Saturday, July 31, 2010

Suspected Islamists Shoot Five Christians to Death in Pakistan


Muslim extremist groups had threatened church for two years.

A dozen masked men shot five Christians to death as they came out of their church building here on July 15, two months after a banned Islamic extremist group sent church leaders a threatening letter, relatives said.

Pastor Aaron John and church members Rohail Bhatti, Salman John, Abid Gill and Shamin Mall of Full Gospel Church were leaving the church building after meeting to discuss security in light of the threats they had received, said the pastor’s son, Shahid John.


“As we came out of the church, a group of a dozen armed gunmen came and opened fire at us,” said Shahid John, who survived a bullet in his arm. “Fear struck the area. The police arrived 45 minutes after the incident, and we waited for over 45 minutes for the ambulance to arrive.”
 

Besides Shahid John, five others were wounded in the attack.

In May church leaders received a letter from Islamic extremist group Sip-e-Sahaba (formerly Sipah-e-Sahaba until it was banned) warning the Christians to leave the area, said Kiran Rohail, wife of the slain Rohail Bhatti.
 

“It said to vacate the land, Christians are not welcomed here, they are polluting our land,” Kiran Rohail said.

Continue reading....

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jerry Bearing His Testimony

Now this is what bearing a testimony is all about.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Telling Money Challenge

What a great video to make a Christian think.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Calvinism and Evangelism

by Bill Welzien

Many people think that "Calvinist evangelist" is an oxymoron. What do you think? Can someone be seriously Calvinistic and at the same time seriously evangelistic? Does a belief in the absolute sovereignty of God take the wind out of the sails of evangelism?
We live in a day of gross ignorance with regard to sound theology. We should continually yearn for sound (wholesome, healthy) doctrine (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18). As we Christians learn and respond rightly to sound doctrine, we begin to think correctly, and our lives begin to demonstrate the resulting godly fruit. So how should a belief in Calvinism affect our belief in evangelism?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Age Theory

Seems like the same old arguments come up again and again.  So for the benefit of those that are still banking on a day/age explanation to marry Biblical creation and Darwinistic evolution, here's a great article from Christiananswers.net

God uses a relatively large amount of space in Genesis 1 to make it very clear that He created the universe in six days. There is no mention of billions-of-years or any great period of time. However, many people still wonder whether or not the modern scientific belief that the earth and universe have existed for billions of years can be harmonized with a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Most Christians have heard the argument that the word “day” in Genesis does not mean a literal 24 hour type day, but rather that the “days” represent 6 great ages of time. This is often referred to as the day-age theory. Many people have wondered whether this argument is valid. It is true, after all, that the Hebrew word for day (yom) can have several different meanings, depending upon its context. However, it is our opinion that when all the facts are gathered, it is abundantly clear that God communicated with precision that all creation took place during the time period of six, normal, 24-hour type days.

  • The Hebrew word for day (yom) can have several different meanings. The meaning is always clear when read in context.

    Continue reading.....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pastor Paul Washer on false prophets

It's been awhile since we posted anything from brother Paul Washer.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Government-Incited Gang in Vietnam Attacks House Church


Youths smash walls, rant against evangelist for building home for worship services.

A gang of youths on Sunday (July 18) attacked a house church as the congregation worshiped in Xi Thoai village in Phu Yen Province on Vietnam’s south central coast, Christian sources said.

The local youths smashed the walls of the home and wreaked havoc within as they railed against evangelist Mang Vuong for being a Christian and for building his home to be a house church, the sources said. The sources noted that on the night of June 10 the same youths, spurred by local authorities, broke into Vuong’s home in Xuan Lanh Commune, Dong Xuan district, stole more than $3,000 and destroyed household furnishings, utensils and books.

Since then this same gang of local youths has been harassing and threatening Vuong, sources said. The pastor reported death threats.

Vuong, of the Hroi ethnic minority, is a worker for the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South), or ECVN(S), Vietnam’s largest government-registered denomination. When the Hroi church at Soi Nga some six kilometers (nearly four miles) away became full, leaders decided to start a congregation in Xi Thoai village where a number of Hroi Christians lived.

In Vietnam, a common approach for church expansion is to build a roomy home for an evangelist to serve also as a meeting place. The evangelist’s house in Xi Thoai was nearly completed when it was first attacked last month. 


Continue reading....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Police Demolish Church House in Indonesia


Local Islamic group spurs destruction that demonstrators try to stop.

