Monday, February 27, 2006

Rhema vs. Logos

It happens every now and again. Well, it happened yesterday again!

Somewhere, sometime, someone came up with the idea that the Greek word 'rhema' has a totally different meaning to that of 'logos.' I do not know who started this mythological hoax, but once again the church fell for the hoax!

Yesterday, one of the pastor's at church preached a sermon that included Mt 4:4, "But he answered, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."'" The Greek word for 'word' here is rhema. The claim is that rhema does not refer to the Bible like logos does, but to a fresh word from the mouth of God.

What follows is a little study on the uses of 'rhema' and 'logos.'

It is a little long, but I hope it is worth the reading.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Decline and Fall of the West

In their book Biblical Democracy, Edward and Miriam Cain (2nd Edition, p96) list the characteristics which led to the fall of the Roman Empire:
"In his book Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), lists the following characteristics:
  • A mounting love of show and luxury (that is, affluence);
  • A widening gap between the very rich and the very poor;
  • An obsession with sex; the rapid increase of divorce, the undermining of the dignity and the sanctity of the home, the basis of human society;
  • A mad craze for pleasure, with sport becoming more exciting and brutal every year. Crowds flocked to the Coliseum and Circus Maximus;
  • Within the arts, a freakishness developed, which masqueraded as originality of expression;
  • Higher and higher taxes, with the spending of public monies on free bread and circuses;
  • An increased desire to live off the state;
  • Religion decayed, fading into mere form and losing touch with everyday life;
  • Gigantic armaments were built, but the real enemy was within - the decadence of the people."
I am not going to bore you with commentary on this, save that when one looks at this list, it would not be all too strange to wonder when the west is going to finalize its own collapse! That is true of both the great U.S.A. and Europe, while it also includes the small and almost insignificant country of South Africa!
Just thinking...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Abortion is all about 'ME'

I have always believed that abortion is all about the selfishness of the expectant mother or the one who tries to force the mother into an abortion.

When you listen to pro-choice advocates (or rather pro-murder advocates) all you can hear is 'ME', 'ME', 'ME'! All they can think of is themselves and their quality of life. People like this would rather kill a defenseless baby than actually spending the time to care and love that baby!

One of the saddest stories I have recently read, is about the mother in Perth, Australia, who was expecting twins. Because she was so completely selfish and depraved, she opted for an abortion. However, when she returned to her doctor several weeks later, she was informed that one of the babies survived the attempted murder, ummm..., abortion.

Now, 4 years later, she is suing the hospital for the botched abortion for, hear this, suffering loss, injury and damage. "As a result of the failed termination the pursuer suffered loss, injury and damage. She suffered distress and anxiety upon the discovery of her continuing pregnancy. She required to undergo an elective C-section. She suffered pain and discomfort in consequence of surgery. She has the financial burden of care, upbringing and aliment of Jayde. She suffers an impediment in her ability to obtain employment in consequence of her care for the child."

This woman wants the hospital to take responsibility for her having a child she didn't want! Am I missing something here? Did she not know about the birds and the bees? Where did she think babies came from? The supermarket?

"I still don't know if, or what, I am going to tell Jayde when the time comes. Maybe when she is nine or 10 I will sit her down and explain it to her." This dysfunctional mother has her job cut out for her.

Maybe she should rather sue the government for giving her the right to an abortion. If it weren't for them, perhaps she wouldn't have had sex! Isn't that where babies come from?

The fact is that she opted to have her children murdered. She should go to jail for that!

Murder remains murder, whether in the womb or outside the womb!

Abortion is an injustice and we should stand against it!

Just thinking...

HT: Justin Taylor

Thursday, February 23, 2006

People are too comfortable

Finding party agents (PAs) for next week's (March 1, 2006) elections proves to be a task that few of us were really ready to face. The ACDP does not work on the principle of big money and buying PAs for election days like other parties do. The ACDP is a thoroughly Christian party, yet it seems to me that Christians still have an aversion to politics.

Before I got involved in politics, I used to listen to and participate in conversations complaining about how the government's laws are creating a perverse society bent on its own destruction. With the regular verbal attacks against Christianity from government it was also easy to see how they could one day use the current liberal and morally depraved South African constitution to label almost anything Christians say as hate-speech and as a result Christianity will lose its freedom in this country.

