Monday, April 14, 2014

With A Nudge From Jesus Evangelical Minister Shows True Colors

The Title of this post is not exactly right. The title of the article in the Detroit Free Press actually reads "With A Nudge From Jesus, Evangelical Minister Supports Gay Marriage".  I for one am glad this wolf has taken off his sheep's clothing, and so should his congregants.  The question remains however, how many in his congregation are for the first time seeing the truth about the secualr humanism of their leader. My guess is that most of the orthodox believers probably left long ago, and that most of his congregation will remain and cheer. Just my guess.

To be sure, a "church" that looks to the zeitgeist and culture for truth will eventually have to deny the Truth of scripture. For years false teachers and the scriptures could shack up, but in these radical times this is becoming an increasingly untenable path.

An excerpt:
But about a dozen years ago, the founder and leader of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor started to have some misgivings about his views.
Perspective is everything. This is a glowing article written to puff up this "pastor" and from the writer's perspective this pastor has finally seen the light of secular humanism, and that is a good thing.  He is no longer a bigot. But there is a different perspective, a biblical one. From that perspective the excerpt might be better stated:
But about a dozen years ago, the founder and leader of Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor started to have some misgivings about God's views.
Another excerpt:
It was a slow process, one that involved prayer, introspection and scholarship as he pored over the Bible and interpretations of it from various writers.
Imagine that, culture and secular humanism rejects scripture and embraces homosexuality as good and proper, then church men all of a sudden begin to figure out the truth about how wonderful homosexual "marriage" is after 2000 years of darkness. What a coincidence.
Experts say it might be the first time the pastor of a large evangelical Christian congregation in Michigan, and maybe the U.S., has come out so openly in favor of gay people and same-sex marriage.
One wonders what rock this writer must has been living under for the last decade. A great reason why being cited by a media person as an "expert" is not something you want to put on your resume.
The move comes at a time of intense debate in Michigan over gay marriage after a ruling two weeks ago by a federal judge in Detroit that legalized gay marriage, a ruling currently being appealed.
Go figure.  Not that it matters to this "pastor" what Jesus said, but he certainly doesn't have to worry about Jesus' words warning that to follow Him will mean persecution, especially if you're a CEO of a chicken restaurant or a large software company and agree with thousands of years of hisstory.

Anyway, this is old news really, with more "revelations" and outings to come sure as the world. But it does give me reason to make a few points.

1. This teacher did not become a false teacher overnight. My guess is that bit by bit he taught his apostasy to his congregation until it was safe to go where his heart already was...  out of the closet.

2. Much of the Church is apparently in an age of bankruptcy of discernment. Just because your pastor has not "come out of the closet" on this issue doesn't mean that his heart is still in the closet. The modern Christian must know scripture and see the world through that lens, then he will see these things long before they happen.

3. Matt 24:24 "[Jesus answered saying...] For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect." If we are not able to discern scripture, how will we avoid this deception?

4. The good news is that it is becoming very easy to spot many false teachers and apostates from a mile away. The Church of Christ looks nothing like we imagined it was even a quarter century ago. Then, this pastor's anti-biblical views would have not been nearly as discernible, nor would have his anti-biblical followers.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

On Fearing God

A Facebook friend posts, probably once a week, a "word from god".  She writes as god in the first person as he tells us all the cool stuff he's going to be doing for us, and what we ought be doing, and the work he's doing behind the scenes to fix the things that are wrong.

I took a psychology class years ago in a Godless school taught by a Godless professor.  It was a small class, 6 of us to be exact.  On the first day of class the professor told us that he had a friend who could interpret handwriting.  He asked us to put our signature on a piece of paper and he would have it analyzed for us.  I was absent that day.

After much teasing with promises of "any day now", the analysis finally arrived toward the end of the semester.  He warned everyone that there would be personal revelations and to keep the reports "close to the chest".  As each one read their reports, except me because I was absent, I heard the people gasping at the incredible insight this professor had gained into their own person lives... simply by their signature.  "Wow!" I heard over here.  "I can't believe this!" I heard over there, "This guys been reading my mail!".

After a little bit, the professor asked if anyone would be willing to read their report aloud.  One brave soul volunteered and it truly was amazing.  Oh, not because the professor-handwriting analyst had had any real insight, but rather because he had had zero insight.  You see, the professor had a standard letter he always sent to everyone, so everyone got the same report.  The report was designed in such a vague way as to allow anyone to plug into it the particulars of their own lives.  Horoscopes are written in this same way.  Horoscopes are wicked.

When it comes to people prophesying, the first thing I think about is 1 Thess 5:19-22.  "Do not quench the Spirit;  do not despise prophetic utterances.  But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil."  I admit that I am a skeptic more times than not--a lot more in fact--for a few reasons, not the least of which is I fear God.  Yet still, I try to discern with charity... because of this scripture.

We live in an age in which there are many people running around saying things in the first Person, with a capital "P" on person, for God.  "I love you my child, I gave my Son for you, rise up and praise Me and I will do wonders in your life", and things such as that.  To me it sounds much more like the handwriting analysis than it does God, but who am I to question a "word from the Lord", even if it is nebulous and unprovable one way or the other.

