The following information is from The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, which is available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.
The “contemporary hymns” of Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend are widely used among “traditional, non-contemporary” churches, because they are considered relatively safe.
KEITH AND KRISTYN GETTY
Their popular songs include “Don’t Let Me Lose My Wonder,” “In Christ Alone” (penned by Keith and Stuart Townend), “Speak, Oh Lord,” and “The Power of the Cross.”
Typically, the lyrics are Scriptural and the tunes are not blaring rock & roll (though the Gettys ca rock hard in their concerts). But the Gettys represent the exceedingly dangerous world of contemporary worship music as definitely as Michael W. Smith or Graham Kendrick.
Their ecumenical, one-world-church goal is to “bring everyone together musically” (www.keithgetty.com). They want to “bridge the gap between the traditional and contemporary” (http://www.gettymusic.com/about.aspx), but Bible-believers should know that this is a “gap” that must not be bridged, as it is a gap between Christ and the world, between the Spirit and the flesh, between true churches and harlot ones.
The Gettys are “modern hymn writers” but their music is syncretistic. They “fuse the music of their Irish heritage with the sounds of Nashville, their newly adopted home.” The Gettys list the Beatles as a major musical influence.
Keith arranged some of the songs on Michael W. Smith’s charismatic Healing Rain album.
The Gettys have a close working relationship with Stuart Townend, who is radically charismatic and ecumenical. Not only do they write and publish songs with Townend, but they also tour together, joining hands, for example, in the Celtic Islands Tour 2012.
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THE CONTEMPORARY DIRECTION OF TRINITY BAPTIST
The following was published in Friday Church News Notes, October 7, 2005:
We have been aware for some time of the contemporary direction that Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida, has taken under the pastorate of Tom Messer.
Former pastor Bob Gray led the church out of the Southern Baptist Convention in the 1960s. I recall his testimony about that during one of his sermons at Tennessee Temple when I was a student there in the mid-1970s. In those days, Trinity was a fundamentalist church and had high standards for sacred music and separation from error, but that is no longer the case.
A friend sent the following information:
“I wanted to share some sad information with you. As I visited the Trinity Baptist website, I found them doing what Dan Lucarini refers to as ‘blended’ song services. Bryant Shipton is referred to as the ‘worship pastor.’ The two songs that I heard were ‘Lord Reign in Me’ by Brenton Brown of the Vineyard U.K. and ‘Call on Jesus’ by Nicole C. Mullen. Over the last two Sundays they have used ‘Rise Up and Praise Him’ by Paul Balouche, ‘I Am friend of God’ by the non-Trinitarian Philips, Craig and Dean, and ‘Shout to the Lord’ by the charismatic Darlene Zschech. When you see them using these radically ecumenical groups and musicians, it is obvious that they are headed away from their former position” (first printed in October 7, 2005).
It is important to understand that a move toward contemporary worship music is not a mere change in music. It is accompanied by a change in a church’s overall philosophy. In the case of Trinity Baptist, Pastor Messner is a prominent member of the “progressive” wing of the Southwide Baptist Fellowship, with its New Evangelical philosophy, a move toward a more positive focus, a move away from separatism, a tolerance of error and worldliness not formerly tolerated.
In 1996, a mere nine years earlier, Southwide Baptist Fellowship, meeting at Trinity Baptist in Jacksonville, published a statement warning against Promise Keepers and its “unholy music.” How quickly things have changed! Today Trinity uses that very music, but if it was unholy in 1996 it is unholy today.
Trinity Baptist epitomizes what is happening in large numbers of independent Baptist churches.
