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Archive for the ‘Body of Christ’ Category

Does Christ, the humble and unashamed preacher, matter?

The danger of the hip and cool prosperity movement–one of them is Hillsong and its pastor Carl Lentz, who attracts many celebrities from Justin Bieber, Bono, Vanessa Hudgens, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Durant, Ja Rule; to name but a few. He has been called the “Apostle of Cool” and the “Jesus Christ’s Superstar.”

If this is the new generation of superficial preachers who water down the Gospel in order to make it palatable to man and to be viewed by man as hip and cool–then we as a generation are to be most pitted. We need men who truly love souls; men who preach with moral imperatives, not, “I don’t knows” when it comes down to topics of morality; especially urgent and controversial ones. For example, in an interview with Katie Couric, Lentz was asked to address the topic of gay marriage. Instead of addressing it clearly and boldly, he simply said,

“‘Often people want you to make these big statements about things [such as gay marriage] and I don’t believe it’s fair,’ said Lentz to Couric when asked about tolerance and gay marriage. ‘I don’t think a public forum is always the best place to talk about something that’s so sensitive and important to so many because in a public forum there’s no discussion there.'”

These are just one of the many spineless comments that Lentz makes when it comes down to questions of morality. It is no wonder his church attracts so many people. Sinners need a divine confrontation of the holy, just, and loving God. If not, how do we expect genuine conversions? It is vastly different from this pastor who models the heart of Jesus, Apostle Paul, and the writers of Scripture. Please see:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dspKqCPtdRQ

Really, when was the light of truth not meant for the public forum (Luke 14:23)? We are a light that sits on the hill. We are not a light that stays stationary only in our own little comfortable rooms or ivory towers. The church is to be the agent of truth that bellows out answers to a dying world. And that means even saying it to the public media when asked for moral imperatives. This man is a contradiction to the office of an elder (presbuteros; see 1 Peter 5:2; 1 Timothy 5:17-25; Titus 1:5-9).

Dr. Albert Mohler says this about this movement,

“It’s a prosperity movement for the millennials, in which the polyester and middle-class associations of Oral Roberts have given way to ripped jeans and sophisticated rock music,” said Mohler Jr. to NY Times. “What has made Hillsong distinctive is a minimization of the actual content of the Gospel, and a far more diffuse presentation of spirituality.” ~ Dr. Albert Mohler.

To read more, please see http://www.christianpost.com/…/r-albert-mohler-jr-calls-h…/…

Many who promote this ministry, including their music for public worship need to be aware of what they are promoting. Their goal is to have a heavy presence in North America. I pray that God will raise up a strong reformation and more Martin Luthers to prepare the way, not entertainers who tickle the ears of the goats. The more we promote them publicly, the more we feed the beast.

“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.” ~ Charles Spurgeon – The Prince of Preachers

I am also thankful to my friend who provided this other insightful quote from Spurgeon:

“Avowed atheists are not a tenth as dangerous as those preachers who scatter doubt and stab at faith” – CH Spurgeon Sword and Trowel, Aug 1887

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Cole Thomas Expulsion from Garden of Eden

Abiding to the protocol of the “correct order” is a fundamental element of the process of life. For instance, take a look at a Type 2 diabetic person. Some of the complications of a diabetic person comprises of having a heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (nephropathy), eye damage, foot damage, hearing impairment, skin conditions, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. The risks are higher if the person does not follow the correct order of insulin intake via pills or the common subcutaneous shot. Having too little insulin or not being able to take insulin effectively is deadly. The correct order concerning insulin intake must be taken seriously.

The protocol of the correct order is intensified concerning our relationship as Christians to God. Our binding relationship to Him can fall under the order of these three fountainhead truths: “He is” (Col. 1:15-18 [character of Christ]), “He has” (1:12-14, 20-22 [the work of the Father & Son]), “and I must” (1:9-12, 23 [my response to who He is and what He has done]). To reverse the order of those three fountainhead truths will send a shock-wave of pain, disillusionment, and to step foot into the outer oblivion.

