The Danger Of Decisionism  

Many of you are probably wondering what Decisionism is and why I consider it to be dangerous? Let me begin by defining the term. We’ve all probably heard the terms Atheism, Humanism, Hedonism, and even Materialism over the years. Decisionism is best described as an instance when an unsaved person makes a public profession of faith (in Jesus Christ) by repeating a prayer and is then immediately identified as a new creature in Christ.

Most proponents of Decisionism use Romans 10, verses nine and ten to support the doctrine. 

“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believers and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved…” 

The reason Decisionism is so dangerous is that millions of individuals have repeated the “sinners prayer” verbally, but have not been regenerated or born-again. Jesus says, “The people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honereth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me.” (Matthew 15:8) This means that the inner work of the Holy Spirit on the human heart is responsible for re-creating the fallen human nature. A simple sentence or repeated phrase is not the determinate (for salvation) but a radical and complete transformation wrought in the soul by God.

The verse previously referenced, contains two important words that, if properly understood, would nullify Decisionism. The first being “confess” and the second “believe.” The word confess means to say the same thing, or to agree with someone. This agreement implies that the person making the profession has submitted their lives to His Lordship, and it also indicates that Christ now Master of ones being. Through repentance (of sin) and faith in Jesus Christ the result is a complete trust in Him for salvation.

This requires “belief” or “believe” in His claims as taught in Scripture regarding His identity

(Deity, Sinlessness, Virgin birth, etc.) as well as His work on Calvary (Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection, etc.).  According to Elmer Towns in his book titled, The Gospel of John: Believe and Live, he states, “In the Gospel of John, believing is the total response of the whole person to God as He has revealed Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.” (Towns, pg.17) Regeneration occurs immediately and a new man is developed through the sanctification process.

In Chapter three of the gospel according to John, Jesus instructs Nicodemus on the regeneration process. The Lord indicates that new birth is not visible by the human eye, but is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. A person born of a women had no input regarding his/her conception. Similarly, an individual has no say in his/hers spiritual new-birth as well because it is a work of God.

“According as He hah chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world…Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself…” (Eph 1:4,5) 

“Which were born, not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man but of God…” (John 1:13) 

  

According to the MacArthur Study Bible, “Jesus point was that just as the wind cannot be controlled or understood by human beings, but its effects can be witnessed, so also is with the Holy Spirit. He cannot be controlled or understood, but the proof of His work is apparent. Where the Spirit works, there is undeniable and unmistakable evidence.” (MacArthur, pg. 1540)  

Good fruit is confirmation that new birth has occurred. Pronouncing a person as saved at the altar moments after praying the “sinner’s prayer” gives many professing faith in Christ a false hope of security. What should transpire at the altar is a commitment to place that person under watch care. In other words, that person will be instructed in the ordinance of baptism and encouraged to join a discipleship group or class. Steadfast obedience to both and confirmation by the Holy Spirit (Roman 8:16) is initial evidence that a person is “born-again.”

“Then they that gladly received His word were baptized and the same day there added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfast in the apostle’s doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers…” (Acts 2:41-42) 

Steven A. Glover

Evangelize4Life Co-Founder

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Christ is the Hope and Real Meaning of Christmas

'The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.'  O Little town of Bethlehem

‘The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’ O Little town of Bethlehem

I was recently asked by a young disciple of Christ if the celebration of Christmas was in the Bible. My response to his question was an immediate—Yes! Both the wise men and shepherds came to worship and praise Christ soon after His birth. “

Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2)

“And they came in hast and found their way to Mary and Joseph and the baby as He lay in the manger…And the shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen just as had been told to them.” (Luke 2:16,20)

The specific day observed by Christians around the world to commemorate the annual celebration of birth of Jesus Christ is on December 25th. The feast of Christmas was developed by the early church to combat a heathen celebration known as “Saturnalia” or winter solstice. The primary reason for countering this pagan celebration was to place strong emphasis on the importance of redemption and to reflect on the early ministry of Jesus Christ. According to Walter A. Elwell in his Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, “Christmas is not only a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but it is also a time to stress the importance of receiving Him into the heart. His incarnation celebrates not only his birth but also His messianic age, which is the beginning of the end of the world as it marches toward eternity.”

