February 29, 2012

Another defector from the Harvest Bible Fellowship (Prescott AZ)

Another church has seen fit to leave Harvest Bible Fellowship!  Praise the Lord!

A New Season: An update from the Harvest Elders
From the Elders of Harvest Bible Chapel of Prescott,
For the past six years we have counted it an immense privilege and blessing to be part of Harvest Bible Fellowship. As an independent local church we have enjoyed wonderful fellowship, gleaned many valuable resources and wisdom, and made many incredible long-lasting relationships.

Over the last 11 months or so, Harvest Bible Chapel Chicago (HBC Chicago) has made statements and taken actions that we strongly believe reflect a change in the direction of critical parts of their ministry. We believe these actions and resulting changes can be categorized into three areas:

ASSOCIATIONS vs. ENDORSEMENTS
We believe that HBC Chicago has begun championing the idea that Christians can associate with those teaching heresy (such as those who engage in teaching the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospels) without necessarily endorsing them or their ministries, implicitly or explicitly.

February 27, 2012

Race Based Special Interest Theology (The Pedestrian Christian) (UPDATED --ADDED LINKS)

Originally posted 2-3-2012 at 10:55pm CT

A commenter at Better Than Sacrifice mentioned he was working up this article, so I looked it up:

An Examination of Protestant/Evangelical Race Based-Special Interest Theology (Part 1 of 5)
Now, as you cannot see for the moment with this quote, Loritts is black. While this should not matter to anyone with respect to theology and more importantly, Christianity, it apparently matters to Loritts who approaches the theological issue as if it is, in part, a racial one. He imposes upon the objections of others some kind of racial responsibility with respect to theology. That is, Loritts asserts, at least implicitly, that our theological assertions and objections can legitimately be formed, in part, by racial considerations.

Your first reaction, I am sure, is that he is wrong and you are correct. But you would be surprised the number of Protestant/Evangelical Teachers (and I am referring to those on the moderate to conservative side) who would, in one breath, reject Loritts’ assertion but in another breath echo the very theology underlying why Loritts believes it is acceptable to approach the matter as he does. I am not sure all of the causes for such duplicity in some notable men, particularly when it is rather obvious, it might involve ego-investment, but this paper is not about this so I will save the why’s in their case for another day.
Excellent.  I have been trying to say much the same thing.

read more at The Pedestrian Christian

UPDATE:  Alex Guggenheim has the rest of his series up, definitely worth reading.  I do wish he could find "shorter" words to express some concepts (smile), as I think many people will read those things and feel their eyes glaze over.  This is not at all meant to be critical of Alex's writing or content.  I am at a loss however as to how else it could be written.

Part 1 is also linked above

Part 2
excerpt:
Our Identification is Spiritual and Based Solely in Christ
And as we saw in the earlier Ephesians passage God is telling us, through Paul, that no such thing exists now, in the body of Christ. There are no human properties such as genetic or geographic ones regarding how we, the people of God, seek to identify and establish God’s objectives because these objectives are spiritual ones. But more specifically, these church age objectives have nothing to do with resolving social issues between various races; this has to do with spiritual reconciliation with God.

February 26, 2012

Rick Warren Builds Bridges to Muslims (OC Register) UPDATE

How dare they use the word Bridge!  Don't they know it's not in the Bible?

Rick Warren Builds Bridges to Muslims (OC Register)
The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America's most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.
Of course those of us who pointed out his sinful ecumenicism will never be credited for sounding the warning when he started down this road.

So let me get this straight -- if Muslims and Christians worship the same God can't we just call them all Christians?

February 24, 2012

TBN finally being sued (well it's about time!)

Is anyone really surprised to hear this kind of stuff is rampant over there?

Suit: ‘Cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals’ at TBN

McVeigh’s suit says that Koper was promoted to finance director because Trinity wanted somebody within the family who would keep its “financial ‘skeletons’ safely in the ‘closet.’”

