Welcome to the September 2013 Edition of the blog!
Celebrating the Name
This year we are calling attention to a century of ministry under the name of Jesus. We pray in that name. We baptize in that name. In fact, we try to comply with Paul’s admonition in Colossians 3:17 to “do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Allow me to lift an oft-quoted line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Juliet asks Romeo a question and answers it herself:
“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
The point is well taken, my dear, but names do mean something to us, for “neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The name of Jesus is “above every name: [and] at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that ever tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:9-11).
This month, thousands around the world will be baptized in that name. Lift it up! Call it out! For “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Be one of them if you haven’t already been “buried with Him by baptism” (Romans 6:4).
If we do a small thing as if it were a big thing, God may allow us to do a big thing as though it were a small thing.
When you twist the Scriptures, you get twisted theology.
Our president is great at math: he divides the country, subtracts jobs, adds debt, and multiplies misery.
When you pray, who listens? The NSA.
Quote of the month:
On May 7, 2006, Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey about her love of books as a child and her dedication to the written word. “Now, 75 years later in an abundant society where people have laptops, cell phones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books.”
It has been rumored…
…that the reason Attorney General Holder hasn’t given Zimmerman’s gun back to him is that he accidentally sent it to Mexico with lots of others.
Christianity Today—was it Christianity yesterday?
Long ago and far away there existed a conservative magazine published by Evangelicals dubbed Christianity Today. It has since morphed into a liberal rag that views its mission as questioning everything once held dear to fundamentalist believers. The June issue regurgitated the “debate among scholars” about the Bible record of Adam and Eve, providing a geneticists’ version of their existence that suggests they probably lived tens of thousands of years apart. If one reads this magazine for a year or two, they will likely be questioning everything they ever believed about God and the Bible.
Most observers of the religious scene in America have discerned the clear direction of Christianity Today. It was once considered a primary voice in Evangelical circles in the U.S. With mega-changes in the cultural climate, they put a finger in the wind and evidently decided to go along to get along. They depend on subscribers and advertisers, of course, to maintain the payroll of the CT staff. To anger those folks would not be wise. Therefore, the slide into conformity to cultural mores rather than maintaining biblical mandates has been apparent.
Many articles in recent issues could be called as witnesses to this drift, but take note of just one in the July-August 2013 issue: Sex Without Bodies. This was under a section title of “Where We Stand” and authored by Executive Editor Andy Crouch. He acknowledges and approves the disappearance of the term “homosexuality” in favor of the letters LGBT—Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered—submitted by our “gay and lesbian neighbors and friends.” This “helps clarify the multiple sexualities whose representatives…seek legal recognition and relief from stigma and shame.”
Crouch puffs the addition of other letters to the acronym—Q for Queer or “Questioning,” I for “Intersex” for those “whose bodies are born gender-ambiguous,” and A for “Asexual” for those who find their sexuality ill-defined by either heterosexual or homosexual categories. He suggests to the LGBTQIA alliance to “add an ‘H’—for this is what it is to be fully, incompletely, expectantly Human.” Subscribing to the “trapped in the wrong body” syndrome, Crouch acknowledges that some Christian leaders have come to believe that blessing same-sex unions is the best pastoral response to those…who seek covenant faithfulness.” And that “even the slightest bias toward male-female complementarity may soon be considered just as bigoted as believing that gay and lesbian relationships cannot be blessed at all.” Soon only bigots will be Bible believers?
Crouch continues: “As this view gains traction in our culture, the created givenness of bodies must give way to the achievement of ascertaining, announcing, and fulfilling one’s own internally discerned desires, with no normative reference to the body one happens to inhabit.” The author expresses the notion that “male” and “female” terminology no longer applies since “normative sexuality has been redefined. …How dare we Christians speak against any person’s heart? …Along the way, we all will be queer….” Hmmmmmm….
That sounds like an accommodating politician reading from a teleprompter—words carefully chosen not to offend the vocal LGBT alliance. Should a more traditional voice be raised, it can easily be silenced by the label of “aboriginal”—i.e., out-of-date and ignorant.
