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Archive for January, 2013

“For (the Lord God) formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

Abortionists:

What part of ‘Thou Shall Not Murder‘ do you not understand?”

I pose this question not to the run-of-the-mill pro-choice advocate, for your problem is much larger than murder — you need to get right with Jesus. Some even suggest that you’re inculpable since you haven’t been born for the second time; that the Holy Spirit has not provided you with a specific-enough discernment equipping you to fully understand that the killing of a blameless, unborn child is a heinous, sinful act unpleasing to the Lord. I don’t necessarily agree with that, but nevertheless I extend this question not to you, but to the Christian pro-choice proponent who has somehow arrived at the false conclusion that abortion is okay. If I may be so bold…

How Dare You!

What gives anyone the right, let alone a follower of Jesus Christ, to destroy God’s marvelous work; a baby that angryGod fearfully and wonderfully made; a child whose days have been written in God’s book before he or she was even born. How dare you presume that you can selfishly murder this infant in the womb. How dare any Christian believe that God would bless murder! I cannot help but think that the born-again believer who murders the most vulnerable and the most innocent of human beings is perhaps the most deceived sinner on the face of the planet. Frankly, I’d question whether of not you even are saved. You should question that notion as well.

To Ponder Upon

If you’re a Christian and you support abortion (murder) as a God-given choice, would you please open your Bible and seek out the answers to these questions:

  1. How is God pleased by these murderous actions?
  2. Where in God’s word does it say murder is acceptable to God?
  3. Where can you find that you have been given special rights to murder the unborn?
  4. Where in the Bible has your choice been given priority over God’s commandments?
  5. What Biblical passages do you commonly use to support your position on murdering babies?

A thousand apologies if you think this post too bold, but I am angered that children are being needlessly fingermurdered (55 million dead so far) by those folks who should know better. I certainly do not hate you, but love you enough to concisely inform you that you are being greatly deceived. This is probably a good place to tell you that I too once endorsed the pro-choice agenda, as a backslidden Christian that is. Oh how I wish some bold and loving Christ-follower got in to my face and told me I was in sin.  I’m not suggesting that my sin is somehow their fault (that would be ludicrous), but rather that a firm rebuke may have gotten my attention before any harm was incurred.

For that reason I’m telling you to please repent, confess your sin to the Lord, turn away from this evil, and turn to Jesus to receive your forgiveness and inheritance. There is absolution for you, but do not continue to manufacture a god of your own liking.  Endeavor to pursue the One and only living God who created you and the unborn, in His image — any god who you would imagine would support murder, is a phony god.

There is no salvation in a false Jesus.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” Jude 1:21-23

I am blessed that you took some time to read the blog. If you were somehow blessed would you please share it, like it, subscribe to it or leave a comment below. If I have angered or offended you, that was not the intent — the purpose was to garner your attention towards the Lord. To Him be the honor, glory, and praise, and to Him we must submit.

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“Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21-22)

Recently I found myself in the middle of a discussion regarding Carl Sagan, the astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and former host of the 80’s television series called Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.  As a young adult I vividly recall watching these programs and being captivated by what this seemingly brilliant man was teaching. Then something truly astonishing occurred in my life – I discovered Jesus Christ. Actually, Jesus discovered me. I was lost and Jesus found me, cleansed me, healed me, redeemed me, and all of it He did because He loves me.

It took some time, but slowly Jesus began to reveal to me that everything Carl Sagan taught pertaining to the origin of the universe was an absolute lie. Whether Sagan knew it or not (he died in 1996), every word that poured out of his mouth in this regard was demonic; satan’s only purpose being in these matters to convey (by means of imaginative logic), that God is a fairy tale. At this point it almost goes without saying, Sagan did not believe in God. Today, and with all due respect to my fellow-man, I have no use for anything this vehemently anti-Christian and ardent evolutionist had to say .

Back in our conversation, one person had shared that although Sagan was wrong [about God], she saw ‘no contradiction in believing in evolution as part of God’s plan‘ (adding) that my views were only negative. Another person offered, ‘God knows his heart.’  Someone else added, ‘Sagan pointed us to the awe of creation…whether he knew it or not.’ Yet another, ‘God uses you…He can use anybody.’ The dialog ended with, ‘God spoke through a donkey, right?

