Category Archives: The American Christian Church
From Mad Medic
Over the past year, I have grown to enjoy reading blogs. It has shown me that I am not alone at where I am in life. Reading some of them is encouraging, convicting, and edifying. Some of them also help me to understand where other people are coming from in their views as well, whether it be about the Bible, Christianity, marriage, or some controversial topic. They helps me to understand why people think the way they do, even if they are wrong. One of the reasons why I think some people blog is because there may not be anyone around them that will respect them enough to listen to them. Blogging gives them the opportunity to discuss their views without someone close to them condemning them for doing so. Reading blogs gives us the opportunity to know why atheists have a problem with a deity, what is going on in the mind of someone with a different view of the Bible, or why people hate church. We can then come and discuss it with them at their level instead of just making sure they know “their wrong and we’re right”. How far will that attitude get you?
Around the blogging world (aka the blogosphere), there is a genre of what is considered “red pill”. The “red pill” is a term derived from the movie “The Matrix” to refer to having one’s eyes opened to things that are not commonly seen. In the movie, a character is offered a red pill that will change his life or a blue pill that will make him forget any changes and go with the flow of others. (To those who are “red pill” or are familiar with the movie, forgive me if I am misrepresenting the movie. I still haven’t watched it. I have just seen clips and other blogs referring to it.) I have dealt with swallowing the “red pill” myself in this post.
I hope I am not going out on a limb by posting this because many “red pill” blogs have to do with relating to women, marriage, and alpha and beta traits, both secular and Christian. However, of the Christian ones, many of the topics discussed point out how the Bible is being either horribly distorted or totally neglected by many in Christianity. I appreciate many of their posts. It has helped me to see the questions that I have asked are ones that others ask too. I am not necessarily here to speak specifically about any “flavor” of the “red pill” such as feminism, marriage, PUA, Game, MRM, or the like. In this post, I want to broaden the reach of the Christian “red pill”. The Christian red pill is not anything special. All it is about is taking the Bible for what it’s worth at face value. It’s about taking all of what God says, not only the parts you like, and counting it as truth and seeking to please God by doing it, even if it goes against the “Christian” norm.
For me, I think I accidentally swallowed the “Red Pill”. From what I’ve read, that seems like this happens to many people. God has a way of getting our attention when we’re to dumb to realize things ourselves. (Again, click the link above to read my “red pill” story.)
The “red pill” goes down hard, tastes horrible, and has serious side effects. You are just living life and BOOM! …questions arise. You get answers to those questions that don’t make sense and it makes you question things even more. You wonder where in the Bible what is said came from. But what is said is just the way it is. Everyone seems to think it as well. It’s just tradition. Then you hear that Pastor so-and-so said “this” or a Christian book or radio program said “that”. Where did they get THAT from? Suddenly, you start fighting with yourself on what is true or not. Who is right? You realize God is. His Word is truth whether other Christians want to follow it or not.
The “red pill” is really nothing new, either. Many, many people through the ages have taken the pill. Some of the more famous ones are ingrained into Christian history. Martin Luther took the “red pill” and questioned the authority and some practices of the Roman Catholic Church with what the Scriptures taught, only to be condemned because of it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not sway with the Church toward Hitler’s Nazi Regime and stood his ground at the cost of his life at the age of 39. John Hus was burned at the stake for speaking against the Roman Catholic Church in his time. William Tyndale was burned alive for translating the Bible into common English. John Wycliffe was deemed a heretic for his Bible-based views prior to the reformation. He died of natural causes, but his body was dug up a burned afterwards. Charles Spurgeon, a London pastor in the 1800′s, stood strong in the midst of the “downgrade controversy” when, even among Christians, the Bible was being questioned if it was the sole authority. Ultimately, Jesus, the Maker of the “red pill”, stood up against the religious authority of His day who made their own rules instead of following God’s Word.
You see, the Christian “red pill” is nothing new. It is believing EVERYTHING God says in the His Word whether it sounds good or not, even if other “Christians” think otherwise. It means not throwing in psychology or philosophy along with the Bible. It means doing what God says even if it’s not the cultural norm. It means dying to yourself and the world around you. The Christian “red pill” simply means believing and doing what God says. Hey, isn’t that what Jesus tells us to do anyway?
Yet, in the United States, our culture wants things our own way. Don’t like what the preacher says? Go to the church down the street. You can watch preachers on TV that will tell you how to get what you want and get your best life. They can tell you God thinks your awesome, wonderful, and that you’re the greatest thing ever. Okay, before I go into a sarcastic seizure, I’ll move on.
You know those crazy medication commercials you see on TV or hear on the radio? You know, the ones that say you can be free of some pain or other issue at the risk of side effects that includes dry mouth, constipation, internal bleeding, or infection that can lead to death. If someone would make a video “commercial” about the Christian “red pill”, that would be an awesome thing to watch. I would advertise the Christian “Red pill” something like this: (Of course, I’d need to make it way more concise.)
Benefits for everyone include:
- You don’t care what other people think about you, but what God thinks. You don’t worry if people hate you because your life doesn’t consist of pleasing others, but pleasing God. The world will hate you because you are not of this world. But if the world loves you, you need to check yourself. (John 17:14, 7:7, 15:18-19, 1 John 3:13) You seek to be humble. You know you are not wonderful and never were. You understand it is only by God’s grace that you are not drowning in the depths of sin. You do not boast in anything but God because you offer nothing good and He gives everything good. You do not boast in any of your own accomplishments, but in what God has accomplished. (2 Corinthians 10:17, Romans 12:3) – You remember where you came from. You know who you were before Christ and know you would still be there, or worse, without Him. Therefore, you also treat other “sinners”, even homosexuals, like actual human beings. If it weren’t for Christ, you’d be going to the same Hell for your own disobedience to God. – You understand that political leaders are chosen by God. Therefore, you can spend more time preaching the gospel that can change hearts and lives instead of preaching about political issues. Changing people’s minds about abortion, civil rights, or homosexuality will not make them a follower of Christ, but God changing their hearts through the gospel will. (Daniel 4:35, Romans 13:1, Daniel 4:25) – You take responsibility for your own sins. It is not so-and-so’s fault that you did this or that. If you did it, it’s your own fault and you will be held accountable for it. Deal with it. (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11) – Yet, you also understand that your actions or words can have an effect of others. They may be tempted to sin because of something you said or did. You know you can put a stumbling block in front of another brother or sister. (1 Corinthians 8:9-11) – You understand that everybody have different gifts and different issues they struggle with than you do. You can encourage others that are going through things that you are strong in and get help for things you are weak in. You also do not look down and judge those that are weaker than you in certain areas. You understand that without God’s grace, you can be in that same position. (1 Corinthians 12:4-27) – You understand there is a difference between “church” and the “Church” If you are a true follower of Christ, you are part of the “Body of Christ” or community of Christians from around the world that spans throughout history that doesn’t involve denominations. You seek to help, build up, challenge, encourage, strengthen, and be like-minded with those in the Body. You understand that not everyone in the Body is just like you. God has given to each one different talents and gifts. Each one is either stronger or weaker in faith than you. But the Body seeks to work together to glorify God, the one who bought it. Lastly, your Christian walk does not consist of being in a building for a few hours a week and only becoming a clique with a few people and forsaking the rest of the Body. – You understand that the Gospel is not about life-enhancement. Jesus did not come and die just to make you live a happy life. The Bible has much to say about you being a sinner and condemned already because of your sin. It speaks plainly about what you deserve and what you will receive without the atonement that comes only from Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. (If that doesn’t make sense, message or email me.) The Gospel is about becoming righteous, or having being made right in the eyes of God, despite your rebellion against Him. It’s about His glory, His salvation, and His righteousness. The only thing you bring to the table is sin. (Romans 3:9-28, Ephesians 2) – You understand that no matter how much of the red pill you swallow, you are to be humble, contrite, and a servant to all. You are not to be wise in your own opinion. You are to bear with those who are weak. You are to provide unity to the Body of Christ and not discord and division. (Romans 12:9-21)
Benefits for men: – You will man up. You will not man up as it is commonly refered to by being nice and doing what everyone tells you to do. Manning up does not mean being blamed for everyone else’s behavior, including your wife’s. You will man up by doing the things God says without excuse. God tells us we should imitate Him. God is not always nice. He is full of truth. He answers to no one. You only answer to Him. – You will seek to be a man as Christ was. You are called to follow, imitate, and be like Him. ALL OF HIM! This means not only being humble, serving, and gentle when need be, but also standing firm in God’s truth. It also means calling people out in their sin. We have seemed to forget that Jesus and Paul were sarcastic and said things that seemed cruel for the glory of God. There is a big difference in being sarcastic to rip someone apart and doing it to uphold God’s truths. (Matt 15:22-26, Galatians 5:2-12) – You will call out sin without worrying about anyone’s feelings or if they are offended. Jesus was never apologetic for being offensive because of the truth and neither should you. – You will learn to love your wife as Christ does the church. He did so by laying His life down for it, not give it everything it ever wanted. He served us by doing what was best for us. He does not ask us what He should do even when we whine and complain. (Ephesians 5:25-33, Colossians 3:19, 1 Peter 3:7) – You understand that love is not a feeling, but is an action as listed in 1st Corinthians 13. No matter how you “feel”, you are to love your wife and love others. – You also understand that God tells you to love your wife no matter what she is like or how she treats you. This does not mean you ignore her sin. It does not mean she is not responsible. It means you are to do what you are supposed to do before God. – You will learn to teach and lead your children in humility, not provoking them to be angry. – You will not apologize for being a man. God made you a man with certain talents, responsibilities, and desires. It is not a sin to be the way you are unless God’s Word tells you it’s a sin. Period. You do not let this world, culture, or even modern Christianity tell you what a man is. You learn from God’s Word.
