Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Partially Constructed Church Buildings Burned in Indonesia

Outside agitators torch structures; Christians have waited years for building permits.

Suspected Islamic extremists burned two church buildings under construction in a village in North Sumatra on Jan. 22.

The attackers came from outside the area to burn the partially constructed buildings of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Church (HKBP) and the Pentecostal Church (GPdI) in Sibuhuan village, Padang Lawas Residency, during daylight hours, said the Rev. S. Lubis of the HKBP church.

“It was a quiet day when suddenly hundreds of people arrived on motorcycles and burned the empty church,” he said. “After that, the mob moved 200 meters down the road and burned the empty Pentecostal church.”

No people were hurt in the fires. Lubis said that those who burned the church buildings were not from the area.

“We didn’t know any of the mob who burned the church,” he said. “When we asked our neighbors, they didn’t know them either, and they did not help burn the church.”

Lubis said that his church had been worshipping at the site since 1970, and that in 1981 they had erected a simple structure. In 2009 – after local officials had held up an application for a permit to erect a permanent building for five years – the church began construction. Area Muslims stopped the construction before it was finished.

Continue Reading......

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Christian Martyrs - Voice of the Martyrs

Friday, January 29, 2010

Real men find Church too girly

A charity suggests Churches will attract men by using swords rather than flowers as decoration.


Real men don't like going to church because they don't want to "sing love songs to a man", because the "vicar wears a dress", because they feel like "mongrels on parade at Crufts" and because they want to be waited on by women rather than queue for coffee after the service.

A number of distinctly non-pc ways to get men back into church are among those being advocated by a charity, Christian Vision for Men, which has discovered that the Church has lost nearly half of its men aged under 30 because it has become too feminine.

The charity admits some of its ideas might not be seen as politically correct.

But on a questionnaire on its website aimed at finding out why so many men have left church, they suggest a number of ways of making men want to return to church again.

Continue reading....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Whom to Pray For

"Let no one ever say that he has nothing to pray about." Indeed. I really took this little devotional to heart when I read it. My entire trip to work these last couple of days has been about praying for those close to me and whomever God has brought to my mind. The funny thing was that my selfish nature kept wanting to drift back to me and my needs. Funny how that works!

We can never truly know this side of eternity what our prayers avail. Praise God and all glory to Him who has given us this gift of direct communication to Him through Jesus! --RT

by Henry Morris, Ph.D.

"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." (1 Timothy 2:1)

Let no one ever say that he has nothing to pray about, or that he doesn't know how to pray in God's will, for it is always in the will of God to pray for other people! This is a great gift that any Christian can give, even if he is penniless or bedridden. There are none so poor as to be unable to afford such a gift, nor can even the wealthiest give a finer gift.

Note just a few of the relevant commandments to believers: First, we are to pray for all fellow Christians: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Ephesians 6:18). We should also pray for the lost. Jesus commanded: "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).

There is a special command to pray for sick disciples. "Pray one for another, that ye may be healed" (James 5:16). We are even told to pray for our enemies. "Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you" (Luke 6:28).

We are told to pray for Christian brethren who "sin a sin which is not unto death" (1 John 5:16), though if the sin has already led to physical death (as in 1 Corinthians 11:30), there is no warrant for further prayer in that case. Finally, we are especially admonished to pray "for kings, and for all that are in authority" (1 Timothy 2:2), and for the ministries of those who proclaim the gospel (Colossians 4:2-4). In short, in the words of our text, we should offer up supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving for all men everywhere, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

HT: Days of Praise

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clarification and Warning

Prosperity preachers have exploited inherent weaknesses in charismatic theology, and many people—Christian and non-Christian alike—are left poor and disillusioned in their wake.

Before Christ, what responsibilities do Christians and Christian organizations have with regard to the Prosperity/Word of Faith Movement?

Another great resource concerning the problems with the Word Faith movement is the DVD entitled A Call For Discernment produced by the ministry of Justin Peters. View the video promo here.

