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      "Be a Happy, Clappy Christian!"...?
      (White Horse Inn)

      Sunday, December 30, 2007


      The imperative "be happy or you're not a good Christian" as modern evangelicalism holds is just as legalistic as "be circumcised to be made right with God" which was held by the Jews of Paul's day, it's just the former is a bit more subtle. Those who hold to the former still, however, presume that those who are always "happy, clappy" are right with God while those who have Godly sorrow "have done something wrong" (as though those who accuse them haven't done anything wrong themselves.) If you think of it thoroughly and honestly, the "happy-clappy Christian" is really no different in essence than the emo kid who insists on being thoroughly depressed. Both hold themselves and attempt to hold others to the imperative that one has to be in a certain mood constantly in order to be acceptable, it's just that the former takes it to one extreme and the latter takes it to the other.


      What happens when "be happy" becomes a law? What about soberness and lamenting? Is the Christian responsible to "be happy" all the time? What about those who claim that Christians are supposed to be? Are they setting up a law to do? Does this imperative lead to legalism? (ie. "You must be happy or you're not saved.") What's the difference between happiness and joy? Is a believer justified by "being happy" or by faith in Christ's blood? What's the difference between faith in faith (ie. faith in positive thinking) and faith in Christ's shed blood?


      The White Horse Inn addresses all these questions in this episode.



      Part 1


      Part 2


      Part 3


      Part 4

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      There Is An Underground Reformation Going On...
      (Paul Washer)



      "There is a great reformation going on in this country. It is not known by media or 'Christian' media, but there is an underground reformation going on in this country of people who desire truth; not 'new truth', old truth."
      - Paul Washer




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      Anchored In Truth's Reality Check Conference
      is Streaming Live Dec. 28-30

      Friday, December 28, 2007

      ***Note***:
      This conference is over now.



      I just wanted to post to let everyone know or remind everyone that Anchored in Truth's (Jeff Noblit's ministry) Reality Check Conference is being streamed live online this weekend (Dec. 28-30) during the times listed in the schedule.
      Here is the schedule of speakers
      (including Noblit and Paul Washer)


      You can access it by clicking on the picture below during these times:

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      Joel Osteen, Stuart Smalley, The Secret,
      and the Similarities Among the Three
































      This video was originally on Youtube, but The Secret contacted Youtube and Youtube informed Brian (the maker of this video) that it must be taken down. According to the Fair Use Law, I don't see where Brian infringed upon the law as it was clearly for educational purposes. I think James White said it best when he updated his post after I let him know about the change:

      Update: Evidently "The Secret" folks complained to YouTube and scuttled this fine video (what do you expect from folks scamming folks like they are?)


      Here's Brian's reply:


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      Why it is Important to Know How God Converts the Human Soul
      (Mark Kielar)

      Thursday, December 27, 2007



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      Joel Osteen and Why Theology Matters... Again.
      (James R. White)

      Monday, December 24, 2007



      For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. (Titus 1:7-9)


      I remember well the night the membership of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church considered my calling to be an elder amongst them. I remember contemplating the qualifications of an elder found in the Pastoral epistles, and, as I believe is proper, trembling at them. I do not believe any elder in his right mind and God-tuned heart can look at those qualifications and not see areas in need of improvement and growth. Thankfully, absolute perfection of sanctification is not the standard of the eldership, and God uses imperfect men in the service of His people.

      Yet, He gives standards for a reason. When these standards are ignored, Christ, and His Church, suffer. Not only are the people who are subjected to unqualified elders hurt by the resultant imbalanced or impoverished ministry, but the wider body is hurt when those without the qualifications of eldership pretend to do what they have not been called to do. The world loves to put such men forward, place them in the spotlight, and use them as a means of ridiculing the Christian faith.

      Joel Osteen at times seems to me like a deer caught in the headlights. Quiet and purposefully naive, Osteen's wild popularity is truly a testament to the condition of the superficially religious in America. His motivational speaking tickles the ears of the not-really-convicted-of-sin. He purposefully avoids entire vistas of God's truth, resulting in a lopsided, sugary-sweet "gospel" that has next to nothing to do with God's glory or Christ's atonement, and everything to do with self-improvement. It is not even half a gospel---it is no gospel at all, and that is the reason why thousands flock to feed upon it and millions of others watch it on TV. It has no holy God, no divine wrath, no need for atonement, no repentance, no death to self---it is the polar opposite, as it is all about me, me, and me. Osteen excuses this in numerous ways, saying he doesn't want to "beat people down" (i.e., he doesn't want to see their self-righteousness crushed) but wants to lift them up (there is no being lifted up until one has fallen at the feet of the cross). He likewise uses his complete lack of biblical training and knowledge as a shield against the observation that he does not preach the whole counsel of God.

      Yet clearly, Osteen is the poster-preacher of post-evangelicalism. You see his face in every airport bookshop, and when the media wishes to get a "Christian" response, the microphone is offered to him. But, because he is not qualified for the position he holds (see Titus 1:9 above for the divine word on the subject), he brings embarrassment to the cause of Christ each time he is given these opportunities. His theological face-plant on the Larry King Show is well known. And yesterday, on Fox News Sunday, Osteen once again demonstrated that there is a reason why the Holy Spirit gifts elders so that they are able to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict. Here is the exchange:

      WALLACE: And what about Mitt Romney? And I've got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?

      OSTEEN: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that's what I believe, so, you know, I'm not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.

      And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don't think he would - anything would stop me from voting for him if that's what I felt like.

      WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?

      OSTEEN: I probably don't get hung up in them because I haven't really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don't know.

      I certainly can't say that I agree with everything that I've heard about it, but from what I've heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that's a common bond.


      Just as the Mormon Church showed itself ashamed of its own theology in its half-responses to Fox News last week, so here Osteen shows himself either willfully ignorant of the most basic aspects of the Christian faith and how they are definitional thereof, or, worse, ashamed of those teachings to the point of being unwilling to look into that camera and say, "No, Mormonism is not Christianity." Of course, that would require him to then give a reason for that statement, and sadly, I have no firm reason for believing he would be capable of doing so, let alone desire to do so. But in any case, the world has once again seen a man praised and lauded in post-evangelicalism appear before their eyes and loudly proclaim, "What we believe doesn't matter. God hasn't spoken with clarity. He doesn't care about His own glory. He just wants you to be happy in your sin!" It truly makes me tremble to think that someday God will judge those who stand before His people and who handle the Word of God. If judgment begins with the house of the Lord....
      Yes, once again, theology matters.


      Addition/Update:

      I wanted to add a comment on the presentation of Osteen. If you read the transcript, or listen to the interview, you hear "I don't know if I know exactly" and similiar phraseology often; in fact, he says "I think" forty-two times in this one interview. He does not say "God says" or "Scripture teaches" or "it is written" or any of those "unfriendly" kinds of things. All we get is Osteen's feelings, Osteen's opinions. He does not speak as an ambassador of Christ. There is no authority in his words.
      Compare this with the words of this man, a convert to Islam, as he describes his investigation of various religions. He discusses Christianity, and note what he says about the Christians with whom he spoke:

      Now, of course, I would wish to point out that this man was in a country where he had the freedom to investigate different religions, a freedom the religion he chose denies when it becomes the majority viewpoint. But beyond that, it is truly sad that the "Christians" with whom this man spoke did not direct him to the authoritative Word of God for his answers. He got Osteened---"feelings" and "I think" and "my opinion," right into...Islam.





      - James R. White
      (Alpha and Omega Ministries)






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      Doug Pagitt is a Universalist.

      Sunday, December 23, 2007


      I'm convinced of this. Listen to the following two interviews, use Scriptural, sound discernment, and you will come to that conclusion, too, if you don't already. I'm thankful that God placed it in Ingrid Schleuter, Todd Friel, and Bob DeWaay to bring this to light.





      HT: Slice of Laodicea



      Part 1


      Part 2


      HT: Way of the Master Radio




      You can listen to the debate Pagitt had with Bob DeWaay here:

      Part 1

      Part 2

      Part 3


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      Zealous... But Wrong.
      (C.H. Spurgeon)

      Saturday, December 22, 2007




      You can download this sermon here.