Benefits for women: – You will woman down. You will not try to be like a man, because you are not a man. You understand that God has given men and women certain responsibilities. – You will submit to your husband as the Church does to Christ. It does so by respecting and obeying Christ. The Church does not tell Christ what He should do and then yell at Him when He doesn’t do it their way. The Church does not tell Christ how to be a better Savior. The Church does not whine and complain until it gets her way, but asks Christ for things knowing that Christ has its best interest in mind and will give it what it needs. (Ephesians 5:22-24,33, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1-6 – notice the “likewise” in verse 1? read the full context (1 Peter 2:13-3:6)) – You understand that God tells you to respect and submit to your husband no matter if you “feel” like he’s loving you or not. God’s command for you to submit to your husband is not conditional to his performance. This does not mean ignore His sin. It doesn’t mean you follow him into sin against God. It does not mean he is not responsible. It means you are to do what you are supposed to do before God. – You will not seek to have authority over men in the Church. You understand that the head of every woman is man. That is God’s design. (1 Timothy 2:8-15) – You understand you are responsible for your own behavior and sin. You will not blame men for your own irresponsible sins. (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)
Side effects: – Other people, even Christians, will not understand you and think you’re very strange. – Christians might label you as legalistic. They may say things like: “That’s not for today”, “You’re taking it out of context”, or “Why are you so judgmental?” Yet, your motive for wanting to do what God says is not to be right before God, it is because you ARE right before God because of Christ and want to obey Him out of love. – You may lose your possessions and your family and friends may leave you. – People may get very angry with you. – People may hate you. – People may physically hurt you. – You may even lose your life.
But aren’t most of the side effects are things that God tells us will happen, anyway? Didn’t Jesus come with a sword to divide people? Didn’t he say you’d better be willing to lose everything, including your spouse and children, even your own life, to be His disciple? Didn’t He say that you’re blessed when persecuted and woe to you when people speak well of you? Don’t we have numerous examples in the Bible and through history to confirm this?
Of course, benefits of the “Red Pill” take time. Once you take the Bible more seriously than what others may tell you how to live your life, it is just a matter of time before the questions arise and the “red pill” starts its effectiveness. It is at this time that you MUST decide whether you go along for the ride in Churchianity, leave it all together, or decide that God is right and man is wrong and follow hard after God.
If you decide to follow hard after God after tasting the “red pill”, you need to realize some things. His Word, that you decide to cling to above what anyone else says, tells you to be humble and not to be wise in your own eyes. (I know I mentioned this above, but I can’t say it enough.) You are to use your gifts that God has given you to build the Body of Christ up, not to tear it apart. Above all, Pray, pray, pray and understand that we are in a spiritual battle. We do not war against each other, but against the powers of darkness.
As I said, the “red pill” is nothing more than taking Scripture for what it’s worth. Satan has, unfortunately, duped many Christians and churches into what he did to Eve…to question many things that God has said. We have divided ourselves by whether we believe the same things or not. We try to control one another instead of encouraging one another and letting God work in each others hearts. We have lost the ability to discern between truth and “kind-of” truth. Satan has bound us with many lies.
It’s time we “Christian up” and take things seriously. It’s time we stood on the Word of God alone and judge everything according to it, not trying to fit what other people say into it. It’s time we get tired of just “playing church” and start taking the Kingdom by force. It’s time we be on offense with the Word of God. It’s time to stop being a “cookie-cutter” Christian and be real.
It time we follow Christ and not other people.
From Quit Playing Church: http://quitplayingchurch.wordpress.com/
By George Neumayr on 4.3.13 @ 6:09AM
Churches will be pressured into blessing gay marriages.
The end point of liberalism is a coercive secular state in which the religious have no meaningful rights. American church leaders are kidding themselves if they think the gay-marriage juggernaut is going to stop at civil marriage. It won’t. It will quickly travel past court houses to churches, demanding that all religions bless gay marriages.
Denmark casts a shadow of this future, where the gay-marriage juggernaut has smashed through church doors. Last year the country’s parliament passed a law requiring all Lutheran churches to conduct gay marriage ceremonies. “I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married,” said Manu Sareen, Denmark’s minister for gender equality. Reluctant bishops have to supply ministers to satisfy the right whether they like it or not.
Iceland and Sweden have similar arrangements. Since many of the bishops are in the tank for gay marriage anyways and since these churches are “state” churches, this pressure generates little news. But it is instructive nonetheless. Where gay marriage exists, religious freedom gradually disappears, to the point where ministers have to choose between serving as secularism’s stooges or facing societal oblivion.
In America, this pressure will take the form of “discriminatory” churches losing government grants, permits, and participation in programs. It will be the death of religious freedom by a thousand little cuts here and there: canceled speeches of religious figures at state universities, lost HHS grants, the refusal of city governments to recognize churches that don’t permit gay marriages, “hate crime” legislation that extends to opposition to gay marriage, and so on. All of this will have the effect of pressuring churches into blessing gay marriages. A law forcing priests and ministers to preside at gay marriages won’t need to be passed; the invisible law of indirect governmental pressure will do the trick.
During last year’s campaign, Obama said that religions will remain free to determine their own “sacraments.” Shouldn’t that go without saying? The very fact that Obama made such a declaration should scare people. Whenever a pol says “I won’t do [fill in the blank],” it usually means that very activity is on his mind. While he can’t determine the sacraments for religions, Obama will try and marginalize those religions that don’t determine the sacraments in a manner he considers “nondiscriminatory.”
Obama’s “respect” for these religions is on par with his respect for the policies of the Boy Scouts. “I think that my attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life,” said Obama when calling on the Boy Scouts to accept gay scoutmasters. Notice Obama’s phrase: every institution and walk of life. Surely in time that will include churches.
But for now, Obama thinks the religious should feel grateful to him that he is not busting down church doors and forcibly injecting them with contraceptives or requiring them to preside at gay weddings. That in his mind is the sum total of religious freedom. And yet even that little space can be crowded in on through laws that allow government to reward secularized religions and shun traditional ones.
The goal of the gay-marriage juggernaut is to make Christians pariahs, as irrelevant to public life as racists. It doesn’t have to pass a Denmark-style law to force churches to conduct gay marriages; it can achieve the same end through punitive political correctness.
On ABC’s This Week, George Stephanopoulos thought it appropriate to ask Cardinal Timothy Dolan, albeit in a roundabout and implicit fashion, if Catholicism could accept gay marriage for people who feel “unwelcome” in the Church: “What do you say to a gay couple that loves God and the Church, but also love each other and want to raise a family in faith?” It would have been nice to see Dolan challenge the insidious premise of the question by saying something like: So, George, you are saying that unless the Church loves the sin it can’t love the sinner?
Instead, Dolan seemed to concede the media narrative about the Church as hateful — “We have to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. I admit, we haven’t been too good at that” — while gingerly trying to uphold the Church’s teaching on marriage. His attempt at appeasement didn’t work. Gay activists pounced on him anyways, generating headlines such as “Cardinal Dolan Demeans Gay Relationships As He Says Church Should Be More Welcoming to Gays.”
The gay-marriage juggernaut only speeds up at the sight of such gestures, seeing civil marriage as just one stop on a longer road to a secularist state in which religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular fall silent and compliant out of fear if not law.
Photo: UPI (Supporters of Illinois’ “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” Jan. 2, 2013)
From The American Spectator: http://spectator.org/archives/2013/04/03/religious-freedoms-drip-by-dri
Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
1,980 years ago tomorrow, the world put God on trial. When offered a choice, the world surrendered up God to be tortured, crucified, and killed and asked that Pontius Pilate free the criminal Barabbas instead.
There is no compromise between Christ and the world. Young evangelicals, complacent in the United States and unharassed, would do wise to remember this.
Tim Keller, a noted preacher in my denomination (Presbyterian Church in America), made news yesterday when he talked about evangelicals coming to terms with gay marriage. In particular he said that “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.”
Keller is an accurate indicator of where things are headed within evangelicalism, particularly among younger evangelicals.
Christians in America have gotten soft. We’ve turned the nation into an idol to be worshiped. We’ve become so convinced by the “shining city on a hill” rhetoric we think “It can’t happen here,” regarding persecution of Christians. Joe Carter has a great read on this.
Joe is right. We’ve turned the American ideal of liberty into an idol we worship. The religious liberty in the first amendment is meant to protect the religious as they seek to draw people to them. But the world demands instead that the first amendment be used to draw the religious to the world and silence those who refuse to go along for the ride. In making an idol of our democratic freedom, the irony is that many evangelicals in America are abdicating the use of it.
What Christians in the United States of America, who’ve had it pretty easy for a long time in the USA, have forgotten or never learned is that the world is deeply hostile to the things, and people, of God. Remember, one thousand nine hundred eighty years ago tomorrow, the world chose to spare a criminal and crucify God himself.
Many young evangelicals who are making the decision that gay marriage conflicts with their personal beliefs, but it’ll be okay under the law, are making a compromise to avoid conflict and be liked by the world. “I’m not one of those Christians,” they think and often say.
They want to be liked. They want the world to like them and to think them a part of the world. They view Christians who are seen as too hostile to others as inferior in spreading the Gospel or too judgmental. They fall victim to the sin of pride that their gospel is greater.
They’ll nod approvingly to the lyrics of Casting Crowns “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” saying, “Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did.”
Unfortunately for them, they’ll be hated anyway, even if they don’t realize it.
The Casting Crowns song, which is all over Christian stations this month, contains this lyric: “The world is on their way to You, but they’re tripping over me.”
Christ was very clear on this.
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
The world is not on its way to Christ. The world hates Christ. The world will not allow a compromise between Christians and the world.
Evangelicals have a tough time on the issue of gay rights. If we hold to our convictions, we’re accused of hating gays. If we point out that sex outside of marriage is a sin, including among people of the same sex, we’re accused of saying they’re going to hell.
Christians are called to love their neighbors. Loving their neighbors does not mean turning a blind eye to their sin, or giving tacit approval to sin. Christians should want no one to go to hell. But we’ve arrived at a point where should we even mention this, we’re accused of saying gays are going to hell.
We must live our lives with love toward everyone and be friends to all who are opening to being friends. But we should not delude ourselves. At some point the world will make us choose. And if we choose Christ the world will accuse us of hating, condemning, and judging. The world is deeply hostile to the Christian idea of loving the sinner, but not the sin. The world believes we cannot love the sinner if we do not fully affirm them, which means loving, or at least tolerating or accepting, their sin.
If we truly love our neighbor we must pray for their repentance, not accept their sin. If they tell us God made them that way, we must know that we were all born sinners. God didn’t do it. Our fallen nature did. The struggle with sin in the process of sanctification leads us closer to God. Those who revel in sin do not draw close.
