Thursday, January 29, 2009


I believe that our purpose here on earth is to love Yahweh God, to obey Him and to glorify Him forever. Our purpose is not for our own happiness, but rather to serve and honor God. With this in mind, let us offer up praise to the Lord Yahweh, God our Heavenly Father, and to Yeshua Hamashia, Jesus, Who is God the Son. He alone (God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the triune God, three Persons yet one Being) is worthy of our praise.

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!"
—Psalm 100:4

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High."
—Psalm 92:1

"I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music."
—Psalm 101:1

"Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
—Psalm 105:1-2

"Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!"
—Psalm 150:1-6

For the born-again (regenerated) Christian, who is made new in Christ, transformed and reborn, made into a new creature, God the Holy Spirit lives inside that person and, when that person spends intimate time with their Lord and walks in obedience to God, the Holy Spirit can fill up every part of that person's being, empowering that person to do only what is the will of God, and filling that person with an otherworldly joy that no unbeliever has ever experienced. Though sin will immediately quench the filling of the Holy Spirit, there is forgiveness (1 John 1:9), and that intimacy can once again be achieved by spending time with God. Though each and every one of us has sinned countless times against a perfectly pure, holy, righteous, awesome and fearful God, and though each and every one of us fully deserves to be punished terribly in hellfire and damnation for all eternity (for God's creation has rebelled and turned against Him), in His love, and for His glory, the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus the Messiah, God the Son, has come down to be born as one of the lowly creatures He created, and has suffered torture and even death for us, legally taking our place by dying in our place, the Son satisfying the wrath of the Father and drinking fully of the cup of the wrath of the Father, so that those whose names were chosen before the beginning of time will turn to Him and be trophies of His grace, mercy and love; while those who continue to rebel and mutiny against a holy, righteous God, and never accept the offered forgiveness of God, will nevertheless still bring glory to God by being examples of God's justice, and being instruments of God's wrath.

To Yahweh God we give praise, honor and thanksgiving. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, the three in one.

(I drew this in Adobe Illustrator. When I first uploaded it as a JPEG, it had a white bar on the left side. So now I have re-saved it as a JPEG from Photoshop, after cropping out the white vertical bar in Photoshop.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How proactive should we be?

This post is just going to be some random thoughts.

After my dad died a few years ago, the urgency of spending the rest of my days wisely (i.e., for things that have eternal value) really hit me. I am not sure where my dad is today, and I quickly discovered that I cannot dwell on that thought for very long. What I can do, however, is tell others about Jesus, so that they can know how to have eternal life.

Regarding that, I see too many evangelists give messages that make it sound like God is a lonely God that is merely looking for friends. They tell people to simply repeat a simple little prayer. Too often this leads to false converts, because no real effort or sacrifice is required on the part of the person, and they are never told the rest of the gospel. The fact that they are a wicked sinner under God's wrath and deserving only Hell is often not mentioned to them. The necessity of repentance from their sin is never mentioned. If their life is not drastically changed by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, and if they basically continue living the way they lived before, then I would question whether regeneration has ever taken place. It is true that 'good' works cannot save you. But it is also true that following Christ means obeying Christ. And one necessary key is learning how to die to self. Too much teaching in the Church today focuses on building up self. Instead, we need to focus on forgetting self and bringing glory to Christ Jesus.

I think it was also since my dad died that I decided I was going to stand up for truth, no matter what the consequences, especially in this day when there is so much false doctrine. However, in the past year or so, doing this has caused a lot of conflict. And most of that conflict has been with Christians. I have discovered that most Christians just want to hear things that give them that warm, fuzzy feeling. They don't want to hear negative things. I have also discovered that I tend to focus on negative things, as well as on issues of discerning doctrinal points. So I'm trying to discover how to find a balance.

Now we have a U.S. President who is the farthest left and most liberal President that this country has ever had. I really don't know how far things are going to go. But I think that it is urgent that Christians come together like never before, especially in intercessory prayer. I am tempted to just give up on this country and have the attitude that its useless to try to do anything to turn it around. I suspect that the United States is headed for a level of godlessness and rebellion against God that it has never experienced before. Besides prayer, I think Christians also need to spend more time reading and studying God's Word than ever before, and also spend time memorizing Scripture.

I pulled this image off the Internet. Originally it was in full color, but in Photoshop, I desaturated it, then painted the color back in on the flower area with the History Brush.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Recently I was accused of hate by someone on Facebook who said that Americans were naive. And indeed I was naive to think that this person could understand a situation in a city they had never been to, located in a country they had never been to, and especially since this person had told me they had spent time in an insane asylum.

However, God used this person to teach me a lesson in humility, and to examine myself concerning prejudice. I made the mistake of trying to explain to this person my resentment (in the city I was born and raised in, which I moved away from about 7 years ago) over the fact that I could not communicate with my next door neighbors, people at the grocery store, people at the laundromat, etc., because I did not speak their language, and many of them did not speak mine, even though it was in my own country. It did not help that those who lived around me had been brought up in a different culture that I had, and they thought differently and did things differently because of it. I felt like a foreigner in my own hometown. Most of those who were like me (white, Anglo-Saxon Americans) had moved away from that city. I also resented the crazy drivers, the corrupted politics, the overcrowded beaches, etc.

The group this person accused me of hating was Cubans. The first Cubans that came over to Miami, like the ones that were our neighbors when I was little, and like one guy who was one of my best friends before moving from there, were completely different; they were gentlemen and had traditional values. In contrast, the ones that lived around me the last 16 years I was there, when I lived in an apartment, were nothing like that. Many of them were the ones that Castro had let out of prison (called "mariolitas"). They sold drugs, would brag about stealing from stores and getting away with it, worked on other people's cars illegally in their yard and used Super Glue to glue the car parts together, had fathers who were in prison, did dentistry work out of their apartments (which was illegal), and sacrificed chickens and goats by decapitating them and leaving them on the railroad tracks (they practiced animal sacrifices, since they were in a religion called Santeria, which incorporated voodoo). Even one of my former Cuban girlfriends had been in prison in Cuba, though the reason she was there was because she was in an organization that was against Communism.

This person who accused me said that the fact that they had two coffee mugs that had images of American cities on them was obvious proof that they did not hate Americans. Rather than defending myself or continuing to argue with them, which I figured would be a waste of time trying to reason with them, I merely deleted them as a Facebook friend, which I actually should have done long ago, because this person also had previously attacked one of my friends very viciously, a guy who is a very nice guy, and who never attacks anyone. This person would also post messages of how she couldn't stand people, and only loved her cat, and that only her cat could understand what she was going through. She compared her situation to the martyrs of old, and she said that, because of her illness, she could relate to their persecution and suffering. She would complain that she had to drop many people as friends, and she counted that as part of her suffering. The constant negative messages this person would put on Facebook was another reason to delete her as a Facebook friend, even so it was an unfortunate step.

This person said that owning two coffee cups with American cities on them is obvious proof that they did not hate Americans. Well, my sister-in-law is Cuban. My brother-in-law's stepdad is Cuban (his mom is Puerto Rican). I have dated Cuban girlfriends. Many, and maybe even most, of my friends over the years have been Cubans. Some of my closest best friends have been Cubans. I have attended Cuban churches where the entire service was in Spanish. I have lived among Cubans my entire life (until I moved to my current city).

