Saturday, April 28, 2007

Priesthood of all believers

Most Protestants today recognize only one mediator between them and God, Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5). The doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers” was revisited and restored at the time of the Reformation. The veil has been torn and, through Christ, we have been given direct access to God, just like a priest of old. But, the “Priesthood of all believers” idea is not NEW to the New Covenant. R.J. Rushdoony said this: “It is a Protestant fallacy that ‘the priesthood of all believers’ is a ‘New Testament doctrine’ which came to light with the Reformation.”

Ex 19:5-8 says this, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord.”

So God desired Israel to be to Him a kingdom of priest’s right from the beginning and they agreed. But notice what happened right after Moses brought the Ten Commandments to Israel and God displayed His great power. Right after He gives them the Ten Commandments we read, “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” (Ex 20:18-19) Instead being honored to be a "kingdom of priests" the Israelites were afraid of God and asked Moses to be their mediator.

Jay Rogers explains the result of Israel's decision to have a mediator between them and God, “God honored the people's desire to have a mediator by choosing Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel to minister to God in a complicated ritual of daily sacrifices. The Levitical Priesthood was established to do the work of the ministry and only Moses was allowed to come directly into God's Presence. The people were not even allowed to draw near to God and the elders could only worship at a distance. The God of Israel hoped that the drudgery of service in a ritualistic system of religion would cause the people to yearn for something more.”

Many people know the story about Israel wanting and choosing a king to rule over them to be like all the other nations. Most don’t realize they also chose a mediator to intercede for them. So Israel not only chose a king to rule over them they also chose a priest to mediate for them. But it’s always been God’s perfect will for God’s people to be a nation of kings and priests. Thank God He sent His son to make it possible for us, as it was meant to be, to again have direct access to the throne-room of God. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

By Grace Through Faith

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) It is important for us to see here that it’s not saying we are saved BY faith but, rather, we are saved by grace THROUGH faith. Not only that, even that faith is a gift of God. It is God’s grace that gives us the gift of faith. Because God is gracious, therefore wicked and sinful men are forgiven, reborn, sanctified and saved. It is not because of anything in them but because of a merciful, gracious, good and loving God.

As Charles Spurgeon said, “Grace… is the fountain and source even of faith itself. Faith is the work of God's grace in us… Faith, which is coming to Christ, is the result of divine drawing. Grace is the first and last moving cause of salvation; and faith, essential as it is, is only an important part of the machinery which grace employs... Faith occupies the position of a channel or conduit pipe. Grace is the fountain and the stream; faith is the aqueduct along which the flood of mercy flows down to refresh the thirsty sons of men.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Easy Victim Zones

What do the shootings at Virginia Tech, the sniper shootings in D.C. and Baltimore, the Amish and Columbine massacres, and all the public school shootings have in common? They all happened at gun-free zones. Law-breakers just love gun-free zones. They should be called “easy-victim zones.” In 2006 the Virginia spokesman Larry Hinkler said he was happy to hear of the bill’s defeat, according to the Roanoke Times. “I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus,” the Virginia Tech spokesman said. They might “feel” safe but they will not BE safe. I would feel a lot safer in a massacre situation if I had a gun. In the spring of 2005, a Virginia Tech student who had a concealed handgun permit was disciplined for bringing a handgun to class.

There would have been fewer murders had Virginia tech allowed students and faculty to arm themselves on campus which, unfortunately, was prohibited. As Dr. Patrick Johnston wrote, “Is it just me or does anybody else see the obvious connection between “gun-free zones” and murder? Harris and Klebold at Columbine High School… John Lee Malvo in Baltimore… Charles McCoy in Columbus, Ohio… United 93… Washington, D.C. – the city with the highest murder rate in the country and the strictest gun control laws. Hmmm… “Gun-free zones” and cold-blooded mass murder – any connection?” It appears that someone who is intending to murder is the only one who will ignore the “Gun-Free Zone” signs in front of schools. Gun control laws do not protect innocent people; they disarm innocent people. Law-breakers, apparently, break the law – how is a new law going to prevent them from carrying a gun when they’re breaking a law to use it in a crime in the first place? Again, just look at Washington D.C. – They have the highest murder rate in the country and the strictest gun control laws.

Gun-control laws cause more people to die. The best kind of gun control is to hold the gun steady and firmly as you aim it. Jesus said, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” (Lk 22:36) Yes, that is the same Jesus that said, “…turn the other cheek.” The sword was the best offensive weapon available to an individual soldier - the equivalent then of a military rifle today. In the law of God it says, “If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, 3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” (Ex 22:2-3) In other word, when someone breaks into your house at night (meaning you don’t know if he is a threat to your life) you are expected to use lethal force. At night, in the dark, you have no way of knowing if the intruder means to just rob you or to kill you. Jesus did not teach passivity. He is the same God who David wrote about when he said, “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle…” (Ps 144:1)

Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Monday, April 23, 2007

God in our image...

When Moses was up on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments Aaron was gathering the gold jewelery from the people of Israel in order to make a golden calf. "And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” (Ex 32:4-5) What's interesting is that when he said "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord" the word Lord in the Hebrew is Yahweh. He was calling the golden calf Yahweh.