  Public order personnel on Monday (July 19) supported Bogor police officers who demolished a house where a church regularly met in a village in Bogor Regency, West Java.

Clashes broke out with church members and others as police tore down the Narogong Pentecostal Church building in Limusnunggal village, Cileungsi sub-district, and officers arrested 10 people. The structure was located on the Narogong Highway in Bogor Regency, south of Jakarta.

Those arrested were questioned and released, according to Police Commissioner Zulkarnain Harahap. Some officers and a civilian were reportedly injured.
 

Dozens of people tried to stop Bogor police from demolishing the building, as rumors of the impending destruction had spread far beyond the area. Church members had been guarding the building since the early morning the day it was to be demolished, but a senior police official told The Jakarta Post that he suspected many of the demonstrators were from outside the area.
 

Eddy Hidayat, head of Bogor police operations, said officials were forced to destroy the building because it lacked a use permit.

“The permit was for a home, but it was used as a place of worship,” Hidayat told Compass.


Continue reading.......

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gospel Gold From John Calvin

From the blog of  Tullian Tchividjian.

A while back, a friend of mine sent me this nugget of gospel gold from John Calvin. It comes from a stunning preface to Pierre Robert Olivétan’s French translation of the New Testament (1534). Another friend, Justin Taylor, added line breaks to make it easier to read.
Calvin wrote:
Without the gospel
everything is useless and vain;
without the gospel
we are not Christians;
without the gospel
all riches is poverty,
all wisdom folly before God;
strength is weakness,
and all the justice of man is under the condemnation of God.
But by the knowledge of the gospel we are made
children of God,
brothers of Jesus Christ,
fellow townsmen with the saints,
citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven,
heirs of God with Jesus Christ, by whom
the poor are made rich,
the weak strong,
the fools wise,
the sinner justified,
the desolate comforted,
the doubting sure,
and slaves free.
It is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe.
It follows that every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone.
For, he was
sold, to buy us back;
captive, to deliver us;
condemned, to absolve us;
he was
made a curse for our blessing,
[a] sin offering for our righteousness;
marred that we may be made fair;
he died for our life; so that by him
fury is made gentle,
wrath appeased,
darkness turned into light,
fear reassured,
despisal despised,
debt canceled,
labor lightened,
sadness made merry,
misfortune made fortunate,
difficulty easy,
disorder ordered,
division united,
ignominy ennobled,
rebellion subjected,
intimidation intimidated,
ambush uncovered,
assaults assailed,
force forced back,
combat combated,
war warred against,
vengeance avenged,
torment tormented,
damnation damned,
the abyss sunk into the abyss,
hell transfixed,
death dead,
mortality made immortal.
In short,
mercy has swallowed up all misery,
and goodness all misfortune.
For all these things which were to be the weapons of the devil in his battle against us, and the sting of death to pierce us, are turned for us into exercises which we can turn to our profit.
If we are able to boast with the apostle, saying, O hell, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? it is because by the Spirit of Christ promised to the elect, we live no longer, but Christ lives in us; and we are by the same Spirit seated among those who are in heaven, so that for us the world is no more, even while our conversation is in it; but we are content in all things, whether country, place, condition, clothing, meat, and all such things.
And we are
comforted in tribulation,
joyful in sorrow,
glorying under vituperation,
abounding in poverty,
warmed in our nakedness,
patient amongst evils,
living in death.
This is what we should in short seek in the whole of Scripture: truly to know Jesus Christ, and the infinite riches that are comprised in him and are offered to us by him from God the Father.
Do your soul a favor and read this over and over and over. It just doesn’t get more nutritious than this!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mark Driscoll: How Dare You

Lots of folks have their opinions about Mark Driscoll. That he's a bit of a potty mouth or too edgy in this way or that. Even Phil Johnson called him out in his message at the 2009 Shepherd's conference.

I like him. Here's one reason why. See Driscoll as never before in the video below.

Caution: One "mild" use of profanity at 1:27 into the video.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

How Charles Finney's Theology Ravaged the Evangelical Movement

by Phil Johnson
 
IT IS IRONIC that Charles Grandison Finney has become a poster boy for so many modern evangelicals. His theology was far from evangelical. As a Christian leader, he was hardly the model of humility or spirituality. Even Finney's autobiography paints a questionable character. In his own retelling of his life's story, Finney comes across as stubborn, arrogant—and sometimes even a bit devious.

