Category Archives: spiritual leaders

UMC clergy demand LGBT ordination

Monday morning, the United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus (UMQCC) issued a letter to the UMC that presses the denomination to be more inclusive of LGBT members inside the church.

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Lordship of Christ, the grace of God, and repenting of sins

( Below is my thoughts on some Christian doctrines which I put in a newsletter I send out to friends. I hope it will bless you. Most of all my desire is it would challenge you.)

     I have a question for you. What did you do to get right with God, or what can you do to stay right with the Lord? 

       I have heard teachings which say we should not use the term accept Christ. We should just preach repentance, and the Lordship of Christ. I also know of a speaker who said the best thing God gave us was the law, the Ten Commandments. 

   I believe the law is a powerful tool we can use to show good, and religious people they are sinners. The law is not the best thing God gave us. The law can not save one soul. 
       At the same time there are souls who love the Lord,who are concerned by what they call easy believism. 

              I saw this years ago when I helped out at a junior high camp. The speaker for the most part asked who wanted to go to heaven. That was his way of getting kids to embrace Christ. Now I know God can use a soul’s desire to go to heaven to bring him to Christ. At the same time that is the end result of a relationship with God.That should not be the main goal in receiving Christ. I am sure God saved some of those kids who wanted to go to heaven. But I believe we need to be careful when our preaching is just about going to heaven. 

    On the other hand I think those who are concerned about using the term accepting Christ are missing something. If they are not careful they may forget God’s grace, love, and mercy. They may judge other ministries. And at times if they do not watch out, they could become fruit police. “She doesn’t have true saving faith because she has not really repented. That ministry is just telling people to accept Christ. They are not preaching the need to repent.”What does it mean to repent? It means to turn away from known sin. To embrace Christ is an act of repentance. Yes, we should preach sin. But preaching sin, and the law will not make one right with God. It is God’s grace which saves us. I think some churches don’t preach on sin along with repenting enough. All churches,and believers should preach grace. After all that is what will save us. Some folks need to be shown they are sinners by using the law. Others just need to be shown God loves them. My experience has been those who concerned about making salvation too easy, is they don’t preach grace along with God’s love enough. 

Far as not telling folks to accept Christ. What does the Bible tell us in John 1:12. “To those who receive him, he gave the right to become children of God.”If it is done the right way,it is Bible to tell folks they need to receive Christ. Also we don’t make Christ Lord, or Savior. He is both of those. When we come to Christ we receive him as those. 

  We in the body of Christ should learn from each other. Those who are concerned about easy believing have some good points. 

John 3:16 written on the head of a former NFL player who took his own life, ( only God knows where his heart was ) 

Read the post, and the story. 

Martin Luther boldly confronted the unbiblical idea of indulgences

Martin Luther fought an uphill battle to bring the Bible back as the prime rule of faith and life in the church of his day. His efforts brought about the Reformation. He boldly confronted the unbiblical idea of indulgences, by which money would release a soul from purgatory.

Listen to a 15 minute Sermon.

The debate on the doctrine of grace, and Luther ( view of a Catholic, and the view of a Protestant ) 

( Read the two pieces below, and check them out with Bible to see who you agree with. A church can be wrong, or a spiritual leader can be wrong, but God,and his book the Bible are never wrong. )

Grace Alone’ 500 Years Later A Catholic perspective.
Grace Alone’: Luther Nails It A Protestant responds to Catholic critiques of ‘Grace Alone.’

Bible answer man is still a follower of Jesus, but his move to join the Eastern Orthodoxy church is not helpful 

We do not see all that God is doing in the world, and we certainly don’t determine who is or isn’t a follower of Jesus. Hank Hanegraaff certainly hasn’t ceased to be a Christian (as some have said) any more than my parents have. Not that my opinion matters most, but I, for one, will continue to listen to him, even though I think the move to Orthodoxy is unhelpful for someone who has been the “Bible answer man.”

Though I think there are better answers for “the Bible answer man” then converting to Orthodoxy, I still can acknowledge that my own tradition needs to be reevaluated in light of scripture and, yes, the practices of the early church. During such times, it’s worth considering (and hearing why) Hanegraaff made such a move (along with Rod Dreher, Michael Hyatt, Frederica Mathews-Green, John Mark Reynolds, and many others). I can, and should, learn from their journey, though I may not take the same road.

Don’t normalize cultural church forms.

I’m not moving toward Eastern Orthodoxy, so let me add why. For one, I think the tendency towards (big-O) Orthodoxy and its liturgy is missiologically unhealthy, not just theologically problematic. Many segments of Orthodoxy take Hellenistic (or other) cultural forms, consider them normative to today’s context, and apply them as the “true” or “authentic” way.

That’s not helpful and it actually hinders the advance of the gospel, which in part explains why American Orthodoxy has far more converts from evangelicalism than it does from secularism.

Don’t import, export.

A better approach than importing and normalizing cultural church forms is one that is built on Sola Scriptura. In the way of Jesus, and walking in the Spirit, I believe we need to go back to scripture for each and every generation of Christians and ask, “What would it look like to live out this timeless scriptural faith in this time and in this place?”