God makes us in His image and then we try and make God into our image. Man, in his rebellion, wants to make God into his own image. God form's us and then we, in idolatrous worship, form Him. Idolatry is so dangerous because once you create a god in your mind that you like and that you’re comfortable with, you will also create a moral standard to go along with him. What we do is create a god that likes the things we like and permits the things we want to do. A golden calf doesn't say, "Thou shall not commit adultery" or "Thou shall not bear false witness." So we create a god in our image and then create a moral code that we like.

One way to tell if someone is doing this form of idolatry is this... they will begin their sentence with “To me…” They will say stuff like, “To me God is like __________” (Fill in the blank with whatever you want.) Watch the following video clip from Way Of The Master ministry for an example of this:

Friday, April 20, 2007

Animated Music - This is pretty cool!

Resonant Chamber

Drum Machine

The First Prayer in Congress

The first Act of of the first Congress of the United States of America at Carpenters Hall Philadelphia was to pray and to order prayer to open all subsequent congresses. The Prayer was lead by Anglican Minister Dr. Jacob Duche. We should all pray this historic prayer together. The words are so applicable to today.

"Lord, our Heavenly Father, High and Mighty King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth; and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy we beseech Thee, on these American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor, and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring henceforth to be dependent only on Thee; to Thee, they have appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support which Thou alone canst give; take them therefore Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their cause; and if they persist in their sanguinary purpose, O, let the voice of Thy own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation, that the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety prevail and flourish among Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world, and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Savior. Amen."

Bereans versus Modern Christians

In Acts 17:11 Luke compared the Bereans to the Thessalonians when he said they "were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." The Bereans were considered nobler for not just taking Paul and Silas' word for it. They actually studied the Scripture to find out if Paul and Silas were right or wrong. This is extremely important to understand because it is obviously commending the Bereans, in contrast to the Thessalonians, because while they listened to Paul and Silas with enthusiasm, they still checked what they were told for accuracy by comparing it with the scriptures. They did not just blindly accept what they were told. If anyone could of commanded blind submission to his teachings it was the apostle Paul. Paul could have rebuked the Bereans for not submitting to God’s appointed leader. Who did the Bereans think they were checking out the apostle Paul’s teaching? How could they interpret Scripture apart from Paul anyway? What arrogance! Why did they even bother going to Scripture when they had an apostle to listen to?

The noble Bereans used scripture as their only infallible standard for truth. The principle of Sola Scriptura is very firmly and clearly established in this text. Sola Scriptura is a Latin phrase meaning “by Scripture alone.” It proclaims the idea that only the Bible has the authority to bind the consciences of believers. “Protestants did recognize other forms of authority, such as church offices, civil magistrates, and church creeds and confessions. But they saw these authorities as being derived from and subordinate to the authority of God. None of these lesser authorities was deemed absolute, because all of them were capable of error. God alone is infallible. Fallible authorities cannot bind the conscience absolutely; that right is reserved to God and his Word alone.” (RC Sproul -Grace Unknown pg. 42)

In Revelation 2:2 the church of Ephesus is commended for being ones who had “tested” those who said they were apostles and were not, and “found them liars.” The Ephesians were applauded for “testing” (same word used for God testing Abraham in Hebrews 11:17) the apostles. How could the Ephesians have the audacity to test someone who appeared to have an apostolic anointing? Was it arrogance or was it wisdom? In many modern protestant churches you are sneered at and rebuked if you question the authority of the leadership. If you so much as question their counsel you are in rebellion to God. What a tragedy that the apostles wanted to be tested and some pastors condemn it. The bottom line is laid out in 2 Tim. 2:15 – “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” We have a duty to STUDY! Many Christians today use the phrase “my pastor says…” way more than they say, “the scripture says…” God is not looking for dumb sheep that blindly follow their leaders. He is looking for His sheep that diligently follow Him. We must show ourselves approved unto God. We must rightly divide the Word of Truth!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Butt Prints In The Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
and there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
when one must fight, and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand."

author unknown

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Katrina Going Cone Crazy

Here's my lovely little daughter Katrina being silly with some cones Levi got for his birthday. Isn't she cute?!

Postmodernism's Only Sin

"In postmodernism the intellect is replaced by will, reason by emotion, and morality by relativism. Reality is nothing more than a social construct; truth equals power. Your identity comes from a group. Postmodernism is characterized by fragmentation, indeterminacy, and a distrust of all universalizing (worldviews) and power structures (the establishment). It is a worldview that denies all worldviews ("stories"). In a nutshell, postmodernism says there are no universal truths valid for all people. Instead, individuals are locked into the limited perspective of their own race, gender or ethnic group. It is Nietzsche in full bloom.

