Friday, July 31, 2009

The Power of a Tract

This is an account of an outing with a couple of the customer service reps from Living Waters recently. Another great testimony that tracts are a great resource for sharing your faith.


We just concluded our 11th Academy here in California a couple weeks ago and the June Academy participants are now home hopefully continuing in all that they learned.

The day they left, just to end the weekend with a bang, some of the Academy Lady Mentors and Team Leaders joined up with a team of ten others to pass out tracts and engage in one-to-ones in Hollywood at that Sunday's Gay Pride Parade.

We met up at someone's church for a time prayer before going out, then caravanned to our destination. We parked on the same street, loaded our bags and backpacks with money tracts and a specially designed tracts just for this event.

One of the leaders put a tract together that was on simple pink card stock, with what looked like wedding bells on the front with a text that read: "GOT EQUALITY?"

On the back, it talks about our American constitutional rights and equality... then continues to talk about how we all will equally be judged according to God's holy standard, the Ten Commandments, followed, of course, by the gospel message.

Nothing on the tract said anything about homosexuality, gay marriage, or the like, but those tracts flew out of our hands and in to the hands of both male and female attendees living in homosexual living styles.

Arriving early before the parade started, we began where the parade would later end and made our way toward where the parade would begin. Many of those I handed these tracts to gladly received them, having not yet read the back. And at one point my friend and I ended up breaking off from the rest of our team and hitting up everyone setting up to watch the parade. We covered the entire parade route from where it was to end to where it began and back again.

It was like nothing I have ever experienced! I didn't really stick around long enough to hear what people had to say after they read the tracts, but my friend had a couple of friendly conversations with individuals out there.

When we later met up with one of our fellow evangelists, and the others that were out there with us at the end of the day, his eyes were blood shot, having been in tears over a conversation he had had with a young lady he'd given a tract to.

She had taken the Million Dollar tract and continued on her way, but ended up sometime later coming back to him later (he had been 75 yards down from where he handing her the tract), imploring him to take the tract back. Of course he said that he would not take it back and, "We care for you that's why we give them to you."

She said, "I read the back and you're just here to condemn my homosexuality."

He said, "No ma'am. No where on there does it talk about homosexuality, nor would I speak of it to you."

She told him that he had to take that tract back because she had become very convicted by reading it and explained that she was living in a lesbian life-style.

She said, "I read the back and it talks about lusting and things of that nature."

He said, "Ma'am, that is the moral law of God."

She said, "Sir, I am a Christian. I'm a back-slidden Christian. I'm aware of my homosexuality. I have read this and I am living in a back-slidden state, but I am a Christian."

He went on to say that she needed to heed God's conviction by repenting, trusting, and committing her life to Jesus Christ alone and that God would then deliver her from that lifestyle. He was able to go through the law and the gospel with her, and told her if she was truly born again that there were many lost people around her that she could give the tract to.

She even ended up thanking him for speaking with her that way and turned and walked away with the tract. Usually we try to engage people like this, my friend was just passing out as many tracts as he could at this event and this fish came "swimming" from 75 yards back to him to "jump in to the boat" so-to-speak! THAT'S THE POWER OF A GOSPEL TRACT!

There were estimated to be thousands of attendees there that day and even though there were others passing out all kinds of other flyers, which covered the ground in certain areas of the parade route, I didn't see even one tract on the ground, and my friend and I alone passed out thousands of tracts.

The parade, of course was quite obscene at times, at which points my friend and I had to warn each other not to look at it.

So God alone knows what impact that was made and we trust in Him that His Word will not return void!

May God be glorified!


HT: Living Waters



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ask the Lawman

Being Lead by The Spirit

Here is another informative video from the blog of Tony "The Lawman" Miano of Living Waters. Tony is also the director of The Ambassadors' Alliance, a ministry to equip the body of Christ for sharing the Gospel. His ministry, love for The Lord, and total commitment to reaching the lost have been a source of encouragement and motivation for me to serve God with everything I have. I look forward to posting more of his articles and videos going forward.




Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lame Puzzles for Christians

Some comic relief compliments of Sacred Sandwich!



Man’s Total Depravity


It is our deep conviction that the vital question most requiring to be raised today is this: Is man a totally and thoroughly depraved creature by nature? Does he now enter the world completely ruined and helpless, spiritually blind and dead in trespasses and sins? According as is our answer to that question, so will be our views on many others. It is upon the basis of this dark background that the whole Bible proceeds. Any attempt to modify or abate, repudiate or tone down the teaching of Scripture thereon is fatal. Put the question in another form: Is man now in such a condition that he cannot be saved without the special and direct intervention of the Triune God on his behalf? In other words, is there any hope for him apart from his personal election by the Father, his particular redemption by the Son, and the supernatural operations of the Spirit within him? Or, putting it in still another way: If man be a totally depraved being, can he possibly take the first step in the matter of his return unto God?



There is therefore a crying need today for sin to be viewed in the light of God’s Law and Gospel, so that its exceeding sinfulness may be demonstrated, and the dark depths of human depravity exposed by the teaching of Holy Writ...



