Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Oh the Love of God compels us…

Oh the Love of God compels us…

(First off I want to welcome anyone who has come here by way of Phil Perkins blog. I am saddened that Phil Perkins see the loving kindness of God that leads us to repentance, as well as God's Grace, Mercy and compassion on us as satire material.)

Great is the mercy of God… as He suffers with great patience those who should meet His wrath, yet instead, brings them salvation.
The Jews, who were to be the proclaimers of Salvation did not receive Christ, so God then sent to the Gentiles. These were considered the dogs and unworthy of God’s grace. Yet, God in His mercy and Grace brought salvation to the Gentiles.

Romans 9 talks of how God hated Esau and love Jacob… that Esau who was the first born did not see his birthright of any worth and like Adam, gave over to his own desire and sought a better way for himself over a pot of portage. Jacob knew the value of the birthright and seized it when it was given… Jacob saw that God’s way was of great and wonderful value.

Likewise when the Great Pearl was revealed and was rejected because those who were chosen first did not see the value, God gave it to those who did not even seek Him… and reveal Who He was to them… and they saw the great value.

From the human perspective the gentiles where of not value to God… they were plain pots that the creator had made destined for destruction… yet, God had a plan for those pots no one expected… to be vessels of mercy and to display the Great Pearl of God’s love and Grace to the world… and to shame the Jews for the rejection…

Romans 9:20 - 26. But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, `Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath--prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory-- even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? As he says in Hosea: "I will call them `my people' who are not my people; and I will call her `my loved one' who is not my loved one," and, "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them, `You are not my people,' they will be called `sons of the living God.'"

Of course Rome held in it both Jew and Gentile and the Jews that received Christ could not see that this salvation was also for the Gentiles… the letters of Paul almost without exception address that yes, this salvation was for the gentiles as well as for the Jews. God united the two into one man. (Ephesians 2:15)

God will judge and give justice, yet often we mistake justice as a bad thing… to a person that is at the hands of injustice… and it is set right it is a very good thing. Yet to those who are at wrong, who hate their brothers, who seek to do harm to another, to seek godliness apart from God… and trust I their works… yes wrath will come… as a default as man was not made for hell… Hell was created for the fallen angels and creatures of the spirit of rebellion. For though sin is taken away by the blood of Jesus, salvation is based on how one responds to the love and grace of God… rejecting it is to be in rebellion, and a choice to enter into eternal death… Yet, to chose Jesus as King, and enter His Kingdom, then we enter into eternal life. If one claims that they are righteous by their own works is rebellion against God. 2 Peter 3: 7-9 gives a warning yet also the hope;

“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

The Great mercy of God has given all an opportunity to turn from impending wrath… to enter into Life, and even now live in the Kingdom that is and will come. Many turn from those who preach a gospel of fear… and as the world and Satan already speaks to many, “God hates you… see He made Hell… He does not love.” God does not hate you! God loves you so much and has given all to save you…

So many a Christian has listened to the lie that God hates them when they fall. If so what of Grace? Is it nothing more than a joke or lie that is given to amuse God as He watches our folly to appease Him? NO! It is the very sustenance that holds all together. It is the extension of Gods faithfulness to fulfill all He has said… God will finish what He started, or He is then a liar as some claim. Paul prayed in Philippians 1: 4-6

“In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

If God started something in you, He will complete it… do not let anyone shame you, or lie to you that the sin that was dealt with at the Cross still separates you from the Love of God… for NOTHING separates us from the Love of God. Do not let the present or past or fear of the future keep you from receiving God’s boundless love for you…

Romans 8: 37-38 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus dealt with sin… now one needs to receive life… the very life of Christ… the Life that when we are raised from the dead at the Judgment and our name is in the Book of Life, we then enter into eternity with… do not be a fool and reject such a love as this… as though one will be raised again, it will be to only face the Second Death… separation from the Love of God for eternity. Our choice His Works of Love or our own works of death… we must believe the scripture as it says in Galatians 5:6 “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”


related article
Related Article: God of Wrath or God of Loving Compassion?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

God of Wrath or God of Loving Compassion?

God of Wrath or God of Loving Compassion?

When I read someone write that God “hates” or focuses on “God’s Wrath” most often it is an unbalanced and mis-characterization of God and His revealed Character.

