Friday, May 30, 2008

Mysterious Illness Affecting Christians in Jerusalem?

US tourist diagnosed with 'Jerusalem Syndrome' jumps off buildingYnet News by Ahiya Raved

Syndrome manifests in psychosis, delusions with religious themes; prevalent in devout tourists overwhelmed by visit to Israeli capital, mostly afflicts Christians

"...According to the doctor, the man is most likely suffering from the rare yet well-documented 'Jerusalem Syndrome.’

“This psychotic state is brought on by visits to Jerusalem or the Galilee. It induces a state of religious ecstasy which overcomes the tourists. They feel euphoric at being surrounded by so many holy sites," explained Dr. Abu Nasser.

"This state is characterized by megalomania and delusions of grandeur. Those afflicted often believe they are the Messiah, Jesus or the Mahdi, depending on their religion and sect. They attempt to reconcile Jews and Palestinians, speak to God and genuinely believe he answers them.”

The Feast of the Sacred Heart



May 30 marks the Roman Catholic feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This feast commemorates the apparitions of Jesus to Margaret Mary Alacoque in Paray-le-Monial, France from 1673 to 1675.

Details of the apparitions events revolve around Margaret Mary Alacoque devotionals to the Roman Catholic Eucharistic host:

...during the second apparition, early in 1674, when Margaret Mary saw Jesus' Sacred Heart on a throne of flames, transparent as crystal, surrounded by a crown of thorns signifying the sins of mankind, with a cross above it.

...while Margaret Mary was praying before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, that is the host consecrated during Mass which had become the Body of Christ. She saw a vision of Jesus in glory, with his five wounds shining like suns, and he then showed her his heart on fire with love for mankind, a love that unfortunately was often ignored or treated with contempt.

He asked her to make up for this coldness and ingratitude by receiving Holy Communion as often as she was allowed, and particularly on the first Friday of each month. This idea of making reparation for the sins of others is also prominent in the messages given by Mary to the children at Fatima in 1917.

The fourth apparition, which probably took place on 16 June 1675, was the most important. Again it happened as Margaret Mary was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, when he again showed her a representation of his heart, further complaining of the ingratitude and coldness of mankind towards him, and particularly when this was the case with those specially consecrated to him.

The "Great promise" associated with this devotion applied to those who went to Communion on nine consecutive First Fridays: "I promise you, in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that Its all-powerful love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the first Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure nor without receiving the Sacraments, My Divine Heart becoming their assured refuge at that last hour."

Margaret Mary's childhood was marked with strong devotion to the Roman Catholic Eucharist:

From early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. After her first communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortifications, until paralysis confined her to bed for four years. At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health.

While the Emergent Church is rushing toward Roman Catholicism, and Rick Warren, Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren, et al, are promoting global ecumenical handholding, former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett works to show Roman Catholics the true rest and refuge found in the finished work of Christ.

Please visit Bennett's Berean Beacon Catholic Outreach and What Every Catholic Should Know today.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Prodigal Pastor Returns To The Truth

Old Truth: Confessions of a “Not Being Fed” Pastor

It is good to know that not all pastors today blow off members who tell them that they are not being fed, or that they’re being fed the wrong things. Old Truth has a post today that talks about the reaction such pleas usually receive, and points to one beautiful exception.

One Pastor Who is Willing To Feed His Flock:

I had this [not being fed] comment from a few people in the first church I pastored (some 20 years ago) after I changed the way I preached from sequential exposition to primarily a topical approach that focused on felt-needs.I didn't like the comment because it hurt my ego and I reacted much like a few of the pastors mentioned above in the article did. Because of my pride and insensitivity, I lost the ability to minister to many of the people in that church. I subsequently, and mistakenly resigned that pastorate and went off and planted a church where I could do things the way I wanted to...

HT: Slice of Laodicea

RICK WARREN: “EVERY FACET OF CHRISTIANITY — INCLUDING CATHOLICISM”

How does Rick Warren's theology line up with Roman Catholicism?
Pastor Ken Silva from Apprising Ministries gets it straight from the source:

As one who is myself a former Roman Catholic, whom the Lord graciously delivered from the religious bondage of apostate Roman Catholicism into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, I ask you to consider: Is the following really in line with the Southern Baptist Convention and Protestant evangelicalism?

“The small group structure is the structure of renewal in every facet of Christianity — including Catholicism.” -Rick Warren, (Pew Forum)

“Now I don’t agree with everything in everybody’s denomination, including my own. I don’t agree with everything that Catholics do or Pentecostals do, but what binds us together is so much stronger than what divides us,” he said. “I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God's family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church,....”- Rick Warren, (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“The Church, in all its expressions—Catholic, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Protestant and many others—has 2.3 billion followers.” -Rick Warren, (Forbes)

Editor's note: That's just the tip of the iceberg. Read more of Warren's ecumenical embrace of Roman Catholicism here. Revisit Warren's cure for global crises at the World Economic Forum at Davos.

ELCA Casts The Next Stone

Kingdom Now Or Apocalypse Next: Commentary by Roger Oakland of Understand The Times International

Lutheran leader calls for ecumenical council to address growing biblical fundamentalism.

The leader of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination has called for a global Christian council to address an identity crisis on how churches interpret and understand the Bible. Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Church in America called for Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches to come together to combat a fundamentalist-millenialist-apocalypticist reading of the Scripture.”

Now, let’s evaluate Bishop Hanson’s statement. He said that if you are a believer in a biblical end-times scenario that is based on taking the Bible literally, you are dangerous and counterproductive to the cause of Christ. He would like to form a council made up of Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans and like-minded Lutherans to investigate and deal with this “crisis”.

In other words, Bishop Hanson views those who reject “Kingdom Now” and believe in “apocalypse next” as fundamentalist-millenialist-apocalypticist crackpots.

But there is more. Hanson seems to believe the Reformation was without cause and that the church must join with the Roman Catholic Church and embrace the Eucharistic Jesus in order to bring about an ecumenical unity and the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Editor's note: Sounds like Bishop Hansen, Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, et.al. are all singing off of the same sheet of music. The start of the church saw persecution by the religious elite , and the close of thechurch age will be no different.

Luke 21: 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness.

Virgin Mary's Place in the Desert Sun

Each month, crowds gather to be with woman who claims link to the divine
Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times

California City, Kern County --
Even as the early morning chill lingered in this spot of desolate desert most frequented by dune buggies and dirt bikes, the sunlight was fierce, highlighting every shadow and making even the faintest color bright...

...Gaines and nearly 1,000 others assembled recently at a barren site known as Our Lady of the Rock. On the 13th of every month, they say, the Virgin Mary appears and speaks to a woman named Maria Paula Acuna. Crowds have gathered here, about 10 miles north of California City, for nearly 20 years.

Some visitors photograph the sun, saying they see Mary in the images. Some are just curious, some seek miracles, and some say they want to feel closer to God. Each 13th, they create a fleeting community of faith in the desert.

Global Food Crisis: Egypt and Sudan Join Forces For Food Security

The Center for Research on Globalization

No one can doubt that the news being transmitted from Egypt, and also from Sudan in early May, is dramatic. Egypt is in the throes of an economic crisis, inflation is reeling out of control, people have taken to the streets, and desperate measures taken by the government in an attempt to alleviate the strains on the population, may be not only ineffective, but even counterproductive.

