Christian Research Network http://christianresearchnetwork.org Current issues in the church Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:05:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 “Stage-managed” ecumenicism via contemplative prayer http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/20/stage-managed-ecumenicism-via-contemplative-prayer/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/20/stage-managed-ecumenicism-via-contemplative-prayer/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:08:54 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57065 Apprising Ministries brings you this piece by Dr. Orrel Steincamp discussing how charismania and contemplative spirituality are seriously corrupting mainstream evangelicalism. View article →

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Christian authenticity – a living sacrifice http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/20/christian-authenticity-a-living-sacrifice/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/20/christian-authenticity-a-living-sacrifice/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:06:01 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57059 Continue reading ]]>

Παρακαλῶ οὖν ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ θεοῦ παραστῆσαι τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν θυσίαν ζῶσαν ἁγίαν εὐάρεστον τῷ θεῷ, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν· 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

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1–2, NASB

Works righteousness is the default religion of man. However, God’s ways are not man’s ways. Neither are His thoughts man’s thoughts. His ways are higher than man’s. The Natural Man believes that the way to be justified by God is to do good works or not be as bad as those really evil people. However, Romans 1–11 makes it clear that no one is righteous or innocent. All have sinned. All are guilty. Also, there is not one thing anyone can do about that problem. Oh, people have and still try all sorts of things to try to earn salvation, to be justified by God. They become very religious. They do good works. However, Paul makes it crystal clear that that is all a total waste of time.

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The mystery and victory of the resurrection http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/19/the-mystery-and-victory-of-the-resurrection/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/19/the-mystery-and-victory-of-the-resurrection/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:54:11 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57052 Continue reading ]]>

And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:17, NASB

All of us have witnessed a certain very well known Christian leader who appears very genuine in his faith and even takes stands against those who would dilute the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ no matter how costly. He debates homosexuals who are demanding to be called “gay-Christians,” for instance, and come out of those debates very well, with those he debates licking their wounds, etc. Then, just a few weeks later we see this very same Christian leader worshipping and praying at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, even taking part in a “revival” there. This is confusing. It is also well known that this same Christian leader is virulently anti-Reformed Theology.

For those of us who are Reformed in our theology this makes it even more troubling. How are we to handle this? We must never forget my brethren that just because someone expresses that they have faith and believe does not mean that he or she actually does. One’s genuiness in Christ is not revealed by confession. The Bible teaches of only one way to know if one is truly in Christ. That is perseverance in the faith to the end.

Christians are not saved through the good works in their walk or even by the fact that they do persevere, but they prove their Christian authenticity through these things. Faithfulness is a mark of genuineness. When professing Christians wander off the path for whatever reason, this does not mean that God will forsake them, refusing to have mercy on them and bring them back.

In John Bunyan’s monumental work, The Pilgrim’s Progress, we see how easy it is for pilgrims to be deceived by all sorts of things, to become distracted; and this blinds them spiritually so that they lose sight of the spiritual and, therefore, see things through eyes of flesh. Then they find themselves off the path in all sorts of deception and trouble. God is good. He will draw His genuine believers back to the narrow path, but those who are not truly His will reside in their spiritual blindness and remain deceived in their fleshly pursuits or false doctrines.

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Satan’s schools of deception http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/18/httpapprising-org20140918satans-schools-of-deception/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/18/httpapprising-org20140918satans-schools-of-deception/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:31:50 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57049 Apprising Ministries walks you through a few of the levels of the enemy’s educational system through which he twists the truth. View article →

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A calling out of all false teachers http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/18/a-calling-out-of-all-false-teachers/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/18/a-calling-out-of-all-false-teachers/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:52:54 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57042 Continue reading ]]>

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:3–4, NASB

Carefully read the passage above my brethren. The writer of the Epistle of Jude is the brother of James, the well-known leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Gal. 2:9) and, therefore, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. In v. 3 we read that Jude had intended to write a letter on salvation as the common blessing enjoyed by all true believers.

This intent was probably to emphasize unity and fellowship among believers as he reminded them that God is no respecter of persons, however, his plans were changed. He doesn’t say why he “felt the necessity” to write something else, but what we have in this letter is actually a call to battle for the truth in light of the appearance and infiltration into the Church of apostate teachers.

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Convention unanimously votes to boot congregation for supporting homosexuality http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/17/convention-unanimously-votes-to-boot-congregation-for-supporting-homosexuality/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/17/convention-unanimously-votes-to-boot-congregation-for-supporting-homosexuality/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:46:55 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57004 Continue reading ]]> Christian News Network reports:

The California Southern Baptist Convention Executive Board has unanimously voted to withdraw fellowship from a local Southern Baptist congregation after its minister affirmed his support for homosexuality.

