Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Message Makes Me Want to Weep

Can someone please tell me how this thing can be passed off for something that can truly feed the soul? Why are churches across America embracing this mess? As if the NIV wasn't "easy" enough to read.

Matthew 4:1-11 (The Message)

Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: "Since you are God's Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread."
Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth."
For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, "Since you are God's Son, jump." The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: "He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won't so much as stub your toe on a stone."
Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: "Don't you dare test the Lord your God."
For the third test, the Devil took him on the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth's kingdoms, how glorious they all were.
Then he said, "They're yours--lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they're yours."
Jesus' refusal was curt: "Beat it, Satan!" He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: "Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness."
The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus' needs.

Matthew 6:5-13
"And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage.
The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace. "The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant.
They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
Like this:
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what's best-- as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

North Carolina passes lottery

North Carolina was the last state on the East Coast without a lottery, but thanks to the Democrates and Lt. Gov. Beverly Purdue that has all changed.

Allstate copycat...Sort of

It seems an office in California has decided to disallow an employee's right to display a sticker supporting traditional marriage in his cubicle while allowing others to display religious things in theirs. This raises a few questions. First, what did the sticker say? Secondly, what is the company's policy for allowances of religious materials? And really, if it was a bumper sticker, shouldn't it be on his bumper? But if the company is allowing others to display things that express their stances on religion, politics, or social issues, then they really have no basis for not allowing this.

(AgapePress) - A computer technician in California has filed a lawsuit against his employer after being reprimanded for expressing his support for traditional marriage at work.

The employee at a private Orange County company works at an office where co-workers are allowed to have personal, religious and political messages in their cubicles. But when he placed a bumper sticker supporting traditional marriage in his own cubicle, his supervisor ordered him to remove it. The worker removed the sticker but was still demoted and reprimanded.
Full Story.

Warren: Young Adults Not Interested in After Life

From page 165 of The Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren (1995 Zondervan)
Young adults, for example, have different hopes and fears than retirees. A Gospel presentation that emphasizes the assurance of heaven as the benefit of salvation will probably be ineffective in ministering to a young adult who thinks he has his entire life in front of him. He's not interested in the after life. He's consumed with finding out if there is any meaning or purpose to this life.
(emphasis mine.)

I, for one, am offended. Even as a teen I was quite interested in the existance of an after life. Granted I didn't believe one existed, but I was interested. I've posted the quote on a Frenzyboard because most of the people who frequent the site are under the age of 28, which I think would qualify them as "young adults," and I'm asking for a response. I've also contacted some friends, believers and unbelievers. Do they agree or disagree? Why? I'll be posting the responses.

Response: Bringing age into elderly people care less about meaning in this mortal life because they are closer to death? They may actually embrace every hour, every day more fervently for that specific reason, while at the same time attending to their spiritual needs, and considering the 'next step.' I know for me, personally, as a young adult, while I struggle every day with the meaning of life, along with it I am constantly debating the idea of an afterlife and how it may relate to my existence now.

Southern Decadence

Unofficially dubbed the “gay Mardi Gras,” Southern Decadence is filled with dozens of parties and thousands of uninhibited gay men frolicking in the street in search of beads and brethren. The event culminates with a Sept. 4 parade featuring elaborate and risqué costumes inspired by this year’s 1920s theme, “Jazz & Jezebels.”
SOUTHERN DECANDENCE earned its reputation by being one of the most unapologetically racy exhibitions of gay life, where outlandish costumes and outdoor sex were the norm.


Gay sex in the streets huh? Sounds like fun. Not to be a prude or anything, but sex (gay or otherwise) shouldn't be conducted in public. I don't want to see you go at it with your "partner" and I'm sure you wouldn't want to see me. Now, the article does go on to say that they have a campain in place encouraging the sex acts to be taken indoors because they don't want anyone to be arrested for "lewd behavior," what about modesty and respect for others around you? Sex is supposed to be an act conducted in love (between 1 man and his FEMALE wife), not in an attempt to show your contempt for the people who don't approve of your actions. And that is what this whole party reads to me. The gay community is throwing a sex fest. Men frolic in the streets holding each other; this is a week of pure Hey look at us! We are GAY! And we're standing in front of your places of buisness, homes, and churches just to tell you we can and will do anything we feel like doing.

I can't help but wonder, what do the parents in New Orleans do with their children during festivities like this? How do you shield them from the sin and perversion? The same question stands for Mardi Gras. It's just another excuse to sin in abundance in public, and it is widely accepted as just good ol' fun.

The official website could easily be mistaken for a porn website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Air Force issues religious guidelines

"Public prayer should not usually be included in official settings such as staff meetings, office meetings, classes or officially sanctioned activities," the new interim policy says.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Rev. John Newton on Family Worship

To Theron, on Family Worship
A neglect of family prayer is, I am afraid, too common amongst professors in this day. I am glad that you consider it both as a duty and a privilege, and are by grace determined, that, when you shall commence master of a family, you will worship God with all your house. It was Abraham's commendation, that he not only served the Lord himself, but was solicitous that his children and household might serve him likewise. I trust that he who inclines your heart to walk in the footsteps of faithful Abraham, will bless you in the attempt, and give you peace in your dwelling; a mercy which is seldom enjoyed, which indeed can hardly be expected, by those families which call not upon the Lord.

Though I readily comply with your request, and should be glad if I can offer any thing that may assist or animate you in your good purpose, I am afraid I shall not answer your expectations with regard to the particulars of your inquiry, concerning the most proper method of conducting family worship. The circumstances of families are so various, that no determinate rules can be laid down: nor has the word of God prescribed any; because, being of universal obligation, it is wisely and graciously accommodated to suit the different situations of his people. You must, therefore, as to circumstantial, judge for yourself. You will do well to pursue such a method as you shall find most convenient to yourself and family, without scrupulously binding yourself, when the Scripture has left you free.
We have no positive precept enjoining us any set time for prayer, nor even how often we should pray, either in public or private; though the expressions of "continuing instant in prayer," "praying without ceasing," and the like, plainly intimate that prayer should be frequent. Daniel prayed three times a-day; which the Psalmist speaks of as his practice likewise; and in one place declares his purpose of praising God seven times a-day. This last expression is perhaps indefinite, not precisely seven times, but very often. Indeed, a person who lives in the exercise of faith and love, and who finds by experience that it is good for him to draw nigh to God, will not want to be told how often he must pray, any more than how often he must converse with an earthly friend. Those whom we love, we love to be much with. Love is the best casuist, and either resolves or prevents a thousand scruples and questions, which may perplex those who only serve God from principles of constraint and fear. And a believer will account those his happiest days, when he has most leisure and most liberty of spirit for the exercise of prayer. However, I think family prayer cannot be said to be stated, unless it be performed at least daily, and, when unavoidable hindrances do not prevent, twice a-day. Though all times and seasons are alike to the Lord, and his ear is always open whenever we have a heart to call upon him; yet to us there is a peculiar suitableness in beginning and closing the day with prayer: in the morning, to acknowledge his goodness in our preservation through the night, and entreat his presence and blessing on our persons and callings in the course of the day; and at night, to praise him for the mercies of the day past, to humble ourselves before him for what has been amiss, to wait on him for a renewed manifestation of his pardoning love, and to commit ourselves and our concerns to his care and protection while we sleep. You will, of course, choose those hours when you are least liable to be incommoded by the calls of business, and when the family can assemble with the most convenience: only I would observe, that it greatly preserves regularity and good order in a house, to keep constantly to the same hours when it is practicable; and likewise, that it is best not to defer evening prayer till late, if it can be well avoided; lest some who join in the exercise, and perhaps the person himself who leads in it, should be too weary or sleepy to give a due attention. On this account, I should advise to have family prayer before supper, where people have the choice and disposal of their own hours.

