Posts Tagged ‘SBN’

fight-club

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.

Confrontational Evangelism does not, nor ever will work, contrary to what some preacher or other suggests otherwise. The fact is, if the message is coated in aggression, hostility, anger, defamation or ridicule, that message has been tainted and is not of Christ, but is in fact another gospel which will serve no one but only the self righteous.

Recently, someone (a preacher/pastor on Facebook) video taped himself going into a mall and verbally assaulted CHILDREN as they stood in line to see Santa Claus. (source) The video has now went viral, even making the rounds in the national media and online social networks, whereby one could see as well as hear this man verbally assault, ridicule and castigate those children for wanting to see Santa, but not just kids did this man attack, but also the parents, all because one man deemed himself as the sole representative for the entire Christian faith, and by doing so proved that not only has commonsense is no more common, stupidity has now replaced social graces and common decency in an effort to project a more hateful form of Christianity.
In other words, this man has done nothing to portray Christ in a meaningful and loving way which would draw men TO CHRIST, instead, presented another form of so called aggressive Christianity that attacks even children in the most vile and reproachable form to draw men AWAY from Christ.

In yet another video of someone who is a street preacher, the young man (preacher) goes into an area that is well known to be home to violence and aggressive behavior, within 15 minutes of his name calling of the lost, a man slashes the young man’s hand, sending him to the hospital. Again, all in the name of Confrontational Evangelism.

Romans 14:16 says this as it regards the conduct and character of the Christian and his or her walk in a secular world, “Do not allow what you consider good, then, to be spoken of as evil.” Here’s the real truth in this as it comes to the recent rise of Confrontational Evangelism that has now become more open in many branches of the faith by those who believe that by name calling, personal character attacks and an all out brutality toward anyone who is lost should be made to feel socially unloved and unwanted is, it does not work!
We live in a very hostile (as well as aggressive) world where words matter, and in some respects, those same words bring forth deadly consequences. From road rage, fights in shopping malls throughout America, there has been an increase of violence in all sorts of situations, and it has now reached into the church as well. When Christians, especially preachers of the gospel adopt methods from the world, when our actions and attitudes toward the lost is similar to those who are blinded to the truth, then our message will never resonate with the hearts of the people, but instead, it will cause those who need to hear about the good news of Jesus Christ, to actually resist that call, and in some cases, resort to physical violence in return.

When we examine the life of Christ, we see one common theme when it came to his outreach to the lost (not the religious) but the true broken, the weak, the poor, the sinner itself, his behavior toward the least was one of great compassion, not condemnation (John 3:17). Christ used words which revealed the disparity of the sinner, yet gave hope for their salvation. When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, his was not one of confrontation, nor did he resort to name calling. His was one of compassion, of love, of hope to this particular woman who even his own disciples, when seeing him speaking to her, questioned his actions. The truth is, Christ drew people to him because his message was one which offered hope, it did not degrade, ridicule or reject the sinner. His was a message of grace, of hope in all sincerity.

Yet today that message of hope has been unfortunately been replaced by a message of fear, of judgment, of hate. If you degrade someone, you isolate them, you control them, you call them names, you demean them. That’s a horrible existence for people. Yet that is exactly what is happening with the method of Confrontational Evangelism. Let’s ask a fair question; Do we honestly believe that by going into a shopping mall at the height of Christmas and confronting children with a style of method which they would not be able to comprehend truly serves any productive purpose other than gratifying one man’s feeble attempt for 15 minutes of fame?

When a street preacher name calls, uses words or terms such as whore, slut, pansy, or confronts in an aggressive tone or demeanor, are they truly desiring a genuine response to the gospel? The answer is no, they aren’t. Here is the more shocking truth to what is happening in these situations, they have no true desire to see men repent, but reject God even further because they themselves have no genuine love for them to repent in the first place. Jesus said that we would know if we love God genuinely by when we loved one another. If we truly followed Christ, we would love people as he loved us when we were unlovable. The simple truth is, I’ve never known one person ever to come to Christ out of ridicule or public shaming – ever.

