31 May 2013

What God Says About His Word

On the heels of the discussion contained within the post "Adam and Eve and Andy Stanley," it seems appropriate to take a few moments to consider exactly what God, the Creator of all and the Author of Scripture, says about His own Word. Far too many professing evangelicals today are willing to undermine and compromise the inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God. It simply is not popular for a man to state unabashedly that the Bible is true, that it means what it says, and that men are subject to the truths contained within it.

Today's postmodern culture would rather that men stand in a pulpit (or more likely, on a stage) and perform a skilled tap dance around the truths of Scripture. The "all truth is relative" mentality has invaded the visible church and as a result many who call themselves pastors are nothing more than weak, wobbly-kneed men (or worse, women) who are more concerned about the world's opinions than the Lord's.

This simply will not do. These men may call themselves pastors, but they are not true under-shepherds of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are a myriad of terms for them: hirelings, wolves, blind guides, but they are not shepherds. They are not true pastors. Those who do not boldly preach under the authority of God's Word are not serving the Lord, no matter what they may claim. Those who would dare to diminish the authority of Scripture in any way find themselves standing in direct opposition to the God they claim to serve.

What, then, does God say about His own Word? Is the Bible actually something that was breathed out by God (2 Tim. 3:16), or is it instead just a mere "collection of ancient documents" as Andy Stanley has stated?

30 May 2013

NoCo90: Moonie Evangelism


If you have an idea or suggestion for an episode of NoCo90, contact No Compromise Radio at their newly updated website, on their Facebook page, or via email at: info [@] nocompromiseradio.com.

Additional Resources
NoCo90: Antichrists, Rick Warren and the Pope
NoCo90: The Myth of Free Will
A 'No Compromise' Conversation

29 May 2013

Register for 'A Call for Discernment'

If you are searching for something that you and your family can do this summer that will be biblically educational, edifying, and God-glorifying, I recommend that you consider traveling to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the upcoming 'A Call for Discernment' conference.

Adam and Eve and Andy Stanley

A video clip has been circulating of Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point Community Church in Georgia, wherein the popular pastor makes some rather convoluted and ambiguous statements about creation, Adam and Eve, the infallibility of Scripture, and faith:

The original YouTube video was removed shortly after the original posting of this article. Many thanks to Mike Ratliff of Possessing the Treasure and Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith for wisely saving it before it disappeared. The video may be viewed here.

In spite of the confusion of Stanley's words, it does not seem as though he is affirming the fallibility of Scripture. At least, not intentionally. Nevertheless, his logic is flawed to the point of absurdity, thus rendering this particular "meet you where you are" approach utterly useless.

28 May 2013

Schooling Pope Francis on Roman Catholicism

Last week, Pope Francis I, the only person in the world who supposedly has the ability to speak infallibly, graciously demonstrated for all just how fallible—and damningly wrong—he can be.

As previously reported, Pope Francis declared last week that all people, even atheists, have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and will "meet one another" if they will only "do good." The error of the pontiff's words was demonstrated here and on many other websites. Of particular interest and importance in the post "Pope Francis Does Not Know God" was the gross contradiction between the pope's words and God's words as found in Scripture. What was not addressed in that post, but now has been pointed out by a Vatican spokesman, was the glaring fact that Pope Francis blatantly contradicted the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The Christian Post reports:
But in an "explanatory note on the meaning of 'salvation,'" the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman highlighted that being "good" alone is not enough to be saved. People who know about the Catholic Church, he explained, "cannot be saved" if they "refuse to enter her or remain in her."(Source)

One of the Deepest Truths of Scripture

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
God has an elect people on earth who are under his special care (vv. 7–8). Election is one of the deepest truths of Scripture. It is clearly and beautifully stated in the Seventeenth Article of the Church of England: 'It is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby, before the foundations of the world were laid, he hath decreed by his counsels, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation.' This testimony is true (Titus 2:8).

27 May 2013

Witnessing to a Blank Stare

The blank stare. It's the proverbial "deer caught in the headlights" look with which all are familiar. It is empty. It is not understanding. It does not hear. It does not see.
because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (Matt. 13:13b)
Presented with the glorious, saving news of the gospel, the man or woman who in that moment is not being drawn by the Holy Spirit to Christ often may respond with little more than this blank, empty, heartbreaking stare. We may weep. We may plead. We may cry out to the Lord on behalf of their soul, that He might soften what can only be perceived as a hard, calloused heart. We may remind, for the umpteenth time, that the owner of this blank stare is a sinner—but that Jesus Christ died for sinners. We may speak of repentance, and of the good news that Christ has done the work that man cannot. We may shout about forgiveness in the name of Jesus Christ. We may do all that we as faithful Christians are called to do for the lost (Luke 24:47) . . . but we cannot save the soul behind that blank stare.