Much speculation is made over the actual date of His birth by both theologians and secular historians. Scripture does not reveal the exact date of His birth, nor does it stress the time in which believers should celebrate of the Lord’s incarnation. What we do know is that by the late fourth century, Christmas was celebrated by many people within the church. Elwell also writes, “The church thereby offered the people a Christian alternative to the pagan festivities and eventually reinterpreted many of their symbols and actions in ways acceptable to Christian faith and practice. For example, Jesus Christ was presented as the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2), replacing the sun god, Sol Invictus…” (Elwell, pg. 238)

Men like John Calvin, John Knox, the American Puritans, and many Presbyterians were in opposition to this practice. Mainly, because each generation incorporated into the its celebration many pagan customs (holly, mistletoe, Christmas tree, log fires, etc) and added new traditions (Christmas carols, nativity crib, etc). I would assume or suppose that the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church of Colosse would support their stance against such practices. He writes, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (2:8)

It was the Lutherans, the continental Reformers, and most other Protestants who defended the observance of Christmas by Christians. They sought to take the opportunity to stress the doctrine of the Incarnation during this seasonal celebration. I would suppose or speculate (again) that these individuals stressed their freedoms in Christ as mentioned by Paul (in his letter to the Romans) as a motive for participating in the Christmas festivity. The strong or mature believer’s faith in the passage below permits or allows him to exercise his freedom in Christ.

“For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for god has received him…One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it…” (Romans 14:2-3, 5-6)

By the mid-twentieth century Christmas was celebrated throughout the world. Countries such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America joined Europe in its festivities, plus incorporating new customs into their practices. With the recent influx of Modernism or Liberal Theology, the twenty-first century church has incorporated both a great deal of materialism and  an almost reverent response to the character known as Santa Claus. The strong emphasis on adapting religious ideas to modern culture and modes of thinking has almost eliminated from Christmas its original objective of Christ worship.

In either case, each man, woman, and child will have to stand before Christ for evaluation. It is interesting to note that His judgment does not take into account religious traditions or personal preferences like celebrating Christmas. This commemoration is not mentioned in scripture; therefore each believer must follow the dictates of his own conscience (unless specifically prohibited in scripture). The objective by the early church was call attention to redemption and to reflect on the ministry of Jesus Christ. We too during the Christmas advent must take the opportunity to draw men, women, and children back from their obsession with toys, gifts, sports, parties, etc to the worship of Christ (Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ Mass). The objective of every believer should be to bring non-believers into the true knowledge and worship of Christ, but also to the understanding of His immediate return.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year from our family to yours!

Repost from Dr. John Piper of Desiring God

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Egypt! Egypt!
A Meditation for Today
on Isaiah 19:24–25

O Egypt, Egypt, do you not
Recall, dear friend — have you forgot —
That twice you were the savior of
My only Son — though not from love?

You fed him in the famine. Then
You took him for a slave. And when
I rescued him, I made you know
My name, my power, and how much woe
Will fall on those who mock my Son.

   And when he came again, the One
That Herod would destroy, he fled
Once more to his dear friend who fed
Him once before. And there you hid
And suckled him like Moses, ’mid
The rushes and the riches of
The regal court — though not from love.
Two years you gave him shield and bread
Until his enemies were dead
And it was safe for him to make
His way back home, and for your sake
To die.
O Egypt, Egypt, will
You now destroy his house, and kill
His people, cut his seamless word
To pieces, lest the truth be heard —
The sweetest news that he, or I,
Could ever speak?
And so I cry
Aloud again: O Egypt, Hear
This tender word. It is as near
To you as hope. Did not your own
Isaiah tenderly make known
My heart? O Listen, Egypt! “In
That day, in spite of all your sin,
Together, you and Israel,
And vast Assyria, will dwell
As one — the kingdom of my Son —
And in that day, with joy, I’ll stun
The world, and call you mine. And you
Will be my people. Yes, the true
And happy bride of Christ, with all
Your meek and broken foes who call
On his great name. And in the end,
You’ll know why I have called you friend.”


Poem also available at worldmag.com. Background music in the audio is from Page CXVI.


Recent poems written and read by John Piper:

Topic: Middle East

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

Today is your day to be Overwhelmed!

main book 250x360 PDF 395<a href=”https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1258648&amp;c=ib&amp;aff=254346&amp;cl=184000&#8243; target=”ejejcsingle”>Click here to view more details</a>

 

New York Times best-selling author wrote the forward for this timely and passionate resource. She writes:

If only I had a book like Overwhelmed twenty-five years ago, the lessons might have come easier to me.  I might have gleaned a little self-control and understood the importance of patience earlier on.  I might have learned how important it was to trust in the Lord to provide.”

“If you’re looking for hope and help, you’ve come to the right place.” Darlene  

Through Much Tribulation

e4l5Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in chapter twenty-one of Luke’s gospel presents many warnings regarding the state of the world prior to His return to the earth. Not only are wars, plagues, famines, terrors, and false prophets spoken of, but He informs us that the religious persecution of Christians will be common. He states, “But before all these things they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you delivering you to the synagogues and prisons bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake.” (Luke 21:12) Notice that He refers to believers being delivered to “synagogues” or taken captive by the devout or pious leaders in order to stand trial for their faith in Christ.

