Christianity Today’s online magazine Parse recently posited that the rise of the automobile laid the groundwork for the modern megachurch. It’s a recommended read that gets to the crux of a problem in modern Christianity – a problem that cars only amplified: our self-centeredness.
There are, of course, plenty of God-fearing Christians attending megachurches, but these churches commonly present a wide array of problematic practices. As the Parse piece details, these churches appeal to consumer-worshippers who are willing to drive to whichever church provides the most attractive platter of programs, comfort, and entertainment. The personal whims of the laity have become the primary shaper of the modern American church landscape.
So churches pull out all the stops. They pile on program upon program, childcare, coffee shops, stadium seating, and a multitude of services at multiple times on various days, to accommodate all the truly important things we fill our schedules with. But all of this effort isn’t getting megachurches very far. Just because people are in the pews today doesn’t mean they’re here to stay. Ligonier and Lifeway Research just released a significant survey on the current views and attitudes of American Christians. Half of the 3000 respondents said they thought worshipping alone or with family is just as good as going to church. This is consistent with a survey the Willow Creek megachurch did of its own members. In it they found that 63% of those “exhibit[ing] all the signs of full devotion” said they sometimes consider leaving the church. No matter how tasty the platter, the exultation of personal preference destroys the commitment of the Christian to his fellow believers in the church.
It’s hardly surprising that modern American Christians have largely abandoned our sense of duty and self-sacrifice when it comes to church. After all, we’ve been progressively ignoring our faith traditions for decades. The Ligonier survey found some disheartening (though not unexpected) responses. 45% of Americans believe there are many ways to heaven. 67% believe people are mostly good, and while 61% believe hell is a real place, most don’t seem to think many people will wind up there. Less than half of Americans believe the Bible is the Word of God, and only 43% say it is 100% accurate.
The survey numbers confirm the trends we see throughout American culture. Americans don’t believe in the traditional Christian God, we don’t believe in the Bible, our own gut feelings trump what the Bible and Christian tradition say, and we believe most people are basically good and will go to heaven. Above all, we believe the greatest commandment is to be nice and the greatest sin is to offend someone else.
Contrast this with the words of Jesus. When his disciples were concerned that he had offended the religious leaders of His day, Jesus responded “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” (Matthew 15:13-14) Hardly the words of someone worried about offending others. Indeed the core of the Gospel is about as offensive as you can get: All people are wretched sinners deserving of eternal damnation. But the Gospel also presents us with the greatest hope for loving forgiveness: all sins can be forgiven through the sacrificial work of Christ.
Perhaps success is the greatest enemy of the modern American Christian. We are comfortable, our basic needs are largely met, and we live in relative peace and security. Who wants to ruffle feathers by promoting hard truths or defending the Bible and Christian tradition in the face of the trends of the day? We have become ashamed of the Gospel as we grow accustomed to thinking of our achievements as the work of our own hands. We worry more about status and image than about the fate of souls. Self-centeredness is a root sin for all people, but it seems to be growing particularly well in the fertile heart of the modern American Christian.
So what would a return to our strong Christian tradition look like? And what would it mean for the broader American culture?
We would be more resistant to the trends and pressures of our culture. The “consensus” of the day is constantly changing, and we are far too willing to adapt our Christianity to the whims of culture. Holding to the words of the Bible and the traditions of 2000 years of Church history would do much to correct this pathetic “me too” sheepish pandering.
We would believe in the real God. Too often God is removed from the day-to-day thoughts of the comfortable American Christian. He only enters into the picture in times of personal crisis, of which we have relatively few. He is viewed like Santa Claus with a one dimensional personality: unconditional love, no strings attached. The traditional Christian God of the Bible is so much greater and more majestic than this. He is a God to live for, to believe in, and to be transformed by.
We would take our Bibles seriously, being transformed by our faith. We would show great love to our neighbor, great self-sacrifice, and a shocking reordering of priorities. We would fellowship with believers, help the poor, witness to others. We would take the Sabbath seriously, pray continually, and demonstrate humility. If the number of Americans who profess to be Christians today started living consistently with Scripture, our culture would be transformed overnight.