The suit then delves into much more detail regarding the “unlawful and unreported income distributions to Trinity Broadcasting’s directors” than Koper’s suit does, including:

“Multiple jet aircraft, including a $50 million ’Global Express‘ luxury jet aircraft purchased for the personal use of the Crouches through a sham loan to an alter ego corporation set up by the directors of Trinity Broadcasting in Florida, as well as an $8 million Hawker jet aircraft purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of director Janice Crouch;

“Multiple motor vehicles, including a $100,000 motor home purchased by Trinity Broadcasting as a mobile residence for director Janice Crouch’s dogs

Wycliffe Bible Translators and SIL compromise the Word (?)

More compromise in the Christian church from those who have taken it upon themselves to preserve the integrity of the Word so it can be brought to the ends of the earth?

http://shepherds-heart-bible-study.com/2012/02/to-wycliffe-sil-and-foundations-is-the-gospel-an-offense-and-dare-we-change-it/





If Jesus doesn't come back tomorrow... I'll be shocked.  How can THIS many "Christians" see this as acceptable so that it got to this point unless the great delusion is upon is?  Getting a corrupt Bible into the hands of Muslims does nothing for them!

In the LORD I take refuge;
how can you say to my soul,
“Flee like a bird to your mountain,
for behold, the wicked bend the bow;
they have fitted their arrow to the string
to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;
if the foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”  Psalm 11:1-3

February 20, 2012

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" In Sanctification - PMNotes

Some excellent articles on Christian Sanctification from Pastor Matt Richards:

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" In Sanctification (Part 1)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" (Part 2)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Spontaneity (Part 3)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Taking Care (Part 4)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Vocation (Part 5)

Re-examining The Idea Of "Christian Progress" ~ Truthfulness (Part 6)


In particular I loved this quote by Gerhardt Forde which is pretty much the entire post #6 there.
The talk of progress and growth we usually indulge in leads us all too often to do just that. But if we are saved and sanctified only by the unconditional grace of God, we ought to be able to become more truthful and lucid about the way things really are with us. Am I making progress? If I am really honest, it seems to me that the question is odd, even a little ridiculous. As I get older and death draws nearer, it doesn‟t seem to get any easier. I get a little more impatient, a little more anxious about having perhaps missed what this life has to offer, a little slower, harder to move, a little more sedentary and set in my ways. It seems more and more unjust to me that now that I have spent a good part of my life “getting to the top,” and I seem just about to have made it, I am already slowing down, already on the way out. A skiing injury from when I was sixteen years old acts up if I overexert myself. I am too heavy, the doctors tell me, but it is so hard to lose weight! Am I making progress? Well, maybe it seems as though I sin less, but that may only be because I'm getting tired! It's just too hard to keep indulging the lusts of youth. Is that sanctification? I wouldn‟t think so! One should not, I expect, mistake encroaching senility for sanctification! But can it be, perhaps, that it is precisely the unconditional gift of grace that helps me to see and admit all that? I hope so. The grace of God should lead us to see the truth about ourselves, and to gain a certain lucidity, a certain sense of humor, a certain down-to-earliness. When we come to realize that if we are going to be saved, it shall have to be absolutely by grace alone, then we shall be sanctified. God will have his way with us at last."
also see Tullian Tchividjian's blog post "Rethinking Progress" from April 2011, over at The Gospel Coalition.

Deep Down, I Know I Should Be Perfect... And I'm Not.

The Verdict Is In
The judgment of others is a surface echo of a judgment that goes deeper. So if we’re living in an environment or we are in a relationship that feeds this fear of judgment with constant judging, we deflate and detach because it becomes discouragingly exhausting trying to satisfy the demands and appease the judgment of the other. We become depleted of the hope that we can ever attain the affirmation that seems so necessary for us to live and breathe and so the relationship flounders.

The fact is, that relational demand always creates relational detachment. Control produces relational chaos, criticism produces relational commotion.

Most preachers and parents, spouses and siblings, fall prey to the false idea that real change happens when we lay down the law, exercise control, demand good performance, and offer constant constructive criticism. When we do this, we are failing to acknowledge the obvious: “Judgment kills. Only grace makes alive.” We wonder why our spouse, or our children, or our friends, or our colleagues, or our congregants become relationally and emotionally detached from us. It’s because we are feeding their deep fear of judgment by playing the judge, by being the voice of law.