Although postmodernists tend to reject traditional morality, they can still be very moralistic. They will defend their rights to do what they want with puritanical zeal. Furthermore, they seem to feel that they have a right not to be criticized for what they are doing. They want not only license but approval. Thus tolerance becomes the cardinal virtue. Under the postmodernist way of thinking, the principle of cultural diversity means that every like-minded group constitutes a culture that must be considered as good as any other culture. The postmodernist sins are being judgmental, being narrow-minded, thinking that you have the only truth, and trying to enforce your values on anyone else. Those who question the postmodernist dogma that "there are no absolutes" are excluded from the canons of tolerance. The only wrong idea is to believe in truth; the only sin is to believe in sin."

Gene Edward Veith, Jr Postmodern Times, pg. 195-196

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Law is Inescapably Religious

"Law is in every culture is religious in origin. Because law governs man and society, because it establishes and declares the meaning of justice and righteousness, law is inescapably religious, in that it establishes in practical fashion the ultimate concerns of a culture. Accordingly, a fundamental and necessary premise in any and every study of law must be, first, a recognition of this religious nature of law.

Second, it must be recognized that in any culture the source of law is the god of that society. If law has its source in man's reason, then reason is the god of that society. If the source is an oligarchy, or in a court, senate, or ruler, then that source is the god of that system. Thus, in Greek culture law was essentially a religiously humanistic concept."
(Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law Vol. 1, p.4-5)

Friday, April 13, 2007

"New Truth"

"I cannot agree with those who say that they have 'new truth' to teach. The two words seem to me to contradict each other; that which is new is not true. It is the old that is true, for truth is as old as God himself" -- Charles Spurgeon

R.C. Sproul on the Holiness and Justice of God

Sproul on the Holiness and Justice of God Pt. 1

Sproul on the Holiness and Justice of God Pt. 2

Trust in God and do the right.

Courage, brother! do not stumble,
Though thy path is dark as night;
There's a star to guide the humble--
Trust in God and do the right.

Let the road be long and dreary,
And its ending out of sight;
Foot it bravely--strong or weary,
Trust in God and do the right.

Perish "policy" and cunning,
Perish all that fears the light;
Whether losing, whether winning,
Trust in God and do the right.

Trust no party, trust no faction,
Trust no leaders in the fight;
But in every word and action
Trust in God and do the right.

Trust no forms of guilty passion,
Fiends can look like angels bright;
Trust no custom, school, or fashion,
Trust in God and do the right.

Some will hate thee, some will love thee,
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Turn from man, and look above thee,
Trust in God and do the right.

Simple rule and safest guiding,
Inward peace and inward light;
Star upon our path abiding,

by Norman Macleod, 1857

Don't Worry!

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt 6:34) We are commanded by Christ to not worry about tomorrow. Most people don't realize that if they are worried about something they are sinning. Notice that He doesn’t say we would not have any trouble; He just said to not worry about tomorrow’s trouble because today has enough to deal with all by itself. God never promises to keep us out of trouble, only to bring us through it. He does not always keep us out of the fire but He is always with us in the fire. As Job said, “…he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.” (Job 23:10)

Many people spend so much time dwelling on what might happen tomorrow and regretting what happened yesterday that they miss out on what God has for them today. If we bring yesterday's problems and tomorrow's problems into today we will be so burdened down with stress and anxiety that we will not be able to function properly in the present. As the saying goes, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift – that’s why we call it the present.” We have enough problems to deal with in one day than to deal with past “what was” and the future “what if’s”. Get out of the “what if” and the “what was” and trust in the “I AM.” "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Ps 46:1) Don't stress out, don't freak out and don't wig out; trust in the Sovereign God.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Daniel In The Kings Den Pt. 2

The next thing Babylon does enslave God’s people is to take the youth out of the home and put them in government schools. “Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king's palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.” (Dan 1:3-4) Nebuchadnezzar understood that a big part of enslaving a people is to train (or brainwash) their children.

The Babylonians destroyed the family unit by removing the children and putting them right into the government schools… (Sound familiar?) This is what happened to Daniel. He (and his friends) had been taken from his family and heritage and thrown right into CSU - Chaldean State University (I hear they had a great football team). Babylonians of Daniels time, and our time, understood the extreme importance of education. The Babylonians understood the truth of the proverb: “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6) The only difference is that they change the phrase “the way he should go” to “the way we say he should go.”

Look at verse 5 of Daniel 1, “…They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.” Notice, for 3 years they would be absorbed in Babylonian knowledge, culture, history, language, and religion. At the end of that time they would enter the king’s service and be assured of high-level government positions. State schools lead to state slavery.... (More to come)

Daniel In The Kings Den Pt. 1

I want to give a short summary of the book of Daniel. The book of Daniel is extremely practical and applicable to us today Chapters 1-6 deal with Daniel the Saint - his life (practical). Chapters 7-12 deal with Daniel the Prophet - (similar to Revelation) There are so many similarities to Daniel's situation and ours in America. Daniel was part of a very small remnant in the middle of a pagan culture. From the time he was a teenager until he died around the age of 90, he served under pagan kings (he worked for the government). We always hear about "Daniel in the Lion's Den" but I want to quickly look at "Daniel in the Kings Den."

Daniel and his friends were taken to Babylon in the summer of 605 BC. I want to look at 2 things: 1st – the way Babylon tactically tries to mentally enslave and pollute its captives. 2nd, the way Daniel dealt with Babylon's tactics while remaining in Babylon.