The chorus of the Casting Crowns song includes the line, “Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours.” Christ heart breaks for all the fallen. Many Christians though are not believed when they confess their hearts break toward those who do not even recognize their sin.
Christians are accused of judging and casting stones, as the lyrics of that song claim, when all they are doing is not shying away from the fact that God sets standards. He may say to cast no stones, but he concludes with “go and sin no more.” Young evangelicals have bought into the notion that by proclaiming the standards of the Bible they are judging. They seek accommodation and given tacit approval to sin lest they be accused of judging or casting stones.
There is no accommodation on this issue with the world. Young evangelicals, Tim Keller, and the rest are deluded if they think they can seek a compromise with the world.
Mammon chose Barabbas and too many young evangelicals are choosing Mammon.
One of the unexpected results of my “Top 10″ post going viral is that it’s given me the opportunity to interact (via email and comments) with hundreds of people who are either atheists, anti-theists, agnostics, or skeptics.
I listened and I’ve attempted to answer as accurately, honestly, and transparently as possible. To that end, I took inventory of the basic comments, complaints, and objections of Christianity. I’ll address them over the next several articles, but it didn’t take long to identify the one major problem non-christians had with christianity…
Here are a few of many, many responses and comments I got:
“The subject isn’t why people leave Christianity, it’s why young people leave the church. Many young people leave because the people they are surrounded by are unpleasant, egotistical, and judgmental at best and hateful, criminal and hypocritical at worst.” – Tim
“Many “religious” people are hypocritical, they teach “tolerance” when really there isn’t any unless you are the right kind of person… it’s a joke!” - RPennington
“I left the Evangelical Church for the simpkr reason that I could no longer, in good conscience, belong to an organization that was so completely intolerant and hypocritical. For a religion that is supposed to be based on radical love I find that 90 Percent of the Christians I meet to be extremely judgemental black and white thinkers and their philosophies.” – Meg
“Most churches have a lot of hypocrites. I know from experience that people don’t act in church the way they act the rest of the time.” – Holly
“I think the term “hypocrite” comes from being told one thing by the staff and pulpit but in reality the staff does exactly what u’ve been told not too in private. U get told how wrong it is to do something yet their own children still living in their home are participating in those same activities you’ve just been judged for doing. I think that’s where the hypocrisy comes from.” – KT
And here’s my response.
I agree. Completely. The church is full of hypocrites.
Even ardent detractors of Christianity would agree that Jesus was pretty clear on where he stood with hypocrites. (Matthew 24 anyone)? In fact, Jesus is much harsher on hypocrites than we are. Why is that? Well, since we have such disdain for these “hypocrites”, let’s define what, or who they are.
Hypocrite (per Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
“For I do not understand my own actions. ForI do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. ”
“ For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
“Wretched man that I am!”
Paul? Hypocrite by definition. What what separated him from the hypocrites (Pharisees) that Jesus blasted?
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are likewhitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
33 You serpents,you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
So much for “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild”, huh? Jesus hated hypocrisy more than we do.
But let’s make sure we’re clear in our distinctions:
In the end, we’re all failures. The difference is, from a Christian perspective, that we KNOW this. It’s the entire FOUNDATION of our faith; that ONLY through acknowledging this failure, this complete inability to do what it is we WANT through faith, can we be saved by Christ. You may reject the gospel of repentance of this failure and faith in Christ’s sacrificial death to forgive you of that failure. But christian, atheist, anti-theist, agnostic, or skeptic, we all fail in striving to live up to the standards we profess.
What does this mean in regard to the criticism of christians?
1. You’re right. We’re hypocrites (failures). I fail. I fail every…single…day in both word and deed in not only the things I’ve done, but things I’ve failed to do. I fail in my 2 stated goals by not loving God with all my heart and by not loving my neighbor as myself.
2. Anyone in the “visible” church who denies #1 is a hypocrite (fake). Jesus himself says that every..single.. person fails to live up to the standard. If you claim you do, and are delusionally trying to convince others that you do… you’re a fake. A fraud. A phony. And to those who criticize them as such, you’re right. Jesus agreed.
Christians aren’t “good people”, we’re hypocrites (failures). But the very core message of our faith prohibits us from being hypocrites (fakes). To be a “self-righteous Christian” is complete violate the law of non-contradiction. It’s impossible to be “self-righteous” in a faith where our ONLY righteousness comes from outside of us (Christ). Do you want to know how strongly Christianity teaches against “self-righteousness”? Scripture describes our ”self-righteous works” as filthy rags. Literally, dirty menstrual cloths. Let that sink in. (Isaiah 64). Any “righteousness” a christian has is the polar opposite of “self-righteousness”! As the same Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Philippians:
For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith
Found at Mad Medic:http://maddmedic.wordpress.com/
Some years back a good friend shared with me seven Scripture texts that he and his wife prayed for their two daughters from the time they were infants. The girls are now grown. And it’s beautiful to see how God has (and still is) answering the faithful, specific prayers of faith-filled parents in the lives of these young, godly women.
I have frequently used these prayers when praying for my children too. And I commend them to you (see below).
But, of course, prayers are not magic spells. It’s not a matter of just saying the right things and our children will be blessed with success.
Some parents earnestly pray and their children become a gifted leaders or scholars or musicians or athletes…
This is one of Christian culture’s very favorite things to say. Whether they actually will pray or not is anyone’s guess, but it seems important somehow that you believe they will. Versatile and efficient, “I’m praying for you” can be used in absolutely any situation to cover several evangelical bases and tend to egos all at once. With just four words it’s possible to establish yourself as spiritual alpha dog and signal an end to the conversation under the guise of bestowing blessing. Delicious andnutritious!
You may not find a less relational phrase in all of Christianese than “I’m praying for you.” When said in response to an expression of pain or heartbreak it often shuts the conversation down. The person sharing can feel as if they’ve been stiff-armed and kept at a distance by the person they were confiding in so they can be passed off to God Almighty. The confidant can easily say this and remain detached, and if you’ve said it before yourself, it’s that much more painful to hear.
People who are capable of casually informing people they’re praying for them can’t fathom that anyone could possibly have a problem with it. To their ears it’s the most wonderful thing to say and anyone taking issue must be a jaded miscreant who’s mad at God. (Anger at God is something else Christian culture does not endorse and does not deem permissible, but that’s a whole other blog post.) This is a prominent characteristic of Christian culture: they have no idea how they come off. If anyone feels marginalized or dismissed by the allegation of impending prayer, the pray-er will likely interpret this as disdain for the whole of Christianity and take it as a cue to write that person off.
Saying “I’m praying for you” may be as relational as someone in Christian culture knows how to be. They’re so busy Doing Things they may not know how to care and be cared for. All they may know is how to do is say things and remain detached, which definitely has its advantages. Actual relationship is a lot of work. Simpler to hold them at arm’s length and avoid holding people’s hurt than do the counter-intuitive work of bearing their burdens. When someone carries your struggle with you, the most healing form of relationship is taking place, and relationships are how we will all be healed. But they can be messy. It would be nice to keep this spirituality stuff within tidy boundaries. Which brings us to the hallmark of Christian culture: Doing Things and Avoiding Relationship. Keep this commandment and you will keep all the rest.
Planning God Right Out of Church
By: Dave Cole
Have you ever noticed that most churches you go to have “planned” God right out of the picture? You may or may not know that there are church service planning guides available that allow you to post online a service plan that assigns each and every song, prayer, announcement, message, and the invitation (If there is one) a time signature and lets the planner know the exact time of starting and ending and each individual event within the allotted time.
As I looked at one of these schedules the other day, there is one thing that stood out to me. The invitation – that part of the service in evangelical services where people are given the opportunity to come forward and publicly identify their intent to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior – was assigned a time of three minutes. Three minutes. The primary purpose of preaching the gospel is to present Jesus Christ to those who do not know Him. Therefore, in my mind, the most important part of the service – indeed the primary focus of even having the service – is relegated to three or four minutes of our time. Note that I said “our time’ because God is not on a time schedule. In many churches, the invitation time or altar call as some call it, is not only a time for unsaved people to come to Christ, it is a time when Christians with other needs can come and pray and/or talk with someone about other needs in their personal life. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to waste my time to walk down to the altar when that “time slot” will be over before I make it down there. No wonder we don’t see many people getting saved or hurting people ministered to. We are all too busy. I just wonder what God thinks about all of this. I don’t think he is in a hurry and I know He will not be placed in our neat little human boxes.
Now I know the argument can be made that many churches have more than one service which makes it necessary to have a definite end and start time especially for the starting service. I understand that point. But should that hold true for the last service when there is nothing following except the need to beat the Methodists to the restaurant? Is our belly more important to us than souls? And if we need two or three services – then maybe our church is too big and it needs to be broken down into more usable parts. The late, great Leonard Ravenhill said that any church over 200-300 people was too big. Maybe he was right. We have come to the point in many churches that everything we do needs to be polished, professional, and perfect. Nothing wrong with doing things well and right but are we polishing the silver while the ship is sinking? Are we all pomp and polish with no substance? I am examining my own heart and realizing how easy it is to grow accustomed to the churchy way of doing things and totally miss what God wants to do in every one of our lives.
Another thing Ravenhill said was that if the fire of God ever starts falling in our churches – then we will not have to beg people to come. They will be running to the church to see what is going on. We would not be able to contain them. I’m afraid there is not even a spark – much less a fire in most churches in America. Sadly, we have planned God right out of the Church.
The Process of Prophecy
Q: Why didn’t God tell you the accountant was embezzling?
A: Because that is not how God designed things to work.
Having said that, I want to be clear – I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the prophetic. I have seen some wild stuff in the past 20 years and while I no longer run in charismatic circles, I am not interested in poo-pooing on my friends’ parade nor explaining away my experience.
Process theology has given me an interesting framework with which to view the phenomenon.
I can do it in 3 simple steps!
- Step out of the 3 Tiered Universe. The Bible was written in an antiquated vocabulary that was embedded in a system that had Heaven above & Hell below. We still use that vocabulary but recognize now that it is only imagery – not physical reality.
- Step away from the super-Natural. Get rid of the imagery that God is ‘up’ in heaven and periodically pokes through the thin veil to whisper in your ear – if you have enough faith, or if you are a chosen vessel, or if you are not tainted by sin, or … the truth is that God is with you. Holy Spirit is a work all around you.
