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.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cutting Up The Word of God

Not long ago I stumbled across an article that mentioned dividing the word of God. It talked about knowing what part of the bible was applicable to you. Do we divide the word whenever we emphasize one scripture over another? If so, what do we do with the rest? 

However this wasn't what I was looking for, so I pressed on looking for something else, but the concept hung with me and drew me back. But when I did go back looking for dividing scripture up I couldn't find that quote in the bible, which was because I read the NASB or the NIV, neither of which tells us to divide the word of God. That quote is found in the KJV in 2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In the NASB 2 Timothy 2:15 is different
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Knowing which parts of the bible that are most applicable to you is important, otherwise we wouldn't know if we were under the Edenic Covenant, the Adamic Covenant, the Noahic Covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, the Palestinian Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, the New Covenant, or any combination of the Covenants. But should we divide the scripture? The same epistle tells us 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On the Second Day of Christmas...

... my true love gave to me

Two Turtle Doves

The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

Friday, December 25, 2015

And That Is What Christmas Is All About

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

On the First Day of Christmas...

my true love gave to me...

A Partridge in a Pear Tree
The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem:
"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Another Christmas Song Born in the Sorrow of War

Yesterday I wrote about "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day" and how sprouted from the pain and sorrow of the American Civil War. I recently found that another Christmas song has its origins in the horrors of war. 

White Christmas stands apart from most all other Christmas songs in several ways: it's not upbeat and joyful, in fact it's melancholy and sad. There's no fanciful characters like Santa Claus or elves or reindeer, and it's not religious in any way.

White Christmas was first heard on the radio on Christmas Day, 1941 sung by Bing Crosby, on his NBC radio show The Kraft Music Hall. Everyone loves the idea of a White Christmas, but an actual white Christmas is a rare thing even in my hometown of Buffalo NY (Really! It's normally cold and rainy in the first few weeks of winter up there). But the concept of a Christmas morning covered with new fallen snow is a warm and comforting thought - like a Thomas Kinkade painting it's an idealized vision that brings smiles even to snowbirds in Miami.

Eighteen days before that broadcast aired the United States was attacked and suddenly found itself involved in a world conflict on multiple fronts. our future was in turmoil and an idealized reminiscence of Christmas was in order. When Bing Crosby toured overseas to perform for the troops, White Christmas was always the most requested song, but Crosby didn't want to sing it for them. Crosby said in an interview:
I hesitated about doing it because invariably it caused such a nostalgic yearning among the men, that it made them sad... Heaven knows, I didn’t come that far to make them sad. For this reason, several times I tried to cut it out of the show, but these guys just hollered for it.
After 74 years White Christmas is still the best selling Christmas song of all time, which is interesting because the author, Irving Berlin, didn't celebrate Christmas. He was a Jewish immigrant from Russia. Christmas was a very sad and solemn day for him.  While many American families opened gifts around the Christmas tree, Berlin had his own a tradition. Every year he visited the grave of his son who died on Christmas Day, 1928, at only three weeks old.

For Irving Berlin - who also wrote Alexander’s Ragtime Band and God Bless America - White Christmas was an unexpected hit. It was a simple song: just 54 words and 67 notes. It was written for a musical revue about the holidays that eventually became the movie “Holiday Inn.” Berlin thought a different song from that film would become popular. He had expected 'Be Careful It’s My Heart' written for Valentine’s Day  to become the most popular, and for a while it was but in 1942 Bing Crosby released White Christmas as a record and Be Careful It's My Heart was nearly forgotten. But “White Christmas” was the song that won Berlin an Academy Award.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play...
I love that sweet old carol, we sang it in church on this past Sunday, and we sang it from the blue hymnal (the one that says KJV on the spine, not sure why though, most of those hymns come long after King James). We sang all 5 verses, something I've never heard before, usually only 3 or 4 are sang. this time I hit
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
    "For hate is strong,
    And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Hate is strong and mocks the song... wait, what? I had never heard that before. Then the last verse got my attention:
    The Wrong shall fail,
    The Right prevail, 
That sounded hauntingly familiar... it reminded me of a Civil war type of statement. Once home I started to look through the different versions I've heard before and many ignore these verses. I found it in some contemporary versions even though I completely ignore the Casting Crowns version (I don't like their arrangements, they sound to me like a Hootie and the Blowfish rip-off)

I did the Berean thing and started to research, and I was fairly surprised to learn that the words were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and that there's a total of seven verses. Several sources claim that he wrote his poem "Christmas Bells" in memory of his wife who died previously, but that's only part of the story. His wife had died two years previously of a tragic fire. Longfellow was devastated but it would only get worse for the greatest American poet. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Emergent Monday - Getting Your Ears Tickled by Steven Furtick

Exegesis: the Bible says anything I want it to
I'm not totally sure why, but Steven Furtick keeps popping up in my life, and I've found that when someone or something starts popping up, the Holy Spirit us sending me hints that He wants me to pay attention. Since He gifted me with the ability to observe and write about my observations, that's what I do.

