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Monday
Aug012011

How Much is Made Up?

I recently listed to a conversative talk show host talk about the National Apostolic Reformation. (NAR) Previously to this broadcast I had no idea of the organization, but I was familiar with many of the suspects who were discussed on the program.  My personal religious background was Catholic and that provided me with a good sense of fearing God, but I never had a clear understanding of a relationship with God.  I was indoctrinated into the traditions of the Catholic faith, but it wasn't until I was desperately strung out on drugs did someone witness to me about accepting a personal invitation to knowing God did He become a reality to me. That invitation came at the hands of an elderly woman who taught Sunday School at an Assembly of God church, so I went to church with her. There God became personal to me, and the Bible became the foundation for my life. The charismatic/pentecostal experience is not foreign to me, but I always have had some questions about some of the practices and teachings.  Brannon Howse happened to be the broadcaster that I listened to this weekend where many of my questions were once again brought to the surface. I have provided a link to the hour long broadcast, and I think it is worth your time to listen. There is a sense that the NAR have used the freedom of the Holy Spirit for purposes that are not outlined by the scripture. I have heard Benny Hinn over the years talk about the nine spirits of God, and cursing people who come against him.  YOU have to totally follow another book other than the Bible to follow such a guy, who uses his freedom to build a name, and fool people into giving him money. My biggest issue with many of the faith teachers is, "if it is so good, and so true, then do it for free."  Don't take a dime. If your faith is so powerful, then let's see it work miracles in raising money to run the ministry and pay the bills.  You know that won't happen and they would come up with a lame excuse why that wouldn't work.  Okay, so how about revealing to the general public how the contributions are spent, and is there anyone who is profiting from these contributions?  Now, I know these folks do more than just raise money, but money is a big factor with all of them, even to the point an Iowa Senator is investigating them. 

My main point for raising this issue today is how much liberty do we have in speaking for God?  Can we say God told me, or God is leading me, without really knowing that He is?  Does a successfull ministry, or church mean God is anointing that ministry or are they just good salespeople?  The prophets of the Bible were in constant conflict with the so called prophets in the land.  Many of the prophets in Jeremiah's day sold their prophecies for money, and the prophet Jeremiah summerized it for us this way:

Jeremiah 14:14

14And the LORD said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.

I believe we have to be careful who we allow to speak into our lives.  Not all Christians have the Spirit of Christ, and many ministries are leading people away and not to the cross of Jesus Christ. 

Here is that link I promised you.  This link will take you to a website site and the program I am referring to with Brannon Howse.  Click on the  July 30, first hour.

 http://www.olivetreeviews.org/radio/mp3/

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

Thursday
Jul282011

The Ministry of the Thorn.

One of my radio clients has an edge. That edge is more than just a righteous anger, it develops an insight and a concern that things just "aren't right."  Have you felt like that?   Boy have I felt that recently, and it doesn't go away.  I have encountered more Christian leaders going AWOL from the word of God, and common sense. There seems to be two things missing in our world:

1. Common sense

2. Discernment

Both of these are necessary for a healthy perspective spiritually.  I have scratched my head many times trying to figure out where people are at with visions that come out of nowhere, and attach themselves to God. Spiritual growth isn't in just knowing more, or fathering a successful vision, nor is it picking up another spiritual gift or two, but it's acting out the promises and commands of the Word of God. Part of this acting out is worshipping and honoring God. Another part is studying God's Word, and being able to have courage to being a witness both to the truth of the gospel, and to the moral integrity that is taught in the scriptures.  This last piece can be a thorn in the side of the culture.  In fact, in states where the gay marriage issue is being fought, it's Christians who are saying, it's wrong for same sex marriages to be condoned and pressed into law. Now if it comes down to being a witness to the gay community for salvation, or standing up for what is morally right by God's Word, which do you pick? Tough question isn't it?  Are you the thorn or the rose blossom?  Well, it's probably both.  The rose bush is a great example of the contrasts that can occur on the same stem.  You can not just preach salvation, and give the impression that a person can live for Christ, and still live in their sin? Salvation in Christ brings us into a relationship with God that free us from the penality of sin which is death. That freedom is not meant for us to choose to sin even more, and continue to be enslaved to our sin. So being a thorn is a part of the gospel story.  You can't just have the rose bud, without the rose thorns. Some believers think you should never get controverisal with your message, because you don't want people to run away before you have the opportunity to present Christ.  I have heard Chrisitan leaders say, that as pastors they don't want to be controversial, and create division.  But that's exactly what Christ said would happen. He came to bring a sword to divide truth from disception, and because truth will challenge the deception in the culture, the culture will hate you because of Him. If you to think that you will stand for truth and not be hated you are dilusional. As time continues to march toward the coming of our Lord back to this earth in physical bodily form, you will see evil come unglued.  Are you ready for it?  Are you?  Here is an example of what you will be facing. This is a graphic link, so I warn you before you go there, it's not a song your grandmother would sing.

