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Let Him In By Winans Phase 2: Why It Is Not Gospel Music But Blasphemy

Posted by Job on March 4, 2012

As concerning Christian music and other things concerning worship, I am not a traditional fundamentalist. I disagree with the position of John Calvin and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation, which is that songs, music and dance were primarily related to the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament religion of the Hebrews, those things were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and therefore the only permissible form of worship is hymns sung a capella (without music). Yet, that position is actually superior to the common claim that the only permissible mode of worship is that which dominated western culture in the 18th and early 19th century, a cultural/ethnocentric position because it is an indisputable fact of history that the early church – the ancient predominantly middle/near eastern one recorded in the New Testament – did not worship after the manner of Europeans that came along over 1500 years later. So, Christian country, Christian classical and opera music, Christian rock, Christian rap, gospel music (both contemporary and traditional) and the many other varieties under the sun by members of Body of Christ that is indwelt by and serves as a tabernacle for the Spirit of Christ are permissible, so long as it – along with everything else in Christianity – is governed by God’s revelation as preserved in the Bible.

The mere fact that the music is being performed by Christians does not make it acceptable to God, and neither does the intent of the performers or the effect that playing the music has on the regenerate (i.e. causing vigorous worship) or the unregenerate (i.e. helping them understand the gospel and lead them to conversion). The music is also not sanctified by the message (i.e. the lyrics) or the venue (i.e. being performed at a church or in a Christian concert). Moreover, the purpose of the music is to worship God, not to entertain people. Again, merely because it was made to entertain, inspire or aid Christians does not make it Christian music. If it was made to evangelize the lost to cause them to become Christians, then it is not Christian music. If it was made for people, then it is “people music.” Only if it is made for Christ does it become Christian music. And as with everything else, Jesus Christ did leave us in His Bible guidelines for what are acceptable.

Without going into a “theology of worship” discussion, two scripture texts that can be used as guidelines for choosing which music to listen to, include in worship, or (if per chance you are one who creates Christian music) compose are Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 12:28-29. The former reads “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Now this does not mean that Christians are commanded to reject popular or other music forms created or embraced by the world as worldly, or to create a distinctively Christian music form.

Christianity is not a religion of rules and rituals, but a religion of the heart. Thus, if your heart is not right, then your music will not be right either. So, rather than being some rule that would enjoin worldly musicians from making worldly music and from worldly listeners from hearing it – which appears to be the position of some of my fundamentalist friends – the message of Romans 12:1-2 is to not be worldly. Worldly musicians will make worldly music. Worldly listeners will listen to worldly music. The reason is that those people are of the flesh and will live accordingly. But Godly people will make and listen to Godly music because they are of God’s Spirit and will live according to God’s Spirit. No rules, regulations, rituals, customs, traditions etc. will made a worldly person Holy Spirit-filled and Holy Spirit-led in worship or anything else. And of course, such vain external trappings of false religion (John 7:24) should not keep true believers in bondage. So, if you are worldly, the world is what an artist will be thinking about, striving to emulate and please, when he makes his music. Further, if you are a worldly listener, you will not want music that reminds you of God and His attributes, but rather music that reminds you of the world that is your first love. But if you are Godly, then your desire to know and please God – your first love – will be reflected in the music that you make and/or listen to.

Now for the second text, Hebrews 12:28-29, which is not only an explicit command to guide worship, but tells us why this command or rule exists. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Note that “we may serve”, as the King James Version translators rendered it, is the Greek word latreuō, which can means “to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship.” This definition fits the context, which is why other good translations use “worship” or “praise”. The English Standard Version renders Hebrews 12:28 with this very issue in mind (arguably making it more of an interpretation/commentary than a mere translation!) with “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

So make no mistake, this text commands us to worship God in an acceptable manner, and that the only acceptable manner is reverence. Again, reverence is not a rule, ritual or tradition, but a matter of the heart. The Old Testament bears this out. God gave Israel a specific, detailed collection of rules and rituals to follow concerning the manner in which He would be worshiped. What happened? They didn’t follow it. Why? Because their hearts were not right. They did not love God, they did not have a desire to know or serve God, so they did not consistently keep the religious forms that God gave them for any length of time. This was so as a general rule anyway. The remnant, the elect chosen and preserved by God, DID worship God to the best of their ability. So, even from the Old Testament we know that rules banning rock guitars, hip-hop drumbeats, or everything but hymns without musical accompaniment are vanities in a heart that is hardened. Just as a worldly heart will lust after the world, and irreverent heart will never know reverence in its cold, dead and depraved condition.

By contrast, a regenerate heart will revere God. Why? Again, Hebrews 12:28 tells us. Be not deceived: it is not mere mutable emotion that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon, but something far more permanent. 1. Born again Christians are grateful to God for our permanent kingdom that cannot be shaken; that we will spend an eternity with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem (commonly called heaven). This fact serves as a powerful hope, inspiration and driving force that remains constant no matter our circumstances or emotional state. 2. Our God is a consuming fire! Born again Christians do not erect false idols of nonexistent deities that will not punish the wicked. Instead, we love the truth – that God will punish and destroy the wicked – because this truth confirms God’s holiness and power, and we love God because He is holy and powerful! A safe god, a god that we can transgress and disrespect without consequence, or one who only punishes us for crimes committed against His creation (i.e. only sending murderers, thieves and rapists to hell for what they have done TO PEOPLE) and not for offenses done against God’s holiness is no God at all. Scripture makes it clear from beginning to end that God is One who demands and is holiness. God does have the whole world in His Hands after the manner of the children’s nursery rhyme, but make no mistake: God is no child’s toy, or anyone’s toy for that matter. The elect is indeed safe in the arms of Jesus Christ, as an old hymn asserts, but this same Jesus Christ – the same One who drove the thieves out of the temple with a whip and will one day return riding a white horse and carrying a two edged sword with which to horribly punish the wicked – isn’t safe! For those who reject this and deny that our God is a consuming fire, they should instead be confronted with the reality that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31, plus a rather well known sermon)!

It is not merely a “we must worship God in this manner or God will send fire down from heaven and consume us” sort of fear, though Christians should certainly remember Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Ananias and Sapphira when that very sort of thing did happen if only for the typology. Instead, it is simply a truth that God has disclosed His Divine Nature to us in the Bible, and those that are regenerate and hence truly love God will respond to God’s self revelation by acting in accordance to that revelation, not against it. Again, this is something that will not happen by way of adherence to ritual, or creating rules based on human comprehension of the facts of scripture, but as the elect are carried along by God’s Holy Spirit. Similar to salvation (consider what Jesus Christ told His disciples when they were astonished after the rich young ruler incident) with man, it is impossible to achieve worship that is spiritual and reverent, for man is only capable of worldly irreverent worship that mocks, hates and rejects God. But with God, it is possible to attain reverent spiritual worship that is liberated from the rusted shackles of carnality, and it is indeed achieved. This is done because it is God’s will to receive reverent spiritual worship that is pleasing to Him, and God’s will is most certainly done.

In conclusion, I will provide the example – a negative one – which motivated this entry: Let Him In By Winans Phase 2. It is simply one of the most egregious ones that I have encountered. For those who are uninitiated as concerning the R&B music genre, this song is – not emulates but is – a “slow jam”, meaning a romantic song. The purpose of the “slow jam” is to create a mindset – or mental atmosphere – of emotional and physical intimacy, including – but not limited to – sexual intercourse. (Of course, not a few artists in this genre make such songs solely and entirely for the purpose of promoting sexual intercourse, and take it as a compliment when their fans inform them that their music was played on their prom nights, wedding nights, when their children were conceived, etc.) And keep in mind: when such intimacy is not available or attainable, the purpose of the music is to remind people of such intimacy, or cause them to desire for or aspire to it! Make no mistake, that is the primary reason why such music exists, it is the primary reason why it is so popular with the artists who make it – as many of the artists are lovers of sensuality – and it is also why the music is so commercially successful.

And “Let Him In” by Winans Phase 2 is a song after this genre and spirit. The musical accompaniment is entirely sensual. So is the way that the song is sung. But that is not the main problem.Consider this: the “Let Him In” title of the song – and it is also a refrain, repetitively sung in a soft, sensual manner! – is an evangelistic plea to convert to Christianity. (It is based on the very common misapplication of Revelation 3:20, but the issue here is not the free will salvation theology advocated by the song, but the song’s irreverent form.)  Again, based on the musical and lyrical style, the purpose of it was to emulate an R&B “love song” (when in truth most “love songs” should be renamed “amorous songs” as they are far more often concerned with physical attraction and emotional infatuation than actual, Biblical love). Further, “let him in” is a widely known euphemism that has the purpose of requesting sexual intercourse. Make no mistake, as a large number of R&B (and rap/hip-hop) songs have a very similar musical and vocal sound and use the same “let him in” phrase according to its common meaning, how is it possible for one very familiar with the genre to listen to that song without making that association? Of course, it is possible to suppress it, and undoubtedly the professed Christians who listen to this very popular song do so. But had this song been reverent in the first place, it would not have been necessary. It is not the duty of the listener to suppress what the song would have certainly meant were it in a different genre, the genre that this song was intended to sound like. Instead, it is the duty of the Christian performer not to make a song that sounds very much like an entreaty for the listener to consent to Jesus Christ performing a sex act on him (or her)!

That sounded strong to you? Well, consider the lyrics to this song. Now they deny that the song is carnal on one hand, but the song elsewhere says – concerns Jesus Christ – “He’s making love to my heart.” Which by the way … A REFERENCE TO APPEARS FOUR TIMES! (I want to point out: THIS SONG IS BEING SUNG BY MEN. It would still be blasphemy were it sung by women, but I just wanted to point that out.) Some other lyrics from this homosexual love ballad – excuse me, gospel song: “Sweet as can be”, “I love the way he talks to me”, “Oooh I’m so happy.” Also, one of the “He’s making love to my heart” references asks the listener to “let him make love to your heart.” Again (and I do not intend this to be Mark Driscoll vulgar here): “let him in” in is colloquial context is a request to allow a man to have intercourse with you made by some intermediary. A common application is when a man is dating a woman, wants to have intercourse with her, but she is reluctant. So, the man gets a mutual friend of theirs to go to this reluctant woman on his behalf and tell her “Come on. He’s your boyfriend. You know you like him. You know you want him. You have been dating how long? Three months? What are you waiting for? How much longer are you going to wait? Come on, let him in!” When you read the lyrics, it honestly appears as if the meaning of the “let him in” phrase was not something that they were unaware, or some horrible accidental coincidence, but instead something that they directly, purposefully incorporated into the song, as the entire song itself is concerned with sexuality! The song explicitly says, in multiple occasions – “Jesus Christ is making love with my heart, let Jesus Christ make love with your heart!” And then it makes use of Revelation 3:20 (which is directly referenced in with “I’m here to let you know he’s knocking at your door to let him in”!) to make the connotation of the euphemism direct and complete. The song purposefully, directly associates – indeed depicts – Christian conversion and Christian living with sexual encounters with Jesus Christ in the same way that Paul associated the Christian’s life with an athlete running  a race. Now John MacArthur spoke of the rape of the Song of Solomon by Mark Driscoll. Well “Let Him In” constitutes no less than a (homosexual!) rape of Revelation 3:20 by Winans Phase 2.

This is merely the most egregious example that I am aware of. As I no longer listen to Christian music radio of any genre and merely happened upon this song, there are probably many others as bad or worse. But it serves as a good example of a song that is not reverent and is very much worldly. Though this song purports to be evangelistic, the truth is that it represents an attempt by carnal-minded people to win converts by relying on the basest of means. It is the “sex sells” approach to evangelism and discipleship that is advocated in this age by many, including Rick Warren and Ed Young Jr.

Rest assured, one cannot be carnal and worldly and be saved. One must be made holy, and this holiness is only achieved through Jesus Christ. The Bible does not tell us to become converted by lustfully imagining a sexual encounter with Jesus Christ. Instead, it tells us to repent of our sins and believe that Jesus Christ died for sins in the place of the sinner, was worthy to do so because of His being the Son of God, and was resurrected from the dead. If you have not done so already, I urge and entreat you to do so immediately. Click on the link below to receive some information on how to do so.

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T.D. Jakes Exposed For The Heretical Liar That He Is And What It Means For The Church

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

All right folks. I said that I was going to give this online discernment ministry thing up. The first reason was that there were too many false teachers and doctrines to keep track of. The second reason was that based on my interactions with those following these false preachers even after their unBiblical scandalous doctrines and behavior had been exposed that folks were going to believe what they choose to believe anyway. The third was that I had felt that I had adequately addressed the issue with the 3 years of blogging that I did dedicate to the topic. The fourth was that I felt that the best way to combat error was with the truth, so I decided to take this site in a more exegetical direction. And the last of those was also chosen for practical reasons: I no longer have the time to answer comments and interact with people that I did back when I made exposing false teachers so writing about scripture’s meaning and application seemed to be a superior use of time (and yes I do need to get back to writing about the Bible).

