En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Fit To Be Used by Ray C. Stedman

Posted by Scott on November 24, 2009

by Ray C. Stedman

2 Timothy 2:20-26

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart (2 Timothy 2:22).

Those with pure hearts are not sinless saints; they are not holier-than-thous who have never done anything wrong. They are not the kind of people who look down their noses at everyone else who gets into trouble. No, the word pure would be better translated “cleansed,” past tense–those with a cleansed heart, those who have already known what it is to be where you are. They do not put you down; they encourage you. They say, “I know how you feel. I’ve been there too, but God picked me up. I know what it means to lay hold of His great, forgiving love.” So one of the necessities of being used of God is that you keep company with those who are aiming in the same direction.

I had an occasion to spend a day at Vacaville Penitentiary. I had not been there before. It was a most remarkable experience to see Christian friends working in the prison as salt within a corrupt society. It was a rainy day, and no one was out in the yard. Everyone was in the halls, so it was like going into a high school that had just been let out for lunch. Among the inmates of that overcrowded prison, a Christian group is maintaining a testimony that is keeping that prison away from violence, acting as salt to preserve it in the midst of a very explosive situation.

In the chapel I sat next to a man who had been a murderer–a murderer several times. He had been one of the roughest, fiercest convicts in the prison system. He had stabbed several people while he was in prison, and he was a member of the gang that tried to rule the prison, a vicious loner who would not hesitate to take a human life. Yet God had reached him. Now he is the most gentle-spirited, gracious fellow, a teacher of the other prisoners, instructing them in the truth of God.

I met with others who had been rapists, murderers, and child abusers, men whose lives were changed, who were now listening to and rejoicing in the Scriptures. I asked the leader of the group what it was that most disappointed him in his work. Without hesitating he said, “it is those who are so dramatically changed here but who lose all they have gained when they get out”. I asked why that happened. “Because they go back to the same old crowd,” he said. We are not made to live alone. We are made to live with others; we need the support of others. Those who surround themselves with a non-Christian view of life and non-Christian friends are almost certain to go back at last into that way of thinking and living. So if we want to be used of God, the apostle urges us to seek the companionship of those of like mind.

Lord, grant me the strength to say no to the things I must and yes to the things that I should, that You may find me usable in Your hand, a vessel fit for the Master’s use.

For the complete message by the late Ray C. Stedman go to Ray Stedman.

Scott Bailey 2009

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Book Review: Voices of the Faithful Book 2

Posted by Scott on September 26, 2009

09-08-19BG_Voices_of_the_Faithful_Book_2This is a wonderful devotional. Over 366 stories of the mission field from all over the world that will encourage your day.  The stories are inspiring as Christians who serve around the world tell their accounts of wonderful encounters with God.

This series of books were created by Beth Moore and in Book 2 were compiled by Kim Davis.  Beth Moore has a way with putting together a book and this one in up there with the rest.  If you wonder what goes on from the front lines of our faith in this spiritual battle we are in, then this devotional book will certainly meet your intrigue.

Each day is filled with danger, anticipation, heartache, triumph, and miracles.  You will witness on each page the glorious details God has provided in the lives of those in the middle of the battle.  You’ll meet children that are boisterous, parents who worry about their kids, teens, and situation, curiosity, and much more. 

At the end of each days devotional you will be encouraged by the leading prayer which will help you get into an even more intense prayer time.  Remember to pray for those in foreign countries contending for the faith on a daily basis.  Remember to pray for those being persecuted around the world for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God is sustaining these Believers all around the world through His Word, the suffering they experience, and His glorious timing to be their rescuer.

Get this devotional and include it in your daily devotional time…it could enhance your prayer life immensely.

Scott Bailey 2009

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Happy Reformation Day! 499th Anniversary of the Great Reformation Beginning!

Posted by Scott on October 28, 2008

This October 31st, 2008 marks the 499th Anniversary of the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Catholic Church in Germany. Through his sacrifice and courage to challenge the church at that time he made known that we can go before God without any human “go between”. Jesus Christ is our “go between” now. Please, enjoy the short article below as we celebrate another year this great reformation has survived.

Martin Luther

Luther Brings Faith and Grace to Everyday Life. Martin Luther’s great evangelism tool was the written word. Though Luther was famous as a preacher and teacher, he believed that everyone needed to build his or her own personal relationship with God through God’s word.