Soul Liberty is defined in a book written by Henry C. Fish titled “The Price of Soul-Liberty and Who Paid It” as the liberty to think and act in religious matters without human dictation or control. God has given men freedoms and liberties to choose and live according to his/her dictates. Scripture is the guideline given to believers to assist in discerning good and evil in relation to decision making pertaining to the will of God.  True believers will not or at least are hesitant to violate not only their conscience, but more importantly the Word of God while making assessments. Biblical convictions will most certainly cause conflicts in the world, but surprisingly, Jesus warns us struggles will also occur within the church. This is clearly demonstrated by the skirmish in the fourth century over Sacramental Efficacy. The Baptist opposed the idea of “clinic or sick-room baptism” as well as baptizing unconscious children in order that they might be saved. In response to this (unbiblical) soteriological view, the Baptist protested and were denounced by the Roman Empire.

According to Fish, they were persecuted by religious leaders as a result of holding their views. “In the following year, the council of Carthage, of which Augustine was the President, thus decreed: “We will that whosoever denies that little children, by baptism, are freed from perdition and eternally saved, that they be accursed…Thus early did Baptists begin to pay the price of Soul Liberty…And ever suffering for their faith, is it strange that they should have been first and foremost in denouncing religious tyranny, and proclaiming the sanctity of conscience?” True believers can expect similar responses from world governments and religious leaders comprising the twenty-first century false church. Especially, in relation to topics pertaining to marriage; false religions; homosexuality; the deity of Christ; the inerrancy of Scripture; biblical roles; government policies;  and soteriology.

A quick assessment of viewpoints, laws, and regulations recently implemented regarding those who oppose such hot topics as same sex ‘marriage’, public schools, abortion, homosexuality, Islam, and governmental policies  proves the truth of Jesus’ aforementioned predictions.  As a result of this increasingly more hostile environment, Believers have and will spend more time before judges and courts answering for our faith and convictions.  One example of secular opposition is the recent discovery of the illegal activities within the Internal Revenue Service.  Reports have been uncovered that expose the practice of opposing or denying certain non-profit organization’s request for 501c 4 status in order to block political influence.   Nevertheless, we see similar antagonism developing amongst religious leaders towards the concept of the God of the Bible being exclusive. Jesus states, “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God…” (2 John 9)  Many multi-faith or ecumenical leaders are attempting to unify world religious by laying aside doctrine in order to come together for the sake of a humanitarian effort.

In an article titled, Is Pope Francis Laying The Ground Work For A One World Religion the author writes, “Does Pope Francis intend to help the global elite achieve their goal of uniting all of the religions of the world under a single banner? Will he be instrumental in establishing a single global religion for the glorious “new age” that the global elite believe is coming? After he was elected, the cover of Time Magazine declared Pope Francis to be the “New World Pope“, and since his election Pope Francis has made it abundantly clear that he is going to make ecumenical outreach a top priority. He has spoken of his “determination to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue“, and he has already held a number of very high profile ecumenical meetings. Not only has he worked hard to reach out to leaders from various Christian traditions, he has also made it a point to try to acknowledge the mutual bonds that he feels with all other religions. For example, in one recent address he made it a point to say that he believes that Muslims worship and pray to the “one God” that he also worships.

This “all roads lead to the same God” philosophy is a hallmark of the one world religion that the global elite have been slowly building toward for decades. The global elite know that even with a one world economy and a one world government, humanity will never be truly united until there is a single global religion. Unfortunately, this one world religion that they are seeking to establish is diametrically opposed to the Christianity that we find in the Bible. By throwing out Biblical truth for the sake of “friendship between men and women of different religious traditions“, is Pope Francis fundamentally betraying the faith that he claims to represent?

Christian persecutions

The biggest similarity between Islam and Catholicism is that both religions have a long history of persecuting and murdering Christians. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs written by John Foxe records not only the labeling of Christians as apostates but numerous murders occurring because of believer’s opposition to idols and satanic rituals practices by the papacy. Again, we are warned by Christ about the practices of religious leaders, “They will make you outcast from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God…” (John 15:2) So, how should believers respond? “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony…for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” (Luke 21:13, 15)

Jesus’ solution to this problem is to witness, testify, or preach the gospel to our persecutors!

Only through hearing the “Good News” can men be saved. Therefore, Christians must not only be ready to preach the gospel but be ready to suffer for their faith. We are reminded in the book of Acts that through much tribulation, suffering, persecution, distress, rejection, we are to enter the kingdom of God. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22b)

Pentecost to Passion Prayer Plan

Thanks to  all of you who have agreed to join together with us to pray this year.

