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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
I hope you all are enjoying a quiet holiday season. My work was been frantically hectic until somewhere around the 21st of December when everything went quiet. Not a feature was stirring, not even my computer mouse. The Christmas Eve candle light service at the First Congregational Church of the Bereans had some hitches - a lot of hitches as a matter of fact. Our church secretary had a family emergency so she wasn't able to get the programs printed up for the service, or the bulletin for the Christmas morning service together. Our church pianist (and probably the best I've ever heard) also had a family emergency and had to be on the east coast. Our backup musicians all had prior commitments as did the sound-board guru.

So what did we do? Simple - the sanctuary was lit by only two candles, Pastor Paratus prepared a spoken word service and all singing was acapella, Anything that needed to be read (like the words to the carols) were on a very simple PowerPoint that didn't take away from the two simple candles. It was agreed that it was the nicest, most meaningful Christmas Eve ceremony we ever held.

Christmas morning service was shared with the PCUSA church across the street. Their church closed their doors for Christmas so Pastor Paratus invited those of them that wanted to worship on Christmas morning to come on over and bring the cinnamon rolls, which they did. They even brought their pianist along to help in our music shortage. As for the guy who had to do the announcements without a Sunday bulletin... I made something up.

I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues - This means YOU members of the Southern Baptist Convention. This article is incredible, if you read nothing else in the remaining hours of 2016, read this.

China shuns Christianity but dominates the market on U.S. Christmas decorations. Go figure

Go-Go dancers, rapping about Santa Claus, elves, Christmas trees, candy. and magic...It's Christmas Eve at Andy Stanley's goatpen. I can only wonder how many Operation Christmas Child packages could have been sent and filled for what he spent on the lighting on his stage.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - Come out of her, my people!

How many people are turning to the lies and heresy of the of false teachers like Beth Moore and Joel Osteen? How many denominations are succumbing to the temptations of the seat filling goat chow that is shoveled out by the New Apostolic Reformation?  Are ye not entertained?  C.H. Spurgeon saw this heretical nightmare in his own time, one can only wonder what he would say if he saw the clown acts that pass for theologians today. He'd probably say what he said 150 years ago:

"Neither when we have chosen our way can we keep company with those who go the other way. There must come with decision for truth a corresponding protest against error." -- C.H.S., The Sword and the Trowel, September 1887.

"Avowed atheists are not a tenth as dangerous as those preachers who scatter doubt and stab at faith." -- C.H.S., The Sword and the Trowel, August 1887.

"Believers in Christ's atonement are now in declared union with those who make light of it; believers in Holy Scripture are in confederacy with those who deny plenary inspiration; those who hold evangelical doctrine are in open alliance with those who call the Fall a fable, who deny the personality of the Holy Ghost, who call justification by faith immoral, and hold that there is another probation after death ... Yes, we have before us the wretched spectacle of professedly orthodox Christians publicly avowing their union with those who deny the faith, and scarcely concealing their contempt for those who can not be guilty of such a gross disloyalty to Christ. To be very plain, we are unable to call these things Christian Unions; they begin to look like Confederacies in Evil ... It is our solemn conviction that where there can be no real spiritual communion there should be no pretense of fellowship. Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin." -- C.H.S., The Sword and the Trowel, November 1887.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Keeping the Holy Family Humble

Merry Fourth Day of Christmas! I wanted to find an illustration of the humble family of Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus, but there appears to be no such thing. You can find lots of pictures of them in a stable emblazoned with halos and surrounded by the heavenly hosts. I can find a lot of pictures of Joseph leading a halo branded Mary on a donkey but there's nothing in the bible about a donkey, I just wanted a humble, poor holy family. 

So instead I went the other route. Here's a beautiful mosaic in the Hagia Sophia (pronounced Haya Sophia, it means "Holy Wisdom"), a visit to that 1,400 year old historical masterpiece is definitely on my bucket list. Here we see Mary holding the baby Jesus being visited by the Roman* emperor John II Komnenos and his wife Irene of Hungary. John is handing Jesus a sack of cash and Irene is handing Mary an official decree. Let's not let the fact that John was born 1,118 years after Jesus was born get in the way of a very beautiful mosaic. 

In fact other than the wise men and some shepherds showed up at Jesus' birth, this family was humble and they were humbled, and for some reason this realization hit me a bit harder this Christmas. We all knew that God gave his son humble beginnings but He did so in a way that insured his life would remain humble. Let's start at the very beginning...

Friday, December 23, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
My wife and I spent a lot of money on many things this year, from doctor bills to dog grooming our budget was stressed. So we decided to not get anything for each other this Christmas, to just be thankful for what we have. This was a great idea because our children came up with Christmas gifts that surpass all others. Our daughter-in-law took to wearing a patriotic t-shirt that said "Red White & Due"and just recently our daughter took to dressing up her only child in a t-shirt that emblazoned with "Just Promoted To Big Sister"

God gifted us with two grandsons, Oliver is due in March, and Chase is due in July and we couldn't be happier. On one hand we are incredibly delighted even though next years Christmas budget for grandchildren just doubled. On the other hand, we have six children. if each had come up with a Christmas present like this my wife and I may have considered a quick move in the middle of the night to an undisclosed location. 😅 Although Christmas time is a time of joy, quiet reflection, and gratitude for a promise kept, it's also the time of rebellion against God for many. Sad to say it, but to many the thought of a prayer of thanks to our creator for gifting us with the savior He promised is extremely unpalatable so much so that the prayers of the faithful must be disrupted in order to make themselves feel better. Don't believe me? just look at this weeks wrap-up of nuts and fruitcakes:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - Thank You Alec Satin!!!