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      Is Rick Warren Serving Jesus Christ?

      Thursday, December 20, 2007



      If so, then (link) why is he teaching those who deny Jesus as the Christ how to grow the numbers of their congregations?


      If this doesn't prove that he values being a businessman over a believer, I don't know what does.

      "Let's see here what is wrong with this picture. A professing evangelical pastor encouraging Christ-rejecting Jewish leaders on how to grow their congregations! Question - Do we really want those who reject Christ to grow their movements or congregations?"



      HT: The World From Our Window

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      THE HOLY AND CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
      (Apprising Ministries)



      (You will have to visit Apprising Ministries to visit the links discussed in this article.)



      There is a major myth perpetually perpetrated by papal pretenders and their apostate Roman Catholicism that when we read the “holy and catholic church” in the ancient creeds this is actually a reference to the Roman Catholic Church. When the RCC itself is a false system of pseudo-Christianity, which Dr. John MacArthur rightly calls the best front for the kingdom of Satan, as well as another religion entirely.

      Men and women, as anyone familiar with the history of the ancient Christian Church knows the word “catholic” is actually derived from the Greek word katholikos, which is used in some of these early Creeds. In the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology we read that katholikos means:

      “‘throughout the whole’ [of a thing]… When the term begins to appear in the [Creeds]…‘one holy catholic and apostolic church’ — it [means universal] and thus accents the unity of the church in spite of its wide diffusion.” (199)


      In other words; these early Creeds refer to “all those called out to assemble”—or, the catholic, universal and invisible Church all over the world, and not at all to the Roman Catholic Church. Any Biblical scholar not blinded by his prejudices will tell you there simply was no recognized Pope in Rome until late into the sixth century as you are about to see.

      Here is what Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989), author of the classic textbook the Kingdom of the Cults and a recognized expert in the field of Comparative Religion, actually had to say about the tradition surrounding the Church of Rome:

      Let us learn what history has to say. Before the year 590 AD, with the ascension of Gregory the First, there was no centralized Roman authority. It was not until the tenth century, when the eastern and western churches split, that there was anything known as the Roman Catholic Church—tenth century of the Christian Era—a thousand years after the fact (Roman Catholicism — Part 2 of 3, Walter Martin’s Religious InfoNet, cassette tape #4011, Side 1).


      These are the facts. Prior to that time there just wasn’t any primacy of the Roman Bishop. He was treated the same as any of the other prominent Bishops within the various early Councils of the ancient katholikos, or universal, Church. Consider this from William Webster in his book The Matthew 16 Controversy:

      What was the attitude of the Ecumenical Councils towards the bishops of Rome? If Roman Catholic teaching is correct and [really] has been accepted throughout the history of the Church as orthodox, then the popes should have always exercised supreme authority over the Church and all Church Councils. We should find this historically acknowledged by the Councils both in teaching and proceedings. But the facts reveal a different story.


      The Ecumenical Councils never viewed the position of the bishop of Rome as one of supreme authority over the Church. The Councils, in fact, always operated independently of Rome and with authority derived, in their view, directly from the Holy Spirit, and not in any sense dependent on Roman approval. Contrary to seeing themselves under the authority of the Roman see, the Councils viewed the popes as subject to the authority of the Council itself,…

      (161,162, emphasis added).

      Webster then discusses the famous Council of Nicea which was “convoked by the emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. Canon 6 of this Council demonstrates that the church of Rome had a very limited jurisdiction which was not universal” (163).

      In eminent church historian Philip Schaff’s classic History Of The Christian Church we find out that canon 6 of this Council states:

      The Nicene fathers passed this canon not as introducing anything new, but merely as confirming an existing relation on the basis of church tradition; and that, with special reference to Alexandria, on account of the troubles existing there. Rome was named only for illustration; and Antioch and all the other eparchies or provinces were secured their admitted rights. The bishoprics of Alexandria, Rome, and Antioch were placed substantially on equal footing, yet in such tone, that Antioch, as the third capital of the Roman empire, already stands as a stepping stone to the ordinary metropolitans.


      And finally Dr. James White, Director of Alpha & Omega Ministries—and a leading Christian apologist against Roman Catholicism—brings out an extremely important truth here when he says:

      This canon is significant because it demonstrates that at this time there was no concept of a single universal head of the church with jurisdiction over everyone else. While later Roman bishops would claim such authority, resulting in the development of the papacy, at this time no Christian looked to one individual, or church, as the final authority.

      This is important because often we hear it alleged that the Trinity, or the Nicene definition of the deity of Christ, is a “Roman Catholic” concept “forced” on the church by the pope. The simple fact of the matter is, when the bishops gathered at Nicea they did not acknowledge the bishop of Rome as anything more than the leader of the most influential church in the West.

      (Online source, emphasis added)



      HT: Apprising Ministries

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      Legalism and Modern Evangelicalism
      (Paul Washer)



      Paul Washer provides commentary on the legalistic mentality of doing and not being that is permeating modern evangelicalism these days thanks largely if not entirely to a certain movement.



      "Everybody is wanting to do something when we ought to be wanting to be something."

      - Paul Washer






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      Britney Spears' Mom's Book on Parenting is on Hold
      (This is Not Satire.)

      This post is not satire. Ingrid from Slice provides some commentary below:


      Thomas Nelson has its PR department working in overdrive today. Just when the publisher had bagged a “memoir” from Britney Spears’ mom on the topic of (this is not a joke) parenting, her 16-year-old daughter turned up pregnant as this AP story reports. The fact that Spears’ older daughter, Britney, is a spectacularly public train-wreck of a mother who has lost custody of her own children didn’t stop Thomas Nelson from feeling that Lynn had something to tell us about parenthood. In fact, Nelson stood to make millions by cashing in on evangelicalism’s carnal, inquiring minds. Unfortunately for their bottom line, even Thomas Nelson doesn’t have the ability to spin Jamie Lynn Spears’ teenage pregnancy into something positive. I’m still wondering how they were planning to market Lynn’s book.

      **Find out how pimping your daughter to Hollywood’s entertainment moguls at a tender age can destroy her whole life. **

      What does Thomas Nelson not get? Britney and her young sister are in the tabloids because their sad lives scream of their need for Jesus. They had no father to protect them, no teachings from their mother about God’s plan for them as girls and young women, just endless exploitation from those who should have shielded them. The only thing these girls had was a mother who prostituted her daughters’ youth and beauty for money and fame. Britney’s ongoing quest to find meaning in drugs, alcohol and sex, and her sister’s pregnancy is a reflection of the emptiness inside them, the legacy of a father and mother who utterly failed to love their daughters enough to protect them.

      This latest misadventure should demonstrate that despite their sale of every Bible version under the sun, Thomas Nelson executives are not driven by anything remotely related to the Gospel and the promotion of Christian parenting. They are secularists motivated by money. That’s all.


      HT: Slice of Laodicea

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      Joy to the World.

      Wednesday, December 19, 2007


      Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. He was born of a woman, was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day he rose again from the dead. During Christmas, there is much talk about Christ's birth, and rightfully so, but let us not forget that during this time, the Gospel is just as true as it has been for over 2000 years. Even though this is may go without saying for most people that read this, I believe there is a real need to point out the fact that Jesus Christ will not be born on December 25th. He was born about 2,007 years ago of a virgin therefore let us not think that with a new year, we can put off the reason Christ actually came until the next year when we celebrate his birth again. While it is wonderful to celebrate his birth, it is worthless to Him if we neglect why he actually has been born. If we make an idol of the Christmas time, the Christmas mentality complete with Santa and Nintendo, and neglect why Christ was actually born, we might as well not even say "Merry Christmas" unless we want to share with others a wish of idolatry.


      To help us keep the message in perspective during this time of year, below is the record of the men who had the absolute privilege to be the first picked by God to spread the message of joy to the world. Let us not throw out the message of the blood that cleanses the sins of all those who believe with our celebration of the baby that was born to do just that.