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NORTHLAND’S CONTINUED EMBRACE OF THE EMERGING CHURCH (Friday Church News Notes, February 22, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from Lou Martuneau’s “Northland International University: Plunging Headlong into a Liberal Entertainment Approach Ministry,” In Defense of the Gospel, Feb. 13, 2013: “Northland International University (NIU) recently participated (Feb. 2, 2013) in the I Am Redeemed CCM/Rock concert tour. The location was Community Church in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Bands that performed at the event were Citizen Way, Chris August, and Big Daddy Weave. I have viewed the concert photos myself. In them I see NIU faculty member Trevor Gearhart with a microphone speaking on stage with CCM’s Citizen Way. NIU president Dr. Matt Olson is pictured giving a devotional at the event. NIU students are pictured at the Big Daddy Weave display, possibly as workers. NIU’s display table is at the event. ... Knowledgeable sources confirm that approximately 40 students from NIU were taken to the concert. Matt Olson gave the devotional. Northland has nothing about this event on their website. Just like when they moved from KJV to NIV -- they make no announcements, they just do it! ... Just over two years ago Dr. Matt Olson, in regard to NIU’s Music Philosophy, declared, ‘Philosophically, it is unchanged. Let me say it again…unchanged’ (An Open Letter from Dr. Matt Olson of Northland International University, Nov. 24, 2010). Some of you might go to the Big Daddy Weave site and listen to a sample of their music ... to suggest that NIU ‘is unchanged’ in their musical philosophy and toleration is simply unbelievable. ... Under Matt Olson NIU has compromised its historic foundations, current NIU handbooks and articles of faith. His destiny seems to be to become a hero to the younger generation. He will not accept the caution and counsel of many seasoned men who have tried to appeal to his senses, his conscience, and his theology. I have received independent confirmation that Northland is now marketing itself to Christian rock concerts. NIU’s participation at this concert is not a fluke. It is a strategic decision by the administration. Formal participation in the I Am Redeemed tour is another one of NIU’s coming out events” (“Northland International University,” In Defense of the Gospel, Feb. 13, 2013). CONCLUDING NOTE FROM BROTHER CLOUD: After the previous report was published at In Defense of the Gospel’s blog, all of the photos of Northland personnel’s participation in this event were taken down from Facebook pages and other sites. It makes you wonder what else they are trying to hide.
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Emerging Church leader Tony Campolo calls for a “red letter Christianity” that follows the teaching of the Gospels as opposed to that of Paul’s Epistles. In a message at a minister’s conference at Georgetown College in Kentucky, January 10, 2013, he said:
“I grew up at a time when the church was organized around the theologies of the Apostle Paul. ... Being solid theologically was of crucial significance. It still is. The shift that has taken place, however, is a shift away from the Pauline epistles to the Gospels. ... As young people are forcing us to shift to the red letters of the Bible -- to the words of Jesus highlighted in red -- the first thing we have to deal with is the Kingdom of God. This has incredible ramifications, because the Kingdom of God stands in opposition to the kingdoms of this world. ... You can’t read through the Sermon on the Mount and believe in war. ... We have a country that is cutting out programs for the poor at a rate that is staggering” (“Campolo sees future ‘red letter’ church,” Associated Baptist Press, Jan. 11, 2013).
In reality, what Campolo is calling for is not a Biblical approach to following Christ; it is a deluded, failed, liberal humanistic, socialistic approach.
His doctrine of building the kingdom of God in this present world is not Scriptural. The kingdom of God will be established by Jesus Christ at His return, and it will be established with a rod of iron backed by the absolute authority of the risen Son of God. It cannot be built before then, as no one has the authority and power to do it. (See “The Kingdom of God: Emerging vs. Bible” at www.wayoflife.org.)
There will be no peace on earth until Christ returns, and until then individuals, homes, and nations need to protect themselves from their enemies, and nowhere is this forbidden in Scripture.
As for helping the poor, a government give-away program is contrary to Scripture in that it allows people to live without working. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Th. 3:10). Campolo’s socialism is not Scriptural compassion; it is a foolish waste of money that destroys human initiative and removes the onus of caring for the needy from the family, the community, and the church and puts it on a faceless governmental bureaucracy that uses socialistic redistribution of wealth to rob the workers of their rightful profit in order to empower itself.
America has given away billions upon billions of dollars to “the poor” but “the poor” only increase in number. American’s social welfare is a failed program. It doesn’t need more money; it needs to be dismantled, but that certainly isn’t happening. For Campolo to say that America is “cutting out programs for the poor at a rate that is staggering” under the reign of Barak Obama is beyond ridiculous.
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We aren't going to comment on the authenticity of the land treaties in dispute at that hour. What caught my interest in this was Harrison's philosophy of soldiering.
General Harrison would be shocked to conceive of an America in which females would compose 14% of the military forces, including 35,000 female officers, and that women would be stationed on fighting ships and submarines, in combat aircraft and front line fighting units. (It was announced in January 2013 that the U.S. military is rescinding its policy restricting women from serving in combat-focused positions such as infantry units.)
Already in the 1990s, about eight percent of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia were women, including as many as 10,000 young mothers separated from their children. That is unnatural and biblically wrong, as mothers are to be “keepers at home” (Titus 2:5).
Morally, the result has been catastrophic. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies have skyrocketed, and no wonder.
“An officer wonders if society is ready for the coarsening and ‘defeminizing' effect a co-ed military has, where thousands of man and women bunk and dress in open spaces of warehouse barracks ‘without a wisp of privacy.' A female soldier said they never quite get used to changing their clothes in front of men in co-ed tents (Calvary Contender, Feb. 1, 1994).
