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Printed News Letter

September 2007 Issue

Decisionism
Sep 1st, 2007
Berit Kjos
Uncategorized

An Invitation to Cross-Less Christianity

How to give assurance of “salvation” without conversion:

  1. Focus on the “decision”, not conversion. Then they’ll remember their own “wise” choice, not Christ’s work on the cross.
  2. Skim over the gospel and push the prayer. The actual gospel is simply too offensive.
  3. Please your listeners with positive assurances; don’t confuse them with the whole truth. Tell them what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.
  4. Emphasize God’s goodness, not His justice or holiness. Talk about His love, not His legal requirement that demands sacrifice for sin. Let them think they are headed for heaven no matter what!
  5. Describe Jesus as Saviour, not Lord of our lives. Promise His blessing but, by all means, ignore His warning about “counting the cost”!
  6. Don’t mention sin, guilt, hell or wrath. No need to offend them with the whole dreadful reason why they need the Saviour.
  7. Whatever you do, never mention Judgment Day. Too distasteful! You could lose both friends and financial supporters.
  8. Add some humour or rousing music. Lighten things up. Don’t sound too sober or serious.
  9. Don’t mention repentance until they’ve repeated a “sinner’s prayer”. Then your project won’t be aborted by sudden doubts or reservations.
  10. After they pray “the prayer”, celebrate “their” achievement, not God’s grace. Be sure to praise the deceived sinner, not the God they don’t know that they don’t yet know.

Around the world, compromising church leaders are linking hands with todays fast rising world system. Standing together, they claim to be “tolerant” but show rising intolerance for the cross of Christ and His gospel.

It’s not surprising! Grounded in uncompromising Biblical absolutes, His Word of hope is incompatible with the world’s quest for consensus and “common ground”. It doesn’t fit the UN vision of social solidarity or a global spirituality. No wonder, since “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:19

Even Hitler tolerated what he called “positive Christianity” – a government-controlled “church” movement that banned the cross and conformed to Nazi ideals. But genuine Christianity was incompatible with Nazi loyalties. As in the Soviet Union, Christian resisters risked torture and death at the hands of raging tormentors.

The post-Christian west is leading the march toward a New World Order – a global system that can only accommodate a counterfeit cross-less “Christianity”. Christians who choose to follow the narrow road of the cross (faith, obedience and separation “unto” the Shepherd) face mounting hostility. But those who delight in His presence and the hope of eternity can delight in His promise.

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Make a Choice
Sep 1st, 2007
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

Moses is one of the most fascinating characters in all of history. Born about 3.500 years ago, the son of Hebrew slaves, we all know the story of the bulrushes and how Pharaoh’s daughter rescued him.

“And the child grew, and she (Moses mother) brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son.” Exodus 2:10

He became the officially adopted, only son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Then he spent about thirty years as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, the only grandson of the Pharaoh. (We know how men delight in an only grandson.)

“And it came to pass in those days when Moses was grown.” Exodus 2:11. According to the customs of Egypt at that time, Pharaoh’s daughter would have the right to the throne when her Father died. However, it was also a fact that a woman could not ascend the throne. According to Josephus, the historian, she would have two choices. First, to marry and appoint her husband or second to appoint her son Moses.

So Moses was thirty years in the palace of Pharaoh being prepared for the throne.

Two great influences had pulled at the heart of Moses. First, at his Mother’s knee, he had learned that he was a Hebrew, the son of slaves. He learned also about God. He learned that God had told Abraham that the Hebrews would be slaves in Egypt for 400 years and that they would come out and go to the Promised Land. Moses mother knew that the 400 years was almost up. It seems that God had told her, that her son would lead Israel out of Egypt and slavery. Those few years at his mother’s knee had a powerful influence on Moses

Second, Moses spent thirty years in the palace; he was immersed in the culture of Egypt. He was indoctrinated in their idolatrous religion, and he was exposed to their incredible sensuality.

