Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WWUTT Wednesday - WWUTT is a Faith Healer?

This is Todd Bentley. Todd claims to be a faith healer. He claims that he heals them so good that he can heal them post-mortem and raise them from the dead. 

Todd Bentley performs his miraculous healing extravaganzas in front of less less biblicaly astute crowds where folks tend to be a bit more gullible having little knowledge of scripture such as Africa, Pakistan, and the New Apostolic Reformation. 

Here's a short list of places where you won't find Todd Bentley:
  • Oncology Wards
  • VA Hospitals
  • Any area that has a plague
  • Tattoo removal clinics
  • Bible study

Friday, June 8, 2018

Random Bits

Right after I clicked "Publish" on Random Bits last week I came down with a severe bout of bronchitis. Now I don't think that the two occurrences have anything in common. The bronchitis could be caused by many things; air pollution, smoke, pollen, collusion, my manliness, or my inability to see sin as anything but sin (I think I just jinxed my CrissFit membership) But before I go full Gloria Copeland I think I will follow my doctors orders. After all, it was her lecture that I interrupted with my coughing and hacking. Pulmonologists don't like their lectures to be interrupted with the coughing and hacking of their own patients, it looks bad.

This wasn't Dr. Awesome lecturing (she treats my COPD and a couple of other acronyms), this was Dr. Chicago who treats my Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension which is a pretty rare thing. The cause is unknown, and I have only a few of the risk factors (rule out the major risks:  HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, cocaine use) which leaves me with blood clots in the lungs (no one knows how they got there), COPD, really really bad sleep apnoea, and living at high altitudes. It was Dr. Awesome's staff that got me on the road to recovery from the bronchitis, and a week later I am feeling better. Not finished with it, but better. And I thank God every day that He led me to these medical champions who keep me going so I can worship Him from down here a little bit longer. So with that I'm outta here for about a week. I'm headed up to North Dakota to visit my kids and if summer occurs up there I'll post the new about it here first!

A Corporate pilot tells the truth about those magnificent men (Jesse Duplantis and Kenneth Copeland) and their flying machines

Secret genocide of Christians reported in Myanmar: thousands killed, pregnant women raped

Human Rights Disaster: China's persecution of Christians at the highest level since Mao

Chinese police entered a seminary class and hauled away two pastors

Released North Korean Christian prays for his future

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

WWUTT Wretched Wednesday - Just The Basics

It's an evil world out there, and I truly believe that this hectic world is designed to insure one thing: that we forget the basics and wander off on a new path following Satan to your doom. Look at Tony Campollo, I've heard rumor that once upon a time he was a solid bible believing Christian, but Tony's son decided that sin is more fun that being a Christian. So Tony decided to listen to his own son rather than God's son and came to the conclusion that God Is Not In Control. 

There's no one verse in the bible that jumps out and says "God is in control" but there are 31,102 verses that show this to be the case. And if we are to pay attention to just the Red Letters as Tony Campollo insists, how did he miss Mark 10:6-8?

We have preachers that can't spread the Word of God from anything but the newest and best corporate jets, preachers that can slay you in the spirit and the wallet, preachers whose houses exceed $13 million dollars while preaching of the man who had no place to lay his head. Pile upon this snowflakes, teens on murderous rampages, and my favorite - a president who should be impeached because he talked about doing things that another president did with pride and was defended viciously by those who now snarl about impeachment. My head is swirling - I need to get back to the basics

Tony Campolo: 'God Is Not in Control'

Liberal Christian Leader Tony Campolo: 'God Is Not in Control'

By Chris Queen June 5, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced you to the Red Letter Christians, a group of liberal believers whom the New York Times breathlessly profiled recently as the face of Christians who don't worship Donald Trump. One of the group's leaders, Tony Campolo, recently gave an interview with Premier, a Christian website in the UK, in which he stated that he doesn't believe that God is in control — yet.
Campolo barely touches scripture to support his assertion when he says:
So often we read the scriptures but don't pay attention to what is really going on. In the temptation story, for instance, Satan says to Jesus: "Here are all the kingdoms of the world, they are mine to give you". Does Jesus say: "Oh no they're not"? No, he doesn't!
Did you know that St Paul, in five different places, announces that God is not in control?

Of course, he doesn't cite any of those specific places. He does mention a passage in Ephesians that doesn't really support his point before he goes off on a tangent about worship music.
I have problems with a lot of the new worship music. I think it's wonderful that it's captured the music that young people can relate to and they get into it with great love and emotion. But compare 'My God reigns' with the old hymns which say: "Jesus  shall reign" - it's future tense, not present tense.
The Hallelujah Chorus never says: "God is in control". It says: "The kingdoms of this world will (when the second coming occurs) become the kingdoms of our God and he shall reign forever and ever hallelujah".

