Posted by: Justin | October 13, 2007

LIFTING THE VEIL OF POLYGAMY – MORMONISM

Video created by Living Hope Ministries

This documentary examines the roots of Joseph Smith’s legacy, and its modern-day fruit. We follow the compelling testimonies of nine former fundamentalists, who shed light on this practice and lifestyle which has been shrouded in secrecy since the earliest days of Mormonism; but more importantly, they share the true freedom they have found in the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Posted by: Justin | October 13, 2007

THE BIBLE OF ALL BIBLES – THE APOLOGETICS STUDY BIBLE

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I recently bought this Bible from Amazon.com and I have to say, I like what I see. I recommend this bible to all those who are passionate about learning why you believe what you believe.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE

Here is a description of the Bible:

THE APOLOGETICS STUDY BIBLE WILL HELP TODAY’S CHRISTIAN BETTER UNDERSTAND, defend and proclaim their beliefs in this age of increasing moral and spiritual relativism. More than one-hundred key questions and articles placed throughout the volume about faith and science prompt a rewarding study experience at every reading. Highlights of this new thinking person’s edition of God’s Word include the full text of the popular Holman CSB® translation, an introduction to each Bible book focusing on its inherent elements of apologetics, and profiles of historic Christian apologists from Justin Martyr to C.S. Lewis. Also featured are valuable contributions from a who’s-who of modern apologists such as Chuck Colson, Norm Geisler, Hank Hanegraaff, Josh McDowell, Albert Mohler, Ravi Zacharias, and many more.
• The best apologetics thinkers of our day in one resource
• The study Bible for customers asking the really hard questions about their faith
• No other study Bible has the depth of resources that address the hard questions of faith and life
• Serious help for Christians of all types
• Tears down the obstacles to unbelief
• Shows why the Bible is trustworthy
• Allows Christians to dig into false teachings to see why they’re false
• Will strengthen the church and give confidence to those who share their faith
• Will better equip church leaders
 
THE BEST APOLOGETICS THINKERS OF OUR DAY IN ONE RESOURCE (90+ CHRISTIAN APOLOGISTS):
– Ted Cabal
– Lee Strobel
– Chuck Colson
– Paul Copan
– Norm Geisler
– Hank Hanegraaff
– Josh McDowell
– Albert Mohler
– J.P. Moreland
– Ravi Zacharias
– and many more
 
Features MORE THAN 100 FEATURED ARTICLES IN CATEGORIES SUCH AS
• Ethics
• Interpreting the Bible in Light of Science
• The Impact of Archaeology and History on Our Understanding the Bible
• The Bible in Light of Theology
• Christian Faith and Non-Christian Belief Systems
• Christian Faith and Philosophy
• Featured study notes that explain alleged “problem” passages in the Bible
• 50 sidebars (Twisted Scripture) focusing on Bible passages misused by cults
• Index of special articles for quick and easy access
• Book introductions with special emphasis on anything of an apologetics nature
• Profiles of key Christian apologists
  – Anselm
  – Athanasius
  – Augustine
  – Joseph Butler
  – C.S. Lewis
  – Irenaeus
  – Justin Martyr
  – Origen
  – William Paley
  – Blaise Pascal
• End of verse Scripture references
• Presentation page
• Plan of Salvation
• Two-column Bible text setting
• Topical subheads
• Translation footnotes
• Holman CSB® bullet notes
• Introduction to the Holman CSB®

Posted by: Justin | September 26, 2007

JESUS IS NOT AN EASY BUTTON

(h/t Stand to Reason blog

Yes, this is an actual T-shirt that some people are selling. Folks, Jesus is not a tamed God or a genie who is there to answer any wishes at our command. He is Alpha and Omega, the Sovereign Lord over all and we are just dust.

(continues below)

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Stand to Reason Blog has a great post about this. Here is an exerpt:

Lord, save us from McChristianity.

