The Prosperity Gospel has Gone Viral

prosperity-gospel

What do you think of when you read the words “Prosperity Gospel”? Odds are your stomach turns a bit as you think about the preachers on television that speak to very large crowds and appeal to even more in their books. More than likely you look at it as “out there” rather than “in here”. In one sense this is good. The shenanigans that some of those religious hucksters engage in should never be replicated in our churches. In another sense however, it’s naive. One does not have to cruising around in a private jet or be dressed ostentatiously to qualify as a promoter of the prosperity gospel. It is more subtle. And it is more pervasive.

Click here to read more:  http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/erikraymond/2015/10/01/the-prosperity-gospel-has-gone-viral/

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Westminster Confession 25:6

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MARTIN LUTHER AND THE POWER OF THE KEYBOARD (PEN)

Exceptional!

Pen and write

MARTIN LUTHER AND THE POWER OF THE KEYBOARD (PEN)

Martin Luther once penned the quote, “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” And change the world Martin did. But how? By first picking up a pen and writing …

We left Martin with a decision, a decision to remain quiet or to speak out. What do you think he did? In the words of Martin himself: “If he has faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this gospel to the people at the risk of life itself.” And that’s exactly what Martin did.

He began by writing a letter to his bishop, Albert of Mainz, writing how ridiculous and sinful the sale of indulgences were. In the letter he enclosed a copy of his famous Ninety-Five Theses, actually called 95 Theses on the Power and…

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We Need Christ

Tetzel

Martin Luther (1483-1546) strongly challenged the church of his day over un-biblical practices like forgiving sins for financial contributions or the veneration of artifacts, that were drastically clouding over the Good News. It’s recorded that Luther’s spiritual father at the time pleaded with him to take it easy and not push so hard for reformation.  “But Martin, if we get rid of all these things – the practices so many common people cling to – what will we give them in their place?

Luther replied firmly and intently, “Why, Sir, we will give them Christ! Yes, we will give them Christ!”

Churchianity is today ripe with our share of un-Biblical practices. Traditions. Rituals. Spiritualism. Relativism. Cultural relevance. Religion.

What we need is Christ.

I did not come to you with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:1-2).

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Training Pastors in God’s Word

Berean School of Ministry

One of the highlights of my time in Kenya were the two days I spent with the students and faculty of the Berean School of Ministry in the city of Tala.

The school began a year ago when three pastors (Isaac Mathembe, Joshua Mbohdo, and Peter Kaloki) determined to train other pastors to rightly divide the Word of truth. Most Kenyan pastors have no Bible or theological training.

I was humbled to address and encourage these men and women in the Scriptures and then again when I was made a part of the faculty and asked to return and teach. There was a special request to spend 3 months teaching through Romans.

My wife and I are committed to this school and the training of Kenyan pastors to carefully, and with integrity, handle the Word of God. If you would like to sponsor a student’s education, please let me know.

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God Hates Abuse

monkey no see, hear, speak

Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:2).

Usually this devotional blog is on the lighter side; today is different.

I grew up in a home of abuse. There were good times, as there are in every home, but there were also very bad times. My father abused my mother and the four of us children in unspeakable ways.

When my mother gained the courage to speak up, her pastor told her she had no alternative but to stay in the abusive relationship. Gratefully, she did not. Divorce is the modern unpardonable sin.

Shamefully, Christian leaders have for too long failed to address the issue of domestic abuse, whether of children against their elderly parents, spousal, or parent against child. They have only one answer for abuse: stay even if it kills you or scars your children for life. This is not God’s design for the home, it is not godly, and it is not an expression of love to be emulated in the church.

As the eldest child of a pedophile, how am I to “honor” my father?

Let me begin by saying that honor doesn’t mean staying in an abusive or neglectful relationship. Neglect and abuse are sin, and as a Christian, staying in that relationship is enabling that sin to continue. It’s as wrong as giving meth to an addict or providing drugged women to a rapist.

Honor isn’t pretending the spouse or parent is “good” and that everything is “fine.” Honor isn’t giving in, keeping your mouth shut, or accepting how you’re being treated. Dishonorable people – parents or spouses – demand respect for their sin; to enable them is also sin.

Sometimes the only way to honor someone who isn’t honorable is to walk away, “divorce” yourself from that person and situation, and never look back. Value the dishonorable parent as the one who gave you life, but a parent (or spouse) who refuses to acknowledge his sin and persists in it to the physical, emotional, or spiritual harm of his children or spouse shouldn’t be rewarded with more victims.

And spiritual leaders must not cover their eyes, ears, and mouths like monkeys answering with the “no divorce” mantra. God hates abuse too.

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The Holiness of God

dark and light

There are those today who call themselves Christians and see little or no difference between the child of God and the child of the Devil (John 8:44, 47); believing that all people reflect God in their lives. The Holy God is reduced to common, ordinary, and made in our image.

I was part of a denomination which went so far in its “Church Revitalization” program to require its pastors to invite unsaved people from the church neighborhood in for a Sunday service to critique and offer suggestions on making the services more welcoming to them. It’s akin to inviting a blind man to scrutinize the Mona Lisa or a dead women to plan your party.

In Ephesians 2, Paul listed some of the grim conditions of the unsaved person and the benefits of being in Christ. Remember that you … were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you were once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ …. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Ephesians 2:11-13, 19).

Rejoice! Child of God. You are different through Jesus.

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