However, this also reminds me how much people of other cultures and other languages and other skin colors affect and influence our lives, often in very positive ways. The person who witnessed to me, which led to my accepting Christ, was a black guy. I have two goddaughters, and one of them is black. I have had a number of brothers in Christ who were strong Christians, who were Cuban. One of my cousins used to be married to a Native American. My niece is dating a Puerto Rican. One of my brothers used to be married to a woman from Honduras. He also had dated a black woman from England. Another girl that I dated for a while was from Hawaii. My two roommates one year in college were Haitian. Growing up, there was an Italian couple who lived across the street from us. In the apartment I lived for 16 years in Miami, before moving to Central Florida, there was only 1 other 'Gringo' American for miles around that I knew of, but, other than him, the only other non-Hispanic guy was an Italian. My Aunt is from France. And for 2 years, through Compassion International, I sponsored two kids in Thailand.

So, really, the world we are living in is getting smaller and smaller, and, though there will be conflict among people no matter who they are, hate is not the answer. And hate is never the proper Christian response.

I was also accused of hate when I tried visiting a gay discussion board online, for the purpose of trying to witness the gospel to them. But, as soon as I said that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, they angrily accused me of being homophobic and of hating gays. What if I was talking about a close relative who was an alcoholic? If I loved that relative, would that mean that I must also love the fact that he is an alcoholic? Does that mean that I must encourage him to continue being an alcoholic? Or what if someone in my family was a thief, and was going to prison for burglary? Would the fact that I loved them mean that I must also love their habit of stealing things, and must encourage them to continue stealing things? Of course not. Just because I was against what they were doing, does not mean that I hate them.

If one is to be a committed Christian and stand up for what the Bible teaches, then one must stand against sin. However, at the same time, one must also love people, no matter who they are or what they've done. Now, some Christians say that God doesn't see any sin as being worse than any other sin. Though one sin will keep a person out of heaven just as quickly as another sin will, God obviously does see some sins as being worse than others, because certain sins have worse consequences than other sins do, and the Bible teaches there are different levels of punishment in Hell. Nevertheless, it is also wrong to villainize one sin, while ignoring all other sins. Homosexuality is not the only sin in the world. Many years ago, there were some Baptists who used to talk about dancing like it was the worst thing in the world (and dancing, in and of itself, is not sin, because even King David danced before the Lord). There were also some Methodists at one time who preached against smoking like it was the worst thing in the world. Though I believe a Christian should be pro-active and speak out, we cannot have tunnel vision and focus only on one sin like its the only sin in the world. In fact, those who have blown up abortion clinics have committed sin themselves. Killing people in order to stop the widespread genocide of unborn babies is not the answer.

In summary, while the Christian must stand up for truth and what is morally right biblically, the Christian must also love people. Love God first, then love others more than self. This is part of what it means to die to self.

Above: I pulled a photo off the Internet and used Photoshop to make it look like a painting.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Dena Gewanter, M.D., Israel
January 19, 2009

"While the media in the West are lambasting Israel for killing women and children, and are saturating their viewers with horrific photos of bloodied corpses, Israel as a nation is undergoing an astonishing spiritual awakening as a result of this conflict. It is a pity that the world is unable to be witness to the miracles that are occurring here daily. Even the most jaded person would be amazed at the transformation of the people in this country. After many years of feeling the underdog and fearful of the approbation of he outside world, Israel is undergoing an absolute renaissance on a personal and national level.

First and foremost, Israel as a nation has finally decided to throw aside the fear of being rejected by the nations and embrace its sovereign right to defend it’s citizens from terrorist attacks. What is so astonishing, for those who know Jews and particularly Israelis, is that a whopping 92% of Jewish Israelis actually AGREE that the war is necessary and just. The adage of 2 Jews, 3 opinions and 4 political parties has vaporized in the face of the national crisis we are in. Not only is there agreement among the populace, but also the left wing and the right wing of the political spheres agree. Even more amazing is the concordance among the various religious factions: Ashkenazi, Sephardic, reform and conservative, Zionists are all joining together in prayer and supplication to the Almighty for salvation, protection and victory over our enemies. There are calls to prayer everywhere, regardless of denomination or ethnic background, everyone is united in looking towards the God of Israel to keep our soldiers safe and help us win against an evil enemy who has sworn never to stop until Israel as a nation is destroyed. The soldiers themselves seem to have a huge spiritual hunger, and are united in not only asking for prayer but also praying themselves, wearing tzitzit (prayer tassles) into battle and carrying the book of Psalms with them. The Rabbis are calling the tzitzit “heavenly flak jackets!” Tent synagogues on the battlefield have no less than 10 sessions every morning, and it is reported that soldiers who never attended synagogue are now praying with tefillim. They have reason to cry out to God, since everyone is aware of the years of preparation of the bloodthirsty Hamas militants, their desire to kill, maim or kidnap Israeli soldiers is greater than their desire to live; they have been financed by Iran and supported by Syria and Hezbollah. Yet, we are defeating them, and there are reports daily of amazing miracles of protection and Divine direction during the battle.

The following are just a few examples: A Hamas map was found, with booby-traps, landmines and sniper positions clearly spelled out. The IDF was able to counter each installation due to the information given. A large platoon of soldiers not realizing they were resting in a school that was booby-trapped, (discovered by a soldier relieving himself in the night), disarmed the bombs with no one hurt. A single soldier successfully fought off several Hamas terrorists trying to drag him into a tunnel, and all were captured. Hundreds of tunnels, hidden in homes under beds and kitchen cabinets, all full of live explosives and ammunition, yet none have exploded with IDF soldiers inside.

While there have been soldiers wounded, there are miracles there as well. A young man who moved here alone from England less than 2 years ago to serve in the army was in an explosion, and thrown into the air. After being carried off the field by other soldiers and transported on a tractor to helicopter and then to hospital, the doctors were utterly stunned when they saw that a piece of shrapnel that went completely through his neck, missed the carotid artery, the jugular vein and the spinal cord by millimeters. After they removed it, he needed only stitches. Another soldier was shot through the back but the bullet missed his spinal cord and exited from the front. A young newlywed, in grave condition, inexplicably turned for the better and will recover to go home to his wife.

On the ground level, bombs continue to fall, but here again, miracle after miracle is reported even on the local news. One hears the word “nes” (miracle) over and over by the reporters and the bystanders. A bomb heading toward 4 apartment buildings goes into a sewer pipe and explodes underground, damaging nothing above ground. An elderly woman caught in an apartment completely demolished by a bomb, walks out with scratches on her ankle. The mayor of Beersheva felt he should cancel school one day, and a rocket completely destroys an empty kindergarten. The elder housing complex that was hit in Nahariya had the sleeping quarters destroyed, but everyone had just gone to breakfast, so no one injured. A man leaves his car with his young daughter, and the car is blown up moments later after they entered a bomb shelter. If they had taken a few more seconds, he and his daughter would have been burned to a crisp. He was televised saying again and again it was a miracle.

Similar stories like these were heard during the second Lebanon war, reported on Israeli radio and television, but no one in the west ever heard; only negative propaganda from the terrorists was reported, whose aim was to malign Israel and make us look like a nation of bloodthirsty killers.

One has to grieve over the terrible destruction of the cities in Gaza and the horrific human tragedy going on there, but the responsibility for the suffering and death is directly on the doorstep of the Hamas leadership. These deluded people think that their god, Allah, will give them victory, and have entered into a battle with the true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are literally living in times like those of the Scriptures, when the Lord told Elisha all the plans of the enemy, until the enemy began to wonder if there was a spy in their ranks.

There is hope here and unity of resolve, not despair. Even the parents of Yoni Natanel, killed by friendly fire, were quoted as saying that their son died “for the sanctification of God’s name,” and forgave and blessed those who accidently fired at his unit. There is such heroism and courage here, one wishes that the world could see it, but as one of our journalists said, the media have left
their brains at the door of Ben Gurion Airport. They are many miles away from the actual battle, wear flak jackets and helmets for the cameras, and then take them off to have cappuccino at the local restaurant!