Praying hands

Week 15  8/18-8/25/13  Pray for the people of Egypt especially the Christian believers who are finding themselves the target of much of the aggression.

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

2 Corinthians 12:10
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

 

e4l5

Week 1 5/19-5/25/13  Pray for our evangelists and missionaries.  Pray for their Health and Protection.  Pray for their Peace of mind.  Pray for Wisdom and Direction.

Psalm 4:1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psalm 6:9 The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.  

Week 2  5/26-6/1/13    Pray for revelations about the Word of God and the work.  Answers may come as you pray just as Gabriel came to Daniel.  

Daniel 9:20-22   20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; 21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Week 3  6/2-6/8/13    Intercede for the Lost in the NW Ohio area.  Faithful saints of God have committed to door-to-door and street evangelism in the area.  Please pray for hearts to be changed and that God will draw them to Himself.

In the book, A Passion for Prayer,  author Tom Elliff  points that Genesis 18 is a clear example of a believer interceding for another.  If you will recall this is when The LORD and His angels visited Abraham and revealed to him that He was going to destroy Sodom.  The Bible records that, “the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the LORD.” (v. 22)

When Abraham heard that Sodom and Gomorrah was to be destroyed because of  ‘their sin is very grave’ (v. 20) he stood before the LORD and began to intercede for the welfare of his relative Lot and his family.  Through persistence in prayer for the people, Abraham received assurance from the LORD that He would not destroy the land for the sake of ten righteous people. (v.32)  As we know the land and inhabitants was destroyed but Lot and his family was delivered.   Pray this week for the Lost. “Intercession requires aggressive cooperation with God along the lines of His revealed will” and it involves “Imploring God on behalf of a specific person or persons.” (Elliff, pg. 20) 

Luke 11:5-9 

5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 

6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 

7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 

8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you

Week 4  6/9-6/15/13   Pray that the LORD of the Harvest would send forth laborers into the field.  Pray that He would open doors for ministry to Evangelize4Life workers and give us increased opportunities to equip, train and encourage those with a heart and call to do evangelism.  

Ephesians 4: 11-13

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Week 5  6/16-6/23/2013  God Is Always Working…

Please pray that true believers will assist in sharing the gospel and in discipling both unbelievers as well as new converts.  The Bible reveals that God is always working.   God the Father ministered or labored through His Son while on earth and now operates through Spirit filled Christians to reach the lost, plus (disciple) new believers.


My Father is working until now and I Myself am working…As Thou didst send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…”  (John 5:17, 17:18)

Week 6 6/24-7/1/2013  Weary Of Well Doing

Evangelism for some can or could be very discouraging especially if individuals are looking for immediate results.  The proper perspective must be directed towards God and His supernatural work in the lives of unbelievers.  The sower of the gospel is but a vessel used by the Lord to  scatter the seed, but ultimately God gives the increase.

“So then neither the  one who plants nor the one who waters is anything but God who causes the growth.”  (Corinthians 3:7)

Weeks 7-11 7/1-7/29/2013   Praying for Missionaries & Evangelists and their Personal Devotion Time

Pray for time of personal devotion.  As Christians we need to spend time in the Word of God and with our LORD every day.  Pray for our brothers and sisters who are on the front lines and on the field that you would give them the heart, desire and time to prioritize their time in personal devotions.  Pray that the Lord would give them quiet time each day when they can meditate and be strengthened.

Week 12  7/29-8/3/2013  Praying for the families of Missionaries & Evangelists.  

Often times, missionaries and evangelists are required for the sake of the call to leave their families for periods of time to be on mission.  Please pray and ask God to provide for their families while they are absent.  Pray also that these men and women will easily adjust to their surroundings while they are away from their homes.    Mathew 28.

Week 13  8/4-8/10/13  Pray for the children and families of those who are ministering to the Body of Christ and for the Missionaries/Evangelists who are preaching the gospel to men, women, boys and girls on the field.   The enemy knows that attacking the missionary/pastor’s family is an effective way of distracting or interfering with the work.  

Job 1:10, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Peter 4:11, Psalm 103:5

1 Peter 4:8

King James Version (KJV)

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:11

King James Version (KJV)

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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The Heart of the Matter

The apostle Paul writes a second letter to a church located in Thessalonica as a forewarning to believers about a futuristic leader who will one day deceive the masses by leading them away from the truth of God’s Word. He is described as the “lawless one.”

“Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming that is the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan…” (2 Thess 2:8)

However, before his arrival the world will be characterized by a blasphemous spirit (among the people) or attitude that blatantly opposes God, His Christ, His Word, and His people. His success in the near future is attributed to the fact that

“… they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved…For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.” (2:10-12)

Charles Spurgeon addresses man’s relationship with God’s truth (in his day) in a book titled “An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to ministers and students,”

“Beloved, I notice that God imports His messages to those who have a complete subordination to Him. I will tell you what has often crossed my mind when I have talked with certain brethren, or have read their lucubration’s; I have wondered which was the Master, and which was the servant, the man or God. I have been sorry for the errors of these brethren, but I have been far more distressed by the spirit shown in those errors. It is evident that they have renounced that holy reverence for Scripture which indicated by such an expression as this, “that trembleth at My Word.” They rather trifle than tremble. The Word is not their teacher, but they are its critics. With many, the Word of the Lord is no longer enthroned in the place of honor, but it is treated as a football, to be kicked about as they please; and the apostles, especially are treated as if Paul, and James, and John, were Tom, and Harry, with whom modern wise men are on terms of something more than equality. They pass the Books of Scripture under their rod, and judge the Spirit of God Himself. The Lord cannot work by a creature that is in revolt against Him. We must manifest the spirit of reverence, or we shall not be as little children, nor enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”

My recent experience at an ecumenical or inter-faith meeting confirms that we are also living in these days. The group of people assembled during this particular evening was comprised of Hindus, Buddhist, Muslims, Universal Unitarians, United Church of Christ leaders, and Agnostics. I intentionally left out the mentioning of Christians because the views or statements made by those claiming to be followers of Christ, usually contradict the teachings of Scripture. The Bible categorically labels any person who rejects the teachings of Christ as an individual who has not nor knows God. “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teachings of Christ does not have God…”

Why do I attend?
You may be wondering why I attend? I was selected or invited (by a Muslim) to the group for the sole purpose of presenting or bringing to the table an evangelical theological perspective. This organization meets regularly in order to discuss or comment on topics (from their religious perspectives) pertaining to everyday living. The most recent gathering dealt with the theme or subject of the recent killings, plus injuring of innocent people in Boston, Massachusetts. Emphasis was not concentrated on who, what, where, and why someone would do this, but on how each of the above mentioned belief systems would respond if placed in a similar situation. In other words, what form of compassion or humanitarianism would they practice or implement in time of tragedy?

In a group where absolute truth is irrelevant, it stands to reason why the subject of Jihad is overlooked and replaced with a less weighty topic. The goal of most ecumenical groups is to unify over commonalities and avoid doctrines that divide or cause disunity. The subject of sin and the depravity of man’s heart is not only avoided but denied. (That has been my experience in each of the meetings I have attended) My purpose for attending these meetings is to discuss absolutes and not to ignore or deny facts. It is a fact that the Quran teaches death to the non-Muslim. Plus, it is also commonly known among all faiths that the Bible describes the heart of all men as being desperately wicked. According to the Bible, “there is none who does good.” (Rom 3:12) So, it stands to reason that someone would address the obvious, because man is capable of doing good deeds, because at the core of his inner being is only evil.

Walter A. Elwell writes in a book titled Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, “The Bible teaches this concept of total depravity in many places. The Lord recognized good people (Matt 22:10), yet he labeled his own disciples as evil men (7:11). The mind is affected (Rom 1:28), the conscience is unclean (Heb 9:14), the heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9), and by nature mankind is subject to wrath (Eph 2:3).” In an attempt to emphasize this point those in my small group were immediately at odds with this point. In logic, the starting point of an argument is called a proposition. When we use propositions, we are either asserting the truth of the statement or denying the truth of the statement. Those individuals involved in the bombing of blameless marathon runners and spectators displayed by their actions that God’s Word is true in regards to the condition of the human heart. (To ignore these points would be considered illogical). Note that this is a technical meaning of “deny,” not the everyday meaning. To deny in this context means to gather evidence to show that the proposition cannot be true, not just that it is wrong. Further evidence to support my propositional statement is located or revealed in the human heart. The apostle Paul writes, “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, no having the Law are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience being witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…” (Rom 2:14-15) God has placed in every human being a conscience that gives them knowledge of right and wrong. So when an individual sins (murder, lie, steal, lust, etc.) he/she does so with knowledge. (Con-with, Science-knowledge). To begin a discussion on the compassionate nature of human beings is completely irrational, because out of the human heart comes only iniquity. Jesus Christ our Lord states,

“For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders, etc.” (Matthew 15:19) It is amazing that humanity is capable of any good! Consider the fact that God sent His only begotten Son, the long awaited Messiah, to the nation of Israel, and their response to His innocence, sinlessness, miracles, compassion, redemption, propitiation, atonement, justification, and sacrificial death on the cross was to crucify Him. (Matthew 27:22)

