Fight the good fight of the faith… In the sight of God who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession… (1 Timothy 6:12a, 13).
Nothing will help to steel you more for the fight than the vision of God. This is what Paul sets before Timothy. Notice the encouraging things here. First, God is the giver of life.
Do you sometimes feel beaten and dejected, buffeted by more things than you can handle, at the end of your strength? What you need is renewed vigor, vitality, and strength, and that is what you get when you turn to your God and see Him there with you to infuse strength and vitality back into you again. This is the part that prayer plays in our lives. We all have experienced the infusion of new strength and courage from God when we have turned to Him in prayer in a moment of pressure. God is given to us that we might not lose heart when the times of discouragement come. Turn to him as the author of life.
If the woman’s testimony is real, should it be given so much prominence by highly regarded New Calvinist pastor Matt Chandler? Moreover, “Should it be leading a sermon, and possibly be perceived as normative Christianity?” Is Not Satire responds:
On November 13, 2017 The Village Church uploaded a sermon video to their Youtube channel. The sermon includes a testimony from a woman who claims she saw her room light up with a bright white light and she knew Jesus was there.
The mere mention of this experience may raise a disqualifying red flag for some, and others would seek to consider the context and situation before making a conclusion.
CNSNews has the story:
In the first proclamation declaring a national day of Thanksgiving, in 1789, President George Washington referenced God 16 times. For comparison, President Donald Trump referenced God 6 times in his recent proclamation, and back in 2016, his last year in office, then-President Barack Obama referenced God once.
In his Oct. 3, 1789 proclamation, President Washington declared November 26, 1789 “to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be….”
President Washington, the “father” of our country, further spoke of the “duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor….”
Paula White, who claims to have led Donald Trump to Christ, is also the president’s spiritual adviser. Pulpit & Pen News alerts us to the latest false teaching coming from the popular prosperity pastrix:
There’s no reason a Continuationist wouldn’t believe Paula White’s tweet to be at least credible. Continuationism – the doctrine that undergrids all charismaticism, holds that God is still delivering divine revelation. Although Third Wave charismatics – like John Piper and Wayne Grudem – argue that modern prophecy is not Scripture-level authoritative, it’s a suggestion that is Scripturally untenable. God doesn’t speak both fallibly and infallibility, and the infallible communication of prophecy has always been a benchmark of its divine authenticity (Deuteronomy 18:15-22).
16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. Jude 1:16-19 (NASB)
There is a vast, eternal difference between the natural man mindset and the transformed mindset. Only regenerate believers can have the latter while the former is the mindset of everyone else. The transformed mindset should be growing more and more apparent to the believer as they learn to be spirit-filled and walk in obedience to his or her Lord. Now we will take a look at end result of those with the natural man mindset as God gives them up.
From Churchwatch Central:
The Vigilant Christian and Paul Flynn (Megiddo Radio) are two more of the many voices calling out the deception and ‘doublespeak’ of Carl Lentz.
The Vigilante Christian (VC) recently reported that the hosts on ‘The View’ had this observation about Hillsong:
“Hillsong is seen as “hip” and “progressive” church that is drawing huge millennial crowds but it is “still” evangelical. So where do you stand on social issues that young people are particularly interested in like gay marriage, abortion…”
The VC observed the following:
Popular news blog Newsmax has come up with a list of the top 100 most influential evangelicals in America. Not surprisingly the list includes a large number of wolves in sheep’s clothing. A few examples of those who made the list ate Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Joyce Meyer and — are you ready for this? Roman Catholic mystics Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. The top 100 are certainly influential, but evangelicals many of them are not. In fact, a lot of the influencers are not even true Christians, by a long shot. Mark Driscoll, Tullian Tchividjian and Perry Noble are absent from this year’s list.
Evangelicals come from many different Christian denominations, but they all have a common belief in the holiness of scripture and the centrality of faith in Jesus Christ for their lives.
The Pew Research Center estimates that about 25.4 percent of Americans, or about 62 million adults, are evangelicals.
The evangelical faith of these prominent Americans has shaped their lives and influenced their politics, morality, and careers, as well as their personal lives.
This Newsmax list of the 100 Most Influential Evangelicals in America includes pastors, teachers, politicians, athletes, and entertainers — men and women from all walks of life whose faith leads them to live differently and to help others in a variety of ways.