Fortunately, Israelis are accustomed to being misunderstood and maligned by the outside world. At this point, everyone knows we have a job to do, and we are becoming more and more aware that there is a greater Power than us is on our side.

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chron 7:14)."

Dena Gewanter, M.D.
Kiriat Yam, Israel

(The above article is from ISRAPUNDIT)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


As a Christian, I know that when I die, I am going to Heaven. I also know that there will be two judgments in Heaven: (1) What has been referred to as the ‘Great White Throne Judgment,’ which is where unbelievers will be judged, and every single one of them will fail the test and be cast into Hell for all eternity; and (2) What is sometimes referred to as ‘The Bema Seat Judgment,’ also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is where the believer’s works will be tested, as by fire, to see what amount were done for the sake of Christ alone. Everything done for selfish reasons will be burned up. For whatever works remain, that believer will receive a reward. The Bible mentions several types of crowns that will be given out. However, believers will then cast those crowns at the feet of Christ, because it is only because of Christ that we could do any of those things, just as it is only because of Christ that we can even be saved from Hell.

So, knowing these things, how should I then live my life?

Have you ever seen an extremely obese person with a huge plate of food…and a Diet Coke? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Do they actually think that Diet Coke is going to help them lose weight, when they are also eating all that food?” The Diet Coke might possibly help to ease a guilty conscience or help them feel slightly less embarrassed about their weight, but its not going to make them thin.

Or, think about a guy whose dream is to become Mr. America or Mr. Olympia: If that guy only works out 10 or 15 minutes a day, do you think he will ever even come close to reaching that goal?

Similar to the person who eats a huge meal and yet drinks a Diet Coke, or the person who works out 10-15 minutes a day and expects to become Mr. Olympia, I find myself, on the average, spending between a few minutes, to maybe 15 minutes, reading and studying the Bible, and maybe somewhere between a couple minutes, to maybe a little over 30 minutes a day, total, in prayer. Yet, I spend a few hours a day watching TV, a couple hours on top of that if I watch a DVD movie, maybe ½ hour on top of that if I play a PS2 game (lately I’ve been playing Fight Night, which is a boxing game), and several hours a day on the Internet (e-mail, Facebook, etc.) Granted, a fair amount of that time spent reading and replying to e-mails, as well as on Facebook (and blogging) has to do with talking about God. Still, if I want to become as Christ-like as I can during the time I have left on this earth, then should I not be spending much more intimate time with God, reading and studying His Word, and in prayer? The saints of old spent hours every day in prayer, as well as hours reading and studying God’s Word; and they had to do it by candlelight, because most of them had no electricity. I'm not talking about becoming a recluse monk. I'm talking about the fact that what we put into our minds affects how we live, how we act, how we talk, and how we think. If I am having a problem with anger, lust, prejudice, etc., then putting thoughts of love, forgiveness, etc. in my head will help that. If I want to act more like Jesus did, then I need to re-program my mind to think more like Jesus thought, and the way to do that is through reading/studying the Bible, and prayer. If I want to get to know God better, the way to do that is by reading and studying His Word. If I want my actions to change, and live more like God wants me to live, then I need to spend more time in His Word. TV, movies, and other earthly pleasures and entertainment and luxuries are not going to help that. Besides, TV and movies are mostly filled with ungodly, wicked, evil things that do affect and influence the person who watches that stuff, and the more you are exposed to it, the more it affects you, generally speaking (even if you don't notice it at first). 'Garbage in, garbage out.'

If Jesus Christ is the most important thing, and the most important One in my life, then I should spend more time with Him than with anything else. On my deathbed, I won’t care a bit about how much time I spent playing PS2 games, or surfing the net, or watching TV. But I will care how much time I spent reading the Bible, studying the Bible, memorizing Scripture, and, probably most of all, telling others about Jesus, so that I can hopefully bring as many with me to Heaven as possible.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What do John 1:1,14 mean when they declare that Jesus is the Word of God?

"The answer to this question is found by first understanding the reason why John wrote his gospel. We find his purpose clearly stated in John 20:30-31. “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.” Once we understand that John’s purpose was to introduce the readers of his gospel to Jesus Christ, establishing Who Jesus is (God in the flesh) and what He did, all with the sole aim of leading them to embrace the saving work of Christ in faith, we will be better able to understand why John introduces Jesus as “The Word” in John 1:1.

By starting out his gospel stating, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” John is introducing Jesus with a word or a term that both his Jewish and Gentile readers would have been familiar with. The Greek word translated “Word” in this passage is Logos, and it was common in both Greek philosophy and Jewish thought of that day. For example, in the Old Testament the “word” of God is often personified as an instrument for the execution of God’s will (Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:15-18). So, for his Jewish readers, by introducing Jesus as the “Word,” John is in a sense pointing them back to the Old Testament where the Logos or “Word” of God is associated with the personification of God’s revelation. And in Greek philosophy, the term Logos was used to describe the intermediate agency by which God created material things and communicated with them. In the Greek worldview, the Logos was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. Therefore, for his Greek readers the use of the term Logos would have likely brought forth the idea of a mediating principle between God and the world.

So, essentially, what John is doing by introducing Jesus as the Logos is drawing upon a familiar word and concept that both Jews and Gentiles of his day would have been familiar with and using that as the starting point from which He introduces them to Jesus Christ. But John goes beyond the familiar concept of Logos that his Jewish and Gentile readers would have had and presents Jesus Christ not as a mere mediating principle like the Greeks perceived, but as a personal being, fully divine, yet fully human. Also, Christ was not simply a personification of God’s revelation as the Jews thought, but was indeed God’s perfect revelation of Himself in the flesh, so much so that John would record Jesus’ own words to Philip: "Jesus said unto Him, 'Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, "Show us the Father"?'" (John 14:9). By using the term Logos or “Word” in John 1:1, John is amplifying and applying a concept that was familiar with his audience and using that to introduce his readers to the true Logos of God in Jesus Christ, the Living Word of God, fully God and yet fully man, who came to reveal God to man and redeem all who believe in Him from their sin."
(the above is from:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Look at James 4: Resolving Conflict

Submit Yourselves to God

Verses 1-10
These verses address you as a person
(Message: Conflicts are resolved only through submission to God.)

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."

Verses 11-12
These verses talk about dealing with a brother in Christ or your neighbor
(Message: Judgment belongs to God alone.)

"Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you — who are you to judge your neighbor?"

Boasting About Tomorrow

Verses 13-17
These verses talk about choosing God's will for the future over your will
(Message: Living with a surrendered attitude to God's will is the right attitude. The future belongs to God. You are not omniscient (all-knowing), so don't try to live as if you were.)

"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."

Conclusion: The way to overcome conflict, judgmentalism and self-centeredness is to submit to God's will. If we don't submit to God, we will have strife and conflict in our life.


-Who are you having conflict with in your life right now?

-Why are you not submitting to God to deal with this conflict?

-What person are you judging? (Note: Judging is different from discernment. Judging = condemning. Discerning = Recognizing the difference between right and wrong, and wanting the best for that person.)

-Why are you judging their actions? What sin or action are you judging?

God basically says, 'You can't love Me and treat your brother wrong.'

-By whose plan are you living out your life?

-What is God's will for your life?

-What is it that God has called you to do that you are refusing to do?

So, why is it that you have conflicts with other people? Because you are not humble and you are not submitting to God.

Note: A surrendered Christian who is following Christ and spreading the gospel through evangelism will face conflict from the world [system], the flesh[ly desires] and the devil. James 4 is not talking about this.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life is short. Eternity is long.


In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 am, regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths occurred around 11:00 am Sunday, so a worldwide team ... Read Moreof experts was assembled to investigate the cause of the incidents.

The next Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 am all of the doctors and nurses nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy object s to ward off the evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11:00, Pookie Johnson, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner.


