Category Archives: -Bible Issues

Episcopal Bishop Calls Individual Salvation ‘Heresy’ and ‘Idolatry’

The new bishop

(Bishop Schori by Fishbowl Collective via Flickr)

ANAHEIM, CAEpiscopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says it’s "heresy" to teach that an individual can be saved through a sinner’s prayer of repentance. Here are some comments that Bishop Schori made at the opening of the Episcopal General Conference on Wednesday:

"the great Western heresy: that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God."

"…caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus."

"That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in the place that only God can occupy."

Response: Wow, a real swipe at evangelicalism. No wonder her church is shrinking. Of coarse Her caricature is incorrect—those who are saved become part of the ‘Body of Christ’ and really aren’t alone. The blessed Bishop might want to consult the New Testament when it comes to defining what is and isn’t heresy. What do you think?

Meanwhile, the wrong reverend Bishop Schori is pushing for her denomination to provide for homosexual marriage rituals and ceremonies. She might want to consult the NT on that one also!

The question here is–who is really involved in heresy?  So-called Bishop Schori and her ilk or conservative Christians who still take the Bible serious?            *Top       (Cross-posted @ Answers For The Faith)

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Miss California’s Support of Traditional Marriage Causes Media Furor

image When asked by judge Perez Hilton whether she believed in gay marriage, Miss California–Carrie Prejean replied:

"We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised."

Carrie Prejean did get ‘first runner up’ but quite a few folks believe that her support for traditional marriage may well have cost her the Miss USA crown. Her statement caused a media feeding frenzy that included all of the AM TV shows and was the topic of the day on many radio programs across America, particularly on the liberal coasts.

While under fire on the "Today Show" yesterday morning, Prejean defended her answer:

"I knew at that moment after I answered the question, I knew, I was not going to win because of my answer, because I had spoken from my heart, from my beliefs and for my God. I wouldn’t have answered it differently. The way I answered may have been offensive. With that question specifically, it’s not about being politically correct. For me it was being biblically correct."

Response: The persecution of conservative traditional Christian perspectives is already a reality in the main stream media. It is really shocking how the press has been rather one-sided and biased towards the homosexual agenda.

Since the passage of Proposition 8- ‘The traditional Marriage’ amendment in California, the media has been particularly active in putting down Christians and pastors who support traditional marriage. 20 year ago and even maybe 10, the statements of Miss Prejean would have been considered normal—then again that question would have never even been asked!

We now live in times when that which is ‘Biblically correct’ is considered evil and controversial and that which use to be hidden and immoral is now called good. Nevertheless, ‘for such a time as this’ we are called to stand up for the truth.           *Top   (Cross-Posted on ANSWERS For the Faith)

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Is Anointing More Important than Character?

image I just read the current Fire in My Bones article by J. Lee Grady: “No More Monkey Business in the Ministry“. It is truly amazing how this article continues along the same line of the post I wrote yesterday. Grady documents a few more that boldly continue in the ministry in spite of major moral failures.

He quoted one pastor, Jamal Harrison-Bryant, who was accused of adultery, fathering a child out of wedlock, and divorced by his wife yet continued pastoring:

Yet Bryant preached a now-famous sermon in the church in which he used King David’s story of adultery with Bathsheba to defend himself.

“I am still the man!” he shouted from the pulpit as worshippers stood and cheered. “The anointing on my life is greater than any mistake.” He made it clear that he had no intention of being defrocked or disciplined. To Bryant, anointing surpasses character.

Grady follows with the teaching of the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and makes the following 3 points:

1. There are definite qualifications for Christian leadership.

2. Those who do not meet these qualifications must step down.

3. The church will not thrive if discipline of leaders is neglected.

Response: This is a timely post and well worth the effort to read and digest. The question that keeps coming back to me the last few days is this– Is anointing more important than character in ministry? Some seem to think so in Charismatic and Pentecostal circles. But answer is obviously no if we take the Bible seriously.         *Top

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USA: Out of Wedlock Births hit 40%

St. Clement's Island cross

(-Picture by WorldIslandInfo.com via Flickr)

US out of wedlock births now exceed 40%. A real indicator that the nation and the dominant culture is headed at full steam away from Biblical Christianity or so it would seem. Unfortunately, I would imagine that the statistics for the American Church are only slightly better.