The World Needs Food
Although the response of the government was inadequate, that was not the cause of the problem. Egypt is just one of many countries worldwide, which are being hit by hyperinflationary trends in food products. The cause lies in the insane international economic system, in which speculative funds drive up basic commodities, while globalization agencies like the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank et al discourage or even punish production.(1) Add to this the psychotic craze of biofuels, which has further diverted arable land to grow corn for ethanol instead of food or foldder.

Bird Flu Strains Mutate To Heighten Pandemic Scare

From The Med Guru

With more and more people in various nations across the globe falling prey to the deadly avian virus, the news that some strains of the virus are found to have mutated to adapt themselves as per us humans, comes as an alarming discovery, further raising the scare of a widespread human pandemic.

It is found that the H7 subtype of the avian virus has evolved to make itself more adaptive to human beings, thereby increasing its chances to move freely between humans and birds.

The virus found in the respiratory tract of ferrets is said to breed well in the sugars found in human tracheal cells. This is becoming the primary reason for concern, as the virus is following the same sugar binding tendencies as seen in previous viral pandemics around the globe.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mike Corley's Purpose Driven Update


On this program, Mike gives an update on the Purpose Driven Life church growth movement, offering audio clips from Rick Warren on the keys to chruch growth.


Also, Mike offers some comparisons between comments by Mark Driscoll on the core of the Gospel and comments made during the recent PD Pastors Conference.

Additional resources:
ChristianPost.com-Driscoll on Sound Doctrine
ChristianPost.com-PDL Pastors Conference
Rick Warren Q&A Video on YouTube
More Mike Corley programs on PDL

Instruction For The Days of Disaster


Teaching Elder Brian Barber of Grace Fellowship presents Rejoice and Be Glad for the LORD Reigns . This message on the Sovereignty of God as reflected in Psalm 97 was delivered in the wake of the recent tornadoes that hit Virginia...



In contrast to what the psalmist says, what the world is hearing from the church today, "Let Jesus sit on the throne on your life...Let Jesus in the door of your heart. As If "I" have the power to allow God to do something or not...that is to insist that the will of the creator is impotent and the will of the creature is omnipotent-A.W. Pink.

...He reigns despite disasters...The overwhelming message of Scripture is "Our God reigns".

In this visual culture in which we live...we take all that we observe and say this is reality, and how do I interpret the scriptures in light of the reality that I observe? Instead, the starting point for interpreting everything we see should be from our knowledge of God, our theology...

...We should be saying " How do I interpret the things I am observing in light of the reality of what God has said about himself?"

There is no hope in any theology that makes the Lord the royal subject of mankind. What brings hope to the hopeless, comforts the broken, help to the helpless is the response from the Church..."Our God reigns".


The message God's people ought to echo, the words of the psalmist:"Take hope, be helped, rejoice and be glad for the Lord reigns"


Listen to the complete message here to learn the instruction of Psalm 97 regarding the Lord's:

  • Sovereignty
  • Appearance
  • Opponents
  • People
See related article Disasters: God's Megaphone

North Korea: On The Verge of Food Crisis

North Korea may face food crisis from cold weather

(AP) Unseasonably low temperatures are seriously affecting crop growth in North Korea, the country's official news agency said Wednesday, adding to concerns the impoverished nation may face a food crisis.

North Korea's average high temperature in May has been about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit lower than in previous years, with temperatures in northern parts of the nation dipping below the freezing point, the official Korean Central News Agency said.

Time Magazine on Rick Warren's New Global Reformation and His PEACE Coalition

Excerpt from Lighthouse Trails Research:

...Not only will Warren's PEACE plan for a new reformation include Muslims and gays, it will also include those with New Age propensities. Just this month, Warren hosted a Small Groups Conference in which New Age sympathizer Leonard Sweet was a featured speaker. Sweet's spirituality is unveiled in his book Quantum Spirituality where he resonates wholeheartedly with New Age mystics (like Matthew Fox and Ken Wilber) and says that we can help people find their "christ-consciousness" through small groups. Warren has promoted Leonard Sweet for many years and clearly continues to do so with virtually no response or critique from Christian leaders around the world.

Without question, Warren's reformation will include mysticism. He stated that very precisely many years ago in his first book, Purpose Driven Church when he said the Spiritual Formation movement (via Richard Foster) would be a wake up call to the church. This makes sense given the fact that Warren's 20 year plus mentor was
Peter Drucker who had mystical propensities.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Warren's new reformation will include the emerging church. Roger Oakland has documented this fact in his landmark book,
Faith Undone, showing Warren's continued participation and efforts in helping the emerging church become that next "reformation generation."


See related article: PEACE Coalition: Harlotry Rising

Red Cross Warns of Food Riots

By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, Associated Press
GENEVA - The Red Cross warned Tuesday of a possible surge in "food-related violence" because of soaring prices that are increasing hunger around the world.

Most of the debate surrounding the global food crisis has focused on boosting aid to poorer countries, but there is also concern about the potential for violence as people become desperate for food, said Jakob Kellenberger, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Kellenberger, whose agency serves as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions on the rules of war, said fallout from rising prices has already sparked violence, alluding to food riots that erupted in Haiti, Egypt and Somalia.

See related articles: Surging Inflation Will Stoke Riots and Conflict Between Nations , UN: Six million Children Threatened by Ethiopia Drought , World Famine: Opening of the 3rd Seal? , Rat Plague Hits Bangladesh , WORLD FAMINE: WORLD BANK, HIGH PRICES FOR YEARS , UN Alert: One-fourth of World's Wheat At Risk From New Fungus , Rider on the Black Horse? , Glenn Beck: Fueling Food Riots , US: Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World , Food Prices Squeeze Families, Food Banks , UN Warns on Food Shortage Riots , Global Food Crisis Expected to Produce Social Unrest

Pope to Meet Leaders of Other Faiths

From The Age.com.au

In a show of openness and unity, Pope Benedict XVI has asked to meet leaders and representatives of other faiths while visiting Sydney for World Youth Day.

The July gathering will include an ecumenical meeting with other Christian leaders and an interfaith meeting, both attended by The Pope...

"...But like so much the church does ... it seeks to serve all comers. Everyone is invited to join in the activities and catch the spark from these young people, to witness what may well be the biggest event in the history of Australia, certainly the biggest youth event and certainly the biggest religious event to date."

The Pope will hold an ecumenical meeting with the leaders or representatives of Christian faiths, including the Anglican, Protestant, Orthodox, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Eastern Rite Churches.

In a second meeting, the Pope will join some 40 heads of other faith traditions including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.

Ahmadinejad Requests Audience with Pope Benedict

Rome, May 28, 2008 / 01:41 pm (CNA).- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has requested an audience with Pope Benedict XVI during his upcoming visit to Rome on June 3 to 5.

Ahmadinejad has been granted visa to travel to Italy by Silvio Berlusconi’s government—a close U.S. ally— but only to attend the summit of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization summit, to be held in Rome from June 3 to 5.

According to the Italian news Agency ANSA, the Iranian embassy in Rome has confirmed Ahmadinejad's request, but there has not been an official response from the Vatican.

Iraqi Christians Warn of 'New Catastrophe for Humanity'

By Patrick Goodenough CNSNews.com International Editor

CNSNews.com) - Days before Sweden hosts an international conference aimed at pushing ahead the political and economic reform process in Iraq, hundreds of exiled Iraqi Christians demonstrated outside the country's parliament Sunday to draw attention to the minority's plight in their homeland."

