We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Show Me!

It does not matter in the least who says a thing — whether he is a bishop, archdeacon, dean, or presbyter.  It does not matter that the thing is well expressed, said eloquently, attractively, forcibly, and in such a way as to turn the laugh against you.  We are not to believe it unless it is proved to us by Holy Scripture.

J.C. Ryle, “Churches Beware!” p.70-71

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Purpose of the Assembly

Nowhere in the New Testament is there any indication that the church met to preach the gospel.  Rather the church met to worship, to teach the word, to pray, to have fellowship.  The meeting of the church was to edify believers and to glorify God.  But it was not to preach the gospel to unbelievers.  Rather the saints went out into the world to preach the gospel. . . . 

The practice of preaching the gospel in the church meeting developed when many unbelievers started attending church.  It was a convenient time to present the claims of Christ.  But there is no biblical mandate for an “evangelistic service” when the church comes together.  There is a mandate to equip the saints to preach the gospel.  The work of Christians is not to invite unbelievers to church so that they might hear the gospel.  It is to preach the gospel themselves.

John H. Fish III, “The Life of the Local Church.”  From the book, Understanding the Church, compiled and edited by Joseph M. Vogl and John H. Fish III, p.132

Monday, September 8, 2014

Are You In A Sect?

If your church associates with a group of churches that requires exclusive allegiance to itself, you are part of a sect.  Despite their boastful claims, sects do not understand the New Testament doctrine of the Church.  They are in error.  All sects are based on half-truths, faulty reasoning, doctrinal oddities, deceptions, guilt-manipulation, and fear, which are not of the Spirit of truth and liberty.  If your church denies you your Spirit-given right and privilege to fellowship with all Christ-loving, bible-loving Christians and churches, you need to obey God rather than man and free yourself and family from these unbiblical chains.

Alexander Strauch, “The Interdependence of Local Churches.”  From the book, Understanding the Church, compiled and edited by Joseph M. Vogl and John H. Fish III, p.206-207

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Another Comment Rule

I’ve previously posted some rules about comments on this blog, and you can look under the labels for “comment rules” to find them.  Also, just above the comment box you will see rules for commenting.  

I’m making another rule for this blog, and if you don’t like the rule, then don’t comment!

I have visited too many blogs where comments completely abandon the topic of the article - they get “hijacked” into discussion of many unrelated topics.  I don’t like that and I don’t want to permit that on my blog.  Comments are to be in reference to the article -- or in response to other comments about the article --  or they will not be published.

If the commenter starts out in regards to the article, but then decides to go off on a tangent, then no more comments will be published by that person.

If a commenter wants to discuss something else besides what is in the article, the commenter is more than welcome to e-mail me to engage in a discussion.   If I ask a commenter to take the discussion to email, if he continues trying to post, he will not be published.   The commenter can ask, demand, cajole me into publishing his comments, but it won’t happen so don’t waste your time.

So them’s the rules.  Stick to the topic or not get posted.  If you’re asked to email, do so and don’t keep trying to get comments published.  If you want to be off topic, email me.

So, is this new comment rule too onerous to adhere to?

Do Battle or Frolic?

Our fathers believed in sin and the devil and hell . . . [and in] God and righteousness and heaven. . . . Humans, our fathers held, had to choose sides — they could not be neutral.  For them it must be life or death, heaven or hell, and if they chose to come out on God’s side, they could expect open war with God’s enemies.  The fight would be real and deadly and would last as long as life continued here below. . . .

How different today. . . . People think of the world not as a battleground, but as a playground.  We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic.  We are not in a foreign land; we are at home. . . .  [This idea] has now been accepted in practice by the vast majority of fundamentalist Christians.  They might hedge around the question . . . but their conduct gives them away.

A.W. Tozer, cited in The Berean Call, April 1993, “Quotable.”

