Welcome to the November ’09 Blog!
It has been said…
“Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy.” – Puritan John Trapp as cited in The Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations, p. 304
“Life is short. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.” – Anonymous
What a way to go
A few mornings ago, everyone’s “low maintenance friend,” Brother Carlton Watkins, passed from this life to the next. His wife went to awaken him and found that he had passed away peacefully in his sleep. He had served with distinction on the Texas District Board for several years. He was pastor of the First Pentecostal Church of Daingerfield, TX for 27 years, a popular conference speaker, an inspirational motivator, a lover of truth, and a man admired by all who knew him. He will be sorely missed.
The new church edifice he was constructing would have soon been finished—a monument to his vision and personal sacrifice. Since there was no building in Daingerfield that would hold the people who would attend the memorial service, the church arranged to have it in the unfinished sanctuary, a fitting tribute to this fallen soldier. Scores of ministers from across the country were in attendance and there was standing room only.
His wife, Sister Penny Watkins, brought us all to tears with her touching comments and courageous spirit. His daughter, Sister Tiffany Smith of Dayton, Ohio, also moved us with her personal eulogy. Each song and every speaker reminded us of how important it is to live a good life, although short, to forgive quickly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes us smile.
What a way to go. Ciào, my low maintenance friend.
Twitter goes to church
A fairly large church just a few miles from my home has introduced “twittering” during the sermon. Members are invited to tweet their approval, their negative comments, or their “Amens” during the pastor’s preaching.
Will audible speaking soon be a thing of the past? Recently two young men were seen sitting side by side texting each other rather than speaking.
At the church mentioned above, the message is instantly added to the list of others on a large screen behind the speaker. The pastor also sees them on his own personal computer screen in front of him. I suppose if he had denied his tech advisor this “advancement,” he would have been dubbed a “traditionalist,” or perhaps just a plain old “irrelevant” clod.
Ever wonder why we seldom look down the road just a little way to see where the path we are on is taking us? Would we then be so quick to jump on the technological bandwagons that keep rolling by? Would “let your moderation be known” (Philippians 4:5) be applicable here?
Want to write?
Charles Grisham challenged us for years to touch something every day that would outlive us. Writing has that potential. Every minister should recognize the power of the printed page when he picks up his Bible. While what we write is not in the same league as the Bible, our ministries are expanded and magnified when we anoint our thoughts with ink.
If you are interested in enhancing your writing skills, may I suggest you subscribe to the Pentecostal Writers’ Fellowship E-zine? It is filled with great ideas for Apostolic writers. Contact Sister Barbara Westberg at PWF@upci.org
Opportunity knocks with a captive audience
Pastor Michael Chuppe of Bismarck, ND has informed us that the ND State Penitentiary has an opening for a chaplain. If you know of anyone that would be interested in this position, it would be an opportunity for service with pay. The salary range will be $2900-3900 per month with state benefits. It sounded like a person could qualify with pastoral experience rather than ordination. They are looking to fill quickly because the current chaplain has health issues and is leaning toward retiring soon. Many of our Apostolic ministers are reporting tremendous revivals in their prison ministries.
For a detailed list of the qualifications, remuneration and responsibilities please e-mail Brother Chuppe at email@example.com.
At least three people died early last month while attending a “spirituality” retreat near Sedona, AZ. They agreed to be placed in a pit covered by a tent-like structure. Steam was then generated inside the tent by pouring water over hot rocks.
This experience was connected to the practice of ritual purification and spiritual prayer. The compound also featured labyrinth prayer, meditation, and other facets of the trend toward New Age spirituality. The operation is run by self-help “expert” James A. Ray. The particular program in use at the time had been dubbed “Spiritual Warrior.” Read about it here:
When will people ever learn not to run after every spiritual sounding fad that comes down the pike? “Oh, but they were not Apostolics,” one might say. Perhaps not, but we have seen other “new spirituality” theories and practices introduced into our fellowship. Just because a practice has “spiritual” or “meditation” or “prayer” attached to it does not mean it is scriptural or a godly practice.
Discernment, where hast thou gone?
Et tu, U2?
