Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Intense Distress For Souls

“Perhaps if there were more of that intense distress for souls that leads to tears, we should more frequently see the results we desire. Sometimes it may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.”

--James Hudson Taylor

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Tony Campolo Does It Again

I am befuddled again by Tony Campolo's perspective on things. Why, I do not know. Maybe it is because so many christians see Campolo as one of them. I have my doubts about the guy. Not because he feeds the poor and helps the suffering children in Haiti but because of his wacked-out and screwy-heretical doctrinal views.

His comments on the Ted Haggard thing reinforces my point.

You can read the whole thing HERE.

Below are some excerpts from the article.

Campolo's comments are italicized and mine are bold:

Campolo: "We have to wonder: What drove him [Mike Jones] into prostitution? From whence did he get that low self-concept which, according to sociologists who study prostitutes, always characterizes these precious children of God?"

KTO: What does he mean by referring to prostitutes and homosexuals as "precious children of God"? The bible calls people who love worldliness and reject Him his enemies (John 3:18, James 4:4), they are children of wrath (Eph. 2:1-3). Also it says in Psalm 7:11 that God is angry with the wicked everyday. The bible also says that those who practice these things will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Eph. 5:3-6). These are hard truths found in scripture. I find no pleasure in this. I guess I just do not understand what Campolo means here.


Campolo: "Do we, the Church, bear any responsibility for how Mike Jones might feel about himself? Might he have heard some of those sermons which define homosexuals as “abominations” in the eyes of God?"

KTO: So now we must avoid those passages of the bible? And isn't the acknowledgment of guilt an indication that conviction of sin might be on the way?--This is the Holy Spirit's doing isn't it? Is this something we should try and stop?


Campolo: "Was it the war that so many leading Christians, including Mr. Haggard, have declared on the gay community that made Mike Jones feel that it was his “moral obligation” to expose the hypocrisy in evangelicalism?"

KTO: Should we applaud Mike Jones for making a decision based on a "moral obligation"? How ironic is that? This is so Campolo-esque.


Campolo: "In the midst of all the turmoil, confusion, and disillusionment, it is all too easy to ignore the suffering of Mike Jones, the male prostitute who blew the whistle on our brother Ted. Mike also will be hurt. His life will never be the same. He will always be scorned and a marked man.".... "I have heard so many of my colleagues in ministry express deep concerns over what this scandal will do to the image of the evangelical movement, but I have heard little concern among us for how all of this will impact those Christian gays and lesbians that we know."

KTO: ... OK we're concerned about the image of evangelicalism, Campolo is concerned about the image of Mike Jones and the difficulty this may cause gay "christians" (oxymoron). Ummmm.... what about the real issue here--God's name being profaned and disgraced? Not Ted's, not Mike Jones' (Ezekiel 36). Shouldn't the focus be on God and how this sin has caused His name and image to be disgraced by a man claiming to be one of His followers? Tony I would recommend you stop dwelling on people and start looking to God.


Campolo: "They [homosexuals and lesbians] are in our churches. They teach in our Sunday schools and sing in our choirs. Most of them are closeted brothers and sisters who suffer in ways that are impossible for the rest of us to even imagine. They are good people who do not take drugs or visit prostitutes. Will the ugliness of this sorry mess feed a diabolical stereotype of them, which is too often circulated in our churches by unkind preachers who have little, if any, understanding of homosexuals?"

KTO: Tony, pick a side. Either go with the Bible or go with pop-culture and deny the Scripture. Please quit riding the fence. Once again, the one taking an unpopular Biblical stance is in the wrong and the victims are the persecuted gay and lesbian Sunday School teachers abused by diabolical stereotypes, thanks to the preacher. Is Campolo really serious?


Campolo: "Right now, both Ted and Mike are facing the dark side of their humanity. Are we willing to affirm them by declaring loud and clear that there is something of infinite worth in each of them?"

KTO: HUH? What kind of inclusivistic universalism is this? What is the "something of infinite worth" in them? In God's eyes they are just as dark and filthy as the rest of us. Tony, no one is righteous, no not one. If Ted is a christian, and as far as I know he is, then he is clothed in Christ's righteousness. He must be dealt with biblically. If Mike Jones is not a christian, and as far as I know he is not (especially after all of this mess) then he is under God's wrath and needs to repent under the Holy Spirit's conviction of sin before he can be seen with any "infinite worth".

--Your comments are welcomed.

Monday, November 27, 2006


This is a collection of previous posts dealing with the issue of contemplative prayer. We're calling it Contemplative Snare. The purpose of this is to help anyone interested in researching this topic further to do so with a bit more ease.


I Want to Feeeel God

Christians Should Dump Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative "Prayer" (but is it really prayer?)

Altered State of Silence

Spiritual Disciplines

We Live in an Age of Mysticism

Real Prayer vs. Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative Spirituality and Demonic Forces

Should We Wait in Silence?

