Saturday, December 31, 2005
Someone has wisely said, “We may not practice what we preach, but we will practice what we believe”. You are a product of what you believe, your actions demonstrably prove what your mind has been thinking and dwelling upon.
In other words, our personal philosophy dictates how we live our private, and public lives. What are some reasons we keep some things personal, and others we allow to be publicized? There could be many reasons, such as our personal beliefs not being politically correct, or maybe shame of what others will think.
If your personal faith is not ultimately expressed, I would venture to say that faith is weak and impotent. You definitely would not risk your life defending it, or stake your reputation and good name upon it.
There are many varying degrees of faith; for example you may have faith in your friend to drive their car responsibly, but you would place absolutely no faith in the same friend to fly a jet. We exercise faith daily in a variety of ways when we put our lives in the hands of individuals and machines. This is what we would call calculated faith, we have weighed the circumstances and find the risk acceptable to take.
Another type of faith is that of visiting our doctor; how many times have we taken some pill simply because our doctor or Pharmacist told us it was necessary for our continued health? We have no idea what’s in the medication, but we place faith in that person, or organization, and their reputation as being credible.
Well, the faith that matters most is the faith that comes not from ourselves, but rather is a gift from God.
"For by grace are you saved through faith; and this not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9
What do I need saving from? From the wrath and judgment of God. God is loving, but He is also just and therefore must punish all sin. Simply put, sin is the transgression (breaking) of God’s righteous, holy, and eternal laws. This is His objective standard by which all peoples, nations, and societies will be judged.
Let me list a few of God’s commands and see how you do on these:
Have you ever told a lie?
Have you ever stolen anything? (Something not rightfully belonging to you)
Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? (This is called Blasphemy)
Have you ever lusted after another person sexually?
Have you dishonoured your parents in any way?
These are but five commands that if we are honest, we must admit we are guilty of. So what does that make us? Nothing less than a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart, who has blasphemously mocked God and His authority.
God is not willing that any should perish, but He will not force His will upon any of us. Rather, scripture says he is as gentle as a dove. That is the difference between religion and the saviour, Jesus Christ. Religion forces us to comply to a set of rigid standards, where Christ is saying come unto me, and I will give you rest. Rest from what? From our self efforts, our attempts to be a “good” person, our attempts to please God or some other person.
How do we get this rest? Simply by confessing (agreeing with what is already true) that we are sinners, that we have violated and broken God’s holy and righteous standards. Then, by faith, simply ask Christ to save you from the penalty of His justice and receive the gift of eternal life offered freely to all who will accept it.
I must confess my inability to better explain the awesome offer of grace. If you are interested in more information on how to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, please check this out.
God’s blessings to all who read these words,
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Do you know which political party is pro-life?
Do you know which political party is concerned with keeping God in our constitution?
And, do you know which political party is pro-family?
Yes, I know it sounds like an oxymoron, to have a political party espousing core values as their platform policies.
Years ago, I was a devout conservative who supported the PC's and later the Reformed/Alliance bandwagon. I believed that this party would be able to help keep bad legislation from entering the halls of Parliament. However, severe disillusionment has set in after watching this party apathetically sit by and allow a law legalizing "same-sex" sodomite unions.
It seems the union of the Alliance with the Progressive Conservatives watered out the last bastion of morality the right wing party had. Now they are no better than a blue version of the left moving Liberals.
So where does this leave the "moral majority" of our nation? Without a voice in Parliament! To be sure, if you are concerned about the rights of unborn children, if you are repulsed with the rampant pro-sodomy agenda, if you believe government should be organized according to the eternal laws of God's Word, and be held accountable; then you have basically no voice left in Ottawa to speak for you.
Enter the "fringe" party know as CHP, the Christian Heritage Party. Ok, for years I thought these guys were just a bunch of hicks with bad haircuts. But after reading what they stand for and listening to their leader speak out on these key issues, I began to think that maybe they could effect some change in our esteemed halls of government.
So, now your mind is rapidly coming up with excuses for supporting the status quo; I know the questions you are thinking about.
Why waste your vote on a party that will never get elected?
Who would vote for a "Christian" party?
Is there not supposed to be a separation between church and state?
Why support a party that isn't taken seriously by the opposition?
***Fill in the question here***
Well, I am not going to answer these but simply refer you to the leader of the CHP would has done a fine job of answering his critics on these and other questions.