Sadly, the most we ever hear about Christian action today is a media report on the latest social justice movement. Some of these movements are worthwhile, but far too many are labels under which Christians are simply recommending more government action, in lieu of actually living out their own personal duty to love their neighbor. In truth, traditional biblical Christianity presents the best hope for a good life on earth: Love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself. These two great commandments have transformed humanity for millennia – they’re still relevant today. If more modern American Christians would act as actual Christians, the cultivation of our culture would be beautiful to watch.
Zachary Gappa is Managing Editor at the John Jay Institute Center for a Just Society and Operations Manager at Gappa Security Solutions
No other god of any religion has been subjected to humiliation for their followers’ sake but our only true God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus, the Christ. No man-made religion makes their god suffer as Christ did. It just doesn’t sell.
I’m going to share both sides of this “prophetic issue.”
On the one hand, world history shows that significant changes happen for Israel during the Blood Moons that affects everyone:
On the other hand, is this current Blood Moons event truly a biblical prophetic one?
Every prophecy of Scripture has had its opponents throughout history as well as in today’s world. But, in today’s world we see an abundance of those who will make merchandise of God’s holy prophetic word such as never before since the resurrection of Christ Jesus. Can we trust what those exploiters say about such events? Nevertheless, we do have to admit that we are nearer the Lord’s return to rule and reign on the earth.
Disclaimer: I am not endorsing anyone’s book/ ministry mentioned in this post
Western culture as a whole, and the United States in particular, has had a tremendous amount of light from God, and experienced many blessings from His hand. Yet, this culture seems intent upon continuing on its path to self-destruction. A few thoughts from the Christian worldview (while we are still allowed, we would hope, to express them).
The Message of the Coming One World Religion
After Five Centuries of Division, Catholics and Lutherans Consider Their Common Heritage
A new document, “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017,” has been released to pave the way for joint observances of Luther’s action by both Lutherans and Catholics, a development that certainly could not have been foreseen in previous centuries.
Signed by Catholic Bishop Karlheinz Diez, auxiliary bishop of Fulda, Germany, acting on behalf of the Catholic co-chairman of the International Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity, and Lutheran co-chairman Bishop Eero Huovinen, the bishop emeritus of Helsinki, Finland, “From Conflict to Communion” is the latest fruit of the dialogue between Lutheran and Catholic scholars that has been taking place since shortly after the Second Vatican Council, which put a new emphasis on ecumenism.
1 John 5:21 “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.”
Galatians 4:9-11: “But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.”
Hosea 4:6&7: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame.”
Deuteronomy 12:30 (NIV) “…and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.”
Christmas is a thoroughly pagan holiday — in its origin, in its trappings, and in all its traditions. Perhaps we should contemplate the words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, delivered in a Lord’s Day sermon on December 24, 1871:
“We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because [it’s] not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour’s birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. …
“It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the church celebrated the nativity of our Lord; and it was not till very long after the Western church had set the example, that the Eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known, therefore superstition has fixed it; … Where is the method in the madness of the superstitious? Probably the fact is that the holy days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. … We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which the Saviour was born, it is the twenty-fifth of December. … regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.”
And from Dr. H.A. Ironside’s Lectures on the Book of Revelation (1920: p. 301):
“It is a lamentable fact that Babylon’s principles and practices are rapidly but surely pervading the churches that escaped from Rome at the time of the Reformation. We may see evidences of it in the wide use of high-sounding ecclesiastical titles, once unknown in the reformed churches, in the revival of holy days and church feasts such as Lent, Good Friday, Easter, and Christ’s Mass, or, as it is generally written, Christmas. … some of these festivals … when they are turned into church festivals, they certainly come under the condemnation of Galatians 4:9-11, where the Holy Spirit warns against the observance of days and months and times and seasons. All of them, and many more that might be added, are Babylonish in their origin, and were at one time linked with the Ashtoreth and Tammuz mystery-worship. It is through Rome that they have come down to us; and we do well to remember that Babylon is a mother, with daughters who are likely to partake of their mother’s characteristics …”
And, finally, from Alexander Hislop’s 1916 classic, The Two Babylons:
On the Papal Worship: “Upright men strove to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostasy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That Christmas is a Pagan festival is beyond all doubt. The time of the year and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin.”
