Tag Archives: Scripture
I don’t care how much you care until I know how much you know.
You are probably saying, “Huh?” Let me explain. I am sick and beyond sick of hearing limp-wristed Christians apologize for the fact that there is black & white truth called scripture and some of it isn’t pretty.
They say, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I say that it doesn’t matter how much you care unless you know enough to be able to help them find the truth!
Wake up people. You were never told to hold a popularity contest to gain favor with sinners showing them how awesome your tolerance of their wickedness is. You were told to take God’s message of redemption to the world. This message includes sin, hell, penalty, and damnation just as much as it does grace, mercy, love, and peace.
Tell the whole story or you ain’t tellin’ God’s story. God doesn’t need you to spiff up His image in order to make him marketable! God doesn’t need an image consultant and if He did, it wouldn’t be you! Have the courage to face the truth.
Comment if you dare…
Op-Ed by the Truthinator:
Actually, heresy is “opinion or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, esp. of a church or religious system” according to dictionary.com . This is classic Rick Warren…change what you don’t like into what you would prefer to be true and call it truth.
Other Warren classics include, “sin is what causes you to be unfulfilled” and “sometimes a song or a touching story can move a heart when the Gospel cannot”.
Heresy is the repackaging of God’s redemptive story into a pragmatic, post-modern, money-making, ego-inflating, myopic, utopian soliloquy and ensconcing it in the mega, 3-ring, multiplex, entertain-o-rama church! Taking out the message of God’s word and replacing it with bits and pieces of self-help, eastern religion, new age, roman catholicism, mysticism, universalism, and classic liberal protestantism all spun into non-offensive, post-modern, ADHD gobblygook… this is heresy.
Just because you tweet it, that don’t make it so. John Piper may think Warren is “doctrinal and sound” but if you spend some time reading his books, listening to his sermonettes, and reading up on his friends and influencers in the “faith”, you will come away with a different opinion.
The truth man gets a little cranky sometimes when he sees this “spin the bottle and call what falls out truth” stuff coming from the left coast.
To correct Warren, truth is truth. It cannot be otherwise or it would not be truth. I would tend to think that the improper handling of truth would be the fault of the practitioners which is probably the point he was trying clumsily to make. However, truth is not called into question simply because someone may not correctly deploy it. Truth also does not depend upon its reception. Everyone in the world could unite against God’s word and that would not render a single jot or tittle null or void! The book of John equates Jesus Christ with God’s word when it says, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. “ Handle God’s word well and with great effort and struggle; however, the mishandling of God’s word still has no power to leave it anything less than completely and totally true!
Be careful of this guy and his cohorts in the Seeker and Emergent movements. This is a dangerous crowd.
I wrote several articles a while back about a radio station in the Miami area that bills itself as Christian but the content of the DJ discussion could best be labeled as culturally tolerant and traditional Christianity intolerant. As a brief reminder of previous content I have heard from this station over the years, once the morning DJ said he doubted the existence of eternal hell and encouraged a guy who claimed to believe in soul extinguishing (a Buddhist teaching), many times the morning team has staged skits and call-in contests with careless and disrespectful references to Jesus, and several instances where the morning crew totally mislead callers with answers to questions that are much more new age than Christian in content.
Yesterday, I heard the morning guy tell a caller that he did not care for going to church! He said he preferred a more interactive experience where there was no “preacher yelling at me about how bad I am” but where someone would encourage and affirm him. Now I agree that yelling is not necessary but that is as far as I can agree with the morning DJ dude. People who are lost do not need to be affirmed and encouraged to remain lost. Immature Christians need to grow in conforming to the image of Christ and not to be affirmed and encouraged to remain novices. Nothing good can be accomplished with an ”Anything goes, dude” mentality. Read 1 Corinthians if you do not believe me.
How immature and self-indulgent can you be?! I only want to hear good things about myself and I want someone blowing smoke into my ear about how great I am… Give me a break! The danger in this immature and culturally tolerant stuff lives in the fact that people on the radio claiming to be Christian carry some credibility. Others listen to the radio assuming they can trust what they hear to be true and beneficial to them. When Emergent garbage is spewed from people who are too immature themselves to be in Christian leadership, the result is confusion and even deception.
Look at the book of Acts. God’s people met together. The total truth about God’s grace through Jesus and why people need it was clearly discussed. When Peter, Paul, and others preached in the open square or in the synagogues, they confronted people about their sin and their need of the Savior. How else can lost people hear? God’s plan is for His people to take His message to the world. God never asked for anyone to encourage and affirm the lost or spiritually immature Christian to remain in their current state.
“Emergent Radio” is another example of what happens when all solid, doctrinal teaching gets removed from life. People become worldly in their thinking. To be Christian is not to simply ” be nice ” within your own self-defined concept of niceness. To be Christian is not to drift around on every wind of false doctrine that replaces truth from the Bible because it is more palatable to the flesh of the worldly.