In the midst of all this, South African Christians are still prone to complaining about the state of the nation, yet are not willing to actually get their hands dirty in order to bring about positive change.

At a National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention in Dallas, a member of the British House of Lords said "that biblical preaching could be outlawed unless Christians become more politically active." Beware the day that preachers will no longer be able to speak the truth from their pulpits concerning degenerate lifestyles such as that of homosexuals and lesbians, or even point out that Jesus Christ is to be worshipped ONLY and not Allah or some other moon-god!

If Christians do not rise up in this country as a voice to be reckoned with, I fear that our rights to free-speech and religious freedom will be curbed not so long from now. As Christians we are still very much concerned about our quality of lifestyle instead of our quality of life. There is a real difference between these two concepts. Quality of lifestyle is concerned about the car, house, neighbourhood, bank balance and level of comfort we have. Quality of life is concerned with the greater things in life such as justice, caring for the poor, truth and being able, at the end of the day, to feel that we have seriously impacted others' lives for the glory and kingdom of God, even at the neglect of quality of lifestyle!

Many Christians think that it is enough to attend church--although some do not even do that (a possible sign of apostasy?)--and perhaps even go to Bible study or cell-meeting; yet, the impact they have on their communities only reach as far as their own front doors.

In order to avert a wholesale collapse of our rights as Christians and of our nation's morality, it is absolutely imperative that we as Christians get involved in our communities and in politics. To say that Christians should not get involved in politics is like saying that motorists should not get involved in knowing the rules of using the road. I know, analogies are not always that accurate in expressing what we mean. If we as Christians do not know and get involved in the way government does things (politics), we might just one day wipe the tears away from our eyes and find that we are living in a country run by a bunch of tyrants. Then it will be too late to complain!

To say that this will not happen to us because we are Christians, I would like to tell you that you are wrong! Then you are simply denying what has been happening to Christians from the very first day of Christianity. Remember, Christ was crucified for what He proclaimed! All down history, Christians have been martyred for what they believed. It happened under the Roman Caesars, it happened after the Russian Czars, it happened in Muslim Turkey and is still happening today in Muslim countries, China, North Korea and other countries.

"When I am tempted to believe that I deserve to be safe and prosperous because I believe in Jesus, I remember the martyrs who died to preserve the Gospel for us. When I am tempted to think that believing the Gospel guarantees me comfort, I remember the missionaries who endured all sorts of discomforts and death to bring the Gospel to our continent." (Biblical Democracy, Miriam Cain, Signpost Publications, Second Edition 2004, xi)

Remember, what you "fight" for today, your children will enjoy tomorrow! If you fail today, your children will suffer tomorrow!

As Christians we need to get involved in every sphere of life, and that includes politics.

Are you going to bind up the wounds of the political "downtrodden" or are you going to be like the priest and the Levite who walked past and thought that it had nothing to do with them?

Change in this country depends on YOU! Yes, YOU! Do not leave it for the next person to accomplish! As a Christian YOU have been empowered by the Spirit of God to do mighty things for God! Even in the political arena.

Christians lost the battle of the worldviews in the first three quarters of the 20th century exactly because they withdrew from the public square. In the U.S.A. this cost them things like prayer in school and the lives of over 40 million aborted babies!

It is time, once again, that Christians take their rightful place in this world, ready to preach the gospel to all and to let that gospel carry them into every sphere of life!

Just thinking...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

On the lighter side: If I was a Star Trek character

I discovered this test to unveil your Star Trek character on Matt Gumm's blog. Well Matt, I guess you are expendable and I am the mighty one here!

Read further to see which Star Trek character I am!

You are Worf

Jean-Luc Picard
Deanna Troi
Will Riker
Beverly Crusher
Geordi LaForge
Mr. Sulu
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Scott
You are trained in the art of combat
and are usually intimidating.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

No thinking... was involved!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tshwane (Pretoria) State of the City Address response