I think, with you, that it is very expedient and proper that reading a portion of the word of God should be ordinarily a part of our family worship; so likewise to sing a hymn or psalm, or part of one, at discretion; provided there are some persons in the family who have enough of a musical ear and voice to conduct the singing in a tolerable manner: otherwise, perhaps, it may be better omitted. If you read and sing, as well as pray, care should be taken that the combined services do not run into an inconvenient length.

The chief thing to be attended to is, that it may be a spiritual service; and the great evil to be dreaded and guarded against in the exercise of every duty that returns frequently upon us, is formality. If a stated course of family prayer is kept up as constantly in its season as the striking of the clock, it may come in time to be almost as mechanically performed, unless we are continually looking to the Lord to keep our hearts alive. It most frequently happens, that one or more members of a family are unconverted persons. When there are such present, a great regard should be had to them, and every thing conducted with a view to their edification, that they may not be disgusted or wearied, or tempted to think that it is little more than the fashion or custom of the house; which will probably be the case, unless the master of the family is lively and earnest in performance of the duty, and likewise circumspect and consistent in every part of his behavior at other times. By leading in the worship of God before children, servants, or strangers, a man gives bond (as it were) for his behavior, and adds strength to every other motive which should engage him to abstain from all appearance of evil. It should be a constant check upon our language and tempers in the presence of our families, to consider that we began the day, and propose to end it, with them in prayer. The Apostle Peter uses this argument to influence the conduct of husbands and wives towards each other; and it is equally applicable to all the members of a family; "That your prayers be not hindered :" that is, either prevented and put off, or despoiled of all life and efficacy, by the ferment of sinful passions. On the other hand, the proper exercise of family prayer, when recommended by a suitable deportment, is a happy means of instructing children and servants in the great truths of religion, of softening their prejudices, and inspiring them with a temper of respect and affection, which will dispose them to cheerful obedience, and make them unwilling to grieve or offend. In this instance, as in every other, we may observe, that the Lord's commands to his people are not arbitrary appointments; but that, so far as they are conscientiously complied with, they have an evident tendency and suitableness to promote our own advantage. He requires us to acknowledge him in our families, for our own sakes; not because he has need of our poor services, but because we have need of his blessing, and without the influence of his grace (which is promised to all who seek it) are sure to be unhappy in ourselves and in all our connections. When husband and wife are happily partakers of the same faith, it seems expedient, and for their mutual good, that, besides their private devotions, and joining in family prayer, they should pray together. They have many wants, mercies, and concerns, in common with each other, and distinct from the rest of the family. The manner in which they should improve a little time in this joint exercise cannot well be prescribed by a third person: yet I will venture to suggest one thing; and the rather, as I do not remember to have met with it in print. I conceive that it may prove much to their comfort to pray alternately, not only the husband with and for the wife, but the wife with and for the husband. The Spirit of God, by the Apostle, has expressly restrained women from the exercise of spiritual gifts in public; but I apprehend the practice I am speaking of can no way interfere with that restriction. I suppose them in private together, and then I judge it to be equally right and proper for either of them to pray with the other. Nor do I meet any thing in St. Paul's writings to prevent my thinking, that if he had been a married man, he would, though an Apostle, have been glad of the prayers of his wife. If you ask, how often they should pray together? I think the oftener the better, provided it does not break in upon their duties; once a-day at least; and if there is a choice of hours, it might be as well at some distance from their other seasons of worship. But I would observe, as before, that in matters not expressly commanded, prudence and experience must direct.

I have written upon a supposition that you use extempore prayer; but as there are many heads of families who fear the Lord, and have not yet attained liberty to pray extempore before others, I would add, that their inability in this respect, whether real, or whether only proceeding from fear, and an undue regard to self, will not justify them in the omission of family prayer. Helps may be procured. Mr. Jenks's Devotions are in many hands; and I doubt not but there are other excellent books of the same kind, with which I am not acquainted. If they begin with a form, not with a design to confine themselves always to one, but make it a part of their secret pleading at the Throne of Grace, that they maybe favored with the gift and spirit of prayer; and accustom themselves, while they use a form, to intersperse some petitions of their own; there is little doubt but they will in time find a growth in liberty and ability, and at length lay their book entirely aside. For it being every believer's duty to worship God in his family, his promise may be depended upon, to give them a sufficiency in all things, for those services which he requires of them.
Happy is that family where the worship of God is constantly and conscientiously maintained. Such houses are temples in which the Lord dwells, and castles garrisoned by a Divine power. I do not say, that, by honoring God in your house, you will wholly escape a share in the trials incident to the present uncertain state of things. A measure of such trials will be necessary for the exercise and manifestation of your graces, to give you a more convincing proof of the truth and sweetness of the promises made to a time of affliction, to mortify the body of sin, and to wean you more effectually from the world. But this I will confidently say, that the Lord will both honor and comfort those who thus honor him. Seasons will occur in which you shall know, and probably your neighbors shall be constrained to take notice, that he has not bid you seek him in vain. If you meet with troubles, they shall be accompanied by supports, and followed by deliverance; and you shall upon many occasions experience, that he is your protector, preserving you and yours from the evils by which you will see others suffering around you.

I have rather exceeded the limits I proposed; and therefore shall only add a request, that in your addresses at the Throne of Grace you will remember, &c.

Georgia Officials Face ACLU Lawsuit After Praying in Christ's Name

(AgapePress) - A Georgia county is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union over its pre-meeting prayers. The suit claims one prayer at a recent Cobb County Commissioners' meeting ended "in the name of Jesus our Savior," which phrase, according to the ACLU, puts the invocation in violation of the Constitution of the United States...
Full story.

Refuse everything!

Jesus said in John 14:15 If you love me you will keep my commandments. Preventive medicine: Refuse! Absolutely refuse with extreme prejudice what you want, feel or think whenever it comes in conflict with Scripture. Even if it is unpopular to take the stand. Stand for the Scriptures and absolutely reject everything, EVERYTHING that is not in line with the Bible.
Pastor Rick

Friday, August 26, 2005


In Exd 17:15, Moses, recognizing that the Lord was Israel's banner under which they defeated the Amalekites, builds an altar named Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). Nes is sometimes translated as a pole with an insignia attached. In battle opposing nations would fly their own flag on a pole at each of their respective front lines. This was to give their soldiers a feeling of hope and a focal point. This is what God is to us: a banner of encouragement to give us hope and a focal point.

Blue Letter Bible

FDA delays decision about morning after pill & prescriptions

CNN's Article

::sigh:: I deleted everything I just wrote. Just read it.


I recently heard a pastor tell his congregation that we must stop holding the world to Biblical standards. Why? Lovingly showing someone when they are in error is what Christ did. He called for change. So why should we as His church, as His bride, not follow our Husband's lead? It seems like many Christians today are fearful of being labeled a legalist, a fundamentalist, or being called intolerant even within the our own church where we are called to deal with sin(1 Corinthians 5:11-13). I recently found an article at Truth Watch, that I would like to share with you concerning true legalism.

"You Pharisees! Who lets you impose your rules?!" This is often an objection faced by people seeking to follow the rules that Christ by His Spirit has laid down for his people in His Word. The "legalist!" label is rolled out. But what really is a legalist - and what is legalism? Are we guilty of it when seeking to follow Scriptural standards?