But the T.D. Jakes issue is timely right now due to Jakes’ recent appearance at a respected evangelical event of some estimation where he was “interviewed” by Mark Driscoll, where the topic of Jakes’ rejection of the Holy Trinity was discussed. Now I don’t mean to attack anybody, but one Christian blogger quickly proclaimed Jakes’s statement satisfies me that he is a Trinitarian and that we should celebrate that Jakes has joined the Trinitarian camp. (Which, er, makes all his time as a false preaching modalist heretic and the people that he deceived during that time “ok” I guess. The truth is that at best he was an unregenerate false teacher when he was in the pulpit before, and even if he believes in the Holy Trinity NOW and is born again NOW, he has no business in the pulpit. His previous experience and service is worthless, and he needs to take his place in the pews learning from an actual Christian pastor. Otherwise, we can go get Jewish rabbis, Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Muslim imams, and liberal “Christians” who perform homosexual “marriage” ceremonies and put them into the pulpit immediately after they say a salvation prayer.)

Another Christian blogger made a similar – though more guarded – statement: “By far, the session that was most anticipated was the one in which T. D. Jakes was asked to clarify his position on the Trinity. Thankfully, he did so – though perhaps not in a way that would satisfy all of his critics. I believe we should celebrate his affirmation of the truth that there is one God in three Persons.”

The problem with doing so: Jakes own words on the Holy Trinity in the past and present. Now, here is a link to the transcript of the Elephant Room session, judge Jakes for yourself. But what follows is MY evaluation.

Part 1: I used to follow T.D. Jakes. Now … not so much. Without calling him a liar (while actually, you know, calling him a liar) allow me to propose that just because Jakes says something does not make it so. So … just because Jakes says that he believes “One God three Persons” DOES NOT MEAN that we should take it at face value. Jakes has been “less than forthcoming” on many issues in the past, so he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Just because Jakes is in the pulpit and calls himself a Christian does not mean that we should believe what he says. So no, listening to what he says and being “satisfied” requires a presumption that he is telling the truth, a presumption that he does not merit. Does that sound harsh, the bitter words of someone who has “church hurt” as it is called? Well keep reading.

Now in one context I can be SYMPATHETIC to Jakes’ views because I don’t like the wording or terminology used by the Cappadocian fathers myself. But this unease with the Cappadocian formulation needs to be addressed by someone other than Jakes. Why? Because Jakes has been known to be less than honest with the truth, and not merely on this issue. Recall that when Jakes was first challenged on the Trinity doctrine by Christianity Today, he submitted a modalist doctrinal statement that he insisted be accepted as Trinitarian!

Do not take my word on this: another ministry came to the same conclusion, that Jakes was dishonestly trying to pass off modalist heresy for orthodoxy. When challenged on it, he dissembled, claiming that his views on the Trinity were adapting and growing, that he was studying and learning more about it, and how Christians need to stop all this infighting and arguing about such things as minor differences in phraseology and get to the weightier matters of the kingdom, and such excuses for retaining and defending heresy as “these things are too mysterious to be comprehended or explained.” Jakes even resorted to race-baiting, stating “Christians will never agree on every theological issue any more than the colors of our skin will all suddenly match.” So, if Jakes was a liar and a demagogue on this Trinity issue in the past,why should we presume that he is any different now? What has changed to make us presume that Jakes has changed? Especially since he is still preaching heresies in other areas, such as the prosperity doctrine and trying to pass off ecstatic babbling done by mystics in many false religions as “speaking in tongues”?

Part II: From the transcript, it really does appear as if Jakes is fine with “persons” in his Trinitarian statement so long as “persons” is synonymous with “manifestations.” Basically, he says, “well, so long as I can call a ‘person’ a ‘manifestation’ then I am Trinitarian.” He says “My doctrinal statement is no different from yours except the word” – and Driscoll finishes his thought – “manifestations.” What he says next is a amazing.

“Manifest instead of persons. Which you describe as modalist, but I describe it as Pauline. When I read…let me show you what I’m talking about…when I read I Timothy 3:16 – I didn’t create this, Paul did.” And then he goes onto the time-honored modalist lying techniques from the pit of hell: “I think it’s important that we realize that our God is beyond our intellect. And if you can define Him and completely describe Him and say you are the end-all definition of who God is, then He ceases to be God. Because the reason Paul says it is a mystery, is that we deify the fact that God does things that don’t fit our formulas. And because people’s formulas and understandings of a description of an unbiblical God did doesn’t make them demonic.”

Let us go to his abuse of I Timothy 3:16. Yes, the King James Version that many oneness pentecostal liars claim is the only translation – and I used to be KJV-Only myself, and still today am KJV-Preferred, but not because of the translation itself but the texts used to produce the translation, as I believe text criticism used to produce the new manuscripts is a false science – reads “manifest” as its rendering of the Greek word  phaneroō. But other versions translate phaneroō to be “appeared” and “revealed!”

Another thing: phaneroō’s definitions: “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way.”  So, rather than being a “mode” or “state” or “relationship” after the doctrines of the oneness heretics (for example, as water has a liquid, solid and gas manifestation as water, ice and vapor) phaneroō’ in this context merely meant how God was shown to men! That is revelation, after the same manner that the Greek word apokalypsis was used in Revelation 1:1. Paul could have just as easily used apokalypsis instead of phaneroō!

Further, according to the definition, what can phaneroō “reveal” or “manifest”? A PERSON! It is right here in definition 1d in a common Bible lexicon placed online via BlueletterBible.com:

1) to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown, to manifest, whether by words, or deeds, or in any other way

a) make actual and visible, realised

b) to make known by teaching

c) to become manifest, be made known

d) of a person

1) expose to view, make manifest, to show one’s self, appear

e) to become known, to be plainly recognised, thoroughly understood

1) who and what one is

Jakes is exposed as a liar by exegesis of the very text that he used to claim that he was telling the truth! In this Jakes fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 10:2, which reads “The wicked in [his] pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.”

Now the dictionary entry makes the Cappadocian utilization of “Person” more justifiable in my mind and it who knows, the Cappadocian fathers might have relied heavily on 1 Timothy 3:16 when they formulated their Trinity doctrine (which would make Jakes’ abuse of that text still more ironic) because that text refers to the revelation of the Person of Jesus Christ and not the mere exhibition of a mode of existence or relationship (and moreover this revelation refers to Christ’s existence being shown to the world; for phaneroō to have the meaning that Jakes claims that it does, THE TERM WOULD HAVE TO REFER TO HIS INCARNATION IN THE WOMB OF MARY, NOT HIS EXISTENCE AND WORKS BEING WITNESSED BY MEN, WHICH IS THE TRUE CONTEXT OF 1 Peter 3:16 AS WELL AS REVELATION 1:1, WHICH AGAIN IS WHY APOKALYPSIS COULD EASILY HAVE BEEN USED INSTEAD) but I confess to still uneasy with it. But the difference between me and Jakes is that JAKES IS LYING. That is the bottom line.

But you know what? This is not truly about Jakes anyway. The reason is that anyone who goes and clicks on the T.D. Jakes category on this blog will know why no legitimate Christian pastor should touch Jakes with a 10 foot pole, unless that pastor has been instructed by God to smite Jakes with it. Instead, it is about the people that are embracing him. It is one thing for the decadent TBN (who has their own tag) Pentecostal abomination to embrace Jakes, and please recall that it was TBN who made Jakes into an international figure. TBN is run by a man who paid off a TBN employee with whom he had a homosexual encounter with, and has since been sued by another man making the same charges. These charges and the many other scandals are commonly known by those who patronize that network anyway and … well now you see why I felt that there were better uses of my time than exposing people who have already been exposed because people simply do not care!

But now, TD Jakes is being embraced by the “more respectable” corners of evangelical Christianity as represented by (ironically named) The Gospel Coalition, which includes some of the most prominent pastors and theologians in evangelical Christianity today. Now of course, there was significant “debate” over inviting Jakes. The fears of those objecting were quite founded, as it resulted in Mark Driscoll, himself a very troubling personality, doing very much to rehabilitate Jakes, largely because of Driscoll’s own desire to push his false anti-cessationist doctrines into the Reformed/Calvinistic evangelical movement. Also, those who would have challenged Jakes rather than accommodate him were not allowed to participate.  But the fact that there was even a debate at all shows how far gone the evangelical landscape is! Having Jakes in the Elephant Room should have been as much a nonstarter as having Richard Dawkins or Pope Benedict!

And that brings us to the real issue: further evidence that the evangelical church in America is veering off the rails. (It is such times that even people who MILDLY stand against Jakes and his lies are the ones to be mocked, opposed and condemned.) Is the great apostasy, the great falling away of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 upon us? This event is prophesied in scripture, and will come to pass. It is a very tragic development in and of itself, but 2 Thess 2:3 tells us that the great falling away is a precursor to – or more accurately a precondition for – the coming of the beast, the anti-Christ, the man of sin, which occurs during the great tribulation. It is my position that the church will experience this great tribulation, and not be raptured from or otherwise escape it, as many pastors and teachers propose. So as difficult as things are now for the church as evidenced by its willingness to not only suffer but endorse and promote such false teachers as Jakes, it is only paving the way for even tougher times to come. Christian, watch and discern the times. Pray. Be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord so that you will not be deceived, that you will resist temptation, and stay in the faith.

For those of you not in the faith, realize that the proliferation of false doctrines and those who gain wealth, fame and power by teaching them does not undermine Christianity, but rather is evidence that the Bible is true, for Jesus Christ Himself and His apostles predicted that such a time as this would come thousands of years ago; Christ referred to men such as Jakes as ravening wolves in sheep’s clothing. That many will follow such people is evidence that narrow is the gate that leads to salvation, and wide is that which leads to destruction!

Enter into the narrow gate. Be saved in the Name of Jesus Christ. Repent of your sins, believe in Jesus Christ. Follow

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Theodicy Dialogue With Pastor Matt Wrickman

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

Matthew Wrickman, a pastor and blogger with whom I have corresponded in the past, wished to discuss How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God and did so in a comment, which he reproduced as a post on his site (which I encourage you to patronize). The objections – er dialogue points – that he raised are good ones as always, and my interaction with them is as follows. Pastor Wrickman’s words are in blocked quote format, and mine follow. Thank you.

“ Interesting response. Most commentators for the last 200 years at least have used evil in the reverse sense as the greatest problem for the existence of God. The line of logic would be that Sandusky is evil. If God was really good, really powerful, and really existed then He would have intervened and stopped the action. He didn’t so either He is not really good, really powerful, or does not really exist. As a line of logic it seems rather convincing. I, of course, would argue (as you hinted at) that God has intervened through the person of Son. That the cross of Christ represents Christ’s solidarity with the victims of Sandusky, as well as, his offer of healing to both victim and victimizer. Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless.”

Alas, you are of the Remonstrants, I am of the Synod of Dort! (Actually I am Particular Baptist after the manner of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey and Paul Bunyan and you are not classical Arminian or Wesleyan as you to not believe that one can lose his salvation, but otherwise you get the picture.)

“You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme”

Well, my love of reductio ad absurdum was in my angry, immature phase. (In what many might consider to be an irony, it was becoming a “5 point Calvinist” – or again more accurately a Particular Baptist – that helped me get past my anger, which I ultimately discovered was truthfully coming from within and was directed inwardly also.) I now rarely employ this debate tactic, though I hear that it is a very good tool for computer scientists and mathematicians.

“and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God.””

I agree with you to a point, as a multitude of false religions (as I understand them) have deities that are dualistic, amoral or even malevolent. But that extreme is precluded by the holy scriptures. Though I do dabble in classical and evidential apologetics from time to time – to the extent that I am able – for the most part I adhere to the presuppositional apologetics school of Cornelius Van Til and similar, which takes the truth and authority of the Bible to be a non-negotiable starting point and proceeds from there. (I further build on that school by presuming a basic “rule of faith”, or a normative interpretation of the Bible, belief in its inerrancy/inspiration/authority, and application of its doctrines to the church).

So, inasmuch as the Bible differentiates between evil and God, I presume this to be true also. My purpose for authoring the above piece was intended not to much to be an exercise in philosophy, ethics or similar, but for evangelism and encouragement. Thus, it presumes some degree of faith – and please recall that faith is not produced by man but is given by God – and is not intended for the purposes of debating the likes of Sam Harris, Charles Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens.

“One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil.”

What you speak of is outcome-based religion. The problem with such religions is that man, lacking perfect knowledge and morality, is incapable of properly evaluating outcomes. Only God can do so. What we perceive to be a “good” outcome according to our perspective might actually be evil according to God, and the converse is also true. Consider an example: a small leak in a dam. A person might make an improper repair to the leak that for a time stops the water from running, but makes the dam weaker, or at minimum ignores the root cause of the leak. Now though the fix is flawed, it might last a long time – during the duration of that person’s life. And for that time, that person will be considered to have done a great good in fixing the leak, and will go to his grave with such estimation.

But suppose that the dam ultimately breaks and catastrophically floods the town! Was this a good deed? No, because in the most extreme case, where the leak would have been at most a minor annoyance but remained, the fix made the dam weaker and caused it to suddenly burst where it would not have had the fix not been applied. In even the most favorable possible case, the fix caused everyone to BELIEVE that the problem was solved, and hindered them from seeking a real solution, or from evacuating the town if no solution was possible or practical.

Such is the result of false religion: it creates self-righteousness and blinds the sinner from his need for God. And false doctrines in Christianity can similar impede the spiritual growth of a Christian. So, the measure of “good acts” are not by their outcomes (“the ends justify the means”) or their intentions (“he meant well/his heart was in the right place”) but rather the fidelity of these acts to the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Scriptures regardless of their apparent outcomes. God and His Word are the standard, not the outcome or our perception of it, and by the definition of God as determined by His special revelation to us in the Bible, fidelity to God and His Word cannot be evil.