He translated the entire Bible into German (his native language), believing that every single person should be able to read well enough to read the Bible on his or her own. He also wrote the explanations in the Small Catechism, so that parents would have an simple way to teach their children the basics of their faith.

Luther had a complex and interesting life. The definitive biography is Here I Stand, by Roland Bainton (New American Library). John Osborne’s Luther (a play published by Criterion Books) was filmed in a version starring Stacey Keach, which is still available. But the important part of Luther’s life is the legacy he left to us of his overwhelming fascination with the study of God and God’s relationship to us. He based his view of God on a thorough rereading of the New Testament, from which come the key Lutheran beliefs of priesthood of believers (Hebrews 7, 9 , and 10) and justification by faith (Romans 3: 23).

The priesthood of believers includes all of us who are believers, and it means that each of us has the right to approach God directly through prayer and study without go-betweens and without wondering which of us is the most important to God: each of us is equally important to God. And in Christian community, we serve as priests to one another.

Justification by faith means that God loves us and saves us not because of who we are or what we do, but because he created us and we are his. Luther wrote, “In baptism, our sinful selves are drowned, and day by day a new self arises.” He encouraged us to remember our baptism every time we take a shower or wash our faces; God’s removal of our sins is that close and that constant. The knowledge of the closeness of God to us in every thing we say and do every day of our lives is Luther’s great gift to Christian life.

During Luther’s lifetime, he was the best-selling writer in Europe. What would our lives be like if Luther’s Small Catechism was at the top of the list of best selling books week-in and week-out?

More resources can be found at SundaySchool Lessons.

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Christian Persecution Update in India!

Posted by Scott on October 2, 2008

 

Three More Christians Killed in Orissa; Opposition Reported in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

Thousands of Christians, like this woman, were made homeless by attacks led by Hindu extremists in Orissa, India.

Three more believers were martyred and twelve others were severely wounded in a fresh wave of violence in Orissa, India, on September 30. The latest attacks occurred in villages near Kandhamal, which has been the epicenter of violence against Christians since August 22.

The violence in Orissa came as attacks in two other Indian states targeted a Christian pastor and a Bridge of Hope center.

An estimated 30 Christians have been killed and thousands of others have lost their homes since Hindu extremists went on a rampage after their leader, Swami Laxmananda Saraswati was murdered. His followers are seeking revenge for his death, for which Christians have been blamed. However, Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murder.

A Gospel for Asia correspondent in Orissa said Tuesday’s attacks came at 4:30 a.m. when mobs of as many as 5,000 Hindu extremists attacked three separate villages. The extremists burned down about 150 homes and three churches. The Indian media reports that police opened fire in an attempt to disperse the violent forces.

The mob also reportedly attacked the local police station, demanding that two people arrested in connection with the ongoing riots be released. Media reports from within the country also indicate that the extremists have blocked all roads in and out of the area of the attack with rocks and boulders to prevent police from bringing in additional forces.

Since the violence began August 22, six people who attended GFA-related churches in Orissa have been killed by the Hindu extremists, who have personally attacked more than 2,000 believers from these churches. The extremists have also burned down 630 homes belonging to believers who attend GFA-related churches and destroyed 22 churches where GFA missionaries serve as pastors.

Many Christians are still hiding out in the dense jungles surrounding their villages. They are suffering from the effects of starvation, disease and monsoon flooding that wrecked the state in September.

With the continued violence and the roads blocked, it is impossible for GFA Compassion Services teams to get into Orissa to distribute aid.

Missionary Beaten in Uttar Pradesh

Gospel for Asia missionaries are also dealing with persecution in Uttar Pradesh, where Hindu extremists have attacked a pastor and have set their sights on a Bridge of Hope center.

On October 1, the extremists attacked a Bridge of Hope center and a church in Magapatti, Uttar Pradesh. The pastor of the church, who is a GFA missionary, was badly beaten in the attacks.

Hindu extremists continue their campaign to obliterate Christians in Orissa, India. On Tuesday, they destroyed another 150 homes like this one, along with three churches.

The extremists have been systematically threatening the parents of the children in the Bridge of Hope center for the past few weeks. The center was closed as a precaution and no children were on site when the extremists attacked the missionary.