You probably all know that I enjoy reading commentaries and sermons by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, even though it's a bit difficult for me to read only because Spurgeon wrote in Victorian English prose and I only speak Obamonian American gibberish. (That's not true, I also speak fluent Canadian (eh?) and a smattering of Australian exclamation (strewth!)

So 2 weeks ago Alec Satin emailed me and  asked if I was interested in Spurgeon's Treasury of David and that he had a set if I was interested. I said that I was very interested and completely forgot about the word "set". So just the other day the set showed up and what a beautiful set it is! A book collector would say that these are truly in As New condition and I can't wait to start studying. I've only opened them enough to know that each page is pristine, and the binding is in perfect condition. I did notice that they used quite a small typeface, but that's not a big deal. 

Each book came individually wrapped in heavy duty paper, as all books should be sent, and it was very festive (I didn't know they had Trader Joe's in NYC)

I wish this was a better picture but I took it at 4:30 AM. I should have been in my car and heading in to work but I wanted get a picture to show you all these wonderful tomes that Alec sent me. Thank you very much Alec! I thank you, my wife thanks you, and the guy down at Home Depot who now knows I can't put off installing more bookshelves any longer thanks you. I love you brother, and I pray that it is in Gods will that your search ends successfully. (you should blog your 'adventures', you need to get back to writing)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - The Christian Santa Clause

Do I believe in Santa Claus? No, but I believe in the Coca Cola ad campaign that featured a right jolly old elf. Personally, to me the proper symbol of the secular version of Christmas is a live tree draped with real tinsel, bedecked with Noma lights, interesting ornaments with a simple Lionel train set orbiting the base. Unfortunately my wife has an allergy to what ever they spray on trees to keep them green, our pets tend to eat tinsel, Noma lights are few, far between, and now priced beyond my reach, and grandchildren and my Lionel set tend to be a bad combination. But we still have some great Christmas ornaments. Throw in some mistletoe and holly (lots of holly!) a mug of egg nog and a piece of fruit cake (I love fruit cake! If you get one for Christmas and feel an urge to re-gift, I'm your man) some Andy Williams on the Alexa and I'm ready for the secular holiday.

But the Christian celebration of remembrance that God kept his promise and became man and walked among us, knowing from birth that with every step he took that he was growing closer to insufferable agony because of my sin is celebrated a bit differently. Mostly with quiet prayer in my little room, tearful with gratitude and begging God that if He can forgive and  forget my sins, that He can help me forgive myself and forget them too. 

Santa Claus is not St. Nick, and we as Christians need to keep that in mind. We need to keep our secular and Christian celebrations separate, and if we can't I suppose we have to drop one or the other.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Peace On Earth? Good Will To...?

I love Luke 2:8-14, It's the story of the Angels appearing to the shepherds announcing the birth of Jesus. Could you even imagine a heavenly host of Angels appearing and singing with such joy? 

We've all heard about this one joyous chorus, in our bible reading, in church, in Christmas carols. and if nothing else most Americans heard it from that famous blanket dragging theologian Linus Van Pelt;
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 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. (Luke 2:8-14 KJV)
And many people rightly ask "So where's this peace? Where's this good will?" Let's face it, Earth is not a peaceful place, since the fall of man it has never been peaceful, and it never will be peaceful. One hundred years ago the United States joined the greatest battlefield slaughter of mankind ever inflicted on the earth to that time (WWI), which only precipitated even greater slaughter 21 years later. The slaughter continues in the middle east and radiating out across the globe. In the future we know that even after Jesus returns to set all things right  there will be an uprising during the millennial reign. So where is this "Peace on earth, good will to all men?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
I actually had this post finished yesterday but I got sidetracked by one of my guilty pleasures, namely this music video - could you imagine if that song was re-written as a biblical praise to God? I mean, it's got the Alpha and Omega already, and God should be our everything... I think I'll get the lyrics and improve them.

It's been a rough year, it started with the passing of my father, followed soon after by both of our chocolate labs, then more medical issues, then visiting with my mom who no longer remembers me at all... but on the whole it could have been worse. This year is starting to look better, my home church, the First Congregational Church of the Bereans (I made that up, but it fits) lost a couple of Deacons, but God sent us real live and for truely Elders. How cool is that? And what better feeling is there to have an Oncologist tell you "There ain't nothing wrong with you, get outta my office" God has been with me every step of the way, and to show His love He sent me a guardian angel a few years ago to watch over me and care for me, and in a couple of weeks we celebrate our wedding anniversary.

Taking Christmas off: A litmus test for unhealthy churches. If you're in the Denver area and your church is closing its doors on Christmas day, email me or respond here and I'll send you directions to my little enclave of Bereans. We will have coffee ready.

Spurgeon said “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” Pulpit and Pen has 10 rules to help with this effort

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - Unto Us A Son Is Given

If unto me a child is born then I have been born again; and, moreover, I am now in consequence of that new birth, a child. If, again, a Son has been given to me, then I am a son; and again I am given to that Son who is given to me. 