That is why the people who obeyed the commandments of God to commit genocide and fratricide in the Old Testament were not evil, and those who committed what might have been considered good in sparing, say, a Canaanite baby out of what seemed to be mercy upon the innocent who posed no threat when when God commanded to utterly destroy all the Canaanites would have been evil. Where of course we would say that killing a Canaanite baby is evil, and sparing the baby and raising it up according to the Jewish religion would have been good according to our own understanding, we have to accept by faith God’s statements when He says that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and obey God according to that same faith.

If we do otherwise, and obey God when it conforms to our own sense of good and evil and abandon God’s commandments when they contradict them, we are following our own religion and morality and not God’s, and we have made ourselves into gods in the place of God.

“On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.”

Well, the psalmists and prophets seemed to regularly question the goodness of God, no? Yet they remained faithful. It is not blind faith, but faith in God’s self-revelation to us through His Son. The role of the Holy Spirit is not to answer all of our questions, but to reassure us, comfort us and keep us in the faith despite them. Or to save us from our faithless condition despite them. The Bible declares oft that we cannot understand God and His ways, and that we are not to even try to. We are to merely – as the old hymn says – trust and obey Him.

But let it be said that God does certainly use evil to accomplish His ends. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, and this includes evil things. And God most certainly does use evil events. When a sinner commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto salvation. When a Christian commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto restoration. The Holy Spirit does not cause this evil, but He certainly uses it.

But as touching God and evil actions: consider when God sent a lying spirit to the false prophets in order to provoke wicked king Ahab into going into battle so that Ahab could be slain as a punishment for his (Ahab’s) wickedness. Consider also when God made pharaoh ruler of Egypt and hardened his heart so that pharaoh would oppress the children of Israel mightily, as God wanted an occasion to judge the Egyptians for their wickedness, to save Israel and make them a nation, and to display evidence of His existence and power to the world. Consider when God used the wicked pagan Assyrian and Babylonian empires to judge Israel and Judah for their infidelity to the Sinai covenant (and this required allowing Assyria and Babylon to conquer other nations and otherwise rise to power). And consider when Jesus Christ chose the non-elect Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles so that Judas Iscariot could betray Him and otherwise fulfill the prophecies.

It is very fair to say that God participated in these evil actions, if you rely on the common human definition of participation. In the Bible, God does asserts His right to do evil, at least according to man’s perspective of evil (when God did so, He was condescending to the limited understanding capacity of man in that He allowed them to regard His actions as evil).

Just because we see something as evil does not make it evil. God is the standard, the Self-existing Self-defined one who is goodness and righteousness within Himself. Evil, then, is by definition that which is contrary to God, and God by definition cannot be contrary to Himself. Any other definition of evil makes man a judge of not only himself, but of God. This is something than an unbeliever – especially an atheist or rationalist – will never accept but that Christians are called to accept, believe and submit ourselves to through faith.

The unwillingness to accept the fact that God Himself is the definition of good and that evil is defined by its being in opposition to God is the source of so many of these logical games, tricks and constructions on the behalf of many apologists. This fact also solves the apparent problem of God telling one person to do one thing at one time and another person to do something else (i.e. when God commanded Ezekiel and Hosea to break the Mosaic law by eating bread defiled with excrement and marrying a cult prostitute): we are simply to believe that God can do so without Himself being contradictory.

“I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.”

The problem with that is that it relies on an incomplete portion of the Holy Scriptures, excluding bad facts. Consider, well, the book of Job (which has been as much a source of fascination and meditation for me as I certainly hope the Gospel of Matthew has been for you)! Let’s face it: God delivered Job into the hands of Satan for Satan to do whatever he wished with Job and all that he had save taking Job’s life. And please recall: the Bible is clear that the calamities that came upon Job were not due to any sin that Job had committed. Job’s CHILDREN died, not because of any sin of Job or the children, and despite Job’s daily sacrificing for his children in case they sinned. (Of course, their deaths would have occurred due to their original sin, as did Job’s death, but let us focus on their untimely deaths, which was considered to be an evil occurrence in OT times and still is to this day.)

We have to come up with a theodicy that is faithful to the entirety of the Bible. Not only must we do this in order to be faithful to God through His Word, but this is also the only way to construct a theodicy that encompasses the range of the facts of life that we have to confront, such things as wars, plagues, horrific crimes, miscarriages, birth defects etc. God does overcome evil by eliminating all that which is contrary to Himself. Keep in mind: this process will not be completely finished until the eschaton, when this creation is destroyed by fire, the wicked are cast into eternal flame, and a new heaven and a new earth is created.

As to why God did not make the original creation after the same manner of the new heaven and new earth, we just have to accept that God did all things according to a manner that pleased Him. The idea that God was obligated to prevent the existence of evil in order to not Himself be evil is man’s thinking, not our own. And it is thinking that is centered on man and his own interests, as we accuse God for not acting to avoid our own misery and suffering. We want to be able to say that God is not good if the result of His original creation was humans – most of whom never encountered with the gospel of Jesus Christ to either accept or reject – being punished in the lake of fire for an eternity. As mentioned earlier, our duty is to accept these facts because they are how God revealed Himself and His actions in the Bible, and not to generate contrivances to avoid the fulness of God’s self-revelation and its implications. Make no mistake: unbelievers are fully aware of these things! Have you ever perused skepticsannotatedbible.org and similar counter-apologetics efforts? It is far better to directly confront these things in scripture, meditate on them, accept them through faith, and work them into our systematic theologies than to simply pretend that they do not exist, or to come up with human-centered (if not necessarily humanistic) evasions.

One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

There is a difference between saying that evil has an absolute positive function in the world, and merely stating that God uses evil to accomplish His purposes. However, even if God did so as you speak, it would be well within His right to terminate it. Does God still feed His people with manna? Of course, God did a great thing by feeding His people with manna. Does the fact that you no longer eat manna destroy an important way of knowing God? Does the fact that you are not a Jew living in Jerusalem under the Mosaic law destroy an important way of knowing God? God forbid! So, if God can discontinue good things, then how much more so can He discontinue evil that He uses for good purposes? We know God only by God’s revelation.

Whether God’s revelation consists of His use of evil to accomplish His goals or not, the knowledge of God is the same. Why? Because God – the one providing the revelation – is the same. Even if you were to say that it is not “the same”, inasmuch as those in Old Testament times did not have the same knowledge as do we in light of the cross and the current ministrations of the Holy Spirit, their knowledge of God based on the revelation that they had was nonetheless sufficient to suit God’s purposes and that is what counts. God is only bound by Himself to reveal to us what He chooses for us to know of Him. He is not bound by us to reveal to us what we desire to know of him.

Further, God reveals Himself to us through the way that He chooses, not the way that we desire. Part of the error of some in the Pentecostal movement that I was once in is their demand that God reveal Himself to us in these ways in the same way that He revealed Himself to the early church, and also to Old Testament Israel. God’s actions and revelations are according to His will, not our desires. And the nature and character of God’s revelation are suitable to fulfill our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. Keep in mind in Romans 1 when Paul states that even the order and nature of creation should have been enough of God’s self-disclosure to live righteously and thereby be saved, and therefore those who do not – including those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – are without excuse and therefore subject to condemnation on judgment day.

And of course we celebrate His battle. Are not the Psalms filled with the Jews’ praise of God’s battles on their behalf, physical and spiritual? Concerning Jesus Christ, do we not celebrate His trial in the desert, Gethsemane and the cross, and not merely the resurrection? Jesus Christ specifically instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His passion. This knowledge of God that you speak of includes God’s battles for our behalf, because through these we know that God has both the power to save us and the love to forgive us. God’s destruction of Egypt and Israel’s other enemies is evidence of the former, and His restoration of the remnant after they broke His covenant is evidence of the latter. This is evidence of the very hope of which you speak!

Well, I am done! I thank this opportunity to dialogue with my old friend and brother in the faith. As always, I hope that I did not offend or mistreat you, and if I did, it was not my intent. Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Jesus Christ DID Denounce Homosexuality!

Posted by Job on January 3, 2011

From brother W.B. Moore.

Christ DID speak out against homosexuality

What I have to say is to people who claim to be Christians.

Jesus spoke out against sexual immorality.
Matthew 15:18-20

18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man unclean. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man unclean; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean.

Mark 7:20-23

20 He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.

We have to realize that sexual immorality is a category of sin that includes all sexual sin.

1 Corinthians 5:1

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife.

Paul had to deal with one specific instance of sexual immorality: a man having sex with the wife of his father. This is identified as a sin in the Old Testament, specifically Leviticus 18:8, Leviticus 20:11, Deuteronomy 22:30, and Deuteronomy 27:20. Paul did not further address specific examples of sexual immorality in this passage. However, it is clear that it was a category of sin that dealt with sex that God had prohibited.

Christ said the entire category of sin known as sexual immorality was evil.

Now, sexual immorality would refer to what God had defined as wrong already by the time of when Christ said this; this would come from the Old Testament. As Christians today, we use both the Old and New Testaments to see Who God is, what God has done, how God feels about issues in life, and what He expects of and for us.

The word translated as sexual immorality is Porneia. This word means
1. illicit sexual intercourse

A. adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
B. sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
C. sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11

Romans 1 says even the desire of a man for a man or a woman for a woman is sin. The act of sex between two people of the same gender is also sin.

The term translated in Romans 1 as ‘lust’ is epiqumia in Greek. It means desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust.

It is even the mere desire for same gender sex that is wrong in God’s eyes.

Paul said we must turn away from wickedness if we confess Christ as Lord:

2 Timothy 2:19

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.

Paul also said God will punish men for sin.

1 Thes 4:3-8

3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.

It does not matter how you feel about it. It does not matter how you justify it. God said if you do not change and turn to God, then you are not saved. If you claim you have repented and turned to God, then you need to live like it.

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Rush Limbaugh’s Not Being Allowed To Buy An NFL Team May Be A Bad Sign For American Christians

Posted by Job on October 15, 2009

First, please do not mistake me for being a Rush Limbaugh supporter of any sort. (For the record: I was once a regular listener to his show back when I was an ardent religious right neoconservative Republican, but since then my religious views have changed, resulting in my political views changing – to apolitical –  as well). Also, it is significant that by his own words Rush Limbaugh cannot be considered to be a Christian of any sort, which makes it particularly distressing that so many of my politically conservative Christian brothers and sisters vigorously endorse and allow themselves to be influenced by Limbaugh’s views and count him among their ranks, even to the point of considering him to be a great articulator and defender of the faith and equating an attack on him and his views to being an attack on Christianity. (Such people really need to pay serious attention to the history of Christianity, allow me to recommend The Reformers And Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin, a book that would shatter the basis for most religious right – and religious left – delusions.)

Yet the rejection of Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority owner of an NFL team should still cause Bible-believing Christians some concern. Make no mistake: the opposition to Limbaugh is largely due to his opposition to ideas and things that Christians also consider sinful: abortion, homosexuality, feminism etc. Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Limbaugh’s racial views. Let me point something out: the NFL has a long history of racism. It is the only major sports league that has an explicit affirmative action program (the despised Rooney rule) because it is the only one that needs it! Limbaugh would have been far more likely to make the NFL less racist than more racist. Also, there is a huge double standard. You would have had a difficult time finding a bigger racist in modern professional sports – or in big business – than Ted Turner. Yet neither the media or civil rights groups said a peep about Ted Turner’s longtime ownership of the Atlanta Braves or the Atlanta Hawks (or for that matter CNN or the Turner Networks). By contrast, the media pressured Major League Baseball into forcing Marge Schott to sell her team!

The difference: Ted Turner openly mocks Christianity. So Turner’s racism is not only never commented on by the media, but it is artfully concealed. Instead, the media talks glowingly of Turner’s “philanthropy”, which JUST HAPPENS to include support for PLANNED PARENTHOOD and U.N. POPULATION CONTROL EFFORTS. Check out this quote where Turner claims that global warming could cause us to become cannibals, and it could turn civilized countries into places like SOMALIA and SUDAN, examples which JUST HAPPEN to be black African nations. Oh yes, this supporter of Darwinian evolution Ted Turner also claims that the world has too many people. Which people would those be, Mr. prominent supporter of “The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life“? But can any of you recall the last time Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or any of the other types denouncing Limbaugh’s attempt to own an NFL team saying a thing about Turner’s racism EVER?

Now do not mistake this for being just another “liberal media hypocrisy double standard” screed that you can find in any right wing organ like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, National Review (or sadly far too many evangelical Christian outlets). That the world is evil and hypocritical is to be expected, and that is precisely one of the reasons why Jesus Christ called the church out of the world and commanded us to be separate from it. Instead, my angle is this: the treatment of Limbaugh is still more evidence that this country is becoming ever more hostile to Bible-believing Christians. Don’t be deceived into thinking that it is because of our political views, our “moral values” or what have you. For instance Hollywood gave the rabidly homophobic rapper Eminem award after award and also raved over the allegedly “pro-life” movie Juno (which was actually a very cleverly concealed feminist hatchet job on males and fatherhood). As the movie “The Time Changer” excellently made the case for, it isn’t conservative political views or good family values that Satan – and by extension the world that Satan rules – hates, it is Jesus Christ. That’s why the very same people who attack Christians for opposing abortion and gay rights RARELY IF EVER do the same regarding shari’a law Muslims!

