Wednesday, February 28, 2007
This passage in Habakkuk was the inspiration of many of the great Reformers. Luther was one who pondered greatly over it’s meaning. “Calvin asserted that our salvation is rendered safe and certain through God's promise alone, and that therefore we ought not to seek any other haven…” (John Calvin Commentary on Habakkuk)
The Qumran is very interesting as it seems to be more of the teaching of the coming Messiah. In it’s translation the word righteous is understood as a person… and that this Righteous shall live by His faith.
I want to be careful here as though I do think Jesus lived a life of faith in the Father, His faith was not to save Him. His was that the Father would be faithful to complete the task He started. This is in a way a faith of God in the sense that God is faithful… In other words I see that we are saved by God’s faithfulness to His word and promises. We get the benefit of both God’s faithfulness and the walking in the faith of Christ. Like Jesus we trust The Father, yet for us that is salvation for us.
Faith’s definition will be debated until Christ returns and sets all things to right and gives us all complete understanding. I see that faith is a bit of a two way street. The main point is God’s faithfulness to us, and then as we respond to His faithfulness in belief, we live in that faithfulness. In that way as scripture teaches even faith itself is a gift from God and not of our own making. (1 Cor 1:9; Eph 2:8-9) On the human level faith is believing even when not seeing… (Heb 11:1)
I see that Jesus is the Righteous One and we live by His faith. His complete trust in the Father is how we too find our salvation. We must depend on Jesus and His righteousness for our own. Romans 4: 4-5 states “Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”
So many think that they can add works to their salvation, yet in doing that nullify the Cross and Christ’s finished works. It is saying Jesus did not get the job done. By adding works to prove or for some hope that it gives one more standing in God’s eyes, actually makes one less in God’s eyes. For it then must be reckoned with wages. If one rejects Jesus’ Blood for forgiveness, then they stand on their own works which will be paid. The issue is that the wages of sin is death, and if one denies what Jesus did, then they will die in their sin. Even if one’s sins are forgiven and they reject that, one still will receive the due wages of death.
I know I have stated this before, but many do not realize that sin was dealt with before Jesus. It was dealt with by the sacrificial system… What Jesus accomplished was the final sacrifice for sin. Hebrews states that Jesus being our High Priest sat down after the sacrifice. No priest would sit down… for the duties of the High Priest would never be finished, yet Jesus is said to have sat down… This means there is no more sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 8)
I remember a godly man who once confronted me on this. He asked me a question. “How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus died on the Cross?”… I looked at him and replied, “Huh?” I am not always the sharpest tool in the shed. He stated it again, “How many of your sins were in the future when Jesus died on the Cross?” I looked at him as stated, “I was not born yet so, I would have to say all of them.” He looked at me then and stated, “How many of your sins were forgiven at the Cross?” This time I was a bit quicker… maybe it was the Holy Spirit helping me a bit, I said, “All of them.”
And that is the Truth! All of our sins were forgiven at the Cross. Yet so many of us act like our sins were forgiven just when we came to Jesus… you see that would be works… if our getting forgiveness depended on our coming to Jesus, then it is works. Forgiveness is by Grace. Faith is by Grace. We are saved by Grace through Faith and not of works. We are forgiven already, we need to just walk in that forgiveness and die to our sin! In that way we are Sons of God and God reveals us to all creation as to our New Nature… a redeemed Child of the Living God.
Salvation is a process. It is working out a loving relationship with our Creator on His terms. That is not always easy. We are to depend totally on the Father through Jesus Christ and all Jesus did for us. We are privileged to walk as brothers and sisters with Jesus. We must not forget that we have been cleansed of our sins at the Cross and press on in faith and trust in Jesus for He is also our righteousness and salvation.
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Once again I get the privilege to review a book. I enjoyed that Frank quoted both Brian McLaren and Maj Ian Thomas which was fascinating to see the two fit together as I have seen they do. This book was to me a wonderful read. Though Frank Viola may refer to these to in the beginning of the book he moves on very quickly into the heart and purpose of his message and that is to reveal the Bride of Christ. There is a depth of understanding of the story of salvation yet even deeper Frank Viola shows our identity as the Bride of Christ.
Frank takes you through many different Bible passages to show the fine thread that is present. That the Father desires to give His Son a Bride… and that she will be perfect and unblemished and that Bride is all who are believers in Jesus.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dig deeper into who you are in Christ Jesus. This is one author I will be reading more from.
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This was the quote as given by Christian Research Network or CRN.
“We did everything except shoot Jesus out of a cannon, you know, in order to be hip and cool, right.” Followed by Wrong very wrong…
But the line after this was “But after a while we thought… why don’t we just be ourselves?”
The way CRN presents this is that John Musick was promoting shooting Jesus out of a cannon… but John was stating that entertaining people to come to church was not working (by a bit of an exaggeration)… and that to be authentic and real is better… so… the question then is…
Why does CRN think it wrong to be an authentic and real Christian?
You can read their twisted version of truth here.
Then watch the video yourself from their own website!
