Archive for October, 2007

Ingrid writes:

Herescope is reporting on the changes to the ReThink Conference Website. What they have uncovered points yet again to the efforts these people are making to mask their real agenda and the New Spirituality they are promoting. Don’t miss this one and the earlier posts they have on the ReThink Conference at the Crystal Cathedral.

Are you kidding me? If there’s anyone who should never complain about redacted website content its Ingrid. Here we have someone who is on version 3.0 of her website because she “quit” two previous times (the first time, I might add, resulted in the creation of CRN.com as a result of forwarding her traffic directly to it after she came under heavy criticism across the blogsphere). This is someone who, anytime she found herself obviously and objectively on the wrong side of the truth would just disappear the offending post. No apology, no retraction, just a magically disappearing post.

What a ridiculous joke of a methodology. Once again we see that for the watchdoggies its not about what you say, or how you say it, its whether or not you agree with them.

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Ken’s response to CRN.info criticism

“Dear Lord, I refuse henceforth to compete with any of Thy servants. They have congregations larger than mine. So be it. I rejoice in their success. They have greater gifts. Very well. That is not in their power nor in mine. I am humbly grateful for their greater gifts and my smaller ones. I only pray that I may use to Thy glory such modest gifts as I possess. I will not compare myself with any, nor try to build up my self-esteem by noting where I may excel one or another in Thy holy work.

I herewith make a blanket disavowal of all intrinsic worth. I am but an unprofitable servant. I gladly go to the foot of the class and own myself the least of Thy people. If I err in my self judgment and actually underestimate myself I do not want to know it. I purpose to pray for others and to rejoice in their prosperity as if it were my own. And indeed it is my own if it is Thine own, for what is Thine is mine, and while one plants and another waters it is Thou alone that giveth the increase.”

Let’s hope this is the truth.  If it was, CRN would basically need to be shut down or change course completely.   Imagine, no more comparisons, talking about how quality your people are than others, and no more missives judging everyone by the standard of the reformation.  It would all be replaced with prayers for others, rejoicing when that 50,000 member church reaches another for Christ and recognizing that no one in immune from error or judgment.  Wow.  The church could actually be the church.   They were Tozer’s words, but I really do hope Ken meant then.

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Love your neighbor...Marty is a fairly nice guy.

Certainly, he has his foibles: he drinks a bit, is harsh on the kids, has some problems with racial bigotry and the like. For many years, he was married to an unfaithful spouse. She slept around and was quite disrespectful of the entire institution of marriage. Finally, enough was enough, and Marty divorced her.

Years and years have passed, but every year on the date of the divorce, October 31, he pulls the family together for a rip-roaring divorce anniversary. It’s such a grand occasion where everyone in the family can come together and remember what a whore his ex- was, and how great it is that he traded her in for a new model (who, arguably, is not much better than the previous one, but just not as blatant about it).

Sounds like a grand old time, eh?

I have lots of friends who have gone through a divorce, and not a one of them do I know who consider the anniversary of their divorce to be a time to remember, let alone celebrate. Marty and his family, though, they revel in it, creating entire ceremonies around how great it was to give the old skank the boot.

Obviously, I’m dealing in allegory here, but I find it completely unsurprising that the same folks who celebrate the day of the greatest ‘divorce’ in church history, Reformation Day, are the very same ones who are pretty much tone-deaf when it comes to hearing Christ say ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. It all fits in the same flawed ’system’ they bought into when they traded one flawed spouse for another.

I also find it funny that these same folks will curse the harvest festival celebration which falls on the same day because of its ‘goulishness’, yet they will dress up and give out candy as an historical German figure known for writing such things like:

In brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule– if my counsel does not please your, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all Christians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe-conduct, or communion with us. . . . With this faithful counsel and warning I wish to cleanse and exonerate my conscience.

[...]However, we must avoid confirming them in their wanton lying, slandering, cursing, and defaming. Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly acts…

[...]Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is:

First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire…

Second, that all their books– their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible– be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted…

Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country…

Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…

[...]He who hears this name [God] from a Jew must inform the authorities, or else throw sow dung at him when he sees him and chase him away.

[...]But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. For our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God.

[...]If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country.

They [rulers] must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did…

If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs.

[...]My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews’ malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils. May Christ, our dear Lord, convert them mercifully and preserve us steadfastly and immovably in the knowledge of him, which is eternal life. Amen.

Given the choice between this guy (no, it’s not Adolph Hitler, though his works were well-used by der Fuhrer) and Freddy Krueger both handing out candy, I’m thinking the latter is less dangerous, since he’s a) fictional; and b) has no real associated world-view.

Do not get me wrong, there was good reason to depart from the direction taken by the systematic theology of the Roman Catholic Church, which was – and is – off the rails in many regards, though it is up to God to judge if it is so far off the rails as to be eternally damnable. The need for the split with the RCC was likely inevitible, for numerous reasons, but I can’t think of any reason to celebrate such a sad occasion as a massive church split.

