For Fun: Flashmob, Catalonian Style

It couldn’t happen here, right?

The persecution of Christians around the world is well documented by groups like Voice of the Martyrs and Persecution.org. We can pray for and support our brothers and sisters in other countries who are suffering because of their faith in Christ — like Yousef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor in Iran who has spent more than 1,000 days in prison because he refuses to deny Christ. We need to be aware of brothers and sisters like him. We need to remember that Christ, Himself, told us the world would hate us because of our love for Him. We also need to know that we are not immune from such things in countries where we’ve previously enjoyed a great deal of religious freedom. A day may soon be coming when we, too, end up behind bars because of our belief in the Lord Jesus.

Consider the tone of the language we hear on the news. People are vilified because they oppose abortion. They have no right, it is said, to express their views against abortion because in expressing their views they are being “intolerant” and could “incite” others to violence. The same is said about people who regard homosexuality as sinful. They are “intolerant.” They “incite” violence. Ditto for people who dare believe that Jesus Christ is the only means of reconciliation between God and man. That view is “intolerant” of the diversity in our culture. It could “incite” violence against other religions. It is not too big a leap from where we are today to a place where pastors are jailed for the public proclamation of Scripture.

No?

You think I’m off base?

Ok.

Oh, just one thing, check out this article before you go.

The “new and improved”… Church?

Eric Carpenter has written a wonderful essay on his blog, A Pilgrim’s Progress. He contends that God has outlined for us in Scripture just how He’d like His Church to function and behave. He then takes those principles and contrasts them with the way church is typically done today. The result is a list of ways in which we’ve departed from Scripture — ostensibly because we came up with a better way of running His Church. Go ahead, read “We’ve Got a Better Idea!” if you’re not scared to get hit right between the eyes. Here are just a few excerpts from Eric’s list…

  • In Scripture we see churches gathering in houses — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s meet in large, expensive buildings instead!”
  • In Scripture the elders always came from the place they served — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s hire pastors we don’t know instead!”
  • In Scripture the elders worked like everyone else — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s pay salaries to professionals instead!”
  • In Scripture we read of the church taking responsibility to educate its people — Today’s church responds with, “Let’s build seminaries to educate the future clergy instead!”

I can hear the chorus of objections now, “But, we’ve never done it that way before.”

But, the question isn’t whether or not we’ve ever “done it that way before,” it’s “Is what we’ve been doing biblical or not?” And, if what we’ve been doing is not biblical then we need to repent and conform to Scripture. And, if we’ve “never done it that way before” then we really need to repent.

How to get what you want

Disclaimer: This is NOT a “name it and claim it” post (we typically make fun of that sort of thing here). This is actual biblical teaching on the desires of your heart — and it’s really not about you at all.

Adapting to the culture… or not.

Contrast the message of Voddie Baucham in the video below…

…with the message of a popular “spiritual leader” here.

Bible Study: It’s Elementary

Want to study the Bible more effectively? Here are 10 tips for solving the mysteries of Scripture — courtesy of Sherlock Holmes.

A Kingdom perspective of the 4th

Today millions of Americans will celebrate America’s independence. No doubt Christians will join the celebration — and it is to them, specifically, I raise the following cautions:

  1. Do not misuse God’s Word by erroneously applying Scripture to America.
  2. Do not be guilty of making the flag an idol.
  3. Remember the origin of true liberty.

I leave you with this quote from Arthur Sido’s blog

For Christians who live in America we must always keep in mind that God has placed us in this land to reach Americans for Christ, making disciples here as well as elsewhere, just as He placed Christians under the rule of Caesar, of Hitler and Churchill, of Davis and Lincoln. Our purpose is not to serve America as Christians but to serve Christ in America even and perhaps especially when that means being unpopular or living at odds with the culture of this land.

Thideology Research Team: Case File 009

FORT WORTH, TexasSouthwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in no partnership with the Thideology™ Research Team, is hosting an exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The exhibition, which opens today, will run through January 13, 2013 at the main campus of the seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We are extremely excited about this exhibition,” said a researcher for the Thideology Research Team. “Of all the projects in which we are not partners, this one is the one we are most proud of.”

Dating back as far as 2,250 years, the Dead Sea Scrolls include thousands of fragments of approximately 300 biblical manuscripts representing every book in the Hebrew Bible (except Esther), and are more than 1,000 years older than any previously known complete copies.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered by Bedouin herders in 1947, in caves near Khirbet Qumran by the Dead Sea in Israel.

“I totally get that, now,” said the researcher from the Thideology Research Team. “The scrolls are called the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ because they were found near the Dead Sea. Cool.”

By 1956, a total of 11 caves had been found near Qumran and a number of other caves nearby. Pieced together, the fragments made up more than 1,350 separate scrolls, including biblical texts, hymns, prayers and other writings, providing a glimpse into the time of the Second Temple.

More information about the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit and how to purchase tickets is available at seethescrolls.com.

“I am SO going to this,” said another member of the Thideology Research Team. “It will make me feel like I’m a part of this incredible event — which, of course, I’m not.”

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