The Scriptural answer to that question makes evident the utter futility of the schemes of social reformers for ‘the moral elevation of the masses,’ the plans of politicians for the peace of the nations, and the ideologies of dreamers to usher in a ‘golden age’ for this world. It is both pathetic and tragic to see many of our greatest men putting their faith in such chimeras. Divisions and discords, hatred and bloodshed, cannot be banished while human nature is what it is. But during the past century the steady trend of a deteriorating Christendom has been to underrate the evil of sin and overrate the moral capabilities of men. Instead of proclaiming the heinousness of sin, there has been a dwelling more upon its inconveniences, and the abasing portrayal of the lost condition of man as set forth in Holy Writ has been obscured, if not obliterated, by flattering disquisitions upon human advancement. If the popular religion of ‘the churches’—including nine-tenths of what is termed ‘Evangelical Christianity’—be tested at this point, it will be found that it clashes directly with man’s fallen, mined, and spiritually dead condition.


There is therefore a crying need today for sin to be viewed in the light of God’s Law and Gospel, so that its exceeding sinfulness may be demonstrated, and the dark depths of human depravity exposed by the teaching of Holy Writ—that we may learn what is connoted by those fearful words, ‘dead in trespasses and sins.’ The grand object of the Bible is to make God known unto us, to portray man as he appears in the eyes of his Maker, and to show the relation of one to the other. It is therefore the business of His servants not only to declare the Divine character and perfections, but also to delineate the original condition and apostasy of man, as well as the Divine remedy for his ruin. Until we really behold the hole of the pit in which by nature we lie, we can never properly appreciate Christ’s so-great salvation. In man’s fallen condition we have the awful disease for which Divine redemption is the only cure, and our estimation and valuation of the provisions of Divine grace will necessarily be modified in proportion to how well we understand the depth and degree of our sin.”


- A.W. Pink, Man’s Total Depravity




Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?



Confess or Profess

True, those who confess Christ, shall be confessed by him; and it is as true, that this confession is equivalent to a promise of salvation. But you must know, that professing Christ, is not confessing him: for to profess Christ is one thing—to confess Christ is another. Confession is a living testimony for Christ, in a time when religion suffers. Profession may be only a lifeless formality, in a time when religion prospers. To confess Christ, is to choose his ways, and own them. To profess Christ, is to plead for his ways—and yet not live in them. Profession may be from a feigned love to the ways of Christ; but confession is from a rooted love to the person of Christ. To profess Christ, is to own him when none deny him; to confess Christ, is to plead for him, and suffer for him, when others oppose him. Hypocrites may be professors; but the martyrs are the true confessors. Profession is a swimming down the stream. Confession is a swimming against the stream. Now many may swim with the stream, like the dead fish—which cannot swim against the stream, with the living fish. Many may profess Christ, who cannot confess Christ; but in the end, notwithstanding their profession, such as those will be found to be not true Christians.”

- Matthew Meade

HT: Symphony of Scripture

Monday, July 27, 2009

Crazy Love

I am currently reading a book by Francis Chan called Crazy Love. This book explores the need to view God rightly in his majesty and absolute sovereignty and authority. This is a must read for an American church that needs awakening. See the introductory video below.



Sunday, July 26, 2009

Follower or Fooled?



This sermon was preached by my friend and fellow blogger, Steve Sanchez of Hope Chapel Christian Church in Hermosa Beach, CA. It's an important message about examining ourselves too see if we are in the truth. I'll keep tucked away to listen to again and again. Whether you're already planning to hear a sermon today or you can't make it to churhc, this message is a worthwhile listen.

I had the pleasure of meeting Steve at the Amabassadors Alliance Academy last year in Los Angeles. He has a passion for sharing the Gospel and a great sense of humor. Check out his work over on his blog at Stone The Preacher.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Asking People To Accept Jesus

This video comes to us from The Lawman Chronicles , the blog of Tony Miano. What do you think of his reasons for not leading someone into a "sinner's prayer"?


Friday, July 24, 2009

A Purpose Plea to Pastors

By Todd Friel

Would you let a surgeon operate on you or your family if he didn’t know the procedure perfectly? Of course not. How much more accurate should a pastor be with the Gospel that is the power unto salvation?

If you are responsible for introducing the Purpose Driven Life to your church or small group, please consider the following verses. “I (Paul) have laid the foundations like an expert builder. Now others (you) are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful.” I Cor.3:10.

How careful have you been in endorsing the Purpose Driven Life? Did you study it with a critical eye? Did you know the theology and history of Rick Warren before you fed Purpose to your sheep? Were you “very careful?”

“There is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. If the work survives the fire, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builders themselves will be saved, but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.” (I Cor.3:13-15)

Hold it, it gets worse. Paul tells us that “God will bring ruin upon anyone who ruins this temple.” (v.17) Uh oh.

For 57 pages, Pastor Warren does not describe sin, righteousness, judgment, God’s holiness, hell, repentance, shedding of blood, atonement or resurrection. Yet on page 58 of PDL, Pastor Warren invites the reader to become a Christian by “whispering the prayer that will change your eternity.” This prayer better be surgically accurate or we have a pastor who is guilty of malpractice (pardon the mixed metaphor). So what is the prayer that will save?

“’Jesus, I believe in you and I receive you.’ Go ahead. If you sincerely meant that prayer, congratulations! Welcome to the family of God.”

If you believe that James 4:9,10 describes the conversion experience of godly sorrow that leads to repentance, then you recognize that Pastor Warren’s presentation of salvation is, and I state this very carefully, not Biblical.

