WELCOME to the January edition of our blog. I trust you had great holidays and are enjoying the beginning of a great new year!
“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37 NIV).
“Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (I Corinthians 3:18,19a).
Increases and Decreases: Predictions for 2011
I am not a seer of the future, merely an observer of the present, which is a result of the past. However, it is not rocket science to be able to predict some things that are coming down the pike in 2011. In the context of “increases” and “decreases,” let me go on record with the following prognostications.
1) There will be an increase in the number of people who combine belief in God with Darwinian evolution. A corresponding decrease in the number of those who accept the Genesis account of creation will be posted by those who survey for such statistics.
2) There will be a decrease in the number of those who view homosexual activity as immoral. Gay ministers in Christian churches who are non-celibate will proliferate, making it more difficult to speak out against the practice. A choice of either believing the plain teachings of Scripture or accepting the mores of our culture will be forced upon our children and young adults.
3) There will be an increase in the popularity of Islam despite its attachment to terrorism. They know that “the big one” on 9/11 basically won the war on terror for them, and the mop-up operations of individuals like the Underwear and Times Square bombers will only win them more concessions from a liberal U.S. government under Obama. A large portion of the American populace, who have been made to feel by the leftist media that the U.S. is to blame because of past “offenses,” are ready to concede virtually anything to pacify them.
4) There will be an increase in “backlashes” for every step taken to offset the huge strides being made by Islam. A decrease in support for Christianity in the media, along with a silent, intimidated clergy, will pave the way for this to occur. (Will there ever be a backlash against backlashes?)
5) A decrease in opposition to the New York City Muslim mosque at ground zero will motivate the city to award building permits for its construction. An increase in apathy toward positioning such mosques around the country will see them multiply.
6) There will be an increase in sexual child abuse, due in part to the escalating promotion of homosexuality and the display of perverted acts in the media. A decrease in the number of those who feel homosexual acts—even with underage children—are immoral will make prosecution more difficult.
7) There will be a decrease in print readership in favor of tech toys, such as I-pads, Kindles, etc. This will increase the symptoms that psychiatrists say will call for medications like Ritalin, Xanax, and antidepressants. (Video games, television, I-pods and similar tech components are said to contribute heavily to ADHD and other problems that invite drug prescriptions.) Prescription drug abuse and its devastating results will increase exponentially.
8) “Spirituality” as defined by current culture will increase as commitment and loyalty to traditional Christian denominations decrease.
9) Military morale and patriotism will decrease as the Obama administration continues to turn the hearts of Americans away from the Constitution and the Founders. This will be aided by an increase in the number of college students being radicalized during their “education” in the university.
10) There will be an increase in the acceptance of illegal aliens (“immigrants” are those who come to America the legal way) as “Americans” qualified to vote. A decrease in the number of elected officials with the courage to brace the tide will facilitate a huge political revolution in our nation.
Those are my predictions. What are yours?
I find it truly amazing that the PC maniacs denounce public officials and military chaplains for wanting to invoke the name of Jesus but are quite willing to have Allah, Muhammad and Islam all over our textbooks. Is this discriminate nonsense coming from “the folks”?
Of course not. The source is the secularists, the effete corps of elitists who control our media, who run our government bureaucracies, and who stand sandaled and bearded behind our university lecterns. They want Christmas outlawed as a holiday commemorating Christ’s birth, Easter dispensed with as a time of celebrating the resurrection of Christ, and any reference to Jesus eliminated from public prayers in congress and on military installations.
When red flags are hoisted about the meteoric rise of Islam in America, with its central purpose of bringing America—a nation of infidels—under subjection to Sharia law, we are collectively accused of Islamophobia. Ever wonder why the anti-Christmas, anti-Christian prayer gang are not called Christophobes? As long as our leaders, both in the church and in government, are intimidated into silence, we will continue to slip into socialism and secularism, making America a perfect patsy for an Islamic takeover.
Apostolics need to lift up Jesus as never before. Proclaim His name! He is more than some peacenik preaching universal love. He came to provide redemption and salvation for all mankind. But we don’t force Him on anyone. There is enough freedom in America for everyone to embrace whatever religion they desire. Fear and intimidation are not factors of freedom. We love everyone and want all to be saved. There is no room for hate in the life and mind of the Christian. How does the old chorus go…“Help me love when I’m hated….”?
Islam, however, is more than a religion. It is a social/governmental system run by mullahs and clerics. There is no room in America for those whose only desire is the overthrow of our government, who pray for the demise of our freedoms and the eradication of our way of life. Wake up, America!