Back to the Bible

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

Clearly some of those notions are flawed, but others don’t seem to be too far-flung. Why shouldn’t we be drawn to the rants of an atheist if he is able to bring our attention to the Creator? Is there any danger whatsoever in cozying up to the likes of a Carl Sagan in order to appreciate that which God hath wrought?  

The short answer is yes, there is a danger.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

First things first — the church is not starving for Christian resources or teachers, so why should we opt for one who ridicules the God of the Bible. Giving atheist Sagan undeserved recognition or portraying him in a positive light, could cause someone (an immature believer perhaps) to stumble. The thought of defending Sagan, or some similar atheist authority, because they’re nice guys with plausible intellect, boggles my mind. Personally, I’d rather defend the position of a brother or sister in Christ, then defend the position of a non-believer, especially one who mocks Christians.

Carl Sagan’s own words in regard to God, the Bible, and Christians:

There is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence…Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy…A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.” [Carl Sagan’s Billions and Billions, page 215, random quote, & Contact, pg 244]

Sagan believed Christians were fanatical nuts, so tell me why we should want to embrace him?

Sometimes Donkeys Do Speak

I recently read an article about a man named John Joseph who, while listening to Bill Maher (a crude, arrogant, atheist comedian), gave his heart to Jesus. So it’s true, God can use anyone He desires, but I hesitate to believe assthat God would recommend ‘atheist Maher’ to John Joseph as a mentor, adviser  or counselor. The donkey as it turns out was just a doltish messenger, but otherwise not a reliable source of information. Having heard Joseph’s testimony, I assure you that when Maher’s name is mentioned, it is not in a positive light. Balaam’s donkey was never lauded as something great — that honor is God’s alone. As Christians, we need to be able to make a distinction between the fool (those who reject God, but otherwise seem okay) and those like us who were once foolish, for whether we realize it or not, our words and actions are being scrutinized.

“The fool (the atheist) has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.” (Psalm 14:1, emphasis mine)

But God has chosen the foolish things (born-again believers) of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27, e. m. )

At the end of the day, a follower of Jesus Christ does not need anyone to point to the Heavens and suggest, imply, or proclaim that, “God did that!”  The Creator Himself has pronounced, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Let’s leave Sagan and his like for the atheists and let us embrace the Word of God, Jesus Christ, and those who follow Him, lest we be led astray or lead another astray.

If you enjoyed the post please share it on Facebook or Twitter (etc), or like it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment (but be nice). I am blessed that you took the time to visit and read the blog, and I hope you were somehow blessed too.

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“Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place–unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)

Remember

This was Christ‘s message to a particular Church, but we shouldn’t err and think that there isn’t an application for the individual Christian as well — this admonition is not something that we can merely lay at the feet of our church leaders, even if the church as a whole has fallen. If that has occurred, then our first response should be to ask the Lord how we have contributed to the problem and how we (through Christ) might set the course straight.

First Works

Gratefully, Jesus already answered the second part of the question — do the first works. That leaves us to ask what are the first works Jesus is referring to? Is it merely that we have fallen out of love with Jesus; or that we have neglected our relationship with our Lord and Savior; or that we have taken our God for granted? The short answer — it’s probably one or more or all of those, but we want to be precise.  The Revelation verse, “Remember therefore form where you have fallen,” implies that the place where we fell is significant; we need to go back to where it happened and identify the problem that caused it to occur.

In regard to the church of Ephesus, we’re told what they were doing right, but more importantly we see how their pursuit of works caused them to ignore the passion; their fist love Jesus. Don’t misinterpret what’s being said — the works of the church are essential, but maintaining a consistent, faithful, and obedient  relationship with Jesus is of utmost importance. If we’re not dedicated to stoking this flame, the fireplace will dwindle to embers. When this occurs, and it typically does for all of us at one time or another, we must think back to the time and place where we were last going full-bore for the Lord, and then determine what work drew us away from our relationship, asking…

What was that holy (or unholy) distraction that loosed our bonds?”

All Aboard!

Imagine for a moment you’re an engineer on a locomotive and it’s your duty to shovel coal into the boiler to keep it steaming. If you should stop, the fire shrinks, the engine cools, and the train slows. The problem is that the train can engkeep going for miles without adding fuel, and we can become so caught up in the momentum of a good work, that we might not notice we’re decelerating. What does get our attention is when the train comes to a complete halt in the middle of nowhere! We scratch our pointy little heads and wonder how in the world this happened. It’s at this venue Jesus doesn’t say, “Start fueling that furnace again!” but rather counsels, “Remember where you have fallen.”  Ultimately, Jesus will have us re-kindle that fire, but first He desires we identify the problem that caused it to go out in the first place, lest we make the same mistake again.

