This is where we Focus in On The News through the Lens of Scripture!
1 Thessalonians 5:21
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
Examine is taken from the Greek word: Dokimazo which means: to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy
Sunday, August 31, 2008
WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF FALSE PROPHETS!
This is a must read article about the entire Lakeland Revival circus that crashed and burned.
If you were to ask someone to list people mentioned in the bible, two names would probably not be on this list: Shebna and Eliakim. Their story is recored in Isaiah 22. Sunday night, I taught a message on these two individuals.
I am teaching through the Puritan Catechism during Sunday school. This morning we studied question 26:
Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?
A. Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition (Lk. 2:7), made under the law (Gal. 4:4), undergoing the miseries of this life (Isa. 53:3), the wrath of God (Matt. 27:46), and the cursed death of the cross; (Phil. 2:8) in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time (Matt. 12:40).
Lyrics: My arms are sliced up but I'm not embarrassed It's the only way I get attention now from my parents It's not like they really take the time to be caring They just use me to watch the baby when they run they errands My name is ___ I got a friend named Karen She gave me your CD with the track for Eminem You wrote a song called #1 fan I listened and I wanted to know if you can help me like you was helping them She had something even harder to be mentioning Like every single day I struggle just with fitting in Plus the boys won't give me no attention and I get teased and made fun of by all my friends and then See I'm feeling like I'm wishing now that I could end My life cuz I'm sick and tired of all the time I spend Trying to figure out how I could be worth anything Can u help me KJ from your fan
I'm writing this letter Cause I have to tell ya I need some help from you I'm writing this letter I hope that you get it I need some help from you
I live with my mom ever since my parents split And At home I spend my time on the Internet Looking at porn Im addicted and I'm sick of it Myspace dot com is mostly where I'm getting it On top of that there's videos that I can watch And I really wanna quit but its like I can't stop See I'm scared that I'm just gonna get caught And when I see a girl all I think is dirty thoughts And its not that I don't know that it's really wrong But its right there for me every time I'm logging on I got all your CD's I really like your songs Well I downloaded em but anyway moving on My screen name is KJ-52 is the bomb I want to do a website KJ rock's dot com I really some help cuz I can't tell my Mom Oh by the way my real name is ___
I'm writing this letter Cause I have to tell ya I need some help from you I'm writing this letter I hope that you get it I need some help from you
I took the time just to write you We play you every Wednesday at my youth group I love your music and we all think that you's cool But I been struggling ever since I moved to a new school See everybody thinks that I'm the perfect Christian girl I had a hard time trying to believe that God is real I've been on mission trips and camps the whole deal My dad had cancer tho I prayed that God would heal But he died anyway so it's hard to feel Like he cares about me so was it God's will To take away my dad I really got a raw deal Sometimes I just want to swallow all my mom's pills When I pray I really doubt it I've lost my way or maybe I've never found it I been smoking and drinking nobody knows about it By the way my name is ___ don't mispronounce it...
If I could write to every kid that's out there Every kid that's hurting feels like nobody cares I would tell them that God can wipe away tear And he's right near and I would say it quite clear Your here for a reason you're not a mistake You are a special creation that God himself made To the victims of abuse to every girl that was raped You can live you can be free from your pain And find strength and no longer be ashamed You can find peace and hope In Jesus name You aint gotta live with this hurt every day Christ came to give you life in a much better way To every kid right now that's full of hate And bitterness I'd tell em just to give it all away To the one that came to take all the blame That's what I'd write here's what I'd say
Lyrics: Yo this is what happened: Yo I woke up late it was like 10 in the mornin' I was still half asleep and sleepy eyed, still yawnin' I checked my voice mail to see who'd been callin' I turned on my computer Check my email logged on it Junk mail, junk mail dog-gone-it Everybody just tryin to sell me they product But there was one email that just caught my optic It said sucidal, took the mouse and clicked on it She said " Dear KJ you don't know who I am, You probably don't care cause im just another fan. I doubt you ever read this, now but if ya can Sometimes I slash my wrists and even cut my hands And I feel all alone like nobody understands And I'm gonna end it tonight I got the whole thing planned Pop pills, leave a note on my night stand Signed sincerely, Your Number 1 fan
[Chorus:] Can someone now please help me Will someone now just please help me Can someone now please help me Will someone now just please help me
