doctrine

Live Without Fear

“Imagine your life wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity, and doubt, what would remain? Envision a day, just one day, absent the dread of failure, rejection, and calamity. Can you imagine a life with no fear?” Thus begins the most recent work from nationally acclaimed writer Max Lucado, entitled “Fearless”. In this midsized 218 page book, Max details exactly how we can indeed be free from fear. In “Fearless”, Max dedicates thirteen chapters to different common fears that plague everyone in the human race. Fear of not mattering. Fear of Disappointing God. Fear of Life’s FInal Moments. Each common fear is pointed out, counterattacked, and disposed of. The Bible tells us again and again not to fear…and God has reasons why. Near the end of the book, Max gives a quote from one of his close friends: “Everything will work out in the end. If it’s not working out, it’s not the end.”
Fearless is a book that everyone should own a copy of. Whether your fears are open and obvious, hidden, or dormant and waiting to appear, this book will cater to all audiences, as it shows us how to live a life free from fear.

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Tuesday, September 8th, 2009 Uncategorized 43 Comments

A Look at Laid-Back Worship

The topic was brought up recently about “laid back” worship. Here’s a small portion with an example of what this looks like:
“He first said that there are two things he loves mainly, the first being the way they worship, since that is basically what their service in centered around. He said also that young people, teens, love to come there because they can come as they are, jeans, t-shirts, anything! He said people show up in Mohawks, tattoos, people scream, people kneel on the floor, people just sit with their heads down and hands folded, people raise their arms, and everyone is ok with it!”

So…this topic of the “come as you are” church is rather interesting. I happen to disagree.

We are certainly called to worship wherever we are at, and worship does not have to be done in an edifice that is specifically ordained for that sort of thing. It can be done at work, at home, etc.

HOWEVER, I disagree on the meaning of “come as you are”, as referenced in a church setting. I do not think that means we should all show up to church in holey jeans and muscle shirts, etc. God wants us to bring
our HEARTS to him as they are…no barriers. We are to come to Him as we are…with all
of our gunk and filth exposed to Him, asking for His forgiveness and mercy. While we can
definitely worship God in our day to day lives, church is special for several reasons. First of all, it’s special because it’s a day set aside as a day of rest and worship…and it’s also a day when the rest of the world specifically sees us. If we come dressed like work, it sends a negative message about Christianity. One of the reasons that we (men) remove hats when praying, wear “sunday clothes”, and close our eyes when praying, is to show a deep respect for the God we are worshipping. We are NOT equals with God! We are His creation, and we owe him respect and Worship. By our show of this, we show the world we are different.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried witnessing to people, and I have them say “One of the reasons I don’t like Christianity is because of all the hypocrites…nobody’s really any different.”

I personally have heard this a LOT, and it’s very true. One of the reasons is because we are revering God less and less, with such doctrines as “God is my buddy”, “He’s my right hand man”, and “God is my copilot”. None of these are true statements. He is our Savior, Lord, and Master. He is Ruler over all, not “OUR right hand man”, or the theologically incorrect statement that he is our “copilot”.

Doctrines such as these lose the reverence that we feel for God, consequently allowing us to believe we can wear what we want, say what we want, look like we want, etc. in church. However, we are told to be “in the world but not of it”, MANY times in the Bible. Often, this means staying away from the latest fashions, which may be immodest, or downright unchristian looking.

Paul Washer has an excellent series of sermons discussing this…and he makes a good point. We begin to be so caught up in the latest fashions that we look, talk, and think just like the world, except for the fact that we call ourselves Christians. This isn’t true Christianity. People should be able to KNOW we are Christians!

So while part of the reason that people are turned off from Christianity is because of hypocritical lifestyles, I believe the other part of the hypocricy comes from a dereverence of our Lord and Savior. I believe a large part of this is how we act in church as well.

Church has become more of a place for comfort rather than conviction! We’re told that we can “come as we are” physically, so we don’t have to make any effort. The sermons are almost always the “feel good” type, taking special care not to offend anyone. They usually involve the “promises” of the Bible, but neglect the “warnings”, just in case it might offend someone, or there might be an unbeliever attending who might be “turned off” by the warnings.