24 May 2013

Pope Francis Does Not Know God

Photo: Wikimedia
Pope Francis I does not know God. Nor does he know the Gospel.

Those may seem like rather obvious statements to those who know and understand the false, heretical teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the atrocities of the office of the papacy. There are others, though, who see the Pope ministering to the poor, talking about Jesus and extending so-called love to people of all beliefs. To those people these statements seem harsh, unfair and downright wrong. Yet they are true and there is a corresponding truth: Pope Francis I does not truly love people.

This 'n' That

photo credit: Ozyman via photopin cc
Last night, after finishing a rather boring book on the history of the Ancient Near East, I decided to give my brain a break and pick up a book of a very different vein (I'm withholding the title until a later time). I have promised a friend that I will read this book because we knew it would be, well, awful. When I opened it last evening, I had high hopes of completing a chapter or two, but alas, I only made it through three paragraphs. I knew then that I would have to close it for the night, lest I stay up into the wee hours, unable to sleep because of growing anger toward the author's ignorance, misunderstanding and misapplication of God's Word.

Stay tuned, though. No doubt a review will be forthcoming in the future. Every now and then (but not too often) it is helpful to read really bad books because they increase our appreciation for the good ones. Even more, they enlarge our appreciation and love for the Word of God, that book which contains all we need to know pertaining to life and godliness. How blessed we are to be able to hold a copy of that precious book in our hands each day! No matter how badly men may twist and distort it, the child of God and the student of Scripture can turn to the Word itself to see what it is that God is saying. May we never take that Word and that privilege for granted.

I hope you've already spent time in God's Word today. If you haven't, go do that now, then come back to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

22 May 2013

NoCo90 with Todd Friel: Do Not Believe the Abortion Mill Lies


If you have an idea or suggestion for an episode of NoCo90, contact No Compromise Radio at their newly updated website, on their Facebook page, or via email at: info [@] nocompromiseradio.com.

Additional Resources
NoCo90: Donate Buttons and Christian Begging
NoCo90: The Myth of Free Will
A 'No Compromise' Conversation

21 May 2013

When Heaven Is Forgotten

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col. 3:1)
Richard Baxter
Unbelievers seek their happiness in things of the world. Believers find their happiness in God. It is contrary to the nature of faith for a believer to seek peace in his earthly enjoyments. Our present pilgrimage is a prison, yet alas, we too commonly do this. By this we kill our comforts and then complain they are missing. It is folly to expect any stable peace or solid joy that does not come from Christ as the fountain.

O that Christians would learn to live with one eye on Christ crucified and the other on his coming in glory! If everlasting joys were more in your thoughts, spiritual joys would abound more in your hearts. No wonder you are comfortless when heaven is forgotten. When Christians let fall their heavenly expectations but heighten their earthly desires, they are preparing themselves for fear and trouble. Who has met with a distressed, complaining soul, where either a low expectation of heavenly blessings, or too high a hope for joy on earth is not present?

What keeps us under trouble is either we do not expect what God has promised, or we expect what he did not promise. We are grieved at crosses, losses, wrongs of our enemies, unkind dealings of our friends, sickness, or for contempt and scorn in the world. But who encouraged you to expect any better? Was it prosperity, riches, credit, and friends that God called for you to believe? Do you have any promises for these things in his Word? If you make a promise to yourself, and then your own promise deceives you, whom should you blame for that? We have less comfort in earthly things because we have too high an expectation from them. Alas, when will we learn from Scripture and providence to seek far more from God, and far less from the earth?

— Richard Baxter, as quoted in Voices from the Past, ed. Richard Rushing, (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2009).

18 May 2013

Taking 'Jesus' for a Test Drive

Though it happened several years ago, it is difficult to forget the moment when Rick Warren, appearing on Hannity & Colmes, told Alan Colmes to just "try Jesus for 60 days." It is not known if Colmes ever took Warren up on his offer, but here is a thought to ponder: Satan would love it if men would just "try Jesus" for a brief period of time. Why? Because the "Jesus" being taken for a test drive is not the Jesus of the Bible. So even if men grow fond of this "Jesus" and decide they want to keep him, one day they will discover that the true Jesus never knew them (Matt. 7:21–23).