Christian Aid Workers Forced Out of Bihar

Another gang of anti-Christian extremists forced out Christian aid workers attempting to help survivors of flooding in Bihar. The incident occurred on September 25 in the state’s Purnia district where aid workers were assessing needs and handing out cards for people to exchange for supplies. The group was planning to help at least 2,500 families.

The extremists accused the group of taking advantage of the situation to lure the people into Christianity by offering relief materials.

The aid workers, who have been in Bihar since September 1, were able to move their base to another area and continue operations.

GFA missionaries in the affected areas shared the following prayer requests:

  • Please pray for the families of those killed in Orissa, that they would be comforted by the Word of God and that they would remain strong in the midst of intense persecution.
  • Pray for those wounded in Tuesday’s attacks. Several of them have life-threatening injuries and are not expected to live. Pray for their healing and that it would be a testimony of God’s glory.
  • Pray for the people hiding in the jungles and those living in relief camps. Pray especially that God would provide a way for Compassion Services teams to reach them.
  • Pray for healing for the missionary in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Pray that the Bridge of Hope center in that community would be able to reopen and that the children could go to school without fear.
  • Pray for the many Christian organizations attempting to distribute relief supplies in Bihar.
  • Pray for the extremist and militant groups who are opposing the Gospel to come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Orissa News and Media Updates


PhotoShow: Orissa in Ruins

PhotoShow: Persecution In Pictures

Persecution Update: September 15, 2008

Video Update: August 28, 2008

Download Videos

Message from Orissa: “God is in Control”

posted: 09/05/2008

Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia’s Orissa State Leader

Juria Bardhan, Gospel for Asia’s state leader in Orissa, India, knows what it’s like to be hunted by anti-Christian extremists bent on killing him. During the past two weeks, he has seen dozens of churches burned to the ground. He has seen missionaries and Christians beaten and killed. But during all these horrific attacks, Juria has had one thought.

“We know the Lord is in control,” Juria said in an interview Thursday.

Juria’s comments may sound naïve to Western ears, but to Christians in volatile parts of Asia, they ring true. They expect persecution rather than peace. They know that to follow Christ means choosing to bring more trouble into their lives. They also know that Christians standing strong in the face of such trials encourages others to follow Christ.

“The encouraging thing is that the attackers themselves acknowledge that Orissa used to be only 2 percent Christian, and now it’s 28 percent Christian,” Juria said. “They don’t understand that by doing this, the church will grow by leaps and bounds, and this will cause thousands to come to Christ.”

Juria said his pastors are not complaining about the abuse heaped upon them. Instead they are glorifying God for the opportunity to share in His sufferings.

“Many of our pastors have said, ‘Even if they kill us, no problem. This will cause thousands to come to Christ,’ ” he reported.

Juria said that things are improving somewhat in the cities, but the persecution continues unabated in more remote areas. Orissan Christians are accustomed to harassment, but Juria noted that this wave of attacks, which began August 22 after the murder of a popular Hindu leader, is different.

“Last time, the persecution was restricted to only one district. During the last six months, they planned this out, and now nine districts are under attack,” he noted.

Juria reports that six people have been killed, and 27 GFA-related churches and more than 800 homes of Christians have been ransacked and destroyed since the violence began.

At least 24 Gospel for Asia missionaries have been attacked, some joining the thousands of Christians who are seeking refuge in the forests, where they remain without adequate food or shelter.

Juria said that the Hindu extremists have made a list of demands, including:

  • Stop conversions … They accuse Christian missionaries of forcing people to convert to Christianity or using false allurements, such as money or jobs, to get them to follow Christ.
  • No more slaughtering of cows … Cows are considered holy in the Hindu religion.
  • All church buildings should be verified … The extremists want to place additional restrictions on Christian churches that do no exist for Hindu temples.
  • Christian churches and related non-governmental (charitable) organizations should be banned … This would prevent any Christian work that helps the poor.
  • Anyone occupying tribal land must vacate it … Most Orissan Christians are from low castes and live on tribal land that was settled generations ago. This would essentially force all Christians to move out of the area.

The extremists are also on a campaign to “reconvert” Christians back to Hinduism. They are threatening people at knifepoint, saying they will die if they do not agree to offer pujas (prayers and ceremonial acts) to Hindu gods and goddesses.

One missionary was attacked and threatened unless he performed a puja. He refused to turn his back on Christ, so they beat him again and told him to stay away from the village where he had been working, but he would not agree to do this.