So take up the cause of Rush Limbaugh? I would really dissuade any Bible-believing Christian from doing so. But realize that the media firestorm that resulted from Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority owner of an NFL team is still more evidence that this nation is becoming ever more hostile to Christians and recognizing it as a sign of the times? That is what you should do. Ironically, Limbaugh is one of the major purveyors of the “America is a Christian nation” nonsense that is actually a false doctrine and form of the religion, one that takes a religion based on faith in the revelation of God’s Son Jesus Christ and turns it into merely a political/cultural belief system. Because of that, many of Limbaugh’s Christian followers are convinced that American Christians will not – or should not – ever face the marginalization and persecution that Christians in other nations do because America and its church are a special covenant nation with a special standing before God. This line of thinking is why so many of the rapture-based movies like “Left Behind” and “The Omega Code” depict America as leading the fight against the anti-Christ, at times with the American president leading the way. However, the truth is that America is part of Babylon, the worldwide political, economic and religious system that exalts itself against God, just like any other nation. If anything, America is a leader in it. America is where the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve are. Freemason and occult emblems are all over our national symbols. And if America didn’t invent violent and occultic movies, pornography, and similar content in heavy metal and rap music, we certainly lead the world in exporting it, and incidentally the same is true with the dissemination of false religious cults (Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, oneness pentecostalism) and religious syncretism, especially with New Age. And yes, America does have an ambassador to the Vatican, and 6 of our 9 Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholics, including at least one Opus Dei member.

So, the prophecies in Revelation apply to America just like everyplace else. America will turn against and persecute its Christians just like every other nation, and America will be judged by God for its treatment of Christians (do not believe John Hagee and other dispensationalists who claim that judgment will be based on the nation’s treatment of Israel, the martyrs that will be avenged in Revelation 6:10 are Christian martyrs, not Jewish ones) just like other nations. And speaking of dispensationalism, in addition to their erroneous claims concerning America and Israel in the last days, the Bible (including Revelation 6) states that the church will have to endure this time as opposed to being “raptured out of it.” So, this Limbaugh episode is more evidence that Christians should be preparing themselves for what is coming in America as opposed to continuing to delude ourselves.

Incidentally, if you are not a Christian, please know that all of the things that are going on in this country and our world, all of the massive problems, were foretold long ago in the Bible. There is no excuse for continuing to disbelieve the Bible and continuing to rebel against Jesus Christ. Please end your rebellion in Jesus Christ today. The video below provides information designed to help you do so.

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More Evidence That Female Pastors Lead To False Churches Endorsing Homosexuality This Time From The Emergent Church

Posted by Job on August 2, 2009

From the brother at Apprising Ministries.  Please click on the link to read his important article!

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Gospel Superstars Mary Mary Support Barack HUSSEIN Obama!

Posted by Job on May 25, 2009

Looking at their video “God In Me”, which promotes the same Christian celebrity culture that causes people like Carrie Prejean to think that it is OK to prance around semi-nude, it is no surprise. Look, these folks know that Barack Obama will sign the most radical piece of abortion legislation in history, and will also greatly advance the homosexual agenda. But they don’t care, because to them it’s just about pleasing man, themselves.

Really, that is what the gospel scene that they are in is all about. Worship music, praise music, gospel music should be about worshiping God. The goal, the desire should be to glorify God and to please God. But the scene that they are in, the scene that invited Carrie Prejean to present at the Dove Awards, it is about pleasing man. Why? Because you have to entertain an audience in order to get airplay, video play, and sell records. That is why we need celebrity figures that look like models (and beauty pageant contestants) to “sing” this “music.” That is why they are showing a lot more leg and a lot more cleavage than in the past. As a matter of fact, defenders of Carrie Prejean’s “Christian modeling” are actually setting a precedent where Christian artists will be allowed wear bikinis (or even less) in gospel videos and take the same roles in violent or sex driven movies as any other artists with no one batting an eye.  Basically, since it is about entertainment and making people feel happy, whatever standard the world sets for entertainment and pleasure will inevitably be emulated by this industry.  It is all about making people happy and feeling good. 

Now I disagree with people like this fellow and this fellow who claim that the use of instruments in worship was fulfilled in Jesus Christ along with the tabernacle/temple, sacrifices, and rituals. However, we cannot deny … take away the instruments (as well as the secular music styles) and most contemporary Christian artists would never sell. People who have no interest in serving the Lord and only want to be entertained would have no interest in buying it. That is what you get with market-driven consumer Christianity.

This is nothing personal against Mary Mary, I actually have all their albums save their most recent one. But they are part of a scene that professes to worship God when it is actually about entertaining men in exchange for money. 

Promoting Obama:
Getting their kids to promote Obama:
Mary Mary’s God In Me:   Mary Mary hanging out with worldly friends and basically taking making music in praise of the Lord to be a joke:
But hey, they talk about traditional marriage and family in these videos, so that makes them God pleasing, right?

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Bill Hamon, Another Transfer of Wealth Ministry Needs Your Transfer of Wealth (To Them) To Make It Through

Posted by Job on May 20, 2009

Contributed by a supporter

However, more recently we have reached a desperate financial situation.  The ministry staff has faithfully cut and curbed costs, but even as expenses have dropped, so has our income.  Many of the leadership have put in their own money to cover payroll, but that can only be done so many times. As a ministry it has always been our policy that we don’t lay people off.  Unfortunately, recently we have had to use this option as a way to keep the ministry running.  Our staff has been resilient as we have had to lay off several employees, placing a greater work load on many that remain, as well cutting their salaries by 10%. 

Bill Hamon, Another Transfer of Wealth Ministry Needs Your Transfer of Wealth (To Them) To Make It Through

Someone kindly directed me to this from ‘Biship’ Bill Hamon’s site here, dated 11th May 2009. Bill Hamon is yet another one in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) who blatantly cannot manifest what he preaches, just like Steve Shultz, Chuck Pierce and C Peter Wagner preach and even hold conferences on release and transfer of wealth yet cannot manifest what they preach and prophesy either. Something is seriously amiss in prophet land. Why on earth won’t the church wake up to it?

Bill Hamon says -

“Friday, February 6th I woke and felt the Lord quickened to me the story found in 2 Kings 3. In this chapter the three kings of Israel, Judah and Edom marched seven days into the desert, in a round about way, to attack Moab.  They ran out of water and none was available where they were.  Their provision for survival and continuing on was insufficient to meet their needs. They went to the prophet Elisha and he prophesied to dig long rows of ditches in the valley. The Prophet said God would fill the ditches with water.  They would not see clouds or rain, but water would come. water of provision is coming so that we may survive and be enabled to destroy our enemies and reap the spoils of victory.

I know that many people are experiencing tough financial times and others are tightening their belts in preparation for what may come. However, I strongly believe that in this time, more than ever, we must not forget the principle of sowing and reaping. [endtimespropheticwords comment - working your way to Bill Hamon of course]   Over and over scripture shows us that if we will give freely, rather than holding on, He will be more than faithful to bring the return. As a ministry we have continued to sow into other ministries even through this tough time.  I encourage you to do the same.

Over the last year Christian International has faced some of the toughest financial times since we first moved to Florida 25 years ago. In the early days our staff was accustomed to possible short pay checks or even being asked to sow their salaries.  Since we were such a close knit community we pulled together and made it through.  Praise God it has been many years since those early days!

However, more recently we have reached a desperate financial situation.  The ministry staff has faithfully cut and curbed costs, but even as expenses have dropped, so has our income.  Many of the leadership have put in their own money to cover payroll, but that can only be done so many times. As a ministry it has always been our policy that we don’t lay people off.  Unfortunately, recently we have had to use this option as a way to keep the ministry running.  Our staff has been resilient as we have had to lay off several employees, placing a greater work load on many that remain, as well cutting their salaries by 10%.  For nearly two months our staff has done what would normally take them 80 hours in 72.  Some have even chosen to sow the additional eight hours to make sure that their part of the vision was fulfilled. 

In a situation like this, it is imperative to seek the Lord for direction.  So that is exactly what the leadership gathered to do.  We talked it over, sought the Lord, revisited prophetic words and decided that God is not telling us to stop or to back down. Then we began the process of trusting Him to bring the needed provision. [endtimes: by sending out begging letters]

If you have been with our ministry for any length of time you know it is not our nature to ask for money unless it is absolutely necessary. We have a great need and I encourage you to seek the Lord as to what extra you can give at this time.  I know God will give you a hundred-fold return on your seed sown. [endtimes comment -  pimp it, Bill!  And if the seed sown really works this way, why doesn't Bill give out to you or some other worthy project and get a hundred fold return for himself? He'd never need to ask anyone for money ever again, would he?! But he doesn't as it doesn't work like that!]

In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul encouraged the church at Corinth that we all play a part in accomplishing the purpose of God in the earth.  Verse 9 says, “We work together as partners who belong to God…” One plants the seed, another waters and another harvests.  I am depending on God and you to make sure we continue to progress in fulfilling our ministry together in Christ. I look forward to hearing from you soon. [endtimes - as long as a check is enclosed in the envelope - bit presumptive too isn't it?!]

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Bill Hamon”

Maybe Bill Hamon needs to read his daughter-in-law Jane Hamon’s book ‘The Cyrus Decree’  (or talk to her more?) and then call in some of his fellow apostles and prophets in to do some effective decreeing instead of ineffective screeing? Mind you, we all know what happened when the NAR elite decree’d at Lakeland when giving Todd Bentley the apostolic handshake and ring …

“Jane Hamon…. discusses the truths and the blessings she says have come in the earth through prophetic proclamations and apostolic decrees. She discusses the ministry of the prophets and apostles in the marketplace and in the pulpit. Jane references the kingship of Cyrus as the biblical basis for these proclamations and their impact on the earth.

In order to understand why Cyrus’ call to deliver the people was so significant, it must be set in historical context. The Israelites were captive in Babylon in part because of the foolishness of Hezekiah. King Hezekiah was sick and Isaiah prophesied to him that he would die. Hezekiah petitioned God and God changed His mind and gave Hezekiah 15 more years to live. Once well, Hezekiah invited foreign visitors into his palace and bragged about all his wealth and possessions. The foreign visitors were from a little known place called Babylon. It took 100 years, but the Israelites were taken captive by these very foreigners and all they had was carried away to Babylon. But God never leaves His people without a means of deliverance and this time the deliverance would come through Cyrus.

WHY CYRUS?

Jane explains it this way. “Cyrus was anointed by the Lord for a season of dominion on the earth that would result in one of the greatest earthly kingdoms ever established. God’s purpose in raising Cyrus up as king was to make him an instrument the Lord could use to release Israel from Babylon and to enable them to return to their land to rebuild what the emeny had destroyed.” Jane says that Cyrus was a warrior by age 16 and that in the Church today, God is developing warriors to battle on the spiritual front. She says the trumpet is sounding and each saint is being called on to be ready for war because just like in the days of Cyrus, many, many people still live in slavery to sin and death. She says there are people to be delivered, cities to be freed, nations to be won and entire regions of the earth to be liberated by the reality of the gospel. But this current day warfare is not with guns or tanks or planes but the spiritual weapons of prayer, praise and proclamation. Jane says God is looking for those in the Body of Christ who will do as Cyrus did and be ready to take on the spirit and attitude of a warrior for these times.

Simply stated, The Cyrus Decree will release apostolic and prophetic keys to the 21st century Church to liberate captives, transfer wealth, revolutionize nations and build the Kingdom of God!  [endtimes - don't these people listen when Jesus said my kingdom is not of this world?]

The Cyrus Decree  releases Kingdom keys to empower the individual believer to release power through prophetic proclamations, unlock your wealth and your destiny, utilize your spiritual weapons of war, bring God’s voice to the marketplace, build and restore God’s Church, legislate God’s Kingdom rule, set captives free, conquer idolatrous systems and transfer wealth for building the kingdom…”

(Source CBN here)

__________________________

See also these related articles -

Chuck Pierce Inc. He Also Begs Funds To Meet Ongoing Wagner Poverty

C Peter Wagner & Chuck Pierce Ministry in Financial Trouble, While Wagner & Pierce Caught Out In Their Lies

James Goll Ministry in Financial Trouble

The End Times Apostasy http://www.thouartthechrist.info/lakeland/

 

The art of the apologetic non-apology

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/04/the-art-of-the-apologetic-nonapology.html

 

Bentley’s healing deaths

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/05/i-guess-that-if-you-die-and-go-to-heaven-thats-a-healing-of-sorts.html

 

Two People “Healed” at the Lakeland Revival Die – Slaughter of the Sheep

http://slaughteringthesheep.wordpress.com/2009/05/10/two-people-healed-at-the-lakeland-revival-die/

 

Bentley Joyner Johnson “divorce from reality”

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/04/divorced-from-reality.html

 

Benny Hinn Speaks Out Against the Florida Revival

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/BHinn39.htm

 

Gordon Williams to Karl Strader on ‘Reverse Blasphemy of the Spirit’

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/karl-strader-and-gordon-williams-on-lakeland-outpouring/#comment-23586

 

Rick Joyner Blaming Todd’s Sin on Shonnah

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/rick-joyner-blaming-todd-bentleys-sin-on-shonnah-on-burnout-on-depression-on-anything-but-todd-himself/#comment-40309

 

RICK JOYNER MANIPULATION COMMENTS

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/rick-joyner-manipulation/#comment-39415

 

False Prophet Rick Joyner & Todd Bentley’s Adulterous Re-Marriage

http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/news/usa/false-prophet-rick-joyner-todd-bentleys-re-marriage

