1 The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” Psalm 110:1 (NASB)
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:15-21 (NASB)
When I witness the bizarre conflicts in the visible Church in our time, especially the ones in which I take part, I never come through them without wondering how those whose faith is in their religion or idol can call Jesus Lord since they most definitely are not obeying Him nor submitting to His will as their Lord. If they did then two things would be true about them. They would teach sound (αντικειται) doctrine (διδασκαλια) from God’s Word and they would minister to His Church with love (αγαπην). Any other form of “ministry” will negatively impact the Body of Christ for it will come from motivations other than ministering unto the glory of God alone as a slave (δουλος) of his or her Lord (κυριος). These other motivations are actually service to another lord, either self or the enemy of our souls and are therefore the source of bad fruit.
Early in 2016, Michelle Lesley compiled a list of women teachers, speakers and authors that should be avoided like the plague. In October she added several women to the list (here). There’s no guessing necessary as to why Michelle doesn’t recommend certain high profile Christians because she includes examples of their flawed teaching; likewise, she names some of the wolves those on the list choose to partner with. Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Victoria Osteen and Christine Caine, to name a few. The Bible urges believers to do their homework (Acts 17:11) for the reason that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1).
Now take a look at Michelle’s list…
In this blog post over at Spirit of Error, Holly Pivec exposes the love fest between two NAR leaders. It’s clear that the duo hold each other in high regard by their on stage behavior at IHOP’s recent OneThing conference. Pivec writes:
Bill Johnson and Mike Bickle, OneThing conference. Photo credit: Spirit of Error
Anyone who has studied the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) knows how difficult it is to pin down. One reason it’s so hard to pin down the NAR is because it’s a movement. It’s not a formal organization or denomination–with an official list of beliefs, leaders or organizations. So you can’t simply go to a website and find an exhaustive list of NAR churches and teachers.
So how can you tell if a teacher is part of the NAR?
Check out Berean Research’s White Paper on the New Apostolic Reformation
1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4 (NASB)
The Church since its inception in the 1st Century AD has been plagued by quarrels, disagreements, feuds, splits, et cetera. According to God, the problem is not with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ or His doctrines, but with the fact that people in the Church are not submitted properly to Him or to each other. Pride is behind most disagreements just as it is behind those who break away from the truth to lead their followers with false doctrines and a focus that is on self rather than on God and His glory. Instead, those who cause these problems are in love with self and, therefore, in love with the world, its ways, and the things of the world.
The mother of Jesus was a sinner just like all human beings born into this world. Therefore she needed Jesus Christ as a Savior. The Bible says nothing about Mary ascending to heaven or having an exalted role there. Yet the pope of Rome urges Catholics to entrust her with the new year “so that peace and mercy may grow throughout the world.” We believe that the mother of Jesus should be held in high esteem, but she is not worthy of our worship or adoration. So with this in mind, following is Christian News Network’s report:
The leader of Roman Catholicism, Jorge Bergoglio, also known as “Pope Francis,” observed the feast of “the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God” on New Year’s Day, urging followers to “entrust the new year to Mary.”
“Let us entrust the new year to Mary, Mother of God, so that peace and mercy may grow throughout the world,” he Tweeted on Sunday, generating over 33,000 likes and 11,000 shares.
The feast “coincides with the octave-day of Christmas” on the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar, and was initially the feast of the Circumcision of Christ until being replaced in 1974 by Pope John VI. The “mother of God” concept, however, can be traced back as early as the Council of Ephesus in 431.
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
James Varney of Real Clear Investigations addresses how attitudes are changing about global warming and all those scientists who dare question its validity. He writes:
In the world of climate science, the skeptics are coming in from the cold.
Researchers who see global warming as something less than a planet-ending calamity believe the incoming Trump administration may allow their views to be developed and heard. This didn’t happen under the Obama administration, which denied that a debate even existed. Now, some scientists say, a more inclusive approach – and the billions of federal dollars that might support it – could be in the offing.
