Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

The Treasure Principle

October 28, 2008

So at the suggestion of my pastor, my wife and I started reading through a Bible study called, “The Treasure Principle”, by Randy Alcorn.

The first chapter starts as an introduction to what the Treasure Principle is, and the reward it entails.  My wife and I were impressed by the fact that storing up worldy treasures is pointless, because our worldly treasures will fly away like a bird.  When John D. Rockerfeller died, his lawyer was asked how much he left, and the answer:  “All of it.”

As a Christian living in the US, I can be easily distracted by bills, and necessities, and material things.  We frequently struggle with paying the bills, but somehow we are able to do so each month.  Recently we have started to prioritize our tithe before our expenses.  Not that this is some magic formula, but in the last month, I have received $100.00 in Gift Cards, and a family member is offering to supply us with some money so that we can install a picket fence, and repair some household items!

The Treasure Principle means two things.  First, our giving (whether in money or in self) should be done joyfully.  The reward is that once in heaven, we will receive three types of treasures:  Jesus.  Heaven.  Physical Treasures rewarded a hundredfold!  Second, our giving rewards us with joy.  Joy is underrated and underutilized.

As we start to change our focus of tithing, I think we have become more aware of our expenditures.  We have definitely cut back on eating out all the time, and buying unnecessary material items!  God has shown that He has been blessing us, but we have been poor stewards of our blessings.

This is not something that has occurred over night.  Years ago, we were about $40,000.00 in debt!  We prayerfully considered our actions to cause that situation and immediately cut our credit cards.  When the credit cards were gone, we were able to quickly pay off our school loans, car loans, and personal loans!  We were out of debt within a couple years of praying about it.

Sure we had our ups and downs, but God blessed us.  Had we known then what we know now, we may have had a tidy savings, instead of an empty bank account.  This is our next step, I believe.

Yes, I know I’m more focused on our personal income, but this all ties together.  I have to take care of my family, and it starts with being a good steward.  Good stewardship takes manly discipline.

If you are interested, you may purchase this short book for only a couple of bucks at Amazon.  I think it will open your eyes to some Biblical principles that are largely overlooked these days, but are perhaps just as important as ever in Christian history!

We will be reading a chapter each week, so I’ll update this site each time and try to be upfront about our progression as we seek to be joyful givers!

Greece, Rome, and now…

October 23, 2008

It is no secret that societies which embraced and accepted immoral attitudes eventually fall.  Maybe it is more of a sign of a society that is already fallen.  A culture that became so weak, that the small minority of those who accepted such obscurities became outright vocal and powerful.

Rome had those boy slaves used by the upper class and nobility.  Greece had its share of immoral behaviors.  These two empires eventually failed.

Of course, I’m not trying to say that immoral behavior is the main reason these empires failed.  Again, I think it is probably a condition of a weakened society.

Over the past few decades, America has grown more decadent.  When marriage is no longer safe, we know we are in for a heap of trouble.

Look, we have economic failures as a result of greed.  Abortion is a failure because we promoted free love and sex without the consequences.  AIDS is a reality because of the immoral choices we make.

Yes, the blatant acceptance of immorality is a sign of weakness.

Do I stand here like a fierce God and condemn everyone?  No.  This is not my job, and frankly, I don’t have the qualifications to attempt it.  I’d have to condemn myself first.  It is my job to warn others, though.

I believe the church is largely at fault too.  We Christians have become somewhat exclusive in our ability to love thy neighbor!  I’m guilty.  We also have those pretending to be Christians while promoting hatred towards sinners.  Fred Phelps would have been kicked out of the temple like the money changers!

Sin.  This all boils down to sin.  And as Paul said, of which I am the chiefest.

And there are consequences to sin.  Whether you stand as an unbeliever like the three monkey trio.  The fact is, your unbelief will not make the truth a myth.

Some societies were eventually wiped out by the hand of God as a result of their sin.  I don’t take God lightly.

