31 July 2010

Throwing Up for Jesus?

There's nothing more wonderful than hearing children singing praises to the Lord. Unless they're singing this:



Just another reason for parents to be acutely aware of what their children are being taught in Sunday School and VBS. If my child came home singing this irreverent, but "culturally cool" song, I think I'd be on the phone rebuking the adult who taught it to him! Are children incapable of singing theologically, doctrinally rich hymns and songs? Of course not! So let's not allow our children to be taught to "throw up" for Jesus. Let's teach them instead to turn to Him in repentance and faith, and then praise His Holy name in a right manner.

29 July 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

The following is from a sermon entitled Believing on Jesus--and Its Counterfeits, delivered February 22, 1891.
“As He spoke these words, many believed on Him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which had
believed Him, If you continue in My Word, then are you My disciples, indeed;
and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:30-32."

Our Lord, on this occasion, was surrounded by quibblers. We must not be astonished if the like should happen to us when declaring the Gospel. Our Lord went on preaching, all the same, and He did not conceal objectionable Truth because of opposition—say, rather, that He set it forth with greater boldness and decision when surrounded by His enemies! The more they opposed, the more He testified.
[...]
What is it to believe on Christ? It means not only to accept what He says as true and to believe that He is the Messiah and the Son of God, but trustfully to rest in Him. To believe on Him is to take Him as the ground of our hope, as our Savior, upon whom we depend for salvation. When  we believe in Him or on Him, we accept Him as God sets Him forth—and we make use of Him by trusting on Him to do for us what God has appointed Him to do. This trusting on Jesus is saving faith! “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.” To
believe Him may be a very different thing from believing on Him. Such belief may fall far short of saving faith. To believe on Him means heartily to give yourself up to Him and to follow Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life to you. Rejecting all rival confidences, the heart leans all its weight on Jesus and leaves all its burdens with Him. Believing in Him, we repose all our concerns, for time and for eternity, in His hands.

28 July 2010

Quote of the Day

"You see, the hope of the return of Jesus Christ means we have an ultimate point of accountability for how we live. I believe that liberal theology is not the product of intellect, it is the product of immorality. It is the direct child of passion. It is an effort to deny spiritual accountability." Dr. John MacArthur in his sermon entitled The Certainty of the Second Coming, Part 1.


You can read this sermon in its entirety here at the Grace to You website, or listen to it here.

PCUSA's Processional of Puppets

Below is a video of the opening processional for the PCUSA's General Assembly that met earlier this month. It shouldn't really surprise us that they've sunk to this level of ridiculousness. They've affirmed homosexuality, so it's all downhill from there.



I need some help here. If you know where Scripture tells of the early church dressing in costumes that resemble skunks and, even worse, pagan gods, please post a comment below with the reference. I'm guessing it must be in Acts, but I'm drawing a blank. Unbelievable. Is this supposed to be honoring the God of the universe and our Savior, Jesus Christ? Yikes.

25 July 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

Happy Christmas in July! I couldn't decide on a hymn this morning, and since this is one of my favorites and we're all longing for Christ to return quickly (just as Israel longed for her Messiah), it seemed appropriate. May the hope and promise of Christ's soon return bless you today!




O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

Refrain

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Refrain

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Refrain

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

Refrain

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Refrain

23 July 2010

Pray for...

Pray for Jennifer Keeton, a graduate student at Augusta State University who has been told that she cannot graduate until or unless she changes her Christian beliefs.

The website of the Alliance Defense Fund, who is representing Jennifer in her case, reports further:
Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit against Augusta State University Wednesday on behalf of a counseling student told that her Christian beliefs are unethical and incompatible with the prevailing views of the counseling profession. The student, Jennifer Keeton, has been told to stop sharing her beliefs with others and that she must change her beliefs in order to graduate from the counseling program.