Pulpit & Pen News examines a recent tweet of Beth Moore’s:
Again proving herself unable to exposit Holy Scripture in the most fundamental or elementary way, Beth Moore drew ire on Twitter for allegorizing the story of Noah’s Ark to mean something about…well, something. It didn’t make much sense.
For kicks and grins, let’s list the things wrong with this tweet…
Noah wasn’t in the ark because he had an instinct. He was in the ark because God promised him he was going to destroy the world with a giant, global flood that was going to drown everyone (Genesis 6:14).
13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:13-17 (NASB)
The heart of Man is deceitful beyond our understanding. I find it incredible that God would desire to save any of us. Even after regeneration there is an element in each of our hearts that falls for the wicked appeal of our enemy to believe those things that have an affinity to our pride and flesh. One of the things that I must do in order to write these posts is to do research into the ministries of certain people who are suspected of some form of apostasy or heresy. I find it amazing how I can listen to one of these fellows preach or teach and find something within my heart having an affinity to what is being said. Of course this shows us the level of deception within these things. It is very interesting to then analyze what is being taught and compare it to Scripture. It is then that part of me which liked what it heard runs for cover because I am seeking to kill it.
From Berean Research:
C. S. Carmichael of Sacred Sandwich has written an exposé on Transhumanism that is an important read. Carmichael gives the definition right off the bat (so we won’t) and reveals the reasons we should feel uneasy about some of the things science has accomplished in the field of artificial intelligence. It is mind blowing stuff, brethren. He begins with Scripture:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8
“You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.” – Yahweh, Psalm 50:21
“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man…” – Paul, Romans 1:22-23
Since many people in America today, including some Christians, clamor for all things fantastical in their personal search for augmented meaning, instead of resting in God’s pure word and the attending Holy Spirit to guide their spiritual understanding, it would be prudent for thoughtful believers to consider this current pathway of metaphysical delights, its brash direction, and where it will eventually end. Indeed, the signposts on this broad road have already been erected, if only Christians enthralled with inventive speculations would stop and see the illumined markers of its ultimate destination: Transhumanism.
Boston Globe has the story:
Allegations that Roy Moore sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago have turned many Republicans against their party’s Senate candidate in Alabama, but one bloc of conservative leaders is standing by their man: evangelicals.
It is the latest example of a shift in attitude among Christian conservatives, who polls show are increasingly willing to overlook sexual misbehavior if a political leader is firmly committed to opposing abortion, gay marriage, and transgender rights.
In today’s hyperpartisan environment, ideology trumps personal transgressions for these religious leaders, who years ago called on President Clinton to resign over his liaisons with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
According to Wisconsin Gazette:
An Ohio state lawmaker who won his office with strong support from the religious right has resigned after being caught having “inappropriate conduct with another man” in his official office.
State Rep. Wes Goodman, 33, was a rising star among evangelical Christian voters. He opposed same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose whether to give birth.
He’s married and has a daughter.
7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness, 9 “When your fathers tested Me, They tried Me, though they had seen My work. 10 “For forty years I loathed that generation, And said they are a people who err in their heart, And they do not know My ways. 11 “Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest.” Psalms 95:7-11 (NASB)
In last night’s post, “There are only two groups of people in the world; there are Christians, the elect, and everyone else”, we looked at Hebrews 3:7-19, which is the first part of the writer of Hebrews’ exposition of Psalms 95:7-11. This part of Psalms 95, a song of praise, is a call for professors of faith to not harden their hearts like the Israelites in the Exodus, but to believe and obey God and, therefore, enter into His rest. In last night’s post I used Hebrews 3:7-11 to contrast those who have faith from those who do not. Those with the faith that saves, πιστις, believe God and obey Him. These will enter into God’s rest. On the other hand, those in unbelief, απιστιας, do not believe God and, therefore, disobey Him. I used this contrast in an attempt to show how the Emergent form of “Christianity” is not Christianity at all because it is based entirely in απιστιας. This is true because its leaders attack God’s Truth as absolute truth. In fact, they elevate uncertainty about everything as a virtue and attempt to say that certainty about anything is arrogance in action.