Women in pants is a fairly recent trend
It is illegal for women to wear pants in Tucson, AZ (unless it has been changed recently). In 1997 California passed a law legalizing women wearing pants. In the 1930 movie, Morocco, Marlene Dietrich wore pants and kissed a woman. (Source: http://gizardboy1990.tripod.com/id45.html) Why do you think those cities and states passed the law in the first place? They evidently knew from the Word and from nature that it was wrong and would invite rebellion and other problems. Did Dietrich break a cultural taboo and begin a fad? Evidently. Other Internet sources say Dietrich was bi-sexual. Anyone surprised?
Do you think the traditional Christian influence in America and Western Europe delayed the practice of women wearing men’s apparel? With professing Christian women adopting the practice today, what denomination, organization or movement represents the last bastion of common sense on this toxic issue? Three guesses and the last two don’t count.
In a recent speech before the Institute of Creation Research, Dr. Albert Mohler quoted a university professor as saying that the religious conservatives on the right are “out-breeding us.” This could have been viewed as portending a move away from his brand of liberalism, but he told his leftist cohorts, “But that’s all right. One day they will drop their children off at our campus and they will be ours.”
Does that concern you? It should. Two things that should bring to mind: 1) that we have a solemn responsibility to teach our children the way of truth, and live it before them so they will always respect it; and, 2) to be reticent to shuffle our high school grads off to secular university. There are so many more options to consider. We don’t have to dump them into that quagmire of atheism and sordid lifestyles. Think about it. Pray about it. Which is more important, degreed children or saved children? Sure, there are some saved folks with degrees, but there are thousands of young Pentecostals who lost their faith in the university setting. Why should we try to beat the odds when there are options?
Prescription drugs aiding America’s demise
A year-end report, issued by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), includes these findings:
• Admissions to treatment centers for alcohol use dropped by about 15 percent nationally, but admission rates for marijuana use rose by 30 percent nationwide, and were highest in the eight states listed above and in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
• Admission rates for abuse of opiates other than heroin, including some prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, rose by 345 percent from 1998-2008.
Why this meteoric rise in prescription drugs? There are many factors facilitating this increase, but among them:
• A tidal wave of promotion of costly drugs by pharmaceutical manufacturers has convinced the public that the answer to their health and emotional problems lies in a capsule. “Ask your doctor if ________ is right for you,” they plead. Doctors who have a waiting room full of patients find it simpler to accommodate the curiosity of the patient than take the time to thoroughly diagnose the real problem and treat them traditionally.
• Mothers and fathers are pressed to have two incomes to support their lifestyle, leaving the children at the mercy of daycares or sitters. Parenting time is thereby reduced, bringing added stress to both the parents and the children. Children’s negative reaction to this arrangement invites “medicating” them with Ritalin or other drugs. They are introduced to drugs at an early age and come to consider dependence on them as an acceptable way of life. What a shame that drugs are rapidly displacing parenting!
• Multitudes refuse to accept the realities of life and medication helps them find release by numbing their brain and body to the natural impulses designed to protect them.
• Most people have the money to afford the drugs or have insurance that pays for them. When people were poor, such indulgence was unthinkable. They loved and disciplined their children. They leaned on home remedies and treatments that were ready to hand. Or trusted God.
• The stigma of drug dependence has been removed. It is popular in some circles to have had a drug problem and to have been “addicted.” According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a chronic disease similar to other chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Even addiction to recreational drugs like cocaine are considered to be a disease when involvement is clearly a choice.
• Pastors are intimidated into silence on this matter. Those who are heavily involved (addicted, in common parlance) in prescription drug use give comfort to those abusing illegal drugs. They are a danger to their families and to themselves. But many pastors feel that they don’t have a right to say anything on the subject, even though they realize that it is virtually impossible to pastor those who are “users.” Did not Paul say, “I will not be brought under the power of any” (I Corinthians 6:12 KJV)? Other renderings: “Some of you say, “We can do anything we want to.” But I tell you that not everything is good for us. So I refuse to let anything have power over me” (CEV). “I will not be enslaved by anything” (ESV). “I must not become a slave to anything” (NLT). It is time we recognize that shepherds have not only the authority to speak on the subject, but the responsibility to do so, since drug dependence is negatively affecting the lives of our “sheep.” Drug abuse will increase in the culture, but in the church we have reason to lean on “another comforter…an advocate…a better way.”
All of these factors are contributing to a gradual demise of America—numbed and dumbed into a third world country, bankrupt spiritually, financially and morally. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
E-Book now available
If you prefer e-books to the printed variety, we have begun to test the waters. If you have a Smart phone, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc., you can now download The Book We Call the Bible. Below are some links where it can be ordered:
By Dr. Ed Welch
“It could be worse. Imagine if you broke both legs.”