So, all of this to say, I disagree completely with the idea that we should be able to wear what we want and talk like we want etc. in church…it is a means of glorifying God and showing our respect for him. Do I think it is a sin? I don’t know. I haven’t come to a solid conclusion on that yet. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 Uncategorized 101 Comments

Sickness and Health, pt. 2

As I was writing the post below, I realized I’d have to go a little farther with it. Not only do I need to talk about
physical health, but also spiritual health…which is far more important.

When the Fall occurred, man lost his perfection, and became marred and imperfect. Man began to sin…and this is where this post merges with the previous. Man’s previous “normal” for behavior was always good…because man was innocent and didn’t know right from wrong…there was no wrong except eating the fruit of the tree. After sin, the default suddenly changed to sin.
Genesis 6:12, “God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth. ”

Horrible things were happening…murders, licentiousness, worship of other dieties, all because sin had become the norm. After the flood, God instituted sacrifice as a sort of forward-looking type of Jesus Christ. Finally, God sent His son, Jesus to die for our sins. This allowed us to have a way to reverse our default! When we accept him genuinely, our default changes to wanting to serve him. However, our flesh still wars against our spirit, because “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” However, with God’s help, we can keep on the right side, and please him, because by ourselves, “our righteousness is as filthy rags”, but with Him, “He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. May we all learn to seek Him as we should.

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Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Uncategorized 26 Comments

Todd Bentley (July 7, 2008)

I’ve discussed issues regarding “faith healer” Todd Bentley, and the “Lakeland healing revival” quite a bit recently. I would like to post some thoughts on him here. Also, most of the following post was researched and written by SupermanJMO (blog at www.elyonscircle.com/blogs/Superman) .

First of all, I would like to refer you all to the following set of videos, which provide an excellent view as to some of the major controversial issues with Bentley:

Part 1: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=86513fe0a5cdf9841b43

Part 2: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=d698a1a1b0448cd9d740

Part 3: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=ee15be412cd472b710cf

Part 4: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=5f875cf23b0dd1acd74d

Part 5: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=66b63b960fb63398b114

Part 6: http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=4b24feb64c3c84b4a4bd
They will help you make a decision.

This is very concerning, as I believe the man to be demon possessed. Unfortunately, this sounds a LOT like an antichrist scenario. Matthew 24:24 ‘For there shall arise Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders in so much that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.’”

If you watch the 6-part series I told you about, you can SEE that he is NOT of God! His “testimony” is ridiculous, and even absurd at times, directly contradicting God’s word, and his “healings” are also unbiblical.

The 6 videos together are under an hour, so I would encourage you to watch them.

Also, there are a couple more recent developments that Worldview (www.christianworldviewnetwork , www.worldviewtraining.com), an EXCELLENT Christian site, mentions. The videos are here (they are linked from youtube, so you won’t be able to see these two unless you can access youtube):

http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3660/

http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3690/

He is a lying snake, and should not be trusted, as is VERY CLEARLY evident in these videos. Listen to him tell about his “testimony” of how God started him on his “mission”, etc…and the lakeland “revival” is STILL going on. I no more believe this man is of God than I believe that God does not exist. EVERYTHING he does is unbiblical. Search the scriptures carefully, test the spirits, and be as wise as serpents, yet harmless as doves. Run EVERYTHING he does through scripture (the videos previously mentioned do this…they are excellent), and you will see that he is nothing but a fraud, who I strongly believe to be possessed with a demon (or several).

Also, here is another excellent article: http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3636/By_Jan_Markell

[From Superman]
In an attempt to put this issue at rest, I’ve spent the entire night gathering articles and quotes and information and so on about Todd Bentley and the Lakeland Revival. This is by far not the definitive word on the subject; it’s not exhaustive and it probably doesn’t cover many of the counter-objections I’m sure that will come up. But, it should be able to convince anyone willing to listen and look at the evidence, that Todd Bentley is a false prophet.