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

Let’s start today’s program with Joel Osteen!  By now everyone has probably heard about his wife, Victoria, and her claim that we obey God not because we should obey God, but because it makes us happy, and when we worship God it’s also to make us happy.  And God wants us to be happy! Joel was behind her nodding approvingly, of course, because she learned his message well.  This self-centered message is taking over the Church, especially among those of the “seeker-sensitive” variety.  Albert Mohler posted an excellent commentary about this nonsense of the Osteens.’  Meanwhile, someone posted a video showing Bill Cosby’s response.
Michael Gungor has really been demonstrating his heretical beliefs.  I have to wonder about what sort of “Christ” he worships.

More about the recent Mark Driscoll flap, and who was really responsible for Driscoll’s rise.

The Episcopal Church is so apostate that it is not surprising when one of their women priests teaches abject heresy.  The question I have is, will the Episcopal HQ rebuke her and rebut her teachings?  I highly doubt it.

For many years I’ve been saying that Christian book stores are nothing more than minefields of apostasy, heresy, and all other aberrational teaching.  Sad to say, but it seems like many church book stores have also become minefields.  Even church libraries can be theologically dangerous, as I discovered when I became the church librarian for a church we attended many years ago - I removed dozens of books from the shelves and trashed them because of the horrid teachings.  So be discerning when you use your church library or book store.

I’m really tired of seeing “churches” using sex to draw more people to attend.  If you need sex to draw people to your church, then you aren’t concerned about the Gospel.

Here’s a good article explaining just about all you need to know about dominionism, reconstruction theology and the “New Apostolic Reformation.”  Just more false teaching leading many, many people astray.

Back in early July I posted an article explaining that Christianity does not equal patriotism.  This whole ideology has now led to a new Bible - “God’s Glory Bible.”  Erin Benziger had an excellent commentary about this latest foolishness — and idolatry!

Pope Francis says that if you don’t feel “Mary” is your mother, then you are an orphan.  If you haven’t read my article proving that the Catholic “Mary” isn’t the Mary of the Bible, 
you might want to take this opportunity to do so.  My response to the pope is, I’m no orphan because I’m an adopted son of God.

Another interesting question for the KJV Only types:  Does God really expect everyone to read the KJV and no other version?

Lastly, for those who promote the belief that Christ would have no problem with same-sex “committed” unions (i.e., same-sex fake marriage), and who abuse Scripture in their attempt to prove their case, homosexuality is NOT just another sin.  Of course Paul told us that, didn’t he? (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Make the Church Attractive?

We have been told that we have to make the Church attractive to the man outside, and the idea is to become as much like him as we can.  There were certain popular padres during the first world war who mixed with their men, and smoked with them, and did this, that, and the other with them, in oder to encourage them.  Some people thought that, as a result, when the war was over, the ex-service men would be crowding into the churches.  Yet it did not happen, and it never has happened that way.  The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it.  It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first.  That is how revival comes.  That must also be true of us as individuals.  It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not Christian as we can possibly be.  Our ambition should be to be like Christ, the more like Him the better, and the more like Him we become, the more we shall be unlike everybody who is not Christian.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,” p.37

This is something all those “seeker-sensitive” and “market-driven” pastors should pay attention to!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Conditional Marriage?

If you were proposing marriage to someone, what would the one receiving the proposal say if you said, “I want you to know this proposal changes nothing about my allegiances and my behavior and my daily life; however, I do want you to know that should you accept my proposal, we shall theoretically be considered married.  There will be no other changes in me on your behalf.”  In a strange way we have minimized every sacred commitment and made it the lowest common denominator.  What does my new birth mean to me?  That is a question we seldom ask.  Who was I before God’s work in me, and who am I now?

Ravi Zacharias, “The Church’s Role In Apologetics and the Development of the Mind”
From the book, “Beyond Opinion,” Ravi Zacharias, author and general editor, p.306-307

Mormonism’s Goddess Mother

Janis Hutchinson has an excellent, thorough examination of the doctrine of a mother goddess in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The teaching that their god has a wife goes way back to the beginning of Mormonism.  If you weren’t already familiar with this doctrine, Janis will leave you shaking your head at such bizarre teachings, which claim to be from a “Christian” church.