Augusta State ordered Keeton to undergo a re-education plan, in which she must attend “diversity sensitivity training,” complete additional remedial reading, and write papers to describe their impact on her beliefs. If she does not change her beliefs or agree to the plan, the university says it will expel her from the Counselor Education Program.
Keeton, 24, is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling at Augusta State. After her professors learned of her biblical beliefs, specifically her views on homosexual conduct, from both classroom discussions and private conversations with other students, the school imposed the re-education plan. Keeton never denigrated anyone in communicating her beliefs but merely stated factually what they were in appropriate contexts.
Each month, Keeton is required to complete a report on how the “remediation” assignments have influenced her beliefs so that faculty can “decide the appropriateness of her continuation in the counseling program.” The plan concludes by noting that “failure to complete all elements of the remediation plan will result in dismissal from the Counselor Education Program.”
Read the entire article here.  

Keeton VNR from ADF Media Relations on Vimeo.

22 July 2010

Grieving Parents


HT: The Sacred Sandwich

Thursday's Spurgeon

The following is from a sermon entitled The Sine Qua Non, delivered April 17, 1870.

If a man profess to be a Christian, and is not in his walk and conversation holier than other men, that man’s profession is vain. There are some who seem to think that we are to come to Christ as sinners, and then after having believed in him are to live as we did before. But, my brethren, it is not so. Christ saves his people from their sins. When you hear the complaints of God’s servants concerning their temptations and their indwelling sins, you are not to conclude from that sin has dominion over them, or that they have not overcome sin, or that they are not other men than they once were. Nay, my brethren, I believe the holier a man becomes the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him; but he is in very truth a far better man, he is a spiritual and holy man.
If Jesus wash you not, so that you become godly and upright, you may depend upon it you have no part in him. If he do not wash that tongue, and cleanse away those angry, or idle, or filthy words; if he do not wash that hand, and render it impossible for it to perform a dishonest or unchaste act; if he do not wash that foot and render it impossible it should be able to carry you to the haunts of vice and criminal amusement, you have no part in him. It is all worthless for unconverted persons to be baptised and come to his table, for if be has not sanctified you in some measure he has not justified you. If you are not a changed man, neither are you a saved man, and if you do not aspire after holiness, neither need you hope that you shall have a part in the heaven of the blessed. “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.”
HT: The Daily Spurgeon

18 July 2010

Paul Washer on False Teachers and their Followers

One More Reason to Stay Away from Hillsong

I know I'm a little late on this story, but it still needs to be shared. As if we needed more reasons to boycott Hillsong Church and the girly, sissified music that they've launched upon the contemporary Christian music scene, the gang from down under has given us another good reason to keep our distance. Apparently Hillsong is entering the rap scene (gotta stay relevant after all!). Not only did they enlist Ed Young, Jr. to create a promo video for their 2010 conference (you know Young, the "pastor" who is currently in the midst of controversy regarding his use of a private jet and lavish vacations, among other things), but they had Young do this:



You can see more on this here at the Museum of Idolatry.

The question is, does this reflect worse on Young or on Hillsong? Well, I think it's safe to say that neither party wins in this situation. Yikes.

Poll Reveals Half of Israeli Public Wants to See the Temple Rebuilt

I just thought this interesting. Arutz Sheva reports:
Half the Israeli public wants the Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) to be rebuilt. This is the main finding of a poll commissioned by the Knesset Television Channel and carried out by the Panels Institute. 
The poll was taken in advance of this Tuesday’s national day of mourning, known as Tisha B’Av, on which the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, respectively.
Forty nine percent said they want the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, while 23% said they do not. The remainder said they were unsure. 
The public is about evenly split on whether they believe it will happen, with a slight edge – 42% to 39% – to those who believe the Third Holy Temple will be rebuilt.
Read the entire report here
Of course, we know from Daniel 9 and from Jesus' words in Matthew 24 that there will indeed be a third temple during the tribulation period. This temple will be desecrated halfway through the tribulation by the false messiah, the Anti-Christ. So the interest of the Israel public in building a third temple is quite interesting indeed.

Sunday Morning Praise

A blessed Sunday morning to you! It's a perfect, beautiful day to praise our Lord in spite of whatever we may be facing this morning! May this hymn help you to remember to put Him above all today. I couldn't find a video with words that actually did this hymn justice, so I've posted the words below (as usual) for you to sing (or hum) along with the organ.