[Verse 2:] My heart is poundin as I start to type back Why do you feel this way do you mind if I ask? Whats the source and the cause of the pain that you have How did you get this way, is it something from the past God cares about you, I hope you understand that Please don't end your life, I beg ya please write back I finished typin', I sent the email quite fast I bowed my head and prayed with all the strength that I had She said "Man KJ I didn't even know you would write me. Let me explain why noone could ever like me It all started when my father used to strike me Raped and confused every since 1990 He's gone now but I can't put it all behind me I tried to run away but my pain would always find me Is God really the one who can help me (yes He is) Signed tonight your Number 1 Fan
[Verse 3:] Dear number one fan I gotta lot to tell you But with the email there is only so much I can help you See I know a Father who could never ever fail you He'll give you a love when nobody ever cared to I know you might feel like everybody hates you And you feel like you got noone you can relate to But death feels like the best place to escape to But thats a lie that Satan, he just wants to tell you I'm sorry that you were abused, your father raped you But you gotta get some help cause nobody can make you I know its hard to face but God will give you the strength to I know you gots a lot of things you gotta work through But with this help I know that you can break through I seen it myself all the times He came through Tell me what you think of what I sent you I'll be prayin', Sincerely KJ-52
[Verse 4:] Yo, I'd be pretending if I said this story had a happy endin But after that night I never heard from her again That night I tossed and turned lyin on my bed en Cryin and prayin with these thoughts runnin through my head en Did she do it, take her life, or wind up dead en Or did she not choose it, just listened to what I said en Maybe she never got the last one I was sendin Was it my fault was it something I shoulda mentioned Every mornin I would just check my email Checkin for any detail, hopin an prayin that shes well My emails came back sayin that they'd failed No such address for Number1Fan@hotmail Days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months en Time would pass and I just heard nuthin No letter no email no not even just somethin What happened to my Number 1 fan I'm still wonderin
There are millions of people in America who claim to be Christians, but are they? What is true faith? Last Sunday night I preached a sermon I called, Crumbs From The Masters Table. In the sermon I looked at the characteristics of true faith. You can listen here:
A few days ago I posted the article, "Hail Mary and Rhythmic Breathing." The article was about a book that mixed Roman Catholicism with Hinduism. Today I came across a bible that appears to be doing the same thing:
New Indian Bible Draws Fire over Hindu References
A new Indian version of the Bible recently, published by the Catholic Church, has run into controversy over its inclusion of verses from the Bhagavad Gita, a form of Hindu chant, and references to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
An illustration in the new version, New Community Bible, depicts Jesus, Mary and Joseph as poor Indian villagers. Mary wears a simple sari and has a bindi on her forehead alongside Joseph in a turban and loincloth. According to the 30 Indian biblical scholars who worked for more than 15 years on the new edition, the Bible draws on "the rich cultural and religious heritage of India."
Although approved by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India and published by the Society of St. Paul, the Bible met the disapproval of Protestants and other Christian groups, who believe it diverts from biblical truth.
Pastor Vijay Thomas, who heads a Bible college in Chennai, told Christian Today, “By making it appear ‘Indian’ with references to Hindu scriptures and great poets, people will not come to the truth. This is a complete turn back from the real Bible."
Oswald Gracias, the Catholic Archbishop of Bombay, defended the Bible edition, saying, "I am sure this Bible, made in India and for Indians, will bring the word of God closer to millions of our people, not only Christians."
You can read the rest of the report at this link: Hinduism
The Way of Life Literature web site is also reporting the story:
The New Community Bible published by the Catholic Church in India features verses from the Hindu Scriptures and quotes from Hindu activist Mahatma Gandhi. (“New Indian Bible Draws Fire,” Christian Post, Aug. 11, 2008). It is approved by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and published by the Society of St. Paul. The new Bible sold 15,000 copies within 10 days of its release. The Catholic Church in India has been deeply syncretized with Hinduism over the past 50 years. Some Catholic priests have even imitated the habit of the Hindu holy man, wearing the orange robe, adopting vegetarianism, meditating yoga style, living in ashrams, etc. We documented this in the new book Contemplative Mysticism: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond, which is available from Way of Life Literature.
It all began on Tuesday, August 09, 2005, @4:00pm central time. With a few clicks of a mouse, and a number of key strokes on a keyboard, I had created a blog and posted my first article. 3 years later that first blog has been visited by over 19,000 people! You can see the blog I created over 3 years ago and read my post about what I have learned over the last 3 years. Here is the link: Worldview
There is a new radio program that airs over the Internet that I want to point people to. It is called, Fighting For The Faith. Each program takes a look at what is going on in Christianity and then offers a very pointed and biblical response. The program is from a Lutheran theological perspective but there is much to be offered by this program.
