30 June 2010

Strange Encounters of the Jesus Kind

I found this article over at the blog of Pastor Larry Debruyn, Guarding His Flock Ministries.
Do people really see Jesus today?
"Jesus said to him, 'Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'." John 20:29 
Now and then, people claim to have physical sightings of, close encounters with, and mystical visions of Jesus. Once upon a time, evangelist Oral Roberts saw Him. 
"I felt an overwhelming holy presence all around me. When I opened my eyes, there he stood-some 900 feet tall, looking at me. . . . He stood a full 300 feet taller than the 600-foot-tall City of Faith. There I was face to face with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.[1]" 
Once upon a time, Jesus visited a Texas man in an Oklahoma motel room. "He looked like his picture," said George Wood, "but when you're talking to the man for three hours, you forget the details."[2] 
Another person reports her visionary experience.
Hello, My name is __________. I have had encounters with Jesus Christ . . . My first vision was when I woke one day. I looked over at my alarm clock and saw that I still had a minute left before the alarm was set to go off, so I closed my eyes and thought "great, I'll get one more wink." Then I felt sort of paralyzed and saw Jesus Christ's eyes looking at me! They were his eyes only. They were green with a hint of yellow and twice the size of a human's eyes. . . . I can not say how long it lasted because it seemed that time had stopped. The next thing I know I opened my eyes and saw that my clock still had one minute left![3] 
These "close encounters" with Jesus Christ raise issues about the present nature and appearance of His body, its current location, and the meaning of His second coming. 
Jesus is the sinless God-man (Philippians 2:5-8). A church father remarked, "He remained what He was. He became what we are." In His humanity, Jesus stood a certain height, weighed a number of pounds, possessed particular color hair, eyes, and complexion, walked in a particular gait, and exercised mental faculties and bodily functions like those of the rest of humanity. But Isaiah wrote of the Messiah's appearance, " He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him" (Isaiah 53:2, NIV). In the body of His humility, and as the Lamb of God, Jesus suffered and died for our sins. 
But Jesus the Son of God lives! His bodily resurrection is the sine qua non of the faith (I Corinthians 15:12-23). The resurrection body of Jesus was both different from, and similar to, the body of His humiliation. It could pass through walls, yet bore the scars of crucifixion (John 20:25-27). No scriptural evidence exists that His appearance was drastically altered as a 900-foot-tall apparition, or as a pair of disembodied, enlarged, and serpentine-colored eyes, suggest. If Jesus veiled His glory, there is no reason to believe that an appearance of Christ today would differ from those recorded after His resurrection. If Jesus did not veil His glory, it is doubtful His body could be seen (Acts 9:7-8; 22:11; Compare Matthew 17:2.). 
Two apostles recorded encounters with Jesus after His ascension. In four instances, Paul met Him on the road to Damascus, heard Him speak in both a vision and a moment of ecstasy, and was encouraged by Him after a heated debate with the Sanhedrin (Acts 9:5; 18:9-10; 22:17-18; 23:11). In another instance, John saw Jesus (Revelation 1:12- 20). 
In difference to those claiming visions and sightings of Jesus on earth, John saw and heard Him in heaven. Paul saw and heard Him from heaven. Acts 23:11 appears to record an exception when it says "the Lord stood by" Paul, but uses a Greek participle referring to His reassuring appearance to the apostle in a dream at night. After Jesus' ascension in Acts 1:9, there is no evidence that the Lord's feet ever touched this terrestrial planet again. 
The Bible teaches that the risen and glorified Christ has a corporeal presence, not on earth, but in heaven. According to the apostle Peter, Jesus Christ "has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him" (I Peter 3:22, NIV). The author of Hebrews agrees (Hebrews 4:14; 8:1). Jesus said Hewas going to that place (John 14:2-3).
The Bible promises Jesus' spiritual presence with believers on earth (Matthew 28:20), but precludes His earthly physical presence until His Second Advent, which will be personal, physical, visible, and public. At the time of His ascension, two men in white assured the disciples, "This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven" (Acts 1:11). This promise starkly contrasts with the report of a private and casual visit with Jesus in an Oklahoma motel room, to a personal vision of His 90 story high standing presence, and with the mystical apparition of a pair of ghoulish green-yellow eyes. 
While they were facing adversity, the Apostle Peter encouraged suffering believers that though tested by trials, the " proof" of their faith will "result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls" (Italics mine, 1 Peter 1:6-9). To Peter, faith was not sight, believing was not seeing. 
In light of Peter's statement that Christians had not seen the ascended Lord Jesus Christ then, it can be deduced that people are not seeing Him now. In a post-resurrection encounter with doubting Thomas, Jesus asked him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed?" But regarding the many others who would not, and did not, see Him, the Lord stated, "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed" (John 20:29). In His statement to Thomas, Jesus set His divine approval upon believers who believe the One whom they have not seen. If this is the case, why would Jesus deny such blessing to believers by appearing, willy-nilly, to them? 
We live in an increasingly irrational, experiential, and mystical age when people are fascinated with UFOs, ancient astronauts, extra-terrestrials, and visitors from outer space. Claims and reports of alleged sightings of Jesus condescends His person to the spirit of our day. At the time of Jesus Christ's revelation, when He comes again, not only will Christian believers be personally constituted like and publicly identified with Him (Colossians 3:4; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:13; 1 John 3:2), but also "every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him" (Revelation 1:7). 
I conclude that, if the New Testament's language is authoritative and meaningful for our faith, and it is, reports of physical sightings and mystical experiences with Jesus are strange encounters of the incredible kind.
____________________
ENDNOTES [1] St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 19-20, 1983. [2] St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 2, 1983. [3] "Visions of Jesus Christ," http://www.angels-online.com/iso.html

