Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What God Is Saying For 2008

Now is your chance to find out what God is saying for 2008! On November 29th head for Albany, Oregon for Elijah List's

"What is God Saying for 2008" Annual ElijahList Conference

Date: Thursday November 29th through Saturday December 1, 2007
Speakers: Chuck Pierce, Stacey Campbell, Dutch Sheets, Denny Cline, Steve Shultz
Worship: VCF Albany worship team

Only $40/couple plus the cost of your hotel/motel to find out what God has to say for next year! Of course you could just turn to the Scriptures, which are "God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17) but, as the younger generation would say, that's so yesterday!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fred Price's 20/20 Vision

Today's Los Angeles Times reports that ABC is being sued by Creflo Dollar:

Preacher sues `20/20,' alleging defamation

BYLINE: Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer

The Rev. Frederick K.C. Price may have two Bentleys, but a spokesman for his 22,000-member church says his Palos Verdes house doesn't boast 25 rooms and he definitely doesn't own a helicopter. A lawsuit Price filed Tuesday claims that ABC's "20/20" defamed him when it suggested otherwise, portraying him as a "hypocrite and thief" who financed an extravagant lifestyle with church funds.

Price, founder of the Crenshaw Christian Center, was featured in a "20/20" segment about well-heeled televangelists titled "Enough!" that the suit says "devastated, embarrassed and greatly humiliated" the 75-year-old. The suit also names Walt Disney Co., which owns ABC, and "20/20" co-anchor John Stossel.

In the March 23 segment, "20/20" ran a clip from a sermon Price delivered 10 years ago and displayed a still photo of the preacher as Stossel interviewed an activist who keeps tabs on how ministries spend congregants' donations. The suit calls the use of the clip "one of the most outrageous instances of 'out of context' editing in the history of television."

In the clip, Price declares, "I live in a 25-room mansion, I have my own $6-million yacht, I have my own private jet and I have my own helicopter and I have seven luxury automobiles."

In the full sermon, according to an excerpt provided by a spokesman for Price, he prefaced that by saying, "I was pointing out that there is such a thing as bad success. I said bad success is...." The sermon, which the suit says aired on Disney's Lifetime network, was about the importance of being a good Christian, and Price was quoting a hypothetical person with great material wealth who failed to follow a righteous path.

...ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said he couldn't comment on the suit but noted that the network had run two retractions, one on "Good Morning America" and the other on "20/20." ABC also posted a retraction on its website.

"We did make a full retraction and apology on the air and certainly regretted the error and made that very clear to Rev. Price," Schneider said.

You can read some of Price's statements over the years at many websites, including the one at this link.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

John Piper on the Prosperity Gospel

John Piper minces no words in this videoclip. Not to be missed!

Grady Vs. Benedict

Charisma Magazine editor J. Lee Grady has hit the roof over Pope Benedict's recent announcement that the only true church is the Roman Catholic church. He writes:

Pope Benedict’s Outrageous Announcement

At a time when Roman Catholics ought to join the 21st century, the pontiff has declared that he is the head of the only true church. Give me a break.

As one who has tried to build bridges between Protestants and Roman Catholics, I cringed last week when Pope Benedict XVI released his shocking statement on “Catholic Identity.” In clear, non-negotiable and jaw-dropping terms, the pontiff stated that (1) only Catholics are true Christians; (2) other Christian denominations are “not true churches”; and (3) all non-Catholics lack the “means of salvation.”

...With all respect to the most revered religious leader in the world, I think someone needs to wake up the pope and remind him—and the rest of the guys hibernating inside the Vatican—that we are living in the year 2007. His Excellency’s announcement sounded more like a press release from the 11th century.

The communiqué, released on July 10, was written in Italian. Given its medieval tone, you might have expected it to be handwritten on parchment in Latin. (Which, by the way, is the dead language Pope Benedict thinks all Catholics should still use during worship.)

As concerned as he should be, he fails to mention that this is not a new teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Secondly, he uses bad arguments when he says this is 2007, not the 11th century and that he would have expected it to be written on parchment. I believe these are the same arguments people liberal "Christians" use to justify their positions. Just because something is old it doesn't mean it's outdated and wrong or that something new is better. He would have been better to appeal to Scripture instead.


A Government Warning to Pastors

The president of Uganda has the right idea. From the Ugandan Sunday Vision:

Museveni warns pastors

By Cyprian Musoke and Elizabeth Namazzi

CRAFTY pastors who use deceit and trickery to extort money from their followers should be arrested, President Yoweri Museveni has said.

Addressing the press at State House, Nakasero on Friday, Museveni said he has been hearing stories of sodomy, extortion and trickery afflicting the Pentecostal churches.

