1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NASB)
Martin Luther is considered the “Lighting rod of the Protestant Reformation.” It was through his battle with the Roman Catholic Church that the doctrine of salvation through Justification by Grace through Faith alone was recovered and from that, many Christian martyrs went to their deaths refusing to compromise their faith by denying the truth of knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified based not upon the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. So much of the pressure being brought to bear upon Christians in our time is to not be so precise in our theology, but be more willing to “compromise” along doctrinal grounds for the sake of “unity.” The “mega-church” model is based precisely upon never offending anyone, but being non-threatening and willing to be all things to all people in order to attract everyone, but to what?
Lighthouse Trails does not want us to forget how certain esteemed Christian leaders introduced the evangelical community to contemplative prayer (CP), also referred to as centering prayer, breath prayer, meditation and listening prayer. Why is this important to remember? For the reason that CP is steeped in Roman Catholic mysticism and is highly unbiblical. Yet Christian celebs such as Richard Foster and Beth Moore urge their followers to adopt a dangerous practice that takes the practitioner into an altered state of consciousness. In this piece, Lighthouse Trails reveals the names of several other wolves in sheep’s clothing and provides reasons we must flee from these people:
In 2006, a DVD film was released by Fox Entertainment called Be Still. Lighthouse Trails wrote extensively about it at the time, warning our readers that the DVD was an infomercial for contemplative prayer. Recently, a caller who very much understood the deceptive dynamics of the contemplative prayer (i.e., Spiritual Formation) movement, reminded us about the film, and we e-mailed her a copy of all the transcripts (we had transcribed the entire film in 2006). The film includes Richard Foster, Buddhist-sympathizer Catholic convert Peter Kreeft, Dallas Willard, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Michelle McKinney Hammon, Max Lucado, and Calvin Miller. You can read some of our previous coverage here.
According to The Daily Signal:
Denver County’s sheriff office has been slapped with a fine by the Department of Justice (DOJ) because it refused to hire non-citizens as deputies.
From the beginning of 2015 through last March, the Denver Sheriff Department went on a major hiring binge, adding more than 200 new deputies. But those jobs ended up only going to citizens, because the department made citizenship a stated requirement on the job application. The department admitted as much in a new settlement with the U.S. government, which requires it to pay a $10,000 fine.
The department will also have to comb through all of its job applications from the past two years, identifying immigrants who were excluded from the hiring process and giving them due consideration.
Christian News Network reports:
A refugee woman who wants to transition to a man recently had her eggs frozen prior to beginning hormonal therapy treatments as she plans on converting to a male, marrying a woman someday and having the woman carry her preserved eggs.
“I need to do this to be happy,” the woman, who only been identified with the name “Renee” (not her real name), told CBSLA.
She moved to the United States six months ago in her quest to become a man, but is aware that in taking hormonal treatments, she may never be able to carry children for the rest of her life.
According to PoliZette, an “escalating number of migrants come from countries with illiberal outlooks.” For example, “In India, 73 percent believes it is sometimes acceptable to beat one’s wife, an opinion they apparently share with 65 percent of Iraqis, 61 percent of Egyptians, and 53 percent of Nigerians, according to the survey.” Edmund Kozak warns that,
Immigration to United States from countries with values antithetical to those of the West is surging at an alarming rate, new analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies shows.
A comparison of the immigrant population in the U.S. that exploded between 2010 and 2015, and the cultural values of their home countries as indicated by the World Values Survey, paints a worrying picture of the future of American cultural and social cohesion.
In this piece, Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen tackles the propensity some Christians have to “bind Satan.” As if that’s even possible. Ahlheim reminds us that “a simple reading of Scripture and the application of just a bit of common sense would do much to aid believers in avoiding the pitfalls of spiritually toxic teachings, particularly those within the realm of spiritual warfare.” He includes Justin Peters’ and Jim Osman’s teaching on Spiritual Warfare. Berean Research has a White Paper on this controversial topic. Now listen to what Bud has to say:
The most widely known – and the most widely misunderstood – concept of spiritual warfare.” Justin Peters
“It sounds like hocus-pocus because it is hocus-pocus.” Jim Osman
The modern church’s belief about what constitutes spiritual warfare is, as Justin Peters remarked, perhaps no better exemplified than by the almost universal, though Scripturally absent, practice of believers “binding Satan” or “binding demons.” A Google inquiry for the phrase “binding Satan” returns over 564,000 hits. A search with the prefatory “how to,” as in “how to bind Satan,” results in over 501,000 digital links. Since the implementation of this maneuver requires prayer, searches for “binding Satan prayers” or “binding demons prayers” yields 420,000 hits for the former and 346,000 for the latter.