As a candidate for the ACDP in the city of Tshwane (old Pretoria) for ward 47 in the coming local government elections, I was privileged to attend the last city council meeting before the elections.
The meeting was last Friday, February 17, 2006. The morning session was devoted to the responses of the different parties in the city council to the State of the City Address given by the major of the city on Thursday, February 16, 2006.
This was truly an eye opener to listen to these parties and also to note the reactions of the parties to the answers given by the ruling ANC party to those responses.
One thing I am grateful for is that I am not involved with the DA party. I have never seen such disrespect for anyone as these people showed to the ANC. When the DA's mayoral candidate gave his response to the mayor's address, the council chamber was almost completely silent. However, by the time the ANC gave their rebuttal to the different responses the council members from the DA started behaving like a bunch of puerile teenagers, heckling and shouting unwanted comments. How is it that the other council members from the other parties let the DA candidate speak in peace for 30 minutes, yet the DA could not afford the same courtesy to those who let them speak in peace?
The way that it appeared to me is that the DA only knows how to run a negative campaign. This seems to be very immature. To see grown men and women behave like this was simply sad!
I would here like to give a short response of my own to the mayor's address.
One of the first things that I noticed is how the mayor claimed that under ANC leadership, "a society where the traditional race, class and gender divisions are being systematically undermined." I am not so sure the mayor had his facts correct. I have previously shown how the ANC government is perpetuating racism in this country.
He further claims that the country is still divided into black and white, only in sport such as rugby and soccer and also on national commemorations such as Women's Day and Freedom Day. This plainly is not true as whites are being systematically removed from jobs to be replaced by blacks, many without the necessary expertise, or as our President Mbeki says, "lack of capacity." This is simply reverse racism. It is fine to give a black person a job because he is the best candidate for the job, but to give him a job simply because he is black is racism! Just because this person was a comrade in the struggle and knows how to use an AK47, does not mean he will be able to use a computer or do city planning!
Next he claimed that former whites-only areas have "experienced even better development... with...stormwater systems." I don't know where he has been in the last month, but we have seen cars in the city with water higher than their wheels. These stormwater systems did not work adequately!
Boasting about how the ANC local government improved the city was rife in his speech. The city spent R154.5m to electrify houses and public places. Another R173.8m was spent on upgrading street lights and more. Water and sanitation was maintained with R100m. Add another R530m in rural areas for water and sanitation. Just to remind you, this was over a period of 5 years. The amounts certainly sound impressive. However, this needs to be put into perspective. The proposed budget for 2006/2007 is R8.5b. The budget over the last 5 years amounted to approximately R35b. Now, can you see how puny the amounts seem that I mentioned above? Especially when seen in the light of R35b!
A further point that crops up again and again is the issue of women. The mayor spoke of the fifty-fifty principle concerning women. He said that "we must play our role in the national democratic transformation of our society by bringing the women of our city from the sidelines to the centre stage through the implementation of the Employment Equity Act and other policies which promote gender equality." My question to this is: What does it really mean? Does it mean equal opportunity or equal representation? In my opinion, equal representation forces a situation in which incapable people are employed simply for the sake of gender representivity! Rather employ capable people, no matter if they are black or white, male or female! I get the distinct impression that the ANC is busy creating a vacuum in society where men simply have nothing of value to add.
Another proud statement by the mayor is that "in the past five years [they have created] more than 5 000 jobs of varying periods of engagement per annum, directly within the Municipality." My contention is that government should not be an employment agency. Actions like this bloat an already overweight institution that wastes the taxpayers money. It is government's job to create laws and an environment in which the private sector can thrive, hence growing to such an extent that more REAL jobs are created. A more streamlined, lightweight local government staffed with capable people upfront, will ensure that many more funds will be available from the budget for maintenance and worthy causes such as social upliftment and care for the needy.
The mayor quoted the Mozambican poet, Marcelino dos Santos,
Our land is open to the frank embrace of hope.
This is certainly a positive sign that the mayor wants hope for the people. As a former priest in the church, the mayor (an ANC comrade) should realize that hope cannot come riding on the wings of materialistic ideals. Hope is in Christ and Christ alone! While he is sitting in the chair of the ANC party proclaiming the ideals of the ANC, he is divorced from REAL hope, which can only be found in the hope-giver, Jesus Christ! Hope cannot be realized in the ideals of man, but only in the real offer of salvation in Jesus Christ!
Just thinking...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Discernment, please!