God doesn’t need to ‘come down, or ‘break in’ or ‘break through’. God is down, in, and through.
- Be aware of and open to the reality of God’s presence in the world. From verbal cues to body language – there are hundreds of ways that we perceive and interpret other people and our interactions. The is nothing magical about your receptivity, openness or awareness of what is possibly going on with someone else. As Christians, we believe that God’s Spirit is alive and at work in the world. Part of that ministry is to heighten and intensify our already existent (by grace) ability to listen, perceive and interpret social and relational interactions.
I have done this enough to know the objections that are bound to arise. So let me just say 2 things with the space I have left:
- There are several innovative definitions of transcendence (as it relates to God) that get us out of the 3 Tiered Universe but still hold that God is not just a big bearded guy in the sky that we made up to feel like ‘somebody is watching over us’ and will take care of things in the end. Both Process theology and the work of Panneneberg give us visions of God’s otherness that squash most objections to moving in the direction that I am headed: we don’t lose the transcendence/otherness of God.
I love the idea that God is the power of the future. God comes to us in each moment and provides the possibility of a preferable reality complete with contingencies of the past. That gets me out of bed in the morning!
- Prophecy is a sign that is meant to create in us a greater level of faith, trust and awareness. It is not a ‘party trick’ nor is it a primary mode of decision making. If you are relying on God’s Voice to plan travel itineraries, invest in the stock market, look for your missing child, counsel people getting divorced, or predict the weather … I got bad news for ya. That is not how God designed this all to work.
Admittedly, you have to downgrade your expectations a little bit. Gone are the days of thinking that some stranger on the street is going to call out your name and tell you all the secrets of your heart – and which fork in the road is ‘God’s will’. The magic show is over. Prophecy happens in relationship.
BUT (and this is a big but) because God is relational and inside a relationship God’s Spirit can lead your friend to speak loving, kind, challenging words to you – by being open and available … that is pretty great stuff! It’s just not magic.
It’s like your sex life. One you get rid of the unrealistic expectations of porn, you can have a healthy real relationship that is both satisfying and sustainable. First, though, you have to acknowledge that the earlier thing was fantasy … or you will be perpetually disappointed.
From Home Brewed Christianity: http://homebrewedchristianity.com/2012/06/01/the-process-of-prophecy/
The barnyard sat baking in the afternoon sun as the evangelist stood chatting with the old farmer. Farmer Joe, it seemed, had stopped attending the little fundamentalist church down the road and the pastor had sent the evangelist hither to ask the reason why Joe had left the flock.
“So Joe,” the evangelists said with the kind of studied casualness that always harbors a hidden intent, “I was just wondering if we’ll see you back at the church sometime soon.”
Joe said nothing for a minute, hooking calloused finger inside the strap of his overalls and squinting out over the sprawling farm that he called home.
“Well, sir,” he said at last, “I reckon there’s not much need to go all the way down to the church when I’ve got myself a fundamentalist farm right here in front of me.”
The evangelist paused in confusion for a moment then begged him to explain. And so Joe began…
“Right down the way from them you’ll see what I call my “churchy chickens.” They strut around all trying to be the most important one in the bunch and getting their feathers ruffled whenever somebody else tries to get in their spot. And if some poor unfortunately bird happens to get injured or sick those other chickens will gather around it and peck it to death just out of pure spite. I don’t need to go back to that church with them reminding me every day how it was.”
“If you’ll look down there to the hog pen you’ll see my pigs. I call them Potluck and Fellowship. They’ll eat and eat and eat until they make themselves plumb sick but they never seem to feel bad about it at all. No matter how much slop I throw in there they just can’t ever seem to get enough. Why seeing them every day keeps me from ever having to attend another special function or church banquet.”
“And down the hill there you can see my prize bull in the pasture. He spends all day stomping around, bellowing and trying to remind everybody who can see him that he’s the one running the show in these parts while spreading around enough manure to make it a hazard to even try to walk through there. In fact, he only ever stops the bellowing and manure spreading for long enough to try to mount every heifer in the place. With all that going on here every day it keeps me from missing my old pastor at all.”
The evangelist walked slowly back to his car and drove back to the church. “I guess he’s attending somewhere else now,” was all he could think say to the pastor’s inquiries about how the visit went.
From Stuff Fundies Like: http://www.stufffundieslike.com/page/4/
Found at Lane Chaplin
On a long road trip recently, I had a chance to put my new phone through it’s paces. One of the cooler features on the new iPhone is my new friend “Siri”. I push a button, tell Siri what I want it to do, and it goes to work; looking up obscure facts, finding the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts, sending a text to a friend. The previous iPhone put the world at my fingertips.. now it obeys the command of my voice! In the end, however, it’s just a phone. A really, really awesomely cool phone, but a phone nonetheless. It can only do what is in it’s limited set of capabilities. “Siri, where is the nearest dry cleaner?” works. “Siri, make me whole.” does not. Why? Even the iPhone is just a phone.
Shortly after playing with my phone, I ended up hearing a sermon from a well known Word of Faith preacher making God sound an awful lot like Siri.
To be honest, this isn’t an article I ever wanted to write, but I really don’t have a choice. So why am I doing it?
I’m called to proclaim the gospel of repentance and faith in Christ to all men, everywhere. I love Christ and I love people, and to sit by while the gospel of Christ and faith in His atonement are misrepresented and men are deceived is unthinkable.
Why is this worth spending your time reading? Well, the scope of this error is staggering:
The Word of Faith error is currently being taught from the pulpit of the largest church in the United States, taught on the most viewed christian TV station in the world*, and is taught via the most downloaded religious podcast on iTunes. To say that this false teaching has replaced the historical, biblical gospel in the American mind would not be an overstatement. I had shrugged my shoulders at this nonsense for so long that I figured anyone who spent any time in the bible would see the obvious error, but during my daily reading, I was hit with a few verses that made me seriously reconsider my reluctance to write this article;
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
(2 Peter 2:1-3 ESV)
and later in James:
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
(James 5:19-20 ESV)
To do this, I’m going to have to do two things that are distasteful in our post-modern society;
1. Call folks out by name.
2. Openly state that they are in error. (Which some would say is judgemental.)
Scripture states that both are acceptable, as evidenced by the following from Paul:
In Acts 20:26-31 Paul had spent 3 years teaching the gospel to the church, Paul gathered the elders in Ephesus and warns the church about those within the church who would teach contrary doctrines and other gospels. INSIDE the church. So, this isn’t a denominational issue. This is a body issue. Paul names them by name: Hymenaeus and and Philetus. (1Tim 1:20), and later Alexander the coppersmith. (2 Tim 14).
I’ll present these errors, show how they stand in opposition to the gospel, and call out names of these teachers so that you may avoid them. Avoid them or not, I will know that my hands are clean, and you will be responsible for the knowledge that these men are teaching a different gospel, contrary to the one handed down. And for that reason:
I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
(Jude 1:3 ESV)
At the end of this article, if you choose to continue to follow a Word of Faith ministry, you will do so with the knowledge that it is a different gospel from the one “once and all delivered to the saints.”
What is the Word of Faith error and why is it a big deal?
I’ll give you a brief history on how the error originated and then get directly to the error:
In the early 1900’s, a man named E.W. Kenyon attended Emerson College of Oratory where the philosophy of “mind science” was all the rage. This belief held that your thoughts could control and create reality. This teaching came from a man named Phineas Quimby, father of the “New Thought” movement. This type of mind-over-matter metaphysics held to the thought that wrong results (including physical sickness) were caused by wrong thoughts, and that proper thoughts and positive confessions would create positive realities. It’s important to understand that while Kenyon was a Christian, these doctrines were imported into his faith from outside of orthodox Christianity. To prove this out, look at any history of the church, or ancient christian dogmatics. Do you see this teaching ANYWHERE before the Quimby or Kenyon? (No.)
Over time, Kenyon developed the following doctrines:
1. God did not create the universe from nothing, but by speaking faith-filled words (and we can do the same thing).
2. Faith isn’t a belief, rather a tangible substance. God’s words were merely containers for this tangible material called “faith”. (Faith is an object, a THING).
3. Therefore, we can create our own physical reality (including health and wealth) by positive confession, or speaking these things into existence using words as containers of this tangible thing (faith).
Do you wonder why someone like Oprah would be comfortable with having Joel Osteen or TD Jakes on the stage with folks like Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and “New Thought” (remember Quimby) teacher Iyanla Vanzant? They teach the same mind-science (metaphysics)!
Kenyon developed other unorthodox theories, adopted by many (not all) Word of Faith preachers, which I won’t cover in this article. This week, I’ll simply focus on the most common heresy to come out of this movement; Positive Profession (the belief that we can speak things into existence) , and how it’s taken root in the body of Christ.
Kenyon’s works would likely have been lost to obscurity had they not been discovered and quoted (unsourced) verbatim, and popularized by a man named Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003).
Hagin is known as “Dad Hagin” and has spawned the Word of Faith movement which includes: Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes, Fredrick Price, Joyce Meyer, Marilyn Hickey, Paula White, Bennie Hinn, Paul Crouch, Robert Tilton, Myles Monroe, and others less known.
Hagin claimed that much of what he taught was received directly from Jesus during 8 personal visitations (one of which was for this teaching quoted directly from Kenyon, above). Why is this problematic? The following from WoF preacher Gloria Copeland:
Gloria Copeland: “You say why do ya’ll talk so much about Kennith Hagin when you do this? Because he is where we learn how to walk in the spirit. How did he know it? He had the very unusual experience of jesus himself coming to teach him these things, and then he called him to teach all of us.” The problem is that not only is this not a biblical doctrine found in scripture, origin is not Jesus, but taken from Kenyon.
So, to recap so far.. we’ve got a non-Christian mind-science philosophy discovered and blended into christian language by an obscure writer (Kenyon). We then have a man named Hagin discover and quote (unsourced) these ideas and claim they came form a direct visit from Jesus himself. This doctrine is now being taught from the pulpit of the largest church in the US, dominating the airwaves through the largest christian TV station in the world, and listing as the most downloaded religious podcasts on iTunes. See the problem?
So, let’s go to the Word of Faith preachers themselves for some quotes. Then, let’s see how they justify this biblically, and finally look at the verses they use in context.