Lectio Divina

Mystics Misuse of Scripture

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Does the Church Have a Future?

"Does the church have a future in our generation? ... I believe the church is in real danger. It is in for a rough day. We are facing present pressures and a present and future manipulation which will be so overwhelming in the days to come that they will make the battles of the last forty years look like child's play."

"The liberal theologians in their stress on community speak and act as though we become Christians when we enter the horizontal relationship of community. But this is totally the wrong starting-point. If this were so, Christianity would have no more final value than the humanistic community."

--Francis Schaeffer, The Church at the End of the 20th Century--1970

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Psalm

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100

The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving

The real meaning of Thanksgiving
Originally Posted: November 22, 2001
by Joseph Farah, World Net Daily

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the people responsible for the American Thanksgiving tradition. Contrary to popular opinion, the Pilgrims didn't wear buckles on their shoes or hats. They weren't teetotalers, either. They smoked tobacco and drank beer. And, most importantly, their first harvest festival and subsequent "thanksgivings" weren't held to thank the local natives for saving their lives.

Do you know there are public schools in America today actually teaching that? Some textbooks, in their discomfort with open discussions of Christianity, say as much. I dare suggest most parents today know little more about this history than their children.

Yet, there is no way to divorce the spiritual from the celebration of Thanksgiving – at least not the way the Pilgrims envisioned it, a tradition dating back to the ancient Hebrews and their feasts of Succoth and Passover.

The Pilgrims came to America for one reason – to form a separate community in which they could worship God as they saw fit. They had fled England because King James I was persecuting those who did not recognize the Church of England's absolute civil and spiritual authority.

On the two-month journey of 1620, William Bradford and the other elders wrote an extraordinary charter – the Mayflower Compact. Why was it extraordinary? Because it established just and equal laws for all members of their new community – believers and non-believers alike. Where did they get such revolutionary ideas? From the Bible, of course.

When the Pilgrims landed in the New World, they found a cold, rocky, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, Bradford wrote. No houses to shelter them. No inns where they could refresh themselves. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims died of sickness or exposure – including Bradford's wife. Though life improved for the Pilgrims when spring came, they did not really prosper. Why? Once again, the textbooks don't tell the story, but Bradford's own journal does. The reason they didn't succeed initially is because they were practicing an early form of socialism.

The original contract the Pilgrims had with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store. Each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community. Bradford, as governor, recognized the inherent problem with this collectivist system.

"The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years ... that by taking away property, and bringing community into common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God," Bradford wrote. "For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense ... that was thought injustice."

What a surprise! Even back then people did not want to work without incentive. Bradford decided to assign a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of free enterprise. What was the result?

"This had very good success," wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."

As a result, the Pilgrims soon found they had more food than they could eat themselves. They set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London much faster than expected. The success of the Plymouth colony thus attracted more Europeans and set off what we call the "Great Puritan Migration."

But it wasn't just an economic system that allowed the Pilgrims to prosper. It was their devotion to God and His laws. And that's what Thanksgiving is really all about. The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God – even our sorrows. Their Thanksgiving tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and His grace.

Today we continue that tradition in my home – and I hope in yours. God bless you, God bless America, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Are We Missing the Church's Purpose?

"It would be too easy to dismiss this dislike for church as only another symptom of original sin and love of moral darkness, but I believe that explanation is too pat to be wholly true. It doesnt explain enough. Some persons, for instance, find church intolerable because there is no objective toward which pastor and people are moving, aside possibly from the limited one of trying to enlist eight more women and 10 more men to chaperon the annual youth cookout or reaching the building fund quota for the month. And believe me, that can get mighty wearisome after a while, so wearisome indeed that alert, forward-looking persons often forsake the churches in droves and leave the spiritless, the dull and those afflicted with permanent insouciance to carry on, if a phrase so active dare be used to describe what they do. To Paul there was nothing dull or tiresome in the religion of Christ. God had a plan which was being carried forward to completion, and Paul and all the faithful in Christ Jesus were part of that plan. It included predestination, redemption, adoption and the obtaining of an eternal inheritance in the heavenly places. Gods purpose has now been openly revealed (Ephesians 3:10,11). It was the knowledge that they were part of an eternal plan that imparted unquenchable enthusiasm to the early Christians. They burned with holy zeal for Christ and felt that they were part of an army which the Lord was leading to ultimate conquest over all the powers of darkness. That was enough to fill them with perpetual enthusiasm."

--A.W. Tozer

Monday, November 20, 2006

Mamby-Pamby Effeminate Christianity

"Now I want you to get this: there is a mamby-pamby effeminate kind of christianity nowadays that's telling the sinning world that they are not to be blamed, that it is a disease."