An article in the Belief section of the Houston Chronicle on October 9, 2009 highlighted the “spirituality” of the rock group U2. The article was aptly titled Still Searching. The band is known for mixing spiritual lyrics, often couched in double entendres, in its songs. This mixture has proved to some listeners, like Episcopalian Rev. Genevieve Razim, that “cool and Christian” are not mutually exclusive.
True, but only when “cool” and “Christian” are properly defined.
The lead singer, Bono, has become something of an icon in the industry, delivering speeches to churches across America urging donations to fight AIDS in Africa. The money is funneled through the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, doubtless a conservative agency with pristine motives. 😉
But what about their spirituality? They don’t claim to be religious—that’s old hat, passé—just “spiritual.” Bono says, “I think religion gets in the way of God.” That is the rising cry from the Emergent church crowd—reject religion, church and Christianity as we know it and just become spiritual.
The band projects a “spiritual journey” with no destination. Let me quote from the article:
“The title track from the band’s latest album—No Line On the Horizon, a line as steeped in spirituality as any since U2’s earliest years—seems to speak to that. There’s the image itself, the absence of a line, a final destination. A character in the song also says two things worth noting: ‘Infinity is a great place to start,’ and ‘Time is irrelevant, it’s not linear.’ It’s a vast vision of the cosmos and the beyond that doesn’t exactly jive with the idea of heaven as a victorious endgame.”
Razim says, “It’s about searching and seeking. The first time I heard a U2 song I detected it. It’s a journey, with faith developing and asking hard questions.” What a release from any discipline, other than that which one establishes for himself! No accountability, no responsibility. What a great message for the youth of America and the world, huh? A photo caption states, “No Line On the Horizon keeps with the band members’ spiritual journey, which isn’t necessarily about finding what they’re looking for.” Finding is not the objective; keeping free from accountability is.
A sidebar to the article lists some of their more “spiritual” songs. One, Mysterious Ways, “could just as easily be about a woman as it could about some other spirit,” the author says. “As to which spirit they are summoning, that’s in the ear of the behearer.”
Bono himself, a hero to millions of young twenty and thirty-somethings, measures the church’s mission “almost exclusively in geopolitical terms.” But it is the group’s spirituality that is intriguing to many. Just being spiritual without being religious allows them to stretch their “faith” over all religious—Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, or whatever. Sorry, but when you are everything, you are nothing.
Can anyone spell E-m-e-r-g-e-n-t?
For information about the new spirituality and its integration with psychology and the Emergent church movement, click here.
The Dismantling of America
Thomas Sowell, a black journalist, has traditionally demonstrated a measured and thoughtful observation of current events. He is not an alarmist. Coming from him, this seems exceptionally alarming.
Did you ever feel so helpless? Probably not, but remember: God is not helpless. His all-seeing eye never slumbers or sleeps.
This just in!!! Obama wins the Heisman Trophy after watching a college football game!!
President Obama and the endtimes—a response submitted by Brother Forrest Scott
President Obama is an internationalist, driven by a huge ego, and enabled by superior oratory skills. He sees himself not primarily as the president of America, but rather as the single international individual who is uniquely qualified to be the world leader that can bring world peace and unity by resolving the political/military/theological differences of western civilization and the Muslim nations.
He believes his assent to the most powerful office in the west, joined with his birth to an Islamic father and his early years of rearing in a Muslim culture uniquely qualifies him to bring these two cultures together. His impending failure is already indicated by Muslims around the world applauding his speeches and gestures directed toward them, while at the same time refusing to alter their conduct, or engage him in serious dialogue. His dissimulating and apologizing to obtain the open hand he has asked them to extend, has only resulted in a continuation of their closed fist, and maybe scorn as many view this conduct as a sign of weakness.
The Muslim leaders (especially the religious leaders) are fervent believers in the correctness of their religious beliefs, and will not be satisfied until all people are adherents to the Muslim faith—even if this has to be achieved by force. Consequently, the only way they will be responsive to his overtures is if he would become an instrument they could use in their religious/political conquest of western civilization.