More times than not however, I cringe for the person doing it.  They seem so comfortable speaking in God's stead.  There doesn't appear to be any fear and trembling; no, "what if this is my own idea and I've talked myself into believing that it isn't me at all but the very voice of God?".  If it were true, and a false prophecy is being prophesied, then I have every reason to fear for them.  God doesn't take kindly to mere men spouting off their own delusions and signing His name to it.  Just sayin'.

So... I took my concordance and looked up the word "fear".  It turned up about about 310 times in the NASU Bible.  There are other words that mean the same thing that didn't come up, like afraid, fears, terrified, and the like, so this is not an exhaustive study.  But what did turn up was enough to strike fear in us when it comes to the handling of... His words.

In my analysis, I created three buckets to throw each "fear" into.  The first bucket was the misc. bucket.  I put men fearing men, or the weather, or angels, and things like that into that bucket.  I wound up with 70ish "fear"s in that bucket.  The second bucket dealt with the fear of men, armies, circumstances and things like that, as in don't do it.  That bucket wound up with about 80ish uses, so we have 150 so far.  The third bucket dealt with fearing God as in direct commands "fear God", "The fear of the LORD", or in references to the unGodly not fearing God, and such.  That one wound up with 170ish uses.  (that totals 320 because I rounded everything to the nearest 10)

This theme was consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments, and the message is clear, and repeated over and over: Fear God.  But we live in a time in which men and nations do not fear God.  That's should not surprise us because the Man of God no longer preaches the fear of the LORD.  Or worse, men take it upon themselves to re-interpret the word to "reverence" or something more palatable to the hearts and minds of arrogant men.  It seems that these prechers might be a little ashamed of a God that commands His creation to fear Him.  A God that is to be feared doesn't sit well with the "he's my best friend and he's cool with me because I'm cool and I think he's cool" God that is popular today.

Now with a God like that it makes perfect sense to me that someone would run around speaking on his behalf.  After all, if you are spouting all kinds of nonsense and signing it with "thus saith the lord,  what's the big deal... God's cool with it.  Right?

Check out this video of a woman prophesying.  She was outed as a false prophet because... well she was proven wrong... right there.  One minute she was prophesying that he was anointed of God, and the next she was calling him a devil.  Whatever the case was, one thing was for sure,  she was obviously not hearing from God, and she ought to have repented in trembling and fear for assuming to speak for the Almighty.  And then she should have chosen  a safer profession.   I don't think she has.  After all, what does she have to fear?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Solid, Meet Solid

We get the parable of the two men building their houses in the Sermon On The Mount.  One of the men, so the story goes, built his house on something solid and the other on sands that shift to and fro.  As is clear to the most knuckly of heads, the to and fro stuff doesn't lend itself well to structures that gain all of their strength from the foundation.

Interestingly enough, that story begins with the word "therefore", which, as we know, ought to direct our attention to the previous passage to get to the foundation, if you will, for that particular passage. Well the previous passage, is Matthew 7:21 which ought to strike eternal fear into the hearts of all mortals. It goes like this: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

It seems to be a common practice in our bizarre times to get this parable completely backwards in practice. In this age it is suggested that we build our house then judge the credibility of the ground by the house. As a result, when things start shifting around we end up judging the ground according to what we built. This is why something that was seen as an abomination in the past can be seen as good and righteous in the present, and vice versa. And since our point of reference is the four walls of man's wisdom we are perfectly comfortable with that even though our house is now floating down the river, destination unknown.

In a house such as this God's Word is judged by culture. When we read that God wants wives to phobio their husbands in a culture dominated by feminism, we wonder if perhaps God didn't properly understand the value and worth of women as leaders in the home.  When we read in the midst of a sex-obsessed culture to not be deceived... fornicators... will not inherit the Kingdom of God, we look around at the four walls of man's wisdom and sovereignty that represents our "house" and question God's wisdom and sovereignty.

In reality, this parable paints a picture of a joint effort. It provides a starting place, which is the Word of God, and based on that solid and unchanging foundation we apply our effort by putting into practice God's Word and end up with a parabolic house. As the storms then rage outside, and the meaning of up and down begin to fall into question, we are safe resting in our stable abodes in faith that just beyond the precipice of eternity we will not have to hear those dreaded words "depart from me, you who practice lawlessness".

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Monday, November 25, 2013

Behold, The Future Church Of America

This is a pastor yucking it up about how cool it is to play profane music during the worship of the Holy One.


Was "Sympathy For The Devil" really played during a worship service in the video below? Unfortunately for this age, "Elevation Church" is not the only Church hopping onto the the rock and roll entertainment band wagon.  This, I think, was from North Point Community Church:

The middle ground is some of the most comfortable ground there is... until one side seeks to devour you.  Increasingly in our zeitgeist, this ground is becoming increasingly precarious.  Sides demand allegiance.

Much more on this here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Spirit Of Big Mother, Also Known As Feminism.