Every town in America probably does not have an Emergent Radio like this one. However, I can guarantee you that every Christian radio station in America is under pressure to broaden their appeal and gain more monetary support. The pressure comes from without even if it does not come from within. Increasingly, more stations are scuttling teaching programs in favor of continuous music. Also increasing is the extent to which the music being played on Christian radio merges with the current worldly culture. Much music remains solidly appropriate for honoring Christ but too much of it has shifted to a style-driven sound with lyrics that are indecipherable. Does sound alone honor God? Maybe or maybe not. It is above my paygrade to make that determination. Does recording otherwise worldly music and throwing in a casual reference to God or Jesus once in a while honor God? You be the judge based upon what scripture teaches about the glory of God and His Son who sits at His right hand in splendor.
To downgrade or not to downgrade… that is the question facing America. How will she respond?
Emergent Expository Sermonette:
” Wow, man, like Jesus is Awesome. Whoa, dudes, He is killer, man. You know what I mean? It’s like, He’s da bomb and all that. He’s crazzzy, man. Somewhere in the Bible (or maybe it was Joel Osteen’s book) it says something like He don’t care which religion you are from or something like that… He just has an awesome plan for your life and will fulfill all of your dreams, dudes. Now let’s pray…”
Last time we saw the early church in Antioch fasting and praying and ministering to the Lord. The Holy Spirit called for Paul and Barnabas to be separated from the others to take the message to the gentiles.
Let’s talk for a moment about a Spirit-filled church. Many times we hear folks refer to themselves as a Spirit-filled church. The proof they offer can be the handling of snakes without getting bitten, the speaking of tongues, the manifestation of various healings and miracles… and so forth. But, what is a Spirit-filled church, really?
John MacArthur says that a Spirit-filled church is one in which its members walk in obedience to the will of God. God reveals His will through scripture so a Spirit-filled church will be deeply committed and obedient to the word of God. An examination of Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 shows how being filled with God’s Spirit and allowing the word of God to richly dwell in one’s life produce same outcome.
I’m afraid at this point that I must detour for a moment in order to hit upon an important topic. Many people today talk about “God showed me” or “God spoke to me and told me” and other such things. These things that “God spoke or showed” usually result in you being asked to send money to the one who received the revelation. Don’t do it! God reveals Himself in His word. Every claim of revelation or inspiration must be thoroughly examined against what is taught in scripture.
There is also a rising tide of false teaching existing today. Much Emergent, Prosperity, Word of Faith, Roman Catholic, New Age, and other teachings are competing against the truth. And since the word of God is not richly dwelling in the lives of people, many are falling headlong into deception.
Our scripture today shows an excellent example of this. Verse 6 says that Paul and Barnabas had been across and throughout the entire island of Cyprus preaching and teaching Jesus. Luke makes a point, however, of mentioning this next bit of information as opposed to anything else that occurred on Cyprus. A local Roman official, Sergius Paulus, summoned Paul and Barnabas so that he could hear their message.
Luke notes that Sergius Paulus was a man of intelligence. His job as a local leader would have required him to learn of the teachings of traveling evangelists. He doubtlessly kept himself informed of all the news about the happenings in his area. The scripture seems to insist, however, that this man was interested on a deeper level that simple curiosity about Paul and Barnabas. Regardless of his reason, he seeks to hear from God’s men.
Now note how the proconsul is flanked by a messenger of Satan. A Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. I remember in school when studying math that sometimes a problem would have variable noted as A and another noted as Bar A (A with a bar above it). There was a huge difference between the value of the A and the Bar A. As a matter of fact, there was no relation at all between A and Bar A.
There was also no relation at all between Jesus (the real and only Son of God) and Bar-Jesus (a false prophet of Jewish descent). This Bar-Jesus was attached to the proconsul for some reason. Scripture says that Bar-Jesus (also known as Elymas which was a Greek word for magician) opposed Paul and Barnabas. He tried to stop them from giving the word of God concerning Jesus Christ to the proconsul.
We are told in Ephesians 6 that ” our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Telling someone about Jesus will be met with resistance by the enemy forces because hearing the gospel message is the method God uses to call His elect unto Himself. ” Faith comes from hearing the word of God” we are told in Romans 10.
So Paul and Barnabas are opposed outwardly by Bar-Jesus but spiritually, they are opposed by Satan and/or his emissaries. This is very important to understand. I will end today’s lesson with this truth and pick up next time with it as a reminder. Giving someone the word of God about salvation through Jesus is not an academic exercise where someone simply weighs the information intellectually and makes a decision. Heaven and hell are in a struggle that God allows to take place when someone is confronted with the gospel. We will look more deeply into this in the part 3 of this text.
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Op-Ed by the Truthinator:
A Florida church is planning a “burn the Koran day” for September 11 of this year. The article dealing with their plans is copied below. I put this into the “almost a good idea” category. Why? I see it like this: Christians must stand up and tell the truth. We are exhorted and commanded by scripture to do this. Islam is indeed a false religion and the devil is behind it. I commend the church for taking a stand for truth.
