Sunday, July 29, 2007

Prayer Needed

Please pray for this family, this was a family that attended the church I came from in California.

(CBS) CORONA, Calif. Authorities Sunday identified the victim of a fatal hit-and-run collision in Corona as a Murrieta woman, whose children and husband were also injured in the crash.

Helen Sexsmith, 48, of Murrieta was a passenger in a minivan struck by a 1998 four-door Saturn at 4 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Avenue and Railroad Street. The collision caused the minivan to roll onto its side and hit a signal pole, according to a press release from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The driver of the Saturn ran away and has not been found, according to the statement.

Sexsmith was rushed in Corona Regional Medical Center, where she died a short time after the crash, according to the statement.

Sexsmith's husband was the driver of the minivan that also carried their three children. They were transported to Riverside Community Hospital with minor injuries and were released, according to the statement.

Monday, July 23, 2007

We are All so Cool and Individualistic - Yeah Right

Sociologists call this the era of hyper-individualism – and with good reason, according to our latest report. Interviews with more than 4000 adults show that we generally see ourselves as independent thinkers, loyal and reliable, and making a positive difference in the world. We support traditional family values but we are open to considering new moral perspectives. And while our faith is very important in our lives, it may not be very influential in our decision-making. Find out more about how we see ourselves, and the implications of that self-view by reading the new Barna Update that is on our website.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Most Precious thing in Heaven or Earth

The most precious thing in heaven or earth(John Flavel, "The Fountain of Life" 1671)In giving Christ to die for poor sinners, God gave the richest jewel in His cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value.

Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is! Ten thousand thousand worlds--as many worlds as angels can number, would not outweigh Christ's love, excellency and sweetness! O what a lovely One! What an excellent, beautiful, ravishing One--is Christ!

Put the beauty of ten thousand paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put all flowers, all fragrances, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness into one; O what a lovely and excellent thing would that be! And yet it would be less to that loveliest and dearest well-beloved Christ--than one drop of rain to all the seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths!

Now, for God to bestow the mercy of mercies, the most precious thing in heaven or earth, upon poor sinners; and, as great, as lovely, as excellent as His Son was--what kind of love is this!

One Laptop Per Child = One Porn Account Per Child

As worthy of a program for learning as this may be. It seems they did not realize that given the opportunity for sin and depravity, that these kids would unfortunately gravitate to viewing porn. Maybe some will think it's ok, - no big deal - they will say things like, "when I was a kid my dad had a stack of Playboy magazines under his bed". Well, I have news for you; it wasn't ok then for your father, nor is it ok now for you or any child/kid/teen etc.

By far, the most searched for terms on the internet are related to pornography. Pornography is rampant in the world today. Perhaps more than anything else, Satan has succeeded in twisting and perverting sex. He has taken what is good and right (loving sex between a husband and wife) and replaced it with lust, pornography, adultery, rape, and homosexuality. Pornography is simply the first step on a very slippery slope of ever-increasing wickedness and immorality (Romans 6:19). Just as a drug user is led to consume greater and more powerful quantities of drugs, so pornography drags a person into hard-core sexual addictions and ungodly desires.

The three main categories of sin are: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Pornography definitely causes us to lust after flesh, and it undeniably is a lust for our eyes. Pornography definitely does not qualify as one of the things we are to think about, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). Pornography is addictive (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19), destructive (Proverbs 6:25-28; Ezekiel 20:30; Ephesians 4:19), and leads to ever-increasing wickedness (Romans 6:19). Lusting after other people in our minds (the essence of pornography) is offensive to God (Matthew 5:28). When habitual devotion to pornography characterizes a person’s being, that demonstrates the person is not saved (1 Corinthians 6:9).

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian schoolchildren who received laptops from a U.S. aid organization have used them to explore pornographic sites on the Internet, the official News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported Thursday.

NAN said its reporter had seen pornographic images stored on several of the children's laptops.

"Efforts to promote learning with laptops in a primary school in Abuja have gone awry as the pupils freely browse adult sites with explicit sexual materials," NAN said.

A representative of the One Laptop Per Child aid group was quoted as saying that the computers, part of a pilot scheme, would now be fitted with filters.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Songs of the Lukewarm Church

1. Blest Be The Tie That Doesn't Cramp My Style
2. Pillow of Ages, Fluffed for Me
3. I Surrender Some
4. I'm Fairly Certain That My Redeemer Lives
5. Sit Up, Sit Up For Jesus
6. Take My Life and Let Me Be
7. What An Acquaintance We Have In Jesus
8. Where He Leads Me, I Will Consider Following
9. He's Quite a Bit To Me
10. Oh, How I Like Jesus
11. Fill My Spoon, Lord
12. It Is My Secret What God Can Do

HT: Kirk Cameron

Signs of the Apocolypse: Japan

The depravity of man never ceases to amaze me - let me stop. This time it did.