In the modern gender-neutral military a massive amount of time and money is spent on such things as investigating reports of sexual harassment that could be spent on the real business of defending the nation.
Was General Harrison deluded by the “old-fashioned” thinking of his era, or did American men of bygone days know something and feel something that today's men do not?
No doubt, the latter is the case. American men of past generations would not have conceived of sending the women off to war. That was a man's task. Frequent was the occasion in which the women fought alongside their men, but that was on a local level when individual farms and communities were attacked. Men, not women, are physically and emotionally equipped to be warriors. Men are not women, and women are not men. The vast differences are designed by God for the different roles that each gender plays in this present world.
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“In this Divine and Infinite Being there are three subsistences, the Father, the Word (or Son), and Holy Spirit, of one substance, power, and eternity, each having the whole divine essence, yet the essence undivided; the Father is of none neither begotten, nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son, all infinite, without beginning, therefore but one God, who is not to be divided in nature and being, but distinguished by several peculiar relative properties and personal relations; which doctrine of the Trinity is the foundation of all our communion with God, and our comfortable dependence on him.”
The following is adapted from a message entitled “The Trinity” by the late fundamental Baptist preacher I.M. Haldeman, pastor of First Baptist Church, New York City, 1884-1933.
Scripture always speaks of God as One God.
“There is none other God but one...” (1 Cor. 8:4).
The Son of God, our Lord, defines God essentially as spirit (John 4:24). The Holy Ghost defines God as person (“the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3). But this word “person” in the Greek is hupostasis--which signifies “substance,” “essence,” and, in final analysis, ‘Being.”
So that, speaking correctly, we should say: “God is One Substance--One Essence--One Being--The Supreme Being.”
In this one and indivisible Being there is a plurality of persons--subsisting.
“God said, Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim. It is a plural noun and is always joined to a verb in the singular, indicating that the act of this plurality of persons--is always as the act of ONE.
Scripture reveals that in this One Being, this One Substance--Spirit--there subsist three distinct persons. They are known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Scripture teaches that these three persons constitute what is called the Godhead (Acts 17:29; Romans 1:20; Colossians 2:9).
Each person of this Divine Being is God. And each of them is all that God is.
The Father is God (John 6:27). The Son is God (Heb. 1:8; Titus 2:13; John 20:28). The Spirit is God (Acts 5:1-4).
Each one of these persons is entirely God, but the three persons are not in any sense three Gods.
Not one of them can be God without the other two. The Father cannot be God without the Son and the Spirit. The Son cannot be God without the Father and the Spirit. The Spirit cannot be God without the Father and the Son.
Each is God only as each is in the one Being of the Godhead.
As this Godhead cannot be divided, there cannot be three Gods.
As this indivisible Being constitutes One God and no one of the persons can take any degree of Being from the other, then, the Three, being in and of the one substance, constitute one indivisible Being, or God.
Correctly and theologically speaking we are to say, concerning God, that “we neither confound the persons nor divide the substance.”
And therefore, God is a Triunity of Being in One Godhead. He is three Persons in a unity of Being.
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DOOMSDAY PREPPERS (Friday Church News Notes, February 15, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - Doomsday Preppers, a television show on the National Geographic Channel that began airing in 2012, depicts the real-life stories of people who are preparing for a socio-economic cataclysm. The number of people who fall into this category is increasing, and the program is the highest-rated one in the network’s history. There is an American Preppers Network, and the building and stocking of survival shelters is a growing industry. Vivos is planning a nationwide system of underground shelters in various sizes built to support from 10 to 2,000 adults for one to five years. The shelters are co-opts which are owned by a group of people who are promised access in case of emergency. (Good luck on that!) Developer Larry Hall is constructing survivalist condos in abandoned missile silos in Kansas, and so far buyers have paid $7 million.
Atlas Survival Shelters, designed to be buried 3.5 feet underground, are available for $10,000 per person. At BePrepared.com you can buy everything you need for survival, including a year’s supply of MRE (meals ready to eat) for $4,200. At Safer America stores you can stock up on gas masks and biohazard suits. There is no doubt that we live in troublesome times as describe in Bible prophecy. The same Book that prophesied of Christ’s first coming, including the details of His crucifixion, prophesy of His second coming. It will be preceded by a period of time that Jesus called the Great Tribulation, a time far more destructive than any the world has ever witnessed, but it cannot be survived in an underground shelter.