The so-called “gospel” being preached in our day falls far short of that “glorious gospel” (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Tim. 1:11) of the New Testament. We are living in a time when preachers are telling sinners that they can be saved without repenting, without forsaking their idols, and without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ. The Bible doctrine of the sinfulness and depravity of man has been thrown to the winds. “Another gospel” and “another Jesus” has gained popularity, and “another spirit” is being received instead of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 11:4).
We need to unmask the “modern evangelism” of our day. To do so, let us look very candidly at what is popularly being preached and believed as “gospel truth.” A few of the favorite religious sayings of today will prove the great difference between the true gospel and the false one:
“Accept Christ as your personal Saviour” This is probably the most popular cliche in the religious world today. It has elements of truth in it, but that is what makes it all the more dangerous! Christ is indeed a “personal Saviour” to those who know Him. And He is to be “received” (John 1:12) by faith. However, the modem preacher perverts the biblical meaning of “receiving Christ” by implying that it is in the power of the sinner’s “free will” to savingly come to Christ.
This is grave error, as v.13 clearly shows: the “power” to come to Christ, believe on His name, and receive Him, is the result of the sinner having been “born of God.” In other words, God Almighty must first quicken dead sinners to life in order that they may believe on Christ. Modern evangelism denies this very truth of the gospel.
“Make your decision for Christ” This is similar to the first statement, but goes even further to twist and pervert the true gospel. No preacher in the New Testament ever preached this to sinners! Search the Word for yourself to see! This giving mere “mental assent” to the facts of the gospel is not what the Bible calls “believing to the saving of the soul” (Heb. 10:39). The Christ of Scripture is LORD, and He must be received and bowed to as LORD: “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus THE LORD, so walk ye in Him” (Col. 2:6). When Paul wrote to true believers in his day he knew nothing of those who had made “first-time decisions” for Christ, but still needed to make “second and third decisions” to follow Christ.
“Make Jesus the Lord of your life” This saying is continually gaining in popularity, especially among those of “Charismatic” persuasion. But, is it true? Let the preaching of the apostles answer that question: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses . . . Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32,36). God the Father has already made Jesus “Lord,” so no one was ever told in Scripture to do what the apostles said God the Father had already done! The name Jesus is already “highly exalted above every name” (Phil. 2:9), and is “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion” (Eph. 1:21). Here is the gospel: Christ is already Lord, and sinners must come to Him as such, bowing down before His sovereign majesty, as did Saul of Tarsus (Acts 94-5).
“God has done all He can to save you, the rest is up to you” What kind of “God” is this? Men are being told through every means of communication today that God is unable to do anything for man, that if men are to be saved, it is entirely their choice that makes it a reality. This is heresy of the deepest dye. That men must exercise their wills in coming to Christ is not denied, but the truth is that men, who are wedded to their idols, cannot of themselves “come to Christ” in saving faith. The salvation needed by sinners is impossible unless God puts forth His mighty power! Just as Lazarus could never come forth from the grave unless Christ gave His mighty call, “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43), so must dead sinners be given life through the Omnipotent Christ today. It is not that “God has done all He can to save you, now the entire matter lies in your hands, sinner.” No! The truth is that no man would ever come to Christ if he were not drawn (John 6:44). And all those who are thus divinely drawn do come to Christ—“It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:45). In other words, all the elect of God shall be effectually called.
We will not here discuss other religious sayings so prevalent in our time, such as “Come to the altar,” “Simply believe on Christ,” “Smile, God loves you,” or “Let the Lord save you.” All these are nothing but religious jargon that easily fit into the four statements given above. It just proves how far the religious world is from believing the Bible and the one, true gospel.
It seems we are religiously drunk today on a man-centered, watered-down gospel. Few preachers really thunder forth the deep truths of God. Few churches really take, an uncompromising stand for Christ and His gospel. Ours is a day when many of our big churches seem only concerned with “the numbers game,” where the idea is “let’s see who can grow biggest quickest.” The glory of God seems to be a secondary thing. Popularity is all-important. Religious “show biz” has won the day.