 

The Delusional World Of Mark Stibbe & St Andrews Chorleywood

http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/delusional_world_of_mark_stibbe.htm

 

Rick Joyner: We’re Not Justifying Anything YET re Todd Bentley

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/rick-joyner-were-not-justifying-anything-yet-re-todd-bentley/

 

Adrift in the River of God (Deceived by Rick Joyner)

http://www.deceptionbytes.com/content/adrift-river-god-parts-i-ii-and-iii

 

Mr. Bentley enters his rehab

http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/03/mr-bentley-enters-his-rehab.html

 

Pentecostal Preacher Sherman Allen Turns Out to be Reverend Spanky

http://www.dallasobserver.com/2008-02-21/news/pentecostal-preacher-sherman-allen-turns-out-to-be-reverend-spanky/1

 

Todd Bentley & Rick Joyner Video on His Divorce, Remarriage and Restoration

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/todd-bentley-rick-joyner-video-on-his-divorce-remarriage-and-restoration/

 

The Tragic Scandal of Greasy Grace  http://charismamag.com/index.php/fire-in-my-bones/20005-the-tragic-scandal-of-greasy-grace?utm_source=MailingList&utm_medium=email&utm_content=keith4him%40yahoo.com&utm_campaign=FIMB+3-11-09

 

Rick Joyner Announces Todd Bentley Remarriage

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/rick-joyner-announces-todd-bentley-remarriage-and-the-start-of-restoration-process-while-begging-for-cash-for-fresh-fire-usa/

 

The False Revival (comparison)

 Todd Bentley and his muscle bound Jesus

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/todd-bentley-and-his-muscle-bound-jesus/

REVIVAL HERESY AND THE INTERNET

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=tsuMLkiMyaQ&feature=channel_page

Preacher Lived in Luxury as Church Plunged into Debt

http://www.rickross.com/reference/clergy/clergy323.html

Patricia King The Weirdo

http://walthope.tripod.com/pk.htm

 The Ted Haggard Dilemma

http://www.slate.com/id/2209983/

 Not Innocent”  http://www.a2zbookdepot.com/xxcrxxoxxoks.pdf

 or http://crooksaog.tripod.com/

 Stephen Strang in the Pits

http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/discernment/church-issues/aberrational-theology/stephen-strang-in-the-pits

 

Pastor Karl Strader is history

http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/strader.htm

 

Pastor Rodney The Sheep Fleecer

http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/rodney.htm

 

Tragedy Has Stalked Oral Roberts Life!  http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/oral_roberts_tragedy.htm

Richard Roberts A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing

http://walthope.tripod.com/or.htm

 

Rodney Howard-Browne Is One Of The Most Controversial And Publicized Figures Of The Third Wave Movement

BENNY HINN THE SCOUNDREL

http://walthope.tripod.com/hinn.htm

Shonnah Bentley and Son [Inc.] More Bentleys Plan Return To Ministry Spotlight

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/shonnah-bentley-and-son-inc-more-bentleys-plan-return-to-ministry-spotlight/

Todd Bentley Letter To Rick Joyner on His Marriage, Ministry and Mistress. [And Fresh Fire Infighting]

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/todd-bentley-letter-to-rick-joyner-on-his-marriage-ministry-and-mistress-and-fresh-fire-infighting/

 Read Your Bible Todd at http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/01/read-your-bible-todd.html

Todd Bentley Inc. at http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2009/01/todd-bentley-inc.html

 Todd Bentley Hasn’t Learned A Thing http://slaughteringthesheep.wordpress.com/2009/01/03/todd-bentley-hasnt-learned-a-thing/

Todd Bentleys – Mistress Jessa

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/todd-bentleys-mistress-jessa-revealed/

 Todd Bentley’s Apostolic and Prophetic Commissioning 4/4

 Revival Alliance Hypocrisy

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/john-arnott-che-ahn-and-bill-johnson-of-revival-alliance/

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/01/17/a-dangerous-fire-impartation-at-james-goll-jill-austin-conference/#comment-32301

RICK JOYNER – MORNINGSTAR MADNESS

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=fmdVyg9Noyw&eurl=http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/

 Shawn Bolz, Bill Johnson, Rick Joyner – The Upcoming ‘Civil War’ in the Church?

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/shawn-bolz-bill-johnson-rick-joyner-the-upcoming-%E2%80%98civil-war%E2%80%99-in-the-church/

 Are Mega-Preachers Scandal-Prone?

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1666552,00.html?imw=Y

Dutch Sheets in Driver’s Seat Of New Apostolic Reformation

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/dutch-sheets-in-driver%E2%80%99s-seat-of-new-apostolic-reformation/

 The “Big Owe”

http://gitardood.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/50/

 A Call for the Discerning of Spirits in This End-Time Revival

http://www.gillministries.com/PDF%20files/CALL-DIS-web.pdf

 Coming Christian wealth transfer or an ongoing third wave demon transfer?

http://www.thepropheticyears.com/wordpress/2008/07/20/coming-christian-wealth-transfer-or-an-ongoing-third-wave-demon-transfer.html

 End Time Prophetic

http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/

 Miracle Outreach Ministries

http://patholliday.com/

 The All Sufficient Christ

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11351343/Sufficient-Christ

 Moriel Online sermons

http://www.moriel.org/Teaching/Sermons.html

 Evangelist Gordon Williams

http://www.gordwilliams.com/

 Bi- Sexual Felon Or Hero – Jim Bakker?

http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/bakker.htm

 “House of David/House of Saul”

http://www.moriel.org/Teaching/Online/House_of_David_House_of_Saul/House_of_David-House_of_Saul.pdf

 ECFA IS A JOKE http://walthope.tripod.com/ecfa.htm

 RANDY WHITE  http://walthope.tripod.com/rw.htm

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Regarding Carrie Prejean, Evangelicalism And The Culture War

Posted by Job on May 12, 2009

I recall a very recent incident where I purchased my first
Christian rap CD, certain that it would provide edifying entertainment for my
very young son during our frequent automobile trips. However, when the music
began to play, my son put his hands over his ears, and began yelling for me to
turn it off, the reason being “it sounds like the devil’s music.” Now
as I was very much enjoying the CD in question, I tried to explain to the child
that it was in fact Christian music. The child replied that he would much
rather listen to one of HIS CDs. So, the Christian rap went out, and one of his
several CDs of classic hymns, Negro spirituals and similar took its place,
which included “Standing On The Promises of God.” I confess to not having
learned the lyrics to this song, but I do remember something about “standing on
the promises that cannot fail.”

And now I find myself reading Pilgrim’s Progress by John
Bunyan for the first time. I not long ago passed the section where Christian
succumbed to the temptation of one Worldly Wiseman to depart from the hard path
given to him to the Celestial City by Evangelist and instead set out for what
was promised to be the easier path over Mount Sinai to Mr. Legality and his
handsome son civility in the nice village Morality. And this reminds me of the
Carrie Prejean tempest: this where beauty pageant contestant lost the Miss
America pageant (which is owned by Donald Trump, who considers twice divorced
prosperity preacher Paula White his friend and pastor) for speaking out against
homosexual marriage.

As a result, this Miss Prejean has found herself many
supporters in the evangelical Christian community for fighting the good fight
in the culture war, having had the privilege of such experiences as being
interviewed by James Dobson, speaking at a prominent evangelical Christian
university, and being a presenter for the Dove Awards. Miss Prejean’s Christian
advocates have presented her as an example of a bold Christian woman who has
risked and suffered in warfare.

While this is certainly true, as Prejean clearly lost the
Miss America title, was very nearly stripped of the Miss California title, and
has had explicit pictures (some that she acknowledges to be real, others that
she alleges are fake) released by those seeking to force the Miss California pageant
to strip her of her crown for violating her contract, I have to ask: what battle
is it that she is fighting anyway, and is it a worthwhile one?

Again, go back to “Standing On The Promises Of God.” God’s
promises cannot fail, which means that God’s battles cannot be lost, because in
God’s battles, it is not us that are fighting, but rather God Himself that
fights for us. So as long as remain obedient and faithful to scripture and
adhere to the things that Jesus Christ commanded of us, we cannot lose. Our
success is guaranteed, predetermined, predestined.

However, when we depart from the path, leave behind the
commandments of Jesus Christ, and start seeking our own agendas, failure is
inevitable. Oh, we may win a victory or two here and there, but it is only a
temporary fleeting battle won at a huge cost – not the least a great diversion
of prayers and works by well meaning Christians – in a war that will ultimately
be lost. The person who bears witness of this best is none other than James
Dobson, the very same who interviewed Prejean. Upon retiring from his leadership
of Focus On The Family, Dobson acknowledged that he, his organization and its
fellow travelers had lost every single battle, including that against
homosexual marriage, which will become legal in many parts of the country
within a few years. And let us never forget that the great legal victory that
made homosexual marriage possible was a court decision, Lawrence versus Texas,
given to us by a Supreme Court stacked with appointees of the very conservative
Republican presidents that Dobson and his peers spent a generation getting
Christians to not only vote but contribute, volunteer, fast and pray to get
elected in the first place. What do we know from this? As Jesus Christ promised
us that so long as remain faithful to Him and do His Will that we shall not
fail, the very failure of Dobson’s efforts, shows that Dobson and those like
him were never fighting the Lord’s battle to begin with.

And consider further the supreme irony: the biggest defeats
have come from the very people aligned with Dobson! Recall that Ronald Reagan,
when given the opportunity to appoint justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade,
instead put not one but two pro – abortion judges on the court, and George H.
W. Bush, who became president due to being the vice president of Reagan thanks
in no small part to people like Dobson, appointed a third pro – abortion judge,
and yes all three of those judges cast their votes in the Lawrence versus Texas
decision to pave the way for homosexual marriage as well.

So gentle Christians, what we should learn from this is that
Jesus Christ, God’s own Word and thereby God Himself, did not come to earth as
a human to be slain on a cross to pay the debt of original sin, in order to
redeem the culture. He did not do so in order to lend political support to any specific
nation, whether the United States or Israel, or any cause. The reason is that
cultures, nations, and causes are worldly things, and the result of the death
of Jesus Christ was to create the church, which is ekklesia in Greek, and
ekklesia means “called out.” What is the church called out of? The world and
worldly things. Instead of trying to change the world in some vain, idolatrous,
blasphemous quest to transform its sin and wickedness into the image of the
holiness and righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, instead of
trying to give that which is destined to die the image of that which through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ will have eternal life, the only duty that I
have seen given through Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets to the New
Testament church is that of saving and discipling sinners. Even the good deeds
and charitable works that Jesus Christ commanded His disciples to love our
neighbors and by this way to also love Him was towards that end; acts by which
the unsaved are reached and the saved are to learn to grow in the grace and
knowledge of our only Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now let it be known that evangelical Christians are supposed
to be sola scriptura Protestants. After all, the term “evangelical” was taken
up as a self – descriptive one by the Protestant Reformers. So, I challenge any
sola scriptural Protestant to identify me the Bible verse that commands
Christians to put aside the work of evangelizing the world and discipling those
who by and according to the grace and prerogative of God the Father (those that
the Father gave to the Son) respond to the gospel and start working to give the
unregenerate masses the appearance of righteousness, a form of godliness that
denies the power thereof, show it to me and I will repent of this missive. If
no such verse exists – and I have never encountered it in the New Testament –
then those who continue with this behavior should cease to call themselves sola
scriptura, which means they should cease to call themselves Protestants, which
means that they should cease to call themselves evangelical, which means that
they should cease to call themselves Christians.

This is no mere doctrinal dispute. Again, Jesus Christ gave us in His Holy Spirit – inspired word promises that work done in His Name would
never fail. The end result of not only decades of the religious right but many
centuries of church – states and church – cultures has been nothing but massive
thoroughgoing failure. If you refuse to consider me to be one qualified to
speak to this matter, then heed Søren Kierkegaard; read his Attack Upon Christendom (that is if you can abide theistic existentialism long enough to). So by committing all of these
efforts to works, by fighting all of these battles, that we claim to be in the
Name of Jesus Christ, what witness does the church bear to the promises, the
veracity, the power, the faithfulness, the very Name of Jesus Christ by which
we are saved and are to overcome death, be resurrected from the dead, and
inherit the Celestial City when these things fail? When WE fail?

Because like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress, we have abandoned
the path to the Celestial City and Mount Zion to the Morality Village, the
abode of Mr. Legality and Civility by way of Mount Sinai, that same is the way
of death. We have abandoned the counsel of the apostles, prophets and Jesus
Christ Himself for that of Worldly Wisemen politicians and hucksters, in
addition to not a few very sincere but ultimately misguided and sincere pastors
and theologians, which unfortunately included not a few of the very same
Reformers themselves, who were not long removed from the murderous yoke of the
Roman church – states themselves began drowning Anabaptists and burning
heretics. Indeed, John Bunyan himself spent twelve years in the dark prison of
a Christian nation, separated from his church and family, for the crime of preaching
the gospel.

Morality, legality and civility. Sound like “Christian
values”, “family values”, “American values”, “Judeo – Christian values”, “Judeo
– Christian heritage” and all the other buzzwords to you? It certainly sounds like
that to me. Well, those are legalism, an external righteousness of the
Pharisees, devoid of the religion of the heart that Jesus Christ gave us. It is
darkness devoid of the Light that came to this world that the darkness does not
comprehend. Of course, a person, a group, a movement, a nation can impose
morality, legality and civility for a period of time by expending no small
amount of energy or cost. Keep in mind however: such moral societies do not
have to be Christian … homosexuality, abortion, crime, divorce etc. are very
much kept under control in not a few Muslim societies, and such was also the
case in fascist regimes like those run by Pinochet and Franco. Also, a
democracy cannot maintain “moral societies” anywhere nearly as long as a
monarchy, totalitarian regime or dictatorship.

