May 12, 2017

US World Summit on Persecuted Christians

Did you know that approximately 100,000 Christians are violently killed annually because of their faith?

The 2017 World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, May 10-13, offers something to think about, pray about and share news about. These saints that suffer and die daily are precious in God's eyes, and are treated as the off-scouring of the world. Christians from 136 countries attended this summit, and affirmed that it is not merely a feel-good meeting, nor a meeting to merely bring awareness, but an attempt also to bring legal relief and defense against the crime of genocide as targeted specifically against Christians in countries such as Iraq.

Did you know that approximately 100,000 Christians are violently killed annually because of their faith, according to a Vatican testimony to the UN? That is enough to fill Ohio Stadium or Wembly Stadium. And according to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians are denied fundamental human rights because of their faith. Of the 100-200 million Christians under assault, the majority are persecuted in Muslim-dominated nations. Christians are the most allegedly persecuted with 80% of all acts of religious discrimination being directed at Christians who only make up 33% of the world's population.

If it seems strange to you that all of the attention is focused on Muslim migrants while the group suffering the most are Christians being killed in Muslim countries, then you might want to learn more about the identity politics of the United Nations and the European Union.

The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians was actually sponsored by the US Government and has a government web page. Vice President Pence underscored that President Trump did not mince words with politically correct speech: "He calls them by name, radical Islamic terrorists," The Christian Times explains, "Practitioners of terror harbor a special hatred for followers of Christ, and none more so than the barbarians known as ISIS," Pence continued. Unlike attitudes of former President Obama and the United Nations, genocide is identified and used as a valid label by Pence: "Isis... is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith and it is time the world called it by name."

Franklin Graham outlined what he believes is the real reason why Christians are being martyred more than anytime in history, to try to keep us silent, as noted at The Christian Post:

“But, the real reason I believe Christians are persecuted is to suppress their faith, quiet their voice, marginalize the very word of God,”

Most Christians understand that there is a spiritual battle taking place daily and that satanic forces are aligned against the truth of Christ and the gospel. Graham correctly emphasizes that aggressive secularism is also causing the increase of persecution against Christians.

May 09, 2017

Islam, the EU, and the Death of European Democracy - What you Need to Know

“We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." - Denis Diderot

This classic quote by French philosopher Diderot was exemplified in the recent landslide victory in France by Emmanuel Macron May 7, 2017. His election win seemed to have been based upon the false claim, and widely promoted propaganda, that he was the candidate best representing "democracy" for France. In reality, Macron's open-door policy to Islamic takeover and full unconditional surrender to the EU most likely represents a death blow to democracy in France. The actual populace position, as was the case with Brexit, was presented by Le Pen. It is quite difficult, however, to win an election against a tide of government censorship of real news and a proliferation of false news propaganda.

This article will probably challenge much of what you have seen on mainstream news, if you watch that regularly. But try to keep an open mind and follow up any disbelief with your own research. The recent French election highlights a number of important key issues that pertain to all of us. The phrase "Islamo-Leftism" was coined in France, and gives a sense of the irrational nature of what has been occurring politically, not just in France, but around the globe. 
1. Islamic Takeover Does not Allow for a Practical Democracy.
2. The EU is a Functioning Dictatorship, by Decree.
3. The Outlook is Brutal for France and Europe.

April 09, 2017

Palm Sunday Prophecies Fulfilled by Messiah, and Robert Anderson's Discovery

Palm Sunday outlines how the Messiah arrived as king humbly, riding on a donkey into Jerusalem, and fulfilling prophecies written hundreds of years before his birth:

"Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself" (Daniel 9:24-26).
If you aren't familiar with Scotland Yard's Sir Robert Anderson's description of the Daniel prophecy, linked here, it is very interesting! Through meticulous research, he determined that the precise historical day that Messiah entered Jerusalem was the the same day predicted in Daniel 9:24-26.

Anderson's book on this subject, The Coming Prince, is linked here.

Amazingly, Many People Still Don't Understand Why Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Prosecuted

"When a sentence against a crime isn’t carried out quickly, people are encouraged to commit crimes." Ecclesiastes 8:11 (GW)

After coming out of her respite in the woods, instead of being grateful for not being prosecuted, Hillary Clinton is going on the attack. And it is amazing how many people still do not understand the law related to the email scandal and why she should have been prosecuted, and that a standard grand jury should have decided the outcome, not an FBI director.