"...See, we don't know how bad sin is these days. The modern gospel doesn't say too much about sin. It makes an awful lot about a whimpering saviour who whimpers over people, and pawls over them, and excuses them and tells them, 'not to mine, hush hush, don't mention your sin, I died for you upon the tree, I died for you upon the tree'. And, this is not the religion of the New Testament, it's not the religion of the prophets, it's not the religion of the reformers, it's not the religion of the great missionaries, it's not the religion of the great evangelists. It is an effeminate, watered down, perfumed kind of christianity, that parades a pathetic, bent over de-whiskered kind of christ up and down in front of people who scorn him. One man said in my hearing that we're busy all the time trying to make people eat food they don't want. We would tell the people as we ought to tell the people as you ought to know tonight, sin is your own fault."

--A.W. Tozer, "The Four Seasons of Life"

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Revival At Any Cost!

“For decades sincere believers have asked, "Why don't we have revival?" And for decades the answer has always been the same: We don't have revival because we're willing to live without it! It really is that simple. Do we really want to hear the truth? God responds to hunger and thirst. He fills those who recognize their need, who are empty and broken, who are at the point of desperation, who are panting for Him the way a deer pants for water in the desert. He answers dependent prayers. Sure, we want revival. But we don't need revival. That's the difference..."

"John Wesley said: “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” Sadly we have tolerated a hell-less, eternity-less, sin-less gospel and this next generation is aimed at accepting this as the genuine apostolic original. The true Christian witness seems to be almost overshadowed by false doctrines, false cults, and false prophets. It is time for a holy desperation for revival to arise in God’s people!"


-- Greg Gordon, Revival At Any Cost!,

Saturday, November 18, 2006

YOGA: Can We Separate the Exercise From the Philosophy?

This excerpt is from Johanna Michaelsen as posted on the Lighthouse Trails blog:

"There is a common misconception in the West that hatha-yoga, one of about ten forms of Yoga that supposedly leads to self-realization, is merely a neutral form of exercise, a soothing and effective alternative for those who abhor jogging and calisthenics ...

"[However], Hatha-yoga is 'one of the six recognized systems of orthodox Hinduism' and is at its roots religious and mystical. It is also one of the most difficult and potentially dangerous [spiritually] forms of Yoga. "The term hatha is derived from the verb hath, which means 'to oppress.'... What the practice of hatha-yoga is designed to do is suppress the flow of psychic energies through these channels ["symbolic, or psychic, passages on either side of the spinal column"], thereby forcing the 'serpent power' or the kundalini force to rise through the central psychic channel in the spine (the sushumna) and up through the chakras, the supposed psychic centers of human personality and power. Westerners mistakenly believe that one can practice hatha-yoga apart from the philosophical and religious beliefs that undergrid it. This is an absolutely false belief. ...

"You cannot separate the exercises from the philosophy. ... 'The movements themselves become a form of meditation.' The continued practice of the exercises will, whether you ... intend it or not, eventually influence you toward an Eastern/mystical perspective. That is what it is meant to do! ... There is, by definition, no such thing as 'neutral' Yoga"

--Johanna Michaelsen, Like Lambs to the Slaughter, pp. 93-95).

Friday, November 17, 2006


by Greg Gordon


Where is the power of Edwards or Whitefield? Where is a modern day Wesley or Spurgeon? To put it another way, where is the message that these men preached with divine authority? The gospel message that they preached was full of God, throbbing with God, God was the gospel. They preached the character of God, the law of God, repentance towards God, acceptance with God, and dependence on God. Everything in their preaching was Christ Exalting and God honoring. Spurgeon said: "The sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the top and the bottom, is a sort of sermon that will make the devils in hell laugh, but might make the angels of God weep." If a gospel message does not begin with the lifting up of God, it then is the lowering of heaven to earth and making what is Holy mundane. George Whitefield said: "The Christian world is in a deep sleep; nothing but a loud shout can awaken them out of it!" We are preaching a man-centered gospel that denies a Holy God. The gospel begins with God and ends with God, if we miss this we miss the gospel. We are living in a age of synthetic gospel preaching, hence the Church has little power in modern day evangelism. Satan has been successfully employing men in preaching a dethroned Christ and a powerless Gospel.

Walter Chantry said: "On the shallow ground of men's logic, large numbers have been led to assume they have a right to everlasting life and have been given an assurance which does not belong to them." again he states, "To please God you must labour as Christ labored. To reach them you must say what our Lord said." Surely in this day we need true gospel preaching that is the same as the employ of our Lord and the Apostles. William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army prophesied of a false gospel that would be preached in the twentieth century. He warned of a generation that would accept a gospel that preached a faith without repentance, religion without the Holy Spirit, a salvation without Lordship and a Christianity without Christ. Are you preaching a synthetic gospel? Are you believing a synthetic gospel? Paul the apostle speaks plainly of "another gospel" this "other" gospel damns people to eternal suffering apart from Christ and God. May we shudder under the gravity of the thought that a synthetic gospel is so widely preached and believed upon.


