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Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ Attacked Again

Well...where do I begin? Someone just posted a response to an article on the blog about the Trinity. The person asked us to review the video and pray about it. I did just that this morning and I have some comments that will probably lead to multiple posts.

First, the video really was an attack or denial of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ...with the denial of the Trinity as the next logical step. The video was full of supposed "scholars" to include the following:

  • Several Rabbis...
  • A Unitarian apologist...
  • A liberal professor...
  • A muslim director of an Islamic center
  • A couple very young and obviously not very well read Christians...
  • Several anti-trinitarian teachers...etc, etc.

What's missing here? The only Christian pastor/theologian that was consulted was a Christian pastor who didn't even know the definition of the Trinity. He gave the usual "God manifesting Himself in 3 ways" modalistic definition.

What does this show me? It shows me that if I want to make my point I'm not going to ask those who are strong in defense of the Trinity. Does it make you wonder why they didn't interview the likes of John Piper, John MacArthur or James White? Of course not...and that makes for a not so balanced presentation. This video is extremely skewed and incomplete.

I will be addressing the real issue in the following blog articles...the deity of Christ. The argumentation of the 2 hour video made the following main attacks upon the deity of Christ:

  • The Hebrew OT proclaimed one God...and therefore since Jesus prays, obeys God then Jesus can't be God...
  • Since Jesus said He didn't know the time of the 2nd coming and since He said He could do nothing without the Father then He can't be God.
  • God is not a man...but Jesus was...
  • God cannot die...but Jesus did...
  • God cannot be tempted...but Jesus was

They try to exegete some passages such as 1 Tim 2:5, John 1:1, Psa 110:1, 1 Tim 3:16, John 20:27-28, Ps 45:6 and Isa 9:6 to prove that Jesus isn't God. The creators of the video said that Jesus never claimed deity...and that when others thought that's what He was saying that He made it clear that He wasn't saying that at all.

Is this what Scripture teaches? Does the video present a fair presentation of what Scripture teaches? No. Let me put forth a couple verses that everyone needs to consider...

Greek is very precise. There is a rule in Greek called the Granville Sharp rule. It basically goes like this...if you have two nouns separated by the Greek word for "and" (kai)...and they have the definite article before it (for example- "the officer and pilot")...then it means that both are referring to the same person. For more info you can go to Alpha & Omega Ministries and read about it (http://vintage.aomin.org/GRANVILL.html).

Open to 2 Peter 1:2 which says, "through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." The theological implications of this verse are very clear...it talks about the imputed (credited to our account) righteousness of the God-man! God and our Saviour Jesus Christ are the same! Jesus is God!

We find the same construction in Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" In this verse the "great God" and "Saviour Jesus Christ" are one and the same! Jesus is God!

Enough for this post...if I make them too long folks won't want to read them. More in the next post! Jesus is God...make no mistake about it. If you disagree...please exegete these two passages and tell me what they mean...I'd like to know.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Atheism















A podcast I listen to on a regular basis on my I-Pod is, The Back To God Hour

If you would like to subscribe to the podcast follow this link:

Podcast

In the program I listened to today the following was said:


In his recent book, The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs tells of visiting the New York City Atheists Club. Yes, one actually exists---some thirty people meeting in the back room of a midtown Greek restaurant. The group sponsors a weekly atheist cable access program, and holds a weekly film night where they discuss movies that support their cause. They fire each other up with the need to confront believers with the message of atheism.


Hearing about this group reminded me of what American journalist, Heywood Broun once wrote: "Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist there is no God." It's true. The atheists club in midtown New York was spending more time thinking about God than the people hurrying along the street outside their gathering place.


Scripture Reading: Isaiah 40:18-20;28

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THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY

After reading the post about Todd Bentley and the Trinity I thought it would be helpful to post more information about the doctrine of the Trinity:















The following is by Dr. James Montgomery Boice
and was found on the Camp on This blog



The important point is not whether we can understand the Trinity, even with the help of illustrations, but whether we will believe what the Bible has to say about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and about their relationship to each other.

What the Bible says may be summarized in the following five propositions:

1. There is but one living and true God who exists in three persons:
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We have already looked at this truth in general. We will see it more fully when I talk about the full deity of the Son and Holy Spirit in books two and three in this volume. Here we note a plurality within the Godhead that is suggested even in the pages of the Old Testament, before the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ or the coming of the Holy Spirit upon all God's people.

The plurality may be seen, in the first instance, in those passages in which God speaks about himself in the plural. One example is Genesis 1:26. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.' " Another is Genesis 11:7. "Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language." A third is Isaiah 6:8. "And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' " In other passages a heavenly being termed "the angel of the Lord" is, on the one hand identified with God and yet, on the other hand, is also distinguished from him. Thus, we read: "The angel of the LORD found her [Hagar] by a spring of water in the wilderness. . . . The angel of the LORD said to her, 'I will so greatly multiply your descendants that they cannot be numbered for multitude.' . . . So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, 'Thou art a God of seeing' " (Gen. 16:7, 10, 13). An even stranger case is the appearance of the three angels to Abraham and Lot. The angels are sometimes spoken of as three and sometimes as one. Moreover, when they speak, it is the Lord who, we are told, speaks to Lot and Abraham (Gen. 18).A final, startling passage is Proverbs 30:4. The prophet Agur is speaking about the nature of Almighty God, confessing his ignorance of him. "Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth?" Then comes, "What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!" In that day the prophet knew only the Father's name, the name Jehovah. Today we know that his Son's name is the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. The Lord Jesus Christ is fully divine, being the second person of the Godhead who became man. This, of course, is where the crux of debate on the Trinity is to be found; those who dislike the doctrine dislike it primarily because they are unwilling to give such an exalted position to "the man" Jesus.Such reluctance is seen first in the teachings of Arius of Alexandria (died A.D. 336).