"Obviously if someone is stealing the community's money he should be arrested. There is no compromise over that. We shall arrest them," he said.

He said he is reluctant to get involved in pointing out which religion is good and which one is not, as long as they don't violate the law.

"We have got enough work building bridges, to know which religion is doing what. If they steal people's money we shall just lock them up," a tough-talking President Museveni stressed.

"Like these stories I have been hearing of sodomy in churches, extorting money, and using electric gadgets; all those are criminal things. That is impersonation. Somebody can be locked up for that. All we need is evidence," he said.

The media has lately been awash with stories of pastors in the sprouting affluent Pentecostal churches preaching the "gospel of prosperity".

Some of the pastors ask for huge sums of money from their flock in exchange for blessings.

Over the last three weeks Sunday Vision serialised a story by an undercover reporter who joined a church in Kampala for three months.

There, she saw how the pastors manipulated desperate followers to part with their money and property.

The pastors convince followers to make big monetary and non-monetary offerings for God to solve their social problems. However, several Christians are finding themselves in deeper problems, surrendering their properties to the Church and borrowing money from banks to sow in order to reap blessings.

In another development, there are reports that some pastors are being guarded by soldiers and security operatives.

Pastor Simeon Kayiwa of Namirembe Christian Fellowship confirmed that he is being guarded by a UPDF soldier.

"I have a guard who is a soldier of the UPDF. He is here officially and gets his movement orders from Bombo Barracks," he said on Friday.

Kayiwa revealed that army has been guarding him since 2003, when he had problems with an American businesswoman who purported that he used witchcraft in his church.

"Out of jealousy some people wanted to harm me. That is why I got this guard who has arrested thieves and also caught a total of 25 people with guns. I don't know what they wanted to do to me. But they were handed over to the Police," Kayiwa explained.

Asked for a comment, army spokesman Maj. Felix Kulayigye said he was not aware of any pastor being guarded by the military.

"No civilian is entitled to have military escorts unless prescribed by the law," he stated. Referring to Kayiwa he added: "Tell that pastor that it is illegal to have a UPDF guard."

Sunday Vision could not confirm reports that Pastor William Mwanguzi of Holy Fire Ministries, Namulanda on Entebbe Road also had a UPDF guard, as he could not be reached.

But a recent photograph in Bukedde, a Luganda daily, showed Muwanguzi in the company of a man in army uniform.

However, it could not be established whether he was a follower or an escort. Museveni said it was wrong for the army to guard civilians.

He disclosed that he had instructed the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, to form a protection unit so that anybody who wants security doesn't have to use army men.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Goodbye, Tammy Faye

Yes, she was a firm believer in the Word Faith stuff, but she was also a firm believer in Jesus Christ as her Savior and there is no reason to doubt that she is with Him at this moment.

My wife actually had the opportunity to meet her earlier this year. Tammy Faye was a frequent shopper at Target, where my wife works as a cashier, and she went through her checkout line one time. My wife, when she saw her asked "Tammy Faye?" She replied, "Yes, how did you know? By all my makeup?" My wife replied, "No, from your smile." I think that made Tammy's day.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Look Out Miranda! There's an Imposter Out There!!!

From the Washington Post, we discover that there's yet another Jesus Christ running around - this time in Russia:
Six miles from the nearest road, in the vast Siberian wilderness, a bearded man in flowing white linen robes sat at his kitchen table and talked about his crucifixion at the hands of Pontius Pilate 2,000 years ago.

In a voice barely louder than the rain falling on the mountaintop home his followers have built for him, Sergei Torop said it was painful to remember the end of his last life, in which he says he walked the Earth as Jesus Christ.

Torop, 46, is a former Siberian traffic cop who is now spiritual leader of at least 5,000 devoted followers. They have abandoned lives as artists, engineers and professionals in other fields to move to this remote corner of Siberia, 2,000 miles from Moscow. In empty woodlands, they are building from scratch an entire new town, where they pass their lives near the man they call Vissarion, "he who gives new life."


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Trying to Sell Something? Call It Christian.

Great article in the Times Herald in Port Huron, Michigan. Here's an excerpt:

Trying to sell something? Call it Christian

Remember the Bible story about Jesus driving the moneychangers and other first-century capitalists from the temple in Jerusalem?

They were selling animals for sacrifices and padding their pockets doing currency exchanges.

Guess what: They're back. Only this time they're in the United States. They are making the cash registers ring (or beep or do whatever it is those computer-driven gizmos do anymore) to the tune of $4.6 billion last year. That's according to CBA, a retail trade association for Christian retailing with headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo.