“Here’s to hoping the Age of Trump will herald the demise of climate change dogma, and acceptance of a broader range of perspectives in climate science and our policy options,” Georgia Tech scientist Judith Curry wrote this month at her popular Climate Etc. blog.
William Happer, professor emeritus of physics at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is similarly optimistic. “I think we’re making progress,” Happer said. “I see reassuring signs.”
ABC News posted this piece from Associated Press:
A federal judge in Texas on Saturday ordered a halt to another Obama administration effort to strengthen transgender rights, this time over health rules that social conservatives say could force doctors to violate their religious beliefs.
The latest injunction signed by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor comes four months after he blocked a higher-profile new set of transgender protections — a federal directive that required public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. Several of the Republican-controlled states that brought that lawsuit, including Texas, also sued over the health regulations that were finalized in May.
19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19 (NASB)
As many of you know, I took these last two weeks off in order to spend time with family and friends and that “taking time off” included staying out of theological discussion online as much as possible, etc. However, the last few days have been utterly amazing, at least to me. About 3 years ago or so I became part of a discussion group on Facebook in which I tagged team with some friends who stood up and defended the truths of Reformation Theology against those who hate it. It was not a pleasant experience and I soon tired of it and dropped out. Why? The moderator of the group allowed people in who were obviously abject heretics who had absolutely no ability to debate. After one really long ugly discussion with one fellow who finally called me some horrible names and went away, I was contacted by a pastor who ran a very well-known ministry who suggested that what we were doing was a total waste of time. Why? All we were doing was arguing with goats who had absolutely no inkling of God’s truth. No, they were spiritually dead people who believed they knew the truth better than we did because it was their own truth while all we had was that exegetical interpretation of the Scripture to go by. In any case, just yesterday I got drawn into a discussion with that very same fellow I mentioned above. Nothing has changed. He still won’t listen to the truth. He still has “his own truth,” which is found nowhere in scripture. At the same time, I started receiving email from a fellow who I had not heard from since August 2016. He is a Rick Warren fan and had been demanding from me a detailed explanation of why I have so many posts on my blog against the Purpose Driven Paradigm, Seeker Sensitive church models in general, and Rick Warren’s approach to ministry. I gave him a short history back in August and forgot about it. Yesterday right in middle of that little debate I got an email from him. He accused me of hypocrisy and picking on his favorite two pastors, Rick Warren and John Piper. He accused those of us who do discernment work of placing ourselves above them. I told him in a return email that none of what he was saying was true, I was not wasting any more time on him, and that I was sorry that he was blinded by his idols. I sent the email then blocked his email from by blog and my email provider.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 (NASB)
For what reason did the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ choose (elect) all in Christ before the foundation of world? It was that they would be holy (ἁγίους) and blameless (ἀμώμους) before him. The Puritans have always been accused of being legalistic and way too concerned about Christians living holy and blameless lives. I heard a Jeopardy clue once that actually defined this aspect of them as being “harsh” and “stern.” Perhaps the Puritans took things a bit too far becoming legalistic while forgetting that the believer’s justification is based on the righteousness of Christ not on any works done by them. Also, the Word is clear that in 1 Corinthians 1:2 that believers are also sanctified in Christ Jesus. These things being true, what does it mean for believers to become holy and blameless before our Lord Jesus Christ?
Museum of Idolatry’s blog features a few GIFS of silhouette go-go dancing that was performed on Christmas Eve at Pastor Andy Stanley’s church. Are these people attempting to mimic a red-light district, as MOI suggests? Clearly, people behind screens shaking their booties to a catchy tune about Santa Claus and Christmas cheer is not the proper theme for a Christmas Eve church service — and the stage act was not glorifying to God. MOI has the video.