The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez Oil spill in Alaska was $80,000.00. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were being released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. A minute later, in full view, a killer whale ate them both.


A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen shaking frantically, almost in a dancing frenzy, with some kind of wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current, she whacked him with a handy plank of wood, breaking his arm in two places. Up to that moment, he had been happily listening to his Walkman.


Two animal rights defenders were protesting the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn, Germany. Suddenly, all two-thousand pigs broke loose and escaped through a broken fence, stampeding madly. The two helpless protesters were trampled to death.


Iraqi terrorist Khay Rahnajet didn't pay enough postage on a letter bomb. It came back with 'Return to Sender' stamped on it. Forgetting it was the bomb, he opened it and was blown to bits.


"And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good ... Read Morethings laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
(Luke 12:16-21)

None of us know how long we have on this Earth. Are you ready for Eternity?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Your best life now??

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:1-4)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Should We Ignore the Fact that the Vast Majority of "Seeker Churches" Operate Like Cults?


(Click the Play button below)

"The church has been paralyzed in recent decades. At fault is a sugary, watered-down gospel that doesn't hold a candle to the one Jesus, Peter, Paul, and early church fathers preached.

Instead of presenting God's Pure Law, revealing sin, and then sharing Christ's death on the cross for our sins, and His being the ONLY Way, people are being told "you're life will be so much better if you just say this or pray this prayer!"

In church, instead of repenting and fleeing sin as Paul taught, we hear "pep talks" spattered with pop psychology. We hear smooth talks and friendly speeches that don't include adequate Biblical instruction. It's not PC to mention Hell.

Invitations are not about our dire need for Christ, but go more like, "God loves you and has a plan for your life." That is easy to read into, and doesn't even mention the gospel of Christ. When did that become our gospel presentation?

This is one reason we have more apostasy, more tares among the wheat, more Christians that don't act as they claim to be. This watered down gospel is very easy to vainly accept."


I was a member of a Charismatic church which one day had a few people stand up in front of the entire congregation while they loudly and aggressively tried to force them to speak in tongues. The Pastor had also once bragged that people who had left his congregation had died, but those who remained members of his congregation had not died. About a year later, some of the congregation confronted the Pastor about his continual and constant drinking from the Communion wine during the week. When the Pastor refused to listen, they brought it before the congregation. Eventually, they brought it before representatives of the leaders of that denomination. The church ended up splitting.

At the opposite end of the denominational spectrum, I have been a member of a Reformed Baptist church that started out very well, but when someone came in and took a position of leadership as an elder (who had been a member for only a few months, and a Christian for about a year), it apparently went to his head, and he seemed to get the idea that everyone in the congregation now must obey his every command, or else they were in sin. The church had never had an elder before. A spirit of control came over that church, to the point that it became cult-like. The church ended up splitting, and the Pastor quit the ministry. The elder became the Pastor of half of the church while the other half, which now met in the Town Hall, brought a lawsuit against them.

I have talked to a couple different people who said that they were members of non-denominational, Charismatic churches that they left for one reason or another, and the leadership at those churches commanded the entire congregation not to have any contact with them, since they had left the church. At the Baptist church that I mentioned previously, I learned that it was announced in front of the entire congregation that no one was to have any contact with me, and furthermore, that I had requested that no one contact me, which was a complete fabrication, because I had never said that.

Such things are most definitely a tragedy. In addition to such problems, there are televangelists and preachers in the Christian church who teach all sorts of false doctrines.

Why does this happen? Well, the root of it all, of course, is sin. People are sinful. When people spend enough time with each other, there will eventually be conflict. In addition, different people have different opinions and ideas about things. However, I think the most outstanding reason that tragedies like these occur in the Church is that Satan is out to destroy the Church. Not because he cares one single bit about human beings (as a powerful angel, he likely considers us little more than insects compared to him), but because he hates God, and he knows that Christians make up God's church, and that to attack and defame and corrupt God's church, is to bring dishonor and shame to God. So, in essence, Satan is attacking God through His church. And make no mistake about it: Satan has been around since the beginning of history (whenever it was that angels were created), and he has thousands of years of experience and gained knowledge. He knows the Bible better than you or I. And he and his fallen angels (demons) are constantly at work, trying to destroy Christians, and trying to destroy God's church. He does not need to sleep, and he is far more committed to his task and goal than are most, if not all, Christians. Therefore, because of our enemies, which are the world [system], the flesh[ly desires], and the devil, this is a [spiritual] war, and in this war, there are real casualties.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)

Because this is a war, we should not be surprised when we see churches that split, or people that fall away, or Pastors who teach false doctrines. In fact, because this is a war, we should be all the more committed to fighting this spiritual battle. "No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer." (2 Timothy 2:4) Yet, we are to take heart, because our Lord Christ has already won the victory for us, and we know that our God will show Himself triumphant in the end. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57) He is only allowing this sinful world to continue because of His grace, to give time for sinners to repent. And, though we cannot fully understand why some things happen as they do, He orchestrates everything in a manner where He will be glorified in and through all of it. Our job is merely to serve Him: through obeying His commands, telling others about Him, and loving Him first and our fellow man second. Doing these things successfully requires dying to self and living for Him alone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

Most famously preached on July 8, 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", is Jonathan Edwards' most recognizable sermon.

Part 1

Part 2

"There is nothing that keeps wicked men, at any moment, out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God."

This is Edwards theological expression, one that will be repeatedly invoked and used rhetorically throughout the remainder of the sermon. This section consists of ten "considerations", as Edwards refers to them, which he justifies through a combined use of observations and hellish imagery. They are as follows:

1. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment in time.

2. They [wicked men] deserve to be cast into hell: so that divine justice never stands in the way, it makes no objection against God's using his power at any moment to destroy them.

3. They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell.

4. They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God that is expressed in the torments of hell: and the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many of those miserable creatures that he is now tormenting in hell, and do there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath.

5. Satan stands ready to fall upon them and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him.

6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hellfire, if it were not for God's restraints.

7. It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand.

8. Natural men's prudence and care to preserve their own lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure them a moment.

9. All wicked men's pains and contrivance they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, don't secure them from hell for one moment.

10. God has laid himself under no obligation by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell one moment.

"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is a typical sermon of the Great Awakening, emphasizing the widely-held belief that Hell is a real and functional place. Edwards hoped that the imagery and message of his sermon would awaken his audience to the horrific reality that awaited them should they continue in their ways. The underlying point, often overlooked in this sermon, is that God has given humanity a chance to rectify their sins. Edwards says that it is the will of God that keeps wicked men from the depths of Hell; this act of restraint has given humanity a chance to change their ways and come to Christ. Jonathan Edwards' sermon continues to be the leading example of a Great Awakening sermon and is still used in religious and academic settings today.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brief Summary Of My Testimony

I grew up in a Lutheran church. But I was extremely shy, paranoid of people, terrified of social situations, and always fearful. While in Elementary School, I began reading the Bible on my own, and by the end of High School, I had read the entire Bible several times, in several versions/translations. But it wasn't until I was 19 that I became a true Christian. Someone in a Commercial Art class took me aside and told me how Christ Jesus was the Lord of his life, that his life was dedicated to following Christ, and that he was not afraid of people. He had something I wanted. I also read a gospel tract that showed me that I had sinned against God, and that, unless I surrendered my life fully to Christ, I was on my way to Hell. I had prayed and asked God to forgive me many times before, but this was different. I now surrendered my life to Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life. My life became different. I no longer fear dying, and I am a follower of Christ as my Master. He is my true joy. Nothing else compares.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Escape the Guilt Trap

How often do you commit a sin, and then fail to find a way to move past the regret and shame you feel? Most people wrestle with guilt from time to time.

