Friday, April 13, 2007




Okay, its been a while, but virtual life must, at times, be put on hold for actual life. Anyhow, here is my latest installment regarding the Lost Tomb of Jesus fiasco. Thanks to my honored friend James White, the idea flowed. Enjoy. Also, look to AOMIN.ORG for Tomb information and apologetic.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Gimme that Feel Good Religion

I was contemplating how post modern-evanjellyfish-Me-ligion has affected the proclamation of the Gospel...then this came to me.

Please feel free to add verses, I'll post the good ones and keep the bad ones :)

Gimme that Feel good religion
gimme that feel good religion
gimme that feel good religion,

Its good enough for me

It was good for Robert Schueller
Narcissism's so much cooler
IHands a wavin' so we fool 'er
Its good enough for me

(chorus)

40 day with big Rick Warren
Gospel's thin but books are soarin'
Sure is anything but borin'
its good enough for me

(Chorus)

Preach on sin, you'll get demotions
Gotta keep those high emotions
Where's my Jesus tan sun-lotion
its good enough for me

(chorus)

(take an octave higher)

Fun and teary thumping Praise songs
keep repeating all those praise songs
praise songs praise songs praise songs
praise songs praise songs praise songs
praise songs praise songs praise songs
praise songs praise songs praise songs
its good enough for me

(chorus)

Now we stand in front of Jesus,
making tons of lame excuses
Spent our time on things that please us

The Father says "It's not good enough for Me."


UPDATE

Here's some new verses

John Chitty

It is good for my best life now,
don't care why, just share with me how,
to my success, won't the world bow?
It's good enough for me!

(chorus)


Even more new verses!!!



Gojira

Give me my 40 days of purpose
made as sweet as syrup
A dream and a prayer of Jabez
but don't speak about eternal blazes
40 daze of purpose for me!


Scribe

Let's be rich like the Father
Just sow a seed and prosper
Live holy, why bother?
You need a Benz like me

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gospel of Me...Not

While sitting in the waiting room of the allergist office, I sometimes happen upon interesting magazines with fun faces. Being a caricaturist, I enjoy perusing People magazine or Entertainment Weakly (that was on purpose) and see how the celebrity faces are fairing. Once in a while I run into an interesting quote from the Hollywood brainiac and God drops some thoughts in my otherwise vacuous head. Oh but what do my eyes seize upon, but this wonderful waste of oxygen brought to you by the lovely Cameron Diaz:

It's really awesome growing up in a very narcissistic society laughs because we've finally figured out that it's all about us.

All the time they're like, "It's not about you." But really, it is. I encourage you to figure it out within yourself.


Then I put it next to this theological thought for the day by the Hollywood like Joel Osteen:

God has planted seeds of greatness in you. The seeds of joy, happiness, success and fulfillment are deeply planted in your soul. Cultivate and let these seeds grow so that they will bear good fruit in your life.


The beloved Rick Warren, of Purpose Driven popularity writes in the 40 days of Purpose..."Its Not About You"...wow that sounds right..however, in the Ladies Home Journal, March 2005 article, Warren shares how to truly love yourself. Here are the 5 truths Pastor Warren shares:

Accept YOURSELF...
Love YOURSELF...
Be true to YOURSELF...
Believe in YOURSELF...


How interesting that after proclaiming that "its not about you" His advice to better self-esteem has very little to do with anything other that ME.

Its facinating to me that the Mega church, phenomena, if it can be called that, finds its roots more in the Diaz/Osteen/Warren philosophy of Spirtual narcissism than in Scriptures call to look at ourselves with sober judgment.

Gospel is no longer Gospel. Why? Because the Gospel is supposed to be all about God and His work through Jesus Christ. The Mega church gospel is "All about us". The Bible is no longer God's word that reveals His purposes and His law and grace to us, His very breath that gives life to our dead souls, no, it is a spiritual self-help book. In it we are to find what makes US happy and what will make US fulfilled, not the Glory of God displayed. To be sure, the Gospel has benefits to us. The Gospel is GOOD news. But if we are already good, if life is all about us, then what is the point of a Gospel? What is the point of a dying, bleeding Nazerene on a rough tree, when its all about me and my health, wealth and prosperity. Jesus is turned into a means to my end.