Friend, we can argue about many things in Christianity, but salvation is one message we must have complete accuracy and agreement on. Paul warned that any other Gospel is no Gospel at all. “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him forever be accursed.” Gal.1:8

We cannot say, “Well, he sort of presents the Gospel.” Jesus shed His blood for this Gospel, we must get it right. Eternity is at stake.

“Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14,15) “Repent and trust” is the Biblical response to the Gospel, not whispering a prayer. God commands all men everywhere to repent.

Imagine your spouse committed adultery against you and returned to you and said, “Honey, I believe in you and I receive you.” Would that be acceptable to you? Why would we think that is acceptable to God? It isn’t. That is a false Gospel. That is a damning Gospel.

Luther, Calvin, Moody and Tozer all preached repentance and trust. Charles Spurgeon proclaimed, “While the gospel is a command, it is a two-fold command explaining itself. "Repent ye, and believe the gospel.’"

If you believe that is the only saving Gospel, then you stand at odds with PDL.

While we could discuss the Pastor Warren’s faulty forty day premise, man-centered theology, rampant mis-use of Scripture, using a dozen liberal translations and his questionable connections and endorsement by Robert Schuller, his salvation message alone should disqualify Purpose from being promoted in evangelical circles.

Please, you are the shepherd of your flock. Your sheep are being fed another Gospel. You will be judged for this. All I ask is that you consider what I am saying and check it with Scripture. This is your duty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 Top Reasons You Know You're An Evangelist


This comes to us compliments of Greg Elsasser of Last Words Radio

You Know You’re An Evangelist …


10. Because every time you take your wife out on a date, you’re secretly scoping out prime open air spots.


9. When you ask for Gospel tracts on your birthday, Christmas, Fathers Day, Independence Day, Columbus Day, and the Martin Luther King Jr holiday.


8. When you buy shirts because they have pockets for tracts.


7. Because you lose friends on Facebook on a daily basis.


6. When a character is dying in a movie, you can’t help but hope they hurry and put their faith in Christ.


5. When you take out a home line of credit and convert the cash into dollar bills.


4. When nobody wants to invite you anywhere, because you’re "that guy" who's always sharing the Gospel with everyone.


3. When you hear a Christian say “God bless you” to someone who sneezes, and you ask them if that’s the extent of their friendship evangelism.


2. When you find yourself starting to preach the Gospel to your Sims family.
*Drum roll please.............


1. When there are so many tracts, charts, and pieces of open air equipment in the back of your car you discover there is no room for the kids.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Elderly Woman Witnesses To Would Be Robber

This story isn't new, but it's one of those that's worth revisiting. Read the full story on WMCTV.com.



Three Dirty Words

by Todd Friel

If you dare to proclaim that Jesus is the only name under Heaven whereby man must be saved, then brace yourself to be called some foul names. Here's how it works. You say, "Jesus is the only way to the Father." They say, "That is sooooo exclusive." You say, "God will condemn anyone who is not forgiven through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ." They say, "That is sooooo intolerant." You say, "If a person does not act like a Christian, then they aren't a Christian." They say, "That is sooooo judgmental." But hold the phone. Loaded in the claim that we are exclusive, intolerant and judgmental, is the premise that these things are intrinsically bad. Would it offend you if someone said, "You are such a baker"? Now you may or may not be a baker, but that is not the point. The question is whether or not it is bad to be a baker.

Exclusive

The Gospel is exclusive. Christians who say it is not, are not Christians. However, there is more to it than that. Society excludes people all the time. If a student does not get straight A's, he gets excluded from the Dean's list. You cannot walk into a restaurant and eat without paying. Why? The restaurant excludes non-payers. I can't show up at 3M and sit at a desk and use their computer. I don't work there. But when they throw me out on my ear I don't scream, "You are sooooo exclusive."

Judgmental

With unprecedented disdain, the pagan or liberal Christian (frequently the same thing) will drip, "You fundamentalists are sooooo judgmental." This should be no surprise coming from a post-modern generation that does not believe in objective truth. In their mind nobody is ever wrong about anything. The marvel of the postmodern is that your belief can be the complete opposite of theirs and they will not call you...I pause to type this word with fear and trembling...the "W" word. Wrong is simply not a word in the post-modern vocabulary. When you have the audacity to say someone is not correct, be prepared to be called judgmental. Once again we must ask, "Is being judgmental a bad thing?" Don't we judge all day? You judge which grocery store line to stand in. Is that wrong? Anything that shows a preference is a judgment. The next time you are called "judgmental," simply ask your post-modern friend which automobile is superior: Mercedes Benz or KIA? When they say Mercedes, then load up and fire away, "That is sooooo judgmental." Does that sound silly? It sure does.

Intolerant

This might be the mother of all accusations. These days, to be called intolerant is almost as bad as being called born again. We simply have to help our slanderous friend read a dictionary. At the core of tolerance is disagreement. In order for me to tolerate or not tolerate you, we must have a difference of opinion. Otherwise, we merely agree. Like-mindedness is not the question; it is how I choose to respond to you. If I disagree with you but live in harmony with you, then I am tolerant. If I punch you in the nose, then I am intolerant. By disagreeing with you without hurting you, I am practicing the virtue of tolerance, not intolerance.