Why do I stay with the emerging church? Because I have found that the emerging church holds truth more highly than these so called watchblogs who twist things to their own version of truth and hold no real regard for the truth they claim to be fighting for. Time after time I have pointed to he hypocrisy, lies and hate.
Ken Silva, why do you keep reporting lies? Could it be the Truth is not in you? Do facts mean nothing to you and your posse of judgmentalism? I only see the scripture being fulfilled in CRN... 1 Tim 1:7-11 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
So keep preaching the law... for I see it is not done with you yet.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Really this was one of the first articles on CRN that I actually appreciated... I think this guy is at least "trying" to understand and not just carelessly toss out straw men arguments.
He claims someone called him a Ken Silva wannabe... nope I think Jon, you are much better than that and that Ken should take notice.
Here is the article.
Yet I just truly wonder... how sincere is he?
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It seems in Phil Perkins hatred and pursuit to attack and mischaracterize the emerging church, he has lost his job. He has a business he owns so i am not worried he will starve. I admire that he stands on his convictions... yet...
One of the main criticism of me as well as other emerging people, was that he says we are liars, and dishonest... yet he seems to think that one can spread the Gospel with lies and deceit. He preaches the Law at the expense of God's grace.
Let me explain... He has written his own tracts and in his own words he states, "Law, wrath, and repentance will be the emphasis 90%. Then the good news is given."
As you read the tract, it is as he stated, yet there is a glaring contradiction about this hateful God... He states at one point... "Because of your sin, God hates you and will destroy you."
Then in a few lines later states: "Despite your sin problem, God loves you and offers you a solution."
And then here is the real point in which he without knowing it... thinks lying and being dishonest with the Gospel is a "good" thing... in fact is runs right against his main critic of others... that they add and subtract from the word of God... He is doing just that in this tract.
I don't care what he has said about me... and it seems he does read me and at times has softened his view... ever so slightly... but I will state this... One must not twist God's word nor place God's wrath over what Jesus accomplished at the Cross... That is a depraved mind and a sinful heart that negates the Cross and the finished works of Jesus...
He does give a disclaimer that the "contradiction" is to "cause thought"... yet to contradict God's word is wrong as he states and has even attacked others in his own camp for doing, he simply is a hypocrite. he also does not get that the Gospel in itself is offensive to many, and that we do not have to make it more so.
Again, I do admire him in his street preaching... Like I admire the JW's and Mormons in how they go door to door... but I pray it will not be teaching a different Gospel of hate and wrath at the expense of the Grace of God... and our sins being taken away by the Blood of Jesus... Without realizing it this person is perpetrating the same sort of lies and another gospel just like the cults he claims he is against.
For Jesus' blood was real blood... Jesus suffered God's wrath so we do not have to... and we must never trod over that Grace in fear we treat it unworthy.
Again this is more to rebuke this person in his reckless abandon of the Truth he purports he stands on. I want him to know I am not doing this out of pettiness, but in hopes he will turn from his error and return to Christ... I am rebuking in love. The bottom line is we emerging folk are trying to work out that our orthodoxy matches our orthopraxy... I just see that this person seems to not care much for either. He only wants to prove he is right.
(update: I wanted to show how illogical this person thinks... and how he jumps to conclusions without even listening to people... here is an example)
"ROB: I'm arguing that the Bible is to be believed, perhaps not literally in all cases (Genesis, Abraham's boosom (sic) Jonah, Job etc)...
ANSWER: What in Genesis is not true? Moses presented all of it as true. He did not say, "Here is a parable. In the Beginning God created..."
Logic 101--There are only three possibilities for the veracity of a statement proposed as true by the speaker/writer. It is a mistake. It is a lie. It is true."
Here is the thing Phil jumps to the conclusion rob does not believe in truth.. why, because Phil knows all and he says all Emergent do not believe in truth... which is a lie! So Phil creates an argument out of a falsehood he made up! Notice in the next point Phil agrees with Rob who he just "proved" wrong!
"ROB: ...but hyperbole and story is the way God has chosen to communicate.
ANSWER: God uses a number of literary genre, forms, and devices, including hyperbole and story. However, you miss four important things here."
So in ones sentence Rob is wrong, then here Rob is right? So out of a made up straw man Phil goes on and on about why the Bible is believed in all cases literally, yet then negates his own argument it is to be understood in different ways... strange this is what Rob was actually saying in the first place. The thing is Phil does not believe the bible literally... Phil adds to the Word as he adds works to grace and the law to mercy... He teaches the same thing that Paul states "bewitched" the Galatians... He teaches legalism and negates the Cross of Jesus by works righteousness... Phil answered nothing as to Robs questions as Phil just created his own version of reality then answered it... much like John MacArthur! Phil is teaching another gospel!
Galatians 1:6 - 9
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! "
This is just the tip of the iceberg as Phil seems to think it is alright for him to lie about brothers and sisters in Christ by saying things like this.