What does it mean, Jesus will remove the lampstand?

First of all, Jesus’s warning to take away His lampstand is not a threat, but a reality. The function of the church corporately, and the divine purpose of the Christian individually, is to go and make disciples to Christ. Everything we do should serve to turn people towards this vocation. We’re to always act as Jesus would expect His followers to act, wherever we find ourselves. That doesn’t mean we’re straightforwardly evangelizing all day long. Our behavior though is to always be Christ-like, our time dedicated to pursuits pleasing to the Lord, submitted to obedience in Christ, and not quenching the work of the Holy Spirit.

If the train we’re on has stopped moving in this manner, then obviously we’re not going anywhere, therefore Jesus has no cause to keep a lampstand (His light) upon a stalled vehicle or vessel. Losing the light is a very bad thing, and it’s definitely something that should be corrected, but it doesn’t necessarily mean a person’s salvation is lost, but rather, it’s indicative of a Christian who is not functioning for the purpose in which he or she was designed.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20

What are the first works?

That’s between you and God. I can’t tell you the mile-post where you decided to stop tossing coal into the stove and you probably won’t be able to find that spot on your own. Our hearts, outside of a connection with Christ Jesus, are deceitful, desperate, and wicked. The only solution is allow God access to your heart and trust that every stone will be overturned in His search for the truth. Saying the following verse as a prayer, at least once a day, and as needed throughout the day, will get you going in the right direction.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Then What?

When you find what you’ve been looking for, then stoke the fire! Do the things that by God’s mercy and grace, you get to do. Pray! Worship! Read your Bible! Be in Christian fellowship! Be alone with Jesus! Do whatever He tells you to do and persistently ask for His help and Helper (the Holy Spirit) to accomplish it. 2 Timothy 4:1-5 reminds us to be ready in any season to preach the word. In every secular conversation there’s an opportunity to bring it back to Jesus. Our voice should consistently serve to patiently convince, correct, and encourage others, while keeping a keen eye out for things that are not true.  We might not be evangelists, but nevertheless we have been called to do their work.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ‘ Revelation 2:7

I am blessed that you have taken to time to visit and read the blog. I pray that you too were somehow blessed. If you liked to post please share it, like it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment. God bless!

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For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother. Mark 3:25

What is God’s will for you?

I don’t have any statistics to show you, butWhat is God’s will,’ is arguably one of the most frequently asked questions by Christians, regardless if they are mature believers or young in the faith. It’s a great question to ask by the way, as it hairdemonstrates the disciple’s desire to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, and not the ways of the world or their own flesh. Many who ask the question are looking for a specific directive from the Lord; should I go here, should I purchase that, or should I marry so-and-so. What might surprise you is that finding the answers to those questions, and many more, are found in God’s word. Perhaps I should qualify that last sentence – the answer to any specific question pertaining to the will of God, begins in the Bible.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

We could really end the post right here, with Matthew 6:33  — seek God first, and in His perfect timing, He’ll provide His response. However we might now ask what it means to seek according to the Bible.

Seeking God’s Will

Here’s a collection of passages from the Bible that are relevant to the subject. It’s not an exhaustive list, but nevertheless, by consistently putting these God-breathed principles into practice, we will situate ourselves beneath the spout where God’s blessings pour out. After all, the best place to seek water is at the water’s source — ascribing to these tenets  puts us in a superior position to receive abundantly from the Lord. Simply put, the closer we are to Jesus, the better we’ll hear what He’s saying.

“Now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.” Romans 1:10

This is as good a place as any to start this quest.  The Apostle Paul prefaced this [Romans 1:10] verse by telling us a little bit about his walk with Jesus Christ and what seeking looks like to him. He begins his epistle to the Romans by telling us that he is a bondservant to Christ. That’s huge. Paul is saying,

I’m all in for Jesus. He is my Master and I am his willing servant. Whatever He says, I am going to do.”

Are you all in?

If you’re not, then you need to know right now, that you’re not going to hear His voice very clearly. Being all in does not mean that you will be perfect. Paul wasn’t perfect and this side of Heaven, neither will you be. But if it is your desire to be perfect, God will pick you up each time you stumble and give you another opportunity to improve. Paul tells us what all in looks like — he was a born-again believer, separated to the gospel of God (not distracted by worldly things), obedient to God and the call He placed on his life, grateful to God, subject to God, and persistent in prayer to God. “Do these things,” Paul might say, “and you’re all in.” Truth be told, you will be doing God’s will also.”

