Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Archive for November, 2009

The REAL Santa Claus Was Nicholas, Pastor Of The Church At Myra!

Posted by Job on November 27, 2009

Teach your children the truth, not the lie!After reading this Christian parents, you have absolutely no excuse for lying to your children about the lie, which is an evil combination of pagan mythology and American capitalism (i.e. Coca-Cola and department stores) plus the obvious fact that this world much prefers to talk about Santa Claus and other works-based pagan “the spirit of giving” nonsense than about Jesus Christ. Well, the REAL Nicholas was a man who began preaching about Jesus Christ at a young age and suffered mightily for the gospel. Now even this recounting is not totally free of pagan Catholic myth (though not some of the worst pagan nonsense that was developed around this preacher is in here) but the truth of a man who lived and suffered for the gospel of Jesus Christ is still here. Folks, “Santa Claus” is the main reason why Christmas is much more significant in the west than is Easter, a holiday which is much harder to separate from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Lots of people think St. Nicholas is just another name for Santa Claus.

After all, Santa also is called “Father Christmas” and “Kris Kringle” and other names. Actually, “Santa Claus” is itself a mispronunciation of the Dutch name “SinterKlass,” which was their way of saying St. Nicholas.

But behind all the names is a boy who actually lived in what was then Lycia in the fourth century A.D., about 1,700 years ago. His name was Nicholas. There are many legends about this boy and the man he became, and behind those legends is the story of St. Nicholas.

When Nicholas was a little boy, a plague struck Patara, the town where he lived. Both his parents got sick and died, so Nicholas went to live with his uncle who was a monk in a monastery. His uncle, the abbot, taught him all about God and Jesus from the Bible. Nicholas wanted to become a monk when he grew up.

Nicholas’ parents were wealthy when they died and monks are supposed to be poor. So Nicholas resolved to give away all his money to help those who were needy, especially other children in trouble. He determined to be sneaky, so they would not know from where the money came. For example, a man was selling rugs to pay his debts. His wife and children had no food. Nicholas bought some Turkish rugs from the man, paying him much more than they were worth. Then, making an excuse, he gave the rugs back to the man’s wife.

The most famous story about his generosity involves three girls who could not get married because their father had lost all of his money and could not pay their dowry. The only option for these girls was slavery or, worse, prostitution. Nicholas heard about that and came up with a plan.

When the first daughter was ready to marry, he tossed a stocking full of gold coins through her bedroom window late at night. Using that as her dowry, she was able to marry. Soon after that, Nicholas tossed a sock full of money through the second daughter’s window. She, too, married.

But when Nicholas crept up to the house with a third sock full of money for the youngest daughter, he found all of the windows shut. So he climbed up on the roof of the house and dropped it down the chimney.

It landed in a stocking that had been hung on the fireplace to dry, giving us the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings.

After helping many people, Nicholas started having a strange dream. Not just once but several times — and always the same. In his dream, Jesus gave him a book of Gospels covered with jewels, and the robes of a priest.

When Nicholas told his uncle about the dream, his uncle told him that Jesus must want him to become a priest. Soon he did just that, even though he was still in his teens. As a priest, Nicholas was zealous to tell people about Jesus, and always looking for ways to help people in need or children in trouble. People talked about the kind “boy priest.”

Nicholas lived in a time when the Roman Emperor forcefully ruled much of the world. Nicholas went on a trip to see the Holy Lands. He sailed on a ship to Egypt, famous for its monumental temples and the library and lighthouse at Alexandria. But Egypt was in ruins; the Romans had persecuted and killed many people. Many others were left hungry and poor.

Nicholas also traveled to Palestine to see the places where Jesus had walked — but Jerusalem was also in ruins, the temple torn down and burned. That, too, had been done by the Romans. Nicholas visited with Christians and churches along the way, and encouraged them to help the poor and needy. While there, he had a dream that Jesus was placing a bishop’s crown on his head.

On his way home, the ship he was on got caught in a terrible storm. The ship was tossed and the rigging torn. Some of the sailors were lost at sea, others abandoned the ship and the three left were terribly afraid the ship might crash on the rocks, praying to God for mercy.