Christianity Today certainly does not sound like Christianity yesterday—say, about AD 50, or even AD 1950.
More reasons for home schooling
Common Core, the controversial set of education standards being pushed by many state governors and education leaders, is coming under fire for its selection of a book that’s on the suggested reading list for 11th graders (i.e. 16- and 17-year-olds). The book—a past selection of Oprah’s Book Club—has graphic sex scenes and racy descriptions that are likely to make sailors blush. The work in question comes from Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Listed on a Common Core reading list linked on the website, “The Bluest Eye” carries this description from the curriculum’s preferred bookseller: An Eleven-Year-Old African-American Girl In Ohio, In The Early 1940s, Prays For Her Eyes To Turn Blue So That She Will Be Beautiful.
The book portrays graphic sex, incest, and portrays pedophilia as “friendly,” “innocent,” and “tender.” This portrayal has sparked outrage in some communities.
This is not the only problem with the Common Core curriculum. Parents MUST be aware of what their children attending public schools are reading and hearing.
Interesting infographic about guns
Dare to dream
“What have you dreamed of? I want to encourage you to dream of a place beyond just maintaining the status quo. The problem with the status quo is it can become synonymous with a rut and a rut can quickly become a grave.
“Dare to dream. Dare to dream fully knowing that dreams demand action. Dreams demand breaking out from where you are—to go where you have not yet been. Dreams are the launching pad designed by God to take you from here to there!
“The safest place for a turtle to be is inside its closed shell. In that defensive mode, there are few things that can harm it. But a turtle in a defensive mode is a turtle that isn’t going anywhere. It’s when the turtle sticks his neck out that he sees new horizons. It’s when he sticks his legs out that he can head to a new place. And besides a turtle in a closed up shell is liable to get run over by an 18 wheeler!”
– Kevin Prince, TX District Superintendent in a district leadership planning meeting.
A few months ago, the president was questioned about his whereabouts during the Benghazi raid in Libya. He publicly declined to tell where he was that evening as the attack was on and Navy SEALS and the Libyan ambassador were fighting for their lives and were ultimately killed. He was informed of the raid early that evening, after which, say observers, he just “disappeared,” leaving whatever would be in the hands of down-the-line staff and other departmental officials who proved their incompetency.
There may be a pattern here. Where was he on the evening when the Bin Laden raid was going down in Pakistan?
We all thought he was glued to the TV monitors in the Situation Room as the popular photo suggested. (Did you ever wonder why he was the one without a computer over in the corner, looking like an aide to one of the generals, or perhaps a pizza delivery guy who stayed to watch?)
Well, according to his personal assistant, it turns out that he was playing a fun little card game with a few of his co-workers in a private dining room while most of his other national security team were monitoring the raid in the Situation Room.
During a recent UCLA Forum, President Obama’s former special assistant, Reggie Love, revealed that they ended up playing about 15 games of Spades in a private dining room while events were unfolding in Pakistan with many SEALS risking their lives at the behest of the Commander-in-Chief. “I can’t watch this entire thing,” Love recalled the president saying.
Those with Love and the president said the card games were interrupted occasionally with updates on how the raid in Pakistan was going.
“What? They did? Okay. Hey, your deal.”
A potential identity thief ?
Why must we now emphasize diversity as though we have been sans diversity, or even anti-diversity, for nearly a century? Suddenly we are told our churches must become “diverse.” I have only been around the Apostolic faith for about 58 years, but I have never seen a time when we were not diverse. No ethnic or cultural group has been left outside of our love and evangelistic fervor. I have never been to a true Apostolic church and witnessed anyone turned away because they had a skin color that did not represent the majority. Nor have I seen anyone turned away from our services because they were inappropriately dressed, or smelled bad, or had long/short hair, or were of another faith. Our churches have traditionally reached out to people of color, cultural minorities, the handicapped, the poor, the young, the aged and the hurting—often when others did not. Pentecostals have led the way in diversity when it comes to reaching all sectors of our culture. African-Americans were some of the early leaders in the Pentecostal movement of the twentieth century, and remain a vital part of it today.
