Archive for the ‘The Ugly’ Category

Playing Church? Or Worship?

July 2, 2009

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By: Mary Southerland Girlfriends in God

Come, let’s worship him and bow down. Let’s kneel before the LORD who made us, because he is our God and we are the people he takes care of and the sheep that he tends. Psalm 95: 6-7, NCV

When I was a little girl, I loved to play church with my friends. We would line chairs up in rows and pull out a cardboard box we used for the pulpit. Then the great debate began over who would preach and who would sing. The more aggressive kids wanted the up-front jobs while the quiet ones were happy to just sit and watch the “show”. Sometimes one of the kids would pretend to be the Holy Ghost walking around the chairs saying “Boo!” If the leaders did a good job, we would play church for hours. However, if they were not entertaining enough, the kids in the chairs would soon get bored and go in search of more exciting recreation in the front yard. All in all, playing the church game was great fun and a delightful way to pass an afternoon.

Playing church is, however, a pathetic and meaningless way to pass a lifetime.

Every Sunday, churches are filled with those who are simply “playing” games with God. They line up in rows to watch the “show”. If it is good enough, they stay and even come back occasionally. However, if it is not entertaining, they will drift off to play some other game in life. continue reading

Obama Emphasizes ‘One Law’ that Binds All Religions

February 13, 2009

one_world_religion1From Underdstand the Times

“It appears that the ground is being prepared by leaders from around the world (including the President of the United States) for a common one world religion that is inclusive of all religions as an answer for world peace. This, of course, is exactly what Bible believing Christians have expected would occur based on the study of Bible prophecy”.

HT: Understand the Times

White House Promoting ‘anti-Christian’ Policies?

January 23, 2009

Jim Brown OneNewsNow – 1/23/2009 7:20:00 AM
barackobama21“A leading conservative activist says President Obama has already signaled, during his first days in office, that his administration will be the most “extreme, left-wing, and discriminatory” in American history.

President Obama’s plans to cater to the priorities of homosexual activists are laid out under a section called “Civil Rights” on the website WhiteHouse.gov. (See earlier story)

The website makes clear Obama’s intention to expand federal hate crimes statutes to include extra punishment for crimes that are deemed to be motivated by bias against one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The site also stresses Obama’s support for homosexual civil unions and expanded adoption rights for homosexuals, as well as his desire to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (a.k.a., DOMA).

Matt Barber, director of cultural affairs with Liberty Counsel, believes many Americans will be shocked to find out just how radical some of Obama’s positions are on social issues.”

matt_barber“I certainly cannot judge whether or not Barack Obama has a relationship with Christ. That’s between him and God, and only they know that. However, scripture tells us that you will be known by your fruits, and here Barack Obama is promoting counter-biblical, anti-Christian policies,” he contends. “[These are] policies that elevate deviant sexual behaviors and dangerous sexual behaviors that are destructive spiritually, physically and emotionally, and certainly — when embraced as Barack Obama has embraced them — are destructive societally.”

Barber adds that “for all the talk of hope, change and coming together, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Barack Obama’s administration will be the most leftist, divisive, and discriminatory in recent memory.”

Read Matt Barber’s column: “Change we never imagined”

Pastors Should Tremble

June 21, 2008

From Christian Research Net by Sam Guzman

“Do pastors understand their terrible responsiblity before God? Based on how a great majority of the pastors in America run their churches, I must conclude, no. I literally hate the things that the false teachers and foolish pastors of the day do in God’s name. It makes me angry because they aren’t just glorying in shameful things, they are doing it in the name of ministry and “relevance.”

As one who has dedicated my life to full time ministry, I do fear the responsiblity. I do know that pastors will face a greater judgement, and there is a sense in which it is terrifying. Yet I know that faithfulness is possible, or God would not require it of us. Understanding the responsibility should simply drive us to our knees in prayer– drive us to God in utter dependence.