How to Respond?

When someone calls you one of these filthy names, they are employing one of the emptiest debate tactics of all time: ad hominem. They don't have support for their accusation, so they call you a name instead. In this case though, the name they call you isn't bad. They simply say it like it is. Furthermore, when they call you any of "The Three Insufferables," they are doing the very thing they accuse you of. Nevertheless, even if we accept their contorted definitions of exclusivity, intolerance and arrogance, their point is ultimately irrelevant. Even if we are all of those supposedly horrible things, that does not change the validity of our claims. If you say that Jesus is the only means of salvation and they protest that you are being exclusionary, simply respond, "That may or may not be true, but why do you disagree with me?"

When you profess that only those who bear fruit in keeping with repentance are true followers of Jesus, they will insist you are intolerant. Say, "Even if I am intolerant, can you prove that I am wrong?"

The next time you claim that all roads don't lead to God and they spew that you are judgmental, calmly respond, "Yeah, so?"

Distributed by Christian Worldview




Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Come To Christ, He Is Mighty To Save

This video does a good job easing some of the tension concerning sovereign election and personal responsibility. What a kind, gracious and loving God we serve!



Monday, July 20, 2009

Well Known or Well Done?

by James MacDonald


Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Perry Noble, John Piper, Mark Dever, CJ Mahaney, John MacArthur, Francis Chan, Rick Warren, Craig Groeschel, Wayne Cordeiro, Andy Stanley, Ed Young, the list goes on and on. Well known pastors, fruitful leaders, each with their own area of exceptional competence, each with an influence and an impact that appears far greater than my own in one or many ways. And those are just a few of the names that come to mind . . . names of people I don’t know or hardly know. Then there are friends whose ministries also exceed my own, Jack Graham, Bill Hybels, Greg Laurie, Jim Cymbala, David Jeremiah, Bob Coy, etc., another long list.


Man I get sick of hearing about these people. Every day they are blogging and writing and preaching and holding conferences, and making an impact and building the kingdom. Hey!!! HEY, Look at me, I’m doing something too! When do I get my name in lights? When do I get my head above the crowd? If we are not careful we can trap ourselves in a game of comparison and even criticism. “Yeah, well he may be reaching a lot of people, but he’s not doing it right,” or “Really? You think that is an appropriate way to talk to God’s people?” Or “I would never be as arrogant, or self-promoting, or compromising, or . . . ?” Here’s how I have slain the dragon of ministry comparison:


1) We are on the same team: Rejoice!Anyone who believes in the necessity of the new birth and the authority of the Word of God is on our team. They may play the game a little different but if we are for the King and the Kingdom we should be able to delight in any wins they experience as wins for the team. It’s a great heart check to get yourself to the place where the blessing of God upon other ministries truly causes your heart joy. Cultivate the capacity to express genuine thankfulness whenever you hear of a fellow servant that is making an impact upon a needy area for Christ. I know I can’t be there, and I am so grateful that he or she is. “Rejoice with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15).


2) All is not as it appears: Reflect!The Bible makes it clear again and again, (e.g., 1 Corinthians 3:13) that there will be surprises at the judgment seat of Christ. Big is not only not better; it might not even be blessed by God. The demands faced by high profile ministers can be crushing and we should not allow ourselves to see their roles as more satisfying than they really are. I can honestly say that the bit of fruitfulness I have seen has been as much a burden as a blessing. Beyond that, all that appears fruitful is not necessarily so, and some things that appear less effective on the surface are being greatly used of God. This should cause all of us to examine our own motives and ministries so by God’s grace we can be on the right side of that final surprise. “The last will be first and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16–that verse has always scared me).




3) Jesus Himself is the prize not “success:” RestYes, I love to serve but I must always remember that I serve because I love. The great commandment is about being in relationship with God and others, not about bearing fruit or building ministry. I have to continually wean myself off the addiction of ‘doing,’ things for God and on to the dependence of being in relationship with Him. I can’t speak for what others are doing but I know that in the end I want to log my best hours as Mary not as Martha. The goal of ministry is to get people deeper and deeper into a God glorifying, soul satisfying relationship with Christ. I want to be about modeling, enjoying and resting in that as my highest calling. “Be content with such things as you have for He has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).




In about 10 more minutes (or so it will seem), we are gonna be standing before Jesus Christ and the words we will be longing to hear are not “Well known,” but “Well done!” Let’s believe that others are going for that too, whether we know their names or not and let’s rejoice when we see others fruitfulness, reflect upon our own motivations for serving Christ and let’s rest in the knowledge that . . . “Promotion does not come from the east or the west, God is the judge, who sets up one and puts down another” (Psalm 75:7).



HT: Straight Up

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Revolutionary Music

Keeping things light.......and with the worship theme today.


HT: Sacred Sandwich


Ten things that damage a worship ministry and hamper worship in a church


Here's something to consider as we go off to worship this Lord's day.
1. Church politics: not everyone can or will be “pleased” by the style of worship at a church, no matter how many services, styles, video venues or times for worship. Pleasing people in general is a bad idea, right?

2. Biblical illiteracy: a worship ministry that does not commit to biblically presenting a complete Jesus or filter song choice or content biblically will risk teaching the congregation a lessor picture of Jesus.