“He learned all the wisdom of Egypt” (Acts 7:22); undoubtedly he was the best educated man in the whole world. “He was mighty in words”, when Moses spoke there was not a man who could stand before him. The Scripture says he was “Mighty in deeds”. The historian Josephus says he was trained as a general in the army of Egypt. He also states that he led the Egyptian army in a great victory over the Ethiopians. He was a national hero.

Josephus tells us that Moses was so handsome that passersby would stop and stare at him. Moses would ride through the streets with a host of attendants surrounding him. He would ride the Nile on the Royal Barge with servants waiting to meet his every request.

He tasted all of the delights Egypt had to offer, he was literally sitting on top of the world.

But there was a third factor in Moses life, the Spirit of God was drawing him, speaking deep within his heart. Two voices, two worlds, two great persons were contesting for the heart of Moses, God and Satan. Which would it be? Would he become king of Egypt or a leader of slaves?

Every man and woman, at some point must make a similar great choice! Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.” John said of Jesus, “He was that light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

My friend, today do you feel God moving upon your heart? Do you feel Christ drawing you to Himself? The purpose of Christ’s drawing you to Himself is found in the words of Jesus, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The words of Peter give further understanding, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”

Moses would have to choose!

“And it came to pass in those days,” (Exodus 3:11) a memorable day dawned in the life of Moses. It was a day just like any other day, no angel voices, no lightning flashes. This would be a day of decision.

We have all had days like that! We will look back in the after years and realize that, that day was a turning point of our lives. We will look back in eternity future and realize that, that day of decision was the hinge of our eternal destiny!

My unsaved friend, my earnest prayer is that this will be a day of decision for you, a day you will look back on forever.

That day, Moses stepped aside from the throne of Egypt. He turned his back on the world and all it had to offer. He cast his lot in with a bunch of Jewish slaves. Moses might have said, "I’ll remain where I am and give them moral support. I’ll use my influence to better their lot. I’ll give them money from the treasuries of Egypt," but none of that was God’s will.

Notice four things about Moses choice:

  1. It was made at the prime of his life.
  2. It was made when the fortunes of Israel were at their lowest.
  3. It was made when the pleasures of sin were most fascinating.
  4. It was made deliberately.

Come make your choice,
for life or death eternal,
Christ or the world,
The broad or the narrow way,

The Father’s house,
Or the abode infernal,
Unending joy or sorrow,
Choose today.

Come make your choice!
It may be now or never;
It is worse than madness
To delay;

Now is the hinge
Of all the vast forever,
Tomorrow never comes,
“Choose today”.





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New Neutralism
Sep 1st, 2007
John E. Ashbrook
Uncategorized

I believe that the mainspring of new evangelicalism is found in three determinations of its founder which may be clearly traced in the state of things today.

  • First, new evangelicalism determined to reject Biblical separation.
  • Second, new evangelicalism determined to find acceptance by the world.
  • Third, new evangelicalism determined to add the social gospel to the Scriptural gospel.

1. Rejection of Bible Separation

What new evangelicalism has determined to repudiate is Biblical separatism. Separation is God’s prescription for treating the disease of apostasy. It is not ours to repudiate, for it is a divine command, not a human idea.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6: 17, 18

The same doctrine is taught in passages such as Ephesians 5:11 which says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” It is the theme of 2 John, culminating in verses 10 and 11: “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

2. Seeking Acceptance by the World

Second, new evangelicalism is determined to find acceptance by the world. I have seen boys and girls feverishly seek the acceptance of their peers. A new child comes to visit, and they rush to show him every toy in the effort to be accepted. (See also Isaiah 39:1-5). This is a note not to be ignored in the new evangelical profile. It shows itself in the desire to be accepted in the world of academia, and it also shows in the desire to make the gospel more palatable to the natural man.

Why should this be a goal for the Christian? Paul spelled out for the believer the vanity of this world’s wisdom in 1 Cor. 1:20, 21; “Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of the world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

3. Addition of the Social Gospel

One of Satan’s most effective schemes is to redefine God’s Word and divert Christians from His unchanging Truth to man’s shifting ideals.

