April ’10 Blog

Welcome to the April 2010 Blog. There’s a lot to talk about so let’s get on with it.

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Start with the Word

I Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV): “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.”

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Gone…but never forgotten!

J. T. Pugh was a legend in his own time. Few men are marked by that distinction. Last week we said goodbye to him and his wife, Bessie. Few have impacted our lives—and our movement—as they did.

I got acquainted with the Pughs in the late 1950s when they were pastoring in Port Arthur, TX. He was the principal of the first Texas District Youth Camp in Lufkin. Sister Pugh was the registrar, assigning Roffie to the boy’s dorm because of her name. Prior to standing before her in the line, Sister Pugh assumed she was a boy. It was at that camp that Roffie and I first met.

Brother Pugh and I served on the Evangelism Commission together. Later, when he was the General Home Missions Director, I served as the secretary. We worked together in those positions for several years. Our kids grew up together.

Brother Pugh was not a businessman. He was not an athlete. He was not a musician, and certainly not a politician. He was a cross-loving servant of God who could communicate the love and grace of God perhaps better than anyone. In other words, he was a preacher. Preaching was his life. A preacher is all he ever really wanted to be. In the pulpit, he excelled. He had few peers. He could reach within you and grab your soul. When he finished his message, you wanted to repent, or give, or go—perhaps all three—immediately. You wanted to go win souls and start new churches. You wanted to go love someone into the kingdom.

He excelled in something other than preaching—practical joking. He was as good at that as he was at preaching, maybe the best that ever was. He was a spinner of tales, holding you spellbound until the end when he would let you down hard, all with a straight face. One wondered where he came up with all the ways to pull your leg. But you loved him for it.

Bessie pulled up stakes thirty-four hours after J. T. left us. She made the funeral arrangements, picked out his burial suit, selected the dress she would wear to the service, then seemingly willed herself to join him in the life beyond. They were buried side-by-side. “J. T. and I—we have our own thing going,” she said before bowing her head and departing.

Indeed they did.

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Jerusalem posters tout rebuilt Temple

While tensions continue to simmer around the Temple Mount after riots in and around the capital’s Old City earlier this month, a new campaign calling for the construction of the Third Temple atop the holy site has made its way to the sides of 200 Egged buses in the city, which now sport posters featuring a picture of a rebuilt temple on the Mount, and nothing else.

The posters, which contain the phrase, “May the Bais Hamikdosh be rebuilt speedily and within our days,” were sponsored by the Our Land of Israel group, which is led by Rabbi Shalom Dov Volpo and activist Baruch Marzel, leave out the site’s current structures—namely the the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

The campaign’s organizers chose to plaster the posters on buses whose routes take them through predominately Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.

With regards to the campaign, Volpo said Israel is waiting breathlessly for the coming of the messiah and the rebuilding of the temple.

“The Arabs and President Obama know that the Temple will be built on the Temple Mount,” he said. “Instead of the temporary buildings that are there today.” Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, Marzel said it was no mistake that the Islamic shrines were left out of the picture.

“We’re representing the truth, in front of everyone, and saying out loud what every Jew believes,” Marzel said. “That the Third Temple needs to be built immediately on the Temple Mount and that the mosque should not be there.”

“When we reach the end of the Pessah Seder tomorrow night, he continued, “we’ll say, ‘Next year in a rebuilt Jerusalem.’ What does ‘rebuilt’ mean? It means with the Third temple intact.”

Source: Jerusalem Post  http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=172008

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Cartoons

When you recognize that these cartoons are being published around the world, is it any wonder America is now considered to be a JOKE?

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God Said NO!!

I asked God to take away my habit.

God said, “No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.

God said, “No. His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.”

I asked God to grant me patience.

God said, “No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is learned.”

I asked God to give me happiness.

God said, “No. I provide blessings and benefits; happiness is up to you.”

I asked God to spare me pain.

God said, “No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.”

I asked God to make my spiritual man grow.

God said, “No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.”

I asked God for many things that I might enjoy life.

God said, “No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”

I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me.

God said, “Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.”

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The view

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning while they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.

“That laundry is not very clean,” she said. “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments. About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: “Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.”

The husband said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life. What we see when watching others may depend on the cleanliness of the window through which we look.