Playing with fraud from the outset

Finney's ministry was founded on duplicity from the beginning. He obtained his license to preach as a Presbyterian minister by professing adherence to the Westminster Confession of Faith. But he later admitted that he was almost totally ignorant of what the document taught. Here, in Finney's own words, is a description of what occurred when he went before the council whose task it was to determine if he was spiritually qualified and doctrinally sound:

Unexpectedly to myself they asked me if I received the Confession of faith of the Presbyterian church. I had not examined it;—that is, the large work, containing the Catechisms and Presbyterian Confession. This had made no part of my study. I replied that I received it for substance of doctrine, so far as I understood it. But I spoke in a way that plainly implied, I think, that I did not pretend to know much about it. However, I answered honestly, as I understood it at the time [Charles Finney, The Memoirs of Charles Finney: The Complete Restored Text (Grand Rapids: Academie, 1989), 53-54].  

Continue reading.......

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bad Deaf Ministry

From our friends at Sacred Sandwich.

Sunday's Coming.....

Contemporvant.......


"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Altar Calls In The First 1800 Years Of The Church

One may read thousands of pages of the history of the Christian Church without finding a single reference to the 'old-fashioned altar call' before the 19th century. Most Christians are surprised to learn that history before the time of Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) knows nothing of this type of 'invitation'.
The practice of urging men and women to make a physical movement at the conclusion of a meeting was introduced by Mr. Finney in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Dr. Albert B. Dod, a professor of theology at Princeton Seminary at the time of Mr. Finney's ministry, pointed out the newness of the practice and showed that this method was without historical precedent. 

The preceding words are from James E. Adams' work entitled
"Decisional Regeneration". Adam's historical review continues . . .
 
In his review of Finney's Lectures on Revival, Professor Dod stated that one will search the volumes of church history in vain for a single example of this practice before the 1820's. Instead, history tells us that whenever the gospel was preached men were invited to Christ - not to decide at the end of a sermon whether or not to perform some physical action. 

The Apostle Paul, the great evangelist, never heard of an altar call, yet today some consider the altar call to be a necessary mark of an evangelical church. In fact, churches which do not practice it are often accused of having no concern for the lost. Neither Paul nor Peter ever climaxed his preaching with forcing upon his hearers the decision to walk or not to walk. 

It is not only with church history, then, but with Scriptural history as well that the altar call is in conflict.
 
One may ask, 'How did preachers of the gospel for the previous eighteen hundred years invite men to Christ without the use of the altar call?'

They did so in much the same way as did the apostles and the other witnesses of the early Church. Their messages were filled with invitations for all men everywhere to come to Christ. 

Surely it will be admitted that the first sermon of the Christian Church was not climaxed by an altar call. Peter on the Day of Pentecost concluded his sermon with these words 'Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.' Peter stopped. Then the divinely inspired record tells us 'Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' ' (Acts 236-37). This response was the result of the work of the Spirit of God, not of clever appeals or psychological pressure. That day the apostles witnessed the conversion of three thousand people. 

C.H. Spurgeon invited men to come to Christ, not to an altar.

Listen to him invite men to Jesus Christ
'Before you leave this place breathe an earnest prayer to God, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon Thy name....Lord, I am guilty, I deserve Thy wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to do of Thy good pleasure. Thou alone hast power, I know To save a wretch like me; To whom, or whither should I go If I should run from Thee?

But I now do from my very soul call upon Thy name. Trembling, yet believing, I cast myself wholly upon Thee, O Lord. I trust the blood and righteousness of Thy dear Son.... Lord, save me tonight, for Jesus' sake.' ' 'Go home alone trusting in Jesus. 'I should like to go into the enquiry-room.' I dare say you would, but we are not willing to pander to popular superstition. We fear that in those rooms men are warmed into a fictitious confidence. Very few of the supposed converts of enquiry-rooms turn out well. Go to your God at once, even where you now are. Cast yourself on Christ, at once, ere you stir an inch!'
Invitations such as Spurgeon gave directing men to Christ and not to aisles are needed today. George Whitefield's sermonsJonathan Edwards, of the Reformers and of others in the past who were blessed with a harvest of many souls using Scriptural means of inviting men to Christ. Today the altar call has become the climax and culmination of the entire meeting. Many stanzas of a hymn are usually sung, during which time all kinds of appeals are made to the sinner to walk the aisle, and the clear impression is given to the sinner that his eternal destiny hangs on this movement of his feet.  were long invitations to men to come to Christ, not to an altar. The same may be said of the preaching of

'Just As I Am,' the precious hymn perhaps most frequently sung for the altar call, was written in 1836 by Charlotte Elliott 

Just as I am, without one plea, But that Thy blood was shed for me, And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

The phrase, 'O Lamb of God, I come, I come,' has been widely used to encourage people to 'come' down the aisle. But it is significant that Miss Elliott wrote the hymn for the infirm and that it first appeared in a hymnal prepared especially for invalids. To Miss Elliott, coming to Christ was not walking an aisle. 