HT: Grace To You Audio Blog

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Origin Into The Schools.....Follow Up

I was blessed to be part of the Phoenix team. With Linda Essary as our team leader, we were able to distribute 2,000 copies of Origin of the Species 150th Anniversary edition in about two hours. Kudos to the team but all GLORY to God!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Picture Not-So-Perfect.....

None of us would want to have our hearts photographed!

(J. R. Miller, "When the Song Begins" 1905)

"Having loved His own who were in the world--He loved them unto the end!" John 13:1

A friend is one who loves--and does not cease to love. Christ having loved His people--loves them unto the end.

One quality of true friendship, is trust. What could be more sacred than this comfort of feeling safe with a person, absolutely safe? That is the kind of friend Jesus is. You may always feel safe with Him. You may confess all your sins to Him. You may tell Him all your faults and your failures--how you denied Him the other night, how you failed to be true to Him, and all the evil thoughts of your heart; and He will be just as tender and gracious--as if you never had sinned! He loves unto the end!

None of us would want to have our hearts photographed, and the picture held up before the eyes of our neighbors! We would not want even our best friends to see a full transcript of our secret life--what goes on within us:
the jealousies,
the envyings,
the bitter feelings,
the impure thoughts,
the meannesses,
the selfishnesses,
the suspicions,
the doubts and fears!
Yet Christ sees all this unworthy inner life--He knows the worst that is in us--and loves us still! We do not need to hide our weaknesses from Him. He never withdraws His love. We may trust Him absolutely and forever!

"Having loved His own who were in the world--He loved them unto the end!" John 13:1

HT: Grace Gems

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The reality for Christians in India

This video was featured on CBN's 700 club. I have no opinion really one way or another on the show, but the story is important. Please pray for our persecuted bretheren in India.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Life under ‘Blasphemy’ Law

Young man convicted of ‘desecrating Quran’ by accusation of rival shopkeeper.
FAISALABAD, Pakistan, January 22 (CDN) — A young Christian shopkeeper was sentenced to a life term in prison and fined more than $1,000 last week following a dubious conviction of desecrating the Quran, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP).FAISALABAD, Pakistan, January 22 (CDN) — A young Christian shopkeeper was sentenced to a life term in prison and fined more than $1,000 last week following a dubious conviction of desecrating the Quran, according to Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP).
Peter Jacob, general secretary of the NCJP, said 22-year-old Imran Masih of the Faisalabad suburb of Hajvairy was convicted of desecrating the Quran (Section 295-B of Pakistan’s legal code) and thereby outraging religious feelings (Section 295-A) by Additional District & Sessions Judge Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan on Jan. 11. The conviction was based on the accusation of a rival shopkeeper who, as part of an Islamic extremist proselytizing group, allegedly used a mosque loudspeaker system to incite a mob that beat Masih and ransacked his shop.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just Plain Crazy

Why not go into the weekend speechles? This is for real. Read the description from the users channel:

"New Day Christian Church house band uses the song Crazy Train as a teaching element. The series is entitled Everything is Spiritual, and is about finding God in unexpected places like entertainment."

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cruising into Haiti

Having just taken a cruise of the Mexican Riviera in December/January, I can only imagine what passengers in the article below must be thinking. Many stay drunk and could probably care less.

Although I enjoyed the cruise with my family (21 of them to be exact) I was accutely aware of just how self focused these vacations are. Everything is about you. The service, the food, entertainment, the activities and excursions. The list goes on and on. Even under normal circumstances, I would think that such luxury would cause a Christian to really think about what is going on around them.

Just 60 miles from the devastation in Haiti, cruise ships continue to dock at at the heavily guarded resort of Labadee on the north coast, where passengers frolic and play, sip drinks in hammocks, and buy trinkets on shore.

The Guardian reports:

The decision to go ahead with the visit has divided passengers. The ships carry some food aid, and the cruise line has pledged to donate all proceeds from the visit to help stricken Haitians. But many passengers will stay aboard when they dock; one said he was “sickened”.