Most often it is the desire to show some sort of twisted “love”, a perversion of the true love of God at he expense of the loving nature and desire of God to reveal Who He is to His creation. It is a rationalization that is it not "loving" unless we tell of the wrath of God... but that is not the story of the Bible... that story is a story of Great Love. I often wonder if it is one's placing of their own view of how God views them... that drives one to think of God in this way. I wonder if it is placing their own knowledge of God in place God's revealed knowledge instead of trusting in God's revelation of Who He truly is. I see it as a lack of knowing the Grace of God.

God is a relational Being. We see this in the first revealing of God as he says “Let us create man in our image.” (Gen 1:26) God reveals that He Himself is more than a being Who is based on “alone-ness” but rather the desire to express outwardly what is already inwardly expressed. Man even in him perfect state of innocence needed God to show and reveal Who He is. Man, even before the fall was designed to be intimate in his relationship with God and to grow in His knowledge of God.

God created man in Him Image, to be His Image bearers over all creation. He created animals so man would have a sense of otherness…God brings all the animals before Adam so that Adam could name them… yet notice after Adam names the animals Adam notices that “no suitable helper was found”. God teaches Adam that he needs an “other” to relate to. So, God created woman. (Gen 2)

Thus, God created man to not only be His Image, but we see that part of God’s revealed nature is relational… for in His Image God creates man and woman… beings who relate to each other. (Gen 1: 27)

As I posted in another post on the Knowledge of God, I pointed out that the “sin” of Adam and Eve was not just eating the fruit, but in that they desired knowledge apart from God… to have knowledge for themselves in that way to be a god or like God… they simply denied that true knowledge only comes from God revelation of Himself. Scripture teaches that “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Cor 8:1) so in that as we express our own knowledge at the expense of God’s revealing of Himself in love we become more Godless. It is a form of idolatry and self worship. It is the sin of pride… the very sin that cast Lucifer from the heavens and reduced him to Satan…

Romans shows this as it runs through that no man who walks in this way of godlessness is safe from the wrath of God… and this is the context wrath must be taken.

Romans 1:18-28 "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done."

Most focus on the sexual sins in this passage yet do not notice it is against "godlessness and wickedness" God’s wrath is against… and that knowledge of God is in the very creation… Man being God’s Image, has an innate knowledge of God built in himself. Yet even with that man seeks knowledge apart from God and “suppresses the truth”. We see that even in creation God’s “eternal power and divine nature” is displayed… as the animals even in the fallen world are taken care of and that God divine nature is displayed as even in our denial, we seek to have intimate relationships… yet we in our fallen state twist these into a perversion of what God intended. So God gave men over to their own wicked desires and hearts…. Man truly does deserve God’s wrath… As I state about Grace, that the God Who spoke all things into existence could un-speak all things and owe us no explanation. He would be perfectly just in doing just that. Yet why does God not do this? Because it is against His very nature to do so…

God is a just God and will bring all things to justice… which He did at the Cross… all creation is redeemed yet waits for the revealing of the Sons of God… (Rom 8:19) He will judge those who do not come to the Knowledge of God as He has revealed Himself, yet not without first giving all a possibility to return to Him.

I find it interesting that many teach that the God of the Old Testament is the war God, or the God of Wrath… I think that the issue is again a misunderstanding of justice… and the character of God… Exodus 34: 5-7 teaches the character of God… “Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

He is a compassionate and Gracious God… slow to anger, and abounds in love and faithfulness… He is a loving and forgiving God and is faithful to fulfill His promises to us mere humans.

Most focus on God “getting the sinner” yet miss the story is a love story that God, though having every right to judge mankind and destroy all, has chosen to express love to us. Love is not wimpy, nor is God a “girly god” because of His love… in fact the nails that were hammered into Christ’s hands and feet did into hold Jesus to the Cross… Jesus’ Love for us held Him there. To hold up God’s wrath over God’s great love for us is a perversion and distortion of God’s revealed written word… and worse the very reason Jesus came to the world… not to judge us, but to save us, by the Great Grace and Love God has for us. God is a kind God… merciful beyond all compare…

John 3:16 - 21 is so often over used that the profundity is so often missed…

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

God loved us so much He became a man… the very Words God spoke literally are the Person of Jesus, for Jesus is the Living Word of God… The Word which all creation came to exist. God so loved this fallen world He gave His Son, this Word, to die for us and to be raised so that we would not taste death for eternity, but have eternal life… and whoever lives by this truth, is living by what God has done for us in this great love.