The dictionary defines guilt as 1.) “the fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, esp. against moral or penal law” and 2.) “a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.” In other words, guilt has two components—the actual offense and the feelings that accompany it. ( Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.) Note: This study focuses on how to overcome genuine guilt. False guilt is a feeling of remorse over an imagined offense. If your “offense” doesn’t violate a law of the land, the rules of your workplace or church, or the principles of Scripture, your guilt is false.

Handling our Guilt

Once we start to feel remorseful about our wrongdoing, we often fail to respond to our guilt in a healthy manner.

How does the Bible characterize guilt?

"My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear."
(Psalm 38:4, NIV)

"A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood
Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him."
(Proverbs 28:17, NASB)

How do you typically handle feelings of guilt?

The Purpose of Guilt

Guilt is actually a God-given emotion. It has at least three functions: to prompt us to ask for forgiveness from those we hurt; to motivate us to make restitution whenever we can; and to draw us back to the Lord. In terms of our relationship with the Lord, the solution to guilty feelings is simple.

Read David’s experience with guilt:

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "—
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him."
(Psalm 32:1-6, NIV)

What did he know about how to handle it?

According to this same passage, how does God respond when we confess our sin and ask Him to remove our guilt?

Receiving Forgiveness

Many believers are unable to receive God’s forgiveness due to the emotional programming they’ve received from their upbringing, their church, or their culture. For instance, their parents might have expected them to be perfect, so they have a difficult time accepting themselves when they make moral mistakes. Or, other authority figures may have emphasized what horrible and shameful children they were when they did anything wrong and refused to comfort the children after disciplining them.

In your experience, when you ask for forgiveness from sin—whether from God or another person—do you typically feel free of guilt?

Why or why not?

How can you escape these negative patterns of dealing with guilt? The secret is to train your mind to believe God’s truth—found in His Word—instead of your feelings.

What do the following two verses say about God’s willingness to forgive?:

"You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you." (Psalm 86:5, NIV)

"Iniquities and much varied guilt prevail against me; [yet] as for our transgressions, You forgive and purge them away [make atonement for them and cover them out of Your sight]!" (Psalm 65:3, Amplified Bible)

"To Him all the prophets testify (bear witness) that everyone who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him, giving himself up to Him] receives forgiveness of sins through His name." (Acts 10:43, Amplified Bible)

Acts 10:43 says everyone who believes in Christ receives forgiveness for his or her sins.

How many of a born-again Christian's sins are forgiven, according to the following verse?:

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins." (Colossians 2:13, NIV)

If you feel guilty after confessing your sins, you know your feelings are not lining up with God’s truth. Find Scriptures that talk about God’s forgiveness and your righteousness in Christ, such as the following:

"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation." (Colossians 1:21-22, NIV)

Write them down in a list or on note cards. Then, read through the encouraging verses and dwell on what they mean. Your emotions will eventually follow your thoughts, and you will be free from feeling guilty.

Christ’s death made a way for you to be completely free from the guilt of sin — not only the offense but also the feelings that accompany it. Admit your guilt to God and those you offended, make restitution when you can, and return to living in a manner that pleases the Lord.

(The above article is from In Touch Ministries)

Friday, January 9, 2009

False Guilt

by Kerby Anderson


Have you ever felt guilty? Of course you have, usually because you were indeed guilty. But what about those times when you have feelings of guilt even when you didn't do anything wrong? We would call this false guilt, and that is the subject of this essay.

False guilt usually comes from an overactive conscience. It's that badgering pushing voice that runs you and your self-image into the ground. It nags: "You call this acceptable? You think this is enough? Look at all you've not yet done! Look at all you have done that's not acceptable! Get going!"

You probably know the feeling. You start the day feeling like you are in a hole. You feel like you can never do enough. You have this overactive sense of duty and can never seem to rest. One person said he "felt more like a human doing than a human being." Your behavior is driven by a sense of guilt. That is what we will be talking about in these pages.

Much of the material for this discussion is taken from the book entitled "False Guilt," by Steve Shores. His goal is to help you determine if you (1) have an overactive conscience and (2) are driven by false guilt. If these are problem areas for you, he provides practical solutions so you can break the cycle of false guilt. I recommend his book especially if you can recognize yourself in some of the material we cover in this essay.

In his book, Steve Shores poses three sets of questions, each with some explanation. An affirmative answer to any or all of these questions may indicate that you struggle with false guilt and an overactive conscience.

1. Do you ever feel like this: "Something is wrong with me. There is some stain on me, or something badly flawed that I can neither scrub out nor repair"? Does this feeling persist even though you have become a Christian?

2. Is Thanksgiving sort of a difficult time of year for you? Do you find it hard to muster up the Norman Rockwell spirit--you know... Mom and Dad and grandparents and kids all seated around mounds of food? Dad is carving the turkey with a sure and gentle expression on his face, and everyone looks so...well, so thankful? Do you find yourself, at any time of the year, dutifully thanking or praising God without much passion?

3. How big is your dance floor? What I mean is, How much freedom do you have? Do you feel confined by Christianity? To you, is it mainly a set of restrictions? Is it primarily a source of limits: don't do this, and don't do that? Does your Christianity have more to do with walls than with windows? Is it a place of narrowness or a place where light and air and liberty pour in?

Usually a person driven by false guilt is afraid of freedom because in every act of freedom is the possibility of offending someone. Offending someone is unacceptable. Other people are seen as pipelines of approval. If they're offended, the pipeline shuts down.

False guilt, along with an overactive conscience, is a hard master. As we turn now to look at the causes and the cures for false guilt, we hope to explain how to break down the confining walls and tiresome chains that may have kept you or a loved one in bondage to false guilt.

The Source of False Guilt

Next, I would like to focus on the source of false guilt: an overactive conscience. What is an overactive conscience? How does it function? Steve Shores says, "The mission of a person's overactive conscience is to attract the expectations of others."

Imagine a light bulb glowing brightly on a warm summer's night. What do you see in your mind's eye? Bugs. Bugs of every variety are attracted to that light. The light bulb serves as a magnet for these insects. Imagine that light is an overactive conscience. The expectations of others are the "bugs" that are attracted to the "light" of an overactive conscience.

Now imagine a light bulb burning inside a screened porch. The bugs are still attracted, but they bounce off the screen. The overactive conscience has no screen. But it is more than that. The overactive conscience doesn't want a screen. The more "bugs" the better. Why? Because the whole purpose is to meet expectations in order to gain approval and fill up the emptiness of the soul. This is an overactive conscience, a light bulb with lots of bugs and no screen.

A key to understanding the overactive conscience is the word "active." Someone with false guilt has a conscience that is always on the go. False guilt makes a person restless, continually looking for a rule to be kept, a scruple to observe, an expectation to be fulfilled, or a way to be an asset to a person or a group.

The idea of being an asset is a crucial point. When I am an asset, then I am a "good" person and life works pretty well. When I fear I've let someone down, then I am a liability. My life falls apart, and I will work hard to win my way back into the favor of others.

So an overactive conscience is like a magnet for expectations. These expectations come from oneself, parents (whether alive or not), friends, bosses, peers, God, or distorted images of God. False guilt makes the overactive conscience voracious for expectations. False guilt is always looking for people to please and rules to be kept.

An overactive conscience is also seeking to keep the "carrot" of acceptance just out of reach. This "carrot" includes self-acceptance and acceptance from others and from God. The guilt-ridden conscience continually says, "Your efforts are not good enough. You must keep trying because, even if your attempts don't measure up, the trying itself counts as something."

For that reason, an overactive conscience is not happy at rest. Though rest is the birthright of the Christian, relaxing is just too dangerous, i.e., relaxing might bring down my guard, and I might miss signs of rejection. Besides, acceptance is conditional, and I must continually prove my worthiness to others. I can never be a liability if I am to expect acceptance to continue. It is hard to relax because I must be ever fearful of letting someone down and must constantly work to gain acceptance.