(Of course, we use the future tense when we talk about the future. It doesn't take a grammar nerd — or a theologian — to see that lyrics or statements that address the future won't necessarily be in the present tense, even if those statements are true in the present.)

Friday, June 1, 2018

Random Bits

Television is a weird, strange, insane world, and worse: it's a public example of the liberal mind. One of the best things about television is Mike Rowe, a Christian man who espouses the joy of hard work. His show "Dirty Jobs" was one of the last watchable things on the discovery channel. Sadly his new show "Somebody's Gotta Do It" is unwatchable. Not because of content, it's incredible (you can find segments on You Tube), but because of location. First it was on the ratings Hindenburg CNN, now it's on apostate TBN. Many people won't watch TBN because it's a "Christian" channel, but I won't TBN because it's an NAR channel.

Television is not a "slice of life" drawing inspiration from the wide range of real life in America, it's propaganda that is laser locked onto what ever the radical left believes needs to be shoved down the throats of the unwitting masses. And there's no escaping the horrors of the liberal agenda on television. ABC/Disney is the company that chopped "Last Man Standing" for the sin of espousing Conservative, Christian, Family values. And as for Rosanne... If you need me, I'll be watching re-runs of Fixer Upper. You can tell it's a Christian production because the liberals hate it  

Bill Press continues the atheist liberal mantra that Christianity is a mental illness. Now, I'm not about to go around throwing stones, but there is legitimate psychological documentation to further my opinion of Mr. Press and his cohorts

Nikolas Cruz recorded himself laughing as he plotted to kill at least 20 of his former schoolmates. He said he heard voices in his head and that those "demons" gave him instructions on how to carry out the attack

Page Paterson has been ousted from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his retirement benefits revoked. But are the charges made against him erroneous? This new revelation has me wondering if the SBTS had a sudden case of PCAS (Political Correctness Attack Syndrome)

This is an example of PCAS (Political Correctness Attack Syndrome)

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Spurgeon Thursday - An Evil in the Camp of the Lord

The following message is commonly attributed to Charles Haddon Spurgeon, but it is actually from the Reverend Archibald Brown, a student of Spurgeon, which is probably why it sounds so much like Spurgeon that the attribution is often confused. The pulpit is no place for actors, entertainers, or performers, it is for preaching Christ risen from the dead. Nowhere does the Gospel say "Go ye into all the world and amuse every creature" (Mark 6:15) nor does it say "And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, to put a smile on the faces of the entertained" (Ephesians 4:11-12)

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments!

The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.” No such words, however, are to be found.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

WWUTT Wednesday - Coexist?

Is it just me, or do other people feel the same way as I do in feeling that people who demand that the world "coexists" coexist on their terms, and their terms only? Name one theology that tells its adherents to "coexist" and then tells how to do it? There's only one that does:

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

9 Things You Should Know About Wicca and Modern Witchcraft

9 Things You Should Know About Wicca and Modern Witchcraft

by Joe Carter

A growing number of young women—driven by feminist politics and the #MeToo movement—are being drawn to a new brand of witchcraft, according to a report by NBC News. Here are nine things you should know about Wicca and modern witchcraft.

1. Witchcraft refers to the worldview, religion, and practices associated with using rituals that are believed to harness and focus cosmic or psychic energies to bring about some desired change. Modern witchcraft is the largest and most common subset of neo-paganism, a diverse group of religious movements that claim to be derived from historical pagan religions.

2. Within the witchcraft revival movement, the largest subset is Wicca. The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey estimated that in the United States there were about 600,000 neo-pagans, with about half identifying as Wiccan. Some estimates conclude that in 2017 there were more than 3 million practicing Wiccans.

3. In modern usage, the term “witch” is considered gender-neutral and can apply to either men or women. The term “warlock” is often considered a derogatory term as the original usage of the term meant “oath-breaker.” A group of witches who meet together regularly are known as a “coven.” Some witches believe a coven must have 13 or fewer members, though not less than three.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Random Bits

Mr. Pope makes a mockery of God's word again. Seriously, how can become chief cook and bottle washer of the top religious money making machine in history, claim to be the human embodiment of Christ here on earth, and be completely ignorant of Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-28, or 1 Corinthians 6:9-10?

It looks like Jesus has a part time job selling high end luxury business jets to megachurch pastors - "People like Copeland, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen and others who push this malignant distortion of Christianity prey on the poor and vulnerable, enriching themselves at the expense of the downtrodden."

If you wonder why Jesus castigates a wicked and adulterous generation for looking for a sign, maybe it's because you can make Christianity look stupid, like Charisma Mag does 

Trapped Kachin Christians reach safety in dramatic elephant escape

With an attitude like this, who would want to be in their neighborhood or church?