There is hope.  People can be changed.  If they are truly open minded, they will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!  Those who are truly open minded have done so.  Those with a narrow-minded stubborn pride will continue to deny God’s existence, therefore leaving no chance for change.

Also, God wants you to come as you are.  If you are gay, come as a gay person and let God sort out your issues.  If you’re a crack head, don’t feel you have to quit the crack before receiving the Messiah!  Let God sort that out.  If I thought I had to be perfect before becoming a Christian, why would I need to go to God?  I’d be perfect.

Our society is failing.  God isn’t.

King James Only Crowd

September 7, 2008

Here’s some transcripts I received from an angry KJV only person.  To start, I was asking on his youtube channel, why he felt the need to slander Pastor Chuck Smith.  My text is in blue, his red:

I have to ask why you oppose Pastor Chuck. You aren’t serving the needs of people are you? You aren’t out evangelizing to the lost are you?

No, you are like those who condemned Jesus. Those pharisees who played question games with the Lord. And like Jesus, his disciples experienced the same assault from some of the same pharisees and sadducees.

I don’t know you, but in 1 minute and 30 seconds or so, you try to berate an entire man’s calling.

Wow. You must be like a God, or something.

Get off your high horse and get into the Word.

From,

An imperfect soldier of Christ.

(Seriously, check out how he twists my words, and comes up with stuff out of thin air):

>I have to ask why you
>oppose Pastor Chuck.

He attacked the Bible in his own sermon, calling himself a liar.

>You aren’t serving the
>needs of people are
>you?

I’m doing what God tells me to do: expose those who lie on God’s book – the King James Bible.

>You aren’t out
>evangelizing to the
>lost are you?
>

Yes, probably a lot more than you.

>No, you are like those
>who condemned
>Jesus. Those pharisees
>who played question
>games with the Lord.

God’s words might be a game to you, not me.

>And like Jesus, his
>disciples experienced
>the same assault from
>some of the same
>pharisees and
>sadducees.

You worship Charlie Smith – you compare him to Jesus Christ, compare yourself to one of Charlie’s disciples. Pitiful.

>
>I don’t know you, but

No you don’t, and let’s keep it that way – I don’t want to know you, I have standards about the kind of people I associate with, and you fail the standards.

>in 1 minute and 30
>seconds or so, you try
>to berate an entire
>man’s calling.
>

I “berate” nobody – the clip is entirely his own words played back.

>Wow. You must be
>like a God, or
>something.
>

Why do you say that, are you anxious to dump the Charlie god and get a new one?

>Get off your high
>horse and get into the
>Word.

Get a Bible, as in – THE KING JAMES BIBLE – God’s words in English. And believe it, and if any smiling nut corrects it, tell that clown to take a flying leap at his left leg.

>
>From,
>
>An imperfect soldier
>of Christ.
>

Very imperfect – a swordless, faithless, apostate, paranoid freak. Go back and shovel the stables, leave the real work for the Lord to those who know him and believe his WORDS.

(You ask, why even bother.  I don’t know, sometimes I like to play head games with loony bins).

Nope, you’ve god it all wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGEmlPjgjVI

That your type of church?

I have multiple translations of the Bible. Do you read the original Greek and Hebrew versions? Because if you don’t, then in your words, you don’t have “a real bible”.

You’re a lunatic.

(Yes, I resorted to name calling…)

No, you don’t have “original” Hebrew or “original” Greek.

You’re an uninformed idiot.

(Ok, where did I state I had the original Hebrew and Greek OT and NT??  I should have given up, but I was thirsty for more).

(Here’s my peace token, thoughtful, and to the point)

Look, I apologize for the name calling, as a Christian, it is not Christ like.

I simply meant to ask if you were reading copies of the Holy Bible in the original Hebrew (and Aramaic) and Greek. Or did you really not know that the original versions of the Bible were written in those ancient languages (honest question not meaning to insult)?

I grew up reading from the KJV, but I don’t believe that it is holier or more accurate than others, it is simply an older form of English. There are perfectly qualified translations which use our modern form of language. Are you a member of the Church of England?