On April 8, 2017, Wilkileaks dropped a bombshell showing that Seth Rich was the one that leaked information about the DNC corruption that led to Clinton's presidential primary victory, and he was murdered inexplicably while on his way to the FBI to report some information. But first, the following are some points raised by someone on facebook that underscore just how ignorant many people are of the facts of email-gate. And here is the applicable law.

Following is the U.S. national security related law that Hillary Clinton clearly violated: 

"(18 U.S.C Section 793-F)

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—"

The key phrase is "gross negligence." If intent is considered important, as Comey claimed as an excuse for letting her off the hook, then the word "negligence" is meaningless. How many ways does it need to be said that negligence does not require any aspect of intent or motive whatsoever? Why is Hillary's intent an issue, when it does not matter according to this law? "Comey’s evoking the “intent” defense actually shows a calculated, premeditated effort to protect Clinton."
Obviously, removing sensitive information from its "proper place of custody" and delivering it to home-brewed servers, unsecured cell phones and I-Pads, is grossly negligent, regardless of the motive or intent. And many U.S. officials have been prosecuted for negligence with sensitive information. But the Clintons appear to be a special protected class wherein criminal behavior is overlooked. According to Ecclesiastes 8:11, this type of elitist justice system will only encourage more crimes, and it has obviously emboldened Hillary Clinton to flaunt her inexplicable freedom from incarceration. 
These are the types of bogus excuses people still try to make to argue that Hillary Clinton is innocent in the email scandal: 

March 29, 2017

Five “R's” of the Cycle of Christian Discipleship

If you think about how the first disciples lived with Christ and received first-hand gems of truth from his teachings, you can't help but sense that there was excitement and inspiration in this. But today, if you mention the word "discipleship," you'll probably get an odd look. A Barna Polls shows that biblical illiteracy is rising in the US and there is little interest in spiritual truth and evangelism. And so questions arise: Is Christian discipleship still valid? And why isn't there more of it?

Today, the word "disciple" is bound to get more Google hits for a heavy metal rock band or a clothing company than as a spiritual subject. But the etymology and root basis of "disciple" is based on the New Testament biblical disciples of Jesus Christ: “Biblical borrowing from Latin discipulus "pupil, student, follower," said to be from discere "to learn"...”

Discipleship is marked as one of the most important subjects of Christ's message. But what exactly it consists of and how it fits into today's life style is widely interpreted. I'd like to offer five Bible verses that highlight the nature of Christian discipleship and how it applies today. And I'd also like to address the question as to why it's an unpopular subject, even for true believers of the Christian Church at large. The fact is, discipleship was taught as a central message by Christ, who taught it as a cyclical process that was meant to be repeated.
The same Creator that gave us the four seasons, began the spiritual cycle of discipleship reproduction. In one way or another, all Christians today are a result of Christ teaching the first disciples and the disciples continuing to teach others in a cycle of teaching that continues from one generation to the next, all based upon the original word of God. Christ taught that the word of God is spiritual "seed" that is sown and bears fruit. This original "heirloom seed" of the word of God remains powerful and fruitful through each generation. God calls people to sow this pure seed, to help see it mature in discipleship, and then to help others resow it again. I've listed some points as Five "R's" of Christian Discipleship that can help to identify aspects of this process, not to be confused with the Five R's of Ecology, the Five Rs of Running Recovery, or Five-R Muscle Coaches...

The same Creator that gave us the four seasons, began the spiritual cycle of discipleship reproduction.
Five “R's” of the Cycle of Christian Discipleship...

RESPOND to Christ's calling, through Christ's fellowship, and for Christ's purpose: "He appointed twelve (designating them apostles), that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach." (Mark 3:14 NIV)

REJECT the idolatry of worldly things for the higher cause of God's pleasure and glory: "Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it."  (Luke 9:23-24 NIV)

RENEW your strength and mind and in the Spirit and wisdom of God, as based on spending time with Christ and learning of him: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV)

March 23, 2017

Study Shows Religious Retreats Change Chemicals in Your Brain

Well, here is something to think about, and something positive for a change. Scientists in the US found remarkable results when they studied the effects of attending a week-long retreat involving silent contemplation and prayer, as based on Christian meditation themes.