To put down God’s love is anathema to the very nature of God… it spits in the face of Jesus and abuses God’s creation. Such a person has no knowledge of God’s love for one must know God, to know God’s love… and in that one will love his brothers and sisters… and express this great love to the world… just as God did through Jesus… and that is our new vocation as the image of Christ. We are to proclaim the New Creation to this fallen world and speak of the Great Loving grace and mercy God has for us… we are to speak of God’s compassion so that man will see the kindness of God and come to repentance. To think that all the Life of Christ is about is to “get to heaven” is a selfish and distortion of the awesome vocation and privilege we have as we follow Christ’s example of self sacrificial love for mankind.

So, again, do not let someone tell you the lie that God hates you… God loves you and desires you to come to Him for Who He is… a loving, forgiving and compassionate God. Do not let knowledge keep you from true knowledge… let God reveal Himself to you…


related article
Oh the Love of God compels us

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Monday, January 29, 2007

A New Doo... or is it a don't? (Bad Hair Day)

At first when i saw this i thought it was Sally Jesse Raphael sporting a new doo and losing those signature glasses... but nope it turns out this is The Hillary!

Now say what you want about her politics, but frankly at risk of sounding like fashion critic Steven Cojocaru the doo will not help the campaign sister!

So Hillary, stop taking fashion advise from the Donald!!!

That's all the fashion for today I can stand!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Beware of False Teachers... a Gospel of Works Righteousness

Beware False Teachers... a Gospel of Works Righteousness

Friday, January 26, 2007
The Burning Hatred of God

Update: The author above has deleted the post above and re edited it to be "more biblical". The new and improved version is Monday, February 12, 2007 and called "Celebrating The Wrath Of God--A Cosmic Dance In The Theater Of Space And Time For All Sentient Beings To Watch, Mouths Open. 2nd edition."

he seems to be moving closer to Truth... yet still is very much into proving to God he is worthy to be saved by his own works...

This is from his other blog...

"Requirements:1. Prayer and fasting. You will be expected to do both the day before an event.
2. Holiness of life. You will be expected to confess all sin and get rid of it before an event.
3. Preach and witness at least once a week. Week days and Saturdays we will go to the skateboard park, other parks, bars, gathering places, etc. There we will preach repentance and grace to unbelievers with boldness. On Sundays we will preach repentance to church goers in the parking lots of Billings churches."

Notice #2 he teaches YOU must get rid of your own sin... yet the bible teaches that Jesus is the Lamb that "takes away the sins of the world"... yet denies the atoning sacrifice of Christ and teaches one must purify themselves to be acceptable to God... and others to his standard.

He teaches that what God has made clean is still unclean... and that unbelievers should not be allowed in Churches.

This man also rails against "missional living" in which we build relationships with others to lead them to Christ... and then goes out to "make friends"... a bit of double speak... I am not against him street preaching, but since when is a mega church parking lot a street? How about preaching to the lost sheep?

The over all tone of this man is consistant with his "god" of hate and wrath. My prayer is that he ocmes to know the Love of Christ and that Love will compell him. As without love our works are worthless...and Christless. (

I know you read me... and my prayers are with you and for you).

(end update)

Yep… God (still) hates YOU!!!!

So if you are not upright… you too are going to hell…

Now lets get real here, this person basically is stating something in some ways I have even written about my self and he has railed against… yet he just goes that extra step… to works righteousness. This person seems to think that God hates everyone… and misses the point that it is SELF RIGHTEOUS that God detests… the haughty heart… the proud who do not bend a knee and claim that they do not need God for their righteousness…

I remember a verse about God loving the world… so much He sent His Son. In fact I think it even says we will not perish if we do one thing… believe in that Son.

This is the same theology that Fred Phelps pushes and is as un-Biblical as can be… if one desires to be discipled…. Beware of false teachers who claim that there is righteousness apart from Jesus… for it is by Grace we are saved not works…

Romans 11:5-6 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Ephesians 2:1-5
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.