“The force of faith in the spiritual realm is very much like forces in the physical realm; Gravity, electricity.. measurable, actionable, conductible, perceptible to the touch. ” – Kenneth Copeland and Paul Crouch on TBN
Sound familiar? This is Kenyon’s theory that faith is an actual, tangible THING which is released through the containers of our words.
“What do you need? I need Money. Start creating it. Start speaking about it, start speaking it into being. Speak to your billfold, say “You big billfold full of money!” Speak to your checkbook, say “You checkbook, you have never been so prosperous since I owned you! You’re just jammed full of money. You got pain and disease in your body? Speak to your body. Got will create the fruit of your words.” – Marilyn Hickey
Speak it into being? Folks, that’s not christianity, that’s voodoo. It’s mind-science goofiness. Seriously, this is NOT historical, orthodox Christianity.
“That same holy spirit wants to send spiritual light into a dark word, but he is waiting for us to speak and decree that thing and it will come to pass. Whatever you speak will come to pass. You’ve got to speak it and decree it.. you decree the thing, you pay your vow, and it comes to pass.” – Paul Crouch, Founder and President of TBN
There’s an underlying theology here that I won’t address in detail, but in short, WoF teaches that God is unable to work on earth until we permit him to due to Satan being the legal guardian of earth after the fall. Here’s a stunning summary of that doctrine by WoF preacher Miles Monroe:
“God can do nothing on earth, god could do nothing on earth without human assistance. God has the power, but you have the permission. God has the power, but you have the license. God can only do what you permit him to do.”
How big is the WoF view that man can limit God’s plan with the words of his mouth? How about this from the pastor of the largest church in the United States, Joel Osteen:
“It’s because God knew that Zechariah’s negative words would cancel out His plan . . . See, God knows the power of our words. He knows we prophesy our future. And He knew Zechariah’s own negative words would stop His plan.”
If that doesn’t set off every warning alarm, I’m not sure this article will do you much good.
Zechariah’s words would stop God’s plan? Really? REALLY?!?
Do you see the problem? It’s heresy 101: Make God smaller, and make man bigger.. and in the end you get the ability to have your fleshly desires of wealth and prosperity. It’s no wonder this is being gobbled up by the public, it requires no repentance of sin! It allows sinful man to gain his desires! Is this the gospel? Good grief, no!
Here are some of the favorite WoF proof texts: (A proof text is a portion of scripture used to support a position. While it’s easy to take a single verse, or a single phrase out of context to make it say whatever you like, context will always clarify the author’s original intent.)
Note: I’ll limit these specifically to “The Big 3″ of those used for “Positive Profession”. I may do an article later covering the “Health and Prosperity” verses.
Proof Text 1:
“Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
(Mark 11:23 ESV)
“Get ready to release your faith right now for whatever you need from God. Mark 11, verses 22-24, will work for any need. And Jesus answering them saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Whosoever shall say unto this mountain.According to Jesus, in order to change things you are to speak to the mountain. The mountain is the obstacle or need in your life. Let’s assume that your need is financial – you just simply need more money to live and to give. Say this: “Poverty, I speak to you in the name of Jesus, and I command you to be removed from my presence and my life. I will no longer tolerate you. I forbid you to operate against me in any way.” You do not talk to God about the problem. Talk to Him about the answer – the Word of God….Most people want God to talk to the mountain for them, but HE WILL NOT. He has given the believer that authority; and if you want results, do it His way. TALK TO THE MOUNTAIN!”
- Gloria Copeland, God’s Will is Prosperity, 103
Historical understanding of these verses, in context:
Jesus entered Jerusalem as one coming in the name, that is, the authority, of the Lord with a God-given mission of salvation (“Hosanna” means save now). By riding a colt, Jesus laid claim to His own brand of messiahship—not conquering hero but humble servant (see Zech. 9:9).
The cursing of the fig tree was a prophetic act meant to illustrate God’s judgment upon the temple, which had proved unfruitful by not realizing its mission as a place of prayer for all people. What is necessary for experiencing God is not the temple (see 13:1–2) but “faith in God.” Indeed, faith makes the temple obsolete. The one who believes can cast the temple mount into the sea (contrast 1 Kgs. 8:29–30). Forgiveness of sins is not experienced in temple sacrifice but in sharing God’s willingness to forgive. The “forgiveness requirement” warns believers not to turn their prayer time into a robbers’ retreat.
Understandably, the religious leaders questioned Jesus’ authority because cleansing the temple was the responsibility of the Messiah or the end-time prophet (Mal. 3:1–5; Zech. 14:20–21). Leaders had earlier questioned Jesus’ authority to announce God’s forgiveness (2:1–12), celebrate God’s new work (2:18–22), and do good on the Sabbath (3:1–6). Jesus’ question suggests that His authority was God given.
Which exalts Christ and which exalts man? Let’s do a reality check here. You think that this message of “speaking to your mountains” would have been foreign to Paul, who was plagued with health problems his entire life? To the apostles who were executed?
Not convinced yet, my WoF friends? Here’s the challenge, Old Testament Style:
This is Mount Wycheproof in Wycheproof, Australia. Standing at 43 metres (141 ft) above the surrounding terrain, Mount Wycheproof has the distinction of being the smallest registered mountain in the world.
So, go ahead and cast that one into the sea. I’m giving you a break here with a “starter mountain”. I mean, if you can’t even cast the smallest mountain into the sea, well, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do. (OK, so you’re going to allegorize; these aren’t actual mountains here, but circumstances.) Fair enough, here’s another one, one that Gloria Copeland says you’re supposed to control; The weather! (http://marc5solas.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/512/)
Central and Western Nebraska are in what the US Drought Monitor calls “Exceptional Drought”, their highest rating. If you could go ahead and send them a few inches of rain, that should suffice. You should probably go ahead and let them know. I’m sure the farmers would be overjoyed!
Yes, I’m being sarcastic, but the point should be clear: You don’t speak to mountains, you don’t control the weather, and you don’t speak things into existence. There’s as much a difference between you and God’s creative power as there is between me and Siri. Scripture says that people get sick, people were cursed, nations were conquered and taken into captivity, the sun stood still, rain came and rain was witheld. Why? That we might know that He is God.
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.
(John 9:1-3 ESV)
Proof Text 2:
“for as he thinketh in his heart; so is he”
- Proverbs 23:7 (first half of verse)
“Where the mind goes, the man follows. God’s Word says: As (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he!” – Joyce Meyer
Historical understanding of these verses, in context:
First of all, I’d like to point out 2 tools used by teachers trying to smuggle their own views into scripture. Both of these should jump out at you immediately:
1. One half of one verse is quoted, and it’s not even a complete sentence!
2. This verse is ALWAYS quoted in the King James Version. Does your pastor preach from the KJV? If not, why does he quote this verse in the KJV? Here’s why:
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Even in the only version which could be used to make it appear that what you think dictates what you become, the error is obvious when the entire verse is used. Seriously, even using the rest of the single verse used shows this as bogus.
More proof? Here’s why your pastor teaches this verse from the KJV; It plays on the antiquated KJV grammar and how we would read it now. How about a ton of other reputable translations, which your pastor actually teaches from which blow this proof text up?
New International Version (©1984)
for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost. “Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
New Living Translation (©2007)
They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.
English Standard Version (©2001)
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
for it’s like someone calculating inwardly.” Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
International Standard Version (©2012)
for as he thinks within himself, so he is. “Eat and drink!” he’ll say to you, but his heart won’t be with you.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you; but his heart is not with you.
American Standard Version
For as he thinketh within himself, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; But his heart is not with thee.
Because like a soothsayer, and diviner, he thinketh that which he knoweth not. Eat and drink, will he say to thee: and his mind is not with thee.
This verse isn’t talking about your thoughts creating your reality, here it is in context to be ridiculously, simply, clear:
Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;
do not desire his delicacies,
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
but his heart is not with you.
(Proverbs 23:6-7 ESV)
It’s about a guy who is hypocritically generous. Eat and drink! He says, but he doesn’t mean it.. he’s inwardly stingy.
Makes you wonder if the abuse of this text is accidental, doesn’t it? How would a man who has “studied to show himself approved” to handle the biblical text (and teach it to others) use only 1/2 of 1 verse, out of context? Shady, no? (By the way, the book picture above, “As a Man Thinketh”, by James Allen? Allen wasn’t a christian, he was a well known British philosopher and “New Thought” proponent. Seeing a trend yet?
Proof Text 3:
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13 ESV)
“Remember, the power that is in you is greater than the power of fear. When thoughts come that say, ‘You’re not able’, choose faith by saying, ‘I can do all things through Christ!”
- Joel Osteen
Historical understanding of these verses, in context:
First of all, did you catch the red flag here? “the power that is in you is greater than the power of fear”? Huh. What power? I looked at over 20 translation, including the original Greek and all say “He”.. the pronoun “He” referring to the original subject at the beginning of the sentence (wait, using half sentences again? fail.) The original subject is “God”.
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
(1 John 4:4 ESV)
Where does it say you have power inside of you? And greater than “the power of fear”?
No, greater than “He who is in the world”. Hmm. If only we had a way of knowing who “He” is.. Oh, wait, I know.. the previous portion of the chapter in context! (sarcasm)
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
(1 John 4:1-3 ESV)
Sorry, Joel, you fail miserably here. Not only do you not get the verse in any sort of context, you actually somehow make the real spirit of God in me and real enemy of the saints in the world about me and my fear. Surprised?
As for the “I can do all things”? I Here it is in a previous blog article:http://marc5solas.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/stuff-the-bible-doesnt-say/
If you don’t want to read the whole thing, here’s the 10 second version:
“All things doesn’t mean everything, it means all ‘these’ things, which are listed earlier in the CONTEXT:
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.
(Philippians 4:10-14 ESV)
The Marc5Solas “Put up or Shut up” Challenge: If you really believe you can do all things, you need to get off your computer, drive to the nearest children’s pediatric ICU and start healing kids.
So, to wrap up this week, we’ve got a non-christian mind-science philosophy, completely foreign to the orthodox, historical faith, being brought into the christian world in the mid 1900’s. This theology clearly takes scripture out of context to support this foreign philosophy, yet has the largest audience of any faith in the United States. Folks, wake up. This is a problem. This junk is being sold to millions of people as Christianity. It’s far past hair-splitting theological positions like eternal security, or end-times events. If these folks aren’t being called to repentance and faith in Christ’s atonement, they’re still under God’s wrath. I’ll continue with additional proof texts and additional doctrines of the WoF movement next week!