Sabellius, mentioned earlier, tended to merge the persons of the Trinity, so that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were only temporary manifestations of the one God, assumed for the purposes of our redemption. Arius, whose main work was done just after Sabellius, went to the other extreme. He divided the persons of the Trinity so the Son and the Spirit became less than God the Father. According to Arius, the Son and Spirit were beings willed into existence by God for the purpose of acting as his agents in redemption. Thus, they were not eternal (as God is), and they were not fully divine. Arius used the word divine to describe them in some lesser sense than when applying it to the Father. In more recent centuries the same error has been espoused by Unitarians and by some modern cults.But it is a great error. For if Christ is not fully divine, then our salvation is neither accomplished nor assured. No being less than God himself, however exalted, is able to bear the full punishment of the world's sin.The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is taught in many crucial passages. We read "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (Jn. 1:1-2).

That John 1:1-2 speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ is clear from John 1:14, in which we are told that the "Word" of verse 1 "became flesh and dwelt among us." Similarly, Paul writes, "Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:5-8).

The words "did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself" do not mean that Jesus ceased to be fully God in the Incarnation, as some have maintained, but only that he temporarily laid aside his divine glory and dignity in order to live among us.

We remember that it was during the days of his life here that Jesus said, "I and the Father are one" (Jn. 10:30), and "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (Jn. 14:9).

3. The Holy Spirit is fully divine. It is the Lord Jesus Christ who most clearly teaches the nature of the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel of John, Jesus compares the ministry of the coming Holy Spirit to his own ministry. "And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him" (Jn. 14:16-17). This understanding of the Holy Spirit is supported by the fact that distinctly divine attributes are ascribed to him: everlastingness (Heb. 9:14), omnipresence (Ps. 139:7-10), omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10-11), omnipotence (Lk. 1:35) and others.

4. While each is fully divine, the three persons of the Godhead are related to each other in a way that implies some differences. Thus, it is usually said in Scripture that the Father (not the Spirit) sent the Son into the world (Mk. 9:37; Mt. 10:40; Gal. 4:4), but that both the Father and the Son send the Spirit (Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:7). We don't know fully what such a description of relationships within the Trinity means. But usually it is said that the Son is subject to the Father, for the Father sent him, and that the Spirit is subject to both the Father and the Son, for he is sent into the world by both the Son and Father. However, we must remember that when we speak of subjection we do not mean inequality. Although related to each other in these ways, the members of the Godhead are nevertheless "the same in substance, equal in power and glory," as the Westminster Shorter Catechism says (Q. 6).

5. In the work of God the members of the Godhead work together.It is common among Christians to divide the work of God among the three persons, applying the work of creation to the Father, the work of redemption to the Son and the work of sanctification to the Holy Spirit.

A more correct way of speaking is to say that each member of the Trinity cooperates in each work.One example is the work of creation. It is said of God the Father, "Of old thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands" (Ps. 102:25); and "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1). It is written of the Son, "For in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible" (Col. 1:16); and "All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made" (Jn. 1:3).

It is written of the Holy Spirit, "The spirit of God has made me" (Job 33:4). In the same way, the Incarnation is shown to have been accomplished by the three persons of the Godhead working in unity, though only the Son became flesh (Lk. 1:35). At the baptism of the Lord all three were also present: the Son came up out of the water, the Spirit descended in the appearance of a dove and the voice of the Father was heard from heaven declaring, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Mt. 3:16-17). All three persons were present in the atonement, as Hebrews 9:14 declares. "Christ... through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God." The resurrection of Christ is likewise attributed sometimes to the Father (Acts 2:32), sometimes to the Son (Jn. 10:17-18) and sometimes to the Holy Spirit (Rom. 1:4).

We are not surprised, therefore, that our salvation as a whole is also attributed to each of the three persons: chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood" (1 Pet. 1:2). Nor are we surprised that we are sent forth into all the world to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Mt. 28:19).

Threefold RedemptionAgain let me note, although we can say meaningful things about the Trinity (on the basis of God's revelation of them), the Trinity is still unfathomable. We should be humble before the Trinity. Someone once asked Daniel Webster, the orator, how a man of his intellect could believe in the Trinity. "How can a man of your mental caliber believe that three equals one?" his assailant chided. Webster replied, "I do not pretend fully to understand the arithmetic of heaven now."

The doctrine of the Trinity does not mean that three equals one, of course, and Webster knew that. It means rather that God is three in one sense and one in another. But Webster's reply nevertheless showed a proper degree of creature humility. We believe the doctrine of the Trinity, not because we understand it, but because the Bible teaches it and because the Spirit himself witnesses within our heart that it is so.
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Todd Bentley & the Trinity

For those that have seen the videos of the Floridia "outpouring" of the Holy Spirit...where people don't talk about the Word of God but instead act as if they are drunken (and disorderly?)...it should be no surprise what you find on their own website's doctrinal statement.

Bentley's website is http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Id=1 and his doctrinal statement is found on the following link... http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Id=106&pid=8

Read the section on the "Person of God" and tell me what's wrong about his definition of the Trinity. Here is what they publish:

We believe there is one living and true God who has revealed Himself in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, infinitely perfect and eternal in existence and equal in glory, majesty and power (Matt 28:19; Luke 3:21 -22):

This is the common definition...that the Trinity is just God manifesting Himself in 3 different ways. This is a modalistic and unbiblical (heretical) definition of the Trinity! This guy claims to be a messenger from God and yet he doesn't even understand God's true and revealed nature. God does not manifest Himself in 3 ways...the one true and living God is 3 persons- co-eternal, coequal, coexistent.

Sad, isn't it, when people don't really pay attention to correct doctrine. The Apostle Paul warned us, didn't he?

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Todd Bentley - Florida Outpouring of Drunkenness

It is hard to believe that there are actual christians who defend this garbage and even worse, believe it!

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Hell: Never, Forever, or Just for Awhile?

Today for my devotional time I read Luke 16:19-26. This is the story about the rich man who dies and goes to Hell. Many people dislike this story an claim that this is just a parable and that Hell is not a real place or that Hell is only a temporary place of punishment.

The Master's Seminary tackled the question of Hell in their 1998 issue of the Master's Theological Journal.

You can read the articles at the following links:


Hell: Never, Forever, or Just for Awhile


Jesus' View of Eternal Punishment


Paul's Concept of Eternal Punishment


Eternal Punishment in John's Revelation


A Kinder, Gentler Theology of Hell?


The subject of Hell is very important and one every Christian should ensure they have a biblical understanding of.
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Monday, May 26, 2008

How Practical is Doctrine?