But now we are urged to become diverse. As a movement, haven’t we always been? Are congregations not part of “the church” if all their members are black, or Hispanic, or Asian or Native American, or Caucasian? I understand where the advocates are coming from. I was personally involved in promoting outreach to virtually all segments of American society long before most of those screaming for diversity today were in middle school. And in the last two decades our stronger churches have multiplied themselves by starting hundreds of daughter works, extension ministries, and additional campuses in areas where minorities are concentrated. Our churches by and large represent the communities they serve.
The problem with diversity as a doctrine or policy is that promoters seldom know when and where to put the brakes on. Modern mainline churches have modified the definition of the term to urge all of Christendom toward inclusivism—the concept that……..[To continue reading, click here]
Who are the haters here?
Another business is facing retribution for declining service to a same-sex couple. Betty and Dick Odgaard, owners of Görtz Haus Gallery in Grimes, Iowa, are catching the ire of gay rights advocates after they declined to rent their venue to Lee Stafford and his fiancé, Jared, for their marriage.
It was less than one week ago that Lee and Jared entered Görtz Haus looking for additional information about holding their wedding there. After Dick realized that it would be a gay ceremony, he told the couple that they would not be able to hold their nuptials at the establishment—and that’s when the controversy erupted.
From there, news spread that the Odgaards turned the couple away. Before long, phone calls and emails came streaming in. Betty said that some people have promised that the furor won’t stop until the business, which is a bistro, flower shop and a wedding destination, shuts down. Detractors have called Betty and Dick “haters.”
Are they the haters in this case? “I wish all people well. I have love for all people,” Betty, who was plainly distraught on the phone, told The Blaze, an online news source.
The family shared some of the e-mail responses they’ve received and the contents weren’t pretty. One angry e-mail said that the family is “finished” and “doomed.” “You are mean, rude, selfish @#$%^, racist $%*&^%$# from hell,” it read, with the writer later adding blasphemies about their faith. Another person who goes by the name “Micky” wrote, “Betty, you’re very old and almost dead. How do you both feel, knowing that America, and the world, will be a better place without you?”
As far as their reasoning for the refusal, the couple is candid and wants to ensure that people understand their views on the matter—reasoning that they feel has not been adequately conveyed through media coverage. Betty called it “totally a faith-based issue” that is rooted in the family’s Christian religious convictions. “We believe a marriage is between a man and woman,” she said, with Dick adding, “To us, it’s a sacrament.”
Churches should have the proper clauses in their constitution and by-laws to protect them from legal action when standing for truth.
The paleontologist who headed America’s Museum of Natural History in the 1920s Was Professor Henry Fairfield Osborn. He was a conﬁrmed evolutionist, bent on battling the famous Christian defender, William Jennings Bryan, over the teaching of evolution in public schools.
In 1922, Osborn announced the discovery of a fossil tooth from Nebraska. He claimed it was an early ape-man, whom he named Hesperopitlaecus baroldcookii in honor of its discoverer. It soon was popularly known as “Nebraska Man.”
Dental experts at the American Museum of Natural History studied the fossil tooth carefully and concluded it was from a species closer to man than ape. These evolutionistic experts delighted in the ﬁrst North American discovery of a missing link, especially because it was found in Bryan’s own home state—Nebraska.”
An Englishman who was involved in the Piltdown Man discovery hoax a few years before, persuaded the widely read Illustrated London News to publish an artist’s rendering of Nebraska Man and his mate. A full two-page spread was drawn and distributed worldwide, showing a naked pair of stupid looking ape-people. The club-swinging male no doubt impressed a whole generation with the idea that human ancestors were far inferior to the biblical Adam and Eve.
The year 1925 is memorable for being the year of the world’s most publicized court trial in history—the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial.” The American Civil Liberties Union pressed for the trial so they could make a public spectacle of the evolution controversy. In those days, creationism was taught in American public schools, and teaching evolution as scientific fact was illegal in the state of Tennessee. Though the ACLU lost the case, they eventually won the battle since evolution came to be the only origins explanation accepted in public schools by the 1960s.
