Wednesday, April 22, 2015

America's decay is speeding up, and more links to edifying essays

Here are some interesting links for you.

I don't think anyone would disagree with this first article-

America's Decay is Speeding Up
As one who loves America -- not only because I am American, but even more so because I know (not believe, know) that the American experiment in forming a decent society has been the most successful in history -- I write the following words in sadness: With few exceptions, every aspect of American life is in decline. "Decay" is the word.
Yup.

I'm not a huge fan of the magazine below but this article is good-

7 Unbiblical Statements Christians Believe
We don’t often stop to consider the magnitude of what the Bible represents. It is literally God revealing Himself and communicating Himself to mankind in written word. Orthodox Christianity teaches that the Bible was inspired and authored by the Holy Spirit of God using human instruments. And many Christians believe that—in its original languages of Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic—it is without error and fault. However, there are many things that Jesus-following, Church-going, Bible-believing Christians believe that are completely unbiblical. How does this happen? Often, we’ll hear someone quote a statement that sounds nice to us, and we’ll begin repeating it as though it’s biblical truth without ever researching it in Scripture.
You're a theologian, OK?

3 Reasons Why You Aren’t Allowed to Be Theologically Dumb
The Christian cannot be a passive theologian who has idle thoughts about God here and there. Christians are called to be active theologians who are constantly trying to learn more about the God we worship.   ...  It’s about time Millennial evangelicals start loving the God who created them more than a god they’ve created.
I love Dr Robin Schumacher's articles. His blog at The Christian Post is titled The Confident Christian-

Predestination and God’s Sovereign Choice
Dan Delzell’s Christianpost article, Predestination and God's Desire to Save Everyone, reminded me of a statement made by theologian Loraine Boettner in his classic book on predestination: “The doctrine of Predestination has been made the subject of almost endless discussion, much of which, it must be admitted, was for the purpose of softening its outlines or of explaining it away.”[1]  I mean no disrespect at all to Mr. Delzell when I say that, only that his article – written from the Arminian point of view – is definitely something crafted to take the punch and sting out of what I believe the Biblical doctrine of predestination truly means.
Ugh, it sickens me to see what is being sold in Jesus' name-

The Marketing And Exploitation Of The Cross: Commercializing Christianity
The gospel in America has been hijacked, replaced with another gospel, a gospel of greed. When news broke regarding Creflo Dollar’s plea for Christians (namely those who follow him) to donate to the purchase of a 65-million dollar jet, it not only raised eyebrows, it settled within the hearts and minds of the faith’s leading accusers that Christianity has become nothing but an ends to gaining great wealth at the expense of its followers. And they would be right, to a degree.

Re-posting a testimony, but deliberately deleting references to Jesus-

His Absence Changes Everything
... I battled against that bottle for hours - finally flinging it aside, not from a place of faith that things would get better in life, but from one of fear that I would fail in my attempt and find myself in even worse straits than the current moment contained.
Moms...

These Aren’t The Best Years of Your Life
A friend with a stroller was walking through town when an older woman stopped her to see the baby. After admiring her, the granny said, “These are the best years of your life; too bad you’re too tired to enjoy them!” Mothers with small children often hear this–at least the first part.

Truth in the church is so yesterday-

Contend Mondays: Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies
As I’ve mentioned, not only is the world a mission field, but the visible church is as well. The battle is for truth through rightly divided scripture and sound doctrine. If you’ve tried to correct a brother or sister in Christ, you are familiar with the desire to set them free from lies. ... Exposing error seems to have no place in the church these days despite what scripture says (Ephesians 5:11).


5 comments :

  1. Thanks for including the link to 'Contend Mondays: Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies.' I read it and it is pure gold, and very intelligent and Godly writing. What a find!

    Stephen

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  2. We were supposed to have Wednesday night Bible study last night. I'd skipped the last 10 or so weeks because they were doing a Beth Moore study (and I wanted no part of that). So I was excited to get back into a regular study.

    Que one of the most depressing nights of my life. Our pastor asked if anyone had any word on either the Beth Moore tabernacle study, or something else. Well, no one mentioned the study, but that invitation opened up the floor for remarks on other topics. America's decay was one of them. Conspiracy theories was another. Someone brought up Jim Bakker and how he's having good speakers on his program - after telling us that we should break away from the mainstream news and media. And that we should listen to short-wave radio programs instead. And that we should be preparing for what's coming - storing up food - getting prepared, etc.

    That we need to wake up, wake up. Because things are going to be happening this year, blah, blah.

    We did not open our Bibles. I just hung my head and bit my tongue.

    My husband felt much the same way as we left the building last night. We had dinner together and were in pretty low spirits.