Regardless, I like holidays because they create greater-than-normal interaction between people, and often result in greater opportunities for living and sharing the gospel, and I hope that any and all that celebrate tomorrow – for whatever reason – will find those opportunities, but will also keep the roots of the festival in perspective – be it a pagan fall harvest or a sad, massive divorce – and not fall into the traps of the roots…

_______________________

Update:

“Pastor” Ken Silva has seen fit to write an entire post based upon a single sentence in this article:

Clearly the writer of that post should stick to things he may actually know something about because this is exactly what the Refomation was; a judgement of God. Through the Reformers–His chosen instruments–the Lord condemned the spiritual whore which is the Church of Rome and called His children out of its apostate Roman Catholicism with its false gospel (see–Gal. 1:6-9). I for one, as a former Roman Catholic myself, will be eternally grateful that the Lord set us free from the sordid spiritual bondage of The Deceivers.

Wow – maybe I need to get a new Bible with books written in the 1500’s… So much for the sola Scriptura he claims to believe and hammers everyone else with.

My apologies, as I forgot that Ken is a prophet, to whom his “lord” speaks directly. I for one, will be eternally grateful that the Lord will one day set us free from the sordid spiritual bondage of The Deceivers like “Pastor” Silva. The Lord be praised that “Pastor” Silva is only pastor to 4 other poor deluded souls…

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Ingrid writes:

When the atheists sing your praises, you know you must have crossed a line somewhere.

Which, I suppose, explains Amy Grant, Stryper, Thomas Kincaide, the Left Behind Series and organs in church.

Its not that Christians today suck at art, its that they don’t want to be appreciated by atheists.

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The Buzz responds to that other blog’s response:

First of all… today, I’d like to make an apology. Yesterday in the buzz, I wrongly said that Rev. Ken Silva wrote a piece over at his CRN website about the Robert Schuler “ReThink” conference. Turns out that it wasn’t indeed Ken that wrote the post; but rather “Editor”, who is someone other than Ken. My apologies, Ken. In return for my blunder, Ken managed to get some digs in on me as well. In typical fashion, Ken (or someone writing for Ken) called my workplace (Leadership Network), ‘a group of seeker sensitive new evangelicals who made sure the slumbering American Christian Church would have the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church.’ He also managed to call Schuler and Erwin McManus “sinner-sensitive semi-pelagians”, Rupert Murdoch a ‘christian pornographer’ and Rick Warren the “purpose driven pope”. Yeah, I remember when I was in third grade. Again, my apologies.

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looks like the elusive editor keeps getting Ken Silva all tied up in trouble :)   Read Ken trying to get outta this one.  Isn’t the GENERAL editor the one responsible for the information being put out by their publication?

Also, I am trying to figure out how we misconstrued the point of a four line satire article.  Pretty funny stuff.

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We chat about homeschooling, the good, the bad and the ugly. You can download it here or listen to it below.

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icon for podpress  Justice and Mercy #13 - Homeschooling: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
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From here:

Well, you know, we have had a lot of people who have been displaced in their own homes, but we have also had a lot of people taking people into their homes. We — our church is built on what we call small groups. We have about 3,500 small groups that go from Malibu all the way down to Carlsbad. They’re in every city in Southern California. And, so, our members have been taking in people all week. So, instead of them having to go to evacuation centers, they’re actually staying in homes of our members.

If we’re evaluating fruit, then this fruit is good.

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From here:

A new nationwide survey conducted by The Barna Group shows that 6 well-known Bible stories are accepted as literal truth by an average of 2 out of 3 adults. Surprisingly, the most significant Bible story of all — “the story of Jesus Christ rising from the dead, after being crucified and buried” — is also the most widely embraced. 3 out of 4 adults (75%) say they interpret that narrative literally, while only 1 out of 5 (19%) say they don’t take that story literally.

Considering this is the central tenant of the gospel, this has a lot of implications for both churches (where’s that missing 25% on Sunday?) and for watchdoggies (pretending the sky is falling when 3/4 of their neighbors believe in the resurrection is a bit hysterical).

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There is much talk today of false teachers and false prophets, and well there should be. The Scriptures warn us of these people especially in the last days. But when is a person’s teaching become so offensive and unscriptural that he must be labeled a false teacher? For example, Rick Warren believes the correct gospel but has formulated its presentation in such a pragmatic fashion that many people believe he has taken the “meat” and effectiveness from the message. Additionally he joins hands with unsaved people including gays and mormons in humanitarian efforts. He could be called shallow, or a compromiser, or even a liberal, but should he be called a false teacher?

And then there are conservative men who teach salvation through baptism and other forms of ceremonial sacramentalism, are they who we mean by false teachers? Some teach that man has no free will while others teach the opposite, are either of these people false teachers? See, the waters get very murky and it is easy to just throw an indiscriminate blanket over groups of people without a careful and Biblical comparison. If we are not careful we make those words just colloquial invectives and remove the seriousness that should accompany their use.
And that is my question, what standard is Biblical in calling a person a false teacher? There are those who call almost everyone a false teacher who don’t agree with them, but they are not serious contributors to this kind of discussion. And of course there are many who would never label anyone as a false teacher and they as well would not be productive in this discussion since they also are one sided. I grapple with this myself, not wanting to be hysterical and yet realizing there are false teachers today. It is an important issue because the sheep are being herded every which way in today’s doctrinal pastures and they must be warned and protected. Let us examine the major references to false teachers and prophets in the New Testament, there are others but these are the most descriptive and direct.

Read more

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