*A rose by any other name is still a rose and the same can be said of a god-call that baby in the manger “Jesus” all you want but it is still Tammuz in God’s sight. You give honor to another god if you celebrate this X Mass. Its not what you believe in your heart that you are doing, its what God says you are doing. Please reconsider this celebration. God bless you as you do.
Rick Warren says the moon god of islam is the same God of Judaism and Christianity. That makes him a false teacher and heretic.
“Who knew that Rick Warren and Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) were this close?” Spencer wrote. “Did they sing a few choruses of Cat’s nasheed that contains the lines, ‘I’m praying to Allah to give us victory over the kuffar?’”
Spencer said he was not surprised, however, noting Warren previously has addressed the convention of the Hamas- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Society of North America.
Warren, Spencer said, also “apologized to Muslims, but wasn’t sure what for” and now “he is palling around with Mr. Peace Train” in the name of “dialogue” and “interfaith outreach.”
Spencer quoted from a 1989 New York Times report of Stevens’ response when asked about attending a demonstration to burn an effigy of Rushdie: “I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing.”
(there are many links in above article pointing out some of Warren’s exploits)
Not that any Christmas worshipers will listen and take heed but for those who truly love the Lord and want to be pleasing in all things in His sight I post this:
Please DO NOT click the LIKE icon unless you have listened to, and agreed with, the main idea of the video. You only look like you are double-minded when you click LIKE on my anti-X Mass posts.
I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen for some of this movement’s
rhetoric demagoguery concerning politics. I’m certain there are a few posts on my blog to verify that I have. I was in a Tea Party Forum and was noticing alot of this belief by those who identified themselves as Christians. I’ve always had a problem with Alex Jones types who rarely let their listeners and/or readers know that God is ultimately in control and not a bunch of power hungry elites that attend the Bohemian Grove meetings. Not that its any of my business, but I have wondered if any of these Christian Patriots do the gritty spiritual warfare of praying for our nation’s political leaders with as much fervor as they have in demonizing them. Anyway, this Christian Patriot Movement was news to me so I figured that I should pass it along so we, by God’s grace, may be careful and discerning especially in the heated political climate of our nation today.
By Don Koenig
There has been a great sucking sound coming from some people who say they are Christians. The sound is that of their brains being sucked out of their heads and then being replaced with the hot air of illogical rhetoric. The brain suckers are those that are making a living on the fears of those who correctly see we are near the last days but have little faith in God. Christian patriots are led to think that they are going to fight the Beast of Revelation from the backwoods of America.
There are many Internet sites and talk radio programs that are proclaiming that the “illuminated ones” are about to bring in their secret plan to set up a world government and bring in the Antichrist. The leadership of this movement identify themselves as Christians but some of what they are teaching Christians is clearly Satanic. Those that get sucked into this movement are just as much controlled by Satan as are the one-world socialists that they oppose.
The philosophy of the Christian patriot movement is that there are a few powerful occult families that are so powerful that they run the affairs of the whole world. They believe these satanic “illuminated ones” decide who will become the leaders of the world and all top levels of government. There may be some truth in this belief but what they fail to realized is that God is in ultimate control of the world and all governments. The illuminated ones they speak of are not men but are fallen spirits who possess and influence powerful men. The “Beast” world government controlled by the man of sin will not and cannot come until God allows it. This will not happen until the mid-point of the time known as the seven-year tribulation. This world government called the Beast and that is led by the Beast cannot occur until the restraining influence of true Christians within governments are removed.
Many in the Christian patriot movement state that Christians need to prepare to protect themselves with arms for the coming tribulation that is already underway or about to immediately take place (many of these obviously hold an erroneous post tribulation rapture of the Church theology). The Christian Identity cult is at the root of this deception. I will not discuss the neo-Nazi replacement theology that Christian Identity teaches in this article. I will just say, the core evil doctrine the Christian Identity cult embraces would be quite obvious to any real Christian. Nevertheless, many Christian patriots now accept, practice, and believe some of the evil lying doctrine that originated in the Christian Identity cult. Some of the evils Christian patriots have embraced are listed below.