      I. St. Stephen

      St. Stephen suffered the next in order. His death was occasioned by the faithful manner in which he preached the Gospel to the betrayers and murderers of Christ. To such a degree of madness were they excited, that they cast him out of the city and stoned him to death. The time when he suffered is generally supposed to have been at the passover which succeeded to that of our Lord's crucifixion, and to the era of his ascension, in the following spring.

      Upon this a great persecution was raised against all who professed their belief in Christ as the Messiah, or as a prophet. We are immediately told by St. Luke, that "there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem;" and that "they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles."

      About two thousand Christians, with Nicanor, one of the seven deacons, suffered martyrdom during the "persecution that arose about Stephen."

      II. James the Great

      The next martyr we meet with, according to St. Luke, in the History of the Apsotles' Acts, was James the son of Zebedee, the elder brother of John, and a relative of our Lord; for his mother Salome was cousin-german to the Virgin Mary. It was not until ten years after the death of Stephen that the second martyrdom took place; for no sooner had Herod Agrippa been appointed governor of Judea, than, with a view to ingratiate himself with them, he raised a sharp persecution against the Christians, and determined to make an effectual blow, by striking at their leaders. The account given us by an eminent primitive writer, Clemens Alexandrinus, ought not to be overlooked; that, as James was led to the place of martyrdom, his accuser was brought to repent of his conduct by the apostle's extraordinary courage and undauntedness, and fell down at his feet to request his pardon, professing himself a Christian, and resolving that James should not receive the crown of martyrdom alone. Hence they were both beheaded at the same time. Thus did the first apostolic martyr cheerfully and resolutely receive that cup, which he had told our Savior he was ready to drink. Timon and Parmenas suffered martyrdom about the same time; the one at Philippi, and the other in Macedonia. These events took place A.D. 44.

      III. Philip

      Was born at Bethsaida, in Galilee and was first called by the name of "disciple." He labored diligently in Upper Asia, and suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Phrygia. He was scourged, thrown into prison, and afterwards crucified, A.D. 54.

      IV. Matthew

      Whose occupation was that of a toll-gatherer, was born at Nazareth. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew, which was afterwards translated into Greek by James the Less. The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, A.D. 60.

      V. James the Less

      Is supposed by some to have been the brother of our Lord, by a former wife of Joseph. This is very doubtful, and accords too much with the Catholic superstition, that Mary never had any other children except our Savior. He was elected to the oversight of the churches of Jerusalem; and was the author of the Epistle ascribed to James in the sacred canon. At the age of ninety-four he was beat and stoned by the Jews; and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller's club.

      VI. Matthias

      Of whom less is known than of most of the other disciples, was elected to fill the vacant place of Judas. He was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.

      VII. Andrew

      Was the brother of Peter. He preached the gospel to many Asiatic nations; but on his arrival at Edessa he was taken and crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground. Hence the derivation of the term, St. Andrew's Cross.

      VIII. St. Mark

      Was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He is supposed to have been converted to Christianity by Peter, whom he served as an amanuensis, and under whose inspection he wrote his Gospel in the Greek language. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol, ending his life under their merciless hands.

      IX. Peter

      Among many other saints, the blessed apostle Peter was condemned to death, and crucified, as some do write, at Rome; albeit some others, and not without cause, do doubt thereof. Hegesippus saith that Nero sought matter against Peter to put him to death; which, when the people perceived, they entreated Peter with much ado that he would fly the city. Peter, through their importunity at length persuaded, prepared himself to avoid. But, coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to whom he, worshipping, said, "Lord, whither dost Thou go?" To whom He answered and said, "I am come again to be crucified." By this, Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city. Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.

      X. Paul

      Paul, the apostle, who before was called Saul, after his great travail and unspeakable labors in promoting the Gospel of Christ, suffered also in this first persecution under Nero. Abdias, declareth that under his execution Nero sent two of his esquires, Ferega and Parthemius, to bring him word of his death. They, coming to Paul instructing the people, desired him to pray for them, that they might believe; who told them that shortly after they should believe and be baptised at His sepulcher. This done, the soldiers came and led him out of the city to the place of execution, where he, after his prayers made, gave his neck to the sword.

      XI. Jude

      The brother of James, was commonly called Thaddeus. He was crucified at Edessa, A.D. 72.

      XII. Bartholomew

      Preached in several countries, and having translated the Gospel of Matthew into the language of India, he propagated it in that country. He was at length cruelly beaten and then crucified by the impatient idolaters.

      XIII. Thomas

      Called Didymus, preached the Gospel in Parthia and India, where exciting the rage of the pagan priests, he was martyred by being thrust through with a spear.

      XIV. Luke

      The evangelist, was the author of the Gospel which goes under his name. He travelled with Paul through various countries, and is supposed to have been hanged on an olive tree, by the idolatrous priests of Greece.

      XV. Simon

      Surnamed Zelotes, preached the Gospel in Mauritania, Africa, and even in Britain, in which latter country he was crucified, A.D. 74.

      XVI. John

      The "beloved disciple," was brother to James the Great. The churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, were founded by him. From Ephesus he was ordered to be sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Nerva, the successor of Domitian, recalled him. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.

      XVII. Barnabas

      Was of Cyprus, but of Jewish descent, his death is supposed to have taken place about A.D. 73.

      And yet, notwithstanding all these continual persecutions and horrible punishments, the Church daily increased, deeply rooted in the doctrine of the apostles and of men apostolical, and watered plentously with the blood of saints.



      - from Foxe's Book of Martyrs



      Let us not neglect the reason there is a season. If Christ came to give us eggnogs and mistletoe, we should surely worship those. Instead, He came to give Himself as a ransom for many. Let's not neglect our duty to worship God this season and every season until He returns or we return to Him. December 25th of the year 2007 isn't going to change what happened nearly 2,000 years ago. Let us rejoice that God has sent joy to the world then that we may believe, hope, and have eternal life in Him now. Amen.

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      Remember the Reason There is a Season. (Repost) [Updated]


      It will soon be Christmas, Lord willing, and I wanted to post several articles, poems, etc from some friends from around the world that will help all of us remember the true reason there is this season. These may either be in links to what they're written or the actual material. (If I find more, I will be sure to update this so you may want to put this post in your favorites until about January first.)



      What is the Christmas Spirit?
      (Doug Eaton)







      In Preparation for Christmas: A Christian Meditation
      (Doug Eaton)




      It is that time again. Thanksgiving has past, and many have already frantically begun to prepare for Christmas. The sales are on, the shoppers are swarming, and the decorations are going up. The preparation has begun, but none of it can compare to the preparation that took place for that first Christmas.

      In order to get ready for Christmas it is always helpful to prepare our hearts by thinking of what it must have been like for those of the household of Israel who had been waiting for the Messiah. It all started right after the fall when God told Eve that there would be a seed that would have His heal bruised by the serpent, but He would ultimately crush the serpent’s head. Already, God was promising a remedy for the spiritual death they had brought upon themselves, and all subsequent generations, and also for the physical death that was working in their bodies at that very moment.

      As time went on God's people were taught many things about this coming one who was going to redeem them from the wages of sin. To name a few, they were told that He was going to be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2), He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14), and He would speak in parables (Ps. 78:2-4). On top of all that, He would be hated without reason (Ps. 35:19), He would be spat upon and stuck (Is. 50:6) and He would be pierced (Zech. 12:10), all to save His people by being a substitution for them in order to make atonement for their sins (Is. 53:5). Then in the darkest hour He would be resurrected (Ps 16:10, Ps 49:15).

      The prophecies had been progressively revealing details regarding the coming Messiah, and although they did not fully understand it, it gave them hope. But the promise of a Messiah, who was to redeem them from the grip of sin, is not the same as actually having Him present and knowing His name. Those among the Hebrews who really believed must have constantly been wondering who He was going to be and what His name would be. Jacob had wrestled with Him, and when Jacob asked Him his name He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name? (Gen. 32:29),"and he was left in mystery. Later, Samson’s father Manoah Spoke with Him, and though he did not fully understanding at the moment with whom he was speaking, he also asked Him His name and the response was "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful (Judges 13:18). For the name was not to be revealed until the fullness of time.