Read More at Tullian Tchvidjian's Gospel Coalition blog

February 12, 2012

Defectors from the Harvest Bible Fellowship (praise the Lord!)

A Harvest Bible Church in Detroit has jumped off the Harvest Bible Fellowship.  They don't seem willing to limit it only to the T D Jakes incident, indicated by the plural "men" in the following paragraph:

Quoting from "Concerning Our Disassociation With Harvest Bible Fellowship" (bold emphasis added by me)
However, it is with great sadness that our elders have unanimously decided to part ways with Harvest Bible Fellowship. This is not due to any change in our church’s position, but due to what we believe is a change in the Fellowship’s direction. James MacDonald seems insistent in pushing boundaries in the area of associations with men whose ministry philosophy, practice, and even theology we can’t endorse. As a member of HBF, our desire was for good, consistent, conservative leadership from HBF. When we became a member of HBF five years ago this is what we received and this is what we could wholeheartedly endorse; however, in our estimation that has changed. We have been surprised by significant decisions made by James MacDonald (and supported by HBF), resulting in our trust being shaken regarding their guidance as well as future direction as a movement of churches. Despite several personal conversations with HBF leadership, our concerns have not been assuaged.
So how does this gel with James Macdonald's insistence (wrong headed though it is) that you have to go to him privately?  (alternate source)It doesn't sound as though he listens then, either.  Well, I guess maybe they didn't do it sweetly enough so that Macdonald would be able to recognize his unbiblical definition of love.

Thank you pastors, for taking a stand. I pray you will not back down in the face of the flak you are sure to get.  May the Lord grant you continuing courage.

James Macdonald at it again -- Tweeting criticism at Twitter critics.

https://twitter.com/#!/jamesmacdonald/status/168525934394216449


Pot, meet kettle.  Oh and look at that, he's going to block anyone who dares violate his unscriptural New Law.

https://twitter.com/#!/jamesmacdonald/status/168527010455498752


He hasn't heard the part about public teaching requiring a public response, apparently.  He's a bit behind the times, but that's what comes of being seduced by Mistress Relevance and leaving your professed First Love. He's continuing to just regurgitate the same old "judge not lest ye be judged" beginner's level of negligent scripture twisting.  That particular misunderstanding of scripture has been debunked over and over, NOT JUST by twitter critics.

"Love" is completely redefined these days to mean "communicated it in a way that I RECEIVE in my heart otherwise it's not love."  In which case most of, say, the church fathers and early Christians preached without love much of the time.

February 8, 2012

Victoria's Secret model quits due to conflicts with Christian Faith

Now this is some good news:
KYLIE BISUTTI QUITS VICTORIA’S SECRET LINGERIE MODELING CAREER…BECAUSE OF HER CHRISTIAN FAITH

“My body should only be for my husband and it’s just a sacred thing,” she continued, reaffirming her belief that modeling lingerie isn’t morally sound. “I didn’t really want to be that kind of role model for younger girls because I had a lot of younger Christian girls that were looking up to me and then thinking that it was okay for them to walk around and show their bodies in lingerie to guys.”

This is NO different than a bikini, folks... And so far, she seems to see it...GOOD FOR HER! I pray she will continue to grow in her faith! (holding my breath that she won't go ahead and model skimpy swimwear.)

So many Christians defend feel good stories like Soul Surfer while ignoring the parade of nubile bikini clad bodies as no big deal. It is very tiresome to see this even among conservative Christians. Even among groups that will not allow their youth to wear bikinis at retreats and conventions, they seem just fine with allowing them to watch this kind of movie.

I pray this lady's attitude catches on and people will be convicted and repent of their compromised way of dressing.

February 3, 2012

The jaw droppingly racist comments of Bryan Loritts, Charles Jenkins, Eric Mason, and James Macdonald - Voddie Baucham and James White respond, and various other ER2 links

This video has been out for a few days, but every time I see it I am just aghast at the horribly racist attitudes displayed throughout by Loritts, Jenkins, and Mason, and by nodding his approval, James Macdonald.