Judge rules Christian baker does not have to make gay ‘wedding’ cake

God is the creator of reason and expects humans to use it

Is Genesis a myth?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wretched Wednesday - The Royal Wedding Sermon Disaster

I did not watch the royal wedding, in fact as far as I'm concerned the enchantment of anything royal ended in 1776. I do know several people that were agog at the worldwide display of excess by a familial dynasty built on patricide, matricide, mariticideuxoricide, fratricide, filicide, sororicide, and good old fashioned regicide. 242 years ago the "North American Union" rose up against the tyranny of a royalty run amok and gave us a new nation founded on the principles of inherent rights, government by the people, separation of powers, and not having to publicly fund fairy-tale weddings. While I hate royalty, I love England. England gave the world many things: one of the coolest flags in history, the Third and Fourth doctors, the DB-5, fish and chips, the Hitchhikers Guide, and most of all Charles Haddon Spurgeon. In return we sent them the comedic stylings of the drain circling Episcopal Church

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

6 Fitness Tips for Senior Church Members

Several (actually very many) weeks ago Jason Lewis of Strongwell.org asked if he could write a guest column centering on the health of our senior saints. Being a member of a church with quite a few folks with longevity I said "Sure!" and proceeded to allow life to interfere and his article got pushed back as much as my articles did. Here at long last is his article, and being a veteran of various forms of physical therapy I can say the advice for physical fitness for the elderly in this article is perfect. I personally like the advice on walking because I know for a fact that cardiologists set great store in walking

6 Fitness Tips for Senior Church Members

For seniors who are concerned about their physical health, they may not know where to turn for help and support. Fortunately, many seniors who are active in their churches find exactly that from fellow congregation members when they make a commitment to getting fit. From exercise groups to accountability partners, church families are a blessing for seniors who want to improve their physical health.

1. Join Group Exercises

Churches often have large fellowship halls and education wings that they can open for various classes throughout the week. And, many churches across the country are opening their doors for group exercise classes for seniors
who want to enjoy socializing, getting fit, and improving their overall health and balance. Some churches set their exercises to Christian music. Other churches focus on daily devotions to guide yoga classes, stretching exercises, and  meditation.

No matter the type of exercise being offered, seniors find that joining exercise groups at church provides them with a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere that they have difficulty finding at gyms and other fitness centers. Seniors enjoy participating in exercises with their friends from church and are more likely to attend class in their church than elsewhere.

2. Designate a Fitness Buddy

Studies show that people who exercise with a friend and have a fitness buddy stay committed and enjoy their workouts more than those who don’t. Seniors who want to get and stay fit are more successful when they have a support system because fitness buddies provide support, accountability, motivation, and perhaps even healthy competition. The key is for seniors to find a fitness buddy who motivates them and pushes them to keep going.

Churches that promote fitness buddies as a critical component of getting fit also should welcome members and non-members to participate in their group exercises and fitness classes. Seniors will feel more comfortable when they can choose their fitness buddy, and the buddy may be a non-member. And, churches have a better chance of gaining new members when they open their doors to everyone.

3. Start Working for the Church or Another Church Member

If you are a senior who likes to stay active but does not enjoy working out, you should enquire about becoming the housekeeper or groundskeeper for your church or for fellow church members at their homes. People who clean for a living bend, stretch, lift, and move quite a bit; becoming a housekeeper will keep you fit even if you don’t feel like you are working out while cleaning. Groundskeepers also find themselves getting more fit as they complete tasks such as raking leaves, using a push mower, and shoveling a walkway.

4. Invite Fellow Senior Church Members to Go for a Walk

Walking is an ideal way to exercise and get fit regardless of your age or athletic skill level. The more you walk, the more time you spend outside, and the more you will relieve your stress. Walking has been shown to stop bone mass loss in older adults, strengthen muscles, improve circulation, improve sleep, increase mental sharpness, improve balance and stability, and increase your lifespan.

If you don’t like to walk alone, invite your fellow senior church members to start walking with you. You may walk to church on Sundays when the weather cooperates, plan to walk after Sunday services, or meet during the week at a nearby park or large shopping center that welcomes walkers to get fit indoors when the weather does not permit you to walk outside. Seniors who walk in groups tend to walk a little faster and a little further than when they walk alone. If you don’t get enough interest in your walking group, advertise in the church newsletter or bulletin to gain more members.

5. Become a Mentor

To get well and do good at once, consider becoming a mentor to one of the younger members of your church. Many youth and young adults attend church because they want to be closer to God and better themselves, and having a senior member to advise them on both faith- and life-related subjects could be extremely meaningful to both of you. This kind of partnership is also a great way to get in your daily dose of physical activity: ask your mentee to go on a walk with you as you discuss this week’s sermon, or invite them to tend to the church garden with you while you explore ways he or she can work out a personal issue at home. You’ll be so engaged in your conversation and bonding that you won’t even notice you’re exercising.

