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

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

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Would You Like This?


For my American audiences (due to postage costs), I have this magazine-type booklet for which I no longer have a need as a reference tool.  It has some really good examinations of the teachings of Roman Catholicism.  Discussions are between John Ankerberg, Walter Martin, and "Father" Mitchell Pacwa.

I will send it to the first claimant!

Yes, A Few More


I don’t think I’ll ever run out of modern “praise and worship” songs to criticize as long as the churches continue to use “radio songs” for congregational singing — something for which they are not suited!

Here are the latest repetitive songs I encountered:

Everlasting God, 
by Kenneth H. Riley and Brenton Brown

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord
Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
Wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our strong deliverer

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won't grow weary

You're the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting God
The everlasting

The Lord is the everlasting God
The Creator of all the Earth
He never grows weak or weary
No one can imagine the depths of His understanding

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless
Even youths will become weak and tired
And young men will fall in exhaustion
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength

They'll soar high on wings like eagles
They'll run and not grow weary
They'll walk and not faint

Our God, 
by Chris Tomlin, Jesse Reeves, Jonas Myrin, and Matt Redman

Water You turned into wine
Opened the eyes of the blind
there's no one like you
None like you
Into the darkness You shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There`s No one like you
None like you

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

Into the darkness you shining
Out of the ashes we Rise
No one like you
None like you

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God
Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who can ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?
Then what can stand against?

Forever, 
by Dozier, Lamont Herbert/Holland, Brian/Gorman, Freddie

Give thanks to the Lord our God and King,
His love endures forever.
For He is good He is above all things,
His love endures forever.
Sing Praise, Sing Praise.

With a mighty hand and outstretched arm,
His love endures forever.
For the life that's been reborn,
His love endure forever.
Sing Praise, Sing Praise.

Forever God is faithful,
Forever God is strong.
Forever God is with us,
Forever

From the rising to the setting sun,
His love endures forever.
And by the grace of God we will carry on,
His love endures forever.
Sing Praise, Sing Praise

Forever You are faithful,
Forever You are strong.
Forever You are with us,
Forever and ever, forever.

His love endures forever,
His love endures forever,
His love endures forever.


Am I the only one who sees this stuff as “vain repetition”?

I finally figured out something which makes older songs problematic for the modern church:  if you have a band you need a song with lots of “energy” and a “rock” beat, which real hymns don’t have.  And, ya know, ya gotta have a band!  Also, these types of songs are much better at working up the emotions regardless of how little they actually say.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Lies You Might Believe


The pastor at our assembly just finished a series of messages he titled, “Lies You Might Believe.”  These are lies you typically hear from non-believers who try to denigrate the Christian faith, OR from false teachers who have an agenda, OR from those who really don’t understand what Scripture says.

These messages have some good apologetics information for defending against these lies.  Here are the lies examined by the individual messages:

God Does Not Mean What He Said
We All Worship the Same God
Everyone Is a Child of God
People Are Basically Good
A Loving God Could Not Send Anyone to Hell
You Are Saved By Praying a Prayer
When You Die, God Gains Another Angel
Believe in Yourself and Anything Is Possible
I Deserve to Be Happy
We Should Never Judge


To listen to these messages, go to the sermon topic and use the drop-down window to select the individual message.  You’ll be glad you did.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Another Emotion-Driven Song


This is a song we “performed” in our assembly recently.  While there is a wee bit of doctrine in the lyrics, it is just repeated over and over.   Is there something wrong with ME that I find this repetitive stuff to be a put-off?  If this was the standard fare at our assembly, I’d have to find another place to go.  All I can see with this song is a way to drive the emotions.  Please leave it on the radio and out of the assembly.