His ruinous economic policies could well bankrupt America and result in the dollar being soon replaced by another currency (or basket of currencies) as the international monetary standard. The international economic crisis that a bankrupt America would probably bring on, would likely result in the willingness of people around the world to exchange their freedoms for a restoration of economic security.
One does not have to be an alarmist to see how all of this could rapidly move the world toward a single world government with a new international currency.
At this point I do not view Obama as the Antichrist since II Thessalonians 2:9 indicates that the Antichrist will possess and utilize supernatural powers. However I do believe he is a good case study in how the Antichrist will arise, and he is rapidly moving us well down the road in that direction.
Statistics can be frightening
Muslims are averaging 8.1 children per couple. In 39 years at the present rates, France will have a Muslim majority. In 15 years the Netherlands will be Muslim. In 17 years one third of all children will be Muslim. In 2050 Germany will be Muslim. In 1970 there were about 100,000 Muslims in America. In 2008 the number was over nine million. Muammar Quadaffi of Libya said it well: “We don’t need terrorists.” He means, of course, that they can take over the West without firing a shot, simply by sheer numbers.
Our present administration is encouraging this immigration of Muslims, with the President recently hailing their contributions to American life.
Really? Perhaps their most outstanding contribution occurred on 9/11/01 at the World Trade Center. Similar “contributions” were recently foiled by the FBI/CIA. Look at what is happening to the Detroit area. My, their wonderful contributions to that community is turning it into a dump where no one wants to go without a bevy of body guards.
President Obama has a great eye for progress and peace, doesn’t he? I guess that is why he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.
Code of Ministerial Ethics
Many years ago when I first served in the Headquarters office in St. Louis, it was located at 3645 S. Grand Blvd. The organization published a booklet during that period of time titled Magnifying the Ministry. The first page was headed “My Code of Ethics,” subtitled “Not Laws to Govern, But Principles to Guide.” Here they are:
Striving to be a good minister of the Lord Jesus Christ…
I will constantly prepare myself in body, mind and spirit.
I will safeguard the Good Name of the Ministry, speak the truth in love, live honestly and avoid embarrassing debts.
I will hold as sacred all confidences shared with me.
I will exercise the authority of a spiritual leader rather than that of a dictator.
I will seek to minister rather than be ministered unto; placing service above salary and personal recognition; and the unity and welfare of the church above my own personal welfare.
I will seek to lead my church to accept its full responsibility for community and world service.
I will seek to build my church without discrediting other churches, soliciting members therefrom, or casting reflection on other ministers.
I will not compete in an unethical manner with another minister for a call to a pastorate.
I will, with my resignation, sever my pastoral relations with my former parishioners and will not make pastoral contacts in the field of another pastor without his knowledge and consent.
I will not accept a pastorate of a United Pentecostal Church unless I am in accord with the Articles of Faith and Constitution of the General Church body.
Having accepted a pastorate, I will not use my influence to alienate the church, or any portion thereof from the fellowship or support of the United Pentecostal Church. If my convictions change, I will be honorable enough to withdraw.
Mark your calendar
Apostolic Ministerial Conference
– Oops! Errata! Rather than March 23-25, the conference dates are April 7-9, 2010 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. Please help us make that clear to your friends. AMC always has great fellowship and outstanding preaching. Something new has been added for 2010—a ministers’ wives breakout session, and also a youth emphasis. This is a family conference for all ministers and their immediate families. Don’t miss this unique Apostolic meeting!
Apostolic Theological Forum
– January 14-15. Everyone welcome! The Forum will be held at the First United Pentecostal Church of Euless, TX (between Dallas and Ft. Worth). The address is 709 Midway Dr. W. The newly remodeled sanctuary now can accommodate classroom seating for this type of meeting. Watch the next blog update for motels in the area. Modest registration includes syllabus of every paper to be delivered and discussed. Theme for this year: Apostolics and the Culture.
Rick Warren and the A/Gs
Rick Warren was a featured speaker at the recent Assemblies of God General Conference in Orlando, FL. He was introduced with great fanfare by General Superintendent George Wood, who pointed out that the A/Gs had gleaned so much in recent years from those outside their ranks. After walking through a substantial list of non-A/Gs from whom they had learned, he introduced Warren with these words: “I wanted him to come because I believe the Lord has helped him discover some vital keys that will help us with evangelism and seeing the Holy Spirit take your church to its next level of growth. As I introduce him today, I want to use the words Cornelius spoke to Peter, ‘Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything that the Lord has commanded you to say.’”