Is it wrong to warn the sinner of their fate if they don’t repent? Absolutely not. But how we go about it can be. We draw or push away people by how we treat people, that is simply how it works when we relate to people. We demonstrate the love of Christ to the lost by giving them hope, not fear, not demeaning them, and certainly not condemning them. The truth is, they stand condemned already! It’s the same idea of going onto death row and telling a man condemned to be executed in a few hours that he’s going to die, when the fact is he already knows that. What he is hoping for is not the call of death, that’s his reality, instead, he’s praying for a reprieve. Sinners act and behave like sinners because that’s what sinners do! So why not give them words of life instead of words of death?

Confrontational Evangelism will never work. Those who are dedicated to undermining the gospel do so at their own peril, for God keeps a record of all we do, and when we present the gospel in such a way that brings forth a spirit of hate and self destruction, then we have not the true gospel, but a false one, a lonely one, one whose sole intention is to distance others from the cross, that in itself is antichrist. Let us instead speak peace, love and give the sinner reason to hope, even if rejected, tell them the good news, even if it brings ridicule from those who do not know, for in the end, ours is to simply preach the good news of Jesus Christ, and let God determine who will receive when they hear such love from such a high price that was paid 2,000 years ago on Calvary.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

Contact me at christopher152@gmail.com

animal-house-food-fight

 

Personal convictions are NOT the same as Biblical truth. Yet Christians have been twisting personal convictions and Biblical truths for centuries in an attempt to lead people back to law, and that’s what it truly is when you examine the most common arguments concerning personal liberty versus conviction. From going to movies, listening to secular music, or participating in sports or going to a game, (not to mention celebrating Christmas or Halloween), these issues have managed to burden the church with untold heartache all because someone, somewhere used personal conviction instead of biblical truth to create yet another doctrine that was not based on grace and personal liberty, but law in an effort to control the people in how they desired people to live.This always leads to Legalism.
 
So what exactly is a personal conviction?
A personal conviction is a viewpoint relating to conduct or behavior based on social upbringing and family history. This view says “I can’t do that because I might stumble.”, or it might say, “I don’t believe God wants us to participate in that, so I don’t and neither should you.“. Either way, whatever the argument or defense suggests, the end result remains the same, it’s a conviction not based on actual biblical truth, but based entirely upon past experiences, behavior or upbringing. To be clear, there are indeed conduct and behavioral attitudes found throughout the word to which God desires us to walk, but when we are discussing disputable issues relating to personal liberty, then that’s when things become an issue, and when we need to understand that sometimes what we have held onto as doctrine, is nothing more but church tradition that God never intended for us to be bound by.
 