6. Seek Guidance

Your mental wellness is just as important as your physical wellness. Your faith will provide you with a framework to tackle life’s challenges as you age, but being a church member also offers you great opportunities to seek counsel from others. Whether you suffer from a substance abuse problem or are simply lonely and depressed following the loss of a spouse, your pastor and fellow church members, especially Sunday school class members, will offer support, advice, and a listening ear, when needed. Sometimes simply knowing there’s someone out there who cares about how you’re doing can make you feel a lot better when you’re struggling.

Senior church members have several options when it comes to getting fit. You may want to try joining an exercise group at church, designating a fitness buddy, working for the church or a fellow church member, inviting fellow senior church members to join you for a walk, or becoming a mentor to a younger congregant.

Image via Pixabay by ZOE-Animation-Studio

Monday, May 21, 2018

How To Tell if it’s a Prosperity Gospel Church

How To Tell if it’s a Prosperity Gospel Church
by Tim Challies
The prosperity gospel is a diverse, popular, and worldwide movement that understands faith to be the instrument through which Christians can attain physical health, material riches, and divine favor. There are countless thousands of these churches around the world with various levels of adherence to the key tenets of the wider movement, yet they rarely advertise themselves as prosperity gospel churches. So how can we know if a church is part of this movement? In Kate Bowler’s book Blessed, she provides some helpful guidance.
Look for Keywords. There are certain keywords that may demonstrate an association with the prosperity gospel. The first place to look is in the name of the church since most churches have names that reflect their ethos. Words like “victory,” “abundant,” or “conquerors” provide what may be key information. Beyond the name, look at the language used either in the church’s material or in its services. In different ways these churches will emphasize their core conviction that faith is the instrument through which believers attain their desires. This leads to language like, “releasing your faith,” “speaking your faith,” or “believing God for” things. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spurgeon Thursday - Thank You Charles

So much has been swirling around in my head lately, so much turmoil this year, and the year is not half done. Stepson #1's broken leg, Mom's passing, my health ups and downs, my sister's emotional trauma over mom's passing, my Stepson #2's problems, his wife and children's reaction to those problems, and my poor dear wife who can only stand firm and let the waves of adversity wash over her.

Have you ever had one of those Job days/weeks/months/years? We all have and yeah, it's tough. Sometime Proverbs 3:11-12 makes God's love bittersweet 
11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Sometimes you just want to shout "SIR? Can you please spread the love around a little bit?" Proverbs is a great great book to follow when you're following God, and it doesn't soft pedal anything. Proverbs gives wisdom (not advice; wisdom) on matters pertaining to personal conduct, sexual relations, business, wealth, charity, ambition, discipline, debt, child-rearing, character, alcohol, politics, revenge, and godliness. But sometimes you need God's word explained to you in just a different sort of way, a way that eases your soul like Milk of Magnesia eases the knots in your stomach. Charles Spurgeon had such a gift and here, 126 years from his passing, his words give me joy that God's plan will work out:

Spurgeon, Charles, Delmarva Publication, Inc. (2015). “The Complete Works of Charles Spurgeon, Volume 78”, p.92, Delmarva Publications, Inc.                                                 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Random Bits

Looking At The Numbers: In His wisdom God gave us 10 fingers and once that fact was recognized, His greatest creation's greatest past times quickly became counting things. Blogger and Wordpress gives us bloggers lists of things that have been counted, for us. Things like the fact that last week more people in Russia read my blog than that of folks in the United States (736 to 557 page views) which is very interesting. Is it Christianity or is it English that is becoming more widespread in Russia?

I also learned that over the history of this blog some people have been accessing it using computers with a Unix operating system. That is seriously űber nerd! I can also see that Internet Explorer is still quite a thing, while Opera is hardly a thing at all, (Seriously - try Opera with Duck Duck Go, you'll thank me) and that my #1 most viewed post is still the Cult Of Furtick.

Recently Mr. Furtick's antics made me want to do a full post of on his latest comedy stand-up routine about "Sneaky Jesus" just to see if the pageview count of that entry could beat the pageview count of the Cult of Furtick. But I can't. I just don't have the stomach for that. Furtick starts off dressed in his hungover-just-rolled-off-the-couch best and opens his monologue by insulting the sovereignty of Jesus (or is he insulting the Christians that actually have READ the bible and understand the sovereignty of Jesus?) If you have the moxie to watch his undisciplined screed, ask yourself "How can someone whose coming was foretold for centuries sneak up on anyone?" Keep in mind this was brought to you by Charismamag.org, the folks who brought you the Sneaky Squid Spirit.  remember John 18:22. Most of all, keep the goats ensnared in the Cult of Furtick in your prayers that they get the message from the Holy Spirit that it's not about them, it's not about Mr. Furtick, and it's not about Mr. Furtick's money, it's about the sovereignty of Jesus, because they are not getting that message from Mr. Furtick.

