Monday, August 28, 2006

Church Bazaar Reminder

Just a friendly reminder to any churches out there planning a church bazaar, auction, bake sale, etc. this Fall to be sure to have it before September 12th. House of Yahweh leader Yisrayl Hawkins has been kind enough to let us know in advance that nuclear war will break out on that date. Click here to watch the video yourself.

PS: You may want to move up Oktoberfest as well - if he's wrong, well, two Oktoberfests in one year never hurt anyone!


Sunday, August 27, 2006

What? You're Not a Poor, Miserable Sinner, Joyce?

Long before she lost her salvation by abandoning the LCMS church, (for the benefit of all you non-Lutherans, that's a joke - sort of!), popular Missouri evangelist Joyce Meyer laments that she was taught a rather distasteful doctrine. She says:
All I was ever taught to say was "I, a poor, miserable sinner." I am not poor, I am not miserable and I am not a sinner. That is a lie from the pit of hell. (Joyce Meyer, From the Cross to the Throne tape, Life Christian Center in Saint Louis, Mo., date unknown)

We dealt with the "not a sinner" part in an earlier post. But what about the "poor, miserable sinner" claim? Does Scripture say that we are poor and miserable?

Paul says in Romans 7:23-25 "I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin."

According to A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament the Greek word for "wretched" means "miserable, distressed."

How do any of us stand up under the scrutiny of Christ's perfection? Do we measure up? Do we go even one minute without committing some sort of sin? Then, apart from Christ, how are we ever going to hope to measure up to God's requirement - perfection - when just one sin will condemn us for all eternity? No, Joyce, you are a poor, miserable sinner, just like the rest of us, who must rely completely on Christ's atoning work on the cross. When we forget this, pride begins to creep in.

If the Apostle Paul thought of himself as a poor, miserable sinner, what has Joyce Meyer done to warrant thinking of herself as morally superior to Paul?!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects and World Religions

LCMS pastor Dr. Alvin Schmidt has co-edited a new updated edition of Encyclopedic Dictionary of Cults, Sects and World Religions. Dr. Schmidt (Ph.D., Univ. of Nebraska) retired in 1999 as professor of sociology at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois and has authored several books. Entries in this update include well-known cults and religions such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormonism, Islam and Baha'i, as well as Santeria, Rastafarians, Haitian Voodoo, white supremacy groups, Wicca, and Satanism. Also includes newly-added groups such as Heaven's Gate, Branch Davidians, Aum Supreme Truth, Boston Church of Christ, Native American religions, Freemassonry, etc. You can order via Amazon by clicking the book icon on the right. My thanks to the blog, Schaaf's Koph, for pointing out this newly-updated book.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Danger of Not Speaking Out

Matthew 7:15-20: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

“I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:29-31).

Those engaged in apologetics often get criticized for always attacking other "Christians" who are just trying to bring people to Jesus Christ. "Do you always have to spend so much time attacking others?" Well, let me answer that with a question: How much time should a shepherd spend weeding the wolves out of his flock? How much time should someone spend heeding the warnings of Scripture that there are wolves right IN the church body? Maybe once a year, and let the wolves roam freely the rest of the year? Or should we constantly be on our guard?

Here is an example from the London Telegraph of how modern-day Christianity is reported:

There were only a few empty seats in Earls Court arena on Thursday night, almost all 10,000 places were taken....On the stage in front of them was a short, orange-looking man with a fat tie and a big grin. "Hallelujah," said Dr Morris Cerullo, prosperity preacher and "harvester of souls". "Oh Hallelujah. I'm just so glad to be here."

On the stage behind Cerullo stood several other of America's most determined money-raising evangelists, nodding their heads in approval: Pastor Benny Hinn, an Israeli, who heals believers by blowing on them; Dr Mike Murdock, a crooner, who sings amongst other things about the beauty of money. All of them with their own trademark way of persuading a congregation to part with cash, and all over here on a hunch that bewildered, binge-drinking Britain might finally have become as open to their message as the American Midwest.