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

Whose image are you conforming yourself to: Christ’s or the world’s?

Again, the more we’re in the world and practicing what the world does, the further away we are from the counsel and wisdom of Jesus. Obviously we’re all in the world, but the question  is, how much of the world is in us? How much are we  influenced by television, movies, video games, magazines, sports, fashion, food, and the like?  It’s not my intent to be legalistic, but as a matter of confession I’ll tell you I removed cable TV from my home. I wasn’t watching porn, but what I was watching was not pleasing to the Lord. Furthermore, I gave up an obsession for golf, secular music and media, drinking, gossip, some acquaintances, and a bunch of other unhealthy stuff, not because I was into legalism, but because they were making me deaf. I wanted to hear Jesus better.

Do you?

“Be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” Ephesians 6:5-7

This passage has much to say about our attitude towards God and to those who have authority over us, whether it be a parent, a boss or co-worker, or government official. It begins by reminding children to obey their parents because it’s right in the eyes of the Lord. We’re also reminded that honoring our parents comes with the promise of living well and living long. Additionally, parents are admonished to not purposely aggravate the kids, while at the same time raising them in accordance with God’s teaching. In regard to our employers, we’re to be obedient and sincere in the work that we do for them, not because they’ll like us, or we’ll get a raise, or  maybe some extra time off, but because it’s pleasing to God. If we’re not doing these things, it’s going to interfere with what God is desiring to tell us.

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from sexual immorality.” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Seems like a no-brainer, right? Hopefully you’re already in abstinence-mode, but you need to make sure. What types of imagery do you allow to cross your eye and ear gates? For instance, do you think it’s of no consequence to watch an R-rated movie? Well, it might not keep you out of Heaven, but it will affect your hearing. Jesus wants us to take possession of our vessel and put it aside for His good purposes. If we’re lusting after anything, we’re seeking inappropriately. Christ cleansed us as a major part of His redemption process, and He wants us to stay that way. Dirty ears hinder our hearing.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10-22

This passage is the familiar portion of a larger twelve-verse section that we need to tackle. It addresses how we should live in unity with our brothers and sisters in Christ, comfort and edify one another, recognize each other’s efforts, warn others, esteem others, support the weak, and demonstrate patience all the while. We’re to Father-filter everything – if it smells bad (from a Biblical perspective), we aren’t to do it, and if it smells good, we’re to latch on to it. The passage continues — rejoice always, pray always, be grateful always, and above all, don’t reject the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t snub God! If you do that, you’re essentially sticking your fingers in your ears when He speaks.

“For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” 1 Peter 2:15

Do good?

Yes — do the good things we’ve been talking about. The Bible teaches that in us (that is, in our flesh) nothing good dwells. That’s why we’ve died to our flesh and long to do the good things God has instructed us to do. Why do we do them? Because it’s His will that we do them and we want to please Him! When we do this, our hearing improves, and the reason for that just might be because our behavior has silenced God’s enemies.

“For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” 1 Peter 3:17

Are you suffering any kind of persecution for actively and obediently walking with Jesus? Are you teased or mocked when you share your faith? Have you ever been told to stop? Have you ever been arrested, beaten up, stoned, or martyred? Good! Keep it up! It demonstrates that you’re doing something right. If you should ever stop ‘acting like a Christian,’ because of these things (aside from martyrdom of course), you’ll notice that your ability to hear God has diminished.

“Stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”  Colossians 4:12b

Perfection!

Is that too much to ask for?

We’ve already established that we’re not perfect, nor are we complete.  But you know what? Technically we’re not saved yet either. What I mean to say is, we are saved (that is, we’ve been pulled into the SS Salvation lifeboat), but as passengers, we haven’t been picked up yet. Does that make sense to you? The same can be said about our health – we are all healed by the stripes Christ sustained on our behalf, but we’re not all healed yet. In one sense it’s ours, we own it, but we’ve yet to catch up to it. We’re healed, we’re saved, and we’re standing perfect, because by His grace we have received it, and we will take full delivery when we cross over to be with Jesus forever.

So what is God’s will?

