February 2011

WELCOME to the February blog. And thanks for visiting so many times last year. According to WordPress.com, the blog had about 70,000 hits (including repeats) last year!

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Begin with the Word:

“Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37 NIV).

 

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What’s next? Chasing God in a bar

TWO HARBORS, MN — It was a Sunday during Advent, and inside a small pub a few blocks up from the north shore of Lake Superior, 17 people gathered around four bar-top tables shoved into a ring.

Betsy Nelson, the bar’s cook, lit two candles with a cigarette lighter as Addison Houle strapped on an acoustic guitar and sang a slightly off-key rendition of “We Three Kings.” Curt “Fish” Anderson sipped a beer as TVs overhead flickered with NFL pregame shows. [Betsy said believers “are to be a light to the world. How can you be if you’re all sitting in a church together?” How deep is that observation?]

“Father, thank you for this time we can share on Sunday morning with new friends,” prayed Chris Fletcher, an emergency medical technician, part-time bartender and seminary student who has led this service every Sunday morning at Dunnigan’s Pub & Grub since last summer. “We’re getting to know you, and getting to know each other better.”

Spending Sunday mornings in a bar sounds like an activity for those running from God. For this small group in a watering hole in Twin Harbors, about 160 miles northeast of Minneapolis, it’s about chasing God. It’s one unconventional place of worship around the country fostered by an evangelical movement known as “the emerging church.” (End of story. Source: Associated Press 1/7/2011)

Where is the “emerging church” emerging from and moving to? Deeper into the pit of ridiculous heresy, apparently. Where are those Apostolics who became enamored with the Emergent movement? Did they think they would be where they are now when they launched into reading McLaren and Pagitt rather than Moses and Paul, and began copying Rob Bell’s and Mark Driscoll’s service methodology, and started feeling cool sporting the clothing styles of some gospel rapper? Everyone is heading somewhere. When we cast our lot with someone or some movement, we need to know where they are going.

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Dropping Out:

Why young adults are leaving church

Timothy Leary was the Pied Piper of the 1960s, leading America’s youth away from God, family and country. Spaced out on LSD, he declared that young people ought to “tune in, turn on, and drop out.” They got it. Millions tuned in to his anti-establishment, anti-parent message, turned on to his drugs of choice, and dropped out of the mainstream into the subculture of rebellion. That set the stage for the America we are forced to work with today. That is why millions of contemporary moms and dads have very little background for parenting and directing the lives of their teens and twenty-somethings. A huge disconnect has occurred.

Consequently, multitudes of young adults are tuning in to the postmodern culture. They are turned on to the drugs of music, technology and all things “extreme.” Unless church can fit comfortably into the context of those elements of young life, they are apt to drop out, viewing Christian practices and doctrines as irrelevant. (READ remainder of this article by J. R. Ensey here…)

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Sharia law coming to a court near you?

When Europe did not catch fire with the twentieth century outpouring of the Spirit, they became increasingly secular. The more they became secularlized, the more inroads were made by Islam. The religious vacuum was going to be filled with something. Today Western Europe is virtually being overrun by Muslims. Is America on that same path? Even with negative press or legislation against it, just the consistent mention of Sharia law in the news and keeping it in the minds of people will bring it closer to a reality. We get accustomed to hearing it and will finally say, “So what? It’s inevitable. Let it happen.” They know they can patiently wear us down.

The Houston Chronicle recently carried an article opposing an amendment to the Texas Constitution banning the application of Sharia law in Texas (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/7392985.html). Oklahoma has already passed such a law. Why is this a trend? Are legislators overacting?

Yatindra Bhatnagar responded in the Chronicle (1/27): “American courts follow whatever is enshrined in the U.S. and Texas constitutions; Sharia law is in direct conflict with it. The freedom of speech and religion, equality of sexes, democracy, elections, etc., are sacrosanct for us here. Our Constitution doesn’t sanction honor killing, blasphemy, blood money, instant oral divorce, restrictions on women, wife-beating, moral policing and so on. Sharia laws and practices cannot be enforced in a liberal, tolerant nation that follows modern, civilized rules of law. We are totally opposed to laws that have barbaric, unjust, unfair practices and are discriminatory.”

