Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Tue, 30 Aug 2016 18:16:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 3325614 Married for God http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/30/married-for-god/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 18:16:36 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65786 Continue reading ]]> Blogger, author and book reviewer Tim Challies reviews Christopher Ash’s Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be.

Marriage

It’s not like we’re hurting for books on marriage. In fact, there may be more Christian books on marriage than on any topic besides prayer. This means that any new book has to be awfully good to stand out from an already-crowded field. It was pure joy, then, to read Christopher Ash’s Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be and see it do exactly that. It is one of the very best books on marriage I have ever read—and I’ve read a lot of them.

First published in the U.K. in 2007, Married for God has only just made its way across the Atlantic thanks to Crossway. Ash, who serves as Writer in Residence at Tyndale House in Cambridge, describes his book simply: It’s “a straightforward account of what the Bible teaches about marriage.” He offers it for consideration in a variety of contexts: for individuals who wish to use it for private study, for engaged couples preparing for marriage, for married couples interested in an informal marriage refresher, or for churches to use as the foundation for a brief course on marriage.

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The SBC’s wisdom about Disney http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/30/the-sbcs-wisdom-about-disney/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:27:20 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65772 Continue reading ]]> David Roach of Baptist Press examines the The Disney Company’s move  away from Judeo-Christian religious practices to secular and even idolatrous practices. According to Roach, portrayals of marriage and gender roles have changed. Because Disney children’s entertainment “contain elements that seem likely to influence children away from Christian doctrine and morality,” should parents not allow their children to watch Disney movies and shows?  Roach writes:

Disney characters 2In anticipation of watching Disney’s “Finding Dory” with my children in the theater this summer, I pulled up the trailer on my phone and noticed what appeared to be a scene featuring a lesbian couple with a baby.

The scene passes quickly, and co-director Andrew Stanton told USA Today the two animated women, who caused a significant internet stir, “can be whatever you want them to be.”

Still, viewing that scene — and other moments in the Disney movies my daughters love — has reminded me of Southern Baptists’ wisdom in 2005 when they pledged in conjunction with ending an eight-year Disney boycott “to continue to monitor the products and policies of The Disney Company.”

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Church of England parishes consider first step to break away over sexuality http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/30/church-of-england-parishes-consider-first-step-to-break-away-over-sexuality/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 14:46:47 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65768 Continue reading ]]> The Telegraph reports:

Church of England - Canterbury CathedralA group of parishes is preparing what could be the first step towards a formal split in the Church of England over issues such as homosexuality, with the creation of a new “shadow synod” vowing to uphold traditional teaching.

Representatives of almost a dozen congregations in the Home Counties are due to gather in a church hall in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, later this week for the first session of what they say could eventually develop into an alternative Anglican church in England.

Organisers, drawn from the conservative evangelical wing of Anglicanism, say they have no immediate plans to break away – but are setting up the “embryonic” structures that could be used to do so if the established church moves further in what they see as a liberal direction.

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These things I have spoken to you that you not be caused to stumble http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/30/these-things-i-have-spoken-to-you-that-you-not-be-caused-to-stumble/ Tue, 30 Aug 2016 06:18:38 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65766 Continue reading ]]>

1 Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα μὴ σκανδαλισθῆτε. 2 ἀποσυναγώγους ποιήσουσιν ὑμᾶς· * ἀλλʼ ἔρχεται ὥρα ἵνα πᾶς ὁ ἀποκτείνας ὑμᾶς δόξῃ λατρείαν προσφέρειν τῷ θεῷ. 3 καὶ ταῦτα ποιήσουσιν ὅτι οὐκ ἔγνωσαν τὸν πατέρα οὐδὲ ἐμέ. 4 ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ὅταν ἔλθῃ ἡ ὥρα αὐτῶν μνημονεύητε αὐτῶν ὅτι ἐγὼ εἶπον ὑμῖν. Ταῦτα δὲ ὑμῖν ἐξ ἀρχῆς οὐκ εἶπον, ὅτι μεθʼ ὑμῶν ἤμην. 5 νῦν δὲ ὑπάγω πρὸς τὸν πέμψαντά με, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐξ ὑμῶν ἐρωτᾷ με· ποῦ ὑπάγεις; 6 ἀλλʼ ὅτι ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἡ λύπη πεπλήρωκεν ὑμῶν τὴν καρδίαν. 7 ἀλλʼ ἐγὼ τὴν ἀλήθειαν λέγω ὑμῖν, συμφέρει ὑμῖν ἵνα ἐγὼ ἀπέλθω. ἐὰν γὰρ μὴ ἀπέλθω, ὁ παράκλητος οὐκ ἐλεύσεται πρὸς ὑμᾶς· ἐὰν δὲ πορευθῶ, πέμψω αὐτὸν πρὸς ὑμᾶς. 8 καὶ ἐλθὼν ἐκεῖνος ἐλέγξει τὸν κόσμον περὶ ἁμαρτίας καὶ περὶ δικαιοσύνης καὶ περὶ κρίσεως· 9 περὶ ἁμαρτίας μέν, ὅτι οὐ πιστεύουσιν εἰς ἐμέ· 10 περὶ δικαιοσύνης δέ, ὅτι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ὑπάγω καὶ οὐκέτι θεωρεῖτέ με· 11 περὶ δὲ κρίσεως, ὅτι ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου κέκριται. John 16:1-11 (NA28)