“I just can’t see myself sunning on the beach, playing in the water, eating a barbecue, and enjoying a cocktail while [in Port-au-Prince] there are tens of thousands of dead people being piled up on the streets, with the survivors stunned and looking for food and water,” one passenger wrote on the Cruise Critic internet forum. …

[Royal Caribbean International] said the question of whether to “deliver a vacation experience so close to the epicentre of an earthquake” had been subject to considerable internal debate before it decided to include Haiti in its itineraries for the coming weeks.

“In the end, Labadee is critical to Haiti’s recovery; hundreds of people rely on Labadee for their livelihood,” said John Weis, vice-president. “In our conversations with the UN special envoy of the government of Haiti, Leslie Voltaire, he notes that Haiti will benefit from the revenues that are generated from each call …

“We also have tremendous opportunities to use our ships as transport vessels for relief supplies and personnel to Haiti. Simply put, we cannot abandon Haiti now that they need us most.”

HT: World Mag

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who Takes the Blame for Haiti?

Rick Warren is wrong when he tweets that God does not judge the world through catastrophes (Romans 1:18).

Pat Robertson is wrong when he claims to know why the Haitian earthquake happened (Deut.29:29).

Perhaps these principles will help us figure out why tragedies happen and who is responsible.


God controls everything directly or indirectly by restraining His grace or allowing the devil a little more leash. Either way, God is sovereign over everything and happily accepts responsibility for both good and bad (but not sin).

The devil

The devil does not control the weather or rule the nations.


There are only two groups of people on the earth: pagans and Christians.


When God sends/allows disaster to the pagans, He does so for two reasons: as judgment or as a call to repentance. A disaster is not enough wrath for the pagans as it is merely a taste of God’s eternal punishment if they do not repent and trust the Savior.

When God sends/allows disaster to Christians, He does so for two reasons: to prune us or kill us and take us home. A disaster is never too much or too little for the Christian, the Pruner causes/allows just the right amount for our good and His glory.

While God may be sending judgment to an entire nation, each individual (pagan and Christian) should seek to determine why God caused/allowed himself to be hurt.

Christians are not victims of collateral damage. While there may be a primary reason God sends/allows a catastrophe, God orchestrates every detail in every situation.

Catastrophes happen to heathens as an act of God’s judgment, but they happen to Christians as an act of severe mercy.

God sends/causes a disaster for the onlookers to respond with apathy or kindness.

Biblical Support

Jesus gave us the definitive statement on catastrophes in Luke 13:1-5. Please take a moment to read that text and you will never make the mistake of Rick Warren or Pat Robertson.

Trick Question

God is not to blame for the earthquake as it was the exact right thing to do. While God gets the credit for the earthquake, He is never to blame for anything. Charles Wesley wrote a number of hymns thanking God for two earthquakes that rocked England in 1751; we should do the same.

The Bottom Line

While each individual should endeavor to learn the lesson that God has in the storm, there is an ultimate purpose (forty days or otherwise): God is endeavoring to glorify His Son. God sends a taste of His wrath to the heathens that they might look to the cross and be saved. God prunes Christians that we will live in greater gratitude for what Jesus has done to rescue us from eternal destruction.

Catastrophes, like everything, are about the cross.

HT: Wretched Radio

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


What could this possibly mean? You be the judge.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Village Idiots

by Phil Johnson

Emergent Village is collapsing on itself. The EV Weblog, once a busy and heavily-trafficked stream of Emergent semi-consciousness (replete with a near-manic discussion forum) is barely functioning these days. The current average wait-time between posts over there is at least two weeks. In fact, the eight posts currently residing on the EV blog's front page constitute everything that has been posted on that blog since September 9. One of the posts is a desperate-sounding "Call for Voices," and another begs readers to "Save the House of Mercy Podcast," which, evidently, has been gasping for life over the past year.

It's already too late, I gather, to save the official Emergent Village Podcast. Their last release was in mid-August.