In Lakeland, and you can watch the video here for yourself, God has allegedly told Bentley that he wants the people to believe in THE ANGEL. Now, this angel remains unnamed, so which angel it is (Bentley seems to know a few), I don’t know. Let me quote:

“Now let me talk about an angelic experience. Twice Bob Jones asked me if I had seen a particular angel that was in Kansas City in 1980. He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. He told me that this angel helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980’s as well as helping to nurture the prophetic as it broke out.”

http://www.freshfire.ca/index.php?Act=read…pid=954&bid=955

As a sidenote, this Bob Jones is not the same Bob Jones of Bob Jones University. Heavens no. This Bob Jones is the Bob Jones from the Kansas City Prophets. Who, if you recall, had young ladies strip naked before him to receive a prophetic word from him in private and used his “prophetic authority” to molest women. His quote: “In recent months, I have manipulated certain people for selfish reasons on the basis of my prophetic gifting,” Jones said in a statement that he dictated and signed before the Metro Vineyard Fellowship senior leadership on November 4, 1991. “I have been guilty of sexual misconduct, and I deeply regret this. (I have not committed adultery.) ”

And if that’s not troubling enough, regarding prophetic accuracy, he has said that “Some prophets were as low as 10 percent accurate with some of the most mature prophets having a rating approaching 85 percent to 95 percent.” Now hang on. What does the Bible say about prophets? (Deut 18)

Now we have a man who one, directly contradicts God’ Word; two, is known for his false prophecies; three, makes Bill Clinton look moral; and four, is Bentley’s mentor, and the man who first told Bentley of this angel.

Now, we go on to point two. Not only is the guy who tells Bentley about this angel a little more than theologically wacko, but WHO is this angel. This article used to tell you, but it’s been edited. You can read the full article at the link I got this original quote from:

“Now let me talk about an angelic experience with Emma. Twice Bob Jones asked me about this angel that was in Kansas City in 1980: “Todd, have you ever seen the angel by the name of Emma?” He asked me as if he expected that this angel was appearing to me. Surprised, I said, “Bob, who is Emma?” He told me that Emma was the angel that helped birth and start the whole prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s. She was a mothering-type angel that helped nurture the prophetic as it broke out.”

http://www.etpv.org/2003/angho.html

So we have the angel named. Emma. Wonderful. Once again, this is the angel that birthed the prophetic movement in Kansas City, led by such wonderful men like

Bob Jones, whose theological shortcomings we’ve already discussed
Paul Cain, an alcoholic and homosexual (see http://www.charismamag.com/display.php?id=10627) who is also well-known for his off-the-wall theology.
Rick Joyner, who has denied Christ’s humanity and became a Y2K prophet in the 1990s: ”The most severe difficulties will come from the panic generated by the situation” and ” The Lord told me to observe the problems that Y2K will cause in the natural world as a reflection of the problems we have in the body of Christ.”
As well as many others….Jones and Cain have actually been present and spoke at the Lakeland Revivals, which really makes one wonder.

But I’ve been on a side-note. The angel’s name was Emma. Which, once again, jumps out at me, because it’s a feminine name. Bentley (and Jones) make it clear that this was a female manifestation. Now, here’s the interesting thing. If you read the entire article, more than just my quote, you can tell that Bentley is talking about a FEMALE manifestation (despite the fact that angels always appear in Scripture as male). In fact, quoting Bentley:

In the case of the angel called “Emma,” who I described as having mother-like nurturing qualities, some have automatically assumed that my doctrine is that I believe in female angels. This has never been the case! For whatever reason God chose to show me this angel in a female persona, He did.