Let’s examine the nature or condition of man by examining a little known fact about the most recognized saintly women on the planet, Mother Teresa and her organization Missionary of Charity. An anonymous author writes in an article titled Hitting Bedrock, “…Says Susan Shields, former Missionary of Charity: As a Missionary of Charity, I was assigned to record donations and write the thank-you letters. The money arrived at a frantic rate. The mail carrier often delivered the letters in sacks. We wrote receipts for checks of $50,000 and more on a regular basis. Sometimes a donor would call up and ask if we had received his check, expecting us to remember it readily because it was so large. How could we say that we could not recall it because we had received so many that were even larger?

Shields doesn’t suggest how much that might add up to, but Hitchens has it that there were at least $50 million in the New York bank account of the Missionaries of Charity, and figures that, this being but a part of the organization’s wealth, there must be several times more all told. So let’s place the MoC’s wealth in the 9-10 figure range. Now, it would not be correct to say that all this money belonged to Teresa. I take it that she herself owned next to nothing. I’m just saying that she controlled this money. It didn’t belong to her personally, but, if she’d really wanted, she could have used it, on behalf of her organization, to buy all sorts of medicines, pay all sorts of trained medical personnel, and maybe even keep her facilities stocked with clean new needles on a regular basis.
You may be able to guess what’s coming up next. Fact: Mother Teresa used only a tiny fraction of that money to improve the lives of the sick and the poor. Shields continues: We received touching letters from people, sometimes apparently poor themselves, who were making sacrifices to send us a little money for the starving people in Africa, the flood victims in Bangladesh, or the poor children in India. Most of the money sat in our bank accounts. The donations rolled in and were deposited in the bank, but they had no effect on our ascetic lives and very little effect on the lives of the poor we were trying to help. Well, who cares about the lives of the nuns: they got what they signed up for, right? That bit about the poor, though, that’s a little worrisome.

© 1986 Túrelio (Wikimedia-Commons) / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0

© 1986 Túrelio (Wikimedia-Commons) / Lizenz: Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0


Here are some examples of how the MoC failed to spend its money. Shields gives one: in Haiti, “the sisters reused needles until they became blunt”. Out of the MoC’s bloated bank accounts, no money could be spared for new needles. Likewise, in an article in the British Medical Journal (a review of Hitchens’ book), Mary Loudon reports visiting the MoC’s facilities and seeing “syringes run under cold water and reused, aspirin given to those with terminal cancer, and cold baths given to everyone”. No money for oncological care beyond aspirin, no money for hot water, and, again, no money for new syringes, or even proper sterilization for old ones.

And in an article in the Lancet (9/17/94, Issue 8925), Robin Fox reports having visited the Home for the Dying in Kolkata, and describes the medical care there as “haphazard”: no trained medical personnel are present unless some happen to drop by to volunteer their time, and the sisters themselves are not given any proper training in medical care. “How about simple algorithms that might help the sisters and volunteers distinguish the curable from the incurable? Again no.” Out of the millions or billions, not enough for the salary of a single Kolkata doctor, or any other way of ensuring minimally consistent medical care.”

Therefore, when God says, “There is none who does good” He bases this scripture verse not on ones actions but His knowledge of the human heart. This article as well as the incident in Boston only stresses the importance of being born again. The Lord promised that He would place into those who believe in His Son a new heart that would give regenerated human beings the ability to demonstrate genuine compassion that will allow them to demonstrate good works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For, we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8) Salvation is the catalyst to good works and evidence of being born again is that a believer serves others. His or her sanctification has been designated with kindhearted actions before time began. Therefore, the logical starting point of our conversation would not be to ignore the truth of God’s Word but to address the topic of sin and it’s resolve through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A Challenge for Those Who Don’t Think Evolution is Faith-Based

English: Ray Comfort

English: Ray Comfort (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The burden of proof lies with the believer in evolution. You are the one who believes. I don’t believe. Convert me. Give me observable evidence for Darwinian evolution that doesn’t necessitate “faith” (belief). Just one piece of observable evidence (the scientific process) – proof that isn’t faith-based.

Please don’t give me links to two dozen websites, or videos to watch. I just want one piece of empirical evidence for evolution that isn’t founded on belief.