      With such wonder, hope, and speculation, they lived for thousands of years, including an approximately 400-year period of time, following the prophet Malachi, where God seemed to go silent. Then that faithful day came when an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and said, "you will conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus." His name would be Jesus, and He would save His people from their sins! The wait was over. Sinful humanity was to be redeemed, and the one who was to do it was going to be named Jesus!

      Oh, how we have sung His name for thousands of years. How long we have known the only name under heaven by which man can be saved. How long it has filled our hearts with joy. We have not only known His name and His teachings, which are and endless supply of light and life, but we have also known Him because He is still with us today, and will be with us always, even unto the end of the world.

      As we already know, He bore our sorrows and carried our grief. He took upon Himself our sins, thus ending the condemnation that the law demanded, and He imputes to us His righteousness, making us co-heirs in the inheritance that He so rightly deserves, and we most certainly do not. None of the rapturous joys that fill the believer’s heart would be the same, had it not been for His birth in that lowly stable when God himself took on flesh.

      It is easy to be swept away by all the trappings of the season, but the believer must not lose the infinite worth found in Christ, in all the paltry tin of secular add-ons. As you prepare your home this season, be sure preparation is made to spend time with your savior through meditation on His word and prayer, for no heart is as full as the heart that is filled with Christ.

      May the Lord bless you this Christmas season,

      Doug




      The Meaning of Christmas

      (Cameron Buetell)

      [Link]
      (Feel free to distribute this holiday e-card.)





      Hope Shone Forth From an Infant Child - A Christmas Poem
      (Doug Eaton)




      Hope shone forth from an infant child.
      In the manger that cold dark night
      In humility, God himself appeared mild.
      Yet His plan moved forth in all its might.

      Salvation to humanity was born
      The angels could not help but sing
      This Infant Child would bear our scorn
      This newborn Sovereign King.

      Helpless was mankind in sin
      Until the star shone forth its light
      Our salvation to begin
      Bringing hope to the contrite

      The sin we bear has show n us guilty
      Under the righteousness of God
      Our defense is proven faulty
      As He sees through our façade

      But this Child would fulfill
      The law that we could not
      And by our sin, His blo od we’d spill
      to pay our debt and take our lot

      There is no guilt, which can’t be cleansed
      The darkest stains can be removed
      When His Grace has b een dispensed
      By Jesus Christ, in Him approved

      Let us worship the infant child
      Born, a life, to set us free
      By His grace we are beguiled
      Infant born of sov ereign decree

      -Doug Eaton-






      What is the Christmas Spirit?
      (Bezel)






      Sin, Sorrow, and the Joy of Christmas: A Meditation
      (Doug Eaton)


      The lights glow softly, the Christmas music plays, and wondrous thoughts of the birth of our Savior fill our minds. What a blessing it is for the believer who still finds childlike joy in this time of year. Being "grown-up" is a bit over-rated, because being "grown-up," according to the world, usually entails a constant stiff upper lip and a cynical heart. Now, there are times to be stout, to conceal your emotion, and be a bit guarded, but too often these virtues can be turned into vices. Just as there is time to be immovable, there is a time to be moved. There are things that should stir our hearts, and move us to childlike wonder, and the story of the birth of Jesus is one of those things.

      Sin is our greatest enemy, and it has been ever since the fall. In our natural condition, with hard hearts, we are the makers of our own demise, we despise what is good, and we love that which will destroy us. So much so that it seems we love our own destruction. The disgracefulness of our sin is of such a nature that it does exactly that; it destroys the natural graces in which mankind was created. Left alone we will do nothing but revel in our own corruption, making ourselves all the more miserable. And what is worse, is that we are constantly heaping upon ourselves the wrath of a Holy and just God who will not let any sin go unpunished, and at the thought of such things should cause us to weep.

      If this were where we were left, there would be no hope for any of us. But as we know, in the garden after the fall, God promised that He was going to give us a seed who would be the remedy for sin. What is often missed is the fact that right after this promise, we see a curse that was to come upon mankind for their sinful act of rebellion, and that curse was that God Himself was going to cause children to be brought forth in sorrow. Why would God do such a thing after such a wonderful promise? Of all the female creatures upon this earth, it seems that humans have the greatest sorrow during childbirth, but this sorrow is not without hope. Every time a woman grieves during the pain of childbirth, it is to be a reminder to us of the seriousness of sin. It is a proclamation of our depraved condition, but that is not all it is, it is also a gesture of God’s love for His people because He does not want us to evade the knowledge of our sinful condition and neglect the promised seed.

      As Mary gave birth that night in a dusty stable, she undoubtedly lamented in pain. Any of us who have pondered that night and have thought of the cold ground beneath her, with no doctor’s guidance, and no comforts of her own home, have heard her proclamation of the tyranny of sin. In sorrow she gave birth, but the Child was to be the death of her sorrow, and even the death of death itself. Like Rachel giving birth to Benjamin, she may have had the desire to call Him Benoni, the son of her sorrow, but the Father, God Himself, had already declared Him to be the Son of His Right Hand. His name was to be Jesus, for He was to save His People from their Sins.

      Christ, God incarnate, had entered our sin riddled world. From his first breath He was to be known as the Man of Sorrows, and He would endure it all because of His love for us. All we like sheep have gone astray, but as Christ suffered the sorrows of this fallen world, He never faltered in His righteousness. He then, like a lamb, willingly went to the slaughter never once opening His mouth in protest. Without fail, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and By His stripes we are healed.

      If this Christmas season is passing you
      by, and the thoughts of our Savior have
      not yet moved your heart to adoration,
      through the Spirits work, may the meditation of our great God and His Gospel invigorate our sin embattled hearts and produce once again the childlike wonder of the Christmas season. Through faith, He is the joy of our salvation. Though sorrow may still be a part of living in this fallen world, you can have joy in the knowledge that any sins over which you mourn, and any sorrows you face, have been conquered by the child who was
      born in the manger: Jesus Christ the Lord.

      Merry Christmas,

      Doug Eaton

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      True and False Unity [Critical Issues Commentary]
      (Bob DeWaay and Dick Kuffel)

      Tuesday, December 18, 2007


      CIC takes the issue of what is true and what is false unity. They also take the time to explain who exactly is being divisive according to Scripture.

      "It's not a sin to ask your Pastor to preach the Gospel."
      - Bob DeWaay





      You can download this here.




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      What Exactly is Doctrine?

      Monday, December 17, 2007


      "Doctrine divides!"


      It's the "cry of anguish" from the culture. They insist that we shouldn't preach doctrine, just love, but is this possible?

      The Greek word for doctrine is didachē (did-akh-ay'), and it means "teaching; that which is taught" so basically when someone says, "Doctrine divides! We shouldn't preach doctrine, just love!", they are preaching doctrine. They are providing a teaching that says, "We shouldn't preach doctrine, just love!" Believers, however, bring the false doctrine to light because those who teach false doctrine are not presenting doctrine (or teaching) in accordance to Scripture which is why there is so much hostility from them. Think about that for a second...

      The emergents have doctrine. Their's is, "We can't really know what the Bible teaches about homosexuality." That is doctrine. That is teaching. Is it true, though? Is their doctrine true? Let's look to Scripture:

      If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
      (Lev 20:13)

      According to Scripture, their teaching (or doctrine) is in complete contradiction to what God says. Why do they get so angry at those who decry their cry for "peace"? Well, it's because the sound teaching or doctrine contradicts their false teaching or doctrine. Keep that in mind. Christ, Himself said that he didn't come to bring peace but a Sword. That's sound doctrine. The debate isn't really there because one camp is teaching doctrine and the other isn't. The debate arises because one camp is professing false doctrine and the other camp is professing true doctrine. Understand that, and your courage will grow. There is no neutrality. Our Lord made it very clear that you're either with him or against him. He who doesn't gather scatters.

      When you go to one of Osteen's services or watch him on television, he is teaching, is he not? His teaching or doctrine mainly consists of self-esteem and "personal fulfillment", though; not the teaching or doctrine of Scripture.

