WELCOME to the October edition of our blog.
News from the UPCI General Conference
Yesterday the conference elected a new General Youth Secretary. The mantle fell on Michael Ensey. Why do I have a feeling he will do a masterful job in that position? Congratulations, Michael. You have our prayers and those of many in the fellowship. A number of other officials were elected, including Brothers Jerry Jones as General Secretary and Stan Gleason of Missouri as the Ass’t General Superintendent from the Western Zone.
The tenth Annual ATF will convene on January 20-21, 2011 at the First Pentecostal Church in Euless (DFW area), TX. The address is 709 Midway Dr. West. Papers will be delivered on topics pertinent to the Apostolic faith as it enters the second decade of the twenty-first century. The current challenges to our doctrine, methodology and lifestyle demand that our people are aware of our unanimity on the fundamentals. We must constantly sharpen our sickle for the harvest. Discussions will follow each presentation.
Low room rates in great nearby hotels, excellent accommodations for the Forum itself, and interesting, relevant topics will make for a great meeting. Presenters are men of serious scholarship and represent a broad spectrum of the Apostolic faith. Plan to be there. For more information, call 936-856-3419. For motels, call either the LaQuinta Inn and Suites (817-836-4000) or the Comfort Suites (817-836-4040). For local information or directions, call Leah at the church (817-267-0254).
See you in Euless!
• Multiculturalism (as distinct from mere racial diversity or a target for evangelism) is the bane of American society today. It will be a factor in the downfall of this nation. Divided loyalties have never been a positive element for any country.
• All of our fundamental doctrines deserve shoring up through consistent repetition from the pulpit and in our publications and books. But one tenet that we may be failing to emphasize is our belief in the plenary inspiration of the Bible. Our youth are being bombarded in schools and colleges with Darwinian evolution and are gradually losing faith in the Genesis record of creation. Biblical inerrancy must constantly be championed in our pulpits and classrooms.
• Younger ministers would be wise to consult with elders when new spiritual fads and interesting doctrines come down the pike. Some may be new, but many are merely rehashes of old theories discredited long ago. There has recently been a resurgence of elements of the Light Doctrine and Dominion Theology. We are all aware of the damage done by the Divine Flesh doctrine and some of the recent Emergent and Hipster theories and methodologies. Sometimes younger ministers fail to consult elders because they think they are “out of the current loop” and not “with it.” I understand. I was young once. We should be relevant, but relevant to the Word, to proven doctrines, to clear thinking—not to the latest smart aleck megachurch pastor from Metropolis who publishes a book called “This Is How I Did It.” Better find out what “It” is before running after him or his ideas.
• When terrorists strike at home or abroad, and PC propagandists rush to assure us that jihadist terror doesn’t reflect “true,” “peaceful” Islam, they’re not only wrong, they’re dangerous—because they lull America and the West into letting their guard down against their mortal enemy.
• If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.
Why is President Obama coddling the Muslims? Why do they see him as their Great Hope? Why are charges being dropped against many of the terrorists we have caught? Why are they allowed to freely pass through our Southern border without threat of being returned? We are naïve if we think it is only Mexicans and Costa Ricans coming across down there. Thousands of militant Muslims have slipped across into the U.S. Why?
Why is there no exposé of the activities in America’s mosques? The media certainly love to focus on any misdeeds of Christians but they are intimidated by the teeth-gritting, growling Muslims who speak of peace with one tongue and spew hatred with the other. Please check this out:
I firmly believe that we may be fighting terrorism on the wrong front. There are 48 Muslim nations in the world and we can’t invade and clean out the active terrorist cells in them all. We have been in Afghanistan for nearly ten years and how are things there today? Blood is still flowing in Iraq. We had better pay some attention to those who are multiplying in our midst. Some experts say 80% of them here in America do not have the best interests of the U.S. at heart. They want to see our system fall and Shariah law replace our constitution. The tens of thousands who danced in the streets in the Middle East when the twin towers fell—are they all Al Qaida terrorists? No, they are standard Muslims who live in communities where they are in the majority. When they gain the majority here, what will our streets look like? We can keep saying we are not at war with Islam, but the truth is the majority allows the minority to do the terrorism and take the blame while they sit back and say, “Oh, that’s not us!” with their fingers crossed behind their back, waiting for “their time.”
Wake up, America!