I was raised in the Pentecostal holiness movement. At an early age I was taught by the church for years that Christians did not go to movies, they did not dance, they did not listen to secular music, nor did they adorn themselves with gold or jewelry, nor did its women wear anything commonly associated with the opposite sex, this meant that women could not wear pants for it was something made for men, thus, it was a sin. The same with the famous hair doctrine that Pentecostals created as another means to control its people. The idea, for both men and women, was that women should have long hair (even though other societies around the world have their own cultural beliefs) when the truth is, we had many reasons why we shouldn’t, yet they were never based on the word of God, but a distorted view based from the law.
Paul warned the early churches throughout his writings not to go back to ritual and law, and it was for a reason, it could not be maintained. There was a reason why the law was rigid and strict, because man, by himself on his own efforts could not satisfy the law, thus, the sacrifice was needed. Today, that sacrifice was fulfilled through Christ. He satisfied the law and all its requirements where we could not, this gave us the gift of Grace which is what we are in today. Yet there are those who once again would desire man, as well as the church, to go back unto law and all of its rigidness under the Mosaic system, and be controlled by those who would yield its full weight and measure. The result? Spiritual ruin. 
When we are referring to Disputable Issues, we speak of those issues relating to personal views, not on the word, but on issues which have, and continue to divide the church today. Disputable Issues (or matters) are what Paul outlined in Romans chapter 14. Here we see what Paul wanted us to avoid at all costs – disputings which lead to strife, and worse – bondage to the law. Throughout chapter 14 of Romans, Paul gives us, the church, a clear resolve when it comes to things which the Bible is silent on, and that is this, liberty. Romans 14:5 “One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Here Paul is making it clear that one man might see the need for Sabbath, while the other does not, but both must adhere to this one rule, to be fully persuaded in his own mind to what God would have him do, but never should he impose his own beliefs upon another believer, for in doing so, they have created a new law, a new doctrine and a new bondage to which there is no law. Again, let me be clear, Paul is never speaking about participating in immoral acts, or those things or issues which are clearly condemned in scripture, it’s simply referring to issues which have not been dealt with in scripture.
Still, many in the days of the early church were fighting among themselves about what was right and what was wrong to do or go as it related to personal conduct or behavior. The early church found itself divided over food offered to idols that was being then sold on the market that Christians could not decide if it [meat] could be bought and then eaten. Paul settled the issue in the same chapter (14:3) by saying “Let not him who eats despise him who eats not….” The answer to the problem concerning a dispute was found simply in Christ and the cross – personal liberty.
The other issue conflicting the church in its first establishment was the celebrating of pagan holidays. How interesting that while Paul equally gave his instruction to the early church on these matters, yet nearly 2,000 years later, the church has found itself once again arguing over matters, such as Christmas or other festivities, to which there are no law in the new covenant. Again, one would literally have to go back to the old covenant to make an argument for why the church should abstain from anything relating to the eating of certain foods, or celebrating or participating in pagan holidays under the new covenant. This is again, a disputable issue that Paul dealt with by stating that there is no law under the new covenant for any believer in Christ to abstain from such, simply because we are now under Grace.
Grace is not a license to sin, far from it, it’s a call that demands holiness. Yet when we examine personal convictions as it relates to ones own personal growth, we will begin to see that when we allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide, instructing us in all things relative to ones own conduct, then we will be able to do, or not to do things which may or may not be wrong spiritually, but participate or not based on a more maturer level of intimacy that can only be done by placing our faith into what Christ did on the cross, and then allowing him to teach us accordingly. Paul reminds us of two indisputable facts for the believer that should be our guide as it relates to personal convictions:
1) We shall all stand before Christ at the judgment and give an answer for our actions on this earth. (Romans 14: 10)
2) We should desire to be at peace with our brothers and sisters no matter what level they or we are on, but to live in peace and love one another. (Romans 14:19)
From my desk in China,
Christopher
christopher152@gmail.com

BEWARE THE SNARE OF SATAN

Posted: October 15, 2016 in HOT TOPICS
Tags: , ,

snare_of_the_enemy

 

This is a special article written by Christian Author and speaker Gregory Reid for The Prophetic News.

 

 

SNARES IN MINISTRY

There are five little-spoken-of snares for anyone called of God:

1. The obsession with numbers – “numbering the people. (1 Samuel 24:10) The kingdom work is “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord.” If you only have 5, preach like it was 5,000. Stop head counting, it is a trap. “And the Lord added to the churches daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47) There will be many saints with great rewards whose churches never reached the mega dream, but they labored without ceasing in obedience no matter what the numbers.

2. Corporate ambition. We rarely admit it, but we lust and envy after those with the big thing, the media attention, the best-selling book, the 24/7 church bookings. We must crucify what our flesh longs to sanctify and justify. Be content with where God has placed you and what He has given you to do. Be faithful in the little, and deal cruelly with the breaking of the commandment to not covet your neighbor’s things. (Exodus 20:17)

3. The quest for financial success.

I am not against money or prosperity, But the quest for it in ministry a dangerous thing. Paul said he had learned how to be abased and abound, but in all things to be content. You will face times of material blessing and times of difficulty. It can never be the point of the work or the center of the message, and it is so easy to justify our cravings for the material by using certain scriptures. Tread lightly, friend. Paul declared the whole counsel of God. Read the last part of Hebrews 11, not just the first part of it. “He chooses our inheritance for us.”

4. Power over people. Friend, you handle the Word of God, and that is a sobering thing. Anyone who gets up in front of anyone – especially these days – with even a little bit of persuasive ability or charisma, has the ability to convince and sway people with their words. When you are in ministry, you may have both the persuasive charisma AND the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This should make you tremble in fear. For we will be accountable for every word that comes out of our mouths, and most believers are trusting, innocent and for the most part unskilled in the Word. (That is why discipleship is so crucial.) Those in youth ministry need to be especially careful because there is an added vulnerability in our young sheep that requires you to understand that EVERY.SINGLE.WORD. is heard, and mostly respected, and in many cases, remembered for life – especially the words we speak in a personal or “out of the raised platform” setting – just in every day fellowship and conversation. Remember that life and death are in the power of the tongue.