We have some odd ways of cheering each other up.
Most of our bone-headed comments to suffering people are offered with passable intentions, and most of those comments are judged by their recipients as misguided rather than malicious, but it sure would be nice to improve our record of encouragement in the midst of pain.
We could all generate a Top Ten List of words we spoke or received that make us shudder when we think about them. Here is one that, I suspect, makes a lot of lists.
“What is God teaching you through this?”
Hummm. This is orthodox. God does teach us in our suffering, and He is working all things together for good. We agree with C. S. Lewis when he writes that pain is God’s megaphone to arouse a deaf world. But the story of Jezebel and her entrails being food for the dogs is orthodox, too. We are after orthodoxy that is relevant, pastoral and edifying.
Consider a few of the possible problems with this question:
Did he not know?
A letter signed by 42 members of Congress criticizes President Barack Obama for telling students in Indonesia last month that America’s national motto is “E Pluribus Unum.”
Obama commented to the students last month that the U.S. and Indonesia share a similar history. “It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is ’E Pluribus Unum’—out of many, one.” Huh?
In a letter to the White House, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus—mostly Republican—note that the national motto has been “In God We Trust” since 1956. (Source: Associated Press – 12/7/2010)
And why do you think he would not salute the Medal of Honor recipient at a recent ceremony at the White House? Or hold his hand over his heart during national anthems? And did you notice his famous “crotch salute” at a ceremony honoring the dead at Ft. Hood after the massacre there by a Muslim? I guess he is so busy bowing to foreign leaders, criticizing America and apologizing to the rest of the world to care about those things. Perhaps being so much “like a god,” according to a Newsweek editor, he cannot condescend to give honor, only receive it.
And why is he so intent on protecting the 38th Parallel in Korea but not our own southern border? Perhaps here is why:
Concerning Cremation vs. Burial
Re: Burial v. Cremation…Even with embalming and burial the body will, if given enough time, eventually decompose into the elements it is composed of, i.e. carbon and water with a few minerals. Cremation merely speeds up the process. We don’t know yet what our glorified, spiritual bodies will be composed of, only that when we see Jesus, we shall be like Him. A God who is capable of creating the subatomic particles and molecules of which we are constructed is surely capable of identifying and reuniting every molecule of our natural bodies, if that is what is needed to have our glorified bodies intact. (No name please!! Thanks!)
The following is from Mark Harris, Pinckneyville, IL:
It is very interesting to note that the first mention of burial/bury/buried in the Bible is that of Abram/Abraham (buried) in Genesis 13:12-21, which includes the prophetic promise of Israel’s deliverance from bondage in Egypt and it’s inheritance of the promised land. There is no mention of the burying of the dead prior to this all the way back to Adam.
The next reference to burial is Genesis 23:1-20, when upon the death of Sarah, Abraham purchased the Cave of Machpelah to bury her and his other dead in. While burial of the dead may have been practiced back to Adam’s day, perhaps cremation was the primary mode of disposal of dead bodies. Not until the coming of Israel and the covenant between God and man did burial begin to be referenced in the Bible.
Paul’s reference in I Corinthians 13:3 to giving his body to be burned appears not so much as a reference to cremation as it is an example of perhaps the ultimate sacrifice a Christian could physically make. Nero was burning the Christians in great numbers around this time even to illuminate his gardens and drunken orgies. Many were burned alive. Burning at the stake became a ‘favorite’ of many an inquisitor during the Inquisition and the Reformation.
My primary issue with the subject of cremation concerns our bodies being temples of God’s spirit. Yes, I know upon death the Spirit departs but does that mean the “temple” should then be desecrated? There certainly have been perhaps millions of examples since Pentecost of those whose bodies were burned in torture, lost in fires, burned in funeral pyres for fear of disease, but should we willingly allow it? It is perhaps a weak argument, but Leviticus 19:28 does speak against marking or cutting the flesh in our lives.
The fact that we will receive “glorified” bodies may even rule out the use of our flesh at all in the resurrection. Job did believe that “in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26). If this is simply a scriptural record of his understanding of the resurrection or the reality of the resurrection of our flesh, I am not certain. Jesus did indeed appear after His resurrection in His flesh to the witnesses. Paul did write about this corruption putting on incorruption (I Corinthians 15:42,53,54) but he also added that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 15:50).
Another argument against cremation involves His plan of salvation for us. It is based on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Not the death, cremation and resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 15: 3,4). My final argument is a simple one: “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example…” (I Peter 2:21). Jesus was “buried” and not cremated. We should follow his example.