Post-Elephant Room Interview, Part 1 

(I watched it several times and many others have commented on it including
 Voddie Baucham

and Phil Johnson)

My brief review of the video:

How to Minimize Damage When Resigning From a Mark Driscoll-like Church (Wartburg Watch)

Rick Warren made popular the membership covenants.   Most of the seeker oriented churches have them these days and they definitely are not shy about disciplining folks that try to stop the church from going downhill for the sake of an illusion of Unity.

The Wartburg Watch has an interesting article about how to leave a church when you've signed one of these unbiblical covenants:

How to Minimize Damage When Resigning From a Mark Driscoll-like Church (Wartburg Watch)

I'm not sure myself about the implied threat to sue the church, however.  Will have to think on that.  I do appreciate the principle that you shouldn't telegraph your next move to abusers.  Abusers and controllers are always pretty easy to predict, themselves.  They can't help but telegraph.  But they are so in the dark about how to behave in an upright manner that they often can't tell what you will do, if you don't give them an ultimatum or something.

Here is Sophia's story:
Our Story

Here is her husband's story:
RE.GENERATION - My Experience Inside The Cult of Mars Hill

February 1, 2012

Trying to make ourselves clean

I'm listening to part 1 of Tullian Tchividjian's sermon series Pictures of Grace. He is so refreshing. I made a post about Passover a few days ago, regarding some news I heard. The particular situation that sparked that post has not been resolved, and I don't know if it ever will be. My heart is grieved. And I don't know which side is right in this case. Regardless they are in my prayers.

But in listening to Tullian, I am reminded of how much grace and forgiveness is needed in these situations by all parties. In some cases one side has to put their neck out first and basically let the other chop it off, or allow themselves to be spit on, and stop fighting back, for it to be demonstrated as real.

I transcribed a bit from Tullian's message. He is speaking from the passage(s) where Jesus is anointed by the sinful woman. At about 40 minutes in, give or take, Tullian says:

God is amazingly gracious and when Jesus says here He who has been forgiven much loves much, he's not saying that there are those who only need little forgiveness and those who need big forgiveness and those who get big forgiveness give big love, he is saying if you really knew your heart the way I know your heart, you'd know just how much forgiveness you need and that you need just as much as she does. That you're no better off. He's saying 'big forgiveness equals big love. Small forgiveness = small love.' he's saying we're all big sinners needing big saving and it's only when we come to grips with the fact that no matter how good we are, we're no better than the worst of sinners, that we begin to revel in God's grace and it becomes our functional lifeline.

I love this quote by Gerhardt Forde who is a now deceased Lutheran theologian. He says "our misdeeds are not the real root of the problem. They are just what the tradition called 'actual sins.' There is a much more serious problem. What the tradition calls 'original sin.' It is much more subtle and inevitably hidden from us. The relationship with God is broken by the presumption of our ethical behavior, our morality, our good deeds, our insistence on doing it ourselves and getting clean. The relationship is broken because these too, turn us, quite simply, against grace, and the almighty God desires simply to be known as the giver of the gift of absolute grace. And to this we say 'no' we say rather that we intend to make it on our own, that grace is too cheap.' When we do that, because we're proud of our goodness and our morality actually gets in the way, then the relationship is destroyed just as surely as it was by our immorality."

"it's when I am at my worst that God's grace amazes me the most. "

Further attacks on the Trinity by "Christians"

The Son and the Crescent
"Bible translations that avoid the phrase "Son of God" are bearing dramatic fruit among Muslims. But that translation has some missionaries and scholars dismayed."

No doubt! Yet another attack on the Trinity in an attempt to avoid 'offending' people with the truth. We should just leave the references to the Holy Spirit out or Jesus' deity out because they will misunderstand and call us polytheists. Right?
Muslims so commonly misunderstand the phrase "Son of God" that many evangelists and missionaries refrain from using it. Bible translators, however, cannot avoid it. They must make a decision about how to render the phrase in a way that faithfully reflects the original Greek or Hebrew text and also makes sense to readers. And this phrase is anything but clear to Muslim readers. The Qur'an explicitly states that God could not have a son.
Well then by all means, we Christians must cater to what the Quran says! 0.o