By “Darwinian evolution,” I don’t mean moths that change into different colored moths. That’s not a change of “kind.” They are still moths. I don’t mean dogs that change into dogs – they are still the canine “kind;” neither do I mean bacteria that changes into bacteria. That’s not Darwinian evolution. There has been no change of “kind.” (Ray Comfort)

 

Contending for the faith

Contending for the faith

I witnessed personally the identity of Jesus being redefined during an ecumenical meeting held at a local Mosque here in Toledo. The local newspaper announced a Universalist meeting of all faiths to gather together down the street from my home in an Islamic temple. I had been concerned or troubled in my Spirit regarding the subtle infiltration of people of the Muslim faith buying up businesses and property in my community. I am quite aware of a technique used by Islam referred to as a silent Jihad.  This is a technique in which Islam advances its teachings through assimilation. Once they become dominate, then Islamic leaders petition the American Government to allow implementation of Sharia Law within their communities.

S. Michael writes in Dare To Explore, “We also have an obligation to protect our children and grandchildren from the westernized version of Islam which tries deceptively, to present a friendly and peaceful Islam. Muslims have a mission to Islamize the whole world because they believe that Islam is the only true religion. Knowledge about Islam and its true agenda sets us free from our fears and protects us from these false teachings.”   Within the past couple of years a once hidden mosque in the inner city recently placed Arabic writings on the outside of its building. Many Americans are unaware that whenever a mosque is established in a community, that neighborhood or city is claimed for Allah and Muslim governance.

This particular meeting was comprised of various pastors, imams, and church goers from various congregations. The purpose was to discuss whether or not Muslims and Christians served the same God. The assembly or service began with a prayer in Arabic which was later translated into English for non-Arabic speaking people to understand.  The format consisted of two presentations, one from a local United Church of Christ pastor, and the other from the temple Imam. Shockingly, each speaker began and concluded their messages by denouncing the Deity and ministry of Christ.

The pastor of the UCC church gave an inaccurate summary of the origin of the church and misrepresented her relationship to and with Muslims over the centuries. For over an hour, this individual attacked and denounced Christianity by associating the body of Christ with the  activities of the apostate Catholic Church.  Those in attendance agreed with and applauded his condemnation of Christ, and his exaltation of Islam. Likewise, the Imam indicated his disdain for the Church, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.  He also offered praise for Mohammad, the founder of Islam.

After two hours of lies, heresy, and rhetoric, the opportunity to address the panel (through the use of index cards) was presented.  Audience members were directed to submit their written questions to the panel and they would then respond. However, my evangelism partner (Jared) and I were no longer able to contain our outrage regarding the denunciation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so we spoke out immediately against the biased proceedings. Our first step was to address their efforts to deceive the people and to present what Scripture teaches is the true identity of Christ. I read a few verses aloud from chapter one of the book of Colossians where the apostle Paul records that Jesus is not a created being but the Creator.

A multitude of corrections were necessary in light of the plethora of lies perpetuated by both men.  Among these fallacies were such declarations as:

  • Jesus is not God but only a prophet;
  • Incarnation does not refer to God but to man;
  • Mohammed is referred to in the Bible as the Holy Spirit (John 17)
  • The prophet to come mentioned in Deut 18 is Mohammad;
  • Jihad means struggle, not the killing of infidels and Jews;
  • Infidels is not mentioned in the Arabic Quran, only in bad English translations;
  • Jesus’ purpose for coming was not to redeem mankind but to illustrate how humans are to live;
  • There is no original sin;
  • Catholicism and Christianity are the same and responsible for the inquisition;
  • The Bible is corrupt and the Quran is accurate;
  • Jesus’ words are only in red letters, etc.

The atmosphere was energized by our direct confrontation or rebuke of those enabling this masquerade and subterfuge. Even so, the gospel was clearly presented in the midst of this gathering and the myths about Christ were countered with Truth.

I was informed a day later by Jared that his friend from Nigeria stated, “If that would have occurred in Nigeria, you would have gone in but not come out.” He knows first-hand that Christians are dying for their faith in Nigeria.  I suggest that more believers witness to Muslims while they can still express their right to free speech and religion.

The evening concluded with one-on-one discussions with the Mosque’s Imam, Muslim women, church leaders, and other associates of this ecumenical agenda. Many of them arguing against our message and denying the teachings of the Quran, especially the sixth unwritten pillar of Jihad.  My purpose for going was to expose the lies of the enemy and to attempt to present biblical truths to those being deceived. In addition, we are instructed in the Bible, “to contend earnestly for the faith” and “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  Stephen was stoned; Paul was beaten, plus left for dead; and Jesus Christ our Lord was crucified for exposing heresy.

In America, believers are currently protected by the First Amendment in the Constitution. However, I believe that our activities will eventually lead to imprisonment for what will be labeled as hate speech. Therefore, believers must be adamant about preaching the gospel while we have the opportunity.  We must be willing to experience minor suffering including that of ridicule and criticism.

What Think Ye of Christ?