3. Utility over Artistry: a demand to see music, and other expressions of worship as utility and not understand art hurts the ability to actually authentically express. It makes worship a means to something rather than the end.

4. Church politics: not everyone has gifts to lead or can be in front all the time. The goal in worship leadership is to serve the church, not your own desire to be leading upfront or showcasing talent. When personalities clamor for the stage, it hurts our worship expression.

5. Not letting the kids take over: keeping worship for my generation and not giving the younger mentorship, exposure and leadership opportunities in worship means the church loses the future. Remember, they are not the church of the future, they are the church.

6. Worshiping excellence: pushing the worship team to be so non-inclusive that only a small elite become the musicians, singers and tech might hurt the church since losing one of these individuals means a huge hole and loss of excellence.

7. Lack of Excellence: if music, lighting, speaking and whatever is available is not done well, the church loses gifted people who would rather not subjugate their gifting to poor planning, execution or leadership. (So, with 6 & 7 there is a sweet spot each church has to find–value doing your best, while not making it a club!)

8. Christian subculture: when music selection is limited to only a small group of writers from a couple publishers and there is one radio station in town your veteran church members listen to, we live in a ghetto. The goal is not to keep our worship expression in a bubble but to reach the world. Make worship style indigenous to reach and reflect your community, not the choice of Christian publishers marketing to veteran Christians.

9. Church politics: song selection, use of drums, volume, personalities, who gets to play, friends, complaint cards…
10. Me, myself and I: the trinity of selfishness perhaps is the root cause of all of these. Worship in a local church is “us” worshiping our God. Even when we feel our personal need to worship is important, gathering with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of worshipers is something special and not about me or you in that moment.

Which of these do you think is the worst offender?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What's Wrong With a Bit of Cussing?


by Ray Comfort

"Ray, what is wrong with using 'filthy language'? Biblically or otherwise? Words are words, and it is you who projects meaning onto them. 'Filthiness' is a category that certain words are intentionally used to carry, meaning that if (for example) the entire human race forgot the filthy words of today, new ones would pop up to take their place in the semantic vacuum. But I ask again, what's wrong with using the f-word (filthy word)?" -Lurker

If you are an atheist, you can’t say anything is morally "wrong." Is rape wrong? If you answer "Yes," I ask you "Who says?" If you say "Society," then if society deemed rape morally okay, does it become right? What about murder? Is that right or wrong? What say society says it’s right, just for getting rid of Jews and blacks? Is it then right? Is it morally okay to kill children in the womb? You say again, "If society says so." How about men marrying men? If society says so. Is pedophilia wrong? Same scenario.

You have no rock to stand on. We do. The rock upon which the Christian stands is immovable, and it will judge all of humanity (including you) on the Day of Judgment (see Romans 2:12). We have the solid rock of the Law of God. The Commandments were written in stone and they are unchanging. They tell us that murder is morally wrong, so is adultery, fornication, lust, greed, envy, and pride. Everything that violates the spirit of God’s Law is morally wrong (see Romans 7:14). That includes what the Bible calls "filthy language" (see Colossians 3:8).

A recent study found that the use of filthy language tends to help certain people deal with pain:

"The researchers enlisted 64 undergraduate volunteers and had them submerge their hand in a tub of ice water for as long as possible while repeating a swear word of their choice. The experiment was then repeated with the volunteer repeating a more common word that they would use to describe a table. Contrary to what the researcher expected, the volunteers kept their hands submerged longer while repeating the swear word."

All these researchers found was that certain human beings with a filthy mouth (subconsciously) place value on filthy talk. No doubt blasphemy was included in their language:

"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies"(Matthew 15:18-19).

Friday, July 17, 2009

Joel Osteen, its just the Truth - Paul Washer

Dear Brothers and Sisters,Consider the message of Paul Washer in this video. Listen to what he is saying. Listen to what he is not saying. Listen to the heart in which it is said. Now consider what YOU say and don't say. Consider your heart for what should be said. It is my prayer that God forgives me of my apathy and lack of faithfulness to the truth.

Standing With You and For Christ Alone,



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unintentional Isolation

Jeremy Jernigan is a teaching pastor at Central Christian Church of the East Valley in Gilbert Arizona. His position is arguably Emergent and somewhat liberal in a variety of areas. The following is from his blog, Tomorrow's Reflection in which he has on ongoing dialogue with a homosexual man named Kimeron.


I'll let the article speak for itself and hope I get some comments here. I wonder if others will ask the same questions I am asking? I'll wait to see and then comment myself.
If you try to post anything contrary to Jernigan's position at his blog, they are not likely to see the light of day. However I think it's important to examine and if need be, expose teaching that is increasingly man-centered and less reverant concerning issues God has already cleary spoken about in the Bible. The result is low view of scripture and of God's holiness.

-Robert

Unintentional Isolation
by Jeremy Jernigan

I caught up with Kimeron again to continue our ongoing conversation about homosexuality. You can read our previous dialogues here. Here is the latest question I asked him, “I know there are a lot of people that maliciously try to alienate and hurt gay people’s feelings on purpose. Aside from people like that, what do people do unintentionally that cause a gay person to feel judged or isolated?”