I expect that tripe in Hollywood. Those souls are in darkness and out of darkness, darkness comes. But from churches that claim the title, the heritage, the Stigma of being called Christian, to vomit this acrid insanity is blasphemy. Uh oh...did I use strong words? Ah well, in this age strong words may be needed.

The modern Evangelical idea is bring them in by the numbers based on their felt needs. Do some surveying, see what the seekers want and give it to them. Use new and improved "techniques" to attract them. Make the gospel sweeter as it were. Adorn the gospel with phylacteries of humor, skits, laser light shows, big name bands, and of course, a good barker...er preacher, that can turn a phrase easily and segue into points with the funniest clips from popular TV sitcoms.

Note Paul's Purpose Driven Preaching technique:

I Corinthians 2:1-5
" When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."


Paul seemed to not have read the Robert Schuller idea of reaching out to seekers, or read the Purpose Driven Church. He proclaimed the complete Gospel, Christ crucified, risen from the dead and the judgement without apology,

Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.


Jesus was not afraid to say the truth about the state of man, he was not afraid to speak of the inablilites of man:

After he said to those who met him on opposite side of the Lake in Capernum, that He was the bread of heaven and they had to believe and come to Him alone, they grumbled...what was His response? I submit that if the above mention Mega church philosophy is true, Jesus' asnwer would have been "I accept you as you are, I'm here for you, believe in yourself and me. I have a wonderful plan for your life. Check out this clip from "Everybody Loves Rueben" lets sing Kumbyah." Was that His response? Nope.

John 6:60-65
On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?" Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."


Yipe...would this kind of response come from our modern day pulpits...er Music stands?

What was their response to that?
verse 66
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.


Think on that for a minute. I bet George Barna would have consulted a different strategy. What does God incarnate know?

For God's people, those he loved and gave life to, the response will echo this:

v. 67-69
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."


It seems that for Jesus, it was all about God, for us it should be all about Jesus.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Wheel's on Price's Bus fell off
So I decide to go on Calvinist Gadfly this evening for some good reading and...again my blood pressure rises. On the blog is linked an article by an interim Pastor at a Baptist church, Nelson Price. And, as usual, the old "I don't believe this TULIP stuff, I WONT believe this TULIP stuff and woe unto you if you do" monster raises its ugly head. I'm sure Pastor Price is a stand up guy. He's probably a kind compassionate individual with a heart made of pure gold ore, however, why won't these golden hearted persons ever think through the most plastic of concepts?

"A graphic understood by many Baptists regarding predestination is illustrated by this. A mass of people are gathered at a bus stop marked “Planet Earth.” Along comes the Celestial Bus marked “Destination Heaven.” It pulls up and stops. The driver, who is God, opens the door, and says, “All destined for heaven get on board.” A number do. A missionary couple who with zeal have served Christ all their lives start on and God says, “Step aside. You haven’t been chosen to ride this bus.” A couple of infants start on and God tells them to step aside. Persons who from youth have loved and ministered in Christ’s name are told to step aside. As the bus is about to depart and the door is closing God says to those not on board, “Catch the next bus.” “No,” they plead, “here comes the next bus and it is driven by Satan and marked ‘Destination Hell.’”
“Sorry,” says God. “I didn’t choose to save you. Your love and commitment to Jesus doesn’t matter.”
Belief in a loving God who would deliberately create some persons for the express purpose of sending them to hell is alien to Scripture. Neither can I conceive what one of the foremost Reform Theology authors of this day has said, “Sin was God’s idea.”


The entire article is found here: here

My growing understanding of election is that God sovereignly determining to place His love upon certain individuals. He bases this action on things only within Himself, not things outside of Himself and certainly not on any actions or decisions made by us goofballs. Why do I believe this? Because Paul expresses our utter depravity in sin, Romans 1-3. Jesus takes the time to tell His enemies why they CANNOT believe in John 6. In Ephesians 2, Paul reiterates the truth that we are not poor sick sinners, but dead rebels.

