Friday, May 12, 2006

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Today I found my latest example of why we must guard our life and our doctrine closely. John Clark, a self-proclaimed "non-Christian servant of Jesus" has written his own version of the New Testament that omits the word 'church' on the basis that, as he says, "no mention of that beast exists anywhere in the original New Testament writings." He also seems to have problems with the doctrine of the Trinity (his no-Trinity view is the foundation of his denomination), the authority of Scripture as the Word of God ("To 'preach the Bible', as some boast of doing, is nothing."), and salvation by merit of God's grace ("There is no such person as a 'sinner saved by grace.") Boo.

Check out Off the Wire's thoughts on it. You'll find further observations on my part about Mr. Clark's teachings in the comments section.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

How to Criticize Your Worship Pastor

The PrayerBookProject blog recently posted a short but sweet example of the consumeristic mentality that pervades much of North America's local churches. Any worship leaders or pastors out there will particularly relate - especially if you've ever gotten one of "those" calls. This guy is actually pretty tame compared to others I've heard about or recieved myself.

Listen. (I think you'll especially like the remix at the end.)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hell To Pay

"How does one take seriously the reality of eternal damnation and at the same time not let it quench your joy in God?"

My friend GrahamCracka candidly explores the difficult topic of reconciling divine judgement and joy in God in a recent post.

Check it on out.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Water's Fine

My brother Jeremiah got baptized last weekend. Sweeeeeeet! Here is what the bro had to say about it.

i've done went and got myself baptized last sunday. i'm a new feller now, out with the old and in with the new! ...maybe i'm not that different than just a few days ago. but in striving to be more like our King, Jesus, and in obedience to God's own Word, i reckoned it was time. i'd never been baptized before and i felt like God was telling me it was time. i reckon it's good to listen to God - if you had to listen to somebody. below i have enclosed some of the dialog that i had with some pastors at my church before i got baptized - including a brief testimony of faith. enjoy:

My understanding of baptism by water is as follows: Baptism by water is a metaphor that symbolizes the death of my old life and old ways (before acknowledging and submitting to God's will in my life) and the new resurrected life that now awaits me. Jesus was baptized in water by John, and afterwards God said that He was very pleased with Jesus. It is from the desire to follow and please Christ and in obedience to God's Word that I choose to be baptized in water.
I do not believe that baptism is in any way a ticket into Heaven. It is not a get out of jail free card. It does not magically wash away my sins - salvation through Christ and God's own Grace does that. Baptism is an announcement before the world that says, "I am no longer binded by, blinded by, nor will I be a slave to the sinful ways of this fallen world - I am now striving to live my life according to God's will that He has just for me." Baptism will not make my journey through this world exempt from pain, suffering, temptation, or hard times. If anything, it will make me a bigger prize target for the enemy; who better to tempt and try to drag down than a confessed believer and follower of Jesus Christ and God the Father. Therefore baptism at this age in my life is also a call for vigilance against the Devil. It is a cautious decision to strive for a deeper maturity in my relationship with Christ.

...and don't forget what Delmar said in O Brother - 'come on in boys, the water's fine!'