21 Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; And a fire was kindled against Jacob And anger also mounted against Israel, 22 Because they did not believe in God And did not trust in His salvation. Psalms 78:21-22 (NASB)
There are only two groups of people in the world. There are Christians, the elect, and everyone else, the non-elect. What separates them? What is the difference? It is not that different streams of faith, which are all equal and going to the same place. No, that is what the Emergents are selling, but that is most definitely not what God’s Word explicitly says. No, the difference between those in Christ and everyone else is that the former are possessors of faith, which is the Greek word πίστις, which is transliterated as pistis. It and it’s many grammatical forms are translated as “assurance,” “faith,” ”belief,” et cetera throughout the New Testament. Before we define “unbelief,” let us define biblical faith, πιστις, so that we can see very clearly what marks the true believer from the false professor.
From Berean Research:
“Hillsong is seen as this hip, progressive church that’s drawn huge millennial crowds, but it’s still evangelical,” co-host of “The View” Sara Haines stated to Cark Lentz. “So, where do you stand on social issues that young people are particularly passionate about, like gay marriage [and] abortion? Like, how do you address those types of things?” His response: “God is the judge.” Lenz went on to say that he’d prefer to know a person’s name and beliefs before making a determination as to whether or not they have sinned. Christians reacted with anger about the way in which Carl Lentz represented Christ and His church. When given an opportunity to contend earnestly for the Christian faith (Jude 1:3) he failed miserably. Some called him a coward.
Well, the pastor took umbrage at all the criticism he was receiving and responded by saying that Christians who have issues with his comments follow a different Jesus.
Churchwatch Central, a blog that has reported on Hillsong Church for a number of years, makes the case that it is actually Hillsong that follows a very…different…Jesus. Now listen as CWC presents the evidence:
Brian Houston says that Hillsong started with his father Frank Houston back in 1977, known then as Christian Life Center. In 2014, a Royal Commission discovered that the founder Frank Houston was a serial pedophile and had his crimes covered up by his son, Brian Houston from as early as 1999 (see evidence of Royal Commission Case 18 – specifically Brian Houston’s correspondence with Barbara Taylor, AOG Executive and victim AHA).
According to CNSNews:
In its latest poll, Pew surveyed on transgenderism views of a nationally representative panel of randomly selected 4,573 U.S. adults recruited from landline and cellphone random-digit-dial (RDD) surveys between Aug. 8 and Sept. 28, 2017.
A majority (54%) of all Americans said that whether a person is a man or a woman is determined by “the sex they were assigned at birth,” while 44% said “it can be different.”
The following story from CBN News is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the site.
Artificial intelligence is already disrupting employment, recreation, the economy–and now religion.
A former Google executive is so inspired by artificial intelligence, that he’s creating its first church. Anthony Levandowski says AI should be seen as a God because it’s smarter than any human being.
“It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it,” Levandowski told Wired.
“It is our sacred responsibility to examine every doctrine to determine if it is true or false,” says Tim Challies. “But how can we distinguish sound doctrine from false? How can we distinguish teachers of truth from teachers of error? Today I have a new video blog for you [vlog], and one that deals with this pressing topic: I offer five tests that can be applied to any doctrine. I hope you find it helpful!” Tim now offers his viewers a vlog. We have a choice to either watch the video or read the transcript.
Wherever you find true doctrine you’ll soon find a challenge by false doctrine. The question is: how can you tell the two apart? … In this video we are considering the 5 tests of true and false doctrine. These are 5 tests we can apply to any doctrine at all to know whether it’s genuine or whether it’s fraudulent.
The first test is the test of origin. Sound doctrine originates with God. False doctrines originates from someone or something created by God. So when Paul wrote to the church in Galatia he said: “For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12, ESV). Even Jesus himself insisted, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (John 7:16, ESV). Both Paul and Jesus insisted that what they taught had its origin with God himself.
Fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience (1 Timothy 1:18b-19).
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul says of himself,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). Paul is speaking the words of a man who is about to leave the battle of life. But here in 1 Timothy is Paul’s word to this young Christian, probably in his early or mid-twenties, who is being left to do a very dangerous and demanding work in Ephesus. The apostle tells him to
fight the good fight.