Nicholas came up on deck and joined them in their prayer. Just then, the storm stopped and the waters became calm. Very early the next morning, the little ship limped into the nearest port, a city called Myra-in Lycia, a long way from Nicholas’ home.

The three sailors told everyone how their ship had been saved when the young priest, Nicholas, had prayed with them.

“It was like a miracle!” they said.

Nicholas hurried off to a church for morning prayers, to give thanks.

The city of Myra had no bishop at that time. The previous one had died, and the remaining priests could not agree on who to elect as the new bishop. There were three priests at the church that morning, maybe more. They had been praying all night and each had had the same dream, that they were to make the first worshipper who came for morning prayers the new bishop.

Nicholas, a stranger in Myra, and still a youth (but a priest), was the first to arrive. How surprised he was when the priests told him he was to become the bishop. At first he hesitated, but they insisted, telling him of their dreams. Then he remembered his own dream.

So young Nicholas became the bishop of Myra.

Myra was an important city. As its bishop. St. Nicholas was known for his piety and zeal for Jesus and his holy church. When Nicholas taught the gospel, people said it was like receiving precious gems. He was equally concerned about the poor and needy, and helping children and others in trouble. He set a constant example, often helping people in secret ways. Many pagans were converted and baptized through his loving ministry.

But soon Nicholas was imprisoned.

The new Roman emperor, Diocletian, hated Christians and was determined to hunt them all down and kill them, or make them deny their faith. That was someone between 303 and 311 A.D. It was one of the greatest persecutions of the church; many Christians were cruelly tortured and murdered.

The three jailers guarding Nicholas tried and tried to convince him to deny his faith in Jesus. They tortured him. He was hungry and cold and wearing chains, but he taught them about Jesus and his church. He was kind to them, despite their insults. His hair and beard grew long and shaggy. In his suffering, he entrusted Jesus to protect him, and prayed for the other Christians to stand firm.

Eventually, things changed. A new emperor, Constantine, took the throne. He made Christianity the official religion of the empire. Nicholas and other imprisoned Christians were set free. Bishop Nicholas went back to his people in Myra, with his beard white and his face wrinkled.

His eyes sparkled when he talked about Jesus and the church, and he always had something for the poor and needy. He loved children and they loved him, too. Although he still was secretive about helping people, many knew about his kind deeds. But Nicholas could be firm, too — especially when false teachers would try to influence his churches.

In 325 A.D., 300 bishops gathered in the city of Nicaea to discuss the teachings of a man named Arius. He questioned Jesus’ divinity and his teaching had infected many — but not in Myra, thanks to Nicholas’ constant vigilance. Arius claimed that Jesus, as the son of God, was not eternal but created by the father as an instrument for the salvation of the world. Therefore, he was not God by nature, but a changeable creature.

Though Nicholas was not a major figure in the council, it is said that in the midst of the discussions, Nicholas actually slapped Arius for his false teaching. Because of that, some bishops wanted Nicholas removed as bishop — until Jesus and his mother appeared in their dreams and told them differently.

Nicholas died on Dec. 6, 345 or 352 A.D. Hundreds of churches have been named after him.

So this is the real St. Nicholas — an orphaned boy who became a priest and then a bishop. Who gave away all his wealth to the poor and especially to children in trouble. Who stood firm for his lord Jesus and his holy church in the midst of terrible persecution, and opposed false teachers as well.

A movie about the pastor of Myra has been made, but it has had trouble finding a distributor.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1058094/

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Afghan Christians Stabbed And Attacked While Distributing Fliers In England!