29 June 2010

BBQ and Baptism?

The Orchard church in Aurora, Illinois is gettin' relevant with BBQ and Baptism! Need something fun to do this weekend? Hungry for ribs, a burger, or the quintessential Chicago hot dog (please, no ketchup)? Want a day of fun in the sun with your best "Christ following" friends? Then come on over to BBQ and Baptism! And if it gets too hot, the pool will be right there to cool you off! Oh yeah, we may even dunk a few people and cheer and clap when they come back up drenched in a false, but relevant, assurance of salvation.

Such a stunt shouldn't be surprising from a church that is currently teaching a series entitled OnePrayer, seeking to unite people by "loving others," and that downplays the depravity of man in their own belief statement:
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. He is the supreme object of God's creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin." This attitude separates man from God.
I wonder where they got the idea that man "has tremendous potential for good." It certainly can't be from God's Word, which tells us that all men are wretched, vile sinners without the righteousness of Christ to cover them.


What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:9-18


Oh yeah, it sounds like we have some really tremendous potential for good! But who needs doctrinally sound beliefs when you have cool summer get-togethers like BBQ and Baptism? That's right, because if I remember correctly, Peter declared in Acts 2 that the people should "Repent and be baptized...and then EAT!" Yeah, maybe not...

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2:38

Who Needs the Cross?

Here is the ultimate example of a Christ-less church. A church in Michigan has decided that having a cross on their building is too alienating. They now accept all religions because they want to be "inclusive" and just want to "make a difference."










Here is Wretched Radio's commentary on the story:



I have to agree with David Wisen from the first video clip. While I wouldn't say this church has integrity, I do think it's good that they removed the cross from their church. It would be more of an abomination for them to continue to exist in the name of Christ while teaching such lies. If they are going to include everyone in their eventual spiral to Hell, they should not be doing so in the name of Christianity. What terrible ignorance this church must have of the Word of God! Jesus said that only He is the "way, the truth, and the life." He never urged us to be inclusive of all religions and to just get along. No, His message was one that would ultimately lead to division and hatred of His followers by the world. But hey, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, right? Unfortunately one day these people will find themselves unable to ever escape the eternal heat of Hell.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-19