That men are soundly converted is looked on as old-fashioned. That the Lord Jesus Christ is truly honored is missing. We have sadly come to the time when men “will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:3)—
the doctrine set forth here concerning modern evangelism! Where do you stand?
As I was spending some time surfing the Internet I came across the book, "Hail Mary and Rhythmic Breathing: A New Way of Praying the Rosary." This is the description of the book found at Amazon.com
Book Description "We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence."--Mother Teresa
This remarkable work presents the well known Catholic prayer, the Hail Mary, with pranayama--an ancient breathing method practiced in yoga.
For readers looking for refreshment, meaning, and heightened spiritual connection, HAIL MARY AND RHYTHMIC BREATHING is an extraordinary resource.
Topics include: coordinating proper inhalation with prayer; the Hail Mary; a look at the lives of Mother Teresa and Gandhi; the physical benefits of mediation and prayer on the heart; and ten meditations.
Now I don't know about you but there is something confusing about this:
From Wikipedia Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India, to the goal achieved by those disciplines, and to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.
Yoga is linked with Hinduism which is a religion opposed to the truth of Christianity.
The book also talks about Gandhi:
Gandhi was born a Hindu and practised Hinduism all his life, deriving most of his principles from Hinduism. As a common Hindu, he believed all religions to be equal, and rejected all efforts to convert him to a different faith. He was an avid theologian and read extensively about all major religions.
He had the following to say about Hinduism: "Hinduism as I know it entirely satisfies my soul, fills my whole being...When doubts haunt me, when disappointments stare me in the face, and when I see not one ray of light on the horizon, I turn to the BhagavadGita, and find a verse to comfort me; and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming sorrow. My life has been full of tragedies and if they have not left any visible and indelible effect on me, I owe it to the teachings of the BhagavadGita."
We have a book that is mixing Catholicism with Hinduism as if the two are somehow compatible.
Now my question is simple, Will Catholics accept this book? Will they embrace the idea of this book with no problems at all? In my conversation with catholics they always try to insist that Catholicism is truly biblical and is true Christianity in practice.
True Christianity insist that there is only one Savior and that is Jesus Christ. True Christianity insist that there is only one way to the father and that is through Jesus Christ. True Christianity rejects other religions as false!
Way of Life Literature posted an article addressing this book. Here is what they had to say:
A great end-time blending is in process throughout Christianity and beyond to the religious world at large. Fundamentalists are affiliating with Evangelicals; Evangelicals are affiliating with Roman Catholics; and Catholics are affiliating with all the pagan religions. Richard Galentino’s new book Hail Mary and Rhythmic Breathing (Paulist Press, 2008) is an example. Galentino merges Hindu yoga with the Catholic Rosary. The original title was Hail Mary and the Art of Yoga Breathing.
The merging of Catholicism with non-Christian religions has been picking up steam each decade since the Second Vatican Council, which said: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. ... The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions ... they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men” (Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Oct. 28, 1965).
This opened the door for the interfaith dialogue that has resulted, not in the Catholicization of paganism but in the further paganization of Catholicism. The call for interfaith dialogue has been repeated forcefully by every pope since Paul VI. One of the segments of the Roman Catholic Church that has responded in a big way is the Catholic monastic orders (Trappist, Benedictine, Franciscan, etc.). Since the 1970s they have developed intimate ties with their counterparts in pagan religions, and they have discovered that contemplative mysticism is an effective bridge for interfaith unity. In recent decades many Catholic priests have become Hindus and Buddhists, while remaining Catholics. The very influential Trappist monk Thomas Merton claimed to be both a Buddhist and a Christian. Paulist priest Thomas Ryan took a sabbatical in India in 1991 and was initiated into yoga and Buddhist meditation. Today he is a certified teacher of Kripalu yoga. In our new book Contemplative Spirituality: A Powerful Ecumenical Bond and in the article “Second Pagan Invasion into the Roman Catholic Church” we provide extensive documentation for this phenomenon.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
An image of Pope Clement V apparently absolving the Knights Templar of heresy charges 700 years ago, from the book Processus Contra Templarios. The book is a compilation of documents found in the Vatican's secret archives in 2001. AP
A group of people claiming to be the heirs of the legendary Knights Templar are suing Pope Benedict XVI, seeking more than $150 billion for assets seized by the Catholic Church seven centuries ago.