It is amazing to me how many supposed Christians follow the dominant culture and live together before marriage. I’m sure that many of you Pastors out there have seen this trend.

The super abundant grace taught in so many churches has opened the door to immorality without fear of any judgment from other Christians or from God. Worse yet, so many Christian leaders have jumped the ship and live contrary to Christian Biblical standards and yet brazenly expect to continue in the ministry.

Many see no reason why they should change. A homosexual Bishop continues to live with his same-sex partner and causes schism and division among a 70 million member association but preaches that the Bible is wrong and everyone that opposes him must change?

A former president of an Assoc. of Evangelicals has an affair with a homosexual prostitute but says that now he is ready to minister again but the Church is treating him rather badly and he airs all his dirty linen and attitudes on TV–obviously being used by enemies of the church.

A well known mega-church pastoring couple separate, keep on ministering, and try to split up their huge ministry like it is some kind of multi-million $ business.

A major prophetic minister falls into homosexuality and alcohol but rejects the plan for a supervised recovery, goes his own way, finds a group that extends fellowship to him and now says he is ready to return.

Then the latest, a major healing evangelist falls into adultery, divorces his wife and leaves his children, but now is ready to begin restoration? Because he will never do that one again since he is now married to his sin and intents to continue in it?  More shocking, several major leaders seem to be on board with it all?

The fastest growing religious category in America is “none”. Why not, the church has become just like everyone else.

But it is now time for the faithful church to stand up and walk a different path–with signs following but also expect the beginning of real persecution from a rapidly departing dominant culture.            *Top 

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End-Times: Two Sides of the Coin

The Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall/ Zap...

(-Jerusalem via Wikipedia)

There are two articles that I read this last week which address an ‘end-times’ scenario from entirely different perspectives.

The first is an article I found today on WorldNetDaily: "Zero hour approaches" by Hal Lindsey.

Hal does what he is best at identifying how events in the Middle East are quickly progressing towards an end-time scenario. Iran is on the brink of having nuclear weapons and Hal cites the beginning of an Ezekiel end-time coalition with Russia and Iran in the lead against Israel.

Oh by the way, Hal didn’t mention this, but did anyone notice that Iran just this week put its first satellite up in space using its newest rocket? No I didn’t think so! This story should be as big as ‘sputnik’ was in the 50’s, but the news media is downplaying it and the possible implications for weapons delivery.

The Ezekiel 38-39 battle scenario now is beginning to fall in to place and coming at a time when we have a new administration that might blink when it comes to a possible confrontation with a nuclear power like Russia. Hal always does a great job at scaring the heck out of me!

The second article was published a couple of weeks ago but I just got around to reading it yesterday. It is the second part of a prophetic message for 2009 that I posted on in January: "The Last Days Anointing" by Loren Sandford.

The message that Loren Sandford brings is the flip side of the coin. While the world is literally going to hell, it is time for the church to rise up and finish the task–the gospel is to go into every nation with signs and wonders demonstrating the Kingdom of God.

While Lindsey and Sandford present two different perspectives, I find inspiration in both of them. After over 35 years of studying eschatology, all of the scriptures, and reading 100’s of books having to do with the ‘end-times’, I am of the opinion that no one has it completely nailed down.

I can find holes in every traditional approach–amil, postmil, premil: pretrib, midtrib, postrib, I like premil/prewrath probably the most. The point is, if it is published somewhere in some book than I am convinced that it is probably wrong in some way.

There are surprises ahead for the church in the last days, one of the reasons that God is raising up prophets again is to give vision to the church in these chaotic times. I know, what passes for prophecy and prophets today is imperfect and not always edifying. But just wait, a new generation of prophetic ministry is on the horizon.

I believe that the Second Coming will be similar to the first in that every single learned scholarly ‘Messianic’ expectation of the first century was proved to be wrong. The church is entering a new era when we will need to rely more closely on the Lord and it will no longer be good enough to continue doing things the way we have done them in the past.            *Top 

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