Someone left a comment for the article Limited Atonement or Not. In the comment, they asked the following question: How do you apply this doctrine in your daily walk with Christ?

I don't know the motivation of the person who asked the question but it does raise an interesting point.

Many believe a doctrine is only important if it can be applied to one's daily life. The implication is if a doctrine is not applicable then it is some how not important. To put it another way, what is in it for me?

If we take this kind of thinking to its logical conclusion, we would end up asking things like this:

Is the doctrine of the Trinity really important? How can I really apply that to my life?

What about the Doctrine of the Hypostatic Union?

Many in Christianity today ignore these two doctrines and in fact most Christians give a heretical definition for the trinity, and most have no idea what the hypostatic union is!

Let me answer the question as simply as I can:


Truth is valuable whether I can apply it to my daily life or not!

Its value is in the fact that it is truth!

All doctrine is valuable if it is true! As Christians we must strive to know truth, believe truth, and defend truth.


We must learn to see truth as practical, valuable, and important simply because it is true.

If a doctrine is talked about in the word of God then it is important.

The Saving Work of God is spoken of in the bible.

The Nature of God is spoken of in the bible.

The Nature of Christ is spoken of in the bible.

Therefore,

Limited Atonment is important.

The Trinity is important.

The HypostaticUnion is important.

To the person who asked the question,

thanks for taking the time to ask the question and I hope this article will give you something to think about.
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When Tragedy Strikes!
















The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said. Sunday Night I preached from Job 13 in an effort to help Christians think correctly when tragedy strikes.

Here is the link to the sermon:
Tragedy
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Limited Atonement or Not?

Recently I've been studying the area of my theology that I really struggled with when I became reformed. This was probably the biggest sticking point that differentiated my theology from those in the reformed world. Limited atonement is probably one of the most hated parts of reformed theology by those who are not. What is the definition of limited atonement?

Limited Atonement: Christ died for and paid for the sins of the elect...He did not pay for the sins of every human being.
Now even the Arminians limite the atonement...unless you are a universalist and believe that everyone goes to heaven, you are limiting the atonement. The big difference would be that in the reformed world we believe God is sovereign and limits the atonement...in the Arminian world people assert man's sovereignty and say that man limits the atonement. The reformed view says that Christ's atonement was actual (actually paid for the sins of His intended recipients) and the Arminians says the atonement if potential (waiting for someone to believe and receive).
In my studies this morning I saw a passage that I'd not seen before and wanted to share it with you. Turn to John 10, 11-15:
Notice that in John 10:11 Christ Jesus says He died for the sheep- "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep"
Notice that he repeats this in verse 14-15- "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."
In the following verses people get upset with Him and accuse him of having a devil and demanding that He declare His messiahship. Notice carefully what He says in verses 25-27:
"Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:"
Why don't the accusers believe in Him? BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT HIS SHEEP! This is so crystal clear to me...there are sheep and there are goats. Christ died for the sheep (those that believe)...but He didn't die for those who are not sheep. These people didn't believe BECAUSE they were not sheep.
Sounds like limited atonement to me.
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Faith That Has Nothing to Do WIth Us! (II Peter 2:1)

Wow...amazing how we read things over and over and just don't see things. Sorta makes the doctrine of illumination that much more important, right? I'm glad that I was taught to let the Bible speak for itself...the Lord has so much to say and we're so often missing it. Here is an example from my studies this morning that I wanted to share with you. Studying II Peter 1:1 and here's what I found:

  • (2Pe 1:1) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

1. Peter is a servant (doulos)- a bondslave of Jesus Christ. Slaves do the will of their master, forsake their own needs/wants/happiness in order to serve their master, don't have their own rights...do you act like a slave of Jesus Christ...or are you "free" as most Christians believe. Free from sin, yes...free to live as you please...no!

2. Peter is an Apostle. Read Acts 1 and realize that this message is coming from one who was personally hand-picked by the Lord Jesus, an eyewitness of the ministry, death, burial and resurrection of Christ to bring you this message...you'd better take heed!

3. The message is written to Christians- those that have obtained the same exact, precious faith as the Apostles; "like precious" in the Greek is one word "isotimos" which is a compound of isos which means "equal" (where you get isosceles triangle from) and "time" which means "value/preciousness"). Christians have the exact same valuable faith as an Apostle of Christ...

4. So how did we get it? This is the neat part that I really enjoyed this morning. How did we obtain this precious faith in Christ? The word "obtained" is very instructive in Greek (the original, inspired language of the NT)...it is the word "lagchanō"...

The Friberg Analytical Greek Lexicon defines this word as "what comes to someone always apart from his own efforts, cast lots (JN 19.24); attain by lot, be appointed by lot, be chosen by lot, of what comes by divine will attain, receive, obtain (2P 1.1).

Strong's says this on the word, "to lot, that is, determine (by implication receive) especially by lot: - his lot be, cast lots, obtain."

Does this mean our salvation was by chance or luck? No! It basically means that it was God's divine MacArthur puts it nicely in his commentary on II Peter; "The manner in which Peter described his readers is theologically rich, albeit brief, and points to the divine source of salvation. Have received implies believers' salvation is a gift. The verb (lagchano) means "to gain by divine will" or "given by an allotment" (as in the biblical practice of casting lots to learn God's will (Lev 16:8-10, Josh 7:14; I Sam 14:38-43; I Chr 25:8-31; Acts 1:16-26, etc). Clearly it refers to something not obtained by human effort or based on personal worthiness but issued from God's sovereign purpose. Peter's readers received faith because God graciously willed to give it to them."

Reader...don't forget that faith is a gift of God (Eph 2:8-9) and it is not based on anything in us...any quality, any foreseen choice or value...it's based on the sovereign God's choosing!
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Friday, May 23, 2008

More From An Amazingly Unbiblical Fundamental Pastor

I posted a link to the pastor that preached that the term "him that pisseth against the wall" was a condemnation of males that don't act like men (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxcyqeRc-4). It's another sad example of the preaching that's in our country these days...out of context and basically "soap box theology." Make the Word of God say what you want and it'll be "good preaching"...right?