If you believe that KJV is the best, then why don’t you speak in the earlier form of English?

That being said, I love the history of the Bible’s translations from Latin to vernacular languages as were the intentions of Tyndale and Luther. Again, as language adjusts and evolves, it will certainly be a requirement to adjust to a more current dialect.

Certainly it is a not a simple task, but a careful and most precious study must be undertaken by scholars to complete such an undertaking.

I have friends who are part of Wycliffe Bible Translators, and they have some awesome and inspiring stories when translating in indigenous languages, some where they had to create a written language! Their translations takes years and years, even decades.

God’s Word needs to spread throughout the entire world, not just modern or ancient English translations.

Currently, our anglicized English with a complex mixture of other foreign languages shares little in common with Shakespearean English (Middle English). Take it to another level, we would likely not understand an English speaker who spoke in Old English, and would not even be able to read their script.

Listen, I am going to let bygones be bygones. I understand those who love the poetic and accurate nature of the KJV. I too love it, but I also love the accurate and understandable translations with our current version of the English language.

(Does he come back with an intelligent response?)

(Nope)

The King James Bible is the scriptures.

There are NO original manuscripts ANYWHERE ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH so either learn something from somebody who knows a lot more than you do (since I know and read God’s very words – AND YOU DON’T) or get lost.

You never read the original Hebrew Text, you never read the original Greek Text, you never looked up on any lexicon published by anybody living or dead, the God ordained meaning of any Greek or Hebrew word in English – unless it came from the KING JAMES BIBLE ITSELF.

Sorry to break the news to you, but the Bible is NOT preserved by Charlie Smith or even intelligent people who know what they are talking about when it comes to “scholarship”.

I’m not wasting another email on you – I’ll write it now for the LAST TIME to you and you can either get it or you can go ahead and spiritually blow your brains out committing suicide by REJECTING GOD’S WORDS IN ENGLISH – – > THE KING JAMES BIBLE IS GOD’S WORDS, THE SCRIPTURES IN ENGLISH. WE DON’T CORRECT THEM, THEY CORRECT US.

To blazes with any and all “ministries” by any and all “good, godly, dedicated, soul-winning, loving, caring, sharing” HERETIC WHO DARES CHALLENGE THE WRITTEN WORDS OF GOD. AMEN AND AMEN, FOREVER AND EVER – TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!

HALLELUJAH!!!

===================================================================

There you have it.  My once in a lifetime adventure with a KJV only kook.  I sent him the link to this, and will just let it rest.  No point beating a dead horse, of whom this one apparently had the brain of.

Cheers

P.S. If the curiosity gets the best of you, and you lose rational thought, you can check out his self-postering videos here.

A man comprises, when trying to please all.

August 25, 2008

I just read an article about Jay Bakker, the son of Jim Bakker, and the late Tammy Faye.  It seems he deems himself a punk rocker evangelist, and meets in a bar in Brooklyn.

As a poor white boy who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, I can’t pretend to understand the kind of life he lived.  He certainly can’t be blamed for his father’s indiscretions.  While I admire his tenacity to go into the world, according to this recent article, it seems he has compromised his beliefs, accepting gay marriage and homosexuality.

Some lines do have to be drawn.  As a Christian, when another is down in the struggles of sin, it is not my job to hate.  It is my job to realize that Jesus did not compromise, but at the same time, he showed those in sin a love that is unmatched.  In the end, he always said, “Go, and sin no more.”

Jay Bakker believes that the church has hurt the gay community tremendously.  I agree.  Jesus said to come as you are.  We as Christians, have a duty to love those who are lost.  When the time comes though, I will let them know what the Bible says about their chosen lifestyles.  Yes, this isn’t pretty sometimes, but necessary.  No compromises when it comes to the Word of God.

I know those who were in the gay community and came out of it through God’s deliverance.  They realize that it is a sin like any other sin.  The choices they made have come with great penalties, if you will.  It isn’t a bed of roses to be celebrated in the Church.