      The non-seeker sensitivites hold to doctrine. That may come as a shock to some of you, namely non-seeker sensitives, but they do. They teach things like, "God is all about the numbers." and "We need peace at all costs, truth only if possible." That's doctrine or teaching whether they will teach you that it is or not.

      Satanists have doctrine. The father of Satanism, Aleister Crowley, tought doctrine. He said things like, "Do what you will shall be the whole of the law." It is doctrine, but it is Satanic, demonic, and false doctrine.

      Britney Spears has doctrine. She's said, "When you're comfortable with someone you love, the silence is the best. And, that's how me and J are." She held to this doctrine, but apparently there should have been more communication between her and J. It wasn't wise doctrine.

      The point is, doctrine is everywhere, regardless if you label it so. It is true that the Bible is full of doctrine, but the difference between the doctrine of Scriptures and the doctrine of the world is the same as the difference between darkness and light. When one comes to Scripture, eats of Christ and drinks His blood, they are receiving sound doctrine or teaching. When Christ says, "Sell all you have and give the money to the poor," He is professing doctrine the same as 50 Cent is professing doctrine when he says, "Get rich or die trying." One difference between the two, though, is that 50 Cent will stand to be eternally judged before Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ will never stand to be eternally judged before 50 Cent. Jesus Christ's doctrine is true because he is truth, the eternal Son of God. Christ is come in the flesh.

      Paul the Apostle gave many warnings, but this I seem to think wraps the entire issue up in a nutshell:

      Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine (didache or teaching) which you have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent. For your obedience is well known unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and innocent concerning evil.
      (Rom 16:17-19)

      Note what he says. He does not say, "The doctrine is dividing the true believers between the true believers." Rather, he says that there are those who cause divisions within the believers by presenting doctrine that is against the sound doctrine that has been brought forth. This is key, and it is vital to understanding. Our cry shouldn't be, "Doctrine, doctrine, doctrine!" It should be "Sound doctrine, sound doctrine, sound doctrine!" because doctrine is everywhere.

      You see, those who always make the claim, "Doctrine divides!" as always, never tell you the complete truth because if they did, their evil deeds would be brought to light. The truth is stated in it's entirety here:

      "True doctrine divides... the believers from the unbelievers!"

      That is the true teaching of Scripture. So when people who are opposed to what the Bible teaches chides those who hold to Scripture as their final authority, "All you do is preach doctrine," what they are really saying is, "All you do is preach sound doctrine." I know what several of you who read this will think: "Oh these people who are always talking about the Bible are so arrogant to think they've got it all figured out...", but what's really arrogant? Is it obeying God and his Word or thinking that your subjective opinion overrides God's commandments and laws and should be considered in a "conversation" over God's Word? It's definitely the latter. Light and darkness can never have agreement. What agreement can a believer have with an infidel? (2Cor 6:14-15)



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      The Next Shocking Youth Sermon
      (Paul Washer)

      Sunday, December 16, 2007

      This really needs no set up. I will say, though, that one difference between this sermon and the famous first one is that this church asked him back.


      "When men come before me in a pulpit and they tell me they want to share with me from their heart, the only thing I want to do is walk out the door. I'm SO TIRED of hearing from men's hearts and hearing from their minds and hearing from their opinions! What I want is for someone to stand back and preach to me about Jesus Christ! (I want) someone to tell me 'thus saith the Lord' and not apologize and preach with the authority of God about the subject they've taken."

      - Paul Washer




      You can download this here.



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      What is Quietness of the Spirit Opposed to?
      (Jeremiah Burroughs)

      Saturday, December 15, 2007


      All is sedate and still there. That you may understand this better, I would add that this quiet, gracious frame of spirit is not opposed to certain things:

      1 . To a due sense of affliction. God gives his people leave to be sensible of what they suffer. Christ does not say, 'Do not count as a cross what is a cross'; he says, 'Take up your cross daily'. It is like physical health: if you take medicine and cannot hold it, but immediately vomit it up, or if you feel nothing and it does not move you-in either case the medicine does no good, but suggests that you are greatly disordered and will hardly be cured. So it is with the spirits of men under afflictions: if they cannot bear God's potions and bring them up again, or if they are insensitive to them and no more affected by them than the body is by a draught of small beer, it is a sad symptom that their souls are in a dangerous and almost incurable condition. So this inward quietness is not in opposition to a sense of afflictions, for, indeed, there would be no true contentment if you were not apprehensive and sensible of your afflictions, when God is angry.

      2. It is not opposed to making an orderly manner our moan and complaint to God, and to our friends. Though a Christian ought to be quiet under God's correcting hand, he may without any breach of Christian contentment complain to God. As one of the ancients says, Though not with a tumultuous clamor and shrieking out in a confused passion, yet in a quiet, still, submissive way he may unbosom his heart to God. Likewise he may communicate his sad condition to his Christian friends, showing them how God has dealt with him, and how heavy the affliction is upon him, that they may speak a word in season to his weary soul.

      3. It is not opposed to all lawful seeking for help in different circumstances, nor to endeavoring simply to be delivered out of present afflictions by the use of lawful means. No, I may lay in provision for my deliverance and use God's means, waiting on him because I do not know but that it may be his will to alter my condition. And so far as he leads me I may follow his providence; it is but my duty, God is thus far mercifully indulgent to our weakness, and he will not take it ill at our hands if by earnest and importunate prayer we seek him for deliverance until we know his good pleasure in the matter. Certainly seeking thus for help, with such submission and holy resignation of spirit, to be delivered when God wills, and as God wills, and how God wills, so that our wills are melted into the will of God-this is not opposed to the quietness which God requires in a contented spirit.

      But what, then, it will be asked, is this quietness of spirit opposed to?

      1. It is opposed to murmuring and repining at the hand of God, as the discontented Israelites often did. If we cannot bear this either in our children or servants, much less can God bear it in us.

      2. To vexing and fretting, which is a degree beyond murmuring. I remember the saying of a heathen, 'A wise man may grieve for, but not be vexed with his afflictions'. There is a vast different between a kindly grieving and a disordered vexation.

      3. To tumultuousness of spirit, when the thoughts run distractingly and work in a confused manner, so that the affections are like the unruly multitude in the Acts, who did know for what purpose they had come together. The Lord expects you to be silent under his rod, and, as was said in

      Acts 19:36, 'Ye ought to be quiet and to do nothing rashly.' 4. It is opposed to an unsettled and unstable spirit, whereby the heart is distracted from the present duty that God requires in our several relationships, towards God, ourselves and others. We should prize duty more highly than to be distracted by every trivial occasion. Indeed, a Christian values every service of God so much that though some may be in the eyes of the world and of natural reason a slight and empty business, beggarly elements, or foolishness, yet since God calls for it, the authority of the command so overawes his heart that he is willing to spend himself and to be spent in discharging it. It is an expression of Luther's that ordinary works, done in faith and from faith, are more precious than heaven and earth. And if this is so, and a Christian knows it, he should not be diverted by small matters, but should answer every distraction, and resist every temptation, as Nehemiah did Sanballat, Geshem and Tobiah, when they would have hindered the building of the wall, with this: 'I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?' (Nehemiah 6:3).

      5. It is opposed to distracting, heart-consuming cares. A gracious heart so esteems its union with Christ and the work that God sets it about that it will not willingly suffer anything to come in to choke it or deaden it. A Christian is desirous that the Word of God should take such full possession as to divide between soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12), but he would not allow the fear and noise of evil tidings to take such a hold in his soul as to make a division and struggling there, like the twins in Rebekah's womb. A great man will permit common people to stand outside his doors, but he will not let them come in and make a noise in his closet or bedroom when he deliberately retires from all worldly business. So a well-tempered spirit may enquire after things outside in the world, and suffer some ordinary cares and fears to break into the suburbs of the soul, so as to touch lightly upon the thoughts. Yet it will not on any account allow an intrusion into the private room, which should be wholly reserved for Jesus Christ as his inward temple.