For example, God calls us to serve the poor and fills our hearts with love for the needy. That’s why His true followers around the world have willingly given their lives to share His truth and love in perilous places. But today’s world-centred church illustrates a different kind of service. Designed to please man rather than God, it trains its servers to hide the “offensive” truths of the gospel, while moving to meet physical and social needs.

Like Rick Warren, it uses the Bible to validate its purposes but emphasizes organizational behaviour rather than Biblical beliefs – in short, deeds instead of creeds. Behind its noble appearance hides a postmodern version of the century-old “Christian Socialism”.

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Ominous Signs
Sep 1st, 2007
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

I am not an Economist, but I can read what Economists are saying. I am reading that the US dollar is in jeopardy. The US dollar has nothing to back it up, except the confidence which nations and Central banks place in it.

If that confidence were to be lost and nations were to transfer their reserves from US dollars to some other currency, the dollar would collapse along with the US economy.

Could this happen?

Some of the ominous signs we are seeing to warn of this include:

  • China’s recent threat to bring the dollar down by moving its 1.33 trillion US dollar reserves to some other currency. This is referred to as China’s “nuclear option of dollar sales”, implying China’s ability to destroy the US dollar. China also holds 900 billion dollars in US bonds. China seems to believe that the fate of the US dollar is in her hands.
  • Iran has been leading an attack on the US dollar. It has ended all of its oil sales in US dollars. This is a major attempt to destroy the credibility of the US dollar. Venezuela has joined Iran in this attack on the US dollar.
  • Many investors have begun a switch to investing in Euro dollars, as corporate profits become higher in the Eurozone.
  • The recent collapsing sub prime mortgage fund market has caused national banks to take unusual steps to shore up investor confidence.

Remember, the US has to borrow a billion dollars a day to pay the interest on their national debt. That money is borrowed from foreign countries, loss of confidence in the US dollar could dry up those funds.

Another indication that economic chaos lies ahead is a report from the World Economic Forum, June 24, 2007. “The International Community faces a real risk of Economic chaos rising from major imbalances in the Global Financial system.”

  1. How does all of this relate to the repeated suggestion of replacing the US dollar with another currency, the Amero dollar?
  2. Why is there no evident concern about this situation?

Again we remind you of the words of David Rockefeller, “a world government is coming, all we need is a crisis situation to bring it about”.

Apparently, many cannot see the warning signs going on around us, but believers ought to be able to see what is happening.

I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”

Listen for the Sound of the Trumpet.

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The Beginning of Sorrows
Sep 1st, 2007
Art Sadlier
Uncategorized

In Matthew 24:3 the Disciples asked the Lord a question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the age (world)”

Jesus listed signs which would precede His return to the earth. The signs were in two categories; the first category was called the beginning signs. Concerning the beginning signs we read, “and there shall be famines, and pestilence, and earthquakes in divers (various) places.” The clear implication is, when you see these things multiplying and happening in an unusual way, wake up, the Day of the Lord is at hand.

We are seeing a multiplication of these things at the present time. I list for you some of the things which have happened in the recent two week period.

Earthquakes

  • Okinawa: magnitude 6.4
  • Jakarta: magnitude 7.4
  • Malikus Islands: magnitude 7.0
  • Alutian Islands: magnitude 6.5
  • Vanvate Island: magnitude 7.3
  • China: 2100 homes destroyed
  • Russia: in the far east

Storms

  • China: tropical storm 2 dead
  • Britain: record flooding
  • China: floods 2 dead
  • Sudan: floods 200,000 homeless
  • South Asia: floods 2,000 dead

Tsunami

  • Algeria: 12 dead

Drought and Heat Waves

  • Turkey
  • Eastern US
  • Hungary: 500 dead

Disease

2.5 million in danger of water born diseases in Asia because of flood waters.

As these signs increase, the hearts of men only become harder as they fail to recognize the warnings of Christ.

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Was Your Humility Showing Today?
Sep 1st, 2007
A W Tozer
Uncategorized

“… be clothed with humility for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5

The Apostle Peter, advising Christian believers to be clothed with humility in all of their relationships with one another, actually infers that genuine Christian humility should be their identifying uniform from day to day!