A quote from Janis to pique your interest:
There’s one fly in the ointment in believing that God and his wives produce “spirit” children who have no physical body yet. God issued a command at creation that each should produce after its own kind, e.g., a fish can only produce a fish, chickens only chickens, humans only humans. In other words, a donkey and an elephant cannot produce a “donkeyphant.” However, in Mormon theology God appears to violate this command. As a resurrected man of flesh and bones with wives of like makeup, how is it they can only produce “spirit” children having no flesh and bones as they do? I leave that one to the Mormon theologians to wrestle with.

This particular article is only part one, and here’s Janis’ summary:

The Mormon God, a resurrected man from a previous world, is our present Heavenly Father. He, along with his many goddess wives, are producing the spirits of babies born on earth. They accomplish this production physically, in the same manner as husband and wives do here.

Members will one day earn and achieve their own Godhood. Men will become Gods with a plurality of wives, and the women will be their Mother Goddess consorts and spend eternity giving birth to spirit children.

LDS scholars and apologists use the idolatrous worship of Asherah to validate their belief in a Divine Mother.

LDS understanding is that the true knowledge about God having a consort was originally given to Adam and was included in the first set of Moses’ stone tablets  (the higher law). But in the second set of tablet, when Israel sinned by worshipping the golden calf, it was purposefully omitted because of their unworthiness and only the Ten Commandments were given (the lesser law).

Knowledge of God and his consort Asherah was known in the beginning and also secretly known in the inner ritualistic circles of Solomon’s temple, but then lost again. It was restored through Joseph Smith.

The Bible’s failure to show Asherah as Jehovah’s true consort was due to a deliberate cover-up by Bible writers and copyists who falsely attributed God’s wife to Baal instead of Jehovah, in order to promote their monotheism.

The church cannot officially repudiate the doctrine because it was officially declared by previous church presidencies and could also cause serious devastation with members who believe it.

Stay tuned for Janis’ part two coming in October!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Give Our Youth Meat!

Herbert Schlossberg reminds us, “In their uncompromising determination to proclaim truth, Christians must avoid the intellectual flabbiness of the larger society.  They must rally against the prevailing distrust of reason and the exaltation of the irrational.  Emotional self-indulgence and irrationalities have always been the enemies of the gospel, and the apostles warned their followers against them.”  Indeed, the apostles left no doubt as to the place of intellect in their work.  Peter’s masterful presentation of the Christian faith in Acts 2:14-36 displayed his grasp of the substantive issues.  His ability to expound on the intricacies of the relationship between David and Christ was a brilliant piece of verbal tapestry that appealed directly to the minds of his Jewish audience.  Soon thereafter, Paul effectively engaged all manner of groups and individuals in his missionary journeys, using his reasoning capabilities to present the gospel of Jesus Christ with lucid clarity. . . .

It might be an interesting exercise to randomly survey our young people coming out of their next emotionally charged rally.  Let’s ask them if they, like young Timothy, could adhere to Paul’s instructions to defend the faith.  Their answers, or perhaps more precisely, bewildered looks, will reflect leaders who have bought into the myth that dumbing down the faith will make it more palatable for our youth.  In addition to the “it’s boring” cant, these leaders offer other arguments: “We do whatever works,” they say, leaving us to wonder, works to accomplish what? . . . 

Perhaps most disconcerting is the realization that once leaving the cozy, entertaining subculture we have created for them, our youth are ill prepared to face the bombardment of “isms,” which carry no warning labels for the unwary neophyte. . . .

What should be do about this state of affairs?  In his most recent book, Charles Colson comments that “local churches need to encourage youth leaders to go beyond volleyball and pizza parties and begin to teach apologetics and worldview issues.”  Indeed, the bar should be raised, and nothing less should be accepted by parents and leaders alike.

Paul Kerr, “Where’s Timothy,” Christian Research Journal, Vol. 23/No.1, p.61