It is possible to get a taste of power when you see people responding to your word, and/or His Word. I have known people who became spiritual dictators and monsters because they forgot where they stopped and God began, and began to think anything they said or did was okay. They wrecked many lives, because the lust for spiritual power is even more dangerous than the lust for political or social power, because we can so easily spiritually justify it. Don’t do it. Tell yourself every day and many times a day, “I am a foot washer, I am a servant. I am not here to be served.” Always remember, as Paul said, that “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) Better you never enter a platform again than to think it is your talents, your abilities or your power with words that got you there.

5. The power of prestige.

Few will talk about it, but in modern evangelical ministry, it’s not about what you know, but WHO you know. As a young minister years ago, it was like that as well. I watched in Christian church, media and music circles as people climbed over people to get in the “inner circle” of those who could promote them or their ministries, and often give them bragging rights to name-drop at other Christian gatherings. I saw it as I began to “rise to the top of the Christian dog heap,” realized it was no different from the Hollywood world I knew about from growing up in Southern California, and asked God to drop me down to the bottom of the ladder if necessary rather than get my walk ruined by lusting after “being with the big boys and girls.” It is the height of spiritual idolatry. Crucify it.

Gene Edwards said, “Many pray for the power of God. More every year. Those prayers sound powerful, sincere, godly, and without ulterior motive. Hidden under such prayer and fervor, however, are ambition, a craving for fame, the desire to be considered a spiritual giant. The person who prays such a prayer may not even know it, but dark motives and desires are in his heart…in your heart.”

I have given in to each of the above traps at one time or another in my time in ministry, and God mercifully, and is still mercifully delivering me from each one. It takes guts to examine your heart and ask Him to show you what’s really there. You may not like it. You may turn out much better than I did in terms of not having these snares. And you may also not even be willing to recognize them in yourself. I pray that is not the case. God needs men and women of faith that will rise above base motives and the “spiritual” snares and become true humble servants of Jesus that have no hidden motive in their calling and desire to fulfill His will.

God bless you all and keep you under the shadow of His wing,

Gregory Reid

howard-stern-show

 

I’ve only seen the Howard Stern Show maybe once in my lifetime, and once was enough to know that it was nothing but trash radio/T.V. Yet the thought came to me the other day about this particular person and the Lord, which was this; If Jesus had come today, in our time instead of 2,000 years ago and started his ministry, would he sit and talk to Howard Stern on his program?

Today I am confused and bothered by the lack of commitment the church has for the lost. It seems that the only way we can reach the lost is supporting others who actively engage the areas where the lost are, yet refusing to go themselves. In other words, we seem (speaking about the American church culture) to have become settled, even safe in our own world of our securely built sanctuary walled cities. Yet is that were the church should be? Or should the church be active in the streets of our world?

So this goes back to my original question, Would Jesus go on the Howard Stern Show if he was here today beginning his ministry? I believe he would. Some would dare scoff at such a notion, claiming that Jesus Christ, the son of God would never sit in the same building, much less the same room with such likes of Howard Stern, a man who made a career out of sexual perversion. Yet it’s exactly the qualities by which Jesus himself would seek to reach. For Christ did not come for the healthy, who needed no savior, he came for the sick. (Mark 2:17)

Would Jesus really do that though? Would he really sit and talk to Howard Stern? Absolutely. Because God loves Howard Stern as much as he loves you and I. The problem is, the church has made it nearly impossible to reach the sinner where the sinner is, because the church continues to refrain from reaching the world with the gospel because it’s too busy either playing church, or condemning the lost to begin with.

Yet that is the nature of  Christ – loving others. Jesus in fact did do something in his day and time which we can directly relate to someone like Howard Stern, it was Publicans and a Samaritan woman. The rule of law set by the Jews concerning Publicans were strict – they (the Jews) hated Publicans because of their nature for taxes implemented by Rome. The Samaritan woman was part of the Samaritan sect, who were considered by Jews as dogs, worthless and reviled by every Jew alive during this period of time. For Jesus to actually sit and speak to this particular Samaritan woman was indeed shocking to his disciples, but equally enraged the Jewish leaders. Yet it proved that Christ came to save mankind, not condemn it.

