Friday, November 30, 2007

Truth Quote of the Week

"The things of truth are things which are in keeping with the Person of Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ: “I am . . . the Truth.” Truth therefore means not only accuracy, but accuracy about something that corresponds with God. We must distinguish between an accurate fact and a truthful fact. The devil, sin, disease, spiritualism, are all accurate facts, but they are not truthful facts. Christian Science makes the blunder of saying that because sin is not of the nature of truth, therefore it is not a fact. But sin is a fact. The accuracy of facts and the accuracy of the facts of truth are two different things. Never say that things that are not of the truth are non-existent. There are many facts that are not of the truth, that is, they do not correspond with God, Paul says, Limit your thinking to the things that are true."

Chambers, Oswald: The Moral Foundation of Life : A Series of Talks on the Ethical Principles of the Christian Life. Hants UK : Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996, c1966

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Willow Creek Makes Partial Confession

I'm a little late in posting this, as I came across this article several weeks ago. But since I have already written a few posts about Willow Creek, I wanted to be faithful to post another one! The Baptist Press (BP) posted an article earlier in the month about Willow Creek's "confession" of their failures.

The BP quotes Bill Hybels describing the results of Willow Creek's multi-year study on the effectiveness of their ministry as "ground breaking," "earth shaking," and "mind blowing." I just wonder, what was he expecting to find? When you break away from the Scriptures to do your own thing, you end in failure. I don't see what is so mind blowing about that.

The BP article quotes Hybels as saying, "Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn't helping people that much. Other things that we didn't put that much money into and didn't put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for."

Sad. What if all that money would have went to missions, or to even just print Bibles? It doesn't cost anything to teach people the Bible. It does cost money though to entertain people.

Also quoted in the article Hybels states: "We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become 'self feeders.' We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their Bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own."

This is like one of my previous posts. You have to be a self-feeder, because they aren't going to feed you. People have to read their Bible "between the services," because they sure aren't going to get it during the services! Wow! They still don't get it! All this money, all this research, all this time, and they still don't get it.

It is my prayer that they will start to exposit the Scriptures for people during the services and feed their hungry souls!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Homosexuality vs. Truth

The below article from shows the battle on the horizon. The homosexual movement seems to be picking up steam and we need to be ready to take a stand no matter what the costs. Please pray for this school to honor the Lord in its actions as they seek to stand for truth. Even the title of the article is a dig at the school for its biblical stand for truth.

School Slammed for Gay Slur

Published: 14th November 2007 17:01 CET

A school in Stockholm with a Christian profile has received a rap on the knuckles from school authorities for teaching children that homosexuality is sinful.

The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) directed its criticism at the privately run Andreas Gymnasium School following a news item broadcast by SVT during the summer.

Having heard the headmaster say that homosexual activity was sinful, the youth wing of RFSL - the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights - reported the school to the education agency.

Following an inspection, the agency ruled that the head teacher's comments on homosexuality were incompatible with the anti-discrimination policy laid down in the national curriculum.

The agency has given the school until November 30th to show what measures it has taken to rectify the situation.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

For your edification I thought I would post the original Thanksgiving Day proclamation:

George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Battle Rages

For some Christians around the world the battle for truth costs them much. The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) ministry highlights the persecution of believers that is taking place around the world. In many of these situations people are beaten, killed, and persecuted in other ways just for professing Jesus as their Lord and Savior. For them the stand for truth is very costly.

I wanted to highlight the VOM ministry so you can be informed about what is taking place around the world, and so you can pray for these dear brothers and sisters in the battle for Truth. It is said that more believers have been persecuted and died for the faith in the last century than all the centuries combined after the resurrection of Christ.

At VOM you can sign up for a weekly email that will give you updates and reports of various situations taking place, and is a great way to know how to better pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The Price Paid For Your Freedom

Lest you and I take for granted the freedom we have, CLICK HERE to see the price at which it has come. The pictures say it all.

Never take for granted the freedom you enjoy, and take time to pray for these brave men and women.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reformation Needed

Five hundred years ago the Reformation was in its beginning stages. It began with the teachings of Wycliffe, continued through Hus, and was brought to a head through Luther. These were men who were willing to go against the grain and call sin, sin. They were men who were not afraid of what others thought or gave any thought to how many people would show up for worship on Sunday. These were men who preached what they believed the Word of God to teach.

Today in many churches the pendulum has swung. I think these two pictures show the great gulf that exists between what these men sought to accomplish through preaching and what is taking place in some pulpits today.