Here is another sad example of bad preaching...and bad theology. See if you can tell what's wrong with this sermon. It's about 9 minutes long. Pastor Steven Anderson is at it again...this time he basically taught his "flock" in Tempe, Arizona that homosexuality/sodomy is not part of the sin nature! Don't get me wrong, sodomy is a sin and it's not natural (it's against nature), however, he misuses the text to teach that it's some sort of really special sin that is the result of someone going too far and rejecting God. Amazing. His language gets a bit offensive at times and he preaches with special hatred and anger towards sodomites.

I'm really wondering how he can isolate the first chapter of Romans on sodomites. The purpose of chapters 1-3 is to condemn ALL men as guilty before a Holy and righteous God...I wonder what Pastor Anderson thinks about the end of chapter 1:


Romans 1:28-32 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Doesn't this passage teach that God gave themover to a reprobate mind...and then mentioned a long and lengthy list of other sins? Should we separate disobedient children and single them out for special punishment? Does this mean that all these sins are not part of the sin nature? Pastor Anderson needs to get off his soapbox and start preaching the bible in context...here's the link so you can hear for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDWSwvVZ6Bs&feature=related
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Death of Steven Curtis Chapman's Daughter

If you don't know, Steven Curtis Chapman's 5 year old daughter was killed today tragically at their home. His son was driving in their driveway and didn't see her and accidentally struck and killed her. Please pray for that family...as a father of 4 I can relate and know that it would be a severe trial for that family. Pray that they will grow in their knowledge that the Lord is more than enough.

Here is a link:
Story
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Monday, May 19, 2008

Rick Warren Part 2

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Rick Warren Twisting Scripture

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The Gospel

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

FREE ONLINE EDUCATION
















Have you ever thought about attending Yale University? Maybe you wanted to go to UC Berkley or some other elite school. Thanks to today's technology you can now attend classes at some of the top notch universities for free! I-Tunes has created what they are calling, "I-Tune University" or I-Tunes U for short. You pick the school, find the course you are interested in and you can download the lectures to your I-Pod or listen online using I-Tunes.

For example I currently have the following on my I-Pod

Courses from UC Berkley

HISTORY 106B: THE ROMAN EMPIRE

A history of Rome from Augustus to Constantine

Philosophy 185

Courses from Villanova

Augustinian

A course studying the Life of Augustine

University of Arizona
Modern History of the Middle East


I can download all the lectures for the classes and all for free!


It is amazing how many things are available today to help us lean and increase our knowledge. What is sad is that most people will ignore these resources and use their I-Pod for other things.


To download these classes and more you need to do the following:

Download I-Tunes: Here is the link:
I-Tunes


Once you have I-Tunes installed on your computer open it and go to the I-Tunes store

Look for I-TUNES U and click. You will see a list of Universities. Find the one you are interested in and click. Then browse the different courses. One you find the one you like you can subscribe to it and download all the lectures for your I-Pod or you can listen on your computer and no I-Pod is necessary, just double click the lecture you want to hear and it will begin to play and it will not download to your computer.
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Texas Megachurch Minister Busted in Internet Sex Sting

From Foxnews

BRYAN, Texas — A minister from a Dallas-area Baptist megachurch was caught in an Internet sex sting and charged with online solicitation of a minor, police said Friday.

Undercover officers posing as a 13-year-old girl communicated with Joe Barron, 52, of Plano for about two weeks. The online conversations were sexual in nature, police said.

On May 6, Barron suggested meeting the girl in person. He eventually made the nearly 200-mile drive to Bryan on Thursday, when he was arrested. Police said they found a web-cam and condoms in his car.

Barron remained in Brazos County Jail on Friday on $7,000 bail. Police did not know if he had an attorney.

Barron is one of 40 ministers at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the country with 26,000 members. He ministers to married adults.

Mike Buster, executive pastor, said in a statement that the church had no record or knowledge of previous improprieties or saw any inappropriate behavior in the 18 months Barron was on the church staff.

Buster said church officials are fully cooperating with police.

"We are disturbed and saddened by the reports we have heard and we are praying for the Barron family," he said.


Here is the link to the Churches web-site:
Prestonwood


Here is a link to the video of the arrest:
video
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Todd Bentley the Highly Inaccurate "Prophet"

The following was found at, "A Little Leaven"

The Lakeland Healing "Revival" is in full tilt BUT Todd Bentley is a false prophet. How do we know? We know this because the Bible is clear that a true Prophet of God is always 100% correct. God doesn't grade Prophets on the curve. Either God is speaking to you or He isn't. Here is the Biblical test of a prophet:

Deut. 18:21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.
Below is a video that provides us with IRREFUTABLE proof that Bentley is a FALSE PROPHET. Pay close attention to how accurate his 'readings' are. Remember a true Prophet of the One True God MUST, according to the scriptures, be 100% accurate.





By the way, what is the Old Testament punishment for false prophets in the Kingdom of Israel? Here is what the scriptures say:

Deut. 18:20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’
People need to heed the warnings of scripture.

Matt. 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

Matt. 24:11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
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JUST STOP!

Another example of the craziness found in the charismatic movement.

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WHY I AM SICK OF THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

I am constantly shocked an amazed at what is taught and promoted by those who are identified with the charismatic movement. I have no words to describe the following video:

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Subprime Mortgage Crisis














Unless you have been on another planet you are very aware of the crisis happening in the housing market. People who probably should not have qualified for a loan to buy a house were approved. Many were given loans that had an adjustable interest rate. At first it was low and the payments were manageable, but at a certain point the interest rate went up and people then found themselves with a house payment they could no longer afford.
Consider the following news report:
U.S. foreclosure filings, bank seizures surge

Bloomberg

May 15, 2008

U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 65 per cent and bank seizures more than doubled in April from a year earlier as mortgage industry efforts to modify loans fell short. More than 243,300 properties were in some stage of foreclosure, the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac Inc., a seller of default data, began in January, 2005.
One in every 519 households received a filing and Nevada, California and Florida had the highest rates. Filings rose 4 per cent from March. Bank repossessions jumped 145 per cent in April from a year earlier to 54,574, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.
Banks will seize about 60,000 properties a month through December, when about one million U.S. homes, or a quarter of all homes for sale, may be bank-owned, Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's executive vice-president of marketing, said in an interview. Voluntary programs to change loan terms for at-risk borrowers haven't helped enough people, said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in Washington.
Greed is defined as:
A selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed
Banks wanted more money, people wanted larger and nicer houses then they could really afford. The results of this are banks and people are now in trouble!
The bible calls us to a different way of life:
1 Timothy 6:
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Yesterday on my I-pod I listened to an amazing show that explained the current Mortgage crisis better then I have ever heard!
Here is the information about the program:
A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR news. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s? It all comes back to the Giant Pool of Money.
You need to take the time today to listen for yourself. As you listen think about the passage of scripture I quoted above.
Here is the link to the program:
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