I have tried to put these tests in the way that the text would suggest them. I pray you carry them home with you. If you do not recollect the words, yet do recollect to search yourselves, and see, my hearers, whether you can say, "Unto me this Son is given." For, indeed, if Christ is not my Christ, he is of little worth to me. If I cannot say he loved me and gave himself for me, of what avail is all the merit of his righteousness, or all the plenitude of his atonement? 

Bread in the shop is well enough, but if I am hungry and cannot get it, I starve although granaries be full. Water in the river is well enough but if I am in a desert and cannot reach the stream, if I can hear it in the distance and am yet lying down to die of thirst, the murmuring of the rill, or the flowing of the river, helps to tantalize me, while I die in dark despair. 

Better for you, my hearers to have perished as Hottentots, to have gone down to your graves as dwellers in some benighted land, than to live where the name of Christ is continually hymned and where his glory is extolled, and yet to go down to your tombs without an interest in him, unblessed by his gospel, unwashed in his blood, unclothed of his robe of righteousness. God help you, that you may be blessed in him, and may sing sweetly "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given."... 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - Clowns Entertaining The Goats

When C.H. Spurgeon decided to cut the mustard he knew right where to stick the knife. I'm sure they had problems with false teaching in Spurgeon's time, but could you imagine if the Prince of Preachers saw the antics that passes for preaching in today's world?

The tomfoolery of Creflo Dollar, the narcigesis of Steven Furtick, the buffoonery of Todd Bentley... Spurgeon would be sure that Christ is just minutes out and coming in hot and fast. 

And we all should be thinking that too. Did you realize there's people out there that actually teach that Jesus Christ will not return until people have prepared the earth for His return? No, this is not some tiny cult hidden back in the hills that use very strange mushrooms in their services, this is the New Apostolic Reformation. Their teachings of Dominion Theology put their plans and dreams first, the gospel a far second. NAR, IHOP, the Purpose Driven Church, the Emergent Church - all lead to the wide gate of destruction.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Emergent Monday - The Immaculate Conception May Not Mean What You Think It Means

In the liturgy of the Catholic church December 8th is the feast  of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation. A holy day of obligation is a day which those faithful to the RCC are required to attend Mass. That is unless December 8 falls on a Sunday, then the feast is transferred to December 9th because the Second Sunday of Advent outranks the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Keep in mind that not all countries have the same Holy Days of Obligation. Italy for example has six, while the primarily Muslim country of Indonesia has ten, and the incredibly Catholic country of the Philippines has three. I suppose this is due to to the fact that the Roman Catholic Church has an advantage (they claim) over protestantism - that they have a pope to rule them and make sure that everything is standardized. (That wasn't meant to sound sarcastic, but how can it not?)

Here in the United States the average Protestant would recognize a few of the holy days of obligation: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, Solemnity of All Saints (All Saints' Day), Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), then there's the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Notice that this is not the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary, I can't find evidence that the romish church celebrates that actual miracle. Instead they invented one; the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary celebrates the conception of Mary in her mother Anne's womb immaculate and free from all forms of sin.

The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but God acted upon her soul keeping her "immaculate" at the time of her conception. In other words she was born without original sin. Therefore, being free from original sin from her conception Mary received the sanctifying grace that Catholics believe comes with infant baptism. Not only that but she remained sinless though the rest of her life. The biblical references for this are: 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
I think the best part of the Christmas holiday season for me is the fact that I can listen to beautiful complex choir music nonstop without raising an eyebrow. Music has always been a part of my life; piano lessons, singing in the folk mass (when I was a good Catholic lad), singing in school choir, barbershop quartets and barbershop chorus. I never got good at piano, too much of an engineer and not enough of an artist I guess, but singing! Even though that part of my life is over you can't imagine the joy I know now that I'm in a church that sings those beautiful old hymns that only people like Randy Travis or Alan Jackson record. But classical choral music was my first love, I had some wonderful choir instructors in the past and when I took music history in college a few years ago studying the evolution of choral music was a semester I'll never forget. So every Christmas holiday you'll see me on the drive home in my car, singing out Handel's oratorios and belting out the Bach. It seems like every year I get hooked on one piece and listen to it as often as possible because even a carol that's been recorded in every manner like "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" suddenly becomes a thing of utter beauty when performed by a talented, well conducted choir like the College of St. Peters College of Oxford University. This years favorite of mine is at the very end of this blog post, performed by the Choir of King's College, Oxford. It's a macaronic carol meaning that there's more than one language involved. Oh well, back to the real world...

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - False Teachers Teaching Falsehoods

I had completely forgotten about about the annual false teacher of the year "award". I usually think about it for weeks and research for days looking for the one false teacher that epitomizes the falsehoods of the year. But recent health issues and work issues have really taken their toll on my time to blog, and even to read blogs. It completely slipped my mind.

Yet Monday morning I woke up knowing that this was the day that the world knew that Rick Joyner was the false teacher of the year. No, I did not hear a still small voice whispering in my ear as perennial false teacher Rick Warren advises us to listen for. I think I knew a year ago that Rick Joyner was going to be the winner of the obscure but sadly fitting title of False Teacher of the Year when he falsely claimed that God picked the Carolina Panthers would win Super Bowl 50. Proverbs 30:5-6 came crashing down on his head less than a month later. 