A new wave of ethnic cleansing is going on in Iraq," Iraqi Christian representative Behiye Hadodo told the gathering. "If these atrocities continue, the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian communities there will be wiped out altogether, creating a new catastrophe for humanity."

Iran-Syria sign defence pact

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran and its close ally Syria have signed a new defence cooperation pact, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, just a week after news broke that Israel had begun indirect peace talks with Damascus.

"The two countries pledge their mutual support regarding territorial independence and integrity in terms of international and regional authorities," the state-run IRNA news agency reported.
The accord, signed during a visit by Syrian Defence Minister Hassan Turkmani, also called for the withdrawal of "foreign and occupation forces, which are the source of insecurity and instability in the region."

Oil Panic on The Rise

Oil Panic on the Rise by Gustavo Coronel

...For the last two years now the price has been in almost uninterrupted climb, while demand does not show signs of abatement. New forces and revitalized old forces are at work to dampen this “thermostat” effect. Some of these factors include:

• A widespread feeling that oil and other basic raw materials are getting scarce. Entire nations have adopted a hoarding mode.
• Financial speculation has led to acquisition of oil based on the assumption that scarcity will lead to greater prices.
• Institutional investors, protecting themselves of a weakening dollar, are buying not only oil but also gold, platinum, copper and other raw materials.
• Increasing geopolitical tensions, both in minor scale such as vandalism of oil facilities in Nigeria and in a larger scale, such as Iran’s showdown with the United States and Europe over the nuclear issue and over Iraq, or the almost inevitable collision course between the U.S. and Hugo Chavez.
• A weakening of the U.S. -- Saudi Arabia alignment due to Saudi’s fear of a future, less friendly U.S. administration.
• A real increase in world oil demand, due to the high rates of growth in China and India.
• Concern about global food scarcity and about the role of bio-fuels in this scarcity.

Read the rest of this sobering observation here...

Disasters: God's Megaphone

From Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries

Disasters are a megaphone from God reminding us of lessons the world should take note of including the brevity of life. Not one person in Hugo woke up Sunday morning, May 25, expecting to die at 5:30 PM when the funnel-cloud leveled their home. Life can end abruptly.

I believe God is trying to get the world's attention. When we are more preoccupied with "American Idol" and other pastimes that rule Him out, He is trying to send a message. Is the Ark door about to close? And is anyone paying attention or even listening? On this earth, suffering will either be your master or your servant, depending on how you handle the crises of life.

A crisis doesn't make a person -- it reveals what a person is made of. As Spurgeon said, "I owe more to the fire, hammer, and chisel than to anything else in my Lord's worskshop." And though the world is filled with suffering, it is also filled with people overcoming it.

If you have not repented of your sins and named Jesus Lord of your life, I encourage you to do so today. Who knows what tragedy could befall you today or tomorrow? As a matter of fact, tomorrow may be too late. Do it now.

Editor's note: Meet your Maker...see Knowing God , Examine Yourself , How do I know I am lost?

Days of Disaster Continue

Deadly Twister Rips Up Iowa
Sunday afternoon, one of the deadlier tornadoes in Iowa history chewed up much of the this proud, farming community, killing four people in Parkersburg and two in nearby New Hartford.

“This town is not just torn up. It’s gone,” stressed Butler County Sheriff Jason Johnson.
Johnson’s home was one of more than 400 damaged here. Another 220 buildings were destroyed including the town’s high school, its sole grocery store and its only gas station.

Kansas has more than 80 tornadoes over four days
More than 80 tornadoes were reported in Kansas in a week of back-to-back storms that produced large hail, damaging winds, deadly lightning, record rainfall and floods.
Four people are believed to have died in the storms, officials said. Several injuries were also reported.

US on track to break record for tornadoes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Another week, another rumbling train of tornadoes that obliterates entire city blocks, smashing homes to their foundations and killing people even as they cower in their basements.

With the year not even half done, 2008 is already the deadliest tornado year in the United States since 1998 and seems on track to break the U.S. record for the number of twisters in a year, according to the National Weather Service. Also, this year's storms seem to be unusually powerful.

But like someone who has lost all his worldly possessions to a whirlwind, meteorologists cannot explain exactly why this is happening.

See related articles: Signs In The Sky Over China Before Quake Hit , Lethal Storms Kill 8 in Iowa and Minnesota , CO Twisters Force Thousands Out , Days of Disaster Update , Italy's Mount Etna Spews Lava , Chaiten, Chile Volcanic Video , Chaiten, Chile Volcanic Video , Tornadoes Continue To Rip Through USA , Myanmar: Death Toll Feared at 100,000 , Tornado Records Being Smashed

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are but the beginning of the birth pains......44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Quest For The God Particle

The continuing scientific assault on God and the Biblical creation account...

Atom-smashing lab says experiment to start end-June

GENEVA (AFP) — European particle physics laboratory CERN is set to launch its gigantic experiment which hopes to throw light on the origins of the universe within a month, the laboratory's head said Tuesday.

If things go according to plan, the greatest experiment in the history of particle physics could unveil a sub-atomic component, the Higgs Boson, known as "the God Particle."
Here's some background information on the search for the God Particle...

Key scientist sure to prove life-enabling "force" soon

British physicist Peter Higgs said on Monday it should soon be possible to prove the existence of a force which gives mass to the universe and makes life possible -- as he first argued 40 years ago.

Higgs said he believes a particle named the "Higgs boson", which originates from the force, will be found when a vast particle collider at the CERN research centre on the Franco-Swiss border begins operating fully early next year.


In this March 24, 2008 Newsweek interview, Ana Elena Azpurua spoke with theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg at the University of Texas in Austin regarding the possible impact of the discovery of the God Particle:

Azpurua: What about possible contributions toward finding a final theory? Would that upset religious believers?

Weinberg: If we put together something like a final theory in which all the forces and the particles are explained and that theory also throws light on the origin of the Big Bang and gives us a consistent picture of cosmology, there will be a little less for religion to explain. But religion has evolved along with science. It is something created by human beings, and as human beings learn more and more their religion changes. Today, especially in the more established religious sects in the West, they've learned to stop trying to explain nature religiously and leave that to science.


Rush Limbaugh provided this commentary on the motivation for the God Particle research in light of Ben Stein's anti-Darwinist movie, Expelled:

..he's looking for a "God particle." He's looking for a particle to prove God. Dr. Higgs, please, just look out the window. You see that tree? You see the grass? Whatever is outside your window, all of it, it's God particles. Every aspect of it is God particles.

...Ben Stein has a movie coming out that I have screened at my house, it's called
Expelled, and it is about people, scientists who are being fired and shunned for their belief in intelligent design. These are Darwinists. Just for questioning Darwinism and just for being open to the possibility of intelligent design. These people fear God. These scientists, they fear God because God has the answers, God's smarter than they are. God's judgmental. That's one of the things that liberals and atheists hate about religion anyway is that it's judgmental.
Dr. Albert Mohler highlights what's really at stake...

...the Christian doctrine of creation is directly connected to the doctrine of
redemption

...failure to affirm the biblical doctrine of creation leads to inevitable compromise on the doctrine of redemption. In reality, we simply cannot minimize the importance of this doctrine, nor can we surrender biblical truth in the face of modern denials. We must get it right from the beginning.