“Even if you kill me, I will not make a vow that I will never come back; that depends not on me but on the Lord. If he wants to send me here, then I will come,” he told his attackers.

He was discouraged when he saw some of the same people he had prayed for and helped in the past now ready to kill him. But his life was spared when an elderly villager, seeing his strong commitment, convinced the mob to let him go.

One Christian who attends a GFA-related church gave his life rather than turn his back on Christ. The extremists were trying to get him to participate in a Hindu ceremony that involved shaving his head, putting cow dung on it and then sacrificing a goat. When he refused, he was killed and his body hacked into pieces.

Juria reports that the extremists are now using women to lead the Hindu mobs. They believe that if a woman is in front, the government will not take action against them. Several of these mobs of women have even caused disruptions in some of the relief camps.

Juria does not expect the volatile situation in Orissa to change anytime soon. He theorizes that the extremists will continue the campaign of terror and religious emotion until the next general election. There are several powerful Hindu political parties in the country. Juria says they may be trying to exploit the fear of the people to get into power. There is also a rumor that the extremists are planning to carry the ashes of the murdered leader, along with his photo, to villages throughout the country. They hope that the emotional response will cause another round of unrest.

He asks that Christians would continue praying for Orissa. Here are some of the specific requests.

  • Pray for peace and harmony in Orissa and that families will be able to return to their villages.
  • Pray for relief work to go on unhindered.
  • Pray for the health, safety and security of the people living in the forests.
  • Ask the Lord for mercy in providing new homes for the people who have lost theirs.
  • Continue to lift up the missionaries who are obvious targets of the persecutors. The extremists are looking for what they consider to be a high-ranking Christian leader to kill in revenge for the death of their leader.
  • Pray that the Christians will remain firm in their faith and that their commitment to Jesus will remain stronger than any fear they have.

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Holiness A Way of Life…For the Authentic Believer!

Posted by Scott on September 16, 2008

A couple of mornings in my quiet time I was reading and studying through the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11:1-40 and continuing on into chapter 12 as well.  Something interesting was shining through each verse and my awareness of God’s strong calling for us men to return to a holiness the world has not seen or heard of for centuries…these men of old lived by a faith in someone that was unknown in that day and time and unseen…the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  These early faithful fathers considered a strange life to be worth more than all the wealth in the world.  Many were willing to sacrifice everything they had in order to follow the commands of God.  We must ask ourselves if we are willing to give up our wealth, our job, our golf game, our constant trips away from the family, our social life, and so on in order to be obedient to call of God on our lives.  Not many are willing, but some are.

All these people spoken of here were living out their faith in God and the coming Messiah at the time of their death.  They did not waiver in their faith.  They desired to be holy and not compromise their holiness for anything less than their very best for God.  Each one of them considered themselves to be strangers or aliens while on earth.  They had not conformed to the world’s way of living…they stayed the course.  These men and women understood their role as being made after the image of God. 

Any of us that are today striving to live our lives in holiness, set apart for the service and work of God our Father must ask ourselves if we are really walking in faith daily?  We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth in the way of safety, security, freedom to worship as we please and where we please and even the ease of life.  However, conformity to the world is even easier here.  It is much easier to live as everyone else does.  It is much easier just to go along with what everyone else is doing.  Send the kids to public school that teach them to be everything but a holy Christian, so you don’t have to answer those questions that homeschool parents get asked.  Put the kids in every sport and activity known to man so they don’t have be pressured by their peers at school or church..just conform to the world’s way of life and it will be much easier.  Remember, only have two children…if you have a boy and a girl you now have the “perfect” family…I mean you must know better than God how man kids you can handle…us guys we surely know what is best for our families, God just pushes us out here and kind of lets us go in all directions and hopes we end up where He planned.  Play golf every weekend because your buddies do and they might laugh at you for being a “family man” if you did not join them.  Guys, it is much easier to just conform to the ways of our society than it is to live a holy life…we must admit this to ourselves.  Now, guys you you know all that sounds absurd, but that is how many Christians live and wonder why they have no impact for Christ.  Let’s stop and think about the early Christian’s and what they went through for the cause of Christ.  Stop and think about your life and whether it is pleasing to our heavenly Father who has told us to be “holy”.