Contending for the faith

Contending for the faith

I witnessed personally the identity of Jesus being redefined during an ecumenical meeting held at a local Mosque here in Toledo. The local newspaper announced a Universalist meeting of all faiths to gather together down the street from my home in an Islamic temple. I had been concerned or troubled in my Spirit regarding the subtle infiltration of people of the Muslim faith buying up businesses and property in my community. I am quite aware of a technique used by Islam referred to as a silent Jihad.  This is a technique in which Islam advances its teachings through assimilation. Once they become dominate, then Islamic leaders petition the American Government to allow implementation of Sharia Law within their communities.

 

S. Michael writes in Dare To Explore, “We also have an obligation to protect our children and grandchildren from the westernized version of Islam which tries deceptively, to present a friendly and peaceful Islam. Muslims have a mission to Islamize the whole world because they believe that Islam is the only true religion. Knowledge about Islam and its true agenda sets us free from our fears and protects us from these false teachings.”   Within the past couple of years a once hidden mosque in the inner city recently placed Arabic writings on the outside of its building. Many Americans are unaware that whenever a mosque is established in a community, that neighborhood or city is claimed for Allah and Muslim governance.

 

This particular meeting was comprised of various pastors, imams, and church goers from various congregations. The purpose was to discuss whether or not Muslims and Christians served the same God. The assembly or service began with a prayer in Arabic which was later translated into English for non-Arabic speaking people to understand.  The format consisted of two presentations, one from a local United Church of Christ pastor, and the other from the temple Imam. Shockingly, each speaker began and concluded their messages by denouncing the Deity and ministry of Christ.

 

The pastor of the UCC church gave an inaccurate summary of the origin of the church and misrepresented her relationship to and with Muslims over the centuries. For over an hour, this individual attacked and denounced Christianity by associating the body of Christ with the  activities of the apostate Catholic Church.  Those in attendance agreed with and applauded his condemnation of Christ, and his exaltation of Islam. Likewise, the Imam indicated his disdain for the Church, Jesus Christ, and the Bible.  He also offered praise for Mohammad, the founder of Islam.

 

After two hours of lies, heresy, and rhetoric, the opportunity to address the panel (through the use of index cards) was presented.  Audience members were directed to submit their written questions to the panel and they would then respond. However, my evangelism partner (Jared) and I were no longer able to contain our outrage regarding the denunciation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so we spoke out immediately against the biased proceedings. Our first step was to address their efforts to deceive the people and to present what Scripture teaches is the true identity of Christ. I read a few verses aloud from chapter one of the book of Colossians where the apostle Paul records that Jesus is not a created being but the Creator.

 

A multitude of corrections were necessary in light of the plethora of lies perpetuated by both men.  Among these fallacies were such declarations as:

  • Jesus is not God but only a prophet;
  • Incarnation does not refer to God but to man;
  • Mohammed is referred to in the Bible as the Holy Spirit (John 17)
  • The prophet to come mentioned in Deut 18 is Mohammad;
  • Jihad means struggle, not the killing of infidels and Jews;
  • Infidels is not mentioned in the Arabic Quran, only in bad English translations;
  • Jesus’ purpose for coming was not to redeem mankind but to illustrate how humans are to live;
  • There is no original sin;
  • Catholicism and Christianity are the same and responsible for the inquisition;
  • The Bible is corrupt and the Quran is accurate;
  • Jesus’ words are only in red letters, etc.

The atmosphere was energized by our direct confrontation or rebuke of those enabling this masquerade and subterfuge. Even so, the gospel was clearly presented in the midst of this gathering and the myths about Christ were countered with Truth.

I was informed a day later by Jared that his friend from Nigeria stated, “If that would have occurred in Nigeria, you would have gone in but not come out.” He knows first-hand that Christians are dying for their faith in Nigeria.  I suggest that more believers witness to Muslims while they can still express their right to free speech and religion.

The evening concluded with one-on-one discussions with the Mosque’s Imam, Muslim women, church leaders, and other associates of this ecumenical agenda. Many of them arguing against our message and denying the teachings of the Quran, especially the sixth unwritten pillar of Jihad.  My purpose for going was to expose the lies of the enemy and to attempt to present biblical truths to those being deceived. In addition, we are instructed in the Bible, “to contend earnestly for the faith” and “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”  Stephen was stoned; Paul was beaten, plus left for dead; and Jesus Christ our Lord was crucified for exposing heresy.

 

In America, believers are currently protected by the First Amendment in the Constitution. However, I believe that our activities will eventually lead to imprisonment for what will be labeled as hate speech. Therefore, believers must be adamant about preaching the gospel while we have the opportunity.  We must be willing to experience minor suffering including that of ridicule and criticism.