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The Bible wins again

Skeptics, said by the Lord Himself to be associated with “wind and confusion” (Isaiah 41:28,29), can’t bring themselves to believe the accurate record of the Bible. But archaeologists continue to peel back the layers of history to reveal that the Bible is always right.

When the skeptics attempt to impugn the integrity of the writers of Scripture, they are challenged by the artifacts that the archaeologists consistently turn up. Paul spoke of “Erastus” of Corinth as the city treasurer in Romans 16:23. But to the unbelievers that was myth or fable, history that never was, and unproven supposition. However, in 1929 excavators unearthed a pavement inscription in Corinth that read: “ERASTVS PRO: AED:S:P:STRAVIT” (Erastus, curator of public buildings, laid this pavement at his own expense.) Obviously, the donor was the man to whom Paul referred. The Bible wins again.

But science, supposedly dealing only with facts, keeps coming up with the most inane suppositions. Last week, the report was published that a child’s pinkie finger bone was found in a Siberian cave and dates to 40,000 years ago. “Scientists” are speculating that it may point to an entirely new species of humans. All based on the discovery of a tiny part of a pinkie bone. It will probably be found to belong to the great, great uncle or a distant Siberian cousin of the laughing boy on the left. He seems to be mocking the “smart” guys in the lab coats. And they say we are silly for believing the Bible!

Wind and confusion. That is the belief system of the skeptics.

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Warning: hackers are raising funds (and some hackles)

Several friends have recently had their email addresses used by someone asking for loans to bail them out during a trip to Europe where their wallets were stolen or lost. This is a hoax and should be ignored.

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Re-quotable quotes

Ideas have consequences and bad ideas can have lethal consequences. – George Weigel

“[Emergents] use of ‘missional’ describes the idea that any works that make the world a better place bring us toward the ideal future…. In the [Emergent] view the only thing that doesn’t make sense is preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sins so people can avoid a literal future judgment (because [emergents] do not believe in a future judgment).” – Bob DeWaay in Critical Issues Commentary

“We must act today to preserve tomorrow.” – Abraham Lincoln

“The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.” – Cicero, 55 BC

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The meaning of church

In the March 3 edition of the Houston Chronicle, Amanda Myers, an AP writer, posted an article concerning a problem that the Crossroads United Methodist Church had with the city of Phoenix, AZ. It seems the church, located in an upscale neighborhood, was inviting crowds of the homeless to free pancake breakfasts on Saturday morning. The church had set up tables on their parking lot to feed those who came. Neighbors said it created blight, posed a danger to them, and violated zoning laws. Others said the laws didn’t apply to a church. All of this does not necessarily create “breaking news.”

What the pastor said in response to these charges is what concerns me. The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, in defending the church’s program of feeding the homeless, stated, “This is what it means to be a church.”

Is it, really? Has American Christianity reached the point that the mission of the church has become just another charity, but one housed in a multi-million dollar building in an upscale neighborhood rather than a storefront mission in a poor section of town? Are we just another Goodwill? A religious version of “Meals on Wheels”? A Salvation Army with a fifty foot steeple? A means of transportation for the poor to get to the polls?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not a stingy person with what resources God has entrusted to me over the years. I have preached on skid rows and in storefront missions. I have visited flophouses and dipped soup into the bowls of the hungry and homeless. I have prayed with men on the streets and sidewalks whose bodies were caked with filth and raked by disease. I have personally handed out water, blankets and food to needy individuals and families. So let’s get that part straight. I did it because I personally wanted to.

But that is not what it means to be a church! The church is not just another charity established to alleviate the social problems of sinful humanity. Sure, there are times with the line between charity and evangelism gets a little blurry. But what we are seeing today is a clear step across the line to resurrect the social gospel of the early twentieth century when Christianity shifted to that emphasis and away from salvation, the cross of Christ, and deliverance from a life of debauchery. Can we long appease our conscience for lack of evangelistic passion by distributing a few blankets to the winos under the bridge? Are we aware of the redefinition of “social justice” to mean redistribution of wealth, a.k.a. socialism?

It took a Great Depression and two world wars to move American Christianity back toward its true evangelical mission. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary again.