They also want to restore the order's good name. Founded in 1119, the Knights Templar was a secretive order of Christian warriors who protected pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem during the Crusades. They fell out of favor years later, and members were accused of denying Christ, worshipping the devil and practicing sodomy. Many Templars were tortured and burned at the stake.
You can read the rest of the article at this link: Templar
Christians who have no worldview grounding, no theological grounding, and no historical context for their faith are doomed to follow any dictator, cult leader, or weird Pied Piper coming down the pike.
Several illustrations of the naivete of Christians are offered here; primary of which is the recent, enthusiastic reception among many evangelicals for a literary concoction entitled 'The Shack.' The author is concerned to address certain 'religious conditioning,' yet Kevin Swanson is concerned with the 'worldview/religious conditioning' of people who write books that favor a man-centered ethic and telos, Marxist egalitarianism (in the abolition of authority in the economic Trinity), and post-modern rule-less relativism.
Paul writing to the church at Corinth said, Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1 Corinthians 10:1
Paul did not want the Corinthians to be ignorant of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, why? what was so important about this time that the apostle Paul takes the time to remind them of this historical event?
I am currently teaching verse-by-verse through 1 Corinthians and we have come to chapter 10.
1 He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand.
2 And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar.
3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side;
4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.
7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.
8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?
9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not.
10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.
11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.
This is a chapter that you may have never heard a sermon preached on. Last Wednesday I taught on Ezekiel 9 and I think people can learn much from the message:
The book of Isaiah is often quoted from and even read from during certain times of the year. However, many people have never really studied the book of Isaiah and have no idea exactly what the book is about. Recently I taught an Overview of the book of Isaiah. I think many will find the message helpful. You can listen to the message here:
Granger Community Church is considered to be one the brightest stars in the Purpose-Driven Church universe and is the 6th most influential church in America. Thousands of churches have purchased, downloaded and preached Granger's sermons. Past and present pastors from Granger are considered 'rock stars' and thought leaders in purpose-driven / seeker-sensitive circles.
But how effective are these Purpose-Driven / Seeker-Sensitive methods at making true converts and true Christian disciples?
Well, Granger just released the results of their Reveal Now survey and the data is bleak. In fact, Granger and their 'pastoral' staff get an F. Here are some of the low lights.
To read the rest of this article and to see the results check out this link:
I post the following information with some sadness:
"Todd and Shonnah Bentley are presently experiencing significant friction in their relationship and are currently separated."
I cannot stand the doctrine of Todd Bentley and I cannot stand how his so called revival has deceived many. However, I hate to see any marriage fall apart, especially one that has this much attention in the world. The media that has reported over and over again on the Lakeland Revival is now going to report on this. I can see the following being said, God can raise the dead at Lakeland but he cannot keep a marriage together!
I believe there will be much more said about this situation in the near future.
Pray that God will use this situation to open the eyes of people and show them how false this revival was and call them back to the scriptures alone. Pray that God would work in the life of both Todd and Shonnah Bentley.
Nanette Burstein's American Teen documentary has hit the big screen with a limited release in major American cities. The film purports to be a realistic view of American adolescence, as Burstein went to Warsaw, Indiana in order to follow five teenagers through their senior year in high school. Parents who see the film will wonder if the documentary is as realistic as Burstein claims -- but they will worry that it is true.
American Teen won the Best Directing award for Burstein at the Sundance Film Festival, where the documentary was enthusiastically received. The big question now is whether the public will pay theater prices to see a film about what goes on at the local high school. Time will tell. In the meantime, the film is attracting controversy.
Burstein focuses on five high school seniors and, even as she insists that she did not play into stereotypes, the film's Web site advertises the central characters as "the jock," "the geek," "the rebel," "the princess," and "the heartthrob." Forgive me, but those seem to be the most stereotypical stereotypes of American adolescence.
The documentary is situated in rural America. Warsaw, Indiana is located just over a hundred miles outside of Chicago, which means that the town is hardly isolated. Nevertheless, the social context of the Warsaw Community High school seems realistic and recognizable -- but not at all reassuring.
Adolescent angst is the standard fare of coming-of-age stories and a staple of literature, drama, and film. From Romeo and Juliet and Catcher in the Rye to Rebel Without a Cause, Rumspringa, and Lord of the Flies, the insecurities, brutalities, and extremes of adolescent life have been on full display. Over the past several decades, adolescent psychologists have supplied the concept of the identity crisis as the therapeutic framework for expecting teenagers to misbehave. American Teen follows in this tradition. The general idea is that adolescent Sturm und Drang is just to be expected. Parents and other adults are to just "deal with it" and remember their own adolescent struggles.
