A blasphemous church serves a generation of religious liars

upside-down-church 1

Grant Swart

We live in a generation which is certainly under God’s judgement, if you care to pause for a few moments and ponder the general state of the society in which we now live, I’m sure that much will become quite evident. Of course, those who are of the world, who are happy to be embroiled in pursuing wealth, health and prosperity and all kinds of ways to proving their own self-righteousness and personal value before God, will not recognize the fact that they are under that very same judgement.

Never before have materialism, humanism, pride and self-worth been so prominently at the forefront of man’s thinking and priorities. Almost every marketing strategy, campaign and advert appeals directly to the will, over-inflated importance and vain pride of man. No other singular concepts have ever been as sharply focused on, as human rights, vanity and the deceitful ideology of human democracy are, in our generation.

This same critique must be leveled at the marketing done by many “churches”, the bulk of which are at great pains to take their particular brand of will-worship or church tradition to the lost multitudes of the world. The grossly erroneous interpretation of true church growth, cleverly disguised as “spiritual revival”, is one which interprets that the greater the number of misguided people who respond to these highly effective sales ploys is, the greater the tacit approval of God must be for their brand of faith or for their particular efforts. It is God who adds to His church, not pastors, synods, committees, councils, conferences or the efforts of individuals or congregations. Continue reading

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Wise as Serpents—Harmless as Doves

by Thomas Watson

“Be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16

The Apostle says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration,” 2 Timothy 3:16. God’s Word is compared to a lamp for its enlightening quality, Psalm 119:105, and to refined silver for its enriching quality, Psalm 12:6. Among other parts of Sacred Writ, this text is not the least: “Be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves.” This is the speech of our blessed Savior. His lips were a tree of life which fed many. His works were miracles. His words were oracles—and deserve to be engraved upon our hearts as with the point of a diamond. This is a golden sentence, “Be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves.” Our Lord Jesus, in this chapter:

first, gives His Apostles their commission;

second, He foretells their danger;

third, He gives them several instructions.

I. Christ gives His Apostles their COMMISSION. Before they went abroad to preach, Christ ordained them, verse 5, “These twelve, Jesus sent forth.” Those who exercise in the ministerial function must have a lawful call. Hebrews 5:4, “No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God.” Christ gave not only the Apostles and Prophets a call to their office (who wereextraordinary ministers)—but even pastors and teachers, (who are ordinary ministers) Ephesians 4:11.

QUESTION. But if one has gifts, is this not sufficient to the ministerial office? Continue reading

The (Im)Morality of Tattoos

Grant Swart

(with sincere appreciation to Lorne Zelyck)

The (Im)Morality of Tattoos was originally an assignment for a Contemporary Moral Issues class offered at Phoenix Seminary. After the original writing, it was modified to also address the ethicality of body piercings. The modified version was published as “Under the Needle: An Ethical Evaluation of Tattoos and Body Piercings” in The Christian Research Journal (Vol. 28/ No. 06/ 2005) available at http://www.equip.org. The author (Lorne Zelyck) reserves all editorial rights and privileges of this paper.

The (Im)Morality of Tattoos

 

I. A Brief Historical Timeline of Tattoos

In October 1991, a five thousand year old corpse was found frozen in a glacier between Italy and Austria. The body of this man (later called Otzi) is considered the best preserved corpse of the Bronze Age every found, and dates to around 3300 B.C. The skin of Otzi has become of great interest because it bears several tattoos: a cross, six straight lines fifteen centimeters long, and numerous parallel lines.1 Continue reading

Ancient Labyrinths are Re-emerging

Prof Johan Malan

There is a sharp increase in the building and use of labyrinths in the West, which occurs in conjunction with the resurgence of other mystical practices such as Yoga and Eastern meditation. In the USA, more than 1000 labyrinths have been built in meditation garden settings, at retreat centres, churches, hospitals and prisons.

The popularity of labyrinths is also increasing in South Africa and many other countries.

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Osama Bin Laden killed: Moral Confusion

Grant Swart

Following on that which I posted a few days ago, “Osama Bin Laden killed, Why we should rejoice (but not gloat)”, here is another article regarding the West’s conscientious attitude and moral confusion on the same subject.

We should guard against adopting an attitude wherein we place social acceptance and tolerance of falsehood at the expense of God’s Truth, blessings and Grace. Like a thick blinding mist, the blizzard of affected opinions in the media, among political and religious leaders and other public commentators, prohibits us from simply doing what is right, by appealing to popular social morals. Continue reading

God: Is He? Who Is He?

John MacArthur – Grace to You

“The world is full of either philosophic or pragmatic atheists–they either don’t believe in God, or if they do, they live as if His existence had no effect on them. In sharing Christ with them, it’s helpful to know which kind of atheist they are. Determine how you might alter your presentation of God’s truth to match the type of person you’re sharing with. For some ideas, compare Stephen’s address to the Jewish religious leaders (Acts 7) and Paul’s address to Gentile philosophers (Acts 17:18-34).”

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