15 May 2013

NoCo90: Is This Bible Study at Your Church?


If you have an idea or suggestion for an episode of NoCo90, contact No Compromise Radio at their newly updated website, on their Facebook page, or via email at: info [@] nocompromiseradio.com.

Additional Resources
NoCo90: Christ's Federal Headship
NoCo90: Donate Buttons and Christian Begging
NoCo90: No Arminians in Heaven

13 May 2013

Anne Graham Lotz and Her Narcissistic Interpretation of the Transfiguration

In March 2013, Christianity Today's (CT) opinion section, Village Green, asked "three leading Christians" the following question:


The "three leading Christians" CT approached to answer this question were Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Anne Graham Lotz and Dallas Willard. For the purposes of this post, only the response of Anne Graham Lotz will be examined.
Lotz is the daughter of ecumenical evangelist Billy Graham. She also is an author and founder of AnGeL Ministries. Like her father, she is adept at drawing large crowds and filling stadiums. Her soft, southern drawl is no doubt appealing to many women as she captivates them with her teaching.

When asked by CT which spiritual discipline needed to be renewed among American Christians, Lotz responded that Christians must learn to "listen to Jesus." On the surface, this answer, while insufficient and misleading, is not terrible. How does one listen to Jesus? By opening God's Word and reading it. Lotz offers this solution, but quickly begins to tread on thin ice before falling through that ice entirely:
So at least once a week I draw aside for an extended time with him.

I begin the time with prayer, acknowledging his presence and asking him to meet with me and speak to my heart in a personal way. Then I open my Bible and read just a few verses—not an entire chapter. My goal is to hear his voice speaking to me through his Word. I might read a verse such as Mark 9:2: "After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them."
(Source)
Indeed, to hear God speaking through His Word is the only way to hear Him. Lotz's answer quickly becomes problematic, however, as she goes on to demonstrate the ease with which Scripture can be twisted, manipulated and wrongly interpreted once taken out of context.

10 May 2013

This 'n' That

I have to thank everyone for sticking with Do Not Be Surprised even as the frequency and regularity of posts has dwindled in recent weeks. This is usually a particularly busy time of year for me and this year is proving to be even more overwhelming. Combine that with a rather annoying case of writer's block and you have one frustrated blogger (me). I'm hopeful that things will pick up soon, though, so don't go away! You never know what the summer may bring!

Speaking of summer, I have the strangest desire to go to the zoo. Either I'm reverting to my childhood, or I've been called to one of those divine playdates like Beth Moore and I just haven't learned to properly discern the voice of God.

Well, the zoo is fun but no doubt it will be even more delightful to enjoy your week in review (kind of):

09 May 2013

NoCo90: Homophopia-phobia


If you have an idea or suggestion for an episode of NoCo90, contact No Compromise Radio at their newly updated website, on their Facebook page, or via email at: info [@] nocompromiseradio.com.

Additional Resources
NoCo90: God Told Me. . .
NoCo90: Where Is Beth Moore's Husband?
A 'No Compromise' Conversation

08 May 2013

A Response to Heresy

When it comes to heresies and wicked perversions of the truth which distort everything, we should react as if we have been punched or stabbed in the stomach or neck. For in what does the life and well-being of the church consist, if not in the pure Word of God?

If someone came and poisoned the meat which we needed for food, would we tolerate it? No, it would make us strike out! The same reasoning applies to the gospel. We must always raise our hands to defend the purity of its doctrine, and we must not allow it to be corrupted in any way whatever.

– John Calvin

Further Reading
Affirming Sola Scriptura
Rejecting the Papacy
Salvation Is a Work of God

Acting Like Men with James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll

James MacDonald has a new conference planned for the Fall of 2013:


Source
The website for this conference does not yet offer any specific details regarding the schedule of the multi-city event, but we are hopeful that the following two breakout sessions will be offered:

04 May 2013

Overcome by God's Power

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 
(Jer. 17:9)
Thomas Manton
The work of conversion is completely of God. God alone frames our hearts to the obedience of his will. This must be so as we consider the nature of man. Man is stark blind in the things of God. Every man has a heart of stone, insensible and inflexible. How many times does the Word of God work upon him to no purpose? Sin is an overruling master, and man a willing servant. Sin never stops commanding and we are at its beck and call. Man is blind with a hard heart (Eph. 4:18). He is an enemy to the law of God (Rom. 8:7), and cannot please God. He does not even desire a guide. If someone directs him into the right way he becomes angry. He is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:5). He is worse than dead, his life is alive to resist and rebel against God.