"If you wonder why Emergents have discovered the new understanding that no one can understand the Scripture inspite of the fact Jesus said we could, here is a little 5-minute excerpt from a John MacArthur sermon. Go here and scroll down. Look to the right hand column. Find "Mentioned On The Air." Click the "John MacArthur: Emerging Church" link and take a listen. (Hint: It's because they love their sin.)"
The link he links to is of course to John MacArthur whose book is so badly researched it is a joke! Now, I do not know one "Emergent who loves to sin... but Phil seems to love to sin by lying and bearing false witness with every post. Then again you become like the god you serve and his is a god of wrath and hate... at the expense of Grace and Mercy. Remember Phil the Law was given to show transgression and to lead us to Christ... I might add that you try to read Galatians. Turn to Christ and lean on Jesus for your salvation and not your own works Phil... I am still praying for you. My prayers are always with you my friend... i pray that you find your Sabbath Rest in Jesus.
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Friday, February 23, 2007
In the last few days I have been listening to hours of lectures (yes hours) by Gordon Clark. (Not to be confused with singer from the Scottish band the Bay City Rollers). This was an amazing fellow, with a great wit, intellect and knowledge I can only hope to attain in my life. He was still lecturing at age 95 and was very lucid in his speaking. If you don’t know who he is check out this small bio here.
As I listen to him he ran through dozens if not more theologians and philosophers who all dealt in the area of thought and/or reasoning. Gordon is very much a rationalist in his thinking and built great ideological rebuttals against many other views of thought and thinking.
Yet, as I listen I noticed not just with GC, but with many others he quoted, a dogmatism that seemed to be too “either/or”… It seemed one had to choose between either empiricism or rationalism… Clark as I said leaned heavily on the rationalist side and built strong arguments against empiricism.
That is all well and good and I suggest reading him… yet I seem to disagree with the notion one must choose one over the other… and with the "Postmodern" leanings I have, it seemed as if one could choose both/and.
Let me explain.
Gordon Clark states that the image of man is not in that man looks like God… meaning that the dust of the earth made in human form does not mean that is what God looks like… and has Gordon states “God is Spirit”. I do agree with that to a degree, yet he then asserts that the image in the ability to rationalize thought and that is what separates us from the animals. Again, I do agree with this somewhat. I tend toward that it is more about our vocation and purpose that we are "God's image".
Yet, the short coming seems to be this. That God created man from the dust of the earth and then breathed his life giving Spirit into man, and man became a living being. Clark here asserts that it is that man became a rational being at this point and in that bears the image of God… but back up the boat a bit here….
It is in the organics of the brain that thoughts are created… and a brain without thoughts is… well… dead. So it seems that one must be in relation to the other in order to function as a whole…
Man is a being because he has both a body and is able to think… one cannot be separate from the other. We can think in image and relate that in words…in fact I often think more in pictures in my mind and then translate them into words to communicate my thoughts.
The polarization that either/or is where the relational factor seems to break down, and if one does follow through logically to the end, one will assert as Gordon did that one could literally translate John 1:1 as “In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God and was God.”
I do think that Gordon was trying to convey that Jesus is literally the words (logos) of God and the Word (Logos) of God as in one lecture I believe he said that one cannot separate these from each other. With that I see that one cannot separate the organic (empiricism) from the logic (rationalism) without doing damage to both any more than one can remove the thoughts from a persons brain without hurting the person and losing the thoughts. Granted on can unite the thoughts and the physical and as I am use the body to convey the thoughts in words by typing them out.
How this work out in theology is like this.
In God (The Speaker) were His Thoughts, which became manifest in creation itself. Later at the specific time the Incarnation of Jesus, who was the Physical manifestation of God’s thoughts came to be. God’s literal Thoughts that brought creation became a man and part of creation itself. Kierkegaard would say the incarnation was a contradiction that could not be explained but just accepted as the infinite could not be both finite and infinite at the same time… but Jesus had a temporal body of clay… like us that died and was raised imperishable. The contradiction is only that before the incarnation Jesus appears to have a heavenly body as He appears in the OT pre incarnationally. The lack of contradiction comes as Jesus existed as the thoughts of God in the Words spoken… which later took on flesh. It now has continuity as the Word must have the physical to be relational.
Interestingly in all of this I also found that the idea of the “conversation” that is the main thrust of emerging, is that thoughts without the mouth to speak or some other physical media are in a way not able to exist. They depend on the mouth to speak, the hand to write or what ever way the information that is trying to be conveyed can be transported.
(A side note on this is NASA is doing cutting edge studies on the theory of information. The theory simply overstated is that everything that exists is information or in a sense can be broken down to bits as in binary code… everything is a 0 or 1)
It is the idea that the conversation started at creation and God transferring from creation to the promises to Abraham, to choosing the Jews, to literally becoming flesh… all transferring information as to Who He is. It is in the relationship God had with Abraham, Moses, and The Hebrews, and now with Jesus that He transfers this info to us now.
There must be physical and rationalization or we get forms of twisted doctrine ranging from Barth to MacArthur… which seem to be on either side of the either/or argument which is more often of not, on different playing fields and seem to talk right past each other in their attempt to show each other wrong.