1) What legalism is

Many of the Pharisees are often held up in Scripture as examples of 'legalists'. Their legalism took various forms:

* Salvation by works: The belief that one can be right with God by living a 'good' enough life in obedience to the Law to merit God's approval (eg: the Pharisee & the drunkard - Luke 18:9-14)
* imposing man-made traditions/rules that nullify God's commands (eg: Mark 7:1-23; Luke 6:1-11)
* judging people using non-Biblical criteria/rules (eg: Luke 6:37-42)
* the hypocrisy of outward conformity to God's Word while inwardly denying it (eg: Matthew 5:20f; Luke 6:1-11; James 1:22-25)

2) What legalism isn't

The opposite of legalism is not lawlessness. Indeed - Scripture defines all sin as "lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). We can be 'lawless' through violating God's Law by disobedience, or by adding our own laws instead - as with legalism.

Hence, it is not legalistic to insist that people:

* adhere to God's requirements in Scripture.
Jesus himself said: "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15). Indeed, following Christ's laws/commands as thankful worship is a fruit of the true Christian and part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
* live lives consistent with their Christian profession (James 2:14-20,26)
* worship our Holy God only as He has stated in Scripture - all else is forbidden. (Deuteronomy 4:2; eg: Hebrews 7:13-14. Theologians call this the "Regulative Principle of Worship". This principal stands as a guard against the accumulation of traditions and practices adopted on the pretext that they don't conflict with Scripture.)

3) Avoiding Legalism

We can avoid legalism by:

* refusing to seek salvation through obedience to the law. Rather we obey God's commands in love in order to glorify Him for having saved us already (Philippians 2:12-13)
* rejecting human traditions and practices that are not sanctioned by God's word. This requires us to 'test all things' by God's Word. In doing so we avoid deception (1 John 4:1 cf Matthew 24:23-25; Acts 17:11; 1 Corinthians 14:29; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; etc.)
* not imposing our views on fellow believers on matters of Christian liberty (Romans 14)
* ensuring that we are loving and obeying God with our hearts as well as our minds. We must avoid the hypocrisy and self-deception of mere outward conformity (Matthew 22:36-40)

Conclusion: Who Are You To Impose Your Rules?!

Legalists are those who seek to impose unbiblical practices or attitudes upon the church and require these for salvation, worship and/or Christian living. Many claimants to new moves of the Spirit are trying to justify an uncritical acceptance of their teaching and practices. In this they are in danger of imposing their own 'laws' over the Spirit's working in the churches by His Word. Today's 'Pharisees' - like those of old - are often blind to their own legalism!

Source. (italics mine)

Let me point this out one more time:
Hence, it is not legalistic to insist that people:

* adhere to God's requirements in Scripture.
Jesus himself said: "If you love me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15). Indeed, following Christ's laws/commands as thankful worship is a fruit of the true Christian and part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
* live lives consistent with their Christian profession (James 2:14-20,26)
(emphasis mine)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Future of Those who Trust in Christ

Though death comes as a result of sin, resurrection is promised, and the future of those who trust in Jesus Christ is glorious.

From page 17 of Major Bible Prophecies by John F. Walvoord

Overcoming the Waves

Mark 1:17-19
17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.
19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

Have you ever noticed how Peter, Andrew, James, and John just dropped everything when Christ told them to come? There was no questioning, no doubt, no fear. He said to follow Him and they did. How many of us would just drop everything and walk out of our jobs when some guy walks by and says "follow me." Not many I think.

I find it even more amusing that it is later, after they had seen His power, that they began to worry and question what was going on. That seems to be our nature. When we first come to Christ we are filled with excitement to walk with Him, yet as time goes on and problems arise we worry. At first we are fearless, we will drop everything and leave it all behind to follow the Lord, but then "reality" sets in and doubts creep up.

How will I ever get through this? How do I prepare for this? Will I ever find a new job? How will the bills get paid? Will the children be alright?

And we start planning and budgeting, yet the more we prepare the worse our anxieties get. But God's Word tells us there is no need to worry. Did Jesus no tell us that God will provide and care for the grass in the field and the sparrows in the sky, yet He cares for us even more than them. Was it not Christ who fed the multitudes with only five loaves of bread and two fish (Matthew 14:17)? Surely He will provide even still.

The disciples had seen Jesus cast out demons, heal the sick, and raise the dead first hand, yet they panicked when a storm surrounded their boat (Matthew 8:24-25). We are much the same. I have seen some amazing things done by Christ, even in my own life, yet I still fearfully cry out "Lord, help! I'm going to drown!" Is the God that raised Lazarus not strong enough for my problems? Certainly He is! But if I let my flesh control my response to a rough situation I panic. It is my nature to do so. It is my nature to try and solve my problems myself, but if I stop and realize God has His hand in all of it I can relax. As I study His Word that I gain the understanding that He is with me, He will not forsake me, that I begin to fear the waves less.

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Same-sex parents' rights expanded

California court says both partners are considered moms

By Adam Liptak
New York Times News Service
Published August 23, 2005

The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that both members of a lesbian couple who plan for and raise a child born to either of them should be considered the child's mothers even after their relationship ends.

The court, stepping into largely uncharted legal territory concerning same-sex couples and parenting, issued decisions in three cases, ruling that women whose partners gave birth had parental rights or obligations in all three.

The cases involved a request for child support, a petition to establish parental rights, and a challenge to a lower court ruling issued before a child's birth that the child should have two women listed as parents on her birth certificate.

"We perceive no reason," the court ruled, "why both parents of a child cannot be women."

Courts in about half the states have allowed members of same-sex couples to adopt their partner's children. Monday's decisions considered the separate question of whether the law could require former members of such couples to assume parental rights and obligations.

Being a legal parent "brings with it the benefits as well as the responsibilities," said Justice Joyce Kennard, according to The Associated Press.


"There is no right or wrong" update

I'm currently working on a revision of my article "There is no right or wrong with the new gospel," look for it soon. I'm going to be addressing more issues as well as making a few points a bit more clear for those who aren't as familiar with Neale Donald Walsch and his "God." I hope to have it up within the next few days, a week on the long side.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Men Prefer a 'Leader' Jesus Over a 'Warm, Fuzzy' One

..."Our modern churches strive very much to be very warm, loving, accepting environments," he acknowledges. "We provide a very safe, nurturing, secure place where people can get to know friends and get to know God." And while that is "a wonderful thing on one level," he says "men and young people are more interested in challenge and adventure than they are in nurture and security."

Murrow says churches have feminized Jesus and focus too much on His gentility and meekness -- and seem to forget about the excitement He had with His disciples during His ministry.

He adds that recapturing the "wildness" of Jesus should start in Sunday School. Once boys get to their teenage years, the author feels it is time to tell them about the adventures Jesus had. Boys and men cannot identify with a "warm, fuzzy" Jesus, Murrow says -- but they will model a Jesus who is a strong leader.


Brewed beans draw unchurched

Leslie Penn wanted to have the freedom to sip a hot cup of coffee and simultaneously be casual and comfortable during the Sunday morning worship service. So when her church, Evangel World Outreach Center in Chicago, opened the Gathering Place – a café that not only serves specialty lattes and mochas in a Starbucks-like setting but also broadcasts Sunday morning services live – Penn immediately felt at home.

“I like being a part of the café ambiance,” Penn says. “It’s like a casual, smaller church.”


