We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Friday, August 11, 2017

Some Good Stuff — No Bad or Ugly

We’ve been doing a lot of traveling this past week or so, with band practice, visiting friends, and a 600-mile round trip to an aviation museum.  And we have a parade tomorrow.

I’ve been getting rid of more books, as some of you know by being the first claimants.  When you see a post for a book giveaway, be sure to look at the comments section where I respond to comments not posted — that’s how I communicate with the recipient if they don’t email me.  With this past one I wasn’t able to take it down for over 24 hrs due to the trip, but I had already posted a comment to the “winner” and another comment to the second in line letting them know they missed it, yet many hours later someone requested the book.  So be sure to look at the comments first.  Of course there may be a few requests in my inbox which I haven’t gotten to because I’m away from home, so then the post will be still up without comments.  Just have patience.  And be watching — I have five more already selected but since I won’t be able to respond and/or mail for a couple days, I’ll wait for posting.

Okay, let’s look at the good stuff I’ve been reading:

Fake news about early Christianity.

About that “slain in the spirit” nonsense.

Protecting your assembly from false teaching.

An evaluation of Muslim dreams and visions of Isa (Jesus):  Part 1 and Part 2

How did the canon of Scripture come to be?

Chris Tomlin — we don’t need your new choruses for old hymns.  I’ve pointed this out many times.

Thus Saith Rome — an excellent article about Roman Catholicism.  From a 2007 Midwest Christian Outreach Journal now available on the ‘net.

And finally, a great quote!
A worship leader serves his congregation best when he chooses songs they can sing and sing well. He is highly attuned to their ability. He prioritizes the singability of songs over their newness or oldness or author or theological density. He gauges his success not by his own worship, but by theirs. His question is not “how did the band feel?” but “how did the congregation sing?” When he steps back and hears his church singing—really singing—, his joy is complete.  Tim Challies

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Praising God is no Passing Fancy

I am aware that the recent history of the church has been beset with innumerable fads.  One new idea about theology, methodology, lifestyle, and church life follows another.  Each is presented with fanfare and excitement. Each flashes and splashes, then sparkles and sputters, and then is replaced by another new idea.  We are weary with fads.

But the praise of God is not a passing fancy!  It is one of the most elemental, fundamental, and necessary factors of the life of faith in this and any age.  It is the goal and direction of all creation.  The price of God is the occupation of all His holy angels.  The praise of God is the purpose of man.  The praise of God is the end result of all God’s wonders, all His being, and all His acts.  If man will not praise God, the very stones will! (cf. Luke 19:40).  He has redeemed us for the praise of His glory (cf. Eph. 1:6,12,14).  This is no fad!

Ronald B. Allen, And I Will Praise Him, pg.26

Monday, August 7, 2017

Leave the Fads Out of Worship

Our current experimentation in the area of worship is too reliant on the fads of the present.  Contemporary popular verse and music is entirely too man-centered.  The focus of much contemporary Christian worship is almost entirely on man and his needs, with no hint that God wants us to praise Him.  Yet from proper praise our needs will fall into their proper places—and be taken care of.

Dr. Robert Webber, Forward to the book, And I Will Praise Him, by Ronald B. Allen

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Fear Not the World

Why should you fear?  Why should you be afraid?  Do you not know that the prince of this world has been judged?  He is no lord, no prince any more.  You have a different, a stronger Lord, Christ, who has overcome and bound him.  Therefore, let the prince and god of this world look sour, bare his teeth, make great noise, threaten…he can do no more than a bad dog on a chain.

Martin Luther

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Good, Bad, and Ugly

Summer time is a busy time for all sorts of things that keep me outside.  The other thing which has been keeping me busy and away from my blog is researching things for other people and providing to them what I find.  But I still get a chance to read my morning news items, so here are things you should know.

The Good:
Here is an interesting site which examines Roman Catholicism.

Very good examination of the religious cult of Freemasonry.  It is lengthy, so put it on pause and come back to it if necessary.  It is important information to know.  (There are some myths propagated, so beware of that; and they don’t have the LDS/Masonry connection correct either.  I was disappointed with these errors.)