Praise to the Lord, the Almighty
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who hath fearfully, wondrously, made thee;
Health hath vouchsafed and, when heedlessly falling, hath stayed thee.
What need or grief ever hath failed of relief?
Wings of His mercy did shade thee.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, who, when tempests their warfare are waging,
Who, when the elements madly around thee are raging,
Biddeth them cease, turneth their fury to peace,
Whirlwinds and waters assuaging.

Praise to the Lord, who, when darkness of sin is abounding,
Who, when the godless do triumph, all virtue confounding,
Sheddeth His light, chaseth the horrors of night,
Saints with His mercy surrounding.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again,
Gladly for aye we adore Him.

15 July 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

From a sermon entitled Precious, Honorable, Beloved delivered February 20, 1870.
They were favored with special protections in providence, with special guidances in all their difficulties, special supplies in time of famine; and if they sometimes had special chastisements, yet even these were but tokens of his peculiar regard. Israel was precious in the sight of God, and therefore, though small and inconsiderable, it was honorable among the nations, so that David could truthfully say, “What one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself?”

I need not dwell upon God’s special love to Israel. We believe it continues to this hour, and though the scattered nation be despised, and the precious sons of Zion comparable to fine gold are esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter, yet the day shall come when “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” Then Judea’s mountains (thy land, O Immanuel), shall drop down with new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; then the glorious diadem of her former glory shall return to Zion’s brow, and God, even her own God, shall bless her. The covenant of salt shall be remembered, and it shall be seen that the Lord hath not cast away his people whom he did foreknow.
Thanks to The Daily Spurgeon for posting this last week.

14 July 2010

Pray for...

Pray for BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). It saddens me to post the following article from Lighthouse Trails Research. I've been involved with BSF for several years, as has most of my family. God has used BSF mightily not only in my life but also in the life of those whom I love. I am posting this article out of concern for the organization and those involved with it (including myself). The article raises the exact same concerns that I have had of late. While I take comfort in knowing that I am not the only one seeing red flags, I am more disheartened.
Bible Study Fellowship, a ministry of Bible studies that has been around for over 50 years, is utilized by many Bible believing Christians. On the BSF website, it states: “In all, there are over 1,000 BSF classes with 200,000 class members in 38 nations across six continents! Over 800 of the classes are held in the U.S.” 
Recently, a number of BSF supporters/participants contacted Lighthouse Trails with concerns that the organization may be becoming influenced by contemplative sources, most likely unbeknownst to many or most of BSF board of directors and Bible Study teachers. In the May 2010 issue of the BSF magazine, a book list includes three contemplative proponents: contemplative pioneer Dallas Willard, emerging proponent Dan Allender, and Pastor Timothy Keller of Redeemed Presbyterian in New York. 
BSF does give a disclaimer on their magazine stating: ”The books listed do not necessarily represent the BSF point of view in their entirety but are recommended to challenge your thinking and enlarge your understanding of the world and the church”; however, as we have explained before in other articles, regardless of such disclaimers, recommending heretical teachers is just that, and it can have serious repercussions. Pointing to Dallas Willard can potentially lead readers into the arms of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen; and that goes the same for Keller and Allender. On Willard’s website, some of the mystics he resonates with and recommends are Teresa of Avila (see Castles in the Sand), Henri Nouwen, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Richard Foster, Madam Guyon, and Jan Johnson – all proponents of a mantra-style meditation. 
Worth noting, on a second page of the four page BSF May 2010 magazine, in an editorial article by BSF executive director, Susan Rowan, Rowan quotes Eugene Peterson’s The Message, which has proven to be a most untrustworthy paraphrase of God’s Word. Additionally, Peterson himself is a strong proponent of contemplative spirituality, is one of the main endorsers of The Shack, and embraces the spirituality of Sue Monk Kidd, who worships the goddess Sophia.1
Lighthouse Trails contacted the BSF office, but was unable to reach anyone. If you are using BSF material or know of someone who does, we urge you to contact the organization and beseech them to reconsider their promotion of contemplative-promoting authors. While a mere quote by The Message and a few book recommendations may seem trivial to some, we know from experience that typically when a ministry or organization opens the door, even ever so slightly, to contemplative resources, it is just a matter of time before the organization becomes influenced with it. In Ms. Rowan’s article, she says that “BSFers are proving that they are fully engaged with Jesus Christ and His work.” If contemplative spirituality (i.e., spiritual formation and the new spirituality) reorient this ministry, they will become “engaged” with the mystics, and we know the Bible says we cannot serve both God and man. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 
When one looks through the websites of Christian colleges, organizations, churches, and ministries, one can easily see that contemplative has indeed had a significant presence. Lighthouse Trails’ very existence is to point out that we believe what II Thessalonians refers to as the falling away from real Christianity to a false mystical “Christianity.” When we look at the statements and beliefs of Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen, this is glaringly apparent.
Bible Study Fellowship International
19001 Huebner Rd
San Antonio, Texas 78258
(210) 492-4676.
I would like to echo the plea of Lighthouse Trails and ask anyone who is currently involved in BSF to please contact headquarters and express your concern about these contemplative leanings. As I said before, I have great affection for BSF because God used it so strongly in the lives of my family and me. I desire nothing more than for BSF to turn away from this contemplative path before it is too late.