His will is to give to His children when they ask, to reveal Himself, to judge the secrets of men, to destroy those who defile, to bring us home, and to dry our tears. Follow Jesus closely, and when you have a specific question regarding His will for your life, you’ll hear His answer. As I said at the beginning, this is not an exhaustive list. The overall theme I was hoping to convey can be summarized in one word — obedience. If it is our desire to be obedient to God in all things, especially those directives revealed in His word, then we will be well on our way towards recognizing the voice of God when He speaks.

This is God’s will for you.

Did you enjoy the blog? I am blessed that you stopped in to read it and I pray that you were blessed as well. If you liked the post, please share it, like it, subscribe to it, or leave a comment. God bless.

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My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. James 3:1

Recently I wrote a piece that Biblically exposed Huffington Post contributor, Steve McSwain for the heretic that he is. From the response to the blog, it appears that many Christians agree — McSwain is masquerading as a follower of Jesus Christ and the false doctrines he espouses should be avoided at all costs. You can read the rest of that post here.

Today, this blog, ‘The Lion, The Witch, and the Happy Meal: Christian Beware,’ was brought to my attention by a friend and I immediately saw some parallels. The article was written by Dean Taylor on a blog-site called, “The Heartbeat of the Remnant,” a ministry of Ephrata Christian Fellowship, Ephrata, PA.

You Don’t Know Jack

I was intrigued by the post primarily because the author had much to say about the novelist, poet, academic, csmedievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist, Clive Staples (C. S., aka; Jack) Lewis. The report Mr. Taylor shared was not very good news at all — he reveals, by means of Lewis’s own words, that the yoke of Christian theology that Lewis has bridled himself to, is flawed. In abridged fashion, I’d like to share some of those quotes, along with some others I have stumbled upon. At the conclusion, you decide what to do with Mr. C. S. Lewis.

C. S. Lewis on ‘Salvation’

“There are people in other religions who are being led by God’s secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain points. Many of the good Pagans long before Christ’s birth may have been in this position.” (Mere Christianity)

God’s Rebuttal

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6)

C. S. Lewis on ‘Hell’

Hell is a state of mind – ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind – is, in the end, Hell.” (The Great Divorce)

God’s Rebuttal

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

C. S. Lewis on the ‘Inerrancy of God’s Word’

“I have the deepest respect for Pagan myths, still more for myths in the Holy Scriptures.” (The Problem of Pain)

“I have therefore no difficulty accepting, say, the view of those scholars who tell us that the account of Creation in Genesis is derived from earlier Semitic stories which were Pagan and mythical.” (Reflections on the Psalms)

God’s Rebuttal

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food,  and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ… Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:1-4, 11)

C. S. Lewis on ‘Atonement’

Christ’s death was not a substitution for us, but rather something like the Roman Catholic idea of the storing-up of grace.” (Lewis speaking on the subject of atonement)

God’s Rebuttal

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. (1 Corinthians 5:7b)

 C. S. Lewis as to ‘Humanism’

Safety and happiness can only come from individuals, classes, and nations being honest and fair and kind to each other.” (Lewis quote)

God’s Rebuttal

For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety… Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Psalm 4:8; 144:15)

 C. S. Lewis on ‘Purgatory’

“Of course I pray for the dead. The action is so spontaneous, so all but inevitable, that only the most compulsive theological case against it would deter me. And I hardly know how the rest of my prayers would survive if those for the dead were forbidden. At our age, the majority of those we love best are dead. What sort of intercourse with God could I have if what I love best were unmentionable to him…I believe in Purgatory.” (Letters to Malcolm)

“A process by which the work of redemption continues, and first perhaps begins to be noticeable after death.”  (Letters of C. S. Lewis)

God’s Rebuttal

It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27)

 C. S. Lewis as to ‘Evolution’

“For long centuries God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of Himself” (The Problem of Pain)

God’s Rebuttal

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

 C. S. Lewis as to ‘Darwinism’

“…But he (man) remains still a primate and an animal.” (Reflections on the Psalms)

God’s Rebuttal

 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind (Genesis 1:25)

In contrast to these quotes, C. S. Lewis said many things of God, of the Bible, and of Christianity that are true and accurate. The problem for the disciple of Christ becomes, where to draw the line. It’s one thing to keep Lewis on the one side of novelists, poets, and essayists ‘who happen to proclaim Christ as their Savior,’ and quite another to elevate his status to that of a theologian or a Christian apologist. I submit to you that because of his errant doctrines, he’s best positioned to the left of center. In other words, it would be unwise for the Christian to esteem C. S. Lewis as a bona fide teacher of God’s word. I suppose as always, there is a bottom line — be careful where you go for your theology. While there may be good and moral things to glean from a Lewis book (or movie), the fact remains that even a little poo always ruins the cake. Mature Christians should partake carefully, while immature Christians should be suitably cautioned.