Hus preached that the cup of the Lord's Table was even for the laity. Because of it and other stands he took for truth, he was persecuted and in the end counted a heretic. When facing execution unless he recanted, here is what he did as quoted from The Foxe's Book of Martyers:

When the fagots were piled up to his very neck, the duke of Bavaria was so officious as to desire him to abjure. “No, (said Huss;) I never preached any doctrine of an evil tendency; and what I taught with my lips I now seal with my blood.”
As seen above there are pulpits today that clown around with the Lord's Table. Such men have nothing to preach, and would certainly seal nothing with their blood. Most preachers would not go to such extremes as to put on a clown suit, but there is certainly a need for a reformation in the Church. The Reformation that is needed today is one that has needed to be repeated throughout history; it must be a reformation of the preaching of the Word of God. I was talking to a brother today about the state of the Church here in Europe. Where are the men drawing lines in the sand who say, "here is what the Bible says, and here is where I stand?"

Instead we have people seeking unity rather than purity, people seeking peace instead of truth, people seeking love instead of righteousness, and people seeking to build their self-esteem instead of building the kingdom of God. For change to come about it must begin with fearless, truth-preaching, non-compromising, God-seeking, holy, devout, bold, unashamed men of God. That is how the Reformation 500 years ago began, and that is what it will take for another one to return the Church to a proper worship and exultation of God.

Such men as Wycliffe, Hus, and Luther weren't preaching to bring attention to themselves and build a large congregation. They were preaching from the heart seeking to see the Word of God go forth. It was a selfless pursuit, in fact it was a God-pursuit.

Five hundred years ago the need was for a reformation of the corrupt Catholic Church, which brought about the growth of the True Church. Today we need a reformation of the Protestant Church. A reformation amidst those who call themselves evangelical. To say that you are a Christian is not good enough. To say that Jesus died and rose again is not good enough. The devil believes that. We need preaching that calls men to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Him (Christ).

We need preaching that is not afraid to confront the errors that are plaguing the Church today. Preaching that calls sin, sin. Preaching that is not afraid to confront the evils of the culture. Preaching that is God-centered, God-exalting, Christ-filled, and preaching that lifts the heart to heaven is the crying need of our day. Preaching that lifts up Christ and shows God in all of His glory as seen in His holy Word. It is not a negative preaching, it is a God exalting preaching.

Let's pray that God would raise up such a generation of preachers!

Monday, November 5, 2007

T-Shirt Fun

I would never seek to promote myself in such a manner, but someone out there on the web loves Lance Roberts and they are selling T-shirts to express their love for him. So, I thought about it and asked myself, "why should I discourage it?" I sure wouldn't want to encourage people to buy "I hate Lance Roberts" T-shirts. So...

Click here to get your "I Love Lance Roberts" T-shirt today! It is only $16.99 and shipping is Free!

Maybe you can buy one for your grandma for Christmas! Hey, great idea! :-)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Update and Pictures

It has taken me a couple months, but I finally got some pics of the students. There are 7 students here in the seminary and all are quality guys. They study hard and are committed to ministry. Some of the students and I started playing sports in the town to begin meeting people and it has been fun. In addition to the exercise, which I greatly need, it has provided for a great time of fellowship. So far we have played soccer and basketball, and are planning to play some floorball with some folks.

The first picture is of the students in the classroom, and the second is of the students and I in the seminary library.

As for our family, all is going well and we are enjoying life and ministry here. It is a privilege to be able to participate in what God is doing in this part of the world.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Atheists Repudiate Values

The Baptist Press posted an article giving the results of a poll conducted by the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. The goal of the survey was to look at how theists and atheists view values. The question was whether such values as forgiveness, patience, generosity, concern for others, family life, and etc. are "very important" or not.

Not surprisingly there was a great gap in some of the answers. For example 84% of theists say forgiveness is "very imporant," while 52% of atheists say it is imporant. Other issues such as patience (72% theists vs. 39% atheists), generosity (67% theists vs. 37% atheists), concern for others (82% theists vs. 63% ahteists), and family life (88% theists vs. 65 % atheists). There were some other values where the gap was not so wide (i.e. courtesy, honesty, "being loved," politeness, friendship), but there were still more theists who believe these are "very important" compared to atheists.

As one living in probably the most atheistic country in the world (Czech Republic) I have many times expereinced the behavior of individuals holding the atheistic view of life. Most would say that truth isn't important and you can't know what truth even is. They would say that society determines right and wrong and the main goal in life is to be happy. But when one is devoid of truth and completely repudiates truth, and sets oneself up as the determiner or right and wrong, what else should we expect? What kind of values are "very important" to them?

It is so clear to see why the Lord wisely gave us His revelation (the Bible). Without the Law there would be no order, no certainty, and everyone doing what is right in his own eyes (i.e. book of Judges). Repect for others and the value of life itself would be reduced to nothing. But God in His infinite wisdom gave us the Law telling us the truth.

He is the One who has established what is right and what is wrong, what is important and what isn't. But when you reject Him and put yourself in His place, then it is not surprising that such basic values have no importance.

Oh the need for truth!