* Not everything on TBN is WoF. I would recommend against watching TBN due to the ratio of error to truth. There’s just too much nonsense on TBN for me to recommend it to anyone. Any of the legit ministries on TBN also have their own websites and portals to access their broadcasts or content.
From Marc Solas: http://marc5solas.wordpress.com/
There’s a story told about a Paris chief of police who was called to a department store to stop a burglary in progress.
Upon his arrival, he reconnoitered the situation and ordered his men to surround the entrances of the building next door.
When questioned about his actions, he replied that he didn’t have enough men to cover the department store’s many entrances but he did have enough for the building next door.
Let’s see whether there are similarities between his strategy and today’s gun control strategy.
Last year, Chicago had 512 homicides; Detroit had 411; Philadelphia had 331; and Baltimore had 215.
Those cities are joined by other dangerous cities—such as St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., Flint, Mich., and Camden, N.J. — and they also lead the nation in shootings, assaults, rapes and robberies.
Both the populations of those cities and their crime victims are predominantly black. Each year, more than 7,000 blacks are murdered.
Close to 100% of the time, the murderer is another black person.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims.
Though blacks are 13% of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50% of homicide victims.
Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites.
Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are also most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.
The magnitude of this tragedy can be seen in another light. According to a Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute study, between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites.
What percentage of murders, irrespective of race, are committed with what are being called assault weapons?
From Weasel Zippers:http://weaselzippers.us/
The Pitfalls of “Dialogue”
By Robert Spencer
Robert McManus, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, recently dropped me from a scheduled appearance at a Catholic conference in Worcester on the grounds that “Mr. Spencer’s talk would impact negatively on the Church’s increasingly constructive dialogue with Muslims.”
In the name of interreligious dialogue, it’s not uncommon for Muslim spokesmen to visit churches with the stated goal of clearing up “misconceptions” about Islam. Such sessions often include the Muslim speaker’s downplaying the reality of jihad activity and Muslim persecution of Christians, and offering his Christian audience bland assurances that such things have nothing to do with authentic Islam.
On a larger scale, Muslims have engaged in several high-profile attempts at dialogue with Catholics in recent years, to which Catholics have generally responded with enthusiasm. Yet, there is less to these attempts at outreach than meets the eye. The two most visible and well-publicized attempts by Muslims to reach out to Catholics turn out, on close examination, to be thinly veiled exercises in proselytizing. All of these attempts at “dialogue” share several common characteristics, including most notably a downplaying and glossing-over of the differences between Christianity and Islam, an over-emphasis on the similarities between the two religions, and a call to Christians to abandon or modify certain of their core beliefs, while never budging an inch on Islamic doctrines.
One notorious example of this came a few years ago, when 138 Muslim leaders and scholars from all over the globe issued a more extensive appeal to Christians for mutual understanding, entitled A Common Word Between Us and You. The “Common Word” initiative is quite extensive, with ongoing conferences and other mutual endeavors between Muslims and Catholics, as well as between Muslims and other Christian groups. The Common Word website describes the project in enthusiastic terms: “Never before have Muslims delivered this kind of definitive consensus statement on Christianity. Rather than engage in polemic, the signatories have adopted the traditional and mainstream Islamic position of respecting the Christian scripture and calling Christians to be more, not less, faithful to it.”
Following a pattern that’s common in documents like these, data contradicting the assertions in A Common Word Between Us and You are not addressed and refuted but simply ignored. Nothing is said, for example, about the Islamic claim that the Christian Scripture has been corrupted. While claiming they want to respect Christian Scripture and build on common ground, the Muslim scholars (despite copious Qur’an quotes) never mention Qur’an 5:17, which says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers; or 4:171, which says that Jesus was not crucified; or 9:30, which says that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are accursed; or 9:29, which mandates warfare against and the subjugation of Jews and Christians. Why should they mention these unpleasant passages in the midst of trying to build bridges? Because they are precisely the obstacles to such bridges. For there to be any true and honest dialogue, verses like these must be addressed in some way, even if only to give them a benign interpretation.
When Pope John Paul II died, the Washington Post reminded its readers how “during his long reign, Pope John Paul II apologized to Muslims for the Crusades, to Jews for anti-Semitism, to Orthodox Christians for the sacking of Constantinople, to Italians for the Vatican’s associations with the Mafia and to scientists for the persecution of Galileo.” In reality, he never apologized for the Crusades; the closest he came was on March 12, 2000, the “Day of Pardon,” when he said, “[W]e cannot fail to recognize the infidelities to the Gospel committed by some of our brethren, especially during the second millennium. Let us ask pardon for the divisions which have occurred among Christians, for the violence some have used in the service of the truth and for the distrustful and hostile attitudes sometimes taken towards the followers of other religions.”
Though it’s hardly an “apology for the Crusades,” nonetheless one would be hard pressed to find a similar statement from any Muslim leader, still less one of the pope’s stature, acknowledging any wrongdoing on the part of Muslims individually or of any Islamic state. The idea of a Muslim asking pardon and forgiveness from a non-Muslim is anathema to Islamic theology. But some kind of reciprocity of this kind would seem necessary for genuine dialogue.
Reading the entire Qur’anic verse from which the phrase “a common word between us and you” was taken makes clear the Common Word initiative’s agenda: “Say: ‘People of the Book! Come now to a word common between us and you, that we serve none but God, and that we associate not aught with Him, and do not some of us take others as Lords, apart from God.’ And if they turn their backs, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims’” (3:64). Since Muslims consider the Christian confession of the divinity of Christ to be an unacceptable association of a partner with God, this verse is saying that the “common word” that Muslims and the People of the Book should agree on is that Christians should discard one of the central tenets of their faith and essentially become Muslims.
Not a promising basis for an honest and mutually respectful dialogue of equals. The Common Word document’s explanation for this was disingenuous, not mentioning that according to the mainstream Islamic understanding of what it means to “ascribe a partner to God,” the Christians were guilty of this sin:
The words: we shall ascribe no partner unto Him relate to the Unity of God, and the words: worship none but God, relate to being totally devoted to God. Hence they all relate to the First and Greatest Commandment. According to one of the oldest and most authoritative commentaries on the Holy Qur’an the words: that none of us shall take others for lords beside God, mean “that none of us should obey the other in disobedience to what God has commanded.” This relates to the Second Commandment because justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbour.
The Common Word document suggests its true intentions in its Qur’anic epigraph: “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and contend with them in the fairest way. Lo! thy Lord is Best Aware of him who strayeth from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.” This verse (16:125) is a curious choice to head up a document that is ostensibly devoted to finding common ground for dialogue and mutual cooperation—unless the intention is actually only to proselytize.
The use of this epigraph recalls the words of the Egyptian Islamic supremacist writer Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the great theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood: “The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the society of unbelievers] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”
Muslims in the U.S. and Europe often term their outreach to non-Muslims “bridge-building,” but to Muslims this expression has a very different meaning. Bishop McManus, and those like him, should take careful note.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His upcoming book, Not Peace But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam, will be available March 25.
From Atlas Shrugs: http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/
Found at Moonbattery: http://moonbattery.com/
From Theo Spark
From Theo Spark
Psalm 2 (KJV)
2 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
No Judgment! Selective Intolerance and the Atrophy of Virtuous Christian Outrage
By Luke Hamilton /1 November 2012
In today’s Christian community, it is nearly impossible to provoke outrage. Whether this is a result of the pacifism ensconced in the heart of many of America’s most influential churches, or whether we’ve lost our righteous indignation by overcompensating from what has been perceived as the Puritanical prohibition of our preceding generations, it isn’t clear and ultimately it does not matter. What
does should matter is that the Christian community seems to save all of its outrage and scorn for one target: anyone who dares to criticize the Christian community from within.
If you want to spark a bare-knuckle cage match, mention an unbiblical stance taken by a prominent Christian leader in this country. And then duck. All of the outrage and vitriol which should have been directed at those who are undermining the credibility of the Gospel and taking the Lord’s name in vain, will be mortared in your direction. I have seen it happen time and again in a bizarre, cannibalistic charade of self-righteousness and intellectual confusion. Instead of standing for God’s righteousness and speaking against evil, these woebegone milksops stand for evil and speak against God’s righteousness.
This phenomenon manifests itself in a number of ways. It includes apologists for the naked greed and plutocracy of Prosperity Pimps like Creflo Dollar, Eddie Money, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, and others. The tolerance and adoring acceptance shown to cross-over artists like Joel Osteen, who has managed to marry the health-and-wealth gospel with Eastern mysticism.
We see a benevolent indulgence of overt enemies to the cross of Christ when they pay lip-service to their “Christian beliefs”; politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden practically raise a hand to swear they follow the path of the Lord Jesus while with their other hand they sign bills and orders which finance the wholesale slaughter of innocent fetuses in our country and others.
Most recently, we’ve seen defenders of Jim Daly as he absconds from the mission statement of Focus on the Family to pursue “the Gospel”, as if spreading the Gospel and edifying American families were mutually exclusive activities. Many believers give intellectual approbation and theological cover for “pastors” such as Rob Bell and Jim Wallis, despite the fact that they repudiate basic Scriptural foundations with their words, books, and actions.
One would hope that the righteous anger of the Lord’s disciples would be heaped on these charlatans who use the name and blood of Messiah like a letterman’s jacket because it helps them get into all the right parties. But if this was so, how would this crowd be able to achieve the level of prosperity and renown which they have attained? If Joel Osteen was properly recognized as the snake-oil salesman that he is, he wouldn’t be the pastor of the largest church in America. He wouldn’t be leering at us from the racks of the New York Times Bestseller list at the front of the book store. He would be preaching out of the trunk of an El Camino, getting run out of one town after another once folks got wind of his spineless Buddhist-Christianity.
The sad fact is that most of Christendom would rather bite the tongue and look the other way than confront sin in someone who claims to speak for their Lord. And when a brave soul does stand and speak against the evil masquerading as good, they are pilloried for their efforts. The troubling thing is that much of the fragging comes from within the Christian community. Like one of the Old Testament prophets, these brave souls are verbally stoned and left for dead outside the city gates, all because they dared to question the validity of a ministry or organization which bears the mantle of our Lord.