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen, who often reports on the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has some troubling news for Southern Baptists. In this must-read-to-the-end post, he charges the SBC with not caring what its “pew-sitters are being taught so long as what they’re being taught retains them as pew-sitters.” What most people don’t realize is that the SBC has had a million member loss in the last decade. So SBC’s leadership is desperate to retain its members and bring the sheep who have wandered off back into the fold. Ahlheim informs us of some of the ways they’re going about accomplishing this task, which includes introducing New Apostolic Reformation teaching to its members. This is a terrible idea for the reason that the NAR movement has its roots in the Latter Rain cult and it is steeped in mysticism.
Ahlheim begins with a quote by Presbyterian theologian J. Gresham Machen:
According to Kate Shellnutt of Christianity
Astray Today, three New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) wolves are going to play a significant role in Donald Trump’s Inauguration. Who are the trio that masquerade as evangelicals? Pastrix Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez and Wayne T. Jackson. Shellnutt fills us in on the details:
Donald Trump has enlisted a larger, more diverse lineup of clergy than usual to pray him into office at his upcoming inauguration ceremony.
The group—bigger than any president’s since Ronald Reagan—reflects his politics, pragmatism, and personality. It includes evangelical leaders Franklin Graham and Samuel Rodriguez, as well as spiritual advisor Paula White, the Florida televangelist credited with his rumored recent Christian conversion, and a Detroit prosperity preacher, Wayne T. Jackson.
“Taken together, [Graham and White] have embodied Trump’s embrace of the twinned ideologies of Christian nationalism and capitalist Christianity,” Kevin Kruse, a history professor at Princeton University and author of One Nation Under God, told CT.
According to Christian News:
Well-known attorney Jay Sekulow, who serves as chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which takes up cases for conservative, pro-life and pro-family causes, expressed his support on national television this week for two of the picks on President-elect Donald Trump’s Supreme Court shortlist—Judges Diane Sykes and Bill Pryor—stating that they have a “proven track record.”
However, others have voiced concern about the judges precisely because of their track record, which includes Sykes’ favorable Planned Parenthood ruling calling abortion “a right” and Pryor’s prosecution of “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore. Reports state that both Sykes and Pryor are “top contenders” on Trump’s Supreme Court list.
Sekulow had been interviewed on Tuesday’s Fox & Friends regarding the more than 100 court vacancies Trump currently will have to fill as president, as well as whether he agrees that Trump should not compromise in his Supreme Court pick, but choose someone who is “hard right.”
According to Lynn Allison of NewsMax “heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. today.” Here’s Allison’s advice:
“Star Wars” Actress Carrie Fisher’s death from a heart attack at age 60 should be a “wake-up call” about the threat of cardiovascular disease — particularly in women — and should prompt every American 55 and older to be screened for common factors that can flag risks.
That’s the view of Dr. Kevin Campbell, a leading cardiologist from North Carolina, who says many Americans miss the signs of heart disease that often precede a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
“One thing for sure — Carrie Fisher’s death should be a call to action for all women,” says Campbell, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, Division of Cardiology.
“Know your risk factors, assess and modify your risk. This can be a way for all to increase awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. today. A yearly physical with doctors to assess her risk factors couple with a stress test or echocardiogram may have prevented her demise.”
Many professing Christians sit through sex scenes in movies, on TV and elsewhere. But by doing so, are we asking unbelievers–those who act in those scenes–to behave in ways we would never tolerate among ourselves? Do we view sex scenes so we can enjoy entertainment we otherwise couldn’t enjoy? Author, blogger and pastor, Tim Challies, addresses an important topic that those who say they’re followers of Jesus Christ may not have thought through. He writes:
I once read a memoir by a man who, as a teen, had been a Shabbos goy. A Shabbos goy is a non-Jew who performs some of the Sabbath-day functions that that are forbidden to the devout. Traditionally, a Shabbos goy would extinguish candles and lights, or he would stoke up a fire on a cold Sabbath morning, all actions considered work by strict interpretations of Jewish law. But since those regulations pertain only to Jews, some would hire Gentiles as a means of circumventing the law. The primary task of this young man was to sit in an elevator and push the buttons. Pushing buttons involves closing an electrical circuit and this was considered a violation of the Sabbath within that community. They outsourced the work to him.