If the church is going to reach the lost in this last period of time before the end comes, it must begin to unlearn the many hindrances it has built up over the many decades of religious intolerance to those whom it has selectively sought to refrain from connecting with, and begin to reach out to them in a genuine love which can only be demonstrated by telling them the reason why God loved them, why he died for them, and why he wants to have a relationship with them. Our message is not of condemnation, but of redemption. Our message is not one of intolerance for the stripper, the prostitute, the lesbian or the murderer or thief, it is one of love, by showing them the only solution to their sinful state – the cross. Yet too many times, we as believers, have demonstrated a resistance when desiring to reach the masses with the gospel. Yet the truth is, the lost are not in the church house, but in the clubs, the bars, the alleyways, the strip clubs and the inner cities. That is our mission field, be it the rice patties of Thailand, or the streets of Chicago, the gospel must be reached unto all nations as a witness, then shall the end come.

Until we stop doing church the way we’ve done it these past few decades, and begin to truly see the lost around us in every aspect of our lives, we will never reach them the way Jesus would have. They will continue on their blinded ways, enticed by the sin they so eagerly desire. But if we have the heart of the master, and see them as Christ sees them, then only can we reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is our mandate, and why Howard Stern matters, because his soul matters.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

Contact me: christopher152@gmail.com

 

darth-sidius

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:8)

For decades, even centuries, men have been trying in vain to discover who the coming man of sin shall be, and what his name is. They have labored in such fervor, relentless in their pursuit of identifying the evil one, touting possible names such as Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush, and many more, all attempting to solve one of the more intriguing mysteries this side of heaven. Yet with all of their fervor, all of their dedication in summoning something, anything that would reveal to the world, as well as the church, exactly who the coming man of sin is, they have failed to understand, nor even grasp that chances are, they will never know – until it’s too late. And for good reason, maybe they were never meant to in the first place?

It’s actually hard to fathom to think about, but there are two glaring possibilities at play that we need to keep in mind when we dwell on the prophetic future, especially to that which pertains to such events which will change the world as we know it; That one, God has purposely hid the future dark King from being recognized, and second (and very telling to say the least) is that the church won’t even know, nor even recognize him at all when he does appear onto the world stage!

Still, when we examine the word of God, it clearly states who this being is, as well as gives us his name, but shall the evil one go under his given name by which he continues to reign in the bottomless pit? Or shall he take upon himself a more human name, yet keeping his full identity in secrecy? We truly don’t know the full answer to this question, however, when we read scripture upon scripture, we know this, #1, He won’t be revealed until his time has been allotted. #2, He will not come in his own name, but by something else. Yet what bothers me more is the fact that when we study out the word, it’s not so much that God withholds this vital piece of information from us when that day arrives, it’s more that we won’t know when he comes because we will be so deluded by the cares of this life that virtually no one will even catch it until it’s too late. Don’t believe me? Ask those German’s who are still alive today who watched with amazement of the rise of one Adolf Hitler and then ask them, “Why didn’t you know? Couldn’t you see it?” Their answer will astonish you.

There is a very remarkable scene, actually it plays itself out throughout the entire film in “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” in which Anakin Skywalker becomes Lord Vador. In one pivotal scene, where Anakin discovers the truth about Senator Palpatine, that he is in fact a dark Sith – Lord Sidious. That Anakin realizes, but all too late, that the Jedi council, as well as the Senate, has been seduced, even blinded by this powerful dark being, that none of the Jedi even recognized who he truly was. That was the power of the dark side.

Although a fictional movie, there is still very much truth to this in real life. I had mentioned briefly about Hitler, asking the question many would pose to those still living who were there when Hitler rose to power, did they not know what Adolf was planning? Did they not see the darkness he desired for all of Germany? Why could they not see Adolf for who he was? An evil man who would thrust the world into a second world war, and cause the death of millions of Jews and Christians? The simple reason why most of the German people supported Hitler in his rise, as well as throughout the remaining weeks of the war, was due to his continuing promise to keep Germany, as well as the people safe. He promised them what they wanted to hear.

This leads us back to our question; Will the church recognize the man of sin when he arrives? And the answer is – probably not. The Apostle Paul mentions to us something interesting in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” It is quite clear from the scripture Paul presents, that at some point in the last days just prior to the return of Christ, and just before the unleashing of the evil one upon the world, there will be such a departure from the faith that many will simply no longer have any desire for the things of God, or they will succumb to the lie that will unfold before all the world to see.