The kids in American Teen do not come off well. Some, such as Megan ("the Princess"), are absolutely unlikeable. She is the rich kid of privilege who is spoiled, narcissistic, and ruthless. Once her parents are introduced, all is explained. When she is caught vandalizing a boy's home and is found guilty of sexual harassment her biggest worry is that she will not get into Notre Dame (she does). She explains that she has forgiven herself and her father suggests that her real problem was being stupid enough to get caught. Both belong on Oprah.
Jake ("the Geek"), is probably the most likeable teenager in the film, and he is almost surely the most authentic -- if simply because he is trapped within the identity that earned him the part. He, along with Hannah ("the Rebel"), brings nihilism to life. But, in his case at least, it is a rather happy and inconsistent nihilism -- the kid that marks the lives of so many American teens. Hannah, like Megan, is largely explained by her parents. She lives with neither parent, but with her elderly grandmother. Her mother is manic depressive and her father appears to be peripheral to her life. She wants to be remembered after she is dead, and hopes for a career in film. Jake, meanwhile, holds to a dream of protean transformation, confiding with the camera that he might turn into "Mr. Muscle" in college. The audience at the screening I attended laughed loudest at this point. Burstein clearly intended to use his hope as a laugh line.
Colin ("the Jock") is another of the more honest characters. His father, an Elvis impersonator, cannot pay for Colin to attend college and warns him that his only hope is a basketball scholarship. It's that or the Army, dad insists. Colin is the leading player on the Warsaw team, but he is selfish in hogging shots and hits a slump in his shooting. He finds athletic redemption (and earns a scholarship) when he learns to be less selfish and finds his groove once again. All Warsaw celebrates -- a reminder of the central role of high school athletics in small-town America. In Indiana, that means basketball.
Mitch ("the Heartthrob") is a bright and winsome character, but he dumps Hannah as his girlfriend with a text message. In the epilogue at the end of the movie, Mitch admits that he would never do that trick again, but the audience may wonder if he has really learned anything. He appears to glide through life with little worry and even less seriousness. Nevertheless, his aim is medical school.
Critics have questioned the authenticity of the film. Burstein defends her movie as an accurate and non-manipulated view of adolescent life but, as some reviewers have pointed out, she seems to have her camera on both parties in strategic phone conversations at just the right time. How can that happen by accident?
American Teen is not a remake of American Pie as a documentary. Burstein does not take her camera into the bedrooms of these teenagers nor does she depict them having sex. What the film does, however, is inform parents of the ruthlessly crude view of sex that pervades so much adolescent life. A girl sends a nude photo of herself by text message and then receives a series of vicious comments in return. Jake's older brother takes him to get drunk at a strip club. The kids speak in obscenities and vulgarities, and this is taken for granted by parents. When Megan refers to her father with a profane expression, he responds by asserting, 'You do not speak to your father that way." Well, Megan quite obviously does speak to her father that way.
The teenagers in American Teen are indeed stereotypes, but they are stereotypes with a ring of authenticity. This is depressing, but true. Some of the movie's critics suggest that Burstein has presented a white-washed tableau of American adolescence. Many viewers will fear that they are right -- even with all the problems of these five teens taken into consideration. This is small-town American after all.
There are no pregnant teenage girls, no stoned-out teenagers, no boys facing repeated juvenile charges. Are these teens not to be found in Warsaw?
But there are other teenagers missing from this picture of "realistic" adolescence. There are no teenagers who are believing and practicing Christians, none whose parents seem to be good examples to their children, none who appear to be looking and living for anything more significant than immediate gratification, popularity, or earthly glory. American Teen is likely to be a critical success and to attract considerable buzz at the box office. The message of the movie seems to be that this is just what adolescence is all about and how teenagers really live and think -- parents must just accept this and get out of the way. Nevertheless, if Christian parents see this movie, they are more likely to be newly determined not to settle for this reality for their own teenage children. Thankfully, American Teen doesn't have to be the story of your American teen.