During the Scopes trial, the impressive picture of Nebraska Man was well planted in the public mindset. Along with Piltdown Man and the warped views of Neanderthal Man being popularized at that time, young students were being led to believe that science had evidence for the evolution of man. You can see how this pushed the biblical view of Adam and Eve into the realm of mythology.
In 1928, just three years after the Scopes trial, scientists discovered a “mistake.” It wasn’t a tooth from an early human at all. It was a tooth from an extinct pig! However, in I972, living herds of the same species were discovered in Paraguay. Yet the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1929, vol. I4, pg. 767) explained that Hesperopithecus was “a being of another order.”
Mark Twain wrote a rather revealing insight about such cunning professional deception: “There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjectures out of such a trifling investment of facts.”
-This article was adapted from Dennis R. Peterson, “The Final End of All Supposed Missing Links,” Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation, Creation Resource Publications, 2012; p. 137.
We must get creationist materials into the hands of our children before they are deceived by the evolutionists in our schools and colleges. Don’t take it for granted that because your children have been in Sunday school since infancy that they are convinced of the creation story. The Bible reflects true science. What is taught in kindergarten through high school regarding time and the universe is faux science. That is provable.
Just as Apostolics are focusing on the name of Jesus…
On Friday, August 2, the Town of Greece, New York, was sued for opening its town meetings in prayer. The National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL) filed this brief on behalf of eight other county commissions and town councils who have had a practice of opening meetings with legislative prayer, and who have also been sued for violating the Establishment Clause and the legal principle of “separation of church and state.”
Attorney David C. Gibbs III, attorney of record for NCLL’s Supreme Court amicus brief, said, “We believe it is unconstitutional to ban prayers in Jesus’ name at legislative meetings. Having judges or legislators censor any prayers violates hundreds of years of religious liberty and free expression in America.” Americans have offered prayers in Jesus’ name in legislative meetings for all the hundreds of years that America has existed as a nation.
NCLL’s position is the same position Sam Adams—Massachusetts patriot and organizer of the Boston Tea Party—took when faced with hearing a prayer from someone he disagreed with theologically at the First Continental Congress in 1774. Sam Adams said he “was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from [any] gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country.” In fact, the prayer prayed that day in 1774 by Rev. Jacob Duché of Philadelphia ended in the name of Jesus and, therefore, some courts would ban a local legislator from even reading that prayer today. This is an outrageous legal outcome. Let all believers pray that the Supreme Court will make the right decision in this case.
I can relate to that
In our leaders, we are looking for something with which we can relate. I believe this is a major reason why we feel so disenfranchised by Barack Obama. On the other hand, even with what often seemed to be clumsy delivery, we were able to relate to George W Bush. His southern drawl and easy style made us feel somewhat comfortable with him. Ronald Reagan, with his quick smile that seemed to emanate from the core of his being, gave us all a feeling that we had a fatherly figure in the White House. We could relate to him.
All things considered, one big reason why many liked Mike Huckabee is because we could relate to his story. The contrast between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush was glaring. We could only imagine ourselves sitting across the desk from Bush, while we could envision sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee with the country Clinton.
God saw this need in man, so He took on a form with which we could relate. In that form, He was tempted in every point like as we are, yet without sin. He is a high priest who can be touched by the feelings of our infirmities. He understands our griefs, fears, shortcomings, and the frailty of our humanity. He offers, however, more than a touch on the shoulder, tear in His eye, and “I feel your pain!” He offers more than a handout but a leg up! He offers more than a bailout but a way out! He does not give to us empty pledges but exceeding great and precious promises that He can back up with the riches of His glory!
Rather than offering a temporary reprieve to a current crisis, Jesus Christ equips us with the necessary power and knowledge to live overcoming lives in this present world and be saved for all of eternity. I can relate to that!