http://www.freshfire.ca/?Id=1059&pid=993

So I think we can come to the conclusion that we’re talking about a FEMALE manifestation. But hold on. Let’s read some of Bentley’s book, Reality of the Supernatural World:
“A while ago, Bob Jones told me about an angel that helped birth the entire prophetic movement in Kansas City in the 1980s…He appeared young–about 22 years old–but old at the same time. It was as though he carried the wisdom, virtue, and grace of Proverbs 31.”
Wait. Now SHE’s a HE? But still with the grace of Proverbs 31? To keep Bentley’s story straight, we’ve got to have some sort of cross-dressing angel, and to avoid that mental picture and the elaborate rhetoric used to explain such a slip of tongue, I think we can concede that Bentley is being deceitful here.
But I’m not done with this he/she Emma/unnamed angel manifestation. Bentley can’t get his story straight so we could assume that it doesn’t exist, which would be nice, but I’m not totally convinced of that. Instead, let’s see who Emma might be.
Now if you listen to early Bentley, before all the fuss and furor about Emma came about, he would also often call her Emma-O. Which is interesting, because Emma-O is the Japanese lord of Death and king of Hell. Perhaps this is a coincidence…but then again, Mr. Bentley, since having this encounter with Emma or Emma-O has progressively covered himself in Japanese tattoos

He has a large Japanese Kanji symbol on his left arm. On a leg is the warrior Apollo, who in mythology and alchemy, has spiritual and symbolic significance identical with that of the sun. The spreading golden hairs which crown the god’s head have the same meaning as the bow and arrow (sun rays). The Greek name for Apollo is Apollon, also call Apollyon in scripture, or Hebrew “Abaddon” (Rev. 9:11) Why does Bentley choose to embellish the god of destruction on his body? Also, Bentley has tattooed under his arm a depiction of Jesus’ crucified upside-down face with a subliminal monkey in the beard. Above the tip of the head, is a tattoo of what is said to be Oni, a “Buddhist guardian devil”.
Also, Bentley would like you to think he’s had these tattoos for most of his life, since before he began to preach, even though video evidence (he had a mullet) says otherwise.
“Todd claimed when he was 18 he said ‘God I want to be part of a global movement.’ When he was preaching to 20 people, he said ‘God, the biggest stadiums in the world are not going to be able to hold the masses.’ Todd said he wanted to preach to stadiums filled, but claims church people at the time said of him: ‘That tattooed preacher Todd Bentley, you’ll never go anywhere looking like that!’ My leadership team said: ‘Todd, I don’t know, you go all those tattoos on your body, I don’t know, they’re gonna hurt your ministry.’ ‘How many know God wants to use you as you are?’ then said Todd. The crowd then whistled, cheered and clapped.”—From the June 23rd meeting.
But Bentley didn’t have these tattoos at 18. He didn’t have these tattoos until he met Emma. Interesting. Proof can be found by watching videos of him preaching in Toronto.

So let’s recap. Todd Bentley’s circle of mentors and friends are not encouraging. One of these friends more or less introduced Bentley to the angel Emma, supposedly responsible for starting the revival led by Bentley’s aforementioned immoral and heretical friends. Emma or Emma-O is the Japanese Lord of Death and King of Hell. And shortly after encountering Emma, Bentley begins to cover himself in Japanese occultic tattoos.

And yet there is a discussion about whether this is a man of God? And don’t think for a minute this is an exhaustive treatise, either. I’m sure there is more about Bentley to be discovered.

http://www.eternalpath.com/lakeland.html
http://endtimespropheticwords.wordpress.com/
http://www.toddbentley.org
http://www.patholliday.com/christograms/from_scribd/ANGEL_EMMA_O_%20GOD_FROM_THE_UNDERWORLD_TODD_BENTLEY.pdf

In closing, let me quote A.W. Tozer:

Many tender-minded Christians fear to sin against love by daring to inquire into anything that comes wearing the cloak of Christianity and breathing the name of Jesus. They dare not examine the credentials of the latest prophet to hit their town lest they be guilty of rejecting something which may be of God. They timidly remember how the Pharisees refused to accept Christ when He came, and they do not want to be caught in the same snare, so they either reserve judgment or shut their eyes and accept everything without question. This is supposed to indicate a high degree of spirituality. But in sober fact it indicates no such thing. It may indeed be evidence of the absence of the Holy Spirit. Gullibility is not synonymous with spirituality. Faith is not a mental habit leading its possessor to open his mouth and swallow everything that has about it the color of the supernatural. Faith keeps its heart open to whatever is of God, and rejects everything that is not of God, however wonderful it may be. Try the spirits is a command of the Holy Spirit to the Church. We may sin as certainly by approving the spurious as by rejecting the genuine. And the current habit of refusing to take sides is not the way to avoid the question. To appraise things with a heart of love and then to act on the results is an obligation resting upon every Christian in the world.
[End of Superman's post]