Kimeron: “My first response would have to be the assumptions that people make about me or other gay people based only on stereotypes or characters from TV or the movies. For example, not all gay people cross dress, or are sexually promiscuous, or are anti-religion. We are individuals just like not all straight people have affairs or get divorced. It is awkward and uncomfortable when people make assumptions about me, which requires sometimes taking a light-hearted moment and making it serious because I need to speak up and counter the impression that person has. Listening to jokes about gay people, even if not intended to be hurtful, but that perpetuate a stereotype is very uncomfortable. Jokes, for example, where the person mocks effeminate men or masculine women, suggest to me that the person telling it is not comfortable around gays or is incredibly insensitive to the possibility that someone they know or love might be offended.

Other more obvious ways that people can create an uncomfortable situation is by asking questions that assume the person you just met is straight. I am asked frequently about my “wife” because I wear a wedding band as a symbol of my commitment to Brad. It creates a moment of awkwardness, especially if I don’t know the person, because I have to decide whether to bring up the issue for discussion (which I may not want to do in every social setting) or to avoid answering, etc. It’s much simpler if the person just says “what does your partner do?”. I know it takes some getting used to when you first start using the term “partner”, but actually I’ve found that in California many people use this term I think because of the many varieties of relationships out here (including heterosexual couples who may not be married, or are domestic partners, or are just dating, etc.). Not inviting my partner to dinners or social events is another way that can be unintentional, but is unfair and hurtful.

There’s an excellent book written by Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong called ‘Living in Sin: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality’ that I read some years ago that was just an amazing blessing to me. Rev. Spong is himself heterosexual, but believes that many Christians have missed the boat on ministering to the human sexuality side of us all. He talks about for example how the church has rites to bless marriages (of straight people), but has no formal form of ritual to help people deal with divorce. He also believes strongly that dogmatically rejecting gay people based on a few Biblical passages that may or may not actually mean what we think they mean, is wrong. His other significant book to me personally is called ‘Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism.’”

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two Rival Religions


On November 3, 1921, J. Gresham Machen presented an address entitled, "Liberalism or Christianity?" In that famous address, later expanded into the book, Christianity & Liberalism, Machen argued that evangelical Christianity and its liberal rival were, in effect, two very different religions.



Machen's argument became one of the issues of controversy in the Fundamentalist/Modernist controversies of the 1920s and beyond. By any measure, Machen was absolutely right--the movement that styled itself as liberal Christianity was eviscerating the central doctrines of the Christian faith while continuing to claim Christianity as "a way of life" and a system of meaning.


"The chief modern rival of Christianity is 'liberalism,'" Machen asserted. "Modern liberalism, then, has lost sight of the two great presuppositions of the Christian message--the living God and the fact of sin," he argued. "The liberal doctrine of God and the liberal doctrine of man are both diametrically opposite to the Christian view. But the divergence concerns not only the presuppositions of the message, but also the message itself."




Click Here to read the rest of this article.






Tuesday, July 14, 2009

R.C. Sproul on Sola Scriptura

Here is a great three-part instructional series from R.C. Sproul on Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone.)










Monday, July 13, 2009

The Focus On The Family Trainwreck

by Cameron Buettel

Well I've almost finished the cleanup operation of scraping my jaw up off the floor. James Dobson has stepped down as the CEO of Focus on the Family and handed over the reigns to Jim Daly. Jim Daly's opening speech was nothing short of a shocker. For a ministry that has been at the forefront of the fight against abortion and gay marriage, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would hear the words that Daly uttered:

What we want to see are more families like Barack Obama's.

What is going on here??? Has the man lost his mind, is he just plain stupid, biblically illiterate, does he fear man and not God, or all of the above? But wait - there's more! The Jim Daly train wreck just continued in spectacular pragmatic, compromising, and biblically ignorant fashion:

But we can respect what Obama does well. We can focus more on the positive. And I respect his family.

Yes, let's just overlook the fact that Obama supports murder of the unborn and also those who survive the murderous practice of abortion.

Daly says he is results-oriented, not an ideologue (what's that smell . . . ahh pragmatism).

When those who are right, left and center all say, 'Let's make abortion rare,' let's meet at that starting point. Let's shove off the rhetoric and get together on practical matters.

Yeah right! Like Obama's policies are decreasing the abortion rate - NOT!

I cannot be Dr. Dobson. I'm hoping for a different pair of shoes. He's black and white -- a scientist. That's a good thing. He's provided clarity for the culture. For me, it's more about having a conversation with people.

Sounding very emergent there Jim.

We're in a democracy. How do we express Christian ethos in a way that draws people into the discussion? We are the church. We have to be more understanding and not expect the world to act like the church. We also don't accept the church acting like the world.

Wow! I mean wow! What is going on here. This is a dramatic paradigm shift away from biblical principles towards liberalism. Paul Washer once said to Christians that "you are prophets or you are nothing. It sounds to me like Focus on the Family has just dropped it's prophetic edge and with that becomes about as useful to the Christian community as an ash tray on a motorbike. We can only hope that Jim Daly gets sacked or has a road to Damascus experience and wakes up to himself.

If you are a supporter of this ministry I would encourage you to protest Jim Daly's appointment and withdraw financial support. Maybe support a ministry like Vision Forum or Shepherd's Press. Because I hear the sound of rushing water and I fear it is the sound of a once great ministry being flushed down the toilet!

HT: The Bottom Line

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Adiaphora....Huh?