The first thing Babylon does to seduce, corrupt and enslave God's People is attack the religion. “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god.” (Dan 1:1-2) The first thing Nebuchadnezzar did to enslave a people was to attack their religion. Maybe he knew that where “the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty." (2 Cor 3:17) Where the Spirit of the Lord is NOT, there is slavery. As Horace Greeley said, "It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom."

The Babylonians understood… If you can take away their temple you can take their territory… If you can take away their religion you can take their rights… If you can take away their worship you can take their wealth… If you can take away their spirit you can take their strength… If you can take away their God you can take their government… (more to come)

Scarred Hands

This is a great illustration giving us a picture of Christ and how His scarred hands were the reason He could adopt us back into the family.

"William Dixon lived in England. He was a widower who had also lost his only son. One day he saw that the house of one of his neighbors was on fire. Although the aged owner was rescued, her orphaned grandson was trapped in the blaze. Dixon climbed an iron pipe on the side of the house and lowered the boy to safety. His hand that held on to the pipe was badly burned.

Shortly after the fire, the grandmother died. The townspeople wondered who would care for the boy. Two volunteers appeared before the town council. One was a father who had lost his son and would like to adopt the orphan as his own. William Dixon was to speak next, but instead of saying anything he merely held up his scarred hand. When the vote was taken, the boy was given to him." —Neil Strait

Work to be done!

Here's a few good quotes reminding us of our need to stay busy. "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few." (Matt 9:37)

John Henry Newman: "Fear not that your life shall come to an end, but rather that it shall never have a beginning."

Will Rogers: “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”

Martin Luther, when once asked what his plans, for the following day were, answered: “Work, work, from early until late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

God Hates Some People

Many people have never heard this idea that the God of the Bible actually hates some people. It is, though, a biblical truth.

Psalm 5:5-6 says, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost HATE all who do iniquity. Thou dost destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit."

Psalm 11:5 says, "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul HATES."

Rom 9:11-13 "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I HATED.”

Even the psalmist expresses this attitude when he writes, "Do I not HATE those who hate Thee, O Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against Thee? I hate them with the utmost HATRED; they have become my enemies" (Ps. 139:21-22).

So much for "hate the sin, love the sinner" in all situations. There is such a thing as a holy hatred. It is, though, a hate born out of love. If I love my kids I will hate that which is destroying them.

Victor, the Martyr

Here is one of the many amazing true stories from the Foxes Book of Martyrs. It's one of my favorites. As is all the martyr stories, this is very humbling and inspiring. We so often take our liberty for granted. We get spoiled and even complain when our comforts are not comfortable enough. God give us the conviction and courage of the martyrs of old.

"Victor was a Christian of a good family at Marseilles, in France; he spent a great part of the night in visiting the afflicted, and confirming the weak; which pious work he could not, consistently with his own safety, perform in the daytime; and his fortune he spent in relieving the distresses of poor Christians. He was at length, however, seized by the emperor Maximian's decree, who ordered him to be bound, and dragged through the streets. During the execution of this order, he was treated with all manner of cruelties and indignities by the enraged populace. Remaining still inflexible, his courage was deemed obstinacy. Being by order stretched upon the rack, he turned his eyes toward heaven, and prayed to God to endue him with patience, after which he underwent the tortures with most admirable fortitude. After the executioners were tired with inflicting torments on him, he was conveyed to a dungeon. In his confinement, he converted his jailers, named Alexander, Felician, and Longinus. This affair coming to the ears of the emperor, he ordered them immediately to be put to death, and the jailers were accordingly beheaded. Victor was then again put to the rack, unmercifully beaten with batoons, and again sent to prison. Being a third time examined concerning his religion, he persevered in his principles; a small altar was then brought, and he was commanded to offer incense upon it immediately. Fired with indignation at the request, he boldly stepped forward, and with his foot overthrew both altar and idol. This so enraged the emperor Maximian, who was present, that he ordered the foot with which he had kicked the altar to be immediately cut off; and Victor was thrown into a mill, and crushed to pieces with the stones, A.D. 303."

Psychiatry: No Science, No Cures

The Leopard's Lesson

Jer 13:23, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good
who are accustomed to do evil."

It's been said, “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny.” The problem with habits, as the saying goes, is that they begin in cobwebs and end in cables. Once an action becomes a habit it then becomes almost impossible to change. Never underestimate a thought or an action. That is why New Year's Resolutions are rarely more powerful than old year's habits. The more accustomed you are to do evil the more difficult it is to do good. It becomes more difficult than for a leopard to change his spots.

Shut It.

Proverbs 12:23 says, "A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly."
There's an old saying that fits this proverb, "Some people talk not because they have something to say, but because they have to say something."

God does it all!

He chooses, He calls, He commands, He consoles, He comforts and He confirms.

Look at 2 Thes 2:13-17:

“13. But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation [HE CHOOSES] through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14. to which He called you by our gospel [HE CALLS], for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle [HE COMMANDS]. 16. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation [HE CONSOLES] and good hope by grace, 17. comfort your hearts [HE COMFORTS] and establish you [HE CONFIRMS] in every good word and work.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is Your Evangelism God Centered?