Daniel 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."

Amos 8:11-12
"Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord God, "when I will send a famine on the land - not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12 They shall wander from sea to sea,and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Signs In The Sky Over China Before Quake Hit

30 minutes before quake hits China...




Are these lights warning signs of impending disaster? Read what the experts now are thinking here...

Regardless of the cause of this phenomenon, being aware of it's existence may assist in early warning and evacuation in high rise cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

John MacArthur on Tony Campolo and “Jesus’ Central Teaching”

Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio interviews John MacArthur as he promotes his book, The Truth War (which I would recommend to anyone watching this video). In this segement MacArthur comments on Tony Campolo’s take on “Jesus’ Central Teaching.”



HT: Battle 4 Truth

See related articles The Day of Doctrinal Relativism , MacArthur & The Attack Dogs , Embedded In The Truth War , Lifeway's Double-mindedness

Are You a Friend of Nicodemus?

Nicodemus Leaders by Pastor Anton Bosch

Friend, if you recognize that your church or denomination is moving in the wrong direction and have created (or have begun to create) their own religion of their own design which is not according to God’s Word – then you need to take a stand. If you remain silent because of “fear of the Jews,” then Jesus says that you are in darkness. If you are of the Truth, then you must come to the light, and you must let your light shine and you must speak up for the Truth...

...Of course there will be repercussions. Yes, they will hate you, destroy your reputation, strip you of your position and cast you out as a piece of rubbish. Yes, you may lose all your friends, maybe even your salary, health and self-respect. But did they not do the same to Jesus and to all the men of God in the entire Bible?

...You can hide for a while, but the time will come when you will need to take a stand. Nicodemus and Joseph were “under cover” for a few years but the time came when they had to nail their colors to the mast. It was Joseph who had to brave Pilate’s wrath and ask for the broken body of Jesus. It was Joseph and Nicodemus who buried Jesus in Joseph’s tomb. But in a sense it was too late. Jesus was dead. Many modern Nicodemuses wake up when it is too late, when the Truth has been killed and all that remains is to bury the remains of the Truth...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lethal Storms Kill 8 in Iowa and Minnesota

By HENRY C. JACKSON, Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa - Powerful storms packing large hail, heavy rain and tornadoes made for a deadly Memorial Day weekend across the nation's midsection, killing at least seven people in Iowa and a 2-year-old child in Minneapolis.

Iowa Homeland Security administrator Dave Miller said seven people were killed Sunday by a tornado in northeast Iowa — five from Parkersburg, a town of about 1,000 some 80 miles northeast of Des Moines — and two from nearby New Hartford. At least 50 injuries were reported.
"Occasionally we have a death but we have warning system. Seven deaths. It's been a long time since we've had those kinds of injuries and deaths reported," Miller said.

MARS MISSION: The Search for Life

From San Francisco Chronicle David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

Touchdown! Phoenix safe on Mars as cheers erupt
In minutes, it decelerates from 12,700 mph to 5, lands smoothly

The spacecraft Phoenix landed successfully on the icy northern plains of Mars on Sunday after a triumphant voyage of 422 million miles halfway around the sun.

With a 130-pound cargo of instruments and a robotic digging arm to probe for ancient water and ice and long-decayed traces of organic chemicals essential for life, the lander's three legs settled gently onto a boulder-free Martian surface at 4:38 p.m. PDT.

See related articles:Russian Muslims and Jews Admit Alien Existence , What Does the Vatican Know About Extraterrestial Life? , Prepping The World For Alien Disclosure? , Vatican Astronomer: Aliens May Not Need Redemption , Vatican: Space Aliens Might Actually Exist

Surging Inflation Will Stoke Riots and Conflict Between Nations

The Guardian, by Andrew Clark Friday May 23 2008

Riots, protests and political unrest could multiply in the developing world as soaring inflation widens the gap between the "haves" and the "have nots", an investment bank predicted yesterday.

Economists at Merrill Lynch view inflation as an "accident waiting to happen". As prices for food and commodities surge, the bank expects global inflation to rise from 3.5% to 4.9% this year. In emerging markets, the average rate is to be 7.3%.

The cost of food and fuel has already been cited as a factor leading to violence in Haiti, protests by Argentinian farmers and riots in sub-Saharan Africa, including attacks on immigrants in South African townships.

PEACE Coalition: Harlotry Rising

Rick Warren continues his dominionist efforts to solidify the global ecumenical faith sector in the name of God...

Rick Warren and 1,700 Leaders Launch the Peace Coalition at Purpose Driven Summit

Ministry and Marketplace Leaders from 39 Countries and 50 States Sign Shared Mission Covenant for the Global Glory of God

LAKE FOREST, Calif., May 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- Over 1,700 leading pastors, business and Christian institutional leaders from 39 countries and all 50 states gathered in Lake Forest, California, May 20-22, to create The PEACE Coalition, a new international alliance of churches, businesses, ministries, universities, and other institutions.

The launch of the PEACE Coalition occurred at a three day Purpose Driven Network Summit hosted by Saddleback Church where Dr. Rick Warren is the founding pastor. The coalition will cooperate in a global mission strategy calledthe P.E.A.C.E. Plan, which is a massive, long range effort to mobilize one billion Christians in local churches around the world to copy Jesus’ model of ministry.
The opening sentence of the press release refers to the signing of the Shared Mission Covenant for the Global Glory of God. However, the closing remark by Rick Warren reveals not only the real motivation of the PEACE Coalition but an outright mischaracterization of the Biblical Bride of Christ:


"At a wedding the bride is the main character, the center, the star of the show – everyone else is supporting cast, but the glory goes to the bride," Warren concluded. "The P.E.A.C.E. Plan is built on the same principle. The Bride of Christof which the church is its local expression around the worlddeserves the focus, the credit and the glory for faithfully serving their communities year after year."

Warren uses his presupposition to reinforce the notion that any church is a "good church". One certainly would not criticize the "good works" of a "good church". After all, this is a modern reformation, according to Warren, of "deeds, not creeds...I don't care why you do good as long as you do good."

Warren may not care, but Christ certainly does...

Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'

Warren's opinion of where and why the glory belongs to the church is blasphemous. The Bride of Christ exists to glorify God. Here's just one passage that reveals to Whom the glory belongs:

Ephesians 3:21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

For Rick Warren to confer focus, credit and glory on "good churches" for the "good works" in their communities is blasphemous. From the Gospel of Luke:

26:26 "Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Here's just one example of what Christ spoke of regarding a type of response from the world...
John 17:14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

From whom should the church look for focus, credit and glory?

Matthew 6:1-3 "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. "Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

The Bride of Christ Rick Warren claims is reflected in his ecumenical P.E.A.C.E. plan is not the Bride of Christ found in the Bible. It more closely resembles one of the many daughters of the harlot in Revelation 17:


MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH

"It's coming, folks, a one-world religion. We seem to be very irreligious in our country. That's changing rather rapidly. There are efforts, of course, in the ecumenical movement to sweep away all dogma, to sweep away all distinctions that divide and move the world toward one great tolerance toward religion, to pave the way for this gathering of one-world religion.
- Dr John MacArthur

Jeremiah 5:31
31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

See more on the PEACE train to Rome here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

UN: Six million Children Threatened by Ethiopia Drought

Six million children threatened by Ethiopia drought: UN

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — A severe drought in Ethiopia threatens up to six million children, the United Nations children's agency warned on Tuesday.