But it is only for a time. Remember Lot’s wife. Or better
yet remember the Holy Roman Empire! When Constantine allegedly converted (but in
truth began to exploit the faith for state power – including appropriating the
symbol of the Prince of Peace for warfare, a fact that we should think of when
so many evangelicals unconditionally support the war in Iraq as well as torture)
Eusebius and many other pastors and theologians of the time insisted that the
whole thing was the work of God, that Constantine’s making Christianity the
religion of the empire was part of God’s redemptive-historic plan for mankind,
and that through the Roman Empire the whole world would be subdued for Jesus
Christ. What happened? It failed. The Holy Roman Empire broke apart, falling to
the Muslims.

The reason why is that Jesus Christ did not come to earth,
conduct His ministry, die from the cross, and rise from the dead in order to
bring such things into existence. Those things are not wrapped up within the

promises of God, so they will fail. They are works of the flesh, not of the spirit, so they are vanity. You can fight it, you can delay it, but ultimately, as a dog returns to his vomit (Proverb 26:11) that which is sinful will return to sin. A system of laws and rituals can control an unregenerate person for a time, but that sinner will ultimately go back to sin just as
Pliable, Simple, Sloth, Presumption, Formalist, Hypocrisy, Mistrust, Timorous
and all the rest abandoned the true pilgrim Christian on the straight and
narrow path to the Celestial City. And as societies are by definition going to
contain large majorities of unsaved and in many instances shall be ruled by
them, they will go the same way.

This was the failure of the doctrine of the ecclesiola within
the ecclesia, the actual church within the political and cultural church-state
that was advanced in some form by Augustine (representing as he did Catholicism),
Calvin (representing church – state Protestantism) and various others, and it
is the same failure of the various modern dominionism movements -including but
certainly not limited to the religious right and some of the more robust forms
of premillennial dispensationalism and Christian Zionism – whose adherents
proclaim themselves to be taking (or taking back) cultures, nations and
ultimately the globe for Christ.

I am reminded of the words of the pastor character in Frank
Peretti’s novel The Visitation (not exactly Pilgrim’s Progress granted,
but a good read nonetheless!) who upon hearing an inexperienced and zealous
pastor state “we are taking this town for Christ” replied “not even Christ took
a town for Christ.” As Jesus Christ’s own nation, the Jews, rejected Him, what
more evidence is there that Jesus Christ did not die for a nation, a culture, a
political agenda, or any other worldly thing, but rather to redeem the church?
Now Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection did, against all odds, succeed. The
church was born, has existed for going on 2,000 years, and will live forever.
However, the failure of all of these movements proves that no matter the
sincerity, fervency, and honorable motives of many of the people who inspire
and are caught up in them, are sadly due to fail because they have no part in
Jesus Christ’s promises and thus will have no part in His resurrection.

I keep hearing Christians speak of how this can be changed
with a revival, and have taken it upon themselves to try to initiate one. They
recall how society was transformed in America and Britain through the Great
Awakenings, and long for another to happen. I remember the claims that great
outpouring of national unity and people returning to churches after September
11th 2001 may spark just such a revival, a return of this nation to
its “Christian values and heritage.” It was easy to suffer such fantasies when
George W. Bush was in office. Well, not only did George W. Bush prove to be
someone who does not believe that the Bible is literally true and the final
authority and also that Muslims and Christians (and presumably other religions
as well) all pray to the same god, but this nation is now saddled with a
president about whom no one can entertain such delusions. Alas, it was just
another failure by people who were never seeking the true Will of Jesus Christ
to begin with.

While Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield and the other
revivalists of these awakenings may have had some state – church or state –
culture sympathies, the reason why their revivals as well as the missionary
revival started by William Carey and Adoniram Judson and before them Zinzendorf,
Spener and the Moravians succeeded was because their aim was to preach the
gospel and save souls! Their goals were not social or political but spiritual.
That was why they could not fail. They accomplished the results that they were
seeking because the results were the Lord adding to the church such as should
be saved (Acts 2:47). And yes, that verse does say THE LORD adding to the
church, not man through his own efforts doing so. Why? Because as stated
earlier … it was the Lord’s doing, the Lord’s work, the Lord’s battle to begin
with. Do the Lord’s will, and the Lord fights for you. Do your own will, and the
Lord fights against you. Do you deny this? Well then ask King Saul. His
kingdom, his portion was taken from him and given to another because he stopped
fighting the Lord’s battle the Lord’s way and started fighting his battles his
way. Instead of establishing God’s kingdom, it became about Saul’s kingdom.
When Saul’s son asked him for what cause did he seek the life of David, who had
never done any harm to Saul, King Saul cursed his son, calling him the son of a
dog, and asked “don’t you realize that as long as David lives you will never
have MY KINGDOM?” But it was never Saul’s kingdom to give. Saul and his sons
died, God’s kingdom went to David, and through the One Jesus Christ who
descended from David, it will last forever.

So, Christian, are you laboring for Mr. Legality with
Civility in the village Morality for things that, like the Holy Roman Empire,
the Reformed church – states, and Saul’s kingdom, will not last because they
are of this world and are things that Revelation 20 and 21 states will be
destroyed with fire and replaced with a new heaven and a new earth? Or are you
going to love Jesus Christ by keeping His commandments, and thereby laboring
for things that will last forever, in the Celestial City where the rust and
moth cannot destroy?

Gentle Christian, I sincerely entreat and implore you to
turn aside from all that which is pertaining to Mr. Legality, Civility, and the
village Morality … things of Sinai that will fail. Instead, join Pilgrim on the
narrow path to the Celestial City so that your works will last forever. In
closing, let me give you some words by Russell K. Carter, circa 1886.

  1. Standing on the promises of Christ
    my King,
    Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Refrain:
    Standing, standing,
    Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises that
    cannot fail,
    When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
    By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises I now can
    see
    Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
    Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises of Christ
    the Lord,
    Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
    Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Standing on the promises I cannot
    fall,
    List’ning every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
    Standing on the promises of God.
  • Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    The Error That Led To COGIC Leader Charles Blake’s Joining Hands With Sodomites

    Posted by Job on April 6, 2009

    Major thanks and blessings to Pastor D. L. Foster for covering the issue of Church of God in Christ leader and head pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ Charles Blake for signing the universal declaration of human rights. Many supporters of Charles Blake have gone to his website and also to my Youtube site where I posted a video of Blake speaking on the topic. Many have responded to the effect that Blake only intended to support human rights, not homosexuality, and as a matter of fact he is a leader in opposing the sin of homosexuality; that his views concerning this area are doctrinally sound. Now I know little concerning Charles Blake’s views and ministry, so I will defer to the statements of his congregants and supporters, who quite naturally are far more qualified to speak to such issues.

    Realize that the issue here is not so much Blake’s actual teachings and views on homosexuality, but the fact that Blake compromised himself by dealing with the human rights crowd in the first place. If you join with people who have anti – Biblical agendas, then you inevitably wind up being servants of that agenda. That is why the Bible makes it clear that Christians, especially pastors, are to be very careful about whom we walk with and join ourselves to. This is true of both the “Christian right” and the “Christian left.”

    You see, no Christian should ever endorse the concept of “human rights” because according to the Bible, no such thing exists. Read the Bible, and you will never see anything stating or implying that people have human, civil, or individual rights. The Bible has nothing to do with rights, which constitutes treatment and benefits that individuals and groups deserve and that others – including ultimately God – are obligated to provide them. Rather than being a text that grants humans rights, it gives us responsibilities, all of which center around believing in, obeying, and serving God. Again, the Bible speak of rights given to man, but of man’s responsibility to God.

    It is true, of course, that the Bible contains many instructions outlining ethical and moral treatment of human beings. But be not deceived: these things are in no way general, and are certainly not because humans deserve this, or have some “right” to this treatment. The idea that this is the case is the common fallacy of political and ideological liberals and conservatives. Liberals de – spiritualize the Bible, in the process removing everything about God and man’s obligation to him, and instead read it as a philosophical tract. So, for liberals the requirements for ethical behavior contained in the Bible is truthfully all the Bible is, and as a result they remove it from its intended context. Conservatives, for their part, use the Bible as a social contract for imposing laws and morality on society at large. While this does emphasize human obligation over rights, this obligation is to the state and society (the world) instead of to God, and as a result often rejects true justice and mercy (the weightier matters of the law).

    Though they are opposite ends of the political and even theological scale, in truth liberals and conservatives both create this error for the same reason: that the Bible message is not meant to govern everyone, but rather only members of the faith community in a covenant relationship with God. In the Old Testament this was Israel, in the New Testament it is the church. The exhortations to ethical behavior and treatment of humanity was only revealed to God’s elect; how they were to treat believers and everyone else. Outside of instructing believers how they were to behave towards their fellow man, the instructions that we should love one another, treat one another well, and defend the powerless have no context and application. In short, it is not because of the inherent worth or value of human existence that gives people the right to be loved, well treated, and defended. It is solely because God commands us to do so.

    And why does God tell us to do so? It is not because of the people, their value to God, and His love for them, though God certainly does value and love us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to take on sin and be slain on a cross. It is because God is a holy and righteous God, and He expects His covenant people, His elect, to reflect His holiness and righteousness in our behavior. If we are being cruel towards our fellow man, we are not reflecting God’s holy and righteous character. So again, our responsibility to treat other members of the human race with love, decency, and respect is our obligation to God and is an act of loving and serving God.

    Evidence of this is the famous statement of 1 John 4:20 “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” Now the humanist perspective on this verse only focuses on how we are to love our brother. Of course, that is wrong. The verse is not about loving your brother at all. It is about loving God. The verse is contained within a passage of 1 John concerning our loving God, and speaks of how this is accomplished. It is not a passage on how we are to love humanity, it is a passage that tells us to love, honor, and obey GOD by loving humanity.

    The same is true of Jesus Christ’s teachings about how Christians should treat widows, the poor, strangers, those in prison, orphans, etc. He did not teach that Christians should do this for the sake of people in need because they inherently deserved this behavior, had some human or civil right to this treatment. Instead, Jesus Christ stated “as you do to them, you do to me!” Again, Jesus Christ made ethical treatment of humanity an act of service to HIM, not to humanity. Again, please read Matthew 25:34-46 and you see the emphasis is on Jesus Christ, not on people. Goodness to people is presented as a way of loving Christ, not as an obligation to humanity for humanity’s sake. And again, we are to love humanity because God loves humanity, because as God’s people we are obligated to reflect God’s loving, holy, and righteous character in all that we do, including but not limited to how we treat other people.

    Of course, the liberal Christian reads that passage, despiritualizes it, and humanizes it. That results in the emphasis being removed from God and placed on man, and a reading where man inherently deserves and is obligated to receive good treatment, and other humans are obligated to give it. This, of course, comes from liberal theology’s rejection of original sin. The idea that human, civil, or individual rights exist can only be countenanced if we reject the idea that we are nothing but sinners who deserve only wrath and can only be saved by God’s grace, and that any value that we have is not inherent, but rather because God graciously gives that value to us. 

    So the question has to be asked: why is Charles Blake, the leader of a very theologically conservative denomination (it’s true, if the issue of women in ministry is removed, Pentecostal denominations are actually the most conservative) following after liberal theology to begin with? The answer: the civil rights movement. Charles Blake is black, and has bought into the belief that human rights is the logical extension, the next phase if you will, of the movement that Martin Luther King, Jr. led. To be honest, he is 100% correct. Martin Luther King, Jr. said so himself!

    The problem is that the civil rights movement was not a Christian movement at all. It was not a movement designed to bring people to the Jesus Christ of the Bible and cause them to obey and serve that Jesus Christ. Instead, the civil rights movement was about securing better treatment for humanity, and the movement merely appropriated Bible texts that were convenient to their agenda while completely ignoring others. This should come as no surprise, for most of the civil rights movement’s leaders were explicitly not Christian, and even those who professed to be Christian – like King – rejected the doctrines that actually make a person Christian. Virtually every preacher, pastor, etc. in the upper ranks of the civil rights leadership rejected the inspiration and authority of scripture, and King himself rejected the deity of Jesus Christ, seeing Him as merely a human political leader.

    Yet, because the civil rights movements gained black people in America so many temporal benefits, it is practically impossible for any black man to stand up and say that the civil rights movement was never Christian in any sense and retain the respect and support of the black community. So, black people desiring this respect and support must continue to carry water for the band of atheists, communists, homosexuals, theological liberals, Jews and other decidedly non – Christians that were the civil rights movements’ spokesmen and leaders and for their movement. This, of course, means black Christian pastors that choose to lead overwhelmingly black congregations. It is sad to say, but any pastor of a black congregation who shares with his congregation the hard truth concerning the civil rights movement will find himself no longer leading – or truth be known employed by – a black congregation in short order. So, as a pastor of a large, prominent, respected church containing many black members of some influence and reputation AND having a leadership post in a black denomination Bishop Charles Blake has to not only go along with it concerning the civil rights like everyone else, but embrace it. 