According to Technocracy News:
For those Technocrats who blame man for global warming, the most direct solution would be to just get rid of man, or at least slow his metabolic growth. Thus, taxing food makes perfect sense.
A group of researchers in Oxford University, England have suggested that imposing a massive tax on carbon intensive foods – specifically protein rich foods like meat and dairy – could help combat climate change.
3 “Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live,” declares the Lord God, “I will not be inquired of by you.”’ Ezekiel 20:3 (NASB)
The Visible Church has become largely corrupt and apostate. Some are going the direction of Joel Osteen’s Word of Faith gospel that tells us that God wants to bless us, but cannot because we are not asking Him for it or we are not doing something right. Then there are those denominations that are affirming same-sex marriage, which is expressly condemned in God’s Word. There are apostasy examples all across the board and there is not room enough or time enough to address them all here. However, these things all have one thing in common. These are people seeking to be seen as “Christian,” but on their own terms rather than what the Word of God clearly teaches us.
10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 2 Peter 1:10 (NASB)
Some “evangelical leaders” in our time will tell you that transformation is actually part of the gospel and that the evidence of salvation is how busy a person is in “working in church ministry.” No where in God’s Word is transformation given as part of the Gospel. The Gospel is based in who Jesus Christ is and what He has done to be the propitiation for the elect. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, including the elect. No one is able to do any work of any kind to deserve or earn salvation, that is, justification. However in Ephesians 1:3-23; Ephesians 2:1-10, the Apostle Paul gives us God’s solution. Notice that nowhere in these passages is the transformed life mentioned as part of being justified. Yes, Paul mentioned in Ephesians 2 that Faith was a gift and that tells us that it is a product of regeneration, and that God saves us unto good works, but that is not the same thing. Paul tells us more about the transformed life in Romans 12:1-2. Notice that this is talking about spiritual growth after salvation and is not part of our justification at all, but is part of our sanctification process. Notice also who is in control of this process. Is it a local church or a ministry or is it God?
According to The Christian Institute:
Proposals to legalise same-sex marriage across Mexico have been struck down.
President Enrique Pena Nieto’s plans for nationwide legalisation were rejected by 19 votes to 8 in the Lower House of Congress.
Same-sex marriage is currently allowed in Mexico City and several other states, but the President had called for it to be legalised nationwide.
Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith examines what the New Apostolic Reformation really teaches and lays out why it is a dangerous sect to be avoided at all costs. Rosebrough covers all the bases. He writes:
For nineteen centuries the church has existed without any living apostles who operated in the same power, authority and office as Peter, James, John, Paul and the others whom Jesus sent into the world to make disciples. But for those who buy into the ideas and teachings of the New Apostolic Reformation (N.A.R.), this is a tragic turn of events and a grave error committed by the historic Church. Joseph Mattera, the head of The United States Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, writing in Charisma Magazine about the historical loss of apostles in the church explained the problem this way:
According to Healthzette:
The average American now owns four digital devices — a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or a desktop, and a TV. We spend more than 60 hours a week consuming information or entertainment on these devices, and most households have three TVs or more.
And get this: Seventeen percent of parents say they allow their children four years old and younger to have a television in their room.
Todd Starnes of Fox News and Commentary has the details:
An Oregon bureaucrat who waged political jihad against the owners of a Christian bakery was given the heave-ho by voters.
Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian was defeated by Republican Dennis Richardson in his bid to be Secretary of State.
It’s the first time a Republican has been elected to a statewide office in Oregon since 2002.
So consider this – Avakian was too liberal for what is arguably one of the most liberal states in the country.
According to Amy Spreeman of Berean Research:
On January 21st in Los Angeles, author and “prophet” Shawn Bolz will teach hundreds of children to close their eyes, listen for “God’s voice,” and write down what He says. The event at Glendale Baptist Church costs $50 per child. Below is a short, shocking promotional video in which Bolz instructs the children to close their eyes and listen for God’s voice.
“If you don’t hear anything, it’s okay, you’re trying. That’s the biggest thing. You’re trying to engage with God.”
Then he does a prophetic prediction for a girl in the audience named Kaylee, who Bolz says is going to do great things for God. “Wow, God does speak and He knows things about you.”
13 I will be his father and he shall be My son; and I will not take My lovingkindness away from him, as I took it from him who was before you. 14 But I will settle him in My house and in My kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.”’” 1 Chronicles 17:13-14 (NASB)
God is Sovereign. He is at no one’s beck and call. He is not subject to anyone. Men may indeed insist that God must follow their ideas of who He is and what He will or won’t do, but these things come from flawed Human reason. Men are arrogant creatures who have been trying to usurp God’s place on His throne since the fall in Genesis 3. Most people do not correctly understand God’s revelation of Himself that we find in the Bible, therefore, their doctrines are more man based than God centered.
