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Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…

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January 2014

False Prophets Today

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There  are only a few occasions when I have gotten angry about the actions of/comments from a Christian that many people hold in high regard. I am fully aware that if you compared my life to Jesus, I would wear a (metaphorical) muddied, filthy sinful rag, compared to the pure white robe he wants us to dress in, so I have no right to judge, but certain things that are put into the media and displayed as “Christian” are far from biblical!

Last Sunday, a Church leader was on a popular discussion tv show and was reported to say the following

“I cannot bring myself to believe in a Satan who is an embodied angel thrown out of heaven”

(Jesus saw him fall!)

and

“My God has no space for some kind of tempter”

(explain the forty days in the wilderness then?!)

What bible are they reading?! The church leader even said that “the devil in the book of Job is a kind of Joke figure”, how on earth can you possibly say that the Devil is a joke?! I was even more amazed that people said how well she did, and one person who stepped in to defend the minister, when they were criticised, wrote “you are an inspiration!”  Has the Anglican church’s resolve to be in “communion” with as many people as possible, really allowed bizarre theology to be preached from the pulpit?! Have they not heard the phrase “if you try to please everyone, you actually please nobody”?

After further exploration into the theology and beliefs of this minister, I discovered (and correct me if I am wrong) that they are a trans-sexual lesbian. Forgive me, but considering the quotes in the early part of this blog and her choice of lifestyle, are they not calling God a liar? The bible says that we are made “perfect” (so why change your body?), God doesn’t make mistakes, God’s idea of a couple is one man and one woman (at no point in the bible does Jesus or any other author say that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle!)

A few years ago, there was a preacher with a massive healing ministry, the top evangelical leaders in the USA supported him and there were thousands of people flocking to his events, a few weeks after one his largest “events”  it was revealed that  he was cheating on his wife, with one of his staff, and there were reports of him not actually “slaying people in the spirit” but using physical force to push people over and disorientate them instead, 6 months later he was back on the God channel?!  I am sorry but if your actions behind the scenes are ungodly and you show no remorse when they are revealed, there has to be questions about your theology and integrity!

There is another man with a ministry, which appears to have no beneficial dealing mainly with “getting drunk on the  Holy Spirit” and “getting high on the Holy Ghost”, (apparently he was a former addict to drugs and alcohol, then he discovered how much happier the Holy Spirit made him, so wanted to get “high” everyday, he went to Bethlehem and sniffed the dust from the places where Jesus was supposed to have lived) He came to the town where I live, fortunately a family in the church, where he was due to run a weekend course in “mysticism”, flagged up their concern and many others then looked into it.  The leadership team of that church were  still willing to invite him to preach and teach, despite most of the long-standing members of that church “fleeing the ship”. Ironically, one of his “disciples” went off and created his own even more extreme ministry which even the original guy had to admit was OTT and un-biblical (acts included smoking from a lego brick?!)

Finally the ones that really get my hackles up are the “tele-evangelists”, they ask for money left, right and centre, “bribing” you with a CD or a book, (and even a green handkerchief!)  They will broadcast from anywhere including stadiums with revolving globes and man-made waterfall, to studios that have their own private security company guarding the compound.  Where did Jesus tell us to do that?

The bible says in Matthew 24:11 -12

11-12 “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people. For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.

I had a conversation, a few years ago with an Anglican priest who informed me that, according to their theology, priests are accountable to God for their parishioners, in the same way, if we know the truth and allow deception to be spoken through us, we are ultimately going to have to face up to that on Judgement Day. But if we hear deception preached from the front or in the public and we do nothing about it (the best way is to challenge the speaker quietly and respectfully) we are also going to have to deal with the consequences on Judgement Day!

The devil is a “tempter” and a deceiver telling us “half-truths” to start us on paths that seem all innocent and before we know it we are knocked off-track and in a mess that only God can help us with!  The Devil cannot  control us unless we allow him to, if we allow thoughts like:-

Like it or not we are in the world, we are meant to engage with the world, but not conform to the world’s standards (because we all know what the “world” considers “acceptable” is not actually beneficial to society!

The challenge for us all is to speak up! Be ready to give the reason for the hope that you have in Jesus but also be ready to challenge un-biblical beliefs and actions from fellow believers (with respect and gentleness)!

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“We’re Doomed I tell you!” or “Jesus is coming, look busy!”

I was reading Numbers 17 a couple of days ago and it was yet another story of the Israelites once again moaning, so God gave Moses some instructions and warned anyone that if they came near the tent, where the Ark of the covenant was, they would die, so they start panicking and saying “we’re doomed! We are as good as dead” I was instantly reminded of the character from the BBC programme Dad’s Army, there was one character Private Fraser who was always cynical about the plans being made and would say “we’re doomed!

It is said that “the only things certain in life are Death and taxes“, Jesus spoke about both, but one thing that is constantly up for debate is when he will return or when will all life on “the world” end? Many people have tried to give dates and times but when that date comes around, we are all still here!

One morning in sunday school we were asked “if you only had one day left to live what would you do?” Roy Castle, the trumpet player and well-loved presenter of Record Breakers, was quoted as saying “I am the luckiest man alive,  for i know how long i have left!” He died of lung cancer in 1994.

As I was a child when I was asked that question, my answers were pretty much about having fun and eating lots, but I did say “tell all my friends about Jesus” (what have I got to lose? I am dead in less that 24 hours!), at which my Sunday school teacher was quick enough to pick up and say “why not do it today?” My answers now may be similar but more family orientated as I am a dad!

I recently watched the movie “Leap Year“, the one thing I caught from the movie was the question “if your house was burning down what would you grab before running out to safety?” I was flummoxed, providing my wife and children were safely out, what would I want to take out? I don’t have masses of photos around the house, they are all safely stored on hard drives. CDs, DVDs, electronic equipment can be replaced, I use the bible app on my phone so having a hardback copy isn’t a necessity!

Proverbs 11:4 says “Riches won’t help on the day of judgment, but right living can save you from death.” and 1 Thessalonians 5 talks about Jesus coming like a thief in the night, there is no point wondering when that will be, we should get on with life and live everyday with Joy, peace and kindness towards others! (I know its not easy and we all have bad days/weeks/years!)

There are T-shirts and all sorts of other merchandise that says “Jesus is coming, look busy!” The phrase even is on a tattoo on a fake archbishop’s bottom in the film “Johnny English“! The thing is Jesus is coming, when? We don’t know, but he is, it’s not like when your parents come into a room and you have been up to mischief, you quickly rush back and act non-chalant saying “nothing” when asked what you were doing! God is always watching us,  but when Jesus comes back there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more death!

I sometimes wonder what is the point of it all, we work our socks off to earn digits in a bank account which get transferred electronically or in paper/metal to other people who offer services/food. We cannot take our property when we die, so would it be more worthwhile sharing our “wealth”?  I once worked out that for the price of a couple of month’s subscription to a cable/satellite company, you could enable an African child to school for half a year if not longer! Or if you believe the adverts for charities, it could do so much more!

God doesn’t want us to live a life of squalor, we all like “nice things” but should we rethink how we spend our individual resources, not only because due to the financial climate we all have to rework our “budgets” but rethinking the way in which we spend our time, money and energy. Is it only beneficial for us? Is it in anyway detrimental to our lives? Can we help others by offering our time, money or energy as they need it more than we do?

What would you do with your last 24 hours? What should you do with your resources?

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