We all know what God anointed Peter to say to Cornelius. I wonder if he said anything to the A/Gs along that line. Offhand, having Warren to speak seems like a pretty good way to open a door to the false doctrines that he is embracing and propagating throughout Christendom.
Books make wonderful gifts!
The Book We Call the Bible
By J. R. Ensey
Paper; 371 pages; only 14.95 from advanceministries.org
An unsolicited testimony: “I gave your book, The Book We Call the Bible, to my pulmonary doctor and he read it. He said it was the best book he has ever read concerning the Bible. He has a much better understanding now than he did. In fact, your book allowed me to witness to him concerning the Holy Ghost, etc.” – Rev. Anthony Stowe
A Wonderful Deception
By Warren Smith
Lighthouse Trails Publishing
Paper; only 12.95 from advanceministries.org
In this new book, former New Age follower Warren Smith reveals how Christian leaders—wittingly or unwittingly—are leading the church into a spiritual trap. A Wonderful Deception examines church metaphors, concepts, and beliefs that are essentially the same as today’s New Age teachings. And while biblical prophecy is being minimized and explained away, the “new
science” is being used to prepare the world and the church to accept the New Spirituality and a false New Age Christ. Smith connects the dots for the “strong delusion” described in 2 Thessalonians. A Wonderful Deception pierces right into the heart of this deception while preparing believers in Jesus Christ to effectively stand against it.
Some key areas addressed in the book:
•How a “broad way” Christianity is deceiving many in the church
•How the “new science” will try to prove that God is “in” everything
•How Rick Warren continues to align himself with New Age sympathizers
•How attempts have been made to discredit critics of the Purpose Driven movement
•How the best-selling novel, The Shack, fits into the “wonderful” deception
•Ten scriptural reasons not to be connected with the Purpose Driven movement
Order your copy today! Advanceministries.org and click on Store.
Check out our other books on advanceministries.org.
The No-Spin Zone
One of the most enjoyable non-religious books I have read this year is Bill O’Reilly’s A Bold, Fresh Piece of Humanity. Buy it; you won’t regret it. You will laugh a lot, and perhaps learn a lot about what makes folks like him tick. He really pulls back the curtain on his own background.
Sprinkled throughout are pithy points of wisdom. Allow me to share a few lines with you.
• Once in a while, on my radio program, a caller will kid around about all the money I make and say something like: “Hey, send me some of that.” And I say, “You wouldn’t take it, would you?” Usually that rates a pause on the line. The caller is thinking about something that he or she hasn’t heard before: Well, why wouldn’t I take it? The answer, again, is simple: If you earn it, it’ll mean a lot more than if it’s given to you. Taking stuff makes you weaker. Earning stuff makes you stronger.
• To this day, I believe in confronting fears, from the imaginary to the very real and dangerous. We are all afraid at times—it’s normal—but as the legendary boxing trainer Cus D’Amato pointed out, fear can be a powerful motivator. True courage is not about being fearless; it’s about overcoming fear, going ahead with something worthwhile even though you’re terrified.
• But wait—what about intoxicated adults who hurt kids while under the influence? The trend these days is to define alcoholism and drug dependency as a disease; something that the substance abuser has little control over. In fact, there are doctors who will tell you that chemical addicts have a brain dysfunction that drives them to seek an intoxicated state. So if they can’t help themselves, how can we call their activities evil? And if, while stoned, they hurt a child or anyone else, it isn’t really their fault; they have a disease they can’t control! Good grief! Again, this goes back to free will and my belief that we all choose between doing good or committing evil. Yes, sometimes a person can get caught up in a situation where he or she commits a dreadful act, like hurting a child, as a result of making a very poor decision, such as failing to control a temper. Okay. But to do it more than once is inexcusable. By the way, you don’t catch an addiction like you catch a cold.