Meanwhile, Emergent Village's best-known celebrity voices have likewise fallen silent—mostly. Andrew Jones and Tony Jones, both living icons of "emergence," had a little back-and-forth exchange last week, which culminated in Andrew's public, formal separation from the organization. I'll give a link to that exchange in a moment.

Continue reading...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Compassion Emergency Relief

Here is an immediate and worthwhile way to contribute financially to the devistation in Haiti. It is through Compassion International. You can give a one time gift and it will got towards helping a child in need. Compassion sponsors thousands of children in Haiti who are now in desparate circumstances. Please consider these children who can be greatly benefitted by even a modest donation.

Having been involved with child sponsorship with Compassion for many years, I can attest to the
effectiveness of this ministry to these precious children.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

O.C. missionaries in Haiti being evacuated

Please pray for our brothers and sisters caught in the destruction that has enveloped Haiti.


MISSION VIEJO –– A group of missionaries from a local church may be evacuated as early as today from a Haiti orphanage due to difficult conditions, said Paul Beltis, husband of one of missionaries. "The team has decided to leave," said Beltis. "My wife has run out of medication and all of them are totally exhausted. Help and supplies are arriving and additional medical professionals will take over. Though it breaks their hearts to leave the kids, they are comfortable they will be taken care of as best as possible."

Paul Beltis –– a partner in Deloitte–– said his company has coordinated a security team that is rescuing company employees and has now turned its efforts to evacuating the Mission Viejo missionaries on a helicopter. They are expected to be taken to a U.S. ship or the airport. Deloitte has also contributed $100,000 to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Haiti.

Continue reading.....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Defining God’s Will

It is the will of God.” How easily these words fall from the lips or flow from the pen. How difficult it is to penetrate exactly what they mean. Few concepts in theology generate more confusion than the will of God.

One problem we face is rooted in the multifaceted way in which the term will functions in biblical expressions. The Bible uses the expression “the will of God” in various ways. We encounter two different Greek words in the New Testament (boule and thelema), both of which are capable of several nuances. They encompass such ideas as the counsel of God, the plan of God, the decrees of God, the disposition or attitude of God, as well as other nuances.

Augustine once remarked, “In some sense, God wills everything that happens.” The immediate question raised by this comment is, In what sense? How does God “will” the presence of evil and suffering? Is He the immediate cause of evil? Does He do evil? God forbid. Yet evil is a part of His creation. If He is sovereign over the whole of His creation, we must face the conundrum: How is evil related to the divine will?

Questions like this one make distinctions necessary—sometimes fine distinctions, even technical distinctions—with respect to the will of God.

Coram Deo

What is your response to the questions raised in this reading: How does God “will” the presence of evil and suffering? Is He the immediate cause of evil? Does He do evil?

Passages for Further Study

Psalm 40:8
Psalm 143:10
Matthew 6:10

HT: Ligonier Ministries

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pat Robertson Blames Earthquake on Pact Haitians Made with Satan

On the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “700 Club” today, after a lengthy interview with a missionary who talked about helping the victims earthquake in Haiti, Rev. Pat Robertson had some interesting thoughts as to why the earthquake struck the impoverished nation:

"And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.

“They were under the heel of the French, uh, you know Napoleon the 3rd and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the Devil.

“They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.'

“True story.

“And so the Devil said, 'Okay, it's a deal.’

“And, uh, they kicked the French out, you know, with Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

“But ever since they have been cursed by, by one thing after another, desperately poor.

“That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti on the other side is the Dominican Republican.

“Dominican Republic is, is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etcetera.

“Haiti is in desperate poverty.

“Same island.

“They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God and out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.”

Robertson’s tale stems from a legend that Jean Jacques Dessalines, who led the Haitian revolution against the French Army, entered into a pact with Satan disguised as a voodoo deity in exchange for a military victory, which finally happened in 1803.