I found this article about singing with lights ON to be thought-provoking.

Another good article about REAL spiritual warfare.

Did Jesus claim to be God?

Can Christians “bind” Satan or “take authority” over him?  NO!

Interesting commentary on Genesis 3:16.

The Bad:
Reviewing Andy Stanley’s awful new book.  What Stanley doesn’t seem to understand is that the church (the local assembly) is ONLY for “churched people” — i.e., Christians.   Stanley thinks that idea is totally wrong, which is more proof why he is not qualified to be a pastor.

N.T. Wright is a heretic — there is no getting around it.

Willow Creek gets more and more apostate every day.

False teacher alert — Becky Fisher

The Ugly:
Bethel and Hillsong are joining together for an event — two heretical groups joining to deceive more people.  This could be some of Satan’s finest work!

An example of all that is wrong with Hillsong — Carl Lentz and Justin Bieber.  Lentz is a wolf pretending to be a pastor, and Bieber obviously has no idea about the Christian walk.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Questions, for Catholics, About Purgatory

1. Hebrews 9:27 says that after death we face judgment, not purging.  How do reconcile this with purgatory?

2. Hebrews 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:9 say Christ already "purged" our sins (KJV - others say "provided purification" and the Catholic Bible says “cleansed.”).  So if Christ already "purged" (or cleansed) our sins, what is purgatory for? 

3. 1 John 2:2 says Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, as does Romans 3:23-25.  If our sins have been atoned for, what is the purpose of purgatory? 

4. If purgatory is necessary, does that not say that Christ was ineffective in his atonement in that it didn't pay for all sin? (This is also a good question about the Mass - if Christ already paid for our sins by the one sacrifice, then why is the sacrifice of the Mass necessary? (Hebrews 10:18 - and actually read the whole chapter up to that point!) 

5. How does one know if they have spent long time enough in purgatory? When buying indulgences, how does one know when enough has been paid to release them from purgatory? 

6. Why is it that purgatory didn't become part of the doctrine of the Church until 1438 if it was a true biblical position? 

7. Does the "gospel" sound like "good news" if you can attend thousands of Masses throughout your life and still not die fully purified from sin? 

8. Since Philippians 1:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:8 say Christians go immediately to be with the Lord (as also the thief on the Cross), how does this reconcile with purgatory? 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Truth is More Important Than Peace

We must not so seek peace with others as to wrong truth.  Peace must not be bought with the sale of truth.  Truth is the ground of faith, and the rule of life.  Truth is the most orient gem of the churches’ crown.  Truth is a deposit, or charge that God has entrusted with us.  We trust God with our souls.  He trusts us with His truths.  We must not let any of God’s truths to fall to the ground.  Luther says, “It is better that the heavens fall—than one crumb of truth perish.”  The least filings of this gold are precious.  We must not seek the flower of peace as to lose the diamond of truth.

Thomas Watson, Puritan preacher (1620-1686)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Good, Bad, and Ugly

Well I got my computer back for the second time this past Monday, and it’s all fixed.  But it’s been a very chaotic week, so some of this stuff I’ve collected you may have already seen on other sites. On Monday I played for the graveside service after a funeral for a friend who died; 88-year-old Korean War veteran.  Tuesday the air conditioner got fixed after being without it for five hot and humid days.  Wednesday we traveled 93 miles north so I could play for a graveside service — one I got paid for!  Thursday was morning haircut and vet appointments, with evening band practice (70 miles east).  Yesterday was doing some service for an elderly couple, then up to the airport to photograph a rare, freshly restored B-29 bomber arrival, followed by a late lunch date with my wife.  Returning home for 15 minutes, we then headed back to the airport for a 3:30 appointment with a friend who works at Rockwell-Collins and who got me a pass to tour the B-29 (which was on its way to Oshkosh but stopped in Cedar Rapids to allow R.C. employees to tour it because R.C. did a lot for them).  We stood in line for 1.5 hrs and watched a nasty storm building (got some great photos of the storm) and, just when we were about 5 minutes from our turn to go inside the plane the downpour began and we were all ushered into the hangar.  Well I decided that was the end and we headed on into town to pick up photos which had been processed the previous day.  By the time we got home it was almost 7:30.  Whew!  Oh, and we got an inch of needed rain.  So now let’s look at this week’s news.