I had always liked the spiritual retreats that our family and church fellowship went to annually when we lived in Ukraine, and this study underscores that such retreats are not just spiritually helpful in learning and getting together with other Christians, but something powerful physically also happens to us that has a very positive effect on our sense of peace, our ability to receive new information, and a feeling of strong optimism and motivation. This is the first such study on religious retreats. The study is titled as follows:

"Effect of a one-week spiritual retreat on dopamine and serotonin transporter binding: a preliminary study"
The science behind the study relates mainly to the organic chemical dopamine, which has a number of functions. Dopamine is more than just the "reward chemical" - it plays at least three important roles as a neurotransmitter. The religious retreat study outline describes some of the positive effects of spiritual retreats:

"Dopamine participates in the mediation of cognition, emotion, and movement ...all of which are affected by spiritual retreats. Specifically, dopamine is involved in reward pathways by inducing positive emotions, motivation, and also improved cognitive abilities..."

March 22, 2017

Why Muslims do not Assimilate Into Other Cultures

Do you really know Islam? Do you know the true intended meaning of the word "Islam" in the Qur'an? And do you know what ancient Bible prophecy predicted the rise of violent Arab nations?

A lot of people, and even entire countries, are in a state of complete denial about the totalitarian nature of Islam and the violence associated with it. The fact is, Muslim migrants and immigrants generally do not assimilate very well, and most often end up demanding that the surrounding culture assimilate to them. This has been plainly shown in attitudes in Europe over the past decade. If you offer evidence of this fact, defenders of Islam will falsely claim that you "hate" Muslims. This is a fraudulent PC shaming technique used today to try to force ideologies of any form onto people that do not want them. First, I will show that Islam is totalitarian in practice; second, that Islam is totalitarian by definition and by default; and third, that the historic prophetic roots of Islam described in scripture outline a violent culture.

I. Islam is Totalitarian In Practice

Countries that have a majority Muslim population are documented as totalitarian in practice, with examples listed in this article. And this is not accidental. Both the religious and government leaders of these countries emphasize that their totalitarianism is based on adherence to the religion of Islam and the strict Sharia Law that is embraced by Islam. It is an incontrovertible fact that Islamic countries rank poorly, overall under 50%, when it comes to human rights abuses. And secular organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, document Muslim countries as the worst offenders: "International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) consistently find human rights violations in Islamic countries."

March 16, 2017

Shocker: Paul Preached the Power of the Gospel as the Main Message

You might be shocked to find that the teacher's main message in the largest church in the USA is not even close to the main message of Christianity. Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest US Christian church, basically teaches and implies that our main goal in life is to feel positive. And after reading about John Piper's Christian Hedonism, you might be shocked to learn that the Apostle Paul emphasized gospel power, not personal pleasure, and the great privilege of sharing the gospel for God's glory out of gratitude for what Paul had already obtained in Christ. And if you were to watch a YouTube video of Paul Begley, you might be convinced that understanding biblical prophecy and being an End Times watchman are the most important aspects of life for a Christian, as opposed to embracing and sharing the simple gospel. And if you are following teachers dedicated mainly to helping the poor and bringing justice through a progressive social gospel, you might be shocked to learn that this is also not the main intended focus and purpose of life.

All of these teachers are offering good things: being positive, finding pleasure in God, understanding prophecy, as well as helping the poor and enabling justice. But none of these outline the main intended points of focus in life, according to the Apostle Paul. And while it is important to study the whole of scripture and to know the whole counsel of God, it is also important to be a doer of the word and not just a hearer of the word (James 1:22). Of course no one is perfect, but spiritual teachers should at least try to guide people with accurate messages and goals.
This subject of the powerful gospel was addressed in a good sermon that I heard on Sunday, and it came to mind when I read about an ex-Luciferian, Jacob McKelvy, who was recently drawn to Christ and became a believer after a church intentionally prayed for him. The pastor of their church made a clear statement that it was better to pray for this lost soul than to picket against him. And in August 2016, the fruits of their prayers were understood when McKelvy felt compelled to walk into Spring First Church, where he asked to meet with Pastor Robert Hogan. And this is a summary by the Luciferian's ultimate choice of Christ:

 “(W)e were once covered in darkness and bound to each other in Luciferian covenant,” Jacob McKelvy said. “We were mired in the shadows of the adversarial influence and knew no love outside of each other. Today I rebuke, denounce and break the satanic covenant by the blood of Jesus.”