Much of the Christian patriot movement disrespects government leaders and authority that scripture says were put there by God. We are told to pray for our leaders, we are not to make railing accusations
- Christian patriots are told to arm themselves and to be prepared to fight the new world order while scripture says that we are to be peaceful and willing to go like sheep to the slaughter
- Christian patriots are told that they are not required to pay their taxes but scripture tells us we are to support the government put over us as the government requires.
- Christian patriots believe it is in God’s will to isolate themselves instead of being a light to the world
- Christians patriots slander, speak hearsay as truth and create a self perpetuating cycle of half truths and lies
- Christian patriots are taught self-reliance instead of relying on God
- Some Christian patriots have allowed themselves to be led by bigoted white supremacists
- Many Christian patriots think that the U.S. is the Promised Land. They believe the lie that they are descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel. They then apply to themselves scripture that is meant for the true descendants of Israel
- Many Christian patriots believe that the U.S. is the promised kingdom on earth. Thus, they might end up fighting for a world order led by America and Europe that will actually bring the Antichrist to power.
- Many people in the Christian patriot movement do not take part in any real orthodox Christian worship or fellowship and have little Bible scholarship. They tend to use passages in the Old Testament and apply them out of proper context to themselves but they conveniently overlook the more relevant messages of the New Testament
- Many Christian patriots accept false prophets if what they say is in agreement with their conspiracy theories. It does not even seem to matter to them that the prophecies do not come to pass. For example, their “prophets” had been saying that their would be a UN led invasion of the United States before the year 2000. Nothing like this can possibly happen unless we have civil war in the United States and actually plead for foreign troops to help restore order.
Read more here: http://www.thepropheticyears.com/cults/new%20world%20order.HTM
by Joe Garnett
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it .He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. Romans 14:5-6
Proponents of Christmas often appeal to these verses to defend their celebration of this pagan holy day. At first glance this scripture appears to support their position. But the Bible student should look closer, determining the context and whether this passage can have application to the syncretistic festival of Christmas.
Most commentators teach that Romans 14 deals with Christian liberty. It does, by way of interpretation, only narrowly. By way of interpretation merely two problems are covered, that of whether or not to eat certain meats and whether or not to observe certain days. With regard to Christmas, it is needful that we deal only with the observing of days.
The disputes in this passage take place not because there are simply differences of opinions. The disputes arise because some in the church are weak (immature) and others are strong (mature). This is important to keep in mind because in time one should expect the problem to be solved by the immature becoming mature. (Of course we understand that there might be others coming into the church continually with the same problem, thus protracting the dilemma for some time).
The goal of Biblical instruction is to make the saint a mature person in Jesus Christ (Col. 1:28). Thus in regard to this passage, we need to understand that if all the believers in the church had reached a certain degree of maturity, the problem would not have existed. The solution that Paul gives should be considered a temporary solution for these weak brothers and not a permanent one. (No one would disagree that Christians should always respect and love each other). We should expect these who are now weak to one day become strong as they reside under proper instruction.
The specific problem in verses 5-6a concerns the keeping of days. It appears that the majority of commentators understand the problem to arise from young Jewish converts to the Christian faith. These converts feel obligated to continue to observe Jewish holy days. This should not surprise us for these were proper days for them to observe prior to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have not at this time received the understanding that it is no longer necessary for them to observe these days under the new covenant. We find them in a transition period in which they are confused. If they were to not observe these days they would feel that they were not being obedient to God. They don’t have a grasp on the glorious truth that the work of the Lord Jesus Christ is complete and the days that they observe are only shadows of His fullness (Col. 2:17).
To summarize, I make these observations:
- The dispute involves different understandings between weak and strong brothers in Christ.
- The weak feel that they must observe the Jewish holy days as they were previously commanded to do.
- The strong understand the completed work of Jesus Christ and the new covenant make these days obsolete.
- These different understandings cause dissension.
- The only possible solution at this time is for both groups to accept one another in love.
- In time we should expect the weak to become mature after they have been instructed in the truth and come to an understanding of what Jesus Christ has accomplished.
This is believed to be the interpretation of this passage or its proper understanding. Thus we must expect anyone making application from this passage to keep this understanding in mind at all times.