The Good:
A good examination of the reason “The Message” is to be avoided at all costs!

The Watchman Fellowship has published a profile exposing John Dominic Crossan.

Fred has posted episode six of his review of the book, “Navigating Genesis.”

Neil examines the Problems With Pro-Gay Theology.

I wish this was really true.

Good article about real spiritual warfare.

The Bad:
David Jeremiah is now promoting false teacher Sarah Young.

A Catholic university has bought into the “Islamaphobia” lie.  Wasting donors’ money.

A Trojan horse in women’s ministry.

The Ugly:

Eugene Peterson came out in favor of same-sex unions.  Oh, wait a minute, he has done some flip-flopping about them; Lifeway said they’d pull his books and suddenly he decided such unions weren’t right after all.  Another bad thing about this is that SBC leader Russell Moore says Christians should still read and learn from Peterson!

This is some old Benny Hinn stuff, including Suzanne Hinn’s teaching about a Holy Ghost enema, but it demonstrates just what charlatans they are (a commenter said that this isn’t Benny Hinn’s wife, but this article contradicts that claim).  These people are not Christians.

The love of money leads many “evangelicals” to embrace pro-gay theologyThis article demonstrates the same problem.

Mary Dalke has a very thorough study about the Roman Catholic Virgin Mary (which isn’t the Biblical mother of Jesus) and the so-called apparitions of her.  The RCC idolatry of Mary is a very ugly and demonic doctrine.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Treasury of Excellent Hymns

We have a treasury of excellent hymns, lying in a chest in an attic.  Bring them down.  This is not a matter of prescribing one style for everyone.  There are two reasons why.  The first is that those hymns we no longer sing represent a wonderful variety of styles already.  There are the straightforward American revival hymns (“Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”).  There are haunting Irish folk melodies (the tune “Slane” for “Be Thou My Vision”).  There are the poignant Negro spirituals (“There Is a Balm in Gilead”).  We have medieval plainsong, featuring some of the oldest extant melodies (“Creator of the Stars of Night”); harmonization or Renaissance melodies by Johann Sebastian Bach (“Jesus, Priceless Treasure”); melodies specifically written for fine religious lyrics (“Lux Benigna” for Cardinal Newman’s “Lead, Kindly Light”); lilting melodies from the Scottish tradition (“Saint Columba,” “Crimond,” and “Evan” for “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”); the powerful shape-note hymns from Appalachia; French carols; English anthems for the Church militant; texts whose authors range from the Church Fathers to the pious blind poet Fanny Crosby; melodies from the time of Ambrose to the beginning of the twentieth century, from every single nation in Europe.  If someone rejects all of that, it is not because he does not appreciate “the” style.  It is because he has a lust for destructiveness or because he does in fact want one style to prevail, the style of the jingling show tune, a style that has no place in the liturgy.

Some church choirs with a chokehold on the music protest that it takes them many long hours to learn a new hymn.  That would be true only if they were singing in harmony, and most do not.  It should take only a few minutes for anybody, in the choir or not, to learn to sing a new melody.  The old hymns were written precisely for congregational singing.  You do not have to be Beverly Sills or Mario Lanza to sing them.  They are waiting; just as if there were a great wing of a castle that no one every entered anymore, filled with works of art by the masters.  No doubt a painting of the Prodigal Son by Murillo or Rembrandt reveals its secrets only gradually, so that you can look at it for the fiftieth time and notice something that you had seen but taken for granted, such as why Rembrandt’s prodigal has a shaved head, or why there is a little white dog in mid-leap after Murillo’s prodigal, wagging his tail for joy.  But those great works also appeal to us immediately, impressing us with their beauty and suggesting that there always will be more, and more, to see and to learn and to delight in.  The great hymns are like the paintings in that way.  They give us riches at the outset and yet have more and more to give, in abundance.

Anthony Esolen, Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, pg.39-40