“The church is a tool,” says Joe Rabideau, overseer of the Bikers Church at Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Mich. “If a cup of coffee or a cappuccino is going to open up a door, then that is a way we can make them feel more comfortable to get the Word of God.”
(emphasis mine)

I can't help but wonder what the actual services are like, what the preaching is like, at these churches. Do they call sin what it is? Sin? Or is sin chucked up to mistakes? Is repentance just one changing one's mind? If they are going to make the "unchurched" this comfortable and provide coffee and a lounge setting to relax in are they really going to risk scaring them off with the idea of hell? Are they going to risk offending someone by calling them a sinner? I doubt it. So what exactly are they preaching? Surely not the Word of God, perhaps the word of Mr. Rick Warren? The PDL gospel and the church growth movement rears it's ugly head again.

Qutoes Source
Ester Martin-Hayes
PE, August 21, 2005

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Kansas schools OK scrutiny of evolution

Full story.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- The Kansas Board of Education voted 6-4 Tuesday to include greater criticism of evolution in its school science standards, but it decided to send the standards to an outside academic for review before taking a final vote.

The Kansas school system was ridiculed around the country in 1999 when the board deleted most references to evolution. The system later reversed course, but the language favored by the board Tuesday comes from advocates of intelligent design.

Love for an Offensive Gospel

Full article
In the New Testament the members of a local church are never seen coming together for the purpose of evangelism. Evangelism took place apart from the meetings of the church – in the workplace, at the synagogue, in town squares, among family members and friends. The early Christian went to where the unbelievers were and presented the gospel of Christ....

One thing they did not do was invite unbelievers to their church services in order to evangelize them. The closest we get to any kind of evangelism within the context of church services is 1 Corinthians 14:23-25, If therefore the whole church should assemble together and…all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you. The obvious implication is that the Corinthian church had gathered for the purpose of mutual edification – evangelism was not on the stated agenda. No evangelistic sermon was preached; the music was not geared toward the interests of unbelievers; spiritual language was not tempered to keep from offending or confusing the unsaved; absolutely nothing was done with the “seeking” unbeliever in mind. But, if an unbeliever happens to show up and hears the truth of God expounded, and watches the body function, he may very well have his heart opened and be drawn to Christ. This is a wonderful collateral result of the church functioning in a biblical manner, but it is not the reason that the church assembles.


The central piece of the gospel, which was so offensive to the Corinthians, was the cross. This is a bit hard for us to grasp today since we have sentimentalized the cross, making it into a piece of jewelry and decoration for our walls, rather than a symbol of death. The stigma of the cross is largely lost to our generation, but in the first century it bore very different, even disgraceful connotations. The Roman Empire reserved crucifixion for three classes of people: rebellious slaves, the worst of criminals and defeated foes of the empire. [5] Gentiles, therefore, viewed crucified men with disdain and contempt. “This animosity toward crucified men was deeply engraved on the social consciousness of the world to which Paul brought his message about a crucified Savior.” [6] To the Gentiles the crucifixion was pure foolishness, madness, craziness. Who could imagine that God’s Son dying on a cross as a common criminal would be pivotal to God’s redemption plan?

For the Jew things were even worse. “Though Gentiles viewed crucifixion as a punishment reserved for detestable people…the Jews believed the victim was cursed by God (cf. Deuteronomy 21:23). Consequently, the stigma went beyond social disgrace to a declaration of God’s spiritual judgment against the victim.” [7] According to the Jewish mindset Jesus not only died a despicable death, He was also cursed of God. How could He be the Messiah, the Savior, and be under the curse of God? The crucifixion would prove to be a “stumbling block” (1 Corinthians 1:23) to the Jews. The Greek word translated “stumbling block” is skandalon (from which we get our word “scandal”) and refers to an enticement to apostasy and unbelief. “In other words, the spiritual offense of the cross actually worked to make some Jews go astray. Remarkably, the crucifixion – so essential to eternal life – actually hindered Jews from coming to saving faith. They simply could not overcome their preconceived notions about the significance of crucifixion…. The very content of Paul’s message caused Jews to turn away.” [8]

Paul was not ignorant of the fact that the preaching of a crucified Savior would more than dull the attractiveness of the gospel; it would be a major impediment. Before his audience could get to the good news of forgiveness of sin and reconciliation with God, they had to first come to the cross, which was abhorrent to them. But this did not deter Paul from preaching the centrality of the cross, for to the “called” the crucified Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). The good news is grounded in the cross; to eliminate it, or even to minimize it, would be to rob the gospel of its power to save.

In the twenty-first century this particular debate seems very distant. The cross, as most envision it today, is more likely to elicit warm fuzzies than disgust or revulsion. Still Paul’s point is not lost. The gospel continues to offend; whether it is the crucifixion itself, the insistence on recognizing our sins and repenting, receiving by faith One that we have never seen, or abandoning our self-reliance, denying ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him (Matthew 16:24). None of these things pander to our ego. The gospel is not a message about how to get ahead in life, or how to find the key to happiness and success. Paul stayed focused on what was true and essential and he would not be moved by the pressures around him. “‘Christ crucified’ was not a ‘seeker-friendly’ message in the first century. It was an absurd obscenity to Gentiles and a scandalous oxymoron to Jews. The gospel guaranteed offense.” [9] Paul’s example should encourage us today to not sellout the gospel for perceived evangelistic success. We need to stand by the message given in the New Testament, proclaim it with authority and let God give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).
(emphasis mine)

Gender-Neutral Hymnal

As if the TNIV Bible wasn't bad enough. Now, to go along with your man centered, purpose driven church service and your Message "Bible" you can have a hymnal that is also politically correct. Wouldn't want all us women folk to get offended by having to sing about God the Father, God the Son, or how Jesus is the Husband of the Church, or anything silly like that.

Lutherans Hope Updated Gender-Neutral Hymnal Will Have Diverse Appeal

By Jenni Parker
August 19, 2005

(AgapePress) - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has approved development of a new, more gender-neutral hymnal. At its 2005 national convention, the denomination gave the nod to the plan, already under way, for an update of the 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, which will eliminate the "Father" terminology and male pronouns used in reference to God. The hymnal overhaul will include other gender-neutralizing and diversity-affirming changes to traditional Lutheran worship lyrics and liturgies as well.

The new hymnal's intentional use of gender-neutral language will encompass not only the lyrics of many songs, but also the proposed liturgical texts, in which there are options for prayers that refer to God and Jesus as "holy eternal majesty" and "holy incarnate word" instead of "father" and "son." Also, while some traditional songs have been left alone, others have undergone minor changes, such as exchanging male terms for humanity with terms that include both men and women. In some cases, both a traditional version and an alternate, gender-neutral version of certain songs have been included.

At the same time, 300 new worship songs have been proposed for inclusion in the revised Lutheran Book of Worship, while more than 200 traditional hymns likely will not make it into the new edition. In choosing new songs, the church is making a particular effort to span different cultures and worship styles. For example, along with some traditional hymns of European origin, proposed additions include songs with African and Asian roots. And many songs in the new hymnal were specifically chosen for their adaptability to varied musical settings, from churches with a choir and an organist to those with a contemporary praise and worship band.

The ELCA has actually been working on the new worship book for the past five years, consulting with hundreds of churches and worship leaders across America. Rev. Michael Burk, worship director for the denomination, says some Lutherans are anxious to see the traditional biblical references to God as male preserved in the hymnal, while other church members insist the denomination's worship songs should be free from gender language that many consider noninclusive.

Burk says compilers of the new hymnal are making every effort to "strike a balance" between those conflicting views. "We are a global church," he adds, "and our worship ought to reflect that."

According to a report in the Plain Dealer newspaper, the ELCA's Churchwide Assembly will not do a line-by-line edit of the Lutheran Book of Worship or vote the new hymnal up or down. What delegates are being asked to do is to direct the denomination to complete the liturgical review of the book and make final revisions.