C. Peter Wagner of the Church Growth Movement seems to love redefining Biblical texts to fall in with his own misconceptions of what the Scriptures are really saying.
It is quite clear to me that the church is no longer in the business of discernment. Especially when it comes to drawing people to the church.
However, when it comes to doctrinal purity, the church has come to a complete stop! It amazes me that so many churches and their bookstores are still peddling material that are very doubtful as to its doctrinal purity, even up to complete heresy.  Material from the Word-Faith movement from people like Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Joyce Meyer and others abound in these bookstores. Many think that the doctrines taught by these people are the best things since sliced bread, but the fact is that they teach false doctrines to the point of heresy. In fact, these people will be the weeds that will be removed from the harvest when Jesus returns!
Furthermore, there are preachers and singers (T.D. Jakes, Tommy Tenney and Phillips, Craig and Dean) that do not believe in the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, yet their books, CDs and DVDs are sold in these same bookstores.
The amazing thing is that there are pastors that read documentation on the false doctrines of these people; however, they still allow these materials in their bookstores. Either these pastors do not think that there is a problem--which points to the fact that they themselves are not schooled enough in proper Biblical theology, or they do see that there is a problem with these false teachers and do nothing about it--which points to the fact that they do not really care about their flock and will be judged for that!
(1) The word of the LORD came to me:  (2)  "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?  (3)  You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep.  (4)  The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them.  (5)  So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts.  (6)  My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.  (7)  "Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:  (8)  As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep,  (9)  therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:  (10)  Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them.
Ezekiel 34:1-10 ESV
It is up to the pastors to take a lead in spelling out the need for pure doctrine and not to let the flock be devoured by wolves in sheep's clothing! If a pastor is unable to do this, then I am afraid, he doesn't fulfill the Biblical requirements of a pastor!
It certainly is time for the church to stand up against these devouring wolves in order to protect the flock!
Discernment, Please!
Just thinking...