Reverence, respect and solemnity for the character of God must begin and accompany true gospel preaching. The glorifying of God in preaching extols His character, holiness, attributes and draws a large conception of God. The problem with this modern day synthetic gospel is that we preach man's need and not God's character with utmost urgency. True gospel preaching tells men that they have offended a holy God who will by no means wink at sin. Walter Chantry said: "Christ's gospel sends men to beg pardon of the Holy One!" We have to realize that the holiness of God is what we have offended and sinned against and are in active rebellion to this infinitely pure God. A modern day fallacy is to say that all people know of God and His true character, nothing is farther from the truth. People are ready to talk about God in a religious sense but are utterly ignorant of God and His holiness. We are making an awful mistake in taking for granted that sinners know who God is! We lack severely in these two areas: Preaching the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man both of these truths need to be addressed to the hearers conscience directly, not argued but proclaimed.

J.C Ryle gives a forceful picture of our sin against a Holy God: "nevertheless settle it firmly in our minds that sin is 'the abominable thing that God hateth' that God 'is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, and cannot look upon that which is evil.' That the least transgression of God's law makes us 'guilty of all' that 'the soul that sinneth shall surely die' that 'the wages of sin is death' that God shall 'judge the secrets of men' that there is a worm that never dies, and a fire that is not quenched. That 'the wicked shall be turned into hell' and 'shall go away into everlasting punishment' and that 'nothing that defiles shall in any wise enter heaven.' These are indeed tremendous words when we consider that they are written in the Book of a most merciful God!"


Walter Chantry said: "The truth is that God is holy. Thus, He is angry with the sinner at this moment. His sword of wrath already hangs over the head of the guilty and will forever torment him unless he repents and trusts Christ." We are sinners in the sight of such a Holy God and not only sinners but guilty sinners. We are a criminal before God. Holy Scripture tells us that we are "by nature children of wrath," and that "the carnal mind is enmity to God." In light of this we need a repentant heart before God, spurgeon said: "He that never mourned over sin has never rejoiced in the Lord. If I can look back on my past life and say, 'I have no grief over it,' then I should do the same again if I had the opportunity. And this shows that my heart is as perverse as ever it was, and I am still unregenerate." Again spurgeon states: "If you can look on sin without sorrow, then you have never looked on Christ. Try yourself by this test." Walter Chantry said: "Where are there pulpits clearly showing that God's pure law makes strict demands upon the soul? The twentieth century church has tried to see how little it can say and still get converts." Unless true God-exalted preaching ensues there can be no true genuine repentance from sin towards God.

Paris Reidhead in his famous sermon 'ten shekels and a shirt' talks about the crimes of humanity against the law of God and the character of God: "What about you? Why did you repent? I'd like to see some people repent on Biblical terms again. George Whitefield knew it. He stood on Boston Commons speaking to twenty thousand people and he said, 'Listen sinners, you're monsters, monsters of iniquity! You deserve Hell! And the worst of your crimes is that criminals though you've been, you haven't had the good grace to see it!' He said, 'If you will not weep for your sins and your crimes against a Holy God, George Whitefield will weep for you!' That man would put his head back and he would sob like a baby. Why? Because they were in danger of Hell? No! But because they were monsters of iniquity, that didn't even see their sin or care about their crimes. You see the difference? You see the difference? The difference is, here's somebody trembling because he is going to be hurt in Hell. And he has no sense of the enormity of his guilt! and no sense of the enormity of his crime! and no sense of his insult against deity!"

Reidhead continues in his sermon: "This is the difference between twentieth century preaching and the preaching of John Wesley. Wesley was a preacher of righteousness that exalted the holiness of God. When he would stand there with the two to three hour sermons that he was accustomed to deliver in the open air and he would exalt the holiness of God, and the law of God, and the righteousness of God, and the justice of God, and the wisdom of His requirements! and the justice of his wrath and his anger! Then he would turn to sinners and tell them of the enormity of their crimes and their open rebellion and their treason, and their anarchy, and the power of God would so descend upon the company, that on one occasion it is reliably reported that when the people dispersed there were 1800 people lying on the ground, utterly unconscious! Because they had a revelation of the holiness of God and in the light of that they'd seen the enormity of their sins and God had so penetrated their minds and hearts that they had fallen to the ground! But there was a difference! It wasn't trying to convince a good man that he was in trouble with a bad God! But that it was to convince bad men that they had deserved the wrath and anger of a good God! And the consequences were repentance, that lead to faith, and lead to life. Dear friends, there's only one reason, one reason for a sinner to repent and that's because Jesus Christ deserves the worship and adoration and the love and the obedience of his heart. Not because he'll go to heaven."