34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:34-38

Author of "The Shack" says "The God of Evangelical Christianity is a Monster"

Published on June 28, 2010 at The Lighthouse Trails Blog:
On Friday night, author and researcher Ray Yungen attended a lecture at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon to hear The Shack author William Paul Young. The name of Young’s talk was “Can God Really Be That Good?” During the talk, Young told the audience that “the God of evangelical Christianity is a monster.” He was referring to the belief that God is a God of judgment and will judge the unbelieving. Young also rejects the biblical view of atonement (wherein Jesus died as a substitute for us to pay the price of our sins). This view by Young is evident in a radio interview he had one year ago where he rejected the biblical view of the atonement. He echoes the sentiments of William Shannon and Brennan Manning, who both say that the God who punishes His own son to pay for the sins of others does not exist:
He is the God who exacts the last drop of blood from His Son, so that His just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased. This God whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger — a God who is still all too familiar to many Christians — is a caricature of the true God. This God does not exist. (Shannon, Silence on Fire, p. 110, also see Manning who stated the very same thing in Above All, pp. 58-59 )
Read the entire article here
Oh yes, The Shack surely is a wonderfully Christian book, isn't it?

27 June 2010

Pray for...

Pray for Joni Eareckson Tada. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and will be undergoing surgery tomorrow.

Christian Newswire reports:
AGOURA HILLS, Calif., June 23 /Christian Newswire/ -- Internationally-beloved disability advocate, artist and quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada has been diagnosed with breast cancer, it was announced today by Doug Mazza, Joni and Friends International Disability Center president and COO, following confirmation by her physicians.

"Joni is to undergo several more tests, followed by surgery within the week," said Mazza. "The extent of the cancer will not be determined until the procedure."

[...]

Following surgery, Joni will receive treatment based on the findings. "Thankfully, my quadriplegia does not significantly impact either the surgery or the treatment. I'm like any other woman who has breast cancer," said Joni. "I want to pour all my energies into getting better." 

Updates regarding Joni's health and progress will be posted to the "Joni's Corner" section of the Joni and Friends ministry website atwww.joniandfriends.org. Well-wishers are invited to post assurances of their prayers and encouragement to Joni and her husband.

Sunday Morning Praise

O Gladsome Light or Phos Hilaron was originally composed in New Testament Greek and is the oldest known Christian hymn.
O gladsome light, O grace of our Creator’s face,
The eternal splendor wearing; celestial, holy blessed,
Our Savior Jesus Christ, joyful in Your appearing! 
As fades the day’s last light we see the lamps of night,
Our common hymn outpouring, O God of might unknown,
You, the incarnate Son, and Spirit blessed adoring. 
To You of right belongs all praise of holy songs,
O Son of God, life giver. You, therefore, O Most High,
The world does glorify and shall exalt forever.

26 June 2010

Newborn Fashion

I wish this was a joke, but it's not. I saw this onesie, sized for a newborn, at Target today.


Well that's one way to start your kids off in the way of the world! I'm appalled at some of the things that I see young (very young) kids wearing, especially the girls. Parents, I don't care how much your kids bawl and whine, if it's not modest and God-honoring, DON'T BUY IT! And if you give in and buy it and let your kid wear it, then don't sit back with sad wonder when your child is a rebellious teenager in both dress and deed.

"Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

25 June 2010

"For the Record," I Have to Ask...

I have to ask, is Molotov Mitchell of "For the Record" and World Net Daily espousing Dominion Theology? Scroll down to read my thoughts on this, but I prefer you read these first couple of paragraphs so you understand why I'm raising the question and why I'm seeing a common thread among WND contributors and Dominionism.