State of the Nation response

The South African President, Thabo Mbeki, made his State of the Nation address on Feb 3, 2006.
Following is the response of the ACDP's president, Dr. Kenneth Meshoe, on Feb 7, 2006:
Madam Speaker, the President surprised most people in this nation by quoting from the prophet Isaiah, not only once, but three times. His speech which was well received by most of us instilled hope and optimism, and raised the expectations of our people. I was asked by Tim Modise on his show why I thought the President chose to quote from the prophet Isaiah and not from the other prophets and what I thought was the significance of the quotation. While not knowing his real reasons for doing it, I nevertheless expressed my appreciation for the President doing it and gave Tim my thoughts about the matter which are as follows: The name Isaiah means ‘JEHOVAH SAVES” or “SALVATION OF JEHOVAH”. I hope the quotation of Isaiah simply means that the President, like me, hopes in the salvation of Jehovah. The fact is, Mr President, we need God’s help to make our nation a truly winning nation. You did the right thing, Sir, and I hope that you will continue to search for answers in God’s Word. May I remind the honourable President and members that before the nation can go out with joy, and be led forth in peace, and before the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing, there are conditions that the prophet Isaiah referred to that must be met. The three conditions I have time to mention are firstly to seek the Lord while He may be found, secondly to let the wicked forsake their way and the evil man his thoughts, and thirdly, that we return to the Lord who will have mercy on us and will freely pardon. I now want to focus on areas I believe the President’s speech fell short. Firstly, the President only mentioned HIV/Aids once in his speech, and thereby failed to deal with this pandemic as a national priority. The ACDP believes that HIV/Aids has to be included on government’s priorities agenda alongside poverty, and unemployment. It is not good enough to be told that about 100 000 patients are receiving Antiretroviral Treatment. According to the Actuarial Society of SA, another 520 000 HIV positive people urgently need treatment. The government must address the problem of HIV and Aids much more aggressively and the President must take the lead in that. Government must have a clear policy of not only providing treatment for those who need it, but also have programmes to help those who are HIV negative to stay negative. I know that on paper, government does refer to their ABC strategy that they don’t seem to be convinced about. Government has to urgently do something to prevent predictions that 5.8 million South Africans will be infected by the Aids virus by 2010, from coming to pass. The most reliable way of ensuring that children do not easily get infected with the Aids virus is to teach them to refrain from sex until marriage. While it is primarily parents’ responsibility to teach their children to abstain from premarital sex, we believe that schools must teach the same. The President had an opportunity to endorse Education Minister Naledi Pandor’s call to school children to abstain from sex and focus on their studies, but he didn’t do it. The ACDP hereby endorses the Education Minister’s call. Madam Speaker, I know that it will not be easy to convince some school children and nation to abstain from premarital sex while they are bombarded with pornography every day of their lives. Our country is losing the fight against child pornography and the rape of children because this parliament does not want to outlaw pornography that is damaging the minds of our children. Where on earth do you hear of an eleven year old girl raped in a classroom in front of other children, while ten year old boys are pinning her legs and arms down to help the rapist? Where on the continent of Africa have you heard of a thirteen year old schoolgirl raped by 18 boys, many of them her schoolmates as it was reported in the media two weeks ago? Honourable members, pornography is the theory and rape is the action. Mr President, if you truly want the nation to go out with joy and be led out in peace and the mountains and the hills to break forth into singing, then you should not support any move by this parliament to amend the Marriage Act to include same sex marriages. All nations, tribes, religious groups and cultures worldwide believe marriage to only be between a man and a woman. Homosexuals and lesbians can have their sinful civil unions if they want to, but should not be allowed to interfere with marriage as we have it today. This parliament must be seen to be promoting and protecting our children, families and the covenant of marriage between men and women only and not undermining it.
I agree with you, Sir, in your quotation of former president, honourable Nelson Mandela, that, we must, and I quote: “seize the time to define for ourselves what we want to make of our shared destiny.” What the ACDP wants to make of our shared destiny is to have a prosperous nation that embraces the plan of God and enjoys His blessings, and not one that rebels against Him. The so-called homosexual marriage is nothing but rebellion against God the Almighty and the ACDP will oppose it with every fibre of our being. We truly want this nation to go out with joy and be led out in peace and hear the mountains and hills breaking forth into singing before us. We want all the trees of the field to clap their hands as the prophet Isaiah said. But for this to happen, Mr President, we must not be seen to be challenging God’s authority or fighting Him because the nation would lose badly which will be worse than seeing Bafana Bafana lose all their games. From what many business leaders and economists are saying, it looks like unemployment will remain this nation’s greatest challenge for many decades to come. While they agree that the economy is creating some jobs, they believe job creation is not fast enough to drastically reduce the high unemployment rate. Many have blamed the economy’s failure to create sufficient jobs on the country’s rigid labour laws which make it difficult for employers to fire non-performing workers. The ACDP agrees that Labour Laws need to be relaxed and regulatory reforms also need to be put in place to bring more flexibility into the labour market. The unwilling and unproductive workers must know that they will be replaced if they stay away from work without valid reasons and that for the economy to grow, they must make a greater effort and choose to be more productive. Those who have an eight to four job behind a desk, must know that they are not expected to start working ten minutes after eight a! nd then want to leave ten minutes before four. They must know that if they do that they will be replaced by other keen and industrious workers who know that having a job is a privilege and not a right, and hence, have to give their best. Madam Speaker, if government manages to root out corruption, drastically reduce crime and manage to instill a culture of hard work and productivity in our people, then we will be on our way to ending jobless economic growth as domestic investors will be encouraged to invest more in this beautiful country. Then, Mr President, we will go out with joy and be led forth in peace and the mountains and hill will break forth into singing before us. When that happens, then SA will truly be a shining model among nations of the world in the true sense of the word. I have hope that it will happen. Thank you.
Just thinking...

Friday, February 10, 2006

South African Voters' Guide

A voters' guide can be viewed to analyze what some of the main parties in South Africa stand for.
Just thinking...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Democratic rights

One of the slogans that immoral pundits of gross perversion throw at people who want this peddling of smut to stop is: "This is a democratic country!"
The fact is that we all agree that South Africa is a democratic country, although I do not believe that democracy is a good model to rule people by (but that is another issue!).
While I was travelling in my car to a political meeting yesterday, I was thinking about the idea of democracy and the slogan mentioned above.
This is the thought that struck me:
Democracy does not give us the right to do as we please;
but rather,
it gives us the freedom to become responsible citizens with accountability to our communities.
You see, the modern concept of democratic rights is totally lopsided. If I believe that because this is a democratic society and as a result I can do as I please, then democracy has been lost and we have entered anarchy. Anarchy does not always have to be physical, as in youths running wild in the cities breaking windows, stealing and shooting people at random. Anarchy can also be a mental attitude. It can be the idea that democracy gives me the right to publicize what I want, say what I want and do what I want, no matter how it affects society, whether good or bad!
It is precisely because of this that we have pornography in our magazines, televisions and even sent to our cell phones (thank God this hasn't happened to me yet!). This attitude of anarchy also gave us gay-pride parades, free sex, the rape of women (and sad to say, of little children in the South African free society), out of control thievery, robbery and many other violent crimes. It is precisely because of this idea that our HIV/AIDS infection rate is one of the highest in the world.
Just thinking...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mbeki is very calculating