12 July 2010

Quote of the Day

I know I'm supposed to be on "vacation" this week but I had to smile this morning when my professor stated the following:
"If you leave this class and your head is spinning as to what postmodernism is about, then you're probably close to getting it."
Yep, that pretty much sums it up!

11 July 2010

Sunday Morning Praise

An tried and true favorite today. Have a blessed day!




A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

10 July 2010

A Short Break

I'll be taking a brief vacation from the blog for the next week as I temporarily trade my cubicle for the classroom. I'd appreciate your prayers over the next week as I focus on my studies.

Many blessings to you! I'll be back soon.

09 July 2010

08 July 2010

Thursday's Spurgeon

The following is excerpted from a sermon entitled Search the Scriptures delivered January 17, 1858.
"To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."—Isaiah 8:20.
Permit me to urge upon you the bringing CERTAIN THINGS "to the law and to the testimony."
First, I would have you bring the ideas engendered in you by your early training, to the test of the Book of God. It is very much the custom of people to say, "Was I not born in the Church of England? Ought I not therefore to continue in it?" Or, on the other hand, "Was not my grandmother an Immersionist? Ought not I, therefore, to continue in the Baptist denomination?" God forbid that I should say aught against your venerable and pious relatives; or that you should pay any disrespect to their teaching! We always respect their advice, even when we cannot receive it, for the sake of the person who offers it to us; knowing that their training, even should it have been mistaken, was nevertheless well meant. But we claim for ourselves, as men, that we should not be fed with doctrines as we were fed in our helpless infancy, with food chosen for us: we claim that we should have the right of judging whether the things which we have received and heard, are according to this Sacred Book; and if we find that in aught our training has been erroneous, we do not consider that we are violating any principle of affection, if we dare to come forth from our families, and join a denomination holding tenets far different from those which our parents had espoused. Let us each recollect that as God has given every man a head on his shoulders, every man is bound to use his own head, and not his father's. God gave your father judgment. Well and good: he judged for himself. He has given you a judgment: judge for yourself too. Say, concerning all that you have received in your early childhood, "Well, I will not lightly part with this, for it may be sterling gold; but at the same time, I will not blindly hoard it, for it may be counterfeit coin. I will sit down to the study of the Sacred Book, and I will endeavour, as far as I can, to unprejudice myself. I will read the Bible, just as if I had never heard any preacher, or had never been taught by a parent; and I will there endeavour to find out what God saith, and what God saith, be it what it may, I will believe and espouse, hoping that by his grace I may also feel the power of it in my own soul. [...]
There is another class of men quite contrary to those I have referred to. These men are their own preachers; they believe no one but themselves, and without knowing it, there is every reason for them to hate the Pope, because "two of a trade never agree," they being Popes themselves. These persons, if they hear a truth preached, judge of it not by the Bible, but by what they think the truth ought to be. I have heard a person, for instance, say, when he has heard the doctrine of Election, or of particular Redemption, "Well, now the doctrine does not please me, I do not like it." And then he begins