Hebrews letter were doing. But the drift they were in danger of experiencing had far greater consequences than mine.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith DVD Giveaway

This drawing has closed. Thanks for your participation.



Since its founding in 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has insisted that it alone represents true Christianity and that all other churches professing the name of Christ are part of a "Great Apostasy," that has incorporated corrupt doctrine and practices.

This DVD has been produced using LDS Church documents, Joseph Smith's teachings and other historical documents.

* I am making this DVD available FREE of charge to the first 12 respondants! Just send me an email with your name and mailing address.

*Available to U.S. residents only. Outside of the U.S. must pre-pay shipping costs via PayPal.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Modern-Day Lepers

by Bobby Ross Jr.

Churches try to balance grace and accountability toward sex offenders.

Convicted of indecent liberties with a teenage girl when he was 20 and attempted second-degree rape years later, James Nichols served his prison time—and then found himself back in police custody.

His offense: going to church.

Authorities said the 31-year-old Nichols violated a new North Carolina law that bars sex offenders from coming within 300 feet of any place intended primarily for use, care, or supervision of minors.

Nichols was arrested after worship at Moncure Baptist Church because the church has child-care facilities for families attending services. He is challenging the constitutionality of the law, claiming it violates his religious freedom.

Laws in 36 states establish where sex offenders can—and cannot—live or visit, an Associated Press survey found. Some states provide exemptions for churches, but many do not.

Continue reading.....





Sunday, December 13, 2009

500th Post


Today's "Watchmen on the Wall" post marked our 500th here at StreetFishing.org.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to those of you who read this blog and who have taken the time to contribute and or send us encouraging emails and comments. Even if you're comments challenge or are contrary to our position, they help us to look more closely at what we believe and why.

Our goal is to make StreetFishing.org different than other Christian sites by posting a wide variety of articles, blogs and personal experiences. Whether it be Evangelism (the heart of this blog), post modern philosophy, Atheism, news in the church or even humor, you will find it here. We seek to glorify God by informing and educating believers as well as challenging seekers and skeptics with the truth of the bible and ultimately, The Gospel.

If you do not already subscribe, please consider doing so.

Lastly, pleaese continue to pray that we are faithful in sharing the gospel clearly and biblically--the main reason this blog exists.

-Robert

Third Christian this Year Dies in Military Prison


Imprisoned for his faith, 43-year-old dies in solitary confinement.

LOS ANGELES, July 27 (CDN) — Another Christian imprisoned for his faith in Eritrea has died from authorities denying him medical treatment, according to a Christian support organization.

Sources told Netherlands-based Open Doors that Yemane Kahasay Andom, 43, died Thursday (July 23) at Mitire Military Confinement Center. A member of the Kale-Hiwot church in Mendefera, Andom was said to be secretly buried in the camp.

Weakened by continuous torture, Andom was suffering from a severe case of malaria, Open Doors reported in a statement today.

“He was allegedly further weakened by continuous physical torture and solitary confinement in an underground cell the two weeks prior to his death for his refusal to sign a recantation form,” the organization said. “It is not clear what the contents of the recantation form were, but most Christians interpret the signing of such a form as the denouncement of their faith in Christ.”

Saturday, December 12, 2009

10 Chinese house church leaders


by Art Toalston


WASHINGTON (BP)--Ten leaders of a Chinese house church have received years-long criminal detention and "re-education" labor camp sentences for their attempts to protest an attack against their facilities in mid-September, according to reports by the ChinaAid human rights organization.


The harshest punishments -- criminal detention sentences handed down Nov. 25 -- entail incarceration in a high-security prison where inmates often are mentally abused, starved and beaten, according to a spokeswoman for ChinaAid. Yang Rongli, wife of pastor Wang Xiaoguang of the Linfen House Church in the northeastern Chinese city of Linfen with more than 4 million people, received a seven-year sentence while her husband, Wang Xiaoquang, received three years. Three others also received criminal detentions.


In addition, five others received two-year sentences of re-education through labor Nov. 30. Re-education through labor is comparatively milder than criminal detention but involves despicable working conditions and other forms of abuse as well, the spokeswoman said.


ChinaAid President Bob Fu, after the Nov. 25 court proceedings, said, "To punish an innocent house church leader for seven years' imprisonment is the most serious sentence since 2004 when the senior Henan house church leader pastor Zhang Rongliang received a [sentence of] similar length.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Manufacturing Joy for Christmas


by Todd Friel


Christmas Carols insist you experience a holly jolly, merry, fa la la la la- kind of Christmas. TV specials pressure you to have a Currier and Ives holiday. Co-workers want to know, “How was your Christmas?” Tell me you have never felt compelled to exaggerate a little.