This person simply misses the point of God’s great love and if you spend any time on his blogs he rails against the love and passion God has for us…

The issue is that he is so out of balance that he has placed himself above reproach by the justification of his own works…

He quotes a scripture after his “ranting”.

Listen to what the Spirit of God says: "The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven;His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked,And the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain snares;Fire and brimstone and burning wind will be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness;The upright will behold His face."Psalm 11:4-7

It is interesting that here God says he hates someone who has "violence in his soul"… and that "the LORD is righteous"… and "the upright will behold His face"… but again, not by our own examination of our own works… but by the Works Of Christ that have been prepared for us to do from God Himself. In fact this man sets out to harm is brothers and sisters is his twisted gospel and "does violence" to them!

Philippians 2: 12. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

My prayers are with this person daily that he does come to the fullness of the knowledge of Christ… that he leaves the false Gospel of “works righteousness” and the True love of God fills his hurting heart. Beware of these kind of people who pervert the Gospel for their own selfish ambition... (Galatians 5)

Romans 3:20-28 20. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

To sum this all up... this false gospel is this... God hates you and you are going to hell... unless you are good enough to please God's righteousness... well all I can say is this... Good luck!

As far as making you election sure... here is the passage:

2 Peter 1- 12 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

Obedience is about God's Faithfulness to us... not about our determination of will to produce a righteousness apart from Christ's... And how do we respond to God's Faithfulness to us? The Apostle John was kind enough to let us know.

1 John 3: 23 -24. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

So don't let someone tell you HATE is a Christian virtue... that is a lie... God does not hate you... He loves you and desires that you spend eternity... with Him... restored to being the Image that you were created to be.

Update: At best this person will say that we need to be saved by Grace through faith... yet I think they still confuse fear with love... And I really see they miss the purpose of the Law... which again I see they may confuse the Law (commandments of the OT) with the Law of Love (Commandment in the NT). For to come to God out of fear is not to come to God in Love... for as John teaches in 1 John 4:15 - 19 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

The teachings of Scripture also states 1 John 4:7 -8 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

We are to be born again in love... not out of fear. Fear comes out of transgression... or repercussion of the transgression, yet God has forgiven all of sin... under the law one had great fear of the Lord.. yet now as the Kingdom of God has been given to all, we are to enter in Love... and by His Love.

To drive one to the Lord in fear is only pushing an emotional decision...which is not a good one. The kindness of God draws us to repentance.

Should someone who does not know Jesus as King, be afraid, yes... but to tell someone that they will burn in eternity is much like the idea of the Jihadist with sword in hand screaming, "accept Alla or die". It is not much of a way to have one become a true disciple.

One must be born again, by the Spirit of God to be able to enter the Kingdom of God, yet I spent too many years in fear, until the Love of God overwhelmed me and then I was changed. God does not want us to live in fear of Him, but to live in a life of passionate love with Him.


Related Article: God of Wrath or God of Loving Compassion?
Related Article: Oh the Love of God compels us

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Great researchers "Lighting The Way Worldwide"

It is one thing that the people at CRN are so gracious as to Judge someones eternal destiny... especially if they profess publicly to be walking with the Lord...

But, here is another example of the great research these people do... and how they make connections that are just unreal and really... slanderous.

Now, I may disagree with some aspects of Quakerism yet to lie or at least misrepresent another denomination is from any standard slander and bearing false witness.

This quote from CRN contributor states:

"Like the Unity Church, the Quakers don’t believe in Satan, and, as we were told by the Quaker feminist on the tour recently in Philadelphia, they dwell on the “good within everyone” and don’t mention “sin.”"

Now, first off the Quakers are not at all like the Unity Church as i have relative who is a minister in that group and they are not a "Christian" group by any means... they have reinterpreted every aspect of the "Christian" faith and made man... divine. That is a far cry from the Quaker idea of the Divine Spark... I again will say I may not agree with their view on this.. but here is the real lie... Quakers do believe in Satan! Yep... they do not deny evil or Satan like the Unity Church does... so Dwayna Litz states this falsehood as a fact.

Here are some quotes I just casually pulled off the Internet...