Jesus warned in Matthew 24:11 that many will rise up deceiving many. In 1 Timothy 4:1 Paul says that many who call themselves Christian, will follow after [strange] false signs and wonders. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Paul warns not to be deceived by what is coming in the last years on this earth. Do you notice the pattern? What are Jesus, Peter, James, John and even Paul warning about? They are warning us not to be swept away from strong delusion in the coming days which lay ahead. Yet unfortunately we can see in our current world the modern church being seduced, entangled into false signs and wonders, charlatans, and the rise of numerous false prophets in this late hour.

This is why, based on everything I am seeing today, that the church, and those who walk in it, who call themselves believers in Christ, will most likely not even recognize the man of sin when he arrives on the world stage. Not because God purposely hid him from sight, but because our eyes and ears (spiritually speaking) could not, nor will not recognize the very one who will make war with the church in the last days until it’s too late. Remember, the Jews never suspected Jesus when he arrived, nor did his disciples, even Peter, the only disciple surrounding Christ, like the other 11, only thru the Holy Spirit, did Peter recognize who Jesus was. Even John the Baptist was not sure, even though he baptized the Lord, John sent his own disciples to ask the Lord if he was indeed the one who was promised to come to redeem man from sin. Yet Jesus had to rebuke Israel for not knowing who he was, and he had to remind his own who he was, why? Because they could not discern.

God help us to keep our eyes and ears open to what is occurring throughout the world, for while I suggest that the church probably not recognize him when the evil one comes, still, I believe, there will be some, like Peter, who are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and will immediately recognize him for who he is – the greatest evil ever known to man.

From my desk in China,

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

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There is an account in the book of Galatians (Chapter 2: 11-14) where Paul publicly admonished Peter because he was removing himself from the message of grace and going back into law. So much so was Peter’s error that it almost divided the church to such a degree, that had Paul not traveled to Antioch at this most crucial time in the early churches history, the damage caused by one man could have set the church back years, even decades, if not generations. Even Barnabas was caught up in Peter’s theological mess. All because one man’s (Peter) error in judgment. How sad that now we are beginning to see something similar taking shape within the modern church, and like Peter, it has to do with bad theology, which, if not corrected, will cause untold spiritual harm to the current church world.

Paul makes it clear in his letter that at no time should we lay hands on anyone suddenly, as well, Paul makes it equally clear that we should ‘know’ those who labor among us. This should be the rule for all pastors or evangelists when dealing with someone who might not be either in the faith, or a recent convert. Which brings me to my thoughts on Greg Laurie allowing Mel Gibson the stage to discuss Hollywood films.

I am confused, even puzzled at this recent decision which would allow someone who has a public record of bad life choices be allowed a platform on a gospel stage to influence countless lives by someone who for the most part, has never shown one sample of good fruit of being born again (John 15:1-8). Yet Laurie not only welcomed Gibson on stage, he even supported and endorsed his latest movie (one by the way which glorified a Seventh Day Adventist). Truth is, (and this must be clearly understood) Pastor Laurie’s decision to bring the Hollywood star on stage before many in his crusade was his right, after all, it’s his ministry. Yet, the issue though is the message it sends to the church, not that Greg Laurie had the right to do so, but that his actions were one which if anything, lends confusion to others who might not fully understand the spiritual dilemma certain actions might bring. If Mel Gibson has not been truly saved, born again in Christ, and is simply doing a public relations photo op for the recently announced The Passion 2 – The Resurrection, then his presence at a evangelistic event where the gospel will be preached is one which was pure flesh, and worse, another example of how far the church is departing from the truth these days.

More and more these days I’m seeing ministries enticing, even joining up with secular people (actors, pop stars, musicians, politicians, athletes) all in a feeble attempt to garner relevance with the world, much less the church. Yet what is getting left out in this admiration for popular sinners these days is salt – in this case salt which would bring about conviction and not friendship. Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (emphasis mine)

Notice what Jesus said? If the salt (the essence of the Holy Spirit and with power) is gone, either by lukewarmness or worse – blatant compromise with the world, then no longer are you able to bring the gospel to the lost, but worse, you will find yourself being cast out because of that very act of compromising the gospel for relevance. This is why the word says that friendship with the world…”You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.“( James 4:4)