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Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:14-15

Recently I was listening to ‘Let My People Think’ with Ravi Zacharias on my local Christian radio station; ‘The Bridge-FM.’ If you are not aware, Zacharias is a world-renowned and highly respected teacher of Christian apologetics. On this particular broadcast, the discussion revolved around an article written in the Huffington Post; a news website, content aggregator and blog launched in 2005 as a liberal/left commentary alternative to the conservative/right-sided news aggregators. The post was titled, “Why Christianity Is Dying While Spirituality Is Thriving.” It was written by Steve McSwain and it pained my soul.

This is going to be somewhat lengthy, so please bear with me…

About the Fraud

The author’s bio, as per the HP website, informs us that McSwain was a minister, but didn’t receive his ‘spiritual awakening’ until after he left the church. Interesting. That swishing noise you probably just heard was the hoisting of the first of many red flags. Here are a few more:

  • redMcSwain argues that Christianity isn’t the only pathway to the Divine.
  • He speaks for people who are finding and creating new pathways of spirituality.
  • He reaches out to the disenchanted.
  • He seeks to help those who seek an authentic spiritual life.
  • He thinks living a ‘Christ-conscious’ life is akin to ‘Buddha-nature.’
  • He embraces a new kind of spirituality.

RUN!

But wait, there’s more. That alone should be enough to debunk this man’s article, but he goes on to write that Christianity is dying and it’s morphing into something new and better – it’s emerging into something refreshing. In regards to true Christians he adds that we’re simply blinded by illusion.

The truth be told, Christianity is not dying, but there is a morphing taking place, and it is not good. McSwain would have us believe that the church is dying, and that he, and his cohorts are the ones called to usher in a new and improved version. McSwain went on to present 5 points to support his position within his article. These errors must be exposed.

Why?

Because the Church is filled with blasphemous liars and as ‘our brother’s keepers,’ it’s our duty to identify the likes of McSwain, for the purpose of protecting the flock as a whole. Sadly, far too many good folks are swayed by these apostizers, mistakenly believing that because they have acquired a quasi-prominent platform, or even a mega-church, they must know what they’re talking about. The Bible provides wise counsel in this regard:

“There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:1b-3

Here are the 5 false points from McSwain’s article, followed by scriptural truth that exposes the heresy.

False Doctrine # 1

According to McSwain, this “New, emerging church is made up of people who are desperately seeking ways of understanding, and in many cases, rewriting Christian theology.  It needs to be rewritten. For decades now, the church has sought to survive on a doctrine of salvation that depended on the shedding of innocent blood to appease an obsessively angry God so as to rescue humanity from what would otherwise result in their conscious and eternal torment in hell. It’s crazy theology. It is not what Jesus taught.”

How dare he say such a thing!

Every Christian should be outraged by such a foul discourse.  The God-given doctrine of salvation, predicated upon the shedding of innocent blood, is ‘crazy theology!?‘ It’s not what Jesus taught!?  Has McSwain lost his mind? It would seem that McSwain has been drinking his demonic bath water. These very tenets envelop the entire Bible! Cover-to-cover, atonement by means of penal substitution, through Christ, is God’s message to us!  To remove this doctrine is to remove the Bible!

This is what the Bible says:

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7

“And He said to them, This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.” Mark 14:24

“For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another — He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” Hebrews 9:16-26

“You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1 Peter 1:18b-19

That’s enough; let’s move on.

False Doctrine # 2

McSwain continues, “New churches have a healthier view of their sacred text known as the BibleInstead worshiping the Bible as a kind of ‘Constitution,’ as Brian Mclaren dubs it in “A New Kind of Christianity,” they interpret the Bible for what it is: an inspired book, capable of providing inspiration, wisdom and spiritual direction, not a textbook on science or morality or answer-book…”

McSwain, by means of his favorable association, was kind enough to raise a red flag for us regarding his confederate, Brian McLaren. Be warned. While it’s true that some worship the Bible rather than the God of the Bible, McSwain wants to us to focus on the idea that the Book is some kind of Constitution, presenting the term in a negative tone. By definition, the Word is defined as a system of fundamental principles, laws, ordinances, and/or regulation, made by the authority of a superior, for the well-being of the whole. My Bible surely fits these parameters. It is a God-breathed master piece!