Use of the new hymnal will not be mandated in local churches, but it is likely that it will gradually be adopted by most of the ELCA's approximately 10,600 congregations as they either purchase the book immediately or buy it when the time comes to replace their old hymnals.

Court Sides with Student on Right to Wear Scripture-Bearing Shirt

Court Sides with Student on Right to Wear Scripture-Bearing Shirt

By Jim Brown
August 19, 2005

(AgapePress) - A federal judge has told an Ohio school district it can no longer bar a middle school student from wearing a t-shirt with a Christian message.

Judge George Smith has ruled that Sheridan Middle School in Thornville violated the constitutional rights of student James Nixon by prohibiting him from wearing a t-shirt bearing a quote from the Bible verse John 14:6. The front of the shirt reads: "Jesus said, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'" The back of the shirt contains the statements: "Homosexuality is sin. Islam is a lie. Abortion is murder."

Although no complaints were filed over Nixon's t-shirt, a few school officials -- described by the student's attorney as "overzealous" -- deemed its message may be "offensive" to some individuals and "potentially disruptive," and thus could not be displayed.

Nixon's attorney, James Nelson of the Orlando-based American Liberties Institute, says the decision handed down by Judge Smith has a "broad, sweeping significance," especially for students in the southern district of Ohio, many of whom he says were watching for the outcome.

"Other students and parents had been waiting for this decision to know whether or not their own children and students may now wear their shirts," Nelson shares.

Nelson asserts the judge's ruling sets a persuasive precedent. "We believe that Judge Smith really worked through the issues well, in a way that some courts don't," the attorney says. "He truly picked apart the precedent and the cases from the Supreme Court and other jurisdictions and tried to make a very comprehensive and coherent opinion which could be utilized by other courts across the country."

The attorney feels that due to the jurisdiction of Smith's court over other schools and school districts, the ruling will allow students to freely express their viewpoint on the same issues and to wear the same t-shirt to school.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Israel Evacuates Most Gaza Settlers, Many Kicking and Screaming

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish settler weeps as he is escorted from synagogue in Neve Dekalim settlement

I weep for those suffering because of man's lack of acknowlegement of God's covenant with Israel.

German Court Convicts Moroccan for 9/11 Links

HAMBURG, Aug. 19 - A Moroccan man today became the first person convicted in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States when a German court found him guilty of belonging to a terrorist organization and sentenced him to seven years in prison.

But the man, Mounir el-Motassadeq, 31, was found guilty only of belonging to Al Qaeda and associating with the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 attacks during the time before 2001 when they lived in this north German port city.

Mr. Motassadeq was acquitted on the more serious charge of complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks, with the presiding judge in the trial criticizing the United States for refusing to allow evidence into the trial that might have resulted in his conviction.

"This was a difficult case," the judge, Ernst-Rainer Schudt, said as he announced the verdict. "It didn't make it easier that the United States would not allow its intelligence services to give testimony here."

The court's decision today was the latest phase of a case that has dragged on for three years, through two long trials and an appeal, and may not yet be finished. A defense lawyer for Mr. Motassadeq, Udo Jacob, said that he would appeal today's verdict.

"My client is not a terrorist," he said. "It's important for him that the whole world knows that."

By contrast, the German prosecutor, Walter Hemberger, said, "We hope that this verdict will be a signal to all people who live here in Germany and have the same jihadist thinking as Motassadeq, and will show them that this is criminal in our country."

The verdict seemed to come as a surprise to Mr. Motassadeq, who entered court casually dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt, smiling and chatting with his lawyer and translator.

The only other man to be put on trial for complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks, Abdelgani Mzoudi, was acquitted last year, largely because of the refusal of the United States to make witnesses available, and it seemed likely that Mr. Motassadeq expected the same result.

He seemed momentarily shocked when Judge Schudt announced the verdict, but then listened impassively, his chin resting in his palm, as the judge read out the text of the decision.

Mr. Motassadeq, a Moroccan who has lived in Germany since the early 1990's, has acknowledged going to an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan and knowing Mohamed Atta and the other men who led the plane hijackings of Sept. 11. Mr. Motassadeq also had a power of attorney over the bank account of one of the pilot hijackers, Marwan al-Shehhi, and transferring money from the account to that of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who is believed to have been in overall command of the plot.

But Mr. Motassadeq has denied all along knowing of the plot or of intentionally providing it support.

Full story. (emphasis mine)

The U.S. wouldn't allow its intelligence services to testify? That seems a bit odd to me. I'm just wondering why? If there was evidence showing this man's connections were stronger than they currently appear, or if he was more involved, one would think that the U.S. would want these things taken into consideration.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Is Israel's withdrawl a catalyst for peace?

Israeli troops began a forced evacuation on Wednesday of thousands of settlers enraged by their expulsion from the Gaza Strip after Israel's 38-year occupation.

The move is the culmination of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for the first removal of settlements from land Palestinians want for a state.

Palestinian militants claim the withdrawal as victory and Israel opponents decry it as a surrender to violence. Washington hopes it will prove a catalyst for renewed peacemaking.

Displacing thousands of people is going to be a catalyst for peace? And that would work how exactly? I mean, yes I may not be on top of politics as much as I should be, but I didn't realize the world had changed so much that forcing thousands of people to leave their homes (and indeed the land God has given them) would be a means to attain peace. Silly me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Israel's withdrawal from Gaza

Honestly, I never saw this one coming. Why Israel would willingly give up the land God has provided them, I doubt I'll ever understand.

Bush believes pullout will strengthen Israel
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- US President George W. Bush believes that Israel will turn to be stronger after its pullout from Gaza, which may take several weeks to complete, the White House said on Tuesday.

"He (Bush) supports (Israeli) Prime Minister Sharon in this bold initiative and believes this will strengthen Israel," spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters.

The Bush administration has been offering its support for Israel's unilateral disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank, and urged both Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate to make the withdrawal successful.

About half of Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip had left ahead of a midnight deadline for them to go of their own accord or face being evicted by force, Israeli General Eival Giladi, the disengagement's plan strategic coordinator, said earlier.

Meanwhile, more than 800 right-wing pullout opponents have been reportedly arrested since Monday night which witnessed the beginning of the pullout. Enditem

Other related links.
Israel's withdrawal from Gaza


Friday, August 12, 2005

Seperation of God and man, Evil, and Revenge

Just a short post (well, I'm planning on it being short, who knows where it'll end up) concerning my thoughts on man's separation from God and evil and revenge. Bear with me.

Recently, I've been doing some reading on the 'God' of Neale Donald Walsch and like-minded people, and quite honestly it blows my mind at some of the things they try to propagate as truth. If you haven't read it, I'd suggest scrolling over to my post entitled "There is no right and wrong with the new gospel" and starting with that. Once you've done that come on back to this. Thanks.

I've just got a couple more points/ Bible verses I'd like to share with you. The first concerns man's separation from God. Walsch's "God" and his "gospel" would have us all believe that we are one with God, that we are in fact God if only we would realize it, that we are not separated from God in any way other than our mindset. But I would like to direct you to Isaiah 59:2-3 and would ask you a couple simple questions, if we are not separated from God why is it we feel so alone? Why is it that we can sit amongst loving friends or in the middle of a crowd and feel so incredibly insignificant? I believe this verse helps shed light on the answer to these questions.

Isaiah 59:2-3

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

Another lie this "God” would have you believe is that there is no evil. That each person does what is “right” in reference to his or her world view. The problem with that is that there is no accountability. If I run you over because I'm in a rush it's ok. You're dead, but I can justify it because I was late for work. Doesn't that seem a little odd to you? It does to me. I raise this for your consideration, there is evil and it is rampant. But it shall not always be that way; God will deal with evil in His time. If someone wrongs you, don't get even. Give it to God, and He'll take it and deal with it in a way that is much more productive than anything you'd ever be able to conceive.