It's time that we as christians stop voting for the lesser of two evils and begin to stand for righteousness by putting our support behind those who will defend the defenseless, put their convictions ahead of their career, and fear God rather than man.
Please take time to listen to Ron Gray speak on Peter Warren's radio show. I think he did a very good job of shutting Mr. Warren's mouth quite nicely.
Listen to the interview
For y'all down south in the U.S., it's time to awaken from the coziness you have been in and begin to pray earnesty for your nation. I truly believe that '08 will be a pivotal election in the history of America, possibly greater than any point in your history. How long can a nation wallow in sin and degradation before God ultimately comes and declares judgement? I believe that when a godless leader is raised up, this is the sign of God's impending wrath. Let's be sober and do business with our Lord.
Do you have an opinion on what you just read? Don't keep it to yourself, please leave a comment...
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Hurry! Run for your lives! The ice age is coming! ahhhh.....
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
|You scored as Calvinism. You are a Calvinist. You hate everyone that does not believe like you, you are hateful and proud.|
You do not witness. God can save the world without you.
created with QuizFarm.com
Having taken the Theology test at quickfarm.com, I was horrified to find myself labeled as a hateful Calvinist. But faced with the choices of either being an Atheist or an Arminian, I guess Calvinism would be the lesser of three evils.
Now obviously, the designers of this site were biased in the creation of the questions. I think probably more pinpointed questions related directly to Scriptural doctrines could help to define one’s spiritual label.
Speaking of labels, I prefer the term ‘believer in the Lord Jesus Christ’, maybe even ‘follower of Christ’. But not some man-made, date stamped, doctrinally divisive term that is not a perfect representation of the nature of God.
Now I know that labels are only quick reference tags for our understanding of someone’s philosophy, but seriously, don’t you find that your attitude towards someone changes as soon as they call themselves by a certain label? Ok, being labeled as someone who does not witness; that truth is painful! Lord, help me to be a faithful voice for you.
‘What’s your Theological Worldview?’
|You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.|
What's your theological worldview?
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Ok, before I am crucified for being labeled a Wesleyan, let’s remember that good ol’ John did not invent the doctrines of Scripture. Having said that, I read the biography of his life, and was deeply impressed with his devotion to the gospel. What other man so impacted England as John Wesley. Ok, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, John Newton, etc…
If I could be half the evangelist that either John or George was, I would forever be grateful.
I was surprised however to read that John Wesley supported infant baptism, as well he did not have complete assurance of salvation by faith alone. In fact, George Whitefield felt compelled to part company due to these doctrinal issues. Nevertheless, both men remained amicable in their relationship, and both heavily advanced the causes of the gospel. Indeed, much can be said for John & George keeping England from going down the path of revolution that occurred in France. While England “chose” the gospel, France on the other hand took hold of Secular Humanism and championed a man-centered religion of works and superstition. By the fruits you shall know the tree.
What’s your eschatology?
|You scored as Premillenialist. Premillenialism believes that there will be a rapture and tribulation before Jesus returns and overthrows the antichrist and establishes his Kingdom. Current events are spoken of in scripture.|
What's your eschatology?
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Well, that’s taking a very large brush and sweeping across the vastness of Scripture to try and formulate a one worded terminology of my current understanding of the end times.
How many of us would be comfortable in saying that we have all knowledge, and know all mysteries? Rather, we should be saying, by the grace of God He has revealed to me my current understanding of His Word. Nevertheless, I am pressing upwards to the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, being made conformable to His death.
Saying it another way, based on the present revelation of God’s Word, I believe so and so regarding the return of Christ. However, I must confess that I do not have complete confidence as to the particulars in such and such areas of scripture.
Humility is crucial to receiving more grace! Grace ushers us into the presence of the Lord, and the Light of His Word, where all revelation is found. No amount of human understanding and knowledge will ever declare the truths of God apart from revelation.
So, pursue Christ! Get to know Him! Spend much time with Him in prayerful meditation of His written Logos. Let Him give to you the Rhemas of His Word. He will grant you so much light, that you will think you may explode at the abundance of the revelations. Remember, faith comes by hearing the Word ( Rhema, not Logos).
Grace & Peace be yours in Christ!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
So what am I saying? That discernment of doctrine is wrong? Or that we should not reason from the scriptures? None of these things are wrong in and of themselves. However when they become the focus of our spiritual pursuits, we lose perspective on what the purpose of our Christian life is all about.
