Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:06:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Is the apostate church in our time the scarlet woman? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/26/is-the-apostate-church-in-our-time-the-scarlet-woman/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/26/is-the-apostate-church-in-our-time-the-scarlet-woman/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 09:06:57 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58305 Continue reading ]]>

“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. Revelation 3:1–2, NASB

When my dad died in 2010 I inherited my grandfather’s Bible. My grandfather was a remarkable man. He was born in 1877 and became a preacher of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the 1890s in Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. My grandfather preached from this Bible well into the 1950s. It is full of notes and his own cross references. However, there is one thing in the bible that no one, apparently, knew was there. It is a letter written to him from one of his sisters, Lucy. It had to have been written to him either in the late 1940s or early 1950s, since she died around that time. Below is a quotation from it that I found especially fitting in light of the present condition of the visible church.

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I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/25/i-wait-for-the-lord-my-soul-does-wait-and-in-his-word-do-i-hope/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/25/i-wait-for-the-lord-my-soul-does-wait-and-in-his-word-do-i-hope/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:04:38 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58301 Continue reading ]]>

And do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no man living is righteous.
Psalm 143:2, NASB

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:3–4, NASB

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I have hope in Him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:24–26, NASB

Despite the “popular Christian” teachings in our time that suffering is never God’s will for His people, a close, sober, and honest study of scripture reveals that the fires of tribulation are used by God to form and refine His people. The view that God desires of each Christian always to be healthy and prosperous is based on many false assumptions. One false assumption is that salvation is somehow deserved and those who profess faith can claim anything they want from a god who is bound to meet all their requests. Another false assumption moves the focus of salvation from God glory to the person’s glory and their “having their best life now.” Sin is seen as simple mistakes that God overlooks because He is all love.

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Jonathan Welton’s gift of discernment of … human spirits? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/jonathan-weltons-gift-of-discernment-of-human-spirits/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/jonathan-weltons-gift-of-discernment-of-human-spirits/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:15:43 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58287 Continue reading ]]> For those who are unfamiliar with the name Jonathan Welton, he’s one of the contributors to The Physics of Heaven along with Bill Johnson, who claims to be a modern day “Super Apostle”, and Johnson’s wife Beni. Apostle Bill runs the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, CA that trains its students “to enjoy the presence of God, say what He is saying, and do what He is doing.” According to John Lanagan, the book serves as a roadmap to Christian entanglement with the New Age and quantum mysticism. Lanagan writes:

While writing a booklet concerning The Physics of Heaven, I was fascinated to learn Jonathan Welton states, “I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged.”

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Two-father babies could become a reality http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/two-father-babies-could-become-a-reality/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/two-father-babies-could-become-a-reality/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:05:06 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58268 According to The Independent:

Children may be born with parents of the same sex following a breakthrough which scientists believe paves the way for “two dad” families.

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Are you abiding in Christ? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/are-you-abiding-in-christ/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/are-you-abiding-in-christ/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 21:59:13 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58280 Continue reading ]]>

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:4–10, NASB

For the first 20 or so years of my Christian pilgrimage, I was in a very immature spiritual state. I was utterly convinced during that time that my worth as a disciple depended upon my performance, my learning, my obedience – my righteousness. With that mindset it was a very horrible experience at times, since I was on a roller coaster ride of obedience and backsliding. What amazed me during that period was that I was looked at as one of the more mature believers at our church. I knew better. That all changed in 2004 and 2005 as God drew me into the light and drastically changed that ‘mindset’. It was as I learned and held to the truth that our salvation is all according to God’s will, not ours, that I began to have peace and freedom. He chose us according to the good pleasure of His will, not according to our abilities or any other inherent attribute we may have, and we are righteous in His eyes because He has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us. With this remaking of my mindset came the beginning of the end of that cycle of obedience and backsliding. It was as if it had been put to death or that it had lost traction.