March 03, 2017

Learning Christ's Communication and Trust in Relationships

I recently asked this question on my facebook wall:

“What is your opinion of this hypothetical situation?

One person is reluctant to trust 100% unless there is a willingness for open communication. Another person is reluctant to offer open communication unless there is perceived 100% trust.”

This paradoxical conundrum seems to represent two types of polar views that people lean towards. On the one hand, some people tend to see human nature as a problematic condition in which trust is never quite 100%, and on the other hand some people tend to see people as generally good and worthy of 100% trust, offhand.

Before asking the above question, my opinion was that communication is much more critical than trust, because communication is necessary in order to build trust. But trust is not necessary to initiate communication. And I also held the opinion that this paradox represents a false dichotomy, because ultimately I believe that the highest form of relationship is not based on either interactive communication or on human trust. And so far these opinions have been confirmed. But what is extremely challenging to me is the level of communication and trust that Christ extended to all. 

February 17, 2017

Encouraging: Why Jesus Spoke in Parables

Today, I was feeling discouraged, and God revealed something to me that was extremely encouraging. I've always looked at the parables of Jesus as mainly instructive, but today I realize that they are also meant to be equally encouraging, based simply on the fact that we can understand God and God's ways in our inner being, and amidst all the problems and difficulties of this fallen world. Jesus' parables help to distinguish us as spiritual souls in a material world:

"Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."   (Matthew 13: 10-13) 

When His disciples asked why he spoke in parables, Jesus highlighted insights into, "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," and the ultimate gift and mystery is to know eternal relationship with God in the the kingdom of God, both now and in eternity. Parables help to remind us that we are actually experiencing the kingdom of God right now, despite our circumstances.

Jesus's answer about parables essentially shows us that he is speaking in a secret code that only people who know God can identify with. The subject of parables helps to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's as if His parables are a thin veil between the ordinary physical world and the extraordinary spiritual world, and only those with the inner indwelling Holy Spirit can pass in and out between these two worlds of understanding. This does not mean that there are no exceptions, when true Christians will fail to understand parables or spiritual principles, but this is the general situation. And so we can be extremely encouraged by Jesus' parables in this light.

"Don't be discouraged when people misunderstand you, be encouraged that you understand God."
The Parable of the Tares contrasts how people with spiritual insight will live among those without it. And this parable encourages us, that we should not be surprised or discouraged when we try to present spiritual principles or values and others don't understand them or outright reject them. And people will sometimes reject us personally, simply because we embrace and request what we consider to be just, fair and helpful principles for relationships and for society. But when others reject us personally, God comforts us deeply. This is a part of the kingdom of God.

February 10, 2017

New Sex Survey Reveals Shallow Love Without Truth

This relationship survey is a snapshot of our present lost U.S. culture. It's both a reality check and a good segue. The question of love without truth knocks at the door of society and involves more than just romantic and physical relationships, but also relationships in general.

The 2017 annual Singles in America poll from the Match website, apparently the
nation's largest and "most comprehensive" annual survey of single people living in the US, offers that 70% of U.S. singles approve of consensual polyamorous relationships, that is, sexual and emotional relationships with more than one partner at a time, while a cracked cell phone screen is considered a major social faux pas. It contrasts the approval of a sexual threesome with the fact that Millennials are the least likely to cheat on a partner.

This sex and love poll highlights a trend of relativistic hedonism that is not grounded in any logical framework, but there is hope when we consider the power of love and truth working together as a healthy alternative. And as we sift through some contrasting thoughts from key examples in this area, there is some metaphysical gold worth holding onto. 

A Google search explodes with phrases about love without truth:
Love without truth is sentimentality, love without truth is blind, love without truth is hypocrisy, love without truth is enabling, love without truth is too soft, love without truth is heresy, love without truth is..." And Ammon Hennacy has offered some good insights into love and truth, showing that love and truth should be viewed as interconnected with wisdom and courage:

“Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world.”
Ammon Hennacy showed that authentic love requires not just truth, but also wisdom and courage. 
Wisdom is great, sure, but what is it actually based on?

February 05, 2017

Samoa's New Constitution Declares Christian Nation


[CBN] The headline reads: "Why Samoa Wants to Make Clear, It's a Christian State" and, though a small change, the leaders of the country find it important:

"The phrase "Samoa is founded on God" will no longer be used. Instead, under the Constitution, it will be, 'Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.'"