There are presidents and then there are presidents. Then there is Thabo Mbeki, the South African State President from the ruling ANC party.
It is amazing how a man that stands at the head of the ANC--a party that stands for abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, the disarmament of its citizens and much more--can quote Scripture in his State of the Nation Address as if God has given him some insight as to God's willingness to bless this nation. The fact that Mbeki quotes Isaiah 55:12 to claim that God's blessing is on this nation shows how disengenuous he really is.
He knows that there are many people that claim to be Christian in this country, and as a result he uses Scripture purely to build his voter's base even while he and his party stand against the laws and principles of the Bible. This can be borne out by looking at how many laws that fly directly in the face of God the ANC rushed through parliament (abortion, pornography, etc).
The fact is that many in this country that claim to be Christian are too uneducated themselves to realize that not everyone who quotes Scripture or claim to be Christian are indeed Biblical Christians!
I am not so sure that he quoted from Scripture because he is searching it for answers to life, rather than to make sure that his party holds on to power in this country by duping Christians into thinking that the ANC can be trusted with the spiritual well-being of this country. Obviously, this is not the mandate of government, but if he can get Christians to think this, then he will use it. There are already those in the ANC that are saying that Mbeki has proven himself to be on the same spiritual footing as the ACDP President, Dr. Kenneth Meshoe. Meaning, that people have already been caught off-guard. Mbeki has done what he had set out to do; make Christians (or those who claim to be) confused as to whom to vote for in the coming local government elections on March 1, 2006.
Just thinking...

Islamic Hypocrisy the same as the rest of the world

Islam is currently showing its own two-facedness. What it would not allow against itself, it would clearly allow against Christianity and Judaism. When Muhammed is caricatured as a terrorist, and rightly so, the whole Islamic world rises in one great uproar against it. Yet, when they themselves desecrate churches, it means absolutely nothing!
It should become clear to any normal thinking person that the tag of "Religion of peace" that President Bush gave them a couple of years back, simply will not stick! Islam is a conquering religion, preferably at the tip of the sword. Do as they say, or pay severely for dissenting from them.
John Piper himself opined on this:
"Am I missing it, or is there an unusual silence in the blogosphere about the Muslim outrage over the cartoons of Mohammed. To me this cries out for the observation that when artists put the crucifix in a flask of urine, Christians were grieved and angered, but not one threatened to kill anyone. Our longing is to convert the blasphemers with the Good News of Christ's death and resurrection, not kill them. Our faith is based on One who was reviled not just in cartoons but in reality and received it patiently for the salvation of the cartoonists. These riots are filled with intimations about the glorious difference between Christ and Mohammed, and between the way of Christ and the way of Islam. And the cowing of the press around the world and the US government is ominous for the fear we are under of Islam--not just extremist Islam. I do not respect the teachings of Islam which when followed devoutly lead to destruction. So I have been pondering which will take me out first, Islam, Uncle Sam, or cancer. No matter, all authority belongs to Jesus. I just want to bear faithful witness to his glorious gospel of peace to the end." HT: Justin Taylor.
Liberals will quickly tell us that the Danish newspaper that printed the cartoons of Muhammed is wrong for having done so, yet they are the same ones that will either blaspheme against Christ or regularly malign Christians. It seems to me that they are just as two-faced as those protesting the Muhammed cartoons. Perhaps liberals are scared of being blown up by Muslims and know that Christians do not go around blowing people up for blaspheming Christ!
Just thinking...

Mushy church

Charles Colson wrote a very insightful article for his BreakPoint program called Musical Mush: Are We Impairing Our Capacity to Think?

"When church music directors lead the congregation in singing some praise music, I often listen stoically with teeth clenched. But one Sunday morning, I cracked. We had been led through endless repetitions of a meaningless ditty called, “Draw Me Close to You.” The song has zero theological content and could be sung in a nightclub, for that matter. When I thought it was finally and mercifully over, the music leader beamed at us and said in a cheerful voice, “Let’s sing that again, shall we?” “No!” I shouted loudly. Heads all around me spun while my wife cringed."