If Crossroads Methodist were the only church with this vision of their purpose, this article would not have been written. But we are seeing a definite movement away from atonement and the true gospel, away from Christ as Savior and Redeemer. “Deeds, not creeds,” cries Rick Warren, et al. How easy to salve people’s conscience with good works when their real need is the cross of Christ and cleansing by His blood.

“Oh, but we are not going to forget to tell them about Christ and the gospel,” I can just hear someone saying. Right. Do they ever read history? Must we be blinded by cultural mandates and not see where we are headed? And it is not merely the Methodists, the Episcopalians or the Presbyterians who are targets of the promoters of the social gospel. It is the Apostolic movement as well. We have become accepting of many views of gospel preaching, evangelism methodology and social causes that once would not have been given a second thought. If we did not consider all men lost without Christ and the Apostolic gospel, then we could feel better about the current direction of Christianity.

All I am saying is that we need to walk with discernment amid all of the social chaos of our times. Apostolic believers must keep our focus and not try to compete with other religious movements or governmental programs. We need to continue to see ourselves as the sole carriers and disseminators of truth. We may flip a pancake or two, but if we start thinking that “this is what it means to be a church,” we have crossed a line.

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WARNING:

Beware of terrorist groups within the church

We are all aware of the aim of Osama bin Laden and his legions of terrorists to destroy all that is good and right in the world—particularly Christians. But the latest news reports are that five terrorist cell groups have been operating right inside many of our church congregations.

They have been identified as: Iva bin Sleepin’, Shia bin Fussin’, Theya bin Fightin’, Suma bin Complainin’, and Alata bin Missin’. Obama bin Robin has joined the group to try to cut off giving to the church and siphoning it into the federal coffers.

Their supreme leader, Lucifer bin Workin’, trained these groups to destroy the body of Christ. The plan is to come into the church disguised as Christians and to work within the church to discourage, disrupt, and destroy.

However, there have been reports of a sixth group. A tiny cell known by the name Bin Prayin’ is actually the only effective counter terrorism force in the church. Unlike other terrorist cells, the Bin Prayin’ team does not blend in with whoever and whatever comes along.

Bin Prayin’ does whatever is needed to uplift and encourage the body of Christ. We have noticed that the Bin Prayin’ cell group has different characteristics than the others. They have Bin Watchin’, Bin Waitin’, Bin Fastin’, and Bin Longin’ for the Lord Jesus Christ to return.

No church is exempt from their invasion! However, you can spot them pretty quickly if you bin lookin’ and bin goin’!

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With Obama in hog heaven

(If you read the item just above this one, you will easily grasp the meaning of this little tale.)

There is a classic story about how no one had been able to capture a herd of wild hogs that was rooting up crops at numerous farms. It got so bad that rewards had been posted for anyone clever enough to corral the critters. But even this resulted in only limited success.

One day a stranger, who was a wily old trapper, came into town, and upon entering the general store ordered a truckload of fence posts and fencing, along with some feed. When asked what he was going to use it for, he said, “I’m going to get those wild hogs y’all are having trouble with.”

Of course, everyone in the store laughed at the overconfident stranger. A few weeks later, however, the stranger rode into town with the back of his truck tightly packed with the smelly swine.

When asked how he was able to accomplish what no one else had been able to do, the old trapper replied, “Simple. I started putting the feed out in a small clearing and the hogs began freely eating the feed. It didn’t take long and they were there every day. Then I put up the fence posts, but with no fencing. At first the hogs were a little skittish, but it wasn’t long until they ignored the posts. Then I began putting the fence up, but I left the gate off. Again, the hogs were skittish at first, but soon realized they could come and go freely, and before long, they were devouring the free food with a vengeance. Then, one day when the hogs were aggressively consuming the vittles, I slammed the gate closed.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what the old trapper did to the wild hogs is exactly what our soon-to-be oppressors are doing to us! What is worse, most Americans seem about as oblivious to the whole thing as that bunch of pigs. For anyone who is paying attention, however, the signs of growing political enslavement are everywhere. Our freedoms are being gradually removed as another fence post is set into place. Millions are in denial, just like the hogs, but the truth is easy to see. We just keep eating the stuff that is being tossed out for us with no thought of how our constitutional liberties are rapidly disappearing.

The gate is closing. Is anyone noticing?