"Why Evil? Some Orthodox Quakers adhere to similar beliefs as conservative Christians--belief in original sin and Satan. Many believe that lack of awareness of God's divine light within, or rebellion against it, is the cause of wrongdoing, and that alienation from God leaves one vulnerable to temptation or Satan. "

"God, being Light and Love, created all things good, and man and woman in his own image, in a virtuous and happy state, knowing their Maker and doing his will. But by heeding the deceit of Satan and disobeying God, humankind lost this happy state and fell into wickedness and alienation from God, from which destruction we are unable to save ourselves. But God in love and mercy has provided to all people a means of salvation through Jesus Christ, his Son and eternal Word, through whom all things were made, who is the true Light that enlightens every one who comes into the world, the Seed of Abraham in whom all nations are to be blessed through faith, the fulfiller of the Old Testament prophets, the great Shepherd, Teacher, Bridegroom, and King of the children of God."

I am sure I can go on and on... yet here is the real kicker in her ridiculous accusations... She goes on to say:

"As Ray Yungen points out in his excellent book, A Time of Departing, the demons love the silence and work often in this contemplative, intellectual "silence.""

I seem to remember a verse that speaks something of being still... Psalms 37:7. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.


Psalms 46: 10. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."


Zechariah 2: 13. "Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling."

I think this just goes to show the quality of the research that the contributors engage in at Christian Research Networks... and it is found wanting... and lacking much in real discernment.


BTW, notice I did not link to my own articles to give proof of what I am saying... as in the case of another contributor at CRN. (I challenge you to find one outside link that is not to himself!)

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

This is in the “Check this out department”…

This is in the “Check this out department”…

Over the years I have come across different artists that come to the Lord, the seem to either disappear, or get so pushed into the lime light that they seem to almost become propaganda for Jesus…

I was cruising the internet trying to figure out how to set up an aggregate “thingy” on my blog(s) and came across an article on Alice Cooper who over the last few years has been professing to be a follower of Christ… and wouldn’t you know it… on Christian Research Network… Alice is called an “emergent” and as usual questioned over if he really is a Christian… (Really I just to get those people there.) You see not only was I tricked into going to CRN and breaking my six day fast of them… I find they are setting themselves up as the Judge of others eternity… without even knowing that person!!!!!

Now, here is the site which is pretty cool as this person seems very balanced and bold in his interviews and articles… The article on Lenny Kravitz was what really let me know this guy was actually on to things. So, here is “Treasures of Darkness” (Weird name I know, but I think it is a reference to this verse Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name
Am the God of Israel.")


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Tom Cruise, new emerging Messiah...

I just thought I would use the word emerging in a different way than it is used normally on this blog... and to get some attention as to real issues out there that are destroying lives and hurting people...

First off, how reliable of a source if the Sun... I am not sure, but this article has been getting a bit of attention as of lately. Personally I view the article as big as farce as I view Tom Cruise and his ability to be a real person... I think he is so caught up in his own persona that the real person is lost...

So, what if though, Tom decides he is the "Christ" of Scientology? many do look to Tom, as well as other huge stars for direction in their lives. I find it funny that it seems that many discernment groups have take an unhealthy and judgmental stance against brother in Christ while religious groups like Scientology are growing bigger every day... yet it seems it is easier to do an in house fight than to actually face some that are really going to hell.

Tom is being held up and is out there standing for a lie... a religion that believes man is made up of millions of alien beings warring with each other for power and control... and that does not seem weird to anyone?

I do not see Tom's life as benefiting or being of any greater virtue than Paris Hilton or Briney Spears... as Tom has a record of failed marriages and relationships that seem to point that there is something just plain wrong he is not dealing with.

And that is the difference between a truth and a lie... In my life God has had a way of nailing me at times... placing me in a corner and then asking one of those questions that I really hate, but must answer in all honesty... It is at those times I have had to face the real me... that one that God still loves, yet wants to help me grow out of... I have written about some of those times... and I am sure I will write more in some time soon...

A false religion will in fact help one rationalize their sin... like in this article about Shi'ites' and religious prostitution to "help" young women to not have unwedded sex, and to help them from prostituting themselves... it is rather sad and poignant at the same time. It also makes me think as Rick Ianniello states:

"The article gave me pause to think of the ways we have compromised to put religious tradition (or worse, false notions of church growth, outreach, etc.) over truth."