If you own this shirt, throw it away.  If you know someone who owns this shirt, tear it from their body and then throw it away.  They’ll thank you later. 

One tremendous corrective for this kind of contempoary silliness is the reading of old books.  Old authors help to pull us out of our cultural context and examine how the current culture influences and shapes our message.  As C.S. Lewis points out: 

“Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.”

Jesus-As-Easy-Button theology is certainly a characteristic mistake of a consumeristic, invidualistic, instant gratification oriented culture.  An older author like G.K. Chesterton provides a corrective: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” 

Posted by: Justin | September 25, 2007

AN IDEAL SALVATION MESSAGE

Another clip from Paul Washer, a missionary who is involved with HeartCry Missionary society. This is just an audio clip (4 mins long).

Note: The clip cuts off in the middle of the sermon. I also do not think that this message needs to be used as a template in every circumstance. However, learning to communicate the Gospel correctly is very important. Use some of the elements of his speech in yours and start spreading the gospel my friends!

Posted by: Justin | September 23, 2007

REPENT AND TRUST – SERMON BY PAUL WASHER

I recommend everyone, both Christians and non-Christians to watch this video. It is literally life-changing.

God bless!

NOTE: I’m not Paul Washer, I’m Justin. 🙂 Here is the link to Paul Washer’s ministry.

Posted by: Justin | September 19, 2007

BIBLE SAYS THE WORLD IS FLAT?

This literally cringed me..

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Is the world flat?

SHERRI SHEPHERD: Is the world flat? (laughter)

GOLDBERG: Yes.

SHEPHERD: …I Don’t know.

  >>Really??

GOLDBERG: What do you think?

SHEPHERD: I… I never thought about it, Whoopi. Is the world flat? I never thought about it.

     >>What? You haven’t ever seen pictures of the earth? Or are you going to believe it’s flat by faith?

BARBARA WALTERS: You’ve never thought about whether the world was round or flat?

SHEPHERD: I tell you what I’ve thought about. How I’m going to feed my child–

      >>Yeah, way to deflect the issue at hand..

WALTERS: Well you can do both.

SHEPERD: …how I’m going to take care of my family. The world, is the world flat has never entered into, like that has not been an important thing to me.

     >>It probably should by now that you have embarrassed yourself and every other Christian out there.

 HOW TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION:The Scriptures tell us that the earth is round: “It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word translated “circle” here is the Hebrew word ‘chuwg’, which is also translated “circuit” or “compass” (depending on the context). That is, it indicates something spherical, rounded, or arched — not something that is flat or square. The book of Isaiah was written sometime between 740 and 680 B.C. This is at least 300 years before Aristotle suggested, in his book On the Heavens, that the earth might be a sphere. It was another 2,000 years later (at a time when science believed that the earth was flat) that the Scriptures inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world. (source: livingwaters.com)  

 NOTE: This is mainly an biblical interpretation issue, just like the young-earth vs. old-earth debate. The scripture is inerrant and infallible, but not our interpretations. Christians ask ‘why should I learn all this apologetic stuff’, this is exactly why. Please learn why you believe what you believe.

Posted by: Justin | September 19, 2007

GREAT IDEA: SEVEN YEAR TERM LIMIT ON MARRIAGES

Common sense legislation.. 

“A conservative (really?) German politician on Wednesday proposed making marriage contracts expire after seven years, with the option to renew for those not feeling the proverbial itch.
“I propose that marriages lapse after seven years,” Gabriele Pauli told reporters in Munich, the capital of the largely Catholic southern state of Bavaria.

“This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your vows if you still want to continue.”

Pauli, 50, has been divorced twice.”

I know it’s just a proposal, but still what an idiotic idea.

In a related topic, check this article out: Young Egyptian couples in a hurry tie temporary knot. It seems like most people are getting married for the ‘intimacy’ part and not for the covenant and commitment part. Here’s another sad statistic.

God bless.