I sometimes feel the same when songs are being sung that could as well be
sung to a human person. Many of the songs in the modern church--note: I didn't say all!--are quite meaningless and are sung with such repetition that in the end, if it had any meaning, lost all meaning while being sung straight into the doldrums of boredom.

It seems to me, as it does to many others, that the church has slipped down that slimy slope called entertainment (or "worshitainment"). Many of our songs have very little theological content and as such do not have any meaning at all. A while ago I was standing in church (not a Reformed church BTW!) when the next song to be sung was obviously a very Reformed song. The people sang through that as if nothing was wrong! These people, actually being very anti-Calvinistic, should have seen that this song contained theology that goes against their own theology. However, since the worship had been degraded into "worshitainment", it did not matter that this song opposed their own theological system, as long as it sounded good and conjured up the right feelings! Experience is king, of course!

Now, the amazing thing about this is that this same type of "preachetainment" has crept into the modern, especially charismatic, church. At church on Sunday, the first verse of Scripture was mentioned almost 20 minutes into the sermon! I am sorry, but this to me is not a sermon, and the pastor did not preach! He simply was giving a motivational speech with a few verses here and there! This is 45 minutes of wasted time. Speaking a lot but saying nothing!

Preaching has degraded into a bless me type of motivational rhetoric that never actually lets Scripture speak for itself. There are so few pastors today that can actually expound on what the Bible says. Rather, they have ideas in their heads and will dig out any kind of verse to back up what they say, even if the verse is out of context or does not say what the pastor wants it to say! Just the other day this same pastor said that "God has ordained that He will do nothing but in partnership with the Bride. She is in training for reigning. This means that God has submitted Himself to the principle that His people must pray before He will rise and work." What a load of drivel! The Bible says nothing this emphatic about how God works in and through His people. Does the Bible say that we must pray and that He even works through us? Yes! Does the Bible say that God "will do nothing but in partnership with the Bride?" No! God is quite Sovereign and can work on His own. And, indeed He has! Amazingly enough, the verse the pastor used to back up this idea of his is Mt 7:7, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (ESV) I just can't see how he makes that connection! He also used one other verse here to show that God does nothing but in partnership with the church. "You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask." (James 4:2 ESV)

It is in the interest of the global church that pastors everywhere start realizing that the topical sermons that they pump out every week is to expositional preaching as milk is to steak! Topical sermons, especially those such as this pastor preaches, do not educate the church in the Bible at all. It merely educates the church as to the inadequacies of those who preach like that! On the other hand, expositional preaching will in the end teach the church the Bible in the very context it finds itself in. This will force pastors to actually spend time studying the Bible in order to feed the church. Thinking will be necessary here!

It is so sad that because of this "worshitainment" and "preachetainment" attitude in the church, that the people no longer "think" that thinking about our faith is good. It has become all about feelings and being entertained. A thoughtless church is a brainless church. It has absolutely nothing to say to the world. The world is also about feelings and being entertained. Why must they join us if we are simply supplying the same merchandise they already have?

The problem with this attitude of entertainment is that the people are not feeding at the table of the Lord and hence atrophy and starvation are setting in.

It would be worth your while to read Charles Spurgeon's short tract called Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats and also the foreword to Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Just thinking...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Politics and worldview 4 - Support the ACDP!

...continued from Politics and Worldview 3.

I sent out the following letter (between the two horizontal lines) today to all the people I know that call themselves Christian here in South Africa. It is basically an appeal to the Christians of this country.

We are living in a time in which almost anything is possible. Humans have put people on the moon and now have gone as far as sending a spacecraft all the way to the planet Pluto. Daily, the airwaves are filled with information that either get decoded into radio output on millions of radios or as television output onto millions of televisions. Information is travelling around this earth in all kinds of format, from radio to TV to emails and SMSs. Information can be disseminated in a matter of seconds to people all around the globe.

Information can inform to the point of changing attitudes and helping people change their minds.

This is where you come in!