This is the question which now comes before us: Is the Christian observance of Christmas protected by way of application in this passage? To determine this let us consider the circumstances involved in both cases and see if there are any likenesses.
|Situation addressed in Romans 14||Situation of present day X-mass celebrants|
|The young Jewish believers observed a day.||Those who celebrate Christmas are celebrating a season and a festival. Although they claim to celebrate a day, their actions betray them. Long before the day arrives they will be putting up trees, shopping for presents (not for Jesus), building and placing creches, decorating with lights and other objects (many of occultic background), planning and going to parties and endlessly talking about these activities.|
|The Jewish converts were keeping days that they were previously obligated to observe.||The Christmas celebration has never been sanctified by scripture. It is built upon the lie, which is acknowledged by most everyone, that Jesus Christ was born on December 25. Rather than having support from the word of God, it is man made religion which is condemned by Jesus (Matt. 15:9).|
|When the weak Jewish convert kept a day, there were disciplines that he performed. For instance, if he felt he needed to keep the sabbath, he had instruction from the scripture with regard to his activity (Deut. 5:12-14).||The celebrants of Christmas adhere to no spiritual disciplines. If they were to spend the day in the scripture with fasting and prayer they could at least be commended. However, the day will be spent by most in a festive atmosphere, eating, exchanging gifts and doing whatever they choose to do. These are the same “spiritual disciplines” that the pagans have done as this Babylonian festival evolved.|
|The observances of these young Jewish believers did not take place in the church. The day that the weak brother regarded, he regarded it unto the Lord. The observance that he performed he rendered without the presence of those who did not wish to take part in the observance. For certain observances he most likely went to the synagogue. The strong brother was not required to endure the observances of the weak.||The Christmas celebration takes place within the church as well as in the world. In most churches the celebration generally consumes the month of December with decorations in the church building, parties, programs and some emphasis in all the services. If there is one who does not desire to celebrate, he must choose between being absent or enduring the festival.|
|The weak Jewish brother could be expected in time to mature and be released in conscience from observing obsolete holy days.||The celebrant of Christmas expects to continue in a syncretistic fable originating from Babylonian mystery religion on a day when the now glorified Son of God was not born.|
Thus, this writer concludes that Romans 14 does not exonerate the practice of Christmas from scriptural condemnation. The day that the weak Jewish convert observed was a day formally warranted by scripture with designated disciplines. It was observed outside the church without involving the strong.
The weak brother could be expected in time to mature in conscience and no longer feel obligated to observe it.
In contrast, the “day” the Christmas celebrant celebrates is a pagan originated festival of unknown duration having no basis in scripture nor God-ordained disciplines. It is celebrated in the church and considered immutable. Thus we see that there is no relationship between the two “holy” days.
The scripture condemns such practices as Christmas. Jeremiah 10:2,3 tell us to “learn not the way of the heathen” and that “the customs of the people are vain.” In Matthew 15:9 Jesus explains that men worship Him in vain, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” In Colossians 2:8 we are told to beware lest someone should spoil us “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the rudiments of the world.” I Timothy 1:4 instructs us to “neither give heed to fables … which minister questions.”
Jude 3 exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The “faith” is the body of truth contained in the scripture. Matthew 28:20 reveals that what is to be taught and observed are “all things whatsoever I (Jesus) have commanded you.” Titus 2:1 commands us to “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.”
Christmas is a deceitful Babylonian fable with assorted heathen traditions added through the centuries. You cannot mix it with Christianity and call it “worship in spirit and truth” any more than you can mix skunk manure with honey and call it a feast.
Christmas is not part of the faith for which we are to contend. It is not that which the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded us to observe. It is not sound doctrine. Christians should abhor it for the demonically inspired Babylonian myth that it is.
Elder Keith Ellis on X mas-You Tube
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
Is this a practice in your church in even the slightest way? Swooning is one thing but these manifestations are NOT of the Holy Spirit!
Lighthouse Trails Kundalini Energy (the effects of Soaking Prayer)
Everything in time and space had a beginning. I had a beginning; you had a beginning. The houses we live in had a beginning. The clothes we wear had a beginning. There was a time when our houses, our clothes, cars, washing machines, and ourselves, did not exist. They were not. Nothing could be more obvious.