Now for the bad news. I think having a book burning is always a bad idea in modern times since the fire is what gets the attention and the reason for the fire usually gets left out. I would say this well-meaning church could have thought of at least five or six better ways to speak out against the rising tide of Muslim-sympathetic coverage by the US news media, by politicians, and by ecumenically-minded “evangelical preachers/authors”.
I encourage us all to stand for the truth. I also remind us all that standing for the truth is rarely popular or convenient. When we stand, be careful to stand and not pontificate. The former will cause people to take notice even though they may not agree. The latter simply adds fuel to the fire that the enemy has designed to engulf us.
Florida church plans to burn Quran on 9/11 anniversary
AFP, Aug 1, 2010, 12.21am IST
The Dove World Outreach Center of Gainesville, Florida said on its Facebook page it will hold an “International Burn a Koran Day” on September 11, asking other religious groups to join in standing “against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!”
“Islam and Sharia law was responsible for 9/11,” pastor Terry Jones said. “We will burn Qurans because we think it’s time for Christians, for churches, for politicians to stand up and say no; Islam and Sharia law is not welcome in the US,” the organizer of the burning action added.
Reactions to the Koran burning announcement were swift. Members of the Al-Falluja jihadist forum have threatened to “spill rivers of your (American) blood” and “a war the likes of which you have never seen before”.
Mainstream Muslim groups also denounced the move and lamented the sentiments promoted by the Gainesville church.
Notice in verse 19 how believers had scattered to far away places as a result of the persecution that arose concerning Stephen’s ministry. Notice particularly that despite Stephen being killed by the Jewish religious leaders, the spreading of the good news of Jesus continued and increased! The scattering of some resulted in the Gospel being taught in new and different places. The work of God had not been halted, it had increased!
Notice also in verse 20 how it was the Lord Jesus that was being preached to the locals. It was not felt-needs, pop psychology, how to improve your sex life, prosperity now, or any other such madness. They were preaching the Lord Jesus. The result was that the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believed and turned to the Lord (verse 21).
This is not the first time we have seen this formula (if we can call it that). The disciples of Jesus took His message to people and the Lord’s hand blessed this activity resulting in many believing and being saved. Wow, so simple yet so profound…why is this so hard to understand? Why do so many today put on entertainment extravaganzas each week to entertain men producing little if any lasting changes in their lives and call it ministry?
The book of Acts makes it amazingly simple and easy to understand. Faithful men preach the Lord Jesus to unbelievers. God blesses this activity. Many believe and are changed. Any questions?
Daily Truth Bible Study Acts 10:24-48
Last time, we saw the messengers of Cornelius arrive in Joppa to find Peter. Cornelius had seen a vision where an angel told him to send for Peter and where to find him. Much is happening here. A Roman Centurion and a gentile is being saved. This is huge! God is saving a man who is functioning inside a corrupt political/military government and a pagan gentile culture. And not only that, God is teaching Jewish Christians an unbelievable truth about God’s plan: Gentiles will be saved and will be equal to Jews in God’s kingdom! Unheard of and unbelievable!
I am using John MacArthur’s commentary on Acts for guidance in this study. MacArthur notes that a milestone in the Church’s history is reached when the two worlds collide. Peter and six of his fellow Jewish believers are going to see the unseeable, learn the unknowable and experience the unbelievable.
Cornelius had not been sitting around buffing his nails while his servants were gone to fetch Peter. He had prepared a gathering of friends and relatives. Why? To hear what Peter would tell them.
Cornelius obviously valued what Peter would tell him and his relatives upon arrival. After all, Peter was the leader of the Church. He was the top guy in God’s blossoming group of believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself had announced to Peter his responsibility for leadership of the group. And this guy was coming to see Cornelius!
This was not a political power display however. Cornelius was not trying to impress his friends. He had called everyone together because he expected Peter to tell them something important from God. Afterall, an angel had told him to send for Peter. Cornelius wanted his family and friends to benefit from knowing God. Anyone who knows God should have the desire for others to know as well. Cornelius was in the process of moving from death to life. His concern for others is a proof of this occurence.
God was doing the work of transformation in Cornelius. This conversion would likely cost Cornelius his life as the Romans were not charitable toward the Jews and certainly not toward the Christians. Roman soldiers were killed if they ever got out of line with the rules and regs of military operation. Cornelius would either have to leave the Roman territory or die. However, this is apparently not a concern for him. It is not even mentioned in the text! The important thing to keep in mind is that God is saving his soul! This is far more important than preserving his temporary condition.
This truth must have entered his mind prior to inviting his friends and relatives over to hear Peter speak. He was caught in a paradox that many would experience and still face today. He chose to expose the others to eternal salvation even though it could cost them their lives. Cornelius had everything in proper perspective.
In Mark 8, Jesus addresses this very issue. He compares to outcomes of preserving one’s life now versus giving one’s life away for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Cornelius made the correct choice. What choice will you make?