      6. It is opposed to sinking discouragements. When things do not fall out according to expectation, when the tide of second causes runs so low that we see little in outward means to support our hopes and hearts, then the heart begins to reason as did he in

      2 Kings 7:2: 'If the Lord should open the windows of heaven how should this be?' We never consider that God can open the eyes of the blind with clay and spittle, he can work above, beyond, and even contrary to means. He often makes the fairest flowers of man's endeavors to wither and brings improbable things to pass, in order that the glory of the undertaking may be given to himself. Indeed, if his people stand in need of miracles to bring about their deliverance, miracles fall as easily from God's hands as to give his people daily bread. God's blessing many times is a secret from his servants so that they do not know from which way it is coming, as 'Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain, yet the valley shall be filled with water' (2 Kings 3:17).

      God would have us to depend on him though we do not see how the thing may be brought about; otherwise, we do not show a quiet spirit. Though an affliction is on you, do not let your heart sink under it. So far as your heart sinks and you are discouraged under affliction, so much you need to learn this lesson of contentment.

      7. It is opposed to sinful shiftings and shirkings to get relief and help. We see this kind of thing in Saul running to the witch of Endor, and offering sacrifice before Samuel came. Nay, good King Jehoshaphat joins himself with Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 20:35). And Asa goes to Benhadad, King of Syria, for help, 'not relying upon the Lord' (2 Chronicles 16:7, 8), though the Lord had delivered the Ethiopian army into his hands consisting of a thousand thousand (2 Chronicles 14:12). And good Jacob joined with his mother in lying to Isaac; not content to await God's time and use God's means, he made too great a haste and went out of his way to procure the blessing which God intended for him. Thus do many, through the corruption of their hearts and the weakness of their faith, because they are not able to trust God and follow him fully in all things and always. For this reason, the Lord often follows the saints with many sore temporal crosses, as we see in the case of Jacob, though they obtain the mercy. It may be that your carnal heart thinks, I do not care how I am delivered, if only I may be freed from it. It is not so many times in some of your hearts, when any cross or affliction befalls you? Do you not experience such workings of spirit as this? 'Oh, if I could only be delivered from this affliction in any way, I would not care'-your hearts are far from being quiet. This sinful shifting is the next thing which is in opposition to the quietness which God requires in a contented spirit.

      8. The last thing that quietness of spirit is the opposite of it desperate risings of the heart against God by way of rebellion. That is the most abominable. I hope many of you have learned so far to be content as to restrain your hearts from such disorders. Yet the truth is that not only wicked men, but sometimes the very saints of God find the beginnings of this, when an affliction remains for a long time and is very severe and an affliction remains for a long and is very severe and heavy indeed upon them, and strikes them, as it were, in the master vein. They find in their hearts something of a rising against God, their thoughts begin to bubble, and their affections begin to move in rebellion against God himself.

      Especially is this the case with those who besides their corruptions have a large measure of melancholy. The Devil works both upon the corruptions of their hearts and the melancholy disease of their bodies, and though much grace may lie underneath, yet under affliction there may be some risings against God himself.

      Now Christian quietness is opposed to all these things. When affliction comes, whatever it is, you do not murmur; though you feel it, though you make your cry to God, though you desire to be delivered, and seek it by all good means, yet you do not murmur or repine, you do not fret or vex yourself, there is not a tumultuousness of spirit in you, not an instability, there are not distracting fears in your hearts, no sinking discouragements, no unworthy shifts, no risings in rebellion against God in any way: This is quietness of spirit under an affliction, and that is the second thing, when the soul is so far able to bear an affliction as to keep quiet under it.





      - Jeremiah Burroughs

      (From The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment)

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      Propitiation: (n) \prō-pi-shē-ˈā-shən\ ἱλαστήριον

      Friday, December 14, 2007


      For those of you who do not know what this word means regarding Christ, I wanted to post this to help you understand what exactly the gracious Lord has done.

      For those of you who do understand the definition of this word, Paul Washer's comments will strengthen your faith.

      For those of you who do not care, may God have mercy on your pathetic, cowardly, ignorant, man-fearing soul.


      "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whosoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."

      - Jesus Christ
      (Joh 6:53-55)



      So leave those who contradict Christ to serve alone by themselves, and sit down at Jesus' feet to learn of Him. Let the Lord Jesus, after they chide Him about you not helping them, tell them, "You are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is needful. This one who is sitting at my feet and learning of me has chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from them." (Luke 10:39-42) Understand His full propitiation to those who have justification by faith in Him. Bless someone by sharing this message as it has been shared to you. Eat and eat and eat of his flesh and drink and drink and drink of his blood for "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."






      propitiation (n):

      pro·pi·ti·a·tion

      \prō-ˌpi-shē-ˈā-shən\

      This means the turning away of wrath by an offering.


      Greek word: ἱλαστήριον hilastērion
      defn:
      1) relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation
      1a) used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory
      1b) an expiatory sacrifice
      1c) a expiatory victim



      But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;... Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a PROPITIATION through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
      (Rom 3:21; 24-25)


      And he is the PROPITIATION for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
      (1Jn 2:2)

      In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the PROPITIATION for our sins.
      (1Jn 4:10)


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      Calvinism: A Reason to Rejoice and a Reason for Concern
      (Jeff Noblit)

      Thursday, December 13, 2007


      (Pastor Noblit's second point of "cleaner breaks" is well taken.)



      You can download this entire message here.





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      RickWarrenism: Heresy on Purpose
      (Pedro Almeida)


      I don't think it's possible for a person to equally confess, "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" (1John 4:1-3) and "Rick Warren is not teaching contrary to Scripture."

      (I don't agree with everything mentioned in this video,
      but it gives a wonderful critique of the PDM.)


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      Why is it Vitally Necessary to be Found in Christ?

      Monday, December 10, 2007





      You can get this entire set (14 DVD's) here.
      It is called How God Converts the Human Soul.

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      "Ignorance is Bliss" According to Ignorant People.
      (C.H. Spurgeon)

      Sunday, December 9, 2007


      I shall come now to a third class of men. These are people not particularly addicted to gaiety, nor especially given to infidel notions; but they are a sort of folk who are careless, and determined to let well alone. Their motto is, "Let tomorrow take care for the things of itself; let us live while we live; let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." If their conscience cries out at all, they bid it lie still. When the minister disturbs them, instead of listening to what he says, and so being brought into a state of real peace, they cry, "Hush! be quiet! there is time enough yet; I will not disturb myself with these childish fears: be still, sir, and lie down." Ah! and you have been doing this for years, have you? Whenever you have heard an earnest powerful sermon, you have gone home and labored to get rid of it. A tear has stolen down your cheek now and then, and you have despised yourself for it. "Oh!" you say, "it is not manly for me to think of these things." There have been a few twitches at times which you could not help, but the moment after you have your heart like a flint, impenetrably hard and stony. Well sir, I will give you a picture of yourself. There is a foolish farmer yonder in his house. It is the dead of night: the burglars are breaking in—men who will neither spare his life nor his treasure. There is a dog down below chained in the yard, it barks and barks, and howls again. "I cannot be quiet," says the farmer, "my dog makes too much noise." Another howl, and yet another yell. He creeps out of bed, gets his loaded gun, opens the window, fires it, and kills the dog. "Ah! it is all right now," he mutters; he goes to bed, lies down, and quietly rests. "No hurt will come," he says, "now; for I have made that dog quiet. Ah! but would that he could have listened to the warning of the faithful creature. Ere long he shall feel the knife, and rue his fatal folly. So you, when God is warning you—when your faithful conscience is doing its best to save you—you try to kill your only friend, while Satan and Sin are stealing up to the bedside of your slothfulness, and are ready to destroy your soul for ever and ever. What should we think of the sailor at sea who should seek to kill all the stormy petrels, that there might be an end to all storms? Would you not say, "Poor foolish man! why those birds are sent by a kind providence to warn him of the tempest. Why needs he injure them? They cause not the tumult; it is the raging sea." So it is not your conscience that is guilty of the disturbance in your heart, it is your sin, and your conscience, acting true to its character, as God's index in your soul, tells you that all is wrong. Would that ye would arise, and take the warning, and fly to Jesus while the hour of mercy lasts.