Although most who use the altar call realize that coming to Christ is not synonymous with coming to the altar, they do give the impression to sinners that the first step in coming to Christ is walking the aisle. I am purposefully being very careful not to misstate the case. I understand the sincerity of those who practice the altar call, it having been a part of every service from my earliest memory until college. In fact, I grew up in Christian circles unaware that evangelical Christianity existed without the altar call. In many services during this time my mind was centered on the glorious person of Christ and His suffering on the cross only to find the whole focus of the worship service suddenly changed at the conclusion from seeing the glories and sufferings of Christ to walking an aisle. Many others have spoken of the same experience -that the altar call and the clever appeals at the conclusion of meetings, the decision to walk or not to walk and the wondering how many will respond, have distracted them from seeking Christ and from worshipping God in spirit and truth. 

Do you remember how the crowds physically followed our Lord Christ until He began to preach some unpopular truths? Then the crowds turned back (John 6:66). Why? Had they not come to Jesus with their feet? Yes, but this is not the coming to Him that is necessary for salvation. Christ said, 'All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out' (John 6:37). And again He said, 'No man can come to me except the Father draw him' (John 6:44). In neither of these instances was Jesus speaking of the physical movement of the feet. 

Men today need to be reminded that coming to Christ is not walking an aisle, but is casting oneself on Christ for life or death. May God cause the Church to return to the Scriptures for its methods of winning men to Christ. May sinners be charged not to come forward in a meeting but to come to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

HT: Old Truth.com

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Christians Narrowly Escape Flying Bullets in Pakistan


Evangelistic team cheats death; separately, stray gunshot leads to false charges.

Suspected Islamic extremists fired bullets into the car of a Christian evangelist with impunity last month, while in another Punjab Province town stray gunfire led to two Christians being falsely accused of murder.
 

Following a youth revival in Essa Nagri, near Faisalabad, the Rev. Kamran Pervaiz, a guest speaker from Rawalpindi, was in the passenger seat of a Toyota Corolla returning to Faisalabad with his team on June 25 when 12 armed men tried to stop their car, the pastor said.
 

Pastor Naeem Joseph, an organizer of the revival, was leading the ministry team by motorbike, and he led them past the armed men as they reached the Narawala Road bypass at about 1:15 a.m.
 

“I didn’t stop,” Pastor Joseph told Compass. “A gunshot was fired at me, but it missed, and instead of going straight I turned right towards the Sudhar bypass and took the motorbike into the fields.”
 

Pervaiz Sohtra was driving the car.

Continue reading....

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Christians Narrowly Escape Flying Bullets in Pakistan




Evangelistic team cheats death; separately, stray gunshot leads to false charges.

Suspected Islamic extremists fired bullets into the car of a Christian evangelist with impunity last month, while in another Punjab Province town stray gunfire led to two Christians being falsely accused of murder.
 

Following a youth revival in Essa Nagri, near Faisalabad, the Rev. Kamran Pervaiz, a guest speaker from Rawalpindi, was in the passenger seat of a Toyota Corolla returning to Faisalabad with his team on June 25 when 12 armed men tried to stop their car, the pastor said.
 

Pastor Naeem Joseph, an organizer of the revival, was leading the ministry team by motorbike, and he led them past the armed men as they reached the Narawala Road bypass at about 1:15 a.m.
 

“I didn’t stop,” Pastor Joseph told Compass. “A gunshot was fired at me, but it missed, and instead of going straight I turned right towards the Sudhar bypass and took the motorbike into the fields.”

Continue reading........

Friday, July 16, 2010

Burdens Cast on Him

Anytime is a good time for a dose of C.H. Spurgeon.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

It is a heavy burden; roll it on Omnipotence. It is thy burden now, and it crushes thee; but when the Lord takes it, He will make nothing of it. If thou art called still to bear, "he will sustain thee." It will be on Him and not on thee. Thou wilt be so upheld under it that the burden will be a blessing. Bring the Lord into the matter, and thou wilt stand upright under that which in itself would bow thee down.