Posted by: Justin | September 17, 2007

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

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Way of the Master Radio posted this sarcastic Ad promoting Christianity. Sadly, this is the rhetoric many seeker-friendly churches use to increase the number of “believers”.

Have you heard this statement before? Accept Jesus in your heart, He will take away all of the hurt and pain others caused you to carry. He will give you happiness, joy and peace like you have never known. Would you accept Him today? Lift up your hand.

Usually this question is asked at the most climatic moment of the service, with the keyboard playing in the background, and the preacher speaking in a emotional tone.

A rush of emotion floods in the sanctuary, and both unbelievers and wishy-washy believers raise their hands.

What’s wrong with this picture? Was sin ever mentioned? No. Recently I went down to a up and coming mega church and the preacher at the end of the sermon said, “You know we have gone through lot of ‘stuff’…”

Sin has been replaced with a friendly term like ‘stuff’. If one really thinks about it, the gospel message is very offensive to sinners. The Way of the Master ministry gets a lot of criticism from Christians for taking unbelievers through the ten commandments. By the end of their 10 minute session with a random stranger on the street, they will have the person acknowledge in their own words that they are a lying, theiving, adulterer at heart. At that point, the person evangelizing tells the stranger how God is a just judge and akin to a judge in a court system of today, He can’t let go of a law breaker if he merely says sorry. Justice must be served. By grace, Jesus vicariously stood in our place and took the penalty of sin upon himself.

The product of a seeker-friendly church (not all, but most) is someone who doesn’t have much understanding on the severity of sin. When one understands the severity of sin, he or she comes to realize the true love of God and His sacrifice on the cross for their sins.

My intention in writing this article was not to blindly bash seeker-friendly churches, but to shed light on them and show how they can change things around with preaching the whole truth, not a sweetened version of it.

What do you think?

God Bless.

Posted by: Justin | September 15, 2007

OPRAH THE THEOLOGIAN

Oprah is one the most followed people not just in the United States, but in the world. I was surprised to know that people in India watch her frequently and quote her.

She recently promoted the book ‘The Secret’ which is a New Age book about speaking things into existence. It obviously has lot of similarities to the Word of Faith movement. ‘The Secret’ soared in amazon.com right after Oprah’s endorsement which goes to show her influence primarily on women.

The clip below shows an exchange between the audience and Oprah during one of her ‘after-show’ segments.

I think there were erroneous statements said on both sides. Oprah obviously won the most loving heretical statement award.

Here is some tidbits of what Oprah said in the clip (not exact quotes) with my commentary.

OPRAH: There is this wonderful book called ‘Ismael’ by Daniel Quinn… One of the points it brings out is that one of the mistakes human beings make is that there is only one way to live.. instead there are million ways to be human…There are many paths to what you call ‘God’. Her path might be something else and when she gets there she might call it the ‘light’. But her loving and kindness and generosity.. if it brings her to the same point that it brings you, then it doesn’t matter if she called it ‘God’ along the way or not.

>> Obviously, Oprah there are many ways to live. I can live as a farmer, teacher, engineer, pastor, politician. People are created differently and God has placed different desires in different people. I’m glad we are not alike in every way.

However, we cannot use the same logical construct on TRUTH. Truth is objective, not subjective. Either something is true or its false. Simple as that. <<

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There is only one way!

OPRAH: How can there possibly be only one way??

AUDIENCE MEMBER: What about Jesus?

OPRAH: What about Jesus…

AUDIENCE MEMBER: There is one way and only one way and that is Jesus. Because you say it and you intellectualize it, doesn’t mean there isn’t only one way.

>> The word ‘intellectualize’ is almost like a bad word in Christendom these days. Many have come to the conclusion that no one can reasonably with their intellect come to the knowledge of Christ. I beg to differ.<<

AUDIENCE MEMBER: If you don’t believe it, you are all buying into the lie.