I am not going to link to the story out of fear someone may actually go and order one.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5


One japanese man has spent $170,000 to build an army of nearly a hundred ultra-realistic sex dolls made by Orient Industry. Apparently he's part of the fever taking over middle-aged Japan men, who buy these $850 to $5,500 silicon zombies with 35 movable joints out of desperation.

Signs of the Apostate! - Des Moines

While reading the newspaper I saw an ad for a local church that caught my eye. Upon reading the ad I could not believe their statements - it was truly unbelievable. They have what they call a "New Church Model". They actually do have the nerve to call themselves Christian, while touting there are many ways to God. Actually there are two - one leads to hell, the other to heaven. Apparently their denominational ties are to American Baptist.

Here is their "New Church Model":

Wellspring Community Church is committed to learning how to engage a gospel that calls us to prayer with openness, to act on behalf of social justice and to speak on behalf of those who cannot speak in our world, If you are looking for a place to explore your spirituality, where questions are honored and answers are open for conversation then Wellspring may be worth a visit to you.

Following are some distinctives that make Wellspring Community Church a new church model:

There is no building program; our by-laws state we will not own real estate. We choose to put our resources of time and money, not into maintaining a building, but into action. We meet in a nice rented space. By renting we can expand or contract as needed.

We are a church without walls. For us this means we desire to create a community that is fluid. We meet on Sunday mornings to worship but do not have regular mid-week programs. The function of worship is to share our stories, renew our hope and vision for life and then to live into our understanding of faith in the community at large.

We foster a global perspective of our world. We sponsor a refugee family from Afghanistan. We support several community ministries, which include serving meals at Children and Family Urban Ministries and an after school program for Adolescent girls called the WILD Girls. Several members are actively involved in community service projects and tutoring.

Spiritual formation is regarded as both an individual and community think individually within the context of a diverse community encourages a spirituality that is neither self-centered nor devoid of self.

We are an inclusive community, which means that everyone is invited into the circle to share and engage in the conversation of the community. We work to honor diversity in the words we use, the manner in which we worship, and the songs we sing. Being a Christian community, we see Christ’s teaching of love and compassion as our guideline. As Christ saw the holy in each of us we honor each person’s story: from children through adult.

For some other apostate, heretical statements from this "church" click here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Blinging for Jesus - Where's yours?

My God is a God who wants me to have things. He wants me to bling! He wants me to be the hottest thing on the block”. “God’s will for us is to be successful.” That’s a sample of the mission statements of a well known entertainer and local purveyor of the prosperity gospel. Both claim to define what God’s mission is and thus by extension what the church’s mission should be. Yet, what is the church’s mission?

For full article click here.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The First Way to Hell, Discovered

From - The Works of John Flavel Volume 3 - Pneumatologia: A Treatise of the Soul of Man (Continued) Section 4 - Of the Human Soul More Valuable than the Whole World: Its Blessedness when Saved, it’s Irreparable Ruin when lost:

Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give an exchange for his soul?

[This is the first paragraph introducing this section on page 153_ ed]

DIFFICULT duties need to be enforced with powerful arguments. In the 24th verse of this chapter, our Lord presseth upon his disciples the deepest and hardest duties of self-denial, acquaints them upon what terms they must be admitted into his service: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me."

[This is the first of 12 ways to hell and remedies thereof by Mr. Flavel as found on pages 183 through 225 _ ed]

Click here for more from John Flavel on "The first way to hell, discovered."

Belgic Confession Article 37: The Last Judgment

Article 37: The Last Judgment

Finally we believe, according to God's Word, that when the time appointed by the Lord is come (which is unknown to all creatures) and the number of the elect is complete, our Lord Jesus Christ will come from heaven, bodily and visibly, as he ascended, with great glory and majesty, to declare himself the judge of the living and the dead. He will burn this old world, in fire and flame, in order to cleanse it.

Then all human creatures will appear in person before the great judge-- men, women, and children, who have lived from the beginning until the end of the world.