Because we are surrounded by things and by people that obviously had a beginning, we are tempted to jump to the conclusion that everything had a beginning. Such a conclusion, however, would be a fatal leap into the abyss of absurdity. It would be fatal to religion. It would also be fatal to science and to reason.
Why? Did I not say that everything in time and space had a beginning? Isn’t that the same thing as saying simply that everything had a beginning? By no means. It is simply logically and scientifically impossible that everything had a beginning. Why? If everything that exists once had a beginning, then there had to be a time when nothing existed.
Stop for a moment to reflect. Try to imagine nothing existing. Absolutely nothing. We can’t even conceive of absolute nothingness. The very concept is merely the negation of something.
Yet, if there ever was such a time when absolutely nothing existed, what would there be now? Right. Nothing! If ever there was nothing, then by resistless logic, there would always be nothing. There’s not even an “always” during which there could be nothing.
Why can we be so sure, indeed, absolutely certain, that if ever there was nothing then there would be nothing now? The answer is astonishingly simple, despite the fact that extremely intelligent people often stumble over the obvious. The answer is simply that you can’t get something from nothing. An absolute law of science and logic is ex nihilo nihil fit, (out of nothing, nothing comes). Nothing cannot produce anything. Nothing can’t laugh, sing, cry, work, dance, or breathe. It certainly can’t create. Nothing can’t do anything because it isn’t anything. It doesn’t exist. It has no power whatsoever because it has no being.
For something to come out of nothing it would have to possess the power of self-creation. It would have to be able to create itself or bring itself into existence. But that is a manifest absurdity. For something to create or produce itself it would have to be before it is. But if something already is, it doesn’t need to be created. To create itself, something would have to be and not be, exist and not exist, at the same time and in the same respect. That is a contradiction. It violates the most fundamental of all rational and scientific laws, the law of noncontradiction.
If we know anything, we know that if anything exists now, then somehow, somewhere, something did not have a beginning. I am aware that brilliant thinkers such as Bertrand Russell, in his famous debate with Frederick Copelston, argued that the present universe is the result of an “infinite series of finite causes.” It poses an endless series, working backwards into eternity, of one caused thing causing another forever. This idea merely compounds the problem of self-creation infinitely. It is a fundamentally silly concept. The fact that it has been proposed by intelligent people makes it no less silly. It’s worse than silly. Silly things can be real. But this concept is logically impossible.
Russell can deny the law that out of nothing, nothing comes, but he cannot refute it without committing mental suicide. We know (with logical certitude) that if anything exists now, then there must be something that did not have a beginning. Now the question becomes what or who.
Many serious scholars believe that the answer to the what is found within the universe itself. They argue (as Carl Sagan does) that there is no need to go above or beyond the universe to find something that had no beginning from which everything else comes. That is, we need not assume something like “God” who is transcendent to the universe. The universe or something in it can do the job quite well itself.
There is a subtle error lurking in the above scenario. It has to do with the meaning of the term transcendent. In philosophy and theology the idea of transcendence means that God is “above and beyond” the universe in the sense that He is a higher order of being than other beings. We commonly refer to God as the supreme Being.
What makes the supreme Being different from a human being? Notice that both concepts share a common word, being. When we say that God is the supreme Being, we are saying that He is a being who differs in kind from other ordinary beings. What precisely is that difference? He is called supreme because He has no beginning. He is supreme because all other beings owe their existence to Him, and He owes His existence to none other than Himself. He is the eternal Creator. Everything else is the work of His creation.
When Carl Sagan and others say that in the universe, and not above it or beyond it, there is something that is not created, he is merely quibbling about the Creator’s address. He is saying that what is uncreated lives here (within the universe), not “out there” (above or transcendent to the universe). But he still requires a supreme Being. His mysterious part of the universe from which all created things come is still beyond and above everything else in the creation in terms of being. In other words, there still must be a transcendent Being.
The more we probe this “within-the-universe Creator,” the more it or He begins to sound like God. He is uncreated. He creates everything else. He, or it, has the power in itself of being.