"Up to six million children under five years of age are living in impoverished, drought-prone districts and require continuation of urgent preventive health and nutrition interventions," UNICEF said in a statement.

The agency added that 126,000 children were already suffering from severe malnutrition and needed urgent therapeutic care.

In addition to some eight million people characterised as "food insecure" and supported by a government programme, aid agencies are warning that over 3.4 million people require food aid in several central and southern regions.

See the rapidly growing reports on the global food crisis here.

Luke 21:10 Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Mark 13:8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

Russian Muslims and Jews Admit Alien Existence

Russian Muslims and Jews admit existence of UFO-people 15 May 2008, 14:56
Moscow, May 15, Interfax

Islamic teaching admits extraterrestrial intelligence, the Muftis’ Council of Russia representative stated.

“According to the Holy Koran, the Almighty speaks about creation of various worlds. We know the world of people, jinns, plants and animals. Perhaps, we don’t know everything. The Creator can create anything. Other creatures may inhabit the worlds out of our reach,” the chairman of the international department of the Muftis’ Council Rushan Abbyasov was quoted as saying by the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily on Thursday.

He cited a Koran’s sura saying “Praise Allah, the Lord of the worlds!” and noted that thus the holy Muslim Book confirmed “that other civilizations may exist.”

“As to the question whether aliens bear original sin or not, there is no notion of original sin in Islam. In fact, the Koran says that if a baby dies, it goes right to the paradise because it is pure and innocent,” Abbyasov said.

Rabbi Zinovy Kogan said that “the Lord is the first cause for everything existing in micro and macro worlds.” “It couldn’t be excluded that other creatures similar to man exist in other worlds,” he stressed.

See related articles Prepping The World For Alien Disclosure? , Vatican Astronomer: Aliens May Not Need Redemption , Vatican: Space Aliens Might Actually Exist

Luke 21:26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

What Does the Vatican Know About Extraterrestial Life?

In response to WorldNet Daily's article Vatican: Space Aliens Might Actually Exist, this blog asked the following questions back on May 13, 2008:

Is it a coincidence that the Vatican press release comes before the Mars landing of the NASA Phoenix probe on May 25, 2008? One of the three Phoenix mission objectives is to answer the question: "Can the Martian Artic Support Life?"

Why has the Vatican been operating an observatory? Is it a coincidence that the University of Arizona is partnered with NASA Phoenix mission and has also been hosting the Vatican Observatory Research Group?

As one of the world's oldest astronomical research organizations, is the Vatican aware of some kind of discovery announcement on the horizon?


Tom Horn is also challenging the Vatican's motives in his commentary ...


Horn highlights the recent history of the Vatican's interest in Extraterrestrial life:
  • "...there is a certain possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, and that such notion "doesn't contradict our faith." -Vatican chief astronomer Father Jose Gabriel Funes, May 2008
  • "...chances are better than not that mankind is facing a future discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence". Intelligent Life in the Universe, Vatican astronomer, Guy Consolmagno 2005
  • 2001- Monsignor Corrado Balducci said ETs were actually already interacting with earth and that some of the Vatican's leaders were aware of it.
  • 1997- "Because the mentality... amongst those who [are] at the... highest levels of Vatican administration and geopolitics, know that, now, knowledge of what's going on in space, and what's approaching us, could be of great import in the next five years, ten years."- Father Malachi Martin, retired professor of the Pontifical Biblical Institute. Martin was uniquely qualified to hold in secret, information pertaining to the Vatican's Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) project at the Mount Graham International Observatory (MGIO) in Arizona.

Deepak Chopra Praises Evangelical Manifesto

Deepak Chopra Praises Evangelical Manifesto, 'New' Evangelicalism
Contact: Ingrid Schlueter, Crosstalk Radio Talk Show, SliceofLaodicea.com, 414-881-5852

MEDIA ADVISORY, May 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- The signers of the controversial Evangelical Manifesto have gotten the attention of one of the world's leading promoters of New Age spirituality, Deepak Chopra, and he likes what he sees. Chopra's latest book, The Third Jesus, is the most lucid portrayal of the cosmic counterfeit Jesus as has ever been written. In his commentary of May 19, he praises the Manifesto's tone and message:

The strikingly new note in the Evangelical Manifesto is that it intends to be conciliatory. In affirming that they totally identify with their faith, the writers quickly declare that their purpose is "not to attack or exclude." This seems to reverse the very impulse that brought the religious right to power politically. By erasing the line between faith and the voting booth, evangelicals absolutely excluded anyone who believes in a secular Constitution and its separation of church and state. They also vehemently attacked candidates who didn't share their viewpoint.

What's changed? We get a clue in another phrase -- "the global era" -- which points to the promotion of environmental issues among younger evangelicals, who see themselves as stewards of God's creation. If you want to save the planet, it helps not to attack the bulk of humanity that worships a different God. Beyond that, the manifesto reflects a willingness to be less intolerant. That's good news from a sector of the American public that made intolerance their marching banner in the past.

For those Christians who were deeply concerned by the message of the self-proclaimed Evangelical Manifesto, the approval of one of the world's leading New Age authors should be one more reason to take a second look at what the signers are actually proposing.

See related articles Decoding The Evangelical Manifesto's Call For Global Ecumenism , The Evangelical Manifesto: Poison In The Pot , Purpose Driven Power Politics

Another Victim of A Different Vision



From The Other Side of the River, by Kevin Reeves

It's ironic that, in a fellowship that taught a watered-down version of the fear of the Lord, it was fear that motivated me to stay put. Many other Christians find themselves in this same predicament, especially those with a genuine heart for the truth.

When some doctrine foreign to biblical Christianity is introduced into the congregation, they want to inquire about its origin and validity, but fear holds them in check. If it comes from the pastor, who surely must be more spiritual than the rest of the group, then God must simply have approved it.

Therefore, questioning or opposing the pastor or church leadership is seen as opposing the Lord Himself. But God doesn't work that way. Throughout the Bible are examples of those who love the Lord who questioned authority when it was wrong. And what's more, "prove all things" is clearly God's instruction to the believer (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

See related article by Steve Camp, Holding Your Pastor Accountable by being a faithful member of your church.

See "Victims of the Vision" side bar links on this blog for more "dismemberment" experiences.

New Spirituality for an Awakening Planet?

A bright New Spirituality is beckoning seekers everywhere. It promises peace, pleasure, power and oneness with the Divine. It envisions a cosmic evolution that will usher in a glorious Kingdom of God on earth. And it's rapidly spreading a contagious new "consciousness" that will (so they say) unite all Life -- except disbelieving resisters -- into a single Global Mind.

Popularized by Oprah, its positive, people-pleasing image is challenging churches everywhere to emerge from their Biblical ways and flow with the change. Tearing down divisive old boundaries, it flings its doors open to the world's tantalizing attractions. After all, the New Spirituality knows neither sin nor guilt!

Read the rest of what is coming for global spirituality here at Kjos Ministries.

Virgin Mary Miracle in Bosnia

From News Max.com by: Paul M. Weyrich

These are difficult times: wars and rumors of wars, troubling times with the world economy.
While all of these things are happening, there is a remarkable development in Medjugorje, a small village in Bosnia. More than a million people a year are visiting the site where the Virgin Mary has appeared regularly since 1981.