Dr. John MacArthur elucidates Apostle Paul’s “characteristics of false teachers and the very works that mark them” in Galatians 5:7-12.

Speaking about Mr. Furtick and his money, it's not just real Christians that want him to tone it down, his neighbors want his satellite church to dial it back a notch also.

Hillsong Theo-eroticism

I've steered clear of the Michael Brown - NAR uproar because it seems pretty divisive to me, even though the NAR is a theological ISIS in a sheep suit. But, as Holly Pivic points out, Michael Brown is the NAR's own Baghdad Bob

Yet another "Christian" pastor has been accused of sexual misconductWith the sexual antics going on in the Roman church for the past decades (and more) the world's eye is on Christianity as a whole. Pastoral search committees and church boards need to concentrate on 1 Timothy 3:2-3 and Titus 3:7-9 because the Pastor is the the face of the church that the whole world looks at.

Mr. Pope calls for a ban on all weapons. Since he didn't specify what kind of weapons he wants banned he clearly must be talking about all weapons: guns, artillery, bombs, missiles, rockets  bows and arrows, cutlery of all forms, motorized vehicles, stones, sticks, and firm language. Unfortunately for Catholics who believe that God is not a god of confusion, Mr. Pope doesn't bother to read his own rules

Monday, April 30, 2018

God Is Not Like “Whatever, Dude”

This is probably one of the best things I've ever read concerning the sin of Reckless Worship. If you don't know what reckless worship is, then you haven't been paying attention. God is not our buddy The Great Dudemeister, Jesus is not a romantic interest in a song that with a few words changed can be published in the secular world as a "date song", and the Holy Spirit is not an out of focus Asian woman who is a spiritual Magic 8 Ball. 

I know some wonderful people in the church who need to read and heed, not because I fear for their Salvation (that's not my job) but because they don't fear for theirs. And if you don't want to read this because it's a woman teaching, you can suck it up and give it a go, or you can consider it's my instructions if that will help. It's that good, and it's that important, and it needs to be shared.

By Michelle Lesley

Social media is a strange universe to live in. There’s a lot of stupidity, but there’s also a lot that can be learned from various trending issues.

Such was the case recently when Christian social media was up in arms (and rightly so) about Cory Asbury’s worship song Reckless Love, and whether or not churches should use it in their worship services. Discussion centered around the use of the word “reckless” to describe God’s love for us and whether or not that was a semantically and theologically appropriate adjective. “Relentless” was suggested as an alternative lyric. “Reckless” was defended as an appropriate lyric. And then Cory Asbury’s explanation of the song came to light and did further injury to his doctrinal cause.

It was all a very interesting and helpful discussion, but, to some degree, it was a rearranging of deck chairs on the Titanic.

‘Cause we’ve hit the ice berg, folks. And the ship is taking on water.

Focusing on the word “reckless” missed the point – at least the big picture point. You see, Reckless Love was produced by Bethel Music. And Cory Asbury is a “worship leader, songwriter and pastor” with the Bethel Music Collective. Prior to joining Bethel, he spent eight years as a worship leader with the International House of Prayer (IHOP).

Why is this important? Because Bethel “Church” in Redding, California, and IHOP are, functionally, ground zero for the New Apostolic Reformation heresy. Heresy. Not, “They just have a more expressive, contemporary style of worship,”. Not, “It’s a secondary theological issue we can agree to disagree on.” Heresy. Denial of the deity of Christ. Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Demonstrably false prophecy that the head of IHOP, Mike Bickle, has publicly rejoiced in (He estimates that 80% of IHOP’s “prophecies” are false.) And that’s just the tip of our metaphorical ice berg when it comes to the NAR.

IHOP and Bethel are, by biblical definition, not Christian organizations and certainly not Christian churches. They are pagan centers of idol worship just as much as the Old Testament temples of Baal were. The only difference is that, instead of being creative and coming up with their own name for their god, they’ve stolen the name Jesus and blasphemously baptized their idol with that moniker.

The point in this whole debate is not the word “reckless”. The point is that Christian churches should not have anything whatsoever to do with idol worshiping pagans as they approach God in worship. Yet Sunday after Sunday churches use Bethel music, Jesus Culture music, Hillsong music, and the like, in their worship of God.