What is crystal clear is that if something exists now, then there must be a supreme Being from which all other beings come. The first assertion of the Bible is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This text is foundational to all Christian thought. It is not only a religious statement, it is a rationally necessary concept.
- Everything in time and space has a beginning.
- Something cannot come from nothing. Nothing cannot do anything.
- If ever there was nothing, then nothing could exist now.
- Something exists now; therefore something must exist that has no beginning.
- Things cannot create themselves because they would have to be before they are.
- If some “part” of the universe is uncreated, then it is superior or transcendent to the parts that have a beginning.
- An uncreated being is supreme (a higher order of being than created beings), regardless of where it lives.
- Transcendence refers to a level of being, not to geography
Years ago I was involved in the charismatic movement at a hyper-charismatic Assemblies of God church. Oh, we so loved our experiences of being slain in the Spirit and tongues jabbering! We were ultra-spiritual! I can say in hindsight that I worshiped the experiences and not God (though I thought I was honoring God and worshiping Him only). Now, the upper echelon of the Assemblies of God does not, the last time I looked it up, approve of such things and haven’t since they declared it in the 1940’s. However, go to any AG site and they extol the manifestations as biblically sound. These are heretical teachings but you, the reader, if you believe them to be true then I cannot convince you otherwise. I do know that I once prayed to God to reveal to me all of the lies I had believed were the truth and, oh my! did God ever open my eyes to the truth of scriptures on my beliefs! Prior to this, no one could convince me that the very scriptures I was now reading revealing the truth of those lies were the truth of the matter. I had been worshiping a different God, a different Jesus. Truth is not multi-faceted. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If the Truth is not according to God’s Word then the foundation of your “truth” will skew the way and the life of your Christian beliefs and walk.
There is a new kid in Churchtown called Spiritual Formation. Oh, this little imp has been around awhile but its gaining in popularity due to Christians not exercising discernment like good Bereans. All false doctrine relies on lazy believers who do not exercise discernment. Or they do as I once did in elevating the teacher/preacher to an unquestionable level, i.e., they knew what they were talking about and what did I know? I really didn’t think to pray for help in knowing the truth from spiritual fiction. I studied the Word of God but it was from a false foundation of “truth.” But when I prayed for help in discerning what was being taught, God would reveal other scriptures to either debunk or to validate the teaching. He wants us to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. This Spiritual Formation teaching was making inroads in that ol’ AG church I attended and so the prophecies became more abundant and mystical. One thing I did know back then was that when God spoke to His prophets there was no wondering if it was from Him or not. There were no vague visions, either, that the recipient didn’t ask God for clarification and received it. Daniel and John being the exceptions. Though a prophet didn’t understand the things he was seeing, he knew God was the revealer and that the things he was seeing were going to come to pass and that he was sent to give warning. No question about it! So, what is this incidious creep of a practice?
There are those that think God gives direct messages like some weak radio signal and if they get their flesh quiet enough and their spiritual importance antenna high enough above the rest, they can tune in and hear His latest broadcast. Believe me, when God spoke to His prophets they had absolutely no problem hearing Him. I do not recall one prophet ever saying huh or having to go through a learning curve like some modern false prophets claim when they are proven wrong. The one time God spoke audibly to Israel they were so terrified that they asked Him not to speak to them again lest they die (Ex 20:19). Presumptious false prophets claiming to hear from God ought to take heed and repent. (bold mine)
The mind is deceitful and it plays tricks. As a new Christian in the Charismatic Movement of the 1970′s, I was taught that I needed to speak in tongues, so I did. However, it did not take long for me to realize that when using and interpreting my “prayer language” I was really telling myself what I wanted to hear. In other words, through tongues, I was making God say things to me that He was not saying. When I realized that, I stopped the practice and separated from churches that were teaching people to interpret illusions of their own minds. How is this Spiritual Formation with its contemplative prayer any different?