...There's no denying you can transform a product's desirability by slapping the adjective "Christian" on it - Christian books, Christian music, Christian clothing lines - as opposed to "pagan" or "heathen" books, music and clothing lines, I guess.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And Your Biggest Problem Is......?

Check out this link from Schaaf's Koph to see what life is like in the Sudan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Most Dangerous Idea In Religion: One Way to God

Shouldn't be a surprise, of course, but several "spiritual leaders" were asked what the most dangerous idea in religion was. Here are their responses, as posted on the Houston Chronicle website:

Violence in the name of God — Richard Land

"I would agree with Pope John Paul II, who said that there is a sacred sanctuary of the soul for each man and woman. No other human being has the right to coercively interfere with that sacred sanctuary of the soul. The most dangerous idea in religion is the idea that violent, coercive force is permissible in the name of God — any God.

Richard Land is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He was selected by Time Magazine in 2005 as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.

Follow our rules or else — Wayne Dyer

"Carl Jung (an author and psychiatrist) had a line. The paraphrase is this: The No. 1 problem with organized religion is that the purpose of organized religion is to prevent people from having a direct experience of God. Religion is organized around the principle that religion will provide the direct experience of God for you as long as you become a member, follow our rules and contribute to us financially.

"The most important thing human beings can recognize is that they are already connected to God, and to maintain that connection is not something you can turn over to another person or organization. One of the truths of the physical world is that you must be like what you came from. If you have an apple pie and you ask what the apple pie is like, it's like (the apple) where it came from."

Wayne Dyer is one of the most popular self-help speakers in the nation. He's the best-selling author of 29 books and has been featured frequently on Public Broadcasting Service specials.

My religion is right — Rabbi Harold Kushner

"There's a sense that in order for me to be right, everyone who disagrees with me is wrong. It makes religious interfaith cooperation more difficult. If I believe that, I have to believe that other people's religions are worthless, invalid.

"You have to understand that religion is not about getting information about God. Religion is about community. The primary purpose is not to get us to heaven but to put us in touch with other people. I can have fierce loyalty to my family without denigrating other people's family. I can have fierce loyalty to my own religion without denigrating other people's religion. In the same way, my neighbor can say that my wife is the most wonderful woman in the world. I can take that as a statement of love, not fact."

Rabbi Harold Kushner is one of the most famous Jewish thinkers in the nation. He is best known for his best-selling book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (Anchor, $21).

Converting others to your religion — Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

"I wouldn't believe in a religion if I didn't believe it to be better than other religions. The notion of superiority and exclusivity is inherent to religious beliefs. It can be dangerous and not be dangerous.

"The whole idea of missionary work is a very loaded and dangerous idea because it's often presented as simply presenting beliefs for someone to accept or reject. It's always embedded in power. Those who have the ability to proselytize to others are more powerful than others. They have the resources to establish schools, hospitals. Missionary work is not neutral. It is embedded in power. You don't find Muslims coming to proselytize in the U.S. But you find Americans going to all sorts of Muslim countries."

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is an internationally recognized scholar of Islam and human rights. He is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University.

A tribal view of God — Deepak Chopra

"The most dangerous idea is my God is the only true God and my religion is the only true religion. It leads to quarrels, divisiveness, terrorism, prejudice, racism and bloodshed.

"All religious ideas are programmed into our consciousness at a very early age. We hold them to be true. It's very difficult to step out of that condition even in the face of good intellectual reasoning because of emotional bondage to our condition. We bristle with emotions when our beliefs are threatened.

"We are at a very critical stage in our evolution. We're beginning to become aware. We know a lot about nature. We have a pretty good idea about the beginning of the universe. We understand to a great extent the laws of physics, chemistry and biology. And yet for the vast majority of us, though we have cell phones and can make nuclear bombs, our psychological and spiritual evolution is frozen to a level that is very tribal."

Deepak Chopra is chairman and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, Calif. He is a best-selling author and popular lecturer best known for integrating Western medicine with the natural healing traditions of the East.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The London Guardian Got It Right...

Joel Osteen is coming to London. I like the headline in today's London Guardian regarding his upcoming visit:

He has absolutely no experience to be a pastor. Would you let a surgeon operate on you because he felt 'called?': The leading light of a new generation of TV evangelists in the US comes to Britain.
You can read the story here.


At Least It Won't Be Hillary!