The most urgent task facing the evangelical Church in our day is the recovering of the gospel. J.I. Packer speaking of the synthetic gospel compared to the old true gospel said: "It fails to make men God-centered in their thoughts and God-fearing in their hearts because this is not primarily what it is trying to do. One way of stating the difference between it and the old gospel is to say that it is too exclusively concerned with being 'helpful' to man - to bring peace, comfort, happiness, satisfaction - and too little concerned to glorify God." This new gospel comes at a bargain price only costing the sinner a hour an week to be secured forever in heaven. While the old gospel requires the life of the sinner and this life to be transformed into a life that worships and glorifies God. The Bible is against us when we preach in such a manner. Let us aim at nothing less then to preach the full counsel of God. We are in dire need in our day of preaching that speaks of God as He is and men as they are, unholy! Let us not grow weary in exalting the great holy God in our preaching or else we find ourselves distributing a false, spurious, synthetic gospel that is of no power. Hear the admonition of Richard Baxter: "Screw the truth into men's minds." Let us at all cost hold onto and proclaim this true gospel and leave alone any substitute. Without a clear proclamation of the majesty of God and the Law of God there cannot be a true receiving of the gospel of grace. Preach Christ and Him Crucified. Notice the order, first preach "Christ" then the "Cross" of Christ, this is the divine order of preaching the message of the gospel. I leave you dear reader with some quotes from the mighty Whitefield: "Various are the pleas and arguments which men of corrupt minds frequently urge against yielding obedience to the just and holy commands of God." And another quote: "Although believers by nature, are far from God, and children of wrath, even as others, yet it is amazing to think how nigh they are brought to him again by the blood of Jesus Christ." As Leonard Ravenhill pleaded so we agree: "God of Whitefield, give us today men like Whitefield who can stand as giants in the pulpit, men with burdened hearts, burning lips, and brimming eyes, and Lord, please do it soon!"

Thursday, November 16, 2006


"Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still."
- E. M. Bounds

"The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on tiptoe."
- D. L. Moody

"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray."
- Samuel Chadwick

"There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him."
- William Law

"We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results."
- R. A. Torrey

"You shall find this to be God’s usual course: not to give his children the taste of his delights till they begin to sweat in seeking after them."
- Richard Baxter

There is No Formula For Making Revival Happen

When does the timing of revival come? The answer is, "in God's own time", and never at any other time. That of course was the tragic blunder of Charles Finney, in his lectures on revival. He teaches that you can have a revival whenever you want, if you only do certain things and fulfill certain conditions. But that is a complete denial of the sovereignty of God. Not only that, but it is proven by history to be wrong.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones said that in his lifetime, he had known ministers who had taken Finney's lectures on revival and had honestly put them into practice in their preaching and in their churches and have persuaded their people to do them, and yet haven't had a revival. Thank God they haven't! You'll never organize a revival. It's God who gives revival, and He does it in His own time. He does it when you least expect it; when you think it's coming, it generally doesn't come. He keeps it in His own hands. ...

Revival is God's. He chooses the place as well as the time, and you never know where it's going to be, you can't find any rules for it. People have been trying to do this; they read the history of revivals in the past. Now they say "I notice that before that revival a number of people had been praying right through the night", so they decide to pray right through the night. But the revival doesn't come. Well of course not; if it had, they could say that "it was our night of prayer that did it", and so the glory would be taken from God.

(this is from

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


"Those who try to give warnings to the Christian church are never very popular. Still, I must voice the caution that our craze for "activity" brings very few enriching benefits into our Christian circles. Look into the churches, and you will find groups of half-saved, half-sanctified, carnal people who know more about social niceties than they do about the New Testament. It is a fact that many of our church folks are activists engaged in many religious journeys-but they do not seem to move up any closer to Jesus in heart and in spirit. This modern religious emphasis on activity reminds me of the Japanese mice I have seen in the pet store windows. They are called waltzing mice-but they do not waltz. They just run continually! Many in our churches hope to have a part in "something big and exciting." But God calls us back-back to the simplicity of the faith; back to the simplicity of Jesus Christ and His unchanging Person!"

--A.W. Tozer

The Battle is Not Yours

"The thing is to count the battle God's. The battle is not yours but God's. We shall not need to fight in this battle. As long as we count our dangers and responsibilities, we shall be distracted with fear. But when we realize God is bound to take care of us as His property and His representatives, we shall feel infinite relief and security. If I send my employee on a long journey, I am responsible for his expenses and protection; if God sends me anywhere, He is responsible. If we belong to God and put our life, our family, and our all in His hands, we may know He will take care of us. If our body belongs to God, it is His interest to keep us well, just as much as it is for the interest of the shepherd to have his sheep well fed, well cared for and a credit to him. Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14). Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you, Ye dare not trust your own."

