Thursday, January 30, 2014

Katy Perry, the Grammys and Satanism?

What was Katy Perry doing on the stage of the 2014 Grammy program?  I don't advise you to watch it but here is what I refer to in this post.  (I didn't watch the Grammys but learned of this later.  Natalie Grant, a Christian singer and Grammy nominee even left the event over things she saw with her eyes.)

The background was complete with creatures that looked like versions of Baphomet.  Was she truly, knowingly worshiping Satan or just using satanic/witchcraft symbolism as a calculated marketing strategy to create a buzz and sell records?  In one sense it doesn't matter.  Whether wittingly or unwittingly Satan was promoted and celebrated.  Occultic imagery flashed on to many screens.  I don't know if Katy Perry, a former Christian, even believes in Satan but the devil certainly believes in himself.

The Apostle Paul instructed Pastor Timothy to show mercy to those opposing his ministry:
Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:23-26 ESV)
From this passage we see that people unwittingly can advance the devil's interest and agenda without even realizing it.  This is true of many sorry souls who behave as Perry behaved onscreen.  They may be active participants or "useful idiots" (to use the political term) but they surely are dupes.

Pray for Katy Perry.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Gary, Indiana Possession & Exorcism of the Ammons Family

Demons are real.  Demonic oppression is real. Possession is real.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (Ephesians 6:10-13 ESV)
Jesus is real.
The unclean spirits, whenever they saw [Jesus], fell down before him, and shouted, "You are the Son of God!" (Mark 3:11)

For the print story click here

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Do You Treat Your Bible?

We won't read our Bibles and the Chinese kiss and cry over theirs.

I'm guilty.  I feel ashamed.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Facts are Not the Point

Sometimes words will jump from the printed page and take on a greater life than their immediate context.  It happened to me years ago as I read The King James Only Controversy by James White.  He defined the position of the most strident advocates among the KJV Only folks and he wrote:
In my experience, it is next to impossible to reason with such a person, for facts are not the issue.
Those words struck a chord within me.  They are true for so many people in so many dimensions in life.

Facts are not the point.

Have you ever experienced frustration when you've tried to reason with another?  You carefully lay out your case, only for it to be shot down with counter points.  However, have you ever had the feeling that no matter if you counter his counter points until his can't think of other points to counter with, he still won't concede anything?  So often in life, facts are not the point.  It is about feelings or desires or prejudices or biases.  Not facts.  Get used to it.  It happens all the time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Initials in the Church of God (Anderson)

W. F. Chappel, John Chappel & Boyce W. Blackwelder
In the early days of the Church of God reformation movement we knew our preachers/leaders by their initials.  From A. F. Gray to D. S. Warner their initials were burned in our minds.  However, from a historical standpoint their actual names can be lost to history if we don't preserve them.  Here is my short list of full names on various men.  I don't know all of their full names; if you can supply info then zip me a short email and help a brother out!

Boyce Watson Blackwelder
Charles Ewing Brown
Andrew Linnaeus Byers
Enoch Edwin Byrum
Russell Raymond Byrum
William Fielden Chappel
Albert Frederick Gray
Kenneth Effner Jones
Otto Fernand Linn
Charles Wesley Naylor
William Dale Oldham
Eugene Alonzo Reardon
Herbert McClellan Riggle
Frederick George Smith
Russell Eugene Sterner
Daniel Otis Teasley
Daniel Sidney Warner
Barney Elliott Warren

I need your help with these men:

Noah Holmes (?) Byrum
(and anyone else you can think of to provide me)

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Meaning of IHS on Christian Objects

The Church often uses common symbols to illustrate things; the problem comes when these common symbols lose their meaning!  One example is the monogram "IHS" on sanctuary objects:

In the Greek New Testament the name of Jesus is spelled IhsouV (pronounced as yā-sous).  In all capital letters it would be IHSOUS.  Take the first three letters, IHS (Iota, Eta, Sigma) and you have IHS in our script.

Mystery solved!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Using Your Mind

...always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15b ESV) 
And when [Apollos] wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus. (Acts 18:27-28 ESV)
Tonight I studied systematic theology with some other ministers at Abney Street Church of God.  Pastor Jack A.C. Lawrence instructed us.  It was a fun evening; I enjoy sharpening my mind.

Christianity is a matter of the heart, yes, but it is also a matter of the mind.  It is reasonable.  It is rational.  It is logical.  It is defensible.  

One great problem that I see when I survey evangelical Christianity today is the lack of emphasis on education.  When Joel Osteen pastors the largest church in America you know there is a problem.  We are light on education, on instruction, on—yes, I'll say it—indoctrination.  

Pastors have a great responsibility to teach their Christians that ordinary believers can understand the deep things of God, that they can be enlightened by their Faith and that they can articulate the religion they espouse.