In summary, a person with false guilt and an overactive conscience spends much of his or her life worn out. Unrelenting efforts to meet the expectations of others can have some very negative consequences.

The Consequences of False Guilt

Now I would like to focus on the consequences of false guilt. An overactive conscience can keep you in a state of constant uncertainty. You never know if you measure up. You never know if you have arrived or not. You are always on the alert. According to Steve Shores there are a number of major consequences of false guilt.

The first consequence he calls "striving without arriving." In essence, there is no hope in the system set up by the overactive conscience. You must always try harder, but you never cross the finish line. You seem to merely go in circles. Or perhaps it would be better to say you go in a spiral, as in a downward spiral. Life is a perpetual treadmill. You work hard and strive, but you never arrive. Life is hard work and frustration with little or no satisfaction.

The second consequence is "constant vigilance." The overactive conscience produces constant self-monitoring. You are constantly asking if you are being an asset to other people and to God. You are constantly evaluating and even doubting your performance. And you never allow yourself to be a liability to the group or to any particular individual.

A third consequence is "taking the pack mule approach to life." An overactive conscience involves a lifelong ordeal in which you attempt to pass a demanding test and thus reveal your worth. The test consists of accumulating enough evidences of goodness to escape the accusation that you are worthless. For the guilt-ridden person, this test involves taking on more duties, more responsibilities, more roles. As the burdens pile higher and higher, you become a beast of burden, a "pack mule" who takes on more responsibility than is healthy or necessary.

Just as there is no forward progress (e.g., "striving without arriving"), so there is also an ever-increasing sense of burden. Each day demands a fresh validation of worthiness. There is never a time when you can honestly say, "that's enough."

Finally, the most devastating consequence of false guilt is its effect not just on individuals but the body of Christ. Christians who struggle with an overactive conscience can produce weak, hollow, compliant believers in the church. They are long on conformity and short on passion and substance. They go to church not because they crave fellowship, but because they want to display compliance. They study God's word not so much out of a desire to grow spiritually, but because that is what good Christians are supposed to do. We do what we do in order to "fit in" or comply with the rules of Christianity.

Steve Shores says that the central question of church becomes, "Do I look and act enough like those around me to fit in and be accepted?" Instead we should be asking, "Regardless of how I look and act, am I passionately worshiping God, deeply thirsting for Him, and allowing Him to change my relationships so that I love others in a way that reflects the disruptive sacrifice of Christ?"

The Continuation of False Guilt

Next, I would like to talk about why people continue to feel false guilt even though they know they are forgiven. After all, if Christ paid the penalty for our sins, why do some Christians still have an overactive conscience and continue to feel guilt so acutely? Part of the compulsion comes from feeling the noose of false guilt tighten around our necks so that we panic and fail to think rationally about our situation.

Steve Shores uses the example of a death-row inmate who has just learned of an eleventh-hour stay of execution. He has just been pardoned, but his body and emotions don't feel like it. He has been "sitting in the electric chair, sweaty-palmed and nauseated, when the wall phone rings with the news of the reprieve." He may feel relief, but the feeling of relief is not total. He is only off the hook for awhile. He will still return to his cell.

The person with a overactive conscience lives in that death-row cell. The reprieve comes from responding to that guilt-driven voice in his conscience. For Bill it manifested itself in a compulsive need to serve others. If he were asked to teach AWANA or to teach a Sunday school class, he would have great difficulty saying "No." He had to say "Yes" or else he would feel the noose of false guilt tighten around his neck.

Bill's comments were sad but illuminating. He said: "I felt as though not teaching the class would confirm that I am a liability. The disappointment...would inflict shame I felt as a boy. Disappointing others always meant that there would be some sort of trial to decide whether I really belonged in the family."

He went on to tell of the time he made a "C" on his report card (the rest of the grades were "A's" and "B's"). His father lectured him unmercifully. At one point, his father declared that "it was Communist to bring home such a bad grade." Bill didn't know what a Communist was or what Communism had to do with bad grades. But he did understand that if he didn't bring home good grades he was unworthy.

Bill even remembered the six agonizing weeks until the next report card. When it arrived he received five "A's" and one "B." What was his father's response? Was it delight? Was it an apology for his previous comments? Not at all. His father merely said, "That's more like it." The reprieve was halfhearted and temporary.

In essence, false guilt is a stern warden that may give a temporary reprieve but is always ready to call upon you to prove your worthiness once again. We may know that Christ died for our sins. We may know that our sins are forgiven. We may know that we have value and dignity because we are created in God's image. But we may feel unworthy and feel as if we must prove ourselves at a moment's notice.

The key, as we will see in the next section, is to embrace Christ's atonement rather than our own. We must not only know that we are forgiven through Jesus Christ, but act upon that reality so that we live a life through grace rather than legalism.

A Cure for False Guilt

Finally, I would like to conclude by talking about Christ's atonement for us. If we are to break the chain of false guilt, then we must embrace Christ's atonement rather than our own. Although that statement may seem obvious, it is difficult for someone with an overactive conscience to truly embrace emotionally. For such a person, perfection is the means of achieving salvation. If I can be perfect, then I will no longer feel shame, and I will no longer feel guilt. This is the personal atonement that someone with false guilt often is seeking.

The Bible clearly teaches that Christ's atonement was for our sins. Sin is "any attitude, belief, or action that constitutes rebellion against or transgression of God's character." Clearly sinful man is incapable of making restitution because our best works are as filthy rags before a holy and omnipotent God (Isaiah 64:6). Our atonement must be made by someone with clean hands and a sinless life. Christ, of course, fulfilled that requirement and died in our place for our sins.

Nevertheless, someone with false guilt seeks a form of self- atonement. Why? Well, there are at least two reasons: indiscriminate shame and doubt about the character of God. The first is indiscriminate shame. We should feel guilty and we should feel shame for sinful behavior. The problem comes when we feel guilt and shame even when a sinful action or attitude is not present. Steve Shores believes that the "weeds of shame" can begin to sprout even when we have a legitimate need. We then tend to use the machete of false guilt to trim these weeds back. We say, "If I can do enough things right, I can control this and no one will know how bad and weak I am." This performance-oriented lifestyle is a way of hacking at the weeds that grow in the soil of illegitimate shame.

The second reason for false guilt is a stubborn propensity to doubt the character of God. Many Christian psychologists and counselors have argued that the reason we may question our Heavenly Father's character is because we question our earthly father's character. And for those who have been abused or neglected by their fathers, this is an adequate explanation. But we even see in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve doubting God and they did not even have earthly fathers. So I believe it is more accurate to say that our sin nature (not our family of origin) has a lot to do with our tendency to doubt God's character.

This is manifested by two tendencies: blaming and hiding. When we feel false guilt, we tend to want to blame others or blame ourselves. If we blame others, we manifest a critical spirit. If we blame ourselves, we feel unworthy and don't want others to see us as we are and we hide emotionally from others. The solution is for us to embrace Christ's atonement and accept what He did on the cross for us. Christ died once for all (Romans 6:10) that we might have everlasting life and freedom from guilt and the bondage to sin.

© 1996 Probe Ministries International

About the Author
Kerby Anderson is the president of Probe Ministries International. He received his B.S. from Oregon State University, M.F.S. from Yale University, and M.A. from Georgetown University. He is the author of several books, including Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Living Ethically in the 90s, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope, and Moral Dilemmas. He also served as general editor for Marriage, Family and Sexuality.

He is a nationally syndicated columnist whose editorials have appeared in the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.