--A.B. Simpson

Monday, November 13, 2006

Prayer is The Measure Of The Man

I saw this post on and thought it was worth reposting here:


"What is surprising and depressing is the sheer prayerlessness that characterizes so much of the Western church. It is surprising because it is out of step with the bible that portrays what Christian living should be; it is depressing, because it frequently coexists with abounding Christian activity that somehow seems hollow, frivolous, and superficial. Scarcely less disturbing is the enthusiastic praying in some circles that overflows with emotional release but is utterly uncontrolled by any thoughtful reflection on the prayers of Scripture. . . .

Writing a century and a half ago, Robert Murray M'Cheyne declared:

"What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more".

But we have ignored this truism. We have learned to organize, build institutions, publish books, insert ourselves into the media, develop evangelistic strategies, and administer discipleship programs, but have forgotten how to pray.

Most pastors testify to the decline in personal, family, and corporate prayer across the nation. Even the recent organized "concerts of prayer" are fairly discouraging from an historical perspective: some of them, at least, are so blatantly manipulative that they are light years away from prayer meetings held in other parts of the world that have tasted the breath of heaven-sent revival. Moreover, it is far from clear that they are changing the habits of our churches or the private discipline of significant numbers of believers.

Two years ago at a major North American seminary, fifty students who offered themselves for overseas ministry during the summer holidays - were carefully interviewed so that their suitability could be assessed. Only three of these fifty (that's 6 percent!) could testify to regular quiet times, times of reading the scriptures, of devoting themselves to prayer. It would be painful and embarrassing to uncover the prayer life of many thousands of evangelical pastors...

Are we better at organizing than agonizing? Better at administering than interceding? Better at fellowship than fasting? Better at entertainment than worship? Better at theological articulation than spiritual adoration? Better - God help us! - at preaching than praying?

What is wrong? Is not this sad state of affairs some sort of index of our knowledge of God? Shall we not agree with J.I. Packer when he writes:

"I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face"

Can we profitably meet the other challenges that confront the Western church if prayer is ignored as much as it has been?"

--D.A. Carson

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Our Supreme Need...

"Our supreme need is a knowledge of the character of God. It's an astonishing thing to have to say, but it is never the less the truth. All of our troubles in this Christian life ultimately arise from our ignorance of the character of God. If only we knew God as He is, we then of course would be like the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who lived in this world as we do, and was subject to the same difficulties and trials and temptations as we are, and yet how different His life was. Why? Because He knew God. He knew the character of God."

--Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Church Must First Repent

"Little by little, the church loses its grip on essential things, becomes a social club, goes to sleep or flies off at a tangent. All over the world we find sleeping churches, and all round them are the gospel-starved masses. Instead of performing the first thing of importance, evangelising the masses, they are engaged in a bewildering variety of pastimes--anything but the real thing. It has pleased the Lord to intervene at times to bring back His people to a more normal life. This is called revival. Revival, it must be noted, is solely the concern of believers, and is not an evangelistic campaign as many seem to think, although such a gospel effort may be the outcome of revival among Christians.

The greatest need of the churches today is revival."

"Revival has always begun through the obedience of individuals. Four young men, together with individuals scattered throughout the Province, prayed down the Ulster Revival Of 1859. Evan Roberts and other individual servants of God prayed down the Welsh Revival Of 1904. God lit little fires here and there, in individual homes, and when they became numerous the place went on fire. Andrew Gih, listening to a plea made by Paget Wilkes, in Shanghai, did not wait until the rest of China was moved. He opened his heart to revival, and God has been using him as a revivalist ever since. Instances could be multiplied."

"Thus we see the greatest tragedy of all--this paralyzing, deadly backsliding is wholly unnecessary, wholly uncalled for. At any time, an individual or a church may receive "blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

Sin is very deceptive. The backslider or backsliding Church makes all the excuses possible for the deplorable state of backsliding and powerlessness. There may be a noticeable amount of energy--that is all part of the pretence. Backsliders see so few better than themselves that they begin to feel secure--they lull themselves to sleep, and snore so loudly that they cannot hear the call "Awake." But many individuals feel a sense of disappointment and failure. Their hearts are hungry for deeper blessing. Many more pretend that their lives are all right, when they are not all right. They are more dangerous than conscious backsliders, for they are always praying for blessing upon ' somebody else' , ignoring their own greater need.

The important thing to remember is repentance is the prelude to revival. The Church must first Repent."

--J. Edwin Orr, The Church Must First Repent

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Contemplative Prayer Craze

I think this is a very important article by Paul Proctor. He is very direct and what he is warning about in this article I also believe is showing up in christian circles more and more.

This is more than just another evangelical "trend". This is a spiritually dangerous slippery slope into heresy and eventually, if not already, apostasy.

Here is an excerpt:

"Contemplative Spirituality is finding its way into the church these days largely through youth groups, events, conferences, concerts, and coffee houses where Emergent leaders and their wayward wisdom wow young wannabes into mind-numbing mysticism right under the noses of ignorant and/or delinquent parents and pastors who assume their teens are being instructed in the faith of their fathers, having, in absentia, abdicated their spiritual duty over to change agents so they themselves can passionately pursue their own purpose driven lives.