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New study confirms importance of parents in children’s adult Christian faith and practice http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/new-study-confirms-importance-of-parents-in-childrens-adult-christian-faith-and-practice/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/24/new-study-confirms-importance-of-parents-in-childrens-adult-christian-faith-and-practice/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:24:02 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58272 Continue reading ]]> Christian Headlines reports on an online survey of young adults. According to the survey, “Young adults who said their fathers explained ‘biblical principles’ to them on a daily or weekly basis growing up were significantly more likely to say they lived by typical Christian behavior as adults by praying, volunteering, reading the Bible, and attending church frequently and avoiding pornography, marijuana use, abortion, and co-habitation.”

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Finding God’s will is no deep dark secret – part 1 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/23/finding-gods-will-is-no-deep-dark-secret-part-1/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/23/finding-gods-will-is-no-deep-dark-secret-part-1/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:25:54 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58270 Continue reading ]]> “Is it possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it?” asks CRN contributor Marsha West. Moreover, “Should a believer make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? Must a Christian avoid making a decision until he or she has a ‘peace about it’? What about waiting for a ‘sign’ from God?” In part 1 of this series, Marsha addresses the visible Church’s slide into mysticism to find the answers to these questions.

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Alabama’s Sunday school teacher turned governor: I will obey ‘gay marriage’ ruling over God’s law http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/23/alabamas-sunday-school-teacher-turned-governor-i-will-obey-gay-marriage-ruling-over-gods-law/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/23/alabamas-sunday-school-teacher-turned-governor-i-will-obey-gay-marriage-ruling-over-gods-law/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 21:19:01 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58241 Continue reading ]]> Christian News Network reports:

The governor of Alabama, who formerly served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher at the Baptist church where he remains a member, says that he will obey the recent federal court ruling striking down the state’s Sanctity of Marriage Act as being unconstitutional.

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Sin, faith, regeneration, righteousness, flesh and spirit http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/23/sin-faith-regeneration-righteousness-flesh-and-spirit/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/23/sin-faith-regeneration-righteousness-flesh-and-spirit/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:47:46 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58263 Continue reading ]]>

“Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes.” And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:51–52, NASB

Charles Spurgeon spent the last several years of his ministry contending with “liberalizing” efforts within the evangelical churches in England in what came to be known as the “Great Downgrade Controversy.” That “downgrade” gained momentum not only in England, but here in the United States and around the world. It began in the 19th Century when seminaries began embracing “higher criticism” of the Bible. This caused many promising biblical scholars eventually to cast loose that which moored them to orthodoxy, the belief that the Bible is God’s Word – inerrant, and complete. Even though movements came forth to contend with this liberalization, this downgrade, instead of dying, has only changed form many times while still poisoning the Church like a parasite, sucking the spiritual life from it.

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Should believers dialogue with apostates and heretics? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/22/should-believers-dialogue-with-apostates-and-heretics/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2015/02/22/should-believers-dialogue-with-apostates-and-heretics/#comments Sun, 22 Feb 2015 13:40:56 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=58259 Continue reading ]]>

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. For,

“The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
“He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
“For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

1 Peter 3:8–12, NASB

This era of the Church is one of extreme deception due to compromise with the standards and focus of the world. Separation between the Church and the world is not being kept. Instead, the holy barrier between the two has been breached as false prophets have welcomed in not only the world and its ways into their churches, but have also embraced the world and it ways including mysticism of the Eastern religions. Syncretism is the new byword of the Emergent Village for instance.

On the other hand, God is good. He keeps His promises. The Lord told Peter that He is the one building His Church and no evil will ever be able to destroy it (Matthew 16:18). If this is true, and it is because our Lord spoke it, then how do we reconcile the rapid apostasy of so much of the visible Church with what He said?

God always keeps a remnant during times of rampant apostasy. These Christians are the small group whom God has reserved who have not bowed the knee to Baal. These are also the ones in whom God is developing Christlikeness and through the fires of persecution by those in the visible Church who have succumbed to the heresies and ungodliness going on in it, He is teaching them how to stand firm and never compromise with evil. In this they learn the difference between debate and dialogue and know that the former actually clarifies the truth and why they hold to it while the latter is only a conversation which has the intent of compromising the truth.

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