Friday, April 25, 2014

It's Raining Revelations

I was walking down a street in downtown Spokane on a misty day recently when I noticed a sign pointing down to the sidewalk.  The sign read: "weather report".  On the sidewalk was written "It's raining" with some sort of water repelling chemical. It was kind of cute I guess. The only time you can see the sign is when it's raining, as if it wasn't already obvious.

I am often reminded of that little sign in these days. I spotted an article today that reported yet someone else coming out of the closet on the gay marriage issue. This time it was the "front-man for the popular Christian band Jars of Clay", Dan Haseltine. These outings have ceased to be shocking or surprising. It seems in fact that they are precipitating out of the "Church" like rain.

But as this rain hits the real Church, that is the Christians whose worldview is informed by a serious view of scripture, it is repelled. The true Church is beginning to emerge as the fake church moves with culture into increased wickedness.  Persecution has begun, and it will increase because on the sidewalk of this world is written "You are not unaccountable", and the world and it's worldly "church" will do everything it can to scrub that message away.

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".