The seeker-sensitive pulpits of America long ago jettisoned the fear of the Lord and the Gospel of repentance in order to partake in the pragmatic pleasures of personal experience and cuddle in the cozy compromise of consensus, spawning a generation of "Christians" that care not about the absolute truth of God's Word but only about turning inward for gratification and guidance and outward for adulation and affirmation, just like their PDL parents, making them more compliant to the coming one-world religion of tolerance, diversity and unity. Simply put, Contemplative prayer is quickly becoming the transition tool of choice to ultimately unite a compromised church with a wanton world through mysticism."


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mark Driscoll's Comments About Ted Haggard

I have no idea why Mark Driscoll would make a comment such as this about the revelation of Ted Haggard's sin:

"It is not uncommon to meet pastors' wives who really let themselves go... They sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband's sin, but she may not be helping him either."

I did not plan on commenting on this Ted Haggard situation, it is something which grieves me a great deal and I didn't really know what to say about it but when I read these comments by Mark Driscoll I had to stop and ask..."why in the world would he say something like this?--is he blaming Ted Haggard's wife for what he did?"

Mark, come on, where in the world are you coming from with a comment like this? You might want to remove the foot out the mouth at this point and maybe not say anything, at least if that is all you can think of.

God is being disgraced right before our eyes. Maybe we should pray that God will intervene and put an end to His name being dishonored before the heathen.

And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, 'These are the LORD's people, and yet they had to leave his land.' I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone.

"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

Ezekiel 36: 20-23

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Church of the Comfortable and Tolerant

By Jesse Morrell:

Once upon a time in the land called Feel Good there was a Church. This new Church was called "The Church of the Comfortable and Tolerant". Very recently this Church hired a new Pastor, Pastor Peace Keeper, who just graduated from the Seminary of Smooth Talking.

The congregation "of the Comfortable and Tolerant" loved the new Pastor's sermons. Some of their favorites were "God is happy with everyone", "Everything is fine and dandy", and "There is nothing but good times ahead".

Pastor Peace Keeper once made a terrible mistake. He wrongfully allowed Mr. Conscience into the pulpit. Mr. Conscience did nothing but call human mistakes "sins" and called the good folks of the congregation to "repent". Mr. Conscience had never been to the Seminary of Smooth Talking, and maybe he should have before attempting to preach. The congregation of the Comfortable and Tolerant were shocked at Mr. Consciences audacity and arrogance. They said things among themselves like "who does this self-righteous legalist think he is coming and talking to us like that! Why should we allow this false preacher among us any longer to continue to persecute us?"

Pastor Peace Keeper terribly regretted letting Mr. Conscience into the pulpit. Mr. Conscience has betrayed the trust he had with the Pastor. So Pastor Peace Keeper asked Mr. Conscience to please leave the church, he was not welcome there any longer. Everyone was happy that Mr. Conscience was asked to leave, except one member called Holy Spirit. So Holy Spirit and Mr. Conscience left together and after awhile nobody even noticed that they were gone.

Once things were back to normal, the way they had always been, everyone was happy once again in the land called Feel Good. Pastor Peace Keeper continued to sugar coat sweet and wonderful lies that made everyone comfortable in their sins and heavily guarded his pulpit from abrasive truths. Who could blame him? You see, the Pastor loved his new home, his new church, and of course he loved his new income. He couldn't put such precious things on the line! So he absolutely guaranteed that "The Church of the Comfortable and Tolerant" were as satisfied and as happy as they possibly could be while they sat in their complacency.

They lived the rest of their days happily ever after, that is, until they were finally cast into hell.

The point: Rather then preparing the way of the Lord and making His paths straight, preachers are removing the bumps in the road to hell to make it as comfortable as possible for those who travel on them. The backslidden church utterly refused to remove the log out of her own eye and therefore also utterly refuses to remove anything from anyone else's eye. She vehemently opposes those who try to do so also. God help those who attempt to clean up the church and the world! Joseph Parks said it best: "The man whose little sermon is 'repent' sets himself against his age, and will... be battered mercilessly by the age whose moral tone he challenges. There is but one end for such a man. 'Off with his head!" You had better not try to preach repentance until you have pledged your head to heaven."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Is This Possible ALL Day?

I first saw THIS ARTICLE, "How to Spend the Day With God" written by Richard Baxter (1615-1691) linked on Slice of Laodicea.

It takes you through the course of an average day as a Christian, instructing you how to live a God-pleasing holy life from the first thoughts as you wake up in the morning to the last moments with God before going to bed at night. It is simple, straightforward, unlike anything you would ever hear today.

I found it very convicting. I loved it. I highly recommend reading it.