They will be summoned there by the voice of the archangel and by the sound of the divine trumpet.^79

For all those who died before that time will be raised from the earth, their spirits being joined and united with their own bodies in which they lived. And as for those who are still alive, they will not die like the others but will be changed "in the twinkling of an eye" from "corruptible to incorruptible."^80

Then "the books" (that is, the consciences) will be opened, and the dead will be judged according to the things they did in the world,^81 whether good or evil. Indeed, all people will give account of all the idle words they have spoken,^82 which the world regards as only playing games. And then the secrets and hypocrisies of men will be publicly uncovered in the sight of all.

Therefore, with good reason the thought of this judgment is horrible and dreadful to wicked and evil people. But it is very pleasant and a great comfort to the righteous and elect, since their total redemption will then be accomplished. They will then receive the fruits of their labor and of the trouble they have suffered; their innocence will be openly recognized by all; and they will see the terrible vengeance that God will bring on the evil ones who tyrannized, oppressed, and tormented them in this world.

The evil ones will be convicted by the witness of their own consciences, and shall be made immortal-- but only to be tormented in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.^83

In contrast, the faithful and elect will be crowned with glory and honor. The Son of God will "confess their names"^84 before God his Father and the holy and elect angels; all tears will be "wiped from their eyes";^85 and their cause-- at present condemned as heretical and evil by many judges and civil officers-- will be acknowledged as the "cause of the Son of God."

And as a gracious reward the Lord will make them possess a glory such as the heart of man could never imagine.

So we look forward to that great day with longing in order to enjoy fully the promises of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

^79 1 Thess. 4:16 ^80 1 Cor. 15:51-53 ^81 Rev. 20:12 ^82 Matt. 12:36 ^83 Matt. 25:14 ^84 Matt. 10:32 ^85 Rev. 7:17

Mom's Realize it is Better to be at Home than Working

In the span of the past decade, full-time work outside the home has lost some of its appeal to mothers. This trend holds both for mothers who have such jobs and those who don't.

Among working mothers with minor children (ages 17 and under), just one-in-five (21%) say full-time work is the ideal situation for them, down from the 32% who said this back in 1997, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Fully six-in-ten (up from 48% in 1997) of today's working mothers say part-time work would be their ideal, and another one-in-five (19%) say she would prefer not working at all outside the home.

There's been a similar shift in preferences among at-home mothers with minor children. Today just 16% of these mothers say their ideal situation would be to work full time outside the home, down from the 24% who felt that way in 1997. Nearly half (48%) of all at-home moms now say that not working at all outside the home is the ideal situation for them, up from the 39% who felt that way in 1997.

Do We Stand Before God in Judgment Upon Death or Later?

We have to make a distinction, as I think the Bible does, between the judgment that we receive immediately upon our death, at which we are brought before Christ, and what the Bible speaks of as the last judgment. There’s a reason the Bible refers to the last judgment as the last. That which is last presupposes that there have been some kinds of judgment prior to it. The Bible says that it’s appointed for man to die once, and then the judgment. I think there’s much in the New Testament to indicate that at the moment we die, we experience at least a preliminary judgment.

Paul, for example, said that he longed to depart and to be with Christ, which was far better than to remain here in this life and in the ministry he had. Historic Christianity has almost universally, but not quite, confessed the idea that the departed saints go immediately to be in the presence of Christ, in what is called the enjoyment of the intermediate state; that is, we are disembodied spirits, and we await the final consummation of the kingdom of Christ, whereby we will experience the resurrection of the body. When, in the Apostles’ Creed, we say, “I believe in the resurrection of the body,” we’re not talking about Christ’s body but about our future resurrected bodies. As I say, 0historic Christianity believes that there is an immediate transference from this world into the presence of Christ, at least in our disembodied spirit state. For that to happen, some kind of judgment has to take place. For example, Paul would not be ushered into the presence of Christ immediately upon his death without Christ first making an evaluation that Paul was indeed one of his—that he was a justified man in a state of salvation. I think there is a preliminary division of the sheep and the goats prior to the final judgment on the last day, of which Scripture speaks. Jesus warns repeatedly of that last judgment.

Very few people in our secular culture find a discussion of judgment to be relevant; it is politically incorrect to judge others or, to some extent, even ourselves—to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Yet these very same people will commend the teachings of Jesus as wise and wonderful. But if Jesus of Nazareth taught anything, he taught repeatedly and emphatically that everyone of us will in fact be brought before the judgment throne of God for a final, consummate judgment.

For an excellent book on this topic click here.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mohler and Piper Running for President?

