TBN Awarded Seal of Approval(TM) by Parents Television Council
According to Christian Newswire:
The Parents Television Council (PTC) will present its Entertainment Seal of Approval to Trinity Broadcasting Network(TBN), JCTV, and Smile of a Child for being authentic, family-friendly cable networks. PTC president Tim Winter will present the award to TBN's chief of staff, Paul Crouch, Jr, on TBN's Behind the Scenes program on February 29. The PTC Seal of Approval is presented to outstanding DVDs, films, television shows, and networks that emphasize positive, pro-family values and do not contain sex, violence, or profanity.
"We commend the TBN Networks for upholding the positive values that families hold dear," says Winter. "Our culture seems to grow ever more resistant to what is best for the family and this includes many broadcast and cable networks. The TBN networks stand out for their excellent programming that the entire family can watch and enjoy together."
Of course most of the programs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network do violence to the Word of God with their heretical teachings, but that, apparently, doesn't count.
CNN is reporting today on how Americans are dropping out of the mainline churches (See story):
The U.S. religious marketplace is extremely volatile, with nearly half of American adults leaving the faith tradition of their upbringing to either switch allegiances or abandon religious affiliation altogether, a new survey finds.
The study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is unusual for it sheer scope, relying on interviews with more than 35,000 adults to document a diverse and dynamic U.S. religious population.
While much of the study confirms earlier findings -- mainline Protestant churches are in decline, non-denominational churches are gaining and the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing -- it also provides a deeper look behind those trends, and of smaller religious groups.
...The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey estimates the United States is 78 percent Christian and about to lose its status as a majority Protestant nation, at 51 percent and slipping.
More than one-quarter of American adults have left the faith of their childhood for another religion or no religion at all, the survey found. Factoring in moves from one stream or denomination of Protestantism to another, the number rises to 44 percent.
One in four adults ages 18 to 29 claim no affiliation with a religious institution.
...The Roman Catholic Church has lost more members than any faith tradition because of affiliation swapping, the survey found. While nearly one in three Americans were raised Catholic, fewer than one in four say they're Catholic today. That means roughly 10 percent of all Americans are ex-Catholics.
The share of the population that identifies as Catholic, however, has remained fairly stable in recent decades thanks to an influx of immigrant Catholics, mostly from Latin America. Nearly half of all Catholics under 30 are Hispanic, the survey found.
On the Protestant side, changes in affiliation are swelling the ranks of nondenominational churches, while Baptist and Methodist traditions are showing net losses.
No doubt many are leaving the mainline denominational churches and going to nondenominational ones because the denominational churches are embracing liberal theology. In the case of Roman Catholicism, it could be the various scandals or lack of assurance of salvation, etc.
Regardless of the reasons, I think that this is where Lutheran churches (which are also losing members) should shine. Lutheran churches should be emphasizing both Law and Gospel and should be properly distinguishing one from the other, without mixing them. Unfortunately, many, if not most, nondenominational churches do mix the two in various degrees so that, even though they are taught that they are saved by grace through faith without works, there is still the nagging feeling in the Christians' minds that they should be doing something - thus the often repeated act of running up to the altar to "accept" Christ as their Saviour, etc.
Rather than adopting all the latest fads that are found in evangelical churches to try and raise their numbers, it is my belief that the LCMS in particular should stick to the principles taught in Walther's Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. I've found more freedom with the Gospel message taught in Lutheran churches than I ever did in evangelical churches, and that message of the Gospel should be what brings people into the Church.
Here's a terrifying thought! May they fail miserably! Full prophecy is here.
Bill Hamon: The Beginning of the Third and Final Apostolic Reformation
...The Saints Movement is the catalyst to launch the Church into the Third and finalApostolic Reformation.The First Apostolic Reformation occurred in the 1st century with the launching of the era of the New Testament Church. The Second Apostolic Reformation, which is known to historians as the Reformation, transitioned the Church from the "Dark Ages" to beginning the period of the restoration of the Church(see Acts 3:21).
This Reformation will bring about a paradigm shift in the goal and purpose of the Church. Most Evangelical and Pentecostal theologians see no purpose for the Church other than to win more souls to Christ so they are made ready for Heaven. Now we are receiving revolutionary, reformed thinking from the heart and mind of God. The expanded goal and vision of the Third Reformation Church is to co-labor with Christ in His passionate desire for the fulfillment of Revelation 11:15:
"...there were loud voices in Heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'"
The Purpose of God for This Time
The First Apostolic Reformation and purpose of God was for Jesus to shed His life's Blood for the salvation of sinners. God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world unto Himself by purchasing them with His Blood and making them members of His Body of Christ, the Church.