In the custom of that distant culture, men dressed according to their status and place in society.

IN our own day, we also are accustomed to identifying many public servants by the kind of uniform they wear. If we suddenly need help or assistance, even in a strange city, we look around quickly to find a helpful man in the policeman’s uniform.

We have no fear of the mailman who daily steps on our property. His grey uniform tells us that he is a servant of our government and that he has a responsibility for helpful public service.

So, the Holy Spirit through the apostle cites the necessity for members of the Body of Christ to be subject to another in the body of love, mercy and grace. This honest posture of submission and humility becomes our uniform, and adornment really, indicating that we are the redeemed and obedient disciples of Jesus Christ and that we belong to Him!

Peter’s request is not strange when we remember that it was Jesus Christ our Lord who dressed himself in humility and then took that difficult course down, down, down – to the death on the cross!

I think it is most important for believers to acknowledge the fact that because Christ Jesus came to the world clothed in humility, He will always be found among those who are clothed with humility. He will be found among the humble people. This is a lesson that not all of us have learned.

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Will the Real Church Please Stand Up?
Sep 1st, 2007
Gary Gilley
Uncategorized

Apparently sometimes, at least with imaginary fairies, all that is needed for flourishing health is having enough people believe in you. I wonder if this approach could be adopted by the evangelical church community – or perhaps already has been. If enough Christians believed the church was healthy, maybe she would be. Maybe if we clap loudly, we will make enough noise to give the appearance of being vigorous. Yet despite all the claims of spiritual interest, despite the runaway numerical growth at the celebrated megachurches, despite frequent “sightings” of revival and despite the rapid succession of fads (from Promise Keepers to the “Prayer of Jabez” to “Forty Days of Purpose” to “The Passion of the Christ”), each promising to reform the church, the fact is the church’s light is flickering. Let’s start with the obvious – numbers. Megachurches (worship attendance of 2000 or more) are springing up weekly (there were 842 in February 2004), church buildings are rapidly being constructed, Christian concerts and rallies are well attended, and other glowing statistics could be given. However, two recent studies have cast an ominous shadow over this seeming success. George Barna, in an e-mail dated May 4, 2004, informs us that since 1991 there has been a 92% increase in the number of adults in America who do not attend church (from 39 million to 75 million). Then U.S. News and World Report in its April 19, 2004, issue stated, “Surveys confirm that the percentage of Americans attending a weekly worship service fell appreciably during the past four decades. From roughly 40 percent in the 1960s, it today hovers at about a quarter.” Something just does not add up.

Barna, in his attempt to scrutinize this church attendance freefall, candidly writes, “Unchurched people are not just lazy or uninformed. They are wholly disinterested in church life – often passionately so. Stirring worship music won’t attract them because worship isn’t even on their radar screen. More comfortable pews cannot compete with the easy chair or the bed that already serve the unchurched person well. Church events cannot effectively compete with what the world has to offer.” This analysis should come as no surprise in light of Scriptures such as Romans 3:11, There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; and 1 Corinthians 1:18, For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. Why did anyone ever think that unbelievers were going to be attracted to Christ if we could only offer Him in an attractive package? The truth is, rather than drawing people to Christ, the gospel message has itself been gutted of its power.

What are the followers of Christ to do? Barna suggests, “The rapidly swelling numbers of unchurched people may be forcing existing churches to reinvent their core spiritual practices while holding tightly to their core spiritual beliefs. It will take radically new settings and experiences to effectively introduce unchurched individuals to biblical principles and practices.” This strikes me as the same rhetoric that the seeker-sensitive church has been propagating for years. For two decades the church-growth experts have told us that if we are to attract the unchurched, we must change the way we “do church.” We must offer them new “settings and experiences.” We must meet their perceived felt-needs. We must do away with biblical exposition and focus on stories. We must eliminate dogma and become relevant. We must do away with hymns and major on contemporary music. We must remove our Christian symbols and traditions and behave more professionally and secularly. We must train our pastors to be CEO’s rather than shepherds. When we have done all of this, we have been assured, we will attract the masses. Now, after two decades of church leaders buying and implementing everything that the market-driven gurus have offered, we find far fewer people attending church services (of any kind). Their methodologies have failed, yet Barna encourages us to keep it up. If we can just change enough, if we can just offer the right experiences and become more creative, surely we will ultimately break through.