http://www.youtube.com/user/FCKH8?blend=4&ob=5#p/u/6/uyPSU4hnyf0

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

Wednesday
Jul272011

Lets Spend it All.

I can't help but think that our government is like little kids playing in the mud.  They're telling each other how dirty each of them has become, but no one is willing to get out of the mud puddle. Whose to blame? I don't think it matters, it probably goes back many generations, and the debt was just passed on from one generation to the next, always hoping somehow someone would come up with a plan.  Well guess what?  It's judgement day, and America has to face it's entitlements, taxes, and over spending by the government. 

Here is a great website for you get a graphic look at just how immense this debt of ours has become. 

http://www.wtfnoway.com/

The way we live out our financial lives is similar to how we live out our spiritual lives. We don't take anything serious because we always have an out. We can always get a loan for our debt, or put it on a credit card, and if you're the government you just print more money. However, there comes a day of reckoning where you have to face your lack of responsibility. Some go bankrupt, while others get foreclose on, or if you're the government you just try to raise the debt ceiling so you have more time to put off the day of financial judgement.  You know that there is no out for this immense debt, why can't we be honest. If we sold California  to Mexico, and put the state of New York on the auction block, hoping the Europeans would buy it, we might start making some head way out of this financial mess our country is in. No matter what we hear coming from Washington, the truth of the matter is we are heading toward the establishment of a one world government and a leader who will solve all of these financial woes. That might sound too simple for you, but that's what the Bible teaches. My question is, are we getting the right kind of Biblical, and spiritual perspectives from our spiritual leaders so that we will be able to discern the times and prepare accordingly? 

Prepare accordingly?  What does that mean? It simply means that many of our Christian leaders are no leaders at all.  They choose to accent on safe issues, and culturally acceptable issues, but will not touch the issues that divide.  All I can say, is "coward." We have bred leadership to want consensus, and teamwork, and uniformed acceptance.  You can never rule, govern, or lead from consensus.  You can not appease everyone, because there are too many opinions that conflict with your decisions. Can you imagine Moses at the Red Sea leading my consensus? What do you think would have happened?  No crossing....back to Egypt, it's easier this way.

What about Jesus and the cross.  "Gosh Disciples, what do you think?  These Jewish leaders are trying to kill me, what's your advice?"  Yeah, you are right, they would have fled for their lives taking the easy way out.

There is no easy way out of our government debt.  As Americans we spent the money, and passed the debt off from one generation to another, and now we are having to face our neglect. I am sure we will pass the debt ceiling, and it will drive us further into debt, and that is inevitiable at this point in our history. Here is the truth on the debt, we are so far into it, we will never, yes I said never, get out of it. I think it is designed that way by God.  He has given us over to our own ways, and those ways have bankrupted us, and placed us in a no win situation.  God have mercy upon us. 

Our solution as a nation is to return to God.  His favor upon us would help us gain the courage to face our sinful ways, repent, be forgiven and restored.  Outside of a revival back to God, we might as well keep spending, we've too far gone to change anything without Him.

Keeping it honest and truthful....K

 

 

Tuesday
Jul262011

The Decline of the Name.

