George Barna poll shows Nazarene prophet’s popularity slipping

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(IMAGINATION ALERT!!!!)

After reading Pilgrim’s post below, as well as this post about George Barna’s recent “waffling” and his  growing fascination with ecumenicalism (and this follow-up), I decided to combine the two into one FICTIONAL story.

From Jerusalem Post, c. 33 AD:

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By Mariam Zecharyahu
Jerusalem (JP)–A new George Barna poll has found that the popularity of a certain Nazarene prophet, which had been growing geometrically over the first two years of his ministry, is beginning to show signs of slowing, and, in some cases, the number of people opposed to his teachings is actually greater than those who still favor his doctrines.

Yehoshua Ha’Mashiachah bar-Yusef, whose claims about being the Christ of YHVH have divided people everywhere he has gone, continues to enjoy support from the outcasts of society. But among those in power–especially among the very influential Pharisaical community–his claims to being the only begotten of YHVH Himself have brought about only scorn. As one Pharisee (who spoke to us under condition of anonymity) has said, “He is a blasphemer! I was there when he said that he and YHVH were one. What an outrage to mock the Shema like that! Only YHVH is One!” A scribe, who also wished to remain nameless, said, “The man has a lot of gall! To say what he did, that ‘I AM.’ Does he not know, that is a title reserved for YHVH?” Continue reading

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voddie-baucham If you are in a church that has resisted the temptation to professionalize worship, you are blessed. If not, my heart goes out to you. In any event, family worship will deepen your appreciation for biblical worship and make the corporate experience that much richer. However, I must caution you—family worship also has a tendency to open your eyes to the shallow, mundane, worldly aspects of the modern “worship” scene.

- Voddie Baucham

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http://www.ageslibrary.com/ages_pink_collection_1.html

Some of God’s dear people may suppose that it would be presumptuous to set themselves up as judges of what they hear or read—but that is a serious mistake, being both a false humility, and a shirking of duty. The Apostle rebuked the Hebrews because their senses (spiritual faculties) were not developed so as to discern between good and evil (Hebrews 5:13).

It is often a long time before God’s children are able to account for this. They blame themselves; they are exceedingly loath to say, “This message is not of God.” They are afraid to act in the spiritual, as they do in the natural, and condemn and discard that which is worthless.

“Take heed what you hear” and read! More than forty years ago the saintly Adolph Saphir wrote, “I think the fewer books we read—the better. It is like times of cholera, when we should only drink filtered water.” What would he say if he were on earth today and glanced over the deadly poison sent forth by the heterodox, and the lifeless rubbish put out by the orthodox? Christian reader, if you value the health of your soul, cease hearing and quit reading all that is lifeless, unctionless, powerless, no matter what prominent or popular name be attached thereto. Life is too short to waste valuable time on that which does not profit. Ninety-nine out of every hundred of the religious books, booklets, and magazines now being published, are not worth the paper on which they are printed!

To turn away from the lifeless preachers and publishers of the day—may involve a real cross. Your motives will be misconstrued, your words perverted, and your actions misinterpreted. The sharp arrows of false report will be directed against you. You will be called proud and self-righteous, because you refuse to fellowship empty professors. You will be termed censorious and bitter—if you condemn in plain speech—the subtle delusions of Satan. You will be dubbed narrow-minded and uncharitable, because you refuse to join in singing the praises of the “great” and “popular” men of the day. More and more, you will be made to painfully realize—that the path which leads unto eternal life is “narrow” and that FEW there are who find it. May the Lord be pleased to grant unto each of us—the hearing ear and obedient heart! “Take heed what you hear” and read!

- A.W. Pink (1886 ~ 1952)

HT: DefCon Commenter ‘Denise‘ mining from Grace Gems

Dr. Steven J. Lawson: “The Dangers of Legalism” (Galatians 4:8-4:11)

Galatians 4:8-11 (NASB)8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.

How easy it is for us, once we have been saved, to think that if we ever slip up ever again, even once, we will be in danger of Hellfire all over again. And so we cling hard to the commands that we find. Should we obey God’s commands? ABSOLUTELY! But it is not by spotless perfection to the law that we continue to be saved–for that is impossible! But, when we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, and that sin has already been paid for on the cross!

Here is the twelfth installment of this series going verse-by-verse through what Dr. Lawson calls “Paul’s Most Explosive Letter.” You can listen by left-clicking this link.

Book Review: “The Basket of Flowers” by Christoph von Schmid.

the-basket-of-flowersWhat can I say about this book other than I absolutely loved it. This was the very first book published in the Lamplighter series and was the Lamplighter series “book of the year” in 1996. This continues to be my favorite Lamplighter book (see all Lamplighter books here) and is easily one of my favorite books of all time. I couldn’t put it down and now I can’t stop raving about it.