In Britain there are already approximately 85 courts effectively allowing Sharia a legal system within a legal system. Is that what we want here for our grandchildren? How do we keep it from happening? Write our congressmen and state legislators, stand up and be counted, speak out, and vote when voting time comes. Write newspaper editors. Attend town hall meetings.

President Obama, in his State of the Union speech, made it plain that the Muslims among us are “part of the American family.” Citizens, yes, but loyal Americans? Time will reveal the real truth. A Fox News report quotes Muslims preaching on the streets of our cities saying that “one day this flag (Islam flag) will fly over the White House!” Why should we doubt that? They are being given virtually everything they ask for. No voice is to be raised against them without fear of recrimination. Christianity, on the other hand, is disdained in the press and in university classrooms. It is fair game in the liberal press. Obama himself has not aligned himself with any church since he stopped attending a racist, Black Theology-based congregation in Chicago that honors Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. Obama left the church under pressure when he was running for office. His links to and affinity for Islam are widely known, although I am not saying he is a practicing Muslim.

For more information on Obama and Islam, click on the link below and hear what Osama Dakdok, who was raised in Egypt, has to say. Dakdok has translated the Koran into English and can give you the skinny on this whole sordid affair. www.thestraightway.org. Or for more information you may go to http://loganswarning.com/2010/08/26/sharia-law-islamic-law-101-non-muslims-under-sharia/

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The trouble with evangelism

“The trouble with all [unsuccessful] evangelism is that it does not start with doctrine, it does not start by realizing man’s condition. All fleshly, carnal, man-made evangelism is the result of inadequate understanding of what the apostle teaches us in the first ten verses of this second chapter of Ephesians. If you and I but realized that every man who is yet a sinner is absolutely dominated by ‘the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience,’ if we only understood that he is really a child of wrath and dead in trespasses and sins, we would realize that only one power can deal with such an individual, and that is the power of God, the power of the Holy Ghost. And so we would put our confidence, not in man-made organizations, but in the power of God, in the prayer that holds on to God and asks for revival and a descent of the Spirit. We would realize that nothing else can do it.” – Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones

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An anonymous source submitted these observations

  • I live in my own little world but it’s OK, everyone knows me here.
  • I don’t do drugs ’cause I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
  • Money can’t buy happiness but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the “terminal”?
  • I don’t approve of political jokes. I’ve seen too many of them get elected.
  • The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
  • Brilliant deduction: I am a nobody; nobody is perfect, and therefore I am perfect.
  • No one ever says, “It’s only a game!” when their side is winning.
  • How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you’re on.

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Vest pocket dinosaur

Back at the dawn of the dinosaur era, a quick-moving predator set the stage for the famous and fearsome giants that followed in its footsteps, according to new research. “It was a little dinosaur, but it carried a big evolutionary stick,” said Paul C. Sereno of the University of Chicago, a leader of the team that discovered Eodromaeus. The 4-foot-long hunter lived 230 million years ago in what is now South America and appears to be the ancestor of such creatures as Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Aren’t evolutionary scientists brilliant to be able to figure out precise dates of living creatures millions of years ago?

People wonder how Noah could have gotten all those dinosaurs on board the ark. Thankfully, not all species of dinosaurs were as big as the full grown brontosaurus. Actually, the average size of dinosaurs was comparable to a sheep. Noah had room for all and even some to spare.

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Errata

While not wishing to be an iconoclast, it seems that it is time to correct a long-standing error appearing often in the quotation of the Canney Encyclopedia in support of baptism in the name of Jesus. Many tracts, articles, and references in books and booklets state the quote as “The early church always baptized in the name of Jesus,” or a close variation. What the encyclopedia actually says is, “Persons were baptized at first ‘in the name of Jesus Christ’ (Acts 2:38), and ‘in the name of the Lord Jesus’ Acts 8:16; 19:5). Afterwards, with the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, they were baptized ‘in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.’” (Page 53)

Check it out at: http://books.google.com/books?id=FRoMAAAAIAAJ&pg=PP9&lpg=PP9&dq=canney+encyclopedia+of+religion&source=bl&ots=EyVguL81-t&sig=P1wHn4xluXHdy8xz94zY_iPSDuM&hl=en&ei=-h4yTY3fHYH_8Aa_gMHFCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDQQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=canney%20encyclopedia%20of%20religion&f=false

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More bowing and scraping to the homosexuals

Obama administration removes “Mother” and “Father” from passport applications (then changes its mind)

A Newsmax report in January reported this: “In what seems to be a diplomatic effort at extreme political correctness and a nod to gay rights groups, the Obama administration is removing the words “mother” and “father” from U.S. passport applications and replacing them with “gender neutral” terminology. Mom and dad will now be referred to rather coldly as “parent one” and “parent two.”