STORMY NIGHT

Hello everyone,

It was about 6:00pm tonight when the tornado sirens went off on Dyess AFB, TX.
The security police were driving up and down the housing area instructing people to stay in place and to take shelter immediately. This of course was going to make it impossible for me to get to church. Since I am the Pastor I had to begin calling people and cancel services. I hate that we were unable to have services but I am glad that the storm has passed and it seems there was no damage. Tonight we were going to study the life of King Zechariah. You can read about his life in 2 Kings 15:8-12.

Since we were unable to have services tonight I want to challenge all the members of Victory Baptist Church and all other readers to do a little study on your own.
There are 30 men in the bible who have the name Zechariah. Take the time to find each one in the bible and write down just a simple sentence explaining who they are. Let me know what you discover in your study.

Have a great night
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Monday, May 12, 2008

THE INFLUENCE OF BLOGS

I have written a post for a blog and you are now reading what I have posted. You may think blogs are not really that big of a deal or a waste of time. As the writer for a blog, I have to ask myself on regular basis how serious I am taking it. What do I want to accomplish with the blog? Today I came across two stories that made me take another look at blogs and blogging and I hope they may challenge your current thoughts about blogs.

The following is from NPR
Time magazine last week named its picks for the 100 most influential people in the world. Raul Castro made the cut in 2007 as Cuba's acting president. This year, there's a different Cuban on the list. Yoani Sanchez, 32, has gained a worldwide following for the independent blog she writes from Havana.

You may need to read that again, a blogger was named one of the most influential people in the WORLD!

You can check out her blog at this link:
blog

You can also read and listen to the NPR story about the blog at this link:
Story

The next story is about the Sharper Iron blog.

The following is from the SI blog:

The long-awaited day has finally come. I am stepping out of SI and handing it over. One year ago, I was sent out by my home church to plant a new church in downtown Denver. It soon became obvious to me that my time at SI was coming to an end. The demands of starting a church and the challenge of reaching a secular city would take much of my time and creative energy. So I had to make a decision: pull the plug or hand the site over to new leadership. Nine months ago, I decided to pursue the latter option, but it proved to be difficult. It was not until last month that I felt comfortable with finding a person to take over the ownership of the site. Tomorrow I will introduce him to you.

Now was interesting about the story is that the writer gives a detailed history of the blog.
Here are some of the details:

from the SI blog
This journey began back in 2004 when I wrote an article about where I saw younger fundamentalists heading. The article drew a lot of attention and controversy at the time. If the average SI reader would read the article now, it would not seem shocking to most. But at the time, it was upsetting to a large group of traditional fundamentalists. A couple of people wrote critiques of the article, insinuating that I did not know what I was talking about


As a result of the article the write decided to do a survey of young fundamentalist. That survey challenged Fundamentalist and really shook strongly held opinions about fundamentalism all up!

You can read the survey for yourself:
Young Fundamentalists Survey


The author decided he needed a place to post his results and to allow fundamentalist discuss the findings, The Si blog was born!

The blog and the survey has had a major impact on the world of Fundamentalism.


You can read the entire history of the SI blog at this link:
SI

The story of two blogs and how influential they can be.

Many people still have no idea what a blog is and many people still don't see why anyone should waste their time blogging.

These stories challenge those kinds of opinions and they should challenge those of us who blog. We should work to create the best and most informative blogs possible.

Blogs should challenge people and the way they think

Blogs should expose error and lies.

Blogs should strive to be places people can get accurate and true information.

To accomplish these things blogger's must work hard and dedicate much time and effort to the task.

I would like to end by asking a few questions and I hope people will take the time to post their answers.

To the men who help write articles for the Preaching Today blog:

What do you want to accomplish with the Preaching Today blog?

What can we do as a team to improve the blog?

To those who read blogs:

What do you want from a blog?

What do you look for in a blog?

What makes you return to a blog?

Why are certain blogs your favorites?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and who knows, maybe one day someone from the Preaching Today blog can be named of the Most Influential People in the World!
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Friday, May 9, 2008

What's Wrong With Today's Preachers?

Folks...this one is amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how people can rant and rave about things that have nothing to do with the context of the Scripture they are supposed to be expounding. I just preached at the church I attend (Victory Baptist) about how context is so important...and eisegesis (reading your own meaning into a text) is so dangerous. As many of you know, I'm a recovering Fundamental Baptist...now a Reformed Baptist. No matter which camp you come from, please let the Word speak for itself! God's given us His very Word and we need to listen...but if you are so hooked on a few issues such as whether a woman should wear pants, a man should/shouldn't wear shorts, if someone goes to the movies or not and which Bible version you read then you are missing the boat. It's important to be modest...it's important to understand which text underlies your Bible...but if that's the steady diet you are giving (or getting) then it's no wonder Fundamental churches are on a steady decline and are losing ground to reformed churches.

Listen to this clip to hear a real "Man of God"...just listen to how he figures out who is a man and who isn't. Truly amazing!

Bro Jim

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDxcyqeRc-4
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PENTECOST SUNDAY OR MOTHER'S DAY?





















This coming Sunday many churches in America will be handing out flowers or some other kind of gift to all the mothers in attendance. The reason for this is that Sunday is mother's day and many churches will develop their services around this fact. The sad reality is as these churches are remembering a secular holiday they will completely ignore the fact that Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, a day set aside to remember an important biblical event. Some claim that the church as early as first century celebrated Pentecost Sunday. What is remembered on Pentecost Sunday? The coming of the Holy Spirit as described in Acts 2. What is your church doing this Sunday? remembering mothers day or taking the time to focus on an important event that has serious doctrinal implications? Sadly many churches neglect the biblical and doctronal for the shallow. Many churches seem to think church history is what happened last week at their church and forget the importance of the last 2000 years!
The Scripture readings for Pentecost Sunday are:
Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23
When studying Pentecost do not forget to also study the Old Testament Feast of Pentecost
Leviticus 23:15-21
Have a great weekend
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MANNA FOR TODAY

It is Friday and I hope everyone has a great weekend.