There is apparently an unofficial campaign being waged at Facebook to have Al Mohler and John Piper into the White House. Well, they have my vote.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What Is The True Church?

It is no surprise that our society is asking the question what is the true church? An alarming article came out yesterday claiming that the Catholic Church is the true church and all other churches are false and basically on the road leading to hell. Yet again this article proves to be an example of what happens when our sinful society tries to define something apart from the scriptures.
As I looked over this crazy article, I was reminded of what Jesus said in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me." You see it is not the Catholic Church or the Pope that is truth and the only way to heaven the Bible clearly says that the entrance is the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus says in John 3:3 that unless a man is born-again, he will not enter into eternal life. Any church needs to be concerned with endorsing things, methods or beliefs that are not even scriptural. Frankly I am not surprised that the Catholic Church came out with this false statement.

Click here to read article

Monday, July 9, 2007

Who Doesn't Want This Martin Luther T-shirt?

Concern over Southern Baptist Agenda Pushes Group to Seek Common Ground

They’re America’s other Baptists — the ones who appoint women pastors, work with theological liberals and line up more closely with President Jimmy Carter than with President George W. Bush.

Over the last 25 years they have watched with growing concern as their conservative Southern Baptist brethren came to define the religious tradition for the public.

Now these other Baptists, who are spread among many denominations, are pooling resources on humanitarian work and evangelism, hoping they can have a bigger impact.

Friday in Washington, two of the larger groups — the American Baptist Churches and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship — worshipped together for the first time. They planned to commission two missionary couples who are to represent both groups and will organize a national Islamic-Baptist dialogue to improve relations with Muslims.

“It is an effort to celebrate our common heritages as Baptist Christians and to affirm our commitment to work together more collaboratively,” said the Rev. Daniel Vestal, national coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. “The Baptist witness is much richer and more nuanced than is characterized so often in the public square now.”

In January an even broader group of Baptists will host an Atlanta meeting “to speak and work together to create an authentic and genuine prophetic Baptist voice in these complex times,” according to a joint document they issued called a “North American Baptist Covenant.”

For full article click here.

Third Mark of a Healthy Church MEMBER: Gospel Saturated

The greatest need in the world today is the gospel. It is the greatest need of the world because men, women, and children are perishing without a vital knowledge of God through the good news of his Savior Son Jesus.

The greatest need in the church today is the gospel. The gospel is not only news for a perishing world, it is the message that forms, sustains, and animates the church. Apart from the gospel, the church has nothing to say—nothing to say that cannot be said by some other human agency. The gospel distinguishes the church from the world, defines her message and mission in the world, and steels her people against the fiery darts of the evil one and the false allurements of sin. The gospel is absolutely vital to a vibrant, joyous, persevering, hopeful and healthy Christian and Christian church. So essential is the gospel to the Christian life that we need to be saturated in it in order to be healthy church members.

How then does one immerse oneself in the gospel? What path might lead to greater spiritual health?

Click here for full article.

Contend and Defend

Seems like there’s been quite a hullabaloo over the gospel lately.

A man named Chalke, echoing a McLaren, echoing a Green and a Baker, echoing a number of feminists, used the words "divine child abuse" to talk about the cross. In response, two major British evangelical institutions refused to let Chalke speak, thereby cutting ties with a third institution that has Chalke on its board.

A book called Pierced For Our Transgressions responded to Chalke, which in turn provoked a heavy-weight named Wright to enter the ring, pound the book, and defend Chalke.

The conservative blogosphering bleacher-sitters then jumped to their feet and started quarrelling with one another over whether or not Wright is one of them. Another heavy-weight named Piper now promises to leap in soon with a book that says "no" and argues that Wright is "harmful to the church and to the human soul." Meanwhile, the U.S. counterpart to the British publisher that printed Pierced decided not to touch the book, telling the enquiring yours truly that the book "doesn’t add anything to the conversation."

Those evangelicals. Always squabbling with one another instead of doing the work of the ministry. Isn’t that what this is?

Well, what does Jude mean when he says "to contend for the faith"? What does Peter mean when he says "be on your guard"? What does John mean when he warns a church to not "even greet" false teachers? What does Paul mean when he says to let anyone with an alternative gospel—my goodness—"be eternally condemned"?

Until this world is ended, the gospel will be challenged from places high and low. It will be tweaked and twisted, denounced and denied. And most fundamentally, Christ calls local churches—not seminaries, not presbyteries, not synods, not theologians, not publishers, and not even eJournals—to defend the gospel. It’s the people in the pews and the pulpits whom these apostles address.

