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Thursday, December 20, 2007

It All Happened In The Country

Diana recently wrote about a Christmas play that our family had the priviledge of being a part of this past Sunday called It All Happened In The Country. She has some great pictures and even a video up on her blog from the night. Meg, Matt and Jules, along with Diana and I were in the play, while G3 ran the spotlight from the balcony. I don't know what I could add to it, so I will just say that I feel so blessed to be a part of an awesome, caring church. I absolutely love children's plays, the forgotten lines, cute costumes, etc. The innocence of the children singing and talking about God is an incredible sight to witness.

I like to think that our Heavenly Father looks down on these little ones singing and telling the Gospel story and smiles. It's been said, and I believe, that Christmas and Easter are two of the times that people who never or seldom come to church - do come to church. What an awesome way to share the story of God's love through Jesus' birth to all of these people.

Because Truth matters,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prophet or Profit?

Well, it's been a while, two weeks, I think, since Rick Warren has been in the news, so I guess that it should come as no surprise that a new article published by the Christian Post informs us of more of the Apostacy Driven movement.

The article that I read begins,
"Megachurch pastor Rick Warren attended a large Reform Jewish gathering last week to share tips on how to build a community. The “Purpose-Driven” pastor spoke to thousands of Jewish leaders Thursday night at the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial convention in San Diego. With the holiday season in mind, Warren urged clergy to take advantage of crowded events to publicize other programs so people can get involved in the community through smaller groups." "There are some principles that apply regardless of our faith, if it’s Jewish or Christian,” he said at the convention." "One of his principles: “Just be nice to people. Smile.”

umm... What?!?!?! Principles that apply regardless of our faith?!? Just be nice and smile?!?

"The article continues, "After Warren spoke a few minutes at the podium, he sat alongside two popular Southern California rabbis for a casual talk about strengthening congregational life."

I am extremely disheartened by this latest in an ongoing series of revelations about"Pastor" Warren. How can a person who is called to preach the Truth about God's Word go to a house of worship for a different religion and help them deceive people and drive them away from God? Maybe Mr. Warren doesn't take the words of Isaiah 5:20 to heart when it states, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!"

Further on down in the article, The Christian post reports,

"Other guests at the conference included the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America."

Great! I guess it really doesn't matter that your helping the kingdom of darkness with this purpose drivel. Please excuse my sarcasm, but sometimes I feel like I am watching these things unfold and am the only one who "gets it" like someone shouting at the movie screen to "Look behind you!" or "Don't trust him!"

To make things worse, there are still many people, including a few churches local to me that STILL follow his techniques.

How does following a worldly formula teach about our sin and God's grace and redemption? It doesn't and it can't. I pray that people will wake up soon before it's too late.

Because Truth matters,

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Reformation Redux

Calling John Tetzel...

Today I read an article today about Pope Benedict XVI. He is offering "relief from purgatory" to Catholics who visit Lourdes, France.

The article went on to say that,

The indulgences will be available from this weekend until Dec 8, 2008.

What?!?! After Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg Castle church following similar practices of the pope at the time, it seems incredible that something like this still goes on.

I came from a Catholic background and never understood it or felt comfortable with some of their practices (confession, purgatory, etc.) That, coupled with the fact that the Bible was never used and it felt like an ardous task.

I remember my salvation well. The freedom, the love, the mercy and forgiveness of our Lord and Saviour brought my spiritual life into sharp focus.

Oftimes it seems like I am in a movie and I am the only one who knows what the plot is and all of the other people around me are oblivious to the man-centered error that is being propagated to the people in the congregation.


The déjà vu of this is very strange. This coupled with some of the monastic traditions that some emergent churches are using just reminds my of Ecclesiastes 1:9,

What has been will be again, what has been done
will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Because Truth matters,

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

To think about...

This Christmas season let us try

To do some golden deeds,

To carry someone’s burden,

To help someone in need.

There are always those who need us

As we journey on life’s way,

And the friends we win by helping

Make us richer every day.

So when you see a saddened face

As Christmas time draws near,

Do your best to lift the load

And spread a word of cheer.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Graced Again

Here is a wonderful quote to help us turn our mind towards Jesus this Christmas season. I know that a lot of time, we as people, myself included, say that we want to concentrate... focus more on Jesus. We want to put Christ in Christmas.

It's early in December, so I challenge everyone that reads this to turn your attention towards Jesus this month. Let this season be a season of renewal of our faith and may the Lord grant us that we can grasp an inkling of the love our Father has for us.

"(Consider) Mary’s response to the angel. The angel has come to Mary and says: Mary, you are going to give birth to the long-promised Messiah. This was a unique promise, and unrepeatable. There is something totally unique here: the birth of the eternal second Person of the Trinity into this world. What was her response…She could have rejected the idea and said, ‘I do not want it: I want to withdraw; I want to run’…she could have said, ‘I now have the promises, so I will exert my force, my character, and my energy, to bring forth the promised thing’. But (what she did say) is beautiful, it is wonderful. She says: ‘Behold, the bondmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy Word.’ There is an active passivity here. She took her own body, by choice, and put it into the hands of God to do the thing that he said he would do and Jesus was born. She gave herself to God…This is a beautiful, exciting, personal expression of a relationship between a finite person and the God she loves."

-Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality

Because Truth matters,

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christians and Muslims and Peace... Oh my!

I recently read an article, a response actually by Christian leaders to a Muslim letter calling for peace and unity. This letter was signed by a number of people including Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and by Brian McLaren.

Jeremiah 6:14 (NASB) states,

"And they have healed the brokenness of My people
superficially, Saying, 'Peace, peace,' But there is no peace."

It saddens my heart to read about "Christian leaders" who are willing to throw away all the essentials of the Christian faith for unity with a false religion citing "common ground", a "love of God", and a "love of neighbor" as the reasons.

A closing quote from the article leaves us with a chilling reminder of what we need to consider.

The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace. If we fail to make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony you correctly remind us that “our eternal souls” are at stake as well.

Because Truth matters,

Hillary Clinton and Rick Warren

I recently read in the Worldnet Daily News that Hillary Clinton recently spoke at Saddleback Church at the Global Summit on AIDS and the Church.

Mrs. Clinton spoke of her faith and one person interviewed mentioned that she believe that Hillary Clinton has compatible Christian values.

Proverbs 28:4 says that,

“Those that forsake the law, praise the wicked. But such as keep my law contend with them.”

Although Rick Warren explained,

"The first thing is that this is not a church service, and, second, there isn't a pulpit on stage,"
Warren said.

"And it's not a worship service. This is a summit, which does include people from every kind of background."
In response to this, Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, believes it was

"a mistake to invite [Clinton] to speak at an evangelical Christian church on AIDS or any other issue, because her political stances are contrary to biblical teaching."

"What Saddleback is doing is helping raise her profile as a legitimate presidential candidate in the eyes of evangelical Christians, and I think that is a huge error,"

Wildmon told Reuters.

I would wholeheartedly agree. The church (I know the body of Christ is the church) is not a place of exposing of thoughts on topics contrary to Biblical thinking. Although a disclaimer was made, many still make the connection with the unofficial connection between Saddleback and Mrs. Clinton and with her views on partial birth abortion, this is truely wrong.

Because Truth matters,

False Prophets

In doing some research for this Sunday's Youth lesson (We're going to be studying Jesus, starting with the Old Testament prophecies about him), I came across some interesting video clips and articles of some of the more "interesting" people that are in the spotlight as well-known Christians.

These are people who deny the Bible, the blood atonement of Christ, the sinful nature of man all in the name of humanism. As a famous country singer once said (and my old church once played while we were walking in), "I want to talk about me!"

Boy-oh-boy, the "You've got potential.", "God has faith in you" crowd is getting to the point where it's repulsive. Even more so, it's heresy.

People have got to be Bereans and search the scriptures. Check the teaching that you are sitting under or are listening to whether it's Rob Bell, Rick Warren or your local pastor. Compare it to the Bible.

The following Bible verses are from the New Testament and speak of false prophets...

Wonderful Works Are Done By False Prophets In The Name Of The Lord:

Mat 7:15 - Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 - Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 - Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 - A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 - Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 - Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 - Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 - Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 - And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

False Prophets Will Be Numerous, And Very Successful:

Mat 24:11 - And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
2 Pet 2:1 [NIV] - But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2 Pet 2:2 [NIV] - Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
2 Pet 2:3 [NIV] - In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

False Prophets Work Miracles That Deceive:

Mat 24:24 - For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Mark 13:22 - For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Rev 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Rev 13:12 - And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:13 - And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Rev 13:14 - And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Rev 19:20 - And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Many Prefer The False Prophet:

2 Tim 4:2 [NIV] -Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.
2 Tim 4:3 - For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
2 Tim 4:4 - They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
True Prophets Are Always In Harmony With Other Prophets Of God And Scripture:
1 Cor 14:32 - And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
1 Cor 14:37 - If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

The following Bible verses are from the Old Testament...

The True Prophet Hears From God Through Dreams:

Num 12:6 - And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

Defining The False Prophet And Their Fate:

Deu 18:20 - But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Deu 18:21 - And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
Deu 18:22 - When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Isa 8:20 - To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

The Motivation of the False Prophet Is Money:

Micah 3:9 [NIV] - Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right;
Micah 3:10 [NIV] - who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness.
Micah 3:11 [NIV] - Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon the LORD and say, "Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us."
Micah 3:12 [NIV] - Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.
Many People Actually Prefer False Prophets:
Isa 30:9 - That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10 - Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Isa 30:11 - Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
Isa 30:12 - Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
Isa 30:13 - Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
Isa 30:14 - And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.
Jer 5:31 - The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?

The Fate Of False Prophets And Those Who Follow Them:

Jer 14:14 - Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jer 14:15 - Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.
Jer 14:16 - And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

The Prophecies Of False Prophets Do Not Always Fail:

Deu 13:1 - If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,
Deu 13:2 - and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them,"
Deu 13:3 - you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 - It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.
Deu 13:5 - That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

Because Truth matters,