One point of rephrasing the constitution is to underscore a sense of solidarity of belief, as based on the country's founding, and to stave off potential conflict:

"Many are wondering why this tiny nation suddenly wants to makes such a bold statement. Tuilaepa says it is a way to fend off religious wars that have stormed other countries, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. He wants to make it clear that this is a Christian country and their faith will be integral to their law."

A second point is to address increasing pressure to adopt morally relativistic trends:

January 25, 2017

Five Heresies of Christian Hedonism

This post is probably going offend a lot of people, but I encourage you to read it to the end before casting judgment. I am a lover of God and a seeker of truth, and my motive for writing this is to see people value relationship with God and true worship of God above all else. I pray that anyone that reads this has an open mind to receive the truth of what is written.

Five Heresies of Christian Hedonism

False: "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him."
True: "God is most glorified in us when we most fully reflect the whole will of God."

False: "The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed."
True: "A motive of happiness is neither sufficient nor necessary for every good deed, and the desire to please God and respect the authority of scripture are sufficient moral motives."

False: "We should pursue happiness, and pursue it with all our might."
True: "We should pursue God, in relationship and to glorify God, with all our might."

False: “You cannot please God if you do not come to him as rewarder.”
True: "God rewards faith in His promises, but it is not sufficient to see God as a mere rewarder because our higher relation to God is in seeing Him as our divine loving Father who has freely given us salvation."

False: "The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever."
True: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and experience His glory forever."

These days, the subject of "fake news" usually highlights how many people will believe something without any fact-checking. The hedonistic emphasis on pleasure and entertainment in society today seems to encourage a lack of thinking. Recently, I tried to reason with a follower of Christian Hedonism about the logic behind his premises, but he said that he was not interested because his view on this subject is based on a "consensus" of opinion. Well, the herd mentality in addressing teaching is really not in keeping with verses like this one: "Test all things; hold fast what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 NKJV). Pastor John Piper created and supports "Christian Hedonism," and has developed a large following from it. He changed the subject when I asked him the following question about Christian Hedonism in June of 2016:

"Do you have a scriptural basis to claim that enjoying God somehow gives more glory to God than obeying God, than submitting our whole to God, than seeking to be faithful representatives?"

While I believe that John Piper is a brother in Christ regarding the most essential tenets of salvation, scripture shows that a pastor-teacher has a responsibility to try to be accurate in all doctrine, and should probably take it seriously if his claims are misleading or false, especially if they appear idolatrous and heretical. When I looked up the definition of "heresy," this seems to apply to Piper's teachings, because the main premises of his new and unorthodox interpretations are false. I'm definitely not a "heresy hunter," and this is the first time I have ever called out someone to address doctrine like this. But I was miffed when Piper berated Donald Trump for his apparent idolatry of hedonism, while Piper has been basically teaching his followers to do the same in his own way for 30 years. Due to Piper's popularity, you may be tempted to dismiss this post offhand. But truth is not based on popularity, and if you are remotely interested in spiritual truth, I would recommend reading and testing the ideas for yourself.
As you review Piper's ideas, keep in mind that Martin Luther, as the main founder of the Protestant movement, was willing to risk his own life on the principle of Sola Scriptura. And though Piper himself acknowledges in his summary that his views are "controversial," it seems that neither he nor his advisers bothered to seriously test what he wrote against the whole of scripture. Based on his description, Piper's hedonism doctrine is based on commentary, not scripture. And then he tries to support it by proof-texting various verses. But if he and his followers cannot back up their specific premises with Sola Scriptura and sound reasoning, these premises should be renounced, and Luther would agree: "Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience."
The full summary text from Piper's main page promoting "Christian Hedonism" is posted at the end of this article, so that you can read quotes in context for yourself. I will post Piper's quotes in blue letters in this article and show how he bases his hedonism mainly on a false dichotomy between "Kantian morality" and "Christian Hedonism." But let's start at the beginning. Piper begins his article with an unsupported assertion:

January 22, 2017

How can we Most Glorify God in our Lives?

Perhaps the most important question a Christian can ask is: "How can I most glorify God in my life?" How do you most glorify God? How we answer this question informs how and why we worship God, how we think about life, plan our goals, and develop habits. Personally, I think that it is very important to use wisdom and critical thinking to test ideas when addressing this question, and to not just follow along with what other people claim is true in their teachings, because there is so much false doctrine being taught in our time.