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Speaking of denial…

I recently read a list of accomplishments that some originally either dismissed or figured were impossible in the beginning. (Source unknown.) Here are some of them:

• “The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.”  – An internal Western Union memo, 1876

• “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”  – IBM chairman Thomas Watson, 1943

• “The information superhighway is a dirt road that won’t be paved over until 2025.” – Sumner Redstone, CEO of Viacom/Blockbuster

• “Who the h–l wants to hear actors talk?”  – H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927 (speaking of talking movies)

• “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”

Ken Olson, founder, chairman & president of DEC, 1977

• “640k ought to be enough for anybody.”  – Bill Gates, 1981, of computer memory

• “Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.”

Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science in 1949 • “Everything that can be invented has already been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, director of the U.S. Patent Office, 1899

• “Computer games don’t affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” – Kristin Wilson, Nintendo, Inc., 1989.

• “A rocket will never be able to leave the earth’s atmosphere.”  – The New York Times, 1936

• “The only thing I’d rather own than Windows is English. Then I’d be able to charge you an upgrade fee every time I add new letters like N and T.”  – Scott McNealy, chairman of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

• “I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” – The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

• “But what … is it good for?” – Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

• “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?”  – David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

• “The world is coming to an end in 1950.” – Historian Henry Adams, 1903

• “There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.”

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Milliken, 1923

• “So we went to Atari and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we’ll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we’ll come work for you.’ And they said, ‘No.’ So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, ‘Hey, we don’t need you. You haven’t gone through college yet.” – Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs on attempts to get Atari and H-P interested in his and Steve Wozniak’s personal computer.

Did I hear someone say, “No one really wants this Apostolic gospel”?

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“It Couldn’t Be Done” Day

The preceding list shows that what was thought impossible yesterday can be a reality today.

One of the most motivating factors for forward-thinking individuals is that someone says it can’t be done. Perhaps that is why, in my ministry, I often preferred to do things no one else was doing. In 1961 I went to the East Coast to begin a new work when others were saying no one out there wanted the gospel, that it was a preacher’s graveyard. We proved that folks out there were indeed hungry for the gospel. In three and a half years we had a self-supporting church with a new brick building in a prominent location in the city of Greensboro. After four years, Brother Curtis Young assumed the pastorate and I left to evangelize, conduct personal evangelism seminars, and promote home missions in the urban areas of our nation.

When I departed, I took with me a particular burden for the populated East Coast area of our nation. I soon made a trip of several thousand miles, focusing on cities from Georgia to Massachusetts and New Hampshire, taking pictures in larger towns with no church, interviewing people on the streets, finding buildings that could be used for churches, and made a slide presentation of home missions possibilities that was shown at the next General Conference. After the presentation, J. T. Pugh appealed for men to go to those cities and found a church. Over two hundred ministers pressed forward to volunteer. Within two years, there were almost thirty new churches begun on the East Coast that were a direct result of that service. Many others would be started in the following years by men who had caught the vision in that meeting. In 1961, there were only two churches operating in the entire state of North Carolina. Today there are scores.

I suggested that an Evangelism Commission be created under the auspices of the Home Missions Division. It was, and I was asked to serve as its first coordinator. The office of General Home Missions Secretary was soon created and I was asked to serve in that capacity. Interoffice communications were important so I started The Insider newsletter for the growing number of employees at WEC. The Pentecostal image was generally poor in those days as far as the public was concerned, so I worked to raise the profile and visibility of the UPCI and in the process founded the Public Relations Department.

We needed communication from the General Headquarters and the various Divisions and suggested the founding of the Forward ministers’ magazine. I served as its first editor for several years.

Texas Bible College had never had a Vice President. While pastoring in Arkansas, I was asked to move to Houston and assume that position. Later, when serving as president of TBC, we inaugurated a number of new programs, including ExCeLL (Extension Centers for Learning on Location). In 1978, I was asked to plan and participate in the training of new ministers and those upgrading their credentials in the Texas District, and have since participated in approximately one hundred seminars for them. Today that program is called the Ministerial Advancement Program (MAP) and I serve as its first chairman.

Why am I saying those things? To toot my own horn? Honestly, I don’t need my horn tooted. No—just to say that a man becomes responsible for what he “sees.” Merely because no one else is doing something, or has done it, does not mean that it can’t or shouldn’t be done. If it is a legitimate need, find a way. Make it happen. “Lift up your eyes…,” Jesus said. Senator Robert F. Kennedy said it this way: “Some men see things as they are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream things that never were and ask, ‘Why not?’”