Jonathan Leeman

Is Mark Driscoll Now On-board with us? and What About John H. Armstrong?

Q & A

with Pastor Gilley

Thank you for the work you’ve done in recent months regarding
the “Emergent Church.” ...I keep up on your book reviews and to
a lesser extent your newsletter but have wondered about your
thoughts on two men as of late going in what appears to be two
different directions: 1. Mark Driscoll (Mars Hill, Seattle): moving
from the EC to a strong, sounder theological base. 2. John H.
Armstrong (Anglican, Coming Evangelical Crisis): moving from
a foundationalist theological outlook to the looser, nonfoundationalist
EC perspective. SN

Concerning 1) Driscoll takes a strong Reformed theological position
which makes him distinct from the emergent camp. But he
calls himself emerging and his methods and philosophy of ministry
are questionable in some areas. He has not distanced himself
from a number of mystical issues (Roman Catholic mystics
and their practices) and this is troubling. He also is known as the
“cussing pastor” thanks to Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz. He is
known to curse in private and from the pulpit and he is often very
crude with his sexual remarks.

2) Armstrong seems to have embraced the New Perspective on
Paul and other troubling fads. He has moved away from his
Reformed base and now attacks, as you know, what he calls
Foundationalism. So he is taking a postmodern approach to
Christianity which at least borders on emergent.
Some believe that Driscoll has changed to the point that he is
now one of us (conservative evangelicals), I am not so sure of
this. Some also believe that Armstrong has not yet left the camp
(I think he has).

At least these are my thoughts.

LifeWay's Fitness Expert Promotes Yoga

LifeWay's Fitness Expert Promotes Yoga
New Age Movement continues to Haunt Southern Baptist Convention
by Bud Press, Director
Christian Research Service

For years, the Southern Baptist Convention (hereinafter SBC) has warned Christians about the dangers of Yoga and the New Age Movement.

The SBC has developed articles, resolutions, and Interfaith Evangelism Belief Bulletins warning against the New Age Movement and Yoga.

LifeWay Christian Stores, a division of the SBC, removed Susan Bordenkircher's Yoga for Christians and Brooke Boon's Holy Yoga from its main online bookstore.

SBC officials have spoken out against Yoga and other forms of the New Age Movement.

For decades, solid, Bible-based Christian apologists and cult-evangelists have warned the body of Christ about Yoga and the New Age Movement.

God's word, the Bible, warns about false teachers, worldly philosophies, strange doctrines, and traditions of men, and commands Christians to avoid them.

But despite the warnings, LifeWay and its own fitness expert, Branda Polk, promotes Yoga and encourages Christians to participate in Yoga classes.

Click here to read this entire article.

Texas Supreme Court Backs Pastor Over His Publicizing of Affair

Saying it would be unconstitutional for judges to interfere in a church’s internal affairs, the Texas Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a woman who was furious that her pastor told church elders and the congregation about her extramarital relationship.

For full article click here.

America & Liberty: Grounded in Christian Worldview

Widespread is the notion among secular thinkers that liberty cannot exist in the context of government established upon Christian principles. A revisionist view of the ideas and forces that led our founders to throw off the shackles of tyranny in these United States is not only pervasive but being propagated with renewed vigor from the purveyors of political correctness. The notion that liberty is the result of enlightenment thinking has all but replaced the reality that is the polar opposite: liberty is actually grounded in the bible.

For full article click here.

Catholics Have Become Mainstream America

Do you remember when Catholics were a distinct segment of America, and many people wondered what to make of them? Those days are long gone, according to our new survey, which shows that Catholics are not only the largest denominational group in the country, but are now part of the social mainstream. We studied 97 facets of the lives of Catholics and compared them to national norms. The outcome is striking - and, in some cases, disturbing.

For full story click here.

Now here is a great get-away spot!

If you live in the Midwest and are looking to take a family vacation someplace let me suggest Branson, Mo and Silver Dollar City. It is a great family atmosphere with a Christian emphasis. I have never been to a place that is so patriotic and loves what America stands for. I am impressed that many of the shows are not afraid to sing about Jesus Christ and His saving from sin.

Your kids like mine will enjoy all of the rides and shows at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Mo. It is great to come to a place for a vacation and not worry about all of the liberal, sinful, anti-godly STUFF that is going on in much of our society.

As they say in Branson all the time God bless the U.S.A.