Is it just me, am I growing more aware? or is the number of false teachers among us growing? or are the false teachers among us growing more vocal? Sadly I believe the answer is "Yes" to all three questions. But what shocks me more than anything else are self styled "prophets" and "apostles" who spout utter bunk and people believe their claims that these are "extrabiblical revelations". Just the name alone tells us it's not in the bible, therefor it's clearly not from God. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

False Teacher of the Year 2016

It's that time of year, the time of caring and giving. As the nights grow longer and the days grow colder we retreat indoors to the warmth I pray you all are taking the opportunity to fend off the wrath of satan by studying the word of God. I am in two studies this year, John and Hebrews, and what a delight! I've always loved John, but this is my first study of Hebrews and I wish I had studied this a long time ago.

One of the greatest (read: most effective) tools Satan has is to drive a wedge between us and God through ignorance of God's word, His commands, His desires. And doing this is a very simple task, simply present a false version of God's word in a manner that is more palatable to the unaware than the true word of God. Some folks are very good at it. Tops in 2013 was John Shore, leader of the Not All There Like That "Christians", in 2014 it was Steven McSwain a self-professed "Christian Atheist", a title that he enjoys, and last year it was Mark Sandlin, a "pastor" in the "Christian" Left who believes that social justice takes presidence uber alles. 

Again I wanted to nominate Gretta Vosper, but prayerful reflection again eliminates her from the running. I can't consider her because of 1 Corinthians 5:12, where God tells us not to judge those outside the church. Gretta is an atheist therefore she's outside of the Church, even though she's conducting her self help seminars inside a church building - but that building became a tomb years ago, and her acolytes mere animated corpses shuffling off to hell.

This year's winner will come as no surprise to anyone, his efforts to stand front and center as the New Apostolic Reformation's False Teacher of choice are impressive and has achieved the "Second Peter Principle" to earn this recognition:
18 For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, 19 promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. (2 Peter 2:18-21) 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
It's that time of the year again! I get to listen to classical choral music and not get a lot of weird stares from the public in general. One of my favorites is L'adieu des bergers from L'enfance du Christ a French oratorio by Hector Berlioz. An oratorio is basicly an opera without the funny costumes and prancing around the stage. The performers can concentrate on the music and not have to worry about the big woman in the viking helmet tripping over the guys dressed like low income pirates and pretending to quaft ale. You all know at least one oratorio: Handel's Messiah is the worlds most famous oratorio, and it's just as good even if you can't sing.

The Pastix who got pregnant out of wedlock won't step down from the pulpit. She considers 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, 7-8 to be "antiquated language", and clearly ignores 1 Timothy 2:11-14, 1 Timothy 3:1–13 and Titus 1:6–9. One can only wonder in horror what she thinks of the rest of God's word.

Speaking of 'pastors' acting badly, two words:
Clayton Jennings

As I mentioned on Monday, things at the Calvary Chapel have really taken a turn for the worse since the passing of Chuck Smith. This week the Calvary Chapel Association (those that remain true to Chuck's vision) has washed their hands of Brian and Cheryl Brodersen, CC Costa Mesa, and the CC “Global Network”

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - Is The Pope The Antichrist?

During Spurgeon's lifetime there were three popes, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, and Leo XIII. Pius IX was the last absolute theocratic monarch of the papal states, an area of Italy that was ruled by the popes for over one thousand years. Like the Byzantine Empire and World War I, the Papal States is one of those fascinating bits of world history that are ignored in American schools for some unknown reason. 

Spurgeon really didn't like the popes and everything the popes stood for. I'm sure that the popes being theocratic monarchs of a sizeable chunk of european real estate that covered a good portion of Italy and even a chunk of France (Avignon ) didn't help much either. 

The political climate of Europe at the time was tumultuous, one could safely say that there was a state of warfare in europe from the start of the French revolution (1789) until the end of WWII. In 1848 Pope Pius IX actually fled Rome in disguise (some said in a woman's dress) and requested political asylum in England while the Italian Army reclaimed Rome and the Papal states. He returned to Rome in 1850. The Italian government made peaceful overtures to Pius IX but Pius responded with anger and insults. I'm sure none of that escaped Spurgeon's notice. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Emergent Monday - How To Hijack A Church

Chuck Smith
June 25, 1927 – October 3, 2013
Say what you will about Calvary Chapel, and I'm sure there's enough criticism for any institution that involves sinful mankind, but when have you ever seen a church adopt a preaching style that encopasses the bible cover to cover, chapter by chapter, verse by verse? It's a beautiful, God worshiping, Holy Spirit praising thing when a church admits that it's God that sets the agenda and not the pastor.

I personally believe that Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith put far too much emphasis on pretribulation but that's just me. I love his emphasis and his love for the principle of sola scriptura. Yes, Calvary Chapel depended heavily on contemporary music, but Chuck always made room for good ol' fashion, God worshiping hymns.

Calvary Chapel is near to my heart mostly because it's the church of choice for my wife who is nearer and dearer to my heart, and if we were not already involved in a wonderful God praising small church we would be attending a Calvary Chapel... that is until this whole thing started.

I think what caused it all was that Calvary Chapel got unfortunately huge... very huge. I say unfortunately because I believe that small churches are the best churches. Small churches attract small congregations and tend to stick by their beliefs. Meanwhile huge churches attract huge sums of money along with the people needed to carry it in the door, and that can be addictive. Big congregations need more staff, and big beautiful buildings, and before you know it you're hiring the cast of a broadway musical for your "worship" team.