Isaiah 13:11

11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Judges 5:2

2 Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.

Stay tuned, I've got more coming. I'm not sure how long it will take, but I'd say don't expect anything on this subject for a least two weeks to a month. But when it comes I'm expecting it to be long and in depth from the looks of my notes. Check back.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What do women want?

In my own experience with women in the thirty years since I graduated from college, I have found that most of them–whether Christian or atheist, single or married, aged twenty or seventy–long for the same things.

In their relationships with men, they want faithful fathers, brothers, husbands and sons who love and respect them, rather than mocking, ignoring, or hurting them. They want fun, but meaningful sexual relationships.

In their relationships with women, they want honesty, and true sisterhood, as well as older women who can mentor them.
Though human promise is not infallible, it is genuinely valuable. We prize those people in our lives whose word is true. We choose friends who are honest about themselves and about life, even if their honesty sometimes reminds us of our own weaknesses. But honesty is not the only criterion for a promise. For a covenant arrangement to take place, trustworthiness is joined by commitment: "I will be faithful to you until death." A man’s trustworthiness is useless to a woman until he makes that promise to her. And his promise is worthless unless it is backed by his trustworthy character.
Source(emphasis mine).
Does Christianity Squash Women?
Rebecca Jones, April 2000
Presented at Bryn Mawr College under the auspices of Greentree Ministries

Biblical Pool of Siloam

The photo at left shows the city of Jerusalem with the Temple Mount and the City of David. The excavations are on the west side of the City of David. Letter "A" is located where the traditional "Pool of Siloam" is and Letter "B" shows the area of the present excavations.

Biblical Pool of Siloam uncovered in Jerusalem
Tuesday, August 09, 2005

By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times

Workers repairing a sewage pipe in the old city of Jerusalem have discovered the biblical Pool of Siloam, a freshwater reservoir that was a major gathering place for ancient Jews making religious pilgrimages to the city and the reputed site where Jesus cured a man blind from birth, according to the Gospel of John.

The pool was fed by the now-famous Hezekiah's Tunnel and is "a much grander affair" than archaeologists previously believed, with three tiers of stone stairs allowing easy access to the water, according to Hershel Shanks, editor of Biblical Archeology Review, which reported the find yesterday.

"Scholars have said that there wasn't a Pool of Siloam and that John was using a religious conceit" to illustrate a point, said New Testament scholar James H. Charlesworth of the Princeton Theological Seminary. "Now, we have found the Pool of Siloam ... exactly where John said it was." A Gospel that was thought to be "pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history," he said.

The discovery puts a new spotlight on what is called the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, a trip that religious law required ancient Jews to make at least once a year, said archaeologist Ronny Reich of the University of Haifa, who excavated the pool.

"Jesus was just another pilgrim coming to Jerusalem," he said. "It would be natural to find him there."

The newly discovered pool is less than 200 yards from another Pool of Siloam, this one a reconstruction built between A.D. 400 and 460 by the empress Eudocia of Byzantium, who oversaw the rebuilding of several biblical sites.

The site of yet another Pool of Siloam, which pre-dated the version visited by Jesus, is still unknown.

That first pool was constructed in the eighth century B.C. by the Judean King Hezekiah, who foresaw the likelihood that the Assyrians would lay siege to Jerusalem and knew that a safe water supply would be required to survive it.

He ordered workers to build a 1,750-foot-long tunnel under the ridge where the City of David was located. The tunnel connected Gihon Spring in the adjacent Kidron Valley to the side of Jerusalem less vulnerable to an attack.

The first Pool of Siloam was the reservoir holding the water brought into the city. It presumably was destroyed in 586 B.C., when Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar razed the city.

The pool of Jesus' time was built early in the first century B.C. and was destroyed by the future Roman emperor Titus about A.D. 70. The pool was discovered last fall by a repair team, supervised by Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiques Authority, that was excavating a damaged sewer line.

As soon as Shukron saw two steps uncovered, he stopped the work and called in Reich, who was excavating at the Gihon spring. When they saw the steps, Shukron said, "We were 100 percent sure it was the Siloam Pool."

With winter approaching rapidly, the two men had to hurry their excavation, so the sewer could be repaired before the rainy season.

As they began digging, they uncovered three groups of five stairs each, separated by narrow landings. The pool was about 225 feet long, and they unearthed steps on three sides.

They do not yet know how wide and how deep the pool was because they have not finished the excavation. The fourth side lies under a lush garden -- filled with figs, pomegranates, cabbages and other fruits -- behind a Greek Orthodox Church, and the team has not yet received permission to cut a trench through the garden.

"We need to know how big it is," Charlesworth said. "This may be the most significant and largest 'mikvah' [ritual bath] ever found."

Article source.

Photos from here, site also has more information.

Monday, August 08, 2005

My feelings about modern church

stolen from This is pretty much my complaint about most modern churches today.

Here are two testimonies of other bloggers who have invested time into researching Osteen. Don Elbourne watched a webcast and concluded that there was "No Christ, no cross, no mention of man's moral bankruptcy, just the feel-good positive message of assurance that God always rewards human effort and virtue." Michael Spencer, who says he has listened to over twenty five hours of Osteen says "Osteen's messages are about "God's Favor" on marriage, finances and career. Sin is never mentioned. In well over 25 hours of preaching that I listened to this year, Jesus was almost never mentioned, and when he was mentioned, it was in a perfunctory prayer in the last minute. Sin, the Cross, the atonement? Not there."

Jesus is rarely mentioned. If He is mentioned, it is as our helper in becoming better people.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Africa, Abortion, and Anesthesia

You know, if I wasn't perfectly aware of what the Bible tells us the future holds I would really begin to wonder what is happening to the world. It is going down the tubes as we speak, er read, at a very quick rate.

We've got "mothers" going out and getting as drunk as humanly possible on the way to the hospital to give birth to their children, we've got Minnesota passing bills that require doctors to inform pregnant women seeking abortions at 20 weeks (5 months) that the baby could feel pain and therefore offer anesthesia to the fetus and that is supposed to be encouraging. Offering to minimize pain as we murder children is "a step in the right direction." We are to celebrate this victory, yet the children are still being murdered. Our country's soil is running red with the blood spilled by these "mothers" and "doctors."

But what the heck right? A woman has a right to choose, after all it is her body and there is no other human involved in that choice right? It's not like the child is human, it is just a fetus. You can't prove it has a soul because it is still in her body and fully dependant upon her, therefore it surely couldn't be considered human. We are killing millions of children a year and those of us that are outraged are called "fundementalists" whose views of the world are so terribly outdated. Everyone has the right to live exactly how they want, and who are we to judge another human being and try to say what is right for them? While our children are dying we have pop stars and movie stars campaigning for Africa's people. They are suffering from lack of food, clean water, they are homeless and poverty stricken. It would be wrong of us to not do everything in our power to make sure they live, yet it is wrong of us to demand that every child has the right to at least be carried to term.

I'm all for helping people, I think helping the poor is a noble cause and I'm glad that people are becoming more aware, but why can't we do both? Why can't we help the third world countries and still protect our unborn children? Are the lives of the Africans, the Asians, or the South Americans more valueble than the lives of our children?