As previously reported, Danny Cortez leads New Heart Community Church—a small congregation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Last year, Cortez concluded that he no longer agreed with the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and was instead “gay affirming.”

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What is religious externalism? http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/17/what-is-religious-externalism/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/17/what-is-religious-externalism/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 00:39:04 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57031 Continue reading ]]>

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self- indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:25–28, NASB

Because of our old church going Purpose Driven in 2006, my wife and I left. The journey to find a new local church fellowship was a long and difficult one. One of the churches along the way was just a few blocks from the one had just left. A coworker of mine served there as part of one of their worship teams. This was one of the churches my ex-pastor was continually commenting about because of how small it started out and how big it had become while his church seemed to be stagnant, maybe even declining. The “worship” at this church was what I like to call “show time!” There are all sorts of colored lights with spotlights on those “performing.” Each had their own microphone and were all dressed in the same colors. There were at least 20 musicians on stage playing drums, keyboards, guitars, horns, you name it. The drummer was enclosed in a glass booth. It was all very “contemporary.”

After the “worship,” the main pastor walked onto the stage with the spotlights following him. The stage was black. The stairs were black. They worked the lights so that nothing could be seen on the stage except the pastor. He was dressed casually in all black. He was carrying a nice looking cardboard box that he set on the table next to the lectern. He said a few words to direct our attention to the screen that dropped down silently behind him. Then the auditorium went dark. We watched a movie for about 15 minutes of a glass blower working on a vase. The video took us through the whole process of blowing and shaping the glass. It looked like both hard work and a bit fun. In any case, when the movie ended the spot light came back up revealing the pastor preparing to open the box.

He then spoke of Jesus desperately desiring for “us” to give Him a chance to make our lives better. All we had to do was “accept” Him, and then Jesus would remake our lives unto excellence. Then he reached into the box and took out a beautiful glass vase. He told us that this vase was the one the glass blower in the movie was working on. He gestured to the vase and said, “This is what Jesus wants to do for you, to take you from corruptible sand to beautiful glass.” I don’t remember much after that. That was one of the shortest “sermons” I have ever heard.

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The kind of love God has given http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/16/the-kind-of-love-god-has-given/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/16/the-kind-of-love-god-has-given/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:56:11 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57029 Due to confusing teaching within Christendom today, in this piece Apprising Ministries looks at who the Bible teaches are the children of God. View article →

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All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/15/all-that-the-father-gives-me-will-come-to-me-and-the-one-who-comes-to-me-i-will-certainly-not-cast-out/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/15/all-that-the-father-gives-me-will-come-to-me-and-the-one-who-comes-to-me-i-will-certainly-not-cast-out/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 23:13:28 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57019 Continue reading ]]>

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:35–37, NASB

Human reason, which is worldly wisdom, is useless for anyone to rely on in order to be saved. Our salvation is a work by all three persons in the Holy Trinity. God the Father chose his people before the foundation of the world. He set into motion all of the circumstances that would result in all of them becoming part of the Family of God. The Son, Jesus Christ, became the God-Man. He became flesh and dwelt among us. He lived a perfect, sinless life then was murdered by wicked men, dying a horrible death by crucifixion.

While dying on the cross, the Father poured out His wrath upon the Son. This wrath was against the sin of those whom He elected. Jesus became sin on their behalf. He knew no sin, but He became separate from the Father because of their sin. His death paid the price for their sin. Jesus was three days and nights in His tomb, but rose from the dead. His resurrection paved the way for all who believe on Him as Lord and Saviour for their future resurrection.

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The Osteen predicament – mere happiness cannot bear the weight of the Gospel http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/15/the-osteen-predicament-mere-happiness-cannot-bear-the-weight-of-the-gospel/ http://christianresearchnetwork.org/2014/09/15/the-osteen-predicament-mere-happiness-cannot-bear-the-weight-of-the-gospel/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:58:23 +0000 http://christianresearchnetwork.org/?p=57010 Continue reading ]]> Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, addresses the absurd comments made by Victoria Osteen, wife of prosperity preacher Joel Osteen, during a recent talk she gave at his church. Victoria Osteen said:

I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it – we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?

Mohler offers valid reasons why Joel and Victoria Osteen’s slick version of Prosperity Theology is a heresy that is spreading throughout much of the world. “The important issue is this,” says Mohler, “Prosperity Theology is a false Gospel”.

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