The Bible says the Antichrist will rule for seven years with conditions growing progressively worse, longer than any shelter stockpile will last. No one will be able to buy or sell without his mark. The Antichrist is no ordinary man. He will be supported by Satan and his hoards of demons. A far better solution is to put one’s faith in Jesus Christ and be washed in His blood and serve in His great harvest field while you wait for the imminent Rapture. It’s not time to hide in a hole; it’s time to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. The reason why Christ has not yet returned is His love for souls (2 Peter 3:9). The Rapture of New Testament believers is not a fictional scenario; it is the promise of a God who cannot lie. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief”
(1 Thessalonians 5:4).
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When Bible-believing Christians take the Word of God and measure leaders, churches, denominations and movements today by it, ecumenical types invariably charge them with a lack of love. For example, a woman wrote to me and said:
“You preach separatism. What about unity? You preach about heresy. WHAT ABOUT LOVE? ... From what I have viewed on your website, you hold your views as high as the Bible itself. What you call ‘zeal for the Bible’ I call arrogance and pride. If you knew the Bible as well as you claim, then I believe you’d live it. The lost will never be reached through such hatred” (Letter from a reader, May 1997).
This lady was upset about my preaching, but instead of explaining my alleged error carefully from the Bible, she charged me with a lack of love, and this, in spite of her own haughty and incredibly judgmental attitude toward me!
To this brainwashed generation, the negative aspects of biblical Christianity are unloving. To carefully test things by the Bible is unkind. To warn of false gospels is uncompassionate. To mark and avoid false teachers is mean-spirited. To preach high and holy standards of Christian living is legalist meanness.
A few years ago, Evangelist Jack Van Impe rejected biblical separatism and went over to the ecumenical philosophy. He said:
“Let’s forget our labels and come together in love, and the pope has called for that. I had 400 verses on love. Till I die I will proclaim nothing but love for all my brothers and sisters in Christ, my Catholic brothers and sisters, Protestant brothers and sisters, Christian Reformed, Lutherans, I don’t care what label you are. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love one to another.”
This is the popular view of love, but it is false and dangerous.
ECUMENISTS ARE CONFUSED ABOUT THE DEFINITION OF LOVE
Love is crucial. The Bible says that without love “I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” The Bible tells us that God is love, and those who know God will reflect His love.
What is love, though? The ecumenical world is confused about its definition. Love must be defined biblically. To human thinking, love is a warm feeling or a romantic thought. “Love,” to this ecumenical generation, is broadmindedness and non-judgmental tolerance of any one who claims to know the Lord Jesus Christ.
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The more I have meditated upon the topic of professional sports, the more disgusted I have become.
This is not to say I have not found enjoyment from sports in general. In the 1990s when my sons were teenagers, I got involved with baseball and, to a lesser degree, with a few other sports. At the same time my limited experience has been bitter-sweet and I have noticed many spiritual dangers. There is a tremendous amount of misplaced enthusiasm, money, and time being spent upon the vanities of this life by those who profess the name of Christ. There can be some value in sports but it is a dangerous thing and easily becomes an idol. May God help us redeem the time while we have the opportunity.
Let me make it plain at the outset that I am not preaching against sports in general (though there are some warnings which could be given even in general, and we have given those warnings in the article entitled “Beware of an Unwholesome Addiction to Sports,” which can be found at www.wayoflife.org.)
HERE I AM SPECIFICALLY WARNING ABOUT THE DANGERS OF PROFESSIONAL SPORTS as it exists today. I am warning about the misuse of time. I am warning about friendship with the world whereby we become adulterers and adulteresses in God’s sight (James 4:4). I am warning about misplaced priorities. I am warning about covetousness and idolatry and sensuality.
I BELIEVE THESE THINGS NEED TO BE PREACHED FOR THREE REASONS:
ONE, THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD ANALYZE EVERYTHING HE DOES. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). Proverbs 14:15 says “the prudent man looketh well to his going.” In my analysis of social issues facing God’s people, I am not trying to make laws which every person must follow rigidly. I am trying to make people THINK about things from a biblical perspective. If you don’t draw the line exactly where I do, that is your business before God; but it is my business to “preach the Word,” and that involves applying the Scriptures to everything that we do. A Christian who goes through life without praying about and applying God’s Word to the things that he does is walking in presumption and not in faith. The Bible warns that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). Those who enjoy my articles and who benefit from them are those who are yearning to know the perfect will of God for their lives and who are more concerned about obedience and fruitfulness than “liberty.”
TWO, THESE THINGS NEED TO BE PREACHED BECAUSE THIS IS A SPORTS-MAD GENERATION. Commenting on the amazing sports frenzy that has permeated the land, sports psychologist Dr. Alan Goldberg of the University of Connecticut said: “Sports [is] like a religion, and the god of that religion that we all worship is the god of winning” (CNSNews.com, August 31, 2001). In a report on the drought in west Texas that is killing the grass on football fields, the Los Angeles Times observed that this is serious because “football is God and the field is church” (“In West Texas,” Los Angeles Times, Oct 3, 2011).