And it’s not just that churches are using music from the temples of Baal in their worship services. We have women who usurp the teaching and leadership roles in the church that God has reserved for men – many even going so far as to preach to men and/or hold the position of “pastor”. We have men setting themselves up as pastors who do not meet the Bible’s qualifications. We have churches that let anyone – Believer or not – participate in the Lord’s Supper. We have pastors who welcome false teachers and their materials into their churches with open arms and castigate anyone who dares point out the false doctrine being taught. We have preachers who have forsaken God’s mandate to preach the Word and use the sermon time to talk about themselves, deliver self-help tips, or perform a stand up comedy routine.

And everybody seems to think God’s up there in Heaven going, “Cool! Whatever y’all want to do in the name of worship is just fine and dandy with Me. You do you.”

Well, He’s not.

God demands – and has every right to do so – that He be approached properly. In reverence. In awe. In holy fear. With clean hands and a pure heart.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Psalm 24:3-6
Let’s take a stroll through Scripture and be taught by those who learned that lesson the hard way…

Most of the time, when we read the story of Cain and Abel, we focus on the fact that Cain killed his righteous brother. But we tend to gloss over the event that precipitated the murder. Cain and Abel both brought offerings to the Lord. God accepted Abel’s offering but rejected Cain’s.

Scripture doesn’t tell us why God found Cain’s offering unacceptable. The Levitical laws delineating offerings and sacrifices hadn’t yet been given, and even if they had, grain offerings and other offerings of vegetation were perfectly appropriate if offered at the right time and for the right reason. Was it because Cain had a wrong attitude or motive when he gave his offering? Or maybe because he offered God leftover produce instead of his firstfruits? We don’t know. What we do know is that God had a standard of how He was to be worshiped, Cain violated it, and God expressed His displeasure.

It’s shortly after the Exodus. The Israelites have seen God perform ten – count them – ten plagues on Pharaoh for his idolatry and failure to bow the knee to God’s command to let Israel go. They saw God destroy the entire Egyptian army in the Red Sea. And now, their fearless leader, Moses, has trekked up Mount Sinai and is late getting back. The people are worried and restless.

Does Aaron lead them to pray? Trust God? Be patient? Nope. He fashions an idol for them – a golden calf. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he wasn’t even creative enough to come up with his own name for this idol. He stole God’s character and work and blasphemously baptized the idol with that moniker. He led the people to worship the false god as though it were the true God. (Does that ring any bells?)

“These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings.

Surely God gave them a pass, right? I mean, Moses broke the tablets of the Ten Commandments when he came down from the mountain before they even had a chance to read the first and second Commandments that prohibited what they were doing.

Uh uh. God told Moses to get out of the way so He could fire bomb Israel off the face of the Earth and start over with him. It was only after Moses pleaded with God to stay His hand that God relented and allowed for the lesser punishment of having the Levites kill 3,000 of them with the sword and sent a plague on the rest of them.

Doesn’t exactly sound like an “anything goes in worship” kind of God, does He?

Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace.

Are you seeing a pattern here? God is so not OK with people approaching Him irreverently, via idol worship, or in any other way He deems inappropriate that He’s willing to kill them.

God sends Saul and his army on a mission to defeat the Amalekites. His instructions are simple: completely destroy everything. “Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”

But Saul’s a smart guy, see? He knows better. He goes in and destroys all the worthless stuff, but saves the good stuff for himself. It’ll be OK with God, he reasons, because he’s going to take some of the really nice sheep and make a big, showy sacrifice. Like a rich man pitching pennies to an urchin shoeshine boy.

And when Samuel confronts Saul about his rebellion, “Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?”, Saul has the temerity to say, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord.” Because he was going to perform an act of worship. And the fact that he was doing it his way instead of God’s way didn’t matter. In Saul’s mind, it was the outward act that counted and God should have accepted it.

God didn’t see it that way:
And Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king.”

(1 Samuel 15:22-23)
God is not pleased with worship offered by hands dirtied with sin and rebellion. Saul paid the price: his throne and God’s favor.

Uzziah started off well as king of Judah. He listened to the counsel of Zechariah, obeyed God, and prospered. But after a while, prosperity can make you proud, and that’s just what happened to Uzziah.

He became so proud, in fact, that he took it upon himself to enter the sanctuary of the temple and offer incense to God on the altar. That was a position of leadership restricted to the priests. Uzziah had never been installed as a priest because he wasn’t biblically qualified to hold the office of priest, much like many who take on the role of pastor today.

Bravely, Azariah and eighty of his fellow priests stood up to the presumptuous king – at the risk of their lives, but in defense of proper worship as commanded in God’s Word – rebuked Uzziah, and kicked him out of the temple. “You have done wrong,” they said, “and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.”

Well! Uzziah was hot with anger. How dare these mere priests stop him – the king whom God had blessed and prospered – from worshiping God any way he wanted to!