It is right that Christmas is the season of joy, but I wonder how many of us have to force it. There is a lot of pressure to have a superdy-dupery Christmas.

So how do we avoid having an Elvis-like blue Christmas? I think it starts with recognizing that we are in one of two groups.


Group One:

You are NOT in a ho ho ho season of life.

>You have recently lost a loved one.
>You have recently lost your job.
>You have been unemployed for a long time.
>You don’t know how you are going to pay the bills.
>You don’t know where your prodigal child is.
>You are in the military separated from your family.
>Your kids are driving you nuts.
>You and your spouse are in a bad season.
>You are a new convert and you are consumed with repentance.

May I suggest you release yourself from having a yippee skippee Christmas and simply feel bad? Ecclesiastes 3:4 gives you permission, “There is a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn.” If this is your time, get off your back. Weep. Cry. Be sad. It’s OK.

Don’t sin in your sadness, but you don’t have to have a Hallmark Christmas.

Group Two:

Ecclesiastes 3 does not tell us, “There is a time to be spiritually lazy.”
While I fear we put too much pressure on manufacturing joy for Christmas, we would do well to use this time of year to appreciate three things:

1. The greatest miracle of all time: the incarnation.

Jesus suffering did not begin on the cross or even the garden. It began when He became fully human at the incarnation. Imagine: the infinite contained in the finite. Spirit becoming flesh. God becoming man. This was the greatest miracle of all time and it was the beginning of the suffering that Jesus endured for us.

When the Jews mocked Jesus for being from Nazareth, there was a reason: it was a dump. Not only did your Savior live in a village that was a backwater town, but this town had no electricity, refrigeration, running water, plumbing, laundry, air-conditioning, TV, internet, telephones, stereos, i-pods, airplanes, microwaves, cars or Tempur-Pedic mattresses.

For you. He endured this for you. Ponder His incarnation and suffering this season.

2. We have the fullness of revelation revealed.
As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries. They were seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look. I Peter 1:10-12
Imagine not knowing (let alone seeing) the new covenant revealed and fulfilled in Jesus. Imagine waiting and waiting and waiting for the Messiah. As you sing, “O Come O Come, Immanuel” and “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”, imagine the longing the Old Testament saints had to see their Savior.

You do not have to wait. You do not have to imagine. You have the fullness of revelation in Jesus and testified to in the New Testament. Ponder that.


3. It’s about the Cross.

Permit me to quote the lyrics to the Go Fish song, “It’s about the Cross.”


It's not just about the manger
Where the baby lay
It's not all about the angels
Who sang for him that day

It's about the cross
It's about my sin
It's about how Jesus came to be born once
So that we could be born again



CJ Maheny once preached that we should preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. Christmas is no time to take a holiday from that practice.

Jamie Statema wrote, “The beginning of the story is wonderful and great. But it’s the ending that can save you and that’s why we celebrate.”

Avoid the Christmas blues this year. Preach the Gospel to yourself every day. When you sing the hymns, remember that it’s about the cross.

When you read the Christmas story to your kids this year, remember, it’s about the cross.

When you shop for gifts, remember, it’s about the gift of the cross.

You don’t have to have a crackling fireplace with perfect decorations and fascinating guests. That is how the world defines a merry Christmas. Let your holiday be more than that. Let your Christmas be about the cross

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Black Friday Tribute - Do Something Different

This is a little late for Black Friday, but I think it applies to the rest of this season.

The following video is intended for mature audiences. I recognize this will be provocative. Let me preface this by saying I am not an advocate of the social gospel. I am an advocate of the true gospel.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Merry Tossmas!

Here's an annual favorite.


Three Common Errors of False Teachers

Since we are now living in the age of religious tolerance and ecumenical unity, there are some people who will immediately call this article unloving and divisive. Others will ask, "What right do you have to judge another religion?" The answer is given in Scripture. All God-fearing people are called to make right judgments, judgments that have already been established by the objective principles of God's Word (John 7:24). There may be nothing more important than warning people who are being deceived about their eternal destiny. If we do not lovingly confront them with God's Gospel, they may never know how to escape the eternal fire of God's punishment. Clearly, the most unloving thing we can do is to ignore them and let them continue down the road to destruction. For this reason, I am always willing to offend people with the offense and exclusivity of the Gospel in the hopes that God may grant some of them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2: 25). Let us look at three fatal errors of false prophets and how to handle them.