The visions have affected not just Roman Catholics but Eastern Orthodox, Protestants, and even members of non-Christian religions. The local Roman Catholic bishops have tried to throw cold water on these visions. They have been unable to convince people that what is happening there isn’t real. Indeed the Vatican has removed them from the process.

See related articles on Marian Apparitions here.

Canadian Report: All Religions But Christianity Should Be Welcomed

Remove Crucifixes and Ban Public Prayer to Solve Immigrant Tensions By Hilary White

Quebec Report: Every religion but Christianity should be welcome in public life in Quebec

MONTREAL, May 22, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Every religion but Christianity should be welcome in public life in Quebec, according to a government report. Crucifixes must be removed from the National Assembly and classrooms and Christian prayers banned from city council meetings but students should be allowed to wear their Islamic hijabs, Jewish kippas, Sikh turbans and even the ceremonial dagger called a kirpan.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rick Warren and Saddleback Church: Prayer Is Not for the Novice

From Christian Research Network:

Well, at least Contemplative/Centering Prayer isn’t according to Living Spiritual Teacher and “Christian” Roshi Richard Foster. But what does this have to do with Saddleback Church and Rick Warren? What an excellent question “grasshopper.” Well, in this article from Apprising Ministries you’ll find out; and, you just might be surprised what else you’ll find in the bookstore at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.

Further proving, as we point out in Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM) in Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (SBC), the advance of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), which flowered within the antibiblical monastic traditions of apostate Roman Catholicism, into the “Protestant” Southern Baptist Convention under the guise of Spiritual Formation really isn’t any secret any more.

Vatican Recognizes Marian Apparition in France

Church recognizes appearance by Virgin Mary in France by ASSOCIATED PRESS-PARIS

Shepherd girl saw her in 17th century

A Roman Catholic bishop said Sunday that the church has officially recognized that the Virgin Mary appeared to a 17th-century shepherd girl in the French Alps.

Speaking at mass in remarks broadcast nationally, Monsignor Jean-Michel di Falco Leandri said he recognized the ''supernatural origin'' of the apparitions to 17-year-old Benoite Rencurel from 1664 to 1718.

The bishop, in an interview on France-Info radio, said the decision meant the church ''has committed itself in an official way to say to pilgrims 'you can come here in total confidence.'"
The recognition process involved a panel of experts including two theologians and an investigating judge, he said.

Officials at Notre-Dame-du-Laus church say that after four months of daily apparitions starting in May 1664, the Virgin Mary asked Rencurel to build a church and a house to receive priests.

CO Twisters Force Thousands Out

At least six tornadoes damage homes, more severe weather predicted Friday
BY VICKI DESORMIER WINDSOR, CO May 23, 2008

Rare, but not unheard of tornadoes, ripped through northern Colorado and southern Wyoming on Thursday, killing at least one person and forcing thousands of people from their homes.

Reports of the heaviest damage came from the small isolated community around Windsor, CO where houses were reduced to rubble, vehicles were flipped into the air and smashed to the ground and where one man was killed at a campground at the outskirts of town.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Animal-Human Hybrids & No Fathers Required

Life Without Father by Dr. Albert Mohler

Britain's Labour-led government has unleashed the hounds of biomedical and cultural revolution in recent days, voting to allow expanded research using and destroying human embryonic research, the development of animal-human hybrid embryos, the development of "savior siblings," and now equal access to IVF technology regardless of sexual orientation.

Until this week, British law required IVF clinics to take a child's need for a father into consideration when IVF services were sought. Now, this requirement has been removed and the new language simply requires attention to the child's "need for supportive parenting." This opens the door for widespread use of IVF technology among single women and lesbian couples.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown indicated his "unequivocal support" for this move earlier in the week and the proposal passed in Parliament by unexpectedly wide margins.


Read the rest here...

See also First Human-Animal Hybrid Created in UK , As In The Days of Noah , UK Government Proposals Approve Human/Animal Embryo Hybrids ,

Days of Disaster Update

Chinese gov’t says over 70,000 dead or missing
China raised the number of dead or missing from a devastating earthquake to more than 70,000 on Tuesday, as rescuers found more survivors eight days after the huge tremor hit.

UN Estimates Myanmar Deaths Between 63,000 and 100,000
Relief workers have been turned away from the devastated Irrawaddy delta where more than 2 million people, believed to have survived the May 3 cyclone, now face disease and starvation.

A Busy Year as Tornadoes Wreak Havoc
Meteorologists who keep records for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration say that the United States is having its deadliest tornado season in a decade and that this year may be on pace to set a record for the most tornadoes. At least 100 people have been killed through mid-May, the highest number of fatalities since the same period in 1998.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rick Warren and Oprah's Critical Mass Theology

May 18th - "World Shift Day" - A Critical Mass and Contemplative Prayer - from Lighthouse Trails Research

On May 18th, the World Peace Prayer Society will host the "World Shift Day" where organizations, groups, and people around the world will synchronize their watches and meditate together for the purpose of bringing peace to the earth and helping to create a "critical mass.

"This year's event carries a theme of "The 3rd Timely Transformation Event of The Global Peace Meditation and Prayer Day Leading up to 2012." Many believe that the year 2012 will mark a significance shift in world consciousness. The objective is to "Collectively generate a worldwide energy field of Pure Conscious Thought To Urge the World to Shift." Participants are encouraged to "to amplify the energies and visualize reaching Critical Mass!"

See how Rick Warren and Oprah's theology intersect at critical mass at Lighthouse Trails Research.

See related articles.

World Famine: Opening of the 3rd Seal

From Scott Brisk's BE ALERT newsletter:

As I have mentioned numerous times, there has been a noticeable increase in the signs the scriptures give as a warning that the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is at the door. It used to be that these things were happening, but you had to perhaps dig a little to find them. However, now these events transpire daily before our eyes across the television news channels, Internet and other various forms of communication as well as personally affecting many of our lives.

Thus, it is with the growing global food crisis. It amazes me how quickly this has come upon the world. As the world has transformed into a global marketplace there is now less room for error to occur or to be absorbed. This current growing crisis is the conglomeration of many different problems compounded, and since most of the world is now an interdependent marketplace, all become affected.

See the rapidly growing reports on the global food crisis at Be Alert.

Myanmar Update From Understand The Times

Moriel Ministries, May 8, 2008 -

As we reported a few days ago when the cyclone disaster hit Myanmar, Roger Oakland's ministry Understand the Times has four orphan homes in Yangon, Myanmar, and the welfare of the children and staff at the orphanages was unknown. We are overjoyed to report that Roger has now received emails from the homes, and all the children and workers at all four homes are safe! We are praising the Lord with Understand the Times for His graciousness and mercy to these precious ones. The devastation and loss of lives in Myanmar is staggering, and we pray that many there will turn to the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him as Savior during this terrible time, where the death toll may rise as high as 100,000 with over a million people now homeless.

Rat Plague Hits Bangladesh

Dhaka - The UN's World Food Programme began distributing emergency food aid on Sunday to 120 000 people facing famine in south eastern Bangladesh, where an invasion of rats led to widespread crop destruction.

People from the affected areas in the Chittagong hill tracks were struggling to feed themselves and had been eating wild roots from the jungle ever since the area was overrun by millions of rats, the WFP said.