– Contributed by Harlan Morgan
by Marvin Arnold
We are all aware of the Pentecostal revival that began early in the 20th century and blossomed at Azusa Street. But we should not think that it was then, or in 1913 that truth was “revealed,” or even restored. Since the Day of Pentecost there has always been those who were baptized in the name of Jesus and filled with the Holy Ghost. It was then that the embers flared into flames, but long before Azusa the records show there were groups, families and individuals who were saved according to Acts 2:38. The author has provided ample proof in this, one of his last publications. AM Price 12.95
Apostolic History Outline
The late Brother Arnold left us a legacy of research that allows us to trace our Apostolic history from Pentecost until the present. Here is a nutshell version of the history and theology of Oneness Pentecostalism. No longer do we need to be handicapped by a lack of knowledge concerning many of those who have preceded us in the faith. Monotheistic Christianity is no longer shrouded in mystery. The author provides us with a parallel history of Catholicism and Pentecostalism. Names, dates and references provide the truth seeker with plenty of facts. Sixty 81/2X11 pages of interesting information. AM Price $11.95
Christian Church History
by Marvin Arnold
Dr. Arnold spent the last thirty-three years of his life relentlessly researching and compiling Oneness Apostolic history. His literary works also include, Apostolic History Outline, The Origin and Spread of Man, Pentecost Before Azusa, The Bible, Trinity and Matthew 28:19, Nicaea and The Nicene Council of AD 325. He incessantly taught that the Upper Room Church of Saint Matthew 16:18 and Acts 2:1-38, had eternal longevity. He emphasized that the Church of Pentecost has been alive, extant, doctrinally intact throughout each day unto this moment. It never died; it never ceased to function; it never digressed to become something else. It’s Apostolic doctrinal structure never fell; it needed no so-called restoration. It did not suffer a torturous step-by-step restoration by inept European gentile reformers. Also, he documented that between ca. 1670 and 1901-1909, in America, there were many Jesus’ name people. He affirmed that Oneness Apostolic doctrine did not evolve from out of Topeka or Azusa teachings, nor from 1916 phenomena. Instead, the doctrine of Acts 2:38 has always been available to those who wanted it. Always, someone, somewhere, preached this biblical doctrine. AM Price $14.95
Into His Marvelous Light
No other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single teaching tool in the past 20 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in both English and Spanish. Also available in Italian.
AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each 50-99 $1.50 each 100 or more $1.25 each
A follow-up study for the new convert. This little booklet can be given to the new convert to go through alone and then come back to you with any questions they may have. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially, and goes through what their responsibilities as believers are now.
AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each 50-99 $1.50 each 100 or more $1.25 each
Order at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.
Small caliber pistol saves woman’s life
Here is her story:
While out walking along the edge of a bayou just below Houma, Louisiana with my soon to be ex-husband discussing property settlement and other divorce issues, we were surprised by a huge 12-ft. alligator suddenly emerging from the murky water and charging us with its large jaws wide open. She must have been protecting her nest because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire .25 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today! Just one shot to my estranged husband’s kneecap was all it took. The gator got him easily and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. It’s one of the best pistols in my collection! Plus…the amount I saved in lawyer’s fees was more than worth the purchase price of the gun.
If anyone in Louisiana can verify her story, they should come forward.
Error discovered too late
The following story underscores the importance of careful copying of Bible manuscripts.
A young monk arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other monks in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand.
So, the new monk goes to the Old Abbot to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.
The head monk, says, “We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.” He excuses himself and goes down into the dark recesses underneath the monastery where the original manuscripts are archived in a locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the Old Abbot. So, the young monk gets worried and goes down to look for him.
He finds him banging his head against the wall and wailing, “We missed the R! We missed the R! We missed the R!”
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably. The young monk asks the old abbot, “What’s wrong, father?”
With a choking voice, the old Abbot replies, “The word was….CELEBRATE!”
“If, then, dead books may be committed to the flames, how much more live books, that is to say, men?” – Matthieu Ory, Inquisitor of Heretical Pravity for the Realm of France, 1544. Such theory led to the sentence of death by burning handed to Michael Servetus, having been found guilty of anti-trinitarianism. His books on the errors of the Trinity were bound to his body as he was burned at the stake in Geneva, Switzerland on October 27, 1553. John Calvin had won the day over Servetus, but not the Truth! Truth never dies. It cannot be burned at the stake, or drowned in cages in the river, or shot by firing squads, or crucified on wooden crosses. Truth lives. Truth always triumphs!
Thank you for sharing a few minutes of your time with us.