An extensive survey commissioned in 1983 found that seven in every 10 Americans watches, reads, or talks about sports every day. The study, the most comprehensive ever undertaken of America’s attachment to sports, found that almost 35 million people are “ardent sports fans” who watch sports events on television at least once a week, and in some cases, every day. I am confident the statistic would be higher today. It was also in 1983 that World Almanac and Book of Facts polled 2,000 8th-grade students to see which persons they most admired. There was not a single name on the list that was not an entertainer or a sports figure. In 1982, the famous sports announcer Howard Cosell, while viewing the largest Sunday football game attendance in Texas history, said “the Cowboys are more than a football team in Dallas; they are a religion.” He exclaimed, “Look at the loyalty of those people! Look at the signs they have made. Truly, the Cowboys are a religion in Dallas.” He was right. Professional football has become a religion all across America. On Sunday, December 27, 1987, 75,000 Denver Broncos football fans battled blizzard conditions to reach Mile High Stadium by the 2 p.m. kickoff. The airport was closed at 12:30 p.m. that Sunday and remained closed until 6 a.m. Monday. Thousands of people were stranded at the airport, but those extreme conditions did not stop the football-mad crowd.
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Playing sports is not wrong in itself, and there can be benefits, but there are also plenty of spiritual dangers.
Following are some suggestions in how to keep sports from becoming an idol in your family:
PARENTS MUST HAVE THE RIGHT GOAL FOR THEIR CHILDREN
The right goal is not that the children will be good citizens and proficient in some field of endeavor and learn how to have a good time in life and fit into the crowd. That is the goal that unsaved parents have for their children. The goal of believing parents should be that their children know and serve Jesus Christ in His perfect will for their individual lives.
Terry Coomer, pastor of Hope Baptist Church of Sherwood, Arkansas (email@example.com), was a professional baseball player, but as a young Christian he made the choice to quit his baseball career because it interfered with his obedience to Christ. Following is his testimony:
“In 1973, I was drafted out of high school, as the 78th player taken in the 1973 free agent draft by major league baseball. I was drafted as a pitcher by the San Francisco Giants. I was the first player drafted from Indiana. So, in 1973 I was the best high school baseball player in Indiana and one of the best in the country.
“We live in a sports crazed society! Many parents have the idea that their child is the next great sports star. The facts are that most children that play in youth sports today will never play professionally or even be close to it. Thousands of dollars are spent on travel, equipment, fees, and other things. In fact, many parents will spend money on these items and if necessary neglect paying their bills.
“After playing professional baseball, I managed a 14- and 15-year-old Babe Ruth All Star team. We traveled all over the Midwest and played every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. We also practiced two evenings a week. The effort required for this task by the athlete, coach, and parent was complete dedication of time to the task at hand.
“The goal of every Christian parent in life should not to be to rear a ‘good kid’ or have students who are excelling academically, are great athletes, and so forth. The goal is to equip our children, these young saints ‘for the work of the ministry’ (Ephesians 4:12; Mark 10:45). Our goal as Christian parents is to train them to stay on the road of usefulness to God. If, in the end, they are unusable to Christ, they are not handling life spiritually and wisely, both they and we have failed” (Terry Coomer, “What Should We Teach Our Children about Sports?”).
If the parents have the goal of making their children disciples of Jesus and to equip them for His service in this spiritually needy world, they will jealously avoid being sidetracked by something like an addiction to sports. We have dealt with discipleship extensively in the chapter by that title.
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In the Friday Church News Notes for February 8, 2013, we published the following report from the Fundamentalist Digest edited by Don Jasmin:
TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH’S CHARISMATIC “GUEST WORSHIP LEADER” (Friday Church News Notes, February 8, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Prominent Independent Baptist Church Invites Worship Leader from Charismatic-Pentecostal Based Church,” The Fundamentalist Digest, February-March 2013: “Under the leadership of its pastor, Dr. Tom Messer, Trinity Baptist Church [TBC] Jacksonville, FL, a well-known independent Baptist Church, has been rapidly moving in the last few years in a New-Evangelical, pro-Charismatic and CCM rock music direction. TBC recently participated in the national New-Evangelical ‘Back to Church’ [BTC] Sunday in Sept. 2012. On the BTC Sunday, TBC featured as the ‘Guest Worship Leader’ Regi Stone, the ‘worship leader’ at the Christ Church, Nashville, TN. According to its official website, Christ Church unashamedly identifies its ‘roots’ as being ‘in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic renewal.’ ... Christ Church is ecumenically slanted. The church has as one of its goals ‘to encourage outreach and involvement with other congregations in an effort to mend denominational divisiveness and serve Nashville as the unified body of Christ.’ That TBC has completely sold out to the contemporizing worldly religious rock craze is evidenced by the fact TBC’s official church calendar notes that ‘Sandy Patti & Friends’ was scheduled for a concert on Jan. 27, 2013.”