Posted by Job on November 26, 2009

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/boys-knifed-and-beaten-as-they-offer-christian-flyers

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How To Make Your Own Gospel Tracts

Posted by Job on November 24, 2009

Back when I used to support the ministry of televangelist Bill Keller – before I stopped because of his being a Billy Grahamesque and apologist of Roman Catholics – an anecdote from a media account of his ministry caused me some concern. It appears that a fellow who was suffering from depression and other issues saw Keller’s TV show, called in to ask for prayer and counseling, and agreed to say the salvation prayer with one of Keller’s several volunteer phone counselors (which includes a number of Roman Catholic priests, just as Billy Graham had Roman Catholic clergy available at his revivals). This fellow reported that not long after securing his confession of faith, his conversation with Keller’s prayer counselor ended, and he never heard from them again. Although he reports that his life made a marked turn for the better after his phone counseling and saying the salvation prayer (his depression and feeling of hopelessness left, and he proposed to marry his live-in girlfriend, who accepted) he was not sure if he was saved, was unsure if he should be considered a Christian, and had no idea on how to proceed on any sort of faith journey or Christian walk, including reading his Bible.

I considered this to be a simple oversight of one of Keller’s counselors – as Keller does promise to to have his counselors get the address of everyone who calls his prayer line and send them materials – but it still left me wondering about just how many people who made confessions of faith due to Keller’s ministry and were then left to their own devices. Even in the case of people who do receive materials from Keller’s ministry, Keller does not have or represent a church, and I have difficulty imagining that he would be in a position to personally recommend one to many of the geographically far-flung people that he evangelizes.

I have similar concerns about some of the popular gospel tract ministries. They are effective at winning confessions of faith, but what about discipleship afterwards, i.e. placing people under the authority of a pastor, a shepherd who can lead and model them to Christian maturity? How many people converted by these gospel tract ministries do not receive guidance concerning the importance of doing so, or which church to join? Of course, for those that God uses such evangelists to convert, we can and must have faith that He will guide and take care of His sheep. However, those of us who do support and participate in some of the popular tract ministries such as those by Jack Chick, American Tract Society and Way of the Master/Living Waters can add a simple step: including a handbill or addition to every tract that you distribute that contains the name, address, and phone number of your local church. That way, anyone who reads your tract and believes the gospel will be able to contact your pastor or attend your church.

I would imagine that many churches, even those who still emphasize door to door and street evangelism, do not have such things handy. However, there is a quick, easy and cheap way to make your own that I myself took advantage of. A person can go to a place that makes business cards, post cards, stationary or similar and create their own tract additions (or their own tracts period) that contain contact information for their local church. (I would suggest not giving out  your pastor’s personal contact information unless you have his permission). Businesses providing such services are easy to find and use, and it is relatively cheap. I myself used Vista Print, an online firm that allows you to create such items using their pre-configured templates. I created 150 postcards (chosen because of they are bigger than business cards but still small enough to go inside or with most tracts) that contained the general contact information for my church on the front and a few verses related to evangelism (John 3:14-17, Romans 10:9, Philippians 2:9-11) on the back. Took about an hour, most of which was spent deciding to choose postcards over business cards and stationery, and picking out a template (though VistaPrint does have templates for church and religious purposes, I chose a basic one that was blank on the front and back that allowed me to add text and upload a picture).

Please DO NOT consider this an endorsement of Vista Print, whom I only chose because I had used them in the past and already had an account with them, so it was faster. There are many capable of providing this service, both online and traditional, further it can be done yourself via desktop publishing (something that I know absolutely nothing about other than this free open source desktop publishing software Scribus, which I will use myself when I have the time to learn how to do so). Instead, this is just a suggestion to those Christians with gospel tract ministries that I hope will prove useful. My own first batch of “gospel tract postcards” will arrive in about a week, right in time for me to start handing them out to Christmas shoppers.

Posted in Bible, christian living, Christianity, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, Jesus Christ, orthodoxy, orthopraxy | Tagged: , , , , | 37 Comments »

Desiring God’s Prison Ministry

Posted by Job on November 22, 2009

Desiring God’s Prison Ministry

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John MacArthur: Assorted Attacks On The Bible

Posted by Job on November 21, 2009

http://gty.org

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Individualism Versus Corporate Solidary

Posted by Job on November 21, 2009

The western individualist and self-centered mindset is against Biblical Christianity, which is that of corporate solidarity. Instead of viewing ourselves as individual Christians helping ourselves through the power of Jesus Christ, we should view ourselves as one collective, one body, one group of people, one elect and holy nation serving and helping each other through the power of Jesus Christ. The message of Christianity is not how God empowers us to meet our own needs. Instead, that is more consistent with new age spirituality. Rather, the message of Christianity is how God works through the collective corporate Body of Christ, the bride of Christ, to do God’s will, which includes but is not limited to meeting the needs of Christians.

