This World Is Crazy and It’s Not Getting Better

I don’t know if we are getting ‘dumber and dumber’ or just know more of the ‘dumbness’ that’s always been there, thanks to social media.

Anybody with a big mouth can rant all over Facebook, with or without any brain activity having taken place, about ANYTHING. Pick a topic and you’ll find the lack of intelligent and logical thought of full display. It usually manifests as information taken out of context, or before all the facts are in before ranting about one’s pet peeve or worshipping/championing one’s favorite idol.

We who profess Christ aren’t quite as bad, but we have our moments. Internet trolls camp out on our blogs talking endlessly about how they deny God and how believers can’t really think for themselves, but have to rely on a God who doesn’t exist. And they go on and on and on if we let them.

I think we become their enablers when we keep trying to ‘prove’ God exists. Atheists hate God by their very nature, while they DO know he exists, and when we use a bit of logic they say we aren’t capable of truly rational thought. When we keep using reason and logic it just fuels the fire, so to speak.  Is something a bit fuzzy here?

When we tell the atheist what God says about him we’re accused of personally insulting him. So we apologize for making him feel bad and go back to trying to ‘attract’ him to the God he hates. The atheist is more certain than ever that we are believing nonsense and, like the energizer bunny, goes on and on and on.

What’s wrong with us? My current reasoning is this:

There are basically two approaches to sharing God, Jesus, and the gospel:

1. We can try and attract people to Jesus by getting them to like us and our church to prep them to fall in love with the eminently likable Jesus, who is all about love, all the time, and nothing else.

2. We can, with a burden in our hearts for the souls of lost men, share the problem we all have(sin), God’s judgment against it, and God’s remedy (the death of His Son as our substitute).

When we mix the two it reinforces the atheist’s conviction that we aren’t rational thinkers. We can appear to be unsettled in our convictions or confused about our beliefs.

Something that puzzles me is how believers will ‘Amen’ the latter approach privately, and almost always use the former when they interact with atheist trolls. Why is that? I can only speculate.

Personally speaking, I confess to having used both approaches. When I was a young believer, fresh with the realization of God’s manifest love in saving this sinner, I wanted to share that love with everyone I met. Now that I am older and know what the Bible really says about fallen men, my approach has changed. Some call it the presuppositional approach to evangelism.

The danger of presuppositionalism is omitting the ‘love’ of God from the discussion and/or just telling the atheist what the Bible says about him too early in the conversation. Perhaps the approaches can be described as either 1) ‘God loves you and has a wonderful plan for you. . .’ or 2) ‘God loves you, BUT. . .’

I’ve learned (at least I think I have) that knowing and believing what the Bible says about the ‘natural’ man doesn’t mean I should tell every atheist how the Bible describes him. Rather, that knowledge should be humming in my brain and should drive HOW I share Christ with him.

Can I tell the atheist what the Bible says a out him? Certainly, but at the right time and in the right way.

So how do we know when the time is right? Maybe we can’t, but God can. So we pray before, during, and after our evangelistic encounters.We proclaim the simple truth about God, man, sin, and the remedy for sin, trusting God to do the saving. He doesn’t need our ‘help’, just our faithfulness to the gospel.

Personal Testimony: Escaping the Fire

This is a must read, IMHO.

The Narrowing Path

A testimony of escaping the charismatic NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) cult, from a sister in Christ who has kindly shared part of her journey for the benefit of others:

Escaping the Fire

I have a LONG story, but I will try to shorten it as best as I can. About 10 years ago my husband and I started attending church when we were stationed in Washington (WA) state, USA. Shortly after we got orders to San Diego, California. Through a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program, we started attending a local Assemblies of God (AG) church.

It was here where we were first exposed to Bethel Redding, and to the teachings of Bill Johnson. Our oldest daughter was 12 years old at the time and went with the youth group to a Jesus Culture conference in Redding. The church had MANY guest speakers and even established their own school of supernatural…

View original post 1,945 more words

“Of course  it’s true, it’s on the Internet!”

We laugh at that notion, as if no one with of a functioning brain would swallow such a ridiculous idea! Only a complete idiot would believe that!

At the same time, some of us who profess Christ would subscribe to a slightly different notion:

“The music is fantastic, it MUST be a great church!”

Well, don’t we? (Rhetorical question) Whether it’s tender lyrics that make us feel all loved and warm inside, electric guitar riffs accompanied by loud pounding drums reminscent of our non-believing days, or somewhere in between, we automatically assume we’re in a great church!

But is it true, or are we getting ‘Hooked on a Feeling’, like B. J. Thomas used to sing. (aging myself?)

