After years of preaching the Gospel, Pastors Kerry and Chris Shook, founders of Woodlands Church outside of Houston, became weary of sermons and words. They felt a gap between what they were saying and meeting the needs of people around them.
So they chose to talk about God less and walk with God more, the couple told The Christian Post recently while discussing their new book, Be the Message – Taking Your Life Beyond Words to a Life of Action.
Be the Message is their story of "waking up to the gospel — not just a gospel of words and sermons, but the gospel of intention and action and people — and how doing so changed their family, church and personal relationship with God," publishers state. "It's their story of taking one step after another to live out God's gospel in the world. And it's their call for us to do the same." more >>
Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley has warned that demonic activity and evil forces are "very real" ahead of Sunday's satanic "black mass" scheduled to take place at the Civic Center Music Hall. Over 215,000 people in total have signed petitions against the sold-out mass, but local officials are set to allow the satanic ceremony to take place.
"In spite of an overwhelming outcry of alarm from around the world, our city leaders will allow this outrage to take place in a publicly supported facility. They will not accede to the reasonable requests of local citizens to stop this outright mockery of the Catholic mass nor the reasonable concerns of so many that this satanic ritual invokes powers of evil and invites them into our community," Coakley wrote on the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City website under an article titled "The Hour Has Come."
"Even though our city leaders apparently do not take this threat seriously, I do. As a Catholic priest and bishop I have witnessed in my ministry the battle between forces of good and evil in both ordinary and extraordinary ways," the bishop's message continued. more >>
(You all know how much I don't like the term "Ex-Gay", but for the sake of not having a super long title, and since it's the most recognized term for people like me, I've chosen to use it here. Please don't assume that by using that term I mean that I have ceased to experience same sex attraction or have experienced any kind of sexual "re-orientation.")
With the ever quickening shift of our culture away from a moral/biblical view toward sexuality, I think there is a very real temptation for some Christians, especially in the American Church, to shift alongside the culture and adopt a different (unbiblical) view of sexuality…or just to sit back and remain silent about it. And I don't think my concern is unwarranted, because it's already happening. I'm not going to call out any names, ministries, or church denominations in this blog—-I don't wish to give them any more publicity than they have already attained.
What I do want to do with this blog is urge every Christian that stumbles upon it not to compromise the gospel for the sake of social acceptance—or for the sake of anything else for that matter. Do not listen to the voices out there demanding your silence in the name of what they call "tolerance." Do not reject, or even subtly neglect, the truths in the Bible–such as truths about the sin of homosexual behavior–just because they are hard for the world to hear and accept. Don't listen to the professing "Christians" telling you the Church has misinterpreted the Scriptures for 2,000 years and that the Bible really does not condemn homosexual behavior. And please, do not throw out the truth of God because you hear of gay kids being bullied or committing suicide—these stories are horrifyingly sad—but the condemn-able sins of the bullies do not make homosexual behavior any less of a sin. We should all (regardless of religious affiliation) be deeply troubled about kids being bullied for being gay (or weird, quirky, ugly, etc. for that matter) and do all we can to combat it, but denying the revealed truth about God regarding homosexuality cannot be an option for the Christian. more >>
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is vowing to attack Israel over its most-recent conflict with Hamas, and to fight against U.S. troops and the anti-Christ as it conquers Persia and Rome.
"As for the massacres taking place in Gaza against the Muslim men, women and children, the Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its path toward Palestine," reads an entry in the publication Dabiq, which has been distributed in numerous languages, including English.
"[The Islamic State's] actions speak louder than its words and it is only a matter of time and patience before it reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees — the trees of the Jews," the terror group threatens in Dabiq. more >>
Physician-assisted suicide, much like abortion and same-sex marriage, has become something of a cultural bellwether. Support for the right to end your own life indicates that you are a progressive-minded, compassionate person sensitive to the unique feelings and experiences of individuals facing terminal illness or chronic pain. It means you value the right of self-determination, and oppose the would-be tyranny of moral absolutes promoted by the politically conservative and spiritually religious.
The Discovery Institute's Wesley J. Smith recently penned a piece for First Things discussing the media's treatment of the issue of suicide. Smith cites a recent NBC story featuring NPR's Dianne Rehm, whose husband John committed suicide by dehydration and starvation to escape the ravages of Parkinson's Disease:
"In the story's telling, John's suicide was necessary. The only question should be how best to get it done. It is a profound disservice to the gravity of this issue that the media give scandalously short shrift to the many stories of people who find meaning and hope in life even as they grapple with the anguish of profound disabilities. But the stories are not hard to find – if only journalists were as interested in promoting hope as they are assisted suicide." more >>
Did Jesus really pay for our sins on the cross, taking our punishment for us? Did He really die as an atoning sacrifice on our behalf?
In recent years, this doctrine, known as penal substitutionary atonement (PSA), has come under increasing attack, with some Christian leaders claiming that for God to punish His Son for our sins would be an example of "cosmic child abuse" (Steve Chalke).
This past Saturday, September 13th, I was able to debate this important issue with Pastor Brian Zahnd, who was eloquent in his arguments against PSA, claiming that it made our Father into a "monster god" and a "pagan deity." (You can watch the debate here.) more >>