As Christians we have a mandate to stand for what God stands for and nothing else. When we look at the political parties in South Africa it quickly becomes apparent that most of these parties do not have God's issues at heart. Most of these parties are so similar in their policies that they could actually be the same party. Just consider the ANC and the DA. On one essential point, abortion, they are exactly the same!

It certainly is time, especially with the local municipal elections of 1 March 2006, for every Christian to decide where he stands. It is interesting that according to statistics, South Africa is majority Christian with more than 70% claiming to be Christian. However, when we vote, we do not show that majority at all!

The question we have to ask is "Why?" There can only be two reasons: either those who claim to be Christians are not Christian at all, or those Christians do not have a Biblical worldview to guide them in their vote. You have to decide for yourself where you stand.

As a candidate in these coming elections I can say with genuineness of heart that the ACDP certainly has God's issues at heart. It is a thoroughly Christian party standing for strong Biblical principles. The ACDP also does not consist of a group of super-spiritual people that are of no earthly good. There are many capable people in the ACDP who are willing to sacrifice of themselves to do a job in government--local or national--that fellow Christians can be proud of.

It all depends on Christians who are willing to stand up and say: "I am willing!"

The question is: Are you willing? Remember, we are in a battle of worldviews, and we know the worldview of the Bible is the only correct one.

So, if you are willing, you can do one of four things: (1) Call your local ACDP branch today and offer your services as a volunteer in these coming elections, (2) Support the ACDP financially (every rand helps in the cause), (3) At least send this email to 5 (or more) other Christians you know, (4) Vote for your ACDP candidate. Hopefully you will do all four!

God can use you today!


William Dicks
ACDP Candidate Ward 47 Tshwane
+27 83 556 7600
"Moral crusaders with zeal but no ethical understanding are likely to give us solutions that are worse than the problems."
-- Charles Colson, How Now Shall We Live?
Just thinking... (My blog)
Read my blog for current issues in theology, culture and more...
Gulielmus Contra Mundum

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Politics and worldview 3

...continued from Politics and worldview 2.

After having spoken to several ministers, I was very amused by the fact that they all told me that they could not give support to one party over another from the pulpit.

Here in South Africa churches do not have any kind of tax-free status. Meaning that the church here is taxed like any other organisation.

So, pastors do not want to say which party to vote for or which to support because they do not want to upset those members who ACDPvote for parties other than the ACDP. My question is this: Why do these pastors not want to upset them? Should we not stand up for what we believe no matter what area of life, even if it is in the area of politics?

When I look at other parties in South Africa, I cannot with any good conscience vote for any party but the ACDP! I also cannot in good conscience be quiet about who I vote for when asked! Pastors come up with schemes such as "Ask the Lord who you should vote for." Isn't that amazing?! Fine! "Lord, should I vote for the ACDP who stands for the Bible, against abortion, pornography, same-sex marriage, etc or should I vote for the ANC or even the DA who both have raised their hands for abortion?"

What accord has Christ with Belial?
Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
(2Co 6:15 ESV)

How can a pastor with a clean conscience tell his people to ask God to tell them who to vote for? We have all seen how people in the past have gone to God to hear His "now" word and came away from this celestial meeting with the biggest lot of anti-Biblical notions.

Goodness me! If people are going to be upset because you have spoken out on your support for the ACDP and not the other parties, then so be it! Perhaps pastors must start preaching on topics to make people think and not on all this new fandangled pop-theology of our modern sermons. It is all to common for pastors to preach for all too long and hardly say anything of any value at all! Why is this so? It simply happens because they are preaching on their favourite topics without actually making the Bible speak on those topics. At church the other day the pastor preached for almost 45 minutes in which he mentioned a couple of verses which did not say at all what he claimed they said! He made absolutely no effort to expound those verses to show what they really meant through proper exegesis! If he did so, then the people would actually start thinking in his sermons. But, as it is, it is more important to experience breakthrough than actually be fed the real unadulterated Word of God.

Now, coming back to the excuses these pastors make for not standing behind what I would call the obvious party to support, if these pastors really taught their people a proper Biblical worldview, then perhaps people would not get upset because they have already been trained to discern between right and wrong! But, it is easier to preach pop-theology than real sermons, because real sermons demand hard work.

Then on the other hand, maybe these pastors do not want to upset the people because then they would lose their base of income through tithes?!

Money talks, I suppose and if it does talk, then what does it say?

Continue to Politics and Worldview 4...

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