“For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:16-21

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

False Doctrine # 3

More from McSwain, “Christians no longer feel the enemy is liberalism…they have awakened to the realization that the church has met the “real” enemy — and the real enemy is the church itself. Furthermore, these Christians no longer believe gays will destroy the institution of marriage when heterosexuals have successfully accomplished that all by themselves. Waging war against gays, lesbians and those within the transgender community is like trying to defend slavery. Furthermore, these have given up the church’s war with science and psychology, choosing instead to embrace the truths science teaches us, not only about the origins of the universe, but about the complexities of the human mind, human development and sexuality.”

Liberalism is the enemy, Mr. McSwain.

No one may take the words of God and freely twist them to suit the needs of their personal or social agenda. With all due respect to those who are caught up in the homosexual lifestyle, I do you no favor by trying to conceal or sugarcoat the fact that the Lord hates this sinful activity. The Bible is explicit. The Bible is also clear on the origins of life, our planet, and the universe – God did it and He accomplished it in six days. If a Christian cannot accept Genesis 1:1 by faith, but goes on to embrace scientific theories, such as Darwinism, they are effectively saying that God is a liar. From that point forward, it is not a difficult task for them to change any other portions of the Bible that they do not agree with. This is liberalism in its worst form.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

False Doctrine # 4

Getting worse: “I see this new evolving Christianity being birthed in the hearts of sincere and devoted Christ-followers who are open to what other religions can teach us about spirituality… these Christians would embrace and, in fact, do embrace the spiritual insights that may come from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and scores of other spiritual traditions… these Christians seek spiritual awareness — spiritual enlightenment — and they seek the good of all people, too, even those who embrace no religion.”

Essentially this false doctrine teaches that Christ Jesus died for nothing. If it were true that an individual were able to be reconciled to God the Father through Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, other religions, or no belief at all, then [God] made a huge blunder in offering up His Son Jesus as a sacrifice for all humanity. Once again the proponents of this false doctrine are pronouncing God a liar and that the Bible is nothing more than a fairy tale. As the Apostle Paul rightly said, “Let (them) be accursed.”

“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42

False Doctrine # 5

Final heresy: “This emerging new Christianity no longer interprets Christian ‘hope’ as some ‘pie-in-the-sky’ future paradise that they alone will enjoy, along with those who agree with their theology… No, these Christians would view ‘hope’ the way Jesus their leader viewed it; the way the prophets of old viewed it; the way the entire biblical narrative views it: as a vision of the world wherein peace and justice and plenty for everyone exists in the here and now…

It is a tactic of the false teacher to appeal to our emotions. In this instance, McSwain has put social justice far above Christ’s primary mission to earth – saving the lost; those having separated themselves from God by deliberately and selfishly pursuing sin. This is quite the deceptive ploy, because the Bible does teach us to help those in desperate need, but nowhere in the Bible is social advocacy put above personal salvation. Jesus did not come to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, or house the indigent; despite admonishing believers that it was a good thing for them to do. Truly, without works such as these, are faith would be dead! But make no mistake about it, a Christian’s only hope is found in the redeeming blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is where our abundant life is allocated – Jesus is our only hope.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27b

“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 1 Corinthians 15: 17-20

“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:23-25

Folks, I have no problem whatsoever pointing out that McSwain is a fraud; a wolf in sheep’s clothing, whose sole mission is to scatter and destroy the flock. Only two possibilities exist for his behavior: either he has purposely given his life to satan as a tool bent towards destruction, or he is incredibly deceived. My prayer is that you will not be deceived and that the Lord will reveal to him the gross error of his ways. Lord forgive him, for there exists the possibility that he does not comprehend what he is doing.

I am blessed that you took your time to read the blog. I pray that you were somehow blesses as well. If you enjoyed the post please like it, share it, subscribe to it, or submit a comment below. God bless!