Calvary Chapel got big - tv stations, radio stations, big beautiful buildings, and not to mention the intellectual property (i.e. books, sermon tapes, etc) which handled properly is a fantastic source of income. Not long after Chuck died of complications from cancer a power struggle broke out for leadership of Calvary Chapel. There were recriminations, accusations and lawsuits, and in the end Brian Brodersen, Chuck's son-in-law ended up at the top of the smoldering heap and all that money.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Random Bits

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
If designers can deny the right to serve someone because of that person's beliefs, why can't Christians?

I'm from Buffalo, and while winning isn't big in Buffalo, football is huge. What can I say? We love our Bills. We love our Broncos here in Denver too, and an early game here in the Mountain time zone means that kickoff occurs in the middle of an awfully good sermon. I just mention this to show you what happens in Dallas on a Sunday

Doing liturgical this year? Triablogue has a massive list of Christmas resources for 2016

The difference between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism is the distance between heaven and hell.

An arsonist set fire to a pro-life ministry in Albuquerque

Tullian Tchividjian, the Rev. Billy Graham's grandson who lost his church and wife last summer to an adultery scandal with a new church and a new wife.

Bloomington IN renames Good Friday to "Spring Holiday" There's no truth to the rumor that they renamed Christmas to "Winter Holiday" or "That day with the Tree" but don't put it past them

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - Studying Revelation

The Book of Revelation is actually the very first book of the bible I ever read. This was back in the days of the "Late Great Planet Earth" craze when it seemed like everyone was predicting the end of the earth by the year 1988. Exactly five years after the anticipated start date of the Apocalypse I had the honor of studying Genesis (and Ruth) under a Rabbi. 

The name of that class was "The Bible as Literature" because you can't teach "The Bible as God's Word" in a publicly funded University, but you can call it Literature and still teach it as God's word. Personally I suggest everyone take a good long hard study of Genesis (and Ruth) under a Rabbi because that will give you a foundation of Jewish law, and when you understand Jewish law a lot of things in the bible start to make a lot of sense.

For example - ever notice that whenever the ancient Israelites built an altar at a place they would prominently name it? that Adam's first job was to name the animals? that God's acts during creation included naming things like day, night, dark, etc? There is power in naming, it's practically (at the risk of sounding Emergent) Name It and Claim It. Once you understand that there's real power in naming, that white rock we receive in Revelation with our new name on it suddenly becomes a very Big Deal.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
Church decline is a concern we see all the time, but at the same time some churches are growing. Rick Warren says that the way to fight church decline is to grow the church with more staff, more services, more facilities, more events - a "if you build it, they will come" kind of thing. To me this sounds kind of backwards, much like "Drive defensively - the best defence is a good offence" So a group actually studied churches in decline and compared them with churches that are growing and it turns out that all the bandages that Mr. Warren offers don't even make the list

A survey that was conducted which found that difference between growing and declining churches boils down to doctrine, and the biblical truth that Jesus builds the Church shines brightly here. The researchers found that growing the growing church believes the bible and reads the bible while declining churches show much less faith in the word of God. One finding truly disturbed me: 93% of clergy and 83% of worshippers from growing churches agreed with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb”. This compared with 67% of worshippers and 56% of clergy from declining churches. How can a church not believe in the resurrection and still call themselves Christian?

Shawn "God Cares About Your Finances" Bolz, NAR False Prophet and friend of disgraceful Todd Bentley, has a book out designed to steer your children away from biblical Christianity and into the realms of mysticism and contemplative prayer.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - One For Pastor Paratus

WWUTT Wednesday - All About The Watchtower

I'm not going to say anything bad about the members of Jehovah's Witnesses, like all people I've met most of them are very nice, pleasant people with enough exceptions thrown in to the mix to make it interesting. What I do have is a big problem with is their beliefs. 

Many of the Beliefs if the Jehovah's Witnesses at best can be described as unbiblical. At the worst they are  utterly blasphemous. It's legalism gone wild. Not only are JW's forbidden to vote, salute the flag, play team sports serve on a jury, they're not allowed to buy Girl Scout cookies!Are JW's saved? Here's a list of just a few of their beliefs, compare them with what God says in your bible and you tell me:
  1. God is not a Trinity; the doctrine is inspired by the Devil
  2. Jesus Christ is a "created being," who at one time did not exist
  3. Jesus is not to be worshiped or prayed to because he is only an angel (a.k.a. Michael the archangel)
  4. The Holy Spirit is not a person but is "God's active force" i.e. gravity, electricity etc.
  5. Heaven is only for select Jehovah's Witnesses. The majority of Jehovah's Witnesses hope to live on "paradise earth"
  6. Heaven is limited only to 144,000 Jehovah's Witnesses. There are only 9,105 alive today (2006 figures)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
If any of you have noticed, this week, live on national television, one of the largest travesties in American history was shown to the American public. It was insane! How could something like that happen? My faith in justice and honesty is shattered! How could something like that happen in the United States of America? Really - I want to move to Canada and forget it ever happened.

I'm talking of course about the Buffalo Bills - Seattle Seahawks game on Monday night. There we were, mere seconds left in the half and the Seahawk defender runs off sides and plows into the kicker, and instead of penalizing the Seahawks for roughing the kicker they end up penalizing the Bills for delay of game because the official wouldn't let them snap the ball? This isn't the America I grew up in!