Last week I was listening to this June 8 episode of Crosstalk with host Ingrid Schlueter and Sarah Leslie of Discernment Ministries. They were discussing the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and its connection to last month's May Day event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This article posted yesterday over at Herescope explains some of the concerns that were raised on the show:
This blog has recently been the focus of controversy[2] for publishing a series of articles about a May Day event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in which prayers invoking the Seven Mountains were recited.[3] Our articles expressed concern that this radical mandate for Dominionism, and the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) which birthed it, were becoming part of the political Right and evangelical mainstream.

We are now convinced that the 7 Mountains theme is about to go viral. The 7 mountains mandate is already becoming a unifying rally point among evangelicals from many diverse theological camps and from some very unexpected quarters. The May Day event served as a launching platform to give credibility to this agenda and to exalt key New Apostolic Reformation leaders promoting Dominionism. In the crisis to "restore America," Christian Right leaders have already shown that they aren't too finicky about theology, nor picky about their political bedfellows.
Read the entire article here. 
I highly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. While you're there, take a look around. The folks at Herescope do a marvelous job of posting well-documented, pointed articles complete with footnotes and references. Best of all, they have a heart for discernment and speaking the light of Truth into the increasing darkness.

The growing influence of the NAR is fascinating to me. I don't think most Christians realize how widespread the influence of these individuals has become. And as I listened to that June 8 episode of Crosstalk discussing, among others, Janet Porter of World Net Daily, I couldn't help but remember the video posted below. It's a recent episode of Molotov Mitchell's "For the Record," a video column that he does for none other than World Net Daily. Watch it and see if you don't see the same elements of Dominion Theology that I do.



I could spend several pages refuting this 3 minute video because I take issue with so many things spoken by Mitchell. But I'll stick with the blatant references to Dominionism. Mitchell says, "I truly believe that we will turn this world around" and that we must fight for this planet because "Jesus told us to." First of all, I'd love to see where Jesus tells us to "fight" for this earth. Didn't He say just the opposite at His trial before Pilate?

33 "So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world." John 18:33-36

Why would Jesus want us to "fight for this planet" when His kingdom is not of this world? Now, according to my Bible, this earth is passing away and will one day be destroyed and a New Heaven and New Earth will be created.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more." Revelation 21:1


Mitchell indicates that we shouldn't be concerned with Heaven, but with this earthly dwelling. Interesting, Paul seemed to be looking forward to his heavenly home.


"For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee." 2 Corinthians 5:1-5


And if we're supposed to make this world a perfect Christian kingdom, then why did Jesus tell His disciples that He would come and take them to be with him?


“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." John 14:1-3


When Jesus was talking about His Father's house, then, was He talking about a place here on earth? Because it sounds to me like that house was already in existence when Jesus mentioned it, "In my Father's house are many rooms." Jesus was speaking here of His ascension into Heaven following His resurrection. He said, "I go to prepare a place for you." Sounds like He's prepared a place in Heaven and we ought to be looking forward to it! 


Mitchell also mocks the pre-tribulational view of the Rapture. Now it just so happens that I hold to that view. If you want to disagree with that, that's fine. It's not a salvation issue and I'll be happy to turn around and say "I told you so" on the way up! What I take issue with here is Mitchell's claim that this view renders the blood of Christ powerless. I would argue instead that Dominion Theology, the idea that Christians must "Christianize" the world before Jesus can return is far more depleting of the power of the blood of Jesus. After all, why should God have to depend on wretched, finite, sinful man to make the world good enough for Him to return?


Now, I realize that Molotov Mitchell did not come out and say "I believe in Dominion Theology." What I am saying is that this video, as well as the other 2 in the series (which can be viewed here and here) certainly seem to sympathize with that particular movement (to put it mildly). I am also not making any accusations toward World Net Daily. I often turn to WND for conservative news stories, although I always try to find the same story elsewhere before delivering it as truth. And I do find it interesting that WND has two correspondents who appear to at least sympathize with this dominionist and/or NAR movement.


Keep those discernment prayers coming and keep your Bible open. Oh, and keep your eyes on the sky because our Savior is nearly here!




Click here for Bible passages refuting Dominionism.