"Oh-ba-ba-ba-ba" said Morris, looking at his watch as his congregation wrote out their cheques and credit card details: up to £250,000. It could have been funny, and on television, in another country, it sometimes is. But close up, the hybrid of Christianity and investment banking seemed to me less of a joke than a threat: if you don't give, Cerullo implied, God won't love you, and if he doesn't love you, he'll keep you poor. Worldly success is a measure of divine approval; after all, he points out, look at me.

Cerullo even ba-ba's like a sheep!! What an impresson to leave with the non-Christian of Jesus Christ. Is there anyone out there that DOESN'T see a problem with this brand of Christianity?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Demons Rejoice!

The demons are rejoicing today, folks! According to Reuters, CBS has committed itself to shooting a pilot for a new exorcism-themed drama based on the "real life experiences" of demon-chaser Bob Larson (far left). Reuters says that "through his ministry and what he calls Spiritual Freedom Conferences, Larson teaches 'the principles of spiritual freedom' and the 'many ways that demons attack human beings.'" Anyone who has watched Larson knows that his specialty is casting demons out of gullible Christians while simultaneously casting as many dollar bills as possible out of their wallets.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Carlton Pearson's Hell

Dateline NBC has begun a revealing expose of Bishop Carlton Pearson. Once one of the Trinity Broadcasting Network's shining lights, he has found himself isolated by the very people who made him what he once was. The issue? The existence of hell. You see, according to Pearson, God has told him that there is no hell and that everyone will be saved - even Hitler!

How did he come to this belief in inclusivism? Was it because he yielded his knowledge and feelings to the wiser knowledge of Jesus Christ, even if he didn't understand? No. He says "I was angry that people go to hell....I was resentful of God. You see, if you fear God the way we're taught to fear Him, you'll serve Him, you'll believe in Him, you'll worship Him--but you will probably never really love Him."

The straw that broke the camel's back for him was the refugee status in Rwanda. He says "God, I don't know how you're gonna call yourself a loving God and allow those people to suffer so much and then just suck them into hell." A voice in his head, that he believed to be God, then made it clear that those people were already in Hell but that Jesus died to redeem them and that everyone who has ever lived is saved and will be in heaven.

It's apparent that Pearson had a very misguided view of God right from the beginning, picturing Him as a heartless God who stands there waiting for us to make a mistake so He can bring a hammer down on our heads. Such a person should have never been in the pulpit to begin with. Secondly, rather than yielding to God's Word and to His superior wisdom, and Jesus' repeated warnings about the existence of Hell, Pearson let his emotions win the day and determine truth.

It's interesting that despite the appeal of his message to the natural mind, his congregation abandoned him in huge numbers, forcing him to close the doors of his church. Even the Trinity Broadcasting Network had the wisdom to dump him - although they have pastors on the network who deny the Trinity (T. D. Jakes, Tommy Tenney, singers Phillips, Craig and Dean, and others) and even deny that Jesus is our only means of salvation (Della Reese). I suspect that the erradication of hell would affect the income of TBN, since there would be no reason to have preachers if everyone was saved anyways.

Over the coming weeks (Sunday nights) Dateline NBC will continue their examination of Pearson. Should be interesting.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Should Left Behind Be Left Behind?

What would Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, John Wycliffe and John Huss think of the Left Behind theology espoused by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins? Take a look at the website Left Behind Answered by David Reed.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The First Church of Laughter

Tired of all that preaching about sin and salvation? The Rev. Ian Gregory has the solution for you, according to the London Telegraph.

For those who are curious about Christianity but disillusioned by the institutional Church, there is a novel solution - drop the religion. The Rev Ian Gregory, a cleric well known to readers of The Daily Telegraph for launching the Campaign for Courtesy in an attempt to improve manners, has embarked on a new project which he calls "Christianity without religion". Out goes the "archaic mumbo-jumbo" of church services and the "silly arguments about things that don't and shouldn't matter"; in come chats about anything that makes you feel good and the world's first dedicated "laughter room" because "laughter is as important as prayer".

Glad to see they're dumping those silly arguments about sin, the cross, salvation and those other things that point us to Christ, in favor of things that will make you feel good! He should link up with Joel Osteen!

He says:

"I look back on the past 20 years and think, what the Dickens was I doing? I now advise people who are bored with church not to go....People are fed up with religion. The bar-room talk is that it causes too much trouble in the world. But people are intrigued by spirituality and by figures such as Jesus and Buddha."