Normality Is an Endangered Species
“Fads in psychiatric diagnosis come and go and have been with us as long as there has been psychiatry. The fads meet a deeply felt need to explain, or at least to label, what would otherwise be unexplainable human suffering and deviance. In recent years the pace has picked up and false ‘epidemics’ have come in bunches involving an ever-increasing proportion of the population. We are now in the midst of at least three such epidemics—of autism, attention deficit, and childhood bipolar disorder. And unless it comes to its senses, DSM5 threatens to provoke several more (hypersexuality, binge eating, mixed anxiety depression, minor neurocognitive, and others.
“Fads punctuate what has become a basic background of overdiagnosis. Normality is an endangered species. The NIMH estimates that, in any given year. Twenty-five percent of the population (that’s almost 60 million people) has a diagnosable mental disorder. A prospective study found that, by age thirty- two, 50 percent of the general population had qualified for an anxiety disorder, 40 percent for depression, and 30 percent for alcohol abuse or dependence. Imagine what the rates will be like by the time these people hit fifty, or sixty-five, or eighty. In this brave new world of psychiatric overdiagnosis, will anyone get through life without a mental disorder?
“What accounts for the recent upsurge in diagnosis? I feel quite confident we can’t blame it on our brains. Human psychology and human nature change slowly if at all. Could it be that the surge in mental disorders is caused by our stressful society? I think not. There is no particular reason to believe that life is any harder now than it has always been—more likely we are the most pampered and protected generation ever to face its inevitable challenges. It is also tempting to find environmental (e.g., toxins) or iatrogenic causes (e.g., vaccinations), but there is no credible evidence supporting either of these. There is really only one viable environmental candidate to explain the growth of mental disorder—the widespread recreational use of psychotropic substances. But this cannot account for the extent of the ‘epidemics,’ particularly since most have centered on children.
“No. The ‘epidemics’ in psychiatry are caused by changing diagnostic fashions—the people don’t change, the labels do. There are no objective tests in psychiatry—no X-ray, laboratory, or exam that says definitively that someone does or does not have a mental disorder. What is diagnosed as mental disorder is very sensitive to professional and social contextual forces. Rates of disorder rise easily because mental disorder has such fluid boundaries with normality.”
– Excerpted from Allen Frances, “Normality Is an Endangered Species: Psychiatric Fads and Overdiagnosis,” Psychiatric Times, July 6, 2010, www.psychiatrictimes.com.
News outlets report that Claremont School of Theology, a United Methodist seminary in Claremont, CA has decided to become an interfaith institution, training Christians, Jews and Muslims for ministry. The changes were motivated by declining finances, they say, trusting that this move will strengthen their financial position and the seminary will be able to remain open.
The school believes that training pastors rabbis and imams under the same roof will also “develop the respect and wisdom necessary to transform America’s fractured religious outlook.” One wonders—transformed into what? They want to become the first accredited imam-training institution in the U.S. (shall we applaud?). Harvard Divinity School now requires in-depth study of at least two religious traditions. Hey, we must be broad-minded in today’s pluralistic culture, huh? Aren’t we all on the way to the same place, just by different roads? Can you imagine the apostle Paul making such statements if he were here today?
America’s seminaries have traditionally led their sponsoring denominations into spiritual compromise, betraying their founding principles. See “Kiss of Betrayal: The Record of Theological Seminaries in America” in the recently published 2010 Journal of the Apostolic Theological Forum. A description appears below.
What is left of loyalty?
When I read of Absalom’s rebellion against David, it makes me shudder. In that case, deserved loyalty was laid aside for self-aggrandizement and power. However, if David had been a tyrant and was attempting to turn Israel from God, then Absalom would have been justified if his efforts were directed toward returning the kingdom to righteousness. A higher loyalty would have been exhibited in such a situation.
All men have to decide where to place their loyalties. Our highest loyalty is owed to Christ, His gospel, and His Word, not to any earthly entity. If some entity to which we are attached, including our local church, is faithful to those elements and also to their founding principles, then they deserve our loyalty. If such faithfulness is not in evidence, then a question arises as to the level of loyalty that should be extended. No individual or association is owed loyalty when faithfulness to the truth has been abandoned. When some insist that loyalty must be extended regardless of what the entity or its leaders do, they are misguided. Blind loyalty is a friend to tyranny, abuse and compromise.
In a national sense, I believe there may be a sufficient measure of loyalty to America’s constitution and its founding principles left in enough of us to make a difference in the election next month. But only if we get out and VOTE!
The world was stirred last month because a foolish Florida pastor publicized his plans to burn a stack of Qur’ans. This infuriated the Muslim world and sent a wrong signal about Christians and how we are going to deal with Islam. Everyone knew if it happened, America would see a stepped-up campaign of bombings.