“Only in the topsy-turvy world of left-wing political correctness could it be considered an ‘improvement’ for a birth-related document to provide less information about the circumstances of that birth,” Family Research Council president Tony Perkins wrote in a statement to Fox News Radio. “This is clearly designed to advance the causes of same-sex ‘marriage’ and homosexual parenting without statutory authority, and violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act.”

“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services, confirmed Fox News. “They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’” [Should the two parents be male and female—horrors!—which would be number one? And what will be the next Obama accommodation to the homosexual agenda? –jre]

A statement on the State Department website noted: “These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.” [End. The statement didn’t note if it was for child applications only.]

A couple of weeks later, the State Department announced a cancellation of this stupid administrative faux pas when it received an avalanche of negative responses to the policy. But it merely shows the extent this administration is willing go to accommodate the homosexual lobby.

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An excerpt worth reading!

Savior but not Lord: An evangelistic monstrosity

By A. W. Pink

The way salvation is [being] falsely defined. In most instances the modern “evangelist” assures his congregation that all any sinner has to do in order to escape hell and make sure of heaven is to “receive Christ as his personal Savior.” But such teaching is utterly misleading. No one can receive Christ as his Savior while he rejects Him as Lord! It is true, the preacher adds, that the one who accepts Christ should also surrender to Him as Lord, but he at once spoils it by asserting that though the convert fails to do so, nevertheless heaven is sure to him.

That is one of the devil’s lies! Only those who are spiritually blind would declare that Christ will save any who despise His authority and refuse His yoke: why, my reader, that would not be grace, but a disgrace—charging Christ with placing a premium on lawlessness!

It is in His office of Lord that Christ maintains God’s honor, subserves His government, enforces His Law; and if the reader will turn to those passages (Luke 1:46-47; Acts 5:31; 2 Peter 1:11; 2:20; 3:1) where the two titles occur, he will find that the order is always “Lord and Savior,” and not “Savior and Lord.” Therefore, those who have not bowed to Christ’s sceptre and enthroned Him in their hearts and lives, and yet imagine they are trusting in Him as their Savior are deceived, and unless God disillusions them, they will go down to the everlasting burnings with a lie in their right hand (Isa. 44:20). Christ is “the Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Heb. 5:9), but the attitude of those who submit not to His Lordship is—“We will not have this Man to rule over us” (Luke 19:14). Pause then, my reader and honestly face the question: Am I subject to His will? Am I sincerely endeavoring to keep His commandments?

Alas, alas, God’s “way of salvation” is almost entirely unknown today, the nature of Christ’s salvation is almost universally misunderstood, and the terms of His salvation misrepresented on every hand. The “Gospel” which is now being proclaimed is, in nine cases out of every ten, but a perversion of the Truth, and tens of thousands, assured they are bound for heaven, are now hastening to hell as fast as time can take them. Things are far, far worse in Christendom than even the “pessimist” and the “alarmist” suppose. We are not a prophet, nor shall we indulge in any speculation of what the biblical prophecy forecasts. Wiser men than the writer have often made fools of themselves by so doing. We are frank to say that we know not what God is about to do. Religious conditions were much worse, even in England, one hundred and fifty years ago. But this we greatly fear: Unless God is pleased to grant a real revival, it will not be long ere “the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people” (Isa. 60:2), for the light of the true Gospel is rapidly disappearing. Modern “evangelism” constitutes, in our judgment, the most solemn of all the “signs of the times.”

What must the people of God do in view of the existing situation? Eph. 5:11 supplies the divine answer: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them;” and everything opposed to the light of the Word is “darkness.” It is the bounden duty of every Christian to have no dealings with the “evangelistic” monstrosity of the day, to withhold all moral and financial support of the same, to attend none of their meetings, to circulate none of their tracts. Those preachers who tell sinners that they may be saved without forsaking their idols, without repenting, without surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, are as erroneous and dangerous as others who insist that salvation is by works, and that heaven must be earned by our own efforts.