What a miserable, wretched creature man is! There is nothing in man's nature to carry him to grace. In conversion, God must work or he can never be renewed. To remedy so great an evil requires almighty power. God must open our understanding and our hearts (Eph. 1:18; Acts 16:14). God does not only knock at the heart by his Word, he also opens the heart and enters to take possession. God uses different keys to unlock the door of our hearts. He uses one cross, another affliction, a sermon, and one message after another. It is not however until God puts his fingers upon the hole of the lock that we open. Salvation is expressed by regeneration (John 3:3), resurrection (Eph. 2:5), creation (Eph. 2:10), and light out of darkness (2 Cor. 4:6). We are called new creatures, and are overcome by God's power (2 Cor. 10:4). What a mystery is grace, and the power of God that works in us! 'He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus' (1 Cor. 1:30).

– Thomas Manton

Further Reading
Jesus Christ Is Coming Soon
Salvation Is a Work of God
Affirming Sola Scriptura

03 May 2013

This 'n' That

photo credit: Andres Rueda via photopin cc
I have come to the conclusion that there are few things more amusing than reading a liberal historian's take on ancient history and the Old Testament. In one paragraph the author assures me, the reader, that the Old Testament cannot be regarded as historically trustworthy because, as should be obvious, it is filled with nothing more than folklore and fairytales. Then in the next paragraph, he proceeds to detail ancient history relying heavily upon, you guessed it, the biblical text. Glad we're not contradicting ourselves or anything. . .

To make sense of this type of reasoning surely would drive a person mad, because it would require the Christian to climb inside the mind of an unregenerate, God-hating intellectual—a most frightening place to be. I suppose that reading such material ought to make one exceedingly thankful for the "simplicity" of Christian belief: God used the pens of men to write the Bible, and so because it is God's own Word, it must by definition be true. It seems far less stressful and complicated to adhere to this straightforward approach than to sit back, examine the biblical text, and declare with unsubstantiated, arrogant certainty that it was altered, edited and redacted by multiple individuals throughout time. Ah, but who am I? Just a lowly lay(wo)man, with not even a scrap of Hebrew training to my name. Surely the "wisdom" of the world must be more sophisticated and enlightened than my own, correct?
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. (1 Cor. 3:18–19)
Oops, maybe not. Well, before we get too caught up in ancient history, let's take a look at the more recent past as you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

02 May 2013

NoCo90: Evolution, Liberation and Huxley


If you have an idea or suggestion for an episode of NoCo90, contact No Compromise Radio at their newly updated website, on their Facebook page, or via email at: info [@] nocompromiseradio.com.

Additional Resources
NoCo90: Christ's Federal Headship
NoCo90: No Arminians in Heaven
A 'No Compromise' Conversation

01 May 2013

Benny Hinn Wants You to Sow a Seed So He Can Get Out of Debt

Some stories just write themselves:
Televangelist Benny Hinn has asked supporters of his ministry for $2.5 million in donations, which he says an anonymous donor will match dollar by dollar to help him get out of debt.

"God wants your ministry to be completely out of debt, and I want to plant an anointed seed that will help you take a giant step toward becoming totally debt-free!" says the anonymous man, whom Hinn calls a "long-time and beloved" friend.

"God has laid it on my heart to plant a seed of $2.5 million into your ministry, but God only wants me to make this gift if the ministry partners match the amount within 90 days! I feel so strongly that He wants them to be part of the supernatural wealth transfer that is coming to every believer who will obey God's Word," the man reportedly adds.

(Source
The above was reported by The Christian Post and refers to this announcement on Benny Hinn's website, "Breaking the Bondage of Debt During the Next 90 Days" wherein Hinn writes:
You see, even as God has given us a new beginning, we have faced incredible challenges as a ministry as a result of things that happened in the past few years. At the same time our broken home was attracting attention from worldwide news services, the economies of so many of the countries where our partners live have been hit mercilessly. As a result, some of our partners decided to suspend giving or to simply walk away.

And while we have seen God beginning to restore so much, one of the last pieces of the puzzle has been our finances. So you can only imagine how it nearly took my breath away when he told me how much...
(Source