Those who point out the sin of these pastors and are often considered mean, critical, divisive, and pharisaical. But if pointing out and condemning the sin of those who are supposed to be shepherding God’s sheep is the criteria, then God himself is the most critical and mean spirited yet. In Jeremiah 23, God tells us how he feels about the sin that goes on in his name, and it isn’t positive, gentle, or heartwarming. To those of you who idolize relevance and big crowds more than faithful ministry, hear what the Lord has to say. Hear what the Lord has to say pastors who are leading your flocks astraty through vulgarity, fleshliness, silly gimmicks, and lewdness; pastors who will not preach on sin because it’s not “nice” or “positive.” Hear what God says and tremble at his word.

“ For both prophet and priest are profane;
Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the LORD.
“ Therefore their way shall be to them
Like slippery ways;
In the darkness they shall be driven on
And fall in them;
For I will bring disaster on them,
The year of their punishment,” says the LORD.
“ And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria:
They prophesied by Baal
And caused My people Israel to err.
Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem:
They commit adultery and walk in lies;
They also strengthen the hands of evildoers,
So that no one turns back from his wickedness.

All of them are like Sodom to Me,
And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

“Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets:
‘ Behold, I will feed them with wormwood,
And make them drink the water of gall;
For from the prophets of Jerusalem
Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’”

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless;
They speak a vision of their own heart,
Not from the mouth of the LORD.

They continually say to those who despise Me,
‘ The LORD has said, “You shall have peace”’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
‘ No evil shall come upon you.’”

For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury—
A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
The anger of the LORD will not turn back
Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
But if they had stood in My counsel,
And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.

Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,
“ And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;
“ Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.
“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
“ The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.

What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the LORD.
Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD,
“ And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD. … therefore behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you and forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and will cast you out of My presence. And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”

Jeremiah 23

Rick Warren Twisting Scripture on Way of the Master Radio with Todd Friel

May 15, 2008

From lanechaplin.com (Lane’s Blog)

“Here we learn that Rick Warren doesn’t believe that sermons will produce spiritual maturity, Bill Hybels of Willow Creek is one of the greatest pastors in history, Ecclesiastes was actually talking about strategies for the church growth movement in certain sections, and prayer and preaching doesn’t grow a church. Sheesh.”

Shallow Preaching, Cultural Adaptability Behind Baptist Decline, Says Leader

May 14, 2008

The problem of “Shallow Preaching and Cultural Adaptability” is in no way limited to the Southern Baptists, but transends every denomination. It seems that far too many of today’s pastors have become more concerned with building a large congregation than building the Kingdom of God through the preaching of Jesus Christ and sound doctrine. Here’s an informative story from The Christian Post.

By Audrey Barrick Christian Post Reporter

Weak preaching and cultural adaptability are just two of many reasons Southern Baptists give to explain the decline of membership and baptisms.

“[T]he shallow state of preaching has exacerbated the lethargy of the church and left the lost with no real Word from God,” said Paige Patterson, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in a column in Baptist Press.

“The pastor ought to be the major source of theological understanding and the most able teacher of the Bible,” he added.

“Anemic pulpits create anemic churches and denominations.”

Since the release last month of the latest data on Southern Baptist membership and baptisms, both of which declined, Southern Baptists have speculated why the largest Protestant denomination in the country has been seeing lower numbers.

“Well, the time has come to identify the real problems,” said Patterson.

Many church leaders have been calling for change to respond to what many identify as a shift from modern to postmodern culture. And the latest statistics showing shrinking numbers has made that call even more urgent. But cultural relevance has led many churches to lose the holiness of God and a thirst to be like God, Patterson noted.

A prominent conservative Southern Baptist, Patterson said he is the first to admit that “dullness and ‘Baptist tradition’ were too often the rule in our churches.” But the suggestion that churches must chase after culture in order to be effective in evangelistic efforts is “misguided,” he said.

“The more attune to culture Southern Baptists have become and the more we have incorporated the world into our worship, the more our baptisms have dropped!” Patterson noted. “Although I am not certain that there is a connection, as will become evident in what follows, I admit that I am suspicious. continue reading

Pray for Oprah, The goddess of Daytime Television

April 17, 2008

From the Daily News

“The goddess of daytime television, the queen of feel-good-ness, the monarch of New Age publications and the paradigm of peace at all cost, has scaled the heights of pompous idiocy and declared herself, godlike.

