Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:07:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Efficacious faith as opposed to man-made faith http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/24/efficacious-faith-as-opposed-to-man-made-faith/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/24/efficacious-faith-as-opposed-to-man-made-faith/#comments Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:17:39 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55795 Continue reading ]]>

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13–14, ESV

Efficacious adj. producing the desired effect. The Oxford New Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus, Third Edition

Christian faith has appeared to many an easy thing; nay, not a few even reckon it among the social virtues, as it were; and this they do because they have not made proof of it experimentally, and have never tasted of what efficacy it is. For it is not possible for any man to write well about it, or to understand well what is rightly written, who has not at some time tasted of its spirit, under the pressure of tribulation; while he who has tasted of it, even to a very small extent, can never write, speak, think, or hear about it sufficiently. For it is a living fountain, springing up into eternal life, as Christ calls it in John iv. Martin Luther, Concerning Christian Liberty – an open letter to Pope Leo X, 6 September 1520

Saving or efficacious faith is not the same thing as the best faith man can muster through the exercise of the will. According to our Lord Jesus in John 4:13–14 (above), efficacious faith is that which is given to the believer by God and this same faith will become in the believer a spring of water welling up to eternal life. This is not belief that is the product of reason or intellectual assent. It is not a belief that the believer must generate and desperately hold onto lest it be diminished and be lost. In the excerpt from Martin Luther’s letter to Pope Leo X, Concerning Christian Liberty, we read that those who conceive of faith as something done by the believer count it as simply a social virtue and that is an easy thing.

Luther says that those with this concept of faith believe as they do because they have not experienced efficacious faith and have never tasted the great strength there is in it. I contend that the purveyors of the Seeker-Sensitive, Emergent, and Missional forms of “Christianity” are of the same sort of faith Luther is contrasting in this letter with genuine believers who are so because they have drunk of the water given to them by the Lord that has become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. These of the New Type of Christianity have a faith consisting of works-righteousness. This is a man-made faith not the efficacious faith that is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:1–10).

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Tonight on TBN Jan Crouch interviews Franklin Graham http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/23/tonight-on-tbn-jan-crouch-interviews-franklin-graham/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/23/tonight-on-tbn-jan-crouch-interviews-franklin-graham/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:09:26 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55793 Apprising Ministries with more detail. View article →

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Belief vs. unbelief http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/22/belief-vs-unbelief/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/22/belief-vs-unbelief/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:50:22 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55787 Continue reading ]]>

Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power. Psalms 78:21–22, ESV

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, as new agers and the “emergents” say, which are all equal and going to the same place and color people in different ways. No, that is what universalists of every variety 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 πιστις, which is transliterated as pistis. It and its 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.

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Recovering the gospel: evangelism in Sardis http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/22/recovering-the-gospel-evangelism-in-sardis/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/22/recovering-the-gospel-evangelism-in-sardis/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:18:14 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55785 Apprising Ministries points you to an upcoming conference and explains why this topic is so important. View article →

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Private interpretation and subjectivism http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/22/private-interpretation-and-subjectivism/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/22/private-interpretation-and-subjectivism/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:48:12 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55778 Continue reading ]]>

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:13–14, ESV

Even though it is discounted by many today, the Protestant Reformation was a wonderful work by God in that the Gospel was freed from the captivity of the apostate Roman Catholic Church. Over the centuries the Gospel had become obscured as the Bishop of Rome was declared perfect with authority over Scripture. Any resistance to his authority was dealt with through excommunication followed by being burned at the stake. The Reformation not only recovered the Gospel and Justification by Faith, the Bible became available to the common people whereas before this, no one was allowed to read it by the edicts of the Pope. At Luther’s trial at the Diet of Worms when pressed to recant of His teachings he proclaimed,

“Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason—I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other—my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”

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WaterBrook Multnomah dividing against itself? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/21/waterbrook-multnomah-dividing-against-itself/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/21/waterbrook-multnomah-dividing-against-itself/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:08:27 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55774 Apprising Ministries offers that the mainstream evangelical cave in on the issue of homosexuality appears to be well underway. View article →