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Someone Needed To Say It

Someone needed to say it. Thank you John Macarthur for remaining bold and truthful in todays troubled evangelical climate. I recently bought a teaching on DVD entitled A Call For Discernment from Justin Peters Ministries. I highly reccomend adding this to your video library as it exposes the false and in many cases heretical teachings of the "Health and Wealth/Prosperity Gospel."


A Colossal Fraud


by John MacArthur


Former NASDAQ chairman Bernie Madoff ran a ponzi-scheme swindle for nearly 20 years, and he bilked an estimated $18 billion from Wall-Street investors. When the scam finally came to light it unleashed a shockwave of outrage around the world. It was the largest and most far-reaching investment fraud ever.

But the evil of Madoff's embezzlement pales by comparison to an even more diabolical fraud being carried out in the name of Christ under the bright lights
of television cameras on religious networks worldwide every single day. Faith healers and prosperity preachers promise miracles in return for money, conning their viewers out of more than a billion dollars annually. They have operated this racket on television for more than five decades. Worst of all, they do it with the tacit acceptance of most of the Christian community.


Someone needs to say this plainly: The faith healers and health-and-wealth preachers who dominate religious television are shameless frauds. Their message is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing spiritual or miraculous about their on-stage chicanery. It is all a devious ruse designed to take advantage of desperate people. They are not godly ministers but greedy impostors who corrupt the Word of God for money's sake. They are not real pastors who shepherd the flock of God but hirleings whose only design is to fleece the sheep. Their love of money is glaringly obvious in what they say as well as how they live. They claim to possess great spiritual power, but in reality they are rank materialists and enemies of everything holy.…

Monday, December 7, 2009

Responding To Criticism

Another excellent article from the blog of Tullian Tchividjian.


As many of you know, my family and I were recently faced with the painful challenge of how to handle public criticism. It forced me to carefully think through how the gospel should inform and shape our response to public, personal attack.

Well, the other day I found great help (and healing) from Carl Trueman’s thoughts on how Christian’s should respond if they are criticized or defamed (specifically on the web). His gospel-drenched insights are right on the money:




"The answer is simple: for myself, I do not believe that it is appropriate that I spend my time defending my name. My name is nothing—who really cares about it? And I am not called to waste precious hours and energy in fighting off every person with a laptop who wants to have a pop at me. As a Christian, I am not meant to engage in self-justification any more than self-promotion; I am called rather to defend the name of Christ; and, to be honest, I have yet to see a criticism of me, true or untrue, to which I could justifiably respond on the grounds that it was Christ’s honour, and not simply my ego, which was being damaged. I am called to spend my time in being a husband, a father, a minister in my denomination, a member of my church, a good friend to those around me, and a conscientious employee. These things, these people, these locations and contexts, are to shape my priorities and my allocation of time. Hitting back in anger at those who, justly or unjustly, do not like me and for some reason think the world needs to know what they think of me is no part of my God-given vocation. God will look after my reputation if needs be; He has given me other work to do."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Muslims Attack on Christians in Gojra Pakistan


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christian Martyrs 2005-2008: Remembering


Friday, December 4, 2009

Stand To Reason and The Ambassador's Creed


I recently registered with Stand To Reason. There are to many resources there to name them all, so it's definately worth a look.
Below is a snippet from their mission statement:


"Stand to Reason trains Christians to think more clearly about their faith and to make an even-handed, incisive, yet gracious defense for classical Christianity and classical Christian values in the public square."


I really liked their Ambassador's Creed which fits in nicely with the mission verse for this blog (2 Corinthians 5:20) I plan to link to it in the sidebar. Read it here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Will you go to Heaven?

I found this on my friend Marcus' Repent Trust Blog. It's about as clear as a Gospel message as one can find. No matter how many times I hear it, the Gospel never gets old.