Is this Biblical? Is this the proper response to those who would speak out against prominent leaders in the church? Paul tells Timothy in his first letter, “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest may fear.” Paul himself rebukes the entire Galatian church for their errant embrace of legalism. When the big dog himself, Peter, was in error, Paul confronted him with it. First Paul took him aside to try and deal with it privately and when that didn’t work, Paul confronted him in front of the entire assembly. He tells the Romans to “Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” We’ve changed this to “Abhor what is critical. Cling to what sounds good. ”
The bottom line is that not only are we permitted to question the motives and actions of the leaders of our churches when they stray into unbiblical territory, we have an obligation to do so. The Bible offers a crystal-clear method of doing so. Christ says to first remove the beam from your own eye, but He doesn’t stop there, does He? Remove our beam . . . so that we can help our brother remove the splinter from his. The Lord is telling us not to be hypocritical, He’s not forbidding criticism. If I love Joel Osteen as myself, how can I NOT warn him about the dangers of adding and subtracting from the Word of God?
Christians need to take a step back and refocus. The Apostle Paul has ceased to be our guide, instead we’ve settled for Ned Flanders. Western society is decaying more quickly as each year passes and we are too busy running popularity contests to be the salt and light which we’re called to be. Let us stop shooting the messenger and re-train our sights on those who use our Lord’s name like a debit card
Read more: http://clashdaily.com/2012/11/no-judgment-selective-intolerance-and-the-atrophy-of-virtuous-christian-outrage/#ixzz2B6K0M44V
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Found at Nice Deb
Gotta love those Texans! A controversy regarding a political sign prominently displayed outside a church is playing out in a small town west of San Antonio. Is it protected speech or political hate? And does it have a place on a church marquee? (Oh, it’s definitely hate speech, alright, speech that expresses the sentiments of at least half the country)
KHOU That marquee standing outside a non-denominational church has become the talk of the town in Leakey — about 90 miles northwest of San Antonio. The Church in the Valley is run by Pastor Ray Miller. Miller declined an interview but did say the sign was solely his idea. He said he changes the sign weekly and this isn’t the first bold statement to be displayed.
The pastor said he feels strongly about the upcoming presidential election and feels the message on the marquee speaks for itself. Since it is a church, it is classified as a non-profit organization. That means, by law, it can not endorse a political candidate.
While it is a heated campaign season, some residents and visitors admit that seeing the message outside a church is an eye opener. “I can see why there’s some controversy, because the separation of church, and maybe they shouldn’t get involved in it,” said tourist Blake Fischer. “But I don’t see no problem with them trying to send a message.”
Several residents not affiliated with the church said the sign doesn’t really bother them since it’s not their place of worship. “It’s their prerogative, it’s their opinion, it’s their church,” said Pamela Rice, of Leakey.
While the very small and quiet town of Leakey is now in the spotlight, some business owners are embracing the attention. “I love it. Even if it’s bad attention, bring it on. Come to town, see what it’s about,” Damon White said. “Not everyone hates Obama, not everyone loves him; not everyone hates Romney, or loves Romney. Come see for yourself.”
From Bare Naked islam: http://www.barenakedislam.com/
The Silence of the Pulpits
If you are even slightly awake about the world news today,it is no surprise that Christians are being killed, raped and brutalized throughout the Islamic world.
However, there is a place where you can go and escape the dreadful and relentless details of Christian annihilation by Islam. You can just go to church. — Political Islam // Articles //
From American Digest: http://americandigest.org/
The Silence of the Pulpits
By Bill Warner
If you are even slightly awake about the world news today, it is no surprise that Christians are being killed, raped, and brutalized throughout the Islamic world. However, there is a place where you can go to escape the dreadful and relentless details of Christian annihilation by Islam. You can just go to church.
For example, Christians were killed this week in Nigeria. Nothing out of the ordinary — indeed, in the world of Christian persecution, this is routine.
And so the response found in nearly every church to the murder of Christians is…wait for it…complete silence. Not a mention or reference to it, or to the brutality against Christians that happens almost every day in the Islamic world.
This is not a passive silence, because if you try to change it, you will fail. The silence is an active, working conspiracy that goes throughout nearly all of Christendom.
Take a simple example: prayer for the persecuted. From a Christian perspective, this falls under the heading of obvious. Try taking the idea of prayer for the routinely murdered Christians in Nigeria or Egypt to ministers, boards, and any part of the structure of the church, and see how far you will get. You will get rejection with a myriad of lame and evasive excuses, since the people in power fear to recognize the suffering of Christians around the world.
If you acknowledge the suffering, you might wind up asking the question: why are these Christians suffering? Ah, there is the rub. The suffering is caused by Muslim jihadists who are following the Islamic doctrine of jihad against the Christian as found in Koran, Sira, and Hadith. Islam is the cause of suffering of Christians, as well as of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists.
But stop! We cannot say those things! Facts are the new hate speech, so we cannot speak about the jihad against Christians. Therefore, we get no prayers for the persecuted, because it would lead to talk about why the murder of Christians keeps happening. And that truth would lead to being called an Islamophobe, so we are not going there. Result: silence.
It is ironic that the Wall Street Journal, a financial newspaper, has run an article about the silence at the pulpit concerning the suffering of Christians. We live in a time of moral inversion, when Christian leaders are chastised for their moral bankruptcy by money men. It is supposed to be the other way around.
Actually, there are few religious leaders left in America. Instead we have chief-executive-officers who manage a 501(c)(3) institution that has meetings on Sunday. In too many cases, Christianity has devolved into an hour’s meeting that is supposed to make you feel good for a week.
This 501(c)(3) corporate mentality is another one of the roots of the denial of the Christian suffering. If you are willing to see the doctrinal roots of the ongoing murder of Christians by Muslims, then you might have to speak about it from the pulpit, and that could be seen as political speech. In spite of the fact that there has never been a 501(c)(3) revoked because of political speech by a minister, the imagined loss silences ministers. Hmmm…if a minister is worried about the IRS revoking his 501(c)(3), then whom is the minster serving? Caesar or Christ?
Now, you may not be a Christian, and so it might seem that there is nothing here for you. But in reality we all have pulpits. Are we using the suffering of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, women, gays, and intellectuals caused by Islam as a topic of conversation with those around us? Who is comfortable with bringing up anything negative about Islam? To tell those facts about Islam is a social crime, and you will be accused of being a hater/Islamophobe. So most of us remain silent about the evils of political Islam, and we are just like the ministers — silent in our own pulpits. Christians and non-Christians share the fear of being insulted as bigots and Islamophobes.
It turns out that all of those who oppose any social evil will be hated. Think about it. It takes a massive amount of power to put into place any societal doctrine, such as multiculturalism and political correctness. The government, universities, many churches, synagogues, and the media have become enforcers of multiculturalism and political correctness. They are very powerful and believe that their dogma rules all peoples.
They are also full-throated apologists for Islam. Now it turns out that their actual knowledge about the doctrine and history of political Islam is close to zero and Muslim Brotherhood-approved, but that is no problem. The Establishment just says that those who find fault with Islam are bigots and that they hate us.
The silence of the pulpits is the greatest aider and abettor of Islam in the U.S. No one serves and advances Islam better than the silent ministers. They have abandoned their duty of courage in the face of persecution, but the rest of the flock still looks for moral leadership from them. Islam triumphs when Christian leaders do not condemn the murderous evil of political Islam.
Even worse than the silent ministers are those who go to “interfaith dialogs” and smile while the Muslims assert religious and political dominance over them. The nice, oh so nice Christians and Jews show up to tie, while the Muslims are there to win, and they do.
Christians need to follow the example of Jesus and willingly suffer the condemnation by the Establishment and fight against the political Islam that murders Christians. Said another way, Christians should demonstrate courage and sacrifice to support their cruelly murdered brothers and sisters.
We cannot defeat political Islam until we get Christian boots on the ground. Do the math. The pulpits must become a source of courage and knowledge and stand up for Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and all others who suffer under Islam’s persecution today and who have suffered for the last 1,400 years.
It isn’t just about religion; it is about the survival of our civilization.
From American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/08/the_silence_of_the_pulpits.html
From Anne Barnhardt
2012: A Time For Righteous Indignation & Resolve
By Doug Giles /15 August 2012
Anger, like alcohol, is only bad if it’s abused; however, if used for right reasons and in right amounts (as the inspired Psalmist once said about wine), it can “make the heart merry.” Anger might not make you glad as quickly as a second glass of merlot can, but if channeled correctly, it will make you giddy about something you desire but can’t get—until you get angry.
For example: say you’re an unemployed, 38-year old guy who does nothing but sit on your butt playing video games, smoking weed, living with mommy and dating 18-year old girls and guys. You know what? You should get angry with yourself because you, clearly, aren’t the coldest beer in the fridge. You do not have a life, and it should make you mad that other people are actually productive—unlike you.
Folks, this righteous wrath not only works for personal improvement, but it can also change for the better all aspects of our society—if we’ll get righteously PO’ed in a precise direction. And there’s the rub . . . Our neutered nation tells us it’s a big no-no to get mad anymore.
That’s right, being angry is forbidden in our currently castrated culture—unless it’s something that the liberal thought police thinks you should be ticked at, and then you’re forced to fume also or you’re . . . you’re . . . you’re a . . . a Nazi!
Nowadays we’ve been forced to memorize this mantra of progressivism that being nice and accepting of anything and everything—even if it is utter, uncut and unmitigated BS—is our duty. And it just so happens that BS is the chief characteristic of our society these days; we’re inundated with it but not supposed to be upset by it, which is convenient if you are its seller.
Because we have allowed “them” to program us to be nice and not heat up (unless, again, it is at something that upsets the Left), we don’t even blink an eye when we see the base and the vile; instead we force a smile. What a bunch of smack we’ve been sold vis-à-vis this whole uninterrupted “nice” wave we’ve been told we’re supposed to surf.
Today, people can do something appalling, say something contemptible and delve down the funnel exalting the lowest parts of humanity—and what’s to be our response? We’re supposed to say, “Well, alrighty then . . . okey dokey . . . have a nice day.”