    Not only that, but because of the status that he has attained in being a clergy in, of, and for the black community, Blake finds himself under a great deal of pressure. It is not enough to merely be a black preacher, but he is under pressure to be a black leader, to take up the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other civil rights leaders and carry it forward. The narrative has long been established that black ministers cannot simply ply their trade as white, Hispanic and Asian ministers do, but have to add a social justice/social activism/civil rights component. If you are the leader of a small humble storefront congregation that has 75 members, it is easy to resist the pressure, the temptation, to be “more than just a minister” but a civil rights leader. But the more influential, the more prominent that you become as a pastor in the black community, the greater the pressure and temptation to take up Martin Luther King Jr.’s work becomes. The problem is that the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the work of Jesus Christ, not least because Martin Luther King, Jr. did not even believe in Jesus Christ, let alone serve Him. 

    So it may yet be true that Charles Blake has the Biblical view towards homosexuality. What is equally true, however, is that Charles Blake has an unBiblical behavior towards the world, and exhibited it by going along with these unbelievers with the human rights declaration despite knowing full well that these unbelievers will – as unbelievers tend to do – use the human rights declaration to support and promote sin while opposing righteousness. There are two verses that apply here. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Well, Blake is walking with these people despite knowing full well what they are all about. Now while Pastor Foster is focusing on the homosexuality angle (which is a bit regrettable because it somewhat clouds the issue) the main problem with the universal declaration of human rights where I am concerned is that it is very much a religious universalistic – or at the very minimum religious pluralistic – effort, working to make the “many paths to heaven” lie the only acceptable language of religious discourse and bringing us closer to the day where saying that Jesus Christ is the only path to heaven is bigotry – a human rights violation! – because it offends Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, wiccans, etc.

    Second, there is James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Look, Pastor Charles Blake is a very educated, intelligent and accomplished man. He knows what these human rights people are about. He knows what the civil rights crowd is and was about. He knows that “human rights” has no place in a Biblical worldview. Yet he does this because of his position in the world and his desire to keep it. 

    So ultimately, this has nothing to do with homosexuality at all. It is all about worldiness, and what Bishop Charles Blake has allowed himself to get mixed up with is still more evidence why Christians, most of all pastors, should heed the Bible’s instructions to flee it. 

    P.S. I don’t want any of you folks coming on here quoting what some famous preacher or theologian says about human, civil, or individual rights, and I ESPECIALLY do not want to read any nonsense about “natural law” or any other perversion of what scripture teaches about common grace. Those things are not the process of a literal, exegetical reading of scripture, but notions that came to us from systematic theology. Systematic theology is the convergence of Bible doctrines (which truthfully, is not exactly the Bible itself, but is honestly one step removed) and western philosophy, and western philosophy originated and is largely rooted in pagan Hellenism. Now while systematic theology has its uses (especially for westerners and we do live in a western culture … I should point out that for non – western people systematic theology is must less useful and more problematic, and non – western Christians have been trying to communicate this fact for centuries), it has to be directly wedded to the Bible to make sense. But once you depart from the Bible, well let us just say that I am convinced that a skilled enough systematic theologian could make a compelling case that 1+1=3. If you don’t believe me, go read about how some of the great systematic theologians justified such things as torturing and killing heretics. Yep, the same folks who went around prattling about human or individual rights derived from natural law thought nothing of tying someone to a stake and burning him to death, using green wood so that the death would be as slow and painful as possible. The truth is that if you read the Bible exegetically and refrain from eisegesis (infusing the text with ideas and meanings that aren’t present), you will not find the concept of human, individual, or civil rights and liberties in the Bible, only of man’s responsibility to respond to God in faith with service, obedience, and trembling. 

    Posted in Christianity, false doctrine, false teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

    The Cause Of Homosexuality In Animals Discovered: Corporate Pollution!

    Posted by Job on February 19, 2009

    For years, homosexual rights advocates have used the occurrence of homosexuality in animals as part of the “God made us this way so we have to reject what the Bible says” argument. Well, see the article below, which contains, among other things, this blurb: “In California researchers found what came to be known in the press as “gay gulls”: same-sex seagull couples shacking up together in the nest, protecting eggs with abnormally thin shells that often harbored dead chicks. DDT was the suspected culprit.” Still more proof that the Bible is right: homosexuality is an unnatural abomination that was never part of God’s plan.

    However, if this article is correct, because of pollution, homosexuality is only one of the many unnatural things caused by pollution. It is still more evidence that we are living in the last days, and that we need Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior.

    Is One Very Tough Rat a Very Big Risk to Human Health?

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , | 21 Comments »

    What Is The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Supposed To Transform?

    Posted by Job on December 23, 2008

    Well, the news breaks from Apprising Ministries that James Dobson and Focus on the Family is promoting  Mormonism. (And that they also denounce people who oppose Roman Catholicism.) Really, this is no surprise. Allow me to explain why by asking a question: what is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it to transform lives by saving souls? Or is it to transform nations and cultures by spreading values and norms? Many would say that either/or is a false choice when the answer is both. What those people ignore is that so often those two goals find themselves in conflict, and when they do it is much easier and more expedient to “focus on” transforming the nation and the culture than it is getting people saved. Tending to the nation and culture is far less difficult and produces quicker, more broad based results than crawling on your belly and face over the sharp rocks on craggy cliffsides and through the thick briars and brambles trying to find that one lost sheep, and then discipling that sheep so that he doesn’t run off again. It would imagine that it pays a lot better too, even if Focus on the Family has had to resort to layoffs lately. It is easier to focus on the family than to focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so any offense that results from fighting false cultural battles will be far less.

    So, when the time comes that the path to salvation is not through the false gospel of Mormonism or through a Roman Catholic Church that is now teaching religious pluralism, Dobson must stand down and count such people as his allies. Why? Because Mormons and Roman Catholics have good values, and are too useful allies in the culture wars over gay marriage and abortion to turn your backs on. So instead of telling Glen Beck that he needs to repent or spend eternity in the lake of fire, Focus on the Family promotes his allegedly Christian testimony

    So in times like these, the truth be told: it is not the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the world, which includes cultures and nations. Instead, the purpose of the gospel is to save God’s elect from the world. Evidence of this is found in the very book of Revelation that amillennialists and dominionists love to reject with a “spiritual interpretation.” Even upon His return, Jesus Christ does not transform the world. Instead, He smites it and rules it with a rod of iron. See Revelation 19:15. Why does He do this? Because the world does not submit to His rule. The world is still trying to rebel, still trying to reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Sovereignty of God. That is why when Satan is released, he has no problem finding allies for his final and futile effort as recorded in Revelation 20:7-9

    Even after the final rebellion of Satan is crushed and this accuser is cast into the lake of fire, Jesus Christ does not set about transforming the nations and cultures. Instead, Jesus Christ judges them, they are destroyed with fire, and there is a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:1 – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now the Roman Catholics have the statement which goes to the effect “world without end amen amen.” But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible clearly states in Revelation and in the other eschatological passages that this world is coming to an end. So why bother trying to transform it? Why polish the brassware of a sinking ship? That would only divert the energies from getting as many people as you can off the ship and into lifeboats. The gospel is the lifeboat. It cannot be meant as both a lifeboat and some attempt to plug the leak in the boat. Why? Because those are two aims at cross purposes. If the gospel was meant to transform the world, there would be no need to save men from it. Also, make no mistake: it was God who put the hole in the boat to begin with. Indeed, it is God Himself that will judge the world for its wickedness. 

    Also, if the role of the gospel is to transform the world, then the Bible itself would declare the gospel to be a failure. Why? Because the Bible makes it clear: the world is never transformed. It is never subdued. It remains wicked and rebellious to the very end. So if the gospel fails at the goal of transforming the world and the culture, of say, making the government respect the Ten Commandments and making the culture respect traditional family values, then why should the gospel succeed in saving any Christian from the eternity in the lake of fire? 

    This is not some bold new theological innovation here. Instead, it can be found in a simple Frank Peretti novel “The Visitation.” In it, the protagonist, a burned out pastor, is confronted with his new, eager, inexperienced replacement, and the latter states “we are taking this town for Christ.” To which, the protagonist replied “how are you going to take any town for Christ when not even Christ took a town for Christ. Have you ever asked this town if it wants to be taken for Christ?” Taking towns for Christ was never Christ’s job. Thus, transforming the world and culture was never the job of the gospel or of the church. The very Bible itself declares that the world and culture will not be transformed, so if that was ever the goal of the gospel, then the Bible which declares the gospel would declare that gospel to be a failure, making the Word of God a failure, and Jesus Christ’s going to the cross to be in vain. 

    The idea that it we should be trying to use the gospel to give life to things that are doomed to die instead of using the gospel so that people could be born again is a great deception. It transforms the unchangeable truth of God into a lie, and takes the all powerful all knowing God and uses His own revelation to declare Him to be weak, a failure, as if Revelation depicts God as destroying the world only after being frustrated by His many attempts to save it; that not even sacrificing His own Son on a cross and sending that Son to Personally rule the world was enough. And what could be more Satanic, more anti – Christ, than that? 

    So we are left with the truth that the purpose of the gospel was to transform lives, to save souls, and to spare them the judgment that awaits the nations and their cultures. And we should reject anyone who comes promoting a different aim using a different gospel that represents a different Jesus.

    Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments »

    On What Authority Rests Your Faith? And Whose Business Is It?

    Posted by Job on December 23, 2008

    This is another attempt to get a handle on the controversy surrounding Rick Warren’s speaking at Barack Obama’s inauguration. First, let me get something out of the way. As to my opinion of Rick Warren’s speaking at Obama’s inauguration, let me say that truthfully I have no opinion. Why should I? Rick Warren is a self – admitted member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and openly advocates the idea that the work that he does for this body makes him a better pastor, a better Christian, and the world a better place. Barack Obama? His wife is a former leader of the Chicago chapter of the Council on Foreign Relations, whose members and/or people knowingly and willingly working to advance their agenda include such people representing the right as Newt Gingrich and George H. W. Bush, such people representing the right as Clinton and the aforementioned Michelle Obama, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, and pastors such as Rick Warren and T. D. Jakes. 

    Also, consider that one of Barack Obama’s early advocates: Rupert Murdoch, whose entire career as a pro – business race – baiting conservative would seem to have made him an Obama opponent. Well, Murdoch, actually 100% literally the world’s biggest pornographer in that no one, not Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt or the mafia, more widely distributes or makes more money off pornography than does Murdoch, has lucrative and mutually beneficial business ties with Rick Warren. So now, right on the heels of the release of Rick Warren’s new book, already a bestseller, which Warren calls “the most clear definition of Christianity – of what it means to follow Jesus, what it means to be saved – of anything I’ve ever written“, comes the announcement that Obama is making Warren his inauguration speaker. So I ask of you … what is there to think of this other than to say that for Warren and Obama this is just business as usual?

    Now this could have been an opportunity for a great many Christians to take a longer, deeper look at Rick Warren, his theology, and his associations. In other words, apply the same to Rick Warren as so many conservative Christians did to Barack Obama’s liberal and black liberation theology, and with Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky, William Ayers, Michael Pfleger, ACORN etc. Really, the Council on Foreign Relations and Rupert Murdoch are just part of a much larger picture with Warren, which tends to indicate that he – and Obama – are merely players in a much larger game. So, then, who are the game masters and ultimately the puppet masters? And who is ultimately the head behind the puppet masters? These are questions that Obama’s tapping Rick Warren – and Rick Warren’s accepting – should raise.

    But instead, we had this convenient explosion of protests from angry homosexuals and their advocates. The result has been a great many conservative Christians to take the position that if the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, ACT UP, People for the American Way, and other such groups are attacking Rick Warren, then he can’t be all bad. “The enemy of the enemy is my friend”, right? Well, I should remind you that this slogan originated in the Middle East, and radical Islam opposes homosexuality (and abortion and rock music and pornography and separation between church and state) too.  

    So, we have Obama able to use Rick Warren to advance his agenda, and Warren to use Obama to advance his. And, of course, whoever is using both Obama and Warren to advance their own agenda is getting what they want too. The reason for this is that similar to Billy Graham before him, a complete and total lack of prominent people, people of position, esteem, influence, and reputation, willing to criticize Rick Warren. Whether they are conservative, evangelical, traditionalist, or fundamentalist, you cannot find a single Christian leader willing to incontrovertibly and without qualification oppose the fellow. Oh they will criticize him from time to time when they are forced to confront something disturbing that Warren does or says. But they will not ever deal with the fact that Warren as a matter of routine procedure does and says disturbing things.

    They also will not apply what scripture says about Christians, especially pastors, who routinely say and do things that are unscriptural, Christians who glorify and revel in their things unscriptural, and take pleasure in others who do unscriptural things just as they do. Scripture calls those people in need of severe rebuke at the very best, and on balance false Christians and heretics and those allied with them synagogues of Satan.

    Now I admit, I had a glimmer of hope that Republican – leaning Christians would start to closely examine any pastor who aligns himself with a president that has stated that his first act in office would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. But the very convenient Proposition 8 homosexual marriage controversy rendered that moot. And as I mentioned earlier, the lack of well known Christian pastors and theologians willing to publicly and directly take on the Rick Warren problem is exactly what allows a sort of “jury nullification” to be applied to Warren and his theology. Which, of course, leaves us right back where we started. Which is that I have no opinion on Warren giving the inauguration blessing other than “business as usual.” 

