WELCOME to our October visit. Is anybody out there praying for some Texas rain? Our trees are dying, at least the ones that are not burning in flash fires. I am not a “tree hugger,” unless it is one in my yard that shades the morning sun and a couple in the back that give us relief from the afternoon blazes.
Enough of my petty problems. Some of you are mopping the floodwaters out of your homes. Others are picking up the pieces of your homes that the tornadoes tore away. Reckon ol’ Al was right about the climate after all? If so, do you figger he just might have invented the Internet, too? Nah.
“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: ‘They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!’ But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.” – St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”).
Thank God we are not required to be that committed to any individual on earth. Such commitment only leads to corruption. We are not required to follow those who do not follow Christ—especially “incarnate devils.”
There’s that “should” again
A couple of blogs ago, I wrote about the use of “should” in John 3:16 because some were assuming that it could mean “ought to at a future date” in that context. That was not true, but when excessive play on English words in the determination of doctrine is employed, error is usually lurking nearby.
Another example is the English rendering of Acts 2:47b—“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (KJV). This can be used as a proof text for the doctrine of unconditional election, as if the word “should” suggests redemption of those foreordained to eternal life. It could also be used by proponents of infant baptism, as if aspersion as infants would serve as a hope or promise of future salvation as adults.
The Greek makes it clear what was really happening. The Greek in both the Textus Receptus and the newer Critical Text have “those who were being saved,” and is so rendered in major current versions. In other words, those who were repenting, being baptized in the name of Jesus, and being filled with the Spirit were being added to the Jerusalem assembly.
Whatever happened to “in sickness or in health…’till death do us part”?
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his 700 Club viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s is justifiable because the disease is “a kind of death.”
During the portion of the show where the one-time Republican presidential candidate takes questions from viewers, Robertson was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from the incurable neurological disorder.
“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.
The chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs the 700 Club, said he wouldn’t “put a guilt trip” on anyone who divorces a spouse who suffers from the illness, but added, “Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.”
Most Christian denominations at least discourage divorce, citing Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark that equate divorce and remarriage with adultery.
Terry Meeuwsen, Robertson’s co-host, asked him about couples’ marriage vows to take care of each other “for better or for worse” and “in sickness and in health.”
“If you respect that vow, you say ‘til death do us part,’ Robertson said during the Tuesday broadcast. “This is a kind of death.” [end of report]
Questions: How many kinds of “death” are there? Who defines death? He has opened a can of worms. Thanks again, Pat, for shooting every Bible-believing Christian in the foot and giving all the talking heads in the media fodder for their broadcasts.
Definition of an opportunist
As the robber approached the door, one brave customer grabbed the hood and pulled it off, revealing the robbers face. Without a moment’s hesitation, the robber shot the customer.
He then looked around the bank and noticed one of the tellers looking straight at him. The robber instantly shot and killed him also.
Everyone in the bank, by now horrified, stared down at the floor in silence. The robber yelled, “Well, did anyone else see my face?”
There was a long moment of dead silence in which everyone was terrified to speak.
Then, one old Cajun named Boudreaux from down the bayou cautiously raised his hand and said, “I’m pretty sure my wife Cloteele got a good look at you.”
Why the revival of Dominionism?
The faddish doctrine of dominionism began to be heralded among Pentecostals in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It took some ministers and churches down. A concerted effort by the majority of Apostolic ministers exposed it as false doctrine and it sort of went into “remission.” But the concept seems to have endless lives, being reincarnated and finding room in Reformed Theology and other Protestant movements, sometimes under different names, such as Kingdom Now or the Seven Mountains Mandate.
What is dominionism? A recent article appearing in the Houston Chronicle described it fairly accurately: “The term was popularized in the 1990s by scholars and journalists, who applied it to conservative Christians seeking political power. It derives from the Book of Genesis, in which God tells Adam and Eve to have ‘dominion’ over the Earth and its animals. It describes the belief that Christians are biblically mandated to control all earthly institutions until the second coming of Jesus. Experts identify two main schools of Dominionism: Christian Reconstructionists, who believe biblical law should [ultimately] replace secular law; and the New Apostolic Reformation, which advocates for Christians to ‘reclaim the seven mountains of culture’: government, religion, media, family, business, education, and arts and entertainment.”