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. He Himself is that life! He did not come simply to teach us pure doctrine, or any other outward issue. Christ Jesus came to bring us into union with Himself. John tells us that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son, cleanses us from all sin.”
Therefore the secret of fellowship is walking in the light! Praise the Lord! It’s not about us, it’s all about Him. The more we behold Him, the more we are changed from glory to glory, even as from the Lord’s Spirit.
When we walk in the light, God reveals any sins present in us. As we confess ours sins, His blood cleanses us allowing closer and deeper fellowship with the Triune God. This is the ultimate goal of any believer, to live in constant communion with our Lord.
In order for any two believers to have fellowship with each other, the first prerequisite is fellowship with God. In other words, there must be a relationship between Christ and the believer where the light is shining into their life. As two or more saints gather “into” His name, Christ Himself is present in their midst. This becomes the basis for true fellowship which alone can produce unity and oneness.
The gospel of John tells us clearly that Christ Himself is the Word, the Life, and the Light. Does it not make sense that to understand the Word accurately, we must be in the Light?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in order for our discussions to be profitable, we must be walking in the light. Simply proving one’s point apart from the presence of the Holy Spirit will only lead to contention and strife.
So to end, let us speak the truth in love one to another, having our words full of grace, seasoned with salt. Let us consider one another, provoking each one to love and good works.
Grace and Peace be multiplied in your lives!
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
I hope to hear comments and feedback from you, the dear reader.
Friday, December 09, 2005
This past Sunday evening, our church had the privilege of hearing from a missionary couple who are currently serving in Russia.
Well, a missionary wants nothing better than to bring home a glowing report of how God is working, how many people have gotten saved, etc.
There was some progress to report, but more strikingly portrayed was the immense need of that country, and the struggles faced in simply connecting on a personal level with the general public. It seems 70 years of communism have created substantial fears and distrust of westerners, along with their intentions. The people could not figure out why anyone would want to move to Russia from “America”.
It was surprising to see that in the northern part of Russia, there were tribal people very similar to our North American Indians, even still using the “teepee” for their nomadic shelter. They have managed to maintain their cultural lifestyle alongside the emerging modernism of secular Russian society.
What came across in stark black and white was that regardless of where people live, the excuses for not believing the Word of God are very similar. It seems the devil has only a limited number of tools that he uses, and modifies for specific occasions.
So while there was a definite sense of the enormity of the task before them, there was also the realization that this is the Lord’s work, and He will complete what He has begun.
But what happens to a nation where the Bible has been outlawed for 70 years, where people have been indoctrinated with Atheism, and a major distrust of foreigners prevents easy building of relationships? Prayer is essential, but preaching and teaching are also paramount. What Russia needs is godly men to go and make disciples, who in turn will make disciples, so that a healthy and vibrant church can be established , which can withstand the Schisms of internal politicking, and the external threats from the state and established Orthodoxy.
Is the time ripe for Russia’s own “Reformation”? Only God knows, but wouldn’t that be awesome! If you think of it, please pray for the dear saints who are attempting to stand firm for Christ in the vastest nation on earth. Pray that the Word will go forth and bear much fruit.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
It was neat how the situation developed for us to discuss things of the scriptures. I found out that his wife was planning to baptize their one year old baby. I then asked him whether or not he had a Christian upbringing. He replied that he had not grown up going to church and was not really familiar with these things.
I then asked him the following question; “If you were to die tonight, where would you go? Where would you spend eternity?” I told him that life does not simply end at death but rather we go on to face the judgment of God and will give an account for everything we have done in this life.
Then I proceeded to go through some of the Ten Commandments with him to see how “good” of a person he actually was. Of course he had to admit he was a liar, a thief, an adulterer in his heart, and a blasphemer before God. Nevertheless, he still did not see himself as a very bad person.
He asked me, “How do you know any of this stuff is true”? I began to realize he did not have the standard foundation of bible knowledge that many of us growing up in Sunday school take for granted. So I started at the beginning, describing how God created the world and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I then showed him how they had taken of the fruit against the express command of God. This act on their part introduced sin into their lives, and the lives of everyone of their descendants showing him that all of us were therefore sinners. (Rom. 3:23)
I went on to explain how many prophecies had been fulfilled exactly as foretold hundreds of years prior by Isaiah and others. In fact, even in the Garden, Christ was prophesied to crush the head of the enemy. I explained that this book, the Bible, was written by about 40 different authors over a period of 1500 years and yet fit together like a glove.