No wait, it is, I've been a Bills fan since 1961 and this is exactly what happens in America: stuff happens. When stuff happens you deal with it, you praise the lord for giving you stuff to deal with, and you move on to what ever stuff God has in store for you next. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but either way God is always with you. You may notice that there are people who are having problems with stuff this week, notably the "Christian" Left. I guess there was some kind of election stuff and they're not happy about it... Check out Eternity Matters, they've got a good report on the Christian Left and how they're dealing with stuff, and if you want to go visit the Christian Left please remind them that if they want to call themselves Christian they need to obey God when He laid Romans 13:1-6 on us. You may want to copy and paste that into their facebook page often.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - The Prince of Preachers on Apostasy

In 1887, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the famous English Baptist minister, “the Prince of Preachers,” had a big problem. He was the leader of the largest single Baptist congregation in the world, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, which could hold 6,000 people, but that didn’t solve his problem. He and his local church were part of the Baptist Union in Britain. 

This larger organization, which had many congregations affiliated with it, had been quietly infiltrated by religious liberals. Many pastors in it longer believed the Bible was fully infallible and inerrant in its original manuscripts. They were advocates of higher criticism and the theory of evolution. A number didn’t believe Jesus’ blood atonement was necessary for salvation. They denied that Adam and Eve’s sins lead to the downfall of the human race spiritually and cut off this present evil world civilization from God. Some believed in universal salvation. They even called justification by faith immoral. 

He decidedly to publicly challenge the religious liberals in his own church organization through articles in his church newspaper, The Sword and Trowel. Soon afterwards, and very reluctantly, he decided to leave his old larger church organization. This became known as the famous “Down-Grade” controversy, because it was one of the earliest big theological battles between religious liberals and conservative Christians.source  Here follows many of Spurgeon's quotes on apostasy; 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - What To Look For In A New Church

Arrgh! Church "shopping" can be the worst, am I right? You find yourself looking for a church that fills your needs and desires and that takes a whole lot of time and effort. One of the worst parts for me was getting to know the people and having to say goodbye because you finally got to know the teachings and found them lacking in some manner. 

As the great falling away continues, folks who are in a church that suddenly veers in a downward direction will be looking for a new church. I know a few folks that currently are in the search for a new church home for purely biblical reasons.

What should we look for in a new church - should we look for one with the best music? Best children's programs? Monthly pot-luck vs Starbucks in the foyer? Mean congregational age? Assigned seating? Valet parking?

Luckily our friends at When We Understand The Text have come up with a checklist to keep our minds on point when searching for our new church home.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tuesday is Election Day

He's in charge, you're voting for His subordinates
Last word on voting in this blog (for this election cycle). Tomorrow is election day, and we will be going to the voting booths to elect a new president, new senators, congressmen, governors, judges, mayors, etc. There is going to be a lot of ballot issues and referendums to vote on also. Here in Colorado there's several constitutional measures on the ballot, and for the life of me, I've never seen a state that is so bent on turning their constitution into a doodle pad full of random ideas.

The only advice I personally can give is "Don't vote stupid" (Notice that I did not say "Don't vote for stupid) I think Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame said it best:
I can’t personally encourage everyone in the country to run out and vote. I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought it would benefit my personal choice. Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process.
Mike asks his readers to educate yourself before you vote, get to know the candidates, the issues, and the entire process, from the constitution to the local ordinances to the history of the electoral process. We as Christians on the other hand need to know a bit more -  we need to know what God says and wants. Here's a few verses that struck me as helpful:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
In bible study a couple of evenings ago we were discussing John 5 and the discussion strayed into Jewish law and I mentioned how I felt pity for the Jews because they were trapped by the Jewish law and when Jesus came to unshackle them they didn't understand the freedom He was offering. Most of our group didn't understand this point, but three of us did, and all three of us consider ourselves "recovering Catholics". We understand being being bound by a set of laws not of Gods making and man crafted traditions. The rest of the guys in our group wouldn't understand things like having to fast before Eucharist (they equate it with communion but to Catholics it's much different) and the intersession of dead people. How crushing do these Romanish laws get? Glenn Chatfield has a great example of the opinions of men overruling the divine wisdom of God

UNESCO, the United Nations forum entrusted with preserving world heritage and culture, passed a resolution to erase the Jewish and Christian bonds to the Land of Israel, they claim that only Muslims have connection to the Promised Land. Here's how you can send them proof of their error

Countdown to 500!

As we head toward the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, let us not forget the pain that Luther caused a quarter century later

I read this, and I read it, and I re-read it, and I came away with a new appreciation for 1 Timothy 2:11-12

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - Church & Politics

Spurgeon believed that religion should be carried into politics:
 “We are now called upon to exercise one of the privileges and duties which go with liberty, let no man be neglectful in it. Every God fearing man should give his vote with as much devotion as he prays.” 
“I often hear it said ‘Do not bring religion into politics.’ This is precisely where it ought to be brought, and set there in the face of all men as on a candlestick.”
We owe our liberty to men of religion, to men of the stern Puritanical school - men who scorned to play the craven and yield their principles at the command of man. And if we ever are to maintain our liberty (as God grant we may) it shall be kept in England by religious liberty - by religion. This Bible is the Magna Charta of old Britain: its truths, its doctrines have snapped our fetters, and they never can be riveted on again, whilst men, with God's Spirit in their hearts, go forth to speak its truths.
 But politics should not intrude into religion:
“Ministers do well to give their votes and to express their opinions for the guidance of the people, but in proportion as the preaching becomes political and the pastor sinks the spiritual in the temporal, strength is lost and not gained.”
Outside the pulpit Spurgeon was vocal about his political beliefs. In 1880 he addressed voters:
 “Are we to go on slaughtering and invading in order to obtain a scientific frontier and feeble neighbours? ... Shall all great questions of reform and progress be utterly neglected for years? ... Shall the struggle for religious equality be protracted and embittered? ... Shall our National Debt be increased?”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - An Election in Which I'm Eager to Participate

At the risk of sounding redundant: have you ever been in a discussion with a member of the "Christian" left that holds Arminian beliefs? Occasionally those that hold a belief that social justice trumps God's word will get upset when you try to steer them back to the bible and throw out an expletive to the effect that Calvinism is evil and unbiblical and a conversation ender.