One minister of a Haitian-American church -- who does not believe this legend -- recently wrote about the frequent references in Haiti “to a spiritual pact that the fathers of the nation supposedly made with the devil to help them win their freedom from France. As a result of that satanic alliance, as they put it, God has placed a curse on the country sometime around its birth, and that divine burden has made it virtually impossible for the vast majority of Haitians to live in peace and prosperity in their land…The satanic pact allegedly took place at Bois-Caïman near Cap-Haïtien on August 14, 1791 during a meeting organized by several slave leaders, under [Dutty] Boukman’s leadership, before launching what would become Haiti’s Independence War.”

Click here to watch the video segment

HT: ABC NEWS-Jake Tapper

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Look at "Binding" and "Loosing"

This is from a Q and A with Pastor John MacArthur.

A church in our neighborhood teaches that Christians should bind Satan. Please explain what the terms "binding" and "loosing" refer to in the gospels.

An examination of how the Bible connects the terms "binding" and "loosing" to the apostle's unique role in founding the church will help you determine if believers can or should bind Satan.

Jesus gave the apostles sole authority to bind and loose things on earth. In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus says, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Later He said essentially the same thing to the rest of the apostles (18:18). Ephesians 2:20 tells us the church is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone."

The apostles' ministry was foundational--they constituted the authority and formation of ministry within the early church as directed by the Holy Spirit. There's an example of that in Acts 15, where the apostles and elders of the church working through perhaps the most significant issue they had dealt with thus far. Some people associated with the church claimed circumcision was a requirement for salvation. The apostles' decision against that position became binding on all the churches (Acts 15:22-31). The Holy Spirit orchestrated their decision according to God's will (v. 28).

After Jesus commanded His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit in John 20:22, He told them, "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained" (v. 23). He was not giving them the power to forgive sins--only our Lord Jesus Christ can do that (Mark 2:7-10; Acts 4:12). Rather, He gave them the authority to declare what God has already done in heaven (cf. Matthew 6:10).

Jesus gave the apostles the authority to bind and loose--speak and act under God's authority--as the foundational representatives for the church. They did not act arbitrarily, nor did they operate apart from the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42-47; 4:28-33).

Some misapply that teaching to include binding Satan. There is no scriptural command to bind Satan, nor is there any biblical example of the practice. Satan remains at large as the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2) until he is chained or bound (by an angel, not a human being) during the millennial reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-3). The disciples cast out demons, but they never bound them or Satan.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


My Friend Steven has put together a great blog that I think everyone can benefit from. With just a few clicks you'll have a wealth of great information at your fingertips.

It's called Reborn and Reforming. There isn't much more I can adequately say to give it justice. Just go check it out.

Thank you Steven for putting so much great information in one place!

Monday, January 11, 2010

In With The New

Our friends at Sacred Sandwich continue to supply us with top-notch eye rolling humor.

Watch For Our Giveaways!

I'll have the next giveaway posted sometime this week. Keep your entries coming!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Christians Are Persecuted, Martyred, and Killed Worldwide

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sarah's Trail of Blood Voice of the Martyrs

Please continue to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Never, ever stop praying.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Churches Dumbing It Down: This Is Not Funny

by Todd Friel

A lady walked into her pastor's office and announced, "I'm leaving my husband to live with my lover."

The pastor calmly asked what led her to that decision.

The woman confidently proclaimed, "Ephesians 4:24 says we are supposed to 'put on the new man.'"

Now, you might think that is just a joke, but it was told as a true story by the pastor. That makes this story the opposite of a joke. That makes it a tragedy.

Five centuries ago, Erasmus (who laid the egg that Luther hatched) argued with Dr. Luther about translating the Latin or Greek Bible into the vernacular of the peasantry. Erasmus warned there would be no end of misapplication of the Bible if regular folks were allowed access to the sacred text. Erasmus was right.

Do the benefits outweigh the negatives? My answer is the same as Martin Luther's. The ability for lay people to read the Bible far outweighs their often ridiculous interpretations.

That leads us to the big question, "How do we help people understand how to read their Bibles correctly so they don't end up ditching their spouses?"

It seems to me the answer to that question lies in another question. Are people stupid or not?

Continue reading.....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Her Choice?