God's Second Apostolic Reformation and purpose was to restore and build His Church to the full maturity and ministry of Christ Jesus. This is accomplished through Christ's fivefold ministers, of which the last two, prophets and apostles, were restored to recognition and began fully ministering during the Prophetic-Apostolic Movement, from 1988 to the present. Apostles and prophets have existed throughout Church history but often weren't recognized or allowed to fully function. The fivefold ministers are for the purpose of equipping the saints to demonstrate Christ's Kingdom--the Saints Movement.
Christ's Third Apostolic Reformation and purpose is to use His restored Church to fulfill God's original mandate to mankind--subdue all things, take dominion and fill the earth with a mankind race in God's own image and likeness, bring more and more of God's Kingdom and will to earth, and transform nations into sheep nations(those who do the works of Christ. See Matthew 25:31-46). This is the end result of the saints taking the Gospel of the Kingdom into every aspect of society.
2008 is the year of new beginnings. It is the beginning of the new Third and final Apostolic Reformation. This Third Reformation will bring as much transition and fulfilling of God's purpose as the First and Second Reformation did. We have been prophesying and interceding about this shift for many years. It is with firm conviction that I believe this is now the time for it to fully be underway.
...I believe and am declaring that 2008 is God's set time for the full release of the Third Reformation. At Christian International, we saw a birthing of the Saints Movement at our Watchman Intercessor Conference in April 2007, as prophesied by Cindy Jacobs, one of the speakers that week. I witnessed to that word and was glad we have finally seen it. It coincides with one interpretation of the 490 years (70 weeks x 7 days per week = 490, with each day symbolizing a year) that Daniel prophesied concerning the time period to the coming of the Messiah and ushering in the Church (see Daniel 9). Many believe this is also the period of time from the beginning of the restoration of the Church to the time when all presently restored truth and ministries would be activated into fulfilling God's end time purpose.
Church historians designated the year 1517 as the birth date of the Protestant Movement, which was the beginning of the period of Church restoration. AD 1517 + 490 years = AD 2007. This time period covers all the restoration movements from the Protestant Movement through the present Prophetic-Apostolic Movement to the birthing of the Saints Movement in 2007. Others may have their own views on interpreting this Scripture,but I believe it is clear that God's Spirit is saying this is a very significant time.
...Make the Transition
Those whom Jesus has made kings and priests unto God shall be the overcomers who reign with Christ on the earth. Please do not get stuck arguing and debating over what will happen during the seven years. Let us set our vision and goal beyond those seven years to Revelation 11:15. It is the time to give all of our life and labor to be co-workers together with Christ in demonstrating and enforcing His Kingdom in all the earth. We will not cease until we can join the voices in Heaven victoriously, declaring that the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdoms of our Lord Jesus and His anointed one, the Church.
Beware of prophets who say the church needs restoring!
We take a brief break from heresy hunting to write this rant about electronic chain letters - especially "Christian" ones that try to lay on guilt trips! You know, "If you really care, you will forward this message on to 20 of your loved ones," or "I don't really believe in these things, but just in case ... if you forward this on to 10 of your friends, within 10 minutes the phone will ring and you will receive $10,000." (Actually, that reminds me of Paula White's promises of wealth!) What gets me is the number of Christians who fall for these things - then again, many Christians will fall for anything these days!
Now, if you agree with me, please forward this link on to 35 of your closest friends - especially your pastor - and if you don't, the moon will disappear from the sky tonight.
In in interview in the Kansas City Star this weekend Joel Osteen was asked this question:
You have said you are not a theologian and your sermons are not deep in theology. So how do people who come to your church get deeper into the Word of God?
I believe God has a plan for each one of us. I wasn’t trained in seminary; I was trained by my father. (Osteen attended one year at Oral Roberts University before leaving to work with his father.) I put a lot of effort into my sermons. Wednesdays through Saturdays I’m getting ready for Sunday.
At the church, Wednesday nights we have Bible study lessons. Plus we have a whole list of classes and seminars. We have a New Beginnings class for people who make decisions for Christ. God didn’t make all of us alike. What I’m called to do is teach people how to live their everyday lives. When we can make the Bible practical; we can help people live abundant lives.