There are two concepts that help us to dig down to a wise and firm foundation of scriptural truth, the concepts of “necessity” and “sufficiency.” On a very simple level, it is possible to embrace a statement that is true as a necessary condition for God's glory, but is not sufficient, in and of itself, for God's glory. For example, I could say,

“It is necessary for us to abide in Christ in order for us to fully glorify God with our lives.”

This is a true statement. But if I say, “Abiding in Christ is sufficient for me in order to fully glorify Christ.” - that is not a true statement. Why? Because it is possible to abide in Christ and still be living in idolatry, to be immature, and to be living contrary to God's will. This is shown in John 15. Jesus is quoted as saying:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15.1-2 NIV).

The above verse outlines how we can practice the presence of God and abide in Christ and yet still require “pruning” as a means of improving and being more fruitful, towards the ultimate goal of glorifying God.

Next, this chapter outlines the importance of meditating on and applying the word of God, in addition to abiding in God: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15.7). So now we have two necessary conditions of giving God the most glory in our lives, and this saying is true:

“It is necessary to abide in Christ and abide in God's word for us to most fully glorify God.”

After this, we are given an explicit explanation from Christ as to how we can bring God glory: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15.8 NIV).

In this context, the immeasurable glory of God is made visible for all to see as “fruit” in lived lives. This word fruit is ""karpoj" in the original Greek and is used figuratively here to describe helping to prepare people for eternal life, coming to know Christ and growing in relationship with God.  Revelation 4:11 tells us plainly that all things were created ultimately for God's glory and pleasure, and that, again, the immeasurable glory of God is made visible in the beauty of creation: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Knowing the full biblical context of any given subject is very important for a full understanding. Acts 20.27 highlights that is best to study and know the whole “counsel” and word of God. Acts 17.11 shows that one of the reasons for this is to test everything that is taught to ensure that it is valid. It is possible to pick and choose scriptures from the word of God that may suit some mere human tradition, our ego, or agenda, and diminish the glory of God, so it's also important to include this truth:

“It is necessary to aim to live out the whole will of God in order to most fully glorify God.”

January 20, 2017

John Piper's Hypocrisy and Destructive Trump Narrative

I was very disturbed this morning to see a post by John Piper titled, "How to Live Under an Unqualified President"- especially considering the death threats, violent destruction, and anarchy being widely promoted for today’s inauguration, all based on a refusal to acknowledge DJT as a legitimate president. Here is a photo of a peaceful Trump supporter beaten bloody last night with a metal pole, and this link shows a photo of the stitches.

Piper's premise, defining Trump as “unqualified” to be president on inauguration day, displays an extreme lack of discernment and is extremely irresponsible, as it supports the inflammatory anarchist narrative that threatens to bring increased division and destruction upon the US. Piper writes,  "Donald Trump’s immoral behavior in the past, and his ongoing unwillingness to renounce it as evil, show that he is morally unfit to lead our nation."

The underlying irony and hypocrisy relate back to the fact that Piper has been promoting the idolatry of pleasure and hedonism from the pulpit, and is accusing Trump of these very same underlying faults. As a politician opposing establishment corruption and protecting basic civil rights, there were at least 10 reasons why many evangelicals, including very prominent ones, voted for Trump, as an alternative to other less desirable choices. Since Piper has chosen to throw in his hat along with all the others opposing Trump's legitimate presidency, I will offer my two cents in the hopes that Piper will use the same standards to judge himself and his ministry teachings as he is using to undermine Trump.

In 2014, I was struck by similarities between teachings of Victoria Osteen and John Piper, with regard to the idolization of pleasure. The post, “Newsflash: Osteen and Piper Agree on Christian Hedonism” - showed how quotes from both Osteen and Piper underscored the same faulty premise, that we should seek God for our own personal pleasure, as opposed to seeking God based on the scriptural counsel to please God and worship God because of who God is. John Piper went so far as to modify the shorter Westminster Catechism in order to support his premise. Scripture clearly shows that God is our reward (Genesis 15.1, Psalm 62.5-7, Philippians 3.8). And to lift up the blessings of God over God Himself is idolatry. Piper begins his rationale with a description of idolatry: "We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in." - and in various statements confirms that this is actually what he is actually proposing: "...we should pursue happiness, and pursue it with all our might." Contrary to this advice, we are called to pursue and love the person of God, not a gift from God, with all our soul, strength and mind (Luke 10.27).