 

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“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God” Romans 1:1
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Slavery: A Touchy Issue
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Referring to slavery as a touchy issue just might qualify me for the understatement of the year award. Here’s why. When slavery reached its peak in the United States, almost one-third of all southern families owned slaves. The US census of 1860 records that there were almost 4 million slaves in the middle-to-southern states alone. We can assume that the number was actually much higher. The fact is that the majority of African-Americans today are the descendants of captive and enslaved Africans held in the United States from 1619 to 1865. What you might not realize is that slavery still runs rampant in America. Today, there are tens of thousands of people, most often illegal immigrants, working as slaves. They are bought and sold to clean houses, work on farms, or more frequently, to be used in the sex trade. It’s no surprise therefore, when the topic of slavery is raised, most folks are either too appalled to listen, or selectively blind to its existence. Nevertheless, discuss it we must.

Does God Condone Slavery?
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If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing…If his master has given him a wife, and she has borne him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. But if the servant plainly says, ’I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free, ’ then his master shall bring him to the judges. He shall also bring him to the door, or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him forever. Exodus 21:2, 4-6

Most pastors I have heard vigorously assert that God does not condone slavery. They muster their position by asserting God has placed parameters regarding certain cultural issues (such as slavery, polygamy, and divorce), not because He found them to be acceptable, but rather that their occurrence was inevitable and therefore He imposed regulations for the practices. I’m okay with that, but I just tend to take a more pragmatic stance, not presuming to know God’s mind on every issue. What we do know for certain is that slavery was already a part of the culture and God was not instituting a new practice, but regulating an old one.

Here’s a reality that very few are willing to talk about: God-governed slavery was a good thing and willing servitude is actually a better thing.

Bond Servants

Welfare, as we know it in the United States, is a temporary solution to terrible problem. At the end of the day, very few folks who enter the welfare program are better off for having done so. However, bond servitude, in accordance with God’s mandates, is a better solution, inasmuch as the master complies with the regulations God has prescribed. If for example, a man finds himself in dire straights, and were able to offer himself to another for work, in exchange for his basic necessities of life, that man could successfully rise above the ranks of poverty, even if he remained under his employer’s roof forever. If you don’t agree, you’re probably struggling with the same thoughts I do — it won’t work because the master will most likely abuse the relationship. History bears witness to this, beginning with the very first slave all the way to present day. Regardless, in a perfect environment, bond slavery works.

Jesus: The Perfect Environment

Look at what Jesus did:

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:5-7

Now consider our calling:

For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13:15

This is precisely the directive the Apostle Paul was adhering to when he wrote [in Romans 1] that he was in fact a bond servant of Jesus Christ. Paul was proclaiming that he was willingly bound to his master, fully understanding that he was unable to provide for himself that which he essentially needed: redemption, healing, and salvation. The only way these things could be procured (then and now), was by submitting to the authority and power of Jesus washChrist. To reject total submission, aka: bond-service, was to reject the Master and the only hope of an everlasting life with Him. For this reason the individual must embrace the biblical doctrine of slavery, lest he die a second death. In Ephesians 6 we see how the relationship works out practically.

Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

Did you see it? The text admonishes the master to, “Do the same things.” In the real world, sin corrupts this picture, but our Christ is not of this world; He is perfect. Jesus fulfills the obligation, and thus established Himself as the Master Supreme. Jesus made Himself of no reputation and took on the form of a bondservantperfectly demonstrating obedient submission to the Father, fear of the Lord, sincerity of heart, humility, selflessness, mercy, and grace. Jesus has not asked His disciples (us) to do anything He has not already done Himself.

And the story gets better!

A Picture of Freedom

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:

To some, this is going to sound somewhat bizarre, but bear with me. Consider God’s directive in Exodus 21. In it God says [regarding the slave], “He shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.” Was that merely a random regulation inserted by God, or was it purposely placed there to paint for us a prophetic picture of things to come? I believe that God never merely said (or says) anything. All His words are purposeful. Therefore, if we’re told to not forget, “With the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” and we know that the earth and universe is 6,000 years old, then that means the 7th day — the day of our freedom, is rapidly approaching. On the 7th day, we will have our Sabbath rest! That my friends is very Good News.

The Bible said it best, but ‘ol Bob Dylan agreed. He wrote and sang, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” In those lyrics it is clear to see we have a choice and that the choice is black and white. Thank God, because He gave us this freewill. He also blessed all humanity by taking the time to explain the consequences of our choices.

So embrace slavery and choose wisely — Choose Jesus.

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36

I am blessed that you took the time to read this blog. I pray that you were somehow blessed as well. If you enjoyed it, please like it, share it, comment on it, or subscribe to it.

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