Will you go to heaven? This question is too important to get wrong. Therefore, don't go by opinions or feelings to find the answer. Go by what God has told us in His Word. The Bible states, "...it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) How will you do on Judgment Day? Have you obeyed God's commands? Let‘s take a look at a few and see. Have you ever lied? "...all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."(Revelation 21:8). Have you ever looked with lust? Jesus said "...whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matthew 5:28). Have you ever taken God's name in vain? “…the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7). Ever stolen anything (Exodus 20:15)? Ever gotten drunk (Ephesians 5:18, 1 Timothy 3:3)? Ever consulted a medium or person who claims to talk to the dead (Leviticus 19:31)? Ever dishonored your father or mother (Exodus 20:12)? You can also sin by omission, by not doing something that you should do (James 4:17). Have you always loved your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18)? Always loved God with all your heart, soul and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5)? The Bible states "...there is none who seeks after God." (Romans 3:11). It only takes one sin..."For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10). Without a doubt, God's standard is high. Jesus commanded, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your father in Heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48). Based on what God has told us, do you think you'll be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day? Will you go to Heaven or Hell? God is good (Mark 10:18) and He is also just (2 Thessalonians 1:6). Therefore, "...he does not leave the guilty unpunished..." (Numbers 14:18). There are many who make the mistake of thinking that they will be forgiven because of good deeds they have done, but the Bible warns that "...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6). Good deeds don't erase bad ones. The sad truth is that we have nothing to offer God. "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight..." (Romans 3:20). WE HAVE ONLY ONE HOPE... Although we deserve to "...be punished with everlasting destruction..." (2 Thessalonians 1:9), God made a way that we could be forgiven and made right with Him. "...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." (John 3:16). He sent Jesus to take our punishment upon the cross (Isaiah 53:5-6; 1 Peter 2:24). The good news is "...that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again according to the Scriptures," (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). If you want to be freed from sin and eternity in Hell, then you must have "...repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21). Repentance is a "change of mind." Turn away from your sinful ways. Turn away from lying, lusting, blaspheming, coveting, stealing, fornicating and/or any other sin(s). Then, place your trust in Jesus Christ to save you (John 14:1). Trust in Christ more than you would in a parachute if you were to jump from a plane that was flying at 20,000 feet. You would be counting on that parachute alone to save you. It would be your only hope. Do the same and more with Jesus, trust in Him alone for the forgiveness of your sins. Attending church, being water baptized and doing good deeds are all good things and we should do them; but they cannot save you. God's Word say it's "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Christ Jesus our Savior," (Titus 3:5-6). Eternal life is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8-9). If you truly do repent and trust in the Lord, God will save you and He will transform you. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17). After you get right with God, read the Bible daily (1 Peter 2:2) and obey it, see 1 John 5:3.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How do we understand the relationship between the Bible and modern science?


We've received a couple of comments recently pertaining to the Bible and modern Science. Since these folks seem to be visiting this blog lately, I've decided to provide some more fodder! Here is a great response from John MacArthur to the so-called "Starlight Problem."

Click here to listen to the audio.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Inerrency of Scripture


I do not believe that, from one cover to the other, there is any mistake in it of any sort whatever, either upon natural or physical science, or upon history or anything whatever. I am prepared to believe whatever it says, and to take it believing it to be the Word of God; for if it is not all true, it is not worth one solitary penny to me. It may be to the man who is so wise that he can pick out the true from the false; but I am such a fool that I could not do that. If I do not have a guide there that is infallible, I would as soon guide myself, for I shall have to do so after all; I shall have to be correcting the blunders of my guide perpetually, but I am not qualified to do that, and so I am worse off than if I had not any guide at all. Sit thou down, Reason, and let Faith rise up.


-C. H. Spurgeon

Birth of a New Species

STR gave this just the right amount of explanation. Translation. They're still birds!

Wired magazine reports this story of a new finch species, loading the story with Darwinist enthusiasm.

Interesting. Neat. But they're still birds. No Darwinism here, folks! It's variation on a theme, and the theme hasn't changed, only offered a bit more variety.

HT: Stand to Reason Blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bell Ringer Outreach

This weekend marks the emergence of the familiar Bell Ringers of the Salvation Army--At least here in the Phoenix area.

Each year I select both English and Spanish gospel tracts to hand out to them along with a short verbal history of the Salvation Army. I've found this to be a great ice-breaker since the organization was deeply interested in evangelism when it started. Many are surprised at the information.

Here is a brief excerpt from the Salvation Army's official web site:

William Booth embarked upon his ministerial career in 1852, desiring to win the lost multitudes of England to Christ. He walked the streets of London to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute.

Booth abandoned the conventional concept of a church and a pulpit, instead taking his message to the people. His fervor led to disagreement with church leaders in London, who preferred traditional methods. As a result, he withdrew from the church and traveled throughout England, conducting evangelistic meetings. His wife, Catherine, could accurately be called a cofounder of The Salvation Army.

In 1865, William Booth was invited
to hold a series of evangelistic meetings in the East End of London. He set up a tent in a Quaker graveyard, and his services became an instant success. This proved to be the end of his wanderings as an indepedent traveling evangelist. His renown as a religious leader spread thoughout London, and he attracted followers who were dedicated to fight for the souls of men and women.