Why do we show mock civility toward things that mock civility? Well, because “anger is bad.” And we don’t want to be bad, do we? No, we want to be nice. We’re supposed to be a chilled-out group of pleasant and complicit prawns who do the Miss America wave no matter what kind of insanity gets shoved in our faces, up our tail pipes or down our throats.
Well, as a free bird, I’m not buying the capitulate-your-convictions PC crack that our culture is currently dealing. As previously stated, anger ain’t all that bad boys and girls, and being nice when you should blow a gasket can aid and abet that which needs to be slapped down. Can you dig it? I knew you could.
So what gets my dander up? What/whom do I think is a threat to the US and that for which it stands? Or stood? What do I get freaked over?
Well, there are several things me no likey:
1. I don’t like radical Muslims.
2. I don’t like what democrats have become.
3. I don’t like people screwing around with my right to keep and bear arms.
4. I don’t like traditional values being trashed.
5. I don’t like folks who don’t like America.
6. I don’t like the slutification of our culture.
7. I don’t like metrosexuality.
8. I don’t like how our universities have become liberal madrasas.
9. I don’t like 11 year old girls being given birth control without parental notification by public school fools.
10. I don’t like the fact that teenage girls can have an abortion via the public school system without their parents knowing didly squat.
11. I don’t like second graders being told to read and embrace homosexual literature and lifestyle.
12. I don’t like our borders being violated by illegals.
13. I don’t like Christians being trashed at every turn in the mainstream media.
14. I don’t like gun free zones.
15. I don’t like sanctuary cities that house illegal aliens.
16. I don’t like how culture is making the white male out to be the Antichrist.
This is just a smattering of things I think stink of which I feel no compunction to accept. Matter of fact, folks, I think we ought to get righteously outraged and challenge, peacefully of course, those with such anti-sanity sentiments everywhere they raise their garlic-knotted heads. If we don’t solidly beat the Left and their ideologies everywhere they surface, the things we love as traditional Americans are going to end up as relics in a museum in a country that resembles a Tommy Lee keg party.
Lastly, in all honesty, as much as I enjoy being the provocateur, I’d really love to not stir things up, to be sweet like Joel Osteen or James Blunt and live a non-conflict life with my family sipping lemonade and fishing south Florida’s flats. However, sometimes the times demand that we put aside our smiley face and take off the gloves for the soul of our nation. I believe such a time has come.
Those Evil People at Faith Research Council Must Be Stopped. They Believe in Faith, Family, and Freedom. What Horrible Concepts.
This might offer some insight into why moonbats are so avid to disarm conservatives:
A security guard at the Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. is being hailed as a hero after he stopped a gunman posing as an intern, taking a bullet in the arm before wrestling the suspect to the ground.
The gunman entered the lobby of the organization’s Chinatown headquarters around 10:45 and expressed disagreement with the conservative group’s policy positions, Fox News has learned. When the guard, who was not identified, asked him where he was going, he opened fire, according to police.
I’m sure the guard felt better after the loony helpfully explained, “it was not about you, it was what this place stands for.”
What does it stand for that would drive a progressive to violence?
The FRC is a conservative nonprofit that seeks to advance “faith, family and freedom in public policy and public opinion,” according to its website.
Imagine if it turns out that Obama’s disgraceful election was the high water mark of moonbattery, and that faith, family, and freedom are the future. Libs aren’t going to get any less angry.
On tips from Ghost of FA Hayek and J.
You Can Be A Christian Or A Liberal, But Not Both
By Doug Giles /2 August 2012
Can a Christian be a liberal? Short answer: no. There is no way a Christian can buy into progressive/big government ideology and be faithful to the bigger-than-Dallas teachings of Scripture and expect to continue enjoying his hard-won religious liberties.
For the “Christian” to lean politically to the left means that he must blow off huge chunks of the Bible and replace Scripture with the make-believe notions of PC’s malleable “Christ.” Only after torturing Scripture can the Christian then fit current liberalism into his supposed relationship with God.
For the Christian who believes that unfeigned faith in Christ should correspond with Jesus’ high view of Scripture, it is impossible to believe in God and be an adherent to this schlock.
Liberalism has been hijacked by bizarre special-interest thugs who defy the Word of God and believe that the Bible has no place in public life (except maybe in a museum where people can look at it from time to time).
The Christian skipping around the maypole wearing his rose-colored glasses who has a bent to the liberal left needs to understand something: If it were left up to the modern, secularized liberal establishment, Christians would be more restricted than Bill when Hillary’s in town. If the Christophobic thugs had it their way, Christians would be relegated to a marginalized spiritual ghetto on the sidelines of life.
For the naive Christian voter who thinks he can toss a ballot in the progressive direction, please know that a vote toward the secular left could leave you bereft of sacred liberties. Thanks to the aggressive and ludicrous liberal lug nuts’ anti-Christian agenda, your vote for a leftist is a vote for:
1. Christianity to be scrubbed from government and whatever turf the government owns. Thanks to the liberals, the Ten Commandments have about as much acceptance in our government and their properties as Rush Limbaugh would at Sandra Fluke’s family reunion. The Judeo-Christian principles that formed the rock-solid foundation of this great American Experiment are now aggressively and consistently attacked by the lascivious left.
If . . . if . . . the secularists continue to stay behind the wheel of this American bus, you can kiss all semblance of Christianity good-bye in this heretofore God-graced government. Saint, you might as well say farewell to our government’s recognizing Christmas and adios to Good Friday if you’re going to vote the liberal ticket. If the secularists have it their way, Easter will be behind your keister, and you can kiss the Cross good-night as an acceptable public symbol that represents your faith and our nation’s recognition of Christ’s atoning work.
2. Secularism to be continually mainlined into our public school system. Thanks to rabid, vapid secularism, our public schools and universities would rather you be a Rocky Horror super freak than a Christian. If your beliefs run to the bizarre or the banal or if you want to smoke the same philosophical crack that Caligula, Nero, Castro or Lenin freebased, they’ll accommodate you.
Our schools are totally open to anyone and to anything, unless, of course, you’re a Christian. And if that’s the case, then you’re likely to get more sympathy from a badger with minimal sleep than you will from liberal educators who are hard at work making your life hard. Let me repeat: A vote for the secular left is a vote for Christianity to continue to be officially vilified on campus and for Christians to be ostracized in campus life.
3. Public officials, employees and appointees to be pressured to hide their faith in the closet and suppress their public displays of belief in God lest they be grouped with Hitler, Osama, or Mussolini and then fired. Not only will the liberals aggressively work to prohibit the State from green lighting and recognizing Christianity as a legitimate and positive force in our land, they will also attempt to stifle Christians from influencing the path of government.
4. Public attacks on churches and Christians and attempts to restrict them in the private sector. Consider this, Christian pastor and Christian lay person looking to vote for the ludicrous left: The secular Mafioso’s intent is to make your ministerial life difficult, your evangelistic work taxing and your voice minimized.
5. The continued media endorsement of the same putrid, hedonistic stuff that sunk ancient civilizations. With the liberals in place, expect more weird crap in movies and on television. Expect to see more paintings of Christian symbols and saints smeared with elephant dung. Expect Christianity to be bashed and vilified and Christians made out to be buckled-shoed morons with three teeth and an IQ of 50. Expect the culture to coarsen. Expect your kids to continue to be exposed to things that only rock stars see backstage with groupies. A vote for a liberal is a vote to see Christians continue to receive special ridicule and be flogged more than a piñata during a Cinco de Mayo festival.
Modern liberalism tosses out Scripture on several different levels. How a true believer in the Christ defined by Scripture can buy into what Jesus, the prophets and apostles said and also give credence to what these secular goons say is beyond me. In addition to liberalism’s obvious and odious pro-Holocaust-like abortion stance, its anti-biblical view of marriage, its Scripture-slamming, aggressive secularism, and its feckless view of our nation’s defense, liberalism completely clashes with the Christian worldview. Progressivism’s aggressive desire to eradicate Christians’ rights should cause Christians to be concerned.
The Democratic Party’s liberalism has degenerated over the last 40-50 years in regard to its view of Christianity and Christian rights. This party, which formerly embraced and protected our nation’s great Christian heritage and teachings no longer does so. Thus, today the Christian is between a rock and a hard place: He can either be a Christian or a liberal—but he cannot be both.
Posted on | August 9, 2012
Dr. Jack Schaap is the author of several books, including Marriage: The Divine Intimacy and Dating with a Purpose: Common Sense Dating Principles for Couples, Parents, and Youth Workers. But it looks like it may be time for Dr. Jack to write a new chapter:
Jack Schaap, the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond in Indiana who was fired earlier this week for an alleged adulterous affair, has confessed to cheating on his wife with a teen girl belonging to the megachurch.
The Board of Deacons addressed the scandal at a church meeting Wednesday night, WGN-TV revealed, and said that Schaap, 54, has admitted to the inappropriate relationship with a church member who was not named. The girl, currently 17, was 16 years old when her relationship with Schaap began.
The former pastor, who had led the 15,000-member congregation for the past 11 years, has not yet made any public remarks on his firing nor the affair. The FBI reportedly has launched an investigation into Schaap’s involvement with the young girl — although the age of consent in Indiana is 16, so it is unclear if the married father of two will face any criminal charges.
According to Trisha Kae, a former church member who maintains a Facebook page for ex-congregants, Schaap had forgotten his phone one night at the pulpit, and a deacon who saw it picked it up to return it to the pastor.
“From what we understand, the deacon then saw a text come through from a teenage girl in the church, and it was a picture of Jack Schaap and this girl making out,” Kae claims.
Yeah, kinda problematic. And there’s also this:
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich added that Schaap was being investigated along with Hyles-Anderson College, where the former pastor was once a vice president, and where it is believed the teenage girl took classes.
Eddie Wilson, director of public relations for FBC of Hammond, had said that the church did not believe Schaap would face criminal charges, but noted that adultery is a serious moral transgression.
The public relations director revealed that Schaap had been trying to reconcile his marriage to Cindy Schaap, the daughter of the Rev. Hyles, the pastor who built First Baptist Church and helped found Hyles-Anderson College.
So, Dr. Jack (a) marries the pastor’s daughter, (b) becomes vice-president of the college his wife’s father co-founded, and then (c) has an affair with a teenage girl who attended the college.
His next book? Why I’m So Totally Gonna Burn in Hell.
From The Other McCain: http://theothermccain.com/
From Doug Giles at Clash Daily