BTW Rick, thank you for finding two articles i have been looking for, for some time now.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Scot McKnight's Five Streams of the Emerging Church Article (So which one are you?) Part II (updated)

Scot McKnight's Five Streams of the Emerging Church Article (So which one are you?) Part II

So let's continue on with more on the article

Praxis-oriented: This is the fun one that messes most anti emerging people up… as the emphasis is onorthopraxy(right living). Some accuse emerging people in not believing the Bible nor doing what it teaches… yet the opposite is true with these people… they care greatly for the Bible… and even more in how we should live it out in our daily lives. This idea of” orthopraxy flows from orthodoxy” is really more prominent in the EC than some outsiders realize… Yet many people are reading top theologians (as opposed to pop theologians) to get to the authentic manner we should live our lives as a Christian.
I believe this is why so many of us read N.T. Wright, Scot McKnight, Dallas Willard and any other theologian/teacher we can to get closer to an understanding of orthodoxy. This group are truly seeking a richer and deeper Life in Christin order to go out and be a blessing and fulfill the mission of our calling.

Which leads me to being Missional. Here Scot has a great definition:

“First, the emerging movement becomes missional by participating, with God, in the redemptive work of God in this world. In essence, it joins with the apostle Paul in saying that God has given us "the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18).”

“Second, it seeks to become missional by participating in the community where God's redemptive work occurs. The church is the community through which God works and in which God manifests the credibility of the gospel.”

“Third, becoming missional means participating in the holistic redemptive work of God in this world. The Spirit groans, the creation groans, and we groan for the redemption of God (see Rom. 8:18-27).”

Also, which I did a bit out of order from Scot’s article is Worship: So often critics point out to the “superficialality” of some of the “worship” and cry out against the use of “funky worship” and trying to just be “cool”. And truthfully they have merit in their critique… in fact many of us find it very “uncool” to do this to be “cool” and that is really is the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish. Yet, there are many more that are not out to be “cool” but are looking at the Bible and seeing that God is not against “aesthetics” of the worship environment. Even in modern churches the debate is what should be the focus… should it be a Cross with the Crucified Christ on it or not on it… should the alter be the focus, or the Eucharist table… should the Eucharist be the center or to the side… and so on and so on… the difference it that some in the EC are looking at the bible and seeing things like incense and the emphasis on the sounds (loud crashing cymbals) in the bible… Again I refer to Scot’s article:

“Evangelicals sometimes forget that God cares about sacred space and ritual—he told Moses how to design the tabernacle and gave detailed directions to Solomon for building a majestic Temple. Neither Jesus nor Paul said much about aesthetics, but the author of Hebrews did. And we should not forget that some Reformers, knowing the power of aesthetics, stripped churches clean of all artwork.”

I really suggest reading more of what Scot says of this.

The next one is Post-Evangelical: Now I think the issue is that some think we are saying that we are throwing out evangelicalism, and that is only partially true... What we see is that there is a very wide sense of the "Great Tradition" as Scot says. Personally I think that it is the acknowledgement that the Reformation was not done... or that in addition to the Reformation other things and ideas have popped up and convoluted the purity of the Gospel. In a way it a humble approach as Scot states it is more "This is what I believe, but I could be wrong, What do you think ? Let's talk." It is open to the processing rather accepting the idea that one has arrived as far as theology. There is a great love for theology and that is one of the greatest pulls at least to me.

In versus out: This as Scot points out is a bit controversial and I will add that many do not go as far as some do as far as a movement. I think that this is more a reactive response to the idea of a "loving God" send people to hell. It is more the idea of "Let's take a look at this again... just maybe we are missing something." I do think that it is matter of some finer points of theology and the misunderstanding of the atonement = salvation... and that many miss that it is at the resurrection we receive the Life. The Good News is much more than a fire insurance policy, it is living the Life of Christ here and now in the present world in which the Kingdom has been breaking through since the Stone was rolled away. I personally believe that all are forgiven at the Cross... yet not all are saved... that unless one has a relationship with Jesus, one cannot be saved.

Political: Scot points out that the emerging church is often a response to the politicization of Christianity. That the attachment of the "right wing" politics has corrupted the Gospel. Many then assume that we are all Democrats, yet the idea is that neither party should be a vehicle of promoting the Gospel... Scot states that, "I don't think the Democratic Party is worth a hoot."

I have found many are very conservative... in fact I often say of myself that I am more conservative that Rush Limbaugh, but I am not sold to a political Parties bend.