Equal rights for all, so long as you can walk and talk. If you're dependant upon someone for your care we can ignore your rights. If you can't complain who will notice if we kill you off? And if anyone stands up for those of you who cannot speak up for yourselves we will beat them down, tell them their wrong, will do anything to silence them unless they are Brad Pitt. In which case we are all ears, because he and people like him are worth listening to. They are important, they are in the movies after all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Minnesota offers anestesia to 20 wk old fetuses being killed

Now as we kill our unborn children we can lessen the pain of these poor defenseless gifts from God as we mercilesly murder them. Gee golly, that sure makes me happy.

SAINT PAUL, July 19, 2005 ( - Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, last Thursday, signed a bill that will require doctors to tell women seeking abortion after 20 weeks gestation that fetuses might feel pain during the procedure and offer them the option of fetal anesthesia.

The "Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act," was supported by the group, Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, (MCCL) an affiliate of National Right to Life.

MCCL's Laura Gese, told that the passage of the legislation was being seen as a victory by pro-lifers there. "It's a compassionate bill, wherein, if we have decided that the child has to die, at least he won't suffer horribly from a brutal death."

The bill was not directly opposed by the National Abortion Rights Action League, since fetal pain is considered a side issue. Most Minnesota abortions are committed in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and so the law does not affect them. Medical association opposition was dropped when the bill's language was changed to preclude felony charges for doctors who failed to comply.

The real value of the legislation is in the message it sends to those engaged in the debate. Gese said that MCCL hopes the bill will have an effect similar to the partial birth abortion bans in raising the awareness in the public of the humanity of the unborn child. Gese said, "It strengthens the Woman's Right to Know bill," that required women be given accurate information about abortion and fetal development before abortion.

"It also brings to light the humanity of the unborn child and opens the discussion. It helps people to understand that this is a human being that we are talking about."

Jim Hughes, National President of Canada's pro-life lobby, Campaign Life Coalition, echoed this when he told, "If there's anything positive it is to show that there is a human being present that does feel pain. And people who haven't entered the debate yet will come into the discussion and be shown the humanity of the unborn."

"By the same token," said Hughes, "it's certainly not a victory. It's definitely an admission that these things are going to go on anyway and we can't stop them yet. It's a very, very small step forward, but it might cause some younger people to give the issue a second look, and in the end, gain their support for the life of the child."

There is no right or wrong with the new gospel

This is an article I wrote about a week ago, it is available in PDF format at my website.

Are we the creators of our own destiny? Do we have the power to daily transform what the future holds, not only for ourselves, but for the entire world? What about the future the Bible speaks of, what about Armageddon and the one world government and the rise of the Anti-Christ? What of that? Can we really change the path humanity is on and stop what the Bible has clearly laid out for over two thousand years from happening?

Some people would have you think so. Some would have you believe that yes, we can all live in harmony if we all just put our minds to it. And that nobody is evil, not even Hitler himself, and if we would only realize the truth then we would be able to attain the peace we long for. Some people say there is a new gospel and that humanity is entering into a new “golden” age. They tell us that the old gospel is either obsolete or, depending on who you listen to, that it isn’t even from God at all. They come promising peace, love, happiness, and self serving divinity. “...and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many...” (Daniel 8:25)

Yet the Bible has warned us to test the spirits to see if they are of God or not (1 John 4:1). Again and again the Bible warns us that there are false teachers coming to deceive and that we are to be on the look out and not be deceived by their signs and miracles. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

Every aspect of divinity has co-creative control over its destiny. Therefore, you cannot kill a mosquito against its will. At some level, the mosquito has chosen that. All of the change in the universe occurs with the consent of the universe itself, in its various forms. The universe cannot disagree with itself. That is impossible. (FWG, pg. 371)

What do you think of that? It’s an interesting idea I suppose. That ultimately murderers only have the power to murder because their victims want to die? So, what does this “God” say about Hitler and the Holocaust then?

Walsch: Well, I’m going to have to ask the questions here that I know so many people are thinking and wanting to ask. How could a man like Hitler have gone to heaven? Every religion in the world...I would think every one, has declared him condemned and sent straight to hell.

“God”: First, he could not have gone to hell because hell does not exist. Therefore, there is only one place left to which he could have gone. But that begs the question. The real issue is whether Hitler’s actions were “wrong.” Yet I have said over and over again that there is no “right” or “wrong” in the universe. A thing is not intrinsically right or wrong. A thing simply is.

Now, your thought that Hitler was a monster is based on the fact that he ordered the killing of millions of people, correct?

Walsch: Obviously, yes.

“God”: Yet what if I told you that what you call “death” is the greatest thing that could happen to anyone - what then? (CWG Book 2, pg. 36)

So the first thing you have to understand - as I’ve already explained to you - is that Hitler didn’t hurt anyone. In a sense, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it. (CWG Book 2 pg. 56)

If you are a being who chooses to cut out a cancer within you in order to preserve your larger life form, then you will demonstrate that.(FWG, pg. 369)

By this reasoning, the Jews that died under Hitler’s thumb must have been aware on some level that their monotheistic views of God were causing them to be a “cancer” to society and that their deaths were what they wanted, because nobody likes cancer, so they submitted themselves to Hitler’s view for the world, because he must have had a greater vision for what the world should be than they did with their “sinful” view of God. Because, surely if they didn’t see themselves this way Hitler would have had no power over them.

On the same note, any innocent child playing that runs into the street after their ball and gets hit by a car must have been suicidal or they wouldn’t have ran into the street and even if they did the car would have had no power over them and wouldn’t have been able to cause them any harm.

What about the 8 months pregnant Lacy Peterson? According to this logic she must not have liked being alive, being pregnant, and must not have liked having her head and hands attached to her body. Because if she had enjoyed any of those things Scott Peterson would not have been able to kill her, remove her son from her womb, and proceed to dispose of the bodies in a way so horrifying that I care not to discuss it much further.

So the first thing you have to understand - as I’ve already explained to you - is that Hitler didn’t hurt anyone. In a sense, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it. (CWG Book 2 pg. 56)

Remove the name Hitler and insert Scott Peterson, he didn’t inflict suffering, he ended it according to Walsch’s “God.” According to A Course in Miracles, which Walsch sites in one of his conversations with “God,” “There is no sin; it has no consequence.” (Workbook, pg 183) “The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.” (ACIM Text, pg 237)

Therefore, according to Walsch, his “God,” and people who push these shared beliefs Scott Peterson didn’t do anything wrong, and therefore we have no justification for putting him in jail or holding him accountable for his actions. After all, there is no right and there is no wrong. There is no sin. There is no evil.

“Walsch: But some people are basically evil. Some people are intrinsically bad.
‘God’: Who told you that?
Walsch: It is my own observation.
‘God’:Then you cannot see straight. I have said it to you before: No one does anything evil, given his model of the world.” (CWG, Book 2, pg 171)

Evil is whatever we want it to be, yet there is not really a right or wrong. There is no such thing as sin according to Walsch’s God. It should be noted that according to Barbara Hubbard’s “God,” there will be a selection process which “will exclude all who are exclusive. The selection process assures that only the loving will evolve to the stage of co-creator.” (Conscious Evolution Pg 303) By exclusive, I can only be led to believe that they are referencing anyone who doesn’t believe that they themselves are a god. I can only infer that they must be referring to anyone who holds a monotheistic view, whether that be Jews, Muslims, or Christians, it matters not because all of these people are “exclusive” and are a cancer to the evolution of humanity. And no surgeon would knowingly and willingly leave a cancerous cell in a body, cancer must be removed and eradicated if it can’t be “completely healed.” And this is what will happen with those who are exclusive and hold to their separatist ideals, a fiery trial awaits those who do not conform to the idea that we are all Christ.