Guess who God sided with? The priests who were upholding His Word and His standard of worship. God struck Uzziah with leprosy for the remainder of his life, which exiled him from the palace and a royal burial, and effectively ended his reign.

Hypocrites! Blind guides! Fools! Blind men! Greedy! Self-indulgent! Whitewashed tombs! Lawless! Serpents! Brood of vipers! Murderers!

How would you like to be dressed down like that by Jesus? You’re teaching the Scriptures. You’re tithing to the nth degree. You’re traveling over land and sea to proselytize. You’re behaving with outward righteousness. You’re memorializing the prophets. As far as you can tell, you’re doing pretty well with this holiness thing.

And here comes the Messiah – the One you’re (supposedly) doing all of this for – and He shames you. Publicly. He exposes your blackness of heart to the commoners you want looking up to you. All because God’s way is for you to worship Him in spirit and in truth, but you insist on doing it your way- for all your deeds to be seen by others, and because you love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.

You’re approaching God in arrogance and selfishness, and He will have none of it. You won’t die to self, so He – if only temporarily – kills your pride.

You’ve probably never seen a Lord’s Supper as messed up as the way the Corinthian church was doing it. Some people were going without while others were getting drunk. The “important” people got to go first while the poor and lower class went to the back of the line. People were using the Lord’s Table as an opportunity for selfishness rather than putting self aside and focusing on the fact that the purpose of this meal was to proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.

That wasn’t acceptable to God. He didn’t want the church observing the Lord’s Supper just any old way. It was dishonoring to Christ and shameful to His church.

So God declared that “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord…For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.”

“But all of that was back in Bible times!” you might protest. “God isn’t killing anybody these days for worshiping Him improperly. In fact, some of the worst violators of God’s Word are rich ‘Christian’ celebrities!”

That’s right, they are. Exactly like God said they would be: “teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.” And woe betide them when they stand before Christ in judgment. Because judgment is coming for them:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
God is high and He is holy, and so are His standards for those who approach Him. He expects His people to obey His Word about how He is to be worshiped.

“I, the Lord, do not change,” God says in the Old Testament. The New Testament tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God hasn’t mellowed out or calmed down or gotten more tolerant. The God who poured out His wrath on those who blasphemed Him with unbiblical worship in the Old Testament is the same God we worship this side of the cross. Nothing escapes His notice. He doesn’t let sin slide. Whether in this life, or the next, or both, there will be a reckoning for unbiblical worship.

When it comes to worship, God is not a “whatever” kind of God.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Random Bits

What has happened to Christian blogging? I know my content has slowed down as my health has diminished and my workload has increased here in the Salt Mine, and life has been crazy around the house with our grandchildren getting faster and more energetic while their grandparents get slower and more enamored with naps. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping sees underground churches as a “severe national security threat,”

Author of The Shack Paul Young has stated forthrightly not only his universalism, but also many other unbiblical doctrines

Church of Christ Pastor's grandson charged with stealing ten$ of thousand$ from the offering plate. Where are the Elders and Deacons?

The Bill Hybels 30 years of "improprieties" is not going to go away any time soon, or in any way quietly. (Extra credit - look at the list of Willow Creek elders and tell me what you see)

Another Megachurch pastor has sex abuse charges leveled against him

A new Ten Commandments memorial was installed at the Arkansas capitol building to replace the display destroyed by a mentally ill man last year
- and of course -
The Satanic Temple plans to sue the state of Arkansas because of that monument

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Spurgeon Thursday - Infant Salvation

England used to be the centerpiece of civilization, yeah it had its problems, but compared to the rest of the world they rocked. And once upon a time "Old Blighty" was the epicenter of evangelism. Those days are over, and the way to tell is how well their socialist system cares for those that need care the most, like Alfie Evans.
'Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well' (2 Kings 4.26). 
The Shunammite woman was first asked by Gehazi, whether it was well with herself. She was mourning over a lost child, and yet she said, 'It is well.' She felt that the trial would surely be blessed.
Then Gehazi asked, 'Is it well with thy husband?' He was old and stricken in years, and was ripening for death, yet she said, 'Yes, it is well.' Then came the question about her child, which was dead at home, 'Is it well with the child?' Surely this enquiry would renew her grief. Yet she said, 'It is well,' perhaps so answering because she had faith that soon her child would be restored to her, or rather because she was persuaded that whatever might have become of its spirit, it was safe in the keeping of God, happy beneath the shadow of his wings. Therefore, not fearing that it was lost, and having no suspicion whatever that it was cast away from the place of bliss, she said, 'Yes, the child is dead, but it is well.'