But this is the wrong approach. The church cannot, as Barna has noted, compete with the world system. We just don’t have the money, the people, the expertise. But more importantly we are not offering what the world offers. And this is where we need to concentrate our thinking. The Christian community has something to offer that no one else has: the truth as found in Jesus Christ and the Scriptures. Rather than running about trying to keep up with the world, we need to return to the one thing the world cannot give.

But herein lies a major problem. While the evangelical church has been chasing the ever changing fads and whims of our society, she has jettisoned her unique message. At the same time that the church has forgotten her purpose, she has also been infiltrated by a wide range of diluting and corrupting influences that have changed the very core of her being. In This Little Church Went to Market I identified many of these influences. Others will be identified at this time, but in the milieu of the biblical understanding of the church. I want to discuss what God says a church should be – what it should hold dear and emphasize, what its distinctive should be. All of this will be done in the context of the unique pressures and temptations facing God’s people in the twenty-first century. It is not enough to identify what is wrong with the church; we must also offer an alternative – one firmly founded in the timeless Word of God rather than in the trends of tomorrow. If much of the modern church has sold its birthright and gone “to market,” what would a church look like that resisted these trends and “stayed home”? That is, what would a church be like if it drew its cues from Scripture – if it truly believed that God has a paradigm for the church outlined in His Word? This will be the approach for our next several papers.

Harvard professor Kirsopp Lake made this insightful observation: It is a mistake often made by educated persons who happen to have but little knowledge of historical theology, to suppose that fundamentalism is a new and strange form of thought. It is nothing of the kind. It is the partial uneducated survival of a theology which was once universally held by all Christians. How many were there, for instance, in Christian churches in the eighteenth century who doubted the infallible inspiration of all Scripture? A few, perhaps, but very few. No, the fundamentalist may be wrong. I think he is. But it is we who have departed from the tradition, not he, and I am sorry for the fate of anyone who tries to argue with a fundamentalist on the basis of authority. The Bible and the corpus theologicum of the church are on the fundamentalist’s side.

Lake, who was writing in the 1920s and represented the emerging liberal wing of Christendom, hit the nail on the head. Fundamentalists (those who adhere to the fundamentals of the faith) had not, and have not, moved. Their final authority continues to be the Scriptures. They attempt to develop their personal lives and local churches according to the instruction and model found in the Bible. The classic liberal, lacking confidence in the Word, marching to the tune of modernity, developed a quasi-Christianity created in the image of man – they have reaped what they sowed. The so-called new paradigm church movement today has not bothered to dispense with the Scriptures. In fact many, if not most, of these churches consider themselves evangelical and would declare that they are believers in the inerrancy of the Bible. The problem is they lack confidence in the Scriptures and have therefore co-mingled it with a plethora of supplemental sources. The effect is that while clinging tenaciously to a doctrinal statement affirming biblical inerrancy, the authority of Scripture has been undermined. Of what real value is a Bible that we cannot trust? If the Bible is not sufficient, as well as inerrant, then it has no real impact in how we live or how we structure the church. In essence, the new paradigm church, during these last two decades, has done exactly what the liberal church did a hundred years ago – they just have not been honest enough to admit it (or perhaps are ignorant of what they have done). Both groups have replaced Scripture with the wisdom of their age. Instead of evaluating every thought and movement of society by the Word, they have pressed the Scriptures through the grid of modern thought. That portion of the Word which survives this process can be embraced; the portion that does not can be ignored. Few are so bold as to say this out loud, leading to much confusion and deception, but this is the spiritual landscape in which the twenty-first century church navigates. This is the mindset of the vast majority of evangelicals...

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