Our worst fear is lest our trial should drive us from the path of duty; but this the Lord will never suffer. If we are righteous before Him, He will not endure that our affliction should move us from our standing. In Jesus He accepts us as righteous, and in Jesus He will keep us so.

What about the present moment? Art thou going forth to this day's trial alone? Are thy poor shoulders again to be galled with the oppressive load? Be not so foolish. Tell the Lord all about thy grief and leave it with Him. Don't cast your burden down and then take it up again; but roll it on the Lord and leave it there. Then shalt thou walk at large, a joyful and unburdened believer, singing the praises of thy great Burden-bearer.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Benefits of Not Ignoring Election in Your Bible

Quoting James Boice . . .

So many people think that election is useless and perhaps even pernicious. It is nothing of the sort. It is part of the Bible's inspired teaching and is therefore "useful," as Paul insisted all Scripture is (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Here's a look at ways election impacts things like evangelism and worship:


1. Election is humbling. Those who do not understand election often suppose the opposite, and it is true that those who believe in election sometimes appear prideful or smug. But this is an aberration. God tells us that he has chosen some by grace entirely apart from merit or even an ability to receive grace, precisely so that pride will be eliminated: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).

2. Election encourages our love for God. If we have a part in salvation, however small, then our love for God is diminished by just that amount. If it is all of God, then our love for him must be boundless. Sadly, today's church frequently takes the love of God for granted. "Of course, God loves me," we say. "I love myself; why shouldn't God love me too?" Consider the little girl who loved the Barney theme song from television ("I love you, you love me; we're a happy family"). But she sang it this way: "I love me, you love me; we're a happy family." That is how we tend to think of God's love. We think we deserve it. Understanding that we are elected by grace alone undermines our self-centered, self-satisfied way of thinking.

3. Election will enrich our worship. Who can admire a God who is frustrated by the rebellious will of human beings? Martin Luther wrote, "It is not irreligious, idle, or superfluous, but in the highest degree wholesome and necessary, for a Christian to know whether or not his will has anything to do in matters pertaining to salvation.... For if I am ignorant of the nature, extent and limits of what I can and must do with reference to God, I shall be equally ignorant and uncertain of the nature, extent and limits of what God can and will do in me--though God, in fact, works all in all. Now, if I am ignorant of God's works and power, I am ignorant of God himself; and if I do not know God, I cannot worship, praise, give thanks, or serve Him, for I do not know how much I should attribute to myself and how much to Him. We need, therefore, to have in mind a clear-cut distinction between God's power and ours, and God's work and ours, if we would live a godly life."

4. Election encourages us in our evangelism. People suppose that if God is going to save certain individuals, then he will save them, and there is no point in our having anything to do with it. But it does not work that way. Election does not exclude the use of the means by which God works, and the proclamation of the gospel is one of those means (1 Cor. 1:21).

Moreover, it is only the truth of election that gives us any hope of success as we proclaim the gospel to unsaved men and women. If the heart of a sinner is as opposed to God as the Bible declares it to be, and if God does not elect people to salvation, then what hope of success could we possibly have in witnessing? If God does not call sinners to Christ effectively, it is certain that we cannot do so either. Even more, if the effective agent in salvation is not God's choice and call--if the choice is up to the individual or to us, because of our powers to persuade others to accept Christ--how could we even dare to witness? For what if we make a mistake? What if we give a wrong answer? What if we are insensitive to the person's real questions? In that case, people will fail to believe. They may eventually go to hell, and their eternal destiny will be partly our fault, and how could any thinking, feeling Christian live with that?

But on the other hand, if God has elected some to salvation and if he is calling those elected individuals to Christ, then we can go forth boldly, knowing that our witness does not have to be perfect, that God uses even weak and stuttering testimonies to his grace and, best of all, that all whom God has chosen for salvation will be saved. We can be fearless, knowing that all who are called by God will come to him.

Taken from: The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Essentials of Evangelicalism

HT: Old Truth

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

In Response To A Young Christian

Last night Joshua, Chris, and I spent a couple hours at the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Whites Canyon Road in Canyon Country. It's the busiest intersection on the east side of town. Joshua and I had our crosses and Chris (who is in the process of building his own cross) had some evangelistic signs. I also had my portable PA with me, which afforded me the opportunity to preach about 30-40, one-minute gospel messages to motorists waiting at the light. Thousands of people saw the crosses, with hundreds of them hearing the proclamation of the gospel, all in less than two-hour's time. And a number of pedestrians received gospel tracts, with a few staying long enough to engage in conversation.