I was skeptical at first–reading a book first published in 1878 with the title The Basket of Flowers tends to lead one to believe it’s chick-lit (for lack of a better term). However, was I very, very surprised.

This is Christian literature at its finest. Each chapter imparts lifelong lessons and leaves you feeling like you just received a doctrinally sound sermon. The gripping story drives home the lesson to remain faithful and thankful to God even in the midst of great trials and especially when standing in the face of false accusation and persecution for crimes you didn’t commit. I cannot recommend this book enough for the Christian reader and even Dr. Tedd Tripp (who wrote Shepherding a Child’s Heart) wrote an endorsement for the book on page 4.

This book needs to be on the bookshelf in every Christian home and read by young and old, boy and girl, mother and father. You and your family will not be disappointed.

The publisher says:

This first book of the Lamplighter Rare Collector Series continues to be a best-seller. James, the king’s gardener, teaches his 15-year-old daughter Mary all the principles of godliness through his flowers. She is falsely accused of stealing, and the penalty is death. Mary remembers what her father had taught her: that it is better to die for the truth than to live for a lie, and that the worst pillow to sleep on is the pillow of a guilty conscience! This story will change your life forever!

Vision Forum says:

Within this simple, unassuming book is an inspirational story for young ladies not to be rivaled by any of the novels currently circulating in Christian bookstores. Set in Germany 100 years ago, The Basket of Flowers is the tale of a godly young woman and her father who wrongly suffer great persecution, but who learn to trust the sovereign hand of God through every difficult circumstance. My wife was so transfixed by this story that she read it in one sitting.

Other reviews:

“I am giving The Basket of Flowers to my grandchildren. I have no doubt they will devour it.” -Elisabeth Elliot

“I would like to express my thanks for printing The Basket of Flowers. It is a wonderful book with many virtues we need today in this world. The The Basket of Flowers has given me a new perspective of the Bible and at the same time making a better Christian out of me and my family. Thank you so much!” -Carissa

This is the touching story of a young girl and her father. Originally written by a french author, and later translated into english, this is a book that is sure to be passed down from generation to generation. I am 12 years old and my mother just recently purchased this book for me. I wish every girl could have a copy of this book!Also recommended: The Elsie Dinsmore Series, any books by Martha Finley, any books by Oliver Optic, C.H. Pearson, or Horatio Alger Jr. Please, if you want your daughter to read wholesome, enjoyable, thought-provoking, and character building books I suggest you purchase A Basket of Flowers immediately! (Reviewer unknown)

When I fist read this book I was only 9. Having been taught to read by my great grandfather, who embodied education. This was one of his favourite books. I found it very sad and at times depressing however, it teaches one that goodness always prevails even in the shadows of death. One learns courage and the depths of love that one can have for their family. This is a book that I will forever share with my great grandfather even though he has left this earth 13 years ago. I could still smell the old hard cover text with the neat engraving on a small basket of flowers. ( I had a very old version). It’s a book that I will always cherish. – Andrea Paul McPherson

I found this book on the library shelf. It caught my eye because it was small and old looking. (I like vintage things) The first chapter into this book I instantly knew it was going to be one of my few favorites!
This tale is about a father teaching his daughter about her Heavenly Father. I am seventeen and found this book as intriguing as my favorite classic Pride and Prejudice.
What this book has to offer is character building, and a learning passion for the Lord our Father in Heaven, who always hears our prayers and cares for us far beyond our understanding! – Alli

You can purchase this book at Family Faith Books by clicking here.

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john-macarthur.jpg Neither Paul nor any other legitimate church leader in 2000 years has ever found it necessary (or even helpful) to use streetwise sex education—not as an evangelistic strategy, and certainly not as a means to sanctification for people already overwhelmed with sex-talk from a corrupt culture. Adopting the world’s obsession with sex and filthy talk cannot possibly have a sanctifying effect, because the strategy itself is unholy.

The notion that degenerate subcultures and sexually-addicted people cannot be reached without “learning to speak their language” is an absolute fallacy. Grace Church is seven miles from Hollywood, in the heart of Southern California, in a carnal, pleasure-mad culture well-known worldwide for everything but healthy spiritual values. No city in America is more “unchurched” than our valley, which houses more than three million people. The people of Grace church are reaching friends and neighbors in every imaginable subculture—from ex-cons to ex-Catholics to people in the entertainment industry. We baptize new believers virtually every Sunday night. It is neither necessary nor helpful to inject explicit sexual references into the conversation in order to reach people from such a culture. God draws them to Christ through the gospel.

- John MacArthur