The doctrine appeals to those who feel that the church will gradually mature and expand until it Christianizes the world, thus creating the kingdom of God on the earth. This may take hundreds or even thousands of years, some say. Because of that, the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ is set aside. And, besides, who wants to put all authority under the control of some religious entity—even us? Seems like they tried that during the Middle Ages, and it was one of the reasons we still refer to that era as “the Dark Ages.”
Dominionism is another name for the Kingdom Now doctrine. Robert Crabtree was Superintendent of the Ohio District of the A/G when he prepared a report for the pastors of his district on Jan. 13, 1987: “Kingdom Now teachers have redefined the Gospel which requires ‘re-evangelizing’ the church without an emphasis upon Jesus Christ. Salvation moves one from the kingdom of sin to the Kingdom Now of Christ on earth. This new kingdom is being built by waking up the professing Christians rather than reaching the lost. These renewed Christians are to seek control of the earth and assume stewardship responsibilities of the material world.”
Robert Wood, former Gen Sec’y of A/Gs, in 2006, said: “The church would have a larger mission than that of proclaiming personal salvation through Christ….The political, social, and economic systems of nations and cultures would need to be ‘Christianized’…”
Letter by C. Peter Wagner, (Chairman of Wagner Leadership Institute), May 31, 2007: “In my view it is not possible to get an operational handle on how to initiate corporate action toward social transformation without taking into account the seven mountains or what I like to call ‘molders of culture.’ The seven are religion, family, business, arts and entertainment, government, education, and media.”
We ought to be on guard against this and other false theories that would come among us, stealing good men and churches from our movement.
Parental rights vs. government nonsense and abuse
How long will parents roll over and play dead in the face of obvious abuse by governmental authorities? When the school counselor or CPS bureaucrats, often 90-day wonders fresh from liberal colleges, require our children to take risky psychotic drugs, it is time to stand up and say NO!
That’s exactly what one Detroit mother said when they tried to take away her 13 year-old daughter when she refused to give her Risperdal, a drug so dangerous it is documented by international drug regulatory agencies to cause aggression, cardiac arrest, fatal blood clots, liver failure, mania, suicide and violence. Child Protective Services, accompanied by armed police officers, a SWAT team and a tank, arrived at her door with a court order to take her child away.
The mother, Mrs. Maryanne Godboldo, decided it was time to say NO. A 13-hour standoff ensued, but she was ultimately arrested, and multiple charges were filed. As it turned out, the CPS and police did not have a legitimate court order and many of the charges have been thrown out. She appears to be winning in court.
Johnson and Johnson, the maker of Risperdal, is currently facing $1 billion in federal and state lawsuits—and the state is forcing kids to take their dangerous drugs that will mess their lives up for as long as they live? If we don’t speak out and encourage others to stand up as Mrs. Godboldo did, what is the future for your grandchildren and mine? Please understand that big pharma has supported “therapists” and psychiatrists to come up with a new “disorder of the month” so they can market their drugs for them.
Please, pastors and parents, find out the truth behind this sordid scandal and save your children from this abuse by the pharmaceutical companies and government bureaucrats who put their job security first, not your children.
For the complete Godboldo story:
Modesty is not only an ornament, but also a guard to virtue. – Joseph Addison
A poverty of soul invites surrender to the enemies of the cross.
The language of truth is unadorned and always simple. – Ammianus Marcellinus
In skating over thin ice, our safety is our speed. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
“Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward” (II John 1:8).
Dale Neill, President of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce: “The church must grow past the ‘gospel of salvation’ message and understand that it is only when we begin to implement the principles of the ‘gospel of the kingdom’ that we will really begin to see change in lives and cities and nations. The church has no understanding of this realm…the Church must grow up.” (www.worldwideweekend.com)
One wonders: What is the difference between Neill’s perceived “gospel of salvation” and the “gospel of the kingdom.” None! The gospel is the “good news” that Christ has come to be a propitiation for the sins of all people. The gospel of the kingdom is not the concept of converting cities and nations. Before we attempt to “take a nation” for Christ, let’s baptize a single representative from there and let God open the doors (Acts 8).