One of the most important teachings about our Lord Jesus Christ that is missed by so many professing Christians and their leaders is that all of creation is really all about Him. He created it for Himself, that He would be glorified in it. After His resurrection just prior to His ascension He told His disciples and us something we would best not forget.
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Matthew 28:18 (NASB)
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education:
Campuses tend to be viewed as enclaves of liberalism — bubbles or oases, depending on your view, set apart from the rest of America.
In the counties that are home to public flagship universities, only nine favored Donald J. Trump over Hillary Clinton, according to a Chronicle analysis of voting data. In the 49 counties included in the analysis, Mrs. Clinton beat Mr. Trump, on average, by about 18 percentage points. In counties with a public flagship, the percentage of voters favoring Mrs. Clinton was 11 points, on average, higher than her statewide percentage.
Alaska was excluded from the analysis because it does not have county-level election data from the 2016 presidential election. Some states have more than one campus that serves a flagship role; to keep the analysis simple, we selected only one from each of the other 49 states.
Christian News Network has the story:
Hipster Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz recently clarified his response to talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who had asked Lentz on her “Super Soul Sunday” program if only Christians can be in relationship with God.
“Do you believe that only Christians can be in a relationship with God?” Winfrey asked in a program that aired on Oct. 16.
“No,” Lentz replied. “I believe that when Jesus said that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’—the way I read that, Jesus said that He is the road marker, He is the map.”
“So, I think that God loves people so much that whether they accept or reject Him, He’s still gracious, and He’s still moving, and He’s still giving you massive red blinking lights, for chances to take a right turn where maybe you’d take a left,” he continued. “But I believe God loves people, and that’s what this whole gospel is based on—it’s love. You take the love out of it, we’ve got a moral book.”
11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Hebrews 5:11-14 (NASB)
Apostasy: [Middle English apostasie, from Old French, from Late Latin apostasia, defection, from Late Greek apostasi, from Greek apostasis, revolt, from aphistanai, aposta-, to revolt : apo-, apo- + histanai, to stand, place; see st- in Indo-European roots.]
Noun pl -sies abandonment of one’s religious faith, political party, or cause [Greek apostasis desertion] from:Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006
Another definition for the word “apostasy” that is meant to give us a better way to understand it and what causes one to abandon his or her religious faith is “to forget.” In the history of civilization, the battle between intellectual honesty and intellectual barbarity is one that has cycled back a forth for millennia. When intellectual honesty is on top, truth is seen as succinct and knowable and authoritative. When intellectual barbarity is on top, truth is seen as relative and completely unknowable. In case you weren’t sure, we are now in an intellectual barbarian stage in the early 21st Century. Isn’t that evident as we just experienced the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and are now seeing engineered riots and protests from people who simply refuse to accept defeat?
Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen asks a good question. Many people would like to know the answer. Should we believe that prominent apologist Michael Brown is deeply embedded in the New Apostolic Reformation cult, as Maples claims? In this piece, Maples presents the evidence for his suspicions:
Dr. Michael Brown, the host of the nationally syndicated radio show, Line of Fire and Vice President of FIRE School of Ministry, is well-known as an apologist for modern day Montanism. Montanism is a heresy that arose early in church history, founded by its leader, Montanus, that manifests today in Pentecostalism, Charismatic churches, and most notably in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) founded by the late C. Peter Wagner.
According to Edmund Kozak of LifeZette, “The reason for this barrage of Bannon-bashing is painfully apparent. Trump’s victory having proved that the ‘racist’ label no longer carries the power to shame their opponents into silence, the Left is seeing if they fare any better with the more specific ‘anti-Semitic’ and ‘white nationalist.'” Kozak writes:
Liberals across the country are throwing a hissy fit in response to the news that Donald Trump appointed former Breitbart News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon as his chief strategist.
Why, the unaware observer might ask? Well, according to the progressive punditry and their legions of easily triggered millennial supporters, Bannon is both an anti-Semite and a white supremacist.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 (NASB)
Back in 2006 when God opened my eyes to what the leadership at our church was doing with the Purpose Driven stuff and I raised the alarm I was rebuked again with argument that I should just kick back and cooperate so that the church could peacefully go Purpose Driven so that God could work there and people’s lives could be changed. When I began commenting on the old Slice of Laodicea blog about that same time, those PDC apologists who hated our firm stance against it said very much the same thing. If you listen to Rick Warren speak when talking about what a great ministry Saddleback Valley Baptist Church is, he will always try to emphasize the thousands of people whose lives have been transformed or changed.