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      "Blogging Cowards"...?
      (An Exhortation to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of the Gospel.)

      Thursday, December 6, 2007


      I've had the "privilege" of reading several articles by disciples of Rick Warren around the internet where they refer to people who speak out against wrong doing by means of blogs and such as "blogging wusses" or "blogging cowards". The Bible tells us that, "He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him." (Pro 18:13) so I am writing this post to present both sides of the issue with a bias towards truth of which I strive to always be biased to.

      The definition of a coward is as follows:

      Cowardice is a vice that is conventionally viewed as the corruption of prudence, to thwart all courage or bravery. (wiki)

      I'm sure that most will agree on this definition so I continue. Is a coward one who stands up for the truth or one who thwarts it in exchange for self-interest? I'm sure most will agree that it's the latter. With that said, is a coward one who places the truth in written form in a medium that is accessible to every person in existence or is a coward one who succumbs to liars who say Jesus is not God by trying to make peace with them with shakes and smiles in actual person? Is a coward one who loves their neighbor as themselves and loves God by telling their neighbor the truth no matter what even if it will hurt their feelings or is a coward one that caters to public opinion and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness in order to do so? One of the main issues which has plagued the Church from the beginning is there being the notion that there can be various definitions that actually contradict each other of a certain word. Take Christian for example. The true definition of the word Christian means, someone who has the Spirit of Christ without which that person is none of His. (Rom. 8:9) That same Spirit leads into all truth so how can someone who brings a definition that contradicts the Holy Spirit be a Christian regardless of what they call themselves? I have heard of one emergent saying that it is not necessary to believe that Christ's body rose from the dead in order to be a Christian. The definition of her "sincerely held personal belief" is heresy. That's the true definition of a quote like that regardless if public opinion agrees with it. Recently, I also had the privilege (I'm not being sarcastic here) of hearing a radio show with two brothers who were critiquing an aspect of the Purpose Driven Movement. I agreed with what they said, but the only thing (aside from the subject) that bothered me about the interview is that they kept saying "so and so has redefined what being a so and so is." As believers, we really have to watch what we say because and believe we can get caught in the trap of being ambiguous and using words without meaning in our efforts to deal with "relevant" folk. I've made the mistake myself numerous times and continue to catch myself doing so. The fallacy is, redefine means to give a new or different definition to a certain word. What we should say in dealing with these people is not that they redefined a certain word, but rather that they are lying about the true definition of it. It may seem like just a subtle misnomer at first glance, but how can we take down the enemy's weapons by using the same means we are trying to diffuse? It is vitally important to expose these "little things" that we may happen to regard as subtle because the Serpent, himself, is a subtle creature.

      With all this said, the reason I wrote this was to address the issue of cowardice. Many people are saying that writing from a certain area against something detrimental as to where the intention is that people will read it apart from the author's physical presence is a form of cowardice. But...

      ...isn't that exactly what the unrighteous people said about Paul regarding his writings of correction and discipline, as well?

      Do you look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trusts to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord has given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such a one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things beyond our measure, but according to the measure of the field which God has distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things beyond our measure, that is, of other men's labors; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be strengthened by you according to our field abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's field of things made ready to our hand. But he that glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

      - Paul the Apostle
      (2Co 10:7-18)


      Paul the Apostle employed the same means of using writing to communicate what he needed to convey when he was not in bodily presence, and he was a martyr, not a coward. If strength is really judged and measured by numbers, how many did Paul have in prison with him when he was writing those epistles?

      Therefore, let those who are not ashamed of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within us and preach the Gospel whether it be in season or out of season so that "as we are in word by blogging when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present."


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      Proverbs 17:23.



      A wicked man takes a bribe out of the bosom to pervert the ways of justice.
      (Pro 17:23)


      Proverbs 17:23 states that a wicked man takes a bribe to pervert the ways of justice. A righteous man does not. Recently, Ingrid at Slice wrote an article in which she spoke of a friend she has in Christian Leadership who was recently offered a bribe of sorts by Rick Warren to stop exposing the lies of the Purpose Driven Movement. When you read verses like Proverbs 17:23, it is no wonder that there is a conscious effort by these types to downplay biblical doctrine. I mean look what it actually says. If someone is robbing a store and the people that witness it are ignorant of the law that says the thief shouldn't, the last thing the thief would do is sit down with them and have a discussion with them about what stealing actually is. In fact, if the people ever did catch on, would he not make every conscious effort to redefine what a thief really is? The same holds true with anyone caught up in unrighteousness. Read the following article from Slice to see specifically what I'm referring to. A friend of mine recently told me that the more things like this come out about Warren, his camp, and others like them who downplay Scriptural truth in their own lives, the more there is reason to rejoice because there is a clear line being drawn in the sand. I agree.



      HT: Slice of Loadicea

      Rick Warren is not a happy camper. Why? Because Rick Warren apparently will not be happy until the entire evangelical world bows low before his Purpose-Driven altar and worships at his feet. Over a year ago, I received word from a friend in Christian leadership that Rick Warren had emailed him. Warren wasn’t happy that my friend was consistently publishing articles that exposed the unbiblical nature of Rick Warren’s revolutionary church movement. I read the email, and I was sickened by the blatant attempt at schmoozing my friend out of exposing the truth. Warren even suggested that he might be interested in using one of my friend’s books at Saddleback. Fortunately, my friend was not the type to be bought off by cheap flattery. He wrote a letter back calling on Rick Warren to repent. He never heard from him again.

      Well, today I learned that another friend in Christian broadcasting has received an email from Rick Warren who isn’t happy about the host’s exposing of the condom-happy AIDS experts appearing at Saddleback’s Global Summit recently. Warren said it was inaccurate for the host to say he (Rick Warren) was promoting condom usage as a solution to the AIDS crisis. Well, Mr. Warren, you’re one clever man. You may not have been waving a pack of condoms around from the podium in Lake Forest, but you made sure to bring your friends there who very much believe condoms are a part of the solution. That would be homosexual Mark Dybul, Global AIDS Ambassador, abortion and homosexual rights champion, Hillary Clinton, UN Undersecretary General, Peter Piot, and CDC AIDS champion, Susan Hillis.

      Warren’s problem is that he believes in the dialectic process where you have two opposing views clash, producing a third alternative, or synthesis. Therefore, Rick thinks it’s a good and productive thing to have homosexuals clutching condoms mix with Christians clutching Bibles and the belief that obedience to God’s plan for sexuality is not optional. Out of this clash, Warren thinks solutions can be found for AIDS. Utter hogwash. What Warren is, in fact, generating is a dangerous disregard for what God has already told us in his Word. In the name of compassion, Warren is bringing to his church those who by God’s definition are fools with darkened minds and hearts, and telling Christians they can learn from these rebels in the battle against AIDS. He has no Scriptural basis for any of this. He does, however, seem to have a political agenda rooted in his apparent need for power and influence. That’s why Rick Warren needs to be exposed for what he is, and his false teachings need to be held up for the true church to see. Those who have ears to hear will hear.

      In conclusion, it is significant that Rick Warren, darling of Rupert Murdoch who owns the multi-billion dollar News Corp and the golden boy of both secular and Christian media worldwide, cannot tolerate the slightest dissent. Those who have the courage to speak out are either sent emails with words like “slander” in them (vague hints of legal sabers rattling?) or they are schmoozed in an attempt to flatter them into submission. Rick, if you don’t want the reputation of offering condom-driven solutions, stop inviting these political left-wingers to your church. Even Salon Magazine has noted Saddleback’s “left-wing” turn. If you want to dance with the devil, don’t blame sincere Christians for reporting on it.

      - Ingrid at Slice of Loadicea



      A lying tongue hates those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth works ruin. (Pro 26:28)



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      Remember the Reason There is a Season.

      Tuesday, December 4, 2007

      It will soon be Christmas, Lord willing, and I wanted to post several articles, poems, etc from some friends from around the world that will help all of us remember the true reason there is this season. These may either be in links to what they're written or the actual material. (If I find more, I will be sure to update this so you may want to put this post in your favorites until about January first.)