"All The Earth Will Sing Your Praises”
by Paul Baloche

You lived, You died, You said in three days You would rise
You did, You're alive
You rule, You reign, You said You're coming back again
I know You will, all the earth will sing Your praises
All the earth will sing Your praises

You took, You take our sins away, oh God
You give, You gave Your life away for us
You came down, You saved us through the cross
Our hearts are changed because of Your great love

You lived, You died, You said in three days You would rise
You did, You're alive
You rule, You reign, You said You're coming back again
I know You will, all the earth will sing Your praises
All the earth will sing Your praises, yeah

You took, You take our sins away, oh God
You give, You gave Your life away for us
You came down, You saved us through the cross
Our hearts are changed because of Your great love

You lived, You died, You said in three days You would rise
You did, You're alive
You rule, You reign, You said You're coming back again
I know You will, all the earth will sing Your praises

Live, You lived, You died, You said in three days You would rise
You did, You're alive, yeah
You rule, You reign, You said You're coming back again
I know You will and all the earth will sing Your praises

You lived, You died, You said in three days You would rise
You did, You're alive, yeah, You rule
You rule, You reign, You said You're coming back again
I know You will, all the earth will sing Your praises

Yeah, yes they will
All the earth will sing Your praises
All the earth will sing
All the earth will sing Your praises

Yeah, yes they will
All the earth will sing Your praises
All the earth
All the earth will sing Your praises

Yeah they will
Shout Your praises Lord
Shout Your praises, yes


Friday, August 26, 2016

The Feminization of Christianity


In my last “Random…” post I noted at the end that the individual is NOT the Bride of Christ as so much of the church has been teaching (originating from Roman Catholicism).  This “bridal paradigm” has been getting stronger and stronger over the years, especially due to all the “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs as well as the teaching at IHOP.

I came across an excellent article explaining the history of this feminization of the church and how we’ve gotten to where we are now with women becoming more and more as leaders, leading to more and more apostasy.  I highly recommend it (I haven’t looked at the others in the series yet, but will be doing so ASAP).

I have to agree as to much of why men aren’t engaging with much of today’s “Church” services, in that the various “worship” songs are so vacuous and/or having God the Father or Jesus as buddies or boyfriends, which is a real turn-off.  

Here are some thought-provoking quotes from the article:

The imagery and language of a romantic, intimate relationship is also very common in modern “praise and worship” songs that have lyrics that are sometimes almost indistinguishable from those that are heard on “secular” radio.

Murrow contends that the idea of individual-believer-as-bride is simply unbiblical, writing that “The Bible never describes our love for God in such erotic terms. The men of Scripture loved God, but they were never desperate for him or in love with him.” Podles believes that the rise of bridal imagery is part of what led men to start abandoning the faith during the late Middle Ages. Both feel that the ethos embodied in the bridal analogy continues to be a factor in why the Christian gospel attracts more women than men.

Podles and Murrow contend that making the goal of the Christian faith to, as the former puts it, develop a “rapturous love affair with Christ” just doesn’t resonate with most men, who struggle to relate to Deity as a blushing virginal bride. The idea of Jesus as committed companion and loving protector is more appealing to women, they say, while men are looking for a leader — a mighty, conquering king to suffer, rather than cuddle, with.

Under this theory, the rise of bridal imagery not only made the Christian narrative less compelling to men, it also pushed the faith’s overall ethos in a more feminine direction. The values associated with brides, especially in centuries past — love, protection, comfort, passivity, obedience, dependence, receptivity – came to dominate the ethos of the Christian gospel, and be privileged over its more masculine qualities of suffering, sacrifice, and conflict.

==========

[M]odern sermons tend to deemphasize the contrast between heaven and hell, sin and life, grace and justice, sheep and goats. There are less martial analogies, fewer calls for Christians to take up their cross and become soldiers for Christ. There is less emphasis on the need to suffer, struggle, and sacrifice for the gospel and for others, and more emphasis on how the gospel can be a tool towards greater self-realization and personal fulfillment. The gospel is presented not as heroic challenge, but therapy – the way to “your best life now.” The focus is on rewards over obstacles. All gain, no pain.

===============
This one addresses a phrase I detest — “personal relationship.”