At ths point I have to admit that I have two specific ‘churches’ in mind, Hillsong and Bethel. I recently visited family in Texas and the music of both was glowingly spoken of. A friend at work, when I asked him if he had a good weekend, said yes and going to the recently released Hillsong movie was part of it. If you don’t know, it was billed primarily as ‘experiencing’ worship. You can hardly find a church thesemdaysmthat doesn’t play Hillsong and Bethel music on a regular basis.

In case you think / this a Hillsong/Bethel bash fest, don’t worry, it’s not. I’ll leave it to you to investigate their respective ‘doctrines’, vision statements, etc.
Some of you won’t have an issue with Word of Faith, the prosperity gospel, glory clouds, gold dust, dead raising teams, etc.. If you are one of those, I encourage you to read the Bible, in context, and ask yourself if they are biblical.

In fact, I would ask us all to be a bit more discerning when it comes to both contemporary Christian music and the doctrine(s) held by the churches who have laid classical theology rich hymns aside in order to attract more of the ‘unchurched’. Hillsong and Bethel aren’t the only ones dispensaing spiritual junk food.

While you’re examining the church behind the music, also ask yourself if the preaching there is more about you and your felt needs, or God and his glory.

Happy discerning!

Properly Exegeting the Story of David

This is Matt Chandler and the story of David at the Code Orange Revival (COR) in 2012. He was not well received by some (read many). This year’s COR heresy fest/olympics featured John Gray (on staff at smiling Joel’s church (is Lakewood a real church?) telling the COR audience exactly the opposite of what Matt Chandler told the 2012 crowd.

Sadly and tragically, john Gray’s version is on full display in faux ‘churches’ from coast to coast to thousands upon thousands of decieved saints and sinners across our land. It’s the message that most ticles ‘itching ears’ and gives people what they want to heat, not what they need.

Beginning with the Bad News: Man’s Chief Problem is Sin Against God

The Domain for Truth

Storm Wikipedia

In order to understand Christ as our Savior we must first understand the biblical teachings concerning the lostness of man.  Man’s chief problem is offending a good God.  The Bible teaches us all of humanity have sinned against God (Romans 3:23) with sin being behavior and thoughts that goes against God’s Law or lawlessness (1 John 3:4).  Any attempt by man’s own effort towards “righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6).  Proverbs 13:15 and 13:21 teaches us that sins have terrible consequences even on this side of eternity but we must not forget the biggest problem is that fallen humanity is guilty in their sin against God and one day Jesus will call sinners to give an account of their lives since God the Father has “given all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22 cf. John 5:27).

The consequences of man’s lostness after death in their sins is…

View original post 82 more words

Sinner, Save Thyself!

Say what?????

We all (Calvinists and Arminians) vehemently DENY that anyone caves himself/herself! And that is as it should be. At the same time, aren’t we asking sinners to save ‘themselves’ when at an altar call, accompanied by emotional music, we say things like:

· Only YOU can open the door to YOUR heart.

· God has done his part, now you need to do YOURS.

· Will YOU accept Jesus as your Savior?

· Won’t YOU give YOUR heart to Jesus right now, tonight, before it’s too late?

· Why don’t YOU to surrender YOUR heart and life to Jesus?

While we would loudly deny that anyone saves themselves, we ask, or tell, sinners in the seats, or with whom we are sharing the gospel) to ‘do’ something that will usher in eternal life. Think about it from the perspective of the one to whom the message of the gospel has been presented, wither in a group or individual setting.

I’m a sinner who knows little of the things of God and I have just been told that Jesus came to save me and give me eternal life. Then I receive one or more of the above statements and/or questions respond positively to it/them. I am welcomed into the Kingdom of God.

With very little logic involved, I conclude that by my action, I just saved myself! After all, I performed the final action in a sequence of actions leading to my salvation, didn’t I?

I have to say that a friend of ours came to that very conclusion in a conversation with my wife one evening in our home. And at the same time, I have to confess that the above statements and questions could lead anyone on the receiving end to come to the same conclusion unless persuaded otherwise.

The question I now ask is “Why do we ask and/or say things that might bring unnecessary confusion to our hearers?” There are several possible answers to that question, and I’ll leave those to your imagination.

Rather, I suggest that none of the above questions and statements is actually Biblical. You might think they express Biblical concepts, but you won’t see any of them in any evangelistic encounter in the New Testament. Instead you hear about repentance and belief; repentance from sin and belief in Christ as the substitute for sinners. And you hear it first from the lips of Jesus when, at the beginning of his ministry he said:

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15V)

If it is God who opens hearts to hear the gospel and also who does all the ‘saving’, we need only be faithful to the message that Christ died for our sins and be able to explain what that means. Trust me, God WILL save his people from their sins!