I hope everyone is having a great weekend. Most of the readers of this blog know that I am a bi-vocational pastor. My other job often requires me to work some strange hours. Friday I went to work at 7:00am and had to work until 12:00pm. Then I had to return to work at 4:00am Saturday. I was able to go home at 7:00am Saturday but I must return at 11:00pm Saturday. I will then work until 7:00am Sunday morning. This means that I am trying to ensure I will have my sermons ready for tomorrow and it is going to be very difficult to preach after being up all night. Please pray that God will give me strength and that I can properly prepare a sermon that will be true to the text of scripture. Sunday morning I will continue my verse-by-verse study of 1 Corinthians. We will be looking at 1 Corinthians 10:5-13. If you would like to hear the sermons from this series you can at this link: Corinthians
Sunday night we will be looking at 1 Kings 19:9-13
Question of the Day:
I received the following question by e-mail: I have been listening to your sermons on Catholicism and have a question.Regarding the popes infallibility I believe you are correct but how do you address the Orthodox churches belief? They do not believe in the infallibility of the pope and this was the reason for the great schism.
Can you answer the question?
How well do you know the beliefs of the Orthodox Church?
The Orthodox Church is experiencing a time of growth in the United States yet most Christians have no idea what they believe and have never taken the time to actually study the doctrine of the Orthodox Church.
This is an online radio station in which you can learn much about the Orthodox Church. They have a number of podcast in which you can listen to and subscrine to as well: Here is the link: Podcast
Of course you can do a search on Google and find many resources about the Orthodox Church. Remember an important point. When studying a doctrinal system always reference books written by and that are authoritative to the group you are studying. Do not simply find a book written by someone who is opposed to the group. Seek to truly learn what the group believes not what others think they believe.
So I challenge you to see if you can answer the question I was asked. Do some research and let me know how you would answer the person. You can send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: As our spring board we are looking at a very revealing passage of scripture about the subject of the scriptures. Two very important points we can draw from this text are 1.) the Bible is a God-Breathed book that's what the word inspiration means and 2.) the Bible is all the believer needs in order to grow and walk with God. We don't need some sort of additional information or additional revelation, no we need God's Spirit to help us understand and apply this God-Breathed book!
Having said this, it seems every time you turn around you see some book called "The Lost Books Of The Bible" or a National Geographic program on "The Gospel of Judas". Perhaps you've heard of "The Gospel of Thomas" or "The Gospel Of The Egyptians" or "The Gospel Of Mary". There were approximately 85 books claiming to be Gospel accounts of either the life or words of Christ. Several of these books focus on the early childhood of Christ and they are referred to as "infancy gospels" and the Gospel Of Thomas would be in this group.
The people that promote these books would have you to believe that there was a conspiracy in the early church to censor certain writings from the Bible. Is this true? Was there some intricate cover up? Or can you trust the Bible you have? I'm going to point out some things that some how fail to get included in most secular presentations on this subject.
I. Consider The DATES Of The Writings The thing that distinguishes the books of the N.T. from all of the other supposed "lost books of the Bible" is that the books of the N.T. actually date back to the eyewitnesses of the events of the N.T.
No one actually believes that Thomas wrote the Gospel of Thomas, because even its proponents know that the book was not written during the lifetime of Thomas, unless of course you believe Thomas lived to be almost 200 years old. The Gospel of Judas never even claims to have been written by Judas Iscariot or by anyone who would have known him; this is even conceded by the Gnostic defenders of this book. All of the pseudo gospels were not written early enough to have been written by the people whose names are on the books. You may ask, "Do you mean that people actually forged books and falsely claimed they were written by the apostles? Absolutely! Even in the 1st century people were passing around forged epistles claiming that Paul wrote them. It was for this reason that Paul always authenticated his epistles. 2 Thessalonians 3:17, 18 "The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Paul said that he always penned the salutation (the contents of vs.18) in his own hand as a token (sign, indication) that this was an authentic epistle from him. (See also 1 Corinthians 16:21, 23 and Galatians 6:11, 18) None of the false writings can be connected with an apostle, a companion of an apostle, or to a person who would have known Jesus. This is one of the reasons why the early church rejected these writings because they had no connection with the people or events of the N.T.
Now contrast this with the books of the N.T. Four of the authors were apostles: Matthew, John, Peter, and Paul. Apostles were eyewitnesses and earwitnesses of the life, teachings and resurrection of Christ. Matthew in Matthew 9 records his own conversion; John and Peter weigh in as well as to the veracity of their accounts. 1 John 1:1-3, 2 Peter 1:16-18 Paul's testimony is recorded more than any other individual's in the Bible and he claimed to have both seen and been personally taught by Christ. The other N.T. writers were men who had a connection either with an apostle or with Christ Himself or with both. These include: John Mark, Luke, James, and Jude. John Mark was a companion of the disciples during the ministry of Christ, the nephew of Barnabas who is identified as an apostle in Acts 14:14, and a companion of the apostle Paul. Luke was a Greek doctor who was a companion of Paul and his gospel account is essentially a dissertation on the teaching and ministry of Christ. James and Jude were both the half brothers of Jesus, enough said.