January 15, 2017

Powerful Gospel Video Sermon by Jeff Durbin on YouTube

This popular video sermon by Jeff Durbin outlines the power of the gospel and how it compels Christians to proclaim and publish the gospel widely and without fear. I looked up his name and did not find anything associated with heresy, and it is an informative, inspiring and motivating sermon, so it seems good to recommend it. It's one of the most popular video sermons on YouTube.

Whether you are a Christian or not, if you are open-minded to the truth of the gospel, then this video is for you....

One of Jeff's key points is that the gospel is not a mere suggestion or something recommended to try out briefly and evaluate based upon how well it matches personal goals and feelings. Rather, the gospel is a mandate of repentance, as given from God, to turn from a sinful life in repentance and to enjoin Christ in relationship according to God's will and guidance. And we as Christians have this mandate from God to share this most important truth in life.

Jeff also outlines some reasons why he believes that the Church body in the US has become less and less effective and less relevant in US society. There is a trend among many Christians to avoid and condemn anything that is controversial or in any way perceived as confrontational, and Jeff aptly points out that this does not mesh with the early Church approach in the book of Acts or with the actions of Jesus himself, as recorded in the gospels. Jesus was actually very controversial, and a natural expression of a changed life is to become passionate about the types of things that Christ displayed passion for.
Christ's love of the Father and the Church find expression in Christ's passion for the gospel. The gospel and spiritual salvation entail more than just knowing about God or going to church, but include a radical personal transformation. And no matter how people may be offended by simply sharing the gospel in truth and in love, a certain boldness is not to be shunned by Christians, even if this is considered actually illegal by certain laws. Additionally, standing up for the oppressed and the vulnerable in society is a natural outgrowth of a spiritually-changed life. The subject of abortion is one important area that Jeff highlights in his video sermon where the vulnerable and valuable are for the most part defenseless and despised by society at large.

January 10, 2017

Marlene Klepees' Testimony of Healing from Cerebral Palsey

The account of Marlene Klepees' healing from Cerebral Palsey is a positive and inspiring account of God's love and power today. Different people came together, complete strangers, and came to support the same conclusion, that a divine healing had occurred. Marlene had described a vision of what would happen and where it would happen, all before it actually did happen.
Cerebral Palsey is considered an incurable disease. This Daily News article describes attempts in the scientific and medical community to discover a practical cure, such as this special brain treatment described by Chicago pediatrician Sidhartha Tan: "Tan, who was not involved in the research, said the study offers hope that nanomedicine may open doors to treating a host of incurable disorders, including cerebral palsy." Marlene Klepees was not taking any experimental medications or undergoing any new medical procedures, she was simply prayed for after receiving a divine vision that she would be healed. Following the video reenactment is a written testimony of her account, with a quote from her hospital records.

Testimony by Marlene Klepees

"Call unto Me and I will answer you, 
and show you great and mighty things 
which you know not!"

At an age when other children were enjoying life's innocent moments, Marlene had to face its cruelest tortures. Weighing less than two pounds at birth, she developed cerebral palsy, a disease that left her crippled.

At her public school it wasn't easy, she said "I did not have very many playmates because what could I do, and who would spend time with me?" This wasn't the only tragedy that wrenched her young heart; when she was only a year old her parents died in a motorcycle accident. She was left with great-grandparents and later with foster parents.

January 01, 2017

Must See Video: The Meaning of Life in One Word - from OOBE and NDE

Our family recently saw this video together and it was very moving and extremely relevant as it sums up the meaning of life in one word. I believe that it's a good way to start off the New Year, to again home in on and meditate on the true meaning of life. I have to say that I find the celebration of New Years a little counter intuitive. I don't like getting older, losing my vision clarity and so on. And I really don't understand why people get so hyped up about New year's Eve.

If the subjects of near death experiences and out of body experiences interest you, I've written an article relating interesting aspects of quantum physics and verified out of body experience (OOBE) and near death experiences (NDE) that were documented in a peer-reviewed publication, the Lancet, at this link.

Tags: the meaning of life, main meaning of life, one word defines meaning of life, testimony of meaning of life, NDE and OOBE, inspiring testimony