But that is the state of the modern church today, accepting anything (or anyone) these days who desires to seek an audience to either influence the body of Christ, or gain from it, in this case the gain is money. Yet I suspect that in Greg Laurie’s case, his intention was…well..to be honest, I don’t know what his intentions were. Either way, only Greg knows why he has chosen to reject sound, biblical doctrine of not entangling himself with the world, and instead, allowing not only his people, but many a believer to be swayed by someone who has never shown to this day any fruit of being born again. That is the problem with the modern church as I see it. Being infatuated by Hollywood “saints” instead of calling the sinners to repent. All of this is yet another example of what’s occurring within the church today – compromise, for the sake of relevancy. Yet the only thing which is being compromised is the word, and when the church loses it saltiness, then we truly will have no ability, or stomach, to deal with the true darkness which is rising up around us, because we’re too busy sipping beers with the world’s famous players, while losing the game. God help us.

Christopher

From my desk in China.

Email me at: christopher152@gmail.com

 

rock buddha

“Thus says the LORD: “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them,” (Jeremiah 10:2)

 

How to be a Buddhist Christian.
There are attempts being made by some who have influence within the church to incorporate false beliefs such as Catholicism, Mormonism, even within the Charismatic camp, the word of faith movement is based on a false belief which says Jesus Christ had to be “born again” in hell. Which leads me to my opening sentence – “How to be a Buddhist Christian”. There are some who are now trying to incorporate Buddhism into mainstream Christianity and it’s becoming a major issue with those who see it for what it is – heresy, but even worse than that – demonic.
There is a subtly within false teaching that sometimes gets overlooked by many a faithful believer in Christ, this is usually due in part to either not faithfully testing out what is being taught against scripture, or the other due to accepting what’s being said at face value due to charismatic personality, or popularity. Either way, the outcome is always the same, people being deceived. Such is the case with breath prayers, which is apart of the contemplative prayer movement. So what is contemplative prayer?
Contemplative prayer defined:

Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence as the ground in which our being is rooted, the Source from whom our life emerges at every moment…. Contemplative Prayer is the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God, the Ultimate Mystery, beyond thoughts, words and emotions. We open our awareness to God whom we know by faith is within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than choosing – closer than consciousness itself.

Contemplative prayer, in its simplest form, is prayer in which you still your thoughts and emotions and focus on God Himself. This puts you in a better state to be aware of God’s presence, and it makes you better able to hear God’s voice correcting, guiding, and directing you…. The fundamental idea is simply to enjoy the companionship of God, stilling your own thoughts so you can listen should God choose to speak. For this reason, contemplative prayer is sometimes referred to as ‘the prayer of silence.

Recently Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback church, tweeted the following as it regards to ‘breath prayer’:

 

breath prayer
Why would Rick Warren, whose well known for his ecumenical stance to bridge both Catholicism and Islam into mainstream evangelical Christianity, why would he incorporate ‘breath prayers’ into his teachings? Because it’s all part of a greater deception to lure believers into mysticism, and worse, idolatry.
Living in China, I am surrounded by paganism. There is no part of China where one can go, visit, eat or shop that does not involve open paganism such as Buddhism. I have visited many a Buddhist temple since coming to China in early part of 2013, and I have become very familiar with its teachings, and one of its beliefs and/or behaviors is what is called ‘meditative centering’. This is a state where the Buddhist comes into the temple, sits in a 4 pattern position and begins to meditate and pray for open awareness, the idea is very simple, one gets into a level of deep consciousness where they become, eventually, aware of the spirit world, and ultimately become one, in mind, body and soul or spirit. Sound familiar? That’s what ‘breath prayers’ as well as contemplative prayers do, they get the believer to reach a higher level of consciousness, this, in their belief, allows them to commune with God. This is why it’s false, because it allows the mind to become open to the powers of the air (demons).
When Christians, even spirit filled Christians begin to dabble in mysticism and new age techniques, they are allowing the enemy full access to their spirit, soul and mind. This will always lead to deception and ultimately being deceived. Christian yoga, Contemplative prayer, Breath Prayers, these are all rooted in early paganism, such as Buddhism. So how does one become a Christian Buddhist and not know it? When they allow false teachings to invade their spirit to such a degree that they no longer realize, nor care they are truly being deceived. Such will always be the case when one turns from Christ to something else.
From my desk in China,
Christopher
Contact me at christopher152@gmail.com