Posts Tagged ‘suffering’

Shai Linne talks about his song Fal$e Teacher$

Posted: April 8, 2013 in False Doctrine, False Teachers
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On Shai’s most recent album, “Lyrical Theology Part 1: Theology” he has a song devoted to False Teachers. This video gives a little background into why he felt it was important to address such a topic.

Listen to the song below

UPDATE: Paula White Ministries responded to this song which you can view by clicking here and see Shai’s response to their letter by clicking here

CaptureOn 14th December 2012, Adam Lanza killed his mother before driving to Sandy Hook school and opening fire killing twenty children, aged 6 and 7, and six adults. The obvious question that many people will be asking is why did God allow such a tragedy to happen? After listening to one of the fathers of the victims (who sounded like a Christian), why would God allow this to happen to one of his children? This would turn the doctrine of blessings, breakthrough and favor right on its head. If God knows everything in advance, why did he allow this to happen? Couldn’t he of stopped it? Is God evil for allowing this to happen? These are the type of questions that many people (including Christians) will be asking and nothing is wrong with that. The Psalmist asked many honest questions.  Got Questions addresses this question head on from a biblical viewpoint

Question: “Why does God allow evil?”

Answer: The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:

1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.

Instead, God made Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. Because of this, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to disobey. They chose to disobey. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us and those around us and those who will come after us.

2) God could compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100 percent of the time. God would stop a drunk driver from causing an automobile accident. God would stop a lazy construction worker from doing a substandard job on a house that would later cause grief to the homeowners. God would stop a father who is addicted to drugs or alcohol from doing any harm to his wife, children, or extended family. God would stop gunmen from robbing convenience stores. God would stop high school bullies from tormenting the brainy kids. God would stop thieves from shoplifting. And, yes, God would stop terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings.

While this solution sounds attractive, it would lose its attractiveness as soon as God’s intervention infringed on something we wanted to do. We want God to prevent horribly evil actions, but we are willing to let “lesser-evil” actions slide—not realizing that those “lesser-evil” actions are what usually lead to the “greater-evil” actions. Should God only stop actual sexual affairs, or should He also block our access to pornography or end any inappropriate, but not yet sexual, relationships? Should God stop “true” thieves, or should He also stop us from cheating on our taxes? Should God only stop murder, or should He also stop the “lesser-evil” actions done to people that lead them to commit murder? Should God only stop acts of terrorism, or should He also stop the indoctrination that transformed a person into a terrorist?

3) Another choice would be for God to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.

Instead of these options, God has chosen to create a “real” world in which real choices have real consequences. In this real world of ours, our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when God will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to condemn them (2 Peter 3:9). Until then, He IS concerned about evil. When He created the Old Testament laws, the goal was to discourage and punish evil. He judges nations and rulers who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise, in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially against the “innocent” (Mark 9:36-42).

In summary, we live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!

Let us pray for all of those who have been directly or indirectly affected by this shooting. I honestly do not know how I would be if my children were the ones left in a pool of blood.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn – Romans 12:15

Related Posts:

 Why does God allow evil?

 Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

 Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

 Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

Ten of my favorite blog posts on Real Christianity

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Christian Living, Evangelism, False Doctrine, False Teachers
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I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over five years beginning with How Important is Doctrine and as of today, have written 619 posts, this being my 620th. Every now and then, I go back to my old posts and re-read some of them, if not for anything else to re-encourage myself. So out of these 600+posts, below are ten of my favorite posts in no particular order and my reasons why. Just click on the titles to read the posts

1. The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching – OK, I am going to cheat on the first one as it was my first series (11 parts in total) called The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching starting with A Form of godliness. I saw so much foolishness in churches and on Christian TV and I knew that a lot of people were beginning to question a lot of things but were afraid to say anything. I just said what they were thinking. So I wrote the series and gave my reasons for doing it as I know a lot of people would think that I was just a heresy hunter. If you want to read the full series, just follow the links at the bottom of the posts

2. To tithe or not to tithe – Tithing was one of those things that kept me in bondage early on in my days and I know keeps many in bondage today. Many preachers use old testament scriptures like Malachi 3:8-12 to manipulate people into giving money and making them feel that they have robbed God if they don’t give their 10%.  That was until I searched the scriptures for myself only to find that the new testament principle of giving is proportional giving and giving out of what you have and not out of what you don’t have thus getting yourself into debt. It is also about a person giving what THEY purpose in their heart (2 Cor 9:7) . I wrote this to make it plain why Christians are not under any obligation to tithe anymore under the new covenant.

3. How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian)? – I really enjoyed writing this blog because it became very apparent to me that many people thought that they were Christians but they were actually self-deceived. This troubled me so I wanted to have some kind of ‘test’ whereby a person could measure up themselves to. Luckily the books of 1 and 2 John has such a test and has been one of my most popular posts that is found when people do searches, which tells me that a lot of people really do want to know if they are a Christian or not.