Let every mother and father know assuredly that it is well with the child, if God has taken it away from you in its infant days. You never heard its declaration of faith; it was not capable of such a thing. It was not baptised into the Lord Jesus Christ. It was not capable of giving that ‘answer of a good conscience towards God'; nevertheless, you may rest assured that it is well with the child, well in a higher and a better sense than it is well with yourselves. The child is ‘well’ without limitation, without exception, infinitely and eternally.

From The Sword & Trowel 2007, issue 2 by C. H. Spurgeon

Friday, April 20, 2018

Random Bits

'I started to pray for the lost souls there who are dying without knowing Jesus Christ. I prayed to the Lord saying: "I want to be a salt and light in this place for these poor souls".' - A North Korean prisoner's prayer as she faced a life of torture and death in a North Korean concentration camp. No place on earth abuses their people like this,  the UN released a 372 page report on the horrific crimes against humanity that is North Korea. 

While it's neighbor to the south truly is The Land Of The Morning Calm (mornings in South Korea are beautiful), the land to the north is unspeakable in it's evil. Pray for those trapped in Kim Jung Un's personal playground of death and torture, and pray for those that are reaching out and bringing the word of love and salvation to East Asia 

Ministers! You need to read this - atheists want to do away with the housing allowances for pastors

North Korea's neighbor to the north, China is also oppressive to Christians

Hindus in India are stepping up their attacks on Christians

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wretched Wednesday - Arguing With The Unsaved

It was one week ago today that I posted a Wretched Radio video discussing the biblical role of women in the church, in particular the female elders. Just the concept of a female elder is unbiblical, because it's clearly stated in Titus 1:6 that the first (of several) qualifications of Eldership is - 
namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.
That's it. No argument. An Elder is a man and a husband that is raising (or has raised) children. Single men and women need not apply, but thank you, there's literally hundreds of other ways you can glorify God in this church, have you thought of chairing the Food Bank committee? Working with us at the homeless shelter? Help out at the nursing home? Why do we do this?? 

Reason #1 - This Is What The Bible Says.
Reason #2 - When in doubt, refer to Reason #1

That's the price of being a Christian - we do what our Lord and Master tell us to do. Last weeks post got in the of some folks. I really doubt they were followers of this blog, I am assuming that they heard of my post through the grapevine or from a Google search (seriously? Google linked to a Christian blog? *gasp!* Hey, miracles happen).

Monday, April 16, 2018

Women in Leadership = Slavery???

A very brand new reader of this blog recently asked: 
Women in leadership and slavery are very similar subjects. If we can on the basis of two scriptures forbid women from assuming leadership roles, can we on the basis of Paul REGULATE slavery?
The statement that "women in leadership and slavery are similar subjects" is not only false but it is quite misleading. There is absolutely no sane similarity between a slave living his/her life away in drudgery, and a woman fulfilling the duties of mayor of a city, a position that she was elected to do. The entire thing is illogical.

Is this writer is trying to compare carrots and cows because both are found in a field? His comparison of them tells me that since they were both found in the bible and they are both in epistles from Paul they must be inexorably tied to each other. I write a lot about things I find in the bible, but in other venues I write about railroad history, does that rock solid connection mean that railroad history can be found in the bible?

Paul's letters to Timothy spoke of not putting women in a position of teaching men are just one part of his instructions on how a congregation is to conduct itself. Not how society is governed but how the body of Christ worships their savior. There is nothing that says or implies "This is how the secular world must operate in their mundane affairs." It is clear this person was reading 1 Timothy 2:12, taken out of context, because that's the only way one can come up with a meaning that they chose to assign to it. 

Clearly some people don't like Paul's admonishment that women are not to teach men when in worship. The word Paul used that we translate to "man" is "anēr" (ἀνήρ) which can mean man, men, husband, male fiance, group of men, or even a group of people which includes men and women.  (Kind of like the word "man" is used to day. Stunning.) Since Paul is speaking of group worship I'm going to assume that he means all of these definitions of ἀνήρ, and because I am not God's editor (I'm his worshiper) I will use all those definitions too because this entire chapter is instructions for a congregation to conduct themselves. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Random Bits

I remember many people asking that if it were ok for students to walk out of school to protest gun violence would it be ok for students to walk out of school to protest abortion? Students at Rocklin High School in Northern California asked their administration just that, and guess what the administration said. Go on, guess!

I never saw this one coming

New California bill threatens those who believe homosexuality is a sin with legal repercussions (if you didn't see this coming you haven't been paying attention)

THE WORLD IS GOING TO END! I am going to have to add this to the list.

Is this the end of Heavenly Tourism? gosh I hope so

False teacher extraordinaire Bill Hybel's has stepped down from his Pulpit Of Heresy for reasons which are not revealed

Is God going to kill me for my remarks about Bill Hybel being a false teacher? Francis Chan says yes.

What part of the word "Chaplin" don't you understand?