Lakewood Church has a weekly attendance of 45,000 people. That's in addition to the millions who watch him every week on TV, many of them making his broadcast the only "church" they attend. Now, if he has 45,000 attending Bible classes, then maybe some of them are getting deeper into God's Word - although I would wonder what they are actually teaching them. And what about the viewers who don't go to church at all? For them Osteen's gospel-lite is no Gospel at all.
On February 6th Joyce Meyer had as her theme on Enjoying Everyday Life "Look Great, Feel Great." The telecast is available as a download here. Near the start of her show she makes the following statement:
I find that reading a good book about exercise, drinking plenty of water, balanced eating, how to take care of myself, how important it is, that that just kind of stirs me up to make sure that I'm doing everything that I can to look my best and feel my best. You know, our bodies -the Bible says that if we're Christians, our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. You know, that's a great responsibility. I mean, a tremendous responsibility. If I was looking for a church and there was one on this corner that had the windows broken out, the roof was caving in, the paint was peeling off, the front door was caved in, and there was one on this corner that was freshly painted, looked nice and the windows were cleaned and everything was nice and tidy, there would not even need to be any real thought to where I was going to go. I'd know where I would go.
The logical conclusion the unsuspecting viewer draws from this careless comparison is that the Holy Spirit either won't or doesn't want to indwell someone who isn't physically healthy.
Additionally, Joyce Meyer is judging the church in her illustration from outward appearances. Perhaps that run-down church is the only one of the two that is faithfully preaching the Gospel and they're broke because people prefer the nice-looking church that may be preaching a feel-good gospel!
Father Jonathan has a good article today on Fox News:
Week after week I offer on this opinion page and on the FOX News Channel ethical analysis of the big news items of the day. It must seem to some I have an unquenchable passion to offer my moralist opinion on everyone else's business. Hollywood movies, political platforms, media bias, sports doping, immigration policy — nothing gets a bye, no flimsy proposal is left standing.
Today, however, I happily step off my soapbox, and put myself and my work under your gaze. For the sake of our future conversations, I want to explain why I — a piece of work, a flimsy project in my own right — would dare speak in moral absolutes, and so often.
More importantly, I throw out a question: can any mortal speak authoritatively about right and wrong? And does it do any good?
In this light, I often ruminate on the many blistering responses to my articles and television appearances: “Who the heck do you think you are (here I paraphrase, out of respect for all audiences)?”; “What makes your opinion so important?”; “Why don't you focus on getting your own house in order?”
The non-religious frequently throw me a bone — a sharp one — by framing the same argument in Biblical terms, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone.”
All of these stinging missives serve good purposes, no doubt. First, they call me to personal conversion. In my business and in the business of life in general, personal witness is not optional. Second, they invite me to analyze events more maturely, from foreign and often uncomfortable angles. Finally, they remind me to place the individual, in all of his uniqueness and considering all of his circumstances, at the forefront of any moral judgment. (Continued here)
He almost sounds Lutheran! Perhaps with a little persuasion.....
“This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
Today's Word from Joel and Victoria
Did you know that when you speak the Word of God, it activates power in your life? In fact, this verse says do not let it depart from your mouth. In other words, keep speaking and confessing the Word of God—no matter what your circumstances seem like. When you keep God’s Word in your mind, heart and mouth, it empowers you to obey all the Lord commands. Do you need strength today to overcome temptation? Do you need to be empowered to walk in love? Get the Word of God in your heart and declare what the Word of God says about your situation. Declare that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Declare that you have God’s grace for all things. And notice what this verse says will happen when you are walking in obedience to God’s Word: The key to having abundance and success in every area of your life is found in the Word of God. As you continue to speak the Word of God, you will be empowered in every area of your life, and you will live the life of victory the Lord has in store!
I must say, Joel Osteen is certainly a much more godly person than myself! He is presumably able to keep everything that God commands! That means he's keeping the 10 Commandments - perfectly. As a result, he has everything materially he could ask for.
So what is the context of this passage that supposedly promises us prosperity? Moses has just died and has been succeeded by Joshua. It then becomes his task to lead God's people into the Promised Land. They were promised abundance, plenty of land, and success in all they do. However, this was on the condition that they obey everything in the Book of the Law. The passage says nothing about us becoming prosperous if we obey the Law - which we can't do perfectly anyways. It's time Osteen stopped treating the Word of God as though it was a book of magic where you say the magic words and health and wealth fall into your lap.