Source: http://www.oldtruth.com/blog.cfm/id.2.pid.444

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Dare to read this:

Popping so many pills is killing us!

By Saveur Boukris, Le Monde

What will it take for France to get serious about regulating prescription drugs? asked Sauveur Boukris. We French love to take pills; we are the biggest consumers of medicines in Europe. French doctors “tend to prescribe far more heavily” than their foreign colleagues, dispensing four or five drugs to treat any given malady, while German or Dutch doctors prescribe two or three. Perhaps that reflects the influence of our pharmaceutical industry, which relentlessly promotes its new products and seems to have almost total “control over our health authorities.”

Whatever the reason, our love of meds is bad for our health. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs cause more than 130,000 hospitalizations a year and kill some 9,000 people—twice as many as die in car accidents. Just this week, another faulty drug was exposed. The Health Ministry says the diabetes drug Mediator, which was used by millions as an appetite suppressant until it was taken off the market last year, may have killed 500 people by damaging their heart valves. Anyone who took it is now urged to get a cardiac checkup. Why wasn’t this disastrous side effect discovered in drug trials? Could it be because “authorities are more concerned about the economic interests of pharmaceutical firms” than about public health?

[Please don’t med-up just because some doctor thinks they might help you, or because you read some slick ad featuring smiling, happy pill-poppers, or because big pharmaceutical companies want you to “ask your doctor if ___(pill)___ is right for you.” We should move toward getting off of drugs, not on them. Prescription drugs are now the No. 4 cause of death in the U.S.  – jre]

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The Study Tools Bookshelf

Hastings Dictionary of the Bible

A classic, one-volume source of biblical information that is comprehensive and understandable. Old enough to predate the post-modern mindset, yet current enough to be relevant. The imminent James Hastings is the editor. Has some good statements on baptism. Important events, doctrines, and theological concepts are treated in a scholarly but non-technical manner.  AM Price $14.95

Jamison Fausset-Brown Commentary Set

Long considered one of the best conservative commentaries on the entire Bible, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary offers practical insight. The comments are an insightful balance between learning and devotion, with an emphasis on allowing the text to speak for itself. Volume one covers Genesis through Esther, volume two covers Job through Malachi, and volume three covers the entire New Testament (Matthew through Revelation). Introductions are offered for the Pentateuch, the Mosaic account of creation, Hebrew poetry, and for each book in the Old Testament, as well as for the Gospels, Acts, Romans, and the entire corpus of the epistles. AM price 39.95

Matthew Poole Commentary Set

Perhaps the only true rival to Matthew Henry! Charles Spurgeon s aid: “If I must have only one commentary, and had read Matthew Henry as I have, I do not know but what I should choose Poole. He is a very prudent and judicious commentator . . . he is perhaps more accurate, less a commentator, and more an expositor.” 3104 pages total, three hardcovers from Hendrickson.   AM price 39.95

Go to advanceministries.org/store for a good selection of books by Apostolic authors.

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Laugh to keep from crying

Time for a name change!

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Parting shot(s)

“No pastor should take a poll about the popularity of his convictions if he is faithful to preaching from the Holy Scriptures. The demand that a pastor or any other Christian deny our God, His word and ultimately our faith because a tiny fragment of our population is offended is the beginning of tyranny. For the love of God, the love of people and the love of our country, we will not be silenced.” – Willie Davis and Dave Welch, Houston Area Pastors Council

“When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But with wise and knowledgeable leaders, there is stability” (Proverbs 28:2 NLT).

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” (Proverbs 29:2 NLT).

“Robbing your parents and then saying, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ is as serious as committing murder” (Proverbs 28:24 NLT).

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Stay warm…and hopeful. I’ve already seen a robin in our yard. See you at AMC in Nashville on April 6-8 at the Opryland Hotel!

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 1:07 AM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great issue. I give it a 10 – if it’s relevant, which my rating is not. Only the Word is relevant. This was great.

  2. Bro. Ensey, I enjoy your blogs so very much and this is one of the best. The article on “Saviour but not Lord” is absolutely outstanding.

    Keep up the good work.


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