Christians quickly identify this as hypocrisy, an adherence to the letter of the law that violates the spirit of the law. It’s hard to find an ethical difference between actually pushing a button and hiring someone else to do it. And, in fact, many Jews see it this way as well and most communities have dropped the very notion of the Shabbos goy. However, I think some Christians may have picked it up, or something like it at least. Our concern is not Sabbath-day functions, though. Our concern is enjoying entertainment, and to enjoy entertainment we need to hire people who disregard the law. We let them violate the law so we can enjoy the benefits.
Seems Andy Stanley, pastor of Northpoint Church, is once again in hot water over another “foolish statement” he made. In this piece over at Patheos, Grayson Gilbert takes Pastor Andy to task:
If anyone has not heard by this point, Andy Stanley, being infamous for making some foolish statements about the nature of the church and the scriptures, has done it yet again. Yet the interesting thing here for those paying close attention, is that the recent debacle over him making the claim that Christianity doesn’t hinge off of the biblical account of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ, is really just the outworking of his previous statements. Incidentally, it also mirrors the decent into liberalism and unbelief – more clearly, it is the preamble to that notable thundering of ol’ Harry Emerson Fosdick who asked, “Shall the Fundamentalists win?”
Fosdick stood on the mount of liberals, decrying the virgin birth, making exceptions to the inerrancy of the scriptures, and eventually came to deny the literal resurrection of Christ. His reason: fundamentalists were intolerant for making claims that such things could not be denied while one remains a Christian. Ultimately, he divided the secular and the sacred in expressing that science, reason, and modernism could not be harmonious with such historic doctrines. I’ll concede on the point that modernism and Christianity are not compatible; interestingly, one of these things has already faded away.
Clint Archer of The Cripplegate shares an amazing story that many people have never heard before that took place on The Western Front of World War I. Archer tells of the unauthorized truce to commemorate the birth of the Prince of Peace. He writes:
Christmas Truce 1914 by A.Z. Rainman
The Christmas truce of Christmas Eve, 1914 was a wonderful parenthesis of respite in the animosity of what would become the bloodiest war in human history.
As reports have been collated of that mysterious peace that washed over the Western Front on that silent night, it seems it all started with well-wishing and spontaneous singing of Christmas hymns. The Germans offered their hearty a cappella rendition of Stillenacht from their muddy trenches. In good cheer, from the British side—and by some accounts even in some French trenches—hymns of praise to God resounded throughout the empty battlefields.
Captain Robert Patrick Miles of the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry division wrote in a letter that was published in the Daily Mail in January 1915:
Over at Zero Hedge,Tyler Durden reveals what was buried deep inside the provisions of the Defense Authorization Act. He writes:
Late on Friday, with the US population embracing the upcoming holidays and oblivious of most news emerging from the administration, Obama quietly signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which authorizes $611 billion for the military in 2017.
In a statement, Obama said that:
Today, I have signed into law S. 2943, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.” This Act authorizes fiscal year 2017 appropriations principally for the Department of Defense and for Department of Energy national security programs, provides vital benefits for military personnel and their families, and includes authorities to facilitate ongoing operations around the globe. It continues many critical authorizations necessary to ensure that we are able to sustain our momentum in countering the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and to reassure our European allies, as well as many new authorizations that, among other things, provide the Departments of Defense and Energy more flexibility in countering cyber-attacks and our adversaries’ use of unmanned aerial vehicles.”
Much of the balance of Obama’s statement blamed the GOP for Guantanamo’s continued operation and warned that “unless the Congress changes course, it will be judged harshly by history,” Obama said. Obama also said Congress failed to use the bill to reduce wasteful overhead (like perhaps massive F-35 cost overruns?) or modernize military health care, which he said would exacerbate budget pressures facing the military in the years ahead.