That’s right, the ruler of Winfreyville, Oprah the great, who has wooed her audiences with new cars, houses and glimpses of celebrities behaving badly, has arrived at the pinnacle of secular greatness and spiritual heresy.

On her daily XM Satellite Radio program “Oprah and Friends” you can now participate in “A Course in Miracles”; 365 days of anything BUT Jesus! Three hundred and sixty five days bathed in the spirit of anti-Christ.”

Oprah has gone overboard and is taking millions of devoted fans with her. continue reading

‘The Emergent Church’: A Dangerous Counterfeit

April 12, 2008

By: Greg Laurie WorldNetDaily Exclusive Commentary

One of the candidates who professes to be a Christian running for the presidency recently said in a speech, “There are a lot of Jewish people who are just as moral, or even more moral than I am. There are a lot of Muslims who are decent, good, kind people. I don’t think they are any less children of God.”

Now, that sounds very inclusive and kind, but I have to tell you it goes against the very core of the essential Gospel message. Yes, it is certainly true that people of faiths other than Christianity – or even no faith at all – can be “decent, good and kind.” But the simple fact is, a man or woman does not come into a relationship with God by being “kind and good,” but rather by admitting that he or she is a sinner who needs forgiveness from God. continue reading

The Church of Oprah Exposed

April 3, 2008

New Age paganism is no longer in the closet or hidden in some backstreet occult bookstore. Today it makes headlines through its prime  time evangelist Oprah Winfrey. Hear her pitch for a gospel that is no gospel.

I Had To Meet Them At Their Level

April 3, 2008

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I have just finished viewing a portion of a YouTube video featuring a popular pastor of one of the country’s leading mega-churches. To the church pragmatist, purpose driven or seeker friendly the following quote may seem somewhat logical. It may also seem like a sensible formula in church planting or enhancing church growth. The problem arises in the fact that this pastor’s “formula” and theology is neither biblical, nor is it even logical in the light of scripture.

It is not my intention to personally attack him or to demean him in any way; however we must hold up to the light of scripture every word of those who claim to speak for Christ.

“So I rang door bells, ‘Are you an active member of a local Church?’ ‘Yes?’ ‘Good, God bless you, good-bye.’ By the time I rang three thousand doorbells I found out that not a single unchurched person was asking for what I was offering; namely expository sermons from the Word of God, preached with fervor and stern admonition. And not a single one was asking for the Wednesday night prayer meeting. – I had to meet them at their level” (emphasis added).

The Barna Research Group gives us this definition: “The following is how we define an unchurched adult for our research: an adult (18 or older) who has not attended a Christian church service within the past six months, not including a holiday service (such as Easter or Christmas) or a special event at a church (such as a wedding or funeral).” (http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topic&TopicID=38)

However, this pastor defines them as those who are not “an active member of a local church,” regardless of any time element, holidays, special events or age group. Since he describes them as having no desire to hear the Word of God (whether preached with fervor and stern admonition or not), as well as any drawing to prayer, it seems feasible to assign to them a definition according to biblical standards, rather than using a politically correct or any other post-modern term such as “the unchurched”. In reality, they are the lost, those who are dead in their trespasses and sin, the unregenerate. They are neither “pre-Christian”, nor by his definition could they even be considered “seekers”. They are in fact, the enemies of God.That being said, it should be no wonder to any Bible believing Christian why this attitude of rejection of the things of God exists. The life of one who is “lost” is usually void of any worthwhile understanding of God. He will not accept the things of God, he can not understand them, nor does he have any desire to pursue them (1Corinthians 2:14). The God of the Bible does not enter into the equation of his life. He is basically consumed with himself, his wants, his desires, his interests and his ways. Anything else only steals his time and plans to fulfill himself, and this pastor justifies and enforces this unbiblical perception. If, by chance, a spark of religion does exist, it is usually so watered down and out of context that it becomes little more than an instrument to aid him in his personal gain. Or an opiate to help relieve his religious conscience, i.e. “God is love” or “Judge not lest ye be judged”.  continue reading (more…)