WORLD FAMINE: WORLD BANK, HIGH PRICES FOR YEARS

(AGI) - Singapore, May 20 - Food prices will stay high for years according to the general director of the World Bank, Juan Jose Daboub, who said however that no interventions in the market are needed since they are working normally.

"It isn't a matter of a few weeks, or months. It could take two or three years" he said. Daboub reminded that 100 million people have been reduced to poverty in the past two years due to rising food prices. He added that the fact that prices doubling in three years means a setback of seven years in the fight against poverty.

UN Alert: One-fourth of World's Wheat At Risk From New Fungus

From The World Tribune

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in March that Iran had detected a new highly pathogenic strain of wheat stem rust called Ug99. The fungal disease could spread to other wheat producing states in the Near East and western Asia that provide one-quarter of the world’s wheat.

The FAO warned stated east of Iran — Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan to be on high alert. Scientists and international organizations focused on controlling wheat stem rust have said 90 percent of world wheat lines are susceptible to Ug99. The situation is particularly critical in light of the existing worldwide wheat shortage.

Luke 21:11
11There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Revelation 6
5When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. 6And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, (a day’s wage for a laborer) and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!"

Monday, May 19, 2008

The SBC's Romantic Spirituality

The Southern Baptist Convention's 2008 Annual Meeting continues to display it's affection for Romantic Catholic spirituality...

Apprising Ministries has been reporting on the promotion of contemplative spirituality in this year's SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. In this post, WHAT KIND OF PRAYER IN SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION PRAYER EMPHASIS?, AM reveals the following:

Suffice to say prayer isn’t the problem; it’s the type of prayer that may be the issue... If we have people leading prayer who are also practitioners of corrupt Contemplative/Centering Prayer, which is actually transcendental meditation dressed up for the Christian, they also bring with them other spurious spiritual practices. Things like icons, labyrinths and prayer stations from apostate Roman Catholicism that have no place in what Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) often referred to as “the historic orthodox Christian faith.”

Now let’s look at a current story about prayer in the SBC and its annual convention from the Florida Baptist Witness (FBW) where we read:

signs and symbols will be posted throughout the convention center for a prayer journey. Believers can stop and pray at each station or pray as they walk along the prayer path at the convention center. (Online source, emphasis mine )

Sounds harmless, until one takes a look at the origins of prayer stations. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines the Stations of the Cross:
The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make in spirit, as it were, a pilgrimage to the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death, and this has become one of the most popular of Catholic devotions. It is carried out by passing from Station to Station, with certain prayers at each and devout meditation on the various incidents in turn. It is very usual, when the devotion is performed publicly, to sing a stanza of the "Stabat Mater" while passing from one Station to the next. (emphasis mine)

In the Roman Catholic sacrament of Penance, the priest may issue praying through The Stations of the Cross as an act of contrition for the confessor. This devotional aids in the forgiveness of the confessed sin.


In SOMETHING NOT RIGHT WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION CROSSOVER ‘08 Apprising Ministries highlights the use of the prayer journey at upcoming SBC Annual Meeting. When the prayer elements of the SBC Annual Meeting are combined, a picture of the type of prayer emerges that includes:
  • contemplative
  • stations & signage
  • prayer journey or walking

Are there similarities in the SBC's use of prayer stations and the Roman Catholic Stations of the Cross? In the description of The Stations of the Cross above, the elements highlighted in red relate to the prayer elements found in the SBC's annual meeting's prayer focus.

Pastor Ken Silva closes his article with this:

It’s no wonder that someone like me, whom God so graciously saved and delivered from the religious bondage of the Roman Catholic Church into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, laments that my denomination is Slowly Becoming Catholic.

Friday, May 16, 2008

BRiC: Harbinger of Geopolitical Doom

Walker's World: Building with BRICs by Martin Walker

WASHINGTON, May 14 (UPI) -- The concept of the BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- was coined five years ago in a research paper from the Goldman Sachs investment bank.

This week, reality takes over from theory as the foreign ministers of the BRIC countries hold their first formal meeting in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg. They convene with an agenda that includes the issue of biofuels, food security, global financial trends and the impact of the slowdown of the U.S. economy.

They also want to discuss the way in which the global economy is governed, which seems to mean that they understandably want a much bigger role in the key institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and so on.

Or perhaps they would prefer, given the West's long dominance of these bodies, to forge some new institutions of their own...

...They may all share a common desire to see the United States taken down a peg or two, but so do many Europeans. And the future prosperity of all the BRIC countries depends on the continued prosperity and consumption of Americans, Europeans and Japanese, who for decades to come will continue to be the world's richest countries in terms of income per head.

It would be easy for the United States and its European and Japanese partners in the G7 to overreact to the coming of the BRICs and see this week's meeting of foreign ministers as a harbinger of geopolitical doom.

Vatican Astronomer: Aliens May Not Need Redemption

By John Thavis Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) --

If aliens exist, they may be a different life form that does not need Christ's redemption, the Vatican's chief astronomer said. Jesuit Father Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, said Christians should consider alien life as an "extraterrestrial brother" and a part of God's creation.

Father Funes, an Argentine named to his position by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, made the remarks in an interview published May 13 by the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. Father Funes said it was difficult to exclude the possibility that other intelligent life exists in the universe, and he noted that one field of astronomy is now actively seeking "biomarkers" in spectrum analysis of other stars and planets.

See related articles: Vatican: Space Aliens Might Actually Exist , Prepping The World For Alien Disclosure?

Prepping The World For Alien Disclosure?

Earlier this week the Vatican announced that extraterrestial life is possible and not outside of Roman Catholic doctrine. Now Space Daily.com reports on the British government's release of their country's "X-files":

The British government recorded reports of alien craft flying over Liverpool and a UFO hovering over Waterloo Bridge in London, it was revealed in declassified files released on Wednesday.

Files have been opened for the first time detailing hundreds of sightings of
unexplained objects in the skies over Britain.

Rider on the Black Horse?

Jan Markell of Understanding The Times and Jack Kinsella of The Omega Letter discuss the current food crisis and famine in parts of the world as it relates to the black horse of Revelation. Is there a connection? Is this a foreshadowing of the famine that will take place during the Tribulation? We don't know but these are valid questions in light of the fight for food today.

Click here to listen.

See related articles and videos here.

ISRAEL: ALL EYES ON THE EPICENTER

From Joel C. Rosenberg
Bush, Obama, Osama & Dobson are riveted on Israel and Iran. They're not alone.

The eyes of the world are riveted today on Israel, the epicenter of the momentous events that are shaking our world and shaping our future. President Bush delivered an important and controversial address to the Israeli parliament this morning. A few excerpts worth noting: "Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," the President noted.

Listen to the Focus on the Family interviews with Joel C. Rosenberg and Tom Doyle.

See related articles: Israel, Linchpin of Bible Prophecy , The Miracle Of Israel's Existence

Pentecost and the Rapture of the Church

by Jack Kelley of Grace Thru Faith

The key to the Rapture's occurrence is in Romans 11:25 where Paul used what I think were two carefully selected phrases in writing, "Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of Gentiles has come in."

The first phrase is "full number". It was a nautical term that described the number of soldiers and sailors that had to be contracted and on board before a ship could set sail. As soon as the full number was accounted for the ship could leave the harbor, but not before. The last few crew members were often obtained in suspicious ways, so the ship set sail the minute all were on board. In effect, no one knew the exact day or hour of departure, and the ship often stole away in the middle of the night, before the most recently "contracted" crew members woke up from their drunken stupor to discover what had been done to them.