Wait, in the words of Jay, we in the church are all bastards.  Well, that is a bit harsh, but I guess the point is taken.

Mr. Bakker is trying to please everyone.  We can’t please them all, is a true saying.  And we can’t ignore the Bible when it comes to sin.  Especially concerning the fellowship of those who are knowingly committing sin.  There is a judgment reserved for the worldly, and one for those who are Christians.  Reading 1 Corinthians, I note that Paul was firm on his fellow brothers in Christ, while maintaining a love for them.  He had a love for the lost also, realizing the two different judgments.

Christian Universalism

August 12, 2008

I was recently introduced to the theology of Universalism.  Christian Universalism to be more specific.  I guess those who follow this theology believe that eventually all will be saved by God.  Even though they never accepted Jesus as their savior while alive on earth, eventually God will release them from the pits of hell granting them eternal life.

My problem with that:  Why would Jesus die?  Why did God sacrifice His Son, His perfect and holy Son only to end the punishment of denying Christ later on?

Christian Universalism sounds nice but it doesn’t add up.

Christians and War

August 7, 2008

Is it permissable according to the Word of God for Christians to engage in acts of war?

You know, I seriously haven’t considered this before, but as a country that founded itself on Judeo-Christian principles, there were surely some Christians whether in leadership or in the lower ranks who fought against the British so that they could have independence.

On the other hand, Christ wasn’t the most violent guy to walk around.  Sure, he showed some righteous anger when clearing out the temple, but I don’t know that he actually killed any of them.

Then again, the Old Testament records plenty of wars that were condoned and commanded by God the Father.

Does this mean that we as Christians are allowed to go to war?  Or, following the example of Jesus and the Apostles, is worldly war a thing of the past for Christians?

Todd Bentley and the Lakeland “Revival”

August 1, 2008

So some of us in the realm of Christianity have become aware of a “revival” taking place in Lakeland, FL lead by Todd Bentley. If you don’t know about this, simply go onto youtube.com and search Todd Bentley, you’ll find a bunch of videos both supporting and opposing Todd.

Let me just give you a little background on my personal church history. It started as an infant when I was baptized a Roman Catholic as my mother and her family were all dedicated Catholics. I don’t remember the baptism, and I barely remember attending mass, because I think around the age of 5, my mother began attending a Northeaster Regular Baptist Fellowship Church in Enfield, CT.

First Baptist Church of Enfield was at first a church devoted to supporting the community through provision and Evangelism. While I did not get saved at this church, I did grow up here (I became a Christian at the age of 9 while visiting a small Baptist church in Northern Maine). I spent my youth discipling under the guidance of strong, traditional Christians who loved their church, and their family. The church began to change when the original pastor left (called to plant a church in FL).

Around the age of 16, I began attending a Charismatic church in Windsor Locks. Living Waters Fellowship Church had just experienced what everyone deemed, a renewal. The Toronto Blessing (See Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) had just begun, and this revival seemed genuine. In fact, I visited TACF numerous times with the youth group and felt the power of God. Unfortunately, in time, the Toronto Blessing turned inward and became focused on signs and wonders.

LWFC eventually split. The senior pastor felt the Toronto Blessing was not of God, while the assistant pastor (who I sided with) felt it was. Oh, the split was over much more than just that. The senior pastor was having some family difficulties and left the required sabatocal early causing a strife during the middle of the service. Truly a sad experience in my church life. Jesus was not happy there.

Finally the senior pastor gave the assistant pastor his blessing to start a church with a majority of the youth. We started Open Gate Ministries in 1998. I have some awesome memories and fond blessings that come from Open Gate. We were all on fire, excited, young, and ready to take on the world with God’s word. Under the wing of my youth leader, and senior pastor, I eventually joined YWAM for their Discipleship Training School. This too was a great experience that brought me into a closer understanding of God.