“…others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned[a]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…”  Hebrews 11:35-37

These early Christians were our examples of how an authentic Christian should live.  The difference Christ has made in our lives should be obvious to those around us.  It could lead to beatings, ridicule, imprisonment, torture, etc., but in our society today most likely just very opinionated people lashing out is what will happen.  How may of us are willing to live in holiness with a threat hanging over our heads, because of our faith.  The Scriptures tell us that “the world was not worthy of these.”  Can this be said of you and me?  Are we living such a life that we are willing to take the jeers from others including other so called believers?  Are we willing to be an alien in this world to the point of being taken to court over it or even imprisoned for the Christ sake?  These are serious questions we all must ask ourselves.

Holiness was worth going through some of the most horrible torture the world could think of to many of the early Christians.  Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of the coming Messiah of greater value than all the treasure in all of Egypt.  Rahab was willing to risk her and her families life to assist the godly men of God.  Enoch was rewarded for being the one who pleased God and was taken away to heaven without experiencing death…holiness was evident in his obedience to God’s word.  He understood that it was impossible to please God without being obedient to Him.  Noah built the ark in holy fear of God who commanded him to build it.  Each of these people and many more were considered holy before a perfectly holy God.  They understood the risk, but also believed in the reward…God Himself!

To be disciplined by God is to be loved by God.  He must sanctify us before He uses us and He is disciplining us to experience in His holiness.  These hardships and disciplines are brought upon us to produce a holy righteousness and a peace that surpasses the masses understanding.  In this quest for holiness, God intends on training us so that we can share in His holiness.  He intends the bride of Christ (the Elect, the Sheep, the Chose ones) to be holy when He returns.

In conclusion, this life is worth living only if it is lived out for God and Him alone.  Everything we do in this life should be for the glory and honor of our most holy God.  Our holiness is important to God in pointing the way for others to an authentic faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  We must ask ourselves a question each and everyday…what am doing today that is showing my holiness before our almighty God?

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”   -Hebrews 12:14

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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“Not to Destruction, but to Salvation”

Posted by Scott on September 12, 2008

by Albert Mohler, Jr.

The most senior California bishops of the Episcopal Church came out in favor of same-sex marriage in the state on Wednesday.  The bishops then called on voters to defeat Proposition 8 — the constitutional amendment that would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

From the statement released by the bishops:

As Episcopal Bishops of California, we are moved to urge voters to vote “No” on Proposition 8.  Jesus calls us to love rather than hate, to give rather than to receive, to live into hope rather than fear.  On Tuesday, November 4th, voters in California will be given the opportunity to vote for or against Proposition 8, which would amend the state’s constitution to reserve marriage as only between a man and a woman.  Since the California Supreme Court’s ruling in May that civil marriage should be provided to all of the state’s citizens whether the genders of the couple are different or the same, faithful gays and lesbians have entered into marriage as the principle way in which they show their love, devotion and life-long commitment to each other.  Furthermore, marriage provides these couples the same legal rights and protections that heterosexual couples take for granted.

Proposition 8 would reverse the court’s decision and withdraw a right given.  Proponents of Proposition 8 have suggested that this amendment to the Constitution would protect marriage.  We do not believe that marriage of heterosexuals is threatened by same-sex marriage.  Rather, the Christian values of monogamy, commitment, love, mutual respect and witness of monogamy are enhanced for all by providing this right to gay and straight alike.  Society is strengthened when two people who love each other choose to enter into marriage, engaged in a lifetime of disciplined relationship building that serves as a witness to the importance of love and commitment.

The sweeping statement represented an unconditional support for same-sex marriage.  In one of the most revealing sections of the statement, the bishops celebrated the fact that the decision handed down by the California Supreme Court meant that “faithful gays and lesbians have entered into marriage as the principle way in which they show their love, devotion and life-long commitment to each other.”

The use of the term “faithful gays and lesbians” indicates that the bishops see active homosexual relationships as fully moral and thus to be celebrated.  They offered enthusiasm about the display of love, devotion, and commitment among homosexual couples.

“Society is strengthened,” they argue, “when two people who love each other choose to enter into marriage, engaged in a lifetime of disciplined relationship building that serves as a witness to the importance of love and commitment.”

Note that the bishops simply refer to “two people who love each other.”  Why two?  Once marriage is transformed from the union of a man and a woman into a union without respect to gender — and on the claim that marriage is a “fundamental right” — how can the number two be anything but arbitrary?