Korczak Ziolkowski was told he could not transform a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota into a graven monument to Crazy Horse, the famous Sioux chief. When he was well along in the project, the city of Rapid City celebrated “It Couldn’t Be Done Day” to commemorate the fact that all it takes is a vision, a strong will and absolute selflessness to achieve big things. As that spirit is brought over into the church, good things for God begin to happen!

What have YOU been told that couldn’t be done? Speak to God about it, and the two of you get together and go do it!

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It didn’t matter…

The fundamental transformation of America is underway. Barack Hussein Obama promised that he would “fundamentally transform America.” He is being quite successful. Did it matter? At the time he said it, people cheered and clapped like puppets on a string. Watch the 8-second clip:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvJJP9AYgqU

• When Barack Obama wrote a book and said he was mentored as a youth by “Uncle Frank,” (Frank Marshall Davis) an avowed Communist and bi-sexual porn producer, people said it didn’t matter.

• When it was discovered that Obama’s grandparents were strong socialists, sent Obama’s mother to a socialist school, and introduced Frank Marshall Davis to young Obama, people said it didn’t matter.

• When people found out that he was enrolled as a Muslim child in school and his father and stepfather were both Muslims, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he campaigned for socialist Bernie Sanders for the U.S. Senate, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he wrote in another book he authored, “I will stand with them (Muslims) should the political winds shift in an ugly direction,” people said it didn’t matter.

• When he admitted in his book that he chose Marxist friends and professors in college, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he traveled to Pakistan, after college on an unknown national passport, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he sought the endorsement of the Marxists groups when he ran for the Illinois Senate, people said it doesn’t matter.

• When he sat in a Chicago church for twenty years and listened to a preacher spew hatred for America and preach black liberation theology, people said it didn’t matter.

• When three alleged homosexuals in that Chicago church, including the choir director, were murdered within sixty days of each other during the presidential campaign, the mainstream media suppressed the story and no one has been indicted for those deaths as far as we can tell, but folks said it didn’t matter.

• When Obama himself was accused of homosexual acts by a former friend, the person was dismissed as someone with an ax to grind, and the people said it really didn’t matter.

• When an independent Washington organization that tracks senate voting records, gave him the distinctive title as the “most liberal senator,” people said it didn’t matter.

• When the Palestinians in Gaza set up a fundraising telethon to raise money for his election campaign, people said it didn’t matter.

• When his voting record supported gun control, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan and Muammar Gaddafi and Hugo Chavez, people said it didn’t matter.

• When it was pointed out that he had absolutely no appreciable experience at anything except community organizing, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he chose friends and colleagues such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, people said it didn’t matter.

• When his voting record in the Illinois senate and in the U.S. Senate came into question, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he refused to wear a flag, lapel pin and did so only after a public outcry, people said it didn’t matter.

• When people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, people said it didn’t matter.

When he stood with his hands over his groin area for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he said he favors sex education in Kindergarten, including homosexual indoctrination, people said it didn’t matter.

• When his background was either scrubbed or hidden and nothing could be found about him, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he had an association in Chicago with Tony Rezco, a man of questionable character, who is now in prison and had helped Obama to a sweet deal on the purchase of his home, people said it didn’t matter.

• When it became known that George Soros, a multi-billionaire Marxist, spent a ton of money to get him elected, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he started appointing czars that were radicals, revolutionaries, and even avowed Marxist/Communist, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he stood before the nation and told us that his intentions were to “fundamentally transform this nation” into something else, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he appointed cabinet members and several advisors who were tax cheats and socialists, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he appointed John Holdren as science czar, a man who believes in forced abortions, mass sterilizations and seizing babies from teen mothers, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he brought control of the U.S. Census Bureau into the White House, people said it doesn’t matter.

• When he appointed Cass Sunstein as regulatory czar, a man who believes in “Explicit Consent,” harvesting human organs without family consent, and to allow animals to be represented in court, while banning all hunting, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he appointed Kevin Jennings, the homosexual founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, as safe school czar and it became known that he had a history of bad advice to teenagers, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he appointed Mark Lloyd as diversity czar, one who believes in curtailing free speech, taking from one and giving to another to spread the wealth, and admires Hugo Chavez, people said it didn’t matter.

