Category Archives: -The Church

-Pope Thinks Pentecostals and Charismatics are a Problem?

Pope Benedictus XVI

            (Image via Wikipedia)

Here’s some comments that Pope Benedict made recently in Germany.  He warned the Lutherans of what he called a ‘new form of Christianity’ that was challenging mainstream Christian churches. While not specifically saying so, it was obvious by his comments that he was referring to Evangelicals and Pentecostals/Charismatics:

"Faced with a new form of Christianity, which is spreading with overpowering missionary dynamism, sometimes in frightening ways, the mainstream Christian denominations often seem at a loss."

"This is a form of Christianity with little institutional depth, little rationality and even less dogmatic content, and with little stability. This worldwide phenomenon poses a question to us all: what is this new form of Christianity saying to us, for better and for worse?"

Response: It is amazing to me that the Pope thinks that Evangelical and Pentecostal/Charismatic churches and missions are a problem –especially since they are growing at an exponential rate and spreading the Gospel to every nation? I would think that it would be far more ‘frightening’ to the Devil than the Pope.

<<Read the rest of what I have to say on my Answers blog>>

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-Is the Baton Being Passed to the Asian Church?

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Here’s a link to the latest article by J. Lee Grady: “Has the Baton Been Passed to the Asian Church?”

Grady asks this question in a visit to Singapore and observes that the Asian Church is coming of age. For years, those of us in the West have looked upon the church in Asia as a mission area. Now I have heard many talking about how the Asian church might actually be found leading the way in the near future.

I have a cousin that travels to South Korea on business who mentioned to me 10 years ago that Korea was well on its way toward becoming a Christian nation. Then recently I have read about the expanding house church movement in China and have seen several forecasts that China could actually become a Christian nation within 20 –25 years at the current pace. Remarkable and exciting.

In his article, J. Lee Grady list 3 reasons why the Asian Church will be come a major factor globally in the future:

1. They are taking world evangelism seriously.

2. They understand the importance of the Holy Spirit’s power.

3. They are investing in the next generation.

It is really amazing what is transpiring in Asia but also in Africa and in South America too, along with a secret harvest going on in Muslim countries. A world wide harvest/revival is ongoing just about everywhere except in North America, Europe, and the West.

Asian churches are beginning to send missionaries into North Korea and the Middle East plus African churches are actually sponsoring new missions in the UK and Europe.

If the current trends do continue then Grady could be correct. What use to be the mission field and the tail is well on the way toward becoming the head.             *Top

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Kingdom Economy: Do No Participate in The Spirit of Fear and Worry

Temptation of Christ, Ary Scheffer, 19th c.

(Picture via Wikipedia)

It is time for the American Church to stand up and be all that we are called to be. In the wisdom of the world it is a time to shrink back, retool, and curtail or cut everything back that isn’t necessary. But the Church is called to follow a different path than the world.

My Children—Do Not Participate in the Spirit of Fear and Worry!

The enemy has sowed fear in the world economy but the church and Christian families must reject that spirit of fear or worry and participate in a Kingdom Economy—Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. (See: Matt. 6:24-34)

We can no longer serve two masters—if we continue to identify with the world we will continue to live in fear and we will have every reason in the world to worry. God says that his children are not to worry!

That is exactly what Jesus said and I don’t believe that he was just preaching a nice 3-point Sunday sermon. No, He is the creator of the universe and if anybody knows how it really works it should be him and he says not to worry!

I can hear you saying—”Now Michael you just don’t know what my family is going through right now—we can’t pay our bills and we don’t know where to turn. All our credit cards are maxed out and they have doubled the interest and the minimum payments plus we are 3 month behind on the mortgage—yet you say not to worry1”

I don’t say anything—that’s what God’s own Son says to his people then and now.

I am in the same boat many of you are in wondering where the money is coming from to pay my bills and keep food on the table—but I have learned to stop living in fear and to trust God in the midst of it (well at least most of the time). My business is off 35% and that would usually mean my income would be too but the numbers don’t make any sense right now and at the end of each month I have just enough to pay for everything.

Three out of four of my adult children (ages 29-38) are out of work and the 4th one just took a job that pays 1/2 of what he use to make. One son had to move back home with his 2 kids so our expenses here actually increased significantly. Originally, I had planned on retiring in October and was well prepared but I lost most of my retirement funds with everyone else.

Yet in the midst of it all God was patient and gracious enough to put up with my fear, grumbling, and worry for the last 4 months—finally I’m starting to get it and my priorities are changing. Good–by worry, Good-by fear, and hello Praise the Lord no matter what! But I’ll probably need to re-read this post the next time I pay the bills.

I’ll leave you with one more Bible lesson to be shared and lived—You see my friends we are called to live by faith (I Kings 17:7-24):

There was a widow and her son living in Zarephath of Sidon. She only had a small amount of flour and oil to make one small final meal for her and her son—then they would surely die. Along came this foreigner named Elijah who asked the woman to share her last meal with him and she did. You all know the story—that little dab of oil and flour never gave out and better yet she later received healing for her son who was raised from the dead.

Nice story but what does that mean for us today? The same God who provided for the woman and her son is still God today and his Economy still provides. The God who fed 5,000 is our Lord and Savior– We are called to continue to give even in our own time of need.

We are called not to worry, Called to live by faith, and Called to continue giving. That’s God’s Kingdom Economy. And guess what—he will also bless us with healing and raise the dead just like he did for that poor widow who gave out of her poverty and need.

May God bless us all, may he rise up and bear us with healing on his wings, and may his praises be upon our lips and in our hearts everyday. Amen.

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More Than 100,000 Britons Want to be ‘De-baptized’

image Over 100,000 Britons have downloaded a ‘Certificate of Debaptism’ from the National Secular Society (NSS) in the UK to publicly demonstrate their separation from Christianity. The majority were baptized into the Church of England as infants and now as adults have decided to reject the church.

According to the article, similar movements are spreading to other countries, including a well organized move against Catholicism in Argentina.

Response: This is a rather sad development. A generation ago most Britons were baptized into the state church as infants. Now as the secular and the atheist movements gain numbers and cultural credibility many adults are seeking to ‘divorce’ themselves from their former ‘Christian’ identity.

Actually this is really not all bad. It is far better to be either hot or cold. After all, the declining British ‘cultural Christian’ identity has lately produced a weak church. It is actually harder in many ways to bring ‘Cultural Christians’ to Jesus than any other religion. Their ‘luke-warm’ version of Christianity actually inoculates them from seeking the real McCoy.

One good sign, the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are growing significantly in the UK. Also, those who now identify themselves as Christians in the UK are far more likely to be seriously committed.            *Top

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-An April Fools Joke?

image (-Book Cover: “Believing in a God who does not exist: Manifesto of an Atheist Pastor”)

An Atheist Protestant Pastor? Condoms being handed out at church? A practicing Muslim serving as an Episcopal priest? A practicing Gay Bishop? All ‘April Fools’ jokes Right? No–incredibly true!

This is where you end up once you begin to deny Biblical authority and established truth –than anything goes.            *Top

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