Isn’t it amazing, however, they can burn our churches with Bibles in them, and even people in them, and nothing is done. Even the military can burn our Bibles and nothing is done. The U.S. military has confirmed that it has destroyed Bibles belonging to an American soldier serving in Afghanistan. Reuters News says the Bibles were confiscated and destroyed after Qatar-based Al Jazeera television (5/5/09) showed soldiers at a Bible class on a base with a stack of Bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages. The U.S. military forbids its members on active duty—including those based in places like Afghanistan—from trying to convert people to another religion.
Reuters quotes Maj. Jennifer Willis at the Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, who said, “I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera’s clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed.” According to the military officials, the Bibles were sent through private mail to an evangelical Christian soldier by his church back home. Reuters says the soldier brought them to the Bible study class where they were filmed.
The Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, told a Pentagon briefing Monday that the military’s position is that it will never “push any specific religion.” They may not push any religion, but they surely make a difference in which ones they take action against.
Dhefinitions you nheed to know
Dhim·mi (dîm-mî) – An Islamic term that refers to a subjugated non-Muslim person living in a Muslim society. Second-class status is confirmed by the legal system and dhimmis do not share the rights of their Muslim rulers.
Dhim·wit (dïm-wît) – A non-Muslim member of a free society who unwittingly abets the stated cause of Islamic domination. A dhimwit is always quick to extend sympathy to the very enemy that would take away his or her own freedom (or life) if given the opportunity.
Silence gives consent
I concur wholeheartedly with this statement by Dr. Jim Garlow in the following post on his church website giving his views on the coming election as he asserts, “If this nation collapses in the 2010-2012 time frame, historians will have to report, if they are honest, that America fell because of silent pastors and inactive pews.”
I have posted this anonymous statement before, but it is too on target to ignore it now, just before the elections.
Let me get this straight. We’re going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don’t, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn’t read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that’s broke.
What could possibly go wrong?
Our only hope is for a congress to be elected next month with sufficient patriotism and common sense to come up with an alternate plan that will serve the best interest of all Americans.
2010 Journal of the Apostolic Theological Forum
This is the fourth edition of the ATF Journal. Papers were delivered at the Forum in January of 2010 addressing the following issues:
The Relationship of Culture and Prophecy
By William F. Chalfant
Maintaining Apostolic Distinctives In An Adversarial Culture
By Carl McLaughlin
Kiss of Betrayal: The Record of Theological Seminaries in America
By J. R. Ensey
Christ and Culture: An Introduction to H. Richard Niebuhr’s Classic Work on the Relation Between Christianity and Culture
By Steve Pixler
Ecclesiology and the Triumph of Nature Over Culture
By Roger D. Perkins
A Plea For Expository Preaching in the Apostolic Setting
By Philip Harrelson
Jesus, Seen Through Jewish Eyes
By G. Jorge Medina
You will find each of these papers stimulating and informative. As you can probably discern, the underlying theme of the 2010 Forum was Apostolics and the Culture, a topic that affects each of us every day.
AM price only $9.95
Finally, the Apostolic Ministerial Studies course is complete! Years in the making, the two levels, Basic and Advanced, are available in two binders. There are twelve lessons in each level prepared for use by a pastor to train the ministers in his local assembly. Outlines for the ministers are also included. Written and compiled by J. R. Ensey, the studies are very practical and easy to teach. Here are the lesson topics:
The Word Handlers I
Conquering the Enemies of the Ministry
From Moses to King James
Managing Ministerial Finances
Taking the Pressure Off Your Marriage
Life in the Fishbowl
Leadership in the Local Church I
God’s Ministry Gifts
Making Full Proof of Your Ministry
Standards of Christian Conduct
The Ministry and Morality
The Word Handlers II
Shutting the Backdoor of the Church
The Christian Counselor
A Page From Paul’s Ministers’ Manual
Requirements For the Priesthood
Maturing In the Ministry
Feeding the Flock
Leadership in the Local Church II
Pursuing the Will Of God
Shoulders For A Prophet’s Mantle
The Gifts of the Spirit
AM Price for both Pastor’s Manuals and student notes $119.00
Laugh to keep from crying….
They are still smarting from that sling stone fired 3000 years ago.
Several years before he signed the extraordinary Camp David Accord with Israel, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said, “The assassination of Arab brethren, like Goliath, by Jewish sheepherders like David, is the sort of shameful ignominy that we must yet set aright in the domain of the occupied Palestinian homeland.”
So now we have one more culprit to blame for 9/11: David!
–Ha Ubal Or (Jerusalem Edition), 3 January, 1991
Thanks for visiting. See you next month!