The Scriptures:

Acts 25:13-21
Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
John 21:15-19


The Commentary

Acts 25
Matthew Henry

Psalm 103
Spurgeon

John 21
Gill

Research
In Acts 25 the following people are mentioned:
King Agrippa
Bernice
Festus

Read the following aticles about each person:
To read about King Agrippa you need to study:
Herod

Bernice

Festus


Sermon:
Christ Restoring Love in Examining Peter's Love



I am still looking for feedback on the Manna for Today post. If you are finding them helpful please let me know. If you know that you will not really use them please let me know that as well.

You can post your comments here on the blog or e-mail me at tsrk30@sbcglobal.net
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

BLOODLINE

A new film is opening this coming weekend that will once again attack the truth of Christianity. We had the Da Vinci Code, The Lost Tomb of Jesus, and now Bloodline






















About the Movie:

"Bloodline" investigates the popular belief that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, who fled to southern France with their child. In an adventure worthy of "Indiana Jones", filmmaker Bruce Burgess and team crack the shadowy secret society, known as the Priory of Sion.

Their investigation follows clues linking the Knights Templar and the legend of Mary Magdalene with messages embedded in the decor of the famed church at Rennes-le-Chateau in France, leading ultimately to stunning discoveries: a buried chest with artifacts dating to 1st century Jerusalem and a hidden tomb filled with treasure and a mummified corpse draped in a shroud bearing a distinctive red cross. Do these discoveries finally provide the proof that the "Bloodline" exists?


The Trailer

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MANNA FOR TODAY

The Scriptures:

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
John 17:20-26

The Commentary:
Acts 23:
Matthew Henry

Psalm 16
Spurgeon

John 17:
Gill

Research
InActs 23:6 two groups of people are mentioned.
Pharisees
Saducees

Take the time to read the following articles about them:
PHARISEES

SADDUCEES


Sermon:
Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Part 3
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MANNA FOR TODAY

Good morning everyone,

Here is your study for today:


The Scriptures:

Acts 20:28-38
Psalm 68:19-35
John 17:11-19



The Commentary:

Acts 20:
Matthew Henry

Psalm 68:
Spurgeon


John 17:
Gill


Questions:

Look up the word wolves in a concordance.
What is wolves used to represent in the New Testament?

You can use an online concordance at this link:
Concordance

Sermon:
Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Part 2
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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Worldview

Some of the readers may already know this but for the ones who don't. My first blog I ever created was the Worldview blog. My first post was Tuesday, August 09, 2005. Since then I have created 436 post! The blog has been viewed over 16,000 times and counting! If you have never visited the Worldview blog I invite you to take a few moments and stop by and leave a comment. Here is the link:
www.worldvieww.blogspot.com
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MANNA FOR TODAY

It is Tuesday morning and I hope everyone is having a good day.

I am going to try something new and I hope people will take a few moments and post a comment to let me know what they think about it.

Instead of describing what I am going to do, I am just going to post it and you can see for yourself:

Tuesday May 06, 2008

The Scriptures:
Read each passage twice and if possible one of the times read the scriptures out loud.


Acts 20:17-27

Psalm 68

John 17:1-11


The Commentary:

Read the following commentary on Acts 20:
Matthew Henry


Read the following commentary on Psalm 68
Spurgeon

Read the following commentary on John 17:1-11
John Gill


Research:

Acts 20:17 mentions two places, Miletus and Ephesus:
Here are two links so you can research more about both locations:
Miletus
Ephesus

The Sermon:

Here is a link to a sermon on John 17
Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Part 1



Each day I am going to try to post something similar. The format will like this:

1. The Scripture: I will give the scripture passages that should be read for the day.

2. Commentary: I will provide links to very good commentaries on the suggested scripture passage.

3. Sermon: I will try to provide a link to a sermon that is relevant to one of the scripture readings.

4. Research: I may include a link to an article or to a bible encyclopedia or a bible dictionary that is related to something in the readings.

5. Questions: When I have the time I may include questions based on the scripture readings.


If any of the team members would like to help create a study for a particular day, please let me know. This will ensure we do not create more then one study for a specific day.



I ask the readers to please give us some feed back. Do you think this is a good idea? Will it be helpful to you? Will you use it?
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Monday, May 5, 2008

IRON MAN

I hope everyone is having a good Monday so far.


Let's start today with a movie


















Marvel turns 'Iron Man' into gold with $100M-plus debut

"Iron Man" was pure gold at the box office.

The Marvel Comics adaptation, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the guy in the metal suit, hauled in $100.7 million during its opening weekend and $104.2 million since debuting Thursday night, the second-best premiere ever for a nonsequel, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The film also scored overseas with $96.7 million in 57 countries where it began opening Wednesday, putting its worldwide total at $201 million.



Iron Man is a movie that many kids are going to want to see. Burger King is giving out Iron Man toys with their kid's meals and the commercials for the Iron Man movie are on all the time.

So is the movie suitable for a Christian family?

One Christian web-site that offers reviews of popular movies said this:

"There is nothing that should offend even the most sensitive church-goers."

They also reported:
Profanity: None


That sounds good and many Christians will go to the movie based on that review; however, the review is false.

Last night, my daughter and I decided to go see for ourselves. We attended the 8:35 showing and the theater was packed. We had our popcorn and coke and were ready to see some action.

As we watched the previews for upcoming films, I realized that in some cases the previews have more objectionable material than the movie you are about to see has.

Finally Iron Man began and the crowd was excited.

The main character of the movie is Tony Stark. He makes and sells weapons and he has made a lot of money. The movie spends some time developing his character and it can be summarized like this:
Rich
Arrogant
Drinks
Gambles
Sex with lots of women: The movie informs us of this through comments made by Tony Stark and other characters in the movie. None of the dialogue is overtly offensive but it gets the point across. Some of the comments probably will be missed by most kids.