Read the rest here...

Taking Away Sins

The Power of His Presence Daily Devotions from the Writings of Ray Stedman

1 John 3:4-5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin

Jesus Christ was manifested to take away sins. This is the great purpose of His coming into the world. Linked with that purpose is the great possibility that flows from it: "in him is no sin." This is the glorious gospel of hope. There is a way, but there is only one way...

...There is the taking away of sin, there is the elimination of lawlessness, and there is the restoration to the human heart of order and peace. That has been the demonstration throughout human history. Repeatedly in every generation, the hardest cases have responded to this amazing remedy—homosexuals, alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, murderers, and thieves.

...No matter where or when people have lived, it has always been the same story, always the same deliverance, always the same results: the healing of lawlessness. The miracle occurs when people come to know Jesus Christ and receive Him into their lives. Then the sickness begins to heal.

God’s Plan for the Gay Agenda

From Pulpit Magazine by John MacArthur

Yesterday, a California court ruled that same sex couples have a consitutional right to marry. Those promoting homosexual marriage see this as a major step forward. But what is God’s plan for the gay agenda?

If you’ve been watching the headlines over the last couple years, you may have noticed the incredible surge of interest in affirming homosexuality. Whether it’s at the heart of a religious scandal, political corruption, radical legislation, or the redefinition of marriage, homosexual interests have come to characterize America. That’s an indication of the success of the gay agenda. And some Christians, including some national church leaders, have wavered on the issue even recently. But sadly, when people refuse to acknowledge the sinfulness of homosexuality—calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)—they do so at the expense of many souls.
How should you respond to the success of the gay agenda? Should you accept the recent trend toward tolerance? Or should you side with those who exclude homosexuals with hostility and disdain?

In reality, the Bible calls for a balance between what some people think are two opposing reactions—condemnation and compassion. Really, the two together are essential elements of biblical love, and that’s something the homosexual sinner desperately needs.

Read the rest here...

Editor's note: Stephen Bennett Ministries is a Christian on-line support ministry to help men and women struggling with unwanted homosexuality (same-sex attraction). SBM also provides biblical and practical support for broken-hearted parents, family members, friends, pastors, churches and entire denominations. Listen to Stephen Bennett's testimony and how he was delivered from the homosexual lifestyle and the work of his ministry today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Roman Catholicism Spawned the Current Apostasy in Evangelicalism

Apprising Ministries brings out that the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate birthed from apostate Roman Catholicism would open the door for Trappist monk Thomas Merton, one of most highly prized Golden Buddhas of Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), to openly pursue his own antibiblical interspiritual “dialogues.” As we show you he wasn’t alone and, just as previously pointed out in the piece Doug Pagitt, Rob Bell, Dalai Lama and the Interspiritual Seeds of Compassion Event, this lunacy in the Lord’s Name is ongoing still.

Because of this we see an antichrist reversal of the Reformation being led by leaders within postevangelicalism like Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren and Emerging Church spokesman Brian McLaren. And the vehicle through which this tridentine “transformation” is being accomplished is supposed Spiritual Formation, which is only neo-pagan CSM from the antibiblical monastic traditions of Roman Catholicism lightly sprayed with Protestant terms. Do not let yourself be fooled.

The Evangelical Manifesto: Poison In The Pot

This is Part II of the examination of the recently released Evangelical Manifesto...

14. Fourth, as stressed above, Evangelicalism must be defined theologically and not politically; confessionally and not culturally ... As such, it should not be ... confused with, or reduced to political categories such as ― conservative and ― liberal, or to psychological categories such as ― reactionary or ― progressive.

Good point...To define a movement or manifesto theologically is to test it's teachings by the Word of God. So Evangelicalism or any other movement can be weighed by this one simple question...

Is it Biblical?
15. Sixth, Evangelicalism should be distinguished from two opposite tendencies to which Protestantism has been prone: liberal revisionism and conservative fundamentalism. Called by Jesus to be ―in the world, but not of it, Christians, especially in modern society, have been pulled toward two extremes. Those more liberal have tended so to accommodate the world that they reflect the thinking and lifestyles of the day, to the point where they are unfaithful to Christ; whereas those more conservative have tended so to defy the world that they resist it in ways that also become unfaithful to Christ.

Once all the self-description is out of the way, it turns out that the heart of the document is a kind of urgent appeal: Please don't call us fundamentalists or confuse us with them.
This strikes me as a regrettable tack, for two reasons. First, it is defensive, and manifestos should never be defensive. Second, it suggests a concern for labels and public perception that is not attractive in Christians. Besides, people who make the kinds of theological statements found in this document -- for instance, "We believe that the only ground for our acceptance by God is our trust in Jesus Christ" -- are
going to be called fundamentalists no matter what else they say.

16. In short, for all their purported sincerity and attempts to be relevant, extreme proponents of liberal revisionism run the risk of becoming what Søren Kierkegaard called ―kissing Judases – Christians who betray Jesus with an interpretation.
With all the Biblical references of "lip service" faith in the Old Testament, why did the writers of the manifesto choose to favorably quote an mystical existential philosopher by the name of Søren Kierkegaard?

Here's a glimpse of Kierkegaard:
Soren Kierkegaard had an interest in mysticism as well. In a dissertation at Purdue University called "Faith and nothingness in Kierkegaard: A mystical reading of the God-relationship," the writer says of Kierkegaard: "[H]e has marked structural similarities to mystics such as [Miester] Eckhart, who is warmly received by the Japanese philosophical tradition, particularly in the writings of its Zen and Pure Land Buddhist representatives." (from chapter 2, Faith Undone by Roger Oakland) Oakland adds about Kierkegaard: "[Peter] Drucker attested to Kierkegaard's mystical affinities, saying he "stands squarely in the great Western tradition of religious experience, the tradition of ... St. John of the Cross," a mystic in the 1500s" (Faith Undone, p. 25).
Soren Kierkegaard argued that the moment one decides to become a Christian, one is liable to idolatry. (Samir Selmanovic, An Emerging Manifesto of Hope, p. 192-193)

Once again, why did the writers of the Evangelical Manifesto choose to favorably quote an mystical existential philosopher? Perhaps it was an emblem of secular or intellectual appeal. Perhaps it was a signal to the world that these evangelicals are truly cosmopolitan.

Interesting to note the teachings of Kierkegaard are embraced by proponents of the heretical Emerging church movement.

17. Fundamentalism has become an overlay on the Christian faith and developed into an essentially modern reaction to the modern world. As a reaction to the modern world, it tends to romanticize the past, some now-lost moment in time, and to radicalize the present, with styles of reaction that are personally and publicly militant to the point where they are sub-Christian.

For such a carefully crafted document, this broad brush statement seems awkward. "Personally and publicly militant" certainly would fit "Christian" terrorist Eric Robert Rudolph.

Do Bible-believing Christians belong in the same boat as Rudolph? Did the writers intentionally worked the language to plant such a seed? Ironic how the Manifesto was published to help break the stereotype of Evangelicals, while it stereotypes fundamentalist Christians, otherwise known as Bible-believing Christians.

Is this an example of how "we love our neighbors as ourselves..." and "ethical holiness in life ".

No doubt, these words appealed to the worldly ears from whom the writers are attempting to garner attention this election year.
To be continued...