      What is the Christmas Spirit?
      (Doug Eaton)







      In Preparation for Christmas: A Christian Meditation
      (Doug Eaton)




      It is that time again. Thanksgiving has past, and many have already frantically begun to prepare for Christmas. The sales are on, the shoppers are swarming, and the decorations are going up. The preparation has begun, but none of it can compare to the preparation that took place for that first Christmas.

      In order to get ready for Christmas it is always helpful to prepare our hearts by thinking of what it must have been like for those of the household of Israel who had been waiting for the Messiah. It all started right after the fall when God told Eve that there would be a seed that would have His heal bruised by the serpent, but He would ultimately crush the serpent’s head. Already, God was promising a remedy for the spiritual death they had brought upon themselves, and all subsequent generations, and also for the physical death that was working in their bodies at that very moment.

      As time went on God's people were taught many things about this coming one who was going to redeem them from the wages of sin. To name a few, they were told that He was going to be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2), He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14), and He would speak in parables (Ps. 78:2-4). On top of all that, He would be hated without reason (Ps. 35:19), He would be spat upon and stuck (Is. 50:6) and He would be pierced (Zech. 12:10), all to save His people by being a substitution for them in order to make atonement for their sins (Is. 53:5). Then in the darkest hour He would be resurrected (Ps 16:10, Ps 49:15).

      The prophecies had been progressively revealing details regarding the coming Messiah, and although they did not fully understand it, it gave them hope. But the promise of a Messiah, who was to redeem them from the grip of sin, is not the same as actually having Him present and knowing His name. Those among the Hebrews who really believed must have constantly been wondering who He was going to be and what His name would be. Jacob had wrestled with Him, and when Jacob asked Him his name He said, "Why is it that you ask about My name? (Gen. 32:29),"and he was left in mystery. Later, Samson’s father Manoah Spoke with Him, and though he did not fully understanding at the moment with whom he was speaking, he also asked Him His name and the response was "Why do you ask my name, seeing it is wonderful (Judges 13:18). For the name was not to be revealed until the fullness of time.

      With such wonder, hope, and speculation, they lived for thousands of years, including an approximately 400-year period of time, following the prophet Malachi, where God seemed to go silent. Then that faithful day came when an angel of the Lord appeared to Mary and said, "you will conceive and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus." His name would be Jesus, and He would save His people from their sins! The wait was over. Sinful humanity was to be redeemed, and the one who was to do it was going to be named Jesus!

      Oh, how we have sung His name for thousands of years. How long we have known the only name under heaven by which man can be saved. How long it has filled our hearts with joy. We have not only known His name and His teachings, which are and endless supply of light and life, but we have also known Him because He is still with us today, and will be with us always, even unto the end of the world.

      As we already know, He bore our sorrows and carried our grief. He took upon Himself our sins, thus ending the condemnation that the law demanded, and He imputes to us His righteousness, making us co-heirs in the inheritance that He so rightly deserves, and we most certainly do not. None of the rapturous joys that fill the believer’s heart would be the same, had it not been for His birth in that lowly stable when God himself took on flesh.

      It is easy to be swept away by all the trappings of the season, but the believer must not lose the infinite worth found in Christ, in all the paltry tin of secular add-ons. As you prepare your home this season, be sure preparation is made to spend time with your savior through meditation on His word and prayer, for no heart is as full as the heart that is filled with Christ.

      May the Lord bless you this Christmas season,

      Doug




      The Meaning of Christmas

      (Cameron Buetell)

      [Link]
      (Feel free to distribute this holiday e-card.)





      Hope Shone Forth From an Infant Child - A Christmas Poem
      (Doug Eaton)




      Hope shone forth from an infant child.
      In the manger that cold dark night
      In humility, God himself appeared mild.
      Yet His plan moved forth in all its might.

      Salvation to humanity was born
      The angels could not help but sing
      This Infant Child would bear our scorn
      This newborn Sovereign King.

      Helpless was mankind in sin
      Until the star shone forth its light
      Our salvation to begin
      Bringing hope to the contrite

      The sin we bear has show n us guilty
      Under the righteousness of God
      Our defense is proven faulty
      As He sees through our façade

      But this Child would fulfill
      The law that we could not
      And by our sin, His blo od we’d spill
      to pay our debt and take our lot

      There is no guilt, which can’t be cleansed
      The darkest stains can be removed
      When His Grace has b een dispensed
      By Jesus Christ, in Him approved

      Let us worship the infant child
      Born, a life, to set us free
      By His grace we are beguiled
      Infant born of sov ereign decree

      -Doug Eaton-






      What is the Christmas Spirit?






      Sin, Sorrow, and the Joy of Christmas: A Meditation
      (Doug Eaton)


      The lights glow softly, the Christmas music plays, and wondrous thoughts of the birth of our Savior fill our minds. What a blessing it is for the believer who still finds childlike joy in this time of year. Being "grown-up" is a bit over-rated, because being "grown-up," according to the world, usually entails a constant stiff upper lip and a cynical heart. Now, there are times to be stout, to conceal your emotion, and be a bit guarded, but too often these virtues can be turned into vices. Just as there is time to be immovable, there is a time to be moved. There are things that should stir our hearts, and move us to childlike wonder, and the story of the birth of Jesus is one of those things.

      Sin is our greatest enemy, and it has been ever since the fall. In our natural condition, with hard hearts, we are the makers of our own demise, we despise what is good, and we love that which will destroy us. So much so that it seems we love our own destruction. The disgracefulness of our sin is of such a nature that it does exactly that; it destroys the natural graces in which mankind was created. Left alone we will do nothing but revel in our own corruption, making ourselves all the more miserable. And what is worse, is that we are constantly heaping upon ourselves the wrath of a Holy and just God who will not let any sin go unpunished, and at the thought of such things should cause us to weep.

      If this were where we were left, there would be no hope for any of us. But as we know, in the garden after the fall, God promised that He was going to give us a seed who would be the remedy for sin. What is often missed is the fact that right after this promise, we see a curse that was to come upon mankind for their sinful act of rebellion, and that curse was that God Himself was going to cause children to be brought forth in sorrow. Why would God do such a thing after such a wonderful promise? Of all the female creatures upon this earth, it seems that humans have the greatest sorrow during childbirth, but this sorrow is not without hope. Every time a woman grieves during the pain of childbirth, it is to be a reminder to us of the seriousness of sin. It is a proclamation of our depraved condition, but that is not all it is, it is also a gesture of God’s love for His people because He does not want us to evade the knowledge of our sinful condition and neglect the promised seed.

      As Mary gave birth that night in a dusty stable, she undoubtedly lamented in pain. Any of us who have pondered that night and have thought of the cold ground beneath her, with no doctor’s guidance, and no comforts of her own home, have heard her proclamation of the tyranny of sin. In sorrow she gave birth, but the Child was to be the death of her sorrow, and even the death of death itself. Like Rachel giving birth to Benjamin, she may have had the desire to call Him Benoni, the son of her sorrow, but the Father, God Himself, had already declared Him to be the Son of His Right Hand. His name was to be Jesus, for He was to save His People from their Sins.

      Christ, God incarnate, had entered our sin riddled world. From his first breath He was to be known as the Man of Sorrows, and He would endure it all because of His love for us. All we like sheep have gone astray, but as Christ suffered the sorrows of this fallen world, He never faltered in His righteousness. He then, like a lamb, willingly went to the slaughter never once opening His mouth in protest. Without fail, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and By His stripes we are healed.

      If this Christmas season is passing you
      by, and the thoughts of our Savior have
      not yet moved your heart to adoration,
      through the Spirits work, may the meditation of our great God and His Gospel invigorate our sin embattled hearts and produce once again the childlike wonder of the Christmas season. Through faith, He is the joy of our salvation. Though sorrow may still be a part of living in this fallen world, you can have joy in the knowledge that any sins over which you mourn, and any sorrows you face, have been conquered by the child who was
      born in the manger: Jesus Christ the Lord.

      Merry Christmas,

      Doug Eaton

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