I told him that only Jesus Christ had ever claimed to be God; not Mohammed, not Buddha, not any other religious figure in history. I further told him that the god of Islam was not the same as the God of the Bible. The god of Islam was a god of wrath and vengeance, but the God of the Bible was a God of justice and mercy. God is just and will not give us more than we deserve, yet neither will He give us less than we deserve. However, He is also merciful and does not want to give us what we deserve, but rather what we do not deserve; His mercy.
He then asked me, “So are you saying that I am the same as murders, etc.” Have you ever had that question before? I told him that we as humans like to grade ourselves on a curve and compare ourselves with others who are a lot “worse”. This makes us look comparatively better and puts our fears at ease regarding our sinful condition. I told him that there are possibly sins of degree, but that we have ALL fallen short of God’s perfection and glory. Further, Revelation declares that all liars, fornicators, adulterers, murderers, whoremongers, etc. will have their place in the lake of fire. This lake of fire was originally reserved for the devil and his angels but now that man has also rebelled against God, many will sadly share the same end as Satan.
Jesus revealed that the sins of the heart were equivalent with actually committing the “sin”. James has also mentioned that if we break one of God’s commandments we stand guilty of all. I told him that man is without excuse concerning the existence of God, because creation itself clearly shows His handiwork.
I said to him; “What is harder to believe, that an intelligent person created everything we see, or that we evolved from a piece of dust?” So, the Atheistic argument is simply a smokescreen to the true issue which is; we do not want to obey God or submit to His plan.
I left that lunchtime excited and rejoicing that I was able to witness for Christ and share the life changing news of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. If you remember please pray for this man that the Word would do a work in his heart, that he would see how truly sinful he is.
Praise the Lord, I thank Him for the opportunity when so many times I quench the Spirit’s leading to speak. Go ahead, take a chance and open your mouth for the Lord.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Today's date reminded me of a very significant event which occurred exactly 64 years ago. In fact it was a defining moment in the history of the United States. It marked the start of the U.S. involvement in WWII, a commitment which would continue for 5 years to come.
Many of our decisions in life are made by defining moments, in fact many things that happen to us directly affect how we will respond to life. While we cannot choose the things that happen to us, we can definitely choose how we will respond to them.
How are you responding to life's crises? God promised that His grace would be sufficient for our need, but we must choose to accept that grace. This requires humility, first to acknowledge our need for Christ, and secondly to ask for His grace. But oh the joy!
One fine evening a few months ago, I attended a revival meeting being held in a city close by. There I happened to meet Daniel. After the meeting Daniel and I chatted while our wives became acquainted and exchanged email addresses. I had first met Daniel a year or so prior when he brought a few young men out to one of our prayer meetings. Since that time, he has come a number of times to preach on Sunday morning. We have been without a full-time pastor for almost two years, and therefore had invited different brothers to come and minister the word to us.
I was struck by Daniel's descriptive use of the English language to create word pictures, as well as his ability to expound the scriptures.
Later that evening at home, I "googled" the Sutera Twins ( The two men leading this revival) to find out more about them and their ministry. To my surprise I stumbled across a link to Daniel's Blog (Doulogos). So it was Daniel that introduced me to the Blogosphere and the interesting characters in this otherworld.
Well, I figured this would be a great way for me to add my two cents worth, and at the same time work on my own expounding of the faith. For only when you must explain what you believe and why, does the lack of preparation and study become apparent. So contending for the faith can really act as a catalyst for spiritual growth.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
If you have just arrived, let me say welcome. I hope to bring content that will be both challenging and stimulating in a more meaningful way than simply producing useless fluff.
As the Banner suggests, we want to confront some of the long held traditional views that Christians hold which are not entirely biblical, and in reality distort the truth of the gospel. Rather than engaging in fruitless debates, my desire is to stimulate discussion that seeks truth based on the Word of God alone. Truly, each one of us is endowed with our own peculiar "sacred cows" which can nullify or make void the commandments of God.
As the writer of Hebrews challenges us to; cast off every encumbrance and the sin which so easily besets us, let us run the race with patience, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
I will also bring reviews of books that have had an impact on my Christian walk and growth. So, I hope you will check back and honor me with your comments and critiques.
p.s. Do you have a book that has impacted your faith? I would love to hear about it. I would also be interested in any "book reviews" you have done on in the past, and would consider linking if they are edifying in nature.