Peekaboo! God sees you!

My little daughter Katrina loves to play Peekaboo. She covers her eyes and really believes that she cannot be seen. "If I cannot see", she thinks, "than no one can see me". All my kids have done this and they all believed that if their eyes were covered they were completely hidden from anyone who wanted to find them. As they grow older they slowly, but surely, start to realize they have to hide more than their eyes if they don't want to be found. Even when they get a little older, like 4 or 5, they might attempt to hide behind a bush or a small tree or a sheet on the bed. In their mind they are perfectly hidden even though you can see them right through the bush or their body is wider than the small tree or there is a big breathing bump on the bed under that sheet.

This reminds me of how we are with our Heavenly Father. We, as immature sons or daughters of God the Father, think we can hold our hands over our eyes and somehow be hidden from Him. Adam and Eve tried this in the garden. After they sinned they were ashamed and tried, unsuccessfully, to cover their nakedness and shame with fig leaves. Gen 3:9 says, "But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" This reminds me of when I say, "Where's Katrina?" Even though I know she is sitting there with her hands over her eyes I still say it and, of course, it is always followed up by a "there she is!" Adam and Eve tried to hide from God. We try to hide from God. When we really stop and think about it we realize how ridiculous it is but we do it all the time.

We somehow think that if we cover our eyes from the truth of God’s Word or cover our eyes from the mirror of God’s Law that is exposing our sin that we won’t be clearly seen by God. The Psalmist reminds us that our Father always sees and is always there no matter how good our hands are covering our own eyes. “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (Psalms 139:7-12)

Having our hands cupped over our own eyes is a weak attempt to cover what only the blood of Christ can cover. In the garden, the fig leaves were insufficient. We’re told that God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve. He had to kill the animals in order to do that. Blood had to be shed in order for them to be truly covered. It was a picture, of course, of the Lamb of God. We can try to cover our eyes and pretend that we are not being seen. Or, through the blood of Christ, we can boldly come to the throne-room of God and not be ashamed. Trying to hide or trying to do good enough works is just as silly and just as ineffective as a child playing Peekaboo.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Telescope vs Microscope

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Ps 34:3) When we talk about magnifying God or glorifying God… are we talking about what a microscope does or what a telescope does? A microscope makes things that are really little look bigger than they actually are. A telescope makes things that are really big but look little to our eyes become more like what they really are.

To say we magnify God or glorify God like a microscope would be blasphemy. That would be like saying that God is small and we need to make Him look bigger. The truth is that we need to be like the telescope and show others who think God is just some insignificant spec in their life how big He really is. When we magnify God in our own hearts and minds we see Him more like he really is. To glorify, is either to make glorious, or to declare to be glorious. God is glorified, then, only declaratively; he is glorified when his glory is declared. To God be the glory!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

"As a man thinketh..."

I found out recently, after a few minutes of study, that I have been taking a verse out of context and misapplying it for years. It is Proverbs 23:7. Here’s the part that I knew by heart: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (KJV) Notice the 3 little dots at the end of that quote? That means that there is more to that sentence. It is from the King James Version and it is only the first half of the verse.

Let’s look at it in context: “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” (Vs. 6-7) It is saying that we should not eat from someone who is greedy or stingy because even though he may offer you some food… in his heart he doesn’t want you to have it.

Now let’s look at the English Standard Version (which is what I use; it tends to be a more literal translation). Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. ‘Eat and drink!’ he says to you, but his heart is not with you.” These verses are just saying that even though a stingy man says “eat and drink,” his thoughts (in his heart) are saying get away from my food. We’ve flipped this passage upside down to mean that your thoughts create who you are and what you do. This passage is actually saying that the stingy man’s thoughts are completely different than what he is doing or saying.

We’ve turned this passage around to mean: “You become what you think about.” I remember hearing a motivational tape of Earl Nightingale when I was a teen and that’s what he said: “You become what you think about.”James Allen even wrote a famous book full of humanistic philosophy and slapped that verse on the cover for a title (“As a man thinketh”). This passage is not telling us that we become what we think about.

It’s interesting that all philosophical schools of thought and worldviews agree on the belief that you become what you think about… except true Biblical Christianity. The Bible tells us that what we think, what we feel, and what we do are a direct result of who we are; not vice versa. You don’t become what you think about; your thoughts flow from who you are.

Jesus didn’t come into this world to just to give the mind new information about God or to open up new and mystical experiences of God or tell us new ways of doing things for God. He came as God so that we could be reborn back into His image. The solution to our problems is not within us. Actually, the cause of all our problems is within us. The answer is not in how we think, how we feel or how we act. The only way to “BECOME” a new creature – is in CHRIST. You don’t become what you think about; you become a new creature in Christ… And THEN, and only then, do all things become new (including your thoughts, your feelings and your actions). (2 Cor 5:17) When you flip it around you have humanistic idolatry.