Rob-roy draws a great comparison here concerning decisional regeneration and true saving faith with the miracle Jesus performed in the resurrection this young girl. How could she have had anything to do with coming back to life? How can the sinner have anything to do in bringing himself from death to everlasting life without a miracle? This doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with Calvinism/Arminianism but rather with the understanding of God's sovereignty.

Her choice did not bring life. It was the evidence of already having it.

When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him
except Peter, John and James, and the child's father and mother. Meanwhile, all
the people were wailing and mourning for her. "Stop wailing," Jesus said. "She
is not dead but asleep." They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he
took her by the hand and said, "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and at
once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Luke

In Luke 8 we see a dead girl who Jesus commands to rise. THEN the spirit enables her to move from death to life and she rises. Her choice to freely rise came AFTER Jesus freely choose to give her life through the speaking of His word. He commanded her to do the very thing she could not do and it was those very words that brought her life. Her choice did not bring life. It was the evidence of already having it.

Love, Rob-roy

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Brit Hume, Tiger Woods, and the "Christian faith"

Here's an interesting article from Politics Daily. Do you think Brit Hume's remarks were enough, or should he have mentioned the name of Jesus Christ specifically rather than a general reference to "the Christian faith"? Do you think he was being sensitive given the circumstances or a bit watered down? Read the article and view the clip below.

On "Fox News Sunday," Fox anchor Brit Hume suggested that Tiger Woods should trade his Buddhist faith for Christianity if he wants to make a personal comback. When host Chris Wallace asked the show's roundtable to predict the biggest sports story of 2010, Hume said:

"Tiger Woods will recover as a golfer. Whether he can recover as a person I
think is a very open question, and it's a tragic situation for him. I think he's
lost his family, it's not clear to me if he'll be able to have a relationship
with his children, but the Tiger Woods that emerges once the news value dies out
of this scandal -- the extent to which he can recover -- seems to me to depend
on his faith. He's said to be a Buddhist; I don't think that faith offers the
kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my
message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make
a total recovery and be a great example to the world.'"

After a moment of awkward silence, fellow panelist Bill Kristol quipped, "Well, Brit's concerned about Tiger's soul, which is admirable, but I just made a more straightforward sports prediction, which was that he'll come back and win the Masters."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Letter To My Friends About TBN

by Michael Spencer

Why We Watch. Why We Shouldn't.
Dear friends,
Over the years, many of you have talked with me about the preachers and teachers you watch on TBN, the ironically named Trinity Broadcasting Network. Some of you tell me about the ministries you like, and you assume that I will like them too. You've been a little surprised that I don't like Joyce or T.D. or Jesse or Paul or Rod or Benny, and maybe you've concluded I am too narrow or too Baptist or too Calvinistic. I want you to know that my problem with TBN is more substantial than jealousy.
Some of you know that I worshiped with the charismatics when I was a much younger Christian, and that I am not at all opposed to a lot about charismatic worship. You know that I encourage raising hands, and that I've been seen with mine up in the air a few times. You know that I have tremendous respect for some Pentecostal ministers, particularly Jack Hayford and many of the Vineyard churches, even though I disagree with them on some important doctrinal matters. I love my Pentecostal and charismatic brothers and sisters. So you may be surprised that I view most of the TBN family quite negatively. In fact, I believe many of them are as dangerously cultic as the Mormons or the JWs.
Frequently, many of you will ask me what I think about someone you are watching on TBN, and you have noticed my lack of enthusiasm. Some of you are may be uneasy about what you've seen and heard as well, while others have obviously wondered if I have a lack of love for people who are anointed with the Spirit and obviously gifted with ministries that help people. You clearly wonder why I can't see that God is blessing these ministries, and using them in powerful ways. It's not that you don't see or hear some of what bothers me, it's simply that- on balance- you see and hear mostly things that you agree with. You have possibly concluded that I am too denominational, and not open to what the Holy Spirit is doing through those with whom I might disagree.