This, then, exports the truth of scripture to our modern context.

Perhaps the 500th anniversary of the Reformation is a good time to remember the value of Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Solo Christo, and Sola Deo Gloria as signposts for our unique expression of the gospel that goes deeper than tradition. In fact, it brings us to principles which are expressed in different cultural languages using different cultural methods.

(And it is worth remembering that the solas are biblical truths restated, not cultural truths discovered 500 years ago.)

Stay with the message.

We want to lovingly and graciously acknowledge that others will follow Hanegraaff and swim the Tiber or swim the Bosporus, but ultimately we are reminded that evangelicalism is a movement based on scripture sought to be lived out in a context. I believe Hanegraaff has walked in a place that is unhelpful and undermines his lifelong ministry of pointing people to the truth.

( Hank Hanegraaff’s Switch to Eastern Orthodoxy, Why People Make Such Changes, and Four Ways Evangelicals Might Respond )

Do acts of kindness,starting on  Easter Sunday,( it can be simple things )

Read the story right here.

Has Hank Hanegraaff, ( the Bible answer man ) left the Christian faith,( the answer ) 

( Below is part of an article which is posted on the Bible answer man’s website. ) 

Through Christian Research Institute staff and friends, I’ve become aware of chatter on the Internet—the gist of which is that I’ve walked away from the Christian faith. Amid Holy Week I pray that those forwarding this notion may have an ever-deeper encounter with our crucified and resurrected Lord. May they and their loved ones be blessed and their faith strengthened. If I have caused any to stumble, I humbly ask forgiveness.

My purpose in this post is not so much to respond but to reassure. As I have never been more in love with my wife and family, so, too, I have never been more in love with the Lord Jesus and His body the church. As such,

I confess my faith in the deity of Jesus Christ — “the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, through whom all things were made.”

I affirm the doctrine of original sin — “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

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Evangelical followers of Jesus are not welcomed at the Omaha, Nebraska tri-faith campus

Here in Omaha, Nebraska they are building   a tri-faith campus. It has a Jewish synagogue,and will have a mosque along with a so called church on the campus. 

   Recently a visiting priest, rabbi, and an imam came to see it. The Episcopal priest from New York State said it could be a model for the rest of the world. ( Visiting religious leaders see Omaha as a pioneer )

The leaders of the campus say people of all faiths will be welcomed. Guess what they are wrong. I am not welcome on the campus, or are others who share my faith. A rule on the campus is there is to be no trying to convert a soul to another faith. Those of us who believe the full Bible is God’s word know it is a joy, and duty to share with others the good news. Also us Evangelicals believe Christ died for the whole world. The only way a soul can go to heaven is by receiving Christ, and repenting of their sins. It doesn’t matter if one is Jewish, or a follower of Islam there is only one door that goes to heaven. 

  As far as the church that is going to open on the tri-faith campus, no church which believes in the great commission would want to move there. The job of every true church is to preach,and teach the Bible. When we get done to it Jesus was not just a good man. He is the true God. There is no other way to have your sins forgiven, but through the cross of Jesus. 

The Bible Answer man ,( Hank Hanegraaff ),says he has not left the Christian faith,no matter what you have read on the net 

Last Sunday, 67-year-old Hank Hanegraaff and his wife entered into Orthodox Christianity at St. Niktarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.The former Protestant is well known among evangelicals as the Bible Answer Man. Since 1989, Hanegraaff has been answering questions on Christianity, denominations, and the Bible on a nationally syndicated radio broadcast.

A champion of evangelical Christianity, he’s best known for arguing against cults, heresies, and non-Christian religions. His 20 books include titles like Christianity in Crisis, Counterfeit Revival, and The Kingdom of Cults.

Part of being the Bible Answer Man also includes running the Christian Research Institute (CRI), an apologetics ministry that Hanegraaff has been president of since 1989.

This week, Hanegraaff spent some of his airtime answering questions about his decision to leave Protestantism for Orthodoxy.

“People are posting this notion that somehow or other I’ve walked away from the faith and am no longer a Christian,” Hanegraaff said on his Tuesday broadcast. “Look, my views have been codified in 20 books, and my views have not changed.”

Hanegraaff and his wife Kathy have been attending the Orthodox church for more than two years, he said on his Monday broadcast.

His journey to Orthodoxy began with a trip to China, when “I saw Chinese Christians who were deeply in love with the Lord, and I learned that while they may not have had as much intellectual acumen or knowledge as I did, they had life,” he said.

On the flight back, Hanegraaff wondered if he was even a Christian. “I was comparing my ability to communicate truth with their deep and abiding love for the Lord Jesus Christ.”

( Billy’s thoughts – I have some struggles with this. I believe too many  followers of Christ started posting on the net that Hank Hanegraaff had left the faith. At the same time I have some concerns about the Orthodox Church. Read the rest of the above story  ‘Bible Answer Man’ Converts to Orthodoxy.)