This is now what I call part 3 of the Furtick Cult Trilogy. You don't have to read the other parts, but if you want to read part 1 and/or part 2 go ahead and catch up. We'll wait... 

Welcome back. Recently I've had a small cadre of Furtick Followers remind me that the important part of Steven Furtick is his message. One Furtick Follower informed me that they had studied the bible for a quarter of a century and Steven's message is dead on and the best message they've ever heard. Forget the part about his anger and his badmouthing Christians and his putting down doctrine and his insulting Christians that want to learn the word of God, it's the message that I should be concentrating on.

To be honest I have listened to his message, and first I need to point out that Steven Furtick does not do sermons, he does homilies and calls them sermons. A homily is a religious discourse that is intended primarily for spiritual edification rather than doctrinal instruction. In other words, a homily is a monolog that is religious in nature designed to make you feel something, where as a sermon is a discussion on what God actually said and how to apply it. If you listen to Furtick's messages you will come out feeling something, but you will come out knowing less about the word of God than when you went in.

Steven's homilies are passionate and moving and light and fluffy. Sometimes he gets riled up when he wants to make a point, and often that point is way off the mark which makes me wonder if the whole getting riled up thing is to distract the audience, because to the undiscerning he sounds good. One fine example is his homily "The Great Emoti Con" - according to his website this is one of his most popular messages.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
Here we are, a week from Christmas and I've just started my Christmas shopping. I know what you're thinking - "Kind of an early start for you this year" and that's true. I feel good that I didn't wait till the last minute as usual this year.

Maybe the motivator was the snow. Being from Buffalo and North Dakota I find that snow is a very festive prevalent part of the Christmas season to the point where I have to remind myself that there was no snow in Bethlehem. We got a lot of snow in the Denver area this week and that caught the area by surprise. Contrary to popular belief, Denver does not get much snow, in fact the winters here are pretty easy (to me they're practically tropical) so when a foot fell on the city  Tuesday our economic refugees from far flung foreign lands (Texas and southern California) were caught completely unprepared.

They discovered some startling facts about snow - first of all it doesn't come in a paper cone and covered with fruit flavored syrup. Secondly they discovered that those videos of people struggling to drive in heavy snow on YouTube are not gag reels, they're real world reels. Hint to someone who is facing driving in the snow for the first time: If you think they best way to commute to work is to drive at 20 mph in the center lane of the interstate with your four way flashers on, you're wrong. For you the best way to get where you're going is to get out and walk.

The Top Religion Stories of 2015. I have to admit there's a few in here I heard nothing about.

Pray for Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian citizen imprisoned in North Korea. He's been sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor for the crime of preaching the Gospel

Not being Jewish I don't understand their divorce customs at all.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tough Blessings

It is pretty rare that I talk about what is going on in my personal life in the blog. These good times are over for my readers, at least for today.

About a year ago life slowed down for me a lot. Not long ago I was walking 2 miles a day on my half hour lunch break and after work I was riding my bike for miles. Weekends were spent in the mountains hiking. I knew something was wrong when I carried a server (not heavy at all) into a storage room and couldn't recover my breath. I felt like I had just ran for miles, I was out of breath and panting heavily and it was like the deep inhalations were not doing anything. Then just after Thanksgiving 2014 I began having coughing fits and running out of breath just walking across the room. My bride asked me if I wanted to go to the emergency room and completely out of character I said "Yes"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas is Even More Awesome When We Understand The Text

WWUTT.com - or When We Understand The Text is a wonderful online video ministry that desires to promote sound Bible teaching while also exposing many of the myths and false ideas that have arisen. WWUTT brings often overlooked bits and pieces of biblical truth to light, clarifying difficult concepts in 90 seconds. 

After observing a lot of bad teaching videos and misquoted Bible verses on Facebook and Twitter, Pastor Gabriel Hughes of the First Southern Baptist Church of Junction City was encouraged by others from his church who were equally frustrated to introduce something new. Through trial and error, playing with a few different ideas, eventually When We Understand the Text was born.

Their 90+ videos all available on their Youtube Channel run the gamut from IHOP, Modern Worship, and cults to the Holy Trinity, Bacon, and Salvation, each done with a myriad of biblical references and love. A 90 second video can take me up to 30 minutes to view as I love to look up the verses they cite and I'm kinda slow at that sometimes as those verses lead me off to other verses.