1 “These things I have spoken to you that you not be caused to stumble. 2 They will put you away from the synagogues but an hour is coming that those killing you believe they are offering service to God. 3 And these things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me. 4 But these things I have spoken to you that when their hour comes you might remember them that I told you. But I did not say these things to you from the beginning because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to the one who sent Me and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart, 7 but I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go away for if I do not go away, the Encourager will not come to you. But if go, I will send Him to you 8 and having come, He will convict the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judgment. 9 Concerning sin because they do not believe in Me. 10 Concerning righteousness because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me. 11 Concerning judgment because the ruler of this world has been judged.” John 16:1-11 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In v1 the words, “you not be caused to stumble” translate μὴ σκανδαλισθῆτε. The adverb μὴ or is “a primary particle of qualified negation.” For instance, I could have rendered it “may not.” The verb σκανδαλισθῆτε is the Aorist Tense, Subjunctive Mood, Active Voice form of σκανδαλίζω or skandalizō, “to offend, shock, excite feeling of repugnance.” It should be obvious that we get our English word “scandalize” from this word. This verb tense refers to simple, undefined action rather than repetitive action. The active voice is referring to action done by the subject, which would be those to whom our Lord was speaking. Now, what is our Lord talking about here? Some translations like the ESV render this as saying “falling away.” The KJV simply says “not be offended.” When we are persecuted for our faithfulness or if those with whom we stand there will be the temptation for us to stumble in either fear or offense or some other motivation that our enemy will attempt to inflict upon us. Our Lord is saying He is speaking these words to us so that this will not happen. View article →

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Assemblies of God Leader Dr. George Wood Joins New Age Sympathizer Leonard Sweet at Luther 2017 (Another Step Toward Rome?) http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/29/assemblies-of-god-leader-dr-george-wood-joins-new-age-sympathizer-leonard-sweet-at-luther-2017-another-step-toward-rome/ Mon, 29 Aug 2016 20:07:09 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65749 Continue reading ]]> From Berean Research:

George WoodDr. George Wood caught flack when he and Oral Roberts University President Billy Wilson co-chaired the ecumenical gathering Empowered21 Global Congress .  Many well-known New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionists (NAR) leaders were featured at the event. For those unfamiliar with the NAR, check out our White Paper on this dangerous cult.  In a nutshell, the NAR teaches that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle.  Among the speakers at E21 were self-proclaimed NAR “Prophetess to the Nations” Cindy Jacobs and “apostle” Bill Johnson of Bethel “Church” in Redding CA.  We reported on E21 here, herehere,here and here.   Now we learn from Lighthouse Trails that Dr. Wood will share a platform with Emergent Church theologian Leonard Sweet.

Cautions my cohort Amy Spreeman to our readers,

“You may decide to share this on your social media accounts and find that there are some who will become over-the-top defensive and willing to overlook what is a continuing pattern of red flags with Assemblies of God Supt. George O. Wood.  I myself have landed in hot water with angry pastors simply by sharing reports of Mr. Wood’s ecumaniacalism with Mormons a few years back.

Folks may ask, “Is it a crime to appear on stage with someone?” Guilt by association doesn’t mean much, unless there is a continuing pattern, and unless it’s more of an affiliation than a simple six-degrees-of-separation appearance.  In this case, consider that Leonard Sweet is the conference organizer. And no, Wood never did share the Gospel with the young Mormon students.”

Now on to the article:

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The disappearing “middleground” and the coming conflict http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/29/the-disappearing-middleground-and-the-coming-conflict/ Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:42:42 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65741 Continue reading ]]> Christian PersecutionDenny Burk, Professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College, tells us that “David Gushee has written a column for Religion News Service arguing that the “middleground” is disappearing on LGBT rights.”

Before we get to Burk’s excellent piece, readers should know that David Gushee is a “progressive evangelical” who serves on Sojourners’ board of directors.  Sojourners founder, Jim Wallis, is one of President Obama’s “spiritual advisers.”  Wallis insists that he’s an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel.”  According to Wikipedia:

As a Christian ethicist, Gushee has periodically been out spoken about current controversial societal topics. His positions on such issues as climate change, torture, and LGBT rights have often put him into conflict with his traditional evangelical constituency.

Many evangelicals believe that because of his support of left-wing causes, Gushee is not a true evangelical. For one thing, he “agrees with the sexual revolutionaries that traditional Christians are guilty of invidious discrimination.”