Okay, so here is how I came to this conclusion: I am dead. I enjoy my deadness. I sin within and through my grave. My soul reaks of the curruption of death. The stench rises to heaven and all heaven is poised to decend on my bones and further reduce them to ash. In this most blasphemus state, God calls my name. Pray tell, dear Pastor, what did I do to attract the eyes of the Purest of the Pure? What did I do to cause the sweet gaze of the Holiest of Holy to peer lovingly toward my festering soul? NOTHING. Zip, zilch, nada. According to the Holy Writ:

Ephesians 2:1-3 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath


Please note the last, subtly emphasized words, BY NATURE OBJECTS OF WRATH. What does "by nature" mean, dear sir?

2:3 ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν, ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί·

Literally the offspring of indignation, those who are characterized or destined for wrath. oops does the text contradict the idea that we somehow have a latent "faith" that is enough to garner the favorable attention of God? We are tekna phusei orges. In the verse prior, we are the huios ho apeitheia, the sons of the unpersuadable or stubborness.

Now, given this, I am undone. I am hopeless. I am a wretched man. However, God is mercying this one.

Therein is the inevitable conclusion that we are totally corrupt...gasp the first T in that deadly acrostic!

Now, the next portion of the thought is "how is a dead person going to obey the command to believe" Well, Mr. Price, perhaps by..er...ummmm RESSURECTION...REGENERATION? The sinner needs to be made ALIVE...uh oh..do I hear echoes of Paul again in my overlarge ears?
Ephesians 2:1, 4-5 "And you (hath he quickened) who were dead in trespasses and sin...4.but God who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sin, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by Grace ye are saved)"



Behold dear sir, those who go on to the bus are brought on because of His great love. Those you have described as having a "heart for Jesus" yet being cast away because they were not chosen, is the true oxymoron. They do not exist, sir. Such individuals are human fiction, not Biblical anthropology. Those who do not go on the bus are running madly toward the Devil's bus and hanging on to the bumpers of that hell bound vehicle with lustful glee. Those on God's bus are brought in and placed in their seats and buckled in by the driver himself.

The Gospel of Christ is indeed Good news. God is glorified in the salvation of sinners. The call is real and the dead will hear his voice and rise. The gasp of their first breath says "save me" every breath after is a prayer of worship and praise.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Non-Theistic Gods vs. Non-Forging Anvils....sigh

The great Spong/White debate: Is homosexuality compatible with Biblical Christianity" My goofy input of Bishop Spong's constant complaints of there being such judgmentalism...because White dared mention the idea of REPENTENCE...wow. Add to that the Spongish idea of a Non-theistic God made for some chuckles. Enjoy
Here's the link James White's site http:// www.aomin.org

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Its the Cross folks!

This small sentence bears repeating, its taken from a fellow blogger, captain headknowledge:
If Christ crucified is missing in the sermon. Everything else loses all relevance! No matter how practical. Practicality minus the gospel equals impractical (the Law kills--the Gospel gives life!)
http://capthk.blogspot.com/

In view of the now rampant frivolity of what passes for preaching these days, I find the exhortation to focus on the stauros that held the bleeding body of Christ more deep and relevant. Perhaps the contrast is what makes the blood so red.

When post modern preaching exhorts me to "use the keys" exemplefied in Scriptures to "open the doors of peace" in my life, my soul shudders. I cannot even concieve of the door to even use these keys. I cannot move my dead hands in the direction of the keys to make use of such an opportunity. These "practical" sermons have left out the very thing that can make peace happen...the Cross of Christ.

They call the dead to walk out of the tomb without the very power of Christ that gives life and strength to the corps. Christ called the name of Lazerus. Christ infused life in that body to obey the command to come forth. How can I, assuming I am a dead sinner, ever hope to use the keys of freedom unless Christ calls my name?

Take a moment to focus on the wood. Gaze up at the trail of blood that finds its source in the nail wounded hands and feet of a suffering, dying, yet kingly and powerful savior. Behold the brow that is marred by thorns. See the nails that bit deeply through his hands and hold him fast to the beam. As the dry, chapped lips part, they speak the name of his beloved..."live" even as he dies.

There in lies the practical. Therein lies the peace. Therein lies the freedom.

I find no sustinence in the meaningless prattlings of shallow men who find sound bites to be better than sound doctrine. I find no encouragement in the empty music that lilts my flesh, I can get that in a bar. I find my heart raised to life and resoaked in grace by the proclamation of the Cross of Jesus and the work HE did FOR me.
"I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2).