    My main problem with Rick Warren’s theology? It is simple. Who is Jesus Christ? Our Lord and Savior. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Lord comes first. Jesus Christ was our Lord before He ever was our Savior. And even if Jesus Christ had never been our Savior, indeed had God decided never to redeem mankind (or perhaps had mankind never needed redeeming) He would still be our Lord. The Lordship of Jesus Christ, indeed the Sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ, is spiritually and logically prior. The authority of Jesus Christ comes not from being Savior. It comes from His being Lord. It is because Jesus Christ is Lord that we can call upon His Name and be saved.

    The problem with Warren and those like him is that they offer a Jesus Christ that is Savior without truly being Lord. They offer an incomplete picture of Jesus Christ which results in being a false Christ. Jesus Christ is only the helper, provider, and friend, sort of like a best buddy. Jesus Christ the Ruler, Leader, and Judge is left out. (So if Jesus Christ is only the lamb, who is the lion? America’s economic and military machine perhaps?) It is so easy to look at Revelation and see how chapters 4 – 20 apply to the overt non – Christians, the world that is, who rejects Jesus Christ as Savior and say “none of that is going to happen to me” if you are a Christian. But in doing so, are you forgetting that Revelation chapters 1 – 3 applies to the church? Those three chapters lead Revelation because judgment starts in the church. It does not start in the world. And that fits the gospels and the epistles that precede Revelation, and also the Old Testament before the New Testament. Those things were not given as warnings to the world. The Old Testament was given to God’s people Israel. The gospels and the epistles were given to God’s people the church. The warnings, judgments, etc. in the Old Testament, gospels, and epistles were to the Old and New Testament saints, not to the heathen.

    So the only purpose of Revelation 4-20 is to show what will happen to the heathen. The rest of the Bible is for believers – or should I say partial believers – who fail to obey. It is for Ephesians who have left their first love. It is for those in Pergamos who follow Balaam and the Nicolataines. It is for Thyatirans who follow the Jezebel doctrines. It is far those in Sardis who do not repent and strengthen the things which remain before they die. And it is for the lukewarm Laodiceans. These are all people who profess Jesus Christ as Savior but who by word or action reject Him as Lord. As a result, the professed Christians that reject the Lordship of Christ in Revelation 1-3 will receive Revelation 4-20 and miss out on Revelation 21-22. For them, it will be as if they never professed Jesus Christ as Savior at all. And in truth, they never will have, because Jesus Christ is not your Savior if He is not your Lord.

    And the result of doctrines, theologies, movements etc. that profess Jesus Christ as Savior without making Him Lord? For such people the Bible is no longer the authority. For these people, the Bible is only AN authority. It is a reference. A source. Something from which to draw footnotes. But it is not THE authority. Such people may reject the notion of the Bible being the singular authority in all things out of hand. Others may profess it while not living it. And there are the many shades in between. But the root is the same: Jesus Christ is their Savior without being their Lord. For those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord have seared in their minds and hearts John 14:15, and diligently study, meditate, and strive to heed the Bible to live up to John 14:15, and when they discover that doing so is impossible, they have no choice but to take refuge in the cross to relieve, cover, and fix up their brokenness in light of their failure. Those are the Romans 7:7-25 people.

    Otherwise, where does the authority come from? In trying to categorize the Protestant Christian landscape (and for the most part exempting the largely liberal mainline denominations) there seems to be three basic groups. Fundamentalists are basically known by their rejection of modernism (the intellectual and ideological movement that began with the Englightenment and ended with World War II, or as others say began with the French Revolution and ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the age of reason, science, and rationality). For them, the authority appears to be received tradition. That old time religion is good enough for them! What if the old timers were wrong on things like, say, consuming wine in moderation as Jesus Christ incontrovertibly did? Or even ideas that really aren’t that old like dispensational premillennialism, or didn’t even originate with fundamental Christianity such as trying to use religiosity or religious – tinged secular activism to transform an unregenerate society into a society that they perceive to be more like the one which gave them their tradition? Well it is still good enough! 

    Evangelicals are known for their embrace of modernism. After all, God is a God of order, God made creation to reflect His orderly nature, which makes the faith by which we come to know and experience God entirely rational. Right? I am not going to attempt to belittle evangelicalism by making flailing attempts to point out where this thinking leads.  (I will, however, say to open practically any major work of evangelical systematic theology written after 1970 and see for yourself!) I have to ask this question, however:  is it an issue of whether a member of a church shows no interest in theological things, or if they have no interest in spiritual things? Or are theological things, especially if this theology is propositional and deductive in nature, and spiritual things one and the same? It would appear that for evangelicalism, then, the ultimate authority is reason and rationality, even if for no reason other than mainstream evangelicalism is hesitant to deal with Biblical matters that do not lend themselves to reasonable or rational discourse. For messy things like that, concepts like “Christian values” step up and fill the void. Failing that, you have “the proper meaning of this Bible text must necessarily be limited to the single meaning that the speaker intended the hearers to understand in that day and time, and the single meaning that the hearers understood the speaker to be communicating in their cultural context.” Or for that matter “those things were only for the apostolic era forthe church’s  foundational purposes and were not meant for Christians coming thereafter.” (Never mind that there is not a single Bible verse that anyone can point to that actually says this!) For what are we supposed to be contending? For the jargon now delivered to the saints, or for the faith once delivered to us?

    As for emergents or the emerging church? It is known for its embrace of postmodernity. Among postmodernity’s claims is the idea that definite truth either does not exist or is unknowable. All that exists is perception, and perception is basically the product of one’s cultural background, preconceived notions, and other biases, and as a result one person’s opinion is as good as another. (Of course, no postmodernist actually believes this insofar as they actually go about pretending as if 1+1 may or may not be 2, and they certainly believe their own opinions and values to be true, so in truth postmodernism is actually more of a place of first and permanent resort when challenged.) So what is the authority? Me. What I believe. What I believe to be true, or more accurately what I believe to be right. And even when I am proven wrong, it is no big deal because hey, no one’s perfect anyway. It isn’t as if it makes me a bad person or anything!

    Now consider that one of postmodernism’s criticisms of modernity is that it is individualistic. Postmodernity claims to be about building, indeed restoring, the sense of human community. So it is not merely individuals running around with their own individual human opinions. Rather, postmodernism gives groups of people the ability to more or less coalesce around the same truth, meaning, or interpretation. (You believe the same thing that I do? Sweet! Let’s hang out!) Now the truths of various communities will inevitably diverge, but that is not what is important. What is important is the shared consensus of these communities, which is that there exists no single truth that can be imposed upon them, and more importantly no authority with the right to impose it. This authority may have the power, mind you. But they don’t have the right. Any authority that exercises its power to impose a definite truth on any person or group is by nature totalitarian, oppressive, and illegitimate. 

    So, then, can the postmodern Christian still be conservative, evangelical, or orthodox? I am going to leave aside the games that postmodernists play with language, their tactic of co – opting vocabulary by giving words different meanings to make people believe that they agree with them (sort of like how when Christians and Mormons refer to Jesus Christ as the Son of God both groups mean totally different things!) for a minute.

    Instead, to strictly deal with the question, the answer is yes, the postmodern Christian can have almost entire points of agreement on evangelical and fundamentalist Christians on theology and doctrine. However, this is only because the postmodern Christian personally chooses to. The postmodern Christian is totally free to pick and choose based on his own ideas of interpretation, his own ideas of true and untrue, his own ideas of right and wrong, which Bible interpretations to accept and reject, which doctrines are true and false, what things to emphasize or ignore. The rule of faith? Nay, the rule of what I think is right. Which ultimately becomes the rule of what I and my community of like – minded believers think is right. (The community of like minded believers is extremely important, because there is indeed strength in numbers.) And anyone who comes around and says different, anyone who tries to impose their personal notions of truth on me, is a small minded hypocritical judgmental Pharisee. 

    So this brings us back to the many evangelicals, fundamentalists, and other theologically conservative Christians who are willing to allow Rick Warren to reside within the sphere of what they consider to be acceptable merely because Warren professes the historic creeds, confessions, and doctrinal statements, and moreover his social and cultural beliefs are well within the conservative Christian consensus. They are looking at the fact that Rick Warren professes the right beliefs alone while overlooking – willfully I might add – that Warren’s authority for his beliefs are none other than Warren himself. (And yes, that does explain why despite his profession of orthodox beliefs his actions are so disturbing.) They do this because in their evaluating Warren – and more importantly their deciding what to do (or what not to do) about him – their authority is the fundamentalist or evangelical consensus. They are already tolerating things that are abiblical or questionably Biblical within their own spheres. So long as it remains in their sphere, it is fine. So Warren is just something else. Admit it: Warren falls right within the fundamental or evangelical spectrum. And as long as he does, there is no need for anyone whose authority is the fundamental or evangelical consensus instead of or in addition to the Bible to oppose him in any meaningful way.

    Here is the irony. Suppose Warren were to come out and say that abortion and homosexuality are the state’s business or the culture’s business that have nothing to do with the church. That the church should mind its own affairs, which is to win converts and disciple new members, and let the state and culture manage theirs. Now such a position would be far closer to the New Testament writings and what the New Testament figures actually seems to have practiced than the many peculiarities of fundamental or evangelical Christianity. Yet, were Warren to start promoting such an idea, that would be when some prominent Christians would have occasion to oppose the fellow. Why? Because the idea that Christians should find some active means of opposing the drift and tide of our government and culture away from the traditions and norms of the past is well within the fundamental or evangelical mainstream, so stating that the Body of Christ should concentrate its energies on Jesus Christ’s sheep, both lost and found, would place Warren out of this mainstream despite the very real possibility that such a position may be Biblical. (At the very least, the position would be worthy of serious reflection, study of scriptures, and doctrinal debate.) So, by remaining nominally anti – abortion and anti – homosexuality (nominal in that he makes public statements to that effect, but don’t expect to see him at a pro – life rally or handing out gospel tracts at a gay pride event very often) Warren basically remains in the evangelical or fundamental good graces no matter what else he does. How can fundamentalists and evangelicals oppose Warren’s deviations when they have or suffer other ones? It is only if your final authority is the Bible that you have the position to consistently oppose deviations, no matter who exhibits them and or what area the deviations exist. This is not to say that you will go around using that position on a constant basis because there is such a thing as Christian charity, humility, and a desire for unity that will cover a multitude of faults. But these things do not apply to people who because of a multitude of consistent errors in their statements and practices cannot truly be called Christians, and this is certainly the case with one Rick Warren.

    That is why the little criticism of Warren that exists concerns his embrace of such things as environmentalism and global warming. Pardon me, but can you show me the Bible verses that command Christians to be anti – abortion anti – homosexuality activists and not anti – poverty pro – environmental activists? I have been through the Bible several times and seem to have overlooked them. Maybe the reason is that I mostly adhere to the King James Version, perhaps? Because what I have seen in my readings of the New Testament is Jesus Christ and the epistle writers speaking to the issues among believers. Their dealing with unbelievers was limited to sharing the gospel with them so that they might become believers. For homosexuality, disposing of unwanted children, and other forms of sin and immorality were pervasive throughout the heathen Roman Empire, yet the only thing that the New Testament manages to say about the world outside the church is Romans 13′s commandment to generally respect the government. Not transform the government (or the culture), mind you, just to respect it, as the Bible calls lawlessness and sedition sin.

    Again, in this Warren is no different from the last generation’s Billy Graham. Around the time of the Vatican Council II, Billy Graham just up and decided that Roman Catholicism was perfectly fine. After that came a flood of other pronouncements from Graham, culminating in his statement to a major newsmagazine that he was no longer certain that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven. (Please realize that such has been the position of the Roman Catholic Church since the Vatican Council II; Roman Catholicism is officially pluralist, even if conservative Catholics don’t like talking about it much.) So many fundamentalists and evangelicals declared themselves shocked at Graham’s statements. Why were they? Like Warren today, Graham had long been saying and doing worrisome things. And like Warren today, no one of any prominence was willing to rise up and take Graham on. So, Graham’s attack on the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ was just swept under the rug, just as everything else Graham said and did in rejection of the fact that the Bible declares Jesus Christ to be Lord. After all, can it be denied that the position of the Roman Catholic Church is that the church is lord on earth, and the pope is the head of the church? 

    So really, this is not about Rick Warren or Barack Obama. It is about you. On what authority rests your faith? Is it based on received tradition? Is it based on reason, rationality, and proposition? Is it based on what you believe and decide to be right? Or is it based on the Bible? Now of course, I am fully aware that we worship God and not a book. (After all, the “New Testament church” – meaning the early, apostolic church – didn’t even have the complete New Testament in canonical form, but they most certainly had God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit!) But are not God’s Commandments to us contained within this book? And how can we say that God is Lord of our lives if we make His Commandments subservient to tradition, reason, or the imaginations and high things that exalts themselves against the knowledge of God of our own desperately wicked and deceitful above all things hearts? 

    So worship a book? No. Worship and praise God by striving to obey the Bible? Yes. So what, then, are we to make of people who refuse to even try? Who make excuses for this refusal for themselves and for others? Well, to be honest, that is just business as usual, as most of the epistles were indeed letters describing how to view and deal just such people in local congregations, and before those the law, the prophets, and the writings of the Old Testament addressed those very same such people in Israel. 

    So then, Christian, what business is yours? Is it the business of your God, your Savior, your Creator, your Lord? Or is it the business of the world, that is, business as usual? The answer to this question is determined by whether the Word of God is your ultimate authority.

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