Keeping in mind Gushee’s background, let’s hear what Professor Burk has to say on what he sees as the inescapable persecution of Christians who stand fast for the Truth. Burk informs us that the very liberal Gushee wrote the following warning intended for Bible believing Christians:

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Team Obama’s new low in the name of “trans rights” http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/29/team-obamas-new-low-in-the-name-of-trans-rights/ Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:04:56 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65744 Continue reading ]]> New York Post reports:

Transgender7One of the top guardians of American freedoms just entered the fight against the Obama administration’s insane excesses in the name of “trans rights.”

The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued rules telling doctors they can’t decline to perform gender-reassignment surgery on kids if it’s recommended by a “mental health professional.” Refusal could be a career-ender.

How crazy is the rule? Well, for starters, most trans teens identify differently later in life — yet reassignment surgery is often irreversible, and even less-radical procedures can be harmful, as HHS’ own medical experts note.

Not to mention that the Hippocratic Oath (and basic human conscience) enjoins doctors from doing procedures they believe harmful to their patients.

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Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/29/do-not-be-foolish-but-understand-what-the-will-of-the-lord-is/ Mon, 29 Aug 2016 05:56:49 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65738 Continue reading ]]>

1 Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ παραστῆσαι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν θυσίαν ζῶσαν ἁγίαν εὐάρεστον τῷ θεῷ, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν· 2 καὶ μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε τῷ αἰῶνι τούτῳ, ἀλλὰ μεταμορφοῦσθε τῇ ἀνακαινώσει τοῦ νοὸς εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον. Romans 12:1-2 (NA28)

1 Therefore, I urge you brothers through the compassions of God to present your bodies as living, holy sacrifices, well pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service. 2 And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may discern the will of God, that which is good and well pleasing and perfect.  Romans 12:1-2 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

Both the Apostle John and the Apostle Paul used light and darkness in analogies pertaining to spiritual life and spiritual death. For instance, in John 1:4, 5 the Apostle says, “ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων· καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.” Or, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not grasp it.” In order to lay the foundation for this discussion on understanding the Lord’s will, it is imperative that we first understand what is being said in these two verses. First, the “Him” in v4 refers back to ὁ λόγος or “the Word” from v1. This is, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ. In v4, we learn that in Him was ζωὴ or zōē, “life.” This ζωὴ is not simply the life we all have here and now, but was φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων or the “the light of men.” What does that mean? This light comes from God and brings to this dark world true knowledge, moral purity, and the light that shows the very presence of God. Finally, notice that this light shines into the darkness, but the darkness does not “receive, admit, or grasp” it. Those who understand the will of God are in His light. Those who do not are in darkness. View article →

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Ministering by publicly aligning to things hidden because of shame while walking in craftiness and adulterating the Word of God http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/28/ministering-by-publicly-aligning-to-things-hidden-because-of-shame-while-walking-in-craftiness-and-adulterating-the-word-of-god/ Sun, 28 Aug 2016 06:31:36 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65729 Continue reading ]]>

21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. Romans 6:21 (NASB)

Back in 2006 thru 2008 or so we were vociferously debating what was going on in the seeker sensitive churches all around us as they abandoned expository preaching, replacing it with topical sermons, entertainment, drama, dance, videos, et cetera. In fact, that was how this ministry began, that is, in ministering to those dear brethren who had lost their churches to hostile takeovers by the Purpose Driven paradigm. I remember how we struggled to come up with the “core” reason they seemed to be so successful. Things sure have progressed, or is it actually the opposite with the gospel contextualization having replaced all of that with the goal of church globalization within the framework of Dominonism and/or “the New Evangelism?” I remember some of the debates from that time and as I look back on it now, I see what was actually happening. Of course, at the time, as the Hegelian Dialectic is in play and Diaprax is in one of its incremental changes, it is difficult to see the “big picture.” As we look back at what was done and how it was accomplished by those devoted to their globalization agenda we can see clearly that we were dealing with the forces of our enemy who were dedicated to “ministry” via the practice of cunning in disgraceful, underhanded ways as they tampered with God’s Word for their own ends (2 Corinthians 4:1-2). My brethren, those who truly belong to Christ cannot minster in such a way. View article →

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Mark Driscoll: Worship God with Your Wallet to Put Content on My Website http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2016/08/27/mark-driscoll-worship-god-with-your-wallet-to-put-content-on-my-website/ Sat, 27 Aug 2016 21:09:10 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=65723 Continue reading ]]> Warren Throckmorton of Patheos fills us in on what disgraced “pastor” Mark Driscoll is up to these days. Throckmorton demonstrates how Driscoll plans to “monetize his sermons.” He writes:

Mark DriscollYesterday, Mark Driscoll continued his Jonah sermon series at The Trinity Church in Scottsdale AZ. The series is interesting and has provides some additional tidbits of information for those interested in the implosion of Mars Hill Church. I will get to that in future posts. For now, I want to point out a new innovation for The Trinity Church, or at least it seems different than how Mars Hill did it.

Yesterday, Driscoll exhorted his new flock to “worship God with our wallet, we’ll give unto the Lord so that the message of Jesus goes forth.” Watch:

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