It certainly appears that both biblically and historically, cremation is a practice related to paganism and torture/abuse while burial in the earth is more related to Christian practices. There is very clear biblical evidence that burial of the dead was first a practice with the Jews then the Christians, but there is no clear biblical evidence that supports a Jewish or Christian practice of cremation. [End]
We thank those who responded to this topic.
Remember these dates:
January 20-21 – Join us for the 10th Annual Apostolic Theological Forum at the First UPC in Euless, TX. Registration at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, and the presentation of papers begins at 7:00. Some outstanding Apostolic theological thinkers will be participating. Don’t miss it!
April 6-8 – The 2010 Apostolic Ministerial Conference will convene at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. Great fellowship, great preaching, great setting. See you there!
Books you have been wanting:
The Christian Development Course
by Crawford Coon
This two-volume set has blessed and inspired Apostolic ministers around the world, putting into their hands materials that are sound, biblical, and ready to use and share.
The Christian Development Course Vol. 1 includes:
• What Must I Do to be Saved?
• Faith toward God
• Repentance from Dead Works
• The Doctrine of Baptisms
• The Gift of the Holy Ghost
• Speaking with Tongues
• I’m Saved-Now What?
• Are Believers Eternally Secure in Christ?
• Restoration of the Erring
• The Importance of the Word of God
• How to Study the Bible Systematically
• What Is Prayer?
• Importunity in Prayer
• The Sabbath
• Dietary Laws for New Testament Believers
• Knowing Our Adversary
• Life and Death
• The Godhead
• The Manifold Grace of God
• Evil Communications Corrupt Good Manners
• God’s Method of Proving His People
• Enemies of the Soul: The Flesh, The World, The Devil
• What to Do with Life’s Burdens
• Fruit of the Spirit
• Governing Elements in the Saint’s Life
• Concerning Spiritual Gifts
• Communion and Footwashing
• Laying on of Hands
• Resurrection of the Dead
• Eternal Judgment
The Christian Development Course Vol. 2 includes:
• So Great Salvation
• Why Sickness Comes and How to Be Healed
• Priesthoods of the Believers
• The “If” of Sin
• Knowing the Voice of God
• A Scriptural End-Time Attitude
• New Testament Teaching Concerning Hair
• Learning to Trust God
• Christians Ought to Love One Another
• Christians Ought to Give More Earnest Heed
• Christians Ought to Always Pray
• Christians Ought to Pay Tithes
• Christians Ought to Wash One Another’s Feet
• Christians Ought to Be Holy
• Seek the Kingdom of God
• Be Reconciled to Thy Brother
• Cast the Beam Out of Thine Own Eye
• Thy Gave Their Own Selves to the Lord
• Cleanse That Which Is Within
• Prayers Be Made for All Men
• Count the Cost
• Agreement Praying
• The Unpardonable Sin
• The Consequences of an Unforgiving Spirit
• Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Volumes sold separately AM price 39.95 each
Role of the Shepherdess with Workbook and Answer Key
You will laugh and cry as you read through these inspirational pages. You’ll experience the highs and lows with the author as she takes you through the valleys and over the mountains of ministerial life. Roffie Ensey has participated in all aspects and facets of ministry discussed in the book—the wife of an evangelist, a home missionary, a missions administrator, a pastor, associate pastor (to their son), and Bible college president. It is written from the perspective of someone who has been there.
AM price book – 10.95 Workbook 14.95 Answer Key 14.95
TWO MORE NEW BOOKS:
Think On These Things. . .
Perspectives from my pen
This collection of articles, poems and outlines has been drawn from a voluminous stack of writings that found their composition taking place in a span that covers some thirty odd years. The author began writing such materials as both a pleasant pastime and a way to help him better understand certain Biblical topics. He later added even more to the ever increasing stack when he wrote articles for several monthly periodicals, which he had the privilege of serving as editor.
Compiled in this book are materials that are very varied in scope and subject matter. The subjects are both thought-provoking and inspiring. They are sure to strike a chord to inspire study and research by the reader.
AM price 14.95
A Walk In The Morning
by Harlan Morgan
The Bible is overflowing with human interest stories and truths drawn from everyday experiences. Evidently God likes that style. Harlan Morgan has taken his cue from that approach and put a human touch to some spiritual principles from which every Christian can glean inspiration. His keen skills of observation have allowed him to convey biblical truths on the shoulders of common events in our lives. Readers will be refreshed and invigorated by these daily doses of down-to-earth thinking that will help us interact properly with a crazy, mixed-up world.
AM price 11.95
Order books from advanceministries.org or call 936-856-3419.
Wisdom keeps knowledge from making a fool of its owner.
Again…Happy New Year!
Let’s pray that 2011 will be a year of ingathering!