But there is one scene all parents should be prepared for. Tony Stark has a conversation with a female reporter and then the scene changes quickly showing him and the reporter in bed. The scene is very quick maybe 4-5 seconds, but it is an intense make out session, and the next scene shows the female with a sheet barely covering her. There is no nudity, but it is implied. The point of the scene is to show that a one night stand is consistent with Tony Stark's character.


But everything is about to change for Tony Stark. He travels to Afghanistan to sell weapons to the United States military. On his way back with the military, their convoy is attacked, and Tony Stark is kidnapped. He soon realizes his weapons are also being used by the terrorist. Tony Stark suffers a major injury and a device has to be placed in his chest to keep him alive.

This is where the symbolism gets pretty neat.

Tony Stark in a sense receives a new heart and the man who saves him by giving him a new heart also dies to help set Tony Stark free.

In a touching scene the man who saved Tony Stark is dying, and Tony Stark says to him:
"You saved me!" The man responds, "Don't waste it." Then he dies.

Jesus Christ died to save us and give us a new life and create in us a new heart. The question is are we wasting this new life?

From that point in the move Tony Stark is a new man and now he does not care about his wealth and all the women. His concern now is to do what is right no matter the cost.

This is where he develops the famous Iron Man suit and the battle against evil ensues.

The action is fast paced and exciting. The special effects are amazing.

Rober Downey Jr who plays the part of Tony Stark did an excellent job.

There are 13 or 14 total obscenities used during the movie. Most of these are the improper use of hell, God, and Jesus.


There is much that could be discussed after seeing the movie. Consider the following: Some of these suggestions come from myself, while others come from Christianity Today.

One character describes Stark as a man who has everything and yet nothing. What does he mean? How is Stark's legacy relevant to Matthew 16:25-27?


This is an important principle in the movie. After showing all the women, money, and things that Tony Stark has, the movie tries to show us that he ultimately has nothing.

Jesus Christ died to set us free and in salvation we are given a new nature and a new life. What are you doing with it? Wasting it or using it for God's Glory?


Tony Stark starts off justifying the need for weapons to keep the peace in the world. Is there truth to what he's saying? Would America have been better off if it had never developed the atomic bomb? Are weapons ever justified, and if so, to what extent?

Iron Man never politicizes its story, but it does open up a moral discussion about America's present role as world superpower. When is the United States justified to take action in world affairs, and when must the country remain neutral? Does it all come down to saving lives, or is it more complicated?

We see Stark experience a change of heart, literally and figuratively. Why do you believe he changes his business philosophy and overall worldview? Is it because he faced his own mortality? Because he witnesses injustice firsthand? Something more? In what ways have experiences shaken your own personal convictions more than words?

As Iron Man, is Stark merely using violence to fight violence—"an eye for an eye"? Is he a vigilante enforcing justice by taking matters into his own hands, or is he justified in seeking redemption and righting his past wrongs?

Would you say Stark becomes a totally changed man after his experience? How has he changed for the better? If he's still a work in progress, in what ways does he still show a need for growth and responsibility?

Iron Man is an exciting movie that is extremly popular and people will be taking about it. It is not a clean movie and there are many things that are objectionable in the movie. If you decide to go, please take the time to discuss and talk about the things I suggested.

One last thing... if you go, don't leave when the credits begin. There is one more scene at the end of the credits that sets up Iron Man 2. This scene does contain the improper use of the word hell.


If you see the movie, please take some time to post your comments here on the blog so others can read them as well.
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Saturday, May 3, 2008

A HORSE RACE ENDS IN TRAGEDY














LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The filly Eight Belles finished second behind favorite Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, then collapsed with two broken front ankles and was euthanized after crossing the wire.

The field of 20 horses was galloping out around the first turn at Churchill Downs when Eight Belles suddenly went down on both front legs and jockey Gabriel Saez slid off.


"When we passed the wire I stood up," said Saez, a first-time Derby rider. "She started galloping funny. I tried to pull her up. That's when she went down."


An equine ambulance reached her near the second turn and tended to the filly.


"There was no possible way to save her," on-call veterinarian Dr. Larry Bramlage said. "She broke both front ankles. That's a bad injury."


I watched the video that showed the horse fall and it made me very upset.

Here is a sample of some of the comments I have seen posted on the Internet about this:

B*D!
"More Elmer’s Glue for the kiddies in school"

"Another animal off to the glue factory. How do they know which horse is stickier? "

"Kind of odd that this horse was Hilliary’s pick. Maybe she’ll get the injection as well."

"This horse should be honored and made into a gun holster."

"We were not put on this earth to care for animals. We were given dominion over the animals."



I cannot believe the complete ignorance of some people.
From a Christian perspective I believe we should look at this event this way:

Animals were created by God

We are to have dominion but this means we are to be stewards of what God has given us.

Cruelty to animals must be condemned.

The use of Animals for entertainment should be looked at carefully.
Are the animals being hurt?
How are the Animals being treated?


I think in many cases these types of events need to be condemned.
Proverbs 12:10
A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

On one site a few people were posting comments in which they expressed their sadness and outage about this event. Someone responded with this:

"Any of you nitwits ever eat a steak or chicken leg? Sad the poor horse died but thats life."

I don't know why people always run to this argument.

Eating meat and hurting animals for entertainment is very different. The only way they would be the same is if someone who eats meat took the time to go enjoy the killing of the animal before he ate it!

The argument is simple, should Christians enjoy the hurting of an animal?

I am not saying Christians do not have the right to eat meat, I am simply challenging the idea of finding enjoyment in the taking of the life of an animal or the use of animals for entertainment when it hurts the animal.

The Fourth Council of the Lateran took place in November, 1215.
Here is an interesting statement from the Council
"We forbid hunting and fowling to all clerics; wherefore, let them not presume to keep dogs and birds for these purposes."

Do we really need horse racing? Do they make these horses race at to young of an age?

How do we as Christians need to change our views on animals and the use of them for our entertainment?

Are we glorifying God in how we use animals?

Is our understanding of Dominion biblical?

I know this is a controversial issue and the debate about it will never stop.