to urge some objection which he has forged upon his own anvil, yet never trying to quote a Scripture text to refute it, if he can; never turning to some old saying of the Prophets, and endeavouring to find out that the doctrine was an error, but only judging of it by his own opinion, by his wishes as to what the truth ought to be. [...] People say, "I do not like such a truth." That is no refutation of it. The question is,—Is it in the Bible? Because if it is there, like it or not like it, it is a fact, and all the minister has to do is to report the facts that he finds there.  [...]
And now let me endeavour as briefly as I can, to urge upon you yet again the constant and perpetual reading of the Word of God, not only for the reasons that I have now propounded, but for others more important. Many false prophets have gone forth into the world: I beseech you, then, if ye would not be led astray, be diligent in the study of the Word of God. [...] Now, I would not say a hard thing if I did not believe it true; but I do solemnly think that there are some professed teachers of the Word, who are either so ignorant of spiritual things in their own hearts, or else so determined to preach anything but Christ, that you might do better without them than with them; and hence you have an absolute necessity to turn perpetually to this great compass by which alone you can steer your way. I scorn a charity that after all is not charity. I must tell you what I believe. Some would have me now stand here and say, "All that are eminent preachers are most certainly truthful preachers." now, I cannot say it. [...]
And now I charge you that are now present to read your Bibles, for one thing. Read your Bibles to know what the Bible says about you; and some of you when you turn the leaves over, will find the Bible says, "Thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity." If that startles you, turn over another page, and read this verse—"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" and when you have read that, turn to another and read, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord." I pray you, put not away your Bibles till their dust condemns you; but take them out, bend your knees, seek for the Spirit of divine teaching, and turn ye these pages with diligent search, and see if ye can find there the salvation of your souls, through our Lord Jesus Christ. May the blessing of God rest upon you in so doing, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Read this sermon in its entirety here.

Rick Warren Promoting More Me-Centered Mysticism

Over at the blog 5 Point Salt, Joel Taylor gives us a sneak peek into the book "Driven by Destiny" written by "Dr. V! The Destiny Doctor." The best part? Our beloved pastor goatherder Rick Warren has written the foreword to this book, thereby giving it his "America's Pastor" seal of approval. Taylor writes:
“America’s pastor” is at it again, promoting more me-centered everything. Yes, boys and girls, Rick Warren, the faucet of doctrinal folly has written the forward to one very interesting book written by the Rev. (no less) Dr. LaVerne Adams, or perhaps I should refer to her by her popular moniker “Dr. V! The Divine Destiny Doctor.” The good Doc is a self-proclaimed self-improvement specialist so it only seems natural that Rick Warren would write the forward doesn’t it?
You betcha.
The book, to be released 10-10-10 is entitled Driven by Destiny: 12 Secret Keys To Unlock Your Future.
The title alone, among other things, screams me-centered mysticism doesn’t it?
Read the rest of this article here. 

See also: Rick Warren Teaching the Law of Attraction? at Apprising Ministries
See also: Rick Warren, Driven by Destiny? at the Sola Sisters Blog

05 July 2010

Freedom of Worship or Freedom of Religion?