Jesus put it this way: “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.” (Matt 12:33-35) Our thoughts and our feelings and our actions are all fruits of who we are. The fruit doesn’t produce the tree; the tree produces the fruit. We don’t become what we think about; our thoughts come forth from what we are.

This is why God promised to give us a new heart… “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezek 36:24-27) For you philosophical types, we could say it this way: We don’t need epistemological solutions (what we think) or existential solutions (what we feel) or pragmatical solutions (what we do); we need an ontological solution (being – who we are) – a new heart; a new BEING.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10) We don’t become what we think about, we become what God makes us… The thoughts, feelings and actions follow.

Rom 9:15-16 says, “For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.”

Friday, April 06, 2007

Bob Newhart - Stop It

Much of modern psychiatry is humanistic non-sense. According to modern psychiatry man is nothing but physical or material; according to the Bible man is a "living soul." According to modern psychiatry you are sick, therefore not responsible; according to the Bible you are a sinner and fully responsible. According to modern psychiatry you are suffering from mental illness; according to the Bible you are suffering from the consequences of sin. According to modern psychiatry the problem is human guilt; according to the Bible the problem is human depravity.

This is a funny video illustrating the fact that many who are in therapy today just need to stop it.

Tyranny and Resistance

"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." ― Samuel Adams

Public School - The Church of Humanism

There is no such thing as "secular" education. The State, Public Schools are religious. They teach and preach the religion of humanism. The humanists admit this over and over:

"I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what the theologians call divinity in every human being. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new - the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evil and misery and the new faith resplendent in its promise.
" - John Dunphy, "A Religion for the New Age," Humanist Magazine.

"I think that the most important factor moving us toward a secular (Non-Christian) society has been the educational factor. our schools may not teach Johnny to read, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is sixteen tends to lead toward the elimination of religious superstition. The average American child now acquires a high school education, and this MILITATES AGAINST ADAM AND EVE and other myths of alleged history." ― Paul Blanchard, Secular Humanism pg. 18

"Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five—day program of humanistic teaching." ― Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion

"Every child in America who enters school at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with allegiance toward our elected officials, toward our founding fathers, toward our institutions, toward the preservation of this form of government... patriotism, nationalism, sovereignty... All of that proves the children are sick, because the truly well individual is one who has rejected all of those things and is what I would call the true international child of the future." ― Dr. Pierce of Harvard Univ., Lecture to teachers in Denver, Cob. 1973

G.K. Chesterton on War

Interesting quote in light of our time:

"A man who says that no patriot should attack the war until it is over... is saying no good son should warn his mother of a cliff until she has fallen."
G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A New Reformation by Dr. James Montgomery Boice

"I would like to see the beginning of a new Reformation in our day, and I hope you would like to see it too and are praying for it. I hope you have become nauseated with the tawdry entertainment that passes for the true worship of God in many of our churches and, like the saints of the past, are longing for more of the deep truths of the inerrant Word of God. We certainly need a reformation.

The most serious issue facing the church today is not the inerrancy of Scripture but its sufficiency. Do we believe that God has given us what we need in this book? Or do we suppose that we have to supplement the Bible with human things? Do we need sociological techniques to do evangelism, pop psychology and pop psychiatry for Christian growth, extra-biblical signs or miracles for guidance, or political tools for achieving social progress and reform? It is possible to believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and yet to neglect it and effectually repudiate it just because we think that it is not sufficient for today’s tasks and that other things need to be brought in to accomplish what is needed. This is exactly what many evangelicals and evangelical churches are doing today."

Dr. James Montgomery Boice

Tempting Little Backstabber

When it comes to temptation, we think, in our flesh, that giving in to the temptation is how we will be rewarded. That is what makes it tempting. Sin, though, is a lying, deceitful backstabber. The Bible reveals that the true reward comes when we resist the temptation. Moses understood this: “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” (Heb 11:24-26)

John Piper says… “Sin (lust for example) gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.” But once again, sin is a lying, deceitful backstabber. It promises happiness and gives you regret. It promises happiness and gives you guilt. It promises happiness and gives you pain. It promises happiness and gives you disappointment. It promises happiness and gives you discontent. It offers you freedom and sells you into slavery. It shakes your hand and stabs you in the back.

James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him.” There is a prize, a reward, for enduring temptation. Notice first it said "blessed" or happy is the man who endures temptation. Happiness comes from having your life under control, so that there is no bad habit that is controlling you. When you know how to say “no” to temptation or when you “flee” temptation it produces happiness in your life.