One can learn of God through some art form, or by reasoning. Yet there is one key missing in the pure rationalist ideas of thought… and that is the Person of Jesus. One must be known by Jesus in order to know Jesus. Much of he lectures I listened to seemed to assume that it is we who must come to know God… by rationalistic thinking, while the bible teaches it is better to be known by God than to have knowledge by itself it must have the irrational emotion of love.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3 ... We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God. (NIV)
Love can be thought of as a commitment… but that seems a bit too scientific and lacks the reflection of something deeper people seem to truly be seeking. I am committed to my wife… yet, in that by words, it may comfort her some, but by a touch and a kiss I convey without words the emotional side of love.
To reduce love to a rationalistic view misses the deep almost un-expressionable thing that love is. That is why love is often better left to the artists and impressions to convey than to simply define in some scientific terms.
Again I can tell my wife I love her with words but I had to physically go and get a marriage license to show my love… even more stand in front of family and friends and before God and take vows (words again). It is in the action that I am also showing my love for my bride of 22 years.
I will wrap this up with James 1: 23-25
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.” (NIV)
We need to be hearers and doers… if we are just rationalists and do nothing; it will not matter as nothing will change. But to put feet to our thoughts, that is when things happen.
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Following those links take you to how persecuted those at CRN think they are... never once thinking of the harm they cause to others with their lies, slander and innuendos. I have never seen them retract an incorrect statement... bearing false witness is part of the Big Ten guys... (That would be the Ten Commandments). These guys show once again they do not truly believe of follow the teaching of the bible but are out for self promotion and selfish ambition. Even when they seem to have the story right, I would doubt what they wrote as the bulk of the site is misinformation and lacking any real discernment. They seem to not truly value the Bible or Jesus' teachings. So, can you be a "christian" and hate your brothers? Can you believe the words of Jesus and slander and gossip and lie about others? Mostly can you seek after the Kingdom of God if you are building your own out of selfish ambition? Beware or divisive men and women like these.
Be sure to read the comments on the MMI post... it sets the record straight.
This is really sad.
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The elephant seemed distressed; so Mbembe approached it very carefully. He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out withhis hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.
The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face,stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.
Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away. Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.
Twenty years later, Mbemb was walking through the Chicago Zoo with histeenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of thecreatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapuwere standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted itsfront foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man. Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering ifthis was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed overthe railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up tothe elephant and stared back in wonder. The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.
Probably wasn't the same elephant.
Now why would I post this?
Because it is funny.
To warn that often some will teach a form of godliness but denying its power.
These people in #2 do this out of selfish ambition. Often they are educated and have much knowledge. Yet knowledge is not the same as understanding. Many think one can just read the Bible and understand it and on one level that is true. Even knowing the original languages can open certain nuances, and even can open texts of their intentional meanings as opposed to their translated versions. (These most often are just little things or they could be rather big things as in whether verses are stating that Paul is saying “the god of this world (age) has blinded their eyes” (2 Corinthians 4:4) or as Irenaeus states show be read, “For, God of this world (age), has blinded their eyes.” Irenaeus states that for Paul to say that there is a “god of this world” would be contrary to what Paul believed and that Paul was affirming that there is One God… and He has blinded their eyes. After reading this I reread the passage and actually saw that the flow was better and still consistent in that God is Sovereign and He blinds, or turns some over to depraved hearts. The traditional translation has given to much bad theology and to giving Satan much more power than he really has. This idea of god of this world runs through almost all translations and is more in line with Gnosticism than Christianity and is the influence of Platonism/Dualism that runs even today in much of Christian thought. Beware it is far from and contrary to the true teachings of Christ Jesus.
Religion is like this elephant in the story above. We put too much trust in knowledge but forget we do not know everything. Often we are acting more like little gods as we trump about our own knowledge of the Bible and leave many in the ditch beaten, robbed and near dying. We think of ourselves as greater or more holy because we have religion, or that we are “Christian”… forgetting it is by Grace we are saved and not by works… we are only holy because Jesus is Holy. We cannot make or add to our own holiness and make ourselves more holy than Jesus has already done. Many teach that we must also sanctify ourselves… yet it is God who sanctifies us. Sanctify simply means to set apart for a purpose, and that purpose is to do the works God has prepared for us to do… never forgetting these are HIS WORKS and not ours. This should humble us as we submit and do HIS WORKS and die to our own.
If you play with the elephant… and not know which elephant is truly the right elephant you will still die for the wages of sin is death. The man thought he could do a good work and then later stand on that good work as he trusted the elephant to embrace him for what he did… but in the end the elephant killed him.
I am not saying we are not to do good works. On the contrary I am saying make sure the works you do are truly God’s good works and that you are not building on the foundation of Jesus a house of stubble that will burn up. I am warning that you do not stand on works to prove your salvation. But let your salvation be proved by doing God’s good works as He has His will and desire placed in your heart.