Is there a difference? Many conservatives are jumping up and saying "Yes!" especially considering the careful word choice of our president and our Secretary of State. It seems our illustrious leader and his sidekick have made a conscious decision to refer to American's "freedom of worship" rather than our "freedom of religion." But, do words matter? Paul Cooper reports in David Horowitz's News Real Blog:
Words matter.  Words often hold great meaning.  That is especially true when it comes to the words of our founding documents like the Bill of Rights in our Constitution.  Those words are especially cherished.  Yet in the past year it appears the Obama administration has been changing  one key word in that sacred scroll.
Last month the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2010 report revealed grave concern about both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejecting the term “freedom ofreligion” for the term “freedom of worship” in public pronouncements.  Why the change when the First Amendment talks specifically about our freedom of religion and not simply worship?
This President clearly sees religion as a key part of foreign affairs when the Muslim world is involved especially.  He is ultra-careful to not want to offend followers of Islam.  We already know that the administration has rejected the term “radical Islam” or any similar language and refuses to admitreligion plays a major roll in terrorism.
This new terminology of “freedom of worship” might be given as a sign to Muslim nations and places with Christian persecution like China that they are not going to crack down on religious persecution for minority religions in those countries.  That could explain why Obama first used the term after a radical Muslim killed Americans at Ft. Hood.  And it could also explain why he used the term in speeches in China and Japan. 
Read the article in its entirety here
So what does this mean for Christians in America? I'm not going to be one to tell you to run to a tea party and wave a big sign around. I'm not going to tell you to sign a petition that isn't going to ever be recognized or acknowledged. (In fact, I'd urge against putting my name on all of these worthless petitions. All it's doing is providing a list of disgruntled Christians for the socialists when they finally decide to start rounding up the "dissidents." Be discerning). We should not be surprised that, as Christians, we are slowly but steadily losing our rights, or at the very least are losing our sense of freedom to exercise those rights. America may have been founded on Christian principles but today we are in the midst of God's judgment. Read Romans 1. God isn't going to judge America, God is already judging America. This country exists nowhere in Bible prophecy, which means we will, in some manner or another, but rendered obsolete. But if you are in the Lord and have put your trust and faith in Him for salvation, repenting of your sin and walking in the light as He is in the light, then these signs should only serve as a reminder that our time is short! Share the Gospel, share the Good News. Don't get wrapped up in political concerns that, realistically, we aren't going to change anyway. Yes, stand firm against those policies which are an abomination to God, but do not make politics your focus! Instead, rejoice that the time is near for us to be taken up to be with our Savior forever! Use that joy to share with those who are still lost without Him. How shall we respond when our Lord asks what we did with the time He gave us? "Lord, I went to every political rally in my town. I signed every petition and never missed an election." Or, "Lord, I shared the good news of salvation with every person with whom the Holy Spirit urged me to share it. Lord, I used my time to serve You." These works will  not earn us our way to Heaven. But I'd sure rather report that I spent my time serving the Lord than that I spent my time serving a fleeting, earthly, political cause. Do not be surprised, but do be watchful. Our Lord is coming soon!

04 July 2010

Happy Fourth of July

May we thank God this day for all of the undeserved blessings He has bestowed upon America. And may we pray for this nation as we realize that we have spit upon those blessings, choosing instead to become the embody the depravity that Paul described in Romans 1.

Let us never forget the lives that were given that we may wake up today living in freedom. Thank God today for that freedom...and enjoy it while you still have it.

Sunday Morning Praise

I couldn't decide which video to post this morning, so I decided to post two! They are both of the same song, "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" but the second is an instrumental version that really made me smile this morning (maybe because it's so peppy!). Enjoy!






Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us Sonward in the triumph song of life.