This is slightly humorous because their Arminianism is based on unbiblical standards: they believe in Partial Depravity - humanity is depraved but still able to seek God, when Romans 3:10-18 clearly states that this is not true. 

They believe in Conditional Election - God only “chooses” those whom He knows will choose to believe. No one is predetermined for either heaven or hell. This under-emphasizes God’s sovereignty (Romans 8:28-13)

They believe in Resistible grace , God’s call to be saved can be resisted and/or rejected should we decide we don't want to follow His call. This underestimates the power and determination of God. They also believe in  Conditional Salvation  - Christians can lose their salvation if they actively reject the Holy Spirit’s influence in their lives. Conditional salvation makes salvation a reward for work rather than a gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8–10).

What they don't like is the U in TULIP - Unconditional Election A.K.A. adoption by God, I've had more than one conversation suddenly veer off to Unconditional Election like it was an accusation of heresy! blasphemy! apostasy! and was used as an excuse to end the conversation. WWUTT has bad news for these Arminians - Election is totally biblical

Friday, October 28, 2016

Random Bits

"I walk through this sinful world as a 
pilgrim in a foreign country" - CH Spurgeon
It's been quite a month here in the shadow of the Rockies, my health has been improving which is a blessing, hopefully I can do more walking before the weather sets in. I don't care what anyone says, walking on a treadmill is a poor substitute for a fine perambulation out doors.

My birthday was this month, and unfortunatly that same day my company had a surprise round of lay-offs. I didn't get laid off but some very good friends did, some I had been working with for over 15 years. My birthday was spent in shock and prayer and survivors guilt. When the dust had settled a neighbor took myself and my wife out to dinner, it was such a relief to get back into a normal situation after such an uproar - until I noticed I was missing a church board meeting.

I thought a lot about the survivors guilt, things like "Why not me? the guys that got canned are so much smarter than me." I've been through lay-off pogroms like this numerous times (it's a way of life in my career path) and each time I ache through survivors guilt. All I can do is thank the lord for letting me provide for my family and pray that He watches over my former co-workers. And I think: when Christ returns will there be survivors guilt? My guess is no, but you tell me, if you have thoughts on that, please post them here.

What's Wrong With This Picture Dept: Mr. Pope is Traveling to atheist Sweden to celebrate the 499th anniversary of the Reformation. What's next - a bar mitzvah in Nairobi?

Yes Washington Post, the Bible does mention transgenderism, and not in very flattering terms. (Thanks and a hat tip to Überblogger Glenn)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - The Reason for the Reformation

We are one year from the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and with ecumenical-mania going on, a modern day counter reformation, one can only wonder if this will be the last anniversary of the Protestant Reformation to be celebrated.

Reunification with the Roman church is a movement that is quietly gaining steam. The biblically unqualified leader of a Lutheran denomination has declared:
"Though we have not yet arrived, we have claimed that we are, in fact, on the way to unity... This 'Declaration on the Way' helps us to realize more fully our unity in Christ with our Catholic partners, but it also serves to embolden our commitment to unity with all Christians
Charles Haddon Spurgeon probably wouldn't agree with Mrs. Eaton, and by "probably wouldn't agree" I actually mean "raging with the very fires of hell in disagreement" 

Charles was a loving man of God who was blessed with an incorrigible sense of humor, but the institution of the Roman Catholic Church and its papist heresies tested his patience, and when he spoke, he let his passion be known: 

It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - Soldiers

There's been a lot of discussions going on lately about Christians and the role of Government, and they will keep going on for a couple more weeks at least. A recent discussion I was in was about government sanctioned killing, mostly the death penalty but also branching into soldering.

The bible does not say "thou shall not kill", if it did mankind would have starved to death trying to eat rocks before Cane and Able were born. Think about it: how many innocent living plants were dismembered and brutally slaughtered to make that chop salad you so thoughtless had for lunch the other day? The bible says "thou shall not murder" which is a whole different thing.

One cannot read the bible, either testament, and not see that death is a tool God has given governments to perform their function as an agency that He has created. It's a tool used to defend the citizens of kingdoms from external and internal threats. Think about it: God used the Roman Empire's governmental power of execution to perform the ultimate sacrifice which insured our salvation. And the pagans He used to insure our salvation were soldiers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Is This How We Worship God?

