Why don’t just you just preach the positives?

This from a post on Slice of Laodicea.com from July 18, 2006

 “I Only Preach The Positives”

It’s an out-of-balance problem for most of the seeker sensitive movement to some degree or another, but it’s perhaps the most exaggerated in the TV preacher and pastor of the country’s largest church, Joel Osteen. In numerous TV interviews, Joel Osteen has declared his ministry as being a ‘positive’ one. He considers himself a specialist of sorts, in this area of positivity, leaving the negatives for other ministries.

But in this quote from “Heresies“, by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the necessity of the ‘negatives’ (along with the positives) is declared:

People say, ‘Do not be negative; let us be positive; let us just preach the simple gospel’. But the Bible is full of negatives, full of warnings, ever showing us these terrible possibilities. If you find in yourself a dislike of the warnings of the Scripture and of this negative teaching, it is obvious that you have been duped by the wiles of the devil. You have not realized the situation in which you are placed“.

Pastors who preach only the positives, end up declaring only half of the truth. And a half-truth presented as though it were a whole truth, is an untruth. Nowhere in the bible do we find grounds for pastors who preach only partial truth, whether it’s “hell-fire preaching” exclusively, or Osteen positive preaching on the other end of the spectrum.Preaching the positives-only is an effective way to fill your church, but it’s not truthful or biblical.

Posted by on July 18, 2006 @ 12:01 AM

The Messiah will restore His kingdom

Isaiah 11:1-10

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Where do your affections lie?

Galatians 3:2 says, ” Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

I continue to perhaps naively be amazed at the seemingly apathetic attitude of many who claim the Name of Christ have when it comes to standing for the Gospel, or for those who do. I am not speaking of just myself or our work, but the ministry as a whole.

Everyday I wondered why? Why would someone who calls himself or herself a Christian partner with a person or organization that is directly opposed to and in direct defiance of the Word of God? Why would a believer or a congregation be hesitant in fully and enthusiastically endorsing and supporting any effort to scripturally proclaim the truth of God’s Word? Why would any person who says they are saved by the blood of Christ and follow the Lord of Lords balk at or refuse to support any biblically faithful ministry whose aim is to do fulfill the Great Commission? Indeed a lot of questions.

I am 45 years old and I have been around as they say. Sometimes I ask myself and the Lord, ‘what else could happen?’. When I read another story of a church or Christian who for years was faithful to the call, suddenly switch their allegiance from the Word of God to the word of a mortal man, I scream inside, ‘WHATS GOING ON HERE!’

When I read of a church who decides its a good thing, and strangely in their minds, a God-honoring thing to offer courses to their congregants that are based in materials that are diametrically opposed to the scriptures, my heart breaks. Whether its the purpose drive, seeker sensitive, or now the emergent church movement, not a day goes that I don’t read or hear another instance where another church, church member or church leader decides that God’s ways are wrong, old-fashioned or obsolete and that the intelligence of a man is better.

I send out email alerts from time to time to let pastors and leaders know about issues we are covering or alarming trends in the church. After sending out an alert recently concerning the fact that Willow Creek Church was hosting a circus act in their church as part of a Christmas program, one local pastor emailed me a reply demanding I remove him from my email list and never send him emails like this again. What?

Why would any minister not want to know about such things, unless of course they approve of such foolishness or they just don’t to be bothered with it?

I wish I could come on this blog and say everything is okay and things are getting better, but I cannot. The situation is bad and growing worse everyday. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us,

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Also, in 2 Timothy 4:1,2

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”

I believe we are in the times spoken of in these scriptures, and I sincerely believe that the only hope we have is the return of the Savior. May we turn to Him now in repentance and obedience.

Donald Miller: Emergent Jazz

Who is Donald Miller, what is Blue Like Jazz and are they part of the heretical emergent church movement? Read this article by Ken Silva, posted on Slice of Laodicea.com from August 28, 2006.

We have received quite a few questions here asking whether Donald Miller, author of the book Blue Like Jazz, is involved with the Emergent rebellion against sola Scriptura. Yes, and Miller’s BLJ has fast become a classic in Emergent circles and his popularity even rivals that of one of his own favorite authors potty-mouthed “Christian” and New Age advocate Anne LaMott.

Some of you may recall a post Ingrid wrote about Miller last year called Donald Miller: Rising Emergent Star. In it she said. “One of the Emergent church’s rising stars is Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, sort-of comedian and one cool, postmodern ‘Christian’.”

Miller, “grew up in Houston, TX,” but is now a member of an emerging church in Portland, OR called Imago Dei Community Having left home “at the age of twenty-one,” Miller “traveled across the country until he ran out of money in Portland, Oregon, where he lives today.” Unable to launch “his own publishing house”:

his hobby of writing became a career. Harvest House Publishers released his first book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance, in 2000. After his first book came out, Don spent a few years auditing classes and hanging out with students at Reed College, a college often identified as disintrested in spirituality. It is from this and other experiences that his second book, Blue Like Jazz, was born. The success of Blue Like Jazz ensured Don a writing career for a long time to come,…

Miller is just another of the Emergent new school of so-called “Christians” who feel that because they are the “missional” and alleged true “followers of Jesus” they are somehow excused from having to watch their language and Christian character. Last year Zach Dundas of the Willamette Week Online, “a weekly in Portland, Oregon,” did a piece on Miller called “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”

And as Ingrid introduced it she informed us that it would: “have to be bleeped. (Yes, you do have to bleep out language frequently with these Emergent types, in this case, one who is part of the ‘loose network of evangelical thinkers’ with a toilet mouth…)”

The article does go on to point put that Miller’s church is one of “a new breed of churches often labeled ’emergent’ “:

Locally, the author is part of a loose network of evangelical thinkers who are trying, as another says, “to talk about faith without sounding like ****oles.” In Portland and nationally, a new breed of churches often labeled “emergent” is carving out an alternative to the suburban megachurch.