We were whipped by a wind storm last week and hammered by a snow storm, but what we didn't have, despite all his dire predictions, was a world-ending firestorm.
And so I reach the man who calls himself Governor Jesus bunny the God, aka Harper Cooke, to find out how he's doing after the world failed to burn up last Monday as he'd long prophesized.
For weeks, the self-described prophet had been calling our city desk to warn that Jan. 28 was Judgment Day and we'd better all take cover. He even came by personally to leave his inscrutable business card that foretold of a fire that was to begin at 5 p.m. and consume us all unless we got the sick out of the hospital and "women out of the prison house": "This message is urgent to every one as Advisery (sic) of the Burning Up of January 28 2008 JUDGMENT DAY FIRE."
We gave him a call -- just in case.
"Eight years I've been trying to get in touch with everyone, nobody stirs," lamented Cooke, who says he owns a courier company. "Now is the time. The city is rotten and decayed. The lake is smoking. People are going to be purified. It will come to pass. Get ready."
At least one other apocalyptic soothsayer was pulling for him.
Bruce Beach is a survivalist who has built Ark Two, an enormous underground fallout shelter made up of 42 school buses buried beneath his land in Horning's Mills north of Toronto. For decades he's diligently stockpiled radiation detection equipment and antidotes, provisions and seedlings in preparation for the doomsday that has yet to materialize.
"I was a millennialist myself," the 73-year-old admits a little sheepishly from his home. "I did think that by the end of 2000 everything would wrap by then.
"So my position is that it's difficult to speak as a prophet," he laughs. "Better to speak as an historian."
Last Monday, Cooke packed up his house, went down to the waterfront and diligently waited for the end that did not come. Instead, the day came and went like most every other day.
The oracle was surprisingly sanguine about being wrong. "We just got a postponing," he insisted.
Can't win them all, I guess. I've known about Bruce Beach for years as I used to live a couple of miles away from him. Never got to see his compound, however.
One of my favourite groups in the musical sense has always been the Beatles. I still remember the first time they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, and I was a fan even before that. Recently their former guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi passed on to his reward - I shudder to think what that was. The Mirror reports:
Maharishi inspired Beatles but died leaving £2b and rape rumoursEXCLUSIVE He inspired the Beatles and promised world peace but died leaving £2 billion amid rumours of rape and murder
By Nick Webster Nick.Webster@Mirror.Co.Uk 07/02/2008
He was the Sixth Beatle, (Heresy Hunter note: who wasn't?) a spiritual force with the potential to create world peace and end famine.
Or he was an avaricious old man with a penchant for young girls who ruined the greatest pop group in history...
It rather depends on your point of view, but one thing is certain about the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who died this week aged somewhere between 91 and 97 - he was one of the richest religious leaders in history.
The 'giggling guru' - so called because of his high-pitched laugh - lived in an opulent 200-room mansion, with helicopters and dozens of cars at his disposal, and was worth an estimated £2billion.
Bottom line: He LEFT £2billion - even he couldn't take it with him. If he was looking for enlightenment, he's found it - undoubtedly not what he was expecting, however.
J. Lee Grady has an excellent article today on the lack of morality in much of church leadership today. In particular he aims his guns at Paula White, Juanita Bynum and Thomas Weeks:
Take Paula White, for example. The high-powered preacher announced last August that her marriage to Randy White was over, with no clear explanation why, and she continued on her whirlwind ministry circuit without skipping a beat. The Whites said adultery was not the reason for their breakup, although Randy said the whole mess was his fault. We were all left scratching our heads.
...Then we have Bishop Thomas Weeks III, the estranged husband of celebrity preacher Juanita Bynum. Their marriage crashed and burned last August when she accused him of beating her in an Atlanta hotel parking lot. Weeks and Bynum have continued preaching since they announced plans to divorce, and Weeks told Gospel Today magazine last month that he’s looking forward to finding wife No. 3 while he continues to oversee several churches. When asked what he needed to change, the bow-tied preacher replied: “I have to take vacations.”
What is missing in both the Weeks-Bynum fiasco and the White’s breakup is a clear admission that biblical principles have been violated. For the Whites, we are left feeling that if you drift apart from your spouse because of the demands of ministry, you just move on and keep preaching. (After all, as Paula says, “Your best days are ahead.”) For Bynum and Weeks, the message is also muddled: If your marriage doesn’t work out, it’s probably because your partner didn’t realize how powerful God’s calling is on your life. (In other words, it’s all about you.)
"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.