Islam sneaking into our schools
Just like the influence of all things Hispanic has impacted American education, Islam is gradually, no, rapidly, infiltrating our culture. Schools are developing curriculum that casts Islam as a peace-loving religion. Even in Texas. I would be interested to know when Islam was converted into a “peace-loving” entity. A Georgia middle school adjusted its lessons after a father complained that his daughter’s homework assignment promoted Shariah law. My question: who is promoting this stuff, and who appointed the person(s) promoting it? We need to elect those who will make political appointments of people who favor America for a change.
You can always trust the Muslim Brotherhood
Various news outlets have reported numerous times about the Muslim Brotherhood’s radical beliefs—beliefs that may be working their way into Egypt’s future governance. Last month Dr. Salah Sultan, a member of Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, declared on al-Jazeera that the IUMS would restore the fatwa they issued in 1994, which stated that “every Zionist who enters Egypt—tourist or not—should be killed.”
The Middle East is on fire and the cinders are falling here. There is only One who is able to extinguish the blaze!
The Dalai Lama, one of my favorites, said recently that if he is to be reincarnated he will leave clear written instructions about the process, but that the matter is unlikely to come up for a number of years.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said in a statement that when he is “about 90” he will consult Buddhist scholars to evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue at all. He is 76.
Why you can trust the Bible
Is the Bible we have today the same words early Christians confirmed were in the autographs? I believe it is. We have the same books Jesus and the apostles preached from. We have the letters that were quoted by Polycarp, Tertullian, Irenaeus, the Apologists and dozens of other “church fathers.” It is said that if all the quotations of the “fathers” were compiled, it would virtually reconstruct the entire New Testament. We have manuscripts of the Greek New Testament that could have been read by men who had opportunity to read the autographs of the apostles themselves.
When the early papyri manuscripts p66 and p75 were discovered in the last century, they didn’t change one iota of “the faith once delivered.” When the oldest extant Greek manuscript was found (p52 pictured), it again only served to verify that we hold the same Scriptures the earliest disciples read and loved. We read the same stories, commands, admonitions that Timothy and Titus and John Mark read. We teach the same doctrines that the Apostles and early church held. That should be a comforting thought to every believer today.
Married Without Spouses
by Christine Carney
This book is written to women who are married to unsaved men and addresses their unique set of needs with straight shooting humor and candor. However, these simple lessons and nuggets of encouragement are applicable to any marriage!
Just Because You Are Depressed Doesn’t Mean You Have Depression
In her new book, Dr. Mary Ann Block exposes the truth about the diagnosis of depression and reveals the dangers and risks of current drugs prescribed for it. If you or someone you love is one of the 19 million people diagnosed with or suffering with the symptom of depression, the information in this book could literally save your life. In her clear and easy-to-understand writing style, Dr. Block again takes on the often flawed area of psychiatry to help people understand the real issues surrounding their symptoms. If you don’t have all the information you can’t make an educated decision. This book gives important information that often is not included in the usual doctor/patient conversation. AM Price $14.95
Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood
by Wayne A. Grudem, Dennis Rainey
As the shepherd of the flock, a pastor has many responsibilities–few as great as leading and training families. The pervasive attitude and beliefs of the world have only added stress and confusion to this task. Sixteen highly regarded men and women help bring clarity and guidance to this important issue. They tackle practical topics such as how and why to preach on biblical manhood and womanhood, putting the Internet to use, church discipline, small groups, and handling domestic violence. They discuss the personal applications within the pastor’s marriage, and they examine the biblical views of ministering to singles, homosexuality, leadership and submission, and much more. This compilation is thorough, potent, and a must-have for any pastor’s library. AM Price $16.99
Someone told me recently that in the sport of golf, when something is not working and scoring soars, amateurs look for a gimmick—a special club, a new routine, a new kind of ball. Not so with professionals. They go back to the fundamentals. How is my weight dispersed in the address? Is my grip too weak or too strong? Is my swing on plane? Am I keeping my head down? How is my follow through?
How applicable that is to pastors and churches. When things are not coming together for maturity and growth, amateurs look for a gimmick—a new giveaway, a celebrity speaker, a new kind of drama, a new dress-down service, a hotter band, or a new doctrinal twist for broader appeal. The real pros go back to the fundamentals. Preach the Word. Encourage individual Bible studies. Mentor young people. Exercise spiritual authority. Lead by example. Provide music that leads into deep and sincere worship. Emphasize the basics.
Just do it!