Rob Bell, by insisting that the church embrace homosexual “marriage” and reject clear Biblical teachings, is an apostate existentialist: He claims the right to let his sensibilities define God and His written Word, rather than let God and His written Word define his sensibilities.
Every once in a while we get to touch the hand of God. When we hold a loved one’s hand there is a connection that transcends more than the mere physical touch. Holding hands unites the emotions with the physical. Touching the hand of God unites creation with the Creator.
This morning God reached His hand down to the Sunday fellowship group that meets in our home. After a short time of sharing we began to pray for each other. Some of the shared needs will require the totally miraculous to happen.
I believe that God is in the business of the miraculous. When we prayed this morning the supernatural presence of God filled the room. Almost everyone had a word, Scripture or a picture from the Lord to share with the person who was receiving the prayer. The sense that the Lord was standing right there in the midst of us was overwhelming.
Here’s a much-needed blog from PredatoryPastors.com – a locally-based (but unaffiliated) ministry near us – about the victim blaming that often occurs when a beloved or otherwise respected church leader is outed as a sexual predator.
I have been involved in many church abuse cases over the years, both as an attorney (now retired) and as local elder who has been asked to intervene on behalf of victims in other churches.
In my experience, victim blaming – and even outright trying to destroy the victim – always happens in cases involving an abusive but otherwise inspiring church leader.
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Prov. 30:5-6 ESV
Yesterday, after a seven month hiatus to care for my dad and deal with some of my own health issues, another local elder and I visited the jail to check on a church I previously had been helping.
The first thing I noticed was around twenty new men were now in that fellowship, with only two of the original brothers still around (the others, as is normal in a jail environment, had been released or transferred).
The church, I was thrilled to see, had not only survived but thrived during my absence – with them showing a wonderful continuity of life from when I last saw them.
As I then listened to them openly share their hopes and struggles in the Lord with each other, and watched them encourage one another to love and good works (Heb. 10), I cried silent tears of joy.
Until we understand that Jesus tells individuals to turn their other cheek in response to personal offenses, while giving civil magistrates the power of the sword to punish evildoers and protect the innocent, we will never have an authentically Biblical worldview.
Participatory church? I do that.
I sit and stand when the worship leader tells me to and sometimes even sing along, do the happy clap or raise my arms with my eyes closed when prompted;
I shake hands with the guy in the pew ahead of me when the associate pastor says to greet one another;
On occasion I say “amen” when the senior pastor asks us to say “amen” during his sermon;
I put money in the plate when its passed down my row by the ushers; and
I even bow my head when told to do so during the invitation for folks to raise their hands and receive Jesus.
So yes, I participate when I go to church, thank you very much!
Getting down to basics…
Without external revelation on what is truly true, really real and rightly right – by one with the authority to define all because He created all – you are trapped in the meaningless absurdity of circular logic and self-referential perception.
C.S. Lewis bemoaned, in The Abolition of Man, that the West was becoming a culture of men without chests – meaning we have either lost the courage of our God-given convictions or in many cases denied those virtues altogether.
This is amply illustrated by relativistic “tolerance”, which has been used for too long as a counterfeit “virtue” to attack what is true, beautiful and moral.
Lately, however, those who rationalize Jihadist atrocities in the name of “tolerance” – and who then protest that we must not “offend” Islam – are causing more and more people to reject the moral bankruptcy of their squishy relativism.
Je Suis Charlie – Because the ideals of a free society do not include opening our borders to those who reject the foundations of a free society.
It looks like House2House Ministries and Magazine have closed shop once again.
What an unfortunate, checkered history of organic/simple church failure after failure.
How many times will it take before Felicity Dale and gang finally figure out that you can’t start and sustain healthy local churches – simple, organic or otherwise – by promoting phony self-appointed “apostles”:
– Who ain’t livin’ what their sellin’, with private lives that don’t match up with their finely-honed public persona;
– Who have no consistent history of successfully forming, maintaining or being part of sustainable local churches that look anything like what they promote in their books, blogs and conferences;
– Who deny that the Great Commission has general relevance today;
– Who proclaim that scripture is not the written word of God and that those who affirm scripture are committing “treason against Christ”;
It seems trendy today among celebrity Christians to promote all sorts of rubbish:
Grace without repentance,
Love without truth,
Mercy without obedience,
Gifts are special. Gifts can sit on a shelf awaiting the appropriate time to be given, or they can be spontaneous. Gifts can come in small or large boxes. Sometimes the gift in the smallest box is far superior to the one in the larger container.
The Lord knows how to give good gifts. If a son asks for bread, he will not give him a stone.
When the Lord selects our gift, He handcrafts it so it is exactly what we need. His gift is sometimes not what we would have picked, but He knows our true needs.
Sometimes the gift is an unexpected answer to prayers that may be decades old or it could just be a little reminder that the Lord is good and He loves us with an infallible love.
My stunning predictions for 2014 proved to be the ONLY 100% accurate prophecies by anyone anywhere last year.
So, not wanting to let all the prophets of fame, name and gain dominate yet another year with their headline-chasing rubbish, I’ve decided to once again put myself on the line by publishing my stunning new prophetic predictions for 2015.
This way, the world can see once more who is the true prophet among us!
So (drum roll…) here is what’s gonna happen in 2015, raw and unvarnished:
The ultimate seduction exploits not our greatest weakness, but our greatest strength.
Martin Luther is credited with saying “in essentials, unity”.
In applying that sagely advice, over the years I have developed two essential prerequisites for all other essentials. They have served me well, and tend to weed out over 90% of the frauds, fakes and flakes that plague God’s church (don’t ya love ’em!).
The old legalism of “be good” (God is all about me being moral) …
Was followed by the current legalism of “do good” (God is all about me doing good, like helping the poor) …
Which rapidly is being replaced by the new legalism of “feel good” (the existential fad that God is all about affirming me, filtered through my own hurts, needs and sensibilities) – as its devotees now diss anyone or anything that doesn’t feed their need.
It’s time to speak plainly and listen to each other, even if we don’t like what the other side has to say.
Until White America understands the pent-up frustration of Black America over the suspicion, marginalization and humiliation they are forced to endure from predominately White power structures…
Until Black America understands the pent-up frustration of While America over the crime, entitlement and social disarray they are forced to subsidize in predominately Black neighborhoods…
Neither side will learn the lessons of Ferguson.
Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I have always felt, is our nation’s most significant holiday.
It is the least commercial and the most focused on acknowledging God’s providence over our land by calling on His name as sovereign Lord and expressing gratitude to Him.
Don’t lose heart. God desires to bless not just individuals who love Him, but whole nations. He holds the destiny of nations in His hands and is bigger than any headlines or trends.
More and more people are legitimately desiring to move towards organic/simple church and away from the institutional church.
Unfortunately, there are major snares for those on that journey. Too often, they fall prey to books and blogs on organic/simple church by those who either reject the plenary authority of scripture or outright deny that the Bible is the written word of God.
Although such authors talk a good talk, they typically have no consistent history of actually finding, creating or sustaining in their own lives the kind of local “organic” or “simple” church they are selling to others.
Increasingly, it seems that those who live it seldom sell it, while those who sell it seldom live it.
This makes it very hard to move forward, because there’s a lot of crazy being peddled to the unwary out there in organic land.
Is your church a non-prophet corporation…
Or a New Testament community of diverse, multi-gifted disciples who assemble to encourage each other and participate together in advancing God’s Kingdom?