Humor is dependent on an element of truth in order to be funny.  That's why this clip from "The Christmas Story" is humorous:


This is a great caricature of the "Mother" spirit that gives us a little chuckle.  But the Mother Spirit in reality is far from funny.  It has bounded the American people, much in the same way that this Mom bound up her son in "protection", for our own good.

I took this picture at a construction site in Charlotte, North Carolina:

Unfortunately, this is not a Caricature, it is real.  This poor man is living the invasive oversight of "Mother".

Yesterday I went for a walk with my daughter.  We needed to cross the street and saw big Mother advising us that it was not safe to do so, even though there was no car in site in either direction.  I took mine, and my daughter's, life into my own hands and broke the law.  I crossed the vacant street against Big Mother's lighted hand, and hoped to not get arrested for child neglect, reckless endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and Jaywalking.

I was in Canada recently and when the moving sidewalk in the airport ended I felt a certain peace that didn't belong.  I wondered what it was, then realized Big Mother wasn't there warning me that if I didn't pay attention I might skin my knee.  I began to pay attention elsewhere and you know what, I noticed that big Mother was also absent on the escalator.  There was no voice warning me that if I didn't hold onto the handrails I might fall down... and to beat all, I actually survived without it.  It was very strange in a very good sort of way.  It made me think of the possibilities.

The effects of Big Mother are many, and far reaching.  Anecdotally speaking, I have a large storage building in my backyard.  I desire to take the existing roof off, increase the pitch, and add a loft office.  This improvement would require the purchase of resources like lumber, sheet-rock, wire and that sort of thing.  But, as you might have guessed, Big Mother stands before me, arms folded.  It seems that my outbuilding was built before Big Mother's encroachment had reached it's current extreme.  She is worried you see that because it was built too close to the property line, and IF it caught on fire, why it might burn down Little Tommy's utility shed next door.  We certainly can't have that!  Poor little Bobby down at the hardware store will just have to forgo my purchases at his little shop, because Mother knows best.  Besides, if Bobby goes out of business because Big Mom has bounded up too many purchases, why Big Mom will take care of him anyway.

On 911, Big Mother promised to protect us, but she failed.  A few real men with box cutters took over airplanes filled with castrated men, and killed them.  These castrated men had been trained by Mom to depend on her for their well being.  By the time the dormant manhood had been awakened in the hearts of the men on flight 93, it was too late.  Not to worry though, Big Mother created a whole new bureaucracy called "Homeland Security", so that we don't have to worry about anything like that ever happening again.  Men can now re-enter sedated castration without concern.

There is always a price to pay for everything.  To hand our security and freedom over to big Mother is a fool's errand.  She will not provide for us, nor will she protect us.  She will only enslave us.  She is no different than the average feminist who devotes her life to castrating men and then despising them for letting her do it, all the while swooning over the men who refused her knife.

The little boy in the video, I'm afraid, is a symbol of reality that has become a little too real for comfort.  Our present reality has us gathered under Big Mother's skirt... for our own good, and this has happened so slowly that we don't even realize that we have become the very boy bound up in her protective clothing, who when he falls, is too encumbered with Mom's loving protection, to even get up.

Friday, October 25, 2013

At Least They're Honest

First there was liberal theology that diminished God and raised man.  Then there were liberal Churches that did the same thing.  I suppose this is the logical next step. It will be interesting to see how all the false teachers will compete with a church that is only distinguishable from their own by, of all things, a little honesty about their atheism.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christian Simplicity

Some things that are believed to be true for years can be proved false in an instant with the smallest amount of evidence.  It was believed for years, for example, that there was no such thing as a black swan.  Then one turned up.  All it took was one.

But there does appear to be a way to hold on to cherished beliefs, even after they are proved false.  This is done through language.  It might be said, for example, that there is no such thing as red bluebirds.  That's easy enough to believe, and easy enough to fix too if you think no bird should be denied blueness.  This is done simply enough by redefining the word blue to include red.  Then we can look around and find that there are lots of blue birds, many of which had never existed before.  But then we might well discover that we have extinted the red bird, which is good I suppose, if you don't happen to care much for red birds.

This is much like what is happening to marriage.  When we decide that marriage means something that it has never meant, we might well discover our language to be inadequate to describe something that had up to now always been.

So much of life is much simpler I think than we give it credit.  It is the language, it seems, that tends to turn in on itself.  There are many Christian teachers, for example, who somehow confuse many by their teaching.  But like the black swan, one verse in the Bible can easily make them false teachers, unless, of course, you change the meaning of the words.  At that point, while you might then find a planet full of Christians, you might be hard pressed to find a Muslim, or a Buddhist.

I find myself similarly dismissing more and more "truths" out of hand these days by simply holding them up to the mirror of scripture.  What's left is not all that complicated really, as long as the language you're thinking with is trustworthy.  It is a difficult and wonderful battle, both within and without, for sure, but there again, the assurance of victory and glory does not weigh on our ability to fight it, and that's some excellent news, ain't it?  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013