    I'm not one to give up on things. I'm still praying for my church.

    Do you deal with these types of things in your church?

    Lesley

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    1. I'm so sorry Lesley. I'm glad your husband was there with you and at least you could discuss these things at home, having both experienced them first hand.

      These types of things, and worse, happen in all churches. In the very early weeks or months of the first church recorded in Acts, Ananias and Sapphira were KILLED by God in front of the church, for lying. At Corinth there was chaos as people popped up in the pews to speak in tongues and then others were prophesying and still others were interpreting...all at once. they were getting drunk and partying at Lord's Table, and arguing and splitting into factions. Thyatira was tolerating a false prophetess and leading others into destruction with her false teaching, Pergamum adhered to the (false) teaching of Balaam and Ephesus had discernment but was losing their first love.

      The Lord promised hardship in the form of persecution. He also promised trouble.

      I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

      The word tribulation is from the Greek thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options")

      Though I've studied the word and can't decide if it also means the trouble we experience when we try to stave off incoming apostasy or error, I think the general sense of trouble or tribulation would fit: we suffer when apostasy, error, heresy, and sin in the church appears. It is trouble, affliction, and we hate it. This is because we want all glory to go to Jesus and His name honored above all. We want disciples to worship Him in spirit and in truth. We do not want our any professing believer who may not be a believer to store up wrath for themselves. But it's going to happen with increasing frequency, and I agree, it's dispiriting

      You're doing the right thing, praying for the church. Until we are raptured or taken by death into glory, we cling to this from Paul:

      2 Cor 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

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  3. Elizabeth,

    Thank you very much for the reply. Perplexed, but not in despair, indeed!

    I've been leading our Sunday School class this month - as we switch teachers each month amongst the class, so everyone gets a chance at the duty of teaching - and I learned something interesting.

    Last week our lesson was on Discernment! A favorite topic of mine. I wanted to give the class a little more to think about, because it's such a serious topic. I printed out MacArthur's article :

    Discernment: Spiritual Survival for a Church in Crisis
    http://www.gty.org/resources/positions/P02/discernment-spiritual-survival-for-a-church-in-crisis?Term=discernment

    and handed the document out to the class. I also read a few quotes from this article from MacArthur:

    What is biblical discernment and why is it important?
    http://www.gty.org/resources/questions/QA138/What-is-biblical-discernment-and-why-is-it-important?Term=discernment

    I thought the class went very well. The Scripture for that day was 2 John.

    Yesterday, after class, one lady told me she had been reading the Discernment handout - but that she was reading it very carefully because - and this is what I found so interesting - years ago, our former pastor had told her and a study group that John MacArthur was a false teacher. Before that, she said she had listened to his sermons "faithfully" but I suppose she has not accepted anything from the GTY ministry since hearing this from our former pastor.

    This was interesting for various reasons ranging from the increasingly liberal standpoint our former pastor took in his latter years at our church, and from this woman's terrible lack of discernment. Just last week she was handing out books from Rick Warren, Henry Blackaby, and magazines from Billy Graham's organization. (*head desk*)

    Here I am, again perplexed, because perhaps my church has been warned against good, sound biblical teaching in the past?

    I have not seen anything from MacArthur that wasn't biblically sound. I know he isn't a false teacher. But what should I do now?

    Lesley

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    Replies
    1. It sounds like you did a very good job with the class!

      The lady's reaction, how sad...I'd ask her what the Pastor said as to WHY he felt MacArthur was false. It is a heavy charge to make, and should not be done without evidence from scripture. A false teacher must persistently teach against the fundamentals.

      If she says the pastor didn't say WHY MacArthur was false in his opinion, I'd ask the lady if she followed up with the pastor later, and asked why in private. This is a gentle way of letting her know that people who call others false have a responsibility to back it up with scriptural reasons, and that WE have a responsibility, once hearing the charge, to check it out as Bereans.

      Though we honor our pastors, we still have a responsibility to check these things out ourselves. If the Bereans listened to Paul but then compared against the scriptures to see if these things were so, then certainly we have the same if not more of a responsibility to verify what is being told to us, particularly when the heavy charge of being false is leveled.

      I'd also ask her that since she used to listen to MacArthur faithfully prior to her pastor's negative comment, what did she hear that might have aligned with the pastor's assessment, and if nothing did, why did she abandon a good preacher just on someone's say-so?

      Respecting the pastor is good and honorable, but we should never blindly accept blanket statements. We must use our own God-given discernment. It is a duty. Blind acceptance of everything a preacher says is cult-like behavior. Any good pastor will be pleased with diligent students that listen, check, question, share insights, etc.

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