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The doctrine of election and the free gift http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/20/the-doctrine-of-election-and-the-free-gift/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/20/the-doctrine-of-election-and-the-free-gift/#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:04:45 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55770 Continue reading ]]>

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:14–16, ESV

When those of us who came from an Arminian or Free Will background come to grips with the reality of God’s Sovereignty, it is amazing how we struggle with letting go of the responsibility to “earn” our salvation. Of course, part of that struggle is rooted in the misconception that “election” happens at salvation. Ephesians 1 makes it clear, however, that God chose His elect before the foundation of the world. An honest reading of that epistle by the Apostle Paul shows us that God’s people are His in completion even though many of them have not yet believed and repented. They are our Lord’s sheep.

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Ergun Caner’s lawsuit against Jason Smathers dismissed with prejudice http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/18/ergun-caners-lawsuit-against-jason-smathers-dismissed-with-prejudice/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/18/ergun-caners-lawsuit-against-jason-smathers-dismissed-with-prejudice/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:28:32 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55763 Continue reading ]]> Jason Smathers writes:

US Federal Court says posting Caner video is fair use, not copyright infringement. Footage will be online again in short order.

[Update: you can now view the videos Ergun Caner sued to suppress here.]

In 2010 videos showing Ergun Caner deceiving the US Marines was posted on Witnesses Unto Me. At that time Ergun Caner was still preaching behind Christian pulpits, telling a web of lies. His story was about a young man who grew up trained to do “that which was done on 9/11,” growing up in Turkey in the house of a polygamist Muslim before moving to America as a teenager and eventually becoming a Christian. In truth, Caner was born in Sweden and moved to Ohio while he was two years old.

Nearly three years later, Ergun Caner began sending copyright complaints concerning many videos online that contained proof that he invented a fake life story. When submitting such a notice concerning the Marines videos, this author responded by stating the video is public record, created by the US Government, and not subject to copyright. Caner responded with a lawsuit.

Today, the court has ruled on a motion to dismiss by stating the use of the video was fair use and not a violation of copyright. The case is dismissed, YouTube and Viddler will soon be informed so the videos will return, and the court will entertain a future motion for legal fees to be recouped by charging them to Caner.

Smathers’ post includes the final judgment of the District Court, and its order granting the motion to dismiss Caner’s lawsuit. The court order contains a helpful account of the background to the case.

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Who are antichrists? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/18/who-are-antichrists/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/18/who-are-antichrists/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:41:06 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55759 Continue reading ]]>

Some Will Depart from the Faith Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons 1 Timothy 4:1, ESV

According to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in John 15 the mark of Christian authenticity is abiding or remaining in Him. This is not simply a continual profession of faith, but a remaining faithful to Christ in our orthodox Christian faith. According to Paul, It is a two-fold action of departing from the faith and giving heed to seducingspirits, and doctrines of devils. The Apostle John called the Christian leaders who do this “antichrists.”

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Heaven is real, but ‘Heaven is for Real’ is really not http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/18/heaven-is-real-but-heaven-is-for-real-is-really-not/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/04/18/heaven-is-real-but-heaven-is-for-real-is-really-not/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:28:33 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=55753 Continue reading ]]> President of CRI, Hank Hanegraaff, reviews “Heaven is for Real”, the best-selling book that was recently made into a feature film. He offers ten reasons why both the book and film is a dangerous diversion. According to Hank:

There is nothing new under the sun. From the time occult parapsychologist Raymond Moody coined the moniker “Near-Death Experience” (NDE) to the present, bestsellers on NDEs have abounded—Embraced by the Light by Betty Eadie; Beyond Death’s Door by Maurice Rawlings; Life after Life by Raymond Moody; The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven by Alex Malarkey; 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper; My Journey to Heaven by Marvin J. Besteman; Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander—to name just a few.

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