Joshua and I have recently spent several evenings on the corner of Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road with our crosses. This is one of the busiest intersections on the west side of town. An untold number of people have seen the crosses and heard the gospel at this intersection, over the last couple of weeks.

Last night I received the following message via Facebook, from a concerned young lady who heard of my activities with the cross. I know the young lady and her family. She comes from a wonderful Christian family and I've been friends with her dad for years.

While I've addressed some of the concerns she articulated in her note, in previous blog posts, I thought this might be a good time to do it again. If for no other reason, to encourage the young lady who took the time to write me and those readers who may be new to my blog.

Here's what she wrote:

Continue reading.......

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Another Pied Piper

Here's another example of a funny guy that has just gone and said too much. I think the most disturbing part was the mass approval of Gervais' remarks by the audience.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Premier Screening of The Adventures of Roman and Jorge

This is starting to look like something really worthwhile and entertaining.....and with a strong biblical message. Hats off to Greg Elsasser, Dru Morgan and the whole production team for putting so much hard work into this endeavor. See the trailor below.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, please consider making it to the premier and FREE screaning:
Sunday, August 8, 2010
5:00pm - 7:30pm
Rolling Hills Covenant Church
2222 Palos Verdes Drive North
The church has left the building! The Adventures of Roman and Jorge is a series of fictionalized stories of two Christian men in their early thirties who begin to get out and share their faith for the first time. Through the use of humor and biblical principles, the series will teach and entertain Christians while stressing the importance of committing all believers’ calling as evangelists.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Suspicious Actions Follow Murder of Pastor in Assam, India


Body destroyed before being identified; police try to link him with poachers.

A pastor in Assam state was murdered and cremated without being identified last month before family members learned of his death when they saw a photo of his body in a newspaper.


The body of Son Englang, 35, was recovered alongside National Highway 37 on May 20, with marks indicating his hands had been tightly bound before he was shot. The pastor from Mallasi village, Karbi Anglong, supported by Gospel for Asia (GFA), had reportedly been kidnapped early in the morning of the previous day as he rode his bicycle to the Bokakhat marketplace to buy paint materials for his nearly completed church building.


The unknown kidnappers, suspected Hindu extremists, reportedly took him to the jungle to kill him.


Local police took his body to a hospital in Golaghat, where he was cremated without being identified after three days.


“The hospital along with the local police cremated Pastor Englang’s ‘unclaimed body,’ as there is a provision in the hospital of holding a body for a maximum of three days,” said the Rev. Juby John, Karbi Anglong diocesan secretary of GFA.
 

News of his death reached his family four days after he was killed when they saw a photo of his body published on May 22 in local newspapers reporting him as unidentified.

Continue reading.......

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Conviction of Legislator in India Falls Short of Expectations



In murder of Christian, Hindu nationalist sentenced to seven years for causing ‘grievous hurt.’

Christians in Orissa state had mixed feelings about the sentencing on Tuesday (June 29) of state legislator Manoj Pradhan to seven years in prison for causing grievous hurt and rioting – but not for murder.

“Pradhan is not convicted of murder, but offenses of voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons and rioting were upheld,” attorney Bibhu Dutta Das told Compass. “Pradhan will be debarred from attending the Orissa Legislative Assembly unless the order of conviction is stayed by the Orissa High Court, or if special permission is granted by the court allowing him to attend.”

Kanaka Rekha Nayak, widow of murdered Christian Parikhita Nayak, acknowledged that the verdict on Pradhan and fellow Hindu nationalist Prafulla Mallick in the August-September 2008 violence against Christians did not meet her expectations. She said she was happy that Pradhan was finally behind bars, but that she “expected the court to at least pronounce life imprisonment on Pradhan and Mallick for the gruesome act that they committed.”

Das said he will try to increase the sentence.

“Pradhan spearheaded the riots and has several criminal charges against him – he cannot be let off with a simple punishment,” Das said. “We will be filing a criminal revision in the Orissa High Court for enhancing the period to life imprisonment.”

The day after Pradhan was sentenced, two Hindu nationalists were reportedly convicted of “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” in the burning death of a paralyzed Christian during the 2008 attacks on Christians in Orissa state’s Kandhamal district and sentenced to only six years of prison.


Continue reading.........