For example, there’s Miller’s own church, Imago Dei, founded by an ex-college football player named Rick McKinley. The pastor calls people “bro,” sports a goatee and talks in a drowsy, stoned-frat-boy drawl. His church, which has gone from meeting in his living room to holding three crowded services a day at the Old Laurelhurst Church, emphasizes art, music and social activism. Like many emergent churches, it draws a young, hipster-flavored crowd.

“The emergent church is the product of a bunch of people coming to similar conclusions at the same time,” says Bob Hyatt, the 35-year-old pastor of the Evergreen Community, an emergent church that meets every Sunday at the Lucky Lab pub in Multnomah Village. “We’re not going to ignore 2,000 years of Christian history, but we’re not going to do what our parents or grandparents did just because.”

However, a much more accurate way to describe this sorry bunch that Miller belongs to would be the “network of people very loosely thinking about evangelicalism.” There’s nothing of lasting value for the true Christian in this Emergent rebellion against the Bible, and there’s no reason for us to waste our time on Blue Like Jazz.

For the Christian who does have extra reading time beyond God’s Word, at this late hour one would be much wiser spending it reading something by a MacArthur or a Tozer.

What Doctrines Are Fundamental? (Part 1) by John MacArthur

from Pulpit Magazine :

How can a Christian determine which doctrines are essential and which are not?

To begin with, the strongest words of condemnation in all the New Testament are aimed at false teachers who corrupt the Gospel. Therefore the Gospel message itself must be acknowledged as a primary point of fundamental doctrine.

But what message will determine the content of our gospel testimony? Let’s turn to Scripture itself and attempt to lay out some biblical principles for determining which articles of faith are truly essential to authentic Christianity. 

Continue Reading »

Hillary Hires an “Evangelical Consultant”

Hillary Rotten, oopsI mean Rodham Clinton, retagined the services of a consultant to help her relate better, or at all, with evangelical Christians. From Slice of Laodicea, comes this great perspective from Ingrid Schlueter…….

After the Obama-nation at Saddleback recently, Evangelicals apparently have earned the reputation for being so stupid that Hillary Clinton believes she can remake herself to appeal to them with the help of an evangelical consultant, as Newsmax reports. I would love to be a fly on the wall of the consultant’s office while he gives his advice to her.

1. Hillary, you need to talk about your feelings more, emote more. Evangelicals are suckers for tearful stories, especially if they involve your childhood and your church-going as a child. They’ll forget Vince Foster, Travelgate, partial birth abortion, gay marriage, the whole nine yards. Dig up those stories, or make them up. Your future depends on them.

2. Hillary, you need to litter your speech with terms that signal to evangelicals that you’re one of them. Use phrases like, “touched my heart and life”, “felt God calling me to….”, “God showed me that….”, “putting your faith into action,” etc. Make sure to use biblical metaphors at every opportunity. Evangelicals won’t hear what you’re recommending, they’ll only hear the biblical metaphors. So when you want to increase funding for abortion, for example, say it this way: “We need to pull down the Jericho walls of opposition when it comes to young girls having babies and we need to stare down the Goliath that stands in the way of allowing them to continue their lives without the disruption of childbirth. Therefore, I’d like 600 million more dollars for Planned Parenthood.” They’ll never get to the Planned Parenthood part, Hillary. They’ll be swooning over Goliath and Jericho! You will need to “part the Red Sea”, rather than do a difficult task from now on. You will have to talk about being in the “Lion’s Den” when you’re facing your political opponents. From this day on, refer to a challenge as a “Mount Carmel Moment.” They’ll love you, Hills! Just look at that Obama guy. He has ’em eating out of his hand. These people have small minds and short memories. They want to hear those rolling religious cadences and feel that sentiment burble. Give them what they want and they’re all yours.

3. Make an appointment to speak at Rick Warren’s Saddleback, ASAP. He’s our best friend right now because he loves being considered a player on the world stage. Rick Warren single-handedly demonstrated at his AIDS Summit that you can make a roomful of evangelical leaders and pastors completely forget about our positions on abortion and homosexuality. He was holding Obama’s hand and praying, Hills! Who would have thought it possible just a couple of months ago? Start talking about AIDS, quickly. Start talking about praying with Chelsea at bedtime. Start sending out your official letters on Thomas Kinkade stationary. Perfect those tearful stories I told you about. Evangelicals will elect you Queen of the Universe if you can reduce them to tears. Here’s the phone. I’m dialing Saddleback now…