• When Valerie Jarrett was selected as Obama’s senior White House advisor and she is an avowed Socialist, people said it didn’t matter.

• When Anita Dunn, White House Communications director said Mao Tse Tung was her favorite philosopher and the person she turned to most for inspiration, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he appointed Carol Browner as global warming czar, when she is a well-known socialist working on Cap and Trade as the nation’s largest tax, people said it doesn’t matter.

• When he appointed Van Jones, an ex-con and avowed Communist as green energy czar, who since had to resign when this was made known, people said it didn’t matter.

• When Tom Daschle, Obama’s pick for health and human services secretary, could not be confirmed, because he was a tax cheat, people said it didn’t matter.

• When as president of the United States, he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he traveled around the world criticizing America and never once talking of her greatness, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he took American tax dollars to resettle thousands of Palestinians from Gaza to the United States, people said it doesn’t matter.

• When he called for a “civilian national security force,” people clapped and cheered. It didn’t seem to be a matter of concern.

• When he started spending us into a debt that was so big we could not pay it off, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he took a huge spending bill under the guise of stimulus and used it to pay off organizations, unions and individuals that got him elected, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he took over insurance companies, car companies, banks, etc., people said it didn’t matter.

• When he took away student loans from the banks and gave the authority solely to the government, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he designed plans to take over the health care system and put it under government control, people said it didn’t matter.

• When he set into motion a plan to take over the control of all energy in the United States through Cap and Trade, people said it didn’t matter.

But it does matter! When you add all of these things up, and others could be added to the list, you get a phenomenal score that points to the fact that Obama is determined to make America over into a Marxist/Socialist society. When Obama finally completes his transformation of America into a socialist state, people may eventually wake up, but it will be too late. They will be powerless to do anything about it. NOW is the time to make our voices heard.

Never before in the history of America have we been confronted with problems so huge that the very existence of our country is in jeopardy. Don’t rely on most news outlets and what you read in the newspapers for the truth. Verify the above statements for yourself.

(The above article was sent to me and was credited to Dr. Melissa R. Robinson of Fishersville, Virginia. I called to verify her authorship and it was denied. Whoever wrote it was insightful and concerned. I felt it should be shared. I even added a couple of bullet points.)

Most or all of the above points can be verified by research on the Internet. For more evidence of Obama’s socialistic bent, go to http://www.gopusa.com/forum/showthread.php?t=46726

http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/275493.php (documentation about “Uncle Frank”)

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Sooner or later they will be coming after your guns!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDMeDmV0ufU

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Go ahead…


…ignore the elephant in the room.

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What about body piercing and tattoos?

The Alliance of Professional Tattooists (APT) estimates that over 39 million Americans have a tattoo. What does the Bible say about this practice? (See pages 176-189 in Why…? Ten questions that deserve honest answers by J. R. Ensey.)

What is the meaning of “evangelical hybrids”?

A number of New Spirituality (formerly called New Age) proponents convincingly call themselves “Evangelicals,” deceiving many and confusing even some Apostolics. (See pages 72-90 in A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen.)

What are “mystery religions”? What is “patripassionism”? What is “Gnosticism”? The answers to these questions and over a thousand others are found in The New Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary, the first serious reference volume presenting the Apostolic viewpoint. Compiled and edited by J. R. Ensey.)

The above books can be ordered at advanceministries.org or call 936-856-3419. Thanks for buying your Apostolic books and Bibles from Advance Ministries.

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A picture is worth a thousand words.

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Book review with a new term: Homospirituality

A New Kind of Christianity

By Brian McLaren

HarperCollins Publishers

List: $24.99

Reviewed by John Lanagan (free-lance writer and researcher)

Brian McLaren is the acknowledged leader of the Emergent movement. In this latest book, the reader is cordially invited to join the author in a heretical assault upon God and the Bible. Indeed, as McLaren enthusiastically demonstrates, it is not possible to attack one without attacking the other.

