Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Just another day in the Great Bible Deception

Another example of how the best preachers are deceived about the modern Bibles: John Piper defends the omission of John 5:4 from the Westcott-and-Hort-inspired Bibles of today.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Real witchcraft, questionable conspiracies

I'm still having this struggle with the reports done by Scott Johnson, that I hear at Sermon Audio from time to time. I'm sure there's no Christian teacher I've ever heard who doesn't at some point say something I have to reject for one reason or another, but I don't think I've ever had such an acute experience of conflict as I do with Johnson's talks, there being some subjects I think are interesting and important to know about and others where he goes off into unsupported conspiracy thinking to the point that what he's doing could be more of a danger than a help.

He recently did a talk on his own experiences of the supernatural, and that's always interesting I think, and useful too as more and more of us encounter the frequently denied or downplayed world of demonic activity. If you've never had such experiences and suspect none of it is really real, you may need to be prepared in case you do, or your faith may be seriously compromised. Do you know that if you are threatened by demons and call on the name of Jesus Christ you will be protected? It's true. I've had that experience myself and Johnson reports on the same kind of experience. I'm sure the Lord will teach any of His own in the heat of the moment even without any prior preparation, but it can't hurt to know about these things. They can be quite frightening and it's helpful to know others have experienced them. I had the experience of something trying to strangle me in my sleep once when I was visiting at a Christian charismatic ministry, and calling on Jesus and claiming His blood over me made it instantly stop. Something similar happened to Scott Johnson, only scarier as he actually saw what was attacking him.

Are UFO abductions real and in what sense? I don't know but as long as people have experiences they think are UFO abductions -- and I expect them to be some kind of demonic phenomena -- I think it's worth thinking about it. Such phenomena do seem to be growing in the world and Johnson reports on occultic knowledge of why this may be happening as it is. The whole world of witchcraft and satanic doings is quite real, and apparently increasing in influence as more in the West desert Jesus Christ, practice other religions which are demon-inspired and seek otherworldly "spiritual" experiences. This phenomenon has been growing in more of a public and mainstream way since the sixties at least. We should at least be aware of it and praying against it, praying that the Lord will restrain it, block their plans, and rescue people from it for salvation.

All this can start in apparently innocent "entertainments." The astrology column in the paper and in fact everywhere you go, such as the internet, should not be indulged at all because it invites some degree of demonic influence. I know this personally because of my own pre-Christian experiences with occultic practices such as astrology and divination through various "oracles" (the I Ching, tarot cards and the like). Is it safe to read books about witchcraft such as Harry Potter? Is it just good clean moral entertainment? Many Christians insist on this but I believe they are naive.

That's all one area of information I think we do need to know about, and I've said so before. Then there is this other area that has me cringing and concerned, the conspiracy thinking. Witches and practitioners of demonic religions are usually simply deluded and believe they are practicing something that's at least innocent and often good for themselves and for the human race. Usually. Some know there's something more sinister going on, but I think they are rare among practitioners. Scott Johnson has had encounters with Haitian practitioners of voodoo, on the other hand, and this is definitely sinister as it is about manipulating the spiritual world for benefits to yourself and for doing harm to enemies. Jesus Christ has power over all this too, of course, but the point is that there are some "religions" that don't bother with pretending to be helpful and innocent but are practiced with outright evil intent. Hindu-based Transcendental Meditation came to the West with the Beatles, presenting itself as a "scientific" discipline to achieve personal psychological and spiritual health and to rid the environment of crime. Voodoo and other raw forms of witchcraft don't bother with such pleasant delusions but promote criminal activity for gain and teach methods of killing your enemies and the like.

But when it comes to conspiracy thinking, ordinary people are being accused of a degree of outright evil that often exceeds the most satanic of the satanists. Do the people who work for "Big Pharma" really seek to keep us all sick so they can make money? Are they really intentionally withholding cures for cancer because they want to make money off all the drugs and treatments cancer requires? Does this scenario make any sense whatever? Aren't human beings born with a conscience or does it simply desert all those who go into pharmacy? Does "the government" really want to wipe out millions of us? Does the ordinary American pilot desire to contaminate his fellow Americans with "chem trails" of murderous substances? Do his higher ups? Who loads the stuff into the airplanes? Can a jet plane function with such stuff in its fuel supply? (The contrail is caused by fuel exhaust isn't it?) If it's jettisoned in some other way doesn't the pilot have to do it? How come it looks like an ordinary jet trail? How does it work anyway?

To be continued.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Politeness more important than Christ, right?

Doesn't a Christian know that a nonChristian does not "rest in peace" after death? Is it just a forgiveable convention to use that expression when someone dies? I think it's indicative of a compromised Christian understanding and it contributes to a blurring of the boundaries which we should be keeping sharp. Are we of this world or not? How far should one take politeness when eternity is at stake? Is it a service to anyone to perpetuate the fiction that you can reject Christ and still have a happy eternity?

Singer Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary fame just died. Recently actor Patrick Swayze died. A while back actress Farrah Fawcett died. And of course Michael Jackson. Where are they now? Was any of them Christian? No. Then they are not resting in peace.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh Lord Revive Us

Yearning for revival, looking for inspiration at Sermon Audio. Looking specifically for those I know to be Spirit-filled men, I'm tired of hearing good Biblical sermons preached without the anointing of the Spirit. It's terribly depressing. I know Tozer is Spirit-filled, sometimes I feel the Spirit in his preaching, which I suppose depends on how close I've been to the Lord myself.