4. So you think that you’re a Christian. Power testimonies from former false converts – This ties in to number 3. When I heard these testimonies, I knew there were countless amount of people in this situation and I wanted to share it because I wanted others to see if they could see themselves in the mirror and if so, do something about it. The worse deception ever is to think that you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not

5. Spending Quality Time with God – This post always comes to haunt me because I know that this is something that I am constantly guilty of not doing but it is a constant reminder of where our priorities should be  

6. When your children don’t want to follow God – This post was and still is a very personal one to me. It hurts me to know that my children (so far) have decided to not follow Christ. I can only pray that God orchestrates the events in their life to point them to him.

7. Every Man’s Battle - I wrote this because it is a taboo subject amongst Christian men but can be a deadly poison if not dealt with….especially when it comes to the summer.

8. The Money Challenge - If anything, this is a shame on most of us as Christians about what motivates us to share the  gospel with others. I never want to be  Christian that as the gospel group, Commissioned, say in one of their songs that we “tend to find security in our salvation. We should constantly think about the lost”

9. Should we ever question what the man of God says – This post goes hand in hand with the post of Touch not the Lord’s anointed. Say goodbye to the untouchable preachers. The reason why I started this whole blogging stuff is because I questioned everything that I had previously heard and decided to go back to the basics of the gospel. You know, things like the cross, salvation, sin, repentance, faith, discipleship and NOT breakthroughs, blessings and divine favour which seems to be so prevalent in churches these days.

10. Christ is the only way, now you choose - I have posted many videos over the years but I love this video because it puts everything in perspective about what Christ has done and how he has provided a way out for those who have repented and put their trust in him

This is one of the commandments of scripture. However, lately there have been people who call themselves christians and have no desire to have regular fellowship with other believers, whether that be in an established church or otherwise (depending on where you live in the world). Christian fellowship is one of the signs of a true believer (1 John 1:7)

Taken from Got Questions

The Bible tells us we need to attend church (have Christian fellowship) so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth (Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:25). Church is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32).

When a person trusts Jesus Christ for salvation, he or she is made a member of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). Likewise, a believer will never reach full spiritual maturity without the assistance and encouragement of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:21-26). For these reasons, church attendance, participation, and fellowship should be regular aspects of a believer’s life. Weekly church attendance is in no sense “required” for believers, but someone who belongs to Christ should have a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers.

Let me make it clear. Going to church and and being around other believers doesnt make you a christian but if you are a true christian, you will want to go to church and/or have a desire to be around other believers on a regular basis.

“Without the God-given habit of corporate worship and the God-given mandate of corporate accountability, we will not prove faithful over the long haul.” – Kevin DeYoung

Related Posts:

Are you ‘not in church’?

Reasons to leave and reasons not to leave your local church

Phillip Jenson asks Mark Dever – When is it ever right to leave a church?

As per my About Me section, when I started this blog, the main reason is, if I am honest is that I was fed up of just going with the flow of what had become the norm in a lot of Christendom and wanted to get things off my chest. Most christians that I knew (including me) had swallowed the health and wealth prosperity gospel. Watching some of the preachers on TBN and God TV such as Creflo Dollar and Benny Hinn without REALLY lining up what they said with correct interpretation of scripture. Some of these (and our) pastors were twisting scripture but because it was the norm, we were deceived into thinking that because everyone was saying it and because these were respected leaders, it must be true.

Over the past few years, I have been encouraged to know that many people are beginning to question what they have been fed. However, many think that they are saved but in reality are actually self-deceived because they are blinded by false promises constantly talking about blessings, breakthrough and/or divine favour. A classic example can be seen in the video below

My message to you is this. Examine your motives for staying where you are. Are you TRULY being fed and growing spriritually or are you suffering spritually and just staying because of friends or because of loyalty to your church and/or your pastor even though they may not be preaching the gospel or may not be righly dividing scripture?  I was in that position once when I stayed out of loyalty, not because of a longing for correct use of scripture. I really depended on ‘Christian’ TV for my food. Obviously, each case will be different and it maybe that some pastors are approachable with your concerns and will seriously listen to you. In my own personal experience though, those occasions are rare. Click here and here for reasons why you should or shouldnt leave your church and please get some wise godly counsel but please don’t stay out of loyalty alone

UPDATE: When I started to write this post it was basically about what I have stated above and then I came across a few things this week which made me realise that blind loyalty comes in different forms. First check out the video below of Lexi interviewing Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen and First Gentleman (thats right, not Lady but Gentleman) Rashad. This is an example of what happens when people hold a low view of scripture and hold their opinions higher.

