Recently I came across a question from a pastor in Indiana. Fortunately, he wasn't LCMS or even Lutheran! He explained that at his church they recently held a baptism in which five people were baptized outside in a lake. All well and good. However, upon reviewing the videotape the pastor noticed that with two of them, when their bodies went under the water a foot came up out of the water, and when their heads came back up, the feet went back under the water. His question: Should they be rebaptized???
Talk about being under the Law! What are they teaching "pastors" these days?
In light of the recent Juanita Bynum stories, Charisma's J. Lee Grady has posted some interesting comments:
There’s no question that we need more advocates for battered women. Domestic violence is an ugly issue that has been ignored by the church, mostly because so many pastors don’t know how to counsel abused women or how to confront the men who hurt them.
But I have another concern. Before Bynum starts her campaign, I hope she will examine her own spitfire preaching style. I’m all for rousing sermons, but what Bynum often offers her audiences is downright mean.
Eleven days before the Atlanta incident, Bynum told women at a large conference that they needed to learn to become harsh. Shocking clips of her comments were then posted on YouTube. Bynum told of how she corrected an unnamed assistant for being too nice when carrying out her orders. “I’m trying to teach you to be a bulldog!” she declared with gritted teeth and a hateful expression.
When women did not shout loud enough after her comments, Bynum threatened them too. “If somebody don’t start praising God right here, I’m gonna have to hit somebody with this microphone,” she said. She also implied that women who treat others with polite restraint are “too suburb” and need to learn the street-wise tactics of the ghetto.
Is this the new face of domestic violence? An angry woman preacher who threatens to hit people? A “bulldog” who barks orders and treats subordinates rudely? Please. I agree that people need to learn to be assertive, but Bynum seems to think the fruit of the Holy Spirit is no longer necessary.
• Gays and lesbians: "He'd love them and accept them. When we sing at my church, `Just As I Am,' I think we need to mean it." We shouldn't be saying to gay and lesbian people, `You have to become what you're not in order to be welcome by Jesus.' "
• Muslims: "He would love them. Jesus said some very interesting things. He said, `Other sheep I have who are not of this fold.'
"I know I'll get in trouble for this because I'm an evangelical, but (in deciding who gets into heaven), the questions (Jesus) asks on Judgment Day are not theological. I wish they were because I'm an evangelical.... Here are the questions -- the only descriptions he gives of Judgement Day. `I was hungry: Did you feed me? I was naked: Did you clothe me? I was the alien, the (immigrant) from the other country: Did you make room for me in your country? For if you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.' I think there's a wideness in God's mercy that's greater than mine."
From a couple of recent words of encouragement in Joel Osteen's daily e-mails:
“And God said, 'Let there be light', and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
Today's Word from Joel and Victoria
God wanted there to be light, so He spoke it into existence. He wanted there to be water, land, and plants, so He declared them to be. Did you know, as a believer, that same creative power lives inside of you by the Holy Spirit? What are you speaking into existence in your life? Are you declaring the truth of God's Word that says you are the head and not the tail - that you are above only and not beneath? Listen to the words that come out of your mouth and speak what you seek! If you seek good health, declare that God is your Healer and that you will live strong and healthy all the days of your life.
Really? Where does it say I have the same creative powers as God, Joel? When did I become a god?
Your Time is Coming
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time…though it tarry, wait for it” (Habakkuk 2:3 KJV).
Today's Word from Joel and Victoria
Your time is coming! The dreams and desires, the things you want to accomplish, the situations you want to see changed will happen. Just because it has taken a long time, or because you’ve tried and failed, don’t give up on those dreams. Don’t be complacent about pursuing what God has placed in your heart.
How do you know, Joel, that the things I want to accomplish are the same things God wants me to accomplish? My plans may just lead to disaster!
"To the Scribes, the Pharisees and the hypocrites, the heresy hunters that want to find a little mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian's eye and poke that little mote out of their eye when they've got the whole forest in their own lives and in their own eyes, I say to hell with you!" Paul Crouch.