I was going to save this for a Random Bits post, but in the ball game of heresy the "Church" by the Glades (CBG) hit this one out of the park. As part of their 'Family Drive-In' series of God "worshiping" films such as Frozen, Star Wars, Finding Nemo, Alice in Wonderland, and Transformers, the CBG put on a stage show for Harry Potter featuring Screaming Jay Hawkins "I Put A Spell On You"

Neither Harry Potter nor I Put A Spell On You has anything to do with God, worshiping God, Praising God, Thanking God... CBG claims to be about two things Jesus and His word, but where in that video or that stage performance or the skimpy costume do we see Jesus or His word? How is this bringing the youth of CBG closer to understanding God's will? They're peddling witchcraft on stage and screen
'Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:31)
By the way, the Church By the Glades website says that no perfect people are allowed in the church, which sounds all kinds of touchy-feely wonderful to the sensitive safeplacers, but anyone with any amount of discernment would know that means Jesus isn't allowed in this false church.

Thanks and a Hat Tip to the Museum of Idolatry

Monday, October 24, 2016

Yes, it's a very busy week

Satan called a worldwide convention. In his opening address to his evil angels, he said, "We can't keep Christians from going to church. We can't keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can't even keep them from conservative values. But we can do something else. We can keep them from forming an intimate, abiding experience in Christ. If they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

"So let them go to church. Let them have their conservative lifestyles. But steal their time so they can't gain that experience in Jesus Christ."

"Here is how I want you to do this. Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day."

"But how shall we do this?" shouted one of his angels? 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spurgeon Thursday - Of Two Evils

“Of two evils choose neither” -Charles Spurgeon,

Ok folks, this quote has nothing to do with voting. You can safely say that in every political election both choices are evil because all humans are sinners. So then in that case, yes, you are looking for the lesser of two evils.  However that's not what Spurgeon was talking about. It's an often misused quote, and often applied to voting. 

This quote attributed to Spurgeon is about sin, not about voting or picking candidates. The original quote is about what to do when faced with a clear choice of sin (lying or stealing):
“John Ploughman says, Of two evils choose neither. Don’t choose the least, but let all evils alone.” - Charles H. Spurgeon in The Salt Cellars – Proverbs & Quaint Sayings
As for voting, Spurgeon urged Christians to exercise the right of voting wisely, voting thoughtfully and prayerfully concentrating on the needs of the community. The only time a person shouldn't vote is when they're voting out of ignorance. A vote solely based on age, sex, race, or religion is clearly based on ignorance and emotionalism (as if there's a difference), please stay home. We want people who consider their votes fully and intellectually based on issues, not emotions or arbitrary quotas. As Spurgeon said
“I would not, however, say to any persons here present, despise the privilege which you have as citizens. Far be it from me to do it. When we become Christians we do not leave off being Englishmen; when we become professors of religion we do not cease to have the rights and privileges which citizenship has bestowed on us.
Let us, whenever we shall have the opportunity of using the right of voting, use it as in the sight of Almighty God, knowing that for everything we shall be brought into account, and for that amongst the rest, seeing that we are entrusted with it. And let us remember that we are our own governors, to a great degree, and that if at the next election we should choose wrong governors we shall have nobody to blame but ourselves, however wrongly they may afterwards act, unless we exercise all prudence and prayer to Almighty God to direct our hearts to a right choice in this matter.
May God so help us, and may the result be for his glory, however unexpected that result may be to any of us!” (Charles Spurgeon - “Particular Election,” No. 123, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (Albany, OR: AGES Electronic Edition, 1997)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WWUTT Wednesday - God's Gift To All Of Us

Today is my birthday, and a very bittersweet one it is. Not because I have many many more behind me than I do ahead of me, but because of what is going on at work. 

Due to corporate restructuring many of my friends lost their jobs today. some of these men and women I have been working with since the turn of the century, we moved from one company to another "together" as mergers and bankruptcies occurred. Very few people in the world do what we do, so as we move around in the industry we may not know a person when they show up at our office, but it's guaranteed that we are friends with many of their friends.

 The cuts were sudden and drastic, my small group lost 30% of our people. I found out that my friends were gone only by the way their existance was wiped out of my computer. I was in a pretty bad mood, until WWUTT reminded me of God's love

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Sound Familiar?

"Where theistic religion grows weak, that is where religion related to God grows weak, justice will weaken.

Crimes, then, are defined as antisocial activity which, in turn, then is merely what the majority says it is.

Then punishments seem to be the result of the majority's ganging up on the minority.

This, in turn, seems inconsistent with democratic feelings.

The result is a decline in uniform application of penalties for crime, resultant miscarriages of justice, trampling on the rights of law-abiding people, together with an increase in what ought to be called crime."

- Civil Government: A Biblical View by Robert D. Culver, Page 78

Monday, October 17, 2016

Who is Your Governor?

Last week I wrote that government is instituted by God and I wrote about a Christian's responsibility to be subject to the governing authorities. So who are those authorities? Who is in charge?

If you go to one of those websites they will tell you that Satan is in charge. By "one of those websites" I mean the web sites that proclaim the end of the world by Divine Retribution is nigh because of one thing or another - not making the Sabbath holy by allowing alcohol to be sold on Sunday (which is not the Sabbath), not codifying the First commandment into law, that monuments like the Lincoln Memorial and Mt. Rushmore are "graven images" - pretty much anything bible flavored that the author believes could make this country "great again" If you have never stumbled across one of those websites, count yourself blessed

The good news is that their reasoning is all wrong, enacting these things would accomplish nothing. The bad news is that they are right, Satan is in charge of the world governments. 
8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written,You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’”(Matthew 4:8-9)
In Luke the devil's offer was a bit different 

6 And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” (Luke 4:6-7)