Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is God pleased with the churches we build ?

Note:= An interesting article, from a pastor of a local US church, taking an issue with those mega-churches pushing the prosperity gospel. Ever wonder why these prosperity preachers seldom or never push their messages in really poor areas of the world? One line in this article stands out to me, and its this: If your message won't work for all of mankind, then it's not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about this, and read on. God bless.

Local pastor wonders if God is pleased with churches we build

Founder of Church on the Rock of Jasper,
in Texas,USA

You can watch it on the History Channel, hear it described in a lecture with a slide presentation, or as in this case read about it. My best efforts not withstanding, you still won't have a clue until you have been there and seen it with your own eyes.

The abject poverty, the empty stare of hopelessness in children's eyes, and the never to be forgotten stench of raw sewage and filth openly exposed.

You will still be relatively uninformed after reading my futile attempt to communicate the enormity of the degradation and decadent existence of the multiple millions of vanquished hungry people who would be eternally grateful to one day have hope of aspiring to America's poverty level.

This was my first trip to the country where my older brother, a missionary evangelist, had sown seed for the past 12 years.

I went as his guest to preach at several of the many churches in the country of Ghana, Africa. He warned me to get prepared for the enormous 'culture shock.' There was no way to prepare myself for what I experienced.

I had been teaching and preaching over the radio to this and 37 other foreign countries for several years. After recently preaching in person to large and small, established as well as newly planted churches in the city, suburbs and bush country of this third world country I stand amazed.

To my chagrin I seriously question just who should be doing the teaching and who should be the student. In our affluent society of modern conveniences and luxury living with sky high credit-limits, even our very poorest are considered rich by third world standards.

I am convinced we as Americans hardly qualify as experts on faith and commitment in light of these incredible people.

They have little choice but to exercise their faith for they have to depend on God for their next meal, clothes for their children, transportation, and protection from disease. So, its no big thing for them to trust in God for healing miracles, signs and wonders of which rival the Apostolic age of the New Testament. Rev. 3: 17 - 19 certainly brings to mind the USA.

With all due respect I wonder what would happen if some of America's prosperity teachers that stand in their "seeker friendly" positive thinking motivational churches would make the trip and stand before the congregation of the proletariat claiming to all that God will make them rich and prosperous.

Never forget, that even a weed needs a seed and sufficient soil. When there is absolutely no monetary base for financial growth, positive thinking won't change it.

I have witnessed the same positive thinking prosperity doctrine except with no mention or belief in God work the the same wonders in America that some are claiming in religious circles today.

This is not to say that God can't prosper us but in the context of the Hebrew and Greek definition balanced with I Timothy 6:5 and I Timothy 6: 9-10.

Remembering John the Baptist's question, "Are you the Christ or should we look for another?" Jesus' reply is Matthew 11: 4-5.

"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: [5] The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor."

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor."

If your message won't work for all of mankind, then its not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One thing is for certain, the Apostles sure didn't embrace this popular itching ear doctrine prophesied to be popular in the final days. (II Timothy 4: 3-4)

I wonder if God is pleased when we build these multimillion dollar churches when only half that extravagance would have been sufficient while masses go hungry. Consider Matthew 25: 44-45; "In as much as you didn't do unto the least of these you also neglected me."

So, this Thanksgiving as my family gathered around the dinning room table to devour our feast fit for any king, before we gobbled down the gobbler and hurried to the den to watch football, their was a sincere and fervent prayer of praise and thanksgiving remembered that it's in Him we live and more and have our being.

Acts 17:28 and never forget America, "He that giveth can also take away." Job 1:21

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Lessons on LIFE

Lessons on Life

There was an Indian Chief who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest.., in turn..,to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the Winter, the second in the Spring, the third in Summer, and the youngest son in the Fall. When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe what they had seen.

The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted. The second son said 'no' it was covered with green buds and full of promise. The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet and looked so beautiful. It was the most graceful thing he had ever seen. The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they had each seen but only one season in the tree's life. He told them that you can not judge a tree, or a person, by only one season, and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons are up.

If you give up when it's Winter, you will miss the promise of your Spring, the beauty of your Summer, the fulfillment of your Fall.