Indicative of these changes, Murrow says, is the way “the kingdom of God” has fallen into disuse in describing the church, in favor of the “family of God.” In the former, the ethos is more mission directed; in the latter it’s more’s relational. Each member of the “family of God” has a relationship with each other, and with Jesus Christ. And not just any kind of relationship with the savior — a “personal relationship” — a term whose popularity Murrow thinks contributes to the gospel’s lack of appeal to men:

“It’s almost impossible to attend an evangelical worship service these days without hearing this phrase [personal relationship with Jesus Christ] spoken at least once. Curious. While a number of Bible passages imply a relationship between God and man, the term ‘personal relationship with Jesus’ never appears in the Scriptures. Nor are individuals commanded to ‘enter into a relationship with God.’

Yet, despite its extrabiblical roots, personal relationship with Jesus Christ has become the number one term evangelicals use to describe the Christian walk. Why? Because it frames the gospel in terms of a woman’s deepest desire—a personal relationship with a man who loves her unconditionally. It’s imagery that delights women—and baffles men.
When Christ called disciples, he did not say, ‘Come, have a personal relationship with me.’ No, he simply said, ‘Follow me.’ Hear the difference? Follow me suggests a mission. A goal. But a personal relationship with Jesus suggests we’re headed to Starbucks for some couple time.”

========
Ah, the problems with “praise and worship” music; this section really hits the nail on the head.  

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries “praise and worship” music replaced hymns in many Christian churches. But while Murrow sees some good in this type of music, overall he thinks “P&W” may have even less appeal to men than the hymns of old, and “has harmed men’s worship more than it has helped”:

“the evidence seems to indicate that, while P&W is very appealing to some men, it’s a turnoff for many more. Before P&W, Christians sang hymns about God. But P&W songs are mostly sung to God. The difference may seem subtle, yet it completely changes how worshippers relate to the Almighty. P&W introduced a familiarity and intimacy with God that’s absent in many hymns.

With hymns, God is out there. He’s big. Powerful. Dangerous. He’s a leader.

With P&W, God is at my side. He’s close. Intimate. Safe. He’s a lover.

Most people assume this shift to greater intimacy in worship has been a good thing. On many levels, it has been. But it ignores a deep need in men.”

That need, Murrow says, is to reverence a God that’s “wholly other.”

Instead, men are to relate primarily to God as a lover, and Murrow observes that the kind of language used in praise and worship songs – “Your love is extravagant/Your friendship, it is intimate/ I feel I’m moving to the rhythm of Your grace/Your fragrance is intoxicating in this secret place” – “force[s] a man to express his affection to God using words he would never, ever, ever say to another guy. Even a guy he loves. Even a guy named Jesus.”

Since many men don’t find the language of praise songs very compelling or natural to mouth, those that attend churches with P&W music have stopped participating in one of the major components of worship services, ceasing to sing at all. Indeed, if you look around at the audience of a typical megachurch, most men are simply silently watching the praise band rock it out.

==========

Don’t forget about the “Feminine Aesthetics.”  

A frilly, Victorian design sense took over churches in the 19th century, and still characterizes more traditional churches today. Murrow describes this aesthetic to a T:

“Quilted banners and silk flower arrangements adorn church lobbies. More quilts, banners, and ribbons cover the sanctuary walls, complemented with fresh flowers on the altar, a lace doily on the Communion table, and boxes of Kleenex under every pew. And don’t forget the framed Thomas Kinkade prints, pastel carpets, and paisley furniture.”

The industrial, mall/movie theater-like design of modern megachurches is an intentional attempt to throw off this staid, foo-fooey aesthetic, in favor of an atmosphere that, if not distinctly masculine, comes off as more gender neutral.

The artwork that adorns churches, as well as church materials, took a turn for the feminine during the 19th century as well. In 1925, author Bruce Barton wrote that the way popular culture typically presented Jesus was as “a frail man, undermuscled, with a soft face—a woman’s face covered by a beard—and a benign but baffled look, as though the problems of living were so grievous that death would be a welcome release.” Other critics of popular images of Christ argued that the weak, pallid, ethereal Jesus seen in many paintings bore little resemblance to the nomadic, rugged, whip-cracking carpenter depicted in the scriptures.

Still today, the most popular images of Jesus typically show him holding a lamb, surrounded by children, or talking to women. One rarely sees Jesus depicted as hanging out with men (unless it’s “The Last Supper”), overturning tables, or calling Pharisees vipers.