Why do I bring this up? Because your duty to follow the imperatives of God’s law is not caused by your own inner isolated strength. The imperatives for you to follow God is caused by what God has done for you. For example, you are who you are because of the work of Christ. Without Him, your obedience is nothing but floating leaves and chaff. As recipients of the cross, He deposited unto you: wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). So next time you obey, make sure it is set-upon the blazing white cross that was dipped in blood–a costly grace!

However, we must not stop at what God has done. Beyond what He has done, lies something else greater: “who He is.” That is the foundation of Christianity. That is the heartbeat of our Christian faith. To park at “what He has” is to see the beauty of the outer edges of Island’s paradise. To move beyond “what He has” to “who He is” is to be stunned and frozen by the beauty of the Holy One.

Now, our obedience is not only stimulated by what He has done for us, but stimulated by who He is. It is easy to be imbalanced by emphasizing a major truth at the expense of the other. The truth is that our obedience (“and I must”) must be stimulated by “what He has” and “who He is,” provided that we keep in mind that the foundation is “who He is.”

So in summary, one’s obedience must not be anchored primarily upon “and I must,” “what He has,” but “who He is.” With that said, I come to a close with these words from John Snyder, from the Behold Your God’s daily devotional workbook, “You cannot make yourself a child of God by doing things that a child of God does, any more than you could make yourself an heir to Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain by walking around in royal clothes and waving kindly at people!” You are who you are in your obedience to God because of what God has done on the cross and because of who He is.

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Part 1

Pretty-Church

This is part 2 in looking at the images and analogies the Bible gives in describing the church.  We are looking at these motif to draw out the implications for readers to see the importance of the church in our own lives in light of how important the church is in God’s eyes.

God sees the church as a body

  1. Proof
    1. The Bible describe Christ relationship to the Church as head to the body
      1. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” (Colossians 1:18)
        1. As the head Christ controls the rest of the church which is His body.
        2. Note also how this analogy drives Paul to suffer for the church (Colossians 1:24)
      2. Other passages: Ephesians 1:23, 2:15.
  2. Picture: Health is important; today’s fitness industry reveals our culture’s obsession with being fit:
    1. “The IHRSA also reported that the total revenue in the fitness industry reached $21.8 billion in 2012.[xv]  This is a significant increase from the $20.3 billion made in 2010 by the industry.[xvi]  Since 2008, health club memberships rose by 10%, while the number of non-member patrons also increased by 5%.[xvii] This particular number went up from 7.7 million patrons in 2008 to 8.3 in 2012. [xviii][1]
    2. Another website noted that there’s 29, 501 businesses with 573,328 people working in this industry.[2]
    3. “…over 60% of Americans regularly participate in fitness sports as of 2012.[xix] This is the fifth consecutive year in which these numbers have remained stable at 60% or more[xx]. This goes to show that the fitness trend is not going away soon in America and the fitness industry is only going to grow stronger each year. All in all, fitness is a profitable industry in the US and the numbers will only continue to rise.”[3]
  1. Practice
    1. If people are willing to go all out to take care of God’s temple that the Lord has given them how more so should they care and prioritize the church, the body of Christ! Do you value the body of Christ?
    2. In the end it comes down to the issue of love because that’s what can sustain you to be selfless and sacrificial for imperfect people in the church; do you have the Love of God in your life?
    3. Practice your spiritual gifts (Romans 12:4-5)!
    4. Don’t treat the church as a bad gym membership: You go once a year, merely to pay your dues.
    5. Become a member: “because we are members of His body” (Ephesians 5:30); explanation of church membership class.

[1] http://blog.gyminsight.com/2013/05/most-current-fitness-industry-statistics/

[2] http://www.ibisworld.com/industry/default.aspx?indid=1655

[3] http://blog.gyminsight.com/2013/05/most-current-fitness-industry-statistics/

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