Glad he checked out the local bars to see what people really need - excuse me - want.

The traditional Sunday morning service will be replaced by "coffee and laughter" - videos of classic comedy films during which people will be able to come and go or read the Sunday papers over tea and toast. Mr Gregory, a colourful figure who prefers bright ties and a trilby to clerical garb, will then be available to people for "one to one personal consultations" and "healing prayers."

Wonder who he'll be praying to - Jesus, Buddha, To Whomever It May Concern?

He will also launch a course devoted to people's self-image and confidence, with sessions entitled "Have you a right to be happy?" and "The art of conversation."

Must be reading Robert Schuller's books again! But fear not, he has taken pity on us poor, misguided unfortunates who miss the old days:

In a concession to more traditional religion, he will hold Christian worship on some Sunday afternoons, which will consist of a mixture of hymns, prayers, readings and discussions.

Good, I was worried there for a moment!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Had Your Daily Aardvark?

Been to Aardvark Alley today? This blog by Orycteropus Afer is described thusly:

Aardvark comes from Afrikaans and means "Earth Pig." Like the aforementioned creature, I willingly get down and dirty to deal with that which bugs me. While the four-legged aardvark eats ants and termites, I get my kicks chewing up mindless liberalism, post-modern philosophy, and un-Christian, un-Lutheran theology.
Needless to say, there is no shortage of such theology in the world today and there's plenty to write about. This blog is also an excellent resource if you want to learn a little church history. Click link on the right or Aardvark Alley.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Have a Munchie With That Murder?

As incredible as it may seem, (and no, it is NOT someone's idea of a practical joke) abortion is now being promoted as no more serious than a day at the spa or a meal at your favourite restaurant. An organization called "Abortion Conversation Project" is now offering nine different ways to have an abortion. They describe it in an online article called "How Do You Want Your Abortion?" Among those package deals? (Emphasis is mine):

Economy - This is our most popular package which has been offered since 1973 and enjoyed by several million women in the United States....Outpatient surgery is simple, quick, and safe. Personal review of medical history and emotional "check-in" are available; beverages and snacks will be served and a choice of pain relievers is yours, all for a reasonable fee of $350.
Absolutely critical that you enjoy your abortion!

The Lunch Hour Special - Designed for the busy woman for whom time is more valuable than money....Some sedatives may not be available in this time frame, but we guarantee service in one hour. $600.
No time for a kid? Kill him. No time for a husband? Get rid of him too! After all, it's all about you, you, you!

The Family Package - This is an important decision in your life and of course you want your loved ones around you!!...Flowers, breakfast in bed, baby-sitting, just tell us what you want and we'll pass it along. $650.
Baby-sitting? Oh, that's right, one of those kids arrived before you found out about this service.

DIY (Do-it-Yourself) - ...Take a pill today and choose when you bleed anytime in the next three days, safely, completely. $550.
This might be the best option because you'll see the baby you just killed.

Deluxe Spa Treatment - Get the luxury and personal attention you deserve!! Check into our special suite at the Jetson hotel...After extensive orientation for you and your partner or family, enjoy a relaxing massage and jacuzzi....Recover back in your suite and choose from 3 relaxing options -- a foot massage, a mud pack facial, or a rebalancing of your shakras by our expert Reiki master. Then, enjoy room service from a 4 star restaurant....$3000.
Got to keep those shakras from getting shook up, folks! And let's not forget God in all this !!!

Spiritual Journey - Meet with our spirit healer and guide a week in advance to plan the ritual journey that will meet your spiritual needs. Native American (Taino clan tradition), Eastern philosophy, nature-inspired (pagan), or custom designed ceremonies are available...Have the surgical procedure when you are ready for a separation of paths with the spirit child within you....$5000.
That's right, get out of here, kid!!! Don't have time for you!

Perhaps that can be expanded eventually for assisted suicides - a day at the spa, then execute Grandma! Unbelievable! But then again, what would you expect from the descendant of a monkey? - We did evolve, didn't we, abortion supporters? (Personally, I think an animal would have more sense than this.)