Again, if you think you are against, or if you think that you "know" about the emerging church I truly hope you read this article to be able to better converse with us.


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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Scot McKnight's Five Streams of the Emerging Church Article (So which one are you?) Part I

Scot McKnight's Five Streams of the Emerging Church Article
(So which one are you?) Part I

In the another post I point to the article in Christianity Today written by Scot McKnight.
To me it is always interesting to read someone who is within the "movement" take real time to examine it. And here is one example that I pretty much agree with across the board...

Many critics don't even realize that there is differing "streams" or even "family trees" so to say and Scot brings out some great points as to some of the differences out there. This is most probably the closest to what I have seen, though not have had the time to put together as Scot has. So KUDOS!

Here is a very broken down summary, I really recommend the article but had some thoughts to add... these are some of Scots thoughts "in quotations." and mine in italics.

Prophetic (or at least provocative): Scot points out that some do "exaggerate" (This is not the same as lying) to make a point... often in criticism of the modernist ideals. He points out:

"Our language frequently borrows the kind of rhetoric found in Old Testament prophets like Hosea: "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings" (6:6). Hosea engages here in deliberate overstatement, for God never forbids Temple worship. In a similar way, none in the emerging crowd is more rhetorically effective than Brian McLaren in Generous Orthodoxy: "Often I don't think Jesus would be caught dead as a Christian, were he physically here today. … Generally, I don't think Christians would like Jesus if he showed up today as he did 2,000 years ago. In fact, I think we'd call him a heretic and plot to kill him, too." McLaren, on the very next page, calls this statement an exaggeration. Still, the rhetoric is in place."

This is the point that I try to make at times to those who read Brian and conclude him a heretic. It is not that he believes all he writes, or rather he may but not be presenting the thought in a way that is a bit exaggerated... this can lead to a bit of confusion, yet if one grasps the ideal behind his writing it is quite provocative and is meant to help one think about what they truly believe... that is why he does not tell someone answers, but leaves things open ended so one can come to a conclusion for themselves... and/or with the Holy Spirit guiding.

Postmodern: Scot points out “Postmodernity cannot be reduced to the denial of truth. Instead, it is the collapse of inherited metanarratives (overarching explanations of life) like those of science or Marxism. Why have they collapsed? Because of the impossibility of getting outside their assumptions.”

“Living as a Christian in a postmodern context means different things to different people. Some—to borrow categories I first heard from Doug Pagitt, pastor at Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis—will minister to postmoderns, others with postmoderns, and still others as postmoderns.”

“David Wells at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary falls into the to category, seeing postmoderns as trapped in moral relativism and epistemological bankruptcy out of which they must be rescued.”
“Others minister with postmoderns. That is, they live with, work with, and converse with postmoderns, accepting their postmodernity as a fact of life in our world. Such Christians view postmodernity as a present condition into which we are called to proclaim and live out the gospel.

"The vast majority of emerging Christians and churches fit these first two categories. They don't deny truth, they don't deny that Jesus Christ is truth, and they don't deny the Bible is truth.”

Now here is the crossroad… and I appreciate Scot view… yet even saying this it is with a bit of reservation as I think all (to, with, and as) dip in and out of this stream… yet I do agree that these are the ones that “attract most of the attention”, and truthfully the ones the rest of us are working on and with also. Scot tells us:

“That is, they embrace the idea that we cannot know absolute truth, or, at least, that we cannot know truth absolutely. They speak of the end of metanarratives and the importance of social location in shaping one's view of truth. They frequently express nervousness about propositional truth.”

The issue though as this is still not entirely cut and dry… I have found reaching out to postmoderns that often they are on a "search for knowledge" or that ambiguous "something", and claim to be atheist… recently I was able to show a person that they really are not an atheist, but rather an agnostic. This was done by two simple geometry shapes… … (A rectangle with a circle in it the rectangle represents all knowable knowledge, the circle is all the knowledge a person knows... one then just asks, "Can a "god" exist outside of your knowledge?" Of course the answer is "Yes". I have done this numerous times and each time the athiest admits they are agnostic.)