Moral: Don't let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest. Don't judge life by one difficult season. Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come.

Live Simply.
Love Generously.
Care Deeply.
Speak Kindly.
Leave the Rest to God.
Happiness keeps You Sweet,
Trials keep You Strong,
Sorrows keep You Human,
Failures keep You Humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,
But God keeps You Going!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I dont' believe God exists!

Note:=An interesting piece of observation and logic. Sometimes it takes simple observation like this one that bring across how limited man's logic is. Then today I read the bible verse in 1 Cor 2:4, how the Apostle Paul was careful to ensure that he was in the centre of what God came to do; that is, his message is not about worldly wisdom but about the power of God; not necessarily just about power to do the miraculous, but more importantly, the power to change a person life from the inside out. Apostle Paul was one who were very acquainted with pain and sufferings. Yet he yearned not so much for relief of such pain and sufferings, but that he may know Christ and the power of his resurrection. We do well to examine our Christian life daily to see if there is that power within, or is it a form of godliness that is devoid of any power. May God empower you for His glory !

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen. It's an explanation other people will understand.

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects.

When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said: "I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer.

"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist.

Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."

The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop.

Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard.He looked dirty and unkempt!

The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber:"You know what? Barbers do not exist."

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber and I just worked on you!"

"No!" the customer exclaimed.

"Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is, people do not come to me."

"Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! What happens, is, people don't go to Him and do not look for Him. That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Why All Religions Cannot Point to God?

Note:=This is a refreshing reminder that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through him. And there is salvation in no other name than the name of Jesus. This is a revelation from God. As this author pointed out, this revelation is the only truth that make sense when we look at the reality of the created world. All other religions try to make sense but given all its human limitations can never really satisfy and fill the God-created vaccum in each person. Only Jesus can ! Read on and be blessed !

Is God Schizophrenic? Why All Religions Cannot Point to God

Understanding the Law of Non-Contradiction

By Joseph Mattera

September 2006

Just the other day, I was having a conversation with someone regarding Christianity. He told me that all the religions of the world were true and equally pointed to God, and that he thought it absurd and arrogant for anyone to think that their religion was the one true religion. To this I responded by telling him that the statement "there are no absolutes" is itself an absolute statement. Thus, he really did believe in absolutes (the person was stunned by this answer and had no reply). You see, it is impossible to escape from the concept of absolutism; it’s only a matter of what absolutes a particular person believes in.

Furthermore, I told this person that his God must be schizophrenic if all religions point to Him, because all major religious belief systems have major fundamental differences between them. For example, both Islam and Christianity can’t both be true, because Christianity teaches that Jesus as God the Son died on the cross for the sins of the world, while Islam teaches that Jesus was merely a great prophet (not divine) and didn’t really die on the cross. To believe that all religions are true and equally point to God would be as foolish as saying there is no difference between a coke bottle and a ballpoint pen! If you really believe this, then logic would also dictate that you don’t believe there is right and wrong. Thus someone can come up to you and slap you in the face without any objection, because there really are no absolutes!

Moral relativism is really only a poor excuse to live in a world without accountability to a holy God, while at the same time believing in absolutes when it is convenient and beneficial (like trusting in the good morality of a salesperson when you buy a product and being outraged when you find out the product is a lemon!). Relativists have to borrow from the Christian worldview every time they experience a sense of right and wrong and do good works for fellow humans!
I have found that the greatest proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible is the fact that its laws and precepts perfectly point to the reality of the created order, while all other religious faiths and systems break down at the intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual levels.

Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:7). Jesus was the most narrow-minded human being the world has ever seen (read Matthew 7:13-14), whose incarnation bridged the gap between humanity and the mystery of God. (Jesus perfectly modeled the balance between compassion and truth.) In the past, knowledge of God was revealed in shadows and types. But now, God’s knowledge has clearly been manifest in Christ. His vicarious death on the cross as the God/Man paid the penalty for the sins of the world, reconciled all of creation back to the Father, while His resurrection imparted eternal life to all who believe in Him. This is something Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius, and all other great religious leader can never say they accomplished for their followers.