Tellingly, the bishops offered no substantial biblical or theological defense of their statement.  Instead, the bishops relied upon generalized language about “the Christian values of monogamy, commitment, love, mutual respect and witness of monogamy.”  They added that these should be celebrated and affirmed “to gay and straight alike.”  The Bible contains absolutely no generalized affirmation of monogamy.  Indeed, the Bible commands monogamy in marriage, defined without question as the union of a man and a woman.  The “Christian values” the bishops cite in favor of their support of same-sex marriage are aberrant abstractions from the biblical text, from the Christian tradition, and from the moral witness of the church.

The church is not to respect what the Bible clearly identifies as sin.  Furthermore, some loves are explicitly prohibited within the Scripture.  The bishops stood to endorse activities and relationships that every previous generation of Christians had understood to be sin.  No previous generation has been confused about the issue of gender with respect to marriage.  The bishops announced their defiant stance against Scripture, tradition, and the practices and beliefs of most Christians worldwide — including most within their own Anglican Communion.

In the majestic language of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, a prayer offered at the consecration of a bishop includes these words:  “Mercifully behold this thy servant, now called to the Work and Ministry of a Bishop; and so adorn him with innocency of life, that, both by word and deed, he may faithfully serve thee in this Office, to the glory of thy Name, and the edifying and well-governing of thy Church; through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, world without end.  Amen.”

Later, a prayer calls upon the Lord to grant the bishop grace to “use the authority given him, not to destruction, but to salvation; not to hurt, but to help: so that, as a wise and faithful servant, giving to thy family their portion in due season, he may at last be received into everlasting joy.”

Those beautiful words, “not to destruction, but to salvation,” take on a deadly significance in the case of these bishops.  They are leading their own church to destruction, and encouraging in the larger society what the Bible condemns as sin.  These are shepherds who are leading their own flocks right off a cliff.

 

My two cents worth is that these Bishops are nothing more than lip servicing their faith.  It is not embedded deep into their hearts.  These could be described as the ones that on the day of judgement come before Christ and say,

“Lord, Lord we performed miracles in Your name and did all these good works in Your name.”  Jesus will simply tell them, “depart from me, I never knew you.” 

This day is coming folks…the warnings are out there, but the people do not want to hear it, however, it is the duty of the pastors, preachers, Bishops, and teachers to tell the truth from God’s word and not be swayed by public opinion, public wants or what they say they need.  Helping them to live further in their sin by making it ceremonially “ok” is not a Christian act.

Scott Bailey 2008

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A Private Conviction About Murder? Al Mohler Jr. Explains

Posted by Scott on September 8, 2008

   

   

Speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for Vice President, made headlines by stating that he accepts “as a matter of faith” that human life begins at conception, but he would not impose that view on others as a matter of law.

Sen. Biden’s statement is similar in form to those offered by other Catholic politicians like former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.  Nevertheless, what it really represents is far more horrifying than may be recognized at first.

Speaking on “Meet the Press,” Biden responded to a question from Tom Brokaw.  The anchor had asked Biden what he would say if Sen. Barack Obama asked him when human life begins [see video clip here]:

I’d say, “Look, I know when it begins for me.” It’s a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I’m prepared to accept the teachings of my church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths-Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others-who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They’re intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life-I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society. And I know you get the push back, “Well, what about fascism?” Everybody, you know, you going to say fascism’s all right? Fascism isn’t a matter of faith. No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea.

Biden first calls the issue “personal and private,” an interesting way to introduce a statement about a matter that inevitably has relevance to public policy.  He claims to accept the teachings of his church, but then states that other religions hold to other views, and these believers “believe in God as strongly as I do” and are equally religious.

We live in a pluralistic society, he argues, and it would be improper for him to “impose” his judgment on others, who may be “equally and maybe even more devout than I.”

He then realizes something of the intellectual problem he has just created and argues that, for example, all good religious folk would oppose fascism, and thus we can presumably establish that as public policy.  “No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea,” he concludes.  So is the new criterion for public policy to be what a “good religious person” might think?

Brokaw then asked Biden about his support of abortion rights, given what he has just said about his belief that life begins at conception.  Biden answered, “I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it’s a moment of conception.”