I know people don't like me saying the things I am about to say because they like to keep things on the positive. Well, so do I.  I like to talk about the good things that are happening in our world, and avoid the not so good because I don't want to get depressed or stressed by all the bad. However, in a world of "no common sense" and "no spiritual discernment" when should we talk about the dangers of our day?  As Christians we have been told for a decade or two through writers and speakers that we are in a war, a cultural war, a spiritual war, an ideological war, a worldview war and if that is true, then our best defense against an enemy is to know his thinking, and his strategy as he attacks our lives. The greatest decline in the Western Church is a lack of discernment and teaching on spiritual matters. We have replaced the Bible for commentary by well known authors and preachers who are redefining faith according to our culture. One trend is to change your ministry name to reflect a softer, milder, less offensive name. I am all for being creative with organizational names, but we have been removing the name Christ or Christian from the vocabulary of ministry names, and my question is why?  Campus Crusade for Christ renamed their organization CRU, which is a short name insiders called the ministry. But what does it mean? Nothing. It takes an offensive name like "crusade," or "campus" out of the the ministry name because both names no longer represent that ministry in our culture or the times in which we live. Okay, I understand changing the name to reflect how your ministry changed, but CRU?  I have a few suggestions: How about CIM?  "Christ in me."  Or, YIG?  Yeshua is God!  Okay, I know, you probably think what's in a name as long as they continue to do the great work CRU (formerly Campus Crusade) continues to do. 

But think about this verse for a minute:

Acts 4:12

 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Did you catch that?  By no other name by which salvation comes, and yet we are continuing to remove it from the names of our ministries.  Am I just that stupid that I am missing something here?  One of the reasons ministry leaders are removing the name "Christ" or "Christian" is because it's offensive to some, and we don't want to offend anyone by the title of our name before we have a chance to minister to them. This kind of attitude is what is killing the power in the Church. We shouldn't have to apologize for being followers of Christ? We give, love, move and have our being in Christ, why is that so bad?  If you think the name Christ has baggage, come back to His real name Yeshua. Start using that name instead of Christ. We can be known as Yeshua's People.

Listen you may think this is no big deal, but I do. It's another indication that we are quickly becoming the age of "anti-christ" a spirit that now fills the earth from Islam to post modernism. It's only the beginning, and instead of Christian leaders standing their ground in the name of "Christ", they are hiding behind a cloak of "no offense to anyone." I am sorry, but the cross is an offensive...get over it.  I am not opposed to a name change, but come on, CRU?  You have got to be kidding...... It must be another  sign of our times.

Keeping it honest and truthtful.....K

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/julyweb-only/campus-crusade-name-change.html

Monday
Jul252011

The Poor Will Be With You Always

John 12:8

 8The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

Jesus knew that there would always be the poor, those in need of assistance in this life.  In fact he talked quite often about giving to the poor and not hoarding away resources to make yourself wealthy.

When we think about the poor, do we have a clear picture of who the poor are?  If you ever go to a third world country you would have a different definition of poverty based upon what you see. In the United States, poor is a term used when people don't have the kind of material resources that most American have. For example look at this study from the Heritage Foundation.

“To the average American, the word ‘poverty’ implies significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter, and clothing,” the study from The Heritage Foundation states.

The Census Bureau reports that there are 43 million Americans living in poverty. To help them, taxpayers spend some $900 billion a year in federal and state dollars — over $20,000 for each person deemed poor — through more than 70 means-tested programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care and more.

The household had a car — one-third had two or more cars — two color televisions, a DVD player, and a microwave.

“The home of the average poor family was in good repair and not overcrowded,” the study observes.

“In fact, the typical poor American had more living space than the average European — average, not poor.

“When asked, most poor families stated they had sufficient funds during the past year to meet all essential needs.”

Poverty in American is a comparison between the have's and the have nots. It is true that many poor families use a food shelf once a month, and they may even get clothing from a consignment store, but being poor in America is different than being poor in India, or in Africa.  Poverty in God's eyes is a different comparison too.  He requires those who have to help those who do not have.  The Old Testament gleaning is a great example of how we are to help the poor, it's not giving them things, it is giving them an opportunity to get what they need by working for it.

Instead of spending the Billions of dollars for welfare programs where we give them money and food, why not give the able body persons of a family the opportunity to fill in pot holes, pick up trash in city parks and streets, and build a sense of dignity for the help they receive. I know it takes money to administrate a work for resource program, but it would give people an opportunity to work through their issues of generational poverty, and earn what they receive. It's much healthier for the person.  

Defining poverty however goes beyond just the material, or physical need.

The poorest people aren't people without things, they are people without hope, and without faith. Poor people are those who believe in themselves, their accomplishments, their treasures, and resources. Anyone is poor without the treasure of having faith in the one who makes one rich.  Jesus Christ came into this world to make us rich, not in material goods, but in spiritual hope and promise.  The poor will always be with us, because unbelief is with us. 

Keeping it honest and truthful...K

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