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Thursday, February 22, 2007
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I have heard a few times about Bishop T.D. Jakes... and I have heard him a few times on T.V.
There are accusations that he is a Oneness Pentecostal. I have heard some real in depth "listen to this" expose' on him... yet after reading a few things from CRN and knowing what I know about those people there... I decided to look into it a bit myself.
First off I want you to know I went in with prejudice as I had heard that he was... and it was convincing... I, like many others, just assumed after that he was a "Oneness" teacher.
Yet, to quote Keith Green, "Going to church does not make you a Christian any more that going to McDonalds makes you a hamburger." Great quote isn't it?
As I suspected, and with very little effort I found something very odd...
The church that T.D. Jakes pastors at is not a Oneness church... it affirms the Trinity all over the place!!! It is almost like someone is spreading rumors and slander about the church is carefully and fully showing they what they believe!
Then there was this link... What does Bishop Jakes have to say about our doctrine statement?
The article is a response to the HEARSAY of heresy...
Just a short blurb here:
"My Views on the Godhead", Jakes responds to Christianity Today article, Apologetics Journal Criticizes Jakes. By Bishop T. D. Jakes Hearsay, not heresy.
"Both chapters of my early spiritual journey contributed volumes to my faith and walk with God, helping to hone my character. I was shaped by and appreciate both denominations, but am controlled by neither. My association with Oneness people does not constitute assimilation into their ranks anymore than my association with the homeless in our city makes me one of them."
It seems the hearsay hunters have been at it again to ruin a fellow worker for Christ by their own selfish ambition... sad really to think that if one is loving enough to actually reach out to those "in heresy" they are branded... but that is the same implementation in CRN's approach to most everything else thye claim as heresy... most the time it turns into hearsey, or as the bible states "gossip".
Now that the BIG one is cleared up... what about the other things. Of this I will say I am sure that there are some quirks in his doctrines... was Jesus a rich man? Some say yes, and some say no... but the real issue is this... is this a divisive issue? Does believing Jesus had money and used it to support His disciples have anything to do with salvation?
Or if one is teaching on a topic in a book and though the main context and such is not the main point being made... as in the story of Lazarus... the main point being proof of the resurrection ... can't there be smaller things within the story that one can learn from also?
I won't comment on what he says as part of the Word of Faith movement... there is some very bad teaching there... yet there are still people who truly love Jesus... do I not trust in the Faithfulness of God as to whether He can save and reach someone in that movement?
So after actually looking into the lies being thrown out against T.D. Jakes, I was once again set free by the truth about a brother in the Lord... and free from the lies and slander that once held me to believe that he was not a true believer...
Bruce has more thoughts on this topic at his blog.
I have come across many anti emerging sites that often quote A.W. Tozer. Many of these same sites rail against contemplation, meditation and "Christian" mysticism... I was looking into some new books and came across a wonderful book by A.W. Tozer called "The Christian book of Mystical Verse" which has some great poems and prose by some of his favorite "mystics"...
Here is a quote from the back of the book:
"Although many Christians cringe at the term "mystic," A.W. Tozer used the term to mean, "that spiritual experience common to the saints of the Bible times and well known to multitudes of person in the post-biblical era." He referred to the evangelical mystic as one "who has been brought by the gospel into intimate fellowship with the Godhead."
Here is one of the "gems" in the book... I might in the future share more.
Cooling Streams by Nahum Tate
Nicholas Brady, 1696.
As pants the hart for cooling streams,
When heated in the chase,
So longs my soul, O God, for Thee
And Thy refreshing grace.
For Thee, my God, the living God,
My thirsty soul doth pine;
O, when shall I behold Thy face,
Thou majesty divine?
Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
Hope still; and thou shalt sing
The praise of Him Who is thy God,
Thy health’s eternal spring.
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom we adore,
Be glory as it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.
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Sunday, February 18, 2007
Yes I believe tolerance is a lie… now I am sure if one goes back and reads every single thing I have written in the past 2+ years will find somewhere I said we must be tolerant… but as of RIGHT NOW I believe to be tolerant is not being a truly loving believer.
Tolerance sounds good… we tolerate things… like heat or cold… we don’t like being too hot… or too cold but we tolerate it… we also tolerate working long hours at time and as a salary paid person, this cuts into my bottom line yet, for some reason I tolerate it… I don’t like it, I don’t love it in fact I complain and often express how much I hate it… yet I tolerate it… and do it.
We tolerate people… you know those annoying idiots that just get in your face at times and you would rather rip their heads off and spit down their necks… yet we tolerate them.
We tolerate and think that it as being loving… it is not.
In fact tolerance in its sick little design lies to us and tells us we are BETTER than the person we are tolerating. It tells us that the other is lesser than ourselves. It actually demeans the other to tolerate them…
The bible teaches us to LOVE. Tolerance is not love. Love has at its core the expressed idea that what we do will better the other… and even more that the other is of greater worth than ourselves. Love in its design hopes and works toward the best for the other. It is as 1 Cor 13 4-7 states:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
The bible also tells us something we often do not connect. That God is Love. I truly appreciate this passage in 1 John 4:7-11:
“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. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
God does not want us to settle for tolerance, but to strive to Love the other person… be that person Gay, Lesbian, a drunk, the kid next door, the punk, the Goth, the preacher… in other words, your neighbor. There are numerous examples in scripture where Jesus shows us by example the difference between tolerance and love… the story of the Good Samaritan is one of the most heard stories… I am not going into that as I have before in past posts.