=============

Read the whole article — it’s a real eye-opener.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Random Aberrations, Apostasies, and Heresies

How to make Christian music. (Yes, this is satire.)

Foolishness of Roman Catholicism.  This is occultic.

The number of goat-pens pretending to be Christian assemblies continues to grow.

False prophet/teacher/Christian Todd Bentley and those who support him.  This man is of Satan.

I
previously reported on “HerChurch” and its totally apostate nature, but this report gives more information.  Just another assembly of the apostate ELCA denomination.

False teacher Mark Driscoll never quits.  He wants you to send him money so he can preach the gospel!  His arrogance never ceases to astound me.


So Christians can fornicate as long as it is “mutually pleasurable and affirming”?!?
This female “pastor” says, “single Christians don't need to abstain from sex to remain pure since being chaste is about moderation.”  Notice how liberals always redefine words so as to relieve themselves of guilt?  “Chaste” now means moderation in sex. “Marriage” means any two people joined (and maybe more people).  “Tolerance” means you have to agree with them. And so forth. 
“McCleneghan believes it's unfair to ask single Christians who haven't been called to a life of celibacy to refrain from sexual intimacy when both men and women need sex.”
Hey, GOD!! Your rules are unfair!!! WOW!!!  Oh, and notice that people NEED sex.  And all this time I thought people lived just fine without sexual relations — as people have done for thousands of years.  Satan has to just love how humans reject God’s commands for sexual relations as they use sex for self-centered hedonism.  Be sure to notice which denomination this woman is a goat-herd for — the United Church of Christ; go figure — a totally apostate “church.”  (Oh, and would you believe that she doesn’t think the Bible is God’s infallible Word?)

Could you respond to Glenn Beck like this—do you have better biblical knowledge?

How many non-discerning Christians will buy this book, and how long will it be before we find it in Christian book stores?  The “angels” he converses with are not “angels of light.”  His description of the “other side” is totally unbiblical.

False teacher Steven Furtick now lets his wife do teaching from the stage.  Didn’t Paul say something to Timothy about this sort of thing?  Not only that, but the virtually worthless prattle she was preaching is good evidence that Paul was right!

Don’t the churches in the SBC teach God’s Word?  Apparently not when it comes to homosexuality.  The graphic showing other denominations is really sad because God’s Word is obviously to be ignored it society disagrees with it.

“Judge not”?  Yes, we are indeed to make judgments about all sorts of things.

This is what happens when pastors don’t teach discernment and don’t name names of false teachers.

YOU are not the bride of Christ.  I’ve been saying for years, which has sometimes led to long debates with people who vehemently disagree and who will even call me a heretic!



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

See People As Sinners In Need of Salvation


If we examine ourselves, we shall see at a glance that one of the most tragic things about us is that our lives re so much governed by other people and by what they do to us and think about us.  Try to recall a single day in your own life.  Think of the unkind and cruel thoughts that have come into your mind and heart.  What produced them?  Somebody else!  How much of our thinking and acting and behaviour is entirely governed by other people.  It is one of the things that make life so wretched.  You see a particular person and your spirit is upset.  If you had not seen that person you would not have felt like that.  Other people are controlling you.  “Now,” says Christ in effect, “you must get out of that condition.  Your love must become such that you will no longer be governed and controlled by what people say.  Your life must be governed by a new principle in yourself, a new principle of love.”

The moment we have that, we are enabled to see people in a different way.  God looks down upon this world and sees all the sin and shame, but He sees it as something that results from the activity of Satan.  There is a sense in which he sees the unjust man in a different way.  He is concerned about him and about his good and welfare, and He therefore causes the sun to shine upon him and sends the rain upon him.  Now we must learn to do that.  We must learn to look at other people and say: “Yes, they are doing this, that and the other to me.  Why?  They are doing it because they are dupes of Satan; because they are governed by the god of this world and are his helpless victims.  I must not be annoyed.  I see them as hell-bound sinners.  I must do everything I can to save them.”


D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “Studies in the Sermon on the Mount,” volume 1, p.304-305