I'm disgusted with myself really, I'm such a soggy half-dead Christian. The church should be something supernatural and powerful in this world, individual Christians should have supernatural power, rivers of living water pouring from us to bring life to the dead world around us. Nothing could be more obvious than that we don't.

I found this sermon by Tozer on being born again, Begotten Again Unto a Living Hope - I Peter, Part 3 and it was inspiring. I wish there were dozens more on that theme to listen to from him.

He made a very interesting statement in this sermon. He said that the reason we talk so much about revival is that Christians aren't initially born of the Spirit as we should be, and if we were the church WOULD be that powerful agent in the world we hope revival will make it.

Please pray for me, I want to spend WAY more time seeking the Lord than I do, WAY more.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here's an example of the attitude I was writing about in my last post. This writer is chiding us for not remembering 9/11 and doing what's necessary to prevent it from happening again.
We've forgotten the shock and the patriotic fury Americans felt on that bright September morning eight years ago. We've forgotten our identification with fellow citizens leaping from doomed skyscrapers. We've forgotten the courage of airline passengers who would not surrender to terror.

We've forgotten the men and women who burned to death or suffocated in the Pentagon. We've forgotten our promises, our vows, our commitments.

We've forgotten what we owe our dead and what we owe our children. We've even forgotten who attacked us.

We have betrayed the memory of our dead. In doing so, we betrayed ourselves and our country. Our troops continue to fight -- when they're allowed to do so -- but our politicians have surrendered.

Are we willing to let the terrorists win?
Well, really, all this is true. It's really quite amazing to consider just how far we have gone toward capitulating to this enemy that attacked us, just how lacking in will and determination we've been in the face of such a threat, and how strange it is that Islam is growing in popularity since 9/11.

This very trend ought to be a clue to us that we're under God's judgment. This very weakness in the face of an enemy is His judgment. This erosion of our freedoms and our powers since 9/11 is God's judgment.

Is it up to us in the flesh to let the terrorists win or not? What can mere flesh do if God is against us?

No, we need the power of God if we are to win the war against terrorism and first we need to recognize we don't have the power of God. God has been abandoning America, allowing enemies internal and external to take over against us.

This couldn't be happening if the churches were in God's will. We have to recognize that we aren't in God's will, that God has a complaint against us, seek understanding and repentance and His guidance and power if we want to help America. America needs revival, repentance not patriotism, meek followers of God not warriors in the flesh. We don't need macho chestbeating, we need humbling and brokenness and submission to God.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Repentance is what we need to keep it from happening again

In remembrance of 9/11 I put a little American flag in my window today. But more than sadness about the day I feel a forboding, because it is still denied that it was God's judgment against the nation. I knew it would be denied of course, but that is the saddest thing about it, that the nation will not repent, which is the only thing that could prevent further acts of judgment.

I've run across versions of this sentiment quite a bit today:
I still remember the day with a heavy heart, and I pray that as a nation we will do whatever it takes to prevent something like this from happening again.
Well, "whatever it takes" is repentance, and for the nation itself to repent not every single citizen has to engage in it, but it should be an observance called by the leader of the nation. Past Presidents have done this on behalf of the nation in times of danger, before sending our troops to war for instance. A day of fasting for our sins as a nation, acknowledging them to Him, with prayer for forgiveness and protection.

Perhaps if enough of the churches had such an observance this would go a long way toward protecting the nation in lieu of a Presidential call, but I haven't heard of this going on in any of the churches.

But people remember it mostly with sadness for the suffering endured that day, and with a sense of righteous indignation, with no acknowledgment that it came from God and was deserved. The enemy is thought of as merely human, as if God could not have restrained them. The solutions thought of are merely human: vigilance, preparedness. Also even calls to pray for the dead, which of course is of no use. But people who don't know God don't know what to do; unfortunately many who do know God also don't, that's the biggest tragedy.

In many of the stories that came out of 9/11 God is shown to have clearly intervened: individuals apparently miraculously helped to safety, kept from going to work that day and so on. God intervened in the downing of the plane in Pennsylvania that was aimed for the White House. God has mercy in the midst of judgment.

But overall His hand of judgment has been more and more upon the nation since 9/11. The increase in the presence and status of Islam in this nation is truly astonishing considering that it was Islamic militants who attacked us on 9/11. That's God's judgment right there. We now have a Marxist in the White House who courts Islam. That's God's judgment. The White House didn't need to be physically destroyed; it's being spiritually destroyed.

We've abandoned our Christian roots. I don't care how much people say this isn't a Christian nation or never was, there is a way that is true but a much much bigger way it is not true. The Christian influence in the institutions of the government at the beginning was enormous. Many of the few dozen founders were genuinely Christian. Others who were Deists were serious Deists, serious Unitarians, and they included church services even as part of a day of government business. It shouldn't be so glibly said we're not a Christian nation with that in our background, but it also shouldn't be so glibly said that we are, because Deism/Unitarianism is not Christianity, and apostasy in our leaders would necessarily have contributed to the seeds of our ultimate judgment.

We are no longer Christian even in the sense they used to be, so we probably can't have a day of repentance on that assumption any more. Obama wouldn't recognize the idea anyway, or he'd put a Marxist twist on it and any fast he'd call I'm afraid I would not be able to support.

But a genuine fast and repentance before God is the only thing that would save the nation. Except Christians separately or whole churches uniting in repentance and prayer on behalf of the nation.