So, dear friends, and even to those who call themselves my enemies. Do not settle for the cheap second best of tolerance, nor do not stoop to hate, but always strive to Love. For we are being conformed to His image, and the clearest image of Love is Jesus in whose image we are being conformed to.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007
As I cruise around the Internet I come across articles…
This person claims to be some sort of authority on the emerging church yet once again I come away asking “Who is he talking about?” I can see some reference to one person or another, yet the core issue is that really his point is lost…
I added my comments below his “warning signs”.
The #1 issue I have with this article is the denial that the King has yet to come... thus denying that the mission of Jesus was to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom of God... He claims:
One of the main indicators that something has changed can be seen in the way the future is perceived. Rather than urgently proclaiming the gospel according to the Scriptures and believing the time to do so is short, the emphasis has now shifted. No longer are “signs of the times” significant. The battle cry is very different. A major emphasis among evangelicals is the idea that the world can be radically improved through social programs.
This concept, while on the surface may sound very good, has some serious biblical implications. According to the Scriptures, there will be no kingdom of God until the King arrives. All the human effort man can muster up will fall short of bringing utopia. In fact, according to the Scriptures, fallen man will lead us further down the road to a society of despair and lawlessness just like it was in the days of Noah.
" Luke 4:43: But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." (Jesus' own words as to why He was sent). I think I will adhere to the scripture's actual teaching than to this man's interpretation through his doctrine. This is one of many scriptures that Jesus proclaims the Kingdom... in which the Gospel and Kingdom are interchangeable.
Here are some of the warning signs:
Scripture is no longer the ultimate authority as the basis for the Christian faith.
Iggy: The bible teaches that all authority has been given to Christ and that without knowing Jesus we cannot understand the bible… mostly I have found that the bible is held in great respect and is referred to as “authoritative” but it is not “worshiped”.
The centrality of the gospel of Jesus Christ is being replaced by Humanistic methods promoting church growth and a social gospel.
Iggy: I have never seen this at all. I have seen that the Gospel has been expanded to a proper biblical understanding, moving away from the “me” centered gospel to the full gospel of the Kingdom of God as preached by Jesus and Apostles… this is biblical while the “me” centered gospel falls short of the true story and truth of the fullness of the Gospel in the Scripture.
I see “Humanistic methods promoting church growth” as more true in most modern churches today than the emerging church. I see that the modern church bases much of its understanding on the Platonist/dual/rationalist teachings that the early church fathers stood against and called heresy. Also we are to interact with society and spread the gospel, this means feeding the poor and helping those in need… which are all very biblical teachings.
More and more emphasis is being placed on building the kingdom of God now and less and less on the warnings of Scripture about the imminent return of Jesus Christ and a coming judgment in the future.
Iggy: Part of the “building the Kingdom is a direct command from Jesus Himself and it is so that we are His ambassadors until His return… I am not sure what the author here is against… the Bible's own teachings and Jesus’ commands?
The teaching that Jesus Christ will rule and reign in a literal millennial period is considered unbiblical and heretical.
Iggy: I have never heard that this view is “heretical” I think that there will be a literal reign of Christ and I do believe many if not most look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus “literally”. I think that the author does not realize that to not believe in the Rapture is not the same thing as heresy. Most emerging churches believe in the Resurrection and hope in that. Again, this is in the bible clearly as opposed to pulling out of texts (often by stretching the text far beyond what it is saying) to prove the rapture is true. It is better to believe in what is taught clearly tightly and hold to teaching that are not loosely.
The teaching that the church has taken the place of Israel and Israel has no prophetic significance is often embraced.
Iggy: I learned this in almost all the “modern churches” I attended. Yet I find that Israel is most often taught as the pivot point, and that Church is Israel… as the gentile believer is engrafted onto Israel… again, I have no idea where this author got this idea as it is very far from true.
The teaching that the Book of Revelation does not refer to the future, but instead has been already fulfilled in the past
Iggy: the preterit view is considered orthodox. I think it is often that the person such as this author has never looked into the history or Ephesus… and the relationship of Emperor Worship and that to even engage in commerce one had to take the number of the beast (Caesar). There is so much coloration between the Emperor worship of the day in which John wrote the book of Revelation that it is easy to see that all has happened already… the point of the book is revealing that Jesus is God and Domitian is not. I hold to the view that though it seems to have been fulfilled, I see the possibility of “near/far” that is through out scripture. That though much has happened; it was a foretelling of what is to come. I think again the author needs to get a grasp of history.
An experiential mystical form of Christianity begins to be promoted as a method to reach the postmodern generation.