James also says there is a “crown of life” to those who, out of their love for God, resist and endure. In the Greek this literally means “life itself.” James is telling us: when you understand temptation, when you learn to say "no," when you overcome it, when you resist, then you begin to really live. It is a crown which is life -- abundant life -- itself. Benjamin Franklin said: “It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.” Did I mention that sin is a lying, deceitful backstabber?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Moody on Prayer

"Prayer does not mean that I am to bring God down to my thoughts and my purposes, and bend his government according to my foolish, silly, and sometimes sinful notions. Prayer means that I am to be raised up into feeling, into union and design with him; that I am to enter into his counsel and carry out his purpose fully." Dwight L. Moody

The Bible and the Banquet

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” (Song of Solomon 2:4) Jesus reminds us: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Mt 4:4) We need to always take the time to read and study and learn God’s Word. God’s banqueting house is not a fast food restaurant. John F. Brand once said: “The Bible is meant to be bread for daily use, not cake for special occasions” We must live, not snack, on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

When we open up God’s Word, it is as if we are sitting down at His table for a feast that He has prepared especially for us. It would be foolish and rude to just take one bite, then get up and leave. It would also be just as foolish and rude to stuff it all down our face as fast as we can. We need better manners at the banqueting table. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote: “Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart!” You see, reading the Bible without thinking about it and meditating on it is like trying to eat an entire meal without chewing and swallowing.

I once read the following illustration: "A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about him in his book THE WONDERS OF THE WORD OF GOD. The victim's face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read Braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the Braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the entire Bible four times."

What’s our excuse? Can we, like John Bunyan, say "I was never out of my Bible"? Are we taking the time to enjoy the feast and fellowship at the banqueting house or are we just driving through?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Paul and James - Faith or Works?

"In Romans 3:28 Paul says, "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." In James 2:24 we read, "You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone." If the word justify means the same thing in both cases, we have an irreconcilable contradiction between two biblical writers on an issue that concerns our eternal destinies. Luther called "justification by faith" the article upon which the church stands or falls. The meaning of justification and the question of how it takes place is no mere trifle. Yet Paul says it is by faith apart from works, and James says it is by works and not by faith alone. To make matters more difficult, Paul insists in Romans 4 that Abraham is justified when he believes the promise of God before he is circumcised. He has Abraham justified in Genesis 15. James says, "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?" (James 2:21). James does not have Abraham justified until Genesis 22.

This question of justification is easily resolved if we examine the possible meanings of the term justify and apply them within the context of the respective passages. The term justify may mean (1) to restore to a state of reconciliation with God those who stand under the judgment of his law or (2) to demonstrate or vindicate.

Jesus says for example, "Wisdom is justified of all her children" (Lk 7:35 KJV). What does he mean? Does he mean that wisdom is restored to fellowship with God and saved from his wrath? Obviously not. The plain meaning of his words is that a wise act produces good fruit. The claim to wisdom is vindicated by the result. A wise decision is shown to be wise by its results. Jesus is speaking in practical terms, not theological terms, when he uses the word justified in this way.

How does Paul use the word in Romans 3? Here, there is no dispute. Paul is clearly speaking about justification in the ultimate theological sense.

What about James? If we examine the context of James, we will see that he is dealing with a different question from Paul. James says in 2:14, "What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?" James is raising a question of what kind of faith is necessary for salvation. He is saying that true faith brings forth works. A faith without works he calls a dead faith, a faith that is not genuine. The point is that people can say they have faith when in fact they have no faith. The claim to faith is vindicated or justified when it is manifested by the fruit of faith, namely works. Abraham is justified or vindicated in our sight by his fruit. In a sense, Abraham's claim to justification is justified by his works. The Reformers understood that when they stated the formula, "Justification is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone.""

R. C. Sproul - Knowing Scripture; InterVasity Press, p. 83, 84

Without the Negative, The Positive Means Nothing

On Contentment

"I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Phil 4:11

"A Christian hath that which may make him content. 1. Hath not God given thee Christ? in him there are "unsearchable riches;"Ep. 3. 8 he is such a golden mine of wisdom and grace, that all the saints and angels can never dig to the bottom. As Seneca said to his friend Polybius, never complain of thy hard fortune as long as CÊsar is thy friend: so I say to a believer, never complain as long as Christ is thy friend; he is an enriching pearl, a sparkling diamond; the infinite lustre of his merits makes us shine in God's eyes.Ep. 1. 7 In him there is both fullness and sweetness; he is unspeakably good. Screw up your thoughts to the highest pinnacle, stretch them to the utmost period, let them expatiate to their full latitude and extent; yet they fall infinitely short of these ineffable and inexhaustible treasures which are locked up in Jesus Christ; and is not here enough to give the soul content? A Christian that wants necessaries, yet having Christ, he hath the "one thing needful." 2. Thy soul is exercised and enamelled with the graces of the Spirit, and is not here enough to give contentment? Grace is of a divine birth, it is the new plantation, it is the flower of the heavenly paradise, it is the embroidery of the Spirit, it is the seed of God,1 Jno. 3. 9 it is the sacred unction,Jno. 2. 20 it is Christ's portraiture in the soul; it is the very foundation on which superstructure of glory is laid. O, of what infinite value is grace! what a jewel is faith! Well may it be called "precious faith."2 Pe. 1. 1 What is love, but a divine sparkle in the soul? A soul beautified with grace, is like a room richly hung with arras, or tapestry, or the firmament bespangled with glittering stars. These are the "true riches,"Lu. 16. 11 which cannot stand with reprobation: and is not here enough to give the soul contentment? what are all other things but like wings of a butterfly, curiously painted? but they defile our fingers. Earthly riches, saith Augustine, are full of poverty; so indeed they are, for, they cannot enrich the soul: oftentimes under silken apparel there is a thread-bare soul. They are corruptible: "riches are not for ever," as the wise man saith.Pr. 27. 24 Heaven is a place where gold and silver will not go. A believer is rich towards God:Lu. 12. 21 why then are thou discontented? hath not God given thee that which is better than the world? What if he doth not give thee the box, if he gives thee the jewel? what if he denies thee farthings, if he pays thee in a better coin? he gives thee gold; spiritual mercies. What if the water in the bottle be spent? thou hast enough in the fountain. What need he complain of the world's emptiness, that hath God's fullness? The Lord is my portion, saith David,Ps. 16. 5 then let the lines fall where they will, in a sick-bed or prison, I will say, "the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage." Are thou not heir to all the promises? Hast thou not a reversion of heaven? When thou lettest go thy hold of natural life, art thou not sure of eternal life? Hath not God given thee the earnest and first fruits of glory? Is not here enough to work the heart to contentment?"