Adiaphora. It's a thological term that describes teachings and practices that are neither commanded nor forbidden in scripture. An example might be whether or not to use a sound-board in a church, to meet in a tent or a building, to have two or more services or simply one on the day of worship.

What other areas can you think of that are adiaphora? Smoking? Drinking alcohol?

More on this coming soon

Robert

No Thanks to You...Christian

This one will make you think. Thanks to Rob-roy for sending it along.



Friday, July 10, 2009

Update on Kate McRae


I want to thank all of you who have been praying for 5 year old Kate McRae and her family.
Please CLICK HERE for regular updates on Kate's battle with a brain mass through a web service called CaringBridge. A CaringBridge website helps keep loved ones informed during difficult times. In return, family and friends give patient and caregiver support through guestbook messages.

This story has touched my heart and made me so thankful for my healthy children. I am also thankful that it has moved me to more prayer and supplication to our mighty God. May He receive the full glory for all the prayers going up for this little girls and her parents.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Decisional Regeneration

by James E. Adams

What is Regeneration?

"Except a man be born again1, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Our Lord Jesus Christ taught that the new birth is so important that no one can see heaven without it. Mistakes concerning this doctrine have been very destructive to the Church of Christ. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God. It is not a work of man. It is not something that man does but something that God does. The new birth is a change wrought in us, not an act performed by us. This is stated so beautifully by the Apostle John when in the first chapter of his Gospel he speaks of the children of God as those "which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (v. 13).

What is "Decisional Regeneration"?

The history of the Christian Church has seen many errors concerning the new birth. These teachings depart from Scripture by attributing to man the ability to regenerate himself. When these false concepts of man and the new birth are adopted, churches soon become corrupted with false practices. The Roman Catholic church, the Anglican church, the Lutheran church and many other churches have all been corrupted at different times and to different degrees with the teaching of Baptismal Regeneration. Because of this erroneous teaching on regeneration, these churches have embraced false practices.

In the nineteenth century few controversies were so heated as the one over Baptismal Regeneration. It is interesting to note that C. H. Spurgeon (1836-1892), the most prolific preacher of that century, had printed in 1864 more copies of his sermon denouncing Baptismal Regeneration than of any other sermon. Baptismal Regeneration teaches that the new birth is conveyed by the waters of baptism. The sacrament is performed by man and is in his control.

But the twentieth century Church has, in "Decisional Regeneration," a more subtle falsehood to combat. "Decisional Regeneration" differs from Baptismal Regeneration only in the fact that it attaches the certainty of the new birth to a different act. This doctrine, just as Baptismal Regeneration, sees the new birth as the result of a mechanical process that can be performed by man. What is here called "Decisional Regeneration" has in its deceptive way permeated much of the Christian Church.

To read the rest of this article, click here.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Twelve Point Cure For Complaining: How to not let circumstances and attitudes rob you of your joy, contentment, and hope


by Bill Izard

Complaining is unbecoming of the true Christian and yet we are proficient at it. The cure is found in these verses. In Christ we are never hopeless or forsaken. Every trial has meaning. Meditate on this cure in order to change both your language and your heart.

1. GOD COMMANDS ME NEVER TO COMPLAIN. Do all things without complaining and disputing. Philippians 2:14(NAS)

2. GOD COMMANDS ME TO GIVE THANKS IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

3. GOD COMMANDS ME TO REJOICE ALWAYS, AND ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF TRIAL. Rejoice in the Lord always. Phil. 4:4; Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Count it all joy when you fall into various trials. James 1:2

4. I ALWAYS DESERVE MUCH WORSE THAN WHAT I AM SUFFERING NOW¾IN FACT, I DESERVE HELL. Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Lamentations 3:39 Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-3

5. IN LIGHT OF THE ETERNAL HAPPINESS AND GLORY THAT I WILL EXPERIENCE IN HEAVEN, THIS PRESENT TRIAL IS EXTREMELY BRIEF AND INSIGNIFICANT, EVEN IF IT WERE TO LAST A LIFETIME. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. 8:18; For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:19

6. MY SUFFERING IS FAR LESS THAN THAT WHICH CHRIST SUFFERED, AND HE DID NOT COMPLAIN. Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. 1 Peter 2:23

7. TO COMPLAIN IS TO SAY GOD IS NOT JUST. Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do right? Genesis 18:25

8. FAITH AND PRAYER EXCLUDE COMPLAINING. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

9. THIS DIFFICULTY IS BEING USED BY GOD FOR MY GOOD AND IT IS FOOLISH FOR ME TO COMPLAIN AGAINST IT. And we know that all things work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

10. THOSE MORE FAITHFUL THAN I HAVE SUFFERED FAR WORSE THAN I, AND DID SO WITHOUT COMPLAINT. …and others were tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. All these, having gained approval through their faith… Hebrews 11:35-39

11. COMPLAINING DENIES THAT GOD'S GRACE IS ENTIRELY SUFFICIENT. My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 12. THE GREATEST SUFFERING, THE WORST TRIAL OR DIFFICULTY, CAN NEVER ROB ME OF THAT WHICH IS OF GREATEST VALUE TO ME AND MY GREATEST JOY, NAMELY THE LOVE OF CHRIST. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

HT: Wretchedradio.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What Will We Say?

by Kim Josephson

Ps. 142:4 "...no one would know me, refuge failed me, no man cared for my soul."