Today, hearing from God is being taught everywhere. The methods are the same that Eastern pagan mystics and Catholic mystics use to hear from the spirits. Thanks to the influence of Charismatic movement leaders, and the Spiritual Formation discipline taught in almost all Bible colleges, most of the Evangelical movement now believes that direct revelation from God is something to be achieved. (bold mine)
(minor grammatical corrections made)
As things wax worse and worse we, as Christians, need to step up our discernment exercising. This is not a time for spiritual laziness. We need to ask God to reveal to us all the lies that we have been believing as truth and put our love for God, and not the spiritual experiences, first and foremost. And, believe me, when you know the Truth you will try to tell those you love to stop their ungodly practices and you will be ridiculed for it and even told that you are the erring one. They may even seperate themselves from you because they are so absolutely positive that God moves in their church and/or worship. Don’t argue or debate with them but pray for God to open their eyes to the truth also. Only He can do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:21- but test everything; hold fast what is good. ESV
John 17:3- And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. ESV
Matthew 7:21- “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 heavendisclaimer: I am not denigrating all AG congregants/pastors/churches as I have known of many who do not allow such heretical shenanigans in their church or of their person in worshiping God
In this video, Johanna Michaelson addresses the invasion of the occult in Christianity by reason of christianizing pagan practices. She shows how this is not fooling God and that even the elect can be deceived, though only for a time. She knows full well what she speaks of. When she talked of the practice of yoga by Christians it also reminded me of the christianized pagan Christ Mass celebration so I decided to post this video now, during this “season” to help, hopefully, God’s children to be more discerning in all that we are doing for His glory, that it be of the right, true spirit of God. Even if you see no reason to stop celebrating the Christ Mass, I hope this will help you to be careful what you are doing because of the spiritual consequences of allowing pagan and occultic practices into your life. We are to do all as unto the Lord so we do want to be careful that what we do is of God’s Spirit and is approved of Him. Have your Bible at the ready if you would like to follow along with her teaching.
The fascinating history of the KJV Word of God and the Reformation.
note: I am not a King James Version only Christian but I do believe that Christians must be discerning as to which version of Scriptures are read. Do your research!
…Americans boldly proclaimed the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, in the public and government arena. I was reading an article by Reverend Mark H. Creech titled, Public prayer in Jesus’ name: yes or no?, and it made me wax nostalgic for the times before I was born. Yes, its possible to do that when you love old books, like the reverend and I do. In his article, he tells of an old Army and Navy Service book for chaplains that his daughter bought for him and in it he noticed George Washington’s prayer. I will refer you to his article to read that prayer and his commentary. My commentary will be similar to it.
Well, this prayer of Washington’s piqued my interest so I dug out my old Army and Navy Hymnal book that my late fiance had when he was in the service during the Viet Nam War. Its copyright date: 1941. That old? I love it! It was from the time of WWII and I immediately wondered at the history it has seen if it could only talk. Sadly, it had to be retired. Besides, the next big war was the Gulf War and it would have been replaced with a newer, more generic hymnal by then, I’m sure, since the mentioning of Jesus’ Name was starting to wane by public and state proclamations. Thankfully, this treasure fell into my hands. I love the old book. I just have to use the computer to search for the old hymns to hear their tune. Some of them I do know. Oh! I once attended a church that had Old Hymns night, where all the gray heads would play their respective instruments, if they played one, and belt out those old songs with smiling eyes and tapping foot.
I opened up the book to its first page and there’s “A Prayer for the Army.” It says:
Lord God of Hosts, whose power is from everlasting, and whose Name is above every name in heaven and on earth: keep, we pray Thee, under thy protecting care the Army of our country and all who serve therein. Defend them amid violence on land or sea or in the heavens, and grant that they may be a sure defense and a safeguard for the people of the United States and a security for such as come and go in peaceful and lawful pursuit. In time of peace keep them from evil, and in the day of conflict suffer not their courage to fail: that they may guard the American heritage against those who would destroy or straiten the liberties of government by the people, and to the end that the blessings of religion and law may be preserved to posterity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I’ll make no more comment on our great religious heritage that has now been relegated to the private citizen’s closet so as not offend the athiest and islamist. You, my reader, may have your own thoughts on this and I hope you will share them in the comments below. Please do read Reverend Creech’s article, too. Its a “good-un!”
(I do want to add this little note though-that the only religions mentioned in the Hymnal are the Catholics, the Protestants, and the Jewish. Hmmm…Islam gets no mention. Evidently, Muslims were of no consequence at that time.)