Both their gods indicate that we are all actually gods, we just don’t realize it but there is an awakening of sorts going on and people are becoming more aware of their inner deity. Hubbard’s “God” says, “the fundamental regression is self-centeredness, or the illusion that you are separate from God. I ‘make war’ on self-centeredness. It shall surely be overcome. The child must become the adult. Human must become Divine.” (Conscious Evolution Pg 233)

The Bible tells us that this will be accepted, that though Jesus said that He “came in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43) Even some of those who had previously known the truth will be led astray by false teachers who come offering peace and great signs and “seducing spirits” (Matthew 24:24, 1 Timothy 4:1) but bring only destruction to the soul. They give the appearance of someone who can be trusted. Matthew 7:15 tells us, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” They come offering peace, tolerance, and acceptance yet will do anything they can to conform you to their ideals. And if you do not conform you will be “removed violently” for the greater good of the body of humanity. In reality they offer false peace and acceptance only to those who believe what they believe, that there is no such thing as sin therefore we are not sinners, right and wrong is non existent, and that, in truth, we are all God.

The Bible tells us that there is indeed sin and that every one of us has sinned. This is a stark contrast to the “feel good” mentality of the “new gospel.”

‘God’: I tell you this: There is no evil!
Walsch: I wish that could be true.
‘God’: You are perfect, just as you are.
(CWG Book 2, Pg 31)

The only person that can say they lived a completely faultless life is Jesus Christ. He is the only person who is perfect; Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8, emphasis mine)

I’m a Christ, you’re a Christ, we’re all a Christ according to the “new gospel.” But what about it, was Jesus the Christ or are we all Christ? According to the “new gospel” and it’s “teachers” we are all our own Christ, that Jesus was one, Buddha was one, that all the great teachers were Christ. Simply put that they realized their own divinity, that there is not one Christ but many and they all lead to heaven. But that is in direct opposition with what God’s true word tells us (Matthew 24:4-5).

The Bible is explicitly clear, you must know and accept the Bible’s Jesus as your personal savior, He is the only way to heaven, the only way to salvation and a restored relationship with God. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) In fact, the Bible tells us the identity of those who would deny Jesus as the only Christ,“.. He is the antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:22)

Sadly, it seems like there is nothing being said in the churches around America of the impending trials and persecution we as Christians will face. In John 16:1-3 Jesus tells the disciples, “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.”

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. (Philippians 1:29)

We’ve got book clubs, skate clubs, men’s conferences, women’s luncheons, rock for the teens, and self help books for the preaching instead of the tried and true Bible. Yet there is nothing being said of the end times, no one talks about the Antichrist or the False Prophet, or the fact that millions and millions of people are being deceived and led into the fires of hell. There is no mention of the need of repentance, of Christ’s atonement for our sins; there is hardly any mention of the cross in many cases, if at all.

Rick Warren, in his book, Meditations on the Purpose Driven Life, makes no mention of sin in the book and at the end encloses his version of a sinners prayer. This prayer mentions sin exactly zero times, it makes no mention of a need of repentance (of course if you don’t talk about sin it makes it difficult to explain why one would need to repent of anything), but it does mention desires. The phrase “I want” is in the “prayer” seven times! In the prayer you don’t need Jesus, you want Him.

And this man is the spiritual leader of millions of people. He has guided thousands of people to their “purpose in life” without ever seeming to need mentioning that people are sinners by nature and without true repentance and belief that Christ died on the cross for our sins. How is it that thousands of churches across America, and indeed the world, can so blindly follow someone who doesn’t want to offend any one with the mention of their sin? How can we be so easily deceived? We follow promises of prosperity and healing and blessing, never looking to see that these teachings often ignore what Jesus told us.

We’re suppose to be on the look out, warning everyone we can and leading them to the only one who can save their souls, Jesus Christ. But, it seems as if that’s not what is going on. We are so consumed with feeling good, and achieving our dreams that we’ve lost the vision Christ gave us for the future. He told us time and time again to test the spirits and not follow every movement that comes saying the name of Christ. Rather we are to take the teachings presented and line them up next to God’s true word and if the teaching doesn’t completely line up we are to put it away from us and follow it not. It seems like the churches are more interested in solving today’s problems and making everyone happy and keeping everyone busy than preparing their members for the future.

They aren’t being strengthened in their faith, and their knowledge of scripture consists only of what they hear from their preacher of choice says. People it seems have lost the ability or the desire to discern and follow the true teachings of Christ.

And to make matters worse these same preachers, intentionally or unintentionally doesn’t matter, are bending to the whims of the unbeliever and catering to their desires and worldly perceptions, trying to seem friendly and non-judgmental and accepting, all to get church membership up rather than giving the truth.

We are sinners, without Jesus Christ we cannot know God or have a relationship with Him, and if we choose Him we are to pick up our crosses, follow Him and deny worldly lusts (Titus 2:12). And it is in following Him that we will in all likelihood have to choose between eternal life with the God who loves our souls or temporary acceptance from those who only will accept us if we conform to what their desire for the future is. And it is my sincere prayer that all would rightfully choose to be willing to loose his life here and follow Christ into eternity. Watch the world, study His word, prepare yourself so that your faith would stand through the storms that come. The storms are coming, which means every day we are closer to Christ’s long awaited glorious return.

“And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2)

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12, emphasis mine)

Worldly desires lead to the world's end, as well as yours

It is so sad, to see those who had been on fire for the Lord turn to the world and lose the will to sanctify themselves in Him. It is frustrating to see those people who I had looked up to spiritually engage themselves in such worldly behavior. I'm not trying to be judgmental or hypocritical, I too turned from the Lord for a time. Not in blatant turn that denied Him and His work, rather for a time I was one of those "Christians" who professed the name of Jesus and lived in my desires. (Which in truth is no different than flat out denying Him)

I give praise to God that He has delivered me from that, He has broken my heart over my sins to bring me into repentance. And though I'm in a very rough period, that seems to get harder the closer I pull to Him and His love, it is a very exciting time. I may not have much here, I may be poor in the world's eyes, but daily I add to a treasure that I will receive in the end. When the time comes I'll be able to stand dressed in white before my Lord's throne and worship Him for eternity. And I cannot imagine how I ever thought there could be anything on this planet better than that. I don't know how I convinced myself that anything in this life time could be more important than living each moment for Him.

Yes, there are times I get frustrated because now that I have actively chosen to follow Him I cannot do what I want to. But I hope with time as I follow His will I shall stop desiring my flesh. And if I never fully get rid of those desires I joyfully deny myself, because ultimately I want His will for my life.

He has saved me from my sins, ransomed me from death, redeemed me, the very least I can do is follow Him; turn from the things He died because of. The least I can do is spend eternity loving and worshiping Christ. And yet, that is the most I can do as well. All I can do is my best to be a light, and reach those I can, without succumbing to the world's pressures and desires. Because that in itself is an act of worship. Worship is not just singing songs on Sunday or at your youth group, worship is everything (or should be at any rate), my life should be a continual act of worship. I can worship God while I do the dishes, change the diapers, and drive down the street. Everything I can do should be in His will, and bring glory to His name.

Some would argue that the Bible says that we can have the things of this world because God gives us the desires of our heart. The problem with the people who say that is that I think they have either just heard this misrepresentation of scripture from others and swallowed it as truth without searching the Word, or they have knowingly taken the Word and ignored parts of it to justify their sins. Christ tells us to deny ourselves and bear our cross. In Psalm 37 it does indeed say that God will give us our desires, but in context it says that He will give you those desires if they are in line with His will, so ultimately He gives you His desires.

Psalm 37:1-10
1Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

2For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

3Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

4Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

6And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

7Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

8Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

9For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

10For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.