As we talked more they mentioned that atheism is a choice… which I agreed… and asked what they did believe… they said they believed in science. They believed in objective truth… I pointed out that there is no true objective truth as it is all relative to our limited understanding of knowledge we have… and it must pass through the filter of our mind which makes is subjective. They responded realizing that I was point to relativism… which is really all the truth we can have without Jesus... As we talked further I pointed that most “true science” is not true, but theory… and then turned to quantum physics and multi-dimensionalism… they just asked “Why do you work here?”

I said because I did not finish college… You see this person had a world view that needed to be deconstructed and then rebuilt. I then focused on what true science is… that is seeking to understand something greater than ourselves… I talked about gravity and how it is greater than us as a force as it’s effect is that we do not fly off the earth or apples don’t fall off the tree and up into the sky… yet gravity is not universal as we also have zero gravity in space… In the seeking of something greater than ourselves we must take a leap of faith to believe in God… and then trust that He is the source of all Truth and Knowledge… in that way we have a foundation to look at the wonders of science and appreciate them.

I know many of you shudder that I “used” relativity as a way for someone to find Jesus… but in the end, this person responded more than if I dogmatically told them she was wrong and going to hell and needed Jesus. These are the “tools” that we dip from in order to speak to the postmodern mind. As I have stated many times, the postmodern does not think like a modern. So in a matter of ten minutes this person stopped being a atheist who trusts only in science and one that is agnostic who is seeking to understand things bigger than themselves… to me this was definitely Spirit lead.

Yet, to fall into the trap that there is NO absolute truth is a lie… The issue some have with me is that I say Truth does not need the qualifier of “absolute” to be truth… it is truth or it is a lie… pretty simple. It is in the discerning of which “truth” a person lives their life by… as the example I just gave.

With Scot I do agree and warn those who fail to see the lie in which postmodernism is… though the tools are useful we must as not fall into the trap of the world view it espouses any more than the Christian should with the modern world view or a “politicalized “Christian” view.

This post went way too long so I will split it into a three part series…


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An Open Apology to WhereintheBible

An Open Apology

In the post on Falling on Deaf ears... Or is it Deft Ears? I made in error in how I addressed someone who posted in the comments. I posted this in the comment section but feel I must also air it a bit more publicly. I still stand behind the post, just that I made an assumption of who I was talking to and in that addressed them inappropriately.


I would like to apologize for thinking you were ben... ben is a "loyal" reader and I noticed the times in my stats seemed to correspond with his reading time and your comment time... they were right next to each other...

So, because I was wrong in thinking you were ben, I was being defensive... as I pointed out (in error) with the link with your name to ben's website... You might aknowledge the "why" I might have been and extend some Grace my way.

I do want to clear this up as ben himself posted and said it was not him... and in reading I think whereinthebible is at least a bit more logical in his assertions. Yet it seems you (whereintheBible) still fall into the error of reading into the post some presumptions as to what I do teach...

So again, being that you are not ben, I hope to open the door a bit wider to our discussion as I am willing to converse more on this topic with someone who at least will listen and talk... my assumption that of you being ben is that no matter what I said, I was wrong... and even if I was right it would be twisted to be wrong... as the links show.. I will not change the links or post and leave them as is as I am willing to admit my mistakes... and in a sense am taking rebuke from ben for your sake...

(A little side note to ben... I have never claimed to be "open minded" that again is your assumption of me. (In fact I tend to be very closed minded. Especially to someone who does not address someone else in a appropriate manner.) I really think you need to read the Scot McKnight article in Christianity Today about the 5 streams and keep in mind that I may dip from the stream of one type of "emerging thought" and then from another, but I am not as you represent me on your blog... and anyone can read me to see that is true. If you feel this is a lie, then be a bigger man and link directly to your accusations... Yet I do think I have given you enough answers and do not think you able to see that I am not as you say.)

I do thank you for letting me know that whereintheBible and you are not the same person.I never thought that whereinthebible was Ingrid... BTW... that was never stated to or about Whereinthebible....but to another "anonymous" who visited from about 12 miles from the headquarters of WCVY and it seemed it was possibly her as it read as if it was... again, I am only human and do make mistakes and I never said for absolute certain it was her.

I hope that this clears the path a bit for Whereinthebible and me to have a more open discussion.

Like I stated, I still stand behind the post and still think you are reading into it certain assumptions that are not there. Still even in our disagreement I hope to find common ground with you and not be divisive nor accusatory with you as I have been... For that I am truly sorry.


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