We were contacted by Daniel Riddick, Director of Communications at Trinity, and he said that Regi Stone was at Trinity in 2011 rather than 2012, and that Sandi Patti & Friends were not scheduled for a concert this January.
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They invest their money, their time, and their emotions into these vanities, though they have zero eternal value. They talk about their “team,” even though they don’t play on the team. They get excited when “their team” wins and discouraged when “their team” loses, when in reality “their team” doesn’t know them and probably would barely give them the time of day. Beyond the silly emotional vanity--the very weirdness of getting excited about something that has nothing to do with one’s actual life--there is the fact that the world of professional sports is laden down with wickedness.
Take the halftime show and commercials for America’s great idol called the Superbowl. The 2013 halftime performance by Beyonce has been described as “pushing x-rated.” One of the commercials was a Mercedes advertisement that depicted a young man contemplating selling his soul to the devil for the pleasures he could expect from owning a sleek automobile. Appropriately, it was set to the Rolling Stone’s wicked song “Sympathy for the Devil.” Any professing Christian who invites such spiritual garbage into his personal life or home needs either salvation or spiritual revival. Pastors who are playing with this stuff need to repent or get out of the ministry.
Few see it in this light, because those who keep up with professional sports month in and month out become desensitized to the wickedness that is inherently associated with it. Association with evil ruins spiritual mindedness, as the Word of God warns: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). For more on this, see “A Warning about Professional Sports” and “Beware of an Unwholesome Addiction to Sports” at www.wayoflife.org. There is an efficient search engine.
TRINITY BAPTIST CHURCH’S CHARISMATIC “GUEST WORSHIP LEADER” (Friday Church News Notes, February 8, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Prominent Independent Baptist Church Invites Worship Leader from Charismatic-Pentecostal Based Church,” The Fundamentalist Digest, February-March 2013: “Under the leadership of its pastor, Dr. Tom Messer, Trinity Baptist Church [TBC] Jacksonville, FL, a well-known independent Baptist Church, has been rapidly moving in the last few years in a New-Evangelical, pro-Charismatic and CCM rock music direction. TBC recently participated in the national New-Evangelical ‘Back to Church’ [BTC] Sunday in Sept. 2012.
On the BTC Sunday, TBC featured as the ‘Guest Worship Leader’ Regi Stone, the ‘worship leader’ at the Christ Church, Nashville, TN. According to its official website, Christ Church unashamedly identifies its ‘roots’ as being ‘in the Pentecostal/ Charismatic renewal.’ ... Christ Church is ecumenically slanted. The church has as one of its goals ‘to encourage outreach and involvement with other congregations in an effort to mend denominational divisiveness and serve Nashville as the unified body of Christ.’ That TBC has completely sold out to the contemporizing worldly religious rock craze is evidenced by the fact TBC’s official church calendar notes that ‘Sandy Patti & Friends’ was scheduled for a concert on Jan. 27, 2013.”
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The Bible says that God has placed Jerusalem at the center of the nations to be a light to the world (Ezekiel 5:5). It is Israel’s failure to live up to this calling that has brought such great trouble upon her and upon the city that lies at the center of her hopes and aspirations.
Jewish tradition says that Adam and Eve were created on Mt. Moriah, but the Bible does not confirm this. In fact, the biblical description of the location of the Garden of Eden places it farther north in association with the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The biblical history of the Temple Mount begins in 1870 B.C. when Abraham was instructed to offer his son Isaac, the inheritor of God’s promise, on Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22:2). God provided a ram in the place of Isaac to signify the coming of the Messiah to make the perfect atonement for man’s sin (Gen. 22:11-14). Abraham named the place Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide, and there God reaffirmed the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 22:15-18), the covenant that passed to Jacob or Israel, and through his 12 sons to the tribes of Israel.
In 957 B.C. the First Temple was built by King Solomon on Mt. Moriah (2 Chron. 3:1). It was built according to the divine plans given to his father David (1 Chronicles 22:5-6; 28:11-12, 19), and the glory of God filled it (1 Kings 8:10-11).
In 586 B.C., the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonian armies under Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:9). The reason was Israel’s sin against God (2 Chron. 26:15-21). Before the destruction the glory of God had departed from the Temple according to Ezekiel’s vision (Ezek. 10:18; 11:23).