He is the host of "Probe," and frequently serves as guest host on "Point of View" (USA Radio Network). He can be reached via e-mail at

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to reclaim the primacy of Christian thought and values in Western culture through media, education, and literature. In seeking to accomplish this mission, Probe provides perspective on the integration of the academic disciplines and historic Christianity.

In addition, Probe acts as a clearing house, communicating the results of its research to the church and society at large.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by writing to:
Probe Ministries
1900 Firman Drive, Suite 100
Richardson, TX 75081
(972) 480-0240 FAX (972) 644-9664

Copyright (C) 1996-2009 Probe Ministries

The above article is from: Leadership U: Probe Ministries: False Guilt

Thursday, January 8, 2009

What does it mean when the Bible says, "the man is head of the woman"?

"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:3).

In the Jewish and Christian culture when the Bible was written, there was a concept now called "Federal Headship." This means that the male is the one who represents his descendants. Proof of this can be found in Heb. 7:8-10, "And in this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him." Notice that it says that Levi paid tithes while still in the loins of his father Abraham. How did he do this? By proxy since Abraham, his distant "father" represented him.

Likewise we see the concept of Federal Headship in the fall. It was Eve who first sinned. But sin entered the world through Adam, not through Eve. Romans 5:12 says, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." This is because Adam represented humanity and creation. When Adam fell, we fell. This is why it says, " Adam all die," (1 Cor. 15:22). Also, Romans 5:15 says, "For if by the transgression of the one [Adam] the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many."

Alright, so this brings us to the woman. Again notice that it says in Gen. 2:24, "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." When a man and woman get married, they become one flesh. There is a unity between them. But, it is the man who is the head of the family which is why it says that the man is the head of the woman.

Some may think that this was a cultural notion that snuck into the Bible. But Paul makes it clear that the headship is related to the created order:

"For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." (1 Cor. 11:8-10).

It was because Eve listened to the devil that the issue of order and hierarchy in the marriage relationship has had to be raised and explained.

“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth. In pain you shall bring forth children; yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen. 3:16).

This headship is not about having the upper hand nor is it to mean that a woman has no rights or is a second class citizen. On the contrary, God tells the husband some very serious commands:

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless." (Eph. 5:25-27).

Finally, the headship issue is an issue of order, not of who is better or more important. The husband is the head of the wife in the family and he has the responsibility of guiding his family to a closer relationship with the Lord. God will require it of him on the day when all our deeds are judged by God."

(This article is from the CARM website)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

6 out of 10 servicemen wary of Obama in charge

Survey: 'Nobody has confidence in this guy as commander in chief'

Posted: January 03, 2009
12:00 am Eastern
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

"A recent Military Times survey of active-duty service members found 6 of 10 U.S. soldiers polled said they were "pessimistic" or "uncertain" about Barack Obama serving as commander in chief of America's armed forces.

In follow-up interviews reported by the Army Times newspaper, respondents cited Obama's inexperience in leading soldiers, his plans for accelerated removal of troops from Iraq and his pledge to overturn the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding homosexual service members as reasons for their cautious outlook.

"Being that the Marine Corps can be sent anywhere in the world with the snap of his fingers," said one lance corporal who asked not to be identified, "nobody has confidence in this guy as commander in chief."

"How are you going to safely pull combat troops out of Iraq?" asked Air Force 1st Lt. Rachel Kleinpeter, an intelligence officer with the 100th Operations Support Squadron. "And if you're pulling out combat troops, who are you leaving to help support what's left? What happens if Iraq falls back into chaos? Are we going to be there in five years doing the same thing over again?"

Duke political science professor and civil-military relations writer Peter Feaver, however, says concerns about a new administration's leadership are to be expected.

"What [Obama] is seeing is not military hostility, but rather military caution, and caution that is reasonable because he has never been in the position of this office," Feaver told Army Times. "It's sensible and understandable that they have doubts about him.

"They respect the office of the commander in chief," Feaver said. "As long as he wields that office responsibly, then these numbers need not morph into a problem."

The sixth annual Military Times survey asked over 30,000 subscribers to Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times newspapers, "How do you feel about President-elect Barack Obama as commander in chief?"

A total of 5,181 active-duty, National Guard and reserve and retired military subscribers responded to the email invitation issued from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8.

Of the 1,947 active-duty soldiers that responded, a third answered that they are "optimistic," while 25 percent answered "pessimistic" and 35 percent admitted to being "uncertain." The "uncertain" response differs from "no opinion," which garnered 8 percent of the vote.

Other survey results found that nearly 80 percent of the respondents support the war in Afghanistan and nearly the same amount favor increasing troop strength there, though 30 percent believe it may take more than 10 years of military presence in Afghanistan to achieve American goals.

The majority of active-duty service members also oppose Obama's campaign pledge to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and allow homosexual soldiers to serve openly in the armed forces. 14 percent said they would consider ending their military career after serving their obligated tours of duty if the policy was repealed.

Army Capt. Steven J. Lacy, a logistician assigned to the 71st Transportation Battalion, told Military Times he's worried about the effect open homosexuality may have on military units.

"I think a lot of people are," Lacy said. "In the field environment, you're in very close proximity to one another. The fact that someone could be openly gay could exacerbate stress on teams and small units when you're already at a high stress level."

71 percent of respondents in the survey, however, said they would continue to serve even if the policy was overturned.

Army Times reported that as a voluntary response poll and not a scientific, random sampling, the survey could not calculate a statistical margin of error or guard against variances caused by the characteristics of Military Times subscribers. The responses cannot be considered representative of the opinions of the military as a whole."

from WorldNetDaily

Monday, January 5, 2009

'Bride,' 'groom' can't marry in California

'We thought we couldn't go any lower. We discovered actually we can'

Posted: October 03, 2008
12:40 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

A man and woman have had to go to court in California because they want to be recognized as married after officials rejected their marriage license because it listed "bride" and "groom" instead of "Party A" and "Party B."

After the state Supreme Court in May expanded the rights enumerated in the state constitution and found same-sex couples couldn't be denied marriage rights, "Many thought we couldn't go any lower," said Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, which is working on the case. "We discovered actually we can."

Gideon Codding and Rachel Bird recently were married in Placer County, near Sacramento. However, surprised by new marriage license forms created by state bureaucrats with "Party A" and "Party B," they jotted an explanatory "Groom" and "Bride' next to "party" designations.

The couple soon discovered the strength of the pro-homosexual lobby in the state: The application was returned to Pastor Doug Bird, who officiated, with a form letter stating the license "does not comply with California State registration laws."

The couple now is filing a lawsuit in Placer County asking the court to order county officials to process the license, since without the form's registration, "the Coddings are not legally married and have been prevented from accessing the many benefits available to married couples."

"Being labeled by the state as 'Party A' and 'Party B" is demeaning," said PJI Chief Counsel Kevin Snider. "It's shocking that we have to litigate over whether newlyweds can call themselves a bride and groom."

Said Dacus, "Already, we are seeing the negative effects of gay marriage in California, as the state is changing centuries-old traditions to accommodate homosexuals. Unless the Protect Marriage Initiative, Proposition 8, is approved in November, we expect a tidal wave of new restraints and limitations to be imposed on people of faith."

Dacus told WND the right for a one-man, one-woman couple to be married "was in no way invalidated by the state Supreme Court's ruling respecting homosexual marriage."

"This is an outright act of hostility towards the established rights of people to be married as husband and wife, bride and groom," he said.

"It's one thing for the state Supreme Court to cram homosexual marriage down the throats of people who voted for Proposition 22, it's quite another for the state of California then to go so far as to make it impossible for a man and woman to be married as husband and wife in the state of California," Dacus continued.

Bird, pastor of Abundant Life Fellowship in Roseville, said he was told by officials in the county office that "Bride" and "Groom" amounted to "unacceptable alteration" to the form.