Thieves, prostitutes, gamblers, and drunkards were among Booth's first converts to Christianity. To congregations who were desperately poor, he preached hope and salvation. His aim was to lead people to Christ and link them to a church for further spiritual guidance.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Islamic Extremists Execute Young Convert in Somalia



Christian accused of trying to convert Muslim teenager found shot on Mogadishu street.


NAIROBI, Kenya, November 23 (CDN) — Islamic extremists controlling part of the Somali capital of Mogadishu this month executed a young Christian they accused of trying to convert a 15-year-old Muslim to Christianity.


Members of the Islamic extremist group al Shabaab had taken 23-year-old Mumin Abdikarim Yusuf into custody on Oct. 28 after the 15-year-old boy reported him to the militants, an area source told Compass. Yusuf’s body was found on Nov. 14 on an empty residential street in Mogadishu, with sources saying the convert from Islam was shot to death, probably some hours before dawn.


“Our brother Yusuf has been murdered,” the source told Compass. “His body was dumped in Yaqshid district of Mogadishu, and his body is said to be on an empty residential street.”


Al Shabaab, said to have links with al Qaeda terrorists, controls parts of Mogadishu and much of southern parts of Somalia, as well as other areas of the nation.



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pakistani Christian on Run from Taliban Death Threat



Islamic extremist sermonizing leads to altercation at barbershop in South Waziristan.


LAHORE, Pakistan, November 27 (CDN) — A young Christian man is in hiding in Pakistan from Taliban militants who seek to kill him for “blasphemy” because he defended his faith.


In February Jehanzaib Asher, 22, was working in a barbershop his family jointly owns with his cousin in Wana, South Waziristan – a Taliban stronghold in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in Pakistan’s northwest – when the Islamic militants showed up to try to convert him to Islam.


It was not the first time the Taliban’s Noor Hassan had delivered strident sermons to him and his relatives, and this time Asher decided not to listen silently. He defended Christianity by citing verses from the Bible, and Hassan and another Islamic militant viciously beat him – breaking his left leg and some ribs and leaving his left hand non-functional.


He told Compass that he only defended Christianity and did not comment on Islam.


“One can bear the death of one’s father or mother, but can we keep listening to insults of our religion?” Asher said.


Friday, November 27, 2009

The Gospel: The Power of God Unto Salvation

Here is a bit of a follow up on my post this past Wednesday.

Five qualities in the Gospel which command our confidence in its power to save:

1. Strictly speaking, proper gospel preaching is done "with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven" (1 Peter 1:12). Otherwise it come to men only in word, with no saving effect at all (1 Thessalonians 1:5). But where the Holy Spirit is operative, convicting men of sin, righteousness and judgment, there the gospel comes with power and with much assurance.

2. The gospel is the narration of historical facts, interpreted by God for us, to be embraced and kept. Since Christ truly died and was raised, therefore our salvation is in him alone; he is our hope. The gospel is the outworking of God's eternal decree to save his elect. The same God who plans our salvation has also executed it. It must therefore be powerful and infallible in its purpose.

3. It is the gospel of grace, as Paul called it (Acts 20). Grace from beginning to end. We can be confident because the gospel does not depend on men's capacities and goodness (for he is totally depraved); rather it depends on God; it is the declaration of what he has accomplished through his Son on Calvary. The mission is already accomplished. Man does not need to sign on the dotted line, as if the gospel depends on him for success. No! By grace, God himself gives us the gift of faith, to embrace His Son in all his saving efficacy.

4. It is the gospel suited for sinners par excellence. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. I came to serve and to give my life a ransom for many. The gospel addresses all as condemned sinners, under God's wrath, but it goes us to speak of a way of escape. Sinners, who are made poor in spirit, will certainly realize how adapted the gospel is to them. It's exactly what they need to hear. It is relevant to all in every age.

5. Preachers may be bound and beaten; but the Word is not and cannot be bound. God, in his sovereignty, send the gospel wherever he desires and to whomsoever he wishes, so that it accomplishes his purpose. God's ministers are unto him "a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; to the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life." (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). Even where it seems to fail, the gospel accomplished God's wise and inscutable purpose.

Copyright Paul Mizzi www.tecmalta.org Used by Permission.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Calvanistic Turkeys


I just couldn't resist this one. Compliments of Sacred Sanwich!

Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day

October 3, 1863


... I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens... to set apart... a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens....




The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln