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Archive for January, 2008

MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Destiny Praise…..

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 31, 2008

Just wanting to give a shout-out to one of my favorite Praise and Worship Groups:

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MUSIC/HIP HOP, BEATS….and CULTURE: What really matters when it comes to MODERN-DAY PRAISE AND WORSHIP???

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 31, 2008

NOTE from Gabriel: THIS IS A LONG POST…….SO APOLOGIES IF ANYONE WAS WANTING SOMETHING SHORT AND SWEET…..but IMHO, I believe that for anyone investigating that you’ll be blessed somehow….

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To anyone concerned,

 Had a conversation recently that I thought was interesting and that I wanted to share with you.. Basically, it’s with the man who said that drums in worship are not appropiate for today and that beats are distracting to true worship
Also, if anyone’s interested, one can go here to see the entire discussion for oneself (though since one has to have a “CODE NAME” when at CARM, they’ll have to register if they wish to participate on the discussions…..but thankfully, it’s for free):

Here are his backing/resources on the issue and I was hoping to get your feedback on the issue.

Section 11 – “What About the Musical Instruments and Dancing of the Old Testament? at
http://www.freedomministries.org.uk/masters/idiom11.htm and the sections that follow it.

http://www.crucialchoices.com/Englis…ages/Drums.htm

videos by John Makujina at http://www.dbts.edu/5-1/5-14.asp

http://www.dbts.edu/mp3/rls/031605makujina3.mp3

Similar to some of the views which he has is this article which I recently discovered\

 http://reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/music.htm

Also, here are some links to resources backing that deal with MY SIDE OF THE STREET AND

http://layhands.com/AreInstrumentsForbidden.htm

Quote:

http://layhands.com/AreInstrumentsForbidden.htm

Also, for others to consider:

http://www.amazon.com/Discerning-Spi…/dp/0802839991

http://www.amazon.com/Art-Worship-Mu…/ref=sid_dp_dp

http://www.amazon.com/Contemporary-W…/ref=sid_dp_dp

http://www.amazon.com/Worship-Maze-F…/ref=sid_dp_dp

http://www.amazon.com/Unquenchable-W…/ref=sid_dp_dp

add this one in the last post….

Also,

Quote:

Just wanted to give those out before procedding since part of walking in wisdom  is to get all the facts before answering, being OPEN TO NEW IDEAS/THE possibility that you or I could be in error/subjective in our thinking, and making certian we were hearing both sides of the story before judging….difficult work, but better than the only alternative—-PREJUDICE (judging before getting all the facts)?

Quote:

Proverbs 18:13-1713 He who answers before listening—
that is his folly and his shame.15 The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;
the ears of the wise seek it out.

17 The first to present his case seems right,
till another comes forward and questions him.

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceL…re_You_Answer/

 Now, to note, here are some of the things that he said in regards to the discussion:

In dialouging with this kat/seeing what he had to say, this was his M.O:

“One problem with drums for worship is that they accentuate the beat. Musical beat does not speak to the mind of people. Instead, it speaks to the physical body. Because of this, it cannot convey any truth or give encouragement to live in the truth. there is a difference between beat and rhythm. (But do not take my word for it; do some research.) Yes, there can be a relation between them, but they are not the same. For example, your heart has a beat, but it also has a rhythm. The rhythm of your heart is not the same as the heart beat.

As long as the heart is working, it has a heartbeat. So too, most, if not all, music has a beat.

We need to note that the beat can be internal to the music. Even singing, by itself, has beat. However, the beat can also be inserted into the music from external sources, such as from drums. Concerning music used to worship God, the source of the beat is very important. If the beat is too noticeable, it detracts from the worshippers’ mental focus on truths that exalt God. In addition, if the beat is syncopated, the worshippers are further distracted away from ascribing greatness and extending gratitude to God. That is one reason why adding beat to music used in worship is detrimental to worship in spirit and in truth.””

In response to this individual, another came up and said this:

“Anyone saying rhythm is bad would have to condemn David as well for using the timbrel during praise or anyone clapping even. Basically, all music is based on some form of rhythm, so essentially if rhythm is evil, so is all of music. Music is based on rhythm, not just melody.”

In response, the kat against drums said this:

 Some verses about worship:

“God is spirit: and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24

“And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?” 1 Corinthians 14:7

Some verses about music:

“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” Ephesians 5:19-20

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Colossians 3:16

Some verses that speak about what believers need to learn:

“For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-15

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

How can music with the following be compatible with the above verses?

  • a heavy driving beat,
  • overbearing sound for the sake of overbearing sound,
  • syncopation that is incompatible with the message of the song,
  • music style that simulates fornication,
  • sounds that are unharmonious with each other,
  • aspects that make it more entertaining than educational/propositional, or
  • musical arrangements that make it almost impossible to understand the words of the song’s message.

How can the above listed characteristics of some kinds of music

  • help to facilitate the impartation of the Word of Christ into the life of worshippers,
  • help to teach worshippers through words about how to live for Christ,
  • help to encourage worshippers with truths about Christ,
  • help to verbalize praise and thanksgiving to God in singing,
  • help to build up believers in trusting and serving Christ,
  • help to train believers to distinguish truth from error, or
  • help to understand Christian doctrines and Biblical truths about Jesus Christ and His love?

In addition, how can choosing music based on its entertainment value (popularity and personal preferences) contribute to the spiritual unity of believers?

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:13

 Some things can be decided based on personal preferences. But other things must be determined based on Biblical principles that address the particular thing.

Wasn’t Romans 14 addressed to what a person ate and how a person viewed certain days of the week?

As Romans 14 explains, these two subjects are personal and subjective – a believer has freedom concerning these things.

However, what Biblical passages say that communal worship is to be based on personal choice? Rather than being merely a personal and subjective subject, communal worship is an activity that must be done according to Biblical principles, not according to personal choice.

: When I responded, I brought up this from a website I frequent:

People are always asking if drums or keyboards or, yes, if electric guitars belong in the church. All musical instruments are, in themselves, neither good nor bad–they are amoral. So the question is this: Does a style of music edify believers while bringing honor and glory to Christ Jesus? If so, then what difference does it make if the accompaniment is provided by a piano or a guitar? Perhaps Ephesians 5:19 is the answer to this issue in that it promotes worshipping the Lord and encouraging other believers in three different “styles” of music, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”

http://www.gotquestions.org/instruments.html

That seems to be fair to me.

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COLOR BLIND: BOOK REVIEW and Examining the issue of Racial Renconcilliation

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 31, 2008

Wanted to give a shout-out to you and brother Lionel 4 sharing my heart 4 racial reconcilliation and truly uniting for the Gospel. You can check out some of the latest posts they’ve recently done on the issue which I believe will be of benefit:

 http://blackandreformedministries.com/2008/01/30/integration-or-separation/#comment-253

 http://blackandreformedministries.com/2008/01/28/diverstiy-part-2-a-challenge-to-blacks-or-african-americans-if-you-prefer/

 http://blackandreformedministries.com/2008/01/25/so-you-want-a-diverse-church-be-a-catalyst-then/

Even within many reformed circles, it was sad seeing that I going to a Charismatic church and being blasted for it seemed to have more of an appreciation for being multi-cultural/reflecting Christ as in Revelation 5:9 and 7:9 THAN MANY OF THEM DID claiming that they believe in the power of the Gospel….and yet there churches were blantantly SEGREGATED/

Revelation 5:9 

9And they sang a new song:
   “You are worthy to take the scroll
      and to open its seals,
   because you were slain,
      and with your blood you purchased men for God
      from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Revelation 7:9 

The Great Multitude in White Robes
 9After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
Don’t know how much it’s worth, but after being raised in a church that literally had to FIGHT FOR BEING MULTI-CULTURAL (and this from a WHITE PASTOR whose congregation was predominately white and HALF LEFT when he started preaching about PRACTICING RACIAL RECONCILLIATION rather than merely THEORIZING/PREACHING ABOUT IT…..which truly blessed my mother and I since we had never seen a church truly like that to that degree), I’d like to offer this suggestion:
http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Down-Walls-Reconciliation-Racial/dp/0802426433
 
 It’s entitled “Breaking Down Walls: A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife (Paperback)”….and it was one of the Books studied at the church I’ve grown up in when radical racial reconcilliation took place…..and IMHO, it’s one of the best books out there on the subject. I think that anyone will be blessed if they choose to study it.
Here’s a review on the book that I think:
This needs to be read by anyone who is serious about addressing the racial differences we all face. These men share their personal stories and then the reconciliation principles that have grown out of their experiences. It is down to earth and practical, hard hitting yet enjoyable. A great help without the guilt ladden junk that comes in most racial sensitivity material. Two thumbs up!
 

A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife
 
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Customer image from Bensbooksma“);

     Also, if anyone’s interested, here are the sermons which the pastor of our church preached entitled “RACIAL RENCONCILIATION”……again, these are some of the teachings that have greatly impacted me in my views (as well as my experiences in being in a myriad of diverse circumstances—-from going to an all-black elementary school to being in a diverse middle-school….and then going to a predominately WHITE Christian Highschool…and then going to a HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE….it’s like a Roller-Coaster)
      Note: Of course, the sermons/teachings are from a Charismatic Church (which I’m apart of)…….but I pray that does not serve as an impediment for honestly searching/investigating if there’s anything of worth that may be of benefit. Some things folks may agree with…..and others many may not…..but the church is fairly sound and has greatly aided me in my growth in the Lord, loving people as He has loved me…..and if nothing else, it may serve to stir up dialouge:
Here are the sermons:

http://www.libertychurch.org/streams/audio/racial/racial_02.mp3

http://www.libertychurch.org/streams/audio/racial/racial_03.mp3

http://www.libertychurch.org/streams/audio/racial/racial_04.mp3

http://www.libertychurch.org/streams/audio/racial/racial_05.mp3
http://www.libertychurch.org/streams/audio/racial/racial_06.mp3

      Also, if I may say,

Isn’t it amazing how often we discuss the issue of racial recocilliation and leave out the Word of God on the issue? And even more amazing, how much we forget that the issue of RACE was not something which is NEW TO THE LORD!!!!

Anyone remember . Regarding Matthew 25????

Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

There has been much debate about the identity of the “brothers”. Some have said that they were Jews; others say they were all Christians; still others say they are suffering people everywhere Such a debate is much like the Lawyer’s question to Jesus “WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?” (Luke 10:29). But the point of the parable is not the WHO, but the WHAT—THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVING WHEREVER SERVICE IS NEEDED. The Focus of this  parable is that we should love every person and serve anyone we can. For such love glorifies God by reflecting our love for Him.

       

If we OF SERVING WHEREVER SERVICE IS NEEDED. The Focus of this  parable is that we should love every person and serve anyone we can. For such love glorifies God by reflecting our love for Him.

Luke 10

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

 27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

 28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

 37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
      Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

 If we were to be honest for a moment, regarding the RACE issue, I think that we are often moreso like that Lawyer and the others in that parable than we’d want to believe. We treat the TOPIC as an topic for discussion like the Lawyer did with the wounded man,  or we act like the priest and treat the man as a topic to avoid or an object of curiousity and go about our buisness for the “Lord” like the  Levite……rarely acting like the Samaratin and acting out of love
…..because it’s much more easier to talk about the Lord within the realm of our OWN CULTURES than outside of it…

And like the Lawyer/Levite and Priest in the story, we all tend to act first out of our prejudices and build our theology from there.

For example, there was a deep hatred that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Jews saw themselves as pure descendents of Abraham, while the Samaratans were a mixed race produced when THE Jews from the northern kingdom intermarried with other peoples imported from other nations by the King of Assyria after the exile in order to keep peace (II Kings 17:24)

Moving on, the Jews in the southern kingdom considered Samaratins to be “IMPURE”RACIALLY/refused to recieve help from, even during the rebuilding/return from EXILE.
 Thus the pure Jews hated this mixed race because they felt that their fellow Jews who had intermarried had betrayed their people/nation…….and the Samaratins had set up an alternate center for worship on Mount Gerizim to parallel the temple at Jerusalem, but it had been destroyed 150 YEARS earlier.

… For more info, go check out II Kings 17/2 Kings 17,  Ezra 4Nehemiah 2 , Nehemiah 4.)……
Starting to see some parallels toward today, where one race was forced to do something to the other race’s detriment and how it embittered them for life???
BUT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS GOT PROGRESSIVELY WORSE, even into Jesus’s Day (and hence, the reason WHY JESUS CHOSE TO HAVE A SAMARATIN BE THE HERO of HIS STORY, as he would’ve been the person least suspected by a Jew to be worthy/capable of anything good)…..and moreover, the reason why JESUS HIMSELF WAS INTENTIONAL ABOUT MINISTERING TO SAMARATANS.

John 4

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
 1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

 4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

 7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

 11″Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

 13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

 16He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

 17″I have no husband,” she replied.

   Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

 19″Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

 21Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

 25The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

 26Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
 27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”
 28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29″Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ[b]?” 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

 31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

 33Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

 34″My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

Many Samaritans Believe
 39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers.
 42They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

       To give some context, to go from the territory of Judea to Galiee meant passing through a central territory called Samaria. Most Jews did EVERYTHING they could to avoid traveling down through Samaria…and the reason was their HISTORY.


This is the same thing seen today in principle—where people refuse to actually do things that’d be EASY/BENEFICIAL and choose to take the harder way *(though in their minds, because there are racial issues that one doesn’t wish to deal with because of the humility/willingness to work it’d require), they’re cool with it….and actually come to see their actions as QUITE PROPER
           As many churches say, “Well, it’s best to keep things seperate between our churches…..they have their culture and we have ours…….and we’re all serving Christ!!!!…….yet the SEPERATION/DISUNITY CONTINUES TO FESTER and we’re so used to it that we no longer see it  as an issue…..

Jesus, however, DID NOT LIVE BY SUCH RESTRICTIONS…THE ROUTE THROUGH SAMARIA WAS SHORTER, and that was the ROUTE HE TOOK….why take a harder route for the sake of RACE when it’d be more sensible to take the one where you’re actually forced to deal with it but it’s more beneficial in the long run?

      When He talked with the woman at the well, many people forget that the woman was known to be living in sin….and was a Samaratan. NO RESPECTABLE JEWISH MAN would talk to a woman under such circumstances…….
But JESUS DID……..FOR THE GOSPEL IS FOR EVERY PERSON, NO MATTER WHAT HIS OR HER RACE IS, or social position, or past sins……..JESUS CROSSED ALL BARRIERS TO SHARE THE GOSPEL AND WE WHO FOLLOW HIM MUST DO NO LESS. Sticking with our own sub-culture cannot be tolerated….

Even apart from the issue of RACE, one still has to contend with the basic charge to love others as you love yourself.

And even more close to home, when issues from the past come up, one must consider that LOVE IS REQUIRED TO BE EXPENDED TOWARD EVEN THOSE WHO ARE CONSIDERED YOUR ENEMIES —WHETHER FROM ISSUES IN THE PAST, PRESENT, OR FUTURE………

Luke 6
Love for Enemies

 27″But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 32″If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others
 37″Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 39He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

But on the FLIP SIDE, one cannot deal with the issues that are hindering another if they have issues which they’re unwilling to face themselves…..and that has been the case for many when it comes to the issue of race, where they’re making cries for “WE NEED TO BE UNITED” but yet it’s on their terms:

      How often have you hear the phrase “Whites need to stop seperating……I HAVE NO PROBLEM FELLOWSHIPPING WITH SOMEONE OF ANOTHER RACE. We need to do that…….but ONLY AFTER THEY COME TO MY CHURCH FIRST……OR THAT THE PASTOR’S BLACK LIKE I AM.” The list of phrases can go on, but you get the picture….

      
Luke 6

 41″Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Ultimately, as Jesus/others in the NT AS WELL AS THE OT made clear, the ultimate thing that matters above all else is LOVE FOR THE LORD/NEIGHBOR….because in doing that, ALL OF THE PURPOSE OF THE TORAH IS NATURALLY FUFILLED….& BY fufilling those two commands, a person keeps all the others, for they summarize the 10 Commandments/other OT MORAL LAWS…..& rather than focusing or worrying about all we should not do, we should concentrate on all we can do to show our love for God/others…..and to be unified:
Quote:

Ultimately, as Jesus/others in the NT AS WELL AS THE OT made clear, the ultimate thing that matters above all else is LOVE FOR THE LORD/NEIGHBOR….because in doing that, ALL OF THE PURPOSE OF THE TORAH IS NATURALLY FUFILLED….& BY fufilling those two commands, a person keeps all the others, for they summarize the 10 Commandments/other OT MORAL LAWS…..& rather than focusing or worrying about all we should not do, we should concentrate on all we can do to show our love for God/others…..and to be unified:

Quote:
John 17:20-23
Jesus Prays for All Believers

20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Quote:
Acts 4:32
[ The Believers Share Their Possessions ] All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

 

Quote:
1 Corinthians 1:10
[ Divisions in the Church ] I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Quote:

Galatians 5:13-15

13You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature[a]; rather, serve one another in love. 14The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other

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<H4>Philippians 2

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Imitating Christ’s Humility

1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

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Romans 13:9

The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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Matthew 22:34-40

The Greatest Commandment

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
[b]36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Quote:
Romans 12

9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

 

 

Quote:
Ephesians 4:29-30

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Quote:
Colossians 3

12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Quote:

1 Peter 4:7-11

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

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1 Peter 2:17

Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

1 Peter 3:8

[ Suffering for Doing Good ] Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble

.

Realizing more and more that’s all that matters……and to give an illustration, had something last night where I went to a prayer meeting. The music they were singng/tune was something by a man named Rick Pino ….which was cool, but in my spirit I really didn’t have peace about it. Felt very restless, and that even though everyone was singing, I couldn’t sing along with it. So I left the room 4 a bit/went to myself outside to think/sing a different song to the Lord……

Came back later, and the people were questioning me at the end as to “You’re not going along with the program!!!”…and to me, that confused me as I realized that I couldn’t truly sing to the Lord from my heart with the accompaniment that was being played. And as long as I stayed, I wasn’t being sincere. To that, many intially said “Well, the group is cool…..so that’s enough!!!”..and automatically, what was being discussed in this conversation came to my mind. I realized I had become a victim of “group-think”, where the majority of believers were cool singing one way and didn’t seem to be considerate of how one among them—may’ve been struggling.

The scenario reminded me also of what happens on mission trips I’ve been too…..where, for example, we’ll be in Queretaro, Mexico and the people are worshipping the Lord in Spanish ACCOMPANIMENTS/style and we as guests are enjoying their company (Luke 10:8) but we also sung American songs., which they asked for, and sung songs in their languages (practicing before hand as well) so that we could have diversity and all be in UNITY/ONE ACCORD (Psalm 133, Ephesians 4:1-5)…and it was so amazing seeing all of the miracles, miraculous events, healings, tears shed over one another, and testimonies of how appreciative everyone was of God’s love being there and how the community could see a difference in how we walked……
BUT IF ANY OF US HAD GONE INTO THINGS DETERMINED TO MAINTAIN OUR OWN CULTURE, rather than INTERGRATE OR APPRECIATE/CELEBRATE THE UNIQUE AND BEAUTIFUL DIFFERENCES IN THEM, we’d be lost…..

Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.
 1 How good and pleasant it is
         when brothers live together in unity!

 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
       running down on the beard,
       running down on Aaron’s beard,
       down upon the collar of his robes.

 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
       were falling on Mount Zion.
       For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
       even life forevermore.

Ephesians 4

Unity in the Body of Christ

 1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

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BLAST FROM THE PAST (old POST): HUMBLE ORTHODOXY/UNITED 4 CHRIST…..

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 29, 2008

 (NOTE from GABRIEL: The post is an old one, but I thought that it’d be relevant to bring it up again since it’s not only one of my favorites but also one that I think is especially timely….)

How good is it to see when people are ZEALOUS FOR THE FEAR/PASSION of the Lord and UNITING BELIEVERS TOGETHER IN THE HOPES OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Psalm 133

A song of ascents. Of David.

 1 How good and pleasant it is
       when brothers live together in unity!
 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head,
       running down on the beard,
       running down on Aaron’s beard,
       down upon the collar of his robes.

 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon
       were falling on Mount Zion.
       For there the LORD bestows his blessing,
       even life forevermore.

 

Psalm 16:3
As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.

Psalm 19

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
       the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

 2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
       night after night they display knowledge.

 3 There is no speech or language
       where their voice is not heard. [a]

 4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
       their words to the ends of the world.
       In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
       like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

 6 It rises at one end of the heavens
       and makes its circuit to the other;
       nothing is hidden from its heat.

 7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
       reviving the soul.
       The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
       making wise the simple.

 8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
       giving joy to the heart.
       The commands of the LORD are radiant,
       giving light to the eyes.

 9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
       enduring forever.
       The ordinances of the LORD are sure
       and altogether righteous.

 10 They are more precious than gold,
       than much pure gold;
       they are sweeter than honey,
       than honey from the comb.

 11 By them is your servant warned;
       in keeping them there is great reward.

 12 Who can discern his errors?
       Forgive my hidden faults.

 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
       may they not rule over me.
       Then will I be blameless,
       innocent of great transgression.

 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
       be pleasing in your sight,
       O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 115:1
Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

 John 17:20-23

Jesus Prays for All Believers

 20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Acts 4:32
[ The Believers Share Their Possessions ] All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.

  Romans 11
Doxology

 33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
      How unsearchable his judgments,
      and his paths beyond tracing out!
 34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
      Or who has been his counselor?”[j]
 35“Who has ever given to God,
      that God should repay him?”[k]
 36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
      To him be the glory forever! Amen.

  Romans 12:8-17
Love

 9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[a] Do not be conceited.

1 Corinthians 1:10
[ Divisions in the Church ] I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.

2 Corinthians 13:11
[ Final Greetings ] Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

  Galatians 3:25-29
Sons of God

 26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Ephesians 2

One in Christ

 11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

 14For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

 19Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 4

Unity in the Body of Christ

 1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Philippians 2

Imitating Christ’s Humility

 1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Philippians 3

No Confidence in the Flesh

 1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

 2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence.
      If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.

 7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Colossians 3

Rules for Holy Living

 1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
 

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
Hebrews 3:12-14 Hebrews 3

Hebrews 10:25


Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

 1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

 1 Peter 2:17
Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

 1 Peter 3:8
[ Suffering for Doing Good ] Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

 Just wanted to share that with the rest of you, seeing how easy it is to forget how important it is to be brought into a PASSION FOR THE GOSPEL, but how POWERFUL IT IS WHEN BRETHREN ARE WILLING TO UNITE IN THE NAME OF SPREADING IT!!!!!!!! 

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Discernment & Deception

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 29, 2008

On Judging….

 On Discernement….

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6214350092967260430&q=Discernment&total=393&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=2

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NEW ATTITUDE 2008: GET READY, GET READY, GET READY……..4 the TRUTH!

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 28, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOeXPAzA6rg

Just advertising for the NEW ATTITUDE CONFERENCE that’ll be coming up soon with C.J Mahanney/Joshua Harris and many of the other kats from “TOGETHER FOR THE GOSPEL”.

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BACK DOWN MEMORY LANE AGAIN…….

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 28, 2008

Thought it was time for all of us to take a good break/go back down memory lane again. And for this session, wanted to spotlight one of my favorite groups of all time: ANOINTED 

 If anyone remembers the song “UNDER THE INFLUENCE”, pray you enjoy….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8A8sm1wFVc

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ATONMENT INTERVIES: Shan linne dissects his new album “The Atonement”

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 28, 2008

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAi1Wb4ypkI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhSuLu3OgZ8

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WARNING TO AMERICA: Message by Derick Prince…

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 28, 2008

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CHRISTIAN IDOL: Adressing the issue with IDOLATRY in our Lives (it’s alot easier than ya think…..)

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 28, 2008

And the Picture of the week is……..

Kowabungajeus

SURFIN’ with Jesus…….

 Others from back in the day……

Homelessjesus

Questions, folks?? Yes, it was humourous…….and Perhaps I’m trippn’n……but something doesn’t sit right with me on this.

I still think it’s interesting that in the same way Jesus was made into an ACTION-FIGURE suited to how one sees fit, that perhaps we do the same thing….

 Something on the subject by Mark Driscoll, in which he  speaks of his understanding of the problem of idolatry in the American culture and church.

 Also, if interested,

This is an Amercian Idol parody that someone made for a church Sunday School lesson about the golden calf in Exodus, and the ways in which we struggle with idolatry in our lives today…One man  play four of the parts. (less)

Also, for anyone interested, here’s something that should be intriguing. Specifically, in their words,

Hello and welcome to another broadcast of the White Horse Inn where we are launching our new year-long series, “Christless Christianity: The American Captivity of the Church.” In the last two programs we looked at Christless Christianity in general and Crossless Christianity which is really the heart of the problem as we are assessing it here. And then in this program we want to take a look at a specific example of what we are talking about. We realize an extreme example, but it does reflect a wider tendency and drift towards Christless Christianity that probably evangelicals would not have been attracted to in the 30s and 40s and 50s but today Joel Osteen is now considered an Evangelical leader.

If Charles Finney’s legacy helps us to understand how we arrived at the current crisis, Joel Osteen the Pastor of Lakewood church in Houston, Texas may be the clearest example in contemporary American religion. Name it/claim it, heath and wealth, or prosperity gospel, these are nicknames for a heresy that in many respects is an extreme version of perhaps the most typical focus of American Christianity today more generally. Basically God’s there for you and your happiness. He has some rules, and principles for getting what you want out of life and if you follow them you can have what you want. Just declare it and prosperity will come to you. Although explicit proponents of the so-called “prosperity gospel” may be fewer than their influence suggests, its big names and best-selling authors, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer are purveyors of a pagan world-view with a peculiarly American flavor. Its basically what Martin Luther called the “theology of glory.” How can I climb the ladder and attain the glory here and now that God has actually promised for us after a life of suffering. The contrast is the “theology of the cross.” The story of God’s merciful descent to us at great personal cost, the message the Apostle Paul acknowledged was offensive and foolishness to Greeks.

Every few years a religions best-seller sweeps the nation with the message of self-help. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive-Thinking, Robert Schuller’s TV ministry and series of best-sellers, Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez, and other sensations have come and gone. Each time the media treats the appearance of a work in this vein as though it were a new phenomenon, but the success of this genre has long been established. The attractions of Americans to this version of the glory story is evident in the astonishing success of Joel Osteen’s runaway best-seller Your Best Life Now: Seven Steps to Living at Your Full Potential and the sequel, the recently released Become a Better You. Beyond his charming personality and folksy style, Osteen’s phenomenal attraction is no doubt related to his simple and soothing sampler of the American gospel–a blend of Christian and cultural elements that he picked up not through any formal training but as the son of Baptist, turned prosperity evangelist, who was a favorite on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. However, gone are the eccentric caricatures of prosperity tele-evangelism with it flamboyant style and over the top rhetoric, and bad hair. At least in the televised broadcasts of his services there are no healing lines with people falling or fainting when the preacher blows on them. He doesn’t send blessed prayer cloths or speak endlessly of sowing seed in his ministry in order to reap their desired miracle.
The pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, which now owns the Compaq Center, and is now the largest church in America does not come across as a flashing evangelist with jets and yachts , but as a charming next door neighbor who always has something nice to say. However Joel Osteen is definitely a leader of a new generation of prosperity evangelists. His explicit drumbeat of health and wealth, or word-faith teaching is communicated in the terms and the ambiance that might be difficult to distinguish from most mega-churches and other seeker driven ministries. In this broadcast we are going to take a look at Joel Osteen as an example of that increasing creeping fog that we are calling Christless Christianity.

You can read Michael Horton’s review of Osteen’s Become a Better You here:
http://lanechaplin.blogspot.com/2007/…
http://www.whitehorseinn.org (less)

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