HT: I’m Speaking Truth

The people are all willing to ignore the explicit commands of scripture to justify their sins and you can see how their loyalty to the ‘bishop’ is as a result of this. Now I have no problems with people struggling with their sins, no matter what form it takes, whether it be homosexual sins or hetrosexual sins, but I do have a problem when people try to justify it as if God has given it the green light. NEWSFLASH: It is NOT OK.

24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:24-27)

Then today I came across this news story on Sky News

At least six people have dies in Britain after being told they had been healed of HIV and could stop taking their medication, Sky News has discovered

There is evidence evangelical churches in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow are claiming to cure HIV through God.

Sky sent three undercover reporters to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which is based in Southwark, south London.

To tell an HIV sufferer that they do not need to take their medication anymore is nothing less than evil and deceptive (see my post Derren Brown: Miracles for Sale). Now this church follows the false teacher T B Joshua and I do not have time to go into this man but you can google his name. Many people follow this man blindly as if he can do no wrong without lining up what he says with scripture

When peoples lives are being wrecked by ministries like this, I will not stay silent and will sound the alarm. Who knows? It may save a life

DONT BE BLINDED BY YOUR LOYALTY

As I have started typing this, there is one miner left to be rescued from the mining tragedy and by the time I finish, the last one would have reached the surface. As many of them were rescued, they visually showed their gratitude to God for delivering them. I for one was very grateful to God for his mercy in allowing these miners to survive after over two months

But non christians, legitimately ask the question ‘its OK for you to thank God in these situations, but where is God in situations like the Burma tragedy or the Minneapolis Bridge? Or where is God when a child dies of cancer or as a result of an idiot drinking and driving? Why dont we thank God then?

Early on in my Christian walk, even though I knew that being a christian wasnt a bed of roses, there was certain things that I didn’t expect to happen to us? I mean, no weapons formed against us should prosper….right? We are the head and not the tail….right? We shouldnt go though sickness or poverty….right? That’s not our portion…..right? But over time, I have recognised that things are not so straight-forward. The reality is, christians go through exactly the same things that non christians go through. We die of illnesses prematurely and so do our young children. We are victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. I’m sure there were christians who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11.  We go through marital problems are sometimes the victim of circumstances through no fault of our own. Read Luke 13:1-5 for an example. We may pray for a child to be healed and they still die. That’s just life. Preachers sometimes give people false hopes, or deceive them with false promises that disappoint many times and leave people disillusioned with God.

So how do we explain all of this? I have come to the conclusion that there is no set rules, where bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to ‘good people’. Ultimately, God is sovereign and he does things when he wants and how he wants. You may ask, well if that’s the case, whats the use in praying? If I am honest, I have asked that question many a time and have sometimes struggled with it and to this day, I do not have a complete answer even though it has partly be answered in my post Prayer and Predestination. What I do know though is that I can trust in my heavenly Father and the more I know him, the more I can depend on him, knowing more about his character and knowing that he sees the bigger picture even when I cannot see it with my finite mind. I am limited and he is limitless. My children may not like my discipline or the rules that I give them and they may even see me as a moany ogre but I see the bigger picture so that hopefully in the future, they will learn some of the life skills that I have taught them which will hopefully help them to be responsible adults in the future. And in having a relationship with them, they should know that my character is not to bring harm to them but to bring fruitfulness in them.

Sometimes we want a reason why things are the way they are. Jesus’s disciples asked the same question in John 9

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life

In the story of Lazarus in John 11:1-45, Martha in verse 21, could not understand why God, who she knew was able, allowed Lazarus to die. Lazarus’s family prayed but Jesus delayed it so that Lazarus would die so that he would get maximum glory out of the situation. He didn’t just want to perform a healing. He wanted to perform a resurrection. This turns our man centered theology on its head because it’s not primarily about us but IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM. 

Today is a milestone in my life as it’s my 40th birthday and I am thankful to God for allowing me to see another year. I am thankful to God for everything that he has taught me even though some of it was VERY painful. Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it was inflicted by others and some of it was just life. I have not always understood why God allowed me to experience some of the things that I did but it has definitely shaped my character. What does the future hold for me in the next 40 years (God willing)? I have no idea. No doubt some of it will be painful. Some of it, I will not understand and there may be times that I might even be upset with God. But I know that God holds my future and in this fallen world, he is my ONLY hope and I can depend on him to know what’s best for me.