Fast forward a few years. I have moved away from my home church, living in NJ with my wife. We both consider ourselves Charismatic Christians (and do so to this day for the most part), but we can’t find a church that satisfies our needs. We visit one place after another, but seem to thirst more, as none can quench. Most churches are either focused on money, or on signs and wonders. This was enough to stop us from going to a church for sometime. Big mistake, please keep in fellowship.

Well, we found our home at a bible study started by Calvary Chapel Old Bridge. The Bible study eventually grows into a full time church. From our experiences here, we have again found love of the word. The study is refreshing, and the worship is simple, yet heartfelt. God is definitely moving in our humble church!

To get back to Todd Bentley, my point is, I have been there. I have seen folks who claim to heal people. I have experienced the shaking in the spirit, was slain by the Holy Ghost, and I spoke uncontrollably in unknown languages. I prophecied over others, and I laughed liked a drunkard. It got me nowhere spiritually. My armor was tarnished and weak. The temptation to seek after signs and wonders was overbearing at times.

Todd Bentley may feel he is genuinely doing the right thing, but he is doing things that make me scratch my head in wonder. Kicking a person in the stomach who has Stage IV Colon Cancer and claiming God told him to do this?! Laughing about knocking a person’s tooth out after punching him in the face? Poking a little girl in the eye who had lazy eye? These are not representative of Christ’s compassion and love. These are not found in His word!

This is no revival that is going on in Lakewood. This is simply a spectacle of freakish proportions. I would guard yourself against such actions before getting caught up in the energy of it all. A true revival shows people repenting for their sins, the church coming to a point of restoration, and people being moved by the awesome power and love of God. Nowhere in the Bible does God show Himself as a fool! He is the ultimate person of logic.

Todd Bentley seems to have found an easy way to gain money and fame. When confronted by the media about his healings, he has no evidence to back it up. Folks, that is a sign of a false prophet!

I want revival. I want our country changed like never before. I would love to see millions saved. This should be every Christian’s desire. I don’t want to go to a carnival freak show and experience “signs and wonders”. Fact is, a wicked and adulterous generation seeks these things.

In conclusion, we as Christians are called to love God, love our neighbors, and to know His Word! Throw away emotional experiences and open up God’s awesome and Holy Bible. When more American Christians begin to do this, we will know what a true American Revival is!

Hitler Christian?!?

July 11, 2008

A commenter recently stated:

Hitler was a devout Xian. He’s one of yours, not ours. You can deny it all you want, but head over to your favorite quotation web page and look him up. Stalin you say? Stalin’s problem with religion was about removing a rival powerbase. The gunmen were all Xian. Saddam and bin Laden had Allah on their side. Bush thinks Jesus told him to invade Iraq. Even if the wars were territorial, each side vehemently proclaimed that their god was on their side.

What?  This is news to me.  Did he follow Jesus’ example by loving their neighbor?  Did he turn the other cheek?  Was Hitler really a Christian?

No.  The truth is, Hitler was a secular atheist who used religion to promote his socialist government.  The national socialist.  Hitler’s buddy, Raushning stated, “You’re either a Christian or a German, you can’t be both.”

After all, I don’t recall God stating Mein Kempf as his Holy Word.  Well, evil old Hitler replaced the Holy Bible with his book in schools, and Nazism (not Christianity) was declared the state religion.  Besides, he massacred 1000s of Christians who either opposed the government, or helped their Jewish brothers.

Does this sound like someone who claims to be a Christian?

“‘It is through the peasantry that we shall really be able to destroy Christianity because there is in them a true religion rooted in nature and blood”.

Yeah, the neo-pagan himself, Adolph Hitler said that in reply to his disdain towards.  Hitler intended and is quoted as saying he is going to stamp out Christianity.  Hmm…that sure doesn’t sound like someone who abides by the Gospels.

No kiddos.  Hitler was a war mongering envious dictator who used religion to gain power, and once power was obtained, threw out his rhetoric and embraced his secular longings.

The point is, many claim to be Christians, but we all know we will know them by their fruit.  His fruit was rotten to the core.  No love for Christ there.