Friday, July 9, 2010

Theology Destroys Small Thoughts Of God

by Tullian Tchividjian

I love these lines from Mike Horton’s excellent little book, Too Good To Be True: Finding Hope in a World of Hype:
Christian theology is specifically charged with the task of making problematic our relationship with God, of presenting God to ourselves and others in such a way as to be confronted with a person who cannot be conformed to the narrow and sinful precincts of our own longings, expectations, and concepts. The God who comes to us in revelation is not a projection, but a person. He wrestles us to the ground, takes away our pride, and leaves us walking away from the match with a limp so that we will never forget the encounter.
Mike’s profound point is that, far from putting God into a box, theology done right actually destroys our little boxes, showing us that God is God and we are not; He is big and we are small. Theology reminds us that there is no God but God and to encounter him is to be forever changed!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Arts Indispensable to Evangelism and Discipleship, Says Professor

Or maybe just the good ol' Gospel will do....See Romans 1:16.  But Here's the article anyway.


The use of arts will greatly impact the work of evangelism and discipleship, said an Arlington, Texas, professor.

Stan Moore noted that a large majority of students in many of his seminary classes came to faith through music.

This is because “the arts speak to the whole person – intellectually, emotionally, physically and of course spiritually reaching into the very depths of our mind sand bodies and spirits,” he said.

Professor Moore was speaking at the Global Consultation on Music and Missions event in Singapore. He co-founded the consultation and also currently serves as senior fellow and professor of Church Music and Worship at the B. H. Carroll Theological Institute.

The event draws music missionaries worldwide to learn from one another.

The arts, he said, is as an “indispensable means to reach those who do not know Christ and to teach and disciple those who do know Him."

Christian artists have a responsibility to “create or adapt artistic expressions that adequately and embody the Christian message within a given culture,” he highlighted.

Already Christians are called to “use all possible and worthy means to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all peoples,” Moore noted. This includes every talent, gift and ability Christians have.

Continue reading......

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Witnessing to Muslims

The Imam's Daughter

By Mark Earley  Christian Post Guest Columnist

All too often, Christians associate only with other Christians. If they share their life in Jesus at all, they tend to do so with the link-minded.

But a new book reveals how important it is to reach out in love to those we may perceive as different from us, or even feel uncomfortable with, including Muslims.

In her new book, titled The Imam’s Daughter, Hannah describes her upbringing in the north of England in a Muslim neighborhood. Like all Muslim children, Hannah was taught that she must submit to Allah’s will.

But Hannah hid a terrible secret from her school friends: Her father-the respected local imam-was sexually abusing her. He told Hannah she was dirty and worthless, that she’d never be good enough for Allah. Hannah longed to run away, but the only people she knew well were fellow Muslims who would return her to her father. A suicidal Hannah wondered, why was life so dark and abusive?

When Hannah was 16, she began attending Sixth Form College. On her first day, she met Mrs. Jones, the school counselor. Mrs. Jones began to gently share Jesus with Hannah, but Hannah refused to believe that God was anyone but a cruel, avenging being who laughed at her misfortune.

And yet, it was Mrs. Jones whom Hannah turned to when she discovered a frightening secret: Her father was planning to take her back to Pakistan to marry her off to a cousin.

Continue reading....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Easy To Believe?

The old rugged cross on which Jesus died
Is foolishness to those not made alive
Its bloody details cause them to grieve,
And you say it is easy to believe?

The Greek thinks it nonsense to accept the risen Christ,
The skeptic thinks the disciples pulled off the greatest heist
The New Atheist wishes all Christians would leave
And you say it is easy to believe?

To the Jews it is a block of stumbling,
It provokes the educated toward grumbling,
A story no one could ever conceive,
And you say it is easy to believe? 

The Lord invited man to take up his cross,
To count the cost and consider all things loss -
Things the natural man cannot receive,
And you say it is easy to believe?

The scriptures say salvation is of the Lord,
A supernatural work man’s hands cannot afford
To think man can raise the dead is very naive,
The results of these methods can only deceive
Regeneration is the work of the Spirit,
Otherwise men would never hear it
You say that it is easy to believe?

Saving faith is only something God can achieve!

HT: Return To Biblicism

Monday, July 5, 2010

Are you a Christian?

We have a solemn warning from the lips of the Lord Jesus: "Not everyone who says, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father."

It's worthwhile, then, considering: When do we have the right to describe ourselves as Christians? It's a crucial question!