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Monday, July 7th, 2008 Uncategorized 178 Comments

Bible Study and reading

OK, now for my thoughts from our Bible Study that us guys had on the Latah VBA!
Basically, most of the week was spent talking on the Joy of the Lord. It’s an amazing topic! The two
main passage that we used was “James 1:2-13″:

2 ¶ My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation,
10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away.
11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

So here, James is talking about the Joy of the Lord. We are to be joyful in EVERYTHING, no matter if life
is good, or if life is bad. Specifically, we applied this to work/jobs, mainly of the volunteer or non-paid type.
Many of us go around grumbling that we have to do a certain chore, yet we are told to count EVERYTHING as joy.
But how can we do this? James gives us the answer in verse 5: “Ask of God”. One of the main reasons we
had this topic is because when we do our VBA’s, we have a lot of work projects that we do. We have a day off
(for fun), then a day with work projects, then the next day off, etc. Every other day.
So the conclusion we came to is this: it is an EXCELLENT daily routine, to as SOON as you wake up (before
you even read your Bible), and pray to God that He would FILL you with His joy. Pray that he would
fill you to overflowing, so that there would be no room for any type of sin to enter in. This includes anything,
discontent, strife, grumbling, lust, slander, backbiting, disobedience, bad attitudes, etc. So I have
been praying every morning for the joy of the Lord, and guess what??? IT WORKS! Last year, I didn’t have a very
good attitude about some of our work projects. This year, I was actually HAPPY to do them! The main difference? I prayed that the Lord would give me His joy, and to realize that I was working for Him. The work I was doing was directly benefiting His kingdom, and I was storing up for myself treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
So obviously I can’t completely replicate the Bible study…it was WAY better than just that, but hopefully I’ve got
you thinking! Hopefully you will try the Lord in this, and find it to be true.

The other thing I wanted to share was from my daily Bible reading. It was in 2 Kings 6 and 7.
I was struck while reading it, on how it applies to modern Christians today. In 2 Kings 6, the Arameans were
coming to attack Israel. Elisha and his servant were inside the city, looking down on the army. The servant
reminds me of modern Christians today…he was afraid, and didn’t trust properly in the Lord.
Verses 15-17:
15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

This is an AMAZING passage. I was deeply encouraged when reading this. To think, God surrounds us with protection on every side, and yet we still doubt His presence and power. We are SURROUNDED by hosts of angels, and God has control over everything.
The other thing I wanted to note, was in chapter 7, of the same book.
Verses 1-2a:
1 ¶ Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’”
2 So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would open the
floodgates of heaven, could this thing be?”

This also depicts much of the lack of faith that modern day Christians have. They put too little stock in what God can do! They reduce God to someone they flee to in time of DESPERATE need, but only as a soft blanket-type God, that will
comfort them. They do not really believe that they will be helped. What they fail to realize is that God is completely omnipotent, that is, all powerful. This also ties in with “ask and you shall receive”. I don’t take this to mean that if I pray “Oh dear God, please give me a Porsche or a Ferrari” that I will find one sitting at my doorstep the next day, but rather if I make my prayer requests as Jesus would, they will be granted. Wisdom, knowledge, strength, aid. Things like this we never believe God will really give, yet He is willing and ready to help us. The one condition? That we ask in (keyword here) FAITH. This ties back in with James 1:6-7.
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
7 FOR LET NOT THAT MAN SUPPOSE THAT HE WILL RECEIVE ANYTHING FROM THE LORD;

God clearly says that if we do not ask in faith, we WILL NOT receive. This is something I am now encouraged to do.

Questions? Comments? Rebuttals? Rebukes?

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 Uncategorized 168 Comments

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