I will leave you with some lyrics from Trip Lee’s song Cling to you

Lord, it may get better but it may not
So when I pray God, I pray I
Would trust You whether or not the pain stops
So when the pain falls, coming down like rain drops
I just gotta cling to You

On Monday, I had to go to the hospital for some minor surgery on my shoulder and when I went in there, I was taken very good care of. To have an idea of what they did to me, please see the video below

And below are some of the pictures of me afterwards

  

I am still recovering but while I was there, I looked around at all the doctors and nurses, all the hospital equipment and thought, ‘Wow, God you are so good’. I thanked God for the simple things such as the general anaesthetic that knocked me out while it was going on. I didn’t know what hit me and honestly thought I just had a nap…….until I saw my shoulder all dressed up. Sometimes we look for all the supernatural stuff but forget that God also works in normal everyday life. Some preachers teach that if you are sick and don’t go to the doctors, then it shows a lack of faith. I would argue that if you are sick and DON’T go to the doctors it shows naivety at best and stupidity at worst on your part. Let’s not forget that Luke in the bible was a doctor.

So lets remember to pray for our doctors and nurses and others in the public services like policeman, firemen. They do a good service to us all

I have recently finished listening to Wayne Grudem’s ITunes version of his book Systematic Theology. I found this a very helpful and balanced overview of the whole bible which normally has a Q&A at the end of each session. To receive it, click here

‘Phillip Asks’ – many people ask Phillip questions. So sometimes ‘Phillip Asks’ other people to answer. Here Mark Dever answers your question about ‘is it ever right to leave a church and find a new one?’

 

Related Post:

Are you ‘not in church’?

Reasons to leave and reasons not to leave your local church

I have seen many instances where people have left church for one reason or another and it got me thinking, should we just leave our church at the slightest whim or should we be loyal and stay at any cost?

Here are some of the common reasons, to name a few, why people leave their church

- the people aren’t friendly

- need more teaching

- they have been hurt by another member

- Spiritual abuse

- False teaching

- No childcare facilities

- Don’t like the leadership

As a result I had to really think about this and came up with the following (which is not exhaustive).

Some reasons why you SHOULDN’T leave a church:

The people are not friendly

I have news for you. Humans go to church and no matter where you go, unfriendly people are likely to exist. There could be a number of reasons for this.

- Some people are naturally shy

- The person may be at a stage of their life where they have been ‘burnt’ by church folf and are keeping themself to themself

- They maybe just ‘feeling out the church’

- They are just plain rude. No excuses

- Maybe the problem is with YOU and you have a chip on your shoulder

- Sometimes we just don’t know what is going on ‘behind the scenes’ of that person’s life

Just know that you will never find a perfect church but if you do find one, as soon as you attend, it will become imperfect anyway.

You dont agree with all the doctrine that your church teaches

Again, the chances are that no matter where you go, you will not agree with everything that is preached from the pulpit . The question to ask, therefore,  is WHAT is being preached? Is it Christ and him crucified? Are the essential doctrines  central to their beliefs? Are the sermons  Christ-centered (for me personally, this is a big test)? 

Some things you can just ‘let go’. You may not agree, for example, with the gift of tongues but it maybe that it carried out in an ‘orderly’ way but everything else that is done is very Christ centered. 

The music isn’t lively enough

Even though I have to admit that good music enhances the ‘worship’ experience, it should NEVER be the litmus test to know if you should stay in a church or not. I have been to a church where the standard of music/musicians was second to none but the doctrine was not Christ Centered at all and placed emotion and experience above sound doctrine. It may be that you will have to compromise on your style of music in order to get rock solid sound doctrine which is so important especially with so much deception around.

Being hurt by another member in church

This can come under many guises including spiritual abuse. This can range from a person not talking to you to a pastor blackmailing you. This has to be dealt with on a case by case basis and is where godly counsel may be required.

Some reasons why you SHOULD leave a church:

The messages are not Christ centered

They do not preach Christ and Him crucified. If the messages are not Christ centered but are man centered, GET OUT OF THAT CHURCH. If the focus is about you then it is a distorted gospel and not the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is another gospel

Spiritual abuse

I have touched on this in my previous post. Click here to read it

Belittling of sound doctrine

They do not believe the essential doctrines of the faith or don’t think doctrine is important at all and relienquish it. Many churches these days put emotionalism above sound doctrine which can be so dangerous as we saw with Todd Bentley and the Lakeland ‘revival’

Some churches place little emphasis (if any) on doctrine and it is seen as a swear word. This is the reason why homosexual ‘churches’ spring up or people condone that behavior because they have created doctrine that stoops down to their level

Scripture is not the final authority

If a church is not rooted in the bible then you are left with a church that is rooted in the philosophies and traditions of man which Jesus says makes the word of God of none effect

As I said at the beginning, this is not an exhaustive list and some situations may not be black and white as there maybe other factors that you may have to take into account which godly counsel will be required but hopefully, will go some way in helping you make the decision if to stay at your church or not but whatever you do, find somewhere to fellowship with other believers on a regular basis

….not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Related Post:

Are you ‘not in church’?