The fundamental nature of Christianity is that it is a warfare in which we are all involved; and there is no exit until the end. The moment you began your Christian life, by faith in Jesus Christ, you entered a lifelong battle. And this struggle is not intended to be easy. Many Christians today forget that. Spread around somewhat by a lot of misleading teaching is a widespread attitude today that when you become a Christian, God begins working for you, so everything has to work out the way you want it to. People are being taught that they are in the will of God because bridges appear mysteriously across the chasms of life. Rubbish! If that is the sign of being in God’s will, then Paul was out of God’s will most of his life. He knew he was in a battle, and he tells Timothy that he too is going to be in a battle.
Denny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, reminds us that what happened is a “sad but predictable result of a pastor who leads a church to apostatize from the Christian faith. Walking away from Jesus is not a catalyst for church growth. On the contrary, it is the catalyst for church death.” Burk begins his piece with a video that can be viewed on his page. Following is his perspective on this situation:
Two years ago TIME magazine highlighted an evangelical “megachurch” whose pastor had led the congregation to affirm gay marriage and to welcome LGBT persons as full members of the church (see the sermon announcement above from two years ago). The story made quite a splash at the time, even though many pointed out that the church wasn’t really a megachurch and could hardly be seen as a bellwether of things to come.
From Berean Research:
In a piece we posted by Pam Frost titled The Interface of Medieval Mysticism and Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation we wrote in the intro:
What is the goal of mysticism? According to [Pam] Frost, “the goal is ‘to alter one’s perception of reality, redefining the self, the world, and the Divine according to mystical intuitions of Universal Consciousness as Ultimate Reality. Thus mysticism serves as the basis for a collective spirituality that transcends religious distinctions and is therefore the force behind the growing interfaith movement in which ‘Christian’ mysticism plays an important role.”
Research shows that there are dangers associated with mindfulness and meditation. We’re posting a piece by Lighthouse Trails (LHT) that includes a list of some of those dangers. Now to the obvious question: Why are public schools teaching children to do something that can cause them harm? Two examples are visual hallucinations and psychotic depression — and there are many more dangers listed.
LHT has put together an outline of how to address this issue with school officials:
Today we received a call from a concerned woman who found out that a local public school was about to introduce mindfulness meditation to children at the school. She called the school and has been granted a 5-minute time slot at an upcoming school meeting to explain why the school should not teach mindfulness meditation to children. During our phone conversation with the concerned woman, we developed a short outline of how to address this issue with school officials. Meditation (and Yoga) will soon be practiced in most public schools in America. …
According to Pulpit & Pen News:
Vice, which is among the top one hundred websites in America, ran an article about “The Woke Young People Trying to Make Christianity Cool Again.” The term, Woke, is urban slang originating with the pop-culture film, The Matrix, and refers to someone who has been awakened to the important cultural realities around them (for those of you not hip enough to dig their jive). Highlighted in the article are five up-and-coming “Christian” leaders who are breaking stereotypes about evangelicals not being bleeding heart, gay-affirming, environmentalist Marxists.
28 And we know that to the ones who love God, He works all things together for their good according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
In last night’s post, God’s purpose in our discouragement, I shared a great deal of how God had used my circumstances over the last several years, in and out of the fires of tribulation, to transform me according to His will. I shared how this should be an encouragement for us not a discouragement. In this post, we will look at some of those “circumstances” in greater detail.
In a piece over at Stand to Reason, Amy K. Hall lists three ways pro-aborts use to try and convince us that life doesn’t begin at conception and that embryonic humans are not valuable human beings. Anyone who has a heart will find their reasoning both infuriating and horrifying. Hall writes:
A recent article on Romper argues “3 Ways Science Proves Life Doesn’t Begin at Conception,” and the arguments are not good ones. To begin with, the author is not actually arguing that embryonic humans are not alive (this is clear, since she also argues we should be allowed to kill them). Rather, she’s arguing that these reasons prove embryonic human beings are not valuablehuman life.
To test whether her reasons prove embryonic human beings are not valuable—i.e., 1) many embryos die, 2) many embryos have genetic abnormalities, and 3) embryos can’t survive without receiving sustenance from another human being—I’ve slightly adjusted the words of the three points in her article in order to apply her value-determining principles to newborns. Since we’re not used to hearing these arguments made about newborns, you’ll hear them with fresh ears, which should provide some clarity. See if you find them convincing.