Prophet Kim Clement issued this prophecy last night on "Praise the Lord":

God said this to me. He said “Do not leave this country for any international ministry or anything until the president that I’ve shown you that is going to be voted for has been voted and this present president will leave office – not in shame – and when he leaves office and I instate the man who’s going to be the president of the United States of America.” He said “When he’s in and he gets filled with My Spirit.” Now this is a weird thing because he said to me “The person that gets voted will look like a person who is not a Christian or a real believer like we understand,” He says, “but I’ll trick the people and when he gets into the office, the Oval Office,” He will fill him with the Holy Spirit. And we may not hear that, he may not stand outside and say, you know, speak in tongues, he’s not going to come stand there and shake himself. We’re not really even see it except in policy and different things.

But I know who it is. I’m not scared to say who it is. You say, what if it doesn’t happen? The will of the people. It can change it.
Why not tell us who it is, Kim?

It looks like he has another ready excuse if this prophecy fails - the will of the people changed it! But then, he didn't really prophesy falsely - he can say it was accurate, but the will of the people changed God's plans! It's all so confusing!

Kim, you said you KNOW who the next president will be - it reality you don't know, because the will of the people can change it, right?

Kim says he'll admit when he's wrong, but people like us are ready to stone him.

All I know is when I hear I just go with it and if I, by any chance, make a mistake, then I will confess it and say look, I obviously wasn’t tuned in or something. There is no way I’m going to sit here and lie to people and say I am perfect in hearing God. And then they want to put me under law and say “Well, it wasn’t right, so we’re going to stone you and we’re going to speak about you.” And they do that all the time.
So, am I being unfair, holding him up to the standards of a prophet who presumes to speak for God, whose fans may make life decisions based on what he says? Is it okay for a prophet to prophesy falsely?


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Sin - But I'm Not a Sinner

Popular teacher Joyce Meyer, who was raised in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, once stated:
I’m going to tell you something, folks, I didn’t stop sinning until I finally got it through my thick head I wasn’t a sinner anymore. And the religious world thinks that’s heresy and they want to hang you for it....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. That is what I were, and if I still was then Jesus died in vain. Amen? (From the Cross to the Throne audio tape, Life Christian Center, Saint Louis, Mo.)

On Issues, Etc. she tried to explain that statement:
I know that I sin all the time and when I say that I’m not a sinner I don’t mean that I don’t sin. I just mean that I’m not going to go around all the time identifying myself as a sinner because that gives me the mentality then that that’s all I am....if we continually think of ourselves as just poor miserable sinners we never overcome that sinful lifestyle. (Issues, Etc., KFUO AM, May 23, 2005)
Rumour has it that when he heard those statements Martin Luther not only rolled over in his grave - he tried to get out! Can you imagine someone saying he robbed banks all the time but didn't consider himself to be a bank robber? But she thinks she can sin all the time and not consider herself to be a sinner! Luther warned us of the danger in that kind of thinking. He wrote:
Now notice what I said above, that the saints at the same time as they are righteous are also sinners; righteous because they believe in Christ, whose righteousness covers them and is imputed to them, but sinners because they do not fulfill the Law, are not without concupiscence, and are like sick men under the care of a physician; they are sick in fact but healthy in hope and in the fact that they are beginning to be healthy, that is, they are "being healed." They are people for whom the worst possible thing is the presumption that they are healthy, because they suffer a worse relapse. (Luther, M. (1999, c1972). Vol. 25: Luther's works, vol. 25 : Lectures on Romans (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works. Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.)

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Monday, July 02, 2007

T. D. Jakes - God Is a Quail

T. D. Jakes is known to hold to the oneness view of the Godhead in which God is manifested in different forms - first the Father, then the Son, and then the Holy Spirit - but never at the same time. But why stop there? Here is the logical extension of that view from Jakes' own lips. While talking about the Israelites in the wilderness, he said:

God was saying "I am a transformer. I can become whatever I need to be." But He IS a spirit. When God says "I AM that I AM" He says "I can become whatever" and
He showed off from that point on all through the wilderness. He just kept turning into stuff. He kept turning into stuff. They said "We're hungry." He started dropping His loaves of bread. They said "We want meat." He became quail and started flying through the air. They said "What are we going to do for water?" He became water, came gushing out of a rock. They said "It's hot out here!" He became a pillar of cloud by day. They said "It's cold at night." He said "I'll became a cloud of fire by night." They said "We can't drink this bitter water." He became a tree and turned the bitter water sweet. I mean He just kept turning into stuff! One God manifesting in a multiplicity of ways. One God. Now, you don't divide all of those manifestations into different gods. The God of Bread, the God of Quail, the God of Water, the God of tree, the God of Cloud, the God of Fire. Just one God Who manifests Himself in many different ways. Okay? You with me? Your God is multifaceted, manifold, many shades. Okay? (from The Potter’s House TV show, 30 June 1999)
That is the heresy of pantheism. And he's touted as the next Billy Graham? Man, are we in trouble!