Kate Phillips of The New York Times explained Biden’s predicament this way:

In the interview Sunday, Mr. Biden tried to walk the line between the staunch abortion-rights advocates in his party and his own religious beliefs. While he said he did not often talk about his faith, he said of those who disagree with him: “They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life — I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.”

Sen. Biden may have been attempting to “walk the line” politically, but a closer look at his actual argument is truly horrifying.

Sen. Biden says, and we must take him at his word, that he accepts as a matter of faith that human life begins at conception.  But, he argues, he is perfectly willing to support a woman’s right to choose to end that human life.

The killing of human life is called homicide. Murder is the willful taking of a human life.  The senator has here stated that he believes abortion to be homicide, but he defends a woman’s right to kill the unborn human life within her because he would not impose his beliefs about human life (and thus about homicide) on others.

In other words, if we take Sen. Biden seriously, he would defer to others who believe otherwise when it comes to the law.

How can he live with this?  There are significant questions about the extent to which some matters can properly be legislated.  But there is no question that the government — any government — must take a stand on the question of human life.  This is why the abortion issue simply will not and cannot go away.  The government takes a side on this question, like it or not.

I believe Sen. Biden to be a serious man, and that is what is most frightening about this.  Can a morally serious man really say that he believes that unborn babies are human beings, but that it should be a protected right to kill them?

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Rick Warren leading an unbiblical-ungodly call!

Posted by Scott on July 29, 2008

Christian broadcaster and author Tom McMahon says evangelical pastor Rick Warren’s belief that the church must take the lead in solving the world’s problems of poverty, disease, and war cannot be reconciled with the scriptures.

 

 

 

 

Pastor Warren will be hosting an interfaith meeting next month with 30 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders “to discuss cooperation for the common good of all Americans.” Warren’s P.E.A.C.E. plan mobilizes churches to address global problems. But McMahon, president of The Berean Call ministry, says the popular Christian author is introducing evangelical Christianity to the social gospel that he learned from his mentor, social scientist Peter Drucker.
 
“As a Christian, as a biblical Christian, I have real concerns about this because I don’t find this in the scriptures,” McMahon explains. “You see, it’s true the world has all kinds of problems, but he’s working on the symptoms and avoiding the root cause, which is the sin nature of humanity. So how can you work with all kinds of people [who are] called ‘people of faith,’ but it’s not biblical faith?”
 
McMahon contends that only the biblical gospel can change the heart of man, and that Warren is compromising that by working with people who reject the gospel of Christ. He says that although Pastor Warren claims his life’s calling is “to proclaim the gospel truth of salvation in Jesus Christ,” it is doubtful that gospel will be proclaimed at the interfaith meeting.
 
“I believe that Rick has a low view of prophecy,” McMahon contends. “Well, I think he needs to heed the words of Jesus [in Luke 18:8]: ‘When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith upon the earth?’  Well, ‘people of faith’ yes, but certainly not the faith that Jude exhorts true believers to contend for.”

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No Matter How Difficult….!

Posted by Scott on July 26, 2008

“Christian, no matter how difficult it is for you to bear it, yet the corruptions of your heart (that are not yet crucified) the pride, the selfishness, the impatience, the unfaithfulness, the love of the world….(all of which remain to some degree in the best of Christians) require all trials, afflictions, sicknesses and problems that God (in His kindness) can throw at us.

Such weeds as those that grow in the heart require a ‘hard frost to rot them’!!  The ‘straying bull needs a heavy clog’!!  In the same way, the Christian whom God will keep within His commands and within His place of blessing and service needs afflictions.”   -John Flavel

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God’s Chief Design….!

Posted by Scott on July 26, 2008

“God’s chief design in killing our comforts is to kill our corruptions!  Sanctified afflictions are afflictions lovingly allowed into the lives of believers by our heavenly Father.  These are prescribed by the Great Physician of our souls for purifying our sinful nature.  God cares far more about our eternal heavenly well-being than He does our temporary earthly one.  For God knows:

o Poverty kills pride!

o Public reproach kills public ambitions!

o Needs kill greeds!

So, yield to the work God is trying to do in your current affliction.  God kills our comforts from no other design than to bless us.  Fall in, therefore, with the gracious design of God.  DOn’t fight it!  Instead, during every affliction, pray and ask God to follow it with His blessing. 

Happy is the man who understand, approves, and heartily concurs with the design of God in afflicting circumstances.”                                                -John Flavel

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