OPRAH: Do you think if you were somewhere on the planet and you never hear the name of Jesus, but yet you live with a loving heart, you lived as Jesus would have had you to live, you lived for the same purpose as Jesus that came to the planet to teach us all. But you are in some remote part of the earth and you never have heard the name of Jesus. You can’t get into heaven you think?

>> This is one of the main reasons why us as Christians should be focused on preaching the Word to the entire world.
“For Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” (Rom. 10:13-14).

Oprah, the focus should not be merely in ‘believing’ in God’s Son named Jesus. The question is who will redeem us from our sins, because are not able to ourselves. When we face God on judgment day, we will have to give an account for all the sins we have done. God being a Just and Holy God, will be the perfect judge and give us what we deserve. <<

AUDIENCE MEMBER: God knows the heart..

OPRAH: Does God care about your heart, or does God care about that you call His Son Jesus?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You know Oprah, Jesus cannot come back until that Gospel is preached in the four corners of this Earth. You know figure it out!

>> Is this biblical? If you guys can find scriptural reference to this, please comment on my blog. (UPDATE: I think I’m convinced by arguments of couple of people who commented on the blog. Thanks!)<<

OPRAH: You know, Okay, Okay, I can’t get into a religious argument with you.

>> Clearly, Oprah ran out of arguments and she had to shift gears. Good move.<<

NOTE: The scripture isn’t clear on what will happen to those who haven’t heard of Jesus. In my opinion, if there was a way for people who have never heard the gospel to go to heaven, then the best thing Christ could’ve done was not to tell his disciples to spread the good news to all the world.

For those who have no knowledge of the Law of God, they have not broken the commandments. However, does that mean they will escape judgment? No. God will judge them according to their own consciences.

All men have fallen short and so even those who have not heard the gospel have broken their own consciences. How would they be redeemed from that violation and what will happen when they face a just and Holy God?

The Answer: Jesus Christ.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
—Colossians 2:13-14

Obviously, there is a lot more to say about this subject. Here are some links of other ministries with their take on this subject.

What happens to those who have never heard about Jesus? (Gotquestions.org)

What about those who’ve never heard the Gospel?(Bethinking.org)

What happens to those who have never heard the gospel?(Carm.org)

Salvation is not a theology test (Stand to Reason blog)

God Bless,

Justin

Posted by: Justin | September 14, 2007

FAIR OR INTOLERANT

A good friend of mine forwarded me this link. The church is obviously in a very tough situation and I side with the church on this issue. After all, this is their building and they have the right to give or deny access to whomever they want. However, it got me thinking about how sticking to principle and showing kindness can duel each other.

As my friend was commenting on it, he made the good point that the definition of love has shifted to “you can do whatever you like.” Imagine discipling your child with that view point. There are times one has to say ‘No’ out of love for the person.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Here’s an excerpt of the article:
“An Arlington church volunteered to host a funeral Thursday, then reneged on the invitation when it became clear the dead man’s homosexuality would be identified in the service.

The event placed High Point Church in the cross hairs of an issue many conservative Christian organizations are discussing: how to take a hard-line theological position on homosexuality while showing compassion toward gay people and their families.

But the dispute between High Point Church and the friends and family of Cecil Sinclair has left confusion and hard feelings on both sides….”

Update: I’m adding this comment I got from my friend Steve at faithworthfinding.blogspot.com.

Egalitarian regarding persons, elitists regarding ideas. This mantra captures what we as Christians should seek to do and be. We must respect our fellow brothers as individuals “created in Gods image”. This very characteristic makes the just a valuable as any and every human being. However, ideas must not be treated in the same manner. Some ideas are good and some are bad. Some ideas are brilliant and some ideas are foolish. It seems that behavior branches out from ideas. Some behaviors are loving, some hateful. Some behaviors are generous while others are selfish. Finally, some behaviors are moral and some immoral. I believe High Point church made an attempt to respect the person (egalitarian) but was unwilling to embrace the unbiblical behavior. Therefore, HiPoint Church made the right decision, in my humble opinion.

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