01 July 2010

The Cost of Truth

From Apprising Ministries:
THE COST OF THE TRUTH
O LORD, you have deceived me, and I was deceived; you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me. For whenever I speak, I cry out, I shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot.
For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.” But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. (Jeremiah 20:7-11)
Time To Wake Up Now And You’d Best Know The Times In Which You Live
I have said this at Apprising Ministries on a number of occasions over the 5+ years we’ve been here, but it remains just as true, the Christian had better understand the time in which he currently lives. We are now witnessing even more blending of the pragmatic Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven Church, the neo-liberal Emerging Church, and the worldly Word Faith Church further forming the major pillars of the Devil’s Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECOD)—duplicitous daughter of apostate Roman Catholicism. Yet even just a couple years ago one would never imagine any common bonds developing between them.
What each of them share at their corrupt core is the warped psycho-babble version of “love” largely foisted upon the Body of Christ through Robert Schuller ala his man-pleasing mantra, “God loves you, and so do I,” at the heart of his new reformation. But best you come to see that this “Love Train” of apostatizing evangelicalism has some seriously misguided misunderstandings about God’s view of sin, and how He wants His Body of Christ to react to it. Yes, the Lord tells us to love our enemies; however, the Scripture teaches that we must surely also abhor what these people are doing in His Name, e.g see—Proverbs 13:5.
So let’s think for a moment about what the prophet Jeremiah himself says in our opening text above. You do know that his words have only passed the test to be included in the canon of Holy Scripture twice—recognized as God’s Voice by both Jews and Christians. Well, below you’ll find some important background into the man many refer to as “the weeping prophet”:
Any study of the person of Jeremiah makes one immediately aware of his uniqueness. His life is unlike any other in Scripture… His was not a happy life, at least outwardly, for it was marked by constant sadness; his expressions of sorrow are classic… To study him carefully is to ascertain the meaning and ministry of the prophet of God. Only he among the prophets shows his personal feeling as he proclaims God’s message;…
by birth a priest, by grace a prophet; by the trials of life a bulwark for God’s truth; by daily spiritual experience one of the greatest exponents of prophetic faith in his unique relation to God; by temperament gentle and timid, yet constantly contending against the forces of sin; and by natural desire a seeker after the love of a companion, his family, friends, and, above all, his people—which were all denied him…
His life may be characterized as being one long martyrdom… Jeremiah was born at Anathoth about 646 B.C. and died, probably in Egypt, not long after 586. He was called to the prophetic office in 626 (1:2; 25:3) and served in it for more than forty years. The Lord did not permit him to marry (16:2). Though his public ministry was long and checkered, there is no indication that he ever had any disciples; and his closest companion was his faithful secretary and scribe, Baruch the son of Neriah. [1]
The Time Has Now Arrived To Tell The Truth—No Matter What; To The End
Sound like a fun job; or can you now see the life of the faithful prophet Jeremiah in stark contradiction to our current version of evangelical Christianity? All of this people-pleasing preaching put forth by today’s semi-pelagian evangelical compromisers in the ECoD that somehow we are entitled to—and even expected to—have a “successful” purpose of self-introspective spirituality leading to a distorted view of an abundant best life now. So what is the faithful Christian going to do? Should we simply smile and tell everyone, “all is well” while the visible Christian Church is on fire and crumbling down all around them?
As Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) once said, “It is not unloving to tell the truth. You can get in a lot of trouble for doing it; but it’s not unloving.” He was absolutely right; and more importantly, he is backed up by what Jesus Himself tells us as His disciples:
“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.”
“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.” (John 15:18-21)
It’s been pointed out many, many times; but the above simply does not appear to be a mandate that at some point in time the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which Dr. John MacArthur has rightly stated is “hard to believe,” is suddenly going to become popular with the world. The “if” in verse 18 above warns that the genuine Christian is eventually going to come into conflict with the world system of Satan, which quitely literally hates the one true and living God, as well as His adopted children in Christ. This is absolutely inevitable; and it’s made crystal clear from the end of verse 19 — “therefore the world hates you.”
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Endnotes:
 [1] The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. CD Rom. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Thursday's Spurgeon

Thanks to Pyromaniacs for posting this Spurgeon excerpt:
Some people seem to be always struggling to get away from the thought of one true personal God,—Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and All-in-all to his people. Those who deny the inspired record of the creation would have us believe that we are descended from monkeys, or from something with even less intelligence than an ape possesses; but I could gather no comfort from such a belief as that if it wore true. It fills me rather with pity or contempt for those who can be so foolish as to cherish such a delusion.

But when I come back to the revelation of the Bible concerning a personal God, a revelation which has been confirmed by my own spiritual experience, and when I realize that this personal God takes a special interest in me, and thinks of me with tender, loving, gracious consideration, then I lift up my hands in adoring wonder, and say, as David did, "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

Yes, there is great comfort in being able truthfully to say, "Our Father, who art in heaven;" and those who are really the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty find it to be their chief delight that he thinketh about them, and planneth all that is for their present and eternal good.