This is undoubtedly the most wicked generation in the history of the world. In spite of all the boasting to the contrary, there is less regard for God and His Word, human life and its sanctity, authority and any kind of decency than ever before. We are a sin-sick generation in a sin-sick world. But that's nothing new. It's always been like that and we must not allow that to cause us to despair.

When the first Christians took on the task of evangelizing the world, they were not desperate but determined. They were determined to be gamblers for God. They took chances. They dared to be different. They risked their lives for the souls of men. They understood and believed that there was no other way, but Jesus' way. So in response to their generation's lust and greed and indifference, they spoke for the souls of men. With tears and prayers they wished themselves accursed so others could know Jesus (Rom. 9). They sacrificed and gave and gave and sacrificed without thinking of personal loss but instead accounting it all as kingdom gain or laying up treasures in heaven. They traveled miles on foot, spoke in the streets, slept outdoors. They went without food, without comfort, without rest. They were persecuted for their faith, imprisoned, tortured, even fed to lions but though the world hated them, it had to take note that they had been with Jesus.

Through the centuries men with like faith and character have stepped out of the shadows and into the battle. They have always been hated and maligned, but somehow that vision of the holiness of God and the desperateness of men has kept them going through the fire. Men like Luther and Knox, Whitefield and Wesley, C.T. Studd and David Livingstone, Finney and Moody and a host of others have met their generation’s need with the soul saving simplicity of Jesus Christ.

Undaunted by adversity they took their message to the uttermost. Gen. William Booth instructed his soldiers to “Go for the sinners and go for the worst”, and go they did - to every continent, to every land, men of God with a burden for lost souls dedicated their lives to Christ's cause - seeking to save those who are lost. Unfortunately, though the need is the same and though the answer is the same, our generation has not responded in like manner. Honestly, we have lost the vision of the holiness of God and consequently we have lost the reality of the desperateness of lost men. Our generation's meditation is primarily on the goodness of God. This is constantly preached upon in terms of temporal blessing (prosperity, self-esteem, health, positive mental attitudes, etc.). Consequently the real need of man is trivialized. What man really needs is a savior. He needs to be saved from sin. He needs to be saved from its power - its hold. He needs to be delivered from its punishment - the fruit of all kinds of wickedness in this life and eternal hell in the next. And he needs to be saved from its presence - to walk in divine life and blessing.

This generation of Christians is turned inward. Do we really believe that men without Jesus are going to go to hell for eternity? Do we believe that they will fall into that bottomless pit and burn forever and ever and ever? If we do, our actions don't show it. We have ceaseless energy when it comes to making money, playing with our friends, going to church and everything else but no energy for soul winning. We can pray in tongues, holler at the devil and everything else but there aren't too many tears over lost souls, and even less real witnessing. I know that if you pray over your food, have a Bible at work and a bumper sticker on your car, you're a spiritual giant at your office but let's get real.

Even in prayer we spend more time crying over our own woes and worries than we do over the lostness of even those most dear to us - much less the heathen. Can you imagine, we work, we go to church, we watch TV, read our Bible and pray a little - all for ourselves - What will we say at the judgement seat of Christ? Others hazarded their lives to take men salvation - we give in the missionary offering. What will we say? Will we tell God that we didn't know our friends were dying without Christ? Will we tell Him we didn't know that there were millions of untold lost people in our own generation? Will we say that we weren't called? That we were too busy? That we really wanted to but...?

But what? The truth might be appropriate. We could admit that we cared more about money or pleasure or family or friends. We could admit that we were embarrassed or ashamed and didn't want to bear the reproach of being a Christian, or even worse - a fanatic. We might say that we just didn't know how to lead someone to Christ and never found it important enough to learn how. We might blame our leaders and say that because they were never involved in any personal soul work we couldn't be bothered with it either. We might continue to blame the Holy Spirit and say that He just never gave us an opportunity - we never felt led. But standing there next to Paul or Moody or Finney or Wesley that might get a good laugh or even worse a tearful, tearful lament - more like a groan that the blood of Christ meant so little - that a generation danced and played while hell enlarged her mouth to consume its prey (Is. 5:14). Maybe every angel will hang its head and weep and all heaven will ache like a mother who has lost her child over the thousands of souls that were sacrificed to the Beast because we just didn't care - we just couldn't be bothered.

We have our programs, our ritual and our religion - it's as slick as it comes. What is supposed to be a relationship on fire with love reaching out to touch every life around it has been reduced to a self serving cozy glow that basks in its own self righteousness. I'm not trying to hurt your feelings, but this herd-like do-nothingism is not what Christ died for. It is not as He planned. In fact it is a wicked deceiving replacement agenda against all that He planned and demonstrated. It is not His will for us to dote upon ourselves. It is not His will for us to seek more and more and more for ourselves and to hand out a few leftovers to the others.

It is not His will for us to leave the job to preachers who are often as guilty as anybody in their neglect of personal soul work. God forbid that we should stay the same any longer. In Jesus name shake off this sloth and COME ALIVE! Hell is no joke. The judgement seat of Christ is no joke. The hurting cries of this generation are no joke. The loneliness, the emptiness, the desperation, the lostness - What will we say? What will we say?

HT: Hellwrecker.com