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Plea to Christian Leaders

from the Lighthouse Trails blog:

"Are Christian leaders responsible for whom they quote, endorse and promote? We believe this is a valid question that deserves an answer to the body of Christ. With publishers like Zondervan, InterVarsity Press, Baker Books and Thomas Nelson releasing one book after the next on contemplative and emerging spiritualities, the church is being put in harm's way with a tidal wave of dangerous and non-biblical teachings that ultimately leads to eastern mysticism and the New Age.

One of three things is taking place here. Either these supporting leaders do not know what contemplative is, or they know but do not think it is worth worrying about, or they know and they adhere to such beliefs. We know for a fact that many of them are well aware of contemplative spirituality, which means they are either indifferent to the controversy or actually see it as a valid spirituality. But isn't it time they came out publicly and stated their views? Isn't it time they either renounce contemplative and stop promoting it through their endorsements and quotes or admit that they have strong sympathies towards it. Isn't it time?"


Thursday, November 02, 2006

"Emergent Saved My Life."

Emergent saved the life of Tony Jones.

Before Emergent he was confused and now he sees things clearly, according to his comments here:

"People are drowning in the world—they are rethinking Jesus and church and Christianity and ministry, and they think they are all alone. People are ready to give up on faith and ministry and church. Then, one day, they find a blog or read a book or show up at an event, and they say, "Omigosh! I thought I was all alone. I thought I was the only one feeling these things, and now I find there's a whole host of people asking the same questions as I am!"

It's great to be on the receiving end of emails and phone calls like that, but it's also overwhelming. I can't help but wonder how many more people are out there, about to give up on ministry or even on faith...? Or how many people will never give Jesus a chance because they're convinced that Christ-followers are a bunch of closed-minded ideologues...?"

I spend all this time warning people about the dangers of the Emergent movement and here Tony Jones is claiming it saved his life.

Why are these people about to give up on ministry and/or faith? Who are these closed-minded ideologues? Are they those who hold to biblical certainties? Is that a bad thing? I thought that was what we're supposed to do.

I still cannot quite understand the pressure to give-in and "adjust" our message in order to appeal to those who decide to never "give Jesus a chance". Tony assumes the reason these people don't give Jesus a chance is the fault of christians who are too "closed-minded". Maybe Tony should consider 1 Cor. 1:18--For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Why not keep the message intact as taught in the Bible and, through much prayer, depend on the sovereignty of God for the purity of the faith and the conviction/conversion of the lost?


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Description of Emergent And Liberal Churches From Spurgeon

(my comments in blue)

"We can turn back to the records of our Puritan forefathers, to the Articles of the Church of England, and to the preaching of Whitefield, and we can say of their doctrine, it is the very thing we love; and the doctrines which were then uttered are-and we dare to say it boldly-they are the very same doctrines that we proclaim today. But because we proclaim them, we are thought to be odd and strange; and the reason is, because sound doctrine has to a great degree been abandoned. It began in this way.

First of all, the truths were fully believed, but the corners of them were taken off a little. The minister believed in election, but he did not use the word for fear it would in some degree disturb the composure of the deacon in the corner pew. He believed that everyone was by nature depraved, but he did not positively say so, because, if he did, there was a lady who had donated so much money to the church who would not come back again; so that, while he did believe it, and did preach it in some sense, he rounded it off a little.

Afterwards, it came to this, ministers said, “We believe these doctrines, but we do not think them profitable to preach to the people. They are quite true; free grace is true; the great doctrines of grace that were preached by Christ, by Paul, by Augustine, by Calvin, and down to this age by their successors, are true; but they need to be kept back-they must be very cautiously dealt with; they are strong and dreadful doctrines, and they must not be preached; we believe them, but we dare not speak of them publicly.” (this sounds exactly like my former pastor, whose Baptist church I would define now as a "liberal" church)

After that, it came to something worse; they said within themselves, “Well, if it is not a good idea to preach these doctrines to the people, perhaps they are not true doctrines at all;” and going one step further, they did not actually say so, perhaps, but they began just to hint that they were not true; then they went on to preach something which they said was the truth (Brian McLaren, Rob Bell?); and now, because we still preach those hated doctrines, then if they could, they would throw us out of the synagogue, as if they were the rightful owners of it, and we were the intruders.

So they have gone from bad to worse; and if you read the accepted doctrines of this age, and the preached and accepted doctrines of Whitefield’s day, you will find that the two cannot by any possibility be made to agree together. We have, nowadays, what is called a “new theology.”(If this doesn't sound like the Emergent Movement, I don't know what does) New theology? Why, it is anything but a Theology; it is an “ology” which has thrown out God and enthroned man; it is the doctrine of man, and not the doctrine of the everlasting God. Therefore, we need a revival of sound doctrine once more in our churches."

--Charles Spurgeon, Spiritual Revival, the Need of the Church, November 11, 1856