(From The Art of Divine Contentment by the Puritan Thomas Watson c. 1620 - July 28, 1686)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Big Mouth - Big Foot

"Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin." Prov 13:3

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell." James 3:6

There's an old saying: "He who thinks by the inch and talks by the yard deserves to be kicked by the foot."

Chosen not for good in me

Ps 116:12 says, "What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits to me?"

Or as the Old Hymn of Robert Murray McCheyne (1813 - 1843) put it:

"When I stand before the throne, dressed in beauty not my own, when I see thee as tho art, love thee with unsinning heart-Then, Lord, shall I fully know, Not till then, how much I owe! Chosen not for good in me, weakened up from wrath to flee, Hidden in the Saviors side, by the Spirit sanctified,-teach me, Lord, on earth to show, by my love, how much I owe"

Or, as Paul put it, "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." (Rom 12:1)

Commitment And Faithfulness

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday." - (Psalms 37:3-4)

"You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of the referee.” - (John H. Holcomb)

"A wife who is 85% faithful to her husband is not faithful at all. There is no such thing as part-time loyalty to Jesus Christ." (Vance Havner)


1. Andrew - crucified
2. Bartholomew - beaten then crucified
3. James, son of Alphaeus - stoned to death
4. James, son of Zebedee - beheaded
5. John - exiled for his faith; died of old age
6. Judas (not Iscariot) - stoned to death
7. Matthew - speared to death
8. Peter - crucifed upside down
9. Philip - crucified
10. Simon - crucified
11. Thomas - speared to death
12. Matthias - stoned to death
(source: Fox's Book of Martyrs)

Just think of all the little inconveniences that we complain about or all the simple duties we so easily give up on. We need more commitment in our spoiled lives. Are we going to, one day, hear: "well done thou good and faithful servant."?

The Emerging T.U.L.I.P. (Pretending to be Orthodox)

The following was written by Steve Camp. It's very good. Compare the old "TULIP" to this modern "TULIP"

The Emerging/Emergent ecumenical movement continues to make inroads in the broader landscape of evangelicalism. From Southern Baptists to Reformed to Charismatics, their influence knows no bounds. Even mainline publishers known for producing orthodox literature and books are signing emerging personalities to produce "theological" works for them.

Well respected evangelical leaders have emerging personalities participate in their conferences--representing them as being thoroughly reformed and orthodox; even to the point of making light of their scatological speech and debasing humor that marks and defines the pulpit ministries of many of the emerging churches brightest stars.

But the most far fetched of claims is that the emerging/emergent seeker sensitive, ecumenical salesmen are Calvinistic--reformed in their beliefs. This constitutes nothing more than a superficial nod at the reformed faith, while the postmodern culture is the real driving force behind this movement.

Here is "Calvinism's TULIP" according to the emerging/emergent beliefs. (You may find a detailed explanation of the real TULIP here).

1. Total Ambiguity
Methodology over message
Truth is abstract; fluid, and liquid
Conversation over gospel proclamation
Ecumenism over doctrinal unity
Constantly inventing a new spiritual meta-narrative

2. Unconditional Pragmaticism
Seeker sensible and seeker sensitive
Whatever works - do it
Numbers justify everything
Program enriched
Felt need, culture-driven

3. Limited Theology
Doctrine diminished and not primary; it is the afterthought
Truth claims remain vague and undefined
No definitive agreed upon statement of faith
Very little biblical definition of ministry
Recommended reading lists of their networks remain liberal and pragmatic

4. Irresistible Contextualization
Truth must be adapted to and defined by culture
The audience, not the message, is sovereign
The focus is to be relevant and relativistic
Being missional is marked by methodological inroads, conversation, and cultural discernment of the times - not the proclamation of the gospel
Speak of the humanity of Christ in crude terms to make Jesus relatable over reverence of the transcendence of Christ

5. Postmodern Perverse Speech
Being known as the cussing pastor is good
Unwholesome talk is cultural not biblical
Coarse scatological speech is a matter of personal taste
It makes you cool to other Emerging/Emergents
If you challenge it, you are labeled as Victorian and out of date

Distributed by