Iggy: again, I see this as often more semantics than the idea promoted by the anti mystic promoters. Though I do not agree with all the ideas of the mystics I see that many were godly men who truly loved Jesus… it is the case of throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Ideas are promoted teaching that Christianity needs to be reinvented in order to provide meaning for this generation.
Iggy: I don’t see this at all… it is more the idea of returning to the core values and belief…
The pastor may implement an idea called “ancient-future” or “vintage Christianity” claiming that in order to take the church forward, we need to go back in church history and find out what experiences were effective to get people to embrace Christianity.
Iggy: I guess this person is against teaching history of the church as this is most often the case. He also misses that the one church that is most noted for this was doing it as a response to the local WICCANs who stated that Christianity is not an ancient religion and theirs dated earlier… so to show that is not true, the idea of ancient/future or vintage Christianity was developed.
While the authority of the Word of God is undermined, images and sensual experiences are promoted as the key to experiencing and knowing God.
Iggy: This is just a blatantly false statement born of ignorance.
These experiences include icons, candles, incense, liturgy, labyrinths, prayer stations, contemplative prayer, experiencing the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Iggy: so candles are of the devil and liturgy like the Lord’s Prayer are wrong? Not to mention experiencing taking communion?
There seems to be a strong emphasis on ecumenism indicating that a bridge is being established that leads in the direction of unity with the Roman Catholic Church.
Iggy: If one is anti Catholic I can understand. Yet, Jesus prayed for unity of the faith… so I wonder why someone fights against Jesus’ prayer for this?
Some evangelical Protestant leaders are saying that the Reformation went too far. They are reexamining the claims of the “church fathers” saying that communion is more than a symbol and that Jesus actually becomes present in the wafer at communion.
Iggy: I think many of us think the reformation did not go far enough. I think we need to constantly go back to the early church fathers and gain from their wisdom… as many walked with the Apostles and learned as disciples from them. I think they have much to tell us if we listen. Also, the author is implying that many Reformed denominations such as the Lutherans are then heretical... again, this man has no grasp of history.
There will be a growing trend towards an ecumenical unity for the cause of world peace claiming the validity of other religions and that there are many ways to God.
Iggy: Blessed are the peacemakers. As far as other religions I see that yes there are those who do think there is validity, yet many like myself see all religions as what is wrong with the world… even Christianity if it is a “religion”. That is why one must have a relationship with Jesus to transcend religion.
Members of churches who question or resist the new changes that the pastor is implementing are reprimanded and usually asked to leave.
Iggy: this is true of the modern churches I attended for years… even worse this was often done in a manner that harmed the body and often split the church out of the struggle for power. I think that if one is against the direction of the church then they should remove themselves and not stir up divisiveness and contempt, which Paul speaks against. I even just read where one person misused a passage to teach others to throw out unbelievers (emergents) from local churches... so i really see this as a "modern" issue (warning) over a emerging church issue.
In the end I see this person as ill informed as can be. I again acknowledge the emerging church is not perfect and has some major issues to be addressed, but to add false accusations and lies against us does not help matters.
So what is the bottom line and real motive of this person... to make money selling his DVD of misinformation...
the bigger issue is this... if there is a real threat of a "cult" and the research of these "anti emerging church" discernment groups is so poorly done, how can we be sure they are really telling the truth about non Christian religions... How can one tell for sure it Mormons are not really "Christian" if a discernment groups condemns other legitimate Christian groups... how can one tell it there is a real issue with the "word of faith" movement if they can't get the "emerging church" right? If one truly has integrity and is discerning, I think that do discredit with lies and innuendo... and not use true biblical arguments... and if one only uses their own denomination or pet doctrines as "proof" (instead of the Bible), then they are not a legitimate discernment group, but rather a divisive organisation that is doing harm to the Body of Christ. It discredits these groups when they at times may actually be right in an assessment... but a little yeast (lie) works through the whole loaf of bread... it corrupts the dough. (1 Cor 5:6, Matt 16)
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I know much of what i say will sound very close to the "traditional" view many here are in a sense trying to recover/run from/overcome/ straighten out, yet... there are many things I see that many accept as "Christian" that has nothing to do with Christianity as I have grown to understand it.
I also know that many of my readers will also view me as very much outside the mainstream... in fact you use some very poignant terms of endearment towards me... (grin)
My view of Grace is much in tune with Maj Ian Thomas or Norman Grubb... in fact I am amazed as there are more and more people like me who seem to pop up. There is a certain kinship that is shared with "us" (for lack of a better term) who have been touched by grace in this way. I think that many are entering the emerging conversation have been touched by grace and see that the idea of the wrathful God... who hates sinners, is rather repugnant. God loves people and hates sin... there is a vast difference from hating "sinners"... for if God hates sinners, He would not have "loved" the world so much to send His Son...
I have lost friends, position and have left churches (willfully and by strong suggestion) over this view of Grace... I have been attacked and told i am not saved. Then on top of that... add in the emerging church with all it color and diversity and how much the fundamentalist mindset hates us all... so often hate seems often compounded on me.