II. Consider The DOCTRINE Of The Writings Another problem with the false writings is that they are not doctrinally compatible with the N.T. books. Many are admittedly Gnostic writings such as the Apocryphon (secret book) of John. Gnostics predate Christianity and tried to highjack the early church with their Greek philosophy. They believed that all matter was inherently evil and therefore Christ could not have actually taken on flesh, which John dealt with this heresy in 1 John 4:1-3. They also believed that in order to truly arrive spiritually you had to be a recipient of the secret gnosis (knowledge), so that's why they were big on the "secret books". Remember what Paul told Timothy? 2 Timothy 3:16, 17"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." We don't need secret knowledge from some sort of secret source or some secret hidden code, God is in the revelation business and the Bible is His revelation of Himself to mankind!
The false writings are rampant with all kinds of teachings not consistent with the teachings of the N.T. “A book known as the Gospel of Thomas records an incident when a child threw a stone at the boy Jesus. Jesus said, “Thou shalt not finish thy course,” and the child fell down dead. This account does not match what we know about Jesus from the four gospels; so the Gospel of Thomas was rejected as a false book by the early church” A careful reading of Luke 9:51-56 demonstrates that this is not consistent with the character of Jesus. The gospel of Judas portrays Judas as a hero who only betrayed Christ because Christ instructed him to do so. Does this square with the N.T.? Luke 22:3; John 13:27 Both of these scripture teach that the betrayal of Christ was motivated by Satan not Jesus. In Matthew 26:24 Jesus said that it would have been better for Judas if he had not been born. In John 17:12 Jesus referred to Judas as the “…son of perdition…” a name ascribed to only Judas and the Anti-Christ. These teachings that are perpetuated by these writings are not consistent with the teachings of the apostles and therefore, should be rejected. Galatians 1:8“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
Conclusion: We know that the preservation of the message is really a work of God rather than man. Psalm 12:6,7 And we should not allow ourselves to be adversely affected by any “new” discoveries, because we can have absolute confidence in the Bible and its message.
Youngblood, R. F., Bruce, F. F., Harrison, R. K., & Thomas Nelson Publishers. 1995. Nelson's new illustrated Bible dictionary. Rev. ed. of: Nelson's illustrated Bible dictionary.; Includes index. T. Nelson: Nashville
Pensacola Christian College announced on Thursday that they will soon release the much anticipated "THiPhone." With the recent popularity of Apple's iPhone, many fundamentalists have been looking for a way to enjoy the convenience of the technology but without compromising their principles by using the "vulgar, base, worldly, accursed things."
"I'll admit, the technology is amazing, but I just couldn't bring myself to buy one," said Pastor Kenneth Hamperton of Bible Believers Sword of the Lord Baptist Church. "So many people own these phones and are listening to Kid Rock and Snoop Doggy Doo (sic) on them. Now while I wouldn't listen to such trash I know that someone might see me listening to my iPhone and say 'Hey look, brother Hamperton is listening to Kid Rock I bet. I guess I can too!' I don't want to be a stumbling block. We're called to be separate you know."
But the THiPhone, developed by a joint venture between the Science and Communications departments at P.C.C., promises to provide all of the functions of the iPhone but without the "evil" things normally associated with it. The THiPhone has many of the same features as the iPhone but with the following changes.
Like the popular "ePhod" the THiPhone will not play any songs with "bad" music, such as music with offbeats, hand clapping or distorted guitars.
The THiPhone comes pre-installed with a mobile version of Net Finney to prevent any Calvinist or Reformed websites from being visited.
The THiPhone will play videos but only recorded services from the P.C.C. campus church.
The THiPhone's camera can only take pictures of modest clothing or the P.C.C. campus.
There are also features that allow P.C.C. students to report other students who might be engaged in "rebellion" such as using the telephone in someone else's room or walking on the grass or speaking favorably of the Puritans.
The THiPhone's release is planned for this fall with a starting price of $399.