You acquire it. You choose to put the bottle or pipe to your lips, the needle to your arm. But you could choose otherwise, as millions of former addicts have demonstrated. Despite legions of excuse makers who enable evil, compulsive behavior can be defeated if the will is present to do so.
• During my two years teaching high school, I learned an enormous amount about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But one lesson stands out above all the others: you can save everyone. You can give people opportunities, you can try to help them, but some will not succeed, for a variety of reasons.
• This insight has shaped my political beliefs and my policy analysis. I am big on self-reliance and not enthusiastic about the nanny state. I strongly believe that, in America, each individual succeeds by understanding obligations and doing what is necessary to fulfill them. The government cannot do it for us, cannot drag us through life’s daily challenges making sure we’re all okay. Those who promise that are charlatans. To repeat what I wrote earlier, if you rely on big government—you’ll pay big.
• What Elvis and the other rock pioneers did was alter American culture forever. Rock ’n’ roll was not just music, but also an attitude full of rebellion and subversion against conformity and the prevailing wisdom of the 1950s.
• When it is all over, when you are dead in the ground or in an urn, your legacy will be defined by two simple questions: How many wrongs did you right, and how many people did you help when they needed it? That’s it. Nothing more. No one will care how much money you made or what kind of car you drove. Those things don’t inspire memorable eulogies.
(There are many other observations in the book that make it a reader’s delight. – JRE)
The tragedy of national suicide
Why am I even bothering to share thoughts about the impending surrender of America to the globalists, or about the parallels of the current administration with Nazism, or the imminent dangers of multiculturalism?
The answer is simple: all of those political and social arenas will negatively affect the church of Jesus Christ—including our ability to support and do missions work around the world and the privilege to operate freely within American society. They will definitely impact our children’s lives now and even more in the future. Freedom is slipping through our collective fingers. Silence by churchmen in Germany who craved recognition and acceptance by the Fuhrer and Reichmarshalls allowed the Nazis to more quickly establish their “pogroms” of socialism and ethnic cleansing. Why do we think it will be different here?
Not long ago I watched as a gathering crowd seemed to be fixated on a certain building a short distance away. What were they doing, I wondered. Then the explosions began and suddenly the building collapsed in a cloud of dust and debris. Planted munitions took the structure down in seconds, making obsolete the old-fashioned wrecking ball.
Similarly, we Apostolics seem to have taken a seat in the public grandstand and are silently watching the demolition of our nation with folded hands. Tsk, tsk, we cluck, as the American experiment collapses into a pile of Marxist debris. Worse—are we silent witnesses of the fragmentation of our own movement? Are we afraid to speak up for fear of losing favor with the hierarchy or of appearing overly critical? If so, then we will doubtless see other splinters and defections in the future—not just from one organization, but from every arm of the Apostolic movement.
A few years ago I wrote a booklet called The Perils of Pluralism. Little did I know how prophetic it was, or how soon the prognostications would come to fruition. It was a wake-up call to our own movement about the dangers of denominational drift and the mute acceptance of pluralism within our own faith. Although thousands were sold, probably only a relative few grasped the potential a turn toward pluralistic compromise could induce.
We must never forget that our strength is in the unity of believers, forged around a set of biblical doctrines and principles, and not around some mushy idea of politically correct diversity.
If you are interested, The Perils of Pluralism can still be ordered from advanceministries.org.
How Immigration and Multiculturalism Destroyed Detroit
Detroit is many millions in deficit, forcing the city and much of the state make drastic cutbacks of up to 20% in essential programs. The mayor of Detroit was recently put out of office for corrupt and immoral practices. Wake up, America, and recognize what elements of our society are bringing this great nation to her knees.
The cult of William Branham lives on
If you are dealing with followers of William Branham and need information on him, go to:
Or Google: William Branham false prophet
Another trophy for Obama
Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind. – Cicero
There is no success without honor; no happiness without a clear conscience; no use in living at all, if only for one’s self. It is not at all necessary for you to make a fortune, but it is necessary that you should become a fair-dealing, honorable, useful man, radiating goodness and cheerfulness wherever you go, and making your life a blessing. – Robert Waters
Keep the faith!