I think these are important matters. TBN is the largest religious broadcasting medium in the world. When I was growing up, Billy Graham Crusades appeared on television a couple of times a year. TBN reaches as many people as those Graham Crusades every minute. Years ago, when it was 700 Club, PTL and TBN, I would have laughed out loud to be told that the Paul and Jan's little operation would one day overwhelm every other religious broadcaster on the planet. I would never have believed that Jan's hair would outlast Tammy Faye's mascara, but that is what has happened. To be on TBN is to be at the pinnacle of religious broadcasting success, and to be guaranteed millions- maybe billions- of viewers and potential supporters. To be on TBN is to appear to be approved by God because you are as successful as you can be in the evangelical world.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Puritan Prayer: A Disciples Renewal - Valley of Vision

Happy New Year from Thank you so much for your prayers, support and encouragement. Here's to a new year in The Lord Jesus Christ. May you be renewed in your spirit and zeal for our wonderful Savior.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My Friend Shot Me

Yakubu, 18, became a Christian in 2000. Since then, he has been actively sharing his faith, even traveling outside his city of Jos to share with people living in smaller villages. On November 28, 2008, religious riots broke out in Jos. As Yakubu ran toward his older brothers house, he spotted a Muslim classmate. His friend and another man were shooting Christians fleeing from the neighborhood. Yakubu thought he would be safe with his friend, but as Yakubus eyes met his friends gaze, his friend lifted his hunting rifle. He pulled the trigger, spraying Yakubu with pellets. With a single glance behind, his friend ran off, leaving Yakubu lying on the ground. Hear how Yakubu responded.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Church Destroyed

Meet Pastor Justin. His Sarkin Mangu COCIN Church in Jos, Nigeria was destroyed, but Pastor Justin is still serving the Lord. See the destruction at his church grounds.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What sort of New Year’s Resolution should a Christian make?

Question: "What sort of New Year’s Resolution should a Christian make?"

Answer: The practice of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 3000 years to the ancient Babylonians. There is just something about the start of a New Year that gives us the feeling of a fresh start and a new beginning. In reality, there is no difference between December 31st and January 1st. Nothing mystical occurs at midnight on December 31st. The Bible does not speak for or against the concept of New Year’s resolutions. However, if a Christian determines to make a New Year’s resolution, what kind of resolution should he or she make?

Common New Year’s resolutions are: to quit smoking, to stop drinking, to manage money better, and spend more time with family. By far the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, in conjunction with exercising more and eating healthier. These are all good goals to set. However, 1 Timothy 4:8 instructs us to keep exercise in perspective: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” The vast majority of New Year’s resolutions, even among Christians, are in relation to physical things. This should not be.

Many Christians make New Year’s resolutions to pray more, to read the Bible every day, and to attend church more regularly. These are fantastic goals. However, these New Year’s resolutions fail just as often as the non-spiritual resolutions, because there is no power in a New Year’s resolution. Resolving to start or stop doing a certain activity has no value unless you have the proper motivation for stopping or starting that activity. For example, why do you want to read the Bible every day? Is it to honor God and grow spiritually, or is it because you have just heard that it is a good thing to do? Why do you want to lose weight? Is it to honor God with your body, or is it for vanity, to honor yourself?

Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” John 15:5 declares, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” If God is the center of your New Year’s resolution, it has chance for success, depending on your commitment to it. If it is God’s will for something to be fulfilled, He will enable you to fulfill it. If a resolution is not God honoring and/or is not in agreement in God’s Word, we will not receive God’s help in fulfilling the resolution.

So, what sort of New Year’s resolution should a Christian make? Here are some suggestions:

(1) Pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) in regards to what resolutions, if any, He would have you make;

(2) Pray for wisdom as to how to fulfill the goals God gives you;

(3) Rely on God’s strength to help you;

(4) Find an accountability partner who will help you and encourage you;

(5) Don’t become discouraged with occasional failures; instead allow them to motivate you further;

(6) Don’t become proud or vain, but give God the glory. Psalm 37:5-6, “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”