Here's their current collection of Christmas related videos that explain some very interesting facts, clarify biblical passages, and really make the wonder of God's gift to all mankind even more wonderful. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Emergent Monday: Emergent Polytheism

by Chris Rosebrough

Are postmodern emergents beginning to embrace polytheism? One of the newer voices in Emergent Church circles is George Elerick. George is a prolific blogger, writer, poet and contributor to the Huffington Post. I am not sure where George studied theology but one thing is certain, he doesn’t know what he’s doing and he should stop writing on the topic of religion before he hurts himself and others.

A perfect example of George’s mishandling of the Bible and the Hebrew language can be found in his May 31st, 2010 blog post entitled “the jesus-daddy: another look at the word abba”. In this post George, like and untrained swordsman tries to wield the Word of God in order to see what happens when he begins playing around with the meanings of different Hebrew words in an attempt to discover postmodern “spiritual insights”. The conclusions drawn by George’s mishandling of the Hebrew language are truly sad and should cause us to pause and pray for George and those listening to him because he is twisting God’s word to his own destruction (2Pet. 3:16).

Below is a prime example of George’s mishandling of God’s Word and the Hebrew language. Said Elerick regarding the Hebrew word Ehad [sic],

Friday, December 11, 2015

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
It's been an interesting week this week, now more than ever my #1 source of peace and comfort is reading the Bible. And I'm currently reading Revelation, which probably says a lot about how this week is going. I WANT to write about Christmas - I love Christmas, it's God's promise come to life, the start of a ministry that has touched the world. And on the secular level it's the time I can let my inner magpie free rein and decorate with bright shiny things and not get yelled at. However the Holy Spirit had other plans for me  and threw Acts 20:29-30 in my face so that's what I've been working with.

Outside of false teachers the most interesting thing this week was how Donald Trump helped out the liberal left.

When Donald Trump announced his plan to put a moratorium on Muslim immigration the left wing went crazy. Ignore the fact that what he proposed is perfectly legal, the left wing isn't about facts or reality, they're all about feelings. And they felt they need to ignore the fact that Jimmy Carter actually did use that law to ban Iranians from entering the US. (And let's just not talk about FDR)  Donald's announcement meant that the left was able to ignore the fact that Muslim extremists were now committing mass murder on American soil due to the incompetence of the Obama administration. They were freed to vent their feelings, to weep and gnash their teeth, to hurl insults at the top of their lungs and exercise their brutal hypocrisy on someone whose comb-over doesn't meet their standards. What really cracked me up is that during the blood frenzy of calling Donald Trump names that they clearly don't understand, they failed to notice that before Trump joined the race he was just as liberal as Hillary. However the funniest part was when the Obama administration claimed that this disqualifies Trump from being president. Now THAT'S FUNNY!!!! If any administration knows what action would disqualify a person from being president, it would be the Obama administration!

Robert Dear, the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood gunman moved to Colorado for the marijuana. Color me unsurprised.

NEVER take a liberal Christian to the zoo

Jesus: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Mr. Pope: That's just crazy talk.

Homosexuals in North Carolina continue to fight to take away your freedom of religion.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Do Not Bash the Bride!

Bride of Christ equipped with the Sword of the Spirit
One of my most read blog entries is about Steven Furtick. I'm not sure why, his style of preaching is abrasive, he disdains doctrine and he loves to insult and berate the saints who worship biblically rather than follow his method of evangelizing those that shouldn't need evangelization.

When I researched the article I originally thought I was researching something special, instead I found I was researching a cult. And, as I'm sure Glenn Chatfield can attest, when you expose a cult you open yourself up to some... interesting... responses. Luckily I received few responses containing foul language which I immediately deleted  for the reasons outlined in James 1:26. 

However a recent response implored me not to "Bash" Mr. Furtick. 

There's no "bashing" of Mr. Furtick going on here, unless you consider reporting on what he says and what he does "Bashing". My main concern with Mr. Furtick is that his idea of the church and God's idea are two different things. Why on earth would a supposed man of God publicly tell a Christian "you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism"?

What Mr. Furtick said here is that if you don't agree with him then you're not a Christian. I say this because because the church is not a building with a preacher at one end connected to the audience at the other end via a collection basket. The Church is the congregation, the people, those called out by the Holy Spirit to love Christ. All of the Believers. And this is something that Mr. Furtick knows and I'm sure he didn't mean to tell his listeners to leave the body of Christ, but that is what came out of his mouth.

Then again maybe that's exactly what he meant. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

False Teacher Of the Year 2015

As the snow falls and the days grow shorter, it's time to recognize those special false teachers that help make the days grow darker spiritually. This year's award is coming out much later than usual, but that's because there's been so much competition for the prestigious Golden Goat award. Our first winner was back in 2013 was John Shore, leader of the Not All There Like That "Christians" who worship Rob Bell and Dan Savage over the God of Israel. Last years winner was Steven McSwain is a self-professed "Christian Atheist", a title that he oddly bears with pride. These two fellows have worked tirelessly to justify their unbelief in such a manner that the undiscerning thinks that they're being fed the Word of God, but instead are being lead through the wide gate to destruction. And that's what being a Golden Goat recipient is all about.