"What's next?" Bird wrote in a Sept. 4 letter. "Will the State of California force [ministers] to use the terms "Party A" and "Party B" in the ceremony itself?"

The state Supreme Court in May, in a 4-3 decision, declared that legal definitions of marriage as a union between a man and a woman were unconstitutional. Since the ruling, the generic designations were added by bureaucrats to legal documents.

Voters several years ago under Proposition 22 approved limiting marriage to one man and one woman. But the measure was a statute, which the Supreme Court simple disregarded. The Proposition 8 proposal would establish the definition in the state constitution, putting it beyond the reach of judicial activism.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Biblical message now criminalized

Penalties created for those who criticize homosexuality outside church walls
Posted: June 12, 2008
12:45 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

"A new Colorado law is helping homosexual activists achieve their goal of forcing Christians to teach biblical condemnation of homosexuality only behind the closed doors of their sanctuaries.

The as-yet untested state law promotes sexual identity "perception" to the level of skin color under state discrimination laws.

Some opponents are calling it a "bona fide censorship law," and top analysts for Focus on the Family, the Christian publishing and broadcast powerhouse, are expressing concern over the "mischief" they expect to follow the signing by Gov. Bill Ritter.

As WND reported, Ritter, a Democrat, struck gender-specific restrooms and locker rooms statewide when he signed the plan into law in May.

The law makes it illegal to deny a person access to public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity or the "perception" of gender identity.

"Who would have believed that the Colorado state legislature and its governor would have made it fully legal for men to enter and use women's restrooms and locker-room facilities without notice or explanation?" said James Dobson, founder of Focus.

"Henceforth, every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence," Dobson said.

But now an analyst for Focus, Bruce Hausknecht, has told WND there are other, significant, potential ramifications hidden in the fine print of the new law.

The law provides an exemption allowing religious groups to continue teaching, inside their doors, the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality. But the exemption itself is ultimately harmful to the church, Hausknecht contends.

"It tends to marginalize the church," he said. "They'll say, 'It's just a church.' It will allow gay activists to continue to marginalize Christians. They'll say, 'Keep it within your four walls. That's all.'"

But there's further possible mischief that can result from a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation or "perception" when deciding "full and equal enjoyment of facilities, accommodations" and other factors, he said.

Religious publishers, he acknowledged, could be accused under the law for publishing biblical condemnation of homosexuality. Colorado Springs, where Focus in located, also is home to the huge Christian publishing operations of NavPress and the International Bible Society.

"There are those who simply by publishing Christian materials could find themselves charged with a violation of this statute," he said.

A spokesman for Ritter did not respond to a WND request for comment.

The actual impact of the new ban on people responsible for "public accommodations" expressing beliefs that do not support homosexuality is unclear at this point, largely because charges haven't been brought and challenges weighed regarding the law and its potential impact on First Amendment guarantees of freedom exercise of religion.

However, Hausknecht warned there is "danger" in those waters for any church that provides any service to its community.

It is possible the law's anti-"discrimination" demands could be triggered when outside groups come in to use a church meeting room, auditorium or recreation facility. For the safety of the churches, perhaps outsiders will have to sign a document stating agreement with the church's religious beliefs before being allowed in, he said.

The targets of complaints likely won't be churches themselves, but more likely church schools, programs that offer services to communities and the like, critics of the law said.

"The intent of the homosexual activists who put this law in [was to] marginalize the church, keep it inside the sanctuary," Hausknecht said.

Worse yet is that many small or medium-size churches will have to go out of their way, including halting programs, to avoid a potential conflict, because they don't have the resources to wage a war over their beliefs, he added.

"It's a lot easier to avoid the conflict than incur the costs of fighting," he said.

Dobson earlier had nothing but criticism for Colorado's elected officials.

"This is your government in action. It represents a payback to Tim Gill and two other billionaires who have essentially 'bought' state legislators with enormous campaign contributions. Coloradans deserve better!" Dobson said.

"And by the way, because of the way this bill is written, it is not subject to the initiative process. There is no recourse," Dobson said.

Pastor Bob Enyart, a Denver-area activist on Christian issues, agreed with Focus's concerns over what appears to be a newly minted state discrimination against Christian beliefs. But he went further.

"WND reported on Canada banning opposition to homosexuality; likewise, Colorado's SB200 has 'forbidden' much publishing of Christian teaching on homosexuality, cohabitation, etc.," he said.

"This censorship aspect of the law has been utterly ignored," he said.

"The law exempts churches, but that's not good, that's an insult. I.E., bigotry is allowed only in churches. Whereas every other place of public accommodation including bookstores, retail & wholesale businesses, etc. cannot sell or even 'give away' anything that would advocate discrimination [against] gay adoption, homosexual marriage, etc.," Enyart said.

He cited one part of the new law:

Section 8. 24-34-701. Publishing of discriminative matter forbidden. No person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation... shall publish, issue, circulate, send, distribute, give away, or display in any way, manner, or shape or by any means or method, except as provided in this section, any communication, paper, poster, folder, manuscript, book, pamphlet, writing, print, letter, notice, or advertisement of any kind, nature, or description THAT is intended or calculated to discriminate or actually discriminates against... SEXUAL ORIENTATION, marital status... in the matter of furnishing or neglecting or refusing to furnish to them or any one of them any lodging, housing, schooling, or tuition or any accommodation, right [marriage], privilege [adoption], advantage, or convenience... on account of... SEXUAL ORIENTATION, marital status... [which] is unwelcome or objectionable or not acceptable, desired, or solicited."

The Old Testament condemns homosexuality as an "abomination," Enyart told WND. The New Testament includes a reference in 1st Timothy calling for the use of laws against crimes such as murder and homosexuality.

"There are free speech rights to condemn cohabitation, homosexuality, state that homosexuals should not marry, should not adopt children," Enyart said. "It's now illegal in Colorado for anyone involved in a facility or business of public accommodation to give any communication that would advocate discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation."

He said many people simply choose not to believe what's happening.

"I have a hard time believing [it myself]," said Enyart.

He said he expects the law to be only "lightly" enforced until "it just becomes an entrenched part of our legal framework. They're not going to go out and arrest somebody for selling a Bible at Barnes and Noble."

But then in a few years, watch out, he said.

Enyart has printed a document he hands out that says, "This Anti-homosexual Flyer is Illegal in Colorado." It condemns the promotion of homosexuality in no uncertain terms.

"Homosexuality should be re-criminalized in Colorado," it states."


Saturday, January 3, 2009

1-2% MINORITY RULES in the United States

"While homosexuals claim they make up 10% of the population, the reality is closer to 1-2 percent A NEWLY RELEASED REPORT from the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics reveals that only 2.3% of the population considers themselves homosexual. The statistics come from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and are based on 12,571 interviews with men and women ages 15-44 years of age. (The findings were reported in WorldNetDaily, September 16, 2005).
According to this survey, only 2.3% of the males surveyed considered themselves to be homosexuals; 1.8% considered themselves to be bisexuals."
(from: )

Since this is true, then WHY do so many TV shows and movies represent homosexuals as if they made up the majority of the population?

And WHY is this now the case?:

"One of the top lawyers in the nation in the battle to protect traditional marriage, historically Christian lifestyle choices, parental rights and the key freedoms provided by the U.S. Constitution is warning that there eventually could be no lawyers left to take up those disputes.

That's because of a recommendation before the State Bar of Arizona – the organization that licenses attorneys – to require all new lawyers to swear they won't let their personal religious perspective on homosexuality affect their representation of any client."
(from: )

WHY is it that 1-2% of the population is getting laws passed giving them SPECIAL rights over 98-99% of the population? This is RIDICULOUS!!