In 572 B.C., while living in Babylon fourteen years after the destruction of the First Temple, Ezekiel delivered a lengthy prophecy that looked beyond the Second and Third Temples and described the Millennial Temple that will be built when the Messiah rules in His kingdom (Ezekiel 40-48).
In 534 B.C., Daniel prophesied from the Babylonian captivity that a “vile person” would flatter the Jews, desecrate the temple (obviously the Second Temple that was yet to be built), cause the Jewish sacrifice to cease, and persecute the Jewish people (Dan. 11:30-35). Daniel also prophesied that some of the Jews would “be strong, and do exploits” but they would eventually fall.
The Second Temple was built by Ezra in 516 B.C. after the Jews returned from the 70-year captivity. There is no record that divine plans were given for its construction, and the glory of God never filled it.
In 168 B.C. the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes, an incredibly proud man who struck a coin with his image inscribed with “Antiochus, God Manifest,” having won the Jews’ affections through flattery, plundered and desecrated the Temple. He sacrificed a pig on the altar and erected a statue of Zeus (Jupiter) in the Holy Place. Antiochus outlawed sabbath-keeping and circumcision, burned the Jewish Scriptures, and forced the Jews to sacrifice to Saturn and Bacchus, the god of debauchery. He killed over 80,000 Jews and sold 40,000 into slavery. He committed horrible atrocities such as forcing a mother to watch as her seven sons were roasted on a flat iron. Mothers who circumcised their sons were thrown off the walls of Jerusalem with their infants. The ensuing Maccabean revolt led by brave Jews was successful for awhile, but eventually failed and great numbers were slaughtered. These events are mere shadows of the coming Antichrist.
A foundational truth about biblical tongues is that it was chiefly a sign to Israel that God was extending the gospel to all nations. Paul made this clear in his instructions to the church at Corinth:
“Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe” (1 Cor. 14:20-22).
The Corinthians were abusing the spiritual gifts and were particularly enamored with tongues. As spiritual infants (1 Cor. 3:1), they were “showing off” to one another. Paul tells them to stop being children and to be men, by understanding the true purpose of tongues. It was a fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 28:11-12 that was directed to the Jews.
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to THIS PEOPLE. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear” (Isa. 28:11-12).
The miraculous tongues or languages was a sign to the unbelieving Jews that God was speaking to all nations and calling all men into one new spiritual body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. “This people” refers to the Jewish nation to whom the prophet Isaiah was speaking.
Each time we see the gift of tongues exercised in the book of Acts Jews were present (Acts 2:6-11; 10:46; 19:6). On the day of Pentecost and in Acts 19 it was the Jews themselves that spoke in tongues.
Fernand Legrand, a former Pentecostal, makes the following important observation:
“It is worth noting that wherever the sign appears, it is always in the presence of JEWS, and where we do not find Jews, as in Athens or in Malta, neither do we find the sign. ... It is in the very nature of the sign that we find the nature of their unbelief. ... The sign denounced or corrected their lack of faith concerning the salvation of those who spoke languages that were foreign to their own, that is, the Gentiles. .... But this was precisely what the Jews did not want to believe. In fact, they were ‘contrary to all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved’ (1 Thess. 2:15-16). ... The idea of now being made one with foreigners was more than the first-century Jews could stand. The thought alone was enough to fire up their Hebrew atavism. Yet that was the first thing they had to understand and finally admit. So God gave them the best sign possible to make them understand what they could not or would not believe; HE MIRACULOUSLY MADE JEWS SPEAK IN THE LANGUAGES OF FOREIGNERS. IN SO DOING, GOD PUT JEWISH PRAISE INTO THESE PAGAN TONGUES. ...
I purchased the first portable computer that came out (the Osborne, 1981). We had one of the first Independent Baptist Internet sites and published one of the first hypertext editions of a Bible encyclopedia. We had one of the first electronic lists for the publication of daily articles. We were among the first to publish a weekly news report and a monthly magazine in electronic edition.
WAY OF LIFE TITLES IN eBOOK FORMAT
In the beginning of 2011 we put almost all of our books into the major eBook formats (KINDLE, PDF, ePUB), including the Way of Life Encyclopedia, and made them available as downloads from our online catalog.
We are also publishing an extensive list of free eBooks, which are available at the Way of Life web site.
We publish the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, which consists of 3,500 select books and articles comprising 1.5 gigabytes of information. It is the largest fundamentalist research database available, consisting of a contemporary church issues research library, a preacher’s information database, a Baptist history library, a Bible Version library, a library of dispensational Bible commentaries, and much more. Every book and article is in eBook (PDF) format which can be read by electronic Readers as well as desktop and laptop computers.