According to Scripture, you are a Christian when you deal properly with sin, that is, the fact that you have broken God's law and consequently are under his condemnation.

Contrasted with world religions, the Christian faith is essentially for those who realize that they are indebted to God. When the angel announced the birth of Jesus Christ, he said, "You shall call him Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins."

Have you dealt seriously with the fact that God has pronounced sentence against you as guilty? Have you awakened from sleep and considered how your Creator has every right, whenever it pleases him, to summon you into his presence and to give an account of every evil deed you committed, with which your soul is defiled?

The Lord Jesus gave us a penetrating picture concerning ourselves: "From within, from the heart of man, issue forth..." and on he goes by mentioning a whole list of sins that fill in the daily newspapers - blasphemy, pride, adultery, murder. Jesus says that the fountainhead of all this pollution is the human heart. It is the wellspring from which is drawn the filth and impurity we see around us.

Continue reading.......

HT: Truth For Today

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Indonesian Muslims Call for Halt to ‘Christianization’


Forum highlights religious tensions in Bekasi, West Java.

Muslim organizations in Bekasi, West Java, on Sunday (June 27) declared their intention to establish paramilitary units in local mosques and a “mission center” to oppose “ongoing attempts to convert people to Christianity,” according to the national Antara news agency.


At a gathering at the large Al Azhar mosque, the leaders of nine organizations announced the results of a Bekasi Islamic Congress meeting on June 20, where they agreed to establish a mission center to halt “Christianization,” form a Laskar Pemuda youth army and push for implementation of sharia (Islamic law) in the region, The Jakarta Post reported.


“If the Muslims in the city can unite, there will be no more story about us being openly insulted by other religions,” Ahmad Salimin Dani, head of the Bekasi Islamic Missionary Council, announced at the gathering. “The center will ensure that Christians do not act out of order.”


Observing an increasing number of house churches, Muslim organizations have accused Bekasi Christians of aggressive proselytizing. The Rev. Simon Timorason of the West Java Christian Communication Forum (FKKB), however, told Compass that most Christians in the area do not proselytize and meet only in small home fellowships due to the lack of officially recognized worship venues.

Continue reading...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Conviction of Legislator in India Falls Short of Expectations


In murder of Christian, Hindu nationalist sentenced to seven years for causing ‘grievous hurt.’

Christians in Orissa state had mixed feelings about the sentencing on Tuesday (June 29) of state legislator Manoj Pradhan to seven years in prison for causing grievous hurt and rioting – but not for murder.

“Pradhan is not convicted of murder, but offenses of voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons and rioting were upheld,” attorney Bibhu Dutta Das told Compass. “Pradhan will be debarred from attending the Orissa Legislative Assembly unless the order of conviction is stayed by the Orissa High Court, or if special permission is granted by the court allowing him to attend.”

Kanaka Rekha Nayak, widow of murdered Christian Parikhita Nayak, acknowledged that the verdict on Pradhan and fellow Hindu nationalist Prafulla Mallick in the August-September 2008 violence against Christians did not meet her expectations. She said she was happy that Pradhan was finally behind bars, but that she “expected the court to at least pronounce life imprisonment on Pradhan and Mallick for the gruesome act that they committed.”

Das said he will try to increase the sentence. 


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Friday, July 2, 2010

If God Is Good: Greg Laurie interview with Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn speaks with Greg Laurie about his new book - If God Is Good. Randy talks about the issues of suffering and evil.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Christian Grows In Grace

 by Tullian Tchividjian

As I have mentioned before, J.I. Packer’s book Concise Theology is one of my all time favorites. I purchased it as a brand new Christian in 1994 (one year after it came out) and I have been going back to it ever since. In it, Dr. Packer sets out to unpack 100 or so key Christian doctrines. He handles doctrines like creation, predestination, spiritual gifts, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, and baptism–all in just 2-3 pages each. It is an indispensible tool for every Christian.

To give you an example of just how helpful and well-written this little book is, I am posting my favorite chapter: the one on sanctification. When I had the privilege of eating breakfast last year with Dr. Packer, I told him that this sentence from his chapter on sanctification helped sort out my confusion as a young Christian regarding who does what in the process of Christian growth: God’s method of sanctification is neither activism (self-reliant activity) nor apathy (God-reliant passivity), but God-dependent effort (2 Cor. 7:1; Phil. 3:10-14; Heb. 12:14).

I hope this little teaser prompts you to order the book. It is a theological must-have!

Continue reading......