If the nominating committee were to hand out the prized Golden Goat award based solely on atheism in the pulpit we probably couldn't stamp out the gold foil embossed false idols fast enough to keep up with demand. For example Gretta Vosper would be presented with one every time she addresses the congregation in Canada's own West Hill United Church of Self. Or closer to home John Schuck, a man who earns the title of Psalm 14 Fool, instructs the lost to make up their own bible. He would have to add a whole new wing to the Southminster Presbyterian Goat Pen to store his Golden Goats if mere atheism were the sole qualifier.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
It's been a long sad week since our last collection of random bits. A drug strung misanthrope whose only brush with God is to fall under the "Once saved always saved so I can do anything I want" false teaching shot up a planned parenthood abortion mill in Colorado Springs. Muslims with ties to radical Islamic organizations including ISIS slaughter the very people that threw them a baby shower week previously and immediately the atheist press goes on a rampage blaming Christians for provoking the attack. This is like blaming the oncologist for cancer.

A CNN "reporter" tried to blame the Islamic terrorism on postpartum depression, meanwhile our resident in the White House still can't bring himself to say the words "Radical Islamic Violence". I personally have no problem in saying the words "any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from calculated malevolence." However we Christians know that what is going on in the world is going to happen come post partum depression, global warming or accurately used words. We also know things are going to get worse, and we had better be ready to take the blame for everything from Satanically inspired Islamic terrorism to the 2015 Cleveland Browns. Why? not because they hate us (which they do, vehemently), they don't even know us. They know nothing about what we believe, and even less about who we worship. They hate us because we are not part of their sick sin twisted world. They hate us because we reject their world and try to talk them out of it into the light. But most of all they hate us because they hate Jesus, and they don't even know why they hate Him. (John 15:18-25)

Brad Pitt is an atheist because sin is fun and not sinning isn't fun.

This is our mission field - The New York Daily Fishwrapper uses the heartbreaking tragedy in San Bernardino to insult God, and advance their atheist agenda. While you're praying for the victims of the Muslim slaughter, pray for the staff of the New York Daily News and their poor readers

The Colorado Springs shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, was not a Christian, not a Republican, not a man, and definitely not in touch with God.

Upset that Robert Lewis Dear wasn't a pro-life Christian, pro-slaughter choice advocates decided to blame pro-life Christians anyhow.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Real History of the Crusades

The Real History of the Crusades
by Thomas Madden - April 1, 2002
Originally Published in Crisis Magazine (April 2002)
Note: I originally stumbled on this article not long after it was published, and it was published in response to the post 9/11 "We had it coming" hysteria that was sweeping the liberal intelligentsia and threatening to pollute rational thought. Later, as faux-christian Barack Hussein Obama took the opportunity of a National Prayer Breakfast to tell real Christians to get off their "high horses" because Christian involvement with the crusades 1,000 years ago means it's ok today for Muslims to commit beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, and roasting humans alive for their entertainment, I remembered this article.
Now, with the second Muslim invasion of Europe underway and no Charles Martel stepping up to defend Christendom it's time to review what really happened during the Crusades. Yes, there are several scholarly looking articles on the web written by Muslims defaming Dr. Madden's work but they are clearly a work of Al-taqiyya. Thanks to Alec Satin for reminding me of the importance of relating true history of our Christian past so that we may clearly know how we got where we are today.
Many historians had been trying for some time to set the record straight on the Crusades – misconceptions are all too common. These historians are not revisionists, but mainstream scholars offering the fruit of several decades of very careful, very serious scholarship. For them, current interest is a "teaching moment," an opportunity to explain the Crusades while people are actually listening. It won't last long, so here goes. With the possible exception of Umberto Eco, medieval scholars are not used to getting much media attention. We tend to be a quiet lot (except during the annual bacchanalia we call the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, of all places), poring over musty chronicles and writing dull yet meticulous studies that few will read. Imagine, then, my surprise when within days of the September 11 attacks, the Middle Ages suddenly became relevant.

As a Crusade historian, I found the tranquil solitude of the ivory tower shattered by journalists, editors, and talk-show hosts on tight deadlines eager to get the real scoop. What were the Crusades?, they asked. When were they? Just how insensitive was President George W. Bush for using the word "crusade" in his remarks? With a few of my callers I had the distinct impression that they already knew the answers to their questions, or at least thought they did. What they really wanted was an expert to say it all back to them. For example, I was frequently asked to comment on the fact that the Islamic world has a just grievance against the West. Doesn't the present violence, they persisted, have its roots in the Crusades' brutal and unprovoked attacks against a sophisticated and tolerant Muslim world? In other words, aren't the Crusades really to blame?