It appears that in the west, we have created a false, syncretized view of Christianity that conforms to our own economic and political mindsets where each Christian goes to God for himself and his family and expects God to react to each individual family or household, and the benefits of God are limited to that household, plus perhaps any benefit that a local congregation gets from receiving this household’s tithes and offerings. This is not the Biblical model. Instead the Biblical model is that of the church seeing itself as a living organism, a whole unit where each part is just as interconnected with and concerned with each other as itself. For instance, just as a body cannot walk if it has no feet or it cannot feed itself if it has no hands or arms, Christians are negatively impacted if other Christians are suffering under hunger, poverty, oppression, racism, immorality or false doctrines. Instead of harshly judging and closing our hearts and minds for these Christians, we should pray and intercede for them, work to help them, and advocate justice for them.

Christianity is not a group of assorted individuals seeking their destiny and fortune and doing right what is according to their own eyes. That was the condition of the children of Israel in the book of Judges, a time of great apostasy. Instead, Christians are to be one, have love for one another, and be their brother’s keeper!

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How To Be Poor

Posted by Job on November 21, 2009

If you spend your life helping others, chances are you will be poor. If you spend your life helping yourself, chances are you will be rich. That is why Jesus Christ said BLESSED ARE THE POOR!

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A Question For Christians: Should Battered Wives Leave Their Husbands?

Posted by Job on November 21, 2009

I would like to hear a scriptural response on this topic. It can also be expanded to include wives whose husbands are abusing their children. I wish for it to cover two areas.

1. Remaining with the abusive husband versus separation.

2. Permanent separation versus temporary conditional separation.

3. Separation versus seeking a legal divorce.

Of course, according to scripture a wife is free to divorce a husband who sexually abuses his children according to the specific explicit statement of Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:9 (“fornication” in the King James Version should instead be translated as “sexual immorality). I would also assert that a woman is free to divorce a husband who rapes her according to the same specific statement. However, I am unaware of a specific explicit statement on the matter of divorce in the case of physical violence. I would like for anyone who can make a sound Biblical case on the matter that divorce is acceptable for wives who are being physically abused to make it.

I also have the opinion that separation is a completely different matter from divorce, and that a husband or wife can separate if there is a compelling reason (i.e. not being done capriciously or as a manipulation tactic), and that abuse of any sort towards a spouse or child is obviously a compelling reason, as is (for example) addiction to drugs or alcohol.

This is a very difficult topic, so I would like to hear Biblical opinions on the issue. Thank you.

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A Question For Premillennial Dispensational Christians: Didn’t Daniel’s 70 Weeks End In 70 AD?

Posted by Job on November 21, 2009

Consider this link and give a response please.

http://www.biblewheel.com/History/Daniel_70_Weeks.asp

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$130 Million For A Church Building? Maybe The House Church Advocates Have A Point!

Posted by Job on November 20, 2009

What would your church do with $130,000,000.00?

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Killing The Fuzzy Gospel

Posted by Job on November 20, 2009

Killing the Fuzzy Gospel – We’ve Got a Problem (Pt. 1)

Killing the Fuzzy Gospel – Moving Forward (Pt. 2)

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Our Great High Priest Jesus Christ In The Book Of Hebrews

Posted by Job on November 20, 2009

Our Great High Priest in Hebrews: The Son Greater than the Prophets (pt. 1)

Our Great High Priest in Hebrews: The Son Greater than the Angels (pt. 2)

Our Great High Priest in Hebrews: The Son Greater than the Angels (pt. 3)

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Voddie Baucham: The Wide and the Narrow Gate

Posted by Job on November 20, 2009

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