Acknowledging the work of fellow emergent travelers such as Phyllis Tickle, Tony Jones, and Doug Pagitt, McLaren tells us “something is trying to be born among those of us who follow Jesus Christ.” (pg.13) In fact, writes McLaren, “what is trying to be born today echoes the Great Reformation in many ways.” (pg.257)

What does McLaren’s “reformation” offer? An errant eschatology. A New Age “christ.” The ascent of homospirituality into the temple (2 Kings 23: 7). All made possible, of course, through creative misinterpretation of God’s Word. The author has brought us his Great Deformation, a theology that plays to the flesh even while being portrayed as a spiritual journey.

One of the major themes in A New Kind of Christianity, homosexuality, cleverly defines Christians who speak out against the homosexual lifestyle as suffering from “fundasexuality.” (Pg.174-5) However, you are only a “fundasexualist” if you speak out loudly against this sin. McLaren decrees, “The term does not apply to the quiet, pious, respectful fundamentalism of straightforward, sincere people, but rather to the organizing, angry, dominating fundamentalism that declares war on those who differ.” (pg. 174-5) In other words, when it comes to homosexuality, a good Christian is a silent Christian.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

Yet, no matter what name his god is given, you will not find this redesigned deity in the Old or New Testament. The only way to promote the existence of this “god” is to radically change biblical interpretation—which is exactly what the author spends much time and many pages seeking to accomplish. “There will be no new kind of Christian faith without a new approach to the Bible,” he opines, “because we’ve gotten ourselves into a mess with the Bible.” (Pg. 67-68)

In his chapter, ‘What is the Overarching Storyline of the Bible?’ McLaren notes he and others have “dared to tweak” the content of the Word of God. “We might question conventional theories of atonement or the nature and population of hell or whether concepts like original sin or total depravity might need to be modified.” (pg. 35)

McLaren does indeed “modify.” He modifies with a vengeance. Thus this emergent “Jesus” was never sent by the Father to die in our place for our sins. There is no substitutionary atonement. There is no original sin. (And there is no Hell as Jesus described.)

As in his other books, in A New Kind of Christianity McLaren exhibits his ability and talent to write well and draw readers with his conversational tone, seemingly measured, with humorous comments sprinkled in here and there. He gives the impression of allowing much room to disagree with him. He invites us on a journey, which he portrays as part of the natural “evolution” of Christianity.

“The old paradigm falls away behind us like a point of departure, and we are won over to new possibilities, caught up in a new way of seeing, looking toward a new and wide horizon.” (Pg.30) But since the author does not comprehend the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:14), what practices does he engage in to gain wisdom and knowledge?

Interestingly, McLaren identifies himself as a “contemplative/reflexive.” (pg. 226) He writes, “In the tradition of Julian of Norwich and St. Teresa of Avila and all the other mystics, we can learn to render ourselves vulnerable to the “favors of God”—those indescribable experiences that mock our dualisms and so saturate our imagination with abundance that they transcend our ability to convey joy and wonder. In the tradition of St. John of the Cross, we can learn to survive and derive benefits from the soul’s dark night.” (pg. 227) Like most leading figures in the Emergent movement, McLaren advocates contemplative spirituality.

A New Kind of Christianity will serve as a lure for biblically illiterate Christians. For believers who know the Word of God, McLaren’s heresy will sadden and astound. His book is aimed at the young, and at people who have perhaps grown up in households with little or no faith. It is aimed at the unsaved and the uncertain. It is for the disappointed and disenchanted, and for people who simply know no better. If you have a gripe against God or His people, this book will lick your wounds. But what this book will not do is provide any measure of godly hope and biblical virtue. (End of Lanagan’s review)

Garbage! Please save your money. Even if they give it to you, don’t take it. On second thought, take it and toss it in the nearest dumpster with the other trash where it belongs. The Emergent heresy represents a return to darkness. The future of the Apostolic faith is out there ahead of us, not behind us. True Apostolic bugles sound no retreat!

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Parting shot

In the last fifty years, the most creative thinkers, preachers and singers in America have come from Apostolic ranks. Although we have no corner on good ideas, and should always be resourceful, we ought not feel an overwhelming need to consult with or copy those from other faiths when it comes to doctrine, worship and evangelism. – jre


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See you next week in Nashville! May the “April showers” be showers of blessing on you and yours!

JREnsey

Published in: on April 1, 2010 at 6:09 AM  Leave a Comment  

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