We also publish the Way of Life Advanced Bible Studies Series in digital format. There are currently 20 volumes averaging 265 pages each (totaling 5,500 pages of Bible study material). The subjects are Acts, Bible History and Geography, The Bible Version Issue, Defense of the Faith, First Corinthians, The Four Gospels, Genesis, Give Attendance to Doctrine, Hebrews, A History of the Churches from a Baptist Perspective, How to Study the Bible, James, Job, The New Testament Church, Pastoral Epistles, Proverbs, Psalms, Revelation, Romans, and Understanding Bible Prophecy.
AN EXPLODING TECHNOLOGY
The eBook is an exploding technological trend. Early in 2011, for the first time, an eBook was a bestseller on Amazon. On January 28 Amazon reported that Kindle eBooks sales have surpassed those of both hardback and paperback books. That is a major milestone. In June 2011, Barnes & Noble reported that it sold three times as many digital books through its website as print books. eBooks accounted for 20% of books sold in the U.S. in 2011. In January 2012, more than 40 eBooks outsold the print editions.
eBook readers have been out for several years, but they didn’t catch on until Amazon produced the Kindle in late 2007. The sale of eBooks was almost flat before that, but by 2008 sales increased to $100 million, in 2009 to $287 million, and in 2010 to $878 million. Some analysts project that eBook sales will pass $2 billion in 2013.
A report in USA Today for February 25, 2011, said that public libraries across the United States are seeing a surge in demand for electronic books. An electronic book supplier reported a 200% increase in eBook circulation in 2010.
People who have purchased the Kindle say that their reading habits have changed dramatically so that two out of three books they read are now eBooks.
The hugely popular Apple iPad, which was released in April 2010 and had sold 84 million units by September 2012, has provided a further massive surge in the popularity of eBooks. In addition to being an all purpose tablet computer, the iPad is an excellent eBook reader with a wide variety of reader applications available.
I have owned a Sony Reader, a Kindle, and now have an iPad and it has changed the way I read books. I read and review probably 100 books a year, often more, and have a personal library of over 6,000 volumes. I love a printed book as much as anyone, but eBooks are also a great way to go.
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Panetta said they aren’t talking about reducing the qualifications, but of course, that is pure nonsense, since history has already proven that the pressure to reduce qualifications for the sake of “gender equality” will outweigh the concern for military readiness. In fact, at the same press conference General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it will be up to the services to explain why any position--including Navy SEALs and other special forces--should still exclude women.
He continued, “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that women couldn’t make it, THE BURDEN IS NOW ON THE SERVICE TO COME BACK AND EXPLAIN TO THE SECRETARY WHY IS IT THAT HIGH, DOES IT REALLY HAVE TO BE THAT HIGH” (Ibid.). It is very sad to see what has happened to the U.S. military.
It has been feminized, lawyerized, environmentalized, psychologized, and homosexualized, but at root this is a judgment upon a wicked nation, particularly a judgment for the apostasy and deep moral and spiritual compromise of the nation’s churches, and the only solution is a spiritual revival. “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).
FORMER IRANIAN DIPLOMAT WARNS ISRAEL THAT IRAN WILL USE THE NUCLEAR BOMB (Friday Church News Notes, February 1, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143) - The following is excerpted from “Ex-Iranian diplomat warns Israel,” The Times of Israel, Jan. 25, 2013: “In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV, Mohammad Reza Heydari, the former Iranian consul in Oslo who resigned and obtained political asylum there three years ago, said that ‘if Iran is given more time, it will acquire the knowledge necessary to build a nuclear bomb within a year.’ Asked whether it would use the bomb against Israel, he said: ‘If Iran gets to the point where it has an atomic bomb, it will certainly use it, against Israel or any other [enemy] country.’
Heydari--who defected soon after he was asked to identify his son in photos taken during the protests that followed the 2009 vote in which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected--said the regime in Tehran was aiming to develop two or three bombs. It saw nuclear weapons as “insurance” to guarantee its survival.
Regime leaders ‘believe that when they acquire a nuclear bomb, [others] will start to behave toward them as they do toward North Korea,’ said Heydari. ... ‘They are busying themselves with ideological preparations for the arrival of the hidden Imam and are preparing the ground for that in a practical way; for this purpose, they are willing to spill much blood and destroy many countries.’ ... He was posted as consul to Norway in 2008. In 2010, he resigned and has stayed in Oslo since, in a location strictly guarded by the Norwegian authorities. During the interview, Heydari claimed that five other Iranian diplomats--in Brussels, London, Geneva, Milan and Paris--had defected recently.”
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