If a person eats meat they seem to not be allowed to talk about this subject without being accused of being inconsistent. This has lead me to begin the transition to becoming a vegetarian. This week has gone very well and I have tried some interesting foods and hope to find some new recipes. If there are any vegetarians who read this post please send me some good suggestions on what to eat :)

This event will lead to some discussion about animals being used for racing. I challenge all Christians to seek to give a biblical response.
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SATURDAY NIGHT THOUGHTS

It has been a long day and I am working on my sermon for tomorrow.

We have been working our way through 1 Corinthians 7 and we have been looking at the subject of marriage and divorce. We are about to begin looking at how the bible describes what marriage should look like. I will talk about the role of the husband and the wife. Tomorrow I am going to lay a foundation by reminding everyone of the following:

The Need For Forgiveness

The Right Understanding of Love

The Role of the Church

The Need to be a Testimony

The Picture

Marriage is meant to picture an amzing truth.

Consider the words of John Piper

There is more here than meets the eye. What is it? I think it's this: God didn't create the union of Christ and the church after the pattern of human marriage; just the reverse, he created human marriage on the pattern of Christ's relation to the church. The mystery of Genesis 2:24 is that the marriage it describes is a parable or symbol of Christ's relation to his people. God doesn't do things willy-nilly. Everything has purpose and meaning. When God engaged to create man and woman and to ordain the union of marriage, he didn't roll dice or draw straws or flip a coin. He patterned marriage very purposefully after the relationship between his Son and the church, which he planned from eternity. And therefore marriage is a mystery—it contains and conceals a meaning far greater than what we see on the outside. What God has joined together in marriage is to be a reflection of the union between the Son of God and his bride the church. Those of us who are married need to ponder again and again how mysterious and wonderful it is that we are granted by God the privilege to image forth stupendous divine realities infinitely bigger and greater than ourselves.



The Church is the bride and Christ is the bridegroom. He only has one bride not many and he will not divorce us!
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Friday, May 2, 2008

Discouragement



















I looked up discouragement in a dictionary and was led to the word, dishearten.

Dishearten means: To cause to lose spirit or morale

The last few months has been hard for me as a Pastor.

I have had to work some bizarre hours in my other job and a few times I have had to preach after going over 24 hours without sleep.

After one such sermon I think I ended up getting more criticism for the sermon then I did thanks for sacrificing to ensure we had a service.


Last Sunday I messed up again and ended up preaching something that offended many and I received a number of complaints.


Discouraged and disheartened are good words to describe how I have felt.

I am now second guessing myself about what I should or shouldn't say in a sermon.

I feel the people are growing tired of me and my preaching.

Emotions can be a dangerous thing and one must not let them blur reality.

My focus must be on Christ not on me.

Today I came across the following quote that I felt was perfect for me to read.


Don't give in to discouragement. If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people's opinions. Be obedient to truth. For with humble obedience, you will never be disturbed.

-- Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta


I ask the readers of this blog to pray for me and that I can enter the pulpit Sunday excited to proclaim God's word and with confidence not second guessing myself.

I have to work my other job again this weekend so pray I will not allow that burden to discourage me either.

Thanks for reading this and thank you in advance for praying for me.

I have a lot to learn as a Pastor and I hope I can make it thorough this difficult time with out hurting God's church.
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The Reformed Doctrine of the Church

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Ignatius of Antioch Pt 2

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Ignatius of Antioch

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MARK 15

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Are you a Recovering Fundamentalist too?


Hey there! It seems that there are large numbers of folks who have been leaving the Fundamental Baptist movement and have been joining the ranks of the Reformed Baptists. Having recently done this myself I just have to recommend a book that is funny, serious and sad at the same time. Now, understand me, there are many, many good churches in this movement and many serious Christians that are dedicated to the Lord and His word...unfortunately there are a lot of snakes and wolves in there as well (same most anywhere you go!).


I just wonder if there are some folks out there who, like me, were worn out in the Fundamental camp and who struggled with the same issues I did, such as:

A lack of verse-by-verse, exegetical teaching.



  • The rarity of verse-by-verse, exegetical preaching...

  • The steady, and unappetizing, diet of constant preaching "AT" sin and sinner instead of lifting up Christ and His Word and allowing God to do the work from the inside out (versus white-washing the outside and calling it good)...

  • Constant preaching about the KJV and how bad other translations are (understand that I don't agree with using any critical-text based translation...just don't think that should be my main preaching focus), dress length, going to the movies (even though rentals seem to be OK?), whether I should wear shorts or not (I don't...but again, that shouldn't be one of the three questions you ask me during my ordination... which actually happened to me!), and constantly back-stabbing each other.

  • Animosity and downright hostility to anyone who doesn't agree with them...

  • Dislike and disdain for the term "Theology" and "Doctrine." I preached through II Peter at my old Fundamental church and was hinted at by the pastor that I was teaching too much doctrine...I wonder what he thought of II Timothy 4:2-3?

  • A lack of any real serious theological publications coming out of the group

Again, I don't accuse everyone in the movement of being this way...but after being a member of 4 Fundamental Baptist churches and graduating from 2 of their theological seminaries in the last 12 years I think I can speak from experience.


I'd like to encourage those in the movement to become lovers of doctrine, to not be afraid to question authority as long as it's done in love and with respect, to not be afraid to read "the other side"...after all, you need to know what others believe and teach to be able to comment and understand. I'd also like to encourage them to study and teach the Bible through verse-by-verse and in context...let the Word speak for itself...after all, it speaks of Christ!


For a funny, sad and amazing book about a person that came from a very hard-core Fundamental camp, go to the following link and read the book by James Spurgeon called, "Tales from the Temple." You may not believe what you read. You can also purchase the book on Amazon. http://holycall.com/jspurgeon/tales/TFTT1.HTM


Stay in the Word and let the Word change you!

In Christ


Bro Jim

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The Ascension of Christ



















In Church history today is set aside to remember the Ascension of Christ.

The scripture readings are:

Acts 1:1-11

Psalm 47

Ephesians 1:17-23

Matthew 28:16-20


Here are links to some great articles on the Ascension of Christ


Acts 1:10-11 - The Ascension and the Second Advent Practically Considered

The Ascension of Our Lord


Please take some time tonight to focus on the Ascension of Christ
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