I think God views us as children... in fact not just any children... but His very own Sons and Daughters...
My son and daughter are incredible.. . my son likes to pray along with daddy... he will say every other word i say as i pray... and both shout AMEN!!!! even when it is just Grace at dinner... even at restaurants. .. and I laugh at that their wonderful innocence and wonder, "why can't I just do that?" "Why do I feel like doing that on the inside yet hold back?" I want to shout out in pure ecstatic joy of the Love and Mercy and Grace of My awesome God!!!!! I want to learn from them to be a child again.
Repentance is turning from death to life... it is not just about feeling sorry... I felt shame and sorrow for years AS A CHRISTIAN... and until i began to trust... only then did the shame fall away... and sorrow turned to laughter. Emotions play a part, but just feeling sorry for our sins is not repentance. Many seem only sorry they are caught... yet if they could would never change anything about themselves.
We all fail... yet that is the point... we are not perfect... that is not our job to be... if we could be then there is no need for God. God's job is to be perfect and we are trust in His perfection and seek His perfect knowledge... and live in His perfect Love.
All my love in Christ!!!!
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The idea that one MUST be sorry for their sin can be a sign of repentance, yet so can great joy and thankfulness! To me the idea one MUST feel sorry for their sins and then try to stop sinning is also a misrepresentation of the idea. For it seems that the main point forgotten is that Jesus TOOK away our sins and God does not see us by our sins. He than gives HIS LIFE to us in which we LIVE through Him... in doing that there is no TRY, but that as we are in CHRIST, and there is not sin IN CHRIST ... we are now as a Christian sinless...
We are walking in re-newness of Life as a New Creation. We may still sin in behavior, yet God deals with us as Sons Whom He loves and never as sinners.
I also see that in the technical terms... repentance is a one time event... (not to be confused with confession) I see that repentance is entering the light... and all we do as a Child of God even sin, is all done in the light.
Confession is more than telling God your sorry... but is agreeing that God is right... and also that we must also do all we can to set things right between yourself and others... to bring peace which is the ministry of reconciliation.
I know many will not "get" what I just said, or will and go and tell me I am wrong... but the huge breakthrough in my life was when instead of "repenting", I began to thank God for forgiving me... I felt at first it was a bit presumptious, yet as I did healing was there. I found that God was not angry with my sin, but wanted me to trust in his forgivness.
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Sunday, February 11, 2007
Many people do not realize that every day people are sold and traded on the human trafficking network. 80% of these are women and 50% are children. Most often it is for prostitution.
Just recently RELEVENT Magazine sent out an email that talked of some things we can do to stop this horrible trading of human beings for sex and money.
The following is from an article in that email by David Bastone who is the author of Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—And How We Can Fight It. You can learn more about how you can get involved in stopping human trafficking by visiting NotForSaleCampaign.org.
I recommend one to take part of this and become an abolitionist.
First: Suppress the economic success of human trafficking in regional markets. Traffickers today enjoy the luxury of high business profit with a low risk of arrest. Once law enforcement starts closing down operations that use forced labor, however, that equation starts to shift. Even if the traffickers can relocate to a new city, the cost of doing so cuts into their profit margins.
Second: Change the common perception of the trafficking victim. In short, we cannot allow human trafficking to wallow in immigration politics. Many slaves are forcibly migrated across borders because it is easier to control them once they have lost their citizen rights. Hence, they are not illegal aliens or undocumented workers, and should not be treated as such by legal authorities.
Third: Invite activists to track the supply chain of every consumer product we buy to how it is produced. Armed with that data, we could shape a policy to hold companies accountable that use slave labor in any way to produce products that they offer to consumers in the United States and undercut the economics that make slavery so favorable.
Fourth: Identify and monitor trafficking activity. Imagine the impact if research centers would spring up all over the world to track their own region. And what better site for this kind of study than colleges and universities?
What do they need?
A new underground railroad is emerging that aims to put an end to human slavery once and for all. It desperately needs reinforcements, a new wave of abolitionists, to join in the struggle:
Lawyers are needed to protect the rights of victims and prosecute their predators.
Business entrepreneurs are needed to launch enterprises for freshly liberated slaves.
Students are needed to carry out research and influence policy.
Health care workers and mental health professionals are needed to pick up the pieces of broken lives.
Employers are needed to offer jobs.
Construction workers are needed to build shelters.
Owners of two blankets are needed to donate one.
On the list goes—mention a resource and the abolitionist movement needs it.
Get involved and truly save a life.
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I do this every once in a while... in the past it really kept me humble... but I was shocked to see that the "value" of this blog has gone up from the $4500.00 (rounded to that amount) to this!!!!
It is pretty amazing that the first time I did it it was about $83.00... now if I can convince the bank to let me use this as collateral, I might be able to buy a house! LOL!
(This is a play value and is in no way the actual value of this blog...unless someone makes an offer... I mean come on I would sell this silly thing in a heart beat... i can always start another blog... so any offers? HUH? I thought not... oh well.)
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