SEE ALSO: THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION

What DOES the World Need Now?

Oh brother. I received this video in an email forward with the subject line "What the World Needs Now."



Sadly, this "we can make the world a better place if we all just get along" video came from a Christian who indicated that this was what the world needed more of. Really? The world needs more hugs? REALLY? Let me just say that if a stranger walks up to me on the street and gives me a "free hug" they'll be receiving a "free hit" in response. It's this universalist, "all we need is love" mentality that is debilitating more Christians then even the infiltrating pagan practices are. Do you want to know what this world really needs now? Jesus Christ.

"I [Jesus] am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9


"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6


16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:16-20


"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:1-4


"Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15


"And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38


The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed." 2 Peter 3:9-10

Evangelical Leaders Pushing Mysticism

From the Sola Sisters blog:

Crosstalk Interview: Evangelical Leaders Pushing Mysticism

Thank you to Ingrid Schlueter, host of Crosstalk America, for having me on her radio show today.

During the show, I briefly went over my own testimony of being mercifully saved out of New Age Spirituality (also called New Spirituality), only to find that the same mysticism I had once practiced was now coming into the church.

Mysticism has gone mainstream, and many of today's pastors are "speaking" the language of mysticism (Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Disciplines, Solitude and Silence, etc.), as well as selling books leading unwitting readers into occultic mystical practices- chiefly, mantra meditation.  Some of the more surprising names are well-respected leaders in evangelicalism today:

Dr. John Piper
Tim Keller
Matt Chandler
Mark Driscoll
Rick Warren


You can listen to the show in its entirety here.
If you have an hour, I think you'll find this episode of Crosstalk incredibly informative.

24 June 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

From an article published in the April 1888 edition of the Sword & Trowel entitled Progressive Theology:
Do men really believe that there is a gospel for each century? Or a religion for each fifty years? Will there be in heaven saints saved according to a score sorts of gospel? Will these agree together to sing the same song? And what will the song be? Saved on different footings, and believing different doctrines, will they enjoy eternal concord, or will heaven itself be only a new arena for disputation between varieties of faiths? 
We shall, on the supposition of an ever-developing theology, owe a great deal to the wisdom of men. God may provide the marble; but it is man who will carve the statue. It will no longer be true that God has hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes; but the babes will be lost in hopeless bewilderment, and carnal wisdom will have fine times for glorying. Scientific men will be the true prophets of our Israel, even though they deny Israel's God; and instead of the Holy Spirit guiding the humble in heart, we shall see the enthronement of "the spirit of the age," whatever that may mean. "The world by wisdom knew not God," so says the apostle of the ages past; but the contrary is to be our experience nowadays. New editions of the gospel are to be excogitated by the wisdom of men, and we are to follow in the wake of "thoughtful preachers," whose thoughts are not as God's thoughts. Verily this is the deification of man! Nor do the moderns shrink even from this. To many of our readers it may already be known that it is beginning to be taught that God himself is but the totality of manhood, and that our Lord Jesus only differed from us in being one of the first men to find out that he was God: he was but one item of that race, which, in its solidarity, is divine.
Not with this man, or that Council, or that Union, are the lovers of the old gospel at war at this present; but with the whole body of unbelief which is now attempting to borrow the Christian name, and effect a settlement within Christian territory. This spirit is in all the churches, more or less; indeed, it seems to be in the air. The prince of the power of the air is loosed in an extraordinary manner for a season, misleading even the godly, and triumphing greatly in those whose willing minds yield full assent to his deceitful teachings. 

23 June 2010

God's Promises

We had some pretty nasty storms this evening where I live. Tornado watches and warnings, severe thunderstorm warnings, and many areas are still under a flood watch until the early hours of tomorrow. But as things seemed to die down I noticed the sky was glowing an odd yellow-orange and I stepped outside for a closer look. Even as thunder still growled in the distance, the sun strove to make one final appearance for the day. And best of all, God parted the clouds enough to remind me of His perfect promises.
 
"And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.' God said to Noah, 'This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth." Genesis 9:12-17

In the News...

Liberal Group Threatens Lawsuit Against McDonald's if it Doesn't Stop Giving Toys to Children

CNS News reports:
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a liberal consumer advocacy organization, has announced it will sue McDonald’s unless the fast-food franchise stops using toys to market its “Happy Meals” to children.

“This morning, CSPI notified McDonald’s that we will file a lawsuit against the company unless it stops using toys to beguile young children,” said Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

“We contend that tempting kids with toys is unfair and deceptive both to kids who don’t understand the concept of advertising and to their parents who have to put up with their nagging children,” he said.
When I was a kid, I used to get excited about going to McDonald's not because of the toy (okay, maybe a little because of the toy) but because it was one of my favorite things to do with my mom! I can vividly remember our visits to McDonald's where I would order a Fillet O' Fish and an orange drink and then my mom and I would enjoy lunch together. So those supposedly evil Happy Meals were actually the source of some wonderful childhood memories for me. Now, under the guise of pretending to care about our children's health, these people want to take something so simple, but so pleasant, away. In the end it's just another liberal power-grab. How much more will we let them regulate and control?

A Discussion of Mysticism...Has it Crept into Your Church?

I caught the last 40 minutes or so of In the Market with Janet Parshall tonight while I was driving home from work (praying all the way that I'd get home before the hail, or worse a tornado, hit). She was speaking with Dr. Ron Rhodes, discussing his article The Emergence of Mysticism in the Emerging Church. It was an excellent topic and a very interesting conversation. If you have some time, I'd recommend that you give it a listen. Remember, not all Emergent churches are blatant with their candles and labyrinths and outright denial of the inerrancy of Scripture. Many of the elements of this emergent movement are flourishing in what most people would perceive to be "conservative evangelical" churches. The most dangerous error is that which is laced with truth, making it all the more difficult to discern. Nevertheless, "a little leaven leavens the whole lump."

Beth Moore Speaking at Catalyst Conference

From Christian Research Network:
We’re told that Catalyst began as:
"a Next Generation Leaders Conference in 1999 by Andy Stanley and Reggie Joiner from North Point Community Church, along with John C. Maxwell, Lanny Donoho and several other young leaders. Catalyst was created to meet the felt need that existed within the church leader space for a leadership event that was focused on a new generation of church leaders…"
And how far we’ve come, eh; as we check the speakers list we find: 
Andy Stanley, Seth Godin, Beth Moore, Perry Noble, and T.D. Jakes 
Such a catalyst; man-centered Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven types, a woman claiming to receive direct revelations from God, a “World Renowned Blogger and Marketing Expert,” along with a Word Faith mogul and Oneness Pentecostal heretic in T.D. Jakes.
My, the "anointed" Ms. Moore certainly has found herself quite the apostate circle of friends, hasn't she? From Perry Noble, the "Purpose-Driven Pope of the Carolinas" to T.D. Jakes who denies the Trinity, you certainly can tell a lot about a person by the people they align themselves with, can't you?

Quotes of the Day

Thanks to Lunice over at Rejoice Forevermore for posting these wonderful quotes!

"The true Christian was intended by Christ to prove all things by the Word of God, all churches, all ministers, all teaching, all preaching, all doctrines, all sermons, all writings, all opinions, all practices. These are his marching orders. Prove all by the Word of God; measure all by the measure of the Bible; compare all with the standard of the Bible; weigh all in the balances of the Bible; examine all by the light of the Bible; test all in the crucible of the Bible. That which cannot abide the fire of the Bible, reject, refuse, repudiate, and cast away. This is the flag which he nailed to the mast. May it never be lowered!"—John Wycliffe
"If Jesus